Category: General (Page 2 of 2)

Interview with the Convertorum

Johan Egerkrans from the Convertorum give me his top 5 favourite pieces of Games Workshop artwork and speaks about his design process.

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Wargames Illustrated

The worlds premier tabletop gaming magazine is the tagline, I’ll be the judge of that. Not to be confused with the Women’s Institute, Wargames Illustrated is £4.95 ($8.95, €6.95) for 106 pages with 27 pages of adverts including one for a military history degree course from the university of Wolverhampton.

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After that i probably don’t need to mention that this is a heavy going historical wargaming magazine but the weird thing about it is that it only occasionally loses my interest, the only time in fact was when one of the writers started frothing about the exact equipment in use by German paratroopers during World War Two. Most of the time it is happy to use history as a great big story book with which to add flavour to wargames and explain enough if the story to the satisfaction of the reader while inviting them if interested to pursue greater knowledge elsewhere.
Much like Wargames Soldiers and Strategy it has a theme to stitch everything together, this months was military blunders in whichever shape and form they took.
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Further to the impression of the magazine as more of a history book than a miniature gamers mag there is an 8 page article on the historical use and equipment of German airborne troops as envisioned by the Warlord Games plastic set. It’s all very nice and acts as a supplement to the models rather than a review of the plastic kit.
The production quality continues to impress as the writers begins to try and feature historical blunders into their articles with contents that are half history book and half suggestion for extra rules to add into the games, every page has pictures of nicely painted and displayed miniatures to illustrated the multiple historical examples and and as the article on the 1896 battle between the Italians and Abyssinians points out you can take the suggested rules and layout and apply them to any period.
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There are wargames show reports which again have a lot of very nicely taken photos and do a pretty good job at summing up the events and capturing the best displays which are quite spectacular, it reminds me of going to a Games Day and seeing the giant Horus Heresy diagrama or The Siege of Antioch display with Brettonians vs Lizardmen.
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There is even an unusual article about how John Lambshead published a rulebooks about classical war galleys which is interesting if you ever fantasise about publishing your own set of Wargames rules published by Osprey (the premier historical rulebooks publisher).
All in all I quite liked it, I never felt it was a chore reading this for review and even though historical and sci if gamers typical turn their noses up at each other i would pick this up again for a long journey or holiday reading.
This is for someone who:
Likes history
Is a sucker for detail
Isn’t that bothered about hard and fast guidelines for gaming
Likes the idea of historical gaming
This is not for someone who:
Enjoys sci if or fantasy settings
Likely to turn their nose up reading about the lengths someone will got to ensure their model church has historically accurate gargoyles



Wargames Soldiers & Strategy

Continuing my magazine binge I picked up Wargames Soldiers & Strategy, from hereon known as WSAS, from my local WH Smiths for £4.50 it’s 82 pages of which only around 7 of which are adverts which is a refreshing change from the Games Workshop publications, not that third party miniature companies adverts are a particular eyesore.
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The unique selling point of this magazine is that each month it tries to base itself around a different theme, this month was creatures like aliens, zombies and other horror tropes. The general content of the magazine is based around miniatures reviews mixed in with various scenarios either historical settings or harnessing the overarching theme of horror. The review segments are mostly just statements of facts like prices and scales next to unpainted miniatures which is fair enough to avoid any painting bias, sadly the critical natural of them is lacking to avoid the hard job of stepping on the toes of a company who might be a future sponsor.
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The scenarios are a fine mix of various different periods all well illustrated with a few double page spreads of essays from people including Rick Prestley break up the content, added to this are half a dozen game reviews and a couple of historical non fiction reviews. The standout feature is the zombie viking scenario that shows how the player actually created the unique force used.
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Everything is competently done, but nothing stands out as excellent and after reading it once I felt like I didn’t need to go back and read again unless I was playing one of the scenarios mentioned. The theme while quite interesting to hold the magazine together, fails to mention the elephant in the room in that there are several very competently done board games that explore horror mechanics in a way that a simply porting a miniature skirmish game to a survival setting can’t. It also sadly tries to occupy the same space as the other historical wargames magazines, Wargames Illustrated and Miniature Wargames with Battlegames but doesn’t have enough of the historical perspective or some truly inspiring content to compete with either.
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This is for someone who wants:
  • Historical scenarios
  • A thorough review of the different historical miniature releases that month
  • The theme picked that month
This is not suitable for someone who wants:
  • Any of the more popular wargames
  • A more critical review of releases
  • A really hard look at the historical elements involved in the battles.



Initiative Magazine

When I heard about a new wargaming magazine 112 pages long for £1.30 ($1.71 or €1.54) in full colour I jumped on it. It’s from the same guys who already publish Figure Painter Magazine so they have a pedigree, the catch is that it’s online only and you have to download it from a link you get emailed to you after you order. Ultimately I can live with this as it means the magazine can be 3 to 4 times cheaper than a version that had to be printed out. We live in the computer age damnit, fire my toy soldier magazines to me via the intertubes.
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This issue is rammed with content, 4 unboxings, 3 painting tutorials, 3 game previews, interviews, event reports, terrain building and even a battle report to cap it off, it’s so jammed in you don’t even notice the almost complete absence of adverts. I don’t mind adverts in gaming magazines, except the ones in the historical magazine for their stairlifts and denture glue.
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Obviously adverts can take many forms and the previews are non critical although puff pieces on Kickstarters are a dangerous game to get into given the current fulfillment problems a lot of them get into.
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The weakest part is sadly the Bolt Action battle report at the end with unfinished scenery and unpainted miniatures taking up some of the shots, hopefully this gets improved on in later issues as it’s clear the writers are trying the same format as the old volume 1 White Dwarfs that a certain website reviews.
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Overall this a spectacular effort for a first issue, if they can keep up this level of content and polish off some of the rough edges I will be very happy, thought I would ask for it to be priced higher as I have no idea how they intend to pay their writers at this rate.
You can pick it up here.
This is for someone who:
  • Is on a budget
  • Likes their magazines instantly available
  • Wants a variety of content
This is not for someone who:
  • Demands the highest production quality
  • Likes the tactile feel of a magazine
  • Wants another historical wargames magazine



Gear Check – Gaming Day

This week I’ve drawn up a list of everything needed to carry before heading to a tournament / organised play event / mega game or just a lazy Saturday at a mates house. Remember that victory cigars and expensive whiskey is optional, however if that’s how you roll you don’t need me pointing some out.

Water, 1 litre – Most people will first thing if the alcohol, this is folly and should be consumed later in the day. Do Not Break The Seal before the afternoon, madness will follow.
Sweets – Reciprocity is the first rule of persuasion and will have them treating you like a king for the rest if the day. Do not do homecoming unless you are a pro.
Pringles – If you have to travel, these are the most efficient to carry around in terms of the air to snacks ratio. Your mileage may vary and you might want to consider nuts instead.
Protein flapjack – These will allow you to continue functioning throughout the day if food is hard to find or prohibitively expensive.
Pen / paper – After a few hours your memory will drain out of you and you will need visual aids for most simple gaming tasks like remembering to move the turn counter on or remembering who you gave things to.
Paracetamol – Headaches are annoying, deal with them ASAP.
Ibuprofen – To cover all bases.
Plasters – It’s unlikely you’ll need them but you will be a hero if you do.
Wound kit / Bandages – If you are going to be prepared you might as well cover all your bases.
Hay fever tablets – It’s on the increase and someone will have been left unprepared, go for the non drowsy type unless you are playing to win.
Anti bacterial wet wipes – When you put lots of gamers in the same space the toilets will run out of paper within minutes, no one thinks of this. Save your self with these.
Earplugs – Nap time is sometimes necessary for multi day events and these will save your REM from the whoops of the drunk magic players at 1am in the morning finishing their epic control matchup.



What I got at UKGE 2016

This is a quick catch up about everything I came home with when I went to the UKGE this year, if you want to read about why UKGE is such a great event or want to know about any particular item in more detail let me know in the comments section and i’ll write up an article on it, if you want a weekly email with my content subscribe here.

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In no particular order:

Space Marine Scouts and Tempestus Scions – For kitbashing and making better Deadzone miniatures with.

A box of Harlequin models and a Harlequin codex – From the bring and buy on Friday including a Death Jester, Solitaire and Shadowseer and 8 others for £30. Victims of an apparent nerf to Harlequins Kiss’s or something, they should make worthy challenges for my painting table.

Firestorm Armada Swordbreaker class Battleship – Picked up for £3 with the others on the Friday, I’ve seem some lovely painted examples of this online and feel like I should give it a go in preparation for Dropfleet Commander.

Army Painter sprays – Because they cost loads to post so getting them in person is best.

Pandemic Legacy – Apparently the best board game ever, this is a statement worth checking out.

Ice Cool – Voted best childrens game at UKGE, you basically flick a penguin through doors in a maze while another player tries to catch you, a mix of Subbuteo and tag, like all childrens games its best played by adults with alcohol.

Exploding Kittens first edition – This game makes a meowing noise when you open it, all games need this function.

Shadows over Esteren vol 1 – These guys have the most impressive lineups of products I’ve ever seen for a role playing game, they have multiple books, metal currency coins, resin miniatures, an album of in character music, a book of ghost stories and even a real recipe book for cooking your players actual real life food.

Tor Gaming Relics, Ridend starter set bundle – Voted my me as coolest miniatures in the show, they remind me of Labyrinth goblins wearing medieval armour.

Game Tee scented candles – For getting the background smell right at a gaming session, sadly the Elven one shares the same Jasmine scent as freshly cleaned urinals.

 

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Wyrmwood Gaming

One of the things I’d like to write about in this blog are the smaller companies that don’t get a lot of press in the gaming industry, I’m not doing it as paid advertising or being given free product so if I write about something then it’s just that I want to offer my opinion on something that deserves being written about. Today I’m going to be writing about a company I backed on Kickstarter called Wyrmwood Gaming, they have done 5 campaigns at the current time of writing this, the Dice Vault, the Magnetic Dice Tower System, the Hero Vault, the Dice Tray and the Deck Box with optional Bluetooth tracking tile. As you can tell especially with the last one, they are high end gaming accessories for tabletop gaming.

I picked up the Dice Vault and the Hero Vault on Kickstarter. Depending on the wood you pick, the Dice Vault goes for $25 to $125 and the Hero Vault goes from $24 to $110 with $24 shipping. So that’s £17.27 to £86.38 for the Dice Vault and £16.58 to £76 for the Hero Vault with £16.58 shipping.

First things first, these are luxuries, there should be no one out there who is under the illusion that you should need a special wooden box to hold 8 dice or a single model or a magnetically assembled contraption to roll their dice or store their cards so picking this up should be the last call on your gaming shopping trip.

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Both are well made, and match the pictures and description on their website which is sometimes a problem with Kickstarter products, especially those using natural materials like wood or stone, they know what they are doing and have attached rare earth magnets into the wood using screws to secure them in place so that the two halves of the Vault snap it together and secure with enough force to make it clear no jolt or knock is going to open it when it is being carried around in your bag.

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This smoothly leads me on to my next point, these items are so nice and so expensive I would not recommend just throwing them in a bag full of other equipment that might damage them, their price and the varying hardnesses of the wood needs to be taken into account, I suggest checking out the style of wood here and seeing if it matches your needs first.

If I was going to pick the most useful it would be the Hero Vault as its great for taking an individual model around for a game like Descent or Imperial Assault when even the smallest carrying case is too large and yes, it does garner looks of envy from your fellow players. Maybe one day when I have the full games room setup I will have matching Wyrmwood dice towers and other accessories but probably not just yet.

 

Like mirrors in a Terry Pratchett Novel, Chilvers Industries feeds on a little part of your soul every time you look at it, to continue enabling me please Subscribe now.

Mission Statement

Welcome to the people who have decided to start reading this blog from the very beginning. It’s interesting to begin writing this as I don’t know how this blog will turn out and in what fields, if any, it finds success. My original idea is to document my interests in the fields of board games, card games, retro games workshop publication reviews and miniature painting, but you will almost certainly also find posts about other interests such as watch modifications, megagames, books, every day carry and anything else that it takes my fancy and gives me enough space to write long form content for. The main questions I hope to answer are:

  • Why everyone should learn to paint and how to do it?
  • Can the experience of painting miniatures be transferred to watch modification?
  • What gaming experiences everyone is missing out on?
  • Why is the golden age of Games Workshop from 1990 – 2001 so highly thought of?
  • If I could produce a game what would I make and why?

To be honest this blog could end up being a streaming platform for Thomas the Tank Engine electronic dance music in a couple of years time.

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