Tag Archives: Miniatures

Salute – Post Weekend Thoughts


The weekend has come and gone (yes, I know there’s no need to tell you that as we’re now slap bang in the middle of the working week) and Salute is now nothing more than a memory of a cracking day out with one’s friends. I have to commend it to the guys that put this shindig on, for a 40 year anniversary it was the best one I’ve been to by a long shot. I don’t know whether that was down to just the company I kept, the amount of stuff on display, or the fact that I’m being a lot more controlled about how I’ll spend my cash.

We arrived just after 11am and the place was brimming by the time we sauntered into the hall. After a couple of previous visits the layout is familiar enough that I know what we’re going to be in for. Sadly I didn’t win one of the Battlefoam bags on offer if you bagged a Dahl-esque golden ticket in your goody bag.

As usual with Salute the number of things to see far exceeds what you can actually get through in a single day. I went with the intention of trying a few things out but it just didn’t pan out that way, I didn’t actually get to try out any games, which is sad considering I’ve been looking at models for things like Eden and Bushido and I’d love to see how the games played rather than adding another game to my repertoire just on the look of the figures. Speaking of models that look nice with no rules; there was a stand by a company called Hawk Wargames showing off their models for a new 10mm sci-fi game called  Dropzone Commander. I’ve put a couple of photos (off my phone) below. I had a chance to handle some of them and the detail is incredible, I tried to pin the guy down on price but “expensive but affordable” isn’t exactly what I was wanting to know. Apparently the rules are currently in play testing and pre-orders will go up from the start of June for release in July. Unfortunately the website that the flyers they were handing out at the show point to is rubbish. It’s a graphic showing you some of the models and a link to Twitter and Facebook, not much information to be had which I find disappointing. Considering the interest that was shown in at Salute they’re going to need to feed the community or that interest will wane quickly. Still, it’s worth taking a look at.

In terms of my purchasing for the day (I went to a gaming show, you know I’m going to spend some readies!) I wanted to take a look at any offers on Infinity stuff to round out my selections and also to look at one of the small KR cases that you can use for skirmish gaming. It would save me lugging my bigger bags around when I only want ten figures. In the end though I took advantage of the £10 off Battlefoam voucher and grabbed myself one of the official Infinity bags, the beta one to be exact. Battlefoam have a reputation for being a quality outfit, although you pay for the privilege so getting £10 off was a good deal and meant I got a bigger bag than the KR one I was looking at for a mere £3 more!

I got back home just after 9PM, it was a long day but well worth it. I not only got to spend a day out with my closest friends but got to see some awesomely painted models and terrain. Check out the various new releases from various companies and grab some goodies for myself in the process. Well worth it overall, the only regret I have is not trying those games….. still, there’s always next year.

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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.

Hasslefree Miniatures and the Zombie Shoot Out


As is starting to be a regular affair, Wednesday night is gaming night for those of us here at 6 inch.  Last night saw myself, nBreaker, Servitob and a guest appearance from Mrs Servitob around the gaming and enjoying a good table top fight to the death.  For those long time readers you may remember me writing a review of the rules for a zombie apocalypse game called No More Room in Hell [NMRH] by Iron Ivan Games.  It may have taken several months but last night was the first time we’d played it as a group.  Up til this point I’d only managed to have a few play-test games with myself.

So how did the game go?  Well we each had one survivor and started with the basic scenario of all of us in a farm house the first night of the outbreak of zombieness (have I just made up a new word there?).  The game is won by us either boarding up all of the windows & doors on the ground floor or getting to an escape vehicle parked half way to the edge of the board.  The game went a little as follows.  The first turn had a complete absence of zombies as I managed to roll well above the zombie threat level meaning that there was no spawnings, allowing myself, nBreaker and Mrs Servitob to board up several windows whilst Servitob ran for the car.  The next two turns were a little more eventful as the zombies started spawning.  Servitob did some awesome kung-fu actions to take down the undead on his run for victory, I fired multiple shots from by big-ass pistols taking down a couple more, Mrs Servitob had trouble trying to board up the back door with the zombies braking through, but with some help eventually beat them off, whilst nBreaker ran up stairs and started looking for supplies in the rooms.  He managed to find some Kevlar body armour, food and an awesome replica geek sword from a movie with all those elves & dwarves and stuff.  As the hoard kept coming Servitob did the honourable thing, started up the car and proceeded to commit vehicular zombie-slaughter as he rounded the house to the back door allowing all of us to jump in and drive to safety.  The End.

So thoughts on the game.  It was a lot of fun.  Despite me forgetting some stuff and having to look it up, the game ran smoothly.  The game dynamics are simple.  It’s all D10 based and basically to succeed at anything you have a stat and you have to roll equal too or under that value.  Combat is quick with many zombies dropping to the ground in the game.

So Pros for the game:

  1. It’s quick and simple to play, overall it took us about an hour for the whole game.
  2. There is a lot of potential for roll-play and the game lends itself to inspiration and use of initiative very easily.  In many ways it is an RPG.
  3. Although I scrath-built some terrain, it is easy to come across what you need in the typical toy shop (I have many toy cars for future games)
  4. Although you can command groups of survivors together, having only 1 model each results in a very co-operative style of game play.  You don’t have to fight each other in order to win the game, in fact working together is often the best way to win.
  5. The zombies are not player controlled.  They basically move towards the nearest survivor.  This allows for many people to play at once.
  6. You only need a hand full of models for survivors (and about 50 zombies).

Any cons?

  1. The game is a skirmish game and so works well with only a hand full of models, but you still need lots of zombies.
  2. I also feel that once you start adding multiple groups of survivors that the game will get a little too complicated and take a lot longer to play.  And if you like the co-operative nature of the game then this will go once people start having large groups.
  3. Some of the upgrades and rules (such as turning into a zombie after being bitten) are for a campaigns only and have no effect in a one-off game (ok I’m being a little nit-picky here).

All in all though it is a very fun game to play, and if you only use a few models, very quick too.

As for the miniatures, I found a group called Hasslefree Miniatures that produce some nice adventurer models which make ideal survivors of a zombie apocalypse.  Here’s some pictures.
 

 

 

 

 

 

I do love looking at their website and seeing where some of their . . . inspiration comes from.  They do some fantastically characterful miniatures.  I must admit one of my favourites is the Elvis impersonator.

Where Do We Go From Here?


A few days ago I made a post about the much derided business model of the Sherriff and his gang. Following on from that I thought it would be interesting to hypothesise about the future of gaming as well as also take note of the past. Now I am in the fourth decade (think about it) of my life I’d like to think I have enough experience to comment on these kinds of things without being declared a fanboi or whatever is the current term for a detractor towards any of the companies in my hobby. I mean, I even managed to find a completely related image to start the post with, I was going to go with a simple question mark but then I found a dice with question marks on… my google-fu is strong today!

Anyway, I mentioned before that I started out with Games Workshop and I imagine that this may well ring true today as the high street presence of GW is superior to a local games store that has a more diverse range. When I started the hobby the competition was nearly non-existent and GW certainly had a much better product than anything else I came across. Pen and Paper RPGs were de rigueur and anything else was Magic: The Gathering. At least, that is how it was perceived through the eyes of a 12-year-old when I started looking around.

I personally got started with second edition 40k and have fond memories of the truly disgustingly unbalanced armies my teenage brain came up with. Despite friends falling by the wayside as we grew up I still kept going with my hobby and the ever-increasing expenditure required to keep it up. It wasn’t really until the early part of the 21st century that I really started to see viable alternatives show up on my radar. I saw Warmachine and was bowled over, they had some really nice models that were totally different to anything I’d encountered through Games Workshop and you could get a box of metal troops for like £12-14, the same as a basic 10 man plastic set from the Sherriff. While never bringing it to my play group I’d also gotten some pieces for Confrontation. Rackham produced some of the finest (literally and figuratively) metal models that I have EVER come across.

It was these that really began to open my eyes to the increasing level of competition to Games Workshop. By the time this was happening GW had changed from the company I had known in my youth. Gone were the sales and offers in White Dwarf, the magazine itself having gone downhill in quality over the years too. There were online stores that offered all kinds of things I’d never seen nor heard of and with these new games I only needed a handful of models to play. Confrontation minis came with a small rulebook in the blister allowing you to play without purchasing a rulebook, same with Warmachine, the basic rules were included in the starter sets. I don’t think GW could ever do this considering the length and complexity of some of their rules. I know of some games that have more complex rules but condense them into much smaller books than GW puts out and they are often much clearer, even when translated out of the non-English language they start out in.

However, the new market of competition has not been without its winners and losers, nor has it been static. While I think GW has struggled with this competition (something it has not been used to in the past considering its dominant market position) in the past few years we’ve seen a marked improvement in the quality of what has been released I feel. Unfortunately they still seem committed to their rather draconian price increases. You have to commend GW because even in the face of this they are still going strong while others have fallen. I speak of course of Rackham, the French company that was at one point going strong with Confrontation. They had amazing minis, I still have a few of them lying around. The version 3 rule set was interesting even with the dodgy translation to English and considering the updates they made for 3.5. However, the company scrapped the line and decided to go pre-painted (that’s a very short version of a whole host of events that could make a post on its own) and people voted with their wallets. Late last year the company finally ceased to be and we lost what could have been something much greater.

Privateer Press have done well with Warmachine and Hordes, however, they are not without issue themselves. Even with the new Mk2 platform Warmachine is not as cheap to get into as it used to be. Sure you don’t need to pick up the large number of books there were for Mk1 but PP have raised their prices too and come of the newer kits really are pricey. While GW will charge you £25 for 10 plastic models in some cases you can get 10 much chunkier metals from PP for a fiver more. I know that the denizens of the floating citadel love their plastics but I know of many that favour the solidity of cold, hard alloy.

Both games that I have mentioned however are also very different to Games Workshop, they are more skirmish games than army games, although with large-scale Warmachine games you do need a lot of figures and I know that Rackham had Ragnarok when Conf 3 was out, and that would cost you more than a GW army to build too. However, predominantly you’d need very few models to play. Over the years there are a vast array of skirmish games that have come to the market, some have kept going while others have failed, each trying to carve a niche in a pretty saturated marketplace. We’ve got games that work off dice and those that try to innovate through card decks or other more abstract systems.

We’ve even got a company made of ex-GW employees trying to do an army size game (there are others out there besides Mantic I know). What I see these days is that the juggernaut that is GW keeps rolling, like that big wheeled thing at the start of the second Transformers movie;

Many of the newer games seem like those NEST dudes or the other Auto-bots trying to take it down and grab some glory for themselves. I don’t think we’ve yet seen any company being the metaphorical Optimus Prime that’s going to be the final nail in the coffin of GW though. Obviously as long as there are players willing to spend money our games will continue to evolve. There are such a great set of options out there for anyone starting the hobby, GW are doing people a favour on one hand by getting people into the hobby and I like educating people about cheaper alternatives. I don’t think we will see a dominance of army games against skirmish games, nor vice versa, after all it’s the pricing point that becomes the important part of those equations.

For years the competition has been these skirmish style games, fewer miniatures but of a really high quality. An army game won’t match this in my opinion considering how many more models you generally need. But people also like those big sweeping battles and I see more new releases in this genre now we have so many skirmish games.

I don’t know if the market is going to go one way or the other. I know that personally I’m in favour of the skirmish offerings, especially now I am in the position of being really careful with my cashflow. A figure here and there is all I need to expand rather than having to boost or buy new regiments completely. Will GW survive with so many other snapping at their heels? The recent financials show increased profits against reduced sales, I reckon the way they have treated their customers will come back to haunt them at some point. You can only turn the screw so much on people and the screws are currently coming from a lot of directions for many.

How do you see the market developing? Is there something you see that I’ve missed? Are GW doomed and on a slow decline into real trouble? Is there a potential heir to the Sherriff’s thrown?

Glorfindel; Lord of the West


After last weeks gaming I wanted to post a few pictures of my finished Glorfindel model, however I have recently been suffering from the attentions of Nurgle and had bearly left my bed for two days.  On Monday I was considering which one of my friends would get to pay off their mortgage after inheriting my Tyranid army.  But the sickness has passed and now here are some pictures.

40k Tyranid Tyrannofex


“What’s this?” you say “A second post from Gribblin in the same day?”  Yep it’s true.  After doing the Tervigon I have worked on some of the other new monsters in the Tyranid codex.  This time it’s the Tyrannofex.

I got my inspiration for the Tyrannofex from the graphic that was in the codex (well it seemed logical).  The model is mainly made up of pieces from two plastic kits; the Trygon and the Carnifex.  I also used some plasticard, green stuff and pieces from my bits box.

The main body is the Trygon’s.  The armoured shell around it is made of pieces of plasticard and green stuff stuck to the back of the Trygon torax.  The legs are from the Carnifex, as is the head.  The claws, gun and tail are a mix of things from the bits box.

“But what about the rest of the stuff in those plastic kits? There must be a lot left over.”  Well yes and no.  Some of it I used to make my Harpy, which will be the feature of another post.  I have made it, just not finished painting it yet.  I hope that this model has given some people out there some inspiration for when they come to making their own Tyrannofex.