Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult

This update is slightly odd for me. Alongside the unit of skeleton infantry I shared with the previous update, I also managed to finally complete the two crew of Mantic’s Balefire Catapult. The odd part is that I painted the actual Catapult last year, and was sure I’d posted it here, but can’t for the life of me find it posted. This has of course been the final month of the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” painting challenge that I’ve run over on Dakka.

As they were painted separately and at different times, the iconography of the Catapult is more than a little different to the plain freehand skulls and bones I’ve been giving the skellymans. I actually went for a stylised red eye. (hmm….) in order to allow the actual war machine (sans crew) to fit into several armies aside from solely belonging to the undeads.

The crew on the other hand, were started (well, assembled) at the same time as the Balefire, but only painted recently, more or less in concert with the infantry, so their livery is the more current, developed one that the army has taken on. Painting the crew does of course combine with the catapult to create another completed, finished unit – entirely the point of the ToG challenge!

That’s pretty much it. It has made for a good, strong finish to the final month of the painting challenge for the undead. Especially so, considering I had the painting doldrums and didn’t finish anything at all until almost three weeks in.

June’s “Tale of Gamers” Undead painting contingent.

I’ll get some “6-months worth of Undead” and “6 months worth of Gondor” posts up soon, and then follow them with a few “Army Showcase so far.” posts for my various army projects. Should be a bit of fun, or at least keep me interested for a little while…

 

 

 

The First Unit of Mantic Skeletons

A slightly odd title, I know. But the fact is that I’ve got quite a few more of these suckers to paint at some stage, so I’m simply future-proofing this (series of) post(s) now.

I haven’t posted for awhile – a combination of being perma-fatigued from work and personal life issues, and the onset of the winter doldrums. I did bugger-all from the end of last month until about the middle of last week, when I finally got back to work. The end of the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” challenge I’ve been running over on Dakka is coming to a close in a few days, and I need(ed) to get my skates on. I still need to get something finished for Gondor, the boring bastards!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

These models were actually started several years ago, shortly after I purchased Mantic Games’ Dwarf King’s Hold: Dead Rising. Seeing as the game came with a dozen or so of Mantic’s Skellymans, and I had none painted or assembled at the time, I took a sprue or two from my (at the time) recent purchase of Kings of War 1st Edition: Morgoth’s Revenge (aka the one with the awful dwarves and a tiny A5 pamphlet for a rulebook) and built them up for the game.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

I can’t remember if DKH has a skeleton hero or not – or if I just built the guy with the two swords to keep myself interested. The feather-plumed skeleton also has a unit leader feel to him, though. Perhaps when I do another dozen of these guys one of this pair will remain here as the unit leader while the other moves on to lead the second unit.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

I only have three spears in this unit, as it was built for the boardgame. At some stage, I’ll build a spear-heavy contingent to combine with these guys (and one of those leaders up above) to make a spear unit. I’ll also do a few more with hand weapons to fill out a unit with regular weapons.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

All of the shields on these models have freehand designs. I’ll have to think of some other designs that are both simple to paint and suitable for this sort of undead models. Any ideas? Nothing too creative or exciting for these guys, though!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

The difficulty with these models is as nice as these have come up – honestly, to my surprise – they were a real bastard to paint. Not fun at all. The issue I have is that the details are very shallow. I don’t mind fine detail, but it’s all very shallow on these guys, and as such, not simple and easy to paint in my style. Skeletons with well-defined details and bones are usually a joy to paint, but these aren’t it.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

While Mantic’s Undead are often cited as their best range – certainly before the latest batch of KoW plastics came onto the scene recently – and I do agree that the Zombies (and Ghouls, I guess – I’ve used a ton of Ghoul parts on my Zombies) are great models. The differences are that the Zombies are a real pleasure to paint, but are severely limited in their components and require a fair bit of work to get differentiation once you go beyond the first few models (hence using all those Ghoul parts on mine). The Skeletons on the other hand have a lot more components to choose from to make the models more varied, and like the Zombies, they look pretty good once done – but they’re the opposite of the pleasure to paint that the Zombies are.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Will I paint some more? Well, I feel obliged to do another dozen in order to split the spears and hand weapons, so I’m sure I’ll do those this year. After that, it’ll be a second dozen of each to bring each of them to horde-size, though that’s less likely to happen this year. I also have a few sprues of Mantic’s Skeleton Revenants, though again, no real plans to do those anytime soon. Maybe I’ll paint my Mantic Skeleton Cavalry first…

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Still, I have to give this painting challenge credit – It motivated me to sort out these guys who had been assembled and nothing more but sat aside for around four years or more, and now we have another finished unit of models, and while they’re not going to win any Crystal Brushes, I reckon they make a very nice unit for the table.

 

Dungeon Saga: Some Small Scenics

Like most people who backed the Kickstarter, I got my Mantic’s Dungeon Saga stuff a little while ago. While the models are (almost all) quite nicely sculpted, there’s some terribad warpage on many of them. Combined with the usual Mantic Kickstarter-quality packing (I’m still waiting on replacements for a bunch of broken and missing stuff), messed-up hardcover compendium and reviews that talk about how Jake Thornton clearly lost interest as he was writing co-op and campaign rules (apparently you can see his interest wane as you read through the Adventurer’s guide as he was really only interested in the HeroQuest-level rules) means the game’s extras got placed in a plastic tub and the game itself stacked on top to get back to one day (or not). Whatever. I’ve got Black Plague to scratch my boardgaming itch for the time being without any resentful rules being mixed in.

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Benches

Benches!

The scenery items for Dungeon Saga on the other hand, are pretty damned good. The doors are made from a proper, hard plastic (ABS or HIPS, most likely) while the bookshelves, wells, barrels, and so forth are made from a softer PVC-type plastic. Both sets are actually pretty damned good – especially for stuff that comes in a boardgame – and I’ve got no hesitation in recommending them to anyone who is a wargamer. They obviously wouldn’t work so well in super-detailed dioramas, but that’s a separate category.

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Barrels

Barrels!

So I decided to start painting up a few of these pieces. Now, a word of warning. I purchased several cans of Rust-O-Leum sparay paint awhile back, since the cans read that they were a primer and colour spray in one, and that they have some kind of special formulation that binds to plastic. Great! I sprayed a bunch of my PVC scenery with it, and the stuff simply never properly dried. Even after more than a week of Melbourne’s Summer Heat. This made my “quickly knock up some scenery quickly” task a lot more painful than I’d planned. The brown eventually mostly dried, but the black was still sticky and horrible, and so I threw them into some Simple Green a few days ago. I’ll get back to those, later. The point here being – DO NOT USE Rustoleum spray paint on miniatures. At least the formulation that they sell here in Australia. Never had a problem with other brands, and so I’m back to those. On reflection, though – it seems similar to problems that people have had with Reaper’s Bones PVC, so maybe it’s not the spray after all. I’ll have to do some tests on HIPS sprue and some resin offcuts….

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Well

Desert Well!

As I have three wells in hand due to buying two of the sets + extras (I’m missing more scenery, too), I had an idea as I was taking them outside to undercoat. My first thought was to paint them all “dungeon grey”/bluestone but then as I was getting out the spray primer (damn Rustoleum) I had the thought to paint them differently. One to go with my desert mat, one to go with my green mat and one to go with the dungeon internals. So this one is sandstone.

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Well

Field Well!

I added a bit of Vallejo realistic water at the bottom of each to make them look a little nicer than just leaving the shallow sculpted bottom (which, again is quite decent for a sculpted model.) I painted the second one here as field stone. I added a bit of variation between the stones, but that seems to have mostly disappeared after washes and highlighting. I finished it by adding some plant growth around the edges, and added a little more realistic water than the desert well.

Dungeon Saga Scenery Items.

Dungeon Saga Scenery Items.

And here’s the “group shot”. I’ll have to get onto the bookshelves next, since I didn’t spray those and therefore gunk them up at all. Sometime after that I’ll have to try and scrub that horrid Rustoleum off the other pieces. I’m not looking forward to that one bit.

Reaper Bones, 77249: Large Barrel Small Barrel, 77248: Crates (Large and Small)

Reaper Bones’ Barrels set and Crates set

As a very exciting separate bonus – here are the Barrels and Crates from Reaper’s Bones II line. I painted these last year and photographed them because I’m now trying to photograph everything I finish, but they weren’t exciting enough to even sneak into any updates until now. So here they are.

 

Mantic… almost. – The Kings of War V.2 almost-release.

Over on Dakka, this has become a bit of a joke meme when discussing many aspects of Mantic Games, and the way they manage to just slightly fuck up everything they do and touch. Yesterday or today (depending on where you live) was supposed to be the grand unveiling of the V2 (V3 actually, but Mantic’s saying otherwise) rules for Kings of War – one of Mantic Games’ flagship games. It’s their competitor to the sadly now discontinued Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and is actually an excellent ruleset, written by Alessio Calvatore and greatly improved by the tireless efforts of the “Rules Committee” who ensured that V2 would not be a clusterfuck of individual special rules, random charts and unbalanced forces if left to the original designer’s discretion.

I’d planned to spend my Saturday updating my existing lists, going over the new rules and then playing a game with Marouda, taking photos and writing up a “for reals” battle report (instead of the photo collections with commentary I’ve printed in the past) as we went along, in order to get a game in and “do my bit” to promote the new edition of the game.

So the free rules as released were lacking magic items. OK, a bit disappointing, but not entirely surprising since they did this last time with “V.1”. I thought it a bit of a poor choice given that right now is when they should be the most open in hoping to lure disaffected Warhammer Fantasy players over. One of the most common complaints about KoW I’ve seen from WHFB players who’ve read the rules is that KoW units lack the kind of individuality and personality of the WH units, and the most-read counterpoint to that I’ve read is that the Magic Items are the best way to add that flavour back in – in terms of rules representing the “cool thing” that this or that WHFB unit has – which I pretty much agree with.

After an hour or so updating my Minas Tirith/Gondor army lists (1,000, 1,500, 2,200) using the Kingdoms of Men list, I started on Marouda’s undead lists. Did the 1,000 and got up to the 1,500 and noticed that Wights were missing. A trip to a couple of forums, and I found that the army lists are truncated (the V1 lists were full, just lacking special characters). The Abyssal (Chaos Daemons) list is available only to Beasts of War Backstage subscribers, and the Twilight Kin (Dark Elves) list is still MIA unless you have access to one of the Beta lists (which, to be fair was pretty much expected). Kickstarter backers who were promised the full rules PDF today as recently as last week have now been told that they’ll get them “in a few weeks”.

It’s poor form by Mantic (once again, unfortunately). A combination of what has become habitual promising of one thing only to deliver something else, and habitual poor communication. I’ll get the full rules in a month or so anyway, so that’s not the end of the world, but it’s a terribly squandered opportunity in light of the Age of Sigmar. Mantic’s supporters (including the Rules Committee) have been talking to their Warhammering friends about full, free, great rules for some time, only to have what is in this context a very disappointing release from Mantic in terms of “taster” army lists, a BoW paywall for the Abyssals, and the full rules still a month(?) away for their KS backers.

I don’t have time to waste mucking around with a silly half-arsed rules release, so I’ll play other games in the meantime and now won’t be bothering to hype KoW or run KoW games for my friends. (I’d already sent out links to the free rules to several friends, only to send out an apologetic followup email with an explanation of all the missing content.) KoW is still a very good game, and one I’d recommend people pick up and give a try at the very least. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes, and that’s cool – but today has been very disappointing as I’d hoped to be able to show, not tell – and share my enjoyment of a game using the new rules. I’ll probably play Far Cry 4 and some Zombicide instead.

A fantastic opportunity. Squandered.

Mantic Ogre Shooters – Units 3 and 4: 2013-2015 (a year on)

Despite the difference in dates, it’s “only” 14 months since I last updated on these figures. As I’ve noted before, while Mantic’s Ogre models do turn out nice enough, I do not enjoy painting them. My cunning plan was to cockblock myself and not allow myself to paint the “fun” Ogre models until after I finished the second batch of shooters. Since I hadn’t worked on them in 13 months, I think we can safely state that particular plan wasn’t the best. It was one of those 3am epiphany-type things that actually got me to finish these. Getting back into painting again after almost 3 months, wanting to paint Greeks and Romans, and thinking about the mess on the desk resulted in the thought of “just finish the fricking things – they’ll probably only take a couple of hours to finish” replacing the usual “shove them out of the way”. It’s the same thought process that helped get those Skeletons out of the way as well as a several of the other odd figures that I’ve recently shown and will continue to show shortly, and will also have some Elites for my Gondor army finished and off my desk in a couple of days. Or within a week. Or two. Hopefully.

Mantic KoW Ogre Crossbows. Leader with Citadel head.

Mantic Crossbow Ogres – Rear View

I went with red tabards for these guys, so they’re distinct from the blue of the original two units, though sometimes they’ll potentially be combined into regiments of 6 rather than troops of 3. I’ve kept the tabards a dull red. I feel there’s no need for them to be overly highlighted. I’d been looking at the shields for months thinking about adding some red to them, and I think it’s worked well to add a little more colour and interest to them. As I mentioned a long time ago, I used Citadel Ogre Kingdom heads on the leaders of both units since Mantic has an incredibly limiting six total heads for their ogres – most of which are average or below quality.  (Along with only three body types!) The Crossbows are equipped with the “Jar of the Four Winds”, which I’ve represented by cracked amphorae filled with lemon-lime soft drink-coloured …liquid.

Mantic Kings of War Ogre Blunderbuss Troops. Again, the leader has a Citadel Ogre head.

Mantic Kings of War Ogre Blunderbuss Troops. (rear)

The blunderbuss unit had a bit more reposing, in an attempt to make them a little more interesting (or less uninteresting?) I also gave them bucklers and a shield on the boss to aid in this. It wasn’t until the end of painting them that I finally decided on painting the shields red.

I’d hoped to finish all six of these in a week from getting “motivated”, but in the end it took closer to two weeks to finish the Crossbows and a further month to finish the Blunderbusses, but that’s largely due to the fact that I still found it quite hard to make myself sit down and finish them. I found breaking them up into their sub-units just made it easier again. The trouble being, obviously, that I didn’t really enjoy working on them. Now they’re done, I’m happy enough with them to use them or look at them, but I’m in no rush to work on more of them. I’m planning on getting back into painting more interesting and fun Ogres – not Mantic ones for awhile! I’ve actually got two more units almost done – each both lacking a single Ogre to finish them.

Here’s some shots of the Ogre Army in progress:

The Ogre Battle Line …so far.

Ogre Battle Line – Left Angle

Ogre Battle Line – Right Angle

Ogre Index:

Jes Goodwin’s Classic Citadel Ogres #1. (Nov 2013)

Bob Olley’s Classic Citadel Ogres. (Nov 2013)

Golfag’s Ogre Mercenaries. (April 2014)

Mantic Ogre Shooters: Units 1 & 2.  And Based. (Nov 2013) WIP (Oct 2013)

Mantic Ogre Shooters: Units 3 & 4 (Feb 2015) WIP (Dec 2013)

Mantic Ogre WIP 1 (army concepts/other ogres pre-touchup/rebasing)

Kickstarter Experiences: Part 4 – 21 months on!

I haven’t done any KS updates for quite awhile. Mostly because I feel like they turn me into a raging angry arsehole when I look at just how much is owed me by various incompetent businesses and/or suppliers. I’ll do this one as I’ve had a couple of requests on them now.

From oldest to most recent:

Kings of War (Mantic Games): Delivered everything in the end. Their quality control was, frankly, awful. Bait-and-switch on things like the troll sculpts, which I’d gone in big on based on the concept art. Lots of mispacks and miscasts. More than a few shitty sculpts. The Plastic Men-at-Arms are particularly notorious. In the end I swapped out my trolls for way too many Ogres, which are still pretty average sculpts for anyone who wants to build an army with (I’ve talked about them a few times in my Ogre Army building posts). So now I don’t have a troll army, and have a pile of Ogres (way more than I’ll even use) in a box. Yay.

Sedition Wars (McVey Studios): Shitty game with bad rules. Nicely sculpted figures in a sub-par material (restic!) for the first wave. Shitty sculpts in restic for the second wave. Ended up destroying many of them in exchange for a partial refund from CMON in the end. Apparently there are now better rules somewhere on the net. Maybe somewhere on the McVey website. McVey and CMoN passively blamed one another for all of the problems, but McVey’s shit-awful communication has resulted in me not willing to buy anything from his company again. I hope he sticks to boutique resins from here on out. If he tries to go the board game route again I wouldn’t be upset if he went out of business after the line of bullshit he fed us and how much (of my) money essentially got flushed down the toilet.

Reaper Bones 1: Turned out to be a great deal, especially with the shipping. Their communication turned out to be worse than nothing once shipping started, and RoW backers got shunted to the back of the queue, despite all of their previous promises on shipping. ReaperBryan tried to do what he could, but whoever is actually in charge decided that communicating with their backers wasn’t really important. Still. A lot of models for cheap.

Stonehaven Miniatures Dwarven Adventurers: A solid deal, overall a bunch of nice miniatures, and genuinely nice people to deal with. Good communication and delivered on time (or close enough to it that I don’t remember them being late!)

Red Box Games KS1: This one has been well documented, I’m sure. Trollforged was the producer. It seems that poor communication between the two, poor quality checking of figures on both sides, and a rogue employee trying to defend Trollforged (but naturally stirring up even more shit) all led to this becoming a massive clusterfuck with pledges being delivered incredibly late. I got my figures in the end, but still haven’t QAed them to this day, since the whole thing turned me off bigtime. And no, Sky, I’m not fucking giving them to you for free.

Dreamforge Leviathans (Dreamforge Games): still owes me a shitload of stuff and haven’t shipped anything since September last year – so over a full year since they shipped anything. Imperial Guard? Well, with my declining interest in 40k, they’re just models at this point. Wargames Factory make quality stuff, but they’re completely fucking incompetent in getting anything out on any kind of timeframe. Result is any KS getting stuff by WGF is an automatic no-go for me. Mark tries to update every so often with information on new shipping dates from WGF, but it always turns out to be bullshit that they’ve fed him. WGF are also inflexible in terms of part-shipping stuff for backers, offering some sort of coupon etc to make up for the inordinate delays or anything else.  It’s become a bit of a meme with the guys I talk to about it. China says No.

Wargames Factory customer service.

Dreadball Season 1 (Mantic): Got all my stuff in the end, over 2 waves. Got some of it after retail, but that’s par for the course, apparently. Apparently it’s a very good game. Unfortunately, I spent an awful lot of money on what turned out to be shitty figures made of restic garbage, which basically destroyed all interest I have of ever playing it. (When I look at it, it just makes me want to play proper Blood Bowl instead). Shelf fodder.

Bombshell Babes (Bombshell Miniatures): Got the figures. They were sub-par. My postcard also got fucked up since they used the cheapest packaging possible (stuff all the metal models into one zip-lock bag, then stuff that tightly into a padded envelope with no protection whatsoever for the postcards. One was broken. Then send internationally. Then don’t reply to my email that was actually quite polite by anyone’s standards. That’s the kind of customer service that $150+ gets you from Pat Keith, apparently.

Judge Dredd Miniatures (Mongoose Games): Figures still trickling in every so often 2 years after the fulfilment date. Sculpt quality varies, though Matt is personable when fixing up mispacks, etc.

Project Eternity (Videogame): No idea. I kinda lost interest and forgot about this one. I’d track it down, but I find I don’t care much, and being a videogame it’s probably another 2 years off or asking for “founders packs” or some other bullshit. I guess I should track it down sometime.

Assimilation Alien Host (Trollforged): 18 months late. He’s started to deliver on some stuff in the last few months, but no doubt it’ll be another 4-6 months before he gets up to Queen level, and even then it’ll take him months to fulfil those. My lack of interest in new 40k makes them probably not going to be a Tyranid Army anymore, so they’ll end up being some sort of greeblies. The worm-things are mostly nice, but the humanoids are a big disappointment after the excellent concept art.

Imbrian Arts: Boy I dodged a bullet with this one. Jody is a talented sculptor, but seems to be a terrible business owner, and possibly a terrible human being as well. I’m sure he’s got his “you can’t rush art” sycophants, but he really hasn’t shown any responsibility or acted like an adult to the people who gave him $63 thousand dollars. (He hasn’t updated for 4 months, again). 21 months overdue. He tried to start up another game with alternate figures while claiming that those figures weren’t Imbrian Arts figures since they belonged to another game (of his). Apparently he decided to redefine IA as a line, rather than his brand/company. He’s got an endless series of excuses, and while I have no financial loss to this shitheel, I would like to say Fuck that Piece of Shit right in his ear. Fuck you, Jody! And to anyone who feels like defending him – fuck you, too! 🙂

Hell Dorado (Kai Nesbit): This one was – as usual – a number of months late. There was talk about an illustrator having broken his hand, but apparently there’s also some connection to Ninja Division/Soda Pop Games, which no doubt had some connection to this one becoming clusterfucked. The French Language version still hasn’t fully shipped due to some kind of chain of events that I tuned out of months ago now. I bought a bunch of extra HD figures to play this with when it looked like delivering vaguely on time (and I had some free time off work to learn and play it in!), but as with many other KS, when it finally arrived, it was during a busy time at work, and now it’s all in a box somewhere. Figures do look nice, though.

Zombicide Season 2: Shipping in Wave 1 was an absolute clusterfuck. When they finally shipped my stuff, more than half of my stuff was missing. Their CS was worse than useless. In the end I was lucky enough to have a fellow forum member kindly help me out with a personal contact, and my missing stuff got delivered. Wave 2 simply arrived on time, complete, and with no drama. Good stuff. The game is great, as well.

Loka (Mantic Games): I only backed for the “River Horse” model, as a bit of support. It was, of course, miscast (the halves of the metal model would not fit together properly). I got in contact with Mantic and asked for just the two pieces – and please make sure they fit together properly. They sent me: Another full model, with the exact same miscast. Into a tub with the first one it went, along with the knowledge that no-one should back Mantic for multipart metal models, either.

DeadZone (Mantic Games): Mantic were good in letting me add a lot to the second survey. Unfortunately they forgot to send me all of the rulebooks, and the models turned out to have the same quality control that we can expect from Mantic’s restic offerings, so instead of spending my week and a bit off work learning to play DeadZone, I almost set the fucking box on fire, and did other things instead while the whole lot sits in a couple of boxes. Wave 3 is of course, horribly delayed at this point in time, but they’re apparently going to start shipping it in December. So I’ll most likely see mine in January, if I’m lucky. Apparently it’s a good game. I dunno. I’ll find out for myself sometime next year when I can possibly make myself give enough of a shit to find out.

Secret Weapon Miniatures: Tablescapes: I actually got my SWM stuff a week and a bit ago (how late? 6 months? a year?), though it’s the middle of a super busy time at work right now, so I haven’t even had the time/inclination to look at them in any kind of detail, and sadly won’t have the time to work on then until the mid-end of December. With the spacers that at least one of the delays were related to not being a thing anymore – until maybe after? – I’m not sure about painting them since trying to store the painted tiles without causing severe damage to them is going to be a real bitch. Remember what I said about Wargames Factory earlier? Yeah.

Robotech RPG Tactics (Palladium Books): “To help ensure realistic deadlines, we have completed the vast majority of our development before launching the Kickstarter. Sculpts for the game pieces are almost entirely complete. The rulebook and game components are deep in development and will be ready for layout soon. Our manufacturers are also ready and have reserved factory time for the project. This means that as soon as the project is funded, we can lock down a timeline with our manufacturers to get the game produced.” Fulfilment date was December 2013. I Understand that some people have started to receive part of their first wave items. Of course, the figures are awful, too many pieces, and no dates projected for Waves 2 or 3… (waves only became a thing around February 2014, as I recall)

 

More in the next update.

And in response to the obvious reply/comments about backing KS being a risk, etc.

You’re (largely) correct. KS at this stage isn’t for me. Despite a few of the projects above having been backed before “lolkickstarter – expect it 6 or 12 months late at minimum” was really a thing – so blaming backers for being pissed off at multi-year delays because the creators turn out to be in competent in various ways isn’t exactly kosher. Still, when we get up to things like Palladium and Raging Heroes, I think Victim Blaming of the backers is pretty poor form. While companies like SWM and DFG got fucked around royally by their Chinese suppliers, companies that have outright lied to us in order to secure funding deserve the derision that they receive. I’ll talk a little about some of my “$1 projects” in another KS update at some point, and talk about why I pulled my pledge down to the $1 value, and/or never got back on board via pledge managers.

For the majority of things at this point – I’ve recently decided that I’m pretty much done with KS at this point. I may back rare campaigns run by those who have shown competence, or have something I really want – but for the rest of them, I’m happy to pass and just buy retail items from Perry and Warlord and a variety of other small producers and occasionally from GW and FW (and videogames) for the 2 years they’ll take to come to market.

 

 

War Room – The Grand Opening and some games got played!

It’s been quiet on the blogging front for a few weeks now. While other lucky gamers around the world have been at Adepticon and Salute, I’ve been working on the room, which was all but complete by last Saturday, and had the electrician in again yesterday for the final touches (installing a second flouro light and some spotlights, as well as cabling the alarm and some other stuff). Now all that’s really left is a bit more clean-up, some blinds, and perhaps even a split system aircon/heater (at my awesome wife’s suggestion!)   So just shy of the lights being installed, some friends came over for a gaming night on Saturday. We started with a big game of KoW where I GMed/refereed the three players per side (I only remembered to take one pic, so no battle report unfortunately). Three of the six players had never played anything like this before, and so it was good to see just how easily non-wargamers could pick up the basics of the rules. They all had lots of RPG experience, so it wasn’t incredibly difficult.

The grand battle begins!

A 600-pt Pan-Elven force of Blood Elves (GW High Elves) and Dark Elves (GW) using the Twilight Kin list ally with 600 pts of Basileans (hastily assembled using Rackham Confrontation Lions pre-paints) and a small 300-pt contingent of Gondor/Kingdoms of Men infantry (GW) square off against 1200pts of Ogres (old GW & Mantic) and 300pts of “nature” (GW Wolves and GW Ent using the KoW Goblin rules for a Giant and Wolfriders). Through a combination of superior manoeuvre, the main ogre general being distracted the whole time, and some eagle-eyed sharpshooting and resilient defence from the Gondor contingent, the humand and elves carried the day in the end. The Ogre Warlord’s final devastating rampage through the Elven/Human lines not being enough to carry the day before he too was pulled down under weight of numbers. After that, we ate pizza and pasta, played a couple of games of SJG Frag!, and then finished up.   The following day, my 74-year old Mum came over for a visit. She ended up playing a game of KoW against my wife, while I once again refereed and offered advice to both sides.

The setup – Basileans vs Elves.

Allies just the previous night, the Elves and Basileans turned on one another and met across a green hilly field. My mum took the Basileans and my wife took on the Elves this time.

The armies clash!

Once again I forgot to take a lot of pictures, but the final outcome was a close one. It basically came down to a single (un?)lucky dice roll where the Elven Halberd (spear) phalanx survived a final round of shooting and magic from the Basileans, leaving the Elves with enough troops to declare the day victorious. If the Halberds had broken, it would have essentially been a drawn game. Which is not too shabby for a 74-year-old woman’s first wargaming experience. Once again, both sides enjoyed the game, which is what it’s all about for me. I also got all the bits of the “box” part of a light box sorted, so now I just need to pick up a (couple of) lamps tomorrow, and I’ll be good for photographing figures again – and at a higher quality (hopefully)!