The 3 Types of Gamer – Age Based Review

22/02/2010

Sorry – it’s been a while since the last post and even longer since one with pictures.  However you’ll still have to wait for the pictures – but why they come you will get to see the start of my allies squads for the Tale of _ Gamers.

Today I want to talk about the differences in hobbyists – using myself as an example.  I want to point out at this early stage that these are MY opinions and definitely bunch lots of people into a very small number of groups and in many cases there are exceptions to the rule!

The Young

Young gamers (up to 16) are normally only interested in the look of the basic models and playing games.  When I say the look of the basic models I mean how all the models look out of the box.  They will, more often than not, have next to no patience with modelling and painting, preferring to spend their time on crazy conversions and playing game after game.  When playing the games they will often forget the rules or actively bend (break) them to their own advantage.  In England this can be seen at almost all GW stores, where the parents have gone shopping for the day and left their kids in what is essentially a free child care centre.

I was definitely like this – I will even post one of my early models recently found to prove the painting bit.  I remember crude and inappropriate weapon swaps and attempts at Chaos corruption – which in hindsight were rubbish.  Finally I remember playing lots of games – whilst I never cheated or bent the rules plenty of other kids doing exactly that.

Tweens

16-30 – my age group.  Typically these have matured to the level that they are interested in painting, mild conversions and simple modelling – also enjoying the gaming side of the hobby.  They want to push themselves to the limits with regards their modelling and painting skills, generally producing far better results than when they were younger.   Games often break down into more of a narrative feel and are played in a competitive manner with good sportsmanship, and when sat around with other Tweens they will often refer to the huge amount of fluff including the Black Library books that fatten out the hobby and enrich the gaming universe.

Veterans

Veterans have been there and seen it all.  They are similar to the Tweens but have far more patience and are interested in some of the more obscure parts of the hobby.  Rather than making an army (like the Young) and including some relevant hand made objective markers (like the Tweens – often based on literature) they will go the whole hog and have army based terrain.

The Veterans are the ones that answer the questions in the store, resolve gaming queries and advise on painting and modelling. 

Anyone who read my post on Getting Kids Involved will know that I favour the Veterans and Tweens to socialize with and to hang out with in (and out of) the stores.  It is important to note however that this progression really does make for a well rounded community with many people being involved for decades and getting pretty deep in the hobby. 

As for now I will continue to strive to improve my painting, read my books and create themed forces to go out and continue protecting humanity (crusading is kind of hard when being attacked constantly from all sides).  Who knows – one day I may even be considered as a Veteran, giving wise advice to mould young gamers into the Tweens and Veterans of tomorrow.

As an end to this post I would like to thank all those (Tweens and Vets alike) that have helped me improve with my hobby and I hope that one of my articles in the future (or past) will be able to help someone in a similar way.

So – what do you guys think, am I missing any big generalised group of players?  Are my definitions/explanations flawed?


A Tale of _ Gamers – Rules

17/02/2010

Right, here are the draft ‘rules’ for the Tale of _ Gamers.  These can be bent – but any rule bending should be requested prior to posting.

  • No bad language in your blogs – following the FTW line on this.
  • No models that are already painted AND shown on your blog (undercoat is an exception).
  • All models to fit in with your fluff.
  • 1 unit MUST be from a different force – but fit in with yours (to promote different painting techniques).
  • All posts to be submitted by the 1st Tuesday of the Month and linked to the other blogs by the friday.
  • Points per task to be announced with task (with point reduction for late posts).
  • Tasks will include tutorials, making/painting objectives, conversions and battle reports.
  • Some elements will have votes – polls to be posted on all blogs (where possible) with visible scores to allow me to add the votes up.
  • The prize to the winner is – nothing really, so we’ll call it Eternal Glory as the winner of the Tale of _ Gamers!

Any comments or suggestions?  The tasks are being finalised at the moment and will be posted by the end of the weekend (and e-mailed to those who have shown interest!


Product Review – Cadian Kits

15/02/2010

Here’s a brief review on the kits i’ve had a fiddle with:

Infantry

The kit comes with 2×2 sprues allowing you to make a squad of 10 Cadian Infantry.  The sprues have 10 lasguns with arms, 2 each of granade launcher, flamer and melta with arms, 2 las pistols and chainswords, 10 bodies, 10 legs, 2 vox packs, 10 sets of webbing (pouches) and 10 sets of grenades.

My initial view was that there was limited scope for making the little guys – my feelings now is that there is a lot of scope if you have lots of kits – with only 1 kit I feel that the squad lacks coherency.  My preference would be to have a squad with all bayonets and another without – maybe this is in the pipelines as my squad looks a little thrown together due to the limited parts in the kit.  I feel that either having 8 each of the lasguns with bayonets and without would be better – or even cutting down to 4 lasguns with a bayonet part would allow that bit more customisation (strange as it would have less parts in the kit).

My problem was that I’m thinking of the kit as a unit – with IG this isn’t how it works.  As each squad is so cheap (points wise) you will never have only 1 squad of infantry.  At £12 for 10 guys the box is also relatively well priced when compared to other armies.  Buy 4 boxes and you will have 40 troopers with enough variety to make (me or you) happy.

Command Squad

The command squad has enough parts to make 5 infantry command miniatures (banner bearer, medic, commander, Sergeant and special weapons trooper or vox).  It has 5 different legs, 4 ‘normal’ bodies and 3 ‘special’ bodies, lots of heads, 2 banners, all the special weapons, vox and lots of ‘bits’.

So far I’ve made my commander and banner bearer – both of which I think look great.  My favourite part of the banners is that there are 2 – and one isn’t obviously Cadian (hence it is the one I picked).  The parts allow for some great variation, in fact with 10 of these kits I recon I could make 50 clearly unique models.  Value is a bit lower ass the kit is £15, but the extra parts will make the infantry kit more flexible.

Joint Kits

As with the Space Marines range the value comes when you kit bash – and whilst there is less variation than with marine kits I still think you can make enough cool models for an army.  The kits are also very easy to put together – some space marine kits (Devastators) can be hard to piece together properly with the Heavy Bolter parts being the worst.

All in all I think the models are pretty cool and I can really see why it’s often considered as a beginners army – and from what I’ve seen online I can also see the potential for making it a converters dream with some of the coolest models being from the ranks of the Imperial Guard.  Heavy Weapons are the next product review.

IG players- do you find the kits limiting or do you find them easy to convert?


The Allies Are Coming – 40k Allies

12/02/2010

I’ve been assembling my allies and wondered what you guys think of how I plan on using (counting) them.

There is constant net-debate about ‘counts as’ and how some people will not allow count as units (which seems crazy to me so long as it is obvious).

I plan on including Blood Angel Terminators, Space Wolf Wolfguard and a Marines Malevolent wheeled heavy weapons platform to name but a few.  The Terminators are straight forward as they are fine in the codex.  The Wolfguard I want to use as Vanguard and the heavy weapons platform as a Thunderfire Cannon.

We’ll start with the Wolfguard – I’m planning on making them look really unique and cool, weapon wise this includes Thunderhammers, Powerfists, Frost Axes, Plasma Pistols, Powerweapons, Lightning Claws etc – which fits with the Vanguard entry (Frost Weapons changed for Relic Blades and the bearer being the Sergeant).  Can anyone see any issues with this?

The Heavy Weapons Platform is a very exciting conversion (for me) as it will allow me to finally use my remaining bike bits (the others are lost in the warp).  BUT it will not look like a Thuderfire Cannon.  Taken from the Salamander literature I can see no issue with this.  However the ‘no counts as’ camp may not allow it to be played – what do you guys think?

I think that if a model looks cool and fits into a codex description then it should be allowed to be used as a ‘counts as’ model.  There are limits, I’m not going to make some tyranid warriors and sat they are meant to be terminators – and I’m also not going to alter rules to say my weapons platform is a rapid fire weapon with 20 shots all with blast markers.

What do you guys feel about the whole ‘counts as’ debate?  What are your limits?


Product Review – Maxmini Heads

10/02/2010

Well, they arrived yesterday so it’s time for my first product review.

When I got into work yesterday after a site visit a little padded envelope was sat on my desk to welcome me.  The pieces were all together in one sealed blister inside the envelope.  Packaging and delivery were given top marks.

When I took the heads out I had a very nice surprise – 2 extras.  I don’t know if this is similar to the bakers dozen method or if it was due to bad counting – it still made me happy.  What made me really happy though was the quality of the heads.  The designs are reasonably simple but really do give a great alternative to the Space Marine Heads – further they would look great on Empire or Bretonian knights or on Chaos Marines or Warriors – they also look like they’d fit in with some of the other gaming systems.

Typically the heads have very few casting lines, but they do have some cleaning up to be done around the protruding details such as the respirator bits and some of the cabling – this shouldn’t take long though.  The last thing I want to comment on with these heads is that I’m definitely going to wash them before using them – just incase there is any release agent left on it.

All in all I’m very impressed with these heads, getting 20 (typical) heads for about £10 may seem like a lot, but they really give some variation to the force and they also are pretty cheap when compared to ‘beakie’ and ‘maximus’ heads from Bits and kits – who I will do a review on in the next few weeks.

Anyone else had any experience with Maxmini or know of any cool alternative heads?


Current Plastic Boxsets 2 – Cadian Colourscheme

08/02/2010

I take it back – having now seen the command and heavy weapon sprue’s I think that they are pretty good.  It’s not a complete U-turn as I think that the Space Marine kits are still far better, it’s more that I have enough to play with to hopefully make some cool models.

The heavy weapons kit has a ridiculous amount of spare bits to use for some objectives.  I’m thinking of getting 2 kits and using them to make 2 groups of 3 of the same heavy weapons – probably mortars and autocannons as they’re not in the Space Marine lists.  The others will be used for objective markers, city fighting markers and some conversions on some e-bayed vehicles in the distant future.

The allies squad will probably be a command squad, 2 infantry squads and 2 heavy weapon squads.  This should allow me some pretty good variety of troops.

Compared to the Space Marines the Cadians seem pretty easy to make and paint so I hope to be turning them around far quicker.  I still need to pick a scheme for an IG unit from Ultramar to compliment the Ultramarines without being far too similar.

My other allies will be Space Wolves (the new kits are great), Blood Angels (it’d be such a shame to alter the Space Hulk models) and Marines Malevolent.  I don’t really want the IG to be seen as linked with these so all grey, red and black and yellow and black seem to be out.  I’m thinking of grey cloth and blue armour (very Ultramarine) but really want to come up with a nice colour scheme – maybe ice camouflage is the way to go?

What do you think about the plastic kits for kit-bashing?  Any suggestions on colour schemes?


Current Plastic Boxsets

06/02/2010

As a Space Marine modeller, painter and (fledgling) player I have been cutting up and sticking together bits and pieces from a reasonably large range of kits to make a collection of models that (I feel) is individual and well conceived.

I enjoy to lay out a number of frames (tactical, assault, devastator) mix in some more specialist pieces (command squad, commander, chapter specific upgrades) and throw in some ‘unique’ individual castings (ordered online from bitsandkits.co.uk, e-bay and the cool heads I had in my last article).  But others are simply not as lucky.  I’ve split my post in to 2 sections – the first my rant – the second an example.

1.  Anyone who has followed this blog knows about my ideas for the ‘Tale of _ Gamers’ that will start soon – and that I intend on adding a number of allies to my army.  Today I went to buy some models that will be one of those squads and upon pulling out the plastic I was – well – not amazed.  Buying a squad of Cadians to act as my Ultramar Imperial Guard Allies seemed like a great idea – and still is by any accounts.  Flicking through the plastic sprues of parts however made me realise how luck Space Marine players are.

The Cadian frame includes 5 bodies, 5 legs, 6 (i think) heads, 6 lasguns, 2 special weapons, laspistol and CCW, pouches, granade arm and a few more bits.  To many this may sound like a huge amount of options – to a Space Marine players this screams limitations.

You may be confused up to this point but let me explain – ALL Space Marine sprue’s have bits that can be used on other models – and this is only untrue for the majority of terminator parts.  This allows me to build each standard Space Marine from loads of different parts.  For the Cadians they have only 3 kits – Infantry, Heavy Weapons and Command.  This means that the Emporors Finest (SM’s) who are very limited in number can all be individual, the huge swarms of infantry that is the Imperial Guard will have huge amounts of repetition in even smaller armies.

To finish off this rant and moan I’d like to point out that I still think I could make 75+ unique Cadian models – though my imagination may strain – which is awesome for Allies, I just feel sorry for them when they have 100’s of infantry models – I think I could fiddle with my marines for ever.

2.  My (current) favourite model may be a Marines Malevolent or may be an Ultramarine – either way he’s been pieced together with care.  Running Assault Marine legs, Tactical body, Heavy Bolter arms and weapon from the Devastators kit – from memory I can’t remember where the head is from but I think it is Black Templar, Dark Angel or a metal head (maybe from Deathwatch).  I think it looks amazing and can’t wait til it’s all painted up – this is not really possible with most of the other ranges.

What do you think?  Who is the luckiest of them all and who is bottom of the pile?  I thought that the Dark Eldar kit was brilliant but with all the other kit upgrades are they now the worst off?