Thoughts on the painting of, and playing with, toy soldiers.

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Army Constructor – A Free, Open Source, Web-Based, Client-Side Army List Builder

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 20.19.46For some time I’ve had an itch that I’ve wanted to scratch. There are quite a few army list creator tools, and they are generally pretty good – Army Builder and Battlescribe come to mind – but they just don’t quite fit what I’ve been looking for.
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I’m Not Dead!

I’ve just realised that I haven’t posted in almost two months. This is due to a combination of things: a family holiday (very nice thanks) and finally, honestly, no really, actually moving house this Friday! Which means that by the end of this weekend, I will have been able to reclaim my hobby stuff from the in-laws, and start to get my hobby mojo back up to speed.

To remind myself as much as anyone else, here’s what’s currently on the “work in progress” list:

  • a pair of Reaver titans to finish off the Legio Pantera
  • Salamanders Stormeagle
  • Two squads of Firedraks
  • Two tactical squads and an assault squad
  • Vulkan Hestan and Bry’arth Ashmantle
  • An Epic Leman Russ Company
  • An Epic Tech-Guard Armoured Company
  • Miscellaneous Skitarii infantry and artillery
  • Another dozen Knights
  • Figures for In the Emperor’s Name

Expect activity on the above shortly!


ItEN 3.0 is Released!

Core-Rules-CoverAs you may know, last year I took over the editorship of In the Emperor’s Name, the fan-made skirmish game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Yesterday, several months of work reached its completion with the publication of the the Third Edition of ItEN – go and download it right now!

The new edition builds on the Second Edition (released in July 2011) with enhancements to almost every part of the core rules. It updates and revises some of the core game mechanics such as the points calculation formula, and introduces a new Equipment system.

ItEN is a collaborative work produced by the Forge of War Development Group. My thanks to all those people who submitted feedback and suggestions through the forums, in particular to Craig, who trusted me with his creation while he worked on In her Majesty’s Name, the steampunk cousin of ItEN.

You can download the new version of ItEN here.


Going Into Stasis

Follower_of_Jheronimus_Bosch_Christ_in_Limbo
Last week I boxed up all my hobby stuff: all my miniatures, rulebooks, paints, brushes and boxes of bitz and drove them to my in-laws, where they will stay in stasis until we’ve moved house. This could be anything from a few weeks to a couple of months (and it’s already been about three months) so who knows when I will next get my hobby on, or when I’ll next get a chance to post something interesting?

Thankfully I have a healthy supply of Gaunt’s Ghosts and Horus Heresy novels to keep me entertained while I wait to buy the most expensive thing I will ever buy (apart from my next Forgeworld order!).

I will also be attending Salute next week and have a bunch of meets lined up, so expect to see some photos from that.

That is all.


Bit quiet, isn’t it?

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. We are currently in the process of selling our house, which means I’m not allowed to get any of my hobby stuff out and make any sort of mess, in the off chance that we get a short-notice viewing.

So while I’ve been quiet on the hobby front, I haven’t been entirely inactive. I’ve been working on a new website for No Man’s Land, my local indie gaming store. As well as a static website (and a planned online store) I also set up a forum which, in the short time that it’s been online, has become quite active, which is very pleasing.

I’ve also set up a Facebook page for In The Emperor’s Name, and will be working on sharing ITEN related content on it, so if you play ITEN (or are just interested), go over to Facebook and like it.

Once we’ve accepted an offer on our house, I’ll be able to decompress my hobby stuff and will probably be posting a bit more. See you then!


Forge World confirms Horus Heresy expansion for Warhammer 40,000

Tonight’s Forge World News Flash contained a link to a YouTube video which confirms that they will be doing a Horus Heresy expansion for Warhammer 40,000. Here’s the video:

(Video Link)

This should be awesome!


Jodrell Plays Games is now on Facebook

I’ve set up a Facebook page for this blog, mainly as an experiment and to provide a way for people to stay up-to-date without requiring an RSS reader. All you have to do is “like” the Facebook page using the widget on the right-hand sidebar, or click on this link: Jodrell Plays Games. Enjoy!


In Her Majesty’s Name

Craig Cartmell, founder of Forge Of War and author of the Warhammer 40,000 skirmish game In The Emperor’s Name, has been commissioned by Osprey Publishing to create a steampunk themed version called In Her Majesty’s Name:

The year is 1895, and the world is in turmoil. The wondrous inventions of Charles Babbage have launched a scientific revolution that has given the world miniaturized steam engines, electric lights and motors, arc weapons, hydrogen and helium dirigibles, road trains, calculating artillery engines, and sea and land dreadnoughts. The one thing these marvellous advances have not brought is peace. Every Great Power has been jostling its rivals for resources and the latest technology.

Although there have been few open conflicts between the major powers, a state of undeclared and secret war exists between them all. Instead of traditional warfare, governments employ small, ‘adventuring companies’ to strike against their foes, raiding factories, stealing technology and artefacts, and kidnapping or rescuing persons of importance.

In Her Majesty’s Name allows players to assemble their own adventuring companies of 4 to 15 agents, and pit them against their opponents in a tabletop battle. A small game can be played on a 24” by 24” table and typically lasts about 45 minutes. Larger games can be played on any table size and tend to last 2 to 3 hours. The game has been designed to allow maximum versatility for the players – if they can imagine it, they can create it within the system. There is, however, a wealth of material in the book that covers weird science, mystical powers, and a range of pre-generated adventuring companies, including the British Explorers’ Society, the US Secret Service, the Prussian Thule Society, the Chinese Black Hand and Ancient Egyptian Cults dedicated to the restoration of the Pharaohs.

In Her Majesty’s Name is a complete game in one 64-page book. It is due out in March 2013 and will retail for £11.99/$17.95.


Polyversal

Polyversal is a forthcoming 6mm Sci-Fi game being developed by ken Whitehurst and published by Collins Epic Wargames. It’s quite an innovative format in that they are going to ship a boxed set containing rules and miniatures produced by a number of different manufacturers. Those familiar with the world of 6mm will recognise names like Exodus Wars, Dark Realm Miniatures, Brigade Models, Plasmablast Games and MicroWorld Miniatures.

I love the idea of these manufacturers working together to create a product that’s greater than the some of its parts. While each manufacturer creates some fantastic stuff, none of them on their own has a wide enough product range to compete with Epic, or produce an “out of the box” experience that’s likely to draw new gamers to the 6mm scale. But together, they could produce something really cool. I’m very inspired by the artwork that’s been announced for the cover of the boxed set:

20120314-184021.jpg

There’s a lot of enthusiasm for this product on the Tactical Command forums about Polyversal, and I’m pleased that my suggestion of including terrain from GameCraft Miniatures is being looked at. With rules, minis and scenery in a single box, this game could go a long way to bringing 6mm Wargaming to a wider audience.


Missing images on posts, ctd

I just went through every post on the site and reuploaded any missing images.

One of the problems was caused by WordPress: when I migrated away from WordPress.com, only images explicitly linked to from within posts were transferred. Any images within a “gallery” tag were ignored. Fortunately I have backups and it was pretty easy to find the missing files and upload them.

Normal broadcasts will resume shortly!


Missing images on posts

It seems that some images in my media librarybgot lost when I migrated this site from WordPress.com. In some of my early posts, I also linked to images on an old website which no longer exists.

If you come across a post with missing or broken images, please let me know by posting a comment, and I’ll get them fixed. I have all the images, I just need to upload them and tag them to the article. Simple but tedious work, which is why I haven’t got round to it yet!


Review: No Man’s Land, Maidstone

No Man's Land
>> The No Mans Land website is at NoMansLandGames.com <<

No Man's Land

When I started wargaming back in the early 90s, independent wargames stores were pretty common here in the UK. Games Workshop opened their store in Maidstone in 1992 on Pudding Lane, and I’m pretty sure they chose that location because it was just around the corner from Maidstone Games, an indie store that had been there since forever, selling D&D books and BattleTech mechs and the like.

Nowadays, probably thanks to Games Workshop’s aggressive growth strategy (plus the general trend towards “clone town” retail districts), it seems like indie stores are pretty rare. Maidstone Games closed in the late 90s and since then, Maidstone has only had GW, and those few shops that did stock wargames miniatures and hobby supplies tended just to install a GW retail rack and be done with it (a notable exception being Hobbycraft, who also stock Flames of War and GF9 hobby materials).

As a result, it’s pretty hard to find a FLGS in the UK nowawadays, so the opening of No Man’s Land, a new — and more importantly, really cool — independent store in your home town is a pretty big deal, in fact it’s big enough to warrant a celebrity appearance at its opening.

Having discovered its existence, I wasted little time in dropping in and taking a look. So far, it’s like a dream come true.

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Jodrell.org: The Next Generation

I’ve owned jodrell.org for years but it never occurred to me to use it for my gaming blog. But now I’m self-hosting this blog and migrated over from WordPress.com I can use my own domain.

Onwards and upwards!


Wargaming Styles

I love this short essay by Helge about the different styles of wargames: I had never really thought too much about it, although there are obvious differences between a 6mm “epic” game and a 28mm skirmish game. The essay lays out the different types and puts them in historical context very well. Fascinating stuff.

I have lots of “works in progress” at the moment and hope to show you some more lovely minis soon!


A Warhammer 40,000 Movie


Space Hulk!


The Psychology of Wargaming

Here’s two articles on the mind-games played by wargamers during their games. I think I’ve committed and observed most of these little tricks in my gaming career. Wargaming is a lot like poker in that regard, and of course Psy Ops has been part of real-world military doctrine for many years.


Dawn of War II: New Race Confirmed!

A picture says a thousand words:


More on that trailer…

I just watched the previously mentioned Dawn of War II trailer and noticed something about the last image from the movie: the moon and the nebula seem to form the eye socket of a skull. Take a look:

Given that the skull isn’t a particular significant symbol for the tyranids, is it meant to indicate Chaos or Necrons?


Unbelievably awesome trailer for Dawn Of War II: are Tyranids the new race?

If this doesn’t rock your world, then you must already be dead:

You can see a high-res version here. Over at Bell of Lost Souls, the speculation is that the final line of the trailer indicates that the Tyranids will be introduced in DoW 2: I think that sounds very likely. They’re the only missing race in the game, so if only for the sake of completeness, I’m sure they’ll be introduced sooner rather than later.

One comment on BoLS is salient:

I would gladly fork over reasonable sums of cash for a feature length 40k film of that quality. Doesn’t have to be in theaters (though that would be awesomely insane on IMAX), direct to DVD is fine. A series available on DVD would be spectacular as well.

Here’s hoping. GW has explored almost every other medium for their product (let’s count them: music, novels, audio books, comic books, video games, artwork, even clothing), but there’s never been a proper movie or TV series (apart from the never-to-be-seen Damnatus). Now that the technology is here that would do justice to 40k, it’s time GW pulled their finger out!


Are Relic and GW dropping some not sneaky hints about Dawn Of War II?


I just noticed that there is now an official website for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War II, the follow-up to the stonking original. Check out the video teaser (warning: be prepared to pee a little). But I was struck by the title of the press release announcing the game (excerpt follows):

THQ AND RELIC ENTERTAINMENT SET TO WAGE WAR OF EPIC SCALE IN WARHAMMER ® 40,000™: DAWN OF WAR ® II

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. April 3, 2008 — THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) today announced that Warhammer® 40,000®: Dawn of War® II, the highly anticipated sequel from one of the industry’s premiere Real-Time Strategy (RTS) developers, Relic Entertainment, is scheduled to bring the 41st Millennium’s savage warfare to life like never before in spring 2009. Powered by an enhanced version of Relic’s proprietary Essence Engine 2.0®, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II will take players to the brutal frontlines of war where they’ll experience intense action and visceral combat through a non-linear single player experience and a fully co-operative multiplayer campaign. Set in Games Workshop’s (LSE: GAW) highly popular Warhammer 40,000 science fiction universe, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is being developed exclusively for Windows PC.

Epic scale? Epic scale? We saw a downed Titan in the Winter Assault expansion, but I’d now give you very good odds on a fully functioning Warhound or Reaver in DoW2. And check out those screenshots! I can’t wait.


Articles, the lack thereof

So I had been planning to post to my nerdy gaming blog more regularly, since it’s all new and shiny, but real life got in the way and stopped me. So once I’m finally able to post a new article I get the new Forgeworld newsletter which stops me in my tracks, primarily due to the mind-blowing nerdgasm I experienced due to this:

More pictures here and here and here and here (usual reminder about how slow the Forgeworld site is, blah blah blah).

Want!


Welcome to my gaming blog!


For the last year or so, I’ve been getting back into miniature wargaming in a big way. My non-professional interests tend to wax and wane: for the last five years, my main “hobby” was writing code. But now that I’ve scratched most of the itches that I had, and also now my professional life is fulfilling that aspect of my interest, miniature games — which I’ve been playing for nearly 20 years now — have started to reassert themselves.

So I’ve decided to document more of that part of my life. If you’ve seen any of photos you might have spotted some stuff related to gaming; I will be expanding on those images and adding more in the future.

I will also be posting links to things I find on the internet that are interesting (to me, at least). Stay tuned!