Friday, 21 August 2009

Space Hulk Pre-ordered

Things conspired to make it happen today... I headed out to Birmingham to do some shopping but as soon as I left the house a cold rain shower sprang out of nowhere so I decided to go to the local indoor shopping mall instead. After all this would allow me to visit Halfords and book an appointment to have a car stereo fitted (as the existing CD player seems to struggle with any road surface that isn't mirror smooth and I'm desperate to regain the space in the tiny boot that is taken up by a gargantuan 10-CD changer).

As it happens Halfords could fit the stereo there and then so I had a hour to kill. And there's a Games Workshop around the corner. And so I ended up pre-ordering Space Hulk, spending nearly £60 on something I'll get in a couple of weeks.

Based purely on the photographs online I can honestly say that having grown up with Citadel Miniatures since the early 1980s these are the best figures I've ever seen the Workshop come out with.

Absolutely f'ing gorgeous. Puts the Black Reach Terminators to shame. I suppose that this the first time that GW/Citadel have released figures that are designed "in game world" - taking advantage of the limited scope of the game (inside a Hulk) to make sure each model is a tiny, one-man diorama.

Workshop - I love you once again.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Laserburn - Proto40K!

Arrived today from eBay. Will be nice to see what Rogue Trader was like before there was a Rogue Trader!

Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum

I accompanied my parents to Warwick on Monday for a meeting with the Ministry Of Defence. There's been a large-scale exhumation of bodies from previously unknown and unmarked graves from the disastrous diversionary attack at Fromelles in 1916 (intended to deny Germany the luxury of being able to strip "quiet" sectors in order to reinforce the Battle of the Somme) and since a relative on my Mother's side, one Corporal Absolom Goode, was reporting missing in this battle the MoD have contacted my Mother as part of their efforts to identify as many of the human remains as possible.

Supposedly one of the scientists I spoke to regularly appears on Channel 4's Time Team but as I don't watch television I will have to take my parent's word for it.

It was quite a fascinating meeting and presentation, talking about the tiny, tiny details that the anthropologists use to piece together whether the body is from the South Midland Brigade or the ANZAC Corps. For example, X-Rays show metal on the collar of British Army uniforms not found on Australian uniforms but this can only be found before the clay is removed from the remains - because the corroded metal is now only oxide dust and will be lost when the remains are cleaned. They are keen to know if the deceased was Roman Catholic because in this period no Catholic was allowed to remain left-handed, so a southpaw will not be a Catholic. Photographs of their descendants are welcomed if they show strong traits that may be found on their ancestors such as gappy front teeth.

The MOD's people were interested in possible Jewish ancestry based upon Absolom's first name and also two changes of surname in that branch of the family (Gold -> Gould -> Goode) so while we don't think my Mother would provide a conclusive DNA match, it may narrow down which (if any) of the remains are the man the MOD is keen to link to us.

The meeting was at the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum, I tried to take a load of shots but it was the typical museum environment whereby the whole place is either dim or blindingly bright and doesn't make photography easy.

Dummy with recreation uniform circa "The '45"


Temporary grave marker, Western Front

Trench clubs, Western Front

Captured pennant and armband, Liebstandarte SS Adolf Hitler

Captured German helmets, Great War

Combat Patrol Board

Combat Patrol (aka 40k in 40 minutes) is designed for a 4'x4' board (approx 122cm x 122cm). Last time we played 40k on the dining table we felt that the 4' x 3' size of a typical UK dining table was too small and we noticed the omission of the extra 12".

So it took an hour or two on an afternoon off work to knock up a hinged 4'x'4 board.

The board is simply two pieces of 4'x2' chipboard from the DIY store, which just squeezed into the MX-5 with the roof down. I was going to hinge it properly with hinges but then the screws would protrude from the wood, so the screw tips would need grinding off, then filling with filler and I think the hinges would stand out like a sore thumb. I've seen a foldable slotcar track board made in this fashion and the hinges are a bit obvious.

So in the end I simply hinged the two sections with a wide strip of silver duct tape. We'll see if this holds up to abuse and wear-and-tear but if not it's a trivial job to replace it.

Painting was just a bunch of sample pots, a few greens and beiges blended together and then random overspray and drybrushing in primer grey, yellow and cream.

It sits nicely on the 4'x3' table and folds away for storage in S's garage (whose dining table is the battlefield for our 40k games). A thick tablecloth or bath towel underneath prevents any danger of the board scratching the tabletop.

Here's the little man unable to contain the chortle of delight at the slaughter his Space Marines are about to unleash upon the new board.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Uncharted Seas Again

We played a five-way bash of this at Waylands Forge, on Saturday. I was the last man standing (well last Dwarf standing) after a "fight to the death" game with temporary alliances and all the usual grudge-matchery. Pics follow.

Wreck Island. I-Kore wrecked gallery standing in as a bit of terrain.

Wrecked gallery

Dickie's DC Heroes-themed Human fleet

Dickie's Flagship

Antony's Dwarves

Spire Island with Litko Wind Marker/Template

Matt's Shroud Mages (Chaos Dwarfs)

Scott's Orcs

Dickie's Frigates.

Matt and Dickie look seriously unimpressed with something here and by the angle of their heads I suspect it must be something Scott said. :)

My Dwarf frigates engage Scott's Orc frigates

Orcs spotted on the other side of the island

Orc flagship

Human cruisers

Dickie's flagship turns around to attack enemy beyond Spire Island.

I'm not certain what enemy that was as it was on the other side of the table beyond my sphere of immediate concern. I suspect he was attacking Matt.

Scott attacks my Dwarf Cruiser ironclad which has lost a crew counter, two damage markers and all port batteries.

More of Dickie's DC Universe ships

Matt's flagship

Scott's losses being washed ashore upon Dead Pile Island.

I was closing in for the kill here on Scott's flagship but then the emergence of Antony from beyond Wreck Island changed everything as we then set up a quick non-aggression pact and set off after the Johnny-Come-Lately. Antony's fleet went from pristine to sunk in about two turns since everyone else had the same idea. We laughed. Well, four of us did anyway.

Obviously I wouldn't be a photo-record of a game without at least one of my crap dice rolls. And here it is...

Happily, Antony managed to eclipse this on his way down to the bottom of the briny sea...

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Inquisitor Mugabe

Inquisitor Mugabe arrived in the post today...

If the Inquisitor in 28mm game happens this will be my alter-ego, ready to purge heretics and xenos but mostly to purge the other player's Inquisitors.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Recent Bulletpoints

Despite it being a while since I've blogged, I have been busy on the gaming/geekery front. Herein follow some bulletpoints

- S. has picked up enough block-painted Imperial Guard off the Bay to knock up a 400 point Combat Patrol army for our dining room table games of Warhammer 40,000. He has since been despatched to Wilkinsons in order to pick up a load of Dark Oak varnish to Miracle Dip them.

- With the intention of doing Combat Patrol I managed to get enough Chaos Space Marines (or "Naughty Marines" as the not-really-a-nephew-nephew calls them) off the Bay to do about three Combat Patrol armies. This cost me all of £12. The actual Codex cost more than the figures. More Miracle Dipping is ongoing deep within a hidden Space Hulk base skulking on the fringes of the Amblecotius star system.

- Game #2 of Assault on Black Reach was cancelled when Ork warlord T. got a late minute holiday booking and vanished off somewhere on hol.

- Meanwhile, the Administorum office on Amblecotius Tertius has taken delivery of a laminating machine (from Wilkinsons in Dudley , reduced to £8). Fantastic bloody thing, Have used it to churn out handouts a plenty, 40k playsheets and lots of Battletech Mech sheets complete with colour laser printed photos of the relevant Mechs tucked away secure inside the laminate plastic. Essential tool, should have bought one years ago.

- I picked up BoxNinja's 3:16 from Waylands on Saturday. Only £10 and self-complete. That's the sort of thing I like. Will I play it though? I'm not sure, as a pure shooter RPG I think it might just be an uninteresting hack session. Played closer to Catch-22 it might work but then again might come across as an unsubtle and whiny satire about militarism. I hate making calls about games before I've played them but I have a nagging suspicion that this might read better than it plays and that giving the players the book to read could get the message across better than actually playing it out would. I think you need a very active group of players to get this to work, otherwise I can envisage players just sitting there dumbly agreeing to shoot everything and wondering where the game is. I want to like this though, maybe that's half the battle.

- Netherpitting. We ran another OD&D White Box session a couple of Friday's ago, but it didn't seem (to the DM's eyes at least) to go as well as the storming first session we had. I used one of the One Page Dungeon entries that I'd only skim read and appear to have unhinged the campaign by handing out a game-breaking Wand of Paralyzation. Perhaps I couldn't take to the task of DM'ing a dungeon level that wasn't one of my own creation, maybe lacking the sense of involvement that comes from rolling your own. I didn't really enjoy the session.

- There's a new game shop/gaming centre opened in Worcester, dedicated to CCGs which doesn't on first glance seem to be a viable business model but cleverly is just a part of a corner shop which helps support the CCG business. So, having Monday off work as part of a long weekend, I clambered into the Frog Jr. and drove down to "Pears" territory (roof off, bloody cold, still got sunburnt) to have a look-see.

It's the people from, who I've eBayed from before, and they run a lot of tournaments and a full Friday Night Magic programme. I picked up some M2010 boosters and sleeves. I'd like to go to one of their FNM sessions but I don't know the practicality of attempting the trip in order to get there for 7 amidst Friday evening rush-hour traffic on a road that always seems to have some shockingly slow driving on it holding everybody up. There are trains but I'm not certain that the last one back to Stourbridge is quite late enough and also I got bitten the other Saturday when the trains from Brum suffered from points failure and I had to improvise a convoluted public transport trek back to Cradley Heath where Frog Jr. was parked. So I'm ambivalent about relying upon a last train with it's failure to show up leaving me stranded at night twenty-odd miles from home.

- Uncharted Seas is getting another outing at Waylands Forge on the 15th. This could be a massive game so with frequent cigarette breaks for a couple of the players I can see the game taking all afternoon and still not finishing in time.