Sunday, October 28, 2012

White Dwarf now

If you've been following my blog for a while you might have seen me rant about White Dwarf Magazine, but in a nostalgic 'yearning for the days of old' kind of way. You might've also seen me offer up some creative criticism as well, with hopes for a new direction for the old dwarf.

Since I wrote those articles, I got a fraction of what I had hoped for. Mainly a boost in usable content. New releases with rules support in White Dwarf, although inconsistent, was enough to make me feel a little bit better about it. In recent months they really wowed me with the Daemon booklet which was a double-sided rule addition for both army books for both Warhammer Fantasy and 40K. Short, but nicely done! Also we had that great flyer's issue which was just a tasty bit of fresh 40K goodness. Sadly there was a downside. It seemed that more good articles we got, we got 3Xs more photos to over compensate that content. In fact, there were some issues that were so focused on a particular release that the photo-spread abuse was just so blatantly over-whelming that it was clear that the magazine had more pages to fill then they had readable content to fill it with. The Dark Vengeance release issue was a clear example of this. Yes, it was cool to see these pretty pics of the flashy new miniatures, but you know, that glitter and glam wheres off, especially after I go out and buy whatever it is that's being show-cased.

OK, so as you see, I was somewhat, OK with White Dwarf, but still having some degree of disappointment with it. Usually every issue or two I felt 'meh' about it.

Then there was last month (Oct. 2012):

Bold new direction! In every aspect! Even the paper is different! The logo is different (reminds me of the logos that Paizo came up with for Dragon and Dungeon it those publication's final days) Only Blachitsu and Jervis Johnson's features remained.

The presentation of new releases, although a major feature of the magazine still was done in such a way that it feels oddly helpful and informative. It didn't feel like I was being talked down too by an editor who can't believe he's writing for a kid's magazine, but rather that the new team are fellow hobbyists who are 'coming from the same place' as us. Sure, they're still pitchmen of new product, duh, but they're pitching it right.

You can't talk about the new White Dwarf without saying something about the amazing photo-work within. Not that this magazine ever slacked on good photos, but the new team truly upped the ante on the presentation here. Never has this magazine looked, felt, or even smelt this professional.

Content? Well, no new rules were presented, but I didn't mind considering I felt like I was actually provided some true reading content this time around: I had something to read as opposed to a re-reading of the previous ad-copy on the new release pages, which many of the past few years WDs were guilty of committing. No, I felt really engaged with the articles. Feels to me that it has to do with the spin on the presentation. Another added source of content is that finally White Dwarf is show-casing Forge World and Black Library product with more than just a 3-4 page spread, but presenting actual featured articles! Still not to the point where we're getting a story (seriously, give us this! This magazine now costs more than a paper-back, surely you guys can spare something from Hammer & Bolter each month?)

I could rave on and on, However, I just want instead to talk about how I feel that this is a good progressive step in the right direction. Instead of throwing in the towel on this old institutionalized concept of a hard-copy magazine, like WotC chose to do (and, far as I can tell, fail) with Dragon and Dungeon, they revised it to make it worth it's price tag. Hell, they even had the balls to raise it an additional $1 and I still don't care! LOL! But I'm straying; the point is, they could've dumped this, and just gone to relying 100% on the web-site and mailing list. Instead, they made the printed product better and, in doing so, made the digital product. The people I know who are getting the White Dwarf digitally on the iPad have really been pleased with it! One added bonus that I am envious of is that they get it instantly as opposed to waiting impatiently for it to show up in their mailbox like I do each month. That could be a blog article itself actually, but again I'm straying: to sum up:  I'm thankful for all of this actually. The new team has done a fantastic job and I look forward to reading the Nov. 2012 issue (which I saw, not in my mailbox, but in the local Hobbytown USA today... grumble...)

I am also thankful that maybe, once again, we'll see White Dwarf used as a tool to attract new players/hobbyists. Case in point: I was quite pleased to see the Oct. 2012 issue on display with the hobby magazines in my local Barnes & Noble bookstore the other day. I haven't seen that happen in years!

Monday, October 22, 2012

War returns to Johnson City

Last Saturday night marked the return of public wargaming in Johnson City at Hobbytown. They just moved into a new (and seriously better) building, but while working through their lease are using the old one for gaming.

Most of us convened at a local restaurant before meeting up with our 6th player at the store building where we found that no tables had been set up yet. After about an hour of scrounging we found ourselves with 3 tables and a decent amount of terrain to get in some games. Hobbytown is promising to provide more scenery as time goes on but what we had was good enough.

We divided into 3 groups.

Table 1
Da Masta Cheef (Storm Warden Codex Marines with Dark Angel Allies).
RTvoril (Dark Eldar)

Dark Eldar playing nice with Dark Angels (from the Dark Vengeance set) during the Dark Millennium. Focus in on the objective marker.
Da Masta Cheef fought against a wonderfully painted and converted Dark Eldar army. I really enjoyed seeing this army. Very inspiring. Particularly his wonderfull objective markers, one of which can be seen in the middle of the pic above.

Commander: "Fire on those xeno scum!" Driver: "Arrrrrgh!!! A giant turd!!!Turn! Turn!!!"

Da Masta Cheef briefly discussed this game on his blog (see link above).

Table 2
Screech (Chaos Marines-Tzeentch)
Murl (Chaos Marines-Nurgle)

Sadly I only took one pic of this game, but from what little I was able to witness and over-hear it was quite the slug fest. Screech apparently won this somehow... I hope to edit some details back in once I get some.

"C'mon 'ere and kiss your grandma!"

Table 3
Hiveangel (Blood Angels)
Neverness (Space Wolves)

Our fight seemed to take a long time to start, as this was a mission and a layout that took some time to work out. It was also the 1st time using Bastions as more than just LOS obstacles, which distracted me a lot and I made some wonky tactical errors.

Blood Angel deployment. (Red ones hide faster)
Hive Angel wanted it known that his BAs are indeed a work in progress (like all of my armies are) so excuse their appearance. You can check out his blog for progress updates by checking his link out. 

Space Wolf deployment. More on that bastion if a future update...
It was an intense game, with our armor saves annoying each other, which seems to happen a lot in Marine vs. Marine fights. That is until I dared to fight LeMartes and the Death Company! Wow! That is some vicious competition right there! He clearly had an edge over me as slowly my units started to fall.

Setting up for the kill, the Death Company move in, and the Baal Predator looks strategically relocates.
I lost this by 2 points. Although I can not recall what the exact points were.

With the last bolter report fading in the vale, Screech and I locked up, leaving the hall of Old Hobbytown soaked with the blood of the fallen and the promise of more battle...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Updates from the Warzone

Rune Priest Jarl Blacktooth
Wolf Lord Sven Axegrinder
Campaign Update from Segmentum Warzones
Segmentum Obscurus
Tri-Cinci Sub, Piney Flats system
Don't eat the yellow condensation.

Greetings honorable Wolf Lord. As requested, here is the latest updates concerning our Great Hunt of the Vile that we launched in the Tri-Cinci sector. We have had mixed results over-all but two victories in critical sub-sectors.
Stage one: In the Bristol Sub-sector on the world of Croot-Secondus, we were surprised by a Chaos force in the city of Molly's Biscuit. We believe they may have had ties to the vile fiends that humiliated you last year, as their methods were both uncanny, insulting, and well, generally disturbing. 
Predator in deployment position, Long Fangs to the Left spotting the Chaos deployment zone...
Long Fang deployment zone, Objective within reach but alarmingly close to trenchline. Rhino with Grey Hunters.
Critical objectives were identified and it was clear that we could not allow them -the fiends- to have access to them. I led a Wolf Guard unit straight into the Chaos lines via drop pod, however we were immediately assailed by foul followers of Nurgle. Mortarions Ass-Wipers or some such moniker. While dodging what I think was poo-on-a-stick, I was knocked unconscious...
Predator advances shooting rounds into the enemy vehicles while the Death Guard assault the arriving Wolf Guard.
The Death Guard unit overwhelm the Wolf Guard, despite the amount of firepower thrown at them by the terminators and the Deathwind rocket launcher on the Drop Pod, they just weren't feeling the pain,
The entire left flank fell upon the arrival of the Chaos Lord "Lars Blood Eagle". Although we eliminated the unit he was with, the Lord just wouldn't accept the caress of Imperial Sanctioned munitions into his flesh. Truly this bastard is evil.
The Chaos Lord hunts down and slaughters the Long Fangs. It was not a pretty sight...
The right flank fared somewhat better, however pics of this particular area of the stage were not captured properly. We believe one of the wolves might've buried that film can... Regardless, we successfully retrieved the objective on this end, however all others were lost to the Traitors. We have re-sworn blood-oaths to bring about an end to the blight that these vile foes are causing us...
(Neverness note: Score was something like 13-3, with victory going to Da Masta Cheef who discussed it briefly after it occurred here. My dice almost ended up in a garbage disposal that night.This was played on 9/11/13. Always a good game against the Cheef, despite my dice!)
Stage 2: In the Creaky Boonicus Subsector on the Dark Moon of Ivy's Joy, we fended off an invasion from Hive Fleet Warfrog.
Rune priest and wolfguard's drop pod land on the fortified objective. The Rune Priest immediately begins looking into target options for a psychic attack
Many foul xenos beasts were aligned against us, and it looked as if we were in for another over whelming incursion into our forces, As you know, we have not fared well against this hive fleet in recent times and your very own Terminator armor bears deep scars from their claws. At the onset of battle, the winds of fate blew our drop pod practically right on top of one of our objectives and into a fortified position held by some termagaunts. What happened next changed the course of the whole invasion, as I summoned the world-spirits of this blighted world to accept the Emperor's Blessings.

The Jaws of the World Wolf opened up, and although I was hoping to obliterate a massive force of Termagaunt lurking in a nearby woods, I spotted that the spawn-mothers of these creatures were perfectly in line...
With the LD test passed, the Rune Priest sights his targets: Two Tervigons and a Tyranid Prime... they were unable to Deny the Witch or stop the power from affecting them. The Tyranid Prime made his Initiative Test....

...both Tervigons did not. One of these was the army's Warlord, earning me 2 VPs for 1st Blood and Slay the Warlord. The resulting backlashed eliminated a lot of Termagaunts as well!
Finally after years of not getting the results that other Rune Priests claim to have gotten on the Fang-Net, I was able to eliminate multiple enemies. When the Jaws closed the big monsters were eliminated and many of the smaller creature keeled over immediately! We continued to rain shot after shot into their lines, and I was able to get the Jaws to open another time to eliminate a Hive Guard. However the Tyrannids were unyielding and I witnessed the death of Lone Wolf... I forget his name, but he died honorably!

The Lone Wolf tangles with the Hive Tyrant, but unable to close on the winged monster, he is felled by the beast's fly-by attacks and alien missile weapons... and yes, those old 2nd edition artillery dice make awesome wound counters!

The Tyranid Prime is eliminated by the Long Fangs who were the most impressive Long Fang pack we have ever had with us. Those Long Fangs back on Croot-Secundus mustive been Thralls in disguise or perhaps too old, as their skills were not nearly as matched as this pack. After the Hive Tryant slaughtered the Grey Hunters holding the Bridge Objective they successfully blew appart the Hive Tyrant with a storm of Krak missiles. It was a glorious thing to witness. While watching this, my Lord, I am again embarrassed to confess that I was knocked unconscious, however my honored Wolf Guard managed to single-handedly press on without me, and eliminate the last of the termagaunts from the objective, winning us the field.

The Longs Fangs, slaughterers of many! Also the Vindicator survived with a single Hull Point left. After this fight I started to apply paint to the two unpainted guys in this unit, I reckoned they earned it (finally).
Foul Genestealers erupted from out of no where and eliminated the 2nd Grey Hunter squad defending the objective in our zone. These xenos were eliminated by the Long Fangs as well. When I regained consciousness the Hive Fleet was gone, although I have no doubt they will return to this world with a far stronger force... they are a vengeful vermin!
(Neverness note: Despite the surprise of losing the Tervigons in turn 1, the Tyranids remained quite formidable to the end. I guess knowing that Warfrog has a slingshot that he has volunteered to let me borrow, the dice decided to play a bit nicer to me this time around. Ultimately neither one of us had any troops left to hold objectives with, so I won with 3 vps (Linebreaker, First Blood and Slay the Warlord) to 1vp (Slay the Warlord). Good game Warfrog!)
Stage 3: The Cinci Subsector, the Battle-ground of Gilkison's Curiosity near the Batavian Hive on the World of Olszewski's Landing. We were summoned to join up with a battle force of fellow Space Wolves led by Wolf Guard Battle Leader whom the Long Fangs called Buffalo John, named after some extinct creature whose hides were used as leather coating on the balls in 'Blood Bowl' sporting events on ancient Fenris.
Space Wolf Deployment zone. Note that the whirlwind was removed before turn 1 as it was not actually in my list. Further note that we were very limited on terrain so I used 3 other vehicles as wrecks. Two upside down Predator Tanks and a Rhino propped up on a rock formation. All 4 players had 750 points each. 

My side of the field. My Long Fangs are using the Predator wreck to gain some higher ground.

 The enemy had amassed before us, a combination of Orks and Necrons, hell-bent on our destruction...

A mass of Orks. If you can spot the one on a square base, that is the Ork Leader, a Warphead. The trukks with the white tanks are squadrons of Scorchas, there was a squadron of 3 on each flank.
In the center of the line, The Necrons spread their forces across the Ork line.
The Long Fangs, deployed on top of a wrecked tank.
The battle was engaged and immediately our advance was stymied by the appearance of a unit that someone called "Deathmarks", that began firing upon the Long Fangs, the heroes of Ivy's Joy, killing two of them in the most gruesome of manner. I bolstered them with an Endurance Psychic power...

The Deathmarks arrive...ignoring the Rune Priest and going after the Long Fangs (clipped on the right side of the image).
 This Endurance must have also invigorated the old men, as they leapt from their position on the wrecked Predator and engaged the Deathmarks up close. After receiving a lot firepower, few of the Deathmarks would stay down, they just kept self-repairing and standing back up!  But after many long rounds of melee, the final one finally dropped, leaving two of the ancient Long Fangs standing Triumphant!
The remaining Long Fangs drop the last Deathmark. Note the rhino is still functioning, it had tried to tank shock the Deathmarks in the previous turn. The guy on top is just to remind me which unit is in the tank.
 No sooner had this unit been dealt with, did we turn to realize the enemy had gained significant ground in the meanwhile. I dealt with the scorchas with the assistance of a squad of Grey Hunters. On the other side of our area, Buffalo John's troops held back with exception of a pack of Grey Hunters that wiped out the other Scorcha squadron  and was locked in close combat with a unit of vile looking Necrons that we referred too as "Flayed Ones" as they wore human skins like noble women where fox pelts. Rather odd, but dispute their appearances our brethren held firm against them.

The Orks advance into our deployment zone...they assault the Grey Hunters who had just wiped out a Scorcha squadron.

Suddenly Orks where every where! They dashed through the flames of the scorcha wreckage and butchered the Grey Hunters that had assisted me earlier! Some of Buffalo John's Grey Hunters had moved up to support us, but soon they, along with myself, were swarmed with Orks, however not before I was able to eliminate the Necron leader, who's unit the Long Fangs had been whittling down in the meanwhile. No sooner had I saw this machine-thing vanish before my eyes, when I was once again felled by a blow from an Ork... I really must get a better helm I think...

Vargard Obyron, wasn't killed by the Space Wolves, he kept botching scatter roles with the teleporting ability and finding himself in reserve, and NOT coming back into the game! He ultimately failed to come back coughing up some VPs for the Space Wolf side.
 The Grey Hunters on the other side were slowly bringing down the Flayed Ones, who were pretty evenly matched. However a bunch of Ork Runts -gretchen- swarmed into the fight, and their numbers began to overwhelm the Grey Hunters. Ultimately the Gretchen finished off the Grey Hunters. and turned their attention to the Long Fangs on that side of the field that had just blasted away a C'Tan Shard! I wish I had been conscious to witness that!

The Grey Hunters that the Flayed ones couldn't touch, that is, until the Grots arrived!
 Swarming the last two Long Fangs, the Orks quickly over whelmed them. The Vindicator turned and obliterated this annoying mob of Orks, the straggler finished off by the remaining Grey Hunters.  The Ork/Necron advance in the middle of the field was crushed by the combined might of both Company's Grey Hunters. In the end, the Xenos were repelled and we held strong.

The Vindicator is about to turn to wipe out the ork mob. I honestly don't recall if those 2 Long Fangs lived or not, as it was late and the game was going fast at this point.

(Neverness note: That was a long game! Our final tally was 12vps to 8vps, Space Wolf side winning.)

So, we are back on the battle barge, awaiting the next summons to war. I am recovering, once again, from a blow to the head. Hopefully this continued abuse to my skull doesn't effect my psychic abilities.

Your brother in arms, keenly awaiting your next order...

-Rune Priest Jarl

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Waaagh! Plane part 3

WAAAGH!!! This was a WIP test-fit. The cockpit fits so snug and perfectly into the hull.

Work on the Dakka jet continued last week. In fact I was going to blog about that and some recent gaming with Da Masta Cheef and Warfrog but instead felt the urge to rant about Dark Angel jet cycles. Well, back to our usual fare of WIP pics. 

Leaving off with Part 2 I started by applying layers of the old Blood Red on top of Scab Red, but the paint was going on thinner than I preferred, creating an interesting kind of red-rust effect. In this pic below I have half painted it and wanted to see what it looked like blown up on the digital camera for a more critical take on it.

After coating the whole plane, I glued together the pilot and the cockpit assembly, I will do the 'glass' canopy absolutely last (after sealing the plane- that last!). Considering that I tweaked my flesh-tone style with this ork, I'm pleased with how he game out: quite vibrant!

Here's a full body shot of the pilot snapped into the jet. The green does contrast perfectly against the red.

 It's subtle, but here you can see the "streaking" effect that I was getting with the Blood Red. I switched to a newer paint that just picked up, Mephiston Red. This new paint...I'm not sure about. I LOVED the color it was when I applied it, but I have never seen an acrylic paint change it's hue to the degree that this color did when it dried. Still, I was OK with the look, and thought that it solidified the color and got rid of the streaking.

The tail wings. Clearly who ever designed this jet never built model planes as a kid! It's like the one piece that doesn't easily attach (even though it looks like it should!) and I had to use paint pots to hold them in place while the glue dried. Here's the right one...
Here's the left one.

These are the colors that I have been working with. The Evil Sunz Red I will attempt to use as a highlight color.

And here it is with this stage done. I will next apply that Evil Sunz Red highlight, then start adding all the battle damage and wear to it while at the same time working up the metals and the rusty panels.

Red ones do go fasta! It's not a belief, it's a life-style!
Sadly I had hoped to get this done over the weekend and in time for this upcoming one, but work beckons me away, so I won't get it done quite as early as I wanted too. Shame 'cause I was going to take it up to Ohio for it's maiden flight.

I hope you've enjoyed this so far.