Monday, 29 September 2014

Zomtober Reborn (on a Monday)

It's that time of year again, when the noxious undead claw and clamber their way out of lead piles across the globe and shamble into the pale light of the blogosphere.

The basics are this:
Paint some zombies or survivors each week of Zomtober.
Post them on your blog before the Sunday of each week.


Last year I mainly focused on Zombies, getting a starter horde of roughly two dozen done. This year, I have a plan to build some themed survivors from the Wargames Factory boxes, although some additional shamblers may make an appearance.

However, to kick things off and round off my recent spate of Batman related gubbins, I present my pre-Zomtober offering of: Solomon Grundy!

Yes, I'm aware that it's actually the Hulk miniature from Knight Models, but I've been being creative.

I originally got this model for my birthday in April, and I was intending to use him as part of my Matvel project. However, this miniature is pretty big next to 35mm miniatures and just dwarfed my 28mm superheroes, so he never got painted.

I was intending to sell him to find the purchase of new Batman minis, but it occurred to me that with the right paint job he'd pass for Grundy. Admittedly his clothes are a bit more torn than most versions of Solomon Grundy, but I didn't have to search for long to find something to convince me that this would just end up looking like Grey Hulk...

Despite his size, this model was really straightforward to paint and I'm really happy with the outcome. I still need to fill a decent sized gap under his left arm, and I think I want to do a little bit more work on a mould line over his shoulders, but I've impressed my self with the whole concept of this model.

So, Zomtober is up and running. Trying to get something done this week could actually be tricky, as I'm away most of the weekend, so I'll probably start small.

If you want to get involved in Zomtober, all you need to do is head over to Brummie's Wargaming Blog and sign up on this link:

Sunday, 21 September 2014

I Believe in Harvey Dent

There's a new face in town.

Two-Face. Former District Attorney Harvey Dent. The bipolar bad guy of divided loyalties, ruled by Lady Luck and his double-headed silver dollar.

Two-Face has always been one if my favourite Batman villains, even though the crimes themed to the number 2, are a bit crap (pun intended). His origin story is one of the most interesting, especially as told in The Long Halloween.

The miniature is another Heroclix model, and one if the better sculpts. It was also a doddle to paint as it had a pretty decent paint job already and just needed touching up here and there before being given a was.

I've held off 'painting' Harvey for some time as I didn't have a gang for him. However, when I recently ordered Poison Ivy, I took the opportunity to get a couple of henchmen for the Two-Face gang.

I went for an orange and black colour scheme as I'm beginning to like the running theme of orange jumpsuits running through most of the henchmen (and some of the Free Agents) I'm painting. It means that the ubiquitous Blackgate Prisoners gel well with whichever gang they're attached to, but the little differences, Two-Face's half and half design or Joker's clown masks, provide enough difference for easy distinction on the tabletop.

Although I'm really happy with how their uniforms turned out, I have to admit that I didn't particularly enjoy painting the guy wit the axe.

The rubber mask he's wearing prevented me from really being satisfied with the face. I don't like the look of the masks from the Arkham City game and now that  Knight Models are releasing Mobsters as alternative henchmen for Harv, I'm not sure whether to get more of the same or switch to Mobsters.

Further complicating matters is the fact that there isn't another pack of henchmen for Two-Face. If I stick with the prisoner style gang, I'll need to buy the starter pack, which will include another Harv. Hmmm...choices...

Anyway, I've also finished another three sewer entrances, bringing my total to six, which, barring special rules, is how many you need for a game. 

They're from Fenris Games. They do a set of Gotham Sewers, but they didn't have any at the Other Partizan show, so I bought a mixed set. This hassle the rather dull job of painting them at least a little varied.

Monday, 15 September 2014

So, We Meet Again Batman...

I managed to convince Wes to come over for another game of the Batman Miniatures Game. To keep things easier we decided to build up the gangs we had last time to 300 Reputation points.

My Gotham Knights lined up as follows:
Batman (Dark Knight Rises)
Agent Ron (Extra Ammo)
Agent O'Connell
Gotham Policeman (Whistle)
Gotham Policewoman (Whistle)

Wes' League if Shadows were the following:
Bane (Dark Knight Rises)
Scarecrow (Arkham Asylum)
Turk - Prisoner (Extra Ammo)
High Security Prisoner (Climbing Shoes)

Once again, I've done the battle report in Comic Life. If you look closely, you'll see the few terrain pieces I've added recently, including sewer markers and Arkham Asylum Gates from Fenris Games.

Wes sent Bane into the sewers early and had the rest of his gang spread out. Seeing a opportunity, I rushed Nightwing forward to get a shot at Scarecrow, but stuffed up the damage rolls. Nightwing got a face full of poison gas from Scarecrow, and a clip full of bullets from Deadshot.

Meanwhile, Batman and the cops edged up towards the advancing Blackgate prisoners.

Trying to protect Nightwing, one of the cops rushed Scarecrow, but fluffed his attacks and ended up being skewered on a poisoned syringe and pumped full of bullets. In a way, he succeeded in protecting Nightwing.

Working with the Police, Batman took down the two Blackgate Prisoners in quick succession whilst the cops took position by the sewer entrances, forcing Bane to appear away from the action.

Bane elected to go for big points and charged Batman, however his blows failed to connect and he went down under a barrage of fists and nightsticks.

Deadshot went after Nightwing in the asylum ground, but the injured vigilante and out-of-ammo assassin fought each other to a stalemate.

Seeing Bane go down before he could reach him to help, Scarecrow backed off, but not fast enough to escape Batman, who swung over and knocked him out cold.

I won 14-2 on victory points, but early on I almost threw the game away by being reckless with Nightwing and his supportin cops. Wes suffered by splitting his gang up so much, and he probably shouldn't have put Bane in the sewers and out of the game.

This was another fun game and were really getting the hang of the rules. I need to pull my finger out on making objective counters so that we can add them to the game and play more varied scenarios.

As an added bonus, not only has Wes begin to make noises about building his own Green Arrow themed gang potentially using Robin's stat card forBlack  Canary), but Matt (who came round to heckle) also seemed keen to use his own SWAT team and a Batman model I gave him to enable him to get into the game too.

Just need to work on Pete now...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Scenic Tour of Gotham

In the spirit of spamming my own blog, this is my fourth post in four days.

For your delictation today, loyal reader, I have a few scenic pieces for my Gotham board.  First up, a couple of Ammo Objective markers. 

These were easy to do as I'd already painted a load of crates (more than I conceivably need) some time back so sticking them to a base and adding a few spare firearms from the bits box, and Bob's your uncle.

I now need to come up with ideas for markers for Riddles, Titan Containers and Loot, and preferably without spending money (any suggestions gratefully received). In theory I need two of each, but there are a range of special rules which raise the possibility if more and is like to do some personalised ones for the  the free agents that bring their own such as Mr Freeze and Catwoman.

I've also taken the opportunity to finish off some scenic pieces that have been sitting around half painted for months.

The rubbish bin and refuse piles are from Ainsty Castings, and although less than glamourous they should liven up an alley on the board, provide a route onto a low roof and possibly save somebody's life as cover.

I bought the crate from a stand at Triples this year (I can't remember the name of the company). It's not the best casting in the world but it was cheap. I've done it army green because a) that's the colour spray paint I had available, and b) Batman villains are always knocking off military supplies.

I have another to do, and I'm tempted to do something more thematic with it, such as a Wayne Enterprises logo.

We're all of to the Other Partizan show in Mewark tomorrow, so I might even be able to keep up my relentless posting with a show report tomorrow.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Welcome to Gotham...

So last night I introduced Wes to the Batman Miniature Game. I'm still learning the game myself so we only played a small game of 134 points (I had a card printing issue which limited things) and didn't use objectives or strategies. Technically we played the Skirmish scenario, but it was really just a straight fight.

The crews were as follows:

My Gotham Knights:
 - Batman (Dark Knight Rises)
 - Gotham Policewoman (with Whistle)

Wes' League of Shadows:
 - Deadshot (treated as a League of Shadows leader)
 - High Security Prisoner (with Night Vision Goggles)
 - Prisoner

Rather than do a full report, I've done another comic using comic life.

Technically, I won the game by a massive 2VP's to nothing, but in reality it was touch and go. Batman fluffed both his initial attack on Deadshot and his first round of combat against the High Security Prisoner. By the end of the game Batman had only 2 endurance left, and the Policewoman had just 1. What's more, Batman only KO'd the High Security Prisoner by virtue of a critical in the last round; if he'd still been standing, he probably would have finished off one oft characters to win the game.

Deadshot is a beast whilst he has ammo, and we learned a little about how to use henchmen to run interference. Having used other versions of Batman, I think I prefer the Arkham version to the Dark Knight Rises Batman, but that may be because Deadshot completely negated his stealth ability.

All in all, this was a fun learning experience, and Wes seems keen to play again. I want to try out objectives and a larger game, but after initially being wary, I'm really beginning to enjoy the Batman Miniatures Game, it has a lot of depth and character to it.


Following on from the first two games in the X-Wing campaign that Pete and I played a couple of months ago, we recently found time for scenario three.

Following my failure to prevent the escape of the damaged Rebel blockade runner, I assembled my forces for another strike on the traitorous enemies of the Emporer. 

My mission was to either destroy four satellites or damage part of the blockade runner. My force was as follows:
Marek Steele
4 Academy TIE Fighters
1 TIE Phantom
3 TIE Interceptors

Defending the blockade runner and the satellites were:
1 E-Wing
2 X-Wings
2 A-Wings

The squadrons flew directly towards each other firing wildly to little effect. I'd decide to focus on the satellites and flew straight past the rebel ships, keeping my eyes on the prize, foolishly allowing them to k-turn behind my ships.

On the right I managed to evade the X-Wings and swing round behind the blockade runner before eventually destroying the first satellite.

Meanwhile, on the left, concentrated fire from the A-Wings and E-Wing had quickly dismantled the Interceptors leaving only the Phantom to complete the mission.

The satellites were proving very resilient as the rebels could recharge the shield on the satellites each turn. Splitting fire between the satellites and the enemy ships meant that I was losing the battle.

Even the evasive TIE Phantom eventually succumbed to volume of fire leaving just Maarek and two TIEs to complete the mission.

When Maarek Steele was destroyed by a blast from the blockade runner, it was clear the mission was a failure and the remaining Impetials withdrew.

In short, I was battered!

I made a number of mistakes in this game which contributed to my defeat:
1) I should have aimed at destroying part of the blockade runner as it is a bigger and easier target than the satellites.
2) I should have attacked in two lines to respond to any rebels that got behind me, an error which cost me all three interceptors.
3) I should have engaged the rebel fighters earlier to thin their numbers.

After the opening couple of turns, Peye was able to dictate the game I I was desperately trying to evade his ships. He played well and I flew!

Next time Rebel, next time...

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Seeds of Inspiration

I always find it difficult to get any painting done during the summer. Despite being a teacher and having an obscene amount of holiday, for some reason I'm never in the right frame of mind to get stuff done.

I never really help myself either due to being so flighty. I go through phases of deep obsession with topics during which I will paint related stuff, only to be distracted by a chance reference and then spring off into a different obsession.

However, this time, one of my random encounters has brought me round to painting Batman stuff again. I stumbled on an animated movie 'Assault on Arkham,' and it was pretty good. For once it was a batman film which had the villains as the central protagonists as the Suicide Squad, featuring Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang (I kid you not) and others, are tasked with breaking in to Arkham Asylum. No sooner was the movie over than I was in a fully-fledged bat-fad.

Unfortunately, I had nothing to paint.

A quick visit to Firestorm Games website (can't recommend them enough) sorted an order for Poison Ivy and a couple of Two-Face's gang (I have a Clix to use for 'Face), and while I was waiting for them to be delivered, I started hacking and glueing some artificial flowers to make some mutated plants for Ivy.

I only had to wait two days for the order to arrive, and having made the plants I got on with painting Ivy. She's an excellent model but some of the detail is so fine that it's beyond my skill to really bring it out. However, I'm pleased with how she's turned out and the addition of the flower to the back of her base ties her in with the plants well.

As a final shot, here they are together.