Sunday, September 15, 2013

Devourer of Hope


The Devourer of Hope is finished - we'll he's been finished for a while, but now is photographed as well!





I've re-ordered my piles of skulls as the warp seems to have eaten them all too, so the Soul of Atrocity is still waiting to be constructed. However I also acquired some black spray at last, so will get to some defilery things soon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I only watch Patlabor when I'm sad


Hey all, bit of a new thing for the ol' Collegia in that I'm going to discuss some OT stuff (given the already vague mission statement of this blog that's really saying something). See, last night I finally finished watching the OVA of Patlabor. What is Patlabor? Well it's a classic anime by the producer of Ghost in the Shell about a police-mecha unit.

I was first exposed to Patlabor, like many I suspect through the movies (of which there are 3).


But the one that really sticks with me more than the others is the third:

See, this is the movie I watched with my two best friends when I had what was then the worst experience of my life. I'd just bought it and needed to do something to occupy my mind. So we sat on the couch, not really talking, watching this quite dark, brooding movie and it helped.



And since then I've only been able to watch Patlabor when I'm depressed.


I suffer from frequent, very severe depression and when it hits it can be very debilitating. As some of you will have likely picked up that's the reason behind this post, and for the lack of updates.

Last weekend I took a knife to my wrist it got so bad.


Not what you were expecting, I would imagine, given my fairly happy-go-lucky attitude I usually post with.
But that's the thing - often people mask how they feel inside since they don't want to be a burden to others or they want to preserve times of brief happiness with friends and forget (or bury) their troubles, or not feel worthy of support, or... well, that's beside the point. The point being that someone can be in incredible pain inside and be hiding it very well, unable to express it until it comes out in a drastic manner (I'm ok, well, I'm doing better at least - I have good support around me and I made a mess more than any real damage).

"Fake it 'til you make it", is how it often goes, but reality is often harsher than that.


I'm not really sure what my point is here. I guess saying to those reading this to look out for each other, and take the time with the people you care about to listen to them and hear what they're saying. So if you have a friend who's suddenly "watching a lot of Patlabor", they might be too scared to say what's really on their mind. Please, take the time to check up on them as even if they don't tell you something's wrong, just being there, silently on the couch next to them, may be all they need to know someone's there.

It's only because of people around me who care that I'm able to get through times when everything around me is dark.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

There's No Imagery Like Satanic Imagery, Like No Imagery I Know!










Still need to touch up the metal edging and gloss coat the panelling, but now about 80% done. 



Bonus close up of his face:


Monday, July 22, 2013

I Have Made a Huge Mistake

What mistake is that? Well, I've decided that painting all the armour plates on my Brass Scorpion like this...


...is a really great idea. Yeah, not my best moment.

To start with I draw the core pattern up in white:


I then drybrush with orange around the lines, then retrace the lines in yellow and white:


After that I give the area a light wash with orange ink, then retrace the lines again in orange as well as adding a few lines in orange only. This plate is the smallest and took a little over an hour, but how bad can it be?



Oh.




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Apocalypse 2nd Ed - First thoughts

Overall, I think the new edition is fantastic. Clears up a lot of the ambiguity and streamlines much of it (I like that they suggest scrapping all vehicle damage aside from blown up for instance) and it's written much tighter, so there's not as many holes in the rules.

 (Apocalypse, in macro form)

They also toned down the horribly broken combos, and while there are a few solid choices to be made there aren't any no-brainers. StrD is not so bad as some make it out to be IMO. Highly effective at killing vehicles as always, but there's a 1 in 6 chance it will do nothing to infantry.


 One thing I don't like is the new "after the break" system for some things as it's a bit too meta for my tastes (and I usually love meta stuff). I understand it as a concept and I do like that they've included more of a guide for organising, but tying rules to when you have lunch is a bit... odd.
Not a huge fan of keeping most vehicles off the board either by restricting their entry, but I see why they did it. Still no big deal and I'd rate this version 50% better than the old one.

 As for my thoughts on specific dealies...


 Assets:

 Flank March - now only brings on one formation. Did you know you can have 200 Necron warriors in a formation?

 Trophy Kill can be good as it's easy to vapourise people with StrD now and earn an easy 3 VPs to recycle Titans over and over with.

 Tunnel Rats could be used to hilarious effect with Precise Coordinates to deploy gigantic swathes of IG to the board up close and personal.

 Most of the Space Marine ones are kinda terrible, mostly due to small scale or not particularly epic effect. 

Daemon Shell got improved as you don't have to nominate who has it until you shoot it.

 Ere We Go can't hurt in the world of random charges.

Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork) - give you Rage! Must be in your deployment zone... uh, no.

 Mek Workshop - restores vehicles to full hull points. Combine with Stompa Mobz and have everyone hate you.

 Strands of Fate. Good for bragging rights or just being an insufferably smug Eldar player. Unless you roll a one in which case play it off as a joke.

Webway Assault - crazy good, especially when combined with the Kabalite Web Strike to give you four vehicle accessible portals anywhere on the board.

World Digestion - still as annoying as ever.

Entropic Plague - everyone will hate you. Forever. But you're playing Necrons so that should only make you more powerful.




Formations

The big change is that Formations are now free - so if you have the models just whack them into one because there's only benefits (aside from needing to squadron up).

Some interesting things about the changes to Superheavy vehicles are that, aside from being unstoppable killing machines, they're generally faster, can be targeted by psychic powers (Baneblade with 4+ invulnerable!) but can also be locked in HtH combat, which is a huge change with how assaulting Titans will play out. Before with having to disengage each turn it left attackers vulnerable to countercharges and being shot to death. Now they can tie up a Titan much longer. I think StrD melee weapons will be a little more common now out of it, as most Titans don't have a high attack score to just bludgeon their way out of combat (even with Stomp attacks).

High Commands are also basically amazing as they give you one free Strategic Asset during the game.

Anyways, arm up, and let's look at what's cookin':




Lord Castellan's Command is a great choice for an IG army, with lots of benefits at a relatively low points cost. Trick is to keep Creed alive of course.

The Space Marine Companies are both good, especially if you're planning on taking them anyway. The only downside is you have to deploy them all together. 1st Company is a bit better as it gives everyone Deep Strike and Fear as well as lots of other benefits.

Wings of Sanguinius can deep Strike in the enemy's turn, meaning next turn (if they survive) they can run around and assault and so on.

The GK Extermination Force is probably the only formation I would come close to calling broken. While it fits the background if you bring it against Daemons in particular don't expect many invites again. It does have the weakness that the Dreadknight is the key so it's not that dangerous.

The Lord of Skulls is perhaps a little overpriced (I must meditate on this some more), but not hugely.

The Tetragon of Darkness isn't anywhere near as annoying with the change to StrD weapons.

Dread Mobs are a great investment for any Waaaaagh.

The Stompa went up in points..? I'm not seeing why.

Phantom Titans are good now, really good (assuming you can keep them out of assault). The D-Cannon did lose the ability to ignore shields, which kinds blows, but the new Superheavy damage rules really benefit the Eldar the most.

Sunstorm Squadrons got even crazier and will utterly annihilate huge chunks of the battlefield easily. One of the deadliest formations in the book IMO.

Fielding a Wraithknight Dreamwalker Squad is nifty and could really catch people off guard when they start running around 11" a turn.

All the Dark Eldar formations are good, but Dark Olympiad (even better with the Duke)and Kabalite Web Strike are the stand outs. Everything in the book for the DE works so well together they can easily be a top Apoc army without any Superheavies.

Endless Swarm is kinda insane as after turn 4 you can only Snap Shot at it, and it is theoretically infinitely large...

The Heirophant has been fixed up so it now actually has workable rules, and I don't think is either borked or over priced depending how you look at it.

The Necrons are a real mixed bag. A few don't seem very good due to either just not being very good (Obelisk - very situational) or impractical (Baleful Necropolis - stay within 3"? Why, yes, I do want lots of StrD pie plates!). Infinite Phalanx is funny as it's a single 50+ warrior unit. The downside is that it's all one unit so can be bogged down in HtH by a few guys for a long time.

The Tesseract Vault and Transcendent C'Tan can be dead killy (the C'Tan especially), but can also be very, very pricey. You can easily make the C'Tan cost over 800pts, and it will wreck face without doubt, but it also explodes horribly when it dies so...

The Macro Cannon Aquila is a fairly cost effective way of getting StrD and an AV15 bunker into the deal. The Vortex version isn't as good simply due to the Vortex rule changes.


So that's my thoughts on the first pass of the book. Not necessarily accurate, not necessarily final, but certainly there. Or here. Or whatever.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Scorpio Colossi


Since my harvest of skulls is still yet to arrive I decided to get started on my Greater Brass Scorpion. Now obviously since I'm using its cannon for the Soul of Atrocity it would need something to fill its spot:


I never really liked the "gun face" look, and the pair of cluster caltrop pods from the Reaver Jetbike box fit perfectly. They're mounted on the front of a Sentinel and there's an armour plate from a Defiler claw above it.
If anybody complains about lack of demolisher canon they shoot death rays, obviously, I mean sheeze...


Less obviously all the armour plates and the fore claws are not glued on yet so they can be painted separately.

Also I'm not sure what to name this one. I was thinking Desecration of Hope, but it's not murderous enough. Something with Annihilation, Obliteration or the like in it maybe. Fast, brutal but with a sense of grandeur and giganticness to it. Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Tower Rises!

Construction has continued in Khorne's bloody name, despite the best efforts of Nurgle to lay me low:


Cowardly Tzeentch is also up to his tricky ways, fouling the immaterium and delaying delivery of my necessary haul of skulls to continue construction much further.

The main gun is from the Greater Brass Scorpion, and the upper tower guns are from the Forgefiend kit. they are mounted in the window on Icarus Lascannon mounts:


These windows will be filled with skulls, whilst the middle row and front will be filled with imagery depicting total destruction as befits such a mighty engine of war.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bone-apart



Defiler Rage Furnace complete. It will have a crewwoman hanging out the side hatch at some later point.
Soul of Atrocity construction continues, mostly cleaning up 20-odd building pieces so nothing interesting to show yet.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Khornepocalypse Begins!


The planets have aligned and it time to unleash the unending horror of the Blood God's mighty warmachine!



Construction has begun on the Tower of Skulls Soul of Atrocity - the cuts in the hull are to accommodate the building pieces I'll be using to create the tower. I sliced out the pieces using my Dremel, and fitted some bits of sprue as strutting to keep it a bit more stable.
Much like the Tower featured in Reload I'll be using the Basilica Administratum pieces for most of the tower, but rather than hexagonal I'll be going square, using the window section of the Aquila Shrine for the front facing.


The side sponsons are fitted with Defiler autocannons, but required cutting out sections of the hull to fit the back of the guns. I started by drilling a series of holes in the hull before using clippers to cut out the remaining section.


It left a fairly ugly hole, but it is totally concealed when the sponson is in place:


Also added some gnarly extra exhaust pipes, spiked rams and some icons. And, yes, that is a Black Ark of Naggaroth skull in the foreground and I'm happy to have finally found something worthy of mounting it on.
I'm undecided if I'll be mounting it on the front glacias plate or over the main gun - it'll just depend on how well it fits when the cannon arrives.
But what cannon I'll be using shall be a surprise.

And speaking of guns, I had a leftover Baneblade turret, so made this thing:



That is a great summation of what the Khornepocalypse is all about - mad, mad war machines covered in skulls and spikes, but I shall do a longer examination of the concept behind this army in the near future.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Khornate Name Generator of DOOM

In honour of the leaked Deathdealer / Lord of Battles machine of insanity, I've put together a little list so you can name your very own Khorne engine of destruction. 


(click to unleash the full horror!)

See, I've always thought Khorne, with his over the top He-Manesque mega-vehicles was the best of the Chaos gods, and was so delightfully over the top that I am now more tempted than ever to build that all war-engine army I've always wanted.

At least I won't run out of names any time soon :D

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Girlfriend Was Crushed By A Space Marine



To quote Big Red: "It helps with the English subtitles on... a little..."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Music from Space




 A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Games Workshop Was Right to Dump Specialist Games

Yep, they did the right thing if the rumours are true and ye old Specialist Games are going the way of the Man O War / Space Hulk / Dark Future / Chainsaw Warrior and so on.

Let me tell you about my opinions.

Why do I say this?

Well GW is a miniatures company first and foremost - they've said as much and they take (mostly) deserved pride in the quality of their new releases. But Specialist Games were, for the most part, a bit of a blot on that record.

For example, saw you saw one of Forge World's beautiful Warhounds:


But thought "hey, 250 quid is a bit much, but I love Titans so maybe I'll give this Epic game a look..."
Not so much interest now, I'd wager. One of the best looking minis available (not so much anymore) for Epic is the Phantom Titan, who turns 25 this year. Yes, Games Workshop, the leading light of miniatures technology, is selling miniatures it first released over two decades ago. Whether that's a testament to Jes Goodwin's skill and vision, or a sign they've never really known how to move Specialist Games forward, or both, I'll leave up to you.
Similarly there have been more "fantasy football" teams put out by non-GW companies than by GW themselves in the last decade, and the old models do not compare in most cases:



The way I look at it this: Specialist Games figures are the Christmas jumpers of miniature lines. They're too ugly to actually use, but you know your granny will get really upset if you throw it out.

Gee thanks, Grandpa Jervis, it's just what I wanted!

So instead they hang around the joint and you hope when you're showing off your wardrobe to a new squeeze they don't see them and laugh their ass off at you (to clarify this metaphor: you're GW and the girl is a new customer).

Just be honest and chuck 'em out - you never wear it and it's taking up space. The argument is made that the Specialist Games range was still profitable, but barely. That's... not a good argument for a business, especially one that seems to be doing loads of cost cutting in the way GW is (and the whole global economic turbulence thing). Say that one out of every ten casting jobs was for a Specialist Games range - and I'm probably being generous here. If you get rid of that you would, in theory, get a greater than 10% increase in another area as you would have the casting time plus the time needed to change moulds and so on shifted over. That would mean increase in production of the lines that sell well, so you can get them stocked up for their new release and out the door, concentrating then on the next lot.

Some, like Lord Frontline, pictured to the right, have indicated that GW were simply sitting on their stock since the Finecast introduction, and this is merely the last dregs of stock disappearing. But regardless, time taken from the logistics workforce to deal with Specialist Games, as well as just physical space, can now go to stuff that sells.

"But, mighty Gotthammer," I hear you cry as you grovel before my dread throne, "Blood Bowl / Epic / Necromunda still has players! What will become of that once great community now that our support is gone?"

Erm, what support? I guess it was nice of GW to put up the PDF rulebooks, but I've seen in discussion threads about this very topic enquiries about rules directed to go to fan site to get the latest fan-updated editions. As Porky the Wise, that intrepid traveller of the expanse, would say "the game is now totally in our hands. But, of course, it always has been. Also, there is no game, there is only ourselves."
Nothing, short of a DMCA notice *cough*, can stop people playing Blood Bowl or Necromunda. Hell, the Blood Bowl PC game comes with the rules as a PDF.


BUT

What should GW do now? I think they have three main options, and I'll address them in what I consider order of least to most likely to happen:

1) Re-release. They'll totally redo all the ranges and re-launch the Specialist Games line with much fanfare and it will be 1995 all over again. I find this unlikely because of the sheer amount of capital required to resculpt / move to finecast and build up stock for what is a gamble that gamers will, in fact, put their money where their mouth is and buy Specialist Games in any volume.
It is more likely that one or two games may be moved, Blood Bowl has been rumoured for some time and has a bit more exposure with the PC game, and Necromunda's miniature line still holds up well (much thanks to Jes again, no doubt).
The success of Space Hulk has shown there is demand, but I understand GW's trepidation to invest so much capital on a risk at a time of economic uncertainty (double given what some of their more... unusual corporate moves of late may indicate).
Also, they may have missed the boat for other titles. In the skirmish stakes Mordheim is effectively superseded my Malifaux, Freebooter's Fate and more; Necromunda by Infinity and Relic Knights to a certain degree. While Epic has been nobbled by Drop Zone Commander and the currently Kickstarting Robotech Battles for small-scale sci-fantasy. And there is, of course, Firestorm Armada taking over BFG's slot.
Had they done this even five years ago when the indies were still in their infancy GW could have potentially cleaned up. Or, like many big corporations reacting to upstarts, it could have lost a boatload of money (see TSR vs Magic the Gathering).
Also costs around four times as much.

2) Licencing. Most likely to Fantasy Flight, but perhaps to a new player. GW has shown they can make a lot of money with their IP through the RPG books and various games. They've also shown savvy by getting paid to let others take the risk for stuff they don't want to do (movies). However none of those have been real miniature games. The closest are Fantasy Flight's board games, and I'm not sure GW would be willing to outsource it's core area, or it would likely be so restrictive / costly for the licensor they may find the going tough.

3) Nothing. Yep, I think GW's likely course of action in the near future will be nothing. They'll let the dust settle long enough for this to all be forgotten or just remembered with a roll of the eyes or a joke like the Squats, and then, when the time is right, maybe bring one or two titles back. Perhaps they're waiting out the expiry of the LotR agreement, and we'll see Specialst Games, or maybe just a singular game, back with a vengeance in three or four years.


So I do think the loss of Specialist Games is sad, and certainly and end of an era, but it is also a positive in that it will no longer be confined to a hellish semi-death for decades on end with no reprieve, and that any activity within GW will now solely be on new products, be they re-imaginings of the forgotten games or simply faster updates of the current generation.