Monday, 28 May 2012

Dropzone Commander - Details Anyone?

The last couple months have seen a steady stream of images for Dropzone Commander, an upcoming game from Hawk WarGames.  Their website describes the game as "10mm Sci-Fi Massed Battles" but concrete information beyond that is pretty hard to come by.

The range certainly looks varied, from Infantry to massive flyers

The pictures are of actual painted miniatures, not renders or artwork, and the sculptors have managed to create some distinctive factions for the game.  Not all of them look entirely original though, shades of Tau from 40K, Geth from Mass Effect series, Colonial Marines from the film Aliens all shine through.

Marines! We are LEAVING!!!

For the greater good?  Errr, probably not.

However, no one is going to tell me that this does not look the Bog's Dollocks:

What I'd like to see are some pictures in scale, either with two models or with a familiar item (a D6 perhaps?)  Now I don't need much of an excuse to start up a new game and Dropzone Commander has certainly piqued my interest, so hopefully we'll see some product details soon.

Some scale please. . . This had better be HUGE!

Hawk Wargames just pushed their release/pre-order dates back and, although I won't be surprised if they slip again, the delay gives them plenty time to put out some details on their rules and background (and price, but I assume that's the last thing we'll find out.)

Their Facebook page has a lot of pictures, but little real info.  Anyone out there have any more?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

No more Warhammer Historical?

Logging onto Blogger today, I found lots of posts about GW's (rather abrupt) closure of Warhammer Historical. In retrospect, the closure is not a surprise; the lack of, for want of a better word, presence from WH didn't inspire much faith in their future.  GW's media policy meant that when new products were released by WH, they came as complete bolts from the blue.

Yet those last half dozen releases still strike me as odd.  Waterloo and Kampfgruppe Normandy can't have been cheap to print, yet they were on half price sale within six months or their release.  That Armies of Antiquity supplement was pretty large too and it only came out in March; were these printed months (or years) ago and were being shipped out to at the last moment?

My disappointment over WH is more over the future of their intellectual property rather than the removal of (what little support) GW actually gave them.  Rumours abounded over the last year that WH's latest releases were all part-time projects by dedicated employees.  Does that mean that GW will relinquish the copyright on the Warhammer Ancient Battles and other rules?  What about the FAQ/Resources/Card print outs etc?

So lot's of unanswered questions, most unlikely to get an answer.  Considering WAB was a behemoth in the ancients wargaming genre, I'm certainly sorry to see it go.  Maybe we'll need to organise a farewell event at the club or something. . .

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Daft Little Quiz

Gamquistu - I could survive for 399 days in the Zombie Apocalypse! How long could you?

I'm a bit of a sucker for these silly quizzes!  Following a
link from Sean's Wargames Corner, I discovered I'd last a respectable 399 days in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse.  Not bad I thought.

Went for the always reliable baseball bat as my weapon of choice (good swing, won't run out of ammo) and would try to hole up in a Walmart (that's a supermarket isn't it) overnight.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Hoplites - Work In Progress

Not a bad days work, 24 Warlord Games Hoplites assembled and undercoated.  I'd forgotten how long it takes to get plastic minis assembled!  Overall, the figures go together easily enough, some of the spear arms don't line up flat against the body, but that wasn't really a big deal.  I've left off the shield arms to make painting easier.

Sixteen of the Hoplites have linen linothorax, while the other eight are unarmoured.  The best (and most elaborately) armoured Hoplites would be at the head of the phalanx with the less well armed would be at the rear.  This mix should give me two ranks of armoured and one rank of unarmoured Hoplites, although I may mix them around when it comes to basing them.

The skin has been basecoated and washed and the tunics have been basecoated in a couple different colours.  One thing I've noticed about using the wet palette is that it makes doing multiple thin coats of paint a doddle!

Most of the helmets come with separate plumes and this does give you a nice variety to use, but these helmets all have a groove cut in them for this.  As I wanted some of the helmets to be plain bronze, I filled in some of the gaps before painting.  It's just a little detail, but I think it looks appropriate 

Friday, 18 May 2012

British Heavy Mortar Platoon

Feeling a bit more human today, so I managed to finish basing the mortar platoon.  I started these as a distraction and found them enjoyable enough to paint.

I tried a different way of creating a bush/hedge, but, to be honest, it looks exactly like my previous efforts.  I am quite happy with how the flock looks though - one tip I read somewhere was using multiple layers of flock/pva to get a thicker coverage and the colour mix you want.  Up next. . . Hoplites! ! !

P.S.  Tried to put all the images into one big image, but I don't think it opens out to the right size.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Like with the washing machine, I have an innate inability to use Photoshop.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

An excuse, a couple photos and a good book!

We had a rare sunny day last week, so my immune system responded by going on holiday and leaving me laid up all week.  So instead of being productive, I've spent the last week lying around on the couch and generally being pathetic!

I managed to get started basing the British Heavy Mortar platoon I've been working on.  They have had the first layers of flock and some tufts added and next I'm going to try a new way of making hedges.  These were quite fun to paint up, I've tried a new way of applying the main colours using my wet palette and this certainly sped up the whole process.  I'm still concerned that overall the figures will be too dark, or at least lack contrast, when compared to the base.  Once they're finished, I'll see how they look under proper lighting.

Things haven't been all bad though, not least by getting to spend the entire weekend watching sport on the box!  I also treated myself to Adrian Goldsworthy's In the Name of Rome.  Goldsworthy is one of my favorite authors, siting somewhere between being a narrative historian and a "proper" academic.  Each chapter looks at a particular general (Caesar gets two, greedy bugger) and discusses two or three of their most notable battles or campaigns.  It's a wonderfully old fashioned history book, in that Goldsworthy doesn't bother getting bogged down in economic or political themes, but focus on each man, their military skill and the decisions they make.

In the Name of Rome is also a wonderfully "male" book.  Each chapter is self-contained, can be read in around an hour and has plenty of anecdote and amusing little notes, for instance, I never knew that Caligula means "Little boots."  None of the figures in the book are new to me, as I've read a fair bit of Roman history, but that doesn't detract from enjoying the little journeys the author takes you on - no matter how often you've heard it, I love reading about Pompey mincing around the Mediterranean.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Venexia Miniatures shutting up shop?

I popped over to the Vexillia website this morning, to order some more Venexia 15mm Italian Wars figures, only to find an announcement that apparently the Italian company are planning to close down and that most of the range is unavailable.

Is there anything more frustrating to a wargamer then losing your preferred miniature range half way (ok, about a quarter of the way) through a project?

I'm a bit torn about what direction to go in now.  I picked Venexia because I thought their figures were the best available (Museum Miniatures and QRF are both fine, but don't hold up well next to the Venexia figures.)  Hopefully, the model range will be sold to another company sooner or later, but for the immediate future, I'll be putting this project on hold.

Extremely frustrating since I only bought Warlord's Pike & Shotte rules at the weekend! Bummer.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Carronade 2012

I made an unexpected trip to Carronade 2012 yesterday, a show ran by Falkirk District Wargames Club.  This was the largest wargames event I've been to (never having made it to Salute or similair) with five halls of demo games, participation games, exhibits, competitions and, of course, traders.  I took the camera with me and some of the pictures weren't awful, so here they are.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to make a note of the club or group each game was running, but I'm sure you will find a full list on the official website.

28mm American Civil War - this table featured some of the best painted minis of the show!

RAF Leuchars are running four Band of Brothers theme games at four different shows.

This Pike and Shotte battle had some great civilian and vignette models - including an occupied gallows!

One room had lots of skirmish games going on, Malifaux, LotR, Mordheim etc.  I wanted to stay longer in here, as the tables all looked great, but an unidentified person had an extreme case of "Gamer Funk"  so we left.

Micro scale Napoleonics (I think)

Some unexpected games were on show - these guys were even playing Epic!  Man that takes me back!

  A great looking Ork army - unfortunately, I missed seeing the opposing army by about ten minutes.  I don't even know what it was!

GW gets everywhere!  A huge table of Ogres against Lizardmen - still not tempted back though! 

Plataea - close to a thousand Persians and Greeks in use!

An impressive Imperial Romans vs Celts table!  Now that's a proper straight Roman road!

Naturally, I felt the traders calling to me.  For living in a city, I don't have a lot of choice in wargaming shops (a big GW and a small Comic/RPG store,) so when I'm at a show like this the quantity of the temptation to shop is very strong.  I was fairly close to buying some Wargames Factory plastic Persians, some 10mm WW2 packs from Pendraken, as well as several rulebooks and Osprey titles.  However, in an impressive show of restraint, I restricted myself to two luxury purchases, the Pike & Shotte and Saga rulebooks.

So thanks to the organizers for organising a great show, to all the gamers for putting some great eye-candy displays on show and, lastly, thanks to Gaz for driving!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Game of Thrones - The Card Game

Last week, Adam at the club ran us through a game of the Game Of Thrones card game, by Fantasy Flight Games (btw, thanks!) Now although I've played plenty of board games involving cards, I've never actually played a full blown card game.  Players each control one of the Factions from G R R Martin's books (Starks, Targaryens, Lannisters etc)

There is a nice balance of mechanics in the game.  The goal of the game is to gain a certain amount of power, mainly by gaining it for themselves or stealing it from other players, although there are opportunities.  Each turn, players must first simultaneously play a plot card, striking a balance between a card that either gives them more money, initiative for the turn or lets them earn more power.  Players then use their income to play characters and locations from their hand, making sure they have a mix of cards suitable for the different types of challenge, military, intrigue or power.  As players win or lose these challenges, they have to "kneel" the card they used in the challenge, meaning those cards won't contribute to winning Dominance for the turn.  Winning Dominance gives the winning player more power, thus putting them closer to victory.

That's the basic turn process (I've missed out a couple things,) but the depth of the game only comes out when you look at all the individual abilities on your cards.  I only caught a glimpse of the different abilities available, but the faction I played, the Starks, seemed in keeping with the background from the books i.e. good at warfare, positive effects had a downside too.  All in all, A Game of Thrones was really enjoyable to play, seemed very balanced and had some great artwork on the cards.

Of course, with card games the boxed game is only the tip of the iceberg, a quick online seach reveals that there are at least fifty expansion packs available!  Admittedly, most of them cost only a tenner, but that it would be a hell of a temptation in a "I'm bored, I think I'll buy another pack of cards" kind of way!

Still, I've been trying to get the Mrs to play a few more games and I think this might be more her kind of thing, especially with the background material and the artwork.  We have a holiday coming up in June, so I might pick up a copy for the evenings.  Maybe.