Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sin City Dispatch #6

Hey everybody, welcome to the sixth issue of the Dispatch!

In this issue, we will start out with Incoming!!! as we take a look at some of the new 40k Ork miniatures that will be coming out in January, plus we will take a look at the new annoucement released by Rackham Entertainment. Then we will head on over to the Workbench as we look at creating custom objective markers for 40k. So sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Upcoming Releases for AT-43 and Warhammer 40,000

New on the preorders section for 40k are the latest and greatest for the Orks! Due out in Janu-Waaagh-ry (their joke; I only stole it, I didn't write it...) all of these are really nice looking plastic sets with lots of modeling possibilities.

First up among the new releases is the often "official" model for the most scratch built piece in the game, plastic Battlewagon.

Unfortunately this one is kind of a disappointment in my opinion. It looks more like a heavily armored trukk than anything else but then again I am only going by the few pictures of it that I have seen. Even so, there are tons of bits for it so this set will be worth getting even if it is just to cannibalize for parts.

Next up are the biggest, baddest, and greenest of the Orks! That's right, we are talking about the new plastic Ork Nobz.

Packed with options (including kombi-shootas, power klaws, and big choppas just to name a few...), this set will have enough bits to let you customize all of your Nobz. This will be a great addition to range as it will let you add those personal touches that will really set your Nobz apart.

Right now the only way to field the Stormboyz is by using the regular plastic boyz and adding on the Stormboyz conversion pack, but that will all change once the new plastic Stormboyz hit the shelves.

As with all of the other sets there are bits galore so that you can create some truly unique looking models. I hadn't really been looking at adding Stormboyz to my Waaagh, but after looking at these things I am really tempted to give them a try just to give me an excuse to get these minis!

Last but not least (though most Orks would probably disagree...) is the new plastic Gretchin boxed set.

Packed with ten grots and a runtherd, this finally gives people a cheap way to field a giant grot shield, not to mention all of the conversion possibilities that these plastic models should have. Getting all the grot minions that you can shake a bosspole at just got that much easier.

On the AT-43 front, things are actually just as interesting. In a news release from the newly formed Rackham Entertainment, the makers of AT-43 laid out their plans to match up release dates around the world over the next couple months. As of Wave 9 they are expecting to have the release dates in Europe and North America matched up which is definitely good news for the folks on the other side of the pond.

Next year will also see the release of the next two races in the AT-43 universe, the Cogs first then the Oni later in the year. And if that is not enough AT-43 goodness for you, Code White, the first of a trilogy set in the AT-43 universe should be out in the first quarter as well.

There are two other items among the other things mentioned that really stood out for me. First is a teaser for Rush N' Crush, a new game that sounds like a Car Wars style racing game set on Ava. Not much information on this one yet but the concept pictures have definitely piqued my interest. The second item is the new Rackham Model Kits. Set for release in March, this line is supposed to include kits based on the models in the AT-43 universe Ever want to really customize a Nakovalny? Sounds like this might be your chance!

Overall, the announcement sounds like a very ambitious goal that Rackham Entertainment is aiming for. Only time will tell just how well they are able to do what they say but so far things are sounding pretty promising.

From the Workbench
Creating Custom Objective Markers

With 5th Edition 40k, objectives really seem to have come into their own as two of the three scenarios are focused on controling them. I really like this in a game as it seems somewhat more realistic. If you think about it, most modern warfare is focused more on taking and holding different objectives rather then simply trying to kill everything in sight. But how do you mark these objectives in the game?

Among the possible solutions are using counters or those glass beads that almost every gamer has in their collection. GW even has their own solution in the 40k counter set by providing half a dozen neon green flags that you can set on the board. All of these are fine but I really like the idea of making something with a little more character just to keep things interesting.

The first marker that I made was "The Dead Genestealer".

Mounted on a large cirular base, it features a partially chopped up genestealer with a choppa through on of its arms. I made this by cutting up an extra genestealaer that I had laying about and then cutting a choppa from the Ork Boyz sprue.

My next one is "Alas Poor Yur-Ork".

I had to dig a little deeper in the bits box for this one but I really like how it turned out. Using some metal barrels from a scenery sprue, some boxes from some old Rhinos, and one of the plastic Ork boyz, this piece has the Ork chatting with an Ork skull. See what happens when you get into the fungus beer too early in the day?

In addition to these two, I am also going to make a marker using one of the spare Devilfish engines and some of the Hive Nodes from the Genestealer boxed set. All very simple ideas that really work to visually spice up the game. As an added plus, they are also a lot of fun to make so if you don't have any of these I definitely recommend taking some time to throw a few together.

The Parting Shot...

And that does it for this issue! A short one this time but the next issue will be longer since it will be featuring the return of the battle report! Yay!!! My Tyranids take on Matt's Orks in a bitter rematch. Last time the Orks were able to gun down the 'Nids before they could even engage. Will the green menace be triumphant again or will they just become more biomass for the Hivefleet? Check back soon to find out but until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sin City Dispatch #5

Hey everyone and welcome to issue #5 of the Dispatch!

In this issue, we have a new segment called Meet the Neighbors where I will be taking a closer look at the background for the Cogs, (aka send in the clones). Then we sill be going back to the Workbench for another look at how Waaagh Dakagrub is shaping up with their new "Tau-rrific" custom trukk. No Incoming!!! this issue since GW is currently pushing their Warhammer Fantasy releases and we are still waiting on Rackham to finish getting their ducks in a row but I do have a brief (make that very brief...) Battle Report instead! So sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Meet The Neighbors
Taking a Closer Look at the Background for the Cogs

The latest issue of Cry Havoc Online contained excerpts from the upcoming Cog Army Book, giving us the first glimpse at who these critters really are.

From what little fluff there is, it appears that the Cogs are a race of genetically engineered warriors who are further enhanced by various cybernetic devices. Commanded by earlier generations of clones, the rank and file troops blindly follow the orders of their leaders which sounds like they might be immune to the morale rules.

It is also mentioned several times that their ranged and melee weapons are among the best in the galaxy and I can see how this might not be too far off. It was the Cogs, not the Avans, who first held back the Therians. It would only make sense that they would be quite a tough opponent in the game.

Another interesting part of the excerpt was the description of the Cog vehicles. There is mention of four light walkers that are more specialized (all of which appear to be type I striders) and one support walker (aka the type III). This would make the Cogs the first race to not have any combat walkers at all. These beasties are also described as being unpiloted but then again the only time that the pilots have really come into play has been when heroes are mounted in them. Still an interesting bit of fluff in my opinion though.

All and all, the Cogs sound like they will be an interesting addition to the AT-43 world and the miniatures are looking pretty cool too now that they changed the paint scheme. Only time will tell how good they actually are in the game but regardless of that these are some pretty unique looking miniatures that could make a nice addition to any collection.

From the Workbench
And the WAAAGH!!! rolls on...

Since the last Dispatch, I have been focusing on one miniature in the Waaagh to the exclusion of everything else. What could possibly be the object of since intense scrutiny? Why my "Tau"-rrific Ork Trukk of course! In the previous issue, I had shown you this picture of my trukk, still in it's early stages of conversion from a streamlined Tau APC into a ramshackle bit of Orky know-wots.

After getting my hands on some styrene sheets of various thicknesses and a couple of empty medicine bottles (see what happens when you go off your meds?), it is now looking like this.

It is still not finished but so far I really like how it is turning out! As an added plus, I am having a great time working on it as well. Being able add my own touches is a lot of fun and being an Ork vehicle makes it very forgiving as well. No exact measurements are needed for something like this as the cobbled together appearance only helps make it more look even more "Orky". Don't get me wrong; working on something that requires more precision has many of its own rewards but something like this is great for a first project as it really lets you explore your modeling options.

On the next Workbench, there will definitely be more on the Waaagh but I have also been looking over my Tyranids to see just what I have and what I would like to be able field. Here is a look at what most of the swarm looks like right now.

Besides all of this there are still at least another couple dozen warriors, genestealers, gargoyles and gaunts floating around, giving me a very solid core to any army list I might want to try. Even so, I really want to get some more of the "specialized" 'nids that are out there, namely a few of the plastic Carnifexes. Awesome looking model and they can eat a tank for breakfast. What more could you ask for?

Battle Report: Orks vs. Tyranids
Well, kind of anyway

This past weekend I was finally able to play a small game of 40k against Matt. Huzzah!!! Since we were both really sinking our "teef" into 5th Ed. for the first time, we decided to keep things simple and only field 500 points each. As Waaagh Dakagrub is still a work in progress (and since Matt was already fielding his Orks), I decided to dust off my old Tyranid collection. With minis ranging back to their first incarnation since Rouge Trader, it was nice to be able to get them onto the table for the first time ever (Having the minis and actually using them are two totally different things in my dictionary).

With our meager armies selected, we put the "terrain" on the table. I would have taken a picture but no. I think that we have all seen enough cardboard boxes to know what they look like. Yes, that's right. We were gaming old school with random bits of cardboard on a wide open table. This ultimately worked against me in the worst possible way (aka I was slaughtered).

As for the action itself, there is not much too say really but it was a good way to get used to the rules. Hopefully we can get in another game and I will be taking pictures this time; I am going to make some terrain to stick out there and break up those wide open fire lanes. After all, what exactly is the point of having a cover save when there isn't any cover?

The Parting Shot...

Well, before I go I have a confession to make; I thought I had already posted this issue which is why it has taken me so long to get it out. I had worked on it the weekend that I went gaming and completely forgot that I didn't get it finished and posted. In the immortal words of Homer, "D'oh!"

As for the next issue, it should be interesting as we will be taking another look at the Cogs. The difference is that this time we will be looking at some stats so we can start to see just how nasty these bad boys will be. As for the rest of the it... Well, you'll just have to come back and see what I manage to dig up. Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Sin City Dispatch #4

Hey everyone and welcome to Issue #4 of the Dispatch!

In this issue, we will start out taking a closer look at the upcoming releases for AT-43 and Warhammer 40,000 including a little bit of information about the "big announcement" that Rackham had for us. Next we will continue our look into the squiggly bits of the gamer mind as we kick it back up a notch. Last but definitely not least we will head to the Workbench again to see how the green glory of Waaagh Dakagrub shaping up. So sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Upcoming Releases for AT-43 and Warhammer 40,000

Rackham finally had what I am assuming is their "Big Announcement" this week as they have become Rackham Entertainment. While this is a new company, they say that they will "continue to count on the unique expertise of the RACKHAM SA Design Studio". The announcement goes on to say that the Design Studio has already "conceived the products" for the next twelve months and that Rackham Entertainment will be able to "market these new products within a very short period of time". Part of this plan involves new releases coming out at the same time worldwide and on a monthly basis, starting with Wave 8 at the end of November and Wave 9 at the end of December.

They go on to say that they will be work to "ensure the North American stores will receive on a regular basis these new releases as well as marketing and promotion tools...including the establishment of organized play" and that "Very soon we will be able to tell you more about...all the surprises we have ready for you."

So what does it all mean? From the sound of things, Rackham has been purchased lock, stock, and barrel by a new company that will be picking up where Rackham had left off. This is good news for veteran players since it sounds like they will not be doing anything too radical to the game system other than making sure that releases actually come out on a regular basis. What other "surprises" they have in store we will have to wait and see but for now the future is looking better for AT-43.

Speaking of AT-43, there were more pictures of the Cogs released and it looks like someone in charge agreed that the whole orange thing was totally ridiculous. This is what the new Cogs look like.

This is a definite improvement over the old paint scheme. After all, who doesn't like red body armor? No news at to a release date for the Cogs yet but from the announcement also said that a new release plan should be coming soon.

Another thing of note is the new format for the attachment boxes that will be coming out in Wave 9 but more on that in the next issue. (Don't you just love teasers?)

On the 40k side of things, there are only two major releases coming out at the end of the month; the Realm of Battle Game Board (which you can see pictured below) and the Scenery Painting Pack.

Both of these are...interesting products. The board looks cool and the Scenery Pack seems to have a lot of useful items in it for terrain building but the price...youch! The Game Board comes in a $200 while the scenery pack is another $40. Sure this is not a bad idea but I mean really, why would anyone spend that kind of money on this stuff when you can get it elsewhere for much, much less? Great concept guys, but I just can't see this as being worth it. I'd much rather buy a ton of miniatures instead.

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

Bringing Your Game Up A Notch

In the last Dispatch I talked about bringing your game down a notch for friendly games. This time we are going to take it back up again for the serious stuff.

Leagues and tournaments are great ways to get in some more competitive games. What you are playing for varies (anything from pure fame and glory all the way up to cold hard cash) but the idea remains the same; you are there to win. Period. Well, almost anyway but more on that later.

When you are preparing for a tournament, it is important to remember that you need to have an army list that is flexible and can handle a variety of situations. It is all well and good to have a rock hard force to crush your enemies but if you can't take control of objectives then you might be heading straight for disaster. Controlling objectives in the game is a key aspect in both AT-43 and 40k, but in both cases this can only be done by certain units. You need to make sure that you include enough of these unit to be able to take the objectives and also weather the storm of enemy fire as they try to take those objectives away from you. Skimp on these core units and you will wind up with an army that can't do the basic things you need to win.

Once you get to actually playing the game, it is vital to remember just what your objective is. While it can be a ton of fun to just blast your enemies apart, it may be all for naught if you ignore your victory conditions and lose the game. Staying focused should be simple enough to do but getting distracted during the game can be even easier. I know that I can think of a few times that I became so focused on destroying a unit that before I knew it the game was over and getting sidetracked by my bloodthirsty little rampage had cost me the game. Stay focused, secure your objectives, then kick butt in the time you have left.

The final and most important thing is make sure that both you and your opponent are having fun. When the game start to go your way it is easy to get carried away and before you know it you start saying things that could rub your opponent the wrong way. Nobody likes a sore winner so try to keep this in mind before the trash talk really starts to fly.

The opposite of this can happen as well. You can get angry and frustrated by how poorly your army is preforming and all of a sudden the whole gaming experience has gone to hell in a hand basket. I have been on the receiving end of this frustration before and let me tell you it is no fun! I actually had such a bad experience that after winning that particular game I was literally ready to pack up and put the lot on Ebay as soon as I got home. My opponent told me later that he was just frustrated how poorly his army kept performing but even so the incident left a bitter taste in my mouth that has kept me from playing the game again. Sore winners can be bad but a sore loser can be a thousand times worse.

This wraps up our dive into the gamers mind on bringing your "A" game but remember that the most important thing is to always make sure that everybody has a good time. After all, it is just a game.

From The Workbench
the Next Big WAAAGH

Since the last Dispatch, I have managed to add some more details to my Kommandos to really make them stand out from the rest of the Boyz. The first of these modifications were face masks quickly followed by some backpacks.

The metal Kommando minis made by GW are wearing a cloth over their faces so by using a little bit of ProCreate epoxy I was able to make the same thing on mine. The backpacks are made by Pig Iron Productions and come on a metal sprue with seven backpacks and twelve pouches. The main downside to these is that they are a little small of Orks (gettin' inna doz pouches wud be fiddly) but I still like the effect that they add to the miniatures. I have also been able to get ahold of some burna bits for my Kommando heavy weapon troops along with more Boyz so I will be able to field the full mob of fifteen Kommandos if I want to. Bigger is always better with the Orks so it is good to have that option.

I also made some changes my Kommando Nob Skumgrot Nazshak to give him that extra "punch" in close combat.

First I cut off his big choppa just above the wrist. This is a breeze to do because the plastics are soft enough that I could actually do it with just an x-acto knife. Next, I took an old Space Marine power fist that I had lying around and I cut it off at the wrist as well. Then I pinned the fist onto his arm and used some more ProCreate to sculpt a bandage around the join. Voila! Instant Nob with power klaw. I also like the position of the power fist because it looks like he is waving his troops forward as they sneak up on their enemy.

Some changes were also made to Mad Doc Gutsnaga. In addition to a surgical mask and apron, he finally has the needle on his syringe! Yay!

I actually did this after I accidentally broke off the old syringe but I really like how the new one turned out so it was all for the best. The only downside right now is that I still have to get my hands on some Grots for the Mad Doc and my Nobz. I had wanted to wait until the new plastics were released but I think that I might be better off getting the Warhammer Fantasy Goblins and converting them just so that I can get them onto the table.

For the core of my horde of Orky goodness, I have been able to pick up a bunch of Ork Boyz minis putting me well on the way to having a pretty good sized army. My primary focus for my troops is going to be boyz with sluggas and choppas but I want to field a unit or two of shoota boyz as well to give my horde a little bit of range. To give them a little bit of maneuverability on the battlefield I am going to mount them in a trukk but there is a twist. Instead of using a regular Ork trukk I am converting a Tau Devilfish.

As you can tell this is still a work in progress but so far I am pretty happy with how it is turning out. I especially like what I have been able to do for the new engines on this thing but more on that in a future Dispatch...

And The Parting Shot

Well, that just about wraps it up for this issue of the Dispatch but before I go there is some good news; more battle reports will be coming soon! A new LGS just opened up much closer to my house and the owner is really interested in getting some in store 40k happening so once I get a little more work done on my Orks the battle reports will be back!

Well, that's all for now but until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!