Saturday, 29 June 2013

This Proves 40K Apocalypse Is A Rubbish Gaming Idea

It isn't the ghastly overpriced toy kits. It's not the silly looking additional rulebook. It's not all the stern faced and surprisingly dull new Space Marine commanders. It's not even the frankly ludicrous notion of ranks of tanks on a 6' by 4' table. No, it's the dice set. This is what proves 40K Apocalypse is a ridiculous gaming idea. If you seriously need over 100 dice to play a tabletop wargame then something has gone horribly wrong and your company really is just a shop front for plastic crack. For every nudge towards sensible gaming that leaks into current rule sets, there's always a kick in the wrong direction like this one, which makes me walk by the GW store, shaking my head. Current 40K is really rather good - then something thickheaded like this comes along and makes a mockery of it all.

Oh yes, and this thing is ridiculous too... how can this be a game for goodness sake!

Friday, 28 June 2013

July White Dwarf Pictures

Courtesy of Johan Märs at Dice and Brush - see his full post here with more pictures. I like the jellyfish Necron guy.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Armies On Parade - Choosing The Nurgle Heavy Mob

I'm off to Cornwall on holiday with the family and in-laws for a week tomorrow, so you know what that means...? Tons of quality painting time while the grandparents, aunts and uncle look after the kids! So with that in mind my thoughts are turning for the first time in earnest to this year's Armies On Parade. This is my basic plan: simple base populated by the Nurgle Heavy Mob. That means, 3 Daemon Princes, 3 Obliterators, 3 Mutilators, the Plague Hulk, and the Helfly. I might do 10 zombie style crazy gang cultists too, so I can use the cool smaller models I have. Here are the three sets of heavies:

As for the base, I'm thinking really simple because I don't have the time to do anything fancy. This is all about motivation, a set goal, and an opportunity to show off some minis in public: I'm not trying to win anything (although with the introduction of a gold, silver and bronze prize per GW store it's a possibility I might get a trophy, which would obviously be lovely).

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Spellcrow Plague Flying Engine Jump Pack Thingy

Now here's an interesting conversion piece, a big plague infested jump pack from Spellcrow. Hands up who's thinking of converting their Nurgle Daemon Prince with one of these...*puts hand up*

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

"Daddy, Can We Read The Eldar Book At Bedtime Instead Of The Hobbit?"

Parenting is the greatest job / pastime / endless commitment / cure for boredom in the world. And sometimes your kids can totally blindside you and make it even better. Not only is my four year old son totally engrossed in The Hobbit at the moment (we've just read the barrels escape bit) he also likes to mix up his bedtime reading with the odd codex or army book. Today it was the new Eldar codex. I think I might've spawned the perfect hobbyist. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Manorhouse Workshop Indiegogo Launches, And It's Kind Of Affordable... Kind Of...

Manorhouse Workshop have launched their Indiegogo funding project. As anyone who visits regularly will know, I really like this guy's work but have been put off in the past by the prices and the shipping from Italy.

Not much has changed with the launch of the fundraiser, although it is fair to say that the prices are lower and there are numerous levels that you can get onboard. I have zero spare cash so it's not obvious what I can do here. Another downside is that there are no pictures of the actual buildings that you'll be pledging for at the moment. I suppose like others I'll wait for these to arrive. I do fancy an Arengario (a kind of Italian medieval town hall) for my next project though... 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

First Action For Castle Davenheim - Tau Vs Nurgle Chaos Space Marines

Castle Davenheim saw some action for the first time yesterday in a skirmish game of 40k. At loosely the 250pts level, a handful of my Nurgle Chaos Space Marines took on a small exploratory Tau force commanded by my friend Corbett. Even semi-painted, when accompanied by some of the other elements of Davenheim, the castle provided an instant setting for a small table game.

It's a real testament to the 6th ed 40k rules that a skirmish game at this level is both enjoyable and mechanically satisfying. Certainly the wound allocation system - closest to furthest - makes a small shootout 'realistic' enough so that units need to manoeuvre with real care. The assault phase also works perfectly at this low points level, with the pile-in system providing a fluid 'cinematic' solution to melees. Perfect Saturday afternoon entertainment.   

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Davenheim Castle, Thus Far...

Even with a simple colour scheme, painting a castle is a lengthy process. It's very enjoyable though, perhaps because of the sheer scale of a project like this and the knowledge that there's going to be a sizable, undeniably tangible output at the end of all this. 

Ordinarily I don't use metallic paint. Here though it makes sense to employ the old pot of Tin Bitz that lurks at the bottom of my paint case. As a metallic base for statues and the like it's perfect. The lighter grey is GW Celestra Grey and the darker, greenish grey is P3 Cryx Bane Highlight. Wood tones and weathering to follow.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

That Was The Week That Was #11

This week's round up highlights some fun looking miniatures that are due to be released in the next couple of months. They all rate highly on my want-o-meter. 

1. Titan Forge have added to their demonic range with some rotten beasts. The highlight is this princely lord character model that would grace any fantasy battlefield:

2. Mantic are fulfilling on their promise of a summer of Kings of War with a batch of new budget friendly minis. I'm quite taken by these werewolves:

3. Finally, Maxmini has released these rather nifty looking Necrohounds, which could be proxies for a range of 40k type...

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Castle Building And Child-Like Joy

A Citadel Fortress that I'd bought from eBay has finally arrived, meaning the final construction phases for Davenheim Castle have begun. I'm overwhelmed with child-like joy as I work on this project. Castle building is one of those cultural tropes of children's play that gets deeply embedded in many of us. It's like making dens and forts, either for ourselves or our action figures. For me the smell of tall grass or the perfume of poly cement are the scents of adventure.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Elder Sign - Boardgame Review

Elder Sign is a cooperative boardgame set in a noir-lovecraft universe in the 1920s. There's real potential here for an atmospheric and engrossing game, as players pitch in as various investigative types to halt the manifestation of some interdimensional horror. 

Each player uses the luck of the dice and careful employment of items, spells and the like to solve mysteries during their turn. Dice rolls must bring up certain icons in order for our plucky characters to succeed. With increasing frequency monsters appear to make completing each mission that much trickier. Completing a mystery brings points that can be spent resorting stamina or sanity - both depleted in the process of battling the nasties - or you get to buy useful items (drawn randomly of course). All turns take place during the night for obvious narrative reasons (spooky!) and as the clock ticks additional monsters arrive, locking certain dice or imposing health depleting forfeits if left undefeated come the following midnight. 

Throughout the game players must prepare for the coming of a potentially world-ending 'old one'. Collect elder signs to maybe ward off their manifestation or stockpile items, re-roll counters and such to take them on in a big end battle. 

Eldar Sign is the first cooperative boardgame I've played. It's a fun alternative to regular 'oppositional gaming'. It seems likely that non-gamers would enjoy the cinematic feel of the game, while cooperation means newer players could be accommodated easily. The character archetypes are good fun - stoic nun, nutty professor, sleazy salesman, trust fund girl - and there's the opportunity for a few laughs as you bear witness to the catastrophic end of existence as the fabric of reality is shredded. Good fun. 

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Embiggening Of Games Workshop's Embiggening Philosophy

You'll probably have seen this by now:

Being an old fart gamer it immediately made me think of these:

GW seem to be on an even larger embiggening bender than we realised. With a new version of 40K Apocalypse just round the corner it's hardly surprising I suppose. Old fart that I am it's making me feel all weird again because these models are the stuff of dreams not reality, or at least that's how it all makes sense in my head. The very notion back in 1989 that you could get your hands on a 'real size' gargantuan of any kind would've been mind blowing.

I still find this massification rather awe inspiring. Admittedly the Khorne Blood Tractor or whatever it's actually called looks pretty ridiculous - I won't be getting one - I've got to say though that I sort of wish it was as utterly ridiculous as the old Epic models, with a Bloodthirster head, etc. (I guess not all dreams come true!).

I wonder if GW have something truly tempting up their sleeve for me...

Raging Heroes Kickstarter Begins Tues 4 June 16.00pm GMT

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Ruins Of Davenheim (Courtesy Of Amera Plastic Mouldings)

As Davenheim has been the site of many battles, it should come as no surprise that there are ruins here and there. These two pieces come courtesy of Amera Plastic Mouldings and were astonishingly good value for money, particularly considering their size. On the left is the F209 ruined building and on the right is the F201 castle ruins - the watchtower is for size comparison.

These white polystyrene mouldings are pretty robust and take paint and other decorations very easily. The detail is rather slight as you might expect from the medium, but that seems to be easily overcome with a thorough paint job. I'm about 40% done with these at the moment and it's taken a couple of hours to get the basic shading and texture on there. Once these are done I'm going to put in an order for the river sections as I've always wanted a waterway on the tabletop.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Welcome To Davenheim! A Fantasy Medieval Town Plagued By Misfortunate

Being a fan of narratives in gaming I've decided to extend this in some small part to my scenery. I'm going through a construction phase at the moment, with buildings popping up all over the place, so why not give this place a name and perhaps a bit of a story? And Davenheim was born! 

Davenheim is idilic in many respects, although - as residents will tell you - it has the misfortune to be plagued by armed conflicts. Oddly, no matter which armies are facing off, they always seem to clash in the surrounds of Davenheim. This really impacts on property values.

So far I have a chapel, watchtower, and the beginnings of Davenheim Castle, which is incorporating parts from several GW kits and is waiting for a Citadel Fortress that I bought from eBay to arrive so that I can finish the basic construction. This is a really fun project that's giving me a little 'constructive space' to think about how to paint my other summer projects - also, my wife actually admitted she was quite interested in the buildings, so that's a supplementary minor victory!
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