Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bolt Action Test Models and Deathwatch Showcase


Greetings, folks! Bob here with a brief hobby related update. A substantial winter storm recently moved through the South East and smote us with snow and ice shutting down my little corner of the world for the better part of a week. I managed to finally get around to painting a test model for my Germans and Americans for Bolt Action. I also got some good WIP shots from my friend Scott who I got those Cataphractii from a while back. He was looking for bitz to get a Deathwatch force going and I was able to get him well on his way via a rummage through the old bitz bag. Give his models a look. They are more than a little kick ass!


German Heer Early War



American Airborne Mid to Late War






Scott's Deathwatch WIP








Monday, February 16, 2015

Bolt Action battle No.2 and what I have been painting.

Howdy, folks!



This past Friday I got to get my second game of Bolt Action in. I decided to take my American Airborne force this time for another 500 point match. Check out Da Masta Cheef's blog for a battle report.

So what are my thoughts on a Paratrooper only army? Well, to start off let me say that rolling fairly shittily again did indeed factor into my thoughts on the force I fielded. I was outnumbered practically 2:1 (as Airborne should be), but my dice allowed me none of the heroics of 101st or 82nd. The very clear advantages of fielding a all veteran force is the high leadership (10) and the 5+ required to wound them. The very clear disadvantage is the possibility of being heavily outnumbered. I think the main issue I had in fielding this formation was not being aggressive enough. I also probably should not have taken 2 almost full squads. Fire teams would have been a better option in hindsight. Just some things to think about for the next go around. I am really enjoying Bolt Action so far though. I can't wait to get some more games in!

Now for the second part of this post. While things have been fairly hectic lately, I have somehow managed to finish a few models. I recently got 3 Death Guard Grave Warden terminators through trade, and in a fit of productivity I managed to clean off the Death Guard iconography and get them painted up as part of my growing Iron Warriors.





I also finally finished up the Empire Greatswords I had been working on.











And here is a random Halberdier I decided to paint up on a whim.

Cheers folks and happy gaming!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Getting in to Bolt Action




Howdy, folks!

Bob here with my first thoughts on the gaming system Bolt Action from Warlord Games. The company includes a slew of ex-GW folks from what I consider the "good old days" and their miniatures are of pretty good quality. They also have rule sets for other historical periods including Biblical, Classical Greece, Roman Empire, Dark and Middle Ages, as well as Pike and Shot and the Victorian Era. Go check their website out through the above link!



 Just to give a brief run down, Bolt Action is primarily centered around 28mm platoon sized actions during the Second World War. Infantry and infantry support (machine guns, mortars, artillery, etc) are the primary focus of the action with armour relegated to a supporting role of one Tank or SPG (Self Propelled Gun) per side. Transports and scout vehicles are a more common site on the battlefield, however. Many of the major and minor combatants of the war are represented with models and rules with multiple formations available through faction suppliments. For example, the US has access to regular army units, airborne, and Marines with unique rules and stats for each. Game play follows a random activation order for unit (a marker is chosen at random for a bag or cup) rather than a "you go, I go" system like 40k. While inflicting casualties is of course an important part of the game, the real focus is accruing pin markers on units. Pin markers represent the volume of incoming fire a unit is taking. Each pin marker on a unit lowers the base leadership of the unit resulting in the unit being required to take moral and leadership checks on a reduced value. This reduces the chances for a unit to successfully perform their assigned action.


I recently got to play my first  game with Da Masta Cheef ( check out the battle report ) at the FLGS. It just happened to be the first game ever for both of us. We agreed to a 500 point game (one of the standard point limits) and rolled for a random scenario. I used my early war Blitzkrieg German force and he used a British Home Guard army list (in this case represented by humanoid aardvarks). My first impressions of the game were extremely positive. The random activation order provided a tactical challenge as did the ever changing pin markers on units. We also learned that forward artillery and air observers can be incredibly deadly for both damage and weighing units down with pin markers. Da Cheef has a full battle report on his blog so hit the link above to check it out. My only comment on the whole game is a resounding "fuck you" to my bastard dice.




So what are my goals for this game? I plan on doing an Early War German army force of mechanized infantry with a tank (Panzer III or IV) for support as well as a Mid to Late War American Airborne force based around the famous 101st Airborne Division (I like Band of Brothers, so sue me for lack of originality). Eventually, depending on what the interest level proves to be at the local shop I may also add a Early War French Army force. Right now I around 500 to 600 points of Germans and Americans respectively. Nothing is painted so far so no pictures of my models for you.  




Happy gaming!

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Games-Workshop Wish List for 2015

Howdy folks!

Bob here with some holiday inspired musings. I have decided to put together a list of sorts for what I would like to see out of Games-Workshop in 2015. This is both a list of model releases and rules as well as issues relating to the company itself. Feel free to agree or disagree as you see fit and leave me some comments on anything you would like to see out of GW in the new year.

Rumors have been cropping up recently of some form of Adeptus Mechanicus force FINALLY getting a release for 40k. If this indeed pans out it will be most welcome if not long overdue. Moving right along, tack on the usual near mythical new Greater Daemons, Eldar Jet Bikes, and of course the Sisters of Battle. so how about some of the not so prevalent wish listing? Also, keep in mind I am pulling mostly from the armies I actually own and play. 

Fantasy

Empire State Troops: Please redo this kit, GW. They suck taint to get to rank up and provide little to no customization options. The old regimental kit wasn't the greatest, but at least I could get them to rank up and not look like copies of each other.

High Elf Spearmen: They look hamfisted and bulky compared to the new Sea Guard and Dark Elf models.

I have also noticed several disturbing trends in model designs in recent years, and perhaps the most disturbing is the lack of customization. Poses have also gotten far more rigid over all. Look at the Dark Elf Executioners/Black Guard, Empire Greatswords, High Elf Phoenix Guard, Wood Elf Eternal Guard, and the Dark Elf troop kit to name but a few. I am not saying that every model should have a dynamic pose, but I would like the ability to customize the stance and kit of my models.



























Also, what happened with making awesome character plastic kits like the High Elf and Empire generals and wizards? I would have loved to have seen every army get these suckers. A single model clam pack is all well and good, but can we at least get some new models with options?






But the biggest wish for Fantasy in 2015 is this, please, for the love of all that is sacred and holy don't fuck up 9th ed. After reading the End Times up through Khaine I am not sure the world you are building is one I want to play in any more. I understand the desire to breath new life into the system, but there are much easier ways than nuking the established universe. Having said that, here are a few of my suggestions:

Give more models per kit for Core choices. Costs go up blah blah, but the price point for building a new army in fantasy is ridiculous. "Back in the day", $35 got you more than 10 models in a box for a core choice and it made getting your core regiments built way easier. Alternatively, how about making blocks of 40+ models per unit no longer mandatory? John and I have both ranted about the need to field unwieldy blocks of models in order to gain the moral bonus. Refocus on the scale of Warhammer and bring it back to smaller regiments as the norm for the average game. Take a hint from historical miniatures systems that flat out tell the players they are fielding scale representations of much larger formations in large battles. 10 men in a British line or 14 in a French column representing the "on paper" strengths of 100 and 140 men respectively in Napoleonic line infantry regiments for example. We don't need to try to field a numerically accurate army at 28mm.

Random Thoughts

Bits: Bring back the ability to order individual components and sprues. Third party websites already sell your stuff like this so why not retake control of this part of the market.

Finecast: either increase your quality control on what is arguably a shittastic production or do us all a favor and go all plastic (or bring back metal). Seriously, fuck Finecast. 

Forgeworld: Give these folks a bigger staff and production capacity or open a production facility outside of England. Make this stuff more available and possibly a bit cheaper. The Pound to Dollar rate sucks and so does international shipping. The Horus Heresy stuff kicks ass and deserves a much wider audience.

Specialist Games: bring them back, even if it is a limited run.

The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings: What the fuck did you smoke to make no new plastic kits for anything after the Mirkwood Elves a good idea? Don't let these ranges and games fall off. They are a great rule set and a ton of fun to play.

Black Library: Pay attention to what your authors are writing and work in the major plot lines of the popular books into your Codex lore. The Ultramarine's 4th Company Captain has been incorrect for the past several Marine dexes.
40K

Chaos Havocs: Need I say more?

Space Marine Bikes and Land Speeders: They could do with a few updates.

Plastic Aspect Warriors: See the comment on Havocs.

Chaos Space Marines: How about some conversion kits of Legions?

Dark Angels: Don't shit on my army for our next book. In the meantime, how about making our flyers not suck racoon taint and letting our veterans get special issue ammo? Is it too much to ask to show some love to the First Legion?

Imperial Guard (fuck Astra Militarum):Where to start on these kits. That is of course a rhetorical question. Wake up and smell the diversity, Games-Workshop. People like Victoria Lamb are making better and more Imperial Guard models than you are. The Catachans desperately need a sculptress, and for fuck's sake lets see some more regiments in plastic. If you are worried about them not selling, you don't know your community very well (maybe that is an entirely separate issue...). Also, get some female models for the Guard. Crack open a Black Library book and go from there. I humbly suggest the Gaunt's Ghosts series, Ciaphas Cain, or the Mars Trilogy as references for women in the Guard.



And that is perhaps a good jump into talking about diversity in your models. Would it kill you to model the diversity of humanity? Hell, you may even get some more players if you made some non-ridiculous looking female sculpts or someone other than a white dude with an implied cockney accent.
 
To wrap up this little rant/wish list I want to discuss some of your recent business practices, GW. 2015 sees not only a new year but also a new president. This is a great opportunity to make some improvements in the way you interact with and view your customers. I for one love your models, but I would not buy them unless they had a great universe behind them and a fun game system for the tabletop and I am willing to bet I am not alone in this view. I want you to make money and be successful, but you need to realize that you are both a model company and a game company. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Don't be afraid of social media and being open with your fan base. Whoever ran the old Digital Editions Facebook page should be given a promotion. They responded to community questions in a timely manner and seemed to actually give a shit about legitimate issues that people brought up. Community feed back is the best source for things that need clarification in the rules and to see how what you write actually performs in both competitive and casual settings.  This would certainly help with making FAQs more comprehensive and relevant.

Perhaps the biggest thing you need to realize and adjust to in your business strategy is that North America is not like the UK and Europe. The independent retailer in the US is going to be your main source of on the ground revenue. Work with them and make them profitable. Your stores are great, but they aren't nearly as big of a presence as the independent game stores are.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Paint Schemes: Horus Heresy

Howdy, folks! Bob here with the first installment of my paint scheme articles. I wanted to start off with the first thing that was on my table and that happens to be some 30k goodness. Since I am in the very early stages of my collection so I have decided to lump all of my burgeoning Legions into one article given the fairly uniform nature of the color schemes. So if anyone has any questions or comments feel free to let me know!

Sons of Horus

Undercoat: Chaos Black spray 
Body: I used the recipie for the Sons of Horus green from the Forge World website as far as the mixture. I did not wash this to make it the much darker green that they have gone with for the Heresy era Sons. Here is a link to the paint scheme Forge World Legion Schemes.
Trim: Balthasar Gold
Wash: I did hit the nooks and crannies of the armour with Coelia Greenshade just to give some shadow effect. I really didn't do much to the Gold other than Agrax Earthshade and then cleaning it up with Balthasar Gold again.
Details: Mephiston Red for the eye lens. Gaps in the armour I painted with Leadbelcher and washed with Nuln Oil. Cabling and hoses I left black. Dawnstone for the "studs" on the armour where applicable.





Emperor's Children 

Undercoat: Chaos Black spray 
Body: Base coat with Naggaroth Night. Follow this with one to two layers of Xereus Purple to achieve even coverage.
Trim: Base layer Balthasar Gold. Wash with Agrax Earthshade. Layer of Sycorax Bronze to hit the raised areas, leaving the recessed areas darker.
Shoulder Pads: Base layer of Dawnstone. Layer(s) of Ulthuan Grey to achieve white. This is of course you want the shoulder pads a different color. I'll show how a white and purple one looks with decals on.
Details: I used the now(very) defunct Vile Green for the eye lens. Gaps in the armour are Leadbelcher with Nuln Oil wash. Pipes and cables are left black. Balthasar Gold for "studs" where applicable.    











Iron Warriors

Undercoat: Chaos Black spray 
Body: Leadbelcher
Trim: Balthasar Gold
Wash: Both body and Trim with Nuln Oil. It may be necessary to do two coats. Nuln Oil seems to be thinner than the older equivalent. You are wanting to achieve a dirty and dulled appearance to the armour. 
Details: Mephestion Red for the helmet eye lens. For the characteristic Iron Warriors chevrons, I used the now defunct Iyanden Darksun Foundation for the yellow. When I get the lines all cleaned up, I wash the yellow with Nuln Oil to mute the brightness. I left the hoses and gaps in the plating black. Balthasar Gold for "studs".








Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Somethings on my table

Terrible Hobbyist John here,

Finally had more than five minutes for painting, so I got some things done this weekend and decided to share.

Name Pending
 So I decided to throw a lot of grey paint around and got the first layer done on my Chimera, take notice of the dozer blade, more on that later. Going with a much simpler overall pattern compared to the Judgement. I might do a 'gradient' pattern to the chimeras to make different than my Russes. Nothing fancy just add a white and darker grey stripe on either side of the stripes already there.
Banner Bearer, First Platoon Command Squad

Added the white to the flag and the model, really want the command squad to pop compared to the rest of the boys.

First Squad First Platoon aka the rest of the boys
So really just have to base these guys and get the squad markings written on them and they are done for my purposes.
Rest of the Boys
Showing off my orange striping, which is purposefully supposed to almost go away from the front and other side view.

Judgement with the dozer, wait didn't you see that before?
Added a few more details to the Judgement, another layer of mud, painted the sponson weapons and light. and yes that is the same dozer blade. How you ask? Magnets you say? Sadly not yet but that's the idea.

Da Blade
So i nicked up the standard dozer blade, drilled some holes in it, 2 of those go all the way through the rest are just divots. I have since scratched up the main surface of the blade, it looks too clean in this pick. I got this look through several washes, a bronze wash for rust, brown for dirt lower, then black at the holes to make it looked like it was burned there.

In the two months I have been MIA this is all I have gotten done. Fall is an incredibly busy time for me, and I have not bought anything hobby related in months. I have a few things I want to get but thats all on hold for now. See you in two months.....