Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beyond The Board

It's no secret that boardgames have experienced a bit of a Renaissance in the past few years - my city now has a dedicated board game parlor, as well as a boardgaming club that is attended by hundred of players every other weekend.  This has resulted in a few new shops opening around town, too - for my birthday a couple of awesome friends gave me a gift certificate to one of the newer shops, Beyond The Board, so I decided to check it out:

Yay! Money that must be spent on games!

 The shop is tucked into the corner of a shopping center off of W. Bridge St. in Dublin, OH:

Unfortunately, there was no good way to get a decent picture of the store - either it was blocked by the trees, or I was under the overhang

Walking in, the shop seems nice, if a bit... unfilled, I guess?

It just feels like a much bigger space than necessary.  (Although I've never been there during a CCG tournament or event - the extra space might be nice to have on those nights).

I was mildly surprised to see that they had a corner of the store dedicated to Games Workshop & Privateer Press minis & products, but make no mistake - their main focus was definitely board games.

They also have a nice selection of games in their "library" for customers to try out:

At this point, I decided to pick out a game - while there is lots of stuff on my wishlist, in particular I was looking for something that 1.) would play well with just my wife & I, as well as with friends, 2.) was fairly "light", 3.) didn't have a theme that would instantly turn my wife off (just about all sci-fi themes & many fantasy ones are right out), and 4.) wasn't too expensive (say goodbye, Fantasy Flight coffin-box games).

This is were Beyond The Board stood out - I told the lone employee working that day, Chris, what I was looking for, and he proceeded to walk the aisles with me, point out any possibilities, and give me a brief overview of the play style & mechanics of each game.  After me telling him my personal pros & cons of some of his picks, we were able to narrow it down to four or five solid possibilities.  In the end I narrowed it down to King of Tokyo, Qwirkle, and Planes - I decided to go with Planes (although I'll probably go back and pick up Qwirkle sometime):

I also picked up a copy of Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion for a friends' birthday (this was a 2-player card game that Chris highly recommended - I kinda wanted a copy for myself, but the theme is a hard sell for the missus):

After making my selections, I went to pay, and found out they have a pretty cool rewards program:

I could potentially fill a scary number of these cards in record time

After paying, I chatted with Chris a bit longer before taking off.  Overall I was really impressed with the sotre and the staff - if you are in the area, check them out!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard

...finishing out my recent Protectorate of Menoth purchases, I picked up a Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard:

(If there's one beef I have with the Army Box deal, it's that they give you the Exemplar Errants but not the Unit Attachment, which I've literally never seen anyone NOT use for their infantry-type units).  This would have been the absolute first set of models I'd have bought to expand my collection, but no one had it in stock locally, so a trip to eBay was necessary.  This should be the last of my Protectorate purchases for a bit...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monolith Bearer & Initiate Tristan Durant

I picked up a couple more models for my Protectorate of Menoth force today:

That's a Monolith Bearer & Initiate Tristan Durant.  These two models kept coming up in my search for "must have" units, and I think the Monolith Bearer is an awesome sculpt and look forward to painting it...  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

More Protectorate of Menoth

Shortly after acquiring my Protectorate army, lars4life & I wandered into our FLGS, where he presented me with some models for my birthday:

Sweet!  A Vassal of Menoth and a Paladin of theOrder of the Wall!  (I bought the Devout myself).  The menoth force is coming together quick!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How To Get A New Warmachine Army (Without Really Trying)

Admitedly, I've been pretty out-of-the-loop regarding wargaming for the past year or so.  Talking with lars4life on the way to Adpeticon, he was telling me about the new All-In-One Army Boxes from Privateer Press, and they sounded like a pretty amazing deal.  I resolved to see if the PP booth had any when we got to the con.

The Privateer booth only had Khador (have it already) and Skorne (not interested).  My main interest would be Protectorate of Menoth or Cryx, neither of which was out yet.

When we got our swag bags, there was a Warmachine battlegroup included, and mine was Protectorate of Menoth:

(Fun fact: the first Adepticon I ever went to, I received a Menoth battlegroup - I gave it to lars4life so he could have a second force to run Pressganger demos.  The next year, I got a Protectorate battlegroup again, and traded it for Khador.  Okay, so it's really not that fun of a fact.  Deal with it).

I really like the fluff for Protectorate, and actually left Adepticon with a little bit of my spending money still in my pocket, so I resolved to hang on to it and keep an eye out for the Army Box.  Lo and behold, the next time I visited my FLGS, what was sitting on the "new arrivals" shelf:

The Army box is a tremendous deal at full MSRP, and my local shop sells Warmachine for 20% off everyday, so I got all this for a little over a hundred bucks:

...which is a steal.  I started doing some research about what to get next, and one of the models that kept coming up in the forums was Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist - well, lars4life & I took a painting class at Adepticon taught by PP's Matt DiPietro, and he gave us a model to practice on - that model?  None other than Gorman di Wulfe:

So, thanks to a free Battlegroup, a free Merc model, and a great FLGS, I wound up with a brand-spankin'-new 48 point Warmachine army for just over $100:

That's an insane deal - I've bought crusty, covered-with-three-layers-of-paint models from Craigslist that weren't much cheaper.  Next is to get it painted and on the table...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Board Games

...it almost seems like a cosmic law that when a good deal comes around, I won't have any money.  Or, I'll have money saved for a very specific purpose, and an amazing deal will pop up elsewhere (this was the first year in recent memory, for example, where a too-good-to-say-no Craigslist deal on a new army didn't pop up a week before Adepticon).

So, I was a bit shocked when I found myself with a little bit of extra money in my bank account when this email showed up in my inbox:

(A friend recently informed me that Amazon does this sale every year to coincide with International TableTop Day).  It had been quite a while since I had added any board games to my collection, and they actually had a pretty good selection - I wound up grabbing Tsuro, Love Letter, and Forbidden Island:

...all of these have been on my wish list for a while - I was reeeeally tempted to pick up a copy of 7 Wonders, because it was crazy cheap, but I wanted to focus on games that are known to play well with two players, since it's just my wife & grabbing a quick game a lot of the time.  I was also flip-flopping on King of New York just because I've heard good things about it, but they sold out while I was trying to make up my mind, saving me from making a decision.

Once I get a few plays in with these, look for a review!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Khador Manhunter Solo

I finished a Khador Manhunter Solo the other day:

...this was probably one of the first models I bought beyond the battlebox because it's a highly recommended addition to a Khador army, but it's been unfinished forever - because the *&%#@ arms kept breaking off.  Every. Time, I. Turned. Around.  Every time I opened my bag the GD arms would be broken off.  I finally scraped & drilled the sockets, stuck them on with Super Glue and Green Stuff, and have resolved to throw it in the ocean if they break off again.

Painting was pretty unremarkable, except I came across a bottle of Reaper Flesh Wash in my newly-filled dropper tray while I was working on it - I have no idea where it came from, as I didn't buy it, and don't remember getting it as a sample in a swag bag.  I was even hesitant to try it, as it looks VERY purple right out of the bottle - but I wasn't really happy with how the skin tone was coming out on this model, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  I was really pleased!  It's much more natural looking when it dries than GW's Baal Red wash or the Army Painter red ink that I've been using lately.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hobby Time!

One of the deals I struck for my birthday was for some hobby time - I was off work, the baby was at Grandma's, and my wife was working, so lars4life & I got to spend a day hobbying:

It felt good to be working on stuff again.  Above you can see my new portable set-up, which I'll be detailing in an upcoming post...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Itsha Birfday

So, I've noted my fondness for LEGO before on this blog, and just thought I'd share some neat gifts I got for my birthday this year:

...the double-decker couch from The LEGO Movie!  The real story here isn't really the couch, but all the minifigs the set comes with - I really wanted a UniKitty, but the only set I had noticed that it was included with that I was interested in was Metalbeard's Sea Cow, and I wasn't willing to pay two hundred and fifty dollars for it.  It also comes with a ghost Vitruvius (I came dangerously close to paying $50 for a "limited edition" Blu-Ray back around the holidays just to get the Vitruvius fig) and a Benny, which gives me all the feels - the LEGO Space sets were my absolute favorite as a kid.

It also came with a couple of Spongebob Squarepants Mega-Blok (boo hiss) figures that my friend bought because the store was sold out of the individual LEGO minifigs - I'm usually not a fan of Mega-Bloks, or even Spongebob particularly, but this fig cracks me up every time I look at it:


Later that evening, my wife took me took a great dinner with all my friends, and I was presented with this:

The Ghostbusters Ecto-1!  I've really wanted this set - it was about the only thing I was bummed about not getting at Christmas, and it was starting to get hard-to-find, so I just kind of resigned myself to not getting it - it was totally unexpected!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Khador: Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince

Another model I finished recently:

This is Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince.  I originally started this model quite a while ago, but it wasn't holding my interest, so it got thrown in my bag.  I dug it out recently because I've resolved to finish all my partially completed/needs repaired/etc Warmachine models before moving on to new ones, and I sat and sat and tried to come up with a novel technique or conversion for this one... turns out, it's just not a very interesting model.  Really.  He has some neat abilities that I want to try out, but as far as the model goes it's just not terribly compelling.  So, I just finished 'em off and ran with it...