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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Forward Planning IV

Time for the latest update on my painting mission:

I finished the assembly of the 2 Converted Raptors (stuck on back packs). I then based and sprayed them and got them to about 25% complete.

The 1k sons: I almost finished the 3 remaining troopers(they just have to be based) which leaves only the Asp sorcerer to be painted.

Plague Bearers: Unchanged since last time.

Since this time next week it will be nearly Xmas I won't be updating till the new year when I will hopefully have pictures of all 4 completed units.

So in case I don't talk to you between now and then let me take this oppertunity to wish all my readers/ followers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Till next time


Monday, December 13, 2010

Baldurs Gate II - Shadows of Amn

It's a definitive role-playing experience, and the only reason it can't be called the best game in its class is because in a sense there's nothing available that compares to it.

The interface

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is the sequel to BioWare's highly acclaimed 1998 role-playing game based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe. Baldur's Gate was an impressive game, and the subsequent role-playing games published by Interplay were also generally excellent, so a lot of players will understandably have very high expectations for Baldur's Gate II. Even so, the game will more than likely exceed those expectations. It's a worthy successor to Baldur's Gate and a superior role-playing game in its own right.

Initially, Baldur's Gate II looks very similar to its 1998 predecessor. The isometric perspective, the controls, and the interface bars along the edges of the screen will all be instantly recognizable to anyone who's played the original or either of Black Isle Studios' two most recent RPGs, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. That's because Baldur's Gate II uses the same engine as in all those games and consequently plays in much the same way. Various similarities between Baldur's Gate II and previous games using the Infinity engine are readily apparent, and a lot of these similarities may be initially disappointing, as they may seem derivative of previous games, rather than reveal what's certainly the best of Black Isle Studios' AD&D-based role-playing games to date.

Baldur's Gate II picks up soon after the conclusion of the first game: A stylish cinematic sequence explains that your character is captured, jailed, and experimented upon, presumably because of his unusual lineage. Your character starts off at a relatively high experience level, based on his previous adventures. And you'll immediately need to put these honed combat skills to use: The first chapter in the game mostly consists of a dangerous prison-break sequence that's presumably meant to be an action-packed opening for the game. However, the sequence falls flat - you'll spend a lot of time trying to equip your character, and the battles even in this early part in the game can be quite difficult. You'll see several bizarre events in the prison that won't make much sense, and you'll be glad the whole escape scene is over after a few hours of play. The game gets much better at that point, once you've escaped to the city of Athkatla, and from then on, throughout the dozens of subsequent hours you'll spend with the game, Baldur's Gate II remains highly enjoyable and very involving.

Some players felt that the original Baldur's Gate was too drawn out - you had to thoroughly explore each area and keep track of all the characters you met as well as the tasks you needed to accomplish. Since then, role-playing games using the Infinity engine have been refined so that they're more cohesive, and Baldur's Gate II represents the ultimate stage of this refinement. It's an enormous game that lets you do a lot of different things, yet it's surprisingly easy to keep track of your main objectives. This is possible partly because of a well-implemented map feature. You'll refer to the automap often, because its miniaturized depiction of each of the game's hundreds of big areas clearly notes the various landmarks you've encountered, such as important structures, exit paths, and more. Some areas are fully mapped for you as soon as you get there - namely, the city of Athkatla. You can conveniently check your map to find locations you'd be interested in visiting such as taverns, guilds, shops, and temples. This is very fortunate, because Athkatla is huge.

However, one of the things that makes Baldur's Gate II so great is that in spite of the fact that you're free to travel throughout the entire city, many of your objectives will quickly become apparent. You need to find your captor and discover the nature of his experiments. Accomplishing this is anything but simple, yet Baldur's Gate II does a great job of keeping you from getting too lost or bewildered in your search, partly through the map, but mostly because of the well-designed quests. There are seemingly countless quests in Baldur's Gate II, and amazingly, most of them are very substantial. You'll almost never encounter a situation so simple as having to retrieve lost property or clear out some small monster infestation somewhere - there's always more to it than that. Also, since your character has already earned himself some notoriety based on the events in Baldur's Gate, it's understandable that rather than having to pry information out of everyone you meet, oftentimes it's you who'll be approached and asked for help. And just as often, as you're working on solving a particular quest, you'll end up discovering more than you expected and will take on other quests as a result. All this makes the pacing in Baldur's Gate II very fluid.

AMBUSH! - There is always something happening to keep you intrested.

Once you get to Athkatla, the subsequent chapters of the game mostly alternate from being open-ended to more linear. You'll travel through a huge variety of settings and encounter hundreds of different characters to speak with and monsters to fight. All this variety somehow manages to maintain the game's tight pacing throughout the long duration of Baldur's Gate II. It helps that the party members that travel with your main character are generally very well developed. Your party members will often interject a comment into conversations you have with other characters, and over the course of the game, they'll all take some time to speak with you and even with each other. Some of these characters are entertaining, while others offer a real sense of camaraderie over the course of the game as they do their best to support your decisions and to offer their advice whenever appropriate. All your party members have a lot of dialogue, and a good portion of it is actually audible speech, which is put to good use throughout the game in order to provide deeper characterizations for many of the more important individuals you'll meet. At any rate, since you won't be able to travel extensively with all the characters in Baldur's Gate II if you play it through once, you'll actually want to play it a second time if only to learn more about your companions.

Another reason you'll want to play Baldur's Gate II more than once is that the game poses several tough choices for you at various points; you'll need to go with your instincts and make decisions where the right solution isn't obvious. The game also features many dozens of optional quests, lots of hidden treasures and artifacts, and a very flexible character-generation system. Actually, unless you import your character from Baldur's Gate, chances are you'll spend a long time just deciding which sort of character to play in Baldur's Gate II. That's because in addition to each of the basic AD&D classes, Baldur's Gate II offers three variations of each class. Several of these are intriguing, such as the shapeshifter, a druid who can change to a werewolf; and the kensai, a master swordsman who forgoes wearing armor in his effort to achieve supremacy with his blade. Baldur's Gate II even features three of the new 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons character classes: the monk, the sorcerer, and the barbarian. Many of the Baldur's Gate II classes make for a very different play experience, and if you wish to try them all, you have the option to play the game's multiplayer mode, create up to six characters, and play through the whole game with your own party. The only disappointing aspect of character creation in Baldur's Gate II is the very limited selection of character portraits available to choose from, which is especially disappointing since the portraits all correspond with the various characters you'll meet in the game. You can also choose to select a portrait from the original Baldur's Gate, and, as in the first game, you have the option to import your own portraits and even your own sound effects for use with your character.

During the course of Baldur's Gate II, you'll find a huge variety of conventional and magical equipment for use with your characters. Weapon specialization in Baldur's Gate II is broken down into each individual type of weapon, including long-, short-, and two-handed swords, scimitars, maces, flails, spears, slings, crossbows, katanas, and many more. You can also gain proficiency in different types of combat, including sword-and-shield skill and two-weapon fighting. Thus, whereas any fighter character could be equipped with a mace in one hand and a longsword in the other, unless he specializes in two-weapon fighting and those particular classes of weapons, he'll be relatively slow and weak in battle. As such, choosing your equipment and your skills in Baldur's Gate II is an important strategic decision.

The magic-using classes are even more interesting, if even a bit overwhelming. Baldur's Gate II features literally hundreds of different spells, many of which are exceptionally deadly. Later in the game, when you're facing powerful magic-users and probably have strong magic of your own, you'll be firing off debilitating or deadly spells and powerful protection auras constantly. Although the game does tend to slow down when a lot of spells are being cast simultaneously, the Infinity engine actually does an elegant job of letting you manage all your magic. You can set hotkeys for spells you use often, and when your party rests, your healers will automatically use their remaining healing spells in order to expedite your recovery. Another very helpful feature in Baldur's Gate II is the difficulty slider, which can be adjusted to make battles even more challenging or to automatically give you maximum hit points when you level up and eliminate the chance of failure in trying to scribe mage spells.

Baldur's Gate II even has an optional tutorial sequence, a huge manual (much of which is devoted to describing all the spells), and a collapsible interface so that you can play the game full screen. The full-screen mode is actually highly versatile, as the interface pops back up whenever you pause the action, which you'll have to do often in order to issue commands in battle. The game runs well in either 640x480 or 800x600 resolution and has unofficial support for even higher resolutions than that, and it takes advantage of your 3D-accelerator card for slightly enhanced visual effects. The game's loading times can seem a bit long, and it may crash on a few occasions, but these problems aren't significant. Otherwise, the game's prerendered maps are highly detailed and generally look very good, while the characters and monsters are fluidly animated. In addition, the great voice acting is complemented by the game's memorable symphonic score. Yet it's somewhat unfortunate that the game recycles some of the special effects and miscellaneous sounds and graphics from the first Baldur's Gate, as Baldur's Gate II is a superior game in every other respect.

The map of Trademeet, one of the many locations you visit.

There's always more that can be said about Baldur's Gate II, because while it's a very long game, its fine points are what make it so great. Clearly, it was designed to be the ultimate AD&D role-playing experience - it features the most powerful monsters, the strongest artifacts, and the huge variety of characters, places, and situations that make Advanced Dungeons & Dragons so prevailing. The game has a great story, good dialogue, highly sophisticated combat, meaningful decision-making, memorable characters, and plenty of replay value. It's a definitive role-playing experience, and the only reason it can't be called the best game in its class is because in a sense there's nothing available that compares to it.

Till next time


Friday, December 10, 2010

Forward Planning III

A little earlier than planned but I made a discovery that demands an update. At the moment I now have 5 of the 1k sons done just leaving 3 normal troopers and the aspiring sorcerer to go. But while looking for the asp sorcerer I discovered that I also have 2 converted raptors (CSM's with SM Jump-packs)still unpainted as well so I am going to add them to the list for completion. So my revised list now stands as follows:

4 1k sons incl asp sorcerer
4 Plague Bearers
2 Raptors

All to be done before the end of the year (21 Days).

Till next time


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Forward Planning II

Well here is the first update on the list of models I wanted to finish and to be honest I am quite pleased with my progress so far.

The noise marines are all finished but I think I over estimated how far along the unfinished models actually were they were closer to 70% complete as I still had to finish their weapons, a few minor touch ups and details and base them. But that is beside the point as they are 100% done.

I finished the 2nd thousand son, got a third to 85% and got all but 1 up to about 60%.

So hopefully this week I will get the most of the 1k sons finished leaving only the balance and the plague bearers to do.

Now for my next trick I will remember the paints I used for the PB color-scheme. :)

Till next time


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gav Thorpe Interview


Gav Thorpe is a name that will be familiar to anyone acquainted with many of Games Workshop's various rule systems writing several himself, as well as being accredited with work in developing many others including the Lord of the Rings game. He is also a Warhammer novelist, regular contributor to White Dwarf and organiser of games at the Nottingham headquarters, however he has found time in his busy schedule to talk to us here at Gamer Heaven.

KD: When did your interest in wargaming first begin?

GT: When I was around eight or nine, I would say. I had lots of plastic toy soldiers, and a friend and I made up some rules for them. When I was ten years old or so I discovered several wargaming books in the local library, including a couple by Donald Featherstone, and I realised there was this whole hobby out there just waiting for me.

KD: How did your career at Games Workshop start, and what was the first project they had you work on?

GT: I started GW as an Assistant Games Developer in 1993, after speaking to Jervis at Games Day and sending in a letter and some stuff I had written. My very first job was pasting together mock-up wargear and psychic power cards for the playtests of Dark Millennium for 2nd ed 40K! Writing-wise it was the relaunch of the Citadel Journal, alongside Mark Hawkins and Ian Pickstock. My first ‘mainstream’ product was the Pit Fighter warrior pack for Warhammer Quest, and my first WD article was about the Squat Cyclops for Space Marine (Epic).

KD: Of all the codex's, Army books, Rule books you have worked on which is your favorite, which are you most proud of?

GT: Tough choice! I’m really proud of Codex: Sisters of Battle and Inquisitor, both of which allowed me to introduce all kinds of things to the 40K universe that are now taken as granted and seen everywhere, but were fresh and new at the time. I’m also quite pleased with my last two contributions – Vampire Counts and Dark Elves. As projects they were perhaps the most complete and rounded things I have worked on, combining background, miniatures, rules and art from concept to completion in a very pleasing way.

KD: Are there any of the codex's/ Army Books that you thought looking back "Oh I wish I had(n't) done this!" or "Damn I could have included/ changed that special rule"?

GT: Every single project contains a few things that you would tweak in retrospect. One that I usually bring up is the special bonus movement rule for the Blood Angels in 3rd ed. Originally the rule simply made the Blood Angels squad move forwards, but after a discussion with Jervis (who rightly said “players tend to forget rules that aren’t of benefit to them”) I changed it to a bonus movement and look where that ended up! As I said, there is always a points cost that can be modified, a rule worded better or changed, a magic item or piece of wargear that is under- or over-powered.
As a project, I think the rewrite of Chaos Space Marines could have benefitted from a bit more ‘grit’ and options, and we were overall too puritan at that time. I still think the principle of streamlining the list and rules was right, but we took it a little too far.

KD When working on the Army book/ Codex of one of your favorite armies is it hard to resist the temptation to make it especially hard so you will win more games?

GT: Not hard at all. My primary goal has always been to make an army interesting to collect, play and face, and you have to bring the same enthusiasm to every project. You find and angle that you think will work as a dynamic and stick with that. If you’re already deeply involved with an army it’s often tempting to write for only those people who have the same experience as you, but you have to be professional and remember that you are writing for newcomers as well as established players.
You can’t second-guess everybody, so you have to go with what feels fun and cool and hope that other players agree with you. Power-levels and all of that are part of what you need to keep an eye on, but blandness is a far more significant problem.

KD: The career route of Games Developer to author seems to be quite popular (yourself, Graham McNeill to name a few) how did you go about writing and submitting your first novel/ short story.

GT: I was sat in the same department as Andy Jones when Black Library was started, so it was a simple matter of having a chat with him about writing a short story for the to-be-launched Inferno magazine. Rather bravely I pitched in with Birth of a Legend, telling the story of how Sigmar got his hammer! Later came the debut of Kage and the Last Chancers, which naturally led me into the novels when BL were looking to turn some of their Inferno characters into series. I’ve been very fortunate to have it this easy!

KD: So can you give us a quick list of the armies you collect yourself and which is your favorite?

GT: I must confess that I haven’t done much with my GW armies for a while now, they’ve sort of fallen fallow for the last couple of years. That said, I have Dwarfs for Warhammer, Eldar for 40K and Orcs and Easterling allies for LOTR. The Dwarfs have seen the most use, so I guess that says something about which I have the greatest love for.

KD: If you could introduce a new plotline or race to 40k who and or what would it be?

GT: This sorta follows from the last answers, but if I had a magic wand I would bring the Demiurg into full existence as an army and race. Various discussions over the years about making space dwarfs make me believe there is a fantastic image and background to be explored there. I came up with the Demiurg name, by the way, when we were trying not to use ‘Squats’.

KD: One of your biggest acheivements has to be the "Inquisitor" system. How did that come about? Did you pitch the idea to "Them" or did "They" approch you?

GT: There was a ‘slot’ open for a spring 2001 game. Games Dev got together and devised a bunch of pitches, including bringing back Man o’ War, recreating Space Hulk as a boarding actions game, doing Warhammer pirates, Adeptus Titanicus pitting Necron War Engines against Mechanicus armies on the surface of Mars, all kinds of stuff. Amongst them was a 54mm skirmish game. We had an Inquisition angle in mind, though nothing with any detail.
The idea of creating a highly collectible range of 54mm models appealed to the higher-ups and that option was taken. At that stage of my career is was felt my next step was to create a rules system, so I became lead designer and we went from there. The original idea was for the ‘sides’ to be Inquisitors and Chaos Magi, but after considering the somewhat small size of the range I came up with the puritans and radicals idea to allow the majority of miniatures to be used by any player.

KD: How would you respond to the comment that "the lack of balance/and power creep in all of gw's creations is spurred by an imbalanced need to sell than fun or for the good of the game."?

GT: I would say that power creep is not as prevalent as some gamers would like you to think, and that it exists not because of official policy but by the human nature of games developers. If power creep were enshrined in the games development strategy, you wouldn’t have some of the older armies still being more powerful, in some players’ eyes, than the new ones. There is imbalance, unfortunately, but there are only a couple of armies that are so out-of-whack it makes any difference outside of the narrow tournament mentality.
There are some factors inherent in 40K and Warhammer that favour certain army styles, but as can be seen with many of the other games systems like LOTR, Epic, Blood Bowl and so on, that’s more to do with the ‘inheritance’ of many years of constant development and the complexity of the basic system as anything any individual developer creates. At no point in any briefing I was part of or wrote did the words ‘This army has to be more powerful than the other ones’ appear. Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to incompetence!

KD: Have you ever played any non GW games systems? (Privateer Press, Battletech, Flames of War etc)

GT: I’ve toyed around with various other games. I wrote the ‘Open Fire!’ starter booklet for Flames of War, for instance. Recently I’ve been concentrating on creating some games systems of my own, just like it was when I started out, rather than off-the-shelf games systems already out there.

KD: If the answer is yes then was there any part of their systems that you thought "Wow thats good I wish we had thought of that" ?

GT: The examples you cited are all very different games trying to achieve a different gameplay. Particularly with 40K and Warhammer the style of the game has been established for so long you’re not going to do anything that radical to the underlying games system. I like all kinds of games, whether miniatures, roleplaying, board and card games, video games, and I always look for interesting ways of organising rules or mechanics for resolving certain things.

KD: To date (Nov 2010) you haven't written any full novels for the HH series. Is there any part of the HH that you think "I would sell my soul to Khorne to write about that" and if so what part?

GT: I’ll be starting my first HH novel after Christmas. I wouldn’t sell my soul for any particular subject, it just isn’t helpful to become wedded to a narrow idea, but I’m very happy to play in that big sandpit with the other authors.

KD: Apart from your own which is your favorite BL Book?

GT: Probably Execution Hour, by Gordon Rennie. Not only is it a cool 40K novel, it reminded me a lot of the Hornblower and Ramage novels I read as a teenager.

KD: And to continue my $h!t stirring. :) In his interview, Graham is convinced that if all the BL Authors got together for a session, he would be the last man standing (Air Guitaring). Do you agree with that statement?

GT: Hell no! McNeill is such a lightweight these days, he’s always falling asleep. Something about having a young kid, and all that... Not that I’m claiming the prize for myself either – three beers is about my limit these days. I think I used up all my ‘Resist Alcohol’ points in my youth.

KD: Do you have a preference when it comes to writing 40k or fantasy books?

GT: No. Both have their different appeals and challenges.

KD: If one of our readers was thinking of trying to get into the games development field what advice would you offer?

GT: Think of it as a whole, don’t fixate on working for a particular company or on a single games system. Opportunities are too few and far between to limit your options. Everyone I know that is a games designer or developer started out just doing it for themselves. You either have the urge to write games and scenarios and stories, or you don’t. If you get the chance to turn that into a career, all the better, but if you want a chance to make a decent living out of it, get into computer games!
Or found your own company...

KD: Do you get much time to play/ paint now or doesn't your timetable allow it?

GT: Not much time. I still play plenty of games, I just don’t have much time to do the painting. I’ve always been hot and cold in that respect, perhaps going on a binge for a few weeks before cooling off. If I ever get around to sorting out a permanent painting area, that might improve.

KD: What was the last model you painted and game you played?

GT: I can’t say... It’s a game I’m currently working on for a miniatures company!

KD: Did you win?

GT: I sort of did, but since I was just testing out the basic rules, it doesn’t really count.

KD: So finally can you give us a few hints on what you are working on now or will be in the near future?

GT: For Black Library, I’m just finishing Path of Seer. After Crimbo is the Horus Heresy, and rewrites for my Angry Robot novel The Crown of the Conqueror. There’s plenty of other Black Library stuff over the next couple of years!
On the games front, I’ve written/ am writing a couple of different rules systems at the moment; one a skirmish game, the other for slightly larger forces. That’s about all I can say at the moment until the information has been released by the companies involved.

KD: Well thanks for taking the time to answer these questions its been a pleasure as always. The next time you are in Ireland promoting a book or whatever the first drink is on me.

GT: Cheers, I’ll take you up on that!

Till next time


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Forward Planning

Between my current financial situation, the weather and the fact that my daughter seems to have given up on gaming. It has been a very quiet time on the gaming front. I got a new DVD-ROM Drive for my birthday which has allowed me to rediscover the joys of some older games (Baldur's Gate II & Rise of Nations) But I have been rather lax when it comes to my modeling. So I have decided that December is going to be painting Month. I have only a few Models left unpainted in my 40k chaos army so I plan on getting as many of those done before xmas as possible. The current list stands as follows:

8 Noise marines (4 complete, 4 85% complete)
9 Thousand Sons (1 complete, 1 85% complete, 7 50% complete)
5 Plague Bearers (1 complete, 4 sprayed)

The problem is that I have recently read Chapters Due (A Really Excellent Book) and it has bitten me with the Iron Warrior Bug again so I am seriously considering repainting my Chaos Land-Raider and 1 of my rhinos in Iron Warrior Colors (As per the predator in a previous article) The decision is do I paint them before, after or during the other models?

I am thinking "after" as its too cold to spray models.

So hopefully I will have a few photos up soon of my completed units for your viewing pleasure.

Till next time


Monday, November 29, 2010

Imperial Guard List

I was tinkering around with the IG codex over the last few days and this is the list I came up with. Its 1750 points as that is the size I usually play. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


1 Company Command Squad 50
1 Power Weapon & Plasma Pistol 20
1 Vox Unit 5
1 MediPack 30
2 Melta Guns 10 20
1 Carapace Armour Upgrade 20
1 Astropath 30
1 Master of the Fleet 30
2 Body Guards 15 30
1 Chimera Transport C/W Extra Armour 70

1 Tech Priest 45

1 Veteran Squad 70
3 Melta Guns 10 30
1 Vox Unit 5
1 Chimera Transport C/W Extra Armour 70

1 Veteran Squad 70
3 Flamers 5 15
1 Vox Unit 5
1 Chimera Transport C/W Extra Armour 70

1 Veteran Squad 70
3 Melta Guns 10 30
1 Grenadiers Upgrade 30
1 Vox Unit 5

1 Veteran Squad 70
3 Melta Guns 10 30
1 Grenadiers Upgrade 30
1 Vox Unit 5

Fast Attack

1 Vendetta Gunship 130

1 Vendetta Gunship 130

Heavy Support

2 Hydra Flak Tanks 75 150

1 Leman Russ Vanquisher 155
1 Knight Commander Paige 50

1 Leman Russ Punisher 180

TOTAL 1750

Once I get back into the workforce I fully intend to collect this army. The only problem is the punisher Leman Russ unless I can come up with a cheap conversion I think I will have to buy a Forgeworld upgrade kit (if available) so any suggestions on that front would be appreciated.

PS: After checking the forgeworld & GW sites it turns out that the Leman Russ Demolisher Kit includes the parts for a punisher tank. Problem Solved! But apparently there is no plastic hydra tank so I will have to go to Forgeworld for that :( (Cha Ching serious bucks)

Based on the GW site prices, all the above (except the Hydras) will cost almost me almost €400. Plus probably another €30 on sprays and glue. So all in all it will probably cost about €500 in total.

I knew I should have taken up tiddley winks :)

Till next time


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Warmachine Tourney


Just to let you know, there will be a Warmachine and Hordes tourney on the Saturday 27th of November in Gamers World

Entry into the tournament will be 10 Euro.

The tournament is set at 35 points and will follow the Revised 2010 Steamroller format including Timed Turns, using the Base Colour Painting variant:
Baseline Time Limit - Match Length - 80 Minutes, Turn Length - 10 minutes, Turn Extension - 5 minutes. Basic round times are increased by a 2d6-minute variable that is not revealed to players. During each game, one turn extension is allowed for each player. Dice down when round time is complete.
Basic Painting Required – All models must be painted using a minimum of three colors. Players should differentiate areas of the model to the best of their ability. Bases can be plain or finished.

Till Next time


Friday, October 22, 2010

Painting Service

Ladies and gentlemen I am pleased to announce the that I am now restarting my painting service. I am under no illusions to my painting skill it is gaming+ standard at best but my prices are reasonable. Unassembled plastic models will be assembled, cleaned, sprayed and painted at the models cost. While metal models will be done at cost +10%. (this is due to the extra effort required) Models that are assembled and sprayed already will be painted at 75% cost. I also offer an assembly & cleaning service at 20% cost of model for plastic and 25% for metal.

If you are intrested in any of the above services you can contact me through this blog or through my email colinmurray56AThotmailDOTcom.

Till next time


PS: Please note all prices will be rounded to the nearest euro for ease of payment.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blood Bowl Match Report

This is a Game report between Explicit Virtue and my own 1st Airborne. It was written by Explicit Virtues Manager (Ken Savage) who kindly gave me permission to post it here.

So my next game is vs 1st Airborne managed by Khorne Dogg.

Block as the single skillup on his ogre is nasty, and the strip ball blitzer might be annoying. For the most part, I'd keep the ball on my runner so dump off will negate a bit of that strip ball terror. He has two blodge catchers - even though they're ST2 they'll still be bloody hard to take down. One good thing is that he's only got 11 players, so any KOs/injuries I can inflict will leave him shorthanded as I'll be starting with 12 players.

Speaking of which, I have 140k of inducements and I decided to plump for a mercenary witch elf (110k+30k) as my 12th player.

Start of game, we roll very sunny for weather - so -1 to all passes.
Khorne Dogg rolls 4 for fans +4 FF = 8000 fans. I roll 8 +1FF = 9000 fans. First blood to me with +1FAME. I also roll higher for kickoff and choose to receive. I decide not to risk my kicker, so he starts the game in the reserves.

Turn 1 and Khorne Dogg puts the ogre in the middle of the pitch, funnily enough I keep all my players well away from him. kickoff result is a riot which pushes the timer forward 1 turn to turn 2. I start by knocking a few LOS guys down, getting the ball and moving it back a few squares. Highlight for me is my witch elf blitzing a catcher. She not only knocks him off his feet, but also KOs him! Nice start. The WE and my #17 blitzer move into the human backlines. The next couple of turns involve me moving for a better position to move forward, and Khorne Dogg getting good coverage on my players each time. Oh, and me dodging away from the ogre any time I can!

On turn 4 my #9 lineman puts the human #7 lineman down and it's a casualty - a roll of 38 means he's fine. Khorne Dogg's starts his turn 4 by counting the squares for his ogre to get to the ball carrier - 7, so 2GFI just to put a tackle zone on. He opts not to do that, instead choosing to blitz my defensive blitzer. This requires 1 GFI and he rolls a 1 just before the block! The ogre goes down in a heap and the humans are caught out of position! I go to move the runner forward with the ball, but realise he's 8 squares instead of 7 away from the receiver - so I need to pass instead of handoff. I need a reroll for the pass, but make the completion and blitzer sprints down the field with the ball with 3 lineman forming a cage around him. Khorne Dogg tries to move to cover and succeeds in KOing a journeyman lineman, but not able to get near the ball carrier. Turn 6 and I can score, but choose to stall on the line - MV8 blodging catchers can score ok in 3 turns, I don't want to make it too easy! Khorne Dogg responds by KOing my merc witch elf on his turn 6. On turn 7, Khorne Dogg launches an assault on my ball carrier's cage to try and put a tackle zone on the ball carrier. He only gets a push when he needed the defender to go down, which leave a 6+ dodge to get a tackle zone. He tries but the 4 leaves his lineman on his face. On my turn 8 it's time to score, but I can get a 3 dice blitz on a catcher first. Figuring I have a reroll anyway, I try it and my blitzer scores a casualty on his #3 catcher - a roll of 17 means he's ok. No point in risking anything else, and my #2 blitzer walks in the turn 8 touchdown for 1:0 to the dark elves.

Human turn 8 and we roll for KOs, but all the players are quite comfy in the KO bin and none come out. KO result is a 7 so the weather changes - a little more cloud comes out and it's perfect weather, which will make those passes a little easier. Not much happens apart from the human thrower making a completion for a SPP and the half ends with my Dark Elves 1:0 to the good.

2nd half and KOs are rolled - my JM lineman wakes up but the witch elf stays down. Unfortunately, the human catcher manages to rouse himself too. So we start the 2nd half with my 11 players vs 9 for the humans. KO result is brilliant coaching. I roll a 3, with +1FAME means I'm guaranteed another precious reroll - Khorne Dogg rolls 5 so gets one too. My kick skill finds the touchline and stays in, giving Khorne Dogg's catcher a scary GFI roll in order to get the ball - but he succeeds and passes it to the catcher. With the numbers advantage, I start moving forward and send two blitzers into his backlines and keep his other players covered. Turn 2 and it's a 1 for bonehead, so the ogre stands stupidly. Khorne Dogg moves the catcher forward and covers him with a makeshift cage. With the ogre boneheaded - I spy a way through for a blitz with my blitzer. I get linemen to stand beside the catcher and the blitz comes in - only to give a both down when both have block. I dodge away, not wanting to use a reroll so soon. Turn 3 and Khorne Dogg spies a route through my defence. He throws one block which puts a dark elf down (1+1 for armor). He then tries to dodge the catcher out, rolling 1 then another 1 for the dodge reroll. Five 1s in a row now for the humans. Worse comes for the catcher as his armor breaks and he's injured - 47 means he'll miss next game. Dark Elves are very good on the break, my #5 runner gets the ball, passes it forward to #1 blitzer who sprints up the pitch 3 from the line - Khorne Dogg has nothing that can get that far back even with GFIs. I spend the rest of the turn throwing blocks and I manage to put every single human down (except the ogre, of couse) though they're all OK. Turn 4 and Khorne Dogg's only standing player is the ogre. He decides to blitz and rolls 1 for bonehead. He burns a reroll and passes the loner roll with a 4 so he can reroll bonehead - and gets another 1. That's seven 1s in 8 rolls now, Nuffle has truly deserted the poor humans in this half! On my turn 4, I get a 2 dice blitz on the ogre and he goes down but doesn't break armor. I take pity on the bad luck of the humans and don't stall - my #1 blitzer takes the TD to give the humans a new start on a new drive. It's 2:0 to the Dark Elves.

Turn 5 and the kickoff result is Get the ref - that could be nasty if either side decides to use it! My witch elf also wakes up, so i have my full 12 to choose from again against only 8 humans. After throwing some LOS blocks with nothing worse than 1 defender going down, the thrower goes to get the ball and throw it to the catcher. Pickup 1, surehand reroll 3. Pass 1, pass reroll 1. That fumbled throw means it's TEN 1s in 14 rolls with the number dice - truly unbelievably unlucky rolling. I'm starting to think that poor rolling is all in the name, as our northern Khorne Dogg gets truly bad rolls too! I sent a stream of dark elves rushing upfield towards the ball.

Turn 6 and my charge was obviously ill advised - his thrower does get the ball and throws to a lineman, who runs down the field through the middle. He then covers my avenues to get back to defense, I sent way too many people up the right wing. My turn 6 and I move back a bit, my turn ends when I 2d blitz with a lineman and get bothdown/att down. I notice he's a JM, so I roll loner and pass - and I get the exact same bothdown/attdown on the block dice. I can hear the human blitzer chuckle as I go down.... Turn 7 and the human lineman runs forward and gets 4 squares from home, though he's a little exposed if my dodge rolls can hold! I do move men back and get a 2 dice blitz. First roll is bothdown - which is ok as both players are linemen and it would stop the score. I reroll it though and get defender down which ends Khorne Dogg's chances of scoring. I move a blitzer 7 squares from home, considering a turn 7 or 8 pass action. My runner dodges and does get the ball, moving forward to stand safe behind a wall of dark elves. However, I lose my last reroll to an illegal procedure by forgetting to move my turn counter - so I'll have to do the turn 8 pass without rerolls!

Turn 8 and the humans move to try and cover my obvious plan, finishing with the ogre throwing another blitz which fails to break armor. The whole game, the ogre failed to break armor even once - which I was ecstatic about after the pro elves carved me up in the last game without mighty blow! My turn 8 and I blitzed the human marking my planned receiver, knocking him down. I then blocked another lineman out of the way who threatened an interception. Putting the final plan into action, the runner ran forward for a short pass. He makes the 3+ throw and #2 blitzer makes the 2+ catch and runs into the endzone for a turn 8 touchdown for 3:0 to the dark elves.

Well, the first half was a tense tactical battle where I was quite happy to go in 1:0 up. The ogre was a bit of a pain, but thankfully his mighty blow was misfiring and he did get a couple of 1s which reduced his effectiveness.
Where both sides were getting rolls going well in the first half, the second half introduced the worst run of dice I think i've ever seen. Even being 2 players down, I think the humans did have a good chance of getting an equaliser in the second half. That is, of course, until the run of ten 1s in 14 rolls. The first couple, we could laugh at. The next few were "no way, that's really unlucky". The last few, I was actually wishing for my opponent to start getting better luck. Still, luck does balance out and I feel sorry for Khorne Dogg's next opponent as they're sure to be on the wrong side of some very strong rolling by him!

A few skillups for me. My #1 blitzer scored the critical second touchdown so I gave him the MVP for his first skillup - he got a normal skill which will be dodge. With two touchdowns, my #2 blitzer got a skillup too - he got a normal roll too, so dodge for him as well. Khorne Dogg gave the MVP to his #7 linesman, who got a normal skill which he's going to consider.

Winnings, Khorne Dogg rolled a 6 - so 60k for the losing team is always good, maybe the bad rolling is turning around for him? I rolled a 1, which I rerolled for winning into a 5 giving total winnings of 70k. I now have enough to replace my dead blitzer, which i'll consider. I might save up for a witch elf though.

For fan factor, I had 3 dice to roll and had 1 to beat - which I did easily.
Final action of the game, Khorne Dogg had 4 fan factor and had to roll above 4 on two dice to avoid losing a point.
I don't think anyone reading will be suprised to hear that he rolled a 1+1

So as you can see things didn't go exactly to plan but there is always next time.

Till next time


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The First Heretic, A Review


It’s fairly safe to say that the Black Library’s ‘Horus Heresy’ range has lifted Warhammer 40K fiction (and probably fantasy as well) off the ‘tie-in’ shelves and firmly into the view of people like you and I. The ‘Horus Heresy’ books deserve all the good press they’ve been getting as well; you don’t get a lot more epic than a decade long, galaxy spanning war that has massive ramifications ten thousand years into the future. (Okay, the ‘Malazan’ books totally win on the epic stakes but you know what I mean...)
A large chunk of the reputation these books have garnered is down to only the top Black Library writers getting to work on them. These are the guys who know the universe, and its lore, inside out and have been turning out quality books for a number of years. And now there’s Aaron Dembski-Bowden; he hasn’t been around as long as the likes of Abnett, McNeil and Swallow but he’s swiftly proven himself to be bloody good at what he does and his meteoric rise through the ranks sees him about to turn out his first book for the Black Library’s flagship series. I’ve had a read and it’s good. Not as good as I was expecting though...

If you’ve been following the ‘Horus Heresy’ series, or following me while I follow the ‘Horus Heresy’ series, then you’ll know how the Warmaster Horus gave in to the temptations of the Ruinous Powers and declared war on the Imperium that he helped to create. That’s not the whole story though, there’s a pretty important gap (right at the beginning) that Dembski-Bowden is about to fill...
The Word Bearer’s Space Marine Legion is loyal to the Emperor to the extent that they worship him as a God, indoctrinating entire planets into a religion that has no place in the new secular Imperium. The Emperor chastises them for this and punishes them in such a way that the only course left open for them is to seek a new object of worship. The Word Bearer’s quest will see them conquer worlds in an unprecedented display of bloodshed. The quest will end in the farthest reaches of space where choices will be made that will shape the future of an entire galaxy...

Aaron Dembski-Bowden excels at writing Warhammer 40K fiction that is swift, sharp and utterly brutal. ‘Cadian Blood’ threw the terrors of the Warp at raw unaugmented humans. ‘Soulhunter’ shows it’s reader why they should be wary of the shadows at the edge of the Imperium when they see just what is ready to come bursting out in a flurry of claws. ‘Helsreach’ makes you live every single bloody footstep taken in the defence of a Hive City. Just three books and Dembski-Bowden’s reputation for turning out quality 40K fiction, of this nature, is pretty much assured as far as I’m concerned.

It’s a shame then that the ‘Horus Heresy’ books aren’t the sole preserve of these themes.

If you pick up a ‘Horus Heresy’ book then you can be assured of the military set pieces that make Black Library books great fun to read. What you also get though is a long and slow build up to a climactic event right at the end. Politics happen and characters are manoeuvred about the board as a result. The series itself is a jigsaw that gradually takes shape with each new book; each new book is that same jigsaw on a smaller scale. It’s a great exercise in world building that more than makes up for the fact that long term fans know full well how it all has to end. What it isn’t though is the ideal venue to let loose with the guns and attitude in the way that Dembski-Bowden likes to do best. Aaron is working on a different playing field now and, despite the overall quality of the book, it does show.

The bottom line is that Dembski-Bowden doesn’t have the time to really kick off with the explosions and mayhem; there are other things to be done first. To be fair, it’s all done very well. The world building and scene setting really grounds the reader in the setting and events like Lorgar’s meeting with the Emperor can really blow you away. That event in particular is awesome, fans will love it and even casual readers will be left in no doubt as to the sheer immensity of what is taking place. There are also moments that will have you doubting the essential ‘goodness’ of the emperor and shed new light on the fate of the Primarch Project. Or do they? You can never trust the wiles of the Chaos Powers...
The Word Bearer’s gradual fall to Chaos is recounted in great detail and given a degree of humanity with the introduction of characters that you want to see develop. It’s also interesting to see a particular planet of no great significance in the 31st millennium that will assume a far great role ten thousand years hence. A real fanboy moment there!

Despite all of this though, I came away with the feeling that Dembski-Bowden was constrained by continuity rather than being able to get on with what he enjoys the most. The ending is set in stone and he had to work with that ending in mind. As a result, his characters couldn’t have that spiky attitude that he does so well because it was more important to get the events sorted out first. There wasn’t the room for so much full on warfare as politics and philosophy had to be arranged just so... When things do kick off in that vein Aaron shows that he’s lost none of his ability to really show his readers what war is like in the 41st millennium (well, the 31st millennium this time round); I just got the feeling that he wished he’d been able to do it sooner... The book felt like it was going through the motions at times and the pace suffered as a result.

‘The First Heretic’ is an eye opening account of a key moment in the Imperium of Man and a book that fans will devour. I couldn’t help but think though that it was a book Aaron had to write in a certain way. He made the transition well, from how he normally writes, but I got the feeling that perhaps he wanted to do things slightly differently and in his own way. Perhaps ‘The First Heretic’ would have been even better if he’d been able to do this...

Eight and a Half out of Ten

Again like the previous Book Review this was taken directly from:

I do not claim ownership or credit for the above.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Irish 40K ETC Captain Paul Quigley Interview

This is an interview with my good friend, the outgoing Irish 40k ETC Captain Paul Quigley.

KD: Hey Paul, Thanks for taking the time to talk to me I suppose we had better "start at the very begining as its a very good place to start" as the famous song states. So how did you get into Table top wargaming?

PQ: Oh Lord, peering into the mists of time there KD. At the grand old age of eleven I got an old school battle in a box set named “Battlemasters” it was something of a gateway drug to folks having a complete hodge podge of the Warhammer World (Empire, Orcs and Chaos). Well after playing my long suffering Dad for the first time on Christmas evening I was absolutely hooked in! That same year one of my school friends showed me a copy of the 40K second edition rulebook and that was all she wrote as they say. I was a gaming addict from that day forward

KD: Obviously you play 40k but what other Games/ Systems do you play?

PQ: Ha...where do I start. Games Workshop wise I have armies for Battlefleet Gothic, Bloodbowl, Mordheim, Necromunda and Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I also play Warmachine/Hordes and Ive got a couple of fleets for the Spartan Games system Firestorm Armada not to mention a Panzer Grenadier company for Flames of War...So as you can see, just a few systems!

KD: Since you have been playing for so long and in so many systems you must have some collection of armies would you mind giving us a quick list of them?

PQ: Is this blog now called name and shame KD??? Well army wise for 40k I have currently Marines (of all variants), Dark Eldar, Tau, Eldar and a small Chaos army I promise myself I’ll use at some point. For Warhammer Fantasy my army of choice is Lizardmen (mostly for the Slann and Stegadon Models if I’m honest). For Warmachine I have Khador and Cygnar and for Hordes Trollbloods. BFG I have every current fleet, I also have 8 different bloodbowl teams ranging all accross the boards from elves to norse and orcs and back to elves again! Delaque gang in Necromunda, Sisters of Sigmar in Mordheim, Germans in Flames of War and last but by no means least I have an Aquan fleet for Firestorm Armada. As you can see I really and truly need help as I’m something of a completist once I start an army I tend to get every unit they have. I don’t even try and justify this lunacy anymore.

KD: Now a little bird tells me you used to be a "Pressganger" for Privateer Press would you mind just telling us how that came about and what it entailed?

PQ: I was indeed a member of the Press Gang for 4 years or so. Essentially when I first started Warmachine there really wasn’t anyone playing the game beyond my immediate group of 4 or 5 mates. The best way to change that was to become a PG and go out to different groups and spread the gospel of Warmachine (Hordes at this stage didn’t exist). So I used to run demo events for different games clubs around the area (along with Richard Tighe, who signed up with me as a PG). Soon enough there were enough players to run small tournaments and then bigger league events, which has led to the pretty solid scene that exists today. It was fantastic to be a part, but 40k began taking up so much time from an organisational perspective it was time to step aside and let the new breed of fanatics take the reigns. Guys like Ciaran Bolger and Owen Conlan are now busy doing a great job of keeping the system going. Which is great to see....and now I get to play in tournaments instead of running them!

KD: So now onto the important stuff. How did you become Captain for the Irish 40k ETC team?

PQ: Oh lord now thats a question. When the idea of sending a 40k team to the event was had in the derranged mind of Nigel Kavannagh he was given my name as a possible person to get on board as I head to a large number of events and seem to know people in most of Irelands clubs. So when Nige Kav had but together his core group of 4 attendees they decided I’d do an okay job of being the skipper. Either that or they knew how much work it’d be and didn’t want the job!

Paul at this years Vaticon

KD: What qualities do you think you brought to the role?

PQ: Pretty much I’d describe myself as a people person. Being social and good natured is essential for getting interest up with people for the team and for making the team a good place to be for people involved. So I commited to being at almost every 40k event for a year (no small undertaking) and being as good an Ambassador for team Ireland as humanly possible....It also meant communicating and getting on with every other team captain in Europe from which I made some great mates so was chuffed to be able to do!

KD: In your opinion what do you think makes a good tournament player?

PQ: Well thats a good one KD! In my humble opinion the following are key.
1. Pick a good list and know it inside out, you need to be aware of what each and ever unit in your army can or can’t do. This involves playing a lot of games with it! Also sometimes you have to grit your teeth and keep going with an army. 5 games is not enough to decided wheteher you like an army, 50 would be closer to the mark. I’d also avoid lists that the internet tells you are great. They are most of the time based on one opinion and what you can make work vs others is different to what anyone else can. Too many times I’ve seen guys grab a “net list” and epic fail with it simply because they lack the nuance of the original player to make it work! Be your own gamer and you’ll find things a whole lot easier.
2. Don’t allow yourself to get swept up in the game and merely find yourself reacting to whats going on. Keep your focus on what you want to achieve and how you want to do it. The plan will change as you go on and the game evolves but your objectives rarely will
3. Have fun! If you don’t play the game with good nature and with an eye to fun I don’t consider you a good player, pure simple. The great players are those that can if you pardon the expression “bend you over” at the table but you still remember of it as a great game

KD: Now you and the Irish team have recently returned from the ETC in Munster, Germany. How did yiz get on?

PQ: I think we did okay KD, finishing with 1 win, three draws and two losses. All in all we were a little disappointed with our overall performance but as a team we set high standards for ourselves so I’m not sure how fair we are on our own performance. As Nigel himself told me, the achievement was getting a team from nothing in less then a year and not only that but one that actually did okay!

KD: So to put you on the spot; who was the best player on the team this year?

PQ: Ha don’t pull your punches there eh. To be honest I don’t think you could ever have a best as all of us were equally capable of beating each other on our day. The team did have some of my favourite players from a personal point of view. From Darragh Cullens ultra agressive go and get em style, to Joe Cullens absolute determination to get the job done, right through to Barra MacNiocall’s speed is the key list. It was a great cross section of differing 40k talent!

KD: and looking back was there any changes you would have made to the personel or army selections this year?

PQ: Not a one....simple as that

KD: Say there was someone reading this who wants to try and qualify for next years ETC what advice would you give them?

PQ: First and foremost good on them! Secondly the best way of doing things is to simply go to events and play hard and have fun. If you qualify after that I’d pretty much describe that as gravy!

KD: You recently purchased a lizardmen army for WHFB. (That God-Damn birdy again) How do you think you will get on with the transition from "Ray-guns" to "Pointy-Sticks"?

PQ: Ive had a great time playing with my lizards in 8th ed. The completely different style and way of thinking has been great! I also pretty much suck at it so its nice to have to learn a game from the ground up so to speak

KD: Well thanks again for doing the interview Paul. It's been a pleasure as always.

PQ: The pleasure was mine KD, any chance to waffle on about games is always greatly appreciated!

Till next time


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Battle Fleet Gothic - Mini Report

Wednesday night is club night for me so I played BFG last night for the first time in about 2 years. I was using my Chaos fleet vs Oriels Tyranids. A slight miscommunication lead to me having a 2000 point list as follows:

Repulsive Grand cruiser (BoD upgrade, Chaos Lord Ld 9 & MoT)
2 x Hades Heavy Cruisers
2 x Devestation Cruisers
2 x Slaughter Cruisers
2 x 3 idolators
2 x 3 Infidels

While Oriel had only brought 1500. A quick dip into my spares gave him the models required for the points difference. His list was:

3 x Battleships
5 x Cruisers
2 x 4 Escorts (2 different types)

Sorry I don't know the proper names but I forgot to ask him. As it had been a while for both of us we decided against any of the missions and played a straight Cruiser Clash. We set up as normal with each of us taking turns to deploy a capital ship or squadron of escorts. Once deployment was finished I rolled for the Ld value of all my ships and then we rolled to see who would go first; Oriel won.

Now I am not going to do a detailed turn by turn report for one major reason. Like I said, we both hadn't played in a while so we spent a lot of time looking up the rule book and rectifing mistakes so it wasn't possible or practicle for me to be stopping again to take notes or photos.

Oriel issued Full Speed Ahead orders to his entire fleet in the first turn and due to this and the distance remaining between the 2 fleets his shooting was pretty ineffective. I lost 1 escort and had a couple of blast markers put on one of the Devestation cruisers. In my turn I issued Lock On orders to most of my fleet. The effect was incredible, I managed to destroy one escort, cripple a cruiser and inflicted heavy damage to 2 other cruisers and one of the battleships. In Oriels next turn he moved up again and opened fire again. This time even though he had to brace for impact with alot of his ships because the distance had closed his firing was alot more effective. He took down both shields and inflicted 1 point of damage on my Grand cruiser which was a critical hit causing a shield collapse, which of course means that ship would have no shields for the remainder of the battle. He managed to destroy some more escorts and do some light damage to some of my cruisers. In the ordenance phase one of his cruisers "ate" 2 more of my escorts leaving me with only 1 full squadron and 2 squadrons with only 1 ship remaining. My next turn was the turn of the match. My 2 Hades cruisers moved up in between some of his cruisers and between them and the one of the 1 ship escort squadrons managed to destroy 2 escorts, finish off the crippled cruiser, damage his second battleship and another cruiser. Meanwhile my Grand cruiser one of the Devestation cruisers and the last intact escort squadron managed to cripple (and nearly destroyed) the damaged battleship while damaging another cruiser. In his next turn his nearly destroyed battleship "Ate" my the whole intact escort squadron while while his 3rd battleship crippled one of my slaughter cruisers and one of my. Hades Heavy cruisers was crippled aswell. The damage to both sides continued for a while until the tyranids decided to retreat.

Final Score
Chaos Losses:
10 escorts destroyed, 1 heavy cruiser crippled, 1 cruiser crippled, 1 Grand cruiser, 1 heavy cruiser and 3 cruisers damaged, 2 escorts undamaged.

Tyranid Losses:
1 Battleship destroyed, 2 cruisers destroyed, 4 escorts destroyed, 1 Battleship crippled, 2 cruisers crippled, 1 battleship damaged, 1 cruiser damaged, 1 squadron (4) escorts undamaged.

Chaos Victory.

Till next time


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Collection Pt II - Chaos Blood Bowl

This is the second in the series of the army/team articles. In this one I will go through my Chaos Bloodbowl team. from here you may sense a pattern with my collection. Especially when I talk about my Chaos BFG Fleet, my Warriors of Chaos & beastmen armies for warhammer Fantasy and my Chaos Marine 40k collection not to mention the Chaos Daemons I can use for both systems.

My Chaos Warriors

My Minotaur

But I digress most chaos bloodbowl teams are about crippling the opposition so they cant stop you from scoring. But when the first 2 skills I rolled were +1AG for a chaos warrior and +1 movement for a beastman a new tactic emerged. I gave the +AG chaos warrior Strong Arm and gave the +movement Beastmen Extra Arms making them the almost perfect passing/ catching combo. When another beastmen rolled +AG & dodge it gave me the second receiver I needed. The rest of the team follows the typical chaos pattern with various combos of Block, claws, guard, tackle and Mighty Blow.

My Beastmen

Since they started I have lost 1 beastman and 1 chaos warrior to death while I retired another warrior after he lost a point of Armour. These Have all been replaced and I have also added an additional beastman and a minotaur now bringing the team value to just over 2m credits.

The Cheerleader

Team Shot

Till Next Time


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Collection PT I - Human Bloodbowl

This is the first in a series of articles that will examine my armies, BB teams and other model collections. This article will be about the latest addition to my collection, my human bloodbowl team. As you will see from the photos I made most of the team from left over Imperial guard parts hence the name "1st Airbourne"

The Team:

First member of the team and team captain is Captain Quigley (Thrower). He likes to organise the tactics from the rear of the field while delivering pin point accurate passes to the rest of the team.

Captain Quigley

Next up are the 2 lieutenants(Catchers) Gorman & Maverick. These guys prefare to use their speed and agility to avoid trouble from the other teams while scoring the majority of the teams touchdowns.

Lt's Maverick & Gorman.

The tough no nonsense sargents(blitzers) are next. Apone, Gaunt and Slaughter are quick to get to where fighting is hardest. Taking no prisoners while using the skills they picked up on the parade ground.

Sargents Apone, Gaunt & Slaughter

The bulk of the team is then made up by the privates(linemen). Weather protecting the lieutenants, adding their weight to the sargents fights or just "taking one for the team" on the front line. While not having defined roles the team couldn't function without them.

The Linemen

Last but by no means least is "De Master Chief"(Ogre) . An integral part of the teams offence, taking out opposition team members with ease. He is idealy suited for knocking holes in the other teams defence allowing the others to exploit the gaps and score.

"De Master Chief"

Well thats it so far. there will be further additions to the team in the future. but at the moment they are doing very well with 3 wins no draws and only one loss.

Team Photo

Till next time.


Dawn of War

Dawn of War is a testament to what can be so great about real-time strategy, and it captures the grim and brutal world of Warhammer 40,000 extremely well. Apart from the original there are 3 expansions (Winter Assault, Dark Crusade & Soulstorm) it will bring you from the basic 4 to a total of 9 playable races. They are as follows:

Space Marines
Imperial Guard
Sisters of Battle

Space Marine Assault Termies

Chaos Marines
Dark Eldar

Chaos Obliterators


Tau Battlesuits

Unlike most other RTS games The Dawn of war series revolves more around the combat than the resource gathering. There are only 2 resources; Power(gathered by building power generators) and requisition (gathered by your combat troops capturing critical locations, relics and strategic points)but there is still enough micro managing to keep the rts geeks happy.

The single player campaigns are very good with them being story driven campaigns for the first 2 games with the second 2 games having a more typical RTS "Capture all the locations on the map" type campaign. But with the added feature of being able to upgrade your general with various pieces of wargear that you gain by compleating various tasks (winning 5 games, having a 3-1 kill ratio, winning 3 defences, etc)

The computer AI is challanging enough so that all level of players will find it enjoying, although the jump from one level to the next is quite significant in my opinion. I can beat 7 computer players at "EASY" level without too much trouble but can sometimes struggle to beat 1 Standard level opponent. There are pleanty of maps to keep you entertained through either skirmishes vs the computer or vs your friends on the multi player.

All in all it is a very enjoyable series of games with hours and hours of playability. So weather you are a fan of 40K or a fan of RTS type games (OR both like me) I would highly reccomend them.

Till next time


PS: I would also highly Reccomend the Dawn of War books by C.S Goto published by Black Library. The first of which is the story of the first games campaign.

Mario Galaxy 2

It may be easy to take one look at Super Mario Galaxy 2, see the same gravity-altering traps and spherical worlds from its predecessor, and dismiss this as a by-the-numbers sequel to the superb original. But by assuming you know what to expect from Mario's latest adventure, you would be doing yourself and this game a great disservice. This is not only the new standard against which every 3D platformer must now be judged, but it also seamlessly integrates so many elements from Mario's 2D roots that it stands toe-to-toe with even its genre-defining progenitors. Every aspect of this game is absolutely bursting with joy. The vibrant artistic design immediately welcomes you into this colorful world, and the catchy soundtrack deftly mixes classic tunes with new compositions to provide the perfect backdrop for your goomba-stomping, star-snatching fun. But it's the expertly designed levels that will keep you coming back, even after you've seen everything this game has to offer, just to experience it one more time. This is an instant classic that belongs alongside the best games Nintendo has ever created.

Things are once again rotten in the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser has taken Princess Peach prisoner for the umpteenth time, forcing Mario to momentarily put his plumbing gig on hold to rescue his fair lady. The best thing that can be said about the story is that it mostly stays in the background. A few lighthearted exchanges between Mario and his foes precede major battles, but there is only a brief break in the action before you get back to flinging fireballs and cracking shells. In fact, Galaxy 2 is much more streamlined than its predecessor. The elaborate hub world that has appeared in each of Mario's previous 3D adventures has been scrapped and replaced by an easy-to-navigate map that lets you hop right into the next level. Galaxy 2 has less downtime than the original, ensuring you're always engaged and entertained.

And you'll be happy to jump right into the action because Galaxy 2 is a long and often challenging adventure. There are lots of different activities to take part in, but everything comes with the same prize: a shining star. It takes 70 of these celestial bodies to make it to the end of the game, but there are many more hidden throughout the universe waiting to be discovered. No matter what you're doing in Galaxy 2, everything feels just right, thanks to the ultraprecise controls. It's a breeze leaping between walls, performing deadly butt-stomps, or jumping across lava-filled pits. There is an unabashed joy in movement that makes even running around the colorful worlds and taking in the uplifting atmosphere feel special. The camera does an admirable job of framing the action, giving you a clear view even when you're dancing on the ceiling in a reverse-gravity room or leaping between floating meteors in space. There are a few times where the angle is less than ideal, making it difficult to line up an exact jump, but for the most part, the camera performs its duty with flying colors.

Screen Shot From Mario Galaxy 2

The wealth of different objectives in Galaxy 2 is mind boggling. Just about every star introduces at least one new mechanic, generating a truly stunning degree of variety. Whether you're grabbing onto the talons of a powerful bird, competing in score-based challenges for a monkey that's wearing sunglasses, or slamming into enemies while ice skating, you're constantly presented with a new activity. Even though many of these situations only appear once or twice during the course of the game, they're all fully fleshed out and incredibly fun. It's really interesting how varied objectives can be even within the same level. The first time you enter a level, you may have to zip down a sand slide at breakneck speed, dodging cactuses and nabbing coins all the while. But when you enter the level again to try for a different star, you may have to navigate an underground obstacle course from a side-scrolling perspective. Because your goals are constantly changing and always at a high level, Galaxy 2 never gets stale or predictable.

If the huge variety of goals doesn't sound like a big enough change, there are also power-ups that further mix things up. One of the few weak spots in the original Galaxy was a lack of interesting power-ups to play around with, but that has been rectified here. The most notable addition is Yoshi, the lovable dinosaur with the prehensile tongue. Once on this green fellow's back, you can point at enemies or objects with the remote and swallow them whole. You can snatch up a spiny and then shoot it like a projectile, inhale a pepper to receive a massive speed boost, or chow down a bulb to light up hidden pathways. There's also a power-up that lets Mario roll around like a Goron from the Zelda series, a special suit that gives you the ability to create clouds in midair, and a drill for digging through soft dirt. All of these power-ups build on their most basic functions as you get deeper into the game, forcing you to look beyond your preconceptions to use them in unique ways.

Although most of the game is in 3D, letting you explore the environments with few restrictions, there are also 2D sections that are just as entertaining to run through. These stages are exceptionally well designed, going much further than the standard running and jumping for which Mario is known. In certain cases, gravity is your biggest opponent. Rooms will change their gravitational pull at a moment's notice, turning the walls or even the ceiling into your temporary floor. At other times, you'll be running along without a care in the world when you'll come across a pool of water floating above your head. These brief forays into swimming give you a chance to avoid cheep-cheeps and slow-moving urchins before you exit once more onto dry ground. Levels freely shift between the two perspectives. You'll be floating lazily around as bee Mario and then all of a sudden you'll be in a 2D world, swinging on vines and nabbing coins without an extra dimension to distract you. These 2D levels are a great changes of pace from the free-roaming action and are as inventive and fun as every other section of this game.

While attempting to nab every star within these stages you should also keep an eye out for hidden comet coins. These special tokens summon a comet that gives you a new challenge to experience. Sometimes, you need to sprint through a world as fast as possible, running at top speed and performing long jumps so you can shave off precious seconds. Other times, you must collect purple coins or defeat a boss without taking any damage. The comet challenges are the most difficult goals in the game, but it's a blast to sink your teeth into these levels to try to overcome their punishing traps. In one stage, you create clones of Mario with every step you take and you lose health if you touch one of the clones. Trying to coordinate your movements so you can still make it to the end without running into your clones can be difficult, but when you finally outsmart yourself and nab that star, it's extremely rewarding. Most of Galaxy 2 starts out relatively easy for platforming veterans, but there are plenty of stars that will push you to your limits, and these prove to be the most satisfying to earn.

Many of the levels end in boss fights, which are just as varied and exciting as the other aspects of the game. One of the early battles has you take on a slithering dragon that floats above a craterous moon. It flies dangerously overhead, showing off its colossal might, before it dives toward the surface and borrows underground. That's your chance to attack its glowing red pustules, but it's not easy. Dragons don't like to be punched, and it floods the screen with a wall of fire to keep you from poking its weak spot. Every boss requires a different strategy to overcome, and it's a real treat figuring out what needs to be done and then going in for the kill. The Bowser battles are particularly impressive. He is absolutely gigantic in this game, and striking him down is immensely satisfying. There is nothing quite like bringing down a treacherous foe who has been hounding you, and Galaxy 2 does a fine job of making its bosses big and imposing enough to ensure they are rewarding to conquer.

The incredible action is tied together beautifully by the visuals and music. This is a gorgeous-looking game. The levels may be home to snapping piranha plants and explosive bullet bills, but they are eminently welcoming. The attention to detail is outstanding. From the puffs of smoke billowing from the chilly rabbit's snow-covered cabin to Mario's graceful spin when performing a triple lutz, every aspect of this game looks incredible. But the music is even more impressive. Using a great combination of classics and new material, all of the music fits the action perfectly. The older songs have been remixed, and what's most interesting is how they sound even better than they did before. For instance, the haunting theme from Bowser's levels that first appeared in Super Mario 64 now has a choir singing the higher sections, and it adds an eerie note that will send shivers down your spine. Galaxy 2 is a game you do not even have to touch the controller to enjoy. The sights and sounds are so enthralling that you can just sit back, relax, and take in everything.

Even Luigi helps out

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is simply an outstanding game. It never rests on its laurels for a second, constantly presenting new objectives and mechanics to push you to never before seen places. Even the two-player mode offers new abilities and delights, making it even more fun to play with a friend by your side. Everything is so well designed and so entertaining that it's easy to get sucked into this world for hours. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is so phenomenal that it's difficult to imagine where Mario could possibly go in the future. But that's hardly your concern now. Mario proves that he is still the king of fun.

Till next time


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Excellent Fan-Movie

For all of you LOTR fans out there, this is a special treat.


Till next time


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Predator Part 2

As I mentioned in a previous post I seem to have misplaced the step by step photos for the predator. I have searched the memory card, the computer and the photo hosting website but I cant find them anywhere. But as promised I will show you the pictures of the completed item and tell you step by step how I did it.

So we left off at the end of part 1 with me having sprayed the 4 parts (Turret, sponson x 2 and main body) black. The next thing I did (after allowing the spray to dry of course) was to spray it again. This time I used AP Plate Metal Spray. Once that coat was dry I covered all the parts with GW Wash Devlan Mud to dull down and darken the color as I thought it looked too bright. I then moved onto the sponsons. I highlighted the edges using GW Mithril Silver and painted the cables GW Foundation paint Mordian Blue. The "Dragon" ends of the weapons along with the skull and the cable connectors were painted GW Dwarf Bronze. Once they were dry I finally stuck them onto the Main Body.

The Turret came next again I highlighted the edges with GW Mithril Silver the spotlight I painted GW Foundation Illyandun Darksun and highlighted it with GW Sunburst Yellow the wire cage was Drybrushed GW Mithril Silver. The other lights were painted GW Foundation Merchrite Red and highlighted Blazing Orange. The lascannon got the same treatment as the sponson ones, the hatch was painted GW Chaos black and the Chaos star on it was painted GW Dwarf Bronze. Finally the battery pack was painted GW Chaos Black and the indicator lights were painted GW Putrid Green (This color is not available any more so GW Scorpion Green can be used instead)

The main body came next. The tracks were first painted GW Tin Bitz followed by a drybrush of GW Boltgun Metal. I then painted the details (Viewport rims & chaos stars) GW Dwarf Bronze. The front Panels and the rear spikes were painted GW Chaos Black and once dry the tips of the spikes were painted GW Boltgun Metal. Finally I painted the skulls on the rear door GW Foundation Dneb Stone. Once all the paint was dry I then applied the waterslide transfers (Decals) to the top and side of the main body and covered them with GW 'ardcoat Gloss Varnish to hold them in place.

Here are the pictures of the finished tank.




Other Side

Till next time


Thursday, August 5, 2010

40k ETC Best Wishes.

The Irish 40k team leave for Munster Germany later on this morning to take on all comers in the 2010 ETC. Their flight leaves at about 7am from Dublin so with new shirts and dice packed (along with their armies I hope) they carry all the countries hope and dreams with them (especially after the success at the Home Nations) So on behalf of the entire Irish Gaming community let me wish Paul Quigley (Captain), Joe Cullen, Jimmy Murphy, Richard Flood, Darragh Cullen, Paraic O’Confhaola, Cian O’Dowd and Barra Macniocaill all the best. All we ask is that you do your best and most importantly of all, enjoy the experience.

Till next time.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Razorgor Painting

This is the step by step guide to the painting of my Razorgor. I would just like to point out at this juncture that I hate assembling metal models without having super-glue accelerant. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this product it is liquid that you put on the other piece of a model that you are super-gluing that decreases the drying time to a few seconds rather than minutes. While I hate assembling metal models I REALLY hate assembling Chaos metal models due to all the spikes/ horns on them that tend to pierce my flesh while assembling. But enough of my rants and back to the Razorgor.

After assembling the model I added GW sand to parts of the base using PVA glue and left it to dry over-night. The following day I sprayed the whole model Black. As per usual I used the Army Painter black spray. Once that was dry I painted all of the skin sections GW Foundation Tallarn Flesh. Once that was dry I then covered the same sections with GW Chestnut wash. Once that coat was dry the sections were Drybrushed with the P3 paint Kardic flesh followed by a lighter drybrush of the Tallarn Flesh.

I left that to dry overnight and then moved on to the next sections. All the hair was painted GW Chaos Black to cover any color that may have gotten on it from the skin sections and was then drybrushed with a Confrontation Paint Grey (I don't know the exact name as the label came off my paint pot). I then moved on to the teeth/ horns. These were coated with a 50/50 mix of GW Foundation Dneb Stone and P3 Paint Beast Hide. Once dry the were highlighted by a coat of Dneb Stone. I then painted his eye GW Bleached Bone and let it dry. I then watered down some GW Red ink and placed a drop in the rear corner of the eye letting it run around the eye in the crevices of the eyelids. I then used some of the red ink to paint the pupil.

I then moved onto the base, where I painted the Branches attached to two of the legs GW Snakebite Leather while the sand was painted GW Graveyard Earth. The blank sections of the base were painted GW Foundation Knarloc Green and while still wet covered with GW Static Grass. Once that was all dry I gave the entire model several coats of GW Purity Seal (Spray Matt Varnish) for protection.




Other Side

Till next time.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Warmachine Tournament


Just to let you know, There will be a Warmachine and Hordes tourney on the Saturday the 28th of August in Gamers World

Entry into the tournament will be 10 Euro.

The tournament is set at 35 points and will follow the Revised 2010 Steamroller format.

For more information contact Ciaran or Martin at Gamers World on Jervis Street

Friday, July 30, 2010

Nemesis, A Review

I havent read this book yet as I have just bought it last Wednesday (28th July) but I thought I would put this review up to remind me to read it soon.

The ‘Horus Heresy’ books have pretty much become the flagship series for the Black Library’s ‘Warhammer 40,000’ line and it’s not hard to see why. If you’re already a fan then you’re finally getting a story that fills in all the gaps for one of the most important events in 40K history. Instead of internet speculation (and the odd paragraph or two in ‘White Dwarf’ magazine) you get to see what actually happened, all of it.

If you’re not really a fan of the setting then there is still plenty to recommend these books. Genetically engineered warriors with big guns fighting wars that engulf entire star systems; what’s not to like about that? If you like military sci-fi then you really need to be reading these books if you aren’t already.
I’m not a gamer but I fall firmly into the first camp as a fan of the setting and books. The ‘Horus Heresy’ series hasn’t been a perfect ride so far (and I haven’t read all the books yet) but there’s been more than enough to it to have me eagerly anticipating each new release. James Swallow’s ‘Nemesis’ is the latest release and it could very well be the best of the lot...

After the horrors wrought by Horus in the Istvaan system, all out war is declared on the Imperium and the march on Terra begins. Planet after planet falls and it becomes clear that the only way to stop the onslaught is to kill Horus himself. In the shadowy recesses of the Imperial Palace, an unprecedented alliance between the Assassin Cults sees a handpicked team sent to execute the Archtraitor and end the war before it can develop further.
What the agents of the Imperium cannot know though is that their traitorous counterparts have similar designs of their own. While the Imperial assassins head out to intercept Horus, another assassin is headed in the opposite direction. His mission, to strike a deadly blow at the very heart of the Imperium itself...

I’ve had mixed results with what I’ve read from James Swallow in the past. For every ‘Black Tide’ there’s been a feeling that Swallow likes to use the ‘haunted spaceship’ scenario a little too much for my liking (although I’ll admit that I do need to read a lot more of his 40K fiction before that feeling becomes more concrete). With this in mind, my anticipation of a new ‘Horus Heresy’ read was tempered by the fact that I wasn’t sure which way this was going to go. Were we talking ‘Black Tide’ here or would I find myself on board another haunted spaceship...?
It turns out that I needn’t have worried, not only was ‘Nemesis’ a storming read but there were no haunted spaceships at all!

‘Nemesis’ is a deftly written mixture of action and intrigue that really captures the feel of a galaxy that has just tipped over the precipice and is beginning the long slide into anarchy and chaos. It’s also the thirteenth book in the series, so far, so I really wouldn’t recommend beginning the series here (although there is enough background detail for you to be able to do it if you really wanted to) That’s not a problem though, not only will you have ‘Nemesis’ to look forward to but there is plenty of goodness to keep you going in the meantime! :o)

The big problem facing ‘Nemesis’ is that if you’re a fan of the setting then you will know of Horus’ ultimate fate and how that ultimately influences the outcome of this book. If you’re not then it doesn’t matter at all but there’s definitely an issue there for anyone with a little background knowledge of the 40K universe.
It wasn’t a problem for me. Apart from a few moments where I felt that Swallow was perhaps a little too verbose in describing the scenery (well done but not as relevant to the book as it thought it was) I couldn’t put this one down and I knew how the mission had to end. So... what happened?

For a start, and perhaps most importantly of all, Swallow isn’t afraid to mess with your head a little and at one crucial moment in particular. You may look back at it, afterwards, and think to yourself that it makes sense for it to have gone the way it did. While you’re reading it though, that’s a different matter...
Swallow builds things up to a real crescendo and then hits you right between the eyes with the last thing you would possibly expect to happen. I couldn’t believe it and the accompanying imagery really drove that impact home. Great stuff!
On a lesser scale, Swallow does a similar thing when rounding off one of the subplots. This one didn’t hit me as hard but, again, I never saw it coming and it’s a testament to Swallow’s skill at blindsiding his readers.

When he’s not messing with your expectations, James Swallow tells a pretty mean story. ‘Nemesis’ is a high octane ride where assembling a team of assassins can be just as dangerous as the mission itself. It’s also a ‘police procedural’ where nothing is as it seems as well as being a snapshot picture of a galaxy’s uncertainty as stability crumbles and chaos begins to take over.
Swallow switches effortlessly between these plots, giving his readers a multi-faceted tale that has something for everyone as well as coming together to form something pretty special. The battle lines are clearly drawn, between the two opposing forces, but the divisions within each side make for passages that resonate with intrigue. Everyone is on the same side albeit for reasons of their own...
When we’re not working our way through the labyrinthine corridors of Imperial (and rebel) politics, Swallow ups the tempo by pitching us headfirst into full on warfare between assassins. When this happens the story flows like quicksilver and so do the assassins who are fighting. Whether it’s the berserker fury of the assassin of Clade Eversor or the psionic fury of the assassin of Clade Culexus; Swallow shows us all too well that we are witnessing fights between humans with abilities augmented and far beyond our own. It’s great to watch.

Swallow’s character reflect the 40K landscape perfectly and all credit to him for creating an entire cast of cast that are completely unlikeable but that you also feel compelled to follow. This is especially true of the group of assassins tasked with killing Horus. Not one of them has a redeeming feature but you really feel how important their mission is and you have to see it through to the end. Characters who initially appear to be the most shallow turn out to be the ones with the most depth and they can really surprise you with their actions. You won’t engage with these characters because of who they are; you’ll engage with them because they’re so cleverly written into the landscape and the things taking place their.

Apart from a couple of minor niggling flaws, I can quite confidently say that ‘Nemesis’ is the best novel yet in the ‘Horus Heresy’. Here’s hoping that the rest of the series maintains this momentum...

Nine and a Half out of Ten

Please note the above review was taken from:

I claim no ownership of nor credit for the above review.