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!