The State of the Hunt, Week 51/2017: Gosh, is it that time of year already?

Well would you believe it: Christmas has managed to sneak up on me again! With so much to do and so little time left this year, the one thing I definitely want to achieve is to publish another round of my annual Eternal Hunt Awards, and I am currently gathering material for that and preparing the posts — wish me luck πŸ˜‰

Until then, allow me to address some assorted news straight from my messy hobby lab:

 

I. More grimdark games…

I would like to start with an addendum to my recent post about grimdark video games, mostly because I forgot to include two particularly striking examples on my list

The first is an incredibly 40k-ish moment in a game that is otherwise just about the least grimdark game you could possibly imagine:

Final Fantasy IX is, for the uninitiated among you, a callback to the series’ earlier, more innocent days, with lots of cutesy characters, talking animals, super-deformed character design and an all around cuteness that has held up remarkably well over the years. However, the game also features the regency of Lindblum, an industrious and advanced city state that basically looks like a hive:


Lindblum is a multi level city scape that seems like the love child of Victorian era London and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis…appearing in a Disney film — but then that’s Japanese JRPG eclecticism for you πŸ˜‰

Seriously, though: Given Final Fantasy IX’s endearing overall design, it should be no surprise that we are dealing with a rather cutesy version of a hive here — no gang wars or underhive mutants to be found. There’s a pretty spiffy theatre district, though:

Back when the game was first released, Lindblum was one of the most stunning locales ever to be featured in a roleplaying game. And its design is still lovely many years later — with the added bonus of actually giving us a decent impression of what a bustling hive city might actually look like…minus the Moogles and talking animal people, that is:

The other addition to my list of grimdark games is a baffling oversight, in retrospect, because it has to be the mostΒ  incredibly 40k/INQ28 game ever to not bear the actual license:

A postapocalyptic adventure game, Dark Earth is set centuries after a big cataclysm has managed to wipe out modern civilisation. The dust and grime from the earth-shattering cataclysm have managed to permanently clog the atmosphere, casting the whole planet into darkness. The sole remains of civilisation cluster around so-called “Stallites”, city states construced around areas where light is still available by scientific or natural means. It probably won’t surprise you at this point that those stallites share more than a passing resemblance with 40k’s hive cities, even though they are slightly more medieval than your average 40k hive.


The society presented by the game is fascinating, though — and oh so INQ28 in style: With everything within the city geared towards maintaining the life-preserving light, society has adapted and stratified accordingly, with a solar priest class and a warrior caste – the Flame Guardians – at the top of society. Dark Earth puts you in the shoes of Arkhan, member of the Flame Guardians, who gets infected with a creeping corruption while fending off an attempt on the high pristess’ life. With his body slowly beginning to mutate and reshape into a creature of darkness, Arkhan embarks on a frantic quest to uncover a treacherous plot that might threaten the entire stallite before his time is up. Cast from his upper class surroundings, he must discover the seedier parts of the city — a veritable underhive full of malcontents, paupers and cultists.


Sounds like an Inquisitor campaign, doesn’t it? Indeed, the game’s scenario seems incredibly 40k in hindsight, if on a slightly more feudalistic level. There’s also a very distinctive look and feel to the game world: If you are into French graphic novels, you’ll find a lot to like here, as the game’s developer, Kalisto, is a French studio and certainly knows how to imbue their setting with the right style. The idea of Arkhan slowly transforming into a deformed monster also adds an intriguing, if slightly stressful, element to the game. All in all, I remember being quite taken with the game when I played it during the late 90s!

Dark Earth was originally planned as a series, and it’s readily obvious how much world building the folks at Kalisto did for the game and the planned sequels. Alas, it was not to be: A sequel for the Playstation 2 was cancelled without much fanfare. In an interesting twist of fate, however, it seems the world of Dark Earth did actually spawn a pretty successful (tabletop) roleplaying setting in its native France — and deservedly so, because the setting and general ideas behind Dark Earth were pretty fantastic!

Unfortunately, the game is not currently available on Steam or GoG (there’s a petition, though). You can – and should –Β  read up on the game in more detail over at Hardcoregaming101 (a highly recommended resource, by the way!), and there’s also a trailer giving you an impression of the overall style (and the badly aged CGI) here:

 

 

II. Digging in for Christmas

One of the best hobby moments of 2017 was when BubblesMcBub, whom I met during my visit to Amsterdam, sent me almost the entire Death Guard part of the Dark Imperium boxed set. In return, I promised him a couple of conversions, and I have been terribly neglectful about honouring that particular promise, due to a combination of laziness and RL reasons.

It goes without saying, however, that I remain committed to honouring our agreement, so the first model I have built for Bubbles shall make its way to the Netherlands, along with some odds and ends, later this week — and hopefully even in time for Christmas. But what kind of model are we talking about?

For starters, Bubbles wanted an officer for his Iron Warriors, and he told me he would like to see a Khornate Iron warrior to boot. No sweat, right? The one complication was that Bubbles’ Iron Warriors have a much cleaner, 30k-inspired look than the very baroque CSM I usually build, so I tried to dial back my usual style a bit.

So my task was to…

  • come up with a suitably imposing officer/champion
  • incorporating some classically Khornate attributes
  • at the same time, I still wanted him to clearly read as an Iron Warrior, so he needed to look suitably no-nonsense and slightly techy as well.
  • keeping the model clean enough to work with the rest of Bubbles’ army.

So without much further ado, here’s the model I built:





Personally speaking, I think I’ve hit a pretty good middle ground between “obviously Khornate” and “still fairly professionally Iron Warrior-sy”. And more importantly, BubblesMcBub seems to be happy with the model as well, which is what matters! So hang in there for a few days longer, mate! I’ll be swinging by the post office ASAP πŸ˜‰

 

III. What else is new?

In other news, I am also gearing up for some long-overdue hobby time over the holidays: I’ve picked up the wonderful new Necromunda boxed set and am currently salivating over those lovely gang sprues. Nothing has been built yet — although some Goliath bitz have already made their way into my 30k World Eaters collection. Anyway, expect to hear from my firsthand experiments with the new sprues soon-ish.

And even though my painting output hasn’t been all that incredible this year – at least where mere numbers are concerned – I think I might have one more model in me for 2017. This guy:



I am still rather happy with the conversion, and the model should also make for an excellent capstone for 2017 — seeing how the very first model I painted this year was another converted plastic Contemptor, Vaako the Immortal, a model I am still enormously proud of:

So yeah, let’s hope this all works out! If all goes according to plan, the first post of this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards should go live later this week — keep your fingers crossed for me πŸ˜‰ And I’ll make sure to put in some painting, in between all the sleeping and the eating. What about you guys, though? Any last minute chores or hobby commitments? As always, I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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21 Responses to “The State of the Hunt, Week 51/2017: Gosh, is it that time of year already?”

  1. Alexander Winberg Says:

    Good to see you posting, I cannot fully agree on the grimdarkness of the final fantasy games but I see what you mean about the hive scape. But isn’t Midgar a better example?

    You’ve made some great miniatures this year, the dread looks good as usual.

    Happy holidays mate!

    • Cheers, Alexander! I wasn’t arguing in favour of those FF games actually being grimdark so much (like I said, FFIX is basically the least grimdark game you could possibly imagine, at least for the most part), I was just making my way through the FFIX remaster lately and was struck by how incredibly hive-like Lindblum seems — even moreso than Midgar in some respects, as the opulence and baroque design are a closer fit than Midgar’s Cyberpunk hi-tech look. Then again, Midgar’s slums are very Necromunda indeed, aren’t they? πŸ˜‰

      As for the models, cheers for the compliment! I painted far less than I would have liked, but the models I did actually manage to finish, I am actually very happy with! πŸ™‚

      • Alexander Winberg Says:

        Yeah you are right, I guess I misunderstod the grimdarkness in the description. I actually never played anything but FF7 and FF8. While I see thr reason people love the series I just don’t have the patience for it. But the FF7 remake could be worth checking out.

        BTW, if you would be interested in a game next year please let me know. We have some plans going on.

  2. Good to hear from you mate & nice work on the Khorny Iron Warrior. That ‘dread is pretty special too dude – reckon you’ll get him done in time??

  3. Good to see a post from you man. Love the Dready!

  4. BubblesMcBub Says:

    Really like all these games you are suggesting just a question: Do you (still) own all these games? Also very excited for the khorny IW guy gonna paint him within a week of getting him and then i will try him out in a few games. Ill let you know how he fares in those games!

    • BubblesMcBub Says:

      Also are you planning on playing some necromunda? and if so what gang are you gonna play or is all just for the parts?

      • Hmm, I am notoriously bad at actually getting to the gaming table, but yeah, I do intend to give the new Necromunda a shake. As for which specific gang I’m going to use…I do like the new Goliath and Escher models, and I still have a complete (unpainted) metal Escher gang that I ordered before the classic models went OOP. Really interested in seeing what GW do with Houses Cawdor and Van Saar before I fully commit, however: The latter, in particular, sound far more interesting now. Oh, and my Road Crew project seems like it would be pretty much perfect for Necromunda with a few tweaks (as either Scavies, Pitslaves or a mix of both). So yeah… Let’s see whether I actually get something finished or end up distracted by something shiny yet again πŸ˜‰

    • Hey mate, yeah, I still own all of them, I think. If anything, my video game collection is just as ridiculous in size as my bitzbox — Yay for grownup hobbies, eh? πŸ˜‰

      Really looking forward to seeing what you do with the Iron Warrior! πŸ™‚

  5. Great job on the Iron Warrior, really love it. About Contemptors, I know it’s just me, tied to old stuff, but when I see them I always think the good old boxy dreadnoughts are better and more- pass me the word- “Warhammery” (of course, nothing to say about your conversions and painting, absolutely top quality!)

    • Cheers, man! To be honest, the Contemptors were a bit of an acquired taste for me too, but what managed to win me over were the more human proportions: I do love the old Castraferrum pattern Dreadnoughts, but the stubby legs make it so hard to actually pose them in a more dynamic, yet believable way (and let’s not even mention how they would actually walk with those legs). The Contemptor is more human in proportion and thus neatly sidesteps the issue.

  6. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « The State of the Hunt, Week 51/2017: Gosh, is it that time of year already? […]

  7. I adore Final Fantasy 9 – it sounds daft, but I think it might have been one if the first games I properly completed. I’ve never really thought of Lindblum like that but I see your point, maybe you could replace the caryatids (blue-skinned cherubim) from the first draft of Necromunda with moogles!
    For some reason, I’ve got a vision of Final Fantasy 8 with the characters as members of the Schola Progenium – makes more sense than teen mercenary school to me, at least ;j
    I remember when Dark World was released, I even think my OH might have a copy kicking around somewhere, but never played it – sounds intriguing, though!
    I’m currently playing through a game I picked up in the Steam sake called Templar Battleforce, it’s clearly influenced by 40k (mostly Space Hulk), but it’s got some other influences too (Battletech for starters), and I think it has legs on it outside of it’s influences…

    As for the minis, I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with the second contemptor, and Iblove the choice of head on the Iron Warrior!

    Anyway, hope you have a great Christmas, in terms of the hobby, and everything else!

    • Cheers, mate! I still adore Final Fantasy IX and it remains one of my top three entries oin the series (along with FF XII and FF VI). Recently ran through another playthrough, and while the rough patches show up more clearly nowadays, the game still has tons of charm that cover up any slipups πŸ˜‰ Cheers for the tip regarding Templar Battleforce: I’ll check it out!

  8. Another interesting post._ keep em comming mate . Not played either of these. Jrpg environment aesthetics i adore, like ghibli , its a weird dutch victorian medieval steampunkers dream . I just finished wolfenstein old blood ,, very reminiscent of return to castle wolfenstein .. Good old school fun.

    • Haha, the new Wolfensteins seem so much better than they have any right to be, right? Unfortunately, the German versions are pretty heavily censored, on account of videogames not being treated as artistic works in German law. Anyway, I am surprised that they actually managed to inject some depth into a game series that didn’t seem like a prime candidate for it πŸ˜‰

      Oh, and if you love Ghibli, have you checked out Ni No Kuni, an RPG that was developed in cooperation with Studio Ghibli? That should be right up your alley! It’s charming as hell!

  9. Hope you had a good xmas mate , yeah wolfenstein was good witty banter and character depth i just was not expecting from a shooter, not played the proper game though , my son says it is good though, good humor writing etc.. Id and betheasda are a good teamup i loved rage.. not played the doom , though.. yeah that ghibli game looked great , i don’t know why i didn’t get it , probably going through a phase of only wanting hard copies of my games ..and it was on ps3 digital download if i am not mistaken..

  10. […] some games with a fully painted army. In the spirit of that i got this guy earlier this month for KrautScientist: He is my Exalted champion and want to put him, a Dark Apostle and 8 Khorne Berzerkers in a rhino […]

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