Archive for dreamforge games

Aren’t you a little tall for a stormtrooper? A first hands on with the Tempestus Scions and more…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, Traitor Guard, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by krautscientist

Stormtrooper kitbashing (1)
Don’t worry, a detailed look at the whole Astra Militarum release is still forthcoming in the near future, but seeing how everyone (myself included) seems to be all over the new Tempestus Scions at the moment, let us put the cart before the horse for once, so to speak, and allow me to share my first hands on experiences with the kit. We’ll also take a look at options for building Stormtroopers for your IG (or Traitor Guard) force in general, and I dear it’ll be a rather wordy post, all things considered. I am also fairly confident you’ll get a few ideas out of the deal, though, so bear with me here!

Let me start by saying that the Tempestus Scions are an amazing kit, regarding both the quality of the sculpt and the amount of bitz and options you get. I have been asking myself for a long time why so few of the actual IG models (the fantastically eclectic Vostroyans notwithstanding) actually channel the anachronistic design elements that permeate the rest of the 40k universe, but with the Tempestus Scions, the combination of high tech and baroque, sometimes even medieval, elements is finally available in model form. I won’t get into this part any further, since it will probably play a pretty big role in my upcoming review of the Astra Militarum release. Suffice it to say for now  that I am all for more ostentatiousness and baroqueness in the IG catalogue!

Beyond the exciting design, though, the kit also provides an extremely versatile and extensive toolbox for building five excellent models. And the kit is full of opportunities right though the gate, enabling you to build elite soldiers for your Guard regiment as well as Inquisitorial Stormtroopers of any stripe and even Traitor Guard — because the decorative armour trim adorning all the Scions’ armour plates make it really easy to turn these guys to chaos.

Indeed, my current plan is to turn at least four of the models into the beginnings of a squad of elite soldiers for my detachment of Traitor Guard,  although I will probably use one model and some of the amazing Tempestor Prime bitz to buy an Inquisitor/Imperial Noble/senior IG officer/whatever…

That’s a plan for the near future, however. For now, let’s do some experiments in order to explore the kit in more detail!

 

I. Initial kitbashing

Taking inspiration from Jeff Vader’s recent experimentation with different head swaps on the Tempestus Scions, I did something similar, collecting various heads from my bitzbox and trying them on my first Scion test model, in order to see how they would change the overall look and feel of the model. Now don’t get me wrong, the whopping seventeen heads that come with the kit are just as amazing as the rest of the parts. But I still wanted to see how a mere head swap might turn one of the models into very different characters.

I filed my findings into several different categories. Just click for bigger pictures, by the way:


Experiment I: Inquisitorial types

Stormtrooper kitbashing (2)

I wanted to explore several options for creating shadowy and/or hi-tech-y Stormtroopers. My first experiment was to use a leftover head from Inquisitor Coteaz I still had lying around, and not only was it a great fit, but the resulting model is quite similar to the Sergeant of the Kasrkin models, don’t you think? I am seriously considering using that head for my Scion-based Inquisitor.

I also tried two robed DA heads, and while Marine heads tend to be a bit clunky when used on non-marine bodies, these might actually work (although it would be necessary to shave down the neck portion, which I didn’t do for my experiments). The sergeant from Jeff Vader’s wonderful squad of Tempestus Scions uses one of these heads as well, by the way, so you don’t need to rely on my word alone!
Oh, and I also like the faceless SpecOps look of the fourth head (a Valkyrie pilot head, I guess? Just bought it via ebay some time ago).


Experiment II: Medieval types

Stormtrooper kitbashing (3)
There’s quite a bit of overlap with the Inquisitorial types on these, although I wanted to see how to make the Scions look even more archaic and medieval. I mostly used Bretonnian heads during this attempt.

I actually really like the Brodie-helmet like look of models on the left! These might look great for a fire-and-brimstone Hereticus retinue (or in a particularly medieval IG regiment). The helmets do interfere with the antenna and sensor array on the shoulders, however, so some cutting might be in oder if you want to take this route. The knight helmet was mainly a joke, as was the shaved down berzerker helmet on the right (just the thing if you’re going for the old “Boba Fett” look, though).


Experiment III: IG veterans

Stormtrooper kitbashing (4)
I think that using various heads from the IG, WFB Empire or even Space Marine catalogues could be a great options of making the Scions look less like freshly-pressed parade ground soldiers and more like hard-boiled veterans from some of the more colourful regiments of the Astra Militarum.

I particularly like the one with the wolf scout head on the far right 😉


Experiments IV and V: Traitors and Renegades

Ahhh, now we’re talking: I tried various chaotic heads in order to make the Scion model look like a Traitor Guard soldier: Like I said, the trim on their body armour makes them equally viable for chaos, if you ask me. I did already shave off some of the beautiful IG iconography, too. Anyway, here’s my first set of traitor experiments:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (5)
As you can see, slightly shaved down WFB chaos warrior helmets will work, as will heads from the plastic cultists.

I tried even more heads, though:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (6)
I really liked one of Jeff Vader’s experiments, where he used a head from the WFB Marauder Horsemen, and indeed, those heads work brilliantly on the Scion bodies: They are instantly recognisable as chaotic, but they still seem orderly enough so as not to damage the elite soldier look. My absolute favourite has to be the head from the Dark Vengeance cultist champ, though: While it may look slightly goofy on virtually any other model, here it instantly transforms a Scion into a warrior of the Blood Pact – BAM!

I didn’t limit myself to trying different heads, however, I also did a couple of smaller experiments involving different body parts:

For those of you who might be thinking of using the scions as a base for (Dark) AdMech Skitarii conversions, the following pictures might be helpful as well:

You can combine the scion torsos with flagellant legs:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (7)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (8)
For the real Skitarii look, you would probably need to replace the bare feet with something suitably tech-y and bulky (Necron feet, perhaps?). And you’d need to either add a cowl sculpted from GS or use the AdMech-styled cultist head.

As an alternative for making Skitarii (or, indeed, trenchcoat scions), you could use the legs from that very cultist:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (9)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (10)
While the legs may seem to be a bit on the thin side, the trenchcoat idea is nevertheless pretty interesting, because you end up with something only one step away from one of my favourite pieces of IG artwork by none other than the great Jes Goodwin.

One last early kitbashing idea: I just had to try and combine one of the masked Scion heads with the helmet of a Bretonnian Man-at-arms, again creating something resembling a futuristic Brodie helmet/gas mask combo:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (11)
The resulting model basically looks like a more detailed, more baroque GW version of one of my beloved Warzone 2nd edition starter minis:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (12)

Might be a useful idea for IG as well as Inquisitorial Stormtroopers or Traitor Guard, though…

2. Playing around with Tempestus Scion bitz

Interestingly enough, the first mostly finished model to come out of my purchase of the Tempestus Scions wasn’t even a Tempestus Scion: I used the voxcaster bitz from the new kit to salvage a FW Vraksian Militia torso I had seriously damaged during another conversion, and thanks to the new bitz, I was able to build a traitor soldier with voxcaster:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (13)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (14)
Even though he uses Chaos Marauder legs and a FW torso, he should still work well enough as a squad member for my chaos elites. He looks good enough next to my test model, at least:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (15)
On a semi-related note, the idea of this guy making prank calls during battle really cracks me up: I imagine nothing will mess with your battle logistics like someone calling in the middle of an offensive demanding to speak to Commissar I.P. Freely…  🙂

Anyway, back to the traitors: As it happens, I have some Vraksian torsos lying around (courtesy of fellow hobbyist PDH) and I think I will use more Marauder legs and a couple of bitz from the Scion kit to transform them into further models for the elite squad:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (17)
Again, they should work well enough from a scale perspective:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (16)
So, not only are the Tempestus Scions themselves great for different conversions, but the amount of extra bitz will also be really useful in converting even more models, both for my Traitor Guard and, I imagine, the odd INQ28 model. On a related note, make sure to check out little brother’s scion conversions over at his Ammobunker thread: His models are a great proof of concept for how easy it is to make the Tempestus Scions into traitors with just a minor influx of bitz! And Adam Wier has some very interesting ideas about slightly modifying the stock models as well.

I imagine that the coming weeks will bring a cornucopia of inspiring Scion conversions, so you actually might want to leave your sprues untouched for now… 😉

 

3. Alternatives

So, once again, I am really happy with the Tempestus Scions and the conversion and kitbashing options they provide. But my love for the kit notwithstanding, let me discuss yet another source for possible Stormtroopers. As you will see, this is clearly not a case of favouring one kit (or manufacturer) over the other, but rather an attempt at outlining several, partly interlocking approaches for building just the Stormtroopers and elite soldiers you need:

Quite some time ago, I participated in a Kickstarter to make some of Mark Mondragon’s designs available in glorious plastic. The kits coming out of this Kickstarter, namely the different plastic Titans and the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, were one of my favourite hobby releases in 2013, as some may recall. And it’s the latter of the two I would like to talk about:

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (3)
The Eisenkern Stromtroopers provide an alternate set of models for your Imperial Guard. Granted, these are not GW models, so you won’t be able to use them in any GW events or GW stores, but the models are still definitely nice enough to showcase them here! As a matter of fact, I was already feeling bad for not making the time to talk about them in more detail earlier, but now it turns out that the opportunity to discuss them back to back with the new Tempestus Scions is just the perfect way of taking a closer look at the kit. So let’s look at both kits, shall we:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (18)

On their own, the Eisenkern Stormtroopers provide a kit for making very cool looking elite soldiers with a very distinct WWII vibe. Incidentally, the background of the Eisenkern faction basically has them as “Germans IN SPACE!” (and the name certainly is a dead giveaway…). My personal reason for supporting their creation in plastic was that they really reminded me of the Wolf Brigade in Jin-Roh, but those designs were of course based on historical German uniforms again, so it’s a bit of a circular argument.

Anyway, the kit comes with so many options for customisation that it’s almost ridiculous, and these options are further multiplied if you decide to purchase an additional set of conversion and equipment bitz, giving you lots and lots of different weapons, heads, hands and various gear. Therefore, the humble test model pictured above is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a scale comparison with the Tempestus Scions:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (19)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (20)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (21)
As you can see, both models are more or less of the same height: The Eisenkern Stormtrooper is ever so slightly taller, yet less bulky than the Tempestus Scion. From a structural perspective, there are quite a few parallels, though, ranging from the body armour and rebreather helmets to the power plant-like section on the model’s back.

The overall look is still ever so slightly different, though: Where the Tempestus Scions are full-out baroque and grimdark, the Eisenkern models are more hi-tech, albeit with a clear retro element.

But let’s look at some more scale pictures, this time with a “regular” IG model, a cultist and an Astartes as additional parts of the comparison:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (22)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (23)
As you can see, both Stormtrooper models nicely fit into the gap between “regular” humans and Astartes: While both are basically just as tall as a regular Marine, the added bulkiness still nicely separates the Astartes from the unaugmented models.

One obvious problem with the Eisenkern models lies in the slightly more realistic (and less “heroic”) proportions when compared to GW kits. While this certainly isn’t a shortcoming per se, it can become a bit of a problem when trying to combine the Eisenkern models with GW bitz.

For instance, where the Tempestus Scion bodies will happily accept even Marine heads with a bit of cutting, even fairly slender heads like the wolf scout head pictured below will look slightly too clunky on an Eisenkern Trooper:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (24)
That said, some heads work better than others: I have collected some cases where the GW heads worked reasonably well below:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (25)

Stormtrooper kitbashing (26)

Stormtrooper kitbashing (27)
In any case, the important thing to keep in mind here is that these parts certainly weren’t designed to be mixed, so the fact that it still works out in some cases should be treated more like a bonus — but more on that in a minute.

The main problem from a design perspective is that the Eisenkern Stormtroopers are far less useful for “classic” chaos than the Tempestus Scions, because the smooth lines are not nearly baroque and archaic enough for your average traitor guard, whereas the extra decoration on the Scions makes them very chaos-y right out of the box. The common Eisenkern Stormtrooper fares less well when combined with chaos bitz.

Stormtrooper kitbashing (28)
But, again, this is obviously not really a fault of the kit itself: It wasn’t even designed to allow for shenanigans like that.

The big surprise, then, is that the Eisenkern Stormtroopers work amazingly well with the Tempestus Scion heads:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (29)
The beret heads from the Scions are perfect for Eisenkern officers — and actually much better than the somewhat generic bare heads that come with the Eisenkern kit (one of the few failings of an otherwise brilliant kit, I might add).

The same goes for the helmeted Scion heads:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (30)
And finally, the beret head with gas mask, one of the coolest heads in the kit anyway, is pretty much the perfect officer head for an Eisenkern Stormtrooper. Take a look:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (31)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (32)
Quite a nice reward for the adventurous kitbasher, don’t you think? Plus this information might be interesting both for those who are contemplating a purchase of the Eisenkern Stormtroopers as well as those who already own the kit and want to tie it in with their IG army: Just get some Tempestus Scion heads, and you’re golden 😉

Another interesting fact: Female Eisenkern models will eventually be available, filling a  gap GW’s catalogue has mostly refused to address so far: Here’s a regular Eisenkern trooper next to Kickstarter exclusive model Ada:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (33)
So which one should you choose?

I’ll be honest with you, I couldn’t even tell you which kit is the better one, because a) both are awesome and b) which is better for you depends on what you are looking for: Both kits are great and, in their respective ways, provide great value for the money. The best possible approach would be to ask yourself what kind of Stormtrooper you are looking for and make your decision from there (or, of course, to just buy a box of each):

Do you want your Stormtroopers visually in line with the eclectic, sometimes outlandish and anachronistic 40k universe? Do you love the little medieval and renaissance touches and are looking for colourful models that channel this particular part of the setting? Then the Tempestus Scions are your thing.

Do you want slightly more futuristic, tactical looking troopers without too many baroque design elements but a noticeable retro feel and tons and tons of options (you can actually use the accessory sprue to build models conversing in SWAT-like sign language, for crying out loud!)? Great, the Eisenkern Stormtroopers are the kit for you.

But even if you come down on either side of this argument, the other kit would still be an awesome purchase. And, owning both kits, I am perfecly sure that I am going to have lots of fun with both types of models.

In the end, it’s really all about being aware of all the options, and that’s what this post is about too: Describing more options for you. In any case, you way want to check out the Dreamforge Games website — chances are, you’ll find something to like there. At the same time, I cannot recomment the Tempestus Scions enough: They are an amazing kit and quite reasonably priced for GW’s standards.

 

Ultimately, the choice is yours. And I really hope that this post has given you food for though and ideas for possible conversions or kitbashes instead of confusing you. If you have any thoughts or questions about either of the kits (or about my first rough conversion attempts), I’d be happy to hear them in the comments section.

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

Advertisements

The 2013 Eternal Hunts Awards, pt. 1: The Industry

Posted in 40k, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by krautscientist

Awards

Hey everyone, update time 😉

While the first week of my longer vacation was mainly spent sleeping, eating and playing up all the videogames I didn’t have time for during those last  stressful weeks and months, I do of course hope that you all had a very merry Christmas! Now with the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time again for a retrospective on the releases, hobby developments and outstanding hobby achievements of this past year. So I welcome you to the second annual Eternal Hunt Awards!

Let’s kick it off with a look at the industry. Let me tell you what I did and didn’t like this year, and for what reasons:

Best release of 2013:

1st place: Khorne Lord of Skulls

Apoc Release (2)

Now I do of course realise that this may be a controversial choice, but the longer I thought about it, the clearer it became to me that this model deserves the top spot in my personal list. Is it because I am a huge Khorne fanboy? That’s certainly a part of it, yes. But there’s more: For one, I can still recall the moment I first laid eyes on this model when pictures were leaked over on Dakka. I actually sat there with my mouth open for a while, and that doesn’t happen all that often. I was stunned — and not the bad kind of stunned where you’re just preparing to emit and earth-shattering groan.

While tons and tons of scorn may have been heaped upon this model online, I love it, pure and simple. It embodies the kind of models we dreamed of during our childhood and teenage years, but that could never have been possibly produced. Heck, GW even had to introduce a dedicated scale – Epic 40,000 – to feature battles between models at that scale. And looking back on those models now, we would never have guessed that it would one day be possible to add huge walkers, tanks and all kinds of superheavies to our forces at 28mm. Then Forgeworld came, and provided you were willing (and able) to sell a kidney, you could use Titans and Greater Daemons that really deserved the name. And then, a relatively short time ago, GW proper actually started to produce plastic kits at that scale. And here we are now, with a kind of model we could only imagine in our wildest dreams when we were children, available in glorious plastic. GW have taken my childish dreams and given them form. Is the resulting model realistic? Certainly not. Is it too OTT and corny? Quite possibly. But face it, guys and girls, this hobby of ours is certainly not the most grown up pasttime in the first place.

So while it may be a corny, ridiculous model in certain respects, and while I am not even sure I like the fact that the game has to get bigger all the time to accomodate stuff like this (more on that below), and while I am pretty sure that I’ll never get one for myself, there was one perfect moment in 2013 when my mouth hung agape in amazement at the coolness of a model. And if that model doesn’t deserve the top spot on this list, then nothing does.

Read my detailed opinion of the model here.

2nd place: Dreamforge Games releases

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (3)
Mark Mondragon certainly deserves a place high on his list for his amazing models. Be it the amazing Eisenkern Stormtroopers pictured above or the two variants of huge walker, the Leviathan Crusader and Leviathan Mortis, these models are certainly giving GW a run for their money. The Stormtroopers may be slightly more futuristic than 40k players are used to, but they have that retro, faux-WWI/II aesthetic I enjoyed so much about the old Warzone models, and that alone was reason enough to pick them up. The sprues abound with extra bitz and conversion options, and I am more than a little ashamed to say that I have yet to complete my first test models — it’s certainly not due to any lack of quality!

The walkers are equally impressive, with lots and lots of options for customisation, and they even come in “good” and “evil” flavour, for those of us wanting to induct them into their 40k forces:

Leviathan Crusader by  Dreamforge Games

Leviathan Crusader by Dreamforge Games

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (2)

Leviathan Mortis by Dreamforge Games

Dreamforge Games‘ releases deserve this spot on the list for another reason, though, even if the quality of the models would normally already be enough: These kits were made possible by a Kickstarter that spectacularly exceeded its original goal. It is only the one Kickstarter I have ever backed so far. And my first experience with this medium could not have any better: Mark Mondragon worked tirelessly to let the backers know which decisions had been taken and why and how far the products were along. He posted regular updates and went out of his way to accomodate backers’ wishes, even squeezing some additional bitz onto the sprues when it turned out there was some capacity left. If GW ever want to improve their communications with their customers, they could certainly do worse than take a look at how Mark approached these things.

So head over to Dreamforge Games’ website and check out their models. Chances are, you’ll be amazed — just as I was.

3rd place: Redesigned Dark Elves

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (5)
GW’s designers always seem to be at their best when designing spointy, evil, elf people. Another case in point: This year’s complete revamp of the Dark Elves. And they are glorious! The redesign certainly puts them on par with their 40k cousins, the Dark Eldar, and that alone is no mean feat! Will I get a Dark Elf army and return to the Old World? No, certainly not. But just looking at these new kits already provides enough eye candy to tide me over until the next amazing chaos release…

Read my two-part review here and here.

Honorary mention: Betrayer

Betrayer_cover
World Eaters players had precious little to go on when it came to their legion’s background and identity. The Horus Heresy releases from FW and Black Library did alleviate that problem, especially with the excellent short story “After Desh’ea” by Matthew Farrer. But the one book to really flesh out the legion was Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Betrayer, and I cannot recomment it highly enough. Read my review here, in case you are interested.

II. Worst release/biggest disappointment of 2013

Well, good news first: As far as I am concerned, when it comes to the models GW have released this year, there really haven’t been all that many slipups from a design perspective. Sure, a couple of models were hit or miss, like some designs for the new WoC models, while others were just downright awkward (yes, I am looking at you, Loremaster of Hoeth). But all in all, not only did GW manage to keep up a relentless pace with their release schedule, the overall quality of the different releases also ranged from solid (High Elves) to mostly really cool (Space Marines) and even to  outstanding (Dark Elves). So instead of focusing on particularly bad models, of which there were precious few, let me instead address my biggest disappointments:

No Inquisitor-based Skirmish game

Well, it was certainly to good to be true: For quite a while there, the forums and rumour sites were awash with whisperings of an Inquisition-themed skirmish game at the 28mm scale. A codified version of INQ28/Inquisimunda, if you will. Unfortunately, nothing came of it. The good new, obviously, is that we still do have INQ28, Inquisimunda and the original 54mm Inquisitor, so the lack of new rules certainly doesn’t hurt all that much. Still, seeing the Inquisition being given the Dark Vengeance or Space Hulk treatment, complete with a unique collection of delicious plastic models would have been totally awesome – oh well, one can always dream…

Inquisition Codex

Instead of a skirmish game, we did get a digital codex to better use and represent the forces of the Inquisition in games of 40k. While the idea itself is great (and hints at the more obscure factions of the Inquisition in the new codex are a nice bit of fanservice), the overall book seems to be a rather slipshod effort, by the look of it. Which could become a problem if this digital release were to be used by GW to gauge the interest in the Inquisition: This codex could have been a great way of getting people who mainly focus on INQ28 these days “reacquainted” with 40k proper. That doesn’t really seem to have worked all that well, though. And if the codex leaves most of the people interested in the Inquisition cold, what hope is there of future Inquisition releases? Seems like a bit of a vicious cycle…

No love for the sisters

The Sisters of Battle, or Adepta Sororitas of late (can anybody explain to me why it’s not “Adeptus Sororitas”, like in the German version btw? Surely the fact that it’s composed of women doesn’t make the order itself feminine…), also got the short stick — again. Sure, waiting for plastic sisters seems a bit of a running gag at this point, but still…

I realise that all three things on this list effectively tie back into the same problem: GW just cannot seem their act together when it comes to the various factions of the Inquisition, their military arms and supporting organisations. Which is really mind-boggling, if you ask me, because they already really nailed it before. Twice.

The various Ordos of the Inquisition as well as the Adepta Sororitas are easily among the 40k universe’s most iconic and recognisable features, yet they somehow seem to mess up whenever they get near one of these factions. It’s just a crying shame…

Honorary mention: Azhog

On second thought, there was one model that really, really disappointed me:

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (4)
Azhog was the star of the first Hobbit film for me. His hulking, malicious presence provided an excellent villain, even though he certainly isn’t the most well-rounded of characters. Then GW dropped the ball (or were possibly forced to drop the ball, due to some NDA nonsense) by not releasing an appropriate model for ages. And when the model finally was released, it somehow ended up far less impressive than I would have liked. I couldn’t even tell you precisely what’s wrong with the model, since it seems like a fairly accuate representation of the character design. But it doesn’t feel like that hulking, malicious brute I remember from the film.

III. Still on the fence about…

  • Digital supplements and codex releases: Maybe this is just me. Maybe I just like paper too much. But I have yet to decide what I think about all those digital releases. It’s complicated too: On the one hand, releasing digital supplements seems like an awesome way of not only keeping the codices and rulebooks updated but also of introducing new models and squads. And they even bring back some of that “Chapter Approved” flavour, with alternative army lists and scenarios. I am even okay with the fact that they all cost money — I’d rather pay for something than never get it at all. But like I said, I like books on paper. A lot. And it somehow seems wrong that the (more expensive) book becomes the lesser product. And some of those smaller supplements and background pieces do seem a little…unconventionally priced, if you ask me. All in all, it still seems like a bit of a two-edged sword at this point: If GW manage to use this additional channel of publication to release meaningful content and test the waters for future releases, that’s great. If they just wanted to find a way to introduce micropayments into the world of tabletop wargaming, that sucks. Big time. But like I said, maybe it’s just me…
  • 40k plastic clamshell characters: Last year, one of my favourite releases were GW’s plastic characters for WFB, released in a clamshell. And I wished for GW to introduce similar models for 40k, which they did. One year later, I have to say that I appreciate the effort! And some of those characters, like the Space Marine Librarian, are really awesome. But I don’t see why all of the 40k characters have to be more expensive than their WFB counterparts. Nice try, GW, but not quite there yet… 😉
  • The scale creep: Well, I’ve said it before: The fact that the games (and models) keep getting bigger and bigger all the time seems slightly discouraging to me, because it really runs counter to the idea of customising and individualising each of your models: With infantry squads only cannon fodder and superheavies the true stars of the show, the game somehow becomes less interesting for me. But this is strictly a personal preference, of course…

 

IV. Also pretty cool:

  • The Horus Heresy: I said last year that I am not perfectly sure whether or not to like FW’s focus on the Horus Heresy, and that still holds true — which has nothing to do with the – mostly excellent – models so far, but rather with the fear of a Star Wars-like state of affairs, where every minute of the Heresy will be accounted for at some point. My philosophical musings aside, though, the one thing I love unconditionally about the setting is how it has given rise to a couple of amazing and astonishing hobby projects that take a look at this very different period of Imperial history — just check out projects like Pooms’ Pre Heresy World Eaters , Agnostos Theos’ force from the same Legion or my favourite HH thread at the moment,  and you’ll see that there’s lots and lots of inspiration to be had, even if you have no plans of starting your own HH army.
  • The new White Dwarf: I’m going to go out on a limb here and confess I really like the “new” White Dwarf. By now, the novelty has worn off, and the shape of the mag has congealed into something more solid, and I have to tell you I like what I see. Sure, we can always go back and compare today’s WD with the 90s’ version. But if we judge the mag against itself, I think it’s really a good concept: I like the focus on the staff’s and hobbyists’ armies over ‘Eavy Metal pieces (even if the armies of the editorial staff seem to appear a little too often…). I like the look at kitbashes and conversions and the army showcases. I love Blanchitsu, obviously. Is it still a sales brochure? Undoubtedly. Is it more of a coffee-table book and less of a fanzine? Yes, possibly. But looking at it gives me new ideas and inspirations more often than not, and that is certainly nothing to scoff at.

 

So yeah, all in all, I think we can call this year an overall success. With a constant stream of new releases and some amazing products by different manufacturers, we have lots and lots of new toys to play with. As always, there’s always quite a bit of stuff to bicker about, but I suppose that par for the course at this point 😉

The hobby’s more than just the official releases, though: It’s really about the hobbyists. So in the next installment of the 2013 Eternal Hunt Awards, let’s take a closer look at this year’s oustanding hobby projects and talented artists. Until then, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section!

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