Filthy Ressers!

Normally this sort of post would be my proposed Ressers list, but I’m a total Malifaux beginner, and am struggling for ways of linking my models together.  I thought I’d pop up a list of the models I have, and ask for some suggestions about how to put together a crew from it (or what models would be best to add for a reasonably straightforward crew that plays quite well!).

I think the only obvious starting point is McMourning for the Master and so the Zombie Chihuahua for the totem?  I’m a total novice, but I think avoid the canine remains and flesh construct, and summon them rather than take them in the core crew?

If anyone has any suggestions for starting a crew from this, it’d be gratefully received.   I’ve heard a lot about needing Rotten Belles and maybe Rafkin with McMourning, and I’d be open to getting a new master if it’d be an easier starting point.

I’m not taking credit for the amazing paint job on these minis – I won them from some brilliant painters and players thanks to #WAAC – Wargamers All Against Cancer.  Look out for #WAAC events with @docbungle on Mini Musings of a Bear!

Masters

McMourning (Master)

McMourning

Henchmen

The Valedictorian (Resser, Henchman)

The Valedictorian

Sebastian (Resser, Henchman)

Sebastian

Totems

Zombie Chihuahua (Resser, Totem)

Zombie Chihuahua

Lost Love (Resser, Totem) – unbuilt

Minions

Performer (Arcanist, Minion, Mercenary)

Performer

Nurse (Resser, Minion)

Nurse

Nurse (Resser, Minion)

Nurse

Nurse (Resser, Minion) – Miss Pack Limited Edition

Miss Pack

Canine Remains (Resser, Minion)

Canine Remains

Canine Remains (Resser, Minion)

Canine Remains

Flesh Construct (Resser, Minion)

Flesh Construct

Necropunk (Resser, Minion)

Necropunk

Necropunk (Resser, Minion)

Necropunk

Necropunk (Resser, Minion)

Necropunk

Punk Zombie (Resser, Minion)

Punk Zombie

Enforcers

Johan (Outcasts, Enforcer, Mercenary)

Johan

Bete Noire (Ressers, Enforcer) – Unassembled, transparent red

Carrion Effigy (Ressers, Enforcer) – Puppet Wars Rotten Belle model

Carrion Effigy

 

Plans for 2017!

Well, as anyone following me on Twitter will know, I’ve very excited for hobby in 2017!  I have a dedicated hobby desk set up, I have a whole horde of Bloodbowl models assembled and primed, and made a start painting them!

But thats not a plan – thats the situation!  Whats my overall hobby plan?  More painting and gaming, basically, which is easier said than done!    One key is focus, which isn’t my forte!

40K

Here, I plan on 2 main armies to focus on throughout 2017 (at least until I’m happy with them!)  I plan to work on my Imperial Guard until I can field an infantry army!  I’m enjoying painting them, and there are enough quirks and odd platoons I like to keep them interesting.  In addition, I love Sisters of Battle, and new releases like the Canoness and the rumoured Saint Celestine will keep me busy, together with starting a new army if they actually go ahead with a plastics release.  The mix should be varied enough to be interesting, but focussed enough to make progress.

Blood Bowl

This is the joker in the deck, and may dominate the year if I’m not careful (or heck, if I just enjoy it that much!).  I don’t know what we’ll see in terms of a release schedule, so it may be busy or just occasional flurries of hobby here.  I think this may well end up being my game of 2017 though!  At present, my main goal is to get some key teams painted up that myself and my regular opponent will enjoy, together with humans and orcs for any intro games.

Warmachine

Warmachine is an odd one.  I love the models and the fluff, but I don’t have any regular opponents, and the hardcore gaming nature and new version is a little off-putting when my gaming is pretty irregular.  I suspect if I found a regular group I’d love it, but as it is, I think my Warmachine stuff is going into storage this 2017, with maybe some minor painting for fun!  I quite like the triple Haley pack ūüôā  Go swans!  And if there is a army paint and auction for WAAC this year, I’ll probably look at taking part again.  I may look at eBaying my cygnar off at some point if my interest doesn’t take back off.

Malifaux

I really need to study back up on my malifaux!  I have a wonderful set of Resurrectionists that just aren’t seeing action at the moment, though a local gaming group may let me kick off with them!  I have a few other unassembled bits and pieces, but I really need to just try a few games here before anything else.  I may reach out to Twitter and get some recommendations for tweaking my Ressers and target a few upgrades, but I’m not planning on Halifax models particularly at the moment.

Guild Ball

Guild Ball is a bit of an odd one – I’m not sure if it will sink in my hobby year as Blood Bowl fills a similar slot.  I think I’ll get the 2 player starter, and see how that goes before making any decisions.  The teams in the starter aren’t my personal choices though, I quite like Butchers.

Star Wars – Imperial Assault

This is going to be big for me this year!  I’m hyped for Star Wars after Rogue 1, and the minis are brilliant.  I’m booking in some games of this already, and especially if they go well, I think its going to swing in and dominate my painting after the initial Blood Bowl rush.  Loving the models.

Star Wars – X-Wing

I enjoy X-Wing, but I think Imperial Assault is going to be my main Star Wars game going forward.  I’ll fit in any games I can, and the fact I don’t need to paint the models is a big draw with limited time!

Star Wars – Armada

Not sure on this one, oddly.  Minimal painting needed, which is good, but individual games need a lot of space and take a lot of time – I think its going to overlap with 40K.  Its high on my list in theory!

Fantasy Battle/9th Age/Kings of War/Age of Sigmar

Fantasy gaming is an odd spot for me, as I love the armies and battles, but don’t really have much in the way of opponents, and its a slot I struggle fitting in time wise.  I think in terms of fantasy, the focus is going to be individual heroes and undead.

Dungeon Saga

Dungeon Saga fits into the same sort of slot as Imperial Assault, and has the bonus extra of solo play.  There are some cracking models to paint up, and there are some great options for other companies models too.  Its really exciting, especially for Undead, as it goes into the next game

Zombicide Black Plague

This is a fantastic game, lets me use zombies from Dungeon Saga and others, and lets me get some solo games in too.  Going to be big for me in 2017 as a co-op game with a few mates as well.

 

2016 – A Tabletop Gaming Retrospective

Well, with Christmas out of the way, its time to look back at the last year, before we start looking seriously at hobby plans for 2017!  I’ll start with my thoughts on the hobby in general!

Well, the big change in 2016 has to be the sudden change in GW’s approach to community engagement.   Bringing back old models periodically, classic games like blood bowl, opening up multiple routes on social media, a genuine sense of humour in things like dealing with leaks and the regimental-standard.com – its been fantastic.  They aren’t perfect, by any means, by they’ve massively changed their approach from almost actively antagonising wargamers to reaching out, and engaging us again.  With the release of points in the General Handbook, popularity of Age of Sigmar has soared, giving them a credible fantasy alternative again.  I’ve personally been a little disappointed with AoS, both as I find the ruleset a little clumsy with the loss of any speed variable in combat (and I like fast Aelves!), and the lack of any Aelves for about 2 years, to be followed up by essentially just releasing the old starter set.  I’d been very excited by the Mistweaver from Silver Tower and the aesthetic there, so it feels a bit of a cop out.  I still want new pointy ears!

Guildball has continued to expand, though we’ll have to see how it does now a 800 pound gorilla like Blood Bowl is back on the scene.  I’m struggling to keep up with the rule changes every season, but as I’m not actively playing, it may just seem harder than it is.  I don’t find the same issue with Malifaux, though, and I haven’t really been actively engaged in that either.  The horde of gremlin options on the market is particularly fantastic ūüôā

Big names have continued to sneak into the war-games market, with Star Wars doing particularly well with Imperial Assault, X-Wing and Armada.  Star Trek and Halo have pretty credible entries too, and Aliens vs Predator is a really solid game, together with the The Walking Dead in the zombie sphere.  Its an interesting time, where major franchises are competing with entrenched systems – I’m worried it’ll hammer smaller systems and model makers particularly hard.

I think one of the trends I’ve seen is a distinct breakdown into 3 types of model buyer.  You tend to see collectors, who either play rarely or just play for fun with fluffy games using some of their more obscure models and have enormous collections.  You see players, who are increasingly moving to skirmish games with much lower model counts.  And tournament gamers, who play the larger systems but with much more focussed armies than ever before. 

Its unusual – in the past, I knew 40k gamers with loads of models and different armies, and I’d see them field a different one almost every game.  Now?  Even if they collect them, they just have one actual force they play with.  Its too much time and effort for them to keep up with the rules otherwise.  Games like Rogue Stars, Open Combat, Frostgrave, Malifaux, Imperial Assault and Kill Team are massively more popular than ever before.  It’ll be interesting to see if this changes up with a rumoured 8th edition this year.

I keep hearing the good thing about AoS is the low cost of entry compared to WFB, but all the games I see people playing and talking about are exactly the same sort of size as WFB ever was – I just hear a lot of current or former 40k players loving the models, collecting and painting them too, which didn’t use to be the case.  Even if I’m not a big fan of the system, I’m glad to see it do well, as I think the market needs a range of different fantasy games.  I hope we don’t see model creep stopping people getting excited for it in the same way we did with WFB, but I think the really well priced “start collecting” sets will help there.

With moving over 150 miles to a new home, all my local stores and clubs are different, so its really thrown my normal gaming options out in the latter half of 2016.  Hopefully I’ll find plenty of options to get my game on in 2017!

Getting started with 40K! (Particularly for Orks and Tyranids)

A couple of cracking chaps (@CronosTweets and @Kevuit on twitter) who are new to the 40K gaming side of the hobby asked a fascinating question Рhow do you get started in the hobby?  How do you learn the rules, and more importantly, have fun?

Well, thats actually a surprisingly difficult question to answer, as 40K has made itself increasingly hard to get started with. ¬† Its not something I’d noticed until I thought about it, but where you used to have starter sets with increasingly complex missions introducing you to the ruleset, now you chucked a bit more in the deep end. ¬†After silly numbers of years playing, that’s great for me, and starter and campaign sets give me updated rules and cheap minis …. but they aren’t so good at teaching you to play.

So how do you get started, particularly if you like an army that isn’t found in a starter set, like Orks and Tyranids in this case.

Well (and many may disagree …), I’d suggest planning a narrative set of games designed around the models you have that separately explore the different phases of the game to get used to the way your core units move. ¬†Here’s a few examples.

AMMO PROBLEMS!

Running low on ammunition and biological proteins, the orks and the tyranids desperately need to avoid combat, pick up supplies, then get back to the lads/spawning pools.  

Each of you dice for table edge (winner picks, other deploys facing him) pick a objective token, and place it for the other somewhere on a 4x4 board with whatever scenery you choose.  No combat is possible (no psychic, shooting or assault, though you can run in the shooting phase), but you have to run to your token, and back off your table edge.  First one off is the first to rearm, and will get to deploy first in the next mission!
TAKE OUT THE BIG UNS

Both Orks and Tyranids are led by biguns, though it has more of an effect on tyranids.  Pick a small force with a few MCs or walkers and some simple troops, with a range of longer range anti tank weaponry.

Ensure roughly the same points value and numbers of MCs and Walkers, and score a vp for each big un taken down!  This can illustrate the effects of the synapse rule for the tyrannies, and is a fun way to test out the shooting phase.
RIP EM UP CLOSE

Go for 500pt horde type close combat forces, and simply Warrrgh or chitter into it!  remember to try to concentrate your forces and defeat the enemy in detail where possible.  Its especially fun if no ones really shooty - get stuck in lads!

I think you get the idea – the narrative makes the simpler game more fun, and each one teaches you the basics of the game, so as you combine the elements, you don’t slow down too much or feel overloaded.

Stick with small points and fairly plain units to start with. ¬†You want to understand the basic abilities of your units before you start modifying them. ¬†Making a unit invisible can be great … but not if you don’t understand how they move or can be positioned. ¬† Introduce new abilities and phases slowly, and take into account not just your learning speed, but your friends – if you speed ahead, they can be discouraged, or you can actually miss some basic understanding that throws you off.

Formations, data slates and codex supplements offer another layer of complexity – I’d steer clear of this to start with until you have the basics hammered in enough to allow you to actually enjoy expanding the rules. ¬†No one, and I suspect even the games designers fall into this too, can keep up with the complete range of rules, expansions, campaigns, codexes, codex supplements, data slates, white dwarf extras and bonus formations in start collecting packs. ¬†Don’t even try – just remember you can always ask to see you opponents list and codex if something seems very odd! ¬†Just add the bits that seem fun – its a not a prescriptive system (with the possible exception of high end competitive tourneys!)

One thing we introduced in my gaming group at the time was a take back system! ¬† If we introduced a new edition or game, we’d have a number of take backs a game as we got used to it. ¬†We’d drop the take backs down as we played until we didn’t need them any more. ¬†Its a great learning tool! ¬†If you moved a unit and then realised in the shooting phase you actually wanted them to stay still because of a heavy weapon, use a take back to move them back! ¬†We restricted it to your own turn, and started with 6. ¬†If you got challenged on a rule and were in the wrong, you could use a takeback. ¬†It didn’t generally upset the game, but made those silly mistakes from a lack of understanding a lot less fatal and the games themselves more fun.

Big games can be fun, but they are slow, and the less familiar with the rules you are, the slower they are!  Start small.  500-1000 points is a great range for a reasonably battle without packing in every rule in the whole codex!  500pts is particularly good for learning phases, and the Combined Arms Detachment Рa HQ and 2 troops minimum is a fantastic starting point for balanced encounters.

The key is to play with enthusiasm, lose with grace, win with humility, and generally just enjoy the whole affair. ¬†Don’t get too hung up on getting the rules perfect game one – learn them over time. ¬†In my case, thats generally just as they update to another edition … ūüėÄ

With Orks, you probably want to get used to vehicle and walker rules quite early on.  With Tyranids, monstrous creature rules and synapse rules will be quite important, so narrative games focused around those will help you learn quickly.

Both armies play well hurtling forward, but there can be a surprising amount of positional importance for such brutal forces.  Charge genestealers into flamers and they will be toast. Get them into close combat though, and pretty much any force will get torn up!

Try to avoid very cheap forces, as they’ll bulk out the time of learning games early on. ¬†Hundreds of grots can fit in a 1000pt army. ¬†It won’t be fun moving them all, especially when flicking frantically through rules books. ¬†Keep it small and punchy, and mix it up with different units to get to grips with all of them – that’s when your list building and understanding of how to use units together starts to really get more effective, and formations then start making sense.

High Elves!

In one of my “For later” projects, I picked up a bunch of cheap High Elves from eBay.¬† In need of some TLC (rebasing, new shields and a few fixes), they do offer a fairly solid base for a classic High Elf army.

I have:

13 Swordmasters (with musician and banner bearer – easy to use one as a champion too)

15 Sea Guard (with musician, champion and banner bearer)

20 Spearmen (with musician, champion and banner bearer, in need of shields and rebasing)

20 Spearmen (with musician, champion and banner bearer, in need of shields and rebasing, champion needs replacement sword)

20 Spearmen (with musician, champion and banner bearer, in need of shields and rebasing)

20 Sea Guard (with musician, champion and banner bearer, in need of shields, rebasing, and 4 models reassembled, champion needs replacement sword)

20 White Lions (10 including banner bearer and musician intact, 6 needing reassembly including champion, and 4 missing heads and arms)

5 Dragon Princes (minor fixes like spear point attachment)

5 old school silver helms

7 Ellyrian Reavers (intact)

5 Ellyrian Reavers (missing heads or arms – horses intact)

5 bolt throwers (no crew)

1 mounted hero with lance (needs shield)

20 or so mixed archers, command, spearmen, wood elves and so on (largely useful for parts, or maybe an impromptu sea guard unit)

I also have some more High Elves from my existing stash, with 2 copies of Island of Blood!

2 x 10 seaguard

2 x 10 swordmasters

2 x 5 Ellyrian Reavers

2 x Mages

2 x Champions on Griffons

Further to GW, I have the 3 light elves from the avatars of war range, with the wood elf archer, a mage and a prince.

I’d like to do the High Elves in silver, white and purple (and offset a dark elf army in silver, black and purple), letting a unified feel for an elf alliance come through.

I’d need around 90 shields (I’m looking at scibor elf shields here), and a selection of elf parts for fixes, maybe from adding a unit box or two and using spare, third party bits, or seeing if bitz sellers have any to hand.¬† Not amazingly cheap, but awesome looking with gorgeous purple shields painted en mass!

Definitely planning square bases, as I see no advantage to round for me.¬† AoS doesn’t care if they are square or round, and I can still play WFB 8th, Kings of War, Ninth Age, and games like dungeon saga with squares too.

For 1.99 a set, I can pick up mantic elf crew for bolt throwers that would be quite nice to finish them off, and I think I have more Dark Elf bolt thrower crew than bolt throwers.

Would be really nice to add a few cool bits like a dragon too ūüôā

[photos to be added]

 

Miniature Painting Tools

I got a new toy this week – a rather expensive Iwata HP-BH, with a tiny 0.2 needle for detail work. ¬†Having tweeted excitedly, a¬†rather arrogant individual decided to lecture me about how dual action airbrushes were too complex for painting minis, despite the fact I’ve happily been using an Iwata Neo and two cheaper dual actions for some time now, and that most of the articles and my research recommends duals. ¬†It made me step back, though, and really think about the importance of our tools in what we do, and how the right tool for you is far more important than the RIGHT tool that everyone is shouting about … and also how the right tool for you isn’t the right tool for everybody.

Lets start with the main tool we use to apply paints to miniatures … brushes! ¬†I had another interesting discussion this week about the best brushes. ¬†Brushes have so many quirks! ¬†There are probably 4 main factors in choice of brush – the material of the bristles, the shape of the bristles, the shape of the handle, and the length of a handle. ¬†I don’t think anyone would argue that Kolinsky Sable is the best material for bristles – it maintains its shape really well, and responds really well to a maintenance regimes of good cleaning, brush soap and conditioner. ¬†Artificial bristles can be pretty much as good, but don’t tend to last. ¬†The shape is very important for some particular painting tasks – the round ended GW stippling brush is fabulous, as is the slanted Army Painter dry brush, for example – but the general brush shape is standard. ¬†The length varies, though should always come to a fine point – the idea behind a tiny ultra detail brush isn’t that you can paint a finer line – its so your visibility of the tiny details isn’t obscured as you do so. ¬†The shape of a handle can make a massive difference – I find the triangular feel of the Army Painter brushes really stable in my hand, though I find it difficult to paint curving lines as smoothly. ¬†In terms of handle length, the length tends to determine the heft in your hand, and the balance, and is a very personal touch. ¬†It doesn’t often make much difference in terms of general technique, as you’ll hold it close to the point for control, except for slapping paint on tanks with a larger brush.

Most longer term hobbyists will swear by one brand for their general purpose brushes, and pick up specialist brushes from a range of suppliers for individual techniques. ¬†I use expensive Windsor & Newton Series 7 brushes for my absolute top quality models – commanders, painting contest entries and the like. Generally, I use Army Painter brushes for regimental work, GW stippling brushes, and the wonderful slanted army painter dry brushes and … even a Games & Gears Katana brush for freehand bits occasionally, though I really wouldn’t recommend the rest of their line. ¬† Its the combination that works for me. Some use series 7s for everything, others like Rosemary & Co brushes (which aren’t far off W&N for quality but much cheaper), other swear by the round GW brushes where I use triangular Army Painter ones. ¬†It is very much a matter of taste.

I’ve written a whole series about airbrushes, so I’m not going to go into too much detail here, except to say that it is really important to find a brush that works for you. ¬†Some people love Iwatas (like me), while others love badgers, and others like simple cheap single action brushes. ¬†Partly it depends on how you want to use the airbrush – if you just want to chuck down a simple one colour primer, a dual action probably is a bit much, though for really even coverage a single trigger can have some sputter on initial trigger pulls compared to a dual with separate airflow…. though the pain in maintaining and cleaning it has to be taken into account. ¬†Its funny how individual taste with the various brands can go – I really like the Iwata trigger action, and definitely like the level of control with the duals.

Applying decals is another area where tools can matter. ¬†While most decals can be applied using simple water and applying it onto paint, varnishing the area first and using dedicated transfer solutions to ensure smooth application can really make a difference! ¬†I don’t use transfers much myself – I like folded insignia or pads, or airbrush stencils, but using a dedicated solution makes a heck of a difference.

In short, you can’t do a great piece of work with rubbish tools, generally. ¬†Adequate tools can get great results, but won’t generally last as long. ¬†And great tools aren’t cheap, but you can really guarantee consistent results. ¬†I wish I could say they guarantee great results, but thats down to you! ¬†So much of the final choice is down to what effects you want to try, and your personal ergonomics. ¬†A tiny handed person isn’t going to get on with large brushes, while a larger chap is probably going to favour a little more heft to their brush. ¬†Just accept that what works for you won’t work for everyone, and bear that in mind listening to their recommendations too.

 

Bloodbowl! Dark Elves!

Well, with the announcement of a re-release of Bloodbowl from Games Workshop in 2017, there’s a lot of excitement about the game! ¬†It’s worth noting, though, that there has been lots of activity in the Bloodbowl area for years, even without GW support, so here’s a look at some of the cracking teams and options that are out there. ¬†Rather than breaking it down my manufacturer, I thought I’d break it down by race! ¬†First up, Dark Elves!

NB – As I come across more bits and pieces, I’ll hopefully keep this up to date with new options and models.

Complete Teams

Tanatos Dark Elf Team (MK1881)

http://www.comixininos.com/blood-bowl-teams/elfos-oscuros/complete-teams/dark-elves-dark-elf-team-of-16-players-mk1881.html

This is probably my favourite looking Dark Elf team at the moment. ¬†Its a vicious looking greek style armour, with all the positions you’d want for a Dark Elf team, and the slightly unusual theme really makes it distinctive (with a solid nod to the original 2nd edition GW team).

Honos Dark Elf Team (MK1881)

http://www.comixininos.com/blood-bowl-teams/elfos-oscuros/complete-teams/pro-elves-pro-elf-team-of-16-players-mk1881.html

This team is quite neat with some very dynamic poses.  To me, though, it feels a little bland with the slightly generic elf but spiky look.

Dark Elf Team (Uscarl Miniatures)

http://www.comixininos.com/miniaturas-por-fabricante/uscarl/dark-elves-team-of-15-players-uscarl-miniatures.html

The sculpts aren’t up to the standard of some of the more modern style teams here, but there is lots of character in there with a decent range of positions and poses.

Wicked Elves (Shadowforge Miniatures)

https://www.tritex-games.co.uk/product/shadowforge-female-wicked-elf-team-x-11-players-2802/

This team has been on the market since before GW stopped selling BB! ¬†Its a cracking set of sculpts, if a trifle cheesecake! ¬†Still nice to be able to field a female team on the pitch though! ¬†I must confess, I have a full set of these ūüôā ¬†And if you do a lot of the skin areas as lycra, they actually look pretty fun.

One useful note – there are a wide range of extra models for the team beyond the core – both extra poses for the various positions, but also for the various support roles, such as cheerleaders, mages, coaches, security and so on.

Black Widows (Impact Miniatures)

http://www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?option=widows_profile&id=BW_TM3

I’m not terribly enamoured by these, as there isn’t enough different sculpts, and the clothing choices are … odd. ¬†Mind you, paint the exposed skin area as spandex and it’d actually look pretty good.

Dark Elves (Neomics)

http://www.gaspez-arts.com/dark-elves/neomics-team-dark-elves.html

Elfe Delle Tenbre (Gaspez Arts)

http://www.gaspez-arts.com/elfi-delle-tenebre/team-elfi-delle-tenebre.html

Night Talons (Esair)

http://www.esair.baueda.com/shoptalons.html

I really like the look of this team. ¬†Its pretty unique, like an armoured madonna team ūüôā

Star Players

Hubris Rakarth Alternatives

http://willyminiatures.com/product/dark-elf-star-player/

Roxana Darknail Alternatives

http://willyminiatures.com/product/witch-elf-star-player/

 

http://www.gaspez-arts.com/team-captain/witch-sarah-darksoul-special-edition-2nd-ttc.html

 

Eldred Sidewinder Alternatives

http://willyminiatures.com/product/hypnotic-eyes-elf-star-player/

 

Hobby Roundup (Week 11)

Well, still not huge amounts happening in my hobby world directly due to very limited spare time!

I’ve just sent a fair chunk of my 40K into storage at¬†the folks (so they may see use against my brother!), as hobby space has become a bit of an issue – I have a little time to paint, but very little time to play. ¬†Painted armies sent away for now include Valhallans, 2 armies of Sisters of Battle, Grey Knights, Tau, and Necrons, joining the bulk of my Eldar and Harlequins.

I still have a fair few forces to play with if I did fit a game in, though apart from my ultramarines company, they are only part painted, including Tyranids, Silver Skulls, Imperial Fists, unpainted Eldar, Crimson Fists, Crimson Slaughter, Fallen Angels, some inquisition bits and pieces, Dark Eldar, and Orksies, plus a small force of Space Wolves from the campaign set, so I’m not exactly struggling for options just yet though!

A load of airbrush stencils have arrived from Anarchy Studios!  Loads of hex grids, dragon scale grids, diamond grids, some special effects, and loads of dungeon and starship floor grid tiles.  Awesome!  Looking forward to adding really great effects really quickly!  All part of upping my painting game while minimising time! I thoroughly recommend them, and hope to do some airbrush use guides here soon!

Is Hobby Creativity on the Wane?

Of late, I can’t help but think creativity in the hobby is at a bit of a low ebb. ¬†I’m not detracting from the amazing painting and techniques I see used on Facebook or Twitter (which are frankly spectacular), but I see fewer and fewer physical changes to models that surprise me. ¬†At best, I see kit bashes, not scratch built pieces or crafted conversions. ¬†The only exception tends to be for diorama or display pieces, not for the tabletop.

Pondering why, I think there are several reasons. ¬†The most positive, of course, is simply that these days the sheer range of models on the market is so broad that there isn’t the need to create things yourself as there was in the 80s or 90s.

While I don’t mean to bash GW, as I understand their business model and it seems to work for them as a company, their policies do impact this a bit at the moment. ¬†They only release rules for models that exist now (due to some copyright entanglements), which means you don’t need to scratch build or convert for them. ¬†Their store and event policy specifies all GW parts – technically even scratch built pieces wouldn’t pass muster, so you can’t go beyond kit bashes with only GW parts. ¬†And the current pace of releases means more involved conversion projects get obsoleted by newer models – I was considering a Deathwatch squad with custom conversions and team members, and a rumoured deathwatch box put me off – I thought I’d just wait and see the new models. ¬†Great for GW sales, not so great for unique pieces!

I’ve seen some weird and wacky conversions for Malifaux, but generally there is a high level of tournament play with the Faux crowd, and that does mean the core of the models are Wyrd standard. ¬†The same definitely holds true for Guildball, and even more so for the prepainted Armada and X-Wing crowd.

I think this is one of the big reason that Frostgrave is hitting so many buttons for so many people. ¬†There are no “official” models. ¬†There’s a strong fluff and theme around it, but the characters are blank slates, letting you convert them however you like, and it means that boards and warbands for this are just all kinds of wacky fun models. ¬†Its definitely the system I’m seeing the most creative modelling for, except perhaps Of Gods and Mortals, which is similarly unfettered.

Hobby Roundup (Week 6)

Well, unfortunately the joys of real life meant I didn’t get time to update the blog as much as I’d like, so you’ll notice a bit of a jump to week 6! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to pop in a few notes for weeks 4 & 5 retrospectively! ¬†In fairness, though, pretty much no actual hobby except for some vicarious dribbling actually took place, so you didn’t miss much!

I’ve decided I need a bit of an OTT hobby project after being called “sensible” the other day, so I’m currently looking at a fully decked out Deathwatch squad from a range of different chapters. ¬†Mind you, given the rumours of a deathwatch/genestealer cult game coming, I may well hang on. ¬†I am tempted to go sillier though, with an Ork Nobs mob called Wotcha Deff! ¬†Painboy, silvery robot left arms, black armour…. muahahahahaha!

Also considering an Eldar Revenant titan for ludicrous scale silliness! ¬†Knights just aren’t enough!

Currently very into looking at getting Bloodbowl teams sorted out, and Bear¬†has been painting his Armada models which has got me excited to paint up my Armada and X-Wing too. ¬†Time is very difficult at the moment though, with 2 little ones and we’re in birthday season!

I thought the new Space Wolf stuff might get me excited for some old school marine action – my first RT marines were wolves! ¬†The Wulfen pics I’ve seen look like were chicken poses in biker spandex, so not floating my boat …. though in fairness, GW pics are often a bit under par and don’t do models justice. ¬†The new character models are nice though, but I already have Krom from the limited campaign set.

Struggling getting excited for guildhall going through the rules and options, and its the same hangup I have a bit with Malifaux¬†too. ¬†I generally prefer systems like frostgrave or mordheim, where the war band slate is a blank. ¬†Having to pick established characters doesn’t get me into the game quite as much. ¬†Cracking rulesets¬†though. ¬†I was looking at trying to field an all female guildball team, but can’t work out a good way of doing it without losing too many team synergies. ūüôĀ ¬†Mind you, I never win anyway!

Anyways, onwards and upwards!