Thursday, 19 July 2018

Rumble in the Jungle


Well it looks like my decision to return to 15mm sci-fi has borne fruit!

I've spent a few mornings before work repairing some damaged paintwork on my assorted miniatures and giving them a good varnish to stop it happening again and have even managed to play a quick skirmish!

The Governor General has been performing an inspection tour of an Imperial construction project on the edge of the slime forest when a Badmoon warband decided to raid the camp for supplies.

 Imperials and Orks deploy

The game was played over a 2'x2' board with about a dozen or so figures a side in under half an hour using a bit of a bodged version of Song of Blades and Heroes and the Imperials firepower saw off the Orks before they managed to breach the fence line.

I must admit that I really enjoyed the experience and have an idea to re-run it with some more Orks as they needed more numbers, not to mention some bullet shield Gobbo's to soak up incoming fire.

Ork squad on the move

The rules worked surprisingly well, especially when I changed some of the dice mechanics and gave the rules a bit of a reworking to suit my needs and I quite liked the fact that a small skirmish could be played so quickly and satisfyingly in such a short time.

I am feeling the need to expand my forces a bit too as already mentioned to build my Badmoons up to 20-30 models so they act more like the horde they should be and want to add another clan to the mix as I seem to be going through a bit of a yellow and black phase painting wise!

Imperial drone footage  

As I have limited space and hobby time, this small scale battle is just the thing I need and I am very aware of the fact that I can put together a warband in a weekend for the cost of about a fiver which is great!

I'm planning on further tweaking of the rules to make them better suited to what I want to play but have made a decent start to things and look forward to more gaming sessions over the coming weeks.

Imperial defenders stand their ground 

I am also in need of more scenery which I always enjoy building so expect to see some more gubbins soon!

In the meantime, All the best!

Monday, 9 July 2018

Hobby Musings


Well I seem to be having a bit of a mixed time of it here at Spacecow Towers. On the one hand, I have been blasting through putting together terrain and working on my SD Somewhere on the Border stuff but seem to be repeatedly hitting a bit of a brick wall when it comes to all things Farpoint.

I spent a bit of time yesterday painting up an Ork for the upcoming Kill Team game that GW are showcasing but found it largely an unrewarding experience. Having started with huge amounts of enthusiasm, the drudgery of simply getting the lumpen piece of plastic painted was almost more than I could bear and the prospect of painting more of them doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.

Again I seem to be stuck with the problem of enjoying painting my own stuff that I make but not commercially available stuff.

Looking back through my blog over the last nine years (hard to believe!), it quickly becomes clear that my most productive and enjoyable experiences have been based around 15mm or SD scales when I can churn out small warbands over a weekend, put together a bit of scenery without hassle and have a blast playing a small skirmish.

For all my handwringing about it, I just don't seem meant for 28mm anymore and need to face facts! With this in mind, I am going to spend a bit of time going through my 15mm scale collection and do some much needed repair work, doubly so as I never varnish my figures so some of them are a bit chipped.

Secondly, I need to get back to sculpting in 15mm scale as it is quite an enjoyable experience and the scale suits my rather stylised approach and it will allow me to put together to sort of forces that I want to see, especially when combined with judicious use of the extensive sci-fi, fantasy and historical ranges out there (take a peek at the Rdunrundt Dragoons below for example. They are actually Peter Pig WW1 French Dragoons but with a bit of a repaint, they are perfectly suited to some pulpy sci-fi shenanigans)

As I mentioned in my previous post, I also really want to get back to playing some games which I managed regularly back when I stuck to 15mm scale but have struggled with since the temptations of 28mm has struck me. 

Looking at the sheer output I managed back then, despite being at either uni, full time work or long commutes I am surprised that I have achieved so little in the last 18 months or so.

Another issue I am becoming increasingly aware of is the lack of space. While I can play a decent game in 15mm on a 2'x2' or 3'x3' board with a few squads and vehicles, attempting anything similar in larger scales is increasingly becoming an exercise in futility as the gubbins I do paint aren't enough for even a decent skirmish and then there's the whole issue of terrain.

Needless to say, one can keep a decent amount of large terrain features for 15mm scale in a shoebox but it's a bit more difficult to do the same in 28mm!

My hobby time is becoming less and less as the years go by and I really want to re-connect with it and if that means taking a step back and re-evaluating what works and what doesn't with the stuff I have, then so be it!

On a related note, I am going to be re-evaluating the assorted SD sculpts I have and continuing to put together small warbands for my own enjoyment as they seem to scratch the itch of a more characterful sculpt that doesn't take long to paint and doesn't need lots of space to play a game!

With that in mind, I am seriously contemplating sculpting some SD characters for a Kill Team campaign like these little Bloodaxe's I sculpted a couple of years back:

It took two weeks to sculpt them and a couple of days to paint them and they were great fun to do as well! I may chunk the newer sculpts up a bit, like the way my Somewhere on the Border stuff is developing but I rather like the characterfulness of them and hope to find an excuse to build and paint some more!

Anyhoo, enough of my rantings and ravings and I think I need to take stock and see what I can put together in the coming week (when I am not at work running the host of events we've got coming up!)

In the meantime, apologies for the ramblings and break in meaningful content. Hopefully with my new enthusiasm coupled with a dose of reality, I will be able to get back to a more interesting read soon!

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Kill Team


I've been perusing with interest the preview of the new edition of Kill Team by GW and it's looking rather interesting!

Reading through the assorted previews and so on online, it looks like it might be just the cup of tea for me.  It requires small forces (5-10 figures) on a small table (about 2'x3') and features scenario driven games and campaigns that should see a warband develop and is perfect for heavily converting figures.

While I have no way of ever putting together a full army for 40k, I do like the idea of playing something a bit smaller and more rpg-lite so will be keeping an eye out for developments of the game in the coming months. It would be interesting to play out the secret wars of the Inquisition or Imperial agents facing rebel groups or sinister alien cults!

It will be interesting to see what the rules play like and what is possible. I was rather enamoured with Shadow War Armageddon but found it to be a bit limited as I really wanted some Space Marines rather than just scouts and the campaign system was a little limited.

We shall see how things develop in the coming weeks before I make any decision on whether I want to pick it up or not...

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Gaming Ponderings


I have taken a bit of a break from my painting to ponder the lack of actual gaming I've done over the last 18 months or so.

Back in 2016, I had a burst of gaming shenanigans, playing 6 games in about three weeks but since then, I must admit that I haven't managed to play a single game. Part of this is due to my moving house last year with the need to pack up everything and then unpack stuff for the new flat but work has also played it's part, leaving me knackered when I get home and in no mood to get the miniatures out and get gaming.

The Boar Company versus Orcs

I'm by nature a solo gamer and the thought of joining a gaming club doesn't appeal as most of the people I've played against in the past tend towards either the power gamer or rules lawyer, both of which annoy me no end. Coupled with my gnat like attention span, I find it quite difficult to put together even a small warband for any force, even at skirmish level for the assorted projects I pick up and put down over the course of the year.

Ultramarine Detachment

The result seems to have been a dramatic drop off in any games I play. Back in my high school days, I'd play at least a couple of games of 2nd edition 40k a month and even at uni I'd manage to play out entire skirmish campaigns featuring my Stainless Steel Rat project but lately I seem to be dropping away from it all and I'm not too pleased about it!

Part of the issue is that I still haven't had chance to get my gaming table put together in the new flat as it's languishing in our library under an assortment of stuff that still needs sorting out but I think another issue may be my move back to 28mm.

Judges deal with a hostage situation on Farpoint

I seem to be spending an awful lot of time painting stuff only for it to sit on a shelf while my smaller scale stuff would regularly see action.

With this in mind, I have been perusing my Somewhere on the Border blog as I've returned to sculpting my SD scale figures and am really finding the experience rewarding and enjoyable and with a bit of work already have two decent sized skirmish warbands put together and completed with two more in various stages of completion.

 Boar Company versus Marik Goldhelm's villains

I seem to have found my niche that ticks all the boxes for me. The scale is fine, with the miniatures being large enough to have character but still small enough to get a decent game in on a 3'x3' board. Sculpting and painting my own stuff has also proved most rewarding too and while it's a slower process than just unpacking stuff from it's blister pack and cracking on with painting, it is far more enjoyable.

Adventurers disturb a Fire Grub burrow

While they may not be everyone's cup of tea, I find myself drawn more towards such a personal project than much of the stuff that resulted in my painting malaise of earlier this year and suspect that the little chaps are going to be the focus of my hobby for the foreseeable future.

While GW has been sorely tempting me with lots of fantastic stuff, my frustrations at not being able to paint stuff to the standard I want and the detail that the rather fab sculpting demands, these chunky little guys I sculpt myself with their faults, flaws but still a charming character of their own are giving me more enjoyment to work on.

I'm going to try and concentrate on sculpting and painting enough stuff to start a mini skirmish campaign and we shall see if I can't get out of the gaming doldrums!

Sadly this will result in a bit of a drop off in content on Tales From Farpoint but it can't be helped and maybe the resulting activity on Somewhere on the Border will spur me onto more classic stuff as I do still hold out the real wish to put together a 2nd edition 40k army using the new miniatures from GW.

Classic 40k!

This is a project I've been touching on for absolutely ages now and something I seem to put off time and time again for various reasons so maybe a bit of a break into my own stuff will give me the inspiration I need to really take a look at the possibility of actually making a go at one of the main reasons I put this blog together in the first place!

Anyhoo, I seem to have digressed off again and apologies for all the ramblings!

Hopefully I will manage to get myself organised enough to play the mini campaign for Somewhere on the Border and get inspired by some 40k goodness too!

In the meantime, All the best!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Project Fyreslayer Part 4


Huzzah! I've managed to finish the third Fyreslayer from my skirmish warband that is slowly coming together!

Vulcite Berzerkers

With the third of the berzerkers, I went for a slightly darker beard colour and am somewhat unsure about it but am glad to have finished the little chap.

I also reworked the bases as looking at the old pictures, there was too much tan going on which made the figures look a bit bland, which was quite the achievement for orange bearded and mohawked Dwarves toting big axes and a ton of gold. The newer bases look miles better and were a bit more thematic than the more traditional brown.

 Shield Detail

I must admit that I am quite pleased to have broken the halfway mark with the project as it's been a while since I have managed to be quite so constructive and at the rate I am going, I may even finish the mini project in the coming couple of weeks!

I'm now pondering what to do in the coming months, especially as GW has been releasing so many great Easy Build kits which are just the thing for my skirmish project and I may find myself tempted to pick up some Stormcast Eternals as I quite like the chunky figures.

Three Furious Members of The Band of the Blessed

I think I'll be spending a bit of time this morning putting the fourth member of the party together and I'm sorely tempted to try a bit more conversion work on the chap but we shall see what we can do!

In the meantime, All the best!

Terrain Making


I seem to be taking a mini break from finishing the third of my Fyreslayers and have been spending a bit of time mucking around with some terrain for my Somewhere on the Border project.

More information and pics can be found over on SOMEWHERE ON THE BORDER. I'm also feeling the need to do some sculpting as a break from the detail work required for GW plastics so once I have the third slayer finished, I am going to be working on an assortment of bits and bobs that I have been thinking about doing for a while.

All the best!

Friday, 8 June 2018

Games Workshop Renaissance


I've been pondering some of the rather exciting news coming out about the new edition of Age of Sigmar and am really enjoying a seeming renaissance from Games Workshop.

I must admit that my interest in all things GW more or less died the death following the end of 2nd edition 40k and the closing down of specialist games and while I hung on for a bit with Fantasy battle, even playing the odd game of 6th edition, my hobby interests moved on seemingly never to return.

However in the last couple of years, following the announcement that the Warhammer world was blown up and a new setting was making an appearance in the form of Age of Sigmar, I have slowly found myself with increasing regularity perusing the news sites and even peeking at the GW webstore.

I'm not sure if it's the realisation of the GW management team that they needed to move into the 21st century and engage with their customers on social media or the reappearance of classics like Necromunda and Titan Legions, not to mention the relatively low entry level that newer games seem to be giving prospective players, but I'm once again drawn to Games Workshop.

In years gone by, you'd expect to pay £50-£70+ for a starter set for 40k, but now there's First Strike for £25 which gives you basic rules, a decent haul of miniatures, battle mat and even a bit of scenery, thanks to the cunning use of the box.
While many may point out the fact that this is just the basic rules and not got a decent sized force, it is brilliant for folks wanting to test the waters as it gives you some big chunky Primaris Marines and some evil Mutants and villains to maim. It's especially of interest to me as I seriously doubt I will ever have the patience to collect and paint a full army but a few small skirmish warbands, well just maybe...

Next up, there's Storm of Sigmar for just £20. It gives you two decent skirmish warbands and the rules to get you going.

I actually picked this up when it was first released and found it to be great value for money and while most of the miniatures have been languishing, unpainted and still on their sprues, I've recently begun painting my way through them and rather enjoying the experience!

I'm also rather liking the scalability of both of GW's core games as you can actually play a decent game with only a handful of miniatures and build your forces over time. Looking at Storm of Sigmar for example, you get two warbands which are ample to play Age of Sigmar Skirmish and with the additions of some of the other Easy Build kits, you're well on your way to having a decent campaign!

Similarly, the rules of both games have been pretty much gutted. Much as I loved playing 2nd edition 40k, it took forever to play a decent sized game and Fantasy Battle required quite a bit of flicking through tomes to find rules. Here the rules are about 4 pages long, the unit abilities are on cards and there's not a table in sight!

While lots of folks bemoaned the simplicity of these new sets, I really like it, especially as my previous favorite game, Epic 40k was just a streamlined and was brilliant fun. I'm hoping to be able to complete my Fyreslayer mini project over the course of the next couple of weeks before moving onto something 40k related which is saying something.

It's not all good news though, as I am finding the release schedule of GW is bewildering with set after set of new plastics rolling out each month and Battletomes, Codexes and supplements arriving every month. I must admit that I am struggling to keep up with it all. It's also bad for the Ooh Shiny Syndrome where there's just so much choice that one finds themselves frozen in indecision as to what, if anything to pick up.

I've also noted the use of terms like Synergy and Meta bandied about when folks discuss army building. I find the need to build superawesomeamazing armies with megakilldeath combinations of abilities a bit meh to say the least and would far prefer to just collect a force that looks interesting and characterful and don't really care if it isn't competitive. 

Saying that, GW has been pushing the Narrative Play element to their games which provides a haven of scenario driven tranquility from the more rabid tournament mindset which I quite like so it does seem that GW is listening and trying to strike a balance between both sides of the hobby.

As someone who was quite a big fan of the principles of Oldhammer, I am keen to use the mindset of collecting a force for fun and to enjoy painting it and play some entertaining, scenario based games and wonder whether I can take these principles and use them in enjoying my hobby using new miniatures...

Either which way, I hope that GW keeps up the good work and keeps engaging with its customers and bringing out more goodies for us to froth at.

Perhaps I'll even finish a project this year so hurrah!

In the meantime, apologies for waffling on for so long and all the best!