Six Bullets

I thought I should write a wee intro to this, as a story suddenly cropping up in a hobby blog might seem a bit weird. 

  I always enjoyed writing when I was much younger and I’ve tried it a few times over the years, without much success and got out of the habit, until my Bro, Tom inspired me by saying he was going to try to crank out a short story every Friday.  He’s trying to make it his bread and butter, so he needs to keep the writing muscles well lubricated, but I thought why not have another crack at it.

Here it is, the first story that I’ve finished in quite some time.  Be gentle, peeps!

Charlie crashed through the window, bullets zipping by, one of them so close it scored a red-hot line across his right shoulder.  He collided with a table, bounced off it, grabbed at a chair to steady himself and failed, momentum crunching him painfully into the opposite wall.  The impact jarred his finger against the trigger of his sleek revolver, causing him to fire off a round, narrowly escaping shooting the big toe off his left foot.

The day had started so well.  He’d rode into town, hitched his horse outside the Saloon and before he managed to get inside and order a drink, he’d been stopped by a desperate looking town mayor and offered a job.  It didn’t pay well but it did sound easy.  Kill some guy that went by the name of Quick Dick, along with any of the men with him.  They were a local gang called The Goatboys.

People often gave themselves stupid sounding names and Quick Dick was certainly a winner in that regard, but The Goatboys?  Who came up with a name like that and thought it sounded scary.  After telling the desperate man what he thought of Mr Dick and his gang, Charlie had taken the job and immediately got to work.

Quick Dick and The Goatboys had been laughably easy.  The Goatboys turned out to be a one-armed man called Ringo and a guy so tall and thin that he looked as if he’d been stretched.

The gang had been squatting in a tumbledown shack on the edge of town and when he’d called them out, the trio had obliged him with all the enthusiasm of the big, tough guys that they’d thought they were.  Tall guy and Ringo came out first, flanking the door so their leader could make his grand entrance.

As it turned out, Quick Dick’s entrance hadn’t been even slightly grand, but it did prove to be memorable.  He’d sauntered through the doorway, tossing a sawn-off shotgun from hand to hand menacingly, before catching his foot on the door frame, causing him to trip, fall, jam the shotgun under his chin and blow his own head off.

Charlie had just stared for a moment, dumbstruck by the stupidity of the spectacle.  Fortunately, he’d gathered his wits more quickly than the two men facing him and giving them an apologetic shrug, he’d pulled his pistol on them and shot them dead.

That was the point that his day had taken a sharp turn for the worse.

The Goatboys had been a pushover.  More than that in fact.  The idiots had come so close to dealing with themselves that if they returned from the dead they’d have a valid claim on the reward money themselves.  Unfortunately, the mayor had failed to mention the inept gang’s affiliation with a much bigger group.  They’d arrived just as Charlie was searching the bodies and one look at them told him that this lot knew what they were doing.

He hadn’t given them the chance to draw on him.  He’d pulled his pistol and loosed a few rounds in their direction.  His shots were poorly aimed and didn’t hit anyone, but he just wanted to keep their heads down long enough to have a chance at reaching cover.

That was how he’d found himself where he was now, hiding out in the Goatboys rancid little clubhouse, counting his bullets.  Six.

“Bugger, that’s not enough.” he mumbled, before doing some quick mental arithmetic.  There was at least ten of them out there.

“Bollocks.  Maybe I can get some of them to line up?” he said, his usually mild Irish accent becoming more pronounced, as it often did in times of stress.

“Hey guy.” A voice called from outside.  “I’m in charge of these boys and I’ve got more coming.  Head on out guy, and I’ll make it quick.  Make me dig you out and I’ll make it real slow.”

The man paused, presumably giving Charlie a moment to consider his extremely limited options and consider them he did; it didn’t take long.  He could go out in a blaze of glory or make them come and get him.

“All this over an idiot who blew his own head off?” he yelled at the gang outside. “Come in here and get me.  I’ll make you feckin’ famous”

“That idiot was my Brother.” Came the voice from outside. “That’s got to be settled!”

“Shite.”  Charlie said and started shooting.


Armies on Parade 2018

Armies on Parade has always interested me.  It goes without saying that I enjoy looking at well painted models, but it’s more than that.  Seeing the models on a display board, set up as if they’re on their way to action is something that’s always appealed to me.  It reminds me of the army photo’s that White Dwarf always had on the back page of the magazine, and the pictures of an army, chosen for a battle report.

This Year I intend to enter it.  I’ve toyed with the idea for a while, but this time I’m going to take the plunge.  I have no idea if I’ll be ready on time, or how stiff competition is at my local GW, but for me this will be more about taking part than winning.  I realise that sounds cheesy, but I want to start entering painting competitions and this seems like a good place to dip my toes in the water.

I was going to enter the 40K Golden Demon in November, but I didn’t leave myself a lot of time to save the pennies for it and Christmas is starting to cast its very expensive shadow, so I’ve had to put that off for a bit.  All it’ll cost me to get to my local Games Workshop is my train fare and the price of a pasty.

The army bit I’ve got nailed down.  I’ve been painting armies for Years and am reasonably happy in that respect.  The board is a different matter.  I have no experience of making scenic display boards, so I’m jumping in the deep end with that.  Will it be any good? Maybe, maybe not.  Will I even finish it in time? I certainly hope so and I’m going to give it my best shot, but it would be foolish of me not to acknowledge the possibility that with less than a Month to do something I have no experience of, not to mention finishing of the last little bit of my chosen army, That I may just be biting off more than I can chew.

Even if I’m not ready on time, or I enter and get nowhere, I’ll have a nicely painted army for my efforts, and that’ll be good too.

It’s been some time since Games Workshop have given me anything serious to grumble about.  There have been little things here and there that have bothered me a wee bit, but mostly, they’re really doing rather well on all fronts and after the horrible, wilderness years it’s nice to see.

With the little disclaimer intro out of the way, it’s time for the meat of it.  Adeptus Titanicus is featured in the latest issue of White Dwarf and on the face of it, that’s rather exciting.  Titans kicking the crap out of each other is certainly something I can get behind.  Unfortunately, Titan warfare is unlikely to be in my future.

The main problem, and the one that my other issues with it are connected to, is the cost.  It’s going to be expensive just to play an entry level game.  I have no idea how expensive, as White Dwarf makes no mention of the price and that alone is enough to set alarm bells ringing.

There’s also the release format, which contributes to the cost.  The gubbinz of playing, rules, dice, templates and whatnot are in one box, models are in another and the scenery is in a third, so that’s going to be a serious outlay of cash, just to get started.  There is a super duper, everything in one box version but the first run of it is going to be limited.

The cynic in me questions why the models needed to be at such a large scale.  Epic scale stuff worked a treat and it was playable without needing to consider the sale of a kidney.  The models look amazing but their size is likely to make the game prohibitively expensive to a fair few people.

My hobby budget is on something of a shoestring.  It’s nice to be in the position to have a hobby budget again, but it doesn’t come close to being enough for this beast of a game.  My focus is on more affordable hobbying.  For example, I’m going to be getting into Shadespire soon.  Then perhaps Kill Team.

I realise that there are additional costs to Shadespire once you get away from the core, game in a box.  That core game is quite cheap though, and it contains everything needed to play it straight out of the box.

The Kill Team core set is also quite well priced.  A higher entry point than Shadespire, but again, everything needed to play is in the box for a decent price.  It also helps if, like me, you’ve been collecting 40K stuff since the dawn of time because then you’ll have loads of models and probably enough scenery and could just buy the rulebook.  I’d rather get the starter set, but the rulebook is an option.

Adeptus Titanicus however, even at a conservative estimate, I can’t see coming in at under a hundred and fifty pounds, just to get started and that’s a shame, as the game looks tremendous.  The models are fantastic and the scenery is going to give it a real sense of scale.  Unfortunately it’s going to be set at a price point that I just couldn’t realistically reach, even if I wanted to.

I hope this hasn’t come across as a rant because that certainly isn’t my intention, but I am a little disappointed, as it’s a game that I wouldn’t have minded getting into.  However, Games Workshop do sell plenty of other, more affordable games, so it’s far from being the big deal that it might have been with Games Workshop of a few years ago.

A Return To Gaming

The Warhammer 40,000 First Strike box is a very well put together little starter set.  It’s perfect for getting people into the game, with just enough models, scenery and rules to give you a basic grasp of the game and have some fun.  What it’s also good for, I’ve found, is getting lapsed players back into the game.

This in mind, my brother, Tom recently bought the First Strike box, thinking it might be just what we needed to get us back into playing.  Neither of us have played a game of 40K for quite a while; part way through the previous edition if memory serves.  Lack of time to play, lack of space to play and for a reason I can’t quite put my finger on, a general lack of enthusiasm.

My interest in the 40K universe, from a painting and background perspective hasn’t diminished one bit and it’s much the same for my Bro, although he’s more a means to an end sort of painter, who paints to get his models done and not so much for the joy of painting.*  It’s not to say he doesn’t take pride in his finished models, just that he prefers the destination more than the journey.

We both keep up on our Codexes and I have every edition of the rulebook, but playing became something to do next week, or when we’d done something else.  We put it off so much, it’s almost like it became a habit.  This wasn’t always the case, as back when the original Necromunda and Warhammer Quest were in their prime, we played more games of both than I could count; suffice to say, it was lots.

I have two complete armies, Ultramarines and Tau, don’t judge, but they haven’t been updated in any serious way for a long time, with most of my Tau coming from their initial release.  My Ultramarines are a little better off than that and I’ve added bits and bobs to them over the years, but they both have serious gaps that would see them struggle in a game.

Tom cleaned and assembled the models over the course of a couple of evenings, then the weekend rolled around, and we took the plunge.  It’s only a wee box and there’s not much you can do with the stuff in there from a tactical standpoint but it has everything needed to have a few fun games and reel in a couple crusty, lapsed gamers.

We played a couple of games and now my Bro is putting together a Word Bearers army and I’m working my way through a Genestealer Cult force.  I’ve always liked those guys and was chuffed to see them return.  It’s just the stuff out of the Deathwatch Overkill box at the moment, but for a board game it contains a surprisingly well rounded core force.**

This was originally supposed to be a brief intro to a little battle report, but as is often the case when I start writing, I got a bit carried away and now it’s become it’s own thing.  So, unintentional ramble over, I’ll get to work on the battle report that this was supposed to be and it should be with you in just a few short days.


*Unintentional Bob Ross reference.

**The Aberrant models don’t seem to be available outside the contents of the game, which I find a bit strange (someone please correct me if I’m wrong).

Thrugg Bullneck’s Ork Raiders

My Boyz in all their glory. Don’t judge; fifteen year old me had been painting for about two minutes at this point.

Thrugg Bullneck’s Ork Raiders were one of my first squad purchases, perhaps even my first; I can’t remember if I bought the multi-part Imperial Space Marines kit at the same time, or not.  I can however remember that me and my bro, Tom had some hideously unbalanced battles, dominated by the Space Marines.

The battle that sticks in my mind the most was probably one of the first and I took the Orks, with Tom taking the Space Marines.  The games table was our bedroom floor and the scenery was a fort made from hardback books.  The Space Marines defended the fort and the Orks attacked.  This seemed like a good idea at the time … It was not.

I painted the Orks, and the Space Marines with an excess of enthusiasm that was in no way matched by ability and I would at this point like to point out the picture at the top of this page for some incredibly chipped examples.

In my opinion these early Orks have aged much better than the Space Marines.  The Orks being metal and the Space Marines being plastic probably helped this, as the plastic models of the day were not super detailed.

This trip down memory lane has a purpose.  I was recently forced to sort out our box room, due to work chappies needing access to some pipes, so I thought I might as well do a reasonably good job of it.  One of the few bits of awesomeness to come from this was turning up a lot of my old models, including the entirety of Thrugg Bullneck’s Ork Raiders, plus a few spares that I must’ve picked up in blister packs.

I’m now in a position were I really want to repaint the immediately but can’t because I need to clear up a bit more of the stuff on my board.  I love painting the really old metal models and as far as Warhammer 40,000 goes they don’t get much older than these guys.

What I’m undecided about at present is whether I replicate the colour scheme I used on them last time, but better, or go with the way they’re painted on the box.  Given what’s on my board that I need to finishe off first, I’ve got a little while to think about it yet.

Why I Haven’t Written For a While.

If you’re one of the teeny, tiny group of people who read my blog,* it won’t have escaped your attention that I’ve been rather quiet as far as new content is concerned of late.  There are a couple of reasons for this and one of them is a bit crap.

I’ll get the aforementioned crap reason out of the way first.  I’m a big fan of zombie fiction.  Movies, books, TV, games, it doesn’t matter.  I did recently fail to get all the way through Day of the Dead – Bloodline, but I digress.**  State of Decay 2 came out a Month or so back and put the boot in, on my spare time, which is when I usually write.  I’ve played it so much that I have all the achievements, which is perhaps not something I should be proud of, but I am somewhat.

Over the past week or two I’ve still been playing it, but more casually and less like it’s League of Legends and I’m practicing to go pro.

The other, and in my humble opinion more excusable reason, is that I’ve been focusing a bit too hard on the painting side of things.  Mostly work related painting, but painting nonetheless.

Since the World Cup started a couple of weeks ago and everybody became obsessed with the footy, I’ve had more time for hobby type stuff and although I could have quite sensibly divided this up a  bit and spent some time writing, I’ve spent all of it painting instead.  Now, there is generally no such thing as too much time spent painting and I certainly don’t consider it time wasted but would it really have hurt to carve out a couple of hours along the way to tap away at my keyboard?***

Anyway, there they are, the dual reasons for me not blogging for a while; one reason rubbish and one a bit less rubbish.  I aim to stick around this time and start making regular contributions to my poor neglected blog again and as it’s probably going to be two or three Years until State of Decay 3 is released, I’m at least safe from that for a while.



* Thanks, your time spent reading my rambling is much appreciated.

**  Damn, that is a seriously soulless film, with an awful script and hecka bad acting.  The zombies look rather good, but it’s just not enough to make the rest of it worth wading through.

*** That’s one of those rhetorical doodads.

**** I really wanted to call this one ‘Zombies Ate My Homework’ but I’ve been told that my blog titles should be a bit more descriptive and that my past trend of nonsense titles may be putting people off.

Self Bought Pressies And A Bit About Golden Demon

When I order hobby goodness, I’m always eager for it to arrive, more so when it’s a new release thingy.  Then, on the day it’s due to be delivered I always make sure I’m up and about early, so I don’t miss the postman.  I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit of an overgrown child when it comes to pressies, even if they’re self-bought ones.

I got some new stuff yesterday (just before Easter Sunday, for those of you reading this in the future) and it was a little bit awesome.  I was up early (see above), more than an hour before the postman turned up as it happened, and when he arrived all I got was a letter for a guy who presumably lived in my abode before I did.  This was not a good start and I don’t mind admitting that I was a wee bit disappointed.

However, ten minutes later he came back with my parcel of hobby goodness (go posty) and I turned that frown upside down (I wasn’t that bad, but his return with my parcel was a nice surprise).

My parcel was the Forgebane boxed set and a Great Unclean One.  I’m looking forward to painting the contents of both boxes, but all I get to keep is the Great Unclean One, as the contents of the Forgebane box are going on to other folks when they’re painted.  It’s an amazing box and I’d love to have one for my own personal use, but at least this way I get to paint all the awesome stuff in there, even if I don’t get to keep it.

I’ve just worked out how to resize these.  I’m not very good at this sort of thing.

The Great Unclean One is another matter.  I’ve been wanting one for ages, but haven’t been able to justify the outlay, as it costs quite a lot of quids and I have no in game use for one.  Now, although I still have no in game use for one, I’m able to afford to buy one and I have a reason. The Warhammer 40,000 Golden Demon, at Warhammer World in November.

I have no idea if I can win anything, but I’m going to give it my best shot.  My painting abilities have come along a lot over the past few years and if nothing else, it’ll be a chance to see Warhammer World and mix with some like-minded folks.

I’m planning on writing a number of blog entries relating to my Golden Demon preparation and the Great Unclean One isn’t going to be my only iron in the fire in that respect.  It’s my biggest outlay as far as money’s concerned and I suspect it’ll be my biggest project, as it’s a tremendously detailed kit and a bit on the large side, but I’m certainly not going to half-arse the other stuff I’m entering.  Everything will be getting the attention it deserves, otherwise what’s the point?