Friday 25 February 2022

Carnevale: Masquerading Miniatures

With so many miniatures games to choose from, it's always good to be able to try before you buy. Therefore, I appreciate the fact that TTCombat make the basic rules of Carnevale available so that potential customers such as myself can make an informed decision.

A quick rummage through the miniature collection and a little bit of delving into the backlog threw up two small 50 ducat gangs of Rashaar and Strigoi to throw down and see if this was a game I wanted to invest in for more than just the pretty miniatures.

Having read the rules, watched some videos and printed out some stat cards, I was ready to give the game a try. Wes kindly agreed to join me in my venture and I delved into my terrain to create setting as close to Venice as I could manage.

It's a little more backwoods bayou than the Queen of the Adriatic, but it has the key element that seemed necessary: a 'canal' complete with a bridge; some buildings to climb and leap from; and plenty of smaller obstacles to bounce around on.

I also put a single objective in the centre of the board to force us both to fight for it. The side which controlled the objective at the end of five rounds would be the winner.

In this case it seemed appropriate to place a damsel in distress who eas doomed to either be sacrificed to sea monsters or end up as an aperitif at a Vampire banquet.

The Rashaar are a race of fishmen and their tame cultists who draw more than a little inspiration from the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  My small force consisted of (from left to right):

Lesser Ugdru (Henchman) - 16 Ducats
Slave (Henchman) - 7 Ducats
Demagogue (Hero) - 15 Ducats
Cult Officiant (Henchman) - 12 Ducats

They were likely to be tough in combat but slow when out of the water, with the Slave there to make up the numbers.

Meanwhile, the Strigoi are vampires of varying types. The official miniatures pay homage to the many movie versions of this classic monster. The scratched together force Wes would be controlling was (from left to right):

Nosferatu (Henchman) - 13 Ducats
2 Starved Dhampires (Henchmen) - 18 Ducats
Highborn Servant (Hero) - 14 Ducats
Poison (Equipment) - 5 Ducats

This force seemed to be quivk and aggressive glass cannons who would get stronger as the fight went on.

Turn 1

The game began with the Cult Officiant immediately exploring the jumping rules as she bounded across the canal, on to some barrels and then leapt down (poorly) to a position behind the house.

She was followed by the Demagogue and flanked by the Lesser Ugdru, who kept yo the waterways. The Slave brought up the rear.

In return the Strigoi also leapt across the canal with varying degrees of success and some of them ending up wet. The Highborn Servant maintained her dignity by heading for the bridge.

Turn 2

The second turn saw the Slave advancing recklessly and unintentionally drawing the fire of the Highborn Servant away from more valuable targets.

The shots did not totally hit their mark and the Skave took only a little damage.

Seeing an opportunity when one of the Starved Dhampires advanced too far, the Demagogue clambered up on to a roof...

...and leapt down into combat, injuring the famished creature.

However, this left the Demagogue exposed to a vicious charge from the second Dhampire, which had been flung forwards by the Nosferatu's clever use of its command ability, Shadow Walker, each blow causing the Dhampire to grow stronger.

Turn 3

The Strigoi seized the initiative as the enhanced Dhampire continued its relentless assault on the Demagogue leaving her on just one wound.

Realising her wnd was near, the Demagogue burned all her command points and will points to  not only cut down the weaker Dhampire, but also enhance the Ugdru and Officiant.

She was in turn cut down by the remaining Dhampire, who continued to grow stronger, when we realised, too late, that the Nosferatu could use its last command point to trigger an out if sequence activation.

Realising that the Dhampire was a growing threat, and imbued by the Demagogue's martyrdom, the Officiant and Ugdru leapt in and tore the Starved Dhampire limb from limb in revenge.

Meanwhile, a frustrated Highborn leapt into combat with the Slave.

Although she only inflicted minimal damage, the Highborn Servant's poisoned blade left the Slave stunned.

We're not sure if we played the Poison correctly as the equipment rules are not in the free download.

Faced with overwhelming odds, the Nosferatu opted for an ostentatious move, clambering up onto a roof before diving down onto the Ugdru to inflict 3 points of damage and burning a number of life points in the process.

The Slave slipped away from the Highborn Servant, taking damage as she went, but diving into the embrace of the water, hoping to be of service to the injured Ugdru.

Turn 4

The Strigoi once again took the initiative and the dextrous Nosferatu slipped out of the clutches of the Ugdru and leapt to the safety of a nearby chimney.

Left without an target the Lesser Ugdru aimed to guard the objective whilst the Cult Officiant ran off to attack the Highborn Servant who, having reloaded, fired another poised round at the Slave, stunning her and guaranteeing her death.

Turn 5

The Cult Officiant and the Highborn Servant traded blows and the fickle fate of initiative left the Ugdru unable to stop the Nosferatu once again swooping in to contest the objective, leaving the game a draw.

We both really enjoyed the game. The fluidity of the movement rules led to some really dynamic moments, and the mechanics of will and command points allowed us to tinker with fate just enough. The core rules are simple enough to grasp (the most complex bit is deciphering the layout of the quick reference sheet) but will clearly be tricky to master.

I liked the game enough that I've ordered the starter set, and Wes mentioned potentially dipping his toes into the waters of Venice with the creepy-looking doctors of the Ospedale.

Expect to see more from Carnevale in due course.

Although I've not painted anything else this week, I might need to get a shift on to offset my purchases. However, I think this game more than qualifies as 'skirmish sized', therefore at least I've got another box ticked off.

Monday 21 February 2022

Digging Up The Past

After thoroughly enjoying painting my most recent Crooked Dice acquisitions, I was prompted to return to some of the small 7TV backlog I have amassed.

In the hunt for easy wins, I settled on ploughing through the Pulp macguffins that I got as part of one of the Kickstarter campaigns.

It's an eclectic bunch of ancient treasures for whip-wielding archaeologists, deranged cultists and hard-boiled private dicks to pursue.

All were done with a combination of washes, contrast paints and drybrushing and no fancy stuff simply because I wanted to get them done quickly. They are also based fairly neutrally to allow them to slot into different genres and also serve as terrain at times.

These two should prove to be suitable treasures that need to be kept out of the hands of any passing nazis, but will surely be guarded by fiendishly complex death traps as well as lots of snakes.

Why does it have to be snakes?

Although one of these is clearly at the centre of a noir conspiracy full of intrigue and betrayal, the other is actually more likely to feature as some sort of totem of power for the Ape Revolutionary Committee in Pulp City.

Also, those flowers are not immediately obvious when you start painting. It was a bit of a shock to duscover them when I thought I'd almost finished.

These two might very well be likely to feature in Lurkers from the Deep when I finally get around to playing episode two. They are also eminently suitable for a potential upcoming project I will discuss later in the post.

I've never been desperate to play games within the Cthulhu mythos (apart from Lurkers, that is), but our recent campaign for Arkham Horror is shifting my mindset.

These two are generic treasures that would be suitable for the fantasy genre as well as pulp, in fact, I think I've got some very similar pieces from the Mantic Treasury Terrain Crate.

Finally I have the film reels, which is probably the most meta macguffin, and is also the one from the core set. I'm not sure which sorts of ganes this would be used for but I'm sure I'll think of something.

And now for something completely different...

Every so often I get an itch to try out a new game, but limited resources make cautious. Therefore one of the Cheaphammer habits Ive developed is rooting through my bits box to see what I can proxy to enable me to give a game a try before committing hard earned cash.

And so, when the itch to play Carnevale from TTCombat arrived, I dug out these Mantic ghouls to paint up as Strigoi.

Combined with the Barnabotti I got free with a magazine and a probably something rebased from my proxying of Guildball, I should be able to make a 50 ducat force to put up against some of my Cthulhuesque cultists (for which I now have suitable objectives) to give the game a try.

I just need to find someone to try it with.

All of this combined means I've made plenty of progress on the Hobby Bingo card:
  • The macguffins have definitely been in my to do pile for over 6 months.
  • I don't normally paint miniatures from Mantic since I stopped doing The Walking Dead.
  • For some reason, the tick for playing a boardgame had disappeared at some point despite me posting about Arkham Horror.
On to of all this, I've put some clear daylight into the numbers of models acquired and painted. I am very tempted to invest in Carnevale, so a bit of breathing space should be beneficial.

Acquired: 25
Painted: 44

Monday 14 February 2022

Hawk The Slayer Was Rubbish!

Don't punch me.

I'm just trying to get your attention for my recent painting exploits beyond the edge of darkness in a world of swords and sorcery.

These are the Raven's Revenge miniatures from Crooked Dice, based, less than loosely on the thinly sketched characters from 80s cult classic, Hawk the Slayer.

If you've never seen Hawk the Slayer, I can only assume that you had a miserable and bleak childhood or are too young to remember a time pre-Jackson, when fans of the fantasy genre had to take what they could get.

I can only recommend this slice of cinematic history. It's exactly as good as that poster suggests.

The somewhat bloodthirsty heroes remind me very much of a party of level one murder-hobos from an introductory adventure of AD&D.
  • Nobody discussed what the others were playing, so the party is fighter heavy. 
  • Hawk spent too long on his backstory.
  • Crow has min-maxed archery.
  • Gort enjoys violence without consequence a bit too much.
  • Baldwin (the only rogue) steals from PCs and doesn't have enough hit points.
  • Ranulf is cursed by bad dice rolls.
  • The DM is forced to use an NPC to save a party devoid of ideas.

Hawk is the eponymous, and amazingly uncharismatic, hero played by John Terry (not that one). His father and fiancé were both killed by his brother Voltan, and he wields the legendary (and criminally underused) Mindsword.

Ranulf is a 'warrior' who manages to lose every fight he's in. He loses a hand early on in the film, which is something not represented on the model. 

I decided to leave him as he was as I didn't want to hack up the model and Ranulf's loss of a hand really doesn't impact on the film in any way thanks to his repeating crossbow and general rubbishness.

Gort, played by Bernard Bresslaw of Carry On fame, is referred to as a giant. In this context 'giant' means 'slightly taller man'. 

He eats, hits things with his hammer and devises cruel and unusual punishments far more unpleasant than anything the so-called villains ever come up with.

Baldwin is a Dwarf, and the character was clearly written by somebody who had clearly never engaged with any other works of fantasy, where Dwarves are one of the more consistent factors. At least he's a bit shorter than the others.

This whip-wielding thief serves no real purpose to the adventure save for being somewhat irritating and loosely filling the role of comic relief.

It's actually a relief when he dies.

Crow, the last Elf, has a legendary ability with a bow thanks to the power of really dodgy editing.

He also answers the question as to why Elves don't ever seem to have short hair: because they look like Vulcans.

The 'Woman' (seriously, that's the character's name - welcome to the 80s) is the most useful of any of them and boasts a range of powers that include:
  • teleportation via fluorescent hula hoop;
  • immobilisation with silly string;
  • death by ping-pong ball.
As you can see, she is rightly feared.

Prince Voltan the Dark One is the villain of the piece and, with a name like that he was always going to be.

Played with scenery-chewing menace by Jack Palance, Voltan is apparently Hawk's brother, despite clearly being older than their father, who he kills.

I was worried that I'd made his eye to manic and staring...

...and then I realised I hadn't.

In all honesty, Hawk the Slayer is rubbish. However, that's the beauty of it and I can't wait to get these on a table. I probably need to paint up some nuns and murderous thugs so that I can play the Raven's Revenge scenario which appeared in a recent edition of Wargames Illustrated.

Pleasingly, not only can I call this bunch a 'unique warband' for Hobby Bingo, but I've also added a fairly healthy amount to the painted total.

Acquired: 25
Painted: 33

Thursday 10 February 2022

48 Hour Deliveries

Just a quick post about some quick painting I've completed in order to fill a box on my Hobby Bingo card.

These Crooked Dice drum and crate barricades are what I spent the £10 voucher I got for winning 'best cast' at Board in Brum last weekend.

It seemed appropriate to get something from at a 7TV event and boxes and barrels can find a home on all sorts of tables.

I've really not done anything special at all with these, simply basecoating and washing them with the aim of getting them done quickly.

I kept things simple so that they could be used in a variety of genres: WW2, pulp, post-apocalyptic, superhero, etc. I had no real goal for them rather than just adding to the range of scatter terrain I have available.

My reason for getting them painted so simply and quickly was to complete the 'paint a mini within 48 hours of receiving it' box on my Hobby Bingo card.

Given I got them on Saturday and had them finished by Sunday evening, that's mission accomplished in my book.

I'm not sure that basecoating and washing barrels and boxes was the intent of that challenge, but it's how I'm reading it. I'm also narrowly back in the black, so it's been a good week so far.

Acquired: 25
Painted 26

Saturday 5 February 2022

He-Man and the Masters of the Midlands

The Sorceress has forseen a great evil awakening that, if unleashed, could devastate Eternia, if not the universe itself.

And so, He-Man and his friends made the epic Journey into the West (well, a bit west and mainly south) to prevent this ultimate source of evil from ever being used.

Yes, I've been to another 7TV event at Board in Brum. This time it was Journey into the West (Midlands) using the 7TV Fantasy rule set and I took my heroes of Eternia cast:

He-Man - Divine Mortal (Star)
Man-At-Arms - Seasoned Veteran (Co-Star)
Teela - Righteous Paladin (Co-Star)
Battle Cat - Fabulous Beast (Extra)
Orko - Court Magician (Extra)
Mekanek - Night Watchman (Extra)
Eternos Palace Guard - 1 Guard Sergeant & 4 Guards (Extras)

Together this band of heroes were tasked with retrieving the fabled Pandora's Box, to prevent all the evils in creation being released to wreak havoc.

Episode 1: The Cankerous Cavalcade of Contagion (vs Paul)

Pandora's Box had been found, and was to be transported under armed guard to a place of safe-keeping.

However, a Demonic Circus of Filth had learned of this and begun shambling towards the guardsmen, intent on opening the box and drowning Eternia in a sea of sorrows.

The guards turned to face the horde that staggered through the swamp towards them unaware that others of more noble intent watched on.

Realising there was no time to lose and no time to explain, He-Man and Teela charged forwards, knocking out two of the guards, intent on keeping Pandora's Box out of the poxed possession of the plague party.

The guards turned to deal with their assailants, flinging the box behind them, closer to the encroaching tide of corruption.

Teela and the Palace Guards beat back the misguided protectors of the box, allowing Mekanek to grab the prize.

Seeing danger approach, Man-At-Arms let fly with his wrist blaster and Battle Cat leapt into the fray to hold the diseased demons at bay.

Wanting to help He-Man, Orko cast a cantrip of Fae Fire, wreathing his Battle Cat in a glow that would keep enemies at bay.

Meanwhile, sticking his neck out and putting himself in the firing line, Mekanek bravely dragged Pandora's Box towards safety.

Unfortunately for the Trollan Trickster, his pesky prestidigitation had caught the attention of a bilious berserk beastman, whose cloven hooves brought him crashing into Orko, knocking the wizard unconscious.

Noxious fumes filled the air and clouded minds. Confusion caused Teela to turn on her friends with dreadful rage.

Battle Cat's heightened senses were similarly affected and he threw He-Man off his back and charged through the trees perilously close to Mekanek.

Teela and Battle Cat soon recovered their faculties, but He-Man and Man-At-Arms found themselves wreathed in hideous purple flames. Bravely ignoring the danger to himself, He-Man charged into the fray, hurling one of the leprous leaders into a heap, whilst Palace Guards poked plague bearers with their polearms.

The heroes held the line, keeping the shambling horrors far enough away from Mekanek to prevent their malefic miasma from messing with his mind.

One of the Palace Guards succumbed and struck down Teela, who fell into a swoon.

Despite this setback, Mekanek dragged Pandora's Box to safety and the battered heroes retreated from the horde, gathering their injured comrades as they went.

Only when they were away and clear did Teela notice that someone was missing...

He-Man: "As we've just seen, dirty thing can cause a lot of problems if left unchecked."

Teela: "The smell was really awful."

He-Man: "That's true, Teela. If you don't wash regularly and practice good hygiene, you could find your friends turning on you, just like we did. Until next time, goodbye for now."

Episode 2: Deathtrap Duncan

Man-At-Arms came to in a dark dungeon. He could make out some other figures further along the corridor and could hear a gentle hissing sound all around.

Quickly taking out his scanner, Man-At-Arms realised that the hissing was poison gas being pumped into the area.

He had to get out of there!

A young red-headed woman, who reminded him of Teela, was already trying to open a door to escape when she was callously attacked from behind by some kind of corsair.

Man-At-Arms leapt in to protect her and in a quick exchange of blows the pursuing pirate was rendered unconscious.

The woman struggled with the door, whilst Man-At-Arms and a blond teen with a bow waited nervously.

Man-At-Arms began to feel his breathing become difficult.

Just in time, the door swung open to reveal to Orc zombies. The gas and the zombies made Man-At-Arms remember the diseased circus they had fought. 

Had he fallen into their clutches? Was this some sort of entertainment?

The zombies lurched forward, taking down the poor red-headed woman and bursting through the door.

His lungs bursting, Man-At-Arms knocking one of the zombies flying and then barged through the door to where the air was clearer.

He could hear the sounds if a struggle behind him, along with a coughing and choking. He feared fir the young blond boy, but could not afford to turn back.

Pressing on, Man-At-Arms came across and axe-wielding Half-Orc curiously called Alistair, and a buxom Dwarf shieldmaiden named Simona.

Realising that they were all in the same fix, Man-At-Arms suggested an alliance to help all of the escape. Who knew what creatures lurked further in the labyrinth?

Together, they took on the biggest baddest wolf Man-At-Arms had ever encountered.  None of them could have dealt with it alone.

Along the way, they encountered others: a Barbarian; a woman wielding a katana; a dog with a hat on; and, to Man-At-Arms' relief, the blond boy, who introduced himself as 'Hank'.

The half-naked, muscular Barbarian, who called himself 'Overlord' and reminded Man-At-Arms of someone, led the way, charging headlong into combat with the Minotaur at the centre of the maze.

The companions joined the fray, including some who arrived from a different direction. Swords were swung, fireballs hurled, spells cast, bit still the hulking Minotaur would not fall.

Man-At-Arms took careful aim at the beast with his wrist blaster, snapping off a Stun blast that took the beast right between the eyes.

The creature fell with a thud, and the companions rushed towards the glowing portal at the centre of the room, trusting that it was an escape route.

Man-At-Arms waited until everybody was through before moving up the steps towards the shimmering, swirling vortex.

He paused for a moment and though sadly of those that had not made it out of this deadly game, especially the young red-headed woman. He hoped and prayed that the portal would allow him to be reunited with his friends, but most of all Teela.

Man-At-Arms: "Today you saw how I worked with others to deal with problems that I couldn't have tackled alone. It's important to realise when you need help. Try asking your parents, a friend or even a teacher and you'll soon find that something that seemed difficult is sorted in no time at all. Goodbye and good luck.

Episode 3: The Battle of Saturday Mornings (vs James)

News of Pandora's Box travelled fast and a group of youngsters cut off from their home plane had been convinced by a manipulative magical midget that this ultimate container of calamity would help them in their quest.

The gullible children set off to retrieve the item for themselves.

Meanwhile, the Sorceress has communicated with He-Man telepathically, mysteriously informing him to seek out the 'Sorceress of the Grey Skull'.

Confused, He-Man asked what this meant. The Sorceress answered cryptically that all would be made clear on the the Hill of Obelisks.

Wearily, He-Man and friends made their way through to forest to where they knew the hill lay on the edge of a great swamp.

Unbeknownst to He-Man, the children and their riddling ringleader had reached the hill first, with Diana and Uni leading the way.

Somewhat predictably, Presto tripped and fell whilst distracted, knocking himself out in the process.

Warily, the Eternos Palace Guard spread out to protect Teela, who had taken responsibility for Pandora's Box.

A horned head popped up over the lip of the hill, letting put a plaintive bleat to warn others of the approaching group.

Traumatised by his experience in the dungeon, Man-At-Arms let off a flurry of stun blasts, sending the poor unicorn tumbling down the other side of the hill.

In response, Diana came vaulting over towards Teela, her magical staff twirling, sending one of the guards flying.

Fur-clad warrior met fur-clad warrior as Battle Cat and He-Man charged into Diana, wrongky perceiving her as a minion of evil. The poor girl fled in fear of her life.

Meanwhile, Orko and Mekanek had moved off to intercept any other attackers. Whilst Mekanek put himself in harm’s way, Orko immobilised a boy-barbarian with a fascinating display of juggling, but managed to make himself feel sick and dizzy at the same time, his eyes spinning in different directions.

Whilst Teela continued to haul Pandora's Box forward, He-Man and Battle Cat pounced forwards towards the smirking gnome who seemed to have some control over these poor, misguided children.

In the distance, a Sorcerous Sentinel lumbered into view, appearing to come to the aid of the devious Dwarf.

He-Man and Battle Cat looked set to end the fight once and for all. The great green tiger reared up on his hind legs and roared.

Suddenly there was a blinding flash of light which shocked and surprised Battle Cat's inner Cringer, causing him to momentarily turn tail and run.

At the same time, energy arrows of golden light flew from the bow of Hank, knocking out Orko and Mekanek.

Having seen He-Man momentarily bested, Teela ran forwards and hit the short sorcerer over the head with Pandora's Box, knocking him out, allowing the Palace Guard to rush in and tie him up.

Meanwhile, Man-At-Arms ran up to Bobby the Barbarian and gave him a severe talking to about the importance of being in school before hitting him in the face.

The heroes of Eternia now firmly had the upper hand and looked to secure the hilltop and wait for their rendezvous.

Diana returned to the fight and Sheila rushed over to help Eric, whose cavalier attitude had gotten him in trouble.

But it was too little, too late as the Eternos Palace Guards advanced en masse.

Man-At-Arms and Hank traded shots at each other but each failed to find their mark, recognising each other from the dungeon.

Hank called out, "Guys, I don't think these people are evil. We've made a terrible mistake!"

"Really, Hank? What was your first clue?" snapped Sheila as she was also hit round the head by Teela's well handled box.

Apologising for their error, the kids backed away, leaving the Eternians in control of the Hill of Obelisks, but not before He-Man gave them some valuable life advice.

He-Man: "The adventures you've seen me go on can seem lots of fun, but the truth is the can be very dangerous. Sharp implements like knives, scissors and broadswords aren't toys, and even a stick used to playfight can cause injury. You don't want to end up bruised, bleeding or blind. So the next time you are pretending to save the world, remember to play safe. Until next time."

Episode 4: The Ritual of the Grey Skull (vs Simon)

The heroes were met by Stella the Sorceress, who told them she knew of a place of power where, if the right incantation was used, Pandora's Box could be sealed shut for ever.

That place was the Cave of the Grey Skull in the Valley of Cairns, a mystical and haunted place. He-Man and his friends would have to protect Stella from the denizens of that place whilst she performed the ritual.

Determined to remove this terrible threat from Eternia, He-Man led the way into the haunted valley.

Hearing moaning on the air, He-Man cautiously advanced to find a dreadful wraith drifting towards him out of the gloom.

Unbeknownst to him, other undead abominations were stumbling towards his friends and inaccurate arrows began falling amongst the Eternos Palace Guard.

Realising that they needed to protect Stella, the Guards charged forwards into the Skeletons, thinning their ranks.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ritual sight, He-Man and Battle Cat engaged the Wraith, which melted into thin air when met with the sword of power.

They then bounded forwards towards an Orc Witch who seemed to control the dead things, but the Witch's henchman intervened.

Teela took the opportunity to haul the Box closer to the Cave, wondering why none of her friends ever helped her with it.

Despite their bravery, the Eternos Guard fell before the skeletal horde, which now surged towards Teela and Stella, a great zombie bear bursting through the lines.

Whislt Teele dragged Pandora's Box to the mouth of the cave, Man-At-Arms bravely charged and brought down the zombie bear. 

However, the Skeletons were joined by the Orc Witch who came running round the corner. Fortunately, her spells failed to materialise as she appeared to be preoccupied with looking over her shoulder.

Stella and Mekanek rushed towards Teela desperate to start the ritual whilst Orko darted in amongst the Skeletons trying to use his magic to sliw them down.

The brave little Trollan was on e again knocked aside as the horde advanced.

The Witch waved her serpent staff and suddenly Stella was whisked away to her side. The Witch intent on draining the magic of the Sorceress of the Grey Skull.

Man-At-Arms arms desperately tried to fight his ear through to her, but to no avail.

Suddenly a great roar could be heard, along with a rousing 80's heroic theme as He-Man and Battle Cat came leaping into view, battering through the press of Skeletons.

Filled with new heart, Teela and Mekanek leapt into the fray, and even one of the unconscious Guards was roused by the stirring music.

Surprised and surrounded, the Orc Witch let go of Stella, who rushed back towards the cave of the Grey Skull.

The Orc Witch leapt after her, but was met by Man-At-Arms and knocked to the floor, stunned.

The heroes advanced on the remaining wraith, allowing Stella to complete the ritual: sealing Pandora's Box forever.

He-Man: "I may be the most powerful man in the universe, but today you saw how everyone played their part in saving the day. It's important to work together and recognise the talents of each member of a team, even Mekanek. Remember, team work makes the dream work."

Final Thoughts

Another really great day at Board in Brum, playing great games on great boards against great opponents just for the sake of it. I had three fun battles against Paul, James and Simon, each telling an engaging narrative and swinging back and forth.

The 14 player dungeon crawl was loads of fun and stripping it back to one character each stopped things getting too confusing and made for a fun lunchtime interlude.

He-Man and his friend performed admirably and were kindly voted best cast. I think the nostalgia of He-Man was a big factor, rather than any significant painting skill, as I also won a similar award when I used Skeletor and the Evil Warriors in an event.

I was prestented with an engraved tankard and a £10 voucher, which I immediately spent on some Crooked Dice crates and barrels for future 7TV use.

In terms of Hobby Bingo, this certainly counts as attending an event, which for some reason I'd prematurely ticked off (I think because I'd made plans to attend Vapnartak, which I've sadly had to cancel). I could have ticked off the tournament box, but I'll save that for the next one.

The crates are only three models but once again put me back in the red. I'm tempted to get some 7TV Macguffins painted quickly to try to get these numbers moving in the right direction.

Acquired: 25
Painted: 23