February 26, 2015

STAW Open Game at Trilogy

While we are waiting for the next organized play kit to show up at Trilogy Games, a few of us got together yesterday to play some 100-pt games just for fun. I know, I know, playing a game without prizes or tournament support?! What were we thinking...

I played a Mirror Universe fleet with two ships.

Beardy & Smiley Go For A Drive (100pts)

- Mirror Universe Galaxy Class w/ Riker & We Won't Go Back, Jennifer Sisko, Multi-Targeting Phaser Banks and Dorsal Weapons Array
- ISS Defiant w/ Miles O'Brien & Rebellion, Ezri Tigan, Elim Garak and Quantum Torpedoes
- Improved Shields

Alex was playing a TOS-era fleet with Sulu on a flag-shipped Excelsior, Terrell on The Reliant and a generic Constitution class. The second round saw some heavy firepower tossed among the ships and it was looking like it would be a quick game. By the fourth round however most of the ships had passed beyond useful weapons range, although there was the odd torpedo fired off.

Ezri picked up Sulu's Positron beam and the Excelsior took its time rounding the planet. Riker's ship lumbered around, narrowly missing some space debris. Limping along with a single remaining hull point, no way to repair shields and relying on the remaining two improved shield tokens, Riker put down the Constitution class ship only moments before Sulu threw his teacup at the Galaxy class. The impact ruptured the fragile hull and Riker was removed from existence.

The Defiant and the Reliant jousted again as they both turned around the planet and Terrell met with a fiery death. Smiley's Shield and Hull Repair Shop was in full operation while Sulu and Scotty argued over Romulan Ale rather than fixes the their own shields. Down to just the two of them, the Excelsior's four or five missed rounds of shield repair would prove the difference when a highly accurate volley of quantum torpedoes signed their death writ.

Thoughts on the Build

Overall I quite enjoyed playing this fleet. The ships definitely lack turning ability, although I did miss the fact that the Defiant had a come-about maneuver. That would have come in handy. Ezri did her job stealing something that could be used against me and Sisko made Sulu waste a few actions in the early rounds to clear a few of those disabled tokens off. Garak's captain boost also proved highly effective as I was moving last and shooting first for the entire game and my opponent had no way to mess with my crew.

O'Brien's ability proved useful later in the game, and the Defiant's ship ability saved me from critical damage twice, which I'm sure proved the difference. Riker having two target locks without being able to fire was largely a moot point as the primary threat was usually quite obvious. The dorsal array was a decent weapon to have, and really points out the fact that the Galaxy class really should have a 180 (or even a 360) arc. Why it doesn't have something better than it does makes little sense to me.

Playing some games just for fun without the tournament setting was great. It makes me want to dig into some of the scenarios included with the various ship expansions and reminds me how much fun the game can be when it's not all about the competitive list building that generally arises in tournament play.

February 25, 2015

TMNT in 'A Fistful of Kung Fu'

Yesterday we played our first game of A Fistful of Kung Fu by Andrea Sfiligoi, creator of A Song of Blades and Heroes. Unlike most of his Andrea's previous games based on the SOBH engine, this one was not published by Ganesha Games. It has several subtle differences that add up to make it quite a different game than the few I've played before.

Our game was played at 300 points, using a trio of my ninja turtles against Shredder and some of his Foot clan ninja. The turtles were all pointed up as protagonists in an attempt to see if it would work. The rules intend that a list only has one protagonist, one bruiser and any number of extras.

The main benefit of a protagonist is the ability to react to failed activation rolls. With more than one protagonist on my turtle list, even though they were heavily outnumbered, they were able to react with deadly intent several times during my opponent's turn. The game was fun, and it was a good learning opportunity, but I will definitely be revising the lists to make things feel more balanced.

Here are the lists we used:

Ninja Turtles

Leonardo (95pts)
Amphibious, Armour, Aura of the Tiger, Evade and Counter, Protected, Stealth

Raphael (97pts)
Amphibious, Armour, Boiling Blood, Dashing, Protected

Michaelangelo (97pts)
Acrobat, Amphibious, Armour, Flurry of Blows, Protected

We didn't use him, but here is the profile for Donatello as well.

Donatello (90pts)
Amphibious, Armour, Aggressive Tumble, Protected, Throwing Stars

Foot Clan

Shredder (112pts)
Armour, Backstabbing, Evade and Counter, Flurry of Blows, Group Fighter, Low Kick, Signature Weapon

Crimson Oni (57pts)
Acrobat, Dashing, Southern Dragon Claw, Steadfast

Jinx (26pts)
Acrobat, Dashing, Sneaky

Ninja (24pts)
Acrobat, Grenade

Ninja (27pts)
Acrobat, Dashing, Poison

Ninja (17pts)
Acrobat, Throwing Stars

Ninja (19pts)

Ninja (17pts)
Throwing Stars

I reworked the turtle list to see if reducing them all to bruisers will still be playable without being overpowered. I ended up with Splinter being the protagonist and Casey and April as extras. I'm not sure I like it, but I'll have to play it and see how it shakes down.

February 24, 2015

BMG Rule Books Shipping Soon

According to a post by Knight Models on the official English forums for the Batman Miniature Game the printed rule books have arrived! They posted a teaser image which I thought I'd share here.

The KM folks are aiming to begin shipping orders late this week or early next. I for one am really looking forward to receiving my book (Joker limited-edition) and models. I expect it to be several weeks yet, as my order has to wing its way across the Atlantic Ocean.

Have you ordered yours?

February 23, 2015

Local Lawman, One Other Found Dead

Director Silver,

This news clipping was forwarded by Agent Jackson Daniels to you. It arrived this morning. No other information was attached.


Calgary Weekly Herald
Published: Monday Feb 23, 1925
By: Peter Bikram

A local lawman, Carl Selinger, and one as of yet unidentified man were found dead last week in the ruins of the old Victoria Park Asylum. No eye-witnesses to the incident have come forward, although reports from local residents state that gunfire and 'ghastly' noises were heard on the night of the 17th.

Authorities were contacted to provide statement but have refused to comment; only fueling further speculation. Shotgun shell casings, as well as small caliber cartridges were found in the vicinity of the bodies. However, an unnamed source stated that no gunshot wounds were found on the bodies. Requests to examine the remains in detail have also gone unanswered.

Underbrush in the immediate area appeared trampled, and strange 'inhuman' foot prints could be seen on the decaying remnants of the asylum flooring. Although the events of last Tuesday night remain shrouded in mystery, there is little doubt that Selinger was well respected in the law enforcement community and will be sorely missed.

February 11, 2015

Pulp City - Deadeye and Vigilantes

After I'd painted my TMNT figures I knew I would need a Casey Jones and April O'Neil some day. Thinking of Casey my mind pulled this miniature out of the cobwebs of memory. If I was going to paint one figure from the box, I might as well do the whole set. After I glued him to the base I did a quick size comparison and was a little disappointed that he's quite small; about the same size as Splinter. The turtles tower over him quite a bit.

I briefly considered rebasing him on a base topper to match the ones on the turtles, but it would have meant doing all three figures from the box, or just the one and have his base not match the rest of the set. It also might have been pretty difficult gluing him down with just the one heel as a contact point. Maybe trying to pin it would work, but I don't think I have a small enough drill bit to do it. In the end I opted to leave him as he was.

For a brief moment I did try to think of how I might create a golf bag for him to carry. I'm not a good sculptor so I decided to just paint him as is.

The second vigilante figure had a Luke Cage kind of vibe, but the bandana made me think more of Iron Fist, so I went with green and yellow. They're not colours I get to use very often and it's fun adding some more comic vibrancy to my figure collection. The skin I started out painting very dark and dry brushed up two levels to give it some added depth. He was a pretty simple paint job but one that turned out nicely. I'm calling him "Iron Cage," which is extremely lame, but seems appropriate for this dude.

Deadeye was easy. Back when I was painting my very first Dreadball team I did a yellow, blue and white scheme that I really liked. When I messed it up with some inks it became unsalvageable and I had to paint over the yellow with reds; but I always wanted to go back to the colour scheme. This isn't exactly it, as I did the pants in grey, but it looks close and I like it. The freehanded number on the jersey also turned out very well. I'm truly pleased with this one.

Once again I tried using some 'quickshade' on these figures. I don't have the Army Painter dark tone shade; I use a MinWax tudor that I found at a Home Hardware a few summers ago. I went a little too thick with it, although the end results after highlighting the figures I think the result is more than acceptable. While the shading effect is good, the setting time of the varnish and requirement of brushing on an anti-shine afterward (it's winter here, I can't use spray cans), it's not exactly quick.

I'm looking forward to playing a game of Pulp City with them at the head of my hero squad!

February 02, 2015

Original Alpha Flight Nears Completion

This is a project years in the making. Back when I started on these Heroclix repaints only one version of each character existed. Since them some newer versions have appeared. Some, like the new Sasquatch, were amazing. Others, like the new Puck and Shaman, were awful. The rest were somewhere in between.

I have already done an Aurora figure. When I tried to do the same for Northstar I ran into troubles with the material. They were sculpted in mirroring poses, but sculpted with different costumes. I tried to remove the wrist bands, but due to the rubbery nature of the material I wasn't able to do so. He ended up becoming a custom character named Zyklon, who has paired up with Kriegshunde to battle the Exiles on at least one occasion.

New versions of the twins were released in the Guardians set, again sporting mirrored poses. (Looking a little too much like the Wonder Twins for my taste, but whatever.) I rebased them and did some quick touch-ups.

The skin got a light coat of GW Sepia wash. The white was touched up with GW Skull White with no shading. The black parts of their costumes were touched up with P3 Thamar Black and then dry brushed with P3 Coal Black to give it a little bit of depth.

I'm tempted to go back and try doing another version of Northstar using the original figure sculpt, simply because I like that model a lot better. In the meantime I've just got to finish Vindicator and Talisman up to finish the team. Once they're done I'll post a few shots of the full group of figures. The it'll be on to a version of "The Master" and some form of Omega Flight.