Monday, November 23, 2015

Get Your Heresy On!

Now that the Betrayal at Calth boxed set is out and plastic Horus Heresy miniatures are more affordable, many Space Wolves players have been busy converting these new plastic miniatures - and asking "How will Space Wolves play in the Horus Heresy?"

(Also, I wanted to share some photos of the amazing conversions that keep appearing on my Facebook feed.)

Well, if you're thinking about playing Horus Heresy, NOW is the time to start working on your Space Wolves army.

More of the Same

Because the majority of Space Marine Legion units are fairly similar, including the tanks, dreadnoughts and flyers, it's very safe to start collecting your Horus Heresy Space Wolves army right now.

Each Legion has its own special rules (think Space Marine Chapter traits made EXTREME) and a small selection of units and characters only available to them.

So EVERYONE gets access to the same core of units, such as Legion squads, Spartan Land Raiders, Fire Raptor Gunships, Sicaran Battle Tanks, Contemptor Dreadnoughts, etc.

If you want to start your Horus Heresy Space Wolves, I suggest building some of the core units that every Legion has access to.

Legion Squads, Terminator Squads and Contemptor Dreadnoughts - basically the Betrayal at Calth starter box, plus any of the vehicles.

Then you'll have plenty of units to form the core of your army before Leman Russ, Space Wolves special terminators, special elites and special characters are released.


Forge World is dealing with the range of miniatures in a uniform way.

No one is special.

Not even your Space Wolves.

So you'll get a Legion upgrade kit to make your MKIV Marines look 'wolfy'.

The you'll get Leman Russ, Space Wolves special terminators, special elites and special characters are released.

That's it!

It's not a lot.

So...with this in mind, we can address the need for minimal bling.

Rather than buy the Forge World Space Wolves upgrade kit many times, I would suggest buying a plastic Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolves boxed set and using the accessories to make your Horus Heresy marines 'wolfy'.

You get SO MANY accessories in this box - knives, wolf tails, cloaks, back banners, loads of bare heads and all kind of weapons.

Not to mention alternative torsos, back packs and hero harnesses (the extra armour that clips in front of the belt) which can be used to make your Legion squad Sergeants really stand out in style.

One last thing - Make sure you get 2 of the Betrayal at Calth Contemptor Dreadnoughts. Then you can give one of them 2 of the uber Assault Cannons and the other one 2 Powerfists.

So if you're sitting there pondering whether or not you really want to get in on the Horus Heresy action - Don't worry, you can jump right in with confidence and get your Heresy on!

To finish, here are some Horus Heresy Space Wolves I was working on back in 2009!

It's amusing to think that this simpler style of miniature (with far less bling) could become the standard for Horus Heresy Space Wolves.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How to Paint Battle Damage on 40k Vehicles Quickly

Painting vehicles can sometimes be difficult and very time consuming.  Here is a few quick tips and techniques for not only painting quickly but also getting a great battle damaged look to your Space Wolves vehicles.

Using this technique will also allow you to paint in phases of more and more detail, so the first step quick base coat technique is good enough to meet table top requirements of most organized events.

This tank simple has the metallic dry-brushing,  a layer of the blue and some red ascents.

All that's needed for this vehicle it the wings, this entire model was painted in one hobby night get together and used the next day for a game.

 Hope that helps and inspires you to go forward and paint those vehicles!

For Russ and the Allfather!

- Adam Russman

Monday, November 16, 2015

The REAL Reason Games Workshop Specialist Games Are Back

7:00 PM by Adam Smith · 8 comments
Games Workshop recently announced the return of the Specialist Games, including Necromunda, Bloodbowl, Epic and many more.

The online community rejoiced!

I became unbelievably excited about the promise of new plastic Necromunda miniatures...

Then thought about the REAL reasons behind "Good Guy" Games Workshop's strategic decisions.

  • Easy entry level for newcomers

  • Bring back old players

  • Stop losing customers to competitors

  • Whenever a wargamer gets sick of Games Workshop, they often declare that they are going to play a different game and embrace the 'good guy' practices of another company who offer support for their games and their community.

    No one ever seems to leave Games Workshop to go and play video games.
    They still have that wargaming itch that needs to be scratched.

    And that's where Games Workshop's competitors come in...

    Rise of the Competitors

    The death of Games Workshop's specialist games created competitors left right and centre.

    This is because smaller companies were able to fill the void left by these games and only needed to produce a small range of miniatures in order to do it. Such was the beauty of the Specialist Games. You only needed a team of 10 dudes, a handful of ships, or some tanks and a Titan to play.

    Necromunda > Infinity

    When I was in school (some 20 years ago!) a huge number of kids played Necromunda. All you needed was a gang, some makeshift scenery and you could play. It was cheap and cheerful wargaming at its finest. And it's lasted the test of time with my group of gaming buddies.

    When Infinity 3rd edition came along, I was drawn in by the beautiful miniatures. But mostly, I wanted to play a sci-fi skirmish game about a handful of blokes running around on a terrain cluttered table. Basically, all the things I'd really liked about Necromunda.

    Okay, I just wanted to play Necromunda.

    Infinity was hard as hell to get in to and deceptively expensive as well.

    It was not a case of buying a starter force and getting stuck in, because you needed to right combination of models for all manner of missions.

    Rules wise, I found it too involved and longed for something simpler.

    Mordheim > Malifaux

    I really like the setting of Malifaux, the game and the miniatures.

    However, in order to play competitively, you need more than just a starter box.

    You need lots more models.

    In the case of the Guild faction I was looking at, I would need 3 starter boxes to play a Lady Justice list properly.

    I chose to keep my time and money invested in 40K. Especially as I could easily convince my friends to actually play it.

    Battlefleet Gothic > Firestorm Armada

    I played a little bit of Battlefleet Gothic back in the day. I had a Chaos Cruiser list, because it was cheap, fun and effective to play.

    Blood Bowl > Dreadball

    Blood Bowl always looked like a lot of fun. Dreadball, not so much.

    Epic > Dropzone Commander

    Dropzone Commander took the concept of Epic a lot further with the addition of Drop Ships and made clever use of card buildings to occupy and hide in.

    It's as though they took the old Epic Space Marine stater box contents and made the game a lot better.

    With the rise in size of 40K games, as well as the inclusion of super heavies and flyers, Epic could actually lose out to Dropzone Commander.

    Warhammer Quest > Super Dungeon Explore

    The only reason I bought Super Dungeon Explore was because I missed playing Warhammer Quest.

    I played it with my buddies... and they would rather have been playing Warhammer Quest. Me too, as the Super Dungeon Explore rules were okay, but the game got tedious very quickly. Somehow Warhammer Quest never did, even though it was more complicated.

    Return of Specialist Games

    By bringing back Specialist Games, Games Workshop can create an effective 'catch net' to reduce the number of dissatisfied customers leaving them in favour of other games and manufacturers.

    If a customer feels priced out of Warhammer 40K, they would be more likely to go and play Necromunda, for example, which requires a cheaper buy in, than leaving Games Workshop entirely and starting Infinity by Corvus Belli.

    That's not to say that Games Workshop's games or miniatures are always superior to the alternatives.

    However, because the majority of people will have discovered the wargames hobby through Games Workshop, they would be less likely to defect if Games Workshop presents more affordable games to play which fill all niches.

    Cost effective customer retention

    Specialist Games are also very easy for Games Workshop to tie up and create a cost effective catch net.

    Let's take Blood Bowl as an example.

    Teams include: Orcs, Empire, High Elves, Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Undead, Chaos, Norse, Lizardmen, Halflings, Goblins, Skaven, Dwarfs, Stormcast.

    That's 14 plastic boxed sets. It would be easy to create an additional plastic boxed set of star players for each team, creating 28 boxes in total.

    Let's also take Necromunda as an example.

    Gangs include: Van Saar, Escher, Goliath, Orlock, Cawdor, Scavvies, Redemptionists, Pit Slaves, Spyrers, Ratskins.

    That's 10 plastic boxed sets. It would then be easy to create an additional plastic boxed set with 1 of each Hired Gun type. Then a plastic boxed set of Underhive Legends, which include all the named Characters. That's 12 boxed sets in total.

    Games Workshop can effectively 'wrap up' all of their Specialist Games with this sort of approach.

    They could add new miniatures if they needed to, but considering the sheer scale of the rest of their range, I can't see this being an issue.

    Similarly, Battlefleet Gothic ships could be sold in boxes of small fleets.

    This reduces the total number of units Games Workshop needs to move, wraps up the range very quickly and for any individual parts, the huge eBay market can fill in the gaps.

    After all, why should Games Workshop fret about the eBay market if the boxes were bought from them in bulk in the first place?

    Good Guy Games Workshop?

    Is all forgiven now that Games Workshop is making the Horus Heresy affordable and bringing back Specialist Games?

    The fundamental flaws in their business are still there - rules creep, soaring prices and the falling points costs of units.

    However, I do believe that Specialist Games will help to plug a hole that Games Workshop has been losing customers to competitors through.

    I've spent YEARS trying to get my wargaming buddies to play other games.

    But they're just not interested.

    Give them the Games Workshop equivalent however, and they'll gladly play it.

    So there's some food for though...

    In the meantime, I eagerly await some new Blood Bowl and Necromunda plastic miniatures! - Especially when I know I can easily find opponents to play these games.

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

    BRAND NEW - Betrayal at Calth Unboxing

    Hi Wolves,

    Just made my excuses and ran from my girlfriend so that I could pick up my pre-ordered Betrayal at Calth and have a look at what's inside! This article is just going to be a quick overview of what you get with front and back pictures of all the sprues and a look at all the other bits and bobs. I will do a more in depth look during the week and hopefully get a few models built and converted for you to peruse :)

    The Box opened

    The characters Captain Aethon and Kurtha Sedd

    The contemptor dreadnought Sor Gharax

    The terminators

    And the Tactical Marines - you get 3 each of these Sprues (6 pictures for front and back of each)

    The Transfers sheet

    The instructions for building the models - just the front cover

    The bases for completeness

    The dice and cards for the game

    The front and back of the sealed tiles (I didn't want to get them out and muck them up just yet)

    The Rulebook cover

    And some choice pages of content

    Plus back pages advertisement for forgeworld!

    PHEW! That's a lot of photos for you guys to digest! Enjoy them and try not to order too many of the boxes yourself! As you can see the sprues and the entire boxset are of an extremely high quality and I cannot wait to start clipping these sprues and putting the models together. 

    I will try and get a few of the models put together in the coming week for you to have a look at, but I may be a bit swamped by work.

    Peace out,


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