Ichiban Painting Kickstarter Update

We reported, just prior to it going live, on Ichiban Painting and Games & Gear’s Kickstarter for their range of paint brushes. For those that haven’t seen them, they’re a pretty awesome set made from aluminium and designed to be the perfect balance of quality, affordability, and convenience as the brushes come part to allow for ease of transport whilst protecting the bristles. They really are quite special. So much so that two of our number at The Shell Case have pledged real cash money.

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I’m pleased to report that the project was fully funded in 9 minutes. It was at almost 400% funded in the first hour. And how, 4 days on the campaign stands at 1282% (at time of writing) funded with 16 days to go.

Hugo and the team are currently working on some new stretch goals as they’ve been caught a little off guard with the overwhelming amount of support the community has shown them. As someone who supported this site in its early days, Hugo deserves every penny towards his endeavours and I am proud to lend what support I can.

I have the great fortune to review these brushes which I’ll be doing in the next couple of days (really it’s just an excuse to paint) and I’ll be sharing my findings with you all to help make up the minds of anyone sitting on the fence.

For now all I can do is urge you to check out the Ichiban/Game & Gears Kickstarter and buy yourself a swanky set of paint brushes. Their page can be found here.

 

The Shell Case Reloaded

TSC_Logo HiResHopefully by now you all will have noticed increasing frequency of articles and variety of by lines going up on The Shell Case. This is because over the last 12 months I’ve been hard at work gathering together a team of writers who can offer more to our loyal readers than I can do on my own. Whilst I’d love to play every game out there it just isn’t possible and not every game is going to be my bag. Each member of the team brings something unique in terms of background, gaming preference and experience and it’s a great mix that will mean wider, more interesting, content for you.

More importantly it will mean more articles about more games, more often. With an expanded team we’re able to produce more hobby articles, more reviews, write battle reports more regularly and serialise campaigns too. We’ve already put our best foot forward and we’ve got some great articles in the pipeline. We’ll also be breaking new ground by exploring historical wargaming for the first time beyond the Saga & Old West reviews 18 months ago. Whilst not new for most, this has been a largely unexplored area for us and it’s time that changed.

We’ll also be bringing you some more guest posts. Gav Thorpe & Nick Kyme will hopefully return with some of their cohorts to follow, including a certain someone currently involved in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

And finally there’ll be a few more competitions in the offing especially as our current painting competition has been so well received.

It’s a really exciting and busy time for the team and I. The wargamers I’ve been lucky enough to assemble have bags of enthusiasm and are putting that energy into great content and wider projects that we’ll be revealing in the near future. And because I’ve got 6 hard working and awesome people, including Mat and Lee who graciously agreed to be deputy editors, I get to write more or what I like and focus on editor type things.

We’ll also be making some improvements to the site, making it easier to find content. We’re also considering a redesign but I’m yet to hit on a design and layout that I like. But more on that another time. Mat has also been hard at work unravelling the mess that The Shell Case Alliance feed became thanks to some chronically masturbating Japanese hackers. I’m not being derogatory, all the links were for some pretty serious Japanese pornography sites so one has to make assumptions. If you’re site is part of the Alliance or you’d like it to be please get in touch as we need to share the updated RSS feed. The site will get a face lift too and became a much more useful resource for sharing awesome wargaming blogs.

We’ve got a mountain to climb to achieve our third phase of expansion – much of which I can’t disclose at the moment – but I’m proud to say that I’ve got the right team to get us there. I can’t promise – at this stage – that we’ll be able to cover every game but we’re going to do our best to broaden our horizons and have as much fun as possible whilst we do it.

Thanks for reading.

Hawk Wargames Justifies Scenery Pricing

It seems the general outrage from the wargaming community – much 0f it coming from me – over the prices of Hawk Wargames scenery has provoked a response from them. It can be read in full here. In my opinion it’s largely bollocks.

RANT INCOMING

The general gist surrounds cutting edge technology and a modular system allowing limitless potential and superior resins etc. This is all crap. Their resin is not the best. Not even close. The technology is the same technology that Spartan and the Games Workshop uses. Spartan seem to be able punt their wares out at a reasonable price. And if the tile system was resulting in shrinkage in a ‘cheaper’ resin then it’s a flawed concept and should have been abandoned in favour of something else, not passing on the truly stellar costs on to the customer. Who were hardly demanding a modular scenery system that’s only any good for that one game. Plus, there’s nothing innovative about mounting tiles on foam board. Innovation would have been scenery sets that you can just build out of the box.

There’s also some cock and bull about the tiles being super detailed. They’re not. Don’t get me wrong they look cool, but they’re nothing to hit your hobby spot. The overall finished effect is very striking but they are nowhere near the detail or other scenery kits out there. I also have to ask the question; how important is a modular system in a game where the emphasis is on air units – so you’re only looking at the roofs – and when buildings are essentially obstacles rather than things to be interacted with?

But it boils down to total lack of commercial sense. £720 for 15 buildings make no sense. Even if all of the crap about the finest quality blah blah blah was true, anyone with a shred of business acumen would conclude it is not commercially viable to punt out scenery, the lowest priority purchase for probably 90% of gamers, at those prices, and instead look at an alternative way of doing things. It’s either naivety, arrogance or petulance.

It’s great that Hawk Wargames have such high standards but they’re forcing those standards on the customer. The majority of whom simply can’t afford it. The number of gamers I’ve spoken to who are just going to bust out old Epic scenery or just use the paper buildings compared to those that’ll actually spend the money is 20 to 1. I also have to ask; where’s the innovation in system that requires you to mount your lovely expensive scenery tiles onto foam board? True innovation would have been a system that looks good, is easy to build, and doesn’t bust the bank. Unfortunately it doesn’t do any of those things.

I really feel Hawk has blindly stumbled into the same position the Games Workshop are in now in so much as they are producing a desirable product at a ridiculous price. But whereas the Games Workshop have 30 years of canon to draw in loyal customers time and again to hide their dropping customer numbers by paying increased prices, Hawk just doesn’t. But more than that, gamers can buy proxy models to cut costs so they can continue to play Games Workshop games, short of building paper buildings Dropzone gamers don’t have the option. And for gamers looking at getting into a new system I struggle to see how they can look at Dropzone Commander as a financially viable option any more.

Especially with the stand out comedy moment of the FAQ being when they recommend just 10 buildings for a 4×4 game. So only a £460 layout.  So that’s all right. What makes it worse is that it’s bullshit. We played on a 4×4 board with 15 buildings and we were told that ideally, to play the game the way it was design we’d need at least another 10. And you know what; I’d agree with it. Interestingly as well, pretty much all the scenario diagrams have 15 buildings in them…

I think it boils down to the this. Hawk Wargames may think they can justify £720 for 15 buildings and claim they’re awesome. Maybe they are awesome and maybe £720 is good value for money, but they’ve missed the point. It never should have gotten this far. At the product development stage someone should have said ‘fucking hell, this is gonna come out a bit expensive’. It’s a classic example of being too close to a project to objectively look at it and question it’s viability. The tiles are a great idea but if it wasn’t going to work whilst making it affordable it should have been canned.

As it stands Dropzone Commander is one of the most expensive games in the market with zero justification to be beyond an alleged high quality resin. My sources in the know tell me this is balls. Yes, okay, so they may be positioning themselves as a premium product but in a recession that’s retarded. Plus it isn’t a premium product. Erratas for the rules hit the site the day of release and continue to be updated. The rule book itself is badly laid out. For all their posturing about casting quality, miscasts have been rife. And let me ask this; what happens if the tiles even slightly warp? You’ve paid out a fucking fortune for something that doesn’t line up.

I full appreciate how bilious this post is coming across, but I don’t care. I don’t feel Hawk Wargames have a solid perspective and instead of reconsidering the viability of the scenery, they have instead tried to justify the colossal expense. Because, quite simply, I can buy myself a Warhound Titan from Forge World for less money than the supposed 10 buildings (minimum) I’d need to fill a 4×4 board for Dropzone Commander.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what they come up with next…

#warmongers Secret Santa Update

The closing data has been and gone for the #warmonger Secret Santa and those taking part should all have emails from me with the person they’re buying a present for.

If, for any reason, you’ve signed up and haven’t received an email or I’ve made a mistake and you’ve received two then please get in touch either on Twitter, email or via the contact form and I’ll get things ironed out.

Otherwise good luck buying for your respective #warmonger. Reminder of what you need to do can be found here.

And it’d be great to put up pics of what everyone gets so please feel free to email me with them.

Lordi Update

Creator of the Lord Inquisitor movie, friend of The Shell Case an all round nice guy, Erasmus, has been a very busy chap of late.

Aside from producing some incredibly awesome looking renders of Servo-skulls (pictured below), he brings word that the project has now been officially green lit by the Games Workshop. This welcome and well deserved news has meant that not only now Erasmus can properly gear up and pour even more of his heart and soul into The Lordi, but he’s benefited from a huge influx of talent to help get the project finished. The most significant, perhaps, of these new additions is a new write in the form of Black Library author, and firm fan favourite, Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

This incredible development, combined with the widening team at Erasmus’ disposal will mean the film will now be closer to 40 minutes rather than 15-20. Again, very welcome news indeed.

Now news on the release date as of yet. I imagine that the new team will take a while to bed in and Erasmus and Aaron will need to thrash out a now much longer story.

I may have to collar the man himself for an update in his own words, so watch this space…