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!

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