Calas Typhon Unboxing

I’m back from my adventure to Adepticon, and I brought home lots of goodies! One of my favorite pieces came from Forge World, the fearsome Calas Typhon [So much want – Ed]. I’ve unboxed him so you can get a decent look at him.

I haven’t been too keen on a few of the Horus Heresy character models that Forge World has released, but Calas really strikes me. He may move to the top of my painting queue. He’ll certainly be assembled this weekend.

Also in that queue are several other Horus Heresy characters including Angron, Fulgrim, and Abaddon and Loken. I eventually plan to have the whole set of HH characters, which is getting harder to do as they release them at a faster pace. Originally, I had just planned on getting the Primarchs, but the other characters have been such interesting models that I decided to go for them all.

My wallet weeps.

I hope you enjoyed getting to see Calas Typhon!

Unboxing the Ramshackle Games Kickstarter

Beware, this will be pic heavy.

A while ago, Curtis Fell, head of Ramshackle Games and all round decent bloke all told, ran a kickstarter project to fund printing for an expansion to his game ‘Nuclear Reconnaissance’ and sculpt a few more models for the line to go with it.

Though it was successfully funded and finished a while ago, it took me a while to get hold of all my pledge rewards due to some Royal Mail shenanigans. Now that it’s all here I thought I would do one of those unboxing things that’s all the rage with kids these days.

So, to start with, my rewards were 2 vehicles, 10 models and copies of both the main rulebook and its expansion The Tome of Tridlins. As Nuclear Renaissance is a skirmish game, this is a great start to getting two small warbands going and something I may even manage to paint (be still my beating heart)!

Everything was very well packed and secured safety so it all arrived in once piece and without any damage which was nice.

The books themselves are lovely. The main rulebook covers the creation of the world and has some nice artwork and fluff pieces that establish the setting, which is post apocalyptic Mad Max style setting crossed with British humour.
The main rule book photo DSCF7290.jpgMore shots photo DSCF7293.jpgMore artwork. Very nice stuff photo DSCF7292.jpg

Tome of Tridlins is almost twice a thick as the original book and quite an impressive step up in terms of presentation, formatting and the general rules. It has some errata for the main game, a fully detailed campaign system, additional skills and weapons for gangs to take and rules on how to create and make different types of gangs than those featured in the main rulebook.

The expansion Tome of Tridlens photo DSCF7294.jpgGreat artwork photo DSCF7296.jpgA shot of the new ways of making a gang photo DSCF7298.jpg

Now for the Minis themselves. Though mostly single part resin models, the amount of detail on them is very impressive for a small manufacturer and a testament to those who sculpted the models. Though I saw a bit of a bubble on one of the bigger models (that was dreadnought sized and easily half the price!) otherwise, to me, they were all produced to a higher standard than competitors like GW’s Finecast or PP’s resin/plastic mix, regardless of the size of the models.

Techpriest by way of digger! photo DSCF7268.jpgGhoulish things. Creepy photo DSCF7269.jpgMutant with crab claws photo DSCF7271.jpgThis guy will find use in my IG army photo DSCF7270.jpg

The large models in particular were very impressive in their detail and robust enough so they don’t feel like they will shatter if I drop them, having an almost rubbery feel to them. They also came with a few options for weapons on the “RoboTron”.

A big dude. Seriously, dreadnought sized. Lots of detail. Gun is a seperate attatchment photo DSCF7274.jpgLegs of the MetaTron. Friggin huge model photo DSCF7275.jpgThe MetaTron parts all lain out photo DSCF7277.jpgA shot of the moulded bases photo DSCF7279.jpg

I suppose my only complaint was the amount of flash attached to the models. There was little to none on the character models, but any of the flatter pieces of kits I was sent had quite a lot on them, in particular the vehicle. Also, all of the untextured surfaces were slightly sticky and had this weird effect where they seemed to had a small layer or harder resin sound the outside of the piece. Thanks to advice from Godzooky and Inquisitor Samos of Warseer though, I’ve been told this is a common occurrence of small “cottage” companies who cast their own models and just needs a bit of filing work done to clean it up. So that all said, I can’t really say a overpoweringly poor thing, especially when the detailed bases and models more than make up for having to do a small amount of work to finish them off.

All in all, I’m glad I backed the Kickstarter and I will try to get you some pictures as soon as I’ve assembled and painted some of them! If you liked any of the pictures, then you can buy the rules and models (and download the main rulebook free as a PDF) on the Ramshackle Games website. From the look of their latest Kickstarter which ended today, the quality of sculpts is only improving over time and costs seem to be going down!

Combined with a good rules system and Curtis being a  very approachable and friendly person (who bent over backwards to try to find out where the Royal Mail had sent my items) and I shall be keeping my eye on Ramshackle Games. You probably should too.

Unboxing Dark Vengeance

I know more than a few unboxing articles and videos have been done by now for the 6th edition but I wanted to add my thoughts to the mix all the same. And all with my unique blend of sarcasm and bitterness.

So here we go, the unboxing of the 6th edition Warhammer 40,000 boxset; Dark Vengeance.

The first thing that stands out is the uncharacteristically minimalist box cover. I actually quite like it but it almost seems a shame that the cover art for the book wasn’t used because it’s absolutely stunning. It’s also an interesting contrast compared to the bright and colourful Warhammer Fantasy boxset and, interestingly, the 40k rule book is at odds with WFB’s minimalist hardback book. But on to the best bit; breaking the seal…

I have bought a lot of Games Workshop boxsets over the last 23 years and one of the best bits is the smell of the box when you open it for the first time. The smell of plastic and cardboard and untold possibilities. On that front Dark Vengeance was was a little disappointing, not because it lacks plastic – although compared to the likes of Necromunda and Warhammer Quest it does – but because the bits of paper in it are so ink heavy it over powers that lovely plastic fragrance.

In the box we have 4 sprues (although really only 3), the limited edition chaplain, bases, templates, dice and a big stack of paper. In terms of gaming forces you get a Dark Angels Chapter Master, a Librarian, 5 Deathwing Terminators, 10 Tactical Marines, 3 Ravenwing bikes, a Chaos Lord, 6 Chosen, 20 Cultists and a Hellbrute.

The Space Marines are a big improvement on those in the Assault on Black Reach box, which is saying something because they were of a pretty good standard. Although the sergeant looks a bit shit as have all Dark Angel sergeants since the dawn of time. The main thing is the variety of poses, particularly the terminators. There’s also a slight improvement on detail. Especially the terminators. Although quite what the one with the assault cannon is doing I have no idea but that crap wouldn’t fly in the Ultramarines, no-sir!

The Chaos faction is the star of the show, however, because no matter how cool the Dark Angels characters or the Deathwing look they’re just nothing compared to level of awesome of the Lord, Chosen and Hellbrute. Because the big coup is that Games Workshop are finally producing Chaos Space Marines that don’t look like regular marines with spikes stuck on.

Now I’ve always been of the opinion that there still needs to be an element of that because renegades or the recently corrupted aren’t going to be that Chaosified (it’s a word!). The Chosen and the Hellbrute on the other hand have embraced the dark gods and all their gifts so, quite rightly, their armour should look utterly mental and as organic as it does mechanical.

The Hellbrute is the replacement for the Chaos Dreadnought (according to my sources) and lives up to its name. The exposed head makes it a little comical but overall it’s a fantastic kit, intelligently designed and in game terms makes everything go splat.

The cultists however are really special. It’s not that they’re the best sculpted models in the world but they’ve got bags of character and lend themselves massively to conversion. I particularly like the unit leader with the Blood Pact mask.

However, it’s not all good news. I say 3 sprues because two of them are duplicates.What this means is that of the 10 Dark Angel tactical marines only the sergeant and plasma cannon dude are individual. This also means that of the 6 Chosen and 5 Deathwing, who should all be very individual looking, there are 2 duplicates. The same obviously goes for the cultists but it doesn’t matter quite so much.

The result, however, is that the majority of the boxset are duplicate models which is a far cry from the 3rd editions multipart loveliness but as 2nd, 4th and 5th edition had no shortage of duplicate models it’s hard to moan about it with any legitimacy, it’s just disappointing for the amount of money you’re being asked to part with.

Although a portion of that coin is going on the small forest worth of paper in the box. There’s no denying the quality of production, although the building instructions is printed on staggeringly heavy stock and this unnecessary cost will have inevitably been passed on to us.

That said that Dark Vengeance booklet looks ace and is well written and it’s the first time since GW started doing narrative driven boxsets that I’ve actually bothered to read it. This, I assure you, has nothing to do with the Dark Angels being my very first Space Marine army all those many many years ago. Promise.

The mini-rulebook is equally plush in its production with lots of original artwork and illustrations. When I think back to 2nd and 3rd editions it sill seems a bit mean that you only get a stripped out version considering the outlay but in truth a mini book is ace for gaming and it’s well made so will take the rigours of the game. I’ll be doing a separate review on the 6th edition rules but I’d like to get a look at the full book first. Mainly because I want to read the ‘new’ fluff.

I’m not entirely sure how balanced the two factions are as the cultists will be quickly reduced to smears and if the Deathwing can grapple with the Hellbrute then it’ll be over very quickly. Especially with the woeful new hull point rules. But it’s a well presented set with some really nice models within – duplications aside – and an array of nicely presented printed materials. Relatively the boxset is good value as just the space marine faction alone would cost around £95. All in all, it looks great, the models are class and it’s got all you need to get playing, or playing the latest version. So you can colour me impressed.

The limited edition Warhammer 40,000 Dark Vengeance boxset is available from Firestorm Games.

Unboxing the Ro-Kan

Some of you may remember that a couple of weeks ago I did a give away on Twitter for a Ro-Kan starter set for the awesome Bushido game by GCT that I reviewed back in April.

The lucky winner was a good and loyal #warmonger – Nick Rapson (@Nicks_IT). I’d spoken to Nick some time ago about writing a guest post for The Shell Case so he decided to write an unboxing article about the new box of shiny I’d (finally) sent him.

So without further a do, I give you Mr Nick Rapson…

The serene martial artist masters of the Ro-Kan have long viewed themselves as above all mortal and mundane conflicts. Now, following the Han civil war, the rise of the Cult of Yurei, and the incursion of the Savage Wave, the monks of Ro-Kan are being dragged into the clandestine wars of universal balance – a war in which they will reluctantly turn out to be key players. The monks follow an age-old path and know the secrets of Ki better than any others, but they are few and divided – will they be able to unite and join forces before it is too late?

Thus are the Temple of Ro-Kan described in the Bushido skirmish game from GCT Studios.

I recently won a Ro-Kan starter set for the game and I have to say, they are just about as far removed from my Space Wolves as I’ve ever been!  I want to cover the set as a whole so first off, here’s what you get in the pack:

  • Five sculpted metal models
  • Five plastic slotta-bases
  • Five stat-cards
  • One red die, six black and six white – enough to play the game
  • A small booklet containing *some* fluff on the factions and the rules you need to play.

It’s good to see the trend of getting everything you need to play in a faction pack is still going strong.  All you really need to play are two packs – and some space!

The models:

Some of them require assembly but that’s fine.  Though some of the pieces are very fine so pinning them to make stronger bonds isn’t really an option.  I’ve yet to try to glue them together properly but I suspect I’ll be using a fair amount of Liquid Greenstuff to achieve that stronger bond.  No matter how careful we might be, wargames models are seldom handled delicately and to be honest, I’d be worried about some of these breaking once they’d been glued.

Aside from that, the detail is of high level.  The scale is 32mm and since all are unarmoured they look very slender.  They also have a very oriental look about them which GCT Studios has captured perfectly.

The bases:

Nothing special here – they’re slotta-bases that have raised lips around their circumference which should allow for some interesting basing patterns / materials.

The stat-cards:

These contain all of the model-specific rules you need to know during the game.  I have to admit that I found the symbols quite difficult to read but I imagine that once I get to know the rules and characters, that won’t be so much of a problem.  The cards felt a little flimsy to me so to protect them, might be best to laminate them.

The dice:

Just 13 standard six-sided dice – exactly what you need to play the game.

The rules booklet:

The booklet is small and compact so definitely easy to carry around.  Unfortunately, given the (at first glance) complexity of the rules, most of the booklet is made up of text.  A few tables and some small artwork break it up a bit but I found it quite difficult to keep reading until the end.  A scenario rounds out the booklet, which is useful – particularly when learning new rules!

I’m certainly intrigued enough to try the game out – just need to find more players!