Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Better Know a Gamer! The fightin' George Miller!

As part of our local gaming coverage, we're going to be interviewing gamers of note in the CFL area. They either have interesting armies, unique tactics, or an intruiging theory on gaming in general. Here is the first of that series: George Miller, aka Eldanesh at the CoC Forums or Cool Mini or Not.

AO: How long have you owned this army?

GM: Wow, now that I think about it, I've owned it at least in part since 1990. I'm what's called an Old School Gamer (see "Geezer"), I've been playing 40K since Rogue Trader and my Eldar are my longest held collection. It's taken different form over the years to accommodate every rule set from Rogue Trader up to 5th now and I've added different variations of re-sculpts over the years. So you'll see the original models from 1990 mixed in with the most recent from 2006.

AO: Which model is your favorite model in the army?

GM: Ooh, another tough one. I'd like to say the Armorcast Phantom Titan, just for the wow factor, but, as I'm primarily a painter first and a gamer second, I'll have to go with the more recent addition of the Autarch on the Jetbike. My absolute favorite model is my Void Dragon Phoenix: http://www.coolminiornot.com/6312, but I've since sold it. (Ed. Note: Well worth the visit!)

AO: What methods do you use to paint, and what tips do you want to pass along to your fellow hobbyist?

GM: Well, obviously I use an airbrush for my vehicles. There was a time when this was perceived as "cheating" but I think it's starting to be more accepted now if not appreciated. I never understood why it was expected that you paint fine scale military models for competition with an airbrush, but Citadel models was "by hand only". I have just gotten to the point where I can blend well enough by hand now on my smaller models (like the Jetbike Autarch for example) to mimic my airbrushes at a smaller scale. I think airbrush is an equally difficult skill to master, having done both for years now. I generally paint to 2 standards with my Eldar - model competition level and army competition level. If it looks good as a whole unit and fits in with the army as a whole that's my army level painting. I do pretty well with winning Appearance categories at RTTs with my Eldar, so I kind of have an instinct about what works composition-wise. For competition level minis (as in individual painting competitions) I pull out all the stops and pick away at a single model for 2-3 weeks depending on my work schedule. Thinning paint is vital for blending, but there are other secrets the pros like to keep to themselves. I use Liquitex Flo-Aid and Slo-Dry in a lot of my blends. I'm a patient guy, but I like to see results as I go. One very easy thing to master is basing. I've seen squads that individually look average to me, come out looking very good when based well.

AO: How long does it take you from open box/blister to finished model?

GM: Heh, assuming it doesn't just sit in my closet for a month or end up primed and waiting for a year? This kind of depends on how badly I need it for a particular list build or if I picked it up for a painting competition that's got a solid deadline. If I'm motivated properly, and I can find the time to commit regularly, I can produce a good single model in about 6-8 hours - which works out to about a week, to a week and a half since I generally only have time to paint for an hour a night on week nights if I'm lucky. I actually do my best stuff between 7am and 10am on Saturday & Sunday mornings,..heh.

AO: What does your 1850 tournament list look like, and what tactics do you use?

GM: Err,..I'm reevaluating this right now actually. Since 5th Edition I've come to realize that the Eldar nerfs require a new approach. Gone are the days of my flying circus (Falcons & Harlies) since troops are much more vital now. I'm actually leaning towards Wraithguard heavy troop selections. Honestly, I've only had draws with my Eldar since 5th. With the upcoming Space Marine codex I can see it's going to be necessary to crack armor in favor of fire saturation, so the obvious choices are Wraithguard, Fire Dragons, Dark Reapers (which are now dusted off). I'm back to using D-Cannon batteries as well and I've got a Fire Prism I'm play testing too. Prisms and Swooping Hawk grenade packs are the only pie plate templates available to the Eldar, so they're really good for crowd control with Orks and still hurt Marines reasonably well.

Thanks again George! Look for more Better Know A Gamer articles soon!

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