[Top X] Xacting Sweet Vengeance On Those Left Behind

Title brought to you by too many Aaron Dembski-Bowden novels and a state of general malaise.


Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight have gone their separate ways. Leaving aside the Cold-War-style speculation, overanalysis, conspiracy theorising and other spod-nonsense, this means that a whole bunch of board games and RPGs will be flushed down the corporate memory hole at the end of February 2017. Fire Broadside! is on hand with a neat reference list of Stuff Fantasy Flight Made Which You Should Consider Buying. Personally, I’m on the lookout for Black Crusade and/or a third edition WFRP box.

Old Stuff

3Tequilas at Sagas of Ice and Ceramite is clearly a man after my own heart. Look at all those Oldhammer Orks! Look at those rough-n-ready Space Wolves! It’s an inspiration.

New Stuff

Hendybadger informs me there’s a fancy new boxed set from Knight Models. Something to do with a popular comic-book-movie property of the day…

Nice buildings. I’m not too familiar with the Batman Miniatures Game, although my compadres at Dice and Decks are slathering over it and have just wrapped up a round robin league. Maybe I should get in on this nonsense: they can’t object to having a Scarecrow gang running around…

Painting and Modelling


This exercise in hiding an unfinished paintjob is brought to you by Tactical Suicide. I like a good cloak. I also like a good classical insult-to-the-eyes purple, and that Joker delivers.

I don’t quite grasp the relationship between Hondas, Greggles Tabletop and Feed Your Nerd – good heavens, I’m out of the loop – but I know what I like, and I like what I see.

That’s a pretty sweet-looking Wraithknight: a clear and powerful transition from reference image to three-dimensional tabletop fun. Eldar walkers in fencing poses are something of an easy sell as far as I’m concerned, although this is certainly the heftiest I’ve seen for a while.


Dr. Willett’s Workshop features a nice olde-worlde forge for your fantasy tables. A piece like this is basically a big old non-interactive obstacle, occupying a space and blocking some lines of sight, but there’s nowt wrong with that. At least you don’t have the constant shuffle of discrete parts on roughly-defined base and the constant swearing at true lines of sight. I’d be a bit weirded out to sight a smithery in the middle of nowhere, apropos of nothing, but a cluster of four or five buildings between which the battle weaves? That’s sauce.

Gemana, meanwhile, features some accessible terrain for the sci-fi gamers – with an emphasis on gamers. Despite holding Mantic in a state of contempt, I admire what they’ve achieved with the Deadzone scenery. No frills, no fuss, yet with a certain character, and you can slap your figures all over it. Gemana’s post pleases me ’cause I like to see terrain in situ, weathered without the weathering taking over, and feeling like there’s a planned, placemade environment.

The Bottom Line

Terrain is all too often the last thing we think of, as Hobbyists. Terrain’s less exciting than new toys for our armies, more work than a handful of miniatures, and we often force it to pull double or triple duty. One board often has to serve as backdrop for a dozen games in half a dozen genres. The result is a depressingly generic surface with a collection of half-hearted objects standing around. We select items because we need something that blocks line of sight or free movement. We do the best we can with what we have, while spectacle and context go hang.

The gaming club has to settle for this sort of thing. Space is not infinite. Fashions change. Last week’s Warmachine tournament has to serve for this week’s mishmash of Bolt Action, Age of Sigmar and Batman, and next month’s promise of a Kill Team campaign. For the gamer at home, however, there’s always the possibility of specialising. If you’re playing something like 40K which has a density of background aesthetic and, let’s face it, involves too much stuff to be an ‘away game’, why not pull out your finger and build a specific collection? If you’re evangelising for Freebooter’s Fate, Deadzone or Malifaux, slap together a table that visually reinforces your message that this game is awesome, and drag your mates around to play on it.

More and more games seem to be bundling a bare-bones tabletop in their starter sets. Hawk’s DropNoun Commander efforts spring to mind, as does Deadzone (does anyone actually play Deadzone?) and the Batman game. That may have to be the wave of the future. It certainly beats seeing grimdark scifi buildings, dusty sand-coloured stone and water features the size of a fat baby’s face all clustered together on offensively plain green chipboard.

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  • The Warlock

    My forests made from 100% woodland scenic stuffs have Ewoks in some of them because Bad Things Happen (like being eaten by Ewoks). The group is pulling a terrain day soon, where we’re all going to smash out some good quality terrain for Malifaux.

    Cannot recommend the Adoba Diorama books enough. Haven’t made anything yet from them but for $70 AUD I got all 3 and they’re friggin’ Amazeballs.

  • Hmmm. Will Dark Heresy become more or less expensive on the secondary market? That’s the question I’m pondering…

    Oh and nice X-thingy.

    • Cedric Ballbusch

      According to my economics classes, the value of something is controlled by supply relative to demand. Going out of production should serve to reduce supply (in fact it certainly will). So the question then becomes: will demand increase, decrease, or hold steady? I generally figure that things increase in value over time, but this is not always the case.

      And yes, fine Top X.

      • Could go either way, as quite a few gamers shy away from officially unsupported “dead” games for whatever reason. But on the other hand RPGers are more open to playing games that are out of print than wargamers, so if they’re still keen and it’s out of print it’ll probably go up in price like you said.. I kind of want it for the fluff and artwork, as a sort of old-ishhammer collector piece, and I’m sure there are others out there like me too.

        • Cedric Ballbusch

          That’s what makes demand the unknowable factor. As you say, RPGers will play anything. Additionally, the rules governing most pen and paper games tend to be a mix of several editions (of potentially several games) third-party material, and whatever the GM scribbled on a bar napkin. So, ‘living’ rules are rather meaningless.

          Wargamers in general, and GWers in particular are more concerned with current, up to date material. Perhaps because the lack of a referee and opposition between players necessities hegemony.

          • Yep. I also think GWs exclusionist mentality in the 90s and 2000s (“the GW hobby” rather than just “the hobby”) and the desire of players to turn it into some sort of tournament friendly game influenced a lot of GW gamers over the last twenty years or so to support only official living rules.

            Hey what do you think about wargames tournaments, in general? I’d love to see a Cedric post about what sorts of games (if any) are suitable for competitive play, or if you think competitive play is even desirable or achievable.

          • Cedric Ballbusch

            There is a thought. I might have to do that.

        • Thuloid

          A bunch of the stuff going off the market from FFG has already been bought up from them and so is out of stock. Online retailers have cranked prices sky high.

  • Dragons Claw

    There’s no such thing as to many Aaron Dembski Bowden novels

    That is all !

    • Thuloid

      I recently came into (almost accidentally–they were a throw-in on another purchase from a gamer) a big pile of 40k novels. I have no idea which way is up with these. Like 28 titles, plus one Warhammer Fantasy anthology.

      • Dragons Claw

        40k books are a very mixed bag I prefer the horus heresy ones as a rule but even then there’s some world class stinkers avoid battle for the abyss like nurgles own plague but anything by Aaron Dembski Bowden is worth a read betrayer is particularly good

        • Thuloid

          I call them all 40k novels. Most of these are Horus Heresy. Either way–books about space marines.

          • Dragons Claw

            Well 27 is a decent percentage of the series then if you’ve got one called tales of heresy there’s a short story in there called the last church which I think you would enjoy

          • Thuloid

            I do have that one.

  • Thuloid

    I own quite a bit of Deadzone. Does anyone in fact play it? Unsure. There’s a pretty active Facebook group. I just haven’t squeezed a game in since the new edition. It looks fine (in fact, I like some of the figures quite a lot), just a time thing.