Sunday, 31 March 2013

The B-Team!  Face!

Got my first member of The B-Team done today; Face!

I decided to start with Face because he is the least interesting and characterful of the miniatures making up the team and I figured if I got him done ASAP it would leave me with more interesting figures to paint towards the end.

The B-Team was yet another one of those packs of figures I picked up on a whim without a specific use in mind but I definitely think they will see some playtest time as survivors in the next few months.

Hopefully another member will be joining the team tomorrow!


Templeton Peck

Monday, 25 March 2013

My last batch of supers for the month...I think....

So it looks like I should be playing my first game of Supersystem in nearly a year so I thought I'd finish up a few more heroes and villains before I move away from the genre for a bit and do up some cool sci-fi and modern day characters from movies and TV shows for the next few days.

I've made the last of my additions to the Bat-Family (for now).  The first figure is Batgirl Cassandra Cain, I've always been something of a Batgirl fan but I'll admit I never followed Cassandra Cain in comics.  I do know (from No Man's Land) that she was raised by a father who was a member of the League Of Assasins and broke ranks with the organization taking a vow not to kill.  From what I've heard from friends that vow didn't really last.  In the middle of the shot is Batwoman who made her debut in DCs awesome 52 series.  Batwoman is pretty much a boiler-plate Bat-family character with all the elements you would expect and nothing much beyond that.  The last fig is the Damian Wayne version of Robin who served as Robin during Dick Grayson's run as Batman.

The next batch is some more villains I did up.  I touched-up and rebased Major Force because I'm a HUGE Captain Atom fan and he's the main bad-guy in the pre-New 52 continuity for Captain Atom.  There is no chance I'll be using him in a PL10 DC Adventures game but I like the figure and will definitely use him for something down the road.  Lex Luthor seemed like a figure I needed in the collection just because.  I mean it seems odd to have a bunch of DC comics bad guys and not have Lex Luthor.  Even though he's a Superman villain I also don't see any reason why he couldn't make trouble in Gotham once in awhile.  And lastly a villain I'm almost certain I will use in my DC Adventures game; The Scarecrow.  I've really enjoyed The Scarecrow since Batman The Animated Series and the recent Christopher Nolan movies have cemented Jonathan Crane as one of my favourite Batman rogues.

I also cranked out a few more powerful heroes with no intentions of really using them for anything soon but because I had them and wanted to get them touched-up.  Kyle Rayner was the Green Lantern when I first picked up a Green Lantern comic and even though most fans think Hal Jordan when they think of The Green Lantern Kyle Rayner will always be the Green Lantern to me.  Next up is Supergirl.  I really like how in the last few years WizKids has added a jet-wash effect to flying characters and gotten rid of the weird flying stands they used to have.  last but definitely not least my personal favourite DC Comics hero Captain Atom!  I think I've actually done up Captain Atom 3 or 4 times for various games and one day I'm sure I'll dig through all my figure cases and wonder how that kept happening but for now here he is.  Captain Atom is the original Charlton Comics character on which the character of Dr Manhattan in the Watchmen is loosely based, he's also the go-to guy in the DC Animated Universe when they need a character who's an A-list powerhouse that can either be part of the heroic superteam du jour or can be the antagonist when that superteam becomes a perceived threat to the world.

My next 4 figures will be far more multi-use than these ones were, in fact I'm pretty sure if you have a problem that no one else can solve and you can find them you can hire......


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Design Diary: The beginning of the commencement of the start of something.....

A few years ago I proclaimed that I was going to design a miniatures game.  It was a great idea and once I had made my announcement people started asking me odd questions like; what kind of game, when will it be done,what have you worked on, etc and so forth.

I started off by sitting down and over the span of a few weeks hammering out a workable game system that I felt fairly proud of.  Being a game designer isn't so hard I thought, everyone should do this.  Then luck stepped in in an unlikely way and saved me from total embarassment and a complete loss of credibility; a friend of mine let me know he had also designed a game and asked me to take a look at it and let him know what I thought.  I read his rules and told him what I thought, "your game is good, but there isn't a single original idea in it".  He had basically taken the combat system from one existing games system and married it to the campaign system from another existing game system and presented it in the style of a third existing game system, etc and so forth.  I felt bad about dumping on his game but I felt like if he published it he was paying to print exhibit A to be used in the lawsuit an existing game company would bring against him.....then I thought about what I had game was atleast as unoriginal as his and in some places almost seemed like I'd just cut and pasted blocks of text from existing games.  So I went back to the drawing board.....repeatedly.

Today I'm starting a new feature on the blog; Design Diary.  Each entry will present one core rule or mechanic from my upcoming game leading up to the distribution of a set of playtest rules for anyone who wants to have a go and give me some feedback.  Today's entry will be very short on mechanics and very long on describing where my headspace is from a design perspective so you can gain some insight into my process thus far.

The genesis of my original idea was that I wanted to do a post-apocalyptic-zombie-survival-horror game.  I liked the models that were out in the market place but everytime I picked up a set of game rules to use they were always 'not quite' what I wanted.  This isn't to say there aren't good rules systems out there but everyone I tried left me feeling like something (something different in every case) was missing or just not quite right.  After talking it over with friends I realized that my problem was that I liked the genre but there wasn't 1 sized game I wanted to play.  I wanted a game that would work if I wanted to fight out The Battle Of New Jersey from World War Z or if I just wanted to game 7 strangers defending a farmhouse against a seemingly endless horde until the sun came up.  It seemed that games that worked well for one size game just didn't work properly for the other.  The first breakthrough I had when coming up with "new" mechanics was realizing that conventional miniature wargame army list or force composition structures weren't going to work for what I had in mind....but we'll come back to that in a later post.

Once I decided that force composition would have to be completely different it opened up another new avenue of thought; why do models/character/unit selections have to feel or look like they do in other wargames?....but we'll come back to that in a later post.

And when I came up with the idea of how force lists will be assembled (believe me, some assembly will be required) I realized that what I was still seeing in my head as primarily a near future survival horror game didn't need to be that, or more accurately be just that at all....but we'll come back to that in a later post.

I'm exicited to be finally sharing my thoughts and some insight into where these rules are coming from with everyone and I hope you will all please leave comments (good or bad but hopefully constructive) as we go along.  Now without any further ado lets look at our first rule.

An ACTIVATOR is any model or group of models that can be activated.  When activating a single model the model uses all of it's ACTION POINTS (AP) for the turn at which point it's activation is complete.  When activating a group of models (a group can consist of multiple models which were purchased as a UNIT or a group can be created using a relevant ability like: FORM FIRETEAM) the group uses it's action points together as a team in sequence, example; a unit of 3 police officers with 3 AP each are activated, the first point is spent on moving-all 3 police officers move before the second AP is used, if the second AP is used to shoot then all 3 officers shoot before the third AP is used, and so on.

The primary idea behind identifying "activators" is that player A might have a force comprised of 20 zombies.  Instead of activating them 20 individual times player A could purchase his 20 zombies in 4 units of 5 which would then function simultaneously thus inceasing the number of close combat attacks he could muster against a single target in 1 activation (that will be important when we talk about STACKING later) and/or increasing the speed with which he can move larger groups across the table.  It also allows players to tailor the size and number of their units to the scenario they actually want to play.  In the previous examples if someone wanted to play the army in the Battle Of New Jersey they would probably buy their soldiers in 10-20 figure blocks to maximize the effectiveness of their shooting whereas in the 7 people in the farmhouse that player might want to buy 2 units of 2 models each and buy his remaining 3 models as individuals to allow greater flexibility of movement.

That's it for entry one in the Design Diary.  You'll still be seeing plenty of regular "hey look at what I painted!" posts but there are alot more of these in our near future together.

Thanks for reading and I hope you're all ready to start a fun ride with me.


Monday, 18 March 2013

A superhero (or villain) for every occasion.

It's not often I get stricken by hobby A.D.D. but still manage to get a bunch of somewhat related stuff done but today was one of those days.

First up on the DC Adventures side I diverged slightly from doing up super-villains to do up some not-quite-villains but definitely not heroes....okay I just broke down and painted 2 more Secret Six characters!  Have I mentionned you should all read Secret Six?  You should all read Secret Six.
The two additions to the Secret Six tonight (joining previous alums Deadshot & Catman) are Scandal Savage and King Shark.  Scandal Savage is the daughter of better known villain Vandal Savage and is basically an imortal with an accelerated healing factor and a great deal of combat expertise.  King Shark is...well a shark king basically.  The Secret Six comic had a ton of great moments but one of my favourite is still King Shark charging at a fortified building surrounded by sentry guns repeatedly yelling "I'M A SHARK!", he's a DC Comics villain who seems like he'd be right at home fighting The Tick.

Next up is another DC Adventures project but not intended for either of the 2 games I might be playing/running.  Right before DC Adventures was released Green Ronin published an introductory scenario to lay down the basics for new players and to serve (I think) as a demo for those undecided on whether or not they were purchasing.  That scenario pitted Superboy against Knockout (who was also briefly a member of The Secret Six).  I've printed out multiple copies of that intro scenario and given them to friends to get a feel for the rules so I thought it might be wise to get some figures done up in case I want to actually play through the scenario.

Lastly another one of those diversions that happens when the comic-fan part of my mind wanders.  I've been an Avengers fan for a long time and I've often thought 'what would the coolest/most interesting Avengers team be?'.  I don't mean most powerful or most effective, I mean what team made up of past or present Avengers would be most interesting to feature in a story together.  For me super-team stories are always the most fun when not everybody on the team gets along, so my first 2 team members (who I have already got in my collection conveniently) would be Ares & Ms Marvel.  My next 2 additions for both the resumes they bring to the table as well as their charming personalities would be; US Agent & Iron Patriot.  Don't know that these 2 figures will see the tabletop anytime soon and I'm also hoping for a newer more detailled Iron Patriot figure when the inevitable Iron-Man 3 Heroclix set comes out but until then these 2 figures will stand ready to defend freedom (their version of it anyway) from any who oppose them.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Gotham City Baddies

Back to Gotham City it is!  I've started building up a cast of villains to use, I'm not sure who to actually use in my first game but I want to get a stable of characters done beyond the A-list Batman baddies (Joker, Riddler, Two-Face, Penguin, etc).

My first pick is Deathstroke.  I've presonally never liked Deathstroke as a comics character and it's ultimately really unlikely I'll end up using him but he seemed like a good fit for the PL of the game and I had the figure on-hand.  I'm also potentially going to be running a game with a player or two who are big-time Teen Titans fans so if that ends up being the case Deathstroke comes across as a truly villanous character to them with me barely having to establish the fact in game.

 I chose Livewire because it's likely the comics fans in my group won't have much more knowledge about her than the non-comic fans.  Livewire was introduced in the Superman Animated Series and has made a few appearances in DC comics since then but is relatively unknown.  The figure is kind of neat with it's electricity effect and of all the clix I own it is the one who's Bruce Timm heritage shines through the brightest.

And third on my list but number one in my heart; Deadshot.  I've mentionned a few times previously on the blog how much I loved Secret Six (you should all go out and read Secret Six by the way...) and Deadshot is one of the core members.  What's not to like about this character?  His costume is cool, he straddles the line between villain and anti-hero so you can still root for him, and until New 52 he came across as unflappable in any situation.

Those are my first selections for potential bad-guy-of-the-week we'll see if anything else comes to mind in the next few days.
.....hmm....Secret Six......

Some multi-use Clix

I mentionned in my last post that while digging out a few superhero figures I can across some other figures that would work well for Shadowrun (not to mention a variety of other games as well).

This morning I've got 2 of those figures to show.  One of them I do a have a very specific purpose in mind for but the other is one of those  'I can use this for anything!' type figs.

First up is a completely repainted Unus The Untouchable figure.  Unus is an old school X-Men villain and one of the original (if I recall correctly) members of The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants.  I've never really liked the character and the original paint job was ugly as sin but I might be playing in a PL10 superhero campaign that's basically a 'tights-free' zone so I thought he'd be perfect as my character model if it ends up coming together.  The character concept is basically police officer by day, vigiliante by night using the paragon archtype straight from the DC Adventures main rule book.  That's the plan but I think this guy would also make a decent golden-age era adventurer figure as well.

My second fig is just a touch up and he barely required any touching up at all.  Another cool detective/undercover agent/MiB type who should be useful in; supers, modern and near future games.  Not much to say about this guy other than the fact that when I get a fig like this out of a blind pack I'm always super-happy because I know I would never actually use it for Heroclix so I have no issues with hacking it off the base and it will get used dozens of times for many different games.

Hopefully I'll be taking everybody back to Gotham for a second time tonight!


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Back to Gotham!

I decided to get myself back in the painting swing by taking on a couple of decidedly faster, easier projects.  To that end I hauled out my box of Heroclix with the goal of doing some more touchups for my eventual DC Adventures game.

Last night I rebased and fixed up 5 figures that should be great if I run things in a "What-If?" or "Elseworlds" vein.

First up are the Batman of the near future Damian Wayne and the last pre-52 Batgirl Stephanie Brown.  I'll be honest that I don't know much about Damian Wayne but I thought the costume was a cool variant on the basic Batman costume and would work in some different settings.  Stephanie Brown is by far my favourite Batgirl and has been in editorial purgatory (for no reason anyone seems to be able to determine) since DCs new-52 reboot.

The Questions are detectives who (the original atleast) is the inspiration for the Rorschach character in Watchmen.  I first became a fan of The Question through his depiction in the DC Animated Justice League Unlimited cartoons (I can hear my serious comic friends cringing as I type this).

And last but not least is Black Mask.  Black Mask is one of those great Batman villains that straddles the line between being cartoonish and just being a noir character with some slightly odd clothing choices.

The other exciting thing about getting these done for me is that I found some figures that should work really well for Shadowrun while I was going through my clix.


Sunday, 10 March 2013

Did my absence make your hearts grow fonder?

Wow, a full week without a post...don't think I've done that before....

Last week was a bit of a write-off hobby-wise.  No dramatic problems just came down with a bit of the flu and ended up sacking out every night right after work.

Even though I didn't finish anything last week I figured I'd throw a post up here just to let everyone know I was still here and more hobby-goodness is on the way.

So until something actually gets finished enjoy a work-in-progress shot of my Capitol Free Marines.


Some of Big Bob Watts' friends

Friday, 1 March 2013

Rogues Gallery: February 2013

When I look back at my hobby-time in February I have to say it was a funny month.  I got 50 figures painted; which on one hand is a bit more than usual for me, but on the other hand wasn't exactly the 50 figures I set out to paint at the start of the month.  It's also odd in that while I got a reasonable amount done, less of it than usual is for games I'm actually going to be playing soon.

Looking forward to March there are 3 things on my to-do list:
1.  Finish those last 13 Starship Troopers models
2.  Get some generic gang member types done for sci-fi gaming
3.  Finish the last of my old Warzone Capitol figures.
I may also get the other odd thing done here or there but those are the priorities (in that order) for me in March.


50 painted + 0 touch ups = 50 models