The tabletop gaming landscape is very different today than what it was a little over 20 years ago when I was introduced to the hobby via my father. This was via a trip into a local Games Workshop, no doubt the entry way that many of us proceeded through that led us to where we are today.
At the time GW was really the only option. I did some looking around at independent retailers and there was nothing out there that came close to what GW offered. Their models were (and some could argue still are) a cut above the rest and there wasn’t any other game that gave you the scale of combat that was possible for either Fantasy or 40k and that was when 40k was far more of a skirmish game than it is today.
If you wanted terrain for your games you had to make it. Eventually GW did come out with some cardboard kits (as well as stuff they gave away in White Dwarf… remember those days?). Gaming was generally done on a green felt mat, or white table cover (lots of games on snowy terrain there!) Very different to how things are today.
After making the decision to finally leave GW behind I’ve been much more free to rediscover some other gaming systems and look at the games I want to play. I’m waiting on some boards to arrive for Dropzone Commander from a Kickstarter that I backed. Turning my mind to some other skirmish games I rediscovered Malifaux, a game and universe I’d already enjoyed previously, not with a second version of the rules and a huge improvement to boot.
I picked up the Rules manuals and some Arsenal decks and took a look, liked what I see and decided I needed to return. But, I hear you utter, what on earth does that have to do with the title of this post? I’m glad that you asked. In this day and age there is a whole gamut of places whereby one can get affordably priced terrain to enhance your games. I’ve spent a large portion of my gaming life fighting across the grey plastic battlefields of the 41st millennium after all. As I looked into Malifaux again I decided that I wanted to make a proper table, one that would encourage me to have a painted force to play with too. So, I went looking.
4 Ground is a company I’ve been aware of for a while and are at the forefront of this, very popular, movement of laser cut MDF terrain. As anyone who has ever purchased their stuff knows, it smells fantastic! It looks good too and is relatively light on the wallet.
There have been very few moments in my gaming career that I have come across a product that I would have little reservation in completely recommending to anybody, the 4 Ground terrain is in that elite category. I have a little collection of the stuff now and have found it to be a really great product.
Each kit comes in a bag with a number of sheets of pre-cut, pre-painted MDF, along with a page or two of instructions. I heartily recommend that you familiarise yourself with the assembly instructions and look over the terrain sprues just so you know which parts are where and how they are supposed to fit together, this will save time later on when you’ve put glue on the wrong bit!
I will say that these are certainly not for your beginners, there are also some parts that are very easy to break, especially door frames. However, because this is all just wood, a good dab of PVA and you can resurrect most pieces.
I’ve assembled three kits so far and have bought another three and I’ve never had so much fun putting terrain together. Some of the parts can be a tight fit, but these can be shaved down and you will feel like you’re going to break some of the parts as your try to prise them out of their frames, but as you build things up and you see the building come to life… Well, it’s a pure pleasure, I’ve seriously never enjoyed putting terrain together as much as I have with this stuff.
While the instructions could be clearer in some instances (hence why I recommend you study it out first) things go together easily enough. Occasionally you’re going to want to leave some assemblies to dry for a while as you’re using PVA not superglue so bonding isn’t instantaneous. This is not always a bad thing, although I end up really anticipating getting to sit down and finish off the buildings.
As well as the Marshall’s Office shown above (that I finished last night) I have Rogan’s Bar, the Gallows set and, as of yesterday, Hitching posts, Corrall set and an Under-construction 2 storey building. That should round out my Malifaux table quite nicely.
What I love about these buildings is that they aren’t just shells. If you pop the roof off there are interior details, this is more obvious in the Marshall’s Office as it has actual working jail cells and interior doors. The bar shown above you could actually decorate if you so wanted, there’s a lot of room in there for stuff.
My only complaint with the Gallows is that the rope is a little too thick and therefore doesn’t quite work to the scale of the models it’s going to be used with (and the string in the instructions is obviously much thinner). But, I still can’t really complain about it for the price.
This terrain set has also been bought for potential use with Deadman’s Hand. In fact, all of the terrain I have is from this range in 4 Ground’s catalogue. I can’t speak highly enough about the quality of it and the wonderful experience I’ve had assembling stuff. It makes me happy to think I still have some more to do at home and when I think of how this is going to look when it’s on the battlefield… This is certainly going to be the best one I’ve ever put out to play games over.
Mantic have sold out of yet another printing of their “totally not Blood Bowl” sci-fi Football mash-up Dreadball. To honour that fact they are releasing a new version of the game with a slightly larger cost and a few more bits thrown in, or if, like me, you’ve been playing the game and scavving off a mate’s copy, you can go all in and buy way more stuff than you need.
That being said, yet again Mantic put together a really nice deal. While their Restic isn’t the nicest of materials I’ve had the joy of working with and their models do have their moments, Dreadball has been a welcome addition to the halls of the floating citadel. It’s one of those games that it’d be nice to get people playing in a league for and with me now being the second person to get a set we’ve got the potential for playing two games at the same time as well as not having to cart everything to someone else’s house if we travel for an evening’s entertainment. There’s only one problem, this is due to ship in July and will therefore potentially be around the same time as the second shipment of Deadzone. That’s a lot of new toys going to be finding their way into my house. I really don’t have that long to knuckle down and really put some effort behind shifting all the GW stuff I have lying around.
I don’t need the rulebook and the season 2 book so those can go to a good home of someone else who’s interested in starting things up but there’s a significant saving to be had if you’ve got the coin to splash out.
Looks like I’ll be living off tin of economy beans for the rest of the month though.
Long time readers will no doubt be sitting on tenterhooks as they await the public and visceral berating of Gouge Workshop for daring to release a new version of the rules, slightly more expensive than the last!
Fanbois everywhere will scream from the rooftops “wait for the small book in the box set” or “they’ll release just a plain rulebook like they did for 6th.” Or other such declarations of support.
I will admit that the new 40k book looks very shiny and nice. Of course I’m not convinced of it being £50 of nice. For the same price I can get a starter set for pretty much every other game under the sun a long with the rules. I still know that people are going to buy it, it’s your money and you are entitled to spend it how you will. For me though, this is the first edition of 40k I’ll never buy. I’ve been in this hobby for the entirety of my adult life and most of my formative years as well. I still remember every time we went to the Merry Hill Centre when I was younger that my dad would take me into GW. So, dear wife, if you are reading this, it’s your father-in-laws fault that the disposable income dries up!
Yes, this book isn’t that much more expensive than the old one, but this constant creep has to stop, there has to be a point where it is unsustainable and for me, personally, it’s been reached. As I mentioned in another post this is sad for me. I’ve spent so much time around the GW IP that I don’t like leaving it, but sadly, this is the only way that I can register my displeasure at a company that no longer provides something I am happy to pay for. Again, I am only one man and a very small drop in the ocean of customers that GW still maintain.
In finishing my discourse on GW I will say that all the “hatred” I’ve been accused of isn’t that way. Imagine watching something that you love, something you’ve invested a lot of your life into, slowly crash and burn and there’s not a thing you can do about it other than walk away. It’s that sadness and pity that I feel. GW has lost what made it great in the pursuit of a larger bottom line. While I understand that it’s a business and it needs to make money, there is a point where becoming a faceless corporation turns the customer away.
It might not be too late for someone to turn the business around. However, with the competition having gotten better and needing far less of my hard-earned pennies to get into, I can’t see a way back for me personally.
For those that also play Fantasy, I’m not sure how folks feel being asked to spend £100 just for the rules for both games. Unless a Qatari magnate and went for the Munitions set…… that’s just insane and yet I know there are people who will have pre-ordered it.
All I can say is, as a community, this is well worth our support. I’ll have to see if the floating citadel can come together for this.
Originally posted on Miniature Musings of a Bear:
Welcome to a special edition of the Beared-itorial.
Recently I have received the news that my mum has cancer. We are still waiting for the true extent of the cancer, but one thing that has been a great help to my mum and dad is the MacMillan Nurses.
They have come in like a whirlwind of help, information and pain killers and already I am grateful that they have been there.
With this in mind I would love to do something for them, supporting Macmillan while they support others.
Now I could have stayed in a bath of baked beans or gone running, but I am a wargamer and this is a wargaming blog and the wargaming community has shown they are a fantastic bunch (yes I am massaging your egos).
So here is what I am suggesting 24 hours of wargaming (this will include board games and MtG to…
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Last night was the irregular meeting of the Floating Citadel Irregulars – a bunch of hangers-on who basically turn up at servitob’s house every once in a while in a vain hope that one day they may get a chance to publish on the almighty 6 Inch Move blog. Either that or they just need somewhere with appropriate snacks to go to when their wives kick them out for the evening like the feral flea bitten cats they are.
This meeting had board games in mind, and someone brought along Pandemic for a first time play through. We read the rules, assembled the pieces and were off in short order. Pandemic is a co-operative game where players must cure deadly diseases and stop outbreaks of apocalyptic plague. Each player is assigned a rules-bending role in this team of bug fighting heroes and must work with other team members against the clock to save humanity.
To be blunt – it’s a brilliant game. The co-operative nature means everyone loses or everyone wins, no-one has to play as the bad guys here. The rules are deceptively simple yet demand strategic thinking to achieve victory. At every point of the game the tension and excitement is just right; it’s a hard game but the challenge simply keeps you on your toes rather than being disheartening. The game also isn’t overly long – about 45 minutes to play through which is certainly a change over most other games. The fact that after we lost to the bugs in our first game yet everyone’s reaction was to play again is a sign of how good this game is.
Two thumbs up, way way up!