Welcome to the Jungle

Always love jungle terrain!

The Lost and the Damned

Everyone who’s played Warhammer 40k in the ’90s will remember the green death world cacti with the red spikes made out of styrofoam and toothpicks. I built a few of them myself back then, but unsurprisingly they didn’t survive the dawn of the new millennium. More recently Jonas over at the Oldhammer Forum put together a whole bunch of these which are looking great.

Inspired by Cheetor’s excellent Alien Flora & Fauna series I’ve been meaning to extend my own collection of terrifying terrain for a while now but most things haven’t progressed past initial assembly.

During one of my hunts for source materials I came across an item that immediately jumped out at me as a modern version of the cacti of death though – a rubber massage ball from Tiger, available also in bright green.

Warhammer 40k death world jungle terrain Dark Angels livery makes for surprisingly effective camouflage on many jungle worlds

A dark green wash and far too many…

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My favourite alternative miniature sites

Forums are quite often bogged down somewhat with requests for different miniatures, especially for Imperial Guardsmen, so I’ve decided to compile a list of my favourite sites. This list doesn’t aim to include every single little webstore for alternative miniatures for Warhammer, but rather my favourite ones, based on the following criteria:

  • Compatibility
  • Quality

I’ve decided to not really include price, as that’ll be very subjective. Hell, I buy ForgeWorld.

First off, Mad Robot Miniatures. They do modular commissars, squads, you name it. I’m currently planning on using them for creating Cultists and Lost and the Damned for my Alpha Legion. Additionally, I’m gonna use their modular commissar for my Arkhan Confederates.

Secondly, for the resinsexuals out there, Victoria Miniatures is the creation of the Slayer Sword-winning Victoria Lamb. They have excellent, high quality resin models, especially the later ones. I’m using them for my Arkhan Confederates as well, with their heavy weapon teams being indispensable for creating an ACW feel. They also have the easiest way for creating Rough Riders, which I’ll be using for my Arkhan Confederates!

Victoria Lamb’s Slayer Sword-winning diorama, famous for its early use of Object Source Lighting (OSL)

Third, but not least, is Kromlech. I’m mainly using them for their Confederate heads, but if I played Orks, these guys would be getting large parts of my paycheck. They do some Imperial Guard equivalents, but I feel both the aforementioned stores do them better. They also have some nice female Inquisitors worth checking out. They also have Evil Craft, who make fantastic CSMs for Sorcerers, Havocs, and Chosen, especially if you want a more daemonic Word Bearer-look. How they got around GW’s IP I have no idea.

Some more thoughts on Age of Sigmar clarifications

So this article from Naftka, where a reader went to Warhammer World and asked an official AoS spokesperson loads of questions, answered most of my questions about AoS, and in short it is

  • Age of Sigmar will be the only Warhammer Fantasy game
  • The “funny rules” are a send off for the old units
  • New races (orcs vs. ooruks) won’t look like the old ones and old models will cease production
  • Rules will be free

I don’t play WHF at the moment; having recently (18 months ago) started playing wargames again, I’m still building my Alpha Legion and Imperial Guard for 40k. However, I used to have a ~4000 point High Elf army and 1000 points Vampire Counts back in fifth and sixth edition and I had a view to start playing 8th edition, considering Lizardmen, Skaven, Orcs & Goblins, High Elves, and Dark Elves (I like dreaming up armies). With this in mind, I’m quite sad there won’t be a successor, as AoS is an entirely new kettle of fish.

The funny rules I think everyone realised were just placeholders or transitory rules, and this doesn’t really bother me – I thought it was really well done as a different, short-lived kinda refresh.

As AoS is going to introduce new, but similar, factions, so I’m not surprised old units will eventually be discontinued. It doesn’t make sense for GW to support an old version of the game by keeping loads of storage space filled up with Finecast Fantasy sprues that won’t sell as fast as the new ones. It does make me a bit sad though, and I think I’ll order myself some Empire Fanatics quite soon for my Cultist conversions.

That at least the faction rules will be free is good – I think it’s competition from Mantic, Privateer etc. that has made them realise they have to offer a lower entry cost to new players. The lower cost to entry is also why I think it’s been made more of a skirmish game that scales better. WHF was notorious for how much you would need to buy and paint to get a decent force.

However, will I play AoS? No, and for two main reasons: I don’t like the aesthetics of the new units, and I want my ranks of glittering elven spears, saurus scales, or animosity’ing (Ok, I made that up) orcs and goblins!

I don’t think the miniatures are ugly, I just don’t like the aesthetics, which is why I don’t play Tyranids in 40k. They look too similar to WarmaHordes and too steampunk-y. While this doesn’t appeal to me, I do see it appealing to a great number of players, but I can’t help but think it’s not different enough, aesthetically, from WarmaHordes, though I may be in the minority.

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I don’t like the skirmish idea; I’d much rather they re-released Mordheim! I just prefer ranks upon ranks and the importance of holding the line etc.

However, what am I considering playing? I’m split between Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition and Hail Caesar for now, but not many people play 8th in my gaming club. Kings of War’s models and rules just wouldn’t feel right.

Addendum – AoS holds some really bad connotations for me on a personal level; AoS was the acronym for the travesty of an expansion pack called Age of Shadows for Ultima Online.

Quick thoughts on Warhammer; Age of Sigmar

After seeing two photos of the new miniatures for Age of Sigmar, dubbed #AgeOfCygnar on Twitter due to their aesthetics, I feel I’m 100% capable of giving a review of the entire range of new miniatures.

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On a serious note, I think the warmongers Twitterati are correct; the aesthetics are very similar to WarmaHordes. I thought the Kastelans for #wh40k AdMech looked like a cross between Big Daddy from BioShock and Cygnar. I’m not a huge fan of the WarmaHordes aesthetic (too steam punk for me), but at least it’s not the Space Wolves’ flyer which looks like a certain car from Dumb & Dumber.

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However, they did not have the Warhammer feel to them at all. Warhammer was grim and brutal, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek hilarity thrown in. These new miniatures, while in no way bad, doesn’t encapsulate that feeling. They look more Diablo 3 than Altdorf, more Cygnar than Ulthuan.

However, I think they might make good miniatures for wh40k; the humans look like Blood Angels conversions waiting to happen, and the Chaos guys look like they’d make good Cultists, Chaos Space Marines, and Renegade Guard.

I don’t mind the round bases though, as hopefully that signals the return of a much needed Warhammer Fantasy skirmish game.

All on all, I don’t mind the miniatures, but it doesn’t look like Warhammer.

Edit – I believe it was Fred Boogaerts who came up with the Age of Cygnar idea, and here’s Vidpui’s photoshopped picture