Wednesday, July 29, 2015


So here's a little something I wrote about 6 years ago.

Witch Hunters by Brother Glacius

So, here we are at the dreaded crossroads of GW hobbies once again. This is a place every GW gamer eventually finds themselves. The big question of course is, do I start a new army? To the right of you, your last army that could use a new unit or two. To the left, that army still in blisters and boxes that you were really excited about for a good month, but then lost interest. Straight ahead, fueled by the propaganda giant that is GW, is the prospect of a new army. If you are like me, most of the time when you find yourself standing in this place, you choose the fourth option…and that’s to turn around and go hide under your bed for a while. But no…sometimes you have to move on.

Being an avid Warhammer Fantasy player for some time, my dark future side was getting a little dusty. A break from the swords and sorcery was needed. An lo, out there on the horizon, a new Codex was calling…Witch Hunters….Witch Hunters…and it was much louder than the little voice off to the left saying “what about the Tau you wanted to start…” which was quickly silenced with a quick bolter round. Foul blasphemous alien scum. The Righteous fury of the faithful will not be silenced. Run and hide heretic, for your doom stalks you.

And so, with a quick check to the bank account, a purchase was made! I was hoping to buy the new codex…but the foul winds of retail did not blow in my favor…out of stock! One movie later, with even more grim determination, I strode back into the store with one burning question on my mind…”have you got anything for Witch Hunters?” And yes! They did. A quick swipe with the plastic and I was the proud owner of a Sisters of Battle Squad. Personally, I think your bank card should get shaved down a little each time its swiped so you have an idea that your money is going away. But it really didn’t matter…new figures were mine!

Sisters of Battle Squad – 10 figures including Sister Superior and two special weapon sisters. Retail price $35.00. You know, I remember a time when I could buy a GW product without wincing…

All metal figures, no duplicate poses. Sweet. I’m pretty impressed with this squad. All the figures look great.

Now the die is cast…you can’t just buy one squad. See, that’s the real trap of GW. If you can stick to getting the Codex first…you should. The reason being is that you can always justify your purchase by saying you just want to know your enemy. But buying figs…that’s the death knell of your will power. So here I am with my first step to a new army for 40K, a step I have not taken in quite a long time (but what about the Ta...BANG!)

So I welcome you to join me on this journey down the dark path that is GW. Traveler beware.

Part 2: Army Design

So, there I am, staring Witch Hunters in the cover…what to do, what to do? I needed a theme for my army. I had to come up with an idea that the force would be built around. I knew I wanted an Inquisitor Lord. After about three days of on and off thinking…finally came up with Nostramus, Inquisitor Nostramus. I like it. But what kind of man is Nostramus? Immediately the thought of him using the sisters for his own ends popped into my head. He liked them because they were competent and fanatical…a rare mix. Even better, he could control them. So right there, I knew the army was going to have Sisters in it, but not as the main theme for the army. No, the Inquisitor was in charge, and he used his men to achieve his ends…no matter the cost. Throw away Sisters doesn’t seem right.

Thus, you’d think Imperial guard might be a good element to add to the army. Yes and no. On the one hand, they are cheap…and plentiful. However, they are rather soft and squishy. Nostramus doesn’t like soft and squishy…besides, guard are too easily swayed by the heretic. No, only inquisition storm troopers would satisfy his needs. And before I knew it…I had my first 500pts planned out.

Inquisitor Lord and Retinue………………………………………………………200pts.
Sisters of Battle squad…………………………………………………………….150pts.
Storm Troopers……………………………………………………………………150pts.

To make it easy on me, I decided to equip the troops just like they come in the box. Saves me a bit of cash since I don’t need to buy additional figures too. For the inquisitor, all but one of the figures will be used. Not bad. $105.00 though for three $35 box sets. Ouch. Again with the wincing. But for now, we just have the sisters and the other two will wait until they are done painted.

Now originally, I had wanted transports for these units, but two things stopped that idea. One, I didn’t have the points. I would need at least another 170pts to transport all three groups. Two, it is even more money. Wince. Transports aren’t cheap to buy. And worst of all, they don’t sell a Sisters of Battle Rhino kit. I want my Sisters to travel in style, and I’m not about to buy overpriced bits from Forgeworld either. So for now, transports are out, and footslogging is in.

So at this point, we have a plan. We have an army. And we even have some figures. We also have a promise to the wife-unit that we won’t buy any new figures until we paint the ones we have. So it’s on to painting the sisters! Up next, how I decided on the color scheme and the step-by-step painting process.

Part 3: Painting Sisters

Welcome back gentle readers. Today we look at the incredibly detailed and scientific process of how I choose the color scheme for my Sisters of Battle figures. First step, attach the color wheel to the dartboard…okay…just kidding. Actually, the first thing I did was look at the White Dwarf articles on the Witch Hunters and then at the painting section of the Witch Hunter Codex. GW’s web page on the army had some painting tips there too. Now some of you sharp people might be saying, “I thought he didn’t buy the Codex?” Well I didn’t, but I did borrow one, so there.

Anyways, so now I’m looking at the official paint schemes for the sisters. I really don’t want to copy simply what GW has already done. Its not that they don’t look good, but I like to be a little original. However, I don’t want them looking silly either. Gold armor at first really appealed to me. But, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that was being a bit too high and mighty. A whole unit with gold armor? What makes them so special? Could I justify that over a whole army? No way. But I do like gold…so it will stay on as a trim.

So we are back to square one…what color for the armor? Well, after looking back and forth at models and schemes, I finally settled on one I saw in the Codex. In the back of the book, they have a special character done in red armor, with gold trim, and white cloth. Wow, what a great look. The red is nice and flashy and really stands out. The gold gives it that oomph that says, “We have style”. And the white cloth really contrasts very well and helps to give it the clean and virtuous look. And with that, I have my color scheme.

Going back to the codex, I notice the Order of the Bloody Rose is pretty close in colors. They have the red armor, but use black for their cloth and gold for the trim. Fairly darn close to what I want. A quick read into the background for the Order is done. Not bad at all. I like my armies to fit into the current history of the universe. So making my Sisters an offshoot of the Bloody Rose sounds good.

So I grabbed my trusty can of black spray primer and set for the outdoors with my sisters in a big cardboard tray/box type thingy. Now personally, I think I over-prime. I like every inch of that figure to be coated. So after about an hour’s time, I had all 10 sisters and their backpacks primed black. I chose black because its 40K, and things tend to be dark.  Also, I’m not a great shader. Dry brushing is my friend. I know lots of the painting snobs look down at dry brushing, but I don’t’ care. If it looks good to me, then I’m happy. And really, that’s all that should matter, unless you want that Best Painted Trophy.

A day or so later, I talked to an excellent painter about my sisters and the color scheme I wanted to do. His advice was to prime them red. Crap. So I’m not re-priming my figures. However, as I’ll have to do other sisters down the line, I’ll probably give it a go then. Pics of the lovely ladies in black are soon to follow.

Part 4:  A Bump in the Road

Hmmmmm finding time to paint amongst all my slacking is proving to be quite difficult. I have started on a figure though. I tried to go thru and put down the red on the armor sections. Now maybe it’s just me, but I’m finding it kind of difficult to nail down the sections I need to paint red. Which means I’m actually going to grab the codex and look at the painting section. Also, an issue of WD had a good article on painting sisters, which I will look over. I’m more of a visual learner, so having reference materials is a great way to keep me focused.

I also need a new Inquisitor name. As fate, and GW’s odd pricing policy goes, I didn’t get the Inquisitor boxed set. I was able to pick up similar figs in blisters for much cheaper. So I did. But that has now left me with a slightly smaller retinue, but most importantly, a female Inquisitor. As cool as Nostramus is, it doesn’t fit a female model. This may seem like a minor thing, but it can actually be very important. For me, a big part of an army is the inspiration for it. The connection I feel with the army directly affects how much I want to play it. Which in turn, affects how much I want to paint it.

So now I have a female inquisitor. I had always thought of Nostramus as a guy’s guy. While he respected what the Sisters of Battle could do…he always thought less of them simply due to the fact that they were women. Well, that would hardly stay true for a female inquisitor. But first things first…a name. I like my names to be inspired as well. Right off the bat, looking at the figure, we have kind of a 19th century thing going on. Big hair, regal manor…I’m thinking Russian nobility. A quick google search brings me to a web site with the 90 most common Russian female names. Three pages later, we have it: Nadezhda – pronounced Nah-Deyz-da. Inquisitor Nadezhda…ooooo sends shivers down my spine just saying it.  Now for her, she sees the Sisters of Battle as an image of strength for women. Men have their uses, but if you want a job done, then a woman is called for. There is no room for weakness in her army. She is cold, hard…Russian.

And just like that, the whole theme of my army has changed. Where once we had a hard inquisitor that was going to rely on storm troopers and simply use the sisters, we now have one that relies on the strength of the sisters to win the day. This really won’t affect the first 500pts for my army. However, it will impact the units I select further on. For instance, now it seems fitting to have a unit of Sisters Repentia in the force. Where Nostramus wouldn’t really care about the fate of a sister that had fallen from grace, Nadezhda does, and thus ensures that those sisters have a chance to redeem themselves in battle.

This will also mean adding more specialized sister units to the roster and most likely, SoB vehicles as well. Since I didn’t have huge plans drawn out for my army yet, a change like this isn’t too much of a big deal. There were certain units I had already decided that I wanted in the army, regardless of theme. But now what this change in theme does, is allow me to use different auxiliary units to fit the new concept. Army composition is a tricky thing. Not only does an army need to fit your play style, but it should also fit your visualization for it. I think its very critical to know what you want your army to look like, and have it fit your play style. As I said before, the greater the connection you make with your army, the more enthused you will be to paint it, and play it.

Painting pics soon…I promise.

Yeah, nothing has really changed has it?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Call to arms in Ostermark!

As I stated last time, I was able to get a small Empire army for a very good price. That has then led me down the road to collecting more models so that I can expand my options. Also, I have to say, I really like the Empire. I think it is a good solid army with lots of ways to build it.

As such, I have decided to make it my next tournament ready army. I'm going to be focusing my attention on building, painting, and playing the Empire. I've decided to build an Ostermark army. These poor guys are just under Kislev and just over Sylvania. So they have to be the most battle-hardened troops in the whole Empire. Also, the paint scheme of purple and yellow seems fairly interesting to me. I'm going to go for more deluded shades, and will probably spend quite a lot of time finding just the right colors to use.

Should be an interesting project for me. I was very lucky in that my local store still had the latest empire boxed army in their inventory. I was able to snag all of the latest plastics in one shot, and got to support my favorite store to boot. The only thing I really have left to buy/trade for will be more plastic greatswords, and some wizard options.

Also, I have a slew of games to use these guys in. I can play warhammer 8th edition, kings of war, or even age of sigmar. That should help keep me focused on working on these guys and getting them ready. Now when I say tournament ready, what I really mean is OFCC ready. The OFCC is an event that I helped start with my club many years ago as a way for gamers to bring armies they really wanted to bring, with the focus on fun instead of winning. It has grown quite a bit and morphed from time to time, but is still, at its heart, an event as opposed to a typical tournament. This year's event just wrapped up, so I basically have a year to get this done.

My big challenge is how do I make the bases? You see I'd really like to make stand out bases for this army. However, that really isn't my forte. Plus, that means taking everyone that is currently built and getting them off of their bases. Still...if I can think of something, I just have to do know..expand my hobby skills. :)

Friday, July 24, 2015

July has been really hot

Global warming...that's right, its real, and its here. Sheesh. Since when does my part of the country hit 100 degrees on multiple days? Ugh. My poor AC unit has been working overtime.

So besides that, what's been going on? Well, I've done some progress on my Planetfall models. Nothing new has been completed yet, but I am getting closer. I should probably take the next cool day and prime some new models while I'm at it, just to be able to work on the next thing. That is how close I am....kind of exciting.

As far as playing, well that hasn't gone so well. My schedule just hasn't worked out for me to get in games with the rest of the community around here. However, I am hoping to do some Kings of War v2 soon. I may even toss down for some AoS.

Where the world shifted to the left quite a bit was my building schedule. I had originally planned to put together my militarum tempestus stuff. However, this small part of my brain which doesn't normally speak up, decided to send the thought through my head that I have too much stuff. Turns out it was right. So I'm currently selling a small portion of my collection. And the first thing that hit the door was my MT models. I just didn't have enough to build an army with it and while it would be fine as a allied detachment, I have plenty of full armies that need assembling.

Now of course, in typical fashion however, I was presented with a sweet deal on some empire models. Now I had owned empire many many moons ago when they had that Middenheim box army. I should never have sold that.

But I did....but now I had an opportunity to pick up close to a 2000pt army, new models, assembled...pretty cheap. Even came with the book. Now I've really liked the Empire army since 8th came out...I thought was was well done....not a top tier army, but a good middle ground army with lots of interesting builds. So while I ditched one army....I have acquired another. And since it is a fantasy army...I'm probably going to expand it out and end up with close to 3000+ points. It isn't hard to do really.

Plus, I can use it for KoW, so that's another reason I don't mind owning more fantasy armies. :)

I did decide to sell off my deadzone stuff. Ever since the kickstarter, it has just been sitting there. So might as well let someone else have it. Plus it is funding my Empire expansion :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Age of Sigmar

Hey peoples,

So this post is going to be a little different. Today I want to share my thoughts on the latest release by Games Workshop, the new Age of Sigmar game. First off, I need to throw down a little background for myself.

I started playing Rogue Trader way back in the late 80's. During that time, I saw that GW had a fantasy game, and it looked interesting. But it also looked like a ton of models, so I didn't get into it. Fast forward several years and fourth edition. One of my college buddies started playing this game, and told me I should give it a try (1994?ish). I picked up the undead book because the thought of playing a necromancer summoning the dead seemed really cool. However, I didn't understand the rules when I looked over the book, and thinking that they were similar to 2nd ed 40K, I passed on them, and instead got drawn in by the super cool looking wood elf dragon that had just been released (still have that model).

From there I began my descent into Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Over the years, my collection has grown quite a bit. Where once I had a small wood elf army, now I own six large armies, and have bought and sold several throughout the years. In the late 90's, I really got into it, pulling several new friends into the game, running events at local game stores, and eventually going to Grand Tournaments. It was my favorite game.

Something happened though during 7th edition that took the game off of its pedestal. Part of it was the popularity of the game, and the big push into competitive gaming. The other part was me being too competitive and no longer playing for fun, but to win. Eventually it got to the point where I just needed to stop. Since then I have played from time to time, keeping up with the armies that I own and trying to find fun in the game again. 8th edition is okay. I'm not thrilled with some of the meta out there, and I don't care for the magic so much (needs some tweaking), but all in all, a good game.

Just recently GW released the End Times, and at first, I thought it was the greatest thing. I loved the Nagash book. A combined undead army and an interesting story line was just perfect. However, as the rest of the books came out, it got more and more clear that something was up. I really hated how much the good armies were getting trounced and I kept waiting for the balance to settle in.

At the end, I was extremely upset. They had taken this world that I had invested myself in for the last 20 years and literally blew it up. Already I have not been a fan of GW's policies over the years...and now they dared to ruin the very game I loved. So yeah, AoS was not received with open arms.

But here it is, and while the cement hasn't dried just yet, it looks like the time of Fantasy Battle has indeed come to its bitter end. No more rank and 9th edition. What we have is Age of Sigmar.

Sigmar is the epitome of my love/hate relationship with GW. On the one hand, I hate the loss of rank and file, but I do love the dynamic posing of the round bases. I hate the total lack of point values for models, but find most of the unit rules to be intriguing. The fact that the rules are free is great. However, the silly rules for the existing models is a slap to the face. As I look at the game and see the plan that GW has laid out for it, it makes me want to go "that's cool" and then kick them in the nuts.

Even though I know that GW did not make the game for still hurts. I do try to be objective about it. GW is trying to re-energize fantasy. But you know, that isn't even right. They really aren't trying to fix fantasy. They are simply trying to capitalize on their previous fantasy IP, and launch a new product to sell to new players. I am not their target audience.

How is this talking about Age of Sigmar exactly? Well, its simply hard for me to separate how I feel about GW, and how I feel about the game. The game is simple. Take that as a positive or a negative. The rules for units are free and there are some interesting things in there. I am mostly a VC player, and I really liked the stuff I saw. That being said, the rules that the "war scrolls" sit upon are, in my opinion, too basic. I think GW could have easily included an "Advanced Ruleset" in the AoS starter to fix some of the glaring issues. I mean this company has been producing these games for almost 30 years. AoS just falls too short. Combine that with the knowledge that my current collections are going to be obsolete soon, it makes it really hard to support this game. And since GW isn't talking about the future, we are left to speculate if this is it, or with AoS evolve into something more.

What this adds up to for me, is that GW has had its chance. I want to support a company that wants to support me. GW simply doesn't do that. Their actions make me feel like they don't care about me at all. And no amount of shiny new models is going to change that. For plenty of people, it does, and they will keep on going supporting GW. Luckily for me, there are lots of other games out there.

So bottom line, AoS isn't for me. I will probably give it a run or two just to say that I have. But it doesn't fill the gaping hole left by WFB.