Fear Permeates The Very Walls

I'm half disgusted at myself for doing a Halloween post, but I'm half disgusted with myself most of the time.

Rather than go down the scary models route I thought I'd go bigger than that. How you ask?

By looking at the background of Fantasy and 40K.

I know that 40K being grimdark is a given, but it needs a step back to really appreciate it. Ignore the Space Marines, as they're a different form of horror entirely (with humanity essentially creating their own monsters), and focus on the civilian in the Imperium. They might be born on a death world, and destined for the Guard, or the stomach of some ravenous predator. They might be in the bureaucracy, and doomed to turn the slowly grinding wheels of Imperial admin for their whole lives. They might find themselves fighting the myriad threats that face the Imperium. Eldar, that look almost human, but are disgustingly and certainly other. Tyranids, a tide of hunger given hideous form. Orks, huge warlike and difficult to kill. And that's just scratching the surface. Worse than all of these is perhaps the Imperium itself, fuelled by devotion to the Emperor, trapped on the edge of death and daily fed souls to keep the galaxies GPS from switching off. The Inquisition, willing to do and justify anything to keep humanity safe. The Guard, sending people into meat grinder wars. The Mechanicum, slowly turning themselves from man to machine at every opportunity.

Fantasy by comparison has a far more understated horror. The Empire is essentially a few outposts of human settlement amid woods swarming with Orcs and Chaos twisted Beastmen, while below half insane Ratmen plan their downfall. That's without the inherently magic nature of the world causing reality to flip out occasionally, and resulting in the sky raining blood, or stones to come alive. There are ghouls in the graveyard, and fey elves in the woods, ready to pincushion you with arrows, or further a field, Ogres that will eat you, your horse, and your saddle. Every settlement is fortified, and you don't leave the house without a weapon of some kind.

So next time you place your models on the table, ready to fight over the shattered cityscape, or over the abandoned manor, give a though for the fear of those trapped between the two forces.

Of course if you want real horror, you'll head for Malifaux.

Hurricane Sandy

Thoughts and fortune from England to anyone and everyone affected.

The Art Of Making Time

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

So, making time. It's a load of rubbish. You can't make it, buy it, stitch it, or order it for next day delivery on Amazon. You're stuck with 24 hours a day to split up how you like.

I know this is a wargaming blog, but the posts do occasionally touch on other things, and with NaNoWriMo looming I expect more than a few gamers are going to feel their time squeezed by things.

There are whole sections of the web dedicated to the fuzzy concept of making the most of your time. There's even Derren Brown's Apocalypse show on at the moment, psychologically traumatising someone into being a better person. I'm not going to repeat their spiel. Instead here's the trick I've used to get the blog out daily so far.

Let other things slide.

That's possibly a bit of a misanthropic way to look at it, but it's true. There are other things I could be doing, or could be spending more time on than this. Or coming the other way, when doing something else I could be spending time on this.

There are only so many hours in a day, and only so much sleep you can cut out before it becomes a wasted effort staying up. So somewhere things have to be shuffled, speeded up, multitasked, or dropped to free up time.

This is beginning to sound like a preemptive excuse, or a signing off post, and it's not meant to. It's meant to be the voice of reason (not discouragement) against the "Find an hour every night to..." posts, that never really say where you're meant to find that hour.

It comes down to prioritising things, being able to roll with changes in plans, and most of all, knowing when to wave two fingers at that sort of mentality. If you do paint an hour (or more) a night, then more power to you. If you don't and want to, what are you going to change to make yourself do it, and if you don't and don't want to...well, enjoy the stares of cold grey plastic eyes.

Dark Vengeance - Dark Angels In Limbo

It's an odd time to be a Dark Angel player. On the one hand there's the Dark Vengeance set, boosting the attention on the Chapter, while on the other there's the lack of an up to date Codex.

While the DA Codex was only released a few months before the last edition of the Chaos Space Marines Codex (March 2007, and September 2007 respectively). On the face of things this shouldn't be a big handicap. The Dark Angels Codex was the first to move over into the more streamlined layout for the army list, and isn't the oldest Codex out at the moment (That honour going to Black Templars (Nov 2005) with Tau a way behind (March 2006)). However the Dark Angel and the Black Templar Codices were both released before the current iteration of Codex Space Marine, and suffer markedly in comparison to their more generic brethren in terms of rule, points cost, and equipment.

It's not this discrepancy I want to talk about though. I want to know what to do if you're a player wither new to the game or new to the Dark Angels, having picked up the Dark Vengeance set.

While some players are going to be drawn by Chaos, and the newest Codex and models, others are going to be drawn to the Dark Angels. Initially the Dark Vengeance set caters to both players equally, with the scenarios provided giving each side fixed army lists and letting them punch chunks off each other in escalating battles. The issue comes when it's time to move out into the larger world of 40K. The Chaos player buys a Codex, and some new models, and heads off to the gaming table ready to play the game without any worry bar turning into a spawn, and the fate of his heretic soul.

The Dark Angels player is in a very different position. First off their army is buried under the "Space Marine" heading on the GW web store. Apparently Dark Angels really do value their secrecy. And at this point comes a three pronged choice. The Dark Vengeance rules provide no points values for models, meaning a player needs to have a Codex to play a game. Fair enough, until you look online and realise your £20 box might well be invalidated in only a few months. Long enough to build up the army, only to have your work nixed by the release of new models then. Back to the three choices, you could wait (assuming you know of the release rumours), you could buy the Dark Angel Codex and be prepared to be outdated, or you could get the Space Marine Codex and while you're also going to be outdated you've got a Codex that is still useful, either for a different Marine army, or to earn back some money on eBay, or the like.

While GW's release cycle and announcement policy having traps for the unwary is nothing new, this does seem to be a particularly bad case with players lured in by the new models and then almost certainly left out of pocket a few months down the line.

I'd be interested to know what Dark Angels players both new and old are doing with their forces at the moment, or if everyone has turned to Chaos.

Wyrd Store - Down For Halloween?

The Wyrd Store is down. This usually seems to mean it's being updated with new models. Expect a further post when it's back up.

Sunday Photo Page - Riders On The Storm

A sneak preview of what's up for review as we head into November. I'll explain why Ravage is so late when I come to it.

Hope anyone who's ordered Brotherhood Of The Storm has their copy now too.

From The Æther - Days Of Chaos

Over on Standard Template Construction they're running through 12 days of Chaos posts, breaking apart the book, with a variety of opinion on each choice. If you're playing CSM, or playing against them, it's worth a look.

Day1: Introduction

Day 2: Special Rules and Warlord Traits

Day 3: HQ - Special Characters

Day 4: HQ - Characters

Day 5: HQ - Sorcerer and Psychic Powers

Day 6: Troop, Rhino, and Vehicle Upgrades

Day 7: Elites Pt1

Day 8: Elites Pt2 - Cult Troops

Day 9: Fast Attack

Day 10: Heavy Support

Day 11: List Ideas

Day 12: Conclusion

EDIT - There we go, all up to date.

Warriors Of Chaos Advance Order and Citadel Paints

Let's get the most expensive item out of the way first...

Ultimate Paint Set  - £280

The big issue with type of thing is that fact I wouldn't use about a quarter of the paints.

This set includes all of the 144 Citadel paints, which normally cost £2.30. Buying them as individual pots would total £331.20, so you are making a saving of £51.20, or about 22 paints. At least the box looks useful.

And with that, onto the Warriors Of Chaos releases. First up, another bundle set...

Launch Bundle - £90
Offering no saving on buying the three sets on their ownsome this seems to be a buy for the terminally lazy.

Skullcrushers - £35.00
Blood for the Blood God. These look lovely, my only issue is that I'd need to chain the warrior to the Jugger, as I can't imagine a warrior of Khorne not simply throwing himself off into the fray. I expect to see the helmets turning up in 40K, and this unit only seeing the table in larger games where the massive amount of points that I expect need to be sunk into them can be justified.

Hellstriders - £20

 I think Gw made the right choice by using Marauders as the riders, rather than the Chaos Warriors, as the size would be all wrong. The models look quite good, although much like the Horsemen, highlight how dated the standard Marauder set is. The set has some fantastic looking options (see below) and like the Skullcrushers are going to see some bits used on Chaos Space Marines,

 Chaos Warshrine - £35
 This model feels as though it's stepped off a Moorcock book cover, and for that alone I like it. I'm not sure how it will sit within the rest of the Chaos force, as it looks so different to everything else (and indeed different to how many people thought). I think we've going to see this kit used for a lot of conversions of this kit, and see bits of it used for everything, from scenery, to a mosterous unit from the bearers.

Festus the Leechlord - £11.00
 Oh, there's nothing not to love about this model. He's fantastic. Just look at the Nurgling on his backpack. Sadly he's Finecast, so I'll be examining the blister before I buy him.

Valkia The Bloody - £15.00
 Once again, GW have nailed it, with a beautiful model. It still throws me that she's on a 25mm base. The shield looks brilliant.
Scyla Anfingrimm - £30

This really is a blast from the past. Here's are the old models

Clearly the new version is a step up. Once again the really special bit of the model isn't shown from the front. The model isn@t going to end up in my collection, but he does look good.

Greatt Weapons/Halberd Upgrade Pack - £9.00 each

 These two sets fill out the options for Chaos Warriors without needing the sprue to be redesigned. The Great Weapons pack looks far and away the better set, and even with the Halberds out I'd still be using the lances from the Chaos Knights instead.

Overall it's a really good set of releases, with the characters especially looking amazing. I'm not sure how much use the cavalry units will be in a force, but they're a characterful addition. it's definitely time to break out my Chaos Warriors.

Maelstrom Games - Going Sideways?

It would seem that Maelstrom Games is in trouble. Certainly the internet seems to think so. Here's the latest entry from them posted on the 9th October 2012
Here at Maelstrom Games we have decided to clear as much of our hard-earned stock as we possibly can over the next few days - and therefore generate some much-needed cashflow - in order to ensure we can fulfil the orders that you, our valued customers, have placed over the last few weeks. To that end, we have decided - in consultation with our trading partners - to sell our remaining stock of Battlefront Miniatures (at 25% off), Perry Miniatures, Victrix, Plastic Soldier Company, Artizan Designs, Gripping Beast and Great War Miniatures (all at 30% off). All other ranges' stock will now be sold at 40% off UK RRP - we hold good stocks of Gamezone Miniatures, Dark Age, Cool Mini or Not and Scibor Miniatures, and there's a fair bit of Privateer Press and Malifaux left too. As well as that, from this moment onwards we have decided to stop any customer from placing orders for items that are not in stock, simply so that we can clear the orders that have already been placed.

We have not made this decision lightly, and please note that we have absolutely no issues with any of the above manufacturers or suppliers; we are simply trying to sell off stock in order to clear older orders and ease any worries our customers may have regarding the speculation that is currently rife on the internet. As well as that, we believe that our retailing model must now change to selling products that are in stock at the time of purchase, and as such that will continue to be in place in the future, once our orders are cleared and our stock is sold.

I would ask all of our customers to remain as patient as they can with Maelstrom Games and, indeed, our staff, for we will use the money generated by the sale of our stock to ensure all of your orders are fulfilled in their entirety as quickly as possible. We remain committed to servicing our customers first and foremost and will continue to do so in the future.
Read between the lines of that as you wish.

The rumours as to what has gone on are myriad. Anyone wanting to see the discussion should head to this thread on DakkaDakka, or see what they can find elsewhere. There's also a thread on Beasts Of War.

Beasts of War have done a fantastic piece of what you can do if you have an order with a company that is going under. It's worth reading, even if you haven't got an outstanding order with Maelstrom.

So, anyone waiting on an order from them, best of luck getting wither models or money, and to Maelstrom, best of luck getting things back on track, if it's possible.

Infinity - October Releases

Another selection of new models from Corvus Belli. Let's get right down to it. In no especial order.

Crusader Brethen  - Pan Oceania

This model is begging out to be shouldering down a door and ready to kill everyone in the room. The armour looks great, and the detailing of the jump/drop pack looks good, if fiddly to attach. My one issue us the back foot, that looks like it's about to twist. It might just be that it extends over the base, or the angle, but it's nagging me.

Gao-Rael Unit - Tohaa

These feels like the bastard offspring of a Preadtor and an Eldar Ranger. I quite like it. The only issue I have is that the front leg looks massive, but I suspect that's an issue with the photo not with the model. 

Ikadron Batroid & Imetron - Combined Army

Corvus Belli really do aliens unlike anyone else. While not to my taste I can't deny that this is a nice pair of models.

Uxia McNeil - Ariadna

Another great model, with only two issues. Firstly the hair, it looks tacked onto the model as an afterthought. Secondly WHY ARE HER HIPS EXPOSED!? (Damn right I'm using an intterobang, and you can't stop me) To my mind Corvus Belli has a fairly good track record with female models, getting points from me for both including them in the game (as there aren't a huge amount of female models in many tabletops) and for not over-sexualising them. HOWEVER there seems to be a moratorium on having armour that fully covers the torso, and it pisses me off, because it seems standard for the female models, and not for the male ones. I know it's only a little bit of green stuff work to deal with it, but it annoys me that it's there in the first place. Rant over.

Wu Ming Assault Corps Yu Jing

That;s a box full of serious fire power right there. I can't see a model I don't like in this box. My only issue is that the starter set comes with a Wu Jing Corpser with an assault shotgun, and he's going to feel somewhat out of place here, but that's me looking for something to moan about.

The Steel Phalanx - ALEPH

Oh boy, where to start. Corvus Belli seem to have saved up all the bad models for this set. Before I break it down, take a look here to see the Myrmidon's that these models are supposed to fight alongside.  To borrow from Alekandr Meerkat "Not even sound same."

Going left to right

Thorakitai 1 - Not too bad a model, a bit early GW in tone

Thorakitai 2 - Tiny tiny calves. It may be a light Rocket Launcher, but I'd still want it resting on my shoulder.

Mymidon - This looks like a model destined for being "Sexy Barmaid 2", that got co-opted for some high tech armour and some crazy hair. And once again the female in the set gets different armour. In the grim darkness of the far future there is only gender inequality in the armoury.

Eudoros - I actually quite like this model, and hope it gets a separate release. The pose is great for a command model, although I take issue with having both a long range armament and a sword waving around at the same time. Fingers crossed on alternate arms then.

Agêma Marksmen - Urgh. What is he doing? A victory hip thrust? "I hit the target! Witness my beer belly!". No, just no.

Thorakitai 3 - I quiet like him.

Studio Giráldes has pictures here with alternate views of the whole set, so you can make up your own minds about this set.

Overall, then, a good month, with a few duff points amid the high quality. There's a few thing I'll be picking up when I get around to expanding my Infinity forces. I'm getting increasingly tempted by a PanO Knight force.

Just need to wait for the Campaign book to turn up. On which note Studio Giráldes has posted a picture of Gogo Marlene (and her tiny, psycho looking, rabbit). Headdesk for the clothes, but she's a presenter, not a soldier, so I've got less of an issue with it, but still, not cool guys. The rabbit does look like he's going to knife people though, so points there at least.

Night Lords List MkI - 1000pts

It feels like a very long time since I've written up an army list. It's a longer while since I've played a game, so there's that.

The following is going to be my tester list for both the new Chaos Space Marine Codex and my first experience of 40K under 6th ed rules. It's built to see how CSM's work with mainly Troops, if a Rhino is worth even the small slice of points, and how good Raptors and Bikes are. The 1000pts limit should hopefully make for some fast games, and serve to make sure each choice has to pull its weight. By one issue is going to be vehicles and walkers, but I'm going in knowing that, and hoping to slap a meltabomb on them.

Who knows how it'll play, but that's the point.

Just need to work out how to do good bike conversion.

Chaos Lord

Lighning Claws

Aura of Dark Glory

Melta Bomb

Vet. Of The Long War

10  Chaos Space Marines

CC Weapons (No Bolters)

Plasma Pistol

Power Weapon

Melta Bomb

Vets. Of The Long War

10 Chaos Space Marines

CC Weapons (No Bolters)

Plasma Pistol

Power Weapon

Melta Bomb

Icon Of Vengeance

Vets. Of The Long War


Dirge Caster

10  Chaos Space Marines

Plasma Gun

Melta Bomb

Icon Of Vengeance

Vets. Of The Long War

5  Raptors

Plasma Pistol

Power Weapon

Melt Bomb

Icon Of Vengeance

3  Bikers

Icon Of Vengeance

Hopefully my maths all works out and that is 1000pts (not that you can tell here. Ah well).

Chaos Warriors Releases - White Dwarf Pictures

The releases we'll be seeing for Warriors Of Chaos are now all over the web. There's two new units, the Warshrine, as well as special characters, mounted characters, and Finecast characters. Time to dust of Chaos for Fantasy as well as 40K I think.

Here's the list, from Faeit 212

Skullcrushers of Khorne3 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$58.00
Hellstriders of Slaanesh5 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$33.00
Chaos Warshrine1 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$58.00
Scyla Anfingrimm1 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$49.50
Festus the Leechlord1 Fig Clampack27-Oct-123-Nov-12$19.25
Wulfrik the Wanderer1 Fig Clampack27-Oct-123-Nov-12$19.25
Sigvald the Magnificent1 Fig Clampack27-Oct-123-Nov-12$19.25
Valkia the Bloody1 Fig Clampack27-Oct-123-Nov-12$22.25
Khorne Chaos Lord on Juggernaut1 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$49.50
Nurgle Chaos Lord on Daemonic Mount1 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$40.00
Galrauch1 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$71.00
Tzeentch Chaos Lord on Disc of Tzeentch1 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$40.00
Chosen Command5 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$45.00
Chosen5 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$45.00
Chaos Warrior Halberds Upgrade Pack10 Piece Pack27-Oct-123-Nov-12$15.00
Be’lakor, Chaos Daemon Prince1 Fig Box27-Oct-123-Nov-12$37.25
Chaos Warrior Great Weapon Upgrade Pack10 Piece Pack27-Oct-123-Nov-12$15.00

And there are pictures (taken from Dice and Brush). I'll let them speak for themselves, but the Shrine looks to fall between brilliant and ridiculous, harks back to old school Chaos, and isn't at all what I imagined. Scyla looks huge, and I can't wait to see proper pictures of the models. The Skullcrushers and Hellstriders look a nice step up from any kit bash attempt. I think those Khorne helms are going to be seen on more than a few Beserkers soon...

Iron Man 3 Trailer

It looks like it'll be fun. I can't wait. The trailer seems to be putting forward something darker than the previous two film, or Avengers. Let's hope it doesn't go totally Dark Knight. At least we can understand what the Mandarin is saying.

Watch out for surprise Guy Pearce. He only makes films better.

Horus and The Emperor - New Artwork

Black Library have released a teaser image of new artwork, by Neil Roberts, to feature on the cover of  "Horus Heresy: Visions of Heresy" which is to be released next year.

This is only the third time we've had an "official" image of the pair, the other two being this... 

 ...and from way back, this.

I think my preference is for the second piece in all honesty, not least because a poster of it is on my wall.

Warriors Of Chaos - November Tease

Well, it looks like Warriors Of Chaos, in some form or other, are coming at the end of October/first week of November. Hopefully it won't just be adding the Helldrake and the Forge/Maulerfiend in to make the kits cull double duty.

Chaos Space Marine FAQ

Well it's here and there are surprisingly few changes, with only 5 entries. The interesting one is the Hellbrute has shed 5pts down to 100.

Hopefully it's a new dawn for books being released as near to spot on as they can be. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what comes next.

Sunday Photo Page - Sekret Projects.

I have two non/semi hobby related things going on at the moment. You may get to sww them when they're finished, but for now...

Sekret Project 1. Design MK I, subsequently modified.

And the start of Sekret project 2. 

Horus Heresy - Angel Exterminatus

The preorders for the new Horus Heresy book, Angel Exterminatus go live today. Which means a new video from the Black Library

This heralds both a new format for the Horus Heresy books, and a change for how Black Library are selling them as well.

Angel Exterminatus is being released as a hardback with additional content, three months ahead of the usual paperback release. The additonal content, beyond being a hardback with full colour cover, is in the form of four pieces of art by Karl Richardson, and an afterword by Graham McNeil. Yours for £20 from Games Workshop, Hobby Centres, or Black Library.

The new book can be bought on its own, or packaged with a variety of digital extras, from ebook, to audio to wallpaper, and poster, with the complete package setting you back £53.50

The previous books in the series are also seeing a re-release in this new format, so that your bookshelf can be filled with hardbacks. The first three books: Horus Rising, False Gods and Galaxy In Flames, are also up for pre order.

To be honest I shan't be picking up this until it hits paperback, mainly because I have a lot of Heresy reading to catch up on, and the slightly more mad/OCD reason that a hardback will look out of place within the rest of the series

Firestorm Games

It's not often I'm moved to commend a store. But I've been impressed by Firestorm Games, for getting an order dispatched on the same day it was placed, and having it in my hot sweaty paws the very day after, all with free shipping. Hats of to both them and Royal Mail.

Broadcast Signal Intrusion - Ten Thunders On Film?

Made me think of Malifaux.

Angron Review - Horus Heresy

Angron has a lot to live up to, as the first Primarch released by Forge World. Thankfully he more than meets expectation, and sets a very high bar for the models that come after him.

As the box insert tells you at the top, this is not a toy.

Ah the box. It's at least £5 of the price, and it's a lovely, but a pain to get into, as it fit together very tightly.
 Once you've got in, you're greeted by a fair featureless blister pack.
 Flipping it over reveals the Primarch shaped goodness inside.

And  this is what it looks like unpackaged and spread out. A few pieces had come detached from their sprues in transport, but otherwise everything was fine. As ever with Forge World models there's a load of free resin.

The quality of the kit is fantastic, with very very few air bubbles, and crisp and clear detail. Just take a look at the back of the cloak.