I entered Fenris Games #Paintalloween in September last year. This is an annual thing that Ian runs with a few categories painting Fenris Games stuff, with the winners of each getting a £50 to spend on his products. I entered with my Death Dealer that in essence was a black painted model with some grey and Silver detailing, and some generous helpings of red and mainly yellow wash, I wanted to create the effect of a demonic knight riding on his supernatural stead through this lava landscape with the reflections from the lava on the horse. It was, like a lot of my stuff, a little bit of a trial and error and in the end it kind of worked from a distance, so take a step back and have another look at the picture below. The model is depicting the Death Dealer and is based on the famous 1973 paiting by Frazetta with the same name – more here. You make also recall it from the cover of the excellent album by Molly Hatchet in 1978.
I was lucky and landed a £50 gift card that I put to good use and bought a few things (with a little bit of a top up, they have a lot of really beautiful stuff) – by the way here is the link to the Shop. Go and have a look at what they have – there is so much to explore.
The key miniature I got was a model of the the Cthulhu monster Atlach-Nacha, described by Clark Ashton Smith in his Bood, The Seven Geases in 1934
“The dark form ran toward him with incredible swiftness. When it came near he saw that there was a kind of face on the squat ebon body, low down amid the several-jointed legs. The face peered up with a weird expression of doubt and inquiry; and terror crawled through the veins of the bold huntsman as he met the small, crafty eyes that were circled about with hair“
Then I just filled in the details gave it a few washes and became really happy with the results, it is a fantastic model. I would love to see what a more accomplished painter would do with it.
In other news, I recently found a sprue I must have got for free in a magazine with six Landsknechts, that I thought I could something fun with for the Mutant 1984 project.
I believe they were from this set (from Warlord Games)
So in usual style we need to do some headswaps with the fantastic critter heads from Sally 4th (link here) – there is fair amount of different heads for all your headswapping needs!
This will be a an elite body guard unit to one of the big trading house – the rainbow team.
Star Grave and 5 Parsecs from Home
There is a Nick Starter currently running for the new Frost Grave variant in Space – Star Grave, there is about 2 week left when I am issuing this blog.
For me I just needed to see these two pictures (the first from the Mercenary Set and the Second from the Crew set) and I am in at least buying the figures, because these are perfect for the Mutant 1984 project. (look at those heads). You can check out the Nick Starter here. I just got all the plastic models without the rulebook which still comes with the bonus items.
In addition you should really check out another pre-order set and this is the new edition of Five Parsecs from Home that you can pre-order now (with immediate downloadable PDF copy) for delivery in May this year, same time as Star Grave. Well you will need the same miniatures for both so why not get both sets. I have bought the Five Parsecs book and will only get the Star Grave miniatures (You can check out his game and pre-order the book here).
I have played the earlier edition of FPFH and really enjoyed it. I have got the Little One reasonably interested so we may take this for a spin at some point in the future.
Anyway, always a good Mutant 1984 angle to be found.
Some of you have been here before may know that I have a sweet spot for the Swedish Roleplaying game Mutant from 1984. It was my first encounter with a Roleplaying game and it blew my mind away. We, the Little One and I, have been looking for some rules to use for some miniature gaming in this world and one of the rule sets we have been trying has been the Mutant and Death Ray Guns (MDRD) from Ganesha Games. We really enjoy them and with a few modifications as detailed below we can have a damn good time.
Here is the standard intro I have been using for the Mutant (1984) world:
The background blur of the game makes me reflect on these wonderful words by H.P. Lovecraft, “We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity and it was not meant that we should voyage very far”. Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses. The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves. However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world.
Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”.
The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the 19th Century, give or take. There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc. Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.
Notes on our take on the rules
War has been raging on for 200 years and the planet lies devastated after countless weapons of mass destruction has been set free. A new dark age has started.
"After mankind’s self-inflicted downfall, other beings strive for dominance. Humanoid mutants, androids, mutated plants and animals fight each other for resources such as water, weapons, fuel and food. It’s a brutal world that knows no hope or respite. A world with only two kinds of inhabitants: those who perish and those who survive." (from the introduction to the rule book)
The rules are based on the famous Song of Blades and Heroes engine, it plays in about an hour, it is a small skirmish games and normally uses a handful of characters (5) per side. There is a random system of generating characters or a points system can be used – this is especially useful for matching the miniatures you have.
The different character types are: • Pure Humans • Mutants • Mutant Animals • Mutant Plants • Androids • Robots • Wretched (like Zombies)
These match very well to the Mutant 1984 universe and most things are relative easy to build using these rules. Each type has different access to weapons/equipments and traints, etc.
Activation is based on each player choosing to activate a model to do 1 to 3 action, for action a die is rolled and a score is needed to be successful for each die. If two failures are recorded the turn goes over to the opponent. This means that all models can perform at least one action without risk (you only roll one die, if you fail that is only one failure). For two actions there is a risk of two failures and in addition if going for three actions the risk increases of having at least two failure meaning the turn is over for the player. This is a fun part of the system as it forces the player make some choices. Combat is straightforward.
We have been a little more liberal with the points system than suggested in the book in terms of building the characters. We have allowed the mutants a wider choice of skills and equipment to reflect the fact that the world is a little more stable and the mutants/animals are perhaps a little less feral than suggested in the MDRG world setting as written. We had great fun in doing this together, based on some of the many models we have.
In addition we have introduced primitive firearms (single shot rifles, musket, blunderbuss, etc) based more or less on the rules in the Songs of Drums and Tomahawk rules (another great rule set from Ganesha Games).
We have added these to the Ranged Weapons table as follows:
Musket (2H), Range – Long, Combat – Users, Multiple Shots – No (Pts cost 4)
Rifle (2H), Range – Long, Combat – Users+1, Multiple Shots – No (Pts cost 5)
Pistol, Range – Short, Combat – Users, Multiple Shots – No (Points cost 4)
Blunderbuss (2H), Range – Short, Combat – Users+1, Multiple Shots – No (Pts cost 5)
In addition these primitive firearms require two consecutive actions to reloading (in the same turn). In addition the blunderbuss works like a shotgun in the rules (just less efficient and with the loading constraint).
We bought the MDRG rules in PDF format from Ganesha Games homepage, link here, they are $8. Splendid value for money and highly recommended.
Here are some example forces we have used in some of our games.
The Pyri Commonwealth Patrol
This gang is a regulary military patrol of The Pyri Commonwealth’s finest – the Riflemen.
They have been tracking a gang of Cocks that have been pestering the locals using technology from the olden days, killed several and caused property damage. Their objective is to stop the gang and seize their high tech weapons – with unconditional force if so required. The unit is only armed with old style weapons apart from Rifleman Hayya who has an old tech sniper rifle. The unit has to rely on its stealth and shooting accuracy to win over the more heavily armed opposition – but not forgetting about its hidden asset, the slow but deadly Rifleman Lacoste.
This weekend I and the Little One tried out a version of the Men who would be Kings rules by Dan Mersey, we played the Skirmish version (kind of, we actually played it like we had 12 figures per unit although we only used 6 models, but we needed two figures worth in terms of damage to remove a model) with some borrowed items from the FOCH WW1 rules adaptation that you can download from Wargames Illustrated here (covering Tanks, anti-tank guns and squad LMGs). We call it the Mutants who would be Emperors – as it is set in the weird world that is my take on the Mutant universe as presented in the Swedish Rpg from the 1980s (your Mutant may vary, more here).
Basically following a deadly and incurable epidemic caused by samples from a mission to Mars the human civilization collapses. The survivors build enclaves and start experimentation on humans and animals, in effect creating mutants, to see how they will survive outside the enclaves. However conflicts arises between the enclaves and it leads to a nuclear war sealing the fate of the world. Fast forward a few hundred years and the from the ashes new civilizations start to emerge with mutated humans and animals, some “pure” humans and even some mutants with mental powers. There are remnants of the old worlds scattered all around, and some androids/robots from the old days are still around. In addition there are certain areas where the effect of radiation has left some strange effects on the flora and fauna and these areas are called “Forbidden Zones”. The game is set in Scandinavia, but not as we know it today, and the general level of new technology is equivalent to that of the early 19th Century, give or take. There are steam engines, muskets and some emerging rifle like weapons, heliogram for communication, etc. Some of the old technology has survived but is rare.
In short anything goes, it is a world that has started to re-build itself with a technology level of about 18th century give and take but there are some old tech weapons floating around – this is represented by the three different level of firearms in the rules (antiquated rifles, rifled muskets, bolt action rifle, basically differing in terms of range. We may review this moving forward and consider some reloading rules), basically giving each model using one of these a 2d6 (as we are using 6 per unit) in terms of rolling for damage. For other weapons (automatic weapons, lasers, etc) we assume them having a damage of 5d6 (each LMG costs 1 point) – this gave some units we used a very high fire power rating – being difficult to take down but not impossible for a unit prepared to charge in and fight hand-to-hand. We also used a tank and anti-tank gun in line with the FUCH rules.
The scenario was a straightforward fight between two border detachments, one from the large Pyri-Commonwealth and the other from the small but proud Jemtland north of the Pyri-Commonwealth, during the short but eventful Yran Hostilities that almost led to an outright war in the year 96 (or 2550 if you still count in AD).
The Pyri-Commonwealth side has stopped to re-supply at a depot that is well stocked with water and other essentials, very close to the entrance to a small forbidden zone in the Hamra region in the northern part of the Pyri-Commonwealth. The depot is run by the Nicholas von Rijn trading company and a good deal has been made, a few drinks have been had and there are rumours that Furir Dozibugger has had a few too many already (Typical for the Pertorian Guard – elite status in what?, drinking and hazard gaming). There has been reports about some mutated monsters in the area – a walking murder tree and a giant beetle – both are very aggressive towards humans and extremely dangerous. There is enough firepower in the detachment to take them down but invariably a few men or women would have to put their lives on the line in case of an encounter – and they do not fight with caution. Suddenly the Rifle units comes back running, they report movements on the other side of the old ruins – “It is those damn Jemts again. Prepare for engagement…. to arms, man the tank and attack!”.
These are the units we used for this battle:
The Pyri Commonwealth Detachment
The Jemtland Detachment
And of course the wandering monsters, they will attack anything moving within 6 inches and anything firing at them with a movement of 6″+1d6, attacks at 4+ and will deliver 12d6 worth of damage as well as taking 12 points of damage (both counting as being in light cover due to protective bark and scale). The murder tree is from Fenris Games (a dark young of Shub-Niggurath – link here) and the Giant Beetle a plastic toy (made in China) that I was gifted by Michael Leck.
What follows in not a AAR but a set of pictures from the fighting, with some comments, as we were mostly using this to try out the rules – we had a blast playing and the craziness of it all really adds to the fun! What made it even better was that the Little One had done most of the planning and I just had to, more or less, sit down and play. We plan to run the game again and perhaps we will do a better narrative of the battle then.
Absolute blast. It is funny that I am playing a game with my son being the same age I was when I first adventured in this world 35 years ago. / hope that was of some interest!
I recently ordered the Seven Days to the River Rhine rule set from Great Escape Games (link here) and have ordered a few Soviet and Swedish cold war tanks and infantry from Heroics and Ros to play it in 6mm.
I had a quick read-through of the rules and they seem straightforward and clear on an initial read through. There are a number of videos on how to play the game and viewing these I feel confident in running the game. There few nice mechanisms that make me eager to give them a try, like the activation / reaction / change of initiative rules. It has a simple but not simplistic feel to it. I also like the “damage” system where the units does not need to be destroyed but can be overwhelmed and can pull back to recover, etc.
The Little One and I, decided to play a game this coming weekend but as we are still waiting for the Cold War miniatures I thought we could use some 6mm Sci-Fi Forces instead. I do not aim to do any modification to the rules, I am just using the Sci-Fi stuff in lieu of the Cold War ones.
I have plenty of vehicles but a limited amount of infantry that looks ok, however I recently ordered some of the excellent 6mm Sci-Fi Polish Infantry from Brigade Models (link here).
These will form part of the infantry element for our armies and then we will use some of the many 6mm Sci-Fi vehicles I have (also from Brigade Models).
I think they work excellent as a general futuristic infantry type, not too advanced tech or combat suited (that is not what I am after for this diversion). In fact it is the best 6mm infantry of this type I have seen.
I bought four packs of infantry (the come in packs of 25) at £2.75 each, with the vehicles a total outlay of about £15. They are based on small Flames of War sized MDF bases and Commanders on smaller ones. I plan to use these for Quadrant 13 and Future War Commander.
For APC I used the Magnus APC (link here) and the Small Vehicle is a Wizard Jeep (link here).
Simple fast paint job, tried to convey the illusion of some camouflage, it works from a distance.
We will use these for both sides this weekend, unless I finish the other set of infantry I am working on from Brigade Models.
I will do a Write-up next weekend on how it went – looking forward to it. I hope they play as well as they read.
This, as indicated by the Part 2, is a follow-up of the posting last week where I discussed some painting approaches we have taken to quickly complete the necessary painting of the 2 No. Star Wars Legion Base Sets the Little One got for Christmas, so we could get it on a table and play it. It is worth checking out that blog post here.
Today we will cover:
Some Tatooine like buildings we got through Ebay
Approach to basing and terrain mats
Storing the stuff in the Base Box
Last time I showed some Tatooine style of buildings we ordered from e-bay, they arrived last week and looked great. Being 3D printed they had some layers visible, but not too much to upset us.
We added some Vallejo mud paste on the models here and there to add some further interest. It was then primed with black gesso.
Then from left to right, heavy drybrush with the buffy colour (let dry), then a wash with sepia ink (diluted with water say 1/2 ink/water), then drybrush with the lighter colour.
We then detailed some part with a drybrush of saddle brown followed by a leather red (Vallejo), whilst other parts in metallic bronze. I then washed these details with a rust wash. The moisture collectors were painted like the barricades below. We think it is good enough for the table.
I have bought another two buildings from the same seller at eBay (3dwgprinted), and will paint them in the same style once they arrive (this should give us a good start with some terrain).
Some thoughts on Terrain for Star Wars Legion
One of the cool things with Star Wars are the different environments where the action could take place. It could be a fight on Tatooine in a desert environment, in a forest like Endor, snow like Hoth, or in space ship (like the opening scene from a New Hope) or a base. This, to us, is one of the many fascinating aspects of a sci-fi fantasy world. The bases the game comes with are dark grey for the Imperials and Burgundy red for the Rebels, they are 3mm thick (see picture below).
Incidentally they do some other cool stuff, worth checking out (these are in 28mm scale).
Sorry, back to the bases.
This is how the bases turned out and how they look on a gaming surface (based on a sneaky little skirmish we had over the weekend using the Little Ones “Alcoholic-Free Beers and Pretzel Rules”). I think the bases works well.
We have ordered a 6 by 3 desert mat after shopping around a little bit – it looks like this.
It looks good and will also be useful for some of my Mahdist war stuff I was working on last year as well. However the piece of fabric we used to take the pictures above I have to admit looks smashing too.
This was a piece of fabric bought from ebay. It sells in 1/2 meter lengths and is about 1 metre wide, so you would need to buy 2 No. for a 3 by 3 mat (total cost of £13) and 4 No. for a 6 by 3 mat (total cost of £26). It is shown in the screen shot below.
The things is that there are many different colour schemes of this pattern/style which would give you the ability to get a few different options for the look of your table.
I have only bought the one shown in the pictures above (so not sure how the other patterns would look on the table). Also remember that these are pieces of fabric, not comparable with the quality of the wargames mats in cloth or other materials you can buy commercially, they also come in a 1 metre width (that is 3 ¼ feet so will not do your normal 4 feet width) – but perhaps worth considering to give some variety. It is hard to beat £13 for a 3 by 3 mat. I might have ordered one or two more varieties and will report back once they arrive.
There are some barricades that comes with the game – we are yet to figure out how these would work in practice! I suppose they are included as a substitute for other terrain, but I always find them funny especially if both sides are using them. It is a little bit like some kind of paintball range where the opponents meet up instead of a more believable skirmish in a more improvised location, or where only one side has set up defences. However perhaps I am overthinking this.
We base coated these with black gesso and then dry brushed them with a medium grey followed by a very light grey. We then used a pale grey wash over them (we used the Vallejo Pale Grey Wash).
Storage in the Base Box
We cut a few pieces of 3mm foamboard we had lying around to allow us more efficiently utilise one of the Legion Boxes for storing the miniatures (all the other stuff fits in one of the two boxes). This is how they were cut (all the same length as one side of the box). Making sure the walker would fit as shown.
Then inserted in the box.
We then cut another piece on top to be able to store more soldiers, and added a handle to be able to lift it up easily – we used an old little toy model cat.
Perfect (not for travelling around with, but enough for us to gently put back into storage).
Plenty of space to fit those speeder bikes when done, and further expansions.
But that cat does look scared, with all those rebels around! / Hope that was of some interest!
I did put the final touches on the two basic DreadBall teams this weekend, I am now ready for Season One! The season was originally “aired” in 2014 or something like that. I am looking forward to this! If you know nothing about DreadBall then check it out here. However if you are late to it, there are other variants and I believe a second edition in the making. Having had a little look this weekend, the second hand market on eBay is favourable if you want to pick up some of the older stuff.
I promised the Little One a game but he fell asleep long before I had finished splashing paint – maybe we will get another opportunity this coming week! I did put them on the board to see how they would look. Well what can I say it is me doing 28mm so I feel like the object of that famous Sting/Police song about the possessive lover – Every Breath you Take (slightly modified I must admit).
Every brushstroke you make and every detail you overpaint Every mold line mistake, every inky stain, I’ll be watching you Every layer you add, every wash you make, I’ll be watching you
I’ll be watching you!
I am very happy though and the Little One will love thrashing me on the field!
However, as always, when I do get the finger out and finish an old project I tend to get some new inspiration so I got about 6 additional MVPs from eBay – they are mercenary veteran players that can be used to enhance a team. The cosmic order will be restored on the lead, or in this case the plastic, mountain. Old Shiny never rusts!
I suspect I will get the Ratmen (Veer-Myn) and the Dwarves (Forgefathers) team as well in a not too distant future – but I have decided I would do so as a reward when the MVPs are home and dry following the paint job (Sounds far too disciplined, doesn’t it?). As stated already, I am looking forward to this and the Better One did say that she would like me to do more sports – so here we go!
I also did some progress on my 6mm SciFi project – the Blue and the Green army. We intend to give the Future War Commander rules a go using these.
Next week I hope to start the Rommel bases (as discussed last time here, I got the miniatures this week but wanted to get some things off the workbench before getting into it. The 3mm tanks are SMALL!, but I suppose they should be) and also do some aircraft for the Sci-Fi project as I have some nice models I got before the holiday. I want each army to have recon forces, infantry, tanks, artillery and air forces to allow combined arms type of games.
And yes I need to get started with this years large GNW project at some point – but not yet!…Not yet! (as Juba said in the Gladiator!).
A little delayed update this time, but for the right kind of reason. Occasionally we get an opportunity to get away from it all and this time we headed to Rhodes. A familiar place I have visited a fair few times and I love the Old Town of Rhodes and the history of the hospitaliers – who ruled this Island during the 13th and 14th century and caused the Ottoman Turks all kind of trouble before they were kicked out (Siege of Rhodes 1522) and set up shop on Malta and continued causing trouble. It is too hot to write any essay but if you are interested there is a good summary about them here.
I have a little potential idea of doing a project about the Siege in Rhodes 1522 or the more epic one in Malta 1565. The book – the Great Siege Malta 1565 by Ernle Bradford is one of my all-time favourite history books and I really recommend giving it a go.
When in Rhodes go and see the Grand Masters Palace and walk the old Moat. Very nice and whilst at it you may go for a swim as well, there are a few beaches here and there. The museum of archaeology, the Butterfly Valley, Lindos with the wonderful Akropolis are also places not to miss.
I always get reminded on how rare square shaped fields are when flying.
Another idea I have had brewing in my head for some time, using Baccus and Rapier miniatures, is to the do the Battle of Kadesh (see here). Browsing around on Netflix I found a documentary that I really enjoyed watching whilst flying, about the Egyptian chariot. The programme follows a team who recreates a (well actually two) chariot and tries it out (you can also find it on YouTube if you search for Building Pharaoh’s Chariot). Mike Loades, who was part of the recent time commander series, is giving the chariot some trial runs to better understand how they may have been used on the battlefield. I find this kind of experimental archaeology/history very interesting and I really wish more similar programmes were available. Let me know if you know any good ones.
Before setting out I did progress on a few fronts with my Sci-fi models from Brigade Games (I have done two more orders since Joy of Six!) and I also did some of Baccus late 19th Century Bavarians. Great little models overall and a Joy to paint!
We did not leave home empty handed and I hope to have an AAR available at some point after this weekend, describing some French Indian War skirmish action. We brought a little bit of stuff allowing us to roll some dice and move figures around – but more of that next time if we have had time to have a game.
Another relaxed week and a memory card with Joy of Six pictures on the run – but hopefully back by the end of the week.
The Little One and I did a few rounds of Zombie Dice this weekend to keep our dice rolling capabilities in good shape. Zombie Dice is a nice little game that takes about a minute to figure out but the occasional, for us compulsory, “Brain!” scream, seems to keep us entertained.
The Little One wanted some Sci-Fi so I got some stuff from Brigade Games (link to them here) at Joy of Six – some tanks and infantry from the Mercs and PacFed ranges. Check them out – they have a very good range. I slowly started working on these over the weekend, at least spray painting and some initial coats.
I quickly did two test bases for the two armies (the Little One approved!) – a Hover Tank and a Grav Tank.
I also got some NSF7 Attack robots from Irregular Miniatures (see here) when I ordered the Ogres for the Fantasy stuff, now where did I put that guy in scarf from Angel Barrack miniatures? The comparison miniature is from Brigade Games (Polish Infantry).
I also got some beauties from Pendraken (link here) that could be used for Aliens!