Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Thoughts On: New Games Workshop Announcements

Games Workshop have been causing a bit storm at GAMA this week with a barrage of new announcements.  Here is my thoughts that will obviously include a lot of speculation.

First up...

Shadow War: Armageddon

This one is of particular interest to me as I, as you may have been in a previous blog post,  am a huge fan of Necromunda.  Shadow War: Armageddon is a stand alone "squad level" skirmish game "set in the hive cities of Armageddon, with Orks against Space Marines and the option to add almost a dozen more factions".  So far so good.  Sound pretty cool.  But the bit that really peaked my interest was "the ruleset is based off of the classic Necromunda game, including some in-between game advancements and earning experience that can see your small recon-force grow to become an elite unit of honed killers." Interesting...

What does this mean for the future of Necromunda?   Will they ever release a new official version of the game of is Shadow War the new Necromunda?  Who knows?  This release does make perfect sense though.  Rules to play skirmishes in 40k using their pre-existing miniatures meaning you can use models from your 40k army or you can just buy a single box of miniatures and already get involved in the game! I already have eyes on a Genestealer Cult gang...and a Tau Firewarrior team...and a Chaos Marine Gang...basically I am sold on the idea.

You get a squad of Space Marine Scouts, a squad of Ork Boyz,  templates, rules and the usual things in the box but the most impressive is the scenery.  Plastic modular buildings with walk ways and towers and the like.  Very much what I predicted for the new Necromunda box.  It's very elaborate and very Games Workshop (lets play count the skulls!) but looks very cool.  The one thing for me is that it seems like there isn't very much terrain in the box but this.  I wish they had made it a bit less fancy and a bit more plentiful but I assume they will release separate boxes of scenery for use with this and 40k.

And most exciting of all is that Shadow War: Armageddon is coming out in April!!

Kharadron Overloads

Yet again Warhammer: Age of Sigmar is proving to split opinions.  One of the new announcements for the game has been their new race.  the Kharadron Overlords,  a faction of Duardin (Dwarfs to you and me) sky pirates.


I'm not usually a fan of the whole Steampunk thing.  It's a bit over done and, frankly, a bit dated now.  but I think these guys looks pretty damn awesome! A lot of people have complained that they look "to 40k" and are like the much missed Squats from the sci-fi game.  People had the same complaints about the Stormcast Eternal when they came out when AoS was released and it's understandable.  They are certainly making AoS much more unique looking, moving away from the usual Tolken inspired fantasy of old.

In game terms they seem to be armed with a lot of ranged weapons.  Lots of really cool looking guns and cannons.  Very different to anything else we have seen in AoS so far.  Will be interesting to see so these units work in the game! 

I'm a fan of these new sky dwarfs but I understand why people might not like them.  It's pretty simple though, if you don't like them you don't have to buy them.  There are so many unique factions in AoS that all look so different you can pretty much play what you want!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Thunder & Blood

Another Age of Sigmar announcement was a new starter set called Thunder & Blood.

There isn't a lot of information about this yet but it seems like it is going to be a starter set in the style of the original one with Stormcast vs Khorne (a big clue in that name).  but this time with coloured plastic (red for Khorne and gold for Stormcast),  a double sided play mat and,  this is a really nice touch, the box can be used as a piece of terrain! What a great idea!! I wonder if it works as well as it should!

This seems like the perfect in for people new to AoS.  Another great move from GW making the buy in for the hibby much more accessible!  Looking forward to seeing more about this one. 

And last but not least...

Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire

This one is particularly interesting.  It is just a very cryptic video and a small write up on the Warhammer Community page at the moment.
"This is a new game, set in the Mortal Realms during the Age of Sigmar. It has been designed specifically for competitive, organised play, to support our growing community of gamers out there."

I could be anything.  My first thought was that it might be the Aos equivalent of the 40k Shadow War game above but that doesn't quite match up with the idea of it being designed for competitive play.   Is it a return of the "rank and flank" style of old Warhammer?  Look at that awesome old school logo! Maybe?  Really interested to see what it could be.  Hopefully we won't have to wait to long!

Well it's been a pretty exciting day if you are a Games Workshop fan.  Really looking forward to all of these and I am pretty sure there is much more to come.  A few years ago I don't think I would have ever written this but....well done Games Workshop.  Well done.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Thoughts On: Terminator Genisys The Miniatures Game

I am a huge fan of the Terminator films (well the first two).  I am also, as you may have guessed by this blog, a huge fan of miniatures gaming.  When I first watched The Terminator and saw the post-apocalyptic battle scenes I knew that i needed to play a miniatures game in that setting.  It was perfect for it.  Armies of Endo-Skeletons blasting human resistance fighters with their Plasma Rifles looked amazing on film but would be so so so much fun to play out on the tabletop.

It wasn't until 2015 that this dream became a reality.  It was announced that Alessio Cavatores River Horse Games were designing the official miniatures game based on the last movie in the Terminator series Terminator Genisys called Terminator Genisys The Miniatures Game: The War Against The Machines.  As soon as it was announced I was excited.  I am huge fan of Alessio Cavatore.  He did excellent work on Games Workshops Lord Of The Rings Strategy Battle Game, proving that he can make an excellent cinematic game based on a huge IP.  It was being distributed by Warlord Games, the people behind the excellent WW2 game Bolt Action .  All the ingredients seemed right but the game never really seemed to take off.  It does have a fan base and an active Facebook group but it had the feeling to me that it should have been the next big thing!

The game it's self is actually great.  A really simple to learn skirmish game that uses polyhedral dice and movement templates.  The full rulebook is fantastic full of detail, examples, painting guides and terrain building tips.  It really reminds me of classic Games Workshop rulebooks.

Despite this why did it not take off?  Here are some of my thoughts...

Terminator Genisys

I think the most obvious reason why the game never really become a smash hit was because the film it was based on is, frankly, terrible.  It seemed to miss the mark entirely.  It was a flop and I think even fans of the franchise, like myself,  didn't connect with the film.  I also think that River Horse only had the licence for that film, this meant that they could only produce products based around Terminator Genisys and not the loved original James Cameron films.  I think this may have put a few people off,  I know I was less keen to get involved with the game because of this.

The Miniatures

The miniatures in the War Against The Machines starter box are good.  They are functional,  good looking, easy to build and are handily in different coloured plastic (the Terminators in shiny silver and the humans in "army man green").  They were fine but I think a lot of gamers expected more. Warlord Games plastic kits are usually excellent. Their WW2 plastics are some of my personal favourite kits around but they are multi-part kits that if you are not into model making or are new to wargaming then would be a bit intimidating.  The Terminator miniatures were obviously made to cater for more of a board game audience but they still actually a bit fiddly and the "snap fit" feature that was one of the selling points for the minis didn't quite work.  I think it would have been nice if they made the minis one piece miniatures in the style of the new Mantic Games Walking Dead game but I understand that this way of making miniatures is quite pricey.  I personally like the miniatures in the game but understand that some people wanted more.

The Price

For me this was the biggest one.  The RRP for the full starter set was £70.  That is not a cheap buy in for a starter box,  especially with the amount and style of the miniatures included in the set.  There was an option for a cheaper box with quick start rules but I think that most gamers feel a bit cheated not getting the full rulebook (and the rulebook is one of the best things about the game in my opinion).  This was the main reason I didn't buy the game staright away and waited for a deal until I actually got the set.  It was worth the bargain price of £20 but I wouldn't pay £70 for it...and I don't think a lot of people would.  I assume that selling a game with such a big IP incurs many more costs and problems so it makes sense really.

I know this article may sound negative but I don't mean it to be.  I think Terminator Genisys The Miniatures Game is a great game for fans of the films and wargamers alike.  It's easy to learn but full of tactics, just waht you would expect from Alessio Cavatore.  I really encourage people to piuck up the game and keep it alive after the disappointment of the Terminiator Genisys film.