Monday, June 11, 2007

Review: Foundation Series Paints

Before I invest whole hog in new paint lines, I like to check out a few of the paint line’s colors. I do this to this to see if the new paint is going to be worth investing in. Well I spent a cozy evening with two colors in the Foundation Paint Series by Games Workshop and here are my thoughts.

Because I play Dark Angels I decided to pick up Mechrite Red and Orchide Shade. The main thrust of my experiment was to see exactly the type of coverage I could expect, paint thickness, and to test the rumored drying speed

Wow! The descriptions in the “White Dwarf” were not kidding. This stuff can cover black like no other’s business. I didn’t paint the stuff directly on the model from the paint pot. I transferred paint to my palette, and then thinned it with my “gunk” mixture. (Gunk is a mixture of water, flow improver, and slow dry additives. For more info on “gunk” go here.) This thinned mixture went on well. The nice part about the thinned paint is that it took fewer coats to obtain coverage.

Normally it takes 6 to 8 coats of almost any color to obtain coverage over a black primer coat. With the Foundation Series Paints it took two thin coats to obtain coverage. (I would like to emphasize that when I said thin I meant it. I thinned the paint 1 part paint, to 1 part gunk mix, and 1 part water.) When it comes to coverage this paint does the trick.

Paint Thickness
This paint is about as thick as standard GW paint. If you use a lot of GW paint you will understand the maxim of the Heavy Metal Team: Always thin your paint. The Heavy Metal Team has this maxim because GW paints tend to be a little thicker than the Vallejo or the Reaper Master Series paints. An experienced painter will thin any paint that they use to some degree.

If a painter doesn’t thin the Foundation Series Paints the results they will obtain are atrocious. The best way to describe it is leaving a paint pot open for an hour and then painting from that pot without thinning the paint at all. If the painter paints over details they may as well start over because this paint will appear to fill details in like putty. I think that this effect is also heightened by this paint’s opacity

Drying Speed
Straight out of the pot this paint dries almost as fast as rubbing alcohol. This has some advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that is if you are trying to turn out a fully painted army as fast as you can then this paint is the way to go. Foundation Series Paints are perfect for assembly line painting. This is because by the time you reach the end of your assembly line the first model will be dry and ready for the next color.

This fast drying can be a disadvantage. When it is thinned with anything, it is terribly difficult to blend, and needs to be manipulated almost as soon as it is painted. During my session an example of this was experienced while painting an arm. I started at the shoulder and moved my way towards the hand. By the time I had finished the hand the shoulder was already dry. This occurred in the space of less than a minute.

Overall Opinion
Using the Movie Critics star system, I will rate this with paint brushes in lieu of stars. So out of five paint brushes I give this 2 1/2 paint brushes.

I’m giving it this rating because Foundation Paints are a great tool for the intermediate to advanced painter. It allows these painters to paint a nice saturated base color from which to work up from. The experience I had with the paint was that it was great for laying down my base color tones. It worked well for painting red over black, and for painting an eve shade of green. I wasn’t inclined to use it any further than that. As soon as I had the base color I was looking for I immediately switched over to my GW and Reaper Master Series paints because of the vibrancy, flow, and workability of these colors.

I would recommend giving them a try. Try them in a color that you use often and are familiar with. I would not recommend sinking $45 on them unless you are absolutely sure you know you will want and use them.
Continue Reading...

Laying Your Plans Part 2

In our last installment we talked about the various stages of the game and how to plan for them. I will continue using the stages of the game discussion to further develop my ideas on planning. Last time I touched on movement and this time I’m going to focus solely on moving your units.

The main idea of your movement is to be goal oriented. At the start of the game you should have a basic idea of how you want your units to move, and where they need to go. In Chess there is a school of thought called “Position over Piece.” This school of thought states that your control over a position on the game board is of primary importance. Thus the importance of any one piece, other than the king, is secondary to controlling your board position. What this means is control your positions at all costs. I bring this school of thought up because to obtain your position on the field you need to move there.

With this in mind we will look at two aspects of movement. The first aspect is offensive movement and the second is defensive movement. These aspects of movement will help you achieve and maintain your goals.

Offensive troop movement is the type of movement that we are the most familiar with. It is very straight forward movement. Its main goal is to provide you’re your troops with opportunities to attack. Ultimately this is what we will have to do if we are hoping to win.

When we make offensive moves there are a few considerations we will make. First we must consider how the movement will help our troops inflict the most damage. Next we think about how our move will help us achieve the mission objectives. Last we need to ensure that our movement doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of our other units.

As we probe into the first of our considerations, we look at few battlefield factors. Maximum damage is achieved through clear lanes of fire, reducing the opponent’s chances of taking cover, and maximizing weapon potential. A good example of this is moving a troop armed with bolt guns within 12” of an opponent in order to utilize the Rapid Fire rule.

The second consideration we need to make can make or break the chance for victory. Alpha level missions make the mission primary in importance. Failure to obtain the objective means a loss. For Gamma level missions and higher the victory points for the missions can ruin your chances for victory.

If we delve deeper into this subject we begin to see that there are some items that require some scrutiny. When we are moving towards the objective we should figure out an estimated time of arrival. If we estimate that it will take us four rounds to reach an objective purely through moving then it will be in our best interests to get there as fast as possible.

Once we have estimated the speed of our arrival then we look at how likely we will be able to hold the objective. If you lack the ability to hold the objective then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to move towards it. If this is the case then we might want to think about how we can time, or plan, our movement to deny the objective to our opponent.

Our third overall consideration is watching for how our movement can affect our army’s effectiveness. This seems like a “no-brainer” but I’ve seen how not taking this into account can hurt a force’s effectiveness. The most basic question to ask one’s self when moving is, “How will this stop me from shooting or assaulting?” By asking this question you will be able to make better moves. When you move your troops watch your lanes of fire, assault routes, and routes, toward the objectives. An example would be assaulting a wide formation in such away that the close combat blocks your other troops from obtaining targets in future rounds.

After talking about offensive movement lets talk about defensive movement. Defensive movement is a fine art that requires forethought, ingenuity, and a flair for the cut throat. The main idea behind defensive movement is preventing your opponent from doing something. There are three major actions we look at preventing: movement, shooting and assault.

When trying to move defensively we look at a few factors. We look at what battlefield terrain is on the table, and second we look at what troops and vehicles we possess that can fill this role. Terrain and vehicles do the lion’s share of the work, but troops may also be utilized for defensive movement.

Terrain serves many purposes. It can provide cover, slow movement, and block lines of sight. Creative use of terrain can potentially provide an extra turn of shooting, improved initiative in close combats, and excellent lanes of fire. Never underestimate what terrain can do.

Vehicles can assist your army in reaching their objective or your opponent. From main line battle tanks to the standard APC’s all vehicles can help your troops make it to their objective. For example a line of thee Chimeras nose to tail across the board can provide a 12” wall for your troops to run behind. Some vehicles can also claim objectives which can potentially be useful near the end of the game.

Troops can also be moved defensively. One of the most common ways is to move a unit forward to intercept a potential assaulting unit so the remainder of your force may escape. This will give your force a chance to take up a better firing, or defensive, positions from which to engage your opponent from. Also never forget the at least 1” away rule. This can help mange your opponent’s movement.

The big idea that I will leave you with is that movement can make or break you. Plan your movement. If you make and execute your plans then you will be dictating the actions of battle to your opponent instead of having your opponent dictate your actions.

Next time we will build on movement and move into the shooting phase.
Continue Reading...

Friday, June 1, 2007

Creative APC Driving

There are many other uses for the Rhino besides the rolling pill box, portable wall, and instant terrain. Here are some other creative uses for the Rhino that I’m sure will give your Rhinos more mileage.

Long Range Rapid Fire
This is my favorite of all of the uses of the Rhino. Since you can’t assault from a Rhino if you have moved said vehicle you can certainly shoot. The 4th ed. rules on Rapid Fire made this a perfect tactic for any marine player. So what you do is jump your marines out after moving 12” deploy the 2” away from the door and light your opponent up. If you got first turn and they deployed at the front edge of their deployment zone then you most surely get some hits in.

This tactic is also very useful for increasing the range of our friend the melta gun. Especially if your opponent has vehicles deployed 24” from you. AP 1 means that if you hit all your penetration rolls will be penetrations. This tactic is especially useful in cracking open full Rhinos so your Devastator squads can ruin the squads contained within.

Ever find yourself in a situation where you are facing a particularly nasty IC. End your troubles with bracketing. What you do is create a very narrow lane of fire either between two Rhinos or a rhino and area terrain. Now you make sure that the only closest target is that pesky enemy IC in that narrow lane. Once you have done this gun away and watch that pesky IC disappear.
Continue Reading...

Tactical Rock Copyright © 2009 WoodMag is Designed by Ipietoon for Free Blogger Template