Monday, January 26, 2015

My workstation

Just reorganized the madness a little, figured I'd show off what I have going for me in terms of where I work on the hobby.

Typically models are on display on the shelf above the desk, but they were all packed up for gaming right now.

That is not a picture of me in the middle. But you can either think of me as the guy to the left of him or the one in all black to the right.
On the desk is a tactical squad WIP, Scout Squad WIP, Scout Snipers WIP, Death Company WIP, Imperial Knight WIP, 2 SM Jetbikes WIP, Carnifex WIP, Warlord Games French Napoleonic Infantry WIP and Wargames Factory Samurai build WIP

The lighting is really just cheap clamp on work lights from lowes with some good bulbs. I have a cutting mat and then a linoleum tile for painting on. If you want to know about any of the storage, just ask in the comments.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Why NOW I would start "The Hobbit" or "Lord of the Rings"

So I have advocated heavily against these games in the past. But I may have had a change of heart recently. I think at the same time now though so has GW, unfortunately in reverse of what I would have considered.

So the Lord of the Rings had it success back in the day. The problem was the game was a product of the movies and lost momentum as the movies became older. Additionally, alot of the "cool" aspects of a Wargame in Middle Earth were missing. Hordes of Mordor versus the legions of Gondor or the Tide of Rohan. But the game was a Skirmish Game instead, focusing on the fights between heroes, and only well after the movies were gone did they try to make it a battle game with their War of the Ring Expansion, which seemed to actually bring some interest back to the game.

BUT then they did the Hobbit and went back to their old skirmish model. What is unfortunate in particular this time is the price went up, and this was the source material they had to work with:
It didn't even work in CGI. Let alone this mini:
To be honest, David Bowie as a Goblin King is better than that.
But now that Battle of Five Armies is out, the have a PLETHORA of potential for miniatures. I almost wondered if during the movie if particular certain things were designed with a model in mind. I can tell you that if a Dwarves of the Iron Hills Army was made I WOULD BUY IT AND PAINT IT. If for nothing else than the pleasure of owning that army.
Unfortunately, other than a handful of heroes, all quietly released, I have seen nothing for this game system.

The problem is until BoFA, the Hobbit world didn't support a battle system because the story didn't. No one wanted to play the Escape from Goblin Town game because no one wanted to play the story of the escape from Goblin Town. They wanted to play Balin's battles in Moria, or Pelinor Fields, or the Last Alliance OR THE BATTLE FOR FIVE ARMIES.
If they would pack up Army Sets and just release a core rule book called "Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game" WITH War of the Ring rules in it. This way you can play either Skirmish or Battle. Then make several army sets for the different factions. It will sell. Removing the particular movies from the context (instead of LotR, or Hobbit Unexpected Journey, etc. etc.) opens it up more to new players more as they know they are getting the total Tolkien world, not just an aspect of it. Add in 4-5 faction books (Kingdoms of Men, Shadow of Mordor, Elves, Dwarves, Fallen Realms) and you have it. Go with box sets rather than just clampacks and you would have more interest.
FURTHERMORE with all the rumoured changes to Warhammer Fantasy Battles with 9th edition, you would have a possibly attractive alternative to people that want to jump ship but not go Sci-Fi with 40k. Right now they have Malifaux and the Iron Kingdoms of Warmahordes to run to for that, and if the rumors are true I think many people will.

Alas though, this survivable way forward for the game will fall on deaf years and it will fade away like specialist games and have a core dedicated fan base. I will keep an eye out over the years to see if someone finally does my Iron Hills armies in miniatures. I just can tell GW has lost interest and likely won't.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's all about that Base, 'bout that Base... and Rubble (Cheap Slate Basing)

I am sorry for the terrible pun.

So I knew I needed to spice up my larger bases. Looking at my Jetbike Captain online I had to do SOMETHING. With my infantry the snow was enough IMO. It gets really busy really quickly if you start adding stuff to a snow base without enough room. BUT a large base feels entirely empty with just snow.

With this in mind I decided I needed slate.
So I went to Lowes, though I am sure any home improvement store would work. I checked the garden section and the stone section and could find NOTHING. My last hope was flooring.
I found for about 80 cents each a selection of slate bathroom tiles. I bought 5 of them for less than $5. I took them home and double wrapped them in plastic bags and took a regular hammer and a mallet. Outside on my patio (or your driveway, just make sure it is a hard surface you can't damage) and while wearing eye protection, I started smashing the tiles (one to two at a time). The great thing about this is you can get a majority at what ever desired size you want. I got a mix of large and small bits.
Once I had reduced these all to rubble, I put the bits into a plastic colander and rinsed it all with a hose to wash off the dirt and really small bits. I then let them dry overnight. The next day (with only 5 tiles remember) I had this:
Marine for reference purposes only
Now it is all sorts of assorted colours, but with a little drybrushing of a grey/white mixture, and some snow and flock I get these results.

So if you need slate, I recommend giving this a try, as it was super cheap and yielded great results IMO.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Predictions for GW AD MECH and Harlequin Supplements

So there is ALOT of chatter floating about the interwebs concerning two pictures of suppossed AD MECH Skitarii.
I for one am slightly skeptical, and if these are in fact Skitarii, a little dissapointed. I always imagined they being much more ferocious looking and covered with totems and icons and such. Just thought, from all the descriptions that they should OOZE savagery. The above images seen too clean, and not bulky enough, or enhanced enough (guns built into arms etc. etc.)
Close, but with more wolf pelts and armour.
Kinda like this actually.
HOWEVER that is not the point of the post.

I bet you this year we will see a Skitarii release. But it will not be a whole faction like some people think or want. That would cut into Forge World and 30k WAY TO MUCH.

What I think you will see is a small supplemental codex like Codex Inquisition or Codex Imperial Knight. Basically the rules for 1-3 units, some wargear and that is about it. There will be a detachment and likely a formation, but it will be like an Imperial Knight or Inquisitor detachment, so you don't have to take a full allied detachment or CAD.

Along with this you will get a single boxed set of Skitarii. Maybe 2 to 3 sets at most (Skitarii, Preatorians, some sort of HQ).

NOW What you will see is Forge World incorporating this squad into their 30k AD MECH lists, so it can be used both ways. This way they also don't have to reinvent the highly successful FW AD MECH and it would explain why FW has not yet done the most prevalent of AD MECH soldiery.
Now for Harlequins. It will basically be the same thing I believe. A limited supplement with a special Harlequin Troupe detachment so you don't have to take additional Eldar or DE. Possibly a plastic resculpt of the Harlequins, maybe a blister pack with a Solitaire and/or Death Jester. But it will not be a full faction, just something on the scale of Codex Inquisition. Wargear, 2-4 units, possibly a warlord table. Detachment, Formation, done.

To me this seems a way more likely and honestly feasible way to introduce these forces and factions into the 40k gaming pool. And it fits the general concept of 2015 being the year of Campaigns and Supplements. In fact, both of these mini-factions would be perfect additions to a campaign the month prior to or after a major release.

And it would finally give me reason to paint the harlequin troupe I have sitting in a drawer without having to invest in a whole new army.

Blood Angels Venerable Furioso Astramael- Completed Metal Furioso Dreadnought w/ Freehanded Banner

So I have had this guy since 3rd Edition. I had painted him back when I was in 7th Grade and eventually stripped him in college and had him sitting around for years. When I got my Forge World Blood Angels brass etch, I decided it was time to break him out and give it a go, adding some iconography to his plainer metal features. Additionally, I had the old school Blood Angels Honour Guard banner which was perfect to go on the hull of the dreadnought. I pinned the banner in place using a broken drill bit from a pin vice. I based the design off the actual BA 2nd Co banner, and altered it to read "The Blooded", the name of 2nd Co, and removed some detail (the grail) since it isn't the company banner. Possibly it is Astramael's personal heraldry from when he was a Captain?
I'll go over basing of him in my next post.

As for his name, this is an actual BA Furioso as mentioned in the 5th ed codex. Pg 14, it talks about the Assault on Baal in 798.M41. An Ork Waaagh! known as Big Skorcha invaded the Baal system with 3 Space Hulks. Dante led most of the Chapter onto the hulks and managed to destroy two of them, but the last got through to Baal, with the Warboss himself leading the assault on the Fortress Monastery. Unfortunately for him the compliment of chapter dreadnoughts (all 41) had been left to guard the fortress, and were led by Astramael. The force of dreads nearly destroyed all the Orks prior to reinforcements arrived.

Now for pictures!