Friday, 30 September 2011

Crack the WIP!!

I've realised that I've barely been updating the WIP page much, if it all, recently and briefly thought that I might delete but have instead decided to self-enforce a bi-weekly post, on a Sunday when possible.

Despite a bit of random lurgy this week I've managed a decent-ish amount of work on the Mordheim warband. Progress has been deliberately slow and steady whilst I work the final colour combinations to emulate my Kabuki / Samurai-esque aspirations.

Much like the Sci-Fi Triads I painted some time ago it'll be primarily yellow on blue with red and white for accents and smaller details. Everyone gets white hair and "stone" furs.
Just the main man has seen much attention from the command section. His overcoat will be blue, with possible orange 3-dot flower detailing, whilst the padded plates will be yellow with bone/white splint pieces.
Should keep the yellow in check. Not sure about the back banner yet, that'll bringing up the rear!

Not much going on with the Big Uns just yet other than a few random thoughts about possible tatts. Dags and the like most probably, if at all.
Just skin, spear tips and red bows for the Spear-bow-gits so far. I want to stear clear of metallic armour as much as possible and go for the lacquered look especially as game-wise they're unarmoured. Blue with yellow accents one feels.
A blue robe for the shaman, though this is likely to change as I feel the need to mark his status as "ghost-whisperer". A very light, ethereal blue seems right, possibly with some pink accents, maybe some more 3-dot flowers.
Just base blues for the squigs so far. Red-spot patterning along the spines most likely blending into the maws and flesh-tone bellys.

Elsewhere, my church windows have arrived so a bit more construction / detailing there and it's painting by spray-can and house-brush.

Otherwise it's payday and the weekend awaits...... rugby and painting!!!

Monday, 26 September 2011

What's that coming over the hill!?

Yes, it is indeed a MONSTER, more specifically Giant 1 otherwise recently christened as "Mr G" for reasons that are, hopefully, fairly obvious.

GW's most recent tin/pewter incarnation he's had a few bits and bobs plus some green stuff attached to him for variation. Another dark skin-tone as part of my equal opportunities campaign that came about as I was dry-brushing up through various browns.

I thought it would be easier and save me some time given my lack of skill with Caucasian tones. I was correct though highlights were still required post wash that enhanced greatly.

He looked suitably dirty after washes and I thought I might be on for another ugly win but the extra time and effort was well worth it. A dirty finish to a paint-job, however apt, is still a dirty finish!!

I pity the fool who settles for a dirty paint-job!!

Big but simple that's 5 PPs sucker! Next up on the O&G conveyor are the Mordheim warband. Meanwhile, much like a certain Romanian prop, I ain't getting on no plane!! :)

Friday, 23 September 2011

Evil Empire(s)

Wanted in 3 countries for crime against Salsa!
No, for once that's not a reference to Games Workshop! ;)

With last night's planned Star Wars RPG session postponed six of us cracked out War on Terror for it's second outing. As expected play was much slicker with prior experience and a few more facets of the game surfaced as a a result.

With less territory for each of us to grab people actually developed their Empires with towns ad cities springing up all over. There was even some co-operation..... SOME!!

We were also less blase about deploying terrorist, for a while, though everyone quickly set up a training camp in a mutual threat sort of way!

With six players Oil Revenues, roll for at the end of each player's turn and effectively everyone, became significant and as such quickly focussed attentions to the  best producing territories and their exploitation.

Once the inevitable hostilities opened individual fortunes quickly mimicked the Greek stock market and many carefully expanded Empires shrank significantly. A big loser here was Charlie who had spread his initial deployment quite wide, unlike the rest of, and as such made a quick expansion early on.

Pushed to the brink and beyond Charlie was the first to turn terrorist quickly followed by myself as my two remaining cities were turned terrorist by Mr Christian's play of a certain game-card, to much exasperation by all! At that time I was cash and event card rich which paid for an American, North and South, Jihad securing a number of significant Oil Fields which quite literally poured more fuel upon the fire!

With events and time turning against the remaining Empire players they launched a combined War on Terror, going Nuclear than G-Dubya could ever dream before Global Peace was declared before the school-night hour became too advanced.

This game is rapidly becoming the best £25 I've spent in quite some time....... praise ALLAH!!!
Late night, poor lighting, shifty characters...GO!
Jon builds a Can-European Empire....EH!?
Black Gold, Texas T. Oil Revenue a go go!!
The NUKES rain down on the terrorist Americas!!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Furry Dice??

Clean and simple all round I've finished the O&G Goblin Wolf Chariots and feel rather pleased with their finish as fast and brutal as the brushwork was, much like the chariots themselves, though nowhere near as fragile.

15 PPs for the "squadron" seems about right with the first Giant following close behind them.

Elsewhere a couple of the lads tried out Kings of War 2nd Edition at the club last night and reported back that other than tidying a few bits up and introducing meaningful scenery rules there weren't any major revelations.

The 2nd Ed rulebook does however contain a full set of army lists including the new Kingdom of Man which I had a browse through. Warlord's English Civil or Thirty Year Wars ranges would seem to be a good option there?

I played a run through game of Mordheim against Rich's Ninjas, using the Skaven list, with an unlikely number of critical wounds scored by my Goblin spearmen.

Post Giant they'll be getting some dedicated brush-time with a little more TLC applied.

Swing with CLUB!!  

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Many ways to skin a wallet

Despite my many faceted (personal) issues with Games Workshop (£9.50 for a spray!!!) I still wander past their website on a regular basis to press my nose to their virtual shop window to ogle the eye-candy before turning away with a slight sigh.

Two recent releases have caught my attention as a deviation from the norm the less obvious one being from Black Library;

The forces of Chaos are moving against the Imperium once more, and only YOU can stop them! The first in a new series of Warhammer 40,000 adventure game books, Hive of the Dead casts you in the role of an Imperial Guardsman, fighting for survival upon the plague-ridden world of Subiaco Diablo at the beginning of the Thirteenth Black Crusade.

So a 40K Fighting Fantasy book then. An interesting development, but as a "print on demand" release the £13 price sticker is a little hefty for its 288 soft-bound pages. Brings back memories of Kai Wolf - for those of you that remember those, well done!

The more obvious release is Dreadfleet that I originally thought was a re-release of Man-O-War, which it isn't, and might have been prompted by Spartan's seafaring successes, which given lead time is somewhat unlikely.
A splash release in the same way as Space Hulk its a stand alone game for the princely sum of £70 with, one assumes, correspondingly high production values. Fair enough, I was one of the ones who threw the credit card at Space Hulk with wild abandon, don't remember the price tag - didn't care, and was deliriously happy to do so.

This was mainly because the immense gaming gaming joy that Space Hulk had previously provided. I can't say the same for Dreadfleet. As I sat and watched the intro vid on GW's site I tried my best to keep an open, un-biased mind but the more I watched the less I liked.

I had an overwhelming feeling of the whole game being EPICLY EPIC for no other reason the 'cos rather like Storm of Magic. Most race's are represented, in a piecemeal way, which is an understandable option for a one-of boxed game but it seems an attempt to offer something to too many and not enough to all. Seriously, what's wrong with turning out a nice game that actually works these days!

That's what Space Hulk was / is and that's why I was so keen to part with my hard earned. But then, relatively speaking, I'm a Old Git in that respect, or so it seems.

I could be wrong, I often am, and feel that I should at least offer some admiration for effort applied but if I was going to pick up either of these releases I'm sure you can guess which one I'd be going for.

Bloody kids these day, don't know that they're born!! ;)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Green Ripple

No not a third-rate comic book character or a massively out of date chocolate bar but the first painted O&G unit, the Black Orcs.

Following on from Tuesday's post I've highlighted the obvious front rank details "properly". Otherwise all of the weapon-heads have had a drybrush highlight as have the bare faces. I'm more than happy with the result but feel the need to acknowledge this within the Painting Points.

1.5 points a piece seems fair as I've still done all the construction work, even if previously even balanced against block painting techniques. These lads just happen to be 75% armour. So that's 30 PPs on the sheet!
Meanwhile I've completed all the construction for my Mordhiem warband, all based on Rackham Confrontation figures that have been squirreled away for far too long.
The Boss and his two Big Un lieutenants. Given the oriental look of all the figures I'll going for a kabuki inspired paint scheme with plenty of savage-esque blue and white tattoos, especially for the Big Uns.
I only had a goblin shaman so he'll have to do the job. These two gobbos will be my squig herders one utilising music to soothe the savage beasts, the other a big pointy stick!
The squigs! Based on tuppences like the rest I just feel that skirmish figures look a lot better based that way. I was thinking of rainbowing them but will have blue as a base colour for all of them to tie them in to the rest of the warband.
And finally, but not least, the goblin archer-bowmen. Excellent figures, I've not added more GW parts than I've needed to. I've also got a number of fully armoured ninja goblins that will work well as Orc Boyz, should I actually recruit any!


Friday, 16 September 2011

On the Offensive

Dateline: Tuesday night..... Location: Enfield Gamers.....Engagement: Kings of War;

Second run out, this time with my Orcs. I found a bit more tactical depth, though I'm not sure there's any left, and worked a few things out. There are some nice simple mechanics, emphasis on simple, but you do just line up and, placing a big emphasis on deployment. Possibly somewhat abusable by those that do.

Overall I haven't changed my "window dressing" opinion. There's nothing offensive about them as a ruleset but also nothing to get excited about. Very vanilla but I'd still be prepared to have a go at the updated version....... at least once!
Inoffensive in extremis
Dateline: Thursday night..... Location: my place.....Engagement: War on Terror;

With Aaron still holidaying in the land of the 5-Oh a few of us had a first run out with War on Terror, a game which doesn't pull any punches and as a result is extremely entertaining to those with an actual sense of humour. Its also easy to pick up with plenty of game options.

World Domination is the name of the game through a number of options including sponsorship of terrorists to unleash on your enemies. As a first game this is what we concentrated on and quickly engaged in tit for tat hostilities..... much as expected!
Close to every knuckle you've got

Terrorist Africa

By sheer luck Charlie was the first of us to become EVIL and mad quick use of his access to the TERRORIST deck to lay some serious slap-down on the rest of us.

Given that we hadn't really bothered with building our EMPIREs, preferring to attack each other things soon deteriorated with terrorist cells popping up worldwide!

With my EMPIRE being rolled back on all fronts and rapidly approaching bankruptcy I did what any good tin-pot dictator would i.e. risked everything on one roll of the dice and upon its failure immediately turned terrorist, establishing Africa as an entire rogue continent :)

I was feeling quite smug and was thinking of which horribly non PC outrageous accent to adopt which, unsurprisingly, only invited disaster!

With World Peace rapidly approaching, otherwise known as home-time and an everyone's-a-winner draw, all the big hitter cards were played including BOTH of Rob's Nuclear Strikes. So good-bye to Charlie's nefariously evil South America and my newly established terrorist continent.

All good clean riotous fun :)
Rob blows up 1/3 of the known world

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Winning UGLY

Mike's nose needs a little support!
 So England scraped an ugly win over Argentina on Saturday but, as with all professional sport, its the result that counts and topping the group, thus avoiding the All Blacks in the quarters, SHOULD be on the cards.
Wasps meanwhile turned on the style to take a deserved bonus point win from Leicester in a stunner of a game. A hat-trick from winger Christian Wade also sees me shooting up the Fantasy Rugby league.

Once again it's about the will to grind out a victory at all costs, primarily that of entertainment. Fan's might bemoan it but they all prefer it to a loss!

Wargames can be like that sometimes but if you've read a post or two of mine you know that I prefer entertainment.

Thankfully that's where this particular post makes its tangential turn towards a current painting project as I've based up the Black Orc regiment prior to highlights.

Well past the three colour minimum it's back to the old trade-off of time vs result which always seems more prevalent  with  ranked Warhammer regiments. Looking at the shots below the banner is an obvious priority 1 followed up by the musician's drum and the shield details of the Boss.

I COULD highlight the ork-hide, there's not even that much of it, but do I NEED to? I COULD just highlight the hide of the front rank! Who would ever notice? they're good enough as they are aren't they?? Nothing wrong with a "Table-top Paint-job" whatever we each define that as???

Previously I've always gone for the Full Monty but with a litteral army to follow and given my most finite resource, time, I find myself questioning the practice. So other than the obvious I'm going to just highlight heads and see how that works out as the majority is armour and I'm more than happy with the finish post-wash.

Winning UGLY??

Friday, 9 September 2011

Fancy a Ruck?

Well I couldn't not mention Rugby Union's showpiece event now then could I!?

Myself and the Dawes went to the Premiership Double Header last week and I remembered just how much I LOVE rugby. Wasps took a deserved win from Saracens and I've been hoarse all week from shouting my lungs out.

Thankfully all of England's game are Saturday and Sunday mornings, two are 7am. So to be honest the next few weekends have early starts and heavy bacon sarnies as a major feature :)

You'll suffer no significant punditry from me but I expect Johnson's men to top the group and make the semis. Knockout competitions of any kind are all about one-off performance and England can honestly beat anyone on the right day. Thankfully, they've got a decent army list :)
To drag things a little more on track here's a WIP shot of the Black Orcs post base colours and standard Devlan Mud wash. The flesh needs a green wash and a few bits could do with a little black glaze but after that it'll be the bases so that I can work the highlights out to balance everything up.

Next Tuesday they're scheduled for some table time and should whiff heavily of varnish!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Spice of Life

Despite making great gains by sticking to the Hobby PLAN I've decided that I need a bit of a break form it as it's caused a touch of burnout.No big deal, the whole process has been somewhat organic and it's just time for me to acknowledge it.

So, to clarify, this is a strangely cathartic project update post :)

Zombie Village (current); has done pretty well this year with a good scenery set and plenty of protagonists. The church awaits some windows, which are finally on their way to me, and the French have gone no father than previously posted. These WILL be finished by the end of the year along with a few outstanding British.
To feature in my autumn / winter gaming.
Star Wars RPG (current); doesn't need any figures / scenery working on but simply takes up time & effort, all unbegrudged as it's highly enjoyable. The current story arc is coming to a conclusion an it'll be nice to be a player again. GM duties will be redirected towards Zombie Village.

Having said that whilst on Amazon the other day buying presents, something Pink for the girlie's B-Day and War on Terror for me (photo on the right) I came across this for £8. £8 vs £41 for a Valkyrie, no contest!

Mordheim Orcs (new); are at the construction stage as I hope to be running a wilderness-ish campaign at the club from October through to the end of the year. The fluff is in my head and just needs to be put onto paper. I also need to source some squigs and am currently begrudging GW's price of £3 a piece though I can feel the cave-in approaching.

There's a bit of over-lap here with Zombie Village as possible ruleset that I feel would cover the supernatural element rather well. We shall see.
Orcs & Goblins (new); as previously mentioned with a bit of Kings of War at the club, and now work started on a club-brew fantasy ruleset, I've dug these boys out of the case that they've languished in for so long. Repaired and primed I spent last night dry-brushing up a couple of units.

Even though they're earmarked for possible E-Baying I'm really looking forward to the process as painting an actual army is something that I haven't done in too long. Just the change of pace / focus that I need.

All of the above is making me feel a lot more positive about MY hobby. Variety and all that :)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Pure Dumb Luck

A couple of days later than billed, my apologies.

Two nights gaming last week Wednesday at Rich's for a bit more Napoleon at War and another Star Wars RPG session at mine. There was plenty of PDL on both occasions though Rich has this habit as an over gracious host of plying me with tea, biscuits and the rub of his dice in my favour.
So Wednesday was my second run out with NAW and even after the usual "what we did wrong last time" bit with any new set of rules things chugged along that bit quicker this time. As a reversal of last time out Rich took the French attacking the thin red line as to "show me what they can do".

Prophetic words as with Rich's usual home disadvantage my dice simply shot his attack columns to pieces. On my weaker left Rich did manage to press his cavalry home only for them to bounce off a couple of regiments, one of which was in line!
After my reinforcements arrived it was pretty much mopping up, both the French and the digestives! Still liking so many of the game mechanics, some really nice original ones in there, and more than happy to get some regular games in. Maybe a run out at mine next time!

All of which neatly set the scene for Thursday night with Charlie providing both chocolate digestives AND hob-nobs. Well done that man!

Despite missing two of the boys we cracked on. A quick refresh established the groups rather worn status having driven off Big-Bad. Preferring not to chase him down the lads healed up as best they could and secured the two crates that they.

Looking for extras a medical crate was identified from the manifest and it was duly summoned from the automated cargo system. Big fat 1, she go bang! Crate spat out but the already weakened cargo pod finally lets go a begins to break up.

Legging it with the crates up the one functioning lift leads back to our recent favourite of splitting the party!

Our next big hit was being surprised when the droids that weren't cleared out from the upper level made an appearance with a healthy dose of auto-fire! Continuing the "tactical withdrawal" at an impressive rate of knots left the walking wounded tail-end charlies for the last couple of Roger-Roger's.
On this occasion Pure Dumb Luck saved their arse, at least briefly!

Approaching the hard-vacuumed shuttle that provided an entry point some several sessions ago I made a DM call and ruled that given the amount of fire received each players space-suit will survive for D8+2 rounds of hard vacuum pre self-inflating head.

Unsurprisingly it was heads down and pump those legs! Unfortunately this left Rob at the end of a corridor with a virtual target pasted across him. Big-Bad took his chance and floored him, joining Mr C who was in the process of regaining consciousness.
Quickly running through possible "so you all bought it" scenarios I offered an early finish to the session given the missing players, including Jon whose Jedi powers could prove immensely crucial. Cliffhanger called!

We did have a little debrief as I wanted to canvas opinion as to wether I had made the mission to difficult. The general answer was no, though there ws some discussion about the constant use of autofire, but that things had gone wrong from the start and snowballed.

From my perspective that seemed about right but that when things first went wrong there was no re-group just a constant push at already thinning luck. I, as GM, simply took advantage.

Maybe the point about PDL, good or bad, is how you deal with it when it happens 'cos we all know that it will sooner or later!