Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A surprise gift

Six months ago I was having a chat with my mate Trevor about Games Workshop and their various games and how things were so much better when the hobby was still young. We were condemning the most recent price hike and remembering how you could afford a squad of Space Marines, a few paints and brushes and still have change from a tenner.

Anyway, I was telling him how I wanted to start a small Astra Militarum army for 40k, but was struggling to find the time what with Rosie being a year and a half old. Trevor said he had a few Astra Militarum models knocking about the attic and that he would be happy to give them to me.

Fast forward to the present and our second child Poppy was born. Trevor had his first child, Henry, and all things 40k was long forgotten. The newborns had a play date so they could  dribble on each other and Trevor brought with him three large cardboard boxes. I had no idea what was in them, but it turns out it was the Astra Militarum models Trevor mentioned ages ago.

I seem to have inherited a Astra Militarum army! I can't wait to start painting things up and putting together a small 500pt force. It's been years since my last 40k game so I'm going to have to swat up on the rules as well at some point.

Once I had sorted everything out, I took some pictures which I thought I would share.

The tanks! A Chimera and two Leman Russ. One of the reasons I wanted an Astra Militarum army in the first place was the crazy amount of mechanised death available.

A squadron of three Sentinals. I have to admit that I have never even thought of taking these guys before. I'm loving the models though.

The Heavy Weapons. There are three Lascannons, four Autocannons and three Missile Launchers. These should be enough for the first 500 points and Trevor has saved me a fortune as they cost a bomb for some reason.

 The cannon fodder. Easily enough models for two healthy platoons. There are loads of special weapons mixed in as well. I'm loving the Commissar model, which again, I hadn't though of taking before.

So there we go. A big thanks again to Trevor for his generosity. I now just have to figure out how to paint and bottle feed at the same time...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The (Maya)net Is Vast and Infinite

Not posted for a while due to lack of time and on and off, feeling a bit meh about 40k.

But i thought I'd post today because I finally bit the bullet and bought into Infinity. When Gotrek and Praetor first talked about Infinity, I wasn't fully convinced. I loved how much character the models have and the rules looked interesting but I just couldn't find a faction that I could imagine playing. That was until recently when i discovered Ariadna's Caledonians!! They're Scottish, have werewolves and have access to a William Wallace character. SOLD!

So i bought the Highlander starter pack, a Cameronian and William Wallace (from Element Games) and have been absorbing the rules and getting (just a little) excited about playing my first game!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Astra Militarum Infantry Squad - Finished

So I finally managed to finish my 20 man squad! Its taken ages but mainly as I rarely am able to sit and paint and when I do its only for an hour or two. I think next time I'm sticking to 10 men at a time maximum!

I really need to try and do a proper showcase at some point but for now I have taken the best picture I can with my (crappy) phone camera:

Friday, 26 February 2016

Astra Militarum - Update

Hey all. Just a quick update on my Astra Militarum Infantry Platoon. They are almost finished. I just need to do a second coat on the black rims of the bases, varnish them (matt) and add some grass tufts. I'm fairly pleased with them. As always there is stuff I'd change and things I have learned but I find it's best to finish what is in front of you then move on. I learn way more like that. Keep an eye out for the finished article on these.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Shadows of Brimstone - New stuff

What caught my eye about Shadows of Brimstone was the scope for expansion. As I mentioned in the last post, the western theme is simply the tip of a very deep gaming iceberg. The core boxes provide the groundwork and what may seem fussy to begin with (everything, from treasure to monsters has at least three decks of cards each!) means that an add-ons can simply be shuffled in with the rest of the cards.

For example, the first Other World expansion has been released in the States and is called Caverns of Cynder.

Just like the other two Other Worlds, it comes with it own event and loot deck. All you have to do to incorporate it into your games is to put it's Other World card in with the Ice City and Swamps and hope you draw it when you venture through a portal. Flying Frog really do have a blank canvas and can literally go anywhere with this concept. Abandoned space wreckage hurtling towards a sun anyone?

New characters are also planned to expand the original eight. Again, each character just needs their starting gear and off they go.

Personally, I'm always a fan of Wizards in fantasy games so I hope they include a character who uses magic or spells in some form. I spotted a picture of a Dark Stone Shaman knocking about the internet so who knows?

However, the really crazy things are the new boss style enemies.

They are HUGE!

Overall, I can't wait to get going in Shadows of Brimstone. I'm also genuinely interested to see where Flying Frog takes the game. I already have the City of the Ancients core game and next I really want to put up a battle report of my first play through. Saddle up!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Shadows of Brimstone - So what is it?

Shadows of Brimstone is a cooperative dungeon crawler set (initially) in the Wild West, published by those crazy people at Flying Frog Productions.

Unusually, the core game comes in two versions, City of the Ancients and The Swamps of Death. Each core game contains The Mines location (which is where you start each adventure) together with a different Other World location, which you can travel to through portals, more of this later.

Each player chooses a character from the 8 classic western archetypes currently available, such as US Marshal, Crazy Priest and Mexican Bandit and collects together their starting gear.

Each adventure can either be taken from the Adventure book where the layout of the Mines is pre-mapped and the events pre-scripted, or take on a completely random map layout on their quest for money and loot.

Players can keep track of their character's experience, stats and equipment and keep them from adventure to adventure, levelling up as they go. Between each adventure players can go to Town and visit various shops to buy new equipment, heal various aliments and do any character-specific events (the Outlaw can try to rob the Bank!).

An experienced Outlaw
The gameplay is familiar if you have played a few games like this. Each turn every character/monster activates in initiative order and can move and then attack. When a character attacks, you count up how many ranged shots or melee attacks they have and roll to hit and wound. The target can then roll to defend and takes wounds accordingly.

Every monster have their own stats and rules which are printed on giant cards.

When you move to the edge of a map tile, a new one is drawn from the pile and you carry on, much like Warhammer Quest.

The blue and white blob is a portal to another dimension...
As previously mentioned, some map tiles have portals for exits. When you go through a portal, you randomly draw a card from the Other World deck to find out which dimension you end up in. This is where the City of the Ancients and the Swamps of Death come in. Each Other World has their own loot deck and event deck. Therefore, you start your adventure in the Wild West, but could end up knee deep in a swamp being attacked by dinosaurs or find yourself in a frozen abandoned city surrounded by alien technology!

There is already a ton of expansions and additional characters planned. I'll have a look at these in the next post.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Shadows of Brimstone - Preamble

There was a town, if you could call it that, named Brimstone; a small railway stop on the edge of the hottest deserts in the south west territory. Barely a speck, it didn’t even show up on most maps… That is, until they found the Dark Stone.

Digging in the hills, an old prospector came across a strange nugget he had never seen before, a black rock, part way between a crystal and a metal ore. But there was something special about that rock, it had a glow you could only see out of the corner of your eye and was warm to the touch. It had properties folks said were magik, and of course, that caused a stir. Within days they found more of it buried in the earth, and stories started to spread. Business men and scholars started offering top dollar for even the smallest shard of the stuff, and that opened the floodgates. 

It was a gold rush, but not for gold; for the black rock… the Dark Stone. People came from all over to try and make their fortune, and Brimstone boomed over night. They dug mines in every scrap of land they could get a hold of. Round the clock they worked, digging deeper and deeper into the earth, bringing up cartloads full of the rock and sending it back to town to be stockpiled and sold to the highest bidder. What they didn’t know, what nobody knew, was that the energy in the Dark Stone resonated with itself. As they collected more and more of the rocks all in one place, it started to cascade, until… it exploded. In a flash, the town was consumed and a shock wave rolled out across the desert, burning the trees and tainting the land.

Reality itself was being ripped apart, and the people along with it. Dark portals to other worlds started tearing open across the countryside, pulling people in and unleashing all manner of demons and creatures into our world. Wherever there was Dark Stone these gateways would appear; some only flickering open for an instant, others opened and stayed that way.

That was 6 months ago. Since then, demonic creatures of all kinds have been pouring out of the mines, and the scorched hell on earth that is…was Brimstone. The government denies its existence, and anyone sane steers clear of the whole area, but plenty of folks find they can’t help but be drawn in, whether it’s to try and help somehow or just to find a fortune of their own, doesn’t matter. Everyone wants to be a hero. Damn fools. No one ever escapes… the Shadows of Brimstone.