Wednesday, July 26, 2023

G.I. Joe Project Update

 I haven't posted about it much, beyond a couple of play reports, but the GI Joe in 28mm project I started back in January 2022 is still ongoing and still getting updated here and there with new figures. The other day I got everything I've painted to date for this project out on the table and grouped for a photo shoot. I realized I should post them here as well.

Lifeline, Duke, Scarlett, Rock 'n' Roll, Shipwreck

Alpine, Snake Eyes, Breaker, Flint, Lady Jaye, Cover Girl

Mutt, Junkyard, Gung Ho, Low-Light, Sgt. Slaughter, Spirit, Roadblock

Tomax, The Baroness, Xamot, two Cobra Commanders, Destro

Storm Shadow, Major Bludd, Scrap-Iron, Wild Weasel, Copperhead

The Dreadnoks: Ripper, Zarana, Zartan, Torch, Buzzer

The Crimson Guard

Cobra Troopers, including officer, RPG, and field medic

Friday, July 14, 2023

Perilous Tales: A Rough Night in Devil's Gulch

 I finally finished the Sarissa "Atomic Gas" gas station, and was eager to get it on the table, along with some recent scatter terrain I've done - some trash bags and a couple of pallets of cocaine from Miniature Building Authority and a humvee from Crooked Dice. Looking over the painted miniatures I had immediately available, a game of Perilous Tales began to present itself.

Years ago, I ran a B-horror movie review blog, watching and reviewing hundreds of horror movies over a period of about 7 years; why I stopped is too long a story to tell here, and not particularly interesting, but one thing I fell in love with during that project was 1970s made-for-TV movies. While the crown jewel of these is probably "The Night Stalker," starring Darren McGavin and introducing the world to Carl Kolchak, one that I really enjoyed was 1972's "Gargoyles," starring Cornell Wilde and Bernie Casey as the leader of the gargoyles. It's most notable for being the first film to feature the work of Stan Winston, who would go on to work on movies like "The Terminator," "Aliens," and "Jurassic Park." Now, Perilous Tales offers up Gargoyles as a villain for games; I had some gargoyles painted up. And I had some desert terrain pieces available. 

While the film mostly follows an academic as he races to prevent the gargoyles from producing an army, I decided the cartel members I'd recently painted from Brigade Games' "Drug War Z" line would be my protagonists this time around. 

So I had my set-up: a cadre of cartel soldiers, sent on what they believed would be a routine pick-up, instead encounter monstrous gargoyles at an isolated gas station in the American Southwest. Objectives would be Forbidden Knowledge (collect an esoteric artifact that one of the villains drops when slain), Flip the Switches, and Escape.

left to right: Marcus, Javier, Carlos, Ramon, Hector

The cartel members advanced slowly towards the abandoned humvee and scattered cargo of cocaine. As they began to fan out, Marcus spotted something beyond the cactus patch - a winged humanoid figure, standing stock-still.

He opened fire, but barely grazed the creature, which seemed to teleport closer in short bursts every time he blinked. Meanwhile, a ground tremor knocked Hector and Ramon off their feet.

The sound of gunfire brought out a crazed, sunburned man in a pith helmet - an archaeologist who had been working in the desert and fallen under the gargoyles' sway. He swung wildly at Marcus.

The crazed archaeologist eventually fell beneath the fists of Marcus, Javier and Hector as the gargoyle slowly advanced towards them. Meanwhile, Carlos and Ramon circled the back of the gas station, encountering another gargoyle, standing frozen, glowering at them, just as night fell.

Carlos knocked over a weird stone obelisk, the destruction of which seemed to bother the creature. He and Ramon then opened fire on the beast, wounding and eventually killing it; the creature dropped an odd golden statue depicting a four-winged demonic figure. Shoving the statue into Ramon's hands, Carlos told him to get out of here, and to take the statue back to the cartel.

Carlos then circled past the gas station towards the next strange obelisk, disturbing a swarm of bats in the process. To make matters worse, a second swarm almost immediately showed up. Weathering the bats' onslaught, once they'd had their fill Carlos pushed over the second obelisk and left, following Ramon back towards the cartel headquarters.The bats then moved on to harass Hector and Javier.

Marcus, Javier and Hector, meanwhile, were doing their best to kill the gargoyle crouching on a pallet of carefully-packaged bricks of cocaine, but were ineffectual at best; at least they had the benefit of the creature not being able to move while being observed, and even in the darkness of night they were close enough to keep the gargoyle contained. Eventually, however, the threat just became overwhelming, and the scene fades to black.

So that was a good time! We got two of the three switches flipped, and two heroes off the board, including one carrying the Esoteric Artifact; technically nobody died, so we scored some bonus victory points there. I'll be honest, when the second gargoyle and "Darkness Falls" both triggered at the same time I expect it to be a wash; the gargoyles are hard to kill because they have a lot of hit points, and darkness limits heroes' ability to observe (and thus control the movements of) the two gargoyles. Somehow I managed to keep at least two heroes close enough to pin the gargoyles down for the entire game. It was a nice hour and a half this afternoon and damn, that table set-up looks good if I do say so myself! I'm really pleased with the growth of my terrain collection, and this gas station is definitely worth the almost-four weeks I spent  slowly building and painting it.