Painting Update #2

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My average started to drop again, and I’ve got another deficit to work down. Not much planned this weekend so I should be able to get on top again.

Carried on with pieces for the Hellboy board game, and weighing up whether I need to get a new pot of black (mine has fossilised…) or if I can make do with black primer instead. I’ve decided that the blending on the aliens is done, otherwise I will be going forever, and getting on with finishing those models.

Sorry about the lighting, the clouds have been uncooperative recently.

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Painting Update #1

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Target: Wobbled at the beginning of the month but got on top of it.
Focus: Got the first layer of armour on the Crystallans done, finished adding a slight highlight to the crystal to make it ‘pop’. Also played the Hellboy board game and got hit with inspiration, so started painting that box too.

A note on data presentation: I’ve adapted the graph from last quarter into a continuous/rolling graph so it doesn’t keep going into thousands and thousands of minutes painting. The blue area is the target and the green line is the 7-day average (to even out the highs and the lows), and is a better indicator of whether I’m sustaining a certain level than tracking individually productive days and unintentional breaks. Orange line is bad – that means I’ve slipped beneath my target (and as it’s not an average, will look much worse than the actual effort).

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Building a Painting Habit

Since the beginning of the year my workplace has been encouraging people to share… not resolutions, but to set a target for something to improve and share progress towards that target. Most of these were about fitness (running, cycling, etc) with some interesting projects (recording an album, interior mountaineering). One of the fun things I chose to challenge myself to paint 20 minutes every day. Every day.

After weekly updates there for three months I realised I was doing a blog, and I already have a blog…

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One of the ‘fun’ things about this has been adding charts and tracking progress.

In the first quarter, I finished a Teraton team, Elmer & Dobbs and The Fixer. Although I bought the Magnetar Marvels for Dreadball, Ambots and Slave Ogryns for Necromunda, I finished 12 models and only purchased 8 so the pile of shame is moving (gradually) in the right direction.

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In spite of a last minute slowdown, the target was completely smashed; I’m pleasantly surprised that the 20 minute aim was (on average) achievable. In total, I went 845 minutes over the cumulative target! The overall goal of ‘paint more often’ is a success. Trying to hit more days (for a less spiky graph) would be nice, but there are too many external factors affecting time for that to be in my control.
This has been a very enjoyable challenge, and makes up for my occasional pre-pandemic habit of painting in my lunch break in the office. I’m still not sure that I’m painting as much as I’m buying, but it’s at least balancing the scales slightly!

Things that I’ve learned:
* Motivation can be difficult. Having two projects on the go helps with this, but often ends up with one being forever in the background while the other gets attention and rushed forward.
* Keeping good notes is good. I’ve been logging what colours I put on which models, so I can look back at what worked well previously and also so I know where I got to in highlighting if I take a week away from a miniature.
* I will never get tired of saying ‘two monkeys in a trenchcoat

Next Quarter I will:
* Up my target to 30 minutes a day. I think this is still achievable and probably won’t affect the streak counter much.
* Plan painting better. One of the things that I think saps motivation is not knowing what to do next; I generally plan the main sections and then get lost in details. If I take more time and plan this beforehand, I should be able to keep the motivation going.
* Be more ambitious! I’ve tried a few different techniques this quarter, some need more practice and others have worked really well. It’s given me confidence to go back to some half finished projects and know that I can get to the right end result with them, if I persevere.
* Be more ambitious II! Over the years I’ve bought some large, centrepiece models and then shied away from starting them because I can’t do them justice. I’ll try to finish one this quarter.

Tri-Star League S3E6

This match was a rematch of the first game against Joachim’s Judwan – I was feeling good about the game because other than the ref, there are very few ways for them to remove Zees from the pitch. This should mean that once I have got the monkeys on the pitch, they’ll keep getting underfoot!

This game started well, the Judwan tried (and failed) to open up a path on the three point strike zone while the Zees successfully scored. The score moved back and forth but slowly inched to the Judwan’s side.

Both sides had poor luck at times –terrible dodges by the Zees, and a couple of failed strike attempts by the aliens, and in the last few turns (as a Zee win was getting further and further away) the monkey about to score was struck with All Thumbs – meaning it had to pass a Skill check or drop the ball. The coaching dice didn’t help, nor did re-rolls, so that turn ended without a score. The next time the same Zee got the ball to the four-point spot (once the defender had been removed by a big pile of coaching dice and a monkey punch in the back), the ball shattered. I still had the movement of the Throw action to resolve, so the player ran back to pick up the ball… but failed to Dash far enough and fell down on it, losing the only chance to equalise the game as that was the last rush.

I was happy overall, a few monkeys had managed to get three dashes in a row for fan checks, a few lucky Slams took the number of Judwan right down, and I even remembered to use my new cheerleader (although it didn’t work!) and Running Interference (and it fortunately did).

This may be the end of the league, as there are no more games planned and momentum is running down. If it is, the Zees have performed admirably! If it’s not, I have a feeling they will fall down the table slightly – they are in fourth place, but not all games have been played and it’s likely to change slightly as more people fill in their results.

Tri-Star League S3E5

Game Five of the Tri-Star League! I bought two cards before the game, to try to squeeze a few more actions into the Zee, rather than more bodies.

John’s Forge Father team haven’t had great luck in the league so far and this game didn’t break the streak. The guards hit pretty well, but not quite as hard as the Teratons in game 3. Most of the game saw eleven monkeys on the pitch, even though one (with a Skill upgrade!) was knocked out of the game permanently (to be declared an ex-clone after the game…)

The far strike zone was defended by a Keeper and a Jack, so one intrepid Zee sprinted all the way to the end to Sucker Punch him before I realised that that little monkey did not have a high Strength. Still, he provided a useful threat hex for a different, better clone to knock him down. The Zees got away with every foul – the Forge Fathers didn’t like following up Slams (aversion to Evade rolls, and wanting to be able to run into next turn’s Slams) so there were lots of unthreatened monkeys around the referee ready to distract.

Tit-for-tat scoring had somehow led to a three point lead for the Zees. Leaning on the big pile of coaching dice, the Jack defender was punched from behind by tiny fists. Lots of one-sided luck left the Forge Father lying prone and the four-point lane open. No Zee with a Skill upgrade was nearby, so trusting on luck got the ball in our cheating little hands… a running throw, dozens of crossed fingers and what remained of the big pile of coaching dice landed the ball for four points ending the game in a landslide win for the Zee!

The game was good fun – it’s always a nice feeling to have twelve players on the pitch, even when you can’t see your opponent’s face. Unfortunately I only ended up with 60mc so going into the last game I think I’ll buy a cheerleader and learn how to use them properly.

Tri-Star League S3E4

After the third game, the players were split into ranked groups for the next three games. I was against a Nameless team that had been abandoned by the coach, and taken up by the league organiser – something I was pleased about, as he’s a fantastic opponent who I played at a Bristol tournament once when he travelled down.

The game can best be summarised as incredibly lucky. Sam tried a couple of fouls with his Guards, and got them sent off and while I didn’t get away with all of my fouls I did scrape by a bit better. Vassal’s RNG was called into question as not once, but twice in the game I re-rolled to get a 6 which gave me another 6… and another… and another. Meanwhile, after a good turn or two punching monkeys (while they hid the ball and waited for a chance) the Nameless team’s Slams lost commitment. Once an opening was made in the three-point zone, the lucky Zees managed to score three times (and incredibly lucky punching Nameless defenders out of the way!) while the aliens only managed three 2-pointers. Some incredibly lucky monkeys managed to get fan checks for successful restraints, three-dashes, and even for tripling dodges (see above about the RNG…)

The game ended three points up for the clones with enough cash to buy another monkey (not quite enough for a captain), and nearly two.

Tri-star League S3E3

One win, one loss, ready for game three. This is against Nacho’s Teraton team. I had played Nacho previously, in the second Tri-star League season and an online tournament. He’s a fun opponent, very strong player and a gentleman.

I found the Teratons a real challenge. Nacho’s league team had two very, very powerful guards –a combination of Ram, Threatening, Pile Driver and being really strong guards meant that it was hard for my Zees to stay standing. I only got Monkey dice a couple of times, and the team even dropped below the maximum allowed number of players a few times!

The Teratons themselves played a slow game. They held the ball at the end of a few rushes, preparing to score in the following turn, relaxed and confident.

The Zees were on normal form, failing to pick up the ball. Only one player got an experience point beyond showing up, and that was for stealing the ball. I managed to steal a few times, but without a lot of luck there just aren’t enough actions to also get the ball to a scoring position from there (accepting that the players are mostly starting from the subs bench!)

The Zees only got one scoring attempt for three points, and failed. Then any monkey near the Teraton zones was smashed into the ground.

It was an unstoppable push to a three point loss. A little bit of income gives me enough cash for another player, but I haven’t decided yet whether to get that or a new card… which would be useful for Running Interference, as long as I don’t play teleporting turtles again.

One of my monkeys was permanently injured but got away with ‘neural damage’. It lost the “It Wasn’t Me” ability, but with all the other players on the pitch we should be alright.

Onto the next game, and hopefully we will avoid any more Teratons!

Tri-star League S3E2

After the first game, I added another monkey (number 11) to the team to make the most of the Monkey Business rule. The more monkeys on the pitch, the more threat hexes! More line of sight blocking! More bonus coaching dice!

The second game was against Joaquim’s Yndij team. They played a fast game, scoring 1 or 2 points every single turn. Their end zones were totally empty though… if only the Zees could pick up the ball!

The Sneak fouls kept getting spotted, keeping a player off the pitch most of the time. A couple of lucky clones managed to get the ball to the end and score 4 points, but the score never got back to zero from the early Yndij lead. It was a tense game but the Zee really needed a little more luck in picking up the ball, or in not getting pushed out of the way of their defence.

A slight loss, but lots of fun. Adequate chaos was sown. I didn’t get enough cash after the game to increase the monkey count though.

On to game three!

Tri-Star League S3E1

So throughout this pandemic, a few clever people have been setting up online Dreadball events. The Tri-Star League is run by Sam Lowrie, and I had such a blast in the second season with my Neo-bot team that I finally managed to finish painting them!

Since the pandemic continues and face-to-face gaming gets harder I jumped at the chance to join the third season of the league – this time bringing my Zee team.

The first game was against Joachim’s Judwan team, the Long Arms. I took the Home player position and managed to score three points in the first rush – one intrepid monkey evading and weaving between the defenders. More monkeys swarmed onto the pitch and the Judwan failed to Feint the Zee out of the way to clear a bonus strike.

Third rush, the monkeys stole that ball but didn’t count their actions properly – they sat up in the sidelines. The Judwan responded by mobbing that player but leaving the ball where it was.

One daring Zee punched a Judwan in the back (with assistance) and actually knocked them out for three turns! Lots of lovely experience points. On the other side of the pitch, the ball-carrier evaded two Judwan masterfully, getting to the three-point line, and missing. With coaching dice. And two re-rolls. But the ball was as far from the Home goals as it could be. The Judwan responded by setting up a perfect passing chain, which got the ball all the way to the potential point-scorer who… dropped it. Even on re-rolls.

The shot-misser redeemed themselves by punching a defender and not only turning them around (as expected) but also knocking them prone! This left the 4-pt hex undefended, ready for another Zee (with help from a card) to sprint to the bonus hex and throw all of their coaching dice into it… A score! Surprising landslide win for an undeveloped Zee team in only turn 7!

Two lucky Zees got advancements – Extended Interference and Skill. So that’s a target on at least one back. I bought an eleventh clone with the winnings and hopefully in the next game will get a player more able to push defenders out of the way. I don’t think it will be as easy as the Judwan in the future…

Thanks Joachim, that was a great game!

Bristol Dominion Campaign Round Six

Big Boned Billy’s Revenge defended against the Feminasties again, in a small area of the Underhive tunnels. Due to prior injuries only 4 of the Escher were available to fight against 6 of the most tooled-up Delaques. Unfortunately, Billy’s plan of distributing potent drinks around the Underhive led the poor Feminasties to believe they were just seeing double rather than being horribly outnumbered.

It started out well with Whatsisname (relatively new Delaque ganger) going out of action (earning 2xp learning a lesson about standing in the open) as the Eschers jumped through tunnels surprisingly well. Then the Escher leader and champion being serially pinned prevented them from charging the shrinking circle of trenchcoats, while Gramps poured shotgun shells into the ladies to keep them on the floor.

On the other side of the tile, Billy himself was bogged down in combat with the Escher champion who took out Whatsisname – although he managed to take her out without assistance, ending in a trip to the Feminasties hired Doc (and an eye injury).

The Feminasties spread fire around, managing to put flesh wounds on a number of Delaques and keeping the champion Penny seriously injured for the remainder of the fight.

Wyatt charged another champion, using his Stiletto Blade to remove her from the Underhive – thankfully only into Recovery rather than anything major.

At this point the Feminasties lost their bottle and began to run while the Delaques calmly followed, looking to clear up the mess.

In the after-party, Billy found a flying blue rat pet and some of the Delaques finally bought some better armour.