Posts Tagged ‘Wargaming’

Indecisions, indecisions: To Warhammer or not to Warhammer

01/17/2012 8 comments

Ever since the 8th edition of WHFB came out eighteen months ago I’ve been toying with the notion of starting an army.

Regardless of the fact I really don’t have time to devote to yet another hobby project, my resistance is being steadily eroded by the increasing numbers of phenomenal models released and the coercion gentle persuasion of my gaming buddies. The question is, if I am to collect an army (and I’d like to stress that this is still if), which army should I collect?

Since I already have one ‘good’ and two ‘evil’ 40K armies I think on balance I’d like to collect a good race. I’ve already had (and sold) a High Elf army when I played the game in the mid-nineties my plan is to steer clear of them, this means so far as I can see my choices consist of The Empire, Bretonians, Dwarves and Wood Elves.

So what do I do?

The Empire

There’s already at least one fellow I regularly play against who is building an army and while I – kind of – like the background I don’t feel any great connection here.


See above.

Wood Elves

Getting better, I like the models and their tactics seem like fun, plus no one I know plays them however there’s something about them that I can’t put my finger on. I think it’s because I used to collect High Elves and I’m currently building a Dark Eldar force and on some level I’m elved-out for the time being. So I guess that leaves me with…


Now this is more like it! The background’s fun and I do like the models. Plus I hear that there’s a good chance a new army book might be released later this year. My only concern is that I don’t think my painting skills are as yet good enough to do justice to the many different Knight liveries I have to paint.

In truth, I’m still very much at sea. While I’m leaning towards our Gallic friends, I know that I could still easily be swayed by another argument or really cool model. Screw it, maybe I should just play Orcs?

Anyway, advice would be greatly appreciated.

The Bear Speaks!

01/13/2012 Leave a comment

Isn’t technology wonderful? This morning the ever-innovative Doc Bungle has posted his first video review of some scenic bases by Evil Mushroom Games, you can view this here.

Even if these bases aren’t your thing I strongly urge you to check out EMG’s website, some of their scenery and terrain is simply awesome. I’ll certainly be picking up some of the industrial buildings for my 40K and Necromunda games in the very near future.

The Shell Case Beatdown

01/05/2012 Leave a comment

Attention all Twitter #Warmongers!

The awesome Caito Galenus is throwing down the gauntlet and considering organising a meet, greet and beat later this year.  If you’re interested check out his latest post here.

I’ll be doing my very best to attend, if only to help re-educate Mr Galenus out of his peculiar Smurf obsession 😉

Categories: Events, General Tags: ,

Gaming on a budget

01/03/2012 6 comments

Like it or not our hobby is somewhat expensive.  We all like pointing fingers at those in the big corner offices in Nottingham but no matter which game you play it’s a cruelly inevitable fact that in this economy we all have less to spend on shiny things, especially when one has bills to pay and a car with a very pissy Machine Spirit (more of that in a later post).

Increasingly many of us are turning to eBay and other online resources (like this) to both buy and sell models.  While this approach is beneficial it still requires access to funds and increasingly these are far scarcer than we would like.

However I have a solution; please allow me to present my Hobby Tin!

Into this I put any coins I have which are £0.10 or less in value and since I started this in late November I’ve amassed just over £12.  My goal is to wait until the tin is completely full but already I have enough for a small something from any number of companies so if something really takes my fancy I won’t have to feel as guilty indulging myself.

I sincerely hope that this approach helps and if anyone has any other ideas or tips which they use then please feel free to comment below.

Categories: General Tags:

Miniature Monday

01/02/2012 Leave a comment

Can you believe that it’s been almost a year since the eminently awesome Doc Bungle first thought up Miniature Monday?  Well, it has, and if you don’t know what I’m jabbering about please check out his new post here.

It’s a truly brilliant idea and I for one have been helped by having an unofficial deadline in order to finish my latest batch of shinys so if you haven’t taken up the challenge I sincerely urge you to do so.

Short Story Competition

01/02/2012 Leave a comment

I always get worried when someone takes a suggestion of mine seriously but sometimes the results are unexpectedly good.

Take for example what happened yesterday, the fantastic chap that is Caito Galenus of the Shell Case fame asked what people would like to see on his blog this year and I suggested something fanfic-related.  As a result he’s only gone ahead and organised a competition!

You can check out the details here, I’ll do my very best to enter and it would be great if as many others can do likewise!

Categories: General Tags: ,

New Year

01/02/2012 1 comment

By now 2012 is a good thirty six hours old from where I’m siting on this decaying ball of rubble we euphemistically call home and so far this year’s done nothing much to annoy me.  Which is nice.

2011 was a good hobby year for me, I managed to only loose marginally more games than I won, I met loads of new gamers in my area and massively expanded the number of lovely, lovely people who wargame on Twitter.  I also started this little blog which so far has proven to be a lot of fun and over 1,000 unique hits in the first two and a bit month is far more that I could have hoped.

Anyway, to 2012!  I’m not normally a resolution-type person but my wife and I decided to make a few this year and while I don’t want to speak for her, here are mine:

1 – Actually finish my Dark Eldar army

Well, no one ever really finishes an army but mine is so unbalanced it’s fairly useless in it’s current form.  However thanks to my Christmas haul I have more than enough units to remedy this and if I’m disciplined I should have a fully painted 2,500 force ready for April.  Which leads me on to my second resolution;

2 – Be more disciplined, hobby-wise

Right now I have four projects on the go; my huge Imperial Guard army, my Dark Eldar, my Chaos Marines and my Battletech force.  I’d almost painted enough Dark Eldar to form a decent force when I decided to start my Baneblade which ate up almost two months of my time, not including my further diversion which resulted in my completed Leman Russ Exterminator.  You see my problem, plus I also want to start playing Warhammer Fantasy again and try my hand at Dystopian Wars…

3 – Play more games

Currently I only have three regular opponents and while they’re all lovely chaps I’d happily let wed my hitherto non-existent daughter I’d really like to find some new players in the greater Edinburgh area.  I’m signed up to Needgamers but unfortunately it appears there’s no one else in my area.  Luckily the Edinburgh League of Gamers meets fairly close to my flat and I’d really like to give them a try this year.

4 – Attend Games Day UK

The last Games Day I went to was either in 1996 or 1997 and I gather it’s changed somewhat since then.  Plus, have you seen this year’s Games Day Miniature?

5 – Go mountain biking at least once a month

I know it’s not gaming-related but I’ve been really lax when it comes to my physical fitness over the past three months and it shows!  I love biking off road and given I live so close to so many wonderful routes it’s really not cool that I’ve been neglecting this interest.


Anyway, that’s probably the most planning I’ll likely do for a while.  I hope you all have a fantastic 2012 and may all your dice rolls be kind.  Except when you play me, of course!

Categories: General Tags:

The 31 Year Old Virgin

11/30/2011 2 comments

Well, not quite but bear with me on this one. You see, I have a confession to make.

Until last Saturday I had never experienced a day-long gaming session with multiple games and opponents since coming back into the hobby two years ago after an eleven year hiatus. Since both the games and I have for the most part changed immensely since then it’s very much like starting afresh. Will all this in mind it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I drove to Melrose in the Scottish Borders with a good friend and fellow gamer by my side and our 40K armies in the boot.

The rules were simple; you had to bring a legal 1,200 point army containing no special characters to fight randomly generated missions from the main rule book. The lack of complexity and the low points cost meant that it should be possible to fit in at least two games each, maybe more if time permitted.

The point limit presented me with many difficulties; as a guard player I’m used to throwing platoons of troops to their deaths with callous disregard while masses of tanks pound the enemy into submission, this time however I had think very small indeed. After days of indecision I decided to go for the following force:

Army List

The basic plan was simple, the infantry elements of my platoon would advance under the cover of my Exterminator and Scout Sentinels while the Heavy Weapons Squad and Leman Russ would provide ranged support. The Vets would be deployed either in support of the main push or to open up a second front in order to capture any objectives or harry the enemy and my Storm Troopers would be kept in reserve so that they could deep strike wherever they could cause maximum disruption. With my force and tactics in place I was as confident as I could be that I’d be able to acquit myself well no matter what I was to face…

Game 1

Opponent: Necrons

Mission: Annihilation

Deployment: Spearhead

Bloody hell but this was a fun game! I’d never played against the new Necrons before so I was really looking forward to seeing how these undead space dudes now worked and I have to say I was very, very impressed.

The brave men of the 57th Menasan face the Necron menace,

Fortunately I managed to deploy and move first so I wasted no time unleashing bloody hellfire onto the lines of remorseless automata and was heartened to see two squads suffer considerable casualties. I was less than impressed a few minutes later when virtually all of the casualties rose back up and rejoined their units!

Not impressed by their refusal to do the honourable thing and stay dead I decided to advance my infantry squads and Exterminator towards their line, this was my first major mistake since it brought the tank within 12’’ of a Scarab swarm. In the days running up to the battle the excellent Doc Bungle of Miniature Musings of a Bear attempted to impart his wisdom onto me. In particular he stressed that under no circumstances should I let anything, especially armour, within the assault range of Scarabs. You know what, he was bloody right; they proceeded to latch onto my lovely tank and knock four points off its armour value!

Not wishing to repeat my mistake I had my Vets deal with the beasties in the following turn but the damage was done, my Exterminator had less armour than a Dark Eldar skimmer and was too much of a liability to use in a frontal assault. Instead I decided to consolidate and blast at the Necrons with everything I had. This tactic was quite successful, I managed to inflict an increasing amount of permanent casualties while only loosing a single infantry squad in its entirely. However at this point the Lychguard struck.

Unfortunately for my opponent, the Lychguard were just out of assault range so I disembarked my vets nearby and issued them with First Rank Fire… which remarkably destroyed the unit! My weakened Exterminator then turned its full fire power onto the accompanying Necron Lord who was very quickly reduced to a puddle of Necroderm. Just as I was starting my ever-so-sexy victory dance the Lord’s Resurrection Orb kicked in and both it and the entire squad rose to their feet. On the next turn they made short work of the Exterminator before routing the Vets the following turn.

Elsewhere the battle was going more my way. My opponent’s Monolith was forced to roll on the Deep Strike Mishap Table so I elected to deploy it in the far corner of the battlefield which greatly limited its effectiveness. My surviving infantrymen were trading fire with the entrenched Necron Warriors and were steadily reducing their number. Everything was very evenly matched.

The stalwart Imperial Guard dig in and trade fire with the unholy automata.

As turn five drew to a close we both had an objective look at the state of play and decided to call it a glorious draw. We reckoned that both sides had inflicted an equal amount of damage, but more importantly we’d had a bloody fantastic time. All games should end this well.

Game 2

Opponent: Grey Knights

Mission: Seize Ground

Deployment: Spearhead

As with the Necrons, I hadn’t faced the new-rules Grey Knights but frankly the thought terrified me. I was playing against another friend who’d made the trip down from Edinburgh and while he’s an accomplished Warhammer Fantasy Battle general this was his first 40K game in a very long time. Just as in the previous game I was able to deploy and go first and again I left my Storm Troopers in reserve.

The brave men of Menasa face, for some reason, the Grey Knights,

Now, I knew that Grey Knights were expensive but the fact that his army consisted of only seventeen models surprised the hell out of me! My force was up against a Terminator Librarian with five Paladins, a five man Terminator squad, a six strong Purifier squad and a Venerable Dreadnought. Also, against the advice of everyone (including me) he elected to deploy all his units on the table, leaving nothing to Deep Strike. In his defence, I’d probably do the same were it my first game since at least he’d have the experience of using all the units, nevertheless this was his downfall.

Likewise the Grey Knights face off against loyal servants of the Imperium.

I knew that all I had to do was knock out seventeen models so on the first turn I didn’t advance as one would normally given the mission. Nevertheless it left me in a position to start pounding his army with unrelenting fire power and since he had to advance through this to my objective he was at a distinct disadvantage.

To cut a short story shorter I eliminated his Paladins and Librarian thanks to the combined fire of my Exterminator (love the multimeltas) and my Heavy Weapons Team by the end of the third turn. On the fourth turn my Vet squad finished off his normal Terminators without leaving their Chimera.

At this stage all he had left was his Dreadnought and the Purifiers, not nearly enough to stop my force from over-running his objective. After the fourth turn my honourable opponent conceded, it was a well fought game and the only thing which limited him was his lack of experience; I’ve known this gentleman for years and I’m certain that with a few more games under his belt he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

In conclusion this was a Saturday well spent. I met some fantastic new people who I hope to game with soon and I played my first games against two new armies which taught me a lot. If only all weekends could be this productive!

Also, and this goes out to everyone, do not underestimate the wisdom of Doc Bungle; had I listened to him I may well have won my fight against the Necrons. The next round of toast is on me, dear Bear!

A new website for gamers

11/05/2011 1 comment

Yesterday a Twitter friend of mine, the excellent @CaitoGalenus of fame, brought to my attention a brand new website for gamers to contact like-minded souls in their area.  Check it out at, it’s only a week and a half old so they need all the new members they can get.

Let’s make this site a success!

Categories: General Tags:


10/24/2011 8 comments

I kept meaning to get around to this but life has a funny way of eating up your free time, doesn’t it?

Anyway, a bit about myself and my hobby. Like many other kids of the eighties my first real exposure to table top gaming game with the arrival of Heroquest and Space Crusade, shortly thereafter I picked up a copy of Rogue Trader from a tiny gaming shop run by a school friend’s family in Wormit, Fife. At the same time I picked up my first metal mini, the old Imperial Jetbike with an Imperial Guard rider operating a grenade launcher seemingly unconcerned that his was piloting an open-topped super fast vehicle without using his hands!

Like almost every kid I gravitated towards the Space Marines and soon I had a respectable force of Blood Angels, each model containing enough paint to easily service an entire squad but I was young and far too enthusiastic. By the end of secondary school I had amassed a 5,000 point Blood Angels army, a 3,000 point Eldar army, a burgeoning Imperial Guard force, 3,000 points of an Epic Tech Guard army, 2,000 or so points of High Elves, a completely hopeless human Blood Bowl Team, an (as yet) unbeaten Orlock gang and a two decent Battletech armies, one Inner Sphere and one Clan.

Then uni happened and I discovered beer, girls and eventually gainful employment.

Fast forward to 2009 and while I had dabbled a bit in the modelling side of the hobby it took a £50 GW gift voucher from my then fiancée to really kick-start my love affair again. Since that fateful June day I have been very busy much to my now-wife’s amusement, support and occasional ridicule. Due to time and budget constraints I’m only concentrating on 40K for the moment and presently I’m working on the following armies.

Imperial Guard: The 57th Menasan

Hailing from the unique planet of Menasa deep within the Calixis sector, a planet mined so extensively for force blade minerals it’s now in two separate parts each orbiting the other. Due to the nature of their main export they are subject to frequent attacks by Chaos raiders, as such theirs is a fortress world. Taking much inspiration from the successes of Cadia and other Chaos-ravaged planets, those who do not toil in the vast underground mines are subject to military service.

Although this is my oldest army since getting back into the hobby I’ve only recently started working out their background (and it shows!) but I’m working with a writer friend who’s also a fellow civil servant and member of my RPG group to include Menasa as a location in our next Dark Heresy adventure so I have a few more months to flesh things out fully.

Presently it’s a little over 4,000 points and I’ve recently built my first super heavy, the Baneblade Fury of Menasa which I’m currently still painting.

Chaos Space Marines: The Heralds of Woe

In the late 38th Millennium the High Lords of Terra authorised a secret project to create a new chapter of Space Marines who’s sole purpose was to explore out with the reach of the Astronomicon. Their goal was to finish the Great Crusade and bring the last of Terra’s lost children in to the Imperium. The origins of their gene seed is unknown although many suspect some kind of heretical amalgam of several strains were used. In any case, the truth behind this, along with the original name of this chapter, has been excised from history because of what followed.

Almost century after embarking on their mission they passed the threshold of the Astronomicon’s influence and disappeared. Two thousand years later ships matching the designs of their fleet began appearing along the eastern fringe of the Imperium and one by one the most remote systems and star forts began to fall silent. Those who fled talked about electric blue armoured warriors calling themselves the ‘Heralds of Woe’ who had returned to the Imperium to bring the light of The Truth to humanity.

Before too long the Inquisition captured a member of ‘The Enlightened’, a group made up of those converted by the Heralds. He told of the absolute truth that The God Emperor was in fact the fifth and most powerful Chaos God and that only by acknowledging and embracing this truth can humanity be saved. Since then the Heralds have fought to enlighten all those whom they encounter, particularly brother Astartes, those they best in battle are given a stark choice, convert or be sacrificed to The Emperor.

This is a relatively new project for me; as such I only have a couple of squads, a Terminator Lord and an almost complete Dreadnought I’m converting from an AOBR model. Chaos-wise they are more or less servants of Chaos Undivided however they do have some Tzeentch leanings which I hope to expand upon when I work out more of their background.

One of the elements that I’m really looking forward to is the inclusion of Enlightened Marines which would be those who converted from other Chapters. They’ll be basic CSM squads led by an Aspiring Champion but most of the models will be standard Space Marines with their original Chapter liveries with the occasional part of HoW replacement armour and, of course, their original markings crudely scored out. I’m looking forward to including members of some of my regular SM opponents armies in these squads.

Dark Eldar: As yet untitled Kabal.

After a particularly bloody attempt to topple the ruling classes of Commorragh a brother and sister fled with the remnants of his Kabal and her Wych Cult to the farthest reaches of Dark City. There they encountered an ancient Haemonculus known only as The Grandfather who claimed to be their distant descendent and agreed to help them resume their status at a price.

I’ve been collecting Dark Eldar since November 2009 as I’d heard rumours of an impending update and I wanted to have something together for when it was released. I had a solid core finished before the new Codex appeared and I’ve been slowly adding some new units and retrospectively converting the older ones to fit in with the new rules. As yet I’ve only had a couple of games with these guys as it’s still very much a work in progress, I don’t even have a name for these guys!

Aside from these projects I’m an avid roleplayer, I have a regular group of thirty-something gamers and we play a fair number of games from the FFG stable of GW licenses to Serenity, Mage, Spirit of the Century and many more. I also spend some time about once a month bouncing around the hills of Scotland on my mountain bike and very occasionally I go to work.

My aim to update this blog at least weekly with my observations, thoughts and any other drivel that pops into my head. I’m looking forward to showing people some of my works in progress, expanded army background fluff as well as the occasional review and battle report. I hope to entertain, sometimes inform and hopefully not annoy but in any case please feel free to comment either here or by tweeting me @jraferguson.

So long for now, don’t be a stranger.