Tuesday 31 August 2010

Door Refinements

After a bit more work (and a few suggestions on TMP) I've slightly reworked the doors, based around option 2 in the last post.

The door frames have been widened and mounted on mounting card for strength. There is no longer a doorway cut into the foamcore wall, but the door frames join the two halves together. This is stronger than the original option 2 and also alows for a better cut down the doorframe inner sides to allow a smoother action for the door.

The door is still mounted on mounting card (which is pretty strong), but the space round the door is squarer remove a few of the gaps.

The Spaceship Doors

Before the build starts I need to sort out how I'm going to do certain elements. One of the main decisions to be made is what is going to happen with the doors throughout the complex.

The doors between box file sections will have to be marked, as I'm not going to cut holes in the boxfiles. These doors will be assumed to be bulkheads or security doors, so will not be left open. The internal doors are a different matter however. I feel it is important that these can be opened for gaming. The question is how?

Option 1: Solid door. I've used the cutout from the foam core wall to use for the door. It has a nice robustness about it, but I can see it being a bit fiddly to take out mid game, as it has to be pushed out of it's fit in the wall.

Option 2: Use a door insert. The door texture is mounted on card  and slid through the upper doorframe where the foam has been removed. The resulting door is a bit more flimsy  and loose than in option 1 and the wall is weakened by the lack of foam at the lintel, but it is easier to remove mid game.

I'll have to have a think about this, but with the better in-game mechanics I'm starting to side with option 2.

Textures are from the Stone Edges Orbital set, by the way. They have just the worn look about them that could be either from well used space freighter or gloomy multilevel complex.

Monday 30 August 2010

Boxfile Modular Space ship

And so another project begins without another one ending. I may as well get any apologies out of the way now to our cousins on the Western side of the Atlantic, as I believe that the humble boxfile is not a commodity easy attained across the water.

I've been a fan of the box file as a scenic structure for a while now, mostly without taking any ideas to full fruition. They are sturdy (being built of wood chip on 3 sides) easily stored (being box shaped) and regular) coming only in a couple of sizes. I've used one for my Dog Soldiers cottage. I've also used them as areas for fantasy roleplaying (see below).

The plan is to build a modular sci-fi structure with a series of boxfiles, each section with a seperate "theme" or purpose. So far I've 6 boxes, so I've provisionally pitched accomodation, hanger, command area, med bay, science wing and engineering. The original idea was a space craft, but the good thing about a future setting is that it (or a subset of modules) could easily be used as a building or complex.

As a note, this is to be another "lunch-time" project. My other main similar project has slightly stalled in the painting stage, as that has to be done at Arabian Towers, where there are other priorities and distractions. So this one is predominated printing, gluing and cutting.

Friday 27 August 2010

Dungeon Interior Design

The bricks and mortar of the 10mm dungeon are now painted. Only managed to squeeze off a couple of shots before my camera battery died. (must remember to pay more attention to the little icon on the back screen!).

Undercoated grey (Halfords auto primer) , washed in diluted black/brown mix (cheap artists acrylic & Klear) and drybrushed grey (wall paint tester pot). The floor edges have been drybrushed with Miniature Paints Earth Brown to simulate the accumulation of muck that gathers at the side of tunnels. I did play with the idea of using fine sand, but thought that it may hinder the placement of doors, etc as well as maybe looking out of scale - I'm sure a grain of fine sand at 10mm must come close to a pebble scaled up!

A few spots of algae covered damp (drybrushed green, stippled with green ink & bright orange and coated in PVA glue) have been added to the corridors for effect. I've not put any in the rooms, as I'm assuming they'd get enough use not to let damp accumulate. That may change though...

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Warmachine - Cryx Pistol Wraith

I've tried to paint this figure to represent it's "Incorporeal" ability, namely that it is basically a ghost until it makes an attack, when it becomes corporeal (ie solid) for the next round. I've seen a few other pictures of this concept on the web with mixed results. I suppose it is quite difficult to paint a concept at times, and trying to catch the mix of ghostly and becoming material in the same instant. I'm quite pleased with the mix (I won't use the phrase blend for the confusing context ambiguity) here, picturing the wraith slowing becoming solid from its extremities - ie the pistols are catalyst to the process.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Warmachine - Cryx Deneghra

One thing that always sits wrong with me is that most images of Deneghra make her look much too healthy. In the background fluff Deneghra is living dead, so I thought she needed a slightly more pallid completion. Also, given the areas of flesh that were exposed, Farscapes Chiana sprung to mind, so a pale grey (with purple hue as my Cryx colour) was attempted...

any excuse really!

Friday 20 August 2010

First 10mm miniatures

Having picked up Pendraken's 10mm Dungeon Pack, I've begun making inroads to getting it painted up.

As these are the smallest figures I've painted, thought I'd best start with favourite beginners target of the Skeletons.

Nice and easy - basecoat white, Citadel Brown ink , drybrush Miniature Paints Pale Flesh, Vallejo Sepia ink the spear/bow shafts.

Next notch up on the paint-o-meter the goblins:

The detail on these made me opt to use inks more than paint - Basecoated white, skin washed in Valljo black/green ink, boots washed in Citadel Brown ink, chainmail painted in Miniature Paints Chainmail & washed with Coat d'Arms armour wash.

Having looked at some online 10mm pictures I'm not sure if the green ink skin is bright enough to stand out at this scale. The actual dungeon pieces may need to be painted up so that I can gauge it.

As an asside, now I've started on 10mm, suddenly the term "miniature" doesn't really seem to fit my standard 28mm figures!!

Saturday 14 August 2010

Warmachine - Cryx Deathrippers

Two more bonejacks finished:

Couldn't resist having one of them poking it's head out from the grass! I'm pleased that I seem to have replicated the look of the rust from the Defiler finished before these two. Hopefully this'll keep me on good stead for the other metal monstrosities still to come.

Friday 13 August 2010

Fall Back to Plan B

Last minute call offs. Unfortunate but hopefully unavoidable (assuming it’s a case of ill health or real life and not a case to poor attitude).

As mentioned in the previous RPG post, we are all set to wrap up this segment of the campaign with one last session. But with a call off it was decided to postpone so that everyone in the party can enjoy the climax they've been working towards these past few months. But with the rest of the players arriving (and to be honest enlightening me to the situation) there was the burning issue of what to play. We're mid action, so no one-off side quest, pulling out a skirmish game would take too long to set-up, so over to the games shelf. Being a fantasy game, and having recently played it my hand wandered toward Heroquest, but this was poo-pooed as the game play was co-operative. The players in the group aren't so much competitive, but just like the idea of raining on each others parade game-wise. So, under the brief of similar but different, "The Classic Dungeon" was pulled out.

The Classic Dungeon is a dungeon crawl game where the aim is to get a certain wealth of loot to win. The rooms are organised into 6 different difficulty levels, with each room having a treasure and a monster. In theory the higher the level the more difficult the monster but the better the loot. The game is all the more entertaining by virtue of the fact that the other players get to roll the monsters attack dice, hits more often than not resulting in missed turns and dropped goodies. By the end of the game we'd also worked in a couple of the advanced rules - namely the one where you can ambush your fellow players and nick their prized treasure. In the end MacSver had won an very enjoyable game. I thought I'd best mention that as he claims he rarely wins any games he plays. It's total rubbish, but I don't want to upset him.

As for the roleplaying - there's always next week. I'll look out a different game just in case this time though. As I've said before - fun is too important to be just left to chance!

NB: Forgot to pull out the camera, so photo's cheekily lifted from the excellent Boardgamegeek site. Any please get in touch if this offends anyone.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Time For A Quick Wash

(a cross-post with the Frugal blog)

They say that time is money, so I thought that a tenuous enough link to be frugal with time - a post about quick painting with inks and washes. Now as ever I must say that I'm no expert painter, and this method of painting is truly the mother of all fast painting techniques so your not going to win any prizes. But for quick naked to tabletop colour it's very satisfying.
Before we start your going to need your inks and washes. I've collected a few colours now for a reasonable variety. I don't want to waste time mixing colours if I can help it. The aim is to do one quick coat and thats all.

As I've been playing a bit of Heroquest with my son recently I am using the Adventurer minis for an example. Usually I just paint the same type of figure to minimise colour changes between figures, less colour changes meant less time! So this will be a comparitively slow job.

The process can basically be boiled down to 4 steps: White basecoat, skin, clothes, metal.

Step 1: White basecoat.

It has to be white otherwise the colours won't show!

Step 2: Skin

Next job is the skin. Get your skin wash (I've used Vallejo skin wash here) and apply it to the exposed flesh areas. Once this is done give the still wet wash a quick dab with your finger, being careful not to put your now inky/washy print on the pristeen white on the rest of the mini. This adds a slight highlight to the raised areas. Don't use a tissue as this has a tendency to soak up some of the wash from the non-hightlight areas, which we don't wont.

Step 3: Clothes.

Let the skin dry, and then your chosen apply colours to the other parts of the figures. Have a reasonable amount on the brush, as we want dark pools of colour in the recesses, but the ink/wash should sit more thinly on the raised areas, automatically giving you a highlight that would be missed using conventional paint. As ink takes longer to dry than your normal paint do one colour on one mini then move onto the next to give more drying time. Also try to colour areas of the mini that are not adjectent to each other, as this lets you keep progress moving along without risking the inks running into each other at the junctions. Multiple layers of ink (either when the first one is dry or wet) can produce some intereting effects if you fancy. As a note I ink chainmail black in preparation for Step 4.
Step 4: Metal.
Get your metalic paints and paint the metal areas of the figure. No, no - stop shouting "cheat" ( I'm listening to Slayer on 11 so I can't hear you anyway!). I said it was using inks and washes - I didn't say excusively. As these are for Heroquest (ie a bright high fantasy setting) I just leave the metal bright and shiny.

And voila, a painted base and good to go. With all these being individual minitures the colour differences and model changes really ate up the time. These actually took a comparitive while to colour - just about 2 hours all told (under 30 minutes each). To prove my own earlier point I afterwards inked the 4 goblins below, which came in at a much more reasonable sub 45minute time (I wasn't using a stop watch, OK?).

Like I say, not award winning, but on the table in quick time with a reasonable appearance.

Have fun.

Skaven/Ratman names

With an impending Songs Of Blades campaign coming up, so comes the need to make my skaven identifiable. I could be boring and just issue names as "rat-A", "rat-B", etc, but half the fun of a campaign game is watching the warband members develop. There should be a sense of loss when a member, who has aquired skills and advances falls in battle, or when they claim a decissive strike or victory is scored. Basically names personalise the figures and its more fun!

After a quick google, and running across a few name generators, I happened upon this name generating list from a now (seemingly) defunct Skaven themed forum "The Eshin From The East". So thanks to Admin from there for posting this up - your work lives on:

Prefix: roll D100  Suffix: roll D100
01-03 Azh           01-03 ak
04-05 Azar          04-05 az
06-08 Arr           06-07 assik
09-10 Baz           09-10 at
11-12 Bur           11-12 ck
13-15 Critt         13-15 cin
16-17 Dur           16-17 drak
18-19 Frik          18-19 dwell
20-21 Gaz           20-21 flem
22-23 Gnaw          22-24 hakk
24 Gesht            25-26 hisk
25-26 Gris          27-29 is
27-29 Hask          30-31 iskikk
30-31 Iki           32-33 k
32-33 Khak          34-36 kin
34-35 Krat          37-38 kis
36 Kirki            39-40 kual
37-38 Krits         41-43 lik
39-40 Malk          44-45 litch
41-43 Mass          46-47 matz
44-45 Mors          48-49 nagar
46-47 Nurg          50-51 naard
48-49 Pask          52-53 ner
50-51 Praz          54-55 neth
52-53 Rass          56-57 nik
54-55 Ratt          58-60 quee
56-57 Rhi           61-63 quol
58-60 Rusi          64-65 r
61-63 Skirs         66-67 rik
64-66 Skee          68-69 rin
67-68 Skleet        70-71 rit
69-70 Skre          72-73 risk
71-72 Skrit         74-75 sch
73-74 Snee          76-77 skabak
75-77 Than          78-79 skik
78-79 Thro          80-81 skittar
80-81 Thra          82-84 sisk
82-84 Tzar          85-86 stisk
85-86 Var           87-88 t
87-88 Vas           89-90 tabak
89-90 Vels          91-92 tar
91-92 Vrink         93-94 th
93-94 Vermi         95-96 zarr
95-96 Vitt          97-98 zel
97-98 Viskt         99-00 Roll D6: 1-3 No suffix
99-100 Voss                        4-6 Two suffixes (Roll twice!)

Monday 9 August 2010

Claymore 2010

ArabianSquire and myself gave the Edinburgh show Claymore 2010 a visit last Saturday. Two (warm) large halls and a smaller Bring & Buy room managed to hold all the action. There were alot of beautiful looking but the vast majority of them (and traders wares) were historical, so there was little more than passing interest. With nothing to sell and no real burning purchases to hound out (aside from a late pre-order ) it was just a vist to get a couple of different games in.

After a scout round the 2 large halls and a bite to eat we had narrowed it down to a 15mm Zombie Game, Doctor Who, Magnificent Seven, and an Air combat game. Given the choice the wee lad decided to play the Air Combat game, as he'd never played it before. To be fair, neither of us have played any air combat games, let alone one set in the Iran/Iraq war.
The game was called "Ayatollahs Aces" - a 1/600th Air Warfare Homebrew set of rules set in the 1980-88 Iran/Iraq war, all served up by The Blues Bears. A fun game, even though we weren't really sure what we were doing - it was kept romping along by our enthusiastic and vocal hosts. By the end of the game (which lasted only about 4 rounds due to time constraints) we'd all shot down some of the enemy in numbers, some of us were dubbed aces and went away happy.

With time for one more game in the afternoon we plumpted for the large scale Doctor Who game. We'd actually played this game in Carronade 2009 in Falkirk, so were treading on familiar ground after the mental confusions of the previous games. Another set of home spun rules but nice and easy to get round. Everyone controlled a group of 4 daleks, trying to hunt down the "trailor" Davros, with random locations revieling either our quarry, cybermen, battle dalek, unit soldiers, sontarans or even the Doctor himself. Great fun with the chaps running the game and a very enthusiastic young set of other players. Arabiansquire managed to defeat Davros in the end, so he was pleased to finish the afternoon on a victorius note (with only a few victory arm pumps).

And finally onto the purchases, with which no show would be complete. I'd already made a pre-order from Pendraken Miniatures for one of their 10mm Dungeon sets. I've wanted a dungeon set for ever and thought about various schemes to get one between buying (@ 28mm too expensive) or making (don't fancy a cardstock one and I've a tonne of mini bricks in progress...) so was easily seduced into the is one. I know I'm treading into the dangerous waters of a new scale but the dungeon pack comes with a 5 rooms and corridors, 17 pieces of furniture, 30 monsters, 5 heroes plus some FREE rules! for £40. The mini's are cuter than fluffy kittens and the dungeon pieces are great (sculpted by Germy - the designer of most my modern/near future cardstock buildings). Also at just a few quid for a new room (£3 for a large room) expanding the dungeon won't break the wallet. Very pleased.

A quick visit to the Fighting 15s stall had me stocked up on a couple of brushes and Coat d'arms paints and I also had the traditional rake through the 2nd hand drawers at the Gateshead Gaming stand and picked up a handful of bargain figures:

Dreamblade figures which scream Doctor Who monster

some generic fantasy RPG/Songs Of Blades figures

Some horror/Zombie gaming figures.

Overall an enjoyable day out, with a couple of exciting new gaming possiblilties.

Friday 6 August 2010

The Quest Continues

Needing to fill a couple of hours the other day had Arabiansquire and myself pulling out the Heroquest again to get on with the next quest "Lair of the Orc Warlord".

A nice little adventure that only takes up half the board, but the rooms are stuffed with monsters (even though it's only Quest 3) and the adventurers didn't have it all their own way. This quest saw the first piece of special equipment being found ( a staff which allows diagonal attacks) and the first real personality opponent. It was quite amusing to see the wide eyes on the other side of the table as the Orc Warlord ULAG attacked with the most dice and didn't die as easily as the other monsters!

The wee lad actually looked at his spell cards halfway through this level and began to try and work some of them into the game, which was a nice progression. He was soon muttering about the "stupid elf in the way" when he required line of sight, so we may see a bit more planning his moves next game so that he can try and bring his various elements into play a bit more (without the wizard getting pasted!). Good fun.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Dog Soldiers Action Report

Had a visit from Halo*Star at the weekend, so he, Arabiansquire and myself finally managed to get a game of Dog Soldiers played (using Two Hour Wargames free CR3 ruleset with their Dog Soldiers scenario - also free). We'll just dive straight in. Play first, thoughts later...

The play area was set up as per scenario recommendations (where possible). 12" from woods to nearest building; 12" from front door to the garage/shed; and exit in the south-eastern corner. I'm going to make the assumption that you are at least slightly familiar with the THW reaction system. This is an action report, not a rules example so references to the rules will be minimal. Suffice to say that the higher the Rep (reputation) of the character the better they are. Also Sgt Wells starts badly injured and in bed at Rep 1. every time doubles are rolled for side activations his Rep improved by one, with the drawback that at Rep 5 he turned into a werewolf.

Game Time: 8pm
Squaddies deployed first. They opted to firmly board up all the windows and external doors, with Cooper and Terry in the Kitchen and Spoon and Joe in the livingroom. Sgt Wells was in his bed in the main bedroom at the rear.

Next the werewolf forces were generated and deployed. Two Rep5 adults and one Rep 4 juvenile were rolled and the deployment rolls put them at the main (back) bedroom window, side kitchen window and front bedroom windows respectively. As there were no squaddies outside the werewolves started at their windows instead of making runs from the woods.

First couple of activation rolls were doubles, so the only effect was that Sgt Wells Rep went up from 1 to 3, possibly just as well as we werewolf was at his window and he couldn't leave his bed. First wolf activations saw only the front wolf managed to remove the barricade. Spoon moved to cover the front bedroom window whilst Joe moved to help Sgt Wells. Cooper and Terry readied themselves in the kitchen. The young werewolf jumped through the front window, only for Spoon to blast it away with his assault rifle.

The kitchen werewolf then managed to break down the window barricade. Cooper managed to get off a couple of shots by reaction and then he and Terry blazed away during their activation, but with the wolf still outside (and hence under cover) the shots had no effect. The wolf climbed through the window, but Cooper and Terry held their ground and made their shots count the second time, sending the wolf away howling into the night.

With only one wolf now at the back, Spoon decided the time was right to make a break for the Land Rover in the shed. Cooper and Terry agreed and headed out the front door, but not before a couple of doubled activation rolls meant that Sgt Wells completed his transformation. Joe loosed of a couple of shotgun blasts as Well's rose from the bed linen but only damaged the aging wall paper, so decided to leg it.

Meanwhile, at the shed, Spoon unfortunately opened the door to find a werewolf lurking in the shed, which reacted first, charged and mauled him (making it the first werewolf to ever use a spoon for a meal!). The wolf exited the shed via the side door, only for Cooper to pull off an impressive reaction shot and knock the wolf down for the next couple of activations.

Werewolf Wells caught Joe at the front door, but Joe kept him at bay with the Two-handed Claymore sword he'd found whilst searching the livingroom earlier. The werewolf at the rear window gave up on the barricade and raced round the house in one movement. Cooper's reaction shots missed the new threat, but he made his proper shots count and sent the wolf packing before fast moving into the shed with Terry to try and get the Land Rover hotwired (a test Terry failed). Joe, enjoying brandishing a massive sword decided to engage Well's in a second round of melee, which ended in a draw.

Not fancying his chances in the impending third round of melee he managed a fast move into the garage. The werewolf gave chase but when it reached the shed doors was gunned down by the waiting Cooper and Terry reaction shots. Crucially the next round saw the squaddies activate first. Joes managed to get the Land Rover started, whilst Cooper and Terry dispatched the recovering werewolf at the side door before climbing into the back of the Landy. With the final wolf away this saw then end of the first turn...

Game Time: 9pm
The renewed wolf forces (2 adults and the alpha male) lined up with their allotted windows & doors. Interestingly all three werewolves lined up at the front of the house - prime positions to intercept the fleeing vehicle with the landrover revving up in the shed. The exit was just close enough to make it in one activation, assuming a clear path. Activations were rolled, but the wolves rolled a 6 so didn't activate. With wheels spinning in the dirt the Land Rover leapt from the shed. As it left the building the wolves made their reaction rolls, but luck had deserted the Lycanthropes and only the further away alpha male got to charge. They say that fortune favours the brave, and so it proved as the males charge left it an inch short as the Land Rover sped out the clearing with the three survivors.
Great fun all round. Arabiansquire, when asked, said it felt like a film (as he's aged 8 he's not seen the movie). As the game system is meant to be cinematic to a certain degree that would seem mission completed. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've several (now technically out of date) Two Hour Wargames rules and loved the reaction system principal. Ugo-Igo has never made that much sense to me and this makes more sense. Also I like the fun of possibility of chaos at every encounter. Next step up will be All Things Zombie, which has obvious similarities in non-shooty foe, but with more scope (including some return fire).