Thursday, 14 March 2013


This post is a bit of an aside as it is not about my usual wargaming antics, but I just feel like writing about it. Monsterpocalypse is an out of production collectible miniatures game from Privateer Press. I came to it a little late in the day which has a bit of an advantage in that I didn't end up spending lots of money on it! On the other hand, it is now very hard to expand my collection. And that makes me sad.

I only own a two-player starter set, but what sets it apart from a lot of other CMGs is that it feels like a complete game in itself. For those who do not know, Monsterpocalypse sees two monsters battle it out over an urban landscape, supported by smaller units aligned to them. These monsters vary from giant robots, apes and dinosaurs to Martians and Cthulhu type monsters, catering to every taste.

But aside from the variety, theme and surprising depth of game-play, the game just looks fantastic. (Sorry for the glare on the board, I lay some perspex over the paper maps when I play.)

The Martian menace advances
A helicopter swoops across the urban landscape.

Sky Sentinel protects the humans from the alien invaders

Woosh! Boom! Zap!

Saucers advance on a nuclear power plant
So anyway, I just stopped by to post a few pictures. And if anyone is looking to sell any Monsterpocalypse stuff, drop me a message!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

15mm Ratmen HotT army (Irregular Miniatures)

While browsing options for 15mm HotT army packs/deals, I came across an offer that could not be refused! While it appears that most armies sell for £15-20, I happened to see Irregular Miniatures have a line in their 15mm fantasy catalogue which simply states:

24 AP Armies

except Lizard Army

(Note for those who have not played HotT: AP= Army Points and a usual army is 24 points. Units are generally 2 AP each with some exceptions, leading to a typical 12 element army)

Intrigued, I sent a quick email to Ian Kay (super chap, great customer service) to inquire as to the contents of the 24AP pack for the Ratmen. His speedy response was:

"It contains 25 assorted rat inf, 2 rat riders, 2 chaos knights, 2 magicians ,1 lurker and a god figure! Over £12 of figures!"

Well, that was enough for me to take a shot, although I was slightly wary that there were no specific ratman magicians, lurkers or gods listed in the rest of the catalogue. By some crazy miracle, the packet which was posted on Friday turned up on Saturday morning and I eagerly tore it open.

Here is a picture of the small pile of led my £9 got me (note this does not include 9 ratman archers which I foolishly started to paint before taking this picture):

True to Ian's word, the contents were just as described. True to what I guessed from the catalogue, the god, lurker and wizard figures were generic and not ratman specific. The god in particular was a curious choice as it seemed to be a 28mm Greek philosopher, not exactly what I picture ratmen worshipping. Of the wizards, I preferred the one which looked like a hunchbacked old man, as that seemed to fit the army better. The other looked like a generic evil wizard (which will no doubt find a place in another army).

Figures which did not make it to the painting stage 

Sorting out the rest of the figures, I saw they were a good mix of ratmen with hand weapons, some with bows, a few banners and a couple of polearm types with helmets. There were a couple riding wolves, which was good to see, and also the chaos knights, which looked fine as an 'ally contingent'.

Arranging the force into suitable elements, I came up with the following:

1x Warband General (Ratman leader and armed guard) @2AP

1x Hero (Ratman Hero) @4AP

1x Riders (Ratmen on wolves) @2AP

1x Knights (Chaos Knight allies) @2AP

3x Shooters (Ratmen with bows) @2AP

4x Warband (Ratmen warriors) @2AP

So an 11 element 24AP army was achievable while adhering to my need for a theme which did not include philosophising Greek deities.... At this point I realised that I had a spare ratman, so I decided against the magician and picked the ratman which looked most like a hero and based him for that purpose. I have painted the magician anyway and it can find a home in this or another army at some point.

Once painted and based, the figures looked like this:

3x Shooters (Ratman Archers) 

4x Warband (Ratman warriors) 
1x Ratman Hero and 1x Magician 

1x Warband General (Ratman elite warriors) 

1x Riders (Ratman wolf riders), 1x Knights (Chaos Knight allies) 

To a degree you 'get what you paid for', but then again for £9 I think this is excellent value for money. If I were to make any suggestion, it would be for Irregular to ditch the generic figures and include more of the wolf-mounted ratmen, or even a couple of their fantasy wolves as a Beast element option. In my opinion, this would give the army more thematic coherency. But as it stands, it was only the knights in my final selection which were not 'ratman specific'.

All in all, though, I am very happy and will definitely consider buying more of these army packs! I want to end by mentioning that the service from Ian was top notch throughout, with quick email responses and super fast delivery.

(Note: I started drafting this post when the figures arrived and before painting had started. When my wife saw I had put a reminder in the text saying "[Insert painted figure pictures]" she 'helpfully' commented "Painted figures? So just when do you expect to be able to post that entry?" Naturally this filled me with resolve and a desire to prove myself, resulting in the army being painted over the course of the weekend. As it would never have been so without that comment, this post is dedicated to my wife! Thanks for helping me get through all the painting!)