Tag Archives: Space Marine

The Battle of Scooby-Doo Lunchbox


As I drove home from my latest game of 40k on Friday night, the local radio station was just getting to the end of the countdown of what they described as the heaviest albums of all time. Immediately my dad’s 1970’s super deluxe vinyl edition of Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds sprang to mind. I remember it being a massive slab of cardboard and vinyl, with a whole array of discs, artwork and other very dense inserts. It was a hefty album indeed, but apparently not as heavy as the winner of the countdown which must have been sold in a concrete CD case with a steel ball and chain security tag. Anyway, the winner was ‘Raining Blood’ by Slayer. Now I like my metal as much as any other headbanger, but not to the Slayer end of the spectrum. I actually met Napalm Death in a bar once and completely did not get excited. Back to the story; the track the DJ decided to play off the previously mentioned supermassive album was called ‘Angel of Death’, an entirely suitable choice to end the evening!

The battle was myself versus J; an epic face off between the might of Vulkan He’Stan and his rampaging hordes of master-crafted-thunder-hammering-assault-terminator Space Marines and the power of their dark brothers, a spiky mob of Slaaneshy-Daemon-Princey-Lash-whipping-plasma-cannoning-and-more-plasma-gunning Chaos Space Marines. We lacked terrain, and in the end used J’s homemade bastion and other bits and pieces picked up in the kitchen, including a Scooby-Doo lunchbox, which was to become the focus of brutal slaughter.

The game was table quarters, seize ground with three objectives, including the bastion and lunchbox. Early on in the game Chaos had parked itself on two objectives, with a combat squad of Salamander loyalists holding the third. A Chaos Land Raider stuffed with khorne beserkers soon ejected the loyalists, allowing Chaos to grasp all objectives by mid-game. The loyalists attacking the bastion had become bogged down in heavy terrain, with their heavy support Vindicator throwing a track early on. The loyalists attempting to seize the lunchbox were taking withering fire from obliterators and plague marines on the objective and were making little progress.

Meanwhile, Vulkan He’Stan and his hammertime posse had driven their Crusader deep into the enemies back field and were busy mullering anything not on an objective, but having little impact on the game outcome. Whilst they were busy splattering non-scoring units, their Crusader returned to annihilate the khorne beserkers and destroy their Land Raider transport in a turn of furious firepower, leaving the objective vacant.

At this point the loyalists slowly trudging through rubble towards the bastion decided to abandon their prospects of ever capturing it this century and split up, a Space Marine combat squad heading to capture the now vacant third objective, and a squad of assault terminators heading off to mash a daemon prince who happened to fly by too close.

By turn six Chaos still held the lunchbox and bastion, and loyalists were still struggling through the rubble to reach the third vacant objective. The last desperate gamble of turn six had been a final assault by a loyalist combat squad on the lunchbox in an attempt to remove its final defender, an aspiring plague marine champion with power fist. The assault failed as the single champion beat down all of the attackers. It looked set for a two to nothing victory for chaos until J rolled for end of game. Unluckily for him it went to turn seven. By this time Vulkan had been picked up by his Crusader and was busy speeding towards a final decisive battle atop the lunchbox. A final loyalist combat squad who had been walking to the box since their transport got destroyed in turn four finally arrived. The other squad who had done nothing all game other than struggle through rubble finally made a run for the uncontested objective, only just making it in turn seven. Vulkan scaled the lunchbox, and the final assault went in against the lone aspiring champion who up until this point had been winning the game. Vulkan had to employ both his master crafted relic blade and digital weapons to shift the stubborn defender, which allowed his supporting combat squad to seize the objective.

In conclusion, it was an extremely close game. The loyalists won 2-1 in the end, but only after being behind 2-0 at the end of turn six. The most effective units on each side were probably the loyalist’s Crusader, which survived the entire game playing a key role in the capture of two objectives, and Chaos’s Obliterators, who from turn one proved to be a menace and slowed any hopes of a swift loyalist advance and victory.

It was an enjoyable game, and showed the nail-biting tension a decent game of Warhammer 40k can bring. I find it a shame that the Sheriff is intent upon changing this great ruleset for something else in the next edition, probably to the benefit of no-one except shareholders. It just makes me hope that rather than going for codex creep, GW can actually concentrate on gameplay, good models, good balance and good fun rather than the need to release ever more all-conquering all-powerful armies. It is an interesting coincidence that this game was played on the day that Warpath released. If all games of 40k were this fun then Warpath wouldn’t stand a cat’s chance at a cacodaemon’s barbeque of being successful.

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In The Grim Darkness Of The Future There Is Only Xbox


When it comes to flogging successful product lines the Sheriff seems to always do pretty well in the video game market. Well games based on their intellectual properties at least; I don’t think there’s a snotling computer lab somewhere in Nottingham churning out software.

Little plastic men? Pffft… digital bloodshed is where the real money’s at nowadays. Make a nice little shooty pew pew game and the fans will come flocking to the stores to pick up battalion boxsets. Unfortunately, personal experience shows that that might not happen.

Space Marine, the Xbox 360 game has been hotly anticipated by the more mobile-thumbed of the crew for quite some time. Was it worth the wait? Hell yes! Step into the almighty blue armour of Captain Titus and slaughter your way across a planet in what I describe as one of the most violent video games I’ve ever seen. Gone are the wussy auto health regenerations of the COD generation, here is a game which forces you to physically pull limbs off, eviscerate and decapitate your opponents in sprays of violent gore in order to keep going. All in very good looking, suitably gothic and appropriate surrounds.

Are there any downsides? Well of course. The usual bunch of twelve year old Russians will still own you in competitive multiplayer, but rumour has it that soon cooperative multiplayer will be available. Flufftards are also going to hate it because its about the blue GW poster boys, rather some more deserving chapter, and the main character Captain Titus isn’t actually listed in the Ultramarines order of battle. Personally I wouldn’t have cared if it were about Captain Flower Applejack of the Rainbow Warriors.

Anyway, if you want a real review rather than my random thoughts go check a real review site. I certainly like this game.

Will it influence sales of little plastic men? Well since getting this game I haven’t touched a single figure!

Warhammer 40000: Salamander Space Marine Terminator Assault Squad


An update from my post the other day… Being a bit quicker with the brush than the rest of the floating citadel’s minions I managed to complete my squad, up to a standard I am pleased with. Not one bit of army painter involved here, no sir-ee, this here is genuine paintbrush work with absolutely no dippage.

The other big change from my regular stuff is that these guys are magnetised, meaning their arms are moveable and removeable. Poseable action figures are awesome, and you can pull their arms off in slow motion when they inevitably fail their armour saves. On a more practical note, you could swap out for lightning claws should you get bored with your master crafted thunder hammers. Yeah right!

Click for a close-up, I dare ya!

Warhammer 40k – Grey Knight Terminator Justicar and a Space Marine Vindicator


The latest paint works to emerge from the floating citadel are these two pieces to enjoy at your leisure!

This Justicar was painted by Carabus as part of his Grey Knight force. It’s an excellent paint job, those of you googlespiders paying attention will note the fantastic airbrush work on the force weapon. True stalkers will also note that ZombiePirate has some nice new garden furniture.

This Vindicator will bring some nice new pie-plated goodness to the Emperor’s cause, all wrapped up in the familiar snugness of a Rhino chassis. Paint wise it was done using an Army Painter Dark Tone technique.

Keep Painting!

Film Opinion: Ultramarines


Being a follower of all things blue power-armour related I had heard many things about the first Warhammer 40k movie – the CGI based Ultramarines. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything good hence the delay in not seeing it the moment it hit the shelves.

I read a couple of reviews on the internet but I don’t think you can take those kind of things at face value. The problem with a movie like Ultramarines is that every fanboy Games Workshop nerd and his brother is massively biased. Either it is always going to be the best movie ever because it’s got frickin’ space marines in it, or it is always going to be the worst movie ever because it’s got frickin’ space marines in it. There is a third group of fanboys that think the movie is going to be terrible because the second marine from the end had his purity seal on the wrong leg and there is no way that those marines would have had those bolters in that colour on that campaign because of the great pig wrestling bolter revolution of M39.988 meant that all bolters assigned to that particular squad would have been a slightly different shade of grey and therefore the movie goes totally against and ruins the 40k universe. (You can occasionally find these type of fanboys lurking around The Bolter and Chainsword forums).

I think the movie itself is actually pretty decent. Honestly! Now then, it’s not a gun toting slug fest and doesn’t contain too many cliches. No-one gets power fisted, so it’s not strictly true to the board game. The story however is interesting, tense and engaging despite the lack of rootin’ tootin’ and shootin’. There’s not a terrific amount of characterisation but the marines themselves are believeable, as is their predicament. The voice acting is also good and feels right. The music in the film is appropriately atmospheric. If I had to pigeon hole the film into a genre I would have to go with a thriller, which is not something I was expecting. Nevertheless the movie is watchable and enjoyable.

The CGI in the film has come in for some criticism, and probably rightly so. This certainly isn’t a Pixar production. The backgrounds are empty with very little going on in them. Most of the movie is set in a dust storm which adds to the tension but you get the feeling it was done partly to lessen the amount of work required. It’s not all doom and gloom though as these things don’t really get in the way of the story. There are also some memorable slow motion scenes which add flavour to the film.

Is there anything I would personally like to have seen done differently? A few minor points I suppose. There aren’t many characters in the film, however it is difficult to distinguish them once they are wearing their helmets. Yes they all have different voices but the helmets make it harder to tell who is actually talking. Maybe a helmetless squad would have been less believeable but may have improved dialogue. Along the same lines, there is no change in voice effects in or out of helmets. A minor grumble really. The only storyline-type change I may have made is making the space marines seem more super human. Space marines are supposed to be nigh on invincible and stronger than thousands of men in battle. The trouble here is that they are fighting other space marines so this trait is never obvious. Maybe I’m just being picky and I suppose someone with no prior knowledge wouldn’t really mind. Finally, a facemelting cameo from the dreadnought in the Dawn Of War 2 intro would have been good!

So overall – It’s not going to win any oscars, but I was pleasantly surprised by this decent movie venture into the realms of the 41st millenium.