Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Flames of War starter bundles from Waylands

Waylandgames.co.uk have announced Flames of War starter bundle deals for sale on their online store. Waylands are a great company with a good range and fine customer service. I've been very impressed by them in my dealings so far, not least because of the way in which they've gone out to bat for the Australasian gamer with Games Workshop over the international (outside of the EU) sales embargo. I plan on covering this issue in a future blog, but for now its very nice to see someone having the balls to stand up to GW. Importantly, for the island-dweller, waylands also ship for free on flames of war orders!

Now, they're selling bundles for most of the armies over the more common company types. To illustrate how good the deal is I'm going to run through the British Infantry bundle.

The bundle contains:

1x British Rifle Company box
1x Field Battery Royal Artillery box
1x 6pdrs AT gun platoon box
1x British late war paint set
1x Open Fire Rules starter box

All of this for the price of £129.60 or $250.55 NZD. This is a substantial saving, given that the rrp of the bundle is $342 NZD! (though to be fair, buying from the UK is always much cheaper with the strength of the NZD at present).

In addition to the great price, waylands will issue a £10 voucher to be spent on gale force 9 products so you will have everything you need to base your figures ready for the table.

So if you've been looking at getting into FoW or the missus is getting sick of you hanging around on weekends, you can't really go wrong with the waylands bundle as a cheap way of entering the hobby!

Infinity: Terraforming Bourak

I've aligned myself with Haqqislam in the world of Infinity; a combination of the low-tech miniatures with less of an anime aesthetic (in my opinion) and the background story of a "new islam" reverting to its humanist roots really appealed to me.  The happy coincidence of this choice is that the Haqqislam planet, Bourak, is a desert planet much like our middle east.  I see this as an opportunity to create a playing board a little bit different to the urban landscapes I've seen throughout the Infinity community, with (hopefully) some cross-over into terrain for the modern skirmish wargame "Force on Force" by Ambush Alley Games.  A multi-purpose board will save on storage, time, and money!

I see the Haqqislam faction as having been influenced by the Fremen of Frank Herbert's Dune in addition to the obvious contemporary middle-eastern and islamic cultures.  I've also looked at Tatooine from Star Wars for inspiration; its another well-known science fiction desert setting after all.  I've collected samples of the following art to try and get a feel for how desert settlements can be portrayed in Sci-Fi:

"Dune" by thegryph.deviantart.com.
A mixture of high-tech and desert hovels.

A scene influenced by a middle-eastern bazaar with high-tech elements

Tatooine: Rough structures with high-tech fixtures.
The design of the buildings seems subtly different to contemporary culture,
giving the landscape its own flavour.

I think that the above images will be useful.  I'm not sure that they're exactly what I'm going for here but they've given me a few ideas:
  • Subtly changing the shapes and designs of buildings can make them seem both traditional and futuristic at the same time;
  • It may not be flavourful enough to just "strap on" a few token high-tech items to traditional style buildings - they may look out of place, and I suspect that the lines of traditional buildings may not be crisp enough for the Infinity aesthetic;
  • Deserts are dusty and dirty places - while Haqqislam are supposedly the masters of terraforming, I doubt they keep their landscapes spotlessly dusted; and
  • I could recreate the traditional middle-eastern bazaar with an Infinity high-tech theme.  For awnings, perhaps suspended sails with crisp lines, or awnings made out of coloured perspex similar to the terrain pieces made by Micro Art Studios. 
My intentions at this stage are to create a desert themed board with buildings made out of apparently natural material (modelled stone and clay) that blend in and function well with the environment.  This could work with pre-made terrain designed for a contemporary setting, such as the resin pieces pictured below.  In terms of having a multi-purpose board these models would be ideal as with removable/interchangeable parts they could be appropriate for both settings.  My concerns are with this is that they won't quite be unique enough for Infinity in that they don't really fit with the "flavour" or aesthetic of the world so well, and they may not necessary fit in with the background of Haqqislam.  They're the leaders in the fields of medicine and terraforming, so they're hardly likely to be residing in mud-brick hovels.

A resin middle-eastern themed hovel
from www.colonialsteamboat.co.uk
A two story building (converts to ruin)
from the Miniature Building Authority
My favourite: A two-story hovel
from www.crescent-root.com
A single-story resin hovel
from www.thewarstore.com

All of these terrain pieces are fine.  Some better than others, and some certainly more worth the price tag.  I think they'd all be passable with some modification for an Infinity table.  However, they're an expensive option, especially given that they'd need to be shipped to New Zealand; in light of this is "passable" good enough?  I don't really think they fit too well with the infinity aesthetic - there is a bit much damage to the walls of the hovels for my taste, and I'm not too sure how old buildings in Infinity should look.  Bourak hasn't been colonised for that long, after all.

The other idea is to scratch-build buildings using foamboard and other materials.  This would allow me to design the buildings to have clean though subtly traditional lines more in line with the Infinity aesthetic, and would be significantly cheaper, though more time consuming, than using pre-made resin terrain.  Unfortunately, this would probably mean that the terrain wouldn't be appropriate for use with Force on Force.  There is of course a third option - paper terrain.  I suspect that I may utilise this while I am in the process of building more resilient terrain.  I'm not particularly "crafty" or creative-minded (years of doing language based stuff at university probably forced all of that out of me), so I expect that I'd find making buildings slow going.

What do you think?  Does anyone have any relevant experiences with making terrain for Infinity?  Any hints, tips, or favourite products that you could comment on?  Any help would be appreciated!


Hi Everyone.

I suppose I should introduce myself since Mike has tried to mention me in every post he makes.
No I'm not imaginary and I did pretty much buy all that stuff on impulse (although most of it was while it was on a heavy discount.). It is as he said it is.

My name is Garth.
I have been interested in miniatures and gaming since my early years. Hell I think it was I who introduced it to our high school. Bringing in a Gamesworkshop catalogue that looked something akin to a newspaper crossed with a dirty magazine Passed from teenager to teenager until it was tattered and torn (it did the rounds like any 'forbidden' material would at a high school.). I never did get it back.

During these years Gamesworkshop's rules were the only ones that were featured in our lives. Everything else had no meaning. Any other games, rules or miniatures were unkown or ignored. Weekends were filled with sport and then an entire evening of dice/junk food fueled enjoyment
Warhammer ruled on high.

But eventually its hold began to wain. The influence of drinking, girls, tertiary education and paying off student loans took precedent.
All war gaming had to take a back seat when it came to setting your self up with a 'LIFE'.

5 or 6 years pass without even the thought of small miniature plastic soldiers battling for supremacy of a 6' x 4' piece of table.

Until, you finish study. You got the girl (or had...). You have a job nothing like you studied for. You've paid off a hefty chunk of your student loan and are somehow managing to save a little bit of money after spending the rest on booze and rent. But your life still feels hollow. Something is missing. Something you enjoyed for 5 solid years.

About a year ago Mike and I were contemplating on whether or not to get back into war gaming. We both have a very keen interest in Table top hobbies and we also share a love for military history ( particularly Napoleonics and WWII.). We decided to take a wide berth of GamesWorkshop rule sets (We both still both have soft spots for Warhammer and Mordheim but GODDAMN the stuff is so expensive in NZ!.) and focus on historical gaming. It was during our research into the various rule compilations and miniatures of the Napoleonic era that we stumbled across the Perry twins website http://www.perry-miniatures.com/. These guys are INCREDIBLE. It was their miniatures alone that started me collecting again. The sculpts are amazing! Each miniature is a work of ART. I promptly bought a box of Cuirassiers http://www.perry-miniatures.com/index2.html and have never looked back.

From there we moved into the WWII era. Flames of war being of particular interest to us since it has its origins in NZ (Mike had tried to introduce this to me in High school but it never really took off.). Mike had already bought some British miniatures a few years back off of a auction site, so with him going the Allies I went Axis. The Fallschirmjager to be precise. Our two chosen armies were the perfect historical combination. Throughout the war these two faced each other again and again in combat. Opening the way for us to have many re-enactments of their battles. Crete, Sicily, Cassino. It's all there. What more could a gamer want. I know have 2500 pts of Fallschirmjager to paint through (GULP...) as well as about another 1700pts of Panzer Lehr (which I picked up mighty cheap! ;) ).

I never have been much of a painter. Most of my Warhammer army back in the day was Unpainted and Unassembled. But I am definitely trying to make up for my 'laziness' at high school. I will post some pictures of my work once I figure out how to get my Camera working with my computer and would welcome and tips/ criticism on my painting.

Mike has also started on Infinity. A particular pet project of his. Although maybe not as keen in my approach to the Infinity game as he, I am still looking forward to giving this a whirl. I enjoyed the Mordheim skirmish game ALOT and this being a Sci-Fi skirmish game it can only bring great things. The Nomads models appeal to me the most out of all the available factions so I have decided to go with them. So far I have ordered but not yet received a starter set and also an Intruder to make up a 150pt list. Hopefully at some stage in the near future Mike and I will have the chance to have a game of this very compelling rule set.

I hope you will enjoy reading about our progress through this exciting and fascinating hobby and welcome any tips and suggestions that you would like to share.

Many thanks and happy gaming.