Month: February 2015
So, after tearing the box open I tried to hold off the building whilst I finished a few other projects, but naturally that was never going to happen.
As you’ll have seen there’s a lot of variety here from infantry to ramshackle vehicles as well as tanks and large dropships.
I went simple, getting the tanks together- Hannibal battle tanks. these were simple enough, a turret popped into a hole on the top of the chassis. As you can see there’s a 360° choice for turret facing, but Iv kept it simple for these (anticipating storage).
There was a painful moment as I popped the turret in and the superglue splashed into my eye- luckily I was wearing glasses and most hit the lens- but a drop hit my eyeball giving me a sore burning sensation for some time.
Feeling braver I moved onto a tougher build
The first dropship- the lift hawk medium dropship to get the tanks into position. This was a tougher build, simply because lining up the engines/thrusters to look right and even was tough- and you don’t get a second chance with superglue. You’ll see in the pictures alternate top hatches- either the AA gun or a vent style piece. I was torn between the both as well as leaving the piece off dependent on list, but with it being fiddly went for the gun (if in doubt whack a gun on it).
Next up the easy infantry transport Jackson half tracks. Easy because they’re single piece models, so just needed a minor clean up. I know I mentioned it in the box opening but look again at the undercarriage detail on the 10mm scale models.
The half tracks carry these guys into battle the resistance fighters. Again, single piece models (aside from getting them into the base) but for the scale the details lovely on them.
Another highly detailed model the kraken hovercraft , there was the opportunity to leave the ramp loose, but I glued it into place to make painting easier (my future ones I may leave loose).
Onto my favourite models in the box- the gun wagons. Again highly detailed, and also several parts which are interchangeable between kits.
I settled on three random setups of gun and ram (knowing I’ll have more of these to mix and match in the future) and glued them into place. Again I could have left the guns loose for movement but wanted them fixed for my first painting of them.
Another dropship later and my force is ready for war
Or at least ready for the painting table
So, another weird dream last night. It was a long and a lot of details have faded (and more are fading the more I try to get hold of it) so I’ll get straight into it
I’m walking down the street in my old home village when i bump into an ex girlfriend whos crying. I naturally ask if she’s ok, but she’s just lost a baby. I introduce her to myles and we go to the village library where we lose one of myles’ shoes- but replace it with one from a lost property bag.
As we’re leaving the library we bump into my my partner and my ex girlfriends parents. They all take Myles back to my mums house, whilst I get in the car with my sister and she drives me home. She then proceeds to show off by racing into the driveway and crashing into the house in the process. Pulling away from the house she does exactly the same thing again, before doing it a third time- this time covering us both in glass as the back end of her car is destroyed.
I go into the house to find my partner resting on the sofa with my ex girlfriends parents whilst my ex girlfriend is doing the same next to my mum.
At this point I realise things could be very awkward (it hadn’t occurred previously).
Next I’m eating Mexican food in a dark room with someone I went to school with, with the occasional passer by also looking like old school friends. The guys school time girlfriend sits down,eats some food that had been sitting there and asks me when I’m going to choose which girl I’m going to upset- this hasn’t come up previously.
Suddenly I have a timer infront of my face with one minute thirty two seconds ticking down.
My mind flashes over every ex girlfriend (I think) and I’m faced with a choice- not sure why I’m suddenly choosing all of them. Come to think of it I’m not sure why I’m choosing at all.
We’re back in my mums house where my parents and my ex girlfriends parents have decided I’m better off keeping both of them as they both need someone to look after them- physically and mentally each. I’m given no say and the two girls are too tired to argue.
I wouldn’t know where to start in understanding the dream, the ex girlfriend isn’t someone Iv known in many years (though I suspect the faces are random in dreams) and I’m certainly not looking to cohabit with ex girlfriends or swap out rox for anyone (shed probably suggest I’d swap her for some peace and quiet).
In fact I’m not even going to try and decipher it
So, once again a delay to opening my box as I was drinking heavily in belfast for half term (and doing family things of course), but this morning the neighbour dropped it round and me and Myles tore it open
This months theme is sidekicks
The magazine, better than normal as there’s more than just computer game reviews inside (hopefully more variety of content is to become a trend). A bit of disappointment as I didn’t win the clothing competition and whilst I wouldn’t necessarily say my tweet was better than the winning tweet I’m sure there were better out there.
The modern day sidekick- a minion. The vinyl pop craze is terrifying, there are now hundreds of them. Whilst I can’t imagine many people have all of them I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. Anyway, I’m torn between keeping this one or letting it loose in the toy box- eleanor does love minions. No doubt it’ll end up there anyway.
Robin. Poor poor Robin, what a dopey sidekick he is. Now of course he gets cooler as the comics progress but as a young boy he’s just batman’s buddy. It’s a cool posted though.
A Star Trek action figure. As cool as chekov is (hmm?) this may well end up in the toy box too- minus the small bits of course.
And the customary t shirt. I really like this one, it’s a good colour (which is important) and the designs cool. I’m waiting on a replacement of a previous one that faded after a wash but this should keep me geeked out in the meantime.
So, the t shirts really cool, the box was ok, it felt a little like something was missing, sweets or something would be a nice little addition, but it’s all good.
Next months theme is anniversaries and landmarks due to it being a year since MyGeekBox started and hopefully we won’t be on yet another holidays when it gets her
So, I put aside the various series of books I’m currently reading through (Gotrek and felix, malus darkblade, the original Nagash trilogy) as well as the huge pile of other books I want to get through to finally read my first Warhammer end times book- the return of Nagash by josh Reynolds.
And wow, what a way to mash game of thrones with the warhammer world- people die- many many people die. And not only people of coursea characters die.
I will do my best to avoid spoilers but I can’t promise anything
The beginning was brilliant, no world of peace with a book or two to set up the full prologue (I’m looking at you horus heresy). Some bodies looking over the world and seeing death, war and destruction in pretty much every corner of the warhammer world. Some of this is implied or set in the future but many of the events are current setting you into the middle of the story.
The story then moves onto Mannfred Von Carstein and Arkhan the Black meeting up and planning to bring Nagash back from the dead/undead/not dead, whilst they are both haunted by a ‘ghost’ from their past- Vlad and Nagash respectively.
Alongside this is a secondary focus on the High Elves, Dwarves and Humans (with a little of the Wood Elves) and their response to the forces of the Undead doing evil things.
It’s hard to review without spoilers, but it was really good to see an undead themed book that didn’t end with the leader being killed and therefore the army crumbling- though many people died/redied. It was also nice to see Nagash missing from the early parts of the book. The real success of the book was expanding upon Mannfred and Arkhan- as well as the vampires on the whole- and giving them a little more personality than just being evil masters of armies of skeletons. Seeing them with weaknesses and doubts that were covered up with arrogance was a nice aside to the politics and scheming of every vampire that appears in the book.
I’m now of course left with a new dilemma- move onto the second End Times book or carry on with a different series.
So, I’v gone on a bit of a dropzone commander kick and got to opening the starter set for my favourite faction the resistance. Hawk wargames have truly done some amazing work on this faction with a fantastic blend of sophisticated equipment and cobbled together big guns.
First impressions are good, a load of resin and metal falls from the box and you can immediately see the care that has gone into it, every model/unit is individually packed with all its component parts in a little ziplock bag- a huge deal for me, who loves building (and lego) but finds finding the correct bits a frustration (especially when they are all the same colour).
First things first- the paperwork. As with the starter set there’s a detailed assembly guide for everything laid out in a sensible way with clear instructions on different options for building the various kits. Additionally there’s a resistance crib sheet giving you all you need to start using the force in the box right away.
My favourite piece of paper in the whole kit is this one, a warehouse slip detailing all the contents and signed by whoever has picked/checked the contents. I’m sure this happens in some format in most (if not all) companies- quality control being vital- but to have evidence of it happening makes everything just a little more reassuring.
Onto the models
The dropships- a vital element as suggested by the name of the game- designed to get units around the board quickly, I like these, big fancy looking ships with a few bolted on sheets of metal indicating non conventional repairs to keep the best resources in the air.
Troop transports- designed to get the infantry from the dropships to the objectives. These look like glorified towncars and don’t look to have any armaments. I like them but I think I prefer the battlebus look. I do really like the detailing on the models and the underside of these is indicative of just how good the sculptors at hawk wargames are- remember it’s 10mm scale.
The big guns- the tanks. Awesome looking vehicles to do the real damage,
Another transport option- and unique to the resistance- is the mighty hovercraft. I think this is a fantastic choice to cart vehicles into battle. From a young age Iv always had a fascination with hovercrafts so the idea of throwing one into a war zone sounds awesome- time will tell how smart an idea it really is.
The game winners- troops. Apparently absolutely pants when out in the open- hardly surprising with other big guns around- but vital for taking buildings and claiming objectives. Whilst on the sprue and in the bag it’s hard to register the detail but I’ll be sure to get some close ups before I get them painted.
Finally, one of the reasons I wanted to collect the resistance- the ramshackle vehicles. These are rocket mounted cars with a bodged together aesthetic and the faction as a whole has a load of various different types of these vehicles. I plan on taking as many ramshackle looking vehicles as I can afford/ fit/ feasibly use.
So that’s it, a fantastic starter for my army- I should have them built in a few days and hopefully painted soon after that
So, as already mentioned I picked up dropzone commander at the weekend whilst at the PAW gaming show. I also picked up the resistance starter (and have a couple of bits on order too) which I’ll get to in a future post.
As you can see this is a really crammed box, with two forces, a full rulebook, scenery and mat and all the usual paraphernalia you’d expect in a starter set. This is an overview opening so I won’t be going into depth just yet, but that will be expanded upon as I get the models built and painted.
As you can see a full box. The box by the way is fantastic, sturdy, with double folds and a secure top- it’s not a huge thing but it’s a big bonus whilst I’m storing the bits before they reach a case. As I said, a full box, no wasted space and everything well packed. I should point out I’d actually already dug through the box so had removed the bubble wrap, which kept everything nicely secured.
The rulebook is fantastic- Iv spent a few minutes every night for the last week reading a couple of pages and haven’t even got to the rules yet because there’s just so much fluff, background and storyline to get through. For those that hate fluff (odd such as it is) the rules are clearly marked in a separate section of the book. The books full colour with a variety of art sketches and nicely painted miniatures throughout as well as a clear layout of information and well packed pages.
The instruction guides are clear and simple. In all honesty there isn’t a great deal of intricacy to the assembly (due to scale limitations) so the instructions are probably not essential, but still it’s nice to have them available so well laid out- as well as being a good indicator for larger kits.
Oh I love crib sheets. I especially love crib sheets that cover everything you need to know without overloading you with information. Reading hefty tomes of rules isn’t a particularly exciting part of any game so having a decent crib sheet allows you to get straight into it and then use the rulebook as a resource when bigger questions arise. The quick start rules are simple and straightforward and- as I’m quickly coming to expect- smartly laid out, whilst each faction gets a sensible double sided sheet of gaming information.
Less exciting to me is tokens and counters, I like them, and use them and of course they are essential to any game, but I’m not a fan of card stock tokens. Still, these aren’t fantasy flight chunks of cardboard but standard essential pieces. Once Iv sourced suitable alternatives I’ll replace what’s here.
One of the awesome things about the game is the scenery- as well as the fact it’s included in the box- and these are the mats used for the game. It’s handy to set the board size without assuming everyone can pull together a 6×4 space for gaming. The mats are decent quality paper and nicely detailed to add atmosphere to any game, as well as having posters printed on the other side
As for the scenery itself…
… Loads of it. A whole cityscape of buildings in fact. Despite my dislike of card stock tokens, I really like these buildings. Each is different, in a variety of sizes and with detailing equalling if not exceeding that of the mats.
Once built the buildings look like this
This is a quick build- I haven’t decided whether to stick the tabs or not yet- but they have a lip on the roof meaning they are a bit more than just boxes. Once Iv made my decision on assembly I’ll put a city together and show it off.
And onto the models. These will also get a better showcasing when I get them assembled, but the factions are the scourge and the UCM with a decent starting force provided for each.
Finally, a fantastic addition to the box…
… Gaming aids. Dice are standard of course, although the number of them is nice (a usable amount as opposed to a token gesture), but what’s also excellent is the tape measure. No whipping sticks, or plastic sticks or bits of string but an actual tape measure. A small sized hawk wargames tape measure perfectly sized to maneuvre round a crowded gaming area.
I said finally, but forgot this bit- sensible next steps for the factions and game overall. Iv already got some bits on order so clearly it works.
So, last weekend I spent two days in Plymouth for PAW or the Plymouth association of wargamers two day gaming convention. Alongside several tournaments and a fantastic bring and buy its a chance to try out new games and pick up random models from some of the local miniatures companies.
Myself and a friend took the opportunity a run demos of Wild West Exodus from Outlaw Miniatures. As fantastic as the game is interest within the UK is limited by availability. The issue seemingly being that there are no suppliers and therefore no interest, with no interest no suppliers are willing to stock it. And unfortunately the extortionate Royal Mail customs charges make it risky to purchase direct from the company. So we took the opportunity to demo the game and perhaps entice people to at least look into the game- as well as the upcoming unfinished business kickstarter.
I spent my weekend showing off my now fully painted Lawmen, whilst my friend alternated between outlaws and union. We like to think we generated a lot of interest in the game and the universe, and we spoke to a local trader GI Games in Plymouth who has promised to look into stocking it (a major USP for a gaming store). This is fantastic news as the most common question was where can I get it- it would have been awesome to be able to say “just over there” but at least we were able to provide a leaflet with details of the upcoming kickstarter as well as the leaflet we got in our various kits linking to Outlaw Miniatures website.
Anyways, it wouldn’t be a gaming convention without the opportunity to pick up a few bits and pieces, and I did indeed do so
I should point out that (in case my partner is reading) I took a lot of bits and pieces to the bring and buy and easily profited from the weekend, but selling stuff certainly allows for a little more freedom in picking up the bits I wanted.
This should really be the last thing I show, given I hadn’t planned to buy it (yet) but the price was too hard to resist (anytime somethings cheaper than wayland games without having to actually buy it from wayland games you just throw money). Dropzone commander, the urban scape war game. Iv been looking at this for a long time without picking it up and it was on my list for another gaming convention Salute 2015 in April, but I went ahead and picked it up as well as the starter box for the resistance (my planned main faction). An unboxing video will be coming soon.
I also picked up equipment cards for freebooters fate on impulse- this being another game I have a faction for without actually having played it yet, having traded some bits with someone from my gaming club.
Next up a visit to the dice bag lady for an order pickup from last week. the black fluffy thing has a flickering orange light to look like fire/an explosion so is useful for a million things (or rather one or two things a million times over). As well as that i picked up some badges for a small thing I have planned (probably more on that to come). Handily she also had some tape measures that just happened to be good and chunky. This was handy because mine exploded during a demo of WWX. I also have some more badges and some miniatures due when she has them available. Although I didn’t buy a dice bag (owning three from other suppliers already) I’m always happy to support someone cardiff based.
An accidental stroll past the ironclad miniatures stand and I’d picked these up. Officially known as Grubs, they look enough like worms from the classic game that I had to get them. Iv had them on an eventual list for a while but with them infront of me I couldn’t resist, plus the guy had a new cast of some paratroop grubs available so I picked them up too.
A hefty list of models I want from black scorpion miniatures was next, from alternate hired hands for my Wild West Exodus forces to models I just fancy painting- ghostly pirates will always do that to me.
Finally some purchases I planned, yet thought I’d missed out on from Crooked Dice Miniatures. I picked up some of their models in November at Reading Warlords and have since scanned the website and compiled a huge wanted list. Although I expected to see them there they weren’t, so I thought I’d saved some cash before seeing that ainsty castings stocks their range so whilst I couldn’t get everything I could at least pick up a few ‘doctor who’ models- not officially of course.
The next convention is the big one, Salute in London. You’d think having picked up one of my main purchases here I’d be able to save some cash there, but even aside from spontaneous impulse purchases Iv had confirmation that outlaw miniatures will be in attendance….
So, in between the various series I’m reading I picked Straken by toby frost up with some birthday money whilst at Cribbs Causeway (not a birthday trip believe me).
The catachans are an interesting imperial guard force, manned entirely from their jungle death world and working far outside the standard template of an imperial guard army, yet stunningly effective at what they do. Straken himself is the pinnacle of this, the best of the best.
In the book Strakens force the catachan 2nd is pulled from a victorious battleground and thrown straight into another, tasked with infiltrating an ork infested underground city and open the gates for the main imperial guard force. Typically it all goes wrong and when the gates are opened the armoured force rolls in manned by orks not guardsmen, leaving Straken and his men alone against a planet full of orks.
The stories well written, and Tony Frost has an interesting style of shifting perspectives from individuals within the same area without breaking up the flow, which is something I try (unsuccessfully) to do in my writing.
Cameo appearances from fan favourites Sly Marbo and Snikrot also provide enjoyable moments, as well as preventing the story being about just another ork warlord.
My only issue with the book is that it’s another (yet another) criticism of Commissars. Yes they are arseholes – for the most part- but every book involving imperial guard at the moment seems to be heavy on the anti commissariat agenda. I’d wonder if perhaps a commissar codex or similar might be in the works in the future.
So, I’m a big fan of the Thousand Sons, and of their chief librarian Ahzek Ahriman, and John French’s trilogy was something a long time coming for me. Of course I’d read the two Horus Heresy novels ( thousand sons and Prospero burns) enjoying them a lot, though of course the space wolves account was a little anger inducing. Then came the battle of the fang, a loosely linked follow up to the destruction of Prospero as the Thousand Sons launch an assault on the Space Wolf home world Fenris. This one I enjoyed less; there was no Ahriman – him being exiled following the Rubric- and although the story was quite good and the ending left me in no doubt the Wolves were the bad guys, the actual climax ruined it for me. Even if it was funny to see Bjorn the Fell-handed in a dreadnought for the last time (him of course suggesting he’d rather be dead than entombed that way during the heresy).
This left me a little uncertain, and from an unknown author too (actually upon checking it turns out I’ve read a lot of John french’s short stories).
Ahriman: Exile was a good start to a trilogy, Ahriman is in exile -surprise surprise- and has abandoned his powers whilst hiding amongst a host of chaos space marine sorcerors. An encounter with a Thousand Sons sorcerer outs Ahriman who then embraces his powers again and seeks to reclaim his position amongst the thousand sons. I won’t provide any further spoilers, except to say the only problem I had with the book was the number of times Ahriman ‘died’ yet repaired himself using his psychic powers. Whilst it allowed for Ahriman to be injured, the reparations were a little too frequent and quick.
The second book, which I have finished just moments ago, was an even better story than the first. There were far less instances of Ahriman getting hurt and repairing, and in fact some of his injuries (physical and mental) are/will have long term effects. The style of this book was different enough that I had to check it was the same author (it was) and it made some good progress in expanding the scale from an individual with a small entourage in exile, to a fleet in sorcerer. The scaling up of the betrayals and politics of a chaos fleet were well handled also, as well as the larger scale sacrificed (of others) that Ahriman had to make.
Another interesting aspect was the flexibility of time within the Warp. This has always been referred to but never really exploited, however here if was used to allow for big changes in a comparatively short amount of time.
So overall, an improvement on the first one – which was also good- and after some major events towards the end I’m very much looking forward to the final book in the trilogy.
Not so keen on the probable wait until September/October release date though