I love the Christmas/Summer holiday. Two weeks, no work, just the family. As the kids got older and we had a third, gaming/hobby has felt the squeeze I've got a couple of summer games lined up including Armada tonight. Still haven't seen Rogue One but no stress, plenty of time to fit that in. I felt like painting something today so knocked out an old tank as a test scheme for some Alpha-Legion. Yep I'm getting some space Marines. I've had some before, maybe 14 years ago, whenever 3rd edition was. I'd always kind of liked the setting - the background from the early 3rd Ed and before. Like with Warhammer, I'd got exposed to it via a 90s video game, Space hulk in this case. At the point I lost interest and started playing Flames of War, I had been about to start an Alpha-Legion force. However, the gameplay was pretty poor by war games standards and I found I didn't actually see anything to identify with in the setting. That's probably why I ended up with the enigmatic Alpha Legion. In the last few years, they've made the Horus Heresy its own game and it's meant to be a little less stupid and more playable than 40k proper. I shall see.
I have enjoyed listening to a few audio books based on the 'period' and especially liked the Alpha Legion one. For the few I've listened to, the standout contrast to the brutal misery of the 40k setting was the Crusade before the actual civil war went down: hope, exploration, and high-ideals. The Alpha Legion one was interesting, the central idea was they might be good guys after all (figures). However, I was more taken with their speculation on whether the ideas underpinning the Crusade actually made rational sense, and their pragmatic approach. So I can understand these guys. Generally a big hurdle for this type of hobby is supposed to be cost but they look fine considering I've been buying Infinity Miniatures. Anyway, I'm a sucker for boxed games and haven't bought anything Wargames related for ages so decided to ignore the price and ordered from Mightyape. With some random Marines I had, and a couple of tanks (two other old Rhinos seem to have gone missing) I glean from battle-scribe that I can field 2000pts with the box set. That's the point level I can take the Wiley Primarch, Alpharius (or maybe Omegon) himself. Should be fun and if I'm not enthused with the official rules, there are always alternatives. At the least, it will be an enjoyable project for the break. My new stuff arrives on Thurs.
In the meantime, I wanted to paint something so repaired a beaten up old Vindicator and gave it a spray coat last night. Then I subjected to it to my typical rush job. I think it works, for my purposes, and I'm confident I'll be bothered to paint the whole batch like this. I wanted to avoid the cartoonish way 40k miniatures seem traditionally to be painted. In particular, the aim seems to be to make them 'pop'. I don't even know what that means, maybe just something they like to type? I do find most of them too clean and high-lighted. Mine are going to be a bit dirtier. I've also planned a few short cuts. The base colour is a turquoise and then a metallic Tamiya blue in a few places. I aim for both shades to be visible, along with dust and grime. Seems to have worked on the tank? With the shortcuts, I'll hopefully be able to paint groups in one sitting. Realistically I hate to go back to finish things off so need something that finishes in a short window ie before I have to dive back and referee the kids.
Ruleswise, these seem like they'll suit me as well. They get a lot of flexibility in how they choose their perks and deploy. No king-hitters, just a force that can afford to lose a given unit, and a few tricks to mess with the enemy as well. But I don't really 'get' how this game works, I just hope it's a lot less static than the game I remember 14 odd years ago. You could move in that game, but aside from charging something, standing still and making the best use of your stats seemed to be the point of it all. I've also played Epic, that game is a completely different story. If the full game is unsatisfying, the stuff can be used for a skirmish game or I might port Bolt Action or Try Gates of Antares? Don't know. In the meantime, for the 40k fans, my summation of 30k+40k: The 'point' with the XX Legion is they take their time to set up their opponents to collapse completely when they actually strike. They call that part the Harrowing. The Heresy is their origin story. Given no one ever knew just how big the XX Legion got, where they went, and what they aim to achieve in the 40k setting.... they are obviously lining up that killing blow on the Imperium as the final demonstration of their superiority, and last duty for the Emperor. The 40k setting is just the final Harrowing, one Legion against Imperium and Traitors both, and their targets just haven't realised yet. Be good to see someone put the Grimdark out of its misery.
Thanks for reading and happy holidays.