Friday, 28 February 2014

Daylight Sheds On Havoc

Finally, the Havocs have had some final touching up on the last couple of days to add details and then the transfers - all under the gaze of the daylight bulb my girlfriend bought me for the Nerd Room.  Under the glow of that bulb I present them, now finally complete.
The Havocs fully painted.

Changeling Pink and Lucius Lilac was drybrushed over the pink and purple respectively.  I also painted some Emperors Children pink over the shoulder pads, as the washes always dirty up large flat space like that too much.  After that it's some Army Painter Orange to lighten up the orange sections and we're mostly done.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different: Our Star Trek RPG

Space: The Final Frontier.  These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise...

 With Pendragon over the next RPG campaign we'll be moving onto is Star Trek.  This will be the fourth block of the game, which is set in the early 25th century about 40 years after the start of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and concerns the adventures of the Federation-class U.S.S. Enterprise N.C.C. 1701-F. 

Our heroes and the adventures they have are very much in the mould of Picard's Enterprise: a mixture of different races work in unison, tring to solve all problems non-violently where possible and with the future portrayed in ultimately positive tones.  While some material form the other sides of Trek do show up - some references to the intrigue of DS9, including the shadier organizations within the Federation - it's a future where the moral high ground is achievable and killing every person blocking your path is not rewarded.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Death on Acanthus II: Conclusion

The casualties of my Apocalypse game, awaiting some TLC (and some superglue)
So, my Apocalypse adventure has come to a close.  I’ve got some tactical insights, some fun photos, some amusing memories and some damaged figures with transport- and play-inflicted injuries.

I've spilled a lot of digital ink on the topic:
Did I have fun?  Definitely! 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Death on Acanthus II Part 4: A Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse Battle Report

The state of play as the game restarts on Saturday morning.
The sun was shining as I hoped onto the bus and returned to Dave’s house on Saturday morning, about 11:00 for the final part of our Apocalypse game.  When we’d first started playing 23 hours earlier we’d had 7000 points of army at each of our disposals, solid lines and clearly held objectives.  Now our men were highly depleted, with all the side tables & shelves around the area covered in little toy soldiers who had perished in the line of duty; my down-river line had completely collapsed, with the Tau free to advance; and my objectives were either contested or had TauMarTers bearing down on them.

As turn 5 commences my only chance for victory was the rearmost objectives, the turbine and the building.  I couldn’t shoot at the Tau jet pack unit on top of the turbine this turn – they were too far back to be seen this turn – but denying them to the enemy must be my top priority.  For now my Hellblade flyer patrolled the sky harassing the Tau flyer, which it whittled down to near destruction and kept form being a serious threat to my ground forces.

Death on Acanthus II Part 3: A Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse Battle Report

Back to the battlefield!  World Eater Noise Marines & a Thousand Sons Sorcerer to front; Black Legion Rhino to right; Uriah Jacobus & entourage to left.

With pizzas consumed, caffeine ingested and some time out for rambling about politics, it was time for Dave & I to return to the living room for the last chunk of play before calling it a day.  I called Ailsa and told her how much longer I’d be – I don’t think I’d adequately explained how long a game of this size would last, as she seemed surprised to discover things were still far from over.

Turn 4 commenced with another Finest Hour from myself – the last one I could trigger, with the Tzeentchian sorcerer getting a boost.  This was very risky – he’s far my most vulnerable character – but anything to make him more potent would give me a chance to make headway at the upriver flank.  He joined the assault between the Noise Marines and the Sisters, slaying the leader and gunning down the opposition as they broke and ran.  Backed up by the arrival of some Chosen laden with special weapons, they opened fire on anything which was emerging from combat to prevent the complete collapse of my line.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Death on Acanthus II Part 2: A Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse Battle Report

Mmmm..... venison sausages
The joys of playing in the West End of Glasgow with someone who is a PhD employed with a University is that the mid-game-repasts tend to be of a higher class.  Venison sausages with rocket was consumed as we regained energy for the second stage of the game, which would be between about 13:30 and 17:30.  That wouldn't actually be much in the space of play time - our early turns were averaging an hour per turn, with the sheer amount of figures needing moving and dice to be rolled.

The Chaos Space Marines had to try and regain momentum, so I used one of my Strategic Resource cards - items you pick before the start of the game with various temporary boosts.  A Chaos Space Marine specific one gave everyone in my army the benefit of the Fleet & Rage special rule, making them quick movers and nasty on the charge in close combat.  With that on the table, I set out to make turn 2 the turn of close combat carnage.

Death on Acanthus II Part 1: A Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse Battle Report

Everything I needed to bring for my massive game with Dave on Friday.
I arrived at Dave's house on Friday about 10:15 or so, laden with luggage.  Two black miniatures cases crammed with individual guys: two silver flight cases bearing all my dreadnoughts, tanks and other larger items; a green bag with some terrain pieces to help bulk out the table; and a bag bearing my rulebooks, dice and some refreshing beverages.

The largest game I'd fought before was two vs two, 2000 points a head.  This time round it was 7000 points a head - functionally our whole collection, bar some odds and ends - and on a massive, 12' by 6' table that Dave assembled using every table, work bench, wooden board and flat item he could fit in his living room.  Just witnessing the table added to the feel that this was going to be an epic event.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Come The Apocalypse

The day of the 7000 point game is here!  The largest I've ever played before is 2000; well, teams of two each with 2000, but even then this is still a good chunk bigger.

For those who care, here is my army list for the day - more or less everything I have assembled and painted is on the table.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

T MInus 1 Day And Counting

Work is finished for the week: I have a holiday day tomorrow especially for my big
 Apocalypse game.  A spray coating of matt varnish last night sealed the deal on the Havocs for the time being, and now it's just time to brush up on some rules and choose exactly how to organise some units.

My opponent has been busy too, though, and has prepared our battlefield...

One Brief, Shining Moment: King Arthur Pendragon

The original Pendragon RPG cover
So last night marked the last session of my latest season of King Arthur Pendragon.  One of the largest battles in the myths, the epic Battle of Badon Hill, took place and almost every player character was either dead or seriously injured - of the 9 knights present we had 1 dead, 5 seriously injured and 2 who were seriously injured that would have died had it not been for a house rule.

King Arthur Pendragon is an unusual role-playing game in that while most games play quite unique stories, Pendragon has a single storyline most games use: The Great Pendragon Campaign, which gives rules and and order of events from Arthur's conception when his father Uther sleeps with Ygraine to Arthur pulling the sword in the stone out to Arthur's marriage to Guenever  all the way through to the battle of Camlann and the collapse of Camelot.  Players create their own knights to adventure in this world, but around them they meet major charactersand are affected by major characters like Lancelot, Gawaine, Tristram or Mordred.  In a manner of speaking, we all know "how it ends" - the game is more about how it ends for your characters and how their own adventures cross into the world-shaking ones.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

T Minus 3 Days And Counting

On what will be my last real chance to play before Apocalypse commences, further progress has been made.  The figures are not pretty.... but they're playable.

Coat D'Arms - Experiences?

One of my local game shops, Static, has dropped Games Workshop products in the past few months - revisions to the trading agreements made it increasingly pointless, especially when there's a perfectly serviceable GW round the corner. 

The GW paints did a fair wee trade, though, so they replaced them with the Coat D'Arms paints.  I've long wanted to try some of these out but could never quite justify the hassle and postage: now I can finally pick some up in the flesh.  So my question do you guys is: Do you have any experience with Coat D'Arms paints?

For those interested, some history on Coat D'Arms paints, because they aren't exactly a new company - rather, if you painted GW stuff back in the 80s and early 90s, you probably used them without knowing it.  :-)

Monday, 17 February 2014

T Minus 4 Days And Counting

There's only 4 days to go until my Apocalypse game yet there's been a fair bit of radio silence here recently, for which I apologise.  Wednesday/Thursday I was busy with friends and family, then Friday was a Valentines Day meal with Ailsa that rather precluded painting toy soldiers.

However, Saturday and Sunday only included radio silence because I was ensconced in the nerd room working my way through a fair few colours of paint and trying to get something respectable to play!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Five For Silver

Mithril Silver is no more in the GW paint range these days,. so it's Runefang Steel I'm slapping on now to give my guys silver details.  (Including the bright silver heavy weaponry, to make them look chunkier and more "business-like" than the others.)

While I've grown more fond of gold details for my models, these guys are adding to earlier units who used silver, so I'm matching up the colours with them.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Curse Of The Pink Pauldrons

Today's post is brought to you in association with the letters E, C and the numbers 246, 96 and 171
Finally, I have gotten back to the painting grindstone!  This weekend I broke out the last of one pot of Emperor's Children pink - and the start of a new one - to paint up my Emperor's Children marines and get them looking a bit less Hawk Lords and a bit more Gay Mountain.

Friday, 7 February 2014

My Dice Don't Lie

Painting of the Havocs finally restarted last night after a long lull due to gaming, holiday booking, mould making, mould pouring, roleplaying..... I have been a negligent Chaos Lord!  But I'll post up some progress photos soon as the unit takes shape.  I am determined to have them ready soon because I really want to add them into the mix for my Apocalypse game on the 21st.

However, so that you don't go too long without content of some sort, I want to share some thoughts I've had on RPG character generation - in particular, inspired  by the recent generation by Ailsa of a new character for our Pendragon game.

"Right!  Now for a complete change of mood...."

This Arthurian game allows players to create the sons of their previous characters, allowing family trees to develop: when we started playing Ailsa's first character Sir Rhodri was a 21 year old beginner knight and Arthur hadn't even been born yet, but nor Sir Rhodri is 53, Arthur is a young King married to Guenever and Rhodri's son Rhodric has just rode out as a 21 year old beginner knight.

Sir Rhodric determines some of his character sheet numbers based on his fathers - he is more likely to have a high Hate (Saxons) score because Rhodri has a high Hate (Saxons).  However dice are rolled for these passions so while the average result should be about the same as the father, the far ends of the bell curve can produce very high or very low results.  In particular, Ailsa rolled an even higher Hate (Saxons) than her father, who was already ranked very higher - 24 rather than 20 - but her new knight's Honour score was a rather underwhelming 7 compared to her father's score of 15. 

Plus a 2 and a 3 on the other dice.

This wasn't quite what Ailsa had in mind: how can she resolve this with her idea of a still heroic character?

Monday, 3 February 2014

Dreadball Battle Report: Alpha Sigma Squeakers vs The Daft Punks

How appropriate we should play this again on Superbowl night.
Another Dreadball game, another attempt to beat The Streak.  Ailsa and I have played six times now, using various combinations of five teams and yet I can't seem to get a win over her.  I've beaten Aaron and Charles - but Ailsa remains the hurdle. Can I win today?

In Sunday's game she's used the same Skaven Veer-Myn team as last time, though the team rating isn't actually that high - only 111 as much of her victory cash was lost regaining a player I killed last time.  My team are the Daft Punks, an Orx & Goblins team with a match under their belts but no advancements beyond the starting layout.  This gives me a team rating of 100, so I get a free random player to balance this out: Human Jack in hand, we dished out cards, tokens & dice before setting up.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Airlock 47 Breached

Another piece of naff retro joy
For since before Christmas I've been trying to organise a large Kill Team/Zone Mortalis game, but scheduling has been an issue.  Last week I got a wee game in with Dave when Stuart wasn't available, and this week Stuart again had to pass and then at the last minute Dave had to bail as well.  (If I'd had more notice of this I'd have let Aaron know, as he was free and could have taken up the slot.  Oh well!)

Thankfully Rory and Charles were about and so we managed to get a game going regardless.  As with my last game, it was 300 point per side for Rory and I's Chaos Space Marines - but Charles took two seperate Ork forces to make it even, and we scampered about a mission where he had to try and destroy five objectives while we tried to defend them.

As before, I used D&D and Advanced Heroquest tiles for the layout, albeit on a larger scale than last time. Map with crude drawn on notes follows.

A photo taken by the hi tech method of "standing on a chair over the battlefield".  Misses out the left hand of the board but you aren't missing any important areas from the match on it.  Click to embiggen!
All squares on the map are 1" a side.  Yellow lines mark doors: these could be opened or shut once a turn if someone moved and was adjacent to them.  Blue crosses are obstacles (pillars etc) which blocked line of sight; orange  crosses are the five objectives, which can be destroyed but are AV 11 so are immune to small arms fire.  The single square wide passages (surrounded in green) are air ducts and are only available to standard based, non-Bulky figures: even then they count as difficult terrain which grants a cover save