February Retrospective

Hey everybody,
Another month has been and gone, and it’s once more time for another retrospective blog! I’m quite enjoying this idea, so hopefully that’ll continue for the year ahead! It’s been a pretty productive month as well, with a lot more hobby and stuff to report!

Since last month, I’ve been making terrific progress with the Ossiarch Bonereapers, which was most recently chronicled in my update blog, here. I’ve now got 590 points-worth of the bone-boys painted up in the colours of the Petrifex Elite. It’s been a lot of fun painting these chaps, although for now I’ve taken a small break as I look at what else I have that needs attention.

The next part of my plan for the Bonereapers is to have the Necropolis Stalkers painted, although I’m not sure whether to build them as the Stalkers or the Immortis Guard. It is on my radar to get more troops, although I’m kinda waiting for the inevitable Start Collecting box, which will likely have these guys in there. Unless they go for a cavalry box? That said, with 40k moving to these combat patrol boxes, I don’t know if they’re planning to continue to do these for much longer. At any rate, for now I’m continuing to build and paint what I have, rather than branching out and buying yet more miniature men.

Quite the sea-change for me, really!

At some point in the near future, though, it’ll be the turn of this magnificent specimen, and I cannot wait to get this one built!

In the middle of getting this small army of mine assembled, I did a little work on the nascent Black Legion that I’ve been wanting to get off the starting block for quite some time now! I’ve been inspired by Martin Sivertsen on Instagram and his own burgeoning Black Legion force! It’s a beautiful force, and I think it’s about time that I got somewhere with my own. In addition, I’ve also been hard at work building up the remaining models from the Necron side of the Indomitus box (I’ve decided to sell the Space Marine portion, more money for the stuff I do want!)

I’m still not a huge fan of the new Necron aesthetic of shambling robot zombies, but the army is of course my first love, and I do find myself enjoying the look of the new Crypteks, so have picked up a Psychomancer for the list that I talked about a while back, and I’m planning to start work on painting the Plasmancer pretty soon. That juggernaut of GW painting, Garfy, posted yesterday showing the new Chronomancer mini and it’s absolutely beautiful. Probably going to be a while before this one is released separately, but I suppose it’s at least four more months before we will see the lockdown restrictions removed here in the UK, so I’ve got the time! I’ve got a lot of disparate ideas for 40k floating around, but it seems as though I’m much more likely to focus myself on Age of Sigmar right now.

Slaanesh has been on my mind of course, now that we’ve had the new range of mortals released. I’ve picked up the Shardspeaker, such a fantastic model, but have otherwise reined myself in here. In all honesty, this is a force that is a long way off just now, and I’d rather keep focusing my efforts on the bone boys to get a decent sized force finished.

In addition to the Bonereapers and Slaanesh, I’ve had my eye on the Lumineth Realm-lords, following the latest Warhammer Preview this month. There are some very beautiful miniatures in this range, to be sure, and I’m trying my hardest to resist buying anything just now! There’s definitely something Old World about these minis, that makes me nostalgic for the old days. I keep thinking I might just pick up a box of the basic infantry, just to have a go…

Lumineth Realm-lords

So far, though, I have been a good boy!

Something that I haven’t been able to resist, though, is this:

The “latest” expansion for Warcry is a few months old now of course, but I’ve been thinking on it for quite some time, vacillating over whether to get it or whether it was a bit steep for the content involved.

However, I am glad to have it, despite all the negatives floating around online! Warcry is absolutely one of the things near the top of my list right now. I’ve been wanting to get further into that game recently, although I’ve still not played it after that game back in September. I’ve got the Iron Golem models from the original core set primed and waiting, and I’ve been thinking that may well be the next project to get underway with. Of course, Warcry could be the perfect way to start with Slaanesh when the time comes, and I’m sure I’ll be exploring more of that here!

Arkham Horror LCG The Circle Undone

At least I’ve been playing Arkham Horror LCG, and have managed to get started with recording my endeavours on the blog here! With working from home more regularly during the current lockdown, I’ve found that I have the time while on my lunchbreak to get a game in, which has been quite good for getting to explore the game some more.

Taking a sharp left turn now, I watched The Phantom Menace last weekend, for the first time in what feels like an age. It’s hardly the best film in the series, of course, but it did feel quite wonderful to be watching Star Wars once again, and I did feel really quite nostalgic for the whole saga. I used to watch the prequels almost every Christmas, while reading a selection of the novels and comics set around there – to the point where I had almost developed a set scheme for “my prequel Christmas”. I do quite miss the days when I had nothing much going on, and could read a 400 page book in a day, happy times! I’d like to try and get back into that maybe someday here, revisit the old days and chronicle some of those classic tales here – though much like with the Legacy series I re-read last December, it’ll be interesting to see if these things hold up.

Something that I have finished reading this month is the Warhammer Crime anthology No Good Men. I really enjoyed the first novel in the series, so had been looking forward to reading more. Anthologies can always be a bit ropey, and I think this one is no different. Seven short stories from Black Library alums (including Chris Wraight, author of the inaugural Bloodlines), all set on the world of Alecto and around the hive city of Varanganthua. The thing is, after Bloodlines, and after a couple of stories here, things begin to sound all the same. Probators going about their investigations, etc. There are a lot of missing persons, it seems, in the hive city, and I found myself wanting a bit more variety. I’m not really that down on the book, of course, but things just tend to blur into one at the end. Individually, the stories are pretty good, and very enjoyable with that noir feeling. Some are better than others, of course, but I definitely like the change from space marines and the like.

I’ve got Flesh and Steel, the next Warhammer Crime novel, ready and waiting. But I’m also hearing such good things about the first Star Wars High Republic novel, Light of the Jedi, that I’m thinking I might have to pick that one up sooner than later.

The Phantom Menace – my way

It’s a double feature! Well, I did find a lot of stuff on my harddrive! Years ago (2004, according to the properties tab), I wrote this synopsis of how I thought The Phantom Menace would have worked out as being much better. I think my intention at the time was to “re-write” all three of the prequels, but anyway. It’s kinda funny now, so I thought I’d post it up here for you all to enjoy, or whatever. Don’t forget, I do enjoy a comment or two!

E P I S O D E  I

THE PHANTOM MENACE

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The Trade Federation has blockaded the world of Naboo in protest over the taxation of the former Free Trade Zones. Supreme Chancellor Valorum has dispatched the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn to Naboo to resolve the conflict. As he arrives with his padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, however, Jinn is attacked by the Federation’s droid armies. The Jedi manage to survive the attack, and discover the Federation is amassing a landing party to invade the Naboo. They stow aboard the landing crafts to get to the surface of the planet.

The Viceroy of the Trade Federation, Nute Gunray, has entered into a pact with the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Sidious orders Gunray to destroy the Jedi, but the Federation has lost them. Sidious, in exasperation, sends his apprentice Darth Maul to track the Jedi. Maul, brought up by Sidious to be the ultimate weapon, leaves at once for Naboo.

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On the planet’s surface, Jinn and Kenobi rendezvous with the Queen, Amidala, and her advisors. Amidala is worried for her people, but the Jedi manage to persuade her to come with them to Coruscant and resolve the dispute in the senate. Accompanying the party is the head of security, Captain Panaka, and the cynical Gungan Liasion, Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar is sceptical that the Jedi will be able to get them past the 2000-strong blockade fleet, but the Jedis’ piloting skills leave him grudgingly impressed.

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The Queen’s starship, which they have escaped the planet on, is in need of refuelling to make the six-day trip to Coruscant. They land at the nearest planet, Tatooine, to refuel. While doing so, they come across a surprising ten-year old slave, Anakin Skywalker, who Jinn discovers to have amazing Force power. Jinn uses the influence of the Force to get the boy freed, and they head off to Coruscant.

On the capitol world, Amidala finds out for herself that the senate is too corrupt to work properly. Naboo’s Senator, Palpatine, suggests she push for the election of a new Supreme Chancellor, and he is nominated along with Bail Organa from Alderaan and Orn Free Taa of Ryloth. Palpatine is duly elected but there is no answer to the Naboo problem forthcoming, so Amidala decides to head back to Naboo to resolve it herself.

Anakin Jedi Council

Qui-Gon brings Anakin in front of the Council, and the Jedi Masters there, including Yoda and Mace Windu, agree Anakin’s Force-potential is surprising. They are hesitant, however, to name him the Chosen One, who, it is forseen, will bring balance to the Force. Anakin, being past the normal age of training, is immediately given a Master, Qui-Gon’s former Master, Dooku. With the alarming chain of events surrounding the Naboo incident, both Qui-Gon and Dooku are dispatched to protect the Queen on her return home.

Maul, having landed on Naboo, is angered to find his quarry gone. He informs his Master of the situation, and Sidious is reproving but gives him a second chance. The Jedi are back on their way to Naboo, so Maul waits for them to return to the Mid Rim.

Darth Maul

Dooku and Qui-Gon arrive with the Queen on Naboo and are immediately called upon to lead the Security Force and a rag-tag assembly of local volunteers to fight the Trade Federation forces. Jar Jar is again sceptical of the Jedis’ abilities to do this, so Dooku gives him a demonstration of the power of the Force.

Having trained the locals as best they can, the Jedi lead their army on a march on Theed, the capital city. Intending to force a peaceful settlement, they are forced to open fire when the Viceroy orders them to be shot at. The Federation Droid Army then arrives, with Maul at its head. Anakin, too young to fight (he hasn’t even yet made a lightsaber), is forced to sit it out with an injured Kenobi. The two get to know each other a bit during the fighting.

The Queen assembles a small unit to infiltrate the Royal Palace and capture the Viceroy, hoping to bring about a speedy resolution. Halfway through their attack, they are themselves attacked by droidekas. Kenobi, sensing their trouble, goes off to help, despite  his injuries.

Dooku and Qui-Gon engage this mysterious warrior wielding a double bladed lightsaber. Dooku almost defeats him, but Maul manages to impale Qui-Gon. The Jedi Master gone, Dooku is both angered and saddened. He finds within him the power to defeat Maul, and the Naboo Army, with the help of Kenobi, successfully captures the Viceroy and forces him to call the Droids off.

Dooku is both intrigued and shamed by the power he used to defeat Maul – it was most certainly the Dark Side he used. Shortly after the Jedi Council arrives with the Supreme Chancellor, Dooku flees the planet to his homeworld of Serenno, to meditate upon what has happened. The loss of his former padawan has hit him hard, and he is unsure whether the Republic is worth fighting for anymore.

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With both their Jedi Masters gone, Kenobi is appointed a Jedi Knight for his actions in helping the Queen. He volunteers to train Anakin, and the Council agrees.

The Jedi are more worried about the mysterious Sith warrior, and the disappearance of one of their best Masters, Count Dooku. They receive a message from him later telling them he has had enough of the Republic, and does not intend to rejoin the Jedi Order. Ever.

The Queen is reinstalled at the Palace, and all ends happily enough.

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