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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ion Age Betrayers 15mm - painted

These are the remnants of an old EBay purchase of some of the old Firefight miniatures, now being sold by Ion Age miniatures. They were lounging around, uncared for and without purpose, until the recent Ars Victor find. These figures will ideally fill the 'scavenger' unit type from the game.

Here are a few pictures showing how the figures were painted. I'm starting to feel at the moment that pictures say more than words. However, if you want further details of the colours used etc. just drop me a comment...

I wanted these figures to be dirty looking, so I kept to a brown palette where possible. I used some off white just to lift out some contesting detail.

Next painting postings should include some of the Partizan haul.


Partizan - May 2015 show

Two shows in a weekend, another personal milestone! Let the pictures do the talking...



Saturday, 30 May 2015

Kickstarter collection - The Great War - unboxed

Not going to make this a wordy posting, just going to show the unboxing via piccies. Hopefully a play through will follow (sometime!)



UK Games Expo 2015

We have just got back from the Games Expo in Birmingham. The experience has certainly been better than the family KFC we endured on the M1 on the way home! Wow, what a difference two years make since we last visited the show. Whilst the venue was the same, the volume of punters and traders has certainly increased. In the programme the organizers stated that last year saw seven thousand visitors with more expected this year. It definitely felt that the show had the growing pains of success. So much so that the organizers suggest that next year the show will be slightly split across two parts of the NEC site.

With that growth came a few limitations. The first one was the price! Quite a few people had commented on the cost of Sheffield Triples at six pounds an adult; double that and you have the adult price of entry. For myself, Lucy and William the entry cost was thirty one pounds - the price of a boardgame before you start. We arrived pretty early so joined the queue to get in at about 10.20am. Whilst long, the queue moved efficiently with the waiting punters all in seemingly good spirits.

You could definitely feel the squash as you entered the first display hall. Narrow aisles and eager customers made it difficult to browse many of the stands. Once you accepted this difficulty, there were many board gaming delights to look at. The first thing to catch the eye was a Zombie game called 'Brains and Bullets', a miniatures game of the brain eating variety. After some reflection (and a quick look at east street games website) I decided to save my pennies. We did have a quick rest break at the Hive game stand, where Will reminded me that he is still the Champ at this insect infested offering.

The most interesting part for us all was the Krosmaster booth. I had bought Will this boardgame about two years ago, where we have not yet really invested much time into it. So it was nice to sit with an open copy of the game and have one of the stand representatives remind us how the game works; the usual family dynamics occurred where Will and Lucy double-acted me - I'll get you both next time!!! I would have liked to have a look at the Bring and Buy, however the queue to look at the tables was about 25 Meters long, with the crowds and the slow movement we decided to move on. We looked to buy a copy of Sheriff of Nottingham but couldn't find a copy anywhere. This was made up for by the fact I picked up my Kickstarter 'The Great War by Plastic Soldier Company. A pleasure as the game has been released earlier than expected. Anyway, enough of my geek dribbles, here's what Lucy and Will thought about the show.

Lucy's thoughts

It was obviously a lot busier than 2 years ago which shows a positive growth in the hobby. The show was well organized however definitely in need of expanding premises as promised in 2016, as the visitors were limited to restricted viewing and traders were finding it difficult to reach their customers. It's a worthwhile, good day out, however the entrance fees for a family is possibly on the high side. This could put taking children for parents a costly affair, particularly if they are teenagers. The bring and buy was not effective, as everybody likes a bargain, but the wait was too long. All the staff and traders were friendly and all of the visitors appeared to be having a good time.The best bit was the family area where games could be borrowed and played with for free. The open boardgames did not seem as visually enticing as our previous visit, maybe that's just an amateur's viewpoint.

Will's thoughts

It was busy and cramped. I found it a little boring as I prefer miniatures and wargaming. My best bit was playing Krosmaster, and the Krosmaster display stand. The bit that needed most improving was the amount of space. I enjoyed playing Hive for a break.



Friday, 29 May 2015

Depot raid - yet another playtest...

Had another re-think about some quick sci-fi rules using an 8x8 grid system. I want to make a quick game, easily understood and played on a small gaming area (some common current gaming themes). It seemed a good opportunity to roll out some of the recently painted figures.

The usual thinking dilemma was how to make an interesting, dynamic turn system with some unpredictable unit activations as part of the action. Again I have decided to use my custom dice with use of symbols and colors to indicate shooting, morale and follow-up actions

Here is a short summary of the action. Whilst there seems many turns, each turn revolved around a initiative dice roll which sometimes caused no action at all.

Turns 1-3 marauders advance up their right flank. CDF move a section to meet threat

Turn 5 - marauders charge into close combat, take a casualty and fall back 2 spaces, CDF fall back a space

Turns 6 - 8 CDF move a central section to pot shot, pushing back a marauder unit

Turns 9 - 12 CDF continue to shoot at marauders, causing a few casualties. Marauders finally begin to move

Turns 12 - 14 marauders finally have an effect in close combat on right flank. CDF troops continue to shoot with little affect, but accumulate several kudos. They also re-activated several times to continue shooting.

Throughout the runthrough I was considering the interactions of the dice and their effects on unit stats. I wanted the marauders to be short of shooting, tough to retreat, and hard in close combat (modern day Celts if you please). The CDF were to be standard troopers, with good fire discipline until the enemy closed for assault, when the trooper's resolve would falter slightly.

From playing the game the changes I considered were:

Initially to lower the marauder unit activation value to 2

Swapped the role of circles and exclamation marks on the dice, increased activation costs of all units as circles now contribute kudos (kudos can be added to the intitiative dice at the start of a player turn)

Changed role of kudos to add to initiative dice rather than allow units to activate out of turn; the exclamation marks provide the opportunity for a unit to deactivate again

Will have another go and apply the new ideas to see their affects from the start of a game.


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Kickstarter joined - Project Elite

This is my fourth dabble with kickstarters. The first was for Mantic Games Deadzone as a Christmas present for William. It was quite a successful and fruitful exercise and encouraged me further. On Sunday I should be picking up PSC The Great War from games expo, and Rise of the Kage should be with me during the Summer holidays.

The thing that caught my eye with this game (besides the miniatures) were the game mechanics. I really like the idea of real time dice rolling maintaining the pace of a game. In this case, the mechanic is matched up with good, old fashioned, alien blasting.

I've also thrown in for the extension due to the success of the kickstarter campaign. Looking forward to this one...


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

GZG 15mm Darghaur

This is the last batch of the Sheffield Triples goodies bag. It's a first in that the buys made have all been built and painted before any more figures have been purchased. The enthusiasm meter is so high that I have also found some of the 15mm sci-fi lead mountain, got it based and undercoated, and ready to be tackled next. It's been a personal achievement in that 160 figures have been painted in just over a week. I doubt this momentum will continue!

In terms of the paint job I wanted to keep it fairly simple, using greens as the basis of color choice. The figures were undercoated green (plastic soldier company U.S. spray), inked green and then dry brushed Vallejo dark green.

The carapaces were drybrushed a lighter green and then washed with a burnt sienna wash. The guns were then washed with Vallejo black dip. The faces and spots on the carapaces were then painted with Vallejo green grey. The horns were painted with Vallejo sky grey in preparation for the honor markings.

The sourcebook 'By Dagger and Talon' by Ambush Alley was used for the theme of the troops. The concept for these turtle like behemoths is That they are juggernauts of combat. They are tough, brave and telepathic to boot. Whilst they look similar, theIr defining features relate to their horns. The most successful, aggressive specimens are allowed to grow their horns showing their leadership potential. The Darghaur are so fantastic in the arts of war that they have several slave races fighting alongside them. It is these slave troops which then paint the horns to represent the troop organisation; the Darghaur do not need this as they communicate telepathically to each other. For my immediate gaming needs, these figures will provide the 'Brutes' in the boardgame Ars Victor.