Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in review

So that's 2015. One hundred and one painted miniatures (plus scenery). Nineteen games. Sixty four blog posts. I started posting to the blog New Year's Day, and I'm happy I'm still at it.

Here's the painted stuff: smallest to largest amount.

One solitary warrior monk (Northstar).
Two Gripping Beast knights.
Vikings (Khurasan Miniatures).
Three figures, a hill and ocean views for Pulp Alley.
A stand of Napoleonic Austrians (AB).
A unit of byzantine kavallarioi (Old Glory).
Some FIW Provincials (Galloping Major).
Reds for the Russian Civil War (Peter Pig).
And a decent array of goodies for Pulp 40k!
And here's the pile of shame - purchased but not painted for the year. I'd really like this to be a lot smaller next year.
2015 was, like 2014, the year of Pulp Alley in terms of games played.
  • Pulp Alley - fourteen games
  • Red Actions - two
  • Force on Force - one
  • Lion Rampant - one
  • Muskets & Tomahawks - one
2016? I expect to see a lot more Pulp Alley - painting and playing. I think I'll have a couple of Pulp 40k campaigns on the go, and it's an easy game to pull out at the club as well. Besides that, I'll see what the kids end up wanting to play - they do tend to hop from one thing to another.

Happy new year to you all!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Death in the Dirt

Or, how I quite possibly killed my kid's enthusiasm for Force on Force in the very first turn of their very first game!

Here's how it went down - one of the boys was keen to have a go at Force on Force. Force on Force are rules for modern warfare: the earliest edition focused on asymmetrical warfare. So I dug out the old cork buildings and my 15mm insurgents and US marines.Being their first game, I went for the basic scenario: Contracting Trouble. A pair of contractors have been ambushed in a bad part of town. Two fireteams of marines have been sent in to pull them out. I played the insurgents, the boys took a fireteam of marines each.

Contractors top left. You can also see three out of five groups of insurgents. Lone RPG men on the rooftops at the top left and right. Six insurgents in the foreground.

Four insurgent leaders in the foreground. There are another two insurgents skulking down the alley between the SUV and the marines.
Marines on their way in - just down the street and back again. Simple, right?
First encounter and everything goes like clockwork - the marines smoke the guys in the alley.
Once the marines have moved, one of the RPG guys pops up to have a shot. He manages to get his shot off first, causing one casualty.
Not only that, the marines roll a one for their reaction test, meaning they must draw a 'Fog of War' card. I use the original cards from Ambush Alley - most are bad for the regular player. The only question is, how bad? When I introduced one of my gaming mates to the game, he always used to manage to draw the worst possible card. Not that it put him off the game, as you can see. Anyway, his favourite card turned up for the boys.
The insurgents are now every bit as good as the marines, and there are more of them!

Things just went downhill from there. A big group of reinforcements right on top of the marine positions.
Another failed reaction test halts the marines in their drive towards the contractors.
The group of six insurgents from the start of the game smell blood in the water. They burst into the street, guns blazing.
Again, the insurgents win the reaction test and the entire marine fireteam goes down as casualties.
The noose tightens.
It's just the start of turn three and the other fireteam is faced with a dilemma: try to extricate themselves as quickly as they can, or rush to the aid of their injured brothers? Well, leave no man behind!
Or, leave every man behind. Marines beaten to the trigger again and down they all go.
Total casualties:

Marines: 9
Insurgents: Just 4.
Boys' desire to ever play Force on Force again: Yes, quite possibly!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Doctor Who Part Two

Finished two more Doctor Who miniatures for my brother's Christmas present. These are from Crooked Dice. Not my finest work - struggled with the faces.
All together, with a box to put them in. They look a whole lot better at that distance!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mechanicum Bounty Hunter

Had fun with this one - a mechanicum bounty hunter.
The figure was [inspired by / ripped off from] the insanely talented Johan Egerkrans.

This one began life as a chaos cultist. All the extra bits (arms, head, backpack) are from the various mechanicus kits.
Once you get them painted, they look distinctive enough.
But a certain resemblance remains. I'll have to run a scenario (or campaign). Brothers from the same vat, grown to be labourers on an agri-planet, inseparable friends. Until a childhood accident changes their lives forever. A beserk pest-sprayer bot attacks the boys, mangling one of them, and dousing both of them with highly toxic pesticides. Both boys suffer chronic lung problems. 

One brother rages against the very fabric of the Imperium. 'What society would let a man work and die in these conditions?' The twisted path of chaos seems a far more rational and humane way of life (?!) Meanwhile the other brother channels his fury into endless slo-mo training montages, painstakingly rebuilding his strength and honing his combat skills. He dedicates his life to tracking and destroying rogue technology.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Frostgrave for Pulp 40k

I picked up a set of Frostgrave cultists because I want to build some cultist gangs for my pulp 40k project. I ummed and ahhed about buying them: I was worried they'd be too small for 40k. Finally I decided they were worth the risk. See what you think.
Stock Frostgrave figure with a GW flagellant head, a cultist star and a scratchbuilt artificial eye.
And here he is lined up with his authentic GW cultist mates.

Definitely smaller, but I reckon he still fits. And certainly once they're spread out on the table the difference will disappear. What may be trickier is giving these guys GW weapons. His hands are definitely more delicate than the thuggish GW ones. Anyway, that will be my next project: this guy was meant to be the super simple proof of concept. Next one will be toting a laspistol or a chainsword.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dashing through the Sand - a Pulp Alley Game

The delivery driver had been burning the candle at both ends. Too much work for one night. Not to mention the suggestion of a little too much alcohol. Hardly surprising that he crashed. What was surprising was the fact that he hightailed it, leaving his valuable cargo scattered for anyone to grab. 

I ran this game at our club on Sunday. Five players, including two first-timers, joined the festive fracas! The objective was simple: player with the most parcels at the end of the game wins!

The crash site with a civilian scavenger.
Scattered parcels.
Tramp steamer crew and adventurers intermingle.
Cowboys a long way from home.
Mad scientist hoping for a DIY science kit.
Sherlock Holmes' band, including the dreaded hound of the Baskervilles.
Shopping around for presents.
Stanley is the first one to make it to the sleigh. The reward for his derring-do? The black cat. I suppose he's been naughty rather than nice.
Party time!
A little too much eggnog.
Sherlock tries to attract the attention of a present but not a cat.
The captain doesn't fare so well.
The cowboys close in on the last unclaimed present.
But the winner is...

Edged out the cowboys who finished with four parcels.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Does my Bum Look Oldhammer in This?

The pages of 40k Rogue Trader are full of all sorts of interesting and unsavoury characters. I thought I'd have a go at one who wasn't too difficult to reproduce.
He's a human renegade - power armoured, but not a space marine. I imagine him as some kind of mercenary, selling himself and his kit to the highest bidder.
Now at this point I can almost hear the Oldhammer purists sharpening their RTB01 sprues into dangerous weapons as they cry heretic! Yes, he's definitely new Oldhammer. Marine bits from the latest kit, and an Imperial Guard head. Sorry guys. Back in my youth I used to own a moderate stash of the 'good stuff', but not a single one these days. I look at them every now and then on ebay, but they tend to be a bit rich for me!

The guy was a breeze to paint until I got to the checked pauldron. Oh, that was painful. Checks on a curved surface - urgh! I painted over and started the whole thing again a couple of times.You can see one of the early attempts - good at the front, but it all gets a bit wild at the back.
Even the final product looks a bit wonky at the back, but it's the best I could do.
I was searching for ways to tie his base back to the illustration. I tried painting 'Smash' onto his base like grafitti, but it looked pretty naff, especially if you didn't know the significance of it. In the end, I just went with the wanted poster, evoking the papers on the table.
Here he is, admiring his own likeness.
At some stage, I'll have a go at his buddy. Just need to find the right head...and work out how someone would use a bolt gun and a power fist at the same time...