Sunday, 20 April 2014

UK Games Expo - Newsletter

I really enjoyed this event last year even if that slave driving bastard from Titan Games had me doing Malifaux demos for most of it, lol.

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6 weeks to go!

UK Games Expo 2014

We are now just 6 weeks out from UKGE. In 6 weeks time the biggest and best hobby games convention in the UK will be in full swing.
This news letter takes a look at what you will be doing.
Looking forward to welcoming your through the doors.
The UKGE Team
Richard, Tony, Pat, Mick, John and Lindsey
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Huge Trade Hall

This year we are listing over 120 exhibitors in our trade Halls. There are other large trade shows in the UK, particularly in miniatures, but UKGE is by far the largest collection of board game, roleplaying game and miniatures games traders together in one place. What makes us unique is that most of the traders will be demoing the games on scores of tables. Try before you buy!
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Open Gaming Space

We will provide a large amount of space to just crack open a game and get playing. This will expand during the evenings.Full details here


There are 30+ tournaments in all genres.Some of them have major prizes like all-expenses paid to attend the world finals representing the UK.
So then what can we tempt you with?
In Miniatures we have no less than 30 different offerings. These include Dystopian Naval Tournament, Field of Glory:Renaissance, Field of Glory:Ancients, Flames of War: Mid War, Warmachine and Hordes UK Games Expo Masters, Epic Armageddon Expo 2014, X-Wing UK Open, 40k Birmingham Open II, HeroClix Nationals 2014 - Open Sealed Qualifier, Dystopian Land Tournament, Infinity The Game Tournament, Flames of War: Late War, Dust Warfare UK Open 2014, Star Trek Attack Wing - Return to Deep Space Nine! and HeroClix Nationals - 2014 UK Finals.
Full details on all these exciting events are on the Miniatures page
In the Board Game Category we have tournaments in Pandemic: The Cure Tournament (run by the creator of the game Matt Leacock), the UK Settlers of Catan National event, the UK Carcassonne championship, the UK Ticket to Ride championships. these are along side Ra, 7 Wonders, Dominion, Memoir 44, Lords of Waterdeep, C&C: Ancients, Suburbia and Tzolk'in Tournaments. Take on the best in the land and emerge triumphant.
More on those tournaments on the board game events page.
Moving on to Cards we have some major natiional events like the Android Netrunner open and National events, the Game of Thrones open and National events, the first ever Xi card World Final, Ascension and Stakbots events.
More on all that on the cards page
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1800 seats in Roleplaying games

UK Games Expo is the largest Roleplaying Convention in the UK with more games to play than ever before. With dozens of game systems and 8 sessions over 3 days we must have a game for you.
The full RPG schedule is on the RPG Page
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Massive Seminar Schedule

This year we have expanded the seminar schedule to two streams running in parallel. We cover subjects like writing RPG games, Women in gaming, Children in Gaming, Music in RPG Games, Art in gaming, designing board games, kick starter, how to make money writing books, interviews with Monte Cook, Chris Barrie and gaming legends Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. Don't miss the Dragon's den and see who dares pitch their game ideas to the dragons.
Full Schedule is here
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Rooms in the Hotel are filling up fast

There are not many rooms left in the Hotel - especially on the Saturday night so if you want to stay on site you need to get organised fast.
To book your room follow this link.
You might also consider the near by Plaza Hotel and theHoliday Inn.
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Fun for the whole family

We have a dedicated exciting area aimed at not only families and young people but one that will contain games we think can surprise and entertain everyone.
Imagination Gaming will be bringing a range of games from all over the world, some of which you may know, others that you will not, but all of which will have you thinking, laughing and enjoying yourselves. We will have a host of games covering lots of different topics that will be suitable for everyone from six to ninety six! We will have card, board, tile, puzzle, dice, strategy, two player games, four player games, eight player games and even twenty four players if we can get them.
You can also have fun withe the Cosplayers. Maybe even spot the Tardis.

What are you waiting for?

10's and under go free. Teens are £6 a day and Adults £9. With family tickets and multi day discounts we are an affordable day out for the whole family.
Find out more...
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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Blogging, Real Life and Why Cancer Doesn't Care.

Blogging is my hobby rather than my profession so often has to take a back seat to things such as paying the mortgage, helping my daughter with her homework, mowing the lawn and (if SynSynn from the House of Paincakes Blog Network is to be believed) kidnapping random people and holding them hostage in my basement before murdering them...

...obviously only three of those things are actually true...

I don't normally mention my personal life in blog posts but in this case it's relevant so I'll  make an exception so bear with me. I had a few months ago decided to expand the scope of the blog to cover more aspects of the local hobby community specifically and the wider community generally in a number of areas. Amongst these features were Hobby Galleries, Guest Articles, a separate Newsletter tab, more Introduction features and a number of articles that were more in the areas of 'inspirational' rather than practical such as this Steampunk post.

I'd made a significant start on these features when unfortunately my partner was diagnosed with Cancer which for a variety of reasons made popping down to my FLGS a bit problematic due to the chemotherapy effectively meaning she had no immune system whatsoever for two weeks out of three and next to no immune system for the third.

It's worth pointing out that it was the early discovery of the cancer that has made it so treatable so I'd highly recommend regular check-ups for any-one who feels they're at risk as it took three visits to our own doctor before they final sent her for a check up. It would have been easy to just have ignored the problem and then I dread to think what the consequences might have been...

Anyway, short of demanding that all people entering the shop had a health check first...

We're just off to our FLGS for a game of Malifaux...
...there was no way of keeping her healthy other than keeping her away from people as much as possible and from a personal point of view I had no desire to leave her on her own while I went to play with toy soldiers. This made obtaining detailed enough pictures of armies to do galleries nearly impossible and made Introduction articles somewhat tricky due to the fact that I'd have had to have learned new systems on my own and then played with or against myself neither of which are particularly optimal ways to test a system in detail or to explore it well enough to explain it adequately to another...not as well as I would like to anyway. Sometimes I get lucky though as in the case of Salute 2014 it fell right at the tail end of one of the her treatments so she was well enough to accompany me as to be honest I wouldn't have been happy to go without her as it's a long time to leave a poorly person all on their own and to be perfectly honest I've got that used to the rare benefits of having a partner who shares my hobby that the thought of doing it without her was frankly quite unappealing indeed.

I also discovered that getting people who say they want to write articles for you to actually do so takes a lot more pestering than I currently have the energy for...
All the local hobbyists lived in fear of the 'productivity motivation' tools.....
Certain features have been unaffected though. The Unboxings have continued just fine, editorials and inspiring articles can still be written (though they tend to be less confrontational in direct proportion to the lower amount of time I spend around people...perhaps there's a pattern there...) and general hobbying can still be documented even if the 'crew a week' project has in reality become the 'crew every now and again' project. To be honest it's the crew a week bit that I most miss being able to give my attention to...especially as I'm still over ten crews behind. Of course when working out my priorities at any given time 'make sure the woman I love has medicine' is much higher up the list than 'get around to painting Pandora' or 'repair that Cryx army that fell off the shelf'....

Fortunately things are looking up. The operation and subsequent treatment have been a success so far and the horrible part of it (the chemotherapy bit) will soon be over which means we can soon resume our joint hobbying activities and I can start giving those features a bit more attention. It also means my painting will start to improve again as she'll now have the energy to shout at me for 'forgetting' to do that last layer of highlighting and I'll once again have to suffer the inconvenience of actually matching colours correctly...still...that's a small price to pay, lol. She's already working out what short hair styles might suit her but strangely enough I've actually got used to her being bald now...

It also means that I can start bugging the hell out of any-one whose promised to do a feature for me and then hasn' brace yourself if you happen to be one of those people...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome...just keep them positive okay...I've heard enough cancer horror stories to last a lifetime...

Friday, 18 April 2014

New Malifaux Unboxings Incoming...

Unfortunately my FLGS ran out of Teddies and Alternate Flesh Constructs before I got there...

I guess I'll just have to make do with that lot until they get a restock. People seem to want me to do an unboxing feature on 'Fuhatsu' first...the decision isn't final just yet though...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

Mantic Games Newsletter - Disciples of Deception

I like the Gargoyles...though not enough to start a new I haven't even finished my undead yet...

Disciples of Deception
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In the midst of the Dwarf lines, the mighty Dwarf Berzerker Lord heard the bellowed challenge and smiled to himself. He had seen the cursed Halfbreeds' intent as soon as their charge had begun, and had restrained his Ironclads from going to meet them, directing them instead to the right flank of his force, deployed behind a hedgerow.

Left unchecked, the Halfbreeds would have outflanked his army, before destroying them piecemeal as the rest of the forces hit the front. A troop of Ironguard remained close by to offer support as needed. This course of action, while sensible, also afforded him the opportunity to meet the bellowed challenge.

The simmering fury of his ‘Red Curse’, never far from the surface, erupted into white hot fury as he watched the slaughter of the artillery crew and the destruction of their vulnerable weapon. His scouts had seen the so-called Supreme Iron Caster abroad only the previous day, and he had hoped to face the despicable creature himself. With no sign of him, the monster before him would have to do. Any semblance of rational thought was fleeing his brain as the familiar red mist descended, and with a touch of his heels to its mighty flanks, Helbrokk surged forwards, jaws champing with anticipation...

Read the full story in Hellfire and Stone - and join the biggest game of Kings of War ever at the Open Day.

From the fires of hell...

New Reinforcements for the Abyssal Dwarfs are coming in May, with the GargoylesLesser Obsidian Golems, and Dragon Fire Team all making an appearance.

There’s also the new Ba'su'su and Arhak Soulbinderspecial characters, plus Ghenna, Keeper of the Black Flame as well!

These fearsome new warriors add speed, strength and outright brutality to an army that already boasts one of the hardest cavalry units in the game (the Abyssal Halfbreeds) and the plastic Immortal Guard.

You can also get the Gargoyles and Golems earlier by getting the Abyssal Dwarf Army-Set.

Happy Easter everyone!
Mantic is Moving!
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We're moving our offices and warehouse to bigger premises!

We’ve outgrown our space at Greasley Street, there’s barely enough room to swing a Mawbeast, and we’ll be moving into our location at the start of the May.

We're moving into a new building.

This will mean there will be some disruption to orders being shipped as the warehouse will be closed for about 2 weeks and the server is being moved.

The warehouse are closing at the end of the month (we’ll let you know exact dates) – but we advise you to place your orders as quickly as you can if you want to avoid disappointment!
Bank Holidays
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Friday 18th April and Monday 21st April are both Bank Holidays here in the UK and we're taking a well-earned rest!

This means that there will be limited support this weekend - we'll be back up to speed on Tuesday.

Will you brave the Weather?
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Became the legendary champion of Azure XI in the mighty DreadBall Azure Forest tournament being held the Mantic Open Day on the 17th May.
The tournament uses the limited-printDreadBall Azure Forest pack, resplendent with unique MVP A'teo Adyssi (that CAN be used in the tournament) and additions to the rules.
Check out the tournament pack for all of the details.

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The Events List has now been updated for 2014 - here’s the full list for the next couple of months:

20th Apr - Shadow Games - Deadzone and DreadBall Demos
24th Apr - Learn to play Deadzone and DreadBall Demos, Hemel Hempstead Wargaming Club
26th Apr - Clash of Kings - Firestorm Games
4th May - Dicini - Norwich
10th May - Carronade, Scotland
10th May - Clash of Kings - Stockport
17th May - Mantic Open Day
30th May - UK Games Expo
1st June - Partisan, Newark

Check out the Events List for all of the details.
Our mailing address is:
Mantic Games, Greasley Street, Bulwell, Nottingham, NG6 8NG England.
Copyright (C) 2012 Mantic Entertainment Ltd All rights reserved.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Projects I'll Probably Never Get Around To - The Endless

The mind is full of wonder...and occasionally it just wanders...

In the real world I have a job that can be best described by the word 'boring'. It's stress free but monotonous in the extreme which means that I can pretty much do it on auto-pilot...which means most of my brilliant ideas generally occur when I'm doing the same seven welds in the same seven places for about the hundredth time that day (or more often 'night' as I work quite odd shifts).

However having ideas is by no means the same as actually getting around to implementing them and I'm sure that many potentially amazing potential projects have never seen the light of day due to inattention. I am therefore going to start documenting these ideas and who knows maybe I'll actually end up doing them...eventually...

Of course this will tie in nicely with my intention to create some alternate 'counts-as' Malifaux crews in my admittedly currently quite intermittent 'Crew a Week' project. Given that most of these will be extensive conversion projects they're unlikely to be done in a week even with the best of intentions.

One of my favourite graphic novels of recent years has been Neil Gaimans 'Sandman/The Dreaming' series and the concept of the 'Endless' was of particular interest. Containing a wide variety of character types and appearances from both sexes (one of which literally is both sexes, lol) I think they would make a very interesting look for a Malifaux crew and like my Hellraiser one they can fit in with the overall theme due to the fact that pretty much all genres are covered in the Malifaux concept.

Models used to accomplish this is going to take some thought but I do have a bit off leeway as though the basic concepts are the same for them in all their aspects they have been interpreted somewhat differently but various artists. Some pictures of these interpretations will show you what I mean...

Some of the interpretations are due to the graphic novel itself being set in a wide variety of times and even dimensions but from a Malifaux perspective I'll be going with some of the more Gothic interpretations. This particular piece of artwork most closely illustrates the appearance that most appeals to me currently...

As a concept it also gives me access to a wide variety of supporting cast to fill in any gaps. Dream himself has a wide variety of servants ranging from ravens, talking scarecrows, gargoyles, creepy librarians and lets not forget about...

...serial killing nightmares with teeth for eyes...This one might be I'm a big fan of The Corinthian...don't draw any conclusions about me because of that though...

Maybe it's because we're both Visionary's.....

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hawk Wargames Newsletter #33

As is to be expected they mention Salute 2014 and the GIGANTIC spaceship on their stand...and some models...obviously...

Salute 2014 Special 16/04/2014
Now that the dust has settled after one of our busiest shows on record, it's finally time to reveal some of what we have been working on over the past few months! If you missed the show or didn't get time to see everything, here is a full summary of all the new things we showcased in London:
1) Reconquest: Phase 1 - DZC expansion book announced
At Salute 2014 we revealed the title and cover art for Dropzone Commander's first expansion book. Reconquest: Phase 1 will advance the storyline of DZC and will introduce a new faction; The Resistance. The book will include full background and army lists for this vibrant and varied faction as well as printed rules for all our new releases and some unseen units for the existing factions. The book will also include many new scenarios, rules and campaign info to add further variation and narrative to your games of DZC. Reconquest: Phase 1 will be available in Summer this year.
2) New Resistance Miniatures - showcased for the first time
We've been hard at work completing the range of highly detailed Resistance miniatures and at Salute we displayed the Barrel Bomber, Medium Dropship, Halftrack, MBT, Battle Bus and AA Tank (working titles). These are among our most detailed creations yet and are some of the most important units in the range. Keep an eye out for more information on these exiting new models over the coming months!
3) Scenery Packs Pre-Released - Further products also previewed
At Salute, we began to pre-release our new range of scenery packs, starting with the Monorail and Orbital Defence Laser (available in Stores end of April and May respectively). We also showcased work in progress on the Bunker Complex, Landing Pad and Civilian Vehicles sets. These will all be released in stores over the coming months and will be accompanied by scenarios designed specifically for them. These will be available to download for free (starting next week) and will be printed in Reconquest: Phase 1.
4) UCMS Avenger - 3m long display model unveiled
Recently, I've been working on a unique (and frankly insane) one-off project - a 3m long, 10mm scale spacecraft! Avenger is New Orleans class Strike Carrier and one of the largest vessels the UCM has that is capable of atmospheric flight. It's core role is to provide a bridge between the fleet and the battlefield, transporting whole flotillas of dropships within range of the combat zone. The New Orleans class carries a compliment of 100 Condor, 6 Albatross and 30 Raven dropships with a varied payload of armoured vehicles alongside a full cohort of 1000 legionnaires.
This behemoth has many thousands of custom cast resin components as well as over 4000 plastic parts. It also features 300 lights and 250 moving parts with interior detail. So far, it has been well over 400 hours in the making (+ 3 weeks of design work over Christmas). Despite working extremely long days I was unable to finish it quite in time for the show (the prow and engine housing sections remain un-detailed). After all that work however, we simply had to bring it to Salute anyway!
I've kept a full video and photo diary of her construction from the very start of the build. Once complete, we will be working with Beasts of War to compile a special feature on how this monster came into being. I'll be back in the shipyard next week to complete her construction, after which we'll get to work on the video - so watch this space!
If you missed Avenger at Salute, or want to see her finished, the ship will be on show again at the UK Games Expo in May, Gencon 2014, Spiel 2014 and our own Open Day and Tournament in September.
5) Space Combat Game in Development - official announcement
Part of the purpose of building Avenger is as a tangible bridge between Dropzone Commander and our in-development space combat game set in the DZC universe, Dropfleet Commander (working title). For this exciting project, we've been working with Andy Chambers on the ruleset, which is currently well into the playtesting phase. There's a lot more work ahead of us, but expect to hear much more before the end of the year!
6) Escape Pod Available - exclusive 2014 show only miniature
In tandem with unveiling of Avenger, we released our first ever exclusive show only model - the Shackleton class Escape Pod. The Avenger sports 46 such craft, designed for emergency escape from a stricken ship in orbital or atmospheric flight. With a capacity of 42 men each, the Avenger's compliment can evacuate all 1700 souls aboard during a full combat drop. It is strictly a one-way vehicle, which ends its fiery decent to Terra-Firma in a controlled crash! This model can serve as a characterful objective, scenery or display piece.

The Escape Pod will only be available direct at shows we will be attending this year, so there's plenty of opportunities to get your hands on one if you missed out at Salute. See our full show schedule here for more details.
7) First 30mm Scale Collector's Edition Models Revealed - Work in progress on an exciting new range
We've been asked many times over the last few years to produce a select few of our most popular models in a larger scale, so we have obliged! At Salute, we previewed a range of test pieces printed on our own in-house 3D printer (not production quality) as well as a fully fledged and finished resin kit, the 30mm scale PHR Ares Walker. This will be the first kit in our Collector's Edition range and has been rendered in an extremely high level of detail. The larger scale allowed us to add many new features not seen on the 10mm version as well as a higher number of components. The 30mm Ares' legs are fully poseable, right down to the individual toes!
This model will be available for pre-order as soon as the production moulds are complete (keep an eye on subsequent newsletters for details). If this kit proves popular, we will expand the range in line with demand!
It is worth mentioning at this point however that we are NOT working on a 30mm scale game at this time. These kits are purely for keen modellers and fans of our regular 10mm scale miniatures.
8) The Invasion of New Eden - an in-store DZC campaign pack
Lastly, at Salute we previewed the aged pewter race pendants available only as part of our upcoming Retailer Campaign Pack - The Invasion of New Eden. This product will only be available to bricks and mortar retailers and clubs and is designed to bring a group of new players into the Dropzone Commander universe. It can however also be used by stores with an established DZC community as an aid to running an in-store weekly campaign in the setting of the UCM's first Cradle World invasions! This pack will be available direct and through our distributors from June.

Lastly, we'd like to thank all our Hawk Talons and volunteers who helped us demo and display Dropzone Commander at Salute this year. Your enthusiasm and dedication was awesome and we hope you'll help us again in future! Thanks also to all our fans who attended Salute and filled our stand from open to close - you made it a fantastic day for all of us!

- David J Lewis, Director,
  Hawk Wargames
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