Monday, January 23, 2017

Putting it together

Ronnie himself has said that Warpath is about vehicles - you just can't have a sci fi battle game without vehicles.

Unfortunately, the first wave of the Warpath shipped - as you know - without vehicles.  The one exception is the Enforcer Interceptor.

The Interceptor comes as a bunch of pieces in a bag.  I think it is a bit humorous the the old restic used to be called "sprue less" plastic - but a lot of the new hard plastic kits are actually coming sprue less.  The pieces have been pre cut from the sprues.  Apparently Mantic is able to save a tremendous amount of space by bagging the pieces instead of storing the sprues.
Interceptor in a bag
I found assembly of this to be quite straight forward once the pieces were identified.  There was one little 'gotcha' to watch for (below).

The largest pieces are the body and wings.
Body and wings top
These fit together easily.  However DO NOT glue the wings together yet.  It is always a good idea to dry fit all pieces before applying any glue, and this was very important for the wings.
body and wings bottom
They fit together nicely.  The hover blades are the bottom of the wings.
Body and wings pushed together
It wasn't until after I had them together (without glue) that I found the vent covers.   These are two small squarish pieces, with a flat bottom and a grate on the top (you can see hem below).  It isn't obvious at first what these are, but once you put the wings together you can see a small opening in the top.  This is the engine vents, and these go there.
Body, wings and engine vent covers
The thing is, they must be installed in the bottom piece of the wing BEFORE you put the wings together.  The bottom half of the vent cover is very slightly curved - and this makes it so each of them only fits on a single wing.  They slide into the space for them and the fit is quite snug.

Once these are in place you can glue the wing halves together and glue them to the body.
Body with wings
Next are the rudders and wing tips.
Rudders, wing tips and Twin Heavy Burst Lasers
The wing tips simple attach to the tips of the wings.  The connection here is round, so you can actually position these at any angle you might choose.  While I would expect nearly everyone to assemble their models in the flying position, you could turn these 90 degrees (thinner end up) to represent the thrusters that help with VTOL and hovering.    However doing this points the attached weaponry upward instead of forward - so is a bit less dynamic.  Also, the rudders, which appear to be a similar design, do NOT rotate, when I expect in an actual VTOL maneuver they would.

TL;DR - I glued mine on so the weapons faced forward, because I planned on using the flight stand anyway.
Wingtips in flight position
The rudders are two pieces, and only go together one way (the slot in the tips is angled).
Rudder pieces
These then fit onto the tails of the plane.  They aren't labeled, but should be obvious which goes on which side by the design.
Base Interceptor
There is only one more optional piece on the base interceptor (not shown) - a small landing foot that can fit under the front of the plane.  It isn't really needed in flight mode (I would assume it retracts) - but if you are modelling yours on the ground you will most likely want to add this to support the nose (especially if you are making a Persecutor bomber instead of in Interceptor).

Once the base model is assembled, you have to decide if you want the Interceptor or bomber.  The Interceptor is a transport - so you need to build the four piece transport compartment
Transport compartment - inside
The four pieces go together fairly well, but I found it is a bit fiddly getting all four together at the same time - especially since the door is designed to be hinged (if you don't want to glue it shut.
Transport compartment - outside
At trick I found is to turn the assembled body over, and build the transport compartment on to it - just not gluing it to the body (unless you want to do that now and permanently make it the one variant. Let the plastic glue set and it easily comes off.
Transport compartment, assembled.
If you want to paint the inside of it it will be MUCH easier to do this before gluing it to the plane.

You then have to decide which Interceptor you are building - the standard Accuser model uses the included plastic Twin Heavy Burst lasers - which are attached to the wing tips (and can be slightly angled if desired).
Finished Accuser Interceptor

From the bottom front

From the bottom back

and with the transport door open
If instead, you want to make the Arbiter variant, then you would instead attach the Twin Plaris Cannons - these are metal bits.  If you bought an Interceptor battlegroup in the kickstarter then you got the free upgrade with these (as well as bits for Smokescreen Grenades and the Anti-Missile Flare dispenser).  These are the same gun that the strider comes with as well.
Smokescreen Greenades, Anti-Missile Flare Dispenser (center top) and Twin Polaris Cannons (bottom)
If you want to do the Persecutor Bomber variant, then you do not put on the transport container (as it cannot transport troops), and instead attach the Anti-Infantry and Bunker Buster Bombs to the undercarriage and wing tips, and the Missile pods to the body.

Bunker Buster Bombs (top), Anti-Infantry Bombs (middle) and Missile-Pods (bottom)
The two identical bunker buster bombs go on the undercarriage, and then the anti-infantry bombs for the wing tips (one left, one right).  The missile pods can basically go on any flat surface - the Mantic picture in the books puts them on the body above the wings.
Bombs on the Presecutor
Looking at the profile - you literally only get the four bombs (though you have unlimited missiles), as each of the bombs has the Limited(2) rule.
From below the front
This rule must be fore sheer game balance - an it just surprised me that a bomber would not have racks of bombs on it - not just 4.
From below the back
But then that is what I get for trying to put "Reality" into a miniatures game.
Missile Pods
The missile pods can also be taken as an option on the Interceptor as well.

The bombs and transport compartment look like good options for magnetizing if you want the flexibility to field any of the variants.  I believe that for demos I'm going to be using the transport (as I want to demo that feature of vehicles), so I went ahead and glued the transport and twin lheavy burst lasers on (I have two more if I want another variant after all).

While it has to wait a bit in the queue, I am a bit curious how painting my first real vehicle is going to go.  If I remember to take pictures then that will have to be a future post.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In case you missed it

Mantic has been posting a few new pictures lately.

The most exciting was the design sketch for the new versions of the Elf Drakon Riders.  These have been unavailable for several years, and the old versions were, well they were, in my opinion, some of the worst models Mantic ever put out.  (Though the Vampire on Undead Pegasus is probably worse.)

Drakon Riders concept art
While some people have complained about the look of the Mantic elves - I actually like it.  I don't like the shield molded onto the body of the spearmen / archers - as it means that all the plastic archers are just standing there holding their bows instead of more dynamic shooting poses (or if you really have to have more dynamic ones - you can always get the really old metal archers).  But I like what they are doing.  It is nice to see them keeping a similar look - a little digging shows the concept sketches for the Stormwind Cavalry
Stormwind Cavalry concept art
The other new pictures Mantic has put out lately are for the new Dreadball teams funded in the DB2 kickstarter.

Matsudo Tectonics Matsudan Team

Draconis All-Stars Robot Team

Ninth Moon Tree Sharks Yndij Team
We are just missing the New Eden Revenants Cyborg team that was funded by add-ons after the kickstarter closed (see update #19)  (though they have yet to update the graphic on the kickstarter page to reflect this).  Unfortunately I don't think that Elmer & Dobs got funded - a big disappointment as I really liked this.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Monday, January 16, 2017

When the campaign is over

This past weekend was the 2nd annual Kings of War International Campaign Day.  It was much bigger this year, with 341 people playing games across the world.  Locally we once again met at our FLGS to participate in the fun, though we didn't have the numbers to claim the largest site again.

We started with 8 players, but ended up with some actually having lives outside of playing games, so our numbers dwindled with each game.

One of the new and fun aspects this year is everyone got to create their own 200 point hero to use in all the games.

Fighting on the side of good were

Amy Stamper's Dwarfs with King George (King on Large Beast, +1 Ne, Blade of Slashing / Blessing of the Gods)
Felix Castro's Herd withHusdyr, Defender of the Wild (Great Chieftan, +1 De, Medallion of Life, Blade of the Beasst Slayer )(1st game only)
Felix Castro's Dwarfs with King Rurgrim Foehammer (King, +1 At, Wings of Honeymaze, Medallion of Life)
Aaron Raleigh using my Ogres with Ronral the smasher (Ogre Warlord, +1 De, Blessing of the Gods)
Jesse Dennison's ratkin with Skract (Warlock, +1 De, Wings of Honeymaze, Boots of Levitation)

On the side of evil we had
Kara Brown's Abyssal Dwarfs with Voltron (Half Breed Champion, +1 De, Wings of Honeymaze)
Dave Baker's Abyssals with (damn, didn't get his name) (Abyssal Champion, +1 De, Wings of Honeymaze, Blessing of the Gods)
Jon Carter's Undead with Rigoth the Wolf Lord (Lykanis, +1 De, Blade of the Beast Slayer, Blessing of the Gods)
My Abyssal Dwarfs with Zarak Forgeborn, Lord of the Halfbreeds (Halfbreed Champion, +1 De, Brew of Courage, Darklords Onyx Ring)

Round one saw
Jesse's Ratkin played my Abyssal Dwarfs.  The ratkin, being the traitorous vermin that they are, abandoned thei comrades and actually fought on the side of good!  Actually we had 5 evil armies, so somebody had to switch (and as the last one to make it to the shop, he got the honor ( and bonus that good got from winning region B (Europe)) of switching sides.

Kara's Abyssal Dwarfs faced off against Aaron's Ogres in his third game ever, Dave was trying out his Master's list of Abyssals against Amy's Dwarfs, and Jon's Undead faced Felix's Herd (Felix used Herd for the first game, then switched back to his Dwarfs).
Jesse vs me

Kara vs Aaron

Dave vs Amy
Felix vs Jon

When the round was done, evil won all their games - getting the bonus for the next game.

For round two, Jesse had to drop out (so I took one for the team and dropped as well to keep an even number of players).  Amy took on Jon, Kara battled Felix and Dave fought Aaron.  This round was split, with two games for evil, and one for good.
Amy vs Jon

Dave vs Aaron
I did tell everyone they could use the full board (instead of the 4'x4' we used for the first round), but they didn't seem to listen. :-)
Felix v Kara
With such a small group, it was inevitable that people would play against foes they had played often.  In round three Kara was paired off against her wife Amy, but they decided to bow out rather than risk family harmony.

That left Dave battling Felix and Aaron duking it out with Jon.  Evil won one game, and the other was a tie.
Dave vs Felix

Aaron facing Jon's Undead
We were a little disappointed that the shop closed at eight, so we did not have time for the fourth game.  Despite this everyone had fun, even if the "Tag" scenario was not a favorite.  A huge thanks to Kris Kaspner and Mark Cox for organizing this.  We are already looking forward to the next one.

But cause it is all fun and games. . .

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Is it wet paint, or is it just me?

Ok, the water puns are getting more and more difficult to come by lately.

As you (should) know, Mantic is releasing the new Trident Realm of Neritica next month, and both the army and mega-army sets are currently up for pre-order on their web store here and here.  Well today they have finally released some pictures of painted models from this release.

First up are the Thuuls.  These Lovecraftian mix of octopus and halfling have got to be some of the creepiest models Mantic has yet to make.  These are metal models - which means those tentacles should be very easily posable, so there is no need to ever have any two of these exactly alike when they haunt your dreams and drag you to the upside down.  (Really, you still haven't seen that fantastic shown Stranger Things on Netflix yet?  If you have then I think you will agree that the figure in the middle of the back row is way too close to Demogorgon for me to get ANY sleep).

Really - with Mantic now putting what each figure is in HUGE letters on their promotional photos, I don't have much to add in a caption.

Next up are the giant Neritican crabs - the Giga's.  These make me think less of lovecraft and more of Ray Harryhausen's classic stop motion monsters.

Of course you need something that can take out these massive sea creatures - and what else would you use against them than a giant harpoon gun?  Wait, they are manning the harpoon gun?  Ok, that works, but I would think they would actually have a Leviathan on their side, not be hunting it.  However if you do fancy yourself as Ahab . . .
All of these are, of course, in the Mega Army box.  What are not, but are in the starter army box, are the water elementals. Now many companies have done water elementals, and most of them tend to dampen my enthusiasm.  (I said the puns were getting more difficult, I didn't say I was completely out of them yet).  I guess I can understand the economic reason to not put everything in the mega-army - it 'allows' people to buy both army sets, or some of them individually (which is more sales, which ultimately is what any company is truly about).  But I want these for my demo army - the whole idea of putting fish in them just wets my appetite for the models.  (ok, now I'm done).
I don't have product numbers, but these are scheduled to start shipping on February 10th - just under a month from now.

One more army I need to get.  It isn't like I don't already have eleven + armies in the queue to paint as it is.  (Adepticon secret team army, Ghostbusters Night Stalkers (keep watching this space for more on that), Spartans, Empire of Dust, Brotherhood, Asterians, Enforcers, Forge Fathers, GCPS, Plague, Veer-myn) (plus finishing Romans, Basileans, Kingdoms of Men)

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Monday, January 9, 2017

So what is actually new?

Yes, I have heard the outcry.  The wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Where are the pictures of the new stuff you ask.  Nay, demand.  Far be it from me to resist any kind of pressure - so here is everything new from the Warpath 1.0 Kickstarter.

Well, except for the books themselves.  I didn't even think to take a picture of them, and have yet to thoroughly read them.

However I did do the dice - so all eight faces of the command dice
Command Dice in all their glory
The new plastic tokens / counters as well.  They have two part suppression tokens (fire), a lot of objective tokens (purple), and I'm not quite sure what the rest are yet.  The small green ones actually have three different pictures on them, but they are very faint - so much that I would not attempt to differentiate them during a game.

Now what would a Mantic kickstarter be without a new Blaine model.  (The answer to that is The Walking Dead: All Out War).  Tyrant Blaine, Mercenary Leader joins the other Blaines - and like too many of them there are not currently any rules to actually use him.

Blaine Front

Blaine Back
Now to get faction specific.  We'll start with the Enforcers.  First off is the heavy weapons upgrade. The original restic pathfinders came with some rather nice models (I still really like the sniper), though the Enforcer with a rocket launcher is not my favorite (he is just a little too tall compared to the others).  With the death of restic and the new(ish) hard plastic sprue for Enforcers, the rocket launcher has instead become a set of add on metal bits.  It is interesting that the pack only comes with enough for 4 - right arms holding the launcher, left arms that attach to it, and some other bit that I do not know what it is.  It was part of the battlegroup, so no big deal.  Of course they require the Enforcer sprue - which you can see here.
Enforcer Heavy Support upgrade bits
The completest in me wanted all the new models, so when I saw the add-on for Enforcer Tank Hunters I thought they would be a cool team to add.  No description other than the name.  This was a disappointment - it came with one new gun arm and 4 arms holding mines, plus 4 additional mines. Had I known this is what it was I would not have gotten it.  Now it was only $2 more than the sprue of enforcers it comes with costs by itself - but I honestly don't need more enforcers.
Enforcer Tank Hunter add on bits
All of the factions got a special character in the kickstarter.  Enforcers got Lt Roca.
Lt Roca front

Lt Roca back
The battlegroup also came with the upgrade to turn an ordinary Strider into the Ajax Seige Strider.  I was not all that excited about the picture in the kickstarter - but I really like the bits and think this is one I will have to convert - the giant shield and huge spear are just too cool.
Ajax Seige Strider upgrade bits

Ajax Seige Strider upgrade bits (back)
As part of the Enforcer Interceptor battlegroup, you also get a set of metal bits to upgrade an Accuser interceptor to an Arbiter Interceptor (switching the Twin Heavy Burst Lasers ( R28", D10, AP2 Suppressive Fire(1)) weapons for Twin Polaris Cannons (R 48", D3, AP6, Anti-Tank(D6)).  I did not realize it at first, but these are the same guns that the default strider comes with.  I'm not sure what the other bits are supposed to be however.  Once more some instructions would be useful.
Arbiter upgrade bits

other side of the Arbiter upgrade bits
Finally, of course the Enforcers did get their Interceptor kit as well - but that is for next time :-)

Now on to the Forge Fathers.  Their special Character is Ingulf Krestursson and his dog Padd.  The dog has a separate robotic leg, and the rest of the pieces go together pretty simply.
Ingulf Krestursson and Padd, front

Ingulf Krestursson and Padd, back
The Forge Guard get a metal upgrade kit for Hammerfist Drop team.  I (at least) got enough for 6 instead of 5.
Front and Back of Hammer Fist Drop Team metal upgrades
The Forge Fathers got a lot of new stuff (hard plastic Steel Warriors, Forge Guard) in Deadzone, so not much new for them.

Plague didn't get much in Deadzone (except for the Aberration - so not is the debut of the new hard plastic 3rd Gen sprue.  This makes 5 3rd Gen 'Ghouls' (as opposed to the 3rd Gen 'Zombies' that are already available), a plague dog and a mortar (with bits to make the mortar crew) and all the weapon options that they can take.
Plague 3rd Gen 'Ghoul' Sprue front
Once again the legs are pre-clipped (as is the body with the long coat).  Also, like the other infantry sprues, it really needs a guide as to what each of the weapons are.
Plague 3rd Gen 'Ghoul' Sprue back
The plague special character Subject 901
Subject 901 front

Subject 901 back
The plague are now getting types of each of the generations. 3rd Gens have Ghouls and Zombies, Second gen has Leapers (the existing restic 2nd gen) and now Bursters.  1st Gen has the Aberration and the Plague Lord.

The bursters are nasty, virulent bloated beasts that explode when killed - spraying the enemy with contagious ichor, infecting them and adding to the contagion.
Bursters front
This looks like a great kit to me.  Two bodies, four heads, three pairs of legs, and three of each left and right arm.  The arms all are flat joins, so any can go on either body.  (It did not seem that all three legs would fit both bodies though).  With this much variety you may never have to field the exact same model twice.
Bursters back
While the bursters are fairly straightforward, the new Plague Murderbirds are anything but.  A huge number of pieces, and once more no guide to how they are supposed to go together from Mantic.
Murderbirds front
I did find a nice blog entry on putting these together - when I assemble mine I plan to use it just to avoid the headaches of attempting to figure these out on my own.
Murderbirds back
The Veer-myn got an upgrade kit to make Creepers from the Nightcrawler/Stalker sprue.  I like that it has two heads that are NOT wearing the standard gas mask helmet.  I don't like there are only two - as these look like they would be very useful to convert Veer-Myn into Ratkin for Kings of War.
Creeper metal upgrades, front

Creeper Metal Upgrades, back
The Veer-Myn character is Hacker Half-Tail.  He is actually a creeper - and is all one piece.
Hacker Half-Tail front

Hacker Half-Tail back
It was a little disappointing that the Veer-Myn battle group does not include any new models other than Hacker Hafl-Tail.  There are a couple of new add-ons however.  The tunnel runner won't ship until wave 2, but the Tangle (with Malignus Bodyguard) did come in wave 1.
Veer-Myn Tangle front
It took a bit of fiddling to see how this might go together - one thing to remember is on the side pieces, the pieces of wood stick up and out on the sides - the flatter, wide pieces go underneath.  So a little fiddling and you will see how it goes together.
Veer-Myn Tangle back
The GCPS get Major Loren Chard as their special character - again a one piece model.
GCPS Major Loren Chard - front

GCPS Major Loren Chard - back
The GCPS Major-General model is a metal model that is not new, though I did not yet have it.  He does come with a choice of  arms.
Major General

Major General
What is most interesting was pointed out to me by my son - who found that they reused the body for this sculpt when they created the Coach Ronnie figures (available via Mantic Points)
Ronnie v Major General
I guess it fits - as Ronnie is the Major General of Mantic after all :-)

The GCPS are pretty much are getting a full refresh.  The marines were available in restic, but have now been replaced with a hard plastic sprue.

GCPS Trooper sprue front
Again the legs are separate (this saves a LOT of warehouse space apparently) and has a huge amount of weapon options, which should match the options available in the game.
GCPS Trooper sprue back
The heavy weapons team are a metal upgrade to a trooper sprue.  It looks like one set has enough bits to make 2 weapon teams (unfortunately there are 4 heavy weapon team options to choose from).

Heavy Weapons upgrade front
Unlike the plague mortar, these are not equipment upgrades but full teams.  However in the pictures in the book, it shows two models and a weapon on a 60mm base.  These are still classified as infantry however, which says there are 5 models in a team.  
Heavy Weapons upgrade back
I'd like to see this addressed in a FAQ, that the weapon team is only three models (like Asterian Cyphers).

Speaking of Asterians, their special character is Ten'ur Go
Ten'ur go front

Ten'ur Go back
Asterians finally get some hard plastic love - for their base troopers, the Marionette.  In addition to making 5 marionettes, you are also able to make a drone upgrade for the team (there are four varieties of drone).
Asterian Marrionate sprue, front
I expect we will also finally see some of these in Deadzone as well.
Asterian Marrionate sprue, back
And that my friends, are the new 'stuff' in the kickstarter.  Well except for vehicles, and those are all in wave 2.  Except again for the Interceptor - but that is a post for later.

Because it is all fun and games . . .