A Miniature Odyssey

Miniature Gaming Reviews, Tutorials & Musings

Servo Skull Musings: Farewell to the Fantasy Flight/Games Workshop Alliance — February 4, 2017

Servo Skull Musings: Farewell to the Fantasy Flight/Games Workshop Alliance

This is not meant to announce or rehash old news. It is old news; months old. I have taken that time instead to reflect on that impact, and work towards completing a few collections before it is too late. I suppose it is never too late, but when Ebay prices soar, they tend to truly soar.

A few months ago Fantasy Flight Games announced on their website that as of this forthcoming February 28th, their licence agreement with Games Workshop comes to an end. This means that all products involving the Talisman, Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 licences, will for all intents and purposes cease to exist with the exception of the libraries of collectors and the profiteering of Ebay and Amazon.

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Whether this licence expiry is mutual, or by one of the parties in particular may never be disclosed. What we can safely say is that Fantasy Flight still has some potent licences including Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and A Game of Thrones in addition to a plethora of other gaming options.

We also know that GW has been aggressively pursuing changes to the way they conduct their own business brands. Ignoring the sometimes questionable video game licences, they have put out more exciting projects in the past twelve months then they have in recent years. They have launched major expansions across their core Sigmar and 40K brands along with many system-compatible yet self contained boxed sets. In addition to this, the Horus Heresy is continuing to expand in their Forge World line-up and with the Calth and Prospero sets. The Horus Heresy is invading the more accessible sides of GW.

The legend of the once scuttled Specialist Games division of GW seems to be seeing a potential resurrection. Inquisitor, Necromunda, and Battlefleet Gothic are still played albeit without GW support. Warhammer Quest made its return. Other self-contained boxes have been regularly appearing. Is there potential hope for GW to bring back the RPG components of their offerings? Is this simply GW understanding that they have potentially been cannibalizing their product development options?

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A rare photograph of the often rumoured illegal Battlefleet Gothic tournaments. It is believed that this photo was taken behind an unidentified restaurant in Saigon.

Truth be told in this humble opinion, Fantasy Flight did a fantastic job with their access to the GW properties. I say this for a simple reason. Anyone who visits either Lexicanum and the 40K Wikia has probably noticed how much of the guts of those articles is from content created by Fantasy Flight; Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, Only War and Rogue Trader. So much of the interesting fluff has come from those product lines; lines produced under licence by Fantasy Flight Games.

While GW proper has produced an increased quantity of books, supplements and releases in the past year it has also seen an increased level of quality to boot. In my time with 40K, the best produced and executed sources for 40K canon has been a tie between the Imperial Armour and Horus Heresy Books of Forge World, and the RPG source books from Fantasy Flight. The reason for the tie is simply because they approach their offering of canon from different perspectives.

The Imperial Armour and Horus Heresy Books provide all manner of history and details and battle campaigns suitable to satisfy the big picture. The Fantasy Flight options provide a less seen picture; planets, sectors, cities and cultures delved into with incredible depth and fantastic illustrations. Ever wondered what life is like on countless worlds? The RPG books have you covered.

In that sense, the end of this era is a sad time. Perhaps the torch will simply pass back to GW and this will be their evolutionary renaissance; a necessary sacrifice serving as harbinger to great things yet to come. More disappointingly though, perhaps my collection of Rogue Trader books will never be complete.

Those books were and remain incredible sources of fluff. I purchased many volumes, and have never played a RPG in my life. What they contain however, is something that any 40K fan will appreciate and enjoy regardless of their intentions to play any of the RPGs. That alone speaks volumes to their quality.

As always, questions, concerns, comments and existential dilemmas are welcome.

Regards, Mr Kalidor

Dark Heresy Second Edition: Free Adventure “Seeds of Heresy” — July 14, 2015

Dark Heresy Second Edition: Free Adventure “Seeds of Heresy”

I am not sure how I missed this, but as there was no announcement I can find I can only assume it was the result of ninja activity.

Regardless, there is a free adventure for Dark Heresy Second Edition entitled Seeds of Heresy now under the player resources section of the Fantasy Flight website.

As I have stated in the past, I have the Second Edition books released to date, but do not play the game. I am simply very fond of the new depth these books bring to the 40K universe.

The premise follows Inquisitorial Acolytes and a forgotten agricultural world of the Askellon Sector. While this world was previously heavily influenced by the zealous administrators of the Imperial Cult, the Adeptus Ministorum, contact with the world has long been lost. As is typical with the endless bureaucracy of the Imperium of Man, contact was lost over two decades ago with a distress signal seemingly misplaced. The plea for help has since been uncovered and the player characters are sent on a mission of investigation to root out the veracity of the original distress signal and re-establish contact with the rural planet.

If you are a fan of Dark Heresy, a fan of the excellent background Fantasy Flight contributes to the canon of the 41st Millennium, or are simply looking for an interesting read, please check out the link below:

https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/48/d2/48d2ddcf-aed5-47e2-9776-b00fa8317411/dark_heresyseeds_of_heresy_web.pdf

Unlikely Reviews: Dark Heresy Second Edition By Fantasy Flight Games- Part One — July 4, 2015

Unlikely Reviews: Dark Heresy Second Edition By Fantasy Flight Games- Part One

For nearly as long as I have attempted to find random internet factoids surrounding my interest in the Warhammer Universe I have come across unusual levels of depth that remained largely inexplicable to me. They were not pieces of information gleamed from any number of rule books, codex, background books, art books or even the publications of the Black Library or Forge World. Eventually I would discover that much of this well detailed fluff would have originated from the Role Playing world of Fantasy Flight Games, who under license from Games Workshop produce a myriad of products including Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Black Crusade and Only War.

I realized that there was a huge swathe of information to be absorbed. The challenge was simple, I knew and even now know very little about paper and pencil RPGs. In fact it is safe to say that I know about as much about that niche as I would expect others to know of mine. As such I did not know where to begin. What to look at or for or through. There were so many volumes, bestiaries, rule books, rule companions, campaigns, adventures and so on that should I decide to invest in anything I certainly could not guarantee making the correct purchase.

After all your humble narrator at A Miniature Odyssey lives in rural Ontario with no brick and mortar retail establishment to reach out too, and certainly not with regards to RPGs.

Quite surreptitiously however, Fantasy Flight Games or FFG as they seem to be know in their niche recently released their Dark Heresy Second Edition. So to sate my curiosity I could invest in four books and have the series in its entirety in lieu of picking and choosing and guessing what to obtain in the far larger alternatives of their other banners.

Thus, I found myself ordering directly from FFG the following titles pertaining to Dark Heresy Second Edition; the Core Rule Book, the Gamemasters Screen, Enemies Within and Forgotten Gods.

I would like to state I have never played a RPG. I do not know anyone who does participate in RPGs. As such my reviews will be limited to the reasons I purchased this series; fluff. By fluff I mean the history, background, ideas and artwork that compose these interesting tomes.

As such, and as my sole disclaimer if you are an avid RPG enthusiast, look away, far away for I do not understand your world and have no intent of insulting it. I review this as a self professed outsider, albeit one now that has developed an interest in how the mechanics might play out (again rural Ontario so the chances are I will never find out) in addition to a new found respect for world I do not fully comprehend.

As for the Core Rulebook the first word that comes to mind are… hefty. I mean 443 pages of full colour hefty. The simply yet recognizable seal of the Inquisition adorns its front cover and within this tome are segments of the culture, history and cartography, organization and who’s who of the Askellon Sector is presented.

This I suggest to be of prime interest to those such as myself looking into this world from the typical Warhammer 40K side of things. Our world is ongoing grim dark death and war with little insight as to how the galaxy actually functions within the Imperial culture and cult. For me it offered a refreshing look at a small piece of the Imperial pie; its government, local variations, organization and hitherto local variants of that also. It was interesting to see the breakdowns and descriptions of whole new planets, systems and cities never before mentioned or alas mentioned ad nausea-um (Cadia, Macragge, Baal and so on).

It was also interesting to read about the technology, gear, equipment, weapons, food, medications and cybernetic devices often seen in the 41st millennium but rarely discussed with any new information in the GW produced works. It was similarly interesting to read in depth about the Inquisition and the variety of persons operating in the Askellon Sector,

As a 40K enthusiast and an outsider it was also interesting to look at and play with the character creation system and see the familiar archetypes from 40K ported over to DH; Imperial Guardsman, Preacher, Techpriest, Arbitrator, Bureaucrat, Assassin and even cutthroat!.

The Artwork is nothing short of phenomenal. As someone inexperienced with FFG’s take of the Warhammer properties I cannot state with assurance that this is either normal or abnormal. With that said the artwork is exactly what I could see myself buying as an art book from the Black Library.

In summation, I do no RP. After reading through this I am certainly willing to try. It could be good fun. A New experience I am not one to decry nor deny. If I was a dedicated RP participant would I have a similar review? I do not know without a frame of reference with which to offer comparison. As a fan of the Warhammer 40K universe who appreciates the fluff, background, ideas, culture, history and depth of the galaxy of 40K, it sated those desires. It was also full of new artwork that represented the gothic-sci-fi imagery, vibes and feelings of the 41st millennium in precisely the way I would have hoped.

Part Two, Three and Four will cover the various expansions released as such. I doubt they will be as long simply because I felt it important to stress time and again that the purpose of my review is not to look at it as a RPer but rather as a 40Ker.