The Shell Case does Salute – Neil

Salute 2014

As the 12th April comes ever closer and the prospect of another day filled with nothing but the sights, sounds and smells of the UK’s best all-round gaming show (and with the recent trend with Games Day, arguably just the outright best) fills our every waking thought (especially Mat’s – it’s his first time and he’s really quite excited), the members of The Shell Case team attending Salute this year (sorry Ashley, next time maybe?) have taken time to reflect on their hopes and expectations for Salute 2014.

And now to Neil to wax lyrical:

Neil

So it’s that time of year once again and with just over a week to go, I couldn’t be more excited about Salute 2014… that is unless I was Mat, but first times are always more special. Last year was great and so this will be a tough act to follow, but as always Salute has attracted a lot of great companies and I’m sure it will be awesome.

That said, this time last year I had just fallen hard harder than is comfortable for Dreadball and as a result a lot of my day was spent looking at all the brand new and mega exciting stuff that Mantic had to offer me, nearly emptying my bank account in the process. This year however, unlike Rob, for the first time ever I am going to Salute with no real plan at all. For the first time in a long time I am really not in need of anything major for any of my armies, and although there are some great games out there, I am tight and I’m yet to come across a new game that is getting me hot and hard enough to part with my cash. However with all the great new stuff companies usually bring I’m pretty sure that will very quickly change.

There are however a few things that will definitely be on my to do list;

1. Just enjoy spending the day with the rest of The Shell Case guys and the chaps. It’s sickening I know but a day with them is always a laugh.

2. Hopefully meet some of you at the #warmongers gathering and checking out some of your best buys.

3. I always have room for a new Dreadball MVP or 3, and maybe a new team. One using season 3 rules would be very cool.

4. With all the shiny around, I’m sure it will be almost impossible to resist buying at least one new game. I have been toying with Malifaux and In Her Majesty’s Name from Osprey.

Once I am there, I will suddenly find a million extra awesome but unnecessary things to buy to add to my Orks, Prussians or Banebrood. So, you know, it’ll be Salute.

Godslayer Banebrood – A Review

GodslayerAs I’ve been all about the science fiction recently I thought I’d (briefly) turn my attention to the fantasy realms of Godslayer, the fantasy skirmish game from Megalith Games.

Specifically I’m looking at the bestial might of the Banebrood. Regular readers will remember that I took a look at the Banebrood Reavers back in December so it seemed only right to give the main starter set a shakedown.

The Banebrood are a complex society of twisted, lost, creatures. They are driven by an engrained need to wreak terrible violence on the world. They have no interest in conquest beyond subjugation and murder. They simply want to watch the world burn.

starterbox_banebroodIn the box you get a Gorelord (who’s massive), a Pestbringer (who’s massive) and four  Maldire Mongrels (who vary in size but are still pretty big).

Whereas the Reavers were men driven to savagery, the beasts of the starter set are savages driven to excess. The expressions on each of the Banebrood is a mixture of mindless blood lust and crazed pleasure. The malice and determination is etched into every crease and facet of their heads. And the fact that the sculptors managed to convey all that whilst wrapping the features in matted fur and leather straps.

Aside from the obvious shagginess one would expect from beastmen type…er…beasties, the balance between the low cunning weapon design and ragged clothing, leather strapping and crude armour does a brilliant job of saying that these furry bastards are more than just beasts. That they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re going to bring all kinds of hurt on you and yours.

I also love the varying look of the brood. The influences are between myths, modern cultural references like Pans Labyrinth,  and a dozen other sources. The result is something familiar to those long immersed in wargaming and fantasy but still something refreshing and unique. And hints at a species and society rather than the bland and faceless hordes that ‘just appeared one day from the magical place’.

The individual contrast amongst the Banebrood is probably the most interesting thing. The Gorelord is a hulking bastard of a brute with all the shiniest toys and best armour. The Pestbringer is smaller and whilst taller than the Mongrels he’s physically comparable but  still covered in baubles and his flail means business. Not to say the Mongrels don’t. They’re pretty bad ass and the irregular appearance of them is just awesome.

The quality of the models is superb. I couldn’t spot any mould lines and considering the top part of the heads on most of the models are separate the small bit of flash is entirely excusable and fits well. Sure any spear cast in metal is always gonna bend in the box but I can’t blame the model for that. I do wish Megalith Would look at resin or rastic for that reason alone.

In the game the Banebrood are absolute monsters. Not because they’re stats are excessive, although they’re still pretty tasty, but because the upgrades and special rules are horrid. They get bonuses to their already high defence because they’re wily, goat legged buggers who leap about. Infectious Bite, Bloodlust, Horror, are personal favourites on the special rule front and the ability to wield two great weapons is harsh. Oh and there’s disease options… It adds up to a force that chases brutality with biological warfare and the result is a faction that could give the Troglodytes a run for their money in the face kicking stakes. I’m starting to regret my decision to collect Mortans because they’re so very very squishy in comparison.

Throw in high Melee – especially the Gorelord – strong defence and a healthy number of actions and they’re scary. Very scary. Interestingly, though, the edge the Banebrood gives you isn’t the obvious physical ones. It’s the Pestbringer. And his ability to host and spread plagues. Which are all…gross. And stuff. The really nice touch is that the plagues aren’t a straight forward ‘roll a dice or your dead’ but a short shopping list of damage, special statuses or physical effects which, if timed correctly, can tip the balance of the game. Add in the ability for the Pestbringer to pass contagion on to Mongrels and formations for larger games begin to form. A couple of Pestbringers, loitering behind Mongrels, passing on bubonic plague and the like is a very useful ability. The point less movement, which I originally thought was bullshit now makes complete sense as it can spread some plague then get stuck in itself.

The Banebrood are a far more intriguing force than I first gave credit for. I’ve always liked the models but I kind of assumed that I wouldn’t be missing out on much when it came to actually using them. I expected a cavorting blunt instrument of a faction. I was wrong. Whilst the agility special rules does suggest a degree of cavorting, the emphasis is much more on the disease riddled manginess of the creatures. I’ve been struck by the sneaky streak the faction possesses whihc is far more tactically minded than I at first realised. The Banebrood, despite their outward appearance, are really rather tasty.

The Banebrood start box set is available from Firestorm Games priced £33.08.

Godslayer Banebrood Reavers – A Review

GodslayerFollowing on from my review of the Troglodyte starter set for Godslayer by Megalith Games, I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on some of the new Banebrood Reavers. Because I’m just that lucky. And I nag the guys at Megalith. A lot. But they’re good sports and let me have a few ahead of release.

Banebrood_ReaverTribesmen

The Banebrood, just so everyone’s on the same page, are, well, savages. A civilisation, if the term can be used, of bestial creatures and twisted men all of whom would be very much at home in the annals of myth and horror. Maybe Pans Labyrinth. Only scarier. When I first stumbled across Godslayer I was struck by how interested I was in all the factions/forces/armies/whatever. The Banebrood starter set looked like they were lifted from the pages of Greek myth. Which is cool. But the contrast between them and the Reavers just goes to show the effort Megalith went to in designing the force.

Whereas the Gorelord and Mongrels are little more than animals, the Reavers are mere shadows of men. They are the legend of Norse raiders taken to an absolute and uncompromising extreme. Cannibals and barbarians to a man, they descend upon their foes and quite literally tear them limb from limb…then sit down to a spot of lunch. If any shred of humanity still exists within these monsters it is buried beneath derangement, brutality and an insatiable hunger. Which is nice.

The models kind of remind me a bit of Chaos Marauders, only dynamic and not a bit crap. They also have a twist of Lord of the Rings about them, which is no bad thing, and the wizard from Monty Python’s: Quest for the Holy Grail…

monty-python-and-the-holy-grail-6Which isn’t bad, just funny…

As I’ve come to expect from Godslayer, the level of detail is very good and the casting excellent. Me mindful of the axes hafts though, they are a little on the thin side and therefore bendy. And therefore breaky. Also the lack of variety with the poses will make painting them, I suspect, a tad wearing. But that’s the limitations of metal models and one we should all be use to by now. The leader clutching the heart is way cool though.

But the models are almost irrelevant because if you field Banebrood you’d use 2 pence coins with angry faces drawn on them if it meant your opponent would let you use Reavers. Because they’re bloody horrid. Yes, all right, they’re called Reavers so I shouldn’t be so surprised.

But between a respectable Melee of 5, and a Defense of 13 the Reavers aren’t too shabby on the fisty cuffs front. But what really makes them entertaining is the fact that they have the option of mobbing their opponent and sitting down to dinner. Which is brutal. And if that weren’t nasty enough they also get to regain lifepoints (wounds) thanks to the very useful sub-faction special rule called Heart Drinker. Which is nasty. And on top of that they get to juice their stats a bit with the Mob Mayhem special rule. Which isn’t the best named rule ever, but the result is very handy.

It all adds up to making them bloody hard to kill. When you consider, also, how hard they are to wound in the first place, and their ability for inserting axes in to places, the Reavers rather seem like a must have option for the Banebrood. The rub of course is that they’re not the cheapest models in the world but you do get 10 awesome looking metal blokes for the money rather than plastic or any such material.

The Reaver Tribesman box is available (currently to pre-order) from Firestorm Games priced £41.36.

 

New Godslayer Previews

GodslayerTitle copy

I love Megalith. I love them because they created Godslayer and I love them because they’re releasing some truly awesome stuff…

First up – Sons of War. They’re by all accounts warriors without peer, which I’m kinda getting the impression of from the render below. I think it’s safe to assume they’re going to exhibit Spartan levels of badassery. That’s the ancient Spartans, not the ones from Halo.

SonsOfWar_Render

Then there’s the Banebrood Cyclops which is big, ugly and looks like he’s robbed Granny’s favourite ornament…

Cyclops_Render

And finally here’s some videos of the Mortan’s Cataclysm Catapult. In a word…WANT!