Monday, January 16, 2017

Kudos to Miniature Scenery

I received a package from Miniature Scenery in the mail today. There were a handful of incorrectly cut parts in the Y2K Peregrine kit, so they sent a replacement sheet.

What's more, they popped in one of their new sci fi bike kits! It's a bit more Infinity than 40k in it's styling, but I'm sure it'll come in handy sometime. It certainly looks like a fun little build.
And don't worry, the Peregrine hasn't been forgotten. Construction has paused while I've been painting the cockpit. It's a bit slow because it's full of such delicious detail.

Anyway, Miniature Scenery, they're nice guys! You ought to pay them a visit!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

RT Project - Expedition Security

The Rogue Trader project is a game a month pulled from the Plot Generator in the original Rogue Trader rulebook. Build, paint and play one scenario a month. Here's the first figure. Can you guess what scenario he might be for?

These diggers. They will go anywhere if there's even just a sniff of something ancient, something unknown. But what they can't smell is danger. And all their books and degrees and doodads can't do squat when they're facing down a grox or a salvage pirate. Fact is, they'd be dead ten times over if it wasn't for me.

Titus N. Thomas is a cargo loader and general rousabout aboard the small cargo freighter The Seeker's Wish. For almost a decade now, the ship has been contracted to Convocation of Archeo Explorators, a society of reliquarists, xeno-archaeologists and archeotech hunters. Once the ship hits the ground, Titus acts as security for the party of explorers.
Titus is a simple build - bits from the wonderful genestealer cultist box, with a suitably grumpy head from the Celestial Hurricanum kit. Sorry for the murky photos! Here he is going point for another party of explorators. Who knows what awaits them this time?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Accountant - a Pulp Alley Game

Chaos forces have been secretly stealing the valuable mineral Lucasium from a mining operation on Scaryx IV, a small desert planet. The last cargo ship left three days ago, but a bureaucratic oversight means that the chaos forces forgot to evacuate the project's accountant. Should the accountant fall into the hands of the Imperium, their scheme would be uncovered and his valuable project knowledge would be lost. The chaos forces send a small extraction team to grab the accountant. 

Even as they do so, two imperial teams arrive to investigate what has been happening at the site.

The chaos force has to travel left to right across the table and exit in the shuttle.
Secondary objectives: all people who may know something about chaos activities.The security guard, the servitor and the trader.
The substantial chaos force moves towards the shuttle, with the psyker escorting the accountant.
The scouts and imperial guard move in.
The imperial guard bring in their big guns, but I think the pilot was cross-eyed, as he barely hit a thing all game!
Guard move in to confront the chaos force.
And wish they hadn't as the flamethrower gets going!
The scouts interrogate the security guard.
A little light-hearted inter-service rivalry as the scout frags the guardsmen.
It's mayhem, but the gunship still can't shoot straight (burst template in the foreground, hitting nothing useful!)
The chaos psyker gets to the stairs with the accountant.
At this point the marine and guard players became a little irrational, dropping a grenade in the middle of the stairs and accidentally taking out the accountant! There goes the major objective of the game!
The chaos player attempts to salvage something from the mess, but a well-timed grenade takes out the psyker just as she is about to escape.
I think in these moments it's customary to suggest that the game was the winner, but I'm not so sure!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Rogue Trader Project

Games Workshop's Rogue Trader turns thirty this year, and I thought that would be a thing worth celebrating!

I came to Warhammer 40k after Rogue Trader. I cut my teeth on 2nd edition, with it's big box of glorious plastic. It was only years later that a friend gave me a well-loved copy of the original Rogue Trader rules.
Now I've never actually played the rules themselves, and don't really intend to. Not that I have anything against them, but Pulp Alley is my go-to for these kinds of games these days.

I'm not big on the rules, I also don't own a single Rogue Trader era figure. Back in the day, I did have a half dozen blisters of figures (commissars, Imperial Guard, penal legion, adventurers, space pirates, and gangers). But they're long gone. And much as I love all the Oldhammer action on the blogs and the forums, I've never felt compelled to jump in. For me, the golden age of GW figures came later: the Inquisition, Mordheim, Necromunda.

So for me, Rogue Trader is not the rules, it's not the figures. What I love is the Rogue Trader universe: the feel and the spirit of the game, rather than the letter of it. The one thing that sums it up best is the plot generator. One hundred glorious little scenario outlines. Ideas to chuckle at, ideas to dream of creating, ideas that open up new worlds.
This year, I plan to play a randomly chosen Rogue Trader scenario each month. But here's the deal. During the month, I'll post up the figures and terrain I'm putting together for the scenario. But it's only at the end of the month that the scenario will be unveiled, with a report to follow.

Twelve months, twelve games of Rogue Trader flavoured goodness. The only question: when will Abdul Goldberg show his face?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Pulp Alley gets Medieval on your @ss

Mark and I played our second game of Pulp Alley, Wars of the Roses style. A dispute over a borderline sees the Percies and the Nevilles square off.
Scruffy scottish mercenaries move in. 
Photo quality (and some of the scenery) was a bit iffy, sorry!

We liked that the game felt different to standard Pulp Alley. A major part of this is that not everyone is toting a missile weapon, so melee becomes a much more significant factor. This introduces extra tactical challenges: you need to think carefully about where to place your archers, how you move to avoid shooting.
Mark's billman is feeling a little lonely.
Mark's leader is swarmed by the gang of mercenaries. 
They went down like flies, but took him with them!

We're using a number of the settings from Pulp Leagues,with a few little modifications here and there.

  • Gritty. No character rolls over d8. This keeps characters more in the realms of realism. It also means your crummy foot soldiers have a better chance of rolling the knights.
  • Heartless. If you down a character, you can discard a card to remove them from play. The knife through the visor here. We're playing you can only do it in a brawl, and if you haven't gone down yourself.
  • Primitive. Or half of it. You can't run and shoot.
A few other mods.
  • Crossbows may only shoot once per turn.
  • Some Fortune cards are removed from the deck.
  • Some abilities are not available (bursts, etc. No holy hand grenades here!) For the moment, we're outlawing the use of Armoured. That may seem strange, but we feel that it will make it too tough to kill the big characters.

In sum, we liked it quite a lot. We liked the differences from vanilla Pulp Alley: it felt medieval-ish. Also, the setting will provide lots of fodder for the crafty multi-player scenarios we love!

Expect to see plenty more of this coming your way.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Peregrine - 200

The last fifty pieces for the Peregrine have all gone into the seats.
And they're still not (quite) finished!
The detail is amazing though - padded seats, footrests, screens for the pilots. I find myself caught between two thoughts. "What am I doing?! If this was a plastic kit, this would be about three pieces." And, "This is amazing what you can do with flat pieces of cardboard!" The second way of thinking is still winning!

The next update will take us past the seats (yay!).It might be a while coming, because I'm going to have to take a deep breath and start painting.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 in review

Another year done: largely a good one for me on the hobby front. Definite highlight: running my first substantial campaign. The Sinastras IV campaign saw eleven games, with some truly memorable ones among them: last stands, 'dungeon' crawls, and ultimately a grand betrayal.
Another highlight was running Pulp Alley at the revived Briscon. I do enjoy showing off the game and the stuff that I work on.
Pulp Alley was, once again, the most played game for me. Twenty-six games, playing 1930s pulp, gothic sci fi, Cthulhu, superheroes and even Wars of the Roses!

There wasn't a lot else: four games of To the Strongest and two games of Force on Force.

Blogging was up and down this year: the motivation really lagged in the second half of the year. But an average of one post a week is fairly solid.

Painting: least to most.

A couple of Battlefront Germans.
A couple of Grumpy Indonesians (for To the Strongest).
Three Khurasan Vikings (To the Strongest again).
A trio of Pulp Figures - the Nazis are coming!
An array of bits for medieval horror.
I had grand ideas for this using Pulp Alley, but it never really got off the ground. Bought much more than I painted. However, I picked up many Mordheim sculpts that I have loved and wanted for a long time!

Perry Wars of the Roses.
And, once more, a solid array of sci fi bits.
Obviously driven by the needs of the campaign, but more and more, this is what I enjoy doing.

And the pile of shame: stuff purchased but not painted.
Definitely not one of the highlights of 2016. I bought into a couple of new projects (Wars of the Roses and Mordheim-ish stuff), plus the usual ooh-shiny syndrome, mainly for sci fi. If I can resist the lure of new projects next year, maybe I'll have a chance of painting more than I purchase.

What's in store for 2017? As always, we shall wait and see. Ideas at the moment:

  • It looks like we could be doing a Pulp Alley Wars of the Roses campaign at the club, so expect to see more of this.
  • A couple of mates are talking a 15mm Normandy campaign (thus the two Germans above).
  • The sci fi will definitely keep happening - so many miniatures to paint and ideas bubbling away!
  • I painted quite a bit of Russian Civil War in 2014, but it never really got traction. The main issue, I think, was rules. Tried Red Actions, which are good rules, but a bit slow-moving for what I'm looking for. But I picked up Osprey's The Men Who Would Be Kings, thinking it might be adaptable. A month later, I found someone else on the web who'd done exactly the same thing, so this might have some legs!
Well, if you've read that far, happy new year!