Sunday, 25 February 2018

He-Month: What’s that coming over the hill?

Is it a monster?

Yes!



It’s actually a Shadow Beast, an ape-like creature that appeared under the command of Beast Man in both the original Filmation cartoons and the 2002 reboot.





As you can see, I’ve gone for a more 2002 look, mainly because the face is more ape-like and the model I was using as a base was a giant gorilla from Crooked Dice.



The model itself is frankly gorgeous, and I’m pleased to mamage to sneak a Crooked Dice miniature into what is ostensibly a 7TV project. All I’ve done is add a couple of horns taken from a GW Beastman (appropriately).

In terms of painting this was an incredibly simple job with a base coat of black, a blue dry brush and a healthy dose of black wash.



Overall, I’m really happy with how easy this was to do and how it’s turned out, which makes it especially annoying that I managed to drop the model during basing and smack three of its fingers off.

My attempt to fix this was to add the rock as if it’s being thrown and attempt to camouflage the offending fingers with some ivy. It’s not perfect, but it will do. There’s also a gap where the head joins that doesn’t look as bad in real life as it does in this photo.



All in all, this is a pleasing addition to my growing MotU collection, and it should be easy enough to add more by picking up some other gorilla sculpts that are out there, although I’ll also pick up another CD one to paint up in a more convential way for my pulp project.

In game terms, this is the first addition that could potentially form a unit in 7TV when led by Beast Man. At the moment, his Unit Leader trait links him to ‘Beast Packs’, but this gives me the option of creating more unit options for Beast Man to lead as he corralled numerous different monsters during the cartoon runs.



He-Month may be coming to a close soon, but I’ve recently ordered some more models, so the end of February will not see the end of this project.

However, this is probably it for what has probably been my most successful mini-project for some time, and so I’ll sign off from He-Month with a group shot of my creations.



Saturday, 24 February 2018

He-Month: The Magic Doodah of Thingamagig



As regular readers will know, apart from a couple of typos and a slight change to He-Man’s profile, the major gripe I had about my recent game of 7TV was the fact that we were fighting over the ‘maguffin,’ which isn’t a very exciting name for a plot device that could potentially allow Skeletor to conquer Grayskull/Eternia/the universe (delete as appropriate).



Therefore, taking my lead from the pilot episode of He-Man, ‘The Diamond Ray of Disappearance’ (see above for details), I’ve created a very simple name generator for maguffins.

It works very simply. Roll a d20 for each of the columns and put the words in order with ‘of’ between the results from column 2 and column 3.



Told you it was simple. For added authenticity, all of the words in the table are actually taken from magic items used in either He-Man or She-Ra. (Yes...I was bored.)

For added variety, you could replace the result of either columns one or three with name of a person or location. These could be named of people or places established in the canon of Masters of the Universe, or just a random set of syllables thrown together to make something that sounds enigmatic.

And there you have it. Never again will He-Man and Skeletor not know what they are fighting over.



Friday, 23 February 2018

He-Month: Who has the power?

I like He-Man. I like Skeletor. But which one is best?

There’s only one way to find out...

FIGHT!



After a furious month of painting, I now have enough Masters of the Universe Miniatures for a decent game, some rules to use and even a little terrain. So yesterday, my daughter and I gave them all a run out in a 7TV Battle scenario.

The forces were as follows:

HEROIC WARRIORS
He-Man
Teela
Man-at-Arms 
Orko




EVIL WARRIORS
Skeletor 
Evil Lyn 
Beast Man
Mer-Man
Wolf Bats





The objectives of the scenario were simple:
1. Grab as many objective counters as possible.
2. Grab the maguffin from the temple and keep hold of it.
3. Destroy the opposition.



Terrain is still a little sparse, but here’s the initial set up.



The Heroic Warriors took the first turn, with Teela wasting no time and grabbing an early VP, taking a scouting position on the hill and spotting the Evil Warriors coming.



Prince Adam also gained a VP by popping behind a wall to change into He-Man (there’s no rules for this, we just came up with reasons for the objective markers as we grabbed them). Meanwhile, Orko got a little overexcited and rushed headlong towards the maguffin, whilst Man-at-Arms used his Magni-Binox to snap off a long ranged shot at Mer-Man with his wrist lasers, but unfortunately missed (as he would continue to do throughout the battle).



Evil Lyn outflanked the heroes when she emerged unseen from behind a statue (gaining a VP).



Beast Man ran and climbed up the temple sides to confront a terrified Orko ober the maguffin.



Skeletor and Mer-Man advanced menacingly, scoring a VP as Skeletor sprung his trap and released his Alien Virus, weakening not only the heroes, but also most of his own minions. Much evil laughter was heard.



The Wolf-Bats flew up in support of Evil Lyn.



Taking advantage of the fact that Skeletor’s over-acting was distracting both him and Mer-Man, He-Man rushed bravely into combat with the Overlord of Evil and the Undersea Warlord, whilst Man-At-Arms provided cover for Orko to flee with the maguffin by firing at Beast Man. Teela moved up to protect the Trollan wizard.



With his master momentarily overwhelmed by the most powerful man in the universe, Beast Man leapt down the steps to brawl with Man-At-Arms.



Evil Lyn, ever one to capitalise on Skeletor’s errors, saw the opportunity to grab the maguffin for herself and fired her eldritch flames at Teela, but to no effect. However, to prevent Orko escaping, she sent the Wolf Bats behind the pair. They were trapped!



However, Evil Lyn had not counted on Teela, and the Captain of the Guard demonstrated her feisty approach to problem solving by cutting down some of the Wolf-Bats, driving the flock away, allowing Orko to fly to safety.



Man-At-Arm’s continued to tussle with Beast Man, whilst He-Man rained blow after blow on Skeletor in a burst of action. Weakened and  wounded, the Lord of Snake Mountain looked ready to fall.



Orko took advantage of the escape route Teela had created and went to hide behind a wall.



Skeletor was not beaten, and he sucker punched He-Man with his Havoc Staff, stunning him. This allowed Skeletor and Mer-Man to pummel He-Man into unconsciousness. The heroes were in trouble.



With He-Man out of action, Man-at-Arms realised he’d be next and risked turning his back on Beast Man to prevent himself from being overwhelmed. Teela, looking to see where Orko had gone, was unaware of the dire situation as Evil Lyn snuck up on her.



Realising that he was much too close to the action, Orko flew off to hide behind a hill instead.



With the maguffin out of reach, Skeletor decided that simply crushing his opponents would have to do.



He dispatched his minions to deal with Teela and Man-at-Arms.



Man-at-Arms continued to get the worst of his fight with Beast Man. Things were looking grim.



Evil Lyn found Orko’s hiding place. Things were looking worse than grim. It was looking like a gritty Netflix reboot! Weren’t these bad guys supposed to be incompetent?



Suddenly remembering that it’s the eighties, Beast Man rushed off away from the action for no apparent reason other than to take some pressure off the beleaguered heroes.



However, Skeletor liked the idea of winning for once (and possibly getting an even grittier spin off series...it worked for the Punisher) and immediately called Beast Man back for a final assault on Man-at-Arms, taking him out of the fight too.



But all was not lost. Orko managed to slip from Evil Lyn’s grasp and escape once more, and Teela was still fighting...



...and fight she did, battering down Mer-Man, allowing her and Orko to flee with the maguffin. She had to hope that He-Man would be able to save himself and her father when he came round. After all, he always had done before...



Phew! A close battle, and an even closer result. Skeletor has picked up 7 victory points, 2 from objectives, 5 from taking out He-Man and Man-at-Arm’s. The good guys however had also got 2 objectives and Orko had been carrying the Neutron Funnel gadget, which gave him another 2 victory points. That made the score 7-4 before the maguffin was added.

We worked out that according to the victory conditions, when the d6 was rolled, a 1 would mean victory for the forces of evil, 2-4 would see us draw, and a 5 or 6 would somehow hand victory to the battered defenders of Castle Grayskull.

Have a look at the next picture, and have a guess at what happened...



The game was great fun and took me back to my childhood instantly. Generally the characters performed as they should and so I’m happy with the profiles, but Beast Man didn’t really need both Jump and Climb so I’ve replaced Jump with the Roar trait; in the 2002 cartoon he roars a lot.

He-Man was a bit disappointing, mainly because he had to run into combat where he became outnumbered, and so I’ve also made some changes to him. I’ve replaced Lucky with Parry to make him harder to hurt in close combat, and also replaced his Sword attack with the ability to hurl handy nearby boulders. This should mean that he doesn’t have to rush headlong into danger too soon to be useful. And before you ask why he now doesn’t have a sword attack, well it’s because he never actually hit anybody with his sword...ever.

We also spotted a few typos I’d missed. The updated cards are now in the original rules post.

The only other thing this game needed was a name for the maguffin, but I have plans for that.

All that remains is for He-Man to give us the obligatory safety message at the end of the show.



“Today, I ended up getting hurt by rushing into a situation alone, thinking I could deal with it all by myself when I had friends around who could have helped me out. Remember, the next time you face a tricky situation, like you’re having trouble with your schoolwork, just ask yourself, “could my friends help me out?” You’ll usually find that they can, and they will. Until next time...”

Thursday, 22 February 2018

He-Month: Let’s Get Obscure!

Wolf Bats.

You know, Wolf Bats.

Surely you remember the Wolf Bats? They were in two whole episodes of a cartoon series from thirty years ago.

The looked like this...



Yes. They do look stupid.

Anyway, in my hunt for more Miniatures for this project (before the post arrived), I started hunting through my to see what I could use. I stumbled on the pieces that could possibly make a minor villain called Count Marzo, however in researching the Count I came across one of the only two episodes which feature the Wolf Bats.

One thing my bits box is not short of, as an ex-WFB Vampire Counts player, is bats. And as it happens, I also had three Copplestone Huskies that is bought for use as Mine Dogs in my Soviet Bolt Action army before I was bought some of the official models.

I spotted an opportunity.

So, after a good chunk of beheading and drilling I was able to construct a base of Wolf Bats for use in my Masters of the Universe games.



In terms of painting, I’ve gone for a somewhat slapdash (even for me) approach of simple base colours and washes. These are never going to be the centrepiece of a game.



I did toy with basing them individually, but in both of their appearances in the cartoon they don’t really operate alone. Also, I think they look better as a flock.



You’ll notice I used the word flock instead of swarm. Firstly, there’s only three of them, and frankly calling that a flock is a stretch, let alone a swarm. Also, in 7TV a swarm is a specific trait which in my view would make these chaps far too powerful in game terms.



In terms of rules I’ve actually created a trait called Flock for the Wolf Bats, which incorporates the Large and Small traits together so their impact on enemy attacks cancel each other out and the Wolf Bats simply have an extra health point.



For a profile I’ve used the Mothman from the Paranormal Exterminators deck and added the Questionable Ally trait because at the end of the other episode featuring them, the Wolf Bats turn on Skeletor, so allowing that to happen seems appropriate.