Monday, March 21, 2016

All For One!

And one for all!


These are the first of a number of dwarf musketeers, which I received through a kickstarter last year. They are from Iron Mask Miniatures. The size and style fits in well with GW/Citadel dwarves and Foundry dwarves. They come with separate hands and some bodies come with separate heads, but they fit together very well. And both the heads and the hands (with the deep gloves) have plenty of surface area in contact with the neck area and the ends of the arms so there's a good bond. I think they will hold up well to handling. I did replace the thin blades of a couple of the swords with pieces of wire from paperclips with the end filed to a dull point, but otherwise no pinning was needed for the heads or hands. With a variety of heads and hands and bodies there are almost endless ways you can put them together. Lots of character, too, with options like hands holding items other than swords.

There are also some character figures and a number of musketeers mounted on shaggy ponies.

The kickstarter for this project was run by Gary Price, and you could tell it was a labor of love. And it was well-run. I will definitely keep an eye out for any future projects in this line.

These guys are the reason I was on the lookout for swashbuckling/3 Musketeers sorts of rules. I picked up Two Hour Wargames' By Savvy and Steel to try out (one of these days!), and also Flashing Steel by Ganesha Games. I haven't tried out either set of rules yet...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Frogs in Spaaaaaace!

First up are some specialists, from left to right: rocket launcher, sergeant, communications, flame thrower, medic

Next, regular troops, with an officer in the middle

And last but not least, more regular troops and a shaman/psionic mage/priest (the blue guy in the middle with the pole thingamabob - the top part of the psionic device can come off and be replaced by a wooden plaque with a frog emblem which also came with the figures)


I got these Phroggs from RPE (Ral Partha Europe) through kickstarter. They are taller than your average 28mm human figure; around 8 feet tall or so in scale. At the time I backed the project I wasn't sure what I would use them for, but I thought they looked cool. Then recently I also backed a sci-fi game called Battlestations (2nd Ed.) and I wonder if I could work them into that. The sculpts are great, each one is different, with lots of character. Fun to paint!.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dragon Rampant

I recently got a copy of the Dragon Rampant rules  by Daniel Mersey from Osprey. On my initial read-through it looked like a good, fairly simple, yet nuanced set of rules. I worked out a couple of small 20 point armies that I could put together with miniatures I already have.

The dwarves:
1 dwarf lord, classed as elite foot, 6 strength points, 6 figures
1 unit of heavy foot (dwarf hammerers), 12 strength points, 12 figures
2 units of heavy missiles (dwarf crossbowmen), 12 strength points, 12 figures

The goblins:
1 goblin leader, classed as heavy foot, 12 strength points, 12 figures
2 units of light foot (goblin warriors), 12 strength points, 12 figures
1 unit of light foot (archers with short range missiles), 12 strength points, 12 figures
1 unit of light riders (wolfriders with bows), 6 strength points, 6 figures

I played the basic "bloodbath" scenario, which is simply a straight up battle without any objectives other than destroying the enemy army.

I didn't find any rules about placing terrain so I just plopped down a small hill on one flank and some woods on the other, about equidistant from both armies. Then I placed the units in what seemed like a good arrangement, keeping in mind the minimum 3 inch spacing between units.

The table looked like this at the start:
The cards are handwritten with unit stats. They  don't need to accompany the units; I just did that for convenience. The round piece of mdf in the lower right is a 3 inch piece I had previously cut out for a tree stand. I found it useful for making sure I kept the minimum 3 inch spacing between units at all times.

The view from the goblin leader's position:

Because of the activation rules you won't always get to use all units every turn, so that introduces some good uncertainty for a solo gamer. I had times where I would only get 1 or 2 units activated and other times when I got them all activated.

Early in the game:
The dwarves have managed to get their crossbowmen onto the hill on the left and into the woods on the right. The goblin archers have been forced back, and a couple if units on both sides have taken a few casualties (I placed them back at the baselines, so I could quickly count up how many a unit had lost. Useful for when you have to make a courage test.).

Mid-game:
More casualties.


Nearing the end of the game:
The dwarves are really whittling down the goblin army. Once it got to the point of only the wolfriders still in play for the goblins I stopped and called it a win for the dwarves.


Fun, quick, didn't take a lot of figures or table space (the table is about 3 feet by 4 feet). I like these rules and went ahead and ordered Lion Rampant as well. I also got En Garde, another Osprey rules book, but that doesn't look so appealing to me. It seems to lack the simplicity of the Rampant rules, and doesn't seem like there's much swashbuckling in it. I also noticed 1 picture seems to be used 3 times, in this one short book! I also like that the Rampant rules credit the miniatures by manufacturer and who painted them/who they belong to. I guess it shows that you can't always judge a book by its publisher (or by books you might think were related).

A big thumbs up for the Rampant books. A big thumbs down for En Garde. I have some dwarf musketeers that I am slowly working on putting together to paint, so I'll be on the look out for some rules to use with them. Ganesha Games' Flashing Steel might be a possibility. I'm hoping for some rules that are fairly simple, with some swashbuckling fun (like improvised weapons, repartee, etc.), but at more like hero and small unit level rather than a fuller character level rpg kind of game nor more of a battle-level game

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Basilisks, Bulettes, and Tanks, oh my!

Slowly getting a few more projects done. Today I finished and photographed some miniatures and another applesauce cup tank.

The bulette and basilisk are plastic minis from the Reaper Bones range. I'm not fond of plastic, especially the pliable plastic they use in this range, but some of the monsters are useful. I find if extremely difficult to remove mold lines from this sort of plastic. You can't really file it, and scraping doesn't seem to work well either. Trying to trim it by slicing off tiny bits is beyond me as well. I based them on washers on top of plastic card, to give a little weight to them.

I tried to base the basilisk colors on the real world basilisk lizard, or one variety thereof.

Next is this firenewt from Otherworld Miniatures. They do some nice minis based on some of the old (or classic) game illustrations. Not sure what I'd use him for. Maybe a random (possibly non-hostile) dungeon encounter?

An amphibious applecart tank. This is another tank using a Mott's applesauce plastic cup for the turret, part of a writing pen barrel for the gun barrel, plastic caps from squeezy applesauce containers, and other odds and ends and wood bits.

The entire applecart fleet, as it stands at this time.



Monday, October 26, 2015

Project Applecart

I've been working slowly on some more projects using Mott's plastic applesauce cups that look like barrel halves. Here are a couple of three-wheeled "tanks" just about ready to roll off the production line. The main body can lift off of the undercarriage and sits on dowel so it can turn. The larger back wheels are tops off of squeezy pouches of applesauce. The front wheels are wooden craft disks sandwiched between sawed off Dove ice cream bar sticks (the sacrifices we make for our craft!), with jewelry gears added for flavor. The tops and gun barrels are bits of craft pegs, plastic pen barrels, small dowels and other odds and ends. I'm not sure if these are done or if there is anything else I want to add, but they'll do for now.

Shown with 28mm Foundry figure for scale

An illustration of the undercarriages

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What's More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys?

How about a pack of steampunk brass monkeys? These are from the Steampunk Menagerie collection that I received through a Kickstarter project a few months ago. For miniatures with some separate parts (the arms in some cases) these were easy to put together and came together pretty solidly without needing to do any pinning (just some Gorilla brand super glue! It's the what I happened to have). I generally detest multi-part figures for the fiddly-ness and fragility involved. These monkeys/apes were a delightful change. Other miniatures makers could take a lesson from them. The pledge level I made also included some steampunk crabs, but those look much more fiddly (not fiddler) and more likely to come apart easily, so I have yet to put them together. I figure these little steam simians, with their guns and swords, would make good "mooks" or hench-apes for some steampunk evil witch or mad roboticist. Enough chatter. on to the photos.

This first picture gives a better idea of the actual colors:

These other pictures maybe give a better idea of the various poses and weaponry - 5 pistol-armed and 5 sword-armed.:



Saturday, August 8, 2015

Solo Dungeon Delving - part 2

Game materials

Part 2.
Durik comes to a ramp leading down. At the bottom of the ramp he comes upon the goblin leader and 6 of his minions. The space is restricted, so only 2 goblins can attack at any given time. The leader stays in the back and tries to direct the minions (give them +1 to hit).

Durik attacks and strikes down 2 of the minions. Two others close in and one gets a hit on Durik. Durik strikes back and kills another. The remaining 3 minions turn and run. The goblin leader steps up and attacks Durik, causing 2 hits. Durik gets one hit on the leader. The leader hits back for one more hit, bringing Durik to zero hit points. Durik manages to kill the leader and then passes out.

Sometime later...
Durik revives enough to bind his wounds. After a brief rest he searches the bodies and the chamber and finds a healing potion, 20 gold pieces, 2 anklets worth about 150 gold pieces all told, and a toe ring worth 500 gold pieces! He drinks the healing potion and heals 1 more hit point, bringing his total hit points up to 4 (maximum is 5).

Feeling much better he continues on, but soon encounters a collapsed passage. So he turns around and searches the chamber where he defeated the goblin leader. Does he find a side passage or other exit? No.

He backtracks further to the chamber where he encountered the goblin shaman. Are there other exits here? Yes, north and south. He tries the north passage, but it's not long before he finds a very deep pit blocking any further progress. Turning around once more Durik heads back through the chamber and on to the southern exit. As he enters the last chamber it rapidly becomes extremely cold. He reckons, by the speed at which the cold comes on that it's some sort of magic at work. Not seeing anything in the chamber from his vantage point at the entrance and not finding any other passageways, chambers or other parts to the cave system he decides it's time to depart. So he heads back to his base to count up his treasure, deliver recovered items, and rest up for his next adventure.

Durik's sketch map

Map as drawn out later