Friday, 27 December 2013

From the Painting Table 9

I've managed to get a little bit of painting in over the winter break and actually managed to finish off a couple of projects that I present below.

First is the Thranduil from GW's new The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug range.  He wasn't cheap or to be honest good value, but he is very nice.

This is a squad of Mantic Games corporation troopers, these have a dual role in my collection.  They actually come from the project Pandora boardgame I got cheap a while back, but will also be seeing service in my Imperial Guard army for 40K.

And finally this Loka earth rook which came from this years mantic crazy Christmas box.  I like this guy a lot and am quite tempted to get a set of the pieces now.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Mantic Crazy Christmas Box 2013

Another year and another random box of assorted goodies from mantic for a cheap price, a mere £20.  As it's still avaliable as I write this I thought some of you might like to see what the box contains.  Well at least what my box contains as mantic do say contents will very. 

This seems to have been put together as a sort of 'sampler' of mantics range with a bit of everything thrown in, so broken down by game system we have:

Kings of War:
- 10 x elf bowmen
- 10 x human spearmen/swordsmen
- 3 x ogres

- 5 x forgefather stormrage veterans
- 2 x marauders

- dozer, giant
- helder, MVP

- sorak
- yindi

- earth elemental

And I also got a copy of mantic journal 4 which includes a mantic point. 

The only thing to note is that no bases are included, but I have plenty of spares kicking around so it's no issue to me.

That's 35 mins for £20, really not a bad deal.  I don't have much use for the elves, but everything else will be useful, I'm particulary chuffed with the deadzone minis and the ogres.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Treebeard Some Call Me......

The release of the extended DVD version of the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a couple of weeks ago has inspired me to paint a few models off my pile of Lord of the rings figures, the star of which is the mighty ent treebeard, but I've painted a few smaller characters as well.

The DVD was worth waiting for rather than getting the standard edition earlier in the year.  The extra scenes themselves are OK, but I can see why they got cut from the theatrical release.  The extra features are however fantastic and I've sat through and enjoyed around 8 hours worth of the documentaries plus the full length directors commentary.  I'll defiantly be getting the extended versions of the other films.

The first miniature releases for the desolation of Smaug are out now as well, the elf rangers look fantastic and I'm planning on getting some at some point (although not straight away as I have all those deadzone models to paint).

The sons of Elrond, Elladan & Elrohir.

Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, a high elf spearman and Grima Wormtongue.

Gorbag & Shagrat.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Deadzone Arrives

The first batch of stuff from the Deadzone kickstarter has arrived, actually it arrived over a week ago and it's taken me that long to glue it all together.  The first thing was the sheer size of the box, which was massive!  I think it's the biggest box of minis I've ever got delivered at one time.

Lets get straight to the minis, at this point I received plague, enforcer, marauder and rebs starters, along with plague, marauder and rebs booster sets and a selection of mercs.  Overall I'm very pleased with them, some great sculpts, even the marauders that I wasn't keen on look better in the flesh, the rebs and plague steal the show though and I can't wait to paint them up.  Some of the minis still suffer from mantic's mould line problem, but it wasn't too hard to fix, and some of them come in many, many, small pieces, the merc 'wrath' was a particular pain.  I needed a lot of super-glue to stick it all together.  I had a couple of 'warped' minis as well, but a quick dip in nearly boiling easily fixed the problem, so give that a go if you get any similar models from mantic.

The rulebook is full colour and in the same format as the dreadball one, not read all the rules yet, but production quality seems good and it's all very pretty.  The other star of the set is however the 2' x 2' gaming mat, which is frankly fantastic.  The material feels and looks good, doesn't crease, and has an appropriate, and nicely generic piece of artwork.

The scenary is a bit of a mixed bag, although I'm happy with it overall.  I got a lot more than I was expecting, and the tiles themselves are great and there's a lot you can do with them.  The connectors are a bit of a let down, they don't hold the tiles together properly and building even medium sized structures is a complete pain, however luckily there is an easy solution.  I've started gluing the pieces together, whilst this means I won't be able to rebuild the kits every time I play, it also means I won't have too which for me at least is a definite bonus.  I'll probably get some more of mantic's terrain at some point, and it's good, I just don't think it's endlessly rebuildable like they claim.

unfortunately this is a mantic kickstarter package, and that means it's missing a couple of bits, this time I only got 6 dice not 10, and I got an extra reb human and a missing a Sorak, not the end of the world and hopefully mantic will sort this out for me as they have with the issuses with my dreadball pledge (eventually).

The only real issues with this kickstarter stuff is that I'm starting to feel a little bit overwhelmed with all the stuff I have, the painting queue is massive, and I've not yet had time to fully explore all of dreadball yet and now I have this and a small mars attack pledge to work on as well.  It's a good problem to have.

Overall deadzone has turned out to be fantastic value for money, I can't believe how much stuff I've got and all the stuff that's still to come (asterians, forge fathers, more enforcers and sci-fi zombies).  I'd better stop here and go get painting........

Monday, 25 November 2013

40K - Eldar Striking Scorpions & Warlock

It's been a quiet month on this blog, but that's not because I've not been painting, but because I've had many projects on the go all of which are nearing completion at the same time.  This first finished project is this squad of striking scorpions and a warlock for my eldar army.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Ice Flow - A Boardgame Review

Yet again I've fallen for a cheap board game that I've seen in 'The Works' and thought I'd share my view on it.

This game is called 'Ice Flow' and is I suppose a Euro-Game, with the somewhat inspired theme of trying to cross the bearing straight on foot from Alaska to Russia by clambering over ice, taking short swims and avoiding polar bears.  That's basically all the box said and it was enough to part me with my fiver.

Lets start, as always, with the components, which are all really rather good for a cheap board game.  The box is well made, and the board is a standard board game board with nice artwork.  the rules booklet is A4 in size and in full colour, what I did like was that it contained three separate booklets for English, German and French, which allowed me to bin the ones I didn't need and not have to wade through a book looking for the English bit (something I hate).  Game cards keep up the nice artwork, but are oddly square not normal card sized, not a problem as such, but means you can add card protectors to them.  The playing pieces are all coloured wood Meeples, standard stuff, for some reason I find the polar bear ones really quite cool.  And last but not least are the rather nifty hexagonal ice counters made from a clear blue plastic with cuts and cracks moulded into them.

Gameplay is pretty simple, but full of choices.  On each player turn you can take one player action and must take one ice flow action, you may do these in any order you like.  Ice flow actions involve moving or rotating or adding a new ice flow piece, thus allowing you to aid your movement, or, which is often more fun, to impede the movement of other players.  The ice flow pieces can only move in certain directions, which helps planning, but most have one or more cliff edges that you need rope to cross.  Player actions simply allow you to move one of your three pieces as far as you can before being stopped by an obstacle that you don't have the equipment to cross, or when you choose to stop. This is also a resource management game, you can carry up to 3 rope and/or fish in your backpack.  These both do very useful things, fish allow you to distract a polar bear or swim across a hex of open sea, rope allows you to cross ice cliffs, or go fishing for 2 fish (replaces your player action).  The first player to get all 3 of his meeples to different Russian settlements wins.  The game is designed for 2-4 players, and whilst it will work for any of these levels, 3 players probably works best, as you can still plan a bit in advance, but there is enough trying to screw the others over to make it fun.

So in summary we have a nice game here, with tactical depth, yet easy to learn, family friendly and well made and presented, recommended.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Dreadball - Female Corporation Team, Helder and Rico

Another Dreadball team is now finished, this time the Female Corp team, which represent a different 'style' of human team, which has less guards and relies more on the jacks.  I've yet to have a game with them, but on paper the standard male team looks more to my liking, but we will see.  As always with my Dreadball figures these have been given a coat of varnish to help them survive being handled during play.

Also I've finished the last two MVP's from the season two package, Rico van Dien and Anne-Marie Helder.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Dreadball Third Shipment - Mantic Drops The Ball

I've finally received my final package from the Dreadball Kickstarter run by Mantic Games, and well I'm afraid I have to report a lot of problems.

I received a letter with my package explaining that my season 3 rulebook and season two upgrades had been delayed due to them being more popular than expected.  Mantic seemed to imply it didn't matter as I had an electric copy of the rules that I could use, besides the fact that I had ordered the physical book right at the start of the campaign as I don't like electronic rulebooks.  It's a let down not to get something I ordered and paid for over a year ago.

My missing Z'zor jack.... 5 months later.
Then on top of this one of the extra MVP's that I'd ordered that wasn't highlighted as missing, in fact was missing.  I tried messaging mantic via kickstarter a couple of days ago and no-one has as yet bothered to respond.  I had missing pieces from my last shipment too and it's getting frustrating now.

A few of the new MVP's
In the end all this adds up to the fact that receiving the packing just left me feeling annoyed, and didn't leave me that that happy feeling that a large box of minis is supposed to leave you with.  I begrudge Mantic for taking this from me.

It's not all doom and gloom though, at least a lot of what I have got is very good.  First off the biggest item in the package is the new 'Ultimate' board which is a kind of giant mouse mat.  It looks and feel fantastic and I'm now very excited about the deadzone mat made from the same material. 

On the whole the miniatures are much better this time as well, sharpness has gone up and flash has gone down.  There's still a couple of duds but overall the sculpting quality has improved as well, with the Teratons easily stealing the show,  I can't wait to get them painted and playing Dreadball.  The nameless team are interesting as well, although their inability to stand unaided proves that the optional bases weren't really optional. 

Dreadball is still a great game, and I've got around 60 new figures to paint, I just wish Mantic would get their act together a bit more and actually send me what I've ordered.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Army Focus - Star Wars Miniatures Republic

 The Collection - Click to Enlarge
A quick look at another part of my star wars miniatures collection today, this time the army of the republic from the time of the prequel trilogy, concentrating mainly on the clone wars.  This is an army of three parts; The Jedi, the Clones and native troops (wookies, gungans, etc). 
The Jedi are clearly the coolest part, with many named Jedi all with unique special rules, but also some non-uniques you can field many of, including the awesome Jedi weapon masters.  The basic clones unfortunately are not good to play with, way overcosted for their 10HP and def13, which is a real shame.  Not all clones are created equal however and the clone commandoes are very powerful and for a while were a very successful tournament squad for me.

One disappointment with the Republic army is the lack of interesting large pieces, the couple of small skimmers are just dull and a bit ineffective.  In the end though it's really all about playing with the Jedi, and that's always fun.

 The many faces of the Jedi

Beware the Wookies

Thursday, 10 October 2013

40K: Sternguard Veterans & Plague Marines

With all the new Space Marines goodies coming out I couldn't resist adding a new squad to my army.  After much deliberation I bought a box of the new Sternguard Veterans.  It's a really great box with lots and lots of extra pieces that you won't be able to use on this squad alone, but will be great for blinging up a lot of other squads in your army.  It's still a little bit overpriced, but the models are nice.

I've also got my hands on the new Codex: Space Marines, which I'm very, very, impressed with.  It's the best codex I've ever seen (and I have quite an extensive collection)  The background section really looks at the space marines as a whole for the first time and the new rules are interesting as well, I love the idea of chapter tactics and need to decide which of the first founding chapters my chapter will be descended from.

I've also finished a squad of 6 plague marines for my chaos space marine army.  These are older versions of the models I think and the squad comes with two plasma guns.  I've been a bit scared of painting them, but I think they've come out OK in the end.  These are also the first non-Alpha Legion troops in my chaos space marine army.

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