Monday, August 27, 2012


While everyone in the miniatures worlds was talking about the Reaper Kickstarter and the impending release of the new 40k starter box, I' thought I'd take a moment to talk about a new game called Fanticide being produce by a company called Alien Dungeon.  There have been a slew of new miniature wargames and companies in recent years, but this one stands out for a number of reasons.

  1. The game is being produced by a local small business: Alien Dungeon, and its sister company Architects of War, are a small business located in Ellicott City Maryland.  That's less than an hour from where I live now, and very close to where many of my friends live.  I believe in supporting local businesses, as I know how tough it is to compete against large corporations.
  2. Rick Priestly, Alessio Cavatore and Andy Chambers wrote the game: With these blokes on the job, you know the rules are going to be solid.  From the previews of the rules, it looks like they are a bit different than some of the other games the guys  have worked on.
  3. A Fantasy setting that isn't a Tolkien clone:  Instead of producing another fantasy game with elves, dwarves, orc and dragons, Alien Dungeon is producing a setting that seems like a cross between L. Frank Baum and Clive Barker.  One eyed things with big nasty teeth?  check.  Killer trees?  check.  Flying monkeys?  You betcha.  The game world, cleverly titled "Nowhere" seems like a crossroad of the multiverse where anything could happen.  The most feared creature in Nowhere is the Unicorn.  Anyone who saw "The Cabin in the Woods"  knows what I'm talking about.
  4. Skirmish/Warband gameplay:  I'm not really interested in getting into another game that will require 100+ miniatures.  Fanticide appears to focus on warbands of 25 to 50 figures.
  5. Simple miniatures: Alien dungeon is partnering with Eureka Miniatures to create the miniatures for the first 4 factions in Fanticide.  They state that their goal is to create good quality miniatures that are quick to paint.  I could do a whole post on this point alone.  Think of what an original space marine models for 40k looked like, or even one of the plastic models from the last starter kit.  Simple miniatures, easy to paint, but cool looking.  Now look at some of the stuff that is going into the new "starter" boxes.  How is a beginning painter supposed to paint that stuff?  How is an experienced painter supposed to get that stuff painted in a timely manner? Finely detailed is great when you only need to paint a few of them, but for an army or even a few squads, simple minis that are easy to paint are probably preferable for most wargamers.
  6. Use what you have: If you don't like the miniature that are being offered by Alien Dungeon, you can use your own miniatures and create your own warbands!  This may be one of the best parts of the game.  I've seen other games that offer "generic" rules for whatever sort of army you want to put together (Hordes of the Things for example), but I think that this is the first one I've seen that has created its own unique factions and still allows for players to create their own.  Early versions of Warhammer and 40k Rogue Trader allowed for this sort of thing, but that was 25 years ago.  I'm really excited about using the minis I have purchased through the Reaper and Red Box games kickstarter.
Check out their kickstarter for yourself, and follow along on their blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


So I've been in the process of moving the last 2 weeks.  Yet another excuse to not write anything.  The good news is that my new living quarters will have much more space, including room for a full size gaming table and work area!  I'm also excited about finally being able to take all of my books out of storage and putting them on a proper bookshelf.  There's bound to be RPG and wargaming books that I haven't looked at in 15 years hiding in there.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Miniatures, Miniatures, Miniatures.

Recently I've haven't given much thought to RPGs:  I don't have a regular group that I'm playing with and with a busy schedule at home it is hard to set aside a regular time to commit to.  Mostly I've been focusing on miniatures.  I haven't done any gaming, for the same reasons I haven't been playing any RPGs.  But I have been reading, collecting, and painting.

The 6th edition of Warhammer 40K came out recently, so I've been going through that again and again.  I've also gone back and re-read the original Rogue Trader rules, just to put things in perspective.  The are some great things about the original rules, but the new rules really are much, much better.  The may not have the flexibility that the RT rules do, but I can look back and realize now that RT is really designed to create narratives, a sort of RPG/Wargame hybrid (the same sort of thing can be said for 1st and 2nd ed. WFB).  I've also taken a look at Warmachine and Hordes since that seems to be the new hot thing these days.  At first I didn't like the rules,  but they have grown on me, and I like the idea of a game with smaller armies.  I might pick up the Hordes 2 player starter box when it is released.

On the collecting front, I've been buying a lot of stuff on Ebay.  I like to paint (more on that later), but seeing as I had no miniatures 2 months ago, I wanted to get back into the swing of things without having to paint up an army from scratch before I could play.  While I may not always have the best painted miniatures, I refuse to game with unpainted minis, even for simple friendly games.  The painted minis I have purchased really vary in quality.  Some of them are barely passable, others are quite nice.  A lot of what I have purchased is older, OOP Citadels.  The great thing is, most of what I am buying is about 50% off of GW's current prices.  So I am saving money, and I don't have to paint them.  At this point I have close to 1500 pts of Imperial Guard, and over 2000 pts of Space Wolves.

I did buy a Space Wolf starter box unpainted, and I have been working on that over the last few months.  It's the first thing I have painted in over 10 years. The drop pod, 10 Grey Hunters, and 5 Scouts are nearing completion. They are table ready right now, but I'm going to add some more details to them before I call them finished. I have another 10 infantry that I am trying to decide how to configure.  I'll probably make them Wolfguard, as I don't need more Grey Hunters, and have no desire for Blood Claws.  I also have a couple of Rhinos to work on that currently assembled and basecoated.  I'll post some pics of these soon.

The other project that I just finished is a 15mm Viking army for DBA.  I haven't played DBA in years, but I had these minis sitting around and decided to finish them up.  I'm thinking about doing a Norman and an Anglo-Saxon army so that I can have all 3 factions for the 1066 invasion. They are small projects, between 30 and 50 figures, and pretty quick to paint, but I'm not sure when I'll ever get a chance to use them.

I've also been following some kickstarters from Reaper miniatures and Red-Box games.  Both companies are making some amazing looking miniatures at great prices, and their kickstarters have some great deals.  I'm not sure what I'd do with these minis, but they look like they'd be great fun to paint.  The thought even crossed my mind to use these as proxies for Hordes, or try my hand at designing some of my own lists.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A quick kickstarter plug

Whether you use miniatures for roleplaying for for wargaming, you should take the time to check out Red-Box Games.  Tre makes some of the most amazing sculpts I've ever seen.  Currently he has a kickstarter going to help him retool his production from metal and resin castings to a new hybrid plastic design.  It's already funded, but there are some great stretch goals, and it is a great opportunity to pick up some top notch minis at a great price.

If you are a fan of Chaos, you have to check these out!