Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Gallery Of Jez Allum

Here we have a series of works from a good friend of mine. Skilled with a brush and with conversion work as well.

Warhammer 40,000:

Sons of Horus -

Full Squad


Commander (affectionately named Captain Broom Head)


Warmachine - Khador


  Kommander Sorscha                                               The Butcher                              

Widow Makers                                                                            Iron Fang Pikemen
Juggernaut                                                                                                     Destroyer

Decimator                                                                                                     Kodiak
So here we have some of his works from various systems. Jez also does a lot of commission paint work, he can be contacted via his facebook where you can also find some of his other works. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Project log: Kings of War

So here I am back again with a small update on my current force. With several small units built and 2 characters required in my first list I'm rather happy with progress.

First up I have the current group shot

Here you can see a unit of scouts (mounted samurai bowmen), a troop of foot guard (samurai) and a troop of missile troops (ashigaru bowmen) and you can see a mounted hero and an army standard bearer.

All these are from Wargames Factory with the bases being the modular movement trays from Games Workshop. You can see that the missile troop has only half the unit glued to the tray, this is for ease of painting, I have tried other methods also here in this small force. The troop of foot guard have been glued on single strips so that no figures are loose but I can get to each figure. The amount on the sprues was unbelievable, the samurai had both sets of arms and weapons for either swords (katana) or spears (yari). The ashigaru missile troops come with both arms and options for bows or rifles. The kits were very easy to assemble and were straight forward. The mounted hero and army standard are essentially kit bashed. With both using parts from 2 kits I purchased.

With this in mind here are the individual shots -

Missile troop

Foot guard


And last up we have the characters a mounted captain and an army standard

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Project log: kings of war

As it's a new year I figured a new challenge was needed for myself, this series of articles will follow my kings of war army being constructed. As a long term hobbyist I'm guilty of buying an entire force building it then not painting it despite the fact I've done this several times I do try not too, so I will do the force in stages with various ideas to motivate myself.

I chose kingdoms of men (kom for ease) for my force as it gave me great scope to make a personalised force. Mantic games unfortunately do not do a series of miniatures for their kom force as many others do really nice figures for human forces. I chose to use a mix of models from various companies and with this in mind I went about choosing a theme.

I'm a big fan of centre pieces in my hobby and some game systems unfortunately don't allow this, kings of war however encourages this by simply using base size not model count and only removing whole units not individual figures. With this in mind I had an idea to use various creatures I could find to represent units as well as using more traditional infantry. The bulk of my force is made up of Wargames Factory samurai from the rising sun range. With 4 different boxes to choose from all with a decent amount of figures and plenty of options what more could I want. Oh yeah monsters, that's what I want suppose those need sourcing as well. A lot of these I turned to Games Workshop for, the Lizardman range gave me a lot of inspiration as did The Lord Of The Rings range. As it stands I have an idea and a theme, and the miniatures have been sourced. But I need a final goal and the in between  things to keep me motivated. Smaller goals and changing projects short term to break larger projects up often helps me.

Most large scale games require larger points values, with this in mind I've chosen to work my force to a grand total of 3000 points and split this into 4 sections of 750 points. I also can not move onto a section till the current one I'm working on is finished, but I have included magic items in the cost of sections.

So my initial 750 points is as follows-

1 regiment of pole arm troops - 80pts

1 regiment of spear troops, mace of crushing - 100pts

2 troops of foot guard - 90pts each

1 troop of ogres - 115pts

1 troop of missile troops, fire oil - 80pts

1 troop of mounted scouts -70pts

1 regiment of mounted sergeants - 125pts

Hero, with horse and talisman of inspiration - 70pts

Army standard bearer, - 30pts

This force gives me a varied mix of units with various abilities and a force with good balance. Whilst ranged fire power is lacking kom forces aren't the best marksmen so this isn't an issue for myself.

As usual all comments and feedback are welcome, and you can also follow other goings on via the Talking Wall facebook page. 

Review: Dreadball Azure Forest expansion part .

This week a package arrived on my doorstep labelled up Mantic games. Inside I found my Azure Forest expansion pack. As with all orders I've had from mantic I have been kept informed of everything they are doing with my order. The Azure Forest pack is essentially an expiation for dread ball, you need the main rules and all the usual items to play. The MVP within is only usable in official leagues for 2014 only, but this doesn't stop you using him in your own leagues and exhibition matches at any point.
As with a lot of Mantic products the Azure Forest expansion comes in the trademark white plastic cases, the front photograph was done as if it was a still mid game with a Forest background which showcased the new MVP. Upon opening the box you get a set of cards, a hex base, the expansion rules, the MVP and a bubble wrapped item. Once the bubble wrap was removed I discovered it contained a cast metal trophy which was a very nice touch.

First thing I did was to check the trophy and MVP figure for any miscast or problems, and I have to say that both were flawless with only a single piece of flash on the front of the trophy. The figure is posed as if he is mid throw or mid catch depending on your perspective. The Dreadball armour he wears is of a more rustic design, adorned with feathers and made of wood to further tie him into the Forest look.

Also contained within the box is a set of 16 cards, 1 reference and 15 playing cards to alter a dread ball deck for the Azure Forest setting. The reference card gives you the weather table in brief with the relevant dice rolls. That's right I said weather conditions, weather will play a large part in Azure Forest games, with all forest/jungle conditions catered for. You'll get rain storms and scorching heat which can impact on your players directly, or perhaps even a heat haze that affects the ref. a All will make your games different and provide you with a new challenge to overcome. The remaining 15 cards will offer you a variety of effects and events, from letting you play a card to change the weather , making one of your players 'Roid Rage for a strength test to jungle sickness and insect swarms affecting players. A lot of these cards are aimed at your opponent or both of you with a small number for use on your team.

Lastly contained within the box is the expansion rules. This 32 page time gives you everything you need to move your games from the arena to the jungle. Laid out in Mantics usual fashion, the rule book is easy to navigate, full of extra back ground information and additional rules. Everything is colourful and easily read to boot. What I was surprised with was that the book also contained rules for 3 extra MVP's that were done for kick starter that have recently been released on general sale. Also contained within is a full set of rules for running a one day tournament, which I can say work really well from recent experiences. No space has been wasted in the book with additional materials for event organisers to photocopy.

The price of the box was £15 from Mantic direct, which after taking the average £5 price for an MVP out you pay £10 for a decent set of rules, a set of expansion cards and a metal cast trophy. The set can be used as and when you like and I expect many people will like to use the rules to bring a difference to many games they play.  The down side is our new MVP is only official use for 2014, personally I won't object to any other people wanting to use him outside of 2014 and I would encourage the use of the rules to add an extra dimension to all games. This set shows a lot of promise from Mantic, and if rumour serves true we will be seeing a lot more expansion sets for us to enjoy. Come back at a similar time next week once I've had chance to properly trial the rules for my presentation of the finding's, and I promise no pie charts.

As usual all comments and feedback are welcome, and you can also follow other goings on via the Talking Wall facebook page where you can find out about my other various bits and pieces before they appear here.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

On a budget: Trollbloods.

The second in this series of articles is about the hordes faction the Trollbloods. As usual I will start with the battlebox and bring this force up to 50 points whilst keeping the budget under £170. As stated in On a Budget: Cygnar, you can magnetise the arms and weapon options for the heavy warbeasts but this is a task for a more experienced hobbyist.

The Trollbloods battlebox is rather unusual in that it does not contain any heavies at all. You get your warlock and 3 light warbeasts. But troll's have tremendous stopping power with every infantry figure having the tough rule, and all warbeasts having regeneration.

The battlebox's warlock of choice is Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftan. Setting the standard for the Trollblood force he has high MAT, STR and ARM, however being a medium base model his DEF is considerably lower compared to other Warlocks/casters. To rectify this problem Madrak comes with 2 rather nice pieces of equipment. Firstly is the Talisman of Subdual, which prevents all warbests in his front arc from making charge or slam power attacks against himself. Secondly Madrak carries the scroll of Grindar's Perseverance, an item that lets you the owning player negate the damage of one attack once per game, personally I save this one use item to its desperately needed. As for his weaponry Madrak carries the magical axe Rathrok. The fun part about this item is Madrak can also throw it, meaning his melee and ranged attacks both come in at POW/P+S 15 coupled with critical grievous wounds he is perfect for dealing with hard to kill models. Lastly Madraks feat and spell list perfectly compliment each other. With 2 thirds of his spells buffing your own forces and his feat granting overtake for additonal movement after a successful kill and then further attacks after this means your force will always be on the offensive.

Next out of the box set we have the pair of troll Impalers. Relatively cheap at 5 points each and coming with throwing spears that double up as melee weapons, granting the impaler POW/P+S 13 attacks. Like all troll's a respectable STR stat is present as is high ARM, but the low DEF is also prevalent. The animus on the impaler is far strike, granting an extra boost to the range of missile weapons, so Madraks RNG suddely gets better with this boost. Lastly being a troll they have regenerate, meaning the Impalers can be forced to regenerate lost damage earlier in the game, this can cause crippled effects to be removed.

The third beast our battle box gives us is the Axer. Another light beast with similar a similar statline to the Impaler, but with a higher MAT, ARM and POW on his axe attacks. This guy will be your muscle for now. With very few abilities he is a simple beast to master and comes with a nice price tag of 6 points. He has the mandatory regenerate and my personal favourite thresher. Thresher is a form of special attack that permits you to hit every model in line of sight and range of the attack, which with the Axer also having reach really ups his damage radius. The final thought on the Axer is his animus, Rush. This animus brings 2 useful benefits to a troll blood force it grants an additional movement boost and also grants pathfinder, which in a slow moving force are always bonuses. The battlebox retails at £31.50 and gives you a healthy 10 point start.

Next on the list I decided the force needed some serious combat prowess, and what better to deliver this than a Dire Troll Mauler. Coming in at 9 points for this beast he has 2 powerful melee attacks, a decent animus and a few nice abilities but first the statline. Again like all troll's the Mauler benefits from a higher than usual MAT, STR and ARM but the low DEF, even normal troops will be able to hit this one. To combat the inevitable damage he will take from being easy to hit, our nice new Mauler has regenerate and also snacking. A nice ability that lets you regain lost damage circles when the Mauler boxes a living enemy model. The other ability the Mauler comes with is Smash & Grab, this lets you make a power attack for free if both your initial attacks hit, and with the higher than average MAT this is a very likely situation. Finally we come to his animus, rather aptly named Rage. Quite blunt and to the point, the target models gains a STR boost, this means your Axer has a better thresher, Impalers can throw more deadlier spears or failing that Madrak can dish even harsher punishment out. The Mauler comes as part of a mulitpart heavy beast kit that retails at £21.80.

with the core of beasts fulfilled for our force its time to start adding our units. The first choice is a full unit of Fennblades. 10 troll's wielding two-handed swords is scary enough, but these trolls have some nice abilities to further the fear factor they cause. first up we have Hard, an ability that prevents impact and collateral damage from happening. Meaning no nasty surprises from your beasts getting thrown back into your force. Then we have vengeance, which permits you to make an additional move and attack in the maintenance phase providing your opponent destroyed 1 model in this unit. I've fallen on the receiving end of this ability once and it cost me a warjack, wasn't pretty watching it get scrapped. the box will cost £24.50

The next thing to add to the force as well as our first unit is the officer and drummer attachment. For a small 2 point investment you can make your Fennblades an even more fearsome fighting force. The drummer gives the officer a boost to his command range allowing you unit to spread out a bit more thus saving you from incoming AOE's.
The officer is the real reason we added this pair though, with his tactics and one use ability he really stands out from the crowd. Tactics for the officer grants the unit he is with set defence, meaning models charging, slamming or making impact attacks suffer a negative modifier. No Quarter is an awesome ability, giving your unit fearless, pathfinder and terror as well as a movement increase provided the model charges. this attachment will set you back a mere £13.60.

Our force is currently sitting comfortably on 29 points but there are a few more things to add, I'm looking at another unit and solo's there after with maybe another light warbeast for more variety. So with this in mind I'll add a unit of Trollkin Warders. At 8 points for a full unit of 5 this seems expensive. Firstly each model has 8 damage boxes, yes you read that right 8 damage boxes each, a high ARM stat and tough as well. It's safe to say this unit is here to stay on your battlefield. The melee attack of these troll's is average at only 10 but they do have weapons master to generate you 4D6 each on the charge attacks and always 3D6 there after. Their ability is also a rather nice bonus to throw into the mix, Battle Driven gives the warders a nice STR ARM boost and also pathfinder for one round, assuming one of them died. this unit costs £31.50 for all that staying power.

With what we currently have selected in mind lets take a look at a solo or 2. First amongst these solo's to be taken is the Fennblade Kithkar. Essentially an independent officer who shares a lot of similarities with his parent unit. Having 2 attacks, 8 damage boxes, tough and reach he is a beast for his 2 point cost, but he doesn't stop there. The next in the list of abilities is unyielding, which grants an ARM boost so long as the
Kithkar is engaging an enemy model in combat. Furhter to this we can add Rightoues Vengeance, which has the same effect as the Vengeance ability if a friednly model dies within 5" of the Kithkar. Last on the long list on abilities is Tactician: Fennblades, which lets friendly models of the type stated ignore each other for LOS pruposes and they can also move through each other if they have enough movement to do so as long as they are in the Kithkars command range. Now I'll be honest this solo doesn't come cheap and will set you back £16.75, but i can assure you he is a huge model .

Our second solo is a set of Whelp's, despite being bought in a pack and army entry of 5, they act as single miniatures. Now ill be 100% honest here, they have no form of attack and the stat line is appalling but those aren't the reason these make it into every troll list I play. Firstly these models do not have to start the game in play, they can be generated when a warbeast is injured, which is great when a warbeast is in combat as a whelp makes living enemy models suffer -1 on their to hit rolls due to being an annoyance. Whelp's also serve a further purpose in the game, they are an alternate food source, this means that warbeasts can eat them for 1 of 2 benefits. firstly they regain D3 damage circles back, or eat a whelp to remove all fury on it. A pack of 5 whelps will cost you the bargain price of £9.05.

So with 41 points chosen of our allotted 50 giving us 9 left what else can we add. I suggested another warbeast and I wasn't wrong. But we have already seen this beast before but he deserves a second appearance in our list. The Dire Troll Mauler makes a second showing here for the reasons stated above and costing us 9 points we have hit our total of 50. Again retailing at £21.80

Now for the matter of cost, I aim to keep these forces at £170 or less, but sadly I have gone over budget. this force does cost £170.50 so only 50 pence over which I hope you can all forgive me for.

As usual all comments and feedback are welcome, and you can also follow other goings on via the Talking Wall facebook page. . All prices are from Titan Games and are correct at the time this article was published.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

On a budget: Cygnar

Over the coming months I'll be doing a series of on a budget articles for Warmachine and Hordes. the focus is to get a standard 50 point force together for less than £170, this limit will be increased for mercenaries and minions. The original idea for this article series was after a discussion with Citizen Williams over at A murder Of Ravens.

Here is the first one for you all to read, this has been reformatted from my original one that was put up on The Hobbynomicon. All of the on a budgets use the basic battlebox which is readily available from most flgs and online retailers.

The Cygnar battle box provides players with a good mix of warjacks and a very good caster in the form of Commander Coleman Stryker.  Stryker is a very good starting point, he’s very forgiving for players to use is incredibly survivable with his spell’s yet can augment his force and dish out a lot of punishment to boot. Both of his weapons are magical and cause Disruption. This nice little effect causes warjacks hit to lose all the current focus they’ve been allocated and also prevents them from getting any focus allocated to them in the next turn. Quite a nasty thing on warjack dependant forces, I would like to note disruption does not affect warcasters, warbeasts or warlocks. In his list of spells Stryker has 3 offensive spell’s with 2 possessing a decent RNG and POW of 10”/13 and 12”/11 respectively, and the third spell he possesses called earthquake being a POW- spell but AOE 5 and all models hit are knocked down. The spell states all models hit so be careful this also includes friendly faction as well. The rest of Stryker’s spells are a solid mix of giving +3 ARM, one giving and extra 4”RNG to a unit/models ranged attacks and his last spell granting +3 DEF against ranged and magic attack rolls. Then we have his feat which is called Invincibility which coupled with his defensive spells is rather  unpleasant for your opponent as his feat adds +5 to all friendly ARM stats in his control area. As a final point Stryker adds and extra 6 warjack points to any force he’s present in.
Next in the battle box we have a Cygnar regular Ironclad. A combat heavy warjack that has 2 attacks, in the form of an open fist and a Quake hammer. The Quake hammer comes with critical knockdown which is always useful and allows Ironclad to make a special Tremor attack. This special attack hits a single model and all models within 2” are also knocked down. With an average stat line but a slightly higher DEF for warjacks this guy is well worth his 7 PTS.

Our next Warjack is the Lancer. Armed with a War spear and Shock shield, the Spear has reach and set defence but it’s the Shock shield we are interested in learning about. The Shock shield gives our Lancer 2 rather nifty abilities. The first is Shock Field which means when the Lancer is hit by an enemy melee attack it sustains 1 damage to its First available cortex box. So long as the shield weapon system isn’t crippled this ability will still work. The Shield also causes 1 damage to the first available cortex system when the Lancer hits a warjack, regardless of if it damages, this take effect regardless of the system being crippled. Lastly the Lancer also possesses an ARC node, a really useful bit of kit that enables our warcaster to cast spells through so long as the Lancer is in his control area. We get all this for a nice cost of 6 PTS.

Lastly the Cygnar battle box contains another light warjack in the form of Charger. The charger is a really useful warjack as it possesses a battle hammer and a dual cannon. The dual cannon has a decent RNG and POW for a light but comes with ROF 2. This rather nice weapon also has the powerful attack ability, which lets you boost both attack and damage rolls on a shot for only 1 focus. So giving the charger its full 3 focus will let you fire 2 fully boosted shots a turn, this does however make the charger a very focus hungry warjack for a light jack. This is offset by the fact that once you close in focus will rarely be allocated for shooting with Ironclad and Lancer in tow. Charger does come in for a very respectable 4 PTS cost. This puts us on £31.50 spent on our faction so far.

With the focus hungry nature of the Charger on my mind my first addition was a very easy one to make. I added a journeyman warcaster which for a mere 3 PTS is a real bargain.

Our delightful journeyman can have his own battle group comes with 3 FOC and 2 spell’s. He is however rather susceptible to an easy death with only 5 damage boxes. This we can remedy by putting our focus hungry charger under his command. Charger needs the maximum of 3 focus to be effective which severely hampers Stryker but would not worry a journeyman as he needs to be kept at a safe distance. This useful solo that appears in most Cygnar force retails at £5.40.

Looking at what I currently have and Stryker now only running 2 warjacks I decided to add another warjack to our happy group. Lacking in the heavy jack and ranged department is a real nightmare at any points limit. So to remedy this I’ve added a Defender warjack. Another heavy warjack that comes with a Shock hammer for close combat and a Heavy barrel for ranged.

The Defender’s Shock hammer comes with the same cortex damaging ability that Lancers shield comes with. This offsets the fact that the Defender only has the 1 melee weapon. Finally the Heavy barrel our Defender also wields is a decent piece of kit. Boasting RNG 16 and  POW 15 can topple even the heaviest things in the game, and using Stryker’s snipe spell you can augment the RNG a further 4”. Defender comes in a respectable 9 PTS and costs £19.99

Our force is now currently sitting at 23 points with 4 warjacks a solo and a warcaster. So with this in mind I’d really want to keep my warjacks fighting for as long as possible. With this in mind I chose a unit of Field Mechaniks. This unit is led by a Crew Chief and has his Gobber assistants with him.

The Crew Chief come’s with the repair ability set to skill level 9 so will pass most skill checks and also has iron sentinel giving him a better chance of surviving. The Gobbers also have repair but at skill level 6, but can assist with the Crew Chief’s repair ability. They grant an additional damage boxed repaired per Gobber helping. The unit size I have added is the minimum of Crew Chief and 3 Gobbers for 3 PTS. The blister for this unit retails at £13.60

Looking at the back story to Stryker and also his tiered list he had a good amount of galvanic units so with 24points left in our allotted 50 I think you can guess what I shall be adding. Firstly I’ll be adding a unit of Storm blade infantry with 2 of the weapon attachment operators. Having combined melee, immunity electricity and dealing electrical damage on the unit is a terrifying prospect, couple this with the high MAT and ARM for infantry they are a true force to be reckoned with in the Cygnaran war effort.

 The unit does also possess a short RNG attack but with only a RAT of 5 this may be difficult to hit. This is where the weapon attachment operators come in. I’ve added to from the boxed set due to point’s constraint but I’m left with 1 spare for future choices. These function the same as their parent unit but have a better ranged attack with a RNG of 12”. They also have a rather nice rule that allows ranged attacks from its parent unit automatically hit.  This unit adds 7 PTS to our force and costs £27.00.

With having a unit of Storm Blades we can add a command to them now. This consists of an Officer and Standard bearer for the unit. The Officer comes with a healthy 5 damage boxes, an improved MAT and RAT over his companions and grant the unit the assault order. This is a nice little bonus that means the unit can make ranged attacks as they enter in combat giving them a better chance at finishing off the unit. Unusually the Standard also adds an extra bonus to the unit by making the unit’s ranged attacks benefit from AOE 3”. We can add this into our unit for a bargain 3 PTS and at a cost of £9.95.
Having a Storm detachment in a Cygnar force is nice to have, but what it really needs is a Storm Clad.

A warjack that excels in close quarter fighting and has many perks to it as well. Armed with an open fist, Generator blade and the short ranged Generator blast attack this is a jack that will make you proud. Like all Cygnar galvanic units he is immune to electricity and most of his attacks deal electrical damage. The generator blast benefits from electro leap so can arc lightning to nearby models as can the generator blade in close combat. Now you may be saying Strykers great but can he really power 3 heavy and a light warjack easily. I’ll be honest he may struggle, but to help with this problem Storm Clad has a Storm Accumulator. Which means when he activates he gains 1 Focus point if he has a Storm Blade within 3” of him, but that’s not all he is a warjack and can be jack marshalled by our next addition rather well. Storm Clad is the most expensive jack in our force at a hefty 10 PTS but this is offset by his monetary value of £16.30.
I mentioned just that the next addition will greatly help manage your forces resources. With this in mind I’ve added the Storm Blade captain.

 With the same statline as the officer and same amount of damages boxes it may be hard to understand why I’ve chosen him. First and foremost he is a solo jack marshal which has many benefits. He also benefits from weapon master granting him an additional D6 in combat, but these aren’t the main reasons I’ve added him. He grants 2 added bonuses to all storm knights within his command area. The first is tactician which means friendly storm knights can ignore other storm knights for LOS and movement purposes. The next benefit is he grants Storm knights relentless charge. So any activation in which they activate and charge they gain pathfinder. He adds all this to your force for 2 PTS and cost’s exactly £10.00.

So far I have use 48 out of 50 points leaving me with enough for an extra solo. This took a lot of thinking and after a while it was obvious. Captain Arlan Strangeways has now joined Commander Strykers growing force. He brings a better repair skill than the Crew Chief’s to the force and another set of nice abilities to boot. With his magic abilities he can make your warjacks a lot more mobile or generate them an extra focus point if they have none on them. Finally he also has his Voltaic Gauntlet which is a spray weapon and has disruption on it. And the final reason why I have added Strangeways is he has a cool looking pipe. He costs 2 PTS totalling us to 50 and costs £7.25.

With this last bit we have our full 50 points totalling a caster, 3 solo’s, 2 units and 5 warjacks all totalling up to £140.99. this gives you a force that has a lot of tactical options with a hard hitting element however the force is incredibly survivable due to the spells and the amount of mechanics and spell buff’s you have available to you.

I'd also like to point out that al the heavy warjacks can have the arms magnetised, this isn't recommended for new hobbyists however. After a quick look around the internet I found many sources for magnets with varying prices. This information was passed onto me by Azrael71.

As usual all comments and feedback are welcome, and you can also follow other goings on via the Talking Wall facebook page.. All prices are from Titan Games and are correct at the time this article was published.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Hello To All

Hello to all of you who have found this blog. I hope you make yourselves at home here and enjoy what you will be seeing over the coming months. My aim is to make a good positive atmosphere for hobbyists, with this in mind you will find tutorials on projects I have undertaken, unbiased reviews, news as it arrives on my desk and galleries of people's hobby projects.

Readers should feel free to comment on anything they find here, constructive criticism is always appreciated, and if there's something you would really like to see become an article please tell me, it may just happen. All I ask is you bear with me for now whilst things are added to this blog and I thank you for all for the patience. With the introduction complete I suppose I'd best get cracking on my first batch of articles.

Feel free to fins the facebook page for other things and more updates.