It would be easy to assume that the world of miniature was an insular one. I have to admit that the main attraction to painting for me, is that I can sit alone listening to music, without the distraction of other human beings. However you’d only be hearing half of the story if you thought it ended there. The miniature painting community is fairly vibrant, with events, workshops, meetups and general gatherings taking place on a regular basis. But it’s not just the coming together of people that makes the community worthy of your time. In addition to this, painters love to share their work, their techniques and advice, and for the most part they do it for the love. For much the same reasons that we make music, start record labels, write fanzines and travel 300 miles to watch bands play for 20 minutes.
I consider Painting Buddha to be one of the linchpins of this community and I have wrote about their endeavours more than once. In their short two year existence they have brought together painters from across the world with their easy to follow and exceptionally high quality videos. They’re here for that painter who has decided that he/she wants to take that next step and start upping their game, showing what those next steps are, how best to take them, and the results you can achieve. Michael Bartels is frequently, and tirelessly communicating with followers of the blog & Facebook page, finding out where Painting Buddha can and should go next and it is this attitude and outlook that has made them almost a household name in their short existence.
Michael has been able to sustain the project these last two years using a combination of his own cash, crowdfunding, and the store. Maybe this outlook was a little utopian? Who knows, but all things move toward their end. Actually that sounds a little dramatic, this is in no way an end, and you will to my knowledge still be able to get your fix of Ben Komets for free. But they have set up a Patreon page, allowing anyone with a spare few quid per month to help prop up this fantastic enterprise. In return for your support you will receive perks based on the amount you pledge. But even at the $3.00 level you’ll see the benefits, so get it done!
My advice is simple. If you’re interested in miniature painting as a hobby, get on to these guys. It really is everything you need to take the next steps towards a more colourful future. And if you gain something from what you see? Then please support them so that future painters can benefit in the same way.
A new game, with a completely new setting, means that we get boat loads of brand new stories and background. For someone who thinks the best slice of the Jervis Johnson Hobby Pie™ is fluff, I couldn’t be more stoked! So instead of diving right into the book review, we need some background. How did we get here, and who’s in the new world? Chaos won The End Times (again, the clue was in the name), and the Old World blew up, Sigmar clung to the metallic (hard)core, and was flung into the void. After meeting a celestial dragon, he founded a new realm of heavens/azyr, discovered that the 7 other winds of magic also had their own realm, and alliances were re-forged, plus there’s a 9th one for Chaos. Each seems to have remnants of the races from the old game, so there’s the narrative for you to use your existing collection. Anyway, as time is a flat circle, dudes fell out, Chaos went to war and conquered and corrupted said realms, so Sigmar went home, and locked the gates.
Which brings us the to this book, by the excellent Chris Wraight (author of Scars and Battle of the Fang) where we get inside the heads of each of the different units and characters included in the new boxed set, as this is a companion novel to the scenarios found within. Sigmar, with the help of Grugni, has forged an army of Stormcast Eternals, these are the new Sigmarines everyone is going crazy about, and they are at the forefront of the battle to reclaim all the realms from the foul grasp of Chaos.
Given Corehammer’s current propensity for causing minor upset to specific corners of the gaming community, we figured it was time to cement that position and add our two pence worth to the (R)Age Of Sigmar discussion. My man Brinton Williams of San Francisco, California, stepped up to the plate to lend a calm voice of reason to the debate that’s currently causing perhaps the most intense nerd-rage meltdown since Uncle George decided that Greedo shot first. Here’s what Brinton had to say….
So it’s happening…probably the largest shakeup in Warhammer Fantasy Battle in 20+ years (some could argue ever) and the Old World as well as the old edition we once knew has been blasted away and replaced by the folks at Games Workshop (GW). Age of Sigmar, released this week online and in White Dwarf (and this weekend as a boxed set), strips away so much of what was believed to be core to the Warhammer experience that it is difficult to see it as the same game. What is left is a remarkably streamlined and entirely odd release that bears examining on a deeper level, even if you don’t specifically play Warhammer Fantasy. The folks over at GW have extraordinarily pulled away all of the safety nets around the game, forcing a player to stop and ponder exactly what kind of gamer they are, and crucially, who they choose to surround themselves with. Age of Sigmar challenges the player to consider a much wider range of social and competitive engagement, and in doing so, has fulfilled a design direction that GW has been pushing towards for years (and some could argue since the beginning). Continue reading →
Contrary to popular assumption, I am not much of a metal head. Sure I’ve always got a bit of Carcass or Morbid Angel on my phone should the mood take me. I will defend Slayer’s Dittohead against all snipers and celebrate Carcass’s later material regardless of the grind elites scorn. But my explorations into ‘proper’ underground metal screeched to a halt around ten years ago. I had reached a point where I decided I simply couldn’t be arsed listening to much heavy music anymore. I was exhausted and it didn’t move me one way or the other and instead I fully indulged my appetite for twee/disturbed female singer/songwriters instead. Judge away.
Despite slowly succumbing to late 30’s apathy, I still like to check in on what friends with stronger stomachs than I are producing and every now and again something savage like Sacred Ritual or Moloch or Venom Prison grabs me by the throat and demands my attention. With that spirit in mind allow me to introduce Dublin’s Vircolac…. Continue reading →
Phil Millar has been a good friend of mine for a few years now. He is an active trade unionist, keen gamer, and lover of awful 90’s Cali-punk. The admins of Corehammer recently discussed how unhappy we were at the state of aspects of the wargaming community. Corehammer itself is a response to this. A haven for those of us who don’t like to scream ‘WAAAGHH’ across a table, for the player who doesn’t want to attend a gaming club full of neckbeards making rape jokes. But just existing isn’t enough. It’s not enough to encounter those attitudes and just be glad that we’re not like them. I spoke about it with Phil and he agreed to knock up a few articles on wargaming with some basic level of a social conscience. And I’m really glad he did. – Kev
Tabletop wargaming is a social hobby, at its most basic level, you need to interact with at least one other human being. Any social activity depends on its members to be responsible for making sure its society includes those it wants to include. You get this self-policing in every subculture and fan group, but it feels to me (maybe because its my main hobby these days) that the general and overarching world of wargaming is lagging behind when it comes to making a safe and welcoming place for everyone interested in fucking about with plastic models.
Across The Dead Earth was a really exciting little project that brought the post-apocalyptic aesthetic to a UK setting. Offering gamers from our small island a chance to experience the now familiar setting in a context that’s known to them. There is a certain exhilaration to playing a game based on a locale that is familiar to you. I recall playing Cthulhu game set in 80’s Liverpool and just hearing the names of streets I knew did wonders for my suspension of disbelief and immersion.
The game itself seems cool enough. A nice fast paced skirmish game that you can dip in and out of without the massive cash and time investment of many modern war games. This is a big selling point and it is something that seems to be continuing with Rich Chappell’s newest project The Shattered Crown.