Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Frontline Gamer essential Christmas present list

Even Santa Clause Reads Frontline Gamer!!!

Well 'tis the season to be Jolly, drunk and materialistic! So I thought I'd offer up some tip top present advice for you all. Things that I think people should go and put on their Christmas list to make sure Santa brings you some goodies. We're all tired of getting socks off of your aunt Maude or another sodding reindeer knitted sweater off of the old folks. Lets be honest here we've all had shit Christmas present haven't we? We've all had to try and look happy and pleased as some clueless relative buys you yet another fecking aftershave set, or some God awful item of clothing you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. You owe it to them really to let them know what they should really get you. Plus if you're going to have to sit their through the Queens speech and spend time with relatives you neither know or like that much, you might as well get some cool swag out of it, right?

10) Gold D20's

If you're wise, your New Years resolution will be that you're going to play more Infinity. So you're going to need some serious D20's. OK so these are a little bit gauche, but seriously nothing says 'Infinity playa' more than a set of these ultra cool Gold D20's. If you're going to play the best game ever TM, you may as well do it in style right? Just imagine the jealous looks on your opponents faces when you turn up and throw down with these, and all they have are some pink gem dice. You can't put a price on that! It's got to be worth splashing the cash to be the most stylish gamer in town.

9) Hell Dorado Rulebook (and optional starter set)

I think it is fair to say that when Asmodee decided enough was enough with Hell Dorado I was a little bit distraught. Firstly they hadn't actually released a bloody English version of the rulebook, possibly the reason they struggled to make money on it. Not only that but I feared yet another great game was to be consigned to gaming scrap heap in the sky, or so I thought. Yeah OK that might have been a bit melodramatic, but it was a great game... and still is as Cipher Studio's wisely rescued the game from oblivion. Yeah sure some of us still wander whether or not it's Cursed as a game system. But what you can't deny is that it is a fun little game with some nifty looking miniatures. True their are some spelling mistakes in the book and the odd error. Plus Cipher Really should have added some of the new characters rules to the book, yeah that was a dumb oversight. But, it still ends up on my list because it's a solid little game. Simple. As. That!

8)  Tamiya Smoke X-19l

I still have no idea at all how people live without this miracle paint. Seriously if you don't already own a pot or two of this stuff what are you waiting for? Get Santa on the case right away!!! Honestly you'll wander how on earth you ever lived without it all this time, I know I did when I finally discovered it. It shades metallic armour beautifully, thinned it can create realistic looking oil stains on engines and mechanical moving parts. Watered down even more and it can create realistic rain or water marks down sides of tanks or buildings. Look you just have to trust me that this miniscule investment in your paint collection will be worth it!

7) Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt

I'm going to admit it, I wasn't expecting great things from this game when it turned up. It had been on pre-order for yonks, and yonks and in the intervening months I'd discovered that Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon were not quite as good as I'd hoped they'd be. So when I cracked this bad boy open and began playing it I was pleasantly surprised it had 'learned' enough new tricks to make it worthwhile. It also fell just short of an 'Approved by Cats' award, trust me it was close. Top stuff, plus you can crack it open on Christmas day and pretend to do some family 'bonding' when really you're just getting some gaming in... thank me later!

6) Old West Livery Stables

Well it was the first piece of HDF scenery to be awarded the 'Approved by cats' seal. If you're a Malifaux gamer then you really ought to let somebody treat you to this fantastic piece of scenery. If they can't stretch to the cost of it then just get new wealthier relatives... erm... no hang on... get them to buy you something else from the range that isn't as expensive! That's what I meant to say. I've been impressed with how quickly and cheaply the Sarissa Precision buildings allow us gamers to build a really nice Old West town. Also one that's fun to play on and lets you use all those interiors. Mark my words HDF scenery will start changing the way we all game, and for the better!

5) Dragon Forge Designs Omega Prime bases

One of the great things about playing smaller skirmish games is that you can really start to go to town on you miniature accessories. Lets be brutally honest here, the thought of putting an entire apocalypse sized 40k army onto resin bases is a scarily expensive prospect, probably involving re-mortgaging of house or selling ones soul to Satan and then having a heart attack. However, with just 5 to 10 miniatures to worry about suddenly it doesn't seem so bad. Get yourself these bad boys and then in the New Year you can buy a new Aleph force to go on top of them. If they don't float your boat do take a look at the rest of the Dragon Forge Designs range, I've found them to be the best all round resin bases and have even awarded the entire company an 'Approved by Cats' award.

4)  Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising

Ah yes, DKH:DR. This is another board game you can lie about and pretend you got so you could play with the kids on Christmas day. You know to keep them entertained. Truth is, it's just another cunning way of side stepping boring adult conversations and the Queens speech. Added bonus though is that you get to annihilate your younger more annoying family members at a game!!! That'll stop them wanting to come round your house with their sticky fingers and snot filled heads, infecting you with God only knows what disease and getting grubby finger prints on your lovely glossy rulebooks and painted miniatures. Now sod off you dirty little urchins and go annoy someone else! Bah humbug!!!

3) Infinity Rulebook & Human Sphere

If you have already got them, you can look all smug and feel self satisfied, and go ask for some miniatures instead. If you haven't already got them, why not? Seriously, haven't you been reading my blog? I give up with some of you I really do! Do you think I'm writing all these articles for my own good? NOOOO!!! I'm writing them so I can expose you all to the myriad of gaming wonderment and excellence that is out there, waiting and begging to let it entertain you! Chief among these games is Infinity the game. Look I'm not going to get mad at you, I know times are tight and Games Workshop made you buy Dreadfleet and Grey Knights, but it's OK. You see Christmas is the time of year when your relatives buy you stuff that really you ought to have brought for yourself, you know like soap, or toothpaste, or shampoo... you know who you are! For those of you without personal hygiene issues this means you might get the rules to the best game on earth.

2) Studio McVey's Ruby

Well I guess if you're a gamer many of the wares Studio McVey peddle won't be to your tastes, as you can't use many of them in your games. Thing is, sitting there painting row after merciless row of identikit miniatures can grind down even the most dedicated of hobbyists it really can. I know, trust me, painting my Ultramarines and Dwarf armies has totaled my will to live and paint. But it's gorgeous little one off pieces like the delectable Ruby that have started to slowly but surely rekindle the desire in me to paint again. We all need to inject a little bit more joy and love into the painting side of the hobby to keep it fresh and exciting. So go and do your hobby a favour, stick this mini on your Christmas list.

1) Gears of War

Right this is the number one, top tip for a Christmas present this year. I can not emphasise enough just how much fun I have had with this board game. It so totally deserved it's 'Approved by Cat' award, arguably more so than any other product that has been given the prestigious accolade. The miniatures are good, not just board game good you understand, oh no they're good period. The game scales wonderfully, so playing it solo is the same level of challenge as playing it with four people. The rules are slick, easy to learn and generate really engrossing and tactically engaging games. And it has got the Cole train baby!!! What's not to like seriously? Plus you know the family aren't going to let you play any of your Xbox 360 or PS3 games, Christmas is a time for family, not for curb stomping n00bs over Xbox Live! You'll need a gaming fix somehow, and Nintendo 3DS under the table while stuffing yourself with Turkey won't cut it my friend and you know it... this game however will soothe those cravings.

For GMort and SinSynn, but that's your lot!!!

So, there it is, my list of essential presents to put on your own Christmas list. Hopefully Santa doesn't bring you a Dreadfleet or a Finecast Gandalf on Shadowfax this year. If he does, you punch the fat F$@% in the nose, seriously, you punch him in the nose. It's the only way he'll learn not to give you crap presents. Hope the nightmare of Christmas shopping doesn't get too much for you all. Peace out!

OK maybe one more as it's Christmas!!!


  1. Hmm, never heard of that smoke stuff, will have to look into it!

  2. The Infinity Rulebooks are on my list already!
    I just gotta add the gold d20 and a pot o' dat Smoke stuff!
    Great list and thanks for the pic.
    Betty Page...classic hawt.

  3. Sinsynn my good man, I think you'll find that's Dita Von Teese. I am disappointed in your knowledge of attractive women.

    (never-to-be dr brainiac)

  4. @sonsoftaurus, some of Tamiya's clear paints are truly magnificent. For instance the glorious Tamiya Clear Red X-27 is truly awesome for painting glistening blood or congealed gore. Paint clear Red over desired area. Mix clear red with a dot of black acrylic paint, stipple into area previously painted to add darker tones. Done. Bloody brilliant!!! But it's Tamiya Smoke X-19 I couldn't live without personally, thin it down to the right level makes a great armour wash etc. etc. Love it!

    @SinSynn, glad to hear that you've got the rulebook on its way. Also Dr Brainiac, aka Mrs Frontline Gamer, aka ilexica is right. The picture is Dita Von Teese. Your powers are slipping my good man! :P

  5. I was paying very close attention until I saw Miss Von Teese, but sadly everything bar her has now gone out of my head. ;-)

  6. @Pete, alas you can't buy a Dita Von Teese for Christmas... but obviously I wouldn't need too as I've got Dr Brainiac!!! Was that a good save or am I sleeping on the sofa again?