Tuesday, 26 February 2013

White Dwarf (399) - March 2013

This month I'm only a few days late, not bad! Let's see if it continues the winning streak from last month, especially since it contains an army I'm part interested in.

Opening Salvo - Jes has toned it down to an appropriate level, and comes across much better for it. The new models are described as being terrific which sums them up and doesn't make me feel like I'm being sold to.

New Releases - Chaos Daemons, so a double release. This has always intrigued me and put me off at the same time. The fact that the minis have to be designed to be compatible with both systems must put a lot of restrictions on the design process but I think they've done a good job of keeping the grimdark in there. It's mostly (well actually only) the Nurgle kits I'm interested in and they look suitably gribbly. The Plague Drones look interesting, but the Herald of Nurgle is amazing, proper nasty stuff. These look like they'll fit in very nicely with the other daemons released a few months ago.

Forge World show us what they've released over the past few weeks, with some of the special units from the Betrayal. I guess the rampagers weren't quite ready when this went to print.

Licensed Games is something slightly different this time. They've released Warhammer Quest for the ipad. I'd seen this back at GD2012 and had a chat to one of the designers, and this might actually be the first app that I pay for. I never played the original boxed game but was very interested in it from reading articles in old WDs.

Army of the Month - A very Forge World heavy marine army this month with a crazy number of superheavies. The scale of it is impressive but I don't feel as inspired by it as last months.

Jervis Johnson - The importance of letting the dice decide. My initial reaction was the think 'why don't you just develop watertight rules in the first place?' Then when I stopped to think about it, a foolproof set of strict rules would be bad (can you tell I'm not competitive yet) as it would greatly reduce the freedom we have in making this game our own.

Battle Report - Daemons v Space Marines. The daemons were a mixed god list but weighted towards Nurgle which I liked, and used the FW plague toads which is cool. The one thing that struck me about the battle was the board. It was a relatively simple set up, one that could be easily achieved by any gamer without a huge budget.

Blanchitsu - More warbands, and another showcase of a hobbyists fantastic conversions. See previous Blanchitsu reviews for appropriate comments.

Hall of Fame - Urien Rakarth is nominated by Neil Green. It's cool to see concept artwork and it's a nice model. As with a lot of these articles I'm not too sure of it's classic status yet.

Parade Ground - Even even more Golden Demon entries. Possibly going too far with this series as it's taken over from the real article for a bit too long. One idea could be to have a Golden Demon section as well as Parade Ground, just showing a single category each month, that way it won't have such an impact on content.

Kit Bash - I thought they'd covered flyers a few issues ago? There's some really neat conversions but I've got a strong sense of dejavu.

Battle Ground - Further showcases from Armies on Parade. The Tau board is very eye-catching. The Imperial Fists are a little underwhelming though.

Paint Splatter - More chaos orientated mini tutorials, how to use the spray gun and the tricky subject of how to paint yellow marines.

Jeremy Vetock - This time round Jeremy talks about what fucks him off. It's an interesting piece as it highlights that things aren't always happy and rosy. Of course it's all done in a tongue-in-cheek manner to keep the mood light, and it was a fun read.

Beth's awesome Raider, not mentioned in the review.

This Month In - Blanche returns to talk about the artwork of Chaos and how this informed the design process. There's talk of inspiration, thought processes and outcomes. The piece about cartography was a nice touch too.
From Forge World there's some great bits that haven't been seen before. The Mechanicum Thallax is intresting, and it's great to see another RoB section in the works. Looks like this one will fit in with the first one.

I didn't feel quite as excited reading this issue as I did the previous one. It's possibly down to repetition more than anything but I'll give it a 7/10.

White Dwarf (398) - February 2013

Yep, I'm a whole month late in reviewing this, so I'll try to keep it brief as I imagine that if you wanted to know about what's inside you will have found out by now!

Opening Salvo - Jes is up to his old tricks again, going to great lengths to tell us how great the new models are.

New Releases - The big release this month were the Warriors of Chaos for fantasy. None of them particularly caught my eye, but if I had to pick a favourite I'd go for the Vortex thingy. Speaking of models that aren't what I'm into, there's some new Hobbit stuff including a non-limited edition Radagast. This model definitely isn't as awesome as the one from the box set, but is still sweet.

From the satellite companies we have a few nice releases. A Ciaphas Cain novel featuring the Tau, and the Legion Champion and master of the signals from Forge World.

Army of the Month - I've been looking at these pages for a month now and I'm still not bored. This is exactly the kind of cool shit I want to see in this magazine! It's a well painted army with plenty of kit-bashing and also and very flexible approach to collecting. Using various different 'types' of Astartes and painting them as one unified chapter. Love it!

Jervis Johnson - I think this whole issue is subliminal. Jerv ties in nicely with the previous army by talking about what it's ok to collect. The answer is do what will please yourself. This, coupled with Blanchitsu and the Army of the Month has had a profound affect on my attitude to the hobby over the past few weeks while I've been unable to do any actual hobbying. I always knew that the freedom was there, but I guess I was just always too busy working on army projects and really stop and think. I'm even contemplating buying a Hobbit figure just for the hell of it!

Battle Report - Once again I'm afraid I kind-of glazed over, except for the great shots of the Night Goblins. I think there might've been an issue at the printers as Andrew's army is so black it's almost impossible to make out details.

Blanchitsu - When this article first returned in the new WDs I didn't get it. The models showcased didn't look like they could easily be used in a game so I passed them off as an odd curio from a talented man. Something happened this time around and I realised the joy of modeling for it's own sake rather than as a means to an end (I hope I got my cliches correct!). The minis on display this month were sent in by a reader and are oozing with detail. I'm already planning in my mind the Inquisitorial Warband I'm going to try and make!

Hall of Fame - Juan Diaz' Sternguard are the focus this month. They are amazing sculpts, however I'd probably rate the Tyrannic War Vets over these, but they're not current.

Parade Ground - Continuing on from last month we get some highlights from Golden Demon 2012. Stand-outs for me this time are Adam Haton's Inquisitor, and Kornel Kozak's Skaven.

Kit Bash - This month it's a look at 40k command squads. There's some really cool examples like the kit-bashed Tau suits, with great posing and an inventive use of different bits. Inspiring stuff.

Battle Ground - Four of last years Armies on Parade entries. These must have taken so much time and money. I was happy to see the Deathwing again, with much better photos than I took. Also there's the overall winner, from Cardiff no less!

Paint Splatter - Mostly focusing on Chaos tips but it does branch off to other areas. Much discussion has taken place about how this article lacks the focus of the old 'Eavy Metal masterclasses. It's just a different beast. I prefer to look at it as a handy collection of tips and tricks that you might not think of on your own, and these techniques can then be learnt, adapted and used on whichever minis you like.

Jeremy Vetock - Some people say this is a waste of two pages, that it's not important and that it's nothing that you can't find on hundreds of blogs online. I think it's actually a very important article. It's very rare, probably impossible to find a hobby blog written by a member of GW, and this is an insight into one of the design teams life in the hobby. Yes it's not telling you how to win at all costs, but it is a slice of fun, written in a very personable manner and shows that the designers are still passionate about the hobby the create.

This Month In - The photos in this section are really dark. It's a shame because this is another area where the passion of the Dwarfers really comes across. There's artwork and designers notes about the Warriors of Chaos, but the star of the show in my eyes is the FW section. Abaddon and Loken are previewed (they've been released now though!) and there's shots of an awesome looking Necron Realm of Battle section. I saw it at GD2012 but there was no clue as to when it'd be coming out. Now it's been shown to the masses I really hope it's coming out soon. It'll be a huge amount of fun to paint.

There we go, short and sweet. I'm not sure if you can tell that I think this issue is great, it's packed with ideas, inspiration, non-studio models and plenty of enthusiasm. So on to the score, wait for it, a whopping 9 out of 10. Nice one Jes, Andrew and co.

Monday, 25 February 2013

WW#11 - Moving, Meatballs, Music, Magic and a Man-Crush

Monday 28th January - Sunday 24th February 2013

Well, I'm back. It's been a long time, almost a month in fact. It's been quite a hectic few weeks moving into a new place. I'd forgotten how much work goes into it, from making sure you tell all the relevant companies and relatives where you've moved to, many trips to Ikea (I'm glad I went before they found horse in the meatballs, they complete the whole experience), and almost endless unpacking.

I think we've pretty much settled in and are feeling at home, it's almost like I never lived in the last flat. So here's a couple of photos of the new place just in case you're remotely interested.

Oh, I almost forgot. The Monday before we moved we saw a gig. It was the first bit of live music I'd seen in ages and they were every bit as good as I expected, they were the Joy Formidable. I wasn't too familiar with some of their new tracks but did my best not to look too much like an old man in a crowd of young hipsters.

Another thing that happened was Valentines Day. I decided to consult with my Jamie Oliver collection, and came up the an interesting sounding mozzarella and chilli salad to go alongside homemade pasta with parsnips and pancetta. Apart from the bombsite that was the kitchen after I'd finished I think it all went alright! Anna got me Professor Brian Cox's new book which was lush, he's my favourite person on the telly, and it's a great read. I just need to catch up on the TV series on my week off.

At some point, I can't quite remember when I went down to my local board and card game shop for a night of Magic. It was EDH night (or Commander as it's now known) and it was a huge amount of fun. I definitely think I'll be playing this a lot more than Standard. I took a Naya deck which you can find here.

I don't think I mentioned it in my last blog post but I picked up a Dark Talon for my Dark Angels and got it built. No photos yet but I'm hoping to get some paint on it later this week. I also finally got hold of a copy of Space Hulk from ebay. Whilst still very expensive it certainly wasn't as bad as some auctions I've seen and I'm really happy that I've finally got it. Once I've had a few games I'm planning to build my own terminator squad / warband to add the personal touch to it.

I'll call it a night there I think. Sorry for boring you with a whole heap of non-wargaming related news! Normal service will be resumed next week with an update on my War Room, a game I've got scheduled and hopefully some painting. Laters!