Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Urban War: Viridian Special Forces and Sniper

Next batch of minis for this winters Cleaning out the Closet challenge are done.

These are the first wave of Viridian Special Forces minis, and were painted a couple of years ago. They lay languishing in a box since then but I'm looking to get them on the table soon. The Viridian forces are also known for their snipers, and the sniper minis are in my opinion, some of the coolest from this range.

Head over to the original post for the 360 views, here I've concentrated on the group as a whole and the bases. The bases are Secret Weapon Urban Rubble bases. The original group of Viridians were based on a similar set, that has now been discontinued. The original set were much chunkier and more 3D, and I really liked that about them, however, they may have caused issues with the moulds or something, as the new/replacement set are much flatter. The Special forces leader in the last two pics is on the old style base, as are the Marines in this post.

Frostgrave Ranger

It took me a while to find the right Ranger mini for my Frostgrave force. I wanted a mini that suited the look of the North Star wizard and apprentice, the old school GW troopers an the Reaper minis that made up the rest of the band. I also wanted it to be a female model, to try to give the warband more of a gender balance. In the end I settled on the Otherworld Miniatures range, and bought the female Ranger and Thief minis.

Now the full warband is complete. The rest of the gang is listed here: Wizard and Apprentice, Archers, Captain,Treasure Hunter and Rangifer, Knight and Male Treasure Hunter, and of course the Snow Golem.

I plan to organise a new round of games of Fristgrave in the near future, I'm unsure of I'l go with these guys, or start another warband. That's the thing with the lead pile. You finish off one set of minis, and there's another lot sitting ready to go.

This is also the first of the minis from the Cleaning out the Closet list for this winter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cleaning out the Closet

Hopefully, this post will be the first in a new series where I 'get stuff finished'. I have a long backlog of half painted minis and mostly done units and armies. The plan is to work through these and get them posted here over the coming winter. The list is as follows:

Frostgrave Ranger

This otherworld ranger mini is the last of my Frostgrave force from the Thaw of the Liche Lord campaign, and is almost finished. There is a bit of paint to splash onto her, and the base to finish, but no more than an hour or two of work. Then I can post the warband as a whole, and more on to the next one (a Chronomancer, but more on him later).

Dystopian Legions French Legionnaires

These are base coated, but have been sitting at the front of my cupboard for the last 2 years. Shouldn't take much to get them up to tabletop quality, then use them in 'The Men who Would be Kings', my new Dystopian Legions surrogate. Once I count up how many units like this I'll need, there may be more Dystopian Legions troops to complete that find their way onto the list.

Urban War Triad Retainers

The next few on the list are all old Urban War minis, that I intend to get ready for the SciFi gaming I plan to get into in the new year. For the retainers, I have 2 units of these, both bought back in 2004/5 one unit was painted back in then, but needs finishing off, and another companion unit that are undercoated. These, along with all the following Urban War minis, were in the large batch of minis I brought over to Canada a couple of years ago, and have been languishing in their storage box since then.

Urban War Viridian Special Forces and Sniper

I painted these back in 2014, all that needs done is the bases painted and them mounted. The minis can be seen here.

Urban War Triad Boss and Kabuki Doll

These are in need of being finished, the Kabuki doll has been picked up and put down at various points over the years and is mostly done, the Boss not so much, but these will finish off the Squad with the retainers and make them a playable force.

Urban War Triad Sumotori

There are two of these guys that fit with the rest of the Triad gangers that can easily be painted up to match this guy.

Urban War Viridian HMG

This too is painted, but the base needs a bit of conversion work and painting to make it fit with the rest of the squad.

Menoth Army

Finally, I pulled my Menoth army out of retirement (a locker at my FLGS). These guys were last used in MKI warmachine (we're now on MKIII) and are in a sad state of repair and variable state of completion. These guys were painted so long ago, there is no real trace of them on this blog. There's a lot to do in this pile, and could easily be a list unto itself. Once I get sown to this army, it will likely become an itemised list. So let's call this Wave Two.

So that's the list. A long post, but we had our first snow this morning here in Montreal, so winter is not so much round the corner as already here. Time to cosy up with Netflix and a paint brush and get on with this!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Base problem

That moment, late at night, when you've just finished a batch of bases for some minis, then you go back to the minis you have ready to rebase, and realise you didn't do enough.

Guess I'll be painting four more of them tomorrow evening!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Scifi minis

Summer is winding down, and that seems to have meant I get back to the painting table. With the heavy reference on Sci-Fi gaming in my last post, it only seems fitting that the minis I have painted this week are in that genre. These are some old minis, that have been bumping around in various lead piles for quite a while Fist off, we have two old Void VASA minis, one civilian and one marine one marine. The marine was painted and previewed a while ago on some Facebook groups, but not, apparently here on my blog. She has now been transfered to a better base and finished off. The Civilian has been painted up with the thought of him being a SLA Operative for Cannibal Sector 1 despite the lack of apparent armour. He is generic enough to fit in with Rogue Stars and also the Black Ops mission I'm planning too.

One commonality these three minis have is that I busted out some freehand on all three, to greater and lesser success. The Escher Juve, for example has a knife, sponsored by MAC knives of SLA industries, whereas the Op at the start has kneepads with various freehand attempts (can you tell which film, recently available on neflix I was watching when I did the right kneepad?). The tiger pelt helmet is the freehand I'm most proud of. despite the success of this attempt, I'll be unlikely to complete the rest of her unit in the same theme.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

SciFi gaming, the new frontier... least for me.

I have been looking forward to two games that are on the horizon. Bot of which are Sci-Fi games, which is not my normal wheelhouse.

Rogue StarsThe first of these, which will also be the first to be released is Rogue Stars by Osprey Publishing.This will be released in December, and like all Osprey games, will be designed so that it can be played with whatever miniatures the players wish. This allows me to find a means to put miniatures on the table from Necromunda, Void, Urban War, Infinity and whatever other futuristic minis I have (like Doctor Who personalities and companions). I know little of this game, other than it seems to be a points based squad construction skirmish game. Less like Frostgrave,and more like In Her Majesty's Name. the important thing about it is that it should generate enough of a buzz to get other players interested, and that's all it takes to get games, which is, after all the important thing. That and telling them they can use their 40K minis withour having to put a weekend aside!

The second game I am eagerly awaiting is Cannibal Sector 1 by Daruma Productions. A new game based in the World of Progress. As a player of SLA industries back in the day, I love this IP, and was convinced to part with cash to help them fund their Kickstarter, which should be fulfilled some time next spring/summer. As SLA was a game I played quite often with friends in Scotland, I'm not sure what interest there will be in my local gaming group to try it, but I was heartened to find second hand copies of the RPG in local stores, so someone was playing SLA here. The worst case scenario here is that I get all the CS-1 miniatures (which do look nice), and use them as a faction in Rogue Stars, and use that as a means of attracting the attention of other gamers. A honey trap if you will.

With both these games in mind, I have been looking through my lead pile to find minis that can be used for either game. I think I have a short list, which I have been prepping and basing, ready to get painting. The first batch of SLA-ops should hit the painting table soon!

So that's what's on the horizon, but what about games for the more recent future? Well, the winter gaming season is just round the corner, and for that, I ordered some things from amazon recently, and am now the owner of Back Ops, The Men Who Would be Kings, and Frostgrave: Into the Breeding Pits, All released from Osprey Publishing.

Frostgrave: Into the Breeding PitsIn terms of Play-ability, I foresee most use for the Breeding Pits expansion for Frostgrave. In terms of what it contains, this is not a campaign, like Thaw of the Liche lord (which went down very well with local players), but is the most in depth expansion of rules and options that has been sp far released for Frostgrave. There are 6 scenarios in the book, along with a host of rules for playing in dungeons, traps, and new magic options. In all it seems quite complicated (for Frostgrave), and I will have to sit down and see the best way to implement what it contains. I think I'll try to string the scenarios together into a campaign, and run that with the locals, but it will take a bit more planning, and introducing the players to what is now available.
Black Ops

I have heard of at least one other player in town who would want to play Black Ops. The cover, and indeed interior artwork seems to suggest it was more in the futuristic Solid Snake style game, which is a way it can be played, but the photographed miniatures in the book are more of a Black Hawk Down style. This may just be the miniatures the author had access to, and the rules seem to be able to be played both ways, so this is going in the Sci Fi bracket for me, and I'm going to put together a scenario where I can run my Urban War Triads as modern Ninjas, versus teched our Viridian Colonial Marines. That seems like it'd be a way to get people interested.

The final of the new book triad is then The Men Who Would Be Kings. This is a game that I see the least use out of in my current gaming circle. Unfortunately. One thing I was pleasantly surprised about, was the use of artwork in this book. Along with the usual photographs of pertinent miniatures, there was also judicious use of artwork from Osprey's other books. This was not something I had noticed in the other Osprey wargaming books I have, indeed, in the first expansion book for In Her Majesty's Name was notorious for having absolutely no artwork, not even photos of minis. There may have been a few reasons for that, but it is a poor show in this modern era of wargame publishing, where we have grown to expect more. I think another reason I have not noticed this use of artwork by Osprey is that the other books I have are more fantasy based, and therefore have required the commissioning of specific art. Either way, this book has 6 full page colour plates, 3 of which by Angus McBride, along with many other half page plates. I call that in itself a win. In terms of game play, it seems to be more on scale with the authors previous works, Lion and Dragon Rampant, so mid-scale, with a few units of up to 16 men for large tribal units, normal units are 12. I must say, I don't own enough historicals to run this one, but I will be trying to use it to field my Dystopian Legions miniatures. I can't see that being too much of a clash with the rules, and certainly remains in the spirit of the game, which is more based on the cinematic than the Historic.

So there we go a rahter Opsrey biased look at my near future wargaing plans. Frostgrave as a means to get people to the table, followed up with scenarios written to get player buy-in to the other games (which they already have minis for) followed by (ideally) an Osprey gaming night, where folks come along to play variations of these games and others. Okay, the last bit is a bit of a stretch, but I'm working on the owner of my FLGS to make it more likely, as he gets to sell the books and minis to support such a venture.

As they say, watch this space!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Too little, too late?

A recent announcement by Spartan Games on their blog, on the support for their Dystopian line of games (Dystopian Wars and Dystopian Legions). Legions was the only one of their games that interests me, as I'm really not into the smaller scale games. I'm really not sure what this means in terms of game support, which has been lacking for years now, but I'll be keeping an eye on this none-theless.

Dystopian LegionsDystopian Legions is now four years old and whilst more niche, we know that it has a following every bit as dedicated as Dystopian Wars, albeit somewhat smaller.  We are changing how we sell the product line, and will do everything to continue supporting the game and its loyal players.
We have therefore decided that all of the Dystopian Legions product line will be available via mail order from our online store only, also taking effect from October 31st 2016. By selling it as an entirely mail order product line, we can make it easier for customers to expand their armies with individual models and lower pricing by not needing to cater for packaging or trade discounts. This is a bold move for Legions, but one that we feel will strengthen the game in the highly populated 28mm scale miniature gaming space in which it competes.
This is the start of a number of exciting changes for Dystopian Legions which will firmly put the gaming control in the hands of its players. The greater customisation of purchase options will allow gamers to choose exactly how they want to play with their miniatures, from small squad-based adventures to platoon level actions!

So, all minis are available individually. This is cool I guess, as there are some sculpts I do not have that I don't want to buy a squad box just to have. This will also make the minis more tempting to those that play other games (like In Her Majesty's name), but I think it just means they hope to sell minis without having to give games or rule support. I rather feel that the second edition of this game was rushed out, unfinished then left high and dry as Spartan got their hands on the HALO IP. The reboxing of the miniatures and how the squads were built in game was also something I think was botched. Here's hoping the shipping isn't the issue that kills this to gamers outside of the UK.