Thursday, 27 April 2017

Age of Sigmar: Flesh-Eater Courts Starter Set Review

Abhorrant Ghoul King On Terrorgheist

My first reaction to AoS was decidedly negative because of the terrible launch decisions but I started wheeling out some of my old fantasy armies, when the General's Handbook came out and I could build a fair army to play an opponent,  and discovered the game was great fun.

But I had no intention of buying any new models, none whatsoever ye ken, under no circumstances, and then I wandered into my flgs and saw the starter set and the models were Oooooooh and the price was reasonable and.........

 Abhorrant Ghoul King On Terrorgheist

Centre piece of the army is a monster kit, that can be assembled as a giant undead bat or dragon. I chose the bat and used it as a mount for my Ghoul King.

Abhorrant Ghoul King On Terrorgheist

The paving on the base is scratch-built from plastic card, fish-tank gravel and sand. I wanted to give a ruined ancient city look to match the fluff in the Battletome, that I also sorta bought (but second hand on ebay - honest).

Crypt Flayers

One also gets the bits for three 'small monsters' that can be assembled to give a variety of running or flying characters of 'heavy' troops. I chose to build them as Crypt Flayers.

Crypt Ghouls And Crypt Ghast

Finally, you get some cannon fodder, ten crypt ghouls let by a Crypt Ghast or you can upgrade the ghast to an independent character, the Crypt Ghast Courtier.

Against The Seraphon

The box contents are a playable army of around 600 pts or so, depending what options you choose to build.

You are short of ordinary foot, so I use 20 Oldhammer Zombies as ghouls to pad out the army. These are crummy models - too big for the stands so they stand shoulder to shoulder in a ranked army more like Guardsmen than Zombies - but fine as fillers for my Court.

Crypt Flayers Kill A Lizard Monster

So what did I learn about the army in its first tryout against Seraphon.


You have some highly mobile units that can be across the battlefield in a flash of wings.
Your units hit hard on the attack.

Crummy armour save, you need to use your unit's advantages to take out the opposition before they wear you down

I also learnt a few things about AoS
We already have 'codex-creep': (i) 'new' armies like Seraphon and Courts are much tougher than old armies like Slaves to Darkness and (ii) winning the initiative can have a sizable impact on the balance of the game.

So there we are and, of course, I shall not buy any more.

No really, I can give this up whenever  want....

Monday, 24 April 2017

New Map of the 40K Galaxy

Things are going to hell in a handcart. My Chaos marines seem to be on the march.

40K 8th Edition News

You know all those expensive codexes you bought: well you can throw them away chaps and chapesses. They will not be compatible with 8th edition.

But fear not if you feel that you have not quite given GW enough cash yet - there is a last chance to buy unusable, useless codexes on the GW site - no doubt at full price, obvously.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Sea Lion Campaign Supplement

Operation Sea Lion, the new Campaign Supplement is out on preorder at Warlord Games.

And I believe you get a free special model if you buy direct from them.

I am very proud of this one. It is the most whimsical supplement that I have written for Warlord and,  IMHO, the best.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Age of Sigmar - Oldhammer, Slaves to Darkness

Lord Frak the Faithless, Chaos Lord on Daemonic Mount

Age of Sigmar has, since they sorted it out a bit, given me an excuse to make some of the Oldhammer armies in miniature that I always fancied but couldn't afford. One of them was Slaves to Darkness: I give you my 'Despicables'.

All the units but one were bought for reasonable sums second hand from eBay.

My Chaos Lord is assembled from spare bits that an eBay seller kindly bunged in the box for free.

Drok the Dumb, Exalted Hero of Chaos

This is a new Reaper Bones model purchased for two of our Brexit Pounds.

The Dark Knights of Destruction, Chaos Knights

The Knights of Baneful Blue, Chaos Knights

The knights are the heavy hitters of the army.

Chaos Gorebeast Chariot

Very useful on the charge as a follow unit to the knights. This was a well made and painted model that I only had to blend in with the rest of my army by freshening up the colours.

Chaos Chariot

This model had been coated in araldyte so required cleaning and disassembling in paint stripper: horrible job but the results are good.

Chaos Chosen

In Humbrol 'multicolour' metallic green.

Chaos Warriors

The cannon fodder for holding ground.

The paint jobs are designed to suggest a non-specific Chaos Army but sinister, with lots of glossy black, dark metallics and various multicolour sprays - highlighted with bright metallic green and blue.

The army works out at about 1000 pts which I think is optimum for AoS.

Taking the objective.

We played a three-objective scenario where one got a victory point for each objective held uncontested at the end of each turn, with one unit coming on each turn. First one to 12 points wins.

Drok grabbed the objective nearest me, which was fine but I made the error of moving on my slow units first with a vague idea of keeping my army together.

Contesting the middle objective.

That tactical mistake allowed my opponent, Simon E., to grab and hold the middle objective for two turns (as well as the objective on his side of the table) before I got mobile units in to contest.

I never recovered from that initial two point disparity and lost by 12 points to 10.

Fun game.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Lookee, lookee, lookee!

A very nice chap who has a terrain company sent me this photo of an as yet unreleased lasercut model. There are a few bugs to be ironed out but then it will be on the web for retail.

I feel a First Punic war coming on....

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Wolf in Shadow

To those who may be interested:

My London urban fantasy, Wolf in Shadow is currently on special offer at Amazon UK.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Blight Kings

I recently decided my Nurgle Daemon Army needed more punch so acquired some Blight Kings.

At a pinch, they could also serve as Nurgle terminators, assuming I ever play 40K again.

I like these models: they are full of character.

Of course that rather depends whether the next edition of 40K cleans it up and turns it back into a playable Fire and Manoeuvre wargame as opposed to a bloated monster.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Reaper Hydra

I am a great fan of Reaper Bones polymer miniatures.

I acquired this great Hydra for £16 of our English pounds.

I painted it as far as I could, to resemble the great Harrhausen model from Jason and the Argonoughts: still one of my favourite fantasy movies.

I am not sure yet what I will do with it: a Foundry Colchis army beckons.

Friday, 17 March 2017

IHMN Venusian Self Propelled Artillery/ AoS Oldhammer Stegadon Mash-Up

I acquired an Oldhammer Stegadon howdah without the stegadon off eBay, stripped it clean and painted it to match my AoS skink/IHMN Venusian army.

Now, as it happens, the Oldhammer Stegadon is more like a Triceratops and, as it happens, by chance I have a few very old Natural History Museum Triceratops knocking around. :)

'Twas but the work of a moment to respray the hard plastic dino toy, stick on the howdah, add a skink Mahout and stick it to one of my Venusian swamp bases - lot o' swamps on Venus, don'tchahknow.

The 'Stegadon' has stopped to munch on a giant Venusian swamp flower.

And off we go.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Review: Original Laser Designs - Dark Age Longship

While at Cavalier, I came across a new laser-cut woodkit manufacturer -  new to me, anyway - with lots of goodies on show. I was particularly taken with the 28mm Dark Age Longships as I am currently working on a Dark Age contract.

Here's a closer shot of one of the two ships on offer for the princely sum of £25.

Obviously, I had to purchase one for, err, review purposes. The above picture shows what you get in the box: a preformed hull and decking with various optional accouterments such as shields, benches, oars etc.

The hull is incredibly strong, the photo shows the bottom, with the sides already prebent (by steaming?) and stuck fast to the main base.

The great thing about this ship is that you could use it straight out of the box. The flat wide deck is perfect for standing models upon so it is more than just a scenery piece: the ship could be used for skirmish naval battles.

This photo shows what the ship looks like if you add the interior bits and pieces that you get with the kit.

And this one what can be achieved with a lick of paint in useful places.

Highly recommended and two shapes means that you can have two fleets: Vikings versus Alfred's navy, anyone?

You can buy the kits here.

Monday, 27 February 2017

IHMN Venusian Heavy Cavalry/ AoS Troglodon Mash-Up

I use GW skinks for my IHMN Venusian Native Army. These are available second hand for a song and are reasonably priced when new.

The Troglodon is, however, one of those wildly overpriced large-but-simple plastic kits that GW specialise in.

However Carnegie Collection dinosaurs are available prepainted for around a tenner and are gorgeous models. This is their Spinosaurus. All I did was reposition the feet (using boiling water) to tilt the body forward into a more accurate pose - bipedal dinosaurs did not walk upright - add a couple of skinks, and put it on a Venusian base.

I am really pleased with the result and the fact that it only cost me a tenner plus some spares I had sitting in store really appeals to my skinflint soul.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Review: Reaper Filth Beast, aka Beast of Nurgle

This is a Reaper Bones Dark Heaven Filth Beast which I have painted up as a Beast of Nurgle.

It is one of Reaper's polymer models retailing typically in the UK for about £2.75. To give an idea of scale, the model is mounted on a 50mm base.

Reaper Bones miniatures are made of a soft, light polymer but unlike polyethylene it is not greasy so it sticks easily with superglue and does not resist paint. The material is very robust but not easy to cut or shape. However the molding is excellent with no obvious  lines.

I vastly prefer this mini to the official GW model, which is currently unavailable and I doubt if it will sell for £2.75!
I love the disease/reproduction pods along the side.

It comes without a base: I modelled this one with milliput and GW slime paint or Nurgle's Rot, as they name it.

Highly recommended

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Review Age of Sigmar: Skull Keep - A Curate's Egg

Chaos Dreadhold: Skull Keep is a Games Workshop plastic kit retailing for £45.

First Impressions: when you open the box are of a typical Games Workshop terrain piece made of chunky bits of plastic.

Manufacturing Quality: Pretty crummy, as I've come to expect from GW Terrain pieces. Nothing fits together properly. If you blow up my photos you will see that the walls almost touch. I deliberately didn't use plastic filler on this build.

Design Quality: Very good, there is nothing quite like this in plastic from any one else. It looks great with lots of nobbly bits. An imaginative piece to act as a great centre piece in a variety of scenarios.

Suitability For Wargaming: Excellent, it is tough, light and has plenty of room to get models on. And it breaks down into halves to put models on the first floor. All this makes it easy to store and transport.

Value For Money: Sigh, about average. £45 is a great deal of moolah for a cheaply produced,  simple kit of dubious manufacturing quality, even if it is nicely designed and well thought out as a wargame piece.

Recommended?: Hmm, depends. If you really, really fancy it then go ahead but be prepared for a lousy build and a hole in your wallet.

Note: I used the 'Red' (second from left) Humbrol multi spray to get a shimmer effect on the model. It doesn't really show up in still photos but the colour changes depending on the angle at which sunlight reflects off the surface. I assume this is a variant of a 'structural colouration' effect - like a butterfly's wing.

The painting technique is simple: Spray with black primer, coat with black gloss, and then spray on the multi-effect.