Desert Of Zin

The occasional blog of Alistair Bain – Writer, Husband, Father and Chief Techno-Arcanologist at the Institute of Giant Robots, Spaceships and Wizards. None of these positions pay well.

Helsreach and other shiny things of a similar nature

Good afternoon, website of mine that is rarely seen and updated.

(To be fair, I only ever really remember that I have a website after I have to renew the domain and hosting for the bloody thing.)

I have an occasional love of the tabletop nuttiness that is Warhammer 40K. I’ll make no apologies for that. 🙂

There’s a book called Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. I haven’t read it myself; I’m sure it’s very good. But that’s not today’s message.

This is:

This is just the prologue but it’s an exceptional piece of work. This guy has set animation to the audio book and it’s quite something. He’s putting it chapter by chapter, and it’s not finished yet, but it really is something to keep an eye on.

Also, while it’s in mind, there is such a thing as The Grand Inquisitor. Like the animated Helsreach it’s a fan project. The YouTube channel has loads of concept stuff and work in progress updates. I particularly like these:

May 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Gaming, Watching | Tags: , , | No comment

Playing with Aurora, or Massacre In Squinkie Town…

The other morning Aurora and I were playing. She has these things called Squinkies (which couldn’t be more cheap, plastic or crap) and she wanted me to play with them with her.

That’s fine. I like some quality time with the wee one. Especially as it’s only a matter time before she’s too big to spend time with her old dad, with such things as boys and underage drinking to occupy her time in the years to come.

So, she had set up her team…


And I was given mine, with what was left. I may have supplemented my team with a Inquisitor from the ever popular tabletop war game Warhammer 40,000.


At one point I had left the room only to return and find this…


“Only absolute faith in the God-Emperor of Mankind saved the turtle during the inquisitorial purge of Squinkie Town.”

July 19, 2015 at 11:22 pm | Gaming | Tags: , , | No comment

I do love a good partwork

Especially when that partwork is going to be 100 issues in total, running to just under 900 quid and will leave me with a large but beautifully detailed model of the Millennium Falcon. Yeah, internet. That’s right. And only for £900. Money well spent there.

I’ve dabbled in partworks in the past. A few editions of the Marvel Graphic Novels Collection. Bits and pieces of the Star Wars and Star Trek Fact Files. Comic books. My Doctor Who dvds.

I’ve bought the first issue, for the bargain price of £2.99, and not because I intend to go any further with it. I’m a sucker for a big poster of a spaceship.

But £900 is a step too far. I could get a Forge World Imperial Reaver & Warhound Titan for that.

Hmmm… Titans…

January 9, 2015 at 11:53 am | Gaming, Reading | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No comment

So much to paint and so little time

A friend of mine, Greg, handed in part of my birthday present this morning. My birthday was last month. 39. Moving on…

So, he’s a big fan of Mantic Games and invested, reasonably heavily, in their kickstarter project for Deadzone, a skirmish scale table-top game involving plastic/resin/metal toy soldiers. My particular poison is Warhammer 40K but I haven’t played in about a year. Too many unpainted models and so little inclination to get them finished. The title of the post isn’t quite accurate. Still, that’s all aside. Greg got me some Deadzone miniatures. I suspect he got them as part of a particular stretch goal that justified his spending more to get other things. That might not be the case, but I know Greg. 🙂 It’s a relatively safe assumption.

But let’s not shoot him down in flames. After all, I’ll happily accept his gift of more miniatures to paint and play with. Oh, yes. Thank you very much sir. 😀

So, this being a fresh blog, let’s start a to-do list.

  • Assembling and painting Deadzone miniatures: Forge Fathers and Enforcers.

A good start. I’ll count them up and get an idea of what I’m working with. Then stick a few blurry photos of my painting attempts up here.

September 19, 2014 at 9:34 am | Gaming | Tags: , , , , | No comment

Warhammer Madness!

Or, How I Managed to Convince My Wife To Have A Game Of Warhammer 40K…

Actually that’s not strictly true.  She is interested in playing a game and seeing as I’ve had these blasted things on my shelf (still mostly unpainted mind) and not yet played them, I think this is a good move.  And seeing as it’s been years and several editions between my last actual games.  16 years and three editions…

Tonight we set up the wee table, I cobbled together two small armies of futuristic metal (and plastic) soldiers, and we went over some of the rules.  The idea is to spread the learning curve over several days and to use units that are pretty straightforward to play.

Tomorrow, hopefully, brings the game itself!

May 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Gaming | Tags: | No comment

Space Hulk!


It arrived Wednesday morning just before 8, and it was/is a lovely lovely thing.

I had my first game of it last night with Cheezy and it’s easily as good as I remember.  Tomorrow sees a day of Space Hulking with The Edgemeister, so I’m sure much fun will be had.  I’ll give more of an update then.  :)

September 4, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Gaming | Tags: , | No comment

NaNoWriMo 2008, T minus 5: Meetings

Didn’t get the Deathwing Terminators finished.

Did get housework done, some work on The Fracture and a few key upgrades to the site.  :)

So an overall success.

Got a meeting with fellow NaNoers tonight.  A pre-NaNo meet.  I’m quite excited.

And I bought the wife flowers today because of a top class image she’s done for the site (which isn’t up yet).

October 27, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Gaming, Writing | Tags: , , , | No comment

Grey Knights for Dawn Of War!!!

I found an excellent mod for the Dawn Of War: Dark Crusade game. Daemonhunters!

Now I can have a full Grey Knights army! Whooo!!!

To explain my excitement, in the Warhammer 40K universe the Grey Knight space marines are the ones brought out to fight the insidious hordes of chaos and are among the hardest troops in the game. And now some good lads have brought out a mod for Dark Crusade that adds them to the game as a playable race.

The mod rocks, but it’s just for multiplayer/skirmishes so no rampaging about the game map with the Emperor’s finest.

The mod can be found here.

July 28, 2007 at 9:15 pm | Gaming | Tags: , , , | No comment

A guilty pleasure – Warhammer 40,000 Grey Knight Space Marines

Ages ago (October last year, I think) I wandered in to the Games Workshop in Glasgow and (because I am an unrepentant geek) I bought a single Grey Knight Space Marine Terminator with the idea that it would be fun to paint.

To explain, when in my teens I had extensively played Warhammer 40K (an Eldar army and a Genestealer Cult, but not at the same time), enjoyed Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and dabbled in Warhammer Fantasy Battle (with my impressively unpainted Skaven army).

Recently I’ve been getting back into my gaming in a serious way with semi-regular Call of Cthulhu games with Guy Incognito and Charming Manipulator. Before that I spent some time playing Magic: The Gathering, Star Wars (very possibly the greatest Customisable Card Game ever produced) and Call of Cthulhu (the card game, not the role-playing game).

All good fun, but it’s just not table-top. Table-top gaming is just sooooooooooooooo much more fun. And it’s not just the playing of the game. It’s the choosing/painting/customising of the models that’s all part of it. And other forms of gaming just don’t compare.

Hey what can I say, I’m a geek…

March 21, 2007 at 8:36 pm | Gaming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No comment