Monday, March 30, 2009

Even more Space Hulk rumors

I have been seeing a few more sightings of rumors, but I got an email yesterday about a few interesting tidbits. But first some new rumors that have been floating around a few various forums.

  • Possibly an October release.
  • Possibly £60 or about $90 USD (this makes sense as it fits the price point of similar big box games such as Descent from FFG)
  • 10 Terminators, all differently posed (though the uniqueness of each pose may only vary slightly, much like Assault on Black Reach Terminators)
  • Terminator Captain with options for Thunder Hammer/Stormshield or Power weapon/Storm bolter.
  • Librarian who'll be 'descending a set of stairs'
  • Not sure about Genestealer stuff
  • The tiles are going to be card.

Stuff that was sent to me that does tie in somewhat to the above info:

  • Terminators will have 40mm scenic bases included, quite possible that they will be square. (the scenic bases rumor matches what we have seen regarding the Librarian's 'descending stairs' rumor)
  • The scale for the board spaces will likewise increase in size from the 30mm that Space Hulk has had for the past 2 editions to 40mm or 45mm square.
  • The card tiles are said to be 'embossed'.
I have no idea who sent me this, so take these rumors with the grain of salt that merits such anonymous info. If you have any info regarding the above please do not hesitate to comment and either confirm or dispute such rumors.

But if these do turn out to be true, then there are many things that these minor rumors do bring to light.
  1. The rules are seeming to be based more on 1st ed than it is on 2nd ed. This is deduced by the inclusion of the Captain and Librarian. The rules are also changing because we see the Captain can now be armed with a Thunder Hammer/Storm shield. This option was not previously possible in 1st ed in any of its expansions. So we have at least a very vague glimpse into what the rules may look like.
  2. The increase in base size for the Terminators and the possibility that they will be square makes sense if GW are to include scenic bases. Scenic bases for Terminators does not seem likely on a 25mm base, especially since the newer style of terminators do not exactly fit on 25mm bases to begin with. Also it makes sense because this is a standalone boardgame and square bases should have been included in the game originally anyways since facing is so important to the Space Hulk game mechanic.
  3. Genestealers may likely share this new basing scheme. This is important because Genestealers will no longer topple over because of their high center of gravity versus their comparatively small bases they previously had.
  4. The embossed card tiles may be a lackluster attempt at making the game marketable towards both the hobbyist and the boardgamer alike. Rumors about what the tiles are made of are so conflicting that it might be possible that the base game will include card tiles, but that there are plastic tiles made available through hobby shops or direct order for the hobbyists who play this game (which are GW's main bread and butter nowadays. GW makes games to sell models, not models to sell games. This is GW's frst attempt at an actual stand alone board game in over 15 years. I find it unlikely that GW will actually not try to make as much money off of this release as they possibly can. And that means making as much stuff for the hobbyists as they can).
  5. The 'embossed' tiles also might possibly mean that they are vacuformed plastic tiles, much like what we saw with the 40K 'moon crater' set.
So far, the only thing I am seeing that might affect my project is that the bases might possibly be square and perhaps the new options for the Captain. Pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.

Friday, March 27, 2009

GW Space Hulk rumors

Well, I have to say that the rumors for GW's re-release of the game gives me a bit of pause concerning my own project.

I am sure most of you have already read new rumors concerning the rerelease of Space Hulk, but I will quote the pertinent entry here:

Hi guys,

More whispers regarding the best Warhammer 40k boardgame ever made, Space Hulk.

Talk about the tubes is that when Games Workshop sets their mind on something they go all the way. Space Hulk is being described as a full bore rework with all the bells and whistles you could ever want.

Sources say to expect it in Q3 2009, and we have heard tales of modular plastic boards, an extensive set of large scale sprues with all the termys and genestealers you can shake a stick it, and all new fancy elements such as sliding doors and the like. There might even be a need for batteries (perhaps). Expect a full sized boxed game that will make all you cry with tears of joy.

~I was somewhat excited after our last Space Hulk rumor, but its looking like its not going to be just a simple re-release but a hefty overhaul. Now I'm excited!

Its an enormous cost expenditure to create a custom tile set like this and am quite curious to see how GW are going to visualize their Space Hulk Tiles.

My thoughts on this are to create the masters in anticipation of molding the tiles. But hold off on actually making the molds and casting the tiles until I see shots of what GW are going to do since making the molds and casting are actually quite quickly done. (A mere matter of a couple days of work, as opposed to weeks of work designing tiles and building masters.)

The reasons for this are because I have no idea what GW are going to be doing design wise for their game. Will they make corridors wide enough for dreadnoughts to be allowed for example? Are they going to do something different for rooms? etc.

While my tiles are 2.5" wide and are able to accommodate the widest arm span of any Genestealer, I think that models such as dreadnoughts will be a tight fit at best if they do intend on including such models in the newest version.

This is all supposition as we do not know what GW is planning, but this project is an effort to make it backward and forward compatible with all versions of the game. So in the interest of compatibility I will only work on the masters until such time as I have a better understanding of where this release is going.

This will allow for easier adjustments later on, instead of sinking an enormous amount of time and effort into an incompatible tile set.

If no changes are made by GW for tile design, then I can still cast the pieces needed and have the tiles ready to play with well before it is released to the general public.

The project isn't being canned by any means as the tiles I have already designed function quite well for 1st & 2nd edition. However, progress will be made at a more cautious pace until more in known.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Space Hulk concept work: 3D Tiles #4

Base set of Space Hulk tiles found in both 1st & 2nd editions of the game, again realized in Sketchup.

The amount is modified a bit however, as several campaigns later released depended on the players to own several sets.

3x3 Room - Entries 1 x1

3x3 Room - Entries 2 (90 degrees) x6

3x3 Room - Entries 3 x2

Corridor - Corner x10

Corridor - T-Intersection x10

Corridor - X-Intersection x10

Corridor - End x7

Corridor - Spaces 1 x4

Corridor - Spaces 2 x8

Corridor - Spaces 3 x10

Corridor - Spaces 4 x6

Corridor - Spaces 5 x6

Bulkhead & Door Frame x5

Door & Door Frame x23

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Space Hulk concept work: 3D Tiles #3

Update to show a few more board sections shown in Sketchup that are from the White Dwarf 2nd edition missions.

This one shows how the air duct corridors from the 'Defilement of Honour' campaign are incorporated into the 3D project.

The air duct corridors are only accessible by Genestealers or Blip tokens to allow sneak attacks throughout the Space Hulk.

And a full length shot underneath an air duct corridor section to show how they connect areas of other corridors/rooms in Space Hulk.

The bottom blocks are used to support and interlock the surface tiles of the air duct corridor section, and to give spacing for the 1/2" walls locking the air duct corridor section in place to prevent shifting during game play.

Rooms and corridors from the 'Bringer of Sorrow' campaign.

Paintwork progress has been made on Terminators, but I have misplaced my DSLR so photo updates of painted figs will be delayed for a short while.

Revealing past work I have done on this project gives me enough time to play catch-up in instances such as this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Space Hulk concept work: 3D Tiles #2

This is just a quick update to illustrate a few things about the 3D tiles. First to show you how the doors and bulkheads interact with the tiles themselves and second to clarify the bits on the Sketchup tiles that look out of place.

Here is a pic of a hallway where I scaled the little guy (lets call him "Jervis") to be the same height as a new (2005) plastic Terminator without his base. As you can see, Jervis' head is approximately 1/4" below the top of the walls. The walls at this height will help the problem of visibility even while sitting at the table.

Next is a shot to illustrate visibility of Terminators at a relatively low viewing level as well as any areas in pink are to be considered excess and will not be on the finished tiles. This reflects what pieces I have have to make a custom mold for in order to fit in size requirements.

A bit more concept work is the Genestealer entry area tile. Normally in Space Hulk this is just an open ended area of the tile. But for the sake of visual style, I decided to make a tile for this purpose. It also gives you a place to set your blip counters that might be lurking outside of the entry area on top of the tile.

The wall will look as if the 'Stealers ripped open the side of the corridor to gain access. Hopefully my meager artistic skills in paint can convey this. :D

The design for this could very well change as this isn't a compulsory tile required to play the game. I welcome any suggestions on how this could be done.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Space Hulk concept work: TOKENS

Building a three dimensional Space Hulk board requires more work than that 'simple' task in order to play the game.

Rules and missions must be formatted if you do not already own a copy. Tokens must be made. Models must be built and painted.

Today, I am addressing tokens that will be needed to play all editions of Space Hulk.

I will first start by saying that creating your own durable and visually stunning tokens can be quite cheap and easy to do if you have good image files to work with and you have access to laser printable sheets of the 70's craze Shrinky Dinks. I estimate that you would need about 4 packs to do all the tokens you would need for Space Hulk due to how much the sheets shrink.

But that is not the route I will be taking for this project.

Litko Aerosystems has proven to be a good source of durable acrylic, laser etched gaming tokens (both pre-made and custom) for quite awhile now and only get better with each passing day.

The following is a list of suggested pre-made tokens made by Litko that can prove useful for Space Hulk:

Heavy Flamer Tokens
Out of all the flame tokens that Litko makes I like these flamer tokens the most because they add to the three dimensional quality I am striving for, they are small enough to fit on the same space as other models without having to move the models to place them like you do previously with GW's flame tokens and for $10 I can buy all the snazzy flamer tokens I may need.

Litko also has a larger selection of other tokens you may find use for in the game, but due to my use of a roster sheet to keep track of various game effects I find I will not be needing any more pre-made tokens that they offer.

And now for the list of custom tokens that will be needed.

One of Litko's first token sets they ever produced was the 'scanner blip token'.

Which is very nice except for one rather glaring problem. They are clear enough to see through. Those of you who play Space Hulk know that what is face down on the blip counter must be kept secret from the Space Marine player so that the element of surprise is maintained when you reveal how many Genestealers will be pouncing on him.

If I am going to be paying such a premium for tokens, then they better damned well work for what I need them for right out of the package.

I fixed this problem by asking Litko if they could reproduce this exact token in the following customized way;
Thirty one 30mm opaque green acrylic squares etched on the top in the scanner blip style face, 3mm rounded edges with the following numerals etched on the reverse face:
  • Nine tokens with '1' on the reverse
  • Four tokens with '2' on the reverse
  • Nine tokens with '3' on the reverse
  • Two tokens with '4' on the reverse
  • Two tokens with '5' on the reverse
  • Two tokens with '6' on the reverse
  • Three tokens with '0' on the reverse
Along with two 30mm opaque red acrylic squares etched on the top in the scanner blip style face, 3mm rounded edges with nothing etched on the reverse face. (These are for Ambush tokens. More on that later...)

Litko replied quickly and said it wasn't a problem. In fact because I was ordering 33 tokens, the price for this customization was barely more expensive than I would have paid to get non-customized tokens. $24.98 versus $23.96.

That takes care of the blip tokens but Overwatch/Jammed counters are also needed as well.

Litko provides both of these as pre-made items:
But it is unlike the original Space Hulk game where the 'Jammed' token was merely the reverse of the 'Overwatch' face.

Well, Litko is ever accommodating and I asked them to etched the word 'Jammed' across the reverse side of the Overwatch token set and it actually cost me less to do this than it was to buy two separate token sets. $9.99 versus $10.98

Grand total after shipping for the 43 tokens was $41.17. (I didn't order the flame tokens because my LFGS carries Litko products so I decided I would support my LFGS as much as I could by only purchasing custom items in this order.)

One might gasp at such a cost, but I think this is a pretty good deal when I take into account the durability of these tokens as well as the time and effort it would take myself to create an equitable product.

About the only (albeit minor) drawback I can see to this is that I can expect to wait 3+ weeks for this order to be made before it even ships due to the custom nature of this order. But I do not need these immediately so it really isn't a concern.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Legends of High Seas large ship

The next ship building project will be a scratch built ship using 'The Nutmeg' made by Flying Tricycle as a template.

It is a fairly large ship and it definitely qualifies as a large ship by Legends of the High Seas rules standards. It can easily carry 20-30 crew above deck and another 15-20 crew below.

It comes with a fair number of parts and many of the parts have a pretty ingenious design. Such as how the crows nests are built. Its the little details such as the dingy included that make the kit extra sweet.

The materials are laser cut birch plywood making it a pretty solid kit.

I bought this last year for $30 USD when they were having a 50% off sale but this ship is easily worth full price.

Legends of the High Seas crew and ship

Who doesn't love Pirates? Well, ninja's I suppose.

After watching 'Master and Commander' umpteen hundred times, it seems last year there was a skirmish game made that was right up my alley. I have never been a ship modeler before and this game gave me new respect for those old farts who build ships of all sizes because you can not only skirmish around ports of call with your mateys, but you can call out to your enemy that he should prepare to be boarded as well.

Since everyone mocks the french and wouldn't make a french crew to save their lives, I decided to take the path less trodden and make me a nice frog privateer crew.

Here is a few models I painted last year to play this game which seems to have a sudden resurgence of interest lately.

This one is my favorite so far. An old, psalty Jamaican who was press ganged while the crew were in the Spanish Main.

Next up is a (now)former slave who was taken as part of a prize from an English ship on their way to the Spanish Main.

After painting these two dark skinned models I have found I vastly prefer to paint darker complected flesh than Caucasian flesh.

It makes me want to paint a whole crew of Barbary corsairs.

Pastey white frogs are a pain to paint, so this guy looks not so hot in my opinion, but he works as a large thug.

I even gave him a couple tattoos to try and alleviate my apparently noobish skills at painting Caucasian flesh.

Last but not least is my little sloop you start the game with. This is scratch built out of balsa and basswood. I named it 'Le Colibri' (The Hummingbird) to show how light and maneuverable the ship is.

The mast and the rigging attached to it is removable from the post sunk into the deck which is painted to appear to be wrapped with tar covered rope.

Being able to remove the mast is great as this model is meant for gaming and allows easier access to the models on the deck.