Sunday, 5 April 2015

Keeping It In The (Bat) Family

I'm making really good progress with my painting at the moment, I've not only already got part of my Flames of War target done (more on that later in the month), but I've also completed these two: Robin and Alfred.

Alfred is the limited edition model that came with pre-orders of the BMG rulebook and has actually turned out to be one of the easiest and most satisfying model to paint. In the game he is possibly the least aggressive piece in the game, serving as a healer, providing additional funding and an additional pass each turn.

It seems odd that thematically Alfred works best with a small, vigilante heavy, crew, whereas his rules (and lack of mobility) seems best suited to a crew that is fielding a lot of gun toting cops that he can move up in support of. During the game, he's likely to find himself equipped with handcuffs and a whistle to allow him to contribute more to the game.

I've got Robin thanks to Leon (of PulpcitizenAnima Tactician and Eclectic Gentlemen Gamer fame), who kindly gave the miniature to me, as he already had one, on the grounds that I'd get it painted sooner than him. In the face of this generosity, Robin found himself moved up the paint crew to at least prove him right.

Robin is an odd model in the game, his Bo Staff does minimal damage and rather than Batarangs, he's armed with Smoke Bombs. It seems that the character is designed to run interference and grab objectives (Bat-Claw and Detective help here). However, he also has the Follow Me trait which like Alfred sees him needing to stay with the Henchmen to use it. Again, it seems odd that Robin is neither one thing nor the other. Personally, I'd like to see him gain the Defensive trait on his Bo (something that would help the League Ninja Shadow too) and swap Follow Me for Dodge. This would make him a much better dedicated objective grabber. As it is, however I use him, there are going to be skills that I can't use to their full potential.

In terms of painting, Robin is bothering me. There's something not quite right about him. Initially I realised that I'd forgotten to do the 'R' on his chest, which has improved it, but I'm still bugged by something. I was wondering whether the gloves aren't a bright enough green or need metal plates like the boots. Any suggestions would be gratefully received (although the words 'blending' and 'layering' will be ignored due to my simplicity with a brush).

So, with the two of them, I am now able to do a 350 reputation, tournament legal, Batman crew that doesn't require the slightly incongruous presence of Mr Freeze. Is suspect that I'll be taking my Batman Crew to my next tournament (whenever that is). Whether anything else gets added in the meantime will depend on when the next event is, and what turns up on my birthday in the next couple of weeks.


  1. Great posting Kieron, and I especially like your explanations as to how you plan on using Alfred and Robin. I don't play "Batman" myself but do an awful lot of super-hero BatReps, so am interested in how other rules allocate them their powers. I like your painting on both models and don;t see any particular problem with your Robin. I happen to think you've done a good job with him (and Pennyworth) :-)

  2. Great to see the mini painted, well done sir. :)

    Since you ask for thoughts, what about an extra wash around the ridges /depressions on the gloves to add some more definition, maybe with some fine brighter highlights?

    Nonetheless, great to see both painted.

    As for your rules assessment of Robin, I suspect his rules were conceived when the game had not become the success it has. Henchmen dependency is built into the game, and a lot of models it seems, which is great for those who like that kind of thing, but does make it harder to play elite stuff I guess, especially if you as a player lose some utility that way.

    And don't get me started on the fairly arbitrary weird Rep costs that don't slot together well (Watchmen excluded, who underline my point) and why is funding used to cover some stuff (ranged weapons) but not others (close combat weapons....)....

    1. I'll give the washes and highlighting a go. It's definitely the gloves that are bugging me, so maybe that will do it.

      I take your point about the points. I don't see why they aren't rounded to the nearest five points. It seems to obstruct some otherwise interesting builds, whilst any sense of restricting certain combinations of models seems daft in the face of rules like Corrupt which allow massive crossovers of capability.

      I also suspect you're right about Robin. He was one of the first models from when there were only four factions and the Batman crew just had Batman, Robin and Cops (oh, and Bane and Freeze). He needed to be a bit of a jack of all trades. Damian, who came later, is much better in an elite Batman crew.

      Thanks again for the mini.

    2. Glad to oblige. :)

      And I think the two have turned out well despite your misgivings about the gloves. :)

      I totally agree that rounding off would be better; it is a lesson GW eventually learned. Honestly, I think they could and maybe eventually should go further - adopting a 10/ 15/ 20/ 25/ 35/ 50/ 75/ 100/ 125/ 150 structure would streamline crew building so much. But hey, only an idea. :)

  3. Nice work on them both dude!

  4. Good to see them both painted up so nicely. I'm sure with a few touches that PC suggest it will make those little details pop out a bit more :)

  5. Well impressed sir - really great work.

  6. If it's any consolation I've had a nightmare painting Robin too – I've concluded it's the colour combinations, they're quite jarring so don't sit together well (unless painted by a genius of course)

  7. Brighter greens on the gloves could help but they do look good already.