The Elder Thoughts

RPGs, miniatures, books and other rants

Book Review: The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (book 1)

The Dark Tower: Book 1 cover

I've wanted to read The Dark Tower books since I was young and first heard about the adventures of The Gunslinger and the mysterious world, mixture of western and fantasy, guns and spells. I've had the books in english since at least a decade but never decided to start with them... until a few weeks ago.

I've now finished reading the first book (of the eight that compose the series), and while I'm not going to do individual reviews but instead write again when I finish all of them, I can summarize as "I'll keep reading". While I expected more action, I understand that the first book is more of a presentation, an initial act to set the scenario for the things to come. There is action and tension, but there is lot of background (especially of the main character Roland).

I had read before both a small graphic novel and a short story that I think was a fragment of one of the books, and got hooked by the mixture of classic western with weird magical stuff happening everywhere, as it breaks your preconceptions and expectations. It also denotes the sometimes turbulent but always brilliant mind of Stephen King.

As a quick summary for lazy people not wanting to click the link at the beginning of the blog post, Roland is the last of a line of gunslingers, who seems to be obsessed with finding a man in black and has been following him for a long time already. They live in a world where there are hints of past technology, but that seems stuck in between the old west and feudalism, but a world where magic is very often present. At the center of this world resides The Dark Tower, a mysterious building that our gunslinger seems to desire to enter.

Book Review: Lords of Caliban

Lords of Caliban book cover

Lords of Caliban is a six short stories anthology based on the Dark Angels space marines chapter. Some of the stories feature the chapter master Azrael and some company masters, like Belial and Sammael, plus other known relevant figures.

The stories are:

  • Honour of the Third
  • A Hunt in the Dark
  • Battle-Brothers
  • Accept No Failure
  • Holder of the Keys
  • All Must End

One of them narrates a fragment from Master of Sanctity from another point of view which, although interesting, feels a bit like cheating. As you might also notice, one of the list items links to an existing review that you can check for more details, but overall make for an interesting time, and thankfully some stories vary a bit from the classic "Fallen hunt", which is nice for a change.

Being a Dark Angels fan I enjoyed it.

Book Review: The Horus Heresy: The Master of Mankind

The Master of Mankind book cover

Book number 41 in The Horus Heresy series, The Master of Mankind attracted me because the character of the Emperor is always being talked about but never in detail in any Warhammer 40,000 lore. We can learn how he did this and that, how he fought, how others think he decided a certain strategy... but never get to actually see him in "direct action", engaged in a conversation with someone, or simply get to the time where he was not in the Golden Throne and how he lived and directed mankind then.

The book focuses indeed on the Emperor, both in how he was directing some of his main projects back in the Horus Heresy (the Eldar Webway, the Golden Throne, and other which I'd rather not spoil) and how he thinked, bits of his personality and extremely radical practicality regarding every action he took, in the form of half-dream half-visions he shares with some of his high-ranking Adeptus Custodes officers.

But we also get to learn qute a bit about the Adeptus Custodes themselves and the Sisters of Silence, as the problems that Magnus the Red caused spawned terrible chaos creaures pouring in into the webway, and mankind needs to keep hold of it at any cost.

An interesting book, as I mentioned with hints at the Emperor's personality, good battles full of tension, chaos demons, titans... The perfect mix for an entertaining read.

My Old Space Hulk Terminators

While ordering stuff and trying to make some more space (I'm in a cleaning spree), I grabbed my old Space Hulk box and checked what I actually have inside. It is a 1st edition base game, and I knew I had inside at least the pieces and instructions of Deathwing, Genestealer and the Space Hulk Campaigns book. I also knew I had at least some miniatures, as I have more than 50 genestealers in total, and at least two painted plastic Terminator Librarians (as Deathwing, of course). What I didn't knew is that, probably when I was learning how to paint, I painted two full squads of the plastic Terminators of the base game plus their corresponding Librarians too!

It's so funny to see them, the blocky, rounded miniatures, painted quite terribly, with gloss varnish and even with the bases "wrong" for Space Hulk (but as green & brown was the official GW bases color back in the day...).

Here's the Dark Angels squad, with the old black color schema and also old transfers applied.

Dark Angels Terminators #1

Dark Angels Terminators #2

Dark Angels Terminators #3

And here's an Ultramarines squad, with black chapter symbol transfers, which look terrible indeed.

Ultramarines Terminators #1

Ultramarines Terminators #2

Ultramarines Terminators #3

I'm not much of a fan of repainting miniatures, so I'll probably leave them as they are. I kind of like to see my beginnings. Also, after all I have around half a company of Deathwing Terminators awaiting to be painted so there's plenty of units for future games (If I play Space Hulk again, that is).

Apart from this findings, I haven't done much, just base-coated a few Necrons and painted two of them. I sold a few but keep more than enough to make for a nice army, and as they are one of the easiest miniatures to paint I should keep working on them.

Painting progres... A few necrons

My Contemptor Dreadnought had also some highlights layer and now I'm painting the metal but I'll wait until it's more complete to take any picture.

So the painting progress has been slow, but at least there's movement. Summer also means escaping from the city which means more reading and less painting.

Comic Book Review: Warhammer 40000: Dawn Of War

Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War comic book cover

Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War is not only a series of videogames but also a comic book that I recently read, but also a 4-issues comic that ties in between the second and third installment of the mentioned games.

New to the scene Sergeant Olivarr and returning from the previous Dawn of war games, sergeant Tarkus, a fan favourite. Tasked with locating their chapter master, Gabriel Angelos, after he goes missing from a battle against the xenos threat of the ork greenskins. But with the Eldar also on the scene its not going to be easy as they make their journey to him, paved in bolter shell and blood.

Set after the events of Dawn of War 2, we learn that Gabriel Angelos has dissapeared while fighting with orks, and two sargeants are searching for him, Tarkus and Olivarr (a new character created for the comics). While trying to find him, problems will arise not only with the greenskins but also with the Eldar, setting everything up (more or less) for the third videogame. Other characters from the game series appear, and and there are glimpses of some of the units that the latest DoW features, but not as much as the cover images would imply.

The drawing and coloring is great, in all issues except for the third one, which is more plain and simpler than the others. There is action but the plot is quite simple and without any impressive twists.

Not a bad comic but neither impressive, even if you fancy the videogames it really doesn't adds much.

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