Saturday, 25 August 2012

White Dwarf 393. September 2012.

Right, finally GW launch the 6th edition 40k box set, dubbed Dark Vengeance, so I'm expecting plenty of Marine versus Chaos goodness in this badboy. Let's dive right in and see what Kendrick and co have put together for us this month!

New Releases - As you'd imagine this leads with Dark Vengeance, the replacement for Assault on Black Reach. There's the main feature, the limited edition £65 set which comes with all the usual rulers, templates, dice and mini rulebook. It also has Chaos Marines and Dark Angels. Now for that price you get a huge amount of amazing minis. I have to say I love all of them, possibly the cultists are my favourite just because they remind me of Necromunda and Genestealer Cults. The DA characters look awesome too. I ordered this at midnight and have got an agonising wait till next saturday to go pick it up.
Also for only forty notes you can have a carry case specially designed to carry the starter models. I'm sorry but if you buy this you're crazy. Just get a KR multicase!

In other releases they've put out some cool Sternguard weapon options, BA and Eldar finecast along with some Bretonnians so the square-basers don't feel too left out. Oh and btw there's some LotR if anyone cares.

On the Black Library front Dark Vengeance the novel and audio book are out. This threw me a bit as it's priced at 12 quid when the Black Reach one was under a fiver, that's some major inflation.

Dark Vengeance - An introduction to the starter, with small insights into the war that the starter missions are based around. Chaos is represented by the Crimson Slaughter but I can't see what company the DA belong to. Jervis chips in with how important the forging of the narrative was to the development of the set. There's not a lot of detail in this article, it's mostly a glossy blurb for what's hopefully coming later on.

The Hellfire Stone - This delves into the Dark Vengeance conflict, called the Battle for Bane's Landing, and what the armies are fighting over. Something called the Hellfire Stone. There's an extract from the novel which was really cool, I love extracts and sneak peeks as it really gets the imagination firing.

'Eavy Metal - Just in case you haven't seen enough photos of the same 49 miniatures in the previous 35 pages here's two more pages of them. This time there's a few detail close-ups and some alternate paint schemes of the Chosen. I liked this a lot as I want to do a Nurgle army but wasn't sure how they'd look in anything other than red.

The Battle of Bane's Landing - A look into the mission booklet and a mini one page report on each one. They seem really imaginative, and the first one is even a single player scenario for the chaos player. It's great to see what we're going to be getting ahead of time without giving the whole thing away. I'm looking forward to playing through these, even if it's only the once. This kind of structure really reminds me of the Dreadfleet campaign which reminds me I really should get on with painting that, it's almost been out a year! Again there's way too many photos of the same models, only this time they're battling on the usual WD terrain.

Painting Showcase - A look at what the studio guys have done with their minis. There's a nice blue/green chaos army. A really cool shot of Andrew's Chosen and cultist painted white to fit in with his awesome Death Guard. This bit was way too short, I'd much rather have seen more in this section and just lose the 'eavy metal article all together.

Space Marine Modelling Workshop - Four pages of small marine pics showing what you can do with a bit of kitbashing. Cool but really it's just an advert (which follows and is another damn double-pager).

Armies on Parade - Space Wolves from an obviously talented chap called Joseph Oliver. He used the excellent FW Imperial Strongpoint board, and the only negative I can see from his entire army was that his bases don't match the RoB board! Expecting only the usual 2 pages I flipped over expecting an advert for some wolves but found even more shots of his army, including the lovely Caestus Assault Ram. I wasn't expecting that!

Citadel Hall of Fame - It's the turn of the Slann Mage-Priest which is a cool model but they didn't show the older version to give a look into the history of it. Opportunity missed but you gotta love the lizzy lizards.

Standard Bearer - Jervis returns to tell us that thinking about things is a good thing. That's about it really.

Forge World - Sadly no spoilers for the upcoming necron / minataurs IA book or the pant-wettingly exciting Horus Heresy book. Instead we get a seriously impressive look at Phil Stutcinskas' deceivingly named Red Scorpions. They're grey and yellow and look sweet.

Ancient rivals - So the square-basers get their time right at the end with some shots of Chris Peach's Vampire Counts and duncan rhodes' Bretonnians. Neither have gone for the huge monsters/kits and they both look nice, but what is that adding to my hobby? Please tell me how they painted them and why they did it!

Well there you have it. Plenty of Dark Vengeance, with varying degrees of information/glossing over stuff. Although this issue seems to be packed with 40k awesomeness when you scratch the surface you kind of realise there's nothing underneath to sink your teeth into. At all. There's not a single rule or scenario or stat line but there are 21 photos of the hellbrute. Yes it's cool but it's not that fucking cool. Hmm that sentence fills me with deja-vu. Guess I'll end here and give out the score, a whopping 3/10. Sad Warllama!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Podcast review #1 - Turn 8

I've only listened to one episode, number 23, and it seemed to be very well produced. They had an introduction 'jingle' which added to the quality and the sound throughout was great and at a good volume. Sometimes podcasts can be too quiet when listening on my laptop but not this one.

The hosts names are Bill the Veteran, Opy the Wise and Rich and hail from America. They kicked off with hobby progress, then went onto 40k news and rumours. Following on from this is their 6th ed coverage, it sometimes went off topic but was always related to their own hobby which was a nice touch. They also seem to go into a lot of detail and specifics, and while this is great for increasing knowledge it's not always the easiest thing to listen to. Although it's always better to give too much than to skim and miss stuff in my opinion.

The unique part of the podcast seems to be the battle report. Because it's an audio description of a visual thing they go into amazing detail outlining how the terrain was laid out, what their lists were (including reasons for choices) and then set the scene with a story about the battle and why it's happening. It's narrated by a few of the guys and has atmospheric background music which helps with imagining what's happening. Each turn is told like a story, almost as if they were following my mate @charginCarnifex blog posts on battle reportification!

This is then followed up with a discussion of the game, highlights and stand out moments and how certain things worked out. I think it's really cool how they give us both sides to the report, both fluffy and technical. They then take a look at rules in the next section. Either one rule or a related bundle of them. Again they relate it to their personal experience which is handy as it gives context. Finally they reach the end and wrap it all up nice and neatly. They seem to weigh in at around the two hour mark which is an ideal length for a podcast in my opinion. It's long enough to fit in enough content but not too long that it's going to bore you shitless so you lose interest.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone to listen to, whether you're a big podcast listener like me or new to the experience. I'm really happy that I discovered it. Definite pro's for turn 8 are the battle report and that they seem to cover the more 'friendly' side of 40k rather than the tournament side of things as I don't think many people can relate to that and some other casts drone on about it a bit too much. The only slight downside, and it's more feedback than a criticism, is that they could do with a fluff section. Something to balance out the rules section. Maybe they could tie it into the rule of the episode or even the background of what what is the news segment.

You can follow them on twitter, look at their website, and like them on facefook. I think you should do all 3!

Recent news, rumours and releases

I'm not normally one for posting a lot of rumours and news but since so much has happened over the past week I thought I'd give a round up and some of my opinions about what's happened. I'll be covering Dropzone Commander, Spartan Games, Infinity and Games Workshop.

So lets begin with the old timer of the bunch, GW with some 6th edition news. The 6th edition starter box set is on it's way a lot sooner than some would have thought. Various rumours on the forums stated it'd be Chaos marines versus Dark Angels and they have been proved right. It should be up for pre-order on the 25th of this month, pretty much a week away and the contents of the box sound awesome. Dark Angels get a Company Master, Librarian, Chaplain, tactical squad with full on plasma, 5 terminators and a squad of 3 bikes. In the chaos marine corner you get a Chaos Lord, 5 Chosen, 18 cultists and a hellbrute. There was a huge amount of speculation as to what the Hellbrute actually was but no need to wonder any more, here's shots from White Dwarf for everything!

Needless to say it all looks like the dogs nuts and will be picking it up straight away! GW have released a crap video that tells us the date and that it'll be called Dark Vengeance. They seriously need to think their promotions. The final bit of GW news is the finecasting of blood angels and eldar.

So now onto Dropzone Commander. I don't have anything new to add, as Hawk Wargames are fantastic at keeping their fans updated. All I'm going to say is that the rulebooks and models are finally out there and initial reports seem to be very positive.

The huge news from Spartan Games is the create of a sub-division called Studio Sparta. From the sounds of it it'll act like a fully supported specialist games section. Their first offering is going to be Firestorm Invasion, a spin-off from Firestorm Armada that will come in 3, yes 3! different scales. 10mm, 15mm and 28mm. I've never played a Spartan game but have aways been very interested and now that they're heading into epic scale I might be tempted to take the plunge as it should be playable on the same terrain as DZC. Here's a few photos stolen from their website to whet the appetite.

The final bit of news I have is Infinity related. Again, I don't own any minis from this game had have never played it but it looks fantastic and is very tempting, especially with their amazing customer support with free rules and a gorgeous set of terrain and accessories from MicroArt Studio. The news from Corvus Belli is the release of a campaign book which from the beasts of war footage seems very Necromunda-ish. Also they're releasing a brand new race! I can't remember what they're called but they look sweet.

So there you go, my run down of what's what. So much cool stuff, not enough time, and definitely not enough money! Enjoy all!

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Last week I had some annual leave but nothing much to do as my girlfriend was going to be in work so I thought I'd set myself a project! This video explains what was happening...

On the surface this seemed like a totally manageable task but that wasn't taking into account my amazing ability to get sidetracked, procrastinate and generally dither around! By midweek some progress had been made but not a lot. Here's the update video...

So the week came to an end and all I'd finished were the scarabs, immortals and got a lot of things prepped and undercoated, mission failed! Fortunately this week I've had more time to work on the army and the second squad of immortals are almost finished and the Ghost Ark is coming together nicely. I'll be putting up some decent quality photos once I clear the space I normally take my shots but here's a few phone snaps to keep you going!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Outcast Dead

It's been a couple of weeks since I finished reading this one, and for those of you keeping track, yes I have missed out a book!

So the Outcast Dead is written by Graham McNeill and is mostly set on Terra. It follows the misfortunes of Kai Zulane who is an unhappy astropath. I found it really hard to get into this book, and this is going to sound bad, but it's mostly because there weren't enough marines and not enough war! It started off at an extremely pedestrian pace and it wasn't until the final few chapters that it picked up.

I can see where the book is coming from, trying to give us something from a different angle about a faction of the imperium that hadn't been covered in any great detail yet, but I feel that other books have done a better job with other factions, such as what Mechanicum did for the mechanicus.

Now that the negative points are out of the way I'll leave you with the positives! If you like Custodes then you won't be disappointed, there's tons of cool fight scenes where they get to kick serious ass and there's also an ancient warrior who makes an appearance. I won't say anything more than that otherwise it might spoil it for you. The final stand out piece for me was Zulane playing chess with the Emperor.

It was in no way a bad book, it just wasn't what I'd expected from the Horus Heresy, I think Dorn was the only Primarch in it, and for that I'll give it a 4/10. Hopefully over the next few days I'll get round to writing a quick review of Age of Darkness.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

vlog04 - White Dwarf 392. August 2012 review.

Slightly later than planned here's the accompanying video review of this months issue to go with my written one from a few days ago. I tried to cover different things in the video, and it seems to have turned into a critique of how the WD team use the space rather than a review of the content. As always please let me know what you think, cheers.

ps. Sorry about the sheen on the pages, and also for running out of time to do the daemon pamphlet!