Thursday, 25 September 2014

Deadzone Kickstarter Wave 2

All my new stuff!

After what feels like a very long wait my second wave shipment from Mantic Games' Deadzone Kickstarter has arrived.  It's just possible that I've ordered too much stuff, with this box containing over a hundred new minis that need painting.


Overall there's a lot of great stuff in this shipment, and I had a lot of fun sticking it all together, the core of the delivery are the two new factions, the Forge Fathers (space dwarves/Squats) and Asterians (space elves/Eldar).

Squats Forge Fathers

 The Forge Fathers are well sculpted and characterful minis, but aren't that original, the Asterians are a slightly different take on the space elf model with each strike team only containing a single elf leading a group of cypher robots.

Pathfinder on bike and on foot, in multiple coloured resin for some reason

Iron Man meets Wolverine

Each of the original four factions received some reinforcements as well, a single mawbeast for the marauders, plagued enforcers, sorak swordspawn and an enforcer pathfinder and enforcers with special weapons.

Enforcer, Plague and Reb Striders next to a GW Dreadnought

I've also got four striders, which are a big walker which can be used for the enforcers, rebs or plague.  I'm really pleased with these and I think they compare favourably with the styling on GW's dreadnoughts.  The kit nicely makes the three different versions look different as well.  I've not built the fourth one yet, can't decide which of the three options to use, I'm also considering trying to convert it into a counts-as stuntbot for use with the marauders.

I Will Eat Your Brains......

This delivery also contains Mantics new sci-fi zombies, made in nice hard plastic.  I think the quality of these is frankly brilliant and they look great.  The sprue is slightly limited though, not as many options as I would have liked, it really could have done with another couple of heads and another couple of pairs of arms.  As I was looking at assembling my fifth sprue I had a bit of a brainwave and went and found my spare kings of war zombie parts which I used to add a bit of variety, I also remembered the base plugs that represent zombies dragging themselves across the floor, which means I managed to get another 5 'floor zombies' out of my sprues.

Marauder commando stand-ins

This mixing in KoW parts to the zombies also made me have another idea of using some of my spare warpath marauder sprues to make a few counts-as minis to represent the cards of the commando upgrade pack, which I didn't get.

The last thing I got was all the expansion books both in normal softback version and awesomely fancy hardback which was provided with a personalised book plate signed by Ronnie and Jake.  The new rules add a huge amount of playing options with all the rules for the new minis, plus multi-mat, multi-player, solo, zombie games and a whole campaign.  I can't wait to try some of it out.

personalised book plate

In a nice change for a Mantic kickstarter everything that was due to be in wave 2 actually arrived.  Still another wave to come though, hard plastic enforcers, enforcer peacekeepers and armoured forge fathers.  The basic enforcers being delayed again is getting frustrating as the enforcers were one of the initial 2 factions and still lack most of their support options, but whilst it is frustrating in the end I think I'd rather wait and get better quality product than a rushed bodge-job, which mantic have said was the alternative.

Right, I'd better get painting.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Space Hulk - My Thoughts, My Minis

Space Hulk is a truly great game and I love my copy of the (limited) 3rd edition.  It was the rerelease of Space hulk 5 years ago that led me to collect my current Space Marine army and start playing warhammer 40K again after a gap of 8 years or so.  Throughout this post are pictures of the minis from my set that I painted when it came out last time round, I was immensely proud of them at the time, and they still hold up well 5 years down the line

My initial reaction when I saw the leaked pics of the new 'limited' edition Space Hulk was to feel a tad gutted and slightly cheated, after all the guy at my local Games Workshop when I bought my copy was making a big deal about the fact that these minis would never be available again.  And here we are, my 'never available again' set available, but in a slightly better format with an extra 4 missions.

I think its obvious to us all the GW aren't doing as well as they used too, and this is an attempt to boost revenues and please the city and shareholders.  I'm sure it will work, its a great product and the ebay prices for the last edition stuff is insane.  Ultimately GW doing well and making money is only good for our hobby in the end, but it still feels slightly cheating and underhand.

If you didn't get it last time round it's a total win for you, go buy it before they run out.  But even for someone like me that did get last time, there are some compelling reasons to get it.  Those 4 new missions for a start, what OCD completionist wouldn't want them?  And I've always regretted not buying two copies last time round so I could add the excellent termie models to my Space Marine army, now I have that chance.

Well I've ordered it sucker that I am, I'm looking forward to the new missions and will be converting the terminators for use in my Vengeance Templars army.  The genestealers will probably end up on ebay to recoup some of the costs.  GW must be doing something rigt as this will be the only big purchase from them so far this year (and we're more than two-thirds into said year).

That's how this post was going to end, but I changed my mind at the last minute and didn't order it.

Oddly the extra three expansions (for Dark Angels, Ultramarines and Space Wolves) have out me off buying the game as the extra version still wouldn't now be complete. Also I don't get to play Space Hulk anywhere near as much I woiuld like anyway, and I realised last minute it would be a waste of money and that I have too much to paint and too much stuff coming from kickstarters anyway.  I wonder if in a year or two I'll end up regretting this decision.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Guest Post - Nagash vs Dungeon Saga

My mate and occasional guest blogger on here Mike has another rant to get off his chest, it's the old familiar topic of pricing at Games Workshop, however a couple of recent releases have really made the scale of the issue come to the fore, over to Mike.......

Being an old Undead/ Tomb King’s gamer I always fancied having a Nagash model, but somehow I never got round to buying one one. The old metal model was not a priority buy back in the day and they are quite hard to find now, even on ebay. Games Workshop have recently brought out a New Nagash, and it is you would expect quite a spectacular model. Actually its little too spectacular for my taste if the truth be told (I disagree I think it's fantastic - Keith). It might even look a bit out of place next to my old skeletons, and I’d be frightened of knocking it over (really, if you knew me)(There is no clumsier human being - Keith). No seriously, it does look really nice and I wouldn’t mind one for my shelf. The really bad news is its £65. Sorry Games workshop I’m just not going to pay that for a Nagash. As I understand it that’s £65 for just the model too, no add ons, extras or freebies. The rules for Nagash appear in a separate book and you have to pay a lot of extra money. Interest over. 

This is admittedly an Awesome model

 Fortunately I was alerted to a new Kickstarter project by Mantic a couple of weeks ago and it cheered me up a lot. The quality of Mantics previous Kickstarters and the sheer amount of money being pledged to this one alerted me that it might be something to really look forward to. This Dungeon Saga game seems to be something like Warhammer Quest, where the player battles their way through various rooms and challenges meeting various cool baddies on the way. You know the script. We don’t know for sure of course because the game is still in production, but when I saw what comes in the box I went for it immediately. It turns out that for a pledge of $100 (that’s £4 less than Nagash) I will be getting an entire gaming system, packed with new models. Mantic have also Thrown in art prints, bonus scenarios, digital adventure books and all of the Dwarf King’s Hold scenarios for people like me who didn’t get around to buying those games first time around. That’s worth waiting 12 months for in my opinion. The Mantic crew who usually seem to have their finger on the pulse, have even included a mystery ‘undead demonlord’ model. Good move Mantic, I haven’t thought about Nagash since.

How much stuff?
I have to admit I made the same decision and I am eagerly awaiting the chance to play Dungeon Saga.  The 12 month delay is a slight issue, but once you get started on kickstarter being the way to get new games you have a steady supply of big boxes coming, before this arrives I'm expecting Deadzone wave 2, Mars Attacks, Deadzone wave 3, and Dreadball extreme.  And despite a few missing bits (that always get replaced eventually) getting the big box of kickstarter goodness is always a joy.  This is Mikes first kickstarter and I hope he has a good experience and helps fund more products that I also want to buy!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Belgians In The Congo

Todays minis are an addition to my ever growing collection of colonial figures from late 19th century Africa.  Two packs from Wargames Foundry's darkest Africa Belgians range, a pack of officers ad NCO's and a pack of Askaris for them to lead.  As with all my other minis from this era I plan to run some pulp adventures or possibly dino hunting games at some point, these Belgians will provide a third European faction (along with adventurers and the British Army) to contend for the spoils.

Officer Types

NCO Types (I think the guy on the right looks like John Hurt!)


Some great characterful minis here I think, but now time to get a bit serious;  Obviously these models are for games loosely based on the historical period 'the scramble for Africa'.  What got me to thinking was the title of the pack of officers; 'Darstardly Belgian Officers', which seemed a bit harsh on all Belgians and rather stereotypical (although I cast no doubt on the fact that many atrocities were committed in the Congo Free State under the rule of Leopold II of Belgium).  I couldn't help but then wonder if any sort of colonial gaming was somehow glorifying colonialism and was in its way a bit racist.  I'm a white Englishman and I'm just after a bit of fun in a pseudo-real world of exploration and adventure, trying to recreate something like the adventure stories of Haggard or Kipling on the table, but I can't help but start to wonder how a 'Darkest Africa' game would look to a African and what they would make of our little bit of harmless fun.

I'm not sure what the answer is, I'm not entirely sure that there's even a problem, thoughts anyone?

Monday, 1 September 2014

R.I.P. Boltgun Metal - Hello Vallejo

Finally my last pot of Boltgun Metal citadel paint has been used up, this was a sad day for me, I've been using Boltgun Metal since my very first paint set over 20 years ago now, and it's been used on nearly every model as base for all metal parts ever since.

Oh well off I go to my local GW and I come back with a pot of Ironbreaker from the new citadel paint range, it might be a slightly different shade, but surely it will be fine I think.  How wrong I was, possibly I got a dud pot, but this is awful.  It's so thin and the pigment seems to clump and not give a smooth colour.  It takes at least two coats to achieve anything and then still looks awful and sort of pale.  Not happy I go off to ebay and try to find another alternative.

I find and order this pot of game color chainmail silver made by Vallejo.  It cost around the same as a pot of GW paint but is 17ml instead of 12ml, which is actually a significant saving.  Upon trying it out I'm happy enough and will be continuing to use this, it's not quite as dark as the old Boltgun Metal, but at least it goes on properly and provides a perfectly good metallic base for highlighting/applying copper/gold over.

As I was trying out my new Vallejo paint I realised something; that paint was pretty much the only thing I ever bought from GW now (almost all GW minis entering my collection now come second hand off ebay).  This paint disappointment might be the thing to help me make that final break from a company whose products, whilst mostly great, I simply can not afford any more. 

Rest in peace Boltgun Metal, you will be missed.
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