Monday, October 20, 2008

The Sin City Dispatch #3

Hey everyone, welcome to the new home of the Sin City Dispatch!!!

In this episode of the Dispatch, we will be looking at the latest releases for both AT-43 and Warhammer 40,000. Next I have a new segment where we delve deep into the mind of the gamer... and try not to touch all those bizarre squishy bits. You never no where they have been. Last but not least we will be taking another look at the Workbench to see how my Waaagh!!! is coming along in all of its green glory. So sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Upcoming Releases for AT-43 and Warhammer 40,000

The big news for AT-43 right now is that Fantasy Flight Games will no longer be distributing either this game or Confrontation. There seems to be no official word from Rackham about what is going on except some remarks about a big announcement later this month. After my time with Mongoose Publishing and all of their wonderful "big announcements", this really doesn't seem to boad well for the game but only time will tell exactly what will happen.

In sharp contrast, the Games Workshop front has a number of new releases for the Space Marines that have already hit the shelves. I am not going to touch on all of them but there are a few that really piqued my interest.

The Sternguard are one of the new elite choices that are available for the Marines.

Proving some serious ranged support, the Sternguard have a number of ammo options that they can choose from which really gives them the ability to handle almost any situation on the battlefield. I have even heard that they can all be equipped with their own combi weapons which is a nasty little trick. Kit a bunch of them out with combi flamers and then say goodbye to those cover saves! As for the models themselves, they are certainly not bad but they are kind of pricey especially if you are going to be fielding a full unit of ten. Personally I think that I am going to use the regular Tactical Marines with various bits to make my own Sternguard.

The Vanguard squad is another one of the new elite choices that the Marines can field.

Equipped with power weapons, these guys pack a nasties punch than the regular Assault Marines and they are able to Deep Strike in using their jump packs. The downside is again the miniatures. They look cool and all but with true line of sight would you really want a bunch of guys that are that high off of their bases? Then there is the cost which is pretty high for these ones as well, making this another unit that I would rather just convert some of the plastic Marines so that I could field them.

On the vehicle front there is the new Land Raider Redeemer

Equipped with a twin-linked assault cannon and two massive flamers, this beast will let you charge right through your enemies lines before openning up to unleash its payload of Marines. The kit can also be used to make the Crusader variant but personally I don't know how you could pass up on those flamers.

The last one that I am going to cover is the one that I have loved the concept of ever since I first saw them in the old Rogue Trader. The Space Marine drop pod.

While drop pods have been made by Forge World before, this is the first time that they have been available for a reasonable price. Now you can finally field the Marines the way that they were intended, as the Angels of Death falling from the sky to smite the heretic! Yep, I love these things. And as an added plus you can equip them with a Deathwind launcher so that you can start dropping templates on you enemies while your Marines charge into combat. What's there not to love about this?

One other thing which is not out just yet but should be coming soon (at least that's what I'm hoping anyway...) is plastic Grots. Yes, that's right. Soon it will be possible to field a reasonably priced Grot shield for your Ork horde. What is there not to love about that? Appearing to be almost the same as the current metal minis, the new plastic Grots are supposed to be a one piece figure. And the great part is that now I don't have to convert a bunch of Warhammer Fantasy Goblins to make my Grots. The Orks just keep getting better and better.

What A Tangled Web We Weave...
A Look Inside the Gamer Mind

Bringing the Your Game Down A Notch

Your first thought might be "What a minute. Doesn't he mean up? Why would I possibly want to take it down a notch?" Normally I would agree but read on and you will see what I am talking about.

As gamers we get together with others to have a good time pushing around some miniatures and maybe win a couple of games. In some cases you want to bring your A game; tournaments, leagues, when you are playing that really annoying guy that no one can beat. In these cases, there is nothing wrong with making you list a hard one and bringing the hammer down on your opponent. Friendly games are a beast of another color though as these are usually just played to have a good time. This can make them the perfect opportunity to just go a little crazy and try some things that you normally wouldn't.

A good example of this would be try an very vehicle heavy list in AT-43. Since most vehicles can't control objectives you are really putting yourself at a disadvantage but visually it would look pretty cool to just see a ton of walkers out on the board.

Conversely, you could try the opposite end of the spectrum and go infantry heavy. This option would be especially hard against an opponent that can throw out a lot of indirect fire templates but it would be one heck of a challenge. Heck, you might even stumble on a new tactic to try out in the next "serious" game that you play. The great thing about doing this kind of thing is these games are just you and your friends having a good time and maybe a laugh or two as well, even if it is just because of how crazy that list was.

So remember; bring your "A" game to the tourneys but if you are just playing with friends then don't sweat it. Just get out there and have some fun!

From The Workbench
the Next Big WAAAGH

As I mentioned before, I have had family in town so unfortunately I have not had as much time to work on my army as I would like. Even so, there has been some progress made so let's take a look, shall we?

First up is my Warboss, Wazgul Dakagrub.

Nothing special here really, I just like the miniature so I wanted to put up his picture. I might add a little something to it to personalize it but on the whole I think that GW did a great job with it.

Next up is the leader of my Nobz unit, Mornob Ursog.

Mornob is a really basic conversion as all I did was build my own Waaagh pole for him. The pole itself and the cross piece are just a piece of sprue cut to size while I cut the glyph out of some spare styrene sheet that I had lying around. As a finishing touch, I added a skull with a top knot that I had chopped off one of the other Nob minis.

Next up is Mad Doc Gutsnaga, the painboy for my Nobz.

Instead of using a Nob mini for him, I decided to just convert a regular Ork boy. His back pole and glyph were made out of more of the spare styrene though the pole itself it actually a small I girder. To make his bone saw, I just cut off the end of his choppa and carved some saw teeth into it.

The 'urty syringe was a little more involved though I am having a heck of a time finishing it. I cut off the barrel of his slugga and then attached the clip to the top of this piece to make the back half of the syringe. The tube that forms the main body of the syringe is actually just part of a stirring straw that I cut down. I added a few bits of styrene to this just to add some detail but the real problem is the needle. I had cut a piece of styrene and glued it on but it broke off pretty easily so I am not quite sure what I am going to do to fix it. Maybe some brass rod or part of a paper clip so that it is stronger. I also still need to do some putty work on the Doc so that I can add a surgical mask and an apron. More pics of that once it is finished.

Rounding out my HQ choices (at least for now) is my Warphead Gorbog.

I have heard that weird boyz aren't very useful in the game but I really liked the idea of making my own just for the fun of it. Just like the Gutsnaga mini, I went with the regular boy for his figure. It seemed really fitting in this case since I see the weird boyz as some kind of runt compared to the rest of the Orks. For his staff I just cut the head off of his choppa and then added a top knot to the bottom of the handle. To top it all off, I drilled out a spare Marine head that I had lying around and stuck it on the top.

Just like Gutsnaga, Gorbog is not done either. I want to try to make some Waaagh lightning out off some thin wire and the have it shooting out of his eyes, hand, and the Marine helmet. I have never tried anything like this before (painting lightning yes, making lightning no) so I am not sure how it will work out but I am excited to see what I can come up with.

Last of my conversions from the Black Reach set is Wortslag Gorgut, the Nob leading the Boyz.

This one is another pretty easy conversion as I just added a back pole with a glyph but this time I also added a Marine shoulder pad for a bit of flavor.

As you can see, all of these are for the most part pretty minor changes and additions to the basic miniature but I really like the way that they have added to the whole flavor of the force. Now I just need to get them painted but more on that later.

And The Parting Shot...

Well that about wraps it up for this issue but I wanted to share this picture before I went.

This is a scratch built Chaos Warhound Titan. This is done in scale for 40k which means that it probably stands about 12 inches tall. The really sick thing is it is made out of paper. Isn't it amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it? Wonder how many paper cuts he got while he was making it...

Well, that is all for now but until next time may all of you dice come up paper Dragons. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sin City Dispatch #2

Hey everyone and welcome to the second issue of the Sin City Dispatch

In this issue we will start by taking a quick look at the latest pictures Rackham has released of the Cogs. Most of it we have seen before but there is a little something extra as well. The rest of the issue will be all about the box of plastic goodness that is the Assault on Black Reach. So sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Upcoming releases for AT-43 and Warhammer 40,000

Since the last issue of the Dispatch Rackham has actually released two issues of Cry Havoc Online, both of which have some pictures of the Cogs that we have never seen before. One of the most startling ones (for me at least) is the picture of what they look like without a helmet on.

I hate to say it but this is nothing like I expected them too look. From the concept pictures I think a lot of people were under the impression that the Cogs were somewhat Cthulhuian (does that word actually exist?) in appearance but this looks more like a typical Grey from Hollywood. I hate to say it again but this is another disappointment in my book. I am sure that just like the Karmans some people will like the look of these minis but I am really finding that I am falling into the camp of those who don't.

There is also another preview picture of the Cogs but this time it is what looks like their type III infantry.

The pros of these minis are the sculpts look kind of cool with an Anime flair to them. The problems is the paint job. Again with the orange! At first glance they look like some kind of an alien construction crew or chain gang instead of a powerful faction that was able to put the hurt on the Therians until the Karmans were thrown into the war. Something that looks worrying from a play point of view is the variety of weapons these guys have. It might be that these are from various type III units (such as the various types of the TacArms for example) but if they are just one unit then having that jumble of weapons could have an impact on how effective they are in combat. Of course only time will tell how good or bad any of the Cogs are but so far I am really not sure about the direction they are taking with them.

On the 40k front, this month is all about the Space Marines baby! Of all the releases, the new Codex is without a doubt the most important one.

Coming in at 144 pages, it will include all of the rules for fielding a Space Marine Chapter so if you are looking to build that Marine chapter that you have always dreamed of or you just want to see what new nasties they will be fielding, then this is a must buy. The bad news is that this is the first Codex that will fall under the new pricing, coming in a $30. On the plus side, this book is bigger than most of the current Codexes by at least 40 pages so it should have a bunch of new goodies and information in there.

A majority of the remaining releases are new minis for the Marines (including a plastic Drop Pod kit!) though there is one other product that really jumps to my attention and it is something that I will definitely be picking up; the Dice Cube.

For a mere $6 you get 27 20mm dice inside of a giant die. How could any gamer pass one that one? "I think I'll use the giant die for this roll." Plus the price actually isn't half bad so I would definitely recommend grabbing at least one of these right away.

To find out more about these items and the other new releases, head on over to their site and check out the Advanced Orders for 40k.

Taking a Closer Look at...
Assault on Black Reach

Cracking Open the Box

Everyone knows that there is nothing worse than opening a game only to realize that you just paid for a box full of air. The good news is that this is not something you need to worry about with Black Reach. From top to bottom, this box is packed full of stuff. In addition to the four sprues of minis, there is also a small version of the rulebook and a starter book. As far as I can tell the rulebook contains all of the information that the hardcover has (minus the fluff and color painting sections) while the starter book is more of a basic overview of how the game plays with a bunch of full color pictures thrown in as well. All of the templates that you need are also right in the box as well as some dice. Definitely not enough dice in the long run but it is a start in the right direction. A scatter die is also included so overall you are ready to go right out of the box once you have assembled the minis.

Taking a Closer Look

Looking at the miniatures, the first thing that struck me was the level of detail. From purity seals to scroll work, they managed to get it all in there. The symbol for the Tactical squad is even sculpted into the shoulder pads! And it is not just the Marines that received the love either as the Orks are very detailed miniatures as well. From my own experience, I think that this is great. While it might seem that having the extra detail just means that the figs would be harder to paint, I think that the opposite is true. With the higher level of detail, everything is so well defined it really seems to make the figure much easier to paint so I am really looking forward to getting to the painting. First I just need to cut them all off the sprue, assemble, and prime them. Definitely different than the AT-43 "open the box and go" feel but I am still really excited about these which really says something to me.

And The Verdict Is...

So is Assault on Black Reach worth the $60 price tag? In a word, definitely. The hardcover version of the rulebook alone costs $50, while you get all of the information that you need in a smaller size in Black Reach plus a ton of miniatures for an extra $10. In fact I have heard about a number of people getting two, three or even more sets of Black Reach just because of the value in the miniatures. Heck, I know that's what I am going to do.

From the Workbench
the Next Big WAAAAGH!!!

After some slow progress to start with, I have finally assembled most of my Orks from the Black Reach set though I am doing it slightly different from the what the box lists the contents as being. Rather than fielding a twenty strong Boyz mob I have decided to split the group and I have assembled them as a twelve strong Boyz mob and an eight strong Kommando mob, both of which are lead by a Nob. This is actually pretty easy to do and make them somewhat different as I simply used the helmeted Ork heads for my Kommandos while the rest of my Orks running around with a bare head. Here is a picture of the Kommandos...

And the regular Boyz...

To take it a step further, I am looking for some seperate backpacks that I can mount on the Kommandos to give them the appropriate "military-wannabe" look. This will really make them stand apart from the "regular" Orks (if there is such a thing...) by giving them a very unique look. Combined with just the other miniatures from Black Reach (the Deffkoptas, the small Nobz mob, the Warboss, and the other conversions that I will be doing with just this set) this should go together to make a pretty good starter force for my Ork horde. It is by no means finished of course but it is definitely a solid start to getting my Waaaaagh!!! underway.

And that is all for the issue of the Dispatch! Be sure to come back for soon for more Sin City goodness and until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!