Friday, 20 September 2013
This is only going to be a quick overview, as I haven't had enough time to read in depth, but a full review will appear in time.
The book is produced the same way as the core book, being a full colour hardback. While I haven't counted the pages yet, it has roughly the same page count as the core book, while containing much more fluff over rules!
The book is divided into 6 sections, covering the major kingdoms of Western Immorean. Not only does each section have a map and an outline of the kingdom's history, but it also includes geographic information, as well as the major mover's and shakers.
Each section also includes a players section which provides new careers, abilities, spells, gear and warjacks relevant to the nation. Anyone who wanted to play as one of the units from the wargame now has everything they need.
Overall this looks to be another excellent book. Only one gripe so far, and that their is a players section at the end of each nation, which while I understand works well layout wise, but is a pain for referencing. Especially as some of the abilities and spells are available to other careers.
However, I'm really looking forward to devouring the book, and will give a fuller review once I have.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013
In a great exercise in willpower, I've managed not to back any Kickstarters since Warmachine:Tactics, however when this game came along I couldn't help support. Read on to find out why you too should be backing 404: Law Not Found.
404: Law Not Found is the first board game from 3DTotal Games, a small company based in Worcester. Mixing humour and with simple to learn but strategicly deep game mechanics, it looks to be a game both novice and veteran gamers can enjoy.
You control a robot on the starship Clarion who's base set of directives have been changed. Instead of "Protect all Humans", you may now be directed to "Empower War", or "Improvise Cloning". These being your directives, they are good directives, and you will follow them. By being the first robot to complete your 3, perhaps odd, directives, you win the game.
While you are trying to complete your directives, you will have to deal with your fellow robots trying to follow their own directives, the human crew trying to complete their mission and a monkey.
The parent company, 3DTotal has a background in art and producing art books, and this shows in the look of the game. From the box art to the game components, the look is evocative while not being overly complicated. I love the design of the robot who manages to seem retro and modern at the same time.
If you don't want to go in blind, by just going to the Kickstarter page you can download a copy of the prototype rules. For just a £1 pledge, you can get a copy of the Print and Play demo kit, so you can start playing right now!
Looking through the prototype rules, they look well thought out, with enough examples and diagrams to help new players understand the rules. I like the drafting mechanic by which players get their directives. It means that, having an idea what other players may be doing means you can actively act against players, or if you are really clever, get them to help you with your directives.
404: Law Not Found looks to be a clever, fun and engaging board game that is an absolute steal at £28 (free UK and US postage!). Currently it is over 50% funded with 28 days to go, so with your support it can easily fund and get some of the fantastic looking stretch goals as well.
Finally, if the above hasn't gotten you a little interested, perhaps the personal touch might. I'll admit, this isn't just a project I've ran across by accident. I have the pleasure of knowing the game designer for many years now, and have enjoy gaming alongside him. He has one of those minds that seems to just summon up fun ideas, and he is definitely someone who should be creating board games.
I missed the opportunity to play test this game, due to me and my life, but I know most of the people on the play test credits and they have all raved about this game.
This is not just loyalty to a friend talking. I know Greg is working hard to make this the best game it can be, and from everything I've seen it will be awesome. Go, back it now. The monkey demands it!
Friday, 2 August 2013
Unless you are a first time visitor to this blog (hello to you), you will know I'm a big Warmachine fan.
I bought into the game at its release, collecting Cryx and Menoth. Although I've only recently been getting regular games in, I've got most of the books connected to the wargame and the RPG.
So 5 years ago when Privateer Press announced they were going to create a computer game based on Warmachine, I was one of those people that were over the moon. The preview video that was released later on did nothing to dent my enthusiasm. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and the news about the video game was sparse. Despite Whitemoon Dreams (the developer) stating that work was continuing, the game was presumed to be vapourware. That was until the teaser trailer was released!
Not only were we getting a game, but instead of the action game they were originally working on, instead it’s a turn based strategy game. Oh hell yes!!
If you want the full details, the Kickstarter page is:
So, the next thing is, why should you pledge to support this Kickstarter?
Firstly, for only $20 you can get a digital copy of the game on release. That is a bargain compared to the price of computer games these days. Not only that, but because the stretch goals are all about improving the game, you will get all those as well. Already your $20 gets you access to all 4 prime factions, their signature character jacks, 8 mercenary characters and a new single player campaign. Further stretch goals include more content, as well as more playable factions. On release, certainly the additional campaigns are likely to be DLC, so you get the benefit now.
Not only that, but you can get your hands on some exclusive alternate sculpts of Journeymen warcasters for each faction that will be released with Warmachine: Vengeance later this year.
Each of the models is up to the standard you'd expect from Privateer Press, but they also add a new tactical angle for each of the factions. Previously only Cygnar had access to a Journeyman Warcaster, but with every faction will do soon. Personally I like the idea of coupling the Cryx one with one of the ranged crab jacks that can be a bit focus hungry for our regular casters.
I'm working on a post about them for later, as it’s not so time critical!
If you've got the cash, there are some nice higher priced rewards, like canvas art prints, but they are a bit outside most people's budget.
Other than the incentives, what about the game? Well for a start, Matt Wilson, the founder of Privateer Press, is part of the team developing the new game. Anyone who might be worried about the Iron Kingdoms not translating across can rest assured that it can be in no better hands that his. While the game won't be a direct translation of the tabletop game, they are committed to keeping the aesthetic and feel as close as possible.
Game play wise, as well as the single player campaigns, they've promised a number of ways of playing multiplayer, including LAN and play-by-post, as well as the more standard methods.
Privateer Press has also promised not to start another Kickstarter until they've delivered on this one. This is a nice promise, as some companies can stack too many projects up, and find they fall apart on delivering some.
The cherry on top (for those that are concerned about this) is a promise to avoid DRM in the game. They've said they will have to include it for platforms such as Steam, but there will be DRM free versions for those that want it.
Hordes fans will see a version of the game at some point, although whether it is an expansion or standalone but multiplayer compatible game remains to be seen.
So, if you enjoy the Iron Kingdoms setting, or like games such as X-Com and Shadowrun Returns, then you can't go wrong by backing this Kickstarter.
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
I will get back to new posts very soon, I've just been a bit distracted recently.
But I do have some stuff coming up including a mammoth post showing what I've painted recently, some posts regarding Warmahordes mercenary/minions solos and the regular smattering of reviews.
Monday, 6 May 2013
Game Play – I really like the look of the rules, and I’ve been looking for a gate-way game that I can demo to people easily.
Models – There are some amazing looking models already done, and I’m a sucker for a painting project. Take a look at the WIP Marauder Ripper Suit!
Value for Money – The Strike Team Pledge is already worth twice as much as it started with, and with not being even over half way through the Kickstarter it will rise further. I simply can’t look away from that sort of saving.
I’m an addict.
The current hot property up on Kickstarter at the moment (in the gaming section at least) is a new skirmish scale miniatures game from Mantic Games called Deadzone. As I'm considering getting into this a bit, I thought I'd write up a post with the duel goals of working it through for myself, and giving it a bit of exposure to people I know who might be interested.
For those that haven't been following Mantic Games, they are a mid sized gaming company based in Nottingham that started life producing 28mm fantasy miniatures. Initially sold as generic low cost, decent quality sculpts for use in other *coughGW* games, they have expanded with their own fantasy IP (Kings of War) and a Sci-Fi Ip (Warpath). Last year they had an extremely successful Kickstarter for their Sci-Fi Bloodbowl-esque football game while continuing to release models for both IP lines.
I've had my eye on what Mantic have been doing since their initial releases, but never had a reason to buy into their main miniatures game. I passed on Deadball when they Kickstartered it last year, as I am not that interested in a Sci-Fi football game. However, given its success, and Deadzone appealing more, I'm looking to back this project.
Deadzone is based in their Warpath world, alongside their main wargame and Dreadball. Where the wargame is closer is scope to Warhammer 40K, Deadzone is a small scale skirmish game played on a 2'x2' board.
Alien artefacts are infecting humans with a genetic plague that mutates them into monsters hell bent on spreading the contagion further. When an area becomes infected, it becomes a quarantined area, a Deadzone. For those brave, or stupid, enough to enter a Deadzone, it offers a wealth of abandoned technology and riches. However, linger too long and you may find yourself overcome by the Plague.
Currently there are 4 factions available for the game, mainly based off of existing factions in the Warpath world.
The elite military of the ruling Corporations. These well equipped humans are sent into Deadzones to recover important technology, information or any other assets their paymasters want. Of the 4 factions, they are the best armed and armoured, representing the best the Corporation has to offer. They prefer to engage at range, although they can deploy specialist close combat units if necessary. Extremely good mobility as the Enforcer armour has a built in jump pack, making it easy for them to traverse the battlefield.
The unfortunate victims of the alien virus, these mutated monsters live for nothing but spreading their contagion as far as they can. Those that are infected directly become hulking close combat monsters, while those 2 generations removed still have enough control to wield scavenged weapons. Most of the units are close combat troops, with some ranged support.
Fighting against the “utopian” society of the Corporation are a rag tag band of aliens. Forced into Deadzones to scavenge for supplies, the Rebels may not be the best equipped, but they have a wide range of interesting troops instead. While Humans make up the bulk of the force, specialist aliens and high tech drones help plug the gaps and bring the Rebels up to match the other forces.
Once the shock troops of the Corporation, these Orx are now mercenaries looking for a quick score, and a good fight. Armed with big guns, and even bigger Ripper suits, the Orx are easily a match for The Plague. These are not big stupid Orks that you might find in other settings. Orx are cunning, tactical and able to use technology. Don’t underestimate them.
I’ve got to say, I can’t quite make up my mind which factions I like the best! Each is flavourful, with some great sculpts. I would be made even worse if they were to introduce their 2 other Warpath factions the Forgefathers (Dwarfs in Space) and the Veer-myn (Skaven in Space) as they are both interesting looking as well.
Gameplay wise, currently the Alpha rules are available to view and to try out. They are an interesting mix of board game and skirmish game rules that looks to create a game that is simple to play, but still has tactical depth.
One of the key board game concepts used is in movement. The play area is divided into 3"x3" squares, and models will move a number (normally 1) square per move action. This cuts out one of the more time consuming aspect of a skirmish game. Still, cover and positioning within the squares are an important part of the rules, maintaining the tactical elements of a skirmish game.
The dice mechanic uses D8’s which is an unusual choice, but makes sense when you read the designer’s blog on the subject (http://quirkworthy.com/ well worth a look). It also uses the system Mantic developed for Dreadball, meaning it has had plenty of play testing.
An additional element is the ability to play Battle Cards on models during play to give bonuses or penalties. Each faction will come with its own faction deck, and each card will have 2 possible effects. This adds more depth to a simple mechanic, and can give you the edge in a tough fight.
Games will have faction specific objectives that will determine success, meaning that you don’t necessarily have to kill your opponent to win. This will mean that factions such as the Rebels that may have a technological disadvantage against the Enforcers can still play a balanced game. I like objective based games, I found Warmachine to be a better game when we added scenarios into our play, so I can only see this as a good thing.
Finally, I can’t not mention the scenery they have produced for the game. With a snap-fit system that will allow you to put the panels up in any configuration you like, and then change it, it means you have some many options for your game board.
We are expecting a big update today (Wednesday 6th May) with more information about the terrain, as well as terrain only pledges and add-ons. I can see this being very popular, as it can be used in a number of big Sci-Fi settings with very little adaption.
So, why am I getting in on another Kickstarter, I’m sure you are all thinking. Well, there are a few extremely good reasons:
Sunday, 5 May 2013
As is traditional in an RPG release schedule, one of the early releases is a GMs kit, containing a GMs screen and some additional content to entice us to hand over our money.
Not ones to break tradition, Privateer Press's second release in the Iron Kingdoms line is a Games Masters toolkit to aid all those hard working GMs in running their games.
The main component of the kit is the 4 pane games masters’ screen. With the panes orientated landscape, the screen is low enough that a GM can comfortably look over while sitting, but will hide notes and dice rolls from players. With a double sized centre panel, you have plenty of width to work with, and don't feel cramped with a pile of notes.
The screen is made from tough card, like the cover to the Iron Kingdoms core book. This means that it will easily stay standing on its own, and even absorb dice impacts without moving. This isn't a 1990's White Wolf screen here!
The outer screen graphics are up to the normal excellent standards of Privateer Press. The double sized pane gives a great opportunity for some metal mangling action, and it doesn't disappoint. You can’t get much more of a representative view of the Iron Kingdoms than a heavy warjack fighting a bionic pig man over a crashed steam engine.
On the inner screen is the real meat of the product, with useful tables and charts for reference in game. While I haven’t road tested the screen, it contains everything I would need to reference quickly during a game. It also includes page references for sections if you want to look at the full rules, which is really handy. The text is a reasonable size, and laid out well, making it easy to read. Use of bold text and inverted text colour for headings means that you can quickly find what you are looking for.
Onto the extras. These vary from company to company, some offering an adventure, others a small booklet of GM related material that didn't make the cut into the core book. In this case there are couple of gaming aids to help run your game.
To start us off, there is a pad of 25 full colour character sheets, like the ones found in the core book. Next, there is a pad of 25 full colour encounter sheets, again like the ones found in the core book. There are also 10 laminated Character health trackers and 10 laminated initiative trackers.
For me, while gorgeous quality, I'm unlikely to ever use the character or encounter sheets. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but I tend to find character sheets get used and abused in a way that doesn’t warrant using better than a black and white printout. Also, the paper is slightly gloss, and I'd imagine writing in pencil may be more difficult, leading to problems when changes needed to be made. It would also make the encounter sheets only usable once. That being said, there is nothing wrong with them, just a matter of personal preference.
The laminated health and initiative trackers though, I will be making use of. The health tracker gives the player an easy way to track life or damage (in the case of a warjack) and their current Feat Points, without having to keep rubbing out a section of the character sheet. The Initiative Tracker card, not only gives the GM a place to record individual initiative scores, but also a character's stats and current Armour and Defense, so they don't need to refer back to the player as often. While not vital to running a game, it certainly makes tracking things much easier.
Finally, perhaps the more difficult aspect is the product’s value for money. At $27.99 rrp, it is actually more expensive than Urban Adventures, and is likely to see less use. Looking at previous GMs screens I’ve bought, it is certainly much better than the screens I have for the FFG 40K RPGs, and just as good as my Eclipse Phase screen. For me, the additional items don’t quite have as much worth as the adventures/GMs books that the other screens provided, but I’m willing to let that go.
If you intend to run a game of Iron Kingdoms, you can’t go wrong by picking up the screen. The information it provides alone makes it a must have, saving time leafing through the rule book. Consider it an investment if nothing else.
|Iron Kingdoms Games Masters Tool Kit Contents|
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Godslayer is a fantasy minatures skirmish game, that is set in their own world of Calydorn. To steal from their website:
"The world of Calydorn is the stage upon which plays the epic drama of GODSLAYER; a bronze-age world of sword and sorcery; steeped in the ruins of ancient civilizations, where the borders of myth and reality blur. Classical empires clash, spear and shield, in contest for cultural dominance; brutal barbarians command the skies astride the backs of giant avians while slave-caravans wend their way across endless deserts with their cargos of the conquered."What particularly interested me were the Halodyne faction, a basic port of Ancient Greek warriors into their world. I've always liked the look of the classical Hoplite infantry, and I like to branch out now and again to keep my painting varied.
So, I backed the Kickstarter enough to pick up the Halodyne Demarchon and Sanctum Priestess.
I'm pleased to say they arrived recently, and I thought I'd put together my thoughts on the models, in case anyone else was interested in buying some.
Both models came in ziplock bags, one with the model and parts, the other with the relevent game cards. While not as fancy as the clam shell blisters that most other companies use, I had no problem with the packaging, as lets be honest most of it goes in the bin. The models came well protected in a padded envelope so the lack of additional plastic blister wasn't necessary.
The models are in metal, something that is becoming a bit of a rarity these days. Personally I don't have a preference between plastic, resin or metal, but I realise that some people do.
Both models came in a number of pieces, and they went together well, with no more preparation work than you would expect from any other company. Mould lines were obvious, and for the most part in areas making cleaning easy. A couple though were in areas of small detail, which was unfortunate, but just took a bit more concentration.
Because it seems I am slower at writing blog posts than I am at painting, I've managed to finish the Demarchon in time to show you a finished model!
Anyone looking to buy into Godslayer, from the quality of the models you would be daft not to. Not that I do ratings on my reviews, but if I did they'd be up there with the best.
Sunday, 24 March 2013
However, patience is a virtue, and I even successfully managed to avoid all the online spoilers!
And I’m glad that I did, as once again Privateer Press has produced and excellent product that I would have been disappointed had I spoiled myself before having my own copy.
Gargantuan’s is a 160 page, full colour book available in both softback and hardback for those collectors out there. As with all the previous anthology books, it contains sections on painting, new rules, new model write ups and fiction highlighting the new models as well as advancing the world metaplot.
Just like the Warmachine equivalent Colossals, Gargantuans contains the relevant new rules that covers the new unit type, as well as publishing the Unbound rules again. While Unbound is an interesting change to the game (for those out there with 200pts+ of models), if you have either Colossals, or the original No Quarter issue, these rules are duplication. The only new part is the new formations, and changes to existing models if you want to play Unbound. While I’m disappointed that Unbound has been included again, I’m not sure of any better way of publishing it. I can’t see an Unbound rulebook on its own selling well.
The painting section, once again highlights some of the techniques used to paint the display models. Not everyone is going to want to replicate the paint schemes, but they do make interesting reading for picking up techniques. Along with the painting sections from the faction books, and available in No Quarter, there is a wealth of well written pieces for anyone looking to improve or expand their painting techniques.
For me, as much as I’m looking forward to the new models, I’m also looking forward to the fiction in the books. Privateer Press has built up a great setting and metaplot, and anything to build in that is welcome in my opinion. Once again, we are treated to some excellent stories that not only see the new models do awesome stuff, but the overall plot move forward. As we go on, the Warmachine and Hordes metaplots are becoming more intertwined, and we see the effects of battles in Colossals being played out here. I’m really interested in the Cryx/Legion story as well as the Skorne/Ios plot lines. All in all, excellent writing as usual, if anything it serves to make mediocre models seem much more impressive than they are on the table. Not a bad thing in my opinion!
Anyway, onwards to what everyone really cares about, the new model releases.
I’ll be honest, its tough for me to give much of an overview of the factions other than Legion and Skorne, so take any commentary on the other faction releases with a pinch of salt!
Overall, this has more releases than Colossals, with at least another beast and 2 solos/units per faction above the Warlock & Gargantuan we expected.
Trolls gets themselves a Warlock unit in the shape of Grimm2, a light troll with Stealth and Eyeless sight, a heavy champions unit and 2 solos (one Sorcerer that attaches to a unit, and a Fennblade commander). While considered the weakest of the Gargantuans, you can’t dispute the Mountain King model is amazing. I wouldn’t say anything here is out of the park outstanding, but a solid set of releases that I would expect to see play.
I really don’t like the look of Morvahna2, Circles new mounted warlock. With a strong feat and set of spells and abilities, I can easily see her causing trouble in play. Another strong release is the Warpborn Alpha UA for the Skinwalkers unit. For 3 points you get a whole raft of abilities to make your medium based infantry even better. Their unit release, the Tharn Blood Pack also look mighty strong, and the Rip Horn Satyr promises to find its way into many lists. Compared to these releases, the Razorwing Griffon and Woldwrath Gargantuan do feel a little lacklustre, but I don’t doubt someone will make them work.
For me, Skorne get some of the most interesting and powerful new models. Makeda3 is our Warlock Unit, and if you want to play a Warlock that gets into the middle of the action, then she is for you. She has the ability to dish it out, and to keep herself reasonably protected from retaliation. I think she’s definitely on the to-buy list.
Our weakest release is the Reptile Hound, a Lesser Warbeast with a situational animus, and Flank with Reptile Hounds, meaning you have to take at least 2 to make them worthwhile. We do, however, get the only Character Warbeast in the book, in the shape of the Despoiler. With an Affinity for Mordikaar, you wouldn’t be surprised to know he works at producing Void Spirits and supports spell casting. His animus doubles enemy fury and focus costs to cast spells, and he’s not a slouch in combat for a heavy beast.
Our unit is a ranged Cataphract unit, that have Continuous Fire and an AoE! These fill a much needed gap in our roster, and I can see in more than just Xerxis lists. Our Solo, the Mortitheurge Willbreaker, will, however, be found in even more lists. For 2 points you get Beast Master, Ancillary Attack and Puppet Master! Best Release of the Book.
If that wasn’t enough, our Gargantuan, the Mammoth, is easily the best of the large based models. A giant 4 armed monster with a 4 barrelled cannon on its back, yes please! Add in the ability to total anything in melee, and the most armour of them all, I can’t wait to drop this guy onto the table.
Legion of Everblight
Legion gets some interesting releases, but really only one has made it onto my to-buy list.
They do have the privilege of the first Huge based Warcaster in the shape of Lylyth3. Counting as a Battle Engine, and mounted on a sledge pulled by 2 Ulks, this should be an amazing model, but how it performs in game is yet to be seen. I’m concerned that a huge base makes her much too difficult to hide from opposing assassination attempts.
Legion gets 2 light warbeast, the Afflictor and Nephilim Bloodseer. Both are interested with both having Flight, the Afflictor creating new Incubi and the Bloodseer improving spell casting units. Solid releases that will see play in certain lists.
No unit for Legion this time, but 2 interesting solos. The Beast Mistress is a spell casting equivalent to a Jack Marshall. Only able to take Lesser Warbeasts, but packing a couple of spells herself, I can imagine she’ll end up as a Legion Buff bot for those useful Lesser animi. The second solo is the Warspear Chieftain, a UA for the Warspear unit. Much like the Warpborn Alpha, he brings the Warspears much needed abilities such as Huntsman and Relentless Charge, for the bargain price of 2 points.
Legion do win the prize for the most amazing looking Gargantuan. Unfortunately, its rules don’t quite match, but I can still see if getting some table time.
Minions get 2 warlocks, one Farrow and one Gatorman. Of the two, I like the look of Rask (Gatorman) better, but I am a sucker for the Gatorman faction. The Farrow get a Lesser Warbeast and Blindwater get an Undead Bog Trog unit. There is also a new Gobber Tinker solo that can repair Warjacks and Battle Engines. However, as he only works for 2 of the Warmachine factions compared to all 4 Hordes ones, I can see him repairing more Battle Engines than anything else.
Overall, another excellent release from Privateer Press. Every faction gets something useful, and while debate will reign over which faction “won” the book, I think no one goes away unhappy.
I already have a couple of the early releases, which I'll review in a week, once I've got them put together.
Saturday, 23 March 2013
This year, we move up from 15pts to 25pts, and also start using the Steamroller 2013 scenarios rather than the ones in the core book.
To ease us in, we are only going to use 4 of the scenarios, Destruction, Incursion, Outflank and Process of Elimination. We’ll also be aiming for a 2 list format with character restrictions. No timed turns though, we aren’t quite ready for that!
We are now only a week away, so I thought I'd talk a bit about what I considered taking, to give an idea behind my list building.
Firstly, I want to take as much painted models as possible, so that practically that limits it to either Skorne or Cryx. I simply don't have the amount painted to manage one 25pt list for either Menoth or Legion, although Menoth isn't far off.
My 4 opponents are going to be Cygnar, Menoth, Retribution and Circle. I know pretty much what the Retribution player will be taking, as I help with his lists, but I'm going to try not to have that effect my decisions too much.
First up, lets look at my Skorne options. I only have 3 Skorne Warlocks, and as 2 of them are already painted, that narrows down my choice quite nicely.
Master Tormentor Morghoul
* Cyclops Brute
* Cyclops Savage
* Bronzeback Titan
* Titan Gladiator
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts)
This is a nice beast heavy list, that should be able to wreck most things it comes up against. Downside, it have very little defensive abilities, depending on body mass alone to survive. An option is to drop the Cyclops Savage for some solos that may help, a Willbreaker, Master Tormenter and some Swamp Gobbers being my choices.With 3 of the 4 opponents being able to play a reasonable ranged list I may not make it to the zones before loosing something though.
* Basilisk Krea
* Titan Gladiator
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Praetorian Swordsmen (Leader and 5 Grunts)
* Praetorian Swordsmen Officer & Standard
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt)
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
Here I’m attempting a Xerxis block, but I can’t seem to fit in everything I want. Note, no Beast Handlers, as I can’t afford them, and a heavy warbeast. Ironically, I don’t feel that I’d need them if I had a light warbeast, such as a Savage. Anyway, the plan is to slowly advance the 16 DEF, 24 ARM Cetrati up the field and see what can actually do anything to them. Good against ranged lists, but lacking in overall pace as everything would be stuck at the speed of the Cetrati.
Some interesting options, and certainly I like both lists. However, these two lists have a couple of big painting projects in, and I simply don't have enough time to complete them. If I'm to Play It Painted, as is my plan, then Skorne are off the table.
I have much more to choose from in Cryx, and much more painted, making list construction a bit more varied.
* Skarlock Thrall
Bane Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Bane Lord Tartarus
<9pt Focus Efficient Heavy>
This list is fun and uses many of the units I love in Cryx. Most of the list is Stealthed, meaning I should be able to advance reasonably safely, I have a heavy of some description (usually Seether) for heavy lifting duties, and weapon master infantry to make people cry. I have 2pts left for a solo, either Gorman (for even more debuffs), War Witch Siren (because) or a Bloat Thrall (for some range, and pie plates). Not yet sold on which to take yet.
Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
Satyxis Raider Captain
I love the synergy of this list! The Satyxis package is strong in most lists, but the additional Inspiration from Skarre tops it off. Pistol Wraiths and Black Spot go together amazingly, and Deathjack loves Seas of Fate, and acts as a bit of a Scarlock. I did consider swapping out the Deathripper for a Stalker, but the ability to throw Black Spot or Perdition at further range is too useful.
Asphyxious the Hellbringer
Mechanithralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls
Revenant Crew (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch
Satyxis Raider Captain
A bit of a mixed list, but I just want to give Gaspy3 a shot. Cankerworm is a must, as with Gaspy he punches well above his weight. Satyxis love Ashen Veil, and a load of infantry to annoy the opponent. Not as tested as the other two lists though, and Gaspy3 would be a brand new caster to try.
Well, that's what I'm thinking, I'll report back once I've played a few games.
Thursday, 28 February 2013
It has been a quiet month for me, with not much finished, but odds and ends have had paint applied.
I found in a box my part painted Khemri Blood Bowl team, and have been doing a bit more towards finishing them off. I had the Skeletons and Mummies painted previously, so I just need to base them. My Blitz-Ras and Throw-Ras required painting, so they are about 75% complete now.
My Satyxis Raiders continue to taunt me, however I have at least made progress on the Raider Captain.
However, my main achievement this month has been the completion of the Deathjack!
I stalled out a bit on him, but it seems catching a cold really helped me finish him. After one very odd cold induced dream, I had the inspiration to finish him off. I’m still considering some free hand runes on the main carapace, but for now I’m calling him done.
Of course, he would not be complete without his kittens!
Socks does blend in a bit to the base, so may find itself a ball to play with in order to make it more obvious. The other 2 (yet to be named) have come out well, and add some interest to the base.
Of course, he’ll accept any hugs on offer. Come here Warcaster, my Deathjack just wants to hug!
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
I'm not a newcomer to Kickstarter, having backed 16 projects over the last year, however I don't quite get into the spirit of the projects, usually keeping my involvement to myself. Which really isn't the point at all, as most of these projects depend on their backers to create a buzz to bring in more backers.
To be fair, I'm usually backing successful projects, and I'm only interested in a basic pledge and really don't mind about additional stretch goals. However, I'm supporting one at the moment that I'm keen to see do better, so here is my contribution.
Wild West Exodus is a Sci-Fi/Steampunk skirmish game set in an alternate wild west. I'll be honest, this isn't a unique selling point, as their are a number of takes on the wild west, however the look of the models has me more than anything. Created by a new company called Outlaw Miniatures, they are currently looking for money to get their vision off the ground.
Exact world details are a little sparse, but it seems that the world is being controlled by a mysterious Dark Council, and science and technology are advancing rapidly, in some cases surpassing our current technology. Along side shamanic Native Americans, are Cyborg Union officers and steam powered battle vehicles. The setting is promised to be expanded in the rule book, as well as built upon in an on going comic series.
The models are being 3D sculpted, and if they match their concept art they are going to be detailed and dynamic.
Currently there are 4 factions, although more will hopefully appear as we hit more stretch goals.
Enlightened: A group of scientists, corrupted by unseen forces to create machines of death and destruction. They had me at Giant Steampunk Spider!
Union: Representing America is the recently victorious Union army, made up of both natural soldiers, and cybernetically enhanced officers. I’m looking forward to seeing Abe Lincon leading a force of soldiers against my reanimated minions.
Outlaws: No good Wild West setting is complete without those that don’t play by the rules. Featuring the famous outlaws of the day, these men (and women) are dedicated to surviving by any means.
Warrior Nation: The native population of North America have allied together and are drawing on ancient spiritual power to fight back against the white man’s desecration of their home.
The rules are currently being worked on, and a version is available on the Outlaw site. They have industry guru Alessio Cavatore working with them on the rules, and a Beta set are promised not long after the Kickstarter finishes. From a read through, the rules have promise.
On the Kickstarter front, they have already passed their initial goal, and are steadily heading towards the $200K mark. With 20 days to go, and many more stretch goals on offer, the resulting rewards should be well worth it. The high level rewards are clocking in at over twice the pledge in value, and hopefully will increase towards the end.
For my sins, I’m splitting a Replusive pledge with friends to get some small forces for fun skirmish games. However, I’m been tempted by the awesome Micro Art Studio buildings that are also being offered, and am likely to end up with a number for use as both WWX and Warmahordes terrain.
They are promising delivery of the models in September, although I am being realistic and won’t be surprised if I don’t get mine until November. However, regardless of when I do, I’ll throw up a review.
Sunday, 10 February 2013
Last year I looked over the comic book movies of the year. This year I'm going to look over the movies that interest regardless of the genre, although don't be surprised if they don't stray far from the SF/fantasy area! All released dates are from IMDB and are correct at the time I write this.
Iron Man 3 - April 26th
I've had bad experiences with the 3rd movie in comic book franchises recently. Spider-Man 3 and The Dark Knight Rises were both a bit disappointing, and the long awaited 3rd X-Men never happened (it never happened!!).
Anyway, with Iron Man 2 being a holding film for Avengers, this is the first time we get to see a proper Iron Man sequel. Basing its plot off the remaining plot from the Extremis plot line, that wasn't used in Iron Man, we will should Tony Stark get closer to his armour than before in an attempt to stop a technological extremist. Saying that, it is good to hear that they won't be ignoring the events of Avengers, instead building on them. From the trailers, it looks like we'll be seeing a Tony Stark scared by the events in New York. I like the Marvel interconnectivity they are bringing to their movies, and just wish DC could manage something similar.
Man of Steel - 14th June
The Superman origin is perhaps one of the most well known superhero origin of them all, so it'll take some interesting scripting to make it both recognisable and new at the same time.
From the first trailer, we see a much more SF looking film, with Superman facing off against the US Army, and spaceships all over the place. However there is no sign of an older Clark in the trailer, leaving me to wonder how much of Superman's duel nature they will dwell upon.
DC, it seems, is hanging all its hopes of pulling off an Avengers type Justice League movie on the success of Man of Steel. I'd like to see a Justice League movie, but I'm not sure that following in Marvel's footsteps is necessarily the right move for DC. Still, they need some success after Green Lantern failed, and now the Nolan Batman franchise has come to an end.
The Wolverine - 26th July
As a Marvel film I feel duty bound to see this on release, but I'm not expecting a masterpiece. Origins was an ok film, that worked nicely(ish) into the film continuity at the time, but had its disappointing moments. The sequel promises to be set after the film that we don't mention, and draws from Logan's time in Japan. This part of Logan's journey is supposed to mark his move from primal berserker to honourable warrior. How well Hugh Jackman can pull that off remains to be seen.
No trailer as yet either, but hopefully one will be appearing soon.
Thor: The Dark World - 30th October
The Thor sequel promises to draw much more on the mythical side than the first, with Thor going up against Dark Elves lead by Christopher Eccleston. The full cast from the first film are back, with the small exception of a re-cast Fandrell.
Not a huge amount around about the film as yet, not even a decent movie poster I could steal.
Pacific Rim - 12th July
Giant Monsters fighting Giant Robots!!!
For some reason this one passed me by totally until the first trailer came out. I'm now trying to avoid reading too much about it to keep the level of suspense up. I want this film to be awesome, but it has a lot of ways it could go wrong.
The robots look great, the right balance between looking cool and being something we could build in a few years. We don't really get any full shots of the monsters in the trailer, but big and stomps is really all you need.
If I could only see one film this year, this would be it. Not much pressure riding on it at all :)
Star Trek Into Darkness - 17th May
I think it's safe to say that Abrams' Star Trek is going where no one expected it to go. With the teaser poster coming from the same design school as Dark Knight rises, and the trailer showing a massive amount of death and destruction, this could be the darkest Star Trek to date.
I like where this is going, to be honest. It still has most of the trappings that make up Star Trek, but it is much more modern in its representation. Benedict Cumberbatch looks good in the villian's role, whoever that might be.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug - 13th December
I can't really not include the second Hobbit film in this list. I really enjoyed the first, sure it wasn't as epic as LotR, but it was exactly what I thought The Hobbit should be like. Not much more to say, other than looking forward to seeing Smaug in all his CGI glory. Nice to see Benedict Cumberbatch not sticking to one genre when playing villians!
This is a far from exhaustive list, just my top picks (to be honest, I'm hardly straying from the blockbusters now am I).
Other odd films I'm keeping my eye on:
Warm Bodies - Zombie Romance film, that I'm sure isn't going to be as interesting as the book.
I'm a bit slow on this one, as the book was released just before Christmas, however the for-mentioned holiday delayed me giving the book a good read. That has now been rectified, so on with the review.
No Quarter Presents: Iron Kingdoms Urban Adventure is the first source book in the Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Roleplaying Game and aims to claim the title of the longest source book title ever released. Weighing in at 94 pages, it won't win any prizes for the largest book in the world, but in full colour it certainly wins on quality.
Urban Adventure is providing rules and information for both GMs and players who want more information on adventuring in an urban environment.
First up are 6 new careers, one for each of the non human races that serve to help bolster there character options. Some, like the Seeker and Labour Korune are very much linked to their racial fluff but I'm sure Pugilist could be adapted for a human. They look good, and combined with the existing careers will lead to some interesting characters. Certainly it will help mesh some of the races into an Urban Campaign
8 pages of new equipment follow, from weaponry to new alchemical potions. Nothing outstanding, but some useful additions.
Perhaps one of the more interesting sections, is a section on Urban Combat. This section introduces some new combat techniques that any character can use to make combat encounters more interesting and varied. They all need a reasonable skill prerequisite (usually 2 in the relevant skill) and the expenditure of a feat point to attempt. For those that are familiar with the wargame, think power attacks! I look forward to seeing more options in future source books.
Next we get 6 pages devoted to labour jacks, including new chassis and upgrades to existing ones. Describing the types of jacks you would see working in an urban environment, they are also solid starts for adventuring companies to adapt into combat jacks.
The largest section of the book, clocking it at 20 pages, is an concise outline of the city of Five Fingers. As stated in the contents, this material is not new but instead has been taking from a previous Iron Kingdoms product. Even owning the original book, I don't feel cheated as the concise guide is well done and gives a nice outline and chance at game ideas without the need to wade through an entire book. For those that want to run a game set in Five Fingers, I would strongly advise picking up Five Fingers: Port of Deceit if you can. If you don't, then the section is full of flavour, and I'm sure you'll find something to inspire you.
The Urban Encounters section provides 4 encounters that can easily be adapted and fitted into an existing campaign. These can serve as jumping in points, or simply a break from your over arcing plot. I'm certainly looking at using a couple for my next game.
For those attracted by the dark side, the Sevants of Thamar section gives you a wealth of information for both playing, and running characters who worship Thamar. Included is a new career (Thamar Advocate), as well as specific abilites and spells to the career. As well as more about being a Thamar worshipper, we get information on Necromancy, and new rules on creating your own Thralls. This section is excellent for GMs wishing to either strongly feature Thamar worshippers, or Undead. The career is usable as a PC career, but it may be difficult to make best use of all there abilities in an average adventuring party. Still, always fun for someone.
In an interesting combination of fluff and crunch, there are 2 pages on criminal adventuring companies PCs can be part of. As well as providing bonuses for characters who meet their pre-requisites, these make interesting foils for more law-abiding adventuring groups. Usefully, there is also a table giving you an idea of the severity of crimes in each country. Not surprisingly, wracking features strongly in the Menoth list of punishments.
Finally is a detailed adventure for characters with 10 - 15xp. This is a 3 act adventure, and would do well as a one-shot, or working into a longer running campaign. While it would be difficult to move out of the Five Fingers setting, there are suggestions of how to get groups involved. As well as NPC stats, there are decent maps and combat tactics. The maps are also available online as a high quality PDF that can be printed out and put together to provide the full size map for each encounter. The adventure itself looks solid, with a nice mixture of combat and investigation.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this product. While not as in-depth as some source books, it certainly wins on quality over quantity. While GMs will obviously get the most out of this book, players in a campaign set in Five Fingers will find this invaluable as a source of setting information.
I look forward to more Iron Kingdoms books, as well as the Games Masters Toolkit.
Sunday, 3 February 2013
This weekend was the first of the big gaming conventions of the year, TempleCon in the US, and Privateer Press are using it to make some big announcements.
The big announcement has to be the introduction of a new Warmachine faction, the Convergence of Cyriss.
Cyriss, or The Maiden of Gears, is the newest of the Gods of Immorean, who has slowly been gaining followers since her discovery. First featured in the Witchfire Trilogy adventure, back in the early days of the Iron Kingdoms, they represent humanities wish to up lift themselves through technology.
The exact fluff details on why the Convergence is fighting will be uncovered when the Forces book is released, but some idea of how they will play has been revealed.
The force is made up of uplifted humans (human souls put into machines) as well as advanced clockwork machines. So far we have only seen pictures of a few of the models, but the aesthetic can be described as steampunk art deco.
Convergence Warcasters are much like their more fleshy counterparts, except they all have a Field Marshal ability that will give models in their battlegroup such as Arc Node and Shield Guard. As they are mechanical, they can also be repaired using Repair and Bodge actions, which is handy because one of the light Vectors has repair!
The warjacks, called Vectors, have a number of unique rules that will make them stand out from the other factions. Instead of having their own MAT and RAT, they will instead inherit the stats from their Warcaster. Depending on how this works, this could have some interesting implications for play. They also have an Induction Coil, that will allow them to pass on 1 focus to another Vector when they spend it. This means that Vectors are going to be very focus efficient, and I’d imagine Convergence forces are going to be Vector heavy.
Released at Lock and Load, Privateer Press’ Convention held 31st May – 2nd June, we can expect a full Forces of book, as well as a starter Battlebox. While exact details are still thin on the ground, the Q&A after the keynote said that the line will feature a high percentage of plastic models, but Warcasters, Solos and at least one Vector will be in metal.
At release, and long term, expect to see a Convergence Battle Engine and Colossal, although it doesn’t sound like any cavalry will be coming any time soon.
The Convergence of Cyriss promises to be an interesting faction to play against, suiting those who like a Heath Robinson style of play. I’m not totally sold on the miniatures, however I’ll be picking up the Forces book for the juicy fluff.
As well as a new Faction, Privateer Press announced a brand new game, also set in the Warmachine/Hordes universe. High Command is a deck building game, that will allow you to take control of your faction like never before, and fight across the length of Immorean.
Coming out towards the end of the year, with the Warmachine set before the Hordes set, you’ll be able to take control of one of the 4 core factions and build up a force to take and hold key objectives.
At this moment, not much else is know about the game, especially game mechanics. However, with high quality art work, and being non-collectable appeals greatly to me!
This year promises to be a great year for fans of the Iron Kingdoms. As well as the above announcements, there is the new fiction line coming, as well as Gargantuans for Hordes, and another Warmachine book later in the year which will feature more Warcasters.
If you are interested in the full videos, I’ve included them below.
Thursday, 31 January 2013
Shockingly, I have more finished models, although to be fair these have been half done previously.
Inspired by the snow outside, I've finally experimented with creating a snow base. I always planned to use this sort of theme for my Legion, but you know what I'm like with my basing.
Anyway, I think it worked well, although I need to perfect the snow mix as it was a little more fluid than I wanted, and I lost a little bit of detail.
The wood deck base is the same type as I've created for my Satyxis, and that I'll eventually base the Revenent Crew onto. Onto a smooth layer of Green Stuff/Milliput I score a deck pattern out, and leave to dry. Brown painted, wash and a quick dry brush and they are done.
Cryx's 3-man character unit, these should fit in nicely with my other Lich characters.
They all also have their names painted on the backs of the bases to remind me which Lich is which.
Sharp eyed readers will also notice I've put some arc marks on them. It has taken me long enough, but I'll be slowly going through the back catalogue and making sure they are all marked up for play.
Looking forward, I want to get my Satyxis finished off at last, hopefully I can get the scheme looking how I want. I've also got some random models I'm working on to keep some variety.
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
I started November with a selection of models and a challenge to myself to get as many painted as I could. Turns out November was the worst month to pick, for a variety of reasons. Needless to say, I failed dismally. Even worse, the only model I did finish was a present and I didn't even take a photo of it!
Between then an now, I have managed to get some done though, and given the shear volume of lead I got for Christmas I need to get moving with the painting. Here is a rundown of my efforts!
|Warmonger War Chief|
I’ve also now got a much clearer painting station thanks to the Christmas Present of a paint rack. I’m currently working through a few of the models that are currently part painted, so hopefully have another update soon.
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Top of my list has to be the new releases from Privateer Press. March sees the anticipated release of Gargantuans source book, where Hordes finally receive their furious counterparts to the Colossals. The previews are looking amazing, I can't wait for an excuse to buy a Mammoth and Archangel. The book promises to bring the Hordes factions closer in model choice to their Warmachine counterparts, and of course move the story forward
Coming next year as well will come further sourcebooks for the Iron Kingdoms RPG and a selection of novels set in the world. I’m a little nervous about the novels, as they are not written by regular PP fluff writers, but I hold out hope. If these go well, we might finally get the fiction anthology from the old rule books that people have been asking for.
2013 looks ready to see the return of a number of new editions of classic RPG lines. Onyx Path prepare to bring back Exalted in a brand new edition. I'm a long standing Exalted fan, but found 2nd edition just a little too broken for my liking. With an overhaul of the mechanics, this promises to be a new start for this game line.
The third 20th Anniversary deluxe edition of Classic World Of Darkness game lines will be Mage, and Vampire and Werewolf will all see further source books released to support their Anniversary editions. I’ve got my Werewolf Deluxe edition sorted, and will be backing Mage for the complete set. Not sure how many of the source books I’ll get, as like most people I have a large supporting collection already.
I’m also frustrated that most of these books will only be available on PoD via DrivethruRPG. While I understand the logic behind why they are publishing this way, I would like to support my LGS by buying from a shop.
Catalyst Labs promise us 5th Edition Shadowrun to celebrate the world surviving the end of the Mayan calendar. Shadowrun was my first RPG, but I have been disappointed with recent editions, or just maybe it's lost it's magic now we've caught up with the future. I'll keep an eye on this one, but it won't be on my purchase on release list.
Games Workshop continue their relentless release schedule as normal. While I'm out of the game, so to speak, I look forward to the pending Dark Angels release. I may even break my embargo on GW products to pick up a few of the models to include in my rather large and dust gathering army. If the rumour mill is correct 2013 will also see a plethora of new Tau releases, thus potentially being an expensive year!
Moving to a less mainstream game, we have been promised new releases to support Dropzone Commander. At the moment I am finding it tough to advance my forces with the limited selection of models available at the moment. Hopefully these releases will give me the tools I feel I need.