Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gripes, Groans and Great Blogs...


There are lots of blogs out there to enjoy about Warhammer and tabletop wargaming, but one my favorites is "Fields of Blood".
Always a good read.
Always thoughtful.
Always well-written.

Recently, I particularly enjoyed two posts there by Pete Dunn, a NZ based tournament player, organizer and blogger.

The first was about how the recent change in GW policy that restricts internet retailers selling GW products outside of certain zones has resulted in loss of revenue for GW. You can find that here:
"Scorched Earth or How GW Managed to Destroy $1000 of Sales"

I highly recommend you visit Fields of Blood and go back there to enjoy the posts and other content.
That particular post allowed me to give vent to some of my own recent feelings about Citadel FineSHAFT and the policy mentioned above, which I put up as a comment (great comments and contributions from people on the post above btw), but which I shall include here...(Read the post at the link above first for context.)
"Great points here and a great discussion!
Living in Tokyo I had shared my money between the local GW operation and also international suppliers until the recent imposition of martial law by GW. I have to say that since then I have become less and less sympathetic to GW recently for two reasons.

1. The "FineSHAFT" debacle. So far I haven't seen a single decent explanation from GW about the price increases for the vast majority of these items. (Jervis could have addressed this in his White Dwarf article about Finecast, but chose instead to repeat the party line.)

As examples, (and this is where I am similar to Pete in his feelings about local pricing)
- Queek Headtaker is 18.34 GBP in Japan, or 74% more than the UK. (UK price 10.50)
- Skaven Jezzail set is 55.81 GBP in Japan, or 86% more than the UK. (UK price is 30.00)
Both are more expensive than NZ (which also suffers from grossly inflated prices.)

Yes, getting these things to Japan is expensive, but hey, now that GW don't use a commodity like Tin, and considering that the materials used are so light etc. shouldn't prices be MORE reasonable? Don't tell me that the incremental increase in the definition of FineSHAFT models justifies that price increase? (Although I guess the new material may had had millions of pounds-worth of R&D poured into it.
("Poured"...Geddit? Oh, nevermind.)

2. I recall that part of the GW initial argument about their "Scorched Earth" policy was about supporting local gaming bricks and mortar etc. What a surprise then to find that they have recently closed around 5 GW stores around Tokyo, retreating to their two main stores, including my local.

So, LESS support and MASSIVELY INCREASED prices.

All of this would probably be bearable if GW actually treated us like customers, rather than suckers.
How? Explain openly the ACTUAL underlying business reasons for these increases rather than pump out the marketing BS and spin we have seen to date.
OH, wait, that's RIGHT, the underlying business reasons are GREED and OPPORTUNISM, rather than better models and supporting the community, so I guess they have to resort to the party-line they have used so far.

Even if I am totally wrong, I still can't shake off the feeling that I am being played by GW, and I don't like it.

(Takes deep breath) Wow! Even if I am totally wrong, I at least feel better having said this now!
Just want to finish by saying that I always valued the support of the GW shop staff, their overall friendliness and passion for the hobby, so this isn't actually directed at them."

  • How do you guys feel about Finecast?
  • What are your thoughts on the "Scorched Earth Policy" (As Pete calls it?)

The second post I am really enjoying started the other day with some some thoughts by Pete about Composition Systems for casual and tournament play. Again, a really good post, with some very interesting and thoughtful replies by readers - AND further replies by Pete.
You can read the post here:
"Comp Systems - The Case for Hard Caps"
and the follow up here:
"The Case for Hard Caps - Part Deux"
I was particularly interested in this thread because as someone who very rarely gets any games in, and who hasn't ever played in a tournament or really given this area any thought at all it got me thinking about tournaments, T.O. responsibilities and the thought and time that must go into them.

  • Have you played in any tournaments? 
  • Did you enjoy them?
  • What do you reckon to Pete's points or the comments?
  • and finally, as I am enjoying reading all these other blogs so much...
  • What SINGLE WFB, 40K or tabletop wargaming blog would you recommend if you could only recommend ONE and it couldn't be your own?


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Clan Eshin Approaches...Can You Hear Them? (Presumably Not!)

I'ze in ur base stealin' ur stuf


"Yes, yes, many rumours had reached my ears through the farsqueeker that my negotiations with Clan Eshin had been troubled, but NO, for today, a set of new faces could be seen around my halls...
Clan Eshin reinforcements!
Obviously, the offer of my freshest slaves, more warptokens, 40% of all the spoils of my next campaign, and a "Favour" in the future were enough to convince the clan that they should assist me..."

So, I finally got around to doing a couple more stages on the Gutter Runners/ Night Runners I put together a few weeks ago.
- Removing mould lines (filing)
- Adding modelling sand to the bases (painting on PVA glue to the bases, and then dipping in sand.)

- Undercoat with Citadel Chaos Black spraypaint.

I'm hoping that it won't take me too long to finish off these guys as much of their uniform will be dark colours or black anyway. (famous last words.)
I'll try to put up some shots of them once I have finished the basic colours...


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Forge World Skaven Models

OK, let me be totally honest with you - I don't know how new they are exactly, but I just came across a link to these the other day and they are new to me at least!


Skaven Exalted Vermin Lord. (Copyright Warhammer Forge)

Skaven Exalted Vermin Lord. (Copyright Warhammer Forge)

Skaven Brood Horror (Copyright Warhammer Forge)

Skaven Brood Horror (Copyright Warhammer Forge)
For more images of these kits, please visit the Warhammer Forge site.

If you aren't familiar with Forge World (and therefore Warhammer Forge) now might be a good time to check them out. Basically they make high quality resin kits for the various GW systems such as 40K and (now) Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

This includes:
- Conversion kits for vehicles. (40K)
- Supersize models such as Titans (40K) and Giants etc. (WFB)
- 100% new vehicle types (40K and WFB)
- 100% new troop types (Chaos Dwarves!) and models. (40K and WFB)
- Monsters (WFB)
- Terrain. (40K and WFB)
- Experimental rules sets for some of the above. (Visit their website for more info about these.)
- Beautifully illustrated books covering every detail of specific 40K campaigns.

Thanks to some trading and the generosity of my gaming colleagues, I have an Imperial Armour book (it is F.A.B.) and also a set of "Hazard"XV-9 Close Support Armour for my Tau (since getting into WFB I haven't painted these though...)
Forge World "Hazard XV-9" Tau armour
(Copyright Forge World)

Some things to bear in mind about FW models and ranges:

  1. These aren't cheap! (Rightly, many would argue, considering the size and quality.)
  2. You would usually need to check first with an opponent whether you can use a Forgeworld model in a game, as their rules are not contained in Army Books etc. (Most people would usually be fine with you using a model to stand-in for GW model, after all, Forge World are part of GW, but is is the rules that you need to confirm you can use.)
  3. I understand (not having been to a tournament myself) that whether or not FW models and rules are allowed is entirely up to the "TO" (Tournament Organizer) so check with them before going to a tournament.
  4. FW models are resin, and so if you haven't worked with resin before (like me) you may want to check out some guidelines for assembly.

I'd love to have these in my Skaven army, but thanks to other recent efforts to bolster my forces don't have the warp tokens to invest in reinforcements like this (at least, that is what the brood-queen in my clan would say...)

I can't wait to see what else comes out of Warhammer Forge!

Until next time...


Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm a slave...

...to painting slaves.

From Warhammer Online Wiki

I haven't done any painting for a long time, so it was with horror that I opened my "Clan cupboard" and realized I must still have a good 70 to 100 figures left to paint (and a couple of warmachines too) before my clan is truly finished.

Having purchased some Night Runners I got good advice that I should paint them up quick because they are so useful (as Gutter Runners). However, after assembling them and taking a look at my horde I realized that my slaves are still far too few in number to be really useful...and as everyone seems to think that it is slaves that are actually our most important unit I thought I should buff up my unit size a bit first.

If you take a look over at my clan you can see that I use previous edition Clanrat models as slaves. I really much prefer the Island of Blood clannies, so use them as my core troops. (I think the older generation look really weak and slave-like compared to them.)
So here they are!

I think they have come out OK, considering that painting these models is actually a bit of a chore and I didn't lavish too much attention on them.

Some errors I made, mainly through laziness, that could/ should be avoided in future:

1. As I have had these undercoated and lying on the shelf for ages I didn't check that they had been carefully sanded to remove mould-lines/ flash. If you look closely it really shows. These older models in particular suffer from this is on the:

  • a.) Feet. 
  • b.) Spearheads. Particularly along the back ridge of the spear.
  • c.) Shoulders. The pauldrons in particular.
2. When buying these older models secondhand (especially from eBay) always check with the seller that you are going to get the tails. Many of my lot are missing tails and it annoys me now. (I tell myself that in my clan, slaves are punished by having their tails clipped off. Or they lose them in fighting? Or perhaps sell them in exchange for food?)

3. Overexuberant rust washes! This is a Solar Macharius Orange that has been heavily watered down, but it looks way to "orangey"...

4. At the time I added sand to the bases before undercoating the model, I wasn't careful enough about the application of glue. Most of these models have sand on their feet. It doesn't sound like a big problem but actually it makes painting the feet a lot harder - and it looks bad.

I used the save overall techniques as used before in my Clanrats/ Slaves 4th Generation Guide but with the addition of a Solar Macharius Wash to get the rust effect.

So...now that I have done another 21, that brings my number of slaves to 51. I can increase that number another 40 by taking out one of my 3 units of 40 clanrats, but I really should consider painting up another 50 actual slaves.

Gutter Runners next I reckon, as they should add a whole level of new tactical options to my horde.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

New enemies to kill kill?!

They may squash us, they may eats us, but they will never defeats us!

...the tunnels are abuzz with rumours of new tall things, shortly to arrive from their mountain fastnesses.
...our brothers in Clan Eshin have sent many scratchings and whisperings to beware of BIG ONE reinforcements - whisperings that any Skaven Warlord would be wise to heed, judging by the images being disseminated!

See below - burn them into your memories - for soon we shall learn all about them and discuss ways to bring them to their knees for the Great Horned Rat!

Die big things! DIE!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Goodbye Games Workshop...


I hope I haven't got this wrong...

...but I was sorry to hear from the manager of my local GW here in a suburb of Tokyo that they, and four other GW branches, will be shut down in the next few weeks. I had popped in to buy some new brushes, "magic sauce" (Devlan Mud) and the latest edition of White Dwarf when I was told.

I wasn't really concentrating too hard on the Japanese used at the time, as I had a long day at work, but it only struck me later that maybe the manager was talking about being closed over the Obon Holiday period? However, one thing that makes me think I heard the manager right was that I notice on their store locator page they now list only 2 GW Hobby Centres (Jinbocho and Nakano). 

As some of you will remember, after the big earthquake I wrote in to GW to see if all the staff were fine and was relieved to hear that they were. I don't know if I heard right and the store really is closing permanently, but IF so, I hope that the employees at those stores will keep their jobs elsewhere within the organization. They were always exceptionally polite and helpful.


Domo-Kun salutes you GW Machida

In other news, the GW Japan website has moved over to the Games Workshop UK site in look and feel, and all access is now being redirected there from Japan.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Army Lists page added - comments please!

A group of Snotlings gamely take on a Clanrat unit...

As many of you will know, I have not been much of a general so far...
...to my shame, not enough battles, and pretty much NO wins!

HOWEVER, I am getting more interested in playing more games now. I now feel I have enough troops painted to swap in and out units to vary my army and play at a wide range of points (Up to around 2500-3000 I guess...)

So I have created an Army Lists Page - you can see the link at the top. I have just added an army I threw together in Army Builder the other day. I would be very grateful if people could comment on these lists when I put them up - but please:

  • ...read the list carefully before commenting and note what I am trying to do with the list. e.g. The first list is a "General" list for taking on all-comers, and NOT a particular enemy army, so when commenting, please think about whether it could serve in that role!
  • ...bear in mind that I am not a competitive gamer, so none of the lists I post are aimed at winning tournaments or competitions.
  • ...understand that even if you aren't a fan of using software personally to build army lists (and there may be errors) I find it convenient to use such software, and I play with a group of friends who don't mind the odd error or two in points totals!
  • ...try to provide constructive criticism rather than just point out weaknesses. If you have a recommendation, why would you recommend a unit etc? (I have been very happy to recently receive comments and emails from people like me who are beginners with Skaven, and who enjoy The Chattering Horde as they find it helpful. Building army lists is one area we beginners could certainly do with some input and help!

So, do please hop on over to the Army Lists Page, take a look and let me know what you think of the list(s)!

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