While the Monsterpocalypse continues to develop on a global scale, with the Elemental Champions joining the Legion of Mutates to fight off the Savage Swarm and the Masters of the Eighth Dimension (new starters coming!), one could be forgiven for forgetting that the true lords of Terra have been here all along, dwelling beneath the surface and waiting for the right time to emerge. Like a beautiful butterfly metamorphosing in its cocoon, but with dirty great drill bits and the like, the Subterran Uprising broke the crust with Hammerklak and his Mollock attendants, but he wasn’t alone. The masterminds of the underground empire sent reinforcements.
Blastikutter is … an odd little duck. Unlike Hammerklak, Blastikutter strides forth on long legs, ending in enormous tunneling claws. Drills are mounted on his shoulders and midriff, allowing for some seriously impressive shoulder charges and an utterly terminal belly bump (you do NOT want this guy at your kegger), while his arms end in a huge saw for carving choice cuts from hit… their… opponents, and a cannon. The weirdness comes from the mad underearth science that allowed two beings to be bolted together, giving Blastikutter two heads and allowing each control different attacks simultaneously.
That said, the bolts run up the center of the torso, over the shoulders and down the back, with no indication of incisions around or below the waistline. This would suggest that both upper portions are part of the same being as the lower, rather than different creatures frankensteined together.
From this I can think of two options. One, the upper portions were originally two independent upper torsos that were bolted together, or two, there was originally a third head between the remaining two that was excised for being a disagreeable git. I’m not sure which option is more disconcerting.
Blastikutter is the last of the Subterran models to be painted in my collection (until I get my hands on another Mollock blister, or PP releases a second minion blister and the new iteration of Drillcon-Vorionik) so now I need to decide if they should be paired with my Lords of Cthul or Planet Eaters… at least, until that Savage Swarm starter drops…
Hello, Citizens! I can’t help but notice how you’ve managed to do significant damage to your Earth’s ecosystem through pollution! I would like to introduce to you the superior recycling techniques we have developed in our home dimension, that you too might benefit from a planet covered in less discarded G.U.A.R.D. tank husks and the like. I am Kommander Yuri, and this is the pride of the Zerkalo recycling and reclamation program, Zavod 075!
Zavod 075 comes in quite a few pieces, anchored on the two resin components that form the upper and lower body. Both arms are metal, with an upper arm, lower arm, and one single claw for each hand. The remaining pieces are the cannon and three separate chimney stacks.
More than just an enormous machine on treads with plenty of smokestacks and a dirty great cannon (purely for self defense, I assure you), the Zavod 075 is equipped with a bloody gigantic scoop to collect that scrap metal that G.U.A.R.D. has seen fit to issue ostensibly as weapons of war, and after dumping them into its hopper, this wonderful device can break down and reassemble the components, creating actually useful things like Spar rockets and Vorota Walkers!
Zavod 075 can produce new units via a Summon action, or as part of a Brawl attack against an enemy unit, replacing the downed unit with a Zerkalo Bloc unit from your reserves. Once he goes Hyper, he loses the Summon action, but instead gains Salvage, turning debris from destroyed buildings into Power Dice.
Future generations of your dimension’s human children will be so glad you decided to embrace this recycling technology, so that you could leave behind a planet with far fewer G-Tank hulls. Reach out to your local Zerkalo Bloc agency and make your pledge to making a better world for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
Zavod 075, as well as the Vorota Walkers (mobile spawning points) and SPAR (single use rocket launchers), are available through your FLGS or preferred online retailer. Have YOU pledged your allegiance yet?
Most think it can be hard to shop for gamer pals, but in truth, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Worried about gifting a model for the wrong faction? Congratulations, you’ve just provided inspiration to for a whole new army! Worried about gifting a duplicate? Truth be told, the percentage of models that can’t be used in multiples is very low, and there’s always the chance to convert a model. What about roleplaying resources? Sure, no-one needs two Dungeon Masters Guides, but there’s always something missing from their library that can be identified with very minimal research. Worst comes to worst, have you -ever- heard a roleplayer say they have too many dice? Today I thought we’d drop some hints for shoppers, or last minute additions to your wishlists
Everyone’s well aware of Games Workshop’s Start Collecting boxes. Almost every faction in Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40K has a Start Collecting box available. They’re all excellent value, and they pretty much all have kids that can be built with multiple options, so there’s very little fear of duplication.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable though, that can welcome a new player to miniature gaming? Privateer has you covered.
Warmachine/Hordes starters provide everything you need to gets started, except a table and an opponent. Each has a complete rulebook and a selection of curated models that are suitable for learners, but that will still provide fun play for veterans. Suitable for the Fantasy/Steampunk fan.
Monsterpocalypse starters follow the same philosophy but aimed at those who really enjoyed Godzilla or Pacific Rim. Will you level the city and crush the puny humans, or will you save mankind from monstrous invaders? Either way, you get to slam your opponents into building and stomp their puny tanks. Good times.
If you’re a sci-fi junkie, Warcaster starters are the newest kids on the block but still pack a punch with plenty of pew-pew in a distant galaxy. Player communities are developing and the feedback on this game is positive and an exciting opportunity for someone looking for a dynamic new venture.
Dungeons & Dragons is the biggest name in town, and there’s a world of supplements and resources available. From the Starter Set for someone who’s never played before, to the Players Handbook for someone keen to take their first steps into a campaign, to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything – the very newest resource for players and DM’s alike.
If you’re looking for a different roleplaying experience, the options are all out there – you could pre-order the Dune RPG for hardcore sci-fi fans, combat nazis and elder things with Achtung! Cthulhu, or sink your teeth into the award-winning Tales From The Loop for fans of Stranger Things.
Not looking to commit to a whole new campaign, but think a one-off would be good times? Steamforged’s Epic Encounters are self-contained adventures that can also be worked into an existing campaign.
Subscription boxes are all the rage nowadays for a variety of industries, and gaming hasn’t been overlooked. Privateer Press offers two different monthly subscription lines – one for Warmachine/Hordes and the other for Legend of the Five Rings – over at Mini-Crate. Dungeon In A Box, RPG Crate and Dungeon Crate all cater to Dungeons & Dragons fans, and there’s even dice subscription services like Libris Arcana.
Additionally you could look into a subscription to D&D Beyond, perhaps a membership in a subscription-based community like the Brush Wielders Union, or even hook them up with a link to a favored author’s Patreon so that they can get sneak peeks at upcoming works.
The worlds inhabited by tabletop gamers can be dizzying and confusing for those on the outside, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be navigated with a little assistance. I wish everyone the best in navigating the coming weeks as we close out 2020. We may be isolating for the good of the community, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to get our hobby on, or to help end encourage the gamers in our lives to do the same.
When Monsterpocalypse was relaunched a few GenCons ago, I was rather excited. The initial incarnation was a thing when I was first getting into Privateer Press products, but the blind box model meant that I could never guarantee that I’d get anything I actually wanted out of a booster box, which made it difficult to swallow the price point given that, knowing my collector mentality, I’d be pushing to try to get complete factions. The relaunch took care of this by doing away with the blind box model, and added in the bonus of adding in a hobby element along with the resculpts, letting us paint the models however we so chose.
Doing away with all of the old agendas, the new Monsterpocalypse simply had two sides: Destroyers and Protectors. Every Destroyer can ally with every other Destroyer in their quest to bring about the end of all that is, and every Protector can band together with every other Protector in defense of Humanity and the world as we know it. Initially we got three of each – GUARD, Shadow Sun Syndicate and the Terrasaurs seeking to shield humanity, while the Planet Eaters, Martian Menace and Lords of Cthul were set to lay waste to the planet… but it wasn’t long before more factions started appearing. In addition to the starting six we have:
Fighting the Good Fight
The Empire of the Apes, led by King Kondo, have muscled out of the hidden forests.
The Tritons rise from the depths, all tentacles and fishy smells.
The Green Fury would otherwise be seen as ecoterrorists, but when the world’s being broken apart?
The Elemental Champions tap into monastic traditions the world has not seen for centuries.
The Draken Armada have arrived from the stars with noble intentions and a grudge against the Planet Eaters
The Legion of Mutates? Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! Well, lions, hippos and rhinos…
Appetites for Destruction
The Subterran Uprising have breached the surface with whirly drill bits.
Uber Corp International are always happy to steal a good idea, and then make you pay for it.
The Savage Swarm are all abuzz. We’re gonna need a bogger apiary.
The Waste are sentient sewage and pissed off pollutants.
The Necroscourge are a nanite hivemind, reanimating and repurposing the dead into weapons.
The Zerkalo Bloc are from a parallel Earth, conquering their other dimensional counterparts.
The Masters of the 8th Dimension are inscrutable, and just plain weird. But deadly.
With no less than -nineteen- different factions to choose from, the variety of aesthetics and playstyles is somewhat bewildering, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll find something that appeals to you whether you’re focused on playstyle or aesthetic.
Which faction’s your favourite, and why is it the Subterrans?
I can’t be the only one who watched Pacific Rim and thought Cherno Alpha was a freaking amazing machine. The idea of thousands of tons of cold war era soviet tech stomping around in an enormous jaegar with absurdly thick armor plating made for an amazing visual and one of the highlights of the film. When Privateer announced the Zerkalo Bloc for Monsterpocalypse, a little part of me squeed.
Carving through dimensional barriers, the Zerkalo Bloc hail from a world where the cold war ended very differently than it did in our own universe. Voyaka 099 is the spearhead of an incurion, a walking battleship bristling with an array of cannons and a chest-mounted brace of spotlights (There are five lights!).
The main hun fires shells 6′ across, while the forearm-mounted secondary batteries provide smaller fire – while still enormous – ammunition capable of shattering an opponent’s chitin or piercing through to the foundations of a building. Closer to the groups, an array of cannons are mounted on each leg for use as anti-personnel weapons. Woe betide any G-Tanks that find themselves singled out by Voyaka 099’s targeting systems.
Who said two heads are better than one?? Well, actually, I’m pretty sure Blastikutter did, and as a representative of our new Subterran overlords, I’m pretty sure I can take him at his word. Clearly, so does the Draken Armada! While our first encounter with the enormous space dragons was the corrupted Gallamaxus, their leader Rastaban assures us that they’re actually here to help humanity combat the Monsterpocalypse, and his field commander Zybanos has entered the fray with both heads blazing. Wait, that didn’t sound right…
Today we’re cracking open Zybanos and the Bastion Lander, the Draken Armada’s terrestrial base.
As the painting projects continue and we delve deeper and deeper into the pile of shame at the Gdaycave, models that joined the stash some time ago are finally seeing their time on the painting desk. One such model is Yasheth, Keeper of the Dread Lexicanum and unabashed IKEA devotee. The second monster for the Lords of Cthul, Yasheth is a tricksy devil who starts out floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, before kicking up the vampirism in the late game.
Yasheth believes in getting up close and personal, striking with Brawl attacks. His wickedly long talons pierce through enemy armor with Penetrator, while Vampirismhelps out by healing Yasheth whenever he damages an enemy monster. Getting stuck in melee can be dangerous, but Side Step lets him advance 3 spaces whenever he’s missed by an attack. This works both ways of course – risk some incoming fire and get bonus movement forward, or dodge an uppercut to reposition out of melee if needed.
Once he flips to Hyper form, Yasheth commits more to the fight by ditching Side Step, but picking up Lightning Attack for economy of actions, allowing him to get additional Brawl attacks. He still reduces opposing defense with Penetrator, but switch vampiric gears by ditching Vampirism in favor of Siphon. No more healing, but whenever he hits an opposing monster, they lose a Power Die and he gains one. If you’re packing decent unit support, Arcane Voidmeans he also grants Siphon to any allied units on the table, allowing you to potentially keep your opponent’s power pool woefully empty.
As a bonus, Yasheth is one of the models where I still have the original Monsterpocalypse models, allowing for some comparison pics, showcasing the difference in scale and model detail, along with some bonus dust on the bases of the older models.
“You can’t win, Yashethkin! I have the slightly higher ground!”
While Ulgoth remains absent from my Lords of Cthul stable, having Yasheth painted means I can field him with Cthugrosh for a mono-faction force, deliciously breaching reality as the Elder Things carve their way through our subconcious and bring about the downfall of mankind, as it was foretold in the prophecies…
You can, of course, snaffle your own Yasheth from your FLGS, preferred online retailer, or direct from Privateer Press. Now, who’s next on the painting table…
The world is a warzone. Giant monsters from a dizzying array of factions have declared your planet the center of a cataclysmic conflict that threatens to shatter the surface and destroy all terrestrial life. Humanity’s defenders are just as monstrous as its attackers – enormous apes knuckle up to cosmic horrors, shadowy megacorps duel with mystic juggernauts and aquatic leviathans rail against invaders from another world.
You? All you really wanted was a fresh bagel, but no, now you’re hunkered down in an alley as a silvered ninja, twenty stories tall, parries a blow from a giant biomechanical worm thing with clamps.
And then? Space Dragons.
The Draken Armada entered the Monsterpocalypse with Gallamaxus, but he was a reanimated, dead monster controlled by the nefarious Necroscourge. Now the Armada is arriving in strength to bolster the defenders of Earth. Rastaban is leading the incoming wave of space dragon reinforcements, clad in green armor and bearing the seal of leadership on his chest. Given the difficulties of designing a crown that would fit consecutive space dragon heads, what with their individual horn arrangements etc, it only makes sense that it’s a wearable medallion of sorts.
While the self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing of the Era of COVID-19 has been a boon for hobbyists in terms of getting things painted, it’s been an active struggle for those of us that crave the tabletop experience. Yes, there are tabletop simulators online, but they don’t compare to the actual fun of pushing toy soldiers around a tabletop, rolling dice, and uttering vague (or even specific!) invectives against the dice gods as your sure-thing turns into a complete crapfest.
I’ve spoken several times on social media about the benefits of having a hobby that we can sink into while distant from our opponents, enjoying a creative outlet and getting models painted, but the end of the list of benefits is always that we have something to look forward to: Actually getting to play our games with our friends, putting the models we’ve been working on onto the table, and enjoying the full tabletop gaming experience with fully painted armies.
To that end, I ask this – what are you lining up for your gaming experiences? What are you most looking forward to?
Myself, Age of Sigmar is high on the list since my main #PandemicProject was my Flesh-Eater Courts army. My Court of the Radiant King is almost ready to ride out across the shining plains if Hysh in service to their liege, to unleash truth, liberty and justice upon those evil ne’er-do-wells of the so-called Realm-Lords. Of course, since they’re bat-sh!t crazy, truth, liberty and justice actually translates to horror, dessecration and a whole lot of snacking. The painting table’s gotten a little jumbled lately, but I’ll find time to paint the Terrorgheist yet. And yes, for the 40K fans out there I am keenly aware of the Indomitus crusade, but my Flesh Tearers are nowhere near ready to field. Yet. And yes, I’m aware that I’m playing Flesh-Eaters for AoS and Flesh Tearers for 40K. There may be a subconscious theme running here. I admit nothing.
Marvel Crisis Protocol is right up there as well. I’m keen to assemble the full Guardians of the Galaxy roster (still need to get Drax/Ronan) and to get some personal experience as to how well they synergize (or don’t, which would also be totally in character). I’ve been slowly painting up other MCP models as well, so don’t be surprised if Spidey or Shuri find themselves in the mix, I’ve never been shy of applying whimsy to list creation.
The world of Riot Quest is expanding with Wintertime Wasteland, but I still have a bunch of models to finish painting from the Mayhem block. Finishing Feora the Forsaken also resulted in War Room being fired up and a list being put together that I’d love to try out… and of course, it’s become another painting project waiting to be launched.
Perhaps more timely is the imminent release of Warcaster. My Iron Star Alliance will be put on the table against AEdge’s Marcher Worlds, and pal Brandon’s admitted that the Empyreans are right up his alley aesthetically, so kicking tires with a new system is always on the to-do list… as is playing Monsterpocalypse. Blastikutter’s out now, it’s only a matter of time before Privateer gives me more units to work with beyond the Mollock Berserkers and Brutes.
Now I need to finish the commission paintjobs I have on the table so I can get back to work on models for each of these plans…
Were you online when we were graced with the digital presences of Will “I collect honey!” Hungerford and Oz “I am not a monster!” Schoonover, delivering the 2020 Keynote? We’re on the cusp of Warcaster, we’re in the aftermath of Oblivion, we’ve seen the coming of Gallamaxus as new friends and foes join the Monsterpocalypse, and of course, the Keynote – our sneak peek into Privateer’s plans for the coming year – had a few surprises for us as well.
You can watch the Keynote here:
Some neat things to note:
Iron Kingdoms: Requiem
The Iron Kingdoms RPG, reborn using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edtion ruleset. I love me some classic IKRPG, but bringing the setting fully into 5e compatibility means potentially opening up the setting we love to a much wider audience, and with Matt Goetz – hands down one of my favourite writers/designers in the RPG industry – working on the project, I am very keen to see Requiem in my grubby little hands.
Bear in mind also, this will be a huge insight into the world of the Iron Kingdoms after the Infernal invasion. The events of Oblivion and the Hengehold Scroll were a major upheaval for Western Immoren, and we’ve all had a lot of questions as to the state of the world, and the fates of those left behind after the Cyriss gate closed. If the amount of lore and background for the setting in Requiem is anywhere near the quality that we got with IKRPG Full Metal Fantasy and IKRPG Kings, Nations and Gods (and of course, IK Unleashed) then we’re in for a hell of a treat.
Our primary source of alternate sculpts and concept reinventions, Minicrate has been putting out some excellent alternates through its subscription service. Some sign up for the six month stretch and get the VIP bonus model, others cherry pick the models that appeal most. The Keynote has given us a peek at 6 of the next year’s models, but of those shown in the video I think my personal favourites are Winter Watch (alt Pyg Lookout on a Polar Bear cub) and Fiona from the Black Lagoon (alt Fiona the Black as a mermaid).
I mean, there were no Menites in the list, but that doesn’t mean a few others won’t find a potential home in the Gdaycave…
The Draken Armada are coming in full force, with three new monsters and six new units – but we’ve known that these guys were incoming for awhile (even if we had no idea about Gausamal). What caught my eye was the Zerkalo Bloc, a cold war era style heavy metal foe from an alternate Earth. When I watched Pacific Rim, Cherno-1 was my favourite Jaeger aesthetically, so the concept renders definitely caught my eye.
On top of that we have the announcement of the Legion of Mutates – Anthropomorphic animals, including elephant men with rocket launchers – and the Masters of the 8th Dimension – geometric beings that defy physics and our understanding of biology. Now, I’m a commited Destroyers player, so I’ll pout a little that the Mutates are Protectors, but those Zerkalo’s will look awfully nice marching alongside my Mollocks…
The Keynote has announced the fourth faction for Warcaster, the first non-human faction – The Empyreans. The ancient alien masters of the Hyperanuion, they’ll follow the standard templating of the other factions – Solos, Units, Light and Heavy Warjacks – but the similarities largely end there. Armored carapaces with bonus tentacles, some of the Empyrean models don’t even bother with such gauche mundanities as legs and arms.
Humanity will be receiving some new toys as well, with the coming year’s wave introducing vehicles – the Razorbat (Marcher Worlds), Interceptor (Iron Star Alliance), Scythe (Aeturnus Continuum) and the Zenith (bringing the Empyreans in line). Each will have weapon hardpoints that welcome different armaments, much as the warjacks do. They also look super cool.
Warmachine & Hordes
With such a strong focus on Warmachine leading up to and through the Infernal invasion, it’s time for Hordes to get some love. We saw a bunch of new models for the Legion of Everblight and the Trollbloodsm, as well as some merc/minion models such as the Death Archon. The Grymkin will also receive some new models, including the blasphemous Defiled Archon, and Isiah the Dread Harvester, their pumpkin-headed dragoon who can turn his own victims into Dread Rots.
While Hordes factions will be enjoying a little time in the limelight, Warmachine won’t be completely ignored, with the Retribution of Scyrah expanding into House Ellowuyr. Thyron and his Swordsmen have reinforcements incoming. The Crucible Guard will also receive new models, including Major Aline Benett, a Rocketman Warcaster.
Riot Quest is entering its second season, with the Wintertime Wasteland kickstarter live as we speak. A new map, a new block of looters, all of which will be compatible with both Warmachine and Hordes, including the baby Gorax. Maybe he’ll be a companion model for the new Boomhowler? Pure speculation on my part of course. The core set gives us a new melee-centric Boomhowler, a new Black Bella, a post apocalyptic Yuri the Hunter, the Nyss sorceress Yssylla, the aforementioned baby Gorax, Shivers.
The new edition Riot Quest will add a slew of new heroes, including the first dual hero, Dez (from the Mayhem block) with Gubbin (also from the Mayhem block) loaded into a mortar. The Man-o-War Bulkhead will add some serious armor plating, while Bumbles the bear is adorably lethal. Major Benett – the Rocketman Warcaster mentioned earlier – will also be released as a Riot Quest model. For Kickstarter exclusives, alternate sculpts of some of the original Mayhem heroes will be available.
While there’s no new Menites in the immediate winds, I can acknowledge that other players need new toys too, and I can appreciate the novelty of having more things to set on fire with Feora the Forsaken. Also, gimme two of those Interceptors ASAP…