Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

A little bit of hobby

Posted: September 4, 2014 in Gaming
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I’ve been messing about with a new camera app for my iPhone, purely because I want to get some more pictures of models up here and the last lot I did were immensely laborious to take, and not that great. This is a test shot, somewhat garishly rendered, of some Saxons I painted recently for SAGA (I love that game). Black Templars will follow at some point.


As I’ve mentioned a few times, my hobby these last 18 months or so has been focused on The Lord of The Rings/The Hobbit strategy game.

I’ve always been a massive Tolkien fan. But when I first played the game, back when I was on White Dwarf, I wasn’t very impressed, it seemed the key to winning was rolling a lot of sixes − not very tactical. I had to paint a force up to go in the magazine, and nothing robs the joy from painting toy soldiers faster than having to do it. On top of that, I was still on my infamous losing streak. 21 defeats in a row, at every game I tried. Ten years later it still gets brought up. I amassed a small collection of select models, and left it at that.

Fast forward to last year, and I was going through my models, thinking about streamlining my collection via eBay (never go round to it). I was about to box up my LOTR figures when I thought, actually, these are really beautiful models. Completely coincidentally, the guys at my gaming club decided to start a LOTR campaign that very week. I got hooked. I’ve re-read the books again, taking those as the guide for my games rather than the films. (more…)

Orks, orks, orks

Posted: December 12, 2013 in Gaming
Tags: , , , ,

I’m writing about [REDACTED BY INQUISTORIAL ORDER] at the moment, and that’s got me all fired up, so I painted this Ork Battlewagon. This is my first Warhammer 40,000 model since the spring, as I’ve been painting and playing The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game this year almost exclusively. I just realised, I go through a phase every year where I paint a ton of Orks over winter. Must be the long nights or something. Last winter/spring it was Deffkoptas, a Dakkajet, and a bunch of nobs. Next I plan to do a Forgeworld anti-aircraft gun and some Ork barricades (I got them just before they were discontinued. I even had to ring around the local stores to see if they had any left) to be a defence line fortification.

I doubt I’ll get to play with this battlewagon for a while, as my Ork army is so big it’s difficult to get it to my gaming club (it’s in a pub up the hill. I walk there, so I can drink). Heck, even 1500 points means a lot of carrying. It’ll definitely get an outing next time I fight Jes Bickham’s Tyranids.

This is my second painted battlewagon. I have two Forgeworld models (they used to sell the bottom half of their current Battlefortress as a Battlewagon, before the plastic kit was available). The second FW Battlewagon I’ve had a shameful ten years or so, having received it as payment for an article that featured my (then much smaller) Speed Freeks article in White Dwarf some time before I was editor. I better paint it really. It’s been converted in three different ways over those years, but is currently covered in big guns borrowed from the plastic kit, and will probably stay that way.

Battlewagon

It’s not a brilliant photograph, and I have yet to paint the crew, but I thought I’d share.


No posts forever, what can I say? I’ve been backed up to the wazoo (I have no idea what that really means, except I do, but it’s not very British so I’ll say I don’t) with work, hence no posts for quite some time. I have a few I really want to write, but you know, these posts are free. People pay me monies for other words, bills mean I have to take the monetised scribblings first, second, and third every single time. Sorry ’bout that.

This post is not a long one – I come here briefly to say that my Space Marine Battles book, Death of Integrity, is out now to buy. It’ll even be in GW’s shops from tomorrow. As, in fact, will I. Not for sale, but signing my Black Library novels. I’ll be in the Bath Games Workshop between 11.00 am and 1.00pm. so if you’re in the area and want a chat, please come along.

I should also mention that Black Library have re-released “The Rite of Holos” as a digital short, which appeared in Hammer and Bolter last year. This is a prequel to Death of Integrity featuring the Blood Drinkers.

I finished my fourth Black Library novel last week, and have been asked to do plenty more stories of all kinds. If you’re a Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000 fan, you’ll be seeing a lot of me over the next 12 months.


Today I bring you a link to “The King of Black Crag”, a companion story to my upcoming Goblin extravaganza, Skarsnik. Here’s what the Black Library say about it on their website:

While Skarsnik cements his position as Warlord of the Eight Peaks, a rival broods in the nearby fortress of Black Crag. Gorfang Rotgut, the infamous Troll-Eater, sits uneasily on his throne, unsure whether the upstart night goblin is potential ally or the deadliest of foes. Desperate to discover the truth, Gorfang sets off on a quest to visit the shaman Zarrgakk, whose wisdom will decide the matter. And any dangers that lie in Gorfang’s path will just have to hope that the orc warlord is in a good mood…

The story, about Gorfang and his hapless Overrunt Gabble came out yesterday for BL’s Digital Monday. I enjoyed writing “The King of Black Crag” immensely, and so I recommend it even more than I normally would (what with me having written it and everything, you kind of have to expect that).


I’ve been playing in a mini Warhammer tournament at my local gaming club these last few weeks, and it looks like I’m coming in third! Yeah, that’s right, that’s a zogging exclamation mark right there. I’m proud, proud for bronze, because I’ve been playing with nothing but Night Goblins.

The restrictions of the tournament were few — 1500 points, no special characters. When I told my old opponent Jes Bickham about this, he jokingly scoffed, “What is this, the dark ages?”

The pendulum of opinion both inside and outside GW swings to extremes over time. Sometimes “the hobby” is all about the rules, sometimes it’s all about collections of miniatures. At the moment, it’s on the collection setting. But really, these games, and the restrictions we imposed, were about our collections, not beard-gaming.

We play all kinds of games at the club, and our organiser decided on small-ish armies to make the games quick, and no special characters for no better reason than to make us choose slightly different forces to normal.

In my case, no special characters meant no Skarsnik. Nope, really. Skarsnik has become a mainstay of my army. In fact, I can often be heard to declaim that I am Skarsnik. That’s in between berating my Goblins for running away/not running away/ being the wrong shade of green. You may guess, I am tipsy. Screw tea with my war, I drink!

With no Skarsnik, my army’s leadership is a lamentable low of 7. So there has been a lot of running away, but some surprising successes. Here’s my list:

  • “Tiny” McFearsome – Night Goblin Warboss, Armour of Silvered Steel, Ogre Blade. (So-called as he’s tiny, an ancient but still awesome Marauder-range Goblin hero sculpted by Trish and/or Aly Morrison. They’re Scottish, which explains the “McFearsome” part).
  • Bouncer Zig – Night Goblin Big Boss, Great Cave Squig, Sword of Strife.
  • Tolly Grin Cheek – Night Goblin Battle Standard Bearer, Bad Moon Banner.
  • Fingzap – Night Goblin Level 2 Shaman, Dispel Magic Scroll
  • Da Red Hats – 40 Night Goblins with nets, banner, drummer, champion, three fanatics and spears and shields.
  • Spiny’s Stickers – 30 Night Goblins with shortbows, banner, gong basher, champion, two fanatics and Old Moonhat the Spiny (boss).
  • Gutfurk’s Arrer Boys – 30 Night Goblins with shortbows, banner, gong basher, champion, two fanatics and Boss Gutfurk.
  • Bouncer’s Boyz – 10 Squig Hoppers
  • Da Snappin’ Death Balls – Squig herd, 16 Cave Squigs, 12 Night Goblins.

We all played three games, with the number of victory points scored by each player totted up to give a leader board.

Round One

Tomb Kings, led by Pharoah Ashley. I lost horribly, as I fed my units one at a time through tiny gaps in scenery where they were shot down. Frankly, neither Tiny nor I wish to discuss it.

Round Two

A victory against Count James of the Empire, memorable for Bouncer’s Boys hammering across the board then rolling the entire opposing army up from left flank to right. The squigs died one by one, but hilariously ended the game, one man strong, chasing thirty handgunners down the battlefield.

Round Three

Also a victory, against Evil Lord Charlie’s Dark Elves. A great game this, really close, until victory in the last turn came about due to the panicking of my opponent’s large unit of Executioners by… Goblin shortbow fire. I laugh uproariously to say it. The darkest and best of Har Ganeth ran away like the wet elf-goths they are, right into one of the many, many fanatics whizzing around their position and… Well, they all died, and their general legged it off the board, shrieking like a schoolgirl. Some awful animosity rolls here, though. I failed four tests, and twice I got the dreaded “1” result on the table, which killed about 15 gobboes off. If you don’t know, “1” on the animosity chart means d6 strength 3 hits on the nearest animosity-prone unit (2d6 if the unit is a horde), and the same back as your target retaliates. Neither unit, and this is the killer, can do anything for the rest of the turn afterwards, which is awful. It’s the first game I’ve suffered this since the latest Army Book came out. And Ouch. Oucy ouch ouch. My advance was stymied for most of the game, leaving me at the mercy of those damnable machine-gun crossbows Dark Elves tote.

Still, Tiny won the day. He only died once in the tournament, and in true Gobbo fashion, only had to fight one melee. In the narrative I constructed in my head, Skarsnik will be most displeased. Concerned by Tiny’s feisty nature and occasional outbursts of tactical acumen, Skarsnik sent Tiny away on a “speshel mishun”, hoping that the better-than-averagely-competent Goblin would die in the process. Unfortunately for the King of Karak Eight Peaks, Tiny returns in glory.

When I nearly walked out of the pub without my figure case, I explained that Skarsnik told me that, should Tiny survive, I had to leave him behind. The battered Lord Charlie said “I like to think you’re actually that mentally unstable.” Oh how we laughed, like at the end of an episode of Thundercats.

Little does he know, eh Skarsnik? Eh? That’s right.

I am Skarsnik.