Monday 23 May 2016

Blessings of the Plaguefather - Back on the (Rotting) Horse.

Now you may remember a while back I did a 'what's coming in the future months' type of post which said over the coming two to three months we would see a number of things being tackled.

Well that was somewhat swept under the rug when I decided to redo the spare/hobby room.

Since then I've only worked on the Militia. On the one hand there isn't much left of them to do...on the other I need to work on something else as a break.

So going back to that previously ignored post it says that I wanted to get at least one unit of the Daemons from a PIP or WIP state to a finished one.

As such that is what I will be looking at next, I have a number of WIP or PIP units/models in the force that with a bit of effort will get finished.

Here is the current state:

On there prime examples of units to finish off are the three PIP Nurgling bases...

...and the second Blight Drone.

Now I have a new unit to add to the chart. I mentioned that I would be looking to buy this at Warhammer Fest, they didn't have one there (as expected) so I had to wait to the weekend for it to arrive.

The plan is to use the Mourngul as a Daemon Prince in the Nurgle force. I admit to not being a big fan of Daemon Princes in Daemon armies, I prefer all pure bred Daemons (that probably doesn't make sense). The main thing I wanted to arrive is to have any Space Marine links. This guy looks creepy and is suitably large enough.

How could anyone not like a fellow with a face like this?

I may make a few changes to the face to give him more of a visual link to Nurgle Deamons, possibly remove an eye hole and replace with a horn.

The awkward bit will be the claw where he will be fixed to the base. The Mourngul is modelled with his one claw grasping onto a dead horse. A dead horse doesn't really fit so I need to replace it with something else. A rock probably.

Might need to give him an appropriate back story.

Everyone likes a tragic back story.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Into The Archives - My Early White Dwarf Reads (Part Three)

White Dwarf #126

We are now into the June 1990 issue...

The cover artwork this month is an untitled piece by Colin Sullivan.

As with the previous two posts the Contents page shows the diversity of content.

Interestingly you can also see that there is a boxed section at the bottom listing the adverts. Unsurprisingly this wasn't in later White Dwarfs, you could argue in later ones any advert listings would have been longer than the contents listing.

News Section:

There are a few things to note in the News Section, mention of upcoming releases such as Genestealer for Space Hulk, the Eldar army list for 40k and new Epic army lists (Squats!). Also the Space Ork Battlewagon - one of the first GW kits I ever got (a Christmas present I think, awesome kit).

Also Space Crusade is announced with some previews of the models. Heroquest was my first real foray into GW games, I never actually bought Space Crusade, though I played it may times. I did pick up Advanced Space Crusade which was a blast.

Now who else remembers that at one point Games Workshop had a Record Label...? I can remember that in one White Dwarf it was mentioned Brian May from Queen visited and had actually played on a couple of tracks for a band on the label. Odd to think that actually happened now.

Even back in 1990 people were looking at a possible Warhammer or 40k film...and in this issue GW actually made mention of a possible Deathwing film, alas (or maybe that was for the best) it didn't happen.

Something worth showing is how few stores there were back in 1990. Even with full addresses being shown they more than easily fit on one page...25 in total, of which only three were outside the UK.

Space Marine - Epic Space Marines.

Space Marine Regiments in the Horus Heresy to be exact, with the news coming out of Warhammer Fest recently this is an appropriate time to show this article.

I have to admit even though I hadn't picked up Epic yet I still got photocopies of the pages and cut out the counters to create my own Marine Regiment.

The vast bulk of the article is how to form the regiments, organise things and rules etc. There is still some nice background information contained within though about the organisations and how they work.

A couple of the most interesting pages to now look back on are those discussing some of the Founding Chapters (note, Chapters not Legions), though the Ultramarines possessing the largest number of Techmarines doesn't really ring true anymore.

The bit of background each one gets sounds familiar all these years later, but there are a few things to note. In particular The Dark Angel's Death Wing was not just Terminators as it also included Devastators and Assault Marines, though these could be upgraded to Elite.

Space Marine - Knights.

Another article for Epic, this time covering both Human and Eldar Knights. Quite a comprehensive piece giving all the background to both factions and all the rules to select and use Knights in games of Space Marine.

Since their reintroduction into 40k in recent years the background has been revised significantly, though many of the core points still remain, especially with the human Knightly Houses.

Hey, Forge World, any chance we can have a Bright Stallion? A four legged Knight would be so cool.

Space Hulk - Genestealer.

This is not an article but one of the adverts (as listed on the Contents Page...) for the Space Hulk expansion I mentioned earlier in the News section.

I did love Space Hulk. My first 'full' GW game, rather than the GW/MB combined effort that was (also excellent) Heroquest.

Genestealer introduced two big things to Space Hulk, Psychic Powers and Hybrids. The recent Genestealer Cult models owe a lot of their design heritage to the Hybrids brought in with Genestealer. While I avidly added Librarians and psychic powers to my games of Space Hulk looking back now I can see it was a bit clunky with how the psychic powers worked. It was fun though.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - Marienburg.

Now you may remember me saying I loved the WFRP articles, even though I never played it. In the last WD we had the Plague Daemon WFRP article which I liked but this is the sort of article I really loved to read (and re-read).

Here we have the sort of 'low-level' characters that would have no place in a Warhammer Fantasy Battle army or article. Instead of Kings, Wizards, Generals or great warriors these people are the run of the mill citizens of the Old World, though they may not be so run of the mill as you might think...which is what makes them so interesting. The dark secrets or hidden tales they have can be fascinating. Even if they are the dregs of society they always have a story to tell.

I don't know why I liked the maps and plans so much but they were always a highlight to me.

Warhammer 40,000 - Madboyz

What can you say about Madboyz? They are the Orks of this period at their most unpredictable and, well, mad.

Much has been said about how the early Ork character in 40k had far more comedy (for want of a better term). They were more drunken yobs than the bestial ferocity of today.

As a 13 year old this article was brilliant and I can still look at it now with amusement, but would despair at trying to use them in 40k nowadays due to there being so many tables and random rolls etc.

But they were fun.

I would love if Madboyz could be brought back to the Orks, a more streamlined version bringing back some fun to the Greenskins of the Grimdark.

So much of the Ork nature has been changed over the years and so much of their character has been cut away that I look at the recent Codex books and despair. The Klans have all but gone other than in paint scheme, the fun has been cut away, units have been lost and the madness and creativity seems to have been forgotten about.

Have a read of the tables below (just two of the 10 behaviour tables they had), don't you want a bit of this madness in your life?*

* though not ten bloody tables of it obviously...

'Eavy Metal.

Final thing to show, this is the back cover of the issue showing Genestealers, Hybrids and Terminators.

I had that Patriarch model once. I can't remember when I got rid of it, wish I hadn't.

And that is that for #126.

Next up #127 in a week or so, including the Eldar Army List...

Monday 16 May 2016

Warhammer Fest 2016 - Part Five - Thoughts and a few extra pictures.

So a final post covering Warhammer Fest.

You may remember that I decided to go to Warhammer Fest relatively last minute after originally having no intention or thought to go.

After the last Games Day I went to was so disappointing I thought I wouldn't be tempted into going to it's replacement. I remember the reviews of the first Fest were hardly spectacular, but of late I thought it was somewhat unfair to just dismiss the event without actually attending one and seeing what it was like first hand.

I have to admit the fact it was the first big event the new Specialist Games team would be attending showing off Blood Bowl was something of an incentive in me deciding this year would be the first time I attended.

So, what did I think?

Overall I have to say it was a pretty good day.

Compared to Games Day it is a far more relaxed and chilled event. There isn't the overriding feeling of having to rush around and get things in ASAP.

It seems to be a more 'adult' orientated event, while I still miss the days of gaming groups/stores building great terrain and converting models for the gaming tables it means you don't get the hordes of screaming kids. Or what we had one year at Games Day someone running an Apocolypse game near us shouting through a megaphone every five minutes. That was somewhat annoying. And by somewhat annoying I of course mean that the megaphone was close to being rammed where the sun doesn't shine.

Even the sales area seemed a chilled place, other than a big queue for Forge World early on it seemed quiet and well set out. Games Day was always horrendous, something like a mix of the mosh pit from a hardcore gig and a 50% off sale at Next.

There was a nice spread of different things you could dabble with if so inclined. While not my cup of tea I saw many taking advantage of the computer games area and trying out a number of titles, while never packed (that I saw, though I only went in their briefly) it looked like every seat was occupied. Likewise the gaming tables (nothing special, just regular WHW gaming tables which was a shame, would have liked to have seen some themed boards) had some traffic. There was certainly a good number of people who took part in the Warhammer Quest demo games and in the Bitz Box Challenge.

While I didn't see Golden Demon as I went on the Saturday I envision it would have been a better experience than we often had at Games Day. It was always so disappointing that you just could never get to see the models in the competition due to a mass of bodies which rivalled that of the sales area. On the Saturday the Staff Armies were on display and with a more chilled and relaxed attitude - and a much smaller number of people attending you had the time to browse the cabinets without being pushed or having to squeeze yourself into gaps, every time I tried to look at Games Days I always went away frustrated and annoyed and feeling I barely saw anything.

Having the Staff Armies on display meant that even without Golden Demon you got to see cabinets full of characterful models, full of great conversions and paint jobs. It was something that was a nice touch so that those there Saturday didn't feel they missed out. It would have been very easy to just have not thought of anything, gold star to the person who thought of it.

Warhammer World had a nice stand, a couple of their themed boards were on show highlighting the sort of things you can see if you go there. Also a mock up of a new display that will be appearing in the exhibition soon, this was a nice touch as I do like to see how these displays are put together and the planning behind them. They also had a display piece based on the Warhammer Quest board. I'll put a picture of two of this at the end of the post. Was good to see Spikeyjames, aka James Karch who is part of the Warhammer World team, in attendance and as always he (as are all the staff who take part in these events) was happy to have a quick chat.

The Demonstration Pods at Fest are so much better than the similar things they tried at Games Day. It isn't that the Games Days demos were poorly run or had poor quality people doing them etc, it was just in an environment that really didn't suit them. Stuck in a big room with people pouring past, shouting coming from the gaming tables and so on meant that the demos were just overwhelmed. Here though the quieter, smaller rooms meant they were easier to attend and follow, certainly something I'd look to take advantage of in the future.

There were other things and other stands at the event but I can't really say much about them as I didn't take part, look hard enough etc. These included a stand for White Dwarf and Black Library Author Signings.

I only attended one seminar, a Forge World one but it was very good (they always are). Being in a separate, dedicated room meant these were very easy to follow. I had been to a couple run at Games Day and they suffered from the same problem the demonstrations had. They were just swamped by the noise from everything around them.

One problem there was though was getting tickets to see the Seminars. I asked around four people where you got them from and each one said something different - not one of them knew but told me where they thought you could get them. Unfortunately the tickets go quick as they are just handed out to people - these include people who aren't actually interested in going but take a ticket anyway, just in case. Thankfully I got in by going to the door and waiting, they had a number of seats free (people taking tickets and not going) so I and about ten others were allowed in. I'm just glad they ran each seminar twice otherwise the chance of seeing one would have been almost none.

The star of the event, as at every other event frankly, was Forge World.

I think from the posts I have already put up you can see Forge World and Specialist Games put on a great show with lots to see and as always they were very open to discuss things. Things months, if not years in advance are discussed openly.

Andy Hoare especially was excellent. As head of the new Specialist Games department you can imagine he had a lot of people asking him questions about what is planned and what is going to happen with 'x' game etc. Bar the Forge World sales area the Blood Bowl stand looked the busiest part of the entire event. I think I went back about four times to ask him even more questions and he was always happy to talk, even though he was probably answering questions he had already answered a dozen times.

I am sure those who work in Forge World, including Specialist Games, have many of the same strains, working environment or corporate limits as those in the GW Studio, but there is something about FW with their more open nature that is so refreshing and what endears them to many who attend the events they take part in. To see such talented people, whether they be designers, writers or painters, who are so enthusiastic about the games & models they produce and the hobby in general given almost a free reign to discuss what they have done, what they are doing and what they hope to be doing is such a great thing. Whether it is a veteran of the company like Andy Hoare talking about Blood Bowl or the new games they will be doing (some years away) or it is Emma Ayres who has only been working at Forge World for a short time talking about the first book she has worked on (the next Imperial Armour book) it is hard not to be swept up with the enthusiasm. summary...

I remember leaving the last Games Day I attended being disappointed and frustrated. I felt that I had wasted money to attend (from memory it was £30 ticket plus £10 to park) and felt that GW were taking the piss with the poor show they were putting on.

I left Saturday feeling far, far more positive. The environment was much better, the day was far more chilled and relaxed and I felt you could get far more out of the day.

Of course it wasn't perfect. Given a choice in only attending 'Fest or the Forge World Open Day I would have to go with the latter but it would be a far closer decision than I thought it would be.

Writing this up has actually made my feelings on the event go up. Looking back with fresh eyes made me realise it was probably better than I first thought.

Good chance I'll go next year.

Ok, that was a lot longer that I expected it would be. Took an age to write all that.

For those of you who managed to get through it all, and for those who just skipped it to see if there was anything shiney here are some more pics from the day:

I think all these first ones were from the Forge World cabinets showing staff armies:

From the Staff armies display:

Specialist Games Lord of the Rings board:

'New' Forge Word Heresy Board - I say new as it is made up from pieces done for the Calth board and the World Eaters board they had at the Weekender.

From the Warhammer World Stand:

Upcoming AoS piece for the exhibition hall

Warhammer Quest display

And that's that.

Saturday 14 May 2016

Warhammer Fest 2016 - Part Four - Lord of the Rings, Adeptus Titanicus and Age of Sigmar

Final post covering today with pictures of new models and things to come.

The first two highlight what else is coming from Specialist Games.

Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit.

We have a 'new' terrain piece, it has actually been sitting on a shelf for two years waiting for it's day to come.

It looks a very nice kit. It is plastic and is very versatile it seems. The board below was built using this kit.

We have the first of some new units. This will be in resin and produced by Forge World.

Adeptus TItanicus.

Ok, not exactly much to show here except the poster below.

However talking to Andy Hoare, Mark Bedford and Chris Drew I can mention the following:

The game is set during the Horus Heresy in the spirit of the original Adeptus Titanicus.
It will begin with just Titans.
The scale will be 8mm - They decided on this scale after 3D printing a Marine, Dread, Leman Russ, Warlord and a Mastodon in three different scales. 8mm was deemed the best as you could see the details to the point of telling different armour marks apart but didn't make the Titans too big.
8mm will make a Warlord around 6" tall (that's what it looked like why Andy Hoare put his hands apart, don't blame me if the final model is smaller or larger...).
The models will be produced in resin by Forge World.
Typical force may be in the region of two Warlords, two Reavers and two-three Warhounds.
More Titan variants are possible.
Down the road infantry and tanks are to be introduced.
Other forces are also possible, this includes Xenos which can be introduced in a themed expansion, e.g. Adeptus Titanicus: Armageddon to bring in the Orks.
Currently the Titans are being 3D modelled by Chris Drew, the Warlord has been done as the 40k version was originally 3D modelled so it was a case of just scaling things down and getting it to work as a model which can be manufactured.

We may, may, get to see something at the Forge World Open Day...(may, depending on Tony Cottrell)

Age of Sigmar:

Forge World have a couple of things in the works. One pretty big, one massively big.

The pretty big Fimir leader, with alternative head option.

Amusingly Alan Bligh had to google translate the phrase 'his cloak is made of human skin' while telling the painter how he needed to be painted...he now had the phrase in several language for future reference.

And the massively big Khornate Dragon.

And that is the final post for today showing pictures of new models and giving information I picked up.

I'll do one of two follow up posts of anything else I grabbed a picture of.