Good guy GW delivers big

Good guy GW delivers big

Games Workshop has kind of a…shall we say reputation among many of its fans for various slights, real or imagined. It ranges from complaints of too high pricing, over detailed models, imbalanced rules, bitterness over the death of rank and file gameplay with the switch to AoS, a lack of attention to maintaining rulesets, a close minded culture, and a distrust of the internet.

There’s a kernel of truth in every complaint, but it has led to a caricature of GW as a relentless fun hating ogre come to steal all your money and ruin your childhood. Some in the community even have what I would consider to be Games Workshop derangement syndrome, leading them to relentlessly flame GW any chance they get, regardless of context. And you know what, I do the identical thing with Mantic (who are awful, artless, bland, stupid, opportunistic failures that make miniature abortions that are an insult to the industry – but their undead set is cheap so you’ll see some of their shit on my table anyhow), so I’m not gonna be too harsh on them for it. But the last few years, GW has done some serious work to repair that image, and my god, is it paying off.

Yes, GW released a ruleset where all the data sheets are available free (though not all the rules, as some will still complain about) where they do annual rebalancing, released an app with an army list builder, etc. Yes, they crowdsourced FAQ questions for once. They have a YouTube page with tons of hobby content, they live steam tournaments (imagine their surprise that e-sports became a real thing, they’re smart to lump their product in with that market), they do a live broadcast periodically with previews and actual quality interviews. They acknowledge and have fun with leaks. They even publish an Onion style  imperial Guard newsletter.

Even by this new standard, Good Guy GW delievered the goddamn goods Tuesday.

At GAMA, they announced a new AoS starter set that comes with a vinyl 2 sided game mat for small games, which uses part of the game box as terrain. This is a great sign for future starter releases having a bit more playability out of the box. I may even buy it because I sold all my stormcast but kind of want a few to use for AoS28 stuff, And because I mostly game on my kitchen table right now and enjoy the idea of small scale battles on a compact surface.

Next up, we have Shadow War: Armageddon. A new edition of the rules that powered necromunda, this box set is a new skirmish game system that will cover most if not all 40k factions. Yes, this is basically a starter set and new edition for inquisimunda, the unofficial-but-known-to-be-played-by-GW-staff expanded Necromunda rules that provide a simpler system for playing inq28. With as long as Blanchitsu has run, it’s amazing they’ve taken so long to get around to formalizing these rules. And for those worried about Necromunda’a future, this is still a great deal because the rules are compatible with your old gang list, so you can in fact use it to play necromunda proper.

Oh, and did I mention in addition to having rules for a dozen factions in the box, it also comes with a new modular terrain set?! That’s right, GW is making catwalks again. Whew.

But that’s not all. Nope, GW unveiled April’s Age of Sigmar releases: Kharadron Overlords, or as everyone else will call them: Steampunk Airship Pirate Dwarves. This release is easily the most impressive of AoS’s short history, featuring a swath of new flying vehicles, balloon jump infantry, and all manner of strange armored stunties. The models are exquisite, and even if you don’t like steampunk you should probably acknowledge that it’s a creative and much more fun choice than fireslayers in all their shirtless glory. This will be a boon to AoS, AoS28, and converters alike.

And just when you think “that has to be it,” GW also gave almost no information about one final release…they are calling it Warhammer Undergrounds: Shadespire. They said its a competitive game and that it’s set in the world of AoS, but gave no other details. Amazingly, this is the only thing I can focus on. 3 releases I want and the only thing I’m worried about is what the hell the 4th is. It’s kinda genius.

Warhammer Quest meets #AoS28

Warhammer Quest meets #AoS28

When Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower came out last year, I was excited. A ton of bad guys, rules for all the Tzeentch daemons, and something I could play with one other friend and have a fun time over some beers. The game is fun and a friend and I are still working on a trip through the tower. Meanwhile, Shadows over Hammerhal comes out. 

SoH is a campaign based game, came with a swath of new minis and offers some expanded rules for even further expanding your field of baddies. It also came with a host of new tiles. The only thing missing is rules for all the adversaries I’d want to put in a campaign, and outdoor game tiles. Originally I was going to download some fantastic tiles made by fans on the web, print and laminate them. But I thought, why not see if i can make them from supplies i have lying around.

I made my first 10 and have plans for about 15 more, offering a wide variety of environments in forests and swamps to play in.

What comes next is of course me home brewing rules for my favorite #AoS28 units. Pestigors, centigors, plague marauders, warriors, nurglings, even plague drones. I’m planning on seeing what else folks on the web have already done, sharing my ideas, and putting a campaign packet together. It will tell the story of a group of adventurers tasked with tracking down an arcanite chieftain, my first AoS28 conversion Brayton Witchblood. 

Initially, the adventurers start with only a vague idea of what they are looking for. They know who and they know a direction, so they just start trying to question every sentient being they can find, fighting their way through the children of the forest, my warband of Nurgle Beastmen. The narrative expounds on the setting and introduces the children to the player.

Along the way, they’ll also fight some Bloodbound recently in the region solely to hunt the strange beasts of the forest, and finally find their way to the arcanites and track down the sorcerer, preventing a cataclysmic incursion into Ghyran.

The project has really become the focus of my AoS28 efforts of late, because so much of the fun for me has been conceptual, and in a literal sense I’m writing a story in pieces that can be experienced in many ways, it’s pretty fun.

#AoS28 Photo Dump!

#AoS28 Photo Dump!

So, followers of my twitter have seen most of these updates, but I’ve made some painting progress as well as some more conversions:

Beastlord

My beastlord is coming along, he’s almost tabletop ready. He’s going to serve as one of the bosses for my Warhammer Quest campaign.


Bray Shaman

The great bray shaman is a little further behind, but I’m in love with how the model is turning out.

Warhammer Quest

The Warhammer Quest update Shadows over Hammerhal was super inspiring for my AoS28 projects, but it lacked outdoor tiles. As a result, I’ve taken to designing my own!

Spawn

Once a horse from LotT, this is one of my first weird livestock the children keep.

More Warhammer Quest

These guys on the tile
Marauders

I used glass beads in medium as a way to give my Marauders a unique look

Fountain

Another piece of WHQ terrain

Nurglings

They should make it into the Warhammer Quest campaign too
The weeping willow

This tree is a setting for a WHQ boss fight 

Lord of plagues

Based on a reaper mini, this guy was fun to put together

And the last shot of the tree

Getting there!

#MonsterMarch: #AoS28 Gargant

#MonsterMarch: #AoS28 Gargant

Greetings all, I’ve been neglecting the blog, so I’m putting up a few posts this weekend. I’ve been busy writing a Warhammer Quest campaign (more on that tomorrow) but I definitely need to get some of my recent stuff up.

To start, my #MonsterMarch commitment: an #AoS28 inspired Gargant! Now, this model is pretty fantastic unmodified, but I had to do some tweaking to get him to really feel like mine. I’ve since added the upper body of a zombie chained to the collar around his neck, and I have ordered some resin barrels to have lashed to his back. I think I’m going to leave him on the square base, as it has a ton of character and the bigger round base is kinda extraneous in AoS.

The Children of the Forest: Background

The Children of the Forest: Background

img_2530

My Nurgle warband, the Children of the Forest, are kicking off. I play Nurgle generally (although my main army are on square bases) so I have a lot of plans for this crew.

img_2542

The children of the forest are a clan of pestigors that live in the woods surrounding Novum (the free city I’ve created for this project). They have adopted some human customs (keeping livestock and settling in camps) over time, but they resent the human incursions into their land. They regard attempts to clear the forest as an affront to their god (to the simple minded beastmen, the forest is grandfather nurgle and grandfather Nurgle is the forest), and have resorted to a sinister approach to fighting the humans.
The massed forces of the free people, especially when aided by the Stormcast Eternals, made any attempt for an invasion foolish, and the clan hardly had the numbers to partake in such a conflict. Instead, they began abducting the children of the farms and villages near the forest. They raised them as members of the clan, they are wild men, mutated beyond reason and devoted to the tribe beyond question.

img_2545

The tribe now faces another threat. Khorne bloodbound barbarians have recently invaded the forest, reveling in the thrill of killing the beasts that live there (the same that the tribe feeds upon). The children of the forest must defend their territory if they are to survive.

AoS28: Children of the Forest

AoS28: Children of the Forest

I’ve been building and painting Nurgle models for 10 years, so it’s only natural that I eventually get around to a Nurgle warband for AoS28. I don’t necessarily have an idea of what else I’ll be adding to this crew, but to start we have a marauder and two Centigors.

The marauder is Lok’tel, taken by the children of the forest as a baby, he has been raised along with other humans among the beasts of chaos. He is the leader of the tribe’s marauders, earning the title of chieftain. He’s also one of the faster humans, most of whom have succumbed to the girth that comes with Nurgle worship. He is scouting with two of his centigor brothers, studying a camp of Khorne followers that recently settled in their territory.

The centigors, Jul’ben and An’kar are true followers of chaos. While their kin are often bitter, the embrace of Nurgle has made them joyous, though they are still as simple minded and difficult to understand as the rest of their race. Unlike most centigors, they live in close proximity to the rest of the tribe, taking an active role in defending their territory and even working to ferment spirits infused with the deadly essence of Nurgle to convert more of their kind.

#AoS28 Worldbuilding

#AoS28 Worldbuilding

One of the things that has been challenging for me is the sort of abstract landscape of the Age of Sigmar setting. But, the recent events of the Realmgate Wars have established a foothold of civilization, and what we now have is a completely open canvas, vast and tumultuous. I’m going to be writing up background based on what I feel is necessary to establish a coherent environment to role play, write, and game in. My first attempt is the region of Glyse (Glyse and its foremost city Novun are my own creations)

Glyse, Gyran frontierlands

The region is called Glyse, which is a border territory in Ghyran, ruled from a free city called Novun. Originally an Aelf settlement, the free people erected a stone castle adjacent to the elegant wood structures, and it serves as both a stronghold in times of strife and a hub for commerce and tradecraft. Novun is a dreary and provincial place. The blacksmiths make excellent horseshoes, but their armor work is fairly crude and their arms unimpressive. The Fletcher’s are talented, however, with elvish arrows in ready supply for the many hunting parties that enter the forests and wastes that border the territory.

joost_cornelisz-_droochsloot_-_village_street_-_wga6684The City is a small keep surrounded by bustling markets and shops

dark-fantasy-hero-image-700x485The architecture I envision is closer to this than classic castle designs, but I’m still brainstorming

4395251cce78a9b120969d2cf509cd41The keep itself is well defended, and regional strongholds serve as refuge for the farmers who are too far for regular patrols to reach

It is a time of building, a time of growth. The realmgate wars were won and men retook the lands. The vast landscape surrounding the free cities was settled by throngs of refugees seeking a new life. In these verdant lands, agriculture took hold as chaos receded. In this new birth of life, order took hold, modeled on the tradition of Sigmar. Feudal rule organized the throngs and helped instill martial prowess in this new frontier.

farm_house_in_wheat_field

The lands close to Hammerhall may be blossoming, but the forces of chaos have not left these lands, they have only been pushed back.

The great houses hold territory nearest the cities, and the cities increase in size as they get closer to Hammerhall, where the land has been reclaimed longest, while the lesser houses work the rougher soil of recently reclaimed lands. Their borders are met with immense dense forests that take years to clear and which shelter numerous tribes of nomadic raiders, and even occasional tribes of greenskins. The area has been fairly tranquil for the past year, and harvests have been good, upwardly mobile young knights, eager to prove their mettle, organize tournaments. Preachers take up collections and give sermons in the streets outside tournaments. The increase in travel and commerce draws the attention of gangs of fanatical witch hunters, traveling under cover and searching for signs of corruption.

xzenlc7

The religious zeal can turn good men into a mob, and some even abandon their old lives to serve the faith of Sigmar.