Thursday, October 2, 2014

The cost and the Fury.

Not too long ago the folks at Games Workshop released a new book and supplement for Warhammer Fantasy. Nagash, the end times Vol. 1 was released for around $80US and was accompanied by a line of very nice models, the center piece of which is Nagash himself. His model, as well as a few others in the line were priced at over $100. Earlier this year a new 40k product was introduced. Imperial Knights, with their line of plastic Titan-like models all over $100. Now, for years GW has had an annual price increase in June, and the grumbling that accompanied was noticeable. But, ever stop to think if the price is justifiable?

The answer is yes, and no. Cop out? Maybe. Lets examine the new models. A GW rep told me that the molds used to produce the sprue the plastic is molded into for models run about $450k a pop. So, if your shiney new model has 3 sprues of plastic bits to cut and build from, that is a 1.35mil in R&D. These figures are, for the most part, accurate. GW is a publicly traded company, they have a R&D budget that is accessible to the public though industry secrets are allowed. It looks as though they are spending a large sum of in-house cash on new models and molds.

That being said, there are models in the range that are ludicrously overpriced. Blood Knights come to mind.

Another note one should make... GW has, without question, the best models in min-wargaming. You can tell me I'm mistaken, but you would be wrong, and you probably know it. Yeah, warjacks are cool... Except my Avatar of Menoth is molding using metal so awful that the shield arm broke and fell off just from sitting on my shelf. Yep. Looked at it one day and the shield is just laying on the shelf. Thanks Privateer Press. Not only is your plastic nearly impossible to work with, your metal models break under their own weight.

Mantic is trying to produce high quality, low cost models for mini-wargaming. And I applaud them for this. However, if GW models are a 10 on the 'Girl at the beach' scale.., then Mantic is a 6 at best. Some much worse.

That old addage rings true folks. You get what you pay for... It's not a cheap hobby, and we all know GW makes some mistakes (6th Ed 40k!). Anyway... just my 2 cents.

Quick update!:

I have it on good authority that Bretonnians will either not be getting a new book, or will be rolled into a new Human Amries/Empire book. This has planted a seed of doubt in my mind, and before I spend any more time and effort on my Brets (Which Breaks my heart!) I am going to wait and see. For Paca I will either take Ogres or Chaos Warriors. I will decide by the end of this weekend.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Year of the Bretonnian... the first of many

Okay. So, in June I attended my first WHFB tournament and... I'm hooked. However! I played Ogre Kingdoms. Everyone played Ogre Kingdoms. I don't like doing what everyone else is doing.

My plan going forward is to attend 3 or 4 weekend events in the next year. Maybe Waaagh!Paca, though I am only on the waiting list, Circle City GT, ACON maybe, BITS definately... Buckeye Battle could be sweet but it falls really close to BITS. Anyway. I want to make 4 events, and I want to take the same army to all 4.

Choices... I have decided I don't want to play an army that is popular. Hell, I'm not going to win anyway. May as well just roll out something I think is unique and cool and see what happens. The armies I have in abundance are Ogres, Chaos Warriors. Daemons, High Elves, and Skaven.

Then I remembered my dear Brother in Law Japhrey. About 10 or so years ago Japhrey, or J.J, bought a huge army box of Bretonnians. Two years ago we went down to visit him in Florida for Christmas. I happened to ask him about that box as he never got around to actually playing with us. His reply was to give me that box.

It was just sitting there on a shelf. Along the way I had aquired some more knights and odds and ends from Chris Novak... I took down that box and started analyzing the contents.

My Brets:

1 Lord on Horse
1 Prophetess on Horse
1 Paladin BSB on Horse
1 Damsel on Foot
1 Field Trebuchet
30 Knights of the Realm
3 Pegasus Knights
5 Questing Knights
40 Peasant Bowman

Good start for sure.

So, I'm going to play Brets for the next year. BOOM!

First Knight is dedicated to a friend who also does a little hobby painting and modeling. He is also afflicted with a chronic illness. So... for him the first knight I paint has the colors of his beloved Michigan State Spartans, and anyone who knows me knows that this hurts a little... but he's a great dude.

Not 100% done yet. Still needs the shield design panted. But... here it is. The first of many.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ask not what BITS can do for you...

Blood in the Sun was my first foray into the world of competitive Warhammer Fantasy.  The weeks leading up to BITS was a frantic push of painting and prepping. So much so that I was convinced that I would be burnt out and not pick up a brush for months afterward.

Not the case.

Quick back story. I have taken part in dozens of 40k tournaments, a hand full of Blood Bowl events, and a Warmachine league. This is by far the most fun I have had at an event.

Friday was a group event, 1600 point team tournament. Travis Mayes and I got there in time to participate. A good tune up for the main event. So, three solid games on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were the actual tournament. 5 games over 2 days at 2400 points.

My end result was not representative of my experience. I finished in the bottom third. 2 wins, 2 losses, and a draw. I'll take it. It was what I learned and the experience that was the real reward.

First. Painting is important. Modelling is important. I thought I was a solid painter. Somewhere in the middle of the pack. Not the case. I need to take my time and expand my techniques. Some of the product that was presented at BITS was amazing.

Second. It's not just about Warhammer. It's a community. Saturday was Warhammer awesome from 9Am until 6Pm. Then, after dinner, the gaming continued. Board games, card games... More Warhammer. It was truly and awesome day.

Everyone I played was fun to play against. My favorite opponents were Stephen Thompson (Chaos Warriors) Jason Vargas (Tomb Kings) and Chris Sladowski (Empire)... two of those were my wins, but lest you think I only enjoy games in which I prevail... Stephen Thompson trounced me. I enjoyed that game as much as any game I won.

I should also point out that I had a game during the team tournament on Friday against a Chaos Dwarf player named Dan Bell. My first time playing Chaos Dwarfs and it was a good time. Dan and his army were a fun challenge.

So, I get home and head right out for a week of camping, and the entire time I am chomping at the bit to get home and start painting minis again. Plastic Crack.

Friday, July 26, 2013

How not to win at 40k, or... HOLY TAU!!!!

A recap of last weeks Double Down tournament at Pop! in Utica.

So, last Sunday we made the drive to the northern suburbs to play in a 40k Team Tournament. As I stated in my last post, I thought our list would be tough to match up against. Boy, I was wrong about that... One of the great benefits of traveling and interacting with other groups of war gamers is that their meta-game is different. For instance... we don't see much of these guys at the local store.

Now, I have been told for a while that my choppy Orks were weak in the current edition, but locally I haven't had much issue... even took second at a tournament here in town with an all infantry force just last month. In retrospect the difference in meta-game is enormous. In the previous tournament I faced Sisters of Battle, Dark Eldar, and in the final game Eldar. All of these were challenges, but I ended up winning all 3 games. At the team tournament we faced IG/Space Wolves and lost a fairly close game, and learned that in the team game we wouldn't be getting more than 3 turns in... Second game was a win against Tau and Eldar, though the Tau player was very inexperienced. Had a lot of fun against those guys. Finally, in the wrap up game, with a chance to place, my Orks were wiped off the table and Chris was left to fend for himself against Tau and Space Marines.

As you see above, my 3 units of 30 boyz took the front and my goal was to rush them accross and engage in killing. I had no killing. My Orks were a non-factor by turn 2. In one turn alone the Tau player killed 40 or so Orks, It was a tough pill to swallow. I have nightmares about Gun Drones.... Ugh! GUN DRONES!!!

All that aside, fun was had. We met some really cool people and plan to make the trip back as often as we can for future events. Though we did not place in the top 3, I did win best painted which is a first for me. Here are some other pics I managed to get...

Set up for the opening game, Ork boys with a big Leman Russ friend.

Second game, Long table edges against very shooty armies. My Orks went for objectives and let the big guns do work. 

Nicely painted Tau, great opponents in that final game. Very cool guys.

Vendetta x'3... Very good stuff.