Got a couple of new rulebooks recently

With a new edition of 40k nearly upon us, not to mention a bunch of other boardgames and RPG and miniature game rulebooks that I already own that I have yet to try, the only logical thing to do would be to get even more books for more new games, right?



In fairness, Open Combat doesn’t exactly count as a new acquisition in the normal sense since it’s a Kickstarter reward from a little over two years ago. Between hiccups in fulfillment on Second Thunder’s end and my experiencing several significant life events since the Kickstarter ended, this one kind of got lost in the shuffle until recently when I got an e-mail reminder to claim my reward. It’s a great looking, high-quality book, and I want to play Open Combat, but truthfully, it may be a long time before I do so.

Two years ago when I backed the Kickstarter, I had pretty much written off anything to do with Games Workshop. I said goodbye to 40k, as I felt the rules were beginning to become too bloated and cumbersome and required too much work for me to find enjoyable (I did elect to keep the vast majority of my minis though). I figured that maybe I’d pick up the occasional miniature now and then if they released something that I thought was really cool, but I certainly wasn’t going to continue collecting entire armies for a game I wasn’t going to play anymore. My, how times do change.

With the renaissance that Games Workshop is in the midst of and with all of the awesome things they’ve been doing and coming out with, I’m dangerously close to going full-on fanboy. Age of Sigmar got off to a rocky start, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the General’s Handbook and how it brought some much-needed clarity and organization to what I understand is a very open-ended game. I never would have predicted when I started this blog that it wouldn’t be too long before I’d be eagerly anticipating and buying new rulebooks from Games Workshop, singing their praises, and quite simply, feeling connected with them as a customer and a fan.

And who knows, maybe I’ll try to get in a game of Open Combat sometime this week just to spite myself and make me seem like a liar.


So THAT’s why Pols Voice hates loud noise.

If the title of this entry comes across to you as some AI’s feeble attempt to parse language, feel free to skip the rest. However, if you understand the reference and, like me, have had this cryptic clue from the original Legend of Zelda lingering for years in the recesses of your mind as an unsolved mystery from childhood, you might be interested in this, Link*. Hint: The second player controller on the Famicom had a built-in microphone.

I quite unexpectedly stumbled upon the answer not that long ago. It’s a strange feeling, randomly coming across the answer to a question that had caused me no small amount of confusion and frustration as a kid, only to be forgotten as time went on, then suddenly, years later, experiencing surprise, delight, and even a little relief, as old feelings come rushing back and are finally resolved.

Pols voice

The bow would one-shot these guys, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But I still wanted to know what the hell that clue meant!


*Pun unintended. But that just makes it better.


Adventures in Airbrushing – Part 3

I don’t think I’m ever going back to regular brushes or spray cans for priming again.


Oh, the Horrors! Pink ones, Blue ones, and Brimstone ones — they’re all here!


Making progress on my Tzeentch army. The airbrush is just as fast as a spray can (that is, practically instantaneous),  but I feel like I get better control than with a spray can in terms of being able to manipulate the airbrush to reach all of the strange angles that you need to get when priming.

I went heavy with the primer on these guys because I’m planning on using washes directly on the primer instead of a basecoat, so I need them to start out a pretty solid white.

I’m not sure I’m even going to *attempt* a Will save on this one

After much deliberation, I’ve decided that I’m not going to back the Kickstarter for Heroes of Land, Air & Sea. Based on Gamelyn’s record, I’m willing to bet that it’ll be a solid, fun game, despite being a radical departure from their tried and tested “tiny, epic” scope. Furthermore, I think it’s possible that it may even turn out to be a great game. However, $159 (after shipping) is too much coin for me at this point to plunk down for a single board game that hasn’t been critically examined and reviewed yet, especially considering that I currently have a backlog of other boardgames in my collection that I have yet to play, both ones acquired through Kickstarter as well as through traditional means. Not to mention that Games Workshop is going to be getting another chunk of my money very soon when 8th Edition 40K drops next month. I have to at least keep up the appearance of being judicious with how I spend my money.

So naturally, a scant few days after I settled on my decision, the next threat to my wallet and cash reserves emerges:

From the Kickstarter: “Rise of the Necromancers is based on a classic fantasy narrative with character development as well as territorial strategy. The objective of the game is to develop your Necromancer and take control of the lands. Each player starts out as an aspiring Necromancer who can study spells, craft artifacts and eventually graduate from one of four academies. In time, your Necromancer can attract their own apprentice and assemble an undead army of minions to rule the lands.”

This game looks and sounds like it ticks the correct combination of boxes to make it really appealing to me. Evil wizards who specialize in the dark arts, growing in power until they become strong enough to conquer the realm? Good-looking, thematic artwork that’s sufficiently creepy but doesn’t tip over into being gory or disgusting? Gameplay that involves raising an army of undead minions and marching on cities? Horror theme with a touch of humor? Yes, please!

Mechanics-wise, I really like the theme of having lots of options for developing your character — choosing to either specialize in a particular branch of necromancy, or become a jack-of-all-trades. Furthermore, one of the reviewers says that you can even go so far as choosing what aspect of the actual game to focus on — area control, deck-building, or worker placement — which will presumably have a significant impact on your experience of the game.

It’s also reasonably priced at $67, including shipping to the U.S. The more I write about this game, the more excited about it I become. I’m going to do my due diligence and try to find out more about it so I don’t back it impulsively, but I can already feel my will crumbling under the sway of the necromancers’ influence.

Entropy mat + terrain

Some pics of the new mat with terrain on it. In my mind, this scene represents a tear in the fabric of reality, with part of the mortal realm being overtaken and warped by the powers of chaos.


These pieces were already existing ones in my collection that I made before creating this mat that I just decided to play around with. If I try something like this in earnest, I’ll try to make the effect even more convincing by experimenting with painting the edges of the scatter terrain to match the mat. I think this will make them blend in better and create the sense of movement and an ongoing process of change and mutation.


I’m currently working on a new color scheme for my terrain that’s designed to go specifically with this mat, and I think it looks pretty cool. So stay tuned! 😉

I face a difficult decision today

Spent a few hours the last couple of evenings prepping my spiffy new Tzeentch minis for Warhammer Age of Sigmar/40K. Since the dozen or so readers of this blog represent a good cross-section of the gaming spectrum, a little background: One of the units in this army, the Pink Horrors, splits into two smaller units, Blue Horrors, when slain. I had mistakenly thought that they turned into a single Blue Horror and currently own a total of 10 of each. The crucial decision that now lies before me:

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If you’re a miniature gamer, or at least have a friend who is, you already know the answer to the question and that it wasn’t actually a difficult decision at all. 😛

Who are you, and what have you done with Games Workshop?

A new edition of Warhammer 40K is coming next month. I never thought I’d see the day when I was truly excited about Games Workshop again. I love their minis, and I enjoy the simultaneously over-the-top and grimdark nature of the 40K universe. But I’ve always found the rules to be byzantine and clunky. And in terms of acting like a company that values its customers and fans by respecting and engaging with them, I’ve always found Games Workshop to be… lacking.

For the last several years, I’ve enjoyed their products almost exclusively as a collector, not actually playing any of their games. A few months ago I started gearing up to play again. While I did add quite a few new minis to my ork and ‘nid armies and even acquired some Blood Angels, I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t made the move from collecting to playing.

There are a few factors contributing to this, but the biggest obstacle to me actually playing 40K is the rules. I’m no slouch when it comes to learning games, even complicated ones. Between boardgames, RPGs, and various other miniatures games, I have quite a bit of experience with learning all types of different games. I even did play 40K at one point several years ago. But despite my interest and desire to throw down with my 40K armies, the hurdle of trying to get back into it was something I haven’t been able to overcome. I simply didn’t feel like investing the time required to re-learn the rules to this game when there are so many better ones out there.

But I think this may change with the new edition, for several reasons. Contrary to what was a reasonable assumption, Games Workshop is not going the Age of Sigmar route, blowing up the 40K universe and starting over; but the storyline is advancing in significant ways. More importantly, the various previews of the upcoming rules indicate that some of the more egregious gameplay problems seen in recent editions are being fixed. On top of that, it seems that many of the mechanics are being streamlined and modernized. Finally, everything I’ve read about 8th edition has made me optimistic about the barrier to entry being lowered by simplifying (but not dumbing-down) the rules.

There have been many signs of positive changes with Games Workshop itself as well for the past several months to a year. The fact that there is even a buildup to the release of 8th edition is remarkable. They’re still being coy about the exact release date, but the fact that they announced it ahead of time rather than just having it show up the day of release after months of rumors and speculation represents a major change in how they operate. Games Workshop has also finally entered into the modern age, becoming more transparent and actively engaging with fans using social media. Everything they’re doing now would have been inconceivable two years ago.

The modernization of the 40K game mechanics and Games Workshop as a company is truly a momentous event for miniature gaming. The undeserved loyalty of longsuffering fans is being rewarded. The miniatures are still awesome and expensive, and the new game will have its flaws, but I’m excited and hopeful about what the future will bring — next month for 40K, and then beyond, not just for Games Workshop, but for the larger miniature and tabletop gaming community.

Oh, and I’m also feeling the desire to check out Age of Sigmar now as well.