Saturday 25 May 2019

Badlands Skirmish


After my angry review of the other day, I managed to get a quick game of a Song of Blasters using my Epic scaled Ultramarines versus some Eldar.

I've also been working on getting some new scenery put together in the form of some rock columns to add a bit of height to my setup.

 Early Deployment

The Imperials had a more mobile force consisting of several tactical squads mounted in Rhinos and a Landspeeder to give a bit of mobile punch to the patrol and the Imperial forces quickly took control of the settlement in the centre of the board and pushed forward towards the Eldar positions.

Some poor activation rolls saw the Eldar flank refusing to move off the hill which left the Warlock and his Guardians somewhat exposed with just a Falcon grav tank to support them. The Landspeeder had hurtled up the flank and hit the tank with a heavy plasma gun but only succeeded in damaging it and in return the Falcons Brightlance sent the skimmer crashing to the ground in flames.

At this point it became clear that the Eldar had the edge in ranged firepower with the Falcon, Dark Reapers and Warlock able to hit the Marines before their shorter range Bolters could be brought to bare and if it hadn't been for the use of their transports as a shield, the Ultramarines would have been in for a rough day.
The Dark Reapers on the flank blow up a squad of Marines 

Fortunately for the Marines, their transports sacrifice saw them able to get close enough to the Eldar to let rip with their bolters and the lithe Guardians were shredded in a storm of explosive shells.

At this point, the Eldar were forced to retreat having lost most of their infantry but the Ultramarines vehicles were all wrecked apart from the command Rhino.

 The Imperial Rhino's cook off following Brightlance strikes and Warlock Powers

I'm rather enjoying playing very small games in 6mm scale and think I may have some more skirmishes to play but do need to look at my rules a bit further to make things run a bit more smoothly and do need to add some more balancing units to my forces as my Ultramarines need some long range firepower while my Eldar need more swift moving units too!

At present, an average game lasts about 20-30 minutes which should allow me to run a decent mini campaign over the course of an evening but the more multi wound vehicles and units I add, the longer it takes to play.

In the meantime, I'm also starting work on my Orks and have managed to finish two stands of Goff boyz to test out how they look and if a more verdant base works with them. While I like the Orks, I'm not sure about the bases and think I need to add some green static grass or patches of vegetation like I did with my aris bases to make them pop.

Ork Boyz

I think I need to rummage my Epic boxes to see what I have and what I can add to my forces as it would be great to see some fully fleshed out little patrols duking it out over the coming months!

In the meantime, All the best!

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Osprey's Ragnarok: An Angry Review UPDATED


I recently picked up a copy of Osprey's new wargame, Ragnarok and thought I'd share my initial thoughts on it.

I'm sorry if I upset anyone with this review but rarely do I get so angered by something to the point of having to post a massive rant about it and Ragnarok has really annoyed me and sadly reading through this post again makes me sound like a loon so apologies for the raging that follows!


I'd heard rumour of Ragnarok a while ago and really liked the idea of epic skirmishes in a post apocalyptic Viking world and pre ordered a copy from Waterstones (my store here in Dundee!). I must admit that I was a bit hesitant as it comes in at a hefty £25 which is a fair chunk of change for a rulebook but I really wanted to give it a bash.


On first perusal, I was pleasantly surprised as the artwork throughout is pretty fantastic, as is the case with all of Osprey's games range but when I got down to the nitty gritty, things started to go a bit pear shaped.

I have now read through the rules three times to try and figure out how close combat works in the game and am still no clearer on it than I was the first time I read it. The rules seem to have been noted down by someone who knows the game and therefore doesn't need to explain how it works which is incredibly frustrating. 

Even after my third attempt at reading it, close combat doesn't appear to be explained unless from the attackers point if he's charging or the defender's if he decides to attack back. The stats you compare for the opposed roll isn't mentioned in this section of the rulebook but further back in the Morpheus Engine section (this is the authors generic rule system which I think he's planning on using for multiple different games).

There are few if any examples featured and even then they are badly worded to the point that they don't actually help at all and the layout itself irks me too as it just seems to be jumbled in with the background and rules for campaigns. 

A perfect example of this is the Success Table, the basis for all rolls made in the game. The table itself makes little to no sense but the wording that goes with it makes it even more obscure to the point of madness! 

Another thing that irked me was the poor quality of the miniatures pictures. It's a miniatures game and the rulebook is pretty expensive so the least they could do is feature some decent pictures instead of this:


I get the impression that Osprey have spent quite a bit on the book so why is it ok to feature tabletop quality figures on a game mat with some polystyrene hills? Worse yet, quite a few of the pictures in the book are decidedly blurry or pixelated and it looks suspiciously like they've been taken on a phone. 

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've had very mixed feelings about Osprey games releases but this one has really frustrated me to the point that I'm actually considering returning it to the shop which is saying something.

Annoyingly it looks like there may actually be a good game hiding in there and the campaigns look like they may be fun to play BUT it's all let down by seemingly not having anyone who isn't experienced with playtesting the game sit down and read through it to see if it actually makes sense! Ooh it makes me cross!

I must admit that by the time it got to covering the interesting stuff like Godspark (the ability to harness the power of the dead gods to perform heroic actions) and the assorted equipment, denizens of the nine realms and so on, I had lost pretty much all enthusiasm for Ragnarok as no matter how pretty looking a game is and all the shiny bells and whistles of super special abilities or innovative campaign systems it may have, if the rules don't mesh or are so poorly laid, missing out as to be unclear to the point of unusable, they are going to fail!

My angry advice would be to give the whole thing a miss and save a waste of £25!

All the best!


Tim, the author of Ragnarok has contacted me to showcase some examples of play and mentioned that Osprey had edited out all the examples in the game to fit the word count.

I apologise to Tim for raging about his rules which he is clearly passionate about but I don't feel that I can remove this post as it's still my honest opinion that there is something wrong with Ragnarok that needs serious attention and it's a waste of what could been an epic game. 

If anyone has played and enjoyed Ragnarok, please do drop a message here and let me know how you got on with it! 

All the best.


Friday 3 May 2019

Epic Command Squads


I've passed the blip of mentalness concerning 28mm and have been working on repairing my Epic command stands that my cat so thoughtfully ate the banners from last year.

Ultramarine Command Squads, Techmarine, Captain and Medic

Whilst pootling away with them, it got me to thinking about how command squads are represented in Epic. In 2nd edition, each Space Marine character got it's own base with different abilities while in Epic 40k, things got streamlined and they all got combined on to one.

While I can see the wisdom of such a move, I do like the spectacle of having each little character moving around the battlefield carrying out their own role so went with mounting each on their own base with a bodyguard and banner.

I love the spectacle it provides and helps identify command elements from a distance and while a tad ostentatious, I think it fits the 40k universe quite well!

Here's a pic of all my command squads to show how they look:

Banners Aplenty

Eventually, I plan on adding a Chaplain and Librarian to my Ultramarine force and have got their stands underway as I type but I also have some Orks primed and ready as well as a batch of jungle terrain that I'm busily making for my retro green table!

I had forgotten how much fun it was to paint in Epic scale as it's surprisingly easy to paint up a small formation of troops and vehicles in a short period of time. The only downside is that I am running low on lipped bases so will need to replenish my supply soon. I'm also looking for some slightly larger lipped bases for superheavy tanks and titans so will need to have a bit of a peruse of the interwebs for a source that's not too expensive to fit my meagre budget.

In the meantime, All the best!