19 March 2006

Battle for Macragge Box Set

I was at Hobbytown the other day (I am at Hobbytown at least 3-4 times a week) looking at the Space Marines. I had two evil plans on this particular trip. The first part of the plan was to get my brother-in-law to help me move our insanely heavy love seats and my giant desk from our apartment to our new trailer. The second part of the plan was to get him some minis of his own.
I was looking at the basic box containing a Tactical Squad of Space Marines when I noticed that for only ten dollars more I could get the Battle for Macragge starter set, which had not only 10 Space Marines, but also:
  1. A Space Marine character model.
  2. 24 Tyranid Miniatures
  3. A bunch of scenery bits.
  4. Templates (which I'd been meaning to buy eventually anyway).
  5. Dice (I already have a set, so I could give them to him).
  6. A small rulebook.
  7. Another book containing several scenarios meant to introduce the rules slowly, which would be good for both of us, as neither he or I is familiar with the rules.

My wife approved the purchase, so I grabbed up the box and ran for the counter before she could change her mind. Upon arriving back at the trailer park, I got out of the car at my brother-in-law's house and took the box set in to show it to him. I also convinced him that moving our furniture would be an awesome experience and make him into a manly man (the kind of man whose chest hair is so bristly it pokes right through his shirt). He was pretty excited (about the miniatures, I don't think my manly man speech really got the point across). We moved the furniture and then he and my sister came over to eat dinner with us. The food was awesome because my wife is a grand master in the kitchen.

Afterwards, I threw a huge pile of White Dwarf magazines onto his lap and showed him some of the Space Marine paint schemes that he could consider, as well as reminding him that he could make up his own. He kept pulling the Space Marine sprue out of the box and saying, "I wish I could get them off of here," so I pulled out my sprue cutters and let him have at it. He also started cleaning up the flash and mold lines while we sat around and talked. My sister finally dragged him away from the X-Acto knife at 3:00 am and they went home. I sent the Space Marines Codex with him so he can read up on the fluff and think about some models he wants to put in his future army.

I slept for a couple of hours and then had to wake up for my Fantasy Baseball Live Online Draft. Then I did homework. It was great. My sister and brother-in-law came over for dinner again tonight, and after dinner he pulled out the box and started in on cleaning up the figures. Once again, my sister had to drag him away. I think I've got him hooked. Now I just have to get my hobby shed set up so we can start painting the figures and terrain and playing the starter scenarios.

I guess I could do a little review of the components in the Macragge Set. This is of course colored by my own personal biases. It's a good value for the money. Like I mentioned earlier, the whole thing costs only ten dollars more than the basic Space Marine squad. The Space Marines in the starter aren't as detailed and don't feature the customization options or extra bits, but they're still Space Marines. The Tyranids so far don't fit together very well, but some cutting and some glue will fix that. I realize that the battle for Macragge is a big part of the 40K mythology, as is the battle between Space Marines and Tyranids in general, but I don't really care about the Tyranids at all. Having to buy 24 of them is sort of lame when I don't plan to pursue a Tyranids army at any point. I have the same problem with the Warhammer Fantasy starter. I just don't care about the Empire vs. the Orcs. But the Tyranids may be useful at some point, even if it's just to play the starter games with my little brother or broken into parts to serve as vanquished foes on my Witch Hunter bases. The terrain and scenery pieces are kind of cool and we'll be able to get good use out of them, especially now as we don't have any other terrain. The templates and dice are cool, as well as the little rulebook so you don't have to lug around the big hardcover beast. From reading through the little introductory booklet, it seems like the scenarios do a good job of covering everything in manageable chunks, as well as giving out some hobby information as far as assembly and painting the minis is concerned. It would be a good way to get a friend into gaming, as everything is included except the paints, glues, and other hobby tools. I highly recommend it, with the only real negative being a complete lack of interest in the Tyranids.

15 March 2006


I am not saying goodbye to my blog, but I am saying goodbye to my Heroclix. I sold them all on eBay as part of my plan to make money towards my start into miniature wargaming. They brought in a little more money than I expected, so that was good. Unfortunately, we have a few bills piled up, so I will be putting most of the money toward living expenses. I did set aside enough to buy the rest of the miniatures for my Skaven army and some Warhammer 40K books.
It's kind of hard to pack up some of the Heroclix, as I had a lot of the rarer pieces, as well as a lot of pieces that had some sort of sentimental value for me. You wouldn't think that you'd be attached to a bunch of plastic, but I guess it's just the memories of where you got that figure or the time that one of your figures won the game for you or whatever. And it was my decision to let them go. If it had been a case of my wife saying, "It's them or me!" I think I would have been pretty bitter about the whole experience, but at the moment I think it'll be good to get them out of the house. I just am dreading the trip to the post office with around 40 boxes to mail out.
For Warhammer, my Wood Elf Tree Spirits army will have to wait until I'm done assembling and painting my Skaven, so that project is way in the future. And the Skaven army is on hold until I can get my "Man Shed" all cleaned out and my desk moved into it. I have big plans for the shed, as it's going to become a sort of study/hobby room. I don't expect to see much progress on any of it until mid-April or later.
I am formulating a plan for Warhammer 40K, though. I read something about a small-scale, skirmish-type option for the game in one of my White Dwarf magazines, so I ordered the back issue that has those rules in it. My brother-in-law (who is also my new neighbor) has expressed an interest in Space Marines, so my plan is to draw him in slowly and then hook him into playing games with me. I figure he can come up with a couple hundred points of Space Marines and I'll get a couple hundred points of Witch Hunters. Then we can add points as time goes on.
I think he might be intimidated by the prospect of painting these tiny figures, but that's something everyone goes through at some level. I know I was pretty nervous about putting the first layer of paint on my Skaven. I figure Space Marines are pretty basic, without a bunch of fiddly bits, and once he does a squad or two he'll be an old pro. It'd be nice to get some gaming time in soon, so I don't get burned out before I really get started.
In other news, we (my wife, me, my sister, and my brother-in-law) are going up to Seattle the first weekend of April for the Emerald City Comic Con. It should be pretty fun. My wife and I had a good time at the 2004 Comic Con. I will spend most of my time trying to get sketches from the various comic artists. My brother-in-law will probably spend his time flirting with the Penny Arcade guys. My sister and wife will probably go to the convention the first day for the costume contest and whatnot, then spend the rest of the time hanging out elsewhere in Seattle. It's my big trip for the year, and I've been planning it since I was in Iraq, so I'm starting to get pretty excited.
Also, I wish I was a ninja.

08 March 2006

Still nothing.

Once again, I have not made any progress whatsoever on my Skaven army (or any other army, for that matter). We are moving to our new place this month, so packing and cleaning take up all the time that working, going to school, and taking care of the stupid dogs do not. I think we should have just bought another couple of snakes. Our ball python just lays around and only needs to be fed every week or so. The dogs always have to eat or chew things or poop or pee or make noise or whatever else you can think of. But enough of this tangent.

I just wanted to make a post so that the three people who read this blog will have something to read. I really want to get this army done, but I don't think I'll make my timeline. I am selling the rest of my Heroclix on eBay, so that should at least fund the rest of my Skaven list and perhaps some stuff for my Wood Elf army. Yes, a Wood Elf army. But the cool thing is that my Wood Elf army does not actually contain any elves. It is composed entirely of tree spirits (Dryads, Treeman, Tree Kin, Branchwraiths, Drycha). Basically it's all the cool parts of the elf army without the Orlando Bloom elements.

I have also snatched up the Warhammer 40k rulebook and a Space Marine codex. I am trying to decide betweem Space Marines and Witch Hunters. I know there is an option to put Space Marines in a Witch Hunter army, but it looks like it takes away your ability to use some of the other cool Witch Hunter models. I'll have to research it some more.