Monday, 30 April 2012

Review: White Dwarf 389

I have been doing this in a little bit different format to try to make it easier to read and find what you are looking for, I also think this makes it easier to write as well. So instead of just writing a long text I have divided the test in to different categories. Tell me what you think about this and how I can improve it more.

New releases
It's 40k month in this issue amd we now get the second wave of Necron models. And there is some really nice stuff including the Triarch Stalker which looks like a big spider or insect, but Necron style of course. Next are some Fast Attack in form of Tomb blades which looks like a lot chunkier versions of the Dark Eldar Reavers. Not to fond of the look in these though even if the kit seems have a lot of alternatives when it comes to customisation . Then we have Canoptek Wraiths which are able to ghost in and out of reality, these are probably my favourites in this release and makes me think about the robots in the Matrix movies. Necrons also got Canoptek Spyders, upgrade packs, and Finecast characters. So a fine month for Necron players which now days have plenty of toys to choose from.

We also get some non necron stuff this month, finecasted Legion of the Damned marines and Chief Librarian Tigurius from Ultramarines chapter. And then we have the long awaited new Empire Battalion and what a let down in my opinion. They changed the 10 Greatswords for one Cannon/Mortar and didn't change the price I think. So you get less for the same price, you now get 20 State Troops. 10 x-bow/handgunners, the cannon or mortar and 8 knights. I just get the feeling GW want to sell as much as possible of the old stuff like the cannon and the now more or less ancient knights kit, hopefully because we will get some new ones in a second wave perhaps?

GW continues from the last issue with part of of the How to paint Citadel Miniatures, showing different examples on how to paint red power armour, green cloth and pink daemon flesh for example. I really liked this and makes easy to read (because there isn't much to read at all) steps and showing pictures of each step. This is great for all you who bought some of the new paints and don't know where to start.

There are also a special section for all the Empire states where you learn how to paint all of their uniforms, and as an Empire player I of course liked this very much. I wasn't impressed by how they painted the purple on the Ostermark soldier though, think it looked a bit dull for my taste.

Rules and Fluff
Once again more stuff for us Empire players, additional fluff and and some pictures (like in Uniforms and Heraldry) showing different orders and their Demigryph Knights, great stuff. We also got an quite extensive expansion for Storm of Magic called Tome of Battle, with a new scenario, three new spells for each battle magic school including embodiment for each lore where a model can transform into a form of avatar of that magic lore. There are also Grand Prayers for Warrior Priests to use in SoM and Relics (like an randomly determined magic item) for Witchhunters. Really nice to read and together with WH Forge shows that there is still a big support for SoM battles

For 40k we also get a article about a Necron attack on a Imperial planet, with an campaign surrounding this with rules and a scenarios and a map using Planetary Empires.

Still no Battle Report for Empire but there are some mini battle reports for each of the 40k scenarios as well as a final little battle report for the conclusion of the LOTR tale of four gamers. These smaller Bat reps are not bad but I like big real battle reports with many pictures how they move each turn and so on, so this section was a little let down for me.

I really liked this issue, even though I'm not an Necron player and won't buy any of the new releases this issue is packed with a lot of stuff, and usefull stuff even. I really like the painting tips, fluff and rules for Demigryphs and SoM. And all the Necron stuff is really interesting as well, so all in all really nice issue this month.

Rating: 4 out of 5  

Friday, 27 April 2012

Empire Update: First Demigryph Knight Finished!

At last I'm finished with this model. It was really fun to paint and I just love these models but It took a lot more time than expected. Before I started I thought It would take as much time as a regular knight pretty much. But there are a lot of details on these that takes some time to finish, also as this was the first and test model pretty much, I'm confident that the next ones will get done a little sooner.

I hope you like it, I'm very pleased with the result and rate it among the best minis I ever painted, can't wait until I have all six of them painted.

The worst things with this model was the assembly, the lance and reins have fallen of two times and I just noticed that the little thing at the back of the helmet also have fallen off for the second time :/ The last time I dropped the whole model onto the floor so nothing strange that things fall off though. That's all for now, expect another Empire update soon.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Empire Update: Engineer finished and some WIP photos

A small update even if I haven't updated the blog in a while. But this is just the top of the iceberg and a lot of of more Empire updates will follow this week. Have been really busy with all the new models lately and a lot of other life stuff so that's pretty much why I haven't been updating a lot.

I'm soon finished with my first Demigryph knight and I'm building and painting up my new Morr War Altar and been fiddling with one of my latest purchases Instant Mold which I will also do a review of when I tried it out some more.

Anyway, one thing I wanted to finish before I went on to the new stuff was to paint an Engineer and a Helblaster wich is awesome rules wise now. Didn't have time to finish the Helblaster, need some minor highlighting and the crew just needs to get their bases done. I post what I have so far and you have to do with the lonely Engineer which of course will help this Helblaster Crew out.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Review: The Empire army book

I've had the book for a little while now and so I wanted to do a little review of what I think about it, how it holds up against the other 8th ed. books and compare it to the old 7th ed. book.

Layout, artwork, photos etc. 
As all the 8th ed. books this one is in hard cover and in my opinion the best cover so far (I quite like the Orcs & Goblin one as well), nicely illustrated, nice colours and not so goofy looking as the VC book. When we come to the inside of the book I see some old artwork (but in colour) but very much of new illustrations as well, and not just for the new units but pretty much everything. And the quality on the illustrations are really high and it's a delight to look on all the artwork. One of highlights is the new map of the Empire which was also shown in the latest White Dwarf. All in all really nice stuff, so in this department I can't complain at all. I also like the painted examples in the book although I feel like there could have been so much more. Like showing soldiers in all the states colours, most of them are there but no Ostermarker for example. More examples of knightly orders would have been nice as well.

Much of the history and tales are the ordinary stuff we all have heard before, but there is some strange things in the fluff department of this new book. All of the Storm of Chaos stuff from 6th ed. with Archaon and Valten etc. is gone, the timeline in the book ends at 2522 where it reads that Archaon and his armies is gathering in the north. I've also seen this in the other books, no mention of SoC and it looks like GW has retconned it and probably are planning for a new massive Storm of Magic campaign in the future. As long as they are doing as awesome new models as they did back then I'm fine with this. Just a little bit strange that GW just erases this event without mention why. Other than this Tamurkhan is added into the timeline along with some other new things.

Now to the hardest part of them all, the rules. First I must say I haven't played the new rules yet so I don't actually know how it will play and most people are still play testing their lists to sort out what's good and what are not. So this part of the review is from my own perspective reading the rules and comparing it to the old rules and also from what I have heard from others and so on.

First of all I along with most people was terrified when we first heard the rumours of the new rules. And even if it weren't as bad as I first thought there are some things I don't understand and just feels strange. I will try not to make this review into a rant fest so I won't explain everthing in detail why I dislike something or feel something strange. So what things do I feel is strange in the new Army Book rules.

Point increase for all the infantry except Archers and Spearmen. No idea why they cost more now, and it doesn't look like a good choice in a business perspective either, especially strange when looking at choices that weren't used much before like Free Company. Another thing that is strange is nerfing stuff that weren't used to at all to begin with like the robo horse aka mechanical steed, together with the pretty hefty new price tag on the new "fine"cast robo horse I don't think customer will be running to buy these. Another example of this is the Templar Grandmaster, same rules more expensive and no one even took them last edition. There are more things that seems to be nerfed quite a lot like the pidgeon bombs, Helstorm Rockets, War Altar, Steam Tank and then there are things that got nerfed big time and beyond understanding as I see it. Mortar down to S 2 and cost 35 pts more, not worth it at all as it is now. A point increase for the Mortar who became a good choice first when 8th ed came with larger regiments and no guessing and partial hits etc I had tolerated and understood. But that and take it down to S 2 was to make it pretty much useless. Another big nerf happened to one of my favourite units, Flagellants.  Up two points and make the The end is Nigh! rule really bad, this is probably the one thing I most disappointed with of all in the new book. They are utter crap as they are now, I'm afraid.

Okay there are some things that they did well when it came to the rules as well here's some of the things I like. The new units, especially the the Demigryphs. The magic chariots I think could have been more interesting rules wise but all in all quite nice stuff. The Griffon got an real boost and is  now even an viable choice, which I really like as the new miniature looks fantastic. Knights got cheaper and we got an new option of stubborn knights in the form of Reiksguard Knights, nice. Warrior Priests/Arch Lectors is still really good and nice even without their automatic 1/2 dd. The Hold line special rule is nice, don't know if it was worth the increase in pts for both Captains, Generals and state troopers though. Helblasters are back! If paired with Engineers of course :).  Witch Hunter is in the book, don't know if the rules are the best interpretation of an Empire Witchhunter but an new and interesting choice to an Empire army non the less.

Like in all the 8th ed. books I have read I like the layout and all the artwork. The books looks and feels really good. The fluff part is nice but I've read most of it before and it wouldn't had hurt if there had been even more background story on for example different Knightly Orders. So the rules.... some think it is nice, some think it sucks. I'm somewhere in between, I feel some part of it is rushed and ill thought through. And some part are quite nice. I don't think Empire will be a top tier army, nor at the bottom but as always pretty much somewhere in the middle. But one thing Mr. Cruddance shall work on for his next books is internal balance. Some things got so bad it's not even funny, and I just feel that they could have done a much better job with for example Flagellants and the Mortar. And from a business point of view it's even more strange. I don't think many who start with Empire now want to throw money on the otherwise lovely Flagellant kit, other than maybe for conversions. 

But the rules aside I actually like the book and as I don't play that much this book still is quite nice, I only feel that they could have done much better.

Rating: 3,5 out of 5

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Empire Update: Order of the Black Rose

I showed some bad pictures on these a couple of days ago on Twitter but here are some better ones, showing my Knights from the Order of the Black Rose. These are actually repainted and maybe some of you have seen my old colour scheme and Order they once belonged to, the Raven Knights. Both orders are devotees to Morr the god of Death, but I felt that black instead of grey looked better and Order of the Black Rose is a more common Order within the Empire. And I will also do Morr a more prominent diety in this army starting with these Knights which I will up to ten Inner Circle knights with command. And when the War Altar arrives I will start to convert and paint it into Morr War Altar intead led by an Morr High Priest.

The Knights where quite easy to repaint, I just added quite a lot of black to the horses barding and to the clothes the knights are wearing, also painted a stronger red on the trims. The hard part was to repaint the shields, they may look easy but they really are not, and especially to paint them to look similar. But I think they turned out quite okay in the end, the last pic is of the next horse in line I'm also in the works of converting five new Chaos Knights.

I'm afraid I haven't had much time to paint this weekend, I'm working on these knights and a Helblaster with crew which are nearly done. I'm also dipping a Master Engineer which I will show you next Empire Update. Which will be soon as I expect to get my new Empire stuff in the beginning of next week.

Friday, 13 April 2012

News: K'daai Fireborn up for Pre-order

Got this mail today about the new K'daai Fireborn, I've seen pictures of it earlier but here we see more of the details on these lovely miniatures.

Text from the Warhammer Forge page:

The priests of Hashut have long sought to create something more than a mere bound spirit and with the K’daai Fireborn they have succeeded; through their dark arts they have forged a race of powerful warriors, half-daemon and half-raging fire. Drawn from the magma of the deep earth, birthed in the boiling blood sacrifices of Hashut’s altars, and bound and given form within an armoured framework of articulated iron and rune-stamped bronze, the K’daai are devastating shock troops that slumber between battles as cold frameworks of barbed metal. When unleashed upon an enemy force, the fire within them rages into existence and they become mindless, elemental forces of destruction that few mortals can hope to survive.

Designed by Edgar Skomorowski, the K’daai Fireborn are a set of three intricately detailed multi-part resin models, available to pre-order now for despatch from Friday 27th April. This kit contains three different torso designs, three different lower bodies and three different pairs of weapons – each of which are fully interchangeable. Rules for the K’daai Fireborn fielded as part of a Chaos Dwarfs army can be found in Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos, and Binding Scroll rules to align this powerful force of darkness with other Warhammer armies are included in Monstrous Arcanum. Additional ranks and Empire figure shown in some images for illustration purposes only.

More great looking stuff for the Chaos Dwarfs and I must say I really need to restrain my self not to go and buy a new Chaos Dwarf army, I really like the look of all the new stuff, their fluff and the new rules found in Tamurkhan. If they also do Bull centaurs and a K'daai Destroyer I can't stand not to have this army. Go to Warhammer Forge for Pre-order and to see more pictures of these awesome new sculpts. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Tutorial on how to make Artillery bases

As you may have seen before I make round bases for my artillery and I thought to show you how I make them. In this mini tutorial I'm also going to show you my newly painted Mortar which probably won't see another battle until the next Empire Army book. Well on to this tutorial then.

 First you need some kind wood, metal or plasticard to make the round bases. These you need to cut using a cutter or saw. I made mine using a thin wooden board and sawing this at work with an bandsaw. You can do these as big as you want but I find them 10 cm in diameter to be a good size. Then I put some modelling material which is an air hardening clay, this particular one is really cheap and not very good but it's doing it's job good enough.

I then pushed this on to base with my hands and some water, unfortunately this time some parts fell off and I needed do redo this step one more time. As you can see on the picture I also made some wheel tracks using the Mortar model.

I used a model with it's base to mark up where I wanted the empty spaces to put the crew in. The clay I used is so fragile and so I needed to use a hobby knife to help cut up these square holes. I also put some cork into the clay which I have cut to look like rocks.

When the whole thing has dried and you have make sure the holes are sufficent to put your crew on it's time for some sand which I applied with PVA. When dried you do whatever you do with bases, I base the whole thing with Vermin Brown which I then highlight with a mix of Vermin Brown, Skull White and Tausept Ochre I then shade the whole thing with Devlan Mud. I then painted the rocks with Codex grey, shaded with Badab black and then Highlighted it with a mix of Astronomican Grey and Skull White. On these rocks I also had some moss which where some sand/PVA mix painted Snot Green and shaded with Thraka Green.

I then added some clump foliage, Middenland tufts, Mordheim tufts, static grass as well as Army Painters Brown Battleground. And Voilà done.

And here you can see the result with a Mortar and it's crew and everything. Hope you find this tutorial somewhat useful and if you have other and maybe better methods of doing similar bases please let me know.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Review: White Dwarf 388

I was a long time ago I was this eager to get my issue of White Dwarf, and reason spells The Empire. Just a couple of days before we saw the first pictures taken from WD on the new models, but I so wanted to see them in print and with all the text and details. And as always GW focuses a lot on the new army coming but this time there actually weren't much info at all aside from we already have heard. Some stats regarding Karl Franz riding his Deathclaw and some info about the new units but not much explaining at all about new rules for the army not even a word from the author of the what he thought about when he wrote the book, which I normally found an really interesting read.

A lot of info and stuff which could have been there was probably not in this issue because of another really big release. The new paint range.And they are giving quite a lot of space for the the new Paint range, which is understandable as they are now changing all their paints and gives us all the 145 new ones. There's some really nice little painting tutorials on how to the apply the different paints to get a nice result, they are showing all from orange armour Eldar Fire Dragons to white robes on an High Elf Archer. There's also a Painting Guide showing all the new paints you need for different things, like an Dark Angel, steel, bronze, bone etc. Really nice thing to have indeed, they are also explaning all the different kinds of paints, what they are for and so on.

Other than paints and Empire they are also giving 40k players something, and mini expansion called Battle Missions and in this issue showing scenarios and special rules when fighting on Death Worlds. And the battle report this month is the last months armes who got reinforcements, Space Wolves vs. Tyranids. (they are also showing an excellent painting tutorial for Space Wolves).

Here's also the last part (I think) of Civil War rules for WHFB with Empire, Skaven and Dwarfs and the Tale of four Gamers with LOTR continues. All in all a quite packed issue that I think most people will like and find interesting. Sure I as an Empire player felt a little let down with not that much info regarding rules etc. But I think there will be more Empire stuff next month. There's plenty of guides and stuff which are really nice, I don't think it's essential bit it is really informative that most players/painters will benefit from.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Empire Update: Halberdiers, and some WIP projects

So another Empire update before the new releases, don't know if you have seen any of the rumours regarding the rules in the new book but apparently all state troopers except spearmen will cost one pt more in the future. Don't really fathom why they made this decision but even if these rumours are making spearmen a more viable choice I still think Halberds is the way to go and I will continue with this regiment without feeling it's a waste of time.

So six more troopers to the force, will try to have the two backrows with raised halberds if I can find enough  of them old spearmen which I have made all of these soldiers from. Just changed the weapons and made some head swaps.

And then are some WIP photos of my next artillery piece, the Mortar. I will finish this second Mortar with it's classic crew and metal mortar cannon even if it seems like the Mortar is getting a major nerf (rumours suggest it now is only S2 and will cost a lot more than before) so if I will get some games in the future I will probably leave the Mortars at home sadly.

Here's also a picture of 18 Greatswordsmen and as you can see I have used a metal primer for most of them to get them done quicker, works very well I must say.

I have now ordered a couple of things for my Empire army, the new army book of course, a Celestrial Hurricanum / Luminark of Hysh, two boxes of Demigryph Knights, the War Altar of Sigmar (wich I will convert into a War Altar of Morr) and the lovely new Witch hunter model. Have also ordered some more stuff, Instant mold more green stuff and a Gardern of Morr which I need for my conversion of the Altar. Really looking forward to get my hands on this stuff and I hope I get some more Empire stuff for my birthday because I really want that new Griffon as well.

If you like you can always help me out by buying some war gaming stuff from Total Wargamer, but if you want to do this be sure to use the banner below. I just made my first order from them and they sure have really good prices so go and check them out and if you buy something why don't you help me a little in the process ^^

That's all for now, next time I will probably post a review of the latest White Dwarf with all the nice Empire pictures in it. So until next time.

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