Can't hardly breath ... Catching up

Random – So Labor Day week I took the family out to the Wisconsin Dells, it was an interesting trip as I've never been there and had no idea what to expect. We arrived after the season had ended so it was pretty relaxed. We took a DUCK ride down the river and checked out the State Parks in the area, where we wound up going of the trail and getting lost for a little while. (super proud on my boys who toughed it out and climbed through some rather difficult terrain.) We also checked out the House on the Rock, which I wanted to see ever since reading American Gods. Very weird place but glad I went through, it took us 5 hours to get through the whole thing. 

Anyway besides being a week behind because of vacation I've been swamped with real life work as well as commissions which leaves precious little time for blogging. I'm hoping to do a catch up week soon to bring my readers up to speed with my current project load. It's hard to believe September is already gone.

Right now on my plate are: Skaven Army Salvage, Infinity Force, Batman Force, Valkyrie Formation, Space Hulk set, Egyptians for Arena Rex, Necromancer for Confrontation, Ultramarine Drop Pods, Crossroads Seven for Malifaux, Space Wolf Thunderwolf Formation, Three Knight House, Heavy Gear Two Player Starter and getting 1000 points of my marines ready for an event at the end of October.

It sometimes feels a bit oppressive, but I love to paint and build models so eventually it turns to a moment of Zen.


Star Phantoms Centurions

Warhammer 40,000 – So the command squad I painted for the RIW Painters Showcase sold a week after they put it up. Not exactly a prolonged advertising venture but pretty cool that mine is the only set that has sold from that portion of their case. Hopefully the buyer will contact me to get the rest of the army painted up.

This time around I opted to do a Centurion kit in the same color scheme. I figure Grav Centurions would love a round of twin linking right? I also have the full decal sheet I printed and figure eventually I'll have painted a full army. This time however I need to take pictures before I drop them off. With the last batch I was going to come back for photos later but they sold to fast.

The scheme is a simple black and white one that really stands out on the tabletop. I put them on bases I made to match the Bug Hunt Corridor kit as I've seen several people with the same kit that I have in the store so it'd be nice to see them in a boarding action. Who knows I might breakdown and do a allied force in a different scheme than my Twilight Ravens in  the future.


Sin City ... Welcome to Haven

The Others: Seven Sins – I recently received a big box of stuff for the C'MON kickstarter The Others: Seven Sins. (yeah the name is a bit long... I'm just going to call it The Others). As wil most C'MON kickstarters it was late about five months or so, nothing compared to the several year delay of Kingdom Death or Relic Knight but still a sizable delay. I'm not sure how their estimator still has a job with that kind of track record, but honestly this wasn't something I was super eager to get, the amount of stuff you got for $100 was pretty sick and even if the game turned out terrible they'd be fun to paint.

After opening the core box and reading through the rules a few times it sounds like the game is going to be fun. It's another dudes on a board game that looks similar to Zombicide, Ghostbusters and a variety of other $100+ big box games. The difference is this isn't pure co-op One player is the sins player and the rest play the heroes so it will support up to 5 players at the moment. The cool thing is the number of heroes on the board change with the player count but the Hero Team always has seven characters to use over the course of the game, sort of like extra lives. The Heroes win if they complete all the missions on the story, the Sins player wins if a Hero is removed and there isn't another one in reserve to replace the fallen hero. Essentially you have to kill 3-4 heroes to win if you're the sins player.

The core box is a nice big linen box and each expansion is also it's own box which also is a nice linen material. The Kickstarter exclusive box looks the same but is made out of a basic cardstock. In all there are eight boxes, which are all super nice but totally unnecessary and will take up to much shelf space is my already bursting at the seams game room. I'll be condensing at some point (once I'm sure I won't ebay this off).

All the boxes are well packed for shipping but not so much for useful storage. The clear plastic trays are fine but they take up lots of space in the box. I opted to get some snack size and regular ziplock bags, that way I can sort the models by type or team and take up 1/4 of the space. For the tokens I picked up a super useful 11" small parts container from Home Depot this had room for all the tokens and the extra plastic parts (if the game didn't come with dice bags it had room to fit some dice as well). After a bit of puzzling out the best configuration I was able to fit all the boards, cards etc and token bin into the core box and the models from the core box and the Team Expansions into the nice linen Team box. I'll have to address the expansion sin boxes later once I decide it I'm painting this or not. 

Although I've read through the rules a few time and did a dry run of the game I haven't had a chance to play through it with anyone else to have a solid opinion of game play. The theme and components of this game are very nice and on paper the rules seem to also fit that them well. I'll post more about this in the future I'm sure.


Heavy G and the Boys ... 

Heavy Gear – So my new client is into pretty much everything. I never really got into Battletech beyond a few novels and gawking at the minis in the mail order catalogs I used to get as a kid. I never really got into the game. The idea of big mechs stomping around a desolate wasteland is still appealing to me but not something I'm going to be able to shoehorn into my existing game rotation. So now enter the joys commission work. I get to enjoy painting up the models for games I'll never play and be able to live vicariously through my clients.

These are really cool little kits I guess they're made in the USA ('america F yeah) and all the options for each model is on the sprue. It's hard plastic but not polystyrene because my plastic glue did nothing. I'm guessing it's an ABS type plastic so Gorilla Gel Super Glue is the way to go with these little buggers. 

Of course they only show how to put one type together in the "instructions" so I'm pretty much winging it by looking at the single photo of each and matching it up with the description on the sprue. Not exactly the most efficient. I can put a Space Marine together with my eyes closed but these are taking me a half hour or more to sort out and glue the little components together. Hopefully it will go faster on the next batch.


Book Review - Beast Arises Books 1 & 2

Warhammer 40,000 – I swore up and down that I wasn't going to buy hardcover bolter porn. I've waited months for the Horus Heresy books to come to mass market so they match my shelf and I don't pay more than $12 for a novel that I rarely read more than once. (But I might go back to them or pass them down so I HAVE to own them right?) 

Anyway I was at the bookstore and flipped through I am Slaughter the first book in The Beast Arises series. I was impressed the paper was a heavier stock than usual, the size was just a little bigger than a mass market, there will only be 12 books in the series and the graphic design is consistent. Couple that with a $12.95 price and the story being set between the heresy and current 40K; long story short I broke down and bought it.

The first book was amazing, and the second continued the intense story. It's a shame orcs on the tabletop don't act like they do in the novels. If they did I feel like you'd see many more orc players than you do now. 

Even though the books have been out for some time I don't want to go into to much detail as to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it.

I Am Slaughter starts with a joint Imperial Fist/Ad Mech task force attempting to wipe out a xenos species. Things go from bad to worse as the glory hungry High Lords of Terra make some bad political decisions and send the full chapter to war to cleanse this threat so close to the Sol System. 

The unique thing about this book is there is plenty of action but there's also a decent amount of political intrigue and behind the scenes shenanigans between the High Lords and their various underlings. 

The climax as should be evident by the spine of the book is an ork invasion unlike anything that has been seen since Ulanor. 

Predator Prey delves deeper into the story, as more and more Imperial Worlds fall to the Deff Star the high Lords are to caught up in their posturing to make and real decisions. The Fabricator General of Mars seems content to just analyze from afar in what appears to be an attempt to replicate the technology. Things are looking grim for the Imperials.

This story spreads out the implications of the invasion through several smaller stories that are all intertwined around the green tide tearing through Imperial Space. Told from the perspective of minor characters each of these highlights the hopelessness of facing a horde that appears from nowhere and seems to be limitless in the amount of bodies it can send to the fight.

So far I'm glad I waited on thie series as I should be able to pick up the next book as I finish each of them without having to wait months like I do for new Horus Heresy books. If you like orks, or want to see the Imperium in turmoil this is a series for you.