December 29, 2015

More 40k Orks...Why?!

This is the second squad of 10 from the 40k 5th Edition "Battle for Black Reach" starter box.

L originally started them long ago and then they languished. I finally dug them out a few weeks before Christmas and put them on the painting table to get them finished. I didn't like that they were half-way (or less) done.

I've got little to no intention of playing 40k any time soon, but with these finally done, it doubles my number of painted Orks. I've still got the rest of the Black Reach box, plus another Ork army box somewhere. It's actually a small force, with only something like 40 boys, but at this pace it'll take 40 years to paint them all.

December 03, 2015

KM Sons of Batman - My Month 1 Recap

The new demo team or sidekicks program for the Batman Miniature Game by Knight Models has rolled into its second month. I was happy to get accepted and have been trying to get rolling on some of the activities they have set for us.

Each month we are going to receive a checklist of various things we can do. We haven't received the one for December yet, so we might be waiting until January for the next checklist.

In November I was able to run a demo for a new player and play a full 350 rep game with a friend, as well as build a TON more figures from my collection. I'm confident that I'll have a Poison Ivy crew with Catwoman tagging along ready for the table top shortly.

Our demo game featured Batman and Robin against Titan Bane and some Blackgate prisoners. The game played well and we got through a good number of the basics like movement, running, batclaw, attacking, blocking and shooting. When we were all finished we had a very good conversation about the models he liked and how he'd like to play.

I made a few recommendations and it sounds like there will be a League of Shadows crew of Lady Shiva, her female ninja, and Deathstroke joining the battle for Gotham's streets very soon. I'd like to take all the credit, but my demo recipient was already very excited about the game. It's really fun seeing that kind of enthusiasm, and I was happy to help.

The larger game we played was a lot of fun, despite the hugely lopsided victory point total at the end. I had a plethora of cops led by James Gordon and Batgirl up against Titan Bane, Solomon Grundy and an ax prisoner. We ended up with the "Plunder" scenario which was a huge disadvantage to the three-man crew. I messed up my deployment with my GCPD detective on the opposite side of the board from the riddles he should have been chasing, and wasted Gordon's ammo early...again he was on the wrong side of the board to go get more and be back in time to do anything useful.

The VP total ended up at something like 22 to 7, simply due to my ability to control objectives. As the game wore on however, I was starting to lose henchmen to the massive hitting power of Grundy and Bane. In the 6th round I was able to take down everyone but Bane. I would have easily needed three more rounds to take him out, and would likely have lost several more henchmen in the process.

I've been playing a lot of games with Law Forces (since I have all of them painted) and am looking forward to branching out from them with my Ivy crew. I've also got a few small demo crew ideas that I think will work well and aim to tackle with my paint brush over the Christmas holiday.

I'm looking forward to tackling more of the achievements set out for us in the coming months. If you're in the Calgary area and are interested in the Batman Miniature Game please get in touch with me!

December 02, 2015

November 2015 Progress Report

I mentioned a bunch of items that I pushed across my hobby desk earlier this month, but here's a full recap of what I accomplished during the month of November.

- Re-based two Heroclix for repainting: purple jumpsuit Luthor and Black Mask
- Built Poison Ivy starter set for Batman Miniature Game; started painting (4)
- Built and based more serpent worshipper cultists (4)
- Built new cultist minis for a brand new group, likely for Kulten (11)
- Built safe box objectives for BMG (2)
- Built all my Joker minis for BMG (14)
- Built Arkham Inmates I booster for BMG (2)
- Cleaned and based my remaining Threshold agents for Strange Aeons (9)

In terms of painting I am nearly finished a 10-man Ork squad for Warhammer 40,000.

I also ordered and have received some stuff, but haven't had a chance to actually open the boxes for my Knights of Dice buildings & props or Ghostbusters Kickstarter pledge package. I've had word that my Pulp City items that were missing from their first campaign are on the way too, but they've not yet arrived.

Lots of stuff is still waiting for paint, but I hammered through a lot of model construction in November: 46 figures or objective markers! The Joker crew and Arkham figures will need a little green stuff work before I can prime them.

It looks like I'll have a week off near the end of the month and am hoping to get some solid time in at the painting table before the end of the year.

November 20, 2015

SuperSystem 4th Edition Games

We've had a few games of SuperSystem 4th Edition over the past few weeks. The first of the two was a three-player custom scenario. I had created a fun board layout to play a scenario around my converted repainted Lex Luthor Heroclix figure wearing a prison jumpsuit.

The basic intro for the players was simple. Lex Luthor was being transferred to a maximum security underground facility in a remote location. Just as the agents transporting him arrived at the surface entry gate with their prisoner, they were set upon by teams either trying to rescue Lex, or stop him from being set free.

Brad was playing X-Men: Sunfire, Wolverine and Rogue. Seb was using Mister Sinister, Dr. Doom and Domino (no idea why these three were working together...), and I was using the Larcenous Legion: Kriegshunde, Elasti-Woman and The Wisp.

I had converted the profiles for my characters from the official 3rd edition profiles to 75 points and I think they worked out very nicely. As with any new game we missed and misinterpreted several rules but still had lots of fun. The LL were able to save Lex from a length imprisonment largely through the efforts of Elasti-Woman.

A few days later the X-Men were able to catch the Larcenous Legion in an ambush. The X-Men profiles had been tweaked slightly, and Colossus was along for the ride too. Rogue's injury from the previous game slowed her down a bit, and Sunfire's vow of vengeance on the Larcenous Legion proved to be largely moot while his enemies made good their escape.

I was able to add my custom character Zyklon to the game (he's a repainted 'clix Northstar). He was hard to capture with the 4th edition rules and might need a bit of a streamline. It's difficult to resist the temptation to give characters tons of powers rather than keep them focused and simple to play.

The game was again good fun and we are getting a handle on the nuances. Something to note about both games is that we did away with the single attack per character per round restriction. In 3rd edition it always felt artificial, and we all agree that so far, it helps speed up the game and avoids wasting AP when you are in base contact with an enemy figure.

These two games were also treated as 'campaign' games, going through the fame/infamy and experience acquisition for the teams and characters afterward. So far I've enjoyed it and I think everyone is looking forward to the next battle.

November 19, 2015

Strange Aeons 2nd Edition - Solo Deck Thoughts

If you're like me there are times when you'd like to play a tabletop game but there are no available opponents around. I helped a little bit with some of the play testing for the 2nd Edition of Strange Aeons, but really hadn't played much since the book went to print back in the summer. Uncle Mike was really busy with model production that there was little time for gaming. Summer is also a lot lighter in terms of game time, as I do *gasp* *shock* try to spend a bit of time outside while the sun is being friendly.

I've had my KS package from the campaign for longer than most, being able to pick it up locally rather than waiting for it in the mail. One of the add-ons I included was the solo deck. I didn't have much to do with this product at all, aside from providing some points about what I would like to see in a card-driven AI. With the product finally in my possession I thought I would give the solo deck a test-drive.

I wasn't expecting much out of the solo deck to be honest, as card-driven AI is a really tough thing to make fun. Pleasantly enough it had a few surprises in store for me. In my first game I rolled the "Bag Man" scenario. The Lurkers were able to take out one of my agents with a Major Injury, and the bag man with a Minor. I was able to win the game, but only with a "heroic" effort from my remaining character.

In the second game I realized I was playing something terribly wrong, but elected to continue through and see how it turned out. I misread part of the instructions and had been turning more cards over than I should have each Lurker turn. You still need Command models, as the number of nominations the Lurkers can make is how many cards are drawn per turn.

Despite the lurkers having extra activations I won the "Retrieve the Artifacts" scenario fairly handily, acquiring three scrolls and an advancement for my character. Something that contributed to my win were two immediate major injuries I scored against face down Lurkers. One addition to the solo rules is that the Lurkers get a free single state change at the end of their round and I had been missing that. You have to do some smart interpretation of some of the cards from time to time, deciding how the lurkers should best act.

For my third game I was much closer to correct the Lurkers had a 4-point advantage with my two consecutive wins. I selected a wolfman to go with a tommy-gun cultist, degenerate and cult leader. The cards brought the degenerate back onto the table not once but twice, and the werewolf made quick work of by dynamite toting agent Randolf Carter, who died from his horrific wounds.

Agent Moreau was a minor injury and my leader ended up infected by the wolfman's bite. The death of Carter allowed me to re-equip so I spent one of my two map pieces for a squad leader. He'll be joining me for the next four games.

I've enjoyed using the solo deck to get in a few games during a quiet, late evening. I can still tell the story of my Threshold list with it, which is where the real fun of the game is for me. I'd still rather have a real, live opponent, but it's nice to be able to play one of my favourite games in a pinch.

November 11, 2015

Productive Hobby Day

I spent a quiet Remembrance Day at home and observed a few moments of silence being thankful for the freedoms I enjoy, not to mention that I wouldn't exist if my grandparents hadn't been brave, brave folks.

The freedom I enjoyed on my day off was a relaxing breakfast with my girl and then a day of hobby time and conversation with a friend. I didn't get anything painted but it was a highly productive day in my opinion.

First up was a large batch of cultists from Pulp Figures for more games of Strange Aeons. These guys have been languishing in a box for a long while, and I figured it was high time they got some attention. I did some quick hand swaps and have four more dudes to add to my serpent man cult that I showed off years back.

There were another eleven cultists from the same order and decided to put those all together as well. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to do with these, but I'll keep that to myself for now. There is a Black Sun operative from the Reaper Bones line in there as well, but he just happened to get based along with all the rest of the figures.

Next I put together my Safe Boxes objective markers for Batman Miniature Game. These weren't terribly difficult to construct but I was very annoyed to realize that I had thrown away the metal rod that comes in the package. I didn't have any rod large enough to replace them so I had to resort to some toothpicks which don't look nearly as nice. They'll do provided I'm careful with them.

A few random bits got attention too. I rebased a pair of Heroclix figures (Lex Luthor and Black Mask) for some games of SuperSystem 4th Edition that will likely be coming up in the next weeks. The little guy with the sword is my attempt at creating a Usagi Yojimbo character to go with my TMNT project from early this year. He'll look good with a lick of paint I think.

The gallows in the background there just got a bunch of sand glued to it, like all the other models I'm talking about today. I don't usually do the basing the same day I build the I did.

Finally I constructed my new Poison Ivy starter crew box for Batman Miniature Game. Just the other day I found out that I had been accepted into the Knight Models program to support the game. I think the full term for it is a "sidekick in the Sons of Batman program." Yep, that's right, for anyone out there who has long suspected it I'm an SoB. Make of that what you will.

November 09, 2015

Epic, Infinity N3, LoToW

Had a chance to play several new games through late October and early November.

The first one was Epic Armageddon. Sean and Rick both graciously donated me pieces for a Space Marine army. We played a 4000 point game, with Rick running an Ork horde against Sean and I each playing 2000 points of marines. Since this was a learning game it took a LONG time, with us calling it after the second of four turns.

This was my first foray into a smaller scale, and it was pretty neat. Since the other fellows have plenty of terrain I am doubtful I'll make any for the game. I will have to paint up the figures I have at some point, which really shouldn't take too long if I actually sit down and do it. I'll be using the colour scheme for my "Obsidian Fists" chapter, because well, why not?

Next up were a few learning games of Infinity N3. Brad and I ran through the first three scenarios out of the the "Operation: Icestorm" starter book. There is a LOT of stuff to learn with Infinity and I know we made a lot of mistakes. It's strange to hear about a game that only last three rounds, but now that I have tried it, it makes total sense.

I built all of my Nomads and the corporate security unit figure over the course of Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. There is a frustratingly high amount of flash on the small parts like arms and heads, which is made even stranger by the fact that the main bodies for the models had almost no flashing, and just a tiny hint of a mould line. The models are pretty fiddly and feel a little fragile, but I like the look of them. (After our games I primed and sprayed the figures with a nice deep red colour to get started, but they await further attention at this point).

The third new game was Legends of the Old West. There are so many western-themed rule sets out that that it's difficult to even know what to choose. Rick really likes this one so we gave it a go. It's quite obviously a GW game, having similar stat-lines to Mordheim and 40k, and sharing the "I Go, You Go" turn structure. I still prefer Blackwater Gulch, which is an alternating model activation system so it feels a little more fluid. The weapons stats feel almost identical between the two games.

November 06, 2015

BMG: Law vs Arrow at 250 Rep

We played another game of Batman Miniature Game yesterday, finally adding in Strategies after having ignored them for quite a while. I played a new crew with Gordon, Catwoman, Bravo, Delta, Echo and GCPD detective against Green Arrow, Nightwing, Alfred and Policeman.

As usual the scenario set up and objective placement took quite a while. It's one of the things that I dislike about the game, although I know we are getting faster at. We played scenario 5, which made a point of saying at least one objective had to go in an opposing deployment zone...which caused us a bit of confusion as the objective rules already state that for most objective types.

Our 250 rep game took us a long time, over two hours. It was fun though. A few highlight points:

- Bravo is a beast for in-close ranged combat. The shotgun hurts when it hits, and I hit quite often, almost putting Green Arrow down single-handedly.
- Nightwing needed to find a group of henchmen to smash, but wasted his time on the detective, who survived far longer than he should have. I sort of wanted to see him trigger electric storm, even though it would have likely mean sure KO for any of my henchmen.
- Hidden and Undercover were nice to help me get closer to objectives or threatening enemy miniatures quickly.
- The split deployment hurt Gordon's effectiveness as I split my henchmen up too far. I wasn't able to take advantage of Inspire, Let's Go or Take Cover. Due to that, Gordon felt largely useless until I was able to get into position to finish off Green Arrow on round 7.
- Echo needs Titan. I just can't seem to cause damage with a 5+ strength model, even with the bonus from his weapon I think I only hit and damaged three times with something like 15 attack dice thrown.
- Catwoman shouldn't be attacking anyone. I stupidly put her in base contact with Alfred (thinking she could help Delta take him out), but it cost me 2 VP because I couldn't score the loot she was carrying that turn. Her 5+ strength also makes her sort of useless as a melee combatant (a lot like Batwoman), although I did forget about her retractable claws, which might have put Alfred down one round faster than I did. She's highly mobile, so it makes sense to head for the loot, grab it and then run and hide.

In the end I had lost my detective and Bravo and my opponent was down to just Nightwing. The victory point total was heavily skewed in my favour however, with a 32-14 win.

I feel like Green Arrow and Nightwing should be an effective duo to play, I'm just not sure who you would take with them as their options are limited at 250 rep. They'd probably perform well at 300 rep instead.

My crew had a lot going for it and I want to try them again. The henchmen are solid threats if they can get into a good shooting or scoring position. Sticking with Gordon will also beef them up. Being henchman heavy and lacking a heavy hitter however, they are certainly vulnerable to some of the big names like Bane or Batman.

November 04, 2015

From The Director's Office

Director Silver lowered himself down into the creaky, worn chair and tried to rub feeling back into his numb left hand. It never helped. He used to be a much fitter man, but the omnipresent, squeezing ache in his chest reminded him that the years were catching up to him. Years in the field, followed by more years behind this damned desk, while good men and women were out doing the job he yearned to do. But the reality, reality of horrifying beasts, daemons and fool cultists was too great for him to be running around out there. He was needed here.

Random images, sounds and even smells from the past still threatened to overwhelm him from time to time, when the nightmares and memories came to mind more clearly. He knew he was lucky, unlike most, he had survived beyond the extremely short life expectancy of an active field agent.

Silver raised his head from his hands, not realizing he had even moved, and noted a small sheet of paper in the middle of his cluttered-but-neat desk. Folded once, no envelope. A telegram then. Miss Thompson must have brought it in while he was visiting Special Branch this morning. Already suspecting what he’d find inside, he picked it up and snapped it open:

Selinger dead. Killed the damn thing but good. Saved our arses again. Will continue as able. JD.

‘So that’s it,’ thought Silver. ‘My best agent, my friend, is dead.’

Selinger had survived crippling injuries more than once, and yet had heroically pushed on while commanding one of the best field teams Silver had ever seen. A damn shame.

The Director rose from his chair and snapped off the light on the way out. Selinger had done his job; one less unnatural beast to fret over, one more file to close. Another widow to inform, another nightmare to try to lock away.

The door quietly latched closed.

Just another day on the job.

November 02, 2015

October 2015 Progress Report

October was a fair bit lighter in the realms of completed work, but not an entire wash.


- Cleaned, based and primed six new SuperFigs. This batch included the very first model from the line that came in multiple pieces. My copy of SuperSystem 4th Edition also arrived so I'll try my hand converting these character profiles over from 3rd Edition.

- Built and primed the last two (of three) western-themed buildings from PlastCraft. They are all quite similar in design, but mixed in with the rest of my buildings provide a nice amount of variety.

- With all of my western buildings finally finished I was able to lay them all out on the table and decide what each of them was going to be, and what colours I'd likely use. I'm going to aim for having a decent amount of colour, but still look worn and'll be an interesting experiment.

- Built and primed half of the Infinity N3 models I have from the "Operation: Icestorm" starter box. Putting together the 7 Nomads and the CSU figure took quite a bit longer than I'd expected, due to the extremely high amount of extra metal chunks attached to most of the pieces. It was strange, because the bodies for all the figures were very clean, requiring almost no clean up, whereas the arms and heads and the like had tons of flashing and chunks of metal on them that needed chopping off. Now that they're built I'm happy with them...but not looking forward to the PanO figures.

- Finally completed my water tower conversion and got it primed.


- I finished painting Catwoman and Batwoman for the Batman Miniature Game. I need to go back and touch up their faces very briefly this week, but I still consider them finished.

In other news I will confess that I was rather disappointed at the utter lack of response I garnered from posting my 500th item on the blog. After doing this for over 10 years and posting that much content, I was pretty excited about it. In the end, I do this for myself more than anything else, but I know there are folks out there that do read occasionally, and I really enjoy hearing from them.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween!

October 27, 2015

500th Post...

Wow it's been a long time since I started this blog. Over ten years. Most of that time has been spent writing about games and hobby activities, but occasionally I dive into event reviews, the odd rant and even gotten political a few times. All of that writing has resulted in over 75,000 page views. So I know some of you out there are reading this stuff, even if you're largely silent.

I always have several posts in-progress and had actually resisted posting anything, trying to find the right item to include in my 500th post. Today I decided that it would be Pulp City. The guys from Pulp Monsters are running a small campaign, Pulp City: Cold War, to expand the rich world of Pulp City with two new teams of awesome looking supremes.

I pledged on the new campaign because I think almost all of the new characters look amazing, and I want to support the game. I've been hard on them in the past because I'm still waiting for quite a few missing items from my Collector's Pledge from their last Kickstarter, but I'm confident that they'll take care of it.

I also know that their experience from that campaign has translated into simpler pledge levels and a faster delivery promise for Cold War. These guys love their game and it shows. If you like tabletop gaming and want to try out something fun and new, I highly recommend you get in on their campaign. Their models are high quality, relatively affordable and full of character. Another option would be to download a few character cards and their quick start rules from their website and proxy the game to try it out. I'm sure you'll have a blast.

October 20, 2015

The Cat and the Bat(woman)

I've been working towards getting more of the superhero figures painted from Knight Models range for the Batman Miniatures Game. Yesterday I finished the second of two that will give me two completely different Law Forces crews at 250 rep each

Batwoman is a character I don't know much about, but really like the costume of. The red on black is really striking, so I spent a lot of time getting some depth to the wide swathes of red on the cape. Highlighting large areas of black is not something I really enjoy, and I did have a bit of trouble getting her eyes right, but I'm happy with this one for tabletop.

Next up is Catwoman. So much BLACK. It's hard to paint, takes a long time and is difficult to get a result I'm happy with, especially when compared with the studio paint jobs. There was a lot of watered down black paint, black washes, varying shades of blue dry brush stages and finally a touch of metallic and white for a top highlighting.

Her face ended up a little dark, but it's fine for table top. The red lenses on the goggles adds a nice touch of colour to top it off. I'm looking forward to painting something a little more colourful, but first I have to finish Batgirl. Of course...I decided on a mostly black colour scheme for her too... why oh why do I punish myself so!?

October 19, 2015

Mid-October Recap - Go Vote Canada

I'm going to start this one with something I never thought I'd say...I've recently learned to play Pokemon. My oldest nephew had some cards with him when we all got together for family dinner over Thanksgiving. When I asked if he knew how to play he said "no." Thinking it a bit of a shame to have cards but not use them we downloaded the rules and gave it a go. I had to split the cards up into something resembling decks with almost no knowledge of the game, but we had a good time nonetheless.

On Friday Knight Models announced their new "Sons of Batman" program (yep, SOBs) for the Batman Miniatures Game. I've been working towards getting enough models and scenery together to start demoing the game around my area soon anyway, so the timing of this announcement was almost perfect. I just have to take a few photos of my painted crews and submit the paperwork, and hopefully will get accepted into the program.

Last weekend Lewis and I attended Fallcon 2015 to demo Star Trek: Attack Wing. During our four-hour demo time slot we ran 5 new players through games to generally favourable reviews. After almost two years of playing this one I hadn't realized just how much info there is packed into (what I thought was) a simple 100 point fleet. It was good to get the game on the table and send some folks away excited about playing.

While at the convention I picked up a copy of an old-but-new-again deck building game called Arctic Scavengers. I'm not sure who I'll get to play this with, or even when, but the artwork and subject of the game really seemed interesting. It's a theme I certainly don't have in my collection, and it's been a while since I added a deck-builder to my collection. I do hope it's worth the almost $70 it cost though (whew games are really getting expensive these days)!

I had to miss out on Ken's semi-regular evening of games that evening due to other commitments, but I hope to make the next one before the end of the year. They're always good fun and I wish I could attend them more frequently.

Finally, I finally got my first game of Pulp City: Supreme Edition on the table against a real, live opponent. We played a level 6 encounter and had a blast. In retrospect I was obviously having too much fun because I forgot to take any photos at all. We're already planning our next Pulp City battle, so I'll endeavour to get a few snaps of that game when it happens.

Oh yeah, today is election day in Canada. If there's still time when you read this, go vote! Make a positive change for your country by voicing your opinion. Everyone's vote counts!

October 14, 2015

How to Include All of DC in the Batman Miniature Game

If you have read my blog much in 2015 you'll know I've been spending a lot of time and money on the Batman Miniature Game by Knight Models. Over on the official forums there have been several discussions about whether the system would work for the larger DC Universe and accommodate games including characters like Superman and the Flash. Those conversations are usually split by folks who want more powerful characters joining in, and those who don't.

Over the past few months' releases from Knight Models, I have a strong feeling that they are indeed working towards scaling up the game. I am actually open to this, and think it could work. However, I don't think the entire DCU will simply get rolled in as characters to play in BMG.

The way I see KM introducing a DC Miniatures Game would be as its own rule set, but be entirely compatible with the Batman Miniature Game. Here's how I think that could work:

1. The stats on the DC characters cards will follow the same pattern as those from BMG. That means willpower, movement, endurance, reputation cost etc will all be there.

2. The abilities will be largely the same as those as in BMG, but will be expanded. We have already seen evidence of this will abilities like Fly and Beam being added on individual cards. Those two powers alone would make it possible to represent Superman in the game at a lower power level.

3. A new rule book for the DC game could be released and recommend a higher reputation limit for games, possibly something around 500 rep.
  • We have already seen three new types of objectives added since the BMG rule book's release. I imagine objectives will still play a part in the DC game, and continue expand.
  • The game restriction of it always being nighttime will be removed, making guns even more powerful, which would mitigate the power levels of some of the characters we would see in the game when facing them off against lowly henchmen.
  • Sewers would remain in the game as a way to get around the board more quickly.
  • All-new (or mostly new) scenarios would be in the DC rule book.
  • Characters from the DC Miniature Game would be fully compatible with those from BMG and vice versa.
If Knight Models followed the suggestions above, folks who want to stick with the Batman universe alone could do so. Those who want to bring a little more DCU into Gotham can, and others who want to go whole hog into DC could do that too.

So those are my thoughts on it. Let me know if you think I'm crazy, spot on, or way off. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

October 05, 2015

Early October Gaming Goodness

The past week and a half has been really good for some gaming! Rather than focus on each play individually I'll just rip through them all in brief.

During a quick trip to I had picked up a copy of a nifty little 1-2 player card game called Onirim. We both tried it a few times, ending up with the base game played as a 2-player affair. The game came with SEVEN expansions in the box, which we haven't tried any of yet. A lot of value in that little box though, and I am looking forward to trying a couple of variants soon.

I also had a chance to try out a nifty little dice game called Art of War. Ironically enough I had been looking at this game on the same evening I bought Onirim, and damned near bought it. I may still do, but we'll see. I'm not sure how much fun it will be with smaller groups, but it was great with 6 players!

Mid-week I got to play another 250 rep game of Batman Miniature Game. My opponent was gracious enough to let me try out my "Batman Beyond" character profile to give it a little more testing. I had a few changes in mind from previous runs, but this game really cemented them. I removed a special rule, changed another and added the full Fly and Hover rules text to my custom card. I'm basically calling him done at this point.

Additionally, I quite enjoy playing my basic cops lead by Commissioner Loeb at 250. Batwoman swaps out nicely for Batman Beyond in 'real' games and also complements the cops well. I have to get my Batgirl figure painted so that I can try some variants. Playing crews led by Gordon and Brandon will really help me get a good handle on the Law Forces. Adding in one or two Free Agents like Catwoman could prove interesting as well, but I can play lots of games with that group while I get my next batch of BMG figures painted up.

Sunday was a nice day for gaming as a friend dropped by to share some beer. We cranked through several games during the afternoon including:

  • Hemloch by Smallbox Games - I lost by ONE point. Great little card game with a deceptive amount of depth.
  • Project Pandora by Mantic Games - I won 2 games to 3. Not a bad game...need to paint it!
  • Last Night on Earth by Flying Frog Productions - Dynamite FTW! Die zombie spawn zones, die!
  • Dungeon Twister: Forces of Darkness - A bit more complex than the base game, but very thematic and quite a bit of fun. I lost this one handily.

Finally I want to chat about my newest acquisition in the plastic/metal/resin/whatever addiction space: Infinity N3. I picked up the core rule book w/ the exclusive bounty hunter miniature and the "Operation: Icestorm" starter box w/ CSU miniature.

I have long salivated over the lovely minis produced by Corvus Belli for their tabletop game Infinity. The purported complexity of the 2nd edition rules, and the miniatures, kept me away. Having garnered experience with more complicated metal miniature construction with the likes of BMG and Carnevale however, I felt like I was finally ready for the task. It will be a few weeks before I can get the figures onto the workbench for construction but I'm looking forward to it. A few feelers have been sent out amongst the community to see if I can find someone to help me learn the basics, but if not I can muddle through the Icestorm box on my own.

So much shiny stuff...I have no willpower.

October 01, 2015

September 2015 Progress Report

September didn't feel like a terribly productive month, but doing these progress reports serves as a nice reminder to me that I haven't been entirely idle. Let's have a quick recap!

Modeling / hobby:

- Fixed Copperhead broken during a demo of Batman Miniature Game. She also got a little more putty work done to really make sure the joins were looked after.
- I prepped and based the Hell Division trio and more police figures for Empire of the Dead. I've also decided to include the "Gentleman Bat" figure (created by some top-notch fellows over on LAF) in this batch. Total of 12 figures ready for paint.
- I applied basing materials to my 25mm Jaffa minis in hopes of someday getting my Stargate project further along. Total of 22 soldiers and the like.
- All of my MDF western buildings from August got a spray coat of black primer.
- Finished a bit of customization work to an o-scale train water tower model I bought a while back.
- Sculpted custom bases for a set of the ninja figures from the Rise of the Kage core game. These seven minis also got a brush-on coat of primer.
- Bought three PlastCraft western buildings to complete my town, but was only able to construct one of them in September.
- Added another half-dozen SuperFigs models to my collection, all of whom are now cleaned, assembled, based and ready for painting.


- Painted up two Bones cowboys and a strumpet model for western gaming.
- Finally completed my "Alpha Flight" team of miniatures with addition of Vindicator.  Following this I have also finally sourced models for the rest of my Omega Flight team...which I do hope to complete before year's end.
- Completed five more SuperFigs: Kragg, Emerald Alien, The Wisp, Elasti-Woman and Perun. I was so happy with how these models turned out that I promptly bought more figures!

So what's next?

After some rather 'meh' games of Power Legion this year I decided to see what SuperSystem 4th Edition was all about and have ordered a printed copy of the rules from I'm looking forward to getting a bunch of my superhero models on the table for some games.

My western town is really taking shape and I'm almost ready to start painting. I'm planning on using my airbrush to do a lot of the heavy lifting, but before I get to that I want to lay all the buildings out and decide what each of them is going to be (bank, hotel, mercantile, etc).

I've put together a list of small pieces I want to buy for other projects going forward, both figures and some scenery bits. There's so much great stuff out there nowadays that it is extremely challenging to restrict myself to just one or two projects at a time!

In terms of figures my immediate plan is to complete painting my Batwoman figure for BMG. The list of things I can tackle after that is long (big surprise), but will likely remain pretty fluid based on available free time, weather (winter is coming...) and my own mood on any given day. Of course I'm always up for suggestions about what you'd like to see. Post it in the comments below!

September 30, 2015

VS 2PCG Starter Box - Initial Thoughts

When Upper Deck announced that they would be reviving my beloved VS System I was very excited. It was my first and only true love when it came to collectable card games, and I had run a local scene in my city for over five years, including keeping it alive for almost two years after the game had been cancelled.

So when a friend brought the new VS 2PCG core set out for us to try the other day I was cautiously optimistic. As there were four of us we tried a 2v2 game. It didn't take long to get sorted out and look over the cards. Superficially they look almost identical to the old cards, but in terms of game play this is a very different game.

I admit that it was only a single play, but I really disliked the change to resources. It felt so similar to Magic the Gathering to me in that the colours for resource felt like basic lands. That in itself is not a bad thing, but it soured me on the game almost immediately, as I truly dislike having to include cards that are basically dead in order to run my deck. Especially since unlike Magic where I can use those basic lands every turn, here I'm restricted to using that card once per game. Certainly I could build around that requirement and use characters with powers that are always active...but that's not really the point.

The focus on having a main character rather than an endurance total is a change that works with the new game, and I am willing to try it again a few times. Unfortunately the lack of any DC material is a killer for me as I prefer their characters over Marvel. Rumours abound that Aliens and Firefly might be forthcoming in expansions but that likely isn't going draw me in.

Naming the game "VS" does it and the old game a bit of a disservice. Sadly I don't think the new version of VS was made for me, which is perfectly fine. I likely wasn't the audience Upper Deck was aiming at capturing, and I'm lucky enough to have thousands of old cards and opponents to play that game with.

VS System is dead, but she lives on in my heart. RIP.

September 24, 2015

Test Game of Pulp City: Supreme Edition

A little history

Long ago I acquired most of a Pulp City collection from someone over on the Lead Adventure forums. Despite getting screwed out of several figures it was still a pretty good deal. I painted some figures and gave the original rules a spin on my own to get a feel for the game. A few of my friends were mildly interested in the game, but I never got it off the ground.

Last year Pulp Monsters ran a Kickstarter campaign to get their new Supreme Edition of the game printed and out to customers. After looking at the costs to add the models I was missing, I instead chose to go with the Collector's Pledge level as it ended up being almost the same price, but with twice the models.

When it arrived a few months back I was very excited to see it arrive. Dampening my excitement was the sheer amount of time it took to sort through the bags of unlabelled figures, only to find that several things were missing. Both sets of my add-on dice, an entire set of cards, the resin monster kit, lots of figures and lots of cards, all missing. The folks at Pulp Monsters have been helpful in trying to move things along, but I'm several months into waiting for these missing items to be provided with no deliver timeframe confirmed as of yet.

With rumblings of them starting up another Kickstarter (much smaller in scope this time), I want to support it, but I would also like the outstanding issues I have with the first one resolved first. The amount of money I put in really should get me some decent service I feel.

On to the test drive!

Not wanting that huge box of figures to sit idle, I decided to dig through the cards and see what kind of teams I could put together with the figures I did have painted. One of my painted figures was among those missing a supreme edition card, but the rest of them were all in the box. I could field heroes vs villains up to a level 11 battle, which I thought would be way too hard to play, so I elected for a level 5 encounter with three models per side.

Heroes: Ace of Wraiths, Crimson Oni and Red Riding Hoodoo w/ zombie wolf
Villains: Night Fright, Doom Train and Gentleman

I wanted to see if the quick-start pamphlet that came with the hero starter box (I got the box and cards but no minis for the villain starter) would be sufficient for learning the game basics with. I had to flip that sheet over a LOT of times, but other than a definition for "stealth" taking a long time to find, it actually provided all the info I needed. I ignored agendas, master plans and all the rest, knowing a basic slug fest would be difficult enough.

One of the things I wanted to investigate was what kind of bits and bobs I'd need to play the game. How many dice, tokens, markers and the like was I going to need? The short answer is, you'll need lots of stuff to make the game quick and easy to play:

- plenty of dice: 12 or more, preferably split up in two different colours (regular dice and power dice).
- markers: at a minimum you'll need fatigue tokens and action tokens, ~2 of each per model.
- clear card sleeves and a dry erase marker: unless you want to use MORE tokens to track wounds, this will be a necessity.
- a way to track effects: in my test game I only came across spectral and suppressed, but I'm sure there are more as you add different supremes to your games. I wrote them on the cards, but erasing them every turn without accidentally erasing the damage track was challenging.

The (preliminary) Verdict

Pulp City is a game I want to like, and I do, but it's not without its learning curve. There are a lot of abbreviations and symbols you need to learn. Dice bonuses that stack or don't, and different kind of tests can occur. The game has got lots of cool archetypal characters, a broad and colourful setting and a huge array of options when it comes to building teams to play your games with...and of course the models are quite lovely.

The game play felt fluid and relatively quick once I started to understand how to activate models. Some confusions arose due to the difference between activating supremes and minions which aren't clear on the quick start pamphlet. I like that you can move and perform multiple things with a single model each round. There's a lot to like here.

Now if only the rest of my stuff would arrive...and I could find other people who cared to play...


September 21, 2015

Superfigs Invasion!

Years back I bought a good number of SuperFigs from one of my local shops. They're a little bit dated looking, but I have to say that every time I paint one of them I enjoy the experience. The detail on them is nicely exaggerated; they really do evoke a comic book feel. I'll likely be picking up some more soon if I can find them.

One downside to working with SuperFigs is that they are all cast with very large integrated metal bases. Every one I've bought has been too big to fit on a standard 30mm base. If base size is important to you, clipping and cleanup will have to be done in order to integrate them into your collection. It's worth the effort in my opinion.

My favourite figure from the line is still Krieghunde, which I painted long ago and have used in several games with different rule sets. According to the SuperSystem rules available for the figures, he is a member of a team called the "Larcenous Legion." I picked up a few other figures who are also part of that team.

First up is "The Wisp"; it's not a very inspired character name, but the pose is decent, despite the blocky hands and a rather mannish face. The paint work on the legs turning to mist looks better than I'd expected, despite it being some simple washes and dry brushing.

Another on-the-nose named character: Elasti-Woman. Essentially a female version of the Joker with elasticity / stretching powers. The studio paint scheme I found for her really didn't work in my opinion. Knowing that I have a huge crew of Joker miniatures to paint for the Batman Miniature Game in the near future, she was a great experiment. Despite the figure being only so-so, I think the paint work I did really makes her interesting to look at.

Beware the Larcenous Legion!

Emerald Alien didn't actually end up being painted green. Back when I was working on the last set of objectives for BMG I mixed up a really nice pearlescent colour. This figure was on the workbench next to me and I had enough paint to use on him. Extremely simple to add the green eyes and call him finished.

Perun is an absolute GIANT of a figure, quite literally. When I bought him I wasn't terribly impressed with the sculpt. When I dug through my bases to find something for him and got him mounted, it really started to come together. The shading and colours I picked are really pleasing to me and I'd be proud to put this guy on anyone's table for a game.

This shiny paint scheme was actually an experiment. I recently played and finished Arkham Knight on PS4. One of the selectable skins is a Batman 3000 red and black outfit. I think it looks really striking and plan on doing something like it with my Arkham Origins Batman figure. Kragg seemed like a good choice to try it out on, and I'm very happy with it.

"Uhh...let's go that way?"

All these figures make me want to play a game, so I'm going to dig up my SuperSystem 3rd edition and get a bunch of these on the table really soon!

September 18, 2015

Original Alpha Flight Complete w/ Vindicator!

It surprised me when I looked back at the dates of my earliest Alpha Flight conversion posts. This has taken me nearly two years to complete, but with the addition of Vindicator I'm finally finished.

Truthfully this figure has actually been fully painted for the past three months. Like the Bones strumpet figure she was simply waiting for a large enough batch of figures to be completed for a round of basing to take place.

Like most Heroclix, the sculpt of the figure was relatively decent. Her hands and feet are a little too big but otherwise the pose is good, if covered with way too much paint. I stripped it off in some acetone, and shortly thereafter dropped the figure on the floor and busted off her head. A quick spot of glue made that problem easily forgotten

Unlike my previous Guardian repaint, I shaded the white part of her suit with a grey wash which enhances the shadows. It's quite obvious when they're next to each other, but separately they both look good. In fact, I think I actually prefer the unshaded Guardian in this particular project.

I still don't really like the 'wonder twins' version of Aurora and Northstar. Perhaps I'll find another old clix figure and see if I can't make that work this time. The early Aurora figure is way better too...

However, my Alpha Flight project is done. For now...

September 17, 2015

Reaper Bones: Gunfighters & Temptress

All of these figures are from the first Bones Kickstarter campaign from Reaper Miniatures. First up is one of the fantasy civilians. I've actually had this one painted for a few months, but she languished on the prep table awaiting enough other completed figures for me to do a batch of basing and static grass.

More recently, after having done two batches of police I wanted to paint some single figures. So I decided to add some more folks to my western gaming collection. One of the two western figures from the campaign looked a lot like Zoe from Firefly, so that's how I painted her. I tried using more natural colours and think she turned out great.

The other one looks quite obviously looks like Lee van Cleef. He was a really easy paint job and looks exactly as I'd planned. Unfortunately it wasn't until I'd primed him that I noticed the one pistol being bent. I tried the hot water trick after I finished painting, but it seems that the paint adds just enough rigidity that I can't reposition it. In the long run I don't really care.

The do look great together don't they? I have to confess that I find the Bones figures to be very easy to paint. I imagine that's more due to the quality of the sculpting than the material. Doing these in metal would have been just as simple I'd wager. I'll be writing up some profiles for them so I can use them in Blackwater Gulch or Legends of the Old West.

September 15, 2015

Loads of New Kickstarter Arrivals

A bevy of new stuff has arrived at my door since the month started. In my excitement I didn't take much in the way of photos, but here's a quick recap.

Mantic Games sent a combined package with the final pieces from the Dreadball Xtreme Kickstarter campaign. It included the season 5 and 6 books, loads of new teams, a campaign set, a lovely mouse-mat style Dreadball original board and all the stuff for building new teams and playing multiplayer in Dreadball Xtreme. The amount of stuff I have for these two games is embarrassing, and a little sad, since I've not played Xtreme yet despite having it in my possession since last December.

That same package also included a few bits and bobs from the more recent Kings of War second edition campaign. No army sets yet, but some tokens and templates, the KS-exclusive Blaine and Ronaldino the Bard all showed up. Additionally I received both the hardcover and the gamer's edition of the rule books. I have an older starter set which isn't built, and plenty of figures from all of the Dwarf King's Hold series, which are built. I might put together a few rough movement trays and give the rules a look through with those while I wait.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet up with Uncle Mike and pick up my materials for Strange Aeons. I know that some folks are disappointed that us locals were able to do that, but trust me you'll be happy once things arrive. The new book looks tops, and the casting quality this time around is truly quality stuff.

If I were to level one gripe it would be over the mini-books for the Threshold and Lurkers. The page orientation doesn't really make sense and is an oversight that will make a lovely accessory a little more difficult to use than I'd like. Basically when you flip the pages, the upper page is upside down, which means you'll be turning this book around a lot.

Finally comes Rise of the Kage, from the same folks that make Bushido. This is happily a single shipment and the contents are really well done. The expansion box is far larger than it needs to be, but it'll provide lots of room to store all the figures that came with the package. Said figures are quite variable in how much bending and warping they display, but I'm positive they'll shape up with a dip in some warm water.

I also purchased the Bushido card pack to allow me to play with several of these figures in that game, and am greatly looking forward to putting together a game of ninja versus pirates!

September 02, 2015

August 2015 Progress Report

August was a really productive month. Between my other half away visiting family and me sleeping even less than my usual there was a lot accomplished.

Modeling / Painting

- I primed the remainder of the figures I'd built for Batman Miniature Game (18 in total)
- Finished painting the original hero miniatures for Guardians Chronicles
- Painted my first figures for Batman Miniature Game: uniformed cops (5 figures)
- Repainted two Heroclix: Barbara Gordon and Batman Beyond. There's a custom profile card created by me on the blog, but I didn't feature Barbara. Can you spot her in last month's posts?
- Completed my entire batch of Law Forces for Batman Miniature Game with four SWAT troopers and three officers (7 figures)
- Added a full set of extra walls/fences to my Garden of Morr set and got it all painted up.

Construction / Terrain

- I touched up a western wagon toy given me by a friend. It looks pretty good, but I'm not sure when it'll make an appearance on the blog.
- After finishing the Garden of Morr I remembered I had a "Deathknell Watch" kit hiding in a drawer somewhere. I put that together over a Sunday evening.
- Laid out the majority of my custom Arkham Asylum build, waiting on one more set of parts to complete

On Monday another package arrived from Mantic Games with more stuff from a few of their Kickstarter campaigns to sort through, and I've got some Eaglemoss Batmobile models to look over for scenery on my gaming table. After I do that I'll be settling in to decide on what my next hobby project will be!

Here are a few ideas I have in my considerable hobby-backlog (in no particular order):

- Stargate SG-1 team, Jaffa army, and stargate
- Destro, Baroness and Iron Grenadier troopers
- ONI Korps figures and painting for AT-43
- Green Hornet / Batman '66 crossover
- Arkham Asylum custom build
- paint more Batman Miniature Game figures
- Guild Ball team prep and paint
- GCPD headquarters custom build
- Dreadball Xtreme core game
- Terminator Geni-sys core game painting completion

Feel free to chime in with your vote on the next project you want to see me tackle!

August 31, 2015

Garden of Morr...With Even More Morr

Here's a quick post to finish off the month of August. I bought the Games Workshop "Garden of Morr" several years ago, with an eye to using it for games of Strange Aeons or possibly Empire of the Dead.  Some of these pieces even made an appearance in a game or two of Batman.

A few months ago I had done most of the painting required on the fences, but more recently I added an extra set of all the walls from friend who had used parts for another scenery project. Some repair work had to be done on that set, as the spikes on all of the walls had been removed. I needed some patience but was able to glue appropriate pieces back in place. Some of them look like they've been bent down or replaced.

Painting was accomplished largely through dry brushing using my standard colours for stone and dirt. I did use some P3 Cryx Bane Base to give it a bit of green before painting the foliage. I opted against painting all of the roses sculpted in, I thought it would look too busy.

The last step of the painting were the three buildings from the set. More drybrushing was the order of the day here, but I also tried a little experiment on the roofs of the buildings; I guess they're technically mausoleums right? I tried two different colours of bronze paint, then applied a heavy amount of GW's technical oxide paint with an unpronounceable name. While it was still wet I wiped downwards with a paper towel to remove some of it and simulate the effect of gravity.

It didn't look great initially, but once it completely dried I was very happy with it! I have another project that it will be coming in handy on very soon.

I may add some patches of static grass and clump foliage to enhance the texture in the future, but for now I'm calling it done.

August 24, 2015

Gotham City SWAT - Figures For Batman Miniature Game

I've been on a bit of a roll this week, getting a total of a dozen figures completely painted for the Batman Miniatures Game by Knight Models. Fast following the footsteps of my uniformed police I have completed the remaining Law Forces figures.

The four SWAT officers and Branden started out with the same P3 Exile Blue as the uniformed officers. A light coat of black covered most of the rest of the figures. It was almost a wash, but perhaps a little thicker. I dry brushed this with GW Fortress Grey and then washed the whole lot with GW Asurmen Blue. After that I went back in and highlighted with Exile Blue and Fortress Grey. The blue got another highlight of a 1:1 mix of Exile Blue and Army Painter Shadow Grey.

The detective in the back is essentially the same as the uniformed cops from last week, just with the trouser and shirt colours reversed. He and Branden got a basic five o'clock shadow with some GW Ogryn Flesh wash. The goggles and Gordon's glasses were painted white then washed with blue, and finally given a gloss coat for some shine.

Gordon was intentionally painted to stand out from the rest. His pants and hair were base coated with GW Scorched Brown, and the jacket done with P3 Gun Corps Brown. Both were given a wash of AP Soft Tone and then highlighted with the base colours again. A second highlight of P3 Bloodtracker Brown was applied to the pants and and a 1:1 mix of P3 Beast Hide and Gun Corps Brown highlighted the jacket.

Before the final hour I spent painting them, I was happy with the officers, but not the 5 SWAT. I had tried to make them semi-realistic and it wasn't very eye catching. Adding some small metal highlights, the goggle varnish and a few tiny highlight touches really helped. The addition of the red scopes helped tie them all together and make them look like the trained soldiers the should be.

Well, that's a full dozen members of GCPD who've crossed my painting table this week. Colour me one satisfied painter for now. I'm not sure what I'm going to tackle next!

August 21, 2015

Custom: Batman Beyond For BMG

While I was working on my uniformed police for the Batman Miniatures Game I also started to paint my Batwoman figure. Repainting a Batman Beyond figure from Heroclix would be the perfect opportunity to test the colour techniques without potentially ruining a $22 figure from Knight Models.

The sculpt for Batman Beyond is very good. He's almost perfectly in scale with the BMG figures and the paint only needed a bit of touching up. I covered the red of the cape with GW Mephiston Red and then a wash of GW Baal Red wash. That was followed by a liberal coat of the base colour, leaving some shadows in the recesses. For a highlight I mixed in some P3 Orange (probably about 1:1) and applied several, gradually smaller coats for a final highlight.

It was difficult taking a good picture of this guy.

Black is a colour that you could take forever painting, but I didn't have the desire to do much work on this so I went for a technique I've used in the past. P3 Coal Black drybrush, followed by a wash of Badab Black. It's very subtle, but I'm happy with it. For Batwoman I might go into more detail and try using glazes. Might. (but probably not)

I had to paint in his eyes several times to get them to look even. I used P3 Menoth White Highlight instead of pure white. He's mounted on a hand-sculpted base.

"What the hell was that?"

I'd really love to track down an Eaglemoss 1:43 die cast Batmobile from the cartoon for my collection, even though it would serve zero purpose and the figure couldn't actually sit in it. Barring that however, I created a character profile for him for the Batman game. Thanks to Brad for providing me with the blank card template! He's the first Batman that's not Bruce Wayne, so I opted to make him a Sidekick to allow him to partner up with the old man from time to time.

I forgot to put Law Forces in his affiliation list. Pretend it's there.

If you give the character a try, I'd really love to hear about it. Give me some feedback on how he works out. Is he over- or under-powered for his reputation cost? I tried to make him different from other Batman characters in the game, but do worry that I made him too good. I'll need to test it out in a few games...provided I can find an opponent these days.