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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.

Monday 10 August 2015

Imperial Armour 8: Raid on Kastorel-Novem

Back around the beginning of the year, Forge World put up a notice that they were running low on copies of IA8. Given that it's the book with the Ork units in, I figured I would grab a copy before they all vanished. Tight-fisted as I am though, I thought I'd take a look elsewhere to see if I could pick it up cheaper than direct from Forge World. It didn't take too long to find a seller on Amazon with an “as new” copy that was only £27.50. Now that I finally get round to writing about the book, it's no longer available on the Forge World site, but can still be found on Amazon for £30. Given that many of the other Imperial Armour books have gone on to a second edition, I expect there will be a new version available from Forge World at some point, but I suspect that they may well be focussing on the Horus Heresy for the near future.

The book itself weighs in at 226 pages and comes with a double sided poster with a Mek Boss on one side and an assortment of Ork units on the other. Sadly the poster is too big to have found a home on any of my walls so far, but it's still a nice addition. The story of the book is a combined Raven Guard and Elysian Drop Troop attack on an Ork held planet, and it contains units for all 3 armies, and full army lists for the Elysians and Ork Dread Mobs. I enjoyed reading through the book, which gives a lot of detail on what could be considered a relatively minor action by the standards of battles in the 41st millennium. I have only read the book once though, I haven't been captured by the urge to pore over it relentlessly. I'm unlikely to get much use out of the missions given to play out the campaign, as I don't have access to Raven Guard or Elysian armies. I'm sure I could manage something if I were desperate to play them, but it's not really a high priority.

I was pleased with the selection of Ork units in the book. There are several vehicles I think could fit nicely into a Speed Freeks army, particularly as Zhadsnark Da Rippa lets you take Warbikers as Troops choices. I like the extra detail on various units, even if it does seem to contradict itself in places, and I really wish Forge World made the variant Warbuggies shown in the illustrations, as the existing model is looking very dated. There's a fair amount of material on Dreads and Kans, which is understandable given that the book is home to the Dread Mob list, but I doubt I'll get much use out of it myself.

One thing that occurred to me after reading IA8 was that it invites comparison with the Waaagh! Ghazghkull supplement. Weighing the two up against each other really shows Waaagh! Ghazghkull in a poor light. Both of them have background material and 8 missions, although IA8's missions are more tightly linked and include a few more innovative features than Waaagh! Ghazghkull. IA8 is nearly three times as long, contains new units for three different armies, and includes two whole army lists, where Waaagh! Ghazghkull has seven formations and one detachment, so no new units, just different ways to arrange the existing ones. Given that I bought the Ghazghkull book in hardback (£30), IA8 was cheaper too. Once I'd looked at it in those terms, I was significantly less pleased with the Ghazghkull supplement. Given the lack of supplements accompanying the more recent codex releases, I suspect I'm not the only one questioning the value of those books.