Monday, 6 July 2015

A Sad Day

So Age of Sigmar has been released from GW and quite frankly it's rubbish.

I'm not just saying this to complain, or because I don't like change. I can see some good points in it. The rules seem fairly fun and easy to pick up, apart from a few key points

  1. There's no points values at all. They expect players to self-regulate what they use. That's fair enough, but it's so open to abuse that it's not even funny. Yes there's bonuses when you're outnumbered, but that doesn't help when you're playing three units of Skaven and a Grey Seer vs 3 Dragons, 4 units of Phoenix Guard, 5 Units of Swordsmasters and a Dozen Bolt Throwers. Outnumbering is done on models, not power either, so 5 Goblins are equal to 5 Chaos Knights, in the eyes of the rules.

    There is absolutely no way you can be guaranteed a fair pick up game any more, or even pre-make a fair list to use against someone before arriving at a club. Points worked just fine, there was no need to change it other than the fact that list restrictions hampered sales.
  2.  Silly special rules: Wargamers have enough problems with credibility amongst the uninitiated, without being forced to ride an imaginary horse around to gain a special rule, or trying not to kneel throughout an entire game (god help you if you drop a dice). Yes, there's the argument for fun, but there's better ways of making a game fun than making a fool of the players. In fact I'd argue that if you have to resort to that kind of thing to make it fun, your game's already a failure.
  3. The background: or rather, the lack of it. They've basically thrown out 30+ years and thousands of pages of deep and nuanced established background, all for the sake of IP protection and shaking things up. The background was the main thing which drew me into the game and it was the main thing which kept me playing. Now it's all gone and replaced with the bland High/Heroic Fantasy pulp which doesn't interest me at all. No more than the End Times did.

    If they'd wanted to shake things up, they could have held a major campaign and advanced the background, like Storm of Chaos or Albion did. There was absolutely no need to reboot the universe. In fact,it's probably driven off more players than it's drawn in.


    The result of these three issues on myself and my hobby (apart from wanting to go and knock some sense into the GW Design team) is this: effective today, I am leaving Warhammer Fantasy behind me for the foreseeable future. It's just not the kind of game I want to play any more in terms of both rules and background. Instead I will be migrating back to Oldhammer (probably 5th Ed, as that's my favourite edition) and playing Kings of War. These represent the kind of games I want to play, so will be what I'm focusing on. I will be buying no new Fantasy models from GW, as I refuse to add to their sales figures for this shambles of a game. Instead I will be buying either secondhand or from bits websites.

    This does not mean I am abandoning GW altogether.I will still buy 40k and Horus Heresy stuff, but I cannot and will not endorse the mess that they're promoting as the future of Fantasy.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Moral Maze

I've run into a bit of a moral quandary.


As you may know from recent posts, I've acquired some 1st Edition Space Hulk terminators and want to run them in my 30k Sons of Horus. Problem is that they don't come with any heavy weapons and Combi/Storm Bolters and Power Fists are really not the ideal loadout on them either.


My question is: on scale of 1 to 10, how heretical is it for me to consider chopping bits off these models which are almost as old as I am, replacing two of their Storm Bolters with converted Plasma Blasters and replacing one of each of their gun barrels on the others with meltagun barrels to make Combi-Weapons?


I'm also thinking of adding Chainswords to their fists to make Chainfists or blades to turn them into Lightning Claws.


The Purist in me balks at the prospect, but the gamer in me is thinking 'I really need something to hunt down opposing Knights and I don't have the money to buy a new unit to fill the role'.


Thoughts?

Sails of Glory

Our planned Black Powder campaign game tonight was cancelled at the last minute so one of the regulars down my local gaming club brought along something new for us to try in the form of Sails of Glory.

Now I've never played any Napoleonic naval games before, but this seemed pretty good. Despite our frantic consulting of rule books due to the GM having not played it before (he originally had it planned as a demo game in a week or two's time), it seemed easy to pick up. I got a few photos, but due to a combination of my shaky hands and temperamental iPhone camera, they unfortunately turned out too blurry to post up.

We played a simple game with a ship of the line and a frigate on either side, French vs British. I took command of the French ship of the line, with my three fellow players also taking a ship apiece. Much amusement was had at the inexpert sailing of the commander of the British frigate, first attempting to sail straight into the wind, then swerving into the rear end of his teammate, then getting caught in a vicious two way boarding action against the opposing frigate, resulting in his prompt sinking. Despite this, the British Line Ship succeeding in giving the French the runaround, doing tremendous damage before legging it for open water with both French ships dogging his heels and eventually making it off the board before we could catch him. I worked out too late that if only I'd swung my ship a few degrees to port to get the wind behind me for a burst of speed, I would have caught up enough to fire another broadside into him. Oh well, I live and learn.

Anyway, good fun was had by all involved and plans are afoot by Mike (the GM for the night) for massive expansion and an awesome terrain set to match. I definitely want to try it again and I'll hopefully be able to get a few photos for a battle report too next time too.

I also managed to pick up the paints I needed tonight, so hopefully progress on my Sons of Horus will be on the way soon!

Edit: Mike put up a much better report from the game on his own blog here: http://troubleatthemill.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/battle-report-18th-may-2015-sails-of.html?m=1 . He did a far better job of covering it than I did and has a better grasp of naval warfare than I do, making for a far superior read!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Tub of Heresy

Having gone through my vast horde of GW bits, I decided to seperate out any and all bits which were usable in my heresy conversions. Needless to say, I ended up with rather a lot so now I've got a big tub of heresy parts to be used or stripped down, plus two small craft boxes of the rarer or more prized pieces I found.



By my reckoning there's enough parts in there for 20-30 marines of varying descriptions. Add those what I've already got built/painted and I reckon I'll be hitting 8000 points on my Sons of Horus and Thousand Sons within a few months, once I've had a sort through and build of what's in there.

Sods law says I'll still end up spending hours looking for that one bit I need for projects though!

Oh and annoyingly I've run out of the wash I need for my Sons of Horus, bringing progress on repainting them grinding to a halt (again). Hopefully I'll be able to finish off my first Inquisitorial Henchman Squad done  though.

Intro game to Epic - Orks vs Khorne

After many, many years of wanting to try it, I played my first ever game of Epic the other night and it was well worth the wait. Now that I've fixed the issues with the photos I can re-post this write-up of my experiences.

We decided to play NetEpic rather than Armageddon due to my friend's personal preference and borrowed a 3000 point Khorne army to face off against his Ork horde. They were both very aggressive assault armies and in hindsight I think I played too cautiously for a Khorne force, but it was still good fun and I'm looking forward to playing it again. I think in terms of play style I would have preferred a Thousand Sons force or maybe recreating my Sons of Horus in 6mm, but I got a basic understanding and a good feel for the rules and now I can start working out my own lists to try and collect.

I even managed to get a few photos of the game in progress:

Looking out over the battlefield on Turn 1. You can just about make out his Gargant on the far hill. He had some Madboyz, a Klan of Goffs, a Klan of Bad Moonz and a Kult of Speed plus a Stompa. I had some World Eaters, lots of Deamon Engines with some Flesh Hounds and a Banelord Titan in support



My fiendish (for Khorne at least) flanking  manoeuvre with my Berserkers and Flesh Hounds to try to avoid being hit by two clans at once. This was foiled by the Gargant and Braincrushas (I think that was their name, I forget it exactly) smashing my main advance to bits though.




Angron ended up taking the rather undignified step of diving for cover behind the Banelord Titan!



Then came Dan's altogether more successful rush with his Kult of Speed down the other flank which swept round behind my Banelord Titan to catch my basic World Eaters and Angron off guard. Only some hasty discarding of Reward cards save me from the ignominy of losing Angron to a bunch of opportunistic bikers!




Angron soon got his revenge however as he carved his way through most of the Kult singlehandedly!



The game ended up as a win on turn 3 for Dan, due to running out of time with him holding three out of five objectives and my inability to break his Bad Moon Klan, which had I managed, would have netted me a win. Still, it was great fun and a solid intro to the game, even though I can't afford to invest in it at the moment. It's definitely one to go on my future 'to collect' list.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Just a quick one...

Just a quick post today, due to lack of painting progress to show. I just wanted to express my joy that I've managed to acquire a large collection of Horus Heresy audiobooks from a friend of mine.

It gives me an opportunity to catch up on the few installments I've missed and give my favourites a re-listen. It also lets me listen whilst working on other stuff, so my rate of painting progress won't suffer unduly. It might even increase! I'm rather looking forward to starting on them this evening whilst basing up some Sons of Horus.

Of course the ever-present danger with listening to Horus Heresy whilst I work on projects is that I may get inspired into starting other projects before I finish up the ones I've got, but I shall try to resist.

On another, very annoying note, I've noticed that the picture formatting for my mini battle report from my game of Epic the other day is majorly messed up, due to the fact that I published it from my phone. I've had to pull it down whilst I try to sort it out. Hopefully I'll have it back up soon though.

Monday, 11 May 2015

State of my hobby

Normally I do a review of my projects at the start of the year, but with me being so busy recently, I never quite got round to it this year. Now I have actually time to focus a bit more on my hobby, I figured now would be a good time to do to have a look over it all.

This is what I have on the go at the moment:

Sons of Horus

As I said in my last post, I'm currently rebasing all my Sons of Horus to 32mm, giving them a spruce up as I go.

The plan is to write out the full fluff for each squad as it gets renamed, finally putting their background to page. My initial expansion of my Sons of Horus was so rapid that quite a few units got skipped over the first time, even though they were fully fluffed out in my head. It'll be nice to spend the time sorting it all out properly.

Ordo Xenos forces

My other major project. Starting as a good excuse to make use of all the odds and sods from various projects I had laying around, this has grown to encompass Warbands, Deathwatch and Scions/ Stormtrooper forces, as well as eventual Harlequin allies.

This project will grow alongside my Sons of Horus, switching between them as the mood or inspiration takes me. These should be fully fluffed out at some point too.

Squats

What started out as a counts-as Solar Auxila force has grown into an idea to produce a full 2nd Ed-legal force, after a friend of mine introduced me to playing 2nd Edition 40k and I fell in love with the system.

Whilst I can't afford to use the original Squat models, I'm going to continue with my Fantasy Dwarf conversions until I have a full force to use for 2nd Ed, plus in a variety of roles in the current 30k and 40k rules.

Mercenary Tau

One of my side projects to make use of everything in my hobby cupboard, some of which were some battered old Tau I got in an eBay job lot with some classic marines. Whilst they were in no state to be used as Empire Tau due to their abundance of missing pieces, a meshing with Imperial bits from my spares should yield some decent results and provide me with a small allied force to make use of with my Inquisition.

Hochland Engineer Army

This is very much on the back burner, due to the total collapse of my interest in Fantasy which came with the End Times. Even if I don't use it, I plan to at least get a 2000 point force finished at some point for display and completion purposes, but my other projects are taking priority right now.

Song of Ice and Fire

This is still a project I want to do, as I think it'll work fantastically, however a combination of a lack of interested playtesters in my area, lack of money to buy the models for my first scenario (Tyrion &Catelyn being ambushed on the way to the Vale) and very little time to work on rules has pretty much killed my motivation to move this project forward.

Hopefully between the new series on TV and a Winds of Winter release being finally in sight, I'll be able to get the motivation going to reignite this project soon.

Lost and the Damned

This is a possible project in the works, after a friend of mine suggested the possibility of running a 13th Black Crusade campaign at some point next year.

Lost and the Damned are something I've wanted to collect for a very long time, but  due to the fact that I started 40k literally the month after the original worldwide campaign finished I've never had the chance to do it. This is despite having been inspired by numerous versions of the FW Traitors & Renegades lists (which I'll be using rules-wise if this project happens).

It'll give me a good excuse to dust off my old Blood Pact and Deamon models too, which will be nice, plus gives me a chance to convert up swarms of mutants and 40k Beastmen, which is always nice.

This could also tie in nicely with my Heresy projects, considering the sorry state the mortal followers of Horus had devolved into by the time they reached Terra!


So there you are. It's a much more restricted project list than previous versions, but that's mainly due to the fact that I have now graduated, so I have much less time to game. It's still more than enough to keep me going though. Hopefully by the time I look over my hobby again, I'll have actually got a project or two finished, so I can start dwindling down my vast 'to do' list. As ever though, I'll likely start with good intentions, then get sidetracked again!

Wish me luck.

Revisiting the Sons of Cthonia

So with the new Space Marine base size from GW rolling out, I decided the time was ripe to revisit and spruce up my Sons of Horus as I transfer them to their bases.

With about 6000 points to revisit and me being skint, this is going to take a while. On the other hand, having to do it in stages also means I can take the time to get each squad up to the very best standard I can before moving onto the next, so I don't mind it too much.

I decided to start with my Preator, a Reaver squad and my first Tactical Squad, seeing as they form the core of any list I write. Here's the first of the redone Reavers:


I still need to finish the base, but the effect of the new base is immediately obvious. It makes him much more imposing and seriously adds to his presence on the tabletop. A success in my book!

Preator Morkaddon's having far more substantial work done to him. As the first SoH I ever painted, I felt he'd benefit from being stripped down and completely redone to take advantage of theimprovements in my painting skills since he was first painted. Here's the stage he's at right now:


Not the best of photos, but he's definitely looking a lot better than he was. He's gained a snazzy new Combi-Flamer too to replace his old Bolter. He's also got it held ready to fire rather than being held neutrally as his his previous incarnation did. This ties in with how his backstory has developed over the last few years, going from a Captain of a footslogging line company to the leader of a highly aggressive airborne force.

His helmet crest went missing in the stripping process. I'm still debating whether to replace it with the bit from the Sternguard Veteran set or to give him a topknot to bring him more in line with the Sons of Horus aesthetic. I'll let you know on that one.

Full background right-ups will follow at some point, but what do you think so far?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Classic and New Terminators WIP


I finally managed to get enough of the paint off the Space Hulk Terminators to start sprucing them up, so along with my HH Indominatus conversions I've been working on, I've been painting two generations of Terminators tonight. Both are destined for my Sons of Horus and still very WIP, but they're turning out nicely I think.




I have to say the Space Hulk Termies are lovely, but I'm terrified of making mistakes when I'm working on them as they're older than I am!



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A rare find

It looks like my Tau mini-project and larger Inqusition force need to be put on the back burner for a few weeks, owing to the fact that I have finally acquired something I have wanted for a long time.

When I arrived at my local gaming club tonight, a friend of mine gave me these:





They're not the best of photos but I'm sure you can see what they are. Six Space Crusade Terminators and a 2nd Ed Tactical Squad. Both need to be stripped and have some TLC applied, but  they're still quite the find, especially as they didn't cost me anything!

I've been after the Terminators for years, but I've always been outbid on EBay whenever they come up.

I'm not sure how I'm going to use them yet, but the Terminators will probably going into my Sons of Horus or be used as Exo-suits in my fledgling Squat force. Either way they're going into the stripping tub tonight, ready for me to work on them on my free day on Wednesday.