What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
After Winter Dark Campaign Setting

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Fulfillment: Iron Wind Metals

Well, a few days ago, I received a nice little package from Iron Wind Metals (after paying some more money for customs).  It is, quite frankly, rare to see a campaign ramp up and deliver on time with hardly much of a hitch.  I was delighted overall with what I got and, the package even teased the next one with a couple of free samples.  Free miniatures is a great way to get attention!

Now, I am pretty much over my head with the amount of miniatures I have yet to paint and this was largely thanks to Reaper Miniatures and a couple of VERY successful Kickstarter campaigns for their Bones line.  So, when Iron Wind Metals started up this crowdfunding campaing in 2015, it caught my interest for a couple of reasons.

1) It was bringing back many of the old Ral Partha miniatures
2) It was access to a relatively 'generic' fantasy wargaming set of rules

Because of when I got into collecting and painting miniatures, I never got much exposure in my earlier days of playing AD&D.  A couple friends and a handful but never used them and I never saw the need for miniatures in my own games.  However, I did like the look of the miniatures the few times I checked some out.  Since I started painting a few years back, my appreciation for the look of many miniatures has caused me to pick models of all sorts.

That said, it was my decision to back the first Reaper Bones Kickstarter that prompted me to start painting my own, and in order to gain a bit of practice, I went to Games Workshop.  This in turn led me to dip into Warhammer.  Given pricing considerations and company policy, I got out almost as fast as I got in but I was left with the desire to find alternative fantasy wargaming rulesets to scratch that itch.

While I generally backed fewer crowdfunding campaigns last year (given the exchange rate and cost of shipping for Canada), this was one was one of the exceptions.  It offered a rule set and a decent amount of miniatures (in metal no less) with a good bang for the buck.  I still restrained myself considerably with the campaign and kept it at a Starter a just a couple of add-ons.  This worked out to 52 miniatures in the starter comprised of elves, orcs, and goblins as well as 3 goblin wolfriders, and 13 dwarves.  In addition to that, I qualified for 4 miniatures as free gifts and there were 2 promotional ones as well.

All in all, a total of 74 miniatures as well as a set of rules for Chaos Wars which is generic enough to use any number of fantasy miniatures despite of where they may be from.  All of that cost me $115 US before shipping (which ended up being $25).  At the time, I was tempted to get more but it was easy to go overboard and the exchange rate then was not doing me any favors.  Of course, I also had a wedding, GenCon, and a new campaign from Reaper to consider as well.  The other reason was simply because I had not dealt with Iron Wind Metals before either and given various Kickstarter issues, I didn't want to risk too much either.

So, what do I think now with the miniatures in my hand?  They are very nicely sculpted but smaller than I expected.  The campaign wasn't very specific on scale but clearly stated a range of 25mm to 28mm with a regular human being 25mm but champions, lords, and not-so-human being taller.  Let's just say that, it's one thing to read it and another to see it in your hand compared to other miniatures.  It means that some of these will never see play for my regular table-top FRPG sessions and, honestly, that's all right.  Painting these will still be a delight and these will really be for some fantasy wargaming and I am eager to do both.

Another point to mention is that they delivered ON TIME!  This cannot be stressed enough as how nice this is.  They gave a delivery date of December of 2015 and packages started going out during this time, I got mine on the 4th of January and given the holidays, I think that's great!  With another planned campaign starting sometime in February 2016 and given how awesome that skeleton looks, I may have to give Iron Winds Metals more of my hard earned cash.

As for the rules... the booklets are nothing fancy but perfectly serviceable though part of me know wishes for a nicer hardbound option down the line.  Who knows though -- maybe with continued interest that may eventually happen.  Or at least, one can hope  I haven't read through all the rules (cover to cover) but from what I have read, I am eager to play and like what I see.  I heard the game plays fast and brutal as well so I think that's a good sign.  At some point, I'll give a more detailed writeup on what I thought of the rules after I have had a chance to play a couple of matches.

In any event, well done Iron Wind Metals!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Under Siege's Top 10 Posts of 2015

This is the third year I do this and it's always nice to revisit this material.  It also tells me what my readers like and what draws new readers in.

Despite the second half of the year features far less content compared to the first half, readership over all has increased and for that I thank all of you who have taken the time and I sincerely hope that my occasional ramblings serve some sort of purpose.

So... here's the list with my thoughts following it.

10. Weekend R&R: No Salvation for Witches

09. Weekend R&R: SUPERS! Revised Edition

08. Games & Gears Ichiban Studios Pro Line Brushes - 9 Months Later

07. The Problem With Citadel Paints

06. Weekend R&R: The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions

05. Why Victorious Matters

04. Weekend R&R: A Red & Pleasant Land

03. Weekend R&R: Games & Gears Katana Brush

02. Weekend R&R: Death Frost Doom

01. Modular Dungeon Terrain

The Weekend R&R series of posts have always been popular and pretty much a staple of this blog.  I take the time to reflect, reminisce, and review something connected to the hobby.  Most often, this will be some sort of rulebook, supplement, or module but sometimes, they could be some sort of kickstarter package I have received or to do with painting.  Last year, I reviewed a few products from the Lamentations of the Flame Princess line and they all ended up on my top ten list.  They are very popular products and I really do love them.  However, one gaming book stands out in the list and that is the review I did for the SUPERS! Revised Edition rulebook.  It's a solid game with solid concepts and simple, get into the action, rules even if it doesn't have the 'spit and polish' of more professional products.

But I mentioned painting, and it's nice to see that three posts are involving painting.  While I do have some painting guides and, I feel these are ALWAYS useful, those who paint miniatures are often obsessed with the tools of the trade.  Two of them involve Games & Gears brushes and there is a reason why people are interested to get more information about them.  Opinions regarding quality are a bit split and, despite the problems I had, the company DOES stand by its products and it's refreshing to see that sort of dedication.  Then again, given the amount of cash you end up dropping on these brushes, you kind of want that support.  They company was kind enough to replace my set of brushes and even give some more due to the problems I have had.  The replacement brushes I have received were better than my original sets and I suspect that issues were worked out between the Early Bird stuff I had gotten and the replacement brushes months later.  I even picked up some other brushes to try out as well.  Given everything, I'll likely be doing another review of some of there other brushes in a few months.

As to my other painting related article concerning Citadel paints... Nothing has been resolved for me and I'm still looking into some solutions.  Looks like I'm stuck with Citadel a while longer.

The other two articles stand out for a different reasons -- one is for a new RPG and the other is concerning modular terrain.  The new RPG is called Victorious being published by Troll Lord Games in the coming weeks.  As of a couple weeks ago (give or take), a bunch of us received access to a Beta version of the text.  Is is art-free but the content of the main book is there.  As I have mentioned before, I have a history with the game and it's interesting to see what has changed and what hasn't changed since it was in my care.  I am very curious at what the finished product will look like once all the art is in place but the layout seems 'off' somehow.  Hopefully it will look better in the final, printed product.  I am still excited to see that the game is now so close to fruition.

My article on Modular Dungeon Terrain was the number one post from 2015 it was spurred on by a Kickstarter which ended up being cancelled.  In it, I discus other projects and 'systems' and challenges associated with them.  After all of that, I believe I finally found what I was looking for thanks to Fat Dragon Games when they launched a Kickstarter in the Fall for sets of 3D files to print your own modular terrain with a 3D printer.  For a fraction of the 'start up cost', I have all I need to print what I need.  Well... that is once I get a 3D printer.  Thankfully, that is a planned investment I am making this year.  Will it actually solve my problems?  I don't know.  I keep on looking at all the other stuff and, judging by the hits, others are too.

Thanks for reading and, if you are curious about 2014 and 2013, you can find those HERE and HERE.


A Slow Start to 2016!

Much like Winter here in Montreal, the last few months and the first few days into the new year proved to be a bit slow.  Despite being in Canada, I did not see any snow until a few days after X-Mas.  And, when it finally came, it just kept on snowing and we ended up with over 20 inches in just a couple of days.  Today was a return to work and a regular (shudder) work week, and Old Man Winter decided to cool things further and temperatures felt like -22 Fahrenheit this morning (or, -30 Celsius with Windchill) when I left for work.

It was an uneventful work day.

The one thing I wanted to do was get back to Under Siege which hasn't seen an update in many weeks now.

The holidays is typically a time where I relax and look back at projects I haven't finished yet and those I want to do.  In many ways, this blog is a good outlet for me with regards to the hobby and a veritable lifeline for Arcana Creations which is where some of my creativity ends up being channeled to.  That part tends to be challenging.

However, a wedding and subsequent honeymoon will do much to derail best laid plans despite being fantastic!

Now, with a New Year comes new opportunities to forge ahead!  I'm also cutting myself a bit of slack given everything that happened in 2015.

I'm not one to make many resolutions but here goes:

I want to game more, publish more, and have fun... and I'm going to do it *my* way.

Happy (belated) New Year!