Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review, WiPs


I'd hoped to get an Impetus unit finished for today's post, but of late painting time has been limited to those short minutes after my daughter goes to sleep and before I follow suit, a window of time that seems smaller and smaller of late.  It likely doesn't help that I've been distracted by other painting at the same time, including working out a possible colour scheme for a Blood Bowl team.  I thought what I'd do instead is post some WiP pictures, and give my first thoughts on the new SBH rules.

Windows.  Always too small.

To start, I've been plugging away on some more phalangites for my Antigonids.  The original plan for my 400 point list was to add at least another three deep block, though it's a bit of an open question as to whether they'd be regulars or pantodapoi.  I'm using OG seleucid pike figures, to distinguish the unit from my core pike.  These are the guys in trousers.


I've also gone for a more uniform look.  In the past, while I've used a consistent palette across a unit, I've tended to vary where colours appeared on a figure.  The idea with these guys is that unlike my veterans, this group would have been recruited as a body, and equipped at the same time.  Antigonus was ridiculously wealthy, so the idea of uniform equipment isn't too out of bounds.  Not sure yet if it'll work, but I wanted to try the idea.

I've also been puttering with a colour scheme for a planned Ork Blood Bowl team.  I'm thinking orange and blue, but I think the colours I've got so far are maybe a bit dark.  I've been using some of the old GW foundation paints (the ones they just discontinued), and while the coverage is good, they tend to be a little dull.  I'm definitely going with the blue and orange, but I'm hoping the finished product will be a little more eye-bleedingly garish.


I also need to play with the skin tones a little.  When I did orks for 40k some years ago, I stuck to a pretty simple DA green + off-white for the skin tones, which works fine en-masse.  For these guys, I'd like to make the skin tones a little richer - maybe experiment with some oppositional shading, things like that.


In terms of SBH, I should begin by pointing out I'm still rather new to the game, so you can take the following with a grain of salt.  First impression is that this version of the rules is larger.  In part this seems to be a product of an effort to include more examples and clarifications of the core rules.  These fall into three categories.

The first involves a clear effort to illustrate each rule or mechanic (this is especially characteristic of the combat section.  The second involve comments on game design (it work this way in SBH because . . .).  I found the latter interesting.  While it's become common to include a preface with comments on game design, it was nice to see an ongoing discussion throughout the rule-set.  This may have been prompted by past questions the designers received, but it was still cool to peek "behind the curtain".

Just pay no attention when you do.

The third category of comments seem intended to prevent "gamey" interpretations, and many take the form of "when we say x, it means x, not some irritating reinterpretation which benefits you". While one of the charms of the game is it's simplicity (I saw a recent blog post where the author ran a game for his kids, listing stats as "do stuff" and "fight" - if this was you, please remind me so I can link!), there's always the chance of playing against TFG.   One example is they take the time to specify that any contact between bases counts as contact.  Tell me that wasn't a response to an in-game conversation between a designer and TFG over what, exactly, was meant by "contact".

This guy.  Him.

There's a few other additions that seem intended to smooth game play or avoid exploitations, including an automatically available move when sufficiently distant from the enemy, a minimum move, and some clarification of visibility when on the edges of terrain.

They look to have shifted a few of the supplementary special abilities to the main rules, and two nice additions are the inclusion of the formula used to calculate the points of a model, and a complete list of available special abilities.  There's also a smattering of optional rules, with an accompanying explanation of rationales and consequences (if this rule x bugs you, try doing y instead, but be aware doing y will likely lead to consequence z).

Overall impression is that this edition is an improvement over the original rules.  Given my already positive impression of the game, I'd heartily recommend them.  They've all the advantages of the original game, with a clear effort to clarify, avoid exploitation, and give insight into design choices.  Given the cost of the .pdf is under $10, and you can use pretty much any figures you want with them, why haven't you bought them already?



  1. Thank you! One downside of the Revised edition's longer text is that some concepts are repeated. I am happy you got all the motivations behind the notes. First edition was designed to be read cover to cover and if you missed a sentence, a rule went flying over your head. This is more conversational and long winded because I expect people to skip paragraphs and go hunting for the bits they need.

  2. Those Antigonids are absolutely fantastic! I think the "uniform" feel is going to work out very well for those, especially with the colors you are using. Looking forward to seeing more.