Thursday, 26 July 2018

Zoe's World - The Adventure Begins!

After a year-ish of doing some painting and occasionally talking about trying an actual game Zoe and I did our first dry run today to see if she could wrap her head around basic D20 mechanics and had an interest in playing a full game.  It went pretty well, she enjoyed herself even more than I actually hoped and her first 'full' adventure will be this coming Monday!

We had been talking about trying the game for a while and I think I was holding us up more than she was.  I kept trying to settle on complicated campaign, character and rules details and ultimately just decided to forget it and play like a kid discovering the game for the first time.

I basically threw open Zoe's model collection and asked her what she wanted to use and she actually picked 3 of the models she painted the last time she painted.  As it turns out those 3 figure were all from the Legend Of Drizzt board game so I grabbed out a couple of tiles, the stat cards a D20 and we just ran through a quick combat encounter.

I used my new Rolf Rolfsson model with Wulfgar's stat card and gave Zoe 2 'waves' of her chosen miniatures to keep Rolf from reaching the throne at the end of tile 2.

Having to do simple math to calculate hits the first turn was a bit new and strange to Zoe but by turn 3 she had it down pat.

The game was a study in the law of averages as Rolf decimated her creatures on the first tile, and then failed to score a single hit against the second wave on the second tile.  Sadly Rolf was ripped apart by a panther a mere 25 feet (5 squares) from his throne :(

I'm going to spend some quick time tomorrow night knocking together a single session adventure for Zoe's chosen party on Monday.  I will definitely have to give some thought to balancing play as she has chosen to build an adventuring party that isn't exactly Player's Handbook friendly.
Her first idea for a group is:
-Cyber Ape with minigun
So.....I'm going to have to think about this.
Time permitting over the next few nights she is considering these alternatives though:
Not quite your classic Fellowship Of The Ring style adventuring party :)

You might see some more painted stuff this weekend and definitely a game summary on Monday.


Monday, 9 July 2018

Rolf Rolfsson son of Rolf Rolfsson son of Rolf

A little while back I painted up a Reaper Barbarian to use as my solo D&D character "Rolf".  My first adventure in what is now a series of three linked modules was 'The Death Knight's Squire'.  I got the adventure from DM's Guild and I have to say it was excellent.  It was really well balanced and definitely seemed like it would have been challenging but doable with any type of character.  My initial plan was to make a couple more characters in case Rolf didn't make it but after running into some disappointing issues with D&D Beyond I ended up simply re-tooling Rolf for a second...and then third attempt.  I want to really emphasise that the adventure was well structured and balanced and Rolf didn't fail...twice...due to any issues with the quest.  On my first play through I made one unbelievably bad choice that resulted in me being undone by my own stupidity, on my second play through I was doing great until a string of bad die-rolls coupled with me forgetting to use one of my character's special abilities resulted in poor Rolf (junior?) running out of hit points before the final encounter.  I made some minor changes to the character between my first and third play throughs, one statistical change to get away from something that felt too much like min/maxing to me, and some trait changes based on some of the choices I made initially not really feeling applicable to a solo module.

Some of the changes I made necessitated a replacement model.  The new and improved Rolf is stronger but less agile, uses a bigger sword, and added a missile weapon.  Much like Garkas I started off with a Games Workshop Chaos Marauder as my base figure and added a backpack from the Frostgrave soldier sprue.  I then added a crossbow from a Gale Force 9 Paladin model that I still haven\t gotten around to painting.  And finally chose a head that came with an old Pirate Vampire that I have from years ago that came with multiple head options.

I carried forward the colour scheme from the original Rolf's shield and other than that went with a fairly muted colour palette, Rolf and his descendants didn't seem likely to be an overly flamboyant people to me.

Rolf Rolfsson will go into his next adventure at 3rd level with slightly improved offensive output and a little bit more gold in his pockets.  Hopefully he will be successful on his first pass as now that he's mid-story I think if he perishes on his second adventure I'll have to actually create a new character.

Wish me (and Rolf) luck!


Sunday, 8 July 2018

The Ghouls that no one loved...

Yesterday I mentioned that I was participating in Black Knight Games Call To Arms event.  The goal is to get 2000 points painted by the end date (which I really should check into in).  The night I was invited to join I hadn't really seen the hot new Malignant models so I planned to just do a vanilla flavoured Death army.  I headed down to the store with a clutch of 20 Ghouls to paint thinking that would be a good start.  I managed to finish them the other day and then just decided to accept the fact that they're going to sit in a figure case and probably not be part of of my current/new Age Of Sigmar army.

Having said that I'm still happy to have painted 20 more.  I can always use more ghouls for lots of different games I play.

I painted these the same way I painted the ghouls I painted for my advent calendar over Christmas which is coincidentally the same way I painted my last 2 batches of Escape From Goblintown goblins. 

Depending on how things go these may turn up as allies in my Malignant force.  I'm actually also seriously considering some Dryads as allies and going with a haunted forest vibe.  We'll have to see if I ever actually make a firm decision.


Saturday, 7 July 2018

Zoe's World - Fantasy Creatures

After a long absence and a pretty substantial break from the hobby scene my daughter Zoe dove back in with both feet this past week and added a bunch of new models to her collection.  It's been a while since she picked up a brush so she was a bit rusty but ventured far more out on her own (no touch ups by me this time) and much like her previous cyber-ape made some bold colour choices.

First up we had just seen Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and I had some dinosaur-ish lizards from an old D&D board game so she was stoked about doing some pseudo-raptors.  The first one she decided she very much wanted to look like Blue from the Jurassic World movies, and then for the second one she just went with her favourite colour (purple) and one accent colour.

I think they turned out really well and if she lets me I could definitely see myself borrowing these to use in a game.

Next up from the same board game (I think it was the Drow one?) she found a big cat model.  Zoe loves cats and dogs so I think any cat or dog models I come across will always be a draw for her.  For this one she went a bit more traditional with a panther-like basic coat but then went with white teeth and claws and red eyes to give it a bit of a pop.

I feel like this model would work really well as a cat version of a Hound Of The Baskervilles type scenario.

Zoe's final model was the one that actually got her interested in taking another shot at painting; WizKids new/current Unicorn model.  Watching Zoe paint this reminded me a lot of myself when I first started painting.  She really wanted a light and bright colour but really wasn't patient enough to do the layering and/or prep in to get her colour to pop.  She started with a brown coat over her unicorn and then went straight to yellow with a single coat.  For the most part she got good coverage but there were definitely a few places that could use a touch up or second coat.  Having said that before I moved out west in the long ago time, I had a ton of models that had the same issues with reds, yellows and oranges.

I really like the fact that she picked a pile of colours that are unique instead of going for traditional horse colours.  I've always thought miniatures were a great outlet for expression and its amazing as some of us (me included) get more serious about our hobby we can get less adventurous with our choices.

Well there you have it.  After a year-long break her first foray back into painting was cranking out 4 figures in one roughly three hour sitting.


The first of many ghost-pants!

Age Of Sigmar's second edition just came out last week and as much as I enjoyed my time playing the first edition of the game the truth is I didn't actually play all that many games.  I liked the simplified system and thought the new background was cool but the truth is none of the new armies really 'grabbed' me.  The models were well sculpted and well executed but I've always been a fan of a fairly traditional classic take on fantasy and the admittedly exciting new direction Games Workshop was going in just didn't strike any particular nerves with me.

One of my local games stores, Black Knight Games in Hamilton, is running and event called A Call To Arms which is basically an event geared towards collecting and painting an army.  It coincidentally kicked off shortly before the release of the new box set and being traditionally an Undead player the new Malignants were the first collection for the game I was really excited about.  So here I go!

Ahead of the arrival of my new starter box I got my grubby hands on a Nighthaunt box with comes with; 3 Spirit Hosts, 5 Hex Wraiths & 1 Cairn Wraith.  I was eager to try out the new Hexwraith Flame technical paint so I decided to start by painting the Spirit Hosts which had the most ghosty bits to try it out on.

Let me start off with two product opinions.  First up whoever designed and tooled the Spirit Host models is one of history's greatest monsters.  I have built TONS of models over the last 30+ years and I genuinely don't remember the last time I struggled so much to build any models (let alone plastic models).  They weren't very stable to work with during construction and the instruction sheets provided were confusing and barely helpful.  Even though I'm basically happy with the end result I can't imagine ever building another unit of these again.  On the flip-side the Hexwraith Flame technical paint was AWESOME!  It was incredibly easy to use, performed exactly the way I thought it would  and (in my opinion) got a terrific result.  My immediate reaction to using it was to start looking through boxes of unpainted models for more ghost I could paint ASAP.  The stuff is great and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants or needs to paint any ghost models.

For my Spirit Hosts I started by prepping the models bases by using a green stuff roller to put cobblestones across their bases.  This is the basing I've decided to go with across my entire Malignant army.  I primed white then gave the entire models a coat of Hexwraith Flame.  After that was dry I drybrushed P3 Frostbite over all the ghosty bits.  The weapons are Boltgun Metal with an Agrax Earthshade wash.  The cobbles are Skevenblight Dinge with a Dwanstone drybrush and a Nuln Oil wash.

Overall I'm happy with how they turned out and I'm looking forward to painting more ethereal models over the rest of this month.