Category Archives: Warhammer Fantasy

Every So Often….


…something comes up that is so stupid you have to wonder about the thought processes that went into it!

As I’ve documented here on this very blog I finally gave GW the boot earlier this year. It wasn’t an easy decision at the time and, on rare occasion, I wonder if I was too rash. Then I remember all the reasons that prompted my decision and feel very happy and secure in what I did.

However, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to completely ignore what the biggest name in the hobby is doing. What has been of interest recently is the “End Times” story arc in Warhammer Fantasy. It’s certainly shaking up the game with its changes to army composition as well as throwing out some monstrous new kits for people to shell out on. These are progressing a story arc, reintroducing some old favourites and costing a lot of money (I had to get in a price jab when talking about GW or the Internet would eject me).

For the most part this has been for me the kind of curiosity similar to when you see a car crash, or something else going on where you’d like to know the story behind it. So, I’ve been happy to watch people snap up additional books for the game at £40 a throw and then splurge on new kits costing yet more again. I’m not going to talk about whether or not this is justified, that’s down to the individuals who are buying, it’s just a little steep for me when I consider where my money is now going.

However, this latest End Times release was a tough one. It was Elves. As anyone that knows me, um, knows, Dark Elves are like my all time most favourite of Fantasy races, I’ve had several armies of them over the years and even had Dark Eldar in 40k too. So, when there was a new book coming out that would maybe cover a unification of the warring Elf factions. Well, you can see how my interest was piqued. Despite my misgivings about GW and their future I went to take a look at the website after receiving the preview email of what was coming up.

SOLD OUT! Yea, that’s right, day 1 in the early hours of Saturday morning the pre-order was no longer available. I’d not entertain the notion of the collectors edition, but that was sold out too.

These same books that even Wayland are showing as “Unavailable” on their pre-order section are showing up on eBay going for over £100…. and I thought GW direct were pricey.

I cannot believe that a company the size of GW is doing something like this, such a limited release that there don’t even seem to be things going to retailers (I know there is no love lost between GW and independent retailers). So, for anyone that wanted one of these rather expensive army lists (let’s face it that’s what they are with or without the story) you’re now forced into paying over twice the price of what you could get in store (if you’re lucky and your store has one), or, even worse, was a collectors edition I saw going for over £500!

Yes, the value of anything is what people are willing to pay and once again GW punters seem to be showing they don’t really value their money or are just so addicted/enamoured with this company that they blinker themselves into justifying their purchases.

I think them being sold out did me a favour.

/rantoff

Floating Citadel Turns a Corner


It might seem tricky that a castle in the sky would be able to turn anything, yet, this bank holiday weekend saw the furious rattling of dice and page-flicking of rulebooks as once more we got to throw down with some toy soldiers.

While getting some games in is an event worthy enough of note for our little group it’s probably not something to make a blog post over. However, as happens whenever gamers get together, we spent some time discussing the hobby as a whole, what we are doing as individuals and what our desires are for the continuation and evolution of our hobby time. Even in the run up to yesterdays festivities I’d been talking to Gribblin over email about my feelings towards the gaming landscape and the orgy of models I have littered around the house.

Bearing in mind that we’d just been to Salute barely a month ago and seen everything on offer in today’s gaming market we really are treated to a cornucopia of miniatures goodness.

After looking at the way our gaming is developing and the larger factors at work I’d already decided to ditch Warhammer Fantasy. I have two armies for that games, over 3000pts each of Ogres and Dark Elves. However, with the Sherriff’s well publicised and much criticised issues on pricing I cannot justify these forces any more. I only play against one person and we’ve not played a game in at least 18 months and I don’t see that changing. Better to get rid, get money and reinvest in something I’m actually going to want to play and get use out of.

We’ve recently played more Dropzone Commander, which is a game I genuinely enjoy. It makes you think, not only about how to build your army but each and every turn about what battlegroup to activate when and trying to second guess what your opponent might be up to. Then there is also Dreadball and Deadzone that have graced the tables too. Both games are excellent and don’t take much time to set up and play. The fact you can run them in a limited space is also a big boost in their favour.

I gave Gribblin the option of playing some 40k this weekend as we’d done Dropzone the last time we got together, but as his reply was less than enthusiastic we went with DZC again. This, to me, as well as seeing a preview of White Dwarf with what the future of 40k holds, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be ditching that too.

This is actually a very hard decision to reach. When I first started gaming over 20 years ago at the tender age of 12 GW was the only real entry into the hobby. Over the years that has kind of generated this perverse brand loyalty. I see it manifest in other gamers as well that go out of their way to seemingly justify that they’re not getting hosed by GW. To each their own and if folks enjoy things and are willing to pay then that’s their prerogative. I’m not going to tell them how to spend their money, it’s almost like WoW players who end up addicted to the game and can’t break free. However, finally, I think I’ve had my fill. I have fond memories of all the games I’ve played, but I’ve moved on. Other companies produce better games that are far better supported, not to mention costing less. Even the age-old argument of “GW’s models are better” is something that is so open to personal aestheticism as to be a moot point.

The consequence of this decision is not only that I’m going to have a ton of floor space again, but also I’ve actually got more chance of getting stuff painted. Rather than knowing I’ve got 20-30 dudes in a squad to paint I might have that number total for the whole army. That is one hell of a smaller hurdle to climb and having less around the house will mean a happier wife and a happier mental picture of just how much work I’ve got to do to field armies that actually look like they belong.

So, whatever you’re playing out there, I wish you all the best, may you roll plenty of 6’s, 1’s or 20’s, or whatever.

To the Sherriff, it’s been nice playing your games but I’ve finally had enough of what you are doing. Thanks for the memories but I’ve got a whole load of new ones to make that I look forward to.

The Future of Games Days & Games Workshop


It’s a fact that the internet is full of cats. Just occasionally though you stumble upon something which is not at all feline related, but is simply brilliant (in a non-cat way; cats as we all know are naturally brilliant), please dear googlespiders go check out the following series of articles. Note that this series was started back in August 2013.

http://masterminis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-future-of-games-days-games-workshop.html

Now that you’ve gone away and read the many, many delightful walls of text that this series has to offer I would hope that you would agree with me when I say all other blogs in comparison in this niche hobby, including ours, make the Ewoks look like Shaft.

    So can Games Workshop really turn this juggernaut around and actually avoid the possibility of crashing and burning?

Does anyone really care anymore? Is this a tragedy that everyone but GW management could see coming a mile off?

So GW need business. Once, I was a fanboy and my regular bucket of cash I threw at this hobby ended up in their coffers. Not any more. But, hey, if anyone from GW bothered to ask me, the humble fan, what would make me spend cash with them again here’s what I would say:

1) Quit it with the Ridiculous Prices! Now, bear with me, I don’t mean in the regular internet whinging type of way. Anyone who has ever eaten at a fast food restaurant will understand that quality doesn’t come cheap. GW makes the best toy soldiers in the world so feel free to charge high prices for the best goods. BUT even if you are richer than Scrooge McDuck you aren’t going to buy something if it represents poor value for money which leads me nicely into…

2) Make Some Games I Want To Play! Seriously, I’m done with Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy Battle in their current incarnations!

I quit WHFB many years ago because I was so hacked off with the stupidly obvious imbalances and evident lack of rulestesting! Poor ZombiePirate has seen me rage on the subject of gamebreaking magical items many times, but that for me was just a fly on a massive turd.

I quit Warhammer 40k after the introduction of 6th Edition. To me it just seemed like change for changes sake and a cynical ploy to adjust army balances just enough to make me buy a whole host of new models to stay in the game as well as a massively overpriced rulebook. Then comes the regular new codices which again upset the army balance a bit further forcing you to buy another overpriced book and new models in order to keep your army competitive. Now again, it’s not the direct cost I’m talking about here. If WH40k was the best thing ever I’d stump up the cash. But the imbalances remain, codex creep happens and I simply haven’t got the time to paint an extra 40 models because some bozo changed a subtle rule making a bunch of my units hopeless.

What I would buy into is if GW took WHFB and WH40k, and the years of experience they have with these systems and just made one really awesome set of rules and codices which were set in stone and did not change every few years. These rules would have been rigorously playtested to allow some degree of balance meaning games would actually be fun and down to luck and skill rather than the whims of whose army is flavor of the month or who had done the most math hammer. Let’s face it, that’s not going to happen, so…

***WARNING OLD FART GAMER ALERT***

How about releasing some of those boxed games you used to do so well? Space Hulk is still a floating citadel favorite. Blood Bowl was great and I have fond memories of Space Fleet, ManOWar and Dark Future. What GW maybe doesn’t realise is that a lot of older fans, yes the ones with jobs who don’t have to pester their parents to buy overpriced tat don’t actually have the time to commit to core games. Most of us have families and none of us has the time to paint 2000 points of Skaven to play a 4 hour grindfest. So instead we play RPGs and board games. Games like those that GW used to do so well. If GW don’t want to quit their current model line-up then we’d even play something like a Mordheim or Necromunda revamp. Youngsters might need to look a few of those games up!

***REMINISCENCE IS NOW OVER YOU CAN STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES***

3) Use Your IP Effectively! Stop it with the cease and desist crap it makes you look stoopid! How many times have I wanted a Space Marine hoodie or an awesome poster, an Imperial Guard forage hat or even a ‘Tea for the Tea God’ mug and been disappointed? Rhetorical question, it’s every time! Wow, if I was in charge this would be one of the first things I would be churning out. How a company with quite possibly the super coolest IP on the planet has failed in merchandising anything except for lots of little plastic doods and a handful of computer games is beyond me.

4) Make Me Want To Come to Games Day! I am not paying a fistful of cash to go to a painting competition and sales event. Either make it a proper day of games and demos like every other Games Day not run by GW or make it the must attend event for all gamers. I paid serious cash to go to EVE Online Fanfest but for that I took part in the biggest celebration of online spaceships the world has ever known. Tournaments, games, freebies, powerpoint presentations, dinner with the developers, live demos, feedback sessions a massive party and even a show by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. If Games Workshop did something like that people would be selling their firstborn to attend.

5) Oh, and stop making White Dwarf a massive advert for your new stuff. It wasn’t that great back in the day but at least it did things other than sell to you.

But is any of this going to happen? As I said earlier does any body care any more? I am sure the world will keep spinning if GW goes to the wall. I expect someone would snap up all that juicy IP and hopefully do something useful with it. There is even a chance that the situation in miniatures gaming improves with the extra room. Or, and this is my worry and I feel already beginning to happen, a million and one different manufacturers develop a million and one ‘new’ and ‘revolutionary’ games systems to fill the void and we end up as a community investing in too many games and so end up playing nothing.

– servitob

Games Workshop Increase Depth to Which They Shaft Customers – story at 11


In what many of you may regard as a slow news day I come with a story that will be of no surprise to absolutely nobody. Next month the mudslinging will begin again as perennial gaming bad boys Games Workshop chuck another round of above inflation rises onto their stock.

While one may be forgiven for thinking that this does not impact too much on those of us ensconced within the mighty fortress that is the 6 Inch Move floating citadel it does mean that we will not be bringing you a project we’d been alluding to since the start of the year.

Last year, the Warhammer Fantasy contingent here at 6 Inch Move came up with an idea. We had decided to run our own version of the fan favourite “Tale of X Gamers” while putting our own twist onto the genre. I was planning on putting together a 3000pts force and showing you all, dear readership, that this could be done on a budget if one were to plan appropriately and be clever with what was purchased. We’d have been assembling and painting our way to fully painted armies and we’d have been showing our work here on this very organ. The reason behind this was to show that despite the Sherriff’s eye-watering prices that with a little forethought you could get the army you want for less than you think and I’m not just talking about a 20% discount from online retailers and some lucky purchases from eBay.

Sadly, after reading rumours about price increases around the net today I had the news confirmed by my FLGS. Therefore it is with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can no longer support this endeavour. I’ll be sticking to my other games and enjoying the 3000+pts of Ogres that I already have. From talking to the others involved with this project it looks like they will also be doing the same. I’m saddened it has come to this but belts are tight these days and despite the hobby’s luxury status I can get a lot more for my money from other games systems that I enjoy just as much. I should be able to now make that custom gaming board I’ve been thinking of.

The silver lining to all this is that I don’t live in Australia, if this rise goes on there as well…. that’s not going to be pretty.

A Tale (or Tail) of Monsters


I recently purchased one of GW’s latest models for the Tyranid range; the Tervigon/Tyrannofex kit.  I’ve assembled, but not painted the model (see pic) and it will hopefully one day look something like the picture on the right;

The kit is simple enough, and was fairly easy to put together.  I’m glad that GW finally got round to producing the model for Tervigon as it is one of my favourite choices to use in my Tyranid army.  I like it for more than its ability to spawn 3D6 Termagants a turn.  Its ability to enhance all friendly Termagants around it is more useful to me as I tend to use lots of the little critters.  The model itself looks great (as does the Tyrannofex build), although the base could do with being a little larger; it only just fits on the base.  For anybody thinking of putting one together I’d also recommend attaching the egg sac before gluing the legs on, it’s just easier that way.  I don’t know the full details of why it’s taken them so long to release the full range of models for the Tyranids.  They were missing 1/3 of their units until the other month and the addition of the Tervigon/Tyrannofex kit and the new Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord model has gone some way to changing this.  I wish they would get round to releasing the rest of the Tyranid range (especially a Mycetic Spore), though the new winged Hive Tyrant should be easy enough to change into a Harpy.

But that’s the grumbling over with. Over the past 12 months or so I’ve been impressed with the monster kits that GW has been producing for both 40k and Fantasy.  Like many an old gamer I may remember the days when most of the monsters were barely twice the height of a man, now they truly are MONSTERS.

The Tervigon is just one example, but there are many more; the Arachnarok Spider, the Thundertusk/Stonehorn and the Warsphinx/Necrosphinx are just a few.

One of my personal favourites is the Vampire Counts Mortis Engine and to go with the new releases for the Empire a much needed new kit for Emperor Karl Franz which can also be made into a generic Empire General on a Griffon.  What can I say to this other than bravo!  I hope this is a trend  that will continue.  On a slight side note I’m impressed (and I mean really IMPRESSED) at the speed to which they are producing the Warhammer Army books, it was only three months ago that the Vampire Counts were released and now its the Empire’s turn.  At this rate it’ll only be another 18 months before pretty much the entire lot are done.

Something to get your teeth in to


Warhammer: Vampire CountsIt’s been a little quiet here at 6 inch move recently.  Servitob has had an addition to his brood of future gamers, there is the usual chaos that accompanies the Christmas/New Year season and as for myself I’ve had to move an entire swimming pool/sports & leisure centre (and I’m telling you those things are heavy).  As a result our small band of gamers has had little time to get together and roll the dice.  This will be changing soon as life begins to settle down again.

This month saw the release of Warhammer Fantasy’s latest army book, the Vampire Counts.  Having bought an army of the undead when I was still a teenager this edition caught my attention.  I’ve always liked the dark, gothic imagery that has accompanied vampires in general and GW’s vampire counts in particular.  To me they are what a classic vampire should be; dark, sinister and above all blood thirsty.  No glittering skin here.  I’m almost impressed at the speed that GW has been turning out the army books for this edition of Fantasy.  Its been out about 2 years and they’ve produced 4 army books for it so far, along with the Storm of Magic supplement and several 40k codices.  Not to bad going.  It was good to see them do the Ogres, Tomb Kings and Orcs early on as all of these army books needed serious updates.  I just wish they’d hurry up and do the Wood Elves (they’re my favourite Fantasy army, I have about 6000 points, but their current army book is two editions out of date and a bit naff).  Still can’t complain, I have new vampires to play with.

So whats new to this edition of the dark lords of undeath? Well the book itself follows GW’s latest trend of full colour, hard back with a £25 price tag.  The book is nicely edited and of good quality, and if you’ve looked around a bookshop recently, it’s not too over priced for a colour hard back.  Saying that though, gone are the days when I’d buy every army book as it came out.  Now I’m restricting myself to getting the armies that I actually own, or are seriously considering purchasing.

The army has seen the return of a few old favourites.  The option of a Lord level Necromancer is back, as are the special characters Lichemaster Heinrich Kemmler and Krell.  Necromancers can again be made better wizards than in the last edition and once again Wraiths can be taken as Hero choices.  There have been some new additions to the ranks of the dead.  The Strigoi Ghoul King is a Lord choice that is basically a hate filled Strigoi vampire, who has weaker magical abilities than regular Vampire Lords, but more than makes up for it in close combat kick-ass potential.  The vampire characters all have a new special rule called The Hunger.  Basically whenever they kill one or more models in close combat you roll 1D6, and on a 6 the vampire regains a lost wound.  Nice.

The other new units include the Crypt Horrors (basically ogre sizes ghouls), the nice looking Vargheists (psychotic, bestial vampires in bat form), the Terrorgheist (a dragon-sized, undead bat with one hell of a scream), the Coven Thrown, the Mortis Engine and the Hexwraiths.

The Coven Thrown and the Mortis Engine are both made form the same kit.  I’ve been really impressed by the large, plastic models that GW has been producing for Fantasy.  For me the kind of symbolize a fantasy genre; you have epic heroes, magic throwing wizards and large, scary monsters

Vampire Counts Coven Throne / Mortis Engineand although GW can sometimes go OTT on the heroes and magic, the latest round of monster kits are fantastic.  In game terms both the Thrown and the Engine count as chariots being pulled by a spirit host that grants both units ethereal movement.  The Coven Thrown is a mount for Vampire characters, and comes with a pair of vampiric handmaidens to attend to their lord.  It has a 4+ ward save and nice little special rule called Battle of Wills that could result in an enemy unit turning on itself.  The Mortis Engine is a rare choice and has Regeneration, a Banshee swarm and a Reliquary that hurts the enemy and heals the undead and becomes more powerful the longer it stays on the table.  Both builds look good, but personally I prefer the look of the Mortis Engine.  It has the look of a gothic pipe organ and I love the swirling banshees.

Vampire Counts Black Knights / HexwraithsAnd finally we get to the Hexwraiths.  The rules for them are cool.  They’re ethereal, fast cavalry that can move through units, hurting the enemy as they go.  Their attacks are flaming and ignore armour saves, and their background as agents of death itself, sent to hunt down those who have cheated death is cool.  The models are OK.  They’re made from the same kit as the new black knights.  They’re not bad looking models, my only problem with them is that I don’t think that they do the concept art from army book justice.  Have a look below and you’ll know what I mean.

Now is it just me, or is that piece of artwork cool.  It really captures the terror and ethereal aspect of these creatures.  They are the stuff of nightmares and this picture shows that.  Like said, nice models but I’m not sure if they really bring out that same fear factor.

And now for the other stuff.  The magic Lore of Vampires has changed slightly.  All of your old favourites are there; Curse of Years, Vanhel’s Dance etc. but there are a few subtle changes.  The signature spell is Invocation of Nehek, but this time instead of targeting a single friendly unit, it targets ALL friendly undead units within 6″ (or 12″ or 18″ if you want to increase the casting value).  All friendly units regain D6+caster’s magic level worth of wounds, unless the unit is Vampiric, Ethereal or a Large Target, which only regain 1 wound per casting.  Characters and their mounts do NOT regain wounds from the casting of this spell.  The only way they can get wounds back is from the Lore Attribute; each time a spell is successfully cast from the Lore of Vampires the wizard, or a friendly model within 12″ regains a wound.  Unless the unit is zombies (or you have bought the appropriate upgrade) you cannot increase a unit beyond its starting size.  The Raise Dead spell can be used to create new units of skeletons once more, but you do have to increase the casting value.  Oh and in case you ever get tired of raising the dead you now have access to the Lores of Death and Shadow.

One of the cool things about the Vampires is that you can customize your lords of undeath.  You can still do this, though the list is a little smaller than in the previous edition.  This I feel is no great loss as several of the Vampiric Powers are now included as standard upgrades (such as armour and weapon upgrades).  The one I am going to miss is no more ethereal vampires.  Oh well, can’t have everything.  The list of magic items has been reduced to 9 as is the standard for the newer army books.  Frostblade has gone, but watch out for Skabscrath is all I’m saying.  As for the death of the general?  Well its still not a good thing.  Your general has to be a wizard with the Lore of Vampires, and if he/she is killed then all of your non-vampiric units have to take a leadership test at the end of the phase.  The difference this time is that if you have another wizard with the Lore of Vampires in your army then he/she takes over and the army doesn’t take anymore leadership test.  This is repeated if that character is killed and so on.

All in all I’m impressed with the new release.  They’ve added a few, nice looking units and made some minor rules changes to existing ones.  They’ve re-done the Black Knights, which is about time, as they seriously needed it.  What would I like to have seen?  I know it’s called the Vampire COUNTS, and therefore focuses upon the von Carsteins, but what happened to the other special characters such as Neferata and Walach. Harkon.  The zombies could also do with re-modelling, and I really wish they’d done a new Black Coach, rather than just making it a Finecast model.  It is however nice to see an army that has all of its units available rather than GW’s usual trick of not releasing half of the army list.  It looks like I may be dusting off the coffins that contain my undead models and giving them a new lease of . . . life.

GW: The Company I Love to Hate or Hate to Love…. I’m Not Sure


Just a couple of things this morning from the opening salvo of 2012. Firstly I bought this month’s White Dwarf, it’s got a lot of stuff for the latest Warhammer Fantasy release the “Vampire Counts” in it. They’re an army that has appealed to me right from day one, I’ve never gotten around to the army though, but I have come close a few times. I had a little chuckle to myself when after the Editorial and contents page there was a double spread advert for Dreadfleet. I’ll not go into that here, I am sure all regular readers are more than aware of my feelings for the game, the picture at the start of this thread should suffice if you’re in the dark.

In other news I doubt many people will have heard about the leaked 6th edition rules, or what are rumoured to be 6th edition. After all the furore when this document first hit the Intertubes there has been a lot of sudden declarations of it being a fake, despite what would seem to be considerable evidence to the contrary. I’ve seen the rules myself and had a quick scan through and, personally, I’d be happy for 40k to develop this way. A lot of the problems with 5th edition have gone and it does seem to change-up the meta-game. Now, there are things I don’t like but overall I see enough positives here for this to be a good change for 40k.

Going back to that White Dwarf I purchased (taking the number of White Dwarfs I’ve bought over the past ten years up to needing two hands to count) it also alludes to this being the 25th anniversary year for Warhammer 40,000. I’m going to be very interested to see what overpriced tat the Sherriff tries to hawk onto us so that we can “share” in the celebration of this momentous event. I’m going to go with a generic hot beverage container costing upwards of a decent night out with one’s significant other. I can tell you now which I’d prefer and which one is much more likely. I think I might have the steak!

I’m certainly looking forward to this years releases. I’m impressed with the speed at which Fantasy armies are coming out. I’m sure Gribblin will be wanting to throw down soon with the new Vampires and we should also have a pretty interesting project kicking off here towards the end of the first quarter! Stay tuned for that. I also imagine we’ll be getting at least one Space Marine Codex this year. Black Templars are on the rumour mill and a new edition of 40k means that the generic Marine codex will need to be updated pretty quickly thereafter to make sure they don’t have to abide by any of the rules in the new book. Can’t have them behaving like all the other armies can we?

I’ll be keeping an eye on Mantic to see how Warpath and Kings of War develop. I’d certainly be interested more in their games once the product lines are a fully viable contender to the GW crown. I know that both my wallet and, perhaps more importantly, my wife would be appreciative of a reduction in the cost of my hobby..