June 17, 2015

Batman Miniatures Game - 250 Rep Game Report

Continuing my journey into the Batman Miniatures Game, we played another game over the weekend. We elected to play a 250 rep game. My opponent stuck with the Arrow crew: Arrow, Huntress, adding Ron w/ ammo, a Policeman w/ whistle and a Policewoman w/ whistle. I played my Bane crew again: Origins Bane, Mohawk w/ grapple, Smash w/ Titan, Dallas and Copperhead.

We rolled the "Plunder" scenario and set up. I ended up with two lamps and sewers to Brad's one of each. The small number of lamps for the scenario was of benefit to me, as I'd have more room to maneuver without getting shredded by ranged fire from Arrow and Huntress. Both crews took riddle, loot and Titan as their objectives.

Here are some game highlights:

- The riddle tokens were attempted early. The first for each side were failed, but we didn't have any VP to lose. The other two netted 1VP for my crew.
- Extra ammo was picked up by Huntress and Dallas. It became a question for me as to whether I sit on the ammo for VP or get out there and do something! I sent Dallas to go shoot at police officers.
- Copperhead disappeared into the sewers early, waiting for a good time and place to return.
- Whistles for the cops are powerful. I used Smash's Titan dose at the beginning of round 3, but wasn't able to attack with him that turn. The policeman kept allocating special so I could never move. (I'm actually not sure if we are playing the Stop rule correctly. Not being able to move or spend MC while in the cops line of sight feels almost broken.)
- Bane wasted his efforts on Ron when he should have chased down Huntress instead. This might have allowed Bane or Smash to do something, or at least force him to load up on special tokens.
- I finally used the "Inspire" and "Follow Me" rules and was impressed with the result. Being able to use a Titan dose and inspire a henchman is pretty awesome.
- Arrow blinded Mohawk and stopped him from picking up a Titan dose like I'd planned. In the next turn however, Mohawk grappled up and pushed that prick off a building. Happy dance!
- Mohawk dropped down to help Copperhead out with a very annoying defensive policewoman.
The game ended up 16 to 12 in favour of my crew. Not much of a victory, but I'll take it.

General thoughts about the game

We played through this one quite a bit faster but it's still a lengthy process for us. As our experience grows we are trying new things (like Inspire and Push) which is great. We are still slow because we are both learning. It'd be a lot faster if we had an experience player to help us along.

Thoughts about Copperhead

The only knowledge of Copperhead I have is from the Arkham Origins video game. I dig the character design and she seemed a good fit for my Bane crew so I bought the model. According to the FAQ she is missing Undercover on the card which makes a huge difference to her playability in my mind.

Undercover is a great ability, and that 4 attack is very solid. She can really load up on attack dice but the challenge I had was hitting anything with her 5+ strength.  That's not a problem with Copperhead, simply my ability to roll dice. I should have been taking advantage of technique, rather than putting counters into defence. If I'd focused on knocking down the policewoman with technique Mohawk could have gone off to do other things. All in all I enjoyed how Copperhead played and will definitely be using her in future games.

June 16, 2015

Batman Gaming Materials - Objectives, Lamps & Sewers

Part of my very first order from Knight Models for the Batman Miniature Game was a set of their objective markers. Along with those first figures I also ordered a pack of the lamps and sewers which included three of each. I knew I'd want to be able to run demoes and games with my friends, so in a future order from Endalyon, I added another set of objectives and two more sets of lamps and sewers (the two-packs this time).

There are seven of these total

The first thing I painted for the game awhile back was that original set of objectives. Next I started in on the lamps and sewer tokens. I'd planned on leaving the sewer tokens without bases but once the lamps were painted something just didn't seem right, so I ended up basing everything. It works fine and they look decent enough. It's tough doing something interesting with plain old manhole covers. They look alright on the table, but strike me as a touch boring really...although they did photograph rather nicely.

The arched lamps turned out quite well. I'm considering making it look like the lamps are actually casting light at some point. In the short term however I'm calling them finished.

The gas lamps proved to be a pain. This had nothing to do with the models however; I decided to use some GW Flesh Wash on them which ruined everything! The pigmentation in that wash is really high and it stained the underlying paint so thoroughly that I had to repaint them entirely. They're just markers, but necessary for every game of BMG we'll be playing so I'm happy to have them finished.

The printed rule book changed how riddle objectives worked by requiring two tokens on the table for a single selection, so I had to make a second pair and get them painted up alongside the second pack of official markers. They were very easy to make and turned out handsomely I think. I actually think that I like them better than the official ones.

As for the second objective pack, I converted the Titan the same way as the first one I painted. I sort of themed them so that I'd have one set of 'blue' tokens and one 'green'. I was going to paint my custom riddles blue as well, but decided against it, since they were already visibly different from the other pair.

It might seem pretty silly to be so excited about tokens and lampposts, but I've quite proud of how they all came out. Now if only I had some bloody figures for the game painted them I could really have something to crow about...

June 15, 2015

Incursion "Buckets 'o Blood" Pledge Rewards Arrive

I've posted a few times about Incursion by Grindhouse Games. The campaign offered up some excellent looking figures and an update to a game I quite like. They (as most campaigns do) got caught with shipping and production delays, but things are finally here. It was a bit of surprise as I hadn't received any shipping notification. That's certainly not worth complaining about. Good job on getting the game out to backers folks!

The box for the core game is massive and has a ton of stuff inside. With all the stretch goal zombies we got there is something like five dozen zombies to use in your games. The Snafu expansion box isn't quite as large as the core game, although it is still a rather hefty package. Both boxes contain a copy of the new submarine tile as well as the new 'Assets' book.

It's nice to see that all the extra items come in a standard size box with a nice tray. I've put the extra dice into the other boxes, but otherwise haven't really done much beyond look at everything. The quality of the plastics is good, and the only complaint I have from my brief look is the size of the head on the KS exclusive German figure. It's very obviously too small for the body. I didn't order any of the metals but I would guess that it's an artifact of the plastic production process. It's sad to see but really not a big deal in the long run.

I'm very happy that the package has been delivered and am looking forward to playing with the new set. On the other hand however, I must confess that my excitement for the game has been tempered by the long wait, and the fact that I have a copy of the 1st edition. There is a lot of gaming goodness to be had in these boxes. When I'll actually get to it is another matter entirely.

June 08, 2015

Batman Miniatures Game - 200 Rep Game Report

We played another 200 reputation game of Batman Miniature Game last week. Brad chose to run his TV Arrow and Huntress duo against my crew of Arkham Origins Bane, Ted Hunter, Dallas and Smash w/ a Titan dose.

Sadly the photos I had taken for this game got deleted. My riveting text description will have to suffice.

We rolled the Skirmish scenario and set up our sewers, lamps and objectives. I deployed first, putting Ted on the West, Dallas on the East and Bane & Smash together in the centre. The middle of the board was cluttered with lampposts, but there were only two sewer markers on the table. The low number of sewers would make them nearly useless so I was able to ignore them and make the heroes come to me.

I drew initiative first and had Dallas move up the East side. He was able to solve his riddle for 2 victory points but was then promptly taken out by Arrow in second round of play. The early loss of my best gun was disheartening but I tried not to let it deter me.

Smash and Bane move up the street in the centre of board. The Titan container I had placed was around the corner of the building so I sent Smash there. Although he was in the light and a viable target for Arrow, Smash was able to pick up some VPs from it for a turn or two.

Ted moved up to an enemy riddle objective and failed to solve it (losing me 1VP). Not immediately needed I moved him back a bit to pick up some VPs on a nearby ammo objective. Huntress and Bane were staring each other down, so I waited to who would blink first. Bane's 'large' evened up her 'acrobat', so when she elected to stay put I knew it was time to strike.

Arrow continued firing from the rooftops. He caused two blood damage to Bane who charged out from behind the bus and headed for Huntress. Landing a lethal blow Huntress suffered several stun markers and got knocked down.  Smash moved toward the fray, having popped a Titan dose but was unable to move far enough to join the combat.

Seeing that Arrow was running low on ammo, Bane left Smash to deal with Huntress and retreated around the bus. Ted moved in to take a shot at Huntress. The shot landed, and Bane and Smash finished off Huntress. Arrow indeed ran out of ammo and has to descend to street level for the final two rounds of the game.

Smash was nearly taken out by Arrow, but being outnumbered three to one was simply too much for him. Arrow suffered a KO but makes his check and gets up at the end of the final round, robbing me of the extra scenario VP.

Victory points were a resounding 23 to 2 for Bane and his crew at the end of the game.

Post-Game Thoughts

Bane is a beast needing three stun/blood tokens to start slowing him down. I even misplayed this on one round and he still threw down a whuppin'. I need to remember to use the 'Follow Me' and 'Inspire' special rules to make the crew even more effective as a unit.

I hate TV Arrow, because he starts the game with so much ammo. It's really tough to avoid him for the first 3 or 4 turns of the game, during which I know he will likely kill at least one of my henchmen. I know that if I can wait him out and take control of the ammo on the table he'll eventually have to come down to my level.

Ted Hunter is a great replacement for McGregor. That shotgun is scary to the opposition as moving doesn't penalize its rate of fire. Dallas is the larger threat in terms of ranged combat but if my opponent is spending time shooting at him, Ted is creeping up to shoot them in the back. With a shotgun.

The only thing Bane's crew seems to lack is the mobility to get onto buildings. You'll need to rely on camping on objectives, covering fire and possibly using sewers to trap more mobile foes. Being an elite force however they might find being outnumbered (up against Joker or Penguin perhaps) quite the challenge.

Huntress doesn't seem like a great partner for Arrow. Without a batclaw she's stuck on the ground and will almost always be outnumbered, especially if Ollie stays perched somewhere playing sniper. Sure she's got acrobat which provides her with high mobility and bullet-dodging awesomeness...but picking up the odd VP while Arrow hangs her out to dry seems an ineffective strategy.

If I were to play this list I would change it, to something complete different. Yep, you heard me. However, I feel like comic Green Arrow, Speedy and a cop might be a better crew at 200 rep. TV Arrow is a tougher cookie than comic Arrow but that cop can pick up some safe VPs while Speedy provides some run-and-gun on the ground. The stat drop in going down to comic Arrow isn't a huge loss in my opinion.

June 02, 2015

Tablescapes Tile Sets Arrive!

Next up we have the modular Tablescapes terrain tiles from Secret Weapon Miniatures which arrived early last week.

It feels like it has been a very long time since I put my money in on this campaign. Secret Weapon had HUGE delays in shipping due to some cash flow problems and short-ordering the number of tiles they needed to fill backer pledges. I think the most frustrating part for me was seeing people who had pre-ordered the tiles commercially receiving them nearly a year ago. I understand that mistakes do happen but it was challenging to stay patient.

One thing to note would be that Justin at Secret Weapon was very transparent about the challenges he was facing with the product fulfillment, and that transparency bought him a lot of goodwill with the backer community. It's something that other companies running, or thinking about running, campaigns should think about. Even when things are going sideways, it's always in your best interests to tell your backers the truth about what's happening in a timely fashion.

I ordered two 16-tile sets: one normal urban streets set, and one ruined temple set. The street tiles came in commercial packaging but the other set didn't. It really doesn't matter to me, but it would have been nice to have a box for each simply to store them in when they're not being used.

The detail on the tiles is absolutely fabulous. They'll take some time and work to paint up, but I know that both sets will look amazing once they're finished. I had a chance to try out the city tiles over the weekend for a game of Batman and will post that image in a day or so. The variety of layouts one could create with the 16 tile set is amazing. The only thing I wish that had been included is a simple corner. All of the streets are either straight or t-junctions. A corner piece would have been a great addition.

The ruined temple tiles definitely take top marks of the two sets. The variation of detail from tile to tile, the different pieces of interest through, the amphitheatre ruins...it's really a work of art this set. Another thing to note is the amount of vertical depth on some of the temple tiles is simply amazing! It'll make them a little more challenging to store than the street tiles, but oh the problems to have...

I ordered up a set of Badger Minitaire airbrush paints to use on these. The amount of tiles would take ages to paint with traditional brushes, and I know I will be able to get much better (and faster) results via airbrush, even with my extremely limited airbrushing skills.

Note: Tile images 'borrowed' from the Secret Weapon website.

June 01, 2015

May 2015 Progress Report

With all the hobby and gaming stuff arriving lately I've been trying to find ways to keep myself motivated. The mountain of 'stuff to do' keeps growing at a rate faster than I can manage. Keeping that in mind I started keeping track of the stuff I am accomplishing each month. A lot like working out, writing down what you did can help one maintain focus as you move forward.

May Progress Report

- Painted Martian Dreadball team (this included building 2 custom players out of the Mars Attacks wounded markers)
- Built two packs of gas lamp posts for Batman Miniature Game
- Stripped and began repainting base game figures for Guardians Chronicles
- Stripped and fully repainted Heroclix Vindicator (Heather Hudson)
- Painted "strumpet" figure from Reaper Bones line
- Built Commissioner Gordon GCPD starter (4 figures)
- Built Corrupt Cops GCPD starter (4 figures)
- Fixed massively busted UNA Fire Toad for AT-43
- Built second token pack for Batman Miniature Game (including two custom Riddle tokens)
- Built booster figures for Batman Miniature Game (Alfred, Batwoman, Police Booster 1, Police Booster 2, Copperhead)
- Base and prep cowboys from Reaper Bones line (2 figures)

So as you can see there has been a lot going on behind the scenes here. A lot of these items haven't been shown on the blog but they will appear when they're fully painted and their bases fully finished. It's still helpful for me to note it all down however, as it's all progress in my eyes. With the huge flurry of model construction coming to a close I'm looking forward to sharing more painted figures soon!