Creating A Retinue - Conversions Or Not?

Looking over the Games Workshop website, in-between moments of rage at how clunky the interface is, and mourning the loss of so many Specialist Games models, I was reminded that their are still a few models on there that I like and that would look good in INQ28. I'll go into the specifics of which models in the next post (when they'll hopefully have arrived from various places), but before that it makes sense to talk about what I'll be converting, what I'll be leaving alone, and why. But first, avenues of purchase.

With GW having cleared its virtual shelves recently, as well as the run of the mill removal of models as they are replaced, there are more than a few models that I remember fondly that are no longer around other than via eBay. There are of course still some older models on the webstore that I like, but there is a trust issue there. Many of the models have a number of variant sculpts, and with GW being unable to guarantee which model will be supplied I am once again forced to eBay, where you at least get a picture of exactly what is being offered (remember to check you're getting backpacks etc though). So when I know it's just the one model I'll be going via GW, if it's up for debate, or I need something rare, it's time to search the webs.

Wyrd At GenCon - Store Now Live

The Wyrd Store is now open for Gen Con Orders. Go throw your money at them. Watch put for shipping charges though.


Forge World - Legio Cybernetica

I was going to have this post be on the Space Marine release rumours/pictures, but it looks like there is still more to come, and it's all over the web anyway. I'll talk Marines when the pre orders go up, and I can see some 360° shots.

Instead let's take a look at the two Forge World releases that the Space Marine rumours are overshadowing.

Both are from the forthcoming Horus Heresy Book, Massacre, and hail from the Legio Cybernetica. Let's start with the bigger model...

Castellax Battle-Automata - £36



Not too badly priced, when you get the arms in the kit, and a plastic Dreadnought is £28. 

I really like this model, it looks imposing, the mechanal parts look workable and I like the grabby claws. My favourite touch is the skull at the centre of the model, giving it an off centre focus, and a nice bit of grimdark. 

I tempted to say it borrow a little from Warmachine Warjack's but I think that's just the shoulderpads. It's certainly more balanced it its proportions than PP's models. 

The weapon feed at the rear looks serious stuff (lets face it, that's where it's gonig to be picked up/handled.) The back of the generator looks great as well, which is all for the good, as it's the kind of portion that sometimes gets skimmed on.

Creating A Retinue - Prologue

My hobby has always been driven by a narrative to some degree. The prospect of building up a retinue for INQ28, or whatever GW releases in the near future (my bet is an October release, so as not to interfere with September's Space Marines), blows this wide open, with things to be considered in far more detail. It's not a question of picking a Chapter, Kabal or Province, and putting the right coloured paint on models, but of deciding the reason why someone has a certain MK of Laspistol  (I like the Accatran Mark II) .

Concerning Habits

Well, that was a much longer break than the one I expected to take. Turns out the habit of writing a blog post a day is only a habit when you're doing it. Who knew?  I thought I'd be getting a lot of other things done rather than writing on here, but instead I've achieved laughable little of use.

So the good news for you is I don't have a huge slew of articles to drown you all in. There are reviews I need to catch up on (White Dwarf, etc, and Puppet Wars), but that's about it for getting going again.

We Apologise For The Interruption To Your Broadcast

The blog is going off the air for a week. Have fun without me.

Screwed Up Dice will return...

Zombies - Broadcast Signal Intrusion

If you're reading this then I've been caught up in the Zombie Apocalypse. Which is surprising, because I've been eaten before, so should be a walker, not a survivor.


You'd think I'd know better by now.

White Dwarf - May 2013 (401) Review




Another month, another issue of White Dwarf.  We're starting to see some bigger changes from the format that has pervaded the last seven months, with tweaks made in the 400th issue being expanded upon.

Cover   
There are two problems with the cover to my mind. Firstly the glaringly obvious joint on the Phoenix, which is a real shame given the quality of the rest of the model, and the paint job. Secondly there's the background, which though it sets off the model, is too indistinct. I'm caught up more in wondering what it is than anything else.
                0
               
Opening Salvo 
Still mostly talking content. Give us something interesting.          
                0
               
Contents            
Unless something happens with this, I'm not mentioning it again.            
                0
               
New Releases  
26 pages of High Elves, 2 pages of Hobbit (wholly focused on Radagast on that ridiculous sledge, 2 pages on the LE t-short of the month (is this a thing now?). A 2 page Games Days ad, that seems incongruous amid the other content, 4 pages of Black Library news, the first thing I actually want to read (rather than flick past, having already seen pictures online). The three pages of Forge World stuff seems really dated, with the Abaddon vs Loken piece released in Feb. Digital Products takes a page, and we round off with the two pages of release dates and prices, which include an out of place piece of Space Marine art.           
                4
               
Army Of The Month      
A truly gorgeous Blood Angels force this month, from the brush of Mark Bedford. Look near the page hold for some tech adept conversions. It's disappointing that this is only 6 pages long, and contains only three paragraphs, as I could quite happily read more about the conversions, painting, and background of the army. There isn't anything in the Paint Splatter either. 
                6
               
Jervis Johnson 
Jervis puts pen to paper for the second and final part of his piece on GM'd games. I can't help thinking that the two parter would have fitted into one issue with a smaller font and a photo of Jervis that doesn't take up half a page.          
                1
               
Battle Report    
We are getting more distant shots to give an overview of the battlefield, as well as a deployment photo (weirdly coming before the armies are detailed). I think we might be seeing a slow improvement to things. Half marks. 
                8
               
Armchair General           
A new feature that boils down to a single page piece padded out to four pages by photos. It has promise, but we need more words.     
                2
               
Blanchitsu          
A focus on the ladies of 40K. It's getting redundant to saw that the conversions in this section are glorious, but they are.                
                4
               
Citadel Hall Of Fame      
The Hellbrute takes the stage this month and it is a truly lovely model.  
                2
               
The Time Of Dragons    
An eight page feature on Dragons, with a look at the background from Mat Ward, and Trish Carden talking about sculpting and model design. It's a nice feature and something it'd be nice to see more of.               
                6
               
Parade Ground
Dreadnoughts, and, nope, just Space Marines Dreadnoughts. 8 pages of th hulking things. These are becoming a bit too homogenous.   
                4
               
Kit Bash               
6 pages of conversions, ranging from Warshrines, to Elves to Cultists, with a good range of conversions, from subtle to huge and imposing.   
                6
               
Parade Ground (2)         
Back to machines with two legs. This time Titans.             
                3
               
Golden Demon
2 pages on GD models from Japan          
                2
               
Paints Splatter 
6 pages of High Elves, and 2 pages, oddly, of horses of different colours.              
                2
               
Jeremy Vetock 
A ramble about getting models from plastic to painted this month.         
                1
               
The Month In...               
               
White Dwarf     
Battles and models from around the studio.       
                4
               
The Design Studio          
Surprising no one it's the High Elves in the spotlight this month, with the design studio talking at length, and Mat Ward taking a page.  I like this piece, but it feels like it ought to be in the main body of the magazine.
                6
               
Forge World     
One massive tank, a bike, and some very well painted Marines.               
                2
               
Black Library     
Guy Haley talks about Baneblade.           
                2

Parting Shot      
The Goblin King in all his horrific glory.   
                0
               
Calendar             
At last a redesign, with things all lining up nicely.              
                2
               
Back Cover         
More elves on the icy backdrop               
                1
               
                68
               
There have been some obvious alterations to some sections of the magazine this month, and all for the better I think. There's still a lot more change I'd like to see, with the New Releases section shortened, so the magazine isn't spending over a sixth of it's page count on the army of the month. The gatefold page could fit a hell of a lot on it, rather than just the army picture. There seems to be a lot of wasted page space, with a feeling that photos are being used to pad out the magazine to 152 pages, rather than articles, if that makes sense. It'd be interesting to do a word count between a new issue and an old one, and see if this is a case of rose tinted reading glasses.

Wyrd Releases - May

Even with the announcement of Malifaux 2.0 Wyrd have not forgotten the last model for the game as it currently stands, and this month finally sees the release of the long awaited Avatar Hoffman model. Originally made in metal Wyrd had him remade in plastic to create a larger, more imposing model, and from the look of the renders they've really nailed it. He can b yours for $45. I wonder how long it'll be before we see him being used as a Daemon Prince?


Also out this month is the long await re release of Puppet Wars, as Puppet Wars Unstitched, with a modified rules set, board, and plastic models. It's priced at $75, which isn't bad for 44 gorgeous looking models


Official conformation of the models in the box runs as follows:
UNSTITCHED COMES WITH MORE PUPPETS
THAN EVER BEFORE
  • Masters
  • Lady Justice
  • Seamus
  • Pokey Vik
  • Sidekicks
  • Judge
  • Bete Noire
  • Misaki
  • Rusty Alyce
  • Hooded Rider
  • Pawns
  • 3x Executioner
  • 3x Death Marshal
  • 3x Austringer
  • 3x Rotten Belle
  • 3x Nurse
  • 3x Punk Zombie
  • 3x December Acolyte
  • 3x Razorspine Rattler
  • 3x Silurid
  • 3x Malifaux Cherub
  • 3x Ronin
  • 3x Convict Gunslinger




DreadBall Wave 2 - Review Prologue


As before we the Dreadball reviews I thought I'd do a bit of a catch all preamble to avoid repeating myself. Sadly I am going to echo much of what I said last time, so if you remember that far back, well done, and sorry for inflicting this on you again.

First off plastic glue doesn't work effectively enough with the models, so you're going to need to super glue things together.

Secondly the mold lines do not scrape away easily, as they feather underneath the knife, and leave a lot of swarf behind. They do go after a bit of effort, but it's not as pleasant as the single pass GW models need. Complicating this issue is the awkward places that the mold lines tend to run, as seen on the Robots below. See how it goes across the base, and then up the leg detailing and the centre line of the body? It's not going to be fun to clear.


You can also see in the above the tabs left behind on the arms, which disrupts their fit into the socket in the body. I'd rather have them left on a sprue so I can cut it once in the right place, rather than trim down a fiddly bit.

On the positive side of things, the detail is very good, which makes the meandering of the mold lines even more lamentable.  

The clean up is going to mean the reviews will take longer than I would like, but I'll try and get them turned around ASAP.

For those wishing to look at the reviews from the first wave of teams there are reviews up for:
Corporation
Marauders
Forge Fathers
Veer-Myn
MVPs

Zombicide I - Second Wave Review


So then, Zombicide's second wave. Firstly it's worth noting two changes that have been made to the expected model between the end of the Kickstarter and now. 

In one of the most recent updatesthere was this little paragraph tagged on the end. I'm not impressed with the level of communication this shows, in how last minute backers have been infromed.
"At Miramax's request, Guillotine Games made some modifications to the costumes for Eva and Marvin - if you ordered them and don't like what you got, we'll be happy to take them back, just drop us an email."
Trying to track down the original artwork online is difficult, but I did manage to find a picture of the sculpts, in their unaltered forms.


Given the number of Kickstarters that are borrowing inspiration for their figures from popular culture, I'm surprised we're not seeing much more of this sort of thing, with someone with an interest stepping in to "protect" an image. However moving on to what the models themselves look like now. 





Marvin


Very little has changed, beyond the beard being filled out, and the tie going missing, both things that can be easily changed if desired. Note the Space Marine for a bit of scale. The bases are just shy of 25mm.

Eva


Yellow plastic doesn't photograph well. The gun has been swapped out, the sheathed Katana has been lost, a beret has been added along with shoulder pad things. This model is going to require a bit of work to get back to being the model I expected it to be.

And now to get properly started on the review.

Infinity - April Release

It still throws me that the Infinity releases come at the back end of the month. Here's the latest set in the order Blogger's chosen to put the images up. 

Scots Guard


We saw this model last month. I really like the cloak, but it's ruined by having the big, non camouflaged, shoulder pad being so obvious.

Kirpal Singh, Akalis Major Sergeant


 A great model, the basics are all there, accentuated by the little details. The pose is solid and commanding, the armour is well detailed, and the face really draws the eye. I really like the helmet hanging from his belt. I really can't fault this model.

Domaru Takeshi “Neko” Oyama


Another fantastic character model, it'd take way too long to list the good points. The bad however is limited to two things. The sword grip being so low, and the manga stylings of face/hair. Otherwise it's a perfect model.

Haqqislam Support Pack


Unusually for the support packs, the Doctor and Engineer have been re-sculpted. The Doc looks good (apart from the bare midriff), but I can't shake the idea that the Engineer is sitting on an invisible stool.

Chaksa Auxiliaries


I'm really not a fan of these models. There's something disappointingly retro about them, and it's just not working for me. I'm not sure if it's lack of detail on the flesh, the chunky armour plates, or the shoulder mounted missile launcher.

I think Kirpal Singh is the model of the month, with other releases fallig short in one way or another. We really need to see another Tohaa push or their forces are going to stay a long way behind the model pool of other factions.

Sunday Photo Page - Kickstarters Ahoy

The title would be more appropriate if there'd been something with boats in, but no such look. Instead both DreadBall Season 2 and Zombicide's second wave have turned up over the last week, which means I'll be doing reviews over the next fortnight (Going through DreadBall team by team again. Fingers crossed the plastic has changed).






From The Æther - Faeit 212

Faeit 212 is still down, (although Bell Of Lost Souls is back up and running) after an eventful week for the GW side of the gaming community. Here is the DMCA Complaint that seems to have caused the trouble.

It seems wrong to post the usual list of links while Faeit is still down, so they'll be a monster of a post to come.

Here's the latest news from Natfka, which gives a good deal information on what is next and what has happened.

Free Comics Book Day 2013 - Broadcast Signal Intrusion


Get yourself to a comic shop,it's Free Comic Book Day.

Specialist Games Winding Down Along With Collectors Ranges




Games Workshop are winding down Specialist Games, along with Forge World's tie in models, and the metal models in the Fantasy and 40K Collectors ranges. This post focuses on the Specialist Games, but many of the points transfer over.

I'll let that sink in, on the chance you're unaware of this. Not that there's a reason you'd be aware of this unless you have your eyes on the online community. Certainly GW have not put out any official word that this is happening. The main source of information is people ringing Customer Service and being told that model aren't being replaced.

The mechanics are brutally simple, in that as regional stock is run down models aren't being replaced. Instead you get this on the product page:


 On the main page you'll see that the "Add to Cart" button is missing from certain items.


Things are pretty much up in the air as to what's happen with rules or boxed sets. The rules are available in PDF format online through GW, and hopefully they'll stay like that officially, so the games don't wholly die out. 

I wonder how much this is a perfect storm of declining sales and the replacement of metal models with Finecast. Although there doesn't seem to be the big push that the was to move the main ranges over to Finecast.

Different games are going to be affected to different degrees. Necromunda, Mordhiem, and Gorkamorka are all going to see players either simply using models from the big two systems, or moving to other suppliers.

Blood Bowl is probably the game with the most specific non GW models available, so it's very dependent on how much you like GW's models vs those made by others

Inquisitor is a special case as that has already got a following using models outside the 54mm scale models specifically provided by GW, as part of INQ28.

Epic seemed to have its hayday before I got into the hobby, but it's always been outside my interest, so I can't really comment with any certainty on that. Likewise Battlefleet Gothic, which is facing stiff competition from Spartan Games and X-Wing I imagine.

Warmaster has always been an odd thing, and I never got the impression it was doing well even shortly after release.

Battle of Five Armies has had its card marked since the Hobbit really, and I couldn't tell you when it was pulled.

There's a whole issue of how none standard games (well, none 28mm) require different terrain etc, and the extra hoops they create for themselves, but that's a whole other post.

There is a lot of noise on the internet about this at the moment, although stocks don't seem to be vanishing as fast as might be expected. 

Putting aside the damage done to the gaming community there's an issue of transparency. We only know that the SG range is winding down because it was actively chased up. How is that a good way to run things? You'd think there'd be   a warning, and something like a few weeks to let people get the models they want. This seems especially bad in the week Feait 212 goes dark (I'll be posting about that shortly).

GW abandoned the Specialist Games range a long while ago. Somewhere I have a White Dwarf that charts the studio Necromunda campaign that was run in an effort to raise interest. I don't know the issue number off the top of my head, but it was many years back now. Certainly there's been no active promotion, online, in White Dwarf, or in stores, leaving the games to live and die on their own merits, and the power of the various communities off and on online to keep things going.

I wonder if we'll see White Dwarf rules for skirmish games under the two big systems of if GW is moving to just selling big armies? Or are we going to see an expensive plastic revival in the form of Limited Edition box sets.

There is going to be a lot of fall out from this. Here are my thoughts in a very vague order.
  • Run on popular models on GW, be it for personal use, or for resale at a layer date.
  • eBay prices are going to really ramp up, as people hold on to model rather than sell them, and we'll see big bidding wars over SG models, and probably books.
  • Increase in fakes, as people try and take advantage of the situation by casting copies of the OOP models.
  • Increase in non GW models - there are already firms producing models that can be used in Blood Bowl, Necromunda, etc (although not for other systems (Inquisitor springs to mind first, then Gorkamorka), each for different reasons I imagine), and this is only going to rise to fill the vacuum.
  • The above is also going to lead to people moving away from GW as they are exposed to other companies, be it for models, or simply because of moving to a totally new/different system.
  • Turning players away. This is going to be the last straw for some, as GW turns its back on their game. I can't help feeling they'd be somewhat justified. 
  • Increase in plastic set sales. This is going to depend on a lot of things, especially the situation with the sale of bits, but people are going to want more conversion bits to make model x that they can't get otherwise. This is going to be limited to the 28mm games obviously, and may not be noticeable in the grand scheme of things.
What I can;t see is players going back to the big two games if that wasn't what they played anyway.

So, to finish up, get what you want, while you can, and we'll all hold or breath to see what happens next.

24 Hour Warning - East Asian Village



Kickstarter

Dark Age - New Core Rules

It's not just Malifaux that is getting an updated rules set, Dark Age is also gearing up for the release of a new Rulebook.

Here's what they have to say

"Over the last year we here at Dark Age have been striving to make our beloved game the best we can possibly make it via the March to Immortality, rules updates, Dark Prevailer IPhone App, and unit updates... Well, that has all been leading up to one major announcement the staff and myself have been waiting with baited breath to tell you, so here it is:

We here at Dark Age are proud to announce that very soon we will be releasing a brand new Core Rulebook!

It's all been leading to this, dear players, the culmination of over a year's worth of player feedback, play-testing, and rules revamps! We've looked over every aspect of our game,how it is played, what works, what doesn't work, and refined every element of it. Now, I don't want to worry any of you- we didn't rebuild the game- Oh no, we love our dark little world just the way it is- all we've done is go through each component of it and refined it to an art!

We've very proud of the changes we've made and believe this will escalate Dark Age in every way!

More than just new rules though, we've taken a look at our credence as a company, just how we wanted to function in regards to our player-base and our game as a whole, and with that here are some facts about how we will be progressing in the future that I believe you all will enjoy:

1. Rules Available Online: We do not believe that rulebooks should be a barrier of entry into our game- the fact that you, the players, have chosen to play our game in which to spend your hobby hours and time playing is reward enough, so in that light we are announcing that to coincide with the physical printing of the book we will also be offering it for free as a downloadable .pdf for your tablets/to print/to do whatever you wish with. Of course you can expect the same quality and production value in our new book, as we have displayed in our previous releases, but for those who prefer the digital medium, we are giving that to you as well.

2. Book Trade-in System: As an added bonus to all of you out there who already own our Core Rules we're giving you guys some rewards as well- As many of you know, we here at Dark Age love to make the convention rounds, and love speaking to our fans at either our booths or the various MTI events we hold at said conventions. So as a reward to you guys we're offering a Book Trade-In System wherein you can bring us your old copy of the Dark Age: Apocalypse Core Rules, trade it in, and walk away with a brand new copy of our new rulebook absolutely free.

3. New Content, New Beginnings: The new Core Rulebook will encompass everything you need to play, from the rules, to special and weapon abilities, to our recently released Faction Documents, as well as the Extreme Tournament Format and Scenarios for that year- You may have noticed I said that year. Well that is because we want Dark Age to be ever-improving, creating the best gaming experience possible for all our current fans and those to come, and to answer that we are adopting a yearly revision of our rules, meaning our players wont have to wait 3-4 years in between new revisions. We plan to have this coincide with our Immortals tournament at Gencon each year- so every August we will be releasing the revamped Core Rules for that year- of course available immediately for download and also qualifying for the above-mentioned trade-in system on the previous years book.

4. Themes: Of course, for the collectors out there, each years book will carry a certain theme for the storyline/fluff entries in it, usually relating to the sub-faction/armies released for that year- we're not creating some drab and mechanical book of rules for you guys, [i]these are going to be exciting and interesting catalogs of secrets and stories, enough to sate any fluff and fiction aficionado!

Now, we here at Dark Age wanted to wait and announce this when we physically had the books ready for distribution, but unfortunately plans changed a little while back when we were notified by our warehouse that we were almost out of Core Rulebooks and needed more. Needless to say, when we put in a book order it's a large order, and that presented us with an interesting problem- We could either print more books, knowing that we were going to make them outdated in just a few months, or we could work double-time with the layout and printing of our new book and have it ready sooner than expected- we decided to go with the second option.

As a result, our new book is currently being finalized and will be shipped off to print very soon, a process that takes a few months in and of itself. In the meantime we unfortunately don't have any physical Core Rulebooks to sell! No worries, however, as we take care of our player-base, and are releasing the Dark Age: Apocalypse Core Rules for free download via the link below:

Dark Age: Apocalypse Core Rules

That being said, we're working diligently on finalizing our new book, and will have it up for digital download as soon as it's shipped off to print.

This is only the beginning, dear players, we have so much more to tell you and so many more awesome things waiting for you- but those items will remain undisclosed for now, but keep a close eye here in the coming weeks and months, as we'll be revealing more and more items and secrets...
This is a new beginning for Dark Age, and things are only going to get more badass from here."
All of which seems very positive and embraces the internet in a far more wholehearted manner than other companies. I suppose it comes down to a divide of selling models, or selling rules for models. 

Dark Age is certainly taking a unique approach, with a yearly turn around on the rules (see 3. above), although you've got to hope that within a fairly short span of time you'd have the rules truly optimised. At the relatively cheap price of $19.99 it's not going to be a huge outlay yearly to keep up with.

While I like the idea of a regular turn over of background, and rules updates, it does mean that older books are going to go up in price after they're had their year (unless they stay in print - which will cause confusion), and mean that the game background gets strung out over many books, unless each year sees things added, but nothing removed (resulting in a very fat book), or old editions are placed online in their entirety.

There's no word that I can find on what is happening with the Forcelist or Devastation Book.

Malifaux 2nd Edition Announced

After the last set of releases from Wyrd, which pretty much completed the current range of models, I posed the question of what do you do once you've filled out the game line.

The answer it seems is to release a revised edition. Below is a copy of Wyrd's press release, with my thoughts tagged on at the end.



You may have heard the rumors ... and now we’re excited to announce that Malifaux 2nd Edition (M2E) is coming!

Malifaux 2nd Edition will be pre-released August 15 (during Gen Con 2013) with a general release by October. In the mean time we plan to tease you with new art, new models, new characters, and the ... Public Beta for Malifaux 2E. 


Malifaux 2nd Edition

Malifaux 2nd edition is coming! If you want to be one of the first to play it and provide input, we’ll be having a public Beta for your shuffling pleasure. (More details on the Beta below.)
What are some of the features of 2nd edition to look forward to?
  • Streamlined, Updated Ruleset.
    Clarified rules interactions and Model Actions.
  • Upgrade Your Models / Customize Your Crew.
    That’s right, keep your favorite model fresh and competitive for years to come.
  • New Masters.
    From the current Henchmen getting promoted, to fresh faces like Tara, the Herald of Obliteration!
  • Gremlins a Faction?
    You bet!
  • Easier to Read Card Format.
    Every model updated to a new, easier to read format. No more searching through the books. The cards are standard sized as well, making them easy to sleeve for dry erasing.
  • Story Moves Forward.
    Find out what happens to your favorite characters, see the new alliances formed, and discover new Tyrants!
  • FAQ.
    For those of you who never got enough of the rules-love, we’ll be moving to an FAQ system updated on a set schedule! No more searching the forums for rulings.
We’ll keep you updated with more details over the next few months.

Public Beta Information

  • What
    Play Malifaux with your friends! See the new rules online as soon as they’re available. This will be your chance to give feedback.
  • Who
    Anyone! No previous Malifaux experience required.
  • When
    Starting May 31
  • How
    Watch the new Public Beta section in our forums. Access the rules, ask questions, give feedback, and interact with other Malifaux enthusiasts.
To head off a question that's already been raised on the Wyrd site, the forum will open on when the Beta goes live.

I think this is a great move by Wyrd in many ways, but not without its potential issues.

 The Good.
  • Advanced official warning of a  new edition, which feels very novel.
  • Give the community what they want. The list of what to expect certainly looks promising, adding polishing tweaks to the game, and promising to expand the world. 
  • Consolidation of rules. Wyrd's rules stretch over 4 big books, (or the mini rules) which is a potential barrier to entry for new players. Bringing everything together in one place is good, although there's a negative to this I'll get to below. 
  • Bookends with Through The Breach. With the RPG due to come out at the end of this year, the core game was in danger of being left behind, or TTB would need to be more restrained to fit with Malifaux as it stands. 
  • Open Beta. This should really provide the fine honing of the rules, and hopefully eliminate loopholes, phrasing errors, and all the other little things that can mar a ruleset. 
  • No miniature left behind. You all know the model. The one that gets left on the shelf because it doesn't perform of the tabletop.  Hopefully these can be bought up to scratch in the new edition.
  • Not a Kickstarter. 
The Bad
  •  The update of stat cards for models either thanks to the new format or rules tweaks is going to leave a lot of people with out of date cards on their hands. While Wyrd does have the option to order cards through their site, it would be expensive to update a whole collection (not to mention shipping costs outside the US). I hope we see collections come out in the style of Warmachine, allowing players to easily bring their collections in line with the new rules. 
  • I mentioned consolidation in the good section, but there's no mention of the background sections present in the older books being included or being made avaliable elsewhere, and it seems unfair on new players to make them go back and pick these books up just for the background sections. 
  • Size. This is going to have to be a big book to include all the above, which will likely mean you'll want a "Full" version to have all the information and a "Lite" version to take to a game night. Maybe we ought to go back to the old GW style of bundling books together, so you get a background book, a forces book, and a rule book as separate pieces?
  • New vs Old. Wyrd's move to plastic has seen there models go from strength to strength, but has left the old models feeling dated. The most obvious thing is that the new figures are smaller and more delicate than their metal predecessors. A fresh influx of models is only going to exacerbate this. The obvious solution of redoing the current metal range is fraught with issues, although it'd be nice to see the range of alternate figures steadily grow. 
For anyone wanting more on Malifaux 2nd Ed, then The Æthervox have an interview with Justin Gibbs and Mack Martin.
That's all I can think of off the bat. I'll be watching (and no doubt posting) on the Beta Forum when  it opens up, and I can't wait to see the finished product.

We're Not Going To Talk About April

This month has been dire for active hobby work, so I'm simply going to slide all my deadlines and goals forward to the end of next month. I've not picked up a paintbrush in any meaningful way, and even conversions have been left by the wayside. I'm not sure time will open up for things, but I am going to try harder to squeeze it in somewhere.

And with that, back to writing a better blog post for tomorrow.

Hammer And Bolter - You Don't Miss Something Even When It's Gone.


Hands up anyone who has read Hammer and Bolter, Black Library's eZine?

Hands up who read it regularly?

Hands up who knew it had been cancelled? And not recently at that, but back in November last year.

Why was that not bigger news? I only thought of it because I was thinking about the lack of background or any sort of fiction in White Dwarf at the moment, and

The last issue available through the Black  Library site is Issue 26, released in Nov 2012

I've had a difficult time tracking down the official line on the cancellation, having had to trawl the Black Library Blog manually to find the relevant article.

According to Lexicanum the first announcement was made at Black Library Live 2012 on the 3rd/4th November.

The following text is taken from a post published on the Black Library blog on the 16th November.
"Farewell To Old Friends

...Firstly, you can now download issue 26 of Hammer and Bolter. It’s with a bit of a heavy heart that we confirm that this will be the last issue of Hammer and Bolter we will ever produce. For over two years now, we’ve brought you a monthly dose of short stories, extended extracts and serialised novels, but we’ve been receiving increasing amounts of emails asking for the stories to be made available as separate downloads. So that’s just what we’re going to do.
From January 2013, we will release a new eBook short story every Monday. This way, we can bring you new authors, expand stories that start in our novels and continue to give you the wealth of new material that has been provided by Hammer and Bolter these last two years. The important difference is that you can now choose what you read. Get all the stories about your favourite army, try out new authors whose ideas tickle your fancy, read about a brutal battle scene when you’ve got a spare half-hour on your lunch break- the possibilities are endless..."
I suggest taking a look at the full post to see how little coverage this got. I certainly don't remember seeing anything about it on the White Dwarf Daily blog.  Which is good and bad I suppose. Black Library has certainly thrown itself into its Digital Mondays and publishing short stories in eBook format.

I've not kept up well enough with the Black Library's digital output enough to know what stories are being pulled from Hammer and Bolter for Digital Monday's and what's original. I do know that H&B stories are being bundled into eBook collections where relevant, such as the Night Lords ebundle.

I wonder how the Black Library's decision is playing out for them, and if reader's choice sales are beating Hammer and Bolter sales, and if the lack of cross marketing that Hammer and Bolter provided is being made up for. H&B was also running serialised novels along with the short story content, and I'd be very interested to see how that affected sales.

All this is old news, but I thought it was worthy of a mention.

Sunday Photo Post - The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing.


 I went to a gig by The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing last night, a steampunk outfit, with songs about such things as The Great Stink, Bedlam and Cthulhu. Above is a rather crap picture of the band on stage, which sadly doesn't show either the group's outfits off, or the steampunk styling of the audience (a lot of goggles, as well as the occasional pith helmet or fez). It was a very good night, and I recommend giving them a listen.

I'll leave you with two of the songs performed last night, although not filmed then.

High Elves Pre Order

High Elves have gone up for pre order on the GW website, and there are quite a few new twists to the usual release formula that make things worth looking at, even if you're not interested in the pointy ears. I'll hold my hand uo now and say that they're an army I've never been hugely interested in, but I'll do my best to keep my bias out of this.

High Elves Army Book
LE - £55 Standard £30

Is it even worth mentioning that there's a Limited Edition? I'm more surprised that there's not a LE model as well, either package with it, or in addition.


Warhammer Battle Magic: High Elves £3.50

 The standard 8 card deck.

Bundles

 Oh boy there are some expensive available, and they serve as a useful comparison as to how expensive units are, and the potential costs of building an army. It's worrying how close the costs of plastic and Finecast units are becoming.

Flamespyre Phoenix / Frostheart Phoenix £35

I'm not sure about either version of the Phoenix. The joints look a bit rough where the wings meet the body, and the pose looks to stiff. A bit more flex to the wings would give it a more animal feel rather than the rigid aircraft look it currently has. I also wonder how long that flying stand is going to last. I am impressed by the way the two different variants have been done, with some very well hidden joints. 

The kit also gives the option to have the rider dismounted, and he makes a nice, if angry model.