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.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Paint Schemes and Methodology

Hey folks, Bob here with a article that I intend to be the first of a series. Given the scatter shot nature of my hobby activities I have decided to start posting my paint schemes and methods on the blog in an effort to remember all of them. Thanks to Da Masta Cheef for the idea of recording all of my schemes online. Here are some of my ideas for the general structure of the articles: 

Paint schemes for various units and how I paint them

Picture examples

In Progress shots

Some step by step shots

I envision doing one to two articles for each army highlighting the paint schemes for each unit with a example of each. I think this will be a slightly lengthier process for my fantasy armies as they tend to have more variation within armies in terms of color schemes.  I may alternate between Fantasy/40k post wise, I may not, who knows. Anyways I welcome any and all constructive comments on my paint schemes and methods and discussion on what people are doing in their own armies. I hope you all enjoy!

I leave you with a shot of the hobby portion of my desk. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What is on My Table

Greetings folks!

Bob here with a self explanatory article today. Just a quick look at what I have been painting lately. As always my hobby ADD means I flit from project to project as the mood strikes me. As always most of these are WIP unless otherwise noted. Photos have descriptions and comments and suggestions are welcome.




My new paint scheme for the Sons of Horus. I am really pleased with the color I got with this mix

Three Sons in the new paint scheme
Mk.II Iron Warrior. The transverse crest is a conversion.

Legion Praetor for the Iron Warriors. I will probably be converting up a Warsmith at some point.

Iron Warriors Legion Breacher

Side view

Emperor's Children Palatine Blade.

Another Palatine Blade.
Vampire Counts Black Knight

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Return of Nagash and The End Times

Hey folks!

Bob here with some ruminations about the possible future of Warhammer Fantasy. Now unless you have not been paying attention, you couldn't help but notice some major changes coming for the world of Warhammer Fantasy. Nagash, the original non daemonic bad guy is back and pissed off and going on a rampage. What does all this mean? Well for one it means a unilateral decision by GW to advance the story of Fantasy in a very meaningful way. Why do I say unilateral? I say it because in the past something like this can, and has been, done with public input. I am of course referring to the now defunct Storm of Chaos and Eye of Terror campaigns, but more on this at a later date. Secondly, this appears to be the beginning of a multi-part "End Times" campaign event that will unfold in subsequent expansions. So without further preamble, it is time to five in to the books.

                                              WARNING!!!! SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!


The man himself
Set 1 of the End Times



First off what is exactly come in the Nagash set? You get a rather excellent background book that covers a roughly three year period advancing the timeline into Imperial year 2525. Check out the preamble on the back of the book. It is fairly self explanatory.
The back of the book
The book begins by giving each faction a brief description and what has been going on leading up to the events to be portrayed in the rest of the book. This includes factions that have not yet received a hardcover army book. I won't go into too much detail as to the events portrayed in these intros, or the rest of the book for that matter. I would say any fan of the world of Warhammer Fantasy owes it to themselves to read the lore book. There I said it. Go read the damn book. It is worth your time. I will some things up thusly:

Empire: Big ass Chaos army gathering in the north and Sylvania acting up in the south

Dwarfs: Pressure being relieved on some holds due to actions of Orcs, Goblins, and Skaven. Half of the holds want to shut their gates and let events play out, but the High King has other ideas.

High Elves: Ulthuan under siege by increasingly larger daemonic forces. Phoenix king MIA in his tower. Tyrion becomes defacto head of defense, but not everyone is pleased with this.

Wood Elves: Ariel and the forest are dying. It dawns on the Wood Elves that they can't just hole up and let the world burn.

Bretonia: Civil war rocks the nation as the King's bastard son rises up to claim the throne. Fully half the population is killed or flees the chaos.

Skaven: Attacks above ground increase in boldness and severity. Much of the Border Princes, Tielia, and Estelia are destroyed and conquered.

Lizardmen: The plan of the Old Ones has failed. The Exodus is to be prepared.

Chaos, Daemons, Bestmen: The End Times are upon the world. The forces of Chaos are united behind the Everchosen in numbers never before seen. Beastmen multiply at an alarming rate and plague the forests of the Old World and beyond.

Orcs and Goblins: The power of the WAAAAGH has never been stronger. The greenskins feel the call to congregate en mass and do so.

Ogres: A mass migration into the Old World is caused by volcanic activity.

Dark Elves: The latest invasion of Ulthuan is postponed thanks to massive raids by Daemons and the men of the north.

Tomb Kings: Settra learns of the imminent return of Nagash and orders every Tomb King to be woken and their legions made ready for war.

Vampire Counts: Manfred von Carstein has grown in power and will play a crucial role in the war to come.


So while the meat and bones of the book deals with the inevitable resurrection of Nagash and the tide of evil that follows, it isn't the only thing to be presented. The first wave of the Chaos horde attacks the Empire in the north with predictably devastating results. The rumors about a lot of character deaths is indeed true. The "good" guys take it in the teeth as usual, but the bad guys don't have it all their own way. If you want to read about the forces of order actually kicking something evil's ass for a change, you should keep on hoping. By the end of the book Nagash is all hopped up on death magic and sitting pretty with a giant army at his command. Events seem to be leading up to Nagash facing off against the Chaos horde with the poor Empire trapped in the middle. If things play out at the rate they are going, what is left of the Warhammer World may be unrecognizable by the time this whole thing is over. As always I intend to reserve judgement on if this whole "reboot", for lack of a better word, is a good thing or a bad thing overall. As John and I have discussed on here before, there are some major issues with the current rule set, but it is far from the unplayable mess some internet potentates would have you think it is. One thing that I do hope comes out of this is a renewed interest in the Warhammer world.

In addition to the background and rule book (which really isn't much of a rule book, more like a scenario book with some new units thrown in and a new army list and magic lore) I received a snazzy little notebook and a shameless "buy more shit" pamphlet.

My very own book of Nagash

The shameless plug to buy more miniatures

The new army list included in the rules in the Undead Legions list. It is basically the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings in one list with the new Undead characters thrown in (rules for Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings not included). The lore of Undeath. the Fantasy equivalent of 40k's Daemonology, is a mostly unit summoning lore available to everyone. Unlike the Vampire of Tomb King version of summoning units, Undeath summons X points worth of models, with X points increasing as more power is poured into the spell. These summoned units come from the Undead Legions list and have access to all of the appropriate upgrades available within the point limit of the spell. 

So overall would I recommend getting this new expansion/ addition/ whatever the hell this is? I would give a resounding yes. If you like Warhammer Fantasy you owe it to yourself pick this up if only for the lore portion. The cynical side of me says get it so you have it when they roll  back the timeline again in a few years if the radical lore changes fall flat on their collective ass.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Not the Usual Bloodbath Part 2

Today we have the long overdue conclusion to the Empire (and Dwarfs) v.s. Lizards smack down. Enjoy!


Turn 4

John's turn 4

Desperate to get into combat I declare a couple charges. Temple Guard charge cannon, guess who win's that combat? Saurus Spearmen charge Handunners and take a few casualties from shooting. Saurus block 1 moves up to support Skinks giving it to an increasing number of Empire troops. (Greatswords, crazies and a few Handgunners) Krokigors charge knights in the flank, guess how that combat ends up) I shift around my mages, and pretty sure Old Blood continues to flee. Skinks on right flank shoot up his Pistoliers, they flee, take a block of Handgunners with them that were threatening temple guards. Magic, one of my Skinks blows himself up and causes some wounds amongst my own. Call in another meteor near the other one. Called in near the Saurus with spears, seeing as how that side was pretty much effed and there was a lot of targets. A mage, the Huricanum, his big block of whatever, the hammerers, another spear unit, the Handgunners, I was willing to risk my presumed already dead Saurus with spears. Combat temple guard munch cannon and overrun to get away a bit but still end up with flank exposed. Saurus with spears cause the Handgunners to run after taking a few causalities, they end up behind the big block and the Hammerers. Skinks do some damage but still end up running. pursuing crazies end up near Saurus 1. Krokigors munch a good number of knights, lose one in return, knights break and run off table.



Bob's Turn 4
A couple charges against some of the remaining blocks of Saurus. Crazies and Greatswords charge Saurus Block 1, spears charge Temple Guard in the flank. another unit moves towards the Skinks on that flank too, rest of his middle turns towards the Saurus with spears, who are now firmly in his deployment zone facing the wrong way. Hammerers charge remaining Salamanders. Shooting not much left, Dwarfs put another wound on the Krokigors. Magic, maybe nothing happens, again magic sucked all game pretty much. My second comet shows up, and hits a good number of his guys, Hammerers, chariot thing, mage and big block and does decent damage to all, chariot and mage dead. Combat. Saurus kill a few crazies but lose combat and break and are run down, pursuing crazies end up close to Skinks who ran earlier. Spears or whatever do a little damage to Temple Guard, but lose combat, Temple Guard turn to face for munching next turn. Hammerers kill of the Salamanders.

I (John) was able to make things look a little better, but still pretty dire, no troops in my middle, but flanks are looking favorable. Fricking second comet shows up but first is still lurking.



Turn 5

John's Turn 5
So, not a whole lot of movement, rally fleeing Skinks and maybe shuffle a mage out of the way (I don't think I have too many at this point) Krokigors and Old Blood move up towards Dwarf Handgunners but are too far away to charge. Saurus with spears turn to face big blocks coming up behind from the middle. Shooting, Skinks continue to kill a good number of infantry (something is happening to my Skinks on the right flank but not sure what). magic, nothing, failed dice, failed winds or everybody dead or running. Only combat (I think) temple guard and hero munch whatever snack was in front of them, they stick around but looking bad for Bob there.

Bob's Turn 5
Big blocks charge Saurus with spears, who are heavily outnumbered. Greatswords move towards Krokigors on flank(?) Crazies charge Skinks who kill all but 2 of the charging men. Shooting, Dwarfs kill another Krokigor maybe? Magic, my second comet shows up, right on top of big combat in the middle. Everybody ends up losing like 8 guys. (Hammerers, Bob's big blob and my Saurus) Combat, Skinks kill off crazies, Saurus with spears have just enough left to stick around for last turn, and Temple Guard crush spearmen who run and are caught. Pursuit brings Temple Guard into middle combat, but that had already been fought so they just count as charging my turn.

In typical Lizards vs Bob fashion things start turning against Bob once combat gets going heavy. At this point its only a few blocks left trying to do as much damage as they can before the game ends.

Turn 6

John's Turn 6
I charge the Dwarf gunners with Krokigors, and maybe move the Skink units a little. Shooting I kill a few more somethings, again not really sure, maybe pics would help me remember. Magic, ha, nothing. Combat goes about as expected. Krokigors kill Dwarfs or chase them off the battle field or something bad for Bob. Temple Guard munch a good number of Bob's Big Blob (trademark pending), while last of Saurus spears is taken out? I think Bob's Big Blob runs and is caught and again Temple Guard pursue into hammerers, but combat waits.

Bob's Turn 6
Greatswords kill the last Skink priest, not sure if he stood and took it or rolled terribly on run. Shooting, nothing, Magic nothing. Combat. Hammerers do some damage and take a good bit in return, Bob finds out that Dwarfs without shields are squishy (see my earlier blog entry) But combat tied, and game ends.


Victory: John, enough to call it victory but it wasn't the usual bloodbath where my lizards march all over Bob's victims.

Final Thoughts

John: I don't know if it all went as planned but again I found a way to win, and my full lizard army (3000+) remains undefeated. Game plan was to get saurus into combat and did this pretty well except for the big blob which became a bullet sponge the first couple turns. And with those guys and the number of other heavies somebody was bound to do some damage. MVP: Temple Guard, they are a hittier version of the normal Saurus and adding a hero in there was mean. Biggest surprise: Krokigors actually killed something. Biggest let down: Saurus blocks accounted for very little damage done. Skinks as always tend to get ignored but can dish out a good bit of short ranged death while the enemy focuses on scary Saurus Warriors. Magic sucked, with three mages a piece there should have been more than what happened. With such a big battle I need to get better and positioning my troops for movement later on, there for a couple turns I had units bogged down by the numbers in front of them, need to use my combat heavy general better. Maybe should have flipped him and temple guard at start, would have been more interesting, his knights vs the Temple Guard while the general got some softer targets to munch on.

Bob: Bitch and moan, dice this, dice that. fucking cheaty face lizards (pretty much -Bob). So what are the take away thoughts from this? Well to start I clearly need more State Troops to make blocks out of. More Greatswords and Flagellants would be welcome and I definitely need to finally pick up a Steam Tank. Skinks can dish out a stupid number of poisoned attacks. Overall I was fairly pleased with the way this went down. As the title suggests, it wasn't the usual Empire massacre that these little slug fests turn into.

Thanks for reading, folks!