Thursday 28 March 2013

Alternative Slaanesh Herald

I am still dithering about which direction to take, if any, with the Daemons of Chaos. I have my first game with them coming up this weekend, which should give me a gut reaction to whether I like them enough to commit precious hobby time to them. If I do pick up this project, I will be adding on to my existing collection of mostly Slaanesh and Tzeentch models.

Reading the army book, it seems that daemonic heralds are quite expensive in points for what they add, but when I see a concept like this one, all thoughts of points efficiency disappear in a haze of painting lust. As you can see, this model is from the current Warzone kickstarter, but surely Warhammer players will immediately recognise the potential here for an alternative Herald of Slaanesh. In fact, this is a reboot of a pretty old metal model that I painted for this purpose a few years ago (picture is here).

In a similar vein is this model from Avatars of War. I should be getting hold of one of these in the near future, so it seems I might have two heralds, or maybe one of these could become a unit champion. Luckily I have a unit of daemonettes already painted and ready to game with, with another unit still in the box waiting for attention. So there is plenty of scope for using either or both of these lovely models at some point. Even if I decide against a daemon project, the Domina model would also make a splendid character model in a Chaos Warriors army, a sorceror perhaps. There's even the obligatory skull, so it would slot right into a Warhammer army!

Saturday 23 March 2013

Goblin Aid - Help Kev Adams

Many of you will know that sculptor Kev Adams has been assaulted and injured in an attack in his own home by burglars. A group of hobbyists are getting together to raise a bit of cash to help Kev and his family through this difficult time. There's a Goblin Aid facebook page with details of what is to be done to raise money.

If you want to help there are a number of things you can do. You can help to spread the word by posting about Goblin Aid on your own blog. You can visit the Goblin Aid facebook page and pledge your support there. It's early days as yet, but it seems that some sculpts are to be auctioned off, and a whole range of sculptors are chipping in with new sculpts to be added to the auction pot. I have offered my services as a painter and have also set up a thread on the Warhammer forum to draw attention to the situation.

It's early days as yet, please spread the word and head on over to the facebook page to get involved.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Gripping Beast Plastic Dark Age Warriors

As mentioned in my last post, Gripping Beast have announced the release of a set of plastic Dark Age unarmoured warriors. More details have emerged on their website, with pictures of the sprue and a few painted examples. There are enough bits to make all 40 figures up as spearmen, or 32 slingers, or 16 javelins, or 8 sword/axe armed warriors. Absolutely perfect for building cheap warriors and levies in many a Saga warband. From the photos they look like a decent set, I will probably get a set to replace my Wargames Factory figures.

Saturday 16 March 2013

A Brief Pause to Reflect on Exciting Times Ahead

It's time to take stock.

I have been drifting a little bit lately, wondering what to work on next  for my armies. There are a number of candidates vying for my hobby time. The recently purchased Daemons of Chaos book has proven to be an interesting read and I am hoping to get a game with them in the next couple of weeks. I have around 1200 points already painted and a few ideas on how to expand the army. I outlined my plans in a recent post and now that I have read the book I am pretty sure that I will be taking this project on. Most of my painted units are Tzeentch and Slaanesh so I will most likely continue in this vein. I am going to rebase the army, possibly taking the radical step of using elements (multibases) rather then single bases, but this needs a little bit more thought before I commit.

I have also been thinking about the direction to take with my Saga forces. The recently finished Saxon warband has proven a little disappointing. In gaming terms it really needs to be a horde. In aesthetic terms I have decided it's a little below par, but have been hesitant to spend on metal historical figures because most of those I find to be uninspiring. I have plans to re-use the Saxons as Anglo-Danes, as I find this battle board to be more varied and interesting to play. Scratching around for decent figures, I found this little snippet of news, that Gripping Beast are finally near to releasing some generic plastics for the game. I would guess they will be unveiled at Salute. About time too! Just when I had decided that I would probably go for a metal Jomsviking warband, with possibly some Rus figures for variety. Maybe I will do both.

There's lots of new figures and games floating around the internet, sometimes it's hard to keep up with what's going on. Westwind Productions have a kickstarter underway for a range of steampunk/Victorian gothic gaming. If Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Wolfman, Ripper Street, or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is your thing, then it's well worth a look. There's also a ruleset about to be released by Osprey gaming in a similar vein, with accompanying figures. A project for a little later in the year maybe.

Another little gem cropped up just today. Only last night I was wishing there was a War of the Worlds style game, based on the original HG Wells vision, when All Is Quiet on the Martian Front appeared in the blogosphere. It seems that we gamers only have to wish for a game and it will appear on kickstarter! Definitely one to watch, for me at any rate. World War I tanks, tripods, aliens and death rays, all in 15mm, a scale I have coveted for quite some time. Hopefully the kickstarter, when it launches, will live up to my dreams. If not, I'm sure something else will come along. There just isn't enough hours in a day to indulge in all this hobby goodness.

If none of this appeals to you, just do what I did - close your eyes, make a wish, and head to kickstarter.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Muskets and Tomahawks and......a goat!

View from the French Indian side.
Friday night is gaming night, down in Matt's dungeon. He has been very busy making a set of modular gaming boards. Each section is 2x2 mdf 6mm thick (I think). The hills are sculpted from  styrene tiles, sealed and painted, then all covered with hanging basket liner. He got the idea from an issue of Wargames Illustrated. It gives a very nice finish to game on. I took my camera along and hoped to get a few reasonable shots in the dimly lit depths.

He's also been busy painting up figures for Muskets and Tomahawks. While not quite finished yet, they are playable so we thought we would give it a go. Having had a practice session earlier in the week to get the basic mechanics, we rolled up a scenario. M&T is very much a story-driven game, with randomly assigned traits for the leaders, different objectives for each side, and a sub-plot to affect victory conditions too.

I took control of the British troops, my objective was a seek and destroy mission, I had to find and eliminate two thirds of the enemy to achieve this objective. Matt took control of the French-American Indians, his objective was to scout enemy positions, which meant he had to advance into each quadrant of the board and  be there at the end of a turn, not in combat, free to have a good look around. We both had sub-missions, but I will get to those later.

"Don't worry lads, it's only a goaaaarghh!"
The game actions are very simple, move, shoot or reload (blackpowder weapons). The sequence of troops movement is determined by the turn of a card, so you can never be sure who will get to do something at any time. It might be evenly split, with alternating player actions, or you might get a few consecutive actions for one player. There are also random events happening on the draw of a card and the roll of dice. My troops lined up, eager to advance to find the enemy, but were immediately set upon by a crazed goat! Well, this is untamed wilderness.

After this early unfortunate incident, I got the run of the cards, meaning the British troops advanced across the board to the mid point. I reckoned I could stand and wait for the French Indians, picking them off as they appeared from the treeline. The French Indians spent a while sneaking forward, eventually an advance party took up position on a hill and the shooting began.

Pesky Indians. On a hill. In a wood.
The British shot and killed a couple of the Indians, but the remaining four then survived the whole game, in a very advantageous position on top of a hill, tucked away behind a tree line. This give them a good field of fire on my British troops, along with a good cover bonus for being hidden in cover and being Indian. These four pesky Indians pretty much held up the British lads for the whole game. The black buttons are markers to denote gunsmoke, troops are easier to spot when they fire and also have to reload before firing again. Popping down a button then removing it when reloaded makes this a simple affair, though Matt is threatening to produce something a bit more theatrical.

"Er, just nipping back to town Sarge, for a cuppa."
One final snap from the game, the British have been pushed back under persistent gunfire from the Indians. Whenever a unit suffers a casualty it takes a reaction test, which might result in it standing firm, a recoil as here, a flight from the action, or complete rout. It's all very simple stuff but plays realistically (well, as we might imagine it would). The British never did dislodge those Indians from the hill, and were pinned down for most of the game, allowing other Indian units the freedom to scout out the whole board. French victory conditions met by the Indians. The British failed to kill enough enemy to meet their objectives, so it seems that the day belongs to the natives. But, wait, remember those sub plots?

"Je t'aime".
"No chance mate".
The British leader side mission was to "kill" an enemy in melee, then capture him and lead him off the board. Very late in the game he did manage to do this and conveniently did so near a table edge, so dragged his prisoner off the board, no doubt to interrogate him at a later time. The French leader side mission was to engage in negotiations with a civilian, we used a monk figure. However, the monk continually took fright and ran away, the Indian leader spent far too long pleading with him to treaty, and the British enjoyed the spectacle before filling the hapless Indian full of musket shot. French failure. Well, would you trust this guy in a conversation? Apologies for the blurry shot, it was getting late and the enemy had plied me with wine! A good game all round that plays less like a typical battle and more like an adventure game.

Thursday 7 March 2013

Daemonic Plans

I am still waiting for the Chaos Daemons book to arrive. The little snippets I have read on various forums have got me intrigued, the randomness that many despise is something that really appeals to me. I am still unsure about the aesthetic of  a lot of the models, but there's enough I do like for me to start my planning. Currently I have the following in a painted state:-

  • daemonettes and herald - pic here and here
  • horrors - pics here
  • nurglings - pics here
  • plaguebearers - pic here, painted for 40k but could be rebased
  • screamers 
  • flamers
  • furies of Slaanesh
  • furies of Nurgle

In a part-painted or unpainted state I also have:-

  • seekers
  • beasts of Nurgle (old metal models)
  • more daemonettes
  • bloodletters (metal versions with axes)
  • more flamers
  • Azazel daemon prince, minus wings
  • fiends

That's enough for at least 2000 points I reckon, probably more like 3000 if I add in a greater daemon. So plenty of material to play with. The second list is in sequence, the models I like at the top, with the two items at the bottom possibly destined for ebay.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Seeking Ideas

Apparently, it's now spring. Lighter nights and warmer weather are here. It seems like the perfect time to start on something new.

I have quite a few projects on the go at the moment - Sedition Wars is ticking along nicely, I have recently enjoyed painting a couple of characters for my Chaos Warriors army, and I have some vague ideas about a viking Saga warband. But all these things seem like side projects, fillers to keep me going until the next big thing comes along. I guess I am most happy when I have dozens of models to build and paint for an army. That means Warhammer of course!

I have a number of Warhammer armies in various states of completeness, including over 4000 points of Chaos Warriors, 2000 points of Wood Elves, about the same in Orcs and Goblins, around 2500 points of Dwarfs and a fledgling Vampire Counts army. But none of these appeal to me at this particular time. I want to revisit an army I started back in 2010, when I made a start on a small Chaos Daemons force. I have some models from back then that I could work on, so I wouldn't even have to buy any new toys. I just need the new book. While I wait for that to arrive, I have a few ideas on how to develop the army. More on that soon.

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