Saturday, March 23, 2013

Inquisitor giveaway

Muninn's Brush is giving away a delightful 40K Grey Knight Inquisitor with a combi-weapon.

Read all about the steps you need to take to enter the giveaway here. I don't play 40K any more, but I sure wouldn't mind having this cybered-up soul in my collection.

Here's the actual unpainted mini:

So for all who enter, good luck!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The latest in my largely uninformed opinions

There's a lot going on in the gaming world right now, and lots and lots of electronic ink is being spilled on various sides of multiple issues. In the off-the-cuff, top-of-the-head, shoot-from-the-hip kind of coverage you've come to expect here at Dispatches from the Rim, I am going to give you my feelings on some of these issues.

-- Games Workshop is curtailing Internet sales of its minis except in its own online store. In North America, its trade account policies are spreading from the U.S. to Canada. At least, that's what the documents seem to be saying. I haven't worked in retail in years, and I was never at the "dealing with trade accounts" level anyway. Their policies seem pretty draconian to me, and I wonder if their short-term gain is going to hurt them in the long run.

Because of these changes, MiniWargaming has decided to close its online store. This makes me sad, but I was not a customer of theirs. They are running a big closeout sale, so that might be worth looking into. I'm sure others are contemplating similar actions, so I wish these shopkeepers well in their deliberations and decisions.

-- Another closure I just learned of was Dastardly Designed Games, which was until recently The Armchair General, makers of the steampunk wargame When the Navy Walked and the hilarious skirmish game It Came From Beyond the Still, also known as Aliens vs. Hillbillies. Owner Robert Adams stated on the various company blogs that, because of a lack of customer interest, the game company will close. The two new books he had in the pipeline for ICFBTS will appear on Wargame Vault as pdfs and print-on-demand products. I'm glad of that, as ICFBTS III is "From Reel to Real," which brings the world of B-movies into the game.

I'll be sad to see this game no longer being developed, as Robert has a great imagination. He says he's likely to keep the blog going, and I hope he does.

-- Google Reader is being shut down. This sucks. I love Google Reader and use it all day, every day. Let me know if you've found a good replacement RSS aggregator. I just hope this doesn't mean Blogger is next. Guess it's time to learn how to use tumblr.

-- Now the good news: Ed the Two-Hour Wargames guy has added two 28mm minis to his store. These are ones I've wanted practically FOREVER, and I've been bugging him about at last one of them for YEARS. Longtime fans of THW will be familiar with Carolee, the THW girl. She was the "poster girl" for THW and had some very attractive poses in a sexy black outfit carrying a sighted pistol. She also appears as an NPC on a special card in the Risks and Rewards game aid deck for All Things Zombie.

Ed's long sold a 15mm version of Carolee, but now a 28mm version, sculpted by Richard Deasey,  is available. He's also made available an older Patrick Keith mini, which was called Trixi the Recovery Agent. The Trixi mini previously played the part of Suzi in the THW gameplay examples. So she's available again, in the THW store. (Trixie was also one of the "relic" rewards in Patrick's recent kickstarter for his Bombshell Babes.)

Here are the painted versions on the THW store site.

-- Just heard today that Kevin Adams, lord king sculptor of all things gobliny and orcy, was seriously injured in a knife attack Wednesday by three men when they invaded his home to rob it. They demanded jewelry, according to the website of the Nottingham Post, and Kevin suffered "significant injuries to his face and a cut to his shoulder," from what is presumed to be a kitchen knife. Police were still seeking witnesses to the late-afternoon incident. An Apple iMac computer was stolen during the incident, the report says.

Ian Brumby at Fenris Games has been doing a great job of keeping everyone up to date on this (he provided the above link as well), and he and others are looking to produce new minis, sell some of Kevin's sculpts, or outright just make donations to help Kevin with the expenses of his recovery. More manufacturers are banding together in this cause as events go on, so I would say check with Ian for the latest and how you can help.

James Herbert
Rick Hautala

-- RIP: The horror world lost some notable lights this week, authors James Herbert and Rick Hautala. They were 69 and 64 years old, respectively.

More as it occurs to me, folks. Also, again this week, there was no "welcoming Wednesday" post because, even though readership is slowly increasing, we're holding steady at 38 official followers of the blog. So thanks, everybody, for keeping it real, making it fun, and for keeping it real fun for me to share this hobby with all of you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Heading back to Spinespur

I really like the game Spinespur from Comfy Chair Games, because it is OFF THE CHAIN. It is absolutely INSANE. If you can imagine it in the darkest cockles of your twisted little heart, it will fit right into Spinespur. Serial killers, degraded angels, religious maniacs with tech powered by sin, a dark church led by the Anti-Pope, in a place that is all its own, a dark reflection of blighted urban cityscapes and exploited rural farmland, a vaulted mad-science Asylum and so many other dark, twisted visions that you'll positively salivate at the thought of it.

I wanted to hold off on doing this post until I'd re-read my rulebook, but I can't put my hands on it. So I'm going ahead because people need to be reminded that Spinespur is out there and is the subject of a current Kickstarter. You can pledge to a level that will get you an exclusive hardcover version of the rulebook (yeah!) and all the models for an agenda in the game. Add-ons include corpse tokens, character cards and previously released Spinespur models at discounted prices.

I had a chance to chat with Bob Mervine, head of Comfy Chair Games and creator of Spinespur, about what else we're going to see as the game develops. He assures me that the first book, Threshold, set the stage, but that the next book, Covenant, "is going to get the stage BLOODY!"

I asked Bob what the future holds for Spinespur. In addition to the new book, we'll see new models for each of the current agendas: the Dark Faith, the Institution, the Men of G.O.D. and the Slaughterhouse. We'll also have new agendas for existing models: Carnalvale (Mr. Jingles), the Wilds (the Cerebeast), the Graveyard (the Caretaker and the Grave Golem), the Orphans (Amy Brighteyes) and the Church of Metal (Sex Star Six).

Bob also said that, while fulfillment is slated for November, if there are no production delays he hopes to have the models and the game accoutrement ready before that. He's working on a gameplay animation for the KS website and has announced he's hired a digital sculptor who should have renders of some more of the forthcoming models before the pledge period ends.

He's also got Patrick Keith (of Bombshell Miniatures fame, which had quite a successful "Babes" kickstarter in its own right) sculpting the female Nightengales and the female figure for the Shattered, and Tim Prow will be sculpting the new Pigstickers, which will feature three, not two, in the blister, for the same price.

If you're a fan of horror, dark fantasy or gore and want a game with near infinite flexibility in how you build your tabletop force, you must try Spinespur.

A Man of G.O.D. advances across two corpse tokens.
In Spinespur, the fallen don't disappear; you get to LOOT THEIR BODIES
If backers will pledge just $500 more to the campaign, we'll reach the first and most important Stretch Goal: the pdf of the STREET CHUM beta rules, which is the campaign system for Spinespur, and an imposing-looking mini that will be free to anyone who pledges $38 or more. It's a bulky figure wielding a chainsaw, but the rounded silhouette of his head makes me think it's someone new and not Pigskin or Hack. It almost look like he's wearing a diver's helmet, like that creepy Scooby Doo ghost!

(Just heard from Bob at Comfy Chair and I was right! He's a figure that you can use as a Chainsaw Thug, a Boss Thug in the Street Chum rules, or a "Make Your Own Character" in rules that will be released in the second Spinespur book. And Bob is letting me reveal him here in my blog! Feast your eyes, people.)

For those of you out there who are zombie gamers (not zombies who game but who play games involving zombies, just so we're clear), Spinespur has them too. In its way. Which is dark, sick and twisted. And cool and innovative and brilliant.

There are the Torn, who are reanimated dead of the enemies of the Anti-Pope. Knowing they are now compelled to fight on behalf of the Dark Faith, these victims often try to tear their new bodies apart with their own hands.

There are also the Little Ones and the Composites, creations of mad genius Doc Akron. Little Ones are insidious and devious monsters created from the bodies of small people. They are reanimated corpses, flesh golems, a la Frankenstein's Monster, at about one-third the size. The Composites are cannon fodder for the battles in Spinespur, assembled from leftover pieces in a haphazard fashion and rushed back to the fray.

And keep in mind, these minis I'm showing you above (except our diving-helmeted chainsaw thug) are the ones that are AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW. The Kickstarter, my friends, is to create the last few minis that are needed to finish up those whose rules are included in the first book. There's a pledge level as well if you just want the new stuff. Those models look like this:

So get out there and throw your support behind Spinespur. The nightmares you'll have, and create, will be entirely worth it!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Welcoming Wednesday

Today we welcome Sean, who maintains his own blog at Sean's Wargames Corner. I love the blog's subtitle: "Rum, bloggery and the lash!"

We also welcome Iron Mammoth to our ranks. David Drage runs Iron Mammoth Studio and has recently launched a(nother) blog that is relevant to my interestsSteampunk Miniatures Review will undoubtedly, as it grows, contain more and more invaluable information shared by this figure designer and sculptor. Welcome, sir. It's an honor.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Now appearing at ToaTS

My writing is now appearing at multiple places on the Web. In addition to my ravings rantings writings appearing here, I now have a piece about steampunk at Hendybadger's site, Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher. (The link takes you straight to my article.)

Ian suffered a computer meltdown a little while ago, and he lost some of the pieces he had set up for future publication. He put out a general call for articles to fill the resulting void, and I responded with the above-mentioned piece.

It's about why I love the genre for gaming (and in other media), and it runs through many of the 28mm figures in current release or on their way, replete with photos and links and praises and descriptions, oh my!

I want to thank Ian for both publishing the piece and for his tireless efforts to spread knowledge about this hobby we all love. In the interest of full disclosure, and especially for those who are mutual friends of ours on Facebook, I must confess that I am the Official Stalker™ of his wife, the lovely Galley Wench. That I am able to do so from a continent away is testament to both my dedication and Coleen's sheer force of personality.

(And yes, this is what I mentioned the other day that I knew was coming but didn't want to jinx before it actually appeared on the Interwebz, for those of you keeping score.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Addressing concerns, voiced and unvoiced

Someone raised a valid point over on the Lead Adventure Forum, where I'd posted a link to my last blog entry, "Courting Disaster." He or she contrasted that post with the issues I revealed in my earlier blog entry, "Confession to make," regarding my struggles with hoarding. The writer seemed confused by my apparent disregard for my recovery and the good advice and support I've received from fellow gamers here on my blog and at sites I frequent like LAF.

If one person is brave enough to raise the issue with me, then it's a good indicator that others are thinking it, too, so I wanted to share here what I wrote in response to that post on LAF:

Yes, I see I am not the only one snowed under by the quality of current and upcoming releases, which I need because of reasons.

@bezzo: You appear to have misconstrued the tone of the current post, which is with tongue firmly in cheek, and the nature of my mental malfunction described in the earlier post. My hoarding is not gaming-centric. I of course suffer from "Ooh, shiny" syndrome, wanting the latest and prettiest toys, but the reach of hoarding is so much greater. It involves keeping and being unable to discard items OF NO INTRINSIC VALUE. Used disposable items like old paper plates or clogged razors become part of the detritus covering the surfaces of a hoarder's home, and our bad programming means trying to get rid of them fills us with a paralyzing anxiety. Things that others can clearly see are garbage become necessary to our feelings of safety and security. The issues for which I posited in my new post, for humorous effect, that my wife would want to discipline me (heh heh) are FINANCIAL in nature, not related to new items entering our home. But thank you for your concern. I am indeed grateful for the interest, advice, efforts and outreach of my many good friends here at Lead Adventure Forum (and other Internet watering holes.) As I try to cope with and correct my behavior, it is that support that gives me strength. I won't be abandoning my hobby, though, because it is from there that I derive a portion of the enjoyment that makes up a satisfactory quality of life.
I hope that addresses any concerns one might have, especially if anyone feels slighted and thinks I've disregarded their advice. Far from it, but dealing with problems like this is a marathon, not a sprint, and the overlap between my acquisition of gaming goodies and my hoarding is minor at best.

Again, thank you all for your continued love and support. You people are the best damn friends a man could ask for, and I am grateful for each and every one of you. All my best to you.

Courting disaster

I am indeed courting disaster, ladies and gentlemen, because when my wife finds out how many Kickstarters I've pledged to right now, she is going to beat me within an inch of my miserable life.

Not that I'm not into that, mind you.

But dear God, why do there have to be so many good things going on right now in the minis world?

I managed to keep myself restrained with the recently wrapped-up Mythos Foundry project, plumping only for the set of H.P. himself and Sonia Greene.

Now there is, of course, the Empire of the Dead: Requiem Kickstarter, the Hell Dorado: Inferno expansion, and the relaunch of Spinespur!

Let's just say that the IRS better have my tax refund to me before these things start funding in about three weeks or I'm going to have to learn to paint minis with broken fingers and one eye swollen shut.

(Actually I plan to sell off some more of the Lead Mountain to fund my KS support, so watch this space for announcements of when I'm putting things up on eBay. Mostly Warmachine and Hordes, but perhaps some old GW items as well.)

For Hell Dorado I'm trying to limit myself to the new rulebook, but the $100 Hell Gate level is a steal -- Inferno rulebook, character card deck, Core rulebook, two faction starters of your choice, a limited edition figurine and a signed art print. Most of the unlocked stretch goals for Hell Dorado are add-ons, but Hell Gate pledgers and above will get a free alternate or limited edition mini. I must say the Efrit warriors add-on for $15 is very tempting.

Spinespur is a twisted effin' modern skirmish game that I have long loved. I have a scattershot collection of minis for it, but I've decided to pledge for the Agenda starter level that gets you all the minis for 1 agenda in the game. I plan to get the Men of G.O.D., which is the group I have the fewest minis for yet, and I do just love those Fist of G.O.D. Minis. Men in Black with powerfists! Hot damn!

Spinespur is nearing its funding goal of $7,000 with 35 days to go. Stretch goals will start including free minis for those pledging $65 and above, so we need to get this pumped up to the $40,000 level. When that goal is reached, a set called the Chop Docs will become available for separate purchase. Lets just say they remind me of certain creations of Clive Barker that are associated with a certain puzzle box. OK, and a little of Rob Zombie's Dr. Satan from "House of 1,000 Corpses."

And my beloved EoTD: Requiem Kickstarter crossed the £50,000 mark, meaning that Red, Daughter of the Goddess, will be added free to pledgers at the £74 level and above. And rules for Lightning Jack will be added to the PDF of the rulebook.

The next stretch goal is another £5,000 away and will see the unlocking of the Brougham (Hackney Cab) Gentleman's Coach (available for an additional £20 to your pledge), the Steam Velocipede for £5, and the addition of the Order of the Dragon Rules to the PDF of the rulebook.

Still 24 days to go to get in on the Requiem goodness, folks!

And it's not like I don't have other minis out there I want to get. I had to miss out on the Dreadball kickstarter and I really want to get my mitts on some of those MVPs. Also, I haven't yet picked up any of the Dark Age CORE robots yet, and now the Kukulkani are in stores. Arrrgh! I'm only flesh and blood (and a little plastic and chrome and steel) but I'm certainly not made of money. What's that? I need to develop patience and self-restraint? OK, how long's that gonna take?