Thursday 31 May 2012

I've Won Some Balls.......

There's been a spate of competitions going around the blogosphere for a while now, I've entered a few and now I've finally won one!

I am now the proud owner of two 17th century English civil war musket balls.  I'm proper chuffed with these so a big thank you to Ian over at The Blog With No Name for running the competition and sending these out to me!

A side effect of this was that Ian also mentioned my blog on his and I got a nice bump in follower numbers as a result.  So welcome to all my new followers and I hope you find something interesting to read (and look at) in my quite mixed up gaming world.

Monday 28 May 2012

White Dwarf 390 & Wargames Illustrated 296

This months white dwarf is basically all about the new 40K flyers for Space Marines, Orks and Necrons and in particular the Space Marine and ork ones.  Lots and lots of pictures, some painting advice, an interesting looking scenario and of course most importantly the new offical rules for the Stormtalon and the various Ork planes.  I like the look of the new Stormtalon, but I think it's probaly a tad to expensive to be anything but a fun selection.  It's early days though and I might be proved wrong yet.  Also for 40K players there is a bit of history for a campaign involving the white scars, orks and necrons (funny that), oddly no battle report.  And finally a very impressive Blood Angels army is showcased.

The Warhammer fantasy stuff is shoved at the back and isn't much to write home about, a look at the new plastic savage orc boss and goblin shaman (both of which I like, but the orc particulary), a gallery of golden demon winning empire models (although several of which I've seen before) and a look at how to build a reiksguard chapter house out of their scenary range (essentially an advert).

Apart from that theres some more of the new style painting guides that I'm not a fan of and a dull standard bearer.  In the end it all comes down to weather you're going to buy the flyers as to weather this mag is for you.

This months theme in wargames illustrated is the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 and we get three good articles on the subject, an overview, a look at 'what ifs' in the invasion of england and finally a look at what was going on back in scotland.  It's not a period thats on my imediate radar, but the 18th century is a period I might go for in the future.

Flames of war next with two articles, one on collecting tank destroyer armies and one on adding camoflague to your tanks, both ok, if not amazing articles.

The other stand out articles for me were a battle report for 'Saga' and a look at napoleons swiss troops.  I keep getting very tempted by saga, as it happens I've been reading some dark age stuff recently, I love the imagery and the low start up costs are soooo tempting, but I'm trying to resist adding yet another game for the time being.

The other big article is an extract from the new 'pike & shotte' game from warlord games, which is from the same stable as 'black powder' and 'hail ceaser'.  The extract looks at a game of the battle of pavia using the new ruleset.  I'm not a fan of copy and pasting straight from books, it's not a bad article, but feels lazy, and if I bought the book as well I don't like having paid for it in two places.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Navwar WW2 Early War German Starter Set

As a bit of a change of tack I've gone and bought some Axis ships for use in Victory at Sea, As usual I went for Navwar's 1:3000 range.  I bought the early war Germans (shown here) and the late war Japanese (coming soon) starter sets.  This set's pretty good and contains pretty much all the German surface ships I'd heard of inlcuding all 4 of the proper capital ships the germans possesed, 2 of the pocket battleships, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugens, 3 light cruisers and 8 destroyers.  I might pick up the other 6 cruisers and a few U-boats at some point, but even if I never get around to that this is a pretty decent fleet and allows me to play the historical scenarios in the Victory at sea rulebook.

I've played against the Germans quite a bit and they are let down quite a bit by the lack of a proper points system in victory at sea.  The Bismarck for exmple is a fine ship, but you get one for the same points as two Queen Elizabeth class battleships, and they're not that good.  The battlecruisers are tough, but lack firepower, and the light cruisers and destroyers don't match upto the British ships of the same points either.  The only area the german fleet is strong is in Heavy cruisers, with the Pocket Battleships and Admiral Hipper class ships being fine ships and point efficient.  Still I'm up for a challenge and am looking forward to trying to make them work.

The power of the fleet, the Bismarck class battleships Tirpitz and Bismarck

The Scharnhorst class battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, if only they had bigger guns!

The two 'Pocket Battleships' Admiral Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer and the Admarial Hipper class heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.

3 K-class light cruisers Koln, Karlsruhe & Koingsberg

And finally 4 Narvik class destroyers and 4 Maas class destroyers

Monday 21 May 2012

New 40k Eldar

May's not been a good month for my blog so far.  First I had the broken computer, and then for the last week the need to earn a living has got in the way of me finishing any projects or finishing any of the reviews I have half written.  But finally I've added the final touches to the latest additions to my eldar army, a squad of Dire Avengers and a Farseer.

The Dire Avengers are a much needed third troops choice for my army.  I think they're pretty good gamewise actually, able to put out impressive amounts of firepower, even if like all eldar they are fragile.  These took me quite a while to paint, and I'm particulary pleased with the Exarch's bone sword and with the crests.

And also this farseer, I painted this guy up mainly so I don't have to use the Avatar as my HQ choice in every battle.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

40k Space Marine Sniper Scouts

I'm not sure if anybody noticed but I've been absent for a few days as my laptop died horribly at the weekend, but I'm back now with a shiny new laptop and resuming normal service.  We've been playing quite a bit of 40K recently and I've gone out and bought quite a lot of new stuff for my space marine army, and the first unit is now done.  These scouts with sniper rifles will be very useful, I tend to end up using my scouts to hold an objective deep in my own deployment zone as my real marines push into the enemies half of the board, and this armament will mean they can do a bit of damage whilst sat happily at the back.  Also I have two tyranid armies to face on a regular basis, and the auto wound anything on a 4+ will be very useful against the big beasties. 

As well as these I've also bought a landspeeder storm, a second rhino, a second vindicator (one of the old ones based on the origanal rhino chassis) and a squad of veterans, all of which should appear painted at some point in the future, although as usual I might get distracted before any of this gets done.

Friday 11 May 2012

Warhammer Vampire Counts Hexwraiths

These were so quick to paint it was a joy, a simple white base washed with green (blue for weapon blades) and the rehighlighted white.  I could have done more I admit, but the queue is starting to block up again and these were a nice easy win and I'm pleased with the result.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Other Historical Sites In Norfolk

The last of my 'what I saw on my holiday' posts today, a collection of smaller sites, all interesting, but none of them are going to take up too much time for the visitor.

First the remains of two covenanter tanks on the beach at the RSPB reserve of titchwell marsh.  The Covenanter tanks are WW2 era, but never entered active service and these two were probaly destroyed as target practice as the area was used as a gunnery range.

Slightly further down the coast is the wreck of the SS Vina by Brancaster beach.  Also used for target practice by the RAF in WW2.  The tide wasn't right for us to get right upto it unfortunately, and the local authourities suggest you don't even try.

Weybourne priory was a quick stop on our first evening, not much left, just a few walls around what is now the parish church.

Next up is St. Benet's Abbey, which we didn't stop at but did see from our boat on the broads.  Reading about it afterwards, it was once quite large, but not much is left now.  Whats odd is the 18th century windmill tower that was built next to the ruins.

The final stop of the holiday was Binham priory, a substantive site and we noticed a lot of similartities with castle acre priory we'd visited a couple of days preivously.  The only bulding intact is the knave of the (once much larger) priory church that is now the parish church.  The church was open as well and had a mini museum inside.

Sunday 6 May 2012

Scibor Sci-Fi Servants

My first ever miniatures from scibor arrived today, a pack of 4 servants in a gothic sci-fi style very similar to what I'm used to with 40K.  The plan is to use them as a display retinue for my chapter master (who admittedly doesn't yet exist).  I like the styling here, although I do feel that the models are a tad short.  Another big plus is the fantastic scenic bases that come with them, so good I don't think I'm going to waste them on these figures!

The figures are made out of resin, which I don't seem to be having much luck with, like my finecast experiences 3 out of the 4 figures I recieved have serious bubble defects, as shown below.  The guy missing the side of his hood is particulary annoying.  I could return them, but frankly I can't be bothered.  Like finecast it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth after the purchase, and it's even more frustrating as the bits without bubbles are well cast and have superb detail.

Friday 4 May 2012

White Dwarf 389 & Wargames Illustrated 295

Turning first to White Dwarf this months theme is the new Necron releases, first we get the new releases section which thankfully isn't as long as last months, they then go over the same stuff again with a small article talking about the new releases and how to use them.  Then 11 pages of how to get certain colours using the new paints.  I'm normally all for painting advice, but there's no techniques here, essentially its just a list if colours which feels a bit lame.  Standard bearer is back, but is also dissapointing with a unispiring ramble about compromise.  Fortunatley there is some good stuff too, firstly 3 pages with lovely drawings describing some of the different knightly orders that use demigryph knights, even though its only three pages this is the standout article for me, more like this please.  More for warhammer next with a new scenario and new spells for storm of magic games and interestingly a selelection olf witch hunter relics and warrior priest prayers.  Then towards the back is a chunky article on a 40k campaign (heavily featuring the new necrons) which includes campaign rules, 3 scenarios, a couple of mini battle reports and two new apocalyse datasheets for the necrons, this is good stuff too and really fits together nicely and providing some solid new rules.  Finally the final installment of a tale of 4 gamers, maybe I just rememeber the origanal too fondly, but this falls a bit flat for me.  Not a bad issuse in the end, there is a good chunk of filler, but at least the good stuff was really good.

This months theme in Wargames Illustrated is the Crimean war.  The crimean war has always been a bit odd for me, in a lot of ways it serves as the bridge between the Napolenic wars and the later colonial conflicts (both periods I collect), but it's never really inspired me.  For the theme we get an overview article, plus looks at the battles of Alma and sevastapol.  Flames of war gets two articles, one on the correct way of using the new American transfer sheets and an article featuring two army lists for 101. Panzerbrigade.  I'm really chuffed by this, I've been looking at building a company around the new plastic soilder company panthers and this list is just what I need.  Matt parkes' painting series continues with a look at paints and colour theory.  Theres a few other bits as well, a look the the new 18th century game maurice, a battle report for the new dark age system age of ravens and a look at the battles of Castagnaro (1387) and Palo Alto (1846).

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