Monday, August 31, 2009

Col. Gravis' Presents: 200000 Hit Giveaway

Head over to Col. Gravis' Praetorian Imperial Guard blog to enter into his 200000 Hit Counter Giveaway

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weekly Online Contest Roundup

The Ottawa Gamer is hosting a contest for a Black Reach Painting set. This includes five marines, six paint pots, a paint palette and a Citadel paint brush. Contest details can be found HERE.

For a chance to claim a cool prize it all you need to do is post a comment in the following article and become a Follower of the blog by Monday, September 14th.

Friday, August 28, 2009

On the Bench: Daemonic Herald

Did some more work on the daemonic herald. I believe the additions to the model have made it clearly daemonic while still maintaining the eldar tones that I was striving for in my design.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ottawa Gamer Present's Giveaway 3: Marines

The Ottawa Gamer is hosting a contest for a Black Reach Painting set. This includes five marines, six paint pots, a paint palette and a Citadel paint brush. Contest details can be found HERE.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On the Bench: Daemonic Herald

Last week I wrote a brief entry about the nature of the eldar and whether or not the other chaos gods could claim an eldar soul. While pondering this question, I decided to sketch out a model and try to create an eldar who had become "influenced" by chaos.

The above model is my attempt to merge some of the imagery of the Emerald Eye with the eldar range. The model is mostly finished with just a little more work needed on the cloak. At this point though, I struggle with whether or not I have created an eldar who has become influenced by chaos or an interesting striking scorpion conversion.

Tournament Tuesdays: The Sport of Sportsmanship

In general, the purpose for having a sportsmanship score in a tournament is to moderate the behavior of the participants. It is a good concept that I have seen implemented in a number of different ways. When it comes to each of these methods, there are advantages and disadvantages to it. Below are the methods that I have seen and my general thoughts on each of them.

The Single Statement

I believe this to be the original method used by GW and is based upon the idea of scoring a player by picking which statement best describes an opponent. Each statement reflects a score that a player receives if that statement is picked for them by their opponent. The nice thing about this method is that it allows a player to score each of his opponents independent of the others. If the first opponent was great, they can be scored as such. If the second one is also great, they can also be scored as such. The flaw with this system is that it can diminish the value of a sportsmanship score as a player can award all of his opponents the same. Another flaw is that the statements tend to be vague and players have difficulty with choosing which one best fits an opponent.

The Checkbox Method

The Checkbox Method takes the approach of trying to make the scoring method as objective as possible. The normal format for this method is to provide a list of statements and have a player check each statement that applies to an opponent. This was the method I used originally with K’Wars.

The advantage of this method is that a player can score each opponent more precisely if one assumes that each statement is clear and concise. It also means that a player should have a better idea of what they need to do to maximize their sportsmanship score. The disadvantages of this system are that a player’s scoring of opponents will be independent of each opponent and that this system tends to result in scores being high for most players.

Player Ranking

I have seen the player ranking method used in two ways. The first method is to use it solely on its own to determine each players sportsmanship score. The other method is to use it with the checkbox method to break ties that are common with that method. When used alone, the player ranking method is very simple, but can easily result in the biggest spread of sportsmanship scores among participants.

Of the available methods, I find this method to be the worst choice for determining sportsmanship if used by its self. What I have observed with this format is that it typically results in sportsmanship being reduced to a popularity contest. Another issue is that some players find it difficult to rank their opponents, often citing that they were all good and none of them should be marked poorly. If there is any real advantage to this approach, it is the time factor. This is by far the easiest method for a judge to manage.

Multiple Statement Ranking

This method is one I started using with Invasion Kenosha. Of the methods I have used or observed, I have found this method to be the most appealing as a judge and player. The method involves each player receiving a sportsmanship sheet at the end of the tournament with five statements. For each statement, the player will rank their three opponents in the order of how well they fit the statement when compared against each other.

I have a number of reasons for adopting this method. Just to get it out of the way, I do find this method easier to manage than either the single statement or checkbox methods. This is not the core reason for me using it, but I have to admit only collecting one sheet from each player makes bookkeeping a snap.

Another reason I like this format is that I feel it gives a more accurate reflection of each player’s total sportsmanship score. Each player is getting judged against five questions by three different opponents. It has been my experience that players are going to be a little less harsh on a player when they need to answer multiple questions about that person. I don’t mean that a player cannot bomb another’s score, it just happens less often. Along the same lines, a player can also score all of their opponents the same if they do some simple math.

A final reason for preferring this method is that I feel that it makes winning an award that factors in sportsmanship more meaningful. When compared to the single and checkbox method, it means that a player’s opponents truly felt they were the best that they played that day. While when compared with the player ranking approach, it means that the player’s opponents had to really weigh how the player did against the others they played.

When it comes to this format, I have found the biggest flaw with it to be players being confused on how to complete the scorecard. This method is by far the most complex of the ones listed, and requires a little bit of thought about each game and player. With this, I have found it easier if I provide the scorecard with the names of a player’s three opponents already printed on the sheet. People remember the army they fought each round, but don’t always recall the player’s name.

In the end, sportsmanship scoring is about creating a positive atmosphere. There are a number of methods being used, each with its own pros and cons. The end results of any system should be to ensure that the participants in a tournament have a good time. Anything other than that is just an exercise in mathematics.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Saving the Eldar Soul

I am currently tossing around a concept and wanted to throw it up here for feedback. We all know that the eldar wish to avoid Slaanesh at all cost since she likes to dine on their souls. Currently, there are four known methods which the eldar employ to avoid being consumed. Craftworld eldar use soul stones to capture their souls and later have that stone added to a collective at the heart of their craftworld. Exodites use a similar process but it is slightly different in some of the details. Dark eldar consume other souls to strengthen their own and prevent it from being claimed by Slaanesh. Lastly, the disciples of the laughing god are protected by their benefactor who goes to bat for them against Slaanesh if they should happen to drop.

My thought is along the lines of what the harlies do, but instead of the laughing god, what if an eldar became a disciple of another chaos god. Say a powerful farseer who makes contact with Tzeentch and in exchange for eternal servitude, Tzeentch promises to protect that eldar’s soul. Or an exarch that becomes so focused on bloodshed that Khorne takes a liking to him and brings him into the flock.

I would assume such an event would be extremely rare, but not outside the realm of possibility. What do others think? Can the other chaos gods make disciples of individual eldar or are they untouchable to anyone but Slaanesh.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Wednesday Peek

Last Week's Answer...

This Week's Peek...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the Bench: Lelith Hesperax

One of the projects that I have decided to work on for the next year is to paint one model with the intention of entering it into various contests. I am going to be frank with myself from the start and declare that I do not expect to win any contests that I enter. While this may seem a little defeatist, I feel that it is something I must accept if I want to be successful while still truly enjoying the process. The end result for me is not to win a contest, but to feel comfortable in entering one. It may seem funny, but while I am very comfortable running tournaments and contests, I am the exact opposite when it comes to entering them.

When it comes to the model I am going to use for this project, I found myself quickly drawn to the dark eldar line of models for a few reasons. First, I haven’t noticed a lot of them, so I like the feeling of working on something different from the crowd. Second, I generally consider the dark eldar HQ models to be some of the best sculpted models available. In particular, the special characters are outstanding with the exception of one. Finally, I wanted to pick something that I liked, but wouldn’t feel drawn to with regards to building another army (imperial guard and daemons are enough).

Of the available dark eldar special characters, two of them stood out to me. I must admit that my first choice was Drazhar, as I not only love the model, but the idea and fluff behind the model. As I considered the model, and tried to trade for a new one, I remembered that I had Lelith Hesperax in a blister somewhere in my closest of toys. I decided to find her and stare at the blister for awhile, my logic being that it would help me decide which model I really wanted to paint. Surprisingly, my logic was correct and I decided to paint Lelith.

One of the first decisions that I needed to make was how I was going to base her. It just happened that while I was considering this project I was also working on stuff for Invasion Kenosha II. One of the things I was doing was talking with potential sponsors. One of those potential sponsors was Dragonforge, a company that does scenic bases. I really liked a couple of their lines, so I decided to purchase some round bases to use on this project.

When it came to mounting the model onto the base, I decided that the model would need to be pinned to the base if I expected it to stay on. I used a 1 mm drill bit on the foot and base and inserted a .9 mm plastic rod into the base. I needed to file the rod slightly so that it would fit snuggle onto the foot of the model.

I assembled the model using generic super glue.

My next step is going to be to green stuff a few spots that need to be filled or smoothed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Wednesday Peek

Last Week's Answer...

This Week's Peek...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tournament Tuesdays: Making a Change

I was recently reading the forums of a local podcast and one particular discussion about the problems with the US tournament system and why soft scores should be removed from tournaments. In general, I do feel the US system could use an overhaul, but I don’t believe that just removing whole aspects of the “standard” approach is the best solution.

When it comes to the tournament scene, I believe if I could implement one change across the US, it would be to return the standard tournament size to 1500 points. There are a couple of reasons I would want to make this change. Removing the reason of personal preference, my main reason would be that I feel it makes tournaments more approachable in general if painting is required. I also think that it makes the atmosphere more casual as players would have fewer units to manage and thus make it feel like there is more time to play each round.

So when it comes to the tournament experience, what is that one thing that you would like to change (other than winning more!)?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weekly Contest Round Up

The Realms of Equinox Present's

1. Models MUST be Games Workshop. They may be heavily converted, but it must be clear that they are primarily composed of GW models/bitz. FW models may be used.
2. Entries must be an elite choice from any current codex.
3. You must be a follower of “The Realms of Equinox” prior to submitting an entry.
4. Entries must be painted between July 4, 2009 – August 14th, 2009. Proof of work will be required as part of the submission process (see below).
5. Submissions will be accepted between July 4, 2009 – August 14th, 2009. This gives you plenty of time to build/paint your entry. Minimum of 2 Photos will be required of your entry: Work in Progress showing the unpainted model(s) on the new planetstrike book or the packaging for one of the new terrain kits, and a picture of the completed work. The completed picture file can contain multiple pictures, but only one picture file will be posted per entry. The deadline for submissions will be Aug 14th, 2009 11:59 PM CST. To submit your photos, please email them to:
6. All completed submissions may not appear on any other site or blog before August 31st, 2009. Works in progress may be posted on other sites and blogs before August 31st, 2009. (This is to encourage people to talk about their creations and build excitement around the contest) Any entries found to be violating this rule will be banned from the contest.
7. Voting will be done by the readers of “The Realms of Equinox”. Photos will be placed on the blog and each follower will get to vote for their favorite entry. Voting will take place between August 17th, 2009 – August 28th, 2009.
8. The winner will be announced on August 31st, 2009. The winner will receive a gift certificate for the Warstore. (Please note that the Warstore is not sponsoring this event, I am simply using them as they are a preferred vendor and very reliable.)
9. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section of this blog entry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wednesday Peek

Last Week's Answer...

This Week's Peek...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tournament Tuesdays: Invasion Kenosha II

I am proud to officially announce the launch of the Invasion Kenosha website. Invasion Kenosha is a 1000 point WFB event that I host annually. With the site live, registration for the event is now open. So mark your calendars and check back often!

Tournament Tuesdays: K'Wars II (Part One)

K'Wars was a 40K tournament series that was developed by members of the Kenosha Gaming Club (formerly the Abbott Gaming Club). The first two K'Wars were held at the Chicago Battle Bunker. K'Wars II was the bigger of the two held at the Battle Bunker.