Friday, 17 March 2017

Warhammer Quest: Shadows Over Hammerhal

Published by Games Workshop
For 2-5 players, aged 12 to adult

Shadows Over Hammerhal

Once upon a time (and I only mention that because all good stories start that way) there was a world of arcane lore and monsters. It was a harsh, cruel world where only the strong survived, and war was without end.

No. I don't mean high school.

This was a tough world. A violent world. Yet it was also a world of humour, where amidst the horror of war you could find something laugh-out-loud hilarious.

And it was also a world of beauty. It was a world where you could battle through the shit and the pain, and in the heart of darkness find a small glimmer of something so wonderful it made everything worth fighting for.

No. I really don't mean high school.

This was not our world, and yet in some ways, it was not so very different. This world was the Old World. The world of Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Painting Guide - Brimstone Horrors

I have always said I am primarily a gamer. I'm not even secondarily a hobbyist. I really like painting miniatures, but I find assembling them a chore; and honestly, I have very little time for painting. Still, I do paint, and...


I'm not great.

I think they call it "tabletop quality."

So, if I'm not a skilled artist, why have I had the audacity to write a painting guide?

Simple really. I sort of wanted to show that anyone can do this, and it doesn't just have to involve a base undercoat and a tin of Army Painter Quickshade. (Not that there's anything wrong with dipping miniatures either.) But also, I thought it might be fun to show people how I flounder through this stuff.

I'm not so much going to guide you as I'm going to flail around wildly, leaving a broken trail to show where I've been as a warning for anyone else.

Oh, and by the way, if people are interested in this sort of thing, I'm toying with the idea of making it a semi-regular feature (not that anything on this blog is even close to regular). It's a little bit different to my normal content. Tangents and conversations about the biscuits I was eating while I painted these miniatures will be kept to a minimum.

I have to stress that this is not a guide for anyone even remotely confident with a brush. But if you're thinking about giving painting a go, this is how I painted my cute little Brimstone Horrors from Games Workshop's Silver Tower.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Catacombs (First Edition)

Designed by Ryan Amos, Marc Kelsey, and Aron West
Published by Sands of Time Games
For 2-5 players, aged 12 to adult

Catacombs box cover

My hands are basically screwed.

Have I ever mentioned that?

They randomly betray me, flinging things across the room. Last month I had to remove electrical outlets from my wall to drain them because a full cup of tea escaped my fumbling grasp, and not long after that I bounced one of my best friends freshly painted space marines off the table. It wouldn't have been so bad, but it was his first go at painting miniatures for about two decades. Fortunately, those space marines are a lot more robust than some people give them credit for. I guess they have to be if they're going to survive in the grim-dark future of the Warhammer universe.

And this is my hands under normal conditions. If it starts to get cold, they straight up stop working altogether.

My rubbish hands take the full blame for my inability to learn to play the guitar (my lack of persistence is completely unrelated, I assure you), and also for my heavy reliance on ink washes and drybrushing to make my painted miniatures look even halfway decent.

They're also why I'm not overly keen on dexterity games.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Fireteam Zero: The Africa Cycle

Designed by Mike Langlois and Christian Leonhard
Published by Emergent Games
For 1 to 4 players, aged 14 to adult

Fireteam Zero: The Africa Cycle

They say that "a change is as good as a rest." I guess "they" don't work for Fireteam Zero, because as far as those hardened war vets are concerned, it's more a case of "no rest for the wicked." The Fireteam Zero base game threw them into the heart of enemy territory, into villages swarming with alien entities, and even into the bowels of the corrupted earth. Each mission was a gruelling battle of attrition against an unstoppable, immeasurable foe; and always the fate of humankind was in the balance. After all that, a chance to soak up the rays on a relaxing tour of Africa probably sounded like a great idea.

But this is no vacation. There are no margaritas on the beach for Sarge and his motley crew, and you can scratch any idea of a rest.

Sarge would probably put it best: "Same shit, different day."

And indeed, the new Africa Cycle expansion for one of my all-time favourite games is very much more of the same. But shit?

Not even close.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Horus Heresy: Burning of Prospero

Published by Games Workshop
For 2 players, aged 12 to adult

Oh, hi there. Come on in. Sit down. You've just caught me thumbing through some of the old paperwork in my filing cabinet...

What do you mean, "You don't have any paperwork... or a filing cabinet"?

Just go with it. It's an intro skit.

So, I'm flicking back through some of my old reviews. Do pull up a chair. Hold on, this looks promising... Ah, yes. My review of Deathwatch: Overkill. This is what I wanted. Let me read an excerpt: