Friday, 24 January 2014

The Kriegys 2013 - 1st Annual Vomkrieg awards!

Welcome to the first annual Kriegy awards. Yep, it’s award season and as I have complete and utter contempt for any awards I decided to do my own.

Why? Well, it’s because as far as I’m concerned my opinion is as valid as anyone else’s. So if you have issues with that, I suggest you take it up the with esteemed Kriegy awards committee*

*note….. that’s me

Anywho, this is totally and 100% my view on stuff. So, without further fanfare, the awards!

P.S all awards are based on stuff I have seen and done in the last year, I don’t really care when stuff was initially done or when it was released.

The "F**k this, I give up" award

For model that most made me want to give up painting because anything I do will not be as cool as that.

That's it, I give up.
 This goes to Kong Quest, an insanely well painted Khador Konquest conversion. I mean seriously, this thing is freaking amazing and completely demoralizing at the same time. 

The "What am I even looking at" award

For model that made me think the sculptor was smoking crack or just really really high. 

I give you, the POOP-BOT 4000

Stahp, just stahp
I nearly went with the Space Marine Centurions, as they are breath takingly stupid models, or any number of recent space marine vehicles that look like lunchboxes with guns on them. 

But I was persuaded not to by the ginger ninja. The comment below is not a quote, more of a summation of the essence of his feelings on the matter. 

So dumb
"Look... it's a giant killer robot taking a dump, and they modelled it taking a dump, so all over the world people will have giant robots floating on poo piles"

Oh yeah, runners up are pictured here as well......

Sad work people, sad. 

The Axos the Dark Rose memorial award

For best role-playing game book and or supplement.

I've played some good RPG's this year and i'll give an Honorable shout out to the runners up. 

1st up, Dark heresy. The system is a bit poo and all over the show, and the less said about the 2nd edition beta we took part in the better. Fun game, but I think that's more to do with the setting and the GM than the materials provided. 

2nd, Monster of the week from

This game is really good fun, it's basically all of those urban fantasy settings (Buffy, Supernatural, Dresden files) rolled into one easy to play, pulp experience. Strongly recommend it. 

The winner however, is the new Iron Kingdoms. 

Finally, someone makes an RPG that can works with similar rules to the tabletop wargame it's based on without it being a mess. Dark heresy, Warhammer fantasy roleplay and mechwarrior all failed compared to Iron Kingdoms. 

That, and the book is really really nice. 

The "Ghandi-Mandela" award

For the person who showed the best character on the receiving end of a complete thrashing from me during a game. 

That's a lot of blue models.... and not much else
No one likes losing games, most people play to win and I admire those people who can take a loss with great character and have a laugh about it at the end. I try my best not to be a dick in victory or defeat, but i'm nowhere near perfect. 

So this award goes to the person I thought showed awesome character in defeat. 

Scott Avery, for my "pantsing" of you at Nationals this year, crushing your army off the board while only taking a single model in loss, I salute you.

In Scott's defence he had hit the Scotch a bit hard the night before and was looking very very seedy through the whole proceedings. 

Seriously though, next time we play he's gonna double kick my ass now i've posted this. 

The "leading cause of paper cuts this year" award

For best card game of the year

Well, a lot of good candidates here as well, but one clear winner. 

I'll give honourable mentions to Smash Up, Blood Bowl Team Manager and the Star Wars LCG. But anyone who knows me in real life knows that there is only one card game that i dribble on about endlessly. 

Android Netrunner. 

Seriously, go out and buy it, it's a real brain stretcher and intense to play. I just love the asymetric nature of the game as well as the bluff/counter bluff aspect to the game. 

The "what if I told you" award

For card/model/expansion that completely altered the metagame for a system. 

For a while I considered the Stormwall collosal from Warmachine. It has changed the Cygnar faction a lot and earned much love and hate from warmachine players. 

That said, Stormwall only appears in Cygnar lists and Jackson "FREAKING" Howard appears in just about every single corporate deck in netrunner these days. 

He's a game changer for the corporation and, quite simply, changed the nature of the game as soon as he arrived. 

Honestly, i'm sick of his smug little toy peddling face and want the game to introduce a "shoot Jackson Howard in the face" card.

The "Toy soliders are serious business!" award

For miniatures game of the year

Ha! I bet you thought I was going to pick Warmachine as this blog has a lot of Warmachine focus. 

Well, I didn't. I picked the X-wing miniatures game, and here is a laundry list of good reasons.

  • it comes with all the stuff you need to play, 
  • It's easy to learn, but difficult to master
  • the pre-painted models are pretty darned sharp
  • It scales well from small ship battles to pretty big engagements
  • It has customization and list building that creates challenges 
The only kicker is getting enough models as they keep selling like hotcakes. 

Y-wing are a different kind of sexy :)

The "Crack peddler" award

For best local supplier

This is a tricky one, so I think I should mention a few names. 

Mark one is still my preferred source for comics, but logistically i prefer to get boardgames and stuff elsewhere. 

Cerberus games just opened in my home town, I guess i'll need more time to evaluate them.

So, this year it is Seriously Board

Dave at seriously Board was set a challenge by the local Android netrunner community to get the cards for each expansion in as early as possible. Most recently they spoiled the expansion for the world by being the very first supplier, in the world, to get the goods.

That, and he has pretty good prices too. 

The "Sean Lincoln service to gaming in the community" award

Goes to........ Sean Lincoln!
King of Gamers..... king of men :)

All the press gangers for Warmachine in Wellington do a dam fine job, so respect to Scott and Chris as well. 

But Sean runs a weekly session, almost without fail with 4-8 games going in one night. He lets 15 odd sweaty gamers into his house, every week, and helps build and foster a great gaming atmosphere. 

Although I haven't been over much in the last year, I credit the environment Sean has created at his place for a lot of my overall enthusiasm for Warmachine. 

He's a good bastard!

The "What shall we do tonight, Pinky" award

For best boardgame of the year

It's still BSG
So this is for the game that I will never pass down a shot to play if there is time permitting. 

Yep, it's still Battlestar Gallactica. I know there were no awards last year but if there were it woudl have won then as well. 

Dammit, this game is so much fun with the right crowd. And the recent expansions have added a few wrinkles that have kept the game fresh. It's just a damned fine experience. 

P.S this game brought us the word INCOMPUTREACH. 

Where you are not sure if a player is being treacherous, or is just an incompetent muppet. 

The "Golden Kriegy" award

Overall winner For best game system of any kind for the year

Well, this was a hard call as i've enjoyed a lot of games this year. So i'll shout out to some of my favorites that didn't win.  X-wing, Smash up, Red Dragon inn, Iron Kingdoms, Dark heresy, Battlestar Gallactica, Blood Bowl team Manager, Star Wars Card Game, Castle Panic, and a bucket load more. 

But no game has grabbed me as much as Android Netrunner this last year. I play online.... a lot, i fiddle with decks while watching TV, and generally talk about it a fair bit. 

So congrats to Netrunner for winning an award of ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCE. 

Have a potato!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Dissent about Descent of Angels - Horus heresy Book Review.

Descent of Angels

What The Black Library says about the book

The planet of Caliban exists much as it has for thousands of years – the knightly orders protect the common people, fighting back the beasts that lurk in the depths of the seemingly endless forests. Young Zahariel and Nemiel aspire to join the greatest of the orders, led by the example of mighty Lion El’Jonson and his vision of a peaceful and unified world. But the coming of the Imperium brings new concerns and a new destiny for the Lion as part of the Great Crusade, and the sons of Caliban must decide if they will follow him to glory among the stars.

What the book is really about?

Ok….. I know I’ve mentioned multiple times that I wanted more backstory, more insight into the Legions and Primarchs before the Heresy.

This book delivers exactly what I asked for and well….. be careful what you wish for.

This is not really a book about Space Marines at all. It’s a coming of age story about a pair of kids training to be knights on the hostile death world of Caliban.

It’s not a bad story by any means; actually it’s quite a neat insight into the knightly ideals of the dark Angels before they were Dark Angels. You get to see a lot of Lionel Ritchie, lead singer of the Commodores and Dark Angels Primarch as well as Idris Elba as a hard bitten London Detective (Luther)…. Wait…. That’s not quite right.

Ok, the story is really about two different relationships. Our hero protagonist and his cousin, who both enter the order as 7 year old children and their journey to manhood/(GIANT MUTANT ASTARTESHOOD).

The other relationship is that between Luther and the Lion. In short, Luther is the most awesome heroic dude of his era, and probably would have been a great hero of yore if he hadn’t found this massive feral Primarch child (The Lion) in the woods one day and decided to raise him as a son.

Both relationships are based on familial ties, both are strained my misunderstanding and pride and both have some very sour notes.

It’s a good story, just take heed that the entire book takes place before the heresy and 80% of it takes place before the arrival of the imperium. With that in mind, enjoy the tale and the backstory of the Dark Angels Legion.

The Hero-Protagonist?

Zahariel is a little different from most of the hero protagonists we have seen so far. For the first point he starts the book as a very young, rather fearful child desperately trying to prove his worth to his mentors and his cousin Nemiel.

Zahariel differs from most of the previous heroes because he knows fear. He is constantly dealing with fear and danger and working with a very human range of emotions in the face of some pretty horrific events.

He also has some flaws, which is good. He has a tendency to keep damning information to himself to save his own ass, and the asses of his friends and heroes. In this respect he is probably the most flawed and human of the SPASH MARINE protagonists so far, and I put that down to the author actually thinking about the character as a human being who transformed into a marine, rather than looking at the ideal of the space marine hero to start with.

Why are their humans  Space Marines in my book about super-powered Space Marines Humans?

300+ pages before you see a space marine, I cannot stress to you enough this point.

It doesn’t make this a bad story, it’s just good to go into it with your eyes open. All the characters, bar the Primarch, are just people. Kick ass people who hunt monsters for a living, but people nonetheless.

I also like the attention given to those members of the knightly order who were too old to undergo the marine transformation. The bitterness and fragility these characters display is done well and its part of the jealousy and nationalism that will end up breaking the Dark Angels in half.

MVP – Kurgis

I’ll give an honourable mention to the hero-protagonist who should really fill this spot. But I wanted to call out a very minor character that appears in one scene only.

Kurgis is a white scar who appears in one scene where the White Scars are handing over the compliance of a planet to the Dark Angels. White scars are pretty feral, and they get that across nicely while still making it clear that he’s not stupid. There is a tendency in fiction (and life) to equate a lack of formal education with a lack of intelligence.

Nope, Kurgis comes across as a “rough as guts” barbarian who is actually pretty savvy and smart. It his suspicions and his foresight to pick out our hero protagonist to warn of oncoming danger, which saves the Dark Angels command from a very grizzly end.  

Worst Character – Lord Cypher

Note, does not appear in the book. 
There seems to be a bit of a rule in these books. If a character appears in the 40k universe then they will kinda suck in the Horus Heresy. My gripe is not really with how Lord Cypher is depicted, but the “bait and switch” that goes on towards the end of the book.

The Lord Cypher is a title, for the person who holds the order traditions. For most of the book it’s a grumpy ass old dude, who is grumpy, old and tradition bound. He resigns when he gets too old and grumpy to live and they replace him with…….


Weeeeeeee……… so at the end of this book you know jack all about cypher, nothing, nada.

Get to know your Legion – The Knights of Caliban

Well, considering they aren’t Space Marines for 3/4ths of the book you don’t get to know the legion as such. You do get to know the Knights of Caliban very well, and if the character of the knights takes over the legion through the Primarchs influence, you will get a good idea of how they become what they are.

The Knights of Caliban are a duty and tradition bound bunch of hardasses who train from age 7 to kill giant chaos beasties in single combat.

Yeah….. I don’t get why they need to fight them one on one, that just seems freaking suicidal, but the “macho macho man” aspect of the Knights of Caliban is a strong one.

They have a lot of traits that make them excellent Space Marine recruits, but one crippling weakness, Nationalism. Caliban is a shit hole of a world, but boy do they love it.

Get to know your Primarch – Lion’el R’chie

I am conflicted here. You see a lot of the Lion, and you hear a lot of his tales through other people. But in the end, the Lion’s character is not very well defined. Mostly, you just get told how awesome he is at everything and how much that sucks for Luther.

You do get some nice insights into him when he talks one on one with our hero. At times he does come across as a bit lonely and sad, which was nice. Overall though, I think he’s a relatively bland Primarch. Not badly done, just lacking a little bit of “something”.

Why the Emperor is a giant douche

This will shock you……. But the Emperor is not a douche in this book. For the first time in Horus Heresy history we have the Emperor acting like a rational super powered being and not being a complete toolbox.

It’s a scene that really surprised me.

Moustache twirling evil-bastard award – The circle of lamest betrayal

It goes a little something like this. 

Worst conspiracy ever, worst rationale for conspiracy ever, and dumbest scheme ever.

If you haven’t read the book I don’t want to spoil the lameness. If you have read it, you know exactly what I mean.

Conspiracy theory 

Ok, anyone remember these little things?

In the 40k world the Dark Angels work with tiny little creepy things called watchers. I actually think the book reveals what these things are and where they came from. 

Yep, Zahariel encounters them in the forests during his first beast hunt. I am interested to see how this little story progresses.

The writing – technical review and evaluation

Mitchel Scanlon isn’t a bad writer and this is an ok book.

I think people were expecting something very very different though. After 5 books about the start of the Heresy, this book may not even mention Horus once. It’s a little too early in the piece and I’m not sure they needed quite that much backstory.

I recommend people treat this as a appendix to the Heresy. Some extra background reading that isn’t integral to the main plot, but adds depth.

I really think it needed to published WAY later than 6th book in the series though.

This book gets a “Read it if you have the time, but it’s not critical to the series” rating. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

2014 - A plan... of sorts

Well, let me start by saying that New Years resolutions are complete Bullshit that most people don't stick too.

This is not a New Years resolution.

This is a result of me having some time off from work to clear the brain and think about stuff.


I kinda went berserk for a year or so with painting and playing Warmachine, and well. I kinda burned out and the thought of putting paint to model made me groan.

let me put that in perspective for you. For someone who considers themselves a casual painter I completed the models below in just over a year.

Yeah, the boys in blue
No wonder i was sick to death of it.

The last six months have been mostly playing board games, computer games and card games.

Six posts in six months is pretty ordinary content updates, so I've decided to make more content this year. Yep, actual updates on stuff.

In order to do this I have decided to expand what the blog focuses on. So far, it's been mostly about model painting, which frankly is a small part of the hobby for me.

What to expect in 2014


I'm enjoying these, but I only read those books on the bus home from work so it can take a while to get through them. I plan to keep posting one and month as that seems to work out. Descent of Angels is written up and will be posted next week. Two updates in two weeks.... luxury


Yep, I'm finally getting the itch to paint again. And if I paint stuff, I want to play with it. I have a small pile of unpainted figs that need attention, and I plan to start this weekend.

I'm also thinking of a noobs guide to Cygnar.


I thought about getting the lads to help me review games, but logistically, that's actually a pain in the ass. I might sample them for sound bites, but i reckon i can review the games by myself.


Yep, might see a few more guest posts this year from the local gaming community and the droogies I call friends.

And to be honest, a lot of my friends paint about 100 times better than I do. So if you want actual painting advice, instead of just watching a monkey mash paint around, then watch this space.


This is a big change, including card games, which I have steered clear of bringing to the blog for ages. But the fact is, i like them, so screw you all. Thankfully, this will not include magic, as I'd rather pay off a mortgage than play that game.

P.S. Get your netrunner from if you are in New Zealand. First place to get the last two data packs in the world!

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