Monday, 22 May 2017

Let the uprising begin!

Last night I finished up another Broken Contract model for the Breaker faction.  This time it's Micha Donelly.

One of the great things about the breaker figures for Broken Contract is that they really do convey a worker uprising rather than looking like a bunch of generic futuristic thugs.  Micha is armed with a shovel, that although I'm sure it can be used to great effect is definitely not your 'traditional' armament for a skirmish wargame.


I've decided to go with safety (or prison, depending on your point of view) orange for my Breaker's work clothes.  On this note I'll probably go back tonight or tomorrow and re-do Trest's pants in orange.

I'm really enjoying working my way through these figures and I hope to get a couple more done before my hobby A.D.D. kicks in.

-Jay

Friday, 19 May 2017

Breakin' The Law!

After a longish absence the shipping of the Broken Contract Kickstarter has me circling back to my unpainted figures for some more Ferrum Sky action.

A while back I painted up the forces of Black Squadron Security (the "good guys") for Broken Contract with the intention that they would also blend into This Is Not A Test as some awesome Peace Keeper figures.  Although there is one new BSS figure on the way to supplement my forces I decided to start painting the filthy peasants who are revolting in the mines.

Normally when painting a force I start off with the stock-trooper type models and do the characters and big guys at the end.  This time I decided to deviate from that that and start off with the Breaker Gen-Mod.  For anyone who didn't read my earlier posts about Broken Contract; Gen-Mods are 'genetically-modified' humans who have been enhanced for manual labour.  So far the two figures from Breaker Press for Gen-Mods are what most gamers would conventionally think of as ogre-sized.  It's hard to tell in a single shot but this model is standing on a 40mm base.


Trest (that's his name), to me is one of the iconic images of the Broken Contract game.  He's huge and clearly not something that actually exists in the real world but his clothing (especially the mining helmet) and over-sized rock-saw ground him in a near-future sort of way.  My biggest challenge in painting him is that I wanted a bright yellow for the saw but I also wanted it a but chipped and scuffed up.  For some reason none of my 3 attempts to get the chipping right worked out so I went for a fresh from Home Depot look instead.

I'm really looking forward to getting more of my Breakers done over the next couple of weeks and I'm hoping as Kickstarters ship I'll see more of these awesome figures painted by other backers as well.
If any of you reading this paint and post pics of your painted Broken Contract figures please link in the comments below, I'd love to see them.

-Jay

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Adventures Of Konnor - Chapter 1: Rogue Mage

Today I managed to play through my first old solo adventure testing out the flexibility of the current D&D rules and I have to say I think it went fairly smoothly.

As I mentioned before my new 1st level Fighter; Konnor played through Rogue Mage an old solo adventure from Warlock Magazine.  During the course of the adventure I substituted Monster Manual stats for the common creatures (Goblins & Giant Snake) I encountered and made up some of the other creatures stats on the fly.  Where I needed to I generally substituted their Hit Dice as a bonus to be applied to every "to hit" roll save and stat test and that seemed to work reasonably well for the most part.  In addition I realised I would have to make up DCs for saves that I was required to make during the adventure so rather than making them variable I just decided at the outset that every save would have a DC of 15.  Again that seemed to work fairly well and I only failed the important saves during my play-through.

My gauge for saying it worked well is that I didn't have to figure out or change very much on the fly and when I did the current rules provided some pretty easy answers that didn't require me to break the flow of the game.  In hindsight my only challenge was that I shouldn't have chosen a non-TSR adventure first as it meant that I was dealing with a lot (eight) of creatures that weren't in the Monster Manual.  The thing I did like about using what was essentially a short Fighting Fantasy novel written for Basic D&D is that the treasure haul was fairly meagre and doesn't feel like it makes the character unusable or overpowered for my next adventure.

So without any further ado, how did Konnor do?

Rogue Mage starts out with Konnor having been tried and convicted for thievery after falling on hard times.  Before his sentence can be handed down the Guild Of Magicians takes Konnor into custody and offer him a pardon if he can track down a rogue mage from their order and recover an artifact stolen from the Guild.  It's that or the noose so Konnor is off to find the mage!
Outside of town the mage's lair is cut into the mountainside and guarded by goblins, after defeating the guards Konnor journeys into a maze stocked with dangerous monsters (acid spitting Ant-Men, Octopus/Man hybrids, Slime Monsters and a giant snake that can camouflage itself as a pile of treasure).  Once through the maze a chase begins with Konnor catching up to the evil wizard and after scorching him with a scroll that shoots fire, Konnor 'bravely' stabbed him in the back.
During the short adventure Konnor managed to acquire a +1 Short Sword and roughly 200 GP worth of treasure.  He also found 3 potions of healing scattered around but used all of them, plus the one he started with just to make it through to the end.
Mission accomplished, and Konnor walked out with 950 XP (enough for 3rd level) and 6 of his Hit Points left.  As an aside a 1st level Fighter with no CON bonus has 10 Hit Points and I burned through about 29 during this adventure so if Konnor had failed to find any of those healing potions he wouldn't have made it.

So let's see what Konnor looks like now, and why:


I levelled up twice and decided that I would increase Konnor's Fighter level because it seemed like those were the skills he had used, but I also multi-classed into Wizard because (meta-reason) my next adventure requires a level 1-3 Elf or Magic-User by the old Basic rules, and this seemed the best way to maintain continuity with one character.  I did fairly well on my Hit Point rolls thankfully (no CON bonus) but may become a bit squishier next adventure anyway.  I'm assuming that if Konnor is ready to spellcast at a moment's notice that he cannot carry his shield so his Armour Class will be moving in the wrong direction.

Konnor's next adventure will be "Ghost Of Lion Castle" another old school D&D solo adventure written by Top Secret game designer Merle Rasmussen.  I've got one more adventure planned (Lathan's Gold)  for after that and then my well will have run dry for D&D solo adventures.  If anyone can recommend any additional adventures (that I can actually get my hands on) please let me know.  

I'm also considering formally stat'ing up some of the Fighting Fantasy monsters I encountered if that's of any interest to anyone, let me know.

-Jay








 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Let the D&D experiment begin!

I've decided to give something a try based on a combination of nostalgia and some conversations I've had with friends about gaming (D&D specifically) over the past few weeks.

One of the features of the new/current editions of D&D is that the rules are open, simple and flexible enough that they seem to allow material from any previous edition of the game to be used with little to no adaption being necessary.  I thought this sounded great, and when I look at it it seems correct but I haven't really tried it.  I'm run a few adventures using the current rules but they've either been things I've written using the current rules or a published adventure.  I even dug out a few older modules thinking they'd by fun but then got distracted by Tales From The Yawning Portal taking two of those adventures and updating them to the current rules anyway.

So, I've decided to take the current rules, make a character and play through some old (not older, truly old) published SOLO D&D adventures and see how that works.  The biggest change I'm anticipating making is updating the monsters to use their current versions so that every successful attack from my character isn't an instant death blow to an old school 1HD monster.

I built my character (Konnor) with some insight and planning into what my first 3 adventures will be.  To that end rather than being statically primed I made his background fit the first adventure and set him up to be able to multi-class as I need for subsequent adventures as old school solo modules were typically written with a specific class or group of classes in mind.

So without any further ado let's meet Konnor!



Also, because it's me even though I'll be playing solo I had to paint an miniature.




The miniature is one of Darksword's modular Knight Watch soldiers and he fit perfectly for what I needed.  For my first adventure I needed an unarmoured warrior with a sword and shield (that's harder to find than I thought).

My first adventure will be "Rogue Mage" which was written by Graeme Davis and published way back in Warlock Magazine (the official Fighting Fantasy magazine).  What seems great and different about Rogue Mage is that it was written to use either the Fighting Fantasy gamebook rules system or D&D Basic edition with a 1st level fighter character.

I'm excited to try this out and will have a follow up on Konnor's first adventure later this week!

-Jay









Sunday, 23 April 2017

House Teknes Leaders & Specialists

The forces of  House Teknes made their debut today with the Union Workers being 'supported' by some of their finest leaders and support troops!

First up as I had decided on an all Union Worker force (as opposed to mixing in some Linemen from the starter) I went with 2 Union Bosses as my leaders.  I've got to say that even though it was my first couple of games the synergy between the Union Workers and Union Bosses was really easy to use and intuitive.  The ability of the bosses to 'motivate' the workers at the price of some physical pain meant that they could make the workers (those are the Pig-Men from my last post) devastating if either I could get lucky or waited until I had initiative.  In addition to being highly effective in the game I also think they are outstanding models.


Next was the Galvanic Defender.  To be honest he was a poor choice for me given the objective I was going after (strike opponent support or leader models in close combat) but he is a fast moving specialist with a rare ranged attack.  I can see a lot of ways he could be useful and unlike the Union Boss who increases synergy the Galvanic Defender fills in some skills and abilities that the rest of the Teknes force lacks.


Lastly is The Zaalak.  The Zaalak is a psychically controlled octopus that is disturbing and unnatural and has a demoralising effect on enemy leaders.  It is also incredibly fragile as I was a bit late in realising unfortunately.


I really enjoyed my first 2 games of Wrath Of Kings.  I found it to be an easy to understand intuitive game that played quickly and easily but still offered a lot of tactical challenges and options.  I like the Teknes models and am definitely going to paint a pile more of them over the next month or so.  First up on my to-do list will be replacing the Zaalak and the Galvanic Defender with a couple of specialists who look like they fit better with the rest of what I have (I'm looking at you Butchers!) and then after that I think I'm going to do a patrol-sized force built up around Linemen as opposed to Union Workers.

Tons of fun and I can't wait to play more!

-Jay

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Look at us! We "joined" The Union!

I'm finally going to play my first game of Wrath Of Kings tomorrow at the 'Patrol' level.  That means; 12 levels of Infantry, 2 levels of Specialists & 2 levels of Leaders.  Levels are basically Wrath Of Kings points system, so given that I'll be using all level 1 miniatures it means I need 16 models.

After a number of false starts I finally completed my Union Workers this morning.  Union Workers are citizens of House Teknes who have either volunteered or been voluntold to have themselves injected with demon blood, which transforms them into man/pig hybrids.


I really like these pig-men models and if they look vaguely familiar it's because I previously used 2 of them to convert up some mutants for This Is Not A Test.

I also completed the 4 solo models that will be completing the force but I didn't get pictures yet so that will have to come tomorrow.  The good news is that by then the figures can be accompanied by either a glorious tale of victory or a shameful story of defeat...we'll see....

-Jay

Sunday, 16 April 2017

More Game Of Thrones characters

Coming out of GAMA it was announced that a Song Of Ice And Fire miniatures game was on the way (which I am super excited for!).  I've been using some of Darksword Miniatures' figures for my RPGs and Frostgrave so it was the trigger for me to get a couple more out and get them done up.

One of the things I really like about Game Of Thrones is that the characters feel a lot more 'lived in' than traditional fantasy.  Heroes are often highly flawed and villains are not without their redeeming qualities.  This is typified by one of my favourite characters on the show; Jaime Lannister.


When we are introduced to Jaime Lannister three fact get established very early on:
1.  He stabbed the last king in the back (literally) thus earning him the nickname "Kingslayer".
2.  He is in an unbelievably inappropriate relationship with his own sister.
3.  He ends the first episode by attempting to murder a child.
So that in addition to being an arrogant bully mark him out as probably one of the villains of the show.  As the story progresses Jaime falls more into an anti-hero role and in later seasons definitely comes across as a man with his own code of honour who can be trusted to act within the bounds of that code.

On another part of the Game Of Thrones moral spectrum is Bronn.


Bronn is a sellsword who comes into Tyrion Lannister's service early in the show and although he is clearly an amoral murderer who will do just about anything for money he seems at times to have a certain amount of loyalty.  To be honest my main driver for painting Bronn had little to do with the show or fandom and was more driven by the fact that I needed a new low-level classic human fighter for D&D and this figure fit the bill perfectly.

I've really enjoyed an appreciated the Darksword Miniatures I've painted so far and I can't wiat to get my hands on an actual miniatures game meant to use them.

-Jay