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New Bretonnians Sooner Rather Than Later (or Never)?

01/08/2014 Leave a comment

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A while ago I got all excited by the now-false rumour that GW would be updating my Warhammer Fantasy army of choice.

Recently there has been chatter hinting at the worrying possibility that my beloved knights’ days as a full army may be numbered. I took this with a grain of salt (as one must do with all rumours) but I was worried as no other Fantasy army really appeals to me.

These rumours have been in part fuelled by the recent withdrawal of key models from the GW website, their absence meaning that now new players cannot easily build legal armies.

Today I popped into my local GW during my lunch break to pick up the latest White Dwarf and got talking to one of the staffers about this situation and was told not to worry as the whole Bretonnian range is due for an update ‘soon’. He also hinted that there are new plastic knights on the horizon.

Again, what does ‘soon’ actually mean? We were told for years that the Dark Eldar were coming soon and look how long their second completely new codex took to arrive.

While this doesn’t completely allay my fears, at least it gives me some (hopefully not) false hope that the most noble of all the armies may one day soon bring truth, justice and honour back to the Old World.

For The Lady! New Bretonnians this year?

08/12/2013 5 comments

Bretonnian Army Book

 

I can barely type I’m so excited but there’s a chance that my beloved Gallic Knights might be getting a new army book and models this year!  This evening Bigred posted this on the Bell of Lost Souls forum:

Viewing a retailer order sheet, Bretonnians are no longer able to be ordered from Games Workshop at this present moment. Following the usual cycle , this indicates that there is a new rulebook on the horizon with some new models to come. We assume this would be in the November/December release slot after the Inquisition Skirmish game is announced in October at Gamesday UK.  

Distributor sources verify the upcoming WHFB release shipment, described only as “a human race”, with but would not confirm a release dates.

While this in nothing concrete (i.e. take with the implied truck-full of salt), this army is crying out for an update because they just don’t work in the 8th edition.

You can find the whole thread here, I’m keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

GW’s schedule through to January 2014

07/02/2013 1 comment

The usually reliable Faeit 212 has posted a list of what to expect over the next seven or so months from our favourite Nottingham overlords.  Here’s the shimmy, just remember your sackful of salt:

August: Lizardmen, Farsight supplement
September: Mystery Box (or Blood Bowl as it’s traditionally called / hoped)
October: Space Marines, White Scars Supplement, possibly another Marine Supplement
November: Dark Elves and another supplement, probably Marines and probably Ultramarines
December: Hobbit
January: Dwarves, and something else.

You can read the full post here.

Aside from my obvious excitement about the possibility of a 21st century iteration of Blood Bowl, what’s really getting my juices flowing is the prospect of some new Dark Elf kits.  Before the release of the current Dark Eldar codex I used parts from Black Ark Corsairs to add variety to my Kabalite Warriors and Wyches, the thought of mixing some new kits with the current Dark Eldar range pleases my inner-Haemonculus immensely.

The possibility of something else in January is intriguing,  there have been wildly speculative rumours for some time that the Imperial Guard might get a sixth edition makeover however I really don’t think they need one as yet, maybe in a year or so. The other 40K option would be a revisit of the derided Tyranid codex and given that these poor extra-galactic critters can’t even ally with anyone now I think they should be shown some love sooner rather than later.

However if you look out with 40K you’ll see an army begging for an update, the noble Bretonnians.  The truth is that a massed heavy cavalry charge just doesn’t work as well as it should in the 8th edition, especially coupled with the fact that every army thus far has received at least one decent large kit.  I’d dearly love to give my pluckly little gallic knights some much-needed oomph in the reasonably near future, especially as I still have a campaign to win 😉

Bretonnian Knights of The Realm WIP

01/27/2013 Leave a comment

I change of pace for me this week as I’m taking part in a six player, two sided Warhammer Fantasy battle next weekend.

Unfortunately I’ll never have all 1,750 points fully painted but provided I can get these knights finished for next Sunday I’ll be a happy man.

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Trenchmates – Sexism in the Warhammer Worlds

10/17/2012 18 comments

This edition of Trenchmates is written by my good friend Elizabeth Corbett (@lizbth_geeks for you Twitter folk). While she’s not a wargamer per se she does paint a mean miniature and is a dedicated roleplayer. Today she’s writing on a subject close to her heart, I’ll leave the rest to her.

I don’t wargame. I’ve never been tempted by it. I like playing games, and I like playing boardgames, and I’ve enjoyed playing WFRP and Dark Heresy, and I’ve even enjoyed playing Space Hulk before – but I don’t field armies on tabletop battlefields, and I don’t think I ever will. It’s not my thing. I don’t like turn-based strategy games on the PC either.

Why am I starting a guest post on a wargaming blog saying I don’t play it? Because I do paint miniatures, and I know a reasonable bit about the background, and I wanted all the readers to understand where I’m coming from before I launch into the real purpose of my writing:

I think Warhammer Fantasy and 40K really need to address the sexism in their games, and I’d like to see more people understand my position. Who knows, it might even encourage more women to play. This sexism can be seen in the miniatures, both historical and current, in the literature surrounding the games, and in the way the games are marketed.

The miniatures tend towards making the women more naked than their male counterparts. Even the otherwise heavily-armed and armoured Sisters of Battle have the Sisters Repentia, walking into battle clothed only in rags “to atone for their crimes”. One the one hand, the miniatures have to be readily recognisable on a battlefield with perhaps a couple of hundred models, and exaggerating secondary sexual characteristics of women is a way to do it; on the other hand, they don’t have to be mostly naked: that was a deliberate choice made by someone. Compare these three female spellcasters from Warhammer Fantasy, one each of the three elven races, to their male equivalents.

High Elves

Wood Elves

Dark Elves

The High Elf is recognisable as female but is at least as fully clothed as her male counterparts. The Wood Elf is less clothed than her male counterpart, although in fairness still wearing more than the War Dancers (the only nearly-naked male figures I have ever seen in this game). The Dark Elf… okay, that was a Finecast, let’s look at the normal model…

Nope, not wearing much at all, is she? Really quite naked, one might say. (Another short rant: I had to compare spellcasters, because they’re the only class which consistently has women. Apparently we’re allowed to cast fireballs from our hands, but not use a morning star.)

Someone, somewhere, made a deliberate choice to make naked women a feature of this game. Leaving aside the impracticalities of being naked on a battlefield, with arrows and swords (or guns and swords), not to mention inclement weather, I would be fine with this if the men were naked too. But they’re not, as a rule. They wear clothes. They don’t have vines artistically draped over one pec and swirling around their thigh.

This implies an expectation of their audience: that the people who play this game will want to see tiny naked women but not tiny naked men. It implies the audience is male, and straight. Statistically, I’m sure the latter is mostly true, but the former implication is part of the thing that keeps women out of the games; when we are only presented as highly-sexualised afterthoughts, we don’t really want to get involved.

And afterthought is a good way to describe the women in these games, which are disproportionately made up of male figures. Okay, in Fantasy, the time period suggests that most women wouldn’t be fighters in the Empire or whatever. But it’s fantasy. The clue’s right there in the name. Even the Elven races, much more classically feminine in style and lines, have many more male units than female. Why? Why does this have to be the case? In 40K, even the “women didn’t fight then” argument falls down. You’re honestly going to tell me that in the dawn of the 41st millennium, with all the technological advances implicit in the game, women are still only allowed to fight if they’re traumatised and indoctrinated orphaned girls? You’re going to tell me that the Space Marine gene cluster only works with a Y-chromosome?

These are choices which the game designers made, and they are choices repeated over six editions of the game. Coming up with a handy backstory to explain why there are no women does not make it any less sexist; if anything, it means that more people have been dragged into being apologists. Similarly, introducing armies like the Sisters of Battle, where they are almost entirely female, just makes it more obvious that the rest of the armies have little to no women in them. It’s the equivalent of saying “I’m not sexist/racist/homophobic, I have female/coloured/gay friends”. If you feel the need to make a big thing about it, your point is already lost.

For me, the worst thing about this whole business isn’t that it makes these games all-male environments where women are tolerated rather than welcomed, as bad as that is. The worst thing is what it does to the children, who are too young to know how to compartmentalise or analyse. Whenever I go into Games Workshop, I see kids. Kids playing and having fun, interacting with adults on an even footing, which is great to see. Mostly boys, but that’s as much symptomatic of the culture which says girls should play with dolls and boys should play with guns as anything else. These little boys are seeing that women are excluded from battle, both on and around the table. They are painting little women who have one tit hanging out and a loincloth whipping over their thighs. They are learning to treat us as irrelevant objects.

I don’t expect Games Workshop to single-handedly change the culture which says to little girls that they can’t like maths and violence, but I can expect them to make their games much better balanced and representative. And I can definitely expect grown men reading this blog to think, just for a second, about how this all looks to a woman, or to a girl. Your hobby could include twice as many people. That’s double the battles! I know that for a lot of people, this is about creating a space outside of their partners and families, and I understand the appeal of tribalism, but you can have this and not exclude all women.

So how could you as a player make a difference? You could mod your armies a little. It doesn’t even need to be much, the armour most of the little people are wearing covers pretty much all detail; you just need to write it into your backgrounds, assuming you do them. The Dark Eldar kits come with male and female heads separate to torsos; they could be added to any elf, with a little bit of extra effort. The Sisters of Battle could be modded and thrown in to a Marine unit, or an Imperial Guard unit. In fact, I’ll even do it for you, if you pay me (I accept any currency, or wine). This hobby encourages creativity and personalisation of your armies. Think outside of the sprues. Encourage your opponents to do the same. Take your non-sexist armies to tournaments. You don’t have to stand and lecture everyone on the evils of the patriarchy and whether all sex is rape; you just have to turn up, with a representative army, play your games, and leave at the end of the day. It shouldn’t be a big thing to have women in your army. It shouldn’t be a big thing to be a woman playing the game.

This whole rant could just as easily have been written from a race-sensitivity point of view as well. Take a look through the books; it’s very hard to find non-white faces. Again, anything which apologises for it is just excusing racism, not addressing the problem.

Please remember, if you’d like to submit an article for Trenchmates, you can find all the information you need here.

The Paladin Sir Ectorde – WIP

08/06/2012 Leave a comment

I’ve never shown a work in progress before but given that this is the first model I’ve needed to pin since 19-bleeding-95 I think I’ll go ahead.

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If you’ve been following my progress in The Rock in The Badlands campaign then you’ll know that this model will soon represent Sir Ectorde, the youngest son of Sir Redemonde of Parravon.

Hopefully he’ll be fully painted by next week.

Chaos Rising

07/23/2012 1 comment

The tubes have been alive with whisperings from The Warp of late and after much speculation GW has today released this:


Other sites have been somewhat more forthcoming with The One Ring releasing this image apparently showing what shiny whatnots will  be released next month.

The general consensus is that a new Chaos Codex is due in August/September with sites like Bell of Lost Souls gleefully disseminating potential details.

I can’t wait, my Chaos Marines force has been slowly stagnating in various to-do piles for the better part of two years.  Indeed my only post thus far has been my first ever one where I sketched out some of their basic background, and quite a bit of it has changed since then!
Let’s hope that the first 6th Edition Codex sets a good standard for the rest to follow.