söndag 7 januari 2018

Review of 2017 & my 2018 Hobby Resolutions

2017 was a year in which I thought I would get more time for painting as I would be home with my kid for 4 months, oh how wrong was I?

In total I painted 32 models:
25 Fantasy Warrior Orcs
3 Models for my Warhammer fantasy 5th edition army
1 Slambo
2 Repaints of X-wing models
1 Dungeon Saga undead dwarf

 
 

Not bad, but considering 25 of the models were hastily painted monopose Orcs, one can't be proud of the achievement....

My gaming wasn't great either, I got a total of 24 games played in 2017:
11 Games of X-wing (4 tournament games)
5 Games of Warhammer 8th edition (3 tournament games)
4 Games of Kings of War (3 Tournament games)
2 Games of Warhammer Skirmish
1 Game of Dungeon Saga
1 Game of Song of Blades & Heroes

While 24 games is still a decent 2 games per month, I have to point out that as many as 10 games were tournament games, the X-wing & warhammer games being at the same Convention & both games of skirmish was during the same day & my amount of actual gaming was a mere 13 times, about once per month I got a game in.
Even worse, this year I didn't play a single game of my favorite warhammer edition, my regular opponent of such games were moving house just before I did, so we never got any time to game except a single game of Song of Blades & Heroes the entire year!

So was 2017 such a bad year when it comes to miniaturegaming & hobbies? No, it might not be great, but there were a few good things, I entered my first X-wing tournament & while I lost 3 of my 4 games, all of my opponents told me I flew very good, I just needed better ships (a shame since I  really prefer the older ships), it was great fun nonetheless & the people was very friendly.
I also played in my second Kings of War tournament, winning 2 out of 3 games & just as with X-wing, I had great fun with great opponents.
Of course the highlight of the year has to be the warhammer tournament. A mere 6 players showed up, which was dissapointing, especially considering that during the event they also had to drop the Age of Sigmar & Kings of war tournaments due to very few interested attendants, all the while the 40K tournament had over 50 players, guess that says something about fantasy around here.
It was still great fun, I had 3 games with a rather soft list, facing Greenskins (led by Grimgor), Dwarves (gunline) & Lizardmen (Led by Kroak), I won all 3 so ended up being the regional champion in Warhammer 8th edition, something I´ve never been before, shame it had to be during a year with such a low turnout of players (during 6th edition the very same tournament had over 30 players & in early 8th edition it still reached 20+ players).
Warhammer fantasy may be in decline, but I still had more fun in this tournament than I´ve had since 5th edition.

Throgg & his friends munch on some Lizards
 
 
All in all I still consider 2017 a decent hobby-year, not as good as 2016, but not my worst either, here´s to 2018 being even better!
 

2018 Hobby Resolutions
It’s easy to come up with rather unrealistic new year’s resolutions, I can say I will paint a model each & every week or not buy a single mini during the entire year. I know this won't happen, this year I will have some realistic resolutions.
 
I’m limiting my games
I feel that I´m currently playing too many games, even worse is that I dug up & cleaned my old 40K army, making it ready for some paint, but in all honesty I don't have enough time to play my current games, let alone start new armies for new gaming systems. Instead I'm gonna limit myself to fewer games, I will drop Song of Blades & Heroes this year, my games will be X-wing & Warhammer for casual play & Kings of War for tournament play.
 
I'm going to attend at least one convention/tournament
I had great fun at the warhammer tournament last year, with that in mind I will enter at least one con this year, hopefully I can make it to the Scandinavian oldhammer weekend, 2-3 of March.
 
Finish my current projects & start a new one
As you've probably seen, my Project atm is a warhammer fantasy 5th edition army, I want to finish it for the oldhammer weekend if possible. They´re going to play a big 4th edition game there, I want my army done by then, I will have to change some stuff to make it a 4th edition army, but that should only be minor stuff.
When done with this army, I want to add a unit of Fallen to my Chaos Counts as Varangur Kings of War army, it´s only one unit of 3 models, I will add Slambo to this unit so it means I will only have to paint 2 models to finish the unit.
Finally I want to paint up one of my boardgames, atm I´m mostly playing Dungeonsaga, so it will most likely be that one I paint up.
 
Join in at least 2 middlehammer challenges
The middlehammer challenges so far has been great fun, I've participated in 4 out of 5 last year, but it has been rather hectic, this year I'm stepping down a notch, but I figure I should still be able to join at least 2 of them.
 
Sell of the backlog
I need a clearout. Big time. Years of collecting minis and not finishing them has been continuously mounting up.
I’ve been hesitant in the past about selling minis, in case I want to come back to them in the future. No more.
I need to be less attached to my backlog and more willing to sell unused minis, in fact I started yesterday by putting a unit of 90's middlehammer Plaguebearers on the Swedish version of Ebay, I will do this with more models, maybe trade some on the oldhammer weekend, I just know that I will need to get rid of some minis, because frankly I have more models than I will ever paint in my entire life....

5 hobby resolutions. All of them achievable & all of them will hopefully make 2018 a better hobby-year!


tisdag 21 november 2017

Chaos Through the Ages - Slambo

Slambo was originally released in 1987, back then he was a generic Chaos Warrior, but GW had a habit of naming all their models to give them more character, but also to help the Mailorder Trolls.
As far as I know the model was based on this artwork by Adrian Smith:

Blood for the Bloodgod! Yup that´s a Khorne rune!

The model  itself closely resembles the artwork, but is in a different, more stiff pose:



I really like this model, I got my own Slambo in the late 90's as part of a deal GW had back then which included 4 Classic Chaos models, I still haven´t painted all of these models, I did paint the guy in the front with his axe & Slambo, although I stripped my Slambo when I changed the colourscheme of my chaos warrior army from silver metallic to brass & he still lies unpainted somewhere, oh the shame....

 
Slambo became such an iconic model, he turned into somewhat of an internet meme among Warhammer Fantasy fans, some dubbed him Slambo, the Everchosen. One thing is for sure though, the sculpt inspired the look of another classic model:
 
Heroquest Chaos Warrior
 
During 6th edition GW released a lot of new Chaos models, one of them was a Chaos Champion which was an obvious nod to Slambo:
 
And now GW released yet another version of this iconic model, Age of Sigmar gives him, for the first time, his own rules as a named character. I don't really play AoS, so I don't know how good he is rules-wise, but I must admit that I really liked the model, even if it is in the same static pose as the original.
 


 

 
Knock knock
 
I painted my Slambo in homage of my original paintjob, but at the same time I tried to tie him in to my current KoW army, in which he will be used as a fallen, by adding bronze, verdigris & gore.
 
On an unrelated note, I learned that the Fandom of this guy has even gone so far as to make Slambo the Commentator for a Fan created game called “Age of Slam” which is essentially a Blood Bowl version of Basketball.
 
 


måndag 13 november 2017

Cheaphammer, does wargaming really need to be expensive?

I came to think about this post while I introduced a friend of mine to X-wing, he was looking at my warhammer stuff & told me he really like the look of various wargames using miniatures, but had never gotten into it due to it being such an expensive hobby.
Does wargaming really need to be expensive?
No, I will not tell you that my wargaming hobby has been cheap, quite the opposite, but I do believe it's very easy to play miniature wargaming quite cheap.

For starters, miniatures, there are tons of great looking miniatures on the market, Games workshop is the spearhead & have very beautiful minis, but they are also quite expensive, it's often the first place a beginner will go for their first army. While the miniatures are of good quality (though definitely not the best) they are getting increasingly pricey, especially if you're buying your paints and terrain from their stores, even when you go down the rather cheap route of say Storm of Sigmar, you need to pay at least 15-20£ for what can only be useful in skirmish gaming. I don't find this to be a bad thing, but sometimes you want to play other formats than skirmish.



Instead of going straight for the mainstream minis, shop around online. There are loads of sites selling quality minis at much lower prices, even as little as £7 for 50 men!
EM4miniatures are offering the same ones as the ones found in the Fantasy Warriors game, Orcs & Dwarves, they look rather ok:

 
 
There are 3 variants for both races, which gives you plenty of troops, 21£ will give you 50 of each sculpt, that´s 150 models! If you don't feel the need for 50 of one type of troop, the cost a measly 0.21£ per model.
 
& the best thing, they paint up really well!
 
 
Note even if you´re not into fantasy EM4 is still great for you as they also offer some decent looking futuristic models such as these:
 
 

 
 
Reaper is another Company which offers very cheap models, these can be found in their Bones range, these are a bit more expensive, but still cheap & combined with the models from EM4, they can be used as excellent characters, making them stand out a bit, Reaper also offers some nice monsters such as these:



 
The russian Company known as Tehnolog is another Company that offers great models for wargaming, their plastic is a bit soft, but still take paint rather well, it´s hard to find their models in 28mm scale though, but they have plenty of 56mm scaled models that work great for Ogres & other such monstrous infantry:

So you can get rather cheap armies full with monsters & characters for way less than 50£, in fact I think you can get a decent army for a mere 30£.
 
Great looking Tanks can be found from Tehnolog:
 
In fact I bought 2 of these tanks myself to expand my 40K 2:nd edition Chaos army. They look really nice in the flesh & offer lots of options when it comes to assembly.
 
Mantic is another company that offers cheap models in masses, both for fantasy & Sci-fi games. They have some of the best zombie miniatures out there imo:
 
So now you have your army, but paints seem to be expensive as well!? Well my answer to that is the same as with the miniatures, shop around, there are various art outlets that will sell the appropriate paints for half as much as Games Workshop & even other companies focused on wargaming offer cheaper paints, I really like coat d arms paints myself.
 
Finally you need some terrain, for this I'm going to suggest something that can be used for models as well, toys. I haven't found many toys I like for wargaming, at most maybe a dinosaur to use with Lizardmen (which are all unpainted & a much later project), but something really useful from the World of toys is army men accessories, look at these great toys:
 
They're perfect for fantasy wargaming, paint them up & no one will even notice they're old toys & they cost next to nothing on ebay, there's a bunch of other stuff available as well, such as bunkers, trees, Watch Towers etc etc.
You can make excellent hills by just using some cardboard, glue, green paint & baking powder (to fill in the holes of the cardboard).
 
Another thing to remember is that wargaming isn't all about huge battles, and although they might look cool, you can have just as much fun (or more!) with skirmish games. These types of games give the players control of small warbands of typically 5-15 minis with a focus on personalities and special abilities. Obviously buying a handful of miniatures costs far less than forking out for 100 and it also means you can afford the high quality ranges if you prefer that route, I still believe Storm of Sigmar is one of the best releases made by GW over the last couple of years, even if you don't like the rules. Mantic has their Vanguard kickstarter which looks promising & also offer full warbands for a mere 20$!
Personally I think Song of Blades and Heroes is one of the best fantasy skirmish games out there and well worth a buy. I've heard that Ganesha games is currently working on some sci-fi rules that work well with the 40K universe.
 
PS. Don´t forget that you can buy stuff on the second hand market as well, flea sales & Ebay allows you to sometimes get a real bargain, that´s how I got my second Fantasy Warriors box, it cost me roughly 12 $ with close to 100 models!


tisdag 31 oktober 2017

Magic cards for sale

This isn't a real blogpost, it´s just to have a place of some pics of my magic cards I have for sale on a big auction.

Wasteland
 
 
Underground Sea
 
Tundra
Volcanic
 
Tropical
 
Scrubland
 
Bayou
Badlands/Taiga
 
 
Savannah/ Plateau
 
Beta Giant Growth
 
 
Altered Art Inquisition
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

lördag 28 oktober 2017

Orctober

Orcs.
Since Tolkien, the fearsome orc has remained a facet to fantasy media across the board. They featured heavily in the Lord of the Rings, even gaining the mighty Uruk Hai among their number. With Tolkien, orcs were smaller, spindlier, savages and cowards, their skin was often dark.
In D&D, they were a race of boar-men, with snouts and tusks and no discernible other traits save for a desire for violence.
Warhammer made them bigger, and the common green skin which we associate with Orcs, well some popular rumours say it came about through an accident with Warhammer minis.
However there´s green orcs before that, which we can see in Tim Kirk's Orc painting from 1975:

 
 
 
To celebrate Orctober, many in the old & middlehammer community paint orcs this month.
This year I decided to do the same.
I have this old game I got in the 90´s, Fantasy Warriors.
 
I never got around to play with it back then, we had warhammer & no one needed yet another miniatures game. It does have its merits though & it came with over 100 models, a few years ago I got a second box from a garage sale & used some of the dwarfs to make a Hordes of the Things army.
I never got around to paint anything else, but did try the rules a few games & while it isn´t as great as Kings of War nor as fun as warhammer, it did have some interesting mechanics & I can see myself playing this game a couple of times in the future, so I decided to paint some of the orcs from this set as my Orctober challenge.
 
 
I went with a more brown/green skin tone, as I think the one GW & WoW Orcs have is to cartoony. The skintone was Foundry's Moss green, I like the way it came out.


The entire unit is 25 orcs strong, they were painted in a basic tabletop standard, made to look good from afar & nothing else. The bases were painted Goblin green & then had old green flock which I have left from the 90's, fitting considering these models are from 1992.
Overall I like these orcs better than GW´s, they don't look as big & ape-like, more in tone with the way Tolkien described them, if there´s anything to complain about, it´s that the details on the plastic is quite soft.
I figure that if I continue with this challenge 2-3 years I will have a full Orc army for Fantasy Warriors in a few years, without losing precious painting time from my other Projects.
The Orcs can still be bought from em4miniatures, they´re very cheap & if I didn't already have over 100 Orcs & close to 100 Dwarfs I would be buying some more, if nothing else because you can't get it any cheaper.
Happy Orctober!



fredag 13 oktober 2017

Allies in Warhammer

Allies, a way to circumvent your army's weaknesses or a way to include something fun & characterful?
I saw a thread on the Facebook middlehammer group page that discussed allies, this got me thinking about how I feel about allies, how I used to feel about it back in the day & how our gaming group used allies.

The very first time I used allies was with my Chaos army back in 4th edition, this was in the very beginning of my warhammer experience.
I owned a few models such as a Chaos Knight champion (used as a lord), plenty of beastmen & warriors (monopose plastics), a sorcerer on disc & nothing else, I wanted to field some cavalry, but Chaos cavalry back then was only available as metal models & for a 12 year old it was a lot of money to get a full unit, but allies were there to save the day, I bought 2 boxes of skeleton cavalry, it cost the same as 2 Chaos Knights, but gave me 6 models instead, enough to field a unit. I made one a standard bearer, gave them the Doom Rider banner & then they were a mainstay unit in my army for many, many battles, even after I had bought a full unit of Chaos Knights these were part of my army until I had my harpies & daemons (all metal ofc) as well.
It was a good unit, able to run through terrain & it hit hard with autohits @ S5, yet I never felt like I was cheating when using this unit, not even when one of my characters started using Book of Ashur to get Necromancy magic to help them out, it felt like it was part of the army.
A friend of mine who played Bretonnia had some Lothern Sea Guard in his army, not because it was the obvious better choice when compared to his peasants, but becaue he wanted to use his neatly painted elves from the 4th edition starter, no one complained about allies!
But then I met a greenskin army, it was a new guy to play against, he knew one in our group & was welcomed to join in on the fun, he used some Hobgoblin allies in his army, this made him ignore greenskin animosity & it meant he basically had a bunch of undercosted units without their drawback & this time it felt like someone was cheating when using allies.
It didn't stop me from using allies, but I always used allies that felt like they fit in, as an example:
My Chaos warriors had both daemon & beastman allies, as well as Skaven (no war machines though), mostly it was due to the 4th edition book so I had the models, but it felt right to ally in these kind of units, heck I even tried a lone greater daemon once, but only for a special scenario.
My Empire had a unit of Wood Elf Archers led by a champion with Hail of Doom Arrow, sometimes they switched for a unit of dwarf slayers, both of these units added something I already had access to, but was both better at it & still felt like it fit thematically, Humans have allied with Dwarves & Elves on multiple occassions.

The Warhammer World is full of stories about desperate alliances, during the Great war against Chaos, humans allied with both Elves & Dwarves, however there are even stories of greenskins attacking the Chaos forces, knowing full well what  would happen if Chaos won.
In the siege of Quenelles Wood Elves allied with Bretonnia.
At la Maisontaal Abbey an Undead & Skaven Alliance was beaten back by Bretonnians.





Choosing allies in warhammer is very easy, you get to pick allies from certain books, 25% of your army may be anything you want from those books & well this has led to several misuses in the  World of Warhammer.
Over the years I´ve seen allied Greater daemons, Wood Elf armies with Dwarf Organ Guns & said Dwarf armies include high level spellcasters etc etc.
This have led to some groups banning allies altogether.

Imo allies are great, it's a way to add flavour to your army, to paint up a unit from another army just because you like it, or to just win at all costs...
If you use allies for certain scenarios, or have a great theme, then great, if you include them just to counter a weakness in your army or to get away with something your army aren't allowed to use normally, then maybe not so great.
If you've read my blog before you know what rules my gaming group used when it came to Warhammer 5:th edition, if not, then here´s a reference:

Minimum 33% RegimentsMax 33% Characters (Bretonnia may have 50% characters)
No unridden large monsters
No allied characters or warmachines except Dogs of War
No Power 3 spells
Magic Items with a points value of more than 50 cannot be included
Only one war machine, for each regiment in the army
No Fly High

We got around the biggest problem of allies by not allowing warmachines or characters (Dogs of War was the obvious exception).
Imo one of the things allies shouldn't be used for is to use extremely powerful characters/war machines to get around the normal restrictions or weaknesses of your army.
You want some shooting with chaos, fine, ally in some Dark Elves, but avoid the Bolt Throwers.
Want magic with Dwarves? Ally in a lowbie Empire wizard & his bodyguards (maybe some halberdiers?), make sure you add a backstory to it.
Mercenaries is another explanation, but do those mercenaries have to be led by Tyrion or Teclis?
My Point is that usually there is a good explanation for an alliance, it can be anything from a common enemy, or old kinship (Dwarves & Empire come to mind), but one should choose allies in the spirit of the game, warhammer is already an unbalanced game, you don't need allies to make it even more unbalanced.
Alliances between races that are not only believable, but probable, is the best kind of alliances.

Proper allies!

Some alliances I find probable:

Chaos: Allying between themselves is very probably, other probable allies include Dark Elves, greenskins & Skaven.

Empire: Dwarves of course, Dogs of war, Bretonnian Questing Knights would work well too.

Bretonnia: Empire & Wood Elves

Lizardmen: None

Greenskins: Skaven

High Elves: Empire or Wood Elves

Dark Elves: Slaaneshi Daemons

Dwarves: Empire

Wood Elves: Bretonnia

Undead: Chaos, have also been known to ally with Skaven

Chaos Dwarves: Chaos, but also greenskins

Skaven: Chaos, Undead

I would use either the rules we have for allies (no characters or war machines) or make the allies look like small contignents, so maybe a lowbie character to lead them, some of the more common troops & max 1 of something rare (Empire for example could be a unit of Halberdiers, a level 2 wizard & a single war machine). Using allies can be great fun, it allows you to be creative, to field something new, but always remember the first rule of warhammer, both players should have fun!