Sunday, 30 October 2011

Taking the Sheen Off Infinity

Or "How to Make Yourself Unpopular".


I love Infinity.  It scratches an itch that has gone untreated since the days of playing Necromunda as a kid.  It plays out pretty well and can lead to some really interesting games.  It's well balanced, at least on the surface, though a lot of this is through the vulnerability of the units.  If you listened to some people though, you'd think it was the bestest thing ever.  It isn't, it has its flaws and you need to be aware of them if you're considering buying into it.  In the interest of education, here's my take...


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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Nomad Moderator Colour Test

Just a quick one this, to get opinions on the colour choice.  The painting isn't up to scratch, but enough to get a feel for the overall model.  Not all the colours are in, and there's no shading at all.


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Sunday, 23 October 2011

"Quick, Hide!": How to Deal with Alpha Strike Guard

So, on Friday I was at Warlords (as usual) and got absolutely crushed by an Alpha Strike Imperial Guard list.  I know what I did wrong, but I was rushing and wasn't thinking straight, so here's a run-down of what I did and what I should have done.


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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Airbrushing 101: Flow Regulator

This is more than a little embarrassing.  See, now I've been airbrushing the basecoat on something like four or five dozen models now.  I've done a pretty good job.  There's a couple of Chimeras I got the paint:water ratio wrong on, but we won't speak of that.  But it's always bothered me that I had to keep stopping to wait for the compressor to catch up.

The Flow Regulator
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a "flow regulator".  It's purpose is to reduce the pressure of the air from the tank to something you want to work with.  Pressure inside my tank is about 60 PSI and that comes out the airbrush pretty damn fast.  Causes a fair bit of over-spray but does the job.  Problem is that it empties the tank very quickly which causes the compressor to run a lot.  It also causes paint to 'bounce' off the model causing over-spray and flying models.

This is all because I had the regulator set wrong.  In my defence, I hadn't set it at all.  Turning the valve to the left (loosening it) causes the pressure on the gauge to drop.  You want about 20-25 PSI for airbrushing models without blowing them out your hands and you'll probably find that (like me) your compressor can keep up that pressure all day without a problem (until it overheats, of course).

So that's my first useful tip for airbrushing:  Set your flow regulator and set it right - you should find 20-25 PSI about perfect for basecoat work. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Friday, 14 October 2011

Leaked Necron Images

Over on http://www.beastsofwar.com/.  
Go.
Go now. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Thursday, 13 October 2011

Maelstrom Games

This one is a bit of a gush, but I've had amazing service from these guys and I just wanted to put this out there.


Maelstrom are a UK-based independent that stocks most any wargame I give a monkey's about.  Now, they aren't the biggest store around, but the service I have received from these guys has been absolutely top notch.  They carry a staggering range of products which is both a blessing and a curse (stop taking my money!) and are always my first stop for non-GW purchases (though if I'm buying a bulk load of GW stuff I also often use Maelstrom for it, I just like to support my local GW with little purchases).  Here's a little list of what they've done for me recently:

Model gone missing in the post - Sorry for that, here's a new one (didn't have to bug them at all).
Model out of stock - Split the order and dispatch stuff separately for free.
Need more information on a model or just a general question - Quick, friendly response within minutes.

Nothing helps make an impulse purchase easier than knowing these guys will handle any problem very quickly. Then there's the minimum 10% discount over the RRP and the frequent promotions that knock that discount even higher.  Oh, and free postage.  They've also got gaming halls in hallowed Nottingham (where you can play any game you want) along with their bricks and mortar store.  Oh, and they've got a little loyalty moneyback thing too.

When it comes to making me happy in my wargaming purchasing, friendly customer service goes a long way.

So here's to Maelstrom Games, keep it up guys! Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Wednesday, 12 October 2011

To The Docking Bay!

My Sorylian Collective fleet for Firestorm Armada arrived the other day, so here's a quick run down of the starter fleet.

You get six of these little guys...
Frigates
Little ships that are used to harass in greater numbers or form defensive screens around your bigger ships.  You've seen a fleet-based sci-fi, you know the drill.  These are one piece resin with a metal engine cap, which needed some filing of the resin at the back to actually fit (on all the models).  Nothing strenuous and it glued very easily.  I must say, I'm really not fond of those huge engine caps jutting out from the body of the ship.


Cruisers
Three of these middleweights...
Cruisers are your middle-weights.  Mostly they're poor stand-ins for the big fish, but the newer R&D Cruisers bring some very interesting support and combined arms strategies to the table.  The starter box ones are just the "medium" guys - big enough to take on the Battleships in groups, small enough to combat the frigates without wasting huge amounts of firepower.  These models are two-part resin (which was again really easy to pin and glue) and one part metal engine cap.  Again the engine cap overhangs the hull, but it doesn't look quite so bad on the Cruisers.

Battleship
Oh yes, the big daddy.  Now this model I really like.  There's a lot of detail along even the smooth section of the hull, and the metal engine cap sits flush to the back of the hull.  A little metal bridge sits on top, but the hull itself is one big resin piece.  No clever assembly required here, folks!  After all those fiddly and sadistic Nomad models I found the ease of construction soothing.



I can't emphasise enough how much I like this model.  After my small complaints against the smaller ships, this ship really looks the part and suits its place as the centrepiece of the fleet.  I think I'll probably drill out the cannon holes / launch tubes to give a slightly better look to them (it's a shame to have them look flat with the detail around them).  Now, what colours to paint it?  Blue, obviously, possibly with an orange stripe?

I'm so predictable.

The Stands
Opps, knew it was a little too good to be true!  The plastic stands supplied with the models are (as always with these things) the downfall of the kit.  One of the shafts for my stands was missing completely, and another stand base snapped while getting the shaft into it.  When you're competing with the GW flying bases and you come off worse, you know you did something wrong.  Also, if you plan on transporting these anywhere you'll need to magnetise the stands - the smaller ships won't "sit" on the stand like the bigger ships will, so you'll either have to glue them and watch the stands snap in transit, drill deeper or magnetise.

And one big daddy.  Now that is a ship.
Not a deal breaker, but an annoying oversight that could have easily been fixed.  Still, awesome battleship. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Doubles Sept 2011, Part Three: Day Two

Day Two started out with a rush.  My fellow general and I had stayed up to watch the end of Van Helsing ("It can't be as bad as we remember?") and had overslept.  Overcaffeinated and under-rested we arrived on the battlefield to meet our opponents.

Oh, it's Steve and Al again.  What?  Come on, we drove all up here to play the guys we know?  Twice?  I think not...

Game Four: Eldar and Space Wolves
This was a fun little game.  I hope our opponents thought so!  The mission was to secure objectives and man-handle them back to the attacker's deployment zone.  Defenders just had to hold them, but only scored half as much for each objective.  We, once again, got to be the defenders as the scenario seemed to favour the attackers.  Except, only infantry can carry the objectives.  I don't have any infantry, and the 517th is an Imperial Guard army, so it would have been safe to say that we would have been in a lot of trouble as the attackers.

The early game consisted mostly of dancing around and trying to withstand the Eldar firepower.  Fairly easy, most of it fell off the bikes without much trouble and my Speeders were left to sow havoc amongst the lightly-armoured Eldar skimmers.  Then came the Harliquins.  I should've known not to engage them - if things had gone differently it would've been fair to say we'd have lost the battle.  Engage them, however, I did.  My Captain and his retinue prevailed after several turns of pointy-eared carnage quite a bit worse for wear, but still ticking and surrounded by stationary Eldar skimmers just asking for a good krak grenade.  I vaguely paid attention to the Space Wolves vs Imperial Guard fight going on at the other end of the table: taking care of MEQ problems is what the 517th does.

Shout-out for the cool wave lines on the Tanks.  Nice.
The late game started to worry us.  We had hoped to keep all the objectives out of the deployment zone, and that we'd done.  All would-be couriers of objectives ended up either bogged down in difficult terrain or were stranded and then set alight by Speeder fire.  This had left us overstretched in maintaining control of other objectives and the Space Wolves attempted to capitalise on this to force a draw.  With Space Wolves within charge range of our solitary objective I did a horrible thing - upon suffering a lost bike to melta fire from the Space Wolves I voluntarily (Combat Tactics, ho!) failed the moral test and fled off the table.  We no longer held the objective with that squad, but the Space Wolves could no longer get within contest range.  A second bike squad turbo-boosted up to a second objective in our final turn (defenders went last, again) and managed to win us the match.

A good game, and got the day off to the right start with some friendly opponents.  Two wins and two loses.  Maybe we can come out of this respectably after all.

Game Five: Blood Angels and Space Marines
Breakout.  They're all jump-pack equipped, they have fast vehicles, and we're playing breakout.  Oh, joy.  Turns out the same thing was going through their minds - "Look at all those bikes!  They'll be off the table before we can stop them.".  They won the roll and chose Attackers, attempting to break through our lines and off the board.  My poker face was slipping at this point, that's exactly what I'd realised we wanted.



Early game objectives were simple.  Take out the fast tanks, cripple the jumpers as best as possible and give the Death Company the run around with skimmers.  The foot-slogging Space Marines could wait.  They'd have to cross the open ground eventually and the battle cannons would soon make short work of them.  Surprisingly things went mostly to plan.  Meltas melted, flamers flamed and we managed to cripple most of the initial push early.  My Captain threw himself to his death on turn two to pull a Blood Angel squad further back into their half, and took more than a few Blood Angels with him.  The short range on the Vindicators really hindered the Space Marine army's firepower and other than a few lucky shots with small arms fire, were fairly unimpressive.

See that?  That's panic.
End game was a mop-up operation.  We were panicking with all the Blood Angels almost at the board edge, but it turned out we were in a far stronger position than it appeared.  Battle Cannons once again proved the bane of any MEQ in the open, while the Speeders continued to hassle armour and annoy characters.  The bikers kept out of assault range and pummelled squads with bolter/melta fire.  It went very well and even before the final turn it was obvious that our opponents could not push fast enough off the board.  I had spent my forces blunting the initial rush, but the ever-dependable Imperial Guard were there to hold the line, and hold it they did.

This was a great game, against very friendly opponents who even were really enjoyable to play with.  A perfect game to end the event on.


THE DICE GOD 


Game five also left us with this great photograph.  The die just stopped in the middle of the field like that. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Shadow In The Warp

More of an editorial this one, so my apologies in advance.

The Shadow In The Warp or The Great Rumour Blackout

Click for original
It's no secret that I am not as opposed to Games Workshop as most of the veterans.  I still love their product and can ignore their failings as long as the general spirit remains alive.  I enjoy collecting, painting and playing with their products and I don't see this changing any time soon.  However, they've recently been costing themselves some of my disposable income that was rightly theirs.  

First, some background:

Games Workshop, upon noticing that sales for given miniatures dropped off once the 'tubes had leaked that a model was being redone or changed, decided that such a situation was bad for business.  They needed to avoid this lull in sales whenever they were about to release a new kit.  So, they decided that the best way to combat this was to lockdown on those who were leaking this information - stem the flow and the consumer base would continue to buy the soon-obsolete kits in ignorance.

I think this was a poor decision.  I'll overlook the view of consumers as herds to be carefully shepherded into purchasing soon-to-be-useless kits and focus on the way it affects my purchasing decisions.  I want to build my Necron army.  I have for ages.  However, they are being redone (maybe) some time soon.  So whenever I had a spare £25 or £50 I would pop into Games Workshop, ponder over some metal men and then remember that the model could be useless very soon.  Games Workshop are hoping I will purchase something else, or be too blind to notice the independents reducing stock of Necrons and keep purchasing.

It doesn't work that way for me.  I want to buy Necrons.  I didn't walk in there for another Rhino, or a Space Marine Captain.  I wanted Necrons.  So, when my impulse purchase is blocked, I go elsewhere.  I've dropped most of my impulse money on Nomands for Infinity recently.  I wanted to buy Necrons, but I'm not disciplined enough to save, so I bought something that would instantly gratify.

What do I think Games Workshop should have done?  Let me know the Necrons are being redone, and drip-feed me information.  Give me a unit preview a month for 3/4 months before the release - they have a magazine they could use for exactly this purpose.  Show me that Immortals are now going to be a pretty solid army core, so I should save up £X for them.  Show me that there's new vehicle options, so I'm probably going to want to put aside a few quid to pick up one or two of those.  Build my anticipation, but give me a thing to lust after rather than just hoping I'll save money on the off chance Necrons come out.  Whip up some hype, and then reap it at the right moment, and watch me drop £100's on the new shiny plastic in one go.  Or don't, and watch that money go to other companies while I wait for a solid rumour to escape the blackout.

Right now, they're just costing themselves my impulse-purchase money.  Give me something to look at, give me something to save for, Games Workshop, and it's yours again.  Just don't expect me to wait on you for something you won't even announce.
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Shadows In The Warp

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From The Warp Blog Group

Echoes in the Signal

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