Sunday, March 30, 2008

GENERAL: Books and battles

I've posted what could be the penultimate battle report in the Phoenix Campaign on my battle reports website. It was a vicious nightfight between my Exigators Chaos Space Marines and Gary's dastardly Eldar.

I've had another long week at work so the rest of my hobby time has been very restricted and I have nothing else to report. I did buy some stuff to improve my painting set-up though, so I'll blog about that shortly.

I also finished reading Only in Death, the latest instalment in the Gaunt's Ghosts series. I really got into this book and I'll give it a full review later. The next tome I'll tackle will be another Dan Abnett novel; Legion.

I'm really looking forward to this one.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

GENERAL: The fight goes on

For those of you who have missed it, I have posted the eighth battle report of the Phoenix campaign on my battle reports blog. This game was another sabotage mission but with the armies reversed; the Eldar were defending while the Chaos Space Marines were attacking. You can read all about it here.

Righto - I'll get back to typing up battle number nine.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

MODELLING: Brass Praying Mantis

I have a grand total of five days off work over Easter so I'm optimistic I'll get a lot of hobby stuff done. We're already two and a half days into the holidays, so what have I been up to?

What I should have done is paint up the Khorne Berzerkers that have been kicking around my painting table for the past month or so. Of course, I didn't.

Here's what I did instead.

Yes, but what is it?

It's my take on a Brass Scorpion.

I bought the Brass Scorpion conversion kit from Games Workshop mailorder before Christmas and I only just got round to opening the box. There were no instructions in the box to put the thing together so I went online and found some tutorials on the GW US site here. Unfortunately the extra sprues I had with the conversion kit didn't match the ones I needed in these guides. Specifically I only had one torso sprue. Of course, without any official instructions I had no idea whether I had got the wrong sprues by mistake or I was supposed to use a different design. What's an evil Chaos Overlord to do?

I remembered a sketch I'd seen in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade background book of a Stalk Tank in the shape of a praying Mantis. It looked really nasty, so I thought I'd have a go at building one. The crucial thing was that the mantis only had six limbs, so the single torso I had would be okay. The bulk of the work I had to do was on lengthening the legs. I cut most of the limbs at each joint and this allowed me to heighten the front legs especially. This was required to get closer to the mantis look but also so that I could use the abdomen as a mount for the demolisher cannon.

Once I had the legs sorted I built a frame to support the abdomen from an old dozer blade part. Once this was pinned in place I glued the Defiler main body to it. The mantis stalk tank is now starting to take shape but I have a long way to go to complete it.

At least it has got my creative juices flowing and I'll hopefully get a few more hours work done on it over the holidays. Watch this space.

Inbetween Apocalypse super-heavies I'm also working on my Phoenix Campaign battle reports (game 8 is almost completed and I've already played game 9). If you can't wait for those, though, you may want to check out this battle report involving my Plague Marines fighting Dark Eldar.

Friday, March 21, 2008

GENERAL: Bi-monthly book update

A while back, in this post, I listed all the books I own. I made a resolution to read them all before I bought any new ones. It's been a while so I thought I'd update the list.

Obviously, I didn't keep to the resolution.

The first problem was that I was ordering some stuff from Amazon and I was just a bit short of qualifying for free postage. So had a trawl through the site and ordered the Souldrinker and Space Wolf omnibuses. Oops. That'll be six more novels then.

I spotted Legion by Dan Abnett in Forbidden Planet, days before the official Games Workshop release date. Of course I had to buy it. Seven books.

I'm currently halfway through Only in Death by Dan Abnett. I was planning on waiting until the paperback was released but I unexpectedly got a voucher for WH Smith and spunked it on this book. Eight novels. Rats.

Then I heard the news that Black Industries was shutting down, just days after the release of the 40k RPG. I had originally planned on picking up the book sometime, but I wasn't in any sort of hurry. Now I was worried that the books would be quickly snapped up never to be seen again so I went out and bought the book. I managed to read all of the background sections, which were the main bits I was interested in. It's unlikely I'll ever use the book to play the role playing game but I plan on getting around to the game mechanic sections too. While I was at it I picked up the Gamemaster's screen too.

Still on the gamebook side of things I read through the rest of the 40k Ork Codex. It's got a good amount of background information and the list itself looks very strong and characterful. I'd love to get an army of these nutters together.

On the plus side, I did manage to actually finish some novels too. I finished Ravenor Rogue and therefore concluded the Ravenor trilogy. I didn't write a review for it because I haven't yet done reviews for the first two books. At some point I'll return to them all.

I also read Storm of Iron by Graham McNeill. That was a good, solid novel which was unusually written from the point of view of the 'bad guys.' Now that I've finished this tale I can move on to the rest of the Ultramarines trilogy which I gather draws upon Storm of Iron.

So, here is the final tally.

Books bought.
  • Space Wolf
  • Ragnar's Claw
  • Grey Hunter
  • Soul Drinker
  • The Bleeding Chalice
  • Crimson Tears
  • 40k RPG
  • Only in Death
  • Legion

Books read.
  • Ravenor Rogue
  • Storm of Iron
  • 40k RPG
  • Ork codex

Here's what I already own and still need to read:
  • Only in Death
  • Inquisition sourcebook
  • Imperial Armour Three: The Taros campaign
  • Liber Chaotica
  • Storm of Chaos
  • Imperial Infantryman's Primer (Damocles Gulf edition)
  • The Life of Sigmar
  • Faith and Fire
  • Dark Apostle
  • Cardinal Crimson
  • Warriors of Ultramar
  • Dead Sky, Black Sun
  • 13th Legion
  • Kill Team
  • Annihilation Squad
I'll be back in another two months to give you another peek into my reading habits.

Friday, March 14, 2008

GENERAL: Real Life(tm) gets in the way again...

Things are very busy for me in my Real Life(tm) at the moment, so I'm finding it increasingly difficult to post on my blogs.

Starting a new health kick involving lots of visits to the gym and me keeping a close eye on what I'm putting in my mouth, together with work (another six day week this week) and socialising has gobbled up all my free time.

I also run a Fantasy Football team which is in serious contention of winning my work super-league and a £250 prize. In fact I'm doing so well (400th out of 270,000+) that I could be in with a shout of the national prize of £10,000. So I'm spending 2-3 hours per week scouring the sports news and fixture lists to eke out a precious few extra points.

Finally, the Phoenix Campaign is taking up the rest of what little time I have left. As I said in an earlier post, the battle reports take an age to write up (and of course an evening to actually play!) so I'm really struggling at the moment.

So, enough waffle, why am I posting tonight?

Well, I have managed to post some new stuff on my battle reports blog. Gary and I had just finished our eighth game and were weighing up our next moves but the campaign map was hopelessly out of date so we forgot which locations belonged to which army! The problem was that I had started to keep maps of each campaign turn but stopped after turn three. In between writing up our game reports I decided produce all those missing maps and post them on the blog. Thanks to a bit of jiggery-pokery with the dates I have inserted them in the correct place on the blog so it isn't obvious at first glance how much I have added.

Now it is easy to follow the whole progress of the campaign; simply click on the Campaign - Phoenix label on the right hand side (or go here) and scroll to the bottom of the page. Then work your way up, reading each post chronologically until you get to the top.

Righto - back to battle report 8.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

GENERAL: All is woe

Another week whizzes by. No progress to report on my painting as all my time has been taken up with work and my new fitness regime. It's a bit of a shame because my 40k campaign is almost over (just two games to go) and I would love to get my Berzerkers on the table even just the once. It still could happen I guess.

Speaking of the campaign, I have finally completed the battle report for the seventh game and I've posted it up here. This game was an old school patrol and a fairly interesting tactical skirmish.

Gary and I have already played the eighth game and that is next on my 'to do' list. These reports take an age to produce and that in itself has hampered my painting. I sure hope that someone out there is reading them!

Friday, March 7, 2008

PAINTING: Finished Bloodletters

I was doing some more work on my battle reports when I came across this old post which I thought I'd put on the blog. It turns out I didn't so here it is now.

I got some painting in yesterday and managed to finish my Bloodletters. Here's the proof.

The painting is complete, I just need to add some static grass to the bases and then varnish them. It's not a Golden Daemon paintjob but it's certainly tabletop quality and brings me one unit closer to totally finishing my Chaos army. They may also be handy for Codex Daemonica which is due in May.

With the Bloodletters out of the way I just have my Berzerkers and Greater Daemon to finish. I took the opportunity to base them while I was doing the 'letters.

I'll report back when I've made more progress.

I've also posted another old battle report up on my other blog. This was a small game using my Nurgle Chaos Marines.

Monday, March 3, 2008

GENERAL: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I'm still working on my latest Phoenix Campaign battle report, so I thought I'd throw up a link to an older game to keep you all distracted.

This game was my first ever using 4th edition rules and I used my Tau to confront Khorne Space Marines.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

GENERAL: Lazy Sunday afternoon

I have a few hours spare this afternoon to spend on my hobby. So what am I up to?

First thing I did was post up another of my old battle reports up on my battle reports blog. The game involved my Tau and was played using 3rd edition rules with the 4th edition trial rules. Kind of funny to be re-reading this now with 5th edition on the horizon.

I got a couple of comments on my blog post about painting the Khorne Berzerkers so I clicked on the link to check them out...only to be told I had a virus on my computer. I shut down immediately and ran my anti-virus software. Everything seems to be fine but it was a nasty scare. I've now deleted the 'comments' and hopefully that's the end of that. There's some weaselly bastards out there, that's for sure.

I played the seventh game against Gary in the 40k Phoenix campaign on Tuesday night. I'm busy putting together a battle report for the battle reports blog and I'll probably post it during the week once I have edited the photos, worked out the experience points, etc.

There are only three more games left at the most and Gary and I are keen to get them finished as soon as possible. We've both enjoyed the campaign but it's probably gone on a few more games than we'd both have liked. It probably doesn't help that we've each got an eye on our next project; Bloodbowl.

Bloodbowl is one of our all time favourite games and we have played many seasons over the years. We started a new league with eight teams a couple of years ago which the Undead won and we plan to carry on with the same teams and players for a second season. You'll be hearing plenty more about this in the future.