Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's Here... Horus Heresy Book 4 - Overview

  It's here, it's really here!  Like Christmas in November, my forgeworld box arrived today!

  Alas, the tale is bittersweet, as the book's slipcase suffered damage in the journey to my doorstep.  I doubt if I will ask FW for a replacement, since it is only the slipcase and not anything on the inside, but I may just email them pictures in hope that they toughen up their packaging.

  For those who do not know, this book covers Horus' actions after the Isstvan events, as he starts his 'crusade' into the imperium towards Holy Terra.  It covers a bunch of Knight houses, the Solar Auxilia of the Imp Guard and more Mechanicum goodness.  There is also a new campaign system, something I always look forward to in hopes it can be adapted to 40k easily.  I'm dying to get into bed and start reading this bad boy!

  I will not be reviewing the book just yet, I always say I will, but I hardly ever get to it.  This is just an overview of what came in.  On with the pictures!!!

 The slipcase with ye olde eye 'o Horus on it.  You can kind of see the damage here on the left side and the two bottom corners.  On the back side is the much better Imperial Aquila!
   Closeup of the worst damage.  At 90 pounds ($140), I kind of expect better packaging, so I may just fire off an e-mail tonight on this.
   But on to the innards... or 30k goodness.  On the left is the double sided, very heavy stock, twin sided poster.  More shots of this later, suffice to say for now that it is beautiful.  In the middle, the meaty bits, or the book itself.  On the right side, the 4 card stock laminated reference sheets.
  As always, a beautiful presentation, gilded pages, metal edges, all very nice.  It looks like they changed the way they glue the picture onto the cover, for there are no raised corners and it seems slightly inset into the cover.  Hopefully no more delamination issues.
   Gilded edges.  That gap is caused by the bookmark, not damage or spine problems.
   The four reference sheets.  One each for special rules and notes, Weapons of the Mechanicum, Weapons of the Space Marines, and weapons of the Solar Auxilia.  A very nice inclusion, I think.

  The two sides of the poster.  It is printed on very heavy card-stock, very durable.  This might be a candidate for a frame, but it would have to be back-folded and mounted very well in order to look good.

  So, there ya go.  The package in a nutshell.  Hopefully I'll get the guts up to review the contents, but I'm always leary of that, since I'm a newb!! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

GW Project Box and more...

  Okay, okay so I'm weak.  I am also a sucker.  Sue me :)

  I did it, I ordered one of these project boxes and the cutting mat that goes into it.  I just had to it.  Mostly because of Sundays.  Sundays means Football or NASCAR in my house, and that means sitting in the living room, not the hobby room.  I reasoned that if I had a handy-dandy project box, I could do stuff in the living room while I watched... yeah, that was it.  So I took the plunge.  While I know it's not for everyone, and it is a pretty 'useless' extravagance, it is kinda cool... kinda.  And because I ordered other stuff too, it came in this awesome GW-40k awesome re-giftable box of 40k goodness!

  The cutting mat is... well, a cuting mat.  It is neither exciting nor ground-breaking in any way, but it certainly has that cutting mat property and is self healing.  It does, indeed, fit into the little niche provided for it in the lid of the project box. 

  The "palette pad" is just glossy paper that paint won't seem to let the paint soak in.  For that matter, it will not function as a wet palette either, so I would advise avoiding those.

  The gift box is, well, it's kind of awesome.  It has great art and great symbology on the outside and the inside!  It has a sealing strip and easy opening zip-top, so you can use it as a great gift box for that someone special in your 40k world.  After the jump, there are a bunch of pictures with captions so you can see what I mean.

  The project box is also pretty cool.  When you open the locking sides, the top comes off to reveal... the inside.  The top flips to be a work station and has some great designs cast into it.  It has little feet to protect your desk or table, but I may have to swap them out for some rubber feet to keep the 'slide' factor down.

  Just inside is the paint tray that holds a crap-ton of paints (49) and is removable, so if your current project doesn’t include paints, you can leave that behind.  Inside is open wells for glues, tools and other stuff, including your project that you're working on in the project box... hence the name.

  I thought, at first, that the tool holder design, with the raised 'ramps' was a bit of space waster, but I actually found it was handy to see the tools and brushes pretty easily and grab the 'safe' parts rather than the cutty-stabby bits.  (When you have 50 year old eyes, that's handy...)

  There is a lot of room in the box for stuff, and the locking lid makes it kind of handy.  I can see tossing this in the car for the weekend getaways so I can some work done when wifey goes to sleep.

  Is it for everyone?... no.  Is it pretty decently designed and useful?... yes.  Is it a 'must have ground-breaking 40k improving thing'?... nope.  Would it make a decent gift?... yes.  Will your 40k circle of friends laugh at you for having one... probably :)  But screw them, it's your life.

  If you have to take your toys on the road, or need to switch rooms now and then, get one, it's just cool enough to work for that.  (oh, and make a wet palette according to my instructional video and use that...)

  After the jump, tons of pictures and captions...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Leviathan - A Review

  It's here, it's here!!!  I was able to go to Active Imagination (my FLGS) on Friday and pick up a copy of Leviathan.  I was really jazzed, since it sold out almost immediately from the website (thanks Ben!!!)  A bout with kidney stones kept me from reviewing it right away, but here goes!

  Very cool, all in all.  The box set is divided into two books, one fluff and one rules.

  The rules book is pretty solid with six new Echoes of War missions that recreate the fluff battles from the other book.  They each have a little twist, but they are also rather limited since the sides are set.  Two of the missions are for Adeptus Sororitas (Sister of Battle) vs Tyranids and the other four are Adeptus Militarum (Imp Guard) vs Nids.  But that could be remedied easily enough, we all know how to do that...  The design of the missions do seem to capture the feel of the fluff from the book, so that makes them pretty cool.

  After the missions comes the Cities of Death rules, which are, again, pretty cool.  Cities of death used to be it's own book, and I bet they will release a book for these as well, in a separate release.  It comes with 66 new objectives tailored around a seriously urban terrain setup.  In fact, to do these missions, the seriously recommend that you have at least 6 good sized building/ruins terrain pieces.  Of course, the more, the merrier.  All objectives in these missions have to be in buildings or ruins.  There are also 6 missions with deployments and set ups.  It all looks very interesting and should add some spice to your game table in the near future.  There are no stratagems or campaign rules, which I had kind of hoped for, but the rules for achieving the objectives and the 66 new 'cards' will certainly capture the feel of an urban war, I think.  As always, keep in mind that city fights tend to equalize shooty-heavy armies with opponents that might not be that good at more open terrain.  Having limited lines of sight and tons of cover makes for more close-in fighting...  Me likey!

  Following the cities of death is the Death from the Skies section.  Regurgitated from the previous two incarnations (Crusade of Fire and ... errr... ummm... I forgot where they printed these before) and have nothing new at all.  Just the bare bones rules for fighter aces that cost +35 points and give some odd benefits.  Some are very cool, some are useless for the points.  Still, it might be a fun twist to add by mutual agreement in a pre-game discussion.

  Then comes the Tyranid section.  All the new Tyranid stuff is all here, the data sheets for the new and improved models as well as a few new formations for the Nids.  I'm not terribly familiar with the Nid formations, but these do seem to offer some flexibility that I am sure Nid players will really enjoy.  I will not let the wife see this book :)

  So, the rulebook is pretty solid, overall and worth the effort to get. 

  The fluff book is the heavyweight here and is, as could be predicted, gorgeous!  152 pages of some very well done, if a bit drawn out, fluffy goodness.  I am only about 1/3 of the way through a full reading of it, but it is very good throughout.  This book presents the forces of the Astra Militarum and the Adeptus Sororitas against a splinter of hive fleet Leviathan.  An odd choice of forces for the first book in what they describe as a new campaign series, but they tie it together in a way that makes sense.

  The part of it that makes me laugh a little is how open ended it 'seems' to be.  From the mapping (and the title... duh) we know that this is going to be the debut for the roll-out of the Blood Angels.  There also seems to be a lot of spots for almost anything to be added to this framework.  For me, I cannot wait for the BA release to see if they will be vanilla, castrated marines or if they will have some flavour remaining.  I fear that they might bring them out neutered (like so many other codex releases) and then pump them up down the road.  I hope not, but it might happen.

  There is a great deal of art in this book, lots of armies on parade pictures too.  There is also a great deal of well written fluff in here that ties the whole thing together.  I like the snippet stories that are all through the book and give that 'history as it happens' feel to the story.  I almost get the feeling that the last chapter is not written yet, as if it was like the old days with the world-wide campaigns??

  So, to wrap up, this is a very good set, IMHO, with very few disappointing aspects to it.  Some parts are just cobbled in from other things, but it does make for a good reference for all the recent releases.  For the first time in a while, I can justify saying that you are getting what you pay for here.  It's a solid release with a little bit of something for everyone and a treasure for the Nid players.  If you can get your paws/claws/hands/augmetic limbs on one, go for it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

New (small) rulebook and Nid Dice...

  Picked up the new, smaller rulebook from GW on the pure chance that it would be cool.  While it is smaller than the big rulebook, it is not smaller than the paperback rulebook that was in the Stormclaw set.  This leaves me really confused about where this thing "fits" in the product line.  Let me show you...

A tiny bit larger than the paperback version.

A lot thicker than the paperback version.
  I guess it fits in because the Stormclaw was a limited run thing, so the paperback copies are kind of rare, and this version will be on the product line for a bit.  So, the Pros and Cons...

  • Very easy to read format.  Will be handy at the table and in lower light situations (like tournaments, where I can never seem to get enough light)
  • All the rules presented in order...  :)
  • 3, count'em three bookmarks.  (sounds silly, but it is handy to have certain sections marked out)
  • The reference and index sections from the big rulebook.  very handy!!
  • $58.00
  • The most recent FAQs are NOT in it.
So, I can recommend this if you want to make your kit smaller and you have the spare change...

More pics to follow for completeness sake.  At the end is a couple of pics of the Tyranid Dice tin.