Saturday 28 May 2022

Breaking Bat

Bane broke the Bat.

The first graphic novel (or trade paperback, technically) that I ever bought was Knightfall.

It was around the time that Batman Forever was released I a truly began to embrace my inner Batfan.

The main antagonist, Bane, was new to me, but his looming presence throughout the storyline, not to mention the fact that he ultimately wins, cemented him as a major figure in the rogue's gallery of villains, and one of my favourites.

Sadly, Bane has been poorly treated in the media. I'm not knocking Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises, but his version lacked the massive physical threat of Bane in Knightfall and also didn't look anything like a Mexican wrestler.

Similarly, in Batman: The Animated Series, Bane's introduction was limited to a single episode, and the less said about "Mr Bane" in Batman & Robin the better.

Likewise, in the Batman Miniatures Game, whilst I was involved, Bane was limited to just two sculpts: Tom Hardy Bane and a version from the Arkham Origins game that just never looked like Bane should.

It was only after I stopped playing that Bane got the sculpt he deserved and so became one of the few BMG resin sculpts I own (bought second hand, obviously).

It's actually a really impressive model and I can totally see why Knight Models moved away from metal to resin. The detail is crisp, the model goes together well and it's a model that could actually tempt me to buy more of their range.

In teens of painting, I went fir a blue costume rather than black. In the original comic the character is drawn in a combination of the two. It could be argued that the blue on the character is a highlight of a black costume, but you could equally say that the bkack is shading for dark blue.

In my head, he's always been dressed in blue, so that's what I went with.

The skin took a bit of work. I started with Gulliman Flesh contrast paint over Wraithbone, but I really didn't like pasty tone or the patchy effect. I revisited it with Kislev Flesh and Agrax Earthshade, but left it darker than usual to reflect Bane's Latino heritage.

I enjoyed painting Bane and after slating them in my last post I do have to give Knight Models credit for the step up in quality of their resin models. I have a few others to do and they seem consistently good.

I've also got a bunch mof metals to paint, which are as variable as ever.

Acquired: 85
Painted: 87

Monday 23 May 2022

Bad Company

I watched The Batman recently. I enjoyed it. A lot.

It was, I suppose, inevitable that this would push me back in the direction of painting something from the Batman Miniatures Game.

First up are these three asylum inmates, ready to associate with whatever member of the rogue's gallery is tearing up Gotham.

Long time readers of this blog will know that the Batman Miniatures Game was my major focus for a long time. I was heavily involved in tournament gaming and was actually pretty good at it, winning a few events and regularly placing fairly high.

I got out of the game when they shifted to a new edition. Not only did I not want to invest heavily in a new version of rules that I would have to relearn, but I also didn't want to end up having to re-buy characters I'd already bought and painted as certain sculpts were 'retired' from competitive play.

It also seemed like a good time to step away from a company that I'd become very cynical about. Poor quality control, poor customer service and poor sales practices were hallmarks of my experience of Knight Models at the time.

I have no idea if their reputation has improved, but I became so disenchanted that for the last year of playing the game I avoided buying new as much as possible and instead bought second hand from those getting out of the game in frustration.

Painting these three prisoners has been a reminder of some of the negatives that led to my stepping away from the game.

Hefty mould lines and soft (at times invisible) detail litter the three miniatures. I personally think that they are nowhere near the quality of the earliest sculpts in the range, which I presume was due to Knight Models being in the process of switching production to resin at this time.

Having said all that, I'm happy enough with how they have turned out. They are destined to be used in 7TV when I get round to putting together some Batman profiles.

It's been an odd, melancholy trip down (bad) memory lane, but I'm still in a Batman mood and I have a small backlog to work through.

Thankfully, the miniatures do get better than this, and are somewhat more recognisable.

Acquired: 85
Painted: 86

Sunday 22 May 2022

The Show Must Go On

For the first time in over two years I was able to get to a warganes show. So with Matt riding shotgun headed down to Newark for Partizan.

There's not much to this post other than pictures. I didn't get details of specific games, it was just a pleasure to see some big setups of the kind I haven't seen for some time.

The two pictures above and two below were from an immense 40mm Napoleonic set up. Clearly somewhere in the Peninsular War.

This was a display where I actually spoke to somebody (rare for me), although I didn't get details on the battle. There were landsknechts though, so that puts it somewhere in the vicinity of the Wars of Religion.

This big game was definitely from the Thirty Years War...I think. Pike and shot as far as the eye can see.

This was a 'Cold War Gone Hot' game using teeny-tiny tanks.

This is a big game that I believe was possibly dark ages Ireland. I really should read the signs.

Ah, now this is definitely the American War of Independence. I know this one.

Something somewhere in the middle ages.

Tiny boats on a shiny river.

Dead Man's Hand. Matt is trying manfully to get me to buy onto this game as he and Wes have already succumbed.

Something colonial. I presume India given that there are elephants.

The group putting this display on were particularly impressive. Not only were some of then dressed as period British officers, but they were also all holding rather large glasses of red wine at 10:30 in the morning.

This one was definitely Culloden. I recognise it enough and I also overheard people talking to confirm my suspicions.

Yes, I could just ask or look for signs, but where's the fun in that?

Little Big Horn, or Custer's Last Stand. The group putting this on had also put on Native American headdresses in a move that some would call cultural appropriation, but 10 year old me would have called, "really cool!"

An Aliens themed demo game. Each time I walked past this board, nobody had managed to leave the first corridor, so either there were balancing issues or it was just really thematic to the movie as to the Marines' effectiveness.

I've done a little bit of retroactive alterations to allow me to tick off another Hobby Bingo box. I used the Board In Brum 7TV day as and 'event/show' not a 'tournament'. However, it could count as either whereas Partizan was definitely a 'show', so I've now got both boxes ticked.

Obviously, attending a show had a detrimental effect on my purchase/painted numbers, but in terms of actual miniatures, I only bought a single model. However, I did get given what looked like a saxon king as I entered and picked up and unexpected Secret Santa gift of two miniatures. I also grabbed some mdf jetties which I suppose count as models, so I'm now in the red again.

Acquired: 85
Painted: 83

Saturday 21 May 2022

Carnevale - Reinforcements

With the mysterious medallion in the hands of the Guild, the Rashaar launch a viscious counter attack to retrieve it.

This is the fourth scenario from the introductory campaign in the Carnevale starter set and is the first one to have asymmetric objectives.

My Rashaar: 2 Ugdru and 2 Slaves reinforced by a hulking Raadru, needed to complete agendas to score victory points. However, Matt's Guild: 3 Citizens and a Gondolier (with a Gondola) aided by 2 Fishermen, would score points for each of them that survived.

Therefore, with 6 Guild members in play, the Rashaar would have to kill several whilst also completing agendas.

With only 5 turns to play, there would be no hanging around for the Rashaar, with the added complication of the Guild always having initiative due to the command points of the Fishermen.

Turn One

With survival as their goal, the Guild realised that being as far away from the Rashaar infested canals as possible would their priority and began clambering up onto a nearby building for safety.

Seeing their prey climbing out of reach, the Rashaar surged forwards, but the Raadru exposed itself to a viscious counter attack from the spear-wielding Fisherman.

Meanwhile, one of the Lesser Ugdru ordered the Slaves to imitate the Guild and they all clambered up onto rooftops as well. They were planning something.

Guild 6 - Rashaar 0

Turn Two

The Raadru was exposed to another flurry of attacks from both Fishermen (a harpoon shot flew from the roof), leaving it severely wounded, before it was able to grapple one of them into the canal, where an Ugdru began trying to drown him.

Seeing the monstrous Raadru in pain, one of the Slaves performed a flawlessly controlled dive into its jaws, restoring its vitality with her sacrifice.

Seemingly linked to this ritual death, the other Slave also leapt from a rooftop simultaneously with the other Ugdru, which landed on top of the floundering Fishermen in the water.

Agenda Complete - Get To Ground

Guild 6 - Rashaar 1

Turn Three

The struggling Fishermen, isolated from his companions, fought valiantly and managed somehow to slay one of the Ugdru, which had already been skewered by a harpoon.

However, he finally succumbed and was dragged beneath the surface to a watery grave.

Agenda Complete - Watery Grave

With one of the Guild dead, the Rashaar redoubled theory attack. The remaining Ugdru clambered up the wall, hurled one of the Citizens into the water and then leapt in after the poor souk, attempting to drown him too.

Guild 5 - Rashaar 2

Turn Four

Whilst failing in an attempt drive off the Ugdru, the desperate Citizen didnt see the clossal shape moving towards him through the water, and he too was dragged to his death.

Unable to strike back at the water monsters, the Guild Citizens cowered on the rooftop awaiting the inevitable.

Once again the nimble Ugdru hauled itself out of the water, grabbing and hurling a screaming woman into the canal.

Guild 4 - Rashaar 2

Turn Five

Unable to help the stricken woman, the Gondolier struck fiercely at the Ugdru, injuring it.

In return the beast grabbed him and hurled him off the edge, leaping after the man and attempting to drown him.

Agenda Complete - Let The Tide Take Them

The Gondolier fought back bravely and didn't succumb. A harpoon flew straight and true at the Ugdru, slaying the beast and giving the chance for the Gondolier to get out of the water before anything else came along.

The woman in the clutches was not so lucky and her screams were stifled as she disappeared from view.

As the dust settled and the forces disengaged, all that remained in the square was a solitary Slave, leaping off barrels and and cavorting around as if he were trying to perform some sort of Acrobatic Display.

The reasons and motivations for his bizarre behaviour could only be guessed at...

Guild 3 - Rashaar 3

The game ended in a draw, although it really was bizarre as the life and death struggle in the water finally became overshadowed by a Slave's attempt to perform three 4" jumps in a row, failing the third one with the last roll of the game. The agendas are odd sometimes.

The Rashaar are lethal in the water, as they probably should be, and although climbing up on a roof kept most of the Guild out of danger, it did prevent them from using their ability to support each other and gang up on their enemies.

I was quite fortunate in getting g two drowning related agendas, and without this I would really have struggled to get on terms with him.

I like Carnevale. I'm looking forward to thr next scenario which introduces leaders and magic.