Wednesday, 21 May 2014

I haven't forgotten about the Witchfire Trilogy....

I've been bouncing around some other projects lately but I still have (had) 2 figures to finish for my Witchfire Trilogy game.

This morning I wrapped up Julian Helstron who is the watch commander in Corvis during the time the adventure is set.

As it turns out unless the party goes crazy I probably won't need a figure to represent him until a few sessions in but it's still nice to have.  He's a great figure to add to my collection because thus far I don't have a lot of pistol armed fantasy figures.  I might delve back into the Confrontation figures to add to the city watch.

I'm also contemplating a quick scenery detour.  I've got a bunch of extra Warhammer Fantasy buildings I haven't built yet so I was thinking I might hit Home Depot and pick-up some piping and tubing and see if I can steampunk them up a bit.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Up On A Soapbox: (non)-Rules Part 2 of 1

When I wrote my little rant a few weeks ago about house rules one of the suggestions that Darren made was to address the issue of out-of-print or older games not being viewed as good by virtue of not being current.  At that time I really didn't feel like I had a lot to say on that issue but since then three things have happened that have made me circle back around:
1.  I'm currently playing an RPG from the 80s
2.  Games Workshop announced a new edition of Warhammer 40,000
3.  Wizards Of The Coast has their new edition of Dungeons & Dragons right around the corner
So let's take a step back and look at old games and why some of us don't love them as much as we should.

One of the beliefs that has long existed in hobby gaming is that if rules are not in-print or game systems aren't being supported this somehow makes them less worthwhile than games that are living and flourishing.  The first thought that came to me that highlighted the absurdity of the situation was I got a mental image of Hasbro announcing that they were discontinuing Monopoly and would never bring it back to the market again followed by literally every household in North America pulling their copy of Monopoly out of a closet somewhere and throwing it in the garbage.  That would never happen, why?  Because Hasbro not selling new copies of Monopoly doesn't change how the game box you already have in your home works.  Which is obvious.....but somehow we can't apply that same logic to an RPG, or miniature game or CCG......

My own unfortunate bad experience with this mentality came a few years ago.  I was never a huge fan of D&D 3 or 3.5 edition so when 4th came out (which I still like a lot) I got rid of all my 3rd edition books.  I happily embraced 4th edition and never looked back.  Then I found out how great Pathfinder was....and realised I could use all the 3rd edition D&D source material I had gotten rid of of because it was "old".  Live and learn I suppose.

My recent positive experience with this was when I started playing Top Secret S.I.  A few friends have asked me to describe that game and for current gamers with a strong GW foundation I have described it as a less crunchy version of Dark Heresy.  To be clear I've played Dark Heresy and I enjoyed it and have nothing bad to say about it but; is a less crunchy version of those same type of rules lower quality by simple virtue of being 20+ years old and out of print?  I certainly don't think so.

A lot of just general rambling this time out but if there has to be a moral to the story I guess it's simply the fact that if you like an old game it being old shouldn't lessen your enjoyment.  And once a game is out-of-print don't think of it as dead, think of it as complete.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Is this my chance to make a "winter is coming..." joke?

Two more members of my Strike/Titan team today, who will also possibly be getting used in other games.
Black Widow and the Winter Soldier are two of the characters who got a huge boost in the Marvel Comics-verse during Ed Brubaker's run on Captain America and then carried on in the Winter Soldier series.

I like this Black Widow figure because it gives me a female figure in stealthy tactical gear that doesn't look totally impractical.  The Winter Soldier is cool, but he's probably a bit too science-fictiony to use in most modern games.

This should give me a decent mix of dudes (and dudettes) if I need to call for help in my game tonight!


Friday, 16 May 2014

Strike/Titan Team

Over the years I've painted a lot of SWAT and Special Forces figures to use in games but I always manage to seem to find more that I could use in one way or another.  The three figs I touched up and re-based today are more Heroclix from the Winter Soldier set.

I'll be using these guys as a SHIELD Strike Team or possibly using their images to represent a Titan Team in the Top Secret SI game I'm currently playing in.  The centre figure (Brock Rumlow from the movie) would also make a decent survivor miniature in a post-apocalyptic setting.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

750 points of Blood Angels done!

Slowly but steadily work continues on my Blood Angels.  I've made it up to 750 points and will be playing my second game tomorrow.

First up this morning's addition is a carbon copy of my last 5 figures.  It's another set of marines to fully round out a 10-man Tactical Squad.

This means I've now got 2 missile launchers in my force for dealing with armoured targets and I've also added 2 flamers in case Stan fields any big blocks of cultists against me.

Here is what 750 points looks like all together.

Next step is either a 5-man Assault Squad or 5 Death Company with Jump Packs....anyone have any thoughts or advice on the matter?


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Secret Agent Man

Wow!  Just wow.  I just wrapped up an awesome gaming session that had a little something for everyone; nostalgia for an old gaming system, good times with an old friend, a cool miniature and it was all the more enjoyable because I just played a two-hour RPG session with a friend who lives on the other side of the country.

Awhile back my buddy Darren proposed playing an RPG together over the Internet.  I've always liked that idea but every time someone has tried to get that off the ground before it has failed, primarily because the tool or tools we were trying to use to execute our plan just didn't work.  Darren directed me to which is a web utility for playing RPGs and it is fantastic.  Simple, intuitive and allows you to do everything a group of gamers sitting around a table can do except pass each other snacks and drinks.

Tonight we played Top Secret S.I. an action/espionage game that was produced back in the TSR days and holds up surprisingly well.  Typically one of the problems I have with older RPGs is that a lot of them just seem to have way more rules than are actually necessary to play a game.  Basically Top Secret works on a system of percentages for skill rolls and works pretty smoothly.  It actually reminds me of a less crunchy version of Dark Heresy.

Even though we were playing over the net I did paint (touch up actually) a figure for my character which only seemed fitting as one of Roll20s primary tools is the ability to use a map to represent the action.  My character is a fairly generic agent and I had just gotten a perfect figure in the SHIELD Agent for the recent Winter Soldier Heroclix set.

This set is great because in addition to providing me with a character I needed for an RPG it's full of SHIELD agents that match the look of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters so if that was ever something I wanted to game I should be able to loot at least a half-dozen interesting and appropriate figures for the set.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

First Blood Angels Tactical Squad DONE!

Last night I was able to put the finishing touches on five more Tactical Marines to round out my first full squad.

Adding these five guys does a few things for me.  First up it adds 80 points to my force, secondly it allows me to have some better weapons (ten man squads can have a heavy weapon and special weapon), and third if/when the Blood Angels rules get revised it will give me proper weapons and marked leaders to separate the squad back into combat squads.

I'm extremely happy with how these figures turned out and I'm definitely a huge fan of the newest version of the Space Marine Tactical Squad box.  The old box was good but having more options for the Sergeant, as well as some different posing options for the bolter armed marines feels like a quantum leap forward.

I'm very satisfied with the progress I've been making lately and I'm hoping to get my second small (but slightly larger) game in next week.


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Minor variations in scale make my OCD itch....

The other day I was reading over a Pathfinder adventure that I'm thinking of running as a one-off at some point, The Skinsaw Murders.

A couple of years ago I had started a Pathfinder campaign and I had planted some seeds in it to use some published adventures one of which was the Skinsaw Murders.  Skinsaw Murders was one of the first adventures published for Pathfinder and it holds up really well.  It's basically a murder mystery with some creepy supernatural elements that has a really cool vibe and steps outside of the usual dungeon crawls that tend to be my bread and butter.

As a miniature gamer any time I read a gaming supplement or module and think I might want to play it I immediately check out my miniature collection to figure out what I have and what I need to paint.  One of the things I need if I'm going to game this adventure is a few ghouls which is no issue because I have over a hundred of them for Warhammer....but gee they seem kind of small....that's okay I'll make do...but they do seem small.......okay I'll paint some newer bigger ghouls.

I wanted some 30mm ghouls that would fit in with my other Pathfinder miniatures but I didn't find any that really jumped out at me.  However I did have some Damned Of Sloth models for Helldorado that actually looked like they would make terrific ghouls and felt like they fit fairly well with the aesthetic of the other models in my collection.

I probably won't be running this game any time soon but it's still nice to get some models done early for a game that will happen in the future.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

A change of leadership

I've continued working on my Blood Angels over the last few days.  I've been a little scatter-shot which has resulted in a lot of work being done without a lot actually getting finished.  Basically there are 20 marines on my painting desk right now (10 Tactical Marines, 5 Assault Marines & 5 Death Company) but in the interim I did finally finish my Terminator Librarian so my Captain can start enjoying his early retirement.

Not a whole lot to say about this guy, he's another one of the really nice Blood Angel figures from the Space Hulk box set and he should (hopefully) give my force a character who is a legitimate threat in close combat.

Here's a group shot of everything that's done so far.

The plan is to fill out those two Tactical Squads to full size next while also giving them their special and heavy weapons to add some teeth.