Thursday, 7 December 2017

Shadespire Orcs – They're Very Green!

I know I said in the previous post that there may be a new purchase soon, but even I didn't expect it within 48 hours. A fortuitous need to go to town during my lunch hour yesterday saw me drift by the GW store on the off-chance they had the Shadespire Orcs in stock. Needless to say they did, and the associated green dice, and before I knew it I had completed (for now) the set of available Shadespire warbands and coloured gem dice.

Now, as you may know I am not an Orc/Ork player – never have been, never had any interest in them. Yet, whilst I was sticking them together I took in all the detail on the models and I really like them. I think the poses are a little more clumsy than the other warbands, but maybe that's an Orc thing. Bull has expressed his dislike of the new armoured Orcs on several occasions, but seeing them in their bare green plastic I began to wonder whether it was the gaudy yellow paint scheme that's put on them by GW that's putting him off. The models themselves are rather cool (I think) and if done in a black/rusty metal (i.e. traditional Ork) colour scheme they could look awesome.

One of the most interesting things I discovered, having all four warbands together on the desk, was the variety in model sizes. The scale of the individual warband seems to almost be a correlation with the number of models in the warband. For example – the Liberators and Ironjawz are by far the largest models and have 3 and 4 models in their respective warbands, the Bloodreavers come next in size and have a warband of 5, then the Skeleton Guard are quite small and are 7 in number.

Models aside, the real star of the show is the gaming board artwork. Having compiled the gaming boards for Aetherium, I take a lot of interest in seeing how others solved problems we also had – these are very effective boards indeed. The underlying artwork is simply stunning, yet doesn't detract from the grid, it's all nicely balanced.

I have to say I think the starter box is really good value at £35-40 (depending upon where you purchase), and the game itself is neat and compact both in terms of core box content and expansions (unlike Imperial Assault which is taking over my gaming cupboard).

I hear two additional warbands have been announced – Dwarves and Skaven, the latter can be found on YouTube somewhere – and I was told today that there will be another Liberator warband (with crossbows?) and another Khorne warband (with a boss who has a daemon pet). To be honest, none of these really tickle my fancy, so I'm more than happy with the 4 warbands I have!

Perhaps for the first time, there is nothing hobby related that I want for Christmas!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Scaling Things Back With Shadespire

Well I managed to go the whole of November without posting, mainly due to not much happening.

There's been no 40k gaming since August, and no Imperial Assault since the very beginning of November. Even the buying of Imperial Assault gear has stopped as the initial 'thirst' subsided. In fact it's been a veritable hobby desert for the last four weeks.

I've been doing various bits of reading, mostly about the new Necromunda, but the thought of having another box set full of 20+ models that needed building and painting made me light-headed. After an initial flurry of painting my Dark Templar Primaris marines back in October (and to be fair most of them are now purple), my painting mojo has gone – I've even sold off some of the unpainted Primaris models, including the enormous Redemptor Dreadnought. Gone too are several Zombicide Black Plague survivor models as I attempt to clean house and claw back some of the funds spent.

However, never one to pass on new shinies, GW's Shadespire caught my attention and I had to investigate further. Given that the mechanics are not dissimilar to Imperial Assault Skirmish (and sums up what I've been trying to do with Dark Crucible all these years), it held my attention long enough to watch a game or two online and buy the box set.

To be blunt, the models are stunning and considering they're push-fit (not that I didn't use glue myself), I'm so very impressed. Lots of character and movement – everything I've been crying out for in models for… well, decades. In fact I was so impressed I ordered the Sepulchral Guard expansion to get my hands on more. Of course I had to have the corresponding coloured dice – call it a Christmas present to myself. Games Workshop really do have the quality and presentation thing sorted – in that respect they are the Apple of the gaming industry.

I don't know if I'll ever get to play Shadespire, but I like the idea of the mechanics and I love the setting, game board art and the models. I always wanted to dip my toe into the new-look Warhammer AoS without investing lots of money and time – this may be the solution. I am still missing the Orks expansion, mainly because I've never bought Orks before it never entered my head!

Don't be surprised to see another expansion purchase soon!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Hobby Update: Space Marines and Darth Vader

The blog may have sat idle for a month but hobby things have actually been good overall during September and into October.

Whilst it's been nearly 2 months since my last game of 40k I made the decision mid-September to get as much purple paint on my Dark Templar Primaris marines as I could. Inevitably this has faltered a little since the arrival of Imperial Assault, but I did manage to get my 7-man Intercessor unit complete but for detailing (above). I'm very pleased with the way I stuck at it through the tedious process of painting space marine armour.

The belle of the ball, however, has been Imperial Assault. It became something of an addiction over the last month, finding new purchases arriving almost every day. We had a demo day at the end of September as part of my annual birthday gaming day, playing the Skirmish version exclusively. I had done my research, mostly watching YouTube videos of others playing the game, but it gave me a good idea of how the game played and even useful tactics and team construction.

With something so Star Wars orientated, containing such great character models, I had to start painting them. Of course it was the Imperials who found their way to the front of the paint queue first and I've had some fun painting models from the core box.

Gaming-wise I've had a total of 4 games now, against 2 different opponents, and the honours are even. My opening game saw a close match against Mr Awdry's Rebels – it came down to the wire and ended when Luke shot Darth Vader in the back (several times) in a very cowardly fashion. Game two saw a tweaked Imperial list face off against Mr Awdy's Scum bounty hunters. Another close game with Vader managing to carry the victory home. My third game on birthday game day saw a first game for Fugs who dropped by to see what the fuss was about. Vader again managed to dominate (and hang on to his last few wounds) for a solid victory.

Fugs bounced back this week however with a keenly fought game. My non-Vader Imperial list had fought back from a poor start and the game went down to the wire. Kayn Somos and an Imperial Guard trying to finish off Luke and Gideon Argus. With Argus hiding well away from the fight Fugs pulled off a genius move, playing the Son of Skywalker card at the perfect time, giving Luke 3 consecutive activations without the chance of a response. My Imperial boys couldn't weather that volume of shooting and Fugs got his revenge.

It's a brutal game, and it didn't take long for us to get into a flow. There are a lot of special rules, but a fraction of those in 40k or Malifaux, so a couple of games in and we're flying. Next we want to look at the Campaign version of the game, though that looks a might more complicated.

I've had a week's break from hobby things now, so looking to jump back in. Looking forward in particular to painting more of my Dark Templar Primaris marines, and maybe even some of my Nurgle!!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Imperial Assault – I Blame Mr Awdry!

It's been a few weeks since the last game of 40k and a new suitor has crept into view.

Imperial Assault by FFG has been on my radar since the day it was first announced 3+ years ago. I had been enamoured with X-Wing for a while so when I heard they were doing character miniatures I was over the moon ("that's no moon, it's a space station!"). I had collected lots of WotC Star Wars miniatures many years ago, and lost them (long story), so this was perfect. However, knowing it would be a complete money sink and unsure how much I would actually play the game (I don't get to play X-Wing much) I somehow managed to stay clear.

Then our good friend Mr Awdry announced that he had "accidentally" acquired Imperial Assault – not only that but the photos displayed on his website betrayed the fact that he had bought at least a couple of expansions and a host of boosters as well! He told me about how wonderful the models were and how fantastic the game was. Zombicide meets Star Wars – two of my favourite things in one game.

Mr Awdry even sent me photos of the amazing miniatures

I was starting to wobble in my hardline stance against a purchase. Then I made a fatal mistake… I downloaded the rules to read. Then I went onto the Chaos Cards website (our local store) and saw everything Imperial Assault related was cheaper there than anywhere else. I couldn't help myself. My finger slipped and before I knew it I had ordered some character boosters.

With the core box game due to arrive in the next 48 hours I picked up aforementioned boosters from the post office today and paraded them about the office desk, basking in their Star Wars goodness.

But you see it doesn't stop there – oh no!

Having just resigned myself to a new board game in the cupboard, with plenty of expansions and boosters to collect, I discovered the hype about a new game due early next year…

Star Wars: Legion is a miniature wargame, akin to 40k by what I am reading. It would appear that this is the miniatures game I have been looking for my entire life!! If I am able to field an army of Imperials with a few bounty hunters and Sith thrown in for good measure I think I may have died and gone to heaven. Rules are due online prior to release, but having seen some demos on YouTube there would appear to be a similarity with X-Wing.

That'll do me – heaven awaits!


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