Friday, February 19, 2010

When the office day is dragging, get your blog on about those models/games you'd try if money was no object.

Good afternoon everyone,

It's been a busy week at work for me catching up after the snowstorms shut us down for a few days and I have to say that the blogs I follow have been quieter than usual, giving me fewer fun diversions from work. I decided therefore to indulge in the age-old pastime of writing down a dream shopping list (of sorts) to say what I would do if I had the time and money. Hey, it's fun and it also lets me talk about all sorts of different miniature games. So on we go. I'm restricting this list to realistic choices (so no buying 3 Forgeworld Mantas) so that perhaps in a few years I can look back and see how many I could genuinely accomplish.

Warhammer 40k

Despite my reasonably heavy investment here I still have many things that I would like to expand in the game. I'll go by army.

Space Marines - I feel like I've pretty much done what I want to do with my marine force. It's not the biggest army but I have a pretty solid selection and I don't have any major expansions I want to make. I'd love to get an ironclad dreadnought and maybe a big squad of scout bikers but that's it. I like the way they play and I think that I have a reasonable handle on how to use them. I will be picking up the Storm Harbinger (if that's the name they are using now) from the rumoured Blood Angels release but this will be an opponent's permission or apoc unit only. I'm not tempted by any of the special flavours of marines except perhaps to get the wolf guard terminator set and using them to convert AOBR terminators with the mass of special weapons in the set.

Imperial Guard - An army that I'd love to collect but it's just too much of a model count for me. I think I might pick up a squad or two to fit into a general Imperial force for apocalypse or some 40k roleplaying.

Daemon and Witch Hunters - I love the character of these forces but they aren't something that I'm interested in making into whole armies unless there is a big change into cool plastic boxed sets. I like my Grey Knights and I would consider getting a few bits from each if I get the inspiration and money.

Tau Empire - Ah my lovely tau. This is an army that needs minimal investment (a battleforce and perhaps another hammerhead) to be complete for the time being. If I really wanted to flesh it out, I'd probably be tempted by some forge world tetras. I can see this one growing bit by bit like my marines.

Orks - I have loved the crazy vibe that orks originally had in 40k for a long time. I think the best part of it for me was when Andy Chambers and Jervis Johnson fought a White Dwarf battle report where Abaddon teleported into an orky village to beat the warboss into submission. It was a crazy mismatch of orkish ingenuity and chaos power that really was a good laugh. Now the orks have taken on a meaner vibe in the setting but I still really like the idea of playing a greenskin force. I have a painted set of AOBR orks and the temptation is constantly there to get another set and a few more models to bulk them up. The problem is that with such a numerous army, I would need to really invest a lot of time and money to make them playable even at 1850 points. Long term backburner project overall methinks, though those new Killa Kans are sweet.

Eldar - I'm temped here just for the idea of playing lightning fast elite warriors. That and having some of the coolest sniper models for rangers. I think I'd probably not be too competitive with these guys as I'd just want to play all the pretty models. This is a real possibility as OSH has tempted me with the offer of some second hand models for cheap.

Chaos Daemons/marines - I grouped these two together because I feel that they have so many links and I wish they could be played together all of the time. I've been getting a great fondness for Nurgle in all of the background and that's the way I'd want to play. In particular, there is such an evocative (and gross) section in the Chaos Daemons codex that describes the garden of Nurgle. If I made such an army it would be a few sets of marines and terminators (with FW Nurgle torsos), led by Typhus and backed up by some gribbly nurgle daemons and a grossed up soul grinder or two. This would be a list for fun more than anything and it's so quick to paint up if you get the hang of layering lots and lots of greens, yellows and browns topped off by inks and washes. I did a couple of units like this for a commission (Plague marines, dread, predator) and they came out very nicely.

Not saying mine would look like this, but that is some sweet decaying grossness.

Necrons - Outdated codex or not, I'm getting a good vibe for the scary robot skeletons. I think playing a bunch of Dawn of War helped this and I'm tempted to just pick up a couple of battleforces. Add a lord or two and you've got a neat army easily enough. This is something that I see as feasible and straightforward.

Warhammer Fantasy

Now while this doesn't really appeal to me in the way that it used to, I could see myself drifting into Ogre Kingdoms if I was going to play it at all. I'm not sure I like the regiment block way of doing units but I haven't played for many years so I don't know that much about how it works.

Lord of the Rings

Now this is my kind of fantasy. I love Tolkien's work and the depth that there is here with the lore and the characters really gets me going. If I could, I'd love to get all of the models and terrains to play through the entire trilogy with all of the key battles and scenarios. The problem of course is that even the GW studio probably had trouble getting all of the locations and models made up for this, it's such a big task.
As far as playing the game in a general setting I think I'd play with the wood elf factions or the dwarves. I liked both of these when I played fantasy in my early teens and they are definitely something I could see myself picking up. It helps too that the basic troop boxed sets are very cheap and you can just add a character or two to get a small battle force.
I suppose I could just get the Mines of Moria boxed set and build up a funky 3d playing area for it. It would also be able to double as an underground setting for another game system.

Flames of war

This is a new one for me and it seems like in just the last few months it has exploded onto the gaming scene. I am a total WW2 history buff and so it would be very cool to play this game. I'm not sure which forces I would go with but I think playing some of the desert battles in the early war when half the tanks were armed with pea shooters would be really fun. Lots of manouvre and misdirection there. Having teeny models would make it easy to paint up an army too, though I've heard that it can be quite expensive on some models.


Ah, we've reached the other big player on the 28mm scene. I am really really tempted to get into some Warmachine gaming. I think the artwork is fantastic, the setting seems to be really well fleshed out and I love the models.

Mmm, zappy lighting professor.

Do you feel lucky, punk?

I am thinking of getting the Cygnar warmachine book and having a good look through all of the cool artwork as well as getting a feel for the gameplay mechanics. The only thing that makes me a little wary of the game is that I hear from some people that it is very focused on creating killer combos and really going for the throat. I understand that all wargames (except perhaps some historicals) have the objective of winning the game but some say that the Warmachine mechanics lend themselves well to hardcore play. Of course, I've not played the game and it's just as easy to get asshat 40k players who only want to win so that won't keep me back. I think it's just about finding a good group of players and having fun with the game. I would probably even work out some narrative campaign type games to really focus on the background of the setting as much as the gameplay.

The other great thing about warmachine is that there are some really characterful models that I can see fitting into other game systems. The following two would work really well in Nuclear Renaissance I think.
I can just see her perched next to a steampunk-esque machine gun on the back of a fancy Victoriana vehicle.

A preacher roaming the wastelands bringing justice to the bad guys.

I think I'll be getting myself some warmachine at some pointe :-)


This game I know very little about other than it has some fantastic miniatures. I get the impression it's a victorian/steampunk setting featuring lots of supernatural goings on. Frankly I don't care what the game is about when it has such cool models as Lady Justice and Perdita Ortega.

Lady Justice

Perdita Ortega

Nuclear Renaissance

Ah the offering from the wonderfully characterful Ramshackle Games. I am already well into my collecting phase for this game and I think it is set to continue. I really love the style of the models, I like the mechanics of the game and I love Curtis' (the creator) attitude towards the game. He is all for people bringing in other models, using his parts in other games, suggesting good conversions and his customer service is incredibly personal. I have got a huge selection (9 or 10 vehicles, 20-30 figures) of Ramshackle's stuff at my place or still in the mail (grrrr, slow mail) and I eagerly jump on every new model that gets released.

Here is the beastly Huntsman spider tank in all its glory.

Cigars, suits and shotguns...all in a day's work in the wastelands.

For reference, this guy is taller than a dreadnought for 2.50 (that's 10 times lower!).

I will definitely be playing a lot of this game whenever I can and making up some cool terrain to go with it. The RPG aspects of the game are really good as well and let you really create a good mix of gang types that suit you best. A pair of ridiculously tooled-up heroes? Sure, just be aware that your opponent may bring a swarm of goons riding bikes to overwhelm you with sheer numbers.


Well that was quite an exhaustive (exhausting?) list of all of the games that have caught my eye. So in conclusion, I'll write up a brief purchasing list that will help me keep my dreams of wargaming grandeur in check when I realise the cost. Of course, if I win some kind of lottery (VERY long odds since I don't play) then you will may see this blog explode with pictures of my ill-gotten gains :-)

- Finish Tau army $150
- Few marine gubbins $50
- Some Guardsmen, DH and WH $100
- Orks from AOBR and other bits $250
- Eldar army $150 if I could get them at a good 2nd hand price
- Nurgle army $300 because of the forge world bits and variety of models
- Necrons $200 for a couple of battleforces, lord etc.
- If I played it would be at least $200 for a starting army.
- Not too bad if I keep the forces small. Say $200 for a couple of races plus Mines of Moria
Flames of War:
- These are pricey models so it could get to $150+ easily
- Cygnar army with battlebox, more warjacks, a few solos etc. $200-$250
- Some of the cool models from other factions $50
- Probably just a few key figures $50 max.
Nuclear Renaissance:
- Pretty much anything Curtis makes. Since I have most of it already and he can only sculpt so fast, $200

Grand total = $2300. Not quite as much as I thought but certainly not pocket change either. Hmmm, this is depressingly within reach if I get that book of mine finished and published....oh well, back to work on the writing :-)


  1. Quite a list there. I think you should stick with the Ramshackles games stuff. It seems pretty cool. We should try that out soon.

  2. It is quite a list I know :-) This was mostly just my fun 'buy whatever you want' list more for entertainment than real plans.

    Still I like figuring out what is out there and what might be feasible for me to get into. I think I'll mostly stick to 40k and Ramshackle games in the near future and then consider where to go. I need to finish my Tau before doing anything more.

    We definitely should get playing soon. Annoyingly I'm still waiting for my second parcel from Ramshackle with the rulebook and gangs in it but as soon as that gets here we'll play. You want to do a 40k game soon?

  3. Buy more Tau! then you and OSH can try out an Apocalypse/Planetstrike match! one week your Tau, next week OSH is Tau!

    Plus Tau are great! and I can more plreasure out of reading your progress on Tay than Ramshackle as I don't know anything about the game!

    So what i'm basically implying is DO IT FOR ME!!!

    : )

  4. That's a hell of a list! Eldar's one race I'm considering trying as you can keep the model count pretty low - which is always a bonus when I paint so damn slowly...

    ...and yep the Rangers are some lovely models. :)

    The Mines of Moria box set is pretty good value for money, coming with some nice scenery too (the wife painted up a few bits of scenery for me, and made a superb job of them for a newbie painter). The goblins aren't the best miniatures, but the fellowship and the troll are nice.

    I've always liked the look of Warmachine, but as far as I know there's no-one around me who actually plays the game - the one shop in Swindon that sold the stuff couldn't shift anything and stopped stocking it. I could buy the minis for purely painting reasons, but they're a bit pricey this side of the pond, in comparison to GW, Hasslefree, Reaper, etc.

    What are they like pricewise in the US? I was looking at a Khador box with two big robot types (no idea what they're called) and a human, and it was £33 ($60) - seems like a lot of money for 3 miniatures, but I don't know how they compare to GW stuff (sizewise, etc).

  5. Hey guys, I'll post in turn.

    Pearly - I will definitely be working on my Tau and I'd love to expand them. So far, my force is working out to be different to many of the tau players that I've seen and I want to know if it is because I haven't realised the weaknesses or whether I just am playing a different way. For example, OSH runs all of his FW minimum sized in devilfish and I'm planning to use bigger squads and kroot too. Is one better or are they just different aspects? Not sure, we will probably find out that it's somewhere in the middle. Basically with my buying I tend to go in small binges. So last big buy was all Ramshackle (they do have a new edition out after all), the one before that was Tau and the next will likely be Tau to finish them off for the time being. I think that if I can get all of my 40k forces to 1850 points that would be great but if not, at least having a 1000pt rounded army would be good.

    Andy - :-) It was meant to be a hell of a list. I was literally wracking my brains for every game I've heard of and had an interest in and every army that appeals to me in any way. Eldar are definitely on my watchlist, especially if OSH wants to get rid of his second hand models. Otherwise I'll probably get a couple of nurgle bits and begin my gribbly evil hordes.
    That's great that your wife paints as well and I'm sure the terrain looks cool. I think the boxed set is a good idea and it's probably the only fantasy I'd really go for as WFB doesn't set me alight the same way.
    I think Warmachine is a bit cheaper over here. The price for the starter set is ~$45 (discount to $38 at the warstore) so it looks like the US manages better. Sizewise, the figures are the basically the same. The warjacks (big stompy robots) are about the size of bulky terminator for the light ones and somewhere around dreadnought size for the heavies (though different shapes). It's a reasonable amount of money but as all of the starter sets are balanced against each other you can play many games with just a few models per side. I don't know for sure but I think Warmachine games tend to have ~20 models per side (for a regular game) so they are much smaller than 40k. Overall I feel like they are a similar investment price but I am not sure if I want to work with so much metal. Then again the new Warjacks are plastic and look really nice.

  6. Quite a list. I am starting to stray from 40k, and getting into playing different games. I really like the look of Malifaux, and plan on giving that a try in the near future. The startup costs are fairly low, which is good!

    Warmachine Mk2 is a fun game. I don't have any models myself, but I have played a couple of games. I like Cryx - any army that has a Bloat Thrall gets my vote :)

  7. Flames of War is looking interesting. Warmachine/Horde look good, but they also look 40Kish and I have enough of those. With FoW you play a GW style WWII game. You don't have the crazy grey beards arguing about the turning radius on a Sherman Mk2 in a muddy glen. I am leaning towards the German Afrika Korp.

    On Eldar. They are interesting because you can play them several differnt ways, and like Tau you can end up having a force that looks cool but really under performs. I think I only use about 30-40% of the models I had in my original eldar list in my current one.

  8. Sholto, I'm definitely interested in Malifaux if only for the models. It's amazing how much good stuff there is out there aside from GW. In particular I like seeing more realistically proportioned models sometimes. In part, that's what appeals to me about the GW Lord of the Rings figures compared to Fantasy. I'm really tempted to pick up a box or two of Rohan figures to paint and play with. It helps that LOTR is much cheaper than WFB/40k on a plastic model basis.

    Mon-keigh Reaper. I think that you're right with FOW being a great new playstle on a familiar setting. I really like the PC game series Combat mission because it was as fluffy and beardy as it comes, yet all behind the scenes so you could get on with a good game and not worry about the details. I like the idea of Afrika Korp too though I'd like to go with the allies so maybe we can game together sometime if we do that. I still love the idea of warmachine too for a fantasy setting though. Perhaps my sci-fi fixes can be 40k and Nuclear Renaissance, my fantasy can be LOTR and Warmachine with FOW being a historical bit :-)

    I'm really interested to see how the next Tau and Eldar codexes work out. Given the extra depth that has been added to each of the current 5th edition crop, it will be great to see what the others get.

    PS: Combat Mission was really detailed in the back end. During certain years of the war they even modelled the material shortages of the various nations and how that impacted their weapons (tank armour spalling internally and injuring crew, or AP shells being more likely to shatter on impact etc.). Very cool detail but so much research for them.

  9. Hi, found your blog through Tau of War and thought I'd take a bit of time to post here about the two non-GW games that you've listed here.

    Now, before I begin, let it be known that I have no formal association with Wyrd Miniatures or Privateer Press, but I do have the happy situation of living in the greater Seattle, WA area meaning that I game with both company's core testers, designers, and rules guys. I also spend a lot of my day helping a couple of the LGS's in my area with various odds and ends (among them teaching new people how to play everything from board games to tabletop).

    With that out of the way, let me state this: both are excellent if not misunderstood games. On the Warmachine side, everything you've said is quite true. The game is based around killer combinations that are designed with the slogan ‘victory to the bold.’ While it’s easy to imagine that this ends with a bunch of asshats toting around “net decked” lists, this is not generally the case. When people really embrace the Privateer style of game play, they often find themselves really having to think for the first time. After all, I could tell you what units are great buys in MKII, but very few of those units are going to be great in the way that Thunderwolf cavalry are great or TH/SS terminators with Shrike are great. The level of complexity in the game lends itself to power gaming, but it also makes it so you really must know what you’re doing or your plans simply will not work (against an experienced or at least moderately experiences opponent). Granted, there will always be units that are easier to use than others in games and Warmachine is no exception, but it truly brings the fun back into casual, but intellectual play.
    As for Malifaux, this is a fairly new game and so has its quirks that need to be ironed out, but if you ever tried Confrontation and/or Mordheim then you won’t be too far off. This is a game based upon the personality of both your force and the soul leading it. When you couple this idea of a Mordheim-style skirmish with Malifaux’s card system, it’s almost as if you’re playing a bluffing game akin to poker while also having the standard WYSIWYG on the table with the miniatures themselves. With everything from nightmares-cum-man to hyper steam punk cartels, you will probably be rather intrigued by Malifaux’s history (although the writing itself is on the weak side, the ideas behind it are solid). If you can find someone with a force or two, I highly suggest trying out this card based tabletop.
    After all is said and done, I think that more “purist” 40k players would most greatly benefit from playing Warmachine if only to improve their game within 40k itself. You’ll be taught harsh lessons in sacrifice, precise movement, and combo tactics, but also become less caught up in the idea that every fight needs to end in victory. This comes back to one of the central laws of war: you cannot and should not strive to win every battle. After all, only the war is what matters.

  10. Hey Kremmet, thanks for the thoughtful and lengthy post.

    I'm definitely interested in Warmachine for the fun and challenge of making up a new way of playing and finding the strong combinations etc. I feel that most 40k codices are relatively limited in comparison to Warmachine factions when it comes to being able to change styles. Just reading about the different warcasters and how they can throw the entire previous playstyle out of the window is very exciting. I'm all for improving my 40k game through being challenged with very particular and deliberate wargaming. Also, having such a player-connected development team is a big plus in my book.

    Malifaux being a new game is no bother to me. I'm really enjoying the modelling (and soon gaming) parts of Nuclear Renaissance and that is a tiny game by comparison. I like the idea of playing a bit of poker face too. That will really bring a new element to the gaming table. The models and backstory are really the selling point for me so far though.

    All in all, I'm really looking foward to trying out some new game systems. I think it helps keep 40k and other GW games nice and fresh when you try something different.