Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Agents Unbound

"At midnight, all the agents and superhuman crew go out and round up everyone who knows more than they do."

With apologies to Bob Dylan for appropriating the above quote, I am glad Agents have been getting some attention with the recent rules revisions being previewed, especially since painting my first Church Agent, I now have finished an Agent for all of the current Organizations that have them.

I fully expect all Organization Agents, as well as Shinobi, to get eventually reworked profile options, and I do think the new approach has made Agents a far more viable and useful unit option. While some may think t'their' beloved build has lost out somehow, on balance I do think it makes sense to revise how Agents work in the game, and their revisions seem to lean towards viable support-type units, which seems fitting since they are the foot-soldiers of the various Organizations in Anima Tactics.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Next 10 (7)

It has taken me around three and half months, but after finishing my first Church Agent here is the seventh instalment of the 'Next 10'.

In the time since the last batch of 10 units, there have been no new releases for the game, so I am staying ahead of that, although I do wish the delayed releases would become available soon - 'new stuff' helps motivate me to paint 'old stuff' sometimes.

With 4 units finished recently, Azur is most represented in this batch. I was glad to get 3 more Agents done, but most of all I was very happy to get Arias Vayu painted as it added another much-needed Light Summon, and was a unit I was putting off tackling.

Unfortunately no larger models were completed in this batch, which is something I think I need to make a concerted effort with in the near future, maybe with a couple of Gears. I still need more Samael and Empire units too.

Looking forward, I think a realistic target for 2015 is probably 30 Anima Tactics units, meaning 2-3 per month. If I can have the next Next 10 done before the end of March, then that would put me ahead, so we shall see where I actually end up.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Church Agent (male)

Unit number 70 - done!

These Agents are the special forces available to the Church's highest circles of power. Many are trained from childhood to hunt down and destroy supernatural threats to humanity, while others use their divine gifts to further the work of the Church.

I started this mini along with another Church Agent and a couple of non-Anima Tactics minis at the same time, to take advantage of the fact that all were using red as a predominant colour. What that meant was that in a few days I managed to paint 3 minis, and so I have inched further forward with my Anima Tactics painting total. This mini was started once previously, and stripped of paint when I was unhappy with my progress. There is some pitting at the back of the mini I am unhappy with, but that will stay as it is, as I just do not want to strip and repaint it again. More importantly, it is my first Church unit completed (since Alis Testarossa) in almost 6 months!

As mentioned in a recent post (click for link), it looks like Agents may get a change to their rules, so I am very interested to see what will happen with Church Agents. once all the Agents cards have been revealed, I will probably get a set printed via Artscow until such time official cards are printed.

As the year draws to a close, I don't think there is any hope of achieving my target of 36 Anima Tactics units this year. However, I may get a couple more painted possibly, and if I can match the same total next year and the year after, the project will remain steadily on course. That may need me to paint 'smarter', doing what I have done with Deimon and Luther Delacroix and painting a couple of units in tandem for speed,

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 164 (added: nothing and still no sign of that pre-order from months ago...)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 70 (66 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 42.7% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 discrete units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he *still* is due for presumed release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 43.4%
Year to Date Target: 29 of 36 units (3 per month target; 81%)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Agent Rules Redux

A few days after posting my painted Azur Agent and commenting about the unit's rules, there has been a preview of a new approach to Agents. Ruitori revealed the first example cards, with the first revealed update is the Azur Agent, now followed by the Empire Agent.

I like and prefer the new simpler approach as it is more pick up and play friendly, while hopefully offering a decent set of rules for each incarnation of Agent. My feeling was that to mitigate the risks of min-maxing from a wide array of choices of the old style, the Agents probably ended up being not up to par for their Levels. While the old style offered a wide menu of choice, ultimately it stifled the likelihood of fielding an Agent as there were always better options at the same cost in existing named units.

What this means is that stuff like Ash Slaves (an Al-Djinn Action) remains to be seen how it will be affected, but I do hope this cleaner more defined approach is adopted for the Agents.





Saturday, 29 November 2014

Luther Delacroix

Scion of the Delacroix family and now its head, Luther is also the vice-president of Black Sun.
  I prepped Luther Delacroix a while back, and only started painting him a few days ago when I realised I could save time working on him simultaneously with Deimon. Doing so helped me sustain some recent painting momentum I have had, which was great from a personal perspective. Like the Azur Agent I painted last week, Luther Delacroix took around a week to complete from base colours to finishing, side-stepping the copious time many of my minis spend in the dread 'painting queue'!
  Finishing Luther also takes me so much closer to Anima Tactics unit number 70, which I feel is pretty good going for two years worth of painting. I still think I am looking at around three years to paint all the Anima Tactics minis I have remaining, and that objective remains intact.
  On the mini itself - while I really like the overall look, and especially the pose and concept, I really think the clothing folds are over-done and over-emphasized. A small quibble, and something that could have made a very good model great IMHO. Despite that, overall I do like the mini a lot.
 Luther will be much more about managing Undead units in his Party than Clover, so offers a different type of Leader. In turn, I can imagine each of these Leaders may favour a different kind of Party selection. Luther especially may benefit from a plethora of Type-005's.
  In terms of Advantage Cards I think Orb of Power would make sense since it give Luther a free Power point immediately in the game, which he can then add to by using his Magic Skills. Alternatively maybe something like Protective Shield which allows free Dodges and therefore would allow Luther to reserve precious AP. I would like to get some Anima Tactics games in soon to try out the burgeoning Black Sun line up that I have.
  With Luther and Deimon now done,  I think it really is time for me to try and fill out the ranks of other Organizations, especially Empire and Church to give me more options for both. But then again, whatever I plan, I seem to do something else! Nonetheless, I would love to get a least a couple more Anima Tactics minis finished before the end of the year since I have fallen quite far short of the goal I set for the range.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 164 (added: nothing and still no sign of that pre-order from months ago...)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 69 (65 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 42.1% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 discrete units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably 'imminent' release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 42.8%
Year to Date Target: 28 of 33 units (3 per month target; 85%)

Deimon

Deimon is described as the head butler and guardian of the Steiner family, a man of inflexible will and indomitable skill.
  I started this mini ages ago, long before really getting stuck into it properly in the past few days. After a productive first few weeks in November, I was determined to see if I could finish another couple of models, so I decided to crack on with Deimon and Luther Delacroix since they would use a lot of the same colours. I really wanted to try and get 4 Anima Tactics units finished for the month since I have dropped quiet a way behind my target of 3 per month. While I have had some motivation going on, it has been really nice to 'get stuff done', especially that I have painted 14 minis across a number of games and ranges in the past two months.
  Deimon has some interesting special rules, and they epitomise the synergies that Black Sun seems to have between the various unique units. In game terms, he has an interesting risk-reward trade-off that allows him to be accurate and hard hitting. The downside is that maximising that opportunity is not without risk (in his case acquiring Negative States), which for me makes for a very interesting game management mechanic.
  In terms of Advantage Cards, Fate Clock offers great synergies with his Negative State-enhanced Fate Clock runs the risk of inducing Doom on its user, and Deimon is just the unit to do that with since he can potentially transfer all Negative States to his target. I love his rules, and while I don't think he will be 'easy' to use in-game, I think he will definitely be a lot of fun!
Attacks and his need for AP.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 164 (added: nothing and still no sign of that pre-order from months ago...)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 68 (64 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 41.4% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 discrete units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably 'imminent' release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 42.1%
Year to Date Target: 27 of 33 units (3 per month target; 82%)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Azur Agent (male)

After turning around Akio Kageshima within a week, this mini has been finished in a slightly quicker period of time. I was painting something for a different game when it occurred to me that the other model had a very similar colour palette to what I would use for an Azur Agent, so while waiting for parts of that much bigger mini to dry, I started in on this. The Azur Agent was under-coated black, which means it has been waiting painting for quite some time, and of course I decided to use my regular Azur colour scheme, with the added accents of the white cuffs. It has surprised me just how many Azur units I have painted this year, especially as I have not finished at least one I thought would be done by now!

In the game background, the Azur Alliance is a rival power to the Empire of Abel, and the Azur Agents are the private army of the Supreme Archon.

In game terms an Azur Agent can be fielded multiple times depending on game size, and are customisable. Agents cannot really be min-maxed to match equivalent named units, but they can have a role in a Party. Of course they can simply be used as Al-Djinn Ash Slaves, but used in an Azur force something to consider is fielding them in the same Party as Kerberos who gives them a bonus to their Attack value. Even then though, there are simply more efficient options available since most Azur Prowlers are in the 35-45 Levels range, and the Azur Agents simply cannot match their capabilities, so I am not too sure I really see the game 'value' in them right now. Even worse, they kind of compete against Shinobi in terms of how they can be built, and comparing typical builds for both working off Stealth-based Attacks, the Shinobi will have a cheaper AP Action and be harder hitting, but the Azur would probably be built to be faster. So right now in the game it is hard to see that they can be used to their fullest potential. Hopefully that may change in the future.

On the Anima Tactics painting project front, I have several minis that could be finished quite quickly If I can muster the focus, so hopefully the last few weeks of this year will prove fruitful.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 164 (added: another Grimorium; still no sign of that pre-order from months ago...)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 67 (63 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 40.9% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 discrete units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably 'imminent' release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 41.4%
Year to Date Target: 26 of 33 units (3 per month target; 79%)

Friday, 7 November 2014

Akio Kageshima

Akio Kageshima is described as a powerful wizard from Lannet, who is seeking to expand his mystical skill.

He is also one of the older models in the range as far as I can tell, and so is one of the few not sculpted by Juan Navarro Perez. It is also a mini that I have been putting off painting for quite some time until biting the bullet while still gripped by recent painting momentum. In the end the colour scheme is one I am happy with and something I hope that contrasts nicely with my Organization colour combos. I am also hoping this is the start of a small surge in AT painting for me until the end of the year. I am way behind where I wanted to be, but getting more done each week, even if there are not necessarily the finished models to show for it yet.

Akio is a Wanderer, and a pretty inexpensive one at that at 35 Levels. He offers a couple of Ranged Attack options, as well as a Special Dodge. It is one of his Attack options that really interests me most. Soul Storm has Range 16 inches, and is  6 Attack, 10 Damage. It uses all of Akio's AP to unleash the Attack, meaning that you need to position him in advance. It is a big threat and Akio is pretty weak otherwise with 8 Defense and 10 LP with low 2 AP recovery; so getting the best out of the shot is key. Now, I wouldn't build a list around such a fragile although potentially hard-hitting character, but there are some options that come to mind to help get the best out of him.

Nullum Lusec is a useful Advantage Card option. At 35 Levels Akio could be targeted against a higher cost character quite freely; Nullum Lusec is a one-shot +2 Attack boost, so improves likelihood of success and fits the idea of using him in a 'cheap sniper' capacity. Characters that also offer Attack buffs include: Juliette Kaim, Sophia Ilmore and Saint Evangeline are all useful options. Finally, a unit such as Luzbell can be used to transport Akio to the perfect vantage point to make his Soul Storm Attack.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing, but I *still* have two minis on pre-order <sigh>)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 66 (62 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 40.5% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 40.8%
Year to Date Target: 25 of 33 units (3 per month target; 76%)

Friday, 31 October 2014

Units In The Concept Queue?

This is definitely something to categorize under 'Upcoming'; it seems there are a number of units not yet revealed as models but which have had rules written.

From a design aspect, getting a sculpt completed is often quicker than designing a new unit for a game, something I can vouch for, trust me.

That is not to overlook the importance of sculpting, far from it - arguably sculpting is what ultimately sells the whole package (design/concept, rules, sculpt, studio paint-work) of a skirmish minis game model really. But the rules-design phase is especially and unpredictably time-consuming, so it is no surprise that Anima Tactics has a number of units that have been outlined in terms of rules for quite some time, although these do go back some distance in some instances. - as far as 2011!

Of these units that have yet to appear, a number have been discussed on the Cipher Studios Anima Tactics Forum.

Units that have been outlined but are unreleased:
  • Fate (2011): German card; Light, Mystic, Level 40, Wissenschaft
  • Crimson Death (2013): English card; Dark, Warrior, Level 50, Samael
  • Alma (2014): English card; Neutral, Warrior, Mystic, Gear, Wissenschaft
  • Zenobius (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Prowler, Mystic, Azur Alliance
  • Alexias (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Prowler, Warrior, Level 60, Church
  • May (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Prowler, Warrior, Level 40, Empire - forms a Team with October and September (no, I don't understand the choice of months either....)
  • Sharsha 'Friedgunde' (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Warrior, Level 50, Wanderer who may not be used in a Black Sun Party - her art has a sort of female Frankenstein vibe.
  • Kaori (2014): Spanish card; Dark, Mystic, Level 35, Samael, sort of Anima Tactics witch on broomstick!
Add in that September has not yet been given a release date, and the possible alternative Celia (shown in this post), then it is almost like a small stockpile of concepts is building up - 8 by my count that are 'known'. It is easy to speculate on the reasons for that, but if an Anima Tactics Kickstarter were a possibility, I for one would be backing it in a heartbeat. Now that is pure speculation, but I can only hope the game gets some renewed momentum. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Samael Agent (male)

Forming a shadowy network of operatives, Samael Agents are tasked to unleash chaos and confusion across all of Gaia in the name of the Fallen Angels of Samael.

With this mini, I have been painting it bit by bit through the week, desperately clinging on to my often fleeting motivation! I wanted a quite muted palette, to create a sort of 'fantasy ranger' look to him; green, grey and brown as the main colour blocks all fit that kind of vision I think, with some contrasting brightness from the stave and magical effect. When I finished Dagger, this Samael Agent was only under-coated, so it has quickly leap frogged a number of part-done minis, which is okay - at least something has been finished! It may be a bit rough in places, but I can live with it. The most important thing for me is getting another mini done, and it has also been a useful exercise in  working with the green colour I used here and which I am using for another non-Anima Tactics project.

Until I get a more substantial Samael force together, I think this Agent is most likely to  be used in games as created by an Al-Djinn as an Ash Slave. Samael Agents belong to either Light, Dark or Neutral Faction depending on the abilities. This can have slight impact of things like choosing Advantage cards, as well as how a few units do or do not get bonuses against specific Factions.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing, but I *still* have two minis on pre-order <sigh>)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 65 (61 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 39.9% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 40.1%
Year to Date Target: 24 of 30 units (3 per month target; 80%)

Friday, 24 October 2014

Unit Types

For interested readers who are not too familiar with the Anima Tactics game but would like to learn a little more, I have written a series of posts under the tag 'Abilities & Rules'. This is another in that series, this time looking at categories and other labels that are applied to units and discussing and describing them a little.

Categories
Many categories do not have a specific rule associated with them (although some like AgentSummoner, Summon, and Undead do), but they do indicate the type of unit that a model is.
  • Mystic: The Magic users; they don't have the durability of Warriors, but many offer Ranged Attacks and/or buffs or debuffs.
  • Prowler: The sneaky guys; often fairly low level cost, and many have the Stealth ability. Many use Subterfuge as the basis for their Actions, which means that unless they are equal or higher level they cannot affect Intangible targets.
  • Warrior: The Party's fighters, either at range or close up.Some of them are the 'tanks' of the force, able to soak up Attacks. Their Actions are often Ki based, which has an effect when it comes to targeting Intangible Units.
  • Leader: Usually combined with other categories; Parties are limited to 1 Leader per 250 Levels. Leaders are typically powerful units, often with Party-buffs or other unique abilities beyond the scope of most other Units. Some Leaders are Optional Leaders, who have the choice of being fielded as a Leader or non-Leader Unit (costing more and with better abilities as a Leader).

Other Categories
These are categories of classifiers/descriptors that are in addition to the main categories above.
  • Agent: The foot soldiers of the various Organizations, Agents can usually only be fielded in Organization Parties, and not Faction Parties (Light or Dark), except for Shinobi which can be used in either. Agents have customisable ability options and each Agent can be taken more than once per Party depending on game size.
  • Arbiter: Characters able to influence their subordinates more than most Leaders. They have free extra Actions for their Party to benefit from.
  • Controller: Characters able to guide and enhance Undead and stop them going out of control.
  • Summoner: Mystics able to Summon otherworldly beings to the mortal world.
  • Gear: Gears are either Technomagical Powered Armour or Technomagical Golems primarily used by Wissenschaft. They offer decent Armor and Life Points, but offset durability by being fairly easy to hit, and they usually cannot have Advantage Cards.
  • Summon: Supernatural creatures only able to manifest in the physical world when invoked by a Summoner. They can be powerful and offer unusual abilities, but their tether to the material world is limited.
  • Undead: Necrotechnological constructs; Undead are not able to have Advantage Cards and are subject to certain special rules. Undead units are a mix of cheap troops and more expensive specialists. Non-unique Undead may be taken multiple times relative to game size, but unlike Agents are not limited to Organization (usually Black Sun) Parties.

In the picture:




Sunday, 19 October 2014

Dagger

Dagger was started at roughly the same time as Claude Valmore, but I have been busy completing a final assignment for a course, which has drastically impacted my painting, and meant a delay in painting Dagger. Some sudden painting momentum from Zomtober on one of my other blogs has helped me get Dagger done, so that was very pleasing, especially as it has been a month since my last Anima Tactics unit was finished.

It is funny that in the last couple of months or so I have managed to add 3 more units to my Azur forces. That certainly wasn't planned, but then there really is not too much planning to what minis I paint and in what order I paint them!

Dagger looks to me like a more selectable proposition than Claude Valmore; they have some similarities in their durability (Defense, Armor and LP), yet Dagger can be used more offensively than Claude, and is much less dependent on enemy Actions.

Given that all of Dagger's Actions use 3-4 Actions, then with his 3 AP recovery I think he really needs Advantage Cards that help AP recovery, which for me means his best options are Clock of Cronos or Fate Clock. I think it will be tricky to use him, as his Actions work best when used at full AP (4), which means that getting him into the right position is vital. I hope that before too long I can get around to putting an Azur Party in battle so that Dagger gets some game time as I love the model and find his Actions very interesting, even if it may take a while learn to to get the best out of him.

For the year I am way behind my target for Anima Tactics, and I hope that in the next couple of months I start to recover some of that. I currently have less than 100 units to paint - at my current rate I am still looking at just under 3 years from now to get that done. I feel that I also need to add more Samael and Summoners; Samael especially is the only Organization that I cannot really get a decent Party on the table for at present, and something I feel I really want to rectify.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing, but I still have two minis on pre-order)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 64 (60 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 39.3% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release, and has been for a long time)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 39.5%
Year to Date Target: 23 of 30 units (3 per month target; 77%)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Additional Organization Advantages

The core Anima Tactics rulebook lists 3 Organizational Advantages per Organization. Interestingly, the Spanish and English versions of the books have a different listing for Wissenschaft. Black Sun were covered in their own mini booklet with 2 Organizational Advantages.

From the Spanish 'HELS' tournaments, there appears official corroboration of additional Organizational Advantages. These have not yet been placed in an officially endorsed or presented publication, but they do nonetheless appear official (this link is through to a source of the English language translation).

The additional Organizational Advantages are:
  • Black Sun: Corporate Espionage
  • Wissenschaft: Manipulation for English rules/Project Gear for Spanish rules
  • Empire: Empire Tactica
  • Azur Alliance: Death Squad 
  • Church: Miracles
  • Samael: Forbidden Lore

Given that there is no news about any imminent expansion book, and that Anima Tactics has not had the same attention as its stable-mate Helldorado, I hope that when the Addendum that was mentioned as forthcoming addresses these additional Organization Advantages in a more 'official' format.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Arbiters

Figure 1
Arbiters are an unusual class of units. Initially limited to Azur, since last year other Organization Parties have access to Arbiter benefits through Mijhail Mashen'ka.

Arbiters offer a small extra resource to their Parties. Each Turn they receive 3 Order Points, and each Arbiter has 3 or 4 Orders to choose from. Each Order uses between 1 and 3 Order Points, and each Arbiter has a different suite of orders they can use, although some Orders are common to two or more of them.

Orders may be a small extra 2 inch move (Motum), or a free hand to hand Attack (Opugnis; very useful for units with hard-hitting Basic Attacks). All Arbiters so far have one or both of these Orders available to them.

Figure 1: In a Party including Team Les Jaeger, The Colonel becomes an Arbiter. The Colonel uses Opugnis on Maximo Ligori who has already Activated earlier in this Turn; Maximo Ligori can now make a free Attack on Sho

Orders are used when the Arbiter Activates, so it is important think ahead to get the best out of them; in the example above it would be more helpful if The Colonel was better positioned to Attack or Charge Sho or Janus Faith; but then again, that kind of planning ahead is true of any good strategy game isn't it?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Initiative

Figure 1: The Colonel adds to the Party's Initiative roll
A simple ability, Initiative adds to the die roll for Deployment, and then in each Turn to the Initiative roll (goes without saying, but I said it anyway!).

Multiple instances of Initiative stack, so it is an ability which can weigh the odds of winning the Initiative roll in a player's favour. While I don't suggest picking a Party to win just one roll each Turn, when faced with some choices of unit, it may be a factor to weigh up.

Figure 1: For example, The Colonel has Initiative. If playing him, then the Tactical Advantage Plot Advantage Card is worth consideration as it also adds +1 to your Initiative roll. Doubling up the bonus means that the odds significantly shift in your favour (around 64% of winning/74% chance of not losing - assuming no extra dice etc. - if my maths serves me well), which can be useful tactically and psychologically (will your opponent burn a Gnosis point for the increased chance to win the roll?). Again, it is not the be all end all strategy, but something to think about.

Azur have the most easily-combined options for Initiative, followed by Church, Empire and Wissenschaft; In terms of synergies for Party-building, I would suggest that Azur have the better options, which helps compensate their relative fragility.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Claude Valmore

Claude Valmore is a former member of the Cerberus Division, thought dead when they disbanded. A devout follower of the Arbiter Arkeid, and now serves the Azur Alliance when once he was a soldier of the Empire.

Finishing this model this week this surprised me. I started him as an afterthought when painting Dagger, since I decided they would share some colour scheme similarities. Once I got under-way I found I had done more and more, and it was useful to resolve a couple of colour problems on them both. Claude had been assembled for some time I know, because he was under-coated in black which I haven't done for quite a while. So a long wait after assembly, but a fairly quick turnaround (in my terms!) once painting was commenced.

I cannot see Claude getting much game time, unless his rules get fixed at some point. He has a reasonable trait line for his costs and looks quite tough, however even as a 'tank' type the problem for me is his Actions; they are all dependent on your opponent's Attacks, which means that Claude can be largely ignored in a straight fight. Unlike similar units, he does not have a Special Attack or Charge. Since basic Attacks can be  used by everyone, there is nothing really advantageous for him or a compelling reason to choose him over other units at the same cost. Individually his Actions are not terrible, it is just that they are all reactive and enemy-dependent which is a big flaw in my opinion; if he had his own Special Attack or Charge he could be an excellent choice.

Maybe he will get trotted out in a themed Azur-'Armor force', but even that seems unlikely. It could be that I am missing or overlooking something very significant about him, but I don't think so.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing new but I still have two minis on pre-order)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 63 (59 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 38.7% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 38.8%
Year to Date Target: 22 of 27 units (3 per month target; 81%)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Arias Vayu

Another Summon, I wanted to finish this as a counterpoint to painting my first Al-Djinn and the second. I had actually started Arias Vayu before both the Al-Djinns, completing the Elemental Crystals first, then started tackling the bulk painting on the main mini at a later date. Of course things didn't work out as planned, and the Al-Djinn's have been finished for a while. Suffice to say, I found parts of this unit very tricky, fiddly and frustrating to paint, and I also struggled the skin, which I tried to do with a different colour to my usual choice to create a sense of difference. All of which means that while I may double up on many or most Summons, I have absolutely no plans to paint another Arias Vayu. Ever. And yes, that is despite the fact that I do think it is a lovely model!

The five minis (Arias Vayu and the Elemental Crystals) are treated as a single unit for rules, although the Elemental Crystals are treated as distinct and separate models. Obviously I have not yet tried out Arias Vayu, but I suspect there will be a little bit of understanding required of best strategy needed to get the most out of this particular unit. At 55 Levels, the indication is that Arias Vayu is one of the more potent Summons, yet there is an inherent unpredictability at the same time.

Arias Vayu is able to (randomly) call upon one of five abilities of the Elemental Crystals each Turn, so positioning is key to minimize the impact of pure luck; Gnosis is pretty much a must-use with Arias Vayu, I think, to help try and achieve favourable results, and a unit like High Saint Eleinai (Church Leader) can really help here with her ability to use Gnosis after a die roll is made.

I need to get more Summoners painted up to make the most of the growing array of Summons I am painting, but i have been saying that for several months now. Covel and Belith seem increasingly much-needed! Embarrassingly, both have been part done for months.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing new but I have two minis on pre-order)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 62 (58 different units)
Painted Units Percentage: 38.0% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis; including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 38.2%
Year to Date Target: 21 of 27 units (3 per month target; 75%)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Colonel

The Colonel is the head of Les Jaeger, and a man whose power and influence extends across the entire world.

The Colonel is the third member of Team Les Jaeger that I have painted, and leaves just one more mini (Kirsten) to finish the whole Team; Team Les Jaeger is currently the only Team comprising 4 units.

In game terms, The Colonel is formidable prospect, with hand to hand and ranged Attacks, as well as the option to steal Life Points from allies and a defensive Action, meaning he is potentially quite durable. However as a member of Team Les Jaeger he gains Arbiter status, adding bonus Actions to his Team. Looking at the Team, I really cannot see a good reason to not invest the 5 Levels Advantage Card cost to get the benefits. He also has the Initiative ability which helps with the Initiative Roll each Turn.

This mini has been assembled for several months, and I think it would have remained unpainted had I not finished painting Reindhold so close to having some time off work. I had some motivation and was able to get him finished over three to four sessions. I may go and do a little more tot he flame to create greater hot to less hot contrast. Please forgive the ropey photography.

This takes me to four Anima Tactics units for the month, and with a few days left I hope that I can get at least one more done before the end of August. It will help me recover some of the deficit that has built up!

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing new since the last unit, but I am hoping for another couple of releases soon...)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 61 (57 different models)
Painted Units Percentage: 37.4% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis;including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 37.5%
Year to Date Target: 20 of 24 units (3 per month target; 83%)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Stealth

Figure 1
Stealth is an Action common to many Prowlers in Anima Tactics, and allows them to become Hidden, therefore staying out of danger until they are hopefully ready to attack. Basically it is hard to attack Hidden units until they reveal themselves.

A lot of models with Stealth, particularly among Azur Prowlers, also have powerful Actions contingent on them being Hidden.

However, this is where things become tricky for the player managing units with Stealth. For a start, Stealth requires Upkeep, meaning that assuming a move plus Hidden-based Attack plus Upkeep, will mean that the Prowler probably has no AP left for Dodges etc. after they have Attacked. There are exceptions like Kagemaru whose AP limit is 5 and who can maintain Hidden if using basic Attack or Charge.

In addition, these units are usually quite fragile with low to middling Life Points and usually no Armor. Therefore, when they Attack from Hidden, they need to time it right  to minimize risk afterwards. This is compounded by the fact that when a model Attacks from Hidden, the Hidden status is usually lost; therefore resuming Hidden through Stealth means paying the full AP costs, and requires the unit to be outside enemy Control Zones.

Figure 1: If The Type-004: Hellhound wants to Seek (try and find Hidden models in its Control Zone), it would only be able to find Kyler since Juliette Kaim is out of LOS. The Hellhound is a better choice than Arkham to Seek as it gets a bonus for being a Prowler.


If both Kyler and Juliette Kaim wanted to use Stealth, only Juliette could so because she is out of LOS.

The game management around Stealth is one of the things that I like about Anima Tactics; each Organization favours certain troop types, which in turn creates certain play-styles. Azur certainly has a dominant Stealth-based play style among its earlier models, although as their line-up has been expanded that has changed.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Next 10 (6)

It has taken approximately four months to finish the latest ‘Next 10’. It isn't for want of motivation, but purely other commitments that have impacted on my painting time. However, with Reindhold done, that gets me to the magic 60 units painted.

Thankfully the rate of releases is so slow for Anima Tactics, that I don’t envisage getting too far behind any time soon! That said, I would sooner I was painting around three or so units per month. I hope to get one or two done next week, and there are a few that are not far from completion so that should be a realistic proposition.

My painting across all the ranges I like has dwindled this year. So far I have managed only 25 minis across all ranges (well slightly more than that, because I have painted 4 out of 5 models that comprise a single Anima Tactics unit, but until I finish the remaining model, I won’t show them off – I count all 5 pieces as a single mini for my totals). I am promising myself a strong finish to the year in the last two months.

I am pleased with the mix of this batch; 5 Organizations represented, as well as my first Gear (Gear Mk. Trithemius) and 3 Dark Summons. As for what is next? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Reindhold

Fast on the heels of the Gear Mk. Trithemius comes Reindhold, my 60th Anima Tactics unit! Alfred Reinhold Webber is a descendant of one of the oldest and most influential noble houses of Togarini (a land of Gaia), and a captain of Les Jaeger. Reinhold wields powerful psychic powers, and is able to move mountains with the power of his mind.

In game terms, Reindhold is a little unusual. Most of his Actions are Effect based, meaning they cannot be Dodged, although Resistance applies. That said, his Damaging Effect is restricted to 6 Life Points Damage, so he has his limits. He also has a Paralysis causing Action, as well as another that can move enemy models, useful with models who have yet to Activate or are in tricky positions to reach. He can also move scenery, but I never like those kinds of Actions in games, since scenery sizes vary so much by gamer’s collections, and also because a beautifully crafted board with fixed scenery renders the Action useless. A minor criticism though.

Reindhold is a member of Team Les Jaeger, and the second member of the Team I have painted after Kyler; I still have to complete Kirsten (part-painted) and The Colonel to finish the group. Azur will take a bit of working out in terms of effective game-play I think, so I may hold off playing them until I have Team Les Jaeger and an Arbiter at the very least. So quite a way off then! When I do finally get around to using Reindhold, Advantage Cards that make sense are Clock of Cronos or Fate Clock for the extra AP; Control Bound to boost the Reindhold’s Effect values (making Resistance rolls harder against his Actions); or maybe Presence (extending Reindhold’s Control Zone, therefore his range with abilities). He is also one of the units that benefited from a cost reduction with the 2013 Update.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: nothing new....yet!)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 60 (56 different models)
Painted Units Percentage: 36.8% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis;including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 36.8%
Year to Date Target: 19 of 24 units (3 per month target; 79%)


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Gear Mk. Trithemius

This is my first Gear, and a tester of sorts. I have a couple of these now and will use them to work out my painting approach to the bigger Gears like Goethia, Theurgia and Grimorium. Legacy of Solomon may be different but I am not sure yet, and the Golem Gears such as Hecatondies Sigma Zero will be certainly be approached differently.

Gears come in two flavours so far, and the more common type is considered Technomagical Powered Armour, and that is the class that the Trithemius seems to fall into. Gears are mostly developed from examples of rediscovered technology known as Lost Loggia in the Anima Tactics background. Most of them have Damage Resistance, cannot take Advantage Cards, and many are Immune to Poison.

The Gear Mk. Trithemius is a sort-of Agent type of Gear; it is not an Agent as such, but counts against the limit of Agents, and like Agents has a small menu of options to customise its abilities. Unfortunately, the creators appear to have printed the game card for the unit with an error in its AP recovery rate (the card has it as way too fast for its Level value), although this has not been officially addressed in an Errata or update that I can find. I hope that is rectified fairly soon.

Since I mainly play against Wissenschaft when I play Rob, I hope we get a game in with one or more Gears fairly soon, although countering the decent Armor values prevalent among Gears will take some working out.

I enjoyed painting this and turned it around quite quickly, so the second one may be done before too long. Possibly.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 163 (added: Gear Mk Trithemius x2; October)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 59 (55 different models)
Painted Units Percentage: 36.2% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 152 units (including 2 LE minis;including September as he still is due for presumably imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 36.2%
Year to Date Target: 18 of 24 units (3 per month target; 75%)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Summons

All the Summons I have painted so far, in one group shot from the first I managed (Wrath of Nature) to the latest (a third Hellhound).

And yet again, I am reminded I need to get more Summoners painted! I also need to paint some more Light Summons, and I do have one part-done, so hopefully another will appear before too long.

On the whole my Anima Tactics project has struggled this year, primarily for other commitments such as coursework. So I have painted less than planned, but hopefully in August and October I can make some inroads into the backlog.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

25 Followers - Comments On Posts Very Welcome

The blog is over two years old now and has 25 Followers which is great to see (although more would be welcome!). As I write this there have been over 23,000 page-views of 122 posts published so far, with the most-viewed seen over 200 times.

I am going to continue with this blog as a chart of my progress of my Anima Tactics project to paint at least one of every mini in the range, but It would be great to see more Followers and especially more comments. With regard to comments, it is a way to let me know what kind of content visitors to the blog would like to see.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who have stopped by, and if you have ever thought of commenting, please go right ahead!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Hellhound/Type-004: Hellhound (III)

I evidently like painting these things (after my first Hellhound/Type-004: Hellhound is here; and the second is here)! The main reason for painting a third is that I wanted a couple of 'Summon'-version paint-schemes, and  also because my painting has slowed down. As they are quick and easy to do, it helps me avoid full-on painters block to have got 'something done'.

The funny thing is, I am not sure I have actually used any of them in a game yet! I may have faced one once, but I have not yet selected a Hellhound or Type-004: Hellhound unit in a game that I can recall. That said, now that I have added a few more Summons in the past two or three months, I am much closer to being able to try out a Summon-horde type of list.

Keep an eye out soon for a group shot of all my painted Summons so far, ten models in total, although I really intend one of the Hellhounds more for my Black Sun than as a Summon.

Still, I cannot see me painting any more of these - three is plenty I think - so its is time for me to look for other 'quick-fix' minis for when I experience painting slumps in my Anima Tactics project. That said, I have been doing a bit of work on some other units, so hopefully I can get on track with the project sooner than later.

Of course, I had to get a picture of all three Hellhound/Type-004: Hellhounds together.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 160 (added: nothing - but I am now waiting on 3 minis; one has been dispatched from the USA, and hopefully the other will be too soon - also from the USA)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 58 (54 different models)
Painted Units Percentage: 36.25% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 151 units (including 2 LE minis; added September as he still is due for imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 35.8%
Year to Date Target: 17 of 24 units (3 per month target; 71%)


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Al-Djinn (II)

Another Al-Djinn, started at the same time as the first one, but finished separately due to the differences in some key colours. And finishing this one took a little longer than hoped as I have been focused on some writing recently which inevitably ate into painting time.

Given that the Al-Djinn are quite atypical, even among Summons, and are not straightforward attacker or tank type units, and that their support is not through simple buffs/de-buffs or Healing, then I suspect I won't be playing them too often, but you never know. Still, yet another reason for me to get more Dark Summoners painted!

Thinking about the fact that I am not likely to play these units too often, that makes me really wish Anima Tactics had better distribution and support into the UK. I think it is one of the better small-model count skirmishes that UK-based gamers just don't know about, but that is biased by my admittedly very strong liking of the minis and the game as a whole.

There is a strong background for the Anima range, nice rules, crossover into other gaming platforms, and real depth to the minis line (over 150 minis currently with more to come), yet on a few fora I have read comments about lack of awareness of the minis. There has to be enough of an audience to make future new releases sustainable, yet for some reason Anima Tactics seems very much to occupy a niche, within the low model count niche of skirmish games, within the larger niche of war-gaming; or 'a niche, within a niche, within a niche' as a friend once described another game I really enjoy immensely. The kind of game that has a dedicated enough audience for its own needs possibly?

I hope that does not sound negative, I'm just airing some thoughts. I love the game and its minis, and will stick with it. :)

I remain committed to my plan to paint at least one of every mini for the Anima Tactics range (and perhaps should be committed for it...). So please stay tuned to the blog to see how my progress goes! Hopefully another one or two units may appear before the end of this month.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units: 160 (added: nothing - but still waiting on 2 minis)
Anima Tactics Units Painted: 57 (54 different models)
Painted Units Percentage: 35.6% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 151 units (including 2 LE minis; added September as he still is due for imminent release)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 35.8%
Year to Date Target: 16 of 21 units (3 per month target; 76%)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Summoning

Genma can have up to 3 Summons
One of my favourite aspects of the Anima Tactics game is Summoning. For those not too familiar with the game, some creatures can be Summoned temporarily to the battlefield.

The advantage of doing so is their (Summons) relative cost is less than it may otherwise be, with the trade-offs being they are time-bound for how long they will appear, and that they have to be Summoned - both of which can be mitigated (more later).

Summoning
A Summoner has a Summoner Level (usually 1-3), which limits the number of Summons it can call on during the game.
The Container Advantage Card increases Summoner Level by one.
Each Summon has a cost, in Action Points (AP) that the Summoner spends as an Action to bring them into play.
Valis Ul Del Vilfain can Summon for free if she is contact with an enemy.
Belith reduces the cost of one her Summons by one.
Covel reduces the cost of his Summons by one to a minimum of one. 
When a Summon arrives, it is placed within the Summoner's Control Zone (CZ's are usually 8 inches) has its normal recovery value in AP (usually 2-3 AP).
Covel's CZ is 12 inches for Summoning.
Summons arrive with Bind Points (usually 1-2).
The Familiar Advantage Card allows one Summon to appear with an additional Bind Point.


Stability
At the start of each Upkeep Phase (so at the start of the Turn following the Turn when the creature is Summoned), the Summon loses 1 Bind Point.
Genma can add Bind Points to friendly Summons and remove then from enemy Summons.
If a Summon has no more Bind Points and is in the Summoner's CZ, the Summoner can make a Stability Roll to see if it stays, otherwise it is removed.
The Seal of Bones Advantage Card adds +1 to Stability Rolls.

Summon Death
A Summon that is 'killed' causes a Shock check (but not Summons lost to Stability Rolls).
Covel as Optional Leader is effectively immune to Shock checks.


Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget