Saturday, May 31, 2014

7th Edition Munitorium Video Unboxing and Review

  Hiya folks,  Just did a photo/video unboxing of the Collectors edition, err Munitorium edition of the 7th edition rule set.  No opinions on the rules, just a review of the Box Set itself and its qualities.

  Enjoy the vid...

See ya soon...  Be well.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

WH40K 7th thoughts and Achilles LR WIP

  Well, 7th is here and the posturing has begun.  There is much love, much hate and lots of opinions.  I, for one, will not venture forth much for opinions, because it is still too new, but I have to say  like what I see so far.

  The Tourny crowd is much disappointed, and I am too, for them.  There is alot that will have to be modified to make the game competition friendly, but I think the tourny crowd actually likes that, even as they outwardly bemoan the holes and issues with the rules.  This gives them a chance to dig in their heels and get dirty, making the rules work better.  I'm sure they'll figure it out, too.  They're a pretty smart lot.

  For me, I love the rules, and I love the FAQs that came out.  Although my Necron's lost the douche canoe (Ind Char on a CCB) it is still a powerful piece with a standard Necron Lord aboard.  The Grey Wolves got a serious smackdown, and I can only hope a codex issues forth soon for them so they get their identity back.  I love the destruction of JoWW, but still, it leaves the wolves alot like any other chapter of marines, albeit adding wolves and fangs.  But still, I love the clarifications, the straightforward style of the rules and the reduction of ambiguity that has taken place.  The psychic phase is replete with fun, I think, although the boys from Frontline gaming certainly showed how it can get weird... I LOVE the mission cards, and yes, I saw the batrep from FLG on that too.  That was so one sided it almost seemed to be destined to show the cards at their very worst.  But, I have also seen numbers of reports of the cards being just great fun, and not that one sided.  I'm looking forward to using them.  My munitorium edition of the rules came in last night, but I had a 16 hour day at work and will do the unboxing tonight!

  But now, the Achilles!  I got alot more work done, although it doesn't look like it.  I added some more iconography and ended up making molds to cast some pieces for my chapter.  The mold making process chewed up alot of time, because I had to do all the mold making, clean up the hobby room, organize the shelves and so on.  Like any other project, what seemed simple turned into a memorial day weekend consumer. 

  Here is where I am so far, emperor willing, I'll get it primed tonight!

 I cast a smoke discharger from an older kit, I hate the new ones.  This one nestles nicely on the right fender.  It came out well, too.  Once drilled out, it looks very good.
 Yep, newbie model maker mistake #1...  I painted the tracks, then glued them on before I primed the model.  So, my punishment for stupidity is I got to mask them...
More templar icons,  The winged templar icon I made myself from some old Blood angel and templar bits.  My chapter, the Templars Sanguine, fit quite nicely with the logo.  Ready to prime now...  yay!

  See ya soon, be well!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Did 6th Drive a wedge between Wh40k Gamers?

   I wonder sometimes if 6th edition's major problem was that it drove a wedge  between the 2 groups of W40k players and that is why we have a new release so close, in GW years, between editions.

  On the one hand, you have the competitive gamers, or the tournament scene.  6th edition was hard on them.  The death of assault, the downplay of vehicles, wonky wound allocation and all the other changes brought the tournament folks fits.  It was hard to leverage the 6th edition into the tournament scene, and the constant flood of codex's and data-slates did nothing to help.  Now, I'm not a tourney player, I play for fun, but I empathize with the Tourney circuit guys.  This is how they have fun and enjoy the hobby, and if the constant turmoil of the system keeps them from enjoying it, that is bad for everyone.

  Even though I am not a tourney guy, you have to admit that the tournament players are the ones who usually drive the game forward and make good changes to the system, whether adopted by GW or not.  They are interested in a fair, balanced game that provides everyone with a chance to win.  They are the guys who find the flaws, see the weaknesses and identify the absolutely garbage rules.  I have never been a tourney-guy hater, although I do hate the WaaCers.  But I do NOT lump them into the same category at all.  WaaCers are just dicks, the tournament guys are serious, committed gamers and hobbyists who help the hobby in more ways then even they perhaps know.

  On the gripping hand, though, I think 6th edition was a real boon for the narrative and 'play for fun' crowd.  Many old and new codex's became fun to play around with again, and the rules, albeit wonky in places, made for a good narrative game with some fun pieces.  Even the supplements, compendiums, data-slates and expansions all brought fun, new ways to play, while confounding the Tournament guys.

  It strikes me that, although some (perhaps most) would doubt, GW may have looked at 6th and realized that they swung the hammer to far to the other side of the anvil.  In embracing narrative play, they had really dealt a killing blow to the tourney folks.  And let's face it, the tourney guys spend ALOT of money on the hobby, and that talks straight to GWs heart.  I think they saw, from behind the invisible fortress walls, that there were issues, and they knew something had to be done.

  I do not feel, as many others do, that GW has turned hard and cruel toward the gamer community, nor do I think that they embrace the community like they once did.  But being a big company (with shareholders, I might add) is not too easy these days.  If you have an on-line presence, you are setting yourself up for all the haters and providing them a forum to kill you from.  If you pull back your on-line presence, you are labeled a 'hate filled bunch of corporate ass hats'.  So what do you do?  I know I would choose the same road GW did.  Don't give your detractors a free and easy method to kill you.  Suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from behind your high walls.

  We have all seen the previews of 7th edition.  I, for one, like the look of it.  I'll hold off any real judgment until giving the rules a good read, but I think they have done some things to lessen the division between the Narrative crowd and the Tourney crowd.  The mission changes, wound allocation, vehicle, assault changes... all of these things will make for a better game for everyone, I hope.

  So, on the eve of the release of 7th edition, I say to you all, bons champs, mes amis (from the French - Good fields, my friends).  I hope to see you all enjoying 7th edition soon, and I hope you all find what you are looking for!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Forge World HH3, GW Binders and Frontline Gaming Space Mat

  Wow, last week was a big order delivery week.  Seemed like every day I had a new box arriving with stuff in it.  Very fun.  Too bad I was swamped with other things to do!  So without further ado, here are the toys as received;

   The Horus heresy Series book 3 collector's edition.  As if the others weren't good enough, this one takes the cake!  Limited to 1500 copies (mine was 337) and worth every penny, as you might imagine from FW.  The bindings and all the accoutrements are the same high quality as all the others.  This plus the fact that the set makes a nice display for all three books makes it a HUGE plus.  Well done, FW.
  Book 3 is every bit as good as the first two, if not better.  Adding the Raven Guard (yay) sold me, as if I wouldn't have gotten it anyhow.  The Mechanicum information is a huge plus.  The campaign system is totally fresh and new, and from my cursory read through, looks like a lot of fun.  It's a smaller scale than the others, as the battles in this book are mostly smaller scale as well.  There are rules and procedures for heroes and wounds, etc.  Play on a 4'x4' board too.  I have to read more into this and really dig into it, but it looks awesome. 

   The other two books are the compilations of the army lists and gear from the entire trilogy.  A very nice touch and very handy to have compiled into one book.  Love them!!
   Now, does that not look cool?
   Yeah, I did it.  Yes, I think Horus was a wussy (see Horus the Wussy Warmaster) but I did like the guy before he wimped out and went all chaosy.  The miniature is amazing, and I am really looking forward to this one!!
  He has a large base, but he is removable for use on the table as well.  The cast looks solid and clean.

  I also got the Space Battle mat from Frontline gaming, and you can see it underneath all the above pics.  It is the same super high quality as the alpine mat I already have.  These things are really the shiznit.  You gotta get ya some!!
   I got my shipment of GWs new White Dwarf binders.  These are very cool and if you have ever spent time in Europe, you'll be familiar with them.  You don't see them so much over here stateside though.  It is just a binder with 13 very tight strings running along the spine.
   Thar be the strings, see em?  They run lengthwise, along the spine.  There is also some nice art on the inside covers.  I find the easiest way to insert the issues is to scrunch all the strings to the far right side of the binder, then slide one over and insert the magazine.  When your done, you have this...
  It puts 13 magazines into a binder (one quatrter of the year) and at your finger tips.  Keeps them from getting torn up, and some day, when you e-bay them, you'll be able to get more for them :)

  Take care, gentle-readers.  Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dropzone Commander - Game 1 - awesomesauce!

Team UCM - Fu#k YEAH!

  Ok, so I played my first game of Dropzone commander(DZC) using the starter box, and all I can say is... Fu#k Yeah!.  Great game.

  Is it 40k, with all the myriad choice and such, nope.  Is it pure, balls to the wall, good fun, oh heck yeah!

  My friend Mark and I played with the starter rules, and we were immediately struck by the tactical choices offered up on turn 1.  I know, I know, amateurs talk about tactics, professionals talk about logistics, but get this... this scale of game HAS logistics!!!!!  You can "play real war" here and not feel like you are just futzing around with tailored battle lists.  You actually have to try to win this game!
  DZC has a great blend of the old, but totally relevant game style, of teeth and tail.  True strategists know that every army, regardless of era is judged by it's ratio of teeth (fighting men/armor/equipment) to tail (support/AA/logistics/transport).  If you can effectively support the fighting formation in the field, you will win the engagement.  We kicked ass in the desert campaign (Iraq '90-'91) not just because our equipment was better (it was markedly so), but because we could pick the exact time and place of the battles to be fought.  DZC gives you that feeling.  You can choose the strategy, and then the tactics to win the engagement, and ultimately the war.

  DZC has all the trimmings to make it an incredibly fun miniatures game, both for the new gamer and for the students of war.  You have choices to make every single turn, and your choices make  difference on the field, and in the outcome of the game.  Yes, the dice dictate the outcome, but you can, for your part, determine when the dice matter and how much so.  There is not a lot of games like that, and I think major props should be given to the design team at Hawk for their design methodology.  You have a winner here, guys!  (or, in my case... where do I send my money... Just take my money!!)

  And yes, that's another great part of the game.  After this first play of the game, I can see how the units interact, and I know that buying a certain unit is NOT going to guarantee me a win.  There are no death stars here.   You may buy a cool unit, but if you can't figure out how to use it correctly, you just wasted $20...  I love it!

  Oh, and if this glowing review sounds too good to be true... get this... I LOST!  I lost the game 2VP to 1VP.  We had to call it a turn early, but we could see that it would not be a tie, and therefore KP would not be a factor.  Imagine the crap I would be saying if I had won????

  So yes, folks, if you are looking for a GREAT, easy and fun alternative game to play, you need to RUN, not walk to get a copy of Dropzone Commander.  You'll love it.  Provided of course, that you can think and actually understand war and battle.  If you're one of the asshole WAAC 40k players,  then you won't be able to figure out why spending $700 on models didn't win you the game.  (But you're just an asshat anyhow, so it's no big deal.  Crawl back into your deathstar, asshat cave and die, the gaming community does not need you.)

Photos follow.  I must admit, I was too drawn into the game to take enough pics for a proper BATREP.  Sorry.

  Deployment.  I kept my AA and Infantry on their dropships, praying that his AA would not make me pay for my boldness.  I got lucky and feinted with my armor onto the left flank.  

Damn!  He got the initiative and deployed into the building before I could even disembark.  It was going to be ugly if he  found the objective quickly.  (By the way, objectives have to be found, not stumbled upon.  In our game, there were three coconuts to find (I just came back from Hawaii, give us a break!!!))
  His infantry is in the building, mine is barely deployed.  I am a full turn behind in reaction.  Only my tanks are doing well, and that is pure luck of the rolling so far!

  Ahhh, the AA is now in the fray, and exacting a terrible price in scourge forces!  We shall overcome the inhuman invaders!!

   Damnit, how did he get that far.  Fracking Scourge!!!  After a terribly deadly, yet successful CQB, I held the center building.  Giving up on the farthest objective cost me dearly though, as he got it off the board, and I could not take control of the objectives before turn 6 to contest the VPs and force the game to KP totals.  So, the UCM lost by the slimmest of margins, but we shall return, and one day reclaim HOLY TERRA (help me, Space Marines!!! - LOL)

  Seriously, if you are looking for a very challenging, fun and easy to play epic level game, play DZC.  You'll love it!!!!  

Monday, May 5, 2014

DropZone Commander - Starter Set Build

And now... for something completely different.

  Well, it happened.  I have been holding on to this 2 player starter set of Dropzone Commander since Feast of Blades (2103).  An opportunity finally came up to play it, but one big problem.  I found out Saturday night that I would be playing Monday night.  I have to wrok Monday too.  So, a lot of hurried building and frenzied painting later, I present to you, this.  My starter box set all painted (minus the infantry, I have to paint them still, and base them, but I need to learn a bit more about how they will work, squad-wise before I commit to a paint scheme and base scheme.)

Here goes...

 All the models, built and waiting to prime. 
 Thank god for Army Painter colored primers!  The UCM forces got a coating of uniform grey.  I'm going after an alpine theme for them.  The Scourge got Gun Metal primer.  They're going to be... well, scourge color. 
   For the UCM, I used the Sotar 20/20 to spray on some Valejo game color Wolf Grey in a camo pattern.  The metal bits (treads and weapons) got leadbelcher from GW.  After that I hit them with my Payne's Grey wash.  They came out very nice, in person.  The photo kinda sucks a bit.
   The Scourge force got randomly airbrushed with Minitaire Ghost Tint Blue and Valejo Game Color Transparent green.  The eyes got VGC Bloody red and the vents got brown shade.  Makes a convincing rusty color.
   That's it.  A little gloss medium on the eyes and glass areas and they are done.  Took all day, but actual work time was about 4-5 hours.  The rhino is there for size reference.  28mm vs 10mm...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

LR Achilles WIP #2 - Details

  Back home, and got the airplane crud.  Fever and chills, you know, the stuff you get from being on an airplane for 8 hours...  Oh well.  I felt ok for a while and decided to do some more work on the Land Raider Achilles.  And here it is...

 The side door had to be 'wallered' out (enlarged) in order to be able to get the 9 volt battery in and out.  I could have used the cool small battery that PoweredPlay gaming sells (I got two with the kickstarter package) but I wanted to save those for really tight spaces.  I also magnetized the door so it would pop in and out easily.
 Well, every big gun needs ammo, and the more ammo, the better, right?  So I tossed on a bit more ammo.  Added some brass Black Templar bits too.  The Ammo crate didn't look right though.  It would fall off if the thing accelerated...
   So, I put the twist on some copper wire and made a couple of swages.  I used  bent up paper clip for the grab irons. 
   Then I got a bit crazy with the grab irons and I figured this beast would need a tow cable too.  So on went a few more grabs and a tow rope.  Had a little fun with it.
 Every tank needs a number, Thank you MrJustin at SecretWeaponMiniatures for the roman numerals!
  Last, but not least, Squadron green putty to fill all the gaps.  I still have to sand it all smooth and make it look good, but she is basically ready to prime.