Monday, 22 December 2014

Forge World Newsletter #436

Setting fire to things can be fun I suppose...


Working in conjunction with Lasrifle Sections, the Solar Auxilia Flamer Sectionprovides close quarters support to their Infantry Tercio. Whether advancing on lightly armoured enemies, assaulting occupied bunkers or entrenched behind Aegis Defence Lines, the gouts of promethium flame from their weapons will drive back foes far greater than them in number. They are also often employed in boarding actions, clearing corridors of ships with ease.
Solar Auxilia Flamer Sections can be deployed as part of an Infantry Tercio in a Solar Auxilia army in Horus Heresy games. Their rules can be found in The Horus Heresy Book Four – Conquest.
This is a complete multi-part resin kit of ten models, including weapon and head options to make a Sergeant. This kit is available to pre-order now for despatch from 31st December 2014.
“Battles are won by courage, by standing firm in the face of overwhelming adversity, by advancing into certain death when every instinct is screaming at you to turn.”
Auxiliary Skarn
2333rd Cohort (The Iron Hearts)


Over the next three days we'll be teasing you with some images of an upcoming new release. We will remove another three pieces in tomorrow's newsflash. Any ideas who this is?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sunday Round-Up

Been a bit more productive this week though some of that was courtesy of some pictures of new Malifaux releases from the Black friday sale sent to me courtesy of a helpful blog reader. Fortunately my only small pile of purchases have now arrived so I can put together some features of my own...


But while you're waiting you could always look at the guest features on the new Hoffman crew box here, the Katanaka Snipers here or the Limited Edition Bayou Gremlin here. There's also an unboxing of the new Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars : Imperial Assault board game (also a guest feature) that is located here.

My FLGS Titan Games recently ran the first official Batman Miniatures Game tournament in the UK and some coverage of the event can be found here.

There's also the usual newsletters from Forge World, Hasslefree Miniatures, Mantic Games and the like though you'll have to look in the side bar for them as I haven't updated the 'Newsletter' tab for a few weeks...I'll sort that out over the Christmas holiday...

For those of you interested in the Through the Breach RPG set in the world of Malifaux I've written up our second session for your amusement...it's here.

I've already made a bit of progress on the assembly of the Wyrd Games Malifaux miniatures...

Not as tricky to assemble as you'd think...even the three-part Gremlin head isn't that bad...

Needs more ammunition...

That's a lot of Bacon...best call the Hog Whisperer to help out...

"I know you're the Hog Whisperer but are you absolutely sure that's a piglet?"

News of the strange piglet spreads...Somer sends a Bayou Gremlin to investigate...the LaCroix's send Merris...

Christmas may have some effect on the posting schedule as family commitments tend to take priority this time of year...I know it's inconvenient but I'm a victim of social convention I'm afraid, lol.

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Through the Breach RPG - The Soulstone Retrieval Job

When we left our group they'd been forced to accept the hospitality of a gentleman named Oscar due to several unfortunate events that had resulted in them gaining fugitive status, lol.

Basic character info and the idea behind the campaign can be found in the overview of our first session that can be found here though I'll give relevant info where necessary. We actually did this session some time ago so though the events are all in there the order may not be exact. There's also a lot more going on during this mission so there will be a few more 'editors notes' than last time. After the last article I'd been asked about the game rules a bit more so I'll cover those in the editors notes as well...

Note : The abbreviation TtB is used for Through the Breach and the more familiar GM is replaced by FM (Fatemaster rather than Gamesmaster). I also found out later that much of this session was improvised due to several player no-shows making re-writes necessary on the fly and some computer related note loss issues...not that we noticed...which is the sign of a good GM...I mean FM... 

Characters.
This session involved Sabrina (very briefly), Verity, Maverick, Marcus and Ron...



....and a guest appearance as our gaming acquaintance Rob (generally referred to as 'zombie' Rob locally) was lurking around so we quickly wrote him up a character so he could join in the session. He created a morally dubious Wastrel whose speciality seemed to be being suspiciously absent during dangerous events but miraculously reappearing when it was time to search for loot...I seem to remember him being called Cornelius Swanson but I may have misremembered that slightly...

My narrative parts are in normal text, the original notes of our GM that he's sent me are in italics and any additional notes from me are in purple italics.

The Introduction.
The fallout from the guild investigation has led to much of the city being shut down by cordons and the ever watchful guild watchers. Oscars makes his excuses and shuts himself away for a few days to make the necessary arrangements for your flight from the city. 

The atmosphere in the town house is tense and your rag tag band of outlaws seem ill at ease with each other. Sensing the tension Sabrina sweeps into the common room with a broad grin on her face. 

“Mischief” she seems to almost say to herself. Elegantly she moves to the table and rolls out a sheet of dusty parchment. The layout of a grand town house is laid out before you. 

“Oscar left this” she pauses seemingly looking for the correct word “left this lying around, along with a quite comprehensive dossier about a large quantity of soul stones stored in this house”


“This may assist you in bartering with the M&SU”

Cornelius was introduced as an acquaintance of Oscars who was also using the house as temporary accommodation and was only to happy to assist with any dubious mission of thievery...

The plan of the house was fairly comprehensive as well as listing a number of alternate possible entry points one of which was the sewers...Marcus seemed to think this was a good idea...till it was explained to him about the dark reputation that the sewers had as well as prompting several questions about why he hadn't read about this previously or seen any of the myriad warning signs that were pretty much everywhere in the city.

Editors Note - Marcus is illiterate...but none of the other characters actually know this...

It was therefore decided to instead go with a more traditional roadway route though the small matter of being wanted fugitives one of which was an eight foot tall gentleman with a pneumatic arm as big as a crane (namely Ron) meant that some form of transport as well as disguises were in order. Luckily we had access to a cart....and after some half-arsed attempts at disguising Ron we set off...

Editors Note - We made Ron a giant poncho and hid him in the back of the cart...if anything we made him more conspicuous rather than less but our FM let us get away with it... 


The house itself was surrounded by a large fence and the sounds of a significant number of dogs could be heard though they seemed to be confined to one area of the grounds and after a bit of scouting we found an area of garden that was densely enough filled with trees to enable us to reach the outer edge of the property unobserved...there was just the small matter of the fence...Marcus climbed over under his own power and the rest were helped over by Ron before using his arm to pull himself over afterwards.

Editors Note - Marcus has the Athletics Skill and Ron is very strong indeed so Tom (also known as Citizen_W when blogging who has the dubious honour of being our FM) decided that our entry plan was adequate enough without the need for any Skill tests...

After a brief discussion we selected a low roof giving access to a low window as our entry point to the house. The windows were barred and quite secure but were in no way shape of form 'Ron' proof..so in we went and found ourselves in a reasonable sized study. A quick search found the inevitable useless papers and a fairly nice 'pepper-pot' style pistol which Marcus gave to Maverick having no use for it himself. Ron then sensibly decided to wait here while we explored the rest of the house as though he's tremendously useful in a scrap or if you need something heavy moving one thing he's not is stealthy, lol.

Editors Note - Ron is what most gamers would refer to as a 'tank' though with a bit more to his personality than that character type usually possesses due to his engineering and mining knowledge. He's also a bit of a hindrance currently as he's fairly unique in appearance so we have to hide him whenever we travel anywhere what with us being criminals wanted by the Guild for murder...

The House...
We then broke rule one of 'exploring a haunted house' by splitting up...Cornelius and Maverick began to look around downstairs while Marcus and Verity explored the level they were on...


Editors Note - Splitting up is a terrible idea in any film, television program or book featuring a supposedly empty house as inevitably the cast are killed off in reverse order of fame by some maniac in a mask...it's also a dubious practice in an RPG adventure as most combat encounters are scaled to challenge a complete group and many additional situations are geared to the abilities of certain characters. Hence 'splitting up' in an RPG usually ends with the combat characters who didn't take the 'Breathe Underwater*' Skill as they were spending all their points on 'Katana Expert*' locked in a room rapidly filling with water that needs some-one with the advanced lock-picking skill to get out of while the academic and thief end up having to deal with a bulletproof mutant gorilla with chainsaws for arms while armed with a potato peeler between them...

*In case it wasn't obvious those Skills were made up by me and aren't actually genuine Through the Breach ones...which is a shame as they might have came in useful at some point...

The house was fairly well lit and well organised as well as having a significant quantity of fresh flowers in vases in pretty much every area. The downstairs area had doors leading to a number of interesting areas amongst which were additional passage ways leading both up and down, a corridor the exploration of which led to the source of the animal noises (Cornelius wisely returned from exploring that area without opening the exterior door...) and a few side rooms of little interest apart from one which contained a safe...a disappointingly empty safe...it appears that person or persons unknown had gotten here first... Cornelius probably found some items of value in the other areas but it's highly unlikely that he'd have mentioned them to the rest of the group even if he did, lol. There were no signs of life to be found up to this point however the investigation upstairs was about to reveal why...

Amongst the first rooms explored was an expensively decorated and neatly ordered bedroom with the exception of a bed containing a significant quantity of blood smeared across the sheets...It was obvious to Marcus that whoever had lost that much blood would have had no chance of surviving. Verity wisely chose to investigate the areas of the room not soaked in blood though found nothing significant...


Editors Note - Marcus has the Melee Skill and carries a significant number of knives and his background makes him more than familiar with how much blood you have to relieve some-one of in order to make them dead. He also has very minor medical knowledge acquired from his time around the gyms and training areas of his families legitimate business interests as well as it being presumed that some of the 'work' for his family was probably of the 'persuade people to give you the money' variety which overall is reflected in a Doctor Skill of one. Verity's background is yet to be significantly revealed though she dealt with the whole 'massive pool of blood' incident well enough to presume that this isn't the first such scene she's experienced...**

** Some of Verity's background is revealed in the character overview accompanying session one found here but most is a mystery even to the other players currently.

If this scene wasn't disturbing enough it was repeated in several other rooms including one containing a babies cot. It's fair to say that at this point that they were both beginning to have some concerns about this 'fairly simple retrieval job' as any-one willing to murder a baby would have little compunction about doing the same to a bunch of burglars...of course it was possible that there was some other explanation for the blood...none sprang to mind though...

Having grown used to empty rooms it was certainly a surprise to find that the latest one seemed to have some-one in the bed covered by the blankets...the atmosphere turned from one of surprise to shock as the person in the bed revealed themselves to be very dead indeed...and moving...Marcus and Verity managed to pull themselves together in time to defend themselves, Verity drew her gun from somewhere (I didn't even know that she had a gun till that point...) and Marcus briefly considered using his preferred method of punching things before instead readying his machete and reacting slightly quicker than his female companion leapt at the walking corpse and decapitated it with a single blow...

Editors Note - Initiative in TtB is handled by flipping a card and adding it to the characters Speed Aspect (with their Notice Skill added to the total if they have it) with the NPC's and 'bad guys' usually having a set value. Verity is I believe slightly faster than Marcus and has a better Notice Skill but just happened to flip low on this occasion. You do have the option to pass if you wish which adds one to your Initiative total the next time around to enable you to 'pick your moment' if you wish. We also had to pass a Horror*** dual in order to act in this case which involves flipping a card to add to your Willpower score in order to equal or beat a target number... 

***In game terms the creature that attacked us (a fairly weak Mindless Zombie) doesn't normally generate such tests but considering the build up and the fact we had never seen a zombie before led our FM to state that one was warranted in this situation...it seemed entirely reasonable really...

After a somewhat tentative search resulting in the discovery of a strange book (even Marcus who can't actually read knows what words look like and is aware that they shouldn't make your brain itch) and nothing else they both took a moment to pull themselves together. Marcus and Verity both came to the conclusion that stealth was now no longer a priority and came up with an appropriate plan...the plan was "Go fetch Ron...". After explaining to Ron that the bloodless corpse on the bed had been moving about just a few minutes ago we changed from quietly opening doors to Ron and Marcus taking turns kicking doors off their hinges while the others provided cover...Marcus also switched from his knife to his sawn-off shotgun...

Editors Note - No, the TtB players amongst you didn't miss the sawn-off shotgun entry in the armoury entry. We simply used the double-barrelled shotgun stats, halved the range and added the 'blunderbuss' rule.

This plan was going fine so it's unfortunate that in the effort to speed up the process we decided to take the last pair of rooms as individuals with Verity guarding the rear.

Editors Note - Graham's character Verity is very capable in a wide variety of areas and can look after herself quite effectively but as we know next to nothing about her actual background and given the time in which the game is set and the fact that both Ron and Marcus (despite the latter being effectively a hired thug) are fundamentally reasonable people they tend to adopt a suitably manly 'protect the pretty girl' approach and avoid putting her in dangerous situations if they can avoid it. Verity seems quite happy to let them carry on taking all the risks while still getting equal shares of the profits...

Ron's room of choice was another fairly empty room...Marcus's was a bathroom...a very bloody bathroom...that had been used as a makeshift altar...it also revealed the mystery of what had happened to the baby from the cot...he dealt with this new horror much less successfully than the zombie incident...further investigation of this unpleasant scene was stopped by Marcus's rapid retreat from the room and his opinion that no-one else enters it...he was very insistent indeed...


Editors Note - As mentioned previously 'Horror' tests have a target number (TN). Marcus passed the first one (which was fairly low) as the view was somewhat obscured by the door...he failed the second one rather spectacularly once he decided to look closer and the full view of a mutilated and sacrificed child was revealed. Normally a failed Horror Duel results in the victim gaining the 'Paralysed' condition which makes him incapable of acting for a turn though in this case our FM decided that 'run away' was a more likely result. Marcus also now takes a small armoury with him every-time he goes to the latrine...

The upstairs team and the downstairs one had a brief and frank exchange of discovered information and decided never to split up during a job ever again.

A Spot of Lunch.
The one area left to be explored downstairs led to a lavishly decorated dining area though the guests hadn't touched a single piece of food...mainly due to the fact that they were very dead indeed...

There were actually a lot more 'guests' than this but this is the best picture I could find...
The large dining table was surrounded by high chairs each containing an extremely well dressed and extremely dead body though the food and flowers looked to be completely fresh. Based on recent experiences Marcus's carefully thought out investigative plan was to lop the nearest corpses head off which elicited no reaction from the other corpses at all though it revealed it to be as bloodless as the moving one from the upstairs bedroom. Having formed a plan he continued with the process one body at a time while the others investigated the 'cleared' parts of the room...well except for Cornelius who spent his time looking through the pockets of the newly decapitated bodies...if he found anything of value he didn't mention it...then Ron decided he was hungry and the food did look fine...though appearances turned out to be somewhat deceptive...

Editors Note - We as seasoned role-players know this was a bad idea but I suppose it's reasonable that Ron's character might not have...

...after a prolonged session of projectile vomiting of food that turned out to be rancid the moment it entered a stomach we continued through the room...

Editors Note - Strangely enough the TtB rules don't have one that covers the effects on the body of eating a zombies lunch and then projectile vomiting so our FM eventually settled on a Might test against a TN which Ron passed (after cheating the result if I remember correctly) in order to avoid any negative after effects.



The only other exit from the room led to a large well equipped Kitchen area with a large heavy table in the middle (Cornelius chose this point to wander off back the way we'd came for some reason) and after checking under the table (we're not completely incompetent, lol) we moved towards the two doors at the opposite end of the area...which promptly exploded open releasing a horde of undead...far more than we could realistically destroy before being over-run making retreat seem like a good idea...until Ron had a better one...

"How heavy do you think that table is?"

...apparently the answer was 'not so heavy that Ron couldn't flip it onto it's side to turn into a makeshift barrier'...so he promptly did which funnelled the zombies into a fairly contained area and a sawn-off shotgun works extremely well under such conditions with the rest of the groups ranged attacks mopping up what was left of the rest as they clambered over the newly created barrier...

Editors Note - Apparently the FM's plan was to have the horde gradually push us back making for a nice dramatic fighting retreat scenario where we'd gradually get the upper hand and the 'table-flip' plan was something he hadn't counted on. But it was a good plan so he just accepted it and moved on, lol.

The bodies seemed to exclusively be made up of the houses serving staff...

We were then left with two open doors to investigate. One led to two sets of ladders with an up and a down option and the second led to a boiler room. We decided to look at the boiler room first...and discovered that the master of the house and the rest of the family had been discarded in the room. A thorough check of the bodies revealed an ornate clockwork key but it's use was a mystery as it didn't match any door or lock we'd encountered so far and we'd explored pretty much everywhere...well almost everywhere...


We also then discussed the possibility of using Ron's engineering and explosives knowledge to utilise the boiler room to destroy the house just before we left as it seemed like a place worthy of destruction...of course we hadn't finished exploring everywhere yet so "we'll think about it a bit..." became the consensus on that plan.

We Need a Volunteer.
The 'down' ladder mentioned earlier seemed to lead somewhere smelly, dark and narrow...before Cornelius could do another disappearing trick we nominated him to climb down the ladder and investigate. Apparently not all sewers have walkways along the side and this ones ladder led straight into the effluvia...as Cornelius discovered. At least we now had a possible alternate exit route should we become desperate...really desperate...

Did You Hear That?
While Cornelius was cleaning himself up a noise was heard from the direction of the ladder leading up. The 'up' ladder was significantly larger and obviously in regular use with a large entrance at the top from which night sky was visible. Being closest Ron clambered up the ladder first to investigate. He emerged into a fenced off garden area containing some kind of enclosed section and could hear a strange chanting coming from it and being already committed to the investigation he steamrollered through the door...


Revealed there was a strange individual wearing the significantly modified outfit of who was once seemingly a household butler surrounded by strange symbols and magical paraphernalia seemingly on the verge of casting a spell of some kind...before he could complete this foul ritual the process was interrupted by several hundred pounds of Ron barrelling into him, pinning him to the ground and then crushing most of his head and upper body with a pneumatic arm. The ever present background noise of barking dogs also stopped...

A brief search revealed amongst his makeshift robes a pouch containing several strange glowing stones. Upon holding one in his none augmented hand Ron's head began to fill with unusual sounds and voices so he switched it to his other hand and crushed it making the sounds promptly stop...The rest of us had arrived at this point and Verity pointed out that they seemed to by mystical in nature but never explained how she knew...

Editors Note - I have a feeling that this encounter with the master of the zombies was meant to take a bit longer than it actually did...and yes Ron just casually destroyed something worth hundreds of Guild Scrip**** but as we've no idea what a Soulstone actually looks like for real then I suppose he can be forgiven...Plus our employer had no idea how many there were anyway. It was later revealed to me by the FM that the butler had several magical tricks available to him but unfortunately Ron not bothering to stop at any point between hearing the noise and squishing the guy meaning he had no chance to utilise any of them, lol. I still have no idea of Verity's background other than what you know from session one's background info...

****Malifaux has it's own Guild approved currency...

Then having forgot the briefing we promptly re-investigated every room in the house looking for the treasure from the safe that Ron now had in his pocket...and yes it took a depressing amount of time for us to realise, lol. Fortunately this otherwise pointless additional search led us to the canines pens and the discovery that the previously fresh looking food was now obviously rotten, all the fresh flowers looked like they'd been dead for weeks and where the now deceased zombie-like dogs were lying all over the place. Additionally we discovered that this side of the house had an expensive looking steam powered transport of some kind parked outside which after some investigation by Ron we got working with the previously discovered clockwork key and made our escape.

Editors Note - Ron's background contains a whole host of useful skills amongst which is pneumatics and a host of engineering related knowledges but to be fair we had a clockwork cart and a clockwork key so I'm sure we'd have worked it out eventually.

Unfortunately being wanted fugitives makes your accommodation really expensive so we were to see a depressingly small amount of the profits...but that's a story for next time...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Mantic Games Newsletter

It's a Christmas newsletter from the guys and gals at Mantic Games.....

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Last Weekend of Shipping Before Christmas

We’re taking the Christmas Crazy Box and upping the level of insanity for the last weekend before Christmas!


Christmas Crazy Boxes are a random selection of goodies from across the Mantic range - everything from scenery to infantry, vehicles to DreadBall players. The ultimate bitz box, the Crazy Box is the best way to start your Mantic collection or expand any tabletop hobby - get your Mantic Christmas Crazy Box here.
The Christmas Crazy box comes in two flavours – Original or Sci-fi.

This weekend only, Ronnie will choose five boxes at random. These special boxes will be taken to INSANITY level and will receive something extra crazy – a very cool, exclusive item added to the box as an extra little Christmas present from us, with the big prize being a Limited Edition Hardback Deadzone Compendium worth £39.99/$64.99!

You've got until Midnight GMT 21st December to get your Crazy Box and be eligible for one of Ronnie's secret pressies.

That Special Something...

Earlier last year we put together the Deadzone Compendium, compiling the main rulebook, Deadzone: Incursion, Contagion and Nexus Psi together and producing them in a beautiful foiled leather hardback book.


We printed a limited number for our Kickstarter backers, overshooting a little so we had enough to fulfill backers.

We have a small number of these book remaining - the last of their kind - and those are now available to order from the website in strictly limited quantities.

Containing all of the rules for Deadzone in one convenient place, a Deadzone Compendium is highly limited - there will only ever be one print run of this book - making it a little part of Mantic History.

The Deadzone Compendium also includes additional content that has never been printed before, including the Containment Protocols Short Story Collection (which can be purchased digitally at Mantic Digital) and Designer Notes.

Treat someone special and get them this epic tome here.

Merry Christmas!

The Mantic Team

Forge World Newsletter #435

I become increasingly tempted to start a Mechanicum army...the potential cost is somewhat terrifying though...


Relentless and indefatigable in battle, Tech-thralls will advance into the most ferocious enemy onslaught without fear, an army of the alive-yet-dead puppeted by the magos who command them. Theirs is a fate suffered by those who have failed their Mechanicum overlords in some way, their consciousness and memory overridden and their bodies converted through basic augmetics and cranial surgery, so that they are still considered human, but are no longer capable of independent thought or action.
On the battlefield, Tech-thralls are formed into Covenants, utilising numerical superiority and weight of firepower. Their dull response to injury, capacity for adaptation and relative ease of replacement seeing them used as expendable foot soldiers for the armies of the Machine God.
Mechanicum Tech-thralls with Laslocks and Tech-thralls with Mitralocks are now available in sets of 10 for £35.00 each. These are multi-part resin kits available to order for immediate dispatch.

There is still time to order for Christmas! Midnight (GMT) on Friday 19th December is the Christmas ordering deadline for Standard Delivery for the UK. So, if you live in the UK and still have some Forge World Christmas presents to purchase, visit the Forge World website and place your order NOW. For the UK, after Midnight (GMT) on Friday 19th December we cannot guarantee Standard Delivery before Christmas, although we will try our very very best to make it happen, and we’re sure Royal Mail will do the same. For full details on Christmas ordering deadlines, please refer to the above table. We are currently receiving a large volume of orders, but our Production and Warehouse teams are working hard and are keeping up with demand!

If you're still undecided on which amazing Forge World models and books you'd like to buy for Christmas, have a look at our New Stuff section or our Christmas Gift Ideas or our Stocking Filler ideas for some last minute inspiration.  Or, head over to the 
Forge World website to have a look at EVERYTHING!

For all of your Christmas ordering and shipping needs, the Forge World Customer Service team are standing by to help. Please give us a call! Our opening hours are 0930 to 1800 (GMT) Mon to Fri and 0930 to 1700 (GMT) on Saturday. Call us on...
0115 9004995 within the UK
011 44 115 900 4995 from USA and Canada
00 44 115 900 4995 from Europe and the Rest of the World

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Guest Unboxing - Hoffmans 'Of Metal and Flesh'

Another guest unboxing article with pictures courtesy of Rb Man and a little cropping and organisation from me. I'd also like to yet again thank those of you who support this blog with pictures of new products while I'm waiting for mine to cross the ocean...

...now if I can just persuade Wyrd games, Mantic Games, Knight Models, Raging Heroes and the rest to send me free stuff to unbox, lol.

As he didn't take a picture of the box I used one of Wyrd Games's stock ones...


C Hoffman Crew - Sprues


 C Hoffman Crew - Stat Cards

Hoffman - Assembled and Comparison Picture



Mechanical Attendant - Assembled and Comparison Picture


Guardian - Assembled and Comparison Picture



Hunters 1 and 2 - Assembled and Comparison Picture


Rb Man also uses my 'red circle equals tricky bit' system..and as the circle surrounds some tiny tubes...



Watcher - Assembled and Comparison Picture





A Group Picture.

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.
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