Monday, 29 June 2020

Elves or Elfs?

I've managed to paint a few more figures to add to my growing fantasy collection. It's times like these that I regret selling off all the fantasy figures I've painted in the past. I could have had hundreds of figures just waiting for me to use, but I have a problem with figures sitting in boxes where no one can see them. I just have to set them free.

At least it gives me an excuse to paint more.

Just a few heroes (or characters) for today.

She Elf Knight: This first one is a Reaper Black Bones figure. I don't know what I'll use it for but it is a nice enough figure. I think this one is a dark elf lady or an evil sort of elf. I'm not sure. She was easy to paint and came out looking okay.
Elfin Prince: this one's a kit bash. The body is a Conquest Games archer, his shield arm is from the Conquest Norman Knights box. He sword arm and head are from the Oathmark elf box. His cloak is from the Fireforge Teutonic Knight box. He came out okay for a bunch of odd spare bits. Not bad for a freebie figure. I think I'll make him his own company of spearmen so he can lead them into battle.
Boring Elf: This one is from the Oathmark metal elf command set. Not a great figure but he came out okay.
Wood Elf Hero: Another of the eM4 figures I recently ordered. An old Grenadier figure I think. This one is great. A lovely clean sculpt with lots of character. I really enjoyed painting him. I'm not very good at painting chequered patterns but I gave it a try for his shawl and it looks okay. I'm pretty happy with this figure and I really like his spear. I hope I can get more of the figures in this range in the future.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Another Fantasy Interlude

Whilst I've been putting together my zombie apocalypse rules (Infection Z) I've also tried to keep doing a bit of painting every day. At the start of the year I was painting at a really fast rate but that slowed as I spent more time typing on the pc. But now the typing has eased off and it's tiem to get back to the brush!

So what have I got?

Well, first up I have a couple of barbarians from eM4 Miniatures. These are old Grenadier sculpts and I use to own these 30 odd years back. Great figures and at a nice price. Very clean casting. I have a few more to do and I hope they come out as nice as this pair did.
A man with a big horn. I'm not sure if he's making up for his short comings or if he thinks he's the barbarian equivalent of John Coltrane or Eric Dolphy.
These are a pair of town's women from Reaper (Black Bones). Nothing special but they're okay for what they are. They came in a set of 3 and it was mainly the third figure that I really wanted.
Another Reaper figure (metal this time). I wanted a grim looking wizard/warlock for Rangers of Shadowdeep. I want to make up a new ranger character that is more magic centered rather than the regular combat type. This guy looked like he could live out in the wild lands without too much worry. I don't know what his name will be yet.
And finally, some heavy archers for my elfin army. These are Oathmark plastics and they took a while to paint (mainly because I lost interest). But I forced myself to paint them because I didn't want them to spend years sitting on my desk. I'm glad I did get them done because they do look nice. I need to get my act together and paint up more of the Oathmark orcs and elves that are sitting in boxes in my workroom. I might get some of the light elf figures too.

EDIT: I forgot to add this figure to the mix. I don't know what it is but I'm pretty sure it came from Old Glory. I think he'll be a superhero or something. Something to do with negative energy (black hole space energy?) or maybe something to do with coal or oil or something. I don't know yet.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Infection Z ~ It's Finished

I've written and test-played and re-written (and then done it again and again... And then again). Now I've run out of things to add or edit so I guess I've finished it. Now what?

I intend to publish it on Wargames Vault but I think it needs some other eyes to look at it and give it a go. How do I do this? That's what I'm now trying to sort out. If you're reading this and you're interested in doing some play testing leave me a message.

I recently replayed the three game mini-campaign that I've been using for play-testing. This time I created a new group of survivors for a different flavour. The new group didn't seem as strong as the group I had been using but they did have some better skills and tricks up their collective sleeves. Surprisingly, for what I thought was a weaker group, they performed better.

After the three games none of the characters died although some came close. The character that came the closest to dying was the best close combat fighter. She didn't go down due to jumping in and trying to kill everything in sight but because she got swarmed by the game mechanic. Only the efforts of the other characters kept her alive and eventually carried off the table. As far as I'm concerned that was a great piece of high adrenaline drama.

Another character (the cheapest option) ended up with a bum leg and a shotgun. He constantly ended up in bad situations and more than once I thought: "Okay, he's finished." But he managed to get out of trouble every time. And, through 3 games he never got a scratch. Not once.
Game 1 is a gauntlet run. 8 turns to get from one end of the road and off the other end. There's a bit of loot to find on the way but time is short.

This is my apex close-combat sword fighting killer (a familiar character, no doubt. This lovely figure is from Hasslefree).
The cultist is part of the scenario. A guy walking around clanging a bell and shouting  about the end of the world being nigh. He attracts Unwanted Attention. I didn't have a better figure so I raided my pulp cultists.
The old guy with a shotgun. There is an pre-generated "Old Timer" character that can be selected but this figure below ended up almost identical to the Old Timer as a result of random generation.
Game 2 is about getting through a gridlocked area of the city. This game goes for 10 turns and follows on directly from Game 1. The idea is that the group is having a bad day getting out of the city center. In this one they start in the top left corner and escape via the empty road in the bottom right.
In the pic below some of the group set off down an alley. Game wise it looked like a clear path but the game also generates random zombies and events popping up. That's what happened here. One zombie turned into four and while it wasn't overwhelming it slowed progress for a few turns.
The figure below in the center is my new Leader. The leader can be the best fighter if you want but I made him the best all-rounder. A good zombie killer but it's the other skills I gave him that make him the strongest character.
The old guy (Harry) in one of his sticky situations. He got charged by a Frenzy Zombie but managed to blow its head off before it got him.
Harry moved on but found the gate being held shut and he was stuck out in the street. This was because I thought he was going to die so I was willing to sacrifice him for the sake of the rest. The photo doesn't show the zombies behind the fence or the others out of sight beneath the camera.
After killing off the zombies at the fence Harry was again in a bad situation. This time I was sure he was going to die. Two Frenzy Zombies. One in front and one behind. I don't remember how he got out of it and I'm sure a lot of it was pure lucky dice rolling.
Part of this scenario is a factory/workshop area where the group can try and scavenge stuff. In the pic above they've been through the building and now they're exiting the back door. In the pic below an armed looter has later shown up to try and pilfer some of their loot.
Game 3 follows on again and sees the group in a park with some police and a TV news crew. They're all surrounded and will have to fight their way out. Each game starts with about a dozen zombies and more arrive as the game progresses. Game 3 starts with a few more zeds but it escalates faster and becomes far more deadly.
Between the games the characters have the chance to roll their Fortitude dice pool. Every success they roll allows them to regain a 1 Life Point. (Average LP is 10. The higher ranked characters have 12LP and the Leader has 15LP.)
Again, the riot police held off the bulk of the zombies and they put up a good fight due to their equipment. But eventually the weight of zombie numbers brought them down (again). And every time one of the cops goes down there's a surge of zed-heads.
This is where my fighting lady got hit hard. This pic was taken as she was on her last legs. The intervention of the Leader and Harry the old guy managed to keep her alive but not before she was on the ground and with a high chance of Turning Zed!
Below - Just when it looked like the road was clear and the TV crew and some of the group could make it to safety a mob of rotters came up the road and started biting. It was good to see that the lady TV presenter (unarmed) and just through sheer luck managed to kill a zombie with her bare hands (or maybe her microphone) and escape. But she was the only NPC that did escape off the table.

Anyhow this wasn't supposed to be a full battle report or anything, just a post to say that everything is written and ready for other people to look at it. All the page setting & formatting is done for a basic first draft. When I read it, it makes sense to me but will it make sense to anyone else? That's what I need to know.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Checkin' Out Some Real Estate

I'm still working on Infection Z. Just when I think it's right I play a test game and come up with something else to add or adjust. As a whole. it's working really well. The combat and shooting mechanics work very nicely and survivor characters have a good chance of surviving the games... But they do have to work at it, and that's good. The leader/hero character has to be heroic and the other big hitters need to do their work too so that the lesser characters can get through.

But more on the game in a later post. Today I've been out looking for some property and I found this delightful little place down by the river. My wife and I will be moving in as soon as we've cleared out the local zombie population.
This is from Sarissa Precision, part of their Retro Americana range. I bought this last year and made it straight away. But it has been waiting for paint for a while.
The bed is made form a piece of balsa wood wrapped in toilet paper and smothered in watered down pva. Easy to make and it looks the part (Thank you DM Scotty. The window awnings apart of the kit but I also gave them the pva/bog-roll works and now they look nice and decayed.
And speaking of the zombies population, here are some of the locals...

These are from the Walking Dead set that I bought a couple of weeks back. Great value and, I expect, a great game. If I wasn't so concerned with getting my own game off the ground I'd be playing it without a doubt.

Monday, 1 June 2020

A Little Bit of Brushwork

Whilst I've been spending a lot of time writing and play test my zombie apocalypse rules Infection Z, I've also kept up painting - even thought IZ has slowed me down a lot.

To start, I've painted up a big flower and a big ogre. Both from Reaper and both Black Bones. These will be used for Rangers of Shadowdeep initially and for other things afterwards.
When I was getting these pics ready with photoshop, I noticed I forgot to paint the edging of the base. I can't believe it. How could I forget that?
I didn't know what to do with his shield. It looked way too neat on the sculpted figure. I decided to give it a coat of dark bronze and then a coat of patina effect with a final dirty dark wash. It came out okay.
One thing I did was to buy Mantic's The Walking Dead game. It looks like a great game but I haven't looked at the rules. The box has a lot of little toys and other stuff that looks interesting, but the reason I bought it was because you get 6 survivor figures and about a dozen really nice zombies all for $50AUD. That's about $2.70 per figure. That's a great deal.

I should play the game some time - I have played in once in the past but I was more interested in getting my own thing happening at the time so I didn't devote a lot of time towards it.

Anyway, the figures are pretty nice and very easy to paint. Here are the six survivors:
Rick and Carl Grimes - The stars of the story and my least favorite of these figures. They're okay but not my favorites. I don't like the way the flesh colour turned out. I'm not sure what I did wrong.
I like these figures much more. Looking at them now, I can see that I forgot to take a photo of one of them. A woman with a knife. A nice figure too.
This guy had no weapons so I decided to give him one. I had a plastic sword hand sitting on the desk so I trimmed the sword into a knife, did a bit of filing. I then amputated his hand and now he has a knife. I like his face.
These last two are from Studio Miniatures. Nice figures but they're small. Noticeably smaller than the Hasslefree figures in my collection and much smaller that these Walking Dead figures.
I like the axe man I tried to make him look like a tooled-up park attendant or something. But I'm not really keen on the last one. They came in a four figure set so that's why I have him.