Thursday 29 December 2011

Dreadfleet - The Flaming Scimitar

The penultimate warship rolls off the production line, this time the arabian inspisred flaming scimitar, which has cool little spirits that help it move and fight.  It's an interesting ship and I enjoyed painting it.  My dreadfleet project is nearly finished now, only the bloody reaver and the sea monsters to go.

Monday 26 December 2011

The What I Got For Christmas Post...

I've managed to survive yet another christmas with the family, we even managed to play a few trivia boardgames, it was hardly warhammer, but still I enjoyed it.  I even got a couple of new games as christmas presents.

Two very different games here, the 'Lego game Magma Monster' and the eurogame 'Ponte Del Diavolo'.  They both look interesting and will fill missing gaps in my collection, the lego game will be perfect for when a short fun game is needed (espicially if there are any non-gamers present) and ponte del diavolo is only 2 players, which is good as I often find I need an easy 2 player game when I don't have time for a full wargame (again it is less scary for my non-gamer freinds/family than anything that involes little plastic goblins or the equvilent), and most of my other boardgames work best with 3 or more players (risk, shogun etc.) or also take too long (for example space hulk).  It's the lego game I'm actually most eager to try as I've had my eye on them for a while, as I think the nature of the lego could give rise to some interesting mechanics.  Full reviews in time of course, and I hope everybody had a happy christmas!

Friday 23 December 2011

Ming Dynasty - A Few Thoughts

I managed to get a couple of games in of this, my new boardgame, at the weekend, so of course am sharing my thoughts on it, I picked this up in the works for £7.99 and my local store at least still had a few copies left yesterday.

Ok lets start with the contents, no problems here, its all very good, the board is nice and thick and nicely illustrated on both the front and the back, the cards are fine and tokens are also nice and thick.  The playing pieces are coloured wood and are pretty standard and so are also fine.  The game also came with a bunch of little resealable baggies to keep all the bits in, always a nice touch.  Quality wise you won't be jumping off the ceiling about this, but I honestly can't see any problems with any of it either, except......

The way they have chosen to present the rules.  They're oddly split between a summary sheet and an explanation sheet, this is the weak point of the game, the rules are VERY badly written and it took several read throughs to try and understand how it was supposed to work, in the end we just started playing and just about had a grasp of it by the end of the first game.

What you get

The gameplay its self is actually quite interesting the aim is to get family members into cities to gain points and province tokens, the quicker you can get a set of 6 province tokens the more points you get.  You can't move your family members though, they can only be deployed if your prince (who can move around) ends in a area and then they can be deployed there.  It's a lot more complicated than that though, your family members need to outnumber the enemy family members to get maximum points, also your prince can only move if he has the right card to go over a border, and he can only pick movement cards from areas that have family members in waiting.  There are a lot of decisions to make in this game, possibly too many.  It plays with 2-4 players, but as usual with these sorts of games I think its more interesting the more poeple you have.  The game only plays for 6 turns, which is nice as it doesn't go on for ever, also you only score points at the end of turns 2,4 and 6, this actually works out nicely and adds an interesting dynamic to the game.

Some of the Green Playing Pieces

Well it's actually not a bad games once you get past the badly written rules (If you can't be bothered with this then this won't be the game for you) , there are a lot of decisions to make, which of course leads to increased replayability, and it's really quite strategic.  Also its not a long game, as you only ever get 6 turns and I think you'd struggle to make it last more than an hour and a half (our games took about an hour).  I'm not sure how much it was origanally, but I got this for £7.99, and at this price I'm pretty pleased with it.  If a mate has this and has already worked out the rules there are a lot worse ways to spend an hour.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Mantic Zombies - Part 4 - The Second Batch

The next lot of the excellent Mantic Zombies have been painted and based ready to join my warhammer Vampire Counts army.

The Horde Grows

Saturday 17 December 2011

Mantic Crazy Christmas Bag

The Mystery Bag

After a bit of deliberation I've gone and ordered a crazy christmas bag from Mantic Games, the website doesn't specify what models you will get only that it will be a lot and comes in a mantic bag for £24.99, and you do definatly get a lot, heres what mine contained:

2 x skeleton troop sprue - 20 models
1 x revenant troop sprue - 10 models
1 x revenant cmd sprue - 10 models
2 x zombie srprue - 6 models
3 x ghoul sprue - 6 models

1 x elf archer sprue - 10 models
1 x elf archer cmd sprue - 10 models
1 x elf spearman sprue - 10 models
1 x elf spearman cmd sprue - 10 models
3 x elf scout sprue - 6 models

1 x dwarf warriors sprue - 5 models
1 x dwarf cmd sprue - 5 models
2 x dwarf ironwatch sprue - 4 models
1 x dwarf ironbreaker sprue - 2 models

2 x orc ax sprue - 6 models
1 x orc greatax sprue - 2 models
1 x orc cmd sprue - 0 models (well 2 cool little orclings)

For a grand total of 122 models (not including dogs/cats/rats/orclings), which works out at 20.5p a model and values the bag at zero.  If thats not a bargin I don't know what is!  If I was being picky I'd have rathered less elves and more orcs, and also note that no bases come in the bag, but I'm just nitpicking really, this is a fantastic deal.  I'm properly chuffed with this, well done Mantic.

The Contents

So what am I going to do with all this lot, well I happen to have a cunning plan, with the new Dwarf Kings Hold expansion Ancient Grudge coming out next year and the ability to tailor warbands a whole bunch of extra models from the dwarves, orcs and even a few elves will come in very useful.  The undead will be based and used for warhammer as well as used in DKH, with 20 man regiments of skeletons and revenants and a few ghouls and zombies to add to the regiments I already have.  The painting queue just got a lot bigger.

I mustn't forget you also get this bag to carry models in, I quite like the styling, but am not overly keen on the velcro that keeps the flap down, but hey it's basically a free bag!
As I post this you have a few days left to order one, so if I've tempted you you better act sharpish.

Friday 16 December 2011

Mantic Journal 5 - The Last Journal

Iusse 5 of mantic's mini mag is very much the warpath issue, with almost all the space being dedicated to it. Mostly background information too, We get extensive background on the Marauders and the Forgefathers (and interestingly it looks like we have new squat Forgefather bikers on the way, I'm hoping these come out well), a couple of short stories, a scenario and some design notes.  All not bad actually, Kings of War players might feel a bit let down though only getting a single page about orc gore riders.  Of course companies have to promote their new products through their magazines, but it does grate on me when they basically ignore other major systems entirely.   As with the last issuse the highlight for me is the new scenario for Dwarf Kings Hold tucked away at the end, this is a multiplayer scenario based on one run by Jake at the mantic open day pitching dwarves vs undead, I've not had a chance to play it yet, but I like that fact that anywhere between 2 and 5 people can play.

This is also the last issue of the Journal, which I'm not that bothered about to be honest, I was undecided weather to renew my subscription anyway, and at least this has made my mind up for me, in the end all I'm really going to miss are the new dwarf kings hold scenarios.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Revell WW2 German 1:72 Jagdpanther

I've just finished building an painting my second Revell kit, a 1:72 scale German WW2 Jagdpanther tank destroyer.  This is only the second revell kits I've made and there were some major differences between this and the 1:76 scale T 34 I made recently, I don't know if these differences are standard between the 1:72 and 1:76 range.  But this is a more complicated kit, without a scenic base, and hard plastic tracks as apposed to the soft ones.  The hard plastic tracks are more work, but they came out well and I think I prefer them.

The Box
Whats in the box

One nice aspect of the kit is that it comes with options for building either an early or late version of the Jagdpanther, with different gun and exhuast parts.  I've built mine as the late version.

The model fully built

The colour scheme I've chosen is based loosely on the one worn by the example that I saw recently at the Imperial War museum in London.  As always I painted it using citadel paints and the main yellowy colour is bubonic brown washed with gryphon sepia and the drybrushed again with bubonic brown.  Green camo was then painted on top using Catachan green.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Warhammer: Blood In The Badlands - A Review

So 'Blood in the Bandlands' is a new Warhammer book from Games Workshop, it's a bit different from their usual offerings, it's not an armies book nor a full blown rules supplement.  It's what they call a campaign book, which turns out to a mix of a giant white dwarf article with some new rules sprinkled across it.

The book itself is 96 pages long, is hardback and in full colour throughout, if you have storm of magic or one of the new army books you will know what to expect.  It's all very pretty, lots of model eyecandy and I really like the cover artwork too, I have no issues with the quality of the book itself and in fact am really pleased with it.

The book starts with an introduction (unsurprisingly) and then breifly moves on to the background for the campaign (a quest for a flying castle stuffed full of treasures essentially) and gives a couple of pages of info on the geography of the badlands themselves.

Then we have 8 pages that are the rules for the campaign.  They use a tiled mighty empires map, but any map with territories marked would work I think, they suggest buying mighty empires, but I don't think its nessacery.  Again the rules are designed for this specific camapaign, but could easily be transplanted into another setting.  The campaign resolves around seasons with a special scenario (in the campaign section of the book, coming up) at the end of each season, the winner of which gets special bonuses, and the winner of the winter scenario wins the whole campaign, this I think is a nice twist as it gives you 4 big event nights over the course of the campaign.  The campaign in the book had 8 players and I think you'd need at least 6 for it to work properly.

The main section of the book comes next describing the campaign as fought by the studio staff, it starts with a description of the armies and then moves through the story of the campaign.  The end of season scenarios are in this section and are each followed by a mini-battlereport describing how it went for the studio players.  This really is the bulk of the book, and is the sort of thing you'd find in white dwarf, whilst I quite liked it I can see some poeple being disapointed by the amount of space dedicated to it.

Towards the end of the campaign section are the new rules for underground battles, which to be honest aren't that different from normal battles, just with a couple of twists.  What is interesting is that it also features a mini-campaign with the skaven trying to take the dwarf hold of Barak Varr, and includes 5 scenarios with interesting set-up rules and odd table shapes.  I'm relaly hoping to get a chance to try these out.

Tucked away at the end are a few pages describing updated rules for playing seiges and using seige equiment.  They're a lot simpler than the last version of the seige rules and look a lot of fun.  I reckon that their inclusion will be a major selling point for a lot of players.

Mine was a gift but it clocks in at £20 at list price, I think it's a little steep, but not horrendus, I'd have liked to see it at the £15 mark really I think.

So how will I use this book? I'm unlikley to go for a full campaign, as I don't have enough regular opponents, but will definately be using the siege and underground rules, and I will probaly try some of the end of season scenarios as stand alone games as well.  Also it's a nice book to have on the shelf (the collector in me kicking in again).

So in conclusion, I think its a bit pricey, but I like it, although I don't think it will for everybody, but  conversly everybody ought to be able to take something from it, if you find this under the christmas tree I doubt you'll be too disappointed, but if you're going out to buy a rulebook be wary, there is more fluff than rules, if you like fluff however this is well done.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Dreadfleet - The Seadrake

Another ship from Dreadfleet rolls off the painting line, this time the High Elf ship the Seadrake, a quick ship, but it doesn't pack much of a punch.  It does however carry two dragons. I like the model, but I don't think that my paint job came out that well, but judge for yourselves.

Only two more of the big ships to go now, lets hope I can finish them before getting too distracted by my other projects.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Happy Birthday To Me....

It was my birthday yesterday, I turned 29, which is OK, but scarily close to the big 3 0, but at least I was lucky enough to get given a few hobby related preasents.

The highlight of the bunch is the new Warhammer campaign book 'Blood in the Badlands', A full colour hardback book containing a campaign (unsuprisingly set in the badlands), but also containing updated seige and underground fighting rules.  On a brief inspection it all looks rather good, a full review will follow in time.  Also a nice Revell 1:72 German Jagdpanther, I've been building it this morning and am rather chuffed with it actually, I think I'm goign to paint it in the colour scheme of the one I saw at the Imperial War Museum. I also got an always useful set of hobby knives and a DVD boxed set on decisive battles of the ancient world.  And finally whilst not truly hobby I also got a Ewok that talks when you press its stomach, and even being nearly 30 I still reckon thats massively cool.

So thanks to those that know me well enough to buy me all this cool geeky stuff.

Monday 5 December 2011

White Dwarf 384 & Wargames Illustrated 290

My latest thoughts on this months gaming literature, these posts seemt to be quite popular so these mini ramblings are probaly going to become a regular feature.

As usual I'll start with White Dwarf, it comes with an extra little dreadfleet booklet, which when I first saw it I was quite excited about, then I read it, and unfortunately its just a big advert (they must have a load left to shift), still at least it wasn't taking up space in the main mag.  The actual Mag is a good one again (this is almost starting to become a habit), it contains real rules for both warhammer (new scrolls of binding for the new fancy monster kits) and for 40K (apocalypse datasheets and 4 scenarios for a Necron vs black templars mini campiagn).  There are also a couple of painting articles, a couple of model showcases (I always like seeing other models in a unique style) and the obligatory battle report.  It's a good read and the best issue in a while.

Now moving on to Wargames Illustrated, this months theme is eastern front WW2 in 1944, and is tied into the new flames of war releases, it's not the best theme, but doesn't dominate the mag, and there are some really good other articles in there.  For me the highlights were the article on the Comanche Indians and the article on the Austro-Prussian war of 1866.  The other interesting part was the start of a new series called 'tabletop musings' which seems to be in the model of white dwarfs 'standard bearer', this time features some thoughts on the use of cover in games, I like little articles like this and have high hopes for this series.  The mag also features a report on the colours 2011 show and articles on the battle of syracuse, the battle of pavia and some ACW ironclad action.

Friday 2 December 2011

The Start Of A Major New Army: The Eldar

Right, just what I need another huge new project, this time an eldar army for 40k.  Whats odd about this is that I've actually been given a whole army to paint all at once, rather than building it up piecemeal as I normally do.  My friend has given me a 9000pt eldar army, including most troop types and even a revenant titan to paint, we have a shared ownership agreement if I paint his army basically (I won't go into the details, but we've agreed who gets what in advance if one of us moves away), I've never done an army even remotely like this, but we're both pleased that they're going to come out of their boxes, get painted and hopefully get played with, and I hope it works out.  So far I've painted a single guardian, just to check the colour scheme, I like how hes come out and the rest of his squad is on the table and underway.

The New Gaurdian

I've also got a few old eldar models in my personal collection, which whilst remaining solely mine will be used in the new army, at least at the beginning as it will allow us to get playing sooner.


Howling Banshees


Codex: Craftworld Eldar & Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms

I am at heart a collector, I collect many things, and hate having gaps, one of the things I collect and like having are the codicies and army books from GW.  Unfortunatley the reality is that I can't afford to buy every book as it comes out, but I try and pick them up cheaply on ebay when I can, and have quite an extensive collection dating back to 3rd ed warhammer and 2nd ed 40K, a quick count reveals 34 army books and  22 codices, today I added another two to that total, both are second hand and cost around £3 each, which is cheaper than White Dwarf magazine.  Obviously the actual rules contained within these books aren't valid anymore, but I like reading the background sections and old rules and list structures can often give me ideas.

First off we have Codex: Craftworld Eldar, a small 24 page book that was a supplement to the 4th ed. codex eldar.  With 5 variant craftworld lists and a couple of new troops types.  Its only a little book though and the background info is limited.

And secondly Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms, the origanal version, going cheap presumably as the new version has just come out.  A suprisingly good read actually, its the first time I've ever had a proper read of the ogre backround.  It feels a bit different to the other warhammer armies background and you can tell that its been bolted on a later date (it doesn't feel integrated the way a lot of the other races histories are with one another), still i finally understand what the great maw is and what drives the current ogre theme.  Am I going to get an Ogre army? nope, asthetically I still prefer the old 3rd ed. ogres and these ones just don;t do it for me, but it looks like they're here to stay and I'm happy I understand them a bit better.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Mantic Zombies - Part 3 - The First Batch

The first batch of 8 (including the test zombie) of my new shinny Mantic Zombies are finished and ready for peoples perusal.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Dreadfleet - A New Scenario From GW... Sort Of...

On yesterdays 'Whats new today' blog Games Workshop posted A second PDF for Dreadfleet! This came as a bit of a shock to me as I really wasn't expecting any more support, but it looks as if they still have a few copies left in the warehouse (I hope it sells out in the end as I want GW to develop more big boxed games like this and Space Hulk).  The file contains a basic sceanrio to give you a flavour of the game, with a time limit of 15mins instead of a turn limit, having played dreadfleet I can safely say that you won't achieve hardly anything in 15mins and you'll need to at least double that.  I was quite dissapointed I was really hoping for a new proper scenario, oh well.  The second page is a admittedly useful quick reference guide.  Like the last PDF this is hardly going to set anyone alight, but if you have dreadfleet you should still go take a look.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Why I Love The Works....

My local town is pretty rubbish for shopping, we have a Games Workshop, and a hardware shop that sells airfix models, but that's about it gaming wise, no decent proper bookshop or even a HMV or other DVD shop.  The shop I think I actually spend the most money in is the Works, which is a discount bookshop, but sells other bits and bobs as well.  A lot of my books, and in particular History and Nature books have come from here.  I popped in today as I was waiting for the bus, not especially expecting to find anything (the gems are always hidden behind piles of rubbish), but find stuff I did, I came out having spent £15 and feeling very happy.

The most exciting thing they had today was a pile of new board games, of what I believe are termed the 'eurogame' variety.  There were 4 games in all, all priced at £7.99, I only bought one, entiltled Ming Dynasty, a game of political intrigue in ancient china, it all looks very pretty, even if I would have prefered plastic sculpted pieces, these types of games traditionally have abstract wooden pieces.  No idea about gameplay yet, but will post on it when I get a game in (unfortunatly the way things are going that won't be to the new year, damn real life and a dull job in retail at christmas.)

I also got a pair of military history books, 'A Tidy Little War - The British Invasion of Egypt 1882', and 'Haigs Command - A reassessment'.  I'm particulary looking forward to ' a tidy little war', the egypt campaign is one I only know a little about, but almost preludes the Sudan campaign's that I've been painting models for, the danger is of course that this book might be the start of yet another painting project.

Overall I'm really chuffed with all of these, I'm trying to resist the urge to buy the other eurogames they have, but with the christmas season coming up I need to be good.  But I love this shop, I was only looking to waste 15mins but came out with some totally unexpected cheap little gems.

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