WarCry: First Impressions

So the Magpie struck again and this ended up in my car the other day;

Now full disclosure, I haven’t managed to play a full game against actual people yet but just thought I’d post something with my initial thoughts on it whilst it’s still (mostly) relevant.

Opening it up I was confronted with a box practically overflowing with sprues!

To a veteran wargamer like myself this is like Christmas come early, but can see it being pretty intimidating to a newcomer to the hobby. The sprues make two full warbands, the Iron Golems and the Untamed Beasts. There’s also sprues for six Raptoryx and six Furies – wild daemonic creatures that can fight for either side or just roam the battlefield attacking the nearest fighter. Rounding out the collection (and by far the largest sprues) is a rather nice terrain set.

Under these we find a poster of the cover art along with the board and tokens. Beneath this we then have the assorted cards and the rulebook –

Standard high quality fare that you expect from Games Workshop really, my only complaint is the massive amount of plastic packaging these came in. Most of the sets of cards came in little card sleeves which had plastic wrap around the outside and then another layer around the cards inside it.

Finally, under a cardboard separator, we find the dice, bases and some baggies to keep the tokens and cards organised.

Worth mentioning, the plastic round bases come in four sizes including 28mm which I hadn’t come across in a GW publication before. This meant I had to re-base a couple of figures once I realised I’d used the wrong ones! That might just be me being terminally daft though.

It didn’t take me long to put the first few models together per the quick start guide;

I did notice that it suggested putting the Preytaker together as the Sawtooth Blade variant rather than the Ranged Axe one, but it’s probably what I would have picked anyway so didn’t make a difference to me. If you were wanting to keep the options open to you I reckon it shouldn’t be too hard to magnetise though.

The quick start rules don’t cover any scenery or special rules and is just a straight forward fight to the death. It’s a pretty fun and easy system to pick up, and reading through the book it looks like there’s enough depth and nuance from the special rules and different combinations of mission set up to allow for quite a lot of replayability.

I mentioned reading the rulebook, it’s the usual high quality I expect from GW, and there’s some nice fluff detailing the chaos worshipping societies in the Mortal Realms.

The assembly instructions were the other main issue I have with the box set. Although the ones for the characters and monsters were pretty clear, the issues happen when it comes to the terrain. The ruins are modular and can be built in various different ways which is great as it means no two tables will be alike! Only problem is there is a mechanic in the rules where you draw a card to determine what the terrain layout will be. The assembly instructions for the ruins don’t tell you how to assemble them so you have the correct modular pieces though, and in fact a couple of places it tells you to glue things that are used differently in certain layouts. It doesn’t take much to work out what does need to be assembled from the cards but thankfully for the lazier gamer like myself, someone has already worked out how to properly assemble them here.

Overall though it’s great value for money and very nicely put together set. I look forward to putting the rest together and playing it properly.


Gathering 2019

Every year I get together with some friends and we rent a house somewhere to sit and play games in for a few days. This year we gathered in the middle of nowhere in Shropshire and much fun was had.

They’re not all wargamers so most of it was boardgames and the like, plus two of us having children under two years old meant that a lot of time was spent dealing with children rather than getting our nerd on. Nevertheless I did manage to get a bit of gaming done.

Secret Hitler was probably the most played game of the weekend as all ten of the adults could play at once and it doesn’t require much set up. I had played this before but was the only person there who had, think everyone enjoyed it a lot once we got into the swing of things.

For those who haven’t played it, everyone gets dealt an envelope with a card secretly telling them if they are a Fascist or a Liberal and a second card telling them if they are Hitler (if they are a Liberal the second card always just says Liberal). Everyone closes their eyes and whoever is Hitler then puts their thumbs up. The remaining Fascists (but not Hitler) then open their eyes, acknowledging each other and taking note of who Hitler is. Once this is done, they close their eyes and put thumbs away before everyone then opens their eyes again.

The players then take turns being president, where they nominate a chancellor and everyone has to vote on whether they are happy with this government. If they get a majority they are voted in and have to enact some policies.

To do this the president draws three cards each of which will either say Liberal policy or Fascist policy. They secretly discard one card and pass the remaining two to their Chancellor. The Chancellor then discards another card secretly and enacts the remaining policy. The liberals are trying to enact five liberal policies to win, whilst the Fascists are trying to enact six policies of their own without revealing themselves as being Fascists.

Once the Fascists have three or more policies enacted, they can also win by getting Hitler elected as Chancellor. There’s a few other bits and bobs but that’s the gist of it. A lot of fun was had but as it’s mostly talking and bluffing there wasn’t much to photograph for the blog.

I did manage to get a couple pictures of the more visual games though;

One of my friends has recently finished (bases still pending) painting up his Blackstone Fortress set so tried to give that a go – as you can see we got a little swarmed! Was quite fun, but would need to play for longer to give it a proper review. Would definitely be up for playing more though.

We also tried to get some games of Dropfleet Commander in, sadly the intro (starter fleet) game I ran for a couple friends who hadn’t played before had to be packed off the dining table partway through turn five and I forgot to take any photos in all the excitement. Later on we tried a four way game as per the pictures above but sadly that got interrupted by dinner at the end of the first turn. Was nice to finally push some spaceships around a bit though. Highlights included my UCM Berlin managing a full crit burnthrough on one of the PHR Ikarus whilst my supporting Toulouse Frigates finished it off. The other side of the table also had some fun with the Scourge player one-shotting the other PHR player’s Ikarus with an absolutely savage close action attack from his Wyvern.

Speaking of Dropfleet, just before (and in preparation for) this week I managed to get my UCM Fleet from the Kickstarter to tabletop standard finally! Only taken what, two years since fulfillment?

Not the most amazing paint job but it’s quick and looks decent from three feet away. May still go back and do all the little dots but not sure just yet.

Lastly I also got my hands on the materials for a couple of new projects to keep the Magpie at Bay! Some Gripping Beast and Warlord Anglo Saxons for Saga which will hopefully make an appearance on here shortly and then a few Space Marines in dire need of a rescue. More on both to follow!

More Barry

Last time I showed off the prep work for my Great Unclean One and I’ve managed to get brush to model for him so thought time for an update.

Airbrushed him a nice even coat of Rakarth Flesh – seems to be my go to colour for a lot of stuff lately!

I then sprayed a few patches of greens, grays and purples for a bit or colour variation before washing with brown and purple washes. Got a bit excited on this stage and forgot to photograph much, but here he is in one of the wash stages.

I then highlighted back up with Rakarth Flesh – absolutely love the evil smile on this guy.

Here’s a look at the skin partway through. This is taking a good long while getting it the way I want it!

Overall I’m really happy with how it’s coming together, just need to make sure I keep going and actually paint the rest of him as I have a terrible habit of dropping projects half way through.

Meet Barry

Ever since I first saw the Forge World Great Unclean one model when it was released over a decade ago I’ve wanted one, but never been able to justify the cost.

Recently though, I had a bit of birthday money burning a hole in my pocket and spotted one in decent condition on eBay so finally managed to get my hands on this amazing model.

Here he is as received out of the package. Not the worst paint job but definitely doesn’t fit with my current Nurgle stuff (which I guess I should post up here at somepoint too).

Bit of a scrub later…

… and I’ve managed to break him. Whoops.

Thankfully he was pretty easy to get back together.

Had a little bit of gap fixing to do but nothing excessive. It’s not perfect but I think it’s good enough for Nurgle!

Quick coat of primer and we’re ready to get to the fun bit!

Here he is from behind… Such an amazingly horrible model!

Getting back to it.

Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here!

I’ve still been painting and gaming since I last posted just for some reason never got round to blogging about it.

I’ll get back to posting proper themed posts shortly but for now here’s a handful of out of context pictures of stuff I’ve been up to;

American squad for Chain of Command

Unit of Night Goblins for Age of Sigmar

Bit of stuff for Silver Tower

Some sort of robo-dog from Wild West Exodus

And finally got my Joan of Arc Kickstarter through – this is all my wave 1 stuff but recently had my wave 2 come through.

By no means an exhaustive account of the last few years just wanted to get some photos up and start this thing up again. As you can see I’m still no better at sticking to one project than I ever was. Seems Photobucket has done something weird to my old images so had to switch image hosts. See if I can be bothered re-uploading the old ones once I’ve got a few new posts under my belt.

More Tiny Soldiers

As promised I managed to finish the first squad of British so thought I’d post them up for you all to peruse!

 photo IMAG0316_1_zpsygfbnqci.jpg

The squad in all its glory.

 photo IMAG0321_zpstzaoffqs.jpg

Rifle Section

 photo IMAG0322_1_zpsbtfv0fvd.jpg

Bren Section at an angle that shows off quite well that I’ve missed the loader’s chin strap when painting -.-

 photo IMAG0320_zpscolrkzty.jpg

Another image of the full squad together. Wait who is that in the back?

 photo IMAG0323_zpsstyc5i8c.jpg

Bonus 2″ mortar team! Really looking forward to laying down some serious smoke with these chaps.

In retrospect I really need to stop taking pictures of beige troops on a beige table against a beige background… Maybe I’ll get on with knocking some terrain together to take nicer photos against.

Painting 15mm WW2 figures

Recently I’ve been trying to get some friends of mine into gaming and am planning on running a big game of Chain of Command from Too Fat Lardies.

As some of them are completely new to tabletop gaming I thought I’d bash together a quick painting guide to get things started.

So first things first – Brushes.

I painted pretty much the whole of this tutorial with the same brush, it’s a good quality brush but you can go cheaper and still get a decent result. That super shiny circle is a 1p coin for scale by the way.

 photo IMAG0305_zps74ugn4ea.jpg

Art shops are usually pretty good for finding brushes, this is a size 0. Some people swear by really tiny brushes but I find as long as you’ve got a good point you’ll get better use out of a mid sized brush as smaller ones tend to dry out too quickly.

So for this tutorial I grabbed a Battlefront German NCO and a Plastic Soldier Company British NCO, cleaned off any flash (unnecessary crap from the casting process) with a knife and file and super-glued them to a base (20mm round from Warbases which turns out to be pretty close in size to a 1p coin). Ignore the Napoleonic hussars in the background.

 photo IMAG0290_zpscgnsjayl.jpg

So next up is the primer. I used Chaos Black from Games Workshop because I had it to hand, if you’re starting from scratch though I hear really good things about Halford’s Grey Spray primer, cheap and good surface to start from. Colour doesn’t matter too much for the primer – black is good for hiding mistakes, white is good for giving you strong colour tones (especially on lighter colours) and grey is a good mix of both. Whichever you choose, spray it on all over, nice even coats and not too thick as you’ll clog the details. A couple of light coats is much better than one thick one and doesn’t take long anyway.

 photo IMAG0291_zpsvxnz8syy.jpg

So onto the actual painting, I used the Flames of War old paints for the German and their new paints for the Brit, but there’s plenty of other options, vallejo especially is very good for second world war stuff (they actually produced the old flames of war paints). Important note about painting – shake the bottle well or you’ll just get a watery mess. These paints came in dropper bottles so I put a drop onto a palette (by which I mean an old pringles lid) and added a drop of water to thin it down a little – again, a few light coats are better than a thick one that obliterates the detail. To start I blocked in the main uniform colour – brown for the Brit and grey for the German.

 photo IMAG0292_zpsjjpmerg1.jpg

Nothing too groundbreaking there, just slop it on. Don’t worry if you get other parts as you’ll be painting over them later. Next up, flesh. Think this was actually a GW paint, but the same process applies – shake well, put some on a palette, mix in a little water and paint on the model. Try and make sure you’re not going onto the parts you’ve already painted, but don’t worry too much, you can always tidy up at the end and go over parts you’ve missed.

 photo IMAG0294_zps6bhac7xn.jpg

Next up helmets in appropriate colours – there’s plenty of guides around and reference pictures but if you have any issues give me a shout and I’m happy to try and help.

 photo IMAG0295_zpskqv3eivt.jpg

Bit of a change of scenery here as I went downstairs. Webbing was next up. To keep it simple, if you paint everything the same colour it still looks great. If you want to research individual items of webbing and make sure they’re all the same colour go nuts though.

 photo IMAG0297_zpseyi4ye3j.jpg

So after this I did a bit of tidying up on the black, if you didn’t start with a black undercoat then paint the weapons and boots black here (for riflemen obviously this would be brown and metal for the rifles). I also did a quick highlight of the black areas while I was at it. What this basically means is I got a bit of grey on my brush and quickly touched it over the edges and areas that light will reflect off of it, giving the indication of depth. Black on its own tends to get a little lost without this. You can probably see it a bit better on the Sten.

 photo IMAG0298_zpsmv4clsrw.jpg

Now comes the secret weapon – washes. A wash is basically a paint that has been diluted massively, you can buy them pre-mixed or make your own. In this instance I used games workshop’s Agrax Earthshade, which is just a mid brown wash that works quite nicely without pooling too much. I use this straight out the pot, no need for watering it further down, and just slop it over everything, it’ll shade the mini up nicely. In this photo it’s still wet so it looks shiny and crap, but just let it dry.

 photo IMAG0299_zpsews1lmo0.jpg

While I was waiting for that to dry, I also slopped on some Stirland Mud – essentially brown paint mixed with PVA and sand – onto the bases. You can get the same effect if you just PVA some sand onto the base and paint it brown, this way is just quicker and more convenient. For this I didn’t use my nice pointy brush, I used a sculpting tool, but you can use a cheap crappy brush or toothpick just as easily.

 photo IMAG0300_zpsqlwthkzq.jpg

This I left to dry overnight, a couple hours would probably do but it was late by this point and I had work in the morning. For reference it only took me an hour or so to get these guys from being flat black to here and that’s with photos.

Next day I got a bit carried away so there’s a few steps happened here. First I drybrushed the base with a beige colour. Drybrushing is taking a crappy old brush with some stiff bristles, dipping it in paint and then wiping most of it off leaving just a tiny bit there (you can test it on the back of your hand or a tissue). This picks out the raised detail and gives it a bit of depth. Next up I got a bit of PVA again and applied patches to the base before dipping it in static grass (model train shops are great for all this type of thing or there’s plenty of online retailer). I put some more PVA patches down and glued on some clump foliage to represent bushes and some flowers I got from an online retailer called Tajima1.

 photo IMAG0301_zpsogffjbch.jpg

I then tidied up the rims of the bases with brown and realised I had forgotten to paint the tufts of camo on the Brit’s head so did that along with some rank insignia on the German’s collar. There’s a little work on the webbing round the back I also did and then here’s the finished product.

 photo IMAG0303_zpsic3exyvy.jpg

Closer in you might be able to see the insignia a bit better.

 photo IMAG0306_zpsx8qoo3dh.jpg

A quick rear view so you can see the webbing.

 photo IMAG0307_zpsgjbfvosv.jpg

Hope you find this useful, and I’ll try and post up some more pics once I’ve finished a squad.