undead

Hobby, what’s on my table?  21st June 2015

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so,it’s been a busy couple of weeks since my last table update meaning I haven’t done a huge amount of hobby stuff, but here’s an update of what I have been able to get done.

 
My Welsh Warband Levies for Saga have been basecoated and shaded using army painters quick shade. I hadn’t used this before and haven’t decided if I like it yet, I need to get some Matt spray to take the shine off and see how it looks. I do like the ease of shading the detail on hair (a particular problem area of mine) but I’m not yet convinced the games workshop shades I’m used too wouldn’t do the same.
   

An undead pirate from Black Scorpion designs. This was another test of quick shade, getting a quick paint and then dipped (the standard practice) to get a thick layer of the shade. I feel like this has ‘scruffed’ up the details I’d painted so really need to get the Matt spray on it to be sure.

 
Some converted cars for a Mad Max style car wreck game- full post coming on this soon. This was my longest hobby session this week, as I really enjoyed the conversion work and cutting things up. 
 
A few dropzone commander troops (not sure which factions infantry this is without comparing), I didn’t enjoy painting these a great deal as the details too small/ non existent to do anything decent, but keeping it simple has left the, looking unfinished.

  


I also got a little more work done on my Freebooters Brotherhood, leaving only one model for this faction to do.

  

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Books, which series next?

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So, as you may be aware I’ve been unable to avoid starting series’ of books whilst leaving others unfinished. It’s now at a point where I want to get them finished in order to move on to even more books.



These are the next in line of the series of books Iv got in my pile at the moment.

Master of Sanctity by Gav Thorpe. Dark Angels. One do my favourite chapters of space marines, partly because they’re clearly not as ‘good’ as they’d suggest but also because of the secrecy in which they operate as nobody knows anything until they reach trusted levels and a closely monitored revealing of the truth is allowed to them. It’s a real reminder of working for games workshop. I read the first book of the trilogy Ravenwing about 18 months ago and whilst the story has largely gone from my memory I do remember the focus being on a new member of the Dark Angels vanguard force dealing with the revelations his new position has revealed to him, whilst having to hunt down chaos marine forces and fighting Orks. I also remember a cool vision of bikes racing around a space station as the mysterious dark angel Cypher evades capture or lays a trail depending on point of view. 

Men from the Boys by Tony Parsons. If you read my previous posts on Tony Parsons books you’ll know that whilst i empathised slightly with being a new dad I was outraged by the characters attitudes and bitterness. The second book was worse than the first and honestly I have low expectations of the third. I do however have a curiosity as time has moved on faster than my life has so there may be some insights for me to prepare for.

Nagash the Unbroken by Mike Lee. Warhammer fantasy books about the undead invariably follow the same plot- undead army devastates all before them before the leader is destroyed or incapacitated and everything crumbles. The first in the Nagash trilogy wasn’t much different yet I know Nagash becomes more powerful than at any point previously. Again it’s curiosity that means I’ll be reading this one soon.

The Doom of Dragonback by Gav Thorpe. Another origin of the Warhammer world, this one isn’t strictly speaking part of a series (aside from the large time of legends books) but it ties in very closely with the war of vengeance books of which Iv read two and am waiting for the third and final one later this year. These books establish the reasons for the hatred between the dwarves and elves and so are an important background to the major races of the Warhammer world.

Gotrek and Felix book 2 by William King. I’m actually halfway through this one so I suppose I should really list book 3, but as the pair have a big hand in the end times I feel it’s one of those series I need to get through sooner rather than later.

Lord of ruin by Dan abnett and Mike Lee. A Malus Darkblade book- the last of the series. Except it’s not, the end times has added a sixth (and potentially final) darkblade book, so I’m going to need to get to this one in order to read that one. So far alls gone Malus’ way- not at all as planned but he’s recovering what he needs to and has killed off a good number of his enemies at the same time, so this one will be interesting as a conclusion (even if it’s no longer the conclusion.



The Devils Graveyard by Anonymous. The anonymous books so far have been really enjoyable- the first was theBook with No Name followed by The Eye of the Moon. Known as the Bourbon Kid  series there are now four books and I have the third to read. The books aren’t linked beyond a few crossover characters and locations but they’re really enjoyable.



Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton. This is the short story anthology I got from the in laws at Christmas, you’ll have seen previously Iv been working through it and have been enjoying them. I think because he’s keeping it simple by using the current world and changing minor things before exploring what that would do to society rather than attempting to create a whole new world.





Tales of the Old World by various authors. A fairly old anthology of Warhammer fantasy stories from a variety of settings. Being a large collection from a variety of authors the stories vary in content and quality but there have been some good reads in there so far. It’s interesting to read them because they’re from a time before there was any concerted effort to link stories and establish a timeline so it becomes something of a free for all with regards the themes and settings.



The Fall of Altdorf by Chris Wraight. The End Times books were a series I was resisting but I finally gave in and read the first one after seeing a few spoilers as well as knowing that the new edition of Warhammer fantasy this summer will require me to know what’s been going on if I’m to have any hope of continuing to read the books, let alone collect a new army. The first book The Return of Nagash was intense ade major characters started dying and major events in the future were alluded to, such as the fall of the imperial city of Altdorf, so the name of this book suggests we’ll be seeing some of this events first hand.



Hammer and bolter volume 2 by various authors. Similar to the Tales of the Old Times anthology this gives a selection of stories from both the Warhammer World and the Warhammer 40,000 universe, but from a slightly more recent selection meaning the stories aren’t so loose and are (mostly) written within a framework.

So I’m interested in your opinion, what should I read next?

Because of course Iv got these to get through too





Books, the return of Nagash by josh reynolds

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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.

Books, Nagash the Sorceror by Mike Lee

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So, rather than carry on with a series I was some way into, or read something stand alone I started another new series. The time of legends novel Nagash the Sorceror by Mike Lee.
I was torn on what to read next, I’d just finished book for of the Malus Darkblade series and was torn between the fifth and final book or the first of the new End Times series the return of Nagash. In the went i essentially merged the two potentials, Nagash the Sorceror deals with the rise of Nagash and happens to be written by Mike Lee who cowrote the Malus Darkblade books with Dan Abnett. incidentally if anyone can tell me how exactly you cowrite a book please let me know, more specifically how Mike Lee and Dan Abnett cowrote Malus Darkblade

So I got started, not sure what to expect. I’m getting more and more into the Warhammer background, but this is set well before the ‘current’ times, essentially before the Empire and such. One thing Iv found with larger scale Warhammer books is that they rarely get the balance between large battles and the necessary politics, background and setting quite right, but Mike Lee managed this really well by running two timelines, allowing one story to deal with the politics and motivations of Nagash and his allies/enemies whilst the other some time on delved deep into a war torn land and focused primarily on the battles that and military elements of the story,
It was also really interesting to see so many known characters as individuals such as Arkhan the Black were detailed and an overview of Settra was given (although as a dead king who hasn’t been brought back I’m curious to see where he is going to appear). Also the three Dark Elves from the War of Vengeance series had a significant role in the books (not altogether surprising as they head South in the vengeance books, but still pleasant) and appearance from Skaven, Beastmen and Lizardmen (all three at least in an earlier form) as slave armies, showing the spread of life that is potentially going to grow over the next few thousand years.

Undead stories in the Warhammer world have normally followed a similar plot- dead rise up, killing all before them and growing larger by absorbing the dead. As it seems they can’t be defeated somebody gets to the leader, kills him and the army crumble. Because of this I was waiting for it to happen and it did lead to a fairly predictable ending, although at the same time it was dealt with in a different way, (plus Nagash didn’t die) and was far more open ended than any defeat.

I’m now in a mega dilemma

Do I read the next one, or the Final Malus Darkblade book or do I start on the End Times series to avoid mega spoilers as the Warhammer World is devastated?