Tuesday, 25 February 2014

ToMB Month 1: Opening Wounds

And so the tale begins... For month one (rules here and here) we are allocated a budget of $60. With Hamelin this gets you a rather large collection of fairly small models. For the sum of $58.50 I’ve bought the Hamelin starter box (as this seems a sensible starting point) and a blister of Rat Catchers (to give me some much needed minions). This leaves me with a starting crew comprising of Hamelin, Nix, 3 Stolen, 3 Malifaux Rats and 2 Rat Catchers. As these models are all metal, and most single piece, construction of this starting crew was straightforward, although I am looking forward to the future plastic boxed set. Without including upgrades my month 1 purchases sum to a grand total of 32 soulstones, so I can comfortably play some 30-40 soulstone games (helped by Hamelin’s low cache and generally expensive upgrades). Looking at the way the rules for this crew (available to download here until the wave 2 cards are released) I am fairly certain that for the first few months of this project I will need to use blank bases in place of any extra Malifaux Rats and rat-kings that I am required to summon, although this will (hopefully) give me a good idea of how many Malifaux Rats I will eventually need.

For this crew I am trying a new (to me) basing method: building deep bases. I know that these bases are commercially available, but I have decided to make them myself. To create these bases I have carefully removed the inner section of some lipped round bases, glued the outer edge to a piece of plasticard, trimmed this down and then filed it smooth. The end result is a deep base that can be filled with a reasonable amount of scrap and detritus without raising the miniatures too high. My plan is to paint these bases as if they are part of a sewer system and to fill this deep base with resin water effects.

Completing my first miniature in this crew I came across my first problem with this basing method: A bottle of resin water is rather large (more designed for filling large areas such as lakes and pools) and 30mm bases are rather small - with a model sat in the middle there isn’t much space left to access the inner portion of the base. Looking around my flat for a solution to this (Hobby syringe, funnel, spoon?) I saw what I thought would be perfect – a travel bottle for shampoo/body wash etc. These re-useable bottles are cheap (I think this one came in a pack of 6 or so for £1), will store the resin water until I need it, and has a small enough nozzle that I can be much more precise with my application. I have now completed the base of the first model, and as it was my first time using resin water I learned a lot (such as the amount of resin water needed to fill one small base!).

My other outcast crew (Von Schill and the Freikorps) are predominantly orange and purple with accents of red. I want to carry these colours into the Hamelin crew a little where possible, if only because I am now fairly comfortable with painting these colours! I’m also hoping to improve on my skin tones with this crew – something I seem to be struggling with lately. 
I’m hoping to post blog updates with painting progress throughout the coming month and maybe a battle report or two – I’ll leave initial thoughts on roles and rules of my month one purchases until the next months Tale when I should have a better understanding of what each models does and what I am currently lacking in my model selection. Currently, I don’t think that I will ever need more than 9 Malifaux Rats, but with the cost of the current metal models an extra 6 rats costs $24 (on full months budget!). In addition to more rats I will want to purchase the Obedient Wretch and, outside of the ‘core’ Hamelin models, I can see benefit in Crooligans and Canine Remains (as significant minions and objective runners) and Lazarus or Killjoy as heavy hitters for the crew. Baby Kade and Candy would make a nice addition, but for this project there is an overall limited budget, and I’m not sure that I’ll manage to fit them in within the 6 months (especially as I’d like the beautiful new plastic versions from the Pandora boxed set)....

I’ll end now with a photo of the first completed crew member: A lonesome Malifaux Rat.

Friday, 7 February 2014

That haunting melody began...

Westport station was always empty at this hour. The last trains of the day were past, the days litter cleaned away and the safes securely locked. All that remained was the Station Master as he checked the offices were securely locked, keys in one hand, collier pistol in the other.
Curiosity and Imagination thrived in the dark night. The emptiness was a phantom making every shadow an assailant, each noise a new threat. The hollow building gave every note of the haunting melody a greater emptiness in the depths of the Station Masters soul.
The Station Master took the hand offered by the dirty child, and began to walk towards the melody.
A rat bit into the flesh of the Station Masters leg. He smiled, and handed his pistol to the child, before sitting down amongst the swarming litter. Westport station was never empty.
The empty eyes of a man and his dog looked down as he began to be devoured.

Hello there! Through some twist of fate I have ended up with my first ever forays into blogging as part of a larger collaboration with some of the 'blogging elite' on the current Malifaux scene. This group contains some excellent hobbyists, some excellent gamers and some lucky sods who manage both. I’m not the world’s worst in either of these avenues, but hopefully you’ll be able to gain some enjoyment (if not knowledge) from my ramblings. The purpose of this blog overall will be my adventures throughout the Outcast faction in Malifaux, with occasional journeys to the other factions (as long as they pay their merc tax) and other games (bloodbowl I'm looking at you!).
For the Tale of Malifaux Bloggers (#ToMB as you’ve likely seen on Twitter) I have decided to start the wonderful rat-lord himself, Hamelin. With the price restrictions and the current cost of the metal miniatures this is going to be a challenge...
Hamelin is a master that I have never played before, and have not played against in any incarnation of his second edition rules. I played against him in Malifaux 1.5, pre and post errata, and although I liked his theme, I wasn't a fan of the play-mechanics.
Now, in second edition Malifaux, his mechanics look to have shifted: He no longer has awkward hiring restrictions, can no longer endlessly loop rats and actually looks like he would have difficulty in some strategies (a nice change from his status last edition). Another reason to pick him up is that he is a good contrast Von Schill, the outcast master I've been playing recently.
I'm looking forward to this project, hopefully it will focus my hobby and let me try out a few idea's I've had for basing and painting.
Until the official start, Farewell.