Well, this week certainly did go as I expected hobby-wise. I had started working on the Golden Demon project and out of nowhere, I got the desire to work on something else. I started splitting my time between the two miniatures and by the end of the week, I was painting the something else full-time. Here is a look at what that miniature was.
If you’ve been following this site for a while, you know that I’ve had trouble finding motivation to get the objective markers painted. This is one I’ve wanted to do for a while because explosive crates are pretty common in Fallout 4. As I’ve said with previous markers, the amount of stuff around this crate is not realistic to the game and is too good to be true. With that said, it is neat to see all kinds of explosive objects from the game gathered together. I’ve got 7/10 of these done now which is not too shabby either. I see a few little things that I need to touch up before varnishing it but its close enough to being done that I won’t mind doing that at all.
I know last week I promised to show off the Golden Demon project but I almost talked myself out of it. I haven’t made as much progress as I originally expected. This mini had some fairly large gaps that took a bit of work to fix which was surprising and disappointing. I had nearly all of the exposed horse bits painted with some really smooth layers and was happy with them when my good painting friend told me that I should go for a fur effect instead. So in a sense, the effort was wasted even though I knew he is right that the fur effect will look better and it is a technique that not a lot of painters use which is perfect for a painting competition piece. So what you see now is half-finished fur on the horse that needs more work. The only thing that is really done is the leather straps which do look pretty good, I’d say. I’m hoping that showing this off and getting the objective marker done will push me to work a bit more on this project in the near future as I’d love to get it done in plenty of time before the competition. I’ll be curious if anybody recognizes the sculpt as it is half-built too. I think it will be a challenge for all but a couple of you.
In Arkham Horror corner, after about two weeks of slowly playing (it was a lot longer if you ask my wife!) through Edge of the Earth for the first time, the campaign ended in failure for the brave expedition members who went to Antarctica. I used Norman and Daniela for the first time in the campaign and while both are good investigators, I still got humbled in the end. More on that in a bit.
Norman is a pretty cool investigator for being a bookish old man. He starts off as a Seeker when you first build and use your deck, so he’s great at getting clues but as you gain experience, he can only take Mystic cards to improve his deck. This means he can improve his combat abilities and clue grabbing skills a bit. Of course, the problem with any Mystic deck is having the resources to pay for everything. Fortunately, his investigator ability lets you not only see the top card of your deck at all times, but you get a little discount if you play that card during your turn too. Maybe I’m wrong about this but to me, this actually kind of works as a bit of extra card drawing power too which is pretty neat. While I don’t have an enormous card pool, I think Norman is hands down my favorite Seeker investigator and he’s way more fun to play than Rex. Norman’s special abilities are cooler and more useful than Daisy (who I want to like and use more than I do).
Daniela is a strong investigator too but I don’t think I figured out how best to use her. She can basically “tank” enemies and do damage back to them or automatically evade them instead which is pretty powerful. Her special item is a wrench which lets her do even more along those lines. While my deck had allies to absorb damage and weapons to give her reliable damage, I wasn’t able to turn her into the combat powerhouse in the way that I wanted. The fact that she only can take Survivor cards with her experience didn’t help with my card pool and I ran out of good upgrades for her pretty early I felt like. Ultimately, my playthrough of Edge of the Earth failed because she couldn’t handle a larger, tougher monster very quickly so that was a bummer. I think she has potential to be a great investigator but I didn’t do well with her and maybe she isn’t suited to my playstyle too. Time will tell on that one.
What I learned is that any campaign past Dunwich Horror gives out more experience and so you need to think ahead as far as what cards you want to add to your deck. I generally played a scenario, think about what could be improved in the deck, and then spend experience (assuming I got some in that scenario of course). There are pluses to this approach but it let me down this time as I got lazy towards the end and didn’t strengthen the two decks as well as I should have, partially because I didn’t realize how much experience I’d have at my disposal. I think that is ultimately why the campaign ended in failure. I will try not to make this mistake again in the future as fizzling out at the end is no way to go.
As far as Edge of the Earth goes, it is pretty darn cool overall. I like it better for theme and immersion than Dunwich Legacy or Night of the Zealot. It really emphasizes exploration which is a fun part of Arkham Horror. There are several standout scenarios including climbing a gigantic mountain in Antartica. The one area that I am not sold on is the amount of “upkeep” between games. There is a lot more to read before and after each scenario and there are interludes between scenarios where you get some RPG-like choices. I need to play the campaign more to know exactly how I feel and I appreciate that FFG tried some new things with this campaign anyway. I’m also glad that Fantasy Flight made a campaign around the Mountains of Madness which is probably my favorite Lovecraft story. They certainly did it justice and while I’ll have to wait until after Christmas, I’m already itching to get some new investigator cards and play this campaign again!
This might be my last hobby progress update for the year since I’ll be busy over the next week or so. I have at least one more Fallout Getting Started article I’d like to write so I may work on that as I continue to make progress on the Golden Demon project. I hope everyone has an excellent holiday break in the meantime and that Santa treats you well!