My 2014 from a gaming perspective!

Well, 2014 is almost at an end, and it hasn’t been terribly successful in terms of actually getting in many games, or actually getting much hobby done!  There were many grand plans for the year … and few of them have come together.  Next year needs to be a touch more realistic, I feel!

I still have plastic mountains of models that need to be assembled and painted!  If anything, the plastic mountain has grown significantly, with Orky enthusiasm.  None of my armies have actually reached the state I wanted to class as finished (with the possible exception of the Ultramarines!)  Though I’ve loved reading about Malifaux and Infinity, I haven’t painted my starting forces or played even a single game.  I do have a complete starter force for Retribution of Scyrah in Warmachine, but not managed to get that going either (though I am loving Warmachine Tactics on the laptop).  My major passion in 40K has been Orks for the last couple of months, and I’ve been gathering and planning an Ork Waargh (though that’s being somewhat derailed by the brilliant Blood Angels models being released right now, and enthusiasm for Silver Skulls!)

What has gone well?  #WAAC 2014 was amazing fun, with events around the country, and I’ve ended up with an brilliant range of gaming gear, from T-shirts, to dice, through to templates.  I painted some models that I think came out really, really well, and won a great book and a pro painting of my Bonesinger by Peter (@minimodelpaint), which is coming on amazingly well!  I’ve tried playing X-Wing, and absolutely loved it.

I’ve loved interacting with (and meeting some of) the #warmongers.  Twitter has been a brilliant hobby outlet for me, and that’s definitely going to continue!

I’ve got some brilliant hobby resources, with brilliant brushes from Gears & Games and Army Painter really making a difference, a full Army Painter set of paints in decent paint racks letting me dip in and out of painting to do little bits here and there around the demands of being a Dad – demands that are going to increase in 2015 with the arrival of another one in May! 🙂

I haven’t played much Xbox 360 for various logistical reasons over the year, but did manage to sneak in some Transformers and Halo, and completed Injustice!  I’m hoping I’ll get more video games in next year, with an Xbox One arriving for Xmas … Halo!  Destiny!  Titanfall!  There’s some amazing games coming out for the PC just now too – Satellite Reign as a long awaited “Syndicate” style game this week.  Elite Dangerous looks amazing, and comes out this week!  As mentioned, Warmachine Tactics is great.

I’d like to have reported much more hobby fun … but its been a cracking year.  I’ll try to follow this with my plans for 2015, and maybe write a summary of what I think the biggest changes have been in the hobby world in general.

Campaign Fun for #WargamesWednesday

Just keeping up my regular posts to keep me thinking about wargaming and RPG fun, even when I don’t have a chance to play!  As you’ve probably spotted already, I’m setting up a mini-campaign with SaintAidan. I like a campaign feel to wargaming – every battle means a little bit more, and it stops being just a “1500pts battle” – you want to know how Captain Marcus of the Imperial Fists fares against his nemesis, Sorcerer Lord Tepemkau of the Thousand Sons, for example.  Although I haven’t actually done much, I’ve been really enjoying trying to put together an army for this campaign.  Currently, I’m looking at Imperial Fists with a Bastion, plus a small force of Silver Skulls with a prognosticar, tactical squad and Stormtalon, together with a small force of Eldar rangers, maybe with Ilic Nightspear as the eldar HQ.

On the Xbox, I finished the single player story mode of Injustice: Gods among us – really fun game!  Fighting games are easy to pick up and play, which is ideal for gaming with a munchkin taking up so much time.

On the PC, I managed to pick up the complete Total War line of games through Steam for very little – 75% off this deal with already fairly cheap games, so less than £20 for 7 games of wargaming strategic fun.  Huzzah!  Looking forward to Empire (building the British Empire) and Napoleon.  Very tempted to preorder the new Rome II as well!

RPG-wise I’ve been really enjoying reading about Numenera!

Introducing Wargames Wednesday (with RPG fun thrown in!) #WargamesWednesday

In order to keep me involved in my various gaming hobbies, I’ve decided to make a point of posting something every Wednesday.  Despite the tag of Wargames Wednesday, I’m actually going to cover RPGs (both paper and electronic), 40K as my main hobby, and anything else from painting/fiction/other wargames that catches my eye!  This week, I’m covering Numenera, Dropzone Commander, Shadowrun Returns (PC), Space Hulk (PC), and the Black Legion Codex Supplement

Numenera

Numenera!  Monte Cooks new game system has been released, and I backed the kick starter for the complete set of books in PDF format!  I’ve been getting a constant stream of stuff over the last few weeks, and its all pretty impressive!  I love the game engine (see my earlier post on Numenera), but the list of various card decks, GM screens, posters and other bits as well as the core books has been brilliant.  Good work Monte!

Dropzone Commander

After Leonidas gave me a copy of the Dropzone Commander rules as a present (many thanks, by the way!), I’ve become rather intrigued by this wargame.  I love the concept of fast transport driving a futuristic battlefield, countered by antiaircraft fire, while tanks and troops do battle.  However, I don’t really have anyone nearby to play the wargame against at present, so buying a complete starter army for me, and potentially a second one too to play against, was just too big an investment.  However, a new two player starter set has just launched, at around the £60 mark.  I am very tempted with birthdays then christmas looming 🙂  I love the UCM look (very Halo!), and the scourge have an unusual insectile appearance I quite like too … and they are the two armies in the set.

Space Hulk and Shadowrun Returns (PC)

Huzzah!  More games I don’t have time to play 🙂  I managed to order Space Hulk and Shadowrun Returns on Steam.  Shadowrun in particular interests me – I love the world (and am rereading many of the novels at the moment on the journey to and from work!), but I also like the custom editor that comes with it.  Neverwinter Nights was a huge, huge favorite of mine, largely because of the editor and ability to create and play comunity modules – I’m really hoping that holds true here.

I’ve played the board game of Space Hulk since the original release (and managed to grab the limited edition from a couple of years ago), so I was always going to be the target audience for the new version of the PC game.  I’m hoping its a fairly faithful interpretation of the board game where I can play through a mission reasonably quickly while my munchkin naps 🙂  Heavy flamer FTW!

Black Legion Codex Supplement

I really thought I’d be disappointed by this, and only really got it in order to get a feel for how the Chaos supplements would be released – I’d love a Fallen Angels one, but SaintAidan would sacrifice quite a lot to the dark gods for a Thousand Sons supplement, and with the interest in heresy stuff, I think its quite likely.

This is probably the best supplement yet.  The history of Abaddon, his dark pacts and the Black Crusades is brilliant.  The tweaks to the lists all make sense, and the way specialist troops work with the black legion actually feels right (Thousand Sons and Rubricae in a black legion force always niggled me a bit).  I think you could put together a pretty awesome grey knights counter list with Abaddon, and Chosen Terminator troops, together with some nasty artifacts and alliances.  Really enjoyed reading it!

Interactive Army Painters

Bolter & Chainsword has an amazing set of interactive army painters available, letting you plan out a general look and feel for models before you try them. Its no substitute for trying a model or two, but does let you think about your colour choices!

The best painter is for Space Marines, unsurprisingly

There is another one for Terminators.

and for the Sisters of Battle.

You also have Chaos Marines.

The Tau – Fire Warriors.

and Orks.

There is an Eldar one here.

Haven’t been able to find any for Imperial Guard, Dark Eldar, Necron or Tyranids though. One suggestion is to use the Dawn of War army designer, and take a screenshot of the outcome.

Updates from London

Well, not a lot of painting has taken place in the pre christmas frenzy, but some gaming news.

First Blood Bowl is out for the Xbox. Its a little disappointing in some ways -the multiplayer is much (much, much!) easier for pickup games, but multiplayer leagues don’t seem possible, and you can’t customize your team and colours in the same way you can on the PC. Having said that, I’ve found it much more enjoyable to play single player thanks to the bigger screen, and the ease of multiplayer make up for the disadvantages. Its a great way to combine the Xbox hobbywith our Games Workshop fun 🙂

I’m still working on the world of Morania for some online D&D gaming fun, which should be interesting. 🙂 Its based on some concepts I’d put together when looking to write a novel, so hopefully you’ll find it reasonably fresh with enough background detail to entertain.

New gaming options have opened up a bit – Saint Aidan will probably be adopting my Chaos forces, and my Dad (Tazman) will be flying the Eldar cause once more, so some gaming will be happening over Christmas! Updates will of course be posted on the site! Sadder news is that my Tau and Necron forces have been retired to longer term storage for now, while I focus on getting a force of Blood Angels painted (including the Space Hulk terminators).

Neverwinter Nights

I’ve been looking at a range of ways of gaming electronically to be able to include people spread all over the world, and it looks like one of the main ways will be reverting to an old classic …. Neverwinter Nights. It is probably the best electronic implementation of D&D 3rd Edition, and the toolset allows me to build and run completely custom adventures, with a live Dungeon Master to make the games pop to life. As its an older game, its pretty cheap (less than £10), and will run on pretty much any hardware. It’ll run on Linux and there is a native Mac client (for older macs, but its hard to find – theres a way to use the cheap PC install DVD and a demo version), and its old enough to run fine through Rosetta on an Intel based PC. With luck, that means all of the Forces of Darkness should be able to get online from time to time … although I suspect Bloodbowl on the Xbox 360 will have us all meeting up anyway.

I’m creating an original campaign world, called Morania, for the various quests, so it should all be new and exciting for even the more seasoned D&D players! It uses a lot of custom content created by keen modders over the years, so its pretty amazing how flexible the client is – it really comes close to the feel of a full RPG. It’ll be post Xmas when I have enough put together to give this a go, so plenty of time to install the software and give the game a whirl.

Hopefully you’ll all be interested in at least trying it out!