Thursday, July 30, 2020

Mid-week Kings of War 3rd Edition Game

Adrian, FG, and I managed to get a weekday evening game of KOW 3 in.

We played a 1750-points game: Adrian's dwarves versus my night goblins.

My army consists of mainly spears and archers, and no monsters or warmachines, and so I had 14 units versus Adrian's 7 units and 3 cannons; the goblins battleline stretched from one end of the table to the other.

Despite their numerical advantage, the goblins were no match against the dwarves once in melee, and at the end of Turn 6 every single unit had been routed.

I had a lot of fun nonetheless. I understand the list is basically a dud list, but I think I will continue with it and improve my goblin-wave strategy until I can beat the dwarves one day. Someday.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Modiphius The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms Terrain

What's the next best thing to having an airbrush? Having a friend who has an airbrush.

Remember the dungeon tiles that I made earlier for my planned megadungeon campaign? Well, when I saw the photos of the Modiphius The Elder Scrolls resin terrain pieces, I thought they would be a perfect match for the tiles.

The pieces were beautiful, but giving them the paint job that they deserved was going to be difficult. Fortunately for me, FG had recently purchased a whole airbrush set-up, and kindly agreed to painting them for me. As you can see in these photos, he did a great job of matching the hue and the "lighting" of the pieces.

Here is a close-up of one of the wall tiles. There are actually wall niches for bodies, which are also a feature of the megadungeon I am planning to use! 

Here is another photo of the walls. I love the pre-historic-looking whirls pattern on the walls; in my fluff the megadungeon had its beginnings as an underground burial complex for successive cultures, from the neolithic age, through to the bronze age (yes, the bronze age is a thing for my setting - see the ancient magical bronze sword the fighter is holding in the photo), and into the early iron age.

There are four wall sections and six junction/end pieces in the set I bought - not enough to wall up every room that the PCs will go through, but my intention is more to use them for backdrops during combat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Warzone Bauhaus Ducal Militia

I got the Warzone 2nd Edition box set more than three years ago, painted up the Imperial half of the figures, and then left the Bauhaus figures in the box. Then two months ago, I backed the Imperium Immortalis kickstarter, more or less purely on the fact that they were sci-fi figures in pickelhauben, and decided that it was time to get the Bauhaus figures painted.

Easier said than done though.

Two months ago we were still in lockdown, so even getting paints were an issue. When lockdown lifted, FG and I made a trip to the local art supplies store to get the paints I needed, and Martin helped me to get the Tamiya spray paint that I needed for the base coat.

As I did with the Imperials, I chose to stick to the original WW1 colour scheme, except that I did not use brown for the pickelhauben.

Once assembled and sprayed in their base coat, it took me three evenings to finish painting 40 figures, and then as many to apply the number decals to their shoulder pads.

The uniform looks pretty drab, even with the gold buttons I gave them. Fortunately, the Germans used red numerals for the regimental numbers, which gives a bit of a highlight to the figures. It was a chore cutting and applying 80 numerals to the shoulder pads - in addition, I applied several coats of Citadel Lamian Medium to dull the shine of the decals afterwards - but I think the result was worth it.

The Imperium Immortalis kickstarter is scheduled to deliver in December 2020, so it will be months before I receive them. As a precaution I have taken a photo of the paints I used for these figures to make sure that I can remember the exact colours I used.

In the meantime, I have ordered a few more figures from Mad Robot Miniatures to supplement the Imperial side, so look out for them in the coming weeks!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Gaslands Game 2

FG, Martin, and I met up for another game of Gaslands and to pass stuff to each other today.

Since our last meeting, Martin has put together a post-apocalyptic self-propelled gun, while I have bought three more Hot Wheels cars; the local mall was having a 3 for 2 sale, and after spending way too long at the rack at the store, I decided on the three following vehicles:

I picked the Warthog because I had an idea that I wanted to field a buggy for the game, but then I saw the Jet Z, which I thought looked the part. I got the El Camino to make up the numbers - fortunately Martin liked the way it looked, so it's with him now.

I still stripped the paint off the Jet Z, and primed some of the engine parts black, but I haven't quite decided how to paint it. I kind of like the bare metal look, but as it is now there is nothing particularly 'Gaslands' about it.

Anyway, for the game I set up a scenario where FG and I had to drive around the course and run over some objectives (boxes), while Martin tried to stop us, which he did.

It was a short game, but fun nonetheless. I think we are all still driving too carefully and not taking our chances with the Handling dice... perhaps having more vehicles on the table will encourage a more reckless attitude in the future.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Gaz Truck and barricades for Spanish Civil War

So a few weeks ago Martin decided to paint a T-26 model he had in his collection in Spanish Civil War Nationalist colours, and then one thing led to another, and before long the group had committed to doing the SCW in 20mm, using Osprey's A World Aflame.

Martin is doing the lion's share of the work, and for my part I am painting up thirty-plus Republican militia, a truck, and a few barricades.

Now one thing that struck me when I looked at photos and videos from the SCW is jst how many sandbags were used. Streets, walkways, and windows were all blocked by walls of sandbags. There were also many photos and footage of road barricades made from stone or concrete blocks.

We realised that to reproduce the battelfields of the SCW, we would need lots of sandbags and barricades.

I managed to find some 1/72 scale sandbags I had from a WW2 model kit, but I quickly found that stacking sandbags to even chest height required a large number of them. To maiximise the number of barricades I could produce, I decided to make some of the stone/concrete barricades by chopping up some plastic sprues I had and then stacking and gluing them together, before topping them with my remaining sandbags. The whole process takes too long to be efficient, so I will have to relook at my options.

Also as part of my contribution to the project, I wanted to paint up a truck. The A World Aflame rules have an interesting rule where your units may run out of ammunition and will need to replenish them from a cache. A truck would make a suitable representation of the cache, and can of course be used as transport, or just as scatter terrain or table dressing.

Minairons Miniatures, which we are getting our figures from, produce a couple of truck models, but these are made of resin and quite costly. I decided instead of get the cheapest Soviet Gaz truck I could find off ebay, and ended up with a Military Wheels model. Unfortunately, the quality of the kit was quite disappointing. The plastic was brittle, and there was a lot of flash on the parts. I assembled the bare minimum parts to get the basic shape of the vehicle up, leaving out much of the undercarriage.

I sprayed the finished model white, and then before the white paint dried completely, I sprayed on a thick coat of Tamiya Olive Drab. This gave an uneven finish and some pitting, and an interesting results where the colour on each panel faded towards the edge, and as the paint dried there was some sort of discolouration where some parts were more brown than green. This gave the model a sun-bleached appearance which I was quite pleased with.

I then gave the model a black and then brown wash, and brushed on some light brown as mud on the tyres and the lower parts of the chassis.

All in all it is not a model that will stand up to close scrutiny, but for gaming purposes it should suffice. 

Monday, July 06, 2020

Gaslands Game 1

Martin, FG and I got together for our first face-to-face game since... in nine months. The lockdown ended a couple of weeks ago, and there hasn't been a surge in cases, so I figured that it was OK to meet and catch up, pass each other stuff we have ordered for one another, and have a few beers together; in the interest of infection control, we used separate containers for our chips.

The game we have chosen for the session was Gaslands; it looked like a light, fun game, and the guys wouldn't have to bring a lot of figures on top of all the other stuff they were bringing to my place.

I have made some dashboards earlier, and the day before the game I made a few gates with some plastic sci-fi bits I had lying around and some hazard chevrons printed onto paper, laid out a race area, and we were ready to go.

We played the simple Death Race scenario, and it was a close race, with all of us crossing the finishing line in the same phase. We enjoyed it so much we decided to replay the race again. In the second race FG's vehicle got wrecked by Martin's vehicle and screeched to a halt just on the finishing line, allowing Martin to take the victory.

What surprised me about the game was how playable it was. I saw a few videos of the game on youtube and it seemed that most of the time the vehicles got wrecked by combat and collision before they even complete a full circuit. In our games we kept our eyes and the goal and did not deliberately manoeuvre our vehicles to attack - in fact, FG did not even get to use his mortars in either game.

The Performance Car seems to be a good choice for the game, since they received an extra activation every time they were collided into. My choice of a pick-up truck, however, seemed poor, as with its poor Handling I could not even manage to shift gears most turns.

The trick, it seems, is to have a team of at least two vehicles, and that was what we decided to do after the game: buy and build at least another vehicle each. I am keen to buy a buggy on my next trip to the mall, but FG is of the opinion that you don't pick a vehicle: you stand before the Matchbox rack and see which one calls out to you...

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Kromlech Giant Mushrooms and GW Night Goblin Fanatics

I got a few packs of giant mushrooms from Kromlech a while back to decorate the bases of my Night Goblin army, but have not done anything with the larger mushrooms until now; Adrian had finished painting his Dwarven army during the lockdown period, and was keen to play a game of Kings of War 3rd edition, so I decided to make some objective markers.

I pinned the mushrooms onto some resin bases I have, slopped some paint on the mushroom caps, and dry-brushed the bases green - the end result looks like aquarium decoration. 

Next, I decided to refurbish a couple of Night Goblin Fanatics figures I bought on eBay. Night Goblin Fanatics are one of the things that made me fall in love with GW (the other thing was when I first found out that in Blood Bowl, you could make a Treeman throw a Halfling - that just blew my teenage mind), but the problem with the older, metal figures was that the chains had a tendency to snap - and that was what happened with these two figures.

The little fellow on the left started life being almost vertical, with his feet pointed straight up to the sky - this was of course an accident waiting to happen, and it did. I glued the chain back onto the ball, but I was certain that if I tried to restore the figure in its original configuration, it would break again. Looking at the shape of its hood, I decided to position it in a more horizontal position and make it look like the ball had pulled him forward in a headlong dive. To achieve a two-point contact, I inserted a pin onto the base, and attached the end of the chain to the pin, and then hid the pin with some tuft. I like how the goblin's right hand just hovers a few millimetres above the ground, giving it a dynamic look.

The need for a two-point contact meant that I had to use a base that was larger than the 25mm round base. (There are no rules for Fanatics in the KOW goblin list, but the goblins do have an "extra attacks on first melee attack of the game" mechanic in the form of Mawpups, which I thought could be proxied by the Fanatics.) A 40mm round base was just a tad too small for the figure, and a 50mm base would have had too big a footprint; a standard rectangular cavalry base would do the trick, but I felt that the right angles did not look right for a figure that was supposed to be in motion. Fortunately, I had a few oval bases from the Fireforge skeleton cavalry box, which was just the right size.

For the other figure, I had to replace the broken chain with a piece of plastic chain I had from my bits box. To secure the figure to the base, I trimmed the tab on its bottom, and cut a rectangular slot on the base to receive the tab. To achieve a two-point contact, I glued the ball to the base. The figure now looked like it was trying to launch the ball off from the ground. To add to that effect, I thinned the PVA in the area of the arc which I imagined the ball would trace before I added the basing material, and painted the area a darker brown to simulate the wet earth that was exposed by the movement of the ball. The oval shape of the base added to the look of the whole thing. In retrospect I should have actually scraped a groove into the base itself, adding more depth to the groove.

I had a lot of fun working on these two figures. Maybe I should look for more old Fanatic figures on eBay to restore...