Off for the holidays!

Hey everybody!
Well, that’s me done! An exciting week of work is over, and now I have six whole days off! Splendid. While there will naturally be family obligations during this time, as well as some much-needed r&r, I’m hoping to use some of the time to try and get some of my ongoing projects moving apace!

This month, I’ve been really quite excited to get moving with the Grey Knights idea, although I have to admit that since I started leafing through the Codex, I’ve started looking more at the thought of starting up some Chaos Daemons! But that’s a project for the future. Right now I want to try and get moving with these silver warriors! I’ve sat down with the Codex and thought about what I would like for an army of these guys, with half an eye on how many kits I would be buying to achieve this, and I’ve come up with something that is 1001 points in total. So I’m thinking about breaking that down into chunks to then feature on the blog as painting/hobby updates in the new year! I’ve got my eyes set on the Grey Knights Omnibus, as well as planning to read through the whole Codex, lore and all, so I’ll be writing up some of my thoughts on the army as a whole, rather than just updating you fine folk with my painting. But I’d like to start painting the five Purifiers that I have built soon, to get the paint scheme down.

I’m going for the traditional silver/blue paint scheme, anyway, so I suppose it’s really just a case of following along with the best!

So what else is on the agenda?

Chapter Approved has dropped, of course, but rather startlingly, I haven’t yet picked it up! It feels like an age since I’ve made it to my local GW. I’ve been working out a couple of army lists with the help of the leaks that found their way online a few weeks back, but hopefully this weekend I can get myself a copy of the book at last! It’ll certainly make things easier for me to have the actual book to look through – and of course, I’ll be back here with some thoughts on it all, like last year!

I’ll save the bulk of my discussion on points drops for that blog, but I’m surprised to see how many things have fallen in points thanks to the new book – they weren’t lying when they talked about a swathe of reductions! A number of my recent lists have fallen quite considerably, some to the extent that I can probably bulk them out with yet more units now!

One such list is the Necrons 2000-point extravaganza that I first mentioned more than three months ago. I’ve gained more than 200 points thanks to the Chapter Approved alterations, so I’m going to be looking to upgrade that list pretty soon, and see what else I can fit in there that will fit my plans as outlined in that fairly hefty blog! I’m thinking potentially Tomb Blades…

However, I do want to crack on with getting more infantry sorted for the list, having now finished painting the five Immortals that I’d penned in for this month. I want more tesla Immortals, so I think I’ll be building those next, anyway!

I have been enjoying the Thokt Dynasty paint scheme that I came up with back last year, even if it isn’t quite so black-and-white as other folks’ interpretations of it. I do find myself sometimes drawing a blank as to how to paint a certain model, such as the Annihilation Barge I also finished up recently, but I’m enjoying the task, which is the main thing! It makes a nice counterpoint to the Grey Knights project, which will be very much by-the-book as far as the look goes!

Finally, then, I have my Chaos plans. These still centre around the Cultists ideas that I’ve been pondering since prior to Blackstone Fortress, of course, and I’m hoping to actually get the current batch of six painted so that I can move on to some of the new models from the boxed game! I’ve been finding the going to be quite slow with them, mainly due to the fact that I’ve been more focused on getting the Necrons painted, but also I’ve been having some brush issues, and haven’t had anything fine enough to do all of the details like the hanging leather straps real justice. It was my birthday the other day, though, and my wonderful wife has not only bought me a project box (in an effort to get me to tidy up after myself, I feel!) but also some of the brushes that I use most often! So that was a coup. I’m hopeful that I can at least get a few of these chaps finished up soon enough, anyway, so keep your eyes peeled for the next hobby progress blog, due up on Sunday!

Aside from my progress with the hobby, I also picked up the Vigilus campaign book yesterday, which has prompted me to go back and read the booklets that came in both Tooth and Claw, and Wake the Dead. I didn’t buy the box sets for these, but I did pick up the booklets off ebay, so flicked through the first one last night – some interesting stuff in there, I must say! Much like with Chapter Approved, though, I’ll be doing a proper look at the Vigilus book in the coming days, so stay tuned for that one. I’m looking forward to having a read through of it over the festive period, at any rate!

I’m also hoping to play some more games – Lord of the Rings, Arkham Horror LCG and of course, the traditional Boxing Day Eldritch Horror! – and try to avoid eating my body weight in mince pies. Hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish all these things, anyway!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas everybody!

Whether you’re celebrating the festive season, or just having a relaxing Monday, I hope you’re all having a fantastic day!

Me, I’m trying to build an Escher gang, with which I can hopefully learn the rules for Necromunda soon!!

The Holiday Devil!

Hey everybody!
It’s game day once again here at spalanz.com, and today marks an extra-special game day blog as it’s Christmas week! Whether you’re celebrating with presents and food, or if it’s just time off work – or even if it’s just another week – I hope you’re all having a grand old time! Personally, I find there’s nothing so magical as spending a couple of hours with some supernatural horror, so it’s time once again to take a look at the always-excellent A Touch of Evil, and the second “holiday villain”, as we fight against the demonic Krampus!

You may recall, of course, this was a web villain exclusive from Flying Frog Productions last Christmas – which got me very excited at the time, as I love the amount of elaborate work that often goes into these web villains. While I didn’t get to try him out last year, I have now had the pleasure, and I want to give some brief impressions today!

A Touch of Evil Krampus

First of all, I liked this villain a lot. While not as wonderful as the Volgovian Nutcracker, he is nevertheless an interesting villain to go up against. For those unfamiliar with the folklore, Krampus is a devil who runs around at Christmastime punishing bad children by whipping them with birch rods, like a reverse St Nicholas. Indeed,┬áKrampus punishes these children on the night before St Nicholas’ Day (6 December). For the town of Shadowbrook, many of the original immigrants brought the Germanic tradition of Krampus with them, and regularly celebrate with parades and feasting. And this is where the fun begins!

At the start of the game, Reveler tokens are placed on the dangerous locations, and a pool of townsfolk tokens is created by all the town elders and allies, whose cards are removed from their respective decks. One townsfolk token is placed in each corner location, and the stage is set for the festivities to begin!

Over the course of the game, heroes can search the crowd of revelers for clues by rolling a d6; if you roll a 5 or 6, you’ve found the real Krampus and he attacks you! On the roll of 1-4, however, you can either collect investigation tokens equal to the number rolled, or gain one Egg Grog token, which prevents up to two wounds being done to you or an ally with you. The band of revelers then moves on to a random location, but if they ever enter a space with a townsfolk token, that townsfolk is taken by Krampus and placed in his sack!

While there are of course a multitude of other things going on in the game, which I’ll get to shortly, this is the core of the new villain and how he changes the gameplay. I must admit, it took me a while to “get” this, and for a number of turns I wasn’t interacting with the revelers, which meant they were just nothing on the board, and the game didn’t feel that exciting or different. Reveler tokens don’t stop movement – instead, you search the crowd as an elective action. However, the potential benefits of the Egg Grog tokens (or even the bonus investigation) should get you searching the crowd as often as you’d search a corner location!

A Touch of Evil Krampus

The other big new mechanic here is Naughty and Nice. At the start of your turn, you choose whether your hero is naughty or nice, taking the corresponding token. If you were nice, then nothing immediately happens, and the token is returned to the bank. If you were naughty, however, you keep the token, you gain one investigation for each naughty token you have, then you roll a d6; if you equal or less than┬áthe number of tokens you have, you take as many wounds as naughty tokens you have, then return them all to the bank. In addition, if you roll a 5 you get a free event, and if you roll a 6 you get a free town item. Having multiple Egg Grog tokens really helps if you’re planning to push your luck here!

Naughty and Nice also has an interaction with the Minion Chart, which only includes one such minion – the faun – and two Events. Perchta is a follower of Krampus in the folklore, and the result of a roll of 3-4 on the Minion chart. Rewarding the virtuous and good, while punishing the wicked by ripping our their intestines and replacing them with straw, this event gives each nice hero d6 investigation, while forcing d3 hits on each naughty hero. Another event on the chart, Birkenrute, similarly punishes naughty heroes by forcing the discard of d6 investigation, items or allies (the chart also says “wounds”, but I’m guessing it doesn’t mean heal yourself…) Both of these events are very thematic for the villain, and while events seem to so rarely come up in games, they were nevertheless fun when they did!

But what about Krampus’ sack?

Well, folklore describes how Krampus roams the neighbourhood abducting particularly bad children, carrying them back to his lair in a sack, whereupon he eats them. In the game, any townsfolk in Krampus’ sack will be eaten on the roll of 4+ whenever the shadow track moves into a new stage. Hilariously, however, during a fight with the villain, you can target the sack and potentially rescue anyone trapped inside if you score a successful hit. The townsfolk rescued in this way immediately join you, which is nice! You can also attempt to team up with townsfolk still on the board by paying 3 investigation and rolling a 4+ when you encounter them.

A Touch of Evil Krampus

I really enjoyed this villain. The extent to which allies matter is really amazing – and can be increased if you have The Allies supplement for the game, of course! I always like to try to get a couple of extra folks whenever I’m playing, so you feel like you really have a posse going on there, and this has never been easier with this addition. While the potential is obviously there to ignore the revelers and see very little happen with regard the sack, and always choose to be nice, effectively rendering the large part of the game pointless, I can’t actually imagine anyone would elect to play in this manner.

It’s no Volgovian Nutcracker, which remains one of my all-time favourite villains for the game, (and I’m looking forward to going up against him again in my now-traditional game on Christmas Eve), but Krampus is still a really cool villain for the game, and one that I feel is well-implemented and enjoyably different. Variety is always great, and having a huge cast of villains to go up against is awesome.

He’s also free, so what are you waiting for?!

Christmas week!

Hey everybody!

It’s Christmas week! I’m not sure if you’re celebrating the season – personally, I’m not religious at all, but embrace the food and candles like there’s no tomorrow! It’s always an exciting time of year because of the stuff on offer, as well – being a shameless consumer, I love getting the big game releases and whatnot. This year, it’s another expansion for Eldritch Horror, Under the Pyramids, which I’m looking forward to immensely! Oh, yes, there’ll be a blog incoming once I’ve taken that through for a couple of plays!

It’s a game that I really love, I must say. Last Christmas we got Mountains of Madness, which I realised I hadn’t played all year, so got round to a game yesterday. Something I particularly like is how well the sideboard is integrated in this game. With Arkham Horror, there’s always something a little off about travelling to the new boards. Of course, it’s exciting and whatnot to see the differences, but I don’t know… There’s something a little more interesting about the new board here in Eldritch Horror.

Eldritch Horror Mountains of Madness

I’ve actually not played as much Eldritch Horror as I’d like, and I’m working on playing more in the future. For now, at least, I’m really excited to get more Horror for Christmas!

I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last week painting these chaps up – Genesis Chapter terminators! I’ve been sorta working on painting Space Marines for a fair number of weeks now, going for the Ultramarines – eventually, I’m going to get round to a blog on these guys. Anyhow. Lots of blue made me investigate alternative options and, after getting some Deathwing Terminators in the Black Friday deal, decided to investigate a third option with the successor chapter to the Ultramarines – mainly because of the red colour scheme. Every so often I get in a bit of a painting rut, so when stuff inspires me like that I tend to go along with it. Recently I’ve been struggling to stay focused enough to finish models, but at least these guys are going well for now!

I’ve not really been keeping up with the advent calendar stuff this month, but did make the effort to check out the short story Godless, dealing with the ongoing search for Slaanesh following the End Times. It was pretty good, I have to say, easily worth the couple of pounds I paid for it.

Archaon Everchosen

While we’re on the subject of Warhammer, have you guys noticed the latest round of Age of Sigmar stuff coming out of Nottingham? Stuff seems to be getting bigger and bigger lately. I do like these new models, I have to say, even though some of them are a little too crazy to look at, such as the Varanguard, with all the armour banding going on there. Archaon is apparently the biggest model produced for the game, and does look splendid, but my goodness, I thought this was a miniature war game! The Everchosen releases do look nice – while I’m not really a Khorne guy, I like the rainbow colours of Tzeentch, and the Gaunt Summoner thing looks interesting. I’ve been thinking about buying the battletome, if nothing else, as I love the background for these things, and feel like I need to get more into the Age of Sigmar fluff, but for now I’m staying my hand!

I’m really hoping they produce some sort of cavalry for the Stormcast Eternals – talking with the manager of my local store recently, he reckons more is to come for the Stormcast to flesh out the other Chambers in the warband. That’d be nice, I think – perhaps more dracoth-like beasts with warriors on top…

I guess we’ll see what the new year brings!

The Devil Strikes!

Hey everyone!
Happy Boxing Day, to all those who partake of the season!

Following on from my earlier blog, Flying Frog have put up a new web villain for A Touch of Evil – Krampus, the Holiday┬áDevil! From German folklore, Krampus is the demon that punishes naughty children at Christmas. How wonderful!

The first new content for this game in just over two years, I’m going to try this chap out shortly – have an awesome day!

Download it now:
Krampus, the Holiday Devil
Cover Page (incl FAQ)
Basic Minion Chart
Advanced Minion Chart
Counters