Sunday, 22 March 2020

The Right Tool For The Job

Continuing with my drive to finish off ongoing Bolt Action projects, I've returned to the Fallschirmjager to add some support options to address specific battlefield concerns. To this end I've completed a sniper team, a Panzerschrek team and a recoilless light howitzer.


Too many infantry heading your way? What you need is some artillery!


The only artillery, beyond a few mortars, available in Fallschirmjager specific theatre selectors is the 75mm LG40 recoilless light gun.

Amusingly, this model has a gun shield but the gun doesn't have one in the game rules. This is in sharp contrast to my Soviet MMG which has the gun shield rule but the has a gun shield that would struggle to protect an anemic squirrel.


Enemy armour bearing down on your position? Why not try to hit them in the flank with a Panzerschrek?


Without armoured support of their own and the artillery slot being occupied by the LG40, the Fallschirmjager will have to rely on man-packed anti-tank options to repel enemy tanks. I discovered in a game against Matt that the anti-tank rifle really isn't up to the job.

For some reason, I've only recently found my Soviets on the receiving end of Panzerschreks, and given that experience, I'm looking forward to see what carnage this pair can cause.


Is there a weapons team you absolutely have to silence? Or an enemy officer being just that bit too motivational? Why not introduce them to a sniper?


Although you can arguably use any rifleman as a sniper and get away with it, it's nice to have a dedicated and identifiable unit to prevent confusion.

Snipers vary in their effectiveness, and a veteran sniper could turn out to be that bit too expensive, however, it's nice to have options.


All of these models are from Warlord Games and, too be honest, I have mixed feelings about them. Although detailed and well sculpted, there was lots of flash to clean up, sometimes in places where it was difficult to do so without damaging the model. I much prefer the clean simplicity of the Artizan or Crusader models, however, they don't do the same range of weapons teams.

I've got another dozen models to go, most of them plastic, before I'm calling this army done, so expect to see more in the coming weeks.

I'm counting that as eight painted (the gun is a separate model) and I bought a couple of pieces for an Operation Sealion project that you might see in the coming weeks too, depending if I can get a few things for it via the post.

Acquired: 108
Painted: 73

As a separate note, these are uncertain times we're living through, and so I hope you are all well and stay that way. I'm now working from home, which should mean that I'll have some more time (n case my employer is reading, this is because I'm not commuting, obvs) to get more painting done, which might provide a bit of distraction for you in the weeks ahead.

Take care.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Dropzone: First Contact

Our 'Battle For Earth' campaign continues...


After a failed attempt to seize the orbital defence network as a precursor for invasion, Pete's UCM land a small insertion force in what was once Nairobi with the aim of accessing key Intel about the Scourge defences.

The force dispatched was led by a Wolf command vehicle and was supported by 3 Katana assault tanks. Three units of Legionnaires were dispatched in Raven light dropships to seize the objectives quickly, and a sizeable contingent of air cover was provided in the form of 3 Rapiers and 4 Wolverines. 2 Condors provided fast transport for the slow moving tanks.

As soon as the incursion was detected, the Scourge diverted a rapid reaction force led by an experienced Despot command walker, carried by an Intruder light dropships. Three Marauders carried the standard compliment of 3 Hunter assault skimmers, 3 Reaper AA skimmers and 2 Invader transports each carrying a squad of Scourge Warriors.

Early maneuvers saw both forces deploying their infantry to grab objectives quickly. The UCM grabbed the two closest to them, whilst the Scourge infantry, limited to a single dropship, secured two objectives on the right flank, whilst deploying their skimmers to defend the unclaimed objectives on the left with the aim of switching across later before the UCM could strike that far.


First blood went to the Scourge when deepstriking Hunters displayed incredibly precise and powerful plasma to incinerate the entire Kantana squad. This was followed up when a squad of Warriors obliterated the UCM commander with focused plasma rifle fire.


The UCM infantry moved quickly and secured a third objective, however a wall of Scourge stood between them and their final target. The Marauders and Intruder poured plasma fire into the building in an attempt to repel them to no avail.


The Hunter squad continued to rampage forwards, pushing back the Reapers away from the Scourge transports. The Despot scuttled out to ambush the Wolverines, but failed to harm them in spectacular fashion.


This ineptitude didn't last, though, and the Wolverines and the Reapers were all destroyed shortly afterwards. Squads of Legionnaires tried to retaliate from nearby buildings with limited success, taking out a single Hunter.


Meanwhile, a single squad of Warriors had vacated a building, which had almost been brought down by Reaper fire, boarded their Invader and embarked on a Marauder. Their mission: to get across to the remaining objective before the UCM could get to the target.

With the Reapers pushed back, the only things that could stop them were a single Falcon gunship and the possibility of Pete rolling a 6 for initiative on the following turn (by this time I had a massive Command advantage).


Needless to say, a 6 wasn't rolled, and the slim chance of the Falcon's AA reaction fire failed to bring down the Marauder, and so the Warriors seized the final objective.

To add injury to insult, the final objective turned out to be a critical location.

With the Scourge handily already grouped around the area, the UCM not having a real chance of damaging Scourge vehicles and any attempt to strike at the objective likely to result in light dropships succumbing to AA fire, Pete decided to withdraw, leaving the final score at 4-3 to me.

A successful first outing for my Scourge was characterised by a little bit of tactical thinking backed up with a healthy dose of good fortune:
  • Pete losing his two hardest hitting units to frankly offensively good dice at the start of the game put him on the back foot straight away. To be fair, neither of us knew that Scourge units hit that hard.
  • My strategy of defending an objective to be collected later offset the disadvantage my infantry had in mobility, but was massively aided by the fact that the final objective turned out to be the only critical location (we rolled each time an objective was taken).
  • I had a CV4 commander due to not painting enough models, and this gave me a tactical advantage in the end game when rolling for initiative became crucial.
After two surprising victories, I now take a 4-0 lead into the next game, which will be a Dropfleet battle with both fleets arriving piecemeal.

Apparently we will need to bombard ground targets, and I don't have any ships that do that. Fortunately I have a single sprue of Frigates left unassembled that are making their way to the shipyard as I type.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Something For The Weekend

I've built a shed.


The shed is from Sarissa Precision and I got it free for participating in last year's great wargaming survey. There was a choice of this, some Rubicon tank commanders or some plastic holdings. I chose the shed as it could serve as terrain for VBCW, Operation Sealion or even 7TV Pulp.

It actually goes well with the cottage I've had for years and I decided to base it with an allotment and a couple of pumpkins I had lying around (as you do) to add a little colour.

I still feel there's something missing and it feels a bit bare, so I'll probably have a bit of a rummage in the bits box fir tools or boxes that could add to it.

This week I took delivery of another 12 Crooked Dice miniatures I bought with my voucher from Board in Brum, along with another custom sculpt for Masters of the Universe, so this week is very much in the red.

Acquired: 106 
Painted: 65

Btw - Bonus internet points for the first to identify the link between the post and the title.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Quality or Quantity?



I'm really pleased to have finished off the last of the unpainted Soviets in my to do list, even though I hadn't intended to...more on that later.


First up is a Warlord Games IS-2, a heavy tank with a big, big gun.

The kit was straightforward enough to assemble, but I'm constantly mystified with these kits why the turret (not including the gun) and tracks come in several pieces when Rubicon are able to do similar models with single piece turrets and tracks.

 
In terms of painting, I've kept things simple, as with the rest of my Soviet tanks. However, as well as adding the white stripe on the turret to indicate a Guards regiment, I've also grubbied up the transfers with paint chips to indicate wear and tear.

I like ho this has turned out and will probably do the same with the rest of my vehicles soon, as it's a pretty quick job.


The IS-2 packs a heavy anti-tank gun, 3 MMGs (one of which is rear facing) and a pintle mounted HMG. 

The price for all these toys is that this can't be the first unit I activate in a turn. I'll get a chance to see whether this is a problem or not in a game I'm playing against Matt tomorrow.


The infantry are the remains of a Plastic Soldier Company box I bought before I even played Bolt Action. The models are of dubious quality and include some bizarre poses.

I hadn't intended to paint them at all, but I spilt a load of khaki paint when I was basecoating the other infantry I painted earlier in the week, and not wanting to waste the paint, I quickly grabbed these models and slapped it on them as an undercoat.

They'll never be my favourites, but as was commented on one of my earlier posts, you can never have too many Russians. Also, it means I've added ten models to the painted pile (and reduced my acquired total by one as I threw another one away).

Acquired: 93
Painted: 64

With the Soviets done I'm now going to moving on to another unfinished (in fact, unstarted) project as I'm quite enjoying the sense of completion I'm feeling right now.

Friday, 21 February 2020

The Reconquest begins...sort of...

Pete and I finally got our Dropfleet/Dropzone 'Battle For Earth' campaign underway with the UCM launching an assault on Earth's defensive space stations as a prelude to the main landings, and the Scourge overlords of Earth racing to intercept the fleet and deny the humans their staging posts.


Our fleets were 700 points each and, as it has been a long time since either of us had played, were constructed with an 'I hope this works' mentality.

I plumped for a Hydra Fleet Carrier as my flagship, and a slew of Gargoyle Strike Carriers to try to seize control of the space stations. To do the fighting, I plumped for a battlegroup of two Yokai Light Cruisers and a squadron of Djinn Assault Frigates.


Pete had gone a bit more militant in that he had a Cruiser (sorry, I don't know most of the names of the UCM ships) as his flagship, and had also plumped for a bunch of Strike Carriers and a pair of Light Cruisers. He'd complemented these with a squadron of Toulon Frigates and a pair of the new Destroyers.


The opening turns saw our strike carriers making straight for the space stations and my Djinn squadron rushing directly towards the enemy, but falling short of being able to do much more than destroy a single Strike Carrier and leave themselves in range of the entire UCM fleet.


However, a combination of terrible attack rolls from Pete and us completely mucking up rolls on the crippling damage table saw the Djinn survive the barrage. What's more, when the Destroyers launched torpedoes at two of my Strike Carriers, we got the rules for shaking them off wrong too and they were got rid of rather than delayed.

To add injury to insult, on the Djinns' following turn they turned abruptly and ripped apart a UCM Light Cruiser in close action.


In the race for the space stations, I used the Gargoyles' speed to get control of three of them, bringing their mass drivers and burn-through lasers into action. Pete grabbed one of the space stations, and on the final one we both landed troops and a mutually destructive ground assault was fought.


The UCM Destroyers made their presence felt by using their remaining torpedoes to destroy one of my Yokai, and they then got into close action with a Gargoyle, destroying it.

The Strike Carriers of both sides were prime targets as, without the protection of dropping into atmosphere, they were sitting ducks and the key to victory. A combination of space station guns and the Hydra Fleet Carrier finished off three UCM Strike Carriers trying to seize control of one of the space stations the Scourge held.

Unfortunately, the Hydra was destroyed by an explosion of one of the UCM ships. It had been crippled by a Barrage from the Toulons earlier.


My remaining Yokai finally got into the fight by finishing of the over-extended Destroyers by flying into the face of the Toulons.


However, the Toulons were dealt with in short order by the Djinns coming in behind them, who were in turn taken out by the UCM flagship.


This put the Yokai in prime position to go 'weapons free' and destroy the not only the UCM flagship, but the remaining Toulon too.

With only one Light Cruiser left Pete conceded. There was a good chance that it would win a fight with my remaining damaged ships, but without any Strike Carriers he would struggle to also shift the Scourge ground troops in the space stations and prevent me scoring enough points to win in the final round.

I'm fully aware that our mistakes early in the game affected Pete more than me and probably cost him the game, but this was a good relearning game. What's more, my victory means that our next game in the campaign will be of Dropzone Commander, and looking at what is required of my currently meagre army, I'm not hopeful of a second victory.

I might need to paint some more stuff.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Zis is getting silly

Just in case an extra anti-tank rifle and a Zis-3 wasn't enough, let's add a Zis-2 and some Tank Riders, bristling with grenades and panzerfausts.


The Zis-2 is, like the Zis-3, a 1st Corps 1/48 model I got from Matt, crewed with some Warlord plastic Soviets that came with my tanks.


Unlike the Zis-3, it doesn't have the capability to be used as a light howitzer, but with one less crew, it is a bit cheaper. However, this is likely to be an underused piece, except in theatre selectors that allow two artillery pieces) in my army as the Zis-3 is always going to seem a better choice.


Nevertheless, the decision to not base the crew and gun together does mean that the Zis-2 may be used elsewhere. In fact, I've been toying with the idea of starting a Chinese army, and the Communists have access to these anti-tank guns later in the war, so it may not end up being totally unloved.


With the remaining Warlord plastics, I wanted to fill some gaps in my army. One if which was that I had no miniatures armed with both SMGs and anti-tank options. This meant that my Tank Riders (which must have SMGs) could not be used against enemy armour. These three models fix that problem.


Finally, these four add to my total number of SMG armed troops, opening the way to potentially having two units of Tank Riders. This could be extremely useful in Tank War games, where everything has to have a space on some sort of transport, increasing the amount of infantry I can take.

Another 11 models done, and only an IS-2 and another batch of infantry to go for my Soviets.

Acquired: 94
Painted: 54

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Zis should be fun.

Due to a series of difficult to explain circumstances involving Matt purchasing some palm trees, I've returned to my Soviet army for Bolt Action.


Ong time readers will possibly remember that I've 'finished' the Soviet army several times. However, new models have a way of working their way into my possession and so I've made the decision to finish off all the remaining Soviet models in my backlog (again), starting with this Zis-3 anti-tank gun and anti-tank rifle team.


The Zis-3 is actually something I've been wanting to add to my army for some time due to the fact that the artillery slot in my force has been occupied since day one by a measly 45mm light anti-tank gun. The Zis-3 is not only a medium anti-tank gun, but can also be fired as a light howitzer, making it much more versatile. The 45mm gun will still get use in early war scenarios.


The model is actually a 1/48 1st Corps I traded with Matt when he won it as part of the most eclectic prize ever at the Wargames Illustrated 7TV day. The crew are Warlord plastic Soviets that I've posed to match the Warlord metal crew as much as possible.

I normally base team weapons on a single base, but the size of this would make it unwieldy on a circular base that it would fit on. It will also make storing it easier.


The plastic models I used for the crew are from two sprues that came with the KV-1 I got last year and the IS-2 I got last Christmas as a secret Santa gift from Pete (there are those that suspect Pete got me an IS-2 because it added an extra 8 models to my acquired pile...).

As I was building the crew anyway, I took the opportunity to make a third anti-tank rifle team because...well...I could. Although they don't really threaten most tanks, they are good for dealing with transports and add extra order dice into the pot.

7 models painted is not bad, but I've also taken the opportunity to offload a some of the free Wargames  Illustrated via ebay (18 in total).

Acquired: 94
Painted: 43

Be warned, the next few posts might be a bit Soviet-centric, I've got quite a bit to do.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Alien Menace

I'm now ready to play the first scenarios in the Dropfleet/Dropzone Commander Battle for Earth, and it's been a bit of a battle getting here.


These are the Despot Command Walker and Intruder B Transport that I needed to command my forces in the opening scenarios on the game.

They came with the Scourge starter army I bought with a voucher and, with what I've already painted, allow me to get to the 700 points needed.


The Despot brings some close up destructive power to my small army, with short range plasma hoses and razor sharp claws.

The model is really nice, although one of the legs has some fairly rough casting that I'm not used to with Dropzone Commander. I've also had another extended battle with mold release agent - I suspect this is because the Scourge models have lots of lumps and bumps, making it difficult to clean.

I was really unhappy with how the painting was coming along (still not at all convinced by contrast paints) until I did the gold plates on the back and added some visual variety. At some point I may go back and pick out the spinal plates too, but for now I'm happy enough.


The Intruder also has a roughly cast part in that one of the lower connectors has a small bubble in it. This is disappointing, and worrying for when I make future purchases.

In all of my Resistance models (which are all resin) I've not had a single issue with the casting. However, in my first resin purchase since the game was bought by TT Combat, I've had two issues in two models. That doesn't bode well.

I'm glad to have got these two done, even though I've not really enjoyed doing them. Playing some games and getting my alien ass handed to me by Pete's UCM of infinite variety should provide ample motivation to get more units painted.

Two models painted and four models got rid of (I threw away three bizarrely posed PSC Soviets and a damaged Flames of War model) begins to make inroads into my self-created backlog. I'm currently listing a bunch of things on Ebay, so that acquired total should start to come down quickly.

Acquired: 112
Painted: 36

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Dangers Lurk Everywhere

My journey into the Fallout wasteland continues, and it's a dangerous place...


I've been ploughing through more of my Christmas haul, completing a Deathclaw and some terrain I picked up from Amazon using a voucher.


Both sets of terrain are from a company called War World Scenics, and I'd not encountered them before I went looking for how to spend a voucher effectively.

All the pieces are really nicely sculpted, with limited flash and affordable. However, I've had the biggest struggle with mold release agent that I've ever encountered. After several attempts at removing it with soapy water, I ultimately ended up spraying the pieces with matt varnish before painting to get paint to stick to parts of the models.

I'd still recommend using this company, but it's worth knowing to not hold back on you usual method for cleaning models.


The toxic slime pits involved me using the GW technical paint Nurge's Rot. Having not used this before, I was pleased to find out that doing a basecoat of Warboss Green and highlighting raised areas with Yriel Yellow meant that I got a mottled, swirling effect in the pools, but not on the bubbles.

I'm really happy with these.

In Fallout: Wasteland Warfare sources of radiation inflict damage on nearby creatures (assuming they're not immune, like Super Mutants), and so they'll add something different to games.


The Deathclaw is the big beastie from the starter set and should be a really good addition to narrative games as a threat to both sides.


I actually went searching online for some advice on how to paint the big fella, and came across a tutorial from Dice Junkies which just used a series of washes. This made the model really straightforward to paint, and I'm really pleased with the effect.

I will add the caveat that at the end, I felt the Deathclaw was a bit dark and so I finished off with a light drybrush of Ushabti Bone to highlight.


You'd think, with all this progress, I'd be feeling pretty pleased with myself, but as the post title suggests, there are dangers lurking everywhere and Christmas continues to cast it's long shadow over my attempts to paint more than I acquire.


This is the new Scourge Dropzone Commander starter army, which is twice the size of the old one. Even though it will lead to an army that doesn't have a lot of variation, it was a very effective way to spend a voucher for Outpost Games and will mean that Pete and I will be able the start the Battle for Earth campaign fairly soon.

I also used the voucher to pick up a few more terrain bits for Fallout from TT Combat, as well as picking up issue 2 of Mortal Realms for the paint and 4 banshees, and so despite painting 11 models, I've acquired...wait for it...99 more!

Ouch!

On the upside, the Christmas presents are now done with, however, I now have the voucher for Crooked Dice I recieved last weekend burning a hole in my pocket.

I'm going to have to get a wriggle on.

Acquired: 116
Painted: 34

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Day of Revelations


Yesterday saw me take another trip to Board in Brum for another excellent 7TV day. This time I would be 'filming' a trilogy of low budget zombie flicks as the studio was short of cash following the expense of shooting on location at the last event.


The first order of business was to recruit a (40 ratings) cast, including a faded star and a whole load of extras, who'd work for peanuts:
  • True Believer (Co-Star)
  • Freak of Nature (Co-Star)
  • Bloater Zombie (Extra)
  • 2 Patient Zeroes (Extras)
  • 3 Crawler Zombies (Extras)
  • 3 Rager Zombies (Extras)
  • 24 Zombies (Extras)
The premise of the plot was that deranged priest Father Ezekiel (played by Dick Van Dyke taking a break from Quincey MD) is determined to bring about the day of revelation, on which the dead will rise from their graves and cleanse the wicked from the face of the Earth.

'BOOK OF REVELATIONS'

The first film in the series saw Father Ezekiel lead the restless dead against the fanatical Red Shadows, a secret organisation bent on world domination. Their leader, Baron Ironblood, sought the secret of the Book of Revelations by capturing and torturing men of the cloth. Their treatment of Ezekiel not only drive him mad, but enabled him to tap into the power of the book.


To save on costs, the film reused the set of a 'weird' war movie. In fact, most of the Red Shadows costumes were simply German uniforms dyed red.


The climactic scenes of the movie saw a deranged Ezekiel return to the scene of his torture at the head of a horde of zombies. His goal was to retrieve the book from where he had hidden it during his escape and bring God's vengeance down on the sinful Ironblood and his cronies.


Despite the number of extras, costs were further cut by focusing much of the action on smaller conflicts such as the clash between the robotic 'Skeletrons' and a few zombies over the site of the hidden book.


Every so often the camera would cut away to long shots (thus reducing the need for lots of expensive make up) of the shambling horde. In fact these were actually all taken as a single shot which was liberally cut throughout the finale of the film.


Perhaps the most expensive sequence in the film saw a giant red robot pummeling an oversized zombie into the ground. This proved so popular with test audiences that it caused the production team to include oversized monster fights in the rest of the films in the series.


The conclusion of the film saw Ezekial watching on as the dead tore through the base, before heading off into the sunset to bring about the end of the world.


'BOOK OF REVELATIONS 2: CADAVERLAND'

The second film in the series suffered from lack of communication between the scriptwriters, costume and design departments. Also, somebody thought that hiring lookalikes of famous actors like Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Jason Statham and Billy Connolly would add glamour on the budget. It didn't.


The antagonist in the sequel was 'El Generalissimo', the despotic dictator of a fictional Latin American state who, inexplicably, had decided to personally lead a hit squad (which included a giant insect at the studio's request) to retrieve the Book of Revelations. If this flimsy plot wasn't bad enough, the lack of budget meant that the location team had only been able to secure a disused funfair as a set. This was 'justified' as Father Ezekiel's secret lair (in Latin America) where he plotted to bring about the end of days.


The finale of the film saw El Generalissimo lead his team into the heart of the funfair searching for the deranged priest, only to be ambushed by a gibbering horde of zombies.


A sequence of pyrotechnics amongst the zombies poorly intercut with repeated shots of the Sean Bean-alike firing an SMG from atop a rollercoaster made it look like his shots were exploding like artillery rounds amongst the dead.


Once again, cost were kept down with plenty of shots of individual zombies creeping up on El Generalissimo only to be gunned down as they got too close.


There was, as requested, a monster mashup between a giant zombie and an oversized insect, however, it remained incomplete as some of the footage was lost and it was deemed too expensive to film again.

It's to be assumed that the giant zombie won as it appears later, alongside Father Ezekiel as they deliver righteous vengeance unto him.


However, perhaps the most well known scene from the film is an oft-played clip on blooper shows. Realising that they needed to explain the absence of the giant insect, there was a brief reshoot which involved the insect being chased down by a large zombie (which eagle eyed viewers noticed was blown up earlier in the film) and both of them exploding for no discernible reason.


'BOOK OF REVELATIONS 3: END OF DAYS'

The third film in the series saw Father Ezekial actually launching his cleansing of the Earth, and focused on a team of archaeologists, explorers and journalists (accompaniedby a giant ape because, well, the studio said so), as they raced to find a way to stop him.


The final showdown was filmed in an Amish village and was the source of some controversy as the elders had kindly agreed to allow the filming to take place because they had been informed that 'Book of Revelations 3' was a religious film that would bring its audience closer to God. Although this could be argued to be technically true, giants apes and zombies is certainly not what they had imagined.


The final film in the trilogy actually had a plot the held together as the dynamic team of heroes raced to stop Father Ezekial reaching the Gettysburg National Graveyard to raise the dead there and begin the Apocalypse; although it didn't explain how he and his shuffling horde of zombies had travelled from Latin America to Pennsylvania. The final scenes saw the last stand in an Amish village on the edge of the cemetery.


By this film, a formula had been established. A series of implausible lookalikes held the line, this time featuring Doug McClure and Groucho Marx, and monsters clashed with the great ape succumbing to the bloodied fists of a giant zombie.


There were more comedic explosions as the Groucho-alike, surrounded by zombies, pulled the pin out of a grenade whilst saying, "I've had a perfectly wonderful day, but this wasn't it." After the explosion, the smoke cleared and the Groucho-alike stood amidst a pile of dismembered corpses, unaffected by the blast, save for his pith helmet being knocked to one side.


Again, costs were reduced in the apparent mass battle by focusing on individual battles and refusing the two dozen extras in zombies outfits.


The final scenes of the film saw a giant zombie smashing down one of the last defenders and Groucho looking on in horror as Father Ezekiel strode into the cemetery and recited from the Book of Revelations. The final shot was of decayed hands beginning to emerge from the thousands of graves.


The studio succeeded in making savings on the filming but the cheap effects, bizarre plots and bad lookalikes meant that only the most hardened zombie film fans were interested in seeing the third film in the cinemas. This meant that no further films in the franchise were made, although equally bizarre scripts are rumoured to exist.

You can still find them occasionally in bargain bins and on very late night television, however, Dick Van Dyke not only refuses to talk about them, but has been known to claim was also played by a lookalike.

***

Another great day's gaming at Board in Brum. It's a really friendly store that makes an effort to ensure that games are played on exciting tables; although several were also brought along by participants.






I took along my city board, but I was actually asked if it could be used for a Marvel Crisis Protocol event which was running simultaneously, as it seemed more appropriate for that. Which is true, and so it was.

James Aldridge's V2 base, which was the one I played on first, won best board.

Mike Strong ran the event with his usual ingenuity and imagination. Not only were there scenarios to play, which I have adapted into my narrative (or sometimes totally ignored), but also there were cost saving measure we had to enact, which included trying to advance less than your opponent, speeding up filming by claiming the most countdown cards, and not wasting resources by having the most plot points left at the end. Those that succeeded went into the black and gained small in game benefits, whilst those in the red had small penalties.

There were, quite rightly, no prizes for winning games, as that sort of thing discourages imaginative casts. However, my 'joke' 35 model zombie cast actually proved to be fairly lethal, especially in the first turns, thanks to the filthy Patient Zeroes and zombie moan allowing me to catapult the Ragers at the enemy, and the last turns, thanks to still having plenty of models left - despite having massive chunks blown out of the horde, I was able to pick up 6vps in the last turn Cadaverland.

The participant were as friendly as ever and brought along an eclectic mix of lovingly constructed casts. My own consisted purely of models I've painted during Zomtober over the years, including some truly horrible Wargames Factory models.




Paul (aka David) Smith's excellent Children of the Fields cast won best cast and reminded me that I still have many of these models sitting unpainted from the Kickstarter in 2018!

All three of my games were excellent and my opponents were great. I've play James (Red Shadows) several times and he is always upbeat despite always being cursed with terrible dice against me. Alistair (Despotic Dictator) and I laughed out way through our frankly ridiculous funfair battle, and many of the sillier ideas for my narrative came from our mutterings. Simon (Pulp Adventurers) was an excellent sport, as he was unfamiliar with the Apocalyse zombies and so the game contained a series of 'they can do what?' moments.

I think they must have enjoyed the games too as I was awarded the best opponent prize, despite bringing a slow playing, annoying, accidentally power gamey cast.


I was awarded this enormous trophy and a £25 voucher for Crooked Dice, topping off a genuinely fantastic day.

If you are at all tempted by attending a 7TV day, then I can heartily recommend Board in Brum. The next event is in September and it is NOT a tournament in any way, shape or form.