Saturday, 27 July 2013

"Forward my purple headed legions!"

In reference to the title this was something I recall an old Uni buddy saying to his models (and yes he had painted the helmets purple)

An odd beginning to a post so maybe I should begin again. 40k is dead. It is no more. It has ceased to be ... or at least it has ceased to exist in my collection. I have effectively sold off all my 40k models (mostly Blood Angels). This was via a combination of people from club and ebay. What I hadn't twigged when I started was how much this would generate. Put it this way I've sold of most of my stuff (including rulebooks) but not all and I've come out of it about £300+. This proves a couple of things. Firstly GW stuff is way overpriced if people are prepared to pay this much for 2nd hand stuff. Secondly I'm better off out of a game system that is far too expensive to manage on a meagre disposable income (ie none really).

Anyway I've agreed with the wife that this is now my wargaming fund and all future purchases will come out of this. I've already ordered Dystopian Wars rulebook and a Russian Coalition starter set but I'm already eyeing up more. Unfortunately these other bits aren't being release for another month but at least that gives me time to sort the starter set out. I also plan to get into (technically back into) Warmachine with picking up a Convergence of Cyriss starter set next week.

This all may be slowed by the fact we are moving again in a couple of weeks time. Hopefully that should be the last for a few years and I may get a semi dedicated man room out of it :D

So do I feel sad about dropping 40K? Not really. I still like the premise of the background and the models are generally quite good, however GWs attitude recently as well as its insistence that "Finecast" is in the best interest of the customers, leads me to suspect they are now lost to their shareholders and I am better off without them.
Having said this I still have my Warhammer Empire army and will keep hold of that for the meantime. I don't intend to add to it (well at least not anything bought new, ebay may be doable) but this is mostly due to the lack of anything similar from other manufacturers. Mind you I haven't played a game of Fantasy in over a year now so this may end up going too.

Friday, 19 July 2013

New Avenues

Just a quick update (yes I know its been a while). I've not played anything game related for quite a while and thats partly due to available time and partly due to still feeling despondent with 40k.

Anyway long story short, I've decided to quit Warhammer 40K and have already started selling my collection. I realise this goes against things I have said in the past, but I honestly can't say I want to play the game again so theres little point in keeping the models.

The good news is that the money is being reinvested in other games. I've already orderd some Dystopian Wars models and plan to have a go at a few other systems too.
I'm still planning on playing Warhammer Fantasy, partly as theres no real alternative at the moment.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

End of the Road for 40K?

Well a lot has happened since my last post. I've played a few more games of Wrath of Ashardalon which has proved to be great fun. In fact so much so, my wife has agreed to come to club next week to show it off to the folks there.

40K has not fared so well. I have sold off most of my recent Tau purchases with the proceeds gone to buying an Xbox (of all things). Tonight I was trying to help out a new member of our games club with an intro into 40K. I did a terrible job.
Firstly I forgot to bring my rulebook (never a great idea when teaching someone how to play). Secondly I hadn't actually played a game in about 6 months so had pretty much forgotten most of it. I managed to confuse the new guy on several occasions by only half remembering rules or remembering previous versions of them.
 We finished off the session with a quick game, which I lost spectacularly. On the traditional bus ride home I considered the evening and found that I had come to a conclusion: I don't really like playing 40K. Given the choice I think I'd rather play any other games system, including Warhammer Fantasy. Why? Its hard to say. Its not simply cos I keep loosing (or at least I hope its not). I still like the background and enjoy painting the miniatures but the game itself feels... disjointed. 6th edition is far better than its predecessors but it simply feels clunky, with way too much time spent remembering stats and trying to work out which rule covers your unique situation instead of playing the actual game.  There doesn't even feel like any great tactical bias as Warhammer Fantasy does.

In short I think I may have hit the end of the road as far as 40K and me are concerned. I've already decided never to buy any new Games Workshop products (bar the occasional paint) but now I may go so far as to never buying any more 40K at all.

Will I sell all my minis? Right now I don't think so. The main reason being is that I've done this before and sold off all my items and then spend more money building it up again at a later date. Plus I'm quite proud of the paint jobs I've done on some of my miniatures and there are still a few items to finish off.

Either way its a bit of a stark conclusion after 23 years of playing the game but its no great loss right now. I'm looking forward to playing more board games and hopefully playing some more Warmachine soon.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A little D&D action

Have just come back from my local gaming group where various games were being played, including Super Dungeon Explore, Warhammer, 40k and Relic, which I hope to be playing next week. My own board game, D&D Wrath of Ashardalon, arrived the other day too and I will make a full review of it once I've gotten a few games under my belt.

I've also been thinking more about distancing myself from GW. At present I'm mulling the idea of selling some of my GW items, but which ones is proving quite hard. I suspect it will end up being the Tau, simply because its them I have the fewest of and will likely sell quickly due to their current popularity. I'm still mulling tho and I'm in no hurry.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Well I've started regularly attending my local club again. I didn't stop due to a fall out or anything, but more I currently live a fair distance from town and buses at that time of night either means I try to squeeze a game into 2 hours dead or hang around til 11:30pm for the last bus home. I was waiting until we move closer to attend regularly but I've been informed that if regulars don't start returning the club may close, which would be a disaster as its the only club in Inverness. 

Anyway I popped along last week with no game planned or prepared. I was initially going to just hang out, chat and observe, but I'd barely walked in the door before a friend invited me to play Level 7 (Privateer Press). 

Long story short I quite liked it. More importantly it brought back how much I like playing other Tabletop games, as well as wargames. 

I did spend a while wandering round the other tables, but interestingly I found the idea of playing 40k a bit dull after playing Level 7. Why? What was so different?  

To answer this I had to do a lot of thinking over the last few days. I think the conclusion I came to is that the board game was light, fun with multiple people and had a co-op flavour to it. Compared to this I find 40k games a numbers-fest; having to remember stats of not only your troops but your opponents too. 

While all I said before about GW is all still true; I do like the background fluff and models and to some extent the rules, but GW are rapidly galloping down Being a Dick drive and I think I've had enough of it. 

I'll still play with what I have but I don't plan on spending any more money on GW and will likely cancel my White Dwarf sub (no great loss there really). 

On the back of this I sold a couple if ForgeWorld battlesuits I bought a couple of months ago and this has paid for a new board game. Details soon :)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fallen Angels - A quick review

Burned through another Horus Heresy book in the last few days. Following on from the events in Descent of Angels this book follows two of the Dark Angels Astartes from the last book; Nemial and Zaphreal. (Probably spelt wrong)

This book has an interesting alternating chapter structure with one following one story and vice versa. This kept the pacing of the story interesting and rarely dull. Mike Lee does a good job in the writing but occasionally makes his scene description confusing and hard to follow.

Thoroughly enjoyed it tho and I hope there's more to come in this mini story arc.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Urban Tau and Kroot Snipers

Work is proceeding nicely on my Tau. I've decided to base the colour scheme on this urban camo scheme done by Sebastian Stuart. He's been very helpful and produced a painting guide too.
I've changed it a bit to suit my painting style and available cash. I'm still using their recommended Vallejo paints for the armour (Basalt Grey and Dark Grey) but I've gone with GWs Karak Stone for the cloth parts.
On hind sight I should have gone for the Vallejo as the Karak is a Layer paint and as such it takes two coats to get enough coverage on a black undercoat. I'm also using the "wash then highlight" method that I've mostly used over the years. I find it produces better results in the same amount of time as highlighting alone. (or maybe I'm just stuck in my ways).

I've also started assembly of the Kroot. From what I've gathered from other sites (as my codex has still yet to arrive) the Kroot now have the ability to take sniper rifles. I thought I'd show this on the models and fashion some sniper scopes. Here's the results:

I've intentionally made them all unique to show the rough and ready nature of a Kroot squad. No doubt this course of action will come back to bite me in the arse later on.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Tales of Heresy - a quick review

While waiting for my Tau codex to show up I picked up the Horus Heresy series from where I left it a couple of months ago, and read Tales if Heresy.

This is a collection of 7 short stories by different authors (including Dan Abnett, James Swallow, Gav Thorpe and Graham McNeill). None of the stories are connected but some build on previous HH books while others tell new stories.

While it was mostly enjoyable it felt like the tales were arranged in order of being interesting, with the last 2 stories being quite poor (in my opinion of course). It's certainly not left me feeling dark and oppressed like some others in the HH series but neither did it fill on any more on the greater story arc of the Heresy.
Admittedly it's hard to do that in short stories and, as I said some were better than others.

I think if you're bound on reading them all then it's an entertaining read for the most part, but if you're tight for cash or only want the main story arc books, you could probably skip this one.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Enough with the whiners!

Browsing a couple of forums today and couldn't help notice an increase in the number of posts by people whining that parts of the new Tau codex (or other codices) don't match up to their ideals.

Firstly quit yer moaning. It's not as if GW, the codex writers or anyone involved owes you anything despite how ever many years you've played or however much you've spent.

Secondly things don't stay the same. Sure it plays differently and what used to work may not work now. I. The words of Clinton Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge :

"You improvise. You overcome. You adapt"

Personally part of the fun of playing 40k is finding new tactics and strategies. Sure you won't win all the time but if you're playing for that you may need an attitude (and fun) adjustment.

Quit yer moaning and enjoy the fact that your hobby game is still going strong after 25 years!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Oh so many Tau

Well a lot has happened since my last post.

Yes the Tau were announced and had a lovely load of rather non de-script articles in the latest White Dwarf (including a battle report with no turn map which made it very hard to follow).
Pre-orders were opened and I decided to go with Wayland Games again, partly because of the nice 30% discount, partly because they actually answer emails unlike some other retailers and partly cos it was a slight snub at GW for their current "screw you" attitude. I pre-ordered the codex, the huge Riptide mech and a XV88 suit, paying for it from proceeds from the Ork sale I had a few weeks ago.

We then got some news that GW weren't sending out their stuff to third party retailers until a week after release, which seemed a further snub to them. However on further inspection it turns out GW just weren't prepared for demand, as they themselves said they would have trouble honouring their own pre-orders.
This is a bit odd as others have commented that Tau have always been popular (especially in the US) and that this happened on their last release. I can't remember as I only remember their first release back in 2001 but it may be a case of GW fiddling the numbers to create demand <sigh>.

Either way I'm happy to wait for now. The codex would be handy but its not a biggie.

I took some time off work over Easter and visited Aberdeen with the missus. I was planning to pick up some paints and maybe a Fire Warrior set from GW, however we popped into Hobbycraft (which I was sure had gone bust) to look at cake things and I spotted they still had a model section, they still sold GW stuff and it was still discounted. I was going to get the FireWarriors there but then spotted they had the Battleforce set.
After much umming and ahhing (and a discussion with the wife) we decided that buying the battleforce set made more economic sense in the long run however, due to the price, I agreed not to purchase any new GW stuff until October. I figured this would work as it would force me to concentrate to build and paint what I already had.

So I've already begun work on the set, with the Fire Warriors now being built and awaiting undercoating. I'm
trying a new method of building this time round. For the last 20 odd years I've always built the models on the base, sand based it, then undercoated it. Which this has the effect of having the models slightly sunk into the ground it seems to work quite well, however I noticed others do it differently. So this time I'm building the models sans-base and sand basing and painting the base separately. I'm not sure if this is better or worse at this stage but we will see.

Also mini crisis as I lost the last aerial for my Tau squad leader (Shas'ui) so had to fashion a replacement from plasticard. Fun times. 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Tau Release 30th March

Looks like GW have finally confirmed what the gaming world already knew: The new Tau codex and bits are out on the 30th March

See here for a teaser vid :

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Dammit Meathead!

... to quote Dirty Harry.

More musings today as I was cleaning up some Veteran Vanguard and browsing the Internet for more games.

The bottom line is : I like GW products. I may not like GWs global attitude right now but no other gaming system comes close for me. I'd like to try other systems but when you're married and/or are on a budget playing two (or if you count WHFB three) systems just isn't possible with any kind of persistence. I'd rather put my money towards something I know I'll play rather than something I might play even if that money doesn't gets as much as it used to.

Therefore it looks like I'm GWs bitch for now :(

(My opinion seems to change hourly on this as you might have guessed. I'll shut up for now )

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Further GW thoughts

I find myself in a bit of a quandary. I've been thinking a lot about the situation since my last post and I'm torn as to what to do.

The basic point is GW's continuing crap stance against the world has made me quite annoyed with them and I'd rather not encourage such behaviour.

So What's the best response? Drop GW?
Well this is the obvious answer but it has its pitfalls. Firstly I've been playing GW games on and off for about 24 years and I've grown rather fond of the universe it's set in. Secondly I have a large number of models in my collection so I will not stop playing the games (at least for now). Thirdly I was quite looking forward to the tau release however I really don't want to pay full GW price for it so I may let it slide

So maybe I need to start playing a new game. This is where I've gotten stuck. With any new game the problem is always : who can I play against? These days different systems seem to be quite well done and popular so there are a number to choose from.

 Here are the ones I'm currently considering:

Warmachine - Quite popular and I have played a game of it before BUT I can't say I enjoyed it that much. Maybe that was cos I was being bombarded by rules, but the background doesn't really grab my interest either. Plus the costs aren't much cheaper than GW which also puts me off.

Dystopian Wars - small scale steampunk game by Spartan Games. Looks quite fun and I like the background, however the model design is a bit hit and miss. Some I really like and others I hate (the St Pauls dome on the Britannia Mega tank really doesn't do it for me, mind you it may be a case of disgust turns to appreciation ). Others at the club have expressed an interest and its fairly cheap.

Dystopian Legions - 32mm scale in the same universe as above. Again like it and like the models too, but it feels a bit unfinished. It came out last year but doesn't appear to have a rulebook you can buy which is a bit odd.

Firestorm Armada - yet again from Spartan Games, this is pure space battles. I like the premise and some if the models look great but the game itself feels a little bland and seems to lack any depth. Rules are free tho

Planetfall - small scale land combat in the Firestorm universe. Models look fantastic. Rules are also free, however it looks like its just being launched so its a bit unsure if its worth investing in or not.

Others I've looked at but don't interest me are Infinity, Malifaux, Mercs and Dust.

I'm currently trying to see who at my local club is interested, which will ultimately be the deciding factor. We will see.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

GW throw all the toys out of the pram

News has come about that GW have effectively blocked online sales in Canada and are in process to make life very hard for online retailers in the UK. MiniWarGaming in Canada is actually shutting down its store because of this (see the video below).

Here in the UK, my favourite retailer, Wayland Games has also posted that its having issues. I can see that GW are essentially trying to get people to buy from their online store exclusively and as far as profit goes I can see that. However in their release to retailers they are spinning the line that this is best for the hobby.

This BS reminds me of one of the times I worked for GW. I was sent for training in Nottingham and we had a great morning exploring the hobby. Then in the afternoon they span this great yarn that they want to spread the hobby as wide as possible cos its a great game. They failed to mention that this would also bring in more money for them. Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with saying they want to make more money. What I object to is this constant hiding this with "We want to do whats right for the hobby" which, to be honest wiffs of pure bollocks.

As far as internet purchases go, where I live (in the Highlands of Scotland) there are no GW stores. There are a couple of local shops that sell some of the bigger stuff at full price, so the internet is pretty much the only option for me and many of my co gamers in Inverness.

My personal response? I've not decided yet. Its certainly made me think twice about spending money on Tau stuff and Im mulling starting Dystopian Wars or something other than GW to be honest.
We will see what becomes of this, but I agree with the video: in the short term this is probably very good for GW but it shows their lack of understanding of the internet and will no doubt harm them in the long term.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Battlesuit Bedlam

Over the weekend I did a bit more model making (mostly due to waiting for my PC to do things).

First off I managed to convert the arms of my Broadside. Originally I had envisaged the suit holding a dual Railgun much like a soldier holds a gatling gun, however after carefully removing both the forearms from the L shaped original position I discovered that the bulk of the suits chest simply doesn't allow this in any convincing pose.

So I thought rather than waste the work I'd done on the arms, I'd reposition them to be fist down. This allows for a more streamlined look than the current pose allows. I pinned both the joins as they would be carrying some weight with the white metal rail guns.

I've also had to pin the underside of the arm to join to the gun itself. Whether this works or not remains to be seen.

I also took some time to correct a 2nd hand Forgeworld XV9 suit I obtained from eBay. It came with one foot broken and a terrible pose. On closer inspection I found very little cleaning had been done on the model so removed some of the larger mold lines and flash. Correcting the pose proved harder than I thought as removing superglue from Forgeworld resin is quite hard. I tried freezing the model and thawing but this seemed to do nothing. I then tried hot water which kind of softened one of the knee joints but that was it.
I finally tried a small amount of superglue remover. This was not a particularly good idea as it appeared to slightly melt the plastic. In the process of teasing the joints I managed to break the shoulder and the elbow joint. This wasn't a total disaster as with a bit of pinning and plastic rod I was able to re-pose the model to a better look. I also pinned the broken foot (which was a botched repair job that wasn't mentioned in the ebay ad... <sigh>)

I still have another 2 XV9 kits to make up but I'm holding off until the new codex arrives as I may sell them on again.

Tau wave 90% likely next month

Several posts have been seen in the last two days suggesting the Tau wave of releases is imminent. The most convincing of these is shots from what looks like White Dwarf showing the new models and prices.

Mr Pins-of-War has also posted up an image showing that GW are releasing the Battleforce set with not many troop choices which is a bit odd.

Either way I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Whispers in the dark

Ok a melodramatic title, but I'm ill and can't think straight!

Reading various posts on BOLS and Warseer there is good evidence that an updated Tau codex should be released in the next month or two. For those not in the know, this is a much sought after update as the Tau didn't even get a codex for the last version of the game and they've been using a 4th edition codex printed in 2005!

Feel free to read the posts yourselves but I find the interesting bits as follows :

- New Battlesuit models with more poses (cos the current ones require a lot of conversion to look right).
- Kroot get +6 save automatically with the option for +5 (Finally a better reason to take them)
- A new Tau flyer which is a transport. (I suspect a more mobile version of the Devilfish)
- A Tau DreadKnight sized Mech ^_^

Interestingly I just spotted this post on Warseer saying that the Tau codex has been pulled from retailers lists which usually indicates an imminent release.

So looks like I wont have to wait too long. I thought its not worth buying a battleforce for the older battlesuit when the new one is just round the corner. Sure it may mean the usual GW micro price hike but it may be worth it.

The Internet is made of cats.

And dodgy Games Workshop traders as well it appears.

I had an email several months ago from a new company called Mythreal. I thought nothing of it and filed the email under B-I-N (trash for the American readers). Anyway with my new found "fortune" (ie proceeds from sale of Orks) I spied that they had a 30% sale on.

 "Ah ha!" thinks I. "This would be a good opportunity to purchase a Tau battleforce." I have a look at their site and immediately think "I've been here before". On closer inspection the layout is exactly the same as TotalWargamers (a company I have mixed feelings about). An even closer inspection of the contact details reveals it is indeed the same company as the address and even the phone number are the same.

Unfortunately I appear to have forgotten my previous dealings with them (with a StormTalon that failed to turn up and a refund that took weeks to sort out) and I ordered the set anyway.

After 13 days of the order not moving from the status of "Processed" I lost patience and cancelled my order (to which they appeared to reply fairly quickly).
I suspect the problem with Mythreal/TotalWargamer and other similar companies is that they treat GW as their stockroom and only appear to order things when someone makes an order on their site. This leads to huge delays and a poor customer experience. There is only so much a 30% discount can countermand.

I'm encouraged by companies like Wayland Games who appear to actually have a physical stockroom and even a live stock count on their website, so I may order from them next time. HOWEVER, I've decided to wait for a while before ordering. This is for 2 reasons. :
1.) I have some Tau which I'm still trying to convert (more on that later) and
2.) The rumour mill has been going nuts about the new Tau codex (see next post).
Stay tuned.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tau's it going?

Well a fair bits happened since my last post.

Upon looking at my Ork army I figured I just didn't have the desire to paint and play with it. While modelling an Ork army is great fun (with the many conversion options it gives) I find painting it more of a chore as its an army of individuals that really needs individual paint jobs for each item, and simply put I couldn't be arsed.

So it all sold on Ebay this week and is currently winging its way to new owners.

In its place I'm going to continue the Tau army I started in 2007! This has led to an odd situation. I don't have much from that army as I sold the kits long ago, but what I do have is 1 Ethereal, 1 XV88 Broadside, 1 XV8 Crisis suit, oddly 1 Kroot model, 1 Pathfinder, about 20 drones and 1 Inquisitor scale Ethereal :D

The odd situation is that I started conversions of the XV88 and the XV8 back in 2007. Now I come to look at the kits... I've no idea what I had in mind back then o.O
So I'm essentially having to make it up as I go along.

I've also been inspired by some info on Battlesuit conversions by this website :

We will see what becomes of it.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

FFS Games Workshop!

Well another year is upon us and GW have just dropped the bomb that thanks to the new Death from the Skies book, every Space Marine chapter can now field a StormRaven. ¬_¬

This pisses me off. The reason? I went with Blood Angels, not because its my favourite chapter but because they had some interesting kit including the Stormraven. It was what differentiated them on the battlefield (in my eyes at any rate). Now with this new book... Kinda makes me wish I hadn't bothered.

True in the last 3 months I have painted exactly 0 models or played any GW games. Maybe I've hit army atrophy and I need to switch armies or something... Actually that may not be a bad idea. I've been mulling over starting Tau again especially as their new codex is undoubtedly on the way in the next few months.

So may be selling my kit. Ebay here we come :D

Edit : Later that evening ....

Ok maybe a slight over reaction and maybe selling all my Blood Angels isn't such a smart move. Apart from the hassle, I tried to make myself a promise that I wouldn't sell my minis as I inevitably end up buying them again a few years down the line.
Maybe I'll just sell the odd bits I know Im not going to use. Maybe I'll finish painting my Warhammer Empire army. Maybe I'll paint any of my Ork army. Maybe I'll just shut up now :P