Decisions, Decisions: Thoughts from an indecisive gamer

A blog where I track my thoughts on my various games which I flit to from one to another, seeking to find that holy grail.

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Now I've Really done it! Horus Heresy 30k Battles!

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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Yeah I thought I had really done it when I bought Dark Imperium and back into Warhammer 40k.....

..... But now I am doing the even-more-costly Horus Heresy Battles in 30k

It all started with my wife letting me steal/borrow/have one of her Audible credits and I got the audiobook for Horus Rising, the first in the opening trilogy of the Horus Heresy and it was great.
Just Great? Well it was an opener as the next two audiobooks False Gods and Galaxy in Flames were AMAZING!
Really sold me on the characters - though I have always loved the Horus Heresy from the short story about the Siege of Terra

Infact here it is! Ah such nostalgia!
Spoiler (click to reveal)

On the thirteenth of Secundus, the bombardment began. From orbit, the Warmaster's ships laid down an unrelenting barrage of missiles and deadly energy beams. The aim was to cripple the defences around the Emperor's Palace and make possible a massive invasion of Earth. The lunar bases had already fallen, and the defending Battlefleet Solar had been scattered. On Mars, as across the entire vast Imperium, bitter civil war raged.

On countless worlds, blood-mad warriors clashed. Those who had pledged loyalty to the Emperor fought those who had sworn fealty to Warmaster Horus and, through him, to the dark powers of Chaos. The Emperor's realm was in turmoil and some of the greatest battles in human history were being fought. On the hive-world of Thranx over a million warriors died in a single day on the killing fields of Perdagor. On the blazing deserts of Tallarn, at the Ka'an Salient, fifty thousand tanks clashed in the greatest armoured action of all time. During the space drop on Vanaheim, three hive-cities were depopulated by rebel forces as a warning against resistance, yet still the defenders fought to the last man.

Like a cancer, the Heresy infected the entire structure of the Imperium. Everywhere brave men gave up their lives to try to excise that cancer.

It was on Earth, at the very heart of the Emperor's realm, that the fate of the galaxy was to be decided. In those last days, the sky was black with dust clouds and the earth split by gigantic fissures. Tectonic plates shifted under the stress of the bombardment. Mountain chains shivered and seas evaporated and became barren deserts. Rains of blood and ash dripped from the dark sky. Astropathic choirs sang of evil portents and men went mad with fear. Hideously twisted ships full of the lost and the damned hung in orbit over the ravaged world. Shielded from the devastation by the cunningly wrought defences of the Adeptus Mechanicus, a pitiful few stood ready to repel the invaders.

The embattled remnants of the Emperor's army were desperately trying to hold out until reinforcements arrived. The Emperor himself oversaw the defence of his fortress-palace, personally commanding the Adeptus Custodes, his elite guard. He was accompanied by Sanguinius, white-pinioned Primarch of the Blood Angels and his legion of Space Marines. In the palace grounds stood the stalwart Adeptus Arbites. The palace was not the only bastion of resistance; there were others, each an awesome fortified city filled with dauntless soldiers. Beneath the ruins of the Imperial Basilica, grim visaged Rogal Dorn led the stern Imperial Fists in final prayers. Within the armoured factory complexes of the Adeptus Mechanicus, tech-priests put aside their tools and girded themselves with the fearsome weapons of their order. In the rubble of burned-out hab-areas, Primarch Jaghatai Khan mustered the White Scars, the Chapter of Space Marines which he had personally instructed in the art of lightning warfare. Three full Titan legions stood ready to defend their Emperor.

As the earth shuddered under the bombardment, tank divisions roared across the tortured landscape to take up their position against the coming invasion. Brave men checked their weapons and offered up last prayers. Defence lasers swivelled to face the turbulent threatening sky. Suddenly, the night was streaked by the plasma contrails of drop-pods. Within the Emperor's halls even the Space Marines shuddered, knowing that they would soon confront their lost and damned brethren. The terrifying prospect of facing these corrupt Primarchs who had sold their souls to Chaos filled every man's mind with indescribable horror and dread.

The pods touched ground and from them erupted the mightiest champions of Chaos, the renegade Space Marines of the lost legions. These were no longer the fine human warriors of legend but twisted creatures, bodies warped by the energies of Chaos, minds twisted by their devotion to the dark powers. If what had happened to the Space Marines was bad then what had happened to their Primarchs was worse. They had been created higher in the Emperor's esteem and had fallen further. None of their former comrades would have recognised them - they had been transformed into creatures both daemonic and exultant.

Mighty Angron bellowed orders to his blood-drinking followers, the World Eaters. Brandishing his great runeswordhe led them against the defenders of Eternity Wall Spaceport. Around his red-armoured followers bolter shots whined. Unflinchingly they advanced, determined to spill blood for the Blood God.

At Mortarion's rasping command, the Death Guard emerged silently from the festering cocoons of their drop-pods and advanced on their terror-stricken foes. The dread runes on Mortarion's scythe glittered eerily in the night as he gestured for them to advance.

Magnus the Red glared triumphantly about him with his one watchful eye before ordering the mage-warriors of the Thousand Sons to cast their spells of doom.

A hail of deadly bolter shells cut down dozens of the Emperor's Children. Undeterred, the wounded howled with pleasure at the experience and chanted the praises of their Primarch, Fulgrim. The renegade Space Marines surged forward to carve a path through their foes.

Perhaps some defenders went mad with fear. Perhaps the corruption of Chaos ran deeper than anyone suspected. Perhaps some were foolish enough to think that they could negotiate with the

ultimate enemy. Whatever the reason, one last vile treachery was to take place. Many units of the Imperial army that had pledged loyalty to the Emperor turned blasphemer even as the Traitor Space Marines made their drop. It was almost as if it were a pre-arranged signal. In one of the basest acts of betrayal in Humanity's history, they turned their weapons on their brother warriors and cut them down like dogs. Thus did the Lions Gate Spaceport fall to the rebels. As the heretics chanted and howled their mad prayers, the air shimmered and slavering daemons emerged from the warp to spread terror and dismay.

Then indeed did it seem to the defenders that they were living in the last days of Mankind. Huge bat-winged Bloodthirsters swept triumphantly across the weeping skies. Clawed Keepers of Secrets danced lasciviously on piles of corpses. Great Unclean Ones chuckled as they lumbered through the ruined streets spreading trails of filth and slime and disease. Enigmatic Lords of Change perched atop the towers and statues and supervised the coming of Chaos to the heart of the world. Mighty ships began the descent from orbit, hoping to overwhelm the defenders by sheer weight of numbers. Unlike the drop-pods, these presented fine targets for the weapons of the defenders. And thus did the battle for Earth begin in earnest.


Defence lasers blasted many renegade ships from the sky, sending thousands of tons of fused metal death raining down onto the ground below. One giant raft span out of control and crashed into a hab-unit, killing a hundred thousand people. Another was welded to the ground, disgorging its passengers into a lake of bubbling tar and plas-crete. The vessel of the Legio Damnatus was vaporised and that Titan Legion's name passed into history. As quickly as they disembarked, the traitors surged forth from the spaceports to besiege the bastions of the defenders. Their first objective was to silence the defence lasers inflicting such casualties on their comrades. The rebels were met by a wave of Imperial defenders, desperate men who knew that they were giving their lives for their home world and their Emperor.

In the tightly packed streets around the spaceports, the fighting was close and deadly. Bolters chattered and missile launchers delivered cargoes of death from building to nearby building. Traitor tanks rumbled through the avenues, turrets swivelling to bring weapons to bear on the hastily improvised barricades of their former comrades.

Soon the defenders of Eternity Wall Spaceport had been swept aside by the merciless assault and the hordes of the Warmaster were in total possession of the space field. More and more intricately wrought drop-ships descended from orbit. They towered over the landing ground like nightmare skyscrapers, the dark runes on their sides glowing evilly in the gloom. Hundred-metre high doors opened in their kilometre-long sides. From their red depths, Titans emerged. They were warped giants; the armour of their carapace fused and moulded into new shapes by the power of Chaos. Within them were men melded to their machines. Some of the hideous Titans had strange and potent weapons, others were a bizarre hybrid of the organic and the machine. Metal tentacles lashed, spiked tails whipped back and forth. Engines roared like the voices of angry beasts. Banners fluttering, the Titans of the Storm Lords and the Flaming Skulls legions marched forth. At Lions Gate Spaceport, the traitors welcomed the towering black war engines of the Khornate host. Monsters, mutants and cultists seethed like angry ants around their bases.

Reinforced by this fresh wave of troops, the hordes swept on, driving through the exhausted and demoralised Imperial troops to the very walls of the Emperor's palace. Khornate warriors howling their bestial war cries raced towards the marble and steel outer ring. Hordes of unstoppable Thousand Sons marched relentlessly forward, bolter fire raking the defenders. Slaaneshi Noise Marines swept aside the Imperial Guard infantry and reached the Saturnine Gate. Round the walls bitter fighting ensued as the Imperial soldiers sallied forth, trying to drive the attackers back before the main body of the assaulting troops arrived. Men died in their thousands. From pillbox emplacements in the palace walls Imperial gun crews rained death down on the relentless attackers. Again and again the streets outside the palace were swept clear of heretics. Again and again new foes stepped forward to take their place.

Now indeed it seemed that the tide of battle had turned against the Emperor. The spaceports were firmly in the grasp of the minions of the Warmaster. Hundreds of thousands of troops poured down from orbit. Gibbering mutants and hideous amorphous Chaos Spawn surged out of the dread ships. Under the banner of the great eye, the sign of Horus, the lackeys of the four great powers of Chaos marched united. Mounted in Rhinos, lurking within mighty behemoths and clinging to the sides of gigantic war-engines, they made their way en masse to the Emperor's palace.

Looking down on the seething sea of foulness, the defenders' hearts went cold. Mingling with the daemons and the mad-eyed cultists and the mutants, they could see heretical Space Marines and traitor Guardsmen. These were people they might have once fought alongside, who had once been as loyal to the Emperor as themselves. They looked upon a dark mirror of their souls. Down there they could see martial honour become berserk madness, human cleverness become sly treachery, hope become foulness and love become abominable lust. The brave men on the walls knew that there was no way out. Here they must stand and fight and die. There would be no mercy from those below.

This was a war where there could be no honourable peace. It was destroy or be destroyed. For a moment all was silence, then Angron strode forth. In his brazen voice he demanded that the loyalists surrender. He told them that their cause was hopeless, as they faced a foe which could not be defeated. They were cut off, outnumbered, and defending a ruler too weak to be worthy of their loyalty. In that moment the men on the walls felt their resolve weaken. Looking at the transformed face of the Primarch who had once been one of the Emperor's finest warriors, they saw an invincible, relentless foe backed by a numberless horde and all the daemonic might of Chaos.

There was a clamour on the walls as Sanguinius and the Blood Angels arrived. Standing on the wall, the angel-winged Primarch glared on Angron with angry contempt. For long moments their gazes locked, each Primarch seemed to be measuring the other, searching for chinks in the armour, for any sign of weakness and lack of resolve. Who knows what they saw there? Perhaps they communicated telepathically, brother Primarch to brother Primarch. The truth will never be known. Eventually Angron turned and walked back to his lines. He told his troops that there would be no surrender; they should kill everyone they found within the palace. No stone should be left upon stone.

With a roar the horde advanced towards the walls. Great Lords of Battle lurched forward on iron wheels, crushing anything in their way, unloading racks of missiles and turning the area on the top of the walls into blazing storms of death. Doom Burners sent tongues of superheated metal licking out at the emplacements. Molten brass filtered through the windows and scalded those inside. Multi-tracked Cauldrons of Blood squirted jets of obscene daemonic ichor onto the defenders. Enormous Flesh Hounds of Khorne loped forward in their wake. Titans armed with specially constructed siege weapons lumbered into position. Battle cruisers dropped megatons of explosive death onto the defenders.

Every loyal warrior knew that he was already dead, that there was no way he could survive the coming of the daemonic army. The soldiers fought with the desperate ferocity of hopeless men, firing until their weapons were empty, snatching up the bolters of the fallen, and facing monsters with the butts of their guns when all ammunition was exhausted. Three times the horde managed to scale the walls, and three times it was driven off by the valiant efforts of Sanguinius and the Blood Angels. Wearily the Primarch marshalled the defenders, rallying the broken, speaking words of comfort to the mortally wounded, fighting with cold, implacable fury when he was called upon to do so. Slowly though, despite his efforts, the Chaos forces managed to erode the defence. They seemed numberless as the grains of sand on a sea shore and Horus spent their lives carelessly.

Outside the walls, Imperial forces frantically raced from their bastions to try to relieve the palace. Titan legions boldly cut their way towards the centre of the rebel army. The White Scars Space Marines harried its flanks. No attempt to break the rebel line succeeded. Breaking through that blood-mad horde was a near impossible task. All four of the daemonic Primarchs inspired their followers to feats of fiendish bravery. For every Chaos warrior who died it seemed that two more stood ready to take his place.

In orbit, the Warmaster watched approvingly. If the palace fell and the Emperor died, loyalist legions across the galaxy would lose heart and the war would be over. Without the psychic shield of the Emperor's power, Humanity would swiftly fall prey to Chaos. Horus would stand triumphant amid the rubble of Humanity's greatest empire. He would become a new and angry god. If he did not win soon, reinforcements would filter in from the corners of the Imperium, and his attack would falter. For the Warmaster this was the desperate, ultimate gamble. Everything was staked on this attack. It had to succeed, and at that moment it looked as if it might.

Day by day the siege wore on, casualties rose from the thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Bodies had to be bulldozed from the access ways to the Saturnine Gate by war machines. Chaos Titans blazed at the walls, specially constructed missiles ripping great chunks from the masonry. The Titans of the Fire Wasps answered their fire with volcano cannons. The smell of burning flesh filled the air as the corpses of the dead were incinerated in funeral pyres a hundred foot high. Obscene ash parched the throats of the defenders. The World Eaters built a pyramid of scorched skulls sixty foot high in Temple Square. By night the chants of degenerate cultists echoed through the streets and daemons flitted among the ruins of Earth.

Slowly, foot by torturous foot, the defenders were forced back. The great walls of the palace were riddled with hundreds of kilometres of bulkheads and corridor. Within this maze, bitter hand-to-hand fighting ensued until entire sections of passage were filled with bloated corpses. Feeling that progress was too slow, Horus ordered the Titans of the Death's Head Legion to demolish

entire sections of the wall. Despite taking tremendous casualties, the great Warlord Titans broke through, and the forces of the Warmaster flooded into the palace grounds.

While all this was taking place, Jaghatai Khan of the White Scars had implemented a change of plan. Rather than throwing away his forces against the near invincible bulk of the main Chaos army, he launched a lightning raid against Lions Gate Spaceport. This night attack was spearheaded by the savage warriors of the White Scars, who led the remnants of the 1st Tank Division and elements of the surviving Guard armies against the surprised heretics. Khan threw a defensive perimeter around the spaceport and held it against all counter-attacks. The flow of men and materials towards the palace was halved at a stroke.

This success gave heart to the defenders. They swiftly attempted to seize Eternity Wall Spaceport, but here the forces of the Warmaster were better prepared. The attackers were ambushed and driven back by traitors. Horus knew it was imperative to keep his beachhead secure. The final push on the inner palace had begun.


The battle raged across the grounds of the Inner Gardens. What had once been a vast parkland was swiftly turned into a killing ground. Men used statues for cover and monuments for bunkers. Blood swirled in the waters of the ornamental lakes. Groves of ancient redwoods burned. The smell of the burning mingled with the acrid odours of weapons and engines and death. Red-eyed, snatching sleep when they could, both sides fought a total war. Trenches were hurriedly excavated in the meadows. Snipers killed men as they tried to sip brackish water from the ruined fountains.

Both sides fought with unimaginable naked ferocity. Both sides sensed that the end was near.

Eventually Sanguinius was forced to retreat to within the palace itself, personally holding the Ultimate Gate against the oncoming horde while the last of his wounded men was carried through. Just as the giant ceramite gate was about to close, a Bloodthirster of Khorne leapt upon him and the daemon's huge talons closed around Sanguinius' throat. The Primarch took to the air, angel and daemon wrestling over the warring armies. Both sides halted for a moment to watch the titanic struggle. It was a conflict such as has been rarefy seen; two beings of awesome power wrestling above them.

Sanguinius was weary and near the end of his strength, and the daemon gouged great wounds in his flesh. The heretical throng roared its approval as the Primarch was cast to the ground, the

impact splintering the granite. For a moment the Primarch lay still and a groan rose from the Blood Angels as the daemon stood over him and howled in exultation. Then slowly and painfully the Blood Angels' Primarch rose and seized the creature, raised it high and broke its back across his knee. Then, with a halo of power playing round his head, he tossed its broken carcass back amid its followers. They beat their chests and rent their hair and wailed in dismay as the Ultimate Gate shut.

Above, the great Sky Fortress bore Rogal Dorn and the remnants of the Imperial Fists to the inner palace. The loyal Primarch was determined to stand and die with his Emperor in the final hour. The Sky Fortress then raced away from the palace in a desperate attempt to reach Jaghatai Khan and return him to the palace. It was destroyed by a blaze of fire from the Death's Head Titan Legion. Even in death its commander wrought havoc on the enemy, bringing the crippled vehicle down into the centre of the Chaos horde. It seemed as if a new sun was born on Earth as the plasma reactor exploded, blasting out a crater three kilometres across. Those within the palace knew they were cut off; now they were truly alone. Only a miracle could save them.


Now the final siege began. Through great breaches in the outer walls more and more armaments and reinforcements were brought to bear. The Warmaster himself prepared to teleport down to the surface and supervise the destruction of his former lord. Then a daemon from the Warp whispered to him the words that he had dreaded. A loyalist fleet under Leman Russ and Lion El'Johnson bearing a fresh army of Space Wolves and Dark Angels was only hours away. It would take days to break Humanity's last citadel, even with Horus leading his troops. It seemed that time had run out for the Warmaster, that his gamble had failed.

Horus was first among the fallen, with the power of a god and the cunning of a daemon. He resolved to try one final desperate gambit. He could still kill the Emperor. He ordered all comm-net communications blocked so that the defenders would get no word from their rescuers and then he used his psychic powers to the full to prevent the Emperor becoming aware of this. Finally he dropped the shields of his command ship. It was an invitation and a personal challenge that he knew the Emperor could not resist. He was being offered a chance finally to smite the foe who had harried him for so long.

The Emperor rose to the challenge, and he and his surviving Primarchs teleported aboard the Warmaster's battle barge. Horus used his powers to separate the Emperor from his loyal followers. The loyalists were transported to different spots within his hideously altered ship. Sanguinius fought his way directly to Horus' throne room. In his evil cunning the Warmaster offered the Blood Angel a chance to switch sides, reasoning that the winged Primarch's followers would be useful when the Space Wolves and the Dark Angels arrived.

Sanguinius refused. Horus grew wrathful and attacked him. At the peak of his powers the Blood Angel would have been no match for the Warmaster and now, sorely wounded and weary, he had no chance at all. Horus strangled him with his bare hands before the throne which the powers of Chaos had gifted him with.

The Emperor found Horus shortly after this and what happened next is the subject of legend. The two mightiest beings in the history of Mankind clashed. They met blade to blade, power to power, mind to mind and tested sinew and psychic ability to the ultimate. Behind Horus was the massed power of the Chaos gods. The Emperor stood alone and still he triumphed, though he was terribly wounded in the process.

The psychic shock wave of the Warmaster's passing rippled outward through the warp. On Earth, daemons screamed and vanished, and the rebel Primarchs stood dumbfounded. It was their leader, not their enemy's, who was dead and they knew it. With the one who had raised the banner of rebellion dead, there was nothing to hold the rebels together. They were demoralised and dismayed. When word of the oncoming Imperial fleet reached them they knew that they must flee.

Within the perimeter of Lions Gate Spaceport, Jaghatai Khan and the handful of unwounded White Scars watched in amazement as the horde halted in confusion then retreated. Angron, Fulgrim, Magnus the Red and Mortarion led their men to their ships and departed, leaving the deluded, traitorous followers of Chaos to their fate. As he stepped aboard his ship, Angron turned and shook his fist at the glittering dome of the Imperial palace that had proved just out of his taloned reach.

Then he shrugged; he and his fellow rebels had all eternity to seek revenge. The Battle for Earth was effectively over. The Horus Heresy was ended. Rogal Dorn found the Emperor's broken body in the ruins of the Warmaster's throne room. Through mangled lips, the Emperor whispered instructions for the creation of his golden throne. Dorn smiled, for while the Emperor still lived there was still hope.

The veteran Primarch returned to Earth. There was much to be done.


So how would I go about this even more expensive hobby (its even more expensive because its ForgeWorld stuff) when my hobby budget was already stretched thin?
I bribed my wife with nearly 1 million WoW Gold to increase my hobby allowance a bit and we worked on a currency conversion.

With a starting budget to work on two Horus Heresy Legions it came down to deciding who they would be.
Horus and his Sons of Horus legion was a no-brainer but who would be his opposition?
Obviously a Loyalist faction although I could do an Istvaan III and do a loyalist remnants of either the Lunar Wolves, Emperor's Children or Deathguard but nah.
Corvus Corax is one of my favorite Primarchs and his battle ethics suit my character but I have a special idea for doing his force.
So it fell to Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands because I like the miniature, the ease of painting and his character in the audiobook Fulgrim.



To make a start on my Sons of Horus I bought the boardgame Betrayal At Calth as its a perfect core set with 30 Mark IV marines, Caterphractii Terminators and a Dreadnaught.

I want this to be a special project, if not just to justify its cost.
So I am going all next level with it, painting, basing etc.
One thing I was suggested and am doing is Magnetising my troops so I can exchange their load outs

These marines have bolters but can exchange them for a special weapon.
The Sergeant has two pistol options and 4 close combat options magnetized.


This marine has been magnetized to be either a standard bolter, Heavy Bolter or Missile Launcher.

At this stage I have magnetized a full 10 man Veteran Tactical squad and need some more magnets to continue, other than that I am just waiting for next budget installment to get Legion Shoulderpads for them!
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Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:26 am
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A Comprehensive side by side comparison: Warhammer 40th 8th ed vs Warpath Firefight

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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Two brilliant games in my opinion that both fill the same niche, Sci-Fiction/Fantasy set in the far future.
One a dark millennium of nothing but war, to the shining future where mankind has encroached too far into the realms of other races causing conflict.

WARHAMMER 40k 8th Edition vs WARPATH FireFight.


I love and enjoy both these games but it almost feels to me that perfection lay in between these two.

LORE: Warhammer 40k Absolutely, around 30 years of amazing lore like the Primarchs, Fall of the Eldar etc.

COST: WARPATH, so much cheaper! 40k is so damn expensive plus nasty pricing strategies based on performance of figures.

PACE: WARPATH, Alternate activations keep you more invested. I feel bored during my opponents turn in 40k.

DEPTH: Warhammer 40k, so many more options and choices. More personality. Warpath is limited in what you get to choose from.
In 40k if you want to field an elite force or a mechanized force, its pretty easy to. Warpath is limited with the amount of vehicles especially that each army has access to.

NARRATIVE: I think the Open War cards for 40k tell more of a story than the Objective cards for Warpath and offer more randomness to make each game different.

SIMPLICITY: WARPATH, base rules contain keyword blanket rules that are easy to remember, where as 40k each unit could have similar rules but with different names requiring more look up time.

FUN: I can't really say, Warpaths turn sequence keeps me interested more, but 40k games seem to satisfy more despite some turn play tedium.
40k is about the Alpha Strike where Warpath is more action/reactionary play.

CUSTOMIZATION: Probably Warhammer 40k, as different load out options for characters and troop leaders allows greater customization.
Warpath has limited options for characters and squad leaders.

QUALITY OF PLASTICS: Warhammer 40k easily for better designed kits, but the quality of Warpath is decent.

QUALITY OF RESINS: WARPATH seems to have better quality control than Failcast unless something has changed GW side. I've had no issue with Restic that Mantic uses.

As you can probably tell, I am really torn between loving these two games.
More to come as I think them up
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Sat Dec 9, 2017 7:06 am
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Oops I did it again....

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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So I crumpled like a used cup and bought Dark Imperium, the new starter set for 40k.

My plan with this is to take it slow and get everything painted up to a very high standard and slowly add to the forces I have from the Starter set.
Of course its in my nature to want to rush ahead and get Apocalypse sized battles happening yesterday...

I have always (even if I have denied it vehemently) loved Warhammer 40k for its lore and setting, even if I hated Games-Workshop.
The new lore which has finally gotten somewhere see's the return of the Primarchs, in particular two of them - The Loyalist Roboute Guiliman and the Demon Primarch of the Death Guard Mortarion.
Mortarion was the thing that really caught my interest and lit the spark of desire for 40k again.
I'm pretty confident that I could paint him up to the standard he deserves now, thats a good thing with my new foray into 40k - I'm intentionally breaking my old rushed painting habits and taking things slow.

I feel at odds and at a crossroads, because I bought A LOT of Warpath for two massive armies and still love that game. But there is something drawing about Warhammer 40k that just weakens my resolve.

That said I boosted both starter forces with a nice trade of some resin buildings I had from the 1650's Indiegogo campaign that I meant for Carnevale but never actually used.
In fact I completely forgot about them as they were sitting at the bottom of a box of terrain pieces I kept stored.
So that was a nice trade, Nurglings and Plaguebearers, 40 Cultists and 15 Primaris Marines (5 Hellblasters ooh yea!)

Kinda uncertain where to go right now, but my Warpath armies are virtually complete purchase wise, just lots of assembly and painting to go.

I did start casting bricks up again, which was nice but its so damn hot in the games room I come out like I've been in a sauna.
Pretty successful casts since its been nearly 5 years since I last did some.

Still jacked and amped for Star Saga, though there was a mispack error with some cards or something so I probably won't get it before Xmas, poo.

My Fortnightly Hobby allowance that my wife gives me won't go far, but I guess I'm getting the Death Guard Codex this pay.
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Mon Dec 4, 2017 7:59 am
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Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas ....

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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XMAS BONUS FOR EVERY ME!
Well it doesn't rhyme but oh well.

Scored a nice little bonus which sorted out Christmas this year for us.
My wife and her family in the States are very big on the holiday but my small family here aren't, hell Dad rarely ever spends Christmas with us.
But that's ok, more Mass Effect 3 for me!

Gamewise I scored a wicked nice trade on some old roleplay stuff at the local games shop, a lot more than I was expecting which allowed me to get the Starfinder Core Rulebook, Alien Archive PDF, GMs Screen, and some other RP tidbits plus spare money for lunch and moulds if I wanted.

Starfinder really struck a chord with me because outside of the known galaxy in the setting, its all open for homebrew, which is me all over.
Open sci fantasy gaming which allows me to draw from some of my favorite inspirations - Mass Effect Trilogy being the biggest one.
Also, its not Star Wars - I've tried to run games in Star Wars but its not easy trying to maintain the theme. Plus the Starship rules for Star Wars wasn't fun for any non-piloting characters, but luckily Starfinder has overcome this issue I had even though we haven't touched on that aspect of the game yet.
Plus I have been a DM on and off for over 20 years and I really struggle to have any ideas for fantasy anymore, but with Sci Fantasy I have lots of options and the freedom of not having to explain everything, since there is magic in the setting.
"How did this computer get infected while it was completely isolated??? - LOL MAGIC!"
Yeah its a cheap shot, but a saving grace too!
Had our first game session with a homebrew story of mine that drew inspiration from the movie called Virus, and everyone enjoyed it. It really was a breath of fresh air, even the jokes were coming from new and unexpected angles.

As for the Hirst Arts situation I figured I would probably buy more Sci-Fi moulds and do some terrain up for Starfinder and Star Saga when I get that. I already have a few of their moulds and they are great.
Initially I bought them to 3D my game of Sedition Wars but that kinda died flat - Pity McVey Studios let it die, it was a great concept mired with kickstarter issues.
So I probably won't be doing the 3d Shifting Pyramid tiles for Aliens VS Predator: The Hunt Begins.
Still haven't gotten around to getting a second game in of that, and I bolstered up each force in anticipation for the next game.

Star Saga!
Oh I can't wait to get this goodie, with my Xmas bonus I was tempted to scour a retail copy online from an Essen reseller but found no copies available.
BUT.... I did find a nice Etsy store where a guy did some nice Mass Effect Miniatures in 28mm and 54mm scales, not sure how they will scale up compared to my Warpath figures and those in Star Saga, but eh I thought why not.
Just can't wait to get my kickstarter game, plus all the goodies that come with it! Especially the character builder.

Warpath wise, I've been buffing up my Forge Fathers and Enforcers nicely into two large armies.
Its a great wargame and nicely priced.
Our last battle was particularly bloody with my army having only Armor left on the table and unable to capture objectives in buildings while the Enforcers were down to a couple of measly survivors fleeing under the weight of suppression weapons fire.
Closest I've come to a victory and been tweaking the army more and more.
Its just a pity that this game isn't more popular.

Collected up EXACTLY 70 Mantic Points and mailed them off which allowed me to get some Walking Dead All Out War exclusives - Negan, Abraham and Michone, plus Ricks Badge and the Bag of guns.
I changed my mind about getting Walker Ronnie and instead got the Dreadball robot that looks like Legion from Mass Effect, so now I will have 2.

Of course for my Wife, the Christmas bonus meant getting her the new iPad she wanted plus money to sit on in case of a rainy day.
Oh, I can't wait for the near future!

BTW Technically it wasn't a Xmas Bonus but it sure feels like one!
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Fri Nov 3, 2017 11:39 am
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ARRGGGGGGHHHH! Too many projects!

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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Getting snowed under with ideas, just in time for summer.

I've been funding my hobby stuff by selling bundles of my massive supply of D&D miniatures which is great, because I might really need some cash with a particular idea in mind.

Let see, well I've been contemplating for a long time to get back into doing Hirst Arts stuff, I have a lot of casts from my Sci-Fi moulds that I planned for Sedition Wars but it never really panned out.
Now I am saving those bricks for Mantic's Star Saga, though the sci-fi dungeon design might be a bit more complex since the tiles don't click together with jigsaw-like pieces meaning a door can be anywhere along any edge of a tile.

Also I have the idea to create a 3D shifting Pyramid for Aliens Vs Predator games, I've got it all planned out and if I even want to get more complex with it I could make a second story of tiles and add a vertical element to the shifting. But being the lazy prick I am I probably won't.
Checking the price from my Australian supplier of Hirst Arts I find the prices have gone up notably, used to be about $35 for moulds, now its about $50.
One caveat about making AvP tiles is that it would be very complex to make infested tiles for the Alien player, but maybe a paint scheme could suffice.

My AvP game came on Friday, and next week I am (hopefully) getting my Dreadball stuff.
I really wanted to go 3D with Dreadball with a mini stadium which is REALLY jumping the gun seeing as I haven't even played the game yet.
I emailed Amera plastic works who do a 3D stadium to fit around your Dreadball board and while the stadium was nicely priced their cheapest estimate of shipping just broke the bank.
Also looking at the Customeeple sidebenches, sinbin etc which look amazing but again, costly.

Took me a while to balance my hobby budget this fortnight as I was tossing up between getting some vehicles for Warpath or expanding AvP. I think I will expand AvP with an Alien Queen, Facehuggers and some more Colonial Marines with the bonus that I have some stand in miniatures for Sentry Guns.
There is a Horrorclix Predator Elder that I am really tempted to get but is costly, quite a bit for a single plastic mini.
So buy a single costly figure or put funds towards hands on hobby stuff like terrain and tiles?
That figure is pretty perfect for what I want though.

I still have a lot of Warpath stuff to assemble, I bought a Mega two player set and had a mispack so emailed Mantic and they are sending me out the missing components, this isn't my first mispack from Mantic but they have always hooked me up each time.

I think I need to organise some more bundles of D&D minis for the local RP groups, they have been nabbing my stuff like hotcakes which is awesome as I get funds from stuff that is just clogging up my room and put them into something more current.

I still get tempted by Warhammer 40k, it was my first love afterall back in 2nd ed. A local seller had a whole bunch of Eldar metals from 2nd edition and I was so happy when someone else nabbed them up, because I felt weak in wanting them and nearly budged.
Another thing that killed my 40k Hard-on was the price of Deathshroud Bodyguard terminators to screen Mortarion, $100 for 3 figures.....
That's why I love Mantic, they charge you for the content of the box without any additional inflation just because some minis are more useful ingame than others - their pricing is nicely consistent.
Its a shitty pricing system you have Games-Workshop, charging extra because something is more useful in game, some may think its smart business but I think its just scummy.
I have always been a loyalist Marine player, or mostly a Craftworld Eldar player so can't explain this draw I have to Mortarion other than I really really liked him in Epic Spacemarine.

EDIT: Oh yeah another thing that pissed me off, I was on the boards about Forgeworld and a guy complained to them about some stuff he bought that was bent and some others that were broken.
Forgeworld's reply to him basically turned it around and said he wasn't skilled enough for such a complex kit.....
Heating and bending might be a thing with them, but out of the resin minis I have from AvP, 1650's and some other stuff I don't know how GW and Forgeworld can do such a shitty job and be lax with their quality control.

Ah so much to do.
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Sun Oct 8, 2017 11:05 am
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Hobby Log Update - "so little time...."

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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Just thinking out aloud here, I find it helps me organize my thoughts and assists me planning my next moves.

Recently I've been on a hell of a Mantic kick which I have no intention of slowing, infact I intend to add Dreadball to the notch on my belt. Been asking for advice on where to start on the FB Dreadball fanatics page and getting a mix of responses based on two options: Getting Dreadball base game or Dreadball Xtreme base game.
Next year first quarter Dreadball 2 will hit retail, but I would like to dip my toes in first and get a couple teams painted and maybe a custom pitch.
My friend Tom who I do alot of trades with shocked me, I thought he would have a small smattering of Dreadball but it seems he kickstarted for the whole lot which is way too deep for me to dive into. (See Shadows of Brimstone coming up)
That, and I've run out of things to trade!

So I intend to finish up my Warpath armies of Forge Fathers and Enforcers, maybe add a little eventually to my Asterian's whom my wife has taken interest in.
Purchase wise, I want to get some team bases to try Warpath proper.

Walking Dead wise I just need the Item Card deck, and soon I will have enough Mantic Points for everything I want to get. (Abraham, Negan, Michonne, bag of guns, Walker Ronnie)

Now in trades this week with Tom, I scored a Minecart pledge for Shadows of Brimstone minus the two base games which I already had.
When I first bought into Brimstone I was so excited I had both base games painted up in time for that weekend game session!
Now, I am practically snowed under with Shadows of Brimstone stuff and its pretty daunting on where to make a start.
I intend to play it painted, so everything I add to the game will be painted and then have its cards integrated into my decks.

So I'm going to keep track with this blog and use it to keep me accountable as I slowly work my way through the Minecart.
Current plans
- Assemble and paint the Wandering Samurai
- Paint the Doorways Expansion
- Assemble and paint Undead Gunslingers and bandits from Frontier Town, then integrate them all into my game.
- Maybe do the large Cthulhu monster or most likely the Darkstone Hydra.

Oh, and I have the Aliens Vs Predator: The Hunt Begins hopefully being delivered this week, wasn't expecting on scoring a Minecart pledge so ooops! LOL
Oh well, something to sink my teeth into until Star Saga.

Alright wish me luck as I dive in deep!
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Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:48 am
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Mantic Gaming going strong, or Darn you I'm an addict :P

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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I've been getting some regular gaming in every couple of weeks, its not much but it takes the edge off I guess.
What I'd really love is to get back into some seriously regular gaming.

SO WHAT AM I PLAYING THESE DAYS?
Mostly I'm enjoying Warpath FireFight which is their 40k style every model is an individual sci-fi game and I love it.
Love the rules, they fix most of my irks I had with 40k notably the turn system which is alternating activation of units.
The stories I heard about 40k players tabling their opponents in the first or second turn appalls me, I mean how can that be fun? For both the loser and winner, at best its probably an ego-booster for the victor.
So Firefight scratches that 40k itch for me, and I'm thinking Warpath Proper will scratch the Epic 40k itch I have.

Warpath or (Warpath Proper as it is known) is the large scale version of the game, where infantry aren't individuals but bases of troops and instead of removing individual figures when they are killed you remove whole bases of teams when enough damage is done in a single attack, there are no wounds to track.
Though in this system Anti-tank weapons are pretty powerful, and having individual vehicles instead of formations of them seem anemic.
Good thing Warpath is quite cheap by comparison!

The one thing Warpath lacks that 40k has is the Lore, but for a better enjoyed game I can overlook this, even if I have never EVER even considered playing Chaos and felt a twinge of desire when I saw the video of Mortarion.
Funnily enough Robute Guilliman did nothing for me (and I'm more of a loyalist Space Marine player), and I just can't stand seeing his boyish unhelmeted face.
I was tempted to get back into 40k but honestly I can't justify the cost firstly, and secondly the rules don't seem that great especially after playing Warpath Firefight. I hear nightmare stories about 7th edition rules but I played from 2nd edition to about 5th?(Assault on Black Reach) and my enthusiasm for the game just steadily declined long before I reached that 7th edition.
I've been watching play by play videos of 8th Edition but the rules don't stand out to me as anything special, all these comments I hear about how the new game is better, the rules are streamlined etc are all base elements in Warpath Firefight.


I have also been enjoying The Walking Dead: All Out War.
Its a very simple game but so much fun and takes up very little space.
Plays very fast too, just like Warpath and Firefight.
Can't wait to get Negan and do Saviors band of survivors.


I do enjoy Deadzone which is an awesome skirmish game taking up very little space, but I think I prefer the larger battles of Warpath Firefight over Deadzone.

Recently in the last month I scored in a trade a large Kings of War and Dungeon Saga bundle, though I've barely looked through it. But my big score was buying someones Star Saga Pledge and that really has me chomping at the bit. I'm not the only one planning Mass Effect conversions!
I can't wait for Star Saga and most importantly, the character creator, so I can recreate my sniper Commander Shepard from Mass Effect Trilogy.

Last but not least, I don't know how it happened but I got interested in Dreadball. I didn't mind Bloodbowl and thought it was fun but never played leagues or even competitively with it.
Heres hoping I can score some Dreadball in a coming up trade.


Oh, and there is one other game that caught my interest - Aliens Vs Predator: The Hunt Begins 2nd edition.
Purchasing this was kind of a balm while waiting for Star Saga to deliver, but looks fun and we'll see how it goes.


Heres to hoping I get more gaming on and soon!
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Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:13 pm
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Mantic's The Walking Dead vs Zombie-A-Go-Go

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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Two very similar games, just a comparison between them because I believe the perfect zombie game lies somewhere between the two.

ZaGG: Zombie-A-Go-Go by Monomer Games
TWD: The Walking Dead: All Out War by Mantic


Similarities and Differences:
Noise and Mayhem
In TWD actions creating 'noise' activate the nearest Walker within 10 inches to move 6 inches closer to the noise, where in Zombie-A-Go-Go every zombie within 16 inches makes a move closer to the noise.
Their movement differs based on the type of zombie that they are.
Actions that create 'Mayhem' activate all Walkers within 10 inches in TWD, where as weapons or abilities with the Loud trait in Zombie-A-Go-Go activate EVERY zombie on the table.

In addition, a kill in Zombie-A-Go-Go that doesn't make noise, A stealth kill in melee or with silencer, has a 1 in 6 chance of causing a Zombie Howl that activates all zombies on the table, just like the Loud Trait.


Dice
TWD uses custom dice where as ZaGG uses D6's

Player Actions
TWD uses a common system to Mantic games, the short action, and a players activation is two different short actions one after the other.
A movement action can be 4 inches of sneaking, or 8 inches of running causing noise.
ZaGG has a dice pool system based on how strong you are and you spend the dice to perform actions, some you will roll the dice for, some you won't.
For Example spending 1 dice on movement gives you 6 inches of movement and is considered sneaking, spending 2 dice on movement is a run of 12 inches and causes noise.

Walkers Vs Zombies
Currently in TWD all Walkers are the same, and use a template called the Kill Zone which activates Walkers in that close proximity.
ZaGG has seven types of Zombies with differing points values, movement values, combat values and aggro distances.

Killing the Enemy
TWD: Each dice you roll has a chance for a critical hit which is necessary to kill a standing Walker, so you must beat its combat total PLUS score a critical. Against a prone enemy, walker or human, defeating their rolled combat total will kill them.
Walker Critical hits on successful melee attacks cause Bites which do ongoing damage for the rest of the game unless treated with Amputation.
ZaGG: To kill a Zombie you must spend Action dice to roll and score equal or more to its kill value on a D6 + Modifiers roll. Standard zombies roll 1d6 each in melee, every total of 6 rolled accumulatively in the same melee does one wound to the human.

Searching and Scavenging

TWD uses loot tokens which when searched allow you to draw a card and take a random piece of equipment, or even reveal a surprise attack by a hidden Walker.
ZaGG has tables for searching different terrain elements each requiring a random dice roll and a minimum amount of action dice spent on searching.

The Play Area
TWD uses 20inch square maps for standard games, and for larger games it is suggested to put two maps together for 40x20 inches.
Zagg recommends a standard 4 foot square gaming table.

Random Events
In TWD there is an event deck of cards that is drawn from that affects the game, makes Walkers move and/or spawn plus other effects.
ZaGG has no random elements other than searching loot tables, Zombies activate in response to player actions or aggro range (Which can be LoS)

Threat and Infection Level

TWD has a tracker that monitors with increasing levels how dangerous the situation is and how well the Survivors are holding their fear in check.
When the Threat level is higher than a characters Nerve value they are panicking and must roll the panic die that affects their activations. They might scream aloud causing noise or be so scared that they make no noise but only get one activation this turn.
In ZaGG the Infection level affects how many points of zombies will be placed on the board. In ZaGG no extra zombies are spawned during the game.

Buying the Games
TWD comes with character specific survivor figures and unique walkers, special custom dice, play map - essentially all you need to get started but will require expanding on for more meaningful games.
ZaGG is a 160 book with basic and advanced rules plus campaigns but nothing else so requires you to supply everything apart from the rules.


CONCLUSION
Both are games where being careful and thinking cautiously are keys to success. The 'Hold your Nerve' action to calm everyone down and reduce the threat level is also a must to keep things from spiraling out of control once things get bad.
Both games accomplish things well in their own way, automated Walker/Zombie activations in response to player actions.
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Sat Aug 5, 2017 8:35 am
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Firefights in the World of Warpath.

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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This is my new love.

Mantics World of Warpath has 4 levels of playability:
- The Sci-fi Dungeon crawler Star Saga where you play a single character.
- Deadzone,a small but detailed skirmish between 5-20 models
- FireFight, their answer to Warhammer 40k, squad based army battles.
- Warpath, large scale battles, kinda like Apocalypse

Star Saga is nearing wave 1 for delivery but the other games are currently available.

What is great is that you use the same miniatures for the different size games, so they really scratch a sizeable itch of gaming.

What I really want to talk about is Warpath Firefight, this game has blown me away.
It takes me back to the old days of Warhammer 40k Second Edition, that feeling of wonder as I played a miniature game. That feeling has been lacking for easily over a decade and I've just refound it.

I have played two games this week using Mantic's Operation Heracles two player starter and they have been an absolute blast.
The first game was over two objectives and ended in a draw, the second game I lost the game on the last turn by LITERALLY an inch! If my model was not suppressed by sniper fire and was able to move his full distance I would have claimed an objective and tied the game.
They were exciting games and amazingly well balanced between the starter sets.

A key mechanic about Firefight is the suppression rule - I think this mechanic really makes the game tick.
Suppression represents the amount of firepower a unit is taking and measured against that units NERVE value determines whether they are impacted by the incoming fire.
From shooting you gain suppression:
- One from taking hits
- One for taking more than one wound
- X = to highest suppression value of the weapons fired with.

There is suppression effects from and in melee combat but to be honest we haven't actually fought in close combat yet.

Its also very cool and visually pleasing to see these explosion markers around yours and (mostly) your opponents units, you can really see where the fire is heaviest.
This reminds me of Epic 40k, it was a visually cool mechanic.

Take suppression equal or over your NERVE value and you are suppressed, giving you a -1 Penalty for shooting and halving your movement.
Take suppression equal or more than double your NERVE and you are grounded, where your next action is to recover. In recovering you could lose models to keep your ground, or survive and be forced to fall back.

So managing suppression becomes part of the battle where you have to sacrifice actions to manage or continue on with penalties, just adds a nice level of depth to the game without overly complicating it.

I'm really enjoying this game, its fast and easy but effective.
And its also rather affordable, I've seen brand new army packages for $100AUD that give you like eight units to play with.
Certainly much cheaper than other companies, and they are still nice figures too.

Mantic, you have made me a happy gamer!
This is the love I once had for Games Workshop back in the olden days for me, back in the days of 2nd and 3rd edition 40k and games such as Inquisitor and GorkaMorka.
Mantic remind me of how they used to be, I loved those old white dwarf issues with Jervis and Andy, and FatBloke who was hilarious - fanatics of their games.

Check them out!
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Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:05 pm
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Just another Mantic Monday... wish it were Sunday

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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Bangles Earworm for you all!

Now, its not Monday but I'm certainly wishing it were Sunday for reasons later explained.
I've been bitten by the Mantic Games bug.

Now honestly I never gave Mantic a fair shot, considering them highly derivative of evil GW, I mean come on... Orx??
I also bought their Mars Attack game first and just hated it, seemed to simple.
Now I've had a change of heart and I see they seem to be what GW once was, a fun gaming hobby run by enthusiasts and fanatics alike, and I love this.
I miss the old White Dwarf issues esp with Jervis and Andy, and the later ones with Fat Bloke who was hilarious.

What sparked this change?
Well I was bored and curious and so I watched a Beast of Wars video on Kings of War (1st ed I think) and it got me thinking.
It was a dilemma of a thought because the simplicity and speed looked great, on the other hand the melee not fighting back when attacked had me uncertain.
Found a nice Aussie ebay seller and got KoW Cheap and started assembling, and its been a LONG time since I really assembled minis.

Then I caught a video of how they planned to streamline their Sci-fi wargame to play in similar fast and fun way to KoW which got me interested in Warpath, especially Warpath FireFight.
Put in an order with my FLGS for Operation Heracles.

Now I tried watching and reading some reviews on Deadzone but initially found it counter intuitive which put me off - You can trace LoS by spaces but then use Models-eye view for actual LoS. Dust Tactics did LoS so fast and simple that it was a non-issue, but Mantic seemed to be overly complicating something simple.
So with my interest in the Warpath universe I caught up on some Deadzone battle reports, notably by Dreadpathzone who does fun videos.
This blew away my initial opinion and got me hooked, so now I can play 3 levels of the Warpath world - Personal Deadzone, Squad based FireFight, and large scale Warpath proper, all using the same minis.

Also had my eyes opened to Star Saga which sounds amazing and adds another level of gameplay to my worlds.

--------------------------

Last night I had my first trial game of Deadzone with the wife and we both enjoyed it and had fun, then this afternoon I had a game of Firefight with my friend Myles and that was enjoyable too.

Nice and affordable miniatures for great games.
Mantic, you've earned a new fan in me!

PS
Oh, as I quickly reread this entry I realize that I didn't explain why I wished it was Sunday.
Looking to do a trade tomorrow for a Deadzone 1st ed Kickstarter bundle, for my Warhammer Quest collection.
I was iffy about parting with WHQ but honestly its just sat there for decade and we kinda replaced it with Shadows of Brimstone anyway.
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Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:03 pm
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