Sunday, 25 January 2015
Whilst we've impatiently been waiting for Dungeon Saga to arrive we decided to fulfil our Dungeon craving by returning to an old favourite, Warhammer Quest. This uses the Warhammer fantasy range extensively and most of the monsters that are encountered I can draw straight from that collection, occasionally though something pops up that we have to proxy, Mummies were in that category, until now that is.
I got these four classic mummies off of ebay, these are over 20 years old and are from a time before Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings had been separated into different armies. I remember them coming out not long after I started collecting Citadel minis actually. They're a little two-dimensional, but I think on the whole they hold up pretty well to todays standards. As my Undead army is Vampire Counts I've given them Warhammer Quest specific bases as that's the only game I can see them being used in.
Monday, 19 January 2015
Well we got there, a year and a half after the funding target was met I've finally received the final part of my Deadzone Kickstarter package from Mantic Games.
There's not a huge amount in this package compared to the previous two, 42 minis, for the Enforcers and Forge Father factions. What makes it interesting is that they're all hard plastic, which begs the important question; have Mantic finally managed to conquer hard plastic?
A bit of background for those not familiar with Mantic's hard plastic history, it all started many years ago with Mantics very first releases of hard plastic elves and skeletons, these were good quality and the sprues had lots of options, the sculpting was good (although the style of the elves wasn't to everyones taste), the future looked good. Then for the next lot of releases, the fantasy dwarves & orcs and sci-fi forge fathers & marauders Mantic kept the same quality, but made the sprues much smaller and with far less options for customisation. This was disappointing, but not the end of the world. Then it got worse Mantic started to make their plastics in China instead of the UK, and whilst I'm sure it saved them money the quality of the Basilean Men at Arms was poor, really poor. Since then Mantic have hardly used hard plastic, until now that is, lets see what we've got.....
Starting with the Enforcers we've finally got the basic troops sprue, each sprue contains five minis which can be made up with rifles or pistols and combat blades. There are also optional pieces which allow you to make a sergeant and either a flame thrower or a heavy burst laser.
The plastics also form the base of these Enforcer Defenders, equipped with shotguns and blast shields.
These are the big boys, Enforcer Peacekeepers; the kit comes with a lot of options, you can have either gun and gauntlet or gun and blast shield, plus there are options for a sergeant, a heavy burst laser and a flamer.
Finally we have the Forge Fathers, these were harder to get unique poses out of and the leader was compulsory and not an option, they also come with heavy weapon options (three this time) and have six minis per sprue whereas the other two sprues had five each.
I've only built half of my package so far, but it's enough to answer the question; They're not perfect, there's still some mould lines (down the legs in particular) and all the legs have to be attached to specific bodies, which is a shame, but these plastics are a huge leap forward for Mantic and I think the future once again looks bright. I'll be interested to see what the retail price ends up being for these and I now have high hopes for the plastics coming from the Kings of War Kickstarter later in the year.
Friday, 9 January 2015
Another showcase of my latest eclectic selection of painted minis for today. December was inevitably a busy month and I really didn't achieve much on the painting front at all, but what I did manage to do somehow was play a lot of Warhammer Quest....
Which leads me nicely to this chap, who is of course a classic citadel Chaos Warrior who has had a repaint and a dedicated Warhammer Quest style base rather than my normal green flock. The party also contains a pit fighter, a wizard and a warrior priest. Both the pit fighter and wizard have dedicated Warhammer Quest minis already so expect to see a warrior priest in the near future.
Next we have some additions to my Darkest Africa collection courtesy of Foundry, on the top a couple of British NCO's from their Boer War range and on the bottom an explorer both on and off a donkey.
The last Hobbit movie was an enjoyable movie if admittedly not a masterpiece like the Lord of the Rings movies were, and it gave me the urge to paint a few more middle earth bits starting with this Tauriel. I was quite pleased with the result until I photographed it and now the hair is looking way to bright so I will have to try and tone it down a bit somehow.
Not going far from Tauriel at all we have these wood elf archers from GW Lord of the Rings range, but who would of course happily work fighting along side Tauriel and Legolas in a Hobbit game.
Now to the first finished minis from my second wave Deadzone kickstarter package. I started with a few Enforcers, which for some reason I really enjoy painting, from left to right we have an enforcer captain, Sgt Howlett and an enforcer with fusion gun.
Finally we have these two plague corrupted enforcers. I've a veritable mountain of Deadzone stuff still to paint and of course I am eagerly awaiting the imminent arrival of wave 3.
Thursday, 1 January 2015
Where did 2014 go? It only seems like yesterday that I was writing last years version of this post. I'm not doing any resolutions this year either, but lets have a look at my favourite games/minis/things from the last year in a sort of mock award ceremony style that was quite popular last year.
The blog got off to a good start, but petered out over the summer as life and a new role at work got in the way, one major change was the introduction of a second writer, my mate Mike who contributed 5 posts throughout the year, hopefully we'll hear a bit more from him this year too. Gaming has been quietly going on throughout the year, but with no one game dominating our time, a bit of a bitty year.
Favourite Project Finished in the Last 12 Months
Right at the start of the year I finally finished painting my High Elf army, that had been of the verge of being completed for around two years. It was very gratifying to finally get it all finished, it's an army that I'm rather proud of as well.
Most Popular Post
This was much closer than last year, but the most popular thing I wrote was this little post on the miniatures from the new Mars Attacks game. It was so good someone even decided it was worth copying! Which whilst I can joke about it now riled me up at the time.
It's been a year of small scale gaming really, with skirmish and board games coming to the fore. However there were a few games of 40K and Warhammer fantasy and a single game of Kings of War, but the most played 'wargame' this year and the one I had the most fun with was Battlefronts' Flames of war. We've still a lot to explore with this as well and I hope we play a lot more in 2015.
Best Board/Card Game
A surprise for me here as I'm awarding this to Mars Attacks by Mantic games. I wasn't expecting much from Mars Attacks. I got it on Kickstarter as the deal became really good and I could use the minis in Deadzone, but it turns out that it's a really good fun game. The light hearted silliness and scenario based format make replayability high as well.
Favourite New Miniatures
This is always the hardest decision, contenders this year included, Beorn & Thranduil from the Hobbit range, my Emhar Whippet and my Battlefront TOG 2*, but in the end my favourite new minis are definitely my Jalopy conversions based on PSC Stuarts for use in Flames of War.
It's not been a massive year for getting out and about for me, but my first ever trip to the tank museum at Bovington and a trip to Carisbrooke Castle (that I never quite got a round to posting about) were definitely fun, but my favourite trip of the year was my behind the scenes look at Bembridge fort on the Isle of Wight.
Favourite Book Read this Year
I read a lot over a variety of different subjects and fiction styles which makes picking a favourite book tricky, as comparing science books and Victorian fiction is next to impossible, however I think I've managed it.
The best book I read this year was the History of Mr Polly by HG Wells, if you haven't read it I recommend you give it a try.
Favourite New Movie
This doesn't have to mean released this year, just new to me, I go to the cinema rarely and am often 6-12 months behind. There were four contenders here; The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, Thor: The Dark World, The Lego Movie and Noah.
I've surprised myself, but I'm finally admitting it, The Lego Movie was better than the last Hobbit movie and is my favourite movie of the year.
Thing I'm Most Looking Forward to in 2015
Whilst you never know what the next year will bring, some things are expecting and some have been rumoured. Possible highlights include Warhammer Fantasy 9th ed, and the second Deadzone Kickstarter. I am also looking forward to receiving both Dungeon Saga and Kings of War from Mantic.
In the end the thing I'm most looking forward too is getting and playing Kings of War, I've only played a single battle so far but I enjoyed it a lot, depending on what's in the starter set I might not even get warhammer 9th ed. I have several Kings of War units on the painting table in ready anticipation for the rulebooks arrival.
Best Wargames Company
The biggy, but somewhat predictable I think, I drifted even further from my original gaming home of GW this year, and have only bought 4 minis and one book from them. My gaming group has also passed on the latest edition of 40K and look unlikely to bother to try and catch up, it's a shame their minis are second to none, but unless I win the lottery (which I don't play so that would be more than surprising!) GW have priced me out.
Battlefront's Flames of War has had many games and lead me to collect two new armies, but again the prices mean that those armies contains minis from many other places as well as battlefront.
We've also played a bit of X-Wing this year from FFG, but although I like the game I've been playing with my mates models and haven't liked it enough to invest in my own set.
Which means of course we come to Mantic Games as this years winner (again!). The year started with a flurry of Deadzone gaming before mantic took a backseat to larger scale games (flames of war, 40K and warhammer fantasy) over the summer before coming back with a vengeance when Mars Attacks landed. Add to that the Dungeon Saga and Kings of War Kickstarters that I'm eagerly awaiting and Mantic are the deserved winner.
Finally I'd just like to wish all my readers a happy new year and thank you all for stopping by and reading what I write.
Sunday, 28 December 2014
A couple of months ago when I was off work for a week I popped into my new local Hobbycraft store to see if it had anything worth keeping an eye on for a hobbyist like me. Most of the store is full of stuff that was no good, but tucked at the back they did have a model kit section. It was dominated by Airfix, but had a few kits from other brands as well and I came away with this kit of an early WW2 German tank made by Tamiya.
This was my first kit from Tamiya and was at a much larger scale than my normal 1/72 or 1/76 vehicles, so I didn't know exactly what I'd be getting until I opened up the box when I got home. The kit was your standard hard plastic, but very well produced with sharp hard details, it was pretty easy to put together, with mostly large parts with detail already moulded on, rather than the adding of fiddly details as separate parts, like on most Airfix kits. I'm not sure which approach I prefer. This is also the first kit that I've ever managed to make where the tracks can actually rotate after construction. Weather that says more about my abilities or various kits I'm not sure.
It also came with five figures which surprised me (although if I'd have read the box properly it shouldn't have!) a tank commander and a few Germans in desert gear. These are the first 1/35 scale figures I've ever had and they're huge. I've only stuck one together so far and have yet to paint him, not sure that I ever will.
The main reason I'm not fussed about painting these figs is that I decided to paint up my tank not in the desert scheme, but in one more suitable for northern Europe. It was a bit odd painting a tank in this scale as well and I tried a slightly different approach, with more shaded areas, you can see the results below.
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Another year and another 'crazy xmas box' from Mantic games, you never know exactly what you're going to get, but I've always been pleased with what I've received in the past. Mantic went and confused the issues this year though by releasing two varieties, a 'normal' one and a pure sci-fi one. I was tempted to get one of each but in the end I restrained myself and ordered just the normal one. I did this as I've just pledged on the Kings of War kickstarter and was hoping for a few bits to add to my currently small Kings of War collection.
After a lot of work this became....
Like last year I'll break it down by system;
Kings of War
- 10 x Basilean Panther Riders
- 10 x Elf archers with command
- 1st ed mini rulebook and poster
Pretty pleased with this overall, the panther riders are especially welcome as they will make excellent allies for the forces of nature army that I've got coming next year. Even the old elves are surprisingly welcome as I currently have the 10 elf archers from last years box (without command) on the painting table also for inclusion in my forces of nature army. The 1st ed rulebook is also welcome, we played our first game of Kings of War last weekend, a 4 player game using the beta rules from the Mantic journal, this will allow us to use a slightly updated version until the kickstarter rulebook arrives. As a quick aside on first playing we liked Kings of War a lot, I can see a lot more of this being played than Warhammer in the future.
A lonely, but useful Dreadball mini
- Void Sirens Keeper
I have avoid Sirens team, but I didn't have a keeper so a useful mini for me.
Some more stuff for mt Deadzone collection
- 2 x rebs humans
- rebs yindi
- 2 x marauder mawbeast bombers
- marauder captain
- Chovar pyshic merc
- 2 x battlezone accessory sprue
I have a lot of deadzone stuff, but, excepting only the captain, I'm glad to get more of the rest.
Any ideas on possibilities for the giant flea rider?
- General Jaret
- Henry on Giant Flea
I have both of these from my kickstarter package, so it will be conversion time, the general will I think find his way into my Imperial Guard army, but I don't have any ideas yet for the giant flea.
For the first time, nothing from warpath, not that I'm fussed, I suppose it would replace the kings of war stuff in the sci-fi version of the box. but that's just a guess.
This is available at £25, although I got it cheaper on the Black Friday sale. I'm pleased with this years box, the value on it really does ride on weather you want the panther riders or not. Of course not all boxes may include the panther riders, but that's the gamble you take...
Friday, 5 December 2014
Just a quickie today as I've finished painting all the minis now from the main Mars Attacks boxed set and a few of the bonus minis from my Kickstarter package.
Starting with the kickstarter bonus minis the Gorilla Tunga and his handler Craig, I think these are pretty cool, Tunga is a mean fighter in game as well.
The last three human heroes from the boxed set; Phil, Joe & Deke.
The second squad of martian Grunts
A kickstarter bonus martian Flag waver and the Master of Science heavy (with a minimalist paint job) and in the middle General Zar from the 'Attack from space' set.
Saturday, 29 November 2014
Gaming and drinking only goes together so far, and after a few beers the other night me and Mike were fully aware that a proper wargame was out of the question, but we still needed something else to play. Mike came up with an idea and suggested we play an 'Arena of Death'. For those that don't know 'Arena of Death' was an article in an old White Dwarf (must be well over 10 years ago) that pitted the greatest lords in the warhammer world against each other in a knock-out tournament. Idea accepted off we go to look at my collections to select 16 candidates.
We tried to spread the competing minis from different armies, and didn't have any specific requirements except the 'rule of cool' and which minis from my collection we thought we the hardest. The rules used happened to be the latest that I have in my collection, which are not necessarily those from the latest editions of the books (since the move to hardback I've not been keeping my library up to date) with a lot of the monster rules being taken from the Storm of Magic expansion.
The competitors are;
1. The White Dwarf carried by Gotrek & Joseph Bugman
2. A Keeper of Secrets
3. A Lord of Change
4. The King of Bretonnia
5. The Green Knight
6. Orion, King of the Woods
7. Vampire Lord
9. An Emperor Dragon
10. High Elf Lord on Griffon
11. A Manticore
12. Black Orc Warboss
13. A Giant
14. A Slann
15. A Treeman
16. Thorgrim Grudgebearer
The first battle, I had high hopes for the White dwarf and mates, but an initial draw against a greater daemon made me a little wary. I shouldn't have been though, short work was made of slaanesh's servant and the White Dwarf progresses to the next round.
The second greater daemon this time vs the King of Bretonnia. A bit of a surprise for us both and partly due to Mikes famous inability to roll dice the King sailed through with an easy win!
The poor Green Knight really did not stand a chance here and the avatar of the elvish God tore him to shreds.
Generic Vampire lord vs the everchosen of the Chaos gods? Win for Archaon of course! After the defeat of both greater deamons Chaos look to have a contender here!
Another foregone conclusion here, the valiant Elf prince soon met his doom down the throat of the Emperor Dragon.
The closet match of the round this one was going down to a single wound on each side, but ultimately the Manticore got the win.
Well this was short, the Giant clubbing the Slann over the head and making mincemeat of him, in retrospect the Slann probably shouldn't have made it into the competition.
Two of my favourite minis fighting each other here, it took a couple of rounds due to the Treemans toughness, but the Dwarf High King wasn't going out in the first round, no way.
Although the King got lucky in the last round he was totally outclassed here, the three dwarfs made epically short work of him and his mount.
Another close one, we favoured Archaon before the fight, but Mikes dice rolling interfered again and the mighty Orion took the day and a surprise place in the semi's.
Ha, this didn't last long at all, the Emperor Dragon sails into the semi's
The end battle of round two and no surprises here either, the second Dwarf makes the semis.
The first semi then, getting serious now. Despite a good start from Orion he just wasn't tough enough to weather the torrent of attacks the three dwarfs put out and finally met his match.
We really weren't sure which way this was going to go, sheer brutal stats or fancy magic items? It was a close one, but Dwarvish awesomeness won through in the end.
The final then, Dwarf vs Dwarf (see I knew Dwarfs were the best that's why I have so many of them), it took a few rounds but ultimately the White Dwarf and friends struck down the High King and claimed the throne for himself.
There we go incontrovertible proof that the White Dwarf is the hardest character in Warhammer fantasy.... Well at least when he brings two of his mates along....
P.S. please don't be too harsh on the paint jobs some of them are 20 years old!