Monday, 30 April 2012

Hoplite Headache Solved!

Last week I wrote about the confusion I was thrown into by a simple box of Warlord Games plastic Hoplites.

The big issue, apart from the confusing box and sprue names, was the box only containing thirty two shields to go with forty figures.  Fortunately, Dave at Warlord Games replied to me saying that this box should have also contained eight metal shields in addition to all the plastic sprues.

After a bit of poking around the internet (some of it wargaming related,)  I've also been able to confirm that all three of Warlord Hoplite boxes (Ancient, Classical and Spartan) have the same main sprue, with the specific themed components coming on a smaller custom sprue.

So now I've cleared that up, I think I'll order a box of Spartan Hoplites and a pack of metal Hoplites. With that mix of figures, I should be able to make two units of Hoplites in linen armour, one large unit of levy Hoplites in tunics and one unit of Spartans in bronze armour.

The only thing left to do is start painting. . . .

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Black Crusade - Tome of Fate and Thousand Sons Preview

Fantasy Flight Games have put up another preview article for Tome of Fate, the Tzeentch flavoured supplement for Black Crusade.  This preview confirms that you'll be able to play as an "offical" Thousand Sons Sorcerer.  Wooooooh!!!

One of the most common criticisms I hear of Black Crusade, is that you "can't" play as one of the original Traitor Legions, as your character starts off as far too puny for a ten thousand year old veteran.  Now this isn't something I personally have a problem with as I'm very much a do-it-yourself gamer, if there aren't any rules written, I'll write them myself.  However, I'm glad that we're going to get this level of detail for Black Crusade.

FFG look to have struck a nice balance between making a Thousand Sons different enough from a Sorcerer from the main rulebook, without making them too powerful.  For instance, although you generate a character with more psychic powers and equipment than a normal Sorcerer, you also start with more Corruption.  You also start with a normal number of wounds and toughness rating, making you just as squishy as any other character.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what else Tome of Fate has to offer, FFG have mentioned Daemon Engines and new psychic powers, but hopefully we'll get some new minions and adversaries too.

I have meant to put up more Black Crusade content on the blog (those I have posted are among the most popular posts,) but for a few different reasons, I haven't.  I'm going to make an effort to change that in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, you can find both previews for Tome of Fate here and here.  If you're interested in Black Crusade or the 40K universe in general, you can download an entire adventure, complete with characters and rules, here.  You can also read a quick summary of our first session here.  I'd heartily recommend you to take a look.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Now I don't normally bring up sport on the blog, but tonight has to be an exception.
Coom On The Chelski!!!

I ended up at the club tonight (partly because I didn't feel up to watching the whole game live - too stressful!) with Adam and Gaz, playing the Game Of Thrones card game.  The club, however, is in the basement of a sports club, so we ended up upstairs in the bar for better lighting.

So I just kept an eye on the tv for the first sixty minutes, but once our game finished, had to watch the last half hour.  What a game. . . I'm not a sports columnist or expert, I just try to support my team and enjoy it, so controversy aside, what a great result!

P.S.  Before I get any comments about being a Chelski fan in Aberdeen, let me explain that the only reason I support the Chelski is that almost every native Aberdonian is a ManU fan.  There's a wee story, but I won't go into it now.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Hoplite Headache

I mentioned earlier that I've been a bit fed up lately.  So in an effort to pick myself up, I did what any self respecting wargamer does in that situation. . . I bought some more toy soldiers!

Thanks to Maelstrom Games 25% discount offer, I picked up a box of Warlord/Immortal 28mm Hoplites.  Never painted any hoplites (at any scale) so these should be something fresh to get my teeth 
I had, however, to choose between the Ancient and Classical box.  Officially, the difference seems to be that the Ancient box is more suitable for the Persian Wars, whilst the Classical box more for the Peloponnesian and Alxandrian Wars.  Looking on a few forums blurred this distinction however, with most people happy to use both boxes - but the odd vocal individuals raising their voices about using Pilos helms at Thermapolae or bronze cuirass at Ipsus.
So I opted for the ancient box, seeing as I'm more interested in the Persian Wars than in any other Hoplite period, and waited for the box to arrive.

Arrive the box duly did, but I received a Classical box.  Never mind I thought, they were bought as a distraction, so I'll just carry on regardless.  So I started sorting through the sprues.

Eight figures with eight shields

Four large sprues have components for eight Hoplites each, with multiple helmets and spear options - confusingly, the sprues are marked as "Ancient Greek Hoplites".  Four smaller sprues, marked "Classical Greek Hoplites" have two torsos each with multiple helmet options.  I assume that the three Hoplite kits available from Warlord Games all have the same big sprue and four small sprues with the specific components (Ancient, Classical or Spartan.)

Two figures with no shields, what am I missing?

What I can't work out, however, is how you make forty Hoplites out of one box - there are only thirty two left arms in the whole box!  It's not like there are any musician or skirmisher parts you can use, so have I missed a really obvious solution to this or is there a missing sprue or two?  Confusing.  I've emailed Warlord Games, so I'll wait to see what they say.

Lastly, to finish on a positive note, what a great set of plastics though.  Great sculpting, excellent casting quality and lots of options make this a superb kit.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Enders Game Movie next year? WOOOOOO!

I've just been listening to the latest D6 Generation podcast while (what else) painting.  Their guest,  a game developer called Curt Covert, mentions about 45 minutes in, that he's seen studio footage from an Enders Game movie. . . 

Frantically scrabbled to IMDB for confirmation and WOOOOOO!!!  Next year, late 2013.

Classic, CLASSIC sci-fi, wonderful characters, perfect pacing, terrific last third, ending made me so something rather unmasculine!

This is the first movie I've actually been excited about in years.  Although there's sure to be plenty of anxiety over what they change, add or remove from the book, I'll save that for nearer the release date.  Great news.

Go hug a bugger you little third!

Pike & Shotte - Not from Amazon?

You may have already seen this on a few blogs out there, but, as it raised my hackles a bit, I thought I'd bring it up again here.  Amazon sent me an email on Monday saying they were not able to supply Pike & Shotte, the upcoming ruleset from Warlord Games.

Image from Amazon - isn't even the actual cover of the book

I preordered this a couple months ago, mainly because Amazon were charging £21 as opposed to the £30 Warlord are.  I remember reading a comment on Warlords own forum (by one of their staff) that Amazon were "cheeky buggers" for advertising something they didn't yet have the rights to sell.  Now I've no idea as to why Amazon aren't (yet) selling this, but the cynic in me thinks it's down to the price they're charging I.E. Warlord don't want the product lessened by big immediate discounts.

I don't mean to imply that the book won't be worth the £30 asking price, indeed I paid full price for the Hail Caesar rules last year, and I will get the book sooner rather than later.  It's just that, in this case, I'm not sure I want to fork out the extra £9 for the book based on the fact I thought I'd get it cheaper.

The correct cover from Warlord's website

Is this a case of a smaller company standing up to the tyranny of a multinational conglomorate or simply a company not wanting their new product cheapened?  Or is it simply that I'm conforming to an Aberdonian stereotype and being a bit tight with my cash (times are tough!)  Probably somewhere in the middle.  In fact, my grumpyness about this is probably exagerated by the fact that Warlord still haven't sent me my Persian miniatures "Unfortunately, due to various issues there has been a delay!"

So I'll probably order the rules direct from Warlord, get my rules and the free miniature - but I won't be entirely happy about it!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Bit Scunnered

Not a lot of activity this week I'm afraid.  Not that anything major has happened or gone wrong, it's just that I've been feeling a bit, well, scunnered.  For anyone unfamiliar with that word, I'll direct you here.  In fact, a trawl through UD is a decent way to feel a bit better when scunnered.

Anyway, the usual stuff is on the painting table; Flames of War, Italian Wars, some Infinity and Warmachine figures, but nothing particularly exciting.  I had a go at some more interesting basing with a British Mortar platoon for FoW.  I was going for a "hastily dug in position" look, hopefully they'll turn out ok I'll get these under coated in the next day or so when (if) the weather clears up.

I ordered a couple packets of Warlord Games Persian range, just as a change of pace (and scale) but, despite ordering them well before the holiday weekend. I'm still waiting for them to arrive.

Still, Brinner* tonight and a couple favourite movies and I think I'll be back on track by the weekend.

* A cooked breakfast for dinner.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

New Citadel paints = no painting articles?

There's been a bit of fuss lately about the quantity and quality of the new Citadel paint range. To be honest, the change doesn't really bother me, I'm happy mixing Vallejo, Foundry, Citadel, Tamiya or any other brand, as long as the paint itself is worth using.

What I find odd is that, on the back of releasing the new range, GW seem to have taken down all the painting articles from their website.  Is this because the articles reference paints that are no longer available?  Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Now I can't say GW was my main resource for painting guides, but when painting something new (or, like this weekend, something I haven't painted in years - horses) I like to have as many resources available as possible.  I'm afraid this is just another reason not to make my occasional visit to the GW site.  Shame.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

RAFWA Championship 2012 Photos 1

I've started working through my photos from last weekend.  Normally, I'm hopeless at taking pictures, but as the Mrs set the camera up for me, at least some turned out okay.

Friday nights demo/practice game.  Boozed up gamers teaching other boozed up gamers how to play!  Carnage.

Big Al's Federated States of America Fleet

Gaz's Kingdom of Britannia Fleet

 Rob's Covenant of Antarctica Fleet (with missing turrets and proxy Bombers)

My Empire of the Blazing Sun Fleet

For some reason I don't have an fleet photo of Woody's Prussian Empire, but you can see them this deployment shot:

This was a great table to play on.  Somewhere in the Southern Ocean, two fleets have engaged each other.  Unfortunately, a Sturginium spill has caused the currents to become extremely erratic.  Each turn we rolled a random direction and each iceberg would move an independently determined D6 inches in that direction.  Again, carnage.


Towards the end of the game.  We used the new field orders rules, so both sides rolled randomly for their objectives.  I think the Covenant had to destroy all large and massive vessels, while the Prussians had to destroy 50% points value including all small vessels.

The core mechanic of Dystopian Wars at work here with the Rob's Particle Accelerator. Rolling twelve dice, he scored an initial six hits, but kept rolling sixes to generate more hits. From those initial six, he ended up with twenty six hits.  Too bad it was only against a cruiser! 

The Solomon Islands table.  The rocky reef in the middle slowed movement to half rate except for small ships (and flyers obviously) but it didn't obscure line of sight.  Otherwise, this was a normal table.

Turn 2, the Empire of the Blazing Sun can put out a lot of long range fire.  It helps when Al couldn't roll defensive dice for toffee.

Close to the end.  My objective was 50% of the enemy fleet including all medium ships.  The FSA had to take out all my naval models.

End of the same turn, captured a Gunship and Frigate for double victory points.  Everything but the FSA Battleship and a couple frigates were gone, resulting in a comprehensive Japanese victory!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

RAF Wargaming Association Championship 2012

This weekend saw the Royal Air Force Wargaming Association Championship 2012.  Gaz ran a small Dystopian Wars event with five players (including me.)  Other than that, there were tournaments for Flames of War and Warhammer 40K, a big roleplaying session and individual games of Black Powder, Arkham Horror, and and Age of Sail type game.  There was also a painting competition, raffle (involving rolling lots of dice - quality) and a nice dinner on the Saturday night (we toasted the Queen - first time I've ever done that!)

Given that the event was full of current and ex service personnel, there was also a vast quantity of booze (all at £1.50 a pint!) and on Saturday and Sunday, a few sore heads!  I took a few photos, but haven't had the chance to work through them yet.  Here's a sneak peek though:

So thanks to Gaz, Big Al, Woody, Rob, Sean, Pete, Steve, Nick, Dave and everyone else for a great weekend!