29/12/2011

Flames of War, Hunting on the Eastern Front

Well since moving and due to a general lack of space for anything 40k related at home I have been looking at Flames of War again. Its smaller 15mm scale makes my small living room floor makes for a much better battlefield when the tanks are only 2 inches long! (that is if the cat doesn’t get involved)

 

Anyway I have taken the plunge with some Christmas money and made my first post Open Fire (The FoW started kit) purchases.

elefant

First of are 3 Elefant Panzerjagers. I’m having a go at creating the 653 Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung. This plus my two StuG G’s from Open Fire give me an awesome tank destroying force. They are going to be needing that firepower because on the other side of the living room floor will be:

KV1

10 Zvezda (courtesy of the Plastic Soldier Company) Soviet KV-1e’s. Since playing World of Tanks I have fallen in love with this early war Soviet behemoth and am hoping to build a late war Guard Heavy Tank Regiment but before being refitted with the IS-2. This was available on the FOW website as a free PDF but it has been removed and placed in the Red Bear book.

 

I look forward to unboxing them and pushing them around the floor, cat permitting of course.

BTW for more info on the Russian Zvezda kits take a look over at antons wargame blog, there is some great content there with plenty info for FoW gaming on a budget.

12/12/2011

12/12/2011 an update

 

Ok so I haven't posted for a while (again!). In all honesty this has mostly been down to moving house (now living in Gloucester) and a host of other grown up stuff that I as a 32 year old should be well experienced at coping with but clearly am not (I mean in this day and why should I take 2 mins out of my busy schedule of watching Beasts of War and playing World of Tanks to record a meter reading or go to Tescos customer services because an offer on Frij milkshake hasn't worked? Oh? The limited edition isn't part of the offer? WELL DON’T PUT IT RIGHT NEXT TO ALL THE OTHER F*CK*NG FRIJ MILKSHAES THAT ARE IN THE OFFER THEN!)

 

Rant Over

 

In real terms living in a new place has given me easier access to both GW Gloucester and the Cheltenham Warchiefs gaming group oh and my Roleplaying buddies over at IWARPUK but in all honesty I haven't had a chance to go to any of them since moving, and now with the Christmas season being upon us (and me feeling rather Christmassy this year) I doubt I will have a chance this year.

 

but…  there is always next year and I hope to lead or more true gamer lifestyle from this January onwards.

Watch this space

13/09/2011

The Codex Astartes is a Lie!

 

After the terrible events of the Horus Heresy it was Robute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines that would have the longest lasting effect on the remaining loyalist Astartes Legions. In his legendary tome the Codex Astartes, he covered all aspects of Astartes warfare. From squad organisation, heraldry and unit markings, tactics and deployment. However the greatest effect he would have was his decision to see the once proud Legions decimated into Chapters of no more than 1000 marines.

Ten thousand years later the majority of the estimated thousand remaining Astartes Chapters claim to adhere to the Codex. Some like the Space Wolves, Black Templars, Dark Angels etc do have minor deviances from the Codex but very few stray very far from the 1000 Battle Brothers commandment.

However this figure of 1000 Battle Brothers is a grossly misleading figure and the number of fully trained Astartes a Chapter could bring to bear could be much much greater.

As an example we will look at the Blood Angles Chapter.

After the fateful events at the end of the Horus Heresy that saw the Blood Angels decimated and leaderless, the Sons of Baal were believed to be one of the first Legions to adopt the directives of the Codex, seeing it as a way to return stability to the now fractured Legion.

Today the Blood Angels are for all intents and purposes a Codex chapter, they have ten companies, each with one hundred Marines organised into the correct number of Tactical, Assault and Devastator Squads. It must be noted that the Blood Angels do have several extra and ad-hoc units such as the Sanguinary Guard and the mythical Death Company, this is not a particularly relevant fact and the reader will soon see that the finding in this text can be applied to any Chapter.

Anyone with access to Codex Blood Angels will note in the Chapter Ordering of the Host that we have a full Order of Battle for the Blood Angels Chapter. It is on this page we see the unravelling of the Codex Astartes.

These hidden Marines can be found in those non Company organisations within the Blood Angles Chapter these will be broken down by element.

1) The Armoury

36 Techmarines, these are ALL fully trained battle brothers.

144 Vehicles including Stormraven Gunships, All of these vehicles need multiple crew to operate and even with a conservative number of one Marine per vehicle we already have an extra 144.

2) The Librarius

31 Librarian Marines. This alone is a staggering figure

3) Fleet Command

64 Space going vessels including Battle Barges as big if not bigger than the larges Ships of the Imperial Fleet. Again with a conservative estimate of three marines per ship we gain another 192 Battle Brothers

4) Reclusiam

14 Chaplains

5) Sanguinary Priesthood*

22 Sanguinary Priests

*This is a unique organisation to the Blood Angels however in a codex chapter it would be substituted with an apothacarion either as a separate logistical organisation like the Priesthood or integrated into each company at command level.

 

By just looking at the logistical part of the Chapter we have found an extra fully trained, equipped and deadly 467 Battle Brothers. Not only that but this figure includes specialist formations including trained psykers and veterans. Also this does not include any crew of transportation vehicles assigned to the battle companies themselves. This figure could easily put the number past five hundred.

In conclusion the actual force a Space Marine Chapter can deploy could be upward of 50% of the Codex standard. This could possibly explain the extreme reluctance the Inquisition has in declaring even heavily deviant Chapters Excommunicate Traitoris. As seen with the Astral Claws during the Badab war, a Space Marine Chapter with its back to the wall is a terrible thing to behold.

06/09/2011

Not the most thought out of comments!

 

I just read the review of Space Marine for PC over at PC gamer and noticed the following in the comments section:

“I feel the same way, the whole of the demo seems to have that "rinse and repeat" element about it. Deffo not on my purchace list. I had really high hopes for this game having played 40K since Rogue Trader days but it's just meele spam at the end of the day :(“

 

Melee spam? If you ask me that would fit in with later versions of 40k perfectly!

lol

04/09/2011

StuG of the Dump

I have been a bit ill over the last few days and in between moping around all achey and feeling sorry for myself I have found the time to finally unlock a tier five Tank in World of Tanks and it’s a StuG!

stg

Oh Yeah! I’m loving it so far although I seem to get more higher tier games than I would like.

26/08/2011

Blood Angels vs Tyranids 750 points.

Popped down to Gloucester GW yesterday and had a quick game of 40k with a nice chap (can’t remember his name sorry but I’m rubbish with names) I brought 750 points of Blood Angels. The army list I was intending on using for the Cities of Death League next month. He managed to come up with a 750 point Tyranid army from a huge army he had just completed.

The lists were roughly:

Blood Angels

HQ – Librarian with Jump Pack.

Elite – Sanguinary Priest with Jump Pack, Hand Flamer, Power Weapon

Troops – Tactical Squad (10) Flamer, Missile Launcher

Assault Squad (5) Melta Gun, Sgt with Powerfist, Plasma Pistol

Assault Squad (5) Flamer, Sgt with Plasma Pistol

Scout Squad (5) Heavy Bolter

Tyranids

HQ – Hive Tyrant, (death spitter, lash whip I think) with 3 Tyrant Guard (boneswords)

Troops – Tyranid Warriors (3) not sure on weapons, no ranged though

Termigaunts (30) flesh borers

We set the table up for a Cities of Death game but decided to just play a standard mission.

We rolled Dawn of War and Annihilation.

Things went badly from the start for me. Tyranids deployed first and dominated the centre of the table, Tyrant and Guard on my right, Gaunts in the centre and the Warriors on my left. I decided to deploy my Tactical Squad in the centre at the back and infiltrated my scouts to his rear table edge keeping my Assault units and characters in reserve.

Turn 1.

Tyranids – Warriors and Gaunts turn to confront the Scouts, both units run and end up aprox 8 inches away, no shooting, no assault. The Tyrant and Guard advance towards the Tactical Squad and take two down with some precise shooting from the Tyrants Death Spitter.

Blood Angels - The scouts are doomed but they decide to engage the Warriors at ranged combat doing 0 wounds. (10 dice all crap!). The Tactical squad (also doomed) make a stupid move sort of away from the Tyrant, rapid fire and would one Guard.

Turn 2.

Tyranids – Gaunts and Warriors advance on scouts, the Gaunts take down two with shooting and the Warriors munch through the rest in the assault phase although the scouts do take one of the down and wound another. The Tyrant and Guard advance and chomp down the remains of the Tactical squad in the assault phase. I have no units left on the table (there was some debate as to if this was the end of the game but as I still had units in reserve the game was still on).

Blood Angels – Ok so I can’t really win but I will see what I can kill. I make my rolls for reserves, no units arrive this turn (honestly I rolled so many ones it was unbelievable)

Turn 3 -

Tyranids – All units move back towards the centre of the table.

Blood Angels – I roll again for the decent of angels,The unit with my Librarian turns up and I deploy it to the rear of the enemy behind the Gaunts and the Warriors, (far too close as it turns out) I get zero out of the shooting phase and can not assault. The second unit deploys but scatters into the swarm of Gaunts, rolls a 6 on this mishap table and goes back into reserve!

Turn 4 -

Tyranids – The Warriors and the Gaunts munch through the Librarian and his unit with no problems.

Blood Angels – The Sanguinary Priest seeing the demise of the Librarian and his squad decide to deploy some distance away from the enemy and in cover. using a run move to spread out.

Turn 5 -

Tyranids – All units move towards the last remaining Assault squad, the Tyrant and retinue smashing their way through the central ruin.

Blood Angels – Jumping out from cover the Marines do a suicide attack on the whole Tyranid army. Downing over half of the Gaunts in a torrent of Flamer, Bolter and Chainsword madness. The Gaunts however do not run due to the sigh of their Tyrant looming over the shoulders of the Space Marines.

We rolled for random game length and the game continued.

Turn 6 -

Tyranids – Well the Tyrant moved in and between it and the Gaunts the Marines got chomped.

Final Result:

Blood Angels 0 - 6 Tyranids

Aftermath – after shaking hands with my opponent I went through the list of things I did wrong.

1) Deployed my starting units in stupid places. The scouts were dead the moment I placed them on the table, the tactical squad wasn’t much better either.

2) Didn’t roll for Red Thirst (I keep forgetting this)

3) Deployed my first Assault Squad too close to the enemy. Again I have made this mistake a couple of times.

4) Didn’t use a single Psychic power. This is the first time I used a Librarian and need to be confident about the rules.

5) Underestimated the effect of a large unit.

Well you live and you learn. I will be tweaking my army list for the start of the league as I didn’t really have anything that can take down big monsters and I will focus on using my units far more effectively next time.

22/08/2011

5 Reasons Space Marine Kicks Ass!

 

Thank you Angry Joe, nice to see someone with a bit of 40k Love Smile with tongue out

Link: Blistered Thumbs

21/08/2011

Some Work in Progress

A few shots of what is cluttering up my desk (or shit pit as my GF calls it).

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My new Librarian, not quite ready to lead the Blood Angels into victory in the Cities of Death Campaign yet.

 

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My Venerable Dreadnought, not the amount of dust gathering on him. I really need to finish off his paint job.

 

100_6508

My semi complete StormRaven.

Cites of Death Campaign pt 3

 

Well I have built my Manufactorum and I am quite pleased with the result. If I get a chance I will be adding some detritus to the base before the campaign starts but this also depends on available funds.

100_6505 

100_6518

100_6506

Should look quite good when it’s painted up, need to get more Bolt Gun Metal though unless I get all unorthodox and try something weird with Tin Bitz.

19/08/2011

Disaster!

Argh! I've run out of Boltgun Metal. How will I survive?

16/08/2011

Codex Cityfight

On a trip into town today I managed to pick up a copy of the old Codex Cityfight at an Oxfam bookstore. Neat find for just a couple of quid eh?

Cities of Death Campaign pt 2

A quick update on the upcoming Cities of Death campaign at my local GW. The point value has been upped from 500 to 750. We also have to bring along a piece of Cityfight Terrain.

This give me a great opportunity to finally buy some terrain. The piece I have decided on first? Why the Manufactorum of course. The Shrine of the Aquila came a close second (and may be an additional purchase soon)

I have also tweaked my Army list:

HQ

Librarian with Jump Pack 125

Elites

Sanguinary Priest with Jump Pack, Melta Bombs, Hand Flamer and Power Weapon 95

Troops

Assault Squad. Sgt with Powerfist, Plasma Pistol & Melta Bombs + Meltagun 155

Assault Squad. Sgt with Plasma Pistol & Melta Bombs + Flamer 125

Heavy Support

Stormraven Gunship with TL Multi Melta, TL Assault Cannons, Hurricane Bolters & Extra Armour. 245

I’m hoping it all acts as a hard hitting elite assault force.

Birthday stuff

 

Well it was my Birthday this weekend and it brought with it a whole host of Wargaming goodies:

1) A Stormraven Gunship from my Bro, well looking forward to building painting then weeping as it gets destroyed in the first round of every game it plays.

2) R.U.S.E. This I bought with some extra money I had. It’s a great idea for an RTS and I like the overall command table aesthetic the main game has.

3) Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team. Oh yeah! For when you absolutely need to kill every Ork on the Kroozer.

4) Battlefield 1943, Nice to get a classic.

5) Cities of Death Book.

6) Some Imperial Guard and some grey paints. I’m going to try me some urban camouflage on them maybe this could be the start of an Imperial Guard army who knows.

7)… and I will be placing orders this week for some Warhammer 40k Terrain a Librarian and a pre-order for Space Marine.

 

was a good year.

12/08/2011

Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought

Spotted this little fella at the GW site today:

m1930015a_FW3_XL

That there is a Contemptor-Mortis pattern Dreadnought with Kheres pattern Assault Cannons, Cyclone Missile Launcher and a Helical Targeting Array. First seen (and sold I believe) at Games Day Germany and the latest Dreadnought to come out of Forgeworld.

Looks like a mini Titan to me and gets a 9.3 on my cool as F**K! scale

11/08/2011

Cities of Death Campaign

 

I popped into my local Games Workshop today to kill some time and ended up chatting to the new manager. Turns out he is a pretty cool guy and not as pushy on the sales front as other managers I have encountered in recent years. Anyway in September they are running a Cities of Death Campaign and I think I’m going to have a crack at it.

It’s all pretty standard fayre. You start off with 500 points and you get and extra 250 to add each week. Other requirements are the Cities of Death book (obviously) and one CoD terrain piece.

So first off here’s my army list:

HQ

Librarian 100

Troops

Assault Squad 100

1 Sgt Plasma Pistol, Powerfist +45

5 Marines, Bolt Pistol & Close Combat Weapon (2 marines + 36)

1 Marine, Meltagun +10

191

Assault Squad 100

Sgt Thunderhammer +30

3 Marines Bolt Pistol & Close Combat Weapon

1 Marine Inferno Pistol & Close Combat Weapon +15

Trade Jpacks for Razorback with TL Lascannon, Search Light and Dozer Blade +61

200

497

 

Obviously you are very limited at 500 points with any Marine force but I think this is a well rounded Blood Angels force and can be easily built upon.

Whatdya guys think?

 

Ben

10/08/2011

For Fans of Panzer General

Found this game purely by chance while looking for strategy games for my PSP.

Panzer Corps is a PC game that makes no secret of its illustrious predecessor. It really does look like a modern remake.

20110420093406

 

20110615095518

 

I guess anyone familiar with the old Panzer General titles can see from the above screenshot that this is something worth getting a little excited about.

Find out more at Matrix Games

Ben

07/08/2011

First Games of Flames of War

 

Not many updates in the last month or so, I’ve been a bit more busy at work which means more pay (yay!) but less time for other things and I have been so tired after work that all I have wanted to do is veg out on World of Tanks.

 

Anyway on with the post.

I had my first couple of games of Flames of War this week, a couple solo and a couple with my Bro. Nothing to amazing just working through the scenarios that come with the Open Fire boxed set. It all went well apart from by brother declaring any game that relies on dice as too random and unrealistic (hmm not much of a wargamer is our Cam).

Personally I liked the systems reversal of which sides skill you use to set difficulties and despite what Cam thought the various games gave us plenty of different results and would totally  recommend the Open Fire set to get you started in Flames of War

This month I hope to pick up a couple of Infantry Platoons and maybe the Hells Highway book to get me some more units to play with.

21/06/2011

Scibor’s Archangel, a decent Sanguinius model?

 

Spotted this on Table Top Fix’s feed. A fantastic looking Archangel in armour from the crafty folk at Scibor. Take at look at this:

 

archangel_01

archangel_03

archangel_05

Might have to pick this up in the future.

20/06/2011

New Blood Angels 1500 point list.

 

This is my current goto 1500 point force, easily tailored for a specific opponent. More Fluffy than Netlist but fun to play.

100_5485

HQ

Dante 225

Elite

Furioso, Dreadnought, Heavy Armour 140

Sanguinary Priest, Hand Flamer, Melta-bombs, Jump Pack 90

Troop

Sanguinary Guard, Chapter Banner, Death Masks, Inferno Pistol. 265

10Tactical Squad, Flamer, Missile Launcher (Melta Bombs) + Rhino, HK Missile 175 + 60

5 Death Company, 2x Power weapon, Inferno pistol + Razorback, TL Lascannon, Storm Bolter 195+100

10Assault Squad, (Power fist, Plasma Pistol, Melta Bombs), Flamer, Meltagun. 250

= 1500 points

Assault on Black Reach Scenario 2

 

Scenario 2 v1.0

Sacred Brother Quintus.

Tactical Squad Thestus of 5th Company were not the only members of the initial assault to run into difficulties during landing. Brother Quitus entombed in one of 2rd companies Dreadnoughts had also been blown off course by the winds in the upper atmosphere and had found himself in the middle of a large flooded delta to the east of the main landing zone. Although he was able move clear of the drop pod he soon found himself stranded and immobile in the muddy terrain of the delta. Squad Autronius of 1st Company was teleported into the vicinity with orders to rendezvous with Quintus and await extraction by Thunderhawk.

 

Space MarineForces

AoBR Terminator Squad

AoBR Dreadnought.

Ork Forces

10 AoBR Ork Boyz, 9 with Sluggas & Choppas1 with a Rokit Launcha.

10 AoBR Ork Boyz, 9 with Sluggas & Choppas 1 with a Rokit Launcha.

(Use the Big Shoota Models as a “proxy” for the Rokit Launchas)

3 AoBR Deffkoptas with TL Rokit Launchas

Table & Terrain

At least a 3’ by3’ table if possible with a light scattering of terrain.Areas of Woods and Impassable terrain would be best for the scenario. One player can deploy the terrain the other picks their table edge.

The whole table is classed as difficult terrain

Deployment

The Space Marine Dreadnought starts the game Immobilized in the very centre of the board (facing the Ork players side). The Terminators enter the board from the Space Marine players side at the beginning of turn one.

The Orks start the game within 6 inches of their table edge, The Deffkoptas start the game in Reserve

Objectives.

The Space Marine Player wins if brother Quitus Survives to the end of the game. The Ork player wins if he kills Brother Quitus. The game lasts for a random number of turns as explained in the main rule book.

 

Look out for more scenarios soon.

14/06/2011

Blood Angels Dreadnought Weapon Options

 

When most people think of Dreadnoughts in a Blood Angels army they of course think of the Furioso and it’s two variants (The Librarian and the Death Company) However I still think there is a place for the regular Dreadnought in a BA army list and purchased a Venerable kit some time ago just for this purpose (I much prefer the venerable model to the standard)

But what weapon options should I take?

The Twin-Linked Las-Cannons are a good option for long ranged anti-armour work but is sitting my Dreadnought at the back  un-Blood Angelsy™?

100_5511

Assault Cannon, Now there’s a weapon, great at most jobs and can even crack heavy armour if the dice smile on you. very Blood Angelsy™.

100_5513

Plasma Cannon, hmm not sure on this one. A little too random maybe? Could be good vs other power armoured units or am I better off with the Las-Cannons?

100_5515

In the long run I hope to do a Rifleman conversion on this (or possible another AoBR) Dreadnought as I just love the look of those arms, gives the Dreadnought a great Battletech look.

Ben

13/06/2011

Blood Angels Update.

Here are some new shots of my Blood Angels.

 

My Razorback:

100_5487

This was originally Black to go with my Death Company but it just didn’t gel with the rest of my force so I decided to redden it up.

Next A Rhino:

100_5491

I never go anywhere without my trusty Hunter Killer Missile quite a few kills it has now!

 

And finally my Furioso Dreadnought:

100_5485

A nice simple conversion of the AoBR Dreadnought with some Forgeworld Dreadnought arms I got on eBay.

08/06/2011

Assault On Black Reach Scenarios.

When I purchased AoBR and got back into the hobby, despite being amazed at the amount and quality of the models you got in the boxed set, I was a little disappointed that there were no scenarios in the set to get me started. I have very fond memories of playing through the Armageddon scenarios in the 2nd edition boxed set in my bedroom many years ago and wished I could do something similar with the new set. So I have decided to have a go at writing some scenarios for those gamers who are new to Warhammer 40k and would like to get a few different games going using just the contents of the AoBR box. To play these all you should need are the contents of your AoBR box, a table and some terrain.

If you have a go at these scenarios let me know how they go,

In some of the scenarios, some units weapons will be different from what is on the model, this is known as a proxy and will be kept to a minimum to avoid confusion.

These scenarios are intended for those who want to get a little more from their boxed game before needing to splash out on more models.

Scenario 1 v1.0

A Rough Landing.

During the Ultramarines initial landing during the assault. Two drop pods carrying Tactical Squad Thestus were blown off course from their assigned LZ. They found themselves some kilometres away from their assigned position and had to quickly cover the distance to take their place in the initial landing perimeter defence. However their decent had not gone un-noticed and a small group of Orks had seen the drop pods fall.

Space Marine Forces

AoBR Tactical Squad split into two 5 Marine units of the Space Marine players choice.

Ork Forces

10 AoBR Ork Boyz, 9 with Sluggas & Choppas1 with a Big Shoota.

10 AoBR Ork Boyz, 9 with Sluggas & Choppas 1 with a Big Shoota.

Table & Terrain

At least a 3’ by3’ table if possible with a good scattering of terrain. the standard 25% of surface area covered by different terrain is a good way to get started. One player can deploy the terrain the other picks their table edge. Roll off to see who goes first.

Deployment

The two space marine units start the game within 6” (or 3” if your table is small) of their players table edge and at least 12” way from the other Space Marine Unit. The Ork player can deploy one of his units within his half of the table at least 18” away from a space marine unit. The other must be held in reserve.

Objectives.

The Space Marine Player wins if at least one of his models exits the table on the Ork players side or kills all Orks. The Ork player wins if he kills all the Space Marines. Any other result is a draw. The game lasts for a random number of turns as explained in the main rule book. The games lasts for a random number of turns.

Look out for more scenarios soon.

04/06/2011

A Bridge too Far

I just watched the fantastic second world war film A Bridge Too Far. In my opinion one of the best war films ever made. It does a good job of highlighting the personal tragedies war causes and shows the utter destruction common in mass mechanized warfare.

Despite my love of the hobby of wargaming, I sometimes feel a little guilty as to the pleasure it gives me. After all to some degree the hobby not only glorifies war but it also trivialises the devastation it causes. I think it is important that those of us that enjoy the hobby so much must not forget the real people our miniatures are metaphorical representations of.  After all, our hobby is a sanitised representation of the most cruel and barbaric act humanity is capable of.

Let us remember the real people who did or will get caught up in conflicts past, present and future and hope that our own experience of warfare is restricted to the dice rolling across the tabletop.

We Live in Interesting Times

 

Well the community is still getting to grips with the latest examples of Games Workshops PR ( i.e GW shooting itself in the foot). Mantic have announced (through Beasts of Wars Turn 8 Program) that they are indeed entering into the Sci-Fi large scale battle market with a new game this year called Warpath. All that we know at the moment is that it is due out after the summer and it’s rules are based in part on the Kings of War ruleset. This is definitely one to watch.

So what does this mean to me as a gamer? Well at the moment not much, 40k has always be an expensive luxury to me and other games systems from other companies have never really interested me that much… until now. This week I received through the post a copy of Flames of War Open Fire and I am busy reading through the rulebook at the moment. I am very impressed and can not wait to build up a company or two and get some games going. I am also looking forward to catalyst games new project Leviathan. I will be getting that when it comes out (already have the beta rules, just waiting to get a new printer cartridge to print them out and give it a go). As well as Leviathan I am also looking at getting the anniversary edition of Battletech. Always had a soft spot for Battletech and the new boxed set is just glorious. I am also looking at buying a copy (if I can find one) of Mantic’s Dwarf Kings Hold. An excellent looking Dungeon Crawler I think my FiancĂ© would like.

 GE108

Could something like this re-direct my GW budget? Hell Yeah!

Simply put, just at the moment that GW have disappointed me, there are a whole load of other games that I want to spend my hard earned cash on. That Storm Raven is going to have to wait, I have Tigers, Leviathans, Dungeons and Mechs to buy!

25/05/2011

Windows Live Writer

After the recent Problems many of us have had with Blogs disappearing and sundry other problems with the Blogger system, I have decided to try out Windows Live Writer to prevent the loss of complete or semi-complete blogs. It may take me a little time to get used to Writer and i may try out a few different setting and styles so bare with me as I’m finding my feet (it shouldn't take long, it seems pretty simple tbh)

Ben

24/05/2011

Battletech Boxed Set Un-boxing

Beasts of War have done a video of the new Battletech Introductory boxed set, here it is:



And a link: BeastsOfWar

23/05/2011

New Forge World Space Marines

Forge World have announced two new kits of Assault Space Marines in MkII and MkV Armour respectively. Nice to see the pre-heresy jump packs, Would look great in a Vanguard Veteran Squad.
Some Images and a links to ForgeWorld:





22/05/2011

What a week

Well what a week in Wargaming, two things have happened that have got the internet all of excited (or pissed off!).

GW drop a metaphorical bomb, then try to heal the gaping wound with a sticking plaster (link).

Beast of War seem to have lost their Youtube account, still no solid news on this.

On the latter hopefully BoW can get it sorted soon as over the last few weeks I have become addicted to their site.

On the former... well I have yet to hear any wargamers positive spin on this and I my thoughts are mirrored all over the internet. I just feel a little sad :(

Anyway lets not forget that there are other gaming companies out there, I intend to dig out my old Battletech stuff out and I am really looking forward to the new steam punk naval game Leviathans. I also intend to have a good look at the rules for Infinity as I hear very good things about it all over the web.

Also next month I continue my ongoing Traveller campaign, well looking forward to that!

15/05/2011

Introducing Captain Florian, Blood Angels Third Company

Just a quick introduction to my current army Commander, (the late) Captain Florian, third company commander at the start of the second War for Armageddon. Remember the fluff about Tycho replacing third companies commander? Well this is him.

14/05/2011

Venerable Dreadnought

My Venerable Dreadnought finally arrived from Wayland Games on Wednesday. Here he is all built. As you can see I decided to use the studded helmet and front with the arches. I also had to use the cool Powerfist:

Here he is in all his plastic glory showing the build options I decided on.


Some of the different arms you can build.

A great kit as you can see and there are loads of bits left for customisation and other stuff. I really love the proper power Powerfist, makes it look really punchy. I hope to get his primed soon along with my Sanguinary Guard and am really looking forward to painting it.

Ben

11/05/2011

New Dark Eldar Announced



Well whadya know, more Dark Eldar are on their way:

The new kits (with links) are:

Cronos Parasitic Engine

All look pretty cool. The Engines in particular look great and could be good for Archo-Flagellant conversions if Inquisitors are your thing. Personally I think the Venom looks too much like a Craftworld Eldar Vehicle with the glass canopy, looks like it could be optional though.

Dark Eldar Venom Box Art

A Quick Ork Army List

Here's a quick army list for my Orks. 800 points cobbled together from what Orks I have lying around.

HQ

Warboss,
TL Shoota, Power Klaw, Eavy Armour.

Elites

10 Nobz in Eavy Armour.

Troops

20 Boyz, slugga n choppas.

20 Boyz 18 slugga n choppas, 2 big shootas.

15 Gretchin, 1 Runtherd.

Fast Attack

3 Deffkoptas with TL Rokits.



What do you think? Not much anti armour in there but I think that is a common problem in Ork armies. Maybe that is something to look at to take it up to 1000 points.


Ben

10/05/2011

Forge World Resin Guide

Not sure if this is new but I only noticed it today.

Forge World have released a handy pdf guide to getting the best out of your resin kits from how to clean and prep them, how to glue them and how to paint them. It also covers some of the different issues you may have with e resin kit if you are more used to the more common metal and plastic kits.

A useful guide for those of us new to resin kits.

Heres the link: LINK!!!


Ben

There's gonna be some changes around here.

The more observant readers amongst you will have noticed that a few things are changing on this blog. Well hold on to your hats because it's going to be a wild ride...

Not really I'm just going to be messing around a bit for a while with the look and feel of the blog.

Hopefully this will improve the generic look and make it a little more to look at.


Ben

09/05/2011

Looking for That Extra Little Something? pt2 Ratgard

Ratgard are clearly a very small modelling operation with only two Imperial Guard Chimera variants on offer. One changes the overall look of the basic IFV Chimera and the other is an AA alternative to GW's/ ForgeWorlds Hydra

Lets look at the IFV variant known as the Sciuridae (The Latin name for the Squirrel family apparently). This is an 8 piece resin kit that replaces existing parts of the Chimera model mainly the top of the hull, turret and back door.

The parts look clean and when placed upon the model do give it a Soviet BMP-1 look due mainly tothe sleek low turret and twin back doors. This is a nice subtle mod kit and I think is a great direction for Imperial Guard vehicle modders to go.

The Cold-War era BMP series is clearly the inspiration for this mod kit.

A good look at the twin back doors and view slats.

You can see the sleek profile the new top and turret gives the kit.

If there is any criticism in the kits it is the lack of turret weapon options but this is a small gripe over an otherwise great looking kit.

Now lets look at their second offering, The Hedgehog AA gun. Again this is a large multi-part resin kit consisting mainly of a large quad-cannon turret assembly that retrofits the existing Chimera model and fulfils the role as a Hydra alternative.

Again it is pretty clear to see the similarities between the Hedgehog and the Soviet Tunguska vehicle . The mod looks great and the attention to detail is fantastic, I especially like the optional radar dish cover.
Guns held high, this looks like a great kit.

It really does look like it's real world counterpart.

Now lets face it, the basic Chimera is one of the oldest vehicle designs still knocking around the GW range and I think Ratgards attempt to update it is great. In going with a Cold War retro theme as oppose to the traditional Great War or WWII that GW and ForgeWorld have in the past, his kits will give anyone's army a distinct theme and would look great with a Valhallian or Vostroyan army. I just hope the kits are successful as I would love to see even more Imperial army mod kits in a Cold-War era style.

BTW The wonderful images above are mostly from the Ratgard website and are not my own work.

Go check them out at Ratgard's website!

08/05/2011

Looking for That Extra Little Something? pt1

Lets face facts nothing screams COOL! like a miniature that is totally unique. Thankfully GW has made achieving a unique character or unit a lot easier in the last few years thanks to improved plastic castings and sprues. Just look at the options you get in some of their plastic kits, the Blood Angels Death Company for example gives you enough extra bits to give a few squads a distinctive Blood Angels appearance. The new Dark Eldar kits are awesome and these multi purpose kits are now becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Blood Angels Death Company

Thing is though for some people this is just not enough, so GW came up with ForgeWorld. A small scale operation producing resin kits that gave modellers even more pieces to play with. What started off as a fairly small range of Imperial tank mods has expanded to give the 40k player (and the FB player too) a great range of stand alone models, modification parts, transfers, terrain and more.
Leman Russ Destroyer by ForgeWorld

ForgeWorlds success is due in no small part to their using resin as a modelling substance as oppose to the poly plastics of the main GW range. What this allows ForgeWorld to do is do smaller scale castings with great detail at a reasonably low cost.

Great news but... if ForgeWorld can do it on a small scale then surely other miniature model manufacturers can too.

Now lets get one thing straight, there can be only one GW and their IP is heavily protected. Even thinking about making a model that looks a little bit like a Space Marine can get a sculptor into all sorts of tricky legal problems. So if someone wanted to make pieces compatible with the 40k range they have to be fairly clever about how they market and sell these pieces.

Thankfully for the 40k modder looking for some new parts such sneaky companies exist. Over the next few days I will post up some of my favourite pieces I have found that appear to be compatible with the 28mm scale of 40k miniatures.

See you soon for some exiting 3rd party 40k compatible parts

07/05/2011

Discount Wargaming? what is the cost?

Brother Loki M.I.A?

When buying Games Workshop stuff in the past I have always bought directly from a store. Games Workshops own stores mostly but I have also used a number of independent stockists too. When I got my beady little eyes on the Venerable Dreadnought recently I decided to try out mail order for the first time. So on the 30th of April I placed an order with Wayland Games for the Dreadnought. the cost was £21.40 for the model and I paid £2.65 for first class shipping. It was a bank holiday weekend so I did expect delays however what I didn't expect was this:

The next day (Sunday) my brother made an order direct with GW's website for a Vanguard Vet squad and some paints. His order which came with free shipping arrived on Thursday. According to Wayland games website they are still awaiting for stock on my Dreadnought seven days after I placed the order on what is still showing as a "high availability" item.

Now I should be clear that at the moment there is a message on their site explaining severe delays due to the double bank holidays we have just had here in the UK and that even without this, the time I have waited is within the period that Wayland Games say high availability items should take.

However this would possibly put me off shopping with them again. I wouldn't say this was bad service but it certainly isn't good. For trying to save money (£2.70 in total) I am having to wait what I personally feel is an unacceptable period of time due to them not having the damn "high availability" item in stock in the first place.

Maybe I'm being unfair, maybe the disruption caused by the two bank holidays had a much bigger effect than I would have thought possible however I believed that "high availability" would mean "in stock" I personally think it should but it seems it does not and should have realised this by the wording on the website.

If I did use Wayland games in the future I would check first to see if they had the item in stock as high availability according to them could result in having to wait well over a week for your item, bank holiday or not!

There has been no direct communication from Wayland Games to myself but I presume this is down to this still not being outside their own terms for high availability.

Man I want that Dreadnought so bad :(


05/05/2011

GW Thought for the Day

Of course, in the direst of circumstances, when all else has gone to pot, just knowing that you've got 40 lasguns pointing at the Bloodthirster can be a reassuring thought...


...for about two minutes.


Then he'll eat you.

Posted by Dan in GW's thought for the day "Shoot the Big Ones!" 05/05/2011

03/05/2011

GW, Corporate Over-fiend or Misunderstood Hobby Saviour?

In a recent visit to a local Games Workshop I overheard a quite bizarre conversation between a member of staff and one of the hobbyists at the store. The hobbyist in question was with a small group of friends, one of which was painting up some Grey Knight for the store, this lead me to believe that both him and his friends were known to the store. Now this guy pulls out a half painted Land Raider, pulls up a chair and using the store paints starts working on his model. This is roughly how the conversation went:

Staff- Hey is that a store model?
Bloke - Nah it's my own.
Staff - Ah Ok, in that case you will have to use these old paints, unless you have brought your own. These paints are for store use only.
Bloke - Ah man are you serious? these other paints are all crap, why can't I use the store paints?
Staff - Well because they are for store use only. You can always bring your own paints to use you know.
Bloke - I've been into GW stuff for years now and I have never bought a single paint, I always use the stores.
Staff - Well you will have to use the old paints if you want to do it today. By the way, why have you never bought any paints of your own?
Bloke - Because they are so bloody expensive, everything in here is.
Staff - Well how are we supposed to make money?
Bloke - It's all a rip off, look I'm not getting into this I'm off.

So off he trotted, miffed because he couldn't use the stores own paints. Now this exchange highlights an issue I have noticed in getting back into the 40k hobby. Many hobbyists seem to view GW as some kind of money grabbing corporate over fiend. The number of times I have heard hobbyists in blogs, in youtube vids and in person say GW's stuff is over priced or not good value. Now I don't doubt these people love their hobby but I also think it is a slightly unhealthy situation when you hate the source of that which you love.

Now I don't intend to get into the minefield of Games Workshops pricing strategy or the delicate balance between shareholders and customers but I do intend to highlight what I think is the root of the perceived lack of value many hobbyists seem to attach to GW products and how the Warhammer hobby is quite unlike any other hobby or pastime I have ever been involved in.

Apart from 40k, I also love videogames, music (both listening and composing) and a number of other hobbies. Over they years I must have spent nearly £8k on music production equipment and musical instruments, countless thousands on videogames and consoles and god knows how much on CD's etc. In comparison what I have spent of GW products probably amounts to less that £2k in all over nearly 20 years of gaming. I doubt my story is that unique, I'm sure most people who play and collect GW products also have other hobbies that they may spend equal or greater amounts of their hard earned money on but I doubt they complain about these hobbies, expensive or otherwise in the same way as they criticise GW.

Over the years I have felt ripped off or hard done by many companies, an example would be when I was expected to cough up several hundred pounds for an update to some music production software I already owned. Or when my Xbox 360 kept RRODing on me. In both cases I was a pretty pissed off consumer however I had an option open to me that to most GW customers don't really have, I could spend my money somewhere else.

Lets look at this simply, If I really didn't like what Steinburg (the providers of my production software) were doing I could always jump ship to a competitors system. If Microsoft pissed me off I could get a PS3, yes it would cost me but it would in the long run cost them more in a loss of after sales and bad word of mouth. However if I am a pissed off GW customer I really do not have this option. True there are plenty other gaming systems out there but I challenge anyone to name a tabletop gaming system with the vision, pedigree and quality (in game design, models and general production values) of Games Workshops flagship systems. There really are no other products in the war gaming marketplace like Warhammer and 40k.
So if you want to play the creme de la creme of wargames, GW have you, hook line and sinker.

Lets look at another aspect of the hobby. Games Workshop not only create the systems we play, the models we buy, the paints we paint them with and the magazines and other hobby related stuff we lap up with gluttony; they also have positioned themselves as providers of the only true hobby centres (in the UK at least) making their own premises the pivotal geographical epicentres of their own hobby. If you are involved in the Games Workshop hobby you no doubt spend quite a bit of time in a Games Workshop store. So not only do we rely on them for their products but in many cases we rely on them to provide a place for us to enjoy our hobby.

The simple fact of the matter is that Games Workshop as a company has an almost complete monopoly over all aspects of the Warhammer and 40k hobbies. This instantly puts peoples hackles up as it eliminates an important aspect of consumerism: choice. If we don't like what GW are doing then tough, find a different hobby.

Is there anything Games Workshop could do to make this situation better? Hehe I'm sure plenty of you are shouting "yes make their products bloody cheaper!" hmm, I don't think this is going to happen and to be honest I don't think it needs to happen either. GW products are amongst the best in the industry, I would expect to pay premium prices for a premium product and lets not mess around here Games Workshop as a brand is premium with a capital P. Could they do anything else? Well not really no, to change this state of affairs would require drastic action of the kind shareholders don't like. Things like allowing other none affiliated companies to make products for GW's core systems or to provide some kind of premium charged for gaming centres would cost to much money and would be far to risky. Lets face it GW didn't get in the position they are in today by taking risks.

So at the end of the day Games Workshop are neither over-fiend or hobby saviours, they are simply a company providing a very popular premium product to a customer base that in most cases have hobby eyes bigger than their wallets (I know mine are). Should we hate them for their desire to make money? Hell no, we live in a consumerist society and to do so would be hypocritical for all of us however we should also be aware that in their vaulted position they do have a responsibility to their customers and that we as customers also have a responsibility to ourselves and other consumers. If Games Workshop have truly offered a poor service or you really feel ripped off by them, do what any good consumer would do. Write to them or phone their head office. The details are easily found on their website.

Agree or disagree? let me know.

Another Blood Angels (and other stuff) Update

Well I spent last night putting together my Sanguinary Guard, I have gone with my original plan of building the unit with the Chapter banner and one Inferno pistol and am just waiting for the delivery of a couple of paints (Gryphone Sepia and Burnished Gold) before I paint them.

I have also ordered a Venerable Dreadnought, after watching this BeastsOfWar vid and seeing what was in the kit. It looks immense and I just can't wait to build it. At some point in the future it will be kitted out as a Rifleman Dreadnought using the Forgeworld Mortis arms but that is a project for the future.

I have also started highlighting the rest of my Blood Angels, a technique that until now I believed beyond my abilities. So far I have done my Tactical and Terminator squads, my Rhino and Black Reach Dreadnought and am pretty happy with the results.

Now ever since my first eary encounters with the 40k universe in the late 80's and early 90's I have been a true Blood Angel fan, no other Chapter of Marines has lured me from the path of Sanguinius, that is until now...

I am proud to announce that my next 40k project will be to build a small (800-1000 point) army of Carcharodons. In reality this choice is down to one model, Forgeworlds fantastic Tyberos the Red Wake:
This is one of the best 40k models I have ever seen. I just love the blend of Mk V Heresy armour and Terminator Armour, it just screams out bad ass and those weapons look vicious! This model is begging for me to buy and paint and is my next 40k purchase. So over the last few days I hoovered up all the info I could get on The Carcharodons chapter on the web and finally managed to take a look at the Badab War books (it will be a while before I can afford a copy mind). Their background is wonderfully mysterious and they have fought alongside the Blood Angels during the 7th Black Crusade making them a nice ally for my existing army. Yes sir they should be a great project for me to try out some more advanced painting and modelling techniques on. Roll on my next pay day.

I leave you with a wonderful quote from the equally wonderful second Badab War book:

Extract from: Addendum: [Archivists Note] - The Nature of the Carcharodons Enigma.
"A Space Marine fundamentally is a superhuman engine built, bred and trained for war; an Angel of Death - a monster by any other name. In the case of the Carcharodons, it is well that such monsters belong to the Imperium rather than are counted in the ranks of its enemies"

31/03/2011

Ork Thought for the Day

"Travellin' through space is boring. Well, boring unless da hulk yer on is full of dem gene-sneakers, or a base fer da chaos ladz wiv da spikes, or already has Boyz on it. Or if humie lootas come callin', thats always good fer a bit a sport. Or unless yer hav a mutiny or two to pass the time, or unless strange fings start happenin', which dey usually do when yer out in da warp.
One time we had some bloody great ugly fing come straingt out of Weird Lugwort's 'ed! It butchered half da lads, that was pretty entertainin'. Come ter fink of it, space is a pretty good larf. And that's before yer find yerself a nice new world ta crush!" - Bigmaw, Ork Runtherd (Ork Codex)

Sanguinary Guard

Well after my defeat at the hand of Robs Iron Hands last week I decided to to take the plunge and buy some Sanguinary Guard for my Blood Angels. Not that the defeat had anything to do with the purchase (I doubt they would have been much help anyway) It was always a unit I planned on purchasing and last Thursday in GW Cheltenham seemed like a good opportunity.

Upon opening the box I was again struck by the current quality of GW's plastic kits. The models are fantastic with some beautiful detailing and some great building options. It almost seems a shame to let my sub par painting techniques anywhere near them (not that this will stop me).

Codex wise I think I will be building them as follows:

Saguinary Guard. [200]
Death Masks. [25]
Chapter Banner [30]
1 x Infernus Pistol. [10]

All that for a total of 265 points. I know it's a lot but hey I'm building a theme army and that's what I want :P

30/03/2011

Blood Angels vs Iron Hands report

well instead of giving a finely detailed report on the ins and outs of the battle I will give a nice concise report


I got my arse well and truly whooped!

I made a few significant errors during the game which lead to my army being destroyed by what I still think is an inferior force.

Error 1)

I got entirely fixated by a Land Raider Redeemer, throwing unit after unit against it when if I had kept my distance it would have posed very little threat.

Error 2)

Not understanding the rules made me ignorant of how dangerous flamestorm cannons are to even power armoured infantry. I also underestimated how hard it was to crack the armour of a Land Raider or Ironclad Dreadnought. wasting precious troops in assaults they had no chance of winning.

Error 3)
Well to be honest there isn't an error 3 as the first two mistakes lost me the game. If I had concentrated on getting troops on objectives instead of charging down the barrel of a flamestorm cannon it would have been a more even fight. I also think that some more anti armour units would be a good idea as I had real trouble with the aforementioned Land Raider and an Ironclad Dreadnought, I have already got a bike squadron on its way from ebay (it's going to need some TLC though judging by the pictures), fitting them out with melta guns is the way I'm going with them maybe add an attack bike at a later date.

As a whole it was an enjoyable battle and I will take away a number of hard learnt lessons from it but hey you can't win them all right?


23/03/2011

BA vs IH

Tomorrow will be the first battle for my full 1500 point Blood Angel force. My opponent will be Rob and his Iron Hands and I'm really looking forward to it. It's been a good few years since I've played in a decent size game of 40k and I can't wait to see if my Blood Angels perform as well on the tabletop as they do in my head.

I hope to make some notes during the game, maybe take some pictures too so I can write a nice battle report.

13/03/2011

Thought for the day.

Running out of Chaos Black spray paint is a great way of making sure I finish painting the models I already have under coated.

Rifleman Dreadnought


Just spotted this in my google reader.


Basically its a Space Marine Dreadnought with double autocannons. I'm guessing it's name comes from the Battletech RFL-3C Rifleman (itself based on the Macross defender)

Macross Defender

Now after a quick search around the web I have realised that this is quite a popular modelling choice for Dreadnoughts however I have never felt so inspired by a model.

Funds permitting I am hoping to get add one to my Blood Angels soon (hey I realise its a Dark Angels only model but I just love the look of it). Maybe this is the time to throw some cash Forgeworlds way.

Brother Raidar will get to fight for the Imperium again

WAAAAGHH!!!



Well I'm back online at last and thought I would start of by introducing my new army:

Gitstompas 'ard crew.


With my Blood Angels force being themed around a task force from the second war for Armageddon it made sense for me to create an opposing force of Orks. Hence Gitstompas 'ard crew was born. Now to be honest I hardly have the cash to build my Blood Angels force up so any Orky goodies will have to be bought probably on ebay or begged and borrowed form other sources but I already have a great start thanks to the models in the Black Reach set and the fortuitous find of all the Orks and Gretchin from my 2nd edition boxed set (20 Orks and 50 Gretchin) so without even trying I have about 800 points of Orks. I have painted ten of the Orks so far and am happy with the results.



17/02/2011

2011 so far

Well so far this year I have been without internet at home for six weeks, the reasons are multiple but mainly due to the incomptent company known as Talk Talk. Needless to say when normal service is resumed, my ISP will no longer be Talk Talk it will be BT (best to deal with the organ grinder as they say, or the owners of the infrastructure in this case).

My Blood Angels are growing at a steady pace with 1500points of the little blighters ready for battle, financial issues are preventing from picking up the new Storm Raven :(

The Traveller game I am running is into it's third week and the players seem to be having fun. I think people like the feel of the system compared to the more structured system of D&D (or maybe its the haphazzard half arsed way I run RPG's, who knows!) either way its going well.

Due to the afore mentioned financial problems I have, I havn't bought any new games in a couple of months, rather I have revisited some older titles I nver really gave the attention they deserved. The three games I have mainly been playing are Madden 10 on the 360 (inspired no doubt by the Super Bowl the other week), Command and Conquer 3 on the 360 (mainy skirmishing) and Wipeout Pulse on the PSP.

As a further note my older brother has recently moved in with us for a while bringing with him a love of old PS1 games. He spends the nights playing C&C Retalliation, GT2 and Panzer Generals. Our family has taste (except my mother when it comes to hats!)

Anyway I hope to be fully back on line in a fortnight with more info on the Blood Angels (and news of a new job I hope)

- Ben

02/01/2011

2010 in Music

Well 2010 is over and so I thought I would share my musical tastes over the year with my loyal followers.
Checking my last.fm account which tracks all music I have listened to on my PC my top ten artists are:

10: 65daysofstatic.
Saw them live at 2000 Trees festival was very impressed
9: Crystal Castles
Been a fan since seeing them live many years ago in Scala in London. New album impressed me greatly
8: Kavisnsky.
First heard Kavinsky on MTV2's 120 electronic minutes and I was blown away, a great purveyor 80's soundtrack themed electronica.
7: The Stone Roses.
Been a fan since I can remember, one of the greatest bands of all time.
6: Harmonia.
Discovered this band after watching a BBC4 documentry on German electronic music, well worth checking out if you like vintage electronica.
5: Marina & the Diamonds
A great provider of quirky kitchy pop songs, some would say too much like Kate Bush, I say that's not a bad thing.
4: Ellie Goulding
One of the best female vocalists I have ever heard, a great song writer too.
3: Ozric Tenticles
Erm... I blame my brother, he introduced me to Ozrics. I still love them.
2: Mike Oldfield
Hehe another semi-guilty pleasure, fantastic musician and great music to chill out to.
1: Daft Punk.
I never really rated Daft Punk. Sure they have had some catchy tunes but nothing really appealed to me until I heard the new Tron: Legacy soundtrack. A fantastic piece of cinematic music.

So as a little treat here is the official video of Daft Punks Derezzed from the film, enjoy:

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