Friday, 20 May 2011

Change is coming!

At the end of a week that has brought us yet more strange decisions by Games Workshop I feel that the time has come to step up and be heard.

Generally speaking I believe that GW's current announcements will in some part be good for the gaming community (certainly within the UK).  They are effectively making people choose what to buy in these tight financial times, and this can only increase the sales of other better priced and more economically savvy products.  The likes of Privateer Press and Mantic Games, for instance, will gain on the back of their decisions.  Over the course of the last 18 months I have seen a marked change in army composition within my club and other clubs in Cornwall, with people mixing in more and more non GW figures.  I think people will continue to play their rules but we'll see a lot more converted models and/or models from other manufacturers on the tabletop.

I must say that I cannot remember the last time I made a direct purchase from a GW store, and in over 20 years of gaming I have only ever bought three times directly from them.  I do however own nearly 7,000 points of Dark Eldar, and several necromunda gangs and bloodbowl teams.  I also have 3,000 points of sisters of battle which do get used on and off.

The biggest concern I have is that yet another price hike and a move to a cheaper material, which it has to be said should improve detailing, will mean that newcomers to the hobby will have a misconception that this is the cost of war gaming.  So it falls to us seasoned hands to pass the news that there are other fish in the sea, other games, other manufactures and many of them are also within the UK.

A very important thing that needs to be said is that people may think that these decisions are bizzare  and arbitrarily brought in by greedy suited folks sat in their Nottingham ivory tower.  That is nonsense; at some time a group of said suited folks, who earn very large salaries, have talked at great length about their marketing strategies.  These decisions are thought about, they're planned, and are never done on a whim just to drive people away.  Whatever their reasoning and whether it works or not is irrelevant, the decision has been made.

So let's not get caught up on burning GW for their decisions; let's rejoice in all that is good within the UK gaming scene.  Games Workshop have never been anything other than very supportive of the community with the great work they do on the schools league and the support they've shown the GCN over the years cannot be faulted.  I do fear tho, that the line between doing good in one area and negatively impacting on that from decisions elsewhere is becoming increasingly blurred.

So, let's not burn, but inform.  Spread the word; change is coming.

Lucky dice


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Girls in Primer

Well, as part of the new project for Cutlass by Black Scorpion Miniatures, I have been assembling my crew of female pirates.  I have used all but one Black scorpion model in my starting crew.  After swapping out some weapons and changing a few poses I have now sprayed them in primer ready for painting.

As per a Facebook (Ben) request here are some pics so far:

And a final picture of what happens when someone takes the terrain away and folks really want to play Cutlass.
Playdoh terrain, it's the next best thing!

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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Cutlass by Black Scorpion

Hi all, well in order to keep my sanity at reasonably normal levels I decided to do a quick review of these new rules.

I picked up a copy of Cutlass at Legionary in Exeter at the weekend and I can say that on first inspection the book looks very nice with a good mix of colour photographs and artwork.  The book is pleasing to the eye and at just over 100 pages it's a good investment for £20.  The cover art is exceptional (and yes you can get "Her" as a figure) even though she is currently sold out......Bugga!  Written by Gav Thorpe and Adam Clarke, it instils good expectations from the cover.

The game is a land based fantasy pirate skirmish game, a bit like Necromunda mixed with a turn system similar to bloodbowl.  The players start a gang with between 5 and 8 models, so it's good as a break in game and for those who can just never seem to get an army painted.  The models from black scorpion are also very nice, but the game allows for a very custom approach to your gang and weapons and equipment can be tailored to meet individual likes or dislikes.  

Play is not by the normal my turn then your turn structure.  Players roll their leaders Authority at the beginning of the game and this total is the amount of action points that player has.  Players then nominate actions for their models to do, which could be move, shoot or combat.  There are also several special actions such as reloading or hide, which can be undertaken by other models in the gang whilst some move for instance. A player spends one action point to make the number of actions equal to the current action point total.  So for instance, a player rolls and gets 6 action points, he spends his first and 6 models can perform the nominated action, or a special action.  The player can then spend his second point but this time on 5 can perform actions and so on until he/she decides to pass active status to the other player or they run out of action points.  Some of the reports I have read have remarked that this system is to reliant on a good roll at the start, and situations when one player gets say 8 and the other gets 1 would lead to a bad game.  Having played a few games now I can say that this very rarely happens, and when it does, you just have to say "it's a game, and next turn it might be the other way around".

According to Newton's third law of motion, for every action there is a an equal and opposite reaction.  this is very much the case with Cutlass.  As players perform action your opponent has a chance, within certain guidelines to react to the actions of their opponents models.  This is a great part of the game and makes the active player think hard about the order in which they conduct their actions.  Should your opponent react, not only do they get to perform an action with the reacting model but they also steal the activation.  This is very similar to a "turnover" in bloodbowl, hence the reference earlier.

The combat and shooting actions are well thought out and work quickly, once you remember your stats.

Cutlass can be played as a one off game and so far that is all we have done, but it's true potential is in it's campaign system.  Gangs will progress as they go through encounters and gain wealth, new members, skills and will either become more famous or infamous.  I will be running a campaign throughout the summer down here, and will post updates here.

My only gripe is that between the different sections of the book, there are 2 pages of repeated filler artwork, which tends to just serve to get in the way, whilst flicking through to check rulings.  This is a minor thing but worth mentioning.

So, all in all Cutlass from black scorpion miniatures is a worthy addition to any pirate lovers shelf and I would recommend checking it out.

Cheers for now


Wow, how time flies!

Just realised that it's been a while since my last post.  Have been super busy with sorting out the first half of operation 'Carboot Courtyard', which is to be West Cornwall games Club's big summer game.  The idea came from Martin, the bastard, I didn't know they could do that, Smith, after he decided that in order to properly satisfy his inner nerd we should reduce down 63 miles of Operation Market Garden ( Holland - September 1944) into a 16 foot by 8 foot table for his birthday at the end of July.

Having agreed to this extreme idea, it was tasked to me to do the following:

Build the board!   Aaarrrggghhhhh!!!!!

I must say that at this point I decided that I needed help (fellow builders, NOT Psychological).  I recruited Big Al and Smiffee to assist.  So over Easter weekend we started with 16 linear feet of hedges and a few old woods that needed some repairs.

So we set to task turning this:

Into this:

Amazingly, we managed this over the long Easter weekend.  Fuelled by wine and pizza we pulled 14 hour days, but what a result.

We have taken the board to Swmee (Shepton Mallet) and to Legionary (Exeter) and at both shows it has been well received.

Oh, forgot to mention the 2 platoons of Waffen SS (52 figures) that I had to build in a day, then get painted in 2 days for the shows.

That "Smiffee" What a bastard!

So that's half the board, next up is Nijmegen and Arnham, both with rivers and bigger bridges.

A final massive thankyou has to go to Big Al for scratch building Veghel bridge the same weekend, that man is a P-card dynamo.

Veghel Bridge:

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