Monday, October 19, 2015

What is on my table 10/19

Hey folks,

Bob here with a very small update. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a whole lot of hobby progress lately for one reason or another. The weather has decided to cooperate so I have managed to get some stuff primed. Besides that I have managed to finish up a few odds and ends and mess with some random stuff. I decided I wanted to go with white shoulder guards for my 30k Emperor's Children so that managed to get done. I also have had a box of Warlord Games Celtic Warriors sitting around unbuilt so I decided to put a few of them together to see what they looked like. After I did that I decided to paint a few of them up. Here are my first Celts (Gallic of course)

For some reason my box didn't come with the decal sheet that was supposed to be included, so I have left the  shields blank aside from the boss until I can pick some transfers up. Painting more of these guys is going to be interesting given their lack of uniform and noted bright colors. So far I am fairly pleased with the kit.

Next up I've finished the scenic bases that come with the new GW Space Marine assault squad. I have the squad all built up with suitable Dark Angels bitz and they will form the basis of my last assault squad for my Dark Angels. I almost have a full battle company finished (sans the rhinos and such) and just lack 5 assault marines and some devastators. Here are the bases minus the flocking.

That is it for now, folks. Hopefully I will have some more models to display in the near future and some more substantial content as well. Take care and happy gaming!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Army History

Like most long time hobbyist I have several armies, High Elves, Dwarves, Skaven, Lizardmen, Tomb Kings and Chaos, in that order. It may seem random but there was some logic behind it.

High Elves were the cool, disciplined, recognizable army when first picking a choice. I liked how much ranged attacks they had. And it was one of the first armies I played as using Bob's army. This was back in 2002.  Well problem with this army is that they die way too fast. Somewhere around 2000pts

Only painting I have got done.

So, Dwarves were next. Dwarves were tankier than elves but still had good ranged choices. problem was I didn't have enough of them, and at the time a lot of the unit choices, and the whole army really, sucked. This was probably 2004. Around 4000pts

Most of the main painting done, just got to do the final washes

Skaven were the answer. Lots of models, monsters for the first time, they were also my first "bad guy" army. ok 4 boxes of clanrats and only 2 units later, they're are too many skaven. This was probably 2005. Only thing I have added since is when I bought the rats from one of the starting kits from Bob. Around 1500pts

if any one can pick it up, I have washed the horns, pretty happy with the result

Lizards. Easily my favorite army. Back to the good guys, lots of attacks, can take a hit, cool monsters, lots of magic. These guys were my army until 2007 when I briefly dabbled with.
Around 4500pts

Started with Bleached Bone, then a light wash of a dark brown. then another wash of light brown. then hit the ends of the horns with some dry brushed Skull White and a final wash, while the first was still drying.

Tomb Kings. Similar to Lizards, some good hitty units, monsters, great characters, chance to raise your dead. But again too much of a horde army. This army died very soon after it started. 2007
Around 1000pts, most of that not a legal army

several layers of light washes brought out the details, and helped blend in the Skull White that I thought was going to be too bright.

Fast Forward to 2014. Chaos arrive. Local GW store was having a "Warlord" tournament for the new chaos book. Decided this was a great way to start an army. Got a decent sized army, and decided this was going to be my best painted army, so it is coming along very slowly.
between 1000-1500pts

That's what I gotten done with a busy work schedule. Not much time for anything. Might get some more painting done here in a couple months. I still have a couple boxes of guardsmen I got to put together.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Some thoughts on the "20%" article (you know the one)

The film that is required viewing for all students of archaeology at my institution

In the words of Jack Burton, "I don't even know what the hell that means". I don't even know where to start this article. In case you have been living under a rock in the very recent past, you will likely have read excerpts from an article posted by Richard Beddard on the UK investing website Interactive Investors about his recent experience in attending Games Workshop's Annual General Meeting in Nottingham. I would encourage everyone who has seen the excerpts on sites such as Faeit 212 and Bell of Lost Souls to go and actually read the full article. He is the link to the full article .

To say that there were some disturbing, though not entirely surprising, things said at this meeting is an understatement. Let's start off with what to me is the biggest quote from the meeting:

 "It does not mention games. In conversation, I’m told that the word “Game” in Games Workshop encourages the misconception that games are its business, but that only about 20% of Games Workshop’s customers are gamers. The rest are modellers and collectors. Maybe half of them think about playing now and then. The other half have no intention. People actually walk into the stores because they’re curious about modelling fantastic armies."

In the immortal words of Meatwad, "do what now?" 
"Do what now?"
What the hell is that number even based on, and perhaps more importantly, what the hell does that even mean? GW has admitted in the past that they do not conduct market research (if somebody could link the source of this I would appreciate it. I think it was a financial report) so what are they actually basing this mysterious 20% off of? Sales? As others have pointed out, did some bean counter crunch numbers and figure out that only 20% of their sales come from army and rule books? Are they simply blowing smoke up the asses of their investors in order to rationalize this notion of being a "model company"? I get the feeling that the truth is a bit of both and more besides. In my personal experience as a "hobbyist" I can certainly say that I have spent vastly more money on models over the years than books,  but that is a no shit statement. Why am I buying models in the first place? Well, I suspect that my reasoning is perhaps what the average "hobbyist" follows. I buy the models because I enjoy the lore of the game worlds and game systems themselves. If GW had never made rules or background for Warhammer Fantasy or 40k I would never have gotten any of their models in the first place. Full stop. Sure they make some good stuff, but I would never have dumped the amount of time and money into these ranges (and still want to buy new stuff believe it or not) if there wasn't a compelling world, lore, and a fun game system to go with it ( I came in at 3rd for 40k and 4th for Fantasy I think). This whole article has left me more than a little flabbergasted. Are they really this damn disillusion? The answer it appears is a very sad yes.

So where do I go from here? Well, I have been focusing far more on other games these days. X-Wing and Bolt Action have gotten far more of my attention lately. The Horus Heresy stuff from Forge World has a lot more appeal to me as well. With the seemingly never ending tide of AoS (fill in your own word for the S, I do) releases and Tau up next, there hasn't been anything outside of the occasional Forge World release to get me excited for anything GW. I am legitimately interested to see what they do with the other factions in AoS model wise if for no other reason than to convert them for use with Fantasy (yeah, I plan on adapting anything cool to 8th because suck it that's why). GW just seems to be doing it's damnedest to alienate their customers, especially the long time ones.

Enough ranting for today. I thought about doing a lengthier article breaking down more of what the investing article talked about, but discussing GW anymore gives me a headache and a need for hard liquor (well, what doesn't really). I would love to have a nice and civil discussion about this article and what the future holds in the comments. Until next time, folks!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dark Angels Legion (thoughts for the future and what I have been up to)

Hey folks,

Bob here with an overdue update. Things have been hectic lately with academia and travel messing up my schedule. I shouldn't really be complaining about the travel though. I got to visit Glasgow in Scotland for a few days to attend the European Association of Archaeologists annual meeting and give a paper on behalf of my French colleague and mentor. I had a blast and the presentation was well received so a kickass time was had all around.
On the campus of the University of Glasgow
With my final semester of undergrad getting into full swing and the disruption of international travel my routine has yet to settle and my hobby time has suffered for it. That being said, I have managed to get a few things worked on and play a game or two. First up, I managed to get around to building the Sherman Tank I had gotten as part of a trade deal with Noble Knight Games (more on these good folks later).

This thing was a bit of a pain in the back side to put together. I love the Warlord Games plastics, but their resin/metal vehicle kits not so much. After a lot of filing down and cursing I have managed to get it to sit (reasonably) level on the table top and not have the turret listing to one side. I decided to magnetize the turret for the hell of it and it seems to have been a good choice. Stays on a lot more securely and rotates on a mostly even level.

Now on to the main focus of this article. In case you haven't noticed, Forge World has released some upgrade components for the Dark Angels Legion. Needless to say I will be getting more than a few of these. This release along with the now less fanciful prospect of plastic Heresy kits has got me thinking about just what I will want out of my I Legion army and how I can get the most use out of them. Like all of my interest in 30k gaming, my Dark Angles Legion will be more of a long term project. Although, it may start seeing more of my time and money with the death of Warhammer Fantasy and the prospect of plastic Heresy kits. Thankfully there is interest in doing 30k in my gaming group which the release of plastics would only help to give a kick in the ass to jump start. So where do I see my Legion collections going? Well, to begin with I will be shooting for table ready forces for games of 1500 to 1750 points. This seems like the easiest thing to do and would allow me to get actual games in. Beyond this I will be letting my imagination (and wallet) decide on how I expand. Ideally I want each Legion to be around 3000 points total. The Dark Angels will likely be my largest collection. I am really anxious to see the Legion profile for them and how they were organized. The Dark Angels Legion was very different from the Chapter of the 41st millennium. I want to include most if not all of the 6 ( I believe) mentioned special formations as well as the regular Legionaries. The Lion is a must of course.

Above is my own concept model of what the Legion colors and armour might look like. The shield on the right shoulder pad is an homage to the knightly aspect of the Legion and I had planned on using this in lieu of the normal marking for squad type and number. Then this got released 

The official I Legion color scheme?
So this is the "official" color scheme of the Legion? It may take some time for this to grow on me. I would really like some better photos in order to see all of the markings and details. Hopefully Forgeworld will be getting some more pictures out soon. And of course, nothing says I have to paint my forces this way so time will tell.

Until next time good readers!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How I reacted to some of the Age of Sigmar Rumors

I read the rumors, and talked to some people who all had me freaking out about the state of Warhammer:Fantasy. I had read they were pulling boxes off the shelves and even that GW stores were no longer allowing Fantasy games to be played. Before this happened I was determined to go into my local store and drop some serious money and buy up whatever I could.

This past Sunday (8.9.15) I was there poking through stuff I was looking for, Dwarf Organ Gun, Lizardmen stuff (more on this later), Chaos and maybe skaven; I talked with the owner/operator of the store. He asked me what brought me in, and I told him I was here to buy before Fantasy stuff got pulled. He laughed, and said that wasn't happening, and Fantasy was safe. He informed me that they were just reboxing stuff, and had just gotten some of the Wood Elf stuff back, and next week were getting some of the Skaven Plague Rats. He said he had not been informed by GW to pull anything, though he did qualify the statement by saying that he could get an email next week saying to pull stuff. So I was mollified to an extent, and decided I wasn't going to spend all of my savings on whatever I could. So instead of a way serious shopping spree I just bought a Lizardmen Stegadon, Lizardmen Saurus Calvary and a box of IG Guardsmen and Scions, to finish the squad of veterans I began earlier.

Stegadon body complete
While I have a rather large Lizardmen army it is mostly lizards and no dinosaurs, and I felt that needed correcting. So I added a stegadon to my army and to do list.

Stegadon complete. Added an extra set of horns to the head, was thinking about adding to the tail, but couldn't figure out how to make it work.
I will be running this guy as an Ancient Stegadon with an Engine of the Gods, for all the extra buffs it gives out. Will have to play test, using it fully as support, trying to avoid combat, or if I am going to let it get stuck in.

Stegadon w/ Howdah complete
Pretty awesome model, it was about this stage of construction I realized I should have painted the stegadons back before completing assembly. Always do that, never think through the painting process. I just glued the skinks on lightly so I could remove for more complete painting.

forgive the lighting- stegadon complete with skink riders (5)
One bonus to the Stegadon kit was that it comes with a skink priest and a skink chieftan, so I have two new characters to go along with my new stegadon.

I am still experimenting with lighting solutions, they are always too dark or too bright, I can never find the goldilocks lighting situation in my apt. I will have an article up on painting this guy soon.

Friday, August 14, 2015

What's on my table (Paratroopers and Dark Angels)

Greetings folks!

Bob here with an update on what is on the old painting table these days. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have a very bad habit of leaving projects unfinished as my mood on what I want to be painting changes (call it hobby ADD if you want). With this in mind I have reshuffled what is in the front rows of the hobby table in an effort to finish some of these (nearly complete in a lot of cases) models in addition to whatever my little mind wants to be painting. So what does all of this mean? Well, in practical terms it means I am working on some Dark Angels that have sat half finished for far too long and some Bolt Action US Paratroopers which have been neglected compared to my Germans.

I decided to repaint some of the pouches and bags on my Paratrooper test model after rewatching Band of Brothers and taking some notes on their uniforms. I went over to the local Hobby Town (my flgs of choice) and picked out a green-gray that I thought would be the closest match for the period material color of bandoliers and such. In the end I chose Model Masters Panzer Olive Green. My order of painting and colors are as follows:

Step 1: Prime the model black

Step 2: Dryad Bark for boots, guns, pistol holsters. Model Color US Field Drab for fatigues and helmet netting. Caliban Green for the helmet. Castellan Green for knee and elbow patches and all bags, bandolier, etc. Leadbelcher for gun barrels. Tallarn Flesh for skin.

Step 3: Apply Panzer Olive Green to bags and pouches. Mournfang Brown on gun stocks, boots, and field knife. Clean up for shading.

Step 4: Wash everything except Olive Green and gunmetal with Agrax Earthshade. Wash Olive Green with Nuln Oil.

Step 5: Drybrush/highlight raised areas with appropriate base colors. Clean up as needed and voila!

Simple yet effective in my opinion. This isn't a time consuming color scheme yet it produces a nice, post jump look for Paratroopers. I plan on hitting these guys with a dull coat to knock down the gloss and seal on the paint. Flocking will happen at some point....

Dark Angels wise I am finishing my Sacred Standard bearer as well as a Tactical Marine and two Deathwing Knights.

I bought the new Dark Angels decal sheet from GW a while back and I wanted to use one of their standards. I decided to try out Micro Sol and Micro Set to see how they handled getting the damn thing to stick and lay flat to an uneven surface. Sure enough, the banner went on without a problem and adhered nearly seamlessly to the plastic banner surface. Call me a believer in the virtues of the Micro Sol and Set system. The Deathwing Knights are taking a little longer to finish as I am having to fiddle around with all of the details on the models and fix mistakes.  Here are some WIP shots of the boys from the Rock.

Cheers and happy gaming, folks!    

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Bob and I love playing Warhammer Fantasy. However lately it has 1: died off. 2. had some rule changes we don't agree with in the previous edition. Seeing how the game is supposed to be fun, and i think we both still get a great deal of enjoyment out of it; I figured why not spice it up. Besides the usual house rules we generally go with, I decided why not borrow from 40k with the random missions/victory points. And then I took it a step farther, why not make these random missions/victory points just random things? Nothing that would obviously change the outcome of the game (player B gets a dragon), but some funny stuff sparked by what I saw on the Desert Groups article on Gorkamorka.

Ironwarden w/ Trollhammer Torpedo

These could just about be anything, just some ideas off the top of my head.

1. Tug-of-War. A unit from either side activates the "card". the closest enemy unit is "poofed" (mark the original location) over to "combat" with the initiating unit. a round of combat is "fought" the winner wins the tug of war and gets the victory point. (no casualties are assessed from the combat, the combat is merely the tug of war) The poofed unit is then poofed back as if nothing had happened except for the victory point. The controlling player of the winner gets an extra victory point if that unit is still on the table at the end of the game. (fleeing is still on the table)

2. Feeling Orky. When this card is activated the unit rolls a D6, on any roll but a 6 the unit fights amongst itself (D3 hits +1 per row of 5 models). if any models are removed from the infighting that unit may now move again and for the rest of the game has +1S +1M +1A. on a roll of a D6 the unit just moves again.

3. Where does this go? Initiating unit finds a rather large and inviting tunnel and decides to explore (can opt out at this point only). the controlling player then rolls a D6 and is moved to the corresponding card location. if the number rolled was this card the controlling player can place the unit on any board edge, as if it had just returned to the table, this unit can move, but not charge from its new location. This could also spark combat (if an enemy unit is sitting on the rolled number) or activate the "new" card. the hole is only activated once.

Irondrakes, from this angle the blue is more prevalent

4. What do we have here? The unit finds treasure worth 2 VPs! However this unit can no longer move, as long as they control the VP. you can "abandon" the VPs. this unit however is now unbreakable and acts as if they have no flanks or rear as they circle up on the treasure, assuming they haven't abandoned the prize.

5. Hot Potato. This card is worth 1 VP to the controlling player at the end of the game. The discovering unit brings this card with them. For every turn the controlling unit holds the potato after the first turn they get burned and lose D3 troops, no saves. The potato can be passed to friendly units by coming within 2" of an un-engaged unit. A unit with the potato stuck in combat is stuck with the potato, and can't transfer the potato until combat is over. The potato can be dropped voluntarily, the potato is dropped if the unit flees for whatever reason. The potato can be passed as many times as possible in a turn but can not return to a unit that held it that turn (no givesy backsy). A word of advice, never go full potato.

6. What is that? Random low level monstrous creature is spawned on the spot. bring me its head. after determining the creature (whatever you have on hand) roll a D6. on a 1 the enemy places the creature wherever he wants (not within 6" of a unit) the creature then moves off in a random direction 6". on a 2-5 the creature is placed at or near the center of the table (not within 6" of either sides units) the creature then wanders in a random direction 6". on a roll of a 6 the iniating player gets to place the creature according to the same rules as a roll of 1. When one side kills the unit it gets the creature as a trophy worth 1 VP. this can be stolen in combat (if you run) or lost if you flee. even a ranged kill nets the killing unit the trophy.

Ironwarden has gold arm bands instead of the blue and green of the drakes

7. Hey Y'all watch this! Desperate to get on youtube this units champion decides he is going to challenge the enemy (any model capable of receiving a challenge) that champion's player receives a VP if he survives the encounter (for one round of combat), or the enemy says no. (challenge can only be issued under the usual circumstances). It does not matter if the champion dies later, even if in a second turn of that challenge, the moment is captured on camera and he will live on in infamy.

8. This is my Hill(random object/place/piece of scenery)! Initiating player gets to nominate a place, if at the end of the game the unit occupies that location they get a VP. Unit is stubborn if occupying the location.

9. Charge of the Light Brigade! (no associated card just a random way to get a VP) first player to have a unit successfully complete two charges (actually get into combat) in the game gets a VP. The unit doesn't have to survive the second combat, but obviously should survive the first to have a chance at the second.

10. They don't look so tough! Initiating unit gets a victory point if they win a round of combat against the enemy's most expensive unit (including any character in the unit).

From this angle the green is more prevalent

11. Spitting Contest! Both sides nominate a champion, and then roll a dice. Add that characters wounds to the total. who ever "spits" farther wins a VP. This champion has to survive the battle to claim the VP.

12. Hey look over there! Controlling player can "break up" a combat at the end of any turn. however when this happens the opposing player gets to move (if they want) with a random unit that is currently not in combat. The unit(s) that was distracted at first (enemy unit in combat) is then moved back 1" and turned in a random direction.

anyway, just something i was pondering after the Gorkamorka randomness. I doubt i ever get Bob to do this, but maybe this gets some one else to try fantasy out for once. I would love to hear anyone's ideas or stories with this.

Attached some pics of my newest Dwarf unit, the Irondrakes, can't wait to use them in a game. In the effort of keeping the Dwarves mostly painted I got these up to a pretty good level. I still haven't gotten the lighting down yet, for anybody to pick out any of the limited detailing i have done. I will have another article next week on my recent purchases and my conversation with the store owner down here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A brief note about scale in Age of Sigmar

Hey folks,

Bob here with a brief look at the scale change in Age of Sigmar and some thoughts about various scales of models in general. Last week in my rant I touched on how the scale of figures for Age of Sigmar is noticeably different from that of Warhammer Fantasy. For this article I would like to highlight this difference by taking a look at the new Chaos models and their Fantasy equivalents as a clear and definitive example of the change. I chose a Warrior and a Marauder for my comparison.

While the photo is at a slight angle, the difference in the Warriors is very clear. The Age of Sigmar models are simply bigger.

The same goes for the Marauders. Thanks to my friend Scott for letting me use his models for this little demonstration.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Age Of Sigmar (our thoughts)


How I feel these days

So let me start this off by making one thing abundantly clear, the opinions we express here are our own. We are not telling anyone they are wrong for enjoying this game (John is) or that any differences in opinion are less valid than our own. (oh they definitely are) That being said, if I see comments on this article saying that we are the "crying minority", "whiners", or any other derogatory or disparaging remarks I will delete them with extreme prejudice. We welcome and encourage reasonable and civil discussion, not trolling or comments demonstrating a complete lack of intelligence. I am saying this because that very situation occurred in my gaming group and I will not waste time with it on my own blog.

TL/DR version: I won't delete comments that disagree with our opinion, but I will delete comments that are purposefully dickish.

So with that out of the proceed if ye dare....

John: They are trying to sell more models.
Why not make a edition of fantasy and create another mini game? Mordheim ring a bell? If you want small unit tactics and what not, it seems like there is a better way to start that game than killing one of your major projects. Call me crazy but I like the large armies in fantasy over what always feels like a skirmish in 40k. I like having lots of ranked up units in formation. I get the want for a skirmish system but why kill the game, rules and lore that had worked so well. Bob will provide more insight than I will here. 

Bob: Age of Sigmar instantly reminds me of Warmachine/Hordes to be honest. One of the main reasons I got into Fantasy was the format of the game. Block regiments of soldiers representing larger formations (like historical miniatures) maneuvering for an advantage with magic and monsters is a huge factor in my love of Fantasy. I don't even think that LotR is a fair comparison to make. LotR/ The Hobbit was a well thought out and crafted game system, Age of Sigmar is no such thing at this point. I can see that GW really wanted to create a truly simplified and streamlined rule set, and that in and of itself is not a bad thing. I have heard folks complain that Fantasy was more difficult to get a grasp on compared to 40k (an apples and oranges comparison in my opinion). 4 pages of rules with no release of a more advanced version (at the time of writing) is not the way to do this. Before this gets bogged down in ranting I would like to point out a few things I think GW has gotten right with this release:

1) Free rules: Making the core rules as well as the temporary versions of the old armies free to download was a very smart move. This gives anyone remotely interested in trying the game out the opportunity to at least read the rules and it gives old players an opportunity to jump right in and try it without having to buy anything new.

2) The models in the starter set do look nice. 

Well that is all that really comes to mind at the moment........To expand on what John had mentioned above about the desire for a skirmish game I really and truly do not understand why GW felt the need to nuke their oldest and founding game system. A robust skirmish/warband rules set could have happily coexisted alongside a 9th edition. This could have served as a great way to expand interest in the Fantasy range and provide people who may have been on the fence about getting into Fantasy a way to play something besides the rank and file battle system while still having the option to expand at a later date. I don't think I would be remiss in saying that the cost of entry for Fantasy had become massively detrimental to new player taking the plunge. Hell, it is/was a pain in the ass for those of us wanting to start new armies or finish out collections. This problem could easily have been solved by retooling the need to take blocks of 40+ models. Not every army is a hoard army and shouldn't be pigeonholed into becoming one. Bring the unit sizes back down to previous levels of 20-30 and introduce some mechanism to balance them against a hoard. 

You finally did it blah blah

John: Lore, we finally killed the good guys. who didn't see this coming? For me part of the enjoyment is the story line. That fun gets killed when you say the good guys lose it all, terminate the story, and make anything else pointless. And wtf is up with this multiple plain bs that is similar to how the old world was? Seems like if you are going to blow up the world you shouldn't keep any of the traces in the new game. Seems like GW is both rubbing it in our face that yes indeed they did kill fantasy, and also want us to play by keeping recognizable pieces. Also Sigmar is back? wtf? Chaos gods win but they don't notice the human god sitting around influencing stuff? 

Bob: Where to start with this mess. I agree 100% with John, this new lore makes no damn sense if you stop to think about it as a player familiar with the Old World. So you do The End Times (the god awful mess that it was) and kill off lots of characters and make a huge deal out of their deaths and sacrifices only to turn right around after blowing up the world and have some of the biggest characters poof back into existence? What the hell? Why bother destroying the lore if you are just going to bastardize it and keep the major characters anyway? I will be honest with you good readers, I haven't really delved that deeply into the new lore for a variety of reasons (1. I don't want to 2. What I have read doesn't make me want to change #1 and 3. unless somebody loans me a copy I refuse to spend money on this train wreck).

John: Can't really speak to this because more than likely I will never play it. I hardly ever get to play fantasy, because of a small crowd and now that it has been whitewashed. I have no desire to try a new game, buying a crap ton more models, for a crappy system. All I have seen are rumors of rules so this may change in time.
1. weird charge rules. you can either charge or just move within 3" of the target and you automatically assume combat is started. uhm ok, wtf?

2. the bases don't matter. kinda makes sense if you are trying to let people use old models, but that was one of the key things in fantasy. you could build this bad ass model with a gigantic sword pointing at the enemy and it had no drawbacks, except for trying to rank up that sob. now you have a sword pointing out an inch that expands how big the target is for your model. Remember three inches from that sword point. I imagine a lot of arguing on model facings and guys spending 5 mins making sure their models are looking the right direction, or the big pointy piece is sticking towards the opponent. Dumb waste of time.

3. Rearranging the phases, with magic/commands first, then movement then other stuff I am meh about. I can see the reasoning, but again not enough reason to start a new game.

4. Take whatever you want. dear lord, really GW? Another gaming system that lets you take whatever you want and the balancing doesn't matter. That one of my favorite changes to the fantasy rules was the breakdown of percentage. Whatever version I started with required 2 core and the rest didn't matter and games sucked. Then came the percentages and suddenly players couldn't field their Cthulhu model and you started fighting battles, not duels of ZOMG-iness, or who could out hero the other player. Warhmmer fantasy was about battles, and the rules reflected this. Now we are back to who can build the smashiest model. take all my nopes. 

5. Combat: doesn't matter what you are hitting or wounding it all based your stats. doesn't matter how bad or good the enemy is

Bob: So I did play a game of AoS recently. I will sum up my impression of the game and mechanics in one word: MEH. It wasn't horrible nor was it the best thing since fermented fruits and grains. It was simply OK.The entire time I was playing I had one thought lodged front and center in what passes for my brain: they replaced Fantasy with THIS bs?!?!
Say word, Ricky.

Let's start with the whole lack of army construction rules. I am not a tournament player nor am I overly competitive. I like to have fun games with both forces fairly evenly matched against each other. Wanting a point system or some other mechanism of army construction is not a desire to make the game competitive or restricted, but rather a way to attempt to reign in the worst aspects of army building (ie the curbstomping potential of unscrupulous players). When the inevitable asshole shows up and plops down the A-Team of his factions heroes or whatever else fun ruining combination they can possibly take then you have two options: walk away because there is nothing in the rules that say he can't do that, or fight fire with fire. While this scenario is the extreme example, what I ran into seems like the all too likely problem. My friend Scott took the Chaos units from the box set, but split his marauders into two units of 10. I had no damn clue what to take against that to make a fair game. Part of that was my unfamiliarity with the new rules and units, but the more glaring problem was the fact that other than a body count or wound count (both highly inaccurate methods of balancing a force) I had no real frame of reference for building my list. So in the end I wound up taking this:

mounted general with lance, 20 halberdiers, 10 handgunners, 3 demigryphs, 10 greatswords, 1 priest with greathammer

I threw this together off the top of my head and to me it looked like a fair match up. Thanks to atrocious dice rolling on Scott's part coupled with the Demigryphs and Greatswords murdering anything they touched it was anything but an even match. So what did I learn in the process of giving the rules a try?

1) The game has a glaring lack of customization in it. Gone are magic items and meaningful weapon/armour options. Besides a few attacks and maybe a rend difference all of the weapons did basically the same thing. Also, this whole schtick of having each factions shields do different things is ridiculous. A shield is a shield unless it has been ensorcelled.

2) Multiple Heroes are an absolute necessity. The buff the Chaos icon bearer gives is basically a must take.

3) Shooting whilst in close combat and into close combat with no penalties is stupid as hell.

4) Measuring closest point to closest point is incredibly dumb and begging for exploitation. Hell, you don't even have to purposefully do anything to certain models in order to get an extra inch or so.

5) 1" unit cohesion is pointless. With only an inch you may as well have stuck with regiments.....

6) The real depth (what little there is) of the game comes from determining what order you want to do your combats in. Having the 3" pile in for anyone who damn well pleases is also a big deal when setting up supporting units.

7) The random turn priority is just dumb. Oh you wanted to at least maneuver your units and get some shooting off? Too bad I just shot you to shit and charged your units. Charge reactions? You don't get no stinking charge reactions. If they didn't want to stay with an alternating turn sequence I would have humbly suggested something more in line with Bolt Action's random activation method. 


Bob: So like I said in my last article about what hobby purchases I made while in France, I picked up the White Dwarf with the free Sigmarine in it. Now that I have also gotten to see the Chaos components from the starter box one thing is very clear, we are in for a scale change. The Marauders (or whatever they are called now) are more in line with the old Chaos Warriors kit and the new Warriors are a size up from that. The Sigmarines are closer to Terminators in size and share the same bases. What is my point with this? Well, if all the new models are this larger scale (32mm by my estimation) they are going to look real out of place with any older collections or facing them across the table. I realize that this isn't an issue for some people and that nobody is going to force you to buy these new models, but it is another smack in the face for folks who already have a Fantasy collection. Not only did you destroy our game, but you also changed the scale of the models thus making our old ones smaller in comparison? Dick move, GW.

Speaking of the old armies and models, all I have to say about the silly rules and slapdash effort that went into making the old armies balanced is this:

Rickyisms are the best.

And if you think 40k isn't going to get hit with something like this in the next few years you are sadly mistaken. The timelines in each of the new Codecies has steadily been advancing the narrative towards a point of no return. Hell, the current chronological period is called "the time of ending" and these story advances are all pointing towards Abbadon marching on Terra and the Golden Throne failing. If GW does to 40k what they did to Fantasy they will be committing sales suicide. And if you entirely discount the possibility of them doing this you may want to take a minute and look back what they just did to Fantasy.

So that does it for this rant, folks. I probably didn't cover everything I should have/wanted to in this so a part 2 may be needed in the future. For the record, I plan on trying at least one more game of AoS out to try out another of my soon to be obsolete armies. Time will tell of Age of Sigmar is going to be a success or not. I may take another look at it in 6 months or so to see what GW decided to bring out and if any more advanced rules/FAQs get released. Until then, both John and I will happily be sticking with 8th.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hobby purchases in France 2015

Hey folks!

Bob here with a small update on what I have been up during my brief hiatus and a loose plan for upcoming articles. I recently spent almost 4 weeks in France conducting archaeological investigations at a Medieval homestead high in the Masif Central. My day job is archaeology and one of my primary focuses of research is rapidly becoming rural Medieval habitation patterns in highland areas.
The view from the site. Note the highly trained and deadly cow security force that stands guard.

Part of the interior of the primary structure of the site.

While most of my time was spent working, I was able to take some time in Paris to hit up what is becoming my regular hobby shop visit to Starplayer. Starplayer is an independent game shop located not far from the Latin Quarter and Notre Dame. One of the main reasons I go there is to browse their used model section to see what they have. Unfortunately, this time around they were pretty picked over. I also paid a visit to Games Workshop Paris 15e. The manager was very friendly and spoke excellent English. He was good enough to run me through the basic rules (aka the rules) for Age of Sigmar as well as being very sympathetic and diplomatic about my opinions on the game (more on this topic soon). 

So what did I pick up? Well not as much as I would have liked. The dollar to euro rate was fairly awesome while I was there. Couple this with the price of GW stuff in euros and it worked out to be cheaper to purchase GW stuff in France than in the US. My few purchases consisted of: The new Dark Angels Chaplin, a box of the Kastelan Robots, Imperial Guard order cards (in French and half price), and the White Dwarf with the Age of Sigmar rules (in French) and the free model. Like I said, not a whole lot. Here are some pictures of the WIP Kastelans and Chaplin.

The arms will get magnetized
I want to try to magnetize the power fist

So what do John and I have in store for the near future? Well the biggest thing will be our opinion piece on Age of Sigmar. Expect a lengthy rant on this one, folks. I plan to get a book review/opinion article out for both the new Space Marine book and of course the new Dark Angels. I also want to get a few painting articles out as well as a "whats on my table" piece or two. John and both are going to be fairly busy for the near future, but we will do our best to get at least one article a week done and published.

Until next time!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Book Of Grudges

Despite being long lost Eastern Dwarves my Dwarves still honor the long tradition of grudges. My host has suffered new grudges and erased old ones in equal measure. Some of the most noteworthy, lore-ified.

The Eastern Throng

2154- Fresh upon arriving in the old world The First Host lead by High Thane Redbeard fought a chaos daemon army. Despite destroying the enemy's lesser daemons the more powerful greater daemons won the battle for the forces of Chaos. This dishonor will only be struck upon killing of one of each for greater daemons. (Slaanesh has been killed)

2154- Regrouped from the defeat at the hand of the daemons the First Host fought an orkish horde on the out skirts of a fallen Hold. During the battle the cannons for the Dwarven Host proved ruinous for the Dwarves failing to hit the enemy while striking critical units of the Dwarves. This dishonor was later struck during the battle when the Cannons crew routed a charging ork chariot that had destroyed the western flank of the Host. The crew later fell in a hard fought battle, the sacrifices bringing honor despite the failure of their weapon. The battle was ultimately a draw with the Dwarves holding the field but being held from seizing the Hold. For the losses suffered and failure of the mission this grudge will not be struck until three ork warbosses have been killed. (Its difficult to get Bob to use his dad's orks so this Grudge has been on hold for a long time)

The Eastern Throng

2156- High Thane Redbeard returned home to gather a fresh Host to help the Dwarves of the World's Edge Mountains. Upon hearing of the plight of their western brethern many dwarves sign on including a large contingent of slayers. Before this second host can return to the world's edge Mountains the Host is beset by Skaven, a force rarely encountered in the East. Despite superior enemy numbers and again faulty cannons (possibly due to damage from the long migration) the Dwarves are victorious. However the missile troops and slayers were destroyed by a contigent of Clan Moulder beasts. This Grudge will be struck upon the killing of  40 Rat Ogres to strike revenge against this newly encountered enemy. (8 have been killed thus far)

2157- Upon return to the World's Edge Mountains a contigent of Dwarves under the nominal command of an Engineer do battle with an aggressive host of High Elves who had insulted the memories of the ancestors. The Dwarves responded by thoroughly defeating the Elven host, however ultimate victory was spoiled and grudge marked upon the back handed killing of the Engineer after the battle was determined. For refusing to admit honorable defeat and the clandestine killing of the Engineer a blood cost upon one hundred elven heads was marked. (this Grudge has been struck in ensuing battles with the hated Elves, the final of 100 being struck in 2159)

2157- Again the Eastern Dwarves do battle with the forces of Chaos. This time a large combined band of Marauders lead by a Champion of Chaos engage a Host of Eastern Dwarves lead by High Thane Redbeard. Despite early set backs the Dwarves were able to hold the field and win the day against a superior force. Once again the Cannons from the Eastern Dwarves have failed. And as such a Grudge has been officially struck against the casters of the Cannons. A debt to be repaid with the killing of one hundred enemies by cannon and not crew. (maybe 2 have since been killed)

2158- This was the first battle in a long line of battles between the Eastern Dwarves and a crafty High Elven Commander (Bob). The largest host yet assembled of Eastern Dwarves marched to the defense of a beleaguered hold under siege from a force of High Elves. They found the foes ready for the attack. Unused to fighting a foe more devoted to ranged warfare the Dwarves suffered greatly. Again the crew of the cannons proved their worth before being destroyed by missile fire and a calvary charge. Despite individual heriocs the day is carried by the Elven host through use of white fletched arrow and bolt and magic. The Elves go on to destroy the hold and the Dwarven defeat is compounded. For their part in the destruction of a Hold and a host an Eternal Grudge is declared, any where this vile commander of elves go the Dwarves have sworn to hunt him down and do whatever damage possible to him and his. (Not sure on the real tally but pretty sure Bob's Elves vs my Dwarves is slanted something like 22:2 in favor of Bob, the Dwarves sucked hard for a real long time)

Kitbashed BSB

2158-Present: Gathering support from World Edge Clans, Redbeard soon amasses another host to fight the elves still threatening minor clan holds. Too weak to strike the fatal blow the Elves depend on missiles and magic to again and again deal defeat to the Dwarves. The Grudge continues. With particular grudges being found against the Lothern Sea Guard, Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers, Dragon Princes, Sword Masters and mages of all sorts. The only sollace found for the Dwarves was the incapability of the Elves to survive lone combat against the Dwarven Commanders.

2160- The Dwarven Host again gathers for war. This time with the aid of a Rune Priest they fight a horde of Beastmen intent on plundering the rich valleys outside of a Karak. The Dwarves again taste bitter defeat, despite neutralizing the foes magic the Warriors of the host are unable to hold their own. This also marks the last time the cannons ever see use except in great times of need. For the losses suffered three future victories against Beastmen will be required to wash away the stain of defeat. (zero victories)

2180- Having suffered many defeats the Eastern Dwarves return home, only a minority electing to remain while several World's Edge Dwarves make the travel to the east. Several skirmishes are fought against the Lizards in the Southlands while attempting to regain contact with their southern brethern. Grudges are struck against the great Saurus warriors and their indominable leader atop his Carnosaur. For these grudges to be struck five victories must be won as well as killing of the Saurus Old Blood and his great beast. (One victory)

2200- After spending time considering his defeats High Thane Redbeard finally leads another Host of Eastern Dwarves back to the World's Edge Mountains, determined to be victorious. Aided by a stronger host and a renewed sense of purpose, as well as a longer beard and military record Redbeard is confident in victory. Once again upon the great march back the Skaven again attempt to derail the host. However the dwarves are ready and easily repulse the skaven. For the audictiy to attack the Host and continued raiding a Grudge of one thousand skaven heads is marked. (250 of them have been taken)

2205- After returning and reaffirming contact with the World's Edge Dwarves the Dwarven Host prepares to battle the great Elven commander who has continued to be a threat. Even with a larger Host the Dwarves are matched by a larger Elven force including many new monsters not seen fighting with the commander, namely a dragon and frost Phoenix. Prepared for the treachery and general lack fortitude of the Elves The Dwarves reap a heavy toll of Elven dead with an Organ Gun forcing the elves to engage the ultimately victorious Dwarves. A great victory was won with very few elves surviving the day. However those that survived had done the most damage and now a grudge against all allied Elven monsters and Phoenix Guard is made. However many grudges were struck with the final blow to break the Elven moral, with a Thane killing the Dragon riding Lord. For the continued losses one hundred Phoenix Guard must be killed as well as a further 10 monsters. (1 monster has been slain and a victory earned vs the Elven Commander)

thanks for dealing with the lore-ifying of old battle reports and the assumed grudges from them. I have spent a lot of time writing and rewriting some lore and back ground for this army and it is nice to get a chance to share.