Thursday, October 14, 2010

Imperial Armor 9: Is Awesome

I was gonna start writing some stuff on the importance of je ne sais quoi when it comes to miniature painting, but then IA9 came in the mail yesterday and ruined all that.  

Forgeworld is the kind of thing I'm glad I didn't really discover until I was a gainfully employed adult.  The big price tags would have driven me mad for putting so much amazing stuff just out of reach.  At the risk of sounding like a fanboi, its just so damn cool!  Even if it is largely useless in the regular game of 40k, there's just something appealing about the stuff they make.

Actually, its not an amorphous something.  I know full well while people go ape-shit over forgeworld stuff. Its rare by virtue of its cost and often a kind of status symbol.  The detail level of the models is intense and the they strive to make things seem otherworldly in comparison to the regular plastics.  Plus, the units the make are both unfettered by the rules and internal logic of a codex and, often, extremely powerful.  Its just... unique.

But that's just the models.  They also print specialist books.  And that's what really gets my dick hard.  I've had more than a few forgeworld kits in my time, but its usually been a part of the typical process of building an army. the books, on the other hand...  are the exact kind of thing that I just can't resist.  At all.

See what I mean:

My entire Forgeworld Collection.. and Techno the Cat.
I just love these damn things - the art, the narrative, the rules, the quality of the binding and other such nerdy stuff... hell, even the sheer size of them.  Typos and all, the thing I love most about these books, though, is the fact that they have a bit of the spectacle about them.  Come to think of it, another big appeal of these books is that much like the Horus Heresy novels, they shed light on parts of the 40k myths that have been kinda thinly represented in the fluff.

The books very large and very expensive and the stories contained within are on the same scale.  Its what we wish all the codices could be - its part Jane's military guide, part rules book, part historical fiction and part coffee table book.  Its actually a bit staggering when you think about how much effort must go into these mere works of fiction.

Thankfully, Special Lady Friend is a bigger bibliophile than I am and I don't need to justify the purchase.  I just need to find the money.

At this point, I'm only a third of the way through the thing and Imperial Armour: the Badab War - part 1 is already the best one yet.  Admittedly, I haven't even had time to digest the rules - but, if I'm honest, its not why I keep buying these.  The story is well written and deals with one of the most interesting bits of the whole 40k universe.  Its presented in the pseudo-historical tone that Forgeworld's authors have been honing for years and its just an absolute ton of fun.  Ooh, and the kind of one page action fiction insets are good too.  Just a ton of depth here that not even the volumes of the Vraks Trilogy had.  Tons of full color stuff as well - I'd even go so far as describe the book as 'lavishly illustrated'.

I won't spoil much of the book, but I will say that you should keep a close watch on Forgeworld for pre-heresy terminators that will rock your em-effing socks off.

Sorry to use such harsh letters.

Without going to much further with gushing praise, I thought I might take some time to do some quickie thoughts on the other books I own:

IA1: Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy - Probably the only one of the series that's a bit disappointing.  there's no story, its just a technical manual.  Which is fine and good, its just that all of the rules are outdated and most of the tanks are in other, much cheaper books.  Its OOP now as Forgeworld are updating it for a re-print.  But still fun and still chock-fucking-full of color scheme ideas.

IA2:  Space Marines and the Inquisition - same style of book as IA1 - fake technical manual.  For whatever reason, I found this one a lot more interesting than IA1.  I think it has a lot to do with the subject matter being of higher interest to me.  Plus, the color illustrations are way cooler than camo pattern after camo pattern.  I almost always bust this out when it comes time to paint a space marine vehicle.

IA5-7:  The Siege of Vraks - I'm lumping all three of these together since they all cover the same event.  The narrative is pretty great since it covers such a large amount of stuff in in a lot of detail in a pretty large scope, but its a bit repetitive since it only deals with the same two forces for all three books.  That being said, this is the place the IG fans should start if they're going to take the IA plunge.  The be forewarned, the army lists are based of the previous version of the IG codex.  Parts 2 and 3 are also chock full of lots of new Chaos stuff, so its good for those fans too.

IA8:  Raid On Kastorel-Novem - Is a lot more self contained than the Vraks stuff.  It feels a bit like a Tom Clancy adventure in few ways.  The big draw here is the army lists.  The Elysian Drop Troops list is incredibly cool but the Ork Dread-bash list is goddamn amazing.  Out of all the books I've got, the army lists in this volume are by far the best and will do well against 5th edition codices.

Imperial Armour Update - This one is out of print since it had been rendered completely out of date and redundant by the Apocalypse books.  I got it because it was dirt cheap.  Unfortunately, this means that its also very short, very boring and very sparsely isllustrated - in basic black and white.  Do yourself a favor and don't try and track down a copy.

Imperial Armor Apocalypse - is a must have if you play Apocalypse games.  There's no story here, but the book is crammed full of rules and formations.  Lots of inspiration for collection and a very cheap way to get access to a ton of new units.  In many cases, this is the only place you can find information on a ton of the Xenos stuff.  Now, if only I had the second volume...

Imperial Armor Model Masterclass 1 - I think this is the book that's been the most useful.  Its just full of all kinds of advanced scale model techniques and step by step how-tos.  You'll need a lot of advanced skill and advanced tools to replicate the results, but this book is about as good an introduction to sale modeling as you're likely to find.

I think that's the all for tonight.  I'm off to eat canned fruit , read more of volume 9 and try not to think about volume 10.

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