Tuesday, 20 March 2018

“What, do you guys come off an assembly line or something?”

Another batch of Resistance soldiers for Terminator; Genysis, and this time, in the full spirit of Cheaphammering, they’ve been co-opted from Mars Attacks by Mantic Games.

I picked up Mars Attacks cheaply a couple of years ago, with the intention of using the scenery and miniatures for zombie games and 7TV. Unfortunately, the single piece miniatures are a bit slender and small to fit in with most 28mm ranges. Fortunately, so are the Terminator; Genysis miniatures.

Here’s a comparison.

The miniatures are more individual than the Terminator Resistance models and so add some much needed variety to the force. The bases and uniforms are slightly different but not worryingly so. In fact, the only major downside is that most of them are armed with assault rifles, which are largely useless against Endoskeletons. Weight of fire is their only hope of slowing the machines down.

Fortunately, these troops also give me access to light machine guns, something that I’ve not had access to previously, partly due to the fact they’re not in the main rulebook. However, and errata has fixed that and so I’ll be able to add massed firepower at range to hold the terminators at bay.

The set also includes a missile launcher. Unfortunately, I can’t technically add a third until I bring my force up to 750 points.

At the moment, I’m currently only at 500 points, however events have taken place that mean that reaching that next benchmark might be easier than I first thought.

This also means that I get to start adding fun stuff to the machines, and I have plans for that too.

This is beginning to get out of hand...

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Rage Against The Machines

Matt and I found time recently to play a couple of slightly larger game of Terminator: Genysis and, I have to say, it’s a much better game than I have it credit for.

Both of our previous games were tutorials which feature just a couple of Endoskeletons and ultimately the machines were stopped by a couple of lucky shots. However our most recent games were using the last tutorial mission and had 16 Resistance against 10 Termunators, and those machines were relentless and frightening and both times humanity was in a panicked struggle for survival.

This has prompted me to paint the Resistance models that came in the starter I picked up cheaply at last year’s Salute.

I’ve gone quick and dirty with painting these as their not the greatest miniatures in the world (serviceable, but not brilliant), and I’m not a fan painting in bulk.

There are four poses in the set and there is a degree of interchangeability with optional weapons. However this is limited, for example, the female fighter can only have a plasma rifle or a shotgun (something that non of the other models can have), and so I’ve tried to bring in some variation with different skin tones, hair colours and other features like bandannas.

I was a bit confused that with single pose models in uniform there was only one of the sculpts with a helmet on. Uniforms bring uniform isn’t really an issue, but hairstyles being the same becomes noticeable. I think these would be more desireable for other games if they were all in helmets.

I’ve gone with a simple dark grey with a wash, I didn’t even bother highlighting (don’t tell the paint police), and most of the weapons are black. I’ve allowed myself the luxury of doing the plasma rifles silver both to easily differentiate them from the assault rifles, but also they are supposed to be machine-tech and so silver makes some kind of narrative sense.

The basing, like on my Endoskeletons is just bare sand with some tufts added. As well as being quick, it means my models will be easily told apart from Matt’s (who’s done great bases) should we decide to merge our forces for a bigger game.

My initial aim is to get both of my forces up to 500 points. For the machines this just means making one of them a command unit and purchasing a reroll, however for the Resistance I will need to get creative with some cheap vehicles and my much-unloved Wargames Factory Apocalypse Survivors, as well as a few other surprising sources.

Watch this space. I’ll be back.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The Walking Dead - Issue #7

So, it’s time for the gang to leave Atlanta, but there’s a herd of Walkers determined to stop them. This was (or so I thought) going to be a big game featuring 13 characters, but would also involve both risks and rewards for the future of the campaign.

In the comics (spoiler alert) this encounter sees the death of Amy and the infection (and ultimately death) of Jim. Therefore, there was the chance that both of these characters could survive and be available later in the campaign. As ever, characters who died would be gone for good, and infected characters that survived to the end of the game would turn out not to have actually been bitten.

However, it is possible to not win the scenario due to not gaining enough victory points, and in this circumstance I would face the following penalties:
  • bitten characters who survived the scenario would actually succumb to their wounds,
  • Jim would turn out to have been bitten, just like in the comics.
So let’s see how I got on...

Days Gone Bye - Chapter 5

Despite Shane’s opposition, Rick persuades the others that they have to keep moving to stay alive. Unfortunately, the RV needs major repairs before they can pack up camp. While they’re working on repairing the transport, a herd of roamers emerges from the woods...

Well that went wrong!

The game only actually only lasted three turns due to me not remembering that a Walker getting within 3” of the campfire in the End Phase would end the game and being somewhat trigger happy with Andrea in the opening turns, thus overrunning myself. 

I probably should have focused on melee weapons and cleared out the Walkers who got close whilst Jim fixed the RV. This is especially annoying because Jim, armed with the wrench is pretty much a dead cert to fix the RV in four rounds.

To add insult to injury, Allen, who had already survived a lurker, was bitten when overwhelmed by the Walkers drawn to Andrea’s gunfire. According to my own rules, I failed to get the 5 VPs required for victory, and that means that both Allen and Jim end up succumbing to their woulds and joining the Walkers.

On the up side, Amy survived. However, she’s not as good as Allen, and given that Allen makes it all the way to the prison, there are a number of scenarios where I’m going to have to put Amy, or one of the other weaker characters in harm’s way in his place.

In terms of narrative, it works out. Andrea is consumed by guilt for Allen’s death (instead of Amy’s), both Allen and Jim will be left on the outskirts of Atlanta, with a tearful farewell between Allen and his wife Donna, and there has been a serious consequence to Shane’s insistence of staying near Atlanta, further driving a wedge between him and Rick.

And on that subject, the next scenario actually requires an opponent. Shane and Rick will go head to head, and one of them isn’t walking away...well, not until after they’re dead.  

Sunday, 4 March 2018

The Walking Dead - Issue #6

I’ve decided that I need some painting motivation, and so I’ve figured out that if I play the remaining Days Gone Bye scenarios, I will need to do some painting before starting on the Miles Behind Us expansion.

This time I was joined by my daughter, who took control of Glenn, and we engaged in a tense mission on the streets of Atlanta.

Days Gone Bye - Chapter 4

Rick and Glenn decide to brave Atlanta once more, and head into the city limits to find vital supplies. Covering themselves in gore from downed Walkers, they try to sneak through the heart of infested territory.

After a very calm start, the end was extremely tense. My daughter actually shrieked when the lurker supply card was drawn. For the second game on a row, I’ve been a single turn away from a significant character death saved only by the fortuitous use of some found meds.

The next game is a big one, and for the first time I’ll actually have the chance to save the lives of some characters, rather than just get them killed.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Don’t mention the ‘D’ word!

The last few days of snow have give me the time to paint up the beginnings of a little project I’m doing for my daughter: The War for the Magic Kingdom.

The idea for this is to paint some characters from a well known producer of animated films to use for games of 7TV in which the heroes battle the combined forces of evil. The idea for this came for the Descendants films (ask your kids) which are set after the good guys have won and the baddies have been banished to the ‘Isle of the Lost’.

Perhaps the trickiest part of this project is locating suitable miniatures as there aren’t as many ‘not’ sculpts of these sorts of characters as you’d think - possibly due to how trigger happy the lawyers representing the well known producer of animated films are.

In respect of this, you might notice that I’m being somewhat circumspect in my use of names. I don’t want to get anybody into trouble, after all.

You might recognise these two, as I painted them a couple of years ago. However, time spent in the possession of a small child has meant that there were some chips to repaint, as well as a base for the Ice Queen and a new hand for Miss Feisty-Pants.

The miniatures are from North Star, as part of their Frostgrave range - labelled as a Fire Elementalist and her Apprentice. For reference, similar characters are available from Hasslefree.

Speaking of Hasslefree, this brave lass is from them, and was a really straightforward paint job. I’m a bit disappointed with her eyes, which look fine in real life, but the photo reveals to be a bit boss-eyed.

Also from Hasslefree is this evil fairy, currently the sole representative from the forces of wickedness. The sculpt is clearly based on the live-action iteration of the character, but I’ve tried to do a more traditional outfit.

Amusingly, I think the face makes it look like she’s being played by Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones.

This character, photographed amongst the white snow, is the Baron’s Daughter from White Knight Miniatures. I’m a little bit disappointed with the tidiness of my painting but the bright colours make it quite hard to cover up by throwing a wash over the model...as I usually do.

I may revisit this one.

This humpbacked bell-ringer is from Pulp Miniatures, and despite being dressed a bit too modern for the medieval setting of the subject character, the overall resemblance was too good to pass up (also, I already had the model).

I built up the hump with greenstuff to male the resemblance more obvious.

This cheeky monkey comes in the same pack as the previous miniature, but needed a tail adding to make him suitable to represent a flying carpet co-pilot from the Middle East.

I’m genuinely not happy with the final look of the face of this chap, and so I might need to go back to it. I think the problem is that he’s designed as a villainous henchman, and so there’s a sly look to the face that’s difficult to make look friendly.

I’m now on the lookout for some more appropriate miniatures, particularly to represent some villains. I have already been ‘hooked’  by some pirates from North Star, which include a fellow who might make a suitable Captain.

Cards will follow when I’ve evened out the bad guys’ numbers.

Friday, 2 March 2018

The Walking Dead - Issue #5

With the fact that outside my house currently resembles Narnia, our weekly gaming night hasn’t happened. Therefore I took the opportunity to continue my Walking Dead solo campaign.

Days Gone Bye - Chapter 3

Reunited with his family and an old friend, Rick thinks he may have found some respite from the horrors of the new world. But the fledgling group soon realised that there’s no rest from the threat of the Walkers.

Despite almost losing Shane, without the meds he’d have been done for, this was actually fairly straightforward. One of the issues with the solo game is that with a large number of characters it becomes too easy to manage the threat level, and so barring bad rolls it’s unlikely that the threat tracker will get away from you.

Admittedly, Shane was having a bit of a nightmare with his rolls, but this was largely due to me not giving him a melee weapon.

For reference, my character death rules are that if a character dies in game, they are gone and I will need to adjust future scenarios accordingly. If a character’s death in the comics happens ‘off screen’ then it will happen no matter what, however, if a scenario is built around a situation which causes character death and they survive, then they will make it to future games.

These ideas will only come into play in the final two scenarios of Days Gone Bye, specifically for Shane, Jim and Amy. However, despite apparently being bitten, Shane will live to fight again.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

He-Month: What’s that coming over the hill?

Is it a monster?


It’s actually a Shadow Beast, an ape-like creature that appeared under the command of Beast Man in both the original Filmation cartoons and the 2002 reboot.

As you can see, I’ve gone for a more 2002 look, mainly because the face is more ape-like and the model I was using as a base was a giant gorilla from Crooked Dice.

The model itself is frankly gorgeous, and I’m pleased to mamage to sneak a Crooked Dice miniature into what is ostensibly a 7TV project. All I’ve done is add a couple of horns taken from a GW Beastman (appropriately).

In terms of painting this was an incredibly simple job with a base coat of black, a blue dry brush and a healthy dose of black wash.

Overall, I’m really happy with how easy this was to do and how it’s turned out, which makes it especially annoying that I managed to drop the model during basing and smack three of its fingers off.

My attempt to fix this was to add the rock as if it’s being thrown and attempt to camouflage the offending fingers with some ivy. It’s not perfect, but it will do. There’s also a gap where the head joins that doesn’t look as bad in real life as it does in this photo.

All in all, this is a pleasing addition to my growing MotU collection, and it should be easy enough to add more by picking up some other gorilla sculpts that are out there, although I’ll also pick up another CD one to paint up in a more convential way for my pulp project.

In game terms, this is the first addition that could potentially form a unit in 7TV when led by Beast Man. At the moment, his Unit Leader trait links him to ‘Beast Packs’, but this gives me the option of creating more unit options for Beast Man to lead as he corralled numerous different monsters during the cartoon runs.

He-Month may be coming to a close soon, but I’ve recently ordered some more models, so the end of February will not see the end of this project.

However, this is probably it for what has probably been my most successful mini-project for some time, and so I’ll sign off from He-Month with a group shot of my creations.