Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Revelations!

Merry Christmas everyone! If you don't celebrate Christmas, then have a great day anyways! Personally, I'm not Christian, religious, or one to believe in mysticism, but I'm a North American and that means I celebrate the day of peace, quiet, and consumerism.

Anyway, I hope the holiday season was a great opportunity for everyone to receive some 'phat lewt' as the kids on EverQuest used to say. Personally, I received book two of the Dark Sun series The Prism Pentad, and Planetary Empires for Warhammer 40,000, as well as a shelf from Ikea® that I will stick my games on when I move into my new place soon.

I also received some money from family, and as such I'm planning some shopping. I was looking at the Warmachine Battlefoam bag, and was on my way to punching in my credit card information when I stopped. I stared at the screen and couldn't think of why my finger was limp above the "return" key of my aged Macbook Pro. Suddenly, it dawned on me. My eyes raised to the screen and I was blind to all but the price tag. The bag, with shipping to British Columbia Canada, was priced at $180 US. I stared as if into the gaze of Medusa and quickly hit +W, thus closing the window on Google Chrome, and breaking the hold that foul creature had over me.

There's nothing wrong with Battlefoam stuff; in fact, it's ridiculously nice. However a carrying case for ~$200 CDN isn't. There's nothing nice about that. In fact, it's more than I've paid so far for what I'm going to put in it! With all the Warmachine stuff coming out next year, as well as Runewars, Horus Heresy, and the fact that I shouldn't spend money like a playboy in 1920s New York, makes me reconsider what I'm paying for miniature storage.

I did, however, buy the Flames of War Battlefoam bag, and didn't think that a $100 price tag was unreasonable for that (as I can fit at least two FoW armies in there, and it's 25%-50% cheaper), and I'll be reviewing that soon to favorable results, as well as the Space Hulk foam trays. As I said before. Battlefoam makes nice stuff, it's the price tag that's terrifying.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Despite its name, you only get one

So I got my greasy mits on a Tyranid Trygon before its release (because I work at a game shop, suckas!). I built it, and it's on display, but I haven't painted it yet. I will... And I'll get you pictures afterwards. I'm super-excited to finally do my Tyranids after six long years of just sitting in their boxes in my basement.

I also got my hands on a copy of the old Horus Heresy boardgame from Games Workshop. I'll play this to get myself jazzed-up about the new one coming out from FFG.

Also I had some tribulations with Firestorm Armada that I'll let you know about later. I have a review of that coming up as well as a review of Chaos in the Old World, Grind, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3. I'll also do a retro review of the old Horus Heresy closer to the release of the new one, then I'll do a review of the new one! How crazy! Can you handle this?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Warhammer Invasion

With this game and the other LCGs Fantasy Flight does (to say nothing of other non-collectible card games like Illuminati, Dominion, Munchkin series, Chez ____ series, etc.) I will no longer need CCGs like Magic again. In fact, I formally renounce CCGs here!

The goal in Warhammer Invasion (Invasion) is to burn down two of the three sections (or zones) of your opponent's capital city, which is represented by a piece of board game board-like material that sits in front of you. Each section of a capital city can sustain 8 hits, but these hit thresholds can be boosted on a 1 for 1 basis by playing any card you want face down in that section. Not only can these sections be attacked, but you must place your cards down into one of these sections whenever you play cards. By the way these sections are named (from left to top to right): Kingdom, Battlefield, and Quest. Cards are sometimes restricted in terms of which zone they can be played in, some gain bonuses for being played in certain zones, but mostly you just choose to play cards into certain zones to boost defense, or boost the hammers there. Hammers have different effects depending on the zones they're in. In the Battlefield they count as damage icons; in the kingdom they add to the number of resources you get every turn; and in the quest zone they add to the number of cards you draw every turn. Most every card has hammer symbols on it, and the kingdom and quest zones start with 3 hammers on the capital city. In order to play these cards you must pay a number of resources (that you get at the start of every turn per hammer in your kingdom zone) that the card says at the top left of the card, plus any faction symbols underneath that number, that's reduced by the number of cards of that faction in play.

Whew! There's a short summary. I hope it's somewhat succinct, and clear. I love this game. Being a long-time Warhammer fan, I guess I can be considered biased, but my time on the front lines of the Old World also gives me the knowledge with which I can grade a game of this caliber. Invasion feels like you're playing Warhammer. For those of you out there that don't dig miniatures games because you don't like painting, or building, or modelling in general, don't have to be forced into the miniature hobby to get the Warhammer experience. When you unleash the Orc deck, it feels like you have a horde of green skins at your disposal. My favorite example is the dwarf deck, which I've discovered is my favorite in the starter box. The dwarf deck is slow to start, but if you don't deal with them right away they become almost impenetrable. Let's do a faction breakdown 'cause people like that:

Dwarfs - Slow, but tough as nails, with lots of damage negating abilities
Orcs - Lots of troops, and destructive powers. Not as tough as dwarfs, and will likely hurt themselves in addition to other players
Chaos - They have some tough units, and some not-so tough units. They have alot of special abilities that screw with their opponents cards
Empire - They're the chaos of the order alignment. Their special abilities are tricky, but unlike chaos, they effect mostly themselves.

Those are the four factions released so far. They've released a few cards for Dark Elves and High Elves, but nothing that can be built into a deck so far (plus, they haven't released capital cities for either elves). They also have Skaven, but they're neutral cards that can be used with any destruction deck. The armies are ordered into two alignments: Order (Dwarfs, Empire, and High Elves), and Destruction (Orcs, Chaos, and Dark Elves). This is where the game seems most tied to Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR), and why my friends and I jokingly (and lovingly) call Invasion: "Warhammer Online the card game".

So far there's only the starter set with four forty card decks (one for each of the factions), along with 24 neutral cards, a bunch of deck building draft cards, and about eight High Elf, and Dark Elf cards. The deck building draft cards are used for this little sub-game where both players build decks using the draft cards which screw-up the process for the other player. I haven't given these rules a shot yet, but the basic deck building rules are quite free form and simple. No deck may have more than 100 cards and need a minimum of 50; no mixing order and destruction; and no more than three copies of each card.

They're also releasing a battle pack per month. These things contain 20 new cards inside the 40 card pack, and will boost all factions. Like the basic game these are non-collectible and all battle packs of the same kind will contain the same cards. There's also a league kit that's pretty much just a prize kit, as it contains a few prizes, and some loose guidelines on how to run a league.

Overall I'm very excited about this game, and here's why: It's a Warhammer card game that's non-collectible, and is enjoyable and re playable. It feels like I'm playing a game of Warhammer, but it's different than playing a game of Warhammer, and anyone that knows me can testify that I like games that switch up how I play. It lets me explore an aspect of the Warhammer world I've never done before and doesn't require me to buy $40 of booster packs to keep up with the Jones'. The Battle packs are around $12 CDN, and contain 40 cards instead of $5 for 15 random cards in the case of Magic: the Gathering.

Here's some downsides: right now there's some balance issues with Chaos and the Orcs. People perceive the Orcs as too powerful, and Chaos as not powerful enough. My win:loss ratio against Orcs is supporting this statement, but I've had a rough time against Chaos as well. I hope the battle packs will remedy this. Also, the league kit was a bit of a letdown. The prizes are phenomenal, but I was hoping they'd structure it a bit more for me to run the league. I understand the desire to allow the organizer tons of freedom, but I had no direction with that thing. If it weren't for an enthusiastic customer who helped organize it with me, I'd be lost at sea. Thanks Zach!

Also, one aspect that's bothering me, is the fact that there are alot of people that are buying three copies of everything to maximize their decks with three copies of every card. Now, I know this isn't something actively encouraged by FFG, or the designer, nor is this to the same degree as the arms races in CCGs, but still I was hoping an LCG would allow me to escape this kind of thing. If I wanted to be beaten by someone because their deck is min/maxed due to the fact that they spent $36 on battle packs instead of my $12, I'll go back to tapping land and burning mana. We'll see how much of an impact this has on my gaming, but I'm enjoying buying one of everything and playing it as a self-contained game just fine.


P.S. I also wanted to mention that another downside with the game is cosmetic: The box says 2-4 players. It is most definitely not 2-4 players, and I had a customer buy it on that assumption before I did some investigating inside the rulebook back when this game was released. There are no official, or satisfying fan-made multi player rules out there. FFG has hinted that they want to make multi player rules but they haven't. I tried a 3-person game and it was confusing as hell.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update! Just to let you know I'm alive.

So much to get excited about right now. Amongst all the other things I want to do for this site, I just got my grubby hands on Firestorm Armada by Spartan Games. I'll try and post a review on it tomorrow night ~22:00-23:00 PST. Unfortunately this will be a preliminary review, but I'll let you know that ahead of time, and I'll always follow-up review on the preliminary one after I've actually played the game (which shouldn't be hard, there's at least six of us playing.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Box o' Stuff

Today I got a whack-ton of stuff from FFG's Christmas Sale they just finished with on their webstore. I normally stay away from online retailers, but FFG is a manufacturer, so I felt better about that. Not to mention that they were selling Confrontation: Age of the Rag'Narok (CAoR) stuff for ~$7.00 US a box! I determined to only spend $100 (only!), and thus filled out the rest of my order with WFRP2 stuff at $5.00 US a book. As you'll determine from my future review of WFRP3, I love it, thus this WFRP2 purchase was just to fill out my collection.

Unfortunately the sale's over, but lookit this stuff:

I forgot to take a picture of all the stuff in the box before I started taking stuff out, but here's what the box looked like.

Here's inside the box. Man, Rackham loves its packaging.

My ~4000pt. Creatures of Dirz army for Confrontation: Age of the Rag'Narok

The WFRP2 books I ordered: Tome of Salvation, Karak Azgal, Realms of Sorcery, and Sigmar's Heirs


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Reviews You Can Use

So here I come, back again, again!

I know I've had a spotty presence for a while on this blog, but things will start to become more regular from here on in.

Here's what I got coming up!

+Arcane Legions
+Black Powder
+Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition
+Warhammer Invasion
+Chaos in the Old World
+Firestorm Armada

Unfortunately Black Powder will be one of those games that breaks my golden rule of playing at least one game before I review something, as I don't yet have any 28mm historical figures. I'll try and do my best, though, and I'll let you guys know my level of envelopment in the game before I review it.

Projects Logs
+Warmaster Ancients: Romans
+WARMACHINE: Retribution of Scyrah
+Arcane Legions: Romans

Articles (working titles)
+"How to Begin With Miniature Wargames" - An intro guide
+"How to Begin With Historical Wargames" - An intro guide
+"Journey's through the Void" - A how-to guide to creating an RPG campaign using my Rogue Trader campaign as an example.

So that's what you have to look forward to. Expect to see at least one of these next week. Hopefully more!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Almost There

Just to let everyone know I'm still here, I'm just busy with school.

No sooner do I get back from Germany, than I get thrown knee-deep into the mess that was the Autumn 2009 school semester. I'll be back in the thick of it after the 18th of December (just in time for christmas).


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In the Age of the Musket

I got my copy of Black Powder in the mail today. I'll do a preliminary review of it tomorrow once I've gotten a chance to look through it more thoroughly. Click the link in the first sentence to see more about it.


Monday, October 26, 2009


Added another list to the side keeping people up to date with what I'm playing at the moment. I hope the right side of the screen doesn't get too cluttered. I also tidied up the 'games I play' lists. These lists were originally supposed to be a definitive list of all the games I'm familiar with as opposed to games I regularly play, but I found that just showing off the number of rulebooks I own to be tantamount to douchebaggery. I kept the list at games I have fully painted armies for, and haven't forgotten to play/games I'm currently working on stuff for. For the roleplaying game list I settled on listing all the games I own rulebooks for as the list of RPGs is much smaller than the list of wargames, and I only really own RPGs that I actively play, or at least rotate through. My tastes for RPGs is much more focused than my indiscriminate wargame obsession.

Other than that, I'm still busy with school. Another two months and school will be much less stressful, and I'll be able to contribute to this site more often. Right now I should be reading five books and working on an essay instead of goofing around on Blogger® and listening to German hip-hop.

I recently received a fully-painted Warmaster Fantasy army. Hopefully I'll get a chance to use it one of these days. Right now, I'm searching for opponents for Grind, Arcane Legions, and Space Hulk.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Arcane Legions

So while I wait for my Corvus Belli figures to arrive and I start assembling my Roman Legions, I've dug up a bag of stuff from the back of my room that excited me so back at PAX. Arcane Legions is a fantasy/historical game pitting (for now) the Romans, Egyptians, and the Han (Chinese) in a magic-filled battle for the fate of the Ancient World. I'm doing Romans (natch'!).

At first I looked at Arcane Legions and thought, "nah." I mean, the guys that did the Clix games, now back in the seat doing a historical/fantasy game? Clix were collectible miniatures with lame bases, and historical/fantasy is kinda cheesy. I like historical gaming (well, now I do), and I like fantasy gaming, but together can be a tough mix. However I really came around when I saw the demos at PAX (not to mention that the guys that did the Clix games did do Battletech).

I wish I had taken part in the demos, but instead I just watched, and spoke with a very helpful woman who worked for Wells Expeditions. Two things I still don't understand: 1) How the hell are these things sold? I know that some stuff is collectible, and some of it is non-collectible, but I'll be damned if I know which boxes are which, and I'll be damned if the website descriptions would help me with this question. As regular readers of this blog, or my friends, will attest, I'm no longer a fan of collectible gaming (with the exception of MonPoc), and so I'd like to know how I can go about collecting my Roman force.
2) What is the Centurion Club? It appears to be a subscription-based fan club that allows you to do cool stuff à la D&D Insider, like create your own stuff, and gives you limited edition, exclusive, stuff, but it never tells me how much this costs before it asks me for my credit card information.

The game looks very interesting. The models are a soft plastic that's bendy like many collectible figures, but the majority of them are grey plastic on a sprue! I clipped off the Romans and the Egyptians, and removed the pre-painted command/special models from their packaging and affixed them to the bases. The bases are pretty cool. They're these black rectangles and squares pock-marked with holes. Over top of this base you place a piece of card stock that takes up the whole top of the base. In this card stock are empty spots which reveal some of the holes on the plastic base underneath. On this card stock are numbers, directions of facing, and starting positions for your soldiers. You stick your soldiers (bases of soldiers are numbered) into the revealed holes with their numbers next to them and those are your starting positions. You're allowed to move the figs around on the base once the game begins and that allows you to access different abilities or skills.

For instance, the starting positions are ringed with dice, numbers, and symbols which represent defence, movement, skills, and hitting power. During a game I can re-organize my troops on the base, and for ever symbol with a soldier next to it, allows me to use that symbol (again, which represents a skill, ability, or movement value). Therefore my units can (and will) change during the game. It is a regiment-based game like Warhammer, and that appeals to me, it's also played on a 4'x6' (120x180 centimeter) battlefield, which is also appealing to a wargamer such as myself.

Pluses: The rules look simple, but smartly so. They look like they'll offer me many tactical options, but wont have me referencing the rulebook every turn like anything from Rackham (wow! What's with the Rackham burn, jerk?). The base mechanic is spectacular, and I think the way they did historical/fantasy is well done, and appealing to someone like me, who finds them both satisfying separate, but very rarely good together.

Minuses: The measurement in the game is done using a movement tray. There's something about that that irks me. I want centimeters, or failing that, inches; but to take a movement tray and measure my ranges with that? I don't know. I mean, it doesn't seem like a lazy last-minute choice, or an innovative mechanic, it just seems odd, and I can see it messing with my perception of the battlefield, especially when the battlefield's measured in feet.

The models also seem a little strange. They say they're 25mm, but they seem much smaller (~20mm), and they contained alot of flash. However, the most troublesome factor could be the type of plastic used. I'm hoping the plastic will take well to primer, and wont remain damp with it for ages like the figures from Last Night on Earth (which a friend painted, and while they look good, they feel sticky, and that's due to the type of plastic used, and how it reacts to having model paint on it). I know it's not necessary to paint them, but I'm excited to give it a shot. I'd like to add this point as a plus (even though, technically, I'm writing in the minus section); but for a pre-painted, collectible, miniatures game to allow most of the figures to be sprue-cut grey figures just begging to be painted, I think that's very cool.

It's at this point that I'd like to introduce my new rating system. I often speak of new games (especially board games) in terms of how excited I am to play these games. For the most part, I review games before I've given them a true shot. Usually a review is done at the time of a purchase, or a demo, and I've yet to finish the figures, or play a true game, so I'm often excited to get deeper into the game. Even when I'm deep in a game, such as Warhammer or Warmachine, I still may be excited to use something, or play a new version of the game, or whatever.

Therefore on the Wargamer Excitement Scale*, I'd have to say that I'm Excited to play this game.

That's all for now, I'm off to bed, and tomorrow I do some relaxing painting with friends after my hellish 9-hour school day.


*The Wargamer Excitement Scale
(1=best, 5=worst)
1 -Very Excited
2 - Excited
3 - Interested
4 - Not Excited
5 - Not Interested

Warmachine/Hordes Campaign Mk1.0

The Warmachine/Hordes campaign I've been working on is finally finished! Well, at least version 1 is. It took me way to long to do this, but then again try juggling school, two jobs, and some semblance of a personal life, and you'll end up with a similar time-frame.

Here is the link to the file. If it goes away after a while, just let me know. This is version 1. Also, if you're not using a Macintosh, you might see the boxes on the Military Influence tracker, and the Homeland tracker as weird symbols. There's supposed to be 10 Boxes under each faction.

I'm very open to constructive criticism regarding this campaign, as it's untested as of yet. STRATEGIES Games & Hobbies is currently running it, so I'll be able to give you my impression, as well as changes in six-week's time.

As for the first day of the campaign, it sucked. There was one enthusiastic person who made his appearance only to wait an hour and a half for no opponent. No sooner should one appear, than the early-comer has to leave. Thankfully a third unsuspecting Hordes gamer popped in and the campaign was off to a humble start. A quick explanation and the game began without a hitch. Then the game tied at the end. A thorough tie. Even victory conditions, and even points totals. This was not supposed to happen, and as you'll see from the rules of the campaign, this pretty much evens out the benefits and penalties built into the mechanics. Essentially nothing happened. Both players were then left to contemplate ways to break a tie in the quickest way possible. Evidently this method resulted in them playing Pandemic.

I'm hoping the next week will be more solid. I worked surprisingly hard on the simple campaign and I hope it'll be somewhat of a success.

More news about non-campaign gaming in the next post down.


What's New?

Time keeps rollin' on here on the Internet. It seems to move faster than real life does. Therefore I lose track of the need to post.

Here's what I've been up to:
First off, I've ordered all the Warmaster Ancients stuff I'm gonna start with. We haven't figured out a definitive points value yet, but I'm sure the stuff I have will be a decent start, and allow me to get some painting done. In case I haven't mentioned it before, it's 15mm Warmaster Ancients gaming using forces from the Warmaster Ancients book, and the Warmaster Ancient Armies book. I'm just doing early imperial Romans, as I like that period in Roman history the best. All of the figs I'm using so far come from Corvus Belli 'cause their stuff looks incredible, and I don't have to buy 15mm weapons separately like some ancient ranges. Our goal is to have painted, playable armies by January.

Speaking of January, I've been roped into playing in a Blood Bowl league, which is weird. I don't really like Blood Bowl. Don't get me wrong, I think a game that combines American football and bloody, fucking, murder is awesome, especially in a fantasy setting, but it's the tension that gets to me. The tension in Blood Bowl is like nothing ever felt in any other game. When your blitzer runs down the pitch full-bore, only to fail a dodge roll, or a push or something like that, dropping the ball and ending your whole, goddamn, turn it's a little too much for me. Another game with this sort of tension, that's managable is Space Hulk. I like the tension in that game because at worst, I lose a terminator with a failed die roll, not the turn I've been waiting for. However, I have a fully-painted Elf team for Blood Bowl, and I just want to roll dice with friends. Still, I'd rather be playing Grind.

My Retribution of Scyrah marches onwards. I have some pictures to upload, which I'll do later today. It's going slowly, but that's because I paint just about as often as I post on blogs.

My quest to finish a Warhammer army has taken a different path. I was very, very, keen to do my High Elves, being an embarassingly large elf fan, however the clarion call of the dark gods is too much to ignore, and so I've moved onto doing a Warriors of Chaos (WoC) army. This is mainly because my elf army required the purchase of several things I don't have the money for right now, and then the painting of those things. My WoC army requires me to purchase 18 Chosen (a mighty feat, but still smaller than my elf list), and paint them. A more pleasing option. I'll get to my High Elves next, I just really want to have a fully painted Warhammer force.

I've been playing alot of the Fantasy Flight Living Card Games (LCG), and I now see no reason to continue playing collectible card games. You heard it here first, people; I officially quit the realm of collectible card games! It's been a mighty 15 year run, but all good things must come to an end. I highly value my Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, Doom Trooper, and Magic: the Gathering card collection, but when I don't have to drop $1,000,000 on boosters in order to get a playable deck I get excited. Not to mention the CCG crowds are questionable. Besides, CCGs are so '90s!

In Roleplaying news, I'm taking part in a Dark Heresy (DH) campaign. I will play an Imperial Guardsman Sergeant from the planet Krieg (using a Death Korp model I bought at German Games Day), and will be playing in the Haarlock's Legacy campaign. According to the GM, the campaign is so difficult, that despite its claim that 1st rank characters are appropriate, he has suggested we start at 4th rank. I hope I get a bunch of sessions in before my character meets a grisly death. I'm excited.

I also got the Rogue Trader Collector's Edition in the mail last Wednesday. As of now, it's my favorite Roleplaying Game, to say nothing of it being my favorite GW-based RPG. This mighty boast is based off of the fact that everyone in the game plays what equates to the 41st millennium's version of the Star Trek bridge crew, including a player who gets to be captain. And, in typical Kirk style, you lead dangerous away-missions while all the ratings in the ship fight a desperate boarding action in order that you may have a ship to return to. Not to mention that the characters are of a higher power than your Dark Heresy characters. Both games remain fully compatable, however, as your Dark Heresy characters will simply have to be of 6th rank in order to equal a 1st rank Rogue Trader character. There are some more weapons, and a few tweaks to the rules here and there, but I imagine it will lend itself greatly to DH players in the form of more character classes, weapons, adversaries, and starship rules.

That's all for now; I wouldn't want to overload you with all my gaming pleasures, while you sit and play WoW. Oh, by the way, I'm also going to be playing in a Warhammer Online (WAR) guild.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

More on Campaigns and Retribution

First of all, to those reading this on IABN who don't read the blog regularly, I'm sorry for the lack of updates this last month. I was moving from Germany to Canada, and as you can imagine, such an endeavor is time consuming. But now I'm back. Que trumpets.

The Warmachine campaign draws near and I've had to give much more thought towards it than time permits me, however I've come up with a solid foundation on which to build the campaign. In fact, the foundation is so solid that the work I have to do on it will be merely superficial. This foundation of which I speak is the Mighty/Planetary Empires sets put out by Games Workshop.

These two sets not only provide a good-looking, and customizable map on which to play, but also gives me a starting point for campaign rules. Now, I don't think the campaign rules are the best; in fact, when I first heard that GW was redoing the Mighty Empires rules I was disappointed with the rules in the booklet (the whole two pages or so of them). However, it was promised that with the release of Planetary Empires (Mighty Empires' grimdark futuristic sibling), the much-loved plastic hexagons would see a rules set worthy of their beauty. I haven't read through the entire book(let) yet, but I can tell you that that might not be the case.

This disturbs me not, for a skeleton-frame of rules is what I was looking for; and upon that skeleton-frame, I shall drape a leathery skin-cloak, one that resembles a land of steam-powered full-metal fantasy. This campaign shall not only have a lovely map to play on, but shall have a story as well leading up to the arrival of the forces of the Retribution and the turn of the dial towards Mk.II.

I've recently had the pleasure of putting together some Retribution of Scyrah models, specifically the Dawnguard Invictors, the Chimera, Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios, and Dawnlord Vyros. I have to put forward that these models are much better in person that on the Internet. This isn't to say that they're awful on the Internet, but they definitely look flatter online. The same goes with the color scheme, which I saw while I was at PAX 2009, and can honestly say that the paint scheme, in person, doesn't disappoint. All in all I'm confident that these models will make up a striking force once they're on the tabletop. I haven't had a chance to give their book a good read, but I'm hoping to have the models done by the time Mk.II is released, so I can throw down, and eventually rule the Warmachine tournament scene with a pewter fist. I've taken pictures. Behold the work I've done on them so far.

I haven't yet decided on a color scheme, but I'm pretty sure I'll do something green-ish. I seriously can't wait to put a brush to these figs. Soon... Soon...

I also have more games right now than I know what to do with. Space Hulk was purchased by myself today, and I've almost finished cutting all of the figs out of the sprues. Dying in deep-space has never been so fun. As well, I also have the demo copy of Arcane Legions to learn. This will also require some sprue-work, but I'm looking forward to it. During PAX, Privateer Press had a deal on Monstropocalypse sets, resulting in me coming into a starter set and four boosters of Set 1: Rise, and therefore the army, Lords of Cthul. I've been playing with that, as it doesn't require me to paint anything, which is a nice change. And last but not least I have the Axis and Allies Anniversary Edition with me begging to be played like we used to when I was in high school (I guess I was more desirable to A&A then). Let's see if I can't get through it all.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Return of Blogger!

Hail the returning hero! Yes, yes, I know, It's been a while, but when you're trotting around a globe (as opposed to virus-bombing it), things can become hectic. Internet is also spotty.

Yet here I am, sitting at my rather messy desk, currently covered with the memorabilia of my year long sojourn in the Olde Worlde.

What's in store now? Well, Space Hulk, Retribution of Scyrah, Warhammer High Elves, Monsterpocalypse, Flames of War Americans and a year's worth of games that I need to catch up on, so I'm not hawking old product to today's savvy gamer!

Tomorrow's my first day of work back at STRATEGIES. I'm pretty excited.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Transmission Received

So I've decided to not apologize for anymore lack of blog posts... It's kinda lame. However, I have been absent for about 2 and a half weeks. Here's why:

When I got back from Italy, I had to start writing three essays before I left Germany on the 19th of August. Well, it soon became apparent that I'd have to lock myself in my room and write, and that the third essay would have to be dropped, due to lack of time, after a couple days procrastination.

Then, on the 15th of August, I left for Games Day in Köln (Cologne). Now I find myself with only one of the two remaining essays finished, and I leave in 2 days... *sigh*.

To top that off, I had to cancel my Internet already, because I was told that I could only hand in the modem to their office in my dorm (which is open from 14-15 Wednesdays, and 9-10 Thursdays). So I did it on Thursday. Well, now I've found out that I could've handed it into their main office (two blocks from my place), and that I wont be able to get my deposit back 'cause they don't give deposits to foreign accounts, and I have to close my bank account tomorrow!

My god...

Anyways, I'll have more for this blog in a couple days when I'm in Frankfurt and will hopefully have Internet access.

I'll also link to my Games Day photos later.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

On Overwatch

So I'm going to Italy for a week, starting Sunday; therefore I wont be posting anything 'till I get back on the 3rd of August (probably the 4th or 5th). I'm gonna do some more campaign thinking, and some White Dwarf stuff (even though it'll be a week late) then. Some news and pics are coming after Games Day Germany on the 16th, and I'm still putting some work into the intro to gaming article I'm writing.

I also pre-ordered a metric tonne of Retribution stuff! Can't wait 'till September!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Campaign Notes 2

So I want this campaign to have a definite storyline, one that revolves around the ending in Legends and the beginning of Mk2, and also coincides with the troop movements of the Retribution of Scyrah.

I'm thinking of a few modes of play:

This will involve weekly reports and goals for all the factions. Every week there will be cards (probably index cards) handed out every week to the respective generals. These goals will be flexible enough to allow for all sorts of opponents (i.e. one week's Cygnar report wont be exclusive to hunting Cryx). This will allow every faction to have its own story, while at the same time accounting for more than one player of the faction. For instance all Cygnar players will be working towards the goal of Cygnar, whether there's two Darius', or a Stryker and a Haley.

These goals, when reached will provide 'victory points' that the players can accumulate, and ultimately determine the winning faction at the end. It can also be used to tally the individual points of the separate gamers, allowing for a top player, in addition to a top faction.

I haven't decided, yet, if these points will carry over to the tournament, and have the tournament be like another set of games, or if I should have the winning faction, and player of the campaign get a bonus for use in the tournament, and have the tournament be the deciding factor for the whole thing. The problem with that, is there's a chance it could invalidate all the hard work done during the campaign, and I want the campaign to matter. However, I also don't want the tournament to see futile to some, as there will probably be prizes, and thus require an entry fee, and someone, or someone's faction wont enter if they think the thing is hopeless.

One way to ensure a worthwhile tournament experience would be to adjust the points per battle and objective before the tournament so that there's enough, if the lowest faction works hard enough, for them to come out on top as well. While, of course all points will apply to the highest faction as well. That, or because each faction gets its own story, and objectives I could make the underdog's objectives worth more points. This may draw the ire of the highest tier players, but it may require less math-balancing.

Ladder Campaign
This is right out, I think. They don't usually tend to be as immersive as I want this campaign to be, while at the same time, being too stringent.

Map-Based Campaign
These are really fun, and look really impressive, but are a bit of work to set up. I could use the Games Workshop Mighty Empires tiles, but they will probably be in use during the private campaign my gaming club will run. If my Story-Driven campaign turns out to be too much work I can always fall back on a map-based campaign.

That's all the time/energy I have for right now. For all you peoples of the Americas it's somewhere between 12:08, and 15:08, but for me it's 21:08 after a long day of schoolwork, speaking German, and celebrating the leaving of good friends I've made while on exchange, so it's been taxing.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Of Campaigning and Online Networks

A few WARMACHINE-related items this post.

First of all, I need to plan a campaign that will last from three to six weeks (hopefully six), will involve all eight (or nine in the case of the Retribution) factions, and have no limit to the amount of players. This is because when I return to Vancouver I will still be an employee at STRATEGIES Games & Hobbies, and I'll be in charge of running a WARMACHINE/HORDES campaign to celebrate the ending of Mk1 and the coming of Retribution, it'll also end in a tournament.

There are some aspects of the campaign that needs to be there:
+ It needs to be a campaign for both WARMACHINE and HORDES
+ It needs to involve all the factions available
+ It needs to last 3-6 weeks
+ It needs to end in a tournament
+ It needs to be open to almost any amount of players
+ It needs to be fun!

I'm going to chronicle the development here, with a deadline of middle to the end of September 2009. I went through my whole blog and fixed the tags, so everything all nice and tidy. I'll also be adding a tag to this project, cleverly titled: WM Campaign.

, I'm joining up with the Iron Agenda Blogging Network, in order to contribute my delightful opinions, and projects to the larger morass of the online gaming community (Online is an adjective, and not part of the noun gaming). I found, though, that before I do that I need a Privateer Press-based post that's newer than July 27th, 2008! Therefore, this one should do the trick!

I'm still working on that intro to Wargaming article, so that will be up here soon, as well as more of this campaign nonsense. For those that aren't big fans of Privateer Press stuff, I'll have some GW stuff coming around August when I go to Games Day Germany 2009, and in September/October when I work on some Chaos Daemons, and play around with Planetstrike.

Friday, July 3, 2009

White Dwarf 355 - July 2009

So I decided to add a new feature to the blog, every month (or two in the case of No Quarter) I will go through a copy of White Dwarf, or No Quarter, and give my opinions of it. Though it's not entirely necessary thanks to articles such as this, or this, I thought it would be fun to go through them, hopefully add a second opinion to it, and most importantly generate content. So without further ado:

White Dwarf 355 - July 2009

Now, first off, even though I live in Canada (and for the next two months, Germany), I'll be using the British issue numbering because it was the original magazine, and until Canada and Germany switched over to their own numbering, they used the British one. For the record this would be issue 163 for Germany, 354 for the US, and I have no clue for Canada, as I can't find their numbering on the website (plus I have no clue what's going on with GW Canada these days, as it shut down after I left for Germany). Also, keep in mind I'm going from the German issues until September (I'm gonna try and get a British August issue, but we'll see), so if there's any difference between terms I use, and ones you see in your English White Dwarf, then go with the WD, as I'm going by translation, and it's often not a direct translation.

A big criticism of White Dwarf has been that the magazine is simply an advertising vehicle for Games Workshop. The most telling aspect of this has been the 'New Releases' section of the magazine. Now I have no problem with new releases, as I want to see prices, release dates, and pictures as well, but I prefer the days of the 'Red Period' White Dwarfs (191-227 I think) where each game system had one or two pages dedicated to New Releases as opposed to these days. However, this issue has only 11 pages of New Releases and it goes through all the Planetstrike stuff as well as the subsidiary stuff like Black Library and Forge World. Doesn't look like a single thing for Warhammer or Lord of the Rings, which seems a bit strange; and as we'll see, this issue is rather devoid of Warhammer or LotR articles.

Further on we have the news section, which I rather like. In this one we have an article on the Open House event they had in Nottingham which I wish I attended, followed by a preview of the new board game Chaos in the Old World, that's put out by Fantasy Flight, and a blurb about an audio book by James Swallow called Heart of Rage. Despite being a huge Blood Angels fan I haven't actually read any of James Swallow's Blood Angels books, which this is supposed to be a continuation of, so I don't really have any anticipatory notes on it, but I'm excited as hell by the board game, as it has to do with the Chaos gods, and it harkens back to the time when GW made board games.

There's also three teaser sentences pretty much coming out and screaming that the next Warhammer faction to be redone is Skaven, but I don't know if that will surprise the rumor-forum junkies out there.

To the meat of the issue we have "War on all Fronts" the Planetstrike article, that's your standard fare design article, followed by some sample army lists. As a wannabe games designer, I enjoy design articles, as they give you an insight into the mentality behind design (something you can't always determine from the finished product).

This one seemed okay. It didn't go into anything profound (ie, things left on the cutting-room floor, upcoming products, etc.) instead it just gave a pretty good overview of Planetstrike itself, and gave passing comments about the balancing issues inherent in the new expansion.

The lone Warhammer article was a bit disappointing. I'm sure for a new Empire player, the Empire Tactica article would be helpful (and as much as things like this aren't very useful to us vets, we have to concede space to newer players) to the vets out there. I don't have my Empire army up and running yet, and I wanted to get to Standard Bearer as quickly as I could, so I didn't read this article.

Up next is an article, the likes of which I like to see in White Dwarf. This one's a new one as far as I know, and it's called Dave and Jeremy's Old War Stories. This article has Jeremy Vetock and Dave Andrews, two GW veterans giving alternative ways to play GW games (house rules, strange scenarios, etc). This one has them do a Kill-Team scenario with a handful of Catachans against a whole slew of Orks.

I like this kind of stuff in White Dwarf, because I believe it's using White Dwarf to its fullest, which is to provide alternative ways to enjoy your GW games, in addition to previews, news, battle reports, painting guides, and what have you. This one, in particular I don't think I'll recreate, but it provided me with somewhere to jump from if I want to do a similar thing, such as a Death Korps squad that's pushed too far into enemy lines and needs to regroup with it's HQ, or at the very least broke up the new release monotony that White Dwarfs can sometimes fall into.

Another article I like to see in White Dwarfs is an army list, and in this issue we have one for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. It's the Galadhrim list that appeared in the War of the Ring book, but converted for use in LotR. As if harkening back to the days when White Dwarf introduced new units (Genestealer Hybrids back in Rogue Trader), or full army lists (Legion of the Damned in 2nd edition). This was particularly pleasing to me, as I'm planning on doing a Galadhrim army for WotR, and now I'll be able to use it for LotR as well.

Afterwards we get a battle report between Eldar and Imperial Guard using the new Planetstrike rules. Usually I enjoy reading the battle report(s) in White Dwarf, but whenever a new codex or army book comes out, I can tell you exactly who will win, thus I tend to avoid those ones. This one I haven't read yet.

My favorite part of the recent White Dwarfs is Jervis' column Standard Bearer. Jervis is an industry vet within Games Workshop and has created, and contributed to some of my favorite games (including my favorite game: Epic). In his column he muses over certain aspects like collecting, painting, sportsmanship, points values, or in the case of this month's column: the social aspect of gaming. His very British style, and humor remind me of the days when he had more of a hand in White Dwarf articles, and are always a good read.

Finally we get to the painting articles. In this one we have a couple good ones, and some alright ones. Of course, they have a Planetstrike-themed terrain-building article that gives you some examples of bastions for various factions such as Chaos, Eldar (which looks Eldarish, but not very Bastion-like), and some tabletop setups that look fairly impressive. There's not much on the actual execution of these vis a vis a step-by-step guide, but for an experienced modeler, these provide some pretty neat inspiration.

There's a modeling guide for some new Space Marine stuff that's coming out including the Ironclad Dreadnought and the new Landspeeder Storm. There are no building instructions, but I think the point of these articles is to show you some configurations, and most importantly: every damned piece in the kit. I like the cut-away layouts that show every bit, along with a legend telling you what they are. I find that rather handy.

Up next was a rather, disappointing article on the new paint brushes Citadel is putting out. Rather, it seems to be just a reorganization of their current paint brush line. Anyways, it's pretty much a 4-page ad for their brushes. The only good thing to come out of it is a shot of the workshop where the brushes are made, that thankfully shows that it's not done by slave-labor, but instead by happy-looking women from England.

Finally, my favorite is a competition put on by the 'Eavy Metal team, where they each drew a type of wizard from the Imperial College of Wizardry out of a hat and had to build and paint that wizard. The winner got a neat little certificate, and I imagine some bragging rights amongst the other painters. Besides being a look behind the scenes at the people who work at Games Workshop, it also shocased some very nice looking models, and paintjobs.


So that's it then. My overall impression is that this is a good issue of White Dwarf, and that if you're a 40K player with an interest in Planetstrike, or a LotR player who wants to field the Galadhrim from WotR on your LotR tabletop, then it's worth getting. Otherwise not...

My favorite articles in this were (naturally) Standard Bearer, War on all Fronts, The Wizard contest article, and the Galadhrim army list. My least favorite articles were the rest of the painting/modeling articles, and the Empire Tactica article. All in all a very 40K-centric issue.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Podcast no, Weblog yes

So for awhile I've been wanting to do a Podcast. I always thought I could do it well: I'm a stickler for quality in media, and I had a careful plan of keeping it to 60-90 minutes MAX! I may still do one in the future, but for now, I'm not saving up money to buy microphones or rent a studio.

So where does that leave me? Well, how about this goddamn blog? This could be my opinion vehicle (as if the Internet or the accursed "blog-o-sphere" needs more of that), instead of just a project diary.

Therefore I'm going to try and blog at least once a week, with an article of some sort. This is in addition to any other blogging I may do with project updates, or whatever. But seeing as my projects have been on hold this last year, and even with projects I neglect the blog for a a few weeks at a time, this plan will make sure that the blog remains in a regular state of activity.

Coming up next week (yeah, sorry... This counts for this week), I'm going to take a cue from a podcast (D6 Generation), and give my own opinions on how to start in the miniature wargaming hobby (slash lifestyle).

Until then...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

METROPOLIS: Battle-Force Conflicts (initial impressions)

Thanks to the good folks at Battlefield Berlin I received my copy of Metropolis by Urban Mammoth a scant two days after I ordered it. I imagine the post office had something to do with this as well, but I'm not sure. It's all pretty deep.

This is a game I was pretty into around 2003/2004 when it was VOID 1.1, and then it became Urban War, and I was so-so on it. The models had improved exponentially, but the game-play had changed to something reminiscent of Necromunda, and I already had one of those (scratch that, I had two of those); except this time there was no campaign element to the game, so I just had a bunch of figures running around killing things one-off. Now I have no problem with skirmish games when there's a campaign, as I can stand the fighting being centered in the middle of the board if wacky stuff happens to my forces afterwords, but with no campaign, I'd rather just play a battle game, thanks. I'll have to write another entry on that topic.

Regardless, Metropolis is the latest incarnation of VOID 1.1, and hopefully one that will stick around much longer than VOID 1.1 did. You may not know from the descriptor after the title of the game but the makers of a game they describe as "Battle-Force Conflicts" are, indeed, native English speakers, hailing, in fact, from Scotland. I'm just convinced that the chaps at Urban Mammoth like funny names for things, like companies. Also of note, the designers of this game were also involved with Warzone and Chronopia of which I spoke in my last entry. Clint Langley, whose art I shall forever be iffy about, did most (if not all) of the art in this book.

What about this book? Well, looking inside it follows a pattern which gets boring: Page of text, page of text with a picture of a guy/gal, page of text, page of text with a picture of a guy/gal, etc. I would have liked to see some battle scenes, or even a picture of two things fighting on a page. Or better yet, show me some models! I think Urban Mammoth makes some very, very, good figures, and yet there's not a single one in here. Not on the cover, not on the back, and none in the middle! Just pictures of the individual combatants. In this aspect I feel the book lacks. It feels at times, like flipping through the pages of an artist's portfolio. However nice battle scenes and miniatures would be, it wouldn't make the layout anything less claustrophobic. All the text is of the same font, and while neatly spaced and organized, it gives you a cramped feeling, and the line/paragraph breaks feel non-existent, giving it the feel of a long scroll of continuous text like something Jack Kerouac would have written. But like I said, it's still neatly organized.

Despite my ambivalent feelings towards Clint Langley, and the layout of the book, you have to admit that the price isn't that bad. For only £15, 22,50€, or $30USD it's not a waste of money for a gamer, though I don't know if someone just checking it out would like to pay that. It comes complete with all the army lists for every one of the seven factions inside, with listings for every available model (and then some), and an armory section. I'm very excited to start playing this game again.

The game itself plays much like 40K, which I think is a good thing, but many people wont. It doesn't play exactly like 40K, however, and I'll go into more depth in a later post, when I've had more time to look over and digest the rules, than the cursory, excited, glance I gave it after opening my mailbox. For instance the game uses alternate activation, each unit moving before the next is called to do so; there's no armor saves (there's cover saves), instead using only a 'to-hit' and 'to-wound' roll; the game uses d10s, but still does the bucket rolling method that Warhammer and 40K use, as opposed to the single rolls like in Warmachine/Dark Age; there's also cross-referencing charts like in 40K and Fantasy (strength vs. toughness, except in this case it's damage vs. toughness); and they have a fixed-range of weapons where short range is 12", medium range is 24", long is 36", and extreme (the coolest range) is 48". People who like 40K will like this game for the similar style it presents but with refreshing differences which do create a new playing experience, while those that don't like 40K will like it because it's got some of the best aspects of 40K along with alternate activation (which I personally find better than the Igougo® system of 40K/Fantasy/Warmachine/Hordes/etc./etc.), and other aspects which, as I've said before, do make for a different gaming experience than 40K.

I've actually been sitting here for 5 minutes after I wrote that last sentence thinking of a comparison of two things that is similar to the differences between Metropolis and 40K. I guess in all my ramblings on that subject, you'll have to read between the lines and make the comparison yourself. It's not like the two games are identical, but it's also not like they're as different as 40K and Warmachine are, however.

Regardless, if you're lucky enough to live in an area in which Metropolis is played, you can see for yourself. However, let me know when you find one that's outside of the UK, 'cause even if you find one there's a good chance it'll mostly be Urban War gamers, as Urban War requires only a few of the figs that Metropolis needs (around 10 compared to Metropolis' 40 or so). Though, I think that Metropolis will be a richer experience than Urban War, and it seems Urban Mammoth thinks this too, as they're adding vehicles to the game while Urban War will stick to infantry-based battles, and Metropolis is arguably their magnum opus, while Urban War was just the intermediary stage between Urban War, and Metropolis.


Monday, April 6, 2009


Alright, alright, alright, alright, alright! I think I have this thing figured out now.

I came to the conclusion recently that I do too many things at once, and while I wont bore you with the specifics, one thing I've decided to do that will help to focus myself, and rectify something I'm obviously not happy with, is restructuring my horde of blogs.

I used to have one for almost any flavor of interest I had. Now I know better. I've managed to whittle it down to three that I keep going including this one here.

Now what the hell does that mean for this one? I'm going to change it from just a chronicle of my gaming habits, to a wider focus on gaming: commentary, and opinion ('cause lord knows the internet needs more of that; especially the Blog-O-Sphere), as well as the standard journal stuff I've been doing. I've always enjoyed the 'news' posts, and podcasts of Penny Arcade, and I've been inspired by it to forge my own path in non-electronic gaming.

Now this may seem like a widening instead of a narrowing. You are correct sirs, and madams. However, a narrowing wasn't my intention, instead a narrowing was creating too much clutter, as I wasn't thinning my interests, just what goes where. Now I'll have a handful of blogs painting in broad strokes instead of a legion of blogs painting in fine detail.

Overall, I'm hoping it'll be enjoyable and worthwhile to read. I don't exactly (at this moment, or in the foreseeable future) have the connections or resources to provide any previews, or behind-the-scenes action into the gaming industry, so I'll have to tackle the 'interesting' problem at a different angle.

Regardless, as with my other blog, I'm expecting to get things into full swing once I'm back in, lovely, Vancouver in September, and I've gotten everything settled. Until then, I'm in Europe.


Monday, March 30, 2009

German Painting Project II

So, Käpt'n Badrukk is coming along. Slowly. His skin is finished, and I'm just getting started on the metals. I find this project very different than anything I've ever done before for the sole reason that I'm painting a model for the sheer pleasure of it.

I guess, in a way, I've done this before. I've always chosen models that I really like, and painted them for my forces, but I've never before just painted a model independent of any army building projects I'm working on. I like it. I feel like I can take my time, and have a theme that's different, or more complex than anything I'd base a force around.

That being said, the thought of redoing a Space Ork army is tempting, and I do have two copies of Assault on Black Reach waiting for me back home. I've always wanted to do a 'punk-based' Ork army. That is, lots of checkers, mohawks, and other such stereotypical punk regalia. Maybe even a banner with a few band names on it. It's completely silly, but I've always wanted to do it. Besides, the Ork models lend to this theme perfectly.

I figure I'll try some of that punk stuff on Käpt'n Badrukk and see how it goes. I'd post some pictures but I couldn't get the focus or lighting right, and so didn't actually take any good photos. You'll just have to wait for the finished product. Perhaps when I get back to Van-City.

Oh, and I pre-ordered War of the Ring in German (Der Ringkrieg). I'm very, very excited for this game, and can't wait until I pick it up on Saturday.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

German Painting Project

So for the first time in a long while I've gotten something to paint. Well... I had some Warmachine stuff to paint that I brought with me; but I want a project that I'm not doing for an army; instead something I just want to paint independent of anything else. So I bought Kap'n Badrukk, for the Ork faction of Warhammer 40,000. At least I hope that's what he's called in English. I bought him from a German Games Workshop and I threw out the multi-lingual packaging.

In other news they opened a Games Workshop in Freiburg on the 2nd of February. I read about it in a German issue of White Dwarf I bought in Stuttgart. It's pretty cool. It's small. It's about the size of the Richmond Games Workshop in British Columbia, though more rectangular as opposed to square.

I'm pumped about this fig. I'm gonna take my time and chip away at the painting on him. This is because the end of the school semester here has me stressed, and I remembered how relaxed I get when I paint, and even how much thinking I get done while doing it. It's been 'bout six months since I have painted, so why not give this a shot? I have him built, and based. I'll wait while the gluecoat dries on the sand then prime him. I'll let you know how it goes by posting pictures, and so forth.

I'll be using P3 paints primarily, because that's all I have with me, and they're still my current favorites. However I'll be using some of the Citadel Washes because as you may have read before I'm also quite fond of them. I'll be using P3 brushes, and I wont be doing any conversion work on the figure.