Tuesday, 29 November 2011

White Dwarf 384. December 2011

Blimey! This issue was actually waiting for me in my letter box on Saturday, the day it hit the shops! I was totally blown away by this and instantly made me want to read it. I'd been fully expecting to have to wait until the Thursday after like I've had to do the past few months. Well done Games Workshop, fingers crossed this isn't a one off. Just a shame you've had so much backlash from a very unwise decision. Now onto the review...

New Releases - This section has been seriously cut down. The new Beastman monsters, Ghorgon and Cygor, look interesting if you like that kind of thing. Same goes for the Jabberwock, erm I mean Jabberslythe. Not really my bag though. The Mangler Squigs look cool but the Lord of the Rings dragon just made me laugh. It looks rubbish!
It's a sausage with wings.

It's great to see another double page Black Library spread, let's hope this section continues.

Denizens of the Forest Depths - A focus on Beastmen but nothing of interest for me.

Blood in the Badlands - This is a total surprise and very welcome! I read the whole article straight away, something which doesn't happen often. It's basically the kind of thing I wish GW would do on a more regular basis. It incorporates a bit of everything, from campaigns, to special rules to house rules and is really great value. As soon as I've got a painted fantasy army this is going to the top of my list. Way better than Storm in Magic.

Speaking of which there's some rules for the new monsters for that expansion. Fanatastic to see proper rules making a more regular appearance.

Warhammer battle report - Skimmed this but seemed like a cool battle and the Ogres are really starting to appeal to me. Oh dear must maintain self control.

Blanchitsu - As much as I love Jervis' Standard Bearer this felt like a breath of fresh air. None of the article felt like he was being goaded into what to write about and I think it was great to have someone's personal and honest thoughts about the hobby in the magazine. I wish that there were more columns in it with people writing from the heart about the hobby.

Liber Apocalyptica - More new rules, that while not applicable to me right now has to be applauded.

Double page spread on the Forge World Contemptor Dread was great and brings a great model into the mainstream.

Mat Ward's campaign was a really cool mini article, they could've quite easily just done a battle report about it but to actually put in the missions was a treat. (Hmmm this is all sounding way too positive so far, what's happened to me!)

Painting and modelling section - More please! Even though I'm not going to be painting a Thundertusk it's always good to read up on techniques.

LotR - Can't comment, except the sausage dragon shows up again!

The Augury - Seems to have been really cut down. Is still a waste of pages but a step in the right direction.

Dwarfs and Skaven are on the back page. I'm really hoping this means there's going to be either a lot of Dwarf action next month or more Badlands stuff. Overall this issue was great, not perfect but a definite move forward on some of the recent ones. I honestly hope this is how it will be for the months to come, arriving on time and packed with things I want to read without getting annoyed. 8/10.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Painting progess - Dwarfs

These are the finished units I've got so far for the army. There are plenty of mistakes and areas that need work such as edge highlighting on the helmets and the red parts but that can wait. The aim here is to try and have my whole 1000 points painted up by christmas to a tabletop standard (excluding basing).

The Slayer turned out better than I imagined. I wasn't sure how my technique for painting skin would translate to such a big area but it's turned out ok from a distance, and his hair isn't too ginger, which is always a plus!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Battle Missions - Kill Team

On Friday night my friend Ian came round for some 40k as we hadn't played in a while. I suggested playing the kill team mission out of the battle missions book as we had both previously said how much we loved Necromunda.

I text him a quick outline of the rules and after we'd had a pizza and got my terrain on the table we sat down to get our skirmish teams ready. I decided to take my Tau as they have more options for smaller squads. My team team consisted of 6 fire warriors and 2 XV-8 crisis suits. Ian took a Space Wolves team with 3 Terminators and a Landspeeder. We deployed and off we went! This first game went quite slowly as we adjusted to the rules and tried to remember the basic rules! It was quite tense with the terminators charging towards a few of the fire warriors however the sneaky tau tactics won through with the suits jumping around and popping them. Game one - win.

For the second game we both switched up our lists. Ian had got wise to the shenanigans and upped his list to 5 skyclaws and a Thunderwolf cavalry dude. I'd switched to just 3 crisis suits. The thunderwolf was a total beast and in one turn crossed almost the whole board to smash an XV-8. Needless to say the remaining 2 started jumping away but weren't quick enough. Game two - loss.

The final game we played Ian went for 5 Grey Hunters and a dreadnought. I switched to my ultramarines taking 5 Sternguard and a landspeeder. Nothing of mine could dent the dread however I only realised this after I'd deployed so was already on the back foot trying to chase down his other squad. Needless to say my team crumbled under the failing leadership of their general, me. Game three - loss.

In summary this was a fantastic take on games of 40k and ideal for me to fit in games after work with minimum effort. The small points limit means that it would be really easy to get a kill team painted and by completing a few kill teams you could quite quickly build up a whole army or try different codexes without needing to jump wholeheartedly into it. In terms of tactics I definitely think that the models you can fit in the better. When I took the 3 kitted out suits I was really on the back foot as Ian only needed 2 kills to make me start rolling for losing. I'd seriously recommend for any 40k players to give this a go and I'm already thinking up special missions for it and some custom rules to try out.

Let me know what you thought of it if you've had a game.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My first WHFB miniature, a Dwarf Warrior!

I had the day off yesterday so was really bored with painting blue so got this chap undercoated and started work!

For the most part it was seriously easy (a good thing considering how many I'll have to paint). I was really unsure wheat colour to do the cloth, all I knew is I didn't want to paint more blue!

A few things are still missing, I need to pick up some Dwarf Bronze for some of the metallics and the sleeve needs painting as if it was a lining with runes stitched on it.

Also the base is going to be something special, I've been thinking about purchasing some resin tiled bases so it looks like he's in a cobbled street to fit in with the seaside/port fluff behind my army.

Any comments/criticism/advice you'd like to impart would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Tron Tau test gun drone

I'm really pleased with this drone! My initial idea was to have a white army with a few panels picked out in red and in grey with everything black-lined.

After totally messing up the black-lining I went away and had a real rethink and this was the outcome. I'm still not totally happy with it, for a start I was painting over a white undercoat and my fine detail brush is totally shot so had to do this with a GW standard brush.

I didn't do anything special with the base because I wanted it to look the same as my Ultramarines.

I've just re-undercoated my XV-88 Broadside black so hopefully sometime soon I'll be able to see how the scheme looks on a larger model.

Please let me know what you think! Any feedback and criticism is always welcome.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

White Dwarf 383. November 2011

This is going to be my first review of the White Dwarf magazine after wanting to do one for a few issues.

Before I get started on the meat of the issue I feel I need to add a disclaimer! I am a subscriber, mostly so I can get the tasty Dwarf models and also because I don't want to have to go into the hobby store to get it. Being a subscriber it's been quite an awful few months with them messing with the distribution times. Before I used to get the mag around 7 days before the stores. Now I've had the last 3 on the thursday following the Saturday of release. Waddup?!

Rant out of the way, here's the main feature...

New Releases - As expected it's chock full of Necrons. The models look truly epic and it's a real struggle not to just cave in a buy them! However, showing me 3 photos of the same model does not increase this urge threefold. Give it a rest and save some space for real content.
The warhammer Skullvane Manse looks great, 'eavy metal brush set a rip off, what really caught my attention was the limited edition dice. I love limited edition!

News - The interview with Sarah Cawkwell was a really nice touch and I always read the Black Library page.

Necrons - I haven't really read this section yet so my opinions aren't totally informed but the photos look great, the amount of text is substantial (whether the content is is another matter!), it's cool they stuck in some 'eavy metal shots but where's the masterclass or even some basic steps?

Battle report - This was of real interest (although I did skim read) since I play Ultras and am really interested in both Eldar and Necrons. Again the photos look great and was good to see that it wasn't a set-up to sell the new army.

Standard Bearer - Haven't read yet but even when Jervis is just chatting randomly I still love him!
edit: Just read it and it was definitely one of his better columns. Really spoke to me as I find myself on the losing end quite a lot of the time but still have a lot of fun.

Skullvane Manse - If yuo've got this article why do you need the page photo of it at the start?

LOTR Tactica - No comment...

Tactica: Ogre Kingdoms - Again I can't really comment on the content as I've not played any Warhammer (yet) but I like that they carry on supporting recent releases with interesting articles like this.

Armies on Parade - I am hoping that this is going to become a regular feature. I really enjoy looking at other peoples armies and hearing their explanations about choices/schemes. Long may this continue.

Sisters of Battle workshop - Not a lot to digest here. Yeah it's great there's some painting guides but the actual article just feels quite flimsy.

The Augury - Totally pointless. Could do so much more with this section.

Overall I read a huge amount of this issue, including parts that I'm not really interested in! I think this was because there was an enthusiasm about the articles that carried me through it. WD always take amazing photos, and it looks like the writing is slowly coming up to meet it, time will tell. I'd rate it a 7/10. Above average but not in the top quarter. Oh and what's up with no 'next month' page? I've got to turn to forums to get me excited which just isn't how it should be.

Friday, 4 November 2011

1750 point Ultramarine army

I created this list using two primary concepts, what I already own and what I think looks cool! It's not built to be super competitive and is what I think is quite inkeeping with a standard codex army, albeit with a heavy leaning towards the elite slots.

- Sicarius.

- 10 man tactical squad, meltagun, plasma cannon, powersword, plasma pistol, in a drop pod.
- 10 man tactical squad, meltagun, missile launcher, power fist, chainsword, in a drop pod.

- 10 man assault squad, lightning claws.

- Terminator squad, assault cannon, chainfists.
- Dreadnought with lascannon.
- 7 Sternguard, power fist, combi melta, in a drop pod.

- Predator with lascannon sponsons.
- Whirlwind.

Weighs in at 43 infantry, 3 vehicles and 3 dedicated transports. Or 12 killpoints.
My initial thoughts to tactics would be to start with just the assault squad, dread and 2 tanks on the board. Sicarius would catch a ride with the Sternguard and the terminators would deepstrike.

What would your take on this army be? Where do you think it's strengths are? It's weaknesses? Answers on a postcard please!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Thousand Sons

I started off not really enjoying this book to be honest. I had it in my head that it was going to contain a lot of very strange stuff and wouldn't really relate to things I like about 40k. I vaguely knew that at some point there would be a battle with the Space Wolves but other than that I had no idea what to expect.

The first few chapters didn't really help change my opinion. The Sons were doing some archeology and research and stuff on a planet, and I was just launched into the middle of these marines with really strange names. It was only when the remembrancers and the Wolves showed up that the Sons started to feel more 'human' and I could relate to them a lot more.

Without going into details the story really developed with a huge amount of detail and depth, from the descriptions of how the different cults fight, to the council of Nikea and by the end of the second part I was well and truly attached to Ahriman and many of the other characters., even Magnus, despite him being a total prat about stuff. Not as much of a prat as the Emperor though, crying about his broken science project.

It all climaxed with the grand battle for Prospero and by the end of it I was so sad that the Thousand Sons had been misunderstood and betrayed by Magnus I properly ended up hated Leman Russ and especially Wyrdmake.

Overall this book was a very impressive story and has made me rethink my opinions of McNeill, not that I ever disliked him, I just wasn't caught up in the hype. A very respectable 7/10 and I can't wait to read Prospero Burns. But up next is Nemesis.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

1st company Sternguard drop pod

I'm so glad that I've nearly finished this! At the moment it's pretty much finished. Everything has a basecoat and is glued together.

Speaking of glueing (?) I had totally forgotten how awful these are to put together. I hear a lot of talk about how land speeders are the most painful kit to assemble. I totally disagree having put this together. It was literally a race against time to get it all stuck together and straight so the doors can open and close. It's not quite right because there's gaps around the right side of each hatch but glad that is out of the way.

All that needs to happen now is a Babab black wash and doing the highlighting however that can wait until I've got the 2nd pod to the same level.

I learnt by doing the white upper fins that I really need to water down my white a lot more than I do. They don't look too bad now but it took so many coats it really slowed me down.

One thing that went well with it was the hazard striping. On my last pod I ended up painting the yellow over black after basecoating in grey. This time I used the yellow foundation to paint the whole thing then painted the black over that, worked much better and so much faster.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Grombrindal, The White Dwarf

This actually makes me really happy that I'm still a subscriber of white dwarf! I originally took out my sub to get my hands on the Dwarf model each year and was worried that this years would disappoint, how wrong I was. Even though I can't figure out how this is going to fit into my army (once I eventually get round to painting it) I'm going to try my hardest to shoehorn him in. One concept I was thinking of was setting my dwarfs in a seaside port with this dude leading the pirates, while my Bugman miniature(s) are in the town frequenting the inns and taverns! Let me know what you think of this idea, any suggestions for other nautical dwarfs would be much appreciated thanks!
Edit: I've just been flicking through the GW site seeing if there was anything to fit into my pirate themed army and shiver-me-timbers I've found gold!
These are in the collectors section, Long Drongs Slayer Pirates. They're quite pricey but they will fit perfectly with him, just need to get they're beards the same colour.

I was also thinking, what would any self respecting dwarf pirate use to shoot things? Cannons that's what! By replacing or kitbashing the crew these guys could look like they'd just wheeled that beast off their ship and onto shore.

That's it for now, yo ho ho and a bottle of dwarven rum!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Necrons leak

Tonight after work I checked the rumours forum over at Warseer like I do every night to see if anything new had come to light. I was so not prepared for what I found... necrons are finally here and look kick ass!

All of these photos have been taken from www.beastsofwar.com who have replaced their whole site with just the one page showing all of these photos.
These two look like some special characters, nothing about updated C'tan.

I think these Lychguard are meant to be another troop choice, something the 'crons were sorely in need of. Their weapons and huge shields look so cool.

This 'chariot' is completely off the hook! It looks so imposing and in the smaller photo looks like the same chassis is used for some kind of weapon platform too.

The Deathmarks are another troops choice along the lines of scouts with sniper rifles. One thing you might have noticed are the lack of green plastic rods. I really hope that these are still included as an option.

I think this looks fantastic. Kind of like a viking longship only without the hull. My girlfriend thinks it looks like a rollercoaster, either way this transport is going to be a lot of fun.

I'd never really paid much attention to the old flayed ones (or the whole necron army for that matter) but this really look like they fit the fluff, I can't wait to read up on these guys.

These for me look a bit too Tomb Kings but really can't complain about the army getting more choices.

If all of these models turn out to be true this is going to be a release to really rival the Dark Eldar and has me seriously tempted to bankrupt myself. As much as Games Workshop have done in recent months to piss people off they also still make unbelievably great miniatures which at the end of the day is what it's all about. Fingers crossed this level of awesome is carried over to the Tau codex!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Fallen Angels

For those of you who might be thinking 'damn, that guy reads fast' have no fear, I don't have impressive page turning skills! I've just been porting over my older book reviews from my tumblr blog and with this instalment I am finally up to date...

Straight up from the start this book was incredible. The story flicked between the two planets where the Dark Angels were at the time. That and the fact that each chapter was concise and really well written meant that I was able to finish it in super quick time.

It kind of explained a bit about the Dark Angels' secret which was really gripping but didn't cover why Luther had been exiled in the previous book. Also there wasn't too much weird daemon stuff going down which is a bonus!

Probably my favourite book of the Horus Heresy series so far, 9/10.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Distractions, distractions...

Building a drop pod is a real hassle. For no apparent reason I find it really difficult to find the motivation to finish it. So I've been doing a fair bit of hobby procrastinating, from reading the latest White Dwarf, undercoating a load of stuff, and then going completely off track and working on these...

I've had my Planetary Empires set laying around for ages, all prepped ready for painting in a tupperware and last night thought I'd do some experimenting with different worlds. So far I've thought of snow, rainforest and moon. Any more suggestions?

These are going to be used in a campaign that I'm starting to write but that's a long way off still.

The Garden of Morr. This was procured from my trip to Games Day and have to say the quality of this kit is astounding, well worth the £30 ticket price.

I don't like having things in boxes or left on the sprue, and even though I have no intention of painting this (or any other WHFB stuff like my Dwarfs) any time soon it needed to be put together.

And the final thing I've been up to this week are 2 of my Arcane Fulcrums. Unlike the garden these are horrid models made out of what seems to be lower grade plastic than normal and some of the joints are highly inaccurate. Again, I doubt these will get used in the next year but it's better they're out on the fantasy shelf than hidden away and forgotten about.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Tales of Heresy

This is the first short story collection in the series and before I get into each bit individually can I just say this whole book is totally awesome. I loved the way it gave a bit more of an insight into various bits and pieces of the 40k universe.

Blood Games - Dan Abnett. This kicked the book off in amazing style. It started off with the Custodes having a bit of a runaround playing hide and seek before they actually had to do some real work slaughtering some people.

Wolf at the Door - Mike Lee. Mike is fast becoming one of my favourite authors at the moment. This was all about a squad of Space Wolves and how they encountered a Dark Eldar kabal (although iirc they're never refered to as that, just general xenos scum). The Wolves always have good stories, if only they wore their helmets more I'd be tempted to get an army!

Scions of the Storm - Anthony Reynolds. Nothing too spectacular here. Some Word Bearers fighting some more aliens, although there is quite a big revelation at the end which made it worthwhile.

The Voice - James Swallow. Not really a big fan of stuff that happens in the warp, or the Sisters of Battle, but liked that this carried on the story with a few names from one of the earlier books.

Call of the Lion - Gav Thorpe. Dark Angels time, hell yeah! Mostly about trying to bring some stubborn people into compliance. Very interesting stuff but no mention of the way Descent of Angels ended. Thank god Fallen Angels is next.

The Last Church - Graham McNeill. Nice little interlude about the Emperor tricking an old man and destroying his church. Dare I say it I'm not much of a McNeill fan.

After Desh'ea - Matthew Farrer. This was a weird one. Angron had just met the Emperor and been given his legion and most of the story was him beating the hell out of Kharn. Quite confusing to begin with but turned out alright.

Favourite story has to be either Blood Games or Wolf at the Door. Solid 7/10. Fallen Angels next, can't wait!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Games Day UK 2011 Part 1

This morning me and my friend set off at 7:30 for the journey to Birmingham from Cardiff for my first games day since 1996. I was so excited and the anticipation was huge. Unfortunately it was another type of anti, an anti-climax.

The display cases were half empty, the majority of models on show were from this year such as Ogre Kingdoms with a smattering of Tomb Kings. Hardly any 40k except for a bloke dressed as a Grey Knight and way too much space given to Dreadfleet. The ships look too small, the cardstock is too flimsy and it just doesn't engage me at all. Sorry GW.

As we walked into the hall the first thing we saw were a lot of PCs and consoles spread out for space marine, blood bowl and the warhammer thing. This took up a huge amount of space and you couldn't get a t-shirt unless you bought a game which meant there was no luck there.

Next was a dash to the retail area, however we soon found the massive queue which we didn't want to waste time in so instead had a look around the display boards. Some of them had come straight from Warhammer World and others I'd not seen before. The buzz in this area was great with lots of gaming and stuff to see.

The Black Library corner was also in this part with author signings (which I didn't go to because I didn't take any books) and I got a free badge!

The construction tables were for building the Garden of Morr and the arcane fulcrums. Technically you weren't meant to just take the sprues but oh well, I ended up with 2 complete gardens, 2 complete fulcrums and 2 halfs of the other fulcums. An absolutely awesome haul which I'm very proud of!

I had a quick chat with Jervis Johnson before heading into the White Dwarf seminar. It was hosted by the PR/communictaions manager but just felt like a load of spin and bull. But there was a Q&A session at the end and I asked Andrew Kenrick (WD editor) if he was happy with the content of his magazine or if he'd like to put in more personal content which related to gamers and hobbyists. This threw him a bit and started rambling that I should like the brand new releases and that should be enough.

The armies on parade displays were really hit and miss. There were some very stunning and thoughtful entries but there was also a lot of awful rubbish. Didn't see who was the winner and didn't really pay any attention to the golden daemons, the cabinets were constantly crowded.

Overall the lack of surprises and announcements was a real let down, only rectified by loads of 'free' stuff and the always impressive and friendly Forge World guys.

The question now is, shall I go next year?......Yeah probably, boys got to hope!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Recent Forge World releases

So a couple of these are not so new but two of them are hot off the press and very exciting. Starting with oldest first...

This conversion pack for creating boarding marines looks really good.

I haven't seen the rules in the Imperial Armour book and I'm not sure how useful they'd be in a regular army.

Because of this they're quite low down on the Forge World wish list.

Now for the Land Raider Proteus. This looks totally awesome and very old school.

80 quid is just a tad bit on the expensive side being about double what a GW raider costs. Also I'd be concerned about the size of it, mostly whether it would be the same size as the old ones from the beginning of time.

Again, low on the wish list, but due to price this time.

This beauty has only just been previewed and has got me checking my wallet ready for this weekend in Birmingham. The original Contemptor looked sweet but I always thought it looked too plain. Somehow the guys at FW heard my thoughts, pimped it and come back with the Relic version.

This is quite high on the wish list but that depends if I can get to the stand in good time!

And saving the best for last, I am totally in love with this conversion kit!
I'd just recently forked out 25 quid on a brand new in box mark 1b rhino and thought that was cool, this trumps that by miles.
The Mk1c Demios Pattern Rhino is only £33 and is going to be available at games day but up for general release.
This along with some new weapons for my venerable dread are right at the top of my list.

So that's it for now. The Warhammer Forge book is also coming out but no news on IA11 yet with the amazing new Eldar and Space Wolves models yet, hopefully more information over the weekend.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My Ultramarines army

Thought I'd share a shot of my space marine army so far. At the moment it's fairly basic with pretty much no thought about competitive armylists. I basically just buy what I think looks cool. Although now I've started to plan the army that I was to have as my core so tomorrow I'll be picking up another drop pod (or 2) and am very tempted to get some mkV assault marines from Forge World this weekend at Games Day. Then it'll be a mad rush to get them finished ready for my next battle the weekend after...never going to happen!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


I really enjoyed this instalment of the Horus Heresy series. From turning the first page and seeing that there was a map I knew it was going to be awesome!

The story was really well thought out with a good mix of action (titans!) and intellectual stuff with adepts and the psykers and things. The only small criticism I have is some of the descriptive text gets a bit repetitive, like the constant use of the word 'manifold'.

I reckon it's a solid 8/10. Next is Tales of Heresy.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Battle for the Abyss

Just finished this instalment of the Horus Heresy series. Have to say it was a big improvement on the previous book, Legion.

The plot was a part of 40k history I was somehow unaware of, even though it was mostly concerning Ultramarines. This made it a really gripping read.

Basically a few Ultras, Wolves, a Thousand Son and a World Eater learn of the Word Bearers treachery and set off in pursuit of their new massive ship to try and stop it before it blows up Macragge.

There are a few bits of astartes v astartes action which are awesome, but no outright war, which makes a nice change. The main guy on the Word Bearers side seemed a bit hammy and I couldn't stop thinking that their big red ship had Red Dwarf written down the side of it.

There seems to be a trend with HH books of finishing a bit abruptly, this one could've done with a final chapter actually on Macragge with Cestus receiving honours or something like that.

Overall this gets 7/10.

Mechanicum up next.


So here I am! After dabbling with Tumblr for a while I have finally grown up and created a proper blog.

As the title suggests I mainly play 40k but hopefully I'll be able to cover fantasy and many other hobby related areas as time goes by.

I'm currently trying to finish off a 2k Ultramarine army in time for the Tau to be re-released sometime next year, I always get distracted so progress is fairly slow and scattered. For example at the moment I should be finishing some Servitors but instead I'm writing some rules for a campaign I want to run, oh well!

Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, feedback, anything you like really. Over the next week or so I'll be porting over some of my better posts from tumblr. Cheers for your time, Tim.