Saturday, 8 July 2017

Rise of the Machines

When I was at Salute in April, Warlord Games decided to make the starter box for their Terminator: Genysis game available for the princely sum of £10. Given that this contained rules, dice, counters, mat, and no fewer than 31 miniatures, one look at the title of this blog will inform you as to how I reacted.

Seeing as I had some unexpected time on my hands on Tuesday, I broke out the spray paint to get me some Terminators painted.

The pictures are a little dark (it's too sunny), but I'm really quite pleased with how they've come out, especially given that these are officially the easiest models I've ever painted. Spray. Wash. Eyes. Base. Done.

They are even easier that other models that I've done a spray/wash on before, and they are made of silver plastic, and so it really didn't matter if I'd slightly missed a bit. If I have any sort of gripe, it's the fact that they are fairly small compared to many ranges, however, they do look like they might actually fit inside a body unlike many skeletal figures on the market (GW, I'm looking at you). They do scale well with the Wargames Factory plastic that I have, so there is potential there for expanding at least my Resistance models, or adding a T-1000 (I just wish I hadn't given away the Police torsos from the set.

The Endoskeletons are nicely detailed models which have torsos that come separate from the legs and can be pivoted around the spine (a nice change from separate heads for a more robotic look), as well as separate arms which can be positioned at different heights to give a modicum of variety - certainly enough for mass-produced death machines.

The Crawlers are single piece castings, but as they are only brought in when an Endoskeleton is destroyed, they'll never be fielded as units, so it's no worry.

The game itself is fun (I've only played two small scenarios so far) and Matt (and Mike, or is it Wes?) had already bought in so there are games to be had. I can also see them being recruited for games of 7TV, especially as Kraang Droids to fight the Turtles.

Not sure when I'll get round to the Resistance, as by default I can see them being more fiddly to do. I do have a few ideas to make them a bit more varied and interesting, so maybe I'll get to them soon.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

7TV Day: The Russian Job

Yesterday saw me attending the Wargames Illustrated 7TV Day for a movie sequel entitled 'The Russian Job'. This was an extremely relaxed campaign day largely devoid of the usual focused tournament lists, and mainly concentrating on having a bit of a laugh.  The day was broken into three 'shooting blocks' putting together a larger narrative.

The initial brief saw my cast of Professor von Schteppbyonde and the staff of Project Meteor heading to Soviet Russia, along with several teams from a loose organisation called the 'Disruptors', to investigate something being referred to as the 'Mesti Incident', which potentially involved an extra-terrestrial item of great and terrible power...which was right up the Professor's street. Opposing were a network of notorious do-gooders referred to as the 'Valhalla Project'.

Scenario 1 - The Defective Defector

Yuri Blankenhof, rumoured to be the only survivor of the 'Mesti Incident', had sent a message - he wished to defect. In addition to his knowledge of Soviet science, he was offering information regarding what happened in the 'Mesti Incident'.

Keen to learn what he could, and then use it for his own nefarious ends, the staff of Project Meteor set out to locate Blankenhof, aid in his defection and learn what he knows. However, stood in their way were not only the KGB, but also non other than Hugo Solomon and a team from Department X.


I was playing against Cameron using one of Crooked Dice's house casts, Department X:
  • Team Leader - Hugo Solomon (Star), Secret Agent. Think James Bond, Jason King and Austin Powers rolled into one.
  • X-Commando Strike Team - Captain Franklin (Co-Star) and 3 X-Commandos (Extras)
  • Psychic Support - 2 Fox Agents (Extras)

The Spawn fail to locate Blankenhof.
The Worm and the Herpetologist begin their search.
Department X move up in formation.
The Worm erupts. Taking out most of the Strike Team.
Solomon leg sweeps Dr Kurtz just as the KGB arrive.
This turned out to be the shortest game of 7TV I've ever played. The scenario required us to roll a d10 when we interrogated civillians; on a 10 it would turn out to be Blankenhof, on a 1 it would be a KGB agent. When 3 KGB agents had shown up (which happened by the end of my second turn), we had to skip straight to the Finale cards in the Countdown Deck. Cameron then proceeded to draw cards which required him to draw more cards, thus ending the game.

However, this didn't mean that it was a dull game. In those two turns, the Death Worm popped up in the middle of Department X and took down all of the X-Commandos. One of the Foxes defected to my side. Captain Franklin blasted everywhere with his plasma rifle. The Spawn repeatedly failed to form words and so were unable interrogate civilians. Hugo Solomon was able to use his Tibetan Aikido to take down Dr Kurtz, technically winning the game, although the agent also had to flee when the KGB arrived.

We worked out that Blankenhof was caught in an explosion which seemed to emanate from some of the Professor's equipment...oops! However, the Professor was able to gather some notes from his body, whilst Sylvia Smother and Bob the Janitor helped the stunned Herpetologist to escape the clutches of the KGB.

Scenario 2 - Pieces of Hate

The death of Blankenhof was unfortunate, but at least the parts of the artefact involved in the 'Mesti Incident' were identified as being in packing cases located in several warehouses situated around the city of Rastava.

Project Meteor set of to one of these locations, with the aim of securing one of these crates and leaving the city before the Valhalla Project could get there. However, stood against the Professor this time was a mysterious individual known only as 'The Doctor' and his retinue of companions.

In this game I played against Mike's War Doctor and retinue (I don't know much about the War Doctor, so I'm working off the information I managed to glean from Mike in conversation):
  • The War Doctor (Unearthly Traveller/Star)
  • Squire (Action Hero/Star)
  • Luther (Police Sergeant/Extra)
  • 2 Gribblies (Ninja/Extras)
Both sides were also given a mini (emblazoned with a Union Jack to help them blend in) to help move the artefact.

The Doctor wins the race to crate.
The crate is dropped as Minis collide.
With his companions down, the Doctor stands alone.
This game also looked set to be over quickly as Mike's cast got to the crate on the first turn, and looked set to drive it off the board on the second. However, driving too fast saw it fall from the roofrackless Mini, and then my scientific wonders were able to gang up on the dispersed time travellers.

The Worm and Dr Kurtz double teamed Squire, whilst the Sylvia led the Spawn into the Gribblies and the Professor lasered Luthor in the back. Bob took some shuriken to the face, but since his accident, these kinds of things have not kept him down for long. The Doctor was ultimately surrounded and overwhelmed, allowing Project Meteor to deliver the crate into the grasping arms of the Disruptors.

Several other agents of the Disruptors had also been successful and, when presented with an alien device of potential devastation, a gang of villainous masterminds were obviously going to put the thing together to see what it did...

Scenario 3 - Self-Preservation Society

The Mesti Device was activated and, seemingly searching for more energy, began to devour the city of Rastava. Although there was apparently a force field surrounding the city, there was a gap, a small gap, which might allow a single vehicle, or group, to leave.

Somehow cramming everybody into the Mini (it took some effort to get the Worm into the boot), Project Meteor set off at speed to get to the gap before the other agents (who'd had the same idea), all the time avoiding panicking civilians.

A long road ahead.
Under starter's orders...
...and they're off!
Some fool starts was me.
Chaos ensues...
The Worm is unleashed to slow the others down.
Realising he might be faster on foot, Dr Kurtz legs it.
The Professor is caught in traffic.
Dr Kurtz was away and free...
This game was bedlam. Cars were exploding all over the place, and grudges flew back and forth. Somehow, despite having starting the shooting match, mine was one of only a handful of vehicles to make it off the first board. Given the amount of obstacles and the fact that players were allowed to use the vehicles to crash into you, I realised that Dr Kurtz, as an Aqua-Maniac, had the ability to ove faster than the vehicles were allowed to in the scenario, and so I dropped him off and then set about trying to keep the rest of my cast alive long enough to allow him to get to the gate.

Unfortunately, my plan was rumbled with my scaly roadrunner clear of danger, and pretty much everybody set about taking out the rest of my cast. Sylvia and the Spawn were, I think, dispatched by a combination of East End Coppers and the Master. The Professor's mini was wrecked by a drive-by from an old lady in an Aston Martin, and the Worm was swallowed by the advancing  Mesti Wave.

Under threat of my cast being axed, Dr Kurtz passed two spirit tests to make it to within one turn of the end, and then, predictably, my luck failed...and there was much rejoicing!

The game was ultimately won by one of the the little old ladies companions, narrowly ahead of one of the murderous coppers, who both managed to escape the clutches of a couple of Predators. The other agents, aliens, Moon Nazis and monkeys were all swallowed by the Mesti Wave.

However, Dr Kurtz heroic run did not go unrewarded. Everybody who attended received a goodie bag/box containing 4 Plastons (which I will use as Autons from Dr Who), three 7TV dice and a discount voucher for Crooked Dice. In addition, thanks to my glorious failure, I also received a couple of Ainsty Casting vehicles, one of which, the hovercraft, has been on my 'I must get round to buying that' list for some time.

All in all, this was an excellent, if slightly bonkers, day. It was good to meet quite a few people who I know only through Facebook, and we also got quite a bit of insider knowledge about the future of 7TV from Karl from Crooked Dice. Personally, I'm more than a bit excited about the upcoming Time Lost Programme Guide which will be featuring dinosaurs and Doug McClure!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Best Foot Forward

Despite the lack of blogging,, I have actually been painting, and here are the results. My Foot Clan for games of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 7TV.

Crooked Dice only currently do one set of three ninjas and so a little bit of weapon swapping meant that there is more variation amongst them than was initially likely. They do, however, do some very Foot-like alternate heads (coincidentally) and so painting them up like the Foot Clan was actually a doddle.

Shredder is one of Crooked Dice's Claws of Shiva, and is a great little model. However, despite the resemblance to Oroku Saki, as the Claw of Shiva is actually an extra in 7TV, he actually lacks a little in stature, and was potentially going to be towered over by my rather bulky Turtles. I resolve this by basing him on some scenery I'd removed from a Black Mask Heroclix model I'd converted into a gangster. It not only raises his height, but also somewhat removes him from the context, helping with size comparisons.

I've also been painting the last few models of the 7TV Weird Science cast I'm taking to the Wargames Illustrated 7TV day this weekend.

First up if Dr Konnor Kurtz, the Herpetologist, hideously transfigured when experimenting with combining reptilian DNA with an extra-terrestrial ooze extracted from meteors that had fallen in a shower in the wastes of Siberia.

The model is from Westwind, and is part of their Empire of the Dead range. The more observant of you will have noticed that he bears a more than passing resemblance to Spider-Man's enemy, Dr Curt Connors, the Lizard. This is deliberate, as he will be performing double duty with my Marvel collection. In 7TV he will be an Aqua-Maniac, a creature from the Paranormal Exterminators Programme Guide.

Another product of experiments with the ooze is 'Ze Vurm'. I giant burrowing invertibrate unleashed on the world by my Mad Scientist, Professor von Schtebbyonde.

This chunky beast is the fantastically cheap Purple Worm from the Reaper Bones range and will be operating as the massive Death Worm, also from the Paranormal Exterminators Programme Guide. This was a really fun model to paint, and I'm hoping it will be equally fun to use.

 And here they are in their full glory: the staff and test subjects of Project Meteor. Professor von Schtebbyonde (Mad Scientist), Dr Konnor Kurtz - the Herpetologist (Aqua-Maniac), 'Ze Vurm' (Death Worm), Sylvia Smother (Administrator), Bob the Janitor (Failed Experiment) and Test Subjects 23a and 23g (Spawn).

You may notice a couple of extra models in the picture. There is an extra Spawn as due to one of their traits, I could potentially get a larger cast during the games as more Spawn appear. There's also an extra Scientist as...well...I' my sums wrong about what I was able to fit in my cast, so he had to be cut.

I'm really looking forward to the weeking and taking part in the movie, 'The Russian Job'. It'll be interesting to see what people bring. As I've already seen evidence of Ape-Men, Moon Nazis and the Old Bill, it should be...interesting.

I'll do a full write up next week.

Monday, 26 June 2017

7TV: Scooby Doo and the Gruesome Ghoul of Gatorsburg

I appreciate that I've been quiet recently. I've been a bit out of sorts with the whole blogging thing. I think it might be because I binged a bit in April and over-faced myself. Anyway I'm back now and here's a game I played with Mike a couple of weeks ago as I was keen to get Mystery Incorporated on to the tabletop.

We played 'The Search', which is a scenario in the free PDF from Crooked Dice, in which Mystery Incorporated and the Crystal Cove Police Department (played by me) hunt for clues surrounding the disappearance of a bystander (Father Addams, the local priest), whilst the baddies, led by the Gruesome Ghoul of Gatorsburg, try to stop them. I had to grab the objective tokens (for which I scored points), and each time I did I got to roll to see if I'd located the missing priest. Once found, I would need to keep him safe and get him off the table.

Mystery Inc. and the CCPD start the search.

The Gruesome Ghoul awaits with his Ghosts and Zombies.
The team decide to split up to search for clues...

The CCPD shoot first and ask questions later; one Zombie down.

Jinkies! A clue!

Scooby and Shaggy find another clue. The Ghoul takes a bullet.

Hey Fred! Do you think this might be important?

The Ghoul's horde finally gets close.

Sheriff Stone is knocked flat and in danger. 

He somehow holds on whilst the deputies thin out the horde. 
Fred continues to search, seemingly unaware that Daphne is with him.

Scooby gets attacked by one Ghost...

...then a second one. Scooby-Dooooooo! Noooooo!

The Sheriff finally succumbs heroically.

Velma takes over, directing the deputies.

Fred finds the final clue!

In a blur of action, snacks and gadgets, Shaggy avenges Scoob.

Concentrated fire brings down the Ghoul, and the cast is axed.
A typically convoluted plan means Fred doesn't find the missing priest. 
Scooby and the Sheriff were both found dazed, and information pointing the location of Father Addams was found, although Mystery Incorporated couldn't claim credit for his rescue. The Gruesome Ghoul was unmasked as Terence the Choirmaster, who was trying to force the church to repair his organ. The CCPD are going to face some serious questions about their excessive use of lethal force, as the 'ghosts' and 'zombies' turned out to be the hypnotise members of the choir...oops!

Despite the fact that by the end of my third turn I'd found three of the clues and begun to slaughter the zombies, the game ended up being quite close. Fred's intricate plan was foiled by the Gruesome Ghoul being unmasked, forcing the rest of the cast to flee, ending the game early. I didn't manage to locate the priest, which meant Mike grabbed enough points to bring the final score to a knicker-grippingly close 8-7 to Mystery Incorporated.

The game was loads of fun, and the Scooby Gang are suitably thematic in their abilities. The amount of gadgets they get seems odd, but I suppose this reflects the wackiness of their adventures. The only thing missing from the game, as you can see, was the Mystery Machine, and so I've recently rectified that issue with a small purchase...

This is a Hot Wheels Elite 1:50 scale diecast model and is really good in terms of scale. My only grip is with Shaggy and Scooby being in the front seats, so I may need to do something about that.

Otherwise, you can look forward to it showing up in the next episode.


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Mysteries & Monsters

I've had another busy month, so I'm just getting back to painting and blogging. I needed something fun to ease me in and I had nothing more fun sitting around than my Scooby Doo cast for 7TV that I picked up from Hasslefree Miniatures at Salute this year.

I've discovered that cartoon characters really suit my painting 'style' as I tend to prefer bright block colours. The Scooby Gang have these in abundance, and I really enjoyed doing them. I even...gasp...mixed the lilac trim on Daphne's dress! These were some of the quickest and most fun models I've painted in a long time. The models are simple and well sculpted, and I'd highly recommend them.

I now just need a Mystery Machine.

I also finished off the Death Worm for my Mad Science cast that I will be taking to the Wargames Illustrated 7TV day in July.

The Death Worm is actually a Purple Worm from the Reaper Bones line, and it's chunky thing - the base it's on is 50mm diameter. The paint job is really simple and done to match the spawn in the rest of the cast, which also makes it usable as a Kraathatrogon - a giant mutagen producing alien space worm from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.

A fun extra, I discovered that there have been giant worms in Scooby Doo too, which gives me a chance to use the two together.

Now I really need that Mystery Machine...