Monday 28 February 2022

Pausing to take stock

With February coming to an end, I haven't finished any more models. I finished prepping and undercoating this Griffin I got at Salute from Iron Gate Scenery. I've also tidied up some more Deathwatch, but I still need to take some photos of those.

February was still a pretty productive month, with four Shasvastii, a set of treasure tokens and a Reaper mini all getting painted. Still, with some Kickstarters from last year arriving, as well as picking up the Morat models that are going out of production, I'm planning on avoiding getting any new models that aren't limited edition until I've got the backlog down a bit.

This is what the Morat purchase looks like. I've still got a whole bunch of Shasvastii to do ahead of them, so they're going in a box for now. I'm feeling really good about my Infinity painting. While I've definitely just picked up a few months worth of painting, I'm pretty happy I can plug through it at a reasonable pace and don't feel overwhelmed by it.

The other "avoiding sadness later" purchase was managing to find a copy of the Battletech box, which has been quite difficult to find in the UK. I'm still going to start with the Beginner Box on this one. I've got a lot of keen for painting small mechs at the moment, I just need to be careful not to let that wane because I have other things I need to be doing first...

Everyone has been raving about these new plants from Gamers Grass. They looked interesting so I ordered a few to try out from Bad Squiddo. The next few things I paint that aren't needing to match with an army will probably have some plants on their bases!

I also got sent a freebie in the Bad Squiddo parcel. This is apparently an "Alien Mound". I think it's some nice unusual scatter terrain that will work great for Infinity once it's painted up.

These "The Art Of" books also arrived, but they're going on the shelf for now as I really don't have time to read them. My dearly beloved has been away a few months and is back next week, and most of my free time has gone onto tidying and throwing things out rather than reading (or, in fact, painting).

The plan for next month is mostly around making some improvements to our flat. I don't want to stop painting and hobbying completely, because it would make me miserable. The big task that needs to happen is finishing sorting out the Deathwatch base edges and the repairs to the models damaged in transit. Following that, there's also two assembled batches of Infinity models who need basing texture and zenithal highlights adding before they get put away.

Each of those hobby jobs is quite a bit of "heavy lifting", although there's plenty of satisfaction and emotional payoff when each of the jobs is done. So I need to keep an eye on them in case they start stressing me out, and switch to doing some quick contrast jobs of already ready to paint models for some low effort happy feelings at finishing a model if I need to.

My good friend James of Gonzo History (and the Monster Man Podcast) recently posted some photos of the painted figures of his new D&D campaign party. I found this pretty inspiring as I adore creating D&D characters, and do so at a rate much faster than I can play games of D&D.

This gave me the idea of grouping up a batch of fantasy figures I have into "D&D parties" I could then paint together and make up a little story about. I grabbed some models from my "to paint" tray as a proof of concept for this. I may get to them. I may spend all my hobby time fiddling around with basing sand on Shasvastii and O-12, we'll see.

However, this has reminded me that James is currently running pre-orders / crowdfunding on his old school adventure "The Magonium Mine Murders". It is cheap as anything and will hopefully appeal to a few of my readers, so I thought it worth mentioning.

Friday 25 February 2022

Salute 2021: Fenris Games

As we near the end of the photos I took at Salute, we're on to all the photos I took of the Fenris Games display cabinets . . . Because of the low light in that corner of the hall,  I've made the photos a little larger than I usually do to help you see all the cool and interesting stuff there. Hopefully it won't break your viewer!

First up we have a bunch of models from the Cauldron Warband, a disease ridden bunch of humanoids well suited to fantasy skirmish games or similar.

Here you can see some more members of the Cauldron warband. Surprisingly, the two dwarfs in the bottom left are also listed there... The big lad in the back is the Troll King, who's really rather a hefty model!

Next up we have the lovely Toadstool Brownies. You may recall I painted a few of these when the crowdfunder to produce them was on last year.

I'm not sure if they're in normal production just yet, but if you check in with Fenris Ian he'll let you know if you can order them. I mean, you already follow Fenris on social media and are subscribed to their newsletter, right?

Fenris were also showing off their Wyrdworld Recreated models, which just last week finished a second wave of crowdfunding.

They're a really nice range of assorted anthropomorphic animals. I recently got my pledge and I'm pretty excited to get to them!

Fenris also produce a range of ruins called Rubble City. These are a really clever set of modular resin terrain that will suit a huge range of historical periods due to being large stone buildings that are mostly rubble. I picked up a set of them at Salute and while they're a pretty big modelling project by my standards, I'm hoping to get to them this year so I can show them off on the blog . . .

The Lost Shores Oracle is a huge centrepiece terrain kit that you could happily put on a battlefield or use for a finale battle in a roleplaying game. I literally need to buy a bigger house before I can get one.

Sadly, the druid with the staff in the centre of this photo is only just back on the Fenris website. I dearly love him and do need to get him soon. The Rubble City Adventurers page is where the two folk on his right (our left) are.

You've already seen that I've got the Fenris Ducks. I love them. You should get them too, they're great.

I've also got this Serpentman with two of his buddies in my paint queue. I'm very excited.

Fenris also produce some undead Draugar.

I have a set of the Plague Cultists undercoated and ready to paint. I'm thinking about trying out some weathering powders with them...

Fenris have a really big range of animals, such as these Giant Rats.

Meanwhile, these wolves were part of the Toadstool Brownies crowd funder.

The animal options also include zebras and wild dogs...

There's a wide range of Cthulu monsters... The Fenris range just keeps going on and on!

As any good varied supplier of miniatures, Fenris also have an assortment of zombies.

There's also an assorted range of modern adventurers branded APEX investigators.

Hopefully, this has given you an idea of the wide range of miniatures that Fenris produce. It's worth giving their shop a look!

Wednesday 23 February 2022

One Page Rules: Grimdark Future - Deathwatch vs Genestealer Cult

For the second game of One Page Rules: Grimdark Future, I decided to try some more specialist units - I took a Librarian, Aggressors and Bikes to try out.

I had to deploy my units first, because the Genestealer Cult in Grimdark Future pretty much all get to deploy later and get a free move . . .

So the Deathwatch fanned out through the underhive, searching for the Xenos uprising . . .

The first sign of trouble was a (newly painted) Genestealer sniper, taking pot shots and the Hellblasters.

Genestealers started rushing towards the Intercessor squad, which was quite a worry... 

Swarms of Genestealer squads were starting to show up now . . .

A squad of hybrids led by the Magus advanced, although their mining laser shot wide of their target. The Aggressors moved forward and the unlucky squad simply vanished in a wall of flame, including the Magus . . .

The Genestealers charged into the Intercessor squad, causing absolute carnage.

The Kelermorph gunslinger who was slinking around taking pot shots at opportunistic targets decided that maybe it was best to avoid the Aggressors and snuck away to a different corner of the battlefield . . .

The shotgun armed hybrids moved down a walkway to pepper the Hellblaster squad with shots. With few armoured targets on the Genestealer side the Hellblasters didn't have much of value to shoot at . . .

The Aggressors stomped up to the central hybrid squad, and once more, in a wall of flame, the Genestealer centre just vanished.

The surviving Purestrains, having wiped out the Intercessors, sought revenge of the Hellblasters, but weren't able to cause much damage before the end of the game. This time, the field was in the control of the Deathwatch.

With two games of One Page Rules - Grimdark Future under out belts, what were our thoughts? We both had fun, and the alternating activations helped a lot with making sure that there weren't any horrible "shot off the board before you get to do anything" experiences.

The elite powerful units certainly felt that way, and there's clearly units that are better at dealing with tougher units than others. There's probably quite a bit of tactics here, but we've not learned enough just yet to know what they are.

It was good to get back to some in person gaming, although it does still feel a little strange to do. I definitely want to go back again and get some more games in, as it was an enjoyable time and well worth the trip. Thanks to my opponent for a really fun weekend!

Monday 21 February 2022

One Page Rules: Grimdark Future - Deathwatch vs Word Bearers

This weekend, I managed to dodge the storms to cross London and visit a friend to get some in person gaming in. We decided to try out One Page Rules, a miniatures agnostic set of wargaming rules. We were playing Grimdark Future, a game that is well suited to using existing Warhammer 40,000 units in it.

First up, we chose to play a 1,000 point game pitting my Deathwatch against the vile forces of the Word Bearers. I started off by having my Infiltrators deploy on the right flank and advance up to claim an objective opposite some cultists.

One Page Rules uses alternating activations, so early on I moved my Hellblasters forward to shoot at the Helbrute. They managed to get a couple of wounds off it, but I was worried about the counter attack.

Meanwhile, a Chaos Marine squad advanced towards the Intercessors on my left flank.

The Chaos Cultists charged into the Infiltrators to try and take them out.

Meanwhile, the Reivers, led by the Chaplain, charged into the Helbrute with an obscene number of attacks. However, with the level of its armour and the number of hits it could take, it was still going!

The Chaos Marine squad, named the "Havoc Brothers" by default in One Page Rules, charged into the Intercessor squad. We decided they were clearly in the style of a 90s heel tag team, facing the Prime Brothers face team.

The fight went back and forth, with the Prime Brothers taking some early casualties. They nobly fought back and took out a handful of the Havoc Brothers, before falling to the overwhelming attacks. The upgraded weapons in the Havoc Brothers squad in particular gave them a solid edge.

The Helbrute ripped the Reiver squad apart, and I managed to fail the morale check for the Chaplain, meaning he was captured and removed from play. We felt he was pushed to the floor and ground into the dirt, unable to escape with his armour broken and locked up.

The Helbrute then charged over to the surviving Hellblasters and cut them down.

With the rest of the battle lost, the Infiltrators managed to cut the cultists down, holding a single objective.

The Chaos champion charges into the Infiltrators, but neither side is able to get an edge. With the rest of the battlefield in the hands of Chaos, we called the game there.

We had a chat and felt that One Page Rules looks really promising. The Helbrute was an absolute beast, and would need some serious firepower to remove. The elite units felt worth taking and were able to do quite a lot.

It also didn't take very long at all to play, so after a quick break, we settled in for a second game . . .