Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Year's End

Welcome to Scotland.

Today is New Year's Eve, or Hogmanay as we call it in Scotland.  Historically a bigger deal for us than Christmas, even now it remains a huge street party event.  The rest of the world might have a wee party, but for Scots who take their drinking like a sport this is the World Cup of Boozing.

There's been a thing or two in Glasgow to somewhat dampen the spirits of late - our Christmas has not been full of cheer but you can expect there'll still be a lot of drunk Scottish people outside in the cold singing, letting off fireworks and making a nuisance of themselves.

Mainly because we don't like to be outdone by Edinburgh, who tend to have a bigger party.  Bastards.
Anyway, despite the Christmas period and much behind schedule I can finally score something off the to-do list as 2014 comes to an end.... my Hobgoblin Sneaky Gits are done!

All thirty models ready for varnishing.  Top and bottom row are previously painted 14 figures: the middle is the new 16.
 I started these over a month ago and didn't expect them to take so long - before the year was out I wanted them done so I could get a quick WFB battle with my Beardies.  Alas that didn't happen - work, Christmas/birthday events and general life got in the way.  But yesterday and today I hammered at these figures to tidy them up, quickshade and base them so they'd finally be play ready.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Yule Love It!

It isn't Christmas in Britain until everyone is crying at this.

I hope you are all having a nice Christmas.  I am in my house with Sister Superior, preparing for some lunch and our annual greet-a-thon as we watch The Snowman on Channel 4.

I'd prefer if they showed the David Bowie intro
Inevitably, I got mostly nerdy gifts from kith and kin.  When in doubt for me, Lego or comics was a good bet in 1989 and it's still a good bet now.  However, I have two notable gifts I'd like to share with you.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Of Polish Bits, Nottingham Games And Nineties Goths

Why did no-one tell teenage George about this film?  Why?
Saturday was Sister Superior's birthday so I took Friday off work and spent a long weekend mostly dedicated to her.  Her presents included The Craft, a 1996 movie she was very fond of as a young lady but I'd never seen myself.  

I just about managed to avoid mind-cheating on the girlfriend for..... thirty seconds at a time?  Maybe twenty seconds?  Fairuza Balk in particular made focusing on chaste thoughts difficult.....
We are the weirdos, mister."
 However, this post isn't just for me to talk about how I thought obscene thoughts about goth girls.  No, it's to talk about two packages which came in the mail for me on Thursday...

One big box delivered on Thursday morning, one little box I had to go to the post office to collect.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Hobgoblins, Love Letters & Mixing Up The Medicine

The only Hobgoblin as far as many geeks are concerned

So, the inevitable question - what nerdity have I been up to the past week, and how go the Hobgoblins?

Let's start with my painting - I've made limited progress as I'm still on basecoating, but I'm hoping to fare better this week.  The block colours are mostly filled in b ut I've still got White teeth and Bronze bracelets to do, as well as a tidy-up coat.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Road Warrior: Post-Apocalyptic Gaming And My 100th Blog Post

"...and the Road Warrior... He lives now only in my memories."

With this post I hit the big 1-0-0 of posts on my Bearded Quail blog.  I may not have painted or played as much as I'd like this year but it's been enjoyable to keep a written record of my nerdy thoughts and get some occasional feedback.

The statistics on Blogger suggest a bit of a mixed bag of people reading this - the inevitable British but some odder countries get a mention.  Who'd have thought my poor quality painting would be of interest to readers in Poland, Turkey, Russia and Denmark?

I should really write something more deep and meaningful - or at least connected to the Chaos Dwarfs, Emperor's Children and other recurring topics - but instead it's a piece of writing on a whole new topic for me.  It's my latest purchase: a 1980s Games Workshop boxed game which was dead before I got into the hobby but which has had my interest lately.  A game I've never played but I hope to try very soon.  A game whose only edition is almost as old as me.

I speak of the game of highway warriors, Dark Future.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Back To Da Gobbos (And A Bit About Pink Too)

Da Green Wunz Is Da Bestest

What's on the painting table this week?  Why, it's Hobgoblins in an effort to get my Chaos Dwarfs ready to play at least a small game before 2014 is out.

The latest boyz
As you can see I've got 16 new Hobgoblins on the way, with the finished guys lurking in the background.  Once they're all painted up it'll be a beastly 30 man unit all armed with two close combat weapons and ready to go stab some people in the back.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Why We Fight - Making An Obejctive Marker For Warhammer 40,000

....would leave us alone and virtually surrounded, facing enemies ten times stronger than ourselves.
One can play wargames simply as an exercise in massacring the opposition - especially in historical/fantasy games, the tactics of the time mean whoever kills the most people usually wins.  However, more modern and science fiction games tend to have more complicated win conditions to reflect the nature of modern conflict.  Fighting over vital buildings, rescuing prisoners, trying to break free, stalling for reinforcements.... there's plenty of ways to play a game that sees victory measured in criteria other than megadeaths.

This becomes more true if, like me, you're an RPGer who enjoys building stories around the events in your wargame.  Two random armies shooting each other isn't quite as engaging if they aren't fighting over something interesting, such as a location which must be held for tactical reasons, even at a bloody cost....

You people will not die on me in combat. You fucking new guys will do everything you can to prove me wrong
....or an interesting object which must be taken from the enemy and brought to high command.

...I can't give you this case, it don't belong to me. Besides, I've already been through too much shit this morning over this case to hand it over to your dumb ass.
To that end, most Warhammer 40,000 games use objective markers.  You can buy functional but dull counters from Games Workshop - in the past, I have tried to make my own from odds and ends I had lying around.

Left is an ammunition crate, right is the fragments of a Space Crusade Dreadnought.    These were painted a couple of years ago when I started back on Warhammer 40,000

This time round I tried to make another one by painting up the cool base a Scibor figure came with to represent a chaotic magic circle type objective to be fought over. Pictures follow!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Armistice Day

Whatever Happened To The Post-War Dream?

Although my interests are fairly broad and I'm something of a politics nerd, I've made a conscious decision to use this Blog not as a generic one but purely for nerdy business.  On previous blogs I've posted long politic rambles, analysis of current events, questions about likely future happenings.... this one I've wanted to just keep as a painting & playing log.

However, it's hard to dodge the topic of today's date so for just once I'm going to make an exception.

Today is Armistice Day, the 11th of November and the 96th anniversary of the end of the First World War.  If you are from a Commonwealth country you likely had the traditional Two Minute's Silence today held around you, and some other nations involved in the Great War practice similar traditions.  You will not have been able to move for people wearing poppies, the traditional symbol of this day of remembrance.  (Though they may not all have been red.)

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Hole In Time & Space

Glasgow Is About To E-X-P-L-O-D-E
I was off work all week last week and thusly had a nice time with Sister Superior lazing about - going to the theater, to the wrestling, to Edinbrugh and generally not doing anything valuable with my time.

I've also managed to do something else, though: add more Vortex templates to my collection.  I now have 6 large blast-sized ones so I can cover the table with holes in time and space as generated by my Missile Silo, and I also have 2 small blast-sized ones for psychic powers.

Monday, 27 October 2014

One Week of Nerdity

Look, ma! A music joke!

Good news, everyone!  I'm on holiday all this week, which means me and Sister Superior have a nice breather.  It's been pretty hectic at work so I'm glad for an escape, and of course it's always good to have time off for Halloween so I can nerd it up something rotten over the period.

Anyway, I've been up to a multitude of nerdy things in the past week - including, finally, getting back to work on the missile silo.  Pictures and comments follow!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Battle Of Thermonaos - 1000 Point Imperials vs Chaos

An awesome Sister of Battle cosplay by JNA the Bornean cosplayer.
This monday I left Sister Superior on her own for the evening, travelled out to Dave's flat and took part in a wee game of Warhammer 40,000.  His good lady wife was away for a few days so he had the place to himself - we therefore hijacked his living room for a 1,000 point encounter between Chaos and Sisters.

A small 4 footish table was erected and dave covered it with his temple terrain.  His giant church may have been far too big for the table size... but it was too much fun not to use!  Our armies were broken out and deployed along the board, as well as a scattering of objectives (mostly down the centre line of the board).  Our mission was Big Guns Never Tire, which gives 3 points per objective held and also awards a point per Heavy Support unit destroyed (as well as a bonus point for First Blood and Slaying the Opposition Warlord)

The table at the time of deployment, with a squad of Chaos Marines and a Dark Apostle hiding in the large building.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Fugue State

Still waiting to launch
Previously I've tried to update at least once a week, but it's been a while since I posted regularly - my last post was almost three weeks ago.  For this I must apologise to my extensive readership of, ooooooh..... six people?  Maybe ten if I'm lucky?

The reason for this radio silence has been that I haven't been in a great way recently.  I've suffered on and off with depression for a while and various factors have seen me get a little worse recently - stress at work, the darker nights and the vaguaries of medication.  The end result is that I've been a bit absent from a lot of things.

However, I took a few hours painting today to try and clear my head.  When I can force myself into it, I do find painting a good activity to cheer me up - especially on a dark, cold and wet Glasgow winter night. Painting up some toy soldiers is an activity which does help keep me ticking over and  Sister Superior recommends I do it when I'm down to cheer me up.

I mean, look at him!  No-one was ever sad on Art Attack, were they?

Anyway, the point is, I sometimes go all quiet.... but not now!  Now I'm sharing my limited painting skills with you all once again!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Silo Assembled & Undercoated (And Why I've Been Quiet)

A day to remember
As a Glasweigan my attention has been, truth be told, on other things than nerdy business the past week or so.  After a two year campaign a referendum was held over whether Scotland should be an independent nation - leaving the United Kingdom and the Act Of Union of 1707 - was held on Thursday.  I stayed up all night to watch the election results and ended up quite drained, physically by the event and mentally by years of political discussion finally coming to a head.

I'm actually a bit of a politics geek as well and on previous blogs have rambled on the topic, but not here.  Here I purely aim to write about Chaos Dwarfs, Chaos Marines, bunkers, dice, Ghostbusters, Hobgoblins, daemons, Squats, tanks and other stupidity.  There is, after all, no shortage of other venues to read about Scottish politics - but only one place to read about my attempt to make an Aquila Strongpoint on the cheap.

And read it about it you shall!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Battle For The Chapel

The chapel in question.

Our proposed multiplayer Apocalypse bash fell through but Dave and I still met up yesterday for a 40K game.  I haven't played much since 7th Edition dropped - my regular opponents have been tied up with various other things - so I enjoyed a chance to break out the Slaaneshi hordes again.

Dave has been busy since last I played him - he's made a huge chapel out of polystyrene tiles which served as the centre-price to our battlefield. Cast copies of fleur-de-lys make it clearly match his Sisters of Battle army, which is always cool for terrain.  He also just that morning acquired some old vinyl flooring tiles which he combined to create a faux-paved-floor look.  The end result was that half the table was civilized, half was wild and gave us some cool locations to fight a mission over.

Even though we only had small armies - 1000 points each - it was hard not to feel epic in the environs.  I bust out a squad of Noise Marines, a squad of jump-packing raptors, a Contemptor Dreadnought battle-robot-type-think and a sorcerer; Dave brought two squads of Battle Sisters, two Peninent Engine Battle Walkers, a squad of half-naked Sister Repentia, some Imperial Guard Veterans and a Cannoness with bodyguard and transport.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Draft: Introducing A Friend To Blood Bowl

A Roll Of The (Block) Dice
I may be battle damaged, but nerdity has not left the Quailcave.  On Monday I met up with regular 40K opponents Stuart and Dave, and Dave learnt how to play Blood Bowl with a wee demo game against me.

The girls in their computer game incarnation
I brought all four of my fully painted Blood Bowl teams with me: Humans, Amazons, Dark Elves and Lizardmen.  Unsurprisingly Dave, a committed Sisters player, was drawn to the female team and he took the Amazons for a spin.  I took the nice, dull Humans as mine and we played in the environs of Geek Retreat.

Now, Dave had played Blood Bowl before but not since he was a nipper - we've talked before about his memories of playing with his school friend Joe and having arguments over the Illegal Procedure rule.   So this was his first game in 20 years or so and therefore effectively his first.

Aquilla Strongpoint - In Progress Despite Injury

OK, maybe this picture is a bit over the top, but it really really hurt, OK?
You may have noticed updates are a little thin on the ground the past week.  I have made some progress on the Aquilla Strongpoint but unfortunately I hit a hurdle on Friday night.

This hurdle was a self-inflicted injury from when I ignored advice my Dad has given me since I was a small child, namely, "Always cut away from yourself".  While trimming a piece for the model I held it up in my hand and gently cut with a knife.... then the knife hit a bump, buckled and changed direction, hitting me on the pad of the right thumb.

Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth!

Thankfully, while it was a bit of a bleeder (fingers always are) it's nothing serious and with the ministrations of my girlfriend I will yet live.  I attempted on Sunday night to restart only to bust the wound back open, so I've been ordered by Sister-Superior to lay off the modelmaking until I'm properly healed.


 I was pretty bummed about this because I wouldn't be able to make my deadline of Saturday completion with all the time I had lost, but in the end the game has been delated for other reasons so it isn't the end of the world.  Still itching to get the model completed, though, because very little work was left until I could spray paint it and begin prettifying it.

In the interim, however, here are some pics of what I've made out of cardboard, milliput, all-purpose filler and plastic barricades:

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Bargain Hunting On eBay - Man O War & Risk Legacy

"What's this world coming to, Cratchit? You work all your life to get money... then people want you to give it away."
We Scots have a bit of a reputation when it comes to money.  Sometimes it's phrased more politely and we are described as frugal or prudent.... but more often we're tight, spendthrifts and misers.  There's a reason Scrooge McDuck gets that Mc in his name, after all!

While I'm prone to spend money on nerdy things fairly often, I do like a bargain and I spend quite a long time on eBay hunting for things.  Especially when you are interested in older RPGs & wargames you can find some things go for a lot of money: Chaos Dwarfs and Squats are particularly prone to this due to how long they've been out of print, which is why I've been experimenting with home casting rather than paying eBay's prices for 80s/90s figures. 

I received two large packages this week, each of which was the result of an eBay purchase where I feel I got a good deal - and each of them is something I'd like to get a chance to play sometime soon.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Dungeonbowl Match Report

European Standard certified?  Thank goodness for that!

I mentioned back in April that I'd got a hold of late 80s game Dungeonbowl, a supplement for Blood Bowl.  This is one of those out of print GW games which can cost a bomb to get a hold of on eBay, so after months if not years of searching I lucked out into a reasonably priced auction.  It takes a while to get some items on eBay for reasonable prices - you get a lot of silly figure Buy It Nows for out-of-production material - but persistence paid off!

The figures were in some cases painted but the board pieces, rulebook etc were in good condition.  It even had all the tokens for teleporters, traps, chests etc unpunched.

I felt kinda bad bursting these open. 

So, what is Dungeonbowl?  Well, it's like Blood Bowl in that it's a fantasy version of American Football.  As the name gives away it's played in a dungeon.  What the name may not give away is that the ball does not  begin in any one players hands or kicked off - instead it's located in one of numerous chests in the dungeon.  The ball must be retrieved and than ran into the opposition starting area - whoever does that wins.

Oh, did I mention the chests without balls are trapped?  They explode when you open them.

Oh, and there's spiked pit traps and teleporters scattered about the dungeon to create obstacles and possible short-cuts.

It's, um, it's pretty mental.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blood Bowl, The Fantasy Football Game

The third edition cover, which is always the first picture to come to mind for me.
There are few Games Workshop games I am as fond of as Blood Bowl.  I picked up the third edition new back in the day and while there were many other GW games I owned - Man O' War, Necromunda, Horus Heresy, Epic 40,000, Advanced Heroquest plus of course Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 - Blood Bowl was the only one I played any amount of as a young man, both as a child and then as a student at Glasgow University.

It has a lot going for it - for one thing it's an easy premise to understand, being essentially American Football or Rugby as played by fantasy races like Dwarfs, Goblins and Ogres.  It's got a low overhead cost because unlike the scores of figures you need to assemble a Space Marine battleforce or an Imperial Roman army, you only need a dozen figures or so to make a full team.  A fairly tight set of rules seal the deal - winner of an Origins Award for best miniatures rules when originally released.

Rules I'd quite like to play again, if anyone is up for a game!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Unleash Hell

A tough act to follow.
 So my last post proved very popular indeed: not just the most viewed post on my blog since i started it but more views than the second and third most viewed posts put together.  A mass of likes on Facebook and even a share to a distant gaming societies wall.  For someone who considers himself a crap painter it's high praise indeed.

Somehow I must struggle on, even though I know deep down nothing I can post afterwards can go down as well.  It's like second album syndrome for nerds.  This must be how the Happy Mondays felt.

Anyway, as much as I'd like a functioning Chaos Dwarf army we're going to stick with terrain for now and with something I'm working on for my next apocalypse game in the middle of September.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Some Very Glasgow Warhammer Terrain

Every once in a while Glasgow can be rather pretty.  The Gallery of Modern Art at Christmas Time.
As you will know I am a native of Glasgow: most populous city of Scotland, second city of the British Empire and (depending on how you count suburbs and stuff) third largest city in the United Kingdom.  We're home to more gangs per capita than New York and, and are the epnoymous city behind the Glasgow Effect. Gallery of Modern Art.  We are famed the world over for stabbing each other over football teams.  We are No Mean City.

Despite these grim facts, though, we have a sense of humour.  Check out the above picture and you'll see our beautiful Gallery of Modern Art and, sitting outside it, a statue of British hero the Duke of Wellington;. he who won the battle of Waterloo. Look a little closely and you'll see a decidedly Glasgow addition, though: a strange red splodge. 

What could that be, non-natives may well ask?  What would be red on a bronze statue?

It's meant affectionately, honest!
Er, it's a traffic cone.  For decades we've put a traffic cone on his head.  When the council comes to take it down, we put it back up again. When they take it down again, we put it up again and give his horse one as well.   It's a strange drunken student rite of passage to clamber up the statue and crown him.

This odd ritual is even more odd for having become famous.  It's a common picture on the front of tourist guides of Glasgow; it's on T-Shirts available in the modern art gallery; we even featured it as part of our Commonwealth Games opening ceremony last month.  it says something about Glasgow's sense of humour that what at first might seem like the desecration of a hero of Empire is in fact an odd sort of welcoming him into our family. 

The highlight of the opening ceremony.  (It wouldn't take much)

For a long time I've had half a mind to do a little Warhammer nod to this Glasgow icon.  When Wellington and his cone popped up in the Commonwealth Games, I decided it was time to stop with the excuses and start with the painting.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Who Ya Gonna Call? My Favourite Role-Playing Game

God help us, I actually have more things on this shelf than when this blog started.

Remember this picture of my RPG shelf?  That huge pile of games spanning decades and many genres?  I mention it again so you understand that what I am saying cannot be taken lightly.  This is not some bloke  with five games telling you what his favourite game is.  This is a bloke with over a hundred RPGs telling you what his favourite is.  

My favourite game is at the top of the picture, a black box wedged between others.  My favourite game is one I only actually play every six months or so because rationing it makes it better.  My favourite game is one which lets me and my friends do something we always wanted to do as seven year olds.  My favourite game doesn't take itself too seriously and always has us laughing.  My favourite game only cost me £5 in a second-hand bin in my local game shop but is probably the best purchase I ever made for fun-to-pounds-spent.

My favourite game is Ghostbusters International.

We're ready to believe you!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Dice Dice Baby

Keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin'

These nerdy games I post about all the time - board games, wargames, role playing games and the others - tend to have something in common.  Many of them use dice as a randomiser.  Some of them use regular garden six-sided dice as lives in your monopoly boxed set; some use different shaped dice with 4, 8, 10, 12, 20 or even weirder numbers of sides.  Some of them don't use numbers but have letter, symbols or colours as part of the game mechanics.

When one plays these games you acquire a lot of these odd dice.  You go scavenging every old board game in the house; you come across a weird new set of dice in a new boxed game; you pick up an extra pack of dice here and there at nerd shops.  You even start trawling websites that sell nothing but dice and dice alone.  The worst might even get custom dice made.

Few people get this bad though.  And fewer still would intentionally pose in a stupid way with their dice collection.

Doing my best Bryan Ansell 80s photo impersonation with my three tables of dice.

So this is more or less my entire dice collection as it resides in my many dice bags.  Not every board game I own has been raided for dice: Talisman and Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition have pretty six sided dice that still live in their game boxes, for example and Formula D has a bunch of weird dice for the different car gears which stay with the game.  If I store the dice seperately, though, they are there!

Below the fold I'll post some "highlights", such as they are.  And why not share your own dice collection with me?  I even have a sort of prize to offer.  :-)

The Iron Daemon Rolls Out


Finally, the Iron Daemon is ready to trundle across the battlefield! Shading and some highlighting is done as well as my crappy skills will allow.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Iron Daemon Update

The slightly more mischievous of the classic Railway Series engines.
It's been a while since I posted any painting updates, so here's some info on a figure I like to call "James The Death Engine" but you might know as "Chaos Dwarf Iron Daemon"

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


"WAAAAARGH Me Harties"
This is a little thing I posted on another blog a couple of years ago - my sole attempt at Warhammer 40,000 fanfiction.  It's too small to even be classed as a short story - at just four paragraphs, I've written longer text messages - but I record it here for posterity.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag


I'm afraid some personal woes have kept the blog from getting updated much lately.  A sick girlfriend, a redundancy of a coworker at work, ensuing business at work as we take on new jobs and the generally hot & sticky weather in Greater Glasgow have all kept me away from my usual nerdity.

Admittedly, I have still had my weekly RPG sessions, but little else has happened.  I didn't even take part in the Apocalypse rematch the others arranged: having to cancel at short notice, I missed the return bout of Orks Vs Non-Orks.

However, to show some change of tone and give you all some new Quail rambles, here are some happy packages I received recently that indicate some improvement in my fortunes

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Where Everybody Knows Your Name (And Armour Class)

The secret doorway to Glasweigan nerdity
The cooler amongst you might be more interested in tonight's football drubbing, but I had my own sportsball experience today - a game of Dreadball with my mate Stuart.

Stuart found himself with some time free - his family are away from the house so he asked if we could meet up for some sort of card or board game.  I suggested introducing him to Dreadball and we met at in the center of town at Geek Retreat.

Geek Retreat is a relatively modern part of Glasgow's nerd culture and, on the outside, looks rather unimpressive.  Especially when we already have so many comic book shops (three around the city centre alone) you may wonder quite what the point of another one is.  But then you go in the door, down the stairs and discover.....

Maybe I should have a "spot the nerd reference" game for this photo
... a coffee shop filled with geeky paraphernalia.  Cakes, hot chocolate and paninis sit alongside magic cards, comics and action figures.  There's regular meetings to play CCGs, computer games, board games, RPGs etc.  Geek Retreat has been a huge success - for a city as hard-drinking as Glasgow, a city centre social spot working without a drinks license is a big surprise - and it's really come into its own.

Anyway, into this building regular 40K opponent Stuart pulled up a chair, bought me a rocky road and learned the futuristic sports game.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The Game Of Fantasy Battles

Deployment on Charles' game table: clear hint the game takes place in Britain by the presence of a mug.
This blog has been going for six months now.  Finally, I can feature my first battle report of Warhammer Fantasy Battles!

As previously noted I started with fantasy games - Man O' War and Warhammer Fantasy -  before drifting into 40K.  I haven't owned a core book to WFB since 4th ed, but part of this blog was about me trying to start Fantasy again and assemble a wee Chaos Dwarf army.

The paucity of posts will betray my Chaos Dwarfs aren't yet ready to see the table, but frequent game opponent and RPG chum Charles has two armies so offered me the chance of a wee demo game on Sunday which I took him up on.  I could take his Tomb Kings army, he'd use his new High Elves and I could learn the rules by playing.