Sunday, 15 November 2015

Review: Betrayal at Calth Boxset 1/2 (The Content)

When Forge World released the first kits for their Horus Heresy range, the gaming community collectively lost their minds. Finally, one of 40k's most influential events was getting its own range. But over time, we realised that was so popular that it really aught to have been plastic: a resin army, whilst lovely, is super-expensive. It seems GW listened, and this weekend released the first of what is most likely to be a full range of plastic Horus Heresy Kits.

 This first one, Betrayal at Calth, is a 2-player board game with models which can also be used in 30k and 40k. It comes with enough parts to make 30 MK IV Space Marines five Cataphractii Terminators, one Contemptor Dreadnought, and two captains, one in power armour, the other Terminator armour-clad. You also get a set of card playing tiles, a pack of action cards, strange-looking dice, rules for the game, FW-standard transfers and tokens. Clearly, they haven't skimped on content.

Straight from the get-go this is a high-quality product. The box card is thick and glossy, and the set has a fair bit of weight to it. Quality and quantity? A very strong start for Betrayal.

The £95 price tag may intimidate some at first, but once you compare it to Forge World it becomes clear. To buy the same amount of resin models, model for model, would cost in excess of £370 (and that's before you factor in the costs of the many special weapons and multiple arms for the Contemptor, so add another £30 to that). Add in the costs of the dice tiles, and maybe a fiver for the transfers, we could assume that the total value, in resin, is around £420. Over £400 of models for £95? Yes please! If you're lucky, your FLGS may be doing a discount. I got my copy for £85, making the deal all the sweeter. 

I was surprised to find that most of the models are fully posable, not your typical mono-pose clip-together that Age of Sigmar and 40k deal with. Only the dreadnought and characters are mono-posed, though it is standard practice these days for the latter two. 

Another bonus is that the models do not have any legion-specific marks, allowing for these models to be used for any of the eighteen legions (and their many splinter factions), without the hassle of shaving off existing icons. 

GW's claim that the models are fully compatible rings true. Here are some test models for my Horus Heresy force (can you guess which?). I've added Thousand Sons metal torsos, which was easy to add since the bodies are two-parted. Weirdly the studs and holes on the torsos are reversed, so a tiny bit of trimming is needed just to remove those. 

Based on the contents alone, this is an amazing set. Even if you decide the board game isn't for you, you've still got a strong foundation for a Horus Heresy army at a quarter the price. 

Next week I'll be going through the game play for Betrayal at Calth, so stay tuned. To finish off, here is a new character I made for this army. Can you guess who it is? Comment below, and keep up to date on this project on Facebook

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Workshop Datalogs: November 2015

The last few weeks have been pretty mad. Not only have I had a great new job to get settled into, I've also bought a shiny new motor. With these two things, I've had little time to get an update out to you all. Still, today is a great chance to share with you what work I have managed to get done. I've been working on something pretty big, but first, the smaller stuff.

To help the girlfriend's Necrons out, I've build her two Wraiths, made from leftover components. Both are based on mechanical tails from Puppets War's Wraith stand-ins, with upper bodies from a couple of Necrons. The claws are from the same Puppets War kit. I really like how the cloaked one has come out: looks like a lesser-known hero type, akin to the Destroyer Lord. Once the other model gets arms, they will be painted up in a silver and ice-blue scheme.

Next up is the Lord of the Long War Dreadnought. It's 99% done (having received the final piece from a great fan, Timmo), and the only things left now are the optional weapons.

 I'll mostly run it with a Power Scourge and Thunder Hammer, but I've also made up a couple of ranged options, a twin Heavy Bolter and a Plasma Cannon.

Finally we have the big beast, my new Knight. Working on this thing has been such a pleasure, and has been the perfect platform to try out a few skills, including my sculpting and base-building.

A few choice parts helped create the look. The Exhausts were pilfered from my Forge Field (which will in turn get the knight's stacks). The clusters of spikes are actually Plaguebearer swords, and make for great spikes on a vehicle of this size. The Heavy Stubbers are Evil Craft Autocannons, and look great on this model with minimal work.

The armour panels are being left off for painting, but once it's all put together, it should make for a great centrepiece.

The next few weeks should be fun, and I hope to get a couple of these projects closer to complete before I get stuck into the upcoming Battle of Calth boxset.