A Tale of _ Gamers – Call to Arms


As you may know I’m looking at a similar thing to the GW tale of 4 gamers and I’m putting out a call across the warp for any interested in joining me for the call to arms!

The basics can be found here but I want to expand upon this now that I’ve had some response to my plan.

  • 1 unit per month for your force (be it a 10 man SM tactical squad, 5 Eldar jet bikes or a Tau devilfish)
  • the models can’t be painted and on show in your blog prior to the start
  • models can be built and primed already – in your backlog of painting
  • monthly units to be specifically designed as a force be it allies to your existing force or a brand new force (for example I’m looking at producing a ‘stand alone’ allies force that will be part of my Ultramarines – this force will have HQ, Elite, Troop, Fast Attack and Heavy units as per the standard force organisation charts)
  • fluff forces encouraged, such as IG allies for SM forces, Daemons for CSM – ask if you have a query
  • all units to be posted on the same day at the same time (or as close as possible) say 3rd Monday of each month at 1pm GMT
  • each monthly post to be linked to the other members main post – weekly updates can be linked at your own discretion
  • to run for 12 months

I also want it to be swayed by comments and for some ‘cool bits’ to be added in like objective markers and battle reports – but we’ll come to that later.

If you want to join in post a comment stating your blog (and e-mail if its not on your blog) or e-mail me at ultrasmurf.blog@hotmail.com – if you don’t have a blog contact me and I’ll either help you set one up or maybe you can send me the pics and text and I’ll post it on here.

I’m hoping to start this in February – so sign up!


Motor Pool – WIP


Here is a brief look at my current motor pool (all need finishing):


Rhino 1:

Land Raider Redeemer:


Other Vehicles:  Rhino, Razorback, Land Raider, Land Speeder and Land Speeder Storm

I started with a foot slogging army, then picked up a rhino with some troops on e-bay, found my old predator and converted it into a rhino and now have a pretty mechanised list.

I love the looks of all the vehicles which is why I want them in my list – do you guys love the looks of vehicles or do you play them for their tactical merits?

A Tale of _ Gamers – Offer Open to All Bloggers


A tale of 4 gamers was a great set of articles shown in White Dwarf (it’s happened twice now, but I liked the latest version).

I’m looking at a similar thing and I’m putting out a call across the warp for any interested in joining me for the call to arms!

The idea is to make, paint and photograph an army that will be updated regularly on our blogs (with links to each other so that any readers can jump between blogs to see the progress of all joining in).  By painting a combat squad or vehicle a fortnight (or week depending who joins in) this should be manageable.  No miniatures that are currently painted and on your site can count (primed models can count).  I’m planning on using this as a chance to get all those cool things into my army that I’ve always wanted like allies (IG from Ultramar) and some Marines Malevolent.

Do I have any takers for this scheme – or will it be the lonely tale of 1?

Getting Kids Involved in the Hobby (FTW Post)


Borrowed from 'christopherdale' at flickr - removed if requested

Ron over at From the Warp asked other bloggers to suggest ways of ‘getting kids involved in the hobby’ and it is one if his collaborative post questions.  The following are my suggestions – the final sections are my view on what needs to be focussed on locally to me.     

A little background – I started playing 40k and Fantasy back in the early 1990’s, whilst it wasn’t cool it was ‘acceptable’ for my age group.  At secondary school there was briefly a club but by the age of 14 it wasn’t considered that cool thing to do – but i persevered with a reduced pool of gaming friends.  Whilst the staff of GW stores are great with younger members they often go slightly too far (in my opinion) and can add to other kids into believe that the store, models, games and brand are childish and not ‘cool’.     

  • Attitude – I don’t care if this doesn’t help bringing kids into the hobby, it helps with the hobby overall.  The staff should promote (and demonstrate) a mature look at the game.  Yes the miniatures are awesome.  Yes painting is harder than it looks.  Yes people disagree about the rules.  However if these are discussed with respect, no bad language and in a mature manner all will benefit.  (I believe that this will also lift some GW stores from over catering for young members and remove the store staff from the ‘un-cool’ section of the hobby).
  • Long Term Commitment – Stores should promote long term commitment to their customers, the best way I’ve heard of is an escalation league with relatively small steps in army building.  This will allow young members to grow an army at a sensible rate, after all buying, prepping, building, (converting,) and painting models should not be rushed.  Most importantly they still get their games in.
  • Program – Stores can have weekends set out to help young members Saturday morning for prepping and building models, Sunday morning for painting models and afternoons for playing.  Again promoting the hobby as a whole rather than just the gaming aspect.
  • Competitions – Best painted miniature, best painted squad, best painted 750 or 1,000 point force, best fictional literature, best art piece, best background knowledge and best army list.  All these competitions promote other aspects rather than gaming.
  • Gaming – Gaming is great.  No screaming and shouting, no swearing, no running around, no touching others models, no throwing terrain etc.  Discuss the rules, use the staff to answer queries, always bring the rules you require (rule book and codex).  This should lead to friendly games.  Staff should promote good sportsmanship in the players.
  • Clubs – school clubs or local clubs to do all the above.

This list above may seem a little strict, but discipline in the community will lead to more people enjoying it.  For example From the Warp has a no swearing policy for the blog’s it links to – allowing for kid acceptable spaces that have no pointless swearing and aggressive arguing (just normal debating).  Taking this a step further (but still in the same line of thought) respect should be given when responding to things, if someones paint job is terrible it is rude to say that, but it is really helpful to say ‘that’s a not bad, but you may want to….(thin paint, highlight etc).     

Now, stepping away from the main question and into my question – ‘what needs to be focussed on locally to me?’     

My local club has an over 18’s night on Tuesdays, an on some of the nights I made the trek over there they were great, on others they had kids (I assume just over 18) swearing, shouting at each other, insulting each others army lists and painting etc.  A little more maturity would have limited the swearing and shouting and led to well natured debates over army lists, some great painting advice and lots of friendly banter.     

I feel that (locally to me) what is needed is an enforcing of respect to other players and respect the the store rules of no swearing and shouting to allow other customers (me in particular in this instance) to really enjoy myself.     

What is it like in your local store?  Is a lack of respect and maturity a world wide issue in gaming?

40k Rules – A newbie’s view


With regards to the game I’m a bit of a Veteran – my first set of rules was Rogue Trader, I’ve played Fantasy, Epic, Necromunda and Space Hulk and numerous computer games (Space Hulk was awesome).  With regards to actual gaming I’m new to it having missed out 3rd and 4th editions and getting back into the rules is a little hard.

Essentially I understand the rules but need some serious play testing and I’m planning on getting back into rolling the dice very soon.  I’m in two minds as how best to do this as I’m not particularly close to a gaming store or club (for England anyway).

  • Option 1 – Stick to a ‘local’ store, either Croydon or Kingston and go on their over 18’s night and Sundays
  • Option 2 – tour the ‘local’ clubs and stores including the London ones and have a bit of a cusade

I plan on posting battle reports on here once I get started but was wondering if anyone had some advice on option 1 or 2?


Book Review – Grey Knights by Ben Counter (The Grey Knights Omnibus)


I’m working my way through the Grey Knights Omnibus by Ben Counter.  Grey Knights is also the name of the first book in the series and refers to the name of the Space Marine Chapter that feature.

For those not in the know Grey Knights are considered as the elite of the elite, they are Space Marines with warding tattoos all over their bodies, all have a level of psychic ability, and better armour and weapons.  Whilst they are a Chapter in their own right (Chapter 666) they were created to act as Daemon hunters and act as the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus (Inquisition).

The story starts with a description of an ancient battle between the Grey Knights and a very powerful Daemon Prince, who is bannished back into the warp – killing the Grey Knights Hero.  Skip forward a few thousand years and rumour is that said Daemon Prince is making a comeback and the Inquisition wish to stop it.

There are a number of excellent characters in the book which are noted below:

  • Justicar Alaric – A free thinking Grey Knight marked for greatness
  • Justicar Tancred – Terminator Armour wearing warrior supremo – only ever beaten by Brother Captain Stern
  • Inquisitor Briseis Ligeia – Female Inquisitor with an amazing psychic ability with a bodyguard of assassins
  • Inquisitor Gholic Ren-Sar Valinov – Rogue Inquisitor
  • The Prince of a Thousand Faces – Daemon Prince, very, very powerful

As with Space Marine novels lately there are far more characters but to be honest they’re not anywhere near as important as the above so I’ll ignore them.

The story takes you from Titus (home-moon of the Grey Knights) to the Trail of St Evisser and back again (a few times).  The action is fast and hard hitting, the story has a number of (obvious) plot twists and the Character interaction is a bit stale.  But that’s not really the point of this book in my mind.  Fast paced action, additional information on the (relatively quiet and unheard of) Grey Knights and the flowing story more than make up for the Character interaction.

The story goes down hill for me in the last couple of chapters when our hero’s enter a tomb.  I know that this is Sci-fi, I know that the book is about Daemons – the last bit seems a little silly to me.

Don’t get me wrong, the Characters interact fine, it’s just that Grey Knights are relatively boring as they are so straight-laced.  I enjoyed the pace and the story line.  I would (and am) recommending others to read this book.  I just feel that the temple guardian was below par when compared to the rest of the characters.

If you’re interested in Space Marines start with Salamander.  If you want a great trilogy go with Ultramarines or Space Wolves.  If you want an epic or some Chaos (and you have a very long time) dive into the Horus Heresy Series.  If you’re interested in the Grey Knights read this book.  I’ll be continuing my reviews on books as I’ve read about 15 Space Marine books (and I’m still not bored).

What do you guys think about this book, am I being a tad harsh?

WIP – Painting Update


After my first miniature photography session I realised that my painting simply wasn’t good enough.  I was happy with a number of elements of my models but there was lots of work to do to bring them up to a standard that I would be happy with.

My test model is now almost complete (high-quality photographs don’t lie – and I can see a few minor alterations in the extreme highlighting that I want to correct) and I thought I’d post the before and after painting pictures.

The following 4 pictures show my test miniature next to his squadmate:

The two stage highlight makes the miniature look far better in the photographs – but to be honest in real life the additional quality it brings to the miniature is hard to see.  In fact when I asked my girlfriend which one looked better she very helpfully said the old un-highlighted one.  Her opinion will rarely be seeked from now on when it comes to my miniatures!

What do you guys think, is highlighting worth the extra time and effort?  Any painting hints or tips would be greatly appreciated!