Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Odd Couple

Two more Descent characters completed. This time it’s Tomble Burrowell the Halfling (possibly Gnome) Thief, and Syndrael the Elven Knight.

Tomble was a fun little model to paint. Most of the colours I used on him are sort of the same browny/red palette, which meant that all I needed to do was basecoat, wash and pick out details. Fortunately, he’s also well defined enough that his face has plenty of character too.

However, Syndrael is probably my least favourite Descent model so far. The gold armour has turned out okay (all gold never works out that well), but there are sculpting issues that let the model down. The sword is a bit of a stubby mess, the cloak is flat and ugly, and the facial features are too shallow for me to be able to pick out details. Also, there are several ugly mould lines that, despite my attempts to tidy them, still look a bit of a mess.

However, she’s okay and hasn’t turned out as a mess. I’m sorry of regretting using blue for her robes too, as the card art is bluey-green and this colour is probably too similar to two of the other characters.

Still, lessons learned...

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Quick and the Dead

Why ‘the quick and the dead’ you ask?

Quick because I’ve been doing these Descent models with alarmingly slapdash haste. 

Dead because, well, y’know...zombies!

Another batch of Descent models completed in time for our first outing into the world of Terrinoth, and they include my first two heroes.

First up, the zombies...

Nothing really to write home about here. My standard approach to zombie flesh, pale brown rotting garments, a quick wash, done.

I didn’t want to spend too long on these models as they’re frankly not very exciting. Single pose models always bore me somewhat, and so speed was the order of the day.

I did take the time to splatter the master zombie in gore to mark him out clearly though.

The first hero is Widow Tahra, a Half-Orc Necromancer/Witch. Yes, I agree, that does sound more like a villain.

The hero models in Descent are small, somewhere between 20mm and 25mm, and true scale. This, along with moulded bases, swirling cloaks and fairly shallow details does make painting a bit tricky for somebody who is overly reliant on washes and dry-brushes.

However, I’m quite pleased with how the Widow has turned out. I’ve tried to keep things simple, and it seems to have worked.

Widow Tahra will definitely be hitting the table in our inaugural campaign, as Matt requested to use her, and so being a lovely chap, I painted her first.

The second hero completed is Jain Fairwood, a Human Archer (much more heroic). No, I’m not going for a purple theme for my heroes, it just so happens that. The card art for these two, which I’m using as a guide, has them both in purple robes.

I’m quite pleased with Jain’s face. Not because it’s brilliant, but because it’s okay despite the model having very shallow features.

It’s not clear whether Jain will be joining the adventuring party, as Pete, to help speed things up, has painted his own character (he’s also bought the game to run with another group), and Wes hasn’t decided who he want to be. He’ll essentially get to choose from the models Pete and I have managed to paint before Sunday. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add a couple more options before the game...stay tuned...

Sunday, 6 May 2018

When the evil Shredder attacks...

An opportunity arose for me to play Matt at 7TV as he’s recently bought the boxed set and fancied a game. He gave me the choice of what setting to use, and as my Foot Clan has never hit the table in anger, it was time for them to face down the Turtles.

We played 40 ratings (they’re was a little bit of padding in the Foot cast) using the Race scenario, and the casts were as follows:

Splinter, sensei 
Leonardo, leads
Donatello, does machines 
Raphael, cool but crude
Michelangelo, party dude
Casey Jones, vigilante 
April O’Neil, reporter
Bystander, standing by

Shredder, evil
Baxter Stockman, fly guy
Rocksteady, horny
Bebop, bit of a pig
Foot Clan Leader, leads the Foot Clan
5 Foot Clan Ninjas, turtle food
3 Scientists, making up the numbers

The Foot Clan enter the scene en masse.

Baxter Stockman buzzes around on his own.

The Foot Clan R&D team are up to something.

The Turtles have brought all their allies to this fight, even Steve, their accountant.

Leonardo plan to infiltrate earlier in the night means he’s already searching for the container of mutagen dropped by a Krang stealth ship.

Raph and Donnie are also out and about searching too.

Casey Jones is sneaking about ready to bring justice to any evildoers who turn up.

The R&D department strikes! They use a prototype teleporter to search for the mutagen on the rooftops.

Sensing the Turtles in the vicinity, the Foot Clan surge down the road, intent on using numbers to their advantage.

Baxter Stockman flies off to search for the mutagen alone.

However, he’s beaten to his goal by Leonardo’s use of one of Donatello’s inventions...a jet pack. Buzz buzz!

After Raph finally finds the mutagen, the Turtles rush towards the massed ninjas to confront them.

Suddenly, the R&D team use their teleporter to switch Professor von Trickpony with Casey Jones and unleash a sleep spray on Splinter, rendering him unconscious and vulnerable to the Foot Clan’s attacks.

The ninjas swarm the Turtles, but Donatello does a stirling job of weathering their attacks.

A frustrated Casey can only watch on from the rooftops.

Shredder seizes the initiative and the Foot Clan presses its advantage.

Shredder joins the assault on Donatello, who eventually succumbs to the evil ninjutsu master.

Raphael manages to fight back and take down Rocksteady and a ninja.

Things look bad for the Turtles. Splinter and Donnie are down, and Bebop is threatening to break through to April and Steve the accountant.

Raphael interposed himself between Bebop and April, who is probably recording all this.

Cowabunga! Mikey strikes, unleashing a knock out gas of his own (anchovy, egg and peanut butter pizza breath), weakening the Foot.

Casey drops from the rooftop. It’s payback time, as the Turtles seize the initiative right back.

A vicious slap shot renders the professor unconscious. Goal!

Mikey skates clear of danger to finish his pizza, whilst Leonardo arrives on the scene to lend his katanas to the fight.

Leo’s katanas clear two of the ninjas and seriously injure the Shredder. That was for Splinter!

Whilst Leo faces down the Shredder, Raph takes out Bebop.

Casey leaps in to attack Shredder from behind and Raph chews through the ninja hordes. The Foot Clan are thin on the ground and look ready to break.

Shredder’s threats keep his men in the fight, and he leads by example, taking out both Casey and Leo.

Only Raph and Mikey still stand against the Foot, but Shredder is injured, the ninjas are almost all gone, the Professor is unconscious, and Baxter Stockman is a coward.

Shredder orders the retreat.

The game actually ended in a 12-12 draw due to Matt getting an unlucky roll of a 1 for the maguffin. It was a brutal fight, and I briefly thought I’d win when I managed to ambush Splinter with the sleep spray and seized the initiative to put Donatello out of action.

However, the Turtles are tough, and Raphael’s fight back ability was pretty much taking down everybody who attacked him, and so the numbers evened out pretty quickly. The Shredder is a beast in combat, but his weak point is his rather squishy underlings, and insane confidence means he’s more likely to run when his cast is axed.

As ever, I got a bucketload of rules wrong in the first couple of turns, I really need to play this game more regularly.

As a side note, if 7TV catches your interest from my blog reports, Crooked Dice is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for their new folk horror range and programme guide, Children of the Fields (think The Wicker Man meets The Devil Rides Out meet The League of Gentlemen). It’s a fantastic way to get into this excellent rule set.

Go and back it!

Monday, 30 April 2018

What happens if you meet a two-headed giant from Yorkshire?

You get Ettin!

I’m here all week, folks...

More of the Descent miniatures, and this time they’re bigguns. Two Ettin (Ettins?).

These are nice chunky figures with plenty of detail and character. Again I’ve tried to keep the painting simple to get them done quickly, and I think it’s turned out well.

Once again I’ve tried to distinguish the master from the minion with a splash of red, this time with gore splattering the massive club.

Unfortunately, I splattered and splashed with a bit too much enthusiasm and when I was taking these photos I noticed I’d dropped blood onto the Ettin’s belly, armour and base, and so a hasty cover up ensued which appears to have only been partially successful, and so I’ll need to go back to it.

If I have a gripe with these figures, it’s the fact that there are some hefty mould lines across the shoulders (which you can see above) and down the sides of the models.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to get too worried about this as it would be a lot of effort to fix, I’m deliberately trying to get them done quickly, and these are essentially board game pieces.

Next up, probably, are some Zombies and things called Flesh Moulders, who have a bit of a zombie vibe to them - I’m hoping to rattle through them as a group during the course of a week.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

“We are now starting our Descent...”

In my last post, I alluded to exciting things happening. Primarily, the cause of this has been my birthday, which is always the point in the year where I forget all my promises about working through existing projects and ask for and buy big boxes of new figures for games I don’t play.

Last year it was The Walking Dead and Terminator, both of which are still ongoing. This year, it’s happened again...twice.

One of the big boxes of new stuff is Descent from Fantasy Flight Games, which I’ve acquired due to my enjoyment of playing through the Imperial Assault campaigns run by Pete. Descent is essentially the forerunner of Imperial Assault and given that buying and painting a game I’ve already played through seemed odd (even if it is Star Wars), I decided to take the plunge into the fantasy world of Terrinoth.

Obviously this means painting is required. A lot of painting. I’ve tried to keep thinks simple and quick, so that I can plough through the plastic pile. Therefore, don’t expect to see my best work on this stuff.

You’ll also notice that even though the miniatures are single sculpts, I’ve painted one of each group slightly differently, usually involving red. This is because the game divides monsters into minions, which come in cream coloured plastic, and the slightly tougher masters, which are red plastic. I wanted to keep a simple visual cue for the players to know what they’re up against.

The goblins aren’t great models. They are small and spindly, the arrows are sculpted oddly and the had quite a lot of flash to clean. They’ve turned out okay, just don’t look too close.

I like the cave spiders. Mainly because, to my mind, giant spiders are the quintessential fantasy gribbly (I blame Tolkien), and back when I used to run D&D sessions, I would always try to sneak a spider or nine into an adventure.

Unlike the other models, these needed removing from their bases to paint and base them. I probably should have done more highlighting, but they’ll do.

Of the three groups I’ve done so far, I like the Barghests (sort of zombie wolves) the most. This is because the combination of drybrushing and washes (my painting ‘techniques’) works best on fur, and slopping on some Citadel Blood for the Blood God also lifts what could have been some quite flat and featureless areas on the zombie side of the models.

And that’s it for now. Expect to see some Descent monsters and characters popping up fairly regularly, as I want to start a campaign fairly soon.

And as for the second big box of figures? There was something else I liked about Imperial Assault, beyond the gameplay...that should give you a clue...

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Terminator: Rise of the Resistance


It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Sorry for the hiatus, but real life has got in the way of painting and blogging recently. There have been some exciting developments, which will pop up on here soon, but for now, here’s a battle report of a Terminator game Matt and I played yesterday.

I ran the Resistance and used almost everything I currently have, Matt was Skynet and took the opportunity to play with toys that hadn’t hit the table yet, such as an Infiltrator and a Hunter-Killer gunship.

The scenario was Demolition and I was the defender, desperately trying to stop the relentless march of the Machines towards their objectives.

The Resistance await oncoming storm.

A Hunter Killer swoops low over the battlefield to deliver its payload of T-800s.

An infiltrator is revealed, but stopped short of its target by a well placed shotgun shell.

The HK harasses the Resistance with impunity.

A reeling Terminator sparks an unexpected attack on the right.

On the right, there’s a desperate scramble as every gun is brought to near on the last machine standing.

The game actually ended up as a draw, as Matt was able to destroy three of the objectives, however, there was little I could have done to prevent this as they were close to his lines. I struggled to deal with the HK, but it was only able to vaporise one Msn per turn, it wasn’t that much of a problem.

Perhaps the key moment of the game was me bringing down the infiltrator, as that meant Matt had a hard slog with his small force to reach the fourth objectives he needed to win. I also got lucky with Matt failing three resolution tests (rolling a 1 on a d20), removing half of his fighting force.

We played a second game, which for some reason I didn’t photograph, in which I played the Terminators and got thoroughly disassembled.

In both games, we felt that the Resistance were easily able to contain the Terminators as on a small board, without lots of terrain blocking lines of sight, they found it easy to bring their weight of numbers to bear. If you roll enough dice, some will eventually come up in your favour.

However, it remains a good light hearted game which effectively evokes the sense of the films, with humanity firing off everything they’ve got, and the machines relentlessly marching forwards.

Are there going to be more games of Terminator: Genysis?


I’ll be back.