So I have been meaning to get a lot of progress on my Eldar painting, as I have been very slack in the past as I was more about collecting than painting, but I got incredibly distracted by the release of both Monster Hunter World and Dragonball FighterZ on Friday. Both of these games are incredible and exactly what I wanted them to be, which is something that is rare nowadays considering the very scummy practices we have seen as of late, but that is something I will write about at a later date.
What I really wanted to talk about was more Warhammer miniatures, more specifically some of the progress I have been making on my Biel-Tan Eldar. As I am rather happy with progress so far and the Warhammer community has always been fantastic about the sharing of paint jobs as it is ultimately a friendly community, I figured why not? On the note of painting I always found it hard to decide where to start in a specific army, like for example for my Eldar, do I paint the Guardians to start? The Aspect Warriors? The HQs I have? Always found it kind of hard to decide where to begin. For this I decided to start with the simpler of models.
So there is the start of my Guardians which taught me two things; One) I hate priming/undercoating with White as it feels like it only sticks after 2+ coats. Two) I love using Warpstone Glow and love the shade of green it turns out to be. Also as I live in Canada the cold air outside can mess with spray painting them as I don’t dare to do it inside, so that is another thing to be careful of.
Managed to also get a singular Wraithblade done. Love how it turned out, again I don’t claim to be a paint master, but I do love this model.
Lastly got an Eldar Warlock mostly done, could use a little touching up, his base needs to be dealt with and I want to do more with the Witchblade colour wise.
So all in all over last week (with the exception of Friday to now) I made lots of progress in my Eldar force. On a side note I am very excited for the Dark Eldar codex and hope to see some new models come with it to potentially use for an Ynnari force. Which by the way the Triumvirate of Ynnead looks painful to paint.
Anyway that is all for now, just some simple light-hearted paint report. Might show some more later on as I make progress and even post some of the battle reports I have from games I play with my group of Warhammer buddies if that is something that people would be interested in.
A petition to bring Slaanesh and the Emperor’s Children back to the forefront of GW’s efforts. Now this could be because we have seen a lot of focus back onto specific Chaos gods and their Space Marine followers; Deathguard/Nurgle and Thousand Sons/Tzeentch. So naturally that might leave the people who enjoy the other gods and their thematic Marines wanting something similar.
With the 40K narrative being pointed towards conflict with the chaos gods it leaves me with a hope. Hope that a Slaaneshi codex would bring with it a Dark Eldar codex and expansion. To pair any other army opposite Slaanesh would be ludicrous as the Eldar are those who forever struggle to not have their souls taken by Slaanesh. The Primaris/Deathguard and Custodes/Thousand Sons is nowhere as thematically appropriate as a Slaanesh/Dark Eldar release would be. That would be incredible and leaves me hoping that this is anywhere near the plan that GW has.
Though as for the petition I am not the most optimistic about the chance to affect the plans that GW has for releases, but it is good to see quite a few players be united in their want for something that isn’t just Imperium based. I would also like to see the Emperor’s Children be expanded a bit and believe that they deserve it just as much as Deathguard or Thousand Son’s, but it would be especially sweet to see the full return of Doomrider. Well all things considered I am rooting for these guys! Time will tell if anything comes from this petition, but I would be curious to know what you guys think. You think anything could come of this petition?
Now I have had quite a bit to say about Warhammer in general, but haven’t said anything about my own ventures with miniatures (wouldn’t be much of a Warhammer fan if I didn’t.) So I am big into Eldar, Dark Eldar and Deathguard, with them being my main three forces. I decided I needed to do something a little different for my Eldar force and wanted to go with an Autarch on foot. Now ask most people who are acquainted with the Eldar minis and they will agree that an Autarch on foot is a little difficult to find. Games Workshop has had miniatures for this purpose in the past, but trying to find one now is rather hard. So I decided for the first time I would do my own conversion, which was rather exciting for me.
For starters the Craftworlds codex tells us that we HAVE to have a Star Glaive which is something I have found people to have mixed opinions about for a couple reasons. People aren’t a fan of the stat line with it being x2 str which on an Eldar isn’t much of an upgrade with their base three strengths. Also modeling wise you are more limited too, basically an Dire Avenger exarch power glaive or the Prince Yriel glaive. Speaking of Prince Yriel, he is the closest you get to a foot autarch so he is often the top choice for people’s conversions. With all that aside lets get down to brass tacks.
So I decided I wanted a fusion gun, and reaper launcher on top of the Star Glaive, which getting the Fusion gun was easy enough as I got one from the Storm Guardians conversion pack. The only issue is that it was for the right hand so I had to custom make a left handed glaive. Took a left over spear arm from my Scourge sprue, took the head of the spear off and replaced it with the head of Dire Avenger exarch glaive along with the shaft. Then for the body I took Prince Yriel and took the head off to stick a Dire Avenger helmet on instead (As I very much enjoy that helmet.) Lastly the Prince Yriel flags had the symbol of Iyanden which I didn’t need so I did my best to scrap it off. After I was satisfied with how it was looking I had decided that I needed to get myself some makeshift mandiblasters on my Autarch. I took a couple of Lasguns that were sitting around, cut the barrels off and put those onto the sides of the helmet. Then to finish it off I took some of the classic GW Green Stuff to make the Mandiblasters fit in better and look better all around. Still need to find a reaper launcher, but that is a problem for later.
So without further ado this is how my Autarch looks at this moment after all of this.
I am no master modeller and it still needs work (especially on the banner to the right,) but I am rather happy with it thus far. Also I would like to take this opportunity to say that I would love to be able to do spotlights of models that people show/send me, but for now that could be a bit of the way down the road.
Now if you are like me and love the Warhammer 40,000 universe you will usually take any chance at a video-game using the license. Though within the past few years the amount of games coming out of this license has actually been ludicrous, with the license being whore’d out left, right, and center. Now I realize that the video-game industry as of late turns out cheap garbage more oft than not and I think there is nothing that represents that more than the Warhammer 40K license.
Once upon a time there was a great company called THQ that had the license and made the great Dawn of War series (up until this latest one made by Relic which was formerly THQ Canada and clearly the magic was lost along the way) as well as the Space Marine game which was awesome. Once THQ went bankrupt and was sold off piece by piece that license also found itself adrift. Now this is where the mass production of phone games comes into play; Space Wolf, Regicide, Carnage, and Storm of Vengeance all fall under that gross brand of mobile game pay-to-win where the games more often than not lack any real depth.
Other than those though there are a few stand-outs that are good like Space Hulk: Deathwing or Eternal Crusade, and Gladius – Relics of War looks like it could be fun, but the issue lies with a lack of quality control. Eternal Crusade being a game with fun concept, but a lack of continued support from the developers have led it into a slow and unerring decay that would make Nurgle happy. One of the key issues with this is if you are a fan of things in 40K that aren’t Space Marine oriented then your options are fairly limited as many games just highlight SM happenings. As Eternal Crusade slowly dies, the fan base is all Space Marine or Chaos Space Marine with the games being one-sided stomps as the guilds who play respective sides come and go. Now don’t get me wrong there are good games that aren’t so one sided sometimes, but in my experience it usually isn’t that satisfying. There are brief periods during the day that you can find non-Space Marines playing, but it is a narrow window of time. It was me sitting in queue for about 30 minutes trying to find a game that inspired me to write this and while I have nothing against playing SM varieties it would be nice to play my favorite faction. The devs aren’t doing anything to really support it either, they are seemingly adopting the “release and drop” policy more as time goes on. Further cementing this is the fact that the game once had a price tag, and then went free to play leaving those who bought it with essentially nothing. Just an attempt to get a quick buck and exploit those who want something different than the Space Marine party that most 40K games are. It is just disappointing to see something that is legitimately fun be screwed around by negligent developers.
Seems like so long ago that Dark Souls graced our lives with all too well-known and all encompassing frustration. In reality it has been seven years since the cult classic launched in 2011 taking the reins from 2009’s Demon Souls which really started it all. For anyone who played Dark Souls on its original PC release you know of the nightmare it was to actually get the game to run as intended. The FPS lock made the game run like ass, the textures were terrible and you couldn’t even play with friends without massive difficulty. Enter DSFix which made the game look like something that wasn’t made in the 90s and made it look/run incredibly. So now that they will essentially be taking a second crack at it they have a chance to do the release properly, which if Dark Souls 3 is any indication it should be a fine launch. They also plan on making tweaks to it in the graphical and technical areas, which if they bring it up to snuff with DS3 then that would be rather nice. Also the apparent discount for Steam users who own the Prepare to Die exition is also a nice touch. As an ending note I would just like to state some concerns with this. I am hoping that they keep the remaster as just that and don’t fiddle with the actual gameplay mechanics as DS3 was boring as hell to play in comparison to its predecessors. Armor basically didn’t matter, heavy weapons were useless, it was a light-roll-fest as rolling took no stamina, and most boring was that most weapons had similar STR/DEX scaling. So as long as they keep it as just a remaster with some fine tuning then it should turn out just fine.
Becoming quite the phenomenon in the past few years we have seen E-Sports rise in popularity to heights that were never imagined possible and I don’t think any of us had seen this coming. Sure local competitions were always fun to partake in or go watch, personally I have been an avid watcher of EVO tournaments for years, though never thought that this type of thing would peak like it has as of late. While I don’t think E-sports are inherently a bad thing, I think it is somewhat ridiculous to compare these guys to Football or Hockey players, an unpopular opinion I know. Either way I think that those who can make it into the major leagues of gaming deserve to be there and deserve to get all the admiration that they get because they do work really bloody hard. There are two ways in which I take issue with the E-sports world however; the rabid followers emulating the pros and the companies that churn out garbage trying to capture that essence.
Now for anyone who has played Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, or anything else with a popular E-sports scene you will know exactly what I am trying to say. There is always those players who attempt to copy and paste the play styles of pro players, suck terribly at it only to end up being the most cancerous people you have had the displeasure of playing with; this is something that is the worst in Overwatch lately. This inflates the ego of already toxic individuals who just take every opportunity to try to steal a bit of that glory that the pros experience with none of the skill to back it up. There is also the issue of these pro players influencing the community enforced meta (in some games like League) which is rather stale and unimaginative if you ask me because never should you get insulted for trying something different. Now there is something to be said for the replicating of useful strategies or builds, which is completely understandable, but we all know that there are some who think it makes them the next pro Team SoloMid player. Naturally it is probably more true that popular E-sports tend to invigorate the game that is being played, but it isn’t the average player who has the most impact on your games; it is that dick who got mad at you for not playing to the meta or failing to exceed their oh so lofty expectations.
Oh boy now the fun part, talking about the company shills who attempt to do whatever to create that next big E-sport. This ends up with perfectly good ideas or games being turned to mindless repetitive garbage that could have been good if they tried to build the game on its own merit. The biggest example that hits closest to home for me is Warhammer 40K Dawn of War III; the latest in an otherwise really enjoyable game series that falls quite short. The single player campaign is fine and there is never an issue with playing missions for all the different available factions as it builds a congruent story (usually) and gives you an opportunity to try different things. Now the issue with DoW III is that the game-play is so stale, boring and repetitive that it isn’t that much fun to play. It has that Starcraft II syndrome where it feels like every unit has an ability and focuses on spamming said abilities than actual strategy or match-ups. Not to mention the game-play focuses on these Elite units that you really need to actually get anything done, which are also for ability spam both active and passive. I can’t neglect to mention the fact that the only way to get resources is to capture limited resource points on the map which feels like it is forced just so there is always something to watch, and it just doesn’t feel right to me. So it feels like instead of making a good Warhammer 40K game based on it’s own merit they just wanted to make something fun to watch without it actually being fun to play. What happened to the days when sequels were actually sequels that improved upon the predecessor? Regardless DoW III just has corporate decisions stamped all over it and as a fan of the series it is rather saddening.
What I am trying to say in all of this wordy ranting is that E-sports have helped to bring video games up to the mainstream for better or for (mostly) worse, and at the risk of sounding like some kind of hipster, the mainstream has helped to create some not-so-good games because of these big companies. Yes E-sports have helped people enjoy their games at new levels and made it so some people can make legitimate careers out of their passions, but all in all it is a mixed bag that has influenced the gaming market in some depressing ways. Funny that a lot of the popular E-sports weren’t made to be popular like that, looking at you League of Legends and Starcraft, turns out they are actually enjoyable games.
TLDR; E-sports have had mixed influences on the gaming community, leading to some bad games by companies trying to capture their essence and some toxic meatheads that try to emulate the pros, but while it leads to those things it does have its good merits. Warhammer 40K Dawn of War III is the perfect example of a great game series ruined by a company trying to make the next big E-sport.
Just wanted to take the chance to say Happy New Years to anyone who may or may not see this blog here. Have great hopes for 2018, as 2017 was a great year for games, video and tabletop both.
Excited to see the codex supplements that are going to continue coming out for the 8th edition of Warhammer 40K. Hopefully going to see some new Dark Eldar stuff come out as they could use a breath of fresh air as they decided to section off their units into the three different keywords.
Monster Hunter World is coming out this month which I couldn’t be more excited for as all those games are awesome and the demo that went on last month. I call it a demo because that is what all the ‘beta’ tests are nowadays are just marketing ploys as that was literally the purpose of demos. Either way without getting into a rant about it, the Monster Hunter World ‘open beta’ was awesome as expected. The game play of the 3DS on the far superior control scheme and power on the PS4 was all I wanted it to be.
As we enter the New Year I am very excited for 2018 and am excited to see where it leads us.