Sunday, 29 September 2013

Games Day 2013: Going Gonzo

Seminars and engaging in the tongue in cheek snark that was my "fake rumour competition" aside, I didn't really take many notes while talking to people this year. This is a shame, as I generally like to be able to give folk credit for things I pick up while I'm ambling around the hall. I'm not one to post "things people shouldn't be saying". I'll generally try not to lead staffers onto the topics that they can't discuss, and if we hit those topics, I'll generally quickly say "but you can't talk about that" and move on. There's no point wasting my time or theirs dancing around them not telling me anything I'm interested in.

It was a little bit of a pain when I arrived as there was a lot of building work going on around the NIA, and as a result, it was a bit hard to find your way around to the front of the building from my hotel. The large queue of people helped you find where to go, but the separate entry for Golden Demon entrants wasn't mentioned or documented until you were already in the other queue, and some of the people I was with had been unfortunate enough to be in the Golden Demon queue without an entry. Clear signposting and advanced information next time, please, Games Workshop!

While I was in the queue, I found a full page advert in the programme which I had time to upload to the Bell of Lost Souls forum, despite saying I wouldn't post anything until the evening. I then utterly failed as a gonzo journalist by not getting over to the Digital Publications team to get them to spill the beans as to what will be in the new Codex Supplement.

Still, it was nice to see new book releases, whether digital or physical, being first announced at Games Day. And it also wasn't the only one! I found a couple of other 'new' things on the tables as I pottered around.

This weighty box caught my interest - it wasn't anything I'd seen before. After figuring out its clever magnetic locking clasp, this is what I found:

This is a collector's box, consisting of Codex: Chaos Space Marines, Codex: Chaos Demons, Codex: Black Legion, and then, because they all have new cover art, a card slip case containing some prints of the original art for each of the covers. It's a very nice collector's piece, and if something like this comes out for the Guard, I'll be buying it in a heartbeat...

And another book that you first saw at Games Day: Armies of Renown. This is just a coffee table / art book of all the past year's armies out of the White Dwarf, without any real new material, but it's nicely done. Its very much a vanity piece, and not something you need, but the quality was good. Lots of eye candy that might be interesting to someone who doesn't have a subscription.

Forge World had so many new models, and I hardly got to picture any of them. This is the new Sicarius Venator, which is very pretty. I missed several Horus Heresy units in the flesh, and Lorgar, who I incidentally like from the photos other people have posted.

I then got to have a lovely talk to some of the sculptors who worked on the Dark Elf range and Mat Ward, who is absolutely adorable in person, as long as you don't troll the poor sod about stuff he did half a decade ago.

I sadly didn't get any good photos at this point, but I felt there was some good discussions about the Dark Elf range, which are worth including.

The new Dark Elf Warrior sprue is vastly under-rated. The sculpts are solid, but they are designed for ease of assembly, not for massive flexibility. The technical challenge of fitting three different weapon options onto the sprue is immense. It is packed right to the tolerance limits of what the current moulds can take, and both the sculptor and the production team have worked very close together to make that happen. The price point on them is surprisingly reasonable, because people are going to need to assemble large units of them, and the weapons options have crowded out any chance to do anything spectacular. This is something that I think GW is under-rated for - putting out solid core choice options with plenty of flexibility.

You then have the far more detailed and kit-bash friendly Witch Elves, which also have an alternate unit option. They are more exciting, they pop out, and they have, unsurprisingly, charged what they think they can get away with. You can complain all you want, but bluntly, I'll be picking some up for 40K kitbashes, and so will many, many other people.

I sadly didn't talk to anyone about the new Hydra and it's cousin, but I did get a chance to speak to some folk about the Cauldron of Blood. This is fascinating in a different way. You have a lot of different hands on it - one team put together the chassis itself, someone else had done some of the concept sketches, and someone else again did the girls, statues and the Medusa.

It gets me really excited from a kit bash stand point. The statue of Khaine could easily be painted as an Avatar of Khaine, just as he is. The Medusa is just a gorgeous model I want to paint for the sake of it, but could also quite happily be done as a bronze statue with verdigris - several of the parts could be used to decorate Dark Eldar vehicles . . . the list just goes on.

Which does lead on to the elephant in the room. Or rather . . . the breast in the room. The Medusa is showing a little more flesh than we usually see on GW models, but I think Aragorn has really pulled it off well. Specifically, you don't look at the bare breast when you see the model, but other focal points instead. I get the impression he probably had to have quite a few design discussions around that particular artistic choice, but I'm glad he stuck to his guns, because I think it's the right look artistically, and I hope there's not too many negative assumptions about it.

Tammy's gorgeous models, which I'm just going to
liberally dash through sections I don't have pics for

I also had some good chats with some of the more project-y people which gave some interesting insight into what's going on in the Studio at the moment. It is very, very hard to get anyone to point to how the decision making process works with regards to what armies are coming next. In particular, no-one is willing to identify who makes the decision. What follows is a mix of statement from staff and speculation about how it all fits together. I don't really hold it against them for keeping it quiet as to who makes the decision, because whoever that poor sod / committee is, they would get constant hatred, hassle and stress from the internet at large and any passing schmuck at a convention.

So, last year I commented on how GW is currently going through a "model led" cycle, where the book releases are being dictated by the models that the designers have come up with. This year, I've managed to get a little more detail on that.

It starts off with early concept sketches that are passed up to senior management. They look at a variety of factors. This includes if they think the idea is good enough / fits with the existing IP. It also covers current guidelines - you're seeing a lot of infantry kits with dual use right now, and that is not by chance - it's a deliberate decision.

They then need to work together enough different ideas to fit neatly into a release. Do you have an awesome headline unit that can go on the White Dwarf cover? Are you bringing some kits across out of metal or finecast and into plastic? That last bit leads into the next question. Will it make money? That does sound daft, but GW does need to pay the shareholders, so if you want to get a greenlight, your ideas need to be commercially viable. You need to get enough sales to pay for the sculptors, the painters, the book guys, the moulds, shipping the models around the world . . . a bad decision here would be very pricey for GW as a whole.

I hope that adds a bit more detail to "the sculptors come up with the kits". There can be more concrete guidances - like with the Dark Elves, where there was a very low percentage of plastic kits, so more love was clearly needed.

That does bode well in general for the other armies seeing neglect - Wood Elves, Bretonnians and Sisters of Battle spring to mind - but the Dark Elf release is a big one, and despite its size is not going to be as profitable as it could be. I strongly suspect that its placing after Space Marines is very deliberate, using the profits from Space Marines to reduce the risk of Dark Elves not selling as well as they might otherwise. I may have a look at what October has seen for the past couple of years, because it could be a good place to put a mid or lower range seller after a big splash in September for the start of the school year, and before November's start towards the Christmas push.

The Warhammer Quest game, which I have on my iPad, is going to get another expansion soon. The expansion is called "The Brutal Tribe". Three new warriors (Shadow Warriors, Bright Wizard and Ogre Irongut) and enemies of Savage Orcs and Stone Trolls.

I failed to get the name of this game. I'm a terrible person. It's a sideways scrolling shooty-blasty game with Space Marines vs Orks. You can't ever go backwards, because Space Marines never retreat. Nice, quick, simply retro fun. It looks ridiculous, and I want it.

Then I came to Slytherine's banner. I was moderately interested.

OK. Now I'm very interested. Armageddon the cardboard token game was something that came out when I was at school, and the Imperial Guard in it are something that holds my interest to this day as a player. I had a nice long chat with the games developers on this. They're looking at a turn based hex game, with a massive number of units.

And they have not released any screen shots so far. At the time I was talking to them, no-one had taken any shots of the screen either . . . so it looks like I have the world exclusive...

World exclusive!
I love the look of it. It's hex based, turn based, and totally retro. I remember playing games like this back in school when this was top of the range where I absolutely wished that I could be doing a 40K version. I even tried modding some, to precisely no success whatsoever.

Up on the balcony, I don't think they got as much footfall as they could have. I actually felt a little guilty when they offered to put me on their media mailing list. I'm really not in the sort of league that deserves that in terms of readership or followers. I try and be up front when I say that I'm a blogger that I go on to say that I'm also a rubbish one...

Still, this is going to be an absolute must buy for me when it comes out. Apparently it'll be iPad and PC first, then Android and similar later.

Oh, and some extra stuff - they're starting on the 2nd War for Armageddon, and if that's a success will move onto the 3rd War, but probably not the 1st, due to the oddness of massive psychic power use it may not make a great campaign. They'd probably then look at other races and theatres, depending on interest.

There was then a short detour when I spotted this was the state of the shopping area! I had some models to pick up for a friend, as well as wanting the show only model for me. I was tempted by a bit more Forge World and a bit more Direct Only stuff, but I held my course and didn't go too mad. I've stuck to the Event Only Forge World models and Marco Colombo (no, I have no idea what I'm going to do with him).

I had a nice interesting chat with Phil Kelly, firstly making sure he was not super mad at me for anything I said about him from Enter the Citadel. He wasn't. Which was good. If Phil Kelly hated me, I would not survive the internet long.

We had a quick chat while I side-stepped people coming for signatures until the queue got long enough that I got guilty and snuck along to Jervis. I'll explain Jervis' little game in a separate post, because this is going to be long enough as it is!

With Phil, we had a nice talk about how rules don't necessarily need to be sacrosanct, and if you want to make something up yourself, or do something cool, then you shouldn't be restricted by just the rules as they're currently written.

Between that and the joking around the "Best False Rumour", we did get into a bit of a discussion where he came out as a bit of a closet H'rud fan. The idea of an army design which is relatively physically weak, but works through aura type damage and weakening their opponents seemed to intrigue him a bit. It was completely spit-balling, so don't expect anything - it was something he and I kind of made up together on the spot. But it was a cool moment. It did also lead on to the comment that with the allies system, things like a small Xenos release weren't impossible any more, because you could start them off (or even keep them) as a small allied Codex to work with others.

So, recently Dakka had a post claiming that Jes Bickham was leaving White Dwarf. I posted at the time thinking it unlikely and pointing out that the Deputy Editor post was recently advertised, so it was likely that Andrew Kendrick was leaving / had left. At the time, people suggested it was because Jes was leaving and Andrew was taking over as full editor. As you'll see from the banner - Jes is still there, and Andrew has moved on to other projects. I did ask as well, and no, Jes is not planning on leaving in the near future. Rumours are a difficult thing to get right, so here's one that's actually properly cleared up.

I had a last minute dash around the Forge World stands and got a couple of last photos of some of the things that were there.

These are WiP, and not finished yet. There may still be some changes (there's debates about the head of the one who doesn't have an ax), but it gives a good idea on things. Impressively, some feedback I gave about the horror that is pipes that gap away from the main body (bridges ending up stronger than the model part) actually resulted in the sculptor (whose name I totally failed to get) saying that he'd be careful to avoid that. Did I just accidentally get involved in a design decision? It definitely had me feeling like feedback was listened to, in any event!

And finally, here was an assault claw all deployed and smashed into the side of a space ship. This display was gorgeous, and sadly, I didn't have time to grab any more photos of it.

I'll be posting a little bit of a summing up and an index page to all my Games Day posts some point soon, but this is now all the facts, rumours and wild speculation I managed to gather on my trip around Games Day 2013.

Games Day 2013: Forge World Seminar Q&A

So, then we moved onto the Q&A session with Forge World. No pictures here, as multiple pictures of Tony pointing at people isn't really a good use of bandwidth...

Are there going to be Salamanders models?
They are on the list to do. They have some ideas for them. Maybe early next year?

Are you planning to do an XV25 / XV8 crossbreed Tau battlesuit?
They would like to do more in the way of battle suits. They have some unused concepts. Maybe another R'varna scale suit rather than something between the existing suit sizes. They'd like to do another within the next couple of years.

When will we see rules for the R'varna?
They are play-testing the rules at the moment. Hopefully they will get something online within the next couple of weeks.

What will be the timing for the second Horus Heresy trilogy of books?
Tony said to take these timings with a lot of caution. He admits himself that he is not great on timescales... He would hope to have Book 3 out in March 2013. Prospero could possible be in 2014, with Calth and Signus in 2015. But they have found that trying to get two of the Horus Heresy books out in a year can be a massive amount of work, but they're also getting the hang of it, with two and a (half or third, depending on whether you talk to Tony or Alan) under their belts...

What happened to Warhammer: Blackfire Pass?
It is currently not scheduled. It was put back for the Horus Heresy. They hope to get it done next year, but can't promise anything.

What about the K'daai Destroyer?
Within two or three months - maybe January or February at the outside...

Can we have some bat helms for the Night Lords?
They want to do accessories for all the Legions. They will try and do most of them over the next few months.

When will Mortarion be released?
Paul Rudge is the office Death Guard player, and he's constantly asking when it will be done. Because that's irritated everyone so much, they've now put Mortarion back to 2018.
More seriously, he hasn't been started yet, but they do want to do him soon. He will probably be 6 or 7.
(Have you noticed how they're now numbering Primarchs like Doctors? I wonder which one gets to be Peter Capaldi...)

Will there be some unique units for the Iron Warriors?
Yes. They are still play-testing these, so they are subject to change, depending on both how play-testing goes, and also how the sculpting / models go. They are hoping to get some Terminators done, probably Cataphracts with Cyclone Missile Launchers, like the pictures in the Collected Visions book. They also want to do a siege version of a Heavy Support Squad. Something where you can start to see the evolution towards Havocs.

What about Heresy era xenos?
Not too much. Its something for the distant future. The Imperium has just finished conquering the galaxy. As a result, Xenos aren't particularly significant in this period. This is about the civil war within the Imperium. Most Xenos in this period are dead or in hiding. They come back during the Scouring. In many ways, that's the revenge of the Xenos. If they get to the Scouring, they'll do it then. But they need to do the Heresy first, and do it justice. They have the Imperial army, the Mechanicum, all the Legions.

Where's Bran Redmaw?
Ask Mark Bedford.

Who is sculpting Horus?
Simon Egan.

Has Aeronautica [the epic scale fighter game, not the new 40K book] been discontinued?
Yes. It's out of production. They have limited warehouse space, and while it sold well at the time, it has probably had its day. If you want the rulebooks for it, now is the time to snap them up - numbers of sales are dropping to the point where it doesn't merit a further reprint.

When will we see Thallax special weapons?
That's Will Hayes fault. They didn't like the ones Will did so he's going to have to redo them. Hopefully, that will be early next year.

What specialist Imperial Fists units will there be?
With a similar set of provisos to the Iron Warriors, as the play-testing is unfinished... He hopes to have a unit of Breacher specialists. They may also want to refer to Sigismund's Templars, but expand on the swordsman concept somehow so it isn't just that.

Will there be a Horus Heresy Weekender in 2014?
Yes. It was very popular.

Are you planning more gaming weekends at Warhammer World?
These are set up by the Warhammer World events team, not the Forge World guys, so they don't know.

Are there plans to release the more "at rest" Fulgrim alternative sculpt?
They will probably not release that one. They will do some alternative sculpts. Some of the Traitor Primarchs in particular go through extensive changes, but they do have "extensive wardrobes". A beach bikini edition is probably going too far, though.

Very technical question:
Yes, the Land Raider IIB is one of the Phobos pattern, or Mars Phobos pattern series.

Will there be more upgrade kits like in the old days?
Its inefficient given the size of the range now. There is limited warehouse space, and it takes up two product codes in the warehousing system. They probably won't do many more.

What about other characters from the Heresy?
They want to do all the major characters from the Heresy. Some may be done in sets, some may be individuals. Yes, they do want to do the Sigillite, Garro and Friends.

Are you planning to do a bigger Titan?
They will do a bigger titan but it takes a while. Hopefully, the Warlord will be done in the next two years or so.

Games Day 2013: Forge World Seminar - The Presentation

So, we start off the serious Games Day coverage with the Forge World Seminar. I was in the first one, and there may have been some different questions in the second.

So, here we have Tony Cottrell as Master of Ceremony, Sarcasm and Easy Questions, Alan Bligh on Hard Questions, and Owen Branham on slides (because the NIA didn't stretch to a clever clicky thing).

Warhammer Fantasy Battle / Warhammer Forge

There was a picture of the new River Troll Hag by Trish. It is gorgeous and wrong, and already on the Forge World site.

There was then a preview photograph of the Dread Saurian. Trish had it with her, but it is an unfinished work in progress and there's still some sculpting left to do on that.

Warhammer 40K

Volume 2: Second Edition "War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes" is coming out soon. It will cover all the vehicles Forge World "currently do", which will last for about a month until they release something new. That's Tony's snarky comments, not mine! It will include rules for using the Spartan  in 40K. It will include rules for using a Relic Scarian Battle Tank in 40K.

It has a section called "Selected Glories" - which is lots of information on various battles fought by Space Marines. Andy Hoare has completely re-written this book. It may be out in time for Christmas if they get it back from the printers on time.

(I went down to look at the printers proofs from this later in the day, so will return to this in a later post.)

They also showed some pictures of the Tau R'Varna Battle suit. The pictures have been out for a while, but the release will be a short while yet. Some limited numbers were on sale at Games Day

Horus Heresy

We then moved on to the Horus Heresy, which Tony commented could still have some use in normal games of 40K, but were much less applicable to Warhammer Fantasy or Blood Bowl.

Horus Heresy: Massacre will be part 2 of the first trilogy, and the Part 1 of the Istvaan V Drop Site Massacres. It will include the Iron Hands, Salamanders, Word Bearers and Night Lords Legions. There will also be some more information for the Mechanicum and the Titan Legions. There will also be some additional material for the Emperor's Children, World Eaters, Death Guard and Sons of Horus.

The book will also have the story of the first part of the battle, and the history of the four featured legions. There will be rules for special units, characters and Primarchs. There will be rules for the Mechanicum units, and a campaign system.

There were then several slides of illustrations of models. I spotted a Salamander Contemptor which had two melta weapons, but wasn't able to get a photograph.

They then moved on to new models, some of which have already been promoted in Forge World newsletters and similar. They showed the Iron Hands Relic Contemptor, which was done by Israel Gonzalez. They showed the Emperor's Children Phoenix Terminators by Keith Robertson, the Kakophoni Marines by Steve Whitehead (who also did the Ashen Circle models) and then the Legion Vindicator by Phil Stutcinskas.

They showed off pictures of the Fire Raptor that Stuart Williamson has done and mentioned that the side guns have several options including autocannons, and that you can open up the shield segment to see the Marine gunner inside. They also showed the Erebus and Kor Phaeron models, along with Ferrus Manus, all done by Simon Egan.

Only other photo I got in the Seminar.
It's not relevant, but work with me here.

It then moved on to the newer stuff. They showed the Legion Sicarus Venator by Phil - I got some photos of that at the Forge World stand, and I'll include that in my "wandering the halls" post later. That should be done in a month or so, but wasn't out at Games Day. They also showed some gorgeous pictures of some Mechanicum Thralls, which they are going to see if they can make compatible with the Imperial Guard plastics. There were then some photos of the Mechanicum Myrmidions, which will be bigger than Terminators, and still very much a work in progress.

They showed some pretty pictures of a Legion Basilisk, complete with Marine crew. The crew are not having a cup of tea, although Tony said they were for a short while, he was lying. They showed a Mark IIB Land Raider Achilles that Stuart Williamson is working on.

They also showed off the Legion Kharybdis Assault Claw, which can either be modelled landed or on a flight stand on it's side. There is also a game you can play where you see how long you can cope with wearing it as a hat, but it is quite painful and Tony never told us that because he doesn't want to be blamed when someone gets hurt or drops a model on the floor...

There were even more gorgeous models to come! Iron Hands Medusan Immortals by Israel again, which are a Breacher Marine specialist squad. There was a squad of Death Guard Legion Grave Wardens, and Night Raptor Assault Marines.

Lorgar was at Games Day, although I did not see him. He has been sculpted by Edgar. He should be available in a couple of months.

Then we have Primarch Number 5. He is half finished. He does not have trousers at the moment. Simon Egan is working on him and is aiming for next year.

They showed us a shot for a very short amount of time. A lot of people blatantly had cameras out, so they did not keep him up long and lo, did my camera decide to refocus at a really inopportune moment...

So yes, that photo is rubbish. Someone will have gotten a better one - a lot of people were snapping at that moment. It's Horus, and he looks pretty awesome.

Book 3 will be called Extermination. They are aiming for Easter-ish next year. It is part 2 of Istvaan V, but also includes the Battle of Phall (Iron Warriors vs Imperial Fists) and the First Battle of Paramar. Only one person there knew what the battle of Paramar was...

Book 3 will include the Raven Guard, the Iron Warriors, the Alpha Legion and the Imperial Fists. It will also include the Legio Gryphonicus and the Legio Fureans (maybe, my handwriting is a squiggle then) AKA the Tiger Eyes. Impressively, someone in the audience correctly quoted that they first appeared in White Dwarf 109 and that Tony had designed their original colour scheme...

After Book 3 comes the next trilogy: Prospero, Signus and Calth. Prospero will include the Custodes and Sisters of Silence. Signus is a battle between the Blood Angels and Demons, and will also include some Dark Angels on "Sarun"? (may be wrong, again, can't find correct spelling on the internet.)

Calth will include Ultramarines against the Word Bearers, but also include some traitor Imperial Army.

This was then the end of the seminar presentation, and moved on to general questions, which I will cover in my next post.

Games Day 2013: Fake Rumour Competition

So, I'm back from Games Day 2013.

As a 'teaser', while I'm writing up all the interesting things I saw and learnt, I asked some of the staff to come up with the best "fake rumour" they could think of. Some of them were good enough sports to join in, so here's the "entries".

Mat Ward: "Mat Ward is working on ______."

Phil Kelly: "We're doing Codex: Primarchs next. We're moving the story on they've broken into the Emperor's original gene labs, and managed to clone the Primarchs. Every model in the army is a cloned Primarch."

Jervis Johnson: "This is my first draft of the next edition of 40K."

Tammy: "Fish people are next."

Jes Bickham: "We're going to combine Wood Elves and Bretonnians into one book as they're in the same geographical area. It'll be great. There's a new unit in there which is a flying forest hog."

Andy Hoare: "We're doing an Inquisition skirmish game."

Andy Hoare: "We're doing a Titan skirmish game."

Alan Bligh: "We're doing Ogryn Empires. It's like the Ogre Kingdoms book, but in 40K."

Talima: "30K in 30 minutes..."

Please don't be too angry with any of them. I goaded them all into it. I'm a terrible influence.

Proper reports to follow shortly!

In the meantime, whose fake rumour do you think is best?

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Games Day 2013: Preparations

So, time for a little bit of Gonzo reporting on the blog. I'm up in Birmingham for Games Day again this year, and my experiences last year mean that I'm trying a few things to try and make it all a little bit slicker this year.

I packed everything this morning, having made a List. This is something I'm growing more and more fond of as time goes on. The creation of a List makes things much more organised.

So, I set off through the wilds of East London, which before midday on a weekend is populated only by pensioners, runners, and people on Community Payback. I really wish I was kidding. I had considered throwing in one of my photos from the London riots that I took of my neighbourhood, but sadly, I don't have any to hand, so that gag is going to have to go to waste.

I didn't have long to wait at my local station, which was fortunate, as clouds of acrid, chemical laden smoke were drifting across the area as someone in the local allotments burnt something. The grim darkness of the far future is not hard to imagine given the sordid dystopia I'm currently stuck in.

I mean really, this is the look people chose to design into our local interchange. It looks like the set of some movie where they are constantly watching your every move and can arrest you and lock you up under the slightest suspicion.

Oh, wait.

Never mind.

That said, I like these sort of pictures as they do provide excellent references for realistic near future scenery. I do need to go out and spend some time photographing rotting brickwork and corroded pipes, but I needed to get a shuffle on to make my train, so now we will jump ahead to my next method of transport...

I didn't realise that Virgin Trains were linked to the Iron Warriors (go hazard stripes!)... I liked this shot of Euston in particular because of the train receding off into the bright light of above ground.

The journey was especially civilised as my post man had deigned to drop the latest White Dwarf off before I left the house, to the probably irritation of my darling wife back home who is probably wondering where her reading material has gone. Suffice to say I am blown away by the new Dark Elves, and there are several kits I want just to paint, and some that I'm going to be hunting down for the kit-bashing potential.

I emerged from the train to enter a freakish mirror world. It turns out, you see, that Birmingham New Street station has been completely remodeled. Just enough of it remains the same for the layout and some sections to be familiar, only for staircases to appear where there were none before, and walls where there were previously ways out. It's incredibly disconcerting and disorientating, but fortunately I managed to find my way out, first to find food, and then on to the hotel.

As you can see, I've turned my hotel in to a slick and professional media centre. Well, a media centre on a budget. This should allow me to get some posts up a little sooner after Games Day than last year. I'm not going to give a timescale, though - I've found if there is one thing I've learnt from amateur blogging, it's not to give people a date for your next post unless it's already written and locked in!

The hotel is a bit cheap and cheerful. Actually, scratch that, it's cheap. It looks like the sort of place hitmen come to lie low, but in reality, it's just a place for stag parties and low rent salesmen attending conferences. Too nice for hookers, too cheap for affairs. Its a sad, soulless place, but it will give me somewhere to sleep before and after the event, which is what I need, really.

Worst kept secret

So, someone is running another blog giveaway, and you get more entries for promoting it. I think everyone who reads this blog knows I am cheap as all hell, so it's time for a bit of cross promotion.

You can find out all about the giveaway by going here.

I am also obliged to say:

"This give away is being sponsored in part by author Patrick Hatt. You can find Mr. Hatt's Amazon Writers Page at"

I'd say that normal service on the blog will now be restored, but that would imply that I won't be posting anything for ages again. Instead, it's Games Day weekend, so expect quite a few posts shortly...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Painted scenery and some assembled Guardsmen

I've had a little time off recently to clear the horror that is my painting area so I can actually get to it. I took the opportunity to re-organise my shelves too, which I'm pretty pleased with.

I managed to complete the Airfix "Afghan House" I picked up during the sad demise of Model Zone. I'm pretty pleased with it, and they're not unreasonably priced as a nice piece of ready assembled scenery. All it needs is painting.

To paint it, I washed it first as I wasn't sure about the mould release agent. It also appeared to be undercoated, but I gave it a light white spray undercoat anyway because I am naturally distrustful.

I based it in Tallarn Sand, then washed it with Agrax Earthshade. I then drybrushed it with Screaming Skull. The rubble pile, I left at this point, but wanted to make it slightly less chalky on the main building, so I washed it lightly with Seraphim Sepia. The damaged areas, especially around the door and windows, had another wash of Agrax Earthshade.

I'm pleased with how this has turned out, and I'm glad I picked it up. Its also a Thing Which I Have Finished, which hasn't happened in a while. Its a nice "quick win" to make me feel motivated by having achieved something.

I also managed to finish up assembling half an Imperial Guard squad.

These are intended to be part of a nice 20 man increase to my infantry platoons. Still, these ones are ready for undercoating now, so I'm a quarter of the way there.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Some future plans, Games Day and Warhammer World

Given the horrible state of my hobby, I thought I should probably try and focus on some positives.

It turns out that the Fallen Princes of Badab don't live far away from me, so I'm throwing down the gauntlet to hopefully get a game in against the Sunblitz Brotherhood. I'm hoping to arrange a game at Dark Sphere some time soon, and if it happens, I'll write up a post to say how it went.

I will be going to Games Day this year, and will be about in Birmingham the day before and not travelling home until the following day. If there are any social plans for before or after the event, please do let me know!

Sim and I are also going to Warhammer World for the Masterclass painting events. This is, obviously, a long time in the future, but if anyone wonders why I'm living off bread and water for the next few months, now you know...

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Where the hell have you been?

I've been having a bit of a break.

Don't mind the wife's knitting...
I've been quite busy with relatives visiting and a big LARP event I was playing in, so I've not had a massive amount of time for war-gaming recently.

So, time to get back to some modelling and painting.

Ah, bugger.

So, before I get back to some modelling and painting, I'm going to need to do some tidying.