Monday 24 December 2012

The Hobbit: Gandalf The Grey & More Goblins

Just a quick pre-xmas post today with a few new painted miniatures from the Hobbit.  I've seen the movie now as well and am very impressed.

First off is Gandalf the Grey, wizard extradinare, like bilbo before this is a really great model, and really captures the look of Gandalf in the movie.

The next batch of 10 goblins is also done...

As is another two sections of the goblin town scenary.

And finally merry christmas everyone!

Friday 21 December 2012

Dreadball Arrives!

The wait is finally over and my first Dreadball shipment from the kickstarter has arrived!  I've spent the last couple of evenings sticking everything together and overall am pretty pleased with what I've got.

Everthing in the inital package came in the main box, which unfortunatly had a small tear in the left hand side; still it's not major and it's only a box.  What is nice about the box is that unlike mantics other board games this conatins a moulded platic tray with different areas to put things in.  The first joyful moment was the rulebook which was much bigger and better produced than I expected.  Overall the minis are pretty good too, although a few of the models had a few issuses.

Above are some example of the good minis, good detail and posing, everything works great on these, I love that Orx in particular, although I can see myself ending up as more of a human player.  Most of the models are good quailty like these, the forge fathers in deserve a mention too with great detail.

These three models however all had a few issues, I've fixed john doe (on the left) now, but when he came he was leaning backwards at about 45 degrees which just looked ridiculous and I hope wasn't intended.  Next we have no. 88 who has no production issues, but I think for me the pose is just silly.  And then finally we have the ver-myn strikers who won't stand up... although hopefully when attached to the (optional) hex bases they will.

I've seen a few poeple moan about the board as well, although I honestly can't see why, it seems fine to me and a standard board game board with nice artwork.
So a few niggles, but still overall I'm a happy customer at this stage and what is clear is that this is a big step up in quality from the dwarf kings hold games.  Thoughts on the actual game will of course be forthcoming when I've actually had the chance to play.

Monday 17 December 2012

First Hobbit Miniatures & Some More Uruks

Some more painted figures for middle earth today, stating with the Hobbit himself Mr Bilbo Baggins;  A really nice little model (and I do mean little) he come with the option of carrying either sting or his walking stick, I think he looks better with the stick so thats what I've gone with.  Below is also the first piece of the goblin town scenary, just sprayed brown and then given a brown wash, it's come out rather well I think for little effort.

Next we have 10 of the goblins from the Hobbit starter set, all single piece models, but nicely detailed.  I still find it a bit odd they're very different from the Lord of the Rings goblins though.

And finally 6 metal Uruk-hai models including Lurtz, a captain, an archer and 3 berserkers, some formidable additions to my Isengard force.

Thursday 13 December 2012

The Hobbit - Escape From Goblin Town Limited Edition

Here we have my breif review of the latest boxed game from Games Workshop, based of course on the new movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  I loved the Lord of The Rings movies and had long been a fan of all the middle-earth books, and whilst I've only rarely played the lord of the rings game I have enjoyed painting the models and have been looking forward to this.

Lets start with the most important bit, which is of course the models; The set contains all 13 of the dwarves, the Hobbit himself; mr bilbo baggins, gandalf the grey, 36 'normal' goblins, a large goblin king and 3 character goblins, including one hanging from a crane.  They are all in hard plastic as is usual from GW's starter sets.  I've not seen the movie as I write this, but obviously the way all the models look is based on that and not GW's designs.  The production on all the models is fantastic, with Thorins company as the stand-outs, plus of course bilbo who looks marvelous for such a tiny model and really captures the actors features.  I wasn't overly keen on the design of the goblins at first, but having had them for over a week now they've grown on me, I think it was mearly that I was grumpy at the design having been changed from the lord of the rings films.  Both bilbo and thorin also come with a couple of weapons options, which whilst nice led to some head-scratching as to which to choose. 

This is the limited edition version which also came with a seperate sprue with radaghast the brown on, a really superb model as well, and I love his little hedgehog friend.

The next major component after the models is all the scenary included.  The set comes with two platforms (which can join together into a bigger platform), 4 slopes and the goblin kings' throne, all designed to represent goblin town where the dwarves are held captive.  Again it's all pretty positive, all constructed it's bigger than I expected and it's covered in great detail (I'm not entirely convinced the goblin kings doo-doo's were nessacery though!).  I don't think its particulary middle earth specific either and I can see other uses for it.

The last major part of the set are the two books.  The first is a small format full colour rulebook that contains all of the core rules and basic scenarios (although not the narritive scenarios) for the middle earth battle game (including the old lord of the rings figures).  It's all laid out nicely and is pretty well expalined, if you have either of the warhammer or 40K small rulebooks you'll know what to expect.  The second book is a larger format, but much thinner and also in full colour.  It's the introductory booklet and it's pretty good, it comtains an introductory game explaining the basic principles, a bunch of scenarios specific to the models in the box and at the back the full stats for all the models in the box.

Basically the books contain everything you could possibly want and presented in a good way except for one vital thing... points values.  Expecting complete stats and points for all the models in the range was probaly wishful thinking, but I think not including the points for even the models included in the box is just lame.  I know they're trying to increase sales of the big rulebook, but for me at least it's not something I was ever going to buy, but without stats and points it makes it much harder for me to justify buying any other random models from the range.

The box also contained 7 white standard dice (useful), a plastic ruler (not useful fo me, but it does no harm) and oddly a few spare round bases.  Plus a reference sheet and anotehr sheet with the rules for radagahast and on the back anotehr scenario that uses the wizard, which I thought was a nice touch.

Overall a good set for collectors of the models with a lot of the key chracters from the movie, however it is a let down as an entry set due to the lack of points values which means you can't expand on this set without buying the expensive rulebook.  The price is about £10 more than I would have liked, but still overall I'm happy with my purchase.

Monday 10 December 2012

Army Focus - Warhammer Warriors of Chaos

Finally a return to my occasional 'army focus' series, today featuring my warriors of chaos army for warhammer fantasy.

 Part of this army is very old and was started when the original multi-part chaos warriors were released back in 1997! Which is a whooping 15 years ago, it's been added to over the years, but the army has two major phases with the original army on the right in the picture above and the rest on the left, most of which has been added over the last 5 years.
 The way I've used this army has changed a lot over the years, way back when I started It was an infantry heavy force backed up by some chaos knights (back when they were 88pts each!).  I missed 6th whislt I was at uni and started playing again in 7th when I liked to feild a 1000pt all mounted list which I had a lot of success with.  Now in 8th I've returned to a mainly infantry list with cavalry only playing a supporting role.

The original army was envisaged as a chaos undivided army, but when I returned to it I started painting my new additions in a mix of Slaanesh and Khorne.  This is an odd combination, but I think it works, and of course all is possible in chaos.

Below is my converted Hell Cannon.  This was something I put together from bits out of a giant mixed ebay lot that I bought.  It's a money saving device really, and not quite big enough and to be honest it's not had a great showing on the battlefeild either.

 This army doesn't need anything drastic doing to it and gets used on a fairly regular basis.  I would like to get around to repainting the original forces so they match the new army, but it's not a priority.  I'd quite like to add some of the new deamonic cavalry at some point as well and maybe even a war altar, but as always we'll see. 

Thursday 6 December 2012

A Leman Russ & Khan The Betrayer

A breif break from middle-earth today as two more 40K projects come to completion.  Below is my new Leman Russ battle tank for my small Imperial Guard detactment.  My imperial guard find themselves fighting with both my space marines and chaos space marines, and I can always find a use for a battle cannon.

Below is a Kharn the Betrayer I got as part of an ebay lot, I plan to use him as a berserker champion in my Alpha Legion army.  I've not painted the berserkers yet, but Obviosuly plan to paint them like kharn below.  Why do my Alpha Legion have berserkers? well basically I want them too, The story is in the warbands long isolation the legions martial pride has led some warriors to follow khorne and there is a small break-away sect whilst remaining Alpha Legion.  It's not cannon, but it's my army :P

Tuesday 4 December 2012

LOTR - The Fighting Uruk-Hai

As part of my return to middle earth for the last week or so I've been working on these Uruks that I had in my pile.  I really rather like them and they painted up very quickly and I now have a real force. It also means I now actually have someone for all my good heroes to fight!

And below we have the whole group which has been joined by their master Saruman.

Monday 3 December 2012

40K Meets Mordheim - Proof Of Concept

Unfortunatly my large gaming table has recently had to take a move into the garage, and this has worked fine, until this weekend, when it was rather cold, and playing outside was impossible.  Now like any sensible gamer I have some solutions for this evntually, including several board games that will fit on the smaller table I have indoors.  But we didn't play any of them, oh no, we had to go create a brand new game, well maybe not brand new, but a merging of two established games.

We each picked 100pts of 40K figures (just indivual figures no squads as such) and then played a game, but working injuries out like a game of mordheim.  We only made one other major rule change which was swaping I go - you go with an alternating activation (essentially stolen from star wars miniatures).  This meant each figure had a full, move, fire and assault phases and then the other player got to activate and use one of his figures and so on.  I did this to stop one side being able to blow another side away in one turn (something I've seen happen in mordheim a lot)

Essentially it worked, we played a couple of games and had fun.  Some tweeking needs doing, especially around points and army lists, but it works fine.  Also we needed to use more line of sight blocking terrain than we did.  My friend who I played against was also excited about the possibilty of using some of his random models in these games and went home saying he was going to paint up his squad of tau fire warriors that he has lying around and was even muttering ideas for an experience system.  I get the feeling we might be doing a bit more of this over the winter.

Friday 30 November 2012

LOTR Moria Goblins

A few more Lord of the Rings figures today, this time a sprue of moria goblins, which I got a pile of a long time ago, and these are the first ones I've actually got around to painting.

One question I had with these was how to base them, I nearly decided to base them all rocky and cave-like, but in the end all the models they are going to fight have grassy bases so these do too.

I've given in and ordered the Hobbit - escape from goblin town, and am actually really quite excited about it, expect to see lots more from middle earth in the near future.

Monday 26 November 2012

White Dwarf 396 & Wargames Illustrated 302

This months white dwarf is of course focused on the new Hobbit releases, but thankfully they seemed to have learnt a bit and it doesn't overly dominate the magazine.  Again the first 50 or so pages are taken up with the new releases, I know it's important to showcase the new stuff but I'd really like to see the page count on this section come down.  This months battle report is Hobbit related and not a bad read, jeremy, jervis and john blanche all return, but I didn't find any of them that inspiring this month.  On the other hand parade ground (40K flyers), kit bash and the army of the month (an ogre army) were definatly inspiring.  Other than that 'the rivals' returns and the 'this month in' sections at the back were quite interesting.  A reasonable issuse overall.

As the picture above shows this months issuse also came with a very large double sided poster which is basically a giant advert for 40K, with just the standard minis we've all seem before layed out all together.  Very boring I'm afraid and mine went straight in the bin.

A couple of quick thoughts on the new Hobbit line whilst we're here, the models look great, I like pretty much all of them.  Also it's something I've wanted ever since I got into wargaming and first read the Hobbit (around the same time actually), and now they're finally here I'm very impressed, what I'm not impressed with is some of the prices.  The main boxed set looks to be OK (just), but some of the others are insanely priced (e.g. 3 plastic trolls for £50).  It's a shame I'd love an excuse to buy it all, but at these prices I can only see me getting the main boxed set, and possibly, maybe stretch to some of the plastic orcs in the future.  Also although it was predictable I'm very glad they kept it in the same game as the LOTR figures, I'm getting sucked back into middle-earth already.

The theme of this months wargames illustrated is the french and indian wars of the 18th century.  It's not a period I collect, but is one I'd like to do at some point in the future.  Theme articles were an overview, both of the history and the forces, a battle report and a look at how to make period terrain.  Flames of war is quiet this month with the only real article being about the US nationals, which features an awful lot of very nicely painted models.  Savage wars of peace returns with a look at our heroes followers and the first anglo-afghan war, I'm really enjoying this series and hope it keeps going for quite some time.  There is more 19th century action  with looks at the satsuma rebellion in Japan and the US army for the american-mexico war.  The other article of interest was an interview with Bryan Ansell, who of course has been involved with Games Workshop, Wargames Foundry and others for many years.  A good issuse all round. 

Friday 23 November 2012

More LOTR, Theoden, Gamling & Bilbo Baggins

I enjoyed painted Balin so much the other day I've had another rumage through my mountain of unpainted figs and have dug out a few more, this time three heroes for the forces of good.  For a quick one afternoon paint these guys have come out remarkably well and I admit that I'm rather pleased with them.

On another (but related) note the first pictures of the new Hobbit range have appeared today, and they're looking rather spiffy.  I know it's going to be very hard for me too resist getting the main boxed set at least, but the final decision will be made at the weekend when the prices are annouced.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Angels of Death & Balin

It's been a horrible rainy day in Bedfordshire today which meant I couldn't get out and do what I was meant to be doing, on the plus side it's been a constructive day on the painting side as a consequence.

First off we have these 'Angels of Death' which will count as Vanguard veterans for my space marine army.  They are of course basically blood angel sanguinary guard, but In a different paint scheme.  I've been promising myself a unit of these ever since they came out, really fantastic models, especially the death masks, but all of it to be honest.  A real design triumph in my book and I'm not going to let something as silly as them being the wrong chapter of marines stop me adding them to my army.

Secondly we have this Balin model for Lord of the Rings.  I've been rereading the Hobbit over the last few days and it gave me the hankering to paint a few lord of the rings figs again.  I had a rumage around and came up with the Balin figure, which is appropriate as of course he appears more in the Hobbit anyway.  I'm really looking forward to the new movie now and hope GW come up with a good value boxed game for me too buy.

Sunday 18 November 2012

40K Alpha Legion Chaos Cultists

It's been a slow month, but here is my latest finished squad, the second bunch of cultists from the dark vengeance set.  Lovely models, and very useful gamewise.  The Hellbrute and chaos lord are now underway and will hopefully appearing soon.

My alpha legion army had its first outing last week as well, they took some imperial guard allies and gave my opponents chaos space marines quite a trounching, although the star of the game was the allied leman russ due to my opponents inability to spread out his troops!

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