Friday, 30 March 2012

40mm Pirates - Preview

With his collection sitting in the cupboards and shelves untouched for ages, Arabiansquire's Mega Bloks Pirate collection has been crying out for a ruleset for some "proper" playtime. 40mm from foot to eye level and with a collection of islands, hideouts and ships I suspect the assembled game will look irrisistable.

Then Ganesha released "Flashing Steel", their (standalone) Pirate/Musketeer Swashbuckling ruleset. To my credit, once the idea to apply it to the toy pirates came round, I managed to resist for as much as a few hours. Based on the "Songs of..." system I know it will be easy to play and fun. Looking through the book, the fgures are much more custonisable then "Songs of...", with weapon specific skills, quality checks are abstact tests to encourage players to just try things in character and a specific "Swashbuckle" test to get people swinging from rigging and throwing chickens during battle.

All I need to do to do for my own personal use, I feel, is draw up a Random Pirate Generator (surely one of the most excellent titles for a table ever!) for pulling together a diverse gang of "skilled" individuals and playing.

Watch this space...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Victorian Sci-Fi Adventure

Bainbridge didn't trust this savage. "Lord Graystoke, my eye, sir!"
This weekend, after much delay and excitement (on my part) I finally saw the movie John Carter. There are tonnes of blog column inches already on the topic of this movie, good and bad, so I'm not going to add to them other than to say that I was hoping for an non-taxing enjoyable epic adventure and I received it in spades. I can only hope that Disney see the flop status that so many critics seem to want to bestow on it as their own marketing fault and make a sequel - although I doubt it, unfortunately.

Anyway, it all had me thinking about the suppressed love I have for Victorian Sci-fi. A good few years ago now I was seduced by the world of the roleplaying game Space 1889, originally released by GDW in the 1980's and later reprinted by Heliograph. (the game world has also been coverted into a Savage Worlds sourcebook). "Science-Fiction Roleplaying in a More Civilised Time" the tag line read. All the politics of 19th Century Eath with a developed colonial map on Mars and Venus. I even managed to run a session in a pseudo "Lost World" type adventure. All the books were RPG books were bought, the war game rules, the boardgame, the aerial combat game and loads of Victoriana style figures (mainly from RAFM's licensed line or Wargames Foundry). Unfortunately after that one adventure was run there was scant opportunity to play again and my VSF interests and projects have been put on the back burner for more popular (but still fun) genres with more players.

So has this trip to the cinema rekindled the warm embers? Well, not until I can find room in my current project schedule. I'll just have to gaze wistfully at by painted and unpainted figures and imagine. Maybe one day I'll get round to painting those Martian forces (and scratchbuilding the flyers)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Urban War Viridian Strike Team

That 's my Urban War Viridian Starter strike team finished in a tabletop quick paint stylee. Their look seems a bit messy to me. Part of that, no doubt, is my painting, part of it, I feel is the colour of the webbing/packs. 
But once they're down on the ground dodging between cover I'm confident they'll look just grand.

The main thing is that both Urban War starter sets are painted and looking good for the coming games. I'll start to add more from my VASA collection as I play more.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

SoBH2 - Battle #1

SoBH Battle #1 - New Enemies

Battlefield: Hilly
Weather: Heavy Rain
Scenario: Take The High Ground

Forces: As per Initial Warbands Post


The Humans, Dwarves and Beastmen deploy roughly equi-distant from the objective hill. Initiatives are re-rolled at the end of each turn phase.

With extra victory points up for grabs for occupying the high ground the initial action was the dash for the hill. With any roll of a one making the model immobile (due to the heavy rain rules) left the field spread out. With a good set of activation rolls the dwarves nearly made it, but the beastmen managed to get a couple of bodies up during the same turn phase denying the dwarves the extra early points.
With a crowd gathering for battle on the hill top the humans arrive, the heavy rain taking toll on their progress towards the action. The dwarves come round the hill to meet the leader, but lose their blunderbus wielding shooter.

With the dwarf group slightly split, the beastmen gang up on a dwarven warrior to take advantage, but even though outnumbered he holds off three seperate attacks.
The humans charge up the hill to join in the melee, but their leader is knocked down in the attack, and is killed, causing some of them to flee the battle.

With humans blocking one of the beastmen sides the dwarves flank and move in. Their attacks knock down the beastmen leader and centaur leaving them prone targets for the few remaining opportunistic humans to come in and take them out.

Chaos reigns (or not in this case) in the beastmen ranks and they flee the battle, leaving the humans and dwarves on the hill as the skirmish ends.

Battle result:
  • Beastmen: 177pts killed = 8VP
  • Dwarves: 32pts killed = 1VP
  • Humans: 224pts killed = 11VP
Humans Win  (1 CP)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Viridian Test Paint

The first quick test paint for my Viridian Marine force is now done. Always worth doing to get to know the figure style and details. One strange thing i noticed is that the scuplts of the boots are different on left boot from the right! I checked the other figures and they are the same? Weird.

Anyway, time to note down the colours used for my future reference, so feel free to skip this paragraph.

Prime: Black
  • Armour: Miniature Paints Stone Green
  • Clothes: Miniature Paints Earth Brown
  • Boots and Gloves: GW Foundation Brown
  • Webbing: Miniature Paints Rust
  • Bedding Roll: Miniature Paints Pale Flesh
  • Gun: Black
  • Face Mask: Miniature Paints Dark Grey
Wash entire figure in GW Devlan Mud and highlight with watered down versions of base paints.

The end isn't quite as dark as the photo but looks OK at the standard speed tabletop arms length visual. A bonus for this starter pack (as far as speed painting is concerned) is that there are no character pieces - everyone is in standard Marine uniform (to be honest, one of the reasons I picked them!)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

TALES of Blades and Heroes

Unexpectedly, I now have a copy of the long awaited RPG based on Songs Of Blades and Heroes. I say unexpectedly because up until I saw the notice on TMP, I had no real interest in it. Suddenly I saw the news and immediately "rushed out" (ie clicked through to the Ganesha Games website) to buy it. I then read a review - I know, I know it should be done the other way round, but what-the-hey!

Now I've not been able to start reading the rules yet so can't pass constructive comment. The review above sounds pretty positive to me. I'm especially looking forward to seeing how the magic rules work out (using magic words to create an player chosen effect) as they sound quite flexible.
For the meagre amount of money you have to splash (< $10 US) you get a download with a full colour (and I mean full coloured pages) copy and an ink saving version (which is a nice option) of the 56 page core book. The artwork through the book will be familiar to anyone who has the "Songs of..." rulebooks, as half of it is literally same but with colour, which is fine as it's function here is to add flavour and break up the text. The various sections are colour coded, so as you flick through the book you can clearly see where they start and finish, making finding those magic or special rules easier. When you've wasted as much time as me endlessly flicking past the same few pages in a book in search of a chapter as me this is very welcome. There isn't an index to the book, but the contents is very comprehensive and the sections short so it shouldn't be too much of a pain. The various tables are also collected in 3 quick reference pages at the back to help speed things up.
Basically I'm hoping that this will build on the SOBH/Roleplay experiment I tried a while back. If the system is as simple to pick up as SoBH I hopeful that ArabianSquire will be able to play. Anyway, I need to read it first.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

VASA Starter Pack

My speed painted Urban War VASA starter force (+1 an extra Suppressor) are done now (barring perhaps a couple of weeds on the bases if I can decide!). Painted as per the quick test. Only took a few hours on and off over the last few weeks (I was doing them in tandem with my 10mm rats for a while as a change in eye focusing). They've had a trip out ion the table as well already, with Arabiansquire and I having a second session of 2nd Ed Urban War last Saturday at the local club. With the help of some 1st Ed players we managed to get a few rules clarified so it was a useful game.

Next up (for Urban War anyway) is a test piece for my Viridian Starter squad.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Bigger boys came and stole my pants!

So the party are heading back home for a rest and hopefully a reward. We've been marching and (not) resting through a day long storm when we are approached by a beast. This beast turns out to be The Werewolf of Mirkwood, who starts to batter everyone to make a point, without breaking sweat (as the GM is at pains to point out). Then he whistles and his pet comes over the mountain and lands.

Then to add insult to injury he stole the Hobbit's Mithril pants (which apparently were his in the first place) and made off on the back of his tame Elder Dragon.

Sometimes its obviously worth underlining that you are not the most powerful beings in your gaming world! And also setting up future encounters that we'd rather not have. Mission accomplished I believe.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

You Little Rat(s)

Well, I may have missed the Painting Competition deadline, but here are my Dungeon Dwelling Pendraken 10mm Ratmen. Painted in red livery to match with my ratmen warband used in my first Songs Of Blades and Heroes Campaign.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Mantic Warpath Box Arrives

After all my strong willpower over the last couple of months I've fallen foul of that classic downfall - the Ebay bargain impulse buy. In this case the Mantic Games Warpath starter box "Fate Of The Forge Star" for £26. For an early game play review I will point you at this good review .

At the risk of being mocked , I'll just go over my initial reactions to what is in the box.

Opening the [flimsy] cardboard box the first reaction was "Holy Plastic Sprues, Batman". It also looked very thrown in the box, especially as Mantic always list their practical packaging/storage in the selling points of their units.

Orc Sprue #1 (x 10)

Orc Sprue #2 (x5)

Dwarf Sprue (x 8)

Plastic bags with Orc Trike (Raptor), Dwarf Cannon platform (Hailstorm)
and Dwarf Heavy weapons team (5 figures)
Also included are 10 10mm dice an A5 scenario & stat sheet and an A5 fold out rule sheet./book. To be honest the impression of the production is "cheap". However, it is the actual content that interests me, not the packaging so lets move on.

The detail on the figures is nice a crisp with next to no mould lines/flash. The Dwarf sprue has two lower body options (with cape or without cape) and two upper body options. One of the upper body options is ready moulded with head and weapon, the other is customisable with parts on the sprue - 3 head options, and standard gun or a pistol and open hand/hammer combo. This mean that around half your standard grunt soldiers will have capes and half won't, which is a bit strange (and not evident on the site pictures). The Heavy weapons team are all full torso sculpts with separate arms.

I quickly made up the two most basic constructions of either side so you can see them. The attempt at adding a scale ruler at the back hasn't quite worked, but is pretty close for comparison. The toe to eye measurement of the (slightly hunched) Orc is 25mm, which is probably a good bit shorter than their Games Workshop equivalents.

So what's the opinion? The orcs do look very fantasy with sci-fi guns but should look in a mob (which is how they appear organised), but the dwarfs look a better squat army. With all those 60+ figures and 2 vehicles it good value at it's full price (~£50 RRP). At the half price I managed - even more so, consider the conscience clear!