Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Young Farts

The base colour and the shading is complete on the pirates...

A meme I have noticed floating around the web is the criticism of GW by the rather snide reference to 'modern rulesets'.

Quite what these modern rulesets are is never made clear, and neither is it what makes these rulesets modern. But then I guess this sort of thing is simply a function of the internet age.

Speaking of historical gaming, I was rather pleased to find that the 40k for Old Men podcast has morphed into 6's3Hit. I was equally pleased to see that the morphing had led to the podcast losing it's pointlessly sour tone towards the subject, based largely on the insanity of interwebz forums. The show has returned to it's good natured approach to the hobby, helped by widening the topics to more than just GW games.

Which brings me to my historical gaming reference, as the host, Simon, is roughly my age and he was reminiscing about his hobbying career and I was amused to see how it mirrored mine. I can claim to have been involved longer (which as we know on the interwebz makes me more of an expert), having first become really involved with the purchase of Miniature Wargames no21, but no matter,

My point is more to do with the pre-internet age, and the law of eternal return,

What strikes my about 'modern wargaming rules' is that they are not modern at all. All they represent is a return to ideas that fell out of favour for one reason or another in the dim and distant past, for one reason or another - usually because people couldn't find an opponent.

But then according to the those who wish to further the meme, we are currently living in a golden age of wargmaing, in which we have never had more choice. Which may or may not be the case, but I recall back in the olden days being able to go to the local model shop, and among the sparse offering of Navwar ships, Roundway minis and the odd Dixon, was a choice of rule sets, 6 or 8 for all the main historical periods - and these were just the main rules, If you wanted to go down the mail order route the choice was just as varied and numerous as it is today.

The only difference was that you had to put a little more effort into making your choices - and perhaps had to cross your fingers that you could find a club, or a friend, locally who would want to play the scale, period, rules that you had chosen.

What I find amusing about the criticism of GW rules as archaic, is that they were archaic at the time they were written, seeing as they were a rip off of WRG 6th edition ancients (with the figure and ground scales removed so as not to confuse the role players at whom they were targeted, and the casualties tables simplified to removal of whole figures (a la Charles Grant)). When Warhammer Fantasy came out WRG was already moving toward not removing casualties and a faster playstyle that would eventually result in the Marmite DBM, WRG at the time was the major ruleset, and funnily enough came with a series of army books, and was pretty much everything that GW is today - but without the internet,

And as we know nothing existed before the internet, and nothing is true unless the internet says so.


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Another One Eats Dust

The Command Vehicle for the IG Police Platoon is done....

And a picture with the command squad.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Toying with Names

The Command Vehicle is nearly done...

I have been trying to work out a story for the Chaos Chapter, that has suddenly been added to my painting queue.

I have established that they are Renegades, fanatically devoted to Tzeentch, and allied with a pirate gang, but beyond considering using the Norse/Anglo Saxon concept of wyrrd I haven't been able to pin a concept to them. That is until I was entertaining the kids while we were waiting for our tea, and I happened to pick up a kaleidoscope.What could be more Tzeentch?

And what could tap into old school GW punning than a chapter called the Kaleido Scouts?

A close combat focused, high mobility force, from the home world of Kalei.

I like it.


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Ya Ha Me Hearties

Oh well, so much for not starting a new project....

In fairness this is not entirely my fault.

It was my birthday, and my eldest is of the belief that in order to keep the world on it's access Daddy has to have soldiers for birthdays and Christmas. And by the same token, a present is not a present unless it comes in a  big box.

I am not entirely disappointed (I'm not disappointed at all) as no matter how hard I have tried I cannot make a list that matches my idea of what I wanted for the Warriors of Chaos. Add to this that my eldest is also keen to play soldiers with Daddy, And the Chaos figures in the Dark Vengence set fit nicely with the police Imperial Guard force I have been building, and the two fit nicely in a game like Necromunda - which will serve as a nice introduction to family strife on the table top.

So I have spent some quality parenting time with my kids helping me to cut the models from the sprue, glue them together, and do the bases - though have kept them well away from the painting. I was also rather pleased when my eldest declared he would make some buildings at school for our games.

As for myself, I found a rather good Chaos Marine chapter generator online, where by use of D10 dice one was able to generate the background of one's chapter. Thus I was able to ascertain that I have a force that is fanatically devoted to Tzeench, are renegades, and allied with pirates - which is ideal given that I don't really dig the notion of cultists.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Never Feed the Hunger

A quiet day on the painting front...

Finished the base coating of the command vehicle, and started on the second coat.

With a number of unpainted projects in various states of abandon, I really am loathe too start on another. Therefore I am fighting my urge to expand the painting project of the Nurgle Warriors of Choas, into a Nurgle Warriors of Chaos army.

Thankfully Battlescribe is acting as a brake on this impulse because no matter how I try, I cannot find a 2000 point army that fits what I would want to do with the army.

Plus, I don't really want to go through the whole army building process again, without building it through a Warbands campaign, and some kind of esculation style play.

But those things aside, the idea I am working on is a list that exploits the ability of the Warshine to turn heroes into Demon Princes and Spawn. My original idea was to use bare-bones units of 10 Marauders, who hang around behind the rest of the army in the hope that the favour of Nurgle shines upon them. The problem is that these units are 70 points, and without armour or shields these units are effectively free points.

The next problem I run into is that because I want a mono-Nurgle list, I also want to have the lords and heroes riding on palanquins. Which means they also need to have a unit to protect them. Ideally I would have a BSB and 2 lvl 3s, that means I need 3 units of warriors, and since I don't want all my eggs in one basket the units need to be of sufficient size to be able to fight. But, in no time at all I have no space left for the toys like the Gorbeast chariot, Chimerea, and trolls.

And yet as soon as I start going down this route, I find myself chastising myself that I should be concentrating on the projects I already have on hand - the Spanish Napoleonics, the 1/300th WWII, the Romans and the Imperial Guard.

I guess this is the price you pay for treating yourself to a boy of soldiers for a painting and modelling project.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sweetness and Light

And so the auxiliaries are done.

I've been catching up on episodes of Jaded Gamercast, and was very interested in their observation with regard to the nature of Chaos in the Warhammer word/universe. Whether their observation is based on inside information during their sojourn as chauffeurs for the Black Library authors at the Chestermere expo, I'm not sure.


Traditionally Chaos is portrayed as the essence of evil. Yet curiously there is more evil in your average copy of the Daily Mail then there is in Black Library books - what with murder, rape, child abuse, aspertame, happy slapping, and celebrity crimes against fashion being the currency of the one - whereas the way 'evil' is shown in Black Library fiction is usually by implication, and in juxtaposition, to the actions and sensibilities of the protagonist (who is usually on the side of good).

Even when the character is flawed, there is a sense in which they are capable of redemption - whereas the forces of Chaos cannot be redeemed.... if they are gay, then the Sisters of Battle at the Westboro Baptist Church will be onto the case.


The observation made by the Jaded Gamercast boys, is that rather than the forces of Chaos being the essence of evil, what actually drives them is revenge. Which places the forces of good, in a rather morally ambivalent position - not dissimilar to your average Guardianista student type - in which rather than admit that they are equally driven by an irational desire for revenge against those betray the prescribed top-down social order, in which there is no room for forgiveness.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013


The auxiliaries are almost done...

Well four of them anyway... I lost the will to do the static grass on the rest of them. And, they need varnishing, but I will let the shield transfers settle down before I attempt that.

Next up the Chimera conversion for the the Platoon Command Vehicle...

The original plan was to have a couple of aerials on the back, maybe with a pennant on each, but then I remembered the transport question so I am back to drawing board on what to do with the rear gun ports... I shall no doubt have another rummage through the kids Lego to see what can be pilfered. Failing that, I shall have to hunt out the pin drill and the brass rod... and just find a way to transport it.

Sooner or later I am going to have to dig out the 1/300th WWII stuff I started last summer and paint the rest of it. I rediscovered the bits and pieces I have finished, the other day when I was looking for something else, and was rather pleased with what I found.

And it would appear that WWII is the new hotness in wargaming, if the number of posts on the Warlord forum relating to Bolt Action is anything to go by. I was interested to see the number of threads relating to the rules set has already surpassed Hail Ceasar and Black Powder.

Ok, it is perhaps not a good indicator of success, and more an indication of the learned helplessness of those reared on GW, and their love of pointless prattling in search of validation. And indeed, elsewhere I was rather depressed to see someone praising Warlord for giving out unit information gratis. When I pointed out that the information was freely available, and gave them a link to a site containing the OOB for every nation, from army to squad level, they retorted that it did not have the points value for the game.

So I guess I should re-phase my earlier statement - it would appear that WWII style games are the new hotness.

I wonder what the points value is for a German truck that only has enough petrol to reach the supply point and has to be towed back the depot?

No... that is naughty...

However I was interested to see that Warlord have stopped forum users from posting links to other games companies on their forums. The reason for this is not hard to work out, and it is pretty standard practice (for obvious reasons), yet I find it odd that when GW does this the interwebz NLP programmers claim that this is denying that any other company exists, and proof that the company is only interested in money.

No... that is naughty.... stop it....


Monday, 18 February 2013

Land Rights

One of the painting projects I have ongoing is a Warlord Imperial Roman Starter Army, that I picked up for a song, as their apparent deal with Boyes was not a success.

Here's the Auxilleries...

They are slightly more than half finished. The wood needs doing, and the metal needs highlighting and a few bits of detail work need attention. And obviously the transfers need to be applied to the shields.

But it's eye candy....


Before Christmas the missus was shopping for toys for the kids. The oldest wanted Hobbit Lego. Upon her return the missus observed that it was a pity he was not older because the Hobbit starter game was ten quid cheaper than the Lego.

I mention this because I noticed this thread on Warsneer. The main discussion of the thread concerned changes to the Games Workshop branch in Cambridge which meant that people can't generally hang about the shop - I am sure people are aware of the specifics of this policy, and if you are not the link will fill you in.

The thread was full of the expected interweb memes about GW only wanting to recruit new gamers, and not caring about the 'vets', and all of the side arguments surrounding this, with the expected general level of whinging one comes to expect from an interweb discussion about GW - one needs a heart of stone not to laugh when reading such material.

What interested me was the intervention of Rachelbraund, who apparently signed up just to make this point...

"Speaking as a mother to a 12 year old boy that visits the cambridge store i am glad of these changes.
Having witnessed these groups of older players in the store they clearly make the younger players feel uncomfortable including my son, also when lessons are being taught the older players feel the need to interupt and take time away from the lessons for the younger ones learning.
I was concerned how these changes would effect my son but having spoken to the new manager/staff they have made it clear they are already in the process of setting up clubs within the schools and local community. Some people on here need to concentrate more on supporting the store to do this rather then spend the entire time complaining and causing problems.
Having seen some comments on here from people and them saying they will not visit the store again this actually makes me happier to let my son go to these clubs as I would not be comfortable with the idea of him mixing with those types of people. Im glad my son showed me this website and he is smart enough to make up his own mind and know that change isnt always bad

Now obviously this sort of thing will inflame the nerd-rage of those who hate the 'Little Timmy's', and the parents of 'Little Timmy's' spending their money on 'Little Timmy's' toys, but she does have a point, and from a business standpoint so do GW.

Not least with regard to the issue of child protection. In the words of Adam from the, apparently now defunct, No Gaming in Mississippi podcast, 'would you let one of your gamer buddies babysit your kids?' And hence why there is the whole issue of criminal record checks for people looking to join the GCN, if the intention is to allow under 16's to play at the club.

Now obviously, for reasons of libel, slander, and customer relations GW cannot go around accusing it's customers of being peados, or demand that they have a criminal records check prior to entering their shops when children are present, and so they have adopted the policy of encouraging parents to shop in store at full price (with the additional bonus of raking in the cash with the baby sitting service of the Summer School), and potential peadophiles to join clubs and buy from discount retailers on line (though in fairness they could do more to support and promote the clubs).

Which seems to be a good solution for everyone.... you would have thought...

Speaking of people cluttering up the painting table, talking overloudly of unit nerfing and high prices, and insisting that the rules must be played precisely to the latest FAQ, I listened to an interview with some ex-Outriders on the Second Founding podcast.

Now I have no idea how old these people are, but they sounded really, really old.

And when they started complaining about how the skill had gone out the game with the advent of pre-measuring and doing away with the 'skill' of guessing ranges, I figured that they had obviously been skimping on their pension by eating cat food (known in the UK as Waitrose pork and beef meatballs ;)).

However the part of the interview that really had me laughing was when, without seeing the irony, they slipped into the anti-British thing that is the kneejerk reaction of Know Nothing jingoists. According to them, GW went out of it's way to exclude Americans from the decision making process, and they never liked the American style of play, or that Americans broke their rules (and presumably are the best at the game).

Now obviously I run the risk of a drone strike at this point, the rules being different for foreign nationals as president George W Obama recently made clear when addressing the issue of drone strikes on American soil, but would that be the American wargaming culture that gave the world hordes of grey plastic in 'ardboy events? Or introduced rape and fluff, into the language of toysoldiers? That insists .that any deviation from the rules, or the proscribed scenarios, is heresy? That only winning matters?

Now I know that these grognards were not promoting the consumerist culture of grey plastic nihilism, as they made clear painting and modeling was very much part of their hobby. But, I found their bitterness odd.

And they certainly had that streak of conformity, they didn't miss a meme, so prevalent in the land of 'free' (unless you want to die in mysterious circumstances with an AR15 at your side) .

A conformity which the modern corporate GW does not have - though curiously the early GW did have, and which it's various offshoots, Warlord, Mantic, etc have in spades.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

plus c'est la même chose

It's always reassuring to know that some things never change.

Thus after my sojourn from wargaming and modelling I was pleased to see that GW is still the bogeyman of wargaming, with everyone reacting hysterically to everything the company does.

The company has taken down it's Facebook page and withdrawn from Twitter, apparently in response to the outcry surrounding Spots, the Space Marine.

As we know not having a Facebook page is a sign that you are a potential terrorist, and not having a Twitter account is a sign that you have an agent who is actually working for their 10%. But apparently in the topsy turvey world of the internet angry brigade, it is a cardinal sin because it breaks the accepted wisdom that in the digital age everybody should have the right to vent their spleen at everyone else; which in the wider world usually involves blaming the Jews.

It is all about building 'communities' don't yah know.

Which to be frank is complete and utter bollocks.

If you google Dunbar Number you will find that the ideal size for a community is between 100 and 150 members, which flies in the face of Facebook and Twitter 'communities' which resemble nothing so much as the Los Angeles numpties that promote them - i.e. the aim is to build as wide a circle of 'friends' as possible and then demonstrate your social status by ignoring as many of them as possible.

Now call me old fashioned but I don't want to have a relationship with a company - indeed only last week I was rather curt with some woman from the bank who pestered me for the best part of the week wanting to know what I thought of their service. The only contact I require with a company, once I have purchased the product, is that they replace it if something goes wrong.

But to go back for a moment, I am intrigued to know why Spots, the Space Marine was chosen. Looking at the airbrush art on the printed copy of the book, my first thought was the estate of CS Lewis would be after the writer. But I found myself wondering if there was something in the book that led to the Trademark claim, beyond the title and the sci-fi subject matter; because Trademark, rightly, exists to protect the consumer from confusion (or horsemeat ;)). The fact that Games Workshop backed down, suggests that there was not - which further suggests that the way in which the affair was generated was via google; and possibly via an online image consultant (bloggers with a hit counter will no doubt have come across such companies).

However given that Games Workshop are currently engaged in a legal battle with Chapterhouse, and have run into difficulties elsewhere with regard to trademarks, which in turn have led to the much criticised policy of blackouts with regard to new releases, one can perhaps sympathise with their position - especially given the large amount of fan fiction relating to their various game universes, and the easy access to monitising these works via the Kindle.

Or not, if you are the type to jump on the 'GW bullying again' bandwagon.

Perhaps the most curious stick the hate brigade have dredged up to beat the company with is an editorial by Ian Livingstone in a 1978 White Dwarf. It laments the costs of licensing products, (another cause for dis-satisfaction from the anti-types being the price paid for the Lord of the Rings licence) and is an interesting read, but can hardly be described as relevant seeing as Livingstone sold the company years ago. It's the equivalent of criticising Nokia for no longer making decent rubber boots.

What those choosing to drag up the past fail to mention is that back then Games Workshop was criticised for being expensive, exclusive and not listening to it's customers, plus ca change.

Still, as I say it is nice to see that the various 'communities' continue to rant against the company - oblivious to what the company is actually saying - that it's games are about narrative, role playing (to an extent), and they are not about to tell people how they should be playing their games.

And thus they find themselves in the position of the benign and liberal parent trying to deal with angry and confused offspring up past their bedtime.


Back to the Brush

After a long hiatus, I have been painting again.

The command squad for the Imperial Guard....

And some Nurgle Chaos Warriors
I'm not sure if the Warriors will expand into an army. I just wanted to paint some the figures.