Thursday, 28 February 2013

On The Painting Table–February

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

Kickstarter: Wild West Exodus

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.

Kickstarter Link

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

Looking Ahead - Movies 2013

DC's leading man gets a reboot in a new movie universe that owes a lot to the Nolan Batman reboot in style and feeling, which is not surprising given he helped write the script.

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.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - Another Young Adult book adaption , that may well, again, fail to match the book.
Ender's Game - Another book adaption, and as yet not much information. This one has even more to live up to than the previous 2 films!
The World's End - An original film, and the 3rd in the "The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright.

Iron Kingdoms: Urban Adventure Review

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

Privateer Press TempleCon Announcements

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.

This time last year we had the announcement of Colossals/Gargantuans and Level 7, and this year the big announcements were equally as awesome.

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.

Convergence Of Cyriss

High Command