Posts Tagged Privateer Press
So, the big buzz amongst my fellow Warmongers on Twitter today revolves around the latest GW news. First off, there are the leaked images of the forthcoming Space Marine, Ork and Necron aircraft for Warhammer 40,000. Most of the talk is about who does and does not like the new Storm Talon gunship for the Space Marines. I personally think it has some strengths, in this is clearly inspired more by helicopter gunships rather than fixed wing aircraft the way the Storm Raven is and it does look interestingly futuristic. That said, the weapons do look cumbersome and over sized and like they were bolted on as an after thought. I will wait until I can see a better image than a scan of a magazine page before I make final judgement.
The bigger news – in the eyes of many – is the news that price rises are imminent from GW. Details are sketchy at the moment, though some rumours suggest that some kits (like the aforementioned Storm Raven) could go up by as much as 25% – though the average price rise should be much less than that.
I’m not going to launch into a rant about Games Workshop and their pricing policy, for what would be the point? I know I’m not qualified to provide any kind of worthwhile analysis of the financial implications and I have no desire to throw my lot in with whiners and haters and the sort of people who seem to think it’s unreasonable for a business to act as such. But this still unwelcome news.
As mentioned in a relatively recent blog post, I have been becoming more well disposed to Games Workshop in recent months, after having been turned off them by last year’s price rises. I had started to paint up by Brazen Angels Space Marines again, and I even succumbed to temptation and splashed out on some of Forge World’s excellent MK IV Marines to use as a unit of Sternguard Veterans. I was even thinking of starting an additional army, to compliment my Brazen Angels, but that plan might now need a rethink.
This is a hard hobby sometimes, it requires us to balance our hobby against all our other commitments, work family and all our other interests, just to get our toys built and painted and read our rules, let alone to play any games. Paying over the odds is another thing to make the hobby just that bit more difficult.
My fellow Twitter Warmonger @TheBlueHeretic (aka Ryan) expressed it thusly:
I’m thinking this is the year GW prices itself out of my reach. Not Doom & Gloom, or rage quitting, just realization I’m not made of money. A price increase, plus a new edition of 40k (new rules, new models needed to counter new tactics), means unhappy wallet. Not going to decide on it right now, but it is a distinct possibility. Then again, its not like I play much anyways.
I had been drifting back to 40k. I had been won around by so many excellent Black Library books and some cool new model releases. I was even thinking of painting up another Space Marine army using some of the cool new Forgeworld Marines and Terminators and the new Storm Talon gunship. But Ryan’s words crystallized in my head all the reasons why this is not a good idea.
A new edition of 40k is imminent, it will probably be presented in a sumptuous rulebook that will have to be paid for in diamonds and platinum. Every player will then have to go through the traditional period of optimization when they have to tweak their army to gel with the new rules – maybe retiring some models in favour of other unit choices, maybe bringing a little-used troop type out of the depths of the cupboard. Then will come the march of the new codices, new troop types, new models, more changes. It’s a lot of work and potentially a lot of money.
And the thing is, I just don’t think it’s worth it.
Games Workshop are very good at making you want their stuff. Their models are arguably the best in the industry and their background is one of the most compelling – that’s how they were tempting me back. Spartan’s models are fantastic, but there’s something just a bit more visceral about toy soldiers compared to model ships. But the models cost, and so do the books, and more than any company, a GW army is never finished and as time goes on there will always be new models to be sandwiched in and rules changes that mean you have to recompose or enlarge your army. There’s little question that GW are aiming to have gamers playing ever larger battles so they can fit in the growing number of cool super-monsters, mega-tanks, aircraft and other super units. I have never felt the same pressure to buy toys for the other games I collect for that I have for GW games.
So, yeah, I think I’m done. And if this cause me any anguish it’s because GW will always be what got me into this hobby and will always be one of my favourite fictional universes and dabbling with their games if like a familiar comfy coat, or a security blanket to ward of the frighten unknowns of the gaming world. Plus, as the market leader they do dominate the gaming scene and Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars will have to pick up a bit if I want to get a game in the local clubs. Part of me wants to finish painting up the 2000 points of Brazen Angels I still have cluttering up the study, though that might be a futile endeavour. That said, painting is fun in itself and I like painting Marines. Otherwise, I will start getting my Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars stuff sorted. I have two fleet for each and only a fraction of them is painted.
Maybe, in the future, something will come along to scratch my 28/30mm itch – maybe Privateer Press will finally release their long promised sci-fi game. Maybe my fellow Warmongers will convince me of the virtues of Warmahordes yet. Or maybe I will turn to the ways of the 10mm game and give Dropzone Commander a try (though I’m buying an Odin Attack craft just to paint whatever happens).
Over on Miniature Musings of a Bear, Doc bungle has posted some interesting videos about the latest news from Privateer Press.
I’ve thought for a while that PP do some good work, and although Warmachine and Hordes never quite grabbed me in the way GW or Spartan did I’ve always thought they did some very cool models. The Colossal models previewed in the video are truly awesome and some could well be a ‘buy it just to paint it’ case. I hope there’ll be a suitably awesome Rhulic Colossal before too long.
My introduction to Warmachine has not been as smooth as I might have liked.
For one thing, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not very keen on either of the factions represented in my starter box. This was a bit of a blow, though not a fatal one. I had always more or less planned to eBay the Menoth figures, now I will just do the same with the Khador ones. Hopefully I will recoup a fair share of my outlay and I will still have the rule book for future use.
The other problem though is that I’m not really sure what, if any, Warmachine faction I do want to try. At the moment the front runners are Cyngar and Mercenaries, but even then there are bits of each range I’m not that keen on. Not that I would cast aspersions on the quality of the ranges, but there is no one range that grabs me. With Khador, it was the warcasters that put me off. With Cygnar it’s the warjacks (except the Cyclone, which is awesome). I experienced similar difficulties with Warhammer Fantasy, as there was never any one army that made we want to do them in the way 40k armies did.
The fact is, with a baby due within a month and the short-to-medium term financial tightening that will ensue, this is not the time for embarking on any hobby project I’m not at least reasonably sure about. So for the time being, Warmachine might get shelved and will concentrate my much more limited resources on Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars.
This is not to say that I will never do anything with Warmachine. It’s a good game set in an interesting universe and it scores points with me for not needing too many models in order to play. What I’ve read of the rules so far (when not distracted by Twitter or my book club book) seem to be well written and I know that there is a huge player base out there to tap into when the time comes.
Almost any gamer will admit how easy it is to get distracted by the shiny and the new. There are all sorts of intriguing possibilities out there. Warmachine, Dust Tactics and MERCS are all things that have tempted me recently, and I am certainly intrigued what Privateer Press’ ‘Level 7’ sci fi game will be like. GW even managed to cause a few moments of temptation with their new Necron release. Executed with their usual combination of very high quality and very high expense. But I have plenty of stuff to paint already, and I have still barely learned the rules to Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars. Perhaps this is a time to try and do a few things well rather than lots of things poorly.
I still might come back to Warmachine. If I do, I think the most likely army I would do (based on current infomation) is the Searforge sub-list of the Mercenaries army. These dwarf mercenaries are amongst my favourite in the whole range and though it’s a very limited list it’s all of stuff I like. And It’s also all stuff I could use if I ever expanded my army into a Highborn Covenant army.
Here is a rough army list worked out using the iBodger app and not much knowledge save what I could glean from the Battle College wiki:
33+7 points, 26 models
Gorten Grundback +7 points
* Ghordson Avalancher 9 points
* Wroughthammer Rockram 8 points
6 Hammerfall High Shield Gun Corps 5 points
* Hammerfall Officer & Standard 3 points
6 Hammerfall High Shield Gun Corps 5 points
* Hammerfall Officer & Standard 3 points
6 Horgenhold Forge Guard 5 points
Thor Steinhammer 2 points
@docbungle has done a guest post at The Shell Case – a Warmachine Primer article.
As regular readers of my geeky musings will know, I recently got interested in Warmachine by Privateer Press. Following my intro game (written about here) I ordered the Two Player Starter Box via the nice chaps at Firestorm Games. Following a one week delay to the release date. I finally received my box early last week.
Although I’ve been looking at Warmachine stuff for a few months now, this is my first ever purchase. So this is very much a newcomer’s perspective.
The first thing I noticed was how small the box was. It was perhaps a third of the size of the similarly priced Games Workshop starter sets. But I had certainly not been short changed. The box contains two small forces, for Khador and the Protectorate of Menoth, as well as a ‘travel sized’ rulebook, introduction guide, quick start rules, unit stat cards, a card ruler, and a mini-issue of No Quarter magazine.
The only thing the box really lacks is a set of weapon effect templates. This is probably my biggest quibble about the contents as I know some of the models in the box have weapons that use the templates.
The mini-issue of No Quarter is a nice touch offering a bit more insight into the world of the Iron Kingdoms and including a brief Khador vs Trollbloods battle report. The introduction guide give a brief but useful overview of the Warmachine factions (and an even briefer rundown of the factions from Hordes) as well as a more detailed look at the factions in the box, including a look at the specific models included.
In total the box contains two warcasters, four heavy warjacks, one light warjack and ten heavy infantry models. Not a bad haul, especially one you realise The models are actually resin rather than plastic as I initially thought.
Part of the reason the box was so small was that the miniatures don’t come on sprues the way those in GW starter boxes do. All the parts are clipped out and bagged up nicely into the respective sets so nothing gets lost. That said, a lot of the parts – most especially weapons like axes, maces and polearms – in my set were slightly warped. I’m not sure if this happened during casting or this was the result of loose parts being crammed into a box. Still a bit annoying however it happened.
The biggest challenge with this box was assembling the models. Initially I had problems because I tried to use poly cement as I had not realised the models were actually resin rather than plastic – though in my own defence this is not really made clear anywhere. Even when I switched to superglue though it was slow, frustrating going. The time involved in having to hold pieces together while the superglue set was a a bit frustrating. It wasn’t helped by a lot of the joints between parts not fitting as well as I would have liked. I recommend to anyone assembling the contents of this box to have some podcasts lined up or to stick the extended cut of your favourite film on the DVD.
Of course, the figures you get in this box are not specially designed for the starter box the way the miniatures in the Assault on Black Reach or Isle of Blood boxes are. So on one level it’s nice that you are getting the ‘real’ miniatures and will not have to worry about integrating starter models into an army. But the advantage of of the models in the GW sets is that you can clip them out and click them together in a relatively short amount of time and get on with playing your first game. There is going to be a significantly bigger lead in time needed to build these models.
On the other hand, the miniatures in the starter box set do represent legitimate, table-ready armies (20 points for Khador, 21 for Menoth). Given that 25 points is a very popular game size, players starting with the forces in this box only have to beg, steal or borrow four or five more points worth of models – for example a unit of six Khador Winter Guard Riflemen – to be playing games at a reasonable size. There certainly is not the same pressure to get out buying extra toys straight away.
The fact that Warmachine requires a relatively small number of models somewhat mitigates the frustration involved in assembling them. Certainly I will never have to assemble that many multi-part resin models all at once ever again.
Of the models in the box, my favourites are the Khador Man O War Shocktroopers. Nice chunky models with a decent amount of detail and relatively easy to assemble. The hardest to build was probably the Repenter light warjack, but by least favourite overall are probably the Menoth Cinerator heavy infantry. Though that is just a matter of personal taste rather than anything inherently wrong with the models, though they are the least poseable of the models included.
Whether this set is a good investment is a bit of a subjective question. If you are interested in collecting Khador and/or Menoth it’s a steal. Even if you only really want one of the factions you do quite well even before you factor in the possibility of selling or swapping the stuff you don’t want. Plus you can delay selling off the unwanted stuff until you have had a few practice games that will help you get your brain round the rules. You might even convert a friend to the game and sell your spare stuff to them. If you’re not interested in Menoth or Khador you might be better off steering clear of this set. The small rulebook is handy, but the standard Warmachine Mk II rulebook isn’t exactly huge (It’s maybe a quarter of the size of the Warhammer rulebook) so if you buy the paperback version it should prove fairly portable. Players starting with the standard rulebook and a battle box might not get quite as good a deal. But there’s no point getting a good deal on something you don’t really want.
Overall, I’m fairly happy with the contents of the box, though I feel slightly disappointed by the number of warped models in my copy. I was also extremely frustrated by assembly of the models, which is galling in a starter box which is supposed to help people ease into a hobby. I look forward to being able to have a few practice games with the set. Maybe I can even convince @CaitoGalenus to give it a go in the name of game related blogging.
My feeling so far though, is that while Warmachine is a good game with a cool setting, I’ve not yet been impressed enough for it to be anywhere near overtaking Firestorm Armada or Dystopian Wars and becoming my ‘main’ game for now. We shall see how I feel after a few games.
@docbungle has dug up some cool Privateer Press previews.
I quite like the Rover warjack.