Warhammer Games of the 00s

Coming in to the new millennium, the quantity and quality of Warhammer games remarkably improved.  The trailblazer during this period is probably Dawn of War, making Warhammer computer games finally accessible and acceptable to the mainstream.

 

2003 – Fire Warrior

A strange game in that you play as the main protagonist who is a Tau Fire Warrior; this was probably due to the Tau making their first appearance in the 40k universe only a couple of years beforehand.  I’ve never had the joy of playing it but I know it was an FPS and the reviews were on the average side.  If you want a copy, you might be able to find a hard copy somewhere on amazon or ebay.

fire-warrior-1

 

2004 – Dawn of War

Finally, the Warhammer game that brought the universe(s) to the mainstream.  Dawn of War (DoW) is a real-time strategy classic, even without it being Warhammer related.  The gameplay is good solid base-building and the combat is pretty good as well.  The single-player campaign as the Blood Ravens is immersive and the multi-player is epic.  I still occasionally give the game a whirl and I enjoy it just as much as I did when it first came out.  You get can get the game on steam for a very reasonable price – as you can with all the subsequent expansions.

Dawn_of_War_box_art

 

2005 – Dawn of War: Winter Assault

DoW with added Imperial Guard, both in a single-player campaign and in multi-player.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Imperial Guard, but this expansion didn’t do much for me.  One for the completionists out there if nothing else.

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2006 – Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

By far the best of the DoW expansions, Dark Crusade allows you to play as one seven races in a dynamic single-player campaign.  Never before had a 40k fan had so much choice on a video game.  The satisfaction in stomping your Necrons over everyone was a particular highlight of playing this.  I recommend this expansion in particular to any 40k or real-time strategy fans.

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2008 – Dawn of War: Soulstorm

Soulstorm is a good idea in principle but the execution was average and Dark Crusade had already done it and done it better.  The idea of Soulstorm was to have a sector wide dynamic campaign but with added Dark Eldar, Sisters of Battle and some flying units.  It was fine, but I find myself going back to Dark Crusade rather than this.  One really only for Dark Eldar and Sisters of Battle fans.

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2006 – Battle for Atluma

A collectible card game for PSPs – frankly I’d never heard it before doing this list and looking at the reviews, I won’t look at it again!

Warhammer_Battle_for_Atluma_boxcover

 

2006 – Mark of Chaos

Mark of Choas is a fairly decent real-time strategy game set in the Warhammer Old World.  It features a good single-player story and campaign and reasonable multi-player.  I did play it a fair bit at the time but I can’t say I have really fond memeories of it in the same way I do with Shadow of the Horned Rat and Dark Omen.  I think it might be the lack of a character to warm to or maybe just the fairly average gameplay.  I might have gone back to it again but for Warhammer: Total War doing all of it but a thousand times better.  Best place to get it now is probably an old copy from Amazon or eBay.

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2008 – Battle March

Battle March is the expansion to Mark of Chaos and simply contains another single-player campaign and a couple of new races.  It is more of the same, no brilliant new features or gameplay.

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2006 – Glory in Death

This one was a turn-based strategy game with a focus on Space Marines.  It was for the N-Gage (!) – I don’t even remember what an N-Gage was.  Suffice to say, if you want to play this, it isn’t going to be easy!

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2007 – Squad Command

Yet another portable game (remember a world without smart phones?) and yet another mediocare one.  I did try this when I had a DS, but I wasn’t a fan!  Clunky gameplay and a frustrating camera really limited the enjoyment on this one.

WarhammerSquadCommand

 

2008 – Age of Reckoning

Age of Reckoning was an MMORPG and a pretty fun one at that.  It wasn’t Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online, but it did have its own unique style and I spent a fair bit of time playing it.  It was a shame that in 2013 the servers shut down but a free-to-play version, Return of Reckoning, has seen a resurrection of sorts for it through a very dedicated group of fans.  If you like Warhammer and you like MMOs then it is worth taking a look at.

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Blood Bowl and Dawn of War II (both 2009)

Technically cheating but I’m going to cover off both in the next in the series.

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Beer Review – Battledown Beer

Just a short review today and this time it is for the excellent pale ale from Battledown Brewery.

The Battlldown Brewery are from the Cotswolds and fairly local to me – there is no bias from me though because they are local; there a plenty of bad local beers as well!

As for the beer itself, it comes in at 3.8% and has a surprisingly flowery label.  When poured it looks clear and golden, with a very pleasant aroma of honey.  The taste is excellent, being very refreshing and quite sharp, but in a very good way.  Overall it an excellent pale ale that is perfect for summer drinking.

 

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Pro Cycling Summary – July

I’m a bit late with July’s summary but life as ever gets in the way.  July obviously has the Tour de France and that has started to give a clear outlook to the best riders in the men’s peloton.

 

Men’s – July

  • Races
    • Stage races – 14
    • Stages – 94
    • One-day races – 22
    • World tour races – 3
  • Individuals
    • Wins – Kittel – 5
    • One-day wins – Shilov – 2
    • Stage wins – Kittel – 5
    • Distance won (km) – Kittel (1014.5)
    • Days in lead – Froome – 14
  • Teams
    • Wins – Quick-Step Floors – 5
    • One-day wins – Multiple – 2
    • Stage wins – Quick-Step Floors – 5
    • Stage races wins – BMC Racing – 2
    • Distance won (km) – Quick-Step Floors (1014.5)
    • Days in lead – Team Sky – 19
  • Countries
    • Wins – France – 14
    • One-day wins – Belgium – 6
    • Stage wins – France – 13
    • Stage races wins – Multiple – 2
    • Distance won (km) – Belgium – 2177.7
    • Days in lead – UK – 18
  • Rider of the month – Chris Froome for his Tour de France win

 

Men’s Overall

  • Individuals
    • Wins – Kittel – 13
    • One-day wins – Multiple – 4
    • Stage wins – Kittel – 12
    • Stage race wins – Multiple – 3
    • Distance won (km) – Kittel – 2329.4
    • Days in lead – Froome – 14
    • Points jerseys – Sagan – 4
    • Climber’s jerseys – Multiple – 2
    • Young rider’s jerseys – Bernal – 5
    • Time trial wins – Dennis – 4
  • Teams
    • Wins – Quick-Step Floors – 38
    • One-day wins – BMC Racing – 10
    • Stage wins – Quick-Step Floors – 30
    • Stage races wins – BMC Racing – 8
    • Distance won (km) – Quick-Step Floors – 6354
    • Days in lead – BMC Racing – 31
    • Points jerseys – Multiple – 5
    • Climber’s jerseys – Manzana Postobon – 5
    • Young rider’s jerseys – Andrioni Giocattoli – 5
    • Team jerseys – Movistar – 6
    • Team time trial wins – BMC Racing – 3
  • Countries
    • Wins – France – 92
    • One-day wins – Belgium – 26
    • Stage wins – France – 73
    • Stage races wins – France – 13
    • Distance won (km) – France – 14300.84
    • Days in lead – France – 53
    • Points jerseys – France – 10
    • Climber’s jerseys – France – 10
    • Young rider’s jerseys – Colombia – 11
  • Rider of the year so far – Dumoulin for his epic Giro win

 

Women’s – July

  • Races
    • Stage races – 5
    • Stages – 36
    • One-day races – 5
    • World tour races – 2
  • Individuals
    • Wins – Multiple -3
    • One-day wins – Tihar – 2
    • Stage wins – Sierra – 3
    • Distance won (km) – Winder – 220.7
    • Days in lead – Van der Breggen – 8
  • Teams
    • Wins – Multiple – 3
    • One-day wins – Multiple – 1
    • Stage wins – Multiple – 3
    • Distance won (km) – Rally Cycling – 326.1
    • Days in lead – Boels-Dolmans – 8
  • Countries
    • Wins – USA – 8
    • One-day wins – Multiple – 2
    • Stage wins – Multiple – 6
    • Distance won (km) – USA – 713.5
    • Days in lead – Netherlands – 9
  • Rider of the month – Van Der Breggen for her Giro Rosa win

 

Women’s Overall

  • Individuals
    • Wins – Multiple – 7
    • One-day wins – Multipe – 4
    • Stage wins – Winder – 5
    • Stage race wins – Multiple – 2
    • Distance won (km) – D’hoore – 779.8
    • Days in lead – Van Der Breggen – 8
    • Points jerseys – Multiple – 2
    • Climber’s jerseys – Hall – 2
    • Young rider’s jerseys – Multiple – 2
    • Time trial wins – Multiple – 2
  • Teams
    • Wins – Boels-Dolmans – 18
    • One-day wins – Multiple – 10
    • Stage wins – United Healthcare – 9
    • Stage races wins – Multiple 3
    • Distance won (km) – Boels-Dolmans – 1660.4
    • Days in lead – United Healthcare – 13
    • Points jerseys – Multiple – 2
    • Climber’s jerseys – United Healthcare – 3
    • Young rider’s jerseys – Cervelo-Bigla – 4
    • Team jerseys – United Healthcare – 3
    • Team time trial wins – Boels-Dolmans  2
  • Countries
    • Wins – Netherlands – 30
    • One-day wins – Netherlands – 15
    • Stage wins – USA – 17
    • Stage races wins – Netherlands – 5
    • Distance won (km) – Netherlands – 2919.88
    • Days in lead – Netherlands – 19
    • Points jerseys – Multiple – 2
    • Climber’s jerseys – USA – 3
    • Young rider’s jerseys – USA – 3
  • Rider of the month – Van Der Breggen for her general all-round dominance

 

Top 3 Kickstarter Games this Week

1. The Iron Oath by Curious Panda

A gritty turn-based RPG with a focus on tactics and the management of your guild within a dynamic world.

Funding Goal – $45,000 by Friday 8th September

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

2. Sole by Gossamer Games

Explore the remnants of great cities and uncover the history of an ancient civilization on your journey through the dark world of Sole.

Funding Goal – $15,000 by Sunday 3rd September

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

3. Jettomero by Ghostime Games

Jettomero is a visually striking and musically enticing video game about a giant clumsy robot trying to save the universe.

Funding Goal – $5,000 (Canadian) by Friday 1st September

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

A couple of wine reviews

First up is the Red Monastrell Salinas from Spain, coming in at 14%; we got this from Majestic.  The label is quite modern and stylish and the wine has an aroma of blackberries and out.  Tasting without food, it was too sharp and dry; I wouldn’t recommend drinking it on its own.  We then had it with steak and it was much better and fruitier.  We also had it with lamb neck the following day and it was even better.  Overall it was a good wine but not amazing and I would say there is probably better out there.

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Next is the Italian White,  2015 Greco di Tufo Triplica, coming in at 12.5% and again from Majestic.  It as a classic Italian Label and an aroma that is slightly herby and fruity.  Tasting without food it was tangy and fruity with a lovely finish.  We then had it with sage chicken legs and it was even better and smoother.  Overall it was a lovely wine and a great drinker, with or without food.

 

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Wine Review – Vendanges Nocturnes

An absolute corker of a wine this week – Vendanges Nocturnes – a 2016 Viognier coming in at 13%.  We got this excellent wine from Majestic.

As per usual with French wine’s the label is very traditional.  The aromas we got from the wine were light traces of pear and honey – very pleasant.  Tasting without food, the taste was initially light, gorgeously fragrant in the middle and then a surprisingly warming aftertaste.  We then had the wine with chicken, which softened it but it was still very nice.

Overall I can highly recommend this wine.

 

793195_a_laurent-miquel-nocturnes-viognier

 

Top 5 Kickstarter Games this Week

1. MISSING: The Complete Saga by Leena Kejriwal

This is an RPG based on the life of Champa, a young girl trafficked into brothels. #GameForChange to raise awareness about trafficking.

Funding Goal – $50,000 by Wednesday 30th August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

2. Proceed by Ink Cap games

Proceed is a beautiful, hand-painted adventure. A story set in an Infinite Procedural Universe. Play as an AI, built to save humanity.

Funding Goal – £21,000 by Monday 28th August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

3. NECROCOSMOS by Andromeda Project

Videogame inspired by old Metroid games. Openworld game, Sci-Fi Action Metroidvania,Hardcore Retro Style Adventure Pc/Mac/Linux/PS4/XBX

Funding Goal – €45,000 by Thursday 31st August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

4. Phoenix Springs by Calligram Studios

Stay awhile. Find yourself. Lose your mind. Welcome to Phoenix Springs.

Funding Goal – €9,000 by Tuesday 22nd August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

5. Empire Deluxe Combined Edition by Killer Bee Software

Empire Deluxe Combined Edition is the latest in the classic Empire Series of games, which has spanned almost five decades.

Funding Goal – $5,000 by Tuesday 29th August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

Warhammer Games of the 90s

These days, a Warhammer game comes out on a fairly regular basis.  Back in the 90s this wasn’t the case and pickings were few and far between.  There were some gems in this period though, particularly Shadow of the Horned Rat and Dark Omen.  There were some pretty awful games as well and I’ll try and warn you away from them!

Below is a list in a kind-of chronological order, although I’ve banded series together.  Also included is where you can now get hold of a copy of one of these (where possible).

Note – HeroQuest isn’t in the list as technically it isn’t in either of the Warhammer settings.

1992 – Space Crusade

Space Crusade

Games Workshop’s first real foray in to video games came with Space Crusade in 1992.  I’ve never played it myself but it appears to have been generally well received.  I can imagine the possibility of playing as a space marine on a computer must have been mind-blowing for some people back then.  I will check it out one day and handily you can get it from Good Old Games here.  Compatibility with you OS might be a problem but there is usually a fix somewhere on the internet.

 

1993 – Space Hulk

space hulk

Sadly another one I haven’t yet experienced (in fairness I was six when it came out) but from what I’ve seen of it, it is a spiritual successor to Space Crusade, albeit with a lot more features.  From what I’ve read about it, it is a difficult game (not unusual for those times) and requires a lot of strategic and tactical planning.  Don’t expect an FPS, more of a squad-based tactical game.  You can find a copy Abandonia here.

 

1995 – Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels

blood angels

Finally a game I have tried!  I remember playing this when we got our first desktop computer with Windows 95.  The game was one of the first designed to be played on Windows 95, though rather oddly it was always played straight from the disc rather than installed on your system.

It is more of a classic FPS but with some more complicated elements, including some strategic planning and the ability to play as different Terminators throughout each level.  Again the game is hard and one mistake can mean the end of you at the hands of a genestealers claws.  This just makes it all the more satisfying when you actually succeed!

It isn’t a classic but it is fun in its own way and it is worth trying, particularly if you are a big Space Hulk fan or if you have an obsession with the Blood Angels.  You can get the game here from myabandonware, but make sure you read the compatibility instructions to get it working.

 

1995 – Blood Bowl

Blood_Bowl_(1995)_Coverart

I haven’t played this one but don’t go expecting anything like the recent versions of Blood Bowl.  It is a turn-based adaptation of the board game, though apparently let down by poor graphics and confused controls.. If you really want to try it, get it from abandonia here.

1995 – Shadow of the Horned Rat (SotHR)

Sothr

And now we move on to a classic and one of the first computer games I fell in love with. SotHR follows the adventures of the Grudgebringer mercenary company through the Old World, starting in the Border Princes and then travelling through many famous locations.

The battles are in real-time, with slightly clunky but useable controls; after a while you just get used to them.  The battles are hard and you’ll often find yourself outnumbered by skaven or greenskins.  You have to save a lot and find a tactic that works for that battle, whilst also trying to minimise casualties.  Speaking of minmising casualties, they will impact on future battles and if a unit is wiped out, it isn’t coming back!

Away from the battles, you manage your rag-tag company from your caravan and you can hire troops, replace casualties and choose your next mission.  The campaign is fairly linear but there are a few branches to choose, although some are literally a dead-end.

Overall it is a fun game and you end up caring about your little soldiers.  As much as anything, I just really like the map!

You can still get a working copy of the game from Good Old Games here.  There was previously a game breaking bug but I believe this has now been fixed.

 

1998 – Dark Omen

Dark Omen

Imagine Shadow of the Horned Rat but much better – that’s Dark Omen! We return to the adventures of the Grudebringer Mercenary Company in this epic sequel.  Everything about it is a little bit better than SothR, from improved battles to significantly better graphics.

The premise for Dark Omen focuses more on fighting the Undead and yet again you travel the Old World taking missions and going to various famous locations, including Drakenhof Castle, Kislev and Brettonia.

Getting hold of the game has proved difficult for many years but you can get a copy at myabandonware here and you will need instructions on how to get it to run from http://www.dark-omen.org/.  There is also a project underway to recreate the game in the Unreal Engine – further details here.

 

1997 – Final Liberation

final liberation

We’ve had Space Hulk already but Final Liberation is the first good look at the W40k universe.  The premise is that an Imperial World has been conquered by Orks and you are there to try and reclaim.  It also opens with a funky cutscene which is about as live-action as you can get for w40k.

The battles are hex turn-based combat and involve a lot of tactical decision making.  Don’t just try and rush the enemy or you will get annihilated.  You have to think about the types of units you are using and who to use them against.  This can mean the game is hard at times but if you play it right, you should go onwards to victory.

Away from the battles the campaign is also pretty good.  The sheer variety of units you can choose is amazing but don’t get too excited and just buy a load of tanks.  The campaign map is pretty cool and you get to choose which region to go in to next, whilst also fighting off any ork counter-attacks.  It reminds me a bit of the campaign maps in the Close Combat Series.

I would recommend the game and it is on par with the recent Armageddon game by Slitherine.  You can get Final Liberation from Good Old Games here.

 

1998 – Chaos Gate

Next up is Chaos Gate, a move back to space marines but this time not a space hulk, instead on a planet.  In Chaos Gate you take charge of the Ultramarines vs Chaos Space Marines in a series of linked missions to recover an important artifact.

The gameplay is turn-based and you control each individual space marine or vehicle.  In common with most of the games on this list, it is quite tactically difficult and a wrong move can be disastrous.  A very appealing feature for me was the customisation you can give to each space marine, giving each one a unique loadout.

You can get Chaos gate from Good Old Games here.

1999 – Rites of War

Finally we have Rites of War and unfortunately one I haven’t played.  Like Final Liberation it is hex turn-based combat.  The strange thing about Rites of War is that you play as the Eldar throughout the campaign against the Imperium and Tyranids.

You get it from Good Old Games here.

Wine Review – Allesandro Gallici

Just a short review today of a very good wine – the 2015 Pinot Grigio by Allesandro Gallici, coming in at 12%.  The label is stylish with it’s roman numerals and the aroma is pleasant and fragrant.  Tasting without food it is smooth, with a short burst of intense flavour and then a clear and pleasant aftertaste.  We then had the wine alongside some cooked chicken and it was even better and fruitier.  Overall this is a winning wine and one of the best pinot grigio’s I have ever had.

AG Pinot

 

 

Top Kickstarter Games this Week

1. Epitasis by Lucas Govatos

Discover and explore beautiful alien worlds, scattered with ancient technology and cryptic puzzles that echo of a time long past.

Funding Goal – $11,650 by Sunday 20th August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

2. Rail Theory by Tryconic Studios

An action RPG with an innovative dynamic difficulty system designed around randomly generated enemies.

Funding Goal – $150,000 by Thursday 17th August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

3. The Lighthouse by Shadow Knights Studios

Thriller with glimpses into psychotic, alternate dimensions. Search for Lily Beaumont at the abandoned Wescott Property in Maine 1964.

Funding Goal – $10,000 by Monday 14th August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

4. Dead Matter by Quantum Integrity Software Inc

A rogue-lite that aims to quench the community’s thirst for a title that properly balances survival mechanics with fulfilling gameplay.

Funding Goal – $60,000 (Canadian) by Thursday 17th August

Kickstarter Link

Game Website