The starter sets have been put together to provide a complete 30 ratings cast, straight out of the box, and this one includes a Sinister Mystic (Star), an Inhuman Servitor (Co-Star), a Cult Leader and 4 Cultists, and an Animated Construct.
The Cultists are delightfully simple sculpts with an old school feel to them (the Leader's knife is clearly in the style of 90's GW fat weapons). They are also nicely appropriate for a range of periods, and simply dropping the automatic weapon models allows them to back through time, from modern day, to Pulp Adventure, Victoriana, and even medieval/fantasy for some of them.
I kept the painting simple to match the models, although it was nice to finally be able to use mu blood paint for what it was intended. I'm pretty certain I will be picking up a few more to add to the cult's numbers.
The 'Inhuman Servitor' is a bit of an odd choice for the box in terms of rules, despite being aesthetically perfect for the cult, as she doesn't exaclty look 'inhuman' in any way. You might also notice that she has a passing resemblance (unintentional, surely?) to Sigourney Weaver in 'Ghostbusters', and she's more than likely to take on this role in my Paranormal Exterminators games with Pete. In fact, it was this that determined the use of dark red for the cult robes.
The Sinister Mystic is a suitably imposing model. Again, I've kept things simple, despite the fact that this is a more detailed sculpt that the rest of the cultists. I might go back to the trim on his robe and drybrush it to bring out the detail, but I'm not sure about this.
My favourite model in the cast is the Animated Construct. Really simple to paint, and posed in a way that implies that the statue is just at the point of waking up, so I was able to add a few more living details on the face. At a push, this model can also serve as sinister scenery.
Overall, I really like this cast, and I can't wait to use them in a range of games.
With the last painting of the year covered, it's time to turn our attention to the review of last year's resolutions and setting new ones for the coming year.
LAST YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS:
1. Continue to set targets each month to motivate my painting.
Well, I completely missed this one, but for a good reason. I decided to start painting what I wanted, when I wanted. Too often, the targets became a chore, and this year I've been enjoying my painting far more as I've really been doing only the stuff I've wanted to.
2. Complete three of the following projects:
- US War of 1812 for M&T - This continues to be a big, fat nope!
- Mid-Was US Tank Coy for FoW - Also no, although I have a playable force already.
- German Last Levy for Bolt Action - This is a 'never' as I've sold the miniatures.
- 6mm ACW Union Army for Black Powder - I've done some, but they're far from finished.
- Rebase Wood Elves for KoW - Yes! Finally some success!
- Marvel Rules, Heroes & Villains - Yes. Although the rules came courtesy of KM.
- Get DZC Resistance to 1500 points - Almost. Just a few models to do.
- Penguin & Two Face Crews for BMG - Almost. I'm just missing Two-Face himself.
Overall, given that I've painted loads of BMG (adding several new crews), despite not getting the Two-Face crew finished, I'm going to call this target complete.
3. Respond to all comments on the blog and comment on other blogs.
I think I've been doing quite well at this, although a bit more commenting elsewhere could be done.
4. Play in at least 3 BMG events.
This one I've definitely done, I think I've actually been to four, although I might be mistaken, and there are more already planned for early in the New Year.
5. Get a playable fleet for Dropzone Commander
This is definitely a no, although it's not my fault. The Kickstarter delivery was pushed back to the autumn and then a significant number of pledges seemed to disappear. Unfortunately, mine was amongst these. However, I've finally had my delivery notification (yesterday...they did say they'd get them out before the end of the year), and I will be collecting my toys on Tuesday.
Given that I've already painted a cruiser and four frigates, I should be good for getting on a par with, or ahead of the others because:
- Pete and Mike are sadly still waiting for their pledge
- Matt got his on Christmas Eve and has the fiendishly fiddly Shaltari to paint.
- Wes has had his since October and done almost nothing yet.
THIS YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
1. Paint my Dropfleet Commander force
Given how long I've waited for this, I want to get it done. I'm hoping that the contents of my pledge and the swap I'm doing with my UCM ships for more Scourge ships, should mean that I don't have to spend very much on this game in the short term. At least, I'll probably pick up a battleship later in the year. So expect to see a slew of silvery-squiddy-looking spaceships that all look sort of similar over the coming months.
2. Complete a battle report for 7TV at least once a month
You may have noticed the steady increase in 7TV content over the last couple of months. This is because I signed up to be part of the 7TV Directors programme, which involves playing games and providing Crooked Dice with pictures and reports. That's right up my street.
I've got a bunch of stuff to paint for this and plan to be doing games focusing on TMNT, Pulp Adventure, Lovecraftian Horror, Mars Attacks, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Scooby Doo, and whatever else springs to mind.
3. Play more big games
By this, I mean games which require a 6'x4" table. Not having access to one of these myself, and the emphasis on boardgames and skirmish games in our group this year has meant that we've not played many big games like Kings of War, Flames of War, Bolt Action, Dropzone Commander or Black Powder. Doing this will require putting more effort in to arrange these games, as they will probably need to happen in addition to regular gaming, but I'm hoping that the success of our recent game of Kings of War and the arrival of Dropfleet Commander will help in this regard.
4. Paint what I want to paint
My output has probably dropped this year, but my enjoyment of painting has increase. I've allowed myself to follow my whims and impulses, which has meant that I've not really felt that painting has been a chore. I want to continue to do this, as I think the quality of my painting has improved because I'm paying more attention, and not just trying to slog through it.
5. Run a campaign of something...anything!
I like campaigns. I like organising campaigns. I like running campaigns. Ideas for them build up like a traffic jam in my head, and I want to loosen the congestion a bit. I curently have plans for an ACW campaign focusing on Vicksburg, a BMG narrative campaign between Batman and the League of Shadows, rules for a Marvel campaign, a Pulp adventure seeking lost relics, and several ideas of how to integrate DZC and DFC. That's not to mention the solo campaigns I started for ZTV and 7th Voyage.
One of these will get played.
So, that's it for this year. Thanks for sticking with my inane ramblings and hopefully I can continue to provide content that is a suitable distraction from the coming Trump-fuelled apocalypse. Here's to surviving until 2018!
Happy New Year!