Sunday Photo Page - Books

It;s not just the models that are getting organised here. as the books are getting tidied up too. There's many years of gaming history up on these (reinforced) shelves. The top shelf is all old rulebooks and background books. Below that is current rule books, army books and codices, across a range of systems. The boxes have everything in them you'd need for a game, split into 40K and Fantasy. Cards etc used for other systems live with the appropriate models.  The bottom shelf is the run of Horus Heresy books, but they might get moved yet. If anyone knows of a copy of Promethean Sun going spare at sensible prices, that'd fill the shelf out nicely.

I've also been making a lot of notes on what I'm doing with my Chaos force when the codex arrives, but neither my sketches and handwriting are fit for public consumption, so you'll just have to wait to see the results, rather than the process. It's going to feel like a long wait until next weekend and release day.

24 Hour Warning - Dreadball

The Dreadball Kickstarter is coming to an end. It's all gone very well indeed, so get in while you can.

From The Æther - Games Day 2012

With the dust now settled post Games Day 2012 I think it's time for a round up of articles on it, so those of us that weren't there (me included) can see what it was like.

Weirdly, what twitter coverage I could find was intermittent at best.

Fair warning that you may well get spoiled for the contents of Forge World's Horus Heresy book, and the Chaos Codex, but I suspect it's too late for that.

General Coverage

For anyone wanting footage of the event, Worthy Painting  went there, cameras on hand. Here's their video, as hosted by Beasts Of War.

Anyone wanting to go forum diving, take a look at the coverage from the Bell Of Lost Souls Lounge, here. Certainly BoLS gave up trying to keep their post up to date.

Felix;s Gaming Pages Blog has a nice selection of pieces here.

Standard Template Construction has a nice breakdown of the day here.

Dark Future Games has two post worth of pictures, to be found here and here.

Faeit 212 has a great selection of pictures and rumours here.

Black Library

Get the insiders view of things, from Dan Abnett's blog.

Golden Demon

I'll add a link here when GW put up a gallery (unless that sort of coverage falls to White Dwarf now)

Faeit 212 has pictures of one entry here: Fallen Angels.

And finally a facebook gallery of the Slayer Sword winning piece.

Forge World - Ready For The Heresy

With the Horus Heresy releases going on sale today Forge World have added a new section to their website. Here a look at how there Heresy era pages break down.

The one section missing, to my mind would be Primarches, as Angron currently resides in the Infantry section. Hopefully as new figures are added to the range (the rumours say Fulgrim is next) we'll see them get their own specific page.

Fingers crossed that when we see characters like Loken that named heroes will get part of the website to themselves as well, because anyone after just them is going to bypass hunting the store through a google search stright to their page, so why make it more difficult on the rest of us.

I'd also be nice to see the different Legions get their own header, so you can see all the World Eater specific parts in one place, without having to put in a search string.

Hopefully Forge World will also add a bit of a hobby section to supplement what is in the book, with tips for at least painting each Legion colour scheme and the like. Although given that the main GW stores seems to hide that sort of thing these days who know if we'll see anything of the like.

Interestingly the main GW site has remained silent over the Forge World releases going on sale today. I wonder if we'll see a Horus Heresy section appear of the website, or it'll be left wholly in Forge World's hands. I wonder what will be seen on store tables and shelves as well.

There's a fairly wide range in some sections, especially the Dreadnought and Tank groups. Some models there do scream post Heresy at me, but that's a jaded gamer talking. The vehicles on release at Games Day have yet to go up, so I imagine Forge World will be staggering the release a bit, so everyone can catch their breath after dropping £70 on a book, plus the high feeling shipping charges.

Hopefully the Horus Heresy novels will now include a bit of advertising for models, and entice people into buying their favourite characters, as cross promotion begins in earnest.

BUY NOW - Horus Heresy Book 1: Betrayal On General Release

For those of you not subscribed to the Forge World Newsletter, shame on you, but you've also missedd out on the fact that.

THE HORUS HERESY BOOK 1 is available to buy.

Link to the UK store page here

Just look at its £70 worth of lovelyness.

Angron is also out. Go here for his store page.

Get in now before the Forge World site collapses under the weight of orders.

24 Hour Warning - Eternity Dice

Eternity Dice are about to finish. Anyone who wants dice made of out lava. check it out.

24 Hour Warning - Tesla Musum

Do something good with your pledge money, and help fund a Goddamn Telsa Museum.

Last Day To Order Brotherhood Of The Storm

Anyone who wants a copy, but hasn't order one yet, should head over to Black Library today. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Bringing The Deflier Up To Date.

As ever with a new release, some of the older models start to seem a little old.

A case in point for the new Chaos releases would be the Defiler.
The Old King

The original daemon engine, and the only real Chaos specific vehicle kit (everything else was Imperial with added spikes) for the Traitor Legions before the new 'dex, the Defiler looks a little plain next to the new Mauler/Forge-fiend. Not to mention being a whole £1 more.

The Pretender
So, a I have one of the kits I quite fancy doing something with it to both bring the look more up to date, and to deal with the issues I have with the kit anyway (the lack of detail).

Before I start though, time to plan things out, as I want to end up with a model that can be transported without taking up a huge amount of space.

The first task will be to alter the balance of the machine to give the feeling it can actually fight while stood on four legs, without tottering forward. This will likely mean a lot of alterations to the main body.

The easiest way to make the model transportable will be to have the legs removable. If I run some serious pins/dowel into the main body, I can hopefully have them simply "plug and play".

Once I've got the base structure reconfigured (which may include fiddling with the turret as well), I can start to play with the legs and front arms. A big feature of the new Chaos models (and the Forge World Daemon Engines) is the amount of cables and wires and the creeping presence of organics and flesh. To me the Defiler has always lacked the feel of being the cage of a daemon, and I want to make it the crazy machine it should be, rather than the straight lines and the occasional Chaos star.

The FW Brass Scorpion makes great use of cables to bulk out its structure, and retains an air of menace with the corpses intertwined with them. Clearly I'm going to have to invest is some guitar strings.
With that done the claws need to be made a bit less clunky and basically sharpened up, if not swapped out entirely. I'm tempted to make the weapons options magnetised, in which case the horrible flail/extra CC weapon needs to be swapped out for something more in keeping with the new style of mechadendrites.

Hopefully I'll end up with a vehicle that, if not a centrepiece for the Chaos force will at least fit into the look of the army, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.

More on this at a later date when it moves onto the work bench, when I'll no doubt be thinking of making more alterations.

Anyone got any suggestions of where to go with the Defiler (aside from the much troden Scorpion or Dreadknight route), or any other models in need of  an update (Yes, much of the Dark Elf range, but that'd be a different blog, let alone a different post)?

Finecast Comes Of Age?

I can't speak for the quality of the models, but I think we're starting to see the sculpts take advantage of the new material.

Finecast was released in June 2011, amid GW hailing it as a wonder material, able to retain more detail and heralding new possibilities in sculpting, while buyers bemoaned the defects, bubbles and warping. GW puts its fingers in its ears and carried on. There was some dissension in the ranks though...
"(...)To address your points, however, we'd like to point out that Forge World do not sell Finecast products; Finecast is a Citadel brand, not a specific type of resin, and so we are not operating some sort of scam as you imply in your e-mail, nor are we misrepresenting our products. As we are perhaps the largest single manufacturer of resin models in the world, it should be unsurprising that the Citadel decision to begin using similar materials a certain amount of consultancy with ourselves.

"Forge World use a huge range of different types of resin and just as wide a range of casting methods depending on the kit in question. You'll note that the resin used for a Titan is very different for that used to produce solid resin scenery, or a smaller resin infantry model, or indeed the new range of hollow resin scenery that we're starting to release. What you describe as 'Finecast resin' is simply a different mix, one that we've used for some time for smaller and more detailed models where appropriate.

"The centrifugal casting process used to produce the Citadel Finecast range is again something that Forge World began looking at some time ago; you rightly point out that the traditional drop-casting method is extremely time- and labour-intensive, the spin-casting method is just as involved but the quality checking is rather more critical. This has obviously not been performed as stringently as it should have been, but as the Citadel and Forge World production teams are separate we're obviously unable to comment upon, or influence, the policies in place regarding Finecast."

Ead Brown, Customer Service Manager, Forge World, March 7, 2012

Buggered if I can find the post I saw this in. The above is instead pulled off this thread on the Bell Of Lost Souls Lounge. Not current, but at least relevant, and a look behind the curtain of GW. Anyway...

At this moment it time I can't say what state the models are in when they reach store shelves. My Witch Hunter, bought a while ago, was a victim to all the negative issues above. Certainly some of the newer releases I happen to have seen in store a month or two ago still look iffy.

Something does seem to have changed though, and that's what sculptors are doing with Finecast models. To support this argument I point you towards two of the three new Finecast releases from the Chaos Space Marine launch, the Dark Apostle and the Warpsmith.

Just look at the mechadendrites and the parchment on the two models. To get a better idea, go check out the 360° views on the GW website, here and here respectively. They show the kind of design we've not seen outside of plastic miniatures, and do seem to be really experimenting with what is possible with a lighter weight material, and (I assume) digital sculpting. 

 The last proper Finecast release proceeding the Chaos launch was Anrakyr the Traveller and Orikan The Diviner for the Necrons, in July. Anrakyr, below, is sculpted by Edgar Ramos, who is also responsible for the Apostle and Warpsmith. Stylistic differences aside, the models aren't in the same league of dynamism and free standing detail.

To add a bit of balance though, the Chaos release has been marred by the rather naff Sorcerer.Not that it's a bad model, with the shout out to the older versions, but looking at the Apostle and Warpsmith, there seems to have been an opportunity missed to have a model unleashing a psychic power (I've just set myself up for providing a conversion that does show that, haven't I. Balls.).

Not that I'm saying that every model should be decked out in flowing robes, and the like, but things do seem to have gone up a notch, for the most part. Hopefully the rumoured Dark Angel release in November will continue the trend.

Taking a modellers perspective, the details on the two Chaos characters should hopefully be a lot easier to attach in Finecast rather than in metal, and provide some good conversions no doubt, caveats about Finecast's quality not withstanding. The idea of transporting the Warpsmith gives me nightmares though. 

Let's hope that the quality of the finished product on store shelves come the 6th matches the more impressive sculpts. If not, there is a light on the horizon.

- Jes loves plastic. LOVES it. If he could he’d do everything in it as for a sculptor it’s far better with almost no distortion or deformation. He foresees a future with only special characters being finecast, and generic characters all being single frame plastics like the recent Warhammer releases and the limited Dark Vengeance Chaplain.
Taken from Apocalypse 40K, reporting on Games Day 2012, Australia.

 The new plastic heroes have muddied the waters, and some of them are gorgeous models. It's going to be interesting to see if they do start to dominate over the Finecast characters in the future.

What do people think of Finecast? Has the quality improved on recent releases or purchases.

Dreadball Kickstarter - 5 Days To Go

It's a sign of horrific success when you have to cap your main rewards, for fear of demand outstripping supply.

And as a heads up, that's what Mantic have done with their Dreadball Kickstarter. Specifically the Keeper ($80) Jack ($100)  Striker ($150) and Cheerleader ($280) levels. The limits are being approached rapidly as the Kickstarter starts to wrap up. This has been done because Mantic want to get the main game out to backers in time for Christmas. Hopefully we'll see new pledges open up for the post Christmas window, but I'd get you pledge in now if you want a Dreadball New Year.

That bit of business aside, what am I actually encouraging you to pledge on? Well, following the success of the Kings Of War Kickstarter, which raise $354,998, Mantic launched their Dreadball product, and with 5 days to go, at the time of writing, have raised $431,955. A futuristic sports game Dreadball pits two teams against each other on the pitch, and has them fight it out trying to score points over the opposition. I'm not going to talk specifics, that's better left to the designers over on the Dreadball page, instead here's a look at the miniatures you can get, and a breakdown of the main pledge levels. A free copy of the rules can be found here.

To help potential backers a guide has been added to show what's what, a graphic already out of date, as the Asterian Team have now been added after the $425,000 mark was reached.

They've also got a guide to what's included in the two main pledge levels, Jack and Striker. Here's the graphic for Jack ($100) At only $20 more than the Keeper level ($80) that gets you the boxed game, Jack adds in a whole host of MVPs (Most Valued Players), 1 player from the 4 (now 5) extra teams, Coach Renton, and a few other odds and ends.

Striker level adds even more (as it should at $15) with two extra teams added (Midgard Delvers and Skittersneak Stealers, extra players and MVP's, and other extra items.

The expansion of the game caused by the Kickstarter backing has meant many teams are just concept art at this stage. Here's a run down of who's who.

The Corporation Team

The Marauders

The Forge Fathers

The Veer-Myn

The Female Corporation Team
The Judwan
The Z'Zor
The Robots
and the newly add Asterian

There is also a whole host of extras available, from an acrylic borad, to extra dice, coaches and  t-shirts.

 I know this post has been brief, but hopefully it's been enough to whet your appetite, if not keep an eye on the Kickstarter anyway, as big things are promised for the last few days.

Infinty - September Releases - Tohaa and Spec Ops

Amognst all the Warhammer 40,000, Horus Heresy and Games Day news this may have gone beneath the radar, but Corvus Belli  have put out images of their September releases for Infinity

 Pulled from the Infinity Facebook page.

Here's the group shot, hit the button for individual shots. 

White Dwarf - October 2012 / 394 - Review

So then, new White Dwarf vs the same old review style. Fair warning that this is pretty much a train of though written up as I go through the articles properly after a quick flick through.

There are a number of things worth noting before I start breaking the magazine down into articles.  This is only initial impressions, so skip to the end for a more fleshed out opinion.

The Good.

The new White Dwarf is a different beast from its forebears, simply as a physical thing. It's shorter, and thicker, and the paper quality is much better. This makes it feel more like a glossy magazine than it did previously, and I couldn't quite shake the expectation of finding samples of perfume or a National Geographic subscription ad inserted between the pages.

Talking of pages, the count has gone up. Last month we got 120 pages, this month we're up to 153. White Dwarf is getting fat.

We'll see below if the improvement in physical quality is matched by an equal improvement in actual content.

The Bad

The price has gone up to £5.50, something GW have wholly failed to mention, that I've seen, in all their publicity. Last month we were only paying £4.50. I wasn't happy that White Dwarf was value for money even before, so it's just raised the bar higher for itself. I've no idea how this effects current subscribers, and it'd be quite nice to have some information about that.

Now, I want you to take a close look at the picture of the cover above. Spot anything missing? 

Well done anyone who said issue number. It appears no where in the magazine, which is somewhat disappointing, as at issue 394, we're not far away from the big milestone of 400 issues. I wonder if we'll see a celebration of that, or if it'll be a question of marking years in print instead.

The other thing missing is the slice of Dark Angel on the spine, meaning that he will be forever unfinished. I'm a bit miffed by this. Here's what it'll look like on your shelf.

The page backgrounds are now consistent across the articles, meaning there is a loss of clear distinction between articles, game systems, etc that there was before. It's not a big thing, but worth noting.

Finally, the internal font size has changed, increasing markedly. This changes the feel of the articles, and makes them feel far more airy and brief, which I'm not a fan of. This, combined with the shorter pages may mean we're technically getting less content in terms of text than we were previously.

The white bar is the top of last month's issue, with the bottom edge aligned.
The Indifferent

There's nothing I can think of at the moment that hasn't fallen into one of the above camps. Take that as a sign of either me being too opinionated, or the changes being significant.

Grombrindal is Dead. Long Live Grombrindal? Let's get onto the review.


The New Logo

I like it. In comparison the old logo does look a little dated, where as the new one look nice and bold, with a bit of a retro edge.  (+1)

The Cover

I'd have to search my White Dwarf collection to find if there's even been a model on the cover before. I don't think there has, but I'm not certain. * EDIT It would seem that it's White Dwarf 316, which had the plastic giant on the cover. Any other suggests from the UK? Certainly looking online at some US editions there were far more instances of models on the cover. * I like it, as it provides an idea what GW actually sells. If it's what we'll have going forward then it is relying on a good model being out every month. Guess we'll see what happens.

The layout is good, providing a nice run of the big games along side the title, but with the other text giving have more specifics than we've seen recently. I wonder if we'll see the Hobbit added to the list or simply replacing LotR. If someone's avoided the publicity around the new White Dwarf and the forthcoming releases then the cover would do a good job of pulling them in. (+2)

The Spine

It's going to be far easier to browse the spines with the month so prominently shown.  Again it's a shame the issue number has disappeared. It's good to see the content summary (however pared down) mixed with a quote. Going to start getting repetitive or redundant if there are months without big releases though. (+1)

Just so I can make the point again, lack of issue number (-1)

The Poster

I was going to say "the free poster" and then remembered the price increase. It's nice to see something packaged with White Dwarf again. I'd rather it was a model, or card terrain (I suspect those days are long gone) but I'm a sucker for a poster as well. (+2)

Inside Cover - In a return to the old days we get shots of the whole team, so it's now possible to put a face to the article. Hopefully we'll also get a little paragraph from everyone as the months go by. In a surprising move we've also been given the email addresses for the team. Make of that what you will. Certainly gets points from me for opening communication with the community. (+2)

Pg 1. Editorial - Jes Bickham gets the issue off to a good start, putting the new White Dwarf in it's hobby surroundings, and an invitation for feedback. There's also a foreshadowing of the layout style to come, with little pictures (you'll see what I mean further down). (+1)

Pg 2-3. Contents - To get this out of the way now, pretty much everything feels new, or at least tweaked, I'll talk about what's changed in each section as I get to it, but take the "it's new" comment as read unless I go out of the way to say otherwise. The contents now spreads across two pages, with article titles, summaries and, slightly redundantly, shots of the page. Useful if you're searching for a specific article in years to come I suppose. (0)

Pg 4-47 New Releases - Take a deep breath. Don't be scared by the page count. Things are different now. Before the "New Releases" section was mostly pictures of the new releases, that would be followed up by an article on them, probably taking up the same sort of page count as we get here.

I've had to force myself to read the text is this section, as I've been conditioned to concentrate on the pictures. Let what that says sink in for a moment.

The pictures of the models and a bit of background on them is presented on the same page, each little bit of text sitting with the author's initials, so you know who to praise/blame.

The presentation of the models themselves has changed, with detail shots being far more prevalent, and the majority of models being shown both against an appropriate backdrop (everything is dark red this month, fitting the atmosphere of the Chaos models).

Each new kit has at least it's own page, if not two, with the Maulerfiend and Forgefiend going so far as to share a gatefold. Hopefully we'll see more fold out  sections in later issues, for particularly impressive battle reports and the like.

The blurb has a nice split between the background and the kit as a model, and the more detailed shots come into their own with different weapon options picked out and codified.

These sections lack the pricing and kit/material details, as these have all been moved to the "Full Releases List" at the end of the section. This is a bit of a pain, as looking at some of the models it'd be nice to know straight off if they were Finecast or not, and the like.

It take till page 22 to get to details on the Codex, which seems like it ought to be opening the show. It's worth the wait though, with shots of the pages, that provide an idea as to it's contents, and a half page of text about the book. This doesn't seem a lot, but there's more later in the book, and if you're not interested in Chaos (Loyalist scum that you must be) then it's not drowning you in tedious information. That said, it was probably the wrong month to pick up White Dwarf. It certainly does nothing to dim my enthusiasm for the book. 

Sadly we've not quite seen the end of toting Finecast, as the four big marked characters get two pages to themselves, followed by another two pages of assorted Chaos Finecast re-releases, with text that drips praise for the material. I wouldn't mind if it was more balanced.

The psychic powers cards are tacked in at the end of this section with no mention of them being only a limited release. Interestingly there's no mention of the Limited Edition Codex at all, which I suspect is a sign that everyone knew how fast it would sell out.

The upgrade packs get two pages, and are interestingly presented, with a photo of the contents, and a photo of the painted parts added to an unpainted model, giving a clear, if slightly redundant, idea of their usage. Not all the parts in each kit are shown in the pictures, although there is a full rundown in the text.

The Battleforce gets a page to itself, feeling a bit alone in showing old plastic kits. It'd have been nice to see the whole range of Chaos models as it currently stands, even if it was just a big army shot.

Lastly in the Chaos section, Abaddon and Hurin get a look in, as models that have been out in Finecast for a while.

The section breaks new ground with the inclusion of "Digital Products", which now includes White Dwarf, a fearfull harbinger of a day (hopefully a long time coming) when physical printing is no longer viable. If anyone has the digital edition I'd be interested to know what they think.

There's also the Chaos Space Marine Codex as a digital edition, as an iPad exclusive for the moment.

The Black Library finds itself included within the New Releases, with a staggering four pages to talk about new and upcoming releases, with a page apiece given to Shadows of Treachery and Treacheries of The Space Marines. The sniff of Warhammer this month comes in the form of Swords of the Emperor and The Sundering getting half a page each. Lastly comes Brotherhood Of The Storm, which, with it's week long window gives White Dwarf readers a chance to buy it if they act fast, and two audio dramas with a Chaotic focus, Chosen Of Khorne and Perfection.

Forge World has also joined in the main releases, with a sadly dateless and priceless (yes, I know all the above have been so far as well, but see below) entry with the first Horus Heresy book, Betrayal, and a focus on Space Marines, with only the Preyton hailing from the Fantasy side of things.

Licensed Games make a full appearance, rather than just in dribs and drabs on the old news pages, with a focus this month on Fantasy Flight Games' Relic. I wonder if we'll ever see the game in store. (+38)

Pg 48-49 Full Release List - This will be a bit of a blast from the past for older readers, with a list of this months releases, sculptors, dates and prices all in one place. As mentioned above there's no information for Forge World, or for the Licenced Games for that matter. (+2)

Pg 50-51 Games Workshop Direct. Our first true advert of the new White Dwarf, with the website being put forward, couched as a store rather than anything else. A sad reflection on the lack of obvious deeper content to be found there. (-2)

Pg 52-57 Army Of The Month - Skaven. At last some Fantasy amongst all the 40K Chaos, and this month's first real article. It's always good to see someone elses army, and the pictures give a nice balance between seeing the force as a whole and focusing on individual models. The numbering of the shots also allows a bit of explanitory text to be attached to each, giving it more value. What's harder to countenancer is the return of big quote block, taking up space. It's repetitious and tiresome. The text of the article ties in very well with the photos though, and as the first full piece it works well. (+5)

Pg 58-59 Jervis Johnson - Farewell Standardbearer then? With the big picture of Jervis, and the increased text size, I'm not sure if the text would have been much beyond a page in last month's edition.  Content wise though, things are good. There's no decent into talking about the new style of White Dwarf, which would have been somewhat navel gazing. Instead we get a piece on the removal of  0-1 unit restrictions, that goes to interesting places.(+1)

Pg 60-77 Battle Report - Chaos Space Marines vs Space Marines. Or more proper, Alpha Legion vs White Scars. This is going to be the real proof of the new White Dwarf for me, as Battle Reports have been badly handled for a while now. Things get off to a bad start with a narrow text bar and a two page spread of the armies decoratively, but pointlessly arrayed.

The opening text is an odd look behind the curtain, essentially saying, "This is us kicking the wheels of the new Codex, playing with the shiny bits. Chaos is fighting Space Marines, because it fits, and we can use more special rules." Quoting verbatim for a moment
"To make this test as useful as possible, we'll be reporting on the action in general, and focusing on the details as they pertain to what the army is like to play with."
It's an interesting and potentially more useful take on the Battle Report, but does it work?

The new style flows through into the pre game army building discussion, with the emphasis on "here's what we're going to showcase/try out". It's a refreshingly honest approach to it. The Chaos Force is a nice mix of models with Alpha Legion (From Chris Peach's army that was shown last month) and newer models from the 'Eavy Metal team.

The tiny pictures are possibly taken to the extreme here, and look unbalanced, especially with the font looking so big.

The Space Marine force is to be "the crash test dummy", and to that end the force covers a whole range of attack and defensive options. Interestingly neither player has chosen to dick around with fortifications.

The army lists are presented in a new format, clearly split between the different parts of the Force Organisation Chart.

The report starts with deployment, with the type of scenario apparently coming second. It works after a fashion, but isn't brilliant. Deployment is shown with a shot of the table from the Whote Scar POV, which is a poor second to a overhead shot, or a map.

Rather than Turn 1, we get "Opening", which covers turn one. "Midgame" or turns 2, 3 and 4, and Endgame (turns 5 and 6)  continue the cometary, which flip flops back and forth between the commanders as they play. It's a style that only half works, as some units are left in the cold, but there is a bit of tactical insight. Overall though there just isn't the detail.

The text commentary goes to pains to match up with the pictures at times, and it is all the better for it. It does get out of step though, and things start to fall apart.

The pictures of the game in progress feel weird as Adam and Andrew seem to be playing in the inky black void.

Some of the writing is lacking in terms of description and clarity. Also "in other news" is not a phrase that should be used in a battle report. For what sets out to be an evaluation of the Chaos force things get a bit too wishy washy.

Throughout in fact the bigger picture of the battle takes a back seat to showcasing the action on a smaller scale, with the focus on how the Chaos army fares. While it may fit with the stated intent of the report, not having an overall picture of how the battle develops feels disappointing, and has left me a bit disconnected.

Here's a shot of the report, giving an idea of the layout. Note that new White Dwarf lies badly on the desktop as a result of it's new size. 

The conclusions are split into the thoughts of the two players and cometary from others. The player commentary feeds back nicely into the opening army selection, returning to the points to be tested about the Chaos force. It descends too much into discussion rather than analysis, but there's the seed of something good there. The outside commentary picks up on a lot of faults, but most glaring is that it doesn't seem to be a about the game at all, but about how the tests went.  

The Battle Report was the wrong vehicle for testing an army, and it'd have been much better to have done an Arena of Death type article, or scrubbed the plan entirely and just gone for a standard old school battle report. 

I'm unsure how to judge things here. I can't honestly say that I'm impressed by the new style of Battle Report, but then little of the article felt like a Battle Report. I think I'm going to have to remain on the fence until next month, in the hope we get a proper Report rather than a failed hybrid. (-12)

Pg 76- 81 The Rivals. An interesting new type of article, with two writers taking and defending differing viewpoints. It's a good addition in theory, but the discussions start from bad footing, with, in this instance, a Dark Elf general in favour of spreading power across a force, and a Vampire general in favour of keeping things together more. It's an argument that is always going to boil down to being horses for courses, as the armies work differently. The Vampire force shows the extreme end, with a unit of Black Knights with four vampires in, but the argument still feels flawed. There's an army list for each force, without accompanying pictures, making this feel more like a paper exercise than a reality. There are tiny pictures of the two forces, that accompany a back and forth between the two players as to who would win and why, that is resolved with a box out, that comes down to, we fought and one of us won.

It's a good idea, but like the battle report, it suffers from iffy execution. (-4)

Things get better after the break...

Horus Heresy Goes Harback.

 Black Library have put up a blog post about changes to the launch cycle of the Horus Heresy series.

 Angel Exterminatus and all the books following it will be released in special hardback format, three months before the paperback version.

These books will have full colour art on the cover, under the dust jacket, which I like, and an afterword from the author not to be found elsewhere, which I also like.

They also include exclusive artwork from Karl Richardson. While I enjoyed Lone Wolves, his art in the instance looks poor.

These editions will be exclusive to Black Library and Games Workshop stores. The back catalogue of Horus Heresy books will be BL exclusives, so anyone who wants a bookshelf with everything looking the same will want to look into that.

I don't think I'll be buying into the new  range, but I'll probably be sneaking a read of the author's afterwords when I'm in store.

Games Day And The Horus Heresy - Black Library

Right then readers, for something to do while waiting for UK Games Day news to go up, who can tell me what the glaring error is in the opening trilogy of the Heresy? Answers in the comments, and I'll put the reply I was looking for up on Monday.

Sunday Photo Page - 23/09/2012

I shan't be at Games Day, otherwise this would be a photo heavy post at the end of the day.

Instead, in a continuation of last Sunday's post, here's how the organisation is going.

I've got a second set of draws, and while I don't think this will be their permanent home, they are filling up with bits, as my pile of sprues shrinks.

And here's what the Imperial/Chaos Space Marine Draws look like. 

From The Æther - 22.09.2012

The last proper, link filled, one of these was way back on the 8th, so we've got some catching up to do.

As is becoming more frequent I've a pleathora of links from From The Warp.

Converting Deimos Pattern Sponsons.

Painting Deathwing Armour, in a lovely, slightly off white scheme.

 Ad painting Dark Angels, fast and well.

More on Truescale Terminators (more on this later...)

Fixing Bolter Barrel, and a companion piece about old school Stormbolters.

And here's a jumping off point for using those Dark Angel bikes from the Dark Vengeance set. Jetbikes

And lastly painting pink.

And now things elsewhere...

Models entered into the DropZone Games Painting Comp via Dark Future Games.

Via Warhammer World's Facebook page: The Ultramarine Chapter.

Via the always good Tabletop Fix, information about Thon.

And because I stumble across odd and cool thinks, the Servo Skull Collector.

From Games Workshop's own blog, there are some lovely pieces done for Armies On Parade.

Micro Art Studio have new buildings out.

From Mordian 7th, anyone interesting in building a Leviathan. Too young to remember what one of those is. Here's the Epic version.

The 14th Legion has some lovely Nurglings on there.

And most interesting of all, Slate looking into wargaming in the military. via Tabletop Gaming News.

And I think that'll do for now.