Friday, July 3, 2020

Beginning a Wargods of Aegyptus Army

Right before lockdown began, some guys in the local wargaming community began talking about possibly getting some armies together for Wargods of Aegyptus, a fantasy game set in a Mythic, prehistoric Egypt produced by Crocodile Games. 

Now, years and years ago (pre-2010) I'd tried to drum up interest in my college gaming club without any luck, and sold off my books and such like.  My better half was kind enough to get me a new copy of the rulebook and the beginning of an army for my birthday this year, and now I'm getting some paint on them. 

These first ten are a unit of the Khemru, the Children of Khanum (soon to be bumped up to a unit of 12).  These goat-headed warriors have a fairly tragic backstory in game; a naturally peaceful race of healers and farmers, they've been forced to go to war to restore peace and the Law of the Gods to Aegyptus.  They carry maces to avoid drawing blood and shout appeals for peace before every battle. 

I've found it's been getting more and more challenging for me to sit down and assembly-line paint units, and to that end I bought a couple of pots of Games Workshop contrast paints to help speed the process along.  Their skintone is GW "Space Wolves Grey," all of the leather on their collars and armbands is done with "Snakebite Leather," and their kilts, standard-top and shields were done with "Warp Lightning Green." It really made things easier - the entire unit of 10 was done in about six hours spread over 3 days.  I don't remember the last time I painted 10 figures like this in less than a week. 

I have two more figures to add to this unit, and another unit of 12 Khemru to do, followed by ten human warriors, allied to the Khemru cause.  That plus a few characters will give me my first thousand points. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Perilous Tales Episode 2: Dead Men Walk!"

I've done quite a bit of painting in the last week, and tonight managed to put aside time and get the dining room table cleared off enough to enjoy a solo game of "Perilous Tales," Mike Hutchinson's two-fisted game of solo pulp adventure. 

I rolled up "Voodoo Cult" for my villains, and had recently acquired some figures from Brigade Games' Caribbean Empires line that fit the bill; in the 1930s, Romero-style gutmuncher zombies weren't a thing yet, just Haitian "dead men walking," and Brigade Games offers a couple packs of traditional voodoo zombies as well as a pack of bokors and sorcerers.  That one of these voodoo priests was sculpted to look like Bela Lugosi's character in the 1932 film White Zombie was a plus. 

Location was Hangman's Swamp; I chose "Mired," "Raging Storm" and "Disaster Strikes," which I decided in this instance would take the form of a sudden alligator attack.

Objectives were rolled and came up with "Rescue the Prisoner," "Disrupt the Ritual," and "Forbidden Knowledge." So the heroes had to go in, rescue a hostage, tamper with a sinister idol, and walk away with the knowledge of how to raise the dead.  Tall order!

So who would be the heroes to accomplish all this?

L to R: Monique Marmelstein, Carl Kolchak, Green Hornet, Kato, Von Dostmann
I decided on the masked vigilante known as the Green Hornet for my Leader, giving him the traits Tough and Crack Shot, with Kato as the first Teammmate (equipped with Brute to simulate his martial arts expertise).  Next on the team was investigative reporter (and occasional monster hunter) Carl Kolchak, with Eagle-Eyed as his trait; he was paired (over his objections) with junior reporter Monique Marmelstein, whose uncle owns a controlling share in the news service Kolchak works for.  She got the trait Discretion to be able to nope out of danger.  Rounding out the team was Dr. Otto von Dostmann, adjunct professor of archaeology at Miskatonic University (Crazed, and thus immune to horror checks).

Putting everything together, I decided that Susan Carlisle, heiress to the Carlisle Railway fortune, had disappeared under suspicious circumstances; Carl and Monique, covering the story for INS, determined that the trail led to Hangman's Swamp.  The Green Hornet and Kato, investigating independently, came to the same conclusion, while von Dostmann was himself following up on rumors of strange lights and drumming coming from the depths of the swamp.  Encountering each other on the edge of Hangman's Swamp, the five decided they'd have better luck working together. 

Entering the swamp, Kolchak immediately noticed a heavy thunderstorm rolling in; pushing forward, the Green Hornet was suddenly savaged by a vicious and hungry alligator, taking a staggering six wounds before the reptile broke off its attack.  The noise of the fight brought a dead-eyed, shambling zombie to investigate. 

Kolchak and Monique took shelter under the dead, twisted hangman's tree as the skies opened up in a torrential downpour.  Von Dostmann dashed forward towards the strange, half-octopus, half-dragon, half-humanoid statue looming out of the darkness, and a second zombie arose from the muck to menace Kato. 

Soaked to the skin and running his hands curiously over the slick, cold stone of the idol, von Dostmann almost didn't notice the figure suddenly illuminated by a flash of lightning; the voodoo master, Murder Legendre, had arrived to deal with these interlopers!

The Hornet and Kato dealt with their respective zombies, though Kato took a significant beating from the dead man he faced; however, no sooner had he caught his breath than the Hornet found himself facing a ghoulish little imp that sprung from the slime, capering and mocking him. Von Dostmann, muttering "Ach du liebes bisschen" squeezed a shot off at Legendre and went back to examining the statue.  Hornet kicked the little imp away and sent it scampering into the half-sunken ruins.  Monique ran up to examine the idol as well, and another zombie rose up behind the Hornet.

The group concentrated fire on Legendre, killing him swiftly; then rifling through the dead man's pockets, von Dostmann came away with a well-worn notebook - the secrets of life and death were his! Von Dostmann resumed studying the statue, joined by Carl Kolchak, while Monique and Kato rushed to untie Susan Carlisle.  A final zombie rose from the swamp but was swiftly dealt with.  With the heiress free and newfound knowledge, the group left Hangman's Swamp behind...

When the Green Hornet got mauled by an alligator in the first turn, I was sure that this game would end badly for the heroes.  Instead, I scored 11 victory points and turned it around for a basically flawless victory.  I'm not sure I ran Murder Legendre correctly, though; I think I confused myself with some of his special rules and the flow-chart of actions that "Lurker" type villains take.  I'll run it by Mike Hutchinson in the Facebook group to straighten myself out and probably rerun this scenario. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Latest Finished Figures

Not much to say here, just a photo dump of my most recent finished figures:

Mummy Lord and Queen by Reaper Miniatures, front row from Dark Fable Miniatures.

"Sleazy Merchant" from Forge of Ice, ladies from Dark Fable Miniatures.

Sir Reginald Plumm-Duffe flanked by his daughter Margo and batsman, Bunting. 
Figures by Pulp Figures.

Armed Archaeologists from Copplestone Castings

A few more Archaeologists from Copplestone Castings.

Friday, May 15, 2020

PERILOUS TALES EPISODE 1: Showdown in Stregoicevar!

Tonight I finally got a chance to playtest the new Perilous Tales rules available free from Planet Smasher Games.  Let me set the stage for you...

Desperate for any means of reclaiming his country from the Bolsheviks, Count Casimir Razumovsky has heard rumors of an ancient artifact, the Golden Idol of Ish Kabibble. The Idol is said to contain a powerful bound demon, consigned to the service of any who possess the Idol. The Idol was last seen in Stregoicevar, a ruined and allegedly vampire-haunted village in Romania…

Our heroes were Count Casimir's Trans-Siberian Renegades from Pulp Figures, statted out thusly:

1) Count Casimir Razumovsky (Hero) – Marksman
2) The Countess (Teammate) – Binoculars (represented by her pet falcon)
3) Yolanda (Teammate) – Brute
4) Secret Policeman Blotsky (Teammate) – Sneaky
5) Bodyguard Misha (Teammate) – Tough Guy

Their objectives were "Find the Precious," "Escape!" and "Hunt the Fiends," so they need to find the Idol, kill some minions and flee for their lives to succeed.

The game doesn't have specific rules for haunted European villages yet, so I gave Stregoicevar the "Thousand Cuts," "Creeping Horror" and "Raging Storm" complications.  

I kind of crowded the table with a mix of 3D printed pieces, Age of Sigmar ruins, Warlord Games ruined hamlet pieces, and a gnarled tree and sinister well from Reaper's Bones 4 Kickstarter.  What can I say, I like crowded tables.  

With the Countess' falcon informing them of an encroaching storm, our heroes advanced cautiously through the ruined village; Yolanda however was almost immediately ambushed by a vampire thrall!

The foul undead scored an immediate SIX wounds on her, and sent her sprawling in the dirt.  Misha opened fire on the beast, wounding it.  

As they advanced, Count Razumovsky was attacked by a second thrall and knocked flat on his back, and Blotsky disturbed Count Blutburg himself, finding himself wounded and marked as a future thrall for his troubles.

Turning into a bat, the Count sought tastier throats, while Blotsky found himself attacked by a swarm of bloodthirsty bats.  By the time the swarm moved on to Misha, Blotsky had risen as one of the undead, lunging at his former employer.  Blutburg tried to feed on the Countess, while Yolanda skewered the thrall in front of her on her fencing foil.  

With the sky opening up in a torrential downpour all around them, Misha made surprisingly short work of the bats swarming him, and Count Razumovsky smashed in the face of the thrall in front of him with one hamhock-sized fist.  Badly wounded, he turned and faced the former Blotsky as Count Blutburg decided to try his luck with Yolanda.

"Bozhe moi," Yolanda muttered, faced with yet another arrogant man.
Misha discovered the Golden Idol of Ish Kabibble in a ruined house, and Count Razumovsky decided that discretion was the better part of valor, informed thrall-Blotsky that his bootlaces were untied, and took off running when the former secret policeman looked down.  As Yolanda whipped her foil back and forth to keep Count Blutburg's hands off of her, the sun began to rise over Stregoicevar, breaking up the storm clouds and sending the remaining vampires back to their crypts.  

Tallying up my victory points...1 for Count Razumovsky making it off the table, 1 for killing three minions, 3 for finding the me 5 victory points, which translates into a victory score of "D." Not the heroes' finest moment, to be sure!

This was definitely a challenging game; the villains' dice were hot all evening, with both original thralls rolling multiple critical hits.  The Vampire Count's "Bat Form" ability, which sends him darting around the table every turn, makes it very hard to concentrate fire on him.  If I'd had one more turn I could have probably turned it around by getting the Countess and Misha off the table, but it just wasn't meant to be.  

Overall, I really enjoyed myself playing this and I'm looking forward to my next game of Perilous Tales; this game took an hour and a half from set-up to completion and that's with me checking the rules every two seconds.  What will come next? Find out next time on Perilous Tales!

Monday, May 11, 2020

"The Children of the Night...What Music They Make!"

First up, a bit of news; Mike Hutchinson, of Gaslands fame, has released a beta PDF of a new solo-play/co-op pulp game called Perilous Tales.  Drawing inspiration from Lovecraft, hero pulps, Indiana Jones, and the Universal and Hammer horror films among others, it is squarely within my wheelhouse and I'm hoping to give it a go later this week.  

To that end, this week I've painted up a Vampire Count and his minions to play the villains in that first game.  

The villain himself, Count Ludwig von Blutburg, is a "Vampire Lord" from Reaper Miniatures' Dark Heavens line of metal miniatures, and even without the rock he's standing on, is an absolutely towering figure.  

He's served by Hans and Hilda, a pair of Vampire Spawn, also from Reaper's Dark Heavens line.  

And then finally he commands a pair of Bat Swarms, from Reaper's Bones line of plastic figures.These I was worried about coming out well, but basecoating the swarm in Reaper "Woodstain Brown" and drybrushing with "Driftwood Brown" honestly looks pretty darn good to me.  They're on 40mm bases.  

All in all, I think they make for a pretty imposing bunch, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they fare against Count Casimir and his Trans-Siberian Renegades.  If the weather improves later this week I'm hoping to get some more figures primed for both Perilous Tales and Fistful of Lead, as well as the first unit of a small Wargods of Aegyptus army I'll be working on in the near future.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wasteland Warriors

One of the perks of Wiley Games' Fistful of Lead rules is that they adapt well to other genres, and with the small figure count it's easy to produce gangs or teams for a variety of styles of game; today's case in point, Post-Apocalyptic.  Wiley Games' supplement Wasteland Warriors covers gaming in a Gamma World-esque future wasteland crawling with mutants, scavengers and robots, and here's my first gang, all Grenadier figures currently released through Moonraker Miniatures.

Just names left to stencil in on their bases; I really like the smiley face I put on the kneepad worn by the fellow with a knife and length of chain. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Recent Reapers

I've invested pretty heavily in the Reaper Bones 5 Kickstarter, but still have a fair amount I picked up as part of Bones 4 to complete.  Here's a couple pieces I've completed this past week:

First up is the Fertility Idol, released as part of the "Lost Valley" expansion.  Obviously based on prehistoric Venus figurines (especially the Willendorf Venus), she's surrounded by terracotta bowls filled with offerings.  I mounted her on a 3" round base and flocked with Gale Force 9 "Meadow Flock", leaving a bare patch in front where I imagine most supplicants would approach from. 

Next up is the Burrowing Behemoth, a hulking insect-like brute that I'm guessing is based on Dungeons & Dragons' iconic "Umber Hulk" monster.  I've seen some pretty garish color schemes done on this fellow online - including a vibrant purple-pink tone, but decided I wanted something a little more muted.  I decided to think about this monster as an ambush predator, something that sits motionless pretending to be a mossy boulder before striking; the underbelly and arms were done using Reaper's "Uniform Brown," highlighted with "Green Ochre," "Faded Khaki" and a final light brush of "Yellowed Bone." The back and shoulders were basecoated in Reaper's "Jungle Moss," and highlighted with successive drybrushings of "Highland Moss" and "Pale Lichen."

To break things up I basecoated the eyes with Vallejo Fire Orange, and then went over each eye with Vallejo Golden Yellow, leaving a little bit of orange visible around the rim of the eye.  Each eye was then glazed with a couple coats of GW Lamenter's Yellow.  Overall I'm super pleased with how he turned out; he'll be making appearances as an alien monster, post-apocalyptic horror or prehistoric nightmare from the Earth's core as needed in various Fistful of Lead games. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Industrial/Post Apocalyptic Terrain

Nothing fancy to report tonight, but I've gotten out some 3D printed scenery that my better half bought me for Christmas and made some headway on getting it painted and ready for the table.  This is four out of the five pieces comprising a set of industrial chemical tanks, painted up as rusting and full of toxic waste for post-apocalyptic games like Wiley Games' Wasteland Warriors or Osprey's recent Zona Alfa release.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

These were just primed black, and given a couple layers of extra heavy drybrushing with a dark gray craft paint, then drybrushed more lightly with a regular gray craft paint.  They were then given spot drybrushing/stippling of Reaper "Rust Brown" and "Highlight Orange." A very light drybrush of "Tarnished Steel" picked out the rivets and then for the "full" tank I painted the contents with Vallejo "Escorpena Green." I added some water to the Escorpena Green and applied it to the vents to create leaks, letting the fluid flow naturally from where I placed it.  I think it looks really good.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Bolsheviks and a Game

Eesh, It's like I've forgotten how to update this blog.

I haven't done a ton of painting - or at least, I haven't finished many projects lately.  That might be a  more accurate statement.  I have a bunch of figures just waiting for their bases to be painted or flocked. 

I did finish off a squad of Bolsheviks for Fistful of Lead, to use in pulpy games opposite Count Casimir and his White Russians I posted previously.  The Leader, Agent Stransky, is from Pulp Figures, and the rest of the crew is from Copplestone Casting's Back of Beyond range of 1920s Central Asian figures.  I decided to go for a team weapon this time around, and purchased a pack containing a Maxim Gun. 

Once they were varnished (and I got some foam hills I'd ordered in, as I don't have the dedicated workspace available to make my own), it was time to get a game in.  I unrolled a 3' x 3' game mat over our dining room table, threw down some hills and ruined buildings, and came up with a quick scenario - a race to reach and control a sinister ruined temple before the end of the sixth turn.

Initial Set Up
The two teams rushed towards the temple, with the Maxim team moving towards setting up in the nearer set of ruins.  Before long, Commissar Aronovitch was crossing swords with the Count's fencer daughter Yolanda:

And Fireteam Leader Petrov was literally punched to death by Blotsky, the chief of the Count's secret police in the temple:

The game concluded with Stransky facing off against the Count's entire team inside the temple after the Maxim team got into position, set up, and then completely whiffed gunning down the Count.  It did not go well for Stransky.  By the end of the game, Stransky had been shot 5 or 6 times, the Count and his bodyguard Misha were both out of ammo, and Yolanda was prone from a wound. 

All in all it was an evening well spent around the gaming table, even playing solo; the Maxim Gun wasn't a great choice for this game, as it limited the Bolsheviks' ability to put bodies in the temple and once Petrov and Aronovitch were rendered out of action, the game was basically decided. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Count Casimir's Trans-Siberian Renegades

Some figures I finished between the end of the Painting Challenge and going into quarantine, these are "Count Casimir's Trans-Siberian Renegades" from Pulp Figures.

Front and center is the Count himself, flanked by his wife the Countess (red coat, fur hat and falcon) and his daughter Yolanda (in fencing gear).  Behind them is bodyguard Misha (white sweatshirt and sailor's cap) and lurking in the background is Secret Policeman Blotsky. 

The red and white color scheme wasn't really intentional; white for Yolanda's fencing gear was obvious, and Blotsky's coat was done red because he reminded me of Telly Savalas' Cossack captain in the 1972 film HORROR EXPRESS.  It's well worth a watch (Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are the main leads) and it's super weird seeing Telly Savalas with a cigar in his mouth instead of Kojak's usual lollipop.  Misha I had originally intended to have a striped sweatshirt but keeping the lines straight became such a headache that I finally gave up and gave him a solid-color shirt. 

This bunch will hopefully be seeing some action on the table soon using Wiley Games' Fistful of Lead rules. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

*blows off the dust*

It's bad enough how inconsistent I get at updating this blog during the annual Painting Challenge, but this year everything went south fast.  My partner was laid up for a month with a nasty infection and I did zero hobbying while serving as her nurse.  By the time my mojo was starting to come back and I was starting to paint again, COVID-19 hit and my mood and will to sit at the table and paint took another dive.  I'm starting to pull myself back out and will be trying to get some painting and solo wargaming up here soon.