Sunday 25 October 2015

Sharsha 'Friedegunde'

Months have passed, and I have finally completed a new Anima Tactics unit! Spurred on by my Zomtober painting exertions, I was determined to use this month as a spur to getting other tangentially related stuff painted, and for me, Sharsha 'Friedegunde' fit the bill. While she is not an Undead, she has abilities that reference life after death and I thought it would be interesting to use my zombie-skin recipe on her with her patchwork body.

Sharsha is of course one of the four recently released but long-awaited final minis from Cipher Studios/Ninja Division, and I was pleased that they finally surfaced - although two more minis remain yet to be released: Legion and the new Limited Edition Celia.

The initial painting was pretty quick as I went back and forth between this and other minis I have tackled for Zomtober. I am hoping that in the last couple months of 2015 I can at least get one or two more Anima Tactics units finished.

I haven't played the game in quite a while, with enthusiasm seriously dampened by the Cipher decision about the game, but hope to maybe play a game or two soon or early next year. It would be nice to get Sharsha onto the table if I do. In game terms, Sharsha is having to compete with Organization-specific units as well as other Wanderers for the coveted Wanderer slot in a Party (except Black Sun who she cannot work with). Therefore she has to offer something exceptional, and with her Power Token management adding extra options such as instant AP recovery (theoretically allowing for 7 AP expenditure once per game), Healing, coming back from being reduced to 0 Life Points, and increased Speed, then I think arguably she does.

For Advantage Cards, I think the ideal choice is Orb of Power so she starts with 1 Power Token, and meaning she should be up to 2 or 3 Tokens by the end of her first Turn if she also uses her Pure Anger Action twice - that sets her ready to use Limit Break (AP recovery) and just 1 Power Token short of being ready to use Beyond the Grave which allows her to return from being reduced to 0 LP.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units Units Painted/Owned: 74/169 (43.8%; added - Sharsha, Nimrod, Anaximenes, September and another Ahriman. Lord of Darkness)
Anima Tactics Discrete Units Painted/Range: 70/163 different units (42.9 %)
Year to Date Target: 4 of 18 units (3 per month target; 13%)

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Renewed Enthusiasm For My Project?

This week there have been a couple of events that *may* help reignite my motivation for my Anima Tactics project.

The first was the arrival my order of the recent releases of Anaximenes, Nimrod, Sharsha 'Friedegunde' and September. After the announcement that Anima Tactics would become a web-only line, and then the inertia of releases from Cipher Studios, when they finally became available I ordered them immediately. Another seven weeks or so passed and my enthusiasm for painting Anima Tactics waned week by week, before they arrived against my expectations on Monday this week.

In addition, the latest update to the Anima: Gate of Memories Extended Campaign (the Kickstarter campaign for an Anima video game) this week announced that the next update will show the 'greens for the Bearer and the Nameless minis. We have seen the Bearer already, but the Nameless will be a new thing to see.

With these two events I can feel a little renewed enthusiasm. and after starting to de-flash some of the new arrivals, I may use painting one of them to try and spur me into painting more of my Anima Tactics backlog.

Friday 17 July 2015

'Free' At Last....

By 'free', I mean the final releases for Anima Tactics have finally begun to surface. This news has been posted on the Soda Pop website about Ninja Division releases for Gencon. From their news story (link):

Four new Anima Tactics models, Nimrod, Sarsha [sic], Anaxamines, and September will be released at Gencon. All Anima models are metal cast.
All items will also be available at the Soda Pop Store while Gencon is running. If you want a chance to get these items early mark your calendar for July 30 – August 2!
I am very pleasantly surprised that Sharsha 'Friedgunde' is included in the releases; I had privately known the sculpt existed but did not expect it to see released by CS/ND - so well done to them for deciding to release it.

Unfortunately the news story does not answer what is happening with Legion and the Limited Edition Celia. I hope they both get released; for the time being I am assuming they will, and adding Sharsha to the list of expected AT minis (which numbers 160 including these 4 minis, Legion, L.E. Celia and the 2 Kickstarter minis: The Bearer and The Nameless).

Tuesday 30 June 2015

Adolf Brunner

Another Anima Tactics unit finished, this one after a break of three and half months. In my last post I explained why momentum had dropped off this project; well since then there really is no update: Ninja Division/Soda Pop are still waiting for additional stock from the other side of Ninja Division, namely Cipher Studios. Which means fans of the range are still waiting for those last few releases. I will be pleased if they ever appear, but each month I have increased doubts.

Despite all of that, I managed to get to some renewed motivation for painting Anima Tactics and wanted to start and finish a mini quite quickly, and suddenly Adolf Brunner seemed the right option. I thought if I kept going over a few sessions he could be manageable.

Painting-wise, I decided on the sandy blond hair to evoke the idea of German WWII fictional villains from pulps etc.

The painting was actually quite straight-forward due to the simplified colour scheme I opted for, and it is nice to have another mini done, although I am way behind my target for the year.

In all I am pretty happy with how the mini has turned out, especially as my momentum for this range had ground to a halt prior to completing this one. Hopefully it won't be another three and half months before I finish my next Anima Tactics mini.

In the Anima background Adolf is described as a nasty piece of work, a cruel supernatural scientist who has risen in power and influence.

In game terms Adolf Brunner is my 10th Azur unit, which isn't bad considering I have yet to play them as an Organization!

Adolf Brunner specialises in Magic Effects and can return to the board even if taken out. He is also part of the Team The Puppet Master (the boss of it basically) along with Frey and Freya. Like many Azur he has a relatively low Levels cost which was reduced after the cost adjustment in 2013.

Maybe one day I will give my Azur a proper game.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units Units Painted/Owned: 73/165 (44.2%)
Anima Tactics Discrete Units Painted/Range: 69/159 different units (42.8 %)
Year to Date Target: 3 of 18 units (3 per month target; 17%)

Saturday 23 May 2015

It Has Been A While And Here Is Why....

It has been more than two months since I last painted anything from the Anima Tactics range. That saddens me because that means my enthusiasm for what I feel is one of the strongest ranges of minis I have ever seen has waned.

I know why, and it does relate to the discontinuation of the range as announced by Cipher Studios. I think it is harder to be enthusiastic for a 'dead' game/range, or maybe that is just me.

I had hoped that as announced we would have begun to see the last of the unreleased minis (such as Nimrod, right), but almost 8 weeks after Soda Pop Miniatures started being the online stockist in place of Cipher, they acknowledge that they have yet to receive stock for the remainder of the range from Cipher (they currently have less than half of the product SKU's as far as I can see), let alone those unreleased minis that were promised.

I will complete my project. I am determined and sure of that. I just expect it will now take longer than previously anticipated unless I can get some unexpected motivation. I will have a look at what I have part-painted and under-coated and see if there is anything quick and easy to get done soon, just to get something going on the blog again. Please bear with me.

Thursday 19 March 2015

Team Les Jaeger

My first three Teams were finished within less than twelve months, and the fourth...has arrived over twelve months after the third. <sigh>.

So far the only Team comprising 4 units - The Colonel, Reindhold, Kirsten and KylerTeam Les Jaeger is one of 3 Team options for the Azur Alliance. Despite having more members than most other Teams, this one only comes in at 165 Levels, meaning that fielding 2-4 additional units in a 300 Level game is very feasible, especially with the discount that Azur can take on Prowlers (knocking 10 Levels off the Team cost).

Forming Team Les Jaeger turns The Colonel into a sort-of Arbiter, able to give Orders (small extra Actions) to the Team at no AP cost. So while many other Teams feature individual benefits for specific members, this one is dependent on The Colonel to buff the rest of the Team.

I haven't used Azur yet in any significant size of game, but now I feel I have enough to make a decent game of it with them (possibly bolstered by Wanderers Kagemaru and a Shinobi or two), so hopefully in the next few months Team Les Jaeger will make it to the table.

Saturday 14 March 2015


Another mini done, and hopefully I am now regaining some lost  painting momentum for the project, after finishing Cordelia earlier this month and now Kirsten. I won't get ahead of myself though!

Kirsten has been part-done for a few months, and it was only in the last couple of weeks I was able to overcome whatever was blocking me from simply getting her finished off, so two satisfactions for me this time: another unit painted, and something completed that has been long-gestating in painting terms. Not my best standard of painting, but now done, which for me is the most important thing.

This silent assassin is described as an enigmatic killer in the ranks of Les Jaeger. She also completes my first Team in over a year, and over six months since I finished the third of four members of the Team (The Colonel). I will put a post up of my Team Les Jaeger in a few days time.

In game terms, Kirsten is a cheap Prowler unit for Azur. Her attacks can all potentially inflict Poison States, and in addition she has a ranged counter-attack and move and fire options in her armoury, as well as a potentially deadly one-shot area of effect attack against all enemies within line of sight within 12 inches; stack the right buffs on her at the right time and this fairly inexpensive unit could make a mess of clustered enemies. As a consequence, I think an Advantage Card buffing her Attack value does have real value, such as Supernatural Weapon or Cursed Weapon, but only if her player can plan properly to get maximum benefit. However, since it is vital to get her in the right position with maximum AP, then cards such as Fate Clock and Clock of Cronos also have real value, as does support from units such as Juliette Kaim.

I am not too sure what I will be painting next for Anima Tactics, but hopefully the current momentum will be sustained, especially as I am quite far behind my year to date target. Anyway, please stay tuned to see how the project progresses.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units Owned/Units Painted: 164/72 (43.9%)
Anima Tactics Range/Discrete Units Painted: 159/67 different units (42.1 %)
Year to Date Target: 2 of 9 units (3 per month target; 22%)

Friday 6 March 2015

Agent Rules Redux II

After posting the card images for revised Empire and Azur Agents rules developed by Anima Studios, there have since been revisions to Church Agents and Samael Agents.

Things are still unclear about how these rules interact with Al-Djinn for example, but I do hope Anima Studios proceeds with the revisions for Wissenschaft Agents and Shinobi (and maybe even Gear Mk. Trithemius) despite the recent Cipher Studios announcement.

Anyway, here are the Church Agent and Samael Agent revised rules in case you have missed them elsewhere.

Sunday 1 March 2015

Cordelia Rosalind

That took a while. Far too long. Not the mini, but finishing painting any Anima Tactics mini/unit.

It has been almost three months since I last finished an Anima Tactics mini, and admittedly for fans of the game, the recent news from Cipher Studios was very disappointing. I remain absolutely determined to paint this whole range, and will be pleased to look back on that feat should I succeed. Hopefully I can regain some momentum now that Cordelia is painted; I would love to be past the half-way point of the whole range by summer/autumn.

The future of Anima Tactics does not totally appear to be over, but I wait to see what comes next if anything after the assurance of the 'last few releases. By my estimate there are 7 certainties or almost certainties:
Anaximenes; Legion; Nimrod, September; Celia special edition; the Bearer; the Nameless.
While I also reckon there is a slim chance of one or two other previously not-indicated units being in that final mix too. We shall see. Nonetheless, it leads me to think that there will be 159 discrete units (including limited edition variants etc.), so I will be using that in my target/goal information going forward, adjusting the value as more information comes out.

On to this latest addition. Cordelia Rosalind is another Wissenschaft Prowler, combining an array of ranged attacks with Stealth. I loved this model when I first saw it, and that has not changed, despite that it was a bit of pain to get the parts to fit satisfactorily. Cordelia is pretty formidable in her sniper function, and I dare-say she will get some use in future games.

I now have up to 555 Levels of Wissenschaft, so could easily field a 600 Level force with a Summon or two for Valis Ul Del Vilfain. That kind of Party would make for a big game and would be far in excess of the 300 Level games I have played so far. If I ever get the time, it could be fun.

Running Totals
Anima Tactics Units Owned/Units Painted: 164/71 (43.3%)
Anima Tactics Range/Discrete Units Painted: 159/67 different units (42.1 %)
Year to Date Target: 1 of 9 units (3 per month target; 11%)

Saturday 28 February 2015

Tales of the Ninja #3

It too a little longer than planned, but the Tales of the Ninja team have released issue number 3!

Tales of the Ninja is a fanzine dedicated to the games of Ninja Division (Cipher Studios and Soda Pop), and #3 has a few pages summing up my Anima Tactics Painting Project. :)

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Anima Tactics - The Beginning of the End?

Yesterday saw a huge announcement about the future of Anima Tactics, one that may be the nail in the game's coffin. Cipher Studios announced they are discontinuing the range.

Link to the announcement
Cipher Studios announces that the Anima Tactics™ Miniature Skirmish Game is being discontinued.
The Cipher Studios web store will close March 13th. Stock will then be transferred to the Ninja Division | Soda Pop Miniatures warehouse and resume sale on March 30.
The last new figures for Anima Tactics™ will be released through the web store, including a special edition Celia model.

So there are seemingly 5 releases or so to come, likely to be: September; Nimrod; Anaximenes; Legion; and special edition Celia

Aside from my obvious disappointment, the timing seems odd given that at the end of October 2014 an update was promised soon after about the game.

That aside, the announcement apparently won't impact the Gate of Memories Kickstarter campaign(s), so I still hope to get the Bearer and the Nameless.

the discontinuation of Anima Tactics the miniature game does not affect Gate of Memoriesr [sic]. Anima: Gate of Memories is being developed by Anima Studios. Kickstarter fulfillment [sic] will be delivered as promised when the game comes out. Hell Dorado development is being continued. We will actually be speeding up development on the releases for the Inferno book. We are simply moving to a direct sales model. -Kai Nesbit

Going forward, all is not necessarily finished, and the game may yet return in some new form. Carlos (the man behind Anima Studios) posted this via Kickstarter:

Hi everyone.
Regarding the announcement of Cipher Studios about Anima Tactics, I want to coment some points to make everything clear.
1°) Will it have an impact on the videogame?
Of course not! Gate of Memories development will go on in the same way as it was planed. The game is going to be finished and all the pledges will be given as promised, regardless if you are a backer of the first or extended campaign.
Anima Tactics was not directly related to Gate of Memories development.
2°) Will the minis of the Bearer and the Nameless be released?
Of course. Including AT rules for them. ^^
3°) Will another company takes over and continue AT instead of Cipher?
Right now, we are working with Edge Entertainment in a new branch of Anima Tactics sequel game. Give us time to prepare everything. ^^
4°) Will the Saga 3 rulebook be released one day?
Yes, but in a different way than the original plan. Right now, we are working in Anima Tactics Saga, which is equivalent to Anima Tactics sequel / 2nd edition.

As for my project to paint the whole range? That will continue. It will be harder to maintain without the carrot of periodic new stuff, but being more clearly finite means I can have a countdown goal to aim for. Hopefully by the end of 2018 I will have a complete painted AT collection, which may be a unique feat. Watch the blog for progress. :)

Sunday 11 January 2015

Tales Of The Ninja

While painting progresses slowly, I just wanted to take a little time to draw attention to a web-site and fanzine that supports Ninja Division games and products, including Anima Tactics (as well as games like Helldorado and Relic Knights among others).

The Tales of the Ninja web-site can be found through this link. The site also has issues of the fanzine available fro free download, with issue 3 due soon, which may feature an article by ye Pulp Citizen about my project to paint everything for Anima Tactics.

Thursday 1 January 2015

Anima Tactician: 2014 Reflections, And The Year Ahead

First of all, I want to say once more a big thank you to everyone who Follows the Anima Tactician, everyone who reads, and most of all those who Comment on the blog. Interaction is what is spurring me on with this project, so any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. I really do want to paint this whole range, and as I get further in, it will no doubt get a little harder.

2014 was an interesting year for me. Not as much time for 'hobby stuff' as I would like as I was involved in a course, and other things, but I still managed some painting and a little gaming.

The picture shows what are probably my favourite 5 Anima Tactics paint-jobs in 2014 (clockwise from top left: Deimon; Al-Djinn; Arkham; Kira; and Tiamat).

I painted 29 units for Anima Tactics in 2014, 7 fewer than 2013, but still largely on track. In the year ahead I want to try and paint at least 30 Anima Tactics units, including a few that have been part-painted for many months. I managed a few games in 2014, but in the year ahead I would also like to get a few more games in. I have accumulated some more terrain this year, so it would be nice to get it gamed with. Finally, I want to maintain a similar of better rate of blogging, as I managed 63 posts in 2014. That will depend on gaming and painting of course!

As for stuff external to my bit of the hobby, I look forward (hopefully!) to delivery of the Anima: Gate of Memories Kickstarter especially the minis, as well as the delayed new releases from 2014.

So please stay tuned to see what the Anima Tactician has to offer in 2015.

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