Monday, 25 June 2012

Tim's Tomb World Awakens!

Those of you following me on twitter (@warllama40k) might have seen these earlier today as my entry for this weeks #miniaturemonday.

I recently decided to get into Necrons, mostly based on the awesome special characters, new wraith sculpts and the knowledge that Forge World was going to be doing some cool resin for them by the end of the year. Since this is my 4th 40k force and the other 3 are nowhere near being finished I thought I'd try speed painting. Normally I never glue my models together until all the parts are fully painting. While this produces good results it takes about 3 days to paint one marine, I definitely couldn't be doing that with this many warriors. I used the great painting guide out of a recent white dwarf, went and bought all the pots I needed and set to work on the first 5 out of 20 warriors.

Before I went for the standard metallic and neon green look I did a few test minis (very very quickly, they look like shit) but came back to this as it would be the quickest, and I love those green rods. I know I'm strange right?! So here's the finished 5 and also the photos of my test model. Enjoy!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

White Dwarf 391. July 2012.

This must be one of the most eagerly anticipated White Dwarfs in a while. Anyone with access the the interwebz should've been well aware that 6th edition was on it's way and pretty much everyone was pinning their hopes on this issue confirming the rumours. It doesn't disappoint! Now this is just going to be my regular review, I'm probably not going to make any judgements about the new rules, I'll just put them out there for you guys to think about!

New Releases - So obviously there's many double page spreads about the 3 different ways to buy the new hardback rulebook. There's the basic £45 just the book option, this is probably what I'll be going for. Then there's the collectors edition which is £80. What you're playing for here is a higher quality of paper and finish and a box to store it in. Yes it's limited and that would normally get me onboard but I can't justify almost doubling the price this time. Finally there's the gamers edition which does look cool. It's £75 for the standard rulebook but comes with a cool satchel and some limited edition versions of the munitorum dice. I can see this one being seriously popular.

Next are the new 40k accessories. Just like fantasy 8th they've got some fancy templates and dice. What is interesting are the Battlefield objectives and vehicle markers. There must be some special missions and rules for these to have come into existence. There's also the psychic power cards. These are just like the fantasy battle magic cards, and while not essential do look like a handy addition to the game.

Finally we get onto the miniatures. Only 2 new ones this month, Anrakyr the Traveller and Orikan the Diviner for the Necrons. Both of these guys look sweet. They're going to be released on the 21st July along with a huge finecast release including Dark Eldar beasts, Ork special characters, some Grey Knight goodness, and for some reason it's hidden near the back, commander shadowsun and some other Tau bits.

There is Only War - The main event! There's a huge wealth of information here along with some amazing photos of battles and some of the great new artwork. I can't tell what's changed with the photos but they look so much more epic than epic last issue!

Here's a list of the snippets of rules included in the article -
Hammer of Wrath special rule - Jump units can leap in the air then smash down, ala the Space Marine video game.
Vector Strike - One for flying monstrous creatures to swoop down and attack.
Overwatch - A free shooting attack at BS1.
Nearest models to the enemy get removed first.
Throwing grenades are back in the game!

They've increased the force organisation chart so we can now take allies with our armies and also we can purchase scenery and terrain to benefit from certain effects or just to provide more cover and guns. Our main HQ choice is now called a Warlord and there's a choice of 3 special traits to choose from (via a dice roll) that infer either command, personal, or strategic benefits.

Scenery comes alive, much like in 8th ed fantasy and the recent awesome death worlds expansion. These rules are in the battles section of the book and are called warzone traits. It seems like a lot more can happen which is a great thing in my opinion. Always better to have all the rules there then decide if you want to use them or not rather than not having them at all.

It seems like they've expanded on the range of missions and scenarios available from the book with 6 eternal war scenarios and loads of objectives to achieve with different primary and secondary ones. In the battles section there's apparently all kinds of goodies about narrative gaming and campaigns, this is what's exciting me the most about all of it! There's also all kinds of terrain modelling pages, which seem to be way more than just telling us to buy their stuff.

There's an appendix at the back that has all the stats and gives updates to all the existing units like the new hull point values for every vehicle and all the psychic powers. There's 30 of them that tie in with the cards. I love the idea of these cards as it takes me back to 2nd edition. Maybe the missions and objectives could be made into cards too?

Armies of the 41st Millennium - A huge section showcasing a lot of the armies painted by the chaps at HQ. Most of them look really cool and it's been good fun spotting the conversions and tweaks they've made. What's really exciting is the box-out asking us to send photos of our armies to what's new today using

The Scouring of Kasr XV - This battle report was between Andrew Kendick and Simon Grant and uses the new The Scouring scenario. It's a classic Imperials v Chaos with some allies thrown into the mix along with some fortifications. There's a new way to deploy called Hammer and Anvil which goes lengthways, very handy with all these new flyers. A new rule called smash allows monstrous creatures to halve their attacks but double their strength and psykers can swap their codex powers for the new main ones. The flyer rules get showcased with the differences between zooming and hovering and there's mention of random charge distances which should add spice to the games. Looks like there's plenty of great rules and ideas for us casual/narrative gamers, and on the flip side plenty for tournament players to moan about!

Battlefield Terrain - An overview of some of the fortifications and what they can do. Some snippets of rules but it's mostly advertising.

Assault on Fellstorm Airfield - Following on from last months White Scars/Orks article we get another new scenario and a mini battle report.

Tau Sept Hunter Cadre - A hobby guide to the much neglected Tau. There's many pages of handy painting guides (well handy if you're doing the classic yellowy brown scheme, not so much if you're making it up!) including kroot and vespids.

Forge World Imperial Armour Aeronautica - A quick advert for the new FW book. I hadn't heard about this so will be checking it out as soon as I get done with this review. What seems strange to me about the photos is the inclusion of the Tau Manta. There's no price next to it, but why advertise a £900 model when hardly anyone can buy it, why not show a tigershark or the marginally more affordable Orca?

Hour of the Witch - Mat Ward talks us through the new psychic rules and how to shoehorn them into our existing 5th ed (and some 4th ed!) codexes.

Standard Bearer - Jervis is MIA this issue so Jeremy Vetock takes over telling us about what he likes in the new ruleset. At least that's how it begins but it soon turns out to be just how much he likes playing with his mates. A welcome change to Jervis, bless him!

And that's about it for this month. After so much focus on fantasy this past year it's great to see an entire issue for 40k, with not even a nod to LotR either. It's hard to separate my excitement about 6th from my thoughts on this issue so I'm finding it tough to score. I think I'm going to give it a 7/10. It's got glimpses of the new rules which is great but there's not enough depth to any of the articles. I hope that in future there'll be more campaign and narrative talk and even more new scenarios like the Airfield series. Above average but not as mind-blowing as it should've been.

As an aside, I was wondering if anyone saw any merit in a video review of each issue? Would probably involve a fixed 'top down' camera with me flipping through the pages and commenting!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

6th Edition is finally here, now with White Dwarf photos!

So after a huge wait and much speculation about what's actually going to be released we finally have visual confirmation from an early White Dwarf about all the goodies coming out in the next few weeks.

Obviously the biggie is the rulebook and it looks like there's two editions, the collectors and the gamers. Both look amazing and it's going to be a tough call which one to get!

Along with these very nicely produced, but limited edition, sets they're releasing the new dice and accessories separately too. There's the Munitorum dice, templates, battlefield objectives, a tape measure shaped like a servo skull and also some vehicle markers. All of which looks extremely cool however I think the tape is going to be too bulky to be practical.

Then there's been some snippets of the new rules. Most of the focus has been on the revising of the psyker rules and they're releasing a pack of psychic power cards like the magic packs for fantasy. Then there's a table that appears to say which powers each race can use. This indicates that there's going to be a massive faq released very soon too.

I seriously cannot wait for my White Dwarf to arrive later in the week to digest all this intel properly.

On an equally exciting note the final Necron special characters are being released this month too. We have Orikan the Diviner and Anrakyr the Traveller. Both sculpts look amazing and round out the army perfectly.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Tutorial: How to make paved square bases.

Mid way through edge highlighting the lovely Doom Scythe my short hobby attention span struck again and I suddenly decided I needed to show my old Dwarf army some love. I hadn't done anything with them since the big push over Christmas and January so settled on actually finishing a unit completely. I knew I needed a movement tray as the last game I played it was a pain in the arse moving stuff without them. I'm also running dangerously low on blu-tac as that's what is holding most of my models together.

So here is my step-by-step guide to how I made those extremely cheap but effective bases.

I started off by measuring out and cutting lots of 17x17mm squares of plasticard. The variety I'm using is 1mm thick. You could go thinner since this is just giving you a flat layer over the slotta hole and a bit more height and style to the base.

Next up I measured and cut hundreds of 5x5mm pieces of plasticard to make the cobbles/paving slabs. This leaves about 3mm spare for the gaps, just enough so it's worth it but not so much that it looks weird.

This is definitely the part that I'll be improving on next time. The squares started off too perfect so even after step 3 they were still very regimented. I would recommend not using the measured lines as an absolute to follow but as a loose guide to freely cut over. Also I think that using different thicknesses of plasticard such as 1mm and 1.5mm would add some iterest and depth without making it impossible to mount your miniatures.

This stage is the most fun but definitely the most dangerous. Fucking up the surfaces and corners to add a bit of realism! Fortunately I'd finished 12 bases before I sliced right down my thumb halting play.

Just trim off any sharp corners, make divots and grooves using a hobby knife, modelling files and small drill bits. Just make sure you give them a thorough scrub with a brush afterwards to get all the bits off.

Once you're happy with the level of damage you're all good to undercoat and move onto stage 4.

The way I paint my bases is to heavily drybrush the top with the same colour I paint the sides, Deneb Stone in this case. Then it's time to slop on the Agrax Earthshade and wait for it to dry.

Then it's picking a few earthy tones to pick out random cobbles in. I used Ushabti Bone, XV-88, and Tau Light Ochre along with Scorched Brown from the old range. I don't fully cover the surface with it but there's too much paint on the brush to call it a drybrush. Maybe it's an over-brush?

So here are what the bases will look like once another wash has gone on, this time Gryphonne Sepia, and I'd gone around the sides with a second coat of Deneb Stone again to neaten it all up.

These are now ready to glue your miniatures on to. As I am using them for Dwarfs a got blob of superglue would do the trick. However for taller models or metals you might need to experiment with pinning.

A quick note on this part actually, you will need to slice off the slotta tabs if you're going to make use of these types of base. Sounds obvious but could be easily overlooked.

The movement tray is equally as quick and simple to make as the bases. Mine needed to hold 4x20mm bases across and 3x deep so needed to be 80x60, I added a couple of mil each way as a buffer then added a 6mm border to build up to the paving giving me a 94x68mm rectangle and a few 6mm thick strips. These were glued in place then again 5mm squares were glued up top, attacked with a knife then painted using the same method as the bases.

I prefer this type of base to others that have a narrower but higher lip as you get to add more to it and also see more of the bases.

Once you've followed each of these steps you should end up with something like this -

Overall I'm really pleased with the outcome. So pleased in fact that I'm wondering whether there could be a small business opportunity in this. Although paved bases do seem to be a very niche market and there are loads of base makers springing up every day! Maybe I could undercut them?!

And finally here's a shot of the bases with the unit glued on top. Let me know what you think of my first tutorial please.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Warhammer 40k 6th edition announced!

Hell yeah ladies and gentlemen, it's finally here and a bit sooner than most were expecting!

It won't let me embed the video at this point in time but hopefully this link will work -

Also here's the actual announcement on GW's What's New Today Blog -

Sorry there's no opinions or any witty comments, it's very late and I've had one of the worst days ever. Maybe tomorrow night I'll be back after work to pad out this flimsy excuse of a post!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Games Workshop iPad Codex

Over the weekend GW have hit us with a big surprise. After so long not really doing much in the digital realm they have released codex Space Marine and a few other bits like a How to paint Ultramarines guide and some Storm of Magic scrolls.

Already over on Warseer they are up to 17 pages of GW bashing and Apple hating. Yes the new releases are for iPad only, iPads are cool, deal with it. The main bone of contention for most people seems to be the £25 price tag for the codex, around the same price as the physical copy. People have been suggesting they should do a deal where if you buy one you get the other at a discount. Yeah maybe they should've done that to begin with but they haven't and aren't now going to, move on.

Having an iPad in my house but not the money at the moment I had a look at the Sample copies and have to say I'm really impressed. The way that it's laid out makes it so easy to navigate, but the star of the show has to be the integration of all the rules and explanations. Each time you find a rule that you're not quite sure what it does, such as a USR, all you do is tap on it and it'll tell you. No need to flick through the rest of the codex or dig out a different book to check. This should definitely have a positive impact on the game by speeding it up but also by making it easier to introduce to new warmongers.

Other additional content that has been included are the expanded 'eavy metal colour pages. These now include slidey box-outs which show other options or a different chapters paint scheme, very cool.
What I'm hoping for the future is that new rules will be added to these digital copies via a free update, as far as I'm aware there's no way to charge for updates on the iBookstore, unless they release the new rules as a 49p separate thing, less than a bar of chocolate! On the whole I'm happy with these releases and hope that they keep coming and getting better and better.