Friday, 23 January 2015

The Walls Of St Eda's Shrine - A 3k 2 vs 2.5 Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report

A frentic Sunday afternoon in the West End of Glasgow
 When is a 2 vs 2 game of Warhammer not a 2 vs 2 game of Warhammer?  When one of your players is 6, playing for the first time and has his Dad handy to help out with the rules.

 Yes, Sunday saw me take part in a somewhat unusual game.  I went round to Dave's house and Stuart was there, along with his two kids - 10 year old Josh and 6 year old David.  I'd met Josh before and had played a little bit of 40K alongside him, but this was my first time meeting David - he's very yougn and can't really read the rulebooks yet, but of course his dad and big brother do 40K so naturally he wants to be involved.

Therefore it was decided that Dr Dave and Josh would pair off, while the 6 year old Dave (or "Manly Dave" as I took to calling him) and I would be a team, with Stuart acting half as GM and half as an assistant for David to try and explain the rules to him.  I had just given Stuart some figures for David not a week ago - the Space Marines from the old Black Reach boxed set, to be exact - so Stuart topped him up with some of his own Marine figures and we paired up as Marines of normal and Chaos varieties against the unlikely pairing of Sisters of Battle and Tau.
Still a better love story than Twilight. 

The two kids set up the objective markers first - each of them choosing to place three markers at the far end of the table - then Dr Dave and Josh won the roll to set up. On Dave's large table they took the icy side and set up amongst the snow-covered hills, ice crystal and the like.  (Hey, it's pretty cold here in Glasgow right now, it seemed thematically appropriate.)  Each player had 1,500 points to spend and Josh took lots of vehicles while Dr Dave seemed to focus more on Sisters infantry choices.  The table was split diagonally and they filled their section with models, leaving just an Imperial plane and a couple of Tau jetpacks off the table to come in later on.

The combined forces of purpleyness.  (With a few of Josh's blue Tau looking surprisingly well camouflaged.)
My teammate and I got the side of the table that was greener with church walls and columns.  Most of our army was placed behind the wall, the infantry mostly staying out of sight.  Our combined mass of Dreadnoughts took the front - four regular and a Contemptor Dreadnought.  Only a small advance force comprising of two Vindicator siege tanks and a meagre infantry support section went in plain view, and we kept our flyer and a few other tricks in reserve until later.

The view from the Marine side: my garish colours mixed with Stuart's sensible hues and David's bare plastic.

Our deck of random missions was shuffled and placed on hand for us to draw during the game - there were six objectives on the table but we wouldn't know who would be getting points for which one on any given turn or if they'd have other changes to score bonus points by destorying tanks, killing psykers, winning challenges etc.

Our adversaries had the first turn and, bar a short gap for fried chicken and hot cross buns, we played for several hours of bloodshed.  Pictures and comments follow.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Crazy Quail

"Hi, I'm Malfunctioning Eddie, and I'm malfunctioning so badly, I'm practically giving these cars away!!!"
 I don't need any more figures.  I mean, I don't "need" any figures in any real sense, but I have more than enough in the to-do list to keep me from needing to buy anything else so my hobby budget should be kept to paint and similar consumables with the occasional rulebook now and then.

Alas, that's not how it works in NerdWorld, and so I found myself purchasing something I've read about but never bought before - one of Mantic Games' Crazy Boxes.

Lots of toys, little control

An annual Christmas-ish tradition, Mantic put up Crazy Boxes which are basically lucky dips from their miniatures collection.  The box costs £25 this year but the random odds and ends one gets should make it worth about £75 in real terms - so as long as you find a use for some of them you're ahead and it's a ready source of bits for converting, swapping etc.

There's a certain thrill from a random purchase like this.  I used to pick up randomised CCG card packets and randomised pre-painted miniatures and I remember a non-nerdy friend of mine understanding it surprisingly quickly: "George, it's basically gambling". 

Although they do a general one that mixes sci-fi and fantasy figures, I plumped for the sci-fi version hoping that I'd get enough usable in both 40K and Dreadball to make it worth my while. My fantasy needs are more specific - Chaos Dwarf proxies or nothing - whereas I can find more value out of a mixture of sci-fi figures, or at least pass them onto chums who might use them in their own armies.

This was ordered back on Boxing Day but of course the Christmas rush to buy stuff and the days the mail was shut meant this took a while to get here.  Now it is here, though, let's bust this box open!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Happy Georgemas

Yes, folks, it's that time of year again.  Yesterday marked my birthday  and another change for Sister Superior to buy me many nerdy presents.

As has become traditional, I got my usual bag of weird and wonderful dice to add to my collection.  Some interesting D6s with such curious logos as a flamingo, a naked lady, a Thundercat symbol and a 30s/40s Italian eagle; a D2, a rather odd shaped dice resembling a cube with rounded sections so only four sides can support it; and a D10 with the ten commandments on it.  Obviously.

Just what you need when you want to determine which inappropriate thing a villain should do this week.
I also got a small Blood Bowl figure: for years I've had my eye on the Wererooster from Greebo, an Italian miniatures manufacturer, but it was always just a little too silly to justify buying.  Sister Superior decided to finally put me out of my misery and order it.  Unfortunately, despite being a single 28mm metal figure, there was a really long lead time - she ordered it at the end of November and it only showed up through the letter box on the morning of my birthday, i.e. a month and a half later.  Still made it for my birthday, but only just!


I feel this would be good as a weird referee.
 Along with some other odds and ends I got one other birthday present relevant to this blog.  Just a single figure with a gun, sword and shield.  Nothing fancy, really.....


Sunday, 11 January 2015

RPG Service Will Continue

Dice and redheads - My idea of heaven

Although this blog mainly entails my wargaming and model painting pursuits, I am of course a huge fan of RPGs and you can expect plenty more of those in the upcoming year.  But what did I do in 2014 and what are my plans in 2015?

Well, in 2014 I continued to run the three main games that I alternate between: Justice League Beyond, King Arthur Pendragon and Star Trek  Each of these is played for a two or three month slot, then we cycle to the next one in the list so that each game gets some time over the year.  In between we play a few shorter games which this year included Ghostbusters, Dune, Hellcats & Hockeysticks, Dread, 3:16, Doctor Who and a blast of D&D 4th Edition. 

Static Games, my preferred local RPG and general nerdy games shop.

Of these, the bulk of these gamers went OK with D&D being the only flop - one of those things that sounded better in idea than execution.  I ran D&D 3rd ed for six years straight and while I enjoy a short session or two now and then, I wasn't really interested in a vanilla D&D campaign unless I was doing something a bit more outre like my Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil idea, but the group didn't seem mega keen on that at the time.  There was a touch of the "everyone's second choice" to this - we mooted the plane-hopping Demonweb Pits and horror-themed Castle Ravenloft, but getting everyone to agree on something seemed tough so we ended up going with the Ruins of Greyhawk which is as vanilla as one gets. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

2000 Points Orks vs Chaos Space Marines - First Battle Report Of 2015

Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow city centre on a dreich January morning.

 With New Year over and my Hobgoblins varnish drying, I headed out on the 2nd January to see Charles.  A public holiday in Scotland, the public transport was on Sunday schedule but I was still able to make my way there with a couple of cases of figures....

Deployment from Charle's point of view we could play our first game of Warhammer 40,000 of the year.  A 2,000 point bash, so a fairly big battle, in which he would throw hordes of Orks against my purple and pink men at arms.

And his cat would devour the souls of the dying.

So his table was cleared and terrain set out; shortbread and Kettle Chips were opened up; army lists were drafted; and the first of the year's slaughterfests began.

Friday, 2 January 2015

My 2015 Objectives

Last year I posted a list of objectives for 2014.  An examination will show I acheived very little - I got the start of a Chaos Dwarf army ready but it's not yet enough to use, and while I technically have a Horus Heresy-able Emperors Children army it's still a bit bare bones. 

What follows is another such list for 2015, very similar in places, showing what my agenda is for the upcoming year.  The following is a large list and completing them all is not likely but gives an idea of what I'm interested in and what my order of prioritisation is.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014: A Year In Review

How this blog started: undercoating a Christmas present

My blog has now been rolling on for a full year, in which I've recorded my nerdy undertakings for the entertainment of, ooh, at least three people.  While you all nurse your New Years hangovers, I thought I'd share some analysis of the year.

And how, despite the blog title of The BEARDED Quail, I've not painted a single Squat

We're going to look at how many figures I've painted; how many games I've played and won/lost/drawn; and which of my blog posts have been most popular.