Thursday, 17 August 2017

Visit to Warhammer World - 5/08/2017

I thought I'd share some pictures from a recent trip to Warhammer World. These are mostly from the Exhibition Hall, which I would heartily recommend taking a look around.

I'm really lucky to live so close by, but generally I take that for granted, just popping in as if it was any other store. On Tuesday though I agreed to meet some friends and spend the day there doing some hobby, having lunch and taking another look around the exhibition hall.

The cabinets in the entrance usually have some cool things to take a look at. There's a couple of new dioramas, one of which was at Warhammer Fest. The display cabinets are full of cool looking Games Workshop and Forge World Miniatures too...

Always loved this guy, and the detail is still so crisp despite the model's age.

I'm about to paint a Deredeo so I was looking at this guys for inspiration.

The exhibits in the hall change regularly, and I tend to take a gander every six months or so, so that there's a couple of new things to see. Apart from the dioramas there are also a number of the Golden Demon winning entries from the events so far this year.

Hope you enjoyed these pictures and get round to visiting if you haven't already.

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Armies on Parade - Part 3

Let's keep the AoP momentum going! only around 10 weeks to go and I don't think it will be enough for me!

Over the weekend I gave my board a dunk in the bath (you have to wash everything from Forge World right?). Anyway, anyone who has tried to get a 2 foot x 2 foot board in a bath will know that I probably would have had more success getting my toddler in there. Unless you own a pool, this thing is not going in there! haha! I sort of washed half at a time. Anyway, that's done, so it' ready for modification now.

I also spent some time assembling the next 4 dreadnoughts in my army.

The Deredeo is actually fantastic. I never really liked the look of it but actually putting it together and posing it has given me a lot of love for it. I've assembled it in sub-assemblies to make sure it all gets undercoated, because not only is it large it also has a lot of hidden areas which would difficult to reach with a spray can or a brush later on.

I've stuck together 3 Contemptors too, two of which are the new Space Wolves variety. I've switched the shoulder pads on one (with the Death Guard Contemptor), posed them very differently and they will have different load outs, so within an army of ten they should hopefully look sufficiently different. The model is sweet though, the detail crisp. Well done Forge World.

The Furies of the Ancients army requires an Apothecary as a HQ choice, so I brought the Forge World Apothecary set and went about converting them both up. I'm not sure which one I prefer so I gave them both the same weapon load out so I can choose later.

Anyway, that's me this week. These guys are ready for undercoating so that will be my job between now and next week.

How are your AoP plans coming along?

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Shadow Wars: Necrons vs Eldar Vs Ad Mech: Part 2

In the last game we played in this campaign, a few weeks back, my Mechanicum managed to capture a Necron due and the Harlequin's squad leader!

So this mission we played a rescues mission, which is based on the 'Raid' scenario. I set up a sentry with the two captives, whilst the other guys could set up 8" from a random table edge.

Initially I was feeling outgunned, two gangs of Xenos coming for some revenge, but as Turn 2 kicked off, that all changed.

Firstly, the Necrons moved into range and my sentry sounded the alarm (they later killed him on Turn 3 for his audacity...). That's ok, I was expecting that. But then the Harlequins used their impressive running skills to rescue their operative, and their Death Jester decided he'd take pot shits at the Necrons! If ever there was a fragile truce...

Turn 3 came, the Harlequins were running back to their table edge. The Necrons captured their operative, and also used an impressive psychic trick to mind-control the Mechanicum sentry, using him to return fire at the sneaky Eldar, before putting him out of his misery.

Turn 4 and the Mechanicum reinforcements turn up, wondering what's happened to their sentry. Fearing the worst, they started taking shots at the retreating Necrons (the Eldar are way to fast to have even been seen in this whole scenario, able to move 12" inmost cases!), but failing to kill any. I must admit that the telescopic sights I brought came in handy, providing a 50" minimum range for any of my troops.

Turn 5 and the Eldar and Necrons are off the board, the Mechanicum wondering what happened to their man. I rolled to see what happened to him and it appears he was captured, or in this instance, mind-controlled to join the Necrons (to be fair, with all those bionics he probably doesn't realise they aren't Mechanicum....).

This game was much quicker than our previous games, with the shooting coming thick and fast from Turn 2 onwards. It was really enjoyable, fun to play and very fluffy.

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Armies on Parade - Part 2: Vidpui joins the fray

Well, Its real now, I'm doing Armies on Parade! Signed up in store and every thing!



It was just a bit of banter with Dave on twitter, a bit of friendly encouragement for him to do some painting and now has turned in to a full blown mission. We'd both joked on about winning a Golden Demon, or the Slayer Sword next year but as we were both considering AoP why not just go for it! Got to be in it to win it!

I've had my idea for my army for a while now, and winding commissions I finally have time to paint for myself. Also I might finally get to learn to play! I decided I wanted to go Stormcasts, mainly because if I didnt like them they should be easy to sell on lol so this is mainly what I've bought so far. It'll be around 2000pts. Might not be the greatest army, game wise, but its the units that I could afford.
I'd just painted the newly released vanguard paladors and loved the vanguard hunter models. I'm not a fan of basically big stealthy units in gold though and decided I wanted to them to be a dark colour. At the time I was commissioned to do an Iron Hands army, and after doing some test minis thought that it would look great on the stormcast! So they will have black armour but with hints of purples and greens and yellows. I'm thinking white and red as secondry colours. Snow bases to contrast and add to the theme.
Talking about the theme. Going slightly leftfield and non cannon, I'll be doing Cult of Ulric Stormcasts. So lots of snow, lots of fur and beards, lots of wolves! Count as Lord Aquilor and paladors will ride wolves, and for gryphhound Ill use Fenrisian wolves. Lots of work to do on the lord pictured below but you get the idea! Also hopefully to make up a quarter of the points a stardrake/wolfdragon...

Thats it for now. Lots of background and stuff to think about. Got some ideas for the board but nothing concrete yet. Hopefully next week you'll get to see some gryphwolfhounds!

@Vidpui on Twitter - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Monday, 7 August 2017

Space Wolves Wulfen Review

Since I typically collect a 30k Space Wolves army now, I never really had any intention of buying the Wulfen kit. But then Geigor Fell-hand was released and he has a really cool shoulder pad. I wanted more, with a squad of building a squad of Death Sworn in mind, but I didn't want to buy 10 Fell-hands on eBay. So, where to get them?
Image result for wulfen

Then I noticed that the Wulfen models also came with them. Could I justify spending £26 on a box just for the shoulder pads? Not really, so I've been umming and arring for months now.

Then I decided to take a closer look at the set, what else could I use those bits for?

There's ten of the shoulder pads that I wanted, so that's easily enough for a whole squad. Tick.

There's 5 large shields, which I can use with my Breacher squad. Tick.

There's 5 fancy backpacks, which are the same size as a normal fancy Space Wolves backpack (I thought they looked larger, but size comparison says otherwise). Tick.

There are a load of ornate weapons, which will be great or my Space Wolves Terminators to represent frost weapons. Tick.

The box is full of little extras like pelts and tails and runes which can be used elsewhere. Tick

As you can see, even if I never build the actual Wulfen models, there's a load of bits on there which I can use for my other squads. So in my mind, this is essentially an upgrade kit.

As for quality, the models are all highly detailed, with jam packed sprues, as you would expect from the newer kits. At some point maybe I'll model a couple of Wulfen and also play them as Deathsworn, but for now they'll probably reside in the bits box whilst I strip all these other goodies for the rest of my army.

What's your opinion of these guys?

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Friday, 4 August 2017

Armies on Parade - Part 1

This week sees the launch of my/our Armies on Parade Challenge.

Myself and a Twitter buddy Vidpui (@Vidpui) have decided that this year is the year to enter and that we'd challenge each other in order to make sure we actually go through with it.

The next couple of months will see a series of work in progress shots as we get our parade board and armies ready, and I'll kick that off here with my plans for the board....

I'm planning on buying a Forge World realm of battle board. I was initially going to build my own board, but when I started thinking about how much it would cost and how I would find the time, I decided to just buy a Forge World board instead.
Realm of Battle Imperial Strongpoint
Here's my planned layout for the Imperial Stronghold:

Technically I have an army I can put on there, but one of the prizes this year is for best theme, so I am hoping to get the other half of my dreadnought army built and painted and go with a 'Fury of the Ancients' theme.

Every year I say I want to enter, and I never get round to it because I haven't 'finished' my army, or I don't have a board. Well this year is where those excuses stop and I'm going to enter it. And to that effect, Vidpui and I will maintain these blog posts right up to and including Parade Day, but I'm also going to call out a couple of other people who said they'd enter too, so you can go and see how their plans are progressing (and keep them focused! lol)

Rich (@Jangalak), from Four Dads of the Apocalypse. Rich and I are in the middle of a 30k Wolves vs Fists campaign and to spice it up have said that if either of us get a trophy on Parade Day, we win 2 command points to spend in the finale

Gav (@AlchemistsWorks) from Alchemists Workshops. We're not playing a campaign, but he's got some good looking Ravens that need to be entered into this...

Chris (@ChrisFrosin) from, well from Chris. My newest gaming buddy who has come back to the hobby in a big way. I think he's planning a Necrons-themed board for his new 40k Army. I'm currently playing a Shadow Wars campaign with Chris.

In the not to distant future Vid will give you the lowdown on his post, until then, let us know what your plans are if you're entering.

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Needy Cat Games Interview

This week I have another exciting interview for you to sink your eyes into.

James M Hewitt, former maestro of Games Workshop's Specialist Brands (and responsible for some of the most fun I've had in the last 18 months with games like Betrayal at Calth, Blood Bowl and the Silver Tower boxed games...), recently decided to go it alone and started Needy Cat Games based here in Nottingham (proving once again that my home town really is a hub of creativity).

James kindly agreed to an interview so that we can find out what his future plans are for Need Cat...

Where'd the name come from for your new adventure? Or do we need to ask?...

I’ve always dreamed of starting up my own indie games studio (apparently that’s what this is called!), and for years I’ve been coming up with name ideas. I think the name of a publisher or studio is really important, and it has to fit a few criteria. It has to be memorable, it has to be google-friendly (calling yourself “the games company” isn’t going to help you stand out in searches!) and it helps if it says something about the business.

At this point, I’ll introduce our cat, Helo. He is a right whiny lump of a creature, and never more so than when we’re trying to play a board game. He’s always trying to get on the board, knock pieces over, and generally make it obvious that the silly humans need to stop what they’re doing and give him some attention, right now. One time when this happened, I joked that if I ever started a games company I’d call it Needy Cat Games… and as soon as I said it, I realised it was probably the best idea I’d come up with.

Everyone I’ve mentioned it to at networking events and workshops (I’ve been getting very professional indeed, I’ll have you know) has remarked on the fact that it stands out, so I think it ticks the ‘memorable’ box. Googling “Needy Cat Games” only takes you to one site, so that’s another tick. And I hope it gives the sense that we’re a light-hearted company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If nothing else, anyone who’s ever tried playing a game in the same room as a cat with probably be able to empathise!

How's it going so far?

So far, so good! Although I’m eventually planning to release my own games, I’m starting off by doing some freelance game design for other companies. Unfortunately I can’t say much more than that on the subject, for contractual reasons, but I’ve got a packed schedule for the next three months, and there’s already more on the horizon. In short, it’s off to a great start! I’m trying my best to stay focussed, though, and not get complacent – the majority of small start-ups die in their first year, and I don’t want to be one of them.

How did you family take it when you decided to start Needy Cat?

They’ve all been incredibly supportive! Many of them (including my partner, Sophie) have been nudging me towards doing this for a few years now, and when I made it public knowledge I actually got a few phone calls from family members telling me it was the best idea I’d ever had, which was really nice! I’ve never been afraid of putting the hours in, and my attitude from day one has been “if I can’t get the work I want, I’ll do whatever I can get”. When we first moved to Nottingham about six years ago, it was a real leap of faith – neither of us had jobs lined up, but we knew it was the right move to make. We both did temp work for a couple of months until we found more permanent work, and I know that in a pinch I could go back to that. I’m not saying I relish the thought of data entry or week-long admin jobs, but I’ll do whatever… and I think that’s put everyone’s mind at ease with regards to this venture. My own included!

It's still early days, do you feel a bit 'home sick' after working at Games Workshop?

I really miss the people, and the environment, I won’t lie! I spent the last year in the Forge World studio, which is a real melting-pot of incredibly talented people, so you can imagine the kind of bizarre conversations that happened on a daily basis. At the minute I only have the cats to talk to, and they’re way less entertaining.

Also, I miss being part of a team – but that’s entirely my own fault, isn’t it? When Games Workshop launched the Specialist Brands studio, it was myself, Andy Hoare (our manager) and Chris Drew (our sculptor). We stuck together through thick and thin, worked our socks off and had a great time doing it.

On the plus side, I’m still in touch with everyone there. Loads of us are big board game fans, so I imagine a few gaming nights will be happening! Also, several people in the office play airsoft on a regular basis, and they’ve tempted me along a couple of times, so there are plenty of chances for us to keep in touch.

What plans have you got for Needy Cat? Are there any particular types of projects you really want to work on?
Mainly, I’m looking to move more into board games than miniatures games. This mainly comes from my own gaming preferences at the minute; with a toddler and a busy life in general, I find it really hard to set aside time for painting armies! For the past couple of years I’ve been playing a lot more board games, as it’s so much easier to find the time for something you can take off the shelf and be playing in ten minutes. Also, the board games industry is in a really exciting place right now. There are new games coming out at an astounding rate, and the standard has never been higher. There’s so much innovation, too – I truly believe that there’s a board game for everyone out there. I’ve already got two or three games half-written, which I’ve been tinkering with for the past couple of years, so my very vague plan is to refine them, test them like crazy and get at least one of them released within the next twelve months. Fingers crossed, eh?

What's currently on your hobby desk?

At the minute, it’s been converted to my work desk! That means there aren’t any models, but there’s a PC, a printer, more sheets of paper than I care to admit, and it looks like someone hijacked a stationery supply van. When I get a chance, though, I’m halfway through painting an Old West Lawmen posse (Black Scorpion miniatures do a lovely range, and I’m looking forward to their upcoming skirmish game Tombstone), and I really do need to get around to finishing my Blood Bowl Orcs. I’ve had them for over a year now…

Has your toddler shown an interest in gaming yet? (I had a good game of 'Genestealers go for a picnic' the other day with mine, roll a six and they got a sandwich...)

That sounds delightful! She’s a little bit young at the minute – she’s mainly interested in bashing things together (or hitting me with them, more likely) – but when she’s a bit older I can’t wait to introduce her to this weird world we inhabit. There are so many resources and opportunities out there these days for parents who want to play games with their kids, and I’m really excited. Can’t wait!

Why do you think people, and indeed the younger generations, still like board games and table top war games?

I think there are loads of reasons. Video games, apps and other screen-related things are great, don’t get me wrong, but I think people are always going to crave a social experience, and table top gaming is a great way to achieve that. Video games used to give more of an opportunity for socialising in-person, but as they’ve become more complex and local multiplayer is more and more rare, people are keen to try other things. I’ve got several friends who used to spend evenings crowded around a pair of TVs playing 8-player Halo 2, but these days they’re utter board game fanatics. I think the two are linked!

Also, the variety of games has expanded so much. When I was in my teens, if you wanted to get into table top gaming, there was quite a barrier. Compare Warhammer 40,000 second edition, which was where a lot of people my age got started, to the new edition. Back then, if you wanted to get started you had to buy a big box, then you had to create an army from mostly lead (later pewter) miniatures, which weren’t cheap. You had to build them with superglue, paint them with a fairly limited paint range that wasn’t always formulated that well (reds and yellows, oh my)… and then they’d chip almost as soon as you started using them. You had to suspend your disbelief a bit, too, because most of the figures were mono-pose and you’d get entire units of identical models! You then had to get your codex, and the Dark Millennium expansion if you wanted to use the full rules… and then you had to learn those rules, which look a long time.

Coming in as a non-hobbyist, you could absolutely be turned off by that unless you were a very specific sort of person. These days, you can walk into a shop, be faced with a huge selection of multi-part plastic kits (which are more forgiving to build and don’t have the chipping problem), pick a couple that you like and be playing the game within an hour of putting them together. It’s so easy! I think this is Games Workshop following the trend of the industry as a whole, where across the board you can see accessible ‘gateway games’ springing up in ever-increasing numbers.

I’ve been to several social gatherings over the past five years where a game like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens gets pulled out halfway through the night, and everyone has a great time. Between this, and the number of web series out there (Critical Role, Tabletop, etc.) that are introducing table top games to non-gamers, the whole hobby is normalising. It’s not seen as anywhere near as geeky as it used to be, and more people are feeling better about being more geeky.

In short, it’s a golden age we’re living in! Hooray for that.

Sum up your ambitions for Need Cat Games in 4 words
That’s not easy! Maybe “Make games, have fun”?  

Sounds good to me!

Many thanks to Mr Hewitt! Very enlightening and full of inspiration. James is available for hire, and can provide services in table top game design, copywriting and design consultancy. Check out what's on offer at - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent