Friday, December 18, 2015

GAMING TUTORIAL: INFINITY TOURNAMENT PREPARATION

Being a Wargaming hobbyist is not always related to miniature painting. Some of us just like to collect miniatures, others enjoy competitive play. There are those who do not feel joy of having a brush in one hand and a miniature in the other all the time. That doesn't make them any less a 'hobbyist' than the actual painters. Needless to say that regardless of what makes us into true hobbyists we have one important thing in common: we love miniatures.


Having that in mind I've prepared something not exactly related to painting miniatures. It is a small Tutorial about Preparation before an 'Infinity the game' Tournament. A preparation that in my opinion is especially important from the 'beginners' point of view but will benefit all the players present at the evet, and here's why:

The game lives on as long as it sells and it sells as long as it's fun. 'Fun' is the principal of hobby, still a lot of players consider miniature wargaming tournaments of being 'all about competitive play'. The fact that both sides should have the same amount of fun is pushed to back burner as once the adrenaline kicks in, there's no thinking about 'what the oponent feels?' - only what he 'thinks' and only if related to the current game :) Sometimes that leads to stressful situations or even unpleasant behavior. On the other hand there are players more interrested in throwing some dice and moving miniatures enjoying scenario flavor and nice looking scenery pieces. These happen to misstriger some reactions, forget rules or equipment vital to play the game according to the rulebook. So in order to bring fun to the tournament and have some fun ourselves we shoud both prepare mentally and grab some gear for the upcomming event.


Mental Conditioning: First of all try to think about what the opponent feels? Off course it won't be fun to be massacred by some unpainted 'tournament ready in 15 minutes' miniatures of a guy who 'must win this one to get to top 3'. Stone face and lack of sense of humour is your's enemy as much as it is for your opponent, regardless of which kind of player you face. At the same time have in mind what's going on in your opponent's head while you shift back movements and can't make your mind for what seems to be an eternity. Or while you whine about your opponent's miniatures being unpainted and how 'devoid of climate' that is instead of facing this match like a man. 

- You play against 'non competitive flavor snail'? Even when you behave nice and point out some vital rules, that your opponent may to forget, try adding a joke or some short battlefield anegdote to smooth the atmosphere. It is possible to win literally obliterating oponents army and still to achieve fun for both sides. Try to keep your adrenaline glands dormant as once they flare up you only worsen the opponent's reaction time.

- You play against a 'rookie'? Keep the atmosphere calm and friendly having in mind your own first tournament experience. Try not to use tournament slang and abbreviations - your opponent nodding does not have to mean he understands what you said. Tutour your oponent (ok, do it after some actions have been taken so he learns on mistakes) to help him understand what did just happened but also to become a better opponent for the future matches. This way you also become a better player.

- You play against a 'tight ass pro'? Don't treat some rules as not obligatory, for example be thorough while moving your miniatures (don't steal some vital inches due to being lazy). Be calm and accurate but at the same time try to decide fast even if it costs you a loss of confidence on the table. Better to loose and learn from your opponent than to win and stagnate without evolving your skills. Remember that once you estabilish an accurate form of contact you will be able to ask some vital questions thus fastening the game and having less difficulties with making important decisions.

- You play against 'Luck'? Don't be angry at dice. This game is all about RNG, also luck is a bitch. You will take your time to position a sniper in full advantage just to be taken out by a stupid pistol's ARO while at the same time some Combi Rifle grunt will multikill on a spree! Infinity is just 'that kind of a game'. Deal with it or move on to ther systems;)


Some basic rules of having 'Fun':

- Clock is ticking! Keep track of time as you may be the one overthinking too much.
- Hands off! Under any circumstances do not touch opponent's miniatures unless he lets or asks you to.
- Obtain certainty! Ask your opponent for any ARO's or other actions available to him so that he won't misstriger. Have in mind that the harder it is to win the better player you'll become.
- Buckle up and disengage! When game ends just pack your stuff and report results to a judge. Then transfer your things to a neutral place (parapet, empy table...). Most people tend to leave their belongings scattered around the table and dissapear to be late for another round. In that case you being late and unprepared means that four players, yourself included, will be awaiting while you chaotically collect your stuff from around the table.
- Write down every major  choices so that there won't be any doubt about them. For example which Camouflage Marker reffer to which miniature etc.

Additional tip:

- Read the official Infinity Tournament System rules and Scenarios that will be played at the event. 


Gear Preparation: Gaming is so much easier when you don't have to borrow stuff from all the peeps at the tournament. Usually it's also much faster! Being professional does not mean that you go straight for Power Gaming, it means to play according to the rules thus reducing a number of conflicts to a minimum.

Pro: If you consider yourself a Pro then I don't need to tell you of how important some of this stuff actually is. You probably own your personal tournament set and know your own ways of waging war.

Rookie: One of the reasons why Infinity is such a great game is that you don't have to spend a lot of cash on a bunch of useless items (say 'hi' to Games Workshop from me) and can focus your finances on miniatures instead. Rulebook, Unit Profiles, Unit Silhouettes, Tokens and Markers are all printable. Just fallow to Download section at Infinitythegame.com. Even the Classyfied Objective Deck is not obligatory as rulebook includes a special table that you may use instead! That leaves you with some vital stuff like Tape Meausure, Dice, Templates and off course Miniatures to obtain. So regardless of what kind of Tournament Gear you have - it's time to pack it correctly.

- Pack your bag! Try to pack your bag/box to the optimum. An optimal packed bag will let you move swiftly on the tournament ground, embark your miniatures fast after the game (to let other use the same table) and unpack them rapidly when facing next opponent! Some vital stuff will be within reach all the time also!



- Print an Army Roster! That goes both for your's and 'Courtesy' one to show it to your opponent. A printed roster is easy to apprehend and will fasten the 'game preparation' process. Also you will be able to decide on strategy easier when facing plain enemy roster yourself. Did I mentioned that wothout it you won't be able to participate?
Use ARMY program to prepare your army list and don't forget to print 'Courtesy' roster for your opponent.


- Templates ('teardrops'), Blast Markers ('cookies'): Must have, just don't show without them!
- Precise Measures: Precise Measure is in my opinion the most important tool of precise gaming so I recommend you bring one. It comes in handy while moving miniatures and checking their Area of Control. It makes the game a lot more pleasant.


- Tokens: Wounds, Unconsious, Prone, Regular Orders, Impetous*, Irregular Orders*, Camo*, Command Tokens (*if your army uses these) are vital to the game performance. These are must have and if you lack some cash to purchase fine versions of these - you can always print and cut yourself.
- Objective Markers: Objective Markers are not obligatory but they come in pretty handy. All for the sake of keeping track of what's going on at the table.If you lack these yourself then probably your opponent will provide his own set, but what if he thought exactly the same?


- Silhouettes: Silhouettes* are a must have in N3 (*if your army uses these) and they tend to be used at some point in the game. They are being used if a certain Line of Fire situation is not clear. At first you will probably mean they are an inconvenience but after couple of tries you won't be able to play without them.
- Classified Deck: This item is just awesome. All the rolling involving a special table and then searching how does a certain secondary objective works is just frustrating. You can either buy one of these along with your friends or print a copy. Whatever you choose you won't regret!
- Laser Pointers: No more Line of Fire arguments, no more asking other players if a miniature sees another miniature, no more judge involvement needed. Fast and awesome method to check out LoF!

- Facing Markers: Facing Markers are a whim, as you can just mark facings on the miniature's base. Still I preffer these instead of destroying smooth, black surface of my miniatures' bases.
- Wound Rings: Wound Rings have one advantage over Wound Tokens - they fallow the miniature wherever it goes without you being involved.





- Tape Measure, Dice: These must be present. They all are vitat to the game and not taking one is like forgeting to put your pants on for the event. (Well if you actually happen to like going out without pants consider this actidentally putting them on instead!).
- Pen & Paper: Pen & Paper are important as you will be asked to write some vital information like which Camouflage Marker is related to a certain miniature etc.These ARE OBLIGATORY regardless if you consider yourself a Pro or a newbie.


- The Miniatures: Try to pack only the necessary ones and in a configuration that will be easy to access and won't require lots of time to be deployed/swiped back.



The Rules: No one demands that you take a paperback Rulebook with you, not to mention all the errata, Paradiso, FAQ, whatever. A mobile phone with basic Rulebook.pdf will usually do. Be advised tho, as leaving on a tournament without any means of consulting a Rulebook is a mistake. Syre you may be able to memorise all the rules but I doubt that and a Rulebook is much cheaper than amphetamine.
A mobile phone with internet access to check out Infinity Wiki is also a nice thing to have. 

So a lot of what must and musn't be done here :) Please remember that this is my own opinion based on personal experience acquired during over fifteen years of miniature wargaming including some world class tournaments. As for Infinity I'm still a noob so I will have to confront my ways with a bunch of tournaments but I'm sure that most of these will prove true. 

Infinty Tournament Checklist:

Must haves:
- Miniatures,
- Roster for you and the opponent,*(printable)
- Pen & Paper,
- Tape Measure,
- Dice set,
- Tokens, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Silhouettes, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Templates and Blast Marker, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Rules,** (printable)

Usables:
*- Printed Roster for you and the opponent,
(printable)
- Precise Measure, / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Objective Markers, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Classified Deck, (printable)
- Laser Pointer, / WHERE TO PURCHASE
**- Paperback Rulebook, (printable)

Convenience:
- Facing Markers, (may be painted) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Wound Rings, / WHERE TO PURCHASE
**- Printed Errata, FAQ,
**- Paperback/printed Paradiso etc,



Feel free to add some stuff in the comments - In the future I will gladly expand this article according to wise advice.

Steel for humans...
Silver for monsters...
Brush for miniatures...
...and Dice for gaming!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

CONTEST: CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY

Hey everyone - I'm proud to announce that Scar_hand Painting Blog is getting more and more attention with each passing day. Recently I've noticed some awesome records being achieved in the statistics, including more than 250 views in a single day and a total number of views closing to 8000! 
It is difficult for me to believe that I've started this blog just couple of months ago! 

So last week I've prepared something special for Christmas as a matter of both 'thank you for the support' and 'keep visiting my blog'.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hobbyists - here's the first GIVEAWAY contest! 


I do hope that you like this rare miniature as from now on it can be yours! The only thing to do is to get your Hobby desk/Workbench Cleaned up, take a nice picture of it and post it in the comments to THIS POST ON MY FACEBOOK WALL. So no need to 'like me on fb', 'share' nor 'tag me' (which by the way would be very nice and I'd aprieciate) - just post me a picture :) Once you're done - you get the chance to have this awesome miniature! I will randomly pick one person from those who post an eligible picture* before 1st of January 2016! 
*By eligible I mean a cleaned up Hobby desk or Workbench - like... for real - so no paints on mom's/wive's/own cosmetics desk this time :P

Once I'm done with my pick and contacted the winner for a delivery adress - I will post the winning picture and some awesome looking hobby desks/workbenches here on the blog!

And if that's not enough motivation to get to clean your desks - well I have this small TUTORIAL: 10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOBBY SPACE ORGANIZED that might prove helpful :)

Additionaly on this occasion I would like to wish all of you a lot of painting and gaming time during Christmas and a New Year full of hobby! Let this hobby Christmas crib reminds you of what is really important!


Regards/Uszanowanko!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TUTORIAL: INFINITY HACKING DEVICE HOLOPROJECTOR

Recently I've decided to take my previous Hacking Device Holoprojector concept to a higher level. The key point was to use the same base material: a Coca Cola bottle plastic, but instead of painting simbols and lines on it - make it look more like a complex holo projection with many 'windows' opened at once. A devious plan formed in my mind and here I am sharing it with all who are eager to read it!


You will need:
* Scissors,
* Twizzers,
* Super Glue,
* Coca Cola bottle XD
* Piece of plastic/brass mesh,





1) Using Scissors cut a small piece of Brass Mesh and a small piece of Coca Cola bottle. 


2) Still using Scissors cut a piece of Plastic into small rectangles. 


3) Use some oval shaped tool to softly bend both the Brass Mesh piece and Plastic rectangles. 


4) Using Super Glue, attach the Brass Mesh piece to a miniature. 


[WARNING] I recommend to paint the miniature along with Brass Mesh piece at this point. 

5) Using Tweezers and Super Glue attach Plastic rectangles to a painted Brass Mesh.


 6) It is done, but you can apply some Skull White onto the edges of Plastic rectangles to make them look more 3D.


And that's it :) Whole process takes up to 10 minutes so I decided to remove old Holoprojectors from my Nomadic Hackers and install brand new 'software'. Hope you give it a try ;)


Steel for humans...
Silver for monsters...
Brush for miniatures ;)

Monday, December 7, 2015

TUTORIAL: 10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOBBY SPACE ORGANIZED

The end times are upon us! Well maybe not upon 'us', still we will say 'good bye' to year 2015 pretty soon. I've figured that this will be the best time to start cleaning the Workbench. Usually I practice  small cleanups between commissions but it's good to do some grand cleaning once in a while. And when I say 'grand' I mean throwing everything to the floor, cleaning it and then puting it back to it's righteous place. All of that sounds like a real 'paint in the trass' but believe me - it is not that big of a deal. To help me out with organizing my working space thus speeding up the process of cleaning I try to go by these ten practical rules:

1) 'Keep your tools in one place'
I try to keep all of my none-brush tools in one place. A single HobbyZone Modular Brush &Tool Organizer is a wonderful gadget to keep the tools in but before I got one I just used a metal can. I also preffer not to keep the tolls locked in a drawer. It is easier to see the tools all the time and just pick the right one instead of romp in a drawer.


2) 'Keep the water sheltered'
I used to keep water in two Games Workshop's water pots but after I spilled it all over the workbench for a thousandth time I went to a local supermarket and spent that 2€ on a bowl with solid cover. It keeps the water clean without the need to change it every couple of hours, stops evaporation and most of all it prevents me of spilling water during cleanups.
I still use GW's water pots but not within the bounds of their designation.


3) 'Prioritize your brushes'
Once a hobbyist is strongly into painting the brushes collection expands to an enormous size. The reasons are many. Brushes tend to get damaged, get old and shaggy and some are being repurposed after a period of time. It is good to keep the 'priority' brush set as a whole and apart from the rest. For example in a special organizer or a can so that it can be moved to other places without the need to split it. Once a priority set is estabilished you will be able to draw a brush from it without considering if it's of good condition. (That is if You are keeping the priority brush set updated).


4) 'Segregate your projects...'
I know the looks of a stockpile of miniatures at different stages of paintjob being thrown all over my desk. Utter chaos and lack of organization resulted in some projects being pushed 'for another time'. Sometimes it took years to finally get to work on a particular project. Nowadays I tend to keep all of my future projects (both commissions and my private collection stuff)  ordered and organized in separate boxes. I keep all of them at sight as it lets me plan a probable execution queue and keeps me motivated :) I recommend to purchase some cheap, clear, plastic kitchen containers. Once again a local supermarket is a good place to look for these. The ones in the picture costed me less than 8€ for a complete set of 25.


5) '...also segregate your hobby materials'
Kitchen paper, plasticard, small rocks, pieces of cloth, modelling sand, pieces of cork, airbrush cleaners, toothpicks, sealing tape, cardboard, plastic sprues, static grass, etc... all the imaginable sizes and purposes of stuff! All of it should be kept in a rather orderly manner. I recommend some clear containers once more, much bigger this time tho :) Some similar sized boxes are a good idea too, especially if you have a locker to keep them in.


6) 'Set a MUST STAY CLEAR zone'
This should be a priority. In my case a 'must stay clear' zone is an exact space where I work. That doesn't mean I keep the spot clear all the time, just clear it up each time I finish working. I use a PlayMat to mark the space and to ease the cleaning process. (All the shavings, little trash, dust, sand grains etc. may be cleared out with a single swipe to a trash can.)


7) 'Zip your bitz'
If I'd only done this when I used to play Lego blocks. Bitz and miniature parts are not so much different than Lego. They too have a variety of shapes, value, purposes, rarity and belong to certain sets and themes. The best way to keep your bitz in order is to segregate and keep them zipped in clear bags. It also speeds up the process of finding particular pieces on demand. I know - it sounds rather discouraging but once it is properly done it will stay that way for years to come.


8) 'Keep the stock low'
Probably the grievest hobby mistake I ever made was to accumulate an enormous stock of reserve paints. Many times I bought out a bunch of paints to be certain I will have a decade's stock of it. For example when Games Workshop announced a new colour palette and after that when some of the new colours happened to be useful. Allright - when a paint you tend to use on your huge army runs out of production it is a mighty blow to the guts, still there's plenty of paint producers in the market. Almost every paint has it's counterpart from a different producer. Keeping stocks low is worth the risk as once you decide to change your techniques or switch to other paints hugo reserve stock will laught in your face. I know what I'm saying ;)


9) 'Do not afraid to say goodbye'
When you tend to not use a particular thing for a really long time - it probably means that you will do much better without it. Escpecially when it comes to particular paint colours or used up brushes. Think of them as thing that take up space and disorganize your working place.
[WARNING] Do not trash these things tho! There's probably a nice local hobby store where kids learn of how to paint - your shaggy brush is theirs 'dream come true undercoater'!


10) 'Keep it regular'
Cleaning should be a natural habit. Cleanups are best performed regularly as otherwise you risk growing lazy and overcomed with mess. The more often you do them the less time consuming it will be.



So now go and clean up your workbench! Take a picture of it after you're done cause next week it might prove helpful - a christmas giveaway in form of a nice and rare miniature will go to one of the hobbyists who'll happen to shows me their clean and organized hobby workbenches.


Steel for humans...
Silver for monsters...
Brush for miniatures ;)