Thursday, 26 February 2015

Bolt Action: Part 1

Pete's Bit: Heyyyy! The Inquisitorjames blog is back after nearly two years away being busy with life. But I'm back, and this time, I've got some help. My eldest son Jake is following in his Dad's footsteps and maturing into a gamer in his own right. He'll be chipping in with the blog from time to time and we'll pledge not to leave it quite so long between posts :D

So what's been happening? Well, I moved quite a way away from miniatures games (boooo!) and painting in general. Games Workshop pretty much priced me out of the hobby for some time and I've not played 40k for years now... the recent surge in variety and popularity of excellent card and boardgames has filled the gaming gap and no doubt we'll touch on some of those in the future.

But this is all about our latest gaming fix that's piqued our imagination: Bolt Action. For those of you who haven't discovered it yet, it's a WW2 minis games produced by Warlord Games and written by a who's-who of wargaming, including Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestly. It caught Jakester's eye at the Conquest games show last year and he's played several games with other members of our local club, Gambit Games UK. Although I'd seen it played and liked the game turn mechanics in particular, I wasn't totally hooked on the historic theme, preferring the sci-fi or fantasy worlds of 40k, SDE and all the other games I'd been playing. It wasn't until Jake began studying WW2 at school that I looked at the system again and fancied getting involved. And consequently, with just a little nudge from him, here we are.

Jake's Bit: I really liked the look of Bolt Action because the figures look great and the scenery used in the games I've played looks really realistic. I've been studying WW2 at school and find it really interesting, plus I love gaming, so I'm really looking forward to collecting and painting the figures and getting in some games.

Pete's Bit: The Assault on Normandy boxed starter seems like a good place to start. For the money, you get the full size rulebook, 20 German Infantrymen and 20 US Soldiers, plus a ruined building to have your first skirmish around. Oh, and there are eight custom order dice too. Jake found the individual army books on the Google Play store for under £7 each, which is a real bargain. 

As an aside, the topic of GW and their pricing strategy came up as a hot topic of conversation on the Gambit Games Facebook page recently and although there's still love for the game worlds, GW have lost a few long time players through their meteoric price hikes and crazy goings on. £100 for a Blood Angels Codex?!

But the Bolt Action gear is a good price and we'll be able to put together two modest forces without needing a mortgage.

Jake's Bit: I'm planning on collecting the forces of the German Army. In the games I played, they were really effective. Historically, they were well trained fighters and had access to powerful weapons like machine guns. In the game, these have been good guns to arm the troops with. I'm looking forward to planning my army list with Dad and painting my figures when they arrive.

Pete's Bit: So that's the plan. Somewhere down the line (birthday on the horizon!) I'm hoping to grab a couple of extra buildings for the games table as well as expanding the units of troops on deck. As Jake's opted to play Germans, I'll take on the US troops from the base game, but have my eyes on the British forces too.

As ever, look forward to receiving any comments you want to leave about the articles and the games we discuss. I'm particularly interested in any feedback about which Bolt Action units are hot and which ones are not...

'Til next time :D

Jake's Bit: Peace out!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Hobby Updates!

Wow! I cannot believe it's been three months since I last posted.... where has that time gone to?? Jeees... Since January this year, I've established my own photography company (and doing a little bit of design in there too!) and you can find my website here: I'm also working on a little Super-Dungeon-Explore-inspired project with some like-minded gamers and more details of that will follow :)

Secondly, a quick thanks to all 6,000+ of you who have taken the time to read my little page, that's awesome!

Whilst I've been mega-busy setting up Main Event Photography UK, I have had the odd moment to get some hobby time in and thought I'd post up a few pics of some of the figures I've recently painted up....

The Deeproot Druid was the first SDE figure I painted and I need to redo the bear skin. Everything else is OK though...

The Hearthsworn Fighter...

The Royal Paladin; initially, I wouldn't leave on an adventure without him as he was the insurance policy when it all hotted up, but there are alternatives...

The Claw Tribe Barbarian is a monster in close combat...

Limited edition Candy & Cola... these guys are the figure heads of Sodapop Miniatures and in the game can regenerate and distribute potions amongst the hero team. In practice, not the most effective choice, but one of my favorite sculpts none-the-less.

The Deeproot Scout is one of my core team members as he is a great all rounder, able to mix it up in combat as well as use his bow. Depending on the other heroes you take, this guy can benefit from Attack and Dexterity buffs, so is really flexible. Plus he can retrieve treasure chests from range, which is really handy!!

The unexpectedly awesome magic user, Princess Ruby. I'd written her off in the beginning, but she is really very good! I normally take her in along with the Deeproot Scout as their potions complement each other really well and you can quickly juice up your team with loot cards if their dice work out right!

Lastly, I thought I'd post up a pic of the all-conquering Sabre Squadron, led by Baron Soontir Fel, that I flew in an X-Wing minis tournament at my local games club this weekend just gone. 

Gambit Games UK will be hosting another X-Wing tournament in October, which will take place at our normal gaming venue a couple of miles west of Brighton. Anyone interested is encouraged to book early as places are limited and are already being allocated!

Cheers all!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

More hobby musings...

Hey everyone,

It's been a few weeks since the last post, so thought would post a few comments about recent hobby goodness.

I've played a few more games of Super Dungeon Explore (SDE) with Dan and Olly and they've been a lot of fun. Although I've enjoyed playing SDE with my six-year-old lad Jake, playing against these guys has allowed me to explore more of the competitive tricks and combos that the minions and denizens of the dungeon have to offer. It's also been interesting seeing the heroes in action with a more competitive force in the driving seat.

Princess Ruby, (who has now been painted, updated pic to follow...) has been somewhat of a revelation. I'd pretty casually written her off a while back when writing up those character bios, but Olly took a chance with her, and she's proved to be a key character in more than a handful of adventures. Being able to enhance or 'augment' her fellow characters in a particular area, heal a wound or status effect, or even dish it out with her own magic attacks has proved invaluable. 

As an aside, one thing that we have agreed on, is that the Hexcast Sorceress does seem like a 'nice-to-have-but-not-essential' character. Her special abilities are best suited tackling multiple wound creatures and slow down the really nasty bad guys, but, on balance, there aren't too many of those in a three hero game using combinations of the currently available minions. 

I would be interested to see what sort of affect she would have on the final battle with Roxor though, as he has become notoriously tough to shift. Maybe next time we'll take a punt on her and maybe she'll surprise us in the same way as the princess? Or maybe she's been planted in the base set to come into her own against minions in future releases?

Dan found a stack of information on the tubes about the development of pieces for a Glauerdoom Moor expansion featuring the forces of the undead. Check out some of the shots over at Hobby Before I Die...

Olly found this packshot on the tubes suggesting that the Glauerdoom Moor figures will be released under the title of 'Von Drakk Manor'. The release date is a little sketchy, but seems imminent and I'm keen to get hold of the box as soon as it's out. Much like the Caverns of Roxor set, there is a swathe of new minions, new bosses and some new heroes to boot. From the images available, it looks as though one of the heroes will have the same shapeshift ability that the Deeproot Druid/Angry Bear currently has, allowing it to change into a werewolf type creature.

If you've not already had a chance to do so, check out the 'Watch it Played' series of videos on YouTube which introduce SDE and go through the rules before playing through a three hero game over a series of further installments. I watched these on the lead up to Christmas last year and was able to play the game as soon as I'd stuck the pieces together, only consulting the rulebook to check the odd ruling I'd made was correct and confirm a particular status effect.

This past weekend I managed to make it down to the Gambit Games UK monthly club day (albeit very briefly!) and catch up with the guys after what seems like an eternity since I got down there last. Check out a full run down of the day over at the Gambit Games UK page or on Facebook.

The club has grown considerably since the first meetings and even since the last time I attended 18ish (?) months ago, both in terms of membership numbers as well as the variety of game systems being played. If you're local to the Brighton area, definitely look up the Gambit guys (and girls!).

Something that has very (VERY!) recently grabbed my attention is the X-Wing miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Miniatures. I was hooked after watching this demo video and picked up a couple of ships from eBay. Dan is also taking a keen interest in this system and is already thinking up scenarios to re-enact from the films. The X-Wing game uses similar mechanics to the Wings of War games, so should be fairly straight forward to jump into and I'm looking forward to my first game :D

Anyways, until next time folks!