Mark of War Coming to Kickstarter

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Friend of The Shell Case, Gav Thorpe has been a busy boy. Not content with penning novels of various types he’s also been working with Warpforged Games to produce Mark of War – a tabletop wargame for the PC & Mac. No I haven’t hit my head. The idea is that you can collect armies just like you would in the physical realm, but in the virtual world of Mark of War instead. And then you get to watch them knock seven bells out of each other. What’s not to love?

Launching on Kickstarter in August it looks the woeful Shadow of the Horned Rat only, you know, good.

Banner_GameplayI’ve lifted the Key Features from the website to give you an idea of the level of awesome involved in this project:

Game Overview   Mark of WarI think you’ll agree, it all looks rather groovy. It’s the answer that the ever-expanding and international community of wargamers needs. I’d love to play my fellow hosts on Of Dice and Men but in the absence of several thousand pounds to go and visit the only option up to now was Vassal. Which I hate. No offence to anyone who uses it but I can’t stand it. So Mark of War is very exciting indeed. Plus it’s a new fantasy world. Written by Gav Thorpe. Who has some experience in that area. So it’s going to be awesome.

If we’re very well-behaved he might even write something about the game for us.

I’m really looking forward to this Kickstarter launching and the fully completed product at the end of it. And for anyone worried that we’re at the raggedy edge of progress, here’s a reassuring view for those of us that remember White Dwarf from when Mr Thorpe appeared at the fore of an army or two…

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Either head over to the Mark of War website or like their Facebook page to keep abreast of developments.

 

Last Saga – Final Hours

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So I owe the guys at Rocket Games an apology. I’d promised I’d write about the Beta rules of their game right back when their Kickstarter first…er…started. And whilst I read the rules I didn’t right about it. Or anything else. For almost a month. Can’t go into the whys and wherefores but it did mean I inadvertently dicked on a Kickstarter that I believe deserves every success. And they’re in to the last 2 days of their campaign.

Last Saga is 313% funded which is awesome. And having gotten to know the guys at Rocket I can say they deserve every penny and more. Having read the rules the game looks like a lot of fun. It has parallels with Bolt Action in the breakdown of actions but it has the flare of the cinematic as one would expect from a skirmish game, particularly one so driven by the narrative.

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Which, for me, is Last Saga’s big draw. It holds a butt tonne of stock in the story it tells both in the pages and on the board. This is a very very very good thing. All the factions have a distinctive feel rather than the same basic force with a wardrobe change. There is, of course, the bevy of skills and upgrades that make the different bods fun and make the campaign the best bit about skirmish games. I love the diversity of weapons (and big armoured suits) and the fact that these soldiers feel the strains of war – again, much like Bolt Action and Saga. Games of fine pedigree to be inspired by.

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Thanks to the success of the kickstarter thus far lot of models have been made available, all of which are on the kickstarter page. The rules are already undergoing revisions ready for release and models are being readied for production. It’s a very exciting time for the guys at Rocket.

Head over to the guy’s Facebook page to find out more about their game and then head to their kickstarter page to give them all the money.

Last Saga on Kickstarter

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Today the Last Saga Kickstarter launches. A pretty dudey looking 32mm sci-fi skirmish game from Rocket Games. They’ve been hard at work teasing our pants off on their Facebook page and it’s all looking pretty sexy. It’s a brave move to go for 32mm over the more popular 28mm & 30mm. Hopefully there’ll be some cool scenery to tie it all together once the Kickstarter is done and dusted.

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Their plan, with successful kickstarter backing, is to finish the 3D modelling process and produce rules and the two main factions – the Council and the Uruhvel to allow us to knock seven bells out of one another across a board. The renders so far look pretty tasty. A nice balance of a lot of my favourite sci-fi IPs. So fairly humble beginnings which is a refreshing change.

3Dmodel_A23Dmodel_A4And by the looks of things there’s a nice mix of hi-tech and occult/organic tech styling which can only mean some bonkers model options in the game. Which is nice.

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We’ll be taking a look at the beta rules and chatting to the guys to find out more about Last Saga and the kind of face smashing goodness we can expect from the game in the very near future. But for now I think you’ll agree, the models are gonna be pretty sweet.

If you’d like to learn more or pledge your hard earned coin, click here.

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Ichiban Painting Kickstarter – The Closing Moments

The Games & Gear / Ichiban Painting Kickstarter has less than 45 minutes to go but we thought we’d give it one last hurrah to see if they can break the £90,000 mark.

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It’s hugely satisfying to see someone from our community benefit from the passion and devotion of that community in such a positive way. Having spoken to Hugo on and off during the campaign he’s been blown away by the support and faith people have shown in him and his product. He never imagined the project would approach 3000% of the intended target.

So if you have a few spare moments – for there are only moments left – and you fancy a shiny new set of brushes then go here.

If you need some convincing, check out my review of the brushes here.

Ichiban Paint Brushes – A Review

With a week to go of Ichiban Painting and Games & Gears’ kickstarter to go we’d had the opportunity to take a look at the brushes themselves and report back on our findings. With the kickstarter (at time of writing) 1907% funded it may seem arbitrary to do a review but far from it.

Whilst we go way back with Hugo and I had great fun writing some rules for one of his Golden Demon entries in 2012 we pride ourselves on impartiality and that means reviewing them.

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So first impressions? Pretty good. The case is a nice touch and finds the balance between size and practicality. The logo is a little cheap and I kinda wanted to see Hugo’s on there as well. But to be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered, something embossed would have been more in keeping with the premium feel the guys are shooting for.

The brushes are beautiful. Slim and elegant, they look more like a set of writer’s pens and there’s something incredibly satisfying about putting the brush together. It’s the smooth action of a fountain pen. And they’re so very light. I can’t decide if they’re lighter than wooden brush but I could care over a gram either way. And they look way cool in black. My problem is that the paint doesn’t appear that hard-wearing and the brushes will scrape and chip against one another in the pouch. Or anything else I imagine, such is the price of working with metal. That and they’re going to get covered in paint anyway so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

They’re wider, too than a standard brush but this is a good thing for two reasons. The first being they sit far more comfortably in the hand than a standard brush, again more akin to a pen, and that dramatically reduces hand fatigue. Which means you can paint for longer. Huzzah. The second is, thanks to the wider handle, there’s a wider barrel so there’s more bristles which has two benefits. A better point and a better charging.

This all adds up to a rather well-rounded painting experience. The brushes are comfortable and the sable bristles stand up to punishment well. They keep their shape better than anything I’ve ever purchased from a hobby shop or a Games Workshop and they retake their shape well. The one thing that would have been really cool is if the handle, that the painty end slots into, to form the cap, had a point shaper built into it so you knew every time you put the brush away it was going to come looking beautiful and perfect.

The stand available is a nice touch. If I’m honest I’m not sure how much I’d use it as I have to pack all my hobby stuff away between uses so a stand is just another thing to find a home for when the brushes tuck so nicely away. However it does make life that little bit easier when it comes to finding them and finding the right one. It’ll also help with the chipping issue as they won’t be rolling around on a tile or table. It’s a simple solution to the problem and easy to put together it just doesn’t jazz me. But I’m a fluff gamer, painting is something I do if I find myself alone for a few days without a wife and child and I’ve exhausted all the really good porn. So hardly ever. Lee, however, who has a space and a table and likes to get his hobby on regularly I imagine will really see the benefit.

However, one of the best things about the paint set is that they’re so nice you’ll want to use them. Next generation brushes is a tad gimmicky for me. They’re still sticks with bristles in the end at the end of the day, but what they are is good quality, comfortable and with good coverage. That makes for an easier time painting. So I’d say more of an evolution.

You’ll also be paying twice what you’d pay for a set of the same size brushes from someone like The Army Painter. However, you get what you pay for and, on the basis that they brushes are far more durable than anything I’ve seen elsewhere, I’d say they’re worth the money. But the defects like the paint scratching so easily does cause an eyebrow to be raised when the word premium gets used. If you’re paying twice the price for something I expect twice the quality. A better powder painting coating process (or one at all if they weren’t powder coated) should solve the scratching issue though when the brushes go into full production. Mine are a review set after all.

So is the kickstarter worth your hard-earned coin? Yes. Yes if you’re like me who hardly ever paints: because it’ll encourage you to do so. Yes if you’re regular painter and you’re fed up with your brushes knackered out after basecoating 30 marines.  And yes you fancy yourself as a pro because one of the minds behind the brushes is a pro. If you’re a tight git who’d much rather get em cheap and throw em out then this probably isn’t the kickstarter for you.

To read more or to pledge go here.

Ichiban Painting Kickstarter Update

We reported, just prior to it going live, on Ichiban Painting and Games & Gear’s Kickstarter for their range of paint brushes. For those that haven’t seen them, they’re a pretty awesome set made from aluminium and designed to be the perfect balance of quality, affordability, and convenience as the brushes come part to allow for ease of transport whilst protecting the bristles. They really are quite special. So much so that two of our number at The Shell Case have pledged real cash money.

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I’m pleased to report that the project was fully funded in 9 minutes. It was at almost 400% funded in the first hour. And how, 4 days on the campaign stands at 1282% (at time of writing) funded with 16 days to go.

Hugo and the team are currently working on some new stretch goals as they’ve been caught a little off guard with the overwhelming amount of support the community has shown them. As someone who supported this site in its early days, Hugo deserves every penny towards his endeavours and I am proud to lend what support I can.

I have the great fortune to review these brushes which I’ll be doing in the next couple of days (really it’s just an excuse to paint) and I’ll be sharing my findings with you all to help make up the minds of anyone sitting on the fence.

For now all I can do is urge you to check out the Ichiban/Game & Gears Kickstarter and buy yourself a swanky set of paint brushes. Their page can be found here.

 

Mierce Miniatures’ Darklands

Visiting Salute this year we saw some pretty amazing things. Genuinely original games, very patient girlfriends and wives who clearly weren’t gamers but still willing to feign interest as their other halves dragged them around the hall – girls in the room at all is always surprising (which says a lot), Boba Fett wandering around and models that defied belief in their quality and detail. One such range came from the Mierce Miniatures stand. The whole team fawned over the plain resin and painted models, cooing approvingly at dragons, chimeras, minotaurs and other creatures of myth and legend.

As one would expect, premium models come at premium prices. But Mierce Miniatures are running a kickstarter. Whilst it’s fully funded this is very a sexy looking range it’s worth a punt.

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Mierce are looking for money to fund their latest version of one of their games. In return, you get a sweet deal on some models. They’ve already reached their target of £20,000 and are well into the stretch goals. With 9 days to go, you can invest in a great new game. Plus minis like this:

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As Matt would say- “PRETTY TOYS”

Whilst at The Shell Case we avoid pledging on Kickstarters to retain objectivity, if we were going to put our hands in our now distinctly empty pockets, it’d be for this. The Kickstarter runs until April 23rd. Just follow this link and check it out yourself.

Dreadball Xtreme on Kickstarter

Dreadball_logoOnce again Mantic are taking to Kickstarter for their next game project instead of fronting the capital themselves. I like Mantic, I like their games and…well, their models are okay, but I’m disappointed that they are once again using crowd funding. Aside from the obvious, and worn out, argument that that’s not what Kickstarter is for: surely they must know by now that if they produce a Dreadball game it’ll make money?

But what do I know? Of the $100,000 target (no you’re not reading that wrong), they’ve raised over $275,000 with 22 days to go.

So what is it? Well, basically it’s street Dreadball. It’s Necromunda meets Blood Bowl. No really. It’s Dreadball without the rules and copious amounts of gang violence. They may as well have named it Dreadbowl or Bloodball.

But it does also look pretty tasty. And the quality of the models seems to be much higher this time although there’s still on 3 variants. Again. The stretch goals also hint at where they’re taking the game. Which is, obviously, in a very similar direction to Dreadball only not. For a start there’s different game modes which can mean lots more players on the…er…pitch? Which certainly adds an interesting dynamic to a game that relied on careful team balancing.

However, despite the models, cool new playing arena and all that joy, I kinda feel like people will be buying the same game only with a different box.

As always, though, we shall reserve judgement until we get our grubby little mits on a copy.

If you’re interested in the Kickstarter, click here.

Warmachine Tactics

So it’s finally happened, the heavy hitters of the wargaming community are finally moving into Kickstarter as a way to fund new projects rather than invest profits – as if they didn’t make enough to begin with.

Privateer Press has put up the Warmachine Tactics kickstarter, seeking the modest sum of $550,000 to create a video game version of the much played (and much maligned on this site) game. They’ve already smashed through $438,000 with 29 days to go so obviously it’ll get funded by the loyal, and no doubt sticky panted, fan base.

So far it looks average. Graphically it’s okay but it’s nothing exciting. It’s basically just an animated version of the tabletop game in so much as although  the characters move and the weapons fire, it feels like stop frame animation of action figures and there’s no real interaction with the environment. Granted there’s some nice animations when people get blown up but the world around them is unaffected so it just feels a bit put on. It is still in development but at present it all looks a bit clunky and horrid, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

I could rant about how this isn’t what Kickstarter should be for but if Kickstarter themselves don’t give a fuck then what’s the point?

Anyway, here’s the Kickstarter video. It’s got more ham than a tin of Spam but stick with it as it does show quite a bit of the game play.