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!


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!


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....


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.


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Review - Green Stuff World roller (cobblestone)

One of the things that has evolved a lot over the 30+ years I've been painting miniatures is the level of complexity and detail people put into their miniature's bases.  Back in the day role-players typically just painted the chunk of metal a miniature was standing on as some kind of rock whereas miniature gamers would usually apply some sort of 'turf' usually painted sand or coloured flock.  These days there are loads of miniature companies out there producing textured bases, I myself have been cutting plasti-card and using that to dress up my bases for RPGs.

A week or so ago I picked up a green-stuff roller by Green Stuff World from my FLGS, I haven't had cause to use it as I've been trying to match existing bases but this morning my daughter decided she wanted to take another crack at painting and she wanted a fancy base.  So I hauled out the roller and finally gave it a try.

First up I have to say that it was incredibly easy to use.  I just filled the recess in a 30mm base with green stuff, moistened the top and then rolled over it.  The entire thing took less than 5 minutes to execute and clean up afterwards.

I'm pretty happy with the result (I could have filled that one edge more) but as you can see the texture came out fairly crisply.

Now that I've used this once I think it's time for a return trip to get some more rollers!  I just wish I'd figured this out before I started basing my Teknes models.


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Rise of the pig-men WIP

So after circling back to get some D&D stuff done I needed for this week I'm now back to plan A; my Teknes force for Wrath Of Kings.

In a perfect world I will have the starter box done by Wednesday next week.  Having said that I'm off to a slower start than I anticipated.  I decided to kick-off by doing the Union Workers as they were the figures I was most excited about but so far my progress has been slow.

I got the flesh based, washed and highlighted and got my base coats on my bases and armour but not much else to report beyond that.  The goal will be to finish these first 12 models tomorrow and then get my Linemen built.  When those two units are done I'll only have 6 figures left from the starter to get done by mid next week.

The real challenge for me will be to not get over distracted before I finish......say, this Rumbleslam game looks cool.....


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Mystical abominations (or maybe just goblins?)

Got a few more figures done for an upcoming D&D game and a funny thought occurred to me as I was painting them.  I really love Games Workshop's Lord Of The Rings games and I got The Hobbit Escape From Goblintown when it first came out.  Having said that, I've now painted 33 of the Goblintown miniatures for various games but haven't used a single one to play Lord Of The Rings...weird.

Anyway for my next game I wanted some broken or debased men rather than classic low level monsters.  To that end I decided to re-purpose the goblins from The Hobbit.  This is actually the second time I've done this as I previously painted a dozen of these goblins to use as 'Null-men' for Frostgrave.

It's funny that I've never wanted to sit down and paint all 36 of these goblins at one go because everytime I paint some of them I wish I had painted more.  The sprue comes with 18 separate poses and styles of goblins armed with an assortment of weapons.  These are absolutely tremendous figures and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for any kind of CHUDs for their fantasy gaming.

I also need 2 "big bads" for my game and for the muscle component I wanted something larger than a character model but not quite into ogre/troll size range.  Once more my Zombicide Black Plague box stepped up and offered up the Abomination.

This figure is exactly what I was looking for as its big and scary without looking like something that would be way beyond the capacity of my low (1st) level adventuring party.  It's kind of a zombie/flesh-golem hybrid that I can stat out myself.

That should have me all caught up on figs I need for RPGs for the next couple of weeks, now its on to pig-men!


Monday, 3 April 2017

Catching up a bit on models for D&D

Hi all,

The last 2 weeks have seen far less painting than usual but I have gotten a few odds and ends done I just hadn't gotten around to posting yet.  I'm going to catch up on those today and then it will be back to "projects" tomorrow.

First up I painted a model to use as my character in an upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics game.  I'm playing a level 5 thief named Jaqar, I did have a model I had been using previously but he was just one of my Forstgrave figures being repurposed.

This time out I painted a named Pathfinder character as he had the perfect combination of armour and equipment, and I really like the fact that he has a backpack and other load-bearing gear to sell the idea that he's an adventurer.

Next is an NPC Dwarf Cleric I'll need for an upcoming game of D&D I'm running.

I wanted something a little different and this Games Workshop Dwarf Miner Champion seemed to fit the bill.

One of the things I have really enjoyed about DMing Curse Of Strahd is that the adventure us filled with interesting and characterful "random" encounters.  Before I start gaming again I want to cook up about a dozen detailed interesting encounters I can throw into the mix whenever I want.  Rather than sitting down and trying to write these up I thought I'd just do them one by one as ideas hit me.

My first idea was for an evil ginger hobbit (I used Lobellia Sackville-Baggins) that is a corruptive ruinous force on the countryside.  I also wanted to tack on some muscle so I threw her in with 'Frankenteddy' to give he some muscle from an encounter point of view.

I've got seven more models to paint for D&D and then if all goes according to plan I'll paint my Teknes starter set this week.