5 on Friday 16/04/21

It’s Friday, and here on No Rerolls that means it’s time for an all-new 5 on Friday. We’re going to start with 5 exciting releases for this week before moving on to our usual digest of some of our favourite articles from the past week. Of course, we’re slow readers, so don’t be surprised if there are some articles that are a little older – these are just some of the great articles we happen to have actually read in the past week.

Releases & Previews

Every week there are many games and miniatures released. This will probably be a mix of previews, preorders and releases, and with release dates being the way they are in this industry, it’s always pretty approximate. Excuses out of the way, here are 5 of the releases that caught our attention this week:

Games Workshop releases new Underworlds starter set – I picked up Underworlds pretty early on, but it completely fell by the wayside for me. Others in our local club are utterly besotted by it. The thing is, for me it has the same problem that X-Wing does, in that you need to get everything in order to get the cards, even if you’re not going to use the miniatures. It’s a treadmill, like FFG’s living card games. Now, in addition to the usual season-specific starter sets, GW have also put out a new, generic starter:

This is being pushed as a set to newcomers to the game. I mean, it is labelled as a starter, but still, it’s being marketed quite specifically. It’s intended as a bit of a catch-up set. This makes it tempting if I’m thinking of trying to play the game with the folk up here who are into it, but ultimately, I reckon the game will just run away from me again, so I’ll likely just leave it. Anyone looking to get into the game though, this’ll be the box for you.

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TTCombat releases the Pyramid Piledrivers for Rumbleslam – Rumbleslam continues to be a seemingly interesting game that I have not put any time into researching. I love the idea of it. I love the small footprint of the game. I love the cool and characterful miniatures. This latest offering is fun:

The mini on the bottom left is really cool, and the zombies/mummies are all really cool and unique. The big guy has a very dynamic wrestler pose, which is a nice touch for something so blatanty inhuman. I do need to look into this game as it just looks fun.

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Monte Cook Games releases free preview of their upcoming adventure, Where the Machines Wait – I went off Monte Cook Games for a while, but some of their recent stuff really appeals to me. Their bestiary, Beasts of Flesh and Steel, was a fantastic book, and now they have this adventure book coming along in a similar vein:

The link takes you to a free sample of the upcoming adventure book, just to whet your appetite for what’s to come. As we’ve come to expect from Monte Cook Games, the production values are pretty damn good. Nice layout and artwork, with some lovely, flavourful writing. I like settings that merge magic and technology, so I’m keen to see the final product.

Fantasy Flight releases the Invisible Hand for Star Wars: Armada – The Invisible hand was the capital ship of Separatist general and Jedi hunter, Grievous. As Armada delves into the Clone Wars era to add to their roster of ships, they’ve landed on a pretty cool one, here:

I mean, there are cooler ships in the range. I love the Mon Calamari ships and the big Imperial Star Destroyers. The Invisible Hand, a Dreadnought, does visually hold its own against the Republic Acclamator-class ships, though. It’s also pretty iconic to fans of The Clone Wars and it’s just cool that you can now have Grievous join you in battle!

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Zakhara campaign guide now available on the DM’s Guild – I often see it remarked that in this day and age the “Forgotten Realms” seems to basically mean the western portion of the continent of Faerûn, encompassing the Sword Coast and the Lands of Intrigue, possibly with some Underdark thrown in. The setting, as it stand with current, 5E material, has shrunk somewhat. Enter the DM’s Guild. Here, smaller groups and individuals are exploring and updating older material, and one such book has caught my eye this week:

Home of the Al-Quadim campaign setting, Zakhara is a peninsula on the same supercontinent as the Sword Coast and the Lands of Intrigue, but far to the south east. It’s a land of pirates and corsairs, secretive city-states, deserts and oceans, and of troublesome, meddling genies. The book promises a lot of new content:

  • An overview of the lands, cities, and people!
  • New character classes and kits!
  • Zakharan weapons and equipment!
  • Power groups vying for control of the land
  • New monsters and NPCs for your game!
  • An introductory adventure to get you started!

I’m really tempted to pick this up. I don’t really know a lot of about the Forgotten Realms setting beyond the Sword Coast, so I’m intrigued.

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Blog Posts & Articles

The meat of 5 on Friday, the articles are listed in no particular order, so let’s get into some recommendations:

Insights and Impressions: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-? @ Swords and Chit  Labyrinth is a game that has sat on my shelf for too long. It needs to be played! I’m hopeful for after lockdown that I’ll be able to find someone who wants to give it a go. Articles like this whet my appetite something awful. The insights held within the article are useful and interesting. The one on Flowchart AI is something I agree with, but it is not that relevant to me, as I don’t see myself playing this solo. I’m just not into solo board games, it’s not why I’m in the hobby. The point about timing is interesting, and coming from games like Washington’s War, 1960, and Twilight Struggle, playing two cards per turn would indeed change the game quite significantly. The point on pivoting is one I’m used to from Twilight Struggle, and indeed completely unrelated games like Terraforming Mars. I often make plans that end up just not panning out and I find myself having to change direction. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the game!

Battle Report: O-12 VS Yu Jing @ MISSPENTYOUTH God, Infinity miniatures just look so good in bright, vibrant colours, don’t they? That yellow armour looks great. The miniatures are very simply painted, but they look fantastic. The terrain on the board also looks beautiful. God, it really motivates you to get painting, seeing pictures like these. The battle report itself makes for a good read. It’s well presented, easy to read, very clear… but I just love the pictures in here, to be honest.

Achtung! Cthulhu – Conclusion “A Quick Trip to France” @ Dice Adventurer  As I mentioned last month, I’m keeping an eye on Modiphius’ new edition of Achtung! Cthulhu. It’s really good to read the opinions of someone who is experienced with the game, having played both the Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds versions of the game. Seeing that this version is the author’s favourite further increases my excitement for the game. My preorder will likely go in next month!

Taking Stock of My Warhammer Problem @ Deathzap  My favourite article of the week, and of the last couple of weeks, actually. First of all, we all know that I like pretty pictures, and there are plenty of those here. That’s already a good sign! You know what, the author shares each army that he’s put out on display, so let’s take this one piece at a time:

  • Deathguard: These are gribbly, and filthy, and there seem to be a lot of conversions. I love the big guys along the back, especially that bizarre, clawed doll-thing. It’s sinister and beautiful.
  • Khorn Orruks: A really cool idea. It always disappointed me a little in Warhammer that the vast, vast, vast majority of non-Daemon Chaos miniatures were humans. Oh, and that one little faction of big-hatted dwarfs, I suppose. It’s cool to see some bloodthirsty, skull-collecting Orruks letting rip.
  • Fleshforge (Slave to Darkness): Oh, I like this. An AoS army made up of mostly 40K parts. Chaos Warriors are so heavily armoured that they’ve long been used in Chaos Space Marine conversions, so it’s nice to see this trend reversed. Seeing the CSM parts used, roughed up, etc, it all just works. I love the guy at the front with the cool, lightning-esque parts. He really grabs the eye.
  • Tzeentch Daemons: Some nice Tzeentch Daemons. it’s cool to see mixed colours among the Brimstone Horrors, and I like the darker purple of the Pink Horrors. Those Greenish tongues really pop against the darker colours.
  • Chaostodes: Unusual to see Chaos Custodes. I like that the conversion,s from these photos, are characterful without going OTT. The original models are so nice and it’s great that they’re not lost in the shuffle, as it were. I especially like the bikers!
  • Grand Alliance Chaos: I like the idea of adding one of each of the Start Collecting sets. Yeah, these are nice minis, painted well. The orange on the Nurgle bois stands out really nicely.
  • Eldar: The pink helmets and elements along with the dark armour is cool. I’ve got some Eldar I want to paint up as well, but I’m not intending to do quite so dark, I think.
  • Tyranids: Just some of the big beasties here, and that’s what I like about the Tyranids. The colour scheme is nice and simple, and I like the kind of dry, rough look that the armour had. It looks like the guys are the front (Tyrant Guard? I don’t know ‘nids) have has some texture paint used on their carapaces to carry that forward. I do like using texture paint, myself.
  • Children of the Weirwood: Oh, there’s some stuff here I might want to steal… These look great, really capturing a dark, forest-spirit theme that is really sinister.

I love how many of these are converted, and how well the author can carry a theme through an army. I’d like to display my own minis once I’m done with them, but I’m not really sure how I can. There’s not space in the hobby room for more bookshelves and I don’t think I want to spread things through the house. Will have to think about it. Thanks a lot for sharing. Most inspiring!

We had RPG group today and my character did nothing @ Witch on a Bicycle I was looking for Shadowrun posts and I found this nice little account of a gaming session. From the title, I didn’t think it would be so interesting, but it actually made for a good read and led me to reading back through the author’s other Shadowrun posts. I really enjoyed both the article and dive through the author’s previous content!

* * *

This week on NoRerolls, we shared an article about mental health in the World of Darkness and took a look at some highlights from the DriveThruRPG urban fantasy sale. I also posted some test models from a new project, the Garden of Nurgle. I’m pretty pumped for this project, representing my first conversions in years!

Catch ya’ll next week!

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