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!

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