Saturday, 28 November 2015

Beyond the Gates of Antares - first impressions

I have started to read the Rulebook for Beyond the Gates of Antares. Whilst I haven't yet worked through the rules, or indeed played the game, I have read the background material, neatly organised at the back of the book, on Antarean Space, the Seventh Age, and the different factions you can play. First impressions? The Rulebook is certainly beautifully produced. Its overall design is attractive and the page and chapter layout adds to the book's readability. The text is nicely supported by illustrations and photographs, allowing you to get a sense of what the different factions look like, and although more illustrations of support vehicles would have been beneficial, this being a new game clearly limits what can be included. The book is also well written - although typos remain - making it a pleasure to read.

I found the background material immersive, leaving me with an itch to know much more about the Antarean Universe. Many Sci-Fi universes exist in our hobby, and the extent to which a 'convincing' background helps a gamer choose one game over another is a question worth asking. For me it is important to get a sense of how the forces of different factions reflect the distinctive societies to which they belong, important that these forces possess different fighting traditions, and important to understand why these factions are fighting each other in the first place. The Rulebook goes a long way to meet these requirements. Sure, more could have been said, especially since the section on Antares and its Gates was repetitive, and I wasn't convinced that the Concord would commit humans to war given its priorities and technological supremacy. Yet the book is a first attempt to bring this universe to life on our gaming tables, and given this, Warlord Games are to be congratulated on the depth and detail they weave together. I'm hooked and looking forward to future releases.

I will comment on the rules when I've actually played the game.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Just added (2)

I have added 1:285 modern tanks with camouflage to the shop. The photo shows some Swedish Strv 122s in winter camouflage painted for a customer. The miniatures are by GHQ.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Games workshop (again)

This is my second post on Games Workshop in less than a week, but there has been some seismic news today. They are apparently going to (re)open a Specialist Design Studio, bringing back what are arguably their best games (Blood Bowl, Epic, Necromunda, Battlefleet Gothic and others). Its the possible re-launch of Epic which has got me excited and I've got my fingers-crossed that it will lead to some Horus Heresy releases. Please! Pretty please!

Just added (1)

Recently I've been watching The Walking Dead from the first series onwards. As a result, I just had to paint some of the plastic zombies from the Zombicide game and I've now added them to 'Shop: others'. The figures are packed with character and they were enjoyable to paint. I decided to only use The Army Painter paints from their Zombie and Survivor sets, going for a 'quick and dirty' look. I've never used their paints before. Unfortunately they came out of the bottle very thick - with the exception of the Dead Black and Machine Gun Metal - and offered poor coverage. More positively, their washes were of an ideal consistency.

I've also added to the shop my first attempt at the metal Concord and Algoryn Troopers from the recently released Beyond the Gates of Antares. Really like the miniatures for these two races, although moulds lines were both harsh and tricky to get rid of. I'm yet to get hold of the plastic Concord Troopers released in the box set, but it will be interesting to see how they compare to the metal castings.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth

It's a long time since Games Workshop has got me excited. But I'm all of a flutter about the release of The Horus Heresy: Betrayal of Calth on 14th November. Why? Is it because this is a new standalone game? Well no. I expect the worse with the rules. It's because miniatures for gaming the Horus Heresy - the only bit of the Warhammer Universe that grabs me - are now more affordable. Sure, the box set is still expensive, but nowhere near as expensive as the figures currently available from Forge World. So, a step in the right direction. Now all that is needed is a good rule set!

For further information see

Monday, 2 November 2015

Just added

I have added the first miniatures to the shop. After reading Jeremy Richardson's excellent contribution to Wargames Illustrated 335, I took the plunge and purchased some 3mm Cold War Soviets and British by Oddzial Osmy. I already do the Cold War in 12mm and 20mm, so didn't really need another scale for the period - but 3mm is very small, so it can't hurt! Whilst I don't like the fact that the O8 infantry and vehicles don't match size-wise, they are splendid little miniatures, offering both affordability and the prospect of quickly painting a battalion at 1:1. Soviets are now in the shop and the British should be making an appearance over the next month or so.

I have also added WWII DAK tanks by GHQ. The level of detail on these 1:285 vehicles is legendary and they are a delight to paint. I will be adding more options for the Germans, including infantry, and the British will appear soonish.

On the painting table

The release of the starter set for Beyond the Gates of Antares by Warlord Games is just days away, and to celebrate I've started painting some Algoryn and Concord metal figures. They are not cheap, but are very nice and I'm looking forward to finishing them and indeed future release for what looks likely to be a smash game. The figures I have are 36mm tall, which did surprise me given Warlord Games other products, and the fact their web site makes no mention of their size.

Its been an exciting year for science-fiction gaming and the last two months of 2015 promise lots of new goodies. According to The Great Wargames Survey 2015, recently published in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy 81, science-fiction is now the number one period/setting for gamers.


Welcome to my blog! Over coming days, weeks and months I will regularly post photos and details of painted miniatures for sale. They can be found on the shop pages which are organised according to the size of the miniatures. I will also blog more generally about painting and wargaming.