Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Odes of Frankus "War" Arnus - Prt I

"So the first of the year' events at Verulanium took place the other day and the weather stayed fair to bring out a healthy crowds of plebians.

Arriving early I flashed the cash at the slave market picking up another three prospects. Well, you've got to speculate to accumulate according to my old dad and the mines will always take thise that fail to make it into the brotherhood.

>We were pitched up against the Glevum Bay school and things started badly with Caleb loosing the first fight just not being aggressive enough. At least he's still alive! For the moment anyway.

Mehmet took his second win, eventually, after an epic duel. That lad's showing promise, undefeated so far. Who would have though it of a Galatian!

I sent Rickanus in for the last bout, champion against champion. It was close but he took a bad cut to his shield arm. Came off complaining about an illegal hold. Boy needs to toughen up!

The two crowd favourites then went through to the Primus match. Mehmet got crowd approval but a dislocated shoulder saw him have to give up his place. Glevum's champion took the laurels. Hmmm, best watch them, dirty fighters!

With just the beast fight left Rickanus wouldn't be held back from entering against both a black bear and a lion! Thankfully the bear tore into the lion and after getting in a few strikes Rickanus went a bit blood-lust and speared that bear in the back of the head!

All of a sudden he's the crowd's favourite, more glory than the Primus fighters and didn't he just milk it! A scout from Rome was in the crowd and made an offer I really couldn't refuse. Gold in the purse or steel in the belly!

Glory for the school though and all three of the new boys made it through training. Best actually learn thier names! Hah!"

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Hi Ho Silver

Quiet night in last night so in between mini sessions of Red Dead Revolver and re-runs of Big Bang Theory I put the finishing touches to the "New Salem Flyer" and even if I say so myself, which I do, I'm very pleased with the result.

I used quite a few complimentary washes to buils up the depth of colour, mainly on the coach itself, and feel that I now have a much better understanding of the GW wash range, which is what I mainly use.

4 painting points seems fair as nothing was particuarly complex. I quite fancy sorting out some saboted luggage pieces that might be used as loot objectives but that can wait for another day.

Whip crack away!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Welcome to Peytersburg

Who's on the end of the stick Vic? Looks like one of those colonial types and a ginger one at that!

Having painted up the scenery bits that I recently picked up for Zombie Village I felt the need to "flesh" things out a bit (ho ho ho) in an attempt to give a bit more focus.

Playing around with google maps I settled upon Petersburg in current day Illinois which has river access three nearby cemeterys and the hamlet of Old Salem. I couldn't ask for more!

Adding and olde worlde Y I imagine Dutch settlers carving thier niche in life allowing me to move through the centuries to Max Brook's World War Z, which I've recently finished reading.

I'm really quite keen to scratch build a few buildings. A barn and a few outbuildings seem like logical additions to the farm as it stands. I've rather stalled on painting actual figures motivationally for the moment.

We shall see. A further 5 PPS in the bag!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

I'm Spartacus!

So far this year I've been a very good geek, studiously working through my dual project list and doing very well at resisting a host of shiny new releases..... TOO good.
"Red Sand, Blue Sky", 2 hour Wargames' gladiator rules, have recently arrived at the club to a fanfare of trumpets and the roar of a baying mob thinly disguised as a crowd.

Tuesday night saw the first round of Rich's excellently organised campaign with a particuarly enjoyable blind bid auction to purchase five fighters a piece to join our "designed" Ludus champions. Previously randomly generated there was a wide range of size, style and ability on offer. Bidding was fierce!!

Personally I'm sat as Frankus "War" Arnus (Frank Warren) of Ludus Arnus, ably lead by my personal champion Rickus Hattonius, a fast hard hiting Thraex hailing from the Britannic midlands. Tuesday saw his first win for the school, coming back hard to take down a huge Gaul after almost going down in the opening seconds.

Newly bought in are the following meat-bags:

Andreas the Germanic Secutor. What he lacks in speed and strength he makes up with in sword skill. A one-strike wonder who needs to be.

Caleb the Judean Secutor. Reliant on strength rather than skill, his brawler signature sees him as the bludgeon to to Andreas' blade.

Estaban the Hispanic Retarius is the balanced all rounder of the school. Using his net early will let him use his speed to his advantage.

Mehmet the Galatian Hoplomachus was a little on the slow side but came through the school's first bout to victory. After taking a number of cuts he killed his opponent with a single spear thrust through the chest, the adualtion of the crowd gifting his first advance and the confidence to move with a liitle more speed.

Tarbus the Dacian Secutor was a skilled fighter but his weaker frame betrayed him as his first bout saw him catch a fatal sword to the chest! An inglorious death, he will be quickly forgotten.

So that's a dozen figures on there way from Crusader to provide what will be a welcome diversion. More than I need for the moment but I wouldn't want to go short!

Meanwhile, Frankus is off down to the local slave market to "recruit" Tarbus's replacement. Should you wish to follow the campaign's exploits feel free to follow the blog here.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Push the button

Possibly a slight non-PC title whilst NATO blows the cr@p out of Gadaffi in an effort to ensure the survival of Lybian oil civilians but there you go, I've had a poor week of no gaming.

Last Tuesday I was in the grip of a 24 hour flu bug and so had to blow out the club. Thursday's restart of the Star Wars RPG campaign didn't happen either as half the group got caught at work or had just got off of a plane back from the US.

I have however painted up the sci-fi consoles that I recently picked up from Second City Games and are pretty pleased with them. Dark military green seemed to fit the semi-disused command centre or Space-Hulk that they're likely to be found in.

Pre-highlighting via drybrush has achieved the result I was looking for and very little was needed after a wash of Ogryn Flesh which has left them with a suitably grimy look. Another 6 PPs for the month.

The X-Box has otherwise filled my gaming void with a Red Dead Redemption Zombie Apocalypse. Between that and Max Brook's World War Z I've been having all sorts of "interesting" ideas.......

I've also learnt that ammo conservation is key. So how to work that into Star Wars?????

Monday, 14 March 2011

Mode of Transport

Something of a bits and pieces post as I've continued to seek some variety whilst remaining very much within the overall project plan(s)

Star Wars:

With the RPG campaign set to restart on Thursday night I've spent the majority of the weekend finishing off some bits that I plan to need pretty much from the off.
I've been meaning to sort out generic-ish drones since the back end of the last stint and given that I expected them to be an easy job I've continually put them of until necessity applied its boot to my backside. I just find the whole idea of them so very Star Wars.
I wanted at least a couple of them to be unarmed as scout / shield / relay variants. Less obviously threatening I'm sure I can come up with a host of nefarious uses for them. Just to show my age somehow they bring the Terrahawks series to the fore of my mind!
More standard blasty gun-drone types. Due to the overhead lighting the flash showed off a lot more of their detail. A simple paint job but one that I'm happy with. I did think to add transfers but thought it would look too busy for their size.
The crashed Aquila lander from the 40K: Black Reach set and for once I've managed to stay away from Red for, what seems to me, to be a far more Colonial One look.

And all completed whilst re-working my way through the first 3 disks of Firefly just to get me back into the mood and set the internal scene. Rather looking forward to it :)

12 PPs at 1 per piece.

Zombie Village:

....which I'm feeling that I should really give  a proper name to at some point.
Whilst waiting for washes to dry I put together the Mordheim stagecoach that has spent a year or five languishing in a large, overfilled box.
ZV will definitely become the secondary project as I remember how much prep time I needed to put into Star Wars RPG last time round. None of it begrudged at all but you get out what you put in at the end of the evening.
I've been reading Max Brook's World War Z recently and finding plenty of inspiration for all of the above. I'm likely to go with THW's All Things Zombie for rules, just with flintlock weaponry and less chainswords.
I really must watch Sleepy Hollow again,.. research you understand :)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Shambling mounds

An old-school D&D reference for those in the know!

More AT-43 repaints, this time a trio of Oni Zombie Tac-Arms added to the painting schedule for variety and also to explore the options with the pre-paints.
Almost straight from the box, I gravelled and painted the bases to give a context to the figures i.e. my normal trick when I'm not sure what I'm doing!
The grey-green has had a dry-brushed highlight of WWII German Uniform with further plates painted Iyanden Darksun to match in with the shoulder stripes. Bronze and Boltgun detailing on the weaponary and Liche Purple piping. All undead benifit from a touch of purple!

A wash of Devaln Mud was a bit weak so I followed it up with Ogryn Flesh which did a stunning job, especially on the flesh to which I have had to do nothing else at all.
Highlights on the Iyanden and a few newly spotted details picked out with Boltgun or Bronze plus a bit of an Orgyn wash and onto a quick varnish for the finished result!

Very impressed at how easy it was. 3 terminator sized figures in next to no time though I feel that I can only really justify 3 PPs to kick the month into gear. Plenty more to come though now that I've set the scheme.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Operation Overlord

No, not the invasion of Normandy but more a case of keeping myself, and my wallet, reigned in at Abingdon Wargames club's Overlord show on Sunday.

Rich was going to support the release of his The Beautiful Game through THW and I fancied a day out and a browse around whatever scenics were on offer.

Focusing on two particular projects this has been my main focus for a little while now. Apparently I have enough figures to be going on with.....???

Firstly, I've previously mentioned I've been browsing quite a few Zombie gaming blogs and taking my inspiration I want to go for an alternative alternative.

Rather than going for the "standard" post-apocalyptic survivor set-up I want to go for an Age or Reason setting. Think Sleepy Hollow and we're likely to be in the same chapter if not on the same page.

A big "shout-out" must go to Geektactica and their Dertflingham campaign set-up for showing me what can be so well achieved....... home-boy?

So above left is a well, hanged man and buried treasure marker picked up from Dreamholme Scenics. Below is one of their haycarts and row-boats. All good stuff and even better the last few GW boxed sets going through the Bring and Buy paid for them.
Second up is the imminent restart of the Star Wars RPG campaign as Jon ran us through the final session of the first D&D chapter last Thursday night. Well run and highly enjoyable I'll miss being a player for a while or at least as long as it takes for the dookie to hit the fan!

As such I picked up the resin panel sets below form Second City Games for the princely sum of £13, my technical spending total for the day, whilst resisting the bar, med-lab and bio-research sets at least until Salute. The tile that they're sat on in one of the AT-43 reversible tile set that I picked up from E-Bay for a tenner. I thought it was worth a punt and won big as there are 16 of them in ultra high quality full colour. Zing!! The whole internal scenery thing is another inspiration from Geektactica who use templates of any buildings on the table off-table transferring figures between as required. As such you can fight inside a properly detailed building far easier without buying or building the more expensive / involved specialist pieces. Blinding simple and effective.
Meanwhile the show itself whilst small was well formed and consistently busy throughout. Rolling in at 9:30 am, 4pm came round surprisingly easy. The Beautiful Game was received well whilst Rich and I playtested "Flying Tackles" (Rugby Union / Ganesha Games) as and when to an equally interested response.
Below are shots of the games that most caught my eye; a large ACW layout, an excellent Doctor Who offering and a very pretty Vietnam offering.

And to round things out Wasps finally picked up a win against Sale :)

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A Geek's gaming room is his Castle

And in some cases possibly quite literally!

So, as shown, I am now fully set-up at home in the main way that matters. I've also had the nice chap around from Virgin Media to install my cable TV and Broadband. As such normal service is all set to be resumed, whatever that might be!

Top two shots are of the spare / hobby storage / secondary gaming room with my work-bench set-up. I've been prepping up the next few projects for March, all listed in the sidebar, and will let you know how they go.

The remaining shots are of the main gaming area in the lounge's dogleg with the bookcase stuffed full of rules, supplements and comics. The little shelf is for dice, tapes, markers etc.

The gaming shot is from Wednesday night playtesting a Rugby game that Rich is developing. The final D&D session followed on Thursday eve so its time for the Star Wars RPG campaign to dust itself off. I've been slowly hording a number of wicked adventure threads to inflict upon my players :)

I've got errands to run tomorrow AM before settling down to some hobby love. I've been adding a fair few Zombie blogs to my reading list and as such SOMEHOW ordered Red Dead Zombie-Apocalypse from Amazon. Hmmmmm...

Sunday I'm off to the Overlord wargames show in Abingdon with Rich to help him put on whichever game hes decided on taking between now and then!

"Normal Service" resumed :)