Tiny Worlds Previews Tank Traps

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Those excellent chaps at Tiny Worlds have sent me a preview of their soon to be released Tank Traps. I’d almost hazard to say this is a world exclusive. Go team!

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I’m a big fan of Tiny Worlds because they produce an excellent product at an incredibly good value price. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing their barricade sets and like the barricades, the tank traps will be available in shiny new, slightly knackered and completely buggered and are, like the barriers, cleverly designed to fit in with just about any modern or sci-fi wargame you care to shake a stick at. Available to buy in a week or two they’ll come in sets of 5 and I cannot wait.

 

Forge World to release Ferrus Manus

Prepare, sons of Iron, you’re about to get a raging hobby on. For £55 you could own Ferrus Manus, primarch of the Iron Hands Legion. He’s not quite what I imagined but he still looks pretty bad ass. And combined with Fulgrim even more so. The armour is incredible and the backpack baffling. The nice thing is that the arms and hammer – the two most iconic part of the primarch haven’t been over done. They detailed and in proportion with the rest of the model but with some nice touches in there all the same. I suspect he’ll be available at Games Day so I’m sure the Forge World stand will be even more rammed than normal.

Feast your eyes on the snaps and at the bottom is a vid from Forge World talking about how the model came into being. Enjoy…

 
 
 
 
 
 

Firestorm Armada Second Edition

After a very long wait and no shortage of pissing and moaning I’m pleased to announce that the start of Spartan Games’ second edition rules are starting to come out.

First up is Firestorm Armada. Although the game that needs it the least, it suits me as it’ll serve as a motivator to paint my Terran Fleet. All the information is lifted from the Spartan Games website, including the images. It all sounds rather interesting and providing they sort out their truly woeful layout issues and their obsession with making words bold for no obvious reason we may well be on to a winner…

RANGED COMBAT

As you would expect, Ranged Combat still forms the meat of the Firestorm Armada game, and its core principles remain very similar to the existing system.

However, we have added various layers to Ranged Combat with two central aims in mind: to further differentiate between the warring Races of the Firestorm Galaxy and to increase the tactical options available to players during the heat of battle.

These ‘layers’ include:

Different Weapons Systems

We have expanded out the current Primary weapons class to encompass different Weapons Systems, including Kinetic Weapons such as the high energy Dindrenzi Rail Guns, Beam Weapons like Aquan laser systems and Nuclear Weapons such as the infamous ‘Decimator Warheads’ used by the Terran Alliance.

These Weapons Systems can be used in conjunction to gain bonuses, for example focused Beam Weapon attacks are better at bypassing enemy shields. This gives a greater range of tactical flexibility; players will need to use the right weapons at the right time to overwhelm their opponent’s defences. Furthermore, as each race has a predisposition for particular Weapon Systems, it instantly gives every race its own distinct feel on the tabletop.

Targeted Strikes

We have also given players the option to make ‘Targeted Strikes’. Declared when a Squadron makes an attack, this allows you to target particular areas of an enemy ship, in the hope of taking a specific system offline.

Again, this adds tactical nuance to the game, as you use Targeted Strikes to set up favourable situations. A Strike against an enemy Battleship’s defences could take out its Point Defence, leaving it vulnerable for a crippling Torpedo volley. An attack directed at a fleeing vessel’s engines could leave it drifting whilst your ships close in for the kill.

BOARDING ASSAULTS

Given the vast distances involved (and the hard vacuum of space!) characterising Boarding Assaults without losing the hard sci-fi vision prevalent in Firestorm Armada is quite a challenge. However, the image of elite marines or deadly boarding robots stalking enemy ships and sowing havoc amongst their crew is far too evocative to abandon.

As such, we have kept the Boarding Assault system streamlined so as not to bog down a game which is primarily focussed on big ships with big guns. We have also made Boarding difficult, but potentially very rewarding. This is to encourage players to use their varied tactical options, such as ‘Targeted Strikes’, to set up a successful boarding action that can cause heavy damage.

The principle with the new system is that your boarding teams will be heading for a particular area of the huge enemy vessel, aiming to knock out certain systems whilst they disrupt the enemy crew as much as possible.

TACTICAL MANOEUVRES

Squadrons now have the option to perform special ‘Tactical Manoeuvres’ when they activate. The idea being that ships can divert power from certain areas in order to boost up a particular system. For example, a vessel might be able to deactivate its Weapons Systems in order to gain a sudden burst of speed, or it might drain its engines to reinforce its Shields against an incoming attack.

FLIGHTS or SHORT RANGED SPACECRAFT

Flights, now referred to as Short Ranged Spacecraft (‘SRS’ for short) have also undergone some changes.

The primary aim here was to keep these craft a fun and effective tool, whilst boosting the role of the Carriers that bring them to battle. With this in mind, SRS are now kept orbiting their carriers until they are able to dart out in an ‘Attack Run’ against an exposed enemy vessel. This emphasises the need to get your Carriers in to the fight, so that their attendant SRS are in place to attack when the opportunity arises.

TACTICAL ABILITY CARDS

Replacing the existing Game Cards are a set of ‘Tactical Ability Cards’. These are special ‘orders’ that your Fleet Admiral and their bridge crew can give, to provide your fleet with certain bonuses.

Rather than drawing from a random deck each turn, you will be able to select a number of Tactical Ability Cards before a battle commences, which you can then employ at crucial moments throughout the game. This gives an extra level of pre-planning, and allows you to tailor your special abilities to the sort of fleet you like to play.

TERRAIN

The role of Terrain within Firestorm Armada has also been expanded, to include more varied effects and increase the impact that the battlefield has on the game being played.

Whilst the majority of space is an empty void, there is relatively little to be gained by fighting over a vacuum! As such, we see most space battles taking place ‘in system’, around space stations and asteroid fields and near objectives that are worth committing vast resources to capture.

In turn this will make your games of Firestorm Armada more varied and engaging. You will need to plan your tactics to take advantage of asteroid cover, gain slingshot speed boosts from planetoids and avoid particle clouds that can disrupt your communications networks.

FLEET BUILDING

The way that Fleets are constructed has been altered to make the process quicker and easier, without invalidating your existing Fleet builds.

On top of this, we have also put more flexibility into the models’ Statistics Profiles, in the form of ‘Upgrades’ and ‘Hardpoints’.

Many models will have access to particular Upgrades; additional special rules that a Squadron can purchase which will increase their points cost but make them better suited to a particular battlefield role.

The larger models in your Fleet will also have a number of Hardpoints that they can fill. These will allow you to tailor these models to suit your play style – allowing you to create a tougher Battleship to soak up enemy fire, an assault oriented Dreadnought with increased boarding potential or a faster Carrier that can quickly deliver your Short Range Spacecraft to the fight.

VICTORY CONDITIONS

The existing ‘Orders’ system is being replaced with a rounded set of Scenarios. This should help to make your games even more varied and exciting, and continually present you with new challenges to overcome.

To coincide with this we have introduced the idea of a ‘Battle Log’. This is an easy way to track the progress of a battle, and various effects will kick in as the Battle starts to swing one way and the enemy’s morale begins to crumble.

SUMMARY

As you can see, we’ve made a number of exciting enhancements to Version 2.0 of Firestorm Armada. We have aimed to maintain the simple and easy to pick up nature of the current game, whilst adding even more sci-fi flavour and tactical flexibility. The core elements of the game (i.e. moving your spaceships and firing their weapons) should remain very familiar to current Firestorm Armada players, but the additional layers we have added will keep your games fresh and exciting.

Firefly Online

And the prayers of a grateful generation of Browncoats have been answered. Well, short of getting a new show anyway. Firefly online was announced at San Diego ComicCon (really need to go to that one year) with this launch trailer. It’s a little rough around the edges but with a year until release there’s plenty of time to make it shiny. Sorry, couldn’t help myself…

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Expected to be initially just on smartphones and tablets, it may not be the true open experience we have with other MMORPGs but it’s a good start.

Check out the site and register here.

Firefly Online Announcement Trailer

 

Space Hulk Video Game News

Well, news to me at any rate…

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You may remember back in December I posted the announcement trailer of yet another Space Hulk video game. I was quite unkind about it. And for good reason as the track record for the Space Hulk video game franchise is not a good one. And, to be honest, looking at what Full Control has punted out these last few years I’m not coloured impressed. This could be me being overly critical of the mobile games market. I could have my standards set too high. But maybe they should be set high as the whole point of having something as sophisticated as a smartphone with an HD screen in my pocket is that shit should look good on it.

But on to Space Hulk. As it has been a while since I heard anything about the game I thought I’d do some scouting about to see if there was any news. Aside from this screen grab below there wasn’t really anything coming from Full Control themselves.

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To be fair, it looks a lot better than I thought it would. But that’s not saying much. If the game was nothing more, upon download, than a photograph of a semen stained serviette with a Blood Angels terminator drawn on it in Biro, it would have been better than I expected. Harsh? Yes. But only because I’m bored with video games companies thinking they know how to make games better than wargaming and board games companies. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for a first person Space Hulk shooter, but it’s logic engine shouldn’t be built on a turn based strategy board game.

Anyway. It doesn’t look bad. And, whilst browsing the interwebs I came across a Gamespot video put up back in March which demos the game. Although rough around the edges it is, amazingly, showing promise. Be warned it’s 15 minutes long.

It’s still a work in progress quite clearly as the legs of the terminators don’t move for a start. But at least it feels like a Space Hulk game. It’s dark, it’s gritty and the developers seem to understand the aesthetic of the universe far better than any before them. Although my worry is that they’ll just end up building maps that are basically bits and bobs robbed from the plastic building kits.

The action cam feature is a nice touch providing the graphics are up to scratch otherwise it’ll just be a continual reminder that the boardgame sat under your bed gathering dust is vastly superior and that you should be ashamed for buying a digital knock off.

They were about half way through development in March so we should be seeing Space Hulk ship in the next couple of months. Needless to say I will be reviewing it…

 

Wayland Games Announces Game Studio

Well they’ve been up to something for a while and this appears to be it; news that Wayland Games are teaming up with Well Forged to establish a game studio bring the game HOX to tabletops around the world. Anyone’s guess what it’ll be about but judging by the art it has a distinctive I am Legend flavour to it. Only hopefully not as shit.

Here’s the release:

Well Forged Films and Wayland Games are proud to announce their partnership to produce a range of tabletop games based on their own original IP.

Their first collaborative project, codenamed HOX, incorporates sci-fi and horror elements to bring an intense and fun game to the tabletop.

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Brian Hassan, Head of Film Production, Well Forged Films: “I’m a huge fan of board and miniature gaming, so the chance to work with a pedigree such as Wayland Games is like a dream come true for me. The crossovers between our creative industries are obvious but rarely utilised – with this partnership and with project HOX in particular, we want to bring players the absolute best in tabletop gaming, with a very real game universe, rich in detail and bursting with personality, fantastic story-driven gameplay and of course, a beautifully crafted miniatures series.”

Richard Lawford, Managing Director, Wayland Games Ltd: “I’m super excited to be involved in this project, and I’m looking forward to the collaboration between ourselves and the amazing team over at Well Forged Films and Blitz Games Studios. Work is underway in setting up the studio and finding the best and brightest minds, skills and technologies to be part of this exciting experience.”

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Well forged Films:
Established by Blitz Games Studios as part of its cutting-edge work in creating innovative and dynamic productions, Well Forged Films is a production company that aims to bring exciting and original content to the silver screen and television. Drawing on the expertise of a wide range of individuals from right across the creative industries, including computer games, screen writing, filming, model making, advertising and, of course, film production, Well Forged Films is committed to creating the very best interactive entertainment based on its own IP.

Wayland Games:
2013 marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the growth of Wayland Games Ltd. Since coming online in August 2008, Wayland Games has grown to become the world’s largest independent retailer of tabletop gaming products. Based in Hockley Essex, their HQ hosts not only warehousing and distribution facilities, but also a massive gaming events centre and dedicated video production studio. Wayland Games offer the widest selection of tabletop gaming products in the industry and strives to offer both great value and great service to all its customers and partners. This year we are establishing new separate entity in our family of companies; a state of the art games development and publishing studio to bring amazing tabletop games to gaming fans all over the world. Utilising the very best techniques and technologies we aim to empower our developers to unleash their creativity and invent some of the best gaming experiences seen so far in this industry.

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Megalith Previews Necromagus

Megalith Games are previewing the Necromagus for the Mortans faction of Godslayer. He’s kinda cool…

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A Necromagus belongs to the Ordo Mortificarum and works in service to the state, employing the forces of undeath to further the aims of the empire.

All are required to spend at least several years assisting the legions on campaigns of conquests, during which they control the undead Legio Mortum soldiers, animate new monsters and provide defense against the attacks from spirits and higher dimensional enemies.

So steeped in necromancy are they that a Necromagus can suck the life-force out of nearby allies in order to heal themselves.

Necromagi are less experienced than the masters of Necromancy – the Mortifexes – but like them, Necromagi are battle-hardened, and able to cast spells even in melee, having become inured to the horrors of war.

Their spells and Ancestral Rites abilities increase the effectiveness and resilience of all undead models in the warband, making them an ideal support for a warband led by a Mortifex, and also an invaluable character in a mixed warband which includes some undead models.

MODEL DETAILS

Sub-Faction:
Model Type:
Classification:
Magistratum
Spellcaster Character
Infantry
Deployment Limit:
Unit Size:
Base Size:
3
1
Small

Model

MOV

MEL

MIS

MAG

DEF

ARM

LEAD

ACT

Necromagus

3

6

4

6

13

7

7

5

Weapons: Staffblade
Items: 3 Spells
Abilities: Afterlife Lore, Battle Caster, Non-Living
Tactics: Mortal Sacrifice
Special Talents: Acestral Wisdom

Convergence of Cyriss

Privateer Press are releasing a new faction for Warmachine called the Convergence of Cyriss. Think a cross between the Empire Colleges of Magic and the Adeptus Mechanicus and you’re in the right ball park…

But, to be fair, some of the models do look pretty cool.

Beyond the Gates of Antares

There really is so much awesome coming out in 2013 that it may just make my brain burst out of my head and leak out my ears.

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The specific dollop of awesome I refer to this time is Beyond the Gates of Antares by none other than wargaming legend Rick Priestly and his company Dark Space Corp. Currently on kickstarter, it looks all rather awesome. As one would expect from the chap that was involved with Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, Necromunda and Bolt Action. Amongst many others.

Below is the video from the kickstarter page which shows off some of the art, toys and the man himself, along with other GW legend John Stallard, explain a little bit of what BtGoA is all about.

All in all, BtGoA looks really quite impressive. One of the biggest and most important aspects of which is the Real-Time Dynamic Gaming Universe. Or to put it another way, it’s a gaming universe that’ll move and change over time. Which seems in response to the fact that GW haven’t moved their IP on really at all in the last 30 years aside from the annual retcon. It’ll be interesting to see where Rick and co take RTDGU as if they do an ‘Eye of Terror’ and allow game results to impact on the fluff they can inadvertently cause their own universe to implode.

My other worry regards making a tabletop game partially online which will see only the most devout or determined gamers getting the most from it in terms of downloadable rules and bonuses as sectors are conquered by particular factions.

That said, the background is rich and interesting with lots of cool and dudey technology which will, no doubt lead to some mad as bat shit constructs. Like this one…

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The factions are equally diverse and include a sentient robot race (dibs) and the Vorl which is the gribbly bastard you see below. And quite plainly, the models look pretty damn sexy.

3-858x1024If you’re interested in reading more about Beyond the Gates of Antares go here. And if you’re interested in supporting Dark Space Corp’s kickstarter campaign go here.

I’ll put up more information as soon as I get it.