Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Poll - Shelf to table ratio.

Is it a shelf or is it a table ... nice work John Green - I'm confused!?!

It's a little bit funny ... this feeling inside...

Ah ... dash and bother, I might get very excited about Infinity - it is a very exciting game, but there's gotta be something said for leafing through a 40k Codex and considering the options. I'm a very lucky man. If we take stock of the last 3 years, I've amassed a metric tonne of plastic men for my own amusement.

The funny thing is that while Infinity hasn't made me ebay all my 40k, it has taken me away long enough to realise the attraction and distraction that being steeped in the 40k Universe is.

It's really very very clever.

Anyhoo ... I've painted up 40 models for infinity, which I got at half price and they are gorgeous. So ...win! To put that in context, I did a quick jot up on the Infinity army builder and it amassed over a 1000pts of minis.

Since your average game is 300pts - that's brutal, and got me thinking. How many times the average list strength is a healthy 'variety' in 40k.

For myself I run the following (assuming 1500pts as my 'average' game size):

3 x Haqqislam (Infinity)
4 x Imperial Guard
2 x Tau
2 x Tyranids
1.5 x Chaos Space Marines

Some players like a 'complete' set, one of everything in the codex (although that can be a pricey combination these days), others like to buy ONE army list and then learn that inside out. My growing army is a mixture of model craving and wanting to 'discover' new tactics for myself.

So where do you sit, put your opinions to posterity on the poll next door... What's your shelf to table ratio?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Painting Showcase: Haqqislam so far

This is more of a work in process than anything else. After photographing all the models, I've spotted so many 'adjustments' that need to be done that it really means I'm back to the drawing board with this lot. That said, the models are amazing and fully worth a drool over ... even if my painting could be improved and my basing attempted!


In Infinity (unlike 40k) there are no definite range problems. Most weapons can fire 24-36", but don't expect to hit anything at that range. This is because between the -6 for range and the -3 for cover (which is like GOD in infinity), your 11+ BS just dropped to 2 ... giving you a 1/10 chance of hitting.

Once you've hit, then life is good, a rifle is a solid weapon and has a good likelihood of dropping Light or Medium infantry ... but hitting?

What needs to be remembered is that unlike 40k, the fella or lass being shot at can react! This means that if you are shooting your 3 shots at 1 or 2 out of a D20 to hit, he has to roll less than his physical (12) but more than you. Giving him a 50% chance of avoiding your hits altogether.

So this is why the range on Sniper Rifles, HMG (Heavy MachineGuns) and Autocannons are cool. The ability to get a +3 bonus on the to hit at 32-36" means than you're rolling a 12 to hit rather than a 2 or a D20 (and you get 4 shots with the HMG).

LIGHT INFANTRY - GHULAMS (Maximum limitless)

Ghulams can come with HMG, Panzerfaust and be a hacker, doctor or lieutant ... they die very quickly too.

Playing Infinity is totally unlike 40k. You run a small group of crack (or cheap) commandos and your job it to either achieve a nebulous objective or to wipe out the enemy. As such, the troop types are divided along generalist lines ... you can have medium infantry, heavy infantry, Specialists and Light Infantry (plus Remote robots and dreadnoughts - but that's by the by)...

Ghulam are the bread and butter of the Haqqislam army. They may not be able to shoot for toffee, but they are steady troops that have some serious upgrade options like Missile Launchers, Panzerfaust and Heavy Machine Guns.
The advantage is that Ghulams are limitless ... meaning that 12 Sniper Rifles can be a reality at 300pts and still leaves lots of toys.


Muyibs are great fun to field and have lots of tricks to keep enemies occupied

A fellow player expressed serious 'manlove' for the Muyib (this IS NOT becoming a theme of this blog people!) It's a cool and highly versatile set of models that are sappers and anti-tank theme'd. They get mines (cool), including viral mines (double cool) and also get panzerfausts and other ridiculous weaponry.


Tuareg Sniper Lady... complete with chocolate icecream face?!?

Tuareg's are middling shots and come with ho-hum weaponry. They do however have a huge advantage, they get Thermo-optic camoflague. This means they can be 'infiltrated' anywhere on the board and get the drop on people. When attacking, only a few hardcore opponents can actually 'react' to a Tuareg's attack. She also has mines. She also appears to have been eating chocolate icecream like my son!

SPECIALIST - FIDAY (maximum 1)

Fiday makes opponents cry ... he just doesn't play by their rules.

Most valuable player. Think Jon Grammaticus in the Dan Abnett book 'Legion'. This guy can impersonate the enemy, cannot be fired on and has a good shotgun and an awesome explosive close combat weapon. He's nasty.


Arguably my favourite model and the first port of call in most lists...

These guys are the must have of the Haqqislam list. Awesome models are complimented by killer stats. They are middling tough ... but have one huge advantage. They have multispectral visors (level 2, to be precise) ... think Sam in SplinterCell. They spend most games playing 'spot the twat' with all the enemy in camoflague... and then shooting them in the head.

In a game where cover is god, and people have camoflague left right and centre, this is very veyr disruptive. To add insult to injury, they also have regenerate - so unless you shoot them with something pretty tasty - they can resurrect.


Lasiq, the viral Sniper rifle, combined with her camoflague and climbing abilities make LAsiq truely handy.

The Djanbazan is the ultimate anti Camo man, the Lasiq is a MI with attitude. Reasonable stats combined with Viral weaponry and camoflague make this lady a nasty piece of work. Not as 'instant love' as the Djan's, but VERY cool.

HEAVY INFANTRY - JANNISSARY GUARD (maximum 2)In my mind's eye ... this is what a Space Marine SHOULD look like!

Awesome armour, two wounds ... these guys should be considered the space marines in this list. The HMG and a close in attack make this fella doubly nasty. Even the basic weaponry of a Jannissary is a AP rifle (which halves the enemies armour), but this fellas real trick is all about the HMG! That said he does cost 2 support weapon cost to a Ghulams 1 when fielding an HMG.


The Al Fassed (right) is as tough as the Jannissary (left), while the Asawira in the middle tops the pair.

This ladies a bit of a shock, for although the model is half the size of a Jannissary - she's got almost identical stats and for 10 less points. This one comes with a boarding shotgun, which is a close range armour piercing death merchant.

HEAVY INFANTRY - Asawira (maximum 1)

Sounds more Far East than Middle East, but the Asawira is the toughest of the lot. Armed with a AP rifle and Explosive Close Combat Weapon, the Asawira has a combination of Martial Arts and Regeneration on a highly armoured and highly lethal build. The real strength is that an Asawira can be a doctor or a lieutenant... a regenerating version of either can make or break a game.

But pricey at 60+ odd points... (that's two heavily armed Djanbazans...)


The army so far has been an interesting treat. Remember that you are often only fielding 10 of these models, this leads to multiple combinations and abilities. Coming up I have motorbike troops, deep strikers, suicide attackers, forward observers, Death Robots and even a TAG (or Dreadnought to us 40kers). This is great.

On the painting side, does anyone have any suggestions on the scheme, highlighting the detail and getting more impact ... beyond "go back and do it again!"

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The love that dare not speak its name...

I is just like saying nothing about these too, that is like disgusting man ... innit!


Just a quick aside ... gaming is ensuing apace, but unfortunately not on the 40k side. As you may have noticed from the previous posts, Infinity has grabbed my attention this year, and I fully intend to make 2011 the year of the small skirmish games, with Infinity and Malifaux topping the pick of the pops, pop-pickers!

As such I've been busy painting up a whole series of Infinity Haqqislam models, with photo's to follow (as soon as I've thought through the final touches on the paint scheme AND the basing...)

Back On The Subject ... and the only one in the village?

Back when I was at school in the 80's and the 90's, the title of this piece would have solely been the regard of the most alienated kid in the Derbyshire School. The gay ones.

Nowadays (thank goodness), the UK has moved away from wholesale discrimination of Gay men and Lesbians and its a lot nicer place for it. That's not to say that it still doesn't go on, but any aggression is usually propagated by the same group who are also inherently racist and sexist, so clearly they like to collect a full set of prejudices.

Main stream gay men like John Barrowman and Graham Norton are BBC talent and the nation as a whole accepts Stephen Fry as the national treasure he is, things are pretty good. It may be different where you live, but the UK has a long and progressive history of either hating or loving our gay icons... just check out Gruber from 'Allo 'Allo.

Either way, the result for double-entendres has a special place in an Englishman's heart, even if at the time we were as homophobic as the next country!

And the relevance to wargaming...

Well, it polarises, doesn't it. Some people are infinitely interested, while others look at you aslant with somewhat akin to a complete destruction of their interior perception of you and your credibility. Perhaps this changes elsewhere, but my 'small plastic men' are a topic which must be handled carefully ... and with tact. In the past I've found myself not joining in communications with less scrupulous uber-geeks as I am neither familiar with the company and keen to make a good impression ... not unlike Gruber above it's best to speak in code.

Why is this? Why should I feel shame at the prejudice of others? Alas, I have discovered that people are quite happy to use 'toy soldiers' in a derogatory way and belittle me. I'm successful, have a beautiful family and a very happy life and great business.

How odd?

Being a 'geek' has never been more fashionable, yet if I admitted to playing chess, I'd be considered an intellect. But I see something else in (some of) their eyes when I admit to wargaming. As such I have formulated the following table of socially acceptable geekidioms...

Geek Scale of Cooldom (an Oxymoron if ever I heard one)
  • Harry Potter and ilk, Stardust, Startrek, Starwars etc (totally mainstream)
  • Computer Games on a TV based platform (mainstream)
  • Computer gamer on PC (bit more geeky)
  • Call of Duty Online player (totally normal - working class)
  • World of Warcrafter (opposite - very geeky, and danger danger, your life will disappear!)
  • Hacking = cool, but/because illegal
  • Programmer = largely dull, except if you design online/iphone games
  • iphone games = mainstream
  • Wargaming = GEEEEEEEK ALERT
  • LARPing (Live Action Roleplay) = even I run away screaming at this stage, completely fucking weird!
  • Cosplay - I used to live in Japan, I speak Japanese - cosplay is weird, Japanese people have a particular weird subset that is explained by BEING JAPANESE. Westerners who copy them are beyond weird...
...Rant over.


Perhaps I should introduce my passion thus: "Infinity? Oh it's a bit like chess, but not so basic." He shoot's, he scores!

What's your experience, your feedback and your friends (non gaming) appreciation of wargaming? WII's, PS3 and XBox are now so mainstream my mother owns one, but somehow 'wargaming' is still in the geek-fringe (very straight, with pimples below). Why? Am I in a hole, along, quietly cradling my plastic crack habit and weeping softly?

Throw me a line here!