Monday, 1 September 2014

Pod Racing Night

This weekend saw MacSver and myself joined by sons (Macspud and Arabiansquire) and friend (Meerkatsoldier) to play a game of Star Wars Pod Racing. It's been quite a while since our last game, but every game had been a hoot and we were looking forward to this one.

The congestion at the gates gave the body repair shop
potentially a busy week ahead.
With so many younger players it was down to the Dads to demonstrate the game rules at the start of the race. I started by disabling my rev limiters to zooming down the opening straight into the lead also my engines cut out. MacSver went one better by surging off whilst playing a card on his son's pod to cut out it's engines on the starting line! But the game is simple so by the end of the first straight everyone has a grasp of how to play.

The pods streak through the forest.
MacSpud and Meerkatsoldier announced that they were playing as an unofficial team. But, as expected of a couple of teen-age boys, their idea of working in a team was more Sebastian Vettel than Tony Lewis as the cards started to flow.

The Leaders pick their route through the giant tree section.
With 5 players, the initial emphasis of speed and shenanigans soon moves to damage repair and numerous bumps and prangs occur on the way round. Things can start to get tense when the "hull points" fall from the initial 20 to 6, as a single bump causes d6 damage.

Meekcatsoldier was the first racer to fall by the wayside, thanks to a fuel leak card played on him. He was dealt a glimmer of hope as he had a card that allowed him to eject and potentially pick up a reserve pod. Unfortunaelty his ejector seat landed in a group of rival fans who beat him up! MacSver was next to go with his battered pod unable to take any more.

MacSver moves in front of my pod, but with only
1 point of damge left and leaving me not room to
maneuver things were looking grim. 
During this time Arabiansquire had managed to stay out of trouble and moved through the traffic to become take up a commanding lead with no damage taken. But his race was ended with only half a lap to go as MacSpud played a fuel leak card on the front runner and a catastrophic dice roll meant that the fuel ignited and the pod blew up.

With Arabiansquire's  wrecked pod in view,
Macspud fires up his engines and heads for his
remaining opponent.
MacSpud then strayed off the race line and with wheat he considered a killer card combo in his hand (you can tell he plays Magic the Gathering) shut down his engines and sat in the final straight for my damaged pod to limp round, like a Wild West gunfighter waiting for the clock to hit High Noon. With my pod in sight he played his engine start card, flicked of the engine limiters and hit the throttle. As he bumped off me he played a "good nudge" card with doubled the potential damage to my pod rolling a double "6" on his dice shattered my pod into small pieces. but in his enthusiasm his pod rebounded off the arena wall, with the extra damage being enough to destroy his pod as well.

So for the first time there were no winners!

But amid the universal guffawing Nobody cared!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Industrial Wild West Part 2 - Prospector's Office

I thought the first building I'd make was the Prospectors Office. There are quite a few "mystery " components on the mdf sheets, so I will be starting with the more obvious builds and hope to figure out what the mystery pieces are for by a process of elimination. The sections for this come from Sheets 1 & 4 of the kit post.

I decided that base sections would be easier to paint un-assembled before any weathering was added.

For painting I will be following the tutorial instructions from Lead Adventures forum member "Michi". The results from shown in this thread will tell you why. I hope mine come out half as good.

For my own reference as much as yours, the technique is:
  • No primer is necessary. 
  • Choose a base colour and apply it with rough strokes of a flat brush. That will leave some wood (MDF) shining through. 
  • Repeat that with increasingly lighter shades of that colour (three or four layers). 
  • Wash the entire building with a very watery black wash. 
  • Apply another wash of a dust colour of your choice. This wash should be rich with pigments. You can take away too thick areas with fresh water while the wash is still wet or with alcohol when it has already dried.
  • Finally apply a rather light drybrush of sand or light grey colour.

As ever I got a bit carried away and painted them up without inbetween shots. You've not missed much though. Here I've done the base coat and 3 lighter layers. The sign was painted in after this process.

A big decision was whether to make the doors "open-able". As most the other scenic pieces in the set a obstructions it was decided that having a building to duck into would be good, so off they came. More on how they are re-attached later.

The Front roof segment sits tight tot the front signage so was glued in place. The rear roof section just slots over tabs on its own. The tabs were slightly thinned to make removing\replacing the roof section easier to get the figure in the building that bit easier.

The section in place.

The construction so far before any washes are added.

 Another missed photo didn't document the buidling after the 2 washes (One thin black and other a thin  burnt umber\sienna mix), but here I've applied the light dry brush of a mixed sandy brown colour.

To hinge the doors I though some fabric would be the best bet. I initially cut some thing lengths of denim, but they frayed and fell apart. Luckily I have small felt offcuts from another project which hadn't been thrown out yet, so they were pressed into service with white glue. (At time of writing the dried results have not been fully tested!) The hut interior was also given a quick layer of white.

And here is the finished structure.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Raft Making

The next "Song Of..." campaign battle takes part on a river, with the warbands on boats or rafts, so I thought it was a good incentive to make some simple, roughly hewn rafts.

 For the body I was going to need some "logs". I know that a walk in the woods can produce a bundle of sticks, but I rarely see any thin and straight enough for a raft (or 4 in this case). I also had a bag of sticks that I'd bought ages ago with view to making a wooden palasade (which never got past the whittling stage). These are from a Pet Store and are sold in a bundle for Rabbits,etc to gnaw on.

I decided that 6 stciks would make a raft of suitable width. 2 logs (nominally the thickest) were chosen to be the edge logs and had one length sanded to make a better gluing surface. The remain 4 logs had 2 sides sanded so that they would press up together and glue more effectively.

 Glue alone would still be a bit brittle, so holes were drilled through the logs (fore and aft) and wire threaded through (I used a straightened paper clip). The Edge logs were not drilled all the way through to hide the scratchy wire ends.

The raft was assembled with the wire and white glue between the logs.

To strengthen the bond I also squeezed white glue in the joins on the underside of the raft, using a finger to push the glue down into the gap and wipe off excess. It was all left to dry.

 The raft needs some sort of basic steering mechanism. To represent this a couple of pieces of matchstick were assembled on the back of the raft as a rudder handle (the back of the handle dipping to table\water level). The "oar" was then given a quick light brown wash and (once dry) the whole lot given a quick spray of matt varnish to cover any shine from any visible dry glue.

Here is the end result with prospective crew. Ideally some sort of string could be glued across the width as binding rope, but I couldn't find any thin enough that didn't look out of place. Once the models are on the effect is good enough to work anyway I feel.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Freddy vs Scooby

MacSver and I played our first ever game of Faith and Fear last week. I've had the rules (both Faith and Fear and the expansion Kooky Teenage Monster Hunters) for years but never turned the pages on the table before. So I dug out some carefully chosen figures for some spooky fun...Freddy Krueger vs Scooby Doo! (and friends)

Scooby Gang
  • Daphne (56pts) Q3+; C2; Designer Shoes,Hero,Killer Heels,Love Interest
  • Scooby Doo (54pts) Q3+; C3; Animal,Flee,Long Move,Recurring Character,Stealth
  • Freddy (88pts) Q3+; C3; Conviction,Leader,Pistol,Reassuring
  • Shaggy (30pts) Q4+; C1; Flee,Hero,Stealth
  • Velma (82pts) Q3+; C2; Chainsaw,Conviction,Science Major,Strongwilled
Dream Zone 
  • Freddy Krueger (100pts) Q3+; C3; Hero,Razor,Recurring Character,Teleport
  • 3 x Nightmare Worm (64pts) Q3+;C1; Multi-Headed*,Teleport
* Multiheaded is a Home-brew rule. Every extra head counts for outnumbering purposes. When a kill is made on the creature one of the heads is killed, not the creature (so outnumbering value decreases) until last head is killed - 15pts cost.

The table set up was as above: a old house and grounds in the middle of a remote wood (of course). Freddy (and pets) were to be hunting the Scooby Gang. All Scooby & Co  had to do was either kill Freddy or survive until Dawn. The Sunrise mechanic was from one of the scenarioa in "Kooky Teenage Monster Hunters". Basically a D6 is set at 3 and goes up at the end of every round (one turn by each player). Every time a turnover is rolled by either player the number of the dice will go down by one. This would seem to encourage more aggressive rolling from the monsters and more conservative rolling from the victims, helping the horror atmosphere. (in practice the counter hit "1" very quickly and hardly reached "2" for any length of time)

Starting to type, Velma was keeping a watchful eye over Shaggy and Scooby, who were busy at the refrigerator in the kitchen. Freddy and Daphne were in one of the bedrooms.

Freddy popped up on his own in the grave yard.

Sniffing something other baloney sandwich in the air Scooby alerted the gang, who gathered in the kitchen

Freddy summoned 2 Nightmare worms from the Dream zone to lead his tracking of the pesky kids.

Not wanting to be trapped indoors the gang headed outside. all apart from Shaggy who seemed to be reluctant to leave the food in the kitchen.

The Nightmare worms advanced on the house.

One Teleported in to engage Shaggy

whilst Freddy came knocking.
Velma and Scooby heard Shaggy's cries for help, and jumped back indoors via the windows before Shaggy had to run into a cupboard and change into a Hotdog sellers uniform (or something similar).

With the gang numbers negating the Nightmare Worms many head advantage Scooby and Velma's chainsaw soon saw it dispatched.
But the gang now split another worm moved in on Daphne

Freddy rushed in to aid Daphne, but lost his nerve as his attack faltered and fled away, tripping as he went. The Worm then dealt with Daphne. Freddy conjured a third worm at the back door (in the background) to press on.
It then closed in on the fallen Freddy, who somehow managed to defend himself and knock the worm down.

A third worm came round the house and efficiently dispatched Freddy.

The remaining gang member backed away from the horrible sights through the kitchen window.

The third worm, still drippping Freddy, teleported in to attack Shaggy,

but the hipster's heals were too fast and he fled off screaming.

The other worm then blincked in to ambush Velma, who was pushed out the door to the prowling Freddy.

The Shaggy scaring Worm turned to his hound, but only managed to recoil Scooby. The Freddy\worm combination knocked down Velma at the door.

But Velma managed to regain her feet and swing her buzzing weapon at Freddy, who hit the ground to avoid the full saw effect. Whilst he was down Scooby took advantage of not being engaged by his attacking worm to jump through the hall window and try to savage the fallen Freddy, but the master of nightmare fought him off.

The Worms combined to protect their master, but only ended fallen down whilst swinging her chainsaw at the combined snapping 5 heads.

Velma then struggled back to her feet to add her threat to Scooby's attack on the prone Freddy. This time the dogs teeth found their mark to send Freddy (and his creations) screaming and cursing back to the dream zone.


Thoughts on "Fair and Fear"

One of the problems I've always found in playing fun horror tabletop (or RPG) games is keeping the sense of horror in the game whilst we, the players, are all having a good, fun time. There is a different mechanic in F&F from "Song of Blades and Heroes" (SoBH) where the victim has to make a fear test when a monster charges it (different from the SoBH Fear special rule). This worked very well here, causing some extra uncontrolled results by the good guys during the game and helped play out the terror of being attacked by denizens of the night. The Kooky Teenage Monster Hunters expansion really adds quite a few extra fun rules  and character profiles for those TV\film ties ins as well which helps provide a clearer line between the bad side and the good side, as horror games tend to be extremely scenario driven and thematic. With so many close proxies for movie characters now available from a reem of manufacturers I now have an easy outlet for those "must have that but don't have a game to play them in" finds. Happy Days.

(Ohhhh, The Fonz verses Dracula.........!.....)