I hear the cry of male hobbyists the world over – ‘I’m disappointed in the size of my tower’, well, if your erections just aren’t quite piercing the clouds, fear not as I have a product review for you.
I recently picked up the Fortified Tower from Croatia based Tabletop World and tried it out, so you can see if it meets your needs.
This is a five piece resin kit (three of the pieces being the flag, pole and base). The main tower consists of just two pieces, with a little bit of internal detail which might be nice for D&D etc but not enough to do too much with as you only have that level plus the roof.
This kit can also be incorporated into Tabletop Worlds Town Walls kits, these look pretty interesting but for my purposes I only wanted the singular tower.
Tabletop World states that the resin comes pre-cleaned but I didn’t want to risk it and gave the beast a good wash and brush up with some washing up liquid. I was pleased and surprised to find no bubbles or problems with the product to repair, given the material (!), I don’t know if this is their usual quality but I was very pleased. The irregular stone effect of the sculpt looks great and I think you could really put as much or as little effort as you wanted into painting this and it will reward you.
I #slapchopped up the tower very simply and it took the paint very well. I then added some spots of Dirty Down moss on the odd ledge here and there.
The kit is a bit pricey at €65, or £54.90 from Element Games. This beast is absolutely rock solid though and feels like it will last as long as if it really were made of stone. Terrain always is a bit of an investment and I can use this for the Warhammer Fantasy Watchtower scenario objective, in Age of Sigmar or even in 40k for a feudal world.
I’ve added a few pics, with a little green friend, so you can see the scale and how mine turned out
All in all, I’m a fan and might pick some more up…. I’ll let you know!
Rick Priestley grew up in Lincoln and dtart d writing wargames as a teenager with his friend Richard Halliwell. In 1979 the pair wrote their first game Reaper while still in school. Tabletop Games (a small games publishing company with no sales output) printed their rules and they contacted Brian Ansell who worked for Asgard Miniatures at the time before his move to Citadel Miniatures. Brian Ansell put them in contact with Nottingham Toy Soldier Shop who agreed to sell the Reaper rules.
With one rulebook for sale, Halliwell and Priestley collaborated on a second effort, a science fiction miniatures wargame titled Combat 3000, also published by Tabletop, that used 15mm/25mm “space marine” miniatures from Asgard. Around this time Brian Ansell left Asgard Miniatures, and with backing from Games Workshop set up Citadel Miniatures.
Priestley joined Games Workshop in 1982 as part of their subsidiary company Citadel Miniatures. At that time Citadel produced the miniatures for use in Dungeons and Dragons. Brian Ansell the manager of Citadel asked Richard Halliwell to develop Games Workshops’ first in-house game, Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Rick Priestley and Tony Ackland developed the product. Warhammer Fantasy contained many of the core mechanics or Priestley and Halliwell’s earlier game Reaper. Warhammer Fantasy was released in 1983 and was a huge success.
It allowed them a vehicle through which they could sell their own Citadel Miniatures. Earlier miniature wargames were designed to be played using generic models that could be bought from any manufacturer, but Warhammer Fantasy’s setting featured original characters with distinctive visual designs, and their models were produced exclusively by Games Workshop. This paved the way for Games Workshop to become the company it is today – all thanks to the three men who developed that first game.
Since before his time at Games Workshop Priestley had been working on a set of rules of Spaceship Combat called Rogue Trader which mixed Science fiction and fantasy elements. Priestley incorporated many aspects of this setting such as the lore and space travel into Warhammer 40,000 and dropped the ship combat element due to not having enough room in the book.
Games Workshop planned to sell conversion kits for their fantasy line to make them useable in Rogue Trader but eventually decided to instead dedicate an entire production line to the game and in 1987 Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader was born.
During his years with Games Workshop he was involved in the design of virtually all of their top games such as Necromunda, Mordheim, Warmaster, Lord of the Rings, Gorkamorka, Mighty Empires and Warhammer Ancient Battles (affectionately known as WAB by those in Historical gaming circles).
Rick Priestley left Games Workshop in 2009 stating that the corporate culture had grown too focused on sales and no longer cared about innovation in Games Design. He expanded on his view of Games Workshop in an article with Bell of Lost Souls in March 2015. In that, his thoughts on where Games Workshop was heading, was as a manufacturer of collectible miniatures and not games design.
After Games Workshop, Priestley co-founded Warlord Games which after Games Workshop is arguably the next biggest games and miniature manufacturer in Europe.
With Warlord Games, Rick Priestley has continued to develop fantastic wargame rulesets and being no longer held back by Games Workshop, these have included historical as well as Fantasy and Sci-Fi. The biggest games at Warlord such as Bolt Action, Black Powder, Gates of Antares, Hail Caesar, Pike and Shotte and Warlords or Erehwon have all been designed with Priestley’s input.
In 2011 Rick Priestley was elected to the committee of the Society of Ancients. The Society of Ancients is a non-profit organisation that intends to promote interest in Ancient and Medieval history and wargaming.
This man is a true legend of Wargaming, is the father of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 and has done a lot that Games Workshop fans and historical wargaming fans have to thank him for.
I have tried to give a flavour of the 115+ rules and add-on’s he’s developed below. But as with Jervis’ article, this really does not even scrape the surface as to the lore and depth of his many games. Rick, thank you! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
I’m in the process of creating a series of Wargaming Aids which allow players to play their favourite games in a single player format against an AI controlled enemy army. To find out more on this click here.
For as little as £1 a month (the price of a chocolate bar) you can help support me in this endeavour and receive cool perks as a thank you, such as access to our Discord Server as well as downloadable copies of the gaming aids which you can print out and use at home.
Why not pop over to Patreon and sign up and help me in this project? Money raised will go towards making these as physical products.
This weekends releases are all about Age of Sigmar again with the Kruleboyz taking centre stage with some amazing models. As well as the new releases for the Kruleboyz, there’s also and Age of Sigmar scenery kit and some models from Forgeworld for Necromunda.
Warlord Games Have many items up for pre-order right now, with the majority being for their World War 2 air game Blood Red Skies and Warlords of Erehwon: Mythic America’s
Wargames Atlantic pre-orders are pretty slim at the moment but there are many, many kits in the pipeline.
Two releases for the fallout game this week:
Last week we covered just one offering from Mantic Games. But they have a tonne of items on their pre-order list for many of their games such as Kings of War Halflings, Armada Elves and many factions for their new edition of Deadzone which is being released soon.
This weekend sees the release of two Battletomes (Orruk Warclans & Stormcast Eternals) along with a selection of miniatures for both ranges.
The battletomes will come in both a limited edition format and the usual hardback format. You’ll also be able to pick up the warscroll cards for both factions.
The miniatures being released by Games Workshop are, as always second to none in their quality and looks with very few companies being able to match their standard.
The below releases are all listed as September release with no exact dates.
All of the miniatures below are for use in Warlord Games‘ Warlords of Erehwon: Mythic Americas ruleset. After Games Workshop it can be argued that Warlord Games are the second largest company in the wargaming industry with rulesets for Sci-fi, Fantasy and Historical wargames.
Wargames Atlantic provide alternatives for miniatures which can be used in other games systems. This weekend sees the release of three different boxed sets:
The first is French Infantry which can be used for World War 1 enthusiasts, and at £25 for a box of 35 models is a great bargain. If you buy more than one set you also have a bulk purchase discount.
The next is Cannon Fodder, which can be used for a variety of Sci-Fi Games. These would make a great alternative for either Cadians and at £25 for a box of 30, they make a far cheaper alternative giving you three squads of troops!
The final offering from Wargames Atlantic is the Goblin Warband, again with 30 miniatures for £25.
Just the one offering from Mantic Games this week in the form of their Halfling Engineer for Kings of War. £10 direct from their website.
A lot of us started wargaming with Games Workshop and have stuck with them ever since.
Therefore I’m hoping that this article may introduce you to other wargames you may not have heard of, while giving you a brief synopsis of the game itself.
All of the following games are from companies which both produce the rules, and sell the miniatures for that game.
Kings of War (Mantic Games)
Kings of War is thought by many to be the successor to Warhammer Fantasy, and features many of the same armies (with slightly different names. E.g. Ratkin instead of Skaven).
“Kings of War is a table-top war game that allows you to play epic fantasy battles in the world of Pannithor. You and your opponent will pit your wits and armies against each other in a battle of tactics, a contest of skill and an explosion of magic and steel.“
However, be aware the price point for these models are pretty much the same as Games Workshop with a pack of twenty models costing £32.50 in the UK.
The models are well crafted and look stunning. Some of the range is still in metal.
Skyrim – Call to Arms (Mordiphius)
For fans of Skyrim there’s Call to Arms by Mophidius.
“The Elder Scrolls: A Call to Arms is an adventure wargame set in the world of Tamriel. Gather your heroes and venture into Draugr haunted tombs and ruins, searching for treasure and glory. Or, fight the Civil War as the Stormcloaks and Imperials battle for the future of Skyrim.“
The advantage of Skyrim: Call to Arms is that it also has a solo play method for gaming.
While not a massive battle game like Warhammer AoS or Kings of War, the game focuses more on small skirmish games and dungeon delving.
The models will set you back roughly £40 for a pack of 12. But the quality is on par with both Mantic and GW.
A Song of Fire & Ice (Cmon)
This is the official Game of Thrones miniatures game which has been licensed to Cmon.
“A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game is a competitive miniatures game for two or more players. Each player controls one of the Great Houses of Westeros, commanding battlefield units, recruiting legendary Heroes, and manipulating the political stage, in the attempt to claim the greatest prize of all: The Iron Throne.“
The miniatures are excellently detailed, however they are mono-pose. The starter set which includes 50 Lannister miniatures and 43 Stark Miniatures can be found on various websites including Amazon for about £100.
The game also incorporates deck building and list building into its five different game modes.
Warmachine/Hordes (Privateer Press)
“WARMACHINE is a fast-paced and aggressive 30 mm tabletop miniatures battle game set in the steam-powered fantasy world of the Iron Kingdoms. Take control of an elite soldier-sorcerer called a warcaster and his mighty warjacks–massive steam-powered combat automatons–as you battle to destroy the enemy warcaster.“
Warmachine and Hordes are relatively similar and involve smaller armies. It’s a great system for those looking for lower model counts. The models are really nice and would make great painting projects on their own. Just look at the below Warjack model….
However a model like the above will set you back around £70 with the rest of the range costing between £30-£70 for a box.
Frostgrave (Warlord Games)
Warlord Games are quintessentially Games Workshop ex-employees. With Rick Preistley being among their number. They have a large (and excellent) historical range of figures, but also some fantasy with offers in both Warlords of Erehwon and Frostgrave.
“Warlords of Erehwon is a fantasy based game designed for 28mm tabletop warfare. The gameplay is built around the D10 system developed for the science-fiction game Beyond the Gates of Antares and also using the praised order dice mechanic first used in the Bolt Action WW2 rules.“
Warlord Games miniatures are not as finely detailed as other manufacturers out there, but what they lack in detail they make up for in value. A box of 20 plastic models from Warlord will set you back around £20 (half of what GW charge nowadays).
Next week, I’ll go through five non-GW science fiction games as an alternative to Warhammer 40,000.