Privateer Insider

If you’re like me, then you’ve made your share of mistakes during games of WARMACHINE and HORDES. Sometimes they are strategic blunders or tactical errors, times when we are simply outplayed by our opponent.

I lose all the time to mistakes like these, but the ones that frustrate me the most are the absent-minded mistakes I make because I can’t reliably hold all the details in my head while I’m planning a turn. With everything there is to keep track of in a game, I often forget to reserve enough focus/fury for spells or the order in which I need to activate my units. I also forget to actually pop my feat during the feat turn. (Nobody else has done that one, right?)

One question I’ve been asked many times is how I stay focused all day when I’m painting. This is a big hurdle for some people because they have a limited amount of time to paint, and they want to make the most of it. It’s frustrating when you’ve blocked out a couple of hours to paint but find yourself getting antsy and losing your focus after thirty minutes. I, too, sometimes have trouble focusing because of distractions around me. So how do I manage it? Well, I have several rituals to help get me into the painting headspace.

Many of you may have read about our staff tournament in Will Hungerford’s Privateer Insider blog or in the Guts N Gears coverage on our forums. They say that "history is written by the victors," so I’m going to take that to mean I am welcome to spin this tale for my own nefarious purposes.

The first staff Steamroller 2013 tournament has come and gone, and it was awesome. Eighteen players came together and threw down over four rounds of intense and viscous combat, with only one emerging as champion. That champion was none other than Development Manager David “DC” Carl.

Surprised? Me neither.

Not too long ago, a friend told me about an experience she had at a local game store. The topic of Privateer Press came up, and she mentioned my name in conjunction with some development topic. Much to her amusement, the guy’s response was something along the lines of: “Oh, yeah; I’ve heard of DC. He’s the guy who does math.”

Tricks of the Trade: Dealing with Dust

One of the challenges you must deal with when building and maintaining an army is dust accumulation. Dust builds up on miniatures very quickly and can cause issues for priming, painting, and overcoats. On miniatures that are already painted, dust dulls colors and sometimes even obscures details. It is also a big issue for terrain, which typically sits out more and can look washed out if dust is not dealt with. With all the work you put into building your collection, taking a little time to maintain and clean it shows you’re serious and ready for battle.

Those of you who enjoy playing in WARMACHINE and HORDES tournaments will be interested to know that Steamroller 2013 has begun closed Alpha testing! Here at the mother ship we playtest everything extensively, and our OP is no different. We test and tweak and test again to ensure our tournament rules are smooth and streamlined and will provide players an awesome experience.

The past few weeks have been pretty crazy for the writing and editorial staff at Privateer Press. We’re working hard to wrap up the second book of the Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Roleplaying Game, titled “Kings, Nations, and Gods.” Doug Seacat, Jason Soles, and I have endeavored to place the nations of the Iron Kingdoms (Cygnar, Khador, Llael, Ord, and the Protectorate of Menoth) under a microscope like never before. We’ve examined the history, culture, people, cities, and politics of each nation in excruciating detail, argued extensively, and not-quite-come-to-blows over the finer points of dueling culture in Llael, the operational jurisdiction of the Prikaz Chancellery, and just how the internal economy of the Protectorate functions (short answer: badly).

At Lock & Load GameFest this year, I had two seminars to teach, so I added a seminar where I demonstrated how to make decorative bases for your models.

I thought I'd show you some of the bases I used as examples in my seminars, all of which are very easy to make with polymer clay and any spare parts you might have lying around.

Part of my job is to keep an eye on the Privateer Press forums and answer questions about painting. Recently, a number of commonly asked questions have cropped up. Below are some of those questions and the answers.

My last blog was about my upcoming Unbound game with Ed Bourrelle, and I promised I’d recap the game after we played it. The game was every bit as epic as I hoped it would be. It was a showcase of skill, tactical mastery, and sheer domination. Unfortunately for me, it was Ed putting on the show! Though I was pretty soundly defeated, I had a great time and definitely got my licks in.

Fools Rush In, the official intro adventure to the Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Roleplaying Game, was unleashed a few weeks ago. This adventure is a great entry point into the setting, as well as a fantastic way to learn the game’s basic mechanics. Since Fools Rush In was released, Press Gangers across the world have been demoing the adventure for players interested in the game.

Last time I talked to you about my Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Roleplaying Game character, an Arcanist/Sorcerer who I’ve conceived as a Vassal of Menoth travelling as part of an Arcane Order adventuring party. Using the Arcane Order benefits as a starting point, my Game Master set out to create a viable reason for a Vassal to be wandering around Immoren with minimal supervision. So he came up with the concept of vassal monasteries. Gatherings of pious and repentant Menites in recently converted regions under the supervision of a local scrutator, these monasteries extend the reach of the hierarch far outside the Protectorate’s proper borders. Using this as a starting place, my friends began fleshing out the other members of the Penitents of Mardun Abbey.

Working in a creative industry typically means maintaining a steady stream of ideas and then working to turn those ideas into an actual thing (inasmuch as you can classify a video as a thing). Some days the creative juices are flowing in torrents and some days they slow to a trickle. Usually a good night’s sleep will help refresh creativity, but for more dramatic inspiration, sometimes you just gotta get out of town.

A few weeks ago Ed challenged me to a 150-point Unbound game of WARMACHINE. I took this as a challenge to myself to paint some new models for my Khador army. So with these two challenges in mind, I got to work painting, counting down to the day when my Khador force would face off against Ed’s Cryx army.

Though I’m working at a frantic pace on a ton of things I’d love to talk about, I’m afraid they’re all still a bit too confidential. I will say that 2013 is going to be an amazing year for Privateer Press, but that’s about as far as I can go without winding up with a highly redacted Insider Blog. Again.

It’s time for the next installment in our list of commonly confused words. This time I’ve included several that are both commonly misused and commonly requested as subjects for me to cover. You can check out earlier portions of the list at Insider 3-21-12, Insider 9-20-2011, and Insider 7-12-2011.

In today’s blog, I want to talk about one of the best aspects of WARMACHINE and HORDES—the hobby.

I dare say it is the hobby that attracted many of us to WARMACHINE and HORDES in the first place. There is something almost magical about seeing a table filled with painted and converted miniatures, whether yours or your opponent’s. By themselves miniatures are works of three-dimensional art that represent an investment of hours of work just like any type of art, but I ask you, what other artwork culminates in smashing your opponent to paste?

I love new games, but I dread reading game manuals to learn the rules.

For me, playing demos and experiencing firsthand how the game plays in real time has always helped create a deeper connection and understanding of the game, which, in turn, intensifies my enthusiasm for playing it.

There have been many requests for a step-by-step on how to paint the black and gold of the Abyssal Cohort. In fact, Ásgeir Helgi Hjaltalín, A.K.A., "Ace," of Iceland requested in person I tell the world how I paint the black and gold Skorne. So, Ace, here you go.

Whenever I start a new unit I always paint a single control model. This control mini is a single figure from the unit that I completely paint to my liking before I commit to the entire unit. To ensure I achieved the composition I wanted, I had to paint some smaller areas on this Venator Slinger several times before I was pleased with it. I tried a number of different approaches when painting the sling pouch, the ropes, and other smaller supporting areas. The major areas (black, gold, skin, and brown) are always painted the same way.