Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lazy 40k fluff part 3

Last time I left off with mankind having fallen into the Age of Strife, which was a bummer of a time for everyone!

Today though I will take us out of the Age of Strife and up to the Great Crusade.

Let's begin!

In the 25th millennium mankind was split up and at war with itself and countless alien species.  Planets were cut off from one another by terrible warp storms and human psykers were becoming gateways for infernal creatures from Warp Space.  Mankind was at the brink.

On Earth a myriad of petty warlords arose and created their own kingdoms.  Most of these warlords were simply power hungry men who were powerful enough to subjugate those unfortunate to be close by.  However a few of these were truly evil men, such as the Pan Pacific Tyrant Narthan Dume, the Unspeakable King, and the Seven Neverborn who brought about horrific atrocities that went so far that soon there were far more dead on Earth then living. 

Not all of the men were evil.  One would later be known as the Emperor.

 No one knows who the Emperor was before he took the title.  He is most certainly the most powerful human psyker who ever lived and many consider that he was immortal.  The Emperor's psychic might defies belief, he was able to topple mountains with a word, knock a planet off its axis, foretell the future, and more. 

The Emperor created an army of Thunder Warriors, genetically superior warriors armed and armored with the best technology that had survived Old Night. 

With these Thunder Warriors at his command the Emperor fought his war of Unification, overthrowing the tyrants of Earth and bringing the planet under the rule of one man. 

Once Earth was reunified the Emperor had to undertake drastic steps to save his race.  The radiation of countless nuclear wars had severely ravaged man's genetic structure.   Humans of this time would hardly be recognizable as such to us today.

Using his research from creating the Thunder Warriors the Emperor was able to stabilize the human genome.  The Emperor wasn't done however.  Saving man from the radiation wastes of Earth would not be enough.  Mankind needed to reclaim its place in the galaxy and while the Thunder Warriors had been enough to reclaim Earth, they were too rough a product to mass produce to conquer the galaxy.

The Emperor began the Primarch project.  20 individuals created from the Emperor's own genetic code, each would sire a legion of genetic super warriors that the Emperor would use to conquer the galaxy in a Great Crusade. 

Next time!

The Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lazy person's guide to 40k fluff part 2

Yesterday I discussed the Golden era of human civilization which brings the time line up to the 20th millennium

So what events lead up to Old Night?  Let's dive in! 

Near the end of the Golden Age of Technology two types of mutants began to appear in human society; psykers, and navigators.

Psykers are humans who can tap directly into warp space and use the energy there to complete acts of awesome power.  Psykers can variously control minds, immolate a tank with etheric fire, move objects (think of them like Yoda + Harry Potter + Professor X+ that scary fire starting dude from X- Files).  Different psykers have different powers and only an extremely powerful one can do all of the things listed above. 

This might not seem like a bad thing, but the realm of warp space isn't empty.  Warp Space is filled with predators of pure emotion, that love to enter the mortal realm.  How do they enter the mortal realm?  There are two ways, a rift in space or through a psyker. 

A psyker who isn't careful can become possessed and they are extremely dangerous and completely evil.

A Possessed Psyker
The other mutant to appear are called navigators.  Navigators have a third eye slightly above and between their normal two eyes. 
These mutants could read the currents of Warp Space which allowed ships to make longer and longer journeys through the Warp.
New human colonies could be planted even further away from Earth as man was confident that now that they had navigators, communication between worlds would always be possible.
They were wrong...
In the 25th millennium horrific storms began to ravage Warp Space.  Known as warp storms, these storms made it impossible for ships to travel to certain planetary systems.  Man had spread out so quickly and so far that it was impossible to reach these systems by conventional means, people just didn't live long enough. 
Eventually the storms got so bad that almost all human planets were cut off from each other, where even Earth and Mars were separated by storms.  Each planet had to fend for themselves and many couldn't as aliens, as if sensing blood, descended upon the helpless planets. 
Added to this was the growing number of people who were born as psykers and the huge number of these psykers that would become possessed by warp entities.  Attacked from without by hordes of aliens, and now assailed from within by possessed humans the golden empire of man splintered and fell apart in flames. 
For it's part Earth descended into anarchy as a global war consumed it.  Atomic weapons were unleashed until the oceans were burned away and the entire planet became a rad waste. 
Humanity was on the verge of extinction.  The Golden Age was dead, the Age of Strife was born.  The light was gone, and the long night was to begin. 
Next time- The Unification Wars and The Great Crusade  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lazy person's guide to the Warhammer 40,000 universe

Warhammer 40,000 has a rich, and very detailed backstory that frames the game.  While this "fluff," is very interesting, it is also very complex.  Here is my (somewhat) brief summary of the Warhammer 40,000 fiction.

I'll call it: 

From 2013 to the nightmare universe of the 41st millennium, or... how the hell did we get from here to there?

2013- 20th millennium

Little is known about this period of time.  It is variously called the Golden Age of Technology, the Dark Age of Technology or simply the time before Old Night.   What can be assumed is that mankind developed countless awe-inspiring technologies that allowed them to colonize millions of worlds.
Chief amongst this tech was the Standard Template Construct (STC) which allowed colonists access to all the technology mankind had developed using whatever materials were locally available (think of it like a replicator from Star Trek the Next Generation). 

At some point during this time humans discovered another dimension parallel to ours called the Immaterium, the Ether, or most commonly it is referred to as the Warp or Warp Space. 

 Warp Space is a realm of pure energy that does not conform to the laws of physics.  Man developed warp drive that formed a tear between the two realms that would allow ships to travel into Warp Space and since physics and time mean nothing in this realm, massive distances could be travelled in a short span of time.

A ship emerging from the Warp
If it had stayed that way then man might have become the kings of the universe. 
But that was not to be...
Tune in tomorrow for part two- The Coming of Old Night

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

E3 Wednesday Good, Bad, and Ugly

Hello all! 

I thought that I would add to my good, bad, and ugly.  After all you can never have too much ugly! 

More Good!

Monolith Soft's RPG so far known as X.  This is an RPG for the Wii U that really looks impressive.  Not much is known about the game, but given Monolith's track record this really should be a good game. 

A new Contra was teased! 

The Bad:

Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2- Why can't anyone wear a shirt?  Really!? 

The Ugly:

Microsoft's stance about requiring a high speed internet connection- If you can't get internet, just buy an Xbox 360 instead!  Thanks Microsoft! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

E3: The Crazy Gamer's the good, the bad, and the ugly

For non video game fans this week is just another week.  For those of us who love video games this week is one of the best!  E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) showcases the newest video games for the upcoming year.  Here is my good, bad, and ugly from the show so far. 

Oh!  Make sure you check out,,, and for coverage of the E3 event from different perspectives.

The Good:

Super Mario 3D Land for Wii U.  This game is one part Super Mario 3D Land from the 3DS (a great game!) that adds elements of Super Mario 2 (i.e. players can play as Toad, Princess Peach, and Luigi) as well as Mario.  Up to 4 players can play at once!  My wife and I will be playing this!

Donkey Kong Country: Tropic Freeze- This is a Wii U sequel to the Wii platformer Donkey Kong Country Returns.  I love side scrolling games, and this one looks like a trip that really shakes up the formula for side scrolling games.  This game also has in person multiplayer so my wife and I will be playing this one this holiday season as well.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds- This is a direct sequel to A Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past which is one of my favorite games of all time.  This is enough to justify a purchase but it also seems to be an old fashioned top down adventure game with a bunch of new features.

Playstation 4's Price and lack of online DRM.  Playstation 4 will not need to be online all the time, it will not require a daily check in, and is a full $100.00 cheaper then Xbox One.  I would buy one but there are not any games that I want in the launch window.  Still, when I do upgrade it will be to PS4.

Final Fantasy XV:  I have always been a fan of  what I saw for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but the game never came out and info became scarce.  It turns out that Versus XIII has in fact become Final Fantasy XV, so that is exciting to me.

The Bad:

When the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was released for the Game Cube data miners discovered the game had code for two unfinished dungeons.  I was hoping that Nintendo would announce that these dungeons would be finished and included in the new remake, but alas they didn't.  Sad face! 

No Star Fox, or Metroid.  I'm sad for this, but then I ask myself: "How many games can I play at once?"  If everything comes out all at once then I won't be able to enjoy all of them.  Now I still have games to look forward to!

No Dragon Quest VII remake announced for US release.  Guess I'll have to hope, or learn Japanese...

The Ugly:

Microsoft Xbox One

So let me get this straight, I have to pay a hundred dollars more for a console I don't actually own, with features I don't actually want with games that Microsoft gets to tell me what to do with?  I don't think so! 

They didn't show a single game that was exclusive to the Xbox that I was interested in.  Sorry Xbox, but you don't offer anything I want.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Crazy Gamer's Final Draft Warhammer Fantasy Tournament list

This weekend marks the big Warhammer Fantasy Tournament.  Here is my list!

2500pts- Empire

General of the Empire: General, full plate armor, shield, lance, Charmed Shield, barded warhorse- 140pts

Good leader, below average fighter, but his Hold the Line special rule (his unit takes leadership tests of 3d6 and picks the two lowest) is too good to pass up. 

Battle Wizard Lord: Dispel Scroll, Lore of Life- 190pts

A cheap and effective battle wizard, the spell Lifeblood, will be the lifeblood for keeping my infantry alive.

Witch Hunter: light armor, great weapon, brace of pistols- 60pts

Captain of the Empire- full plate armor, shield, lance, battle standard bearer, barded warhorse- 116pts

Keeps the lads in the fight.  No thrills. 

Captain of the Empire: full plate armor, shield, pistol, Talisman of Endurance, Sword of Might- 123pts

Acts as a second general for the foot soldiers.  He also has hold the line and his high initiative will help the always striking last greatswords early in combats.

Battle Wizard: Scroll of Shielding, lore of light- 80pts

Spells have extra oomph against undead and daemons.

10 Empire Knights, full command- 250pts

6 Empire Knights, full command- 162pts

6 Empire Knights, champion, and musician- 152pts

Together these are the "door," that will be slammed on the enemy.  Foot troops thin the enemy down and these guys clean up.

16 Imperial Crossbowmen, marksman, detachment of 8 handgunners- 226pts

30 Greatswords, full command, Banner of Discipline, detachment 16 spearmen, detachment 15 swordsmen- 587pts

The anvil as the greatswords and its detachments are stubborn at leadership 9 with the "hold the line," rule allowing me throw away the highest dice in a leadership test.  They go after the biggest nastiest unit the enemy has and hold them in place for the cavalry to arrive.

8 Pistoliers, marksman, musician, repeater pistol- 174pts

These guys sneak around the flank and pummel anything in their way with hot lead.  They don't shoot very well, but 18 strength 4 armor piercing shots are hard to argue with.  It is important to note that these guys are the only unit in the Empire list that are both highly mobile and  hard hitting shooters. 

Luminark of Hysh- 120pts

Every army should have one of these!  I haven't seen too many of these on the field though I don't know why, it gives a 6+ ward save to everything within six inches and it adds one dice to your dispel pool.  Oh and let's us not forget that it can fire a strength 8 bolt of light that shoots like a cannon and rerolls failed wounds against the forces of darkness oh and does d6 wounds!  Come here Mr. Bloodthirster, I've got a little present for you!

Great Cannon- 120pts

This thing loves monstrous infantry and monstrous cavalry.  One of them accounted for 6 ogres, and 10 ogre thunderers in one game (who made the bad decision to occupy a building).


Check out pictures on Sunday!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Warhammer 40,000: One name, many games

Crazy Gamer here.

How are you, my readers, doing today?  Hopefully you are on your way to a happy weekend!  Where I am it will be over 110 degrees this weekend, I hope it's cooler where you are!

I've been playing Warhammer 40,000 for a long time.  How long?  Long enough to have played all six editions of Warhammer 40,000.  I started, way back in 1993 which for astute observers places my career firmly in the 40k 2nd edition era.  You are correct sir!  However, as an adult, and who is something of a historian of the game, I have played games of Rogue trader. 

As I read blog posts around the internet, and having listened to countless gamers all over the United States for decades I am amazed at people's perceptions of the different editions of Warhammer 40k.  When it comes right down to it, I've heard countless positive and negative viewpoints of every edition. 

This blog will not be me telling why everyone else is wrong and I am right.  I will just give my opinion having played every edition.  Up front I will say I have enjoyed aspects of every edition and have not liked elements of every edition.   

Without further ado:

Crazy Gamer's least favorite edition:

2nd Edition

Even though it was the first edition that I played, it is my least favorite edition by a large margin.  2nd edition 40k was a skirmish level game meaning that most armies tended to be 40 models or less.  Even though this was the case the rules made the game play so slowly you really had to dedicate a whole day to play a 1500pt game. 

The rules also included a large amount of abstraction that frequently lead to arguments.  I've seen several games devolve into fist fights and they were all games of 2nd edition. 

It wasn't all bad though.  2nd edition had a huge range of wargear that hasn't been equaled since.  I also preferred the expanded characteristics of this era to the more truncated ones in 3rd-5th edition.  This is changing now with 6th edition however. 

Biggest change between editions:

3rd edition

Some players have been complaining that the change between 5th and 6th edition was too big, but it has nothing on the change between second and third edition. 

3rd edition changed fundamental game mechanics, such as how close combat was fought, completely revamped all vehicles, and even changed the scope of the game going from a skirmish game to a battle game. 

3rd edition probably went too far in simplifying the rules and speeding up the game but this was the edition that I probably played more than any other and I remember it fondly.  Perfect?  Absolutely not, but a good time.  Probably the fastest playing edition. 

Did things really change?

4th and 5th editions

These two editions had the least changes between them.  The biggest change was the addition of "true line of sight," which is a game mechanic that I've never cared for.  These editions are also the editions that saw the rise of tournament play and the dreaded "WAAC," gamer (win at all costs).

Crazy Gamers favorite edition

6th edition

As a rule set, this current edition is the best, in my opinion.  This isn't to say that all the army books mesh well with 6th edition (I'm looking at you Necrons!)  but overall it mixes the larger amount of war gear and expanded profiles from 2nd edition with the streamlined battle system of the more modern editions.

Now, if Games Workshop will just be sold to someone who will take its miniature lines in a good direction then I have very high hopes for Warhammer 6th edition. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crazy Gamer's official Xbox One stance

Hello all.  Today I will give you my opinion on the...


The specs of the system seem powerful...though no game was shown that really showcased the systems power. 

I for one care more about what developers are able to do with artificial intelligence and user interfaces.  I want organic dialogue that changes based on how I want to play my character.  I hope one day that conversation trees are replaced with something more natural.  I also hope user interfaces become less heavy handed.  Maybe this generation will offer that?  We will see.

The controller:

I like the controller, I think I prefer it to the Playstation 4's controller.  I will withhold my final judgment until I can actually handle them.

The new Kinect:

I was unimpressed with the original Kinect.  On the surface it could be interesting, but the Kinect was never used in a good way.  The only game that I thought used the Kinect in a good way was Mass Effect 3 where you could give vocal commands to your companion characters and could use your voice to change weapon load outs.  This was limited a bit too much by the technology at the time but maybe this new Kinect will allow developers the ability to better integrate these features into games and to design new uses.


My overactive imagination takes over.  Suddenly I meet George Orwell in a cafĂ©. 

"So Crazy Gamer," he asks "Tell me about the future."

"Well George, we have a lot of cool things now.  We have cars that can run on electricity, we have the internet which is a bunch of computers connected together to create this online space we can all use.  Have you ever heard of videogames George?"

"Well... no Crazy Gamer I've never heard of those.  What are they?"

"Well there is this new Xbox One game system and it has this Kinect device that has a bunch of cameras that watch what you do, for the game.  And, remember that internet that I explained before, well the Kinect can transmit your data to the internet for anyone you want to view."

"That sounds awful!  The government can't use this internet can they?"

"Of course they can George."

"So they could see what you're doing in your house?"

"I guess, but Microsoft promises I can tell the Kinect to not listen to me."

"So Crazy Gamer, you're telling me that now Big Brother really can be watching?

"I don't think so, my big brother has a Playstation."

"Take me back to my time please.  And may God have mercy on your soul."

Anyway, I know I'm overreacting but I can't help but find the idea of a device that can watch and listen to everything I do and upload it to the internet unpalatable.  Microsoft assures us that we can decided just how much it can listen to and watch but what happens when a suspected terrorist, or a person that is suspected in a crime have an X Box One?  Will it be legal to get a warrant to be able to watch people?  Can Microsoft override our privacy settings?  How secure is Microsoft's servers in the first place?  Could they be hacked by a third party?  These are troubling ideas, and might be a deal breaker.

Xbox Live, Xbox TV, etc, etc

I don't want to pay for an additional online service.  Sorry Microsoft. 

I couldn't care less about the Xbox television connection (I have satellite, which may or may not be able to take advantage of these features) or any of the other "awesome," social features. 

Xbox One needing to connect to the internet.

This is another feature that shouldn't bother me, but does.  I have a fairly stable broadband internet connection and I don't buy a lot of used games.  Still, I feel that I should be able to do whatever the hell I want with the stuff I buy.  Microsoft assures us that the Xbox One only needs to connect to the internet once a day and that this is going to allow us access to all kinds of cool things, but it just smacks of them wanting to control how I use my Xbox,which begs the question, is it my product at all?  If I have to pay $400.00 dollars or more it damn well outta be! However I really don't think Microsoft agrees and that's a problem, at least for me.

The Games

I have no idea as no pure Xbox One next gen only games were shown.  We saw some games, but these games are also coming out on the current generation consoles.  New features are promised, but nothing was shown.  Microsoft is promising 15 new games, but outside of Forza, and Halo, and Oblivion, nothing was shown and none of those franchises interest me. 

My verdict:

Barring a massive influx of cool RPG's only available on Xbox One, the Crazy Gamer says- thanks but no thanks Microsoft.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Crazy Gamer becomes the Crazy Historian

I apologize that today's post is not gaming related.  Once upon a time the Crazy Gamer studied a lot of history and occasionally my love of history overwhelms my better judgment and so I post something like this. 

Don't worry though game lovers, I have three Warhammer articles and three video game articles in the works (you'll never guess my take on the Xbox 1) but those are for a later day. 

Today is about history! 

I live in the United States of America.  Like all countries the world over the US has its share of problems and I am going to type about two.  The first problem is this countries crumbling infrastructure.  We have unsafe bridges, bad roads, dams that are at their structural limits, to say nothing of the fact that their are many buildings both public and private that are way below modern code.  Why isn't anything done about it?  It's easy, there isn't any money, and sadly that isn't going to change anytime soon. 

Another problem the US has, and we aren't the only country that has this problem, are banks that are too large to fail.  This, of course, isn't what our government says about banks, but it certainly is what our government's actions are making clear. 

About now you may be asking, "What do these two things have to do with each other, and why are you bringing them up?"

Let me explain.  While reading, think about how our country could be very different today if but for one thing. 

If you asked the average American they would not be aware that once we had a national bank (well we had two actually but this blog is about the second bank) called the Bank of the United States.  It was the repository of all government funds and it was responsible for collecting money and paying debts for and to the United States.  Could you imagine how much easier to figure out where tax payer money went to if there was only one place that was responsible for  paying the governments debts?

Still, this isn't what I wanted to talk about.  A guy by the name of Henry Clay (a member of the House of Representatives when he proposed this, but at other times he was a Senator, and the Secretary of State) who was a Democratic Republican (nope, I didn't make a mistake that was a party.  I'm going to giggle at right and left wing nuts trying to decide if they should hate Clay or like him based on his party).

Anyway, he proposed that a special fund be created from the interest earned on the money kept in the bank (billions of dollars in todays money) be used solely for the purpose of internal national improvements.  Pretty cool huh?  Imagine every year hundreds of millions of dollars for internal improvements on the items listed above and none of it would need to come from the national or state budget!  Alas it was not to be.  James Monroe vetoed that plan even though he did agree to the Bank of the United States.  Jackson would kill the bank in the 1830's, and here we are today, we have private banks that are a law unto themselves and we have no money to fix the infrastructure of our country.  If only things could have been different...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Crazy Gamer goes to the Tournament- the list

A few days ago I told you how I go about getting ready for a Warhammer tournament. 

Today I will discuss two characters that I will be using and why I have decided to include them in my list (which still isn't finalized).

Here are two heroes that my list will include

Witch Hunter- 50pts

Brace of pistols +5pts
Great Sword +5pts

Why a Witch Hunter?  Easy... because they're cool! 

Kinda like a kick ass pilgrim!  If you don't think that's cool then you need to have your head examined!

In game terms a witch hunter has below average stats, but he has two things that make him great.  First he can accuse an enemy character of being a witch.  The witch hunter then gains the killing blow special rule against that character with both his shooting and close combat attacks.  He also can shoot at this character as if the witch hunter had the sniper rule.  Will he get lucky and knock off your 600pt chaos lord?  Probably not, but just the fact that he can will give some opponents pause and in my book that is worth 60pts.

His second rule is even more important.  The witch hunter comes with a handy magic resistance of two.  In the magic happy world of 8th edition this can really help a low toughness unit (which is all of the Empire units) survive and when combined with my next character can make a unit almost invincible. 

Battle Wizard- 2nd magic level- 100pts

Scroll of shielding 15pts

This little wizard will use the lore of life and can use the scroll of shielding to give the witch hunter's unit a 2+ ward save!  Hopefully I can use this when a high powered spell is coming my way to avoid most (if not all) of the damage the spell will cause. 

I really like to use the lore of life to increase the survivability of my units.  A unit of spearmen at toughness 3 and a 5+ armor save isn't going to scare anyone.  That same unit with a toughness of five (due to flesh to stone) and a 5+ regeneration save (due to earthblood) can hold up the scariest monster or fighting character for a long time.

The other characters...

Not decided yet.  Check back! 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Crazy Gamer Goes to the Tournament

Today I thought I would discuss how the Crazy Gamer goes about getting ready for a tournament.  Cool huh?  I thought that you would agree.

The tournament is a Warhammer Fantasy tournament, typical local fair at 2500pts.  In my dreams I would play High Elves, but seeing as I don't have a single model painted and the tournament is in less than 30 days my practical side must kick in.  As usual then, I will play my tried and true Empire army. 

About now you are probably assuming that I am lining up my hardest hitting list.  Wrong!  You silly people!  I'm the crazy gamer remember.  Here is how I will go about creating a tournament list.

1.  I don't use hordes.
2.  I won't use a large unit for the sole reason of having that unit be steadfast.
3.  I won't use any popular gimmick. 
4.  I will rely on unpopular units and characters.

So what does this mean for the Empire? 

I will not use any huge units of halberdiers.  In fact I won't use any unit with more than 30 models.
I will use one artillery piece max.
I won't use any special characters (not that the Empire's list has any great special characters).
I will rely on things like huntsmen, swordsmen, regular knights (not inner circle, Reiksguard, Demi- Gryph or other popular types).  I will also not use a 4th level battle wizard lord. 

Now, I will point out that I haven't yet decided on my final list but I will post it when it is decided.

Why do I go about designing lists this way?  Well the answer is simple.  I want to win because I played a better game than my opponent, not because I designed a better list or exploited a silly loophole.  I would rather lose than win using a gimmick.  Have I lost to gimmick lists?  You bet I have, but guess what?  Those gimmick lists have weaknesses and I will find them and use every single one against them. 

If you are reading this and think I'm crazy, try winning with good tactics, take your lumps and learn how to play a mistake free game and you will be surprised how successful you can be. 

On a side note, I've been playing Empire now for almost a decade and my army has never been made obsolete by changes in rules or changes in army books.  I don't fear the day that huge units of cheap infantry are no longer so good. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Crazy Gamer's take on the X Box 720

Hello true believers!

Crazy Gamer here to talk about the next Xbox!

Microsoft has announced that they will unveil the new Xbox 720.  Even though this unveiling is almost a month away I figured I'd give my opinion on the rumors that are circulating the interweb.

Rumor one:  The new Xbox will have an eight core processor.  My take... seems powerful, but I need to see games. 

Rumor two:  The new Xbox will allow you to "DVR," your game play and share it online.  Also you will be able to upload achievements and what not to social media.  My take... couldn't care less.  I don't want to share my gameplay with others.  I suck and I'm sure you have better things to do than watch it. 

Rumor three:  The new Xbox will use Windows 8.  My take... I get the impression this is supposed to be a selling point.  I've never bought a system based on its operating system and although I don't have the hatred some have for the OS it would never make me want to buy a system. 

Rumor four:  The new Xbox will have two purchase options.  One will be $500 dollars, the other will be $300 but will require a two year subscription to Xbox Live (thought to cost anywhere from $9.99 to $14.99 a month).  My take... $500 dollars is out of my price range.  As for $300 dollars plus a subscription... sorry, I don't play games online, I don't want to play games online, I don't want any of the social garbage that is offered, I don't care about avatars or any of the like.  As I see it, the $300 dollar model is really at minimum a $540.00 model, yeah... I'll pass.

Rumor five: The new Xbox will require an always on internet connection.  My take... considering that my internet connection can be...sassy to say the least I don't want to spend $500 dollars for a system that I may or may not be able to play reliably based on my internet connection.  I'm sure this has nothing to do with getting rid of used games and DRM (digital rights management) and is just for all that wonderful social crap that I don't want. 

I have an Xbox 360, but unless rumors 2, 4, and 5 are false, I will not have the next Xbox. 

Sorry Microsoft. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Warhammer 101-Becoming a better General: Terrain

Many of us want to be a great general.  In our quest to become Napoleon we sometimes will go down a dark path of WAAC gaming (win at all costs).

While this article will not help you become a little French dictator (though everyone should know by now that Napoleon was actually a very average five seven) it will help you to be better at Warhammer.

Today's article will focus on terrain.  I will point out that I have decided to separate Warhammer Fantasy and 40k into different posts.  This is on Warhammer Fantasy. 

Terrain is all the stuff on your table that keep it from being just a green (or whatever color you go with) table.  It can be




And weird Warhammer wackiness

My first piece of advice is simple.  Know the terrain rules. 

Sadly, most players view the terrain rules as something to glance at and nothing more.  To an average commander terrain is something to be avoided as a nuisance.

A wise commander knows better.  Just by knowing how terrain works you will give yourself the advantage. 

Learn the terrain rules!  Got that?  Don't feel overwhelmed, you just need to know the essentials.  You don't need to know the exact rules for a charnel pit but you should know forests are mysterious and are dangerous terrain for cavalry, chariots, monstrous cavalry, and fliers using a flying move. 

Next, insist that you use the rulebook mandated D6 + 4 pieces of terrain (pg. 142).  Be aggressive with your terrain placement by looking for advantages you can use.  Do they have a gun line?  Use forests to block their lines of fire (especially in the center, force their shooters to one flank or another).  A wise general will look for any advantage and terrain placement is one of those advantages. 

Here are a few helpful hints:

Units cannot claim rank bonus nor can they be steadfast if they are even partially in a river.  Have trouble with big units of infantry then this can help.

Units with most (over half) of their models in a forest cannot be steadfast unless they are skirmishers or lone characters on foot who are always stubborn in forests. 

Fun tactic: Use a fighting hero and give him the Armor of Silvered Steel (or your armies equivalent) and place him in a forest to ambush a big unit of infantry.  As long as he is in the forest he is stubborn holding your foes unit in place until you can dispatch it (or ignore it all together).

Obstacles like walls not only protect you from shooting but can also swing close combat in your favor by making your troops more difficult to hit.

Charging down a hill gives you a +1 to your combat resolution.

Terrain is your friend!  Learn the rules and watch your game improve.

See you next time!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coming soon!

I apologize to my readers that I haven't been publishing articles that I have promised.  I will get better, I promise!

In the next few solar cycles you will see:

Intermediate painting help.

How to win at Warhammer: Using terrain.

Review: Ni Nu Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PS3.

Review: Lego City Undercover for the Wii U.

High Elf wishlist part 3

Hello again my fellow gamers!  Crazy Gamer here to give you some stodgy prose about my wishlist for the High Elves.  Today I will talk Special units, Rare units and special characters, let's dive in! 

Well, actually not yet... I forgot to mention that I'm not discussing "new," units such as the Phoenix (a new monster for the High Elves that is floating around the Internet and is coming) but only pre established units.  Got that?  Good.

Special units: 

Shadow Warriors: Let's bump their ballistic skill up to five and keep their points the same. 

Tiranoc chariot: Raise the weapon skill of the crew to five, they are elite after all.  Points down to 80.

Lion chariot: Same


Repeater Bolt Thrower:  Can we get a third crew member please?  Drop points cost to 85pts.

Dragon Mage:  A cool idea, but doesn't see much table time.  If he goes to the rare spot and becomes a unit and not character (therefore he uses the dragon's toughness) he will become more popular. 

Special Characters:

I assume that all the current characters will return.  I'd love to see Belennear (sp?) the Wise return.  I wouldn't cry if the Everqueen and Imrik also made an appearance. 

We won't have long to wait!  My guess is we will see the High Elf pre orders the last Saturday in April. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crazy Gamer's new High Elf wishlist part 2

Yesterday I talked about how I would like to see the High Elf core section pan out.  I discussed why I wanted to see silly special rules go away (always strike first) while adding a bit of durability and some options to the core of the High Elf army. 

Today I will discuss what I'd like to see from the High Elves special choices.

Dragon Princes:  Stay the same.

Swordmaster's of Hoeth:  Same stat line as current.  Should be -1 to hit in both shooting and close combat due to their awesome blade skill for 15pts a model.

White Lions of Charce:  M   WS   BS   S   T   W   I   A   LD 
                                         5    5       4     4   3     1   4   2     8

The above is the stat line I would like to see.  It would go without saying that the champion gets 3 attacks.  They should come equipped with heavy armor, great axes, and lion pelts.  Lion pelts should act like the Dark Elves Sea Dragon Cloaks and add +2 to armor save against shooting and +1 save in close combat.  The White lions should also retain their stubborn and woodland strider special rules and should cost 15pts.

The idea here is to make all three of the High Elves elite infantry to be equally worthwhile.  The Sword Masters have a better weapons skill and initiative, while the White Lions are stronger and more durable both in terms of armor save (4+ versus 5+) but also in terms of combat resolution because they are stubborn. 

Phoenix Guard:  M   WS   BS   S   T  W  I   A   LD 
                            5     5       4    3    3   1   6   2    9

The above is the stat line I would like to see the Phoenix Guard possess.  Again it goes without saying that the champion would get 3 attacks.  They should be equipped with halberds, heavy armor, and a 5+ ward save.  Phoenix Guard should have a rule in which they can choose to pass or fail any leadership test and should be 15pts.  While the Phoenix Guard don't hit as hard as the other units they are able to hold their position (or not if the player chooses) in a more dependable fashion. 

Whoops, gotten long winded again.  Guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow!

See you then!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What Crazy Gamer wants from the High Elves

You might be expecting that I will yell at Games Workshop about their Tau screw up, but I've seen plenty of hate posts on that already.

Instead I want to discuss what I would love to see with the new High Elves.

For those not in the know, High Elves are going to be the next Warhammer Fantasy army to be released.  A week ago some pictures were leaked online from an official Games Workshop Facebook page so it's pretty much guaranteed the Asur are up for release next.

My first Warhammer Army way back in the dark ages were the High Elves.  Today I mostly play Empire, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the arrogant pointy ears.  The last few army books have... well... um... let's just say I didn't care for them. 

So what would I like?  I'm glad you asked, I'm going to tell you.

Rules changes:

First, I want them to get rid of the Always Strike First special rule.  Why are High Elves faster than other elves?  It's a lazy rule designed to fix the inherent weakness of the army.  Let's find some more creative fixes.

Next, lets look at the High Elf core units.  Now, my philosophy is that close combat troops rely on weapon skill, strength, toughness, initiative, and attacks.  Therefore only those stats really matter when determining how many points they cost.  Missile troops however are dependent on only ballistic skill and the missile weapon they are equipped.  Why am I discussing this?  It'll make sense when I talk about archers and Lothern Sea Guard. 

Spear Elves: Equip with light armor and shield standard for 8pts.  Should have an option for heavy armor for 3pts.  Spear elves need to have an option for heavy armor, but I want to make the option one players really need to think about.  If heavy armor is only 1 or 2 points then it will just become the norm and should just be included automatically.  Stat line can stay the same.  I'm indifferent whether or not spear elves have the martial skill rule or not. 

Archers:  Same stat line, long bow equipped should be 8pts.  I would actually lower the cost to 6pts but Empire archers are 7pts and High Elves have a better ballistic skill.  Games Workshop has long over-valued the long bow.  I think their rationale has been that bows can move and fire while crossbows and handguns can't.  This might be okay in the hands of more flexible troops (like Lothern Sea Guard) but the archers need to stay far away from combat so the value of being able to move and shoot is less appealing.

Sea Guard:  Same stat line, light armor, shield, and bow standard, should be 12pts.  They should not be given the option of heavy armor.  Heavy armor and boats do not mix.

Silver Helms:  These should be move to core.  Same stat line as is current with light armor and lance, riding on a barded steed for 17pts.  I want players to be able to configure their silver helms for their own needs.  Options are heavy armor for 3pts, shields for 1pt.  This means fully decked out silver helms are 21pts.  Empire knights are 22pts with the same weapon skill, strength, toughness, attacks, and leadership.  Silver Helms are faster both in terms of movement (8 inches instead of 7) and initiative.  However, Empire knights have a better armor save so it's a fair trade off.

Reaver Knights:  These guys should also be moved to core.  Same stats, with bow, spear, and light armor as standard.  Should cost 18pts. 

I've gotten rather long winded so you will need to wait until tomorrow for my take on special and rare units but I will address characters.

I would keep the current character stat lines.  I would reduce all the combat characters price by 20pts for lords and 15pts for heroes.

I know I won't get this one, but the toughness 3 combat characters is silly.  A goblin is toughness 4, a scrawny skaven is toughness 4 why can't an elf combat character be toughness 4. 

Goblin character: Toughness 4

Elf character: Toughness 3

Doesn't make sense to me.

See you next time!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crazy Gamers take on the Playstation 4

A few weeks ago Sony showed the first pictures of the Playstation 4 controller and some tech demos for various projects that could become future titles.

Sony promises that the system will be ready for an end of the year release for a "competitive," price. 

So you ask:

"Crazy Gamer, what do you think?"

Don't worry young one, you shall have my answer.  That answer is... Meh.

"What do you mean Crazy Gamer?"

It means that so far nothing gets me excited about the system.  Let me explain in greater detail. 

First, here is an image of the system.

You're probably asking yourself, "Wait a minute, is the Playstation 4 a portable system?"

Nope, it'll hook up to your TV just like the Playstation 3.  However, Sony has not shown what the system itself looks like.  This isn't a big deal since I don't buy video game systems based on their looks (it's whats on the inside that counts!) I do find it strange. 

As for what's in the system... it sound impressive.  It has an 8 core processor, Radeon graphics engine, 8 GB GDDR5 Memory.

Plus the standard stuff Its got Blu-ray, high end Ethernet, bluetooth, HDMI and all those other typical items like USB, and a hard drive of a to-be-determined size.

I'm also pretty sure that the Playstation 4 will walk your dog, do your taxes, and monitor your caloric intake. 

Anyway, it sounds very powerful.  I'm not a spec person so I have no idea how powerful this is compared to a high end gaming PC, but it sure does seem to be very powerful. 

What leaves me unimpressed is the software.  Of all the announced software only the Witcher 3 seems interesting to me.  Assassin's Creed 4 will come out around the time that the system launches and Ubisoft claims that the Playstation 4 version will have exclusive content but I haven't seen anything to suggest that it will be just a prettier version of the game. 

So, until I see compelling software I will be passing on the PS4 for this year.  This isn't to say that I would never get a Playstation 4, rather I will wait until some strong software forces me to buy one. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Warhammer 101: Becoming a better general

Today I will give you the first step in becoming a Warhammer grand champion!

1.  Learn to accept losing.  Learn from your mistakes. 

Yeah, I know, that's two things, but they are connected and I wanted each written as a statement of power. 

Let's look at each in depth eh?

Still with me?

Oh good!

Learn to accept losing- Notice how I wrote this?  I'm fully aware that Warhammer is a competitive game.  I'm not here to advocate some hippi 'let's all love each other and like get along and stuff as we sing Kumbaya while drinking liquid dirt from earthenware mugs,' policy.  We all want to win.

That said, sometimes our ego can get in the way of overall success with the hobby, thus we need to learn to accept losing. 

You will lose when you start out and this can make players turn to the dark corners of the Internet for WAAC (win at all costs) army lists.  Don't do this!

Instead- learn from your mistakes. 

An example from the Crazy Gamers past.  Way back in 1994 when I was just starting to play Warhammer Fantasy I ran a High Elf army.  Most of the time I played against my best friend and cousin Tom, but as he grew up and got a job (how dare he!  :) I needed to branch out and find new people to play against.

I went to my local store (some 44 miles away!) to play against a group of gamers out there.  These guys were quite a bit older than me, and for them Warhammer was a diversion from historical games. 

One of the first games that I played was against a Dark Elf army.  I was confident that my High Elves would prevail.  In my mind I had crafted a wonderful army list and had refined my tactics playing against Tom. 

My army was wiped out to a man (er... elf) while my opponent had only lost a handful of models.  For some this brutal beat down would have been the end of their game career.  While my opponent was gracious there were countless spectators that witnessed my whooping.  My pride was crushed.

Was his army unstoppable? 


Did he bend the rules? 


So instead I looked back at the battle.  My main advance had been in the open, and I had miss- handled my light cavalry so his archers could rain death down upon my poor battle line.  That wasn't all; I kept my heavy cavalry too far back to be useful, I didn't concentrate my firepower, etc, etc. 

There were plenty of lessons I could learn, and you can learn from the mistakes that you make on the battlefield if you just have the courage to look for them. 

Try this after each battle:

Ask yourself-

What worked?

What didn't work?

Keep your answers focused on what is controllable.

What does this mean? 

Well, we all have a tendency to overestimate our abilities and assume our losses are the result of unfair rules, armylists, players, game mechanics, and more.

While blaming these things may make you feel better, they won't help you play better.

What you can't control:

Your opponents army
Your opponents armylist
The game rules
The dice

Since you can't control them, don't worry about them.  Instead look at your own list, and your own tactics.

For example:  My Space Marine devastators did not destroy any enemy tanks.  This seems simple, your devastators failed due to bad luck.  Or did they?  Were you using missile launchers to destroy Land Raiders?  If you were then your devastators didn't fail you, you failed them.  At strength 8 a missile launcher cannot destroy a Land Raider outright.  Instead a player needs to roll a 6 on a D6 four times to take out the Land Raider. 

In your next game you need to either choose a different target for your missile launchers or change your weapons. 

Did your assault units not get into combat?   Why not?  Don't blame dice.  Did the troops have jump packs?  Did you have a transport? 

I could go on and on, but between the two game systems there are way too many possible combinations to list out here.

If your unit did what it was supposed to, continue using them that way.  If not, then change how you use them or change the unit. 

I'll go into this in more detail in the future.  Until then; keep on painting!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Don't buy EA digital games!

My earlier post discussed the big issue going down with EA Games Sim City.  While related this goes beyond just the game Sim City.

Don't buy digital games from EA.  I can't stress this enough!  People who have bought digital copies of Sim City and who are unhappy about shelling out sixty dollars for a product that does not work have a rude awakening coming:

EA will NOT refund digital purchases of Sim City.  If you bought a physical copy you can get a refund, but EA does not refund digital games.

Consider this buyer beware.  My opinion on digital games is well documented, and you can disagree with me, but please do not buy digital products from EA. 

Image of the EA CEO dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight:

Oh wait!  The CEO of EA is a man...

Let that be your warning.

I don't want to say I told you so...

Regular readers will know that I HATE games that require a constant online connection.  While this is needed for online multiplayer games but this idea has increasingly weaseled its way into single player experiences.

EA Games is the publisher of Sim City announced that the game would release on March 5th and would require a persistent online connection, even for the single player experience.  EA claimed that this wasn't for DRM* (digital rights management) purposes but because of all these awesome features such as leader boards, community interaction, and more. 

Fast forward to today March 8th. 

Sim City has released.  However, unless you are either very persistent or very lucky (or perhaps both) you still aren't playing the game.  Gamers that are able to play are reporting that they are constantly being disconnected.  As this is an online only game, being disconnected means you aren't playing.

You can get a run down of the full story from a better source than me here:

EA has tried to fix this problem, by getting rid of every feature that they earlier claimed was the "real," reason they wanted the game to be always online. 

The bottom line is, this is all about DRM, and that seems unfair that players have to suffer. 

*DRM is a fancy term that is all the rage today.  In the olden days when you bought a game it was yours and you could do anything you wanted to with it.  Today DRM means that the publisher of the game owns it and when you buy a copy you are purchasing the right to be able to play it but you don't own anything. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

How to win at Warhammer: A Warhammer 101 article

Hello true believers!  Crazy Gamer here to help you in an area that everyone cares about- winning!

Everyone wants to win, we all dream of holding a massive trophy of gold; encrusted with diamonds while being flanked on each side by a bevy of beautiful women.  The crowd chants your name!  Oh look!  Nike is calling, they want to offer you a suitcase full of money to pitch their products...

Or, more likely, you'll get a piece of paper and stand up in front of a bunch of geeks.

Anyway... how do you get there?  How do you claw your way to the top of the heap? 

The answer is, like everything else, complicated; especially if you're just starting out.

You may be attempted to be a WAAC player.  Like performance enhancing drugs for athletes the WAAC style offers a quick and easy(ier) way to the top, but just like with athletes the fall from grace is hard and painful. 

About now you may be asking yourself, " What the hell is he talking about?"

Please let me explain!

WAAC is a gaming expression that means Win At All Cost.  This style requires a player to seek out any and all game bending rules and combinations of units to win in spite of the spirit and intention of the games rules.  While this isn't illegal or cheating, players who indulge in this style of play push any and all advantages be they overpowered units, ambiguous rules, loopholes, and any combination of all three. 

My more cutthroat brethren may ask, "What's wrong with that?  Why shouldn't I find every advantage and use it?"

Bernie Madoff
Ponzi Scheme mastermind
WAAC Gamer
To you cutthroat brother I say, once you turn down that dark path, there is no coming back!
Excuse me, let me explain in a slightly less melodramatic manner.
As I've said before, I've been playing Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 since 1993.  In all that time I've seen countless killer armies come and go.  Today we have Cron Air, but it won't last.  One way or another, whether from rule changes or players adapting, this army will not be the killer list that it is today.  In a few months it will be something else, and then something else, and so on and on. 
This is not only a very expensive way to play the game (each Necron flyer cost almost $50.00 and you need a half dozen or more) it's highly likely that by the time you get them purchased and painted a new killer list will have emerged. 
More damaging for players, especially new players, is that you rely on the gimmick the list is meant to exploit.  Players don't learn true tactics, they learn a gimmick.  When the gimmick goes away, and it will, the player has no real skill to fall back on.  Usually this will see them leave the game in frustration. 
That's sad. 
I understand the competitive culture of gaming.  You want to win, losing to your friends or to some game store top weenie is a bitter pill to swallow.  I get it.  I really do.  But I promise you, if you're patient and apply yourself, you can become a consistently good player. 
But I don't just offer my opinion, though that is the title of my blog... I will help you become this consistent player. 
Tune in to Part 2 where I give you actual skills that you can use to improve your game.
See you then!  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Warhammer fixes: What I would like to see

Crazy Gamer here!

I'm sure by now you know that I'm a big fan of 8th edition Warhammer.  I feel it is a vast improvement over 7th edition which was a control freaks dream, but as far as fun was concerned it was lacking. 

Don't worry haters, I am well aware that my opinion is in the minority which makes me sad but as the saying goes: haters gonna hate, and my blog is hardly going to change your mind.

So instead I will talk about a few things that I would like to see tweaked in Warhammer, after all even I don't think the game is perfect. 

Weapon Rules:

This subject is contentious.  Many gamers look for authentic rules in which weapons mirror their historic counterparts.  I don't suffer from this problem, instead I look for balanced game design in which all options are viable. 

If we look at the current game it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or a theoretical physicists) to see that great weapons are the preferred choice wherever they are offered.  This means that the other options aren't as balanced. 

Let us look at the options and see what we can do to make them more attractive.

Halberds- This poor weapon is the red headed step child of the Warhammer game.  Currently the halberd is two handed and offers +1 strength.  This isn't too bad for models with a strength of 4, but currently most models that have the option of this weapon are only strength 3 and bumping that up to strength 4 is not appealing.  I don't blame them. 

This is a halberd:

In the high middle ages this weapon was popular because it combined the blade of an axe with the reach of a spear. 

How about this for halberd rules

+1 strength in the first rank.  Fight in extra ranks for ranks 2nd and 3rd (no strength bonus for them)

This will give units armed with the weapon added flexibility and make halberd a more attractive option.

Some may say, won't this make spears more unattractive?  Possibly.  I'm thinking of tweaking spear rules as well but let's not forget that units with spears can use shields in close combat and halberds can't. 

Extra hand weapon- Currently this option allows you add +1 attack.  However this isn't an attractive option because you can't a shield and you still fight at your basic strength.  Units with a higher strength find this option a little better, but the current rules only allow models in a second rank fight with one attack so the bonus is lost after the first rank making this weapon option the only one that is useless beyond the first rank.

How about this: +1 attack, re-roll missed to hit in close combat.

Great Weapon- +2 strength, always strike last is how it's currently written.  How about +2 strength, always strike last -1 to hit from second rank.  It's a small penalty but will make the choice between all options more of a choice. 

Missile weapons:

Just like their close combat counterparts missile weapons, I feel, could use some tweaks. 

Bow/ Short bow- same

Long Bow-  currently it's 30 inch range and strength 3.  Currently I feel it's too expensive for what you get.  It need to be strength 4 with a 30 inch range.

Crossbow- Strength 4, 30 inch range, move or fire.  With the change to long bows we need to bump this up.  Add armor piercing.

Hand Gun- currently Strength 4, 24 inch range, move or fire, armor piercing.  How about 24 inch range, strength 6, armor piercing, hits on 6 regardless of ballistic skill or modifiers. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Warhammer 101: Painting your army- the basics

Welcome back Warhammer gamers!

In my eternal quest to help new members of our hobby I bring you my next Warhammer 101 article, this one will discuss the first steps of painting your army.

Painting your army is what separates us from animals, yet many gamers stay away from this step.  Painting is important, it's part of the hobby, nothing ruins the immersion of a game like playing against an army of gray plastic and silver pewter.  Painting your miniatures shows that you are committed to your army and the game that you play.

Yes it does take time, but it's not as difficult as you think and painting can be very very rewarding.

I hear you cry, "Crazy Gamer, I'm not artistic and I don't have a lot of time!"

Here are my answers, young student:

1.  You don't have to be an artist or even artistic to paint your army.  I sure as hell am neither.
2.  If you learn evil tips and tricks from criminal masterminds you can paint an army quickly.

Young warrior, take heart, I am one of these evil masterminds! 

A story!

Once, ages ago in an era of dinosaurs and dial up modems, the Crazy Gamer painted a full army in two weeks.  Golden Daemon worthy?  Hardly, but it was quick and effective.  Now I will tell you how. 

First you need to decide a paint scheme.  Games Workshop, for all its flaws, does a good job in their army books and codexes of showing you options for color schemes to paint in.  I recommend that unless it's very very important to choose an established color scheme. 

For example, if you are playing Space Marines choose Ultramarines, Salamanders, Crimson Fists, etc.
Playing Empire, choose Hochland, Middenland, or one of their established provinces. 


Games Workshop already provides the names of what paints you need to use to paint those armies.  This takes some of the guess work out of the experience. 

Some tips:

Dark colors are easier than bright colors.  Yellow and white are both very difficult colors to work with, so Dark Angels and Crimson Fists are easier to paint than Imperial Fists and White Scars.  High Elves are more difficult to paint than Dark Elves. 

All things being equal choose dark colors over bright ones at least for your first paint job.  They take less time to look good and dark colors hide mistakes better.

Avoid yellow unless you really really really want a yellow army (i.e. Imperial Fists, Averland Empire, Biel Tan Eldar).

What paints to use?

This is tricky.  There are a bunch of companies that offer paints.  I recommend Games Workshop paints.  Are they the best?  They are average, but for your first paint job it simplifies the process of figuring out what paint to use. 

What paint brushes should you get?

Here are some types of brushes:

You don't need a lot of these but I recommend a big flat brush and several round brushes. 

Where should you get them?

For your big flat brush I recommend going to a big box art store like Michael's or Hobby Lobby.  They have brush sets for very low prices.  I bought one several years ago at Michael's that contained all the brushes above for $5.99.  They won't be high quality but with your big brush this isn't as important. 

How big should your big flat brush be? 

This may come as a bit of a surprise but a flat brush should be about half an inch in width.  For those of you who aren't big on how big stuff is, your miniatures are 28mm which is approximately one inch so look for one that his about half as big as your miniatures. 

This seems big, but I will be discussing the big brush method of painting and you need a big brush to employ this method (I know, you're shocked). 

As for your round brushes.  You need several, for your primary brush I recommend a 5/1 round brush made from camel hair.  Compared to the flat brush described above this will seem tiny.  These also are very expensive as a single brush of this type is probably $10.00.  There are several cheaper versions made from sable and or various artificial substances.  These will be cheaper but they will not last anywhere near as long as a natural hair brush. 

You will also need at least one fine detail brush,  labeled 10/1 which looks like this:

This is will be used for eyes and the like.  This paint brush will also be very expensive and I also recommend natural hair (camel is the best). 

Once you get all of this we will discuss the first step of the big brush painting method. 

Step one of the Big Brush Painting method.

1.  Choose your dominant color.  The dominant color will be the color that takes up the majority of the model.  Here are some examples:

These orks are predominately green so the dominant color is green.

Blood Angels:

This should be an easy one, the dominant color is red.

Empire State soldiers:

This is a tough one, you could choose either red or silver.

2.  Once you've chosen your dominant color (be aware I used basic color terms above, go to Games Workshop to see what the names of the paints are) get your big flat brush and your pot of paint.  You will also need a paper towel, a water cup (some kind of disposable container), and a paint palette (official ones can be bought at hobby stores.  In a pinch you can use a paper plate).

Also make sure that you cover the area you are going to paint in with newspaper or something to protect whatever surface you will be working on.

Take your dominant color and thin it down.  It is never a good idea to use paint right out of the pot.  Miniatures have a lot of detail and because you are painting miniatures and not bigs these details are very small.  The paint that you are using is acrylic which is just a fancy art word for liquid plastic.  This can cause several problems, thick paint will obscure fine details like noses, eyes, and fingers and the like.  Also, depending on how the paint is stored it can clump up. 

The moral of the story is thin your paint, it's cheap and easy.  Fancy artists will tell you to use an official paint conditioner (if you find it cheap I recommend it as well) but water can be used in a pinch. 

The amount of thinning will depend on the color of the paint.  Yellows and whites need less, black and flesh colors need more.  Try a drop or two of water (or conditioner).  Your paint should be the consistency of skim milk.   The color should still be clear, not watery.  If you thin the paint too much don't worry, you're much better off with really thin paint than paint that is too thick.  You can still use the overly thin paint, you will just have to apply an extra coat or two.

Take your big brush (the one that's about an inch in width) and pour (and thin) the dominant color.  Get your brush full of paint:

Paint the color on all the parts of the model that will be that color.  For example if you are painting Blood Angels, then paint the armor red. 

If you paint somethings that will not be the dominant color by mistake it's okay.  Your goal is to have a bright solid color on the largest surface and to do it quickly.

Your models should look like this:


Make sure that you paint ALL your models who have this dominant color.  Don't just paint one or two models.  Paint them all before going on to the next step.

Coming soon!  The next step.  Picking out details!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Warhammer 101: The armies- Dark Angels

The Dark Angels are back!

This time on Warhammer 101 I will discuss the newest  Warhammer 40,000 codex: Dark Angels

For those not in the know the Dark Angels are a space marine army.  I have already written a Warhammer 101 article on Space Marines, but I thought I'd give an update on this newest of Codexes.

First the Dark Angels have many units in common with regular Space Marines.  If you have any of the following then you can use them in a Dark Angels army:

Space Marine Commander
Command Squad
Tactical Squad
Scout Squad
Drop Pod
Assault Squad
Land Raider (all variants)
Land Speeders (except the Storm variant)

The Dark Angels have two primary differences from the regular Space Marine list.

The Deathwing- Dark Angels have their own Terminator elite troops.  Unlike regular space marines, the Deathwing isn't split up into assault and shooty terminators.  The Deathwing can have all combinations from both the assault and shooty tactical versions (with a few more toys).  It is also worth noting that the Dark Angels don't use power armor veterans (i.e. Sternguard and Vanguard veterans). 

The Ravenwing- This is all the Dark Angel fast stuff.  Land Speeders, bikes, attack bikes, and a few jets.

These all have specialized kits so make sure you get the right ones.

This all begs the question:

"What if I play regular space marines, but I want to use the new shiny codex?"

My answer is use the Dark Angel codex.  It is likely that the next regular Codex Space Marines will be very similar to the Dark Angels.  The Dark Angels Codex is more viable in the current game than the original space marine one.  As long as you don't buy the Ravenwing jets and specialized land speeders everything else will have a place in the next marine codex. 

This then begs the question:

"Can't I just wait?"

Sure, but the Dark Angels are more tactically flexible.  Also you will likely be waiting for a long time.  The next Codex: Space Marines is not currently on any release forecast for this year.  You really don't have anything to lose by using the Dark Angels book.  Only two kits won't be available for the next marine list (Nephilim jet fighter and the  Land Speeder Darkshroud).  Sure you can't use scout bikers or sternguard and vanguard veterans but that's life.  Still recommend the Dark Angel book over the Space Marine book unless you love a special character from the Marine book.

Have fun!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Warhammer 101: The primer on primer

Crazy gamer here with a (hopefully) helpful article on primer.

In the past I've discussed issues such as what different armies bring to the table (hopefully I'll have time to finish those soon), and about the tools you need to clean and assemble your models.  Now I will give a bit of advice about the first step of the painting process.

Everyone should paint their Warhammer armies.  Several noted scientists have discovered that having painted miniatures will make you more successful in life and at least 10 times more attractive to the opposite sex.*

Furthermore 94 of the 100 richest people in the world have at least one painted army.**So it goes without saying that you should paint your models.

Some people get scared of painting, and instead become CCG players (that's collectible card games for those of you who don't speak geek).  This is sad though!  Don't be scared!  You don't have to be Picasso to paint a decent looking army (besides have you seen what that guy painted?  I've seen four year olds paint things that make more sense, but I digress...)

I'm here to help!

The first step to painting is priming.  Priming is an initial layer of  thin matte paint that helps future coats of paint "stick," to your miniature.  This is an essential step but is one that many beginners skip (or are never made aware of) to their detriment. 

Do yourself a favor and prime your models.  If your miniatures could talk they would thank you if you do.

First, pick the type of primer that you want to use:

Spray Primer

Spray primer is the most common type of primer.  It comes in a variety of colors and is made by several different manufactures.  Make sure that the paint can says "primer," because if it doesn't it probably isn't primer.

A few notes:

Spray primer is a tricky beast, even for gaming veterans.  In order to use spray primer you will need a large, ventilated room that is free of anything you don't want primer on.  Spray primer is very very toxic so make sure you have ventilation! 

Next, follow the directions!  Men usually don't like to read directions, but make an exception this time (I won't tell anyone I promise) as this will save you money. 

If you are going to prime, pay attention to the temperature and humidity of where you are at.  If the humidity is more than 50% don't prime!!!!!  You will get a fuzzy texture to your models that is almost impossible to get off and will hurt your final product.  Also, if the temperature is more than 80 degrees and you are priming outside (always a good place because of ventilation) don't prime with black primer in the sun.  The sun will melt your models.  Also, don't prime on a breezy day as you can also get the fuzzy texture described above. 

I'm sure that the paragraph above makes you think that I'm a worry wort (whatever the hell that is) but I can't stress this enough... Plastic models are almost impossible to repair if you prime them incorrectly.  Metal models can be stripped using several substances (interestingly brake fluid is the cheapest and most effective method) but plastic is very difficult to save.  Resin is as difficult as plastic and even more expensive.  The bottom line is: MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING BEFORE YOU START SPRAYING!!!

Helpful tip- if you wear glasses take them off when you prime.  Primer will stick to your lenses.

Because of the inherent difficulty of using spray primer, you may want to consider using hand primer. 

No, I'm not talking about finger painting, this isn't preschool.  You use primer that is in the form of a bottle of paint and apply it with a paint brush.   Do not simply use black or white paint, it should be specifically created as a primer.  Games Workshop makes a decent bottle primer and several other companies do as well. 

Some tips! 

You're not painting during this step.  Use a big brush, the bigger the better. 

With all primer, less is more.  You're much better off applying several thin coats then one thick coat.  Yes it takes more time, but you don't want your miniatures to look like Mr. Potato Head do you? 

Thin the primer down!  It helps avoid applying it too thickly and will help your bottle last longer.  I recommend two parts primer one part water.  What does this mean for you non artists?  Your primer should be the consistency of milk.  It will start off like oil, if you get water you've added too much...well water... I guess this isn't my most poetic blog entry...

At any rate experiment, but know that you won't hurt your miniatures if you get the primer too thin.  Oh!!! but realize the thinner the paint the more it will get all over the place.  Use paper towels and wear clothes that you don't mind getting paint on.


Primer comes in all shades, but for our purposes only two matter: black and white.

Advantages of white primer:  White primer should be used for armies that have a predominately white color scheme. 

I don't recommend white primer unless you plan on painting a White Scars.  White primer is much more difficult to work with than black primer. 

Advantages of black primer:  Black primer has countless advantages, not least of all:

Gives you a natural shade
Makes mistakes less noticeable
Cool colors paint over it well

And more!

Some artists claim that black primer will not allow a painter to get his or her colors as bright as a white primer.  It is true, but unless you aspire to be a Golden Daemon painter painting a select range of armies, it really won't matter for us average souls.

See you later!

*Not even sort of.  Come on, you thought I was telling you the truth?  I've got a bridge I want to sell you
**Please make a check out to me in the amount of one million dollars.  Don't worry, the bank will know that it's a joke, honest.