Tuesday 31 July 2018

Breakout Stars

After my initial, and enjoyable, foray into Super Mission Force, I’ve suddenly got all enthused about Supers gaming again, and that enthusiasm has brought with it  a flurry of activity.

Firstly, I have created character cards for my entire collection of Marvel characters (barring the KM models as they’re a different scale), which turned out to be both faster (character creation in SMF is a doddle) and slower (I’m indecisive) that I expected.

Secondly, I’ve decided to run a solo campaign and so I’ve been doing so research. Inspiration has come from The Angry Piper’s blog, Dead Dick’s Tavern (see the Blogs I Follow sidebar), where he has based miniatures campaigns on RPG modules. This is something I intend to do...more on that in future posts.

Thirdly, to facilitate this campaign, I’ve set about painting up a few characters needed for the scenarios. Count Nefaria, Mentallo and your freindly neighbourhood web-slinging amazing Spider-Man.

All three are Heroclix Miniatures that I’ve had for some time and needed rebasing and their sweatshop paint jobs tidying up. 

Actually, for Mentallo, I needed to do nothing else. He’s actually been stood on my painting desk for over a year...awaiting static grass. No, I don’t know why it took so long.

Mentallo is a mentallist (you’d never guess, would you?) who has worked with numerous organisations in the Marvel universe, including A.I.M., S.H.I.E.L.D. and notably HYDRA, and so he will join Red Skull, Silver Samurai and the goons in their nefarious schemes.

Count Nefaria is a character I’d never come across prior to reading the RPG scenario, and so he’s not really a character I was that fussed about spending money on. Therefore I’ve converted him from a Clayface (yes, the Batman villain...there’s a version with a cape) Clix. A head swap and a repaint have delivered something close enough to Count Nefaria for my purposes, despite not having the big collar.

In terms of SMF, Count Nefaria will be a Powerhouse, merging the abilities of the Brick (super strong and tough) and probably the Wildcard (a mix of abilities) as he’s somewhat of an evil Superman analogue. He will present a significant threat to the heroes.

Spider-Man is the last of the heroes I need for the first stage of my campaign (the others being Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman and Daredevil), and he will probably be a Super Wildcard with his eclectic mix of abilities.

I was fortunate with this miniature, as it’s not only an interesting and dynamic pose, but also was sporting a pretty decent paint job, which was fortunate, as the idea of painting that webbing terrified me. All I needed to do was tidy up the edges of the red bits, and re-do the blue, including some highlighting.

The basing was required as the original model was posed on a translucent pole. Thankfully, due to their weight, Heroclix are really easy to pin in place and I have resin oils drums lying around...as you do.

With the lack of real work this required, I’m really pleased with how he turned out, as Spider-Man is one of those characters I can see myself using a lot.

Although I now have almost all of the essential features of the initial stages of the campaign, are still are a few more villains I’d like to convert, however, the campaign might kick off fairly soon.

Monday 30 July 2018

“Oh Deary My!”

After a bit of a painting hiatus, largely down to real life business and rearranging my gaming room, I’ve finally finished another member (well, technically two members) of the Great Rebellion that I began in June.

I give you...Madame Razz, Witch of the Whispering Woods, and Broom, her broom.

In the original She-Ra cartoons, Madame Razz was probably my least favourite character. A combination of being an Orko-clone (the costume was scarily similar, for no reason) having a broad New York accent and being the source of dubious comic relief. She also looked like this;

However, as with all these things, characters get reimagined for a cooler, more image conscious age and so and internet person called Cody Constable came up with this:

I approve.

As does the sculptor of this miniature, which is clearly based on the artwork, and means I can now use Madame Razz in my games without wanting to throw the model out the window.

In game terms, I’m basing Madame Razz on the Crackpot Inventor, as the gadgets can easily be used to replicate Madame Razz’s many and varied spell effects.

In terms of Broom, I did think long and hard about whether to base him separately, but in the end, the 7TV rules made the decision for me.

Although I could have used him as an extra, the game has no real ways for characters to carry each other, therefore it seemed most sensible, given that usually these two are inseparable in the cartoons, to base them together and simply give Madame Razz the Fly Special Effect.

I know I promised cards when I did the post on Glimmer, but I’m having a few issues with the casting agency working on my laptop, so they will come once I’ve sorted out a work around.

That’s the last of my Masters of the Universe miniatures for now, although I do have a few order in process for custom miniatures of a variety of characters, so there will be more soon...ish...

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Super Mission Force: X-Men vs The Brotherhood

After a couple of false start over the last couple of days, I finally managed to give Super Mission Force a try, after having it recommended to me.

The game apparently began life as a stripped down version of Supersystem, which long time readers may remember I’d rejected a long time ago due to the fact that although it delivered a good game, was too detailed for my casual needs. As such I was wary when I found out that SMF, although sold as a simple game, had a whopping 248 pages!

However, it turns out that those are 248 small pages, with big writing, lots of space and a healthy number of images, and so it’s a much quicker read than you’d imagine. Also, a good chunk of the rules is taken up with abilities that you don’t need to know unless your characters have them.

The game is built around ‘goal rolls’, which are dice pools where you get one success for each 4+ you roll (a 6 counts double) and you’re trying to beat either your opponent’s total or a specific Target Number. Therefore the mechanics are definitely simple.

Character creation is also straightforward, as the game gives you archetypes such a as Blaster, Brick or Mentallist, working on the basis that there’s really not that much difference between characters like the Thing or Colossus. However, there is a bit of customisation available. There’s also the Wildcard archetype which has more choice to allow you to build more unusual characters.

I threw together cards for two teams of characters to test out character creation, and found the rules really easy to use. In fact I spent more time on formatting the cards than on actually building the characters. However, this was helped massively by resources available at the Super Mission Force Roster Repository.

The X-Men

Cyclops - Blaster (Power Blast, Iron Will, Clever)
Wolverine - Super Brawler (Scrapper, Enhanced Senses, Melee Specialist, Iron Will, Regen)
Colossus - Brick (Super Strength, Armour, Resistance)
Rogue - Wildcard (Mimic, Flight, Super Strength, Resistance)

The Brotherhood of Mutants

Magneto - Super Wildcard (Telekinesis, Force Field, Entangle, Flight, Iron Will, Clever)
Scarlet Witch - Wildcard (Fortune, Jinx, Save, Stun)
Quicksilver - Speedster (Speed, Super Agility, Fast)
Mastermind - Mentallist (Mental Blast, Mind Control, Telepathy)

I set up a small table for this first game, however I did feel that this gave the X-Men a bit of an advantage, as they were a more combat oriented team, whereas the Brotherhood were perhaps a bit more esoteric in their power sets.

Let’s see how they got on.

After all that, it was a draw. However, both Quicksilver and Mastermind were on their last couple of body points, and barring Nastermind unleashing another massive mental blast like the one that took down Wolverine (8 goalson six dice!), neither of them really had a chance of dropping Colossus quickly.

Overall, I really like the game. It is quick to set up and play and even in my first game, there wasn’t too much rule checking. The characters felt different from each other (and in character) in how they should play, and despite my initial misgivings, the game was more balanced that I thought, even on a small board.

What’s more, I felt able to do things that aren’t in the rules to give a more cinematic game, for example, actually moving the scenery around when Colossus throws things, which is fun. Also, there’s a campaign system to explore...

...I think that my Marvel project may finall have found a home...

Sunday 22 July 2018


This is not a progress post.

Basically, I’ve recently taken some photos of my Marvel collection, and I though I’d share.

The Avengers

The X-Men

The Brotherhood of Mutants


The (Netflix) Defenders

Cap & Bucky

Dr Curt Connors, aka The Lizard

The Wrecker

Ka-Zar of the Savage Land

Doctor Doom

The reason I was doing this is that I’m going to be trying out a new set of rules, Super Mission Force, to see if they fit what I want from a supers game. Apparently it’s detailed enough to suit the genre, but simple enough to be of interest to casual opponents.

We shall see.

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Into the Unkown...

You know what this year needs?

Another new project!

This time I'm off into the world of pulp adventures, specifically Lost World type settings - jungles, dinosaurs, ancient treasures, inexplicably attractive cave women, you get the idea.

The prompts for this are threefold. Firstly, I like the genre, ‘Warlords of Atlantis’ was one of my favourite films when I was younger (narrowly edged out by ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Battle Beyond the Stars’), and I’m incredibly nostalgic about it. Secondly, Crooked Dice are planning to release a pulp expansion for 7TV at some point next year and I’m a sucker for their product. Finally, they’ve also released a miniature that has more than a passing resemblance to Doug McClure, you may remember him from films such as ‘At the Earth’s Core’ and ‘The Land that Time Forgot’, and I needed a reason to buy him. And so a new project was born.

My first offerings for this setting are two miniatures from Lucid Eye’s Savage Core game which I picked up some time ago with one of those handy vouchers Warlord Games send me from time to time because I don’t buy enough from them.

Both have actually been almost fully painted for a few months but as I’m sure my loyal readers are aware by now, my focus does wander somewhat.

The explorer is a characterful model I’m currently referring to in my head as ‘Indiana Jane’. I see her as an archaeologist, tomb raider, feisty heiress type who won’t conform to her family’s expectations.

The red hair is part of the feisty persona - yes, this is a stereotype, but it’s also pulp, so what do you expect? The green scarf round the neck was chosen to contrast with the hair.

Overall, I really like her and can see her as one of the central characters in my campaigns.

The jungle lord fits all sorts of archetypes for the genre, from ‘white apes’ like Tarzan to the helpful savages in the Doug McClure films. I’d actually intended to give him black hair, but Leon (Pulp Citizen, Eclectic Gentleman Gamer) suggested that blond hair would allow him to pull double duty as Ka-Zar of the Savage Land in my ongoing Marvel project.

Ever one to embrace a money saving opportunity and get a two for one deal, I changed the hair.

In terms of terrain, I think the jungle terrain I’ve been making for the He-Man project will also work perfectly for pulp adventures, although with the way my ideas balloon, I can imagine boats and temples and even a bloody volcano in my future.

I’d blame Doug McClure...

...but how could I with awesome moment like this to look forward too?

Sunday 8 July 2018

Glimmer of Hope

I freely admit that this Masters of the Universe thing is getting out of hand.

Not only do I now have a pleasingly large collection of Eternian heroes and villains to use, but I’ve taken a tentative first step into Etheria, home of He-Man’s twin sister, She-Ra.

However, before the Princess of Power shows up to lead the Great Rebellion, the responsibility for gathering resistance to the Evil Horde will, just as in the cartoons, have to fall on Princess Glimmer of Brightmoon.

This model is actually Princess Alluria, from Hydra Miniatures’ Retro Raygum range. Before the Quest Miniatures appeared on the scene, I’d mentally pegged this miniature as a potential Teela. However, I’m glad these things have worked out as they have as she makes a much better Glimmer.

The only conversion work needed was replacing her ray gun with a staff. I’m not ecstatic about the staff head, but it’s the best my bits box had to offer, and is close enough.

In terms of painting, I’m satisfied, although the face irritates me a little as I mucked up the left eye several times. She looks a bit too furtive for the gormless idiot that Glimmer sometimes is, however this is more to do with the face of the miniature - I think Princess Alluria is meant to be a villain.

I’ve decided to do something different with the bases for the Great Rebellion miniatures, and use more foliage than rocks due to the fact that their base is in the Whispering Woods. I’m not, however, going to go for pink fluffy bushes, but it does allow me to use the vibrant lichen I bought in error.

I’ve not done a character card for her yet, but she will probably be a mixture of the Plucky Assistant (due to Glimmer’s propensity for getting captured) and the Investigative Academic (who is armed with a dazzling torch). I’ll probably put the card on my next post, as Glimmer isn’t the only Etherian that I’ve been working on...