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Feeling Broke 

I had a horrid time at a local tournament a week gone Sunday. The tournament itself was run amazingly by Harry of Mackem Productions and he did a great job putting it together, but my not having played much 40k this year whilst I concentrated on 30k has seen me fall out of step with the local meta.

I took my friendly fluffy Iyanden army, which I won’t lie, has two lots of Wraithguard, a Hemlock Wraithfighter and a Wraithknight. But one of those Wraithguard are footslogging, and the Wraithknight is armed with a Suncannon, so it’s not that scary.

But what I had, including D weapons was so far out of line with what I came up against. My first game, against another Eldar army, lasted three turns, my Wraithknight coming off in turn one as it got shot to death by a Heavy Wraithcannon Wraithknight, and I simply removed other units in single swoops as Fire Dragons and Scatter Laser Jetbikes killed off my units one by one systematically.

My second game was a lot more fun, I played against my friend James, the eventually wooden spoon “winner” and we had a very good evenly balanced game which saw us mostly wipe each other’s armies out evenhandly. We ended up drawing, but had the game gone on another turn, his Imperial Knight would have made mince meat of my Wraithknight.

My third game saw me take on Chaos Daemons, this game lasted a lot longer, but with a Daemonic Incursion detachment with a Warpflame Host of 7 Flamers it was a really tough list. I did alright against his Chaos Space Marine allies, but I couldn’t touch the Daemons, and a Daemon Prince charging into combat against Dire Avengers is just hard to watch.

My last game saw me take on Eldar again and at this point I just lost the will to play, another Wraithknight, more Fire Dragons in an Aspect Host and plenty of Windriders with Scatter Lasers. Put it this way, I was scooping up units away with a dustpan metaphorically and only managed to kill three Jet Bikes all game with my Hemlock.

After the tournament I feel like a broken man when it comes to 40k, I am just that far behind in the meta, I don’t know what to do to catch up. I like fluffy armies and taking the most powerful broken units, well it’s something you won’t really see me do. But I have to do something, i don’t mean it like as in I want an army that will curb-stomp all others, I just want one that can stand on its own and get me mid table finishes at tournaments.

People keep saying I should go back to my drop pod Space Wolves list and play it as Blackmanes for the free drop pods, or throw in some Wulfen or Thunderwolf Cavalry, but that would to me, feel like the first steps on the road to power gaming.

Anyway it’s something to think about I guess.  
What I am Modelling
Trying to get back my hobby mojo, I am going to be playing some Kill Team at the club, so I am building two 200pts kill teams, a Millitarium Tempestus one and a Blood Angels one. 

The Millitarium Tempestus one consists of five Tempestus Scions, with a Hot Shot Volley Gun, Plasma Gun and a Tempestor with a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword, and accompanied by a Taurox Prime with Missile Launcher and Autocannons.

The Blood Angels kill team is the example squad from the Kill Team booklet, I have added a Blood Angels upgrade sprue to give the Space Marine kit just enough Blood Angels stuff to make it cool. It’s my first time using the new Space Marine kit, I haven’t had to buy a Space Marine kit for some years and I have to say it’s pretty good as kits go.
I have also built a Blood Angels Terminator Librarian, well it came packaged as a Deathwatch Terminator Librarian, but they were the same price and this came with a Deathwatch Upgrade Sprue I can add to the bitz box.

What I am Reading

I finished Praetorian of Dorn, and I have to say wow, what an ending! It’s a brave book, changing something somprbipusly fundamental about the fluff, it kept me reading right until the end.

I also read Ahriman:Exile by John French and I also really enjoyed that book, it was quite interesting to see Ahriman on the back foot, not sure of himself or his direction, but I very much enjoyed the book and have no moved on to the short story collection Ahriman: Exodus which so far is a little slow going, but I expect it will pick up. 

What I am Playing

Got three games of Kill Team in the other night using the Millitarium Tempestus. The first game I played against Tyranids, with three Tyranid Warriors and six Genestealers, and that game went quite well, he deployed quite spread out which allowed me to keep my team together hopping in and out of the Taurox taking out the nids one by one.

The second game was a total whitewash, as five Ravenwing Black Knights shot me to death with Plasma.

The third game was against 15 Dark Angels scouts, who as well as infiltrating made a scout move and were able to bring down a heavy rain of fire on me, lasted three turns, but my Scions couldn’t cope with the fire, and the individual scouts charging the Taurox with Krak grenades made short work of that.
Overall I am enjoying Kill Team it’s a lot of fun and we are talking about having a Kill Team campaign at the club, which I am looking forward to a lot. 
What I am Backing
There is just 48 hours to get in on Dungeon Fantasy, a good old fashioned dungeon delivering RPG, powered by GURPs from Steve Jackson Games. They have a great team writing it and the game box which is rather large ships from the EU at a rather reasonable $20, which is much better than what was originally proposed.

At the $70 level, which I am in on, you get the box containing the 5 books which make up the set, cardboard figures, dice and a map plus a GM screen with pre-generated characters. It’s pretty decent value in my opinion, and I have also bolted on a copy of How to Gurps GM in print and a print copy of the Companion which will contain the three Dungeon Fantasy PDF extras unlocked as part of the campaign.

So if RPGs are your thing, give it a look, and don’t worry if you can’t back it, there is zero in terms of Kickstarter Exclusives as its all about getting it to retail, and thus what you can back for will be in your FLGS next year.

What I am Spending 

With the split between Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight Games happening, I went into panic mode and have bought a few things I was holding off buying until I had the space/money. The prices on them was skyrocketing and I couldn’t afford to hold back anymore.

I picked up a copy of Forbidden Stars, a game I have wanted for a long while but been reluctant to buy because I am not sure Megan or Lindsay would be interested in it as it’s quite a heavy game and set in the 40k universe.

I also got the expansions for Relic, Nemesis and The Halls of Terra, they haven’t arrived yet as they are having to come from the Republic of Ireland, but I am currently worrying about how they will fit on the shelves, I might have to put their components in the core game box.

While I was at it, I decided to pick up a copy of Lost Patrol that was going for a song On eBay, I remember the original game, but back the. It was Dark Angels in the jungle, not Blood Angels.

And it’s not technically money I spent, but I did swap a few rare Munchkin cards for a copy of Warhammer Quest Silver Tower from a dude who runs an FLGS in Glasgow, the cards were free for me from my time as an MIB, and obviously the guy running the store would have paid trade price for the game, so it’s not as big a value swap as it seems on the surface.
I also sold my Abaddon and Loken set, I had it from when I originally looked into Heresy and was planning a Sons of Horus army, well that is until the Ultramarines tempted me to the ways of the XIIIth. Anyway the money I made from that ended up getting spent to buy an Infiltration Cadre, so along with that Tau Strike Team from Kill Team, I guess a Tau army is on the distant horizon.

Kill Team

img_8384After a summer filled with releases for Age of Signar it’s nice to get back to 40k, and following Death Masque we get the return of the popular Kill Team game.

My first forays in the 40k universe were with games of Necromunda, I had a force of Enforcers lead by the corrupt Sargent Hill who liked to go into combat with a shield and power maul. The thing I liked about the game was that it was easy to start and quick to get on the table fully painted (though in my case quite poorly) and I enjoyed some awesome games with my Enforcers, small games in which every figure counted.
Kill Team is kind of like that in that you get a small squad of 200pts, which allows you to buy, 0-2 Troops, 0-1 Elites, 0-1 Fast Attack. There are a few more selection rules, namely that you need at least four infantry models, nothing with more than 3 wounds or hull points, no vehicles with a combined AV of 33, no flyers and no 2+ saves.
img_8385With a force selected using this rules, you then can play as a small band of troops doing quite cool cinematic missions lead by your heroic leader. This is a fast easy way to try 40k and may be a cool way to try out a new faction without investing a huge ton of money on a whole army only to find out you dislike it.
The rules have been released on Black Library, fully updated for 7th edition for the low price of £6.99 as an ePub, or if you bought the 6th edition version, it’s a free update. For those on iOS there is also an enhanced version for £7.99.
img_8387The box set I am reviewing comes with these rules in a handy booklet, and you get a an excellent two player set which also includes a full copy of the 40k rules with a Raven Guard cover, along with a set of Space Marines Tactical Squad and a set of Tau Fire Warriors, and you get all of that for £40. And that is excellent value, its about the price of a decent board game these days and is perfect for starting out with 40k and you don’t fancy the Dark Angels or Chaos Space Marines offered in the Dark Vengeance box. The only things you don’t get are dice or templates, but in fairness these are easily acquired elsewhere.
So getting back to the game, when you build your army there is one thing you should bear in mind, and that is that when you add dudes to your team, although they may act as individuals in the game, you still buy them as a unit, so if you only want say 4 Space Marines, you still pay the price for 5 of them, so mixing and matching units can get quite hard.
img_8388The model with the highest leadership becomes your team leader and gets what is in effect a mini Warlord trait, which is chosen exactly the same way, by rolling a D6. You can then nominate three non-vehicle models to be specialists, and you can pick from one of five categories, Combat (melee orientated), Weapon (shooting orientated), Dirty Fighter (dirty tricks), Indomitable (making the model a bit special), or Guerrilla (movement orientated). When you pick your specialist you then get to given them a special rule from the category, for example in the Raven Guard kill team data sheet included in the rule book, a model armed with a Missile Launcher, is an Indomitable Specialist and gets the Relentless Special Rule, meaning he can fire that Missile Launcher on the move. Now you only get one of each speciality so no giving yourself multiple versions of the same specialist.
The book also contains six special Kill Team missions which are played on a 4’x4′ board. The missions do have slightly different rules to standard games, for example, transports can carry multiple units, because each model is a unit all of its own. And some codexs get a tweak too, for example, Chaos Daemons don’t use the Warp Storm or Daemonic Instability rules, but they do get fearless instead.
img_8389There is a nice mix of mission in there, objective missions, assassination missions, get into your opponents deployment zone, but they are all quite fun and short in length, so you can easily play a couple of games in a single session.
The book then looks at what the next steps in Kill Team could be, for example it suggests tournaments, linked games, and multiplayer games. So you can see Kill Team offers plenty of scope beyond whats in the box.
Finally the book contains Data Sheets fro two pre-built Kill Teams built from the kits in the box, one a Raven Guard squad, and the other, a team of Tau Fire Warriors complete with Drones. This is a cool template to use, but does somewhat take away from the fun of building your own Kill Team, but for people new to 40k, they are perfect.
So whats my final opinion on Kill Team, well its good, its very good, its an excellent kitchen table/beer and pretzels wargame, its dirty and quick to play. But, and its a big but, like with all Games Workshop wargames, it all depends on the players, in the hands of most of the players I know, it will be fine and fun, but in the hands of the WAAC players, it will be broken very easily,  for example, taking an Eldar Hornet, which is perfectly acceptable for use in Kill Team.#
Its a great game, just be wary of who you play with!


New Project Needed

I need a new project to try and get my hobby mojo back.

So which project should I pick up and run with???

Blood Angels – got bits and kits to make a 2000pts army of these with plenty of variety in HQ models, most of everything has a transport and it’s all about hitting hard and fast, have many of the units built up already, and a Death Company Dreadnought already finished. Megan would be helping me with this one and I have a good mix of Death Company, some Sanguinary Guard as well as standard Blood Angels.

Tyranids – for almost two years I have had this Tyranid army sitting on my shelf, I have the Start Collecting box built and primed, the Hive Tyrant is just about finished off, plan is to paint it up as Leviathan. Sitting on the shelf I have a Wrath of the Hive Mind box, a Tyranid Swarm box, two sets of the Tyranids from Deathstorm, Genestealers from Space Hulk and the Genestealer Cult from Overwatch.

Word Bearers – I have enough models and kits to build a 3500pts army, mostly based around a Pride of the Legion/Primarchs Chosen force from a Betrayal at Calth set. Plenty of Dreadnoughts and some Gal Vorback, Ashen Circle and Lorgar in there. For this one I would need to buy three Rhinos and a Dreadnought Drop Pod. I already have painted up a Company Champion and a Contemptor Dreadnought.

So what do you guys think I should do???

Not Enough Sleep

Struggled to get to sleep last night, ended up not sleeping at all. Not sure what it is that’s got me lacking the ability to sleep, but it’s been the same the past few nights, and it’s meaning I sleep in far too late in the mornings. I got a quick two hours in this morning and was up and about by 10am, not that I would say I was functional, but a sugar free caffeine drink saw me through.

Sometimes I think half the issues I have are because of all the medication I am taking, I mean here is a photo of my pills for the week, and it’s no wonder I rattle when I walk.

This week I did take delivery of Grifters and Coup G:54 Anarchy, two games I backed on Kickstarter from Indie Boards and Games. Now I am going to admit, I have an intense dislike of Travis, the man behind the company, he is rude, arrogant and treats his backers like they are an inconvenience, especially when they catch him out in a lie. That said, his last two cycles have been vastly improved and games have been delivered with minimal of fuss. Hoping to get both of these on the table as soon as I can, and hope they aren’t added to the list of perpetually unplayed games.

What I am Modelling

Got my Word Bearers Contemptor Dreadnought with Twin-Linked Volkite Culverins finished, and I must say I am rather proud of the model, this is that standard I hope to go forward with for the Word Bearers. Let’s just hope I can keep it up.

What I am Reading

Got a few more chapters of Praetorian of Dorn read and I am enjoying it so far. Still reading Facebook and Twitter too much instead of a book though.

What I am Playing

Stupidly still noting, it’s like I keep wanting to play, but then I don’t. It’s something I need to deal with because it’s really damaging my mental health, games really engage my brain and not having a job means that my brain does need challenges. It doesn’t help that Megan hasn’t been so good in the days, nor that we are currently running up to Newcastle every night to make my nana her tea, but I desperately need to play something, even if it’s only a small game of Fluxx. Perhaps I will try and convince Lindsay and Megan to go to Newcastle Gamers this Saturday after we see my nana.

What I am Backing

Right now I am backing, in addition to Cognition #1 and One Night Ultimate Alien, Luke Slotts Year of the Nightingale, a Bahá’í inspired album of music celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh. Now I know many of my friends don’t put much stock in religion, and that’s perfectly cool, you won’t hear me trying to twist your arm into believing, besides as a Bahá’í I am forbidden from the practice of proselytism, but I find the music of Bahá’í artists tends to be very soothing and lovely. Besides Luke is a lovely chap, when he played a performance at the Newcastle Bahá’í centre a few years ago he spent the night at my house and he was a brilliant and kind guest.

At this time the project has fully funded so I am looking forward to getting my digital copy of the album next year.

Anyway here is a video of his performance in Newcastle for you to enjoy.

What I am Spending

It’s the run up to Christmas, so my spending has gone up, as I purchase a few presents here and there for Megan and Lindsay. I also treat myself to a Pop vinyl of Spyke from Munchkin, mostly for the card, but the character will look nice in my man cave. And I may have purchased the Kill Team box, but the Tau in it will not, I repeat not become the basis of a new Tau army!

Oh and I couldn’t resist a Squirtle Squad t-shirt from Qwertee.

See you on the flipside guys  

Secret Hitler Has Arrived

On Tuesday my copy of Secret Hitler arrived, its a hidden identiy game from the guys behind Cards Against Humanity, I spoke about it in my last post. And boy was I pleased with the result, its absolutly amazing.

I got the version that came with the nice wooden box, and that is nice and hefty, ok so the catch and the felt on the bottom could be better, but the box itself is brilliant. For some reason I thought the wood colour would be darker, more like a cherry wood, but its cool as it is, the inlaid logos are lovely to just feel with my fingers.

Inside the wooden box, is the game box, which is quite long for a small game, but this is beacuse the legislative board are single boards as opposed to ones which fold up to make the box smaller. This means they are always flat and its this kind of attention to detail which convinced me to back the game in the first place, and those boards have lovely foil in them as well so they really do pop.

The cards are printed on very good card stock, not sure of the core, and I ma not going to tear one apart to find out, but I suspect its black core card. The biggest highlight for me are the two plaques for the goverment positions, those of Chancellor and President, they are both solid wood blocks with the instructions for each role on the back.

They could have made the whole thing with much cheaper components, but they didn’t they spalshed the $1,479,046 they raised back in December, and it shows. 

I can’t wait to get a group of 5 together to play this game, becuase the PnP version is good, so the physical; edition is going to be a bit better still.

What I am Modelling

Not much, I just really seem to have lost my mojo, I did a bit of edge highlighting on my Word Bearers Contemptor Dreadnought tonight, but I suspect I need to do something to get my mojo back.

Last time I was in such a position, I built and painted a 1850 Space Wolves army in a month, perhaps I need a project like that to get back into the swing of things.

What I am Reading

Too much of forums, Facebook and Twitter, I find myself getting angry with people on the Internet at the moment, especially with people who have been calling for a ban of the burkini, or demanding that Caster Semenya be reclassified as a man for her races.

Anyway stuff like that is dragging me away from reading books, I did get started on two chapters of Praetorian of Dorn, and I have put a few more serious science fiction books onto my Kobo, but I must read more!

What I am Playing

Because Lindsay was unwell Tuesday night I never got the Durham Raiders and with the next two weeks being dominated by looking after my nana whilst my cousin is on holiday, i won’t be getting any war games in, I will try to get something in on Sunday, but I may have left it too late to arrange a game.

I will however play a game with Megan in the daytime tomorrow!

What I am Backing

This week I backed Ultimate One Night Alien, yeah I know it’s not the worlds most sophisticated game, but I have the rest of the Ultimate One Night games as well as Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe and I do enjoy these games. Though I do confess Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe rarely gets a run out as I don’t often to get to play games in groups the size of what it needs and even then, Lindsay and Megan prefer the one night version and make thier feelings on that very clear.

Anyway the One Night games are a favourite when we go to Consett Tabletop Gaming Society and have lead to several classic moments, my favourite still being when Lindsay declared that Megan couldn’t be a Werewolf becuase she and Emily were, though I may have gotten the names wrong there. Its a game that gets a gaming session started and gets people in a good mood, and at the end of the day thats what counts isn’t it.

Its up on Kickstarter until the 28th September, so take a look and if you fancy it, go back it.  

What I am Spending

I got my PIP this week so I have spent a bit of money, I paid for entry to the Durham Dakka Warhammer 40,000 tournment, hoping to take my Adeptus Mechanicus, but the Space Wolves will be a back up if I don’t get those painted up in time. 

I also paid Harry of Mackem Productions for the work he will soon be doing on my Harlequins from Death Masque, as I said, I don’t think I could do them justice so I am handing them over to him to paint in the Veiled Path scheme from Warriors of the Laughing God, simply because I think it looks amazing.

One thing I have done when not in a good state of mind is spend some money I didn’t need to spend, I don’t know why,. but for some reason I purchased another copy of Deathwatch Overkill, I already bought it when it came out in March so why I would buy another copy is a loss to me. It really worries me when things like that happen, I am like my mother, when I am down and depressed, I spend money, usually money I can’t afford to spend. I belived up unitl this Tuesday that I had it under control, but clearly I haven’t. 

Lindsay and Megan are normally pretty good at spotting when I am in a funny turn like that, but in this case it was missed, it’s possible it happened while I was in Cardiff as that’s where the shop is I ordered it from, but I did manage to sell it for not too massive a loss to a guy at Durham Raiders.

Headaches and Diabetes

It’s been a slow week, not much has happened at all and I haven’t done very much at all. The weather can’t make up its mind, one day it’s miserable and raining cats and dogs, the next it’s far too hot for me to do anything.

But the one constant thing about this week has been a stabbing constant headache, they started Tuesday and have continued since, I would go and see the doctor, but they will probably blame it on my diabetes.

It’s quite annoying really, every little thing I need medical assistance with, the doctors blame on diabetes, I know it’s a serious disease and I ought to take it far more seriously than I do, but when everything that can go wrong is said to be because of diabetes it’s gets a bit dull.

“Doctor I have been stabbed”, “Well that could be your diabetes” “Doctor I have been throwing up after eating some questionable meat yesterday” “Probably the diabetes” “Doctor my foot fell off”, well actually the last one could be diabetes, but you get my point. Given that I had a head injury when I got run over a couple of years ago, it’s quite irritating when they ignore that as a possible cause of any of my neurological issues.

I did actually get some success with the doctors when my new one decided that the last doctor diagnosing me with CFS could have been premature, so she ordered more blood tests and found I had undetectable levels of Vitamin D, which is probably because I am usually in too much pain to go out much and the sun kinda burns, when I go outside, plus there is nature and stuff. Anyway I now get monthly injections of something and a lovely tasting Vitamin D pill three times a week that honestly doesn’t taste like old feet.

So back to the headaches, and yeah I am not sure what I am gonna do about them, it could be a caffeine related. I haven’t had a cup of tea in about a month, but that caffeine has been replaced with that from cans of Pepsi Max, so I tried having a caffeine free day (so long as Tango Sugar Free doesn’t have caffeine in it), and was I wrong, the headache was just as bad, but then j got hit by a headache of caffeine withdrawal, something I haven’t experienced since the last Nineteen Day Fast I actually participated in, diabetes means I don’t take part in the fast!

Anyway so I currently have no idea why I am getting these headaches or what to do about them, if they are still here on Tuesday I will reluctantly make an appointment to see the doctor, even though it know they will try and blame them on diabetes.

What I am Modelling

Currently I have a few too many projects on my desk, the headache means that it’s been rather difficult for me to do much work, though I have managed to do a little work on a Contemptor Dreadnought for my Word Bearers, it’s going to be armed with two twin linked Volkite Culverins, simply because I think they are such a cool weapon. I airbrushed the majority of the model Mephiston Red, then washed it with Nuln Oil, then doing a little tidying up with Mephiston Red again. After this I dry brushed it with Astorath Red, Ryza Rust and finally Hexos Palesun, which I think has given a nice set of red armour, and this is a scheme I will replicate for the rest of my Word Bearers vehicles.

What I am Reading

I finished Angels of Caliban, which I quite enjoyed as it reached it conclusion, it had the civil war really come to Macragge and showed that Lion El-Johnson really is a ruthless general. The focus on the Dreadwing of the Dark Angels was also pretty cool and got me wondering how this could be represented in the game, but I had to stop myself there because I am not starting another army, I don’t have the room!

I then digested two short stories, Blackshield by Chris Wraght which was very cool and introduced to the fiction an interesting character from Betrayal, as well as giving us an insight to why some Astartes would become Blackshields.

The other story, Myriad by Rob Sanders, which followed up the novella Cybernetica and picked up a thread from that which was left hanging. This story I felt was more like classic more serious sci-if, despite being a Warhammer 40k story, and it really felt extremely fun as the characters were almost strong armed into breaking their own moral code for the greater good. As well as that it had characters straight from the Skitarii codex, giving me hope that maybe we will see the Skitarii become usable units in Heresy games.

I haven’t really listened to any audio books this week because it’s been hard to concentrate, so I have mostly been listening to pod casts instead.

What I am Playing

The headache has jet me from playing much, I was going to play Forbidden Island with Megan on Tuesday but the headaches started that day and I wasn’t much good that day at all. I have played some more Pokemon Go, though less than most weeks due to a mixture of headache and few Pokeballs, though last night it was mine and Lindsay’s monthly date night, so we went to the Metrocentre, ate at Ed’s Diner and then went Pokemon hunting. I currently have saved up candies to perform about 20 evolutions, so plan to camp on a Pokestop and put a lucky egg on to do all those evolutions tomorrow.

My aim for next week however is to play at least two games of something.

What I am Backing

At the moment noting new, although the new edition of Braggart looks very tempting, it really depends on money, my hobby budget this month is going to the extremely talented, Golden Demon finalist Harry Welsh of Mackem Productions for him to paint the Harlequins from Death Masque for me, and I also need to put £50 into the conventions account, so money is tight again. Doesn’t help that I bought a 4 months supply of deodorant from Costco today either.

But it looks like my copy of Secret Hitler is being delivered to me on Tuesday, a game which I am really looking forward to get it. The production quality on it looks phenomenal, and of course I got it in the wooden box, in the few games I have played, it’s been brilliant, it’s a hidden identities game which solved issues that games like The Resistance had that I didn’t even realise they had. And even the print and play version was very nice, though it probably helps that Drew (from The Boardroom podcast) did a great job with his printing and mounting of it on good quality cardboard.

What I am Spending

Ok I bought a Dominos work lunch for me Megan and Lindsay on Thursday as the kitchen was a mess and neither me or Megan was in any state to tidy it up, but it has been a good week for not spending. I did buy two pots of paint, Fenrisian Grey and Evil Suns Scarlet because I had run out of them, and I picked up my available comic subscriptions, that being the August edition of the Munchkin Comic and the next two issues of the Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection. Oh and I got a brand new sealed copy of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on 3D Blu-Ray from eBay for £2.99, for various reasons, I haven’t seen it yet, I know it’s going to be terrible, but hey it was a bargain!

I did see a few games in Travelling Man I am very interested in, The Networks from Formal Ferret Games and Moops Monster Mashup from Steve Jackson Games, but like with comics the price of Brexit has really set in and games that would have been £20 for example, before the referendum, are now £24 or £25 which might not seem a lot, but when your budget is limited like mine, it can be the difference between getting it or not.

Cooking Fat

Moving on from yesterday post about my being down and depressed, how about something a bit more positive for today!

So here is Cookie and Megan, Cookie was my Nana’s cat, but since she had to move into sheltered accommodation, Cookie now lives with us, he used to live with us about 10 years ago, but my Nana kind of stole him off us. 

So we already have 3 cats, Sweep Misty and Jenny, when Cookie came to live we use, we were told he had been done, this was it turned out, a lie. Cookie went on to have kittens with both Sweep and Misty, who are mother and daughter, one of those kittens was Maggie who is also currently living with us. Jenny is Mistys kitten from a few years later, so we have 5 related cats living with is right now.

Cookie and Megan have grown so close that we can’t separate them, at night Cookie sleeps wrapped around Megan’s head and he spends as much time as he can with her. Maggie however doesn’t like other cats too much so we are currently searching, without much luck thus-far for a new home for her, but Cookie won’t be going anywhere due to his bond with Megan.

One little tidbit about Cookie, his real name is Cooking Fat, my idiot uncle was his first owner and called him that, you just swap the first letters around, needless to say he just gets Cookie, or sometine Mr. Fat!

Anyway if anyone fancies a black 10 year old female cat who likes the outside a lot and is a bit of hard work, let me know!

What I am Modelling

At the moment I am modelling mostly Age of Sigmar models from the Storm of Sigmar set, I finished the Blood Warriors up and have moved onto the Liberators whom I am doing as Celestial Vindicators cause I love the colour scheme, not sure if I will stick with it for my final Stormcast colour scheme but this far I like it.

I am also working on some initial Word Bearers and you can see here on my painting table a Legion Champion/ Veteran, kitbashed from the Legion Champion kit, Wors Bearers heads and plastic MKIV Marines. Not pictured is a jump pack Chaplin I am working on.

What I am Reading

Books are still proving a chore for me at the moment and I am still working my way through Angels of Caliban from my Librarium membership in June. So far the book is quite good, I am halfway through it now, but I am finding the change in Zahariels motivation from the previous two Dark Angels books in the serious to be a bit hard to swallow.

I know it’s not serious Sci-Fi and just glorified bolter porn, but I do quite enjoy the Horus Heresy novels, probably because I enjoy the game so much, but it feels like the last vestige of action Sci-Fi novels that hasn’t been polluted by Vox Day and his awful followers.

Audiobook wise I just finished the Outcast Dead and Wolf Hunt. The first one is just a mess of continuity errors and a plot that makes little sense at times, in fact at one point when asked their motivation, one of the main characters replies “Just Because”. 

It’s a shame as it could have offered some interesting insights into the life for ordinary citizens of the Imperium and the political ongoings in the Imperial House and with the Astra Telepathica, but instead we got this mess, but it does have a Samurai Witch Hunter which is kinda cool. Too many characters without any real development time for them, a final fight that just leaves you feeling empty because characters are there and then suddenly not there, and a real anti-climax.

Wolf Hunt is a lot better and sets up a later novel a little bit as well, which is cool and I will eventually pick up that plot strand in time. It really should have been part of the Outcast Dead as it resolves the huge continuity error and ties up all the loose ends, but I suppose a short story to tie it all up is better than noting.

What I am Playing

I meant to have a game of Forbidden Island with Megan today, but my head has been hurting something rotten and it’s really hot, so I ended up having a three hour nap instead. Was a bit disappointed in that to be honest as its been a while since I have played a game.

I am also playing some Pokemon Go, I just reached Level 20 yesterday. It’s a hard game to play when you are stuck in the sticks, my village has just one Pokestop and it’s a bit of a walk away for me, so I frequently run out of Pokeballs to catch all those Weedles and Rattatas

What I am Backing

At the moment on Kickstarter I am backing Cognition #1 Mirror, Mirror. It’s a comic written by the amazingly talented Ken Reynolds, an old school friend of mine and illustrated by Sam Bentley. I backed the Issue #0 and quite enjoyed these steampunk stories of a steam powered robot with a human soul and a demoniacally possessed mouse from Victorian England.

Go ahead and give it a look, plenty of the pledge levels allow you to get issue #0 as well and the artwork is sublime.

What I am Spending

Not much this month, I have been a bit short on money having overspent in Cardiff when the good folks at Firestorm Games had a price too good to ignore for a deal with both Deathwatch Overkill, Death Masque and the Deathwatch Data Cards!

WorldCon and My Dark Place

This weekend was MidAmericon II, this years WorldCon and I really wish I could have been there. Next year it comes closer to home, to Helsinki in fact, but I still can’t get there.

Since I feel ill and had the accident, well I haven’t been able to work beyond the occasional day demoing games, and that doesn’t really pay the bills. I am left dependent on ESA and PIP, I am in a pretty bad way, so I do get the maximum amount of money I am entitled to, and Lindsay is on a decent wage for the North East. But I am still left with very little at the end of it, and things like WorldCon are simply so far out of my budget, even when they are in Finland that it’s unreal.Despite a year of planning, I tearfully had to accept that I was never going to get to Helsinki, it was a hard decision to make, but even if I saved like a trooper, stopped buying books and models, I would struggle to afford to eat or get membership and enjoy myself after transport and lodgings were paid for

It lead me to a dark place, which was one reason I gave up blogging for a while. That coming on top of my Nana’s health deteriorating rapidly, Kings of the North collapsing and the resulting fallout, and my needing to take my diabetes a lot more seriously, left me so very low. I don’t think I let on to the world too much, but I spent a lot of time crying over what a disaster my life was.

Thankfully I have the love of two amazing women in my life and Lindsay and Megan pulled me out of the pit, they cleaned me up and got me through the darkness for my sisters wedding, which I was still not mentally prepared for how difficult it was going to be. When I left home my sister was barely 12 and I guess I have never really accepted that she grew up, despite her having a child, until her wedding day. She looked radiant and has become an amazing young woman, and that kinda knocked me back a bit, I just wasn’t ready for it, but she is all grown up and married now. I just wish we were closer, I love her and all, but we have lived a long way from each other for so many years, that our relationship is just not as close as I would like it to be.

After that I had the UK Games Expo, which I was only able to attend for 2 days this year, and I loved every minute of it. I worked one day and I was a plain punter the next, I wish I had been there for the whole time, but I had to transport my Nana back to Newcastle after my sisters wedding. Being there was amazing and I really wish I got to do more events like it, I saw people who I rarely get to see, and Lindsay always wonders why I somehow being the social butterfly with lots of friends at gaming events, when it’s usually her. I guess it comes from my time as an MiB where I did a lot of networking and volunteering at events, normally I am very shy and socially awkward but games people are my people.

Anyway when we returned from Birmingham, via Warhammer World of course, the three of us sat down and decided that we needed to get to conventions more, especially seeing how much I come alive at them. And we weren’t talking about the glorified market places that make up the majority of conventions in the UK, such as those ran by Showmasters or MCM, we wanted to do proper conventions. So we of course had to keep the UK Games Expo on the list, and we decided to add on EasterCon, the British SciFi convention, something I had not been to for 15 years now. There are others I would have like to have gone to such as Novacon, but my budget will only stretch so far.

It means putting £50 a month away into savings which will really stretch my budget a lot, but it will be worth it in the end, I know it’s not WorldCon, but it’s still the kind of event I love, discussing and enjoying the kind of literature that makes me so happy, it’s by no means a consolidation prize.

I guess things got dark for me because Helsinki was something I had my heart set on every since they launched their bid, I went to LonCon3 as a games demonstrator and it’s probably one of the great highlights of my life, so I was hoping to replicate that joy and fun in Finland. But I have to learn to live within my means more, I am no longer and MiB so those doors no longer open to me as they once did, so I have to be more domestic in my ambitions and desires. 

But that said there is the bid to bring WorldCon to Dublin, I am on the volunteer list, and I should really help make that happen by getting the word out in the north east more, we have plenty of Sci-Fi fans here after all!

But in general the past few months have been a bit of a wake up call for me, I need to essentially reboot my life, I need to get out more, despite my mobility issues (though Pokemon Go has helped with this a little), I need to read more, I used to devour 2 or 3 books a week, now it takes me 3 weeks to read a single novel. I need to create more, I am not a good writer but it does get the juices flowing and I enjoyed my initial steps in podcasting, I need to look after my body more and try and get a bit of the weight shifted. But most important of all I need to get my head properly in a place where I can handle life and the stuff it’s been throwing my way of late, I want to think my health situation will improve, but I have to stop getting so down and self-destructive when it doesn’t happen. 

So that’s me, signing off and that’s where I am at, I am better than I was, but still not 100%.

First Steps in Airbrushing

Well I got my airbrush stuff delivered this week, so today I gave it a go.

I had planned to go to a long gaming day at Heaton Game Society, but sadly Megan was not doing so good today after a bit of a nasty shock yesterday, so I stayed home to help her with her day.

And of course I used the time to wisely try out the airbrush. It’s not as easy as it looks on YouTube, I just stuck to the basic airbrush that came with the compressor, before I break out the expensive Iwata Neo I bought.

I base coated five Ultramarine Breachers, three Celestial Vindicator Liberators and Ragnar Blackmane and Njal Stormcaller in Power Armour. I discovered why airbrush painters prefer dropper bottles, some have been ordered, and that Russ Grey in the Citadel Air range is a completely different colour to Russ Grey in the layer range!

Tomorrow I plan to try out the primer and will be priming a Word Bearers Contemptor Dreadnouth and an Airdid European Fountain.

Second Day at Takaan-Reva: Drowned in Flames

Last few days I have been a little ill, I picked up a bit of a bug in Cardiff and simply have been unable to shake it.

Anyway here is a summery of my last two games at Takaan-Reva: Drowned in Flames

Game Four
In game four I was assigned good old Graham Mills, whom I had travelled down with before. Well I had been assigned someone who else, but Graham and his opponent had already played so we swapped. We were playing mission one.

Graham’s list was Iron Warriors using the Armoured Breakthrough Rite of War, with a Fellblade, three Sicarans, a Sicaran Venator, two troop choices of Predators and a couple of Medusas.

In turn one the Venator destroyed one of Medusas, and the Sicaran which was the Master of Armour shoot one of my Rhino up and killed it. My Spartan came under fire from Graham’s Medusas taking off a hull point, and then his other two Sicarans fired at and took two hull points from my Fellblade. 

I retaliated by having my Volkite Caliver Tactical Support Squad kill a Rhino, as does my two Rapier Squads. My Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought then fired at one of the squads disembarking from a destroyed Rhino. My Medusas then immobilise the Sicaran Venator, and my Fellblade takes a Sicaran and Predator off the table.

Turn two began with Graham’s Lightning coming on and taking to hull points off a Medusa and a Predator destroying my last Rhino and pinning the squad inside. His Fellblade then destroyed a Medusa and reduced the last one to just a single hull point, his Medusas then destroyed my Spartan leaving the Terminators stuck in no mans land.

Shady I was rolling very badly and all I could do was kill all but two of a tactical squad with my Rapiers, Volkite Squad and Mortis Contemptor , and my Fellblade immobilised a Sicaran.

Graham then called down his Master of Signals Orbital Bombardment at the start of turn three, killing two of my Volkite Squad Ho were then further thinned out by Heavy Bolter shoots from the Fellblade. He then threw everything at my last Medusa, but miraculously it made all of its cover saves. The special mission geysers then actually did something in the game and destroyed a Sicaran and a Venator.

My Rapiers then took out a Tactical Squad, followed by my Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought and Medusa take a few more hull points off his Fellblade.

I’m In turn four, the Lightning finally takes out my last Medusa, and his Sicaran and Medusas kill three of my Terminators, his Fellblade then turns its attention to my Rapiers, but only manage to kill a single member of the crew, thank goodness for toughness 7 eh!

My Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought then takes a couple more hull points from the Fellblade and I then try to take out the Lightning with my Volkite Caliver Support Squad and Rapiers, but sadly for me he makes all his jink saves. I decided to now call down my Orbital Bombardment to try and take out a couple of Predators, but it only takes a hull point off each of them.

Turn five saw Graham concentration on killing troops so he could take my deployment zone, but he failed to kill any squads, however in his deployment zone he killed my Warlord and two more Terminators with his Sicaran

Graham then points out that I could still win the game by taking No Mans Land, by moving my Terminator back and killing his last two marines. So using indirect fire from my Rapier Quad Launcher Support Battery’s, I give it and try, and as expected, fail. I also failed to take out a Predator which was the only thing my Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought could see to shoot at.

And at that point we ran out of time and I lost the game 7-1, but regardless of it being a loss it was still an exciting and enjoyable game.

Game Five

After lunch I had the pleasure of playing Luke Grant and his Alpha Legion with Alpharius and two Leviathan Seige Dreadnoughts in Drop Pods.

I castle up in the corner, but he is able to infiltrate some Rapier Laser Destroyers, and then successfully seized the initiative. So on comes Alpharius and a squad of Veterans in a Dreadclaw Drop Pod landing next to my Spartan and right in my kill box, and a Leviathan drops right next to my Fellblade. His Orbital Bombardment then destroys a Medusa and his Vetrans with Alpharius take off two hull points from my Spartan. The Leviathan throws it’s Grav Fluxx Into my lines, killing a Rapier Quad Launcher and two crew men, before turning its Phosphex Lanucher on my Volkite Support Squad killing a few of them off.

I then turn everything I have on Alpharius and manage to just about kill him and his unit of Veterans, but also taking out three of my own Terminators who had gotten out of the Spartan, I was also able to immobilise a Rhino with my Rapiers.

In turn two, his second Leviathan dropped in, which then used its Grav Fluxx and Phosphex to take out the rest of my Volkite Support Squad. His first Leviathan then leaves it’s Drop Pod and charges my Fellblade taking it down to 1 hull point.

I then turn everything I have at the Leviathan to try and destroy it, before it can finish off my Fellblade, but miserably fail to do even a single hull point of damage, I do however manage to destroy both Drop Pods, forcing out the second Leviathan. My Warlord and last remaining Terminators then charge the Leviathan but fail to do any damage. 

Turn three begins with my Fellblade falling to a Rapier Laser Destroyers fire. A Leviathan then changes and kills my Spartan, in the combat between the Leviathan and Terminators, they all just flail around failing to hit each other.

I then get some revenge agains the Rapier Laser Destroyers and kill one of them. And then despite hitting it with a Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought, Medusa and Rapier Quad Launcher, am only able to take a single hull point from the Leviathan. The combat again fails to have anything happen

In turn four, his Rapier Quad Launcher Support Battery destroys my Mortis Contemptor Dreadnought and his Rapier Laser Destroyer take out a Medusa. His free Leviathan then shoots a Tactical Squad with its Grav cannon, killing half of it. The combat finally has something happen, sadly for me that’s my Warlord dying!

I then charged a Tactical Squad into combat with each Leviathan, but one failed to make it, the other manages to hit the Leviathan with a Melta Bomb, but it fails to damage it. My Medusa and Rapier Quad Launcher tried to take out the other Leviathan, but both failed to hit it, but they did manage to take a hull point off the Dreadclaw.

Turn five started with Luke’s Plasma Support Squad coming into play, they jumped out of their Rhino and killed several of a Tactical Squad. In the combat, I lost combat and my Terminator fled, while the Tactical Squad stayed locked I there. 

Turn six saw one of my Tactical Squads charged by the Leviathan not locked in combat, but my Sgt did manage to take off a hull point with his Power Fist, my sole fleeing Terminator was gunned down by the Plasma Support Squad.

My turn six was pretty poor, my Rapier Quad Launcher and remaining Medusa attacked the Plasma Support Squad, but we’re only able to kill two of them. My Rapiers killed two men from one of his Veteran Squads. The two combats were resolved pretty quickly when the first Leviathan killed both men in that combat and in the other combat a single one of my men died, but they did manage to stay in the combat instead of fleeing.

When we rolled to see if the game continued, the dice gods were merciful and a 1 came up, ending the game, but saw me lose 4-11.

Thoughts About The Weekend

I had a lot of fun at the weekend, the whole event was very well run and the games were very enjoyable, even the ones I lost. My only real criticism would be how the games were arranged, we had playing cards that were placed on the table for us, but if I have to be honest, it was a real faff-on to find our cards. 

I get that the idea was that the team captains would assign us games that made the best use of our individual armies, but I didn’t really know my team captain and I don’t think they knew my army, so it felt like my games were randomly assigned, and in truth they probably were. I personally use a Swiss style system to assign games so that opponents that are at appropriate power level for them. And at the same time allow players to find their tables with minimum of fuss.

But other than that minor issue I think Greg ran an amazing weekend, and I cannot wait until next year. 

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