Monday, 27 July 2015

Infinity Prepp

Just a quick update to show that it's not only Dropzone Commander getting some love but good old Infinity as well. I love the remotes in Infinity so I'm a bit ashamed that I don't have a single one painted. I've had one of the Yaokongs prepped for ages as well as my two Pangguling.

However, I decided to rip the first Yakong apart and put it and it's sibling together properly, with magnets. I also bit the bullet and removed the 40mm bases from the Pangulings (and I was so happy when I mounted those properly!) to make them ready for the new 55mm base size. Yes, I know that is not strictly needed but what the hell, it'll look better going forward anyway. I'll probably do the same with the my single Aragoto and Guija TAG as well, but I don't know about the Sù-Jián - putting the mobility form on a 55mm base just looks so silly. Hmm...

Anyway, just wanted to make a quick post and show what's been happening. Two Yakongs, a spec-op, a Tiger Soldier, 'Neko' Oyama and a Zuyong ready for some paint! Also, as I'm writing this I realize that I have a Ninja and a Karakuri ready to go as well. Quite the line up!

I keep forgetting to plug my Facebook page, and I keep forgetting to make a proper button for it, but yeah, feel free to drop by and give Fire Broadside a like. :)
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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Magnetizing my Scourge for Dropzone Commander

Dropzone_Commander_Magnetized_ Prowlers

Finally getting to grips with putting together and painting an army (or two) for Dropzone Commander by Hawk Wargames. First out is the Scourge which will be my main army and where I'll put most of my resources. However, I will also paint the UCM from the core box and probably add a few extra units to make it into a solid demo army.

Anyway, I haven't actually got the core box quite yet but I really wanted to get stuck in so decided to start off with some Intruder Alphas and Betas together with a bunch of Prowlers and Destroyers. Since the prowlers are probably my favourite unit in the entire game (who wouldn't love a Mini Cooper sized crab mech with five eyes and a plasma proboscis?!) I started with those.

When DzC was first released in 2012 I really didn't like the look of the Scourge as models and wasn't particularly impressed by the metallic studio paintjob either. Luckily I've grown older and wiser and the little jellies have really grown on me! The Marauder and Despoiler dropships still look a little odd to me, but I love the rest of the range! After thinking of different paint schemes and looking at what other people's armies I've come around on the purple metallics to. The thought of making them more organic looking seems common when looking at other armies, but I actually think that's the wrong way of going about it. To me they look like metal constructs that have grown in an organic way, not the other way around and for some reason painting them to look more "fleshy" actually make them seem less alien, as far as I'm concerned. That they look organic but are actually metal just feels... stranger. So yeah, that was a long-winded way of telling you that I'll be sticking pretty close to the studio scheme when painting these babies!

What's that about magnets you say? Oh, I almost forgot. Being able to easily and effectively magnetize (or simply slot in) the entire army in their respective dropships was also an attractive reason for choosing Scourge - it simply looks cool to have everything hanging underneath, like it should! So for these little guys I simply dug out my trusty old 1.5mm x 0.75mm magnets that I've been using for Heavy Gear and Infinity as well. One in each pad on the Intruder and one at the top of head of the Prowlers and off we go!


I would have made some correct sci-fi sounds but the proto-gamer was asleep in the other room. Just imagine some pew-pews, lots of scuttling sounds and the screaming howl of the Intruder as it dives in. ;)

So yeah... just wanted to let you guys know that I'm actually doing stuff even if it seems a bit quiet around these parts. Talk to you again soon!

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Monday, 20 July 2015

June Releases and USAriadna for Infinity!


Alright, fashionably late to the party, as usual, but here are my thoughts on this months releases. I'll go through the regular ones first and then take a look at the new USAriadna starter set. I'll try to keep it brief. ;)

Oh, and I just realized that I forgot to post the March/April post that I started on. Hmm... should I finish it and post it just for posterity, or simply cut my losses and move on? Does anyone actually care?! Haha!

Speak of the devil! The Hardcases is the first mini for USAriadna released into the wild! It's not quite a cowboy (we'll get those later!) but still unmistakably American in its style. I'm not one of those who's been on the edge of my seat waiting for this sectorial, but it's a nice figure for sure. Good pose and some cool detailing. In game he's a cheap with ambush camo and infiltration, carrying a Tactical Bow and either a light shotgun or a rifle. Irregular to, if the title didn't give it away. Hehe!

Be still, my heart! The new Yan Huo with Hyper-Rapid Magnetic Cannon for Yu Jing is... very nice! I liked the first one with dual missile launchers that was released back in January, but this is a notch above. The pose is similar, although mirrored, and CB has managed to actually make it balanced looking, even with that single huge gun! Gone are also the manual triggers which I think is great as targeting should be handled internally anyway. The power pack is nice and solid looking and the gun itself looks scary - love the tri-barrel! Argh... I really need to get a second job to afford all the great new Yu Jing releases.

This came as a bit of a welcome surprise to me - a new Janissaries box for Haqqislam. We got an updated look of the Janissaries last year which I liked but felt was a bit on the thin side (there's supposed to be a guy underneath the armour after all), so I'm really glad to see that these newer sculpts have regained some of their bulk. I've always liked the design of the Janissaries and I think CB has managed to make power armour that bridge the gap between the modern/near-future stuff of Ariadna and the really futuristic armours of Pano and Yu Jing. What we get in the box is a boarding shotgun+tinbot (great to have a mini for that instead of just a marker!), a doctor and a missile launcher. The latter is also my favourite of the three (four) as she has a great pose of reaching for her next missile. Good stuff!

Alright, after all that excitement lets calm down with a repack; Combined Army Support Pack. We've all seen the Medchanoid and drones before but I think it's well worth pointing out how well they hold up to recent releases. They're some of my favourite CA minis and I think there's a distinct lack of alien in the Combined Army these days. Sure the new starter box is awesome with beautiful minis, but they're all much too human! I want more weirdness for the CA!

Finally we have another Igao for Tohaa. We got to see the first one back in February and it looked great without the symbiont armour. Very different from what we're used to from Tohaa. This one doesn't have the wild hair or the energetic pose but instead we get this really cool and dynamic shotgun/sword combo! With the boarding shotgun pressed under his right arm and then the sword helt pommel down in his left this guy looks ready for any kind of cqb. Very cool! I think I've mentioned it before, but this is pretty much a Tohaa ninja. I guess they got stabbed in the back once too many...

So that's it for the "proper" June releases. Now let's take a quick look at USAriadna! These will be quick comments.

USAriadna Army Pack

It's worth mentioning that this is not simply a six figure starter box but entire army pack!

Alright, another antipode! I like the new antipodes alhtough I would like them even better if they were just a liiitle bit more alien. ;)

USAriadna dog warrior posing with his toys. I'm actually not that fond of this particular mini. The head looks a strange somehow and there's something a little off with how he's holding his arms. Love the great big heavy pistol though. Also, kneepads for werewolves!

What is it with N3 and motorbikes?! It used to be a Japanese thing and now they're all over the place! Not that I'm complaining, it's just an... observation. Anyway, my first reaction was that it felt weird that they'd send cruisers like this to a jungle planet but what the hell, it's such an iconic design that I can forgive them for it. It looks really nice but I'm actually more looking forward to seeing what the Desperados' bikes will look like! Also, great pose with the rider resting the shotgun on her forearm.

The Maverick dismounted. Nice model except, where did the shotty go?

Now we're getting into historical gaming I think! Nice boonie hat and walkie.

Alright, back to the sci-fi! Marauders are new medium infantry that bring heavy flamethrowers. Something slighly cadian about this guy, but I like him. Nice solid armour and a cool looking gun.

The Minutemen certainly got an upgrade! While I do think the double light flamethrowers look a little silly it's a great mini overall. I especially like the neck guard and the night vision goggles.

The three Grunts in the box. Good looking minis for sure, but I'm still tired of the "two guys looking like soldiers and one girl posing" that seem to have become the standard for line infantry these days. Nothing wrong with posing, but mix it up a little!

Finally we have the Gencon exclusive Van Zant who looks as hard as ever. Nothing amazing (except for Angel's painting!) but definitely a solid figure.

For me this months favourite release has to be the Yan Huo, closely followed by the Janissaries and the Igao. Nice to see CB picking up the slack from last month.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A Status Report

Eek! The new releases for Infinity are already revealed and I haven't written anything since the last news post. Better put something together so it looks better... kind of. Well, still being a bit busy and not being very good at blogging. However, I'm doing whatever hobby related things I have time for and I thought I'd tell you about what I have been doing and what I'm planning on doing.

Let's look at some painting first! You might remember I finished up the undead for Myth and I've since started on the Rathi (humanoid rats). I've also painted four heroes, most of the traps and the miniboss Conner. Here are some quick cellphone pics.

The Apprentice (mage), Acolyte (priest) and Soldier (warrior). They look a little glossy at the moment as I didn't shake the bottle enough, but that will be taken care of.
The Brigand (rogue). Actually a Rathi that broke from the oppressive rule of the Rat King and is now trying to
free his people from the Darkness. Very cool character!
Three of us in the middle of the No Rest for the Weary story quest. Sorry about the unpainted masses. :(

We've enjoyed playing Myth, although we're usually surprised at how long each session takes. Of course, it's very easy to trim it down to maneagable chunks but still. Something about the card driven combat makes for a lot of planning and thinking during play. Sure it will get faster with time though!

I've played a couple of games of Troyes which is a really neat board game where you take the roles of the powerful families of the city of Troyes during the middle ages. You need to protect the city at the same time as you try to bolster your own prestige and victory points while also constructing the great cathedral. It's a mix of worker placement and dice manipulation where the dice acts as your workers (higher being better). Very clever design and surprisingly thematic as well! Highly recommended!

After a much too long break I finally got to play a game of X-Wing again! It's been more than a year since last time and I really enjoyed taking my B-Wings out for a spin. My regular opponent Anders had brought an interesting list consisting of only two ships which... didn't fare well against the many cannons of the Bs. Was fun to get back into it and I really need to magnetize the rest of my Bs.

Speaking of getting to play old favourites, on Anders' birthday he wanted to play Chaos in the Old World with the Horned Rat expansion so I brought my painted set and proceeded to thrash my opponents soundly as father Nurgle! We also played Shogun (actually the first complete game for me) which was fun although I didn't do very well as I failed to focus on building upgrades.

During this my group has also started to plan for a... Necromunda campaign! I kind of go interested in it when I read the Inquisimunda rules and then when I found more fun stuff over at Yaktribe. It won't be overly large and we only have four or five players but I think we'll have fun with it! Not taking it very seriously and playing for the story rather than to win. We're organizing terrain and a homepage for the campaign as well as making miniature inventory and seeing which underhive denizens we might like to buy for the campaign (spiders!). It seems like we'll have some Van Saar, Orlocks, Delaque, Escher and my own Genestealer Cult to battle it out but this might change before we start. Might even decide to run two gangs each or something.

The Genestealer Cult is something I've always wanted to do and I managed to get hold of some old Magus and Hybrids models years back and finally decided to go all in when I came across the Malignancy from Macrocosm which are... perfect! To say the least. The problem with making the Cult before was getting some hybrid-ish looking models that weren't too monstrous or too mundane. Macrocosm strikes the right balance and I now have a bunch of brood brothers and later generation hybrids to use for my cult! Also, for you old school Squat lovers out there - have a look at their Digger Corps! I got the minis this past week and they're very nice. As soon as I get some bases from Fenris I'll be taking a break from Myth to get these guys painted.

So... that's been happening! What I'm looking forward to is getting my hands on the bunch of Dropzone Commander stuff I've got waiting for me at my FLGS. My friend Other Martin decided to get a core box of his own and will paint the UCM so I've taken it upon myself to become the grand commander of the Scourge forces. Looking forward to play with my giant murder crab!

I've also come to the conclusion that I need Star Wars: Imperial Assault in my collection so expect that in a future update. I also went from completely uniterested to very much would like to have when it comes to FFG's new 40k board game Forbidden Stars. I think it's mostly about the nostalgia about being able to use those epic and Battlefleet Gothic units I know so well again in a game. And perhaps also to simply be a part of the 40k setting in a way that I'm simply not anymore. I have no desire to play 40k and although I'm in many ways very very tired of the grimdark it also has a very special place in my heart.

Finally I just want to tell anyone who, for some insane reason, still hasn't seen Mad Max: Fury Road to go and do so. Now. Forget The Avengers or Jurassic World (even with Chris Pratt) or any other sci fi film to be released later this year - this is it. This is the best most visually stunning piece of art you'll see in 2015! It really has no right being this amazing, but it is. Go now!


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

May Releases for Infinity!

Hello there! It's been a while and some of you might have noticed that I missed posting the new Infinity releases for the last couple of months. The simple reason is life and baby getting in the way of hobby and blogging (although I have managed more hobbying than I thought I would!). The reason I put off posting the new minis was that I didn't feel I had time to jot down my own thoughts on the models as I liked. Still, I want to continue posting the news, but I've decided to simply keep my comments short so I can churn out one of these posts quickly. For now at least.

So let's have a look at what May brought us, shall we?

First up a Panoceania Croc Man with MULTI sniper rifle. Updated design looks good (the old one wasn't very popular) but I feel the bulking out of the model makes him look a bit like an action figure. Maybe it's the pose though. Still, I like the realistic design of Infinity minis so I'm not that keen on the big stompy boots.

Wow! The new Haqqislam Naffatun are simply awesome! While I think the old ones were fine from a model standpoint their design were a bit generic. These guys with their new visored helmet and distinctive chest armour really stand out and I think they look awesome! And while the chest is a little bulky it follows from the way the armour is constructed and their legs are normal sized. Really great box! I just want to get them for painting!

The new Nomad Intruder with HGM also suffers from the bulking out syndrome! I think the two new Intruders we already have (sniper and combi rifle) are among the best in the entire Infinity range so was a little sad to see this guy looking big and clumsy next to them. He has the same design except it's like he's made out of Duplo while the others are made out of Lego. Sure, cool. I just wish they'd kept the subtlety of the earlier sculpts.

I was really looking forward to the second Combined Army Umbra Legate as I really like the one in the CA starter. This guy though... I don't really know what to make of him. It's obviously a dynamic pose but I'm not really sure what's being conveyed. The twist of the torso and the flow of the robe suggest different things to me. Hmmm.. might very well be a mini that needs to be seen in the flesh. Undecided on this guy.

Finally we have Scylla & Drakios for ALEPH. I dearly dearly hope that this is all about bad photography and that Scylla (and Drakios to a lesser degree) looks a lot better in person! Please let it be so! The concept art was really good and Steel Phalanx could certainly do with another hacker (although, enough with the characters for a while. Yeah, CB?) but as I look at the photos of the model it simply looks weird to me. An uncomfortable looking pose, horn rimmed glasses like Dame Edna and that sword that seems to have been stuck into her hand for no other reason than "it was there". She just... don't work for me at all. As I'm set on building Steel Phalanx I'm sure I'll get her anyway and if the pics aren't lying and she looks weird then to I'll probably try and modify her enough to at least not have that strange pose. Perhaps make the glasses into sunglasses. Hmm...

So to summarize this month. Might be the first time since I've started playing Infinity that I'm actually mostly disappointed with a batch of releases. Yeah, I'm as shocked as you are! The Naffatun are truly awesome and really saves this month, but I think the crocman and intruder are average while the Legate is the ugly of the good, bad and ugly. Scylla though... I'm trying to keep hope alive in my heart...

I'm sure this was just a temporary dip though as March and April had some great releases like the 45th Highlanders, the Tiger Soldier, the Azrail and the Jaguars. Also, next month there's probably some Yu Jing goodness to look forward to! :D


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Periorbis - the Asteroid Mining Board Game

Alright, so you're anxiously waiting for Planetary Resources to go public so you can by stock and you're wondering when Deep Space Industries are going to jump on the social media bandwagon so you can get more of an asteroid mining fix. Yepp, been there done that. Doing that!

So of course, even though I wanted to avoid posting about Kickstarters for a bit, I simply can't resist telling you about Periorbis - a bonafide asteroid mining board game, by Gareth Newton-Williams! Originally it was actually called Asteroid Miner but had to change it as there was already a game with that name. A bit of a pity as I think a more straightforward name than Periorbis (although I actually like the name!) might attract a wider audience. Anyway...

Game content. Lots of stuff and very nice looking too!
It's an economic game where each player is head of a fledgling asteroid mining company and need to hire crew, prospect asteroids, negotiate contracts and then actually go to the big space rocks to bring home the bacon, or ore in this case. The different crew you hire are good at different things so while some might be better at actual mining, others are better off staying at the base researching better propulsion methods or overseeing the contract negotiations. It's a bit of a mix of worker placement, pick-up and deliver and economic engine building. When reading about it my first thought was "hmm, so kind of like Power Grid... in SPACE!" which is aweseme in pretty much every way possible!

Game board.
With that said it's certainly not a bleak clone or PG wannabe, but very much its own game. For those looking for that particular stand-out mechanic I'd say it's all about the asteroids and their different orbits. Above you have a picture of the Periorbis game board and as you can see the main element is the band of asteroids circling... the planet (as it's obviously not Earth). The orbits are separated by three distance (or delta-V if we want to be correct, and we do) bands and separated into 12 sectors. Each sector represent one turn of the game and you start at 1. The asteroids in the closest band in a sector represent the ones that are easiest to get to and are available with the starting technology. To get further out you need to research better propulsion. If you compare sector 1 and sector 2 you can see that things have switched around a bit - the teal asteroid that was further out is now closer in and the red one is nowhere to be seen at all! This really is a great way both to represent simplified yet relevant orbital mechanics AND to make a dynamic arena of fluctuating resources. I was impressed by what a simple solution Gareth used to create this both thematic and interesting mechanic.

The crew cards. Great hard sci-fi art and you can see the skill values at the bottom of the card.
I mentioned crew earlier and while you start with a few basic office drones you really want to try and nab some of the more skilled workers that are out there looking for job. This nicely ties into player order and the overall economics as they need to be payed each turn and the more skilled they are the more money they want. There's also the player board (below) where you house your workers (on the numberd spaces) and then send them to work in the different rooms like R&D and contract negotiation. That is, if you're not rocketing them around the solar system to a small lifeless boulder devoid of air and other pleasentries. Speaking of rockets, you use your crew as pilots to fly other crew (miners) around and then there are ore haulers that dock to the station where you're located and need to be filled up with ore in different configurations. Here's where the contract negotiations come in as you want a skilled negotiatior to get you a good deal and then be able to deliver the actual ore in as an effective way as possible. Yeah, you'll probably have to upgrade the cargo capacity of your mining ships so you can bring more or (and miners!) back. Lots to think about!

Player board.
I won't try and explain the entire game (I'll leave that to Rahdo, below), but I want to impress on you, my dear reader, that I think this is an impressive game not only because of the really great theme and evocative art but because of the actual mechanics! I come across kickstarters all the time that has great concepts and look beautiful but when you actually check under the hood it just seems to be a mess of cables and gears. Not so with Periorbis - this to me looks like a tight and very interesting economic game where competition is fierce and the scores great. If I came across this with the old euro setting of merchants in italy or farmers in medieval Germany I would STILL be all over it!

There's still a day and a half left to back, shipping to the US and within EU are included in the very reasonable price of £44/$66 for a copy of the game. Of course, it's also already funded but I'm sure some extra unlocked stretch goals wouldn't hurt!

I'll put Rahdo's runthrough and final thoughts here for your conveniance. Check out the run through if you want to know more of the actual mechanics, and the final thoughts if you just want to know what he thinks of the game.

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