Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Name the (Mantic) Warpath Starter Set

I might suggest ROUGE TRADER, and for the background suggest that it all kicks off in a disagreement over exclusive asteroid mining rights for minerals used in cosmetics.

Feel free to add your own sarcastic and piss-taking suggestions in the comments box!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Geeky Shopping Weekend

-League of Extraordinary Gentleman #1
-League of Extraordinary Gentleman #2
-Batman Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison comic book, not the videogame which I had and grew bored of)
-Second-hand DVDs of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke
-Not second-hand DVD of Laputa Castle In The Sky (replacing, ahem, the "backup" copy I had before)
-15mm American Civil War Union Army (painted) from a Stourbridge clubmate who'd bought 4 boxes of this stuff off eBay sight unseen on a whim and was happy to sell a couple of boxes off for what he'd paid for them so that we can get some games of Black Powder in.

Suffice to say at no point during this weekend did I actually leave the house intending to buy any of this rammage.

The insanity continued on Sunday when, because it was a beautiful morning, I took the Porsche out for a run to Worcester (a 60 mile round trip) in order to visit WHSmiths to buy a book of six first class stamps. It's only money after all.

(At this point Coop talks about 20 year old comic books that he has only just discovered in the same fashion as a 13 year old talking about this new old band called Nirvana that he's just discovered or indeed in the same fashion as the 13 year old Coop talking about this cool new old music from somebody called Hendrix and some guys called The Who that he's just discovered).

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is rather marvellous and much like Watchmen (you know Watchmen, it's a 25 year old comic book that I discovered a couple of years ago and would like to tell you all about just in case you've never heard of it) in that there is so much going in the art that it requires multiple re-reading and examination. I also feel it's a waste of time talking about it because you all loved it years ago, but hey I loved it and lots of it is REALLY CLEVER and by that I mean makes me the reader feel REALLY CLEVER for spotting how REALLY CLEVER it all is. Sometimes I feel like the cocky 16 year old Coop all over again. I could see the Island of Dr Moreau homage coming a mile off, but didn't see the Rupert The Bear thing coming.

tdlr; LoEG is rather good isn't it? I'd never read it before.

Arkham Asylum however was just disappointing and a waste of a tenner. Impossible to follow the narrative and the artwork is so dense and overwrought that it's essentially a glossy book of meaningless pictures and part-pictures with minimal text. In this edition Morrison's original type-written script is included (perhaps in an attempt to explain WTF is going on) and is about four times as long as the comicy bits and full of important stuff that is completely AWOL in the finished product - such as explaining who the bloody hell characters as and WTF is going on. A pretentious twaddle let down.

tdlr; AA is rather bad isn't it? I'd never read it before.

So that leaves three slices of Studio Ghibli loveliness to be getting on with but Summer isn't the season for be sitting in with DVDs when you live on the canal. They'll probably emerge in the Autumn.

This Friday we are playing Black Powder with 28mm Boxer Rebellion toys. I almost feel morally obliged to bring along cigars and brandy for the gentlemen players of Stourbridge.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Scooby Doo Undead

Naff grainy shots but this is what I'm currently working on with the old paintbrush. Mantic Games plastic undead painted, not as corporeal "solid bone" undead in the usual style, but as insubstantial ethereal ghosts.

The plan is to produce an entire army done in this paint scheme with no exceptions. Everything in the army is a ghost and painted in this otherworldly green glow. I'm taking inspiration from things like the Deadmen of Dunharrow in LotR and a Russ Nicholson illustration of a host of ghosts in an FF book (exactly which one I forget).

This is unbelievably quick and simple to paint - black undercoat, top one third in Citadel Codex Grey, the bottom two thirds drybrushed lightly with the same paint. Then the area around the face is drybrushed white (as if the face is a light source) and the face filled in solid white. One good wash with Citadel Thraka Green Wash (the stuff that smells like cheap cider).

Still to do the bases, which will be done in a "Welsh Slate Quarry" style with dark grey rock and gravel, dotted with static grass. But I chuck the quick pics up because I know a couple of my gaming mates who read the blog were keen to see what the final effect looks like.

For me at least, this yields better results than the approach the GW Studio took for their Army of the Dead figures which just look like stone statutes to me. I feel that this approach works because the ghost "fades out" towards it's feet and the stark white of the face underneath the wash makes the evil face pop out and this draws the eye.

I didn't come with the technique myself, it's an adaption of one I found here -

Another of Zak's Great Ideas

Over at D&D with Pornstars.

Follow the link for the full-size. A campaign map using inspirational images scaled to show the relevant spatial relationships and relative proportions of the different geographical areas of the map. A really, really neat little idea that makes me want to leap on Google Images and start building worlds. Some people in the comment thread suggest that you need proper hexes and scales and plausible physical geography but in all honesty this is all I would ever need or want.

That boy has more brilliant ideas for RPGing than can surely be contained with one skull.

Borneo Rainbow Toad

Lost since 1924, photographed for the first time ever. More details at The Register.

We want Giant Borneo Rainbow Toads and we want them statted up.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

To The Games Shop On The Train

I went into Birmingham yesterday on the train to go to Waylands Forge, my FLGS. There's normally nothing noteworthy about this (I'm there quite often) but yesterday was the first time I'd been since moving gaff.

This meant that I'm now living by another train line so have the dubious pleasure of arriving at Brum via the dread hole that is New Street Station. Anybody who has ever travelled on a cross-country train to Brum will be familiar with the trainbound arrival at England's second city - dingy, stinking underground platforms and escalators up to the world's most dated 1960s shopping centre before being disgorged into a crowded pedestrian ramp down into the pedestrianised centre of the city.

Until I moved gaff I used to live on the so-called Jewellery Line that brings you into the city either via the somewhat bright and airy Snow Hill or the charming Edwardian station at Moor Street. Both were pleasant ways to arrive in Brum, New St. is not.

But, and here's the big but, back in the 1980s my mate Jamie and I used to catch the train to go to Games Workshop and in those days New St. was the terminus for our route not Snow Hill.

So stepping off the train at that station to go to the gaming shop was like stepping back 25 years in time and took me back to days of daysaver train/bus tickets and spending £2.50 on a blister of five figures.

New St. is currently being rebuilt, the plan is to basically rip off the entire top and expose it to sunlight and that will be an improvement long overdue, but just this once it was nice to arrive in the old dump and be reminded of the old happy times of the cheap train ride to GW in the Pallasades.

While I was there (Waylands not GW circa 1987), I bought this.
110 plastic figures for a mere £45. From a fantasy games company I like a lot, have high hopes for and appreciate their value for money pricing. Which I carried home on a train from New St. having breathed in all that diesel muck from the dim half-light of the subterraean platforms. Made me feel like it was 1987 again...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Warpath By Mantic Games - Epic Trolling Sir, Epic Trolling

Ronnie Renton contemplates launching plastic Zoats, Fimir and racist Pygmies. And Christmas Marines and Chaos Toilets. Possibly Slann with las-guns too.

OK, so you are Ronnie Renton, ex-GW employee now running your own plastic toy soldier company. Your first releases are some High Elves priced to dramatically undercut your ex-employers High Elf range although they are a litle slim so you only really undercut your ex-employers Lord of the Rings range. But that degenerate Brit Old Skool blogger Coop buys a few boxes for his abortive LotR project anyway.

Then you bring out some Undead and Dwarfs, most definately undercutting your ex-employer and ex-employer must be at least a trifle narked.

At that point, and completely out of the blue, it's suddenly time to shift INTO MAXIMUM OVERTROLL!!!!!!!!

In rapid succession you release Chaos Abyssal Dwarves mainly because your ex-employer hasn't bothered with those for ages and it will seriously piss them off.

(Oh and at some point whilst all this is going on you get the bloke who wrote the previous version of your ex-employer's flagship fantasy wargame to write your, err..., flagship fantasy wargame).

Then you respond to your ex-employers, ahem, problems with shifting production to a new cheaper much more fucking expensive medium by shifting to the same medium and relaunching your Wraiths with twice the number in the box compared to before but at the same price. On the same day your ex-employers launches it's new cheaper much more fucking expensive range P.R. disaster and shitstorm complete with pubes in the boxes. The Lulz are strong in this one.

And then, because that's not trolling enough to keep you happy, you then launch your beta test of your new fantasy in space wargame written by the bloke who wrote the previous version of your ex-employer's flagship fantasy wargame with the following logo

Which of course features a gauge that goes past 40,000.

Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not 40,000. You see, most blokes, you know, will be gaming at 40,000. You're on 40,000 here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on 40,000 on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

And because this is a fantasy in space wargame (you know, fantasy in space, the concept that your ex-employers are desperate to pretend they never intended in the first place) you have to have Orcs in Space and something called "Armoured Humans" and of course in your first release you have...

Space Dwarves.

Ronnie, a nation salutes. Epic trolling Sir, epic trolling Sir.

Please bring out Davlen Muck or something in big bottles. That would also be ace.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

What Happens When B/X D&D and WFRP Make Nasty Monkey Love?

This happens.

Chris from Vault of Nagoh's brilliant take on WFRP recast to use B/X D&D. The most entertaining rulebook I've read in years.

(Oh, and the title is his words not mine. Not that I'd disown them if they were mine of course)