Drew, one of the owners of Gamers Guild, and I were talking the other day when I was in there.
Our discussion started with the price rise and the new Finecast range from Games Workshop, but quickly veered off in another direction. As all our conversations are want to do.
Eventually we arrived upon the topic of tabletop games in general, and more specifically, the renewing of a cycle we currently seem to be finding ourselves in. And this cycle? Game system capacity. Exciting, no?
All this stemmed from something that has been tugging at my mind for a while now. That is, the relationship Games Workshop and Privateer Press have found themselves in.
Games Workshops primary games consist of large-scale conflicts that really call for a sizable amount of miniatures to properly play. As has been noted elsewhere, by basically everyone, the standard capacity of a game has been steadily growing with each edition. Be it Warhammer, 40k, or even Lord of the Rings.
Privateer Press primarily focus on skirmish games that only require a small amount of miniatures to play a standard sized game. Though the are fairly well established, they are still considered an up-and-coming company, and a lot of players are taking up their systems. They also offer a lot of on-the-ground player support and interaction.
What I find fascinating is how players are currently perceiving each companies game systems. Games Workshop is regularly attacked with fervour for the size of their games and price of their products. Meanwhile, players beg Privateer Press to include facilities for them to play even larger games of their flagship systems and the ability to purchase far more models in bulk.
I am sure this is all part of a cycle, as something like twenty years ago, Games Workshop was in Privateer Press’s position and only just starting to expand their products. Since things happen so much faster now, in ten years I fully expect Privateer Press to be the new corporate monster, savaging the wailing and lamenting players with 2020 vigour.
If I can pull any kind of conclusion or point from all this, I suppose it is that we should all be mindful of where we have been. And where we are going. The more stake we have in something, especially a company, the more it hurts when they slight us. And whether it be Games Workshop, Privateer Press, or the next big thing, disappointments and poor decisions are inevitable.
This should never get in the way of breaking out the dice, opening a beer, and beating the living daylights out of your friends on the tabletop, though.
The idea of a long weekend is always so attractive. Until it actually happens, and there are places you have to go, people you have to see. And spending money on gifts! Even chocolate eggs. Aargh!
Most of my weekend was spend firmly entrenched in these things. Much to me ire. Not that I don’t like my family, but time to spend painting can be so hard to find.
I did trek into the city on Sunday, though, and team up with Brad in a Warmachine tournament. It was a veterans and noobs tournament, so I was the noob to Brad’s veteran. This gave me a chance to try out my new Cryx and see how they perform on the tabletop. My counterpart decided to go with Khador.
We didn’t do too badly, coming out with a loss, a win and a draw. I’m starting to get the hang of what I am supposed to be doing, even if I am not completely across how to do it. Like Warhammer it is a game about manoeuvering. Not of your troops though, but of your abilities and attacks. Like I said, I can see what the game is asking of me, I just have yet to understand how to deliver what it wants.
Slowly but surely the Rat Ogre comes together. I worked a bit on the pilot today, just getting the basic forms for the area in.
First of all, I took an old Epic 40k plastic Rhino and sliced it in half. The front half, with the slanted front, became the bottom section of the cockpit. I then attached a strip of plasticard on top, covering the protrusion and the Killa Kans body.
On the rear, above the engine, I glued a cut down brazier from the Bretonnian Men-at-arms box. When I paint the model, this will be done as a chunk of warpstone, most likely the power source for the engine.
Then I cut some long, thin strips of plasticard and glued them around the top of the plasticard rectangle from earlier. These will (hopefully) help to create a sense of depth with the cockpit, and make the skaven look like he is sitting in something.
The seat back presented more of a problem. I went though my bits box and picked out some likely candidates for the job, but none seemed right. Using some lateral thinking, I went back through my bits and looked for pieces that had a shape that would suit a chair back, rather than being an actual moulded part of something. In the end I chose a cleaver from a Hero Quest Orc. It was wide and thin, and had a nice curve on one edge. Perfect.
After this was decided, I chose a multi-part Clanrat body and head, and cut the bottom of the torso down so it would fit flush with the platicard. The plan is to make the arms holding the controls from the hand-blade/punch dagger arms in the new Clanrat box.
Next I worked on the magnets. The milliput had dried overnight, so I could add the rest of the milliput and smooth it off. It is still a little uneven, but I think once it is dry a rub with sandpaper will sort this out.
While the milliput was drying I started to think about how they will attach to the arms. Doing a quick search on the internet for crane magnets helped me sort out what I was going to do. Real world industrial magnets seem to have a series of plates that they attach too. I have created something similar by using old undead plastic shields. The mechanical arms will attach to the centre of the shields, and I can add in wires and connections after that.
While I was at it, I also finished undercoating my Cryx. Hopefully I can start getting some paint onto them in the next few days.
Because I am stellar at my job I have a couple of days off. So I decided to pop down to Gamers Guild and pick up a couple of thing. These things being the new Orc Killa Kan box and the Cryx starter box. The plan is to turn the Killa Kans into Rat Ogres. That is the plan, anyway.
I decided to stat with the Cryx, though, as they are a lot less work. No conversions, I plan to use the Warmachine models I buy ‘straight from the box’. I don’t want converting whole forces for two game systems taking over my life. One total conversion project is bad enough.
Deneghra was easy enough to put together. Her head glued on, then her back thing. The Bonejacks were a little tougher. I had to file down the faces of the tabs that go into the bases, because the writing moulded onto there was preventing them from slotting in. After this the next challenge was to get the legs to glue at the right angle. It was a little annoying, but I have glued enough stuff together in my time to know the usual pitfalls to watch out for.
The Helljack took a little longer. There is a strange and noticable absence of any instructions in the box, so I had to muddle through a dry run to get a feel for how it was supposed to go together. In the end I glued the head to the body, and the forearms to the shoulders. After these had dried I glued the arms to the body and then glued the hood over the head. Once this was all stable I glued the legs on. I did the legs last because I wanted to make sure I got this kind of lunging pose on the Helljack.
When I glued all the models to their bases I left a couple of millimetres between the bases and the feet. Since the Warmachine warbands are going to be markedly smaller than the Warhammer armies, I can spend a little time on making sure they don’t suffer from that ‘sinking’ appearance. I will need to go pick up some fine basing sand some time.
Overall the started kit was fairly easy to figure out. Like I said, the lack of instructions is annoying, but bearable. Some of the joins are a bit fiddly, but nothing years of experience can’t get around. The legs on the Helljack were the worst part of the whole experience, though. It took a lot of forward planning and careful craftsmanship to get them to attach in the right way.
I am looking forward to getting something onto the bases, so then I can get a paint scheme going.