Sunday 29 January 2012

White Dwarf 386 & Wargames Illustrated 292

Febuary's Gaming Magazines have arrived, so lets have a looky...

White dwarf's main theme this month was a suprise (to me anyway) return to the Lord of the Rings strategy game, for which they've released a bunch of new models (mainly expensive looking and in finecast) and a bunch of new army books.  I have bunch of Lord of the Rings figures but have only ever played the game once, and will almost certainly get some of the models when the Hobbit range comes out, the coverage however was really a bit naff, and felt like a giant sales pitch rather than any real content.  The rest of the mag however isn't too bad.  For warhammer we get the second part of the civil war rules, the rules for the new deathknell watchtower, a new scenario using said watchtower (although you could any watchtower and play it), and a couple of players vampire counts armies featured, all good stuff.

You have to turn and flip your mag over to get the warhammer 40,000 25 years celebration stuff at the back, which includes a suprislingly interesting article on the origins of 40k and a battle report.  Also featured is the 25th anniversay collectors model based on the origanal rouge trader cover.  Very nice it is too, unfortunately its in finecast and costs £20 for what is essentially one space marine, I'm going to have to think very carefully about this.  As usual we get standard bearer as well, which this month is an odd ramble about tape measures and templates! 

This months Wargames Illustrated has the theme of 'darkest africa', a period I have a good deal of interest in, so prehaps inevitably I like this issue quite a lot.  The theme articles include a general overview and then three battle reports using different rules and showcasing the variety of forces avaliable to feild in this setting, with a lot of focus on the natives rather than just the colonial troops.  The other article that I suspect will raise a lot of peoples interest is the (breif) design notes on the new flames of war third edition.  Having only played a couple of intro games of flames of war second edition I'm not really in a posistion of pass any kind of judgement on these.  We also get articles on wargaming the battles of Ligny and Sedgemoor and a Fall In! 2011 show report.  Not a bad issue all round.

For those interested in darkest africa it's also worth taking note that wargames illustrated have put a few articles from older issues up for free PDF download on their site.

Friday 27 January 2012

Dwarf Kings Hold: Ancient Grudge... Nearly Arrives

I came home from work this evening to find an exciting parcel from Maelstrom Games waiting for me in the hallway.  I ripped it open quickly knowing full well it contained the new dwarf kings hold expansion from mantic games that I'd been waiting for........

All was well at this point.

Then I opened up the box and damnit theres no rulebook....

See no rulebook!

Which pretty much makes the set useless!  These things happen, I worked breifly on a packing line and I know how easy it is for mistakes to happen, the key now is how it's dealt with. I've e-mailed maelstrom games and eagerly await their response.  I hope this is just a one off and they didn't forget to include the rulebook in all the sets!  Such a disapointing evening :(

Update: maelstrom quickly responded and asked me to return the set, which I did and they quickly got a replacement out to me... but this one was also missing its rulebook!  I'm getting annoyed now and maelstrom have advised me to contact mantic directly to see if they can get the book out to me as everything else is there, we'll see how this goes.

Update: mantic replied the next day and immediatley sent out the rulebook that I have now finally recieved, so we got there eventually.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Warhammer High Elves Ellyrian Reavers

In line with one of my new years resolutions I've been beavering away at this unit of reavers that I've now finished.  They're the Island of Blood versions of the models.  I like them a lot, although they've taken me ages to paint as they have a lot of details.  My army already contains a unit of these and they've performed brilliantly over the last year.  The always strikes first rule really gives them a chance to pull off some suprise combat results.  I have another 5 of these to paint at some point, but my next high elf project will be the unit of sea guard that I need to do to bring my army upto 3000pts.

Monday 23 January 2012

Navwar 1:3000 Scale Modern British Starter Pack

My first new models of the year arrived this morning (I'm quietly pleased with myself that I lasted this long), and they are the modern British navy starter pack from Navwar.  I'm not sure yet what the gaming purpose for these models is, although I am considering a couple of what if conflicts.  I need to do some reserch into possible rules sets as well.  This aside I am aiming to collect all the major surface assets of the current Royal Navy (and with the defense cuts that shouldn't be too hard).

You get a total of 16 ships and 7 submarines (which I think is pretty good value for £10 + £1 postage).  4 of them are large ships, 2 Invincible class carriers, HMS Ocean and a RFA replenisment ship.  The bulk of the pack is the 12 escorts of various types, 8 frigates and 4 destroyers.  And finally you get 4 ballistic missile submarines and 3 attack submarines.  Around half the escorts and one of the carriers have now been retired from active service, but are obviously useful if you wanted to wargame some of the conflicts of the last few decades.  The detail is pretty well the same as the WW2 stuff I have from Navwar, it won't be good enough for everyone, but I'm happy enough with it.

As usual the service from Navwar was excellent, with delivery in 4 days from me posting my order to them, I'm pretty chuffed with these.

Saturday 21 January 2012

The White Dwarf - As A Pirate!!!

Today I'm going to take a look at this years White Dwarf subscription model that I've just finished painting.  This year the Grombrindal has found himself a pirate outfit to wear (no doubt inspired by Dreadfleet).  He also comes with a scenic base and for the first time is in citadel finecast.

This is only my second finecast model, after my somewhat disapointing first experience I've been avoiding the medium.  I bought this in the local games workshop emporium and the first one I opened (in store) was appaling, The mould didn't seemed to have been alined properly and he was missing the thumb that was supposed to be holding his pistol.  The second one I opened was a lot better, but as you can see above there are still a couple of bubbles, but I can work with that, and I wanted the model and they didn't have any more in the shop.  I've yet to see a blemish free 'finecast' with my own eyes, and I'm not exactly crying out to buy more.

Finecast issues aside I really like the model, he has a lot of good little pirate touches and a cool parrot, whilst retaining the fact he's clearly a dwarf.  I was tempted to put him on a square base so that I could use hime when playing warhammer, but decided in the end that the scenic base was too good to waste and I have plenty of heroes and lords in my army anyway.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Dreadfleet - The Bloody Reaver & Sea Monsters

The last warship is done, Count Noctulis' gigantic ship the Bloody Reaver joins the rest of the fleet.  At first I didn't like this ship it seemed to much of a mess, but I've started to appreciate it a bit more and enjoyed painting it.

I've also finished the sea monsters from the game, I painted them very basically in a sort of ghostly way.

Thats almost it for dreadfleet, I've only got the 7 auxillary cogs to go now.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Army Focus - Warhammer Vampire Counts

With Games Workshop releasing the new Vampire Counts book this weekend I thought it would be appropriate to put my vampire counts army on show and see what the new book will bring to it.

the army

This army has grown organically over a period of around 13 years and I started it back when the Vampire Counts were first seperated from the old 'Undead' army that also had Tomb Kings and Nagash in it.  I'd always wanted an Undead army and the new plastic skeletons persuaded me to take the plunge.  As with any army grown over such a time it contains a variety of models (and a variety in quality of paint job) and has grown over the last year with an influx of models from Mantic Games, who now comprise around a third of the army.  As I've said before I'm a big fan of mantics Ghouls and Zombies in particular.  The army has always been designed as a 'Blood Knight' army, with all the vampires from the bloodline and taking martial skills.  I always imagined my lord as a corrupted Bretonnian lord leading his former men-at-arms and knightly(hence my blood knight conversions) followers in undeath.

the regiment that started the army, still in its orginal paint job.  Also this was origanally two regiments of twenty and in the box is a second command group if I wanted to go back to that.

Whislt I've still won more games than I've lost with this army, I've always found it hard to play with, you are very reliant on magic and it can be frustrating(I'm not a fan of magic at the best of times).  I tend to play with a center anchored with big regiments of skeletons and revenants, supported with a corpse cart, flanks held with blood knights (far too unreliable to hold the center) and dire wolves, and my general leading a regiment of black knights behind the line to act as a reserve, to bolster the line or deliver the killing blow as needed.  I'm also a big fan of my fell bats, and whilst they don't kill much they often get in the way at just the right moment.

Whats the future for this army then?  First off I need to finish the rest of the zombies and the revenants that are sat on my painting table and my General needs a repaint, then it's looking at the goodies from the new book.  I think some Hexwraiths will be first (whats not to love abouth etheral fast cavalry), and I'm also tempted by some Vargheists.  The army also needs a big centerpiece, and I'm planning not on the new Coven Throne/Mortis Engine (I think it's too 'busy' as a kit and I'm not keen on it), but on a unridden terrorghiest (I'm not a fan of placing my general on a big nasty saying 'shoot me' when my army will then start to discintergrate).  Will these plans come to fruittion?  Well at this point I don't know.

the sprues from Mantic's Crazy Christmas bag still need to be painted as well

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Lego Games - Magma Monster - Review

A while ago Lego started releasing what are supposed to be proper, albeit family games, but made of lego, I was intrigued from the start as I could instantly see the potential for interesting mechainics driven by the unique nature of the Lego, they come in a variety of sizes and 'difficulties', and whilst still kiddified the question is weather or not there is something here for the adult gamer.  Here we have a mid-sized game called 'magma monster', this size of lego game tends to cost around a tenner here in the UK.

Whats in the Box

The box contains two booklets, 4 microfigure playing pieces, 2 micro bats, a funky lego dice and then a bunch of lego that forms the board and playing pieces.

The first booklet is the construction instructions, its pretty standard lego instruction fare and I quite happily built the board in 10 minitues or so with no problems.  It's in colour as is the second booklet.

The second booklet is the rule book, its in many languages, and only 3 pages constitute the english rules, and the last page of that are suggested modifictations.  Nice and simple, well explained with the nessacery diagrams, I doubt anyone will have any trouble figuring out what they are supposed to be doing.  I like the fact that they encourage you to try new things as well and mod the stuff you've got, I even got a small pile of extra lego pieces that I presume are for this purpose.

The playing pieces are lego micro figures and come in 4 colours.  It's a nice little touch that they've bothered to give them each a little character, it would have been so easy just to include plain plastic pieces.

The Microfigures

You also get a large Lego dice which you can change the sides on, you don't get any other optional sides in the game, but of course it's compatible with other lego.

The main component of the game is the lego itself.  You get an orange base plate that acts as the board, enough pieces to make the monster and the monsters cave, and then a bunch of pieces that act as the tiles for the game.

The objective of the game is to cross the lava pit (the orange board) defeat the monster and claim the ancient treasure.  This is achived by rolling the dice and the either placing a coloured tile that you can walk across the lava on, attacking another player with a bat or moving the fire barrier, depending on what you rolled.  There is also one side of the dice that allows you to place any colour tile or to make a bat attack.  You can only move along the clour tile you rolled, but can move as far as you like along that colour.  There's actually quite a lot of decisions to make in tile placement and who to attack, escpeically when you get the 'choice' side of the dice.  The game also changes towards the end as when all the tiles are placed you get to remove tiles and replace them, which again gives you a lot of options.  There is a lot of luck here as well, and its simple enough that anyone could play, but as a group of experienced gamers we found it had enough decisions and fun to keep us interested.  The games last around 20-30mins as well which is a good time slot.

As mentioned earlier the game comes with some suggested extra rules, which include placing tiles on top of each other in an upwords manner and one where you get to move the monster out of the cave and attack poeple with it.

So in conclusion I'm pretty pleased with this, it's not going to replace any big serious games, but its perfect to fill half an hour with a bit of sillyness.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

40K Eldar War Walker

The latest addition to my eldar army today in the form of a war walker, as before the heavy weapons have been magnetised so I can equip the vehicle with a variety of loadouts.

Sunday 8 January 2012

White Dwarf 385 & WarGames Illustrated 291

January's periodicals are finally in, with White Dwarf delaying this post by not being released until jan 7th due to the festive season, its not a decision I'm happy with and wargames illustrated managed to turn up before christmas, but still, does it contain anything good this month...

This months major release is the new Vampire Counts warhammer armies book and the models that accompany it, and inevitably this dominates the magazine.  There are several extracts from the new book, including background and the rules for the big new plastic kit, it's not bad, but strikes me as being very lazy, and I'm very disappointed that there's no proper design notes, having read the articles I have no real idea about any changes to the army compared to the previous edition.  It's not all bad, the eavy metal showcase had some intrestingly painted models and there is also a new scenario and an updated scroll of binding for storm of magic.  We also get part one of a new civil war warhammer expansion, which looks interesting and a couple of painting guides.  40k gets one article which is a Necron tactica, not really much use to me as I don't play with or against Necrons.  And finally standard bearer and the citadel hall of fame provide interesting articles as usual.  Not the best issuse.

The theme of this months wargames illustrated is the early battles of the american revolution.  It's not a period I'm likely to game, but there were a couple of interesting articles, a useful guide to painting the uniforms of the period and I really liked the period maps of New England that were featured.  The other standout articles for me were on the Mexican generals of the American-Mexico war and the first Anglo-Sikh war.  Whilst again its something I'm not likely to use the mag also features an article on using Kelly's heroes in games.  Not as bad as White Dwarf, but not the best issuse here either, maybe its the time of year.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Napoleonic 1:72 Scale Airfix Prussians

As a sort of appendix to my recent post on my Napoleonic British army today I'm showing a small brigade of allies for that army.  It's only 2 battalions of Prussian Landwehr, the models are also from the airfix waterloo box set.  I reckon they're the best models in the set, by quite a long way and I really enjoyed painting them.  The mounted officer is from the same italeri officer set that the senior officers from the British army came from.  I have a copy of the Revell Prussian line infantry set sat on my shelf waiting to be panited, and hopefully they'll join these at some point.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Army Focus - Napoleonic British

This is the first in a new series of articles in which I will introduce some of my armies, several things recently have made me realise that only two full armies (my warhammer dwarfs and my zulu war british) have actually been featured, as I tend to post what I've just done rather than models from my collection.  Anyway I intend to remedy this with this series of articles.  I will inevitably feature my armies that are in a better state first (some haven't been touched by a paint brush in a decade and are frankly appaling), to kick things off I'm going to have a look at my small Napoleonic British army in 1:72 scale.  I've dug this army out as crusader publishing have kindly sent me a PDF of their new 'March Attack' Napoleonic wars rules to try out, I've only had a quick look so far and they seem to be designed for 15mm forces rather than my 1:72nd scale troops, but still I think that'll be a minor issuse and I'm looking forward to giving them a go.

The army deployed for battle

Christmas 2009 saw me being given the airfix waterloo set as a present,  and that basically lead to this army.  I still haven't painted everything from that set yet which as well as the British included (which I've painted maybe 2/3rds of) a few Prussians (which I have painted), a French army (which hasn't been touched yet), a farmhouse (sort of done) and a couple of karts and farmyard accessories (painted).  This was given to me not long after I bought my first 1:72 scale zulu war figures and I was still in awe at the possibilties that historical figures were presenting to me.

The Senior officers

I took the decision with this army not to be too specific, unlike my other historical projects none of the troops in this army are painted to represent any specific regiments, this is so it will be easier for them to fight any number of enemies or ally with prussians or spainish gurrillas or whatever.  This wouldn't be to everyones taste, but the Napoleonic wars are so vast and I don't want to limit myself or have to paint a vast number of figures.

The Royal Horse Artillery

The core of the army are the airfix models from the waterloo set, but they're not fantastic looking models (the hussars in particular suck) and I've suplemented the army with officers, infantry and riflemen from italeri and some heavy dragoons from HaT.

The Infantry

So what's the future plan for this army?  Well I have a LOT of models still to paint, I think I need to do another couple of regiments of basic infantry and another couple of cannons next, but really I probaly need to paint some French so they have someone to fight.

Heavy Dragoons

The Baggage

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