Friday, 31 January 2014

Malifaux Musings: First Steps Through The Breach

So it begins...

Look what arrived this week:
The adventure starts here!
Now, I have a confession to make. I don't remember the last time I was so excited just waiting for a gaming product to arrive. 

And now it's here, I don't think I'm going to be disappointed. It's a well produced book, and the art is especially worthy of praise. (I'll let the spelling and grammar errors slide for that reason...)

So here's my plan:
- Read the rules,
- Read the fluff,
- Choose a Master whose Crew is available as a M2e Wave 1 plastic set,
- Assemble and paint said Crew,
- Find someone to play,
- Lose heavily, Learn by playing.

And what does all of this mean for you, dear reader? 

Well, you can join me on my journey into Malifaux as I regale you with tales of my progress. I'm going to write about it, basically, and gather all the posts on my Malifaux: A Beginner's Tale page.

For other new players, I hope this will provide a useful resource about the world of Malifaux, its denizens and what it's like to collect, paint and play the game.

For more experienced heads, well it's more to read about Malifaux, which can be no bad thing, can it?

Though as they say in Malifaux, 'Bad Things Happen'...

See you through the Breach!

The Scribe

PS: A word of thanks to Valiant Wargames, who seem to be the only place Earthside to have any of these babies in stock, and who shipped this copy quickly. Check them out here.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

40,000 Words: Terminators Under Construction

If you read my last post, you'll know I intend expanding the blog into other games, such as Malifaux and X-Wing. So, to keep things easy to find, each post title, will have a suitably witty identifier - 40,000 Words in this case as it's a 40k post, with others for other systems. Should help me, at least...

Anyway, the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge officially gets underway on Saturday (1st February), so I need to pick a unit from my list to declare as my commitment for February. I can choose from:

  • Chaos Lord in power armour,
  • 10 Cultists w/close combat weapons,
  • 10 Cultists w/autoguns,
  • 7 Plague Marines,
  • another 7 Plague Marines,
  • 5 Chaos Terminators, or
  • a Helbrute.
Whatever I choose, I need to declare it before Saturday on the ICs forums, then complete its paintjob by the end of the month. The Cultists, Lord and Helbrute were ready for priming ages ago, given I picked up Dark Vengeance on release day in 2012.

I have also just finished assembly of the Terminators. I couldn't decide on the weapon loadout, so opted to have a crack at magnetising for the first time. And I've got to say, I couldn't be more pleased with the results.

Cleaning up and drilling.

All drilled and magnetised!
The torsos are glued to the legs, but all the weapons are magnetised so I can swap them out, and each one is magnetised to a temporary base. This means I can get at fiddly painting areas and I'm thinking about ordering some scenic resin bases from somewhere like Secret Weapon Miniatures or Micro Art Studio.

Here's one possible assembly:

The other thing I did was to replace the naff looking old-school flamer nozzles with more up-to-date Imperial Guard ones. The combi-flamer nozzle is a standard Infantry Squad one, whilst the heavy flamer is from the Cadian Command Squad.

So just a case of picking a unit to paint for February, then. I'll probably do a unit of Cultists first so I can experiment with different colours without ruining a unit of Forge World models...

See you through the Eye of Terror!

The Scribe

PS: A cautionary tale. The torsos of Forge World infantry upgrades are tough to clean out. Be careful you don't cut yourself with your hobby knife...

Blood for the Plague God?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Distraction Tactics

I think I may need to rename the blog. Yes, I know, I only started it less than a month ago, but as the hobby butterfly strikes, so does the blogging butterfly.

If you read my first post here, you'll note I started this as a 40k exclusive blog, mostly to track painting a Nurgle Chaos Space Marine army for the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge. Already I can see this is too narrow.

Here's one reason why:
Stay on target! Stay on target! Or not...

And another:
I've been pulled through the breach, I'm afraid...
In short, I thought I was getting back into 40k. WRONG! And this is why the internet sucks - there's literally so much cool stuff out there I'm missing out on!

In all seriousness though, 40k is a daunting game. Not from a rules perspective necessarily, but from a sheer quantity standpoint. The first part of the HPC is 1000 points, conforming to the Zone Mortalis force organisation chart.

My list has a Chaos Lord, 2 units of Plague Marines, 2 units of Cultists, a Helbrute and a unit of Terminators. That's seven complete units, with 41 models all told. For a 1000 point list. So, half an army, give or take, depending what points level you play at.

For one thing, that's not cheap (especially when you decide to buy Forge World bits for them). For another, that's a ton of models to paint. A thousand points of Imperial Guard, Tyranids or Orks could easily double that model count.

To get those 41 models on the table-top, I need to:
  • Buy,
  • Assemble,
  • Prime,
  • Paint.
That'll take a while. Months, probably. That's a significant barrier to actually playing the game. I decided I couldn't wait that long to play. I needed a gaming fix, and quick.

That's where X-Wing and, to a lesser extent, Malifaux come in. I picked up the X-Wing Core Set from my LGS (Heroes & Legends in Surbiton) on Friday and played my first game of it on Sunday. Minimal assembly, no painting. Not to mention it's got superb, simple mechanics and is really fun to boot!

I'd been vaguely aware of Malifaux for a while, but never really paid it any serious attention. Damned GW blinkers make it hard to see sometimes... but on discovering the new plastic kits last week, I knew I was going to be dropping some cash on a couple. 

And yes, Malifaux requires assembly and painting, just like 40k, but take the fact that the new plastic crew boxes can be played out of the box as a complete force, and I'll only have to paint six or seven models to get a game in. I'm eagerly awaiting my M2e Rulebook (Valiant Wargames have some in stock, miraculously) so I can read up on the fluff and pick a faction, master and crew.

So, looks like I will be forced (yes, forced) to expand my writing horizons with posts about at least two other game systems. 

My thinking is Hobby Progress Challenge coverage for 40k, games and battle reports for X-Wing and (Ed: this may be too ambitious) a new player's guide to Malifaux, from a new player's perspective. 

Plus other stuff as and when it comes up, obviously!

See you through the Eye of Terror! Or through the Breach, or in a galaxy far, far away...

The Scribe

PS: And to top it all off, I can't even stay focused on one 40k army either! These guys say hello:

Monday, 13 January 2014

(Test) Colours of the Plague

Knocked out very quick basecoat and all-over wash on this guy - he's from the 3-man push-fit box - to see what the pre-Heresy Death Guard colour scheme might look like on 40k era marines.

Took the colours from the Forge World Horus Heresy painting guide pdf. It's just GW Skull White primer, Castellan Green shoulder pads, Warplock Bronze trim and a 50/50 mix of Seraphim Sepia and Lahmian Medium slapped all over.

Looks OK, could be a bit darker and dirtier on the white armour but I think it'll look pretty good w/highlights.

Here's the pdf:

Forge World Issues... Solved by Forge World!

Started to unpack the Death Guard conversion kit (which is gorgeous, in a horrifyingly sickening, diseased way, obviously) to wash it and noticed this: No Plague Champion torso... nooooo!

Bearing in mind this is my first Forge World order, I wasn't sure what to expect, but gave them a call. They confirmed I had received duplicate parts, then instantly said they would cast up the missing piece and send it out ASAP! Impressive customer service.

Just a minor bump in the road on the assembly line. Guess I'll have to choose something else to build first. Shouldn't be too hard...

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Gifts From The Chaos Gods

Well, not gifts exactly, since I paid for it all...but just look at all the brand new shrink-wrapped goodies:

Assembly will begin shortly!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

New Year, New Blog

Hi, and welcome to Scribes of Terra!

This is a blog about Warhammer 40,000. I've been buying Games Workshop games, models and books since 1996.

So why start a blog in 2014 when there are so many others about 40k or Warhammer Fantasy or whatever? Let me do a bit of explaining. Back in October 2012's White Dwarf - the first of the new look issues - Jervis Johnson had a piece about army list restrictions and why they don't crop up in army lists any more.

They don't make 'em like they used to...
The thing that stuck out though was this statement:
'Let's face it, when all is said and done, ours is primarily a collecting hobby. Of course, we paint the Citadel miniatures we've collected and play games with them, but these are things we do with our collection; the act of collecting the miniatures come first.'
Now, I could get into (as many others have) the same old lambasting of GW for just trying to get you to buy more models, and this is undoubtedly what the article is really about. 'Army list restrictions stop us from selling you more of our new kits', in essence.

But what really is interesting to me about this quote, since I know GW are a miniatures company trying to sell miniatures, not a game company, was what it said about me as a hobbyist. This year will mark a full 18 years since my first GW product, the big boxed game of 3rd Edition 40k. Since then, I've bought:


  • 5th Edition boxed game (Bretonnians vs. Lizardmen)
  • 6th Edition rulebook
  • 7th Edition Battle For Skull Pass
For 40k:
  • 4th Edition rulebook
  • 6th Edition Dark Vengeance
Add on top of those several codexes and army books, any number of plastic, metal and resin kits for both systems, plus glue, paint, etc etc and I've obviously spent a sum I'd rather not think about on GW stuff! So, 'You must have played lots of games then?' I hear you ask. No, sorry, I've NEVER actually played a proper game of WHFB or 40k, mainly because none of my close friends have any interest in the hobby at all.

'OK, but at least you must have a few large painted armies then?' No, wrong again! I've got a few painted models, but many more unpainted ones. And that's my point. In 18 years, the only force of any size I've actually painted to completion is a Tyranid battleforce. And even that I've only just finished after purchasing it when the plastic Carnifex kit was released. That's 10 years ago, folks!

Good grief, a fully painted model! Surely not?

So, I have conformed exactly to Mr. Johnson's (so by extension, GW's as well) view of the hobby: collect, collect, collect (Or: buy, buy, buy!). I've not done enough of the things I could DO with my collection.

Well, that's about to change! I recently started listening to The Independent Characters' podcast, and got inspired to actually start trying to play some games. I've entered their Hobby Progress Challenge to help me actually complete a hobby project.

I'm planning to build and paint a 2000 point Nurgle themed Chaos Space Marine army for 40k, and this blog (I hope!) will help me to do that by sharing my progress with other people. Then I might even be able to play a few - gasp! - games. Look for work-in-progress pictures and commentary primarily, but watch out for other hobby insights too.

So, I hope you find my musings and hobby tribulations interesting, and if you haven't already, go listen to the ICs podcast and sign up for the Challenge too. Well worth checking them out!