An unnerving talent….

I was spacing out the other day, wondering what was going to be next on the project table for me to tinker with when I realized that all the armies I choose to collect, painstakingly paint and game with all seem to be obsolete (pretty much) or do so shortly after my decision.

Sisters of Battle.

Well, we all know where this is right now, well, we don’t, thats actually the whole point. I started collecting my Witch Hunters force back in about 2004 when I wanted to just start collecting and painting minis again. I bought the codex too. It wasn’t until I went uber serious with gaming again (thanks Colin) that I decided to ctually get a playable force together and went out nd bought the 40K rulebook too. Double whammy on this one. No less than 6 months after me buying the rulebook, then that edition was updated to the current edition. DOH! No matter. I picked up the mini ‘rules bits only’ book from the AoBR set, which I still use. Then, all of a sudden, we find out that the Inquisitorial forces of the Imperium are slowly vanishing. Are we getting an overhaul? are we going the way of the Squats? will we actually get plastic Sisters? The last few months have seen Witch Hunters stock disappearing from shelves, including the codex, and then, in turn, the stock becoming unavailable online through GWs web portal. There’s been a lot of nay-sayers and doom bringers on the interwebs, but conversely there have also been some very positive hints and possible ‘leaks’. For the most part, it seems to be the way of GW to snipe a line from sale for it to be released further down the line. This seems positive, although I hope it’s not going to be another year or two off. 50 points for a rhino? pffft! updated codex please!

Black Templars

I decided I wanted to dabble with the Emperors finest, Space Marines. I didn’t want a vanilla force, and certainly not Smurfmarines. I saw the codex for Black Templars and fell in love (figuratively speaking). Maintaining an almost grim, medieval kvltness about them, I thought they were perfect. Well, now I hear that these chaps will be getting a makeover soon, although I also heard on the grapevine they might be axed. I’m more inclined to believe the former rather than the latter, considering the fluff, and the the fact they are a progenetor chapter of the Imperial Fists. Still, I guess we’ll see. Just as well I am putting together an auxillary of Salamanders…. 😉

Tomb Kings

I got bitten by the WFB bug again, and with Colin amassing an Empire force, I wanted to get in on some axes and maces action. I went with Tomb Kings – Skeletons =cool. Egyptian skeletons with a host of nasty stuff and something akin to the Lost ark of the Covenant = epic WIN. I have managed to score an obscene amount of stuff on Ebay for this, which is awesome, so I don’t feel too bad about collecting this army. It wasn’t until I was surfing one of my regular haunts that I started picking up on other TK players getting twitchy as the army doesn’t seem to be getting any love, apparently because of it’s somewhat ‘fringe’ status, and it not being as popular as the usual Orcs, Chaos etc. I’m hoping for a new army book, although it has just been announced that Orcs and Gobbos are to be released in May, so yet again, something else that will probably be the end of this year, start of early next year. I’m reaaaally hoping they make some new minis to coincide with this, as the Liche Priests and Bone Giant minis = f*cking awful.

With so much being up in the air, i’m wondering whether to shelve the SoBs and TKs, concentrate on my Templars see what happens. At least I can proxy the marines :p

Which leads me to my Lizardmen. A newly refurbished army, new book, new minis, and i’m collecting them! HA! nothing can go wrong with this one….

December is here already!

Really, I mean, wow! where is the year going? it only seems like yesterday when I was packing away the holiday ornaments… yikes!

Well, with Yule festivities just around the corner, I dare say that you readers of my humble little blog already have ideas of what you would like to find under your tree this year, so how about you share it with us? Some of the things i’m hoping to get will be:

New Space Marine codex
SM Assault squad (to pad out my already mean ‘hold off plague marines for 4 turns in h2h’ squad)
Terminator set (the beginnings of my Salamander force….)
Razorback or a Predator to give my Black Templars some much needed heavy support
Another Vindicator. Big, shooty, makes big holes. I have a soft spot for ordnance 🙂

also, Lizardmen stuff. I have a Tomb Kings army that is being assembled, but I have been admiring the lizardudes for a while now. We’ll see what the fat dud in red leaves this year, eh?

I recently read a very interesting article at http://lauby.blogspot.com/ – Laubersheimer Industries, written by my good friend John, in which he mentioned actually taking your hobby to work. Ludicrous! you may cry… but, it was something I had actually joked about a couple of times, but it was John’s article that actually spurred me into action.  So, with an impending game on the horizon, and little time at home to do any gaming stuff (I hate it when people call it ‘hobbying’), I decided that I would give it a shot and took my Vindicator kit in to assemble. I packed some glue, knife, plastic clippers and a cutting mat into my trusty backpack.  I would take all the stuff out  just prior to my break.  I assembled it over the course of the week during my lunchbreaks. I would eat my lunch first, which took up about 15 minutes, then, for 45 minutes, I put my sign up on my cube which reads ‘out to lunch’ and commenced construction.  I have to say, the experience is great. It allows me to ‘escape’ for a little while in my work day. I mean, we all spend enough time at work, right, why not make it bearable?

I haven’t ventured as far as actually painting at work, although I am preparing for that step. My Black Templars would be a prime candidate for that, as I could do all the hard-line highlighting at work. It would only require 3 pots of paint and a couple of brushes. Feel the stress melt away! In the meantime, go and take a peep at John’s blog entry on ‘Taking your Hobbies To Work’. I’ll let you know how my venture pans out 😉 So far it has been rewarding, and that was just kitbuilding. Hmmm, I wonder… if I get some tables set up in the conference room with some terrain…..

 

Games Day pics and other stuff!

OK, so, I only took a couple of pictures at Games Day, as there really wasn’t that much to take pictures of, unless you had some super-duper camera with ultra-macro zoom.

I took a bunch of pictures of other stuff as well, like minis and armies, but it was so difficult to snap anything, as there were angled plastic cases they were all behind, which did a great job of reflecting light at you. Oh well. I was actually very suprised to see how many hits this page has had since my original GD post.

In other news, I recently accquired Vulkan He’Stan. I had seen the picture of him in the GW catalogue, sorry, White Dwarf, a few months back and liked the mini. I thought a small contingent of Salamander Space Marines to assist my Templars would be a good idea, so I called up the GW store in Skokie to see if they had him in stock. The voice on the other end told me it was direct order only. What a pain in the ass! I went up to my LGS the day after and there he was, so I bought him from there instead. I really wish they (GW) would carry their ranges (especially new metal character minis) in the stores, as not everyone wants to use the net. They seem to be pushing more and more blisters out of their stores in favor of the boxed sets.

It looks as though the group I game with are gearing up for a campaign of some description – the Invasion of LaPorte is the working title for now. More on that as it happens.

Well, thats it for now, thanks for reading!

From the trenches

Paul

Games Day/Golden Demon Chicago – July 25th 2009

Report

Saturday July 25th, 2009 saw myself and my compadre’s Evan, Colin and Joe heading (in rather cramped conditions) up to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont to hit up Games Day/Golden Demon 2009. To the uninitiated, Games Workshop have a huge event which has displays, speed painting competitions, Forge World and GW sales booths, costume contests, banner contests and the Golden Demon painting awards, all crammed into one, long, overwhelming day.

I think there was a definite suppressed excitement as we made our way down there, thinking about all the great stuff that we could pick up for our respective forces. It was obvious that the main highlight of this jaunt was the fact we could get our claws on lots of Forge World goodness, without having to pay shipping costs on a ridiculously overpriced product.

So, we are dropped off outside, but not after pointing out the other people on their way there who were obviously wargames players (are we that easy to spot?), and also wondering what else was running alongside Games Day. (Apparently there were some ’empowerment conferences’ going on, I later found out).

We head in, get registered and step into the hall, facing a rather large, inflatible Space Marine (a bloody Ultramarine, no less). The first thing I noticed was how empty the hall looked. Upon closer inspection, it was due to the fact that the hall was SO immense, that the hundreds (if not thousands) of people there looked like a small handful. Odd! I bumped into Dan, the manager of the Woodfield Mall store and chatted to him briefly, he was overseeing some super heavy tank battles, which, by the way, was the noisiest section of the whole venue.

It only took a matter of moments for us to scope out where Forge World was, and where the end of the line was to get in there, so, we wombled on over and got in line. Colin graciously offered to stay in line and hold a spot for us, if we wanted to go take a look at the sales booth. Evan and Colin hung back while me and Joe headed over to the sales stand. It’s certainly evident that Games Workshop are wanting to move fully to a plastic range, as all the eye could see where stacks of boxes on tables. It reminded me of a flea market. I had a look around at the stuff they had, which was just all the stuff they have in the stores anyway. With the exception of some ‘Direct Sales’ collector ranges, and the Games Day exclusive mini, there was little to get excited about. There were no price deals, or even things like ‘buy 2 get one free/half price’ affairs either, which all made it seem like an anti climax. Joe and myself did happen to see a table which had a ‘yellowshirt’ dump a big box of markdown blister packs onto a table, into which a ravenous horde of kids scrambled to see what they could get. It was essentially a bunch of crap they could’nt shift in the stores. I saw a lot of Warmaster and LoTR stuff in there, with a couple of 40K/WHFB bits thrown in for good measure.

I snagged a Chimera, Joe snagged some paint, and we headed off back to the line to rejoin Evan and Colin. I’d say we’d been gone about 30 minutes or so at this point, and the lads had only just got to the sectioned off part of the line. I lost track of time eventually in the Forge World line, as we were there so bloody long. It was a great opportunity to yap about anything and anything, and to also make fun of the awkward nerdy types that would go up to the young lady dressed as a Dark Elf and wanted to take a picture of her. Think of Princess Leia in her Slave outfit after listening to a lot of Goth, and that’ll give you an idea of the attire she was wearing. We also were eyeballing t-shirts, or display models or whatnot that we thought were cool, and devised many plots on how to rumble their respective owners to make off with their swag. This usually started with ‘i’ll create a diversion…’ Eventually, after what seemed like a millenia, we made it to the Forge World table. I already knew I wanted the Exorcist missile launcher upgrade kit for a Rhino (as I already have the pipe organ version). The lady who was helping me went and looked, only to find they were all out. Which kinda stumped me, as thats all I really needed at this point. So, to at least make the wait worthwhile, I asked for the Death Guard Terminator upgrades. Nothing. So, I asked if they Had any Blight Drones, which they did have. I looked at it, and it really is a beautiful (?) model, but at this point I couldn’t justify dropping almost $70 on something that won’t see the light of day for ages. Joe was standing with me and we were talking about inducted Guard/Marine forces for Sisters of Battle armies, to which the lady suddenly blurted out some bizarre piece of info that was clearly wrong. Me and Joe exchanged a ‘wtf’ look and carried on browsing the catalogue. nothing else was jumping out at me (that I could use). Heavy hearted I left the FW table empty handed.

Colin, on the other hand, emerged from the FW booth resembling what can only be described as Santa Claus on christmas eve. The bag of stuff he bought was HUGE, and I shuddered at the mere thought of what he just dropped in there. Games Workshop love this man. Evan snagged some very tasty renegade militia models, and the uber sexay ‘Blood Slaughterer’, which looks like a mechanized very angry bug. The detail on this thing is amazing, and i’m looking forward to seeing this bad boy on the field.

We had worked up an appetite at this point, so it was decided that we should go in search of food. We could’ve gone to the restaurant, but lets face it, conventions are notoriously expensive as it is, why would you go down that route? you’d probably have to re-mortgage your house or something for a plate of fries. so we hit the concession stand. We had been talking while in line about each of us entering the terrain building session, as you get to keep what you make, and that would sure help us out with our terrain selection we had. We were going to do this, until we saw the line, which was really, really long, and there was still an hour or more before the next session, so we nixed that idea.

Thankfully the line was virtually non existant at the foodstand, at which I purchased a slice of cheese pizza and a >small< pop for $8. Colin did the same, and Evan picked up a hot dog, at least thats probably what it wanted to be when it grew up. I honestly don’t know how these people can look you in the eye and charge you those prices, as the food was crap. The pizza was like a piece of rubber attached to a piece of very hard, overcooked/stale wood. I couldn’t even bite through the crust! argh!

We floated around the painted army section, and voted for our favorites, then ambled over to the open gaming tables. There were some very nice setups that gave me a lot of inspiration for terrain. From there we went over to this small table that had examples of changes through the ages of various GW games, like the WH40k formats, Space Hulk etc etc. It all seemed a little half-hearted really, like they had found a few bits and pieces and decided to throw together a display. Even the Golden Demon Entries seemed sparse, but i’m not sure if that was maybe because they were scooping up the minis’s to photograph them. There were some truly stunning entries though, which made me want to take a hammer to all my stuff. 🙂

We decided to call it a day after that, as there really was little else to do. I think we were all a little disappointed by what seemed to be a lacklustre event. We all (well, nearly all) achieved our purchasing goals, but it would have been nice to see a little more going on, and a little more for people to check out that weren’t there to play a game. It seemed pretty unanimous that we wouldn’t be returning next year, although I am considering maybe putting an entry into Golden Demon, just to see where I can get 😉

And thats that! I do have pictures, which I will upload and put here, but I wanted to get the blurb up first.

Flamers! Fisting! and a whole lotta 40k…

My love/hate relationship with Ebay…

Ebay can be great, you can find that elusive bargain, that useless bit of crap, or that last item you needed to fill your collection. For wargamers, it can be a mecca of a site to find deleted or OOP minis or whatnot.

I both buy and sell on Ebay, and for the most part its pretty plain sailing. I have had a couple of people in the 7+ years i’ve been on there flake on me, but whatever. I’m a pretty easy going chap, and i’ll always strive to be a quick and efficient seller, and always pay promptly when i’m a buyer, usually as soon as the auction ends. I suppose I expect the same of other people, but alas it is not to be.

I found a back issue of White Dwarf magazine on there that had a cool illustration of a Battle Sister on the cover, and apparently had SoB tactics in one of the articles, so I went in for the kill. I won the auction, paid promptly and waited patiently.

You can imagine my surprise when I received a brown envelope in the mail a week or so later. I wasn’t sure what it was, as it was quite light, and had no return address on it. Seeing the UK postage mark on it, I thought it was something from my dad. I flipped over the envelope only to found out it was open, and empty. I was still baffled as to what it was when I saw that it was mailed from Leicestershire, then I knew that this was (at least once) home to my WD issue I’d won.

A mixture of wonderment and anger as to wtf had happened, obviously someone had helped themselves to my magazine, maybe thinking it was a Hustler or something, then just disgarding it when they found out otherwise. I’m not too sure how many wargames enthusiasts work for the PO, and any that did, the chance of them opening my item and thinking freakin’ xmas had come early. I did notice that it was one of those envelopes that has that tacky stuff under the lip, so you just squeeze it shut. The problem with these is that you can open them and reseal them with no problem. The seller hadn’t even bothered to seal an envelope with tape for an international sale!

So, long story short, I took some pictures right away and contacted the seller who was vague at best about what to do. So, after 3 attempts I decided, ‘no more mr nice guy’ and i’m currently slogging it out with PayPal to get my moolah back, as the sellers irresponsibility had left me without a magazine and down some cash. We’ll see what happens.

On the plus side, I did just score a Tomb Kings Screaming Skull catapult for less than 50% retail price – take THAT Games Workshop and your ever inflating prices! 🙂

War-torn and bleeding…

Can you see the dawn approach?
or see the fire in the sky?
Now the closing chapter of humanity,
the inevitable fate of mankind

Can you still believe in hope
on this darkest day you have known?
Will you still thank your precious god
or have the seeds of doubt been sown?

Will you admire the landscape
of broken bodies, of fallen men?
will you know the falling rain
as it burns onto your skin?

Devastation – untold
Pain and misery
the dying breath of hope
war-torn and bleeding…

Will you attempt in vain
to wash the bloodstains from your hands?
will you stop to lament the lost
their lives offered in your name?

Like a statue will you stand and stare
as though a cenotaph of despair
an inscription no-one will read
in this your final hour of need…

battlefield