Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The future of FAQ's

Warhammer Community have posted an article which is a pretty clear statement of intent regarding the future of 40k, so I figured I'd take a break from my endless hobby progress posts to say a few words on it, as it makes for some pretty interesting reading.

You can find the article here:
Basically they're moving to a fixed schedule for their FAQ's and updates, with one being released roughly two weeks after every book they put out to fix the immediate issues, then two bigger ones spaced throughout the year to rebalance the wider game and address the bigger problems which crop up.

First of all, this this doesn’t surprise me at all. Secondly, it shows how serious they are about maintaining the game. Gone are the days of problems or imbalances lingering unfixed for years on end. This is pretty close to what Wyrd do with their Malifaux rules, turning 40k into much more of a 'living' ruleset. This can only be a good thing in my opinion, as the various unaddressed issues with previous editions in both balance and the rules themselves played a huge role in driving players away in recent years.
GW are willing to listen to their player base again. They’re even publishing beta rules for player feedback before including them in their next FAQ, letting players shape the future of the rules. This is something which would have been unthinkable to the company a few years ago and if this keeps up, I can only see great things in the future.

That brings me to the actual beta rules themselves. One is a hard nerf to ‘Smite Spam’, making it progressively harder to cast. The other is designed to stop abuse of the character targeting rules, making it so characters can’t stop other characters being targeted by shooting.

I’m no tournament player (although I like to keep informed about the ‘meta’), but both these seem like decent introductions to the game. I’ve been on the receiving end of a moderately Smite-heavy army in the last few months and tbh it wasn’t much fun to play against. Taking bucketloads of unsavable wounds every turn was just too much and I can’t imagine it’s any better when min/maxed to hell in a tournament setting.

They need to be careful though. Some armies (like Thousand Sons and Tzeentch Daemons) need Smite to do a lot of their heavy lifting in the anti-tank/monster department, due to the way they’ve been designed. If they’re too heavy-handed with nerfing Smite, they risk alienating players who collect those armies and don’t want to include allies. On the other hand, those armies haven’t gotten a codex release yet, so this could be easily addressed by giving them a better range of powers or even some strategems to cover that shortfall and reduce their reliance on Smite. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle it.

I can’t really make much commentary on the change to character targeting, having not really faced anyone who’s abused it. I can see why they want to change things up though. I can’t imagine the designers had all-Assassin armies in mind when they designed the character rules for 8th edition.

This willingness to change core mechanics in the way they’re suggesting makes me extremely happy, even as a casual gamer. Even in 7th edition, rules abuses like the ones which they’ve flagged up wouldn’t have been fixed like this, forcing players to endure it all the way through to the next edition. It can only be a good thing for players at all levels of the hobby.

Anyway I’ve waffled on enough I think. I’ll be back soon with some hobby updates. I’ve been a bit lax in keeping the blog updated recently, having had so much going on. I should have a bit more time to get some posts up in the next few weeks though. I also want to do my annual review of my hobby for the year, so expect that at some point soon as well.

So to finish up: What do you think of the new FAQ structure and the direction GW is taking the game? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, as I’m aware that how I view the game isn’t how most people look at it.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Chugging along nicely

I've been a busy guy over this last week. Prep for Pokemon VGC International is taking up the vast majority of my free time. I did manage to get another set of five Noise Marines finished though.

(Still no new daylight bulb, so apologies for the naff picture
 quality. This will be fixed when I get paid later this week.)

I started these guys way back when Dark Imperium was first released, so it's nice to finally get them done. As you can no doubt tell, they're converted from the Primaris Marines you get in the box. Fluff-wise they're 'converts' who have been captured and tortured by the Emperor's Children and made to see the glory of Chaos.

So that's another five painting points for me. It's all coming together nicely. Next up is probably this beast, which I started on a whim yesterday.

I think I have a problem: I can't stop building Sonic Dreadnoughts! This will be the third one I've built since July.

I still need to finish building him obviously, but he'll probably be next on the painting table. I need to decide whether to give him a Power Fist, Scourge or go with a Missile Launcher. I could magnestise it, but the next part of the conversion I'm planning will make that a pain to do. This means I'm actually going to have to make a decision, which could be problematic.

I'll post more when I decide.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Hitting the ground running

Remember my last post, where I said I wanted to get my Sonic Dread finished? Well it seems that after a few months asleep, my hobby mojo is up and raring to go!

Not only did I finish up the Dreadnought, but I also finished a Noise Marine squad and a load of Cultists to go with them! Given how few and far between my productive streaks tend to be, I'm certainly not complaining.

Here's a group shot. You'll have to forgive the terrible quality. My daylight bulb blew at precisely the worst possible moment:

I'll try and get some better pics later on. For now I just wanted to show off how busy I've been. There's another 22 Cultists and 10 Raptors sitting on my painting desk too, so I can't see this run of finished models letting up any time soon.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Blogmancy - again!

Wow, has it really been nearly four months since I last posted?

Life's been pretty crazy for me over the last few months. Between personal issues and working in retail in a tourist town in summer, I haven't really had the time to keep this blog updated. I would say it won't happen again, but I think we both know it will.

Anyway, just because I've been away from the keyboard doesn't mean I haven't been making hobby progress. In fact I've been making loads of it. Since 8th Edition release I've painted gotten a crazy amount of Emperor's Children painted or nearly painted and my Deathwatch are coming along nicely too.

The problem is that due to not having the time to keep the blog updated,  I've completely lost track of my painting points and 365 Challenge. I'm not even sure what I already claimed points for. Obviously this is a problem. Luckily I've got a simple, yet elegant solution.

I'm going to cheat.

Well not quite. I'm just going to hit a big ol' reset button.

It makes sense to me. My painting points were only meant to give me a rough idea of how much progress I'm making, to keep me going in the right direction hobby-wise. I'm not going to stress myself out trying to work out what I've done recently. I'll just start it again from scratch and try to actually keep things balanced this time around

I do want to go back over a lot of the stuff I've been painting recently, as I've been mostly just churning them out to basic tabletop standard so I could get some games in. Now I have a playable 2000 point force for 8th Edition 40k, I can go back give them the full 'love and care' treatment, ready to go in this:

I found this display cabinet going cheap in a local charity shop the other week and I have to say it's rather fantastic. It should be a great motivator for me to actually get stuff finished so I can show them off.

So without further ado, let me show you what I've been working on:

Any Emperor's Children army wouldn't really be complete without a Sonic Dreadnought or two. The problem was that Forge World don't produce models for them any more. Luckily a solution quickly soon presented itself. A mate of mine was having a clear out and had an old Blood Angels Dreadnought he thought I might be able to make use of. Result!

A bit of converting and application of some modelling chain later and I had my Sonic Dread. I had great fun converting up a suitable Blastmaster with some plasticard tubing:

 I've still got a few details to finish up with the painting, but I'm happy with the way this is turning out. I even managed to do a little bit of freehand!.

I particularly like the way I've left a few of the BA-specific details showing, as it conjures up some very evocative images in my mind. I figure that the ever-creative warriors of the 3rd Legion would take great delight in torturing one of their captured cousins, so background-wise, it's still the orginal occupant in there. His screams of torment are now turned against the Imperium he once fought to defend,

 I think Slaanesh has clearly corrupted my mind!

Anyway, I'll post more once he's done. Shouldn't take long, as I'm on a bit of a hobby kick this week.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Purple, gribbly and coming for you...

Alternating between painting my Kolstek IG and my Emperor's Children seems to be a great way to keep me motivated to painting atm. My guess is that the radically different styles between what are going to be my two main armies for 8th Edition is enough variety to stop my hobby-addled mind getting bored and losing interest. Whatever works I suppose.

Continuing that theme, I've been working on a unit of Warp Talons for my EC's over the last couple of days:

As you can see, they're mostly built using the standard kit, but I've sprinkled in some bits which wouldn't look out of place in a 30k army. This was partially to make them easier to  paint, but also because I see these as ancient mercenaries rather than simply the Daemon-infused Marines which the main fluff for Warp Talons describes them as, so I wanted to tone down the chaotic elements a little.

I consider these about 75% done. The main job I still have to do is highlight all the silver, then add some freehand. I also want to add in some contrasting colours on a couple of the armour panels to emphasise the fact that these are Emperor's Children rather than just purple-looking jump troops. That really depends on how much patience I have left after doing the silver though.

Either way, I'm hoping to have these done by the end of the weekend, ready for a game against a mate's Black Templars on Monday night. Hopefully I'll be able to grab some photos from that to show you too.

Lots to keep me busy. As usual, I'll post more soon. This productive streak doesn't seem to be abating any time soon!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Cyclops'? Cyclopii?

What do you call a group of Cyclops? I think it's Cyclopes. I really should know this, having studied writing at uni. Either way, I've been painting up a lot of them for my Kolstek/ Elysian forces.

It's not often I can paint two squadrons of vehicles in about an hour! Being about a tenth of the size of most vehicles obviously helps. These really were a joy to paint. In case you can't tell, I've use the Land Raiders from the old Epic range with the sponsons cut away. At £14 per model from Forge World, the official models were a little out of my price range, especially as I'm planning to field ten of them in my final force. I've got another five lined up ready to go, as soon as I find enough 40mm bases for them.

Normally I'd claim 10 painting points for each vehicle I finish, but considering their size I really can't bring myself to do that. I think 2 for each one is a fair reward for them. It's still nice to have them done though.

More soon!

Friday, 30 June 2017

A break for Elysians

Despite my obvious excitement for my Emperor's Children in 8th Edition, I haven't abandoned my previous projects. There's only so much pink and purple a man can paint in one go without going completely loopy, so I've been breaking things up by working on my Elsysian forces alongside them.

Having had a look at the new rules for Elysians, I'm really liking how they work under the new edition. Being able to deep strike a ridiculous amount of guardsmen up the face of the enemy on turn one whilst my Inquisitorial assault elements advance behind them has really fired my imagination, so my Kolstek 133rd 'Elysian Pattern' Drop Troopers have made their way to my painting desk.

I've nailed down a really nice and quick method of batch painting these guys, so I should be able to turn them out quite quickly, I just need to work out my squad designation and markings for them. I'm thinking of using 3x Veteran Squads, a Command Squad + Commander, then a few Valkyries as backup. A good, compact force which shouldn't take too long to paint up.

At the rate I'm painting atm, I'm actually in danger of finishing models quicker than I'm buying them. It's been a long time since that happened! Clearly this 'hour a night' pledge is helping. Let's hope it continues.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

The ever-steady march of progress...

So 8th Edition has hit the gaming community like a hurricane and by all accounts it's been a roaring success. I've already played three games of the new edition and immensely enjoyed each one. That's already a massive increase on the amount of enjoyment I got out of non-30k 7th edition! I even spent the evening last Monday teaching a group of people who hadn't played since 5th ed how to play. That's pretty good going considering that at that point I'd only played one game of the new edition myself- a testament to how slick and streamlined the rules have become!

Needless to say, 8th ed has been the massive shot in the arm that 40k badly needed.Most people have nothing but good things to say about it and loads of people who'd previously left the game have made their return, at least judging by my local community. Previously there'd normally be a few of us meeting on alternate Mondays to play Horus Heresy. There'd be a few people would be milling about occasionally playing AoS, but 40k was pretty much ignored. Last week though there were four games of 40k being played, with half a dozen more people watching with great interest. Excitement is running pretty high in my local area.
Enough gushing about 8th edition though. The real benefit of this release for me is that it's set my motivation to build and paint stuff into overdrive. It's a shame this hasn't involved too much progress on my obscene backlog of projects though. Instead I've been focussing on what's looking to be my army of choice for this edition: Slaanesh.

I've always loved Slaanesh and his/her/it's followers. They've run a close second behind Tzeentch in my love ever since I started 40k in 2003-ish and I've always wanted an army of Noise Marines, but ever since the 3.5 codex their rules have been a little lacklustre, so that's really killed my enthusiasm for them. I might be primarily a narrative gamer, but I also like to actually win games occasionally!

The moment I saw the new rules for Noise Marines though, I knew the time had come to make my dream army a reality. I started by taking the Primaris half of the Dark Imperium boxed set and having a rummage in my bitz box to make them suitably Slanneshii:

Yes it's left my painting points in tatters (I'm not going to even talk about the Ebay slurge I've done for Daemons to accompany them), but at least I'm actually painting stuff! I've been painting so much in fact that I'm running up a massive surplus on my 'hour a day' hobby challenge. Hopefully once I've got my Emperor's Children off the ground, this will translate into progress on my other stuff too, but I'll have to wait and see how that pans out.

My original plan for this force was to make something which works equally well in both 30k and 40k. The more I look at what I want and start painting though, the more I'm thinking that plan is going to fall by the wayside. I'm wanting to include some of the weirder and more obviously Chaotic stuff which Chaos Space Marines get like Warp Talons, Daemon Princes and Forgefiends, none of which have a direct 30k counterpart. Instead I'm probably going to be taking inspiration from Kraut and his World Eaters over at the Eternal Hunt blog and build myself some 'historical' versions of my 40k Chaos characters when I get around visiting my 30k EC force.

Back to matter in hand though, the Primaris Marines were awesomely good fun to work with. The kits are simple to build, although the limited poses we have currently made a few of the conversions a little awkward to do, especially the head swaps. You'll also notice I haven't done any swaps on the shoulder pads either. This is due to the way they detach -  the arm and pad are one big piece, or else the pads are sculpted onto the torso pieces. I'm hoping that the multi-piece kits we'll inevitably get don't have this issue, as I can imagine a lot of people getting frustrated when trying to swap the pads for Chapter-specific ones. I can work around that issue for now though.

Anyway, after a surprisingly short period of time, I had these guys ready to paint. The actual painting of them only took a couple of hours, as I tried to keep the colour scheme simple so I can produce an entire force fairly quickly. The trick was trying to balance the garish colour schemes which Slaaneshii followers are known for whilst still making it look good as a force. I think I've struck a good balance. I'll be going back later to add transfers and freehand detail, but I'm considering these guys done for now.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish up the rest of the box in the enst few weeks. After that I'll be building and painting the two boxes of Warp Talons I bought, then move onto the characters for the army. It looks like is going to be a summer dedicated to Slannesh for me!

I'll post more soon.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Taking a break from painting - to do more painting!

I've gotten a little tired of painting endless black and silver, plus the severe shake up of how Inquisition forces work under 8th has sapped my enthusiasm for them somewhat, so I decided to take a step back from it until I know exactly what I need to paint once 8th drops. I was unlikely to actually get the entire army done before release day anyway.

I've decided instead to take a break and 'cleanse' my painting pallete a little. My unpainted Thousand Sons have been staring accusingly at me for the last few months, so I decided to finally get some paint on my Breacher squad:

I know it's not the best of photos, but I was pretty shattered from work when I grabbed the pic. I'll post better ones once I've done the cleanup and highlighting on them. I'm only working on a small unit plus an Apothecary for now, but it's more progress on them than I've made for months, so I'm happy.

Hopefulyl I'll get these done this week, or at least get them to the stage where they just need transfers applying to them. I'll let you know how I get on.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Progress and Inquisition in 8th

Progress has been pretty steady over the last week, keeping up a good amount of painting hours. It's amazing what you can get done if you just do a little bit each day.

One of my Deathwatch Kill Teams is pretty much ready to go. The Thunder Hammer guy had a run-in with my cat, so he still needs to be fixed up. Other than that though the team's looking good. I just need to do the Chapter pads now.

 They're going to be (left to right) Astral Knights, Iron Hands, Marines Errant and a Blackshield. Being the eternal hipster that I am, I've avoided just using the common Chapters which you get in the box. It gives me more of an opportunity to come up with some interesting models and fluff for them. More on that in a later post though. For now I'm just wanting to get a force ready to go.

On that note...

 I've been painting the Crusaders for my Inquisitors retinue. They're still in need of highlighting, but I'm liking how they've turned out. Having had a look at the new Inquisition rules at my local gaming shop, I'm not exactly happy about the future of my force. From what I can tell, Inquisition warbands aren't mixed units any more. Crusaders, Death Cultists and Servitors aren't even in the Inquisition section of their Index! I've got to borrow units from the Ministorum and Space Marine list just to use them and I can't combine them together any more. This basically invalidates both the warbands which I was using in 7th edition. One was 5 Death Cultists, 3 Crusaders and a Priest, the other was a shooty blob of Jokearo and Servitors.

This basically means the entire dynamic of my army is being changed if I want to keep using my Ordo Xenos in 8th Edition. Annoying, but I'm sure I'll cope. My annoyance is somewhat mitigated by the fact that we now get to draw units from any of the Imperium lists. This opens up awesome conversion and gaming options. I'm already considering making some Inquisitional Ogyrn Brutes!

So yeah, I've got mixed feelings on 8th atm. Overall though the game seems to have gone through a massive improvement. I guess I'm just going to have to learn to adapt.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Operation Homehammer continues

My run of hobby productivity continues and I've been cracking on with my project to create my home gaming setup. As I mentioned yesterday, I found some really good bits in my local Poundland to use as a basis for some terrain:

They're really cheap and rubbish, as you might expect considering the source, but they're pretty much the perfect scale for 40k terrain and don't look so crap that a dab of superglue in the moving parts and a quick spray of silver can't make them look passable as civilian vehicles.

They'll be getting a liberal wash of Nuln Oil and a good rusting up at some point, but for now I think they're surprisingly passable. Not bad at all for ten minutes work!

My nexy step will be digging around in my box of old half-finished terrain pieces to see what I can salvage. Should be interesting.

Building Inquisitional Warbands

I seem to be really getting my hobby groove on this week. Clearly this 365 Challenge idea is massively helping my motivation levels. Just trying to do something small that's hobby-related every day is really handy for keeping me focussed.

For my terrain project which I talked about last post, don't worry I haven't gotten distracted from it already! I had a day off yesterday, so I a poke around the local charity shops and Poundland and found some really interesting bits I can use. I'll post up what I'm cobbling together for that soon. Today though I wanted to show you the collection of Inquisitorial Henchmen which I've been pulling together:

I've got a slight confession to make. I cheated on my painting points total a little bit. Despite not having completed many models recently, I did a GW order for these. My thinking this that I find it easier to complete whole units in one go, so I needed to fill out my half-finished warbands before I could painted them. That's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it!

Anyway, moving on to what I've made. I've found the Tempests Scions kit really great for making basic mooks they have the right look and they're so easy to convert. I've build my Storm Bolter and Special Weapon guys for my Warlord's unit from these, as well as converting the Commissar to lead my actual Scions detachment.

The Storm Bolters came from the SW upgrade kit. I've got so many of these lying around from my SW's project a few years ago, it seemed a shame not to make use of them in some way. These guys are really just there to provide warm bodies/bullet catchers for my heavy weapons warband, but that wasn't going to stop me from kitbashing something cool to represent them.

The Commissar is just the plastic Scions Commissar with some arm swaps from the main Scions kit. I really love this model. The conversion potential is massive. I'm already tempted to get another one to act as a basis for my next Inquisitor conversion. I need to actually finish what I have first though.

Next up are my 'Jokaero'...

...Well, one Jokaero and one Squat.

I've always loved the idea of Squats and have always wanted to have a force of them. Unfortunately the best way to field them is using the 30k Militia list, which would involve converting far more models than I'm willing to undertake as a project atm and that's just to get the basic troops choices!

In the meantime I'm willing to settle for an outcast survivor of the race serving in my Inquisitor's retinue. I figure a technologically-minded Space Dwarf could fill the role of a Jokaero Weaponsith quite comfortably. I just need to add more mechadenrites and weapons to the Dwarf Engineer model I've taken as a base model.

Then there's my Priest and a Mystic:

These are just the basic models. They're such classic sculpts that I didn't really want to do anything with them. The only thing I've done is chop the end of the weird book-staff thing the Priest was carrying and turn it into a walking stick, giving the whole model a more low-key feel. I'm not sure what I'm going to arm the Priest with yet. I might wait to see what's best under 8th edition rules.

These next models however are far more eclectic:

I figure an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, especialy one of a more radical nature such as Inquisitor von Nearostaffen is going to keep a few Xenos mercenaries around for when he needs them.

I'm not even sure what the Sslythe is going to be used as, I just really like the model and the backstory to the race in general. I did a minor conversion to replace his Dark Eldar blade with a Chainsword to give the suggestion that he's been working for Imperial forces for a while and left it at that. I'm thinking of maybe using him as a particularly unusual Arco-Flagellent, but I'm not sure yet. I'm sure I think of something.

The Tau defector is a model I'm particularly liking, mostly for the subtle conversion I've done, replacing his Fire Warrior chestplate with a Cadian torso. He's going to be used as a Mystic, represented by the weird device he's holding, which could feasibly be a homing beacon of some kind. Also note that he's carrying no weapons. It's almost like the Inquisitor doesn't entirely trust him...

And finally we have my Crusaders:

Another simple kitbash, using the shields from the Deathwatch box. The moment I saw these, the idea to use them as shield for my Crusaders just clicked and I think they work brilliantly. The only awkward bit was finding and attaching their axe heads, which came from the Dwarf Warriors box, but I think they've come together quite nicely.

So there you have it. I've gotten myself a nice selection of misfits and outcasts to bolster my Ordo Xenos. I should be getting these sprayed up in the next couple of days, then I can crack on with painting them.

 I've got plenty to keep me going for a while I think, although I should be able to start churning out finished models at a decent pace now I have everything I need (barring a few Ebay purchases I'm waiting for, but more on those later).

I'll post more soon!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Operation Homehammer

Something I've always said I'd do when I had my own place is to set up a decent gaming board for myself at home.

I made an attempt at this last year and bought myself a really nice gaming mat from Deep Cut Studios, then started gathering the materials to scratch build some terrain to go with it. 

Unfortunately starting a new job last year meant the project got shelved due to lack of free time. What little hobby time I could snatch went on painting models rather than terrain building. Any games I've played at home since then have been played using books, paint pots and whatever else could be improvised on the fly for terrain.

With 8th edition 40k on the near horizon though, several friends of mine have showed interest in getting back into 40k, giving me a damn good reason to revisit the idea of sorting out a good board to play on. With this in mind, I've decided to try and build myself a decent terrain set.

First on the agenda is a good sized table. So far I've made do with hodgepodging together several smaller tables to lay the boards down for the mat to go on. Ideally I want to find a 6x4 folding table to work from. With a bit of luck I can find one in a local charity shop, but I might end up buying a new one for simplicity's sake.

What I can do in the meantime though is get my old-school hobby hat on and scratch build myself some terrain. Luckily I have a massive tub of bits and pieces to work from, so I quickly knocked this together yesterday to start me off:

Nice and simple, built from an old coaster and some Paracetamol tubs. A little sand and dry brushing later and I'd gotten myself a passable set of barrels. A quick wash and a little freehand/transfers for markings and it should do the trick quite nicely.

When it's this easy to knock out some terrain, I can't help but wonder why I haven't gotten around to doing this sooner!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Times they are changing... My thoughts on 8th Edition

It's time for me to address the biggest elephant in our gaming rooms right now: 8th Edition 40k.

We all know it's coming. GW has been teasing us and drip feeding us snippets for weeks now. We even got a release date of 17th of June confirmed this week. I've been wanting to hold off on giving my opinion on it until we got some more information, mostly because this is going to be the single biggest shake up of how the game works since the transition from 2nd to 3rd edition. It's certainly no exaggeration to say that this is going to be massive and is going to change everything.

Now that we've got to this stage however, it's time to give you my thoughts.

In short, I'm excited. Really excited.

This surprised me more than anything else. Like most gamers, I don't like change. I'm such a fanatical 40k player I could probably play a game in my sleep. Such a drastic change in how the game I've been playing since age 13 operates should piss me off, but instead I'm finding that really looking forward to it.

It's easy to figure out why though. It really goes without saying that the game as it stands at the moment is a bloated mess. Although I feel the 'base' rules for 7th are pretty solid, there are way too many factions, sub-factions, formations, super-detachments and all the rest, each with their own special rules and interactions to reasonably keep track of, much less keep balanced. Right now someone could turn up to a game with a completely made up formation and probably get away with it, simply because of the sheer amount of rules there are spread across way too many sources.

7th ed has been an era of Deathstars and rules abuse, even amongst a lot of so-called 'casual' players. Armies really don't look anything like how they should in the background. We've all seen seen the Tau/Eldar abombinations being played, as well as those players who bring nothing but formations from half a dozen different factions, built with nothing but maximum rules abuse in mind. A lot of the time it's not even clear what rules to use. A good example is my Inquisition forces. GW has turned around and actually said to choose whether to use the Inquisition Codex or the updated rules in the Imperial Agents book. I actaully played a game the other day where we were both using a different Inquisitional list, both of which are fully legal!

All this has had the effect that over time, the game has become less and less fun to play and more of a negotiation between two plays not to be a dick towards each other for a few hours, with mixed results. Arranging a game would often come with a far too many caveats to agree between players: Casual or Hard lists? Are we bringing Lords of War? How many formations are we limiting ourselves to? How many factions? The list goes on. It's enough to try anyone's patience and sense of joy they feel when playingthe game. It's one of the biggest factors in my jump over to playing 30k, where those issues are far less prevalent.

Yes 8th Edition has its critics. There are players who are accusing GW of dumbing down or 'Sigmar-izing' the game, but the way I see it this new direction can only be a good thing for the game. The game is getting a serious tightening up of the rules, streamlining how it plays so we can focus on playing instead of having to grapple with the clunkiness of the rules every time we want to play a game with our toy soldiers. I can understand why people are nervous, but having spoken to people who play AoS on a regular basis, I can safely say the game is not getting dumbed down. Yes the basic AoS rules are simple, but the complexity comes from the rules which appear in the various Warscrolls and unit entries which are out there.

A tighter ruleset also means less 'wiggle room' for WAAC players to operate in, especially with the introduction of keywords to stop units and characters gaining special rules which they really have no right in gaining, like the 2+ re-rollable invunerable save, which can only be a good thing in my opinion. Yes I'll miss some of the complexities of 7th, but the trade off we get in exchange for that should more than make up for it.

That's not to say I agree completely with everything that's happening. The loss of mechanics for falling back is something I disagree with and I realy don't care much for the new Primaris Space  Marines. On the other hand, each new edition has brought something I haven't liked. It's part of the game. I still rememeber not liking the introduction of the run move in 5th and I still disagree with the entire concept of challenges in the 40k universe which 6th brought. The trick is to just roll with it and not let it affect my enjoyment of the game. The new direction 40k is heading in is a very positive one in general. I've just got to sit back and see where it takes us.

So there you have it. Those are my (slightly rambling) thoughts on the new edition. There's big changes afoot, but I'm personally looking forward to it. It's given me a huge shot in the arm to make the jump back to the main game from 30k and start paint up some armies. It's also drawn back in several local players who left 40k altogether a few editions ago, which can only be a good thing. Me and a couple of these friends are planning to meet up on release day and put the ruleset through its paces, so I'll probably do another post with my thoughts once I've rolled some dice 'in anger' and gotten some practical experience of the new ruleset.

For now though, embrace the change. To those hating on it, this might actually turn out to be a good thing...

Happy Gaming!

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Back again and trying to be more productive...

It seems to be theme on this blog to start my posts with 'sorry I haven't posted for a while'. It looks like this grand tradition continues, as real life has gotten in the way of me having time to post anything recently.

Between work and the fact that the Pokemon VGC season is in full swing, I've barely had the time to hobby, let alone blog about it. With 8th Edition drawing nearer though, I'm wanting to get back into the swing of things and get an army ready to go for it. I'll post my full thoughts on the new edition at soome point soon, but for now I want to talk about how I'm going to get myself ready for it, as I'm pretty excited for most of what's on the way.

I'm aiming to get my Ordo Xenos force actually completed, or at least enough to be playable in time for 8th's launch. I technically have what I need to play the force already, but ideally I want it painted, as it's been sitting half finished for a couple of years now. This means ramping up my rate of painting considerably.

I know I've said this before, but I've come across an interesting concept which I want to try. You see, I listen to a lot of hobby podcasts whilst I'm at work. A lot of my work is pretty boring, repetitive and doesn't involve much human interaction, so podcasts help pass the time. One of the regular ones I listen to is The Imperial Truth (which is excellent btw, definitely check it out). One of the hosts, Greg Dann, is trying something called the '365 Challenge'. Basically, the challenge is to paint, build or generally make hobby progress for 365 hours in a single year. Whilst ideally this is an hour a night, it's quite flexible, so if you miss, for example 3 days, you just catch up by doing three hours in one go.

This idea intrigues me, especially as I'm one of those people who tends to make hobby progress in fits and starts, but can happily sit and paint all day once I've gotten going. So I've decided to give it a try, starting this week.

I'm six days into it atm and I've done 5 hours hobbying so far, so I'm off to a good start. Four of those were applying base colours to a Deathwatch Kill Team when I've gottenin from work in the mornings, the other was starting the write-up on the background for one of the members of the team. I consider the background to my projects to be just as important as the models themselves, so I'm counting it as challenge time. It also has the added benefit of allowing me to take a break from the painting side of things if I want to.

Here's how my progress is looking atm:

Not the best of pics I know, but I'm shattered from work right now. I'll get better ones after the next stage, which is washing and highlighting.

Of course a side benefit of this challenge is that I'll hopefulyl be posting here more often. I'm wisely not including blogging into the 365 total, as I'll have the temptation to simple post stuff on here instead of actually making progress on stuff.

Anyway hopefully this will work. I'll let you know how I get on!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Progress at last!

I seem to have gone from very little painting progress to massive amounts in a very short space of time. I finally found some time to myself the other day to sit down and paint. Three hours later, I was somewhat stunned at the results.

Firstly, I managed to repaint an entire Sentinel squadron:

 These are the first of the Elysians I bought from a mate the other week. They're a unit which are going to be pulling double duty in my Ordo Xenos and 30k Militia forces, so I kept to a very simple colour scheme which could work in either era. I think they turned out really nicely considering how quickly I got through them. They're certainly not going to be winning any painting awards any time soon, but they look good and it's a really quick and easy scheme to replicate on the rest of the force. I should be tackling some infantry to go with them as soon as they've been stripped down.

The other unit I got pretty much finished was these:

That's a pair of Quad Mortars for my 30k forces. These are also going to be pulling double duty between my various 30k forces (seeing as I don't fancy shelling out £30-ish a gun so I can have them in the correct colours for each army), so with that in mind I kept them to fairly a fairly neutral gunmetal silver. Fluff-wise this can be explained by saying they were salvaged from warzones as the Heresy went on, so there wasn't time for their new owners to repaint them.

What I will be doing at some point though is painting up crewmen for them in Thousand Sons, Sons of Horus, Night Lords and Militia colours, so at least the guys manning the guns will be correctly attired. I know I don't play Night Lords, but a friend of mine does and he likes to borrow them whenever we have a game, so I figured it'd be a nice touch to have the right crew for him too.

So that's 30 painting points for me for the Sentinels, plus another 10 once I've run a wash over the base of the Quad Mortars. I didn't realise until I took photos just how much of the white under the basing sand showed through. That's easily fixed though.

Lets hope this productive streak continues! You never know, I might even be able to finish that Whirlwind Scorpius this week too.

Oh and on top of everything else, I managed to get a game in vs my local Emperor's Children player. I'll leave you with the photo I took of the exact moment it all started going wrong for my poor Thousand Sons. I need more AA...

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Whirlwind Scorpius WIP

It's been a busy few weeks for me, unfortunately very little of that activity has involved the hobby. As ever real life has been getting in the way. I have managed to make some progress on one or two things though.

In the little free time I've been able to snatch, I've been working on this:

It's the Whirlwind Scorpius for my Sons of Horus which I've been meaning to get around to repainting ever since I stripped it down about a year and a half ago. Other projects and a new job distracted me somewhat since then, but now that I'm settled into work and I'm trying to reign in and tighten my hobby focus for a while, I can hopefully turn my attention back to it for long enough to actually finish it.

To be honest, it's taken me far longer than I want to admit just to get it from the undercoat to this stage. My paint scheme for my Sons of Horus is time consuming to begin with and I really struggle to paint tanks for some reason, so that's slowing the whole process down. I'm actually starting to miss the days when I wasn't that good at painting, so could churn out whole armies in just a few months and not worry about it so much!

If I can stay focused though, I'm hoping to get the bulk of it painted this week. I've got a couple of days off coming up, so I'm hoping to use some of it to finish up the weapon system and detailing, leaving me with just the commander to get done. I've got a couple of Contemptors I want to work on for my Thousand Sons too, so hopefully I'll at least get the base colours down on them.

Anyway, I'll post more soon. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things again blog-wise and try and get back to posting at least on a weekly basis, if not more. I'll have to see how that pans out though. I know how terrible I am at sticking to plans.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Expanding the Mind

After the last post, I had a good think about what to do with The Wandering Mind. I don't really want to pack it all in and just move elsewhere. This blog has been part of my life for about 8 years now, so there was no way I'd just leave it to die off.

I was chatting to a friend last night who does online promotion and he suggested running the Blog alongside a Facebook page and Twitter account, with link-backs and clickthroughs and a load of technical sounding jargon which I didn't entirely take in. I think the word 'diversify' came up several times as well.

Anyway, the upshot of the conversation is that I've decided to launch a Facebook page for the Wandering Mind to run alongside the Blog, allowing me to reach out to more of the hobby community, whilst still maintaining the core blog. I'm also planning to shake up the content I'm producing a little bit, with conversion articles, battle reports and news items being weaved inbetween my usual posts about my lack of painting progress, which on reflection my posts have become a little to focussed on recently.

Those of you who are long-time readers of the Mind may remember this will take the blog back to being closer to what it used to be when I first started running it back in the heady days of 5th edition 40k. This should hopefully help keep me a little more motivated hobby-wise, as well as producing content that's a little more interesting for you guys to read too.

The Facebook page is at: , so check it out, let me know what you think of my plans and (hopefully) invite your friends to read and like it. I'm really looking forward to this new direction the Mind is about to take.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Musings on the Mind

Looking back on my recent posts, I've realised that I haven't had a comment on any of my posts for the last six months and before that comments were really few and far between. This is a little depressing and pretty disheartening. Whilst I didn't start this blog expecting to gain a massive following, it's nice to know someone is listening and get a little feedback on what I'm doing.

This might be part of the reason why it's been so hard for me to stay focussed and see projects through to completion these days. Feedback on what I do has always been a huge motivator for me and without it, it's hard to stay 'in the zone' for hobby productivity.

I still post my stuff on Facebook groups and forums and get decent responses on there, so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong with my blog. I think I might need to have a good think on how and where I post up my hobby projects. I'm thinking of moving everything over to social media groups.

Of course, I might still have a regular readership, they're just not commenting for some reason. If you're there, leave a comment and let  me know!

Either way, there might be big changes ahead for the Wandering Mind. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Progress, Progress, Progress and a possible setback...

My painting progress is continuing at an excellent pace. As February turns into March, I've already painted more than I did in the entirety of last year, so obviously I'm very happy with how my painting points system is working out.

There is a threat to my progress on the horizon though. A friend of mine is selling some of his Elysians. They've been my dream army for a long time, but way out of my price range. This friend is selling them for a ridiculously good price though, so I can't really say no. Of course, 1500 points of Elysians will put a massive dent in my painting points total in the wrong direction. I have a plan though.

I'm going to cheat.

Well, not exactly cheat, but just start being extremely strategic in what I paint in order to offset the points which I'm about to lose. You see I have a lot of stuff which is either half finished or can be finished very quickly and easily to net me some easy points, so I'm going to focus on getting those finished up over the next couple of weeks.

These include:
  •  The two White Scars Bikers I started a few weeks back -  4 pts
  • My half-finished Corsairs unit - 20 pts
  • The Sons of Horus Whirlwind Scorpius I've had stripped for repainting for ages - 10 pts
  • 2 Dreadclaws for my Sons of Horus which have been half finished for a few years now -20pts
  • A few single characters I've been meaning to finish up, which should net me a quick 5 points each
  • My two Thousand Sons Contemptors -20pts
As you can see this will give me 80-90 points without too much effort, which should nicely offset what I'm buying. Hopefully I'll get round to painting the Elysians so quickly that it won't matter too much, but at the same time I'm aware of how easily I get distracted. I know some of you will argue that I shouldn't worry so much, but I'm taking my hobby pledges very seriously this year. Just looking at what I've managed to get done this year so far, this extra nudge of motivation is clearly doing it's job! 

So with this in mind, I started working on these guys last night:

 This guy's an idea for a Sons of Horus Lodge Master/ Chaplain/ Lupercii Chieftan I've been thinking abut for a while. The moost common comment I seem to get on him is that he looks a little too chaotic to be a Heresy-era model, but my force is set in the Siege of Terra/ Scouring era, so I think he works nicely, considering that's the point when the traitors really started to go off the rails.

He's nowhere near done yet unfortunately, but really it's just detailing and working on the base which needs to be done, so he shouldn't take too long. He's also serving as a tester for my new method of painting the green for my SoH armour. I'm rather liking the effect, especially as it's much quicker than my old method, so I'm really happy with how this chap's coming along.

On the other hand, this guy is done to the stage where I'm feeling comfortable enough to claim the points for him, once I've pianted the edge of the base. He started just as a one-off piece to make use of the Greigor Fell-Hand (or Not-Bjorn as I like to call him!) model I got in the Prospero box, but he might end up turning into a small contingent of traitor Space Wolves, as I love the concept and enjoyed painting this guy so much. That's for a point in the future when Idon't have so many unfinished models knocking about though.

I also started this guy:

I wasn't intending on making any progress on my Harlequins at all for a while, but I found the Death Jester I got in Death Masque at the bottom of my sprues box whilst I was digging around for Greigor, so I figured I might as well start on him too. Considering it only took me about half an hour to get to this stage, I'm really glad I made that choice. It's such a nice model, both in terms of looks and ease of painting. It's so nice in fact, that that my desire to get a display shelf to show off off these one-off pieces is really intensifying. I'll have to see what money I have spare after buying the Elysians I think.

I'll post more soon!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A day of progress

It's been a day of steady progress for me, having decided to crack on with my Tartaros Terminators and Breachers. Both performed rather well for me in my game last night, so I figured they deserve a lick of paint or two as a reward. My Breachers even earned the honour of being the first models to receive transfers from my FW Decal sheet!

As you can see, I've weathered them up a bit. Breachers without battle damage just don't seem to sit right with me. When I get around to it, I'm also going to freehand the Raptora symbol onto their shields. I wish Forge World put symbols for the various cults on their transfer sheet, but alas not.

There's another 13 of these to go, in various states of completion. I think the whole unit might take me a while, but they should look awesome when they're done.

The Terminators are in a lesser state of completion unfortunately, but I've at least managed to get the majority of the basecoats and shading done on two of them.

The Vexilla is just for show, seeing as Terminators can't take them. I originally included it as an idea on how  to show their cult allegience, but that was before I saw the legion rules in full. I was figuring that Terminators would work well as Pyrea cultists, being amongst the most aggressive of squads within the company, but after having had a play with the actual rules I'm leaning more towards the idea of running them as Raptora for the +1 to their Invunerable Save. The WYSIWYG pedant in me might just see me keep them as Pyrea though, even if they're a bit worse in-game for the switch.

Oh and before I forget, I also made a start painting these guys

I found these guys in a drawer when I was looking for my spare pot of Nuln Oil and are the main reason I don't have more Terminators painted. I've always liked the idea of running some White Scars allies alongside my XVth  Legion, as the two legions were always close fluff-wise. I'm also hoping that an allied detachment should scratch this particular hobby itch enough that I won't splurge on a full army for them!

I built these guys back in September when I managed to get a good deal on some secondhand Bikers on Ebay, with the intention of spending a month or so getting them finished. The problem came with arrival of the Burning of Prospero box, followed closely by the December 'Sons releases and the rapid approach of Inferno and they sort of just got pushed to the back of my mind. When I unearthed them though, I figured I should really get at least one squad finished, so away I went. I'm going to have to try and not let them become a full-on distraction though, as I really want to get my DE Corsairs finished soon.

A good day's progress I think. Hopefully this marks the start of a productive streak.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Thousand Sons tweaks

I don't have much to show you today. I'vejust been putting the finishing touches to the Veterans/Tactical Squad I've been tweaking for a while.

I already claimed the painting points for these a while back, but there were just a few extra bits I wanted to finish up, like the scripture on the Sergeant's loincloth. Nothing particularly special. I'll be adding transfers later, but these are now done to the standard I want the rest of the army to reach, varnished and ready for my game against Space Wolves tomorrow. Assuming either mine or my opponent's copy of Inferno arrives in the morning, we're planning to try out the first scenario from Inferno, so it should be good fun. I'll try and get some photos, although don't expect any wonderful shots of painted models on my part, as I only have about a dozen models even partially painted for my 'Sons atm.

More soon!

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Contemptor Finished

There comes a point in every project where you have to stop being a perfectionist and actually complete some models. That's the point I've reached on my Thousand Sons Contemptor. I've been working on this guy for about a year now, tweaking and repainting him and now I've finally reached the point where I think he's about as done as he's going to be. I might go back and add some more transfers later, but for now, this will do.

This of course gives me a rather tasy bump in my painting point total, as well as bringing my total of painted models for my Thousand Sons up to six. Doesn't sound like much, but this number should rise a bit more quickly now my attention isn't being sapped by obsessing over the details on one Dreadnought.

Next up should be finishing my Veteran/Tactical Squad, then back to Fantasy to finish up my Corsairs whilst I contemplate what I want my Thousand Sons force to look like, now that we have actual Legion rules.