Friday, June 24, 2011

White Dwarf Review 378

So I signed up for a White dwarf subscription awhile back and got my first issue today, the Newest White Dwarf featuring a lot of stuff about the new Warhammer fantasy expansion Storm of Magic. Quick note, if you don't like reading, you can just pick out the red and bolded print to get the highlights.

(Warhammer) New Release Section  7 out of 10, most of the stuff isn't too new, but there are some surprises to make this section worth looking over.
So as everyone knows WD always starts up with a new release section, and while some might see this as just advertising I actually like it. First off, if anyone has ever read pretty much any magazine you will know that just about every other page is an advertisement, usually for something completely unrelated to what you are reading about. At least with WD you know what you are getting, and if you bought the mag, you obviously care at least a little about the game.

The new releases mainly feature the new storm of magic stuff. Detailed pictures of the new monsters (chimeara, manticore, black dragon, and cockatrice) are followed up by the new terrain (two sets, one with the magewrath throne, and balewind vortex while the other has the eternity stair and dreadfire portal).  Next are the new wizards which everyone has most likely seen (one for chaos warriors, demons, dark elves, and vampire counts). Next up we get to see a nice picture of the Storm of magic Book itself, which includes a cool spinner for seeing which magic lore is in ascendancy. BTW, i really do love the new Warhammer books, they just look beautiful to me, and I might actually pick up the storm of magic one. The next two pages contain the vortex templates, new magic dice, and the battle magic set.

Finally, after all this, I turn the page and my eyes practically pop out of my head! the lammasu and great taurus from the chaos dwarf range are both being released in finecast! Talk about a surprise. Also the fen beast, dark emissary, truthsayer, and a brand new cold one sculpt are also being released in finecast. The release section ends with a preview of the new kill team game and some books from black library.

(Warhammer) A Magical Mealstrom 8 out of 10, check it out to get the low down on the new expansion, With a lot of new rules and descriptions this is definitely with the read.
This is basically your preview section for explaining what the Storm of Magic is, and how it effects and changes the game. Basically you get to cast awesome spells, tame great beasts (All 60 of which are available to EVERY army) and use some amazing artifacts. Each army gets storm of magic points to use in addition to the normal points for a game. Even Zoats are included! ZOATS!

(Warhammer) Scourging of the Southlands 3 out of 10, its short and nice, but not worth more than a minute or twos glance.
Just a cool picture and brief description of a Lizardmen vs. Skaven Storm of magic game.

(Warhammer) Here Be Monsters 5 out of 10, preview of the actual rules is nice, read the first page or so, and then you can probably skim the rest if your not into scultping
This section explains more about how monsters work in the storm of magic and gives the full rules for the Chimera. It is also an interview with Trish Cardon, the sculptor who did the four new monsters for the release. The end of the section gives a fully painted showing of the new black dragon kit, I personally want the wings, they would be awesome for a demon prince.

(Warhammer) Monsters for Hire 3 out of 10, really just a showcase without up close pictures, cool if your army is included, a pass if it isn't.
This section just showcases some of the studios armies for the new storm of magic expansion. It includes a tomb kings army, dwarves, orks, wood elves, and skaven.

(Warhammer) Battle Report: Chaos Warriors vs Dark Elves 7 out of 10, if you are thinking of getting storm of magic, check this out, it really gives you a feel how the new expansion plays out.
Without going into the turn by turn the battle report really showcases the huge effects and awesome spells that come into play with the new expansion. They really are possibly game changing spells, and the batttle report reinforces my belief that Storm of Magic will be better suited to be a Beer and Pretzels, story driven game rather than anything uber-competitive.

Standard Bearer 5 out of 10, some nice background/behind the scenes info, but doesn't really say anything.
This is basically just Jervis talking about the evolution of how miniatures were made, giving some nice insight into some of the behind the scenes differences between plastic and metal. Not anything horribly interesting, but worth a quick skim.

(Warhammer 40k) Dark Eldar 4 out of 10, If you play dark elder give it a read through, otherwise just skim the painting tutorials and see if you can use any of them.
The next few pages cover a huge monologue on Dark eldar and cover things from modelling to painting the new miniatures. Ultimately I have like the painting guides in the recent issues, and while not all of them directly effect what I am painting, I have been able to use quite a few to help increase my painting skill level.

(Warhammer 40k) Cities of Death - OFFICIAL 6 out of 10, nice to see some rules coming out of the white dwarf, even if they are just updating an old expansion.
This section marks what I hope to be a return in the pages of white dwarf, official rules, even if only for an older 40k expansion. After a brief article about Cities of death, There comes official army specific stratatgems and four new cities of death missions. The article ends with some cities of death modelling advice.

(Warhammer 40k) Battle Report 2: Chaos Marines vs Space Wolves 3 out of 10, its a battle report.
A cities of death battle report with two power armored foes. Not too much to say about it.


+Previews had some new shockers tucked away
+Storm of Magic reviews really give a good feel to the expansion
+Nice Dark Eldar Hobby
+Cities of Death Official Rules

-Nothing for Lord of the Rings if you play the game
-Unless you play Dark Eldar there was not a lot for 40k

Any one have any questions? Did you find the review helpful?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Horned Rat - Chaos in the Old World - Review

So for those of you that don't know, Fantasy Flight just came out with the first expansion for the board game Chaos in the old world.

Just so that everyone is on the same page, the original Chaos in the Old World places each player in control of one of the four main Chaos Gods. Players then set about corrupting the different regions of the old world using cultists, warriors, greater demons, and the chaotic powers of the gods themselves. Players can win in one of two ways, by victory points which players get by dominating and corrupting the world, or by completely specific tasks and advancing their chaos dials.

The new expansion for the game allows a fifth person to play as the god of the skaven, The Horned Rat. The expansion comes with new power cards and upgrade cards for every original power, as well as a new set of old world cards (for those that don't know, Old world cards are flipped each turn giving effects and changing the game).

So this weekend I got to play three games with the new cards. We only had three people, so we chose to play with the Skaven, Nurgle, and Tzeentch. We went with both the new power cards for the gods as well as going with the expert level  set of Old world cards.

The first game was won by the skaven. The game went well with everyone getting used to the new cards and how the powers changes from what they used to be. Everyone was pretty even with skaven eventually being able to pull ahead thanks to an Old world card. The second game went fast, I played nurgle and was able to get 4 dial advancements first turn, 5 the second turn, and then one more to win on the last turn. During the last game I got my turn to play skaven, and thanks to the same old world card as the first game I was able to pull ahead early and win.

I think playing with three people is not ideal, whether with or without the expansion. With only three it is hard to stop someone if they get ahead. I would definitely recommend playing with no less than 4, and want to see how the game goes with 5 people.

The powers: The new power cards change the dynamics of the Chaos gods a lot. Nurgle was able to easily get over six dial advancements each game, and actually won by dial advancement. There wasn't a lot of change for Tzeentch, who can still go either dial advancement or victory points. The horned rat powers deal mainly with dominating regions, but their upgrade powers and dial advances allow for the rats to go for either win condition depending on the game.

The Old World Deck: In the original game the old world cards rarely made any huge difference in the game, maybe one card a game would be a game changer. There are two ways to play with the new old world cards, shuffling them in with the old cards and dealing them out regularly, or using only the new cards. We played with only the new cards, and it was pretty crazy. Every one of the new cards affects the game board pretty massively, so playing with only the new cards brings a new anticipation to the Old world phase. Since there are only 9 new cards, playing with only the new ones means that you see each card a lot more often then with the older deck.

Overall: I honestly love the game, both the original and the expansion. I think that four or five people will be best for playing, I was not completely impressed with the three player game. The new power cards really do change how the gods play. Combined with the new power cards, the gods really do play differently. This gives a nice different feel to the game and really changes things up.

The only downside I feel is that you really need to play the game a couple time to get the hang of things. Each God has a few tricks that you need to prepare for and be able to deal with. Just like with the original game the dynamic changes as players understand better on how to play the Gods.

I would definitely recommend picking up the Horned Rat if you have the original game, hell I recommend picking up the original game and the horned rat even if you've never played before.

Does anyone have any questions?