Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Project Pandora: In space no one can hear you roll ones

I am intrigued.

I really like Mantic's Dwarf King's Hold.  To me it resembles a fantasy version of a well known Hulk in Space board game, and that is no criticism of the game.  I like it.

Well, now Mantic seem to be taking that board game into space and into their Warpath universe.  The board game has an expected release date in April 2012, with a special pre release sneak peek on February 13th.

The box will contain a board game* with miniatures from the "Corporation" and "8th Race" Warpath factions.

From the preview picture the 8th Race look like Werewolves in space. Or badgers. Or very angry gerbils.

Have you played Dwarf Kings Hold? Are you looking forward to "Project Pandora"?

*This game bears no resemblance to any other boardgames where humans have to fight xenomorphs in constricted 'Hulk' like corridors, which in turn bore no resemblance to any popular films where humans have to fight xenomorphs in constricted 'terraformed world' like corridors. ;)


Wee Ivor

Month down! January 2012

You WILL follow this Blog
Well its been a month since I resurrected Wee Gamers.  So why?  And what are its aims?

Firstly, I decided that 2012 was going to be a gaming year for me and I wanted to reconnect with a lot of friends who I have met (and have't scared off yet!) and share.

The interweb is about sharing.  Sharing ideas, what you are doing, what you hope to do and, sometimes, have a wide circle of friends and followers who don't mind coming along for the journey.

I have been gaming for 25 years now. Hold on..... I just need a moment to cry into my bag o' dice.  

That should have felt better than it did.  Anyway, I thought it about time to really focus myself on enjoying my free time.

So.

I decided at the start of 2012 that I would see if I could build a community.  A bit presumptuous, but I thought I would try. So, I sat down and made a list of objectives (always useful).  My objectives for the year 

  1. Rebuild it and they will come. Eventually. Maybe.
  2. I wanted rebuild Wee Gamers. But as what? And why would anybody come here?? Well seeing as I live on an island with a temperate climate with a precipitous nature I thought I would start there.  Wee Gamers, I hope, will be used to highlight that the Irish gamer is as good as any round the world.  we may seem dour and have a wicked black humour, we love gaming!

  3. Have at least one game a week.
  4. I have found gaming to have been sparse and eclectic over the past few years.  That will change. Oh, Yes! I will be keeping the blog updated with my exploits (and i have such a happy month's backlog)

  5. Try at least one new game a month.
  6. We all have our favourites that we come back to time and again. Like very familiar friends. So I decided that I should also branch out and so given myself the meager challenge to play at least one new game a month.

  7. Sell stuff to fuel the gaming habit.
  8. I have a day job.  it pays me, but not at the level of Richard Branson.  And toys are not cheap. So I will be selling stuff to give me pocket money to feed the habit.

  9. Make a game. I play other peoples games, so I must inflict the same on them.
  10. Like many over the years I have half made games that get tossed to the side, to be lost forever in game design Room 101.  Not this year!! I will make a game and have a few friends roped in as well. So watch this space and I hope to keep the blog updated on progress.  I can hear Wizards of the Coast quaking in their boots from here. Mwahahahahaha

  11. Go to Conventions.
  12. Online is fun.  Face to face is best. Not just in gaming groups but in a mad conglomeration of geek and nerd heaven where you can meet new friends, try new games and unleash the +5 wallet of buying games you will never play but look cool.

  13. Have fun on the journey.
  14. Says it all.
I am looking for people in Northern Ireland and Ireland to help out and contribute the odd article.  Thanks for dropping by.

WeeIvor












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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Games Workshop does a Hollywood and reboots Lord of the Rings


Ok, so Games Workshop confirms the big reboot of Lord of the Rings and relegates War of the Ring down a division to LOTR Expansions.


Not as bad as i expected, with some rumours tauting War of the Ring becoming a Specialist Game (GW's version of Room 101 - incidentally that's where they put all their good games).

I have not yet got my hands on the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game book yet but i am now considering it now, especially with the five updated books. And some re-jigged models.  The only downside is that a number of them will be in Finecast.

Anyone else going to get into Lord of the Rings line again? Especially with The Hobbit coming to our screens at the end of the year.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Hornby goes Mantic about Kings of War

Hornby PLC published an interesting Interim Management Statement/Trading Updateon 27 January 2012  

Hornby is a well known hobby products group, with a wide brand portfolio including  Hornby, Scalextric, Electrotren, Lima, Jouef, Rivarossi, Airfix, Humbrol and Corgi. They issued an update on trading and an Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 October 2011 to 27 January 2012.  

On Business Performance Hornby states that  
In the Interim Report on the first half of the financial year to 30 September 2011, we highlighted the good progress made in growing sales in our Continental European subsidiaries. This trend has continued to date. At the time of the Interim Report we indicated that sales growth in the UK had been muted. Against a background of fragile consumer confidence and cautious retail trade buying, sales in the pre-Christmas period in the UK were below the corresponding period last year. In particular, sales of high-ticket items such as our Hornby and Scalextric sets were affected adversely. Although Group sales for the financial year to date remain ahead of the same period last year, the rate of growth is below management expectations. The Company therefore expects that pre-tax profits in respect of the year to 31 March 2012 are likely to be below current market expectations. Net debt as at 31 December 2011 was £8.5 million (30 September 2011 £12.8 million, 31 December 2010 £10.3 million). 

They are happy that their supply chain is performing well, continuing to diversify their supplier base.  The Board says it remains confident in the Group's strategy whilst recognising trading conditions in the UK and the rest of Europe will continue to be challenging for the foreseeable future.  They do seem concerned that these conditions are likely to continue to constrain sales of Hornby and Scalextric items.

They are however expanding their portfolio, which includes a number license and distribution agreements such as 

  • Scalextric "Star Wars" products based on the Lucasfilm series of movies, the first of which will be released in 3D format in February 2012.
  • A comprehensive range of pre-school products at keen price points based on the new TV Series "Olly the Little White Van".
  • A newly tooled range of collectable Corgi die cast toys designed to hit the key £1.99 retail price point. 
  • A recently signed distribution agreement with Reeves International (USA) to distribute their range of Breyer Horses in the UK. This range of collectable horses brings Hornby into the arena of girl and adult female collectables, with a flagship launch of "War Horse" collectables 
  • A global license agreement with Mind Candy for its global kids entertainment brand 'Moshi Monsters'. 

And most interesting of all is the single paragraph where it states 
  • A global distribution agreement with fantasy war gaming specialist Mantic Games. Hornby will distribute Mantic's "Kings of War" product range under our highly complementary Humbrol brand. In doing so we will enter the lucrative fantasy war gaming market, and provide a further vehicle for sales of our Humbrol paint ranges. 

So, Hornby have a global distribution agreement with Mantic for the distribution of their Kings of War.  I take it that this would also cover Warpath.  But it does not specify Warpath. Maybe Hornby want to concentrate on the Fantasy line first to see how it goes.

Many thanks to the guys on The Mantic Fanatics Facebook Group for the heads up.

WeeIvor

Crimson Fist anniversary figure for 40k


To celebrate the 25th Birthday of Warhammer 40,000, Games Workshop are releasing the special edition miniature based on the Space Marine Captain from the front cover of the Rogue Trader rulebook. 

Many wargamers (like me) will remember the iconic picture of the Crimson Fist Space Marines last stand fighting desperately against the oncoming horde of Orks. 

Games Workshop say,
The anniversary miniature represents the Captain from that piece of artwork, clad in Mark VI armour and armed with a plasma pistol and power fist (complete with severed Ork head). Remember though, this piece is only available while stocks last (and they will almost certainly not last long), so make sure you order yours now! This pack contains one Warhammer 25 Year Anniversary Model. This model is a finely detailed resin cast miniature supplied as seven components (including a fully detailed base piece), and comes with one 25mm round base and one 60mm round base. 
I am seriously considering getting myself one of these. At £20 that's not too bad for GW.

WeeIvor

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Corporation are going on the Warpath



Next week, Mantic will be turning its attention to The Corporation – their first human race.  In preparation for the week of full on Corporation Mantic have made a background dossier to get you in the mood.

The model range will be released in March.  A mega deal is up in the Mantic store to pre-order your Corporation army.  It is sitting at £149 for 148 models.  That's pretty much £1 per model - fantastic value. 

Not only that but i have to admit i am excited about the models.  They look gorgeous.




The Corporation are well trained and equipped with the best in military technology, Corporation Troopers are worth scores of the warriors of less advanced cultures, leaving them free to mercilessly mow down scores of the enemy with pulses from their laser weaponry. Number of Miniatures: 148 Product Type: Plastic Resin Miniatures Unit Type: Army Set This Set Includes: 1 x FREE Warpath Rules 1 x FREE Metal Corporation Major-General with Energy Fist and Energy Sword options 60 x Corporation Marines Includes Energy Fists and Special Weapons 9 x two-man Heavy Weapon Squad with Heavy Laser and Autocannon variants 30 x Corporation Veterans - 24 Veterans with Special Weapons and 6 x two-man Heavy Weapon Team 40 x Corporation Rangers includes drop-packs and special weapons Round Plastic Bases Mantic Points
I like the Squa.....Forge Fathers and the Orx, but the Corporation is very exciting indeed.  I can see them  not only being used for Warpath but also for Tomorrows War from Osprey and Ambush Alley games.

March seems such a long way away. :(

WeeIvor

Blood Bowl ... on the go!

I recently found my old Orc Blood Bowl team and I am thinking about getting a game soon.  Then those lads over at Beasts of War had an article that really caught my eye!!

Comixininos have produced a Magnetic mini Fantasy Football board game perfect for your pocket as its 10” long x 10” wide. The board can be closed over to be 10"x 5".  

When closed it can contain everything that comes with it.  

The game includes 42 magnetic Teams with a double of each team (so that's 21 distinct teams).  Each team contains 13 players (546 players), so there will spare players in case any get a bit, er, lost. 

Contents:
Magnetic board game 
42 Magnetic Teams (546 players) 
2 Mini Range Rulers 
4 six-sided Dice (7mm x 7mm): 2 red and 2 blue
8 Magnetic Re-roll and Turn Counters 
3 pieces of yellow pressure-sensitive adhesive to make up to 15 footballs.

The black block dice (normal block dice size) in the picture are NOT INCLUDED, but give you a sense of the size of the other components. 

At 25 Euro (about £20) i think i may buy one.

There is a really good review on BoardGameGeek

WeeIvor

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What you really need for the Zombie Apocalypse


If you had to have ONE gun for the inevitable zombiepocalypse, then Haus of Guns have made what can only be described as the ultimate Zombie killing gun

The DoubleStar, Corp J&T AK-47.

It’s complete with an ACE Skeleton stock, a midwest industries quad rail forend, aimpoint micro red dot sight, Tapco SAW grip AND…. A CHAINSAW!

Haus have built an electric chainsaw hooked to the bottom of the quad rail. It’s battery powered, so the battery pack fits nicely under the ACE Skeleton stock.

As Haus of Guns says
The biggest down side? You guessed it! This thing is HEAVY! Hope you’ll enjoy the video. It’s just a minute long, but well worth the glance, and I think you’ll agree with me that this is the ultimate zombie AK-47.
All the better to bludgeon zombies when you run out of ammo AND batteries :)

Below is a video of the beast in action.




I soooooooooo want one.

Lord/War of the Rings - No one loves us, we don't care!


Ever since Games Workshop obtained the licence to produce Lord of the Rings long time fans and fanboys of Warhammer and Warhammer 40k have been divided.  Which always saddened me a bit as I love 40k but i think the best miniatures and fantasy system is Lord of the Rings,  It has been turned into a tournament scene, but really it was a story driven system that allowed gamers to play casually, just like when i started doing this in the 1980s.  Don't get me wrong, i love tournaments as well, but they are not the be all and end all.

Well, this incoming month LOTR player haters are going to have to sit in a darkened room for a while.  February sees what looks like a complete re-launch of the system.  New miniatures and a re-jig of the rules which looks like it includes the combination of both the LOTR and WOTR rule books into one.  This re-launch begins on 4th February.

Many thanks to Heresy Online, Warseer and Dakka Dakka for doing all the hard work so i can get an easy blog post :)

So, what's coming out?
  • Lord of the Rings Rulebook,
  • Mines of Moria box set
  • The Watcher in the Water (10cm high and 18 cm long), Finecast
  • Great Beast Gorgoroth (a kind of Rhino with a lot of ugly orcs of Mordor in the hump), Finecast
  • Cataphracts box of 6 minis (plastic) and includes dead cataphracts .
  • Dragon Knight (hero of The Horse), blister Finecast
  • Militant Priest (cleric of the East Riding) Finecast
  • Amdur, Lord of the Sword (foot and horse), Finecast
  • Gr├┤blog king of the deep, Finecast
  • Ashraka, related to spiders (a goblin shaman), Finecast
  • Raider Worg (a wolf billet with 3 riders in the hump goblin), Finecast
  • LOTR daed warriors from various races
  • Rohan Command (2 heroes, standard and musician), Finecast
  • Dwarves Command (2 heroes, standard and musician), Finecast
  • Galadhrim Elf Command (hero, magician and musician banner), Finecast
  • Commanders of Gondor (2 heroes, standard and musician), Finecast
  • Dweller in Darkness, Finecast


There will be 5 'army' books that cover ALL armies. The books will cover
  • Realms of Men (Arnor, Gondor, Rohan)
  • Forces of Mordor (Mordor, Isengard, Moria/Misty Mountains Goblins)
  • Free folk of Middle-Earth (Elves and Dwarfs )
  • Fallen Realms (Harad and Easterlings)
  • a Forgotten Kingdoms one to sums up the rest.

These Books will contain updated rules for ALL LotR Miniatures.  Sadly, for me it seems that WotR is to vanish from stores and become a specialist game (That's it killed off then).

So, February is dominated by Lord of the Rings with a lot of new or re-launched models.  Smaug is also rumoured but being tied to The Hobbit i really can't see him coming out before December.

One issue is that Games Workshop will be withdrawing all the old figure packs, reducing the numbers and re-launching.  Now overall the pack will cost less, but with fewer figures that means the per figure cost will go up.

And just to whet your appetites for the film out on 14th December


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Rogue Trader is 25 - GW to relaese Miniature

Its hard for me to imagine, but Warhammer 40,000 : Rogue Trader is 25 years old this year.

I still remember buying my copy along with the box of thirty plastic Space Marines in Games Workshop's Oxford Plaza shop (is even still there??).

It was such a classic game to play. I still have it and may indeed even break it out for a game - I sill have the expansion 'Chapter Approved: Book of the Astronomicon.'  I have very, very fond memories of this first journey into the mythos of the 40k universe.

Ad so to celebrate this momentous occasion Games Workshop are bringing out an anniversary miniature. It will be released on 25th February 2012.  I reckon it will be £25.

And i think it is better than the Blood Angels 'Magic Rainbow' Marine for Games Day this year.

Unfortunately, it will be in FineCast.  But I am more than tempted to pick this one up. And so without further ado.........


What do you think?  Will you buy one? Do you remember Rogue Trader?

Thanks to Heresy Online Forums for the heads up.

Vote early! Vote often! TGN Reader's Choice Awards


Voting has opened for those who have been nominated for the TGN 2011 Reader's Choice Awards.

Readers are being asked to pick their favorite from the nominated products, and voting is happening between Monday January 23rd to the end of Friday January 27th. 

The categories are 
  • Sci-Fi Miniature 
  • Fantasy Miniature 
  • Alternative Adventure Miniature 
  • Historical Miniature 
  • Vehicle 
  • Rules/Expansions 
  • Terrain Accessories 

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get voting!! :)

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Moon Nazis are coming to a Boardgame near you!

You may (or may not) have heard of a fantastic crowd sourced film coming out this year. 

Its called Iron Sky.  Its coming on 4th April 2012.

The background for the film is that towards the end of World War II Nazi scientists made a significant breakthrough in anti-gravity. From a secret base built in the Antarctic, the first Nazi spaceships were launched in late ‘45 to found the military base on the dark side of the Moon. This base was to build a powerful invasion fleet and return to take over the Earth once the time was right.

Now it’s 2018, and it’s the time for the first American Moon landing since the 70′s. Meanwhile the Nazi invasion, that has been over 70 years in the making, is on its way, and the world is goose-stepping towards its doom.

You will also be able to either invade the Earth or protect it from the Moon Hun Invasion in Iron Sky: The Board Game that offers co-operative fast paced strategy for 2-6 players. Iron Sky: The Board Game pits players against each other in a battle over Earth. It mixes co-operation with competition, since the commanders of the Earth and Moon Nazi fleets co-operate with their compatriots in crushing the enemy. Each player takes a role of a commander with his individual style of leadership, with a mission to either protect or assault a part of the globe.

It is available now for pre-order and will be published in April this year.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with Cool Mini or Not

Cool Mini or Not are really getting into the Chinese New Year which ushers in the Year of the Dragon :)


Sh*t Dungeons and Dragons Players say

Not much i can say.

They hit the nail on the head. :)


Any better videos out there exposing Roleplayers' foibles?

Thanks to +Mark Roy for posting in the first place and to +Greg Christopher for putting it into my G+ stream.

The Settlers Of Trek

The Settlers Of Catan is boldly going where no man has gone before. Kind of.

There will be a Star Trek version of the iconic game published this year.

This new version will replace the board's hexagon land segments with individual planets, cities and villages with large and small space stations, and roads with star ships.

On that dreaded roll of a 7 a Klingon Bird of Prey will appear to steal those resources.  Resources will, of course be dilithium, tritanium, food, oxygen, and water.

In this version special character cards, including Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Scott, Uhura, Chekov, Chapel, Rand, or Sarek, each have 2 special powers to aid a player, like forcing someone to make a trade with you.

I can't wait, can you?

Thanks to Gizmodo and Board Game Geek for highlighting this beauty.


Sunday, 22 January 2012

RHQ examine how to clean your airbrush

Nice little video from Rankings HQ on cleaning your airbrush.


Do you use an airbrush? How do you find using it? the results? How does this video stack up to how you clean your airbrush?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Star Wars - Uncut. Brilliant

Thought this good enough to share.

In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of Internet users to remake "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted. Within just a few months  Star wars Uncut grew into a wild success. being featured in documentaries, news features and conferences around the world for its unique appeal. In 2010 the project won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media. 

This "Director's Cut" is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire Star Wars Uncut collection. 


o

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Panthers are coming - The Plastic Soldier Company

The Plastic Soldier Company have just released their 15mm WW2 German Ausf. D, A & G Pathers onto an unsuspecting tabletop near you. At £17.95 for 5 tanks that are customisable that is not bad at all.  Perfect for Flames of War (which is about to have 3rd edition published soon)

Their blurb reads

"The first big cat is loose and on the prowl.......

Anyone for a 15mm Panther?
Panthers are rolling out of the factory, in hand and ready to ship. The kit is our biggest 15mm vehicle kit so far with all 3 variants of the Panther on one sprue, hence the slightly higher price of £17.95 (for 5 vehicles)."

They have also released their first 15mm decal sets - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 12th and 9th SS Panzer Divisions. Each decal set contains all that is  needed for that unit - divisional insignia, balkencreuz and a good variety of turret numbers. Each pack has four sheets of waterslide decals and is well priced at £5.75.

They are also looking to know if people want the same decals for 28mm.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Wizards reprint 1st Edition ADnD for Gygax

In honour of Gary Gygax Wizards of the Coast are reprinting the original edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in order to raise funds for the Gygax Memorial Fund 

Their press statement sets it out:
"In 1974, the world changed forever when Gary Gygax introduced the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. The legacy of his innovative ideas and the extensive reach of his powerful influence can be seen in virtually every facet of gaming today. To help honor his work and his memory, we created limited-edition reprints of the original 1st Edition core rulebooks: the Monster Manual, Player's Handbook, and Dungeon Master's Guide. These premium versions of the original AD&D rulebooks have been lovingly reprinted with the original art and content, but feature an attractive new cover design commemorating this re-release. Available in limited quantities as a hobby channel exclusive in North America. Your purchase of this monumental book helps support the Gygax Memorial Fund—established to immortalize the “Father of Roleplaying Games” with a memorial statue in Lake Geneva, WI."
 However, read the blurb all you non North Americans.
"Available in limited quantities as a hobby channel exclusive in North America."
Thanks a bunch, Wizards.

Outside of the USA, if you could buy it would you?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Settlers of Android - Catan on the go

Settlers of Catan, the iconic strategy board game, is now providing gaming fun anytime, anywhere as it builds its cities and roads on iPads, iPhones, and Android.

Staying true to the original game, you can compete with up to four players for the most settlements, the longest roads and the largest army. 

You can trade with each other and claim the precious land with all its resources. If there are no other players available, various Catanians, each with their own individual characteristics, will prove themselves worthy competitors: the pirate Jean, who knows no compromise, Vincent the merchant, who never allows himself to be cheated, Sean the knight, who takes what is rightfully his.


The complete Seafarers expansion includes more than 10 additional scenarios with an extensive campaign and is available as an In App-Purchase. Become Harbormaster, discover new islands and extra game elements like ships, gold fields, treasures and pirates. 

For imply take a picture of the QR code shown below with a barcode scanner app and your phone will be taken right into the Android Market. 

It is available in English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese.

I will definitely be checking this out.  Has anyone already got the app? What do you think?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

When Geeks and Nerds collide - EPawn Arena is born!

I have just had a look at EPawn, a new company that seems to have aroused both the Geek and the Nerd in my soul.  Why?

Well the French company seems to have sent plugged and unplugged gaming on a date with each other and they seem to be getting on great together. Essentially they have amalgamated the geeky need to create new gadgets and the nerdy need to play games obsessively.  And it seems to look very, very promising.

They have two proposed products at the minute.  The EPawn Arena and EPawn screenLess Arena.

The Arena is a 26” screen tht can track and computate real-world objects(miniatures) into interactive and multimedia environments (digital map).  The ePawn Arena uses tracking technology embedded in the 26” IPS screen and can be connected to any smartphone, PC, tablet, gaming console or laptop, allowing several players to play simultaneously together. ePawn Arena’s unique capabilities take the gaming experience to a whole new level of fun and creativity . The ePawn Arena is geared towards role-playing games, immersive environments and action games.

The screenLess Arena is designed more for playing family and tabletop games. The screenLess Arena is a generic 50×50 cm tracking platform capable of interacting with any remote device such as TV, tablets or PC.  Boardgames or any tabletop gaming can be associated to the screenLess Arena.

The screenLess Arena is generic 50×50 cm tracking platform capable of interacting with any remote device such as TV, tablets or PC. Boardgames, chess boards or any tabletop gaming can be associated to the screenLess Arena.

Both products will be available in the second half of the year.

The tagline is "A brand new way to play family games and tabletop games." though there are no actual prices they have indicated on their FAQ page
This wonderful stuff and will cost a lot, I’m sure of that!
No. Not at all. Our products have been designed by gamers for gamers and we want them to be affordable. The ePawn Arena will be in the pricing range of a game console while the screenLess Arena will be even more affordable.
I'm hoping the games console price range they are talking about will be one of those 'plug into your tv' consoles that the likes of Poundland or Argos sell ;)  Though i doubt it.  This could put the Arena into the £200 to £400 price range.

Unconvinced about its potential? Well just take a look at this promo trailer they have on their YouTube channel.


Oh My Giddy Aunt!!

What do you think?  Leave your feedback in the comments.

DUST Tactics goes all red with latest expansion

I play DUST Tactics every so often (I have the first edition starter set) and i have to say i kind of like it so far.  I think i need to play it a bit more to really get into it.  As with all Fantasy Flight Games stuff, production and design is of a very high quality.

It has been on the go for a a couple of years now with a good number of expansions to keep players occupied (see the pun there?) with Weird War Two.  I will do a more indepth run through at a later date.

The latest expansion has grabbed my attention.  To put it simply - the Russians are coming!
The blurb states,
The Sino-Soviet Union (SSU) is the newest playable faction in Dust Tactics! This world power has been in the middle of the global struggle for years. Now, for the first time, you have the chance build your very own SSU force and crush your enemies. With the addition of this faction, immediately supported by a five unit expansions, the global conflict in Dust Tactics grows even more intense. In addition to powerful units for the SSU, the Operation “Zverograd” campaign provides the SSU backstory along with scenarios and rules to get started.
The SSU will be released sin the second quarter 2012.  FFG are also planning that all of the SSU Dust Tactics expansions will be available at launch, so no waiting for ages for the next unit you really need.  Which is nice of them.


So as FFG say
In the second quarter of 2012, prepare to defend the motherland.
The miniatures look lovely (as usual) and very tempting.  





Do you play Dust Tactics? What do you think of the game? Are you looking forward to Dust Warfare?


Let me know what you think about the game in the comments.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Zombie Shores are full of Secrets


The year is 1949, and World War II continues apace. London and Berlin have been obliterated by Atom Bombs, and Northwest Europe and Eastern Russian are ravaged by the the aftermath of V-Gas - a deadly German nerve agent that kills the victim only to re-animate the corpse. As war rages, small battle groups of British, American, German and Russian troops engage in vicious combat, aided by new technology, dark magic, alien artefacts and ancient horrors. 

This is a world of Bullet Proof Vests, Powered Armour, Assault Rifles and Panzer Mech.  

This is a world of Werewolves, Vampires, Drug enhanced Super-Soldiers, Priests, Psychics and ........ Zombies. 

This the world of Secrets of the Third Reich

1949: Secrets of the Third Reich is a tabletop wargame with a Weird War Two setting.  It is supported by a specific range of 28mm figures, produced by West Wind Productions and who worked with Grindhouse Games to produce the actual ruleset

I just love the darker more dystopian vision of a World War Two that continued way beyond the real one and that it was because of supernatural and alien interference.  The armies are all fairly balanced and fun to play.  Its also great to be able to use Mecha :) There are even rules for building your own.

There are four main factions at present with Germans, British, USA and Russia all having good force options.  Some more options have been added in the expansion 'Doomsday' book.

I started collecting the Germans for the game, though i use Warlord Games minis for the infantry.  Just a personal preference that means i can use the figures for straight WW2 games as well.  I also went with the 1/48 scale historical vehicles instead of the more widely accessible 1/56 (true 28mm).  This is mostly to do with liking the bulkier size, especially for the tanks, and 28mm miniatures in metal are not true scale.  Warlords plastic World War Two infantry kits seem to be much more true scale and would probably sit nicely with the 1/56 scale.  If you compare the plastic with the metal you will notice the metal miniatures are, while not being any higher, bulkier and broader.  Once they are on a 25mm base their height also goes up a bit as well.  I may do a miniature comparison at some stage.

Well, i am really excited about getting an opportunity to be able to take part this weekend at Arkham Gaming Centre   in the Secrets of the Third Reich friendly tournament 'Zombie Shores'. I will take pictures and if i can remember I will let you all know how i get on.

Sturmbannf├╝hrer Wolfram von Eshcenbach s determined to the allied invasion back into the sea. And he is bringing his big cat 'Parzival.

2012 is getting better all the time.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Sad passing of one of the 'Damnatus


Tobias Reinhold, part of the team who created Damnatus, one of the first if not the first 40K fan film, has passed away.  A touching obituary was put up on the Damnatus website.

Tobias fought against Leukemia but lost his fight on the 6th January this year.  He would have been 29 in February.

It really brings it home - he is much younger than I am and it feels he still had so much more to offer.  My deepest respect and thoughts go to his family and friends.

The obituary highlights how important a role Tobias played in getting Damnatus made.  As one part says,
As the co-producer Tobias helped to organize and coordinate the shooting, and he also supported it financially - in short: he helped to make it happen. Without him, the film probably would never have been made. The many new friends that he met on the set and in the hell of DAMNATUS, remember him as a friendly manager, who took care of everyone, who always thought about the whole group, especially if the director - me - tried to push the tired crew and cast members to their limits, to get the last scene of the day done. Tobias was the good soul of the DAMNATUS team, at the end of the shooting he was totally spent, the whole project took much of his energy.
Emperor watch over you Tobias.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Wizards fire up DnD Next

DnD Next is the community group set up by Wizards of the Coast to be the source for the latest information on playtesting the next iteration of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. 

Starting later in the year, members of the group who sign a new online playtesting agreement and non-dislcosure agreement will have access to regular playtesting materials and have the opportunity to provide feedback. 

There was coverage of the announcement in the New York Times and on Legends & Lore 

The site also has a little announcement for any would be designer contributing to the 5e iteration of D&D, that 
By posting in this group you agree that your comments, suggestions, ideas, and/or creative materials or other information ("Feedback") are non-confidential and shall become the sole property of Wizards. This does not apply to any personal information about you (such as name, mailing address and e-mail address), the use and disclosure of which is described in Wizards' Privacy Policy.
Have fun!

DnD go crowdsourcing for 5th Edition

Mike Mearls' title in today's press release from Wizards of the Coast says it all - 'Charting the Course for D&D  -Your Voice, Your Game' as the beginning of the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons is announced.  In the press release Mike tells us that at this years Gen Con a draft of the new set of rules will be on show and that by this Spring the draft set of new rules will be in open playtest to allow as many people as possible to feed back in to the creation of 5e. 

If you go to the Dungeons and Dragons main website page a nice popup appears inviting you to "Sign up today and become part of gaming history".  Click on the signup button and it will take you to their big press release detailing how 5e will be developed - via open playtesting throughout 2012.


At the bottom of the press release page is a link to an email signup form.

The full Press Release says
We are happy to announce today that we are developing the next iteration of D&D, and will be looking to the legions of D&D fans to help shape the future of the game along with us.
Our mission is to ensure that D&D enters its next 40 years as a vibrant, growing, and exciting game. By listening to the needs of the D&D community, we can meet this goal. As part of our increased efforts to engage with the player-base, we launched a series of weekly articles in early 2011, including Rule of Three and Legends & Lore, to give you a voice in our work.  We’ve listened to both praise and criticism from all D&D fans, regardless of their edition of choice, and we’ll continue to do so.
That is why we are excited to share with you that starting in Spring 2012, we will be taking this process one step further and conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it. With your feedback and involvement, we can make D&D better than ever. We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play.
D&D is more than just a set of rules for fantasy gaming. It launched an entire gaming genre and played a pivotal role in creating the entirety of the gaming industry, both analog and digital. The game has lived and thrived because it has awoken a spark of creation, visions of daring adventure, wondrous vistas, and untold horrors that pull us all together as a community of RPG fans. It is the countless players and DMs who have brought it to life over the years. The game is at its best when it is yours.
For that reason, we want your participation. The goals we have set for ourselves are by no means trivial or easy. By involving you in this process, we can build a set of D&D rules that incorporate the wants and desires of D&D gamers around the world. We want to create a flexible game, rich with options for players and DMs to embrace or reject as they see fit, a game that brings D&D fans together rather than serves as one more category to splinter us apart. We have begun obtaining feedback from a limited Friends and Family playtest consisting of internal employees and their gaming groups and soon we will be expanding that group to consist of members from our existing body of playtesters. Then at the D&D Experience convention in late January, Wizards of the Coast will conduct a special playtest of ideas currently in development. The D&D Experience will be moving to Gen Con in 2013, so as a convention special this year, we will be offering show attendees a first-look at a draft of the new set of rules. Then beginning sometime in the spring, we will begin open playtesting. Through our web site, we will release a growing set of rules, classes, monsters and other materials for your study and feedback. We seek to reach as many people as possible, from the gamer who just started with D&D last week to the gaming group that has been together since the early-1970s. For this process to work, we want to give a voice to all D&D fans and players of all previous editions of the game.
The next year is going to be an exciting one. There is a lot of work to be done, and I’m hoping you have the time, energy, and inclination to pitch in. We sure hope you do, as we seek to make gaming history by shaping the future of D&D, together.

Now, how do you feel about this new method of crowd sourcing? Will it essentially give D&D away free? Will enough people feel the need to buy D&D 5e if they already have a finished or close to finished version to work from?  

Will Mike's line of "The game is at its best when it is yours" come back to haunt him? or will this crowd sourcing "make gaming history"? 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

By Jove, what a Wizard App!

Wizards of the Coast have announced there will be a Magic the Gathering Toolbox App to be released for iOS and Android.  

The iOS verion will be released by the end of January with the Android coming shortly after.

As a long time on and off player (started with 3rd edition) i think this will be a good addition to anyone's MTG arsenal.

Below are a couple of examples of what it will look like.


What do you think? Are you looking forward to this official App?

Credit:
Geek Native for finding the article first.

Woodland Scenics hit by big fire

Woodland Scenics, one of the worlds makers of high quality model scenery, was hit by a fire on 5th January, caused by a faulty exhaust motor fan.

Thankfully it seems they are back to work and none of the 150 or so employees will be affected by this disaster.

Gale Cousins Director of Sales & Customer Service of Woodland Scenics said,

As you may have heard we have experienced a fire here at Woodland Scenics and there is good news and bad news. The good news is that no one was hurt during the fire or evacuation process. The bad news is that it took out a couple of our manufacturing buildings. However, and fortunately, there is more good news than bad. We encompass multiple buildings that are spread out all over the town of Linn Creek.
We only lost two of those buildings and those two contained just a small portion of our manufacturing facilities. Our shipping department, warehouse and corporate offices were spared any damage, as were most of our manufacturing buildings, so it is business as usual. Thanks for all your concerns.  
For an example of what they do i include a fantastic video they have produced on creating a winter scene.



Credits
Killian McKeever on the Hobby Workshop group on Facebook for highlighting to me.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Games Workshop's Paulson Games smackdown

Games Workshop has announced that they have settled an agreement with Paulson Games over copyright litigation, commenced by Games Workshop in federal court in Chicago. 

Paulson Games and Games Workshop have agreed on the range of products Paulson Games is permitted to sell without violating Games Workshop’s claimed rights in its Warhammer 40,000 characters and have agreed to terminate the litigation between them. 

Games Workshop’s case against Chapterhouse Studios continues.

Games Workshop has a good return

Kudos to Geek Native for their article on how GW is coping with a recession.  It piqued my curiosity so i had a look at the source material.  After a little look through the statements it can be said that whatever we think of Games Workshop they are doing well during a bad time.  

In a press release, Mark Wells, CEO of Games Workshop, said: 
“An encouraging first half performance in which we have delivered growth in sales, profit and return on capital from our core business. Good progress has been made on our strategic initiatives; these are beginning to show through in results from our Hobby centres. We also received a significant royalty payment which has been recognised in the first half. In line with our policy of distributing truly surplus cash, we are pleased to report that the board is declaring a dividend of 29p per share.
The Press Release also went on to say 
As a niche business, we, in general terms, neither benefit nor suffer from macro economic factors as our current results show. The Hobby is healthy and the challenge is to stay focused on what needs to be done to service it efficiently and cost effectively. The principal risks and uncertainties for the balance of the year lie in the ability of the sales businesses to establish or maintain sales growth and for the product development and manufacturing operation to maintain gross margin. Games Workshop‟s core business model remains strong. The initiatives we have implemented in the sales businesses are designed to lead to higher volumes whilst maintaining hard won efficiencies. The board remains confident in the future growth and profitability of the Group.
Operating profit in Australia and Asia continues to be in the red, worse than the previous years but they are beginning to have a nice boost from royalties from the likes of THQ who have a licencing agreement up to 2020.

It would be interesting to see how much the whole hobby industry is worth. Hmmm, now there is a challenge.

I Vant to Drink Yoor Blood

The Vampires of the Old World claim dominion over the mortal remains of all earthly creatures. To die is to surrender oneself to their powe.  Patient, cunning, devious, the Vampires work to conquer the lands of the living with ancient and corrupt sorcery. Should they succeed in their dreaded goals, the rays of the sun shall be forever suffocated by the night, and the age of men will be replaced by an age of the dead. The world will be transformed into a ghastly necropolis of mindless and uncaring slaves, ruled over by the iron will of the Vampire Counts. When death alone is certain, how can the living possibly hope to prevail? 
And so Games Workshop launches the pre-order for the new Vampire Counts army book coming out on 14th January 2012.  I have to say that while i have never been a big Warhammer Fantasy Battle, i am tempted with this.  I already have a Dwarf army (which has had no GW love for years - for shame!!).  
However, i like the look of the skeletons as they are back to being earthy and gritty.  I am slightly perturbed by the likes of the Vampire coven throne which seems a bit over the top, like some of the other bits.  It says "display only - do not touch" as it seems to have quite a few 'pointy bits' - how on earth are people going to heft it about to games without breaking it?

Finecast is also making an outing here with figures such as Issabella von Carstein, Krell, Lord of Undeath, Winged Vampire Lord, Heinrich Kemmler, Manfred von Carstein, to name but a few.  Unsure why they went Finecast with the bats (£15.50 for 2 40mm stands really is a bit much) instead of plastic - but there you go.

The 96-page full-colour hardback Army book contains all the rules needed to field a Vampire Counts army, as well as detailed background information, bestiary, accompanying artwork and miniatures showcase. 

As ever you will need a copy of Warhammer Fantasy Battle to use the book.


Is anyone intending to go all Vampire?  Let me know what you think about the book, what the figures (especially the Finecast) are like and how they play.

Wee Ivor

Friday, 6 January 2012

Back behind the wheel

It has been too long since i last updated but i thought i would use a New Year as a good excuse to start nerding and geeking out about gaming again.  A lot of ideas and a lot of games to be played this year.

In the mean time don't forget to listen in to Following the Nerd on your computer and check out the Facebook page.  They let me on from time to time if i behave.