Friday, 2 September 2011

HoP Idol week 2

Well this week we had a challenge to complete and the winner selected by Chumbalaya of the Blackjack and Hookers blog gained immunity from the vote... the task was simple enough:

'Write an army list for any game system of your choice (although a GW product or PP list would probably be best).  There is no points limit for this, but it would be best to follow  normal conventions (eg 1,750 point 40K list or 2,500 point 'ardboys list).  Then, give your list a clever name like the leafblower (which really isn't too clever) or dethtron's exploding ball of hot molten deth or something like that.  Finally briefly explain in 250 words or less anything you want about your list (fluff behind list, why the list pwns on the table, how this is the next meta, etc) to make a case for why you should win this week.  This gives you flexibility to write for the type of game you like: competitive, narrative, casual, medium casual, extra crispy, and so on.'

Seems simple enough doesn't it?

and what about me? Well my submission was published last, and well I totally broke the rules but in aid of a good cause I felt, informing fellow gamers of few hints and tips while building an Infinity force was way more important:

You can read the full blown article my submission inspired here for far more in-depth look into army building in Infinity and the list I chose. Its not cheating because you're not voting on these articles any way!!! However as of now I'm not too sure who is immune from this weeks vote and I'm not entirely sure as of right now when it'll be announced. It might even be announced after the voting has closed and that would make the most sense and add to the drama I guess... although I'm thinking because of my infringement I'll not be getting immunity this week!

Well after last weeks storming win for me (thanks to all those of you who voted for me by the way) there was some discussion, started by me I might add, that the positioning of entries in these sorts of contest can have an influence. You see I read an interesting Journal article years ago that pointed to the primacy affect and that the first entry was the one others were judged against, this leads to a situation where being second or third is a sweet spot as there are fewer articles to compare them against so they can really shine where as later entries are judged against a much broader body of work and must 'fight' harder for recognition. Interesting topic for maths nerds like me and the article had a nifty equation to explain it, and its doubly interesting as the observed 'bias' could potentially explain the voting pattern in week 1 of the HoP Idol contest, so as HOTPanda went last in week 1 he was given the opening slot...

HoP Idol: Unlocking the chaos gene

Of the two options we were all given, defend an army or faction option and writing a hobby guide HOTPanda chose to defend the Chaos Space Marine Codex. I have to be honest I actually didn't enjoy this article as much as HOTPanda's first article, I hope his results in week 1 didn't knock his confidence and made him change his style. Hopefully it won't stop his usual humour. Its not that the article is bad, not by a long shot, its actually a really good breakdown of the unique characteristics of the Chaos Space Marine Codex and a Comparison with the Space Marine Codex and done so in a very thorough, rational and positive manner that deserves praise but... I suppose it's not aimed at people like me, for whom 40k is becoming an ever decreasing influence on hobby time, if not completely extinct. I'm pretty darn sure though that 40k gamers will have enjoyed it and as we all know there are plenty of them out there.

Second up we have Inquisitor_Dunn...

Display Boards 101

Now Inquisitor_Dunn went with the other option, a hobby project. I personally think he did an absolutely cracking job of it as well. I've seen plenty of display boards in my time, some awesome and some... well... less awesome. However its not a hobby subject that is very often elucidated on, and if it is I haven't seen it done that often. I also appreciated the fact that he was using 'spray on' stone effect paint as its something I've been considering on using myself for some scenery projects I've been planning. So it was useful to me at least to see some feedback on it as a hobby product to use. So OK he put a 40k army on it in the end, but hey display boards are a universal thing for all game systems so I was ale to take something from it.

Third into the ring is Lantz leaping in like a Lucho Libre wrestler...

HoP Idol Forge Father Conversion

So with this article that's two of the three entrants so far plumping for a hobby tutorial. Last week Lantz produced one of my favourite articles from the bunch of them. This week I'm guessing he'll do likewise again. I love doing conversions and I love seeing other people do conversions, I like seeing how they approach it and what their inspiration was and how close they get. The conversion in question is a pretty neat one as well and Lantz deserves a huge pat on the back for pulling it off, however he chickened out and didn't paint it himself!!! But I'll let him off because he did such a good job on the actual conversion. Yet again though its more 40k... I'm starting to think I might be on my own in this competition in a sea full of 40k gamers... somebody else show me I'm not alone...

and then there was von...

HoP Idol Blaggers Guide to Painting

Thankfully this article contains no 40k so my allergies will be fine. Either way though its a good little article. Although Von refers to his painting guide / technical advice as a 'blaggers' guide I think he's been overly harsh on himself. Personally I think the effect achieved on his Hordes figures is quite good and more importantly I think what he's talking about is actually good quality speed painting techniques for getting an army painted. Here's the thing you see, as I see it there are many different types of painting, and there are two extremes at either end of a very long scale. On the one hand you have speed painting for getting armies painted as quickly as possible and on the other you have high level technical painting aimed at single pieces, think your Golden Daemon standard if you will. Both require different techniques and skill sets and I think Von did a great job of describing the former, and speed painting isn't really something I'm good at and I took a lot from this as it gave me things to ponder... mainly Gesso!!!

Next up we had... me... I thought I'd be going last as in week 1 I went first...

HoP Idol: Sorylian Fleet

I kept up the predominantly hobbying theme for this week, and as always I steered my course in a very different angle to most, eschewing the ever popular 40k for something a little more 'niche'. I concentrated on painting my Sorylian Fleet for Firestorm Armada, a cool little game from the good folks at Spartan Games. They are based here in Blighty in a very small Somerset town called Shepton Mallet. As most of you who read my blog will know I'm a fully paid up member of the geek brigade so it shouldn't surprise you all to note that the inspiration for my colour scheme was none other than the TV series 'Red Dwarf'... yeah I know I'm sad. I had a few peeps request the painting guide go live on my blog with bigger picture files, and as I'm your bitch I've posted it Here.

and then bringing up the rear in the graveyard slot we had 'the other guy'....

HoP Idol: Tyranids

Another 40k painting guide (I'm starting to feel like the unpopular kid at a school disco) this time focusing on the beastly nids. Having flicked through the pictures and realised how nifty the plastic nids actually were it just made me a little bit sad as I loved my lime green and bone coloured nid army. But alas they're as effective as the 'Roman Catholic' method of contraception is since their last codex!!! Still The Other Guy actually did a pretty good job I feel of capturing the look and tone of his source of inspiration (the artwork image above) and did a nice little break down of the colours and methods he used... and it wasn't as long winded as mine... in fact nobodies article was as long winded as mine.

I hope none of the contestants takes issue with my summing up, as again they all did a bang up job I feel and I enjoyed them all, even the 40k themed ones (I'm just pulling your legs over 40k). Again on the whole the entrants have actually done a damn fine job of writing some pretty good articles... hmmm... perhaps writing good articles myself isn't the surefire way to win this competition after all... now where did I put that hitman's contact details? Any way voting is under way over at the House of Paincakes and as always I'd be personally grateful of your vote, but as always if you don't like my article please feel free to vote for whomever's articles you did like as again they're all deserving of your vote in one way or another. As always I won't fall out with you over it. Peace out!


  1. For me Games Workshop is my only current table top outlet. As such I have a strong pull towards blogs and articles about Warhammer Fantasy and or Warhammer 40k. With only a small portion of my time each week that I can devote to the hobby (as whole) I try to focus on what is near and dear to my heart. I have thought about trying Flames of War but with the lack of people in my area that play it, I am forced to keep it on the back burner. If I cannot play the game for me there is no point in modelling or painting it. This is unfortunate as there are some great games out there. However both of the GW games appeal to the masses and are always in the lime light.

    In terms of my article and the style it was written in I feel that I am like an onion. By that I mean there are many layers to me and humour is only but a fraction of what I contain. I am a huge conversionist, a kit bashing one could say and have several tutorials that would have been stood up to the rest of the submission. However I felt that a tutorial is close to home where an editorial is something that my feet have rarely touched. Pushing the envelope was the most important part for me. It also gave me a chance to put my favourite codex into the lime light.

    My week 2 quick fire challenge is underway and I will be posting an extensive article on option 2 over at the Chaos Manifesto this weekend. I hope to explain not only the history of the challenge but aim at capturing the thoughts of several influential characters in the Warhammer 40k universe in m prose.

    With regards to the journal your read on the positioning of entries do you think and feel that where your name is on the voting list can develop similar results?

  2. The article I read suggested that dependant on ordering, entries later in competitions where judgement is made actually had to work harder to get recognised. I personally found it a fascinating study and logically it seemed to make sense. That's not to say if you're last you've got no chance at all, but you have to overcome all previous entrants to be top dog as opposed to 1 or 2 when your placed 2nd or 3rd. There were some studies done on a photography competition where the same pictures were put in different orders and voted on by supposed experts. The results showed that those placed earlier in the list were more like to be viewed as the best image as those later in the list. Others have replicated similar results in different fields and others have debunked it really. However its an interesting concept and it was one that got my interest when at uni as it combined too of my academic loves maths and psychology!!!

    As for pushing yourself, I agree. That's why I did a hobby tutorial as I hadn't really done one before now and I felt I could go and do the defend an army book in my sleep really as I can talk a good game. ;) I'm glad though that week 1 didn't kill your sense of humour because I quite like your little quips in your articles, it gives you a nice friendly style that not many bloggers have. Hopefully we'll see you through to the next week as now your votes are picking up!!!

  3. I'm about to write another Kool-Aid Man vs GW article this time on their release schedule. It's been a heated topic with many people raging over the lack of non imperial releases in Warhammer 40k. I however did some research into the matter as I suspected that the Kool-Aid Man might have stained the community with wraith for GW. I might not be able to explore this idea via the HoP Idol contest but I will be publishing it shortly on If all goes well it may become a periodic post where I expose the various fallacies that Kool-Aid Man has perpetrated.

  4. Hey everyone needs a thing, a hook. Mine is purple hexagons!!! ;)

    Looks like you'll be safe for another week on HoP Idol. Last time I checked you were up to nearly 30 votes an hour or so ago.