Monday, 30 March 2015

Deadzone: Infestation Kickstarter

Hi!

Well I am gearing up to go out to work but thought I should probably update my blog a bit as I've not had chance to get much in the way of hobby time over the last few days!

I've decided to back the new Mantic Deadzone: Infestation kickstarter as I am quite liking the look of the ratty Veer-Myn that Mantic are developing:

Ratty Menace!

As I am on a very tight budget, I am only currently backing it for the princely sum of $1 but it will mean I can pick and choose some of the gubbins they finally release and up the amount a little nearer the time they are releasing the stuff which is looking like January next year. 

I suspect that I am going to go for a few of the Veer-myn figures with the aim to collect and eventually paint up a small Necromunda sort of skirmish force to infest abandoned mining colonies or crawl spaces of spaceships.


I must admit that I am becoming rather impressed with the quality of Mantics stuff, especially the concept artwork they are releasing. Its still early days for their sci-fi stuff and it still needs lots more meat on its bones background wise, but I am becoming tempted to incorporate their figures into my own collection!

Planet Exham IV

I must admit I am not too sure about the Deadzone rules themselves having just downloaded the brief overview of them so if anyone out there has given them a bash, I would love to hear from you as I do like the idea of a game that can be played on such a small gaming surface and the terrain they have been developing is rather tasty too having seen some brilliant stuff on several oldschool blogs too!

Ratty scum

Anyhoo, I guess I should probably get myself moving as I need to leave soon so for the time being, all the best!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fantasy Rule Conundrum!

Hi!

Well my day off is almost over and I have had chance to play out a bit of a skirmish using my Boar Company!

Boar Company Versus Orc Marauders!

You can read a brief battle report HERE and I must admit that its been refreshing to actually play a game for the first time in ages, I found the rules I have been using a bit on the feeble side.

For the last few years, I have been playing skirmishes using Song of Blades, a rather great but simple ruleset that allows one to just rummage through their collection, pick up some models and get playing without spending an age with record keeping. I have really loved the sheer simplicity of the game but this latest outing after a long hiatus has highlighted a few issues with it.

Marik Goldhelm, Renegade Sorcerer

Yes its great for small scale skirmishes between about six and ten figures a side but it really bogs down when you want to field a warband 20-30 strong!

Similarly the latest game really highlighted a few issues such as the short range of shooting and the difficulty of causing damage. For example, Grimli, my Boar Company commander got into a ruck with the Orcish Khan which lasted for turn after turn with not much more than a bit of pushing and shoving.

Coupled with the fact that I am wanting to update the setting a bit to involve a higher tech level, I am thinking of going for a more sci-fi ruleset so I can include all manner of fun stuff like magitech, steampunk and so on!
If anyone can suggest some good ruleset that have a bit more crunch than Song of Blades, please feel free to leave a comment. I do have loads of rules to try out so will be posting a few battle reports over the next few weeks to see how things go. I also plan on sculpting up some more up to date figures for my Boar Company too. 

Hopefully there will be a few updates coming so feel free to check back soon!
All the best!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Updates Galore!

Hi!

Well my second day off in a row! Wonders will never cease apparently but I have been cracking on with lots of bits and bobs for my assorted projects so I thought I would collect everything together into a bit of a digest format here!


In the Nexus Kryomek Wars blog, I have mused on what I am planning on doing with the project. The main difficulty I have had thus far with it is that the game setting really lends itself to either very small skirmishes or massive battles. Take a peek to see what is on the cards for all manner of Xenomorphic gubbins!

Khurusan Exterminators

Hint! Its probably going to involve 15mm scale!


In The Viridian Wars, I have given a bit of an overview of what got me interested in Void 1.1 back at its release date in 2000 and a bit of a ruminate about where I am hoping to go with the project itself.


Koralon Brood

I actually had a peek through my bits box and have found a few Syntha bits and bobs and have spent some of the afternoon painting up the first two. As with my usual projects, I suspect that its going to take a fair while to work through the lot as I am loath to try and do too many at once as I will get put off. Fingers crossed though, I seem to be enjoying painting them at the moment...


Somewhere on the Border has now got a map of Aeroth complete with a description of all the main locations and a brief overview of the upcoming campaign season!

Aeroth

I am finding it rather refreshing to actually have a bit of order to the chaotic nature of my assorted projects. If I get these working well, I may be tempted to sort out some Pirate and Steampunk related stuff as well that I have had lying around for some time, not to mention Crucible and Vor...

Ah the joys of clearing through the bits box!

I have even made a bit of progress on my Eldar and hope to have a missile launcher toting Rogue Trader era sculpt that is getting close to completion and I have also found some more of my Deadzone Marauders that have been cleaned and ready to paint so its going to be an action packed few days I think!

All the best!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Consequence of Wishlisting!

Hi!

I have the day off and find myself with a bit of a quandary. I spent the last couple of days exploring the forgotten joys of Kryomek and Void 1.1, two games which hold an enduring fascination to me as they, along with Leviathan were the games I obsessed over when I was a teenager and into my early 20's having given up on the GW hobby and sought pastures new.


The problem I have found myself with is the almost irresistible urge to start a new project involving the two games! Now this blog is already creaking under the strain of my reimagined Imperium and Leviathan gubbins so I am thinking of doing the unthinkable and setting up a series of blogs, each specifically on the assorted stuff that relate to a single game or setting.

I originally attempted this a while back but to no avail so simply downloaded the lot into here so that I could keep them all readily accessible but I am finding it a bit of a struggle to keep organised (especially as theres something like 600 posts to trawl through!) What is the plan then you may ask?

Well I am going to keep this as my main blog but am going to set up a few resource sites to give my assorted projects somewhere to reside in a somewhat more easily navigable manner!

So without further ado, here's what I have thus far (click the image to take you to the blog!)


The Viridian Wars will cover all aspects of Void 1.1 including some army building, converting and background on the ongoing conflict between the Viridians, Junkers, Syntha, VASA and the Koralon.


The Nexus Kryomek Wars will cover all things Kryomek, be it conversions, painting or background and I hope to flesh out the setting a bit too to include some of the megacorporations and new Kryomek strains.


Somewhere on the Border is intended to cover my adventure with world building and based on the small battle reports I used to post of the Boar Companies exploits in the Axeblade mountains. This will be where the vast majority of the fantasy gubbins I work on will live!

There's precious little on the blogs at the moment but do check back over the course of the weekend as I post some bits and bobs on each one. This blog will remain my main hobby blog and will link articles to each of the others so folks can read more if they fancy or ignore if its not something they are interested in!

All the best!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Wishlisting Part 2: Void 1.1

Hi!

Well I am relaxing after a very busy day at work and thought I would put together a second episode of my games wishlist, this time another oldish title, VOID 1.1!



Void 1.1

Created not long after the demise of Warzone and Target Games, Void 1.1 was another rather interesting game with a light, almost anime inspired design aesthetic and read like a revised version of Kryomek.

The rules were streamlined and fast playing and the whole game felt very much more like a late 90's/early 00's beast. Once again humanity faced a xenos threat but instead of a Geigeresque gribbly, there was the Koralon, a kind of space slug which utilised a symbiotic link with a coral like creature to create itself skeleton, weapons and equipment.

While the alien menace was vaguely ridiculous and the sculpts were a bit on the iffy side, it was a really great game and did away with the IGOUGO turn structure so beloved of the Games Workshop stable of games and resulted in a very fluid and fun game mechanic.


While the aliens were a bit naff, the human factions were quite interesting with the Viridians being a cross between environmentalists and the Capitol megacorporation from Mutant Chronicles, the Junkers a kind of space pirate/post apocalyptic Roman legion and Syntha essentially being Cybertronic (again from Mutant Chronicles) Yes they were quite derivative, but at the same time the clean, uncluttered sculpts allowed for nice bright paintjobs and the finished pieces were really quite nice.  I even collected and painted a complete VASA force in my old Borders Books colour scheme of black and green which looked fantastic. (VASA were the international peacekeepers between the factions who went for sinister military stylings!)

A couple of years back I picked up some old Syntha figures to paint with the intention of creating a Void 1.1 revival project but alas it fell by the wayside rather quickly like so many other of my projects. I do still have a soft spot for the game though and I have been thinking of re-working it into a more hard sci-fi sort of setting by incorporating elements into the Kryomek background as the sculpts are good and do have a bit of a similar feel.

Some of the elements would need culling, such as the dinosaur riding though...

 Dinosaurs in Space!

As mentioned, I do have some of the figures painted such as this Viridian Commando chaingunner:

 Eat Lead Xenos Scum!

I must admit the idea is a rather tempting one but I must be strong and resist the temptation of buying more stuff as I am doing a good job of clearing my unpainted leadpile...

I think I need to sit down and have a ponder about some of these old projects and see if I can't breath a little life into them as I continue with the articles on the games I wish I had the time/money or space for over the next few days. Who knows, the added attention may even get me rummaging through my bits boxes to find some goodies to paint or on here blathering about background ideas!

All the best! 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Wishlisting Part 1: Kryomek

Hi!

Well the end of my day off beckons and instead of painting my way through any more of my assorted bits and bobs on my workbench, I find myself ruminating on some of those rather nice games I would like to collect if I had the time, money and space.

Looking back over the last fifteen years or so, there's been an explosion of boutique gaming companies, many of which have utterly beautiful miniatures with equally fascinating backgrounds and settings. Some are well known, others not so much and some have fallen by the wayside along the way.

I thought it might be a bit of a plan to post a bit about each and why they have drawn my eye and ponder on what it is about these games that are so attractive in comparison to the classics such as 40k and Fantasy Battle.

First up, I thought I would start with Kryomek!



Released in 1991, Kryomek channelled the spirit of Aliens and pitted the forces of humanity against an acid blooded horde of xenomorphs.

This was one of the first games I explored following my departure from the GW hobby after I spotted the figures in the long gone Macs Models in Edinburgh's Royal Mile. I loved the style of the figures and the background was intriguing, being such a difference from the Grim Dark that 40k was becoming.

Kryomek Hive Chimney

Instead of a science fantasy setting with Elves, Dwarves and warrior priests, Kryomek featured a far more clean and military sort of science fiction. The background itself featured not just fiction and background on the Nexus military, but also lots of glimpses into the technology, society and law and order system.  

Another thing that drew the eye was the really cracking artwork that showcased the ferocious Kryomek in all their gruesome glory!


 Convict 'Cyclos' take on a pair of Kryomek Warriors

The whole game had a rather 80's version of the future with spaceships cramped and festooned with switches, keyboards and assorted tech, much like the Nostromo in Alien. Similarly, the Kryomek were physically similar to the Alien but were taken a step further, their very nature weaponised and terrifyingly intelligent.

Talos Units take on a Kryomek Warmaster

The one thing that let the game down in my experience was the rules themselves. While based on Stargrunt, I found it a bit on the complex side at the time (I'm not sure if that would still be my experience to be honest) Similarly, it really could have done with a bit more playtesting and been more clearly laid out.

Fantasy Forge did attempt to fix these issues with the release of Hivestone, a supplement which contained more background, new units and armylists. The problem was it still didn't quite all mesh together.

Nexus SWAT 

Why then am I pondering it at all you may ask? I think its partly nostalgia but also partly because of what it could have been if it had been backed properly and given more of a chance to succeed.

There are genuine flashes of brilliance on display throughout and the game itself went on to influence some of the big games of the late 90's and early 00's such as Warzone and  Void 1.1 and that is something to be proud of. But what if Kryomek had been produced today?

I suspect it would never happen as it skirts very close to the IP of several movies but if it had, imagine some of the beautiful sculpts that could have resulted! Marines that didn't look malnourished, Kryomek which were as fierce as the artwork suggested and not the monopose sculpts that we ended up with.

 Hive Interdiction

Ironically, Kryomek is still available, the miniatures are in production and the rules are freely available as a PDF. I do have a few of them kicking around including a Talos unit:


My main problem is that the rest of the range is a bit of a mixed bag. As previously mentioned, The Nexus Marines look like they need a good feed. The Cyclo convicts on the other hand, are really good and the Kryomek themselves are a strange mixture of good and bad!

Another issue is the scale. The rules and background themselves seem to suggest in large scale battles with swarms of Xenos crashing into desperate lines of humans who rely on superior firepower to survive.

Instead of 28mm scale, the game would have been far more suited to 15mm which would have allowed a far more satisfactory spectacle (looking at Khurasan Miniatures Swatters range gives you a decent idea of what they could have looked like)

But what does this mean for Kryomek? Is it a worthless system? I don't think so! Check out the rather fantastic HIVESTONE INCURSION blog! Bagpuss has created some really fantastic forces:

 Cyclo Cention

Kryomek Warrior

Now I am wondering if I can do something on a more limited basis, a bit more like Aliens. Imagine a squad of Nexus Marines investigating a suddenly quiet colony or exploring a newly discovered planet...


Now here's the rub, I don't have the time or patience or money to do anything about it at present but I do wonder if at some point in the future, I might collect up a squad and some xenos to terrify them. I could even incorporate it into the alternative Imperium that I've been working on. 

This is the joy of taking a peek at some of these other games, theres loads of different ideas, forces and settings that can be culled out and incorporated into whatever setting or game you might use! I am going to cover a few more over the coming week or so and who knows, I may even eventually dip into one of the games I mention!
All the best!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Assorted Additions

Hi!

Well its been my day off work today and I've taken the opportunity to finish off a few bits and bobs that I have had kicking around for a while.

My Horned Folk have now got another couple of stands of Beastkin completed including the command stand. I still need to sort out the banner but am going to make unit standards a bit smaller than the hero's banner so that the characters still stand out on the tabletop!

 Beastkin

I now only have 6 stands of stuff left to paint for the force I have so am slowly edging towards a complete army for the first time in utterly ages which is rather heartening. I have been rummaging through my bits boxes and have discovered that I also have some Orcs, Goblins and Lizardmen. I believe I may also have some 6mm Skaven proxies somewhere (if I didn't sell them off years ago...)

Next up, here's the first of my Grey Elf chariots:

 Elven Chariotry

Its another Irregular Wood Elf miniature that I converted a bit by repositioning the horses and giving the crewman a powerlance instead of a bow. Game wise, these are going to be the equivalent of a light fighting vehicle. Speedy and maneuverable the Grey Elf chariot is going to be shooty but fragile and also carries one of the limited number of powerlances available to the army.

Lastly, I have been beavering away with my Eldar Guardians and am hoping to continue expanding the force as I get the chance. I can't cope with painting them all in a oner as I find repetitive paint schemes very boring but by painting one at a time in between everything else I am painting at the moment, I seem to be managing.

The Three Amigos

The painted helm got added after I noticed that I had made the paint a bit on the thick side for a smooth finish so I cheated and covered it with some interesting designs and it seems to have worked for the most part.

I currently have a Dark Reaper and a Harlequin primed so will see if I can't keep the momentum going with the project!

All the best!


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Horned Folk Regiment Complete!

Hi!

Just a quick post this morning before I head out to work with a couple of pictures of my Horned Folk army:

 Horned Folk Regiment

I am really pleased with how the Epic minotaurs turned out and its quite refreshing to see a completed unit of them.

Next up, here's a quick shot of the rest of the stuff in various stages of completion:

Horned Folk Army WIP

I still need an army commander and some lowly rabble to act as cannon fodder as well as some properly big warbeasts to finish off the army but it's kind of getting there! I think I will try and get the rest of my beastkin painted up this week which will give me 8 stands of regular infantry (I have five still on the sprue and not pictured!) 

I am really enjoying painting up a proper army a bit at a time like this and shock horror, I may even finish it! The next task will be to crack on with the Grey Elves and try to get a game or two in.

All the best!

Monday, 9 March 2015

And Then There Were Two...

Hi!

Back from work again but managed to grab some quick pictures of my latest additions in the form of a new Eldar Guardian and a few bits and bobs:

 The Original, left and the new addition, right

I changed the recipe a little to speed things up and am really pleased with the finish, especially the smooth finish I managed to get on both the red and white and may have to paint the rest of the pointy hatted ones I have as I get chance!

The red armour was a base coat of Vallejo bright red with a little bit of highlighting and then a couple of layers of a mystery red glaze that I got third hand when I was at high school and must be quarter of a century old Citadel but still does the business!

Here's a quick shot of my assorted Eldar for Epic and 40k:

 Little and Large

I must admit that the scattergun approach to painting seems to have really paid off for me as I don't think I've been this productive in years. It is also meaning I am slowly but surely chipping away at my lead mountain (more of a low hill or big heap now) and it seems to have done the trick in keeping me entertained and engaged without suffering the terrors of burnout!

Lastly, here's my Grey Elf commander:

Marching under the sign of the Silver Phoenix

The miniature is Irregular once again but I converted him a little so he could wield a powerlance. In Aeroth, the Elves have access to a upgunned version of a magic wand that can project blasts of concentrated Earthpower at considerable range.

Its looking likely that the Grey Elves are going to be the foe of choice for my Horned Folk so I will need to develop a bit of background for them as well as build some warbeasts for them to ride around on so watch this space for updates!

All the best!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

6mm Squats and More!

Hi!

Well its the last day of my holiday but before I return to work, I have taken some photos of my latest additions to my 6mm scale projects:

 Squat Force with Command

Yes, my Squats now have a proper command stand in the form of a Guildmaster in Exo Armour riding a trike! I've not quite finished painting the foot version yet but hope to have a bash at getting him done this evening.

 Guildmaster 

Looking at the photo of the flag, its still looking a bit rough so I may go back and rework it a little so it looks suitably neat and more in-keeping with the other command stands I have done.

 Command Stands

I must admit that they look suitably imposing and really make the command stands readily identifiable at 6mm scale. After getting the command elements sorted out, I hope to add some much needed troops and armour to each detachment and possibly even a heavier war engine or two!

Its not all Squats, Ultramarines and Chaos renegades though. Quite a while back, I painted up a couple of stands of Space Wolves to see how they would turn out and with the idea of giving them a very different base from the rest of my miniatures as not all the action on Farpoint takes place in the arid badlands, there's frozen tundra, steaming jungles and all sorts so I thought it might be a plan to give me some options.

Space Wolf Hunters

I mixed together some snow effect stuff that I picked up from Hobbycraft during their sale a few years back and blobbed some on to the basic base. I think its turned out quite well and am thinking of adding a little drybrush of white to the static grass to finish it off. It's still largely in the same style as the rest of my basing though so shouldn't look too out of place if I use it for different locations.

Its not all been scifi though! Here's the completed test piece for my Grey Elf warband:

 Grey Elf Sprearmen

They are originally Irregular Miniatures Wood Elves with new wire spears and new arms to hold them. Yes they are now quite chunky but they are most unlikely to bend if you even look at them. I am quite heartened with how well they turned out so am busily hacking up several more to give me a decent warband of spearmen, archers and even some power lances as well as a chariot or two for some mobile hitting power...

Interestingly, I am also beginning work on painting up some 28mm scale Eldar Guardians too as I slowly but surely work through my leadpile!

Anyhow, I am off out for the day and this evening is going to be spent working on some commissions so for the time being, All the best!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Epic Terrain...

Hi!

Well its a really miserable day up here with strong winds and a hint of rain but it has meant that I have had chance to add to my terrain collection with some rough hills:

 A Squat force on maneuvers

Made from a sheet of cork tile I had kicking around. Handily it had already had a coat of flock added to it a while back so just needed ripping into pleasing shapes and glued together before having a coat of cheap brown paint and a few drybrushes to bring out the detail (some sections didn't even have flock on it and the texture of the cork showed through in irregular patches which oddly worked really well!) I also added a few piles of sand to blur the edges a bit.

 Squat Bikers roar across the blasted landscape

The last stage was to blob on some pva glue and lots of flock and bobs your uncle. It literally took me about half an hours work to churn them out between waiting for paint and glue to dry and I am rather pleased with how they turned out. I think I could do with adding different colours to the sand to give a bit of variation (maybe some yellows, greys and reds) but its not too bad!

The basalt pillars are made from small pipes glued to a base and lots of pva blobbed on top and flocked. It's terrain I have had for years but it was starting to look a bit sad and worn so I gave it similar treatment to the rest of my terrain and it's looking a lot better.

 Squat Thunderers and Thudd Gun 

It's interesting that this is what I always imagined Aeroth and Farpoint being like and with a bit of work, I think I could make some larger bits and bobs for 15mm scale or for larger ridges. I think I have some thick cork coasters somewhere that I picked up from a poundland some time back which will be getting similar treatment so watch this space!

 Dwarven Wargolem versus Fallen monstrosity 

At the rate I am going at I think I should have a goodly amount of terrain before too much longer and I am also plugging away at my assorted 6mm warbands so should have a decent amount of stuff to choose from for some upcoming battle reports too!

 Horned Folk raiding party

Annoyingly I seem to have loads of stuff for my Horned Folk but very little of everything else for fantasy so am going to be bodging together some bits and bobs for a Grey Elf warband from some Irregular Miniatures wood Elves I have found in the bottom of a box. They are individually cast unlike much of their 6mm fantasy so I think I can work something out for them without too much difficulty...

Horned Folk heavy infantry and Behemoth

As is always the way, I have stuff for races not really covered in the background but it may work out for the best in the long run as it will give me a bit more freedom in creating unusual forces. I have also come across a box containing a miniature Stonehenge which will make a handy place of Power for my forces to duke it out over so its not so bad after all!

I also have some more Squats on the painting table, specifically a couple of command options which I hope to get finished today and there's even the possibility of them getting a heavy tank or two on the horizon...

For the time being though, All the best!