One of Those Weeks

Well it’s been one of those weeks!

Not only have I spent most of it unwell with a nasty tummy bug, but the flat has turned up a few issues.

We were in the process of having a water damaged cabinet replaced, when it was discovered that due to some missing airbricks, there were some geet big holes in the wall letting in moisture!

So we are having to have the plaster removed, get airbricks put and, so a damp treatment and then replaster.

Anyway, due to a shortage of available tradesman, it’s gonna be after Christmas before it can actually get done so that’s annoying, as it was the cabinet with the kitchen sink in it!

Ah well, life does love to throw some curveballs at you!

What I Modelling

I started by finishing off a pair of Necron Tomb Blades.

After that I painted up the Nickar Class Hunter-Killers for my Scourge, which meant I got the airbrush out for the first time since we moved.

And then moved onto a Space Wolves Praetor, not sure I will ever do them in 30K, but I had to model so, why not paint it.

After that I painted up some Blood Angels Assault Intercessors.

And a mob of Ork Nobz

I am now currently working on an Imperial Fists Tactical Squad.


So what’s up next?

  1. Imperial Fists Tactical Squad x 10 & Officers x 6
  2. Kataphron Breachers x 5
  3. Oruck Gutrippas x 12
  4. T’au Crisis Suit Team x 3
  5. Imperial Fiats Contemptor Dreadnought
  6. Ultramarines Intercessors x 10
  7. Silver Tower Heroes
  8. Blood Angels Repulsor
  9. Templar Brethren x 10
  10. Hobgrot Slittaz x 20

What I Am Reading

Finished up listening to Kasrkin which has been an enjoyable listen.

And a little progress has been made on Zachareth, but not as much as I would have liked.

What Tabletop Games I Am Playing

Sadly none at all.

What Video Games I Am Playing

Sadly not a thing, which I am quite upset about, the ill meant I really struggled to sit down to play anything.

What I Am Creating

Nowt I actually did myself, but I did go on Bez’s daily show.

What I Am Backing

I am in on the Steve Jackson Games Campaign for some Car Wars STLs.

What I Am Winning

I am not entirely sure who this was from, it just came with a plain white piece of paper saying “congratulations on your win”, but I won a black Playstation 5 DualSense controller, which is brilliant.

So this is gonna get used for PC games that work best with DualSense, and the white one I was using will go to Megan.

What I Am Buying

Keeping an eye of eBay I came across a very cheap copy of Guardian of the Galaxy for PS5, so I bought that!

I also got a few more holders for my controllers, and now the PC Engine, CD32, Xbox 360 and 8 Bit Do SN30 are all up on the wall now.

I bought Witcher 3 GOTY Edition, cause the next gen updates for PC look incredible!

I already own it on Xbox, but this looks well worth it!

Speaking of the Xbox I grabbed a dust cover attachment for the Series X to allow me to hang the controllers off it.


Mini Consoles Galore

It might have escaped your attention, but I really love the plethora of mini consoles released in recent years.

Well the consoles themselves are cool, and offer a great way to transport some awesome games to play very easily.

I much prefer emulation via RetroArch, but the mini consoles usually bring something with them, as close to original controllers as possible.

I mean you try and get a PC Engine controller outside of the box containing the CoreGrafx Mini!

There is just something so much nicer about playing with controllers that are basically like what we had as kids, and often the knock offs just aren’t as good.

But that leads into another obsession, controllers and that’s a subject for another time!

But the consoles themselves are pretty cool so let’s take a look at what’s in my collection!

The C64 Mini

The C64 Mini (note not the Commodore 64 Mini) comes with 64 classic games for the Commodore 64 and VIC 20.

The design of this one is just so adorable, yeah the keyboard doesn’t work, but it doesn’t need to, and they even got the discolouration right.

The joystick however, is to be honest, rubbish, I hear that the standalone one is better, and I think I may invest in one.

I never had a Commodore 64 as a kid, but plenty of friends did, and I remember wasting plenty of time playing Speedball and Impossible Mission.

The most irritating thing about it was to have it load up, only for it to fail at the last second meaning you had to rewind the tape and load it up again!

This particular console is great, but I wish I had grabbed the Maxi or the VIC20 for the working keyboard, but that would have taken up so much more space.

NES Classic

Now living in the UK, the NES wasn’t that popular or common. We mostly had the ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC, and when a console did get big, it was the Master System.

I never saw a NES in person until I went to university, but the GameBoy was very common.

I got this when it first came out on release day, and it’s kinda cool, but I guess, the games in it, don’t have the same nostalgia kick for me as they would for others.

I mean I have played a fair few of these games, either in the arcade or in later rereleases down the years.

The big issue with this controller is the puddly length of the controller cables, you can’t use it in the average living room without extension cables.

And the connector itself is a Wii Nunchuck port, so the controllers themselves whilst being very very well built and almost perfect replicas of the originals, they require an adaptor to use them with PC.

Mega Drive Mini

This is my main nostalgia kick, my first console that wasn’t borrowed from a friend, the 16 Bit masterpiece that was the Mega Drive.

My parents got me and my brother one with Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, and a three pack with World Cup Italia 90, Columns and Super Hang-On.

It also came with the Master System Convertor so we could swap games with our friends who owned the earlier system, as well as buy our own games for that system.

It was far and away the best system of the era, the software was great and there were so many fun games on it, I even saved up the money from my paper round for 6 months to buy Virtua Racing for it, cause it cost an eye watering £100 back in 1994!

The mini version is grand, comes with a lot of the big hitters, but sadly missing Sonic 3, the controllers are just *chefs kiss* but a part of me kind of wishes that they bundled the six button controllers simply because games like Eternal Champions and Street Fighter II work better with them.

PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini

The PC Engine was a weird console, it was technically an 8 Bit console, but it’s 16 Bit GPU, and the lateness of its release meant most people considered it part of the 16 Bit era.

The PC Engine was super rare in Europe, but I did know one kid who owned one, that he imported from Japan, and we did have a lot of fun playing bullet hell shooters!

The mini version is a bit of an oddity, carrying both Japanese and English language games, and there are times in here that I am rather upset didn’t get an English version, Snatcher being the biggest disappointment.

Always wanted to play that game, but the lack of a modern release, and the only English version is for the Mega CD, and that was massively censored.

But there are plenty of other games on there, and even Japanese ones which require little, if any reading.

This is a great little console and the only way to get CD Engine controllers in USB, I know 8 Bit Do have released some similar controllers, but they lack the turbo switches and instead only have a turbo button.

A500 Classic

I had an Amiga A500, our best friends had one as well or in some lucky cases, an A1200, I even had a friend with a CD32!

The Amiga was the dominant platform that wasn’t a console for a very long time, and the versatility of what it offered was wonderful.

We used to have just as much fun with Deluxe Paint, as we did with Lemmings, Sensible World of Soccer, Alien Breed and Zool!

This platform was fantastic and the death of Commodore after the failure of the CD32 was devastating to me, but it did essentially allow to IBM PC platform to become the dominant force it is today.

The A500 Mini is the most recent addition to my collection and thanks to the developers awesome system, I have a 32GB USB stick, with every game ever published for the platform on it, including all of the CD32 games.

My only criticism is that the game pad, whilst clearly taking inspiration from the CD32 controller, is quite a bit different, but I guess I can live with that.

SNES Classic

Being British, the SNES, well it wasn’t as big a deal as it’s Sega rival was to us.

I did have a friend with one and there were some absolutely killer games released in the platform. The Mario games are up there as classics, for a long time it was the only way to play Street Fighter II at home, and Mario Cart made its debut here.

The SNES Classic is one of the best mini console offerings, the controller cables are a bit longer than those offered by the NES Classic, but are still rather short.

Playstation Classic

This is the dud of the collection, Sony looked to jump on the bandwagon and put together this offering which in all honesty, just missed the mark, by a long shot.

Ok you have some classics, like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, but so many games that should have been on here aren’t.

No Gran Turismo, Wipeout, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot or Tomb Raider to name a few.

The controllers are great, but it really feels like Sony just couldn’t be arsed with this one.

The modding scene around it is great, and it’s something I should probably consider, but this is technically Lindsay’s as I bought it as a birthday present for her, so she would need to approve any modding!

What Next

Well there are other options out there, the main one I really want is the SNK Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro, which will combine my desire for an arcade fighting stick, and a Neo Geo games machine.

An Atari Flashback 9 or better is also wanted, as well as the Mega Drive Mini 2, but that looks to be out of production after only being released in October.

But beyond that, that would be it, unless a Master System Mini or a Dreamcast Mini hits the market. I really cannot see a PlayStation 2 Classic, due to the poor response to the PlayStation Classic and the technical issues would probably prevent development of a Saturn or N64 Mini.

I already have a PlayStation 3 and a Wii, which can play GameCube games, so realistically the only think I want that’s not a mini console, is a PlayStation 2.

What I Am Modelling

I painted up a unit of Sicaran Infiltrators to add to my Adeptus Mechanicum army.

And begun the painting of a T’au Fire Warriors Strike Team, which I finished up last Saturday night.

I am then finished a Necron Chronomancer.

And I am currently working on a pair of Necron Tomb Blades.


So what’s coming up next on the horizon?

  1. Necron Tomb Blades x 2
  2. Imperial Fists Tactical Squad x 10 & Praetor
  3. Ork Nobz x 5
  4. Kataphron Breachers x 5
  5. Oruck Gutrippas x 12
  6. Blood Angels Assault Intercessors x 5
  7. T’au Crisis Team x 3
  8. Imperial Fists Contemptor Dreadnought
  9. Ultramarines Intercessors x 10
  10. Silver Tower Hero’s

What I Am Reading

I listened to The Great Clans of Rokugan Volume One, which was pretty good, but I had read a couple of the stories before I think.

Still working through my re-listen of the Dr Who Monthly Advenntures, and I listened to Red Dawn this fortnite.

I am also listening to Kasrkin, and I am very happy to hear that the Cadians remain, Space Geordies!

Also slowly making my way through Zachareth.

What Tabletop Games I Am Playing

On Saturday, myself, Lindsay and Megan played a game of Ticket to Ride London, and I lost, really badly, Megan blocked a route which ruined my whole strategy, but that’s the game!

On the Tuesday I enjoyed a couple of game of Just Oney with Lindsay, Megan and Jane, we only scored 5 on one game and a perfect 13 on another.

What I Am Spending

I grabbed the new rulebook for Dropfleet Commander so I can sort out running some battle reports and demos of this amazing game!

I also bought the Leagues of Votann dice, I am not sure if I want an army of these guys, but I grabbed the dice in case I do.

I got a four pack of USB Sticks, I only wanted a single 16GB stick, but turned out the 4 pack was the cheapest option for that, weirdly.

I needed a 32GB stick as well for the Amiga games, so picked up the same type, just bigger.

And I replaced the little drawer I keep my USB sticks etc with a new one.

My beloved fridge, that I have had since I started university in 2001, has died, it was a fair few years old when I got it, and it’s lasted for 21 years with me, at times having to serve as the houses main fridge.

The last 10 years it’s been exclusively for the storage of pop, snacks and medicine, and since we moved was kept in my studio.

But last week it ceased functioning all together, and we had a look on eBay and Facebook Marketplace and found this London themed Husky fridge for £50, and we picked it up on Wednesday night.

I managed to score a cheap copy of Marvel’s Avengers for PS5, I know it’s had mixed reviews, but you can’t go wrong for £8.

I wanted the PS5 version because it has Spider-Man in it!

We also grabbed a 4TB Hard Drive to add to the PLEX server, adding Paul’s library has taken up a considerable amount of space on the existing drives.

Adding this drive we found sealed and unopened on Facebook marketplace, for a killer price, had allowed us to expand the server space to 13TB in total.

For Dropfleet Commander, I grabbed some Nickar Class Hunter-Killers for my Scourge fleet.

Also some fleet condition tokens, but they have all been put away now!

What I Am Winning

A little prize came, a cast photo from Star Trek: Picard Season 1, and that made me very very happy!


Hivanni Prime!

This past weekend, I, Chris and Graham made a pilgrimage to Essex to play in the excellent Adeptus Terra Podcast event, Hivanni Prime.

Myself and Graham travelled down from the north east on Friday, sadly not via Warhammer World, and we got to the venue in Benfleet about

My List

I took Death Guard, and this was my list

+ HQ +

Praetor in Tartaros Terminator Armour, Power Scythe, Combi-Alchem Flamer

Deathshroud Terminator Squad x 5, Land Raider Proteus Carrier

Moritat, Plasma Pistol x 2

+ Elites +

Contemptor Dreadnought, Kheres Assault Cannon x 2, Havoc Launcher

Mortus Poisoner Squad x 10, Heavy Alchem Flamer x 2, Phosphex Bomb, Melta Bombs, Rhino

+ Troops +

Tactical Squad x 10, Vexilla, Artificer Armour, Rad Grenades, Melta Bombs, Power Scythe, Rhino

Tactical Squad x 10, Vexilla, Artificer Armour, Rad Grenades, Melta Bombs, Lightning Claw, Rhino

Heavy Support Squad x 10, Alchem Heavy Flamers, Rhino

Heavy Support Squad x 10, Autocannons, Augury Scanner

+ Fast Attack +

Sabre Strike Squadron x 2

+ Heavy Support +

Fire Raptor Gunship, Autocannon Batteries

Predator Squadron x 2

Sicaran Battle Tank, Lascannon Sponsons

My first game saw me take on Nail and his Imperial Fists, which hammered me hard, the list had a ton of rerolls plus two Spartans and a Typhon, just stuff my list couldn’t handle in the slightest, great game though.

In game two I too on Fausty and his Iron Hands, and the theme of the weekend from the EoE gang is…

Fuck the Iron Hands!!!

The Mills Brothers

Very tough game but a nice list and we had a good chat about mats!

But yes, a second loss.

My third game saw me take on Paul and his Dark Angels, in a very close game, that I did lose, but another turn and I may have turned it round, but we ran out of time, but super close.

My last game against James’s Dark Angels, saw me lose again, this time in turn 4, the Lion is a hard git!

And my morale checks just kept failing with three units fleeing the board!

Overall the event was very very enjoyable and I am super happy to have gone.

The Death Guard need a bit of reworking to transition properly

What I Am Modelling

Mostly working on some Ruin Factorum buildings and a Shrine of the Aquila for my Imperium table.

The Shrine was finished first.

And the rest shortly afterwards

What I Am Reading

I finished Echoes of Eternity, and you know what, it was pretty good, and fairly emotional!

I published reviews of Black Cat: Discord by Cath Laura and Recruited by Thomas Parrott.

I have now started on Zachareth by Robbie MacNivan, which so far is alright, and rather enjoyable.

What Video Games I Am Playing

I reorganised the wall of controllers slightly following some advice from the guys on r/battlestations, so now the cables are tied with Velcro cable ties and you can actually see the controllers themselves!

I still want to add a Nvidia Shield and a Steam Controller, but they might be pipe dreams, but I shall see next year.

This kind of follows on from sharing a picture of the battlestation as it is now!

I did get a bit of time in with Shootas, Blood & Teef, which is really, really good!

I even bought the soundtrack!

What I Am Creating

We published an episode of Edge of Empire.

And I have published another battle report!

What I Am Backing

Still backing the CoraQuest expansion and the TT Combat paints and washes.

What I Am Spending

I finally bought my PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini which is a replacement for the original purchase a few weeks ago.

I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay and bought this and an A500 Mini, but alas the PC Engine, came without a controller, so I had to pack it up and send it back, whilst the A500 just took an age to get dispatched!

I took a fair few weeks to get the refund to order the PC Engine again, but at last I have them now!

And for now this completes my controller collection for stuff that’s going on the wall anyway.

In a couple of weeks I shall be ordering four new mounts for the A500s CD32 controller, the PC Engine controller, Xbox 360 and my SN30.

I also bought a new fake plant, just need some more now to make that little bit look really nice.

What I Am Winning

I started entering competitions again, it’s a hobby that those of us into it, call comping.

It’s a little sad I guess, but I enjoy the quizzes and challenges, and sometimes the weirdness that it brings.

So when I win something, I will add it here!

The first prize already came through, a pair of tickets to the Living North Christmas Fair, which Lindsay and Megan took advantage of last weekend.

No doubt the question will come up about how I win stuff, and honestly, it’s just playing the odds, entering pretty much as many as you can and you are bound to win something!

That’s literally the secret, and let’s see if we can win some decent stuff, still yet to top my original iPad win from back in 2010!


Recruited

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Tom Clancy’s The Division book Recruited by Thomas Parrott and published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

Also, I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.

What is Tom Clancy’s The Division

Based on the Ubisoft game series of the same name, its set in the near future, the Strategic Homeland Division, known simply as The Division, is a group of government sleeper agents, activated to assist emergency responders and the armed forces, when a smallpox like virus, called the Green Poison or Dollar Flu spreads like wildfire across the US, causing the collapse in the government and society.

The job of the Division, is to combat lawlessness and find out the origin of the virus in an attempt to restore order and bring back civilisation.

The Story

This story follows a cell investigating why trucks carrying food to the eastern coast of the US have slowed to a trickle, in order to prevent the survivors of the plague from starving.

Having lost one of their trio before they get out of Washington D.C., they recruit Maria Kanhai, a young veteran and cyber security expert into their cell as they journey west to try and get to the bottom of the problem.

As they travel the huge distances on foot, they travel through an unforgiving world and come across ruthless factions who will do their upmost to hold power for themselves, and keep themselves on top regardless of how it impacts others.

Conclusion

I haven’t played either of the games in the series, and so I am approaching this from fresh eyes, and no doubt didn’t see any references from them.

But I am very familiar with the works of Tom Clancy, and whilst this book sort of resembles, them, it has a voice of its own that is distinct.

A world ravaged by a pandemic is something I think many of us are familiar with now, even if ours didn’t collapse into chaos!

The book is very fast paced, and there is always a concern about who is tracking the cell and why they are being targeted, sometimes, it feels like you are going from set piece to set piece, but the characters and their interactions does make it feel a lot more natural.

And speaking about the characters, they are all very well written, with flaws and virtues that feel very very real, and thus it helps keep you immeresed.

The Division paints a picture of a very bleak world where humanity has quickly devolved into groups that are only looking out for themselves.

I am going to give this 4 out of 5 stars, and I might have to buy the game next time Ubisoft have a sale.


Recruited is available now as an eBook or paperback and even as an audio book!

Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 33 Battle Report

The 33rd part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we play the next Scout Mission!

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and a combined force of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Blood Ravens!


You can buy your own Task Lamp here

You can support what I do by doing any of the following:-

Black Cat: Discord

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Heroines book Black Cat: Discord by Cath Laura and published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

Also, I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The Marvel Heroines series focuses on the female hero’s of the Marvel universe, the other books in the series soi far have all be very very good!

The Story

Focusing on, no surprise, Black Cat, aka Felicia Hardy, the cat burglar extraordinaire of New York and the Marvel universe as a kid turns up on her doorstep needing help to save her father’s life.

As well as that a mytical golden apple has appeared in New York, and despite wanting nothing to do with its wish granting powers, it keeps crossing her path!

The story is very much influenced by Jed MacKays Black Cat run referencing events in those stories quite a lot, and we get cameo appearances from a load of Marvel heroes, Iron Man, Daredevil, Spider-Man and Iron Fist, whilst she fights off Hammerhead, Silvermane, Kingpin and others.

The main thrust of the story is Felicias quest to save the father of her teenage guest, but every lead she tracks down, forces her into the game of the golden apple as both heroes and villains try to grab it.

Conclusion

This is probably one of the strongest Aconyte books published so far, strong, tight story that covers all the bases, keeps you on the edge of your seat and also pulls a few heartstrings too.

Once again Aconyte have great LGBT rep, and with no romantic subplot either as Felicias bisexuality is very much acknowledged, but without forcing a romance.

The strength of this book is absolutly Felicias voice, it comes through very clear and she is absolutly a strong modern woman, who whilst not a hero, has no need for villioany, she cares for thise closest to her, and the interactions with other charcters is just *chefs kiss*

No question, 5 out of 5 stars


Black Cat: Discord is out now as an eBook and on paperback.

Is The Series S A Potato

There has been a lot of talk about the Xbox Series S being an underpowered potato that is holding back game development, and I guess I fancy weighing in on it.

When the Series S was unveiled, I admit, I was unimpressed, it’s seemed lacking in comparison to the Series X.

But it has one compelling feature, it’s price, it’s in reach of a lot of people, because the £450 the Series X costs is a lot of money.

But my heart was set on a Series X, but well 2020 happened and the chip shortage hit.

The Series X and both PS5 models were only available in limited quantities, but the Series S, well here is the genius in that little thing, it’s APU, is smaller.

It uses fewer chiplets than the Series X and PS5s and therefore has higher yields per wafer, meaning it can be produced in significantly higher numbers.

As a result the Series S has remained almost constantly in stock and not suffered any significant shortages, whereas even today, you will struggle to get a PS5, and Series X stock levels now seem to have finally stabilised.

So couple in availability, and cost, especially when you factor in GamePass, and I honestly think, the Series S might emerge as the winner of this generation.

Now the excuses used by some developers, well I think that’s all they are, excuses. The 30fps cap in Gotham Knights is frankly more likely down to poor optimisation and an old game engine.

Other games have managed fine, and cone on, these games are also built for PCs with wildly varied specs, and the modern consoles aren’t architecturally that different to PCs, heck the Steam Deck, which a lot of these games run fine on, uses a very very similar chip to both consoles.

But then looking at Gotham Knights PC specs, yeah I suspect very very poor optimisation.

To summarise, the Series S, might not be the powerhouse, but it’s actually making gaming something most people can do, it’s cost means no parent has to buy last Gen hardware, that those on lower incomes can still game, and that this hobby is not restricted to the better off.

Gaming at the best graphics available is great, but just gaming is great as well, even with modest graphics.

I love my Series S, yeah I also have a Series X and a PS5, but most of my gaming, is still on a Series S.

What Am I Modelling

I finished up a squad of Catapractii Terminators for the Imperial Fists, this time armed with Power Fists and Storm Shields.

I also got a Praetor in Tartaros Terminator Armour, with a Paragon Blade and Storm Shield.

I am now working on some Factorum Ruins and a Shrine of the Aquilla for my Imperium table.

What I Am Reading

I finished The Deadly Grimoire by Rosemary Jones, and you can read a review here.

And I have now started on Echoes of Eternity by Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

What I Am Creating

I got three Battle Reports published since the last blog post!

What I Am Backing

I am currently backing the CoraQuest expansion – Keep On Questing.

And I am backing the TT Combat Paints and Washes project, only for a couple of paints to see how they are.

What I Am Spending

I bought some slippers, as my old ones fell apart.

A friend bought another Leagues of Votann box and sold me the spare Codex and models.

I also finally picked up the Sicaran that I bought for my birthday.

And I got another GameCube controller holder for my wall of Controllers!

And I also picked up a Steam code for Spider-Man Remastered!


Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 32 Battle Report

Trying a proper camera this time instead of just using my phone, so sorry for any issues with slight blur, focus and aspect ratio!

The 32nd part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we play the next Scout Mission!

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and the Adeptus Mechanicus!

You can buy your own Task Lamp here

You can support what I do by doing any of the following:-

The Deadly Grimoire

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Arkham Horror book The Deadly Grimoire by Rosemary Jones, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Arkham Horror

Anyway that put to one side, let’s look at this book, by first looking at the game Arkham Horror which is a cooperative game, originally designed by Richard Launius, and is now in its third edition which was released in 2019.

It’s published by Fantasy Flight Games, a subsidiary of Asmodee, and is set in 1926 in the town of Arkham, Massachusetts. Each player takes on the role of an investigator, who are working to stop the Ancient Ones, eldritch horrors which lurk in the void beyond space and time.

It’s a 1-6 player game and you work together to gather clues and defeat the evil of the Ancient Ones and save the world.

As I said I haven’t actually played Arkham Horror but I do own its spin off Elder Sign the cooperative dice game.

The Story

Like the rest of the Arkham Horror novels, its set in the 1920s specifically 1926 and is a sequel to Jones’s previous novel in the setting Mask of Silver.

We see the return to Arkham of Betsy Baxter who has now become a star in Hollywood in a film serial series, The Flapper Detective, which has made her very rich!

After the fire at the Fitzmaurice house three years ago, Betsy has been looking for her lost beau Max, who disappeared that night, the last thing she saw of him was him stepping through a mirror as he pushed her out of the burning building.

Teaming up with fearless pilot Winifred Habbamock and bookseller Tom Sweets, she returns to Arkham to try and find out what happened to Max, and solve the mystery of what happened that night.

But the trio find themselves caught up in a mystery involving a mysterious book that belongs to Toms family, and is being fought over between an Innsmouth bootlegger, and a local doctor, who seek the forbidden knowledge within, to travel the secret ways.

Conclusion

Now this is a curious story, despite being set within the horror universe of Arkham Horror, there isn’t actually any horror to speak of, its a very interesting paranormal mystery, but even then, its quite light on that too.

But that’s not to say it isn’t a great book, Betsy was very much a minor character in the last book, but now she has been very fleshed out into a daredevil, wanting to perform ever more dangerous stunts to keep the punters buying tickets to her movies!

Yes, it’s a sequel and whilst I do think having read the previous book is helpful, you don’t need to, it explains enough to set the scene.

What is great about this book is that it’s not presenting Betsy, our Flapper Detective, as a mere jazz baby, with interest mostly in having a good time, but she is very well aware of the issues of the time, and this book doesn’t shy away from touching on the racial and social issues that those who aren’t white, and protestant faced in 1920 US. It’s not in your face, but it’s acknowledged in a very natural way which adds to the story and creates a deeper sense of immersion.

The story itself is very very well researched and there are a lot of references to silent movies, jazz, aviation etc that I ended up grabbing my phone to read more up on.

The story moves along very well, but the conclusion did feel a little rushed, but it worked.

I really want to hear a bit more about some of the characters, I think there is room to develop some other plotlines from the two books.

It is giving me lots of ideas for RPG adventures in the setting!

I have to give this book, 4.5 out of 5.


The Deadly Grimoire is out now in paperback, ebook and as an audiobook!

Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 31 Battle Report

The 31st part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we play the next Scout Mission!

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and the Blood Ravens!

You can buy your own Task Lamp here

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