Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birth of a new Podcast! Enter ... The Deployment Zone!

Birth of a new Podcast! Enter ... The Deployment Zone!

A few weeks back a friend of mine asked me (John) if I would be interested in doing a podcast about gaming. I looked at him as if he were insane because I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to listen to me for five minutes more a less several hours. Josh convinced me that it would be so we decided to move forward with the idea and ended up purchasing the equipment from the good gentlemen that ran the Waaghcast! We also ended up inviting another friend of ours, Bryan, to join us and so the Deployment Zone podcast was born!

It took us a few weeks but we finally managed to get together and write out an outline and record the test episode which we aptly dubbed…Episode 0. We had a good time recording it and after listening to it, we’ve discovered what we need to do to make it flow better and provide a well rounded podcast to listeners.

The Deployment Zone is available here:

I encourage folks to listen to it and leave some comments either here or on the website. If you can get past listening to me rambling on and on, then you may just enjoy it! We’ll be discussing Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40k, Hordes, Warmachine, Malifaux, and other games as well as reporting on the Pacific Northwest’s tournament scene. You’ll also hear about battle reports (and some of them won’t involve rambling!) and army list comparisons. I’ll be linking many of the blog’s battle reports and the podcast together here using Battle Chronicler.

Once we have a few episodes recorded we’ll move on to I-tunes for easier downloading.  We'll be recording Episode 1 this up and coming Monday and it's going to be rad...yes...I said RAD.

Thanks for listening!

Now digressing from the post a little bit and going on to what I’ve been doing lately.
I’ve managed to accomplish the following Gaming tasks in the last two weeks and I’ll be providing a battle report this weekend of my game this up and coming Saturday as well as pictures of what I’ve modeled/painted.

1. Battled and defeated The Empire with my Beastmen.
2. Set up a game against High Elves this weekend – Wood elves may make an appearance.
3. Rewrote my Beastman list again to be friendlier at 2500 and 3000 points.
4. Bought and assembled a Chaos Spawn
5. Painted the Mage Hunter Strike Force for Warmachine
6. Read Guardians of the Forest by Graham McNeill.
7. Assembled my new Spellweaver (plastic dark elf spellcaster model to now be convereted).
8. Purchased another box of Ungors and Minotaurs – hehe…
9. Obtained 34 Tanith Imperial Guard

You’ll see updates from those in the next couple posts.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Guardians of the Forest - Black Library Book Review

I just finished reading Graham McNeill's Guardians of the Forest for the Black Library's Warhammer Fantasy line.

The novel for the most part was excellent.  Graham McNeill does an absolute fantastic job of portraying Athel Loren and giving the reader a strong feel for the almost alien quality of the forest.  This sentiment that the forest is a mystical and magical place that seems alive is reinforced several times as you read through the book and follow the main human character.  McNeill also does an excellent job of portraying the Wood Elf culture and lifestyle. The way he introduces the different kinbands of Asrai into a scene or shows how the dread and fear is instilled into humans and outsiders by their actions is very well depicted over and over again.  You get to see how superstition forces the human character to act around the Asrai and how that impacts his actions during the story.   You get to experience the forest spirits, you see how terrifying and brutal the Dryads can be and how the elves themselves regard their forest 'allies'.    McNeill also included several characters and places that as a player I could recognize from the Wood Elf Warhammer Army Book.

McNeill does a great job depicting characters - human, elf and beastman alike. I did feel that the story was a little bit rushed and some critical battles scenes were hastily written.  I would have really like to see more of the Morghur storyline and more about the Beastmen themselves.  He had a really excellent storyline, one which I feel is one of the most critical plot lines behind the Wood Elf army and their existence in the Warhammer world.

I really feel that this story could have been spread out into a trilogy and the author could have fleshed out the Beastmen even more rather than just the physical description.  The Morghur storyline would have easily been a long series but perhaps McNeill had a deadline or something.  Either way however the story was great and McNeill did a wonderful job of fleshing out the Wood elf society.

From the Warhammer Fantasy Battles standpoint, this book is top notch.  It provided me with a complete vision and description of the core aspects of the Wood elf army.  It also did an excellent job describing Beastmen as well.  I would fully recommend this book to any Wood Elf player, the amount of inspiration and theme ideas that are in this novel are outstanding.  The novel actually made me want to field Glade Riders, Warhawk Riders and some more Eternal Guard because McNeill made them sound absolutely awesome.  That is how you sell models to those who read and play!

Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  If it had been longer and not felt so rushed it would have received 5 stars. The fact that it is also only available by ebook is another issue  but I enjoyed it nonetheless. You can expect to see a few elements of this book being introduced in my Wood Elf army overtime.