Monday, 24 October 2016

Latest Arrivals

Just a quick post to cover a couple of latest arrivals that warrant a post of their own.

First up is the re-print of the classic board game, Escape From Colditz.  I don't know about you bu I played many a game of this when I was a younger lad and loved it, hopefully the game hasn't lost any of it's appeal with the passage of time.  One thing I will say right now is that the box and presentation of the game is top notch, plenty of time and effort has gone into making this something worth having.

The second arrival was another beauty, the Dropship from Aliens for the AvP game.  It looks like this will be getting some manner of rules in an upcoming expansion which is planned which will certainly be interesting to see.

Ardacon 2016

This weekend the first (and hopefully not last) Ardacon was held at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester. Now even though we don't really play much SBG (if at all) this was only a relatively short bus journey away from us and with the availability of spectator tickets along with the Middle Earth team from GW giving a presentation, Steamforged Games demoing Dark souls and the chance to actually meet some members of the community face to face for the first time it was a no brainer for us (plus we sneaked an afternoon in Manchester and grabbed a nice lunch while we were at it).
Upon our arrival on Saturday we picked up our passes (the event seemed to be very well organised) and entered the main hall.  It was relatively quiet at this time but it gave us a chance to look at some of the great tables which had been set up ready for battle (be warned there are quite a few photos here).

The empty hall and below some of the many excellent themed tables which were set up

One of the first stops was to the GBHL SBG stand to say hi to Damian and Tom and pick up my copy of the latest SBG magazine and then spend several minutes drooling... I mean looking over the incredible Dol Guldur board.  This is something to behold up close and the photos don't really do it justice as there is just so much detail packed in there.

Next we headed to the Steamforged Games stand to try and grab a demo of Dark Souls.  We backed heavily into the Kickstarter based on the game play and miniatures we had seen and the fact we both love Dark Souls franchise so were eager to actually get a game in.  We managed to catch the tail end of a game which was in progress where the players were defeated by the Dancer, the game certainly lived up to the Dark Souls slogan of 'Prepare to die', we were next up so after a quick run through of the mechanics we were off.  We played a cautious game and it paid off as we defeated the Dancer with very little damaged caused to either of us, timing of special abilities and items is key along with learning the boss' move pattern.  The game seems to do everything we wanted of it and it certainly has encapsulated the Dark Souls feel into a board game with compromising either thing.

After this we headed to the Forgeworld/GW stand to look over the new miniatures on display (and apologies but in my excitement over the Gundabad Berserkers and Ogres I forgot take take snaps of the Dwarves), all the new miniatures look excellent and I'll of course be adding to my Gundabad army when these are released.  Of course while we were there we couldn't help but pick up some goodies, Amy grabbed a mounted Gandalf the Grey and I picked up two Shades for my Minus Morgul force.

Gundabad Ogres

Gundabad Berserkers

Shadow and Flame also had a small stand at the show so Amy picked up their latest Tree Giant to add to her collection and I (after seeing one up close) had to pick up one of the Mountain Giants who will lend is brute force to my Misty Mountain force once I've built it.
It was about this time that the Mouth of Sauron Challenge took place where ten brave (or possibly insane) volunteers ate the world's hottest chilli with the last person to take a drink of milk winning a WETA replica Mouth of Sauron helm.
This was then followed by the presentation from the GW Middle Earth team, which covered where the hobby is headed in the next few months with the release of the new miniatures and then a brand new Hobbit SBG rule book around the end of November.  With the new book being released and with miniatures on hand and painted up we may actually try to get a game of SBG in now. 

After the presentation we had a wander round and took in some of the sights before heading out for some food.  The cos-players in attendance looked great and certainly added to the atmosphere, the Uruk-Hai below was great, and GW Manchester had their Isengard army on display (no photo of that I afraid) along with the impressive Orthanc which I wish I could have taken home with me. 

After a bite to eat and a wander around we returned to Ardacon to take in the atmosphere one last time and say our goodbyes.

The hall a little fuller after a session of gaming

The days swag

Even as just spectators there was plenty on offer and to take in and I hope we see the event take place again next year with potentially even more people as GW ramp back up on all things SBG.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Dwarves At Arms by Macrocosm Miniatures

I just wanted to give you all a little heads up about a Kickstarter that is currently running by Macrocosm Miniatures:

The Kickstarter itself is for several ranges of multi-part Dwarves each based upon a real historical time period and all having a certain classic Citadel feel to them.  However the real gems for me personally are down in the add ons section:

Now these fine well fed fellows are going to being the basis of a Hobbit army which will see use in Dragon Rampant and King Of The Rings.  Again they've got a great old school vibe to them and so much character, I saw these up close at the Derby Worlds show and knew I had to have some (and at that price how could you not!).
Now it isn't only the shorter in stature miniatures which are getting the attention as there are now a range of Ogres dressed as peasantry available along with the Jotnar and I cannot emphasise how awesome these look:

They have that Scandinavian Troll feel but I don't think they'd be out of place in the Hobbit, perhaps harassing farmers after venturing out the the Trollshaws?

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Start of a new project - Stargate

With the hobby table clear it was time to start on the next project so after looking through the vast mountain range of miniatures, which I somehow seem to have proliferated, I found just the thing I was in the mood for... Stargate.

This will be a nice self contained set of miniatures that will see little if any expansion beyond what I have here and as there isn't a huge amount to get through I should be able to get this done in a relatively decent amount of time.
Game wise I had originally created profiles for all of these based on the Doctor Who Miniature Game rule set, a game we enjoy and that would fit these very well however with the release of 7TV second edition I'm tempted to start from scratch and create profiles for them for use in that.

Before I get to that stage though I need to get these washed, cleaned up, sprayed and painted!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Gundabad Orc Characters

Just over a week ago I received my Hobbit Orc characters back from Mally's Minature Painting (, these were all done to a table top standard except for the custom Azog (converted by Shadow and Flame who was given the full works.
I did spend a little time working on some of these myself just to push them a little further (nothing major just a bit of layering on the metal work, flesh and Dwarf skin leather, adding eyes to the Wargs and some of the characters etc) as well as painting and flocking the bases (I always ask for the bases to be unpainted so I can match them up to my collection).
Again I couldn't have been happier with the work Mally puts into his painting and I find that fortunately his painting style fits well with my own so all the miniatures sit well together on the table top.

Azog and his underlings 

Azog on his White Warg 

Bolg on his stretch Warg (not sure what they were thinking when they sculpted this one) 

Yazneg on Warg (one of my favourite sculpts) 

Fimbul on Warg



The true Bolg (and probably my favourite sculpt from the Hobbit Orc range) 




Azog as seen in The Battle of Five Armies