2013 - Little Games Pt 2

Yesterday gave you my reasons, today will give you my details.

Sitting above all the aspirations below is the return of monthly goals. The start of last year provided a rather harsh lesson in learning the limits of my own abilities, and led to far too much on the To Do List simply sliding from month to month as I tried and failed thanks to taking on more than I could realistically get done. For all of that, it was useful to set out a plan, and have a concrete gauge on my progress, and so, with this in mind, I'll be using a much foreshortened version just to lay out a direction for each month, and seeing how I get on. 

But what will these monthly goals be working towards? Well that, I've set out below. The easiest thing is going to be to break things down by company, then system. Let's get started...


Dark Angels Teaser


I'm not sure what the point of these videos is. The internet has already disseminated pictures of the new Dark Angels from this months White Dwarf. I'm sure everyone who has an interest in them (and many who don't) already have their purchases planned. Can't we lose the sham that this is some sort of interesting surprise and just have a longer lead in on the Advance Orders?

Zombicide Rules Update


Anyone wanting to play one last game of Zombicide in 2012, could do worse than look at the newly released updated rules, which clarify a lot of queries. See the details here, and download the pdf here.


2013 - Little Games Pt 1

A year ago I wrote a post laying down what I had planned for 2012. Had I been a bit more successful at getting stuff done I'd be working through it below with ticks and crosses. Instead I've fallen laughably short of all of the goals I set for myself, something that anyone who watched me flailing over the smaller monthly goals at the start of the year is probably not surprised by.

2012 has not seen anywhere near enough painting or gaming. I'd really like 2013 to change that, but I'm not going to set in stone how it will. Certainly the last year has seen me acquire models for far more games systems, largely due to Kickstarter, but also because of knowing way more about the hobby than when I started writing this.

What I do know is that the next year is going to see a change in focus for me, from the larger armies of Warhammer Fantasy and 40K, to the smaller skirmish games. There are a number of factors influencing me, and this post is going to discuss those, while tomorrow's will breaks things down by system.

It's Been A Year

So the blog is a year old today. Or, if you prefer that in internet numbers, it's 584 posts and 122,414 pageviews old.
 


As far as I know, I've only missed one day, in the last year, and I'm going to blame that on Blogger working to PST time rather than GMT when I first started posting, and the time difference shoving a post more than 24 hours apart through scheduling. You have had 365 days of posting, though, thanks to 2012 being a leap year, so I'm still chalking this one up as a win.

When I started out writing this blog properly (as opposed to the intermittent posts that can be found right at the very start) I'd hoped to put up a post a day, and wondered if I'd manage it. I think I can definitively say I nailed it. Doing the math I having ended up closer to two years worth of posts than just the one, so that's vastly exceeded my expectations.

Hopefully the year has seen the quality of the writing and content improve, although I fear you can track my hobby mood fairly easily through frequency and length of posts as it ebbed and flowed through the year. Certainly the readership has improved at a healthy rate (with a weird November dip, ruining the exponential-ish curve that was developing), and will hopefully continue to do so. Older posts still seem to be getting the hits, which is good considering there are 583 of them now. My top two posts remain an anomaly, both for being the posts they are, and their hit count relative to their nearest rivals.The Dark Angels post seems to be catching up very fast indeed though, especially for being ten days old (I imagine it'll go quiet come the second week of Jan though).

For the "difficult second year" I have plans for the structural side of things, with some layout tweaks (mostly consolidating posts onto pages to make navigation easier, rather than relying solely on the tag cloud), and organisation. I also have less concrete plans for the content. There are two consistent features I want to add, one coming next week and probably bi-weekly, and the other which you'll hopefully see May/June time. More intrinsic than that I want to get more tutorials on the construction and painting side of things up, so there's less talking and a bit more doing. In the last two days of 2012 I'll go on more about the direction I think my hobby is heading, which I suspect is going to turn out to be a pair of posts that'll seem horribly off base a year from now.

I hope everyone who's commented, followed, subscribed, or read a single post has enjoyed the blog. I don't mind just mouthing off into the æther, but it makes it all so much easier than a bloody minded slog purely to prove a point to myself.

Looking back on the year, I have one project that stands above the others. 2012 was the year I built a Servo Skull.


Braodcast Singal Intrusion - Mourning Fictional Characters

2013 is going to start with two(maybe three) big fictional holes torn through my, also handily fictional, heart. Both these wounds are caused by the disappearance of fictional characters from real fictional things. So consider this a fictional tombstone in a fictional graveyard, something to remember them by as we await their return from the grave.

Spoiler Sweetie.


Infinity December Releases

Corvus Belli's releases this month are very good miniatures for the most part, with one glaring exception, that I'll deal with right away.

Riot Grrls


No one wants nipples on their battle armour, nor obvious special plates over their genitals. No wonder the Grrl with the shotgun is pissed off. The only redeeming feature is the headdress on the MULTI Rifle Grrl.

Knights Hospitallers


While I can't fault the quality of the sculpt, the pose does nothing for me.

Armoured Brigade Ralcho


This is going to be a great centrepiece model for many a Combined Army force. It's distinct from the TAGs of other factions without being unrecognisable.

Makaul Troops

 
While the Viral CCW weilder doesn't hit the spot for me the other models are all very nice. It looks as though two basic bodies have been used with different arm options however, which seems a bit of a cop out in a four man unit.

Phoenix


This model looks great, and it's good to see the ALEPH force diversify its look a bit more. I think the base needs a bit of heigh to make the most of the pose though.

Sekban


The Infinity range is littered with rank and file models that could have ended up boring and generic, but instead are lifted by the quality of the sculpts. I can't put my finger on why, but I really like this model. It's worth going to the unit page to read their background.

24 Hour Warning - Games & Gears Gaming Boards

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Time to put your pledge on the Games & Gears board Kickstarter, if you haven't already.

Update: Games & Gears have a new Kickstarter up, for dual ended brushes. 

Dark Age - Kukulkani Miniatures Preview

Dark Age have posted pictures of the Kukulkani models on their blog. Go take a look for more detail, and more pictures.

The Devoted Priest

The Honor Guard


The Christmas Haul

I hope everyone has got something good hobby related for Christmas, I certainly have. Consider this a look forward to reviews you can expect next year.

First off, "The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook", which is yet another lovely background object from GW.


Secondly, the Large Platformer Construction set from Pegasus Hobbies, which is going to be a fun project to put together from it's sprues, and then see what can be made.

 


24 Hour Warning - Imbrian Arts

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It's the last day of the Imbrian Arts Kickstater.

Relics Armistice League Rules v1.0


Tor Games have put up the v1.0 rules for their Relics Armistice League up on Kickstarter. Download them here.


A Christmas Gift From Mantic - Free DreadBall Rules


Mantic Games are giving away pdf copies of the DreadBall rules until the end of Boxing Day.

Head over to Wargame Vault to get yours.

Christmas At GW

Game Workshop have posted a very Black Library centred blog for today.

First up is the news that Ahriman: Exile is available to buy in eBook form today, six months before its paperback release.


Secondly there's a teaser for one of January's releases (which I assume means anyone with a White Dwarf is ahead of the game)


I also thought it was worth putting up the poem from yesterday.


'Twas the night before Kristmas, when all through the Rok
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Snot;
The sluggas were stacked by the chimney with care,
In the hopes that Orky Klaws soon would be there;

The Gretchin were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Killa-Kans danced in their heads;
Da boss with his blasta, and me with my axe,
Had just settled down for some wintery snacks,

When out on the battlements there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my crate to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the blast shield and threw up the sash.
The glare of the searchlights on new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my beady red eyes did emerge,
But a roaring great sleigh and five snarling boars,

With a hulking green driver with huge meaty paws,
I knew in a moment he was Orky Klaws.
More rapid than red Trukks his coursers they came,
And he grunted, and snarled, and bellowed their names:

"Now, Snorta! now, Grunta! now Maimer and Glutton!
On, Tuskgob! your nose is a go fasta button!
To the top of the bastion! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!
As leaves that before the Dakkajets fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the fortress the jet-pigs they flew
With the sleigh full of gubbinz, and Orky Klaws too-

And then, with a crash, I heard on the roof
The crash of the boars and their dirty great hooves.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Orky Klaws fell with a bound.

He was dressed all in armour, from his head to his foot,
And his kit was all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of shootas he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a Big Mek about to attack.
His teef - how they glistened! his choppa, how rusty!
His bionics were crude, he smelt a bit musty1
The drool from his mouth was slimy and wet;
And his bionic eye was evil and red;

A super krak stikkbomb was held tight in his teef,
And the smoke from his burna looked just like a wreath;
He had a broad face, and big metal arm
That hissed with hydraulics when he wanted to harm.

His Grots were all tangled all up in themselves,
And I grunted with laughter, in spite of myself;
A huge wooden crate down the chimney did smash
And the Grots set to work, with hammers they thrashed;
Klaws spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Kustomized the sluggas; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
Ignited his jump pack, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his pigs gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a badly aimed missile.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he flew out of sight-
“'Appy Kristmas to all, and to all a good fight!"

But remember Black Library's response to this sort of thing.

"I’ve written a book of poetry, will you publish it?
No."

Holiday Season

Hope everyone celebrating anything today is having a good time, and that there's a lot of presents filled with plastic, metal, resin and the heady sent of new game being opened up, and remember...


DreadBall - Mantic Plastics Review


Before I launch into the team reviews there are general points to be made about the models in the DreadBall set.

Firstly, the plastic Mantic uses does not play nice with (my bottle of Army Painter) plastic glue. While the glue does melt the plastic, it doesn't set quickly (as in within a few hours, I've not left it over night - if I do I'll amend this). The bond is strong enough to support the weight of arms etc, but you don't want to knock the pieces. I'll be using super glue just to speed things up.

Also on a general point about the plastic, the mould lines are strange things. Upon the first pass with a modelling knife the line is burred, so suddenly becomes much more visible. You're going to want to do a very good job with a sharp knife to clean them off, or leave well alone.

The bases of the models also need a paragraph or two.

Firstly the bases all have a big tab sticking out of them. This is a pain for two reasons. 1) It's a big lump of plastic to trim off. 2) cutting it wrong is going to put a big and obvious scar in the side of the base.


More importantly than the tab though, is that the bases are not all circular. The most obvious example I could find was the two balls.While not a massive issue, it is going to become more pronounced when using the clear bases from Mantic, and it is going to case problems for anyone hoping to use alternate bases as each is going to be slightly different.


The detail is very good for the most part, with fine lines captured very nicely. Some of the hands lack definition, and their are some ears on the Marauders that have suffered for being such tiny parts. (I'd be interested to know if anyone else has had similar issues).

For all the negative tone of the above, overall I'm happy with the models. You'll see the four teams, and the MVP's in posts to come, as well as specific points related to them.

Sunday Photo Page - Mystery Model 3

The third and final model of this feature (well, this year at least). Who knows what the rest of this is (apart from equally out of focus)?

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Answers on Monday, and a summing up on the 30th I think. (Oh, and Ollie, no guesses from you, you've got a little bit of an inside track on this).

From The Æther - 22.12.2012


Here's a blast from the past...

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It's an Interceptor from the old GW game Dark Future, taken from the Route 666 Blog. I have the books that were released alongside the game that I've mentioned before. I think I'll be keeping an eye on eBay to see what bits of the game I can find.

An now from something from the past, to something I'm late with. Chpaterhouse have had this kit around for a while, and it's interesting to see what direction others take GW's IP. I like the model, but not the price.

WalkerGrey1-500x500

I've mentioned the Eternal Hunt blog previously on here, but a second mention is more than deserved for this conversion, of Lord Captain Lorimar, a model that becomes all the better when you read the preamble to its creation. It's a situation I can emphathise with as it's a place I'm at with many a project.

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More impressive conversions are to be found in The Eye Of Error 2012 Round Up.


Blight_Dread_Painted_02
DE_Grotesques_Painted_02
I've got reviews lined up for Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Night Lord books, and had been tempted to convert Talos and First Claw. Sadly whatever I attempt will pale before the models from Badab War in Cambridge. Approved by the man himself.

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Studio Giraldez has been mentioned on this blog a lot. Who wants to see a step by step gallery through the painting of this model? Head to Facebook.

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And lastly Miniature Tim follows up his thoughts on owning a whole paint range, with a list of his core colours. It's an interesting read.

And that's it for this week. Anything I've missed?

24 Hour Warning - Dice Rings


One dice ring to rule them all? Better get your pledge in.

DreadBall Unboxing

I'm going to split the review over a few posts at the start of next week, both to help people find what they are looking for (like reviews of the individual teams), to stop this running on ridiculously, and to make clear what is in the standard game, and what I have thanks to the Kickstarter. I'll be back here to add links to the other pages at the top and bottom of this page.

The copy of DreadBall I'm reviewing is one ordered through Kickstarter, with numerous add ons.  The details of the standard boxed game can be found on the Mantic website, and their picture of the contents is shown below. For £49.99 you get all you need to play including two teams of 10 models aside.

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Onto the review.


IMG_2530

The box is big and impressive. It's also substantial, which is a nice change for Mantic after the rather flimsy Project Pandora box.  It's not quite square, which is a little annoying, so be warned when putting the board back and the lid on. Opening it up (and breathing in the new game smell) reveals the first layer...

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That's a lot of stuff emblazoned with the cover image. In the order it came out of the box we have:

A DreadBall leaflet, promoting the game. I remember when GW used to include a much folded variant of this sort of thing in their sets.

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A thank you for the Kickstarter support, which is nice, and also happens to doubles as a ticket for entering a 2013 DreadBall event.

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And as always with Mantic products there is the presence of reward points (once again I find myself remembering GW Skulls).

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Next out is the rulebook.

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It's a nice size, and the format and appearance is refreshingly clean and clear, weighting in at 82 pages and including everything you need to know to play. I'll be talking about the books, the rules, and playing the game in a latter post, but this should at least give you the look of the thing.

Tor Gaming - Relics AL - Kickstarter



In a weird case of coincidence, this has just got in before I start my DreadBall coverage.

Tor Gaming, who make Relics (which I have talked about on this blog before) are Kickstarting another project. A fantasy football game set in the world of Relica. Called "Relics: Armistice League". The project is interesting on a number of levels, firstly due to its limited scope, being dedicated to just one team, the Britanan All Stars. (This means some teams might fall flat, it's unlikely, but it's possible). Secondly is the move away from the standard grid format of tabletop football games.


Here are some of the sculpts and sketches.

The Guard sculpt
 The Guard


 Linemen
 Scoopers


The set is very reasonably priced, at £26 for 15 models, (well, £36 outside the UK).


And to finish off, here's the video for the Kickstarter...


Which sadly brings to mind this...


Not to knock Tor, I really do like their product, but it's not being shown off to it's best here. Give the video long enough to get to the Britanan model being in focus and you'll see some of the quality shine through. Hopefully this project will smash it's target (although, if it's stays Britanan focused, and stretch goals are introduced, it could see this team favoured in terms of extra models etc).

24 Hour Warning - Guilds Of Cadwallon


Not long left to get in on CoolMiniOrNot's fourth Kickstarter project, at impressively reasonable prices.