March 27, 2013

Get Thee Some Shakespeare...With Zombies!

I've been a season ticket holder to Vertigo Mystery Theatre for several years now. Ironically, I found out about the theatre by attending a musical, and I generally hate musicals. However, that particular show was Evil Dead: The Musical, and can anyone hate a musical that has a number in it called "What the Fuck Was That?" You simply can't, that's how.

Each season there are five different shows put on. Last week I attended a performance of this season's fourth play The Ends of the Earth. I was rather disappointed with the play itself, finding the story to be rather pointless, the end twist to be lacking in surprise and the script to be middling at best. I'm simply not a fan of a play that has more monologue than dialogue. To be fair though, this is probably the first time in years I've been truly disappointed by a show at Vertigo.

However, while at the theatre I saw some posters for a show running the following week entitled William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead in the adjoining Playhouse Theatre. Now to be quite honest, my first thought was "shit, MORE zombie stuff?" I mean, I love zombies in my games and comics, but in a play, with Shakespeare?! How desperate are people to grab onto this current craze anyway?

On the other hand though, it beat sparkly emo vampire shit anytime.

We got tickets for the Tuesday showing, of a play that opens on Wednesday (I'll let you figure out the temporal physics on that one). It was a packed house with a great set, fun costumes and some really ingenious special effects. The actors were really into their roles and played them well. I can imagine that this is probably the role of a lifetime in terms of fun for a lot of them!

If you want to get tickets to the show before they're all sold out, you'd best do it soon.

March 25, 2013

Field Report: SA-130307-F

Mar 25, 1923

From: Carl Selinger, Commanding Field Agent
To: Director Silver, Calgary Field Office
RE: Case File SA-130307-F


My fellows are growing impatient waiting for the arrival of Agent Monique, so once again we ventured out into the forest in hopes of collecting some useful information on our own. There were several more uniformed men patrolling the woods around our area of interest. It seems that they have expanded their radius and their numbers.

Even though we were expecting more vigilance than previously, we were once again outmatched. We were set upon almost immediately and had to retreat. Quite frankly, luck is the only thing that saved our hides. These men are far better armed and trained than the average cultist or backwater shaman that we've encountered before. I fear that we have only brushed the surface of things.

We've most assuredly aroused some suspicions. If Agent Monique doesn't arrive soon we will be forced to proceed without her and that could prove disastrous.

Please advise.

Carl Selinger
Commanding Field Agent

P.S.: Does the phrase "Black Sun" hold any significance?

March 22, 2013

Sedition Wars: Figure Construction in Progress

I started putting figures together a week ago Sunday. The material is a little odd; it's not quite the same as the Mantic resin-plastic, and quite a bit different from the GW plastic. It cleans up fairly nicely with the back edge of a hobby knife, and any bent or twisted parts bounce back into place if dunked in hot water.

I dislike the injection points being on the shoulder joints on the male Samaritan troopers. They make it a bit of a bitch to get the right shoulder to line up with the arm piece. Most of mine are going to require a touch of green stuff to fill in. However, as mentioned with the hot water earlier, reposing figures is pretty easy. I've modified the arm positions on the scythe witches just by heating them and bending. It's not massive variety, but it helps a bit. I'm considering doing the same with some of the Samaritans and phase 1 revenants. Short of doing a bunch of knife work though, the Vanguard figures will not have a lot of variety when I'm finished with them.

After almost two weeks I've finally finished construction of the Strain figures. So far my favorite one is the Grendlr. It's well sculpted and is a really disgusting, scary piece of creature. I'll post up some photos of all the figures before I prime them. I'm aiming finish constructing the Vanguard figures over the upcoming weekend.

Sedition Wars is another Kickstarter game, which you probably already know. I pledged for the Biohazard level, and added a terrain pack and some of the extra figures. For what I paid, I got more figures than the starter for sixth edition of about the same price. In the 40k box, all you get are the figures and the rules, but admittedly, the figures are much better to put together and have more variation that the Sedition Wars ones. However, there is no option for making the 40k figures more customized without a lot of work either.

I'm not disappointed in the product overall. The rules are playable and are a lot of fun with a willing opponent. I've had a chance to run through the first scenario of the "Outbreak Campaign" included in the core rule book. The figure sculpts are very good, just lacking in pose variety. My biggest complaint is the injection points on the Samaritans. I would much rather have had it on a shoulder pad or the bottom of a foot, rather than inside a shoulder socket. The basic Samaritan troopers will need some putty attention on those joints before I prime them.

As I mentioned, the material makes it fairly easy to repose arms or twist a torso a little, but the trooper poses are all two-hands-on-a-gun, so without some serious chopping up and refitting, you'll have a pretty generic looking army of minis.

I think once I get the rest of my figures and terrain in the second batch, the cost-to-product ratio is actually pretty good. Since it's technically a board game, and McVey's first one at that, I think the lack of pose variety can be forgiven here. Naturally I'm disappointed about the product suffering long delays but there's nothing can be done about that on my end.

March 18, 2013

DreadBall League: The Finals are Set!

Well we've finally completed all five rounds of our regular season Dreadball play and I have to say that it's been pretty interesting. It's also been a lot of fun! I've collected in all the game results from the players and I have to say that the top four is not at all what I'd expected it to be. I had done some private forecasting based on the early rounds, factoring in the performance and death tolls, and man was I ever wrong about who came out on top!

Anyway, here are the standings at the close of regular play.

Team Value Win Pct Points Wins Losses Played
Avion Yellowhawks 134 80% 10 4 1 5
Funky Fathers 129 60% 6 3 2 5
Royal Eternian Rams 146 57% 12 4 3 7
Seb's Veer-myn 122 57% 10 4 3 7
Da Bombers 148 40% 5 2 3 5
Snake Mountain Smashers 145 14% 7 1 6 7

As you can see, two of the top three valued teams ended up at the bottom of the pile when it came to win/loss records. Having watched (or played in) several of those games, playing against the heavy-hitting Orx or Forge Fathers was often a punishing affair, win or lose.

The last game of Round 5 to take place was the match between the Royal Eternian Rams and Da Bombers. It was a hard-hitting, extremely fast moving game. Odd really when you consider the two teams involved. The Orx guards were definitely caught by surprise when the Rams players hit back and hit back hard on almost every slam attempt. At one point early in the game all three Orx guards were languishing in the sin bin!

Although the Rams did lose their prize striker "Bounder", known for his highly acrobatic style of play, the loss of a full half of their striker complement didn't stop them from bringing a rapid end to the game with a 7 point landslide victory in the 7th rush. Victory was bittersweet as the gate revenues (a measly 3mc) proved insufficient to allow for Bounder's resuscitation. He'll be replaced by a fresh new player in the championship match.

Both the Funky Fathers and Da Bombers were sitting at 50% win percentages going into the fifth round. Da Bombers were easily favoured against the Rams, so the loss was a bit of a stunner. With the Fathers winning their match earlier in the week, the deadlock is now broken and the final standings receive quite the shuffle.

And now it's time to play off for the FIRST EVER "Trilogy Cup"!

The 3rd/4th place match-up is:

Seb's Veer-Myn (24mc bonus) vs. Royal Eternian Rams

The 1st/2nd place match-up is:

Funky Fathers (5mc bonus) vs. Avion Yellowhawks

We'll also hold a special "smash 'em up" to showcase the Orx teams in a green-on-green slug-fest:

Snake Mountain Smashers (3mc bonus) vs. Da Bombers

No MVPs will be available for the championship games, but free agents will be permitted by the league, paid for using any underdog cash (which may be supplemented by team cash if available).

The games will be played on Sunday March 24th at Trilogy Gaming Club. Ball launch is at 1pm. Regardless of the outcomes all coaches who have participated in the league will take home a prize in store credit...of course the winners will get better prizes for being more brutal. Er...I mean playing the better game.

For added fun, the coach of the Yellowhawks and the Rams will be coaching games against both opponents simultaneously. It should be fun, or al least highly amusing to watch! I'm pretty sure I'll have a minor heart attack trying to keep track of everything all at once.

March 06, 2013

Run From Me If You Want To Live

As I mentioned in my last post, I finished a whopping seventeen models last week. That's a personal best, and is likely one I won't be topping any time soon. However, I didn't show all of the models I painted in that article, simply because it didn't make thematic sense to do so.

A few weeks ago I was looking around at Sentry Box, and happened upon a nice little box of figures from Copplestone Castings. I'd heard positive things of the company but never seen any of their models in person. These were really nice, if a bit highly priced at 18-X (don't get me started on Sentry Box's ridiculous pricing scheme...), which on that day was about $19.25. I didn't really know what I was going to do with them at the time, but I couldn't pass on them even at nearly $4 per figure.

Fast forward a few days and I had glued them to some bases; these ones are magnetic 25mm that bought a while ago and simply wanted to try them out. I had a window of pleasant weather and a sizeable batch of figures needing primed so they landed in that pile and ended up with a black primer coat on...then joined dozens of other primed figures on top of my fridge for what I thought would be a long wait.

While painting up the EotD lycaons and bobbies I was sitting around waiting for washes on both batches to dry. I was sort of in the zone (if one can be when painting miniatures) and went looking on the primer board to see what I could hammer through really quickly. Well, here's the result!

Not only were these figures almost zero effort to paint, I think they turned our really top notch. The sculpting isn't spot-on with the T-101 model endoskeleton from the Terminator franchise, but I can live with that. For tabletop purposes they are way more than close enough! The poses are nice, the detailing is great and they painted up in minutes. I also had some fun adding a few little touches on the bases.

This paint scheme is dead easy for anyone who wants to achieve a similar result:

1. Prime the based figures black.
2. Dry brush with GW Boltgun Metal.
3. Pick out the eyes with your favorite bright red.
4. Paint the cables on the thighs and right shoulder with P3 Coal Black.
5. Optionally add a tiny touch of color on their chest using P3 Blighted Gold.
6. Finish off with a lighter dry brush of GW Mithril Silver.

Of course use whatever paint line you've got. You should be able to crank out a batch of these guys (including their bases) in something around an hour, probably less. Not only that, but these figures have already garnered me several compliments from people who've seen them. Being figures immediately recognizable to non-gamers really helps draw attention to them!

I think they'll work very well in a short campaign using Ganesha Games post-apocalypse Mutants and Deathray Guns rules. I already have several beast-men figures so if I paint up some zombies and survivor figures I'm pretty sure I could arrange a game in short order. As for movie figures, I already have a batch of re-based Aliens from the Horrorclix range finished. Come to think of it, might never have posted on here, I'll have to dig them out. Additionally, my set of Horrorclix Predator figures are awaiting bases and some paint touch-ups. I'll see if I can slot them into my schedule sometime soon!

Thanks for stopping by. Please drop some comments below and let me know what you think.

March 05, 2013

Beasts and Bobbies

Way way way back before Christmas I busted open two of the starter boxes I bought for Empire of the Dead. Seb, Brandon and I had already played through the free downloadable scenario that pits Holmes and Watson against the nefarious Jack the Ripper a few times. I really liked the mechanics of the game as it allows for some nice in-game story telling. Oh, and I think it's cool that it used d10s instead of d6s. Don't really know why, just something a little different I guess.

I cleaned up all the lovely models from the Lycaon and Vampire starter boxes, glued them to their bases, primed them and wrote up starting faction lists for both. Then they simply sat around on or near my painting table for weeks at a time, looking up at me accusingly from time to time as if to say "paint us you lazy sod!" Admittedly I completely reorganized my painting area with new paint racks, paint, brushes and a new painting table in that time, but really I had no good excuse for not having finished painting any of them.

Last week I remedied that, at least partially. In fact I had a very good painting run over the past seven days...completing a total of seventeen figures from primed to fully painted and based. I'm quite proud of myself and my burst of productivity.  Naturally I'll share most of my work with you here, right now.

"Finally!" all three of my impatient readers must be thinking...

First off let me show you a batch of figures I hadn't planned on painting at all during this batch. These are some of the West Wind Productions Gothic Horror range of figures, four London bobbies!

And just because you've been so (im)patiently scrolling through all my text, here are my Lycaon starter box figures; starting with their feral four-legged companions.

Next up are their rank and file henchmen, complete with not one but two Victorian-era Wolverine lookalikes.

And lastly the leader and his lieutenant. Looks like these pooches could use some obedience training. I have a feeling their bite is worse than their bark. Sorry, lame. Just look at the pictures ok?

As I mentioned, I hadn't intended to paint the bobbies during this batch but found myself needing something to work on while other things dried, especially the washes on the two character models. The bobbies had been sitting on my priming board since last fall and a small batch of four nearly-identical figures like this just seemed too easy not to blast through while I waited.

All twelve of these figures were painted over black primer with simple solid colour base coats. The bobbies only received a black wash after that and no further highlighting. The other models all received one or more different washes and some light highlighting or drybrushing afterward.

If I can recall correctly the colours used on the bobbies were: AP (Army Painter) Ultramarine Blue, P3 Coal Black, GW Boltgun Metal, GW Tallarn Flesh and an assortment of colours for the different hair/moustaches. As mentioned they were all finished with a wash of GW Badab Black.

The Lycaons were painted with: GW Skull White, GW Fortress Grey, GW Shadow Grey, AP Barbarian Flesh, AP Beast Hide, GW Boltgun Metal and GW Gorthor Brown. The lieutenant beast's fur and skin got a coat of GW Flesh Wash which started out way too dark, but after some further highlighting I am happy with the result. The leader received a wash of GW Devlan Mud, and the other figures had a few different custom mixed washes applied before their final drybrush/highlight coats.

I'm very pleased with the final results of all of these figures. The West Wind Productions models are all very characterfully sculpted, one-piece models. Have I mentioned that I love one piece figures!?

The other five of my seventeen figures will have to wait for a different I'll leave you all with a few parting images of the whole Lycaon group.

March 04, 2013

Stargate in 28mm: Chevron One Encoded

I was really pleased with my first use of the Plate Mail Army Painter primer spray when I used it on my Forge Fathers team, the Royal Eternian Rams, for DreadBall. I ordered it knowing that it would also be a great time saver for the first batch of stuff I had in mind for my Stargate project.  I am very happy at how well it covers and how smooth it looks after application. I don't have a lot of use for coloured primer due to playing mainly skirmish games, but it is very good primer and I'll likely be switching to it even for black, white and grey.

Shortly after I received the official Stargate figures I cleaned up and based all the Jaffa figures and prepped one of the two gates I bought. There are three 8-man squads of Jaffa, two heavy cannons with operators, and a First-Prime to ensure their loyalty and obedience.

I'm still uncertain of the best way to construct and base the cannons, as they're two part models. I would like them to be separate from their operator models, which might require using a non-round base. I'll have to do some experimenting to see how that works out. Of course if you have any suggestions please post a comment and let me know about it!

As you can see above I've primed all of my Jaffa troopers using the plate mail primer. There isn't a lot of paint work left to do here. I'll add some gold and metallic-blue highlighting to their armour, some glowing eye effects to the hawk and serpent guards, a little detailing on the staff weapons, and then probably use some Army Painter Quickshade or the equivalent inks to finish them off. And of course I'll need to decide what kind of theme to use for all of their bases. Desert sand doesn't seem too far off the mark though...

So what about a Go'auld System Lord, er I mean a god, for them to worship? I'm going to use a Wargods of Aegyptus figure that was very kindly sent to me at no charge by Phil from the Lead Adventures forums. So thanks again for the nice gesture Phil, I truly appreciate your generosity! It didn't make sense to prime my system lord in silver, so I left him primed black, exactly as I received him. I'm trying to determine exactly what to call him and what kind of back story he should have. Please feel free to offer up any ideas or suggestions you have to me here! Once I get the warriors painted I'll probably know what colours to use for this guy.

Obviously priming the gate and dial-home device in silver was a simple choice. This gate will be painted with red lights to match the style of the gate from the SG-1 TV series. Both the gate and DHD will start off with a black wash to darken them. It shouldn't take much work to get this thing done up quite nicely.

Finally we need some heroes to fight off this intergalactic menace. Both sets of SG-1 and SG-9's models are still in their unopened packages. I'm undecided on whether to use olive drab or black for the uniforms when I do put them together. Whatever I decide, I'm pretty excited for this project to be underway!

March 01, 2013

Strange Aeons Game Night!

Well, well well...I actually got to play a few games yesterday. Uncle Mike and James dropped by Trilogy for a bit. I ran lurkers for both of my games. One against Sebastien who had a three-agent Threshold list pitted against a high priest. One of the agents is now suffering from poor health, which could prove devastating in future games.

James' 24-point group of agents found themselves up against heavily armed and well trained Nazi soldiers. Two of the agents took fire while trying to navigate the cliffs of the dig site. Their leader was set upon with machine fire shortly after and was unfortunately killed. Uncle Mike praised the Lurker efforts, "That list needed to die..."

Michael and Uncle Mike played a game as well. From the cursing at their table it sounds as though the zombie horde Mike's agents were up against were extremely hungry. Apparently a particularly powerful strain of serum was in play and succeeded in creating a Blasphemous construct AND two speedy walkers. I'm uncertain of the death toll in that one.

In my rush to make it to work on time in the morning, I had forgotten my Kulten lists, so I wasn't able to play any games of that. On the positive side, the guys will be back at the shop in two weeks so we'll be getting some more games in very shortly.