So, as intimated in his last entry, Von really did foul up in having me on as a 40K Blogger, since I spend a more-than-significant amount of my 40K time being plainly irritated at the game, the universe and the nebulous “community.” You know the drill. Shaking of the proverbial cane, kids can get their ugly Blood Angels Golden Ta-Ta Brigade and their Ward Fiction off my damned etc. Having been in the game for close to fifteen years now, and being of a species that’s programmed to see the advances of time as threatening and ruinous, this is just the way of things, and I sort of jumped ship for a bit to just play Warmachine and Hordes with co-workers in our swank little Game Pub, rented from our place of employment. That’s plenty of fun, but not very interesting to blog about. Radio silence and an irritated Von ensued.
Anyhow. Like our illustriously-bearded host, I find 6th Edition to be massively encouraging. Narrative focus, well-written rules (which manage to conjure the old GW tongue-in-cheek style quite well) and an expansion of the game’s basic premises are all exciting. Still, with all the Warmachine going down, I hadn’t actually gotten a chance to put theoretical enjoyment to laboratory testing ‘till this past weekend’s Games Day.
Now, to get back to the Cranky, Games Day kind of sucks anymore, at least for me. It’s still fun and all, but the selling is aggressive, and at thirty years old, a man of even more advanced age enticing me to shout Orkish war-cries for no immediate reason causes me to have a full-blown case of the Dignities. Still, I got to have a good time with friends, grab a gorgeous miniature, chat for a minute with favorite 40K author Aaron Dembski-Bowden and witness one of the most amazing pieces of hobby work I’ve ever run into, courtesy of the Snake Eyes Gaming Club.
If you pay much attention to Privateer Press, you’re probably familiar with their tradition of previewing upcoming models via concept art. It’s something they’ve been doing since the run-up to the original WARMACHINE: Prime, and I’ve always dug the way it points back to the company’s roots as the brainchild of a couple game industry artists. Also, having an amateur’s artistic bent, it’s nice to see the way these minis are planned out visually, giving a look at what visuals a creator had in mind before shipping it off to a sculptor in order to see it realized in 3-D.
The problem with concept art, tho, is that it’s sometimes too good – or, at least, better than the miniature that comes out on the other end. It’s understandable. Sculptors interpret concepts their own way, and often bring a lot to final product, but there’s times where I see a brilliant drawing and wonder just how it became a less-than-impressive physical object. In the case of WARMACHINE (look, PP does the caps, it just feels appropriate), the first real case of this, for me, was the Hunter. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, they’re not all going to be great titles. Forgiveness, please.
Anyhow, I’m sort of in the gaming doldrums here of late. The state of 40K and its community has become, surprisingly, even more dismal and toxic than usual. That, plus all the strange rumors about what 6th will bring are sapping my excitement for Word Bearing. Usually, this isn’t a problem, as there’s always Privateer Press to keep a smile on my face (and they very well are, what with that new Centurion. God. It’s like they poured my dreams into a mould, then painted it with chocolate and sex.), but all of their exciting upcoming products are…upcoming, and while the spirit is willing, the flesh is impatient.
So, coming in all sideways from that is Covus Belli’s Infinity. Odds are, you’ve seen it. It’s the one with all those gorgeous miniatures with bizarre names, and an aesthetic that comes straight out of an Masamune Shirow book*. It’s been floating around the web for ages now, and seems to have finally made a bit of a breakthrough on the American scene in the past year or so now that they’ve got a rulebook that’s apparently much more comprehensive and well-translated than its predecessors.
I’ve actually had the books for a while now, and something that doesn’t seem to get brought up nearly enough is the universe the game takes place in. I haven’t been so excited by a gaming world since first hearing about the Iron Kingdoms, and it contains the same sense of openness, wonder and verisimilitude that originally drew me into Full Metal Fantasy. There’s definite echos of Battletech and Mutant Chronicles, in that you’ve got a set of large, squabbling human factions, kept from total war by a joint political organization and a new, fearsome force from Beyond that threatens humanity’s well-being. Each faction’s interesting and flavorful, and the writing is some of the best I’ve seen in gaming books for a long time now. The whole thing’s a treat.
Why not just shut up and play, you ask? Well, out here in my corner of Kentucky, Infinity’s already experienced a state of boom before dropping to bust – a status that people seem determined to perpetuate – and all before I arrived in the locale, no less. It’s difficult enough to get well-entrenched wargamers to try something new. Getting a second chance is almost impossible. Not a shot at the gamer population (we’ve got enough of that going around, don’t we?), but there’s only so much time and money in the world.
So, I come to you with this question, dear readers – how do you get something like Infinity, quirky and small, to take hold? Especially when it’s already been raised and toppled in the past? Is it impossible, or can people be brought back over? I’d like some opponents, so I’m hoping hard on the former. My fate is in your hands, everyone.
* That last one’s actually a deal-breaker for some, which is sad. Yes, the manga-splosion of the last decade was irritating, but let’s not hold it against these miniatures. They can only be held partially responsible.
With all the hubub (and possible malarkey) centered around the Dark Angels lately, that long-ignored Codex has popped once more into prominence, which brings all the snarling and scorn that hangs off of it like little else in 40Kdom. Unlike the traditional Codex arc, in which a book has its time in the spotlight, ages, and falls to the bottom of the pole, the DA Codex has been openly loathed since precisely three seconds after emerging from the Nottingham chrysalis. It’s incredibly weak when compared to modern books, bereft of special rules, and hasn’t the faintest whiff of spectacle. Despite an emerging consensus that said Codex revamp is at least a year off, it can’t possibly be too long before this thing’s grudgingly scrubbed off of history’s windshield, and that strikes me as a damn shame.
First off, well, apologies – from both the illustrious Bearded One and myself – for the lack of posts. We’ve both had one of those outbreaks of Real Life over the past weekend, which led to a fairly egregious shortage of free time. We hope that your rage is softened, somewhat, in knowing that the beatings doled out upon our fragile human forms have been more than sufficiently brutal.
Anyhow. So. Little mans.
I did hint, back in the previous entry, at a Word Bearers army of mine that is, indeed, in the making. Or, really, re-making, as it’s existed in some form for the past thirteen years or so. Pictures and details forthcoming, but this being the blog it is and all, let’s have have a swing at the “whys” of this particular Lorgarian collective.
I honestly don’t remember any precise instant in which the idea of playing Word Bearers first wandered into my brain and decided to take up long-term residence, but it rather clearly happened. It had to be somewhere in the latter days of 2nd Edition, as I do remember it being motivated by this:
It’s a block of text from those fell paragraphs which first defined the Legion, with emphasis on the idea that’s really stuck with me – that humanity needs a religion, needs a focus of faith and an unquestionable source from which meaning is derived, else we’ll all just be so many nihilistic apes smacking each other with femur bones across the barren ruins of civilization. There’s a cold, patrician lack of faith in humankind there, one that’s at the center of many real-world philosophies. It was a cold, gnawing antithesis to the vaguely humanist ethos I’d constructed in my teen years. It’s still at least a bit disturbing today, even with a heart filled with the dark misanthropy of adulthood.
Anyhow, the original army grew and shrank in spurts, through college and beyond, and even got a fair amount of paint on the boys. Taking inspiration from John Blanche, their color scheme was limited and clashing.
That all seemed well and good until recently. Armies like Raz’ Word Bearers and Dan the Daemon’s legendary Immortal Terrors over the on the Bolter & Chainsword have sparked a creative avalanche. Most of the army went into the dip, was disassembled, and is now being remade bigger and badder than before. Thus far, it’s been almost worryingly pleasant to challenge the modelling skills. Here’s a Terminator that’s come out of the project, compared to a one-armed Aurora Chapter Terminator, who’s been a great sport about things.
‘Till next time!