Posts Tagged ‘Warhammer’

Our Day at White Dwarf

Firstly, Happy New Year to all our followers! Hope you all had a fantastic time celebrating with friends/family/toy soldiers. The keen eyed amongst you may have noticed some familiar faces in this month’s White Dwarf! I thought it’d be interesting to give you all the “behind the scenes” lowdown on this!

I can’t really remember what I was doing the day that Pete Foley sent me and Innes a message on Twitter. I want to say playing Star Wars Battlefront 2? From a quick skim back, it was all the way back in April of 2018! He told us that he was a listener of the podcast, and that he found our views really interesting. This was a surprise to be sure, but definitely a welcome one. We had no idea that HQ was listening to what we had to say, never mind actually feel happy enough to reach out to us for a chat. read more

Game Review: Space Wolf

 

Developed By: Herocraft

Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android

Genre: Turn Based Card Game

 

Overview

 

Sons of Fenris rejoice! Assume the mantle of Valgard Twice-Slain as you take control of a small cadre of Space Wolves, who find them in the midst of the fight of their lives in the Fall of Kanak. Space Wolf is a strategy game of sorts – but it’s blended in with some Trading Card Game (TCG) elements. I know that sounds really weird, but stick with me and I will tell all!

Gameplay

 

Space Wolf is a very unique game, which nicely blends the worlds of TCGs and Turn based strategy gameplay. Both parts are integral to the overall experience, and it’s important to have a good feel for both of these elements in order to succeed in this game. You control a squad of 1-3 (sometimes joined by bonus reinforcements) Space Wolves during every mission, and the missions vary in scope. These range from defeating a key enemy, to reaching a key point on the map (sometimes within a time limit).

Your characters can all perform (usually) 2 actions during any one of their activations. Their available actions are based on the types of cards that they are holding. Almost every type of card can be discarded in order to allow that character to move on the map, which is comprised of squares. Additionally, after every movement you must specify which direction your hero is facing – attacks can only be initiated if you are facing the correct direction, so consider your moves carefully!

 

However, the system is made more strategic by use of the effort system. The effort system is a way of “pricing” particular actions. Each action card (more on these later), has an associated effort cost in the top right corner. Whether this card is used for its function, or whether it’s used to move your character, the effort cost will be added to that character’s effort total for the turn. During each activation, you always have the option of 2 actions – but you can always choose to end your turn after the first action (or even end your turn with no action). The payoff to this, is that you can see every character’s (including enemy’s) effort score – and in subsequent turns, characters with a lower effort score ALWAYS go before characters with a higher score. This could mean that in some situations you can have 2 activations before an enemy unit Beware though – the same applies in reverse! It’s tempting to go for that double autocannon shot, but if you don’t kill your target then they could make you pay!

 

 

The game manages most of the detail of your allies (except for their optional skills), meaning that their weapons deck is mostly pre-built by the AI. You have a good amount of flexibility when customising Valgard though. He starts as a tactical marine, but you can pay to unlock (using in-game currency for a reasonable price) Terminator and Scout skill trees.  These all play vastly differently, and they have specific skills which are only usable when you are using a particular skill tree (or deck). This also unlocks new Terminator and Scout allies which you can use as part of your squad.

As the commander, Valgard also has access to the rage ability. When he takes enough damage, his attacks can potentially do up to 200% extra damage, and also his effort score is reduced to zero. When you attack, this results in a fun little mini game, where you decide to “gamble” by revealing hidden skulls. These can add or deduct 25% increments, or end the mini game immediately if you reveal a skull.

 

 

By completing objectives, you gain both currency and skulls. Skulls are important, as these are what are used to level up Valgard’s hitpoints. Currency is also important, as it’s used for several things in the game, including:

  • Leveling up Allies
  • Levelling up Valgard’s Skill Trees
  • Buying booster packs
  • Buying Resurrection and Crafting Runes

On the PC version, you need to gain currency by completing missions – the same is true on the Android / iOS versions, but the Android version also has that thing that modern gamers all dread – the micro-transaction. I hate micro-transactions (even if I see why they exist), but know that I completed the Android version of this game (which is free to download) having only made one purchase. For £5.99 I purchased the Iron Priest ally (which also awarded some currency), and with this plus currency and rewards I earned in game, I was able to beat the game. Be warned though, this game is definitely not easy – skill, wit, planning (and a little luck) are all needed in order to be victorious.

 

 

The game (I’m talking Android here) is a little heavy-handed in trying to steer you into buying stuff – if for no other reason than the game’s difficulty. Make no mistake, this is a punishingly difficult game if you don’t know what you’re doing, and the temptation to splurge out on good cards and upgrades can be strong. However – I think the game is also fair in the freebies that it gives you. You get rewards for playing every day, and most of the campaign secondary missions are fairly achievable. You also don’t need to complete all these in a single attempt, meaning you gain some replayability and also some flexibility which is nice.

 

You also gain crafting parts as freebies and mission rewards (and you can also scrap/sell existing cards to gain more), which you can use to craft new and better cards. You can also attempt “riskier” craftings, which run the risk of complete failure (and the loss of your materials), but yield better cards. You can also purchase crafting runes (again, using in game currency) to guarantee a successful craft. I didn’t dabble in this too much, as most of my best cards were obtained from loot chests that I found in missions, but if you are so inclined you could easily sink a lot of money into this.

 

 

Now lets actually talk about the cards themselves. The cards represent all the various weapons that you can include in your arsenal – but there are also other cards which have important uses. For example, you can have cards which summon tarantula turrets, or a Fenrisian Wolf companion. Both of these are solid choices, because the enemy will often go after units which have less hit points remaining (such as these units) – these can be super useful in a cinch – but they often have a high effort cost. The challenge is working out for yourself whether or not it’s worth the gamble.

 

 

You can have 30 cards in a deck, and while its easy to want to fill your deck with all of the absolute best cards, this can be a bit of a trap. Most of the best cards (or cards which are the heavier ranged hitters) have high effort costs. So if your deck is loaded with these, even simple actions such as moving can have a highly inflated effort cost, which means that your hero isn’t really able to achieve much. Conversely, it’s important to have a decent amount of damage dealing cards, because some of the later missions are brutal and have a lot of combat. Decks don’t get expended (your cards will get recycled), so you never need to worry about running out of cards.

 

You also have 3 deck slots – and this is where I enjoyed the versatility. Some missions are “search and destroy” type missions, whereas others are “sprint to the finish line”. You can share cards between decks, but importantly they can be totally separate in terms of their playstyle. For example, my Terminator Valgard was an engine of destruction, and almost all of his gear was built around being efficient yet deadly in combat. My scount Valgard though had almost exclusively cards which made him a “runner”. You can use cards such as the Fenrisian Wolf (and more grimdarkly, your other squad mates) to act as decoys for the enemy which your hero(?) legs it into the endzone. It sounds like a random thing to throw into a game like this, but it actually keeps the mission structure exciting and varied.

 

 

 

Lastly, there is a challenge mode called “Fall of Kanak”, where you take on the role of a lone Khorne Berzerker, and try to take on as many loyalists as you can before falling. It’s as one dimensional (and bloody good fun, pun intended) as it sounds! Your hero(?) will even be mocked by an allied chaos sorcerer during this mini game as well. Definitely worth checking out when you’re done with the main game!

 

Story

 

SPOILERS!

The story is right out of 40k 101 – our intrepid heroes are ambushed by the Word Bearers upon arriving at the planet of Kanak. Their ship is shot down, and the survivors crash land on the planet, looking to kick some heretic ass. Valgard leads his squad through the planet, fighting various Chaos Space Marines, Daemons, and even some Necrons which show up near the end.

 

 

In between missions, you return to the command centre, and one of the surviving space wolves will always have some dialogue which progresses the story. The story itself is pretty much what every Space Wolf story is – they fight against the odds, hoping that their deeds will be remembered in a great Saga for the ages. Personally i’m not the biggest Space Wolf fan, but I can see fans of Russ getting their teeth into this without hesitation.

 

 

The Chaos cast are suitably preachy as well – with their veiled threats to Valgard and his squad, and the mysterious reasons for their presence on the planet. The Word Bearers are characterised really well – religious zealots who are willing to go to any lengths to succeed in their aims. Also (and this is a first i’d say) – the Daemons that you encounter in this game are actually really intimidating. Bloodletters of Khorne can get onto you really quickly, and you definitely learn to fear their wrath if they make it into combat with you.

 

 

 

The game also does a good job of capturing the units of the 41st millennium. All of the players here (both Chaos and Imperium) all look really like their miniature counterparts, and with all of the sound effects and graphics rendering of the weapons on show, I felt really immersed in the game and the environment. Boss battles were suitably cinematic and exciting, and I could easily see some of the scenes here in some other Black Library material. Even lots of the little touches, like Runes being part of your upgrade system, and Wolf Claw weapons all added to the Space Wolf theme which permeated the game. I would say that the game does a good job of trying not to make you feel like a cookie cutter space marine, which can only be a good thing.

Roundup

 

If you can successfully navigate the treacherous waters of the micro transaction ocean,  there’s actually a really solid game to be found here. It’s strategic, thematic – and it’s an absolute must have for any Space Wolf fans. The ability to pick it up on your phone and play it in manageable chunks is also really appealing. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and that’s coming from someone who truly isn’t a huge Space Wolf fan.

Space Wolf is available on the App Store, Google Play and on Steam.

Game Review: Space Hulk – Deathwing (PS4)

Developed By: Streum On Studio, Cyanide

Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4

Genre: First Person Shooter

 

Overview

 

Step into the (armoured) boots of one of the Dark Angels’ finest, as you brave the unknown depths of a derelict Space Hulk! Deathwing is a First Person Shooter, where you take command of a small squad of three Dark Angels First Company (also known as the Deathwing) Terminators.  You play as an unnamed Librarian, and joining you are companions Barachiel and Nahum. Your quest will take you deep into enemy territory, as you unleash the deadly weapons at your disposal in the fight against the Genestealer menace!

Gameplay

 

The first thing that you need to know about Deathwing, is that it’s a First Person Shooter – and yet it’s also not a First Person Shooter. That sounds like a completely ridiculous thing to say, but stick with me! Yes, you can equip a plethora of Imperial classics such as the Thunder Hammer and Plasma Cannon, but you also need to think about other things such as squad management. In fact this is probably one of the things that I enjoyed most about the game – all of the tiny nods to the Space Hulk board game. In addition to the actual wandering around the (super immersive) environments, you have to factor in a lot of variables:

  • Squad Loadouts
  • Squad Positioning and Orders
  • Health management
  • Resource Management
  • The Optimal Route

 

A big part of the game is deciding what to equip, and also what your fellow Terminators will equip. As the Librarian, you have access to (eventually) all of the Imperial arsenal. You can choose to use Force Weapons (which reduce cooldown time on your destructive psyker abilities), go gun crazy with one of the Assault Cannon Variants, or get up close and personal with the Thunder Hammer or Mace of Absolution.  Your squad mates are a little more restricted. Barachiel can take most weapon configurations (meaning you can customise him to suit your Librarian’s build, which is nice), but Nahum is a bit more restricted. As the apothecary, he is the only one in your squad who has access to the vital Narthecium – the most valuable piece of wargear held by your entire unit.

 

 

The range of Psychic powers that you have access to is good – you can definitely suit your Librarian to be the kind of character you want. There are destructive ranged powers, powers which stun enemies, and powers that enhance your own attacking capabilities. These all have various cooldown times depending on how powerful they are. A nice feature, is that if you use a Force Weapon, your cooldown times are reduced considerably. The trade off is that the Force Weapons are literally not in the same class as something like a Thunder Hammer, so you have some tough decisions to make about how to get the best out of your character. This is another nice nod to the board game, in that you have to consider the tools your squad has carefully, and how best to approach a particular mission.

 

 

You can change your squad load out in between missions, and also during missions using the Psygate. The Psygate is one of the most difficult resources to manage, in that you only have three uses per mission. Using the Psygate revives fallen squad members, replenishes the charges in the Narthecium, and also saves the game. This means that its absolutely essential to try and “get the most” out of each excursion out into the space hulk. If you use all of your Narthecium or Psygate charges too early into a mission, it can be a tough slog to try and make up that ground. Its a really delicate balance between succeeding, and being forced to restart your mission.

 

 

The actual gameplay is not unfamiliar to those of you who have played any First Person Shooter – you navigate a map, have access to various weapons, and need to kill a bunch of enemies along the way to fulfilling your mission objectives. This is a task however, far easier said than done. Deathwing is an excellent game – but the difficulty can be off the charts at times. Quite often you can be patrolling quite happily along a seemingly empty corridor, when all of a sudden a flood of Genestealers starts emptying out of the walls/vents/thin air to tear you to pieces.

Combat is very intense (and enjoyable), and in almost every occasion you truly feel as if your character is fighting for his life. Again, like the board game, you need to keep an eye on many variables in order to emerge triumphant from a skirmish. It’s crucial to keep an eye on not only your health, but the health of your squad. When ambushed by a swarm, or confronted by a powerful enemy, your teammates health can crash in the blink of an eye, prompting you to fumble desperately for the command wheel to issue a recovery command.

 

 

At first, this mechanic frustrated me (especially in the heat of battle), but it actually adds a layer of tactics and realism to combat. Also all of the various weapons “feel” right – for example, Thunder Hammers deal explosive, crushing damage, while you can also get immense satisfaction from spraying down a corridor with a full Assault Cannon clip. If you’re using a ranged weapon, you also have access to heat vision to try and assist you during the chaos of a large confrontation. Make no mistake – combat is intense and amazing fun, but you absolutely need to approach it with a plan and some strategy. The old “Run and Gun” tactics that you can employ in many a FPS are suicidal in this game.

 

 

You can also develop your character’s abilities during the campaign. It’s not deep enough to be termed as an RPG (or even an RPG-lite), but its a nice little touch that lets you specialise your squad’s development further. For example, you can unlock more psychic powers, or spend more points into “squad buffs” that improve your team’s survivability and endurance. You earn Fervor points for these upgrades during the game by performing well in missions. Good performance includes taking little damage, enemy kills, and finding hidden relics (which mostly amount to easter eggs) on each map. This is another nice addition to personalising your Deathwing experience – you can make your character a Psyker to be feared, or more of a squad commander boosting his team.

 

 

During the game, your main opponents will be Genestealers – but there are some awesome appearances from Genestealer Cults units, such as the Magus, Aberrants and Acolytes. Most of the cults units serve to offer ranged attackers (such as autoguns and mining lasers), and they are a welcome addition, faithfully rendered closely to their miniature counterparts. As all Space Hulk aficionados will tell you though, the Genestealer is the meat and drink of the game. There are several types of Genestealer as well, which really mixes up the experience. For example, warrior strains are good in combat, but they are nothing compared to the fearsome Scythe Strains, who will make you think “oh s***” when they crash out from a wall or up from underneath you.

Stalker Strains are cool too – invisible to the naked eye but make your radio fizzle out and show static when they are nearby, they will often get the drop on you. Each encounter presents its own set of tactical challenges – you could be rushed by a group of warrior strains, while a squad of acolytes pelts you with fire from an elevated canopy. The game is unapologetic when it throws you into varied and challenging tactical positions – even on the easiest difficulty, the answer is rarely “shoot everything until it dies”. I definitely appreciated that the game made me think outside of the box more than once.

 

Lastly, the tactical interface is pretty cool. It shows you your current location, and also the location of your squad mates. You can also see your current objective (and also set custom waypoints should you so wish). One really cool thing about this game – the maps are HUGE. They are also (except in some very specific cases) not linear. This means that if you find yourself struggling to complete a mission by following a specific path, you can retry and take an alternative route. I highly encourage this, not only for the gameplay benefits, but purely to see more of the absolutely outstanding environments on display here – this is a gorgeous looking game.

Story

 

There will be some SPOILERS here  – you have been warned!

The actual story itself is quite light – the Deathwing have been deployed by Belial – who is frequently with you on Vox and in mission briefings, which I thought was super cool – to investigate the derelict Space Hulk Olethros (which is made up of several ships, including a Cadian vessel and also a Black Templars battle barge). Admittedly, I was super giddy at the sight of the Black Templars stuff, because I am a massive fanboy of theirs! At the start of each mission, you get a cool narrative briefing as well which is really cool. This is usually followed up by direct orders from Grand Master Belial, which is another reason to get all giddy (if the Dark Angels float your boat!)

 

 

Initially, you are on the lookout for “Dark Angels Secrets” – because whether they admit it or not, the Dark Angels are closer to heresy than they want the wider Imperium to know. After all, their hunt for the Fallen is both relentless and eternal. As the campaign develops, your character begins to develop some psychic visions – these vary, from detecting entities such as enemy Broodlords, to also reliving parts of the past. These visions are triggered when your party enters the Caliban’s Will – a Dark Angels ship which has been consumed by the wider Space Hulk. There are even references to Luther, and the civil war on Caliban during the Horus heresy. The actual story turns out to be slightly less interesting than some of the Heresy references you can find, which is a shame, but there is definitely still some amazing content to be found here – if you dare to explore the Space Hulk to the max.

 

 

The absolute best thing about this game though, is its ability to literally make you feel like a Terminator of a Space Marine chapter. When you walk, you literally feel like a walking battle tank (which is what Tactical Dreadnought Armour is supposed to feel like). Your weapons seem powerful and fearsome, you have a really cool looking HUD and vox channel – the game does an amazing job of placing you in the Deathwing unit and making you feel like you belong. The Space Hulk itself is grand, intimidating and majestic at the same time. If you ever wondered what one looked like – this game does a damn good job of placing you directly into the realm of your imagination. Even the Psygate area which acts as a respite for your squad has cool Skitarii guys working on repairing your squad’s armour. There are so many neat little touches and tributes not only to the board game, but the wider Warhammer 40k universe.

 

 

The game sounds great, it looks great, and it’s once of the best 40k experiences I’ve had (in terms of making me feel like I was part of the universe). One humorous note to close on – if you’re a fan of our podcast, you may recall the “Would you rather be a Chaos Spawn or a Servitor?” debate. That debate was started purely because of this poor bastard right here:

 

 

The Jury is out on that question!

Roundup

 

If you are a fan of FPS games and of 40k – this is an essential purchase. It is not an easy game, and there are definitely some punishing, punishing area. But if you are up for the challenge, and want to get stuck into some meaty 40k gunplay, then this is absolutely the game for you. Its immersive, tactical, challenging – and most of all, bloody excellent fun!

I played this on the PS4, but it’s also available for Windows. Go purge, in the name of the Lion and the Emperor!

 

Game Review: The Horus Heresy – Battle of Tallarn

 

Developed By: Hexwar

Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, Mac

Genre: Turn Based Strategy

 

Overview

The astute among you will undoubtedly say “wait, this is a 30k game, not a 40k game”! While this is true, we wouldn’t have the 40k universe that we all know and love without the hardships that our heroes (and heretics) endured during the Horus Heresy. Battle of Tallarn is a turn based strategy game, in which you command Chaos or Imperium forces (the choice is yours) in the legendary armoured division battle which took place all the way back in the 31st millennium. Command waves of tanks, or even more fearsome war machines such as Reaver titans, and lay waste to the opposing forces in mortal combat!

Before we get to the main review, followers of the podcast may remember that we actually interviewed some of the Hexwar team around the time this game was released. If you’re interested, you can check that out at the link below:

 

Hexwar Interview Podcast

 

Gameplay

For new players to the game, i’d definitely recommend the tutorial before diving into the main game itself. The tutorial is really well structured, coaching you in the basics of movement and combat – it really scales up appropriately in terms of what you need to know to command your forces, I absolutely recommend checking this out.

 

Similarly to Rites of War which we also reviewed recently, Battle of Tallarn also uses a hexagonal based movement system, but the gameplay is fundamentally different. Units can move a certain number of hexes based on their unit type (and can advance, forfeiting shooting for some extra speed). Some units then have 360 degree fire arcs for their main weapons, and some need to pivot to shoot the target accordingly. This is handled quite nicely, as when you rotate a red outline snakes across the map, showing you what targets fall into that unit’s firing arc.

Some units have a mixture of both ranged and melee weapons, and can charge across small distances to deliver these attacks. I definitely found in my experiences playing the game that melee combat (whenever I got an opportunity to deliver it) was extremely deadly, and I was motivated to push such units as aggressively as possible into the enemy lines!

Other than the larger units such as Titans or 

Thunderhawk Gunships read more

Game Review: Inquisitor – Martyr (PS4)

 

Developed By: NeoCore Games

Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Genre: Action RPG

 

Overview

 

Inquisitor: Martyr is an Action RPG game (in the same vein as the Diablo series), where you don the mantle of one of the Imperium’s most feared agents. Slaying your way through hordes of enemies, your ultimate goal (besides gaining more loot and power – believe me there is much of this to be had) is to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the mysterious space hulk “Martyr” which has just recently re-emerged from the tides of the immaterium in the Calligari sector. There are also an infinite number of side quests and missions available to you, such that you might level up and develop your character as much as your heart desires! For reference, I have only played the PS4 version of this game, and also mostly only the campaign.

Gameplay

 

If you’ve played Diablo 3 (or any of the Diablo style clones out there), you will instantly feel at home playing this game. In a nutshell – your character gains experience by completing missions (which raises your inquisitorial rank), and improves their power rating by finding and equipping better wargear. You also acquire fate during missions and for completing challenges (more on this later).

Combat is really fun – you can use any of Melee Weapons, Ranged Weapons, Psychic powers or support skills to attack and crush not only hordes of enemies, but also elite enemy champions and war machines alike. It’s immensely satisfying to watch waves of enemies fall under hails of your heavy bolter fire, or a bunch of them get blown up by a lucky fuel canister explosion, or even to see them crumple under your merciless melee attacks. There is a cover system available to hide your characters (and cover can be destroyed by the way!), but honestly i didn’t use this much at all. Perhaps this is because I played as a crusader – I could see the potential value for the psyker or assassin.

In my playthough I had only reached level 31, but the array of weapons on display is impressive. So many of the old classics (and new weapons) make an appearance, and you can truly shape your hero to be the warrior you need. Weapons and wargear all have their own skills, and you can combine interesting armour abilities with your weapons.

 

For example – my Crusader “Lachdanan” (spot the Diablo reference) was equipped with a Jump Pack and a Thunder Hammer. He could easily jump into a horde, and then smash huge enemy numbers with a powerful Area of Effect attack. Make no mistake, whether its a deadly assassin sniper, or a charging thunder hammer wielding crusader – the selection of death on offer is widely varied and interesting.

 

 

There is also a really interesting (at least I found it that way) combat mechanic which isn’t in the likes of Diablo, called Supression. Basically suppression is an indicator of how much combat pressure your character is. This is represented by a red/amber/green circle which surrounds your health bar.

Essentially, if you’re in combat you will take both physical AND suppression damage. If your suppression is in the green, all is well – but if it falls to Amber or Red, then you could be in trouble. In lower brackets, your character becomes susceptible to being stunned or even knocked over (and at the mercy of further attacks). You can counter suppression loss by using your innoculator (if you have customised it in such a way) or by disengaging in combat.

You can also inflict suppression damage on enemies – and some weapons have attack modes which are really designed to inflict massive suppression damage to your enemies. This is a really subtle inclusion to the game, and it really makes you think twice about how to tackle your latest horde of adversaries.

 

 

Unlike in Diablo 3 where the world is interconnected, every mission in the game offers its own unique map.  Whether you are playing a campaign mission, or doing one of the recursively generated side quests, you can browse the Star Map to search for a mission that suits your tastes.

Speaking of quests, in addition to your general hack n’ slash tasks which you’ll be carrying out in every mission, there are a decent amount of sub-missions, including:

  • Deactivating Gun Batteries
  • Purging an Entire Map of Enemies
  • Defending Key Personnel or Equipment
  • Destroying Key Targets on the Map
  • Limited deaths per map

You also have access to Priority Missions, which are like “mini campaigns”. You are often prompted before these missions to make a choice in some way – such as scout out a planet with hired psykers, or purchase reinforcements for a battle. These options sometimes cost Calligari Credits (which you can also use to craft items or purchase wargear from the merchant), and can affect your chances of success. Some options increase the Collateral Damage, which means that your completion reward is less worthwhile.  

Uther’s Tarot read more

House Ordos Project Blog – Mission 12

Greetings fans of the Executrix!

If you are reading this post, i’m assuming that you have followed the journey of building this army from the start. If that’s the case (and even if it’s not), thank you SO much for following this journey. It’s been an absolute pleasure to share this experience on the website, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed following it along the way.

I feel like I have learned so much, and tried so many things:

  • Magnetising
  • Stripping Paint
  • Basing Techniques
  • Plasma Glow Effects
  • Freehand Banner Work
  • Knowing how to thin my paints!
  • Transfer sealing

I’ve made this point a few times in the series, but I really want to express how bad a hobbyist I usually am! But If I can at least have an attempt at these techniques, you absolutely can give it a go as well! I hope in some small way my techniques and experiences have helped you (or at least shown you what to avoid)!

I would also like to put some shout outs to the following people for their help and support during this project:

  • Fabricator General Paul Metcalfe – For building my Questoris Knights many moons ago
  • Hobby Killer (he’s not really) Neil Powell – For some great advice on the restoration of my painted knights, and general painting advice
  • Kris Mills – For some great advice on painting techniques and ideas to try out
  • Dennie Nuijten – For chatting about some awesome Dune-based Ideas (see the end of this post….)
  • Iain “Blood Claw” Waterston – For taking some amazing shots of the army for your viewing pleasure
  • Duncan “God of Painting” Rhodes – You may never read this post Duncan, but your tutorials are an Inspiration – thank you very much for all that you do for the Games Workshop community
  • Westwood Studios – For creating such a cool addition to the Dune extended universe in House Ordos
  • read more

    House Ordos Project Blog – Mission 11

    Greetings fans of the Executrix!

    In this installment I get the Castellan up to scratch like the rest of his Knightly Cohorts. I’m going to keep this article shorter, because many of the techniques I used to paint this model are ones that I have already discussed through painting both the Armiger and Questoris class knights. So firstly i’ll just show you some photos of the chassis from the painting process:

     

    One difference in this model that I did want to draw attention to was the Plasma Decimator. Plasma guns are something that i’ve been scared of in the past. I usually just slap on one colour and call it finished. I went to check YouTube for a tutorial, and to my relief and surprise, there was a Duncan tutorial on just this subject!

     

     

    So there was one problem with this – I didn’t have any of the colours that were mentioned in the video. A problem to be sure  but I had come far, and I wasn’t about to be deterred. I made the decision that I could try and get a “green” glow as opposed to a “blue” glow. I started by painting the plasma coils Incubi Darkness (one of my favourite colours that citadel has ever produced):

     

    Not the best attempt, but I was struggling to keep my hand steady on some of the finer details. Next, I went with Sotek Green to try and give some sort of “glow” effect:

    Again, not a great effort – and I had to wipe paint away a few times because I had overlapped with the Incubi Darkness. Duncan had recommended adding a third, lighter colour to give some more effect – but I was not confident enough to try this. Instead, I tried to drybrush some Tyrant Skull over the ridges to give that last glow:

    It’s definitely not the best effort, but its still better than the mono-colour attempt that I would have done in the past! The paints that I used for this model are:

    • Mechanicus Standard Grey
    • Leadbelcher
    • Balthazar Gold
    • Nuln Oil
    • Mephiston Red
    • Shining Gold
    • Xerus Purple
    • Caliban Green
    • Gorthor Brown
    • Tyrant Skull
    • ‘Ardcoat
    • Incubi Darkness
    • Sotek Green

    With the Castellan complete, the Knights were finished! Next up, some “group shots”!

     

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    House Ordos Project Blog – Mission 10

    Greetings fans of the Executrix!

    So with the colour scheme nailed, it was time to move onto painting the Questoris Knights. I painted both Knights together over the space of a few days, doing the same parts on each knight at the same time. This way I found it easier to maintain a level of consistency – not too different to the “production line” technique that i’ve seen applied to units such as Tactical Squads or the likes.

    As mentioned in an earlier post, I had undercoated all of the components with a spray base-coat of Mechanicus Standard Grey:

     

     

    And then again applied a drybrush layer of Leadbelcher, followed by again doing “points of interest” with Balthazar Gold. I also found an old pot of Tin Bitz and mixed this a little with the gold:

     

    And same as with the Armigers, I worked some Nuln Oil into the metal work to enhance the detail:

     

     

    This time (to allow maximum drying time), I applied the Sand to the bases before I started building up the layers of colour:

     

    Next up was fleshing out the Caliban Green and Xerus Purple on the armour chassis. One particular picture I wanted to draw your attention to is the “one coat versus two coats” comparison. Check out this picture of the shoulder plates:

     

     

    Historically, i’d have settled for that “washy” looking green, and slapped a wash over it and called it finished. It’s actually quite startling to see how poor the quality is compared to the solid purple colour of doing two coats. I realise this is a painting fundamentals 101 topic of discussion, but remember i’m trying to banish some painting daemons here! This was a big revelation for me, and I knew that I wanted to make a point of getting this one logged! Here is the completed shoulder sections (with 2 thin coats!):

     

    Then as before, I used Shining Gold to pick out the emblem details on both the face and armour plates (and also on the loincloth fabric around the main design). I even had a go at doing some freehand on the chest scroll. I painted that in Tyrant Skull, and tried some freehand using Abbadon Black. If you squint your head, you might be able to see the word “Ordos” on it? I at least had a go, and it was kinda fun to try:

     

    Then it was back to the bases. Again, i stuck with Gorthor Brown followed by Tyrant Skull. This time i was far less liberal with the drybrushing, and I am much happier with how these bases turned out than on the Armigers:

     

    Some feedback from friends said that this looked good, but could do with some of the tufts of grass you can buy from Games workshop. I’ve really resisted this though, to maintain the “Arrakis Invasion Force” theme. There is no greenery on Arrakis!

    With transfers, I just stuck to the ‘Ardcoat method of applying to the armour plates and over the transfers, and that was it! The Questoris Knights were now complete:

     

    I am super delighted with these knights. When you consider all those blog posts ago how they looked initially (dunked in Detol), to now acting as a great addition to the Armigers – I am thrilled. I’ve never re-done such large models before, and to think that I was able to turn unused models into a prominent part of my new army was an awesome feeling. I can’t recommend the re-use of models enough, if for nothing else the challenge of trying to “resurrect” an old friend! And remember, to any non-painters out there – I guarantee I am worse at hobbying than you – if I can do this, then YOU can definitely do this!

    Paints used:

    • Mechanicus Standard Grey
    • Abbadon Black
    • Tyrant Skull
    • Gorthor Brown
    • Shining Gold
    • Balthazar Gold
    • Tin Bitz
    • Caliban Green
    • Xerus Purple
    • Mephiston Red
    • Nuln Oil
    • ‘Ardcoat
    • Leadbelcher

    Here’s the full album:

    Questoris Photos

    Next up, the Dominus Class Castellan!

     

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    Episode 76 – Allies of Convenience

    Caledonian Deathwatch Radio hosts both old and new join forces to tackle the FAQ in this gargantuan All-Star Episode! We also welcome the awesome Allies of Convenience to discuss their upcoming GT, and get a Tournament report from the Cadre of West Calder on this years ITC Scottish Open!

    Website: Caledonian Deathwatch Network
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    Allies of Convenience GT: AOC GT

    Allies of Convenience GT RulesPack: AOC GT Rules Pack Page

    Episode 74 – Hachi Hammer (There are no Dogs on Terra)

    We review Bad Decisions II, chat about the implications of canine squad members, and mull over decent 8th edition units (other than the usual suspects!)

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    3 weeks ago

    Caledonian Deathwatch Network

    I feel that the image for this post this is a private joke from Dennie 😂

    But seriously go buy tickets to these insanely good events!T-Minus 9 hours for 'Allied Annihilation' ticket drop-off.
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