Thursday, 27 March 2014

Two Shit Hot Links

Firstly, Preedh over at the Oldhammer forum has posted scans of the 1992 Metal Magic Calendar which is full of batshit-mental Michael Immig diorama work. Check out this scratch-built 28mm sci-fi vehicle which has more DAKKA than anything I've ever seen:-


Secondly, the Torygraph has some of the entries from the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition - lots of far future space opera arcology inspiration here such as this one.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Warmachine Pics - Green Undead versus Catholic Not-Space Nazis

Got two games of Hormachine in on Saturday against Darth Phil at Wayland's Forge in Birmingham. I used my Cryx against Phil's Menoth and then borrowed his Ultramarines Cygnar (I am thinking of buying and painting the Cygnar starter box so wanted to get a feel for how they play) for game #2.

My Death-chickens. The design of these reminds me very much of the Mortis Dogs card in Magic:The Gathering

In fact the whole Cryx "look" is very reminiscent of the Phryexian faction from M:TG. For example:-

But I digress. The large pieces of terrain are just aquarium decorations from the pet shop - my local one has lots of surreal, Grecian or East Asian/Jungle ruins pieces for around £10-15 a shot. (There is also a large sunken aircraft carrier I keep eyeing up thinking of the opening pages of Marshal Law). I find this a cheap way of quickly getting terrain that looks fantasy-like or alien.

Phil's Catholic Space Nazis. This is technically a selfie as Phil took it facing towards himself.

War-Witch Chlamydia stands on a hill pointing at a photobombing Pseudo-Papist Steam Robot.

My Cryxmans. Unfortunately because of the design of the War-Witch Deneghra model which has some form of pipes, cabling, or conduit or similar wrapping around to her breastplate it has ended up looking like she has some really freaky nipples in a really odd place.

Some purple thing.

My Death Chicken tries to outflank.

Most pics by Phil, #1 and #6 by me.


While it's quite dissimilar to anything I've played before I'm starting to see how the game is played - my breakthrough in wrapping my head around it seems to have been stopping thinking in terms of a game as representing a conventional military skirmish or battle (as 40K or something similar would be) but in terms of one single combat encounter in a console JRPG (Final Fantasy, Dragon Warriors etc.). This made it easier for me to realise that the game was one of using abilities and attempting to get models synchronising together in order to slay the opposing warcasters, rather than manoeuvre and massing and holding a reserve.

I also picked up Ascension Apprentice Edition because it is ridiculously cheap (I think it was something like £8.95) and I had some store credit after an MTG card of mine had sold at FNM the night before. I've never played a "deck building" game before - the new High Command set in the Warmachine universe accordingly made no sense to me - but a quick dummy game this afternoon showed me how such a concept works. Look forwards to playing this in the future, I really like the art style of the cards.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

15mm Rouge Trader Part Five - BIG JOBS! BIG JOBS!

On Saturday I popped into Waylands Forge in Birmingham where my clubmate Scott was taking part in a Heroclix competition. I mentioned that one of the figures he had (Detroit Steel) would be ideal for a giant robot in 15mm RT.

I don't think he was having a particularly good day as after the next round was complete, Detroit Steel was passed my way along with phrases like "have him", "never using that again", "not worth the points" and "fucking useless".

I didn't do any conversion on this one, just did a quick and dirty paint job that was, at the same time, a colour scheme test shot for a potential future Warmachine Cygnar force.

You can get an idea of size by the 10mm grid marking on the cutting board and that 15mm Blood Drinkers Space Marine Ion Age Prydian standing next to him. The paint has come out too dark (the pic on my laptop appears to be what I was aiming for but in reality it's far darker) but this was just a quick job and I know to go with a different coloured base coat should I ever get around to the Cygnar.

Oh yeah, and a freehand slogan...

From good old Mek-Quake.

For my benefit (as it pisses me off when I forget paint recipes or write them down in a book which I then lose)

Model - GW Sotek Green, details in Coat d'Arms Desert Sand, Army Painter Strong Tone Ink/Devlan (too dark - use Miniature Paints Aquamarine instead)

Base - VMC English Uniform, Army Painter Soft Tone Ink/Gryphonne Sepia, drybrush Army Painter Desert Sand, burnt grass static flock. Goo puddles - Miniature Paints Lime Green, pure white dabbed in when still wet.

Golden Heroes at UK Games Expo 2014

I notice from the listing of RPG events being run at UK Games Expo this year that somebody is running the classic White Dwarf Golden Heroes scenarions The Pilcomayo Project (from WD78) and The American Dream (from WD73) using Squadron UK.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dead Tumblr

Since Tumblr appears to be incapable of sending me a password reset email it appears that both Fuckyeahbritisholdschoolgaming and Buildadungeonfrom me are dead now. No more updates unless two dozen password reset emails all arrive at some point in the near future.


Later edit - couple of days later and the username/password combo I typed in two dozen fucking times suddenly springs back into life.  No password reset email ever turned up so I suspect Tumblr have fixed something behind the scenes.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Gary Chalk's Gun Dogs

A couple of years ago when I first got my iPhone 4S I tried out a couple of the FF adaptations by Blue Bubble and frankly wasn't impressed. They were too slow to play (the 2D6 rolls were accompanied by painfully slow animation telling you that two.... plus.... five.... equals..... seven which meant that a typical combat took longer to fight out than a typical combat in 4E) and made the elementary mistake of forcing to play in the most purist of fashion - in other words you couldn't cheat. This wasn't really in keeping with the, shall we say, democratic nature of gamebooking in that you can play them how you like. Back in analogue world you could do the dice and refuse to cheat, or you could just follow the story by assuming you won every combat, or a mix of both and zooming back and forth to see where other paths would have taken you.

Gary Chalk's Gun Dogs by Tin Man Games gets everything right. You can pick three different styles of play, the hardcore purist style, another style that only cheats in maxxing the character out at the start and a totally freeform, back-and-forth and infinite lives one. You can even use save states, of which the middle setting "Adventurer" (which is how I've been playing it) allows for six "fingers in pages".

This therefore is a proper gamebook simulator.

At this point I should point that despite the title, we are in "Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone Present" territory here - the actual book is written by UK gaming stalwart James Wallis, Chalk did the illustrations. And beautiful those illustrations are, in the style of the old Lone Wolf books (and Talisman) but to my eyes far, far better still.

I had a nostalgiagasm when those last two came up on screen. We could be in Holmgard or Hammerdal there.

Note 1980s style page furniture as well - like those little landscape orientation sketches of weapons and SKULLZ in the FF and LW books.

A somewhat monotonous tune loops during play - interrupted only by the battle theme. It does it's job although I stopped noticing it in the end.

If I have a criticism it is in the way that the game disables options you can't select because of the results of a dice roll, or the contents of your inventory. This generally works well - fail a dice test and only the "fail" option will be selectable but the often you will see thing like this

In this particular instance I possessed the witch's staff but had I not then this is basically spoiling it for me. This actually isn't the worst example - there are instances of things like "if you spoke to the NPC in the NAME OF PLACE YOU HAVEN'T VISITED" which seems to me to be not making good use of the electronic medium in which the game is presented - in these examples why not hide the disabled options and just make the paragraph a one-exit-er with the change of paragraph text amended to suit?

And the buttons are a little bit small so clumsy here occasionally struggles to get them first time. Admittedly this might be because I am playing on an iPhone 5C (yeah, I know, The-C-stands-for-Chav poverty model. But 3 Mobile gave it me for free for not going elsewhere when the old contract expired so bollocks) rather than a full-blown iPad which seems to be the target platform for any iOS game of some complexity these days.


A gamebook asking me if I want to "enter The Buxom Wench"? Chortle.

Plot-wise this is a journey across the countryside with choice of route (with included map) - so very similar in feel to early Lone Wolf books. It's an investigative mission to discover why a far flung fort/outpost is no longer responding. And why you? Because condemned prisoners are often press-ganged into undertaking suicide missions for the Emperor, kept in line by a magical collar that will crush the neck of any Gun Dog who tries to do a runner. And why are you a Gun Dog? Because you are a rebel against the despotic Emperor. And why the Gun part? Because you get given one.

Recommended? Yep, even at it's high-for-iOS £3.99 price ticket.

I'm not yet sure how big the game is. I've reached the fort twice (but died in the same battle on both occasions) which seemed to come around quite quickly but some of those paragraph numbers are big - note 665 and 635 above. I don't know if all of the paragraph numbers are used or if the game is trying to fool you into overestimating it's size.

Anyway this is a new gamebook illustrated in full colour by Gary Chalk and style-wise picks up where the Dever/Chalk partnership left off. That's good enough for me.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

15mm Rouge Trader Project Part The Fourth

While I started painting a Blood Drinkers Space Marine force I have been thinking that really I should be doing a Rogue Trader's force with the BDs being the Marines assigned to him and his mission. This gives me a far bit more flexibility as regards designing Imperium forces.

So here is Rogue Trader Hejj Phund, Master of the voidship The Invisible Hand of Adamus Faber. He's the Zinn Envoy figure from Ion Age that was the limited release freebie for orders during February.

(Phund has no groundworking yet because Coop Towers has the builders in and stuff got put away. Builders painted around the front door handle today and didn't put up a wet paint sign. Coop is not happy).

Phund is pictured here in his "diplomatic" garb for social occasions in which he is merely protected by an assortment of Refractor and Displacer fields and only lightly packing heat in the form of a few Jokaero Digital Weapons disguised as signet rings and the odd Vortex grenade in his wallet (grenades are coin-sized in RT).

And Phund accompanied here by his bodyguard, Brother-Captain Zenn Zybyl of the Field Police.

Also ready for a daubing of Citadel Colour Khorne Red are the following (as yet unnamed) squad, all of which are Ion Age Prydians.

On the subject of, they have remastered the old Laserburn Glaive APC - clearly a variant upon the standard RH1N0 design discovered in an ancient and dusty Standard Template Construction system. Want.

Also on the want list - Khurasan's "Brunt" from their new "Cult of Andromeda". Declared a mutant variant of the abhuman breed commonly known as "Ogryn", this particular sub-strain has been dubbed "Rhox" by Imperial Xenobiologists. Imperial Army staff are keen to field these abhumans in the same battlefield role as Ogryn Sergeants.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Fields of Battle - Fighting Fantasy Mass Battle Rules from 1986

Have a small contribution towards Oldhammer archaeology - Graeme Davis' Fields of Battle from Warlock 12 (October/November 1986).

Drastik Plastik and Skeleton Hordes Versus Psychostyrene! (Also little mans from The Warlock of Firetop Mountain boardgame).

The tiny move distances are, I suspect, related to the idea of the table being "at least two feet across" - so everything is probably half-scale compared to contemporary Warhammer (bow range of 12" in FoB compares with 24" in WFB). This perhaps ties in with the ten strong infantry unit and an acknowledgement that this would be played on the floor of a bedroom or on a dining table.

Simple though it is, this looks like the sort of thing that would work well as a demonstration game at a show. And the Jes Goodwin page furniture illos here are great.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Been Shopping

Back from the West Midlands Military Show at Wolverhampton, the long-standing combined gaming/kit modelling bash. For the first time ever I didn't buy a single figure. I did however get this...

...and filled a few gaps in the collection with these.

That Fighting Fantasy - The Introductory Roleplaying Game is intended for the nephew.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

15mm Rouge Trader Project Part 3


(Trivia for the day - "Do" is the Japanese onomatopoeia for gunfire. This means that DAKKA-DAKKA in Japan should really be pronounced DO-DO or possibly DO-DO-DO-DO repeated ad infinitum, machine-gun style. Here ends the bollocks).

Recruiting of the scum of the Imperium, tribal savages and those driven psychotically insane by the pressures of the living in the hivecity underworld of the Great Post-Industrial Mercian Arcology has gone well and another squad has been added to the roll of heroes (soon to be ex-heroes) of the Blood Drinkers chapter.

The first of the Ion Age/ figures are done, this is going to be a Brother-Captain in my forces.

There is something very "Laserburn" about this guy. I think it's the mix of shoulder-length hair, flappy coat, and a gun that appears to have dropped off a 1970s space opera paperback cover.

Lastly, I painted possibly the least useful Ion Age figure I have first because I'm contrarian like that. In the style of "Ex-Brother Marine" here's the unfortunate effect of RT Marines only having T3 back in 1987...

(For some reason the lighting has washed out all the Not-Devlan Mud shading on the bolt gun. Not that he'll be needing it again thought).

I also found a period piece of Blood Drinkers art, this is the "Rhino Marines" advert from WD103.

I remember that three colour camo scheme from the original WD Rhino article. I'm thinking that the force needs at least one vehicle done in that colour scheme as a tribute to this old studio RH1NO.