Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Momma!

Today is my momma's 69th birthday. Even though I am in Wales, I thought I should give her a shout:


That is all.

Friday, June 27, 2014

More Random Bear Pictures

   I don't know why. It's kind of a theme. Just go with it, okay?

   Besides, I am not really here. This was scheduled weeks ago. I am currently on an airplane heading to London, thence by train to Weymouth. My son and I shall be attending Tankfest at the Tank Museum in Bovington this weekend.

Things that make you go HMMMM?

If it weren't for the glass - you'd be on the menu.

Poor Bloody Infantry

   As this posts, I should be starting my first game of Poor Bloody Infantry, a WWII game from Peter Pig Miniatures. Martin Goddard, the owner of Peter Pig, kindly invited my son Dane and I to come to his home and play a game whilst we are visiting his hometown of Weymouth. Dane and I came to Weymouth to attend Tankfest at the Tank Museum in nearby Bovington.

  I just wanted to thank Martin again for his kind invitation, and brag that I am going to Tankfest and most of you lot aren't! Nah nah nah! 

  I did have to sacrifice Historicon this year in order to convince the memsahib that this was a good idea, and agree to meet her in Paris after a week in the UK. Totally worth it. Tanks tomorrow! Very exciting!

   Photos may have to wait until I return to be posted - I'm unsure of the level of internet access I will have while traveling. But I plan to take lots.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Off to see tanks and castles

  I know it has been a bit quiet around these parts lately, but I have been busy getting ready for a trip to Europe. By the time this posts, I should be boarding a plane at Houston Intercontinental, headed for London.

   First we go see Tankfest, at Bovington. HUZZAH! While staying in nearby Weymouth, Martin Goddard of Peter Pig Miniatures has kindly offered to host a game of Poor Bloody Infantry for my son and I. HUZZAH HUZZAH!

   Then we go see castles (Cardiff and Windsor). HUZZAH! Cardiff has lots of Whovian fun, as well, and the Goat Major pub, with the Best Pie Ever (Wye Valley Pie). Then we take the Chunnel to France!

   Then we go to Paris (meh.) Actually, I am looking forward to Paris, too. Just not for anything gaming related, really. No, not going to Normandy this time. But planning a trip there in five years (75th anniversary) with my best friend, Jim. His grandfather jumped into St. Mere Eglise.

   When I get home in a couple of weeks, I think I may actually feel like painting, or playing something with minis.

   I have scheduled a couple of other posts to pop up while I am away. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FOW and D&D

That's what I have been up to gaming wise.

Got trounced twice last weekend at our monthly Flames of War game fighting the Market Garden Firestorm campaign. A bad day for Germany.

In my defense:

In the first battle, the Allies had two platoons of tanks more than I (2200 pts. vs. 1470 pts.) thanks to having two Firestorm units. Then the mission called for Reserves, which kept one platoon of my Pioneers (and their minefield) off the table until too late to do any good. Lost 6-1.

In the second battle, I again had to hold half my force in Reserves, only to be allowed to arrive starting in the 3rd turn, and then at a random location. So I faced three enemy units with my two, and only dribbled in reinforcements fast enough to get them chewed up. Heck, I lost my Company Commander in Turn One! And then my dice really turned on me with a vengeance. I hit and penetrated the only really dangerous British tank THREE TIMES and failed to brew it up when I rolled a 1 for my firepower check. THREE TIMES! Just a bad game for me. I did manage to take a platoon of tanks with me on this one, so it was a 5-2 loss.

On the D&D front, we have played a total of five games. The boys have advanced to 3rd level and have just cleared out the second level of the old silver mine. Now they are in the third level, full of zombies. The cleric has already used greater turning once and vaporized six zombies, but there are a lot more down there... I need to keep notes to do a better game report, I think. Anyway, I will write more about the D&D game when I get back from vacation in two weeks.

Keep on gaming!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Idylls of the Rat King, Pt. 2

   Once again, our intrepid band gathered, intent on eliminating the goblinoid threat to the commercial exploitation of natural resources in the Silverton region. I suppose they are PMCs, in modern parlance. But we'll just call them "adventurers."

The Adventurers:
  • Oak, a warforged fighter
  • Sol Sirvius, a mul cleric of Pelor
  • Custodes, a human paladin
  • Gellen Peakclimber, a human ranger
  • Kaworu Nasisa, an elf rogue
  • The Sorceress With No Name, a halfling sorcerer*

*The Sorceress With No Name is a spare character, waiting for her player to arrive. In the meantiime, she is played by Oak's player.

   In this, our second session, exploration, traps, and magic swords were the name of the game.

   Retracing their steps through the secret tunnel discovered in Part 1, the party returned to the second guard room they had cleared out. Two doors led from the room. Eventually, both would be followed, but the party began with the north exit. Kaworu volunteered to scout slightly ahead of the party, advancing near silently to a distance of some forty feet beyond the rest of the party. That mine tunnel led past another secret door, which Kaworu's keen elven senses once again detected as if by magic. 

   The room discovered held only a single chest, to first appearances. Oak fearlessly opened the chest, only to feel something ding into his finger. Further inspection revealed a poisoned needle trap on the chest! Fortunately, Oak is one tough warforged, and no harm was done. The chest proved to be empty. A thorough search of the room by the entire party [each character took a section, then 'took twenty' on the Search] revealed a loose slab of rock in the flooring. Underneath that slab was a sword, wrapped in mouldering parchment. Made of alchemical silver [as determined by the sorceress, trained in Alchemy], Sol Sirvius prayed for divine insight into its properties; Pelor's gift allowed his humble servant to detect the blade's enchantments, and the party gave it over to Custodes, as it seemed a fitting weapon for a champion of Heironeous. The parchment provided an important clue to the party.

   Continuing on through the winding tunnels, the next chamber explored was some sort of shrine to a rat god. a large statue made of green marble, with ruby eyes, and in the shape of some sort of hideous half-man, half-rat hybrid dominated the room. Custodes and Sol demanded the idol be destroyed, but not before Kaworu pried the ruby eyes from its head. Using rope, the party pulled the idol down, smashing it upon the hard stone floor.

   The next chamber, a bedroom of some sort, provided some candles and a shield, but an important clue might have been missed. Retracing and taking another turn, the adventurers arrived in a large audience chamber. Three goblins, one much larger and hairier than usual, were in the room. The large goblin spoke to the party in badly accented and grammatically lacking Teroi (the most common of human tongues). After asking their names, Rez-Zomar ordered his guards to kill the intruders. As the goblins advanced, Rez-Zomar's form shifted and changed, until a large, goblin-rat hybrid creature stood in his place. The party handily defeated the bodyguards, but had some trouble with Rez-Zomar until Oak landed a particularly heavy blow, followed up by a slash from Custodes' silvery blade. A quick search of the goblin's body revelaed an iron key - the lock remains undiscovered. A silvery grate, locked, gives access to a ladder leading downward. The bars of the grate were inscribed with symbols, both arcane and divine in nature. Feeling unready for that challenge, the party decided to continue exploration of the several tunnels on this level that they had yet to clear out.

   Returning to a crossing to back track, the party stumbled upon a trio of zombies. Sol tried to turn the undead abominations, to no avail. Rather, the party slashed them into quivering gobbets of decaying flesh as the slow zombies failed to land any serious blows in the short skirmish.

   Passing through yet more unexplored mine shafts, Kaworu's keen senses found yet another cunningly hidden doorway. Opening the door nearly proved deadly, as it triggered an undetected trap, and a volley of arrows struck Kaworu and Oak! Oak's tough hide saved his life [reduced to 1 hp, but he has DR2, and three arrows hit him], and Kaworu's quick reflexes prevented the two arrows which struck him from piercing his vitals. After some healing from Sol, the room was searched. Inside, a stone sarcophagus lay in the center of the room. After a great deal of effort by the entire party, the lid was removed. Inside were the remains of an armoured human, the armour rusted away, but clasped in his bony hands a bastard sword that appeared new-forged. Oak took this mighty weapon, which later investigation would reveal held some sort of enchantment. Also within the coffin was a small chest holding potion vials, potions that would heal injuries and prevent disease. Whoever this mighty warrior had been [Knowledge Nobility check failed], his burial goods would serve the cause of good once more! 

   Carefully resealing the hidden tomb, the party continued down the tunnel. The next door opened upon a nightmarish scene. Dozens of skulls - human, dwarf, elf, and halfling - hung from the ceiling on fine steel chains. Two beds rested against one wall, and between them, the crucified body of an unfortunate halfling. The adventurers removed this sad victim, and took his body to the consecrated tomb, hoping to offset the potential bad karma of their grave robbery with the good karma of a proper burial for the poor victim.

   Returning to the hunt, another shrine was located. This one featured a statue of a large rat, and two large living rats defending it. These were easily dispatched, and the idol destroyed. Sadly for the belt pouches of our heroes, it lacked the bejeweled eye sockets of the first destroyed idol. Again, the tunnel proved to be a dead end. Spells exhausted, and the day having been long and arduous, the party chose to replenish their strength. They returned to the dining chamber discovered in the last gaming session and made camp. The following morning, they returned to explore some more

  The final room explored this night was nearly empty. A table and chairs, a single silver candlestick, and an empty weapon rack were all that appeared. Careful searching discovered a yellowed slip of paper, with another clue to the curse that tainted the Gannu mines in the first place.

  At this point, the game was halted. Experience points were doled out, and the characters ascended to their second level. We did all the bookkeeping required for that, and called it a night. We hope to continue on Wednesday this week.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Three new projects considered...

Greetings all!

I am suffering from project paralysis at the moment. I don't really need a new project to distract me further from the dozen or so ongoing ones in which I am currently involved (some might say 'mired'). But, three things are currently tickling my creative juices a bit.

15mm Spanish Civil War. Zach wants to do this. He has another friend of ours, Gerald, already sold. As in, he's already purchased miniatures. I have not bitten down yet. It is intriguing, but I am not sure that I am enough interested in it to take the plunge.

15mm Sci-Fi. I would really like to do a science fiction game. Aliens (I think the Chuhuac) versus humans, battling for control of colony worlds. A campaign across several worlds would be even better, fighting out the First Chuhuac War. I also like a lot of Khurasan's aliens, too, so I may go total space opera with tons of alien cultures all warring against each other.

28mm Post-Apocalypse. Thinking like Across the Dead Earth, or an adaptation of In Her Majesty's Name rules to post-apocalypse. I think it would be simple enough, as the rules are very mod friendly. I like the skirmish/gang level. Campaign system would be cool here, as well, with rival gangs fighting over scarce resources and valuable territories.

So I thought maybe I would get some help from my faithful readers, some input, to help break the lockup. Naturally, a poll sounds like a good way to go about gathering data. Plus, of course, you could respond to this posting with pertinent comments. I'd like to avoid discussions of the merits of Russian neo-punk versus Pushtu Rave bands, if you don't mind. At least this time.

In other news, I got an email today informing me that an Ogre Mk. III was on its way to my happy home. Which will be happier still once I have the Mk. III in it.

LPL Final Results

   Well, the Lead Painters League is over for another year. I managed to win in the last round, bringing my record to 3 wins, 7 losses. Overall, I placed 34th of 40. I am quite disappointed by this.

   The photo above was my final entry, and stood for two weeks, (9 and 10) because I was simply too busy to get anything else put together and photographed. In it you can see some Epic 40K Termites in service to the Imperial German Aetherbattalions. The infantry are 6mm Baccus colonial British with a Teutonic paint job. I lost Round 9, won Round 10 with this one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

V is for...

15mm Sci Fi A to Z Brings You

V is for VTOL

   Ah yes, the vectored thrust vehicle. A staple of science fiction, especially near future or 'hard' sci-fi, where the laws of physics as we (currently) know them are inviolable. I like them because they are extremely plausible - we already have the technology. Also, there is something about their ability to launch from small areas, fly about the battlefield, then bring a hellstorm of ordnance to bear on the foe. They are agile, and not so fast moving that they overfly a ground target before generating hits. I like the big chunky engine look, the ducted fans...

   What the heck, they're cool.

   So here is a sampling of what's out there. Enjoy! just re-released a nice looking one. It's called the V105 Sabre Flyer, and Eli Arndt did a nice review of it just the other day on Dropship Horizon. Speaking of which, if you are into 15mm sci-fi, you should be following that blog.

   The ubiquitous Khurasan Miniatures offers some as well. I like the look of this one, the Dragonfly Light Gunship.

But the Red Faction VTOL Gunship is truly awesome in appearance (also from Khurasan).

Then there is Clear Horizon's Raven class VTOL. Very cool, sleek looking.

Old Crow used to manufacture this big cargo VTOL, but I don't think they are still making models. Does anyone know if the molds have been sold off?

  By the way, I know that this A to Z has gone wildly out of order. Partially a function of OOOOOO Shiny. Partially a function of time and availability. I think you can all manage to cope with it. Right?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Z is for...

15mm Sci Fi A to Z Presents...

Z is for Zombie

   Our final installment, at long last, and how could it be anything but flesh rending, cannibalistic, undead monsters? I mean, what did you expect, zebras? Yes, zombies, my favorite apocalyptic vision. It's also quite the comment on the banality of modern existence, as well, but I digress.

   Did I mention the flesh rending? Certainly wouldn't want to leave that out. Naturally I am a big fan of The Walking Dead, both the graphic novels and the television program. I also like the older Romero films, but not the remakes. I'm a shambling zombie kind of guy. Those fast zeds are no bueno, compadres. Fast zombies equates to human extinction in a matter of days. So let's stick with the typical slow, dumb, but relentless and voracious kind of zombies. Dangerous, especially in herds, but there is at least a chance for humanity to make it against them. We also eliminate 'rage' zombies. Nope, we like our zombies good and dead, thanks, not hopped up on some rage inducing viral or chemical weapon, like bath salts.

   So who makes them as 15mm miniatures? That depends on your era. I'll concentrate on the near-future post apocalypse sorts tonight.

Rebel Minis
Modern Zombie Pack #3

   Rebel Minis has three packs of modern zombies, with everything from businessmen to clowns. They also sell zombie dogs, and three different nationalities of WW2 zombies. They also have a variety of zombie hunter/survivor figures to combat/flee from the shambling menace.

Blue Moon Manufacturing

   Though more known for their gothic horror and historical miniatures, they do produce a nice zombie pack.


   Like Khurasan was not going to be in the market? Zombies have been pretty hot for a while now. And Khurasan makes some nice lead.

Splintered Light Miniatures

   Splintered Light only offers one pack of modern zombies, but they are a nice generic Zed. Scale-wise, I am not sure how they match up with the others. However, at 12 (in six poses) for $8.00, they might be hard to resist a pack, just to flesh out your horde. Flesh out - ha!


   A British company, these figures are listed under their Modern Miscellaneous range. Not terribly zombie-fied, they are listed as Civilians/Zombies. The poses lend themselves to paint-based zombification, however. Perhaps a bit of work with the knife and the pin drill could make them a bit more raggedy...