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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Hub Systems Podcast Episode 11 - Systems Wars Part 2

So after a week off due to illness, we return with the second and concluding part of our System Wars roundup, plus the second instalment of our new regular feature "Hit or Miss" - enjoy!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Wild West Exodus 2-player set unboxing

So back in September, after hearing good things several times on Jaded Gamercast about Wild West Exodus, I found myself in the possession of some excess funds (from selling a bunch of 40k stuff) which I decided to grab the 2-player starter set of WWE. Unfortunately it turned out there was some problem and it never arrived, as regular readers/listeners will know we moved and then, out of the blue, it arrived whilst Oscar and I were at Reading Warfare.

So, here's the box - the two-player set is using the age-old outlaws and lawmen matchup that I'm sure many of us played as kids;

The front of the box has some nice comic-style artwork whilst the rear of the box sports the contents;

Now this set cost £64, and you get 28 figures, so on models alone the set works out at around £2.30 each, which isn't bad. Moving onto the contents, the box is end-opening and contains the rulebook, construction guides for the models, stat cards and a bubble-wrap pack which has the templates and tokens in;

Looking into the bubble wrap more closely....

Here you can see three clear plastic templates, four silver and bronze coloured 10-sided dice and a sprue with the tokens in gold-bronze plastic. The templates are pretty thick and sturdy, seems like they'll last a long time and they have a real quality feel to them.

Now onto the minis - you get three main sprues plus two small ones (each with a single special support character)

Having a closer look here, these are very nicely sculpted and cast figures, and I can see why JG were keen on them.

Now I know pretty much nothing more about the game, so it will have to wait until a future post to talk in any way about that, but my original impression is pretty positive. Next I'll be building the minis and coming back to this when that's this space!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Reading Warfare 2015

On Saturday morning Oscar and I got up early, packed the car with Firestorm ships and overnight bags, and made our way to the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading for this years Firestorm Armada tournament at the Warfare show. Oscar took his trusty Aquans, with a couple of modifications to his old list, adding in some Gunships and a Sulis Heavy cruiser.

It was a great weekend - good to see Firestorm players experienced and green, familiar and new. The whole thing was very well set up and run by Chris from the Wargames Association of Reading, it all going even smoother than last year. The competition was also held in the main hall, which meant great exposure for the game....there were certainly a lot of people stopping, looking and asking questions, which again is a good sign.

As always, there were some fantastic cinematic moments - Admiral's vessels foldspace drives rupturing to send them into a nearby planet, detonating mines that destroyed the ship which laid them and crippled its squad mates, pristine battleships prized in boarding actions and whisked away....

Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun, and once again, the Firestorm tables were the centre of much laughter, cries of rejoicing and despair...its one of the things I love about the game, it's such an inclusive and infectious experience - you want to tell the other players about the 9AD shot that landed 17 hits and double critted the Dindrenzi Heavy Cruiser (yes, this really Oscar!).

Also enormously proud of my "boy" - he was one of the two tied for Most Sporting, and after a chat he was more than happy to take himself out of contention because of his placement...was great to hear such positive feedback from everyone. How cool is he?

Anyway, enough of my ravings, have a look at some of the action;

Here's what they were fighting for! In addition Spartan added prize support for 1st-3rd places (including a box of the new asteroids each), best painted and most sporting.

The tournament in mid-swing

Evidence of the cowardly Terrans hiding behind planets...surprisingly not commanded by Dan Bird this year!

Some rather nice RotO Directorate

But Chris Alton's Aquans won the painting competition, by some margin.

Ian Duff's Tarakians being nibbled to death by Aquans...

...who showed no remorse to anyone!

Works Raptor also tried this tactic...

...but it didn't go all their own way! The plucky Terran was destroyed eventually, but they sold their lives dearly

Oscar's Aquans mixing it up at short range with the Relthoza

Was nice to see some Ba'kash...even if they were playing "merry-go-round" with the Terrans around this planetoid!

The Veydreth proved brutal against the Sorylians...maybe that's why they're allies?

At the end of the tournament - well played to all!

Friday, 13 November 2015

IPMS Scale Modelworld

Now we have broadband again (and fibre, no less!), I can put up the photos from our visit to Scale Modelworld, which we talk about in Episode 7 of The Hub Systems.

The winner of the competition...take a look at the belts through the window and the fire extinguisher...great detail

Oscar with Battlestar Galactica and it's rag-tag fleet (and the shifty guy behind him we mention on the show!!)

Mark VII Viper and Cylon Raider

Some great internal detail on these kits

This was the Shelby Cobra that won 2nd place in one of the Cars category - we think it should have been 1st....

A nice little vignette here, with the Star Wars bike trooper reading Guardians of the Galaxy...quite funny!

Great Cthulhu...

The leather detail on this Roman soldier bust was phenomenal...the Shield Maiden behind it won, but several of the minis were (in our opinion) better.

This German Paratrooper had some fabulous blending

This 1/32nd Tigercat had been scratch built from scale aluminium plate...insane!

This He-162 was fairly standard...until you realise that it was done by a 6 year old!!!

This is the 1/700 scale SM-79...remarkable for the fact that it was less than an inch long!

Oscar loved these egg planes...(actually he hated them, but I thought I'd wind him up!). This one he didn't mind because it was a parody of itself....otherwise, what was the point?

The wood effects on several models was just staggering

This was the F-16 with the captive rivets on the panels

There was some pretty amazing armour there too, here's just a couple of examples.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Holding Pattern

Hi All,

Just to let you know that The Hub Systems will be a little delayed this week due to our ISP not providing us with broadband until today...apologies and we'll be speaking to you all soon!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Hub Systems Episode 6 - Playing Cthulhu Wars

Moving house has been disruptive, but we recorded in advance...unfortunately our ISP still hasn't sorted out our fibre broadband, so hence the late Blog post...

Monday, 26 October 2015

The Hub Systems Episode 5 - Planetfall

A little later than intended due to some technical issues and the fact we're in the middle of packing, here's Episode 5 where Dan Bird of Slayer games joins us for a discussion of Spartan Games Planetfall.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Veydreth Unboxing

Well this is long overdue, but with work, moving, putting together the Podcast and general gaming, I have neglected these somewhat. I'll try to address this over the next couple of weeks.

So the first of these will be the Veydreth, and we'll start with the Patrol fleet

No surprises here - the usual sleeved box with full colour photography plus schematics and fluff

Inside we get the usual Spartan bubble bags protecting the resin, counters, bases and TACs

The most obvious ship in the box is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Predator battleship - mostly because the thing is mammoth! It's a huge slab of resin that could almost be used as a physical weapon to beat someone with! That doesn't stop it from carrying the usual level of detail that Spartan consistently put into their models.

The model does require some minimal assembly as the engines are separate pieces, plus it requires the flight stand peg adaptor fitting into the base.

The other capital ships in the Patrol fleet box are a bit of a break from the norm, but similar to the Ba'kash box, in that they are the Destroyers. These are probably the biggest departure from their first metal iterations, and have a much larger, beefed up but also slightly generic look to them - they could easily be Terran ships. Now, fluff-wise, the Veydreth have been getting tech from Hawker Industries for a while, but I'd still have preferred to see something a little different here.

Last in the box are the Corvettes, which are both really nice stat-wise, and really nice models - being sufficiently unique and interesting to really set them apart. The downside is that they sort of highlight the blandness of the Destroyers somewhat.

Next up is the Cruiser box

As always, we have the overhead view, fluff and contents on the reverse of the glossy sleeve

Whilst not as full as the Patrol Fleet box, the one thing that stands out when you open the box here are the number of components you are getting!

The cruisers each have 9 parts - a central hull, flight peg adaptor, nose, three engine and three "spikes". Four of these pieces per cruiser have alternatives - the three engine and nose pieces. This allows you to build both regular and assault versions of the ships.

Here's the common hull section, showing the detail and triangular cross-section geometry.

The last of the Veydreth boxes today are the Gunships

Each ship has almost as many components as the cruisers - eight in all this time, but there are no options and the hull section is dominant - the add-ons being very much just that.

The hull is a great casting, complex and detailed but still holding a general design feel very similar to that of the original hybrid resin and metal castings (which looked like one of these after a starvation diet!)

While I said there was no option in the gunships, as the engine drop-ons are hexagonal in outline you can actually put these on in different orientations, which gives a nod back to the V1 designs where the engines could be put in different positions as though they were vectoring in flight.

Overall the Veydreth releases are really good - in particular the Battleship and Cruisers stand out, and the little Corvettes are gorgeous. They are a brutal force to face, and they look appropriately imposing when on the table.