Hi, I’m Carl and I have a brush addiction. Yes folks, even after being disappointed by Games & Gears I’ve backed another brush Kickstarter, this time by WAMP. To be fair I sat on the fence for a good while on this one and the only reason I decided to back them is because they are allegedly using Rosemary & Co for the manufacturing. I’ve been considering trying out some of the Rosemary & Co mixed bristle brushes for a while as they have a reputation within the community for producing good quality brushes at a competitive price. Realistically I could have purchased a set of ten mixed brush sizes and types directly from them here in the UK for considerably less than what WAMP’s kickstarter is offering as a reward, however they do list brush specifications in their proposed range which I’d be interested in putting to the test.
If they turn out to be decent then that’s great and it will open up another supplier. If not then it will be no great loss and I’ll just stick with my trusty Series 7’s.
Whilst on the subject of Kickstarters I was pleased Carl Brown’s much more modest paced campaign to fund a print run for his pre black-powder ‘Open Combat’ ruleset was successful as it shows every sign of being a fantastic skirmish system for those fun games amongst mates. Very much looking forward to checking out the final print version later in the year. It has been something of a book year thus far what with Angel Giraldez A to Z and a couple of weathering books getting added to the workshop shelves recently. Also popping up on Kickstarter again are Mantic with a mini-campaign to accelerate the Veer-Myn, Enforcers and further modular terrain designs into their Deadzone offerings. I haven’t backed this myself because I’ve still a good few Deadzone minis still requiring assembly and painting from the previous project. There are however some really nice designs coming out of it for Enforcer jetbikes though, which is interesting considering the recommended game area is 24″ x 24″. Seems a bit of a strange choice for a ‘warband’ style game to me, but a lovely design notwithstanding.
What is of interest to me with the project though is the fact they are making a few changes to the Deadzone rulebook. I have to take my hat off to Mantic because when I saw there was going to be a new version of the rulebook (not just an expansion) as part of the core kickstarter pledge level I have to admit I was a bit annoyed as the hardback compilation is barely a year old. Sensibly though Mantic have stated previous backers (regardless whether they back this campaign or not) will receive a PDF version of the updated rules. Mostly the changes they are talking about seem to be around the campaign structure and streamlining the force selection, both which are definitely needed. It isn’t clear yet whether that will fix or change my impression of the game which was it quickly becomes one-dimensional and sadly frustrating. I’d definitely like to give it a second try though, so will be following the changes with interest.
I completely caved and purchsed Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing successor ‘Armada’ (yeah I know, the force is weak in this one!). I make no apologies as I absolutely love the slick and dynamic player interaction of X-Wing and there’s no faulting the production quality of the components and pre-painted miniatures. Supply is a different matter I must admit having waited over six months now (and still counting) for a Millennium Falcon re-stock to actually appear at any of the larger UK retailers. Joking aside, Fantasy Flight’s struggle to satisfy demand for X-Wing and especially popular ships like the YT-1300 and Firespray is killing momentum for the game over here, which can’t be great for its longevity. That said, it is of course a “Star Wars” year this year with Episode VII coming so there will almost certainly be a boost in interest in anything Star Wars related come Christmas and onwards into 2016. My advice, get X-Wing or Armada whenever re-stock turns up at your FLGS or favourite retailer. Price-inflating resellers and profiteering scum should naturally be avoided of course; they just add to the problem.
Haven’t had a chance to play the training scenario yet, but already impressed with the quality of the components which are every bit as good as those in X-Wing. A quick read through suggests the game is a much more tactical affair, which one would expect as the primary focus is on capital ships and fighter squadrons. On the subject of those tiny fighters, I’m already weighing up the possibility of painting them. The ‘buy-in’ cost for Armada is significantly higher than it is for X-Wing, mostly I suspect as a result of the higher volume of plastic components on show in the form of fighters, multi-part squadron stands, manoeuvring device and the stackable order dials. Even so, it’s a big price jump and the wave one expansion sets don’t appear cheap either.
This post is of course useless without some photos so I’ll get back to the two projects currently on the go; Dropzone Commander and Imperial Assault. I promised pictures of the latter in my previous post as I’m approaching the end of the Imperial forces. My apologies, but I’m going to defer that until the weekend as I’ve been adding a few base details and sealing everything up so haven’t had the chance to get them all together and photograph them. In the meantime though, I have been pressing on with the Dropzone Scourge and Shaltari reinforcements, in particular ‘flyers’.
Up to now all of the battlegroups have been ground units. These two however are dedicated air-superiority/close air support.
For the Shaltari I’ve added a pair of Thunderbird Gunships, which as before began life a seriously alarming bright yellow. After a few coats of Baal Red they do calm down a bit.
For the Scourge it was a pair of Reaver ‘Heavy’ Gunships which received the same wash and dry-brush treatment as their predecessors. The only new wrinkle I added was to airbrush streaks of exhaust deposit over the rear trim. I’m guessing they are fuelled by something slightly more futuristic and advanced than Kerosene but thought it helped reinforce the machine rather than bio-mech aspects.
Still not done with either of these two armies yet, which you probably guessed from the photo earlier if you spotted the Scourge ‘Oppressor’. Might take me a little longer to get that chap done, so next update before the Imperial Assault one will be all about buildings. The fun never stops eh?