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Saturday 28 November 2015

Warhammer World

WarhammerWorldRhino2.jpgWell, I'm finally writing up our trip to Warhammer World. We arrived on Saturday morning, a bit ahead of the friends we were meeting, which gave us time for a bit of a look around. We took a wander around the main gaming hall, which was pretty busy. There was the odd table here and there that wasn't in use, but most were already taken. We spent some time tempting ourselves with the goodies in the GW, Forge World, and Black Library shops, particularly Forge World as they have lots of models on display in cabinets that we can only usually see on the website. I've found that seeing a model in person often has more impact than seeing an image.

We went into Bugman's to get lunch. Unfortunately a large group of French gamers had just ordered lunch, meaning we had a 45 minute wait to get food. Time was getting on once we'd eaten, so we went back to the Forge World store to put our orders in. If you order before 2, anything they don't have in the store will be brought up from the warehouse by the end of the day. I picked up Nob Warbikers, the Trukk with enclosed cab, the Halftrakk, and the Badab War books. They only had the Nob bikers in the store then and there, so I had to wait a few hours for the other bits to brought up. If you want to see jealousy on your friends' faces, get Forge World to bring you a box of stuff instead of the plastic bags most of their stuff comes in :)

We also picked up a few books in the Black Library store, including the Warhammer World exclusive Horus Heresy book Meduson. It's a collection of short stories focussing on the Shattered Legions. I enjoyed reading it, it was good to see the Iron Hands take centre-stage, as they've been quite neglected in the series so far. It was also quite lucky timing, as the weekend after we were there, Warhammer World had the Forge World open day where they announced the Shattered Legions would be in the next Horus Heresy book, Retribution.

After we'd spent plenty of cash, it was time to do battle. We'd booked two tables for the afternoon, but neither we nor the staff could find the tables with the appropriate number. In the end the staff simply picked two next to each other that were free and declared them ours for the session. LoF and I played doubles with two friends on one table, while the other two people with us had larger armies with them so played a singles match on the other table. With one thing and another we didn't get that much gaming done (it turns out if you go to Warhammer World with podcasters, their adoring fans keep wanting to talk to them :P). We had some good moments in the game though, with an Avenger Strike Fighter roaring on to the table and hammering a unit of Eldar Jetbikers, only to be blown out of the sky when the Crimson Hunter came in from the other side. The proudest moment from my Orks was the Mek, after having the unit he was accompanying shot out from under him, going to intercept an outflanking sentinel all on his own and one-shotting it with his Kustom Mega-Slugga. We played until they closed, then decamped to the pub. WarhammerWorldBattle.JPG

We decided not to play on Sunday and spent the morning going round the Hall of Miniatures. This was definitely worth the price of admission, it took us about two-and-a-half hours to get through it all. They had models from all the way back in the beginning of the company to the newest stuff. The dioramas they've built are amazing, I'm confident if I went back and looked at them again I'd pick up lots of details I missed the first time. Once we finished seeing the exhibit, it was back to Bugman's for lunch. After discussion with the group we came to the conclusion that it's probably worth visiting about once a year. That leaves enough time between visits for the tables and exhibits to get updated and for wallets to recover. Before we left, I gave in to temptation and bought the Mechanicum Horus Heresy book. I really like the look of some of the Mechanicum models, although others I'm not so keen on. That's why I held off buying the book until the end of the trip, but eventually I decided if I bought it I'd at least be able to see if I could build an army the way I'd like so I went ahead and spent the cash.

All in all, we had a really good trip and we'll definitely go back. Hopefully next time we'll make a bit more time to play and have a bit less of a last minute rush to get everything painted, but other than that I don't think we'll do much differently.

Sunday 18 October 2015

Temptation and Sublimation

In the last several months, I've been looking more and more at playing Horus Heresy. Several friends of mine have gotten into it and have said how much they enjoy it. Whenever I start to get tempted by a game like this, I start looking around for more information on it, ostensibly so I can make an informed decision, but with the handy side-effect of scratching the itch a bit without requiring a lot of expenditure. The unfortunate consequence of this approach is I end up thinking more about the game, which can then spiral into buying a bunch of stuff. That's not always the case, reading up on Warmahordes put me off that system, but it does often happen.

There are a couple of problems with diving head first into the Heresy for me though. The first is that I naturally baulk at spending the kind of money that is required for a full Forge World army. I know that I could use cheaper models from GW or a 3rd party company, but I'm not keen on that sort of compromise. Part of my reasoning when getting back into the hobby was that I could now afford to buy the things I wanted and I don't have to compromise as I did when I was a kid. That does kind of contradict what I said about not wanting to spend money, but the way I compensate for being able to buy pretty much whatever I want is to try to focus on only one thing at a time. When I was a kid I would have happily collected twenty armies at once but I couldn't afford it. Now I'm an adult and I can afford it, I (in theory) possess the willpower to pick one army and stick with it, thereby avoiding spending huge sums of money on things that are only going to sit unused in boxes for the rest of time. This brings me to the second problem with starting Horus Heresy, which is that I still have plenty of Orks to build and paint. I should be concentrating on them, not buying an expensive new army.

I decided that I would try to direct my attention elsewhere, to something that would be less expensive and require less time than a full Heresy army. I looked around at various other systems (which is why I was looking at Warmahordes), and I got caught on Infinity. I've looked at it before and thought it looked cool, this time I dug a bit deeper into the game. I like that they make the rules and unit profiles available for free online, I also like the idea that even when it's not your turn you get to play due to automatic reaction orders. The hard sci-fi/anime setting really works for me as well, and the low model count is a major plus given the speed of my painting and the fact that I'm already committed to an Ork army that naturally comes with a high number of minis. Personally, I like to read about the background before I get into a game, particularly when it comes to choosing an army to play. In that sense, the set-up that Corvus Belli have for Infinity of giving the rules away but putting the background in the book you have to pay for worked really well (for them), as I had enough free reading material to get me interested, but I had a clear reason and desire to buy the book. I picked up the rulebook and core book set and spent a few pleasant evenings reading through it. I'm intending to play Aleph, but I haven't bought anything beyond the main books yet. While I was in the prevaricating phase of “I really like the look of this” but “should I really start a new game and army and everything that goes with it”, Corvus Belli announced the new version of the Human Sphere book would be out in December. That will have a bunch more background information, particularly on Aleph, so I was able to put any further purchases off until then (although I do keep looking at the Operation Icestorm box).

All of which satisfied my urge to start buying a new army, with a minimum of expenditure. I was very pleased with how the whole thing had worked out. Unfortunately, then a friend of mine decided to sell up his Horus Heresy stuff, so I ended up buying his Crusade Army list and Isstvan campaign legions red books. It was really a moral decision, I was helping by buying them and my desires didn't come into it one way or the other ;) Horus Heresy and Infinity books

Tuesday 13 October 2015

The other painted model

If you've been paying really close attention, it might have occurred to you that the list of models I painted for the Warhammer World challenge, along with what I had painted beforehand, did not add up to 1000 points. Way back when I started this blog, I wrote about the test model I'd painted for the army and the unpainted models. There was one model that went unmentioned, which accounts for the missing points.

 I was away for a few days when I managed to secure NewJob™, and as a present (and quiet hint to get on with painting my Orks) LoF bought, assembled and painted a Dakkajet. She maintains that it's not quite finished, but I think it's pretty impressive for the work of just a couple of days. Obviously, it wasn't included in the unpainted models, but I couldn't claim it as my own work either. I've had a couple of opportunities to use it in games and the amount of fire-power it carries really packs a punch.

Monday 12 October 2015

Challenge over

 My time ran out for the Challenge on Friday. I'll do a write-up of the trip in another post, for now I just want to talk about the painting. As I expected, I was nowhere near finishing both the Lootas and the Warbikers in time. I did manage to get both squads done to a basic tabletop standard, there's the odd spot where the undercoat is still showing, but nothing excessive. Both squads have several different colours on them, and they clearly fit in with the rest of the army, even if the lack of layers and highlights means they don't 'pop' as well as the other models.

Admitting I wasn't going to get everything finished had an odd dual effect. On the one hand, I didn't drive myself mad trying to paint models far faster than I could manage. On the other, once I'd realised I wasn't going to get them done I lost a lot of motivation to keep working on them. There were a few days last week when I only did a bit of painting and I have to admit that as it got to Thursday and Friday I was getting a bit sick of the whole thing. I did have a back-up plan to paint a Big Mek with Kustom Force Field and Nob with Waaagh Banner instead of the Lootas and Warbikers if I ran low on time, as they'd be roughly the same points for far fewer models. I was cursing myself for not choosing that option when I was still fighting to get the base layers done on Friday evening.

 From here, I'm going to finish off the two squads, although I'll do them one at a time as I have been previously. I'm having a break first though, and I imagine I'll be working on them a bit more slowly than I have been recently. Once I've managed that, I'll finally have 1000 points of fully painted Orks. I'm hoping that I can get through the second 1000 points a bit faster than the first.

Monday 28 September 2015

Nobz Trukk

 I've finally finished the Trukk for the Nobz squad. It ended up taking me two weeks, which is a fair bit longer than the last one. I didn't find this one as heavy going as the last, but I clearly wasn't working on it quite as hard.

I applied the base layers of blue on the bodywork and Leadbelcher on the chassis and engine using an airbrush and the new GW airbrush paints. This saved me a fair bit of time, and meant I got good coverage with the blue in only one coat. It's the first time I've used an airbrush, so there was a bit of a learning curve. Once I got it figured out though, it worked well. I also experimented a little bit with a weathering powder around the exhaust outlets and gun barrel. I was very light with it, but the effect worked reasonably well.

I'm running out of time to get everything painted for the challenge, and I've got Warbiker and Loota squads still to do. I'm going to paint both squads at the same time with the goal of getting them at least to tabletop standard before going to Nottingham. It's not ideal, but I have to be realistic about how fast I paint and accept that I am unlikely to get them finished in time. If I focus on one squad I could probably get that done, but it would come at the risk of not even starting on the other.

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