Ideas on Getting Painted – Time Constraints

“I would love to paint; I just can’t find the time.”

“I wish I could play painted, but I just don’t enjoy it!”

“I am a terrible painter.”

I am sure everyone has said one or more of these at one time or another.  I want to address some of these, to show that you CAN get fully painted in almost all instances.

For this edition, I want to discuss time constraints.

Time Constraints

I should note up front – this post is based on my own, personal busy life.  Between working a full time job, having a spouse, starting up a development company, being a Press Ganger, and trying to play a little bit where I can, I don’t tend to have a lot of free time.  Yet, I find time to assemble models and get them painted.  How?

Make Time

The first piece of advice I can state is that you have to WANT to do it.  This seems rather silly, but if you want to play painted, if you want to paint your models, then you have to accept that this means you will need to make time.  Maybe this means less time watching TV, or not going to the bar one night a week, or … you get the idea.

Making time is hard, and it requires a focus on what you want and need to do.  It requires prioritization.  And sometimes you may find that painting isn’t a priority – and that is OK!  But, if you are serious about painting, serious about making it happen, you have to set aside the time.

There are a few ways to do this.  Note that some, or all, of these may work for you.  Some might work some times of your life, and others will work better in other times of your life.  Pick and choose, and above all else, try things.  even if it doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean you have failed – it just means you need a different thing to try, or a different group of things to try.

Scheduled Time

Some people work best on a schedule.  For example, you might set aside Thursday night after dinner for painting.  This has the benefit of getting your mind into the proper space.  It also helps because you can say to yourself “Thursday night is my night for painting, so that is when I do it.  I can’t schedule things over that time.”

For some people this won’t help, because their schedule is too chaotic, or they have a hard time keeping to a schedule, or any other variety of things.  But, if you are someone who does well with a schedule, for whatever reason, setting aside a time can help immensely.

Weekly Time Blocks

Other times, it make sense to just say “I am going to do X amount of time painting every week.”  If your schedule is not static or standard, if you have a chaotic life for other reasons’, this can help allow you to be flexible with your time, but still allows you to say “this week, I am going to do 2 hours of painting.”

Random Time Blocks

If all else fails, you can do painting when you are bored.  For instance, you might turn on the TV, surf the web, or whatever when you have “nothing to do.”  Instead, you could take those times to paint.  For some people, they have the time to paint, they just forget, or don’t think about it.  They would rather be painting, but they forget.  Using notes as reminders can help.  For instance, if you surf the web when bored, you can put a post-it note on your computer monitor to remind you that painting is an option.

Follow through

One problem with “making time” is that sometimes people have a hard time following through.  I know I do at times, because of a variety of reasons.

There are a lot of techniques for helping oneself follow through, but one that works really well for me is gamifying the work.  I have been using an awesome piece of software recently, Habit RPG.  I use the tasks as a way to get models done.  For instance, “Assemble Keltarii” would be a task that, once completed, I can check off.  I might then have “Prime Keltarii”, etc etc.

You could then have, as a daily, “30 minutes of painting.”  Or as a habit “Did 30 solid minutes of modeling/painting.”  All of these are helpful.  And while it seems silly and strange, making things that might be tough to get impetus to start a game, something that gives you benefits, is hugely beneficial.  I use Habit RPG as my general task system, and I have dailies for things like remembering to take a walk, do some physical therapy items I need to do, etc etc.  And it is great, because I can say to myself “I have to do my dailies” and I can.  I can say “I need to make sure I work in uninterrupted bursts, so that is now a habit.”

And, I can say “I finished my Keltarii being assembled – checking that off of my tasks!”  I have only been using it a few weeks, but I am planning on adding in a painting “habit” for doing sustained painting groups.

By using a tool like this, I find I am way more productive in other things as well, which means that I end up with more time to do the fun things I want to do.

TL;DR

If you think you don’t have time, but painting is something you really want to do, take a step back.  Ask yourself if you want to do (or need to do) a particular activity more than painting.  You can then take that time and paint, model, whatever.

If you find painting boring, I have some advice for that too.  That will be coming in my next post.

One Last Note

While I may sound a little flippant about “making time,” I have found that many (most?) people have time they can make for things, if they prioritize those tasks above other things.  However, some people actually don’t have the time – because of life, family, work, etc.  And that is OK!  You shouldn’t feel bad if you prioritize other things above painting, or anything else really.  They are your priorities, and I won’t tell you what you should or should not prioritize.  But if you can prioritize painting in, and you want to, hopefully the above will help give you some ideas about how to schedule it in.

Twins Basil, Twins!

Figured it was time to do a write-up on the Epic Rhyas and Saeryn unit now that I’ve had some table time with them.  Where to start?  My initial impression was an underwhelming one, middle of the road stat line, solid spell list, only 1 beast point, and the loss of some signature abilities.   More of a huh reaction than a OMFG! reaction.  That being said, these ladies add up to much more than just the sum of their parts.  They are like good old down home country cooking, basic ingredients, but mix it all together and what comes out is finger licking good!

First things first, this unit is NOT pRhyas and pSaeryn clumped together.  Comparing the two to one another model to  model is a complete waste of time and will result in only disappointment and a completely skewed view of their potential.  They are a unit, and as such are made to compliment and facilitate one another.  They do this beautifully if viewed and played in this way.

Initially their defensive stats gave me pause.  At def 16, arm 14, with 8 hp, the first thing that comes to mind is victim stats.  On the table though I have found them to be surprisingly resilient.  Tenacity really helps, I won’t go as far as to say a shredder is a must with them, but I would highly recommend one. Probably their best defensive stat is the spd 7.  Being that fast really allows them to leverage terrain and positioning.  This is crucial for them as I have found I keep Occultation out on another unit most of the time, or at least until the battle is well under way.

So what do they bring to the table?  Board control.  This is not the board control of say Haley2, Denny2, or Krueger2.  They don’t bring the hard control of the aforementioned casters through spells and feats, theirs is a soft control, that of implied threat.   End with your caster within 12″ and Rhyas can charge you, to a max of 15″ with certain builds.  Boosted pow 12’s kill casters, so pow 12 weaponmasters with crit decap need to be taken seriously.  Scenario has to be looked at differently against these ladies as well.  Their feat, in combination with the fact that both have to be dead to win by caster kill, allows them to play a very aggressive scenario game.  Being able to bring one back means I can hang one out in the wind, usually Rhyas since she is the muscle, in a way I wouldn’t with a single caster to clear a scenario and steal points.  Under commit to a zone or flag and I can safely clear it and take points, over commit and you just opened up another section of the board for me to leverage.  Being able to switch places with the feat also makes for some hard to account for threat vectors against both casters and key pieces.

Their actual threat ranges and ability to aggressively pursue scenario aren’t the only way I have found they offer board control.  Their spell list does this in spades as well.  Occultation, Banishing Ward, Psychic Vampire, and Onslaught, each of these can and do allow a Twins player to dictate when and were an engagement begins.  Obviously each has its time and place, the Twins are not win button casters, far from it!  But what their spell list gives is options and leveraged properly allows a savvy general to dictate the flow of the game.  If you can do that, if you can dictate what you opponent is or isn’t doing, then as the man with tiger blood in his veins once said,”Winning!”

Lastly, positioning is everything with these ladies.  They have very low hp and they are on an 8″ tether.  At first this may seem like a deal breaker, but if you are cognizant of that and pay attention to positioning they are hugely rewarding.  In the vein of soft board control and implied threat, how you position them in regards to one another is important.  When camping 7+ fury I have found it effective to keep them close to each other.  Plenty of fury to transfer off any aoe’s, and with Tenacity up a melee attack is a risky proposition.  Miss Rhyas and she is going to hit you with a weaponmaster riposte and the potential to decap, miss Saeryn and she is going to hit you with a dispel riposte knocking off any buffs.  Are they killable in a melee run, absolutely, but it is risky enough that opponents have to think twice about it.  Less than 7 fury camped and I tend to spread them out enough that it is difficult to get on both.  That way should one go down I’m still in the game and can potentially feat her back.  Like many things in life, remember location, location, location!

Obviously this is just a quick, general overview of the Epic Twins and many more games will be needed to get a solid bead on their place in the hierarchy.  Are they S tier? I can’t say yet.  Are they high-end? Undeniably.  Overall I have found them to be an extremely fun and rewarding drop.  In my opinion they offer the perfect blend of options, power, and finesse.

The list I have been running with them

Epic Twins +1

Zuriel-10

Scythean-9

Naga Nightlurker-5

Shredder-2

Swordsman-Max + UA-11

Raptors-Max-10

Anyssa Ryvaal-4

A Few Thoughts on Sportsmanship, part 2

So last week I touched upon dice and being a pleasant opponent.  This week lets take a look at a few aspects of sportsmanship that aren’t so glaringly obvious.

This year I had the pleasure of attending Lock n Load 2015, it was a fantastically fun experience, but after three days of non stop gaming I came to truly value what I feel is an under appreciated aspect of good sportsmanship, namely clean play.  I have had the privilege of gaming in an LGS these last couple years that puts a great deal of value on clean play and I must say it truly does make a game much more enjoyable!

So what is clean play? Simply put, it is precise measurements and clearly marked effects.  Bending the tape or moving without measuring, even when you are certain the range is under the models speed are a few examples.  Not huge breaches of etiquette, but all it takes is one or two instances of gaining an advantage that you shouldn’t have and the “sloppy” label comes out.  That is not a descriptor that any of us want attached to our names!  As for effects, its pretty simple.  Clearly mark all animi, upkeeps, or triggered effects in play and place them were the opponent can see them.  Personally I have a bad habit of not marking triggered effects as I tend to track everything in my head.  This has caused a few tense discussions when an important play is on the line!  Yes, the things I am talking about are small, but they can have a tremendous impact on the game and result in a death of enjoyment by a thousand cuts.  Spend a turn setting up an assassination run only to charge and have the war-noun admonition away because the token was hidden behind the base and you will know exactly what I mean!

Another aspect is game flow when playing under a clock.  This really connects back the social aspect I mentioned in the previous post.  We play to have fun, not nickel and dime each other with petty crap.  If you have effects that require die rolls during the opponents turn have them ready to go as soon as the effect triggers, tough, continuous fire, etc.  If you or your opponent are using aoe or spray attacks have the templates ready to go, be ready to mark and measure drifts.  Simple, subtle things yes, but they have a serious impact on the flow of the game and your shared enjoyment.  Things like this are similar to a job well done, do it right and few people consciously notice, but win or lose the game has a better feel.  Do it wrong or get petty and don’t be surprised if your opponent wants to turn your dangley bits into a speed bag.

Lastly, win or lose, do what you do with dignity and graciousness.  Remember, your opponent has sunk a great deal of time and money into this shared interest, they chose to spend time playing a game with you.  The least we can do is not belittle a fellow player simply because we lost or they got the short end of the stick.

Well that should just about cover it for now.  Agree, disagree, or feel I missed something, let me know.

Cheers,

Alycard

A Few Thoughts on Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is one of those topics that is seldom touched upon, but the effects of which are keenly felt throughout an LGS or meta.  It strikes me as a tricky thing to fully define as much of what makes for “good” sportsmanship is very subjective, with that in mind ill try to stick to general themes.

What is it that makes some players a very enjoyable game, while others an exercise in self-control?  There have been games were I was taken to the cleaners and walked away from the table smiling, while others I have tabled an opponent and gone home livid.  Why? Simply put, the opponents sportsmanship.  It is the one quality a player possesses that I have seen ignore skill level while making or breaking a reputation.  So, what is good sportsmanship?

For myself I never gave it much thought until the 2014 Fall IMC.  I had picked the game up a little over a year before, I learned quick and was enjoying moderate success in the LGS, so when the chance to play in larger tournament came around I jumped on it.  I’d had no illusions of winning the whole thing, but I had been fairly confident of doing well.  Suffice to say I drove 6 hrs to suffer the wrath of the dice gods.  My first game I was outplayed handily, the next 2 I set up perfect assassination runs with Bethayne and Belphagor and proceeded to roll trip 1s three times straight followed by 4 on 3d6 needing 8 to hit, 4 times.  I did not react well to put in mildly, dropped, and went to downtown Ogden to wallow in self-pity.  On the ride home it hit me that I had been a colossal ass and those games probably hadn’t been enjoyable in any way for my opponent.  That was when I decided to do a little self-examination and kick some bad gamer habits.

I love page 5 of the rule book, but for me it is entirely to long-winded.  It can be easily summed up in one sentence, Don’t be a bitch! Rule 1 of DBAB, and yes this is a rule, do not complain about dice. Rule 2 of DBAB, for the love of the Devourer Worm you are a grown ass person, stop complaining about your dice!! This will ruin a game faster than anything I can think of, both for yourself and for your opponent.  Full disclosure, when I started playing Warmachine/Hordes I was poster child for dice rage, I can say from experience that putting the kibosh on that habit has made my gaming experience exponentially more enjoyable.  A solution to this is put the money together and buy precision dice.  Seems simple, but the mental question marks it removes will grant a surprising peace of mind for both yourself and those you play against.

Probably the simplest aspect of good sportsmanship is be pleasant, win or lose.  Easy to say, not always so easy to do in the heat of the moment.  In my personal experience this has done wonders for both my enjoyment of the game, and how I react to adversity during a match.  Lets face it, when we play we tend to feed off one another’s enthusiasm or negativity, therefore winning or losing DBAB!  Two things I have noticed since I’ve started implementing this into my play, one I find I simply have more fun playing.  Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm and it is infectious.  Two, when things aren’t going my way and I don’t allow myself to get frustrated, (I still do occasionally, sadly I’m still human), my play doesn’t suffer.  When I do allow myself to react poorly I’ve noticed I tend to make more mistakes and small setbacks seem to loom larger, subsequently my play suffers.  Besides those things, and probably the most important thing to keep in mind, Warmachine/Hordes is a social game.  No one wants to hang out with an asshole.  We get together to let our inner 12-year-old play with toy soldiers, hang out with friends, and have a good time.

Ill touch on more in my next post, till then let me know what you think makes for good sportsmanship.

Cheers, Alycard

Welcome Alycard!

Another author is joining us here at Sustained Attack – Alycard.  Alycard is an avid Warmachine/Hordes player. Introduced to the game several years ago, he quickly caught the bug and the rest is history.  He is a faithful follower of the Messiah and takes great pleasure in bringing the Blight to the masses.  Given the chance he is more than happy to spend hours talking tactics and list building.

I love playing against Alycard, and love talking strategy with him!  Looking forward to his upcoming posts.

First Thoughts on Haley3

Hello All! For my first post, I thought it would be worth going back to my roots as a Cygnar player to give the new Haley3 a try. First off, many thanks to my shadow buyer at Lock and Load so that I didn’t have to have two more months to give her a shot. I honestly hadn’t been keeping up too closely with release news and previews, so I didn’t have many expectations going into her.

For my first game, I wanted to squeeze in a game with a close friend of mine who is moving on to a bigger and brighter meta. He’s a Legion player who likes to play against the grain, so it was not a huge surprise when he played his Kallus into Haley3.

My list was made up of only Cygnar (I’m a bit of purist, most of the time).

Haley3 (+3)

-Thorn (8)

-Dynamo (10)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages w/ UA (8)

Full Storm Lances (11)

Full Sword Knights w/ UA (8)

Journeyman Warcaster (3)

Black 13th (4)

Stormsmith Stormcaller (1)

My opponent played:

Kallus (+5)

-Shredder (2)

-Afflictor x 2 (8)

– Succubus (2)

Full Blighted Nyss Swordsmen + UA (11)

Full Spawning Vessel (3)

Full Blighted Nyss Legionnaires + Frailor (9)

Blackfrost Shard (5)

Full Warspears + UA (10)

Blighted Ogrun Warchief (3)

Blighted Nyss Deathstalker (2)

The scenario was Recon, and we both picked the Effigy of Valor as our objectives. Kallus won the roll to go first and decided to go second to deny the Haleys a trench. That’s fine with me, though – Haley Future and Past wouldn’t want to spend their whole visit to the present sitting in a trench anyway.

I neglected to take pictures, so there will not be a battle report. The battle went well into 6 rounds due to Kallus’s fantastic grinding capability and overall well-played game on my opponents’ behalf. The game ended on a draw (assassination of Kallus likely) due to time constraints. The game was extremely grindy, and I can see the significant attrition and scenario power Haley3 brings to the table. Her assassination game is a little weak, however.

In the end, I had an overall favorable impression of Haley3. Fitting with her theme, I get the impression that she is a caster that rewards (and requires) foresight to be an effective caster. She wants to get work done, and most certainly can, but you have to be aware of your opponent in a unique way. Not only do you have to plan many of your moves on round in advance in order to have the right spells available, but you need to consider your opponent’s moves as well to make sure that the right tool is in the right place.

Can players find marginal success using her as a Repudiate and Temporal Flux bot? Sure. Will they find greater success by leveraging her wide variety of spells and abilities through careful estimation and preplanning? Most certainly.

One thing I found frustrating was that Haley has no damaging nuke available until Haley Past has entered and cast, and between the two spells, she lacks a viable spell damage threat. Haley Past herself is an amazing contributor to the fight, though, with boosted blast damage on Chain Blast all game long. Haley Future is probably the most situational, as sometimes Ghost Walk and Revive don’t help you in a meaningful way.
In the end, I think Haley3 is a solid caster who could see competitive play given enough practice given her deep toolbox. However, given the other, more defined gameplans available in Cygnaran Caster, I think that, at least for this Swan, she fits squarely in 3rd list status. Expect to see a more interesting report soon.

New Author!

Folks, I am pleased to welcome a new author to Sustained Attack.  Jester is joining us, and will be blogging about Warmachine, Hordes, or whatever else is on his mind.  So please give him a huge welcome, as he settles in.

There will be some more activity around here, and I am really excited to see the blog growing and getting fresh content again.  I have some ideas for posts of my own that should be coming soon.