6.20.2017

Dark Imperium

Well, it’s been about five years since the last Warhammer 40K starter set.  A bunch of us from the Atomic Warlords site sat around this weekend with some rum, the new Dark Imperium set, and a few of the index books. We had many thoughts. Most of them positive.

Marcus was going to talk about the revised game mechanics over at Atomic Warlords. Very short version—they’ve moved 40K a lot toward Age of Sigmar.  Not all that way, but if you’re somebody who really loathes that game, you’re not going to be happy with the grim dark future...

I wanted to talk about the value, though.  I know a ton of people have already broken it down all

We’ve got two HQ units (the Primaris Captain and the Lord of Contagion).  Going off the average clamshell prices for single figs, it wouldn’t be outrageous to say these would be $30 to $35 each.  GW’s been getting slightly better about pricing, though, and there’s some online retailers who offer nice discounts, so let’s say they’re only going to cost $25 each-- $50 for the two of them.

There’s two more character figs for the Plague Marines, so there’s another $50.  There are three more Primaris characters, too, but Marcus pointed out it wouldn’t be surprising to see them as some kind of command squad.  Let’s conservatively call them $40 altogether.

There’s also that Foetid Bloat-Drone. It’s dreadnaught sized, so I don’t have trouble believing it could be a $35 or $40 set once we get one with options.  We’ll call it $35.

At this point, we’re already over the box set’s price tag of $160.  We haven’t even added in the three five-man Primaris squads, or the jump troops, or the Plague Marine squad, or that twenty-man PoxWalker squad (probably another $40,easy).  Heck there’s a full-sized, hardcover rulebook, which sells for $60 on its own.
Also, something we realized late Sunday night.  This is a very complete, balanced set.  It’s two actual, viable armies that are pretty fairly matched, not a couple random things that look good individually but don’t really match up (y’know, like a bunch of cultists vs Dark Angels terminators...).

This set is a freakin’ amazing value, even using my very conservative prices.  Half price on everything, if not more.  Split the box with someone, Chaos and Primaris, and get an army for $80.  Heck, let them keep the rulebook, haggle a bit, and get your half for $60 (heck, GW’s giving the basic rules away for free).  That’s maybe a third what you’d pay for either set.  Literally 66% off!

If you don’t have a ton of money to spend (been there, believe me) but really want to get into the game... this might be worth saving up for.

6.15.2017

Counting the Hours...

            Tick-tock, tick-tock...
             I’ve got to admit, I have high hopes for this new edition.  No idea if they’ll be met, but I have high hopes.
            I don’t know about you, but the past few editions have been... well, a bit of a letdown for me.  Honestly, at times it felt like someone at GW really had it out for me. 
            Chaos had become a mess on so many levels (although the Traitor Legions book did help with that a bit).  That pretty much put the Alpha Legion, my largest army, out to pasture.  But at least I still had my beloved Relictors!
            Well, until someone declared them Excommunicate Traitoris in the fluff.  Stupid Inquisition...  Yeah, that doesn’t affect day-to-day games, but it still just felt like getting kicked when you were already down.  Imagine if it had been the Space Wolves.  Or the Blood Angels.
            Heck, I never even finished my Dark Eldar army.  They came out, sold a ton of models, and then the entire army took a hit to their saving throws with the new edition.  I already have an army that runs around with thin armor.  But at least the Catachans get real tanks...
            Plus, the game itself had become so bogged down.  Pages and pages and pages of rules, rolling dice again and again and again for what should be simple results, units that were so randomized they were effectively useless.
            And let’s not forget—the whole reason I started this page was because GW effectively priced me out of the game.  I needed to find newer, cheaper ways to play that didn’t involve models which had practically doubled in price.  Paperhammer was, if I may be so bold, Emperor-sent at a time when I didn’t have a lot of good things going on in my life.
            If it weren’t for my friends at the Atomic Warlords, I’ve got to be honest.  I probably would’ve dropped this game a year or five back.
            Anyway...
            I have high hopes for this weekend.  I really want this game to be fun again.
            What about you? What are you hoping for?

5.16.2017

A Shameful Moment of Self-Promotion

             Hey, so sorry.  I know I haven’t done much here in months but... I need to take a minute to make a sales pitch.
            It’s kinda how I make my living.
            I’ve got a short story collection coming out from Audible.com next week—Dead Men Can’t Complain.  It’s a bunch of short stories that I’ve had published in various places over the years, plus a trio of all new ones that have never been seen (or heard) before. Most of them are stand-alones, although you may find hints to a few things I’ve written in the past (or may be planning for the future).  It’s an Audible exclusive—no print, no ebook, no special kanji edition—it’s audiobook only. 
            Because they wanted to publish it and they do fantastic work, that’s why! 
            You can pick it up using your Audible credits (if you’re a member) or straight through Amazon.  And one of the great things about audiobooks—you can listen to them while you build and paint.
            Hint-hint.

1.22.2017

Genestealer Cultists

So, let’s try to get this year off to a better start...  Not paperhammer, but here’s a money-saving tip—one we’ve probably all tried at one point or another.

One of the wonderful-yet-frustrating things about GW sets these days is options.  So many of these kits are just packed with options.  Phenomenal-looking options (even if some of them are a bit silly).  And we end up with lots of leftovers.

I had some extra neophyte weapons for my genestealer cult, and I wanted to use them all up. My lovely lady had gotten me the Armored Claw for Christmas, so I figured I could put them on the Cadian bodies.  Extra weapons, plus the change of arms and shoulders helps to move them a bit further away from Guardsmen and closer to mine-workers, visually.

However... the Cadian torsos have really narrow shoulders. I tried a few different ways of putting the weapon-arms on them, but no matter how I angled it I ended up with a sizeable gap.  Then I tried a couple of spare Catachan torsos I had—not much better.  They were wider, but that gap was still pretty big.

You can spot potential genestealer cultists by shoulder width. It’s a fact. Who know?

I played with a few different ideas of bulking out shoulders with plasticard and putty, but then I had a thought that tied back to one of my (very few) posts from last year. Maybe I had some older figures I could repurpose with a bit of cutting and scraping...

Meet some of my old, scratchbuilt genestealer cultists.  They’re built from the original plastic guardsmen, circa 1994 (I think).  I found a couple of them floating in the bitz bin way back when and used them to bulk out my (at the time) all-metal Genestealer Cult army.  Which, believe it or not, also came from the bitz bins...

A few quick slices and those old cultists had all new arms on them. Heads were a bit trickier—I needed to make some neck sockets. I used the thinnest drill bit I had for my pin vise, found the center, and gave myself a pilot hole (maybe just 1/8” deep) on each model.  Then I swapped out bits to my largest, which gave me a nice, centered socket.

Helpful Hint—when you need to center something like this, take your time.  Check and double-check.  Heads are always going to be a focus point for a model.  We all know how bodies go together, so even on this scale we’ll pick up on things that don’t line up.

After that, it was just gluing heads on and... done.  Some heavy weapons guys who will blend in nicely with the rest of the cult.  And all it cost me was some older models I wasn’t going to use anymore.
You may notice (like I mentioned above) that the new limbs are slightly out of proportion on the older body.  The arms, notably, are a bit long.  There’s a few ways to adjust for this, but I’m not going to worry about it much in this particular case.  Genestealer cultists have a lot of distorted body parts, so these won’t stand out much.

Next time—swear to Tzeentch—I’m going to finish up that Destroyer.