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Showing posts from 2022

Mo Plasma, Fewer Problems

After decades of hobbying, I have become psychologically conditioned to get unreasonably excited by the prospect of owning a complete Battle Company of Space Marines. Because I am a big brain clever man, I am pootling towards this long-term goal with a paint scheme that takes 5-6 hours per dude. In pursuit of this foolish vision, I have rounded out the hitherto five-man Squad Castus with a second combat squad. The stock kit has quite repetitive posing, with 4/5 dudes on the sprue in classic firing positions. I don't mind this - the pose looks fine en masse - but I felt the urge to add some visual interest to the squad. First, and least interestingly, one dude got a gold skull on his helmet to denote the combat squad leader.  Mildly more interestingly, I built a guy to be firing his sidearm while his overheated plasma gun cools down. This presented a bit of a painting conundrum. Plasma guns are generally depicted as having some sort of translucent casing over the top of the gun, bec

The Way of Maxmin

In a game as complex and varied as Warhammer 40,000, the fortunes of individual units rise and fall over time. Sometimes years, sometimes decades. If you've ever found yourself lamenting the way your off-meta units languish in the carry case, never seeing the light of day, perhaps we can tempt you to join us in the cult of maxmin. What is maxmin? It's when you knowingly bring crap units to a game, then either savour the challenge of getting something out of them, or achieve a zen-like acceptance of their impotence while enjoying the sight of them on the table. You may well have lost the game just by turning up, but this does not sour the heart of the true maxminner. Max-maxmin vs min-maxmin Look, this is a broad church. Max-maxminners willingly build their whole army to be unrelenting shite. Just turning up to a game of Warhammer Fantasy with a pure goblin army is, arguably, getting there. On the flip side, min-maxminners might enjoy putting a single crap unit in an otherwise s

Meanwhile in Hochland

Stormborne Dwarves hold steady during the Battle of the Northern Pass I returned to the Old World in April this year, starting out on a new roleplaying wargame* campaign. Now that we've been at it one evening a week for 6 months, I thought I'd give a broad update on how it’s going, and share some of the minis I’ve painted up for it. Jon and Drew are, respectively, playing a (drunken) Empire Captain and a bull-headed young Bright Wizard. Their characters, and the regiments they command, can gain or lose skills depending on how the story unfolds. The regiments can also grow or shrink in size, depending on recruitment rolls and battlefield casualties. *Explainer: what's a roleplaying wargame? Rather than a player versus player experience, a roleplaying wargame is when one player is the Game's Master (or GM), and the other player(s) function much like the players in any other roleplaying game, but where the conflict is resolved in battles rather than skirmishes. Players ha

Quick and Easy Cadian Tanks: are Colour Forge sprays the answer?

Wherein the author explains a quick and easy way to paint a classic Cadian tank scheme, and reviews two new (to me) products to make life easier.

Crusade: when should you stop levelling up?

I've now played 32 Crusade games with my beloved Cobalt Scions, and since I'm having a blast, I'll continue to do so. There's just one 'wrinkle': half the army's now ranked at Legendary. It's very cool having these veteran dudes, but Crusade does suffer from Marvel Cinematic Universe syndrome, in that nothing dies. That's a good thing; bad feels are prevented, but after a while it strains credulity. I'm pretty sure the design studio made this choice deliberately, and with good reason. That's because I think the solution isn't more official rules. Instead, it's you. The player. So what can you do? There's several solutions. One I've heard of is to systematise it within your gaming group; every X months, reset your whole force, but choose, say, 3 units to retain their special Crusade biscuits. I think that's a great idea, but risks feeling a tad contrived, and doesn't account for different players getting in different am

High Speed Brrt

Even as a yoof, Brrt was obsessed with dakka and explosions, and he could never get enough. Shootas: not enough dakka. Big shootas: still not enough dakka. Warbikes were pretty good, but he needed more. He was convinced an aircraft would be the way to go. Not least of which because fighta-bommers also did that amazing thing where they dived down and dropped bombs on things, which Brrt found to be compellingly fast and loud. There was one problem: the Boss. Sirrus ' initial interest dried up after almost all of Brrt's early experiments resulted in crashes. It made air power look expensive and ineffective, and the boss didn't like those two things. He also didn't like scientifically rigorous sample sizes, since that meant even more expense. Choppas were cheap, and ladz were plentiful. The crashes did look undeniably metal, but ultimately, the boss had responsibilities. A thoroughly disappointed (and vigorously concussed) Brrt was told to go back to his big shoota, and ke

One dog, five cars to chase: prioritising in my hobby

The Warhammer hobby is a sprawling, many-headed mistress. She offers many directions of travel, but unfortunately time and space force us to choose just one. Or two. OK go on, I'll have a third. ... Ah. Less abstractly: October brings the Word Bearers' first excursion to the Eridani Sector. Good preparations would include new scenery, a few lingering but extremely "necessary" Photoshop tasks, and a few new Cobalt Scions units. The latter generally represents 25+ hours of work per squad, so I can't exactly have the moon in a hamper here. Reality has limits. But wait! There's further ****ery! Another campaign arc is currently ongoing; my orks have invaded nascent mining colony Eniola's Prospect , so Tom and Harvey and I (the three current participants) are trying to get that to the point where it can be left prior to Jeff's October visit (since their armies will have to be re-deployed from Eniola's Prospect to Lachesis in a way that makes narrative s

Relentlessly metal art splosm

With the news that Jeff's coming up to Oxford in October,  and  that he's finally bringing his Word Bearers to battle, we decided a week-long campaign was in order. Everyone's now desperately preparing things. Most of them are preparing miniatures like normal hobbyists, whereas I, dear reader, have been doing nothing but Photoshop for the better part of a week. My poor eyes.

Battlezone Fronteris: Nachmund review (fully painted)

The Battlezone Fronteris: Nachmund box spoke to me. "I could be a forward operating base for your space marines," it said. A credit card fuge immediately followed. Look, I know space marine FOBs are supposed to be brightly coloured lego bricks that fall from the sky, but this felt like a good fit for basic, prefab structures that (a) have narratively useful self-contained objectives and (b) could also fit other contexts, making it more multi-use. Which, given the price of GW terrain, is kind of a must. If you're wondering about whether you, too, would like this terrain in your life, this post will endeavour to offer some useful information.

40K Nano Campaigns: speedy fun

The thing about campaigns is that one can be daunted by the perceived work involved, and yet anyone who's played in a good campaign knows how much a narrative link from one game to the next really brings games to life. If you're a regular reader you'll know we have a persistent sandbox for our 40k games called the Eridani Sector; it's less a campaign than it is a setting. Individual campaigns occur within that sandbox, and become part of its history. When coming up with the individual arcs it's fun to think of big, ambitious conquests of populous worlds, integrating ground combat with fleet actions, Kill Team, Aeronautica Imperialis, and whatever else. Sometimes you just don't have time for that shit. This is where the nano campaign comes in. Three games is technically enough for a beginning, middle and end, so when my friend Dan and I realised we both happened to have a week off work at the same time, we made a point of booking a trio of 1K games, and decided w