Saturday, 25 April 2015

Things I Liked At Salute 2015

Today was Salute, the big London wargaming expo. It was pretty overwhelming how much cool stuff there was to check out.

I particularly liked the massive displays. Fort George won best in show and was really cool. The sinking ship was my favourite part. Beasts of War’s Battle of Hoth game was also really impressive.

As someone looking for something to get in to, getting up close and personal with miniatures from every range was a treat.

I’ll definitely be picking up a Malifaux crew, but I knew that before going to Salute. I have friends who play, and it seems easy enough to get in to. Still, it was great to be able to check them out up close.

Mierce Miniatures’ Darklands range stole the show for me. They were so incredibly awesome. Just look at how cool these are:
Unfortunately, they are well out of my price range. Maybe once I learn to paint a bit better I might be up for splashing out that much. They were breathtaking, but my hobby skills wouldn't do them justice.

Other highlights included models from Ax Faction and Meridian Miniatures:

Ax Faction had some really cool mounts. I prefer my female fighters to be wearing a little more reasonable armour than most of the models in their range, but I can look past that for a massive bear or bunny steed.

Meridian had neat steam punk British troops. They caught my eye, but I really don’t know what I’d do with them.

The only models I bought weren't as epic those above, but I was taken with them. Steve Barber Models has a 28mm Prehistoric Settlment range, including prehistoric animals, that I really liked. I picked up the Cheiftan and some hunters with flint spears. And I plan to pick a bunch more.

My other notes from the day are to check out after entering their charity raffle for an Ultramarine army, and to look up the animal range from Warbases.

It was a full afternoon. I’ll really need to start playing more if I want an excuse to pick up some of these miniatures.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Mad Max 1: The Road Warriors

Gorkamorka was always my favourite game back in the day, and I have been hoarding some bits from my eBay buying and selling.

A project I have wanted to do since I was a kid is create a Mad Max-themed Digga mob. In the Warhammer 40k world, Diggas are the humans that were stranded on Angelis when the Orks crashed on the planet. With their ship destroyed, they became a tribal society living in abandoned Necron tunnels and imitating the orks, who were more suited for the desert world. With the new Mad Max film coming out this year, I thought it would be fun to do.

The pieces I have collected for the project are:

A variety of trukks, trakks and bikes to choose from. Will probably go with three bikes a trukk and a trakk.

Warhammer Fantasy Chaos Mauraders

Imperial Guard Catachans

Actual Digga models

40k Chaos Cultists
Ork driver bits

And this chap from LOTR that I thought could be a good Shaman with his “findin’ rod”
These guys are going to be a bit bigger and tougher than usual Diggas. I might use the Digga models as yoofs. The Catachans and Mauraders can be chopped up and spliced together, and I think I might even use the Cultists as they are, with their chaos symbols filed off. Anyway, first step is to give them a Detol bath and strip the paint.

Mordhiem Part 2: Into the City

Game day!

The orcs had a rough start but came out on top.

The first fight saw them up against a dwarf warband, playing the breakthrough scenario. I just needed to get a few of my boys to the other side of the table. It should have been easy enough, but it did not go well.
I set up first, and decided to split the boys up and try to sneak through. The dwarfs set up with snipers on the roofs and ambushes prepared at both of the two points the scenery funnelled towards. They were ready for me, but my warband was mostly interested in fighting themselves. The animosity rule made for a delayed start, with three turns passing before I could start moving the bulk of my boys towards the action. I messed up by splitting the group. And by not playing the orcs very well.
My archers didn't have the skills needed to pick off his snipers. They were picked off themselves.

My shaman wasn't suited to making a diving charge in to hand to hand combat from a story above in a ruined building. He fell to his death.

And by splitting up, my boys weren't strong enough to break through the dwarf ambushes.

I chose not to route and flee as soon as I had the opportunity.

In the post battle sequence, the damage I had done to the dwarfs turned out to be severe though. I had knocked out his warband's leader permanently. My opponent decided that the hit was too much this early in the campaign and scrapped his warband all together. My boys got away with just cuts and bruises.

My second battle was more successful, and also resulted in the permanent death of another warband leader!

I was up against Marienburg Mercenaries, who had two games’ worth of experience more than me. We played the surprise attack scenario and I was the one to be surprised. Through some unlikely dice rolls, I only fielded one henchman.

In his log of the battle, my opponent wrote:
It all started when we spotted a lone orc looting through a building, figuring to kill him and maybe get the drop on some of his associates we proceeded to spread out in to ready a proper ambush. Alas his mates were closer than we expected. we didn’t set a proper rearguard and before we know it Darrius was being brought down by two orc brutes, barely seconds later Jack was down under the axe of the first orc charging down at him. I charged in to help the boys now fighting alone and managed to down one of the brutes, but not before they had dropped both Rico and Elliott. 
As I understand it the rest of the crew faired quite well pin cushioning squigs and orcs as they arrived, but with most of the officers down in a bloody heap I decided to grab who we could and make out while we could before any more of the beasts arrived.  
His warband leader went out of action and was sent to the arena to be clobbered to death by a pit fighter. I left the day 39 gold crowns and two warp shards richer. I'm going to use it to properly equip my heroes, and put some aside to save up for a troll.

Mordhiem Part 1: The Gathering Horde

I am playing Mordheim! Putting together a warband will be my first proper Warhammer project since I was about 14.

I've been planning to play with some friends for a while now. The campaign kicked off a month or so back but I had to miss the first session. Despite not playing yet, I am already through my third warband. I wanted to play Shadow Warriors, the awesome high elf warband. I bought models, but then learned that the warband was booted from the game for being unbalanced. I then moved on to the Undead. But, I wanted to make a warband without spending any new money, just money in my Paypal account that I raised by buying and selling models for a small profit. Vampires and dire wolves are expensive, even second hand, so I wouldn't have been able to complete the warband. 

By now, the next game day was planned and so I had to think fast. I put together a shabby mob from some bitz boxes I had lying around.

Introducing the Bitcebachs Boyz:

Pronounced “bitz box”, the Bitcebachs Boyz are a ravaging mob ready to tear a part the dammed city of Mordhiem.

The squigs are the only thing I bought. I am using war haggises from Black Hat Minuatures as proxies. They only cost a fiver. The company is quite neat, and from a work side project-perspective, is the type of project I’d love to get my hands on. They have some great models, and with a bit of growth hacking strategies, an email marketing programme and some fun social media, I reckon I could help them sell a tonne of miniatures . Something like that would be a dream side project.

I bought bases too. Resin ones from Dreamscape.

I soaked the models in Detol and stripped the paint. I spent two evenings painting them. It isn't the best job, but I think it was a decent first attempt. When I have some more time, a friend who paints at a pro level is going to teach me some proper techniques that he says are easy and will improve the quality drastically.

I switched some models out from the first pic as I dug up better figures. Here they are, ready for action: