Friday, 12 October 2018

Some Oathmark Shinies

After a tiring day drinking all afternoon in the pub and playing board games all evening (my social life has picked up somewhat), it was nice to come home to a box of goodies from North Star.

About a month ago I signed up for the pre-release offer on the new faction for their Oathmark range: the humans.  Oathmark is a fantasy range that is being done in collaboration with Osprey Publishing.  Eventually there will be a ruleset, but for the moment there are just the figures (human, dwarves. elves and goblins).  Given that the dwarves were launched a year ago, I'm not sure what is happening.

In the box you get six identical sprues, each with five torsos (none as dynamic as the box art) and an impressive number of variant parts.

So 30 figures for £25.00, compared to 20 for £20.00 in North Star's Frostgrave boxes, or 44 for £22.00 in GBP's. 

They're not wearing spiked helmets - there's a fair bit of flash to clean off
With the pre-release offer came a free metal figure (on the right above).  I also splashed out on one of the human champions (mainly because of his fine 'tash) and a pack of three dwarf champions (regular readers will know I'm a sucker for dwarves).

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Paint Table Saturday

By my counting it's been week short of a year since I last made a Paint Table Saturday post. 

I didn't realise that it's been so long, but I'm not surprised - it's reflective of the current state of both my blogging and painting.  But regular posts such as Paint Table Saturdays are here to force progress on those fronts, so here goes.

Not a lot happening (often I have to blow the dust off before I apply paint!).  We have six Mantic ghouls and a Heroquest elf.  With a bit of a push I should be able to finish them in a session.

Both are initially for use in the RPG I've been playing lately.  The ghouls are dungeon critters.  I was going to call them 'dungeon fodder', but experience shows that they're as likely to kill the PCs as to be killed by them.

The elf is to represent my character, B'loxi.  Given the sculpt and game both have an 80's vibe, I tried to represent that in my colour scheme.  However, I'm not particularly happy with it, so it may change yet.

"A Shouty Game of Finger-Pointing"

As I'd had a bad end to the week (more difficulties with the Post Office, which have swallowed up a week's profit) I decided at short notice to attend an evening of games testing at The Games Table hosted by ASH Games, who were bringing along two of their concepts that should be hitting Kickstarter sometime next year.

Pre-ASH Games

The ASH team (it's a family set-up of long-time gamers headed by Ash) were delayed by traffic, so those of who had turned up at 6.00pm had some time to fill.  Luckily, The games library at the shop has built up nicely since it opened in July.

Five of us took the chance to play Battle Sheep.  Despite the fact that three of us hadn't played it before and that the rules were being explained by a seven year-old, it only took a couple of moves to understand it.  It's a fast game that only takes 10-15 minutes to play.  We got three games in, and it became clear that some fun tactical punches can be pulled.  I am tempted to buy it for Sarah and myself.

'Burn the Witch'

When ASH turned up they had two games to test, a card game about witch burning and a minis game based on Star Wars pod racing.  Ash, who has a background in franchising, seems to think that he should be able to acquire a licence for the latter.

I went off into the group that played 'Burn the Witch'.  We did swap over later, but as it was almost 9.00pm I left at that point and thus didn't get to try the racing.

Put simply (there are various rules I'm omitting here), in 'Burn the Witch' the players take the role of an inhabitant of a medieval village caught up in a witch-hunt.  In each hand they are dealt a secret card giving the identity of another player or designating them the witch.  An accusation card is then drawn from a deck of 72 real-life examples ("X has a hairy lip"... "X has too many children").  After a period when we all accuse our favoured candidate a vote is taken.  The people who successfully nominate someone who is convicted score (regardless as to whether they were the witch or not - this is not a game about justice!).  The convicted witch can score by then identifying the true witch.  Each game consisted of 3-4 hands and took about 30 mins.

One of the things that the designers were wanting to determine was whether it was best as a murder-mystery type game of up to 16 people (though at one stage up to 30 people wandering around a room wearing their identities on lapel-badges were mentioned), or for 4-8 mates sitting around a table or on the sofa.   There were six of us playing (four of whom knew each other), and I think that worked better than a larger group would.  A some point the strap-line "A Shouty Game of Finger-Pointing" came up, and that's how I see it.  Throw in a couple of bottles of wine and you might even get fisticuffs!

There were various points discussed:- artwork; bespoke cards; ways of keeping score; whether there was too much/too little historical info; whether that info would be better on the cards or in a booklet; the kind of ancillary 'stuff' (token, etc) that would add value to the game; and Kickstarter stretch goals.

It was an enjoyable game and would be a good ice-breaker.  The process of game-testing was new to me and interesting.  All in all, a couple of hours well-spent.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Still Here and Actually Doing Something!

This blog seems to have dried up somewhat over the last few months.  It's been a case of "If you have to make and effort to find something to write, is it worth continuing?"  On the whole, I think the answer might be "Yes".

However, there is a bright side.  This blog (and interactions on Facebook and the Lead Adventure Forum) used to be the extent of my Hobby Involvement.  But that has changed with the opening of a new FLGS in Norwich.  I'm actually mixing with people and doing some gaming!

For the first time in some 30 years I've been taking part in regular RPG sessions.  Rather appropriately, we are playing rather Old School - Labyrinth Lord.  As the GM explains:
Labyrinth Lord is a reprinted and improved version of Tom Moldvay's 1981 Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert rules. You're not a prince or the strongest man in Aerik, you're a desperate murder-hobo trying to escape with some silver coins before the monsters you hear lurking in the darkness can catch up. Player cunning and skill is strongly rewarded, and experience is largely from treasure recovered. This makes player decisions about when to fight, when to run and when to parley more realistic, and encourages smart play. The game is deadly, and mistakes cost lives.
Despite a TPK on our first delve into the Barrowmaze, I've stuck at it and my Elf, B'loxi, has survived four expeditions.  In ten or twenty years he may make Level 2.

Did I say Old School?
B'loxi's the one having a nap

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Pulpy Shinies from Bad Squiddo

Bad Squiddo Games has just announce a couple of new releases sculpted by Paul Muller that scream out"Pulp!".  And I'm a sucker for Pulp...

These are available at the pre-order price of £7.50 for the pair (normal price £8.00).  They won't be shipped for a fortnight.

As some of you know, Bad Squiddo is very much a one-person shop.  As anyone who has tried to run a business on their own knows, such businesses are even more at the mercy of Real Life than others.  Earlier this year, Annie had to make an unexpected move from Cardiff to Nottingham, finding new premises and shifting stock etc.  This coincided with the planned dispatch of her latest Kickstarter, which was well and truly effed-up.  That led to a backlog of orders, a huge backlog of e-mail (many of them negative).  Given that Annie has moved away from her support network and the part-time staff she had, this all fell on her shoulders: her health has suffered. 

The other problem caused by these backlogs is one of cashflow - fatal to small businesses.  Despite that, Annie made the decision not to release anything from her new releases queue until she could promise dispatch withing a reasonable period.  Annie is a good sort.  If her stuff appeals to you, I urge you to put an order in and help her out.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Recent Reading (and Zombies)

I've went a bit vintage with my reading last week.

Spurred on by the repeat of the TV series featuring Rowan Atkinson as a rather slimline Inspector Maigret, I read My Friend Maigret, one of the Simenon books I've picked up recently.  The Maigret series is one I've always thought I'd want to read but never got around to.  I was surprised by how slight My Friend was*, but I enjoyed it.  And I wasn't at all put off by The Wife saying "I remember reading that at school in French"!
*Perhaps explained by the fact that Simenon wrote 75 Maigret novels and 28 short stories!

I was struck by the fact that although the book was written in 1949 it didn't mention the war, even  when discussing suspects' backgrounds.  These days any thriller set in the 1940s or '50s isn't considered complete if it doesn't have an ex-POW or a bevy of former SOE or Bletchley types.   In recent TV adaptations of Agatha Christie and the like, the plot is changed to shoe-horn them in.  A reflection of changing perspectives on the period, I suppose.

After that, I've gone even further in time to read M R James' Thirteen Ghost Stories in a rather nice German edition* from the '30s.  James** is another author that I've thought I should read and would probably enjoy; and I am finding that to be the case.  Certainly, some of the TV adaptations have scared the willies out of me in the past!
*Don't get me wrong - it's an English-language edition!
**A medievalist and the originator of the "antiquarian ghost story" - you can see the appeal!

And so on to Zombies...

For some reason I often find myself thinking of the Zombie Apocalypse when walking No 2 Dog.  This is possibly because I try to do it when the streets and paths are deserted* or because of the number of beat-up camper vans we pass**.  Perhaps it because Moley has the right attitude to survive the apocalypse - he'd have no problem decapitating a little old lady (or preferably a zombie labrador).
*No 1 Dog on the other hand prefers to walk during or just after the school run - all the better to find half-eaten slices of toast or chocolate crepes, which are his latest favorite.
** I have this half-intention to post some photos on the blog of vehicles for a British Post-Apocalyse (given the lack of US-style school buses outside Suffolk).

Moley ready to devour something or other
So I've acquired these

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

#30Days30 Miniatures: Days 5 and 6

Day 5 (Tuesday) was another washout as far as painting went - I just proved too busy doing RL things.

As part compensation, today I offer two figures.

This is the figure I meant to finish yesterday.  He's from Artizan Designs.

Sorry for the quality of this photo

This rather blurry lady (yes, she does have a face!), is one of Copplestone's Female Archaeologists.  Her compatriots will hopefully follow soon.

Day 6
Total minis painted: 7
Days challenge was met: 4

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Terrain Tuesday #21

Would you believe that the last Terrain Tuesday was in Dec 2016?   Yes, you probably would.

That's why I don't begrudge spending time off the 30Minis challenge to get my terrain juices flowing [Urgh!].

Last week I popped into Poundland and bought one of their Topiary Balls...

It cost £1.00

It was the work of minutes to strip it to its component parts....

A Sphere of Doom at the ball's core

Said component parts were a reasonably sized pile...

After that it was a matter of getting the hot-glue gun and some spare bases in order to make some scatter terrain.

All in all, a decent result from half-an-hour's work on a day I couldn't face anything more involved.

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