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.

Advertisements

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

20180703_111150-1.jpg
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.

Pile Of Shame II

I am, at the moment painting a unit of models from an army I don’t collect, which are part of a game I don’t play, which I don’t have the rules for.  This is a direct result of the scattergun approach I have, until very recently taken to painting my own stuff (a problem I wrote about a while back in a wee missive called ‘Pile of Shame’).

In this earlier blog entry, I mentioned that I was attempting to clear my backlog of models and I thought there was a bit of a question mark over how successful I’d be.  As it turns out, I’m not doing too bad.  I’ve still got a long way to go as far as my total unpainted model count is concerned, but I’ve made some serious progress in clearing out my painting area.  This year I’ve cleared all the single models that were judging me from the periphery of my painting area and am now close to finishing the first of three small, to medium sized units.

It feels good to finish a model that’s been sat gathering dust for ages.  Finishing a model is always nice, but there’s something about finishing a model that’s been lurking in the dark corners of your painting area for so long it needed dusting before a lick of paint could go near it that makes it that bit more special.

What I want to paint is my Tau army, but I’ve committed to, at least clear my painting area before I engage on any new painting projects.  Obviously it would be very easy to just say ‘sod it’ and paint my Tau anyway, but it’s that level of wobbly focus that’s put me in this pickle in the first place.  So with that being said, I’m going to attempt to be a grown up about it and finish what I’ve started.

A Distraction For My Earholes

Whether I’m painting, or writing, I like to be listening to something; it helps my focus immensely to be able to shut out distractions as much as possible.  It’s not that I’m easily distracted, but my mind can sometimes wander a bit if my headphones aren’t doing their part and then, before I know it, I’ve been staring into the middle distance for five minutes, thinking about whatever random nonsense has drifted into my noggin.

When I’m painting, audiobooks are my number one choice.  Painting is part of what I do for a living and when I’m listening to a good book I enjoy painting so much it almost feels like cheating, particularly when the person reading it knows what they’re doing; RC Bray’s name attached to an audiobook is often more of a draw for me than the author’s.

However, my pennies only stretch so far and unless they’re very long books, I can’t afford enough credits to keep me in audiobooks for an entire month.  Some, like the Arisen series of books, are very good and never fail to leave me wanting more but can be so short I don’t always feel like I’ve had value for money (with the worst offender in the series not coming in at much over eight hours.

At the other end of the spectrum there is stuff like the Stormlight Archive.  This is a series of books that come in somewhere round the sixty hour mark for each book and at the moment there are three in the series; it’s the perfect balance of quality and quantity.

When I run out of audiobooks to listen to while painting, music streaming services become my friend and given the almost endless amount of content and my eclectic taste in music, there’s always something to listen to.

The type of music I listen to tends to vary on a more-or-less weekly basis.  If I’m in the mood for sillier stuff I tend to listen to a lot of Dethklok, The Lonely Island, or Tenacious D.  There really isn’t any one type of music I’d say I prefer over any other and will listen to almost anything at least once.

Obviously I have my musical preferences but even these vary wildly; Cat Stevens, Eminem, The Doors, System of a Down, Queen, Queens of the Stone Age, Devotchka, Disturbed, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Cash, I’ve listened to them all this year and play some of them more than others, but all of them have albums on my playlist, along with loads of others.

When I’m writing I listen exclusively to soundtrack type music.  Two Steps From Hell, John Carpenter and the soundtrack to Dredd are particular favourites of mine and there are so many Two Steps From Hell albums that I can go through an entire day without listening to the same thing twice if I want to.

I’ve found that when writing I can’t listen to stuff that has too much in the way of lyrics, as it gets in the way of my concentration and my word count goes way down and shows a marked reduction in quality, which is why the stuff I mentioned above is ideal.

What this ramble tells me about my aural preferences, is that I’m lucky the internet exists.  Otherwise I’d be stuck listening to the same music all the time and audiobooks would be a non-starter, because it’s bloody expensive to buy a physical audiobook.

White Dwarf Review – March 2018

20180327_094443-1-1.jpgAlthough I’m not an Age of Sigmar gamer, it’s obvious that new Witch Aelves models quite a big deal.  There’s a lot of them and they’re rather awesome, particularly the new incarnation of Morathi, which is quite frankly amazing.  They also put me in mind of Ray Harryhausen monsters, from the Sinbad films and Jason and the Argonauts, which is no bad thing.

Along with the miniature releases for the Witch Aelves, they also get a Battletome this Month, which I imagine is great news for Age of Sigmar players.

The Tau Codex also sees the light of day this Month and as a Tau player, this is one I’ve really been looking forward to.  I would’ve liked some new models alongside the Codex, but Tau are fairly well catered for in most areas, with only a couple of exceptions; I’m looking at you Krootox Riders.

I can’t write about Planet Warhammer without mentioning Rogal Dorn, as the big golden bugger finally gets his release this Month and Forge World have done an amazing job on him.  Some people have criticised his pose, but I think the steadfast, immovable object stance really reflects the character of the man himself.

There’s not a great deal to say about the letters page; it’s fine.  I like that it’s in White Dwarf and very much want it to stay put but it’s rare when there’s anything standout about it.

Temporal Distort is a good one for me this Month.  Issue 153, from September 1992 was one of the earliest issues that I bought.  Although I’d already been into the hobby for a couple of years at this point, I hadn’t been collecting White Dwarf for more than six Months or so at this point.

My favourite part of that issue was the Battle Report, which was a Dwarves versus Bretonnians scrap.  The fighting was focused on a tomb and although I can’t quite remember why they were fighting over it, I do remember that it was the forces of the villainous Bretonnian Baron, Flaubert Bonsante that won in the end, sealing the remaining Dwarves into the tomb by collapsing the entrance with cannon fire.

There’s another Getting Started article and this time it’s The Horus Heresy.  Whereas these are still little more than an advert for whatever games system they decide to cover in a given month, they manage to fall just on the right side of worthwhile content.  I suppose at the very least they are keeping games systems visible that might not otherwise have a regular presence in the magazine.

Another short story, courtesy of the Malign Portents shenanigans and it’s about a hungry Troggoth looking for a meal.  The premise is simple and it’s a well written, cool little story.  I definitely want to see the semi-regular short story stick around.

The Designers Notes cover the new Daughters of Khaine stuff, with a particular emphasis on the new Morathi models.

Her big snake beasty incarnation is amazing.  Even if you don’t play AoS, or aren’t interested in the Daughters of Khaine, it’s objectively a fantastic piece of work; it’s a model that quite simply wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.

To the best of my knowledge the art shown in Illuminations is always stuff that has been reprinted from elsewhere, but it’s nice to have the ability to leaf through it, without all the intervening text.  This month covers art featuring the Tau and it covers a good spread of stuff, from the cover of the first Codex, right up to current stuff.

The Battle Report covers a scrap between Witch Aelves, led by Morathi and Undead, led by Mannfred.

I hate to say it, but I found it to be a bit of a slog and a little boring.  This may well be because I don’t have much of an interest in either of the armies, not knowing a great deal about them in the AoS incarnations, so I suppose the problem may well have been that I just didn’t really care who won.  Both sides do have some amazing models though.

The collecting article shows off a Horus Heresy Era Iron Warriors army, which is of course led by Perturabo.  I’ve never really been a fan of the Iron Warriors from a background perspective, as, to me at least, they have a massive chip on their shoulder and sometimes come across as being a bit whingey.

They look great though.  The gunmetal, with black and yellow chevrons is a great look and I could almost collect an army of them based on appearance alone and Perturabo, although one of my least favourites in the background, has one of my favourite models.

It’s an amazingly well painted army and it’s likely to be one of those articles that I take another look at from time to time.

The Hall of Fame is has returned and they’ve changed the format a smidge.  Rather than just writing about the model that’s been chosen, a shortlist of models is presented, with a piece about why each one was considered, with the overall winner for the month presented at the end.

This month’s entries are entirely made up of recent models, with the winner being Festus the Leechlord and whereas it’s a fine model, I don’t think it’s been around long enough yet to be put into the Hall of fame.

In Tale of four Warlords they all add a character to their army, along with whatever else takes their fancy.  The format of this seems to be getting rather loose and I must admit, I’d rather it was a bit more rigid.

Part of the draw of this article, as least as far as I’m concerned, has always been seeing what folks manage to add to their force, within the restrictions set each month and I don’t think a character and whatever you can paint in a month is all that restrictive.

The Golden Demon Classic focuses on the Monster category and showcases the winners, with the gold going to an awesomely disgusting Hell Pit Abomination, by Kristian Simonsen.  It’s an amazing model and it’s easy to see how much time and effort went into it.

Silver and bronze go to Angelo Di Chello’s Shar’tor the Executioner and The Glottkin, by Mally Anderson and they are both also spiffy as heck.  I imagine everybody likes to see models like this and for me Golden Demon stuff is part of what justifies the cost of White Dwarf for me each month.

After the Golden Demon stuff, there’s an article about one of the mega displays at Warhammer World, The Death on Khendrel IV, which tells the tale of a Dark Angel assault on an Imperial world that’s been occupied by the Death Guard.

I love displays like this and can spend ages looking at them, with the best of them being the ones that tell little stories here and there on the battlefield, which this one seems to do quite well.  Displays like this are one of the reasons that I want to visit Warhammer World.

‘Eavy Metal Masterclass covers some of the stuff painted by Anja Wettergren, alongside an interview with her.

It goes without saying that her work is incredibly good, but her skill with blending is mindblowing; she transitioned seamlessly from one colour to another on the chequerboard pattern of a Harlequin Shadowseer’s clothing!

Although the stuff in Blanchitsu is always really good, this month is a particular treat as it features a warband by the man himself.  As you might expect they’re a grim bunch of individuals, made up of models that have been heavily converted, which are painted in the style that he’s become known for.

Stake a Claim is a mini-game that pits two Kharadron Overlords against each other in a battle over a freshly discovered seam of sky gold.  It seems like everything that you need to play is contained in this article.  I initially thought it used the AoS rules, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.

It must be played with the Kharadron Overlord ships, which means it’s really a game that’s only open to those with Kharadron armies, but it’s still nice to see and is something that could easily be woven into a campaign, giving them an excuse to fight each other.

The Genestealer Cult rules are great to see.  Not only does it expand Necromunda as a game, but it’s cool to see the dangling Hive Secundus plot thread, from back in the murky past picked up.

I remember me and my Bro talking to Jervis Johnson about this, at one of the late nineties Gamesday’s and it’s been a long time coming but it’s good to see that it was never forgotten about.

The rules look to be solid and I’d quite like to have a pop at my own Genestealer gang now.

The Painting Guide is chock full of stuff this month, with guides on Morathi, in her Oracle form, a Fire Warrior from Tau Sept and a Crisis Battlesuit from Vior’la Sept.  As far as the battlesuit is concerned, white can be quite a tricky colour to paint, so I can see this being particularly useful to folks.

The next article, The Hero Challenge, seems suspiciously like an excuse to showcase cool big dudes that folks have painted; not that I’m complaining about having an excuse to look at a variety of well painted models.

As is always the case with the Readers Models, it’s a good chance to see an assortment of painting styles and some very well painted models, with this month being no exception.  The ‘In the Spotlight’ section is the real highlight for me this time though.

It shows off the work of John Margiotta and he’s painted some awesome stuff.  He paints in a darker, grittier style that I’m particularly fond of, with his version of Slambo and Genestealer Cultists being the real standouts.

In the Bunker features the usual selection of stuff, what folks are painting, playing etc, but also the final part of the Flamescar campaign that they’ve been running for the past few months.  I’m interested to see what they fill the gap with next month.

Lastly, the final page shows off a very eye-catching, very orange Magmadroth.  I’m not a massive fan of the model, but it’s nice use of a very limited colour palette.

In summary, it’s a solid issue with some ups and downs.  The new Witch Aelf stuff is cool, particularly Morathi, and the Genestealer Cult rules for Necromunda are great.  On the flipside, I though the battle Report was quite weak and there was no feature on the new Tau Codex, which was disappointing.

Whereas I probably should give this issue a cheesy With Aelf themed score, I’m not going to.  Instead I’m going to give it three Tau Fire Warriors out of five.