Friday, 30 May 2014

Hobby Progress Challenge 2014: May Complete

So I have dashed across the finish line at the very last moment. Well, not the very last moment, as in reality I have another two days, but the fact is that from 0800 today, I will be on the move and I won't be home until Sunday night, late. I'll be working all day tomorrow and then I'll be in the field playing soldiers for the weekend, and I don't think I can take my models with me.

Behold! The second of my May commitments complete, Interrogator-Chaplain Seraphicus of the Dark Angels. As with most independent characters, I am not satisfied with the job I have done. However, the purpose of the HPC is to get models painted and on the table. There are still some highlights to do and the golds and smoke will need more attention, but I can always swing around later and do some more touch ups and a little static grass. That said, I would be happy to put this figure on the table and call it painted.

My commitment for June will be a Squad Barachiel, Deathwing terminators, to take my Zone Mortalis force up to 1015 points and complete the first half of the HPC. Depending on when I can wangle some time away from H, I will be looking to head across the Severn to Cardiff to take the field with my newly painted Dark Angels against the Dark Pact boys. Hopefully I will be able to crush the xenos forces of Eldar, Orks and Tyranids that are likely to be arrayed against me. It all becomes rather exciting when you might actually get a game in.

I realise that I have been a little quiet on the blogging front of late, this has largely been due to being horrendously busy trying to find work. I have managed to land an interesting opportunity with a small startup company, which begins Monday. Hopefully a solid income and the regularity of a working day will give me the time and structure I need to start blogging again. At the moment my every hobby minute has been spent painting miniatures. The upside is that I should have more to share in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Update: Back in Britain & YouTube upload: Perry French Infantry

So, I have now been back in the United Kingdom for almost two weeks, and what a couple of weeks it has been. Order number one has been finding work, which I have set about with gusto. A few interviews have already been had, and more are scheduled for the next week. The hope is to find a job with long term prospects that I am likely to enjoy, so not too much to ask for. In the meantime, I have been doing some temporary work in retail logistics, my old haunt. However, besides the impediment of money and obviously the uncertainty of my future I have set up the old wargaming space again, ready to pick up where I left off.

A lot has happened since January when I made the move to Australia, and now that I am back and reunited with my legions of little toy soldiers I can actually act upon some of those changes. Foremost is the release of the new Dwarf army book for Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Those dwarfs that have been featured on the blog will now finally have the ability to take the field once I get my paws on the new book, and with a new book comes a reason to actually try and get more dwarfs done.

Since I got back I also dug out a box of Perry French Line Infantry and have made a YouTube video running through the box contents and sharing my thoughts on the quality and uses of the box. You can watch the video below.

Finally, my HPC 2014 has not been forgotten, I am almost done with my Chaplain Seraphicus figure. My hope is to get him done by the end of the bank holiday weekend, and started on my Deathwing Terminators, which will be my June commitment and round out my 1000 point Zone Mortalis force. The little patter of rain drops on my window reminds me that there is nought else to do today but paint, O miseri me!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Warmachine: First Impressions

So I bought my Warmachine starter box in February, and here we are at the start of May and I haven't really said much about it. I have yet to play a game, but since I have a deep aversion to playing with unpainted miniatures, that first game is still a way off. I began by painting High Exemplar Kreoss who was featured on the blog a while back, largely because he looked more imposing and interesting than Kommander Sorscha. I am happy with what I achieved, but as I intimated in my earlier post, I am finding working with restic a little irritating and I find it a little disappointing that Privateer Press would stoop to using such a nasty material. 

However, I suppose that these are starter set figures, so I will hold off further judgement on the quality of Privateer Press until I pick up some other stuff from blisters and other boxed sets. My point stands though, with Games Workshop the beginner is treated to lovely miniatures, such as the Dark Vengeance boxed set; contrasted with the offerings for Warmachine I would say that Games Workshop wins this round. I have almost finished my first Warjack, a Crusader. I find that most of the Warjacks look the same to me, so I need the cards to help me differentiate between them. Once I become more familiar with the game I am sure that I will remember what is what. 

In addition to trying to get the feel of Warmachine in a tactile fashion, I have also read the rulebook. Again, I am disappointed in my $100 starter set. I have flicked through the rulebook several times, but not that much, and already the central sheets of the booklet have come loose. What a shame. I have never had this happen to me before and I am shocked and appalled! Well, not really, just disappointed. Again Privateer Press aren't putting their best foot forward. Given that for most people a starter set is the "gateway drug" into a miniatures game, the combination of restic miniatures with odd flash and strange sprue joins, and a rulebook that collapses in your hands, this is a major misstep for Privateer Press. I know that the wider wargaming community criticises Games Workshop for many things, including pricing and their shop floor manner, but the one thing that they really get is how to sell a game system with a single box. I remember getting into Fantasy and 40k via the starter sets in 6th and 3rd Editions respectively, in the end I didn't play any of the factions in either set, but the rulebook and the contents of the boxes got me hooked on a world which I love visiting time and again. With Warmachine I simply don't get the same feeling of excitement at discovering a new world, the Iron Kingdoms is just a little dry.

I get the feeling that Warmachine was designed first and foremost as a game, and then someone decided to bolt on some background story. This is of course a gross simplification, but I get the sense that the "fluff" of Warmachine is entirely secondary. That said, I have been watching loads of battle reports and introductory games on YouTube, and the actual ruleset seems water tight and elegant. So inasmuch as I don't care much for the setting, I am actually intrigued by the mechanics of the game. I will however have to hold off final judgement until I have had a chance to play with my toy soldiers. 

In the meantime, I am preparing for my imminent return to the UK on the 14th of May. I am looking forward to being reunited with H, and my dogs. Furthermore, I'll have my wargaming infrastructure around me so that I can hopefully produce some better YouTube content and take some decent pictures.