Sunday, 12 September 2010

GW Limited Editions?

I've been getting a bit of an Ebay bug recently looking out for classic GW products. I recently sold my copy of Man O War and I fancy using the profit to purchase something from the specialist games range. I know I'm not the only one who can't stop myself from searching for those really hard to find minis, like Epic Tyranids, Necromunda gangers etc. etc. Oh and looking at just how much another copy of Warhammer Quest will go for (there is one currently selling for £102 with 7 days remaining!).

With the Games Workshop's limited release of Space Hulk last year, it's had me thinking about how else they could make some easy money (which is important in the current climate) but also please thousands of gamers. Would a series of limited releases over the next few years not become a goldmine for the GW? Whilst I'm not an expert on the profit/loss margins, I'm certain that they made an absolute killing on the Space Hulk release last year. £60 sold a few thousand times, in full knowledge that all the sets would be sold with the limited edition label, with no need for additional releases (such as extra minis etc.) - it was surely a win-win situation for our favourite games manufacturer.

With that in mind, I've come up with a few suggestions for the Games Workshop which could both make them money but also satisfy the cravings of many a veteran gamer.

1. Warhammer Quest: whilst I never got into this when it was released (1995), I did like the premise (a much better version of Heroquest, a classic from the late 80s!) and the fact that a number of individual characters were released to add to the already huge game. It currently sells for over £100 regularly on Ebay and a limited run by GW (perhaps with a few of the additional character sets) would be a certain winner and, in the spirit of causing the least impact on the now three system GW.

2. Necromunda: now I know that the gangs can be purchased from the GW website, but the release I'm thinking of here is the original boxed game - in particular, the brilliant urban scenery which accompanied it.

Again, complete box sets go for £70-80 on Ebay and this would be another surefire winner. Whilst it's probably more lucrative for GW to push the selling of the Imperial Sector and other 40k terrain kits, the romanticism of the Necromunda box set would surely be much more appealing. They could even include two new gangs (Escher, Van Saar or Delaque instead of Goliath and Orlock?) to ensure they sell within a few days.

3. Tyranid Attack: now this might seem like a bit of a left-field suggestion but I remember being more impressed with this than some of the Space Hulk campaigns because of the seemingly endless map (there were 6 board tiles and when the first tile was empty of troops, it was rolled around to the end creating an almost never-ending map).

Furthermore, not only were there genestealers with the game but tyranid warriors with ranged weapons! And the tyranid minis themselves were huge (to my adolescent eyes) compared to the scouts who were fighting against them. This game could be released in exactly the same way as the recent Space Hulk game - no additional support or minis would be required and it would be another lucrative sell for the GW. I can also see many gamers using their tyranid collection to add to the game (imagine the impact of a carnifex or hive tyrant?!). This could be done because the board tiles in the game were much larger than the cramped Space Hulk corridors.

4. Mordheim: as with the Necromunda suggestion above, my suggestion here is for a re-release of the original boxed game with the brilliant scenery which was included. These regularly sell for over £40 on Ebay and sets of scenery alone sell for just as much suggesting that GW are really missing a trick by not stocking the game any more.

5. Epic: Armageddon Tyranids: this suggestion is probably the least likely to appeal to the Games Workshop but again, would be unbelievably lucrative. For reasons unbeknown to many, almost as soon as the Tyranid minis had been released for Epic 40,000 (in 1998 if my memory serves me correctly), they were shelved, as was the entire system (to be replaced by Epic: Armageddon in 2003).

The epic scale tyranids are now the most sought after and expensive minis I have ever come across. The tyranid titans like the heirophant and dominatrix are quite readily available and sell for about £30 but boxes of the rank and file troops sell for upwards of £50. Even a small run by GW would sell out almost immediately and since they offer no support for Epic: Armageddon (other than selling minis), they wouldn't need to start following a tyranid release. As is the theme running through this list, it would merely serve to satisfy the craving of many veteran gamers and would make them a shedload of money. They could conceivably release an army box set (as they did in 1997 with Space Marines, Orks and Eldar) which could bring costs down.

This list probably sounds like the desperate ramblings of a GW addict but the Specialist games of old were some of the best things GW have ever produced. Look at the current Forgeworld advance orders of the Badab War (which Epic: Armageddon Swordwind is based upon) - the ability to create SM armies which are different to the norm, those which hark back to some of the GW classics, are sure to have great appeal.

I know I've missed off a number of GW games which have a huge following (Man O War being the most obvious - but since no minis are currently available, I dismissed it as being too much effort for GW to consider bothering with, oh and Gorkamorka) but the list is an attempt at being cost effective and therefore a viable option for the next few years. I am going to send this list to GW (or maybe just Jervis) and wait for a reply. Maybe, just maybe, one of my suggestions could be realised.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Corpse Cart

Just a few pictures of the corpse cart I've finished. The things you do to start on a new Warhammer box set...

Island of Blood: first thoughts

I was kidding myself if I thought for one second that I wouldn't purchase the Island of Blood, I just surprised myself that I was so desperate to buy it this morning!

The GW store I went to was packed with various people swapping either Skaven or High Elves out of the box. I declined an offer to do this but I was surprised at how many people wanted the High Elves because you receive so much less (in terms of a legal army) than if you opted for the Skaven contingent. What could you do with two griffons? And two High Elf sets would only give you 17 swordmasters and sea guards because of the command figures. Each to their own I suppose.

In terms of the contents of the box, as has been seen from the images on the GW website and those in store, the minis look brilliant - even better when they're your own! Furthermore, the rulebook is simply magnificent. It is full colour throughout and comes in at 184 pages. The best thing about it (missing from the rulebook in the Battle for Skull Pass) is the scenario section which will give games many interesting twists.

There is one downside to the box though and that is the 'read this first' booklet. In the Battle for Skull Pass set there were some scenarios to play through (as in the Assault on Black Reach box) but anything like this is sadly lacking. There aren't even step by step guides to painting up the armies. There is simply background for the two armies and a few pictures of a Warhammer battle taking place. It reminded me of those GW booklets that used to come with old box sets which gave details about the various game systems GW offered. I still have a couple of the old booklets from days of yore with a double page spread on Warhammer, 40k, Necromunda, Epic, Warhammer Quest, Talisman, Man O War and other board games (like the brilliant Tyranid Attack). What ever happened to all those great games?! I still think it's a shame that GW limit themselves to 3 main systems rather than expanding to encompass more of their classic games.

After that great reminiscing tangent, I need to get back to reading through the rulebook and getting my head around the changes. I also need to be disciplined and finish the corpse cart sitting in front of me (90% complete) rather than beginning to sort out the first clash between the High Elves and Skaven.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Vampire and Crypt Ghouls

My Vampire Counts army is coming along nicely, ready for the release of Island of Blood. Here are some pictures of the crypt ghouls from the VC battalion box. I decided on a leviathan purple wash which has come out quite well.

I used the painting guide on the GW website so the bones are 'cathlan brown - bleached bone - devlan mud - skull white' which I actually prefer to the method I used to paint the huge unit of skeletons finished earlier in the week. I also learnt from my mistake and laid off the skull white for the final highlight so they retained the colour of bleached bone.

Yesterday I started on my first character, the ubiquitous winged vampire, and I'm pleased with the results. I have found red armour so difficult to paint in the past and as I scoured various forums for tips, I finally came across a viable method. In the end, the armour was 'mechrite red - red gore - blood red - baal red wash'. By avoiding the recesses of the armour (in classic 'eavy metal style') the effect was dark enough for what I wanted.

The wing was tausept ochre follow by various watered down highlights of dheneb stone, elf flesh and bleached bone.

As I was painting, little areas of paint kept coming off so naively I decided on a purity seal finish. After reading the horror stories of 'the frost effect', I shook the can vigourously and ensured it was at room temperature etc. and even did a test model. Then it happened. On drying, 'frost' appeared on the leg of the vampire and on the cloak. I managed to rescue the vampire by adding another wash of baal red on the leg and badab black on the cloak.

Why would GW continue to sell the purity wash if the frost effect is so commonplace? I admit I had one of those 'it'll never happen to me' moments and thankfully the 'frost' was limited to two small areas but for those who regularly finish minis with a seal, it must be like Russian roulette!

On a trip to a GW store today, I purchased a varghulf and Konrad von Carstein to add to the army. I've also got some dire wolves to finish as well as some zombies and skeletons for those raise dead moments and then I'll finally have a solid WFB army to take on what I imagine will be many skaven and high elves armies.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Vampire Count Skeletons

With all of the excitement surrounding the release of the 8th edition of Warhammer, I though it only appropriate that I jump on the bandwagon by attempting to paint up an Vampire Counts army. I've already got a unit of zombies completed and now a unit of 30 skeletons. Whilst it's not very original, I do like the red theme from the army book, so I decided to follow suit. I'm not brave enough to add a design to the banner yet - if anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate it!

I still struggled with highlighting large flat areas of colour (the red shields mainly) because the border between the colours seems too obvious. Whilst I should water down the paint and grade the colours more, with 30 rank and file skeletons, I didn't bother.

I've got the crypt ghouls, corpse cart and more zombies (from the battalion box) left to paint up as well as Vlad von Carstein and a winged vampire and some dire wolves. Choices, choices.

I'm debating whether to purchase the new Island of Blood box set when it's released on 4th September or whether to buy the Warhammer rulebook. I quite like the look of both the Skaven and High Elf armies in the set but I didn't even finish painting up the contents of Skull's Pass! Dilemma. I still have mountains of minis waiting to be painted, but I know that's not the exception but the rule amongst other gamers.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Island of Blood

Just received an email from GW about the new Warhammer fantasy boxed set which will accompany the new 8th edition rulebook. Here is the blurb from the email.

"The Warhammer world; it is a place riven by battle, where mighty armies clash for glory, honour or the entertainment of Dark Gods. Darkened skies, tortured by cataclysmic magics tear open and rain blood upon the ceaseless combatants and the landscape is wracked by the carnage around it. Trees writhe in mutated agony, lashing out with limb and branch and rivers flow thick with the corpses of the slain.

All upon the land are consumed by the unending battle, an age of war in which victory and defeat hang in the balance. Cast against this macabre tableau fight mighty armies -warriors by their million raise banners of defiance or icons of dismay, taking up arms in the clash for survival. Beleaguered and surrounded, the forces of Order fight desperately to stem the tide of the armies of Destruction. Delighting in the carnage and ruination, the Dark Gods look on.

The Island of Blood is but one battleground upon the face of the Warhammer world, a mystical and dangerous place that has been twisted and mutated by the warping power of Chaos. In ages past the Island of Blood was a battleground upon which armies have bled and died in the ageless battle for supremacy... and they will do so again. Soon.

The Island of Blood is the new boxed game for Warhammer and is released this September. Packed full of stunning plastic Citadel miniatures and containing all the rules, dice and templates you'll need to play, it's the essential purchase for fans of the Warhammer hobby.

In August we'll feature more information about The Island of Blood on and the full details will be released in September's White Dwarf.If you can't wait until September to get your hands on the new rules then don't forget that the new Warhammer Rulebook and complete range of accessories are available."

From the look of the picture, the two races will be High Elves and Skaven. Seems to make sense since Skaven have just had a host of new plastic box sets released using GW's new plastic technology. I'm not too sure High Elves are a good idea (despite not being in a boxed game since the 4th edition way back in 1992), I find them too 'clean' and uninteresting.

There are various rumours about the impact of the 8th edition, some even going so far as to state that it will 'make or break' the fantasy game. Clearly, GW are pursuing the Apocalypse mould with massed ranks of troops and large, sprawling battles. They're going to have to speed up the game mechanics if that's the plan. I've read somewhere that the War of the Ring may have been a dry run for the new 8th edition rules. Not long to find out!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Flames of War - the beginning

After months of consideration, I've finally done it. Finally taken the plunge and invested in something outside of a Games Workshop store. It feels disloyal but after reading through the Flames of War rulebook, I'm looking forward to playing my first game.

Here are a few pictures of the contents of the Open Fire! boxed set (three Shermans and two StuG Gs) plus an extra VC Firefly and a StuG IV.

The process was reasonably painless - the most difficult part was using GW paints to recreate the WW2 colour schemes. After reading through some posts on the FOW forums, it's amazing how much some people desire absolute perfection when it comes to WW2 armour and uniform.

As you can see from the picture below, I had a mare trying to add camouflage to the StuGs. In fact, it was so terrible an effort, I attempted to remove the layer of paint which resulted in something even worse. I've put it down to experience but if anyone has any tips then please share! I thought I had watered down the paint enough but clearly I hadn't. Also, I found it difficult to know what shape the camouflage should take (despite using some of the FOW books for inspiration).

I've got some German Grenadiers on the way and will update once they are painted.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Man O' War for sale

It's an odd feeling to sell one of my treasured Games Workshop games. Bought right back in 1993, Man O' War didn't really have the time to cement itself (despite what appears to be a cult following nowadays) because it was out of print by 1995. Furthermore, I didn't have the money to purchase much in the way of a fleet (pocket money of a few pounds was not enough even in the early 1990s!) and so it's time to sell.

I've never sold any of my GW products and whilst I haven't played a game of Man O' War for a number of years, it does feel strange. I guess the best way to get over the feeling is to buy more (Epic Armageddon being the flavour of the month), but we'll see.

If anyone is interested in a complete copy of Man O' War, with unpainted wargalleys etc. etc., follow the link below.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Epic Armageddon Space Marine Army Almost Finished

Here are some pictures of my EA Space Marine army which is almost finished. The pictures don't seem to show it too well but there is shading and highlighting on the minis - honest! The longest task were the shoulder trims but they unify the army (aside from the obvious yellow). 'Why Imperial Fists?' you might ask, no other reason than there was a guide to painting them in the Epic 40,000 boxed game and I've never painted up an Imperial Fists army.

With the various upgrades, this force comes out at 3175 points (using the standard SM list on the GW website). It gives me 8 activations each turn in a game of Epic Armageddon which is good enough to react and adapt to most situations.

As can be seen in the image above, I have yet to finish the vindicators and obviously, the bases of the troops need to be flocked. I'm undecided as to whether to base the tanks. It will avoid unnecessary wear and tear but I like the tanks as they are at the moment, so I'll decide at a later date.

The assault formation has some simple conversions using paper clip wire to lift some of the marines off their bases.

I've yet to play an Apocalypse game and whilst if the opportunity arose, I would not say no, the sheer amount of troops that you can field in an EA game more than make up for the lack of Apocalypse games (and it's considerably cheaper!).

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Cityfight Battle Report: Salamanders vs Eldar

Captain - boltgun, hellfire rounds, artificer armour and power sword
Chaplain - melta bombs and jump pack
Terminator squad
Dreadnought - extra armour
Tactical squad - flamer and missile launcher
Fast Attack
Assault squad - sergeant has thunder hammer and storm shield

Farseer - singing spear, spirit stone, runes of witnessing, doom and guide
Dire Avengers - exarch has power weapon, shimmershield and bladestorm
Howling Banshees - exarch has executioner, war shout and acrobat
Striking Scorpions
Fire Dragons - exarch has firepike
Fast Attack
Swooping Hawks
Heavy Support
Dark Reapers

The mission was domination which meant the player controlling the most ruins by the end of the game would be the winner.

The Space Marines took the first turn and moved into the ruins to lay their claim. There were five potential objective ruins and the marines held two of them as a result of their first turn. The terrain was so dense there was nothing for the marines to shoot at. On the left, the chaplain-led assault squad pushed forward, spying the banshees in front of them.

The reapers and the rangers moved into better firing positions, supported by the farseer. The banshees moved towards the assault squad supported by the Striking Scorpions and the Dire Avengers moved through the centre of the ruins towards the middle of the board.

Turn two saw the terminators deep strike into the midst of the Eldar line. They fired ten shots from their storm bolters at the dark reapers and yet none fell. The assault squad charged into the banshees killing two of them for only one loss. On the right, the dreadnought and the Space Marine captain moved towards the fire dragons.
In the Eldar turn, the dire avengers unleashed a devastating fusillade helped by the fact the farseer had successfully doomed the terminator squad and yet only two of the elites fell. The Striking Scorpions charged the assault squad to help the banshees and managed to wipe out three marines, but lost two in return.

The Swooping Hawks entered play by deep striking near to the Space Marine Captain and the dreadnought. They fired off their lasguns and managed to wound the leader.

In turn three, the terminators fire upon, and then charged into the Dire Avengers, slaughtering them and causing them to break and flee. The combined might of the banshees and the scorpions brought down the chaplain leaving just the assault squad sergeant.

The Swooping Hawks were wiped out by combined bolter fire from the tactical squad. The farseer cast doom on the terminators again and then guide on the rangers. This, with the withering fire from the reapers wiped out what remained of the squad.

The Fire Dragons managed to score three glancing hits on the dreadnought and destroyed its multi-melta and immobilised it, rendering it useless. The squad was then charged by the captain and wiped out.

The reapers targeted the tactical squad killing three, despite the 4+ cover save and the rest of the squad were wiped out by the remaining banshees.

As turn six drew to a close, victory went to the Eldar who held three of the five potential objectives. The Space Marines had been all but wiped out.

The game was really fun, despite the Eldar army being fragile, they managed to hold up some of the key Space Marine units and the ability of the farseer to doom units, and help other with guide, was invaluable. The banshees are brilliant, their low strength of 3 is offset by their power weapons. I still need to figure out how to use Swooping Hawks more effectively. My aim was to use them to assault the dreadnought to make use of their haywire grenades, but they were wiped out before they got the chance.

Having never played a cityfight scenario before, but having played Necromunda and Mordheim, I wasn't sure how the dense scenery would impact on the game, but made the game much more intense and the troops longer lasting!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

WIP Buildings

I can't help myself - flitting from one project to the next. First it was Eldar Guardians, then Empire flagellants, Night Goblins and now Warhammer/Mordheim scenery. I guess it keeps me on my toes but I'm getting a pile of half completed minis which I will have to get some closure on soon.

After scrutinising the Mordheim scenery I have (from the boxed game), I decided on a mock-tudor house design with one half of the house open. I toyed with the idea of keeping the lower floor open but it posed too many problems.

The walls are made from foamcard with lollypop sticks (broken and aged) for the beams. I've been using Copydex glue to hold everything together which is very strong but it does leave a yellow stain. Hopefully this will disappear with the paint job.

I'm planning to order some accessories from Antenociti's Workshop ( which is based in Shropshire and have a great range of items for scratch-building scenery. I'm looking to buy crates, barrels, windows etc. etc. to make the scenery that more authentic. I did look into purchasing some Hirst Arts moulds but I lack the confidence to assume they will come out as I want them!

The plan is to finish another building and then paint them up (using some simple washes and drybrushing techniques from Town Cryer). I will post a Mordheim battle report with these in action when I find the time (and an opponent) to do so.

Rather alarmingly, whilst being a bit of a GW fanboy, I've been interested in the Flames of War articles on BoLS. I'm not sure I could afford to start yet another army (and since I've got Epic Armageddon to ease my tank battle cravings) but the premise of the game seems solid and fun. We shall see.
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