Sunday, May 14, 2017

Black Tree Design Dwarf Hammerers and Stone Launcher and June Giveaway


A bit of a painting spree yesterday and today saw me clear my painting list. The two final units are the BTD Dwarf Hammerers pictured above, and the BTD Dwarf Stone Launcher pictured below.

The Hammerers are pretty much painted 'as is', except for the banner pole which I converted to look more GW. The command figures and three dwarves behind them are based on a stone plinth on a multibase, but the rest are based singly. As before, these are for Adrian and so the bases are left unflocked so he can complete them in his own style.


The Dwarf Stone Launcher came from Fg, who bought a few packs of the BTD dwarves way back when but never got around to painting them.

Which brings me to June's giveaway!

I have an extra Stone Launcher, plus a unit of 15 Hammerers to give away for June.

The Stone Launcher is missing the crossbar at the top (the thing that prevents the catapult arm from over-swinging, if you catch my meaning - I use a piece of plastic sprue cut to length to replace it).

The Hammerers come without a musician, and are missing a few shields.

Once again, if you want these two items, do leave a comment, and I will draw a recipient on 01 June. This is not a first-come, first-serve offer.

The offer is free: once I let you know you have been drawn, do let me have your email and mailing address and I will send them off to you. You don't even have to pay for postage; I am just helping Fg give these figures a chance to see some tabletop daylight.

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kings of War 2 first game


Fg and I played two games of KoW this afternoon. This was the first time we played the rules, but they are easy to learn and remember, and with just a few special rules for each of the armies we used. we think we got most of the rules right.

In the first game my goblins spread themselves too thin and did not bring their numerical advantage to bear, and were rolled up on one flank and the whole army destroyed quickly.

In my second game I decided to deploy on a smaller frontage and keep a small reserve. This was a better strategy as it allowed the goblins to execute a number of flank charges on the humans, although with their weak attack and the human's high defence, it took a few rounds to rout a human unit.

The goblins repulsed the attack to their front, and I had just manoeuvred the war haggises (maw beasts in KoW) to charge the human unit that has breached my left flank when they failed their test to charge (due to being Yellow-Bellied), costing me the game.

The hit marker dice holders in action
It has literally been years since we last played a mass-battle game, and both the armies we used today had taken years to be ready, so I am happy that we enjoyed the game. It really does play as fast as people say it does, and the simple movement rules mean that units can and do manoeuvre.

My war haggises!
We played 1000-point games, but I do have enough figures for 2000-point games. The goblins are really quite weak, but I think at higher point games their numbers will be more telling.

I look forward to playing another game soon.


Monday, May 08, 2017

Gazetteer of the Known Galaxy

Map from NASA

This is a gazetteer of the galaxy our Space Opera campaign is set in. The setting is based on the bits of information from the Savage Worlds sci-fi setting, with adapted information from the various modules I use for our sessions. I will update this entry with new information after each session.


General Information

The galaxy is divided politically into three main parts: the human-dominated United Confederation on one side, the Rakashan-led (lion-headed humanoid) Tazanian Empire on the other, and the Neutral Zone between them.

The Neutral Zone was created in the aftermath of the century-long war between the United Confederation and the Tazanian Empire. The are comprises thousands of systems and planets, many of those inhabited. Each system is nominally independent, although several systems may band together to form political unities - however, none rival the power of either the United Confederation or the Tazanian Empire.

Ships from either of the polities are forbidden from entering the Neutral Zone. Trade and transport through and within the Neutral Zone are therefore conducted through third parties, notably the Galactic Teamsters Guild.

The Galactic Teamsters Guild



Having its origins in the pre-hyperspace era of Earth's history, the Galactic Teamsters Guild is a loose organisation of traders, transport workers, and other professionals who are involved in the business of moving large volumes of cargo and personnel through the Neutral Zone and beyond.

The Guild has an open employment policy and does not discriminate based on species, gender, criminal record, and some say competence.

The Guild's headquarters is located at the Galactic Core Point.


Some planets of the Neutral Zone


Tropico


source

A resort planet, where the rich come for their vacations, and the even richer have their vacation homes. Tropico's surface is covered mostly by the ocean, with a belt of islands dotted around its tropical and subtropical zone.

- Notable persons and organisations

Kruger - Billionaire philanthropist, darling of the high society, and crime lord. Kruger has his vacation home on a private island near Tropico City, connected to the mainland by a causeway.

Scabarus - Crime lord and rival of Kruger, indicted for organised crimes on several occasions but never convicted.


Mechano


An industrial planet, where almost every inch of the planet's surface is covered by roads, factories, foundries and refineries, Mechano, also known as Wayland, is ruled by a Syndicate of 25 members elected from the industrial leaders of the planet. The head of the Syndicate, the Syndic, is in turn elected from among these members, for 5-yearly terms.

- Notable persons and organisations

Cyril Kornbluth - The current Syndic who is seeking re-election.

Frederik Pohl - A prominent member of the Syndicate, Pohl is expected to be contesting in the upcoming election.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Labour Day Giveaway

It's been a while since I have given something away on this blog, but due to some errors in the course of making purchases for my Kings of War project, I now have some redundant stuff on my hands which I hope to give a good home to.

The first is a unit of Black Hat Miniatures Dwarf Crossbows, complete with command figures. I ordered a pack of these way back when, but due to an incomplete address it could not be delivered. I ordered a second time, and this time it came, but without the command figures. I painted them up and called it a day.

Then some time later I ordered some War Haggises for my Night Goblin army, and an eagle-eyed employees at Black Hat noticed that the name and address matched that of the undelivered dwarves and sent them along, so now I have an extra unit. So if you are building or planning to build a dwarf army and would like an extra unit, do let me know in the comments sections below. Hopefully you like these figures enough to order more from Black Hat.

You get one command unit...

and 17 of crossbowmen

The second item is a set of D&G Pearl Purple & Gold 36 x D6 Dice Set. I ordered a set of Blue & Gold dice and a set of Green & Gold dice for my human and goblin respectively, but The Dice Shop Online sent me the purple set instead of the green set. I informed them of the mistake, and they sent me the green set, no questions asked. True Story.

Anyway, I am giving away this set of dice, so if you want them, do leave a comment and I will include you in the draw.

Once again, if you want either of these items, do leave a comment stating which item you want, and I will draw a recipient on Labour Day. This is not a first-come, first-serve offer.

The offers are free: once I let you know you have been drawn, do let me have your email and mailing address and I will mail it off to you. You don't even have to pay for the postage; I am hoping that by sharing these product I will help the two companies gain some new business.

Good luck.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Black Tree Design Nightlings


After a long hiatus, I am proud to announce that I have completed the nine BTD Nightlings I have bought for the purpose of creating another unit of squig herders, which will serve as Maw Beasts under the Kings of War rules.

I really love the facial expressions and the animation in these figures, as well as the little details like earrings and bangles the goblins are wearing.




As you can see in the picture above, a similar colour scheme allows them to blend in with the GW figures. The Maw Beasts are supposed to be on cavalry-sized bases, but in KOW, it is only the unit footprint that is important, so I am using a 6 x 5 20mm figures, which have the same footprint.

The GW goblins have different skin tones because they came from different lots I bought on ebay. But we don't discriminate in this army.

In this picture you can see the dice holders which I have added to the movement tray, as well as the green dice I bought especially for this army, which will be used as casualty trackers.

Next on the painting list are 12 War Haggises followed by a unit of 21 BTD dwarf warriors.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Savage Worlds Space Opera Campaign

Picture largely unrelated, but it's the least sexist picture of a spaceship crew I can find...

Welcome to this page. If you have arrived here via the D&D Meetup page, read on. If you have not... well, make yourself feel at home anyway.

Background

One of the biggest difficulties with running an RPG campaign is getting everyone together - scheduling conflicts prevent me from GMing as often as I would like to. As a result, I have decided to try a different way of running a campaign: the players for each session will be gathered from a pool, with the party for the session being the players who can make that particular session. The adventures will take place in the same continuity, and PCs will gain experience and level up, but the players for each session (and therefore the composition of the crew for the session) will likely be different. This is still a campaign and not a series of one-shots.

System and Setting

The rules used will be Savage Worlds core rules plus the Science Fiction Companion, and the setting will be an as-yet-undecided a loosely-detailed space opera world. The PCs are all registered members of the Galactic Teamsters Guild. Each session represents a mission subcontracted out by the Guild to its members: the players who sign up for the session.

The fundamentals of the Savage Worlds rules can be found here.

Character Creation

In the interest of time we will create the characters via email or messaging on Meetup (hopefully) way in advance.

The characters will be semi-pregenerated: you let me know what type of character you would like to play, and I will stat up the character for you within the parameters of the rules. The information required are:


  • Name


  • Species - You can invent your own or stick to the stock humans, aquarian, feline/leonid, canine/lupine, robot/android, plant-based, space-elf, reptilian/saurian, hairy brute/space gorilla, or rubber forehead alien. Let's try to avoid avian/ornith and insectoid/bug aliens - they creep me out.


  • Species characteristics - If you want your character's species to have certain special strengths or weaknesses, you can propose them, or I can apply the stock characteristic. I prefer no psionics, but if you want to make a case for it, go ahead.


  • Gender - Binary, or as appropriate to your species. No space bimbo please.


  • Profession/Archetype - Your character's job on the crew and which sci-fi trope he or she belongs to. Professions will include navigation, engineer, security, medical, etc. Archetypes would be things like: ace pilot, gunslinger, brawler, rogue/grifter. It is preferable for your character to have a primary expertise and secondary one. Again, no space bimbo please.


  • Gear - Your character will have all the gear that he or she is expected to have to do the job - I am not too fussy about inventory as a GM, but if you want to have anything specific, let me know too.


  • Weapons - Each character will have a standard-issue blaster and a "utility" knife. You can have an additional signature weapon that is appropriate for your profession/species/archetype.


  • Backstory - A brief backstory of how your character gained his or her skills and how he or she came to join the Teamsters Guild. Please also list an enemy and an ally from the character's past, and the character's short-term and long-term goals.


Sessions, Signing-up, and AAR

Sessions are on a Monday evening, from 7pm to 10pm or so. There will be 3 to 5 places per session.

I will post the session date and synopsis on Meetup, and players who can make that session can respond on the page with their character's name and profession/archetype (so other players know which roles are needed and which are already filled). I will try to post as early as I can so you can plan your schedules.

Generally, places will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis, but if a player has played in the last two consecutive sessions, I may give the spot to another player who has not.

I want to respect everybody's time and confirm the player list for each session as early as I can, so please only sign up for a session if you can make it.

Players can earn extra XPs by writing up an after-action report on the Meetup page; I hope to create a community feel in our pool of players.

Logistics

The games will be played on Mondays, from 7pm to 10pm or so, at my place in Bukit Batok. We typically meet at West Mall for dinner at 6pm, and then make our way to my place afterwards. You can meet the group at my place if you do not join us for dinner.

Dice and stationery are provided. You may bring your own dice but if I think they are not balanced I will ask that you use mine instead.

Bottled water and snacks are provided - we only allow plain water at the table for... historical reasons (don't ask).

My GMing style and Important Caveat

I tend to play fast and loose with the rules, preferring to focus on the narrative rather than the rules. As I mentioned earlier, inventory is not tracked closely, nor ammunition (you run short when the plot demands it) and money (you are assumed to be able to afford things that a space trucker can reasonably afford, and you are up to your neck in debt when the plot calls for it). The word encumbrance is never used at my table.

The tone of this campaign is space opera. More Guardians of the Galaxy than Star Wars or Star Trek. There will be violence, and you will encounter societies which hold views on politics, religion, and human/alien rights which are different from your own.

As befitting a space opera, PCs will generally not die; but if your character is incapacitated in a fight, he or she may not get XPs for the encounter. I will track XPs for this campaign (I don't for my other campaigns) as I want a bit of competitiveness between players.

As each adventure has to be completed in a single session of three hours or so, the plot will inevitably be a bit rail-roady. This means that an adventure can sometimes consist of a series of problems presented to the party, but I will not make it such that there is only one way to solve the problems (sometimes I don't even have a solution myself...), or that they have to be tackled in a particular order.

Combat will be played on battle-maps with figurines. You may bring your own figurine if you wish to.

Finally, I would like to state upfront that players who feels that they don't enjoy my games (either because of the way I run games or who I am as a person) should feel free to leave - just let me know so I can offer a spot to other members on Meetup. Likewise, if I feel that a player is not a match for me or the group, I will ask him or her to leave the group.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all this. If you still want to sign up, please do so on the Meetup page, and I will get in touch with you soon.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Horizon Wars Game 2


Martin and I played our second game of Horizon Wars this afternoon.

I fielded my Heavy Gear Caprice mechs. As Martin had more points in models, I picked the Failed Ambush scenario, where my force, harbouring in a village in the centre of the table, is surprised by a superior enemy force coming at it from (potentially) all sides.

While Martin had the advantage in points, I had the advantage in numbers and of starting in cover.

Most of my mechs stayed in cover while a couple tried to make a break for it to the foreground in this photo. Martin committed his mechs to this corner of the table and managed to destroy one of my mechs and cripple a couple others. My mechs then conducted a fighting retreat to the opposite side of the table. Martin then threw in his off-table mobile artillery to try to stem this retreat, and managed to destroy another mech before it was destroyed by my artillery.

With one table edge open and most of my mechs still mobile, we decided to call the game.

We certainly had a better grip of the rules in this game, and I even performed the Recover action a couple of times. As with the previous game, I find that having more elements of the table confers a significant advantage.

We have yet to try out the aircraft rules, so perhaps in our next game we will do so.