Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Empire State Trooper

Here's a State Trooper I've test-painted. All I've got on so far is the basecoat- I haven't even put his arms on yet. I apologize for the terrible picture quality.

Tamiya Color Acrylic Paints: A Review

Since I've gotten back from Iraq, I've taken a renewed interest in the Warhammer minis that I bought on the encouragement of my brother from many moons ago. In the interest of getting the little army of mine painted , I've taken liberal trips to Hobby Lobby, Micheals, and HobbyTown USA in search of paints and little bitty trees and other knick-knacks to feed my inner geek.

While I've had moderate success with the Citadel line of paints that Game Workshop hawks at every opportunity, I've been looking to get some paints that were a little easier on the wallet. I saw "Tamiya Color"'s fat little pots sitting next to the Citadel ones every time I go in, so I figure, what the hell, why not give 'em a try?

So I bought three- Flat Red, Copper, and Flat White. I figured that even if the paints aren't quite as good as the Citadel range, at least I was saving a little money, and besides, I could probably make it work.

The copper was, by far, the best paint I'd bought. It goes on great, thins really well, and plays well with my Citadel paints. I actually liked it so much that I changed my mind on how to paint my dwarf's cannon and painted it a bold copper instead of a much more sedated Chainmail. I've started using the copper more or less everywhere that I can make an excuse for it, I like it that much.

The Flat Red was much worse, however. The pigment was thin and sparse, and covered my models exceptionally poorly, to the point where it was almost unusable. It took multiple applications to even approach an acceptable level, and even on the last coat it still took it upon itself to flow and move, creating clumps of bright red next to patches of dull red.

The Flat White had the same problems. It seemed grainy and didn't mix well with water at all, turning an unusual shade when mixed. It actually seemed sort of greenish, which is odd, considering it looked extremely white out of the pot. I think it would be an alright color to mix with other colors, but it's still an abysmal performance regardless.

My verdict? Pass for the regular colors, but feel free to use their metallics. All the metallics I've used have worked well, mixed well, and looked fairly good on the tabletop.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Micheal Moorcock and You: Alignment Made Easy

Now, anybody who knows me knows exactly what I think about alignment, and why, and I'm sure that anybody who frequents these boards already has quite a strong opinion already.

So I'm not going to touch it. Instead, I'm going to share my ideas on how I personally run alignment.

This system is easy to use, simplistic, and provides something for everybody without forcing alignments to everybody, while still allowing those who like alignments to use them as they will.

Now, anybody who's read any of the works of Micheal Moorcock will undoubtedly know that one of the most powerful themes in his writing is that of the grand battle against the Lords of Law and the Lords of Chaos, with the Grey Lords somewhere in between, ensuring that the balance of creation and stagnation remains suitable to their grand designs.

Now what does that mean for characters?

First, an alignment of Lawful or Chaotic does not mean that the character takes a side on the stable vs. creative spectrum, or whatever it is, exactly, that people have interpreted that particular axis of 3rd Edition alignments to mean. No, an alignment of Lawful or Chaotic means that the character serves Law or Chaos, and that's it.

Secondly, alignments are only available to servants, priests, or otherwise devoted individuals. Note that this is not limited to paladins, clerics, and other game-world constructs. If your theif is a devout believer, then he can be Chaotic or Lawful, as you choose. Your cleric could be a cleric of the Grey Lords, and be neutral. It's up to you.

Thirdly, and most importantly, your alignment does not control your personality. There are grasping, cruel, avaricious Lawful people and there are rigid, pious, and chaste Chaotics in the world. Lawful and Chaotic, to use a modern world example, are like the difference between religions. There are cold-hearted Christians like there are cold-hearted Muslims or Buddhists or Wiccans, just as there are kind-hearted people. The religion they follow influences their behavior only superficially- they are still the same people they were before.

Of course, there is a little more influence as far as clerics and alignments go- Chaotic clerics often turn into raving, psycopathic madmen and Lawful clerics often turn into rigid, serious judges, but I suppose that's a topic for an entirely different blog post.

A New Beginning

Since I've started a new gaming group, I've decided to go with a game that I've been reading about that I simply can't get enough of: Labyrinth Lord.

Everything about it speaks to my childhood, where my brother and I would sit crouched around that tattered old blue book we found in a box one day and play some D&D with each other.

Labyrinth Lord reminds me heavily of those days, where there were four classes, and that was it. You would crawl through dungeons with your buddies and then you'd eventually graduate to the wide wildernesses and then, once you hit Name Level, then you'd build yourself a keep and that would be that.

In short, it's exactly the sort of game I've wanted to play ever since I learned how to play role-playing games.