Saturday, 22 April 2017

And so it begins...

Yup the hype train for the 8th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 has begun in a curious fashion today with GWs release of an FAQ. While unusual this form of announcement actually works quite well as it addresses the general questions the community has been asking about the new edition.
The surpising features of the announcement were the apparent abandonment of codexes (as had previously been speculated) in favour of a "warscroll" affair a la Age of Sigmar, the release of the basic rules for free (again a la Age of Sigmar) and the curious inclusion of "all" 40k Forgeworld models into the main ruleset.

All of this was tied in with the release of a new dedicated website for the game.

This all seems great and I'm excited about this new release. Curiously the thing thats most unnerved me is the apparent new version of the standard tactical Space Marine model. Images seen here appear to show a new larger space marine. Now this is all fine and dandy but it begs the question as to whether GW are doing this as a ploy to get SM players to replace all their marines. While i like the idea of new models I'm concerned that including them will look quite bizare when placed next to my existing marines.

Its a minor point tho. Currently the community is splitting into the nay sayers and the accepters. Personally I'll be happy with a simplified ruleset. I'll be less happy if the background radically changes but the FAQ seems to indicate this won't happen, or at least not to the extent that AoS did to the Warhammer Fantasy world.

Monday, 27 March 2017

40k 8th edition - thoughts

Yes the grimdark legendary game is likely to enter its 8th edition this summer and the rumours have been flying thick and fast.

The prevailing controversy currently is to what form 8th edition will take. G-dubs posted a curious article on their community site last week which appeared to be part joke part statement. Personally I think this is likely to be a clever information campaign designed to muddy the waters in the inevitable tide of leaks that have already come out and will continue to do so.

Some might say I'm giving GW too much credit and they're not likely to think that far but lets cast our minds back to 6th edition. Some might remember that about 4 months before release a leaked version of the rulebook surfaced online, apparently found on a memory stick left on a train. In those 4 months many theories came forward and the leak was largely discredited as a hoax. However it wasn't. My sources tell me that it genuinely was left on a train by accident and that G-dubs then engaged on an extensive misinformation campaign using multiple fake forum accounts to discredit the leak.
So with all this in mind its not a giant leap to assume this GW post is part of an information management operation.

Anyway I digress.  The biggest issue people are struggling with is to what format the new rules will take, and by this I mean will it be the "Age of Sigmar"ification of the 40k universe. (For those not clued up thus means the abandonment of previous lore and background and an extreme dumbing down of tge rules). G-dubs have previously stated this will not happen however the exact wording they used to state this is open to interpretation.
The general consensus seems to be that the rules will be simplified and this is no bad thing. Ive not managed a game using the 7th ed rules yet but from reading them I can confirm that they have become quite unwieldy and cumbersome. 6th edition proved to be time consuming enough with it hard to complete a simple 1000 point game in under 2 hours. It might be a rose tinted memory but I dont recall this issue with 2nd or 3rd editions. 1st was a tad cumbersome due to targeting matrices and the like but was still fun.

However simplification needs to be done carefully and sensitively in order to not alienate the loyal fanbase again.

As for the story, background and lore, I'm of two minds. One one hand I love the 40k background - the endless struggle, battle upon battle with no side gaining the upper hand. Its been well written about, explored and there is still a lot of room for story telling there. However there is the limitation on epoch making events, and its this aspect that G-dubs seems to dislike. They are attempting to "move the story forward" as its effectively been stuck in the same 1000 years since its creation. Now... I understand the desire to do this and the idea of new storylines is interesting. What worries me is how this is done. If G-dubs destroys the background in the same way they did with the Warhammer Old World then that would be a great shame and it would make me seriously reconsider my involvement with their game.

However if they left the old timeline available for interaction, much like their 30k game system, then I can't see any problem.

I guess the big issue is really about how it affects the armies. I'm a background addict. I pick my armies after expensively looking at their background and making sure I agree with it. Yes that is taking it quite personally but given the level of time and money investment I think this is more than justified. If, for example, my Crimson Fists were to suddenly be found to be Chaos agents and their background totally altered, I would be greatly aggrieved and this is something that drives the fear behind the anti 8th edition movement on social media.

Do I think this likely?  No. I think G-dubs has learned from the AoS debacle and doing this would harm sales. I hope they'll be able to pull of the exceptionally difficult task of balancing all the options. Time will tell.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Periodic Update #57

Yes well this blog kinda got sidelined.
A lot has happened in the hobby world and my own hobbying since my last update so I'll (hopefully) dribble out  some updates over the next few days to bring y'all up to speed.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Undercoating conundrum

I have a problem. Well actually I have many problems but this one involves undercoating models. I have a 2 year old son who loves to be involved in things we do. While this is handy for tidying its not so handy when its things that they cant help with or its dangerous for them to help with.

So I've made up a number of Ork and Space Marines and they're now ready to undercoat... except I can't. Its not due to lack of resources or time but more opportunity. I can't do it while my son is around due to him wanting to help. We live in a tiny rented house so I have to nip outside to use any spray (can or airbrush) and I can't without my son wanting to come outside too. If we had a back garden this wouldn't be a problem but we don't and the chances are he'd run off into the road.

So my models wait for the rare opportunity when he goes out with my wife AND its not raining/humid AND I don't have work to do.... and that hasn't happened yet.

Its no ones fault. Just circumstances.
While I could keep making things I don't want to end up in the "Ive made 2000pts of models and now its all too much to paint so I won't bother" motif.

<steps off soapbox and quietly starts clipping more models off sprues>

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

GW continues to do good

Yeah. I've been really intermittent of late. Its not that I've stopped hobbying but just never found time to blog about it. Doing a masters dissertation probably accounts for a lot of that.

Anyway GW continues to climb in my good books. Firstly the re-launch of White Dwarf. Finally ditching the frankly weakly issue (see what I did there?) and returning to not only a monthly format but a content crammed format too. Chock full of news, battle reports, painting guides and even articles for the currently available "specialist" games such as Deathwatch and Warhammer Quest. There's even a free mini on the cover (which is AoS chaos and therefore of no interest to me but the thought is nice).

I'd say this format surpasses the White Dwarves of the distant past, where the thinly disguised heavy marketing meant that any new release would always win the battle report and be the centre of 90% of the content. I sincerely hope it continues in this way.

In other news the Eldar have gone. I couldn't hack the idea of meticulous painting that they deserved so sold the lot and picked up a mix of orks and space marines instead. I'd forgotten how much fun customising ork models is and the marines enable me to have a second force on standby and scratch my fluff itch. I've been driving my wife spare with trying to work out which chapter they should be tho.

I also did some airbrushing. It was a lot easier than I thought although cleaning it is a bit of a pain as is getting it all outside at our current tiny abode.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

WHQ Silver Tower : sitting on the fence

GW recently announced the release date for Warhammer Quest : Silver Tower. For those not in the know, this is a "re-release" of a game they made back in the late 90s. The older game was fantastic and its one of my genuine regrets that I sold mine (twice - youd think I'd learn).

The premise was simple. You take on the role of an adventurer and dive into dungeons, slaying monsters and grabbing phat loots. What made the game for me was the bits in between the dungeon dives. A thick Adventure book detailed character progression rules and things they coukd do while resting in town. This meant that your character had presence and you genuinely tried yoyr best not to get them killed. The fact the game could be played solo if you wanted meant that no one had to play being the bad guy and you could band up as friends became available.

Copies of that older game trade for £150-300 on ebay and I can't justify dropping that on a game no matter how good.

Fast forward to today and this new game. At this stage there appears to be some significant differences. Firstly its set in the Age of Sigmar universe rather than the old Warhammer world. I can't really comment on whether that's  a bad thing due to not really understanding the new background. AoS and End Times largely passed me by and I've found it difficult to find a summary of the lore changes other than angry rants by not very happy people.
As far as I can tell, the old world is gone (which is a huge shame as I loved the old Warhammer world) and has been replaced by Realms. This seems to be a bit unoriginal given its a staple of Magic:The Gathering and D&D:Forgotten Realms but that just my opinion. As to what this means for the new WHQ, I don’t know as I have no idea how the Realms interact with each other.

The second change appears to be a switch to 2-4 players required. This suggests that someone has to play the bad guy and this is a bit of a flaw. As I mentioned earlier the automatic bad guys meant danger wasn't just the whim of one of your mates  (be that good or bad) but a ststem that didn't care if you got squished. It also meant 2 players could band together for adventures. The details aren't out yet so I'm hoping this is a misunderstanding.

Finally the setting. The original WHQ was set in the old world and adventures ramped up in difficulty from bats and rats to gobbos to orcs and beyond. This time they've set it off against Chaos right off the mark. This then means that your heroes will have to be badass from turn 1 or at least progress very rapidly.

Its no secret that I'm not a fan of Chaos. I find Chaos players are generally odd people and the models and fluff are quite boring. Also we seem to be driving in the Andy "EVERYTHING MUST BE CHAOS" Chambers car for this ride  and I really don't subscribe to that.

So why am I on the fence? I REALLY want to like it. I've been dreaming of a re-release for years and now we finally have one. Indications are that GW intend to support this game with other releases which will only add to its appeal.

But..... Chaos.... and the lack of details about the rpg element make me cautious. I guess we will see.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Airbrush Anxiety

Ok. Yes I really need to drop my alliterative titles ;)

So I managed to nab my dads airbrush setup when we were down for Easter. Since then I've been following this incredibly handy guide and acquired the cleaning bits needed as well as the "right" paints, and now all I need to do is do it..... except I haven't yet.

Now this is due to a number of smaller reasons (weather (as theres no indoor space to do this) time etc) but the bigger reason is that I'm scared to do it. This is mostly from a fear of making a balls up of it and wrecking the models which feeds into an anxiety issue I suffer from anyway. Net result is that my pile of "to paint" models is growing and I try not to let it get too big or it feels too much like a chore.

Part of the reason to write this entry is to chivvy myself into action. We will see. Maybe this weekend. .. ;)