Thursday, 30 August 2012

WIP: Gaming Table 2.0 (Part Three)

There is more progress to report on the gaming table in today's posting.

The hills have started to receive a sand coating. this will make them more realistic, as opposed to painted foam circles. A mix of fine and course sand and rocks was used to break up the terrain and add realism. Paint and tufts of grass will be added to them later. the un-sanded sections will be painted grey or brown, to represent rocky outcrops.

This particular hill was going to be a Deff Dred wreck (shown below). But the problem was that the dred was too heavy for PVA to hold it down. any other glue will melt the foam. The new plan is to glue the Deff Dred to a piece of plasticard, then glue foam around the wreck.




Spare parts from the Bassilica have been used to upgrade the plasticard building. I used flooring and balcony parts to create a small roof, big enough for one or two 25mm based guy to stand on.

This was found on my visit home. This is a dilapidated Imperial statue of a fallen hero I made some time ago. It is made from the Baneblade tank commander and Cities of Death parts. I think this will look great on the board, and all it will need is a re-paint.

The next stage of terrain is to finish sanding it, paint it, and hopefully get some more usable buildings bought and made.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

WIP: The Scrapheap Lineup

After months or years in storage, models can get a bit beaten up, forgotten and unfinished, left to gather dust in the darkness. When we finally get around to the models, we have an urge to do something about these unsung projects.

After a visit to my parents, I managed to come home with a carry case of tanks, some were finished projects, such as this Land Raider. Most we're half completed or abandoned. Finding myself short of funding, I thought It'd be great to work on these models until the bank of chaos gives me my student loan. I'll be showing off these models, and giving ideas about their fate.

Destroyer Tank Hunter

This little beauty was going to be the centrepiece of my renegade guardsmen army. however, with the introduction of allies, combined with the fact that destroyers aren't the best unit, it quickly became overshadowed by a Leman Russ.

However, my intentions are to revert it back to being a Leman Russ, so I can run a squad of two. I'm not sure about armaments, but I feel that it'll be either an Eradicator or a basic variant.

Rhino

This battered old thing was given to me for free, and for a good reason. The paint was caked on, and some parts were melted by glue staining. Most of this was scraped off in the refurb, but since it was at one point, an Ork tank,  this didn't matter too much. Then I realised I didn't have enough Rhinos for my Thousand Sons. It had received an extra armour upgrade to cover the worst damage, but today, it looks a bit basic. the tracks were also covered over with new custom ones, and the doors were replaced.

 It think these can stay, with some dirt build-up on probably. This will probably remain a rhino, but with better extra armour and more details.

Paint Pot Deff Dread 

I build this deff dread years ago, and based it off one of the old GW paint pots. I almost had it completed, but then I sold my Ork army, and it was thrown ungracefully into the drawer. I did have a good idea for it very recently whilst holding it sideways: Cover.

 I thought that it would make a great rusty wreck to use as cover on my 40k Gaming table. It'll be painted silver, and given a heavy dusting of rust and dust pigments, making it look like a centuries old husk. some patches of the original scheme will remain.

Defiler

This combat monster has been 'in progress' for a long time. I have never been able to think up a decent combat weapon for the other socket on its torso. The painting is almost complete on it, so it's only fair to make an attempt to complete it.


Also, I leave you with this riddle, join the Facebook page to help decipher it:

"I am larger thank your common war machines, but am one of the smallest of my kind, what am I?" 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Review: Imperial Armour: Aeronautica

Forgeworld books are known for the expanded stories they offer us. They provide gamers with the chance to fight new battles, and with unusual new units, that commonly wouldn't see a gaming table. Although people feel that they haven't tested their models as well, it appears that today, they are a lot more in line with the usual fare from Games Workshop.

Their most recent rulebook is Imperial Armour:Aeronautica. This 113 page hardback contains every flyer, super-heavy flyer or monstrous flyer they've ever created, and provides updates rules for them, suitable for 6th edition. The book also includes a number of 'anti-air' units for players who want to combat the flyer threat head on.

On the quality side, the book does really well. each page is thick, glossy, and in full colour, with great images and big readable font. The book is on the large side, but for £26, you wouldn't want a pocket book. For £26 it may seem a lot for a book., but Forgeworld books in the past have been in the low 40's, making this seem like a good entry level price. Also, its size and quality makes it comparable to fancy photography books that are available in book stores.

In terms of content, there is at least something for every army. Some factions only get one unit, so it may not be the best purchase if you only want it for the units units for Dark Eldar, Tyranids or Necrons. However, if you play multiple armies, plan to share the book with others, or want a good read, there are certainly plenty of units to choose from, such as the Grey Knight Thunderhawk, Avenger, Flakk Trakk and the Storm Eagle (which includes the chaos variant). Some units have been added to the pile of datasheets which are allowed in normal 40k games. One of which is the Hell Talon, which used to be an apocalypse only unit. The book also has a very detailed campaign pack, with a strong focus on aerial combat.

Overall, this book is a great purchase for players who want to include flyers, but do not have them in their standard codex's. The added variety this book provides can be great, and can expand on the already interesting mechanics and immersion of 40k.

(Cover image property of Forgeworld)



Thursday, 23 August 2012

WIP: Gaming Table 2.0 (Part Two)


Stage by stage, the gaming table is progressing. You will recall from last week that I am re-building and redesigning my gaming table, after being fed up of the old, ill-suited version and it’s many serious flaws. So far, the board had been bought, and cut into four equal squares.

This week, some terrain is in progress to help break up the flat battlefield. Yesterday, I made the journey to GW Manchester, and, after some searching, experiences with overly enthusiastic staff and a scary customer encounter, I exited with two products, Imperial Armour: Aeronautica (which will be reviewed later this week) and a Sanctum Imperialis building set.

The Sanctum is my first venture into GW terrain. I’ve only really used it on store tables, so having a chance to build it was interesting. It generally went together rather well. The pieces are entirely modular, so you can build any kit in one of dozens of ways, your imagination being your limits. The only issue I had was with the balcony. There didn’t seem to be any smooth connection for it, and it went together with some difficulty. Still, it has good purchase now, so as a precaution, make sure there are smotth surfaces to glue the balcony on. It will need all the surface area it can get, since it is a fairly heavy piece, and needs the support. In the end, I went with something similar to a mirrored version of the box art. I am also tempted to add a makeshift barricade, with an autocannon poking out of the ruins, with sandbags.

 I also visited a craft store on my visit, and managed to find some really good foam sheeting. The foam, the second product bought for terrain, is great. It cost me (for one 10mm thick A2 sheet and one 5mm A4 sheet), £4.72, which, thanks to my student status, was reduced by 10%. It’s always worth asking about discounts for students, you never know what you’ll get. The sheets are so much better to work with than the Papier Mache I tried before, and for a number of reasons:

It is sturdier
It is easier to cut
It is (in ways) less messy
It dries quicker (the mache hills took days to set...bad mix probably)
It is quicker to work with
The end results look better

At the moment, the hills look rather simplistic. To improve them, being just simple shapes stacked on top of one another, I’ll be adding sand, spare parts, and possibly walls to the hills to improve their image I feel that I will be able to get a further one or two hills from the sheets I have. For less than £5, using foam is a great alternative to the £18 GW modular hills. Sure there can be a drop on detail, but more creative people can match or surpass Games Workshop’s offerings with care and an eye for perfection.

Next week, I’ll discuss any further progress with the terrain, as well as my thoughts on what the table itself will look like.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

WIP: Chaos Sorcerer (In Terminator Armour)

A general or leader in Warhammer 40,00 tend to be an extravagant, ostentatious figure. One whom is bedecked in medals, fancy capes, trophies and general 'bling'. Some prefer to have a more utilitarian and practical leader, but most like to spend a little extra time on creating a very detailed and eye-pleasing lead figure.

This is where my new sorcerer comes in. Those who have been watching the Facebook Page will have already had sneak previews (one good reason to join the page). Game-wise, he's a Chaos Sorcerer, who is armed with a force stave, twin-linked bolter, terminator armour and the mark of Tzeentch. I chose the stave for its +2 Strength and concussion rule. This will be extra fun if I roll 'firey form' for his power, which will add another +2 to the sorcerer's strength. I imagine running around with a STR 8 sorcerer will frighten many walkers or characters. The only downside is AP 4, but that shouldn't affect me too much if most of my attacks will wound.

The model is based on a Hightech Miniatures Fallen Lord Xavier. I wasn't a fan of the scenic base, so I swaped it for a generic 40mm one. I can always use the base as the start of an objective or relic I suppose. The arms are normal Grey Knight Terminator arms, with Maxmini 'pre-heresy' pads. The top of the force weapon is from this metal Chaos Sorcerer.

The existing wings didn't suit my tastes. Although a terminator cannot have wings in-game, I thought that they'd still look cool. I could always cay they're just for show, or are there to help with deepstriking. They were taken from an 'Iron Brotherhood' figure from Micro Art Studio.

Paint-wise, I am at the detailing stage. The cloak will be getting much more freehand, as might the shoulder plates. The face also needs its highlighting colours. I hope to have the model complete within the next few weeks.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

WIP: Gaming Table 2.0 (Part One)


A decent gaming space is one of the essentials of the war-gaming hobby. All gamers need a suitable palce to game, whether it’s a club, store, or the dinner table at home. Some like to go further, and create their own table on which to enjoy battle after battle. This is what I’m doing.

Well, this is the second attempt. As you may have noticed from previous posts, and as shown above I’ve used a rather small gaming space on occasion. It turns out it was way too small and unsuitable. 3ft X 3.5ft. It may not sound much different to the new 4x4 board, but it works out as a lot less room to game on. It meant there was nowhere near enough space for anything over 800 points, and even that was a struggle. It would be suitable if I played more skirmish games, like Bushido. As well, as this, the existing structure of the table was unsuitable. The pinned wood frame kept popping away from the board, and that, amongst other factors, lead to the development of Gaming Table 2.0.




Now, it doesn’t look like much now, but it’s a perfect start. I got an 8ft by 2ft MDF board from UK store Homebase, for £13. It sounds cheap, and gets better. The staff also cut it into four 2x2 near-perfect squares for free. Now this saves a lot of hastle, armache and removes the risk of cutting it wrong. Also, the wood is fairly thick, and does not flex in the same way the old table did.

This is only the beginning, there is much more to do. The next stage of the table is to paint it in a more desert-like scheme, possibly with roads too. Now I could sand it like the last table, but it was incredibly labour intensive, time consuming, and often rubbed off (and was rather abrasive on skin). It may not look as good as the first, but its far more suitable for easy storage. I could always mix in sand with the paint to help with texture.

Terrain is also under development. With table 2.0, I want to have fully modular terrain. Two problems have been solved with this. Firstly, it means tha battlefield is infinitely customisable. Secondly, it means I can reuse the old boards and made terrain bases. Talk about green-gaming.

Hopefully, more progress will be made in the coming weeks, and I can update you with how it is going. You can keep up with the project inbetween posts by joining the Facebook page. Get bonus content including extra pictures, sneak previews and general gaming discussions.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

WIP: New Chaos Daemons Kits (Flamers and Plaguebearers)

You may remember from a few posts back that I reviewed some of the new Chaos Daemons box sets. For those with short term memory loss, or those lobotomised by the Inquisition for heresy, it's this post. Today, I'll show you the route I've gone down with them in terms of modelling and painting.



The Flamers, as you can see, were left stock. I felt they were intricate enough, and that they didn't really need any modification to suit my purposes.

I've gone with a paint scheme similar to the ones shown on the back of the box, starting with purple, and working its way through to bllue, then to white. The ethereal flames were very very simple. White paint, a Beil-tan Green wash twice over, with white to highlight. Yes, that simple, and they make a great contrast with the other colours used. The bright Temple Guard Blue really works well on these models. It helps emphasise their daemonic essence, and tzeentch's fondless of multi-coloured shiny things.

The Plaguebearers were not left stock. As you may recall, I mentioned that I would convert them into what I now dub 'Plague-itors', mecha daemonic entities which serve my Dark Magos' will. I've only built six of them thus far, because I want each one to have its own uniqueness.

The conversions used Maxmini bionics, GW spares, as well as come custom make limbs, such as bionic legs. Each one has their own unique image, which is helped by the wide range of parts used, including an Arco Flaggelant's arm, chainswords, backpack vents and plasma cannon power units.

 Only the Multi-melta carrier has paint on it, and it is acting as a testbed, mainly because nurgle is fairly unknown to me. So far, I'm liking it, but I'll be thinking carefully about where to go with it next. The skin colour is mainly Ogryn Camo, with various brown, black and green washes to help tone down the colour and add depth.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Events: The Animosity Narrative Campaign


Gamers who are into their ‘fluff’ love a good story to go along with their games. They enjoy the additional theatrics, often putting their game’s fate in the hands of their tale. For example, their valiant leader throwing everything at the enemy commander, or having a crack team of scouts sneak into enemy lines to take out artillery.


This is where a ‘narrative campaign’ comes in, and specifically, the Animosity Narrative Campaign, a Warhammer 40k event. Regulars of DakkaDakka.com will have no doubt seen the recent advertisements and promotion of the event, which has been backed by UK parts suppliers BitzBox.co.uk.

 Scott Kelly, a 32 year old Lincoln gamer, is responsible for setting up the campaign. Scott said the aim of this event: “is to create a regular gaming event which people from around the UK can attend”.
“It also offered the opportunity to play 40k with new opponents with a wide variety of 40k armies in play, something which cannot always be achieved within a regular social gaming circle”.

The campaign is somewhat different to your regular competition. Scott added: “Whilst attending tournaments, like the 40k Doubles at Warhammer World, offers such variety I have often found that competitive play is not as much fun as narrative games”. This is music to the ears of casual players who enjoy a themed army over a power build.

Scott said that this is the first time the Animosity Narrative Campaign has ever been held, and he is hoping for a good turnout. Scott said: “In the early process of planning I had anticipated 20 players would attend, with four months left we have surpassed those numbers. Currently 25 people are listed for attendance and more are lurking in the shadows waiting for the nod from wives and girlfriends”. From this, anyone else attending can expect a good sized event. He also wanted to thank Bitz Box for supporting the event. While you are all at it, check them out, it's a great place to get parts from.

 When asked about the theme/storyline of the campaign, he said: “The Inquisition have located a valuable artefact. The agents dispatched by Inquisitor Pengadilan have come under attack in the Discordia System, a waypoint previously isolated by warp storms since the era of the Heresy. Pengadilan himself has arranged a number of Imperium Task Forces to make for the system and retrieve the artefact from the clutches of traitors and xenos forces”.

As well as this, the campaign pack (which can be downloaded here, at the end of the first post) details how other forces are included in the storyline, as well as full details of the event.

To get a place in the campaign, tickets for the event costing £20 can be bought from Malestrom games. Tickets have been made temporarily unavailable, due to unforeseen circumstances, but will be available from October. You can also email Scott  (venerabledread@hotmail.co.uk), or join this Dakka Thread. The event takes place on Saturday 15th December and Sunday 16th December, at Malestrom Games, Mansfield, UK.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Product Highlight: Division RPG (With Developer Chris Martin)


Board games, role playing games, and well, games in general, are bountiful and plentiful. This makes it harder for new upstart companies to make their name in the business. Their products have to be innovative, fun, and most importantly, good, for anyone to take notice. That, and strong connections with the media. 

Chris Martin, a 32 year old graphic designer from Bullhead City, Arizona, had developed the ‘Act Ten Roleplaying Network’.  When asked “what is the network?” Chris said: “The Act Ten Role Playing Network is a lot of things. First and foremost it is a set of table top role playing rules (the Act Ten system) that you can access for free”.

“When you create your free account, you gain access to a ton of extra features like the setting and expanded content, articles from the developer, and most importantly access to the social network”.


The key role playing game on Act Ten is Division: a futuristic fantasy world “that blends elements of cyberpunk with our mystic past”. Chris went on to discuss the storyline in more detail, saying:  “As corporations took over the seats of power in the world, three stood over the rest. With personal liberties gone and the human race traded as a commodity, This eventually gave rise to rebel factions trying to take back our future. In the midst of all this, the corporations have been experimenting on us (players) with cranial implants that pump a chemical compound into our brains, leaving a small portion of the population susceptible to possession by a race we only know now as digital beings”.

Not many RPG’s I’ve played contained a cyberpunk bio-chemically induced society with techno-spirits roaming around, so Division is unique right off the bat.

Chris has been working on the project since the early nineties, developing a strong rule set based off the D10 system. The website is a recent addition to this decade long project, a feature which Chris hopes will: “give you the power to bring people together for targeted and specific topics, create private forums with dice functionality and create document entries for everything from top ten lists to keeping track of your own table top game”. An all-encompassing system, in which everything you need is in one easy to navigate location.

It’s very simple for you to get involved and set up Division games in your groups. Chris has said “My intention is to keep this as free as possible for as long as possible so everyone can enjoy it”. You can sign up on the website for free (www.actten.com) with access to all content, including a specific social network, and enjoy the fantastic setting and well tested rules with your gaming friends.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

WIP: Modified Basilsk (Custom Pattern)

It's an interesting experience to renovate a project. You get a strong urge to improve on what you thought at the time was a great job, and you feel satisfied that a once great piece can again be so. Using new techniques and parts. you aim to help improve older models, especially if they are on the dated side. A number of old models, going as far back as Rogue Trader, have been brought into the 40k of the 21st century through clever use of parts and conversions.



Today, I'm showing you this: an Imperial Guard Basilisk. I've had it for a number of years, and it's use has been wavering. But after reclaiming it from my parent's house, I noticed how dated the kit looks. As well as this, the hand rails at the back have always been a constant nightmare, always breaking off. I vowed to change this, and update the look of the model.

The chopped down sides had been done before the renovation, after seeing somebody do this before. To help with the chopped down sides, the gun shield's shape has been cut-down and altered. Additional armour plates have been place on the front. The overall look gives a sleeker, improved design to the SPG.

The cannon has also changed. The old cannon looks a bit too....plain. Just a tube poking out of another. I decided to use the cannon from a Forgeworld Ryza pattern Vanquisher turret. I was planning to change the turret's gun anyway, so this cannon got reused. I like the new muzzle break/flash suppressor on the end of the cannon, and it adds a nice modern touch, and a hint of detail.

Alongside the cannon, the crew-end of the cannon has had work done. The hand rails have been cut off, and replaced with armoured 'fencing'. Rivets and further bracing still needs to be added.

After this, I think I'll continue adding further armour, to the front and sides.Also the crew will be done. The idea behind them is that one is a slave, captured and forced to crew the artillery piece, with a Space Marine there offering 'boltgun encouragement'.

Stay tuned, and I hope to let you know more about this project in the future.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Kit Review: GW's Daemons (Plaguebearers and Flamers)

It's time to don your force swords, gather protective wards, or prepare the summoning circle, new Chaos Daemons have arrived. Game Workshop released the new daemon kits this weekend, and a number of deviant types (i.e. chaos players) have been grabbing up the kits. I have too, and I'll be reviewing two of these new kits: The plastic Flamers, and plastic Plaguebearers.


First off, the new Flamers. These tubular fire-frenzied daemonic entities bear a number of similarities to the old resin/metal ones. Same tube shape, long thin arms ending in fiery mouths, and lots of little mouths and tentacles covering the surface. The box set comes with enough parts to make three (like the old one) but it comes with additional options, including those for a unit champion. At first glance, you can't really tell what is meant to be the champion, but it's the one with extra fieriness.

 Parts are laid out on two sprues (everything is on two sprues these days...) and the box includes both 25mm circle and 25mm square bases, for all needs. The box set retails at £12.50, which is around £3 cheaper than the old ones: an unusual concept when it comes to GW...

The level of detail on the new Flamers is outstanding. Needle thin teeth line the multiple mouths, and small pockets of flame errupt across the model's surface. I can safely say this kind of crispness would have been impossible ten years ago, and its noticable when comared to the originals, which have much bigger, thicker teeth. The models are on the 'big infantry' side of things, as shown by Derek, the scale-Raptor.

There is one thing to note with the Flamers: the little tentacles that come with the kit are very fragile, and can snap when being cut from the sprue. Take extra care with those.


 Next, its the Plaguebearers. These are the last 'big four' troop daemons to get a plastic kit, with nurgle fans having to make do with dated metal models in days previous to their release. This box is also cheaper, at £18 for ten daemons, and also comes with both square and circle bases.

This, as you can imagine, is much better than buying multiple blister packs of the old metal ones. The new models feel and look slightly on the smaller side, but GW certainly hasn't skipped the details. They've taken on a more 'classic look', taking references from much older versions.

One thing I do hate about the kit. the heads. Well, not the heads specifically, theyre lovely sculpts, but more the way the connect. They connect onto a little stubby neck, but when glued, you find a noticeable gap running all away around the base of the neck. You will need greenstuff to plug this gap. the arms aren't too bad, but a little liquid greenstuff won't hurt.

What I like about the kit is that the models very easy to customise. All the parts are interchangeable with one another (apart from torsos), and many extras are included, such as death's heads and nurglings. Having looked and found seven of the little minions, I feel that you could get at least one or two nurgling bases out of the kit (with some spare 40mm bases) which is a plus.

As you know, I'm a Thousand Sons player, and thus I don't have much use for plaguebearers. But the attached dark magos I'm working on can and does. Therefore, I intend to create a set of 'plague-servitors': mecha-daemonic entities which, once finished 'altering' the host servitor, serve the magos' will.

Both of these kits are great additions to daemon players, and both have had improvements made, which put them above the predecessor kits.