Goals - May Pt2

It's been a funny month in terms of hobby.

I seem to have hit a bit of a lull, while simultaneously putting up more blog posts than any previous month. While not all strictly hobby posts I've none the less had to find time to write and post them, which means I've not been completely divorced from things. Just the painting and miniatures side. Real apathy would see a few days of posting not go up.

I've achieved at least part of my goals, and not, strictly, bought any models this months. I have though funded a number of cloud funded projects, so that I'll have one or two things coming through the post at later points in the year. I've also picked up books, transfers and Ravage, so it's not been entirely free of hobby related spending, but not bad.

I have failed spectacularly to get any painting done this month, with a combination of apathy and other things (read  playing Diablo 3 and reading manga) getting in the way.
All in all the above isn't brilliant, and I need to get things in order next month. I'll be setting out a bit of a plan tomorrow.

Relics 24 Hours To Go

Quick reminder post, that Relics' IndieGoGo Project has only 24 hours left on the clock for those wishing to join in.

Here's my very brief overview of the game, and if that's not enough to tempt you here's a bit of concept art for the miniatures being made for the project.

Privateer Press and the Aliens

*Update* From PP

"Astute readers of Matt Wilson's blog may have noticed a hidden message in his Privateer Insider post from 05/29/2012. That message leads the clever one link further on the chain to to an important piece of information. The first three people to post that exact piece of information to Privateer Press' Facebook Page will receive a free copy of LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE]! Good luck, but remember, some doors in LEVEL 7 are best left unopened."

This flicked up on my radar a few days ago, but I didn't post it at the time for various reasons. Here then, is the news in brief.

Privateer Press are being linked to a government conspiracy to belittle the existence of aliens.

At least it's not the zombie outbreak in Florida. Still ridiculous though. And somewhat weird when you have a few of the details.

Here if there rebuttal to this, which includes links to the site making accusations, as they're not going up here. My one comment is I've not see a colour scheme like that for years.

It's a shame that I've had opportunity to use this image really. Here's the cover of Peter Jackson's first film, Bad Taste. Title and subject matter seem to fit.


Today's post is a very quick overview of Relics from Tor Gaming. Go support them on IndieGoGo here, there's only limited time remaining (43 hours at time of posting). A free pdf of the abridged rule set can be found here

It's worth noting that the starter packs I've listed below are due to be altered in the next few months to bring them all into roughly the same price and points brackets and provide a wider coverage of the rules with the inclusion of different models. The IndieGoGo project will be fixed around these sets though.

My knowledge of Relics background is still fairly sketchy at best, having been peripherally aware of the game for a while, but never really digging into it. More background can be found in the free rulebook. The video embedded below provides an explanation of the game and mechanics.

Relatively new (published 2010) to the tabletop the IndieGoGo campaign will fund the release of Relics' fourth faction, the Nuem, but includes options for any of the three existing factions.


The puppet army of mad King Jorje is bent on reconquering the Empire, through the sheer weight of numbers of their troops. 


Having caused the cataclysm that doomed the world of Relica the corrupted Vaettir are deperate to set right their wrongs.


The Orcnar are slowing dying out and blame the other races of Relica for their demise.


The Nuem live lives of constant torment, encased in mechanical pain suits. They've emerged from their subterranean enslavement mad from long exposure to Mord Shards, and pose a threat to all they come across.

The Nuem are available only through the Relics IndieGoGo project at the moment, so anyone interested in sadomasochistic dwarves (I really hope I don't get any search coming here thanks to that term. They'll be disappointed), would be advised to move very fast indeed.

Infinity - New Releases

More gorgeousness from Corvus Belli.

Deva Funcionaries - I'm impressed by all four models in this set. The Devabots look good, and the Functionaries have good poses. Shame that the two genders aren't equal sexualized, because a bit more gender balance in the sculpts wouldn't hurt.

 Mulebots - A pair of nice sculpts, as seems to be the case with all of Infinity's robots. The EVO Repeater bot is the better of the two though.

Daktaris - An alternative sculpt to the catgirl model  this is probably going to appeal to those who didn't like her. There's nice action in the pose, although the hair seems a little static.

Support Pack - As with Yu Jing last month this set includes previously released models (and the new Daktari) that have been collected together as part of preparations for the release of the Missions/Campaign book.

Dozer - This model wins for sheer understated brilliance this month, with masses of detail and little touch that reward a second look.

Malignos - Infinity's aliens have a distinct look, and while I dislike the colour scheme the model itself looks to be a characterful sculpt. Not enough to draw me into a Combined Army, but a strong addition to their ranks none the less.

So, another good month, with a bit of something to suit everyone I think, and only increasing the temptation of an ALEPH force for me.

Cloud Funding Round Up

Below is a list and brief paragraph or two on the four big miniature game cloud funding projects. While all have topped their funding goals by some way that's no reason to not support them further and push them on into stretch goal territory.I've ordered them by descending time left, so hurry if you want items from the Relic or Bushido projects. Those companies and game I've not talked about in detail (Tor Games/Relics, rather criminally Mantic/Kings Of War etc, and McVey Studios)  will be getting posts of their own in the next few weeks.

Relics 4 days left, $6,371 of $600 funded

Relics stitchpunk (promise I'm not misspelling) styling gives it a very different feel to many other games. The armies of Britanan (British dolls), Vaettir (vicious faeries), Orcnar (beasts) and now the Nuem (twisted Dwarves) clash in 28mm battle

Here's a link to the games site, the store (the easiest place to view the models) and the free rules.

Bushido - 5 days to go, $23,655 of $5,000 funded

I've talked a lot about Bushido on the blog already. Go fund them and get some truly unique and lovely models.

Kings Of War 27 days to go, $32,862 of $5,000 funded

With an impressive total achieved in a very short space of time, Mantic's Kings Of War project is already unlocking multiple stretch goals. Using Kickstarter to fund new models as well as associated products the big release is the Hardback Rulebook by Alessio Cavatore (GW vets should know that name). The selection of Orc, Undead, Elves, Goblins, Abyssal Dwarves and Twilight Kin goes head to head with Warhammer and does so at a cheaper price. The range of pledge options is impressive, and well worth checking out, especially if the stretch goals continue to fall.

Avatars Of War - Dwarf Army 29 days to go, $1,450 of $20,000 funded

In need of more funding than the other project, Avatars Of War is famous for making some utterly stunning character models for Fantasy games. With a push towards their own system and large armies this project will fund the Dwarf force. To get an idea of the overwhelming quality the regiment kits would offer have a look here and here

Sedition Wars 33 days to go $67,447 of $20,000 funded.

With the sculpting talents of McVey Studio driving the project, little more needs to be said. With stretch goals already falling, this set looks gorgeous and is only going to get better as funds are added.

Sunday Photo Page - Disappearing Time

This is almost a broadcast signal intrusion, but not quiet.

Surprisingly Diablo is not the reason I've not been painting. Not the whole reason anyway. My time recently seems to have been eaten by reading manga of various stripes, rather than getting painting done.

Here's a selection. Note that Uzumaki is not for the faint of heart, nor is the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. The picture sans title (final image) is FLCL It would appear red and black covers are the in thing. And that's all the comment I'm going to make, as this isn't that sort of site, and I do enough reviewing elsewhere. 

From The Æther - Infinity & Dropzone Commander

Studio Giráldez has two beautifully painted Mulebots for Infinity to show off here.

Hawk Wargames continue to tease the merry hell out of their upcoming Dropzone Commander with more and more models being shown, pretty much daily. You'll want to check out Facebook, their gallery and come the 1st June their website.

Sedition Wars

The love affair with Kickstarter seems to be possibly coming to an end (even xkcd is getting in on the act; here and sort of here) as quality control becomes an issue, as well as the whole Tentacle Bento thing (I'll let the less faint hearted of you look that up yourselves).

However that's not to say that there aren't good products on there...

Studio McVey has just put of a Kickstarter for a Sedition Wars box set. Go check out the link for more information, suffice to say that the miniatures look lovely, as you'd expect given the pedigree. The boxed game look like it makes a significant saving on the individual models, although at $25 for international shipping that may throw the sums of whack for anyone outside the US. It's certainly worth a look anyway.

GW Blog Slowing Down

For the last three weeks the GW blog has slipped from three posts in a day to only one item towards the end of things. While I've not been on twitter enough to see if that's suffered a similar drop off, it does seem that there must be more pressing work being done on the web side of things, like preparing for a new edition of 40k maybe.

Just chucking it out there.

Bushido - Ito Clan $20,000 Funded.

Well, the Ito Clan is pushing on to its third stretch goal of $25,000.

I direct you to this post for a summary of what's avaliable so far.

Reaching the $25,000 stretch goal will see Akimoto released at launch, and sent out free with any pledge of $100 or more, pushing that band up to at least 13 models, or up to 16 depending on starter sets chosen.

As well as this there is now a perk that includes the Ito starter and a Feldherr backpack for transporting your Ito models.
What are you waiting for, if you've not pledged, then at least go look at the options here, or check out GCT Studio's website.

GW Price Rises and Flyers

It's that time of year again.

GW's putting up the cost of some of their stock, both with price rises, as as the Dark Elf range moves into Finecast (no sign of plastics any time soon then).

BoLS has a discussion of the June releases, under which the Dark Elves fall and the general price rises on their forum. It's difficult to tell how the £ value of things will be affected because GW doesn't work directly from exchange rate for these things, but it gives an indication.

BoLS also has some pictures of the new flyers, which I reproduce here, with my opinions tacked on.

 I'm not a fan. The shape looks unbalanced. Maybe as the body for a walker with some Dreadknight legs, yes, but as a aircraft, no.

 I do like the Ork plane, and can see my Orks being revisited when 8th hits.

The kit really fits with the aesthetic of the force and the artwork in the codex. It's a good addition to the army, and brings the Necrons up to almost 100% released

As much as the price rises mentioned above are going to bite some people there is no denying that, in plastic at least GW are still producing the best kits out there.

Infinity - New Quick Start Rules

I've mentioned Infinity quite a bit on the blog. In addition to the fantastic miniature line, those wanting an incentive to check out the game could do worse than check out the new set of Quick Starter Rules that have been released. Click here for the pdf, which looks like a very well produced document.

Via Tabletop Gaming News.

Ravage #1 April-May Review Part 1

Ravage Magazine, a French, independent fantasy and SF gaming magazine has been translated for for English market.

At 64 pages the publication is much shorter than GW's White Dwarf (generally 120 ish), but feels far more packed with content.

As with White Dwarf I'll be going through the content in order. The magazine splits down into three sections, News and Reviews, Gaming and Hobby.

News And Reviews

New Releases - A two page spread show off the March releases from Dark Age and Malifaux. The Dark age page favours text over pictures, with a mix of fluff and in game comment, while the Malifaux page shows off the large number of models they've released.

While both of these are of interest to anyone unaware of the game the information is already dated, and with page count at a premium they could have been better spent.

Confrontation - Phoenix Edition
Rakham original released Confrontation back in 1997, to much acclaim, but then shifted their attention away from the game. Following their demise as a company the game died.

And now it's back, both on the table top and on PC (although that's not been well received). At present the plans seem to be the re issue of the old line of models, and the rules, potentially followed by new figures.

Super Dungeon Explore 

What boils down to a four page advert for Soda Pop's less conversational release, Super Dungeon Explore is a mash up of board game, miniature game, video gaming references and a chibi influenced style. Heroes pit themselves against the Dark Consul, who controls both less creatures within the dungeon and boss monsters.

There are also details of the expansions; Dragon's Clutch, which increase the main horde at the GM's disposal, and Cavens of Roxor, which will be an wave of sets adding mini bosses, a new boss, three new heroes, and more minions.

The Value Of Points

Most miniature games systems use points values to determine the relative strength of opposing forces. Be it Warhammer's 2000pts armies, or Infinity's 150pts of skirmishing fighters. Depending on the system or scenario these may be added to by additional restrictions, like a force organisation chart, or to give on side an advantage. The only two examples off the top of my head I can think of without points values are Space Hulk and Dreadfleet, which with there finite selection of models seems fair enough.

Edit: Rather foolishly on my part, I've forgotten to mention Puppet Wars, which doesn't use points, instead limiting players to a set number of figures and curtailing uber lists because strategic considerations regarding the cost of activating troops. This is however a mechanic that integrates into the game rules rather than be one that is set slightly aside, as the army building rules tend to be. 

More so than any other aspect of the game this system is what really influences things. Points masquerade under different names from time to time, be it gold, credits, or another more flavourful monikerm but it boils down to one thing; a number placed on the battlefield value of figure x, relative to everyone else in system y. Go look at any discussion of Army Book or Codex rumours and you'll likely see comments regarding certain units going up or down in points. It's an ingrained part of any system, whether you're coming from a fluff or gamer perspective when constructing your list it's a limit you're going to butt up against. Including an extra 200pts of models with only 100pts left is going to mean a sacrifice somewhere. And boy do thing get exploited every which way when points don't match up properly against battle field value. I suppose the definition of a good player is one able to get 150pts worth of use from a 100pt unit, which doesn't mean simply having a good kill ratio. While the spread of possibilities and the roll of the dice dictate a lot in the long run, assuming things average out then it's relative points values, that become the more important of the two. 

Of all the aspects of game design the ascribing of points values always seems to remain the most mysterious in any discussion. Given the way points for units stack in in the two Warhammer games it's surprising what a difference a one point change to a base trooper's value can do to an army of 2000pts.

Points give more than just an idea of the fighting potential (so oft unrealised) of a figure, but also informs other decisions. Like how long a game will take. Dependent on system value x per side normally gets turned into an estimate in hours how long things will take, be it 1, and evening, or days.

There have been some complications added to the system, be it Warmachine's Caster allowance or the disappearance and return of percentage limits in Warhammer but nothing truly revolutionary that I'm aware of. The only real push against the established pattern I've seen is Mantic's Kings Of War and a points allocation that accounts for different sized units of the same models working differently.

The system isn't likely to change any time soon, and why should it, it does the job just fine. If you turn up to a game, be it pre arrangement, or on the fly, you need some system of making sure that the fight will be something like fair, and so hopefully fun. Quite what changes the 6th ed of 40K will bring to things will be an interesting test of rumours, but is unlikely to really rock the boat.

As an aside it's worth thinking about trading card games that give no value to individual cards in any sort of parallel way. There are limitations placed about how a deck must be built to consider, but there's no arbitrary value placed on any card. This sort of game revolves around far different mechanics to those of wargaming. Although starting with a random 7 of 100 models on the board sounds like an all Deep Striking force to me.

How pricing related to points is something for another post entirely and certainly with 40K makes transports look incredibly expensive.

From The Æther - Birthday Link

Go check out Frontline Gamer's first birthday post. Add yourself to the follows list for Kickstarter like benefits.

Bushido - The Ito

Another plug for GCT Studio's Indiegogo project, funding their fifth faction - The Ito.

With 15 days to go there's only another $2,000 (or in real money about  £1250 ish) to reach the stretch goal of £20,000 and see the following bonus content added.

As things stand a donation of $50 (£30) gets the following...

The Ito Starter set of five models. Here's the concept art:

AND you get Itsunagi for free too.

At the $100 (£60ish) mark you get to add one of the existing starter sets and an additional model from any of the existing four factions. This means any one of the Savage Wave, Temple of Ro-Kan, Cult Of Yurei or Prefecture of Ryu and an extra model is yours for below shop prices.

Now then, that £20,000 stretch goal really sweetens the pot. If the total tips over that point then the Ayako Ito figure will be released at launch. Here's the concept art

In addition anyone donating $100 will get either free Faction Dice or the Satoshi model

So for £60 that's 12-14 models and dice or 13-15 models, and free international shipping with either option.

Go and throw in your support over at Indiegogo, or have a look on GCT Studio's website for more details about the game, and free rules.

Themed Armies

Do please follow the links I've added above the pictures, as the armies I've pulled out as examples are exceptional. 

Themed armies fall into three camps; those that fit a theme within the game universe, such as a Corsair Dark Elf force; those that cross pollinate within a universe, such as Norks;

 and those that graft something very different onto a force, such as Steampunk Necrons...

... or Monty Python's Holy Grail inspired Ogres.

Do please follow the links I've added above the pictures, as the armies I've pulled out as examples are exceptional.

To me this sort of endeavour has always seemed to put a very personal spin on an army, be it conversions that overtake a whole force, or a quirk of the colour scheme linked into self penned fluff.

There does seem to be a fine balance between what you are adding to a force, and leaving the underlying army recognisable as such, to the point of blurring the lines for count as. I'd hesitate to make any hard an fast rule, as the quirkiness of a force can go a long way to deadening the protests of even the most ardent adherent to fluff.

The things that's always pushed me away from such armies myself is firstly the sheer effort involved to reach the goals I'd set myself, and that I'd wary of imposing a theme that is merely to sate a desire that could be stated elsewhere (The want for a Cathay themed Ogre force might be better served by Bushido for instance). I also know enough about myself that most of the exterior influences I'd want to graft in a fairly fleeting, and I could see myself turning away from an army once completed as a result of this fickleness. If I do do anything with a theme I'll likely limit myself to a single model, where I can really focus, rather than risk spreading both time and enthusiasm thin over a large force.