Author Archive for Masterseck

Tournament Inventory



So many of us have been there before.  It’s the biggest local tournament of the year and you’ve been preparing for it for weeks if not months.  The first round pairings are announced and you confidently walk over to the table and begin unpacking your figures.  You then get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you frantically search all your foam trays in futility.  You forgot to pack that Warlock you just finished basing last night.


Goatvahna. Never leave home without her.


So just in time for the Southern Ontario Open, here’s a handy checklist for your Warmachine and Hordes inventory!

Lowering Your Standards


Once upon a time I worked for a miniature company you may have heard of called Games Workshop. Games Workshop would hold two annual tournaments. One was for staff and the other for the public. Both tournaments required all models be completely painted in order to be played. I would typically spend several months ahead of time planning and meticulously painting each model to the best of my ability in order to win the “Best Painted Army” award, which I was fortunate to achieve a couple of times.

Fast forward to today. I no longer seem to have the patience to paint models to showcase or competition level. Now, I find it quite frustrating if a single model takes me longer than two painting sessions to complete or a unit to take more than four painting sessions to complete. I can still achieve pretty decent results but the quality suffers a bit. If you’re not painting for competition and just want to get your models on the table then you may consider lowering your standards. This article may help you out as it’s all about painting to tabletop quality.


This lovely female painter is lowering her standards a bit.

This lovely female painter is lowering her standards a bit.

…Exploding On The Highway Like a Slug From a .45


Speed Painting 101

A common question I receive from friends is “How do you paint so fast?”.

It’s not uncommon for me to hammer out a full 50+ point army in roughly a month’s time.  How do I do this?  It’s likely a combination of experience and technique.  I’ll just run down some quick pointers and then there’s a 52 min video of me painting a Bull Snapper model from start to finish.


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Wear a smock or something if you’re going to speed paint like this guy!

Year of the Alligator


I’ve been known to play a bit with the less popular factions. I love the underdog. To this end, for about a quarter of 2013 I was playing the Pigmen of the Iron Kingdoms, the Farrow Thornfall Alliance. I had specifically avoided collecting the Blindwater Congregation (Gatormen) side of the faction because it was generally deemed the more competitive half, especially after Rask had been released. Now, for whatever reason, I’ve got my competitive juices flowing and I’m ready to get back to my winning ways and pulling no punches so here come the Gators.

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What? Oh. No, not THAT Rask…

NFL(GS) Game Tape


Professional sports teams review old game tape for hours in order to improve their own skills and abilities as well as to learn their upcoming opponents’ play style.  These are athletes that are at the top of their game and studying game footage helps to keep them there.  What exactly are they looking for?  Well you can’t control what your opponent will do but you can investigate what they’ve done in the past and possibly learn strategic tendencies and tactics and from that info, you can learn how to counter it.  You can also study your own gameplay and determine what you can improve on.  So if you’re looking to get to the top of the Warmachine/Hordes competitive scene, why wouldn’t you review old games?


Enter the NFL(GS) Game Tape (Notable Friendly Local Game Store).  Alright, admittedly competitive Warmachine is not a professional sport but it is a competitive tournament environment where knowing the play styles of the major competitors and the typical models you’ll encounter across the table is essential to success.  More important is learning how to improve the strategies or positioning of models a typical player can make during a game.  Can you learn to recognize that your plan to out-attrition your opponent will fail and you should switch to assassination mode? Maybe reviewing the game a few times can help! As such, following in the footsteps of Matti K from, I have taken it upon myself to record a “game of the week” for the local players at our local gaming store, Heroes World.  Several of the players here will be going to Templecon to test their skills against the field and while only one of our local players has aspirations at seriously competing for the Warmachine Masters crown, I felt it would be good to let a variety of players assess their own games to see where improvements can be made.

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In Play 1, Knowshon Moreno wants to charge into combat but doesn’t know eEiryss is going to shoot all the Focus off of Peyton Manning. After studying the game footage, the player realizes he should have done Play 2, and sent Moreno to charge Eiryss so she can’t shoot Manning.

Blending In


Wet Blending Master Class

There tends to be a natural progression when it comes to miniature painting that almost everyone follows.  You first learn how to base coat a model, keeping it clean and all your colours inside the lines like a kindergarten kid learns how to stay inside the lines in their colouring book.  Then you progress to drybrushing which provides a nice quick and easy way to add some depth to your painting.  The next progression tends to be layering, where you lay down your shadows first then progressively build up layers of lighter tones in increasingly  smaller areas until you have a gradation from shade to base colour to highlight.  The next level in the painting technique progression is what this article covers: Blending.

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Blending in. Yeah… Not so much.

Pass Me Your Remote, I Forgot to Press Mute.


Allow me to set the scene.

Your opponent is contemplating his next move deep in turn 4 of your Warmachine game.  There are heavy casualties on both sides of an evenly fought battle.  A pitiful smattering of infantry fight one another here and there, minimal remnants of their original 10 man units.  Warjack wrecks scatter the battlefield.  Your opponent charges Goreshade the Cursed into your Warcaster, Captain Allister Caine, whom you’ve cleverly parked behind a wall for some cover.  This combat will decide the game.  Assassinate Caine and the game’s over.  Fail, and Caine’s got Goreshade’s number on your turn.  Goreshade needs a 12 to hit Caine behind the wall, no easy task.  His first boosted attack comes up short as does his second.  His third hits the mark and leaves Caine at 3 health boxes remaining.  Your opponent uses his last 2 Focus to buy a boosted attack but misses.  Failed assassination.  This game is yours.  And then you hear a voice from behind you.  “Epic Goreshade’s sword causes Stationary on a hit so the last attack automatically kills you”.  Your opponent says, “Oh yeah.  Sorry.  You lose”.

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Caine’s fate thanks to Table Talk.

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire! (And Lightning. And Ice.)


I’ve been building a lot of lists lately and in the course of doing so I’ve been revisiting an old favourite of mine, Epic Warlock Baldur the Stonesoul.  More specifically his theme force, the “Hour of Reckoning“.

I’ve previously used eBaldur with some success but one thing I’ve always wanted was some heavy ranged firepower to add to his “brick up” Theme Force play style.  Sitting the heavy Constructs (or Warp Wolves should I choose to venture outside of his Theme Force) behind Rock Wall for a Defense bonus and protection from non-reach models is a solid Tortoise formation but lacks speed.  In order to force the enemy to engage this near impenetrable wall of heavy warbeasts, I require a serious ranged threat.

Tools of the Trade


Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s a poor craftsman that blames his tools”?  This may be true of many trades but it does not apply to miniature painting.  In fact I believe that quality tools can make one’s miniatures better than what they could be with poorly maintained or mediocre brushes and other tools we work with.  This article aims to provide you with the details and hopefully impart some knowledge on the more commonly used tools of our trade.