Monday, 15 January 2018

Building Things

I've a couple of things to show you today.

Firstly, the cottage I started here is now finished, unless I decide to base it.

"If I wasn't stood on this square of MDF, I'd be able to get in without stooping".

It does look a little on the small size next to the wizard, which is actually pretty accurate if it were a Medieval building.  If I do base it it should even out the effect of miniatures bases.
I really like the texture on the walls, just stippled PVA glue.  I both adds strength and texture to the building; these really are cheap and easy to build.  the colour scheme is pretty much a copy of the original.  
The windows are just painted dark blue with the lattice work painted on.  I suppose I could add some highlights to the individual panes, but that might be a bit of a pain.
I might have gone a bit overboard with the green staining?  I did want it to look run down though, so it works for me. 
Next time I think I'll do the wooden building from Orc's Drift; whilst I may never get to play the games again it does give me a target, and I haven't quite given up on that idea yet.

Next up a couple of 'things' (technical term) that I built for a recent session of the Monday evening D&D group.  They are supposed to represent devices that work with force energy.  In D&D terms this is nothing to do with The Force Star Wars style, it merely describes energy that has a 'push' or shielding effect; think a cross between kinetic energy and a force field.
I described them as a series of metal spheres, rings and globes that continuously spun around, periodically reversing their direction of spin.  The build was a simple construction of beads from Hobbycraft (they do a very useful 'pick and mix' in store) threaded onto a nail mounted on an MDF disc and glued to a washer for weight.  The idea was very heavily influenced by Wylock's stuff here.

Force devices with wizard for scale (converted WotC prepaint) 

Again, this time on dungeon floor.

In other news I am still ploding away with my League army, and have found enough Ratmen left over from my Dragon Rampant force to make a small Ratkin army for 15mm kings of War.  I've also had some ideas about dungeon floor plans, but I need to do a bit more experimenting on them first.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

New Year Resolutions

According to my Discworld diary it's the 4th of Ick today, that just seems like the right name for the time just after the Christmas season (and we haven't even got to Twelfth night yet).

So to cheer myself up, and try and put a bit of planning into the year ahead, I thought I'd put down some vague plans, or more of a wish list of things I'd like to get done this year.

I have recently received two boxed games with minis in them; Star Saga and Dreadball.  I'd like to get enough painted that I can play these with painted minis (and sneak some of the Star Saga minis off to join my Rebs force for Deadzone).  Talking of Deadzone, I really should get enough Enforcers finished that I have some variety, eventually it would be great to play Warpath and/or Firefight with them.

I'd like to finish off (for now) my 15mm League of Rhordia for Kings of War.  I already have around 1000 points, but it's not a very balanced force, being largely made up of what I already had from my 15mm WFB days.  Around a dozen minis to finish will give me a much more flexible force, and a very small investment will allow me to call it done (for now).  To go with/against them I'd like to build a Varangur force using as much of the various historicals I have lying around.  I like to have opposing forces for any wargame, that wayI can easily show a potential new player how it works, much easier than explaining it.

There always seems to be terrain to build for D&D, and scenarios to write and minis to paint, so I suspect this will take up quite a bit of hobby time this year, especially as I am starting a D&D group at the FLGS.  But fear not, for I have a cunning plan; I already have a fair bit of terrain built for this, as I have run some of it before.
At some point I'd like to get a proper set of dungeon tiles made.  I would like to make some sort of BlackMagic Craft/DM Scotty/Wyloch mash up of 2.5D tiles.  I still haven't decided finally what they will be like, but the idea is there.  Besides, hopefully Terrain Crate will be arriving this year, so I need somewhere to set up all those bookcases.

Of course, there's more of those 15mm cottages etc to build, and the idea of a Dragon Rampant version of Orc's Drift still sounds fun.  If I am to do that though, I will need more orcs.  A couple more units of ordinary infantry, and something for King F'yar and his wyvern.  I'll have to decide if I also collect the Good forces.  I suspect some of my friends have 15mm Elves at least, I do have most of a DR 15mm Dwarf force though, so that might get pushed forwards in the painting queue.

Also I recently saw that GW have published a book version of the old Battle Company rules for the Strategy Battle Game.  This was a favourite of mine back in the day, and I'd love to get this going again.  It would also encourage me to paint up (and thin out) my LotR collection.  Even if I don't get to play the Battle companies, the minis will work nicely for Dragon Rampant.  In fact I think i'll get out my Rohan force and see how well that works for DR.

I should put a bit more work into my ex-Empire, now Kingdoms of Men army.  Again, a bit of focus on it would allow me to thin out the unpainted collection and give me a biggoer force with more variety.

After all that waffle (mmm, hungry now) I should set some goals.
O.K. we all know that won't work.  The more I feel I have to do something the less fun it is, and this is supposed to be a hobby.  However, I am aiming to play a tabletop game once a month.  January's (or Ick's) is already in the bag, so if I get a trial game of Dreadball or similar, that will give me one in hand.  I'd like to try to get at least one Reaper Bones mini painted per month, or week, or whatever time interval works, but I suspect any RPG prep time will be taken up with other stuff, still, those Bones don't seem to paint themselves.

Do you plan your hobby time out?  If you do, does it work?  Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Nexus Psi - Message Received

Finally, I got a game in.  the long delayed fourth game in the Nexus Psi campaign for Deadzone.

I went into this game with two victories under my belt as opposed to one for the Plague.  The objectives ar very clear in this game; stop the Plague from gaining control of four cubes (they are planting explosives to blow up the coms tower).  If I could hold out for four turns I win, otherwise the Plague does.

As usual we played on T'Other One's gorgeous terrain, and the set up with the tower was ideal for this particular game.  
The Enforcers ready to hold off the Plague...

While the Plague are raring to go.

I don't have a full write up, as its some time since we played there was a lot of looking up rules, which was already slowing things down a bit, so I will just give a general impression.
The Enforcers began with snipers in the tower, trying to take down the advancing Plague.  As more and more of the mutated creatures appeared, the task seemed hopeless (I am always surprised at how many Plague there seem to be).  Early success at taking down a Stage 2 was mitigated by failing to finish off the teleporting plague Terraton (I would regret this many times later).  The Plague HMGs proved very nasty suppressing three Enforcers who were hoping to take shots at teh advancing horde.
the Plague had soon taken the nearest two target cubes and placed explosives in them.  it wa time to withdraw and deny the other two cubes.  But by this time many of the Enforcers were tied in melee, including by that abominable Terraton.  As teh Enforcers fell one by one the Plague horde was thinning too.  Eventually the Peacekeeper Captain was holding the one remaining target cube, along with an Enforcer and an Specialist with missile launcher.  Fortunately, Enforcers are good at surviving, and several times I was able to withdraw them from melee and fire on their erstwhile opponents.  
At the end, the captain fell, but he had held of the plague long enough to secure victory.

Thanks to my opponent for a fun game played in a very friendly spirit.  Looking forward to the final game in the series.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New Year - New Game

The postman just brought me a nice box this morning, Dreadball 2, which I backed in the Kickstarter a while ago.  So far all I have done is have a quick look through, but it looks promising.

I played the original Dreadball back when that came out.  Over time, and as the newer teams inevitably overpowered the original teams, I lost interest.  The new edition aims to address the imbalance by starting from scratch.  I don't know how well it has done this as I haven't yet played a game.  Hopefully I'll get some in soon.

The new game has new teams, four in the Kickstarter edition.  Rather than the original 'Restic', these are one piece plastic rather like the Star Saga minis.  The teams are in different coloured plastic as well, making it easy to get a game in straight from the box.  The board is a very nice sturdy bit of card, and I think the hexes on it are a bit larger to stop the pitch becoming too cramped.  The rulebook is a hefty 206 pages and includes rules for (almost) all the previous minis.  Hopefully it will prove at least as popular as the first edition, without the season bloat.

I'll have to dig out some of my old teams, and maybe paint up some of the pile of unpainted DB I have.  A team of twelve or so minis makes for a nice project, and I'm sure there is some crossover potential with DZ for the odd spare mini.

I'll get some pictures up once I've had a better look, if anyone is interested.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

That Was 2017.

OK. it seems obligatory in Blogland to post a look back on the fast fading year.  Who am I to argue?  Anyway, I don't want the 'blog police' to arrest me.  So what were my own personal highs and lows, hobby wise?

I started 2017 playing through the Nexus Psi campaign for Deadzone.  I leave December with two games to play (although I have scheduled at least one game in the coming week).  Perhaps unfortunately I managed with the models I had currently painted,so there has been no real impetus to add to my Enforcers.  I do have one or two odd models that I do need to finish though, and I will get some sort of AAR up on the games.
Early 2017 was quite a good time for Deadzone, and I managed to get a good selection of Rebs painted.  I intend to revisit this force with some of the Star Saga minis as a combined painting project.  I also got some terrain built and painted, and improved on the quick sponge painting technique.

The middle part of the year seems to have been dominated by terrain and minis for roleplaying.  I got a few goblins (almost) done and some of the Conan boardgame mummies as well.  Lots of floorplans and similar, and even a few home built monsters for the Dungeons and Dragons game and I even got some of the Dungeon Saga furniture painted.

I discovered Blood Eagle in my search for the perfect skirmish system.  Its very good (based on a very limited experience of playing) and I am still looking forward to getting down to playing a short saga.  Illness put paid to the regular Christmas game in the Dales this year unfortunately.

I also got the urge to do something more with Frostgrave, so got a couple of warbands built and painted, and even some ruins to provide something to fight over/on.  My plans to start a campaign have yet to get any further though.

Mantic's Vanguard kickstarter encouraged me to paint a goblin warband, some of this will also come in useful in Kings of War, though as I multibase my koW armies, not everything fits in.

Towards the end of the year I looked seriously at what I had, and began a concerted effort to thin out my collection.  This led to the rediscovery of my 15mm Empire army for WFB, and the decision to rebase them for KoW, specifically a League of Rhordia army.  As is usually the case, a simple idea ballooned out, and led to some terrain building, and thoughts of digging out Orc's Drift to run with Dragon Rampant.  I do have a reasonable League force in excess of 1000 points, so it might be time to look at an opposing force in this scale, as its always easier to introduce new players if they can play a game.  I'll look at some of my historical minis to see if they might make a Varangur force, well the lighter infantry and cavalry anyway.

Acquisitions wise, the biggie has to be Bones 3.  As I still haven't finished Bones 1 yet, thats a huge pile (or several boxes) of 'Bonsium' waiting to paint.
I also got Frostgrave; Ghost Archipelago, which I have yet to do anything with, and Star Saga, which has a better chance of seeing the painting table given that I can use many of the minis in Deadzone.  Dreadball 2 is due, so yet more painting and another game to play. And of course, the odd eBay purchase and similar means that despite a lot of old stuff going via eBay, I probably have more at the end of the year than at the beginning.

Gaming wise I had a much less successful year, at least as far as miniature gaming is concerned.  The Monday night D&D game continues and seems to have a never ending need for minis and terrain.  I also got a good Delta Green campaign in on Thursday nights, but that is currently resting to a) give me chance to recharge the mental batteries and b) give me some free time for some tabletop gaming (but non has happened so far).  The Thursday night slot will soon be filled with a D&D 5E campaign at the FLGS.  More minis and terrain and less tabletop time.  This time though I am running through the Starter Set, as most of the players are new to the game, so I already have a chunk of terrain built.
if I count up the number of tabletop games its less than ten.  I think that has to change next year, otherwise I will have to look at if I need to refocus my attention away from miniatures for a while.  if that sounds a little whiny its not meant that way.  I think a game requires at least five games in a relatively short time to get to understand the rules and decide if its worth pursuing.  Fewer and infrequent games means that the rules have to be refreshed each time (I made some serious mistakes in the only game of Kings of War I managed this year due to lack of familiarity, aka 'forgetting the rules') and skewed results in one or two games can give a false impression of a game.

A long post, and I haven't done any looking forwards yet.  I'll get a 'Looking Ahead' post done in a couple of days, meanwhile,

Happy Hogswatch.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas

Just to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I am informed by my daughter that early in the 20th century it was fashionable to wish a cheery Christmas.
If Christmas itself isn't your thing, have a good time anyway, if you can.

And as a little musical aside try singing 'While Shepherds Watched' to the tune of Ilkley Moor.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Return to Orc's Drift?

I have enjoyed building the old GW card buildings. So much so, in fact, that I have been thinking about replaying the games.
I wouldn't use the old second edition Warhammer (for which the scenarios were written), nor the latest GW fantasy game, Age of Sigmar. I'd much rather recapture as much of the feel of the original using a system I play now.
I have some excellent memories of Orc's Drift. I bought it pretty much when it came out and it, and the early Citadel Journals informed much of my Warhammer.

I first played it through using the card tokens included. I remember the orcs did so badly in the first couple of games that we put in an extra battle to give them more of a chance.  All great fun, and as we went through the campaign we added miniatures to the card tokens, including some home cast Prince August ones. We never had a full army of minis though.

Fast forward some years. A good friend was moving from North Yorkshire to Scotland, so as a send off I got together with his gaming club to play through the campaign again.  This time we had full armies and I updated the stats to the current edition (it was the late 90s).  As we could only fit in two sessions we played the opening three games simultaneously on the first night, and the final Bloodbath at Orc's Drift on the following week.  Playing like this was even more fun as players tried to find out how the battle was going elsewhere.  Incidentally, apart from myself, one other player was present for both run throughs. Although he doesn't play anymore, much of my early gaming involved him and other school friends.

So how shall I replay Orc's Drift now?  My first thought was to use Kings of War. However, looking at the troops involved the battles wouldn't be very interesting. In most cases boiling down to two or three Troops of elves or dwarves against a horde or a couple of regiments of orcs.
Since the buildings are in 15mm, what do I have in that scale already? I have a Dragon Rampant force of orcs. I think this might be the way to go. The dwarves and elves can be in reduced model units to emphasise how they are superior troops but outnumbered. Heroes can be single model units, though this does make them pretty powerful.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. I'll post some more concrete ideas once I have them straight in my head,just in case anyone else wants to try this themselves.

Now where can I find enough players,terrain and figures to run it through in two sessions again?