Thursday, 29 December 2016

Updates and Christmas

Many apologies for the distinct lack of updates recently, this is mostly due to the time of year and some lax enthusiasm for painting and gaming as a whole. During the new year I hope to get some more work done on Aristeia, including figures and terrain as well as a few battle reports once the rule set is in a place that I am happy with.

In terms of Christmas (and Birthday) gifts I received a copy of the new Blood Bowl box set. I have to say it is rather nice. The box art is lovely, the quality of the figures is very good as are the printed elements (cards, and pitches etc). The rulebook has some problems with some day one errata but that is not a large problem as others have reported on it already and I have already played quite a lot of Blood Bowl. I already have a Human team (the 2004 version) that I recently stripped as I was not happy with the paint job I had given them so the Orcs will be assembled first. I am a little disappointed in that you only get 2 Blitzers and 2 Black Orcs. There seems to be no way to purchase extra positionals at this moment and no other figures match the more modern style of these Orcs. It appears that I will have to wait to create a 'proper' team.

In terms of Christmas gaming that has taken place I played a 1000pt game of Warhammer Fantasy (8th Edition) with my Wood Elves vs Skaven. I am not the biggest fan on 8th edition, generally preferring earlier versions, but it was a fun a game nonetheless. I hope to get a little after action report together in regards to the game as some of the results during it were rather amusing.

Finally I ran a one-shot game of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (2nd edition) set in Norsca. The group was comprised of some more experienced players and a few new comers to RPGs (although all are veteran board and wargamers with knowledge of Warhammer Fantasy). It went down quite well I believe, considering that most of the game was made up on the fly outside of the general premise. It was a combination of Beowulf and some sort of Skaven incursion/plot dealing with abductions in a Norse village and the local Jarl under so e political pressure. It ended with the party finding the captured villagers working as slaves in Dwarven ruins for the Skaven's foul desires. The slaves were freed and were transported back to the village however the game ended with the alarm bell of the village ringing to announce the Skaven hordes approaching. It was quite light hearted and good fun to run, it didn't take itself too seriously and had a few references to fantasy stories and other epics.Hopefully I'll get the chance to run some more games in the future as it has been a very long time since I have had the chance to run/take part in an sort of Pen and Paper gaming.

I hope everyone reading this had a lovely Christmas and hopefully there will be a more regular update schedule in the New Year.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Sisters of Battle Collection

Below are a few (rather poor quality) pictures of my Sisters of Battle army in its (almost) entirety. No unit is yet complete. It is a rather slow process painting these figures. They are, however, some of my favourite miniatures ever made.

The Army

Living Saint

Command Squad

Cannoness and Hospitaller


More Seraphim

Exorcist, Penitent and Immolator

Squad One

Squad Two

More Army
Painting continues on a number of projects: various Blood Bowl teams, SoBs (obviously) and some late C14th/ early C15th figures for New Years fun. Hopefully I will get back aboard the painting and blog train as I have been rather lax lately.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Sisters of Battle

With the release of the new Sisters of Battle Cannoness I have been reinvigorated for painting my army, despite my earlier misgivings. For those unaware there is a (limited?) newly released Sister of Battle figure based upon the classic John Blanche 2nd edition Codex cover.

I have been a Sisters fan for a very long time and even though I don't play Warhammer 40k anymore (and haven't for many years), I still collect an army. I find the extreme Gothic aesthetic combined with a monastic/holy order incredibly appealing. This is in part due to the fact that I am very much interested in Monasticism, generally Western Christian, as a whole. The miniature range as produced by Games Workshop is one of the few that I find captures the artwork and spirit of their design incredibly well, arguably the most out of any of the factions.

 My Sisters of Battle force is relatively small but that is in part due to the relative difficulty and cost of obtaining a larger one at this time. They are an order of my own creation but as of yet do not have  name as I am unable to come with a satisfactory example. The basic idea behind the order is that they are as standard and mundane as possible with little room for what would be considered 'mary suedom' generally exhibited by various Space Marine chapters. It is merely a blank slate on which to create characters and history of an organisation. Along with the continued painting, which due to my methods takes a very long time and is pretty soul destroying, I have been working on a little background. This has included a currently work in progress layout of the Convent/Abbey based off of various Medieval cathedrals and monasteries as well as some general Late Roman architecture (which was already a major influence upon medieval and later architecture). This also has a secondary use of being used in a RPG session that I would like to run in the future based around a murder mystery set within the 40k ecclesiarchy in the nature of Cadfael or In The Name of The Rose.

The current work in progress plan of the Imperial Cathedral and Monastery. The area in red needs reworking. The Cathedral/Basilica and Cloister are in a far better state.

Durham Cathedral and Monastery used as reference. Source unknown.

With the creation of the ground plan it allows for approximation of the orders size and general nature. The core of the mission would be defence of the basilica and relics/shrines contained within. As to the nature of the world, I think it being feudal in nature would be best for stereotypical medieval shenanigans (although these could easily work on any imperial world). The main problem with attempting to fluff a sororitas order is the distinct lack of information into their organisation. There is plenty (and often repeated) about their formation but less about general organisation. This is intentional I believe and based off the older warhammer ideas of creating ones own story with the setting. To this end I imagine using general medieval organisations is perfectly fine and what I intend to do. The problems come when looking to expand this into the Ministorum as whole although I am sure something can be created.

The army currently Consists of:

2x 10 Sisters of Battle
5 Retributors
2x 5  Seraphim
5 Command Celestians
1 Living Saint
1 Cannoness
1 Hospitaller
1 PEnitent Engine
1 Immolator
1 Exorcist

Looking to future expansion would be another Immolator and two Rhinos but these are quite far down the list of priorities. I am overall quite happy with the size of the army and the options that it provides.

Problems arise when looking to use this army for gaming, which I admit was never the real intention of the force. I have no interest in modern Warhammer 40,000, I will not go into why here but it is not going to happen. That leaves older editions, 2nd and 3rd respectively (as both do two rather different things), and other games. It is the 'other games' part which causes some consternation. There seems to be little in the way of games that take a 40kesque theme but do so in a more balanced and interesting manner.


Friday, 2 December 2016

High Elf Blood Bowl Team Complete

Finally, after several years languishing in the lead pile my High Elf team is finally painted! I went for the classic blue and white strip but with a more muted gold/bronze colouring than is normally seen. I do not tend to paint overly bright miniatures and my favouritism for more drab or muted tones reflects this.

The entire team, all eleven players.

The team was converted using mostly the White Lion and Phoenix Guard kits. The White Lions taking the lion's (heh) share of the pieces used. This was mostly in the legs and torsos, especially on the Thrower and Catchers, due to the more animated poses and 'practical' armour for a sports game. The vast majority of helmets also used were provided by the White Lion set as a well.The Phoenix Guard provided the cloaks and (some) of the arms seen on the Linelves and Blitzers. The newer Shadow Warriors set supplied the high boots as seen on the two catchers, this came about during a revision to the team design during conversion, where I wished to differentiate the AV8 and AV7 pieces better.

The positionals, 2 catchers, 2 blitzers and thrower.

The linelves

Overall I am quite happy with how the team turned out in terms of the conversions (especially the positionals) and the painting I think is acceptable. I look forward to hopefully using them around Christmas time in a local league.

For those who wish to know the team is TV1000 and consists of:

2x Blitzers

2x Catchers

1x Thrower

6x Linemen

2 Re-rolls

This comes in at 990TV. The spare 10k is generally used for 1 Fan Factor but it could be saved. The lack of an early Apothecary or third reroll is a problem (the apo especially) but I enjoy the passing game, both thematically and game wise, to no take 2 catchers. I've had some success with the team and with similar High Elf teams in the online environments.

Work is still continuing with the Romano-British levies and I should hopefully get the shield designs ordered relatively soon in time for them to be ready by Christmas. I have also done a little more to the LoTRSBG Athurian adaptation, this along with Aristeia I would very much like to play over the holiday period. This is in combination with me finishing off two other Blood Bowl teams that require painting, my Dwarf and Chaos. These are the Black Scorpion figures and while i rarely play these teams I liked the models so picked some up at SALUTE a few years ago.