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Monthly Archives:November 2019

KoW Armada: Faction Guide

Ahoy Sailors! As you know I am most and foremost a passionate hobbyist. That being said I am also a pirate, a scoundrel and a fanatical enthusiast of Mantic Games Kings of War: Armada. The latter resulted in few strategy related articles, one of which you found yourself reading right now.

Kings of War: Armada is a game of fantastical sea warfare. Set in a rich world of Pannithor the Armada clashes wonderfully crafted and strongly themed factions against one another. As much as miniatures go, KoW Armada offers a selection of beautiful miniatures from across four factions, with more being released every few months. These factions vary between themselves, not just visually but also on-tabletop, offering different playstyles, themes, strengths and weaknesses. Below I will focus on each faction individually, pointing out some pros and cons, but also offering insight into possible strategies.

Before we start, some notes:

  • I’m not a professional data analyst, might be wrong on some observations. I base my conclusions on data and personal on-tabletop experience. In case of newest releases my assumptions are purely speculative so take it with a pinch of salt. 
  • Math and notes behind average fleet stats can be found in this google spreadsheet.
  • Any tactics and archetypes described here might be influenced by your local meta and scenarios being played.
  • Average Faction strengths does not include Fliers.
  • As more new factions get introduced an Average baseline will start to change. Factions that are now top 2 on certain stats, might fall from grace. I decided not to revisit older factions each time new one gets introduced, but rather make an update every once in a while. The reason is convenience. In my opinion if a certain faction was in the very top of certain average stat, it will still be high, regardless if new faction steals the spotlight.

Basilean – Cleric Faction.

Cheapest on average, best SP to points cost ratio. Not standing out at anything except Move, SP/point cost ratio, healing and damage reduction capabilities (Aegis Shield, Blessed Hull, Light of Ekhos, Halo of Light, Helping Hand).

Ship of interest: Gur Panther with 28SP for 12pts, can be used to screen Heavy Hitters from enemy fire, providing closest target to enemy inexperienced/standard crewed ships.

Basileans can cheat activation order (Jaymes Ellias) to deal unexpected (both direction) broadsides pain with a Heavy Hitter.

Strategy proposal: Avoid close quarters, make use of H, L, IDW going slow and with a side to enemy fleet, while also repairing damage suffered. Going slow means hitting easier, but also being hit easier, here’s where repairing comes into play. Once close go in between enemy ships and fire both ways. Use Gur Panthers for screen against Ram and incoming fire.

Basilean Average strengths:

Movement to cost ratio,
Nerve to cost ratio,
*Structure Points to cost ratio,
Crew Strength to cost ratio,
*Heavy weapons to cost ratio,
Light Weapons to cost ratio,
Close Quarters Weapons to cost ratio,
Indirect Weapons to cost ratio,
Red Turning Angle availability,


Orc – Berserker faction.

Least durable, but also good SP to points cost ratio makes Orcs a Glass Cannon faction. Orc main strength is Boarding Action, ease and damage increase with which it comes into play (Ram, Morax, War Drum of Spite, Ensnared, Rabble Rousing, Grappling Arm, Crew Strength, Let’s Get Them). Although Orcs excell in boarding, they can also pack a solid punch. There’s a tone of C weapons which can be buffed to a point of madness (Morguns, Yinn Greythunder) and can be leveraged for good positioning (Gorfang Bluejaw).

Strategy proposal: Go hard and fast using Boomboats to disorganize and divide enemy fleet formation (IDW). Fish for solo easy targets with important Heavy Hitters, while ganging up on enemy Heavies with your cheap stuff, ram (deal some damage), immobilize (grapple) and keep them occupied – guns silent, move into position with your Heavies and bomb entire cluster into splinters, cheap Orc ships included. In late game use boomboats to their maximum potential, shooting all directions amidst enemy ships.

Orc Average strengths:

Movement to cost ratio,
Nerve to cost ratio,
Structure Points to cost ratio,
*Crew Strength to cost ratio,
Heavy weapons to cost ratio,
Light Weapons to cost ratio,
*Close Quarters Weapons to cost ratio,
*Indirect Weapons to cost ratio,
Red Turning Angle availability,


Dwarf – Hammer faction.

Most durable sledge hammer of a faction, packing top numbers of L-H weapons across the fleet. On top of a Nerve re-roll (Headstrong) Dwarfs have access to a large spectrum of upgrades that can fill any holes in their overall straightforward play style. You need durability? Done! (Master Engineer, Advanced Construction). You need to deal with these pesky Boarders? Easy! (Dwarven Ale). Wanna pack even more punch? Dwarfs got your back! Flame Belchers, Ironwatch Marines). This allows to hone certain ships for specific jobs, like Boarding counter, a tank or a heavy damage dealer.
Dwarfs come in steady and focused, thanks to almost flat speed across entire fleet. Once they pierced your fleet – they’ll be back to bite a piece of your stern. (red arcs, Advanced Engines on entire fleet).

Ship of interest: Hunter, packing a solid 3L and 15SP on a 10pts. expendable platform.

Strategy proposal: Go fast and hard, divide and conquer enemy fleet. Dwarfs seem like a faction that want’s to charge, guns blazing, then go through the middle of enemy fleet, wreaking havoc. Pick weakened targets of opportunity for GrimmStones and Furies. Make use of Engines and red Turn Arcs setting up for Raking Fire. Remember about special tools in your fleet – ships, that thanks to proper upgrades, are very good at one particular thing.

Dwarf Average strengths:

Movement to cost ratio,
Nerve to cost ratio,
Structure Points to cost ratio,
Crew Strength to cost ratio,
Heavy weapons to cost ratio,
*Light Weapons to cost ratio,
Close Quarters Weapons to cost ratio,
Indirect Weapons to cost ratio,
*Red Turning Angle availability,


Empire of Dust – Trickster faction.

Straight off the bat the EoD fleet might come as pretty average. Their stat specialty is NV and they excel at IDW. There seem not to be a common theme across the faction, except Boarding Action mitigation (Curse of Undeath, Terror) and bad turning (Yellow Turn Arc all over the place). Yet the EoD comes with a lot of surprises. Different ships specialize in different things and this is what makes this faction Interesting. Empire of Dust is all about where and when… and with which tool. You need to break an incoming blob of enemy ships? War Galley and Soul Hunter will bomb from afar with all that sweet IDW, while rest will add some H and L to the mix. You need to intercept or go hunting for juicy artillery at the back of enemy line? Kopeshi is the fastest ship in the game and has a solid CS, Terror and Curse of Undeath to sway it’s chance in any Boarding Action. Dust Chaser is a Gur Panther with Light Oars, capable of taking a punch while screening your heavies. Most importantly you can extend your heavies lifespan by cheating SP (Slave Squadrons, Expendable).
EoD is also the trickiest faction, being able to deal damage in pretty unexpected places. On top of situational maneuverability (Windblast, High Priest T’Mork, Light Oars) EoD has a range of damage dealing tools (Balefire, Arkhanten the Cursed Slayer, Soul Thirst, Lightning Bolt, Soul Snare).

Strategy proposal: Leverage IDW and keep enemy at a distance. Screen your fleet with Dust Chasers and make a good use of Slave Squadrons to eat up some of enemy fire. Once amidst tight battle, outflank with Kopeshi to pick valuable targets, while the rest of the fleet does some Soul Hunting AoE, IDW up close and bring down carnage.

Empire of Dust Average strengths:

Movement to cost ratio,
*Nerve to cost ratio,
Structure Points to cost ratio,
Crew Strength to cost ratio,
Heavy weapons to cost ratio,
Light Weapons to cost ratio,
Close Quarters Weapons to cost ratio,
*Indirect Weapons to cost ratio,
Red Turning Angle availability,


The Twilight Kin – Assassin faction.

Stat wise the Twilight Kin fall into the same archetype as Orcs – the Glass Canon. This is clearly backed by the highest Crew Strength to Points Cost ratio, 2nd best Close Quarter Weapons to Points Cost ratio and the fact that C Weapons are present on every single ship, except Tiny Needlefangs.

The main difference between the two factions is how they go about dealing damage and the consequences of getting close.

Where Orcs seem a bit more flexible* and prone to sacrifice with crippled suicide Ram exchanges, the more maneuverable Twilight Kin are focused on well placed Boarding Actions and Glass Canon engagements, dealing massive damage and aiming to cripple, as any retaliation will be devastating to in-fleet synergies.Orc have access to IDW, XL ships, can build ships for either Boarding Actions or Shooting with Morax / Morguns.
Being by far the fastest fleet, combined with access to Shroud (enemy gets -1 to Hit over 8″) the Twilight Kin will get close – it’s a fact. Once in range, assuming key pieces are in place Grappling enemy ships is just a formality (Ensnare, Barbed Harpoons and common upgrades), then it’s Boarding Actions. Here’s where Twilight Kin excel. Blade Dancers, Decimate, Banshee’s Wail improve the odds of defeating enemy ships, but it is the synergies that allow them to outshine the Orcs. Being caught between attacking Blade Dancers and a Banshee’s Wail seem like a quick trip to the bottom of the sea.

Strategy Proposal: When it comes to Shooting the Twilight Kin strength lays in their maneuverability and speed. Coming in fast, turning just before enemy prow to avoid Fire as She Bears Broadsides, unleashing a Raking Fire C salvos up close would be a go to strategy. Then Grapple, then GG. Once Grappled, enemy ships cannot Fire as She Bears, the rest of the fleet can safely position themselves behind a target, either joining Boarding Action or just bombing it with a C Stern Rake.
One thing to keep in mind is the Domino effect. The Twilight Kin rely on in-faction synergies and initial Damage far more than Orcs. When crippled the Orcs can simply throw themselves to Ram, usually getting a great deal out of it. The Twilight Kin have a very high NV to Points cost ratio, but they lack XL ships to hold the fleet together. Once the Twilight Kin start to crumble, the synergies will dim down, the fleet will start to loose momentum and Damage output necessary to pull preferable deals off. Because of that you want to go fast, hard and move to safe positions, be it Boarding Actions or over 8″ and outside deadliest enemy firing arcs.

On a side note: Compared to initial fleets gameplay the Twilight Kin seem like a difficulty level went up. I do believe this is a trend that we will see continued with new releases.

Twilight Kin Average strengths:

*Movement to cost ratio,
*Nerve to cost ratio,
Structure Points to cost ratio,
*Crew Strength to cost ratio,
Heavy weapons to cost ratio,
Light Weapons to cost ratio,
*Close Quarters Weapons to cost ratio,
Indirect Weapons to cost ratio,
*Red Turning Angle availability,


The Kingdom of Men – Marksman faction.

Fast and hard hitting the Kingdom of Men is in my opinion the strongest mid-long range Armada faction. The KoM is basically Basilean ships on steroids, maintaining good Movement, maneuverability and low Cost, while trading fancy rules, IDW and durability buffs for pure Damage output, To-Hit modifiers and insane Nerve shenanigans. With access to Spotter Gunboat Squadrons and Motley Crew, the Kingdom of Men Light and Heavy Weapons shooting is very potent.

The fleet is all about tight formation around Main Battle Ships and two important auras to build around: Solid Command will keep the ships in the fight, even after being crippled, while Spotter will ensure more hits. Large and Extra Large ships can also benefit from a War Wizard, which is a powerful tool to deal with foes that came too close invading KoM’s zone of comfort. Putting a Blaze Marker on an enemy ship is an easy way to force a bad choice between shooting and a risk of being blown up on a roll of “1”, on next activation.

The Kingdom of Men Flagship can be improved with choice of Captains. Kraiger is a solid Nerve buff, while Dead Eye McHardy turns unmodified “9” into Crits, doubling the Crit chance. On a ship like a Conqueror, which is basically a Basilean Dictator, the Critical Hit chance buff is pretty deadly.

Strategy Proposal: Staying at Steady Speed in a tight formation ensures all ships benefit from auras and allows Gunboat Squadrons to keep up. Enemy IDW might be a problem so unless there are C heavy ships closing in, IDW should be the main target, as otherwise the Kingdom of Men dominates Long Range Shooting. For this purpose it is imperative that all ships are equipped with Crows Nests. In case of no IDW and slow enemy fleets the KoM can Anchor comfortably to increase To-Hit chance, except Frigates. Inexperienced Crew, Sturdy Construction Frigates are perfect to be used to screen the fleet and force enemy ships to fire at an unfavorable targets. Because of that they should always be moving, thus more difficult to hit.
Finally, as Nerve is not an issue, the KoM can baldly undertake some high risk high reward actions if things get to close and personal. 

Ship of note: Conqueror, packing a solid 6H, 3L, 3C with a cheaper Veteran Crew and Critical Hits on “9-10” is just a must have. With Master Carpenter, Dead Eye Hardy, Motley Crew and Crow’s Nest this beast is barely 99 points. *Drops the mike*, or rather an Anchor. 

*Movement to cost ratio,
Nerve to cost ratio,
*Structure Points to cost ratio,
*Crew Strength to cost ratio,
*Heavy weapons to cost ratio,
*Light Weapons to cost ratio,
Close Quarters Weapons to cost ratio,
Indirect Weapons to cost ratio,
Red Turning Angle availability,


Elves – Spearmen Faction

Fast, nimble and precise, the Elves sail into Armada with a very interesting set of stats. Although average speed is being dragged down a notch by XL ships, the Elves are the fastest faction on a ship by ship basis. With a Red Turn Arc on par with Dwarfs and the Twilight Kin, the Elves claim the very top thanks to Masters of the Waves skill, which allows them free extra turns at the end of first Move during each Activation. Combined with an immense arsenal of Light Weapons, this extra agility allows for some deadly shenanigans.

When it comes to weaponry the Elves pack the highest L/ship across the fleets and a solid number of H Weapons. They also have access to one IDW vessel type with lack of C being the only drawback to the fleet’s arsenal. This mid-long range weaponry setup is further enhanced with Elven Eyes, allowing Elves to ignore -1 To-Hit for long range shooting.

Up Close is where Elves does not feel comfortable. They come with average CS, lowest SP/Cost ratio, worst NV on average and no C weapons. To put it simply – unless necessary, you really don’t want to engage the enemy fleet up close.

Strategy Proposal: Go steady and keep the enemy fleet at length, making full use of Elven Eyes, buffed IDW and Auto Criting Enchanted Bolt Thrower. Adjust speed to keep Argus Squadrons within aura range and add that extra umpf to your Crits and eventually aura heal with Green Lady’s Blessing before you commit to full scale sailing. Once the opponent starts to catch up, increase Speed and go around and on the back of enemy formation. With low SP and no C Elven ships are a bit too fragile to risk cutting through against probable Fire as She Bears. If you went with Therennian Sea Guard and are within Kindred Bond you may consider Boarding Action to entangle important enemy damage dealer and buy time for your heavy hitters to sink easier targets. Otherwise avoid unfavorable Borading Actions until no other choice.

Assume proper strategy in line with choice of captain: Stormwing Captain (adds another free turn from Masters of the Waves) or Madriga (once per game counts one shooting position as Point Blank for Damage purposes). Both can give you an edge when facing against heavy damage dealers. 

*Movement to cost ratio,
Nerve to cost ratio,
Structure Points to cost ratio,
Crew Strength to cost ratio,
Heavy weapons to cost ratio,
*Light Weapons to cost ratio,
Close Quarters Weapons to cost ratio,
Indirect Weapons to cost ratio,
*Red Turning Angle availability,


These are the Kings of War: Armada factions available for now. I will be revisiting this article to provide updates and add new content from time to time so stay tuned. Personally I hope to get some Twilight Kin and Elves commissions to add more pictures in the future, but for now glorious Four is all I have.

I hope you find this article entertaining. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you considered sharing this content with your hobby buds, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional miniatures painting service be sure to contact me via this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.

Cheers!







Scarhandpainting

Tutorial: Magnetizing GW Bases

Magnetized bases is nowadays new hotness when it comes to miniatures transportation. This solution allows for comfortable transportation and fast deployment of your army. Once commited to this form of handling your plastic dudesmen, you will probably go back and magnetize all of your stuff. Regardless of choice of container, be it a professional carrying case like A-Case, or just a plain paper box with a piece of metal mounted at the bottom, first thing to do is actually magnetizing the bases.

And here’s where word of mouth and slight issues might discourage you from this glorious path to ultimate wargaming comfort. The internet is full of common misconceptions about magnetized miniatures. That is because a lot of hobbyists decide to go the most straightforward way and just glue a random magnet to the underside of a base YOLO style. This might result in a magnet falling off a base mid-transport, which in turn might transform your precious collection into a pile of scrap. Below I will show you how to avoid this fate with a very easy life hack.


Before we start, some notes:

  • This tutorial focuses on Games Workshop bases specifically as they tend to have empty undersides. 

  • For conveniences sake I highly recommend magnetizing bases before painting.

  • Please take note that what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Let’s start by toppling the topic of magnets falling off a base. This happens because the entirety of miniature’s weight is held in place by a relatively tiny spot of contact between a magnet and a base. The smaller the area of contact and the heavier a miniature – the more probable a COVFEFE in your carrying case. To avoid this, but also keep the size of magnets reasonable, I propose to use sockets. A socket extends the area of contact to the sides of a magnet and greatly increases strength with which the magnet is held in place. A proper material for a socket will also increase the bond between the magnet and plastic base.

Another thing is choosing a right size and the amount of magnets for each miniature. Personally I tend to go with two magnets for infantry, three to four for large infantry and cavalry and more for anything larger, depending on weight. The size of these varies depending on what bases I work with. For Games Workshop bases I go with 5x2mm magnets, which work as a charm, providing just enough strength to keep miniatures in place, but not as much as to prevent me from comfortably picking the miniatures. 


Boy oh boy, so much theory… “where’s the actual tutorial?!” you might ask. Ok, let’s just go straight for the easy step-by-step.

You will need:

  • 5x2mm Neodymium Magnets
  • 2mm thick foamed PVC (or similar material)
  • Cyanoacrylate Super Glue
  • 5mm thick drill
  • Modelling knife

Step one: the PVC

Start by drilling holes in the PVC one beside another with few mm in-between. No need to be very precise. Once done, use a hobby knife to cut the PVC into small two-holes pieces, as seen in the picture below. These are now “sockets” to hold the magnets in. Test if all sockets fit the bases, make some adjustments if necessary.

Step two: Mounting Sockets

Turn the base upside down, apply some Super Glue onto the surface and glue the socket on top. Avoid sticking your fingers through the holes as you might end up becoming one with the base by accident 🙂

Step three: the Magnets

Apply Super Glue into the sockets and glue the magnets in. Try to glue all the magnets in same direction for better effect. I found that it is better to put the magnet just barely into the socket, then flip the base and push it on top of a flat surface. This way the magnet will slide inside a socket up to a level of the base’s edge, thus providing good connection to a future metal transportation surface. 


Hey! That’s it! These three simple steps will greatly increase your magnets (and miniatures) survivability during transportation. I’ve been using this solution for couple of years now, with no bad experience what so ever and I hope it will work for you just as well. 



I hope you find this tutorial interesting. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook.or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you considered sharing this content with your hobby buds, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional miniatures painting service be sure to contact me via this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.

Cheers!

Scarhandpainting

Tutorial: Vallejo Plastic Putty

Working with miniatures on a day by day basis has it’s merits, one of which is getting to test awesome hobby related stuff! I ordered Vallejo Plastic Putty to fill up the shopping cart, rather than because I actually needed it. Or so I thought. Boy oh boy how wrong I was! As it turned out I secretly longed for the Plastic Putty to be a part of my life.

Long story short: I have been using this ‘liquid magic’ for a whole day now and just had to share my hype with you.
What can you do with Plastic Putty? For starters you can fill all kind of gaps with it. Once dry, you can file it, scratch it, cut it, paint on top of it… and more! 

Below is just one example of Vallejo Plastic Putty application in practice.


Looks simple? Well, that’s because it is! This method is super fast. Just apply your Plastic Putty onto a crack, then use a tissue to rub the excess off crosswise. Let it dry. Done! Forget about Liquid Greenstuff – from this day onward Plastic Putty is all you need. 😉 

But in all seriousness – this stuff is pure awesome. 

If you like the article, consider sharing it with someone who likes hobbying around with miniatures. Find me on Facebook and Instagram. Most importantly have a great hobby time!

Scarhandpainting

KoW Armada: RAMming for Dummies

Ahoy Sailors! As you know I am most and foremost a passionate hobbyist. That being said I am also a pirate, a scoundrel and a fanatical enthusiast of Mantic Games Kings of War: Armada. The latter resulted in few strategy related articles, one of which you found yourself reading right now.

Kings of War: Armada is a game of fantastical sea warfare. Set in a rich world of Pannithor, the Armada clashes wonderfully crafted and strongly themed factions against each another. As much as miniatures go, KoW Armada offers a selection of beautiful miniature ships from across four factions, with more being released every few months. Although colliding prow first into enemy ships is forbidden by the rules, some ships are designed to Ram. This usually ends up with both ships getting crushed to ribbons, which led to a lot of misconceptions about Ramming in general. Most common being “Ramming is a weak faction mechanics”. Today I will topple the topic and prime you for successful Ramming. Hold on to the decking and All Ahead Full!


Ramming for Dummies

Allow me to start by saying this: Ramming is a very strong and rewarding mechanics.

That being said let’s focus on what makes a Faction oriented mechanics good. For starters a Faction game mechanics should be synergic with faction strengths (and weaknesses). It should allow for leveraging the common rules to faction’s advantage. A Faction game mechanics can be a strong independent rule, or a synergic one in which case the more synergy the stronger rules combo becomes.

For instance Baseilan ships have the best Structure Points to Points Cost ratio in the game. They have upgrades like Aegis Shield which reduces damage taken and Blessed Hull which allows them to Repair more efficiently. Basileans also have Slopes with Helping Hand increasing Repair efficiency even more. There is a theme to these rules which translates into a strong Faction Mechanics. Worth noting is the fact that it takes more than a single rule to achieve this synergy. Like, Elohi’s Halo of Light is useless in a vacuum, but kicks in when combined with other pieces of the puzzle.

Back to Ramming, RAM(n) allows to deliberately Collide with enemy ships and auto fail the Evade test. It also adds (n) damage to the total dealt to enemy ship in case of a successful collision.
In a vacuum the rule is very swingy. Unless (and sometimes regardless if) you Ram a much smaller target, there is a chance of taking more damage than dealt to enemy ship.
On a wider scale RAM(n) goes along the common Orc main theme: High damage output and expendable ships.
Orc ships are all about C weapons, which have best damage output, but the shortest range from among all shooting weapons. This means you need to get close and inevitably take some damage before you can unleash your C volleys in a devastating salvo. Orc ships, on average, are also cheap and have a second best Structure Points to Points Cost ratio in the game.
Still the main Faction mechanics for Orcs is Boarding Actions. On average, Orcs have more Crew Strength than other factions. They also have access to upgrades that further boost Crew Strength (Morax, War Drum of Spite, Rabble Rousing etc.). Going all ahead full to get close and use all the C weapons means Orcs are also close enough to Board and they even come with cheaper Boarding Hooks and a rule allowing them to try to Grapple enemy ships moving at Full Speed! And as I already pointed out – Orcs are great at Boarding Actions.

So the most efficient strategy should follow the most efficient mechanics:
– Go at Full Speed towards enemy to get close as soon as possible to start dealing damage, plus be harder to hit.

– Use C weapons once you’re in range. Best if moving between enemy ships to be able to fire both sides for more damage output.

– Initiate Boarding Actions to protect your ships from being shot at during enemy activation, plus further increase damage output.

Where does that leave RAM(n)?
RAM(n) is just a tool. It is not a main faction strength, but rather another synergic mechanics in a wide arsenal of increasing damage output. It is more of a situational tool, rather than go to strategy.
To be successful at Ramming you must master “when” and “where”.

Proper Ramming:
* Your ship is low on Structure Points and will probably get sunk in the next enemy Activation. Might as well deal a lot of damage in a blaze of glory, especially if it also carries a Crystal Keel of Retribution.
* Large, dangerous enemy ship is next to Activate, but is also on a brink of being Crippled.
* Your main C damage dealer is soon to Activate, but an enemy ship (low on SP) is the closest target blocking line of fire to much juicier targets.
* Enemy ship has not Fired as She Bears yet and you need to avoid getting in it’s side Fire Arc, electing to Ram head on and trying to initiate Boarding Action afterwards to keep it from Firing at your incoming fleet.
* Last turn, enemy ship holds an objective, Ramming has potential to sink the ship, thus swinging the game result in your favor.

Dummy Ramming:
* You main strategy is to prioritize Ramming over Shooting and Boarding Actions.
* You use Ram as an opening move in a battle.
* You just want to see the world burn and don’t care who goest to the bottom of the sea.
* You Ram same size or larger enemy ships with no additional goal to achieve with this action.

In short: Treat Ram(n) as a tool of opportunity, a strong Glass Canon type of Damage dealing. Accept Ramming means sacrificing your ship and be sure to Ram if it’s worth the sacrifice, or if it allows you to achieve important long term goals.

I hope you find this article entertaining. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you considered sharing this content with your hobby buds, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional miniatures painting service be sure to contact me via this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.

Cheers!

Scarhandpainting

Tutorial: Painting Five Layers Technique Metal

Welcome to Painting Five Layers Technique – Metal tutorial. Here I will present to you a Step-by-step of an easy and fast painting process for metal, that I myself use in most of my projects.

Before we start, some notes:

  • Five Layers Technique is a self developed, easy to learn, simple and rewarding technique I myself use on regular basis. It is a great way to prepare groundwork for a particular color, or as an end result on a large scale project. To learn more about the technique visit: Tutorial: Five Layers Technique
  • This tutorial does not require airbrush.
  • You can use any paints, not just the ones I recommend. You can use this chart to compare paints between different brands.
  • Please note pictures present a huge miniature under strong light that might result in a feel of messy and clumsy paint job.
  • For the purpose of this tutorial I used Games Workshop Stormcast Eternal free sample miniature.
  • As usual, please take note that what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Prep: Undercoat

I started with a thorough layer of Games Workshop Chaos Black spray.

Step one: Base layer

I then applied first layer (base) with GW Warplock Bronze. Thinning the paint down a notch might help leading the paint to recesses and speed up the process. 

Step two: Bronze Highlight

Next, with a side of a large brush tip, I applied a layer of Army Painter True Copper. The movement and technique behind this layer was similar to flatbrushing. The key was to leave some of the previous layer visible in recesses, all the while applying new color to everything beyond. 

Step two alt: Metal Highlight

I did the same for weapon, except I switched to Army Painter Gun Metal, instead of True Copper. 

Step three: Edge highlight

Next I edge highlighted all areas with Army Painter Shining Silver. This one does not have to be precise and might get a bit messy. Any additional scratches or lines painted on the armor will benefit the final result. 

Step four: Wash

The Army Painter Strong Tone was next. I applied a rich layer of wash all over the miniature.
NOTE: I recommend applying and highlighting any colors compatible with Strong Tone before commencing this step. Proper layer planning is key to achieving fast painting time. For this tutorial I left the rest of the miniature as is. 

Step five: Highlight

Finally I edge highlighted with Army Painter Shining Silver. I also painted few additional scratches and lines to add diversity to some areas. 

Job complete. It is just that simple. Now you have a nice base to add depth and additional detail with color washes/glazes, or you can just leave it as is, if you prefer. Below are some examples of Metal painted with Five Layers Technique. 


I hope you find this tutorial interesting. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you considered sharing this content with your friends, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional miniatures painting service be sure to contact me with this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.

Scarhandpainting

Tutorial: Resurrecting Games Workshop Glazes

Being a commission painter, or even just a casual hobbyist, might see you grow attached to a certain line of paints. What if suddenly these paints become out of production? Having to change one’s painting habits is rough. Being left in a middle of a project, without means to continue seems even worse!

I’ve been hobbying for over twenty years now. Easy to say I have seen my share of paints going OOP. Been on a receiving end of such blows far too many times. The most recent and by far most painful was Games Workshop’s removal of the amazing Glaze series. Using these as Washes, Glazes and even Mix ingredients I grew to love them. No amount of Contrast paints will fill the void, as these are a thing of their own with different qualities and behavior.

And thus after burning (or rather flowing) though my stash of GW Glazes I started searching for a stable source of substitute. I experimented with Army Painter, Privateer Press, Games Workshop and more. In the end salvation came from Vallejo. It turned out their Game Inks are already pretty close to old GW Glazes. Few tweaks saw these pretty much spot on. See for yourself.


Lamenters Yellow

Recipe:

Vallejo Game Ing 72.085 Yellow 1 drop

Water 2 drops


Bloodletter:

Recipe:

Vallejo Game Ink 72.086 Red 4 drops

Vallejo Game Ing 72.085 Yellow 1 drop

Water 10 drops


Waywatcher Green

Recipe:

Vallejo Game Ink 72.089 Green 3 drops

Vallejo Game Ing 72.085 Yellow 2 drops

Water 10 drops


Guilliman Blue

Recipe:

Vallejo Game Ink 72.088 Blue 1 drop

Water 2 drops

There you have it. I hope this will help you refill your own bottles of old GW Glazes.

If you like the article, consider sharing it with someone who likes hobbying around with miniatures. Find me on Facebook and Instagram. Most importantly have a great hobby time!

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“Kraken Islands” Special Project.

Over the Seas and Far Away:

I have been a huge fan of everything Pirates since early childhood. It started with LEGO Pirates back when it was still a brand new hotness, then continued to grow throughout the years. Once I moved to Miniatures Wargaming I dipped my toes in a range of Naval warfare games, Dreadfleet being the latest. Years went on, games rose and sunk, all the while I craved to find that ultimate Naval warfare experience – with beautiful miniatures and all the sassy fantasy vibes… and I did!
At the end of cursed year 2020 Mantic Games released their own naval game Kings of War: Armada. A wide range of artfully designed, beautifully detailed and perfectly themed “Tiny Resin Ships“. I fell for this game head over heels. Got all four available fleets and started expanding collection, feeding a typical hobby hype frenzy. Once I run out of ships I set my sights on a grand new project: Scenery set. But not any scenery set – an ultimate, well crafted and detailed set to match with the ships. Here’s where story of the “Kraken Islands” begun…


Uncharted Waters:

I set sails and ventured into the unknown, experimenting with stuff I had at home. Few hours of work saw a first pair of islands done. The process (that you can follow in it’s entirety here) was rather simple and the result looked pretty decent. It increased my hype and sealed the deal – I was about to make more islands!

As time passed, new islands joined the collection. First another pair in a similar theme to the first one, next a set of rocks to add verticality and diversity on the gaming board. The scenery seemed fine as a gaming set, but felt far from an “ultimate set”. 


Second Expedition:

Armed with experience from previous endeavor and nagged by a creative muse – I gathered a crew and set sails in search of ultimate Armada scenery once again. This time around I aimed at larger, multi level, more interesting islands. Scenery pieces that could tell a story. For this purpose I decided to dump plasticard in favor of bark. More so, I spent over half an hour to dug up some old sculpts, made years back for unfinishedTM 3d Settlers of Catan board project. These costed me a lot of work back in the days and I was happy to use them for such a cool project.
It took me two days to finish a first amongst the new islands. “Lighthouse Island” looked pretty dope as a centerpiece and set the direction for the upcoming series. 

The work continued and soon “Wizard Island”, “Volcano Island” and a series of smaller “Wild Islands” followed. The set looked great and brought a feeling of satisfaction. It definitely sated my hunger for Armada scenery. For the time being at least…


Friendly Sea Routes:

Having few games on the set and using it as a background for Fleets photographic sessions brought a creeping feeling of unease. Sure the islands looked cool and I already put a lot of effort into them, but something just felt off. It took a while to pinpoint the exact issue – bases just didn’t fit the fleets theme. They had to go. 
Once I set my mind on something I go for it all speed ahead! I have contacted a friend from Micro Art Studio to help me out. He used a set of size comparison pictures I took and established dimensions for acrylic bases. Time stretched as I impatiently awaited delivery. Finally – they got here (like few days later) and I let the barbarism of removing previous bases, take control of me. Pulling off huge chunks of painted plasticard, all the while protecting detail from getting damaged, was the hard part. In contrast, basing went smooth and easy.

After an intense day of thorough rebasing I had it! The final form of the Kraken Islands was there for me to behold. And it seems I’m done with the project… For the time being at least…

See full gallery at: GALLERY KRAKEN ISLANDS

Thanks for reading. Be sure to let me know what you think of the project. Consider sharing this article with someone who likes hobbying around with miniatures. Find me on Facebook and Instagram. Most importantly have a great hobby time!

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Colour Recipes: Horus Heresy Mechanicum Zhao Arkhad

Here are some Colour Recipes for Horus Heresy Mechanicum from Gallery: Forge World Zhao Arkhad. Please take note that this is a simple colour scheme, not covering multiple overlapping layers and blends in between, that lead to the final product. It is supposed to be used as guideline not a step-by-step.

BRONZE armor:

Black Undercoat,

Mix Rust (val a) 1:1 Metallic Black (val a), *

Bright Bronze (val a), * zenithal

Shining Silver (ap), flbr

Strong Tone Ink (ap), wash / *

Shining Silver (ap), l&p

Soft Tone Ink (ap), wash dedicated

… GREEN metallic:

Jade Green (val), bl

TURQUOISE clothes:

Coal Black (p3),

Strong Tone Ink (ap), wash

Coal Black (p3),

Mix Coal Black (p3) 1:1 Turquoise (val), flbr

Mix Coal Black (p3) 1:2 Turquoise (val), bl

Turquoise (val), l&p

Ice Yellow (val), bottom drbr


SKIN:

Slaanesh Grey (gw),

Flesh (val a), flbr

Pale Flesh (val), l&p

Strong Tone Ink (ap), wash

Pale Flesh (val), l&p

BONES:

Flayed One Flesh (gw),

Ivory (val), flbr

Strong Tone Ink (ap), wash

Skeleton Bone (ap), l&p

Off White (val), l&p


GREEN osl:

Duck Egg Green (val a), *

Light Livery Green (val a), *

Off White (val), l*p

Waywatcher Green (gw), bl

DESERT bases:

Desert Sand (val texture), texture

Khaki (val a), * stones

Ice Yellow (val), drbr

Tufts:
Wasteland Tuft (ap),
Steppe Tuft 12mm (Paint Forge),
Steppe Tuft 6mm (Paint Forge),

l&p – lines and points,

p – points,

dl – deep lining,

bl – blend,

gl – glaze,

drbr – drybrush,

fltbr – flatbrush,

lobr – loaded brush,

stpl – stippling,

*Airbrushed (with multiple layers and mixes)

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Tutorial: Painting Empire of Dust Monolith

Welcome to Painting Empire of Dust Monolith tutorial. Here I will present to you a Step-by-step of an easy and fast painting process for Mantic Games Empire of Dust Monolith as can be seen in Gallery: Armada Empire of Dust.

Before we start, some notes:

  • This tutorial require airbrush.
  • You can use any paints, not just the ones I recommend. You can use this chart to compare paints between different brands.
  • Please note pictures present a huge miniature under strong light that might result in a feel of messy and clumsy paint job.
  • As usual, please take note that what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Step one: Undercoat

I started with a thorough layer of Games Workshop Chaos Black spray.

Step two: Deck

I airbrushed Vallejo Khaki (air) over main deck and all top structures. I then flatbrushed GW Flayed One Flesh on top of Khaki layer. 

Step three: Broadside

I airbrushed Vallejo Panzer Dark Grey (air), followed by a layer of Vallejo Cold Grey (air). 

Step four: Gold

I then painted front and side ornaments, plus some additional detail with GW Warplock Bronze, followed by a solid flatbrush of P3 Molten Bronze and a highlight of Army Painter Shining Metal.

Step five: Wash

I then applied a lot of wash mix of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink 1:1 Army Painter Soft Tone Ink.
(If you followed my other tutorials you know at this point that the mixture is one of my very best friends in all painting.)

Step six: Main highlights

Once wash was dry I drybrushed broadsides with Vallejo Medium Sea Grey and then with Vallejo Ghost Grey. (I forgot to take pics). I then flatbrushed deck and top structure elements with GW Flayed One Flesh and edge highlighted with Vallejo Off White.

Step seven: Blue

I added accents of blue by manually painting chosen elements with Vallejo Magic Blue (air). I then highlighted with Vallejo Electric Blue, followed with Vallejo Glacier Blue. Furthermore I applied a wash layer of GW Guilliman Blue (glaze). Finally I added points of focus and thin highlights with Vallejo Glacier Blue. 

Step Eight: Purple/Pink

I applied Vallejo Warlock Purple onto chosen areas, including top gem, piramid inner lines and catapult flames. I then applied couple successive highlights with different mixes of Vallejo Warlock Purple and Vallejo Off White. With few highlights made with pure Vallejo Off White I moved to glaze Army Painter Purple Tone Ink into few areas of choice. This was contained mostly to top gem and recesses in catapult flames (and around). 

Such prepared miniature I airbrushed with two coats of Vallejo Polyurethane Matt Varnish and mounted on a base, following Tutorial: KoW Armada Water Bases


I hope you find this tutorial interesting. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you considered sharing this content with your friends, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional miniatures painting service be sure to contact me with this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.

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Review: Gamers Grass Flowers

Introduction:

Gamers Grass – is a Portuguese company producing a wide range of high quality basing accessories. For me Gamers Grass is a trustworthy, go to supplier of everything basing related. If you hadn’t had an opportunity to get to know their range, I recommend this article: Review: Gamers Grass Tufts. Now, all that introduction done, allow me to share my excitement over a new series of products: Flowers.


Quality:

Painting miniatures is my hobby, but is also my job. Good quality tools and products used for modeling can save a lot of time (and nerves). This is why I strive to use only the very best stuff. I’ve been working with Gamers Grass range for quite some time now and can honestly say they meet my high standards.

Flower beds are precisely shaped with base being thinner in a natural way. Not many stray stalks protrude out of the main body. These are all done very precisely. The bottom is covered with a strong adhesive, capable of sticking into a variety of surfaces. I have no negative feedback to give about these. Most importantly, due to a more natural shape and no powdering Gamers Grass flowers present themselves much better than competition. Just see below:


Visuals:

Visually Gamers Grass Flowers present themselves great. A palette of colors to choose from, some strong, some a bit pastele, makes the range fit into all variety of projects and styles. There’s also a variety of shapes which makes flowers look more natural. 


Functionality:

All flowers types are user friendly and there’s no quality difference between particular colors . There’s a clear separation between every piece on the sheet. Glue is strong and sticks to a range of different surfaces. There’s not many stray hair that require removal after application onto a base. Once used, flowers hold their shape nicely. Joy to work with. Additionally they come in two formats, one being four different colors packed into a single blister. This is a great way to get a lot of variety in a single cheap purchase, or a cool anniversary bouquet for your partner!


Exceptions:

I generally don’t expect modelling flowers to make a good impression. This is because usually they are messy and not very user friendly, dragging other beds out of the sheet alongside them, leaving powder everywhere etc. That being said, the Gamers Grass Flowers are awesome. Easy and Fun to use, clean, well shaped. Just awesome.


Price:

Time to take in the price factor. I’ve done quick research and here’s how it looks like against immediate competition:

  • AP 77/pack is 5,99€ translates into 7,78€/100 pieces
  • Paint Forge 50/pack is 3,56€ translates into 7,12€/100 pieces
  • GG 70/pack is 5,95€ translates into 8,5€/100pieces

It seems that Gamers Grass is the more expensive, even though not that much.


Summary:

To sum things up: I have tested about a dozen different suppliers in the past few years and Gamers Grass Flowers stand out both in quality and functionality on top of competition. Visuals are great, range is wide. Price might use a tweak, but in my opinion the product is totally worth the extra. Also due to reality we now live in, more suppliers will probably increase their pricing throughout the year.
On a scale where 10 is awesome, 8 is good, 6 is ok, 5 is mediocre, 3 is bad and I don’t want to even mention 1 – Gamers Grass Tufts get’s a 10/10. Call me a sucker and fanboy of the Gamers Grass range, but for me price is not a decisive factor when compared to such high quality! What’s your opinion? Does quality top price or vice versa? Let me know in the comments 😉

 

Where to buy:

You can order through Gamers Grass official store, or try out your luck in a local hobby store. To make things easier for you, Gamers Grass prepared this awesome Store Locator.

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