Wednesday 28 September 2011

Warhammer Chaos Slannesh Sorcerer

This is my first model from Games Workshops new plastic character range for warhammer.  I was unsure about this range at first, as making single pose models seemed to remove all the advantages of the medium, but I do like the chaos sorcerer model so I've gone out and bought it.  It's a nice model, a second head option would make the kit even better, but still its a good kit.  The scenic base included on the sprue is a nice additional touch too, although this does mean he doesn;t match with the rest of my army.  This as yet unnamed sorcerer is to be a low level to support my Sorcerer Lord and commander of my Warriors of Chaos army Ne'ath (more about him and his saga in an upcoming post).


Monday 26 September 2011

Dwarf Kings Hold - Elf Archers

Todays post features my painted versions of the elf archers from Dwarf Kings Hold: Green Menace.  As I stated in my recent post featuring the elf spearmen I'm not overly keen on Mantic's elves, and I think I've figured out why.  It's the faces, they don't look haughty enough for me, I realised this as I much prefer the archers with visors on their helmets, covering the offending faces.  There are some nice elements here and I hope in a few years Mantic re-do the elf range with better faces.  I'm pleased to report that I've also now painted all the minis from Green Menace, which I was hoping to do before Dreadfleet arrives and that takes over my painting schedule for a few weeks.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Warpath - Marauder Pricing

The release of pictures of the plastic orx marauders by Mantic games has caused a bit of a stir this week, and I'm afraid I'm going to add to it with a look at the pricing of the new marauders.

The new plastic Marauders with a Raptor

The smallest box of grunts avaliable comes in at £12.50 for 10 (I'm ignoring the 0.99 or 0.49 in this post as it makes the maths tidier and doesn't effect the point) and contains 2 three orc sprues and 2 two orc sprues including a heavy weapon.  The sprues are based on the sprues for the Kings of War orcs (not an iusse to me, although I can understand why some poeple are disappointed), so you would expect the prices to be similar.  The Kings of War orc ax comes in at £14 for 15 (or the equilent of £2.80 per sprue) and the greatax box comes in at £10 for 10 (or £2 a sprue).  The equilent warpath sprues at the smallest box level therefore should cost (2 x 2.80) + (2 x 2) = £9.60, or to be fair a tenner (like the cost of 10 greatax actually).  £2.50 seems a steep difference for models that are more than half the same and just have different plastic arms.

Marauder Concept Art

Considering that Mantic have reused parts from the Kings of War range to presumably save money, how come the models cost more? Do round bases cost a lot more than square ones maybe?  No and I think its a shame, I'm on the fence about starting Warpath at the moment, and I was never going to get marauders (the Forgefathers do appeal to me though), and this isn't going to encourage me.  One of Mantics biggest selling points to me is the price, and what looks like a 'Warpath surcharge' is very disapointing.

So no marauders for me and maybe no forgefathers either if they share the same pricing structure and reusing of parts.  If you want to sell me Warpaths minis Mantic I suggest you get Jake to write a Dwarf Kings Hold: In Space.

Images copyright Mantic Games, used without permission

Thursday 22 September 2011

Dreadfleet - A First Glance of the Rules

On yesterdays what new today post GW finally gave a few galnces of the rules of their new game Dreadfleet by going through a game turn. What did we learn? I'm not going to repeat the whole article, but heres the bits that intrigued me.

Firstly the game is scenario based like Space Hulk or Dwarf Kings Hold and the game contains 12 scenarios, and as each fleet is different thats 24 tactical challenges, which isn't bad.  Of course we have no idea yet as to the quality or balancing of these scenarios.

Movement seems to follow a standard sort of naval movement system and the wind will play a part.  The ships seem very fast at first glance, but we'll see.

Ships actions alternate rather than an I-go-you-go system, this is a system I really like.

The dragon launches from the elf ship, the little dwarf airship thing I saw launches from the dwarf ship in the same manner.  Athough oddly the dragon on the ship and when launched ahve been painted as different colours, I won't be doing that with my models.

You seem to draw a fate card each turn to add some randomness to the game, not so sure about this, lets hope they're not overpowered, but if they are they look like they would be easy to drop.

Overall it looks interesting and fun, if a bit random, and I'm very happy I have it on pre-order.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Dwarf Kings Hold - Elf Spearmen

My latest finished models are the Elf Spearmen from Dwark Kings Hold: Green Menace.  I think the elves are definately the weakest of Mantics Kings of War races (in scuplting terms), and they wouldn't make it into my warhammer high elf army, and I didn't put my full effort into them.  They work fine as pieces for Dwarf Kings Hold though, and whilst I'm a bit down on them they're not completely awful, and on a positive note I really like the design of the spears.  Also note the 'saber-toothed pussy cat', it's a nice little extra that is also used in Dwarf Kings Hold, I have an issuse with this though, I've had a look and can't see any sabre-teeth anywhere!

Saturday 17 September 2011

Dreadfleet Arrives

Games workshop have announced a new game, its not Man 'O' War as a lot of poeple were expecting, but it is a naval game set in the warhammer world, which is quite close.  Its a one off limited release all in one box in the same way Space Hulk was a couple of years ago.  I still love my copy of Space Hulk and those that read my blog regulary will know that my gaming has taken a nautical turn ever since my trip to Portsmouth back in the spring, so it was inevitable that a warhammer pirate naval game was going to be of interest to me.

It all looks very pretty, with 10 unique varied big warships, which are a mix of empire and undead plus a dwarf and elven ship, also what appear to be little ships, a dragon and some islands.  Plus a rulebook and a big blue mat to play on, in fact here is the list from the GW site on the contents

This boxed game contains:

98-page Rulebook
Seascape Gaming Mat
10 Warships
10 Scenic Bases
7 Cog Auxiliaries
1 Dragon Auxiliary
1 Dirigible Auxiliary
7 Islands
5 Shipwreck Pieces
3 Sea Monsters
5 Treasure Tokens
12 Dice
1 Wind Gauge
2 Ship's Wheels
1 Navigation Rod
10 Warship Cards
55 Damage Cards
40 Fate Cards
12 Auxiliary Cards
10 Wound Cards
11 Miscellaneous Cards

I don't know anything really about the rules yet, but apparently it's scenario based like space hulk or dwarf kings hold.

The price is £70, which for a big board game full of stuff is fair I think, and I'm willing to pay it.  What I don't understand is why it's limited release and why if its successful they will still refuse to expand on it, surely they would just make more money, oh well.  I've preordered it and am looking forward to it arriving, so expect a full unboxing post in a couple of weeks.  I hope it does well and GW continue to release big boxed games outside of their core systems, I still live in hope of a warhammer quest delux.  What's also worth noting is that this is my first significant purchase (ie not a pot of paint) from games worksop since my one finecast model back in the early summer.

Anyway I'm off to watch some pirates of the carribean movies, bye for now.

All imgaes copyright Games Workshop, used without permission.

Thursday 15 September 2011

15mm Late War British Infantry Platoon

I've just finished painting my first infantry platoon for my new flames of war army.  They're not the offical flames of wars minis though, I've bought a rifle platoon and machine gun platoon from forged in battle.  I've not got any battlefront ones to compare these ones too,  but they do the job nicely and come in at around half the price of the offical ones.  Neither platoon comes with bases though, but I have a ready stock of thick card that I use for my ships and my 1:72 scale minis.  The rifle platoon has enough figures to create a complete Late War British rifle platoon including HQ, Piat and Mortar teams as well as 3 10 man rifle squads, and I had enough bits left over for a HQ and Piat team to add to the machine gun platoon that didn't come with them.  I now have a plan for my flames of war army as well.  I've still not invested in any of the intellagence handbooks, but am going to base my inital force on the 15th Scottish Division briefing that I found on the Flames of War website.  This is handy as it allows me to feild both my Churchill and Sherman tank platoons.  The problem though is that you're only allowed two tank platoons, and I rather want more tanks, still it will do as a start, later on I might try to switch to a tank company with supporting infantry.

The Platoon

HQ Section

A Squad

B Squad

C Squad

The platoon moves forward with armoured support

Tuesday 13 September 2011

The Guards Museum & The National Army Museum

Another day out in London at the weekend, part of my itinerary included two military museums, first stop was the guards museum just off St. James park

A Ferret Armoured car outside the Guards Museum

It's a small museum, but very full of artifacts, uniforms and history, telling the history of the 5 regiments of footguards from their formation upto the present day.  It took me just over an hour to walk round, and I read most of the information boards.  One section I found particulary interesting was that of the sudan conflict with several items taken from the dervishes on display.  The active service and ceremonial duties of the footgaurds are both covered.  The very personal nature of a lot of the items on display was nice as well.  And prehaps inevitably the old regimental drums on display were particulary impressive with some superb detailing.  The museum charges £4 for an adult entry, which was fair I think.

After leaving the museum I walked round St. James park and took a stroll around horsegaurds parade which features statues of the Victorian heroes, Feild Marshalls Wolseley, Roberts and Kitchener.

Horseguards Parade

Then it was off to the National Army Museum, this attempts to cover the British army from its inception as Cromwells new model army upto the present day.  However most wars are only touched on (a space issuse I'm sure) the museum has two main galleries, one which covers the napoleonic, crimean  and colonial wars, and the other that covers the world wars.  There are a few other smaller galeries as well such as the Boer war and Korean war galleries.  I found the Napolenic and colonial gallery the most interesting, and if I'm honest I thought the World Wars were covered much better at the Imperial War museum that I recently visited, I do feel it might be better if this museum concentrated solely on wars pre 1914 and then let the Imperial war museum cover wars after that date, so a lot more detail could be gone into whilst not repeating stuff done better down the road.  There was a fantasic large scale model of the battlefeild of waterloo with a good audio-visual guide, and, oddly I thought, next to it was the skeleton of Napoleons horse. There's also an art gallery on the top floor, but I wasn't allowed in there as someone was giving a talk.  Overall I found the museum a bit general with little specific information, but it is free and did have a few bits of interest, just don't expect it to take all day to look around.

Neither museum allowed photography inside, which was annoying, but still I had an interesting couple of hours.

Sunday 11 September 2011

From The Painting Table 7

A few more bits and pieces that I've finished recently today, first off another model from salute that I bought at the same time as the Zulu War piece.


This is the Salute '06 collectors model, I didn't go to the show but picked this up on ebay, it represents the death of King Arthur and Mordred at the battle of Camlann.

A couple more 1:3000 scale ships from Navwar, both for my Royal Navy fleet, although not strichly for WW2, as the carrier HMS Albion was launched after the war, and the battleship is an imgainary HMS Sternguard allowing me to feild a second Vanguard class battleship, these are both for a small campiagn we're planning assuming that the war with Japan went on past 1945. 

These are the dead elves you get in Dwarf Kings Hold: Green Menace, they have no use in the game (unlike the dead dwarf in Dead Rising), but I've half written a scenario that will use them which will hopefully appear on the blog at some point.

A few more bits of the sprues from DKH: Green Menace, this time some little 'orclings'  these are really cool little extras full of character, I'm trying to come up with a use for them in a scenario too.

And finally 2 human crossbowmen for Warhammer, these are to be added to my unit of crossbowmen for my Dogs of War army taking them upto 12.

The crossbowmen taking their place in the regiment

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Islands In Victory at Sea

I had a game of victory at sea today, but we decided to try something different, the simple change of adding some islands to the sea.  There's no rules for islands in the book, so we simply said that islands blocked line of sight, and the shooting line between the centers of the two ships couldn't cross land (not entirely realistic, but it worked out fine), and that obviously you couldn't sail over them.  I don't actually have any islands, but my warhammer hills stood in nicely.

The battle was set off the Norwegian coast with my Royal Navy facing down the German Kriegsmarine.  The RN had the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk, the light cruiser HMS Belfast and 4 destroyers, whereas the Germans had the pocket battleship Lutzow, the light cruiser Nurnburg, 2 destroyers and 2 torpedo boats.

Click to enlarge

The deployment:  The Kriegsmarine all deployed as a single squadron in the corner, the RN split itself, with 2 destroyers on the left near the Germans hoping to use the island to pounce on and torpedo one of the bigger German ships and on the right the 2 cruisers with a escort planing to sweep round the top island to get close enough to the pocket battleship so that they could at least return fire when it starts pounding them.

Agian click to enlarge

After a few turns of manoeuvering a British destroyer torpedoes the Lutzow crippling it as the Belfast and Norfolk round one of the islands to bring their guns to bear on the German fleet.  The british lost 3 destroyers, but neither of the cruisers suffered more than a couple of points of damage, the German fleet consisted of a single lone destroyer when the Germans conceeded.

A resounding victory for the British in the end despite the pocket battleship being by far the best ship on the board.  In the post battle analisys it was clear that the Germans where just massively outplayed and had no real plan (the cruiser and pocket battleship barely moved 12" all game), whereas the islands allowed the British to close to torpedo range easier, unfair to the Germans? well not really, after all they have torpedos too, but they made no effort to close with and target the British cruisers and the pocket battleship was never really put to any use.

The islands really helped add more manoeuvre to the game (which is what we were hoping for) and added a pleasing visual aspect as well, next week we're hoping to do something similar, although this time with Japanese and American Battleships somewhere in the pacific,

Tuesday 6 September 2011

New Scenario For Dwarf Kings Hold

Today I present my first scenario that I'm putting online for dwarf kings hold (you can download the PDF from here) its nothing revolutionary a simple treasure hunting expedition with cave-ins, but it does pitch the elves against the dwarves and we've found the map quite interesting. 

I know the map's not brilliant and I'm currently looking for ways to improve that, if anyone has a suggestion I'd be grateful.

I do have a bunch of more adventurous scenarios half done and hopefully they will start to see the light of day soon.

If you do give it a go I'd really appreciate some feedback, so please drop me a comment below.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Dwarf Kings Hold - The Orcs

I've just finished painting the Orc models from Dwarf Kings Hold: Green Menace, the first thing to note is that these are the same models as the orcs in Mantics standard Kings of War range, you get 2 Greatax (bigger orcs with big double handed axes) and 6 Ax (normal orc warriors) as well as an assortment of little orclings (which I've not painted yet).  I Like them a lot, they give the impreesion of big mean vicous and brutal orcs, not the caricatures of orcs some companies put out, and for some reason I particulary like the shape of the sheilds.  The only issue is that they're a bit top heavy and tend to fall over a lot, I might end up having to base them after all (square bases are provided if bought as Kings of War models, but are not provided in DKH)   If I ever revamp my Orc and Goblin army several units of these will find their way into it.

The two Greatax

Some of the Ax

More Ax

The Orcs explore the Dwarf Kings Hold

Friday 2 September 2011

Flames of War - Open Fire

I recently bought the Flames of war starter set 'open fire' and as usual am sharing my thoughts on it.  As starter sets go it's not massive, it contains 5 tanks (3 American/British & 2 German), 5 dice, an introduction booklet, and the rulebook.

Lets start with the fun bit, the models.  The 5 tanks are all resin casts with metal gun barrels that need supergluing on, each of the tanks are slightly different and the shermans have sperate turrets. These are 'cheap' versions with single cast resin hulls including the tracks (most Flames of war models come with sperate metal tracks), I don't think the models really suffer for this and wish that Battlefront did more models like this at a cheaper price, the only difference is that the hulls go all the way to the floor, but I think it looks fine.  The Allied (they can be used by British or Americans) tanks are M4 Shermans and the 2 German tanks are StuG G assault guns.  They're nice models and the stugs especially painted up well, its just a shame there isn't a few more of them.

The German Stug G assault guns

The Allied Shermans

The box comes with 5 D6's, which are larger than the standard GW ones, 3 are green American dice and 2 are grey German dice.  They each have a symbol of that country replacing the 6, I like themed dice and these are a nice touch to the game, it would have been so easy just to throw a few normal dice in.

The books and dice

The set includes a 16 page large format starter booklet which has 4 scenarios intorducing you to the basics of the game using the models in the set, the fourth secnario however introduces infantry which are not included.  At the back is a useful colour scheme guide.  The scenarios are just teaching aids really and have no replay value, and the fourth scenario points to the truth, to play properly you're going to need more models.

Possibly the most importnat component of the set is the mini-rulebook.  Very much like the GW starter sets this is an A5 rulebook in full colour with the full rules.  The size, layout and even the order all feel like a GW book so if you have the Island of Blood you will know what to expect, also like GW if you want an army list you need to buy other books (although there are a few avaliable on their website).  Its a high quality production, I can't really comment on the rules properly as I've yet to play a real game, however I do like the fact that you get to rotate your tank turrets to point at your target.

Overall I think this set is reasonable value, and it was an efficent way to get another tank platoon and the rulebook, I would have liked it to include at least one briefing (army list) for the major factions, but there are some to download on their website. In the end I just wanted more toys and would have prefered a  big £50 to £60 pound set with a bigger variety of models.

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