Wednesday, 26 October 2016

7TV - Soul Survivor: The Series

After last weekend's Zomtober post, I was determined to not let a perfectly good post title go to waste, and so with Matt coming round for a refresher game of 7TV, I set up a small 20 ratings battle using one of the basic scenarios in the 7TV Producer's Handbook.

The heroic cast would be trying to protect an important witness who had decided to turn informant and rat out the mob. The villains would be attempting to silence the snitch and an ambush on an abandoned street corner.

The Set

The casts were as follows:

Heroic Cast
Action Hero - Horace 'Action' Jackson
Security Commander
3 Security Guards
Administrator - Father Price
VIP - The Informant
'Action' Jackson & Friends

Villainous Cast
Underworld Boss - Stephanie 'Lazy' Town
Thug Bruiser
2 Thugs
Steph and the Boys

Rather than doing 7TV reports bow-by-blow, I thought I'd return to something a little more narrative...

 The final score was 5-3 to the villains. The first two Countdown Cards drawn really mucked up both of our plans. 'Script Editing' switched Jackson for Stephanie and meant that the villains were struggling to activate as I couldn't use her Leader ability, whereas the 'Hit Your Mark' had the Informant present himself on a plate to the hit squad. The heroes did a good job of grabbing objectives, but couldn't hit the side of a bus and when their cast was axed the only way back into the game was some really optimistic long range shooting in the final turns.

7TV remains a fun and completely versatile rules set, and seventies action is what it's designed for. This isn't the last you've seen of Horace 'Action' Jackson.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Zomtober: Double Trouble

This weeks survivors are miniatures I picked up at the Derby World Wargames Show a couple of weeks ago. After deciding to sell my Wargames Factory Female Survivors, I decided to pick up a few female models for my zombie games. Naturally, I headed straight for Bad Squiddo Games (formerly the Dice Bag Lady) and her eclectic range of sensibly dressed female miniatures, and picked up these two.

They are a pair of twin mercenaries from Across the Dead Earth, a post-apocalyptic game, apparently called Aysha and Nisha (not sure which is which). I'm not usually a fan of post-apocalyptic miniatures, with their mohicans, propensity for fur and lack of trousers. However, these two are reasonably attired for a more realistic (ignoring the zombies) setting. They are perhaps more experienced survivors, but not beyond the realms of believability for games set across the pond.

Aysha (or Nisha) is sporting a pump action shotgun and a sidearm at her waist. I really like how both of these models are clearly female, without the usual wargaming habit of overdoing the 'curves'. It's something that works fine on comic book characters, but is a little out of place in a zombie apocalypse (unless you're in an animated Japanese high school). I also like the little details on the model, like the carabiner on the belt.

Nisha (or Aysha) is packing an AK-47 and is ready for action. As these two are meant to be twins, I tried to keep the colours I used similar, without making them too uniform. I think I've succeeded in this and the two of them look good together. I'm not sure what 7TV profiles I will used for them, but they should work as Survivalists without too much trouble.

Next up is a model I was originally going to post on his own, under the heading, 'Soul Survivor'...

...however, unless the apocalypse has been going on since the seventies, he doesn't really fit the Zomtober theme properly, and I promised to be sensible this year.

The model is the Bones version of Horace 'Action' Jackson from Reaper; another model I picked up at Derby. I found that due to the plastic used in the Bones miniatures, I had to put a bit more effort into highlighting than I usually do, as the washes I use had a tendency to pool quite badly on the model. I chose the yellow and blue colour scheme as a nod to the original costume of the Marvel character Luke Cage, as I'd just finished watching the latest Netflix series when I painted him.

He's got 'Flamboyant Agent' written all over him for Spy-Fi games of 7TV, however, I'm also rather tempted to use him as the beginning of a villain cast and make the Disco Boys from the film 'Mystery Men'.

Finally, returning to the theme of the post title, I've finally got my hands on some Dropfleet Commander models. Although my Kickstarter delivery hasn't arrived, Wes recieved his early, and as we'd planned to swap bonus sprues, he kindly gave me some Scourge ships to get working on whilst I wait.

The ship on the left is a Gargoyle Class Strike Carrier, which is apparently for dropping troops on important locations, whilst the one on the right is a Harpy Class Frigate, which seems to be the bog-standard Scourge frigate for supporting  the bigger cruisers. As I'm due to receive an entire armada of ships fairly soon, I've kept the painting really simple, using washes over silver in a scheme I've flagrantly nicked from someone on the internet.

I'm really happy with how theyve come out, and I'm fairly sure I'll be able to replicate this scheme fairly quickly to get the fleet done at a decent pace. I've actually painted a second one of each of the ships, but I don't have any more of the connector widgets at the moment. Expect to see many more similar ships soon.

Zomtober is drawing to a close, which means two things. Firstly, our traditional Halloween Weekend zombie game is in the offing, and we're planning something a bit more complex than usual. Secondly, I should probably do some zombies!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Zomtober: Lone Survivor

It's been a busy week, what with one thing and another, and so I've only managed to crank out a solitary survivor.

This is another of the Wargames Factory models, and this one has the low tech survivor vibe that I like in my Zombie apocalypses. There are far too many automatic weapons knocking around these days, I like a good dollop of sporting goods based improvisation. I'm not overly keen on the head, but that's a running gripe that I have with the set, this one at least has an expression that somewhat matches the action. Overall, he'll do.

I also managed to get Black Panther finished for the Marvel Universe Miniature Game last weekend after I'd blogged. Given the nature of the outfit, I put a deal more effort into painting black than I usually do, simply to gain some definition on the model. However, the black on black outfit, combined with increasingly poor light conditions, due to the nights drawing in, has made him rather tricky to photograph.

I'm happy with the simplicity of this model, something Knight models fought against by inexplicably making both arms separate. I don't pretend to be an expert on casting processes, but their scultping decisions seem very odd and quite a bit annoying at times.

However, he's turned out well, taking my Avengers line-up to seven models. It might be a while before I need to pick up another as purchasing is on hold on the lead in to Christmas.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Zomtober: "It's quiet round here..."

"Remind me, Padre. Why did you volunteer us to search the refinery at night?"

Week two of Zomtober, and although there are no zombies in sight, I've knocked out a couple of survivors using the Wargames Factory Male Survivors sprues. Despite my reservations about these kits, I had these models put together already, so it seemed sensible to get them done.

One of the things I like about this set is that there are a couple of unusual torsos, such as this rather heavy set chap. It creates a bit more character than the standard athletic build most miniatures are sculpted with. I've not done anything fancy with the painting, but I'm happy enough with him.

A  little bit more effort went into the priest. There are very few unarmed hands in the set and so I needed to a bot of cutting to put this guy together. The head is also from another manufacturer, Nexus Miniatures, as I really don't like most of the heads on the sprues as they lack any real definition. This head (which came with my not-Magneto) has an air of Vincent Price or Dick Van Dyke about it, which adds character.

Not sure how much he meets the definition of being a survivor though, given that his determined to face the zombie apocalypse armed only with a Bible.

Finally, I've also managed to finish off another Batman miniature. This time it's Hush, a.k.a. Tommy Elliot, Bruce Wayne's childhood friend who is determined to ruin Bruce's life. A very simple paint scheme, which has turned out well enough, although I'm not overly keen on the head as the detail is very soft and it's not entirely clear that his head is wrapped in bandages. Every so often, Knight Models sculpts seem to have this problem with the faces and heads. Given the detail on the rest of the models, this is a bit of a disappointment.

So far, it seems that Zomtober is having the required effect of getting me painting again. Hopefully the pace will pick up.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

It Begins...Zomtober 2016

It's that time of year again, and following my frankly abject performance in last year's Zomtober, I've decided to actually try and do it properly this year.

The idea is that during the month of October you paint something relating to zombie wargaming - zombie, survivor, terrain, etc. - each week and post it on your blog. Feel free to join in, proceedings are organised on Brummie's Wargaming Blog.

So to get things off to a quick start, I've done these chaps...

A zombie and a survivor seemed like an appropriate way to start the month, and they make for reasonable additions to the collection, and in fact make for a decent 'diorama'.

The zombie is a Studio Miniatures plastic zombie, and unlike the previous ones I've done, I went to the effort of chopping him off his chunky base, which now makes me want to do the same with the others I've done. The Studio zombies are, in my opinion, the best of the (male) plastic zombies currently available, although they are somewhat samey, and a whole box would get dull without starting to convert them. It was nice to remind myself of my zombie 'method' and I've added the detail of using a 'wet' paint (GW - Blood for the Blood God) for the blood, which although biologically inaccurate (the blood would surely have dried on a corpse that colour), looks good, and frankly realism isn't really on the agenda when painting zombies.

The mechanic (let's call him 'Mike') is from the Wargames Factory (now Warlord Games) Male Survivors sprue. Despite the options apparently available in this set, there is distinctly less flexibilit than you'd hope for in a plastic set. The heads are also a bit of a disappointment and lack detail, this is one of the better ones. Looking at the picture, I need to go back and re-highlight the flame on the Molotov cocktail. I'm not sure why he has that, as setting fire to a zombie simply means that you then have to kill a burning zombie, and when your armed with a crowbar, that makes the zombie more dangerous.

Mind you, I think the zombie is the least of his problems...

I'm hoping that Zomtober can get my painting mojo going again. These two are okay, but were really just a case of me scrabbling through my bits box to find something and doing a quick and dirty paint job in order to meet the first deadline. I've really gone off painting plastic models as I find the detail really lacking and I'm hoping to pick up a few interesting metal survivor models at the Derby wargames show tomorrow.

Tune in next week to see how I got one.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Strongest There Is!

I've painted the Hulk!

Well, actually, it's more like repainted. I picked the model up a couple of years ago, but decided he was too big for my other Marvel project. So, I decided to use him as Solomon Grundy in BMG. Here's how he looked:

I was really happy with him, but as soon as I began to build my Avengers for the Marvel Universe Miniatures Game, I knew that I'd end up repainting Grundy/Hulk, rather than buying a second model. However, I was determined to actually use Grundy a few times before he headed back to the paint table.

Over the summer, not only did he briefly feature as the Destructor in a Ghostbusters game of 7TV, but he also covered himself in glory (and gore) at the 'In Squad We Trust' Animosity Games event, where he killed Deathstroke, Deadshot and Batman, whilst scaring the crap out of Green Arrow, the Flash and half of the GCPD. It was fitting that this would be his last hurrah before 'going green'.

In fact, he was so good, that I'm determined to get the official Grundy added to my collection fairly soon.

And so, Hulk became Grundy and then became Hulk again.

The model is a bit troublesome, as there are quite chunky mould lines and gaps to fill, and I'm not the only one to find this. However, he's a pleasure to paint once you get to it. What's more, he also needed re-basing, as the Marvel Game has more sensible base sized, so he no longer teeters on a 40mm base, and is somewhat stable on a 60mm base. The basing is simply rocks from our front garden, and this goes some way to acting as a counter weight as Hulk is a hefty chunk of metal.

I'm really pleased how he's turned out, and I can now field a full 50 level team of Avengers, with the option of swapping someone out for Wolverine. I'm now not in a rush to get more, but one of the things I like about this game is that each model changes tactics and options, and makes games between the same players turn out differently. Next in line is likely to be Black Panther, but I might not pick him up until Wes and I have had a couple more games. Wes is looking at picking up Groot (which makes sense for the Guardians of the Galaxy) and Dr Doom (which...erm...doesn't really, but Doom does what Doom wants).

Next weekend we're off to the Derby wargames show, and I'm hoping to pick up a few models to use as zombie survivors, as I'll once again be taking part in Zomtober, hopefully a bit more successfully than last year.

Monday, 19 September 2016

What A Bunch Of A-Holes!

Wes and I arranged a game of the Marvel Universe Miniature Game, partly because we hadn't played for a while, and partly because it was good motivation for Wes to get his Guardians of the Galaxy finished. We were both using the basic starter sets because this is pretty much all we have (although I do have Wolverine available to change things up if necessary), and we decided to play the Relics mission in which there were two objectives near the centre of the table and all of the VP's related to the control of them.

Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Thor, Cap, Widow and Iron Man
Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora, Starlord, Drax and Rocket
I'd used my Avengers a couple of times before, and so had a fairly good grasp of their capabilities, whereas Wes would be using his Guardians for the first time. It had been about four months since our last game, and so it's entirely likely that we got stuff wrong.


The Avengers arrive on the scene. Widow infiltrates up near the stones.
Groot and Gamora head straight for a fight.
The Avengers hurl everything they've got at Drax and Gamora.
Cap and Drax hold the Relics.
The fight kicks off in earnest, with cars thrown and hammer's swung.
Iron Man unleashes his Unibeam, and Drax drops the Relic.
Starlord grabs the Relic and runs.
After finishing off Drax, the Avengers follow.
Gamora charges Widow because of Comics Rule #236:
Only girls can fight girls.
Captain America heroically sneaks off with a Relic.
It all gets a bit fanfiction as Gamora and Widow lie down together...
...after failing their KO rolls.
Cap heroically bounces his shield on the head of the comatose Gamora.
She's removed from play.
After being pushed off a roof..
...Rocket runs and hides.
Thor and Iron Man close in on Starlord.
When faced with a dance-off, Thor decide to chuck a building at Starlord...
...just to be sure...
With Starlord taken out, Iron Man grabs the second relic.
With nothing left to lose, Rocket charges Cap and Widow.
Well that went well...
After Rocket failed his KO test, we decided to end the game with a turn to play. Wes had no models in play and was not able to score any VP's to change the result. I'd gained 1 VP for knocking the Relic out of Drax's grasp, 1 VP for holding both Relics at the end of turn five, and would have scored another one at the end of turn six. So, overall the score would have been 3-0 to the Avengers.

I think Wes struggled for a couple of reasons. Firstly, lack of familiarity with his crew. He was still working out how best to use them through the game, and naturally, made some bad choices. Secondly, the Avengers are a bit good (and in terms of Thor, possibly too good), being more mobile and harder to damage than the Guardians. Finally, I think Wes didn't concentrate his attacks to leave characters vulnerable. Had he done this, he could have dropped Black Widow quite quickly to give him a numbers advantage.

Overall, it was a good game. My highlights were firing a Unibeam through Drax, Gamora and a taxi (which blew up), pushing Rocket off a roof, and throwing a building at Starlord. Wes threw his share of cars, but struggled to make the damage count (Thor isn't the best target).

I think Wes has plans to get his hands on Groot, and I'll alter my line up the next time we play, just to be different. We're still hoping to convince others to join in as its a fun game, with a low model count, that doesn't really cater for 'serious' play, which makes it a great casual game.

Hopefully, this is the start of full resumption of usual services. TTFN.