Friday 27 December 2013


Another Anima Tactics unit finished, and my 36th mini from the range in 2013.

This was yet another mini I loved from first seeing it, so much so that Sho sneaked up the painting queue from when I acquired him! I have been struggling with two other Empire models for quite some time, one of which may go into the stripping bath, and so it is a good feeling to get at least one more done.

I had thought that my Empire Party would be larger than it is by now, but as I say, a couple of models I have struggled with.

At first examination Sho does not look too hard hitting; his 3 AP Bushu Special Attack is at a basic Attack 5 Damage 5, although it does give him Healing if it hits. Compare that to Celia's Tear of Illusions which is 10/3, or Drake's Dragon Overdrive at 8/8 and it looks lacking, except that Sho adds Damage (and Attack with Bushu) the lower his Life Points total is thanks to his Kurokami rule). That sets up a situation where he benefits from being Damaged, but with Defense 9, Armor 2 and 13 LP, Sho is not particularly durable. Which in turn makes me think he will take a bit of working out and getting used to, if I am to use him effectively.

The mini comes packed with an Advantage Card that buffs his LP (Heart of Gold; adding to the utility of Kurokami). Another synergistic option would be Last Stand, adding to his Attack and Damage at below half LP - functionally that means at 6 LP for example he would add +3/+3. Something else for me to ponder.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: nothing, but still awaiting that recent order)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 41 (40 different models)
Painted Minis Percentage: 27.9% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 148 (including 2 LE minis)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 27.0%

Thursday 26 December 2013

Some Upcoming Releases

Gear Mk. Trithemius
These images have been seen on the Cipher Studios FB page, as well as on the FRP Games retail site. Some info has been speculated on on the Cipher Studios Forum.

Gear Mk. Trithemius: Basically a sort-of Agent Gear; this unit does not count as an Agent, but counts against your Party limit of Agents. Currently known rules suggest up to 1 Gear Mk. Trithemius per 150 Levels in a Party. Neutral Faction, Wissenschaft (of course) and unlike most of the larger Gears does not have named Pilots.

FRP Games lists February 2014 as estimated release.

October/Death Glacial
October: Possibly also known as Death Glacier or Death Glacial; Dark Empire. No rules leaked yet as far as I know, but Empire suggests decent Armor, and of course the weapon suggests Ranged Attack. October is believed to be one of a trio of Empire assassins (see below for another), therefore could be a new Team.

FRP Games lists February 2014 as estimated release.

September: Also known as Mukui; presumably Empire, but other details are unknown. May possibly form a Team with October and a red-headed woman tentatively though to be November (kudos to SageofLodoss from the Forum for linking that information together).

No speculative release date yet, but this was first shown by Cipher Studios around 5-6 months ago, so hopefully not too long.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all readers; I hope you all enjoy a happy festive period.

For your enjoyment, there is a Christmas-themed Pulp City Battle Report over on the Pulp Citizen (click for link).

Friday 20 December 2013

Damage Resistance

Damage Resistance is a quality that crops up in the rules for a number of units. It is not an 'Innate Ability', therefore is unaffected by the Seal State.

In essence Damage Resistance is a rule to model that slow or cumbersome units will find it hard to evade blows. Thus some Undead units have the rule (especially the more common rank and file types), or big lumbering things like Wrath of Nature.

Damage Resistance offer a mixed bag, with generally more downsides than up, but even then, it is something that can be factored into play-style. Damage Resistance prevents a unit using Dodge, which while at first sounds like a handicap, however could arguably worked with if playing a more attritional and aggressive style. On the plus side, a DR unit never loses Action Points from Falls or Crashes; however those may be less common threats depending on terrain available and usual opponents faced.

The key thing then to me is simply that it in fact eases decision making; you don't have to worry about an Action Point being pulled out for a Dodge, thus scuppering your opportunity to pull off an uber-Action, or worse still worrying about taking the hit and the consequences thereof. Nope; hit happens, you see what the effects are, then move on. Like I say, well-suited to a more aggressive and attritional play style.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

The Next 10 (4)

My most recent batch of 10 Anima Tactics minis all together. It has been approximately two months between my third 'Next 10' and this post; I seem to have picked up some recent momentum it would appear!

Thematically, this month saw a big push on Black Sun, and a lot of 'not-black' colour schemes, and so it hopefully looks like a big contrast to the last batch. Please forgive the picture; I struggled to get all of them in focus, due to depth and height - this was the best of around ten or so attempts.

As I mentioned in the Celia post, hitting a total of 40 minis feels significant to me, so that has been pleasing. I am now filled with belief that within three years I will have painted them all! Maybe...

Anyway, onward and upward, and here is looking forward to the fifth 'Next 10'.

Thursday 12 December 2013


Gotta paint 'em all! Yet another Anima Tactics mini painted by me, hot on the heels of Genma, and this one feels like more of a milestone than any of the preceding 39 did. I know that sounds obvious, but 40 minis painted seems like a nice, substantial number (heck, it is more minis by far than my last WH40K Grand Tournament army which was a meager 27 models; all Terminators mind you...). There is a sense of satisfaction having hit 40 minis painted for the range where just over a year ago I had been stuck at painting none of these.

So this is Celia; there is also a limited edition version, but that will be purely for painting and is never likely to be a gaming piece (except maybe at home). Celia is a Wissenschaft Warrior and is, I think, one of the older models in the line. That said, despite having quite a simple selection of abilities and Actions, and being an older unit, she still looks pretty useful to me.

In line with many non-Gear Wissenschaft units, Celia looks potentially quite fragile (no Armor, fairly low Life points), but this is made up by a decent Defense value and an excellent enhanced Dodge. Her special Attack looks a very good option too. She suffers from low Damage value, but using her main Attack she is likely to hit most targets, and using a Gnosis roll will have a good chance even against many Dodging targets. So using her against against targets with decent Armor or Life Points is less than ideal, but against more vulnerable options she looks like she could shine. I am also rubbing my hands at the thought of eventually trying her out with Dereck Shezard and Rayne as masters of Neokinesis; a true speed team with great Action Point recovery potential in the right circumstances. And compounded that both Celia and Dereck saw cost breaks in the recent update from Anima Studios Project/Cipher Studios/Edge Entertainment.

Speaking of 'circumstances', a Party featuring heavy use of Neokinesis demands that the Neokinesis Magnus Plot Card is used to maximize returns; I really need to think about the game-based timing issues required for that!

This year I have painted quite a few Anima Tactics minis (by my standards that is!), and if I can get another one done before 2013 concludes, that would make 36 for the year, or an average of 3 per month which would be a nice achievement I think.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: nothing, but still awaiting that recent order)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 40 (39 different models)
Painted Minis Percentage: 27.2% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 148 (including 2 LE minis)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 26.4%

Sunday 8 December 2013


And another Anima Tactics mini is completed! More importantly, this is one of the nine minis I included in my first batch of prepped minis (click for link). That was twenty months or so ago, and of those I have only painted five so far, so I am clearly not the most disciplined of painters!

So at last Genma is finished. As much as I like the mini, I have struggled for motivation to get this finished, obviously, and I don't know if I can put my finger on why. I like the mini; I like the Anima Tactics range; I like Samael characters; I like Summons and Genma is a master Summoner. Yet still it stayed stuck in the queue.

So onto the mini. Well colour-wise I plan to eschew any uniformity for Samael. This risk is they may end up as a mish-mash, and are not differentiated from my Wanderers, but I am okay with that. Genma's primary focus is in bringing Summons to the table; she has a token ranged Attack, but I am never going to be taking her because of that! She is able to Summon Light, Dark and Void, so pretty much anything, and considering there are no Void Summons yet, I am very curious to see what they would be like! Definitely an area I want to see more of for the game. I would really like to do a Summoner duo (pick two of Genma, Belith or Covel) with a horde of otherworldly creatures flung onto the battlefield, meaning I really do need to paint some more minis to do that with!

In terms of Advantage Cards Familiar is an obvious choice. Assuming the Samael Organizational Advantage allowing an automatic extra Bind Point on each Summon, then Familiar could be redundant, similarly Seal of Bones. Thus, something like Container looks interesting, allowing Genma to Summon as many as four units. Or something like Protective Shield; it is expensive (but the Summons won't be using any individual Advantage Cards of course), but could add to her survivability with free Dodges.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: nothing, but awaiting an order)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 39
Painted Minis Percentage: 26.5% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 148 (including 2 LE minis)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 25.7%

Friday 6 December 2013


I love the concept of Summons for Anima Tactics, I really do. They draw from elements seen in a lot of turn-based Japanese console rpgs, and so perfectly evoke a particular aspect of the material that clearly inspired  Anima Tactics.

Summons are beings from elsewhere invoked to aid a Party. Immediately, most can be seen to reflect a particular elemental idea; not only in the sense of the classical four elements only, or even Eastern traditions, but also in a basic primal type of force such as light, darkness etc. Not a new idea in gaming by any stretch, but one I feel is handled fairly well in this game. So far there are nine Summons (five Light Summons and four Dark Summons), so I still have four to paint, but I hope that the game's creators do get around to adding more.

Sharp-eyed readers may notice that the Ignis, Fire Demon looks slightly different to the version in the last blog post; I did a touch more work on the top-most flames to finish it off after taking this photo.

Each Summon has a distinct role, and with the 2013 Update many have undergone a price reduction (with a couple of notable exceptions). So with the array of Summons available, a wide range of options are opened up.

Left to right those Summons are (text in green are Summons made cheaper with the recent update; you can click on names for links):
Hellhound: Level 15, Atman 20, Dark
Wrath of Nature: Level 35/50, Atman 60, Light
Hamadria: Level 15/25, Atman 35, Light
Ignis, Fire Demon: Level 15/25, Atman 40, Dark
Elhaym, Maiden of Light: Level Level 35/40, Atman 60, Light

Atman is a reference value in the game to give an equivalent Level value when a Summon may be affected by a Level dependent ability; for example abilities that do not affect Level 50 and above would not affect Atman 50 and above and so on.

What I really look forwards too are the Aeons. There are various mentions in the rules for the units, but we have yet to see any. They occupy two Summon Levels so the inference is that they are powerful. I have a gut feeling they will be big and mighty avatars of power; I am guessing Morrigan size possibly. I hope we do get to see these ultimate Summons eventually, and preferably sooner rather than later.

Monday 2 December 2013


Woo-hoo; another one down, and with the last couple of painted minis I am past 25% of the entire available range for Anima Tactics (technically I think that was the last mini, I miscounted and thought there were 150 when I posted Ignis, Fire Demon, but looking again, it looks like there are currently 148 discrete minis). I am also drifting ever-closer to my fourth 'Next 10' post which is cool. So in the past 12 months I have made a bit of a dent into my Anima Tactics collection, and much more so than I thought I would in November 2012.

So on to Kagemaru. In keeping with my random approach to painting this range (except that recent Black Sun run!), here is a unit out of left field. I decided to go for a dark palette livened up with some dark red, dark blue and purple; that way he should hopefully stand out a little against Azur units who I plan to go mostly 'black' for, with a white accent on their neck frills.

Kagemaru is the legendary master of the Asakura ninja clan. So a super-ninja, with mystical powers and a bit of Summoning to boot! As an Optional Leader, he excels in spamming Shinobi into a Party list (with a cost break and raises the number limit), and allows for some unusual builds that still count as Organization Parties, even if lacking many actual Organization units.

Kagemaru has a lot of Actions built around his Stealth; in the games we have played so far Stealth has yet to feature at all, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. On the looks of things though, he looks like he could be devastating with options of a 11/8 Attack from Hidden/Stealth, or a 16 inch range Charge that is 13/4 for which he does not have to be Hidden. Ouch! Essentially even without buffing Kagemaru, target models are going to have to consider Dodging or take a big hit.

On the Advantage Card side of things, Primal seems ideal for adding to deadliness of his first attack (his first Charge as 13/7 then stacked by a support unit to become more decisive), but I think I would more likely take Clock of Cronos (to ensure he has enough Action Points), or Familiar if he takes a Summon.

In addition, if rumours prove to be true, Kagemaru will form half of Team Twin Shadow with Zenobius which will allow a very ninja-heavy Party if a player chooses!

As for what next in my Anima Tactics painting? I am giving up making any kind of promise or prediction for a while, so let's just see what comes up!

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: nothing, but a couple are on order)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 38
Painted Minis Percentage: 25.9% (percentage of AT minis owned and painted)
Anima Tactics Range: 148 (including 2 LE minis)
Percentage of Whole Range Painted: 25.0%

Saturday 30 November 2013

Ignis, Fire Demon

This has been stuck in the dread 'painting queue' for rather a long time. Bits of work were done on it, but very haphazardly from the outset. For example it was initially undercoated in black; then I realised that was a big mistake, so used some yellow spray to re-undercoat  it. Then some of the red base colour got slapped on and I noticed there was some extra gap filling to be done as the red was painted. So it simply got put to one side due to encountering those problems (mostly of my own creation). After very recently painting Maximo Ligori, I had a little bit of renewed motivation, so did a bit of work on Genma (also a very long time in the painting queue - as can be seen from this post here from 20 months ago), but thought to myself, I really had to finish Ignis, Fire Demon.

I did a quick bit of dry-brushing and washes on the red body, and set to work on the flames, before some final highlights to the body of the model. The flames have been the most time consuming, and although a bit of a challenge (reversing the usual progression of dark to light to light to dark from recesses to out aspects of the flame does take a little getting used to for me), I am actually reasonably happy with the results, and very happy it is finally done and finished. Not brilliant, but done, and a real change of palette from the recent Black Sun Undead units and Faust Orbatos and Maximo Ligori.

I had originally envisioned having two or three of these, but given how long it has taken me to get around to finishing it, I think I will stick with one. It is quite a tall model, approximately three and half inches from the base to the tip of the flames, so matches the Wrath of Nature in height (but certainly not bulk!).

With finishing this one, I have painted over 25% of the models I have for Anima Tactics. The next one I finish should take me to exactly one quarter of the available range, unless they suddenly release some more in the next few weeks!

Having more Summon options now means I really do need to get some more effective Summoners painted up (specifically Belith, Genma and Covel), and probably at least one more Dark Summon for a little bit of balance. In game terms Ignis, Fire Demon has seen a cost reduction from the 2013 Update. I know from reading the Cipher Studios Forums some players did not view it as a particularity effective unit previously, but there seemed to be some strong points about it that looked good to me (high Damage, base size, its special abilities), so with reduced cost it does look tastier than before. As a summon, there are no Advantage Card issues to plan for, so the primary decision is whether to take the super-cheap lesser form or the slightly more expensive greater form.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: still not added anything for a while, but that may change soon-ish)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 37
Painted Minis Percentage: 25.1% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Wednesday 27 November 2013


Wanderers offer an interesting and useful array of options when building a Party.

For those unfamiliar with the game, there are two ways to build a Party: either by following a Faction (Light or Dark - all units mus be of the same Faction, but may include Neutral units also; or by opting to make an Organization Party. The latter option gives extra bonuses at the cost of greater restriction of units to select from, especially as each Organization tends to specialize, therefore certain deficits exist for each Organization.

When making an Organization Party you are entitled to include a single Wanderer (or Wanderer Team) and still benefit from Organizational Advantages. Therefore Wanderers allow specific deficits to be mitigated to some extent; a Party lacking high Armour might benefit from including Faust Orbatos; a force needing some hard-hitting power may find it useful to include Dereck Shezard; a Party wanting increased utility options might want to take Bella and Aqua. There are a number of Wanderers, and each tends to offer some unique options that may not be replicated in Organization units.

Prior to the Anima Tactics Update 2013 posted by Anima Studios/Cipher Studios (see post here), I had an array of options to fill gaps at 45, 55, 60, 65, and 95 Levels, and had a whole paragraph written about it (hey, it is almost like this blogging malarkey is planned!). After the update, I have a smaller array of slots my Wanderers allow me to fill with 40,45,60 and 90 Levels, so some flexibility has been compromised. For those unfamiliar with the game, a Team such as Team The Condemned Lovers (Drake and Cenette) or Team Bella and Aqua counts as a single 'slot'.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Maximo Ligori

I do rather like this mini; well I like the range immensely. but this one really appeals to me. There is a lyric from a Cult song that goes something like "He's a real heavy dude, in a killing mood" which to me sums up Ligori very well. I think the imagery is just right (sharp edges, asymmetrical armour, brutal looking weapon, chains etc.), and the name is just perfect in my humble opinion. In other words he looks like a 'bad mutha'.

This was a fairly quick paint-job, although broken up into sessions of downtime from some course-work I am doing. The only real tie-in to my planned Azur colour-scheme is the dark/black cloth, but I hope he will still fit in nonetheless. However Azur are definitely down the pecking order of my painting right now, so it will be a while before more are done. At least I think so...

On his Actions and Abilities is where Maximo Ligori gets very interesting if you ask me. This unit is now a few years old, but still fits a useful niche. All his Actions and Abilities are geared to him getting stuck into close combat. One of the key interactions is his Raxxor Slayer Action, which doubles Damage on a Critical Hit; combined with Critical Mastery and a decent base Damage value, and use of Gnosis means he has something like a 36% chance of doing double Damage if I have worked out the probability correctly. Line him up against targets with no significant Armor and less than 16 LP and he has a good chance of taking them out in a single attack unless they Dodge.

The downside for Ligori is that to function optimally he needs to take Damage in close combat, and although he has good LP, his Armor value is not huge. So keeping him alive is important. That makes me think that taking Raphael's Gift or Heart of Gold as Advantage Card would perhaps be the best option. Alternatively good old Elemental Weapon or Primal adds to the one-shot kill capability he can muster.

Not sure when Maximo Ligori will actually get a run out, but I look forwards to it when he finally does.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: continues to be nothing!)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 36
Painted Minis Percentage: 24.5% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Some Thoughts On The Impact Of The Anima Tactics Update 2013

Looking at the full list of the Update Level revisions (discussed briefly here), I noticed some Organizations see a big change in cost, as do many Wanderers and Summons. I thought I would look how it would affect the costs of eight Parties we have played with and that have been mentioned on the blog.

First Games (click for link)
100 Levels; won by Dark, suggesting they had an 'edge' maybe? The Light units together are now cheaper.
Dark: Azriel and Kingsley Warlock (now 95 Levels)
Light: Lorenzo Cortes and Drake (now 90 Levels)

200 Levels; Azriel was a star performer in consecutive games, so a good thing he has not been made cheaper perhaps?
Church: Azriel; Lostaroth Marchosias; Grey; and Drake (now 190 Levels)
Wissenschaft: Lorenzo Cortes; Hiro; Wissenschaft Agent (35 Levels); and Dereck Shezzard (now 190 Levels)

300 Levels; Wissenschaft had won, and had the least cost reduction, so does that bear out the relative costs of those units? Possibly, but more widely Wissenschaft have seen quite a few cost reductions (just not in many units I have painted, LOL!).
Church: Azriel; Lostaroth Marchosias (as Optional Leader); Grey; Sarah Reindhold; Elhaym, Maiden of Light (Level 50 Summon); and Dereck Shezzard (now 285 Levels)
Wissenschaft: Lorenzo Cortes; Hiro; Valis Ul Del Vilfain (as Optional Leader); Wrath of Nature; (Level 50 Summon); Wissenschaft Agent (35 Levels); and Drake (now 290 Levels)

Battle Report (click for link)
300 Levels; the Party with the higher cost under the revisions won, perhaps supporting the need from the game's creators to do so.
Wissenschaft: Valis Ul Del Vilfain (Optional Leader); Hiro; Lorenzo Cortes; Wissenschaft Agent; Drake; and Wrath of Nature (now 290 Levels)
Church: Lostaroth Marchosias; Grey; Luzbell; Sarah Rheindhold; Azriel; Bella; Aqua; and Hamadria (still 300 Levels)

So four games reviewed and in three of those four games the more expensive Party under the new costings won. Not very scientific, but it does lend a little support to the need to redress the costs!

Friday 22 November 2013

Anima Tactics Update

Cipher Studios have posted up an update to Level costs/values for all the units so far as the Anima Tactics: Saga III & IV 2013 Update (click for link).

Note that this updates the value of units from all 'Sagas', not just Saga III & IV. Many units have seen cost reductions (such as my main gaming buddy Rob's seeming favourite-to-use unit Lorenzo Cortes), while some have seen increased costs (such as Aqua; which seems fair enough - it was a dirt cheap option previously. Not every unit has changed, but a sizable number have, including many Wanderers and a fair few Summons.

I am still a fairly new player, but it is immediately obvious that some go-to Party lists will be changed, and maybe some units that were previously thought less-than-effective may need to be reevaluated.

I plan to update the Level cost for the units I have painted so far on pages and posts over the next couple of days.

The units I have painted that have changed value are as follows:

Dereck Shezzard: Level 60 (-5 Levels)
Kingsley Warlock: Level 45 (-5 Levels)
Hiro: Level 50 (no change)
Clover: Level 70 (no change)
Grey: Level 40 (no change)
Wissenschaft Agent (M): Level 20-40 (no change)
Lorenzo Cortes: Level 45 (-5 Levels)
Lostaroth Marchosias: Level 55 (-5 Levels)
Bella: Level 45 (no change)
Aqua: Level 15 (+5 Levels)
Drake: Level 45 (-5 Levels)
Sarah Reindhold: Level 30 (no change)
Wrath of Nature: Level 35/50 (no change)
Azriel: Level 50 (no change)
Styx: Level 25 (no change)
Valis Ul Del Vilfain: Level 55/60 (no change)
Elhaym, Maiden Of Light: Level 35/45 (-5 Levels)
Janus Faith: Level 40 (-5 Levels)
Yuki: Level 35 (no change)
Juliette Kaim: Level 25 (no change)
Odin Goldsmith: Level 50 (no change)
Luzbell: Level 40 (no change)
Hamadria: Level 15/25 (no change)
Erika: Level 40 (no change)
Alessa Raincross: Level 40 (-5 Levels)
Empire Agent (F): Level 20-40 (no change)
Saint Aestrega: Level 40 (no change)
Type-004:Hellhound/ Hellhound*: Level 25 Black Sun (no change) or Level 15 Summon (no change)
Damaris: Level 35 (no change)
Cenette: Level 40 (-5 Levels)
Type-005: Level 20-30 (no change)
Type-005: Level 20-30 (no change)
Type-009: Level 25-35 (no change)
Type-005: Level 20-30 (no change)
Faust Orbatos: Level 60 (no change)

Monday 18 November 2013

Progress Report Update 2013

Back in December 2012, I posted a 'Progress Report' for my Anima Tactics painting. At that time I was struggling for momentum, and needed the post to help me focus a little.

In that post, I set out the grand expectation of painting twelve Anima Tactics minis in the following twelve months, averaging around one mini per month, and expecting to do a quarterly update. Well, regular readers know that I update my running total with each new mini, and as for that target; well, I have now painted thirty two minis in less than eleven months!

On another note; in March 2012 I showed off my first nine prepped Anima Tactics minis. Of those nine funnily enough, only four have been painted! So I have managed to be distracted on at least thirty occasions!

Going forward, if I can average 3-4 minis per month it will take me around 3 years to paint everything I have, plus stuff I still want to pick up, as well as hypothetical new releases. In the past eleven months I have had a couple of fallow months, which have been compensated by much more productive months, so I hope that I can sustain the current overall momentum. Stay tuned to see how I do!

Saturday 16 November 2013

Black Sun Party

Another Party post, this time to pull together those Black Sun units I have been painting recently.

The most likely configurations for the Type-005's will be Type-005A: Assault for 25 Levels each, with the Type-009 upgraded to a Commander for 35 Levels. With Clover and Kingsley Warlock, that comes to 230 Levels. To use those 3 Type-005's I need another 70 Levels  of units, which could be something like Dereck Shezard (for 295 Levels), but more likely means I need one or two Black Sun units to get there; Deimon and a Type-004: Hellhound would fit the bill perfectly, or Promethea and Styx for 295 levels. but whether I manage to focus my painting is another matter entirely!

This Party does not feature Styx as that unit really needs Promethea to be effective, or the Type-004: Hellhound since I want to paint one more fitting to my Black Sun.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Faust Orbatos

Sudden change of gears here! Black Sun unit after Black Sun unit, then...a Wanderer. Faust Orbatos is one of the earliest models in the range, and one of the few not sculpted by main sculptor Juan Navarro Perez, instead sculpted by Bobby Jackson, and the difference shows. The chunkiness of the sword would not be out of place on a 1990's GW Chaos Warrior IMHO, and does not really do the original concept art justice. That said, it was reasonably quick to paint by my standards (which as ever has the caveat of not saying much!), and allowed me to try a variation on my 'gold' outwith my Empire units where I will stick to my usual approach as far as is possible.

In game terms Faust Orbatos is one of the earliest models rules-wise I would guess, since he was an early model produced, but looking at his card he largely stands up well I think. He has a Ki action which is unlikely to see use, simply due to its relatively low Effect value compared to the typical range of Resistance and alternative units' Effect values that now abound in the wider game. However his two Attacks look devastating. The old version of his card lists these two Attacks as +5 for 3 Action Points (which is great), but apparently the errata says it should be +6. Either way, opponents are pretty much forced to Dodge or be hit. He has good Armour, reasonable Damage and LP, and is pretty fast. At 60 Levels he is quite expensive to include in a Party, but is is a mobile 'tank' with deadly Attacks which is unusual to say the least. I will be very interested to see him in a game sometime.

Advantage cards that make sense to me are Raphael's Gift (keeps in the game longer, and mitigates one of his actions); Supernatural Armor; Alinor (to keep him in contact with foes); Heart of Gold (extra LP - nice!); and the usual standbys for Warriors of Elemental Weapon or Primal. Supernatural Weapon seems a little redundant I think.

Faust's background posits him as the last member of the renowned Orbatos lineage, a man marked by a dark destiny. After the destruction of his entire family, he now wanders the world looking for his destiny, even if it takes him to the depths of hell.

Not sure what will be painted next, as painting this was purely down to sudden inspiration, but I hope that either Kira, Genma or Covel could be finished soon, but time will tell on that. Still, more than anything, another one down!

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: still nothing!)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 35
Painted Minis Percentage: 23.8% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Sunday 10 November 2013

Type-005 (blister) (II)

The last of my Type-005's. I think 3 is enough as in order to field more I would be looking at larger games, 400 Levels or more, which I don't see happening any time in the near to medium-term future. In addition, if I wanted to do another, I would want to balance things out with another copy of the Type-005 from the Black Sun Starter Set.

I am fairly please overall with how these and the Type-009 have turned out, and I can attribute my recent productivity with the Black Sun necromantic weapons largely to my Zomtober endeavours. To make a viable Party, I need to get some more options painted up I think, so units I feel I would like to get finished are Promethea, Bridget Setsuna, Deimon, Type-012 Hunter, Type-020 Verrier, and maybe another Type-004: Hellhound, the latter painted in a scheme more in line with my Black Sun units (meaning the first one will be for use mainly as a Summon). That said, I have 7 units for my Black Sun so far, 8 with the Type-004: Hellhound, so the basics are there!

On the wider painting queue, I did a quick count of undercoated or part-painted Anima Tactics minis that I have, and that is 45 or so currently, so I need to start making headway into that pile before long! At my current rate of around 3 per month on average, that is 15 months work, or around 3 years to paint everything I have acquired, so watch this space for progress!

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: nothing!)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 34
Painted Minis Percentage: 23.1% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Thursday 7 November 2013


The Type-009, also known as the Deathhead, is another Black Sun Undead foot-soldier. Arguably more dangerous than the Type-005 (also see here), like the other necromantic weapons the Type-009 can also be modified towards a specialist role.

I think I will be fielding the Type-009 with the Type-010: Commander upgrade; that allows Type-005's and 009's to ignore uncontrollable, and gives them an Attack buff. Add in Elite Squadron Advantage Card for the Type-005's and suddenly they look a little more dangerous all around.

Yet again I have opted for a colour scheme intended to tie my undead constructs together as (hopefully!) a cohesive whole. I aim to use the same approach with the Type-020: Verrier and Raziel Archetypum when I eventually get around to those. My key Black Sun colours of black (really: dark grey with washes) and green are in there and will continue as a motif as far as possible on other in the same Organization.

Fielding the various basic Undead cuts down on some decisions: they cannot take Advantage Cards; they usually will have a limited selection of role-focused upgrades so choosing one should be straightforwards. Something they are is undeniably cheap units, so a non-Black Sun enemy should be outnumbered all things considered. as I gather more of these necromantic weapon constructs and their masters in painted form, i am quite looking forwards to fielding them as a Party - hopefully sooner than later!

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 147 (added: Eve; Griever; and Macbeth)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 33
Painted Minis Percentage: 22.4% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Monday 4 November 2013

Morrigan WiP (Project Log)

This has been an incredible pain to assemble. I suspect I have made as many as 10 previously unsuccessful attempts to get it to stick together, and finally I have achieved assembly! I have had this since April (a birthday present from my lovely wife), and have been trying to get it ready for painting for the past 6 months, and today it is finally undercoated.

One of the big issues for me is the restrictive base size; trying to fit this thing onto the official sized base was a huge problem, which ultimately I decided to circumvent by having it rearing. I honestly believe a 60 mm base would have been a much better option.

As this is a bigger model, I plan to to do a little bit of a 'project log' until it is finished. It will be the kind of model that I do bits and pieces of until finished (which is how I went about completing Giant Hadron for Pulp City). Hopefully I can get this finished before too long, and hopefully also remember to log how I get on!

Friday 25 October 2013

Type-005 (blister)

My second Type-005 (my first is here); Zomtober has really helped spur me on to get a number of minis finished this month (on the day I finished this Type-005, I finished 3 other minis).

This Type-005 follows the same colour scheme as the preceding one, and the third I am working on along with a Type-009 which will have a matching scheme too. Hopefully they will be a fearsome-looking selection of units when finished.

There are two Type-005 bodies, with a selection of two left arms, two right arms and three heads. I plan to stop at three of these units, as with the Type-009 upgraded, I expect the four models will weigh in at 85 Levels as they benefit from a Black Sun Organization Advantage which awards levels for upgrades. In a 300 Level game that leaves 215 levels plus 5 upgrade Levels for another Undead unit, which should mean around 4-6 additional models, or 8-10 for a 300 Level Party as a whole. Given that a 300 Level Party would typically be 6-7 units, that is quite a potential numerical advantage. I will need to work on a few more units to get there though.

I have started work on both the remaining Type-005 and the Type-009, so hopefully they will be finished while I still have some painting momentum. Let's see how that works out...

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 144 (added: another Type-012 Hunter)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 32
Painted Minis Percentage: 22.2% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Wednesday 23 October 2013

A Desolate Place of War (Battle Report)

My first Anima Tactics Battle Reports, and like the Battle Reports I have done for Pulp City, told using Comic Life software. A huge thanks to Rob as the main source of images.

This is a little different to my Pulp City Battle reports, because I envisioned it being a little more like a (mostly!) sequentially illustrated story rather than panel-to-panel comic book style. I use lots of action names and dialogue superimposed over the images in my Pulp City Battle Reports, so if enough people prefer that, i could change how I do these in future.

Finally, the action took place a few months ago, and I have only just had time to get around to this, so things are as best I can remember them!

Click on the images to enlarge.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Type-005 (Starter Set)

I am pretty pleased with how this model has turned out. It has been assembled for quite some time, and was something I planned to get around to eventually, but with Zomtober underway on one way of my other blogs (click for link), I was inspired to do some Undead painting for Anima Tactics; to that end I made a start on my first two Type-005's (I have three; you can take one per 100 Party Levels allowed). This is the first, and I would like to finish the second before the end of October, motivation permitting.

With a really limited palette, this was actually quite quick to finish: the different areas of colour are skin; metal; black cloth; green cloth; leather straps; blank dead eyes. I chose to use my usual Zombie skin recipe rather than the Anima Tactics 'studio' Type-005/Type-009 skin hue which is a kind of magenta. That does look cool, but I know what I like for my Undead!

Type-005's seem to have taken time to improve in perceived value in the game. At first glance they are quite cheap units with a degree of customization available (more on that with the next Type-005 post). However as Undead they cannot take Advantage Cards, which means that mitigating their inherent limited accuracy (Attack 4; no special Attack or Charge that adds Attack or Damage) is a key issue. Initially their biggest inherent advantage could be that after being taken out, the essentially explode at the start of the next Action Phase. However if your Black Sun Party takes Elite Squadron (Plot Card) and has a Type-009 upgraded to Type-010: Commander, then suddenly taking a few Type-005's means that you can have Attack 6 and Damage 6 units at just 25 Levels cost apiece (Type-005A: Assault). Add to that they have a 12 inch range Attack and the possibility of some annoying spam is unleashed.

Time to start thinking of playing a Black Sun Party methinks! And time to get painting the other two Type-005's and my Type-009...

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 143 (added: still nothing since the last painted mini!)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 31
Painted Minis Percentage: 21.7% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Team The Condemned Lovers

My second Team, although perhaps my first team proper (as a group of units that can be taken separately, as opposed to Bella and Aqua who must be used together if at all).

Drake and Cenette form The Condemned Lovers, he a vagabond warrior, she a princess and master fencer with angel blood in her veins.

There is a lot of interconnectivity in the backgrounds of the various Anima Tactics characters, and Teams possibly exemplify that above all else when it comes to the tabletop; there is usually a game-play bonus for each member for taking a Team. Those benefits for The Condemned Lovers are primarily built around what happens to the survivor when either Drake or Cenette is lost as a casualty - Drake in particular stacks on a lot of positive States, while Cenette can sacrifice herself, potentially saving Drake to stacks those aforementioned benefits.

The cost is that to take a Team usually requires use of an Advantage Card slot as well as the Level cost of the Team card (Team The Condemned Lovers is 5 Levels for example; so not too expensive by any stretch).

There is one other benefit that comes for a Team - they only count as one Wanderer if used in an Organization Party, useful for filling out the ranks with what is likely to be an effective sub-Party.

Monday 14 October 2013

The Next 10 (3)

It took around 3 and bit months between the first 'Next 10' and the second 'Next 10', and to my surprise not too much difference for the second to this third 'Next 10'. I thought I had slowed down much more than that time would indicate, but then July was pretty productive in my Anima Tactics painting.

While momentum does feel it has slipped, I hope to pick some up in the next couple of months. Currently I have 112 Anima Tactics minis to paint, and I do not yet have them all, so this remains a big project!

This batch saw a lot of female characters painted, as well as a predominance of Church and Empire. What that bodes for the next 'Next 10' is anyone's guess!

As for the image, next time should see the usual triangle formation return, but the pesky extra spirit thing with Damaris messed that up this time around!

Saturday 12 October 2013


I am glad this is finished at last. It has been stuck in the queue with no motivation from me to finish it for what has seemed a long time. As soon as it arrived (some time before early May) I prepared it for painting, and started some base colours - then just lost all motivation to finish it. It has only been in the last week that the motivation resurfaced, so bit by bit this week I have been working away on it and now it is done.

This is my first attempt at a 'sheer nylon' type effect, and I am quietly pleased about it (even if the images don't show it off that well), while other parts less so - but they are unlikely to be changed now. There are some really fine parts on the mini as the images no doubt show, which I struggled with, but this is as good as I could probably manage without losing patience. And to top it off, the mini has been dropped or knocked over at least twice, requiring repairs and touch ups, so to be honest, I will be glad it is the cabinet!

Cenette is one half of Team The Condemned Lovers along with Drake (who was finished back in March), and finishing her represents completion of my first Team proper (since Bella and Aqua are a special case anyway). Cenette's history describes that she chose to leave Rose Island to its fate and pursue the man she loves. And blessed with angelic blood and incredible martial skill, she and Drake make a deadly combination.

In game terms, Cenette looks a little light in the Attack/Damage department, at 5/3; however her actions change that perception dramatically. Her 3 AP Attack is at basic 10 Attack, meaning most models are auto-hit unless they Dodge or have a buff in place. Her special Charge is yet more devastating; it adds +3/+2 and gains +2 from being a Charge, for 10/5, meaning she is very likely to hit due to rolling 2 dice, even if targets elect to Dodge, especially if she can get a buff from another Party member (not to self: I really must paint up Sophia Ilmora), and her Charges can have a single direction change, meaning she can if used right avoid intercepts and tank-like characters acting as speed-bumps.

If using her alone, the usual thoughts come to mind with regard to choice of Advantage Card: Primal or Elemental Weapon are obvious options. However, maybe Clock of Cronos to ensure she can use her special Charge just when needed.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 142 (added: nothing since the last painted mini!)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 30
Painted Minis Percentage: 21.1% (percentage of minis owned and painted)

Sunday 6 October 2013


I am glad this one is finally done; it has been 'hanging around' the painting queue part-done for quite some time, and so needed completing (even if there are some bits I think could be better, it will do). I have quite a few others in the 'mostly done' phase (which is all too common for me!), so I need to finish some more sooner than later.

Damaris is (yet another!) Church Mystic, but to add variety a male - yep it is a dude! He is also a Summoner (Light and Dark, but not Void), so immediately I am thinking the only unit he is competing with in a Church Party is Sarah Reindhold. Damaris is 5 levels more, but can take Dark Summons which Sarah cannot; he is also *slightly* more durable (12 LP vs. 10 LP); he can also buff and respond to the destruction of Friendly units with a few differing options. Basically he looks to be a more aggressive option than Sarah, and could be the means I have been looking for to get the most out of Lostaroth Marchosias who always seems to die pretty swiftly.

In terms of Advantage Cards, the Container card he comes with buffs his Summoner Level, but I may be more tempted to use Familiar to keep his Summon around longer - I guess it depends on the Summons I would want to use; if say a Hellhound, then Damaris with Container and 2 Hellhounds only costs 65 Levels which sounds okay since they are intentionally pretty disposable. If something like Hamadria, Wrath of Nature or Elhaym, Maiden of Light, then Familiar is the choice I would make.

The pack comes with the spirit 'thing' included. There is no obvious use for it from the Damaris character card or the Advantage Card he comes with, so I have wondered if there may be some new Team coming up in the future, but who knows. I painted the spirit thing ages ago, and I am not counting it against my painting totals.

Anyway, it is another mini done, and I am closing in on my third 'Next 10' post, so that is positive, even if the rate of Anima Tactics painting has dropped over the last couple of months.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Minis: 142 (added: Raziel Nk-X)
Anima Tactics Minis Painted: 29
Painted Minis Percentage: 20.3% (percentage of AT minis owned that are painted)

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