Friday, December 28, 2007

Post-Christmas Goodies..

I did rather well for gaming related Christmas presents this year. I received some Cryx miniatures for the Warmachine game and the AT-43 Accessory set. I don't play AT-43 but the intermodal containers in the accessory set are very highly detailed, I'd almost say accurate. My plan with those is to collect more and make some manner of post-apocalyptic survivalist town out of containers and wrecked vehicles. I'll post pics when I eventually get started on that terrain project.

Also in the terrain department I received 3 plastic Pegasus Hobbies/Imex kits- Large Platformer, Large Hexagon, and the Chemical Plant. These are simply amazing resources for those who like to build Sci-fi terrain. There are so many possibilities I think I'll be delayed in using these in part by having to choose what to build.

The downside to the holiday season for me is always time. I'm no longer young and without responsibilities. The time between Christmas and New Years used to be open time. Not so these days. I'm a little bummed because this weekend a lot of my gaming buddies will be playing games. Oh well.

Still, I can't complain. I went to 4 game conventions this year, played in roughly 1 game every 1-3 weeks, and bought a lot of stuff. I'd call 2007 a successful year.

In my next post I will try and lay out my master plan for my gaming activities in 2008. Like all plans it is often useless after first contact with the enemy. The enemy being time and money..

Thursday, December 6, 2007

This Blog is Alive Again!

So much has been going on since my last post in July. I probably already mentioned it but if not, I had a blast at Dexcon.

Then I went to GenCon in August. A bunch of us went out together in a rental van. I'll call my fellow travellers Mr. N, Mr. J, Mr. S, Mr. K., Mr. K2 and Mr. H. Originally we were going to take turns at the helm of the van however in discussions on how to occupy our time I'd offered to run a good ol game of D&D 3.0. I'd generated most of their characters based on their preferences, so it was easy for everyone to just jump into the game. They apparently had a great time as it occupied the entire trip there and back in the van. Mr. J was killed by a Hill Giant but brought back from the dead. At the very end, Mr. K was turned to stone by a magical trap but they carried his statue and the treasure back to civilization. We've actually continued to play, picked up a few players and it looks like I'm back to running a D&D campaign.

Of course we also had a great time at the convention. I went crazy spending money on discounted Starship Troopers. Hey, it was buy 1 get 3 free. You don't see that often. I also took the opportunity to try out a game of AEWII, the pulp style weird WWII miniatures game. I enjoyed myself although I got whooped playing the already losing side in a continuation of a campaign style scenario. I was a speed bump essentially. I did pick up some of their miniatures and also added some more Heresy and Hasslefree minis from the Fantization booth to my collection. Towards the end I finally broke down and bought some Alpha Forge Mephalians and Hydrissians. I also picked up the new B5ACTA book and new Conan RPG rules from Mongoose Publishing. And some figures from Wyrd miniatures, and some other stuff here and there..

And then there was the SPAM carving contest by the makers of the Redneck Life boardgame. Gret game by the way.. So I entered on a whim and came in 4th place with my SPAM Sphinx. I'm guessing I may have placed higher if it had been in Redneck theme. In hindsight I should have made it a miniature golf course sphinx. Still very funny. Here is a pic:

So in September my gaming crew also got me to take the plunge into Warmachine. In addition to some local gaming store purchases to paint myself, I went in on a group order for a painting service to get us the figures and paint them. Very reasonable price and they came back looking great. They arrive the beginning of November and I think I've played 3 games with them so far. I'm a dirty Cryx player. I've got the reputation now for using the Warcaster Deneghra and stealing other players units with her Dark Seduction power. I've gotten quite good at that.

And back in October I ran another big Starship Troopers game with a fellow GM. We combined miniatures and terrain for 20,000 points of SST stuff in the game. I posted some pics and a battle report on the Mongoose forum

So many other things in gaming to talk about. More about that stuff another night.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bug Canyon Battle Report

Dexcon two weeks ago was a blast.

I'm a bit late in posting my battle reports, but real life often gets in the way of a good time :)

I did post game 1 with pics and a link to a slideshow over on the Mongoose Forum HERE

I haven't had time to post my second Starship Troopers game yet. Here are a few pics from the second game. The Mobile Infantry had a more difficult game. There were Bugs everywhere and the Plasma Bugs game objectives were never in any real threat.

I also ran a 28mm Weird World War Two game with Victory Force miniatures. Below are some pictures from that game. I'd post more but my camera settings were off. I should spend the time to read the manual...

The Americans got shot up pretty bad by German mortars but the Germans had some unfortunate dice rolls which included their elite night fighting squad routing in the face of an American tank, and later an explosive dog caught in a mortar attack blew up causing a chain reaction in the special canine squad that resulted ina a blown up halftrack the end the Americans were flanking the Germans making their defensive line untenable.

The second game of Weird WWII didn't get run but I liked the terrain placement better:

I also had planned to run a ShockForce game on that Sunday. It was setup along with two of the eight factions I planned to use shown- JC Figures' New Eden Militia and Spriggan's Spugs with some old school 40K Zoats as mercenary allies. But sadly the game was not run due to lack of players on a Sunday morning.

So I packed up my Shockforce game and I got into an afternoon game of B5:ACtA and had a great time maneuvering 2 Whitestar ships around against 4 other players and their 2 ships each in a last player standing game. I made a non-aggression pact with another player and it came down to the two of us dueling it out in the end. My dice finally failed and my last ship was vaporized but I had a great time. Sorry no pictures of that..

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tonight's Mission and other Stuff

I'm still getting last minute items ready for the convention. Tonight I'm painting 4 Stalwart Bug Field Generators and 4 Mobile Infantry. I actually have enough Mobile Infantry but I've got more than one color scheme. Rather than mix my brown armored troopers into my green armored Roughneck platoon, I'm making up 4 new troopers to fill out that platoon. Some of my brown "veterans" will be staying home. Then I've got to sort out into containers the separate forces with their unit cards.

Ebay has been a recent boon. I've got 2 more box sets of the SST game headed my way for about $35 each with shipping. Not bad considering that works out to less than a dollar a figure, plus the rulebook and some more dice. One can never have enough 6 and 10 sided dice and black is one of my favorite die colors. I also got a good deal on the Mobile Infantry Micro Platforms set. I had already bought the weapons separate from the crew as a bits order from Mongoose last year, so I didn't really need them but I decided I wanted to have the kneeling pose variety of the gunners. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on some other auctions..

Something else I won recently were some old Prince August molds for French and British Napoleonic cannon. They were about $8 each. I plan to attempt making naval gun carriages and using the barrels from the molds to make ship guns for a scratch built 25mm pirate ship. This probably won't be until Fall. I've also got ot get my 25mm Foundry Pirates painted. And of course any number of more attractive projects could come along and scuttle the whole idea..

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Crunch time!!

This past week has flown by. I got a few more things done. Wednesday night I took a break to hand out with some gaming buddies at The Only Game in Town, aka TOGIT. I showed up early and ran a playtest of my Starship Troopers WASP platoon. It was a quick game and then everyone broke out into 1 on 1 games of Warmachine. I spent the time BS-ing with some of the other guys and before I knew it.. it was time to go home. One of my buddies gave me a nice resin Sci-fi dropship that is just perfect for some 15mm Sci-fi figures I've got. I'll showcase those in some later post when I have time to take some good pictures.

This past week I also went about laminating some unit cards for my Starship Troopers games. I might be wasting my time ultimately since the new version of the game is due out sometime August or later. They will still serve me well for the time being..

Dexcon is next weekend. That means I'm busy putting all my stuff together for the convention. I'm running 3 different types of games across 4 days so I have to plan my packing strategy. Thursday and Friday night's Weird WWII game items are for the most part already packed. I did that earlier today. I was also reviewing my SST stuff and found some things that need to be touched up or repaired. Not a big deal. I also picked up extra tote bins for some of the terrain pieces for my Bug Canyon boards. I still need to gather all my factions for the Shockforce game. All in all I think I'm on track to be ready.

I also got some painting done today. It was scenery, not miniatures. Crescent Root Studios makes awesome 25/28mm scale resin Middle Eastern buildings.

I have 4 buildings, 2 towers, and an assortment of walls and gates to use for fantasy gaming. My Blackblood Orcs and Goblins will have a nice fortified village or I can use it as a desert town for a Pulp style adventure skirmish game.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

June Accomplishments, July Plans

Well, I've got a far lot more accomplished than I thought I would in terms of painting and making terrain. Quite a bit more of Starship Troopers collection is painted now. Stuff I painted was all Starship Troopers related. What is shown are the support missile set of 2.

6 Reliant weapon platforms with 6 crews as well as the 8 Roughnecks from the CGI series.

8 female troopers, 4 Heroes of the Federation, and a CHAS unit.

15 WASP Troopers.

..and 20 Arachnid Warriors. That's 70 figures plus others I started that aren't shown.

All in all not a bad month. I really needed to get a lot of this done for the big convention game. Making a commitment to run a game is a great motivator for getting a lot of gaming projects completed.

My plans for July are just as ambition. I've already got a few things done which I'll try to share later this week. They include Mobile Infantry on quad ATVs and some alternate history WWII Germans. I have to touch up more figures that I started in June such as some Arachnid Mantis Hunters and Hopper Bugs. I'm also going to quickly paint up some Middle Eastern style village terrain from Crescent Root Studios. And I recently starting on a sculpting/conversion contest to make my likeness into a WWII figure from Victory Force. I'm a bit behind on the that. The good news is my green stuff from last year isn't all dried out.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pics from Bug Canyon Part IV

I thought I'd share some of those pictures now. This picture is another angle of the whole board.

This picture is a close up of the crackle effect on the surface.

Here is a picture with some Arachnids and Mobile Infantry to show the scale better.

I'm amazed I was able to get this terrain project completed with some time to spare. I can barely wait for the upcoming convention (Dexcon 10, 18th-22nd ). I'm running 2 games of Starship Troopers on the 21st with this terrain. It will be interesting to see how players use the channels in between the plateau elements. More on the game setup later. I do need to plan out how to safely transport it..The large 2x4 sections will fit fine in the bed of my pickup truck. I still have to requisition some large plastic tote bins for the 28 individual plateau sections. And of course there are my figures, rules, and player sheets. And I'm also running WWII skirmish games and another Scif-i skirmish game, Shockforce.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Building Bug Canyon Part III

It's been just over a week since last time I checked in. I'm essentially done with the terrain. Last weekend I completely covered the board sections in the brown basecoat. This past week I experimented with using crackle medium for a faux painting effect on the top of the terrain. I wasn't happy with the initial color I tried. It was too light and not brown enough in comparison to the basecoat. I settled on using a Rustoleum color called Nutmeg. This was brushed over the crackle medium the following evening and I really liked the effect. I also used this color to roughly drybrush the sides of the terrain. Tonight I went over the sides with the Nutmeg and also applied matte clearcoat to the crackle effect to keep it safe. Didn't get a chance to take pictures tonight. I'll be posting some more pictures soon, but here are some pictures I took earlier in the week. (The whole board before drybrushing on the top, some Roughnecks on the crackle effect on the bottom):

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Building Bug Canyon Part II

The glue was mostly dry on my terrain project, so I jumped right into the painting stage. The boards and the separate pieces were spray painted with a Krylon H2O black spray paint. Most of that was done here and there over the last few nights. Tonight I had really planned on getting more done but the rain clouds came blowing in. I hate it when the weather forecast is right about rain. I was able to get one layer of the base color brown on the tops of my rock formations. This was a standard interior flat house paint. Latex based, not enamel. A picture or two will tell the story better.

I was rushed getting all this stuff back inside before it started raining or I would have laid out the individual pieces (seen on the left) where they belong along the seams of the joined terrain boards. I'll have to take all this stuff back outside again when I start painting the sides and lower surface brown.

The picture above shows a better view of all 8 board sections. Each is 2x4. I've got 28 separate pieces to place along those seams and another 8 pieces I'm painting up to use as optional pieces for changing the configuration around in later games.

The reason I painted the top surface first is that I intend on leaving this somewhat smooth. I'll be taking this color paint and mixing in some sand texture product before I start painting the rest. When I return to the tops of these split rocks I'm going to attempt a faux painting crackle technique. So essentially I'm going to have these cracked rock formations in a crack pattern with a crackle finish. I crack myself up sometimes.. :)

My goal is to get some more paint on these boards tomorrow, but with a busy weekend coming up, Sunday afternoon is looking to be more realistic.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Building Bug Canyon Part I

My intent is to make an actual web tutorial article of this project for the following Starship Troopers fan site:
..but for now I thought I'd just share a bit of what I've been doing. As I mentioned, this is going to eventually resemble a dried out mud flat on a large scale. Imagine if all the water in an ocean or great lake rapidly evaporated away leaving a roughly level but deeply cracked surface..

So I started with a plan drawn out on pink foam.

This started out as 114 distinct sections, but I've since eliminated a few and combined others so maybe only a hundred remain.. All sections needed to be cut twice in 2" thick pink foam for a total height of 4" from the lowest ground level. That's a lot of cutting which was done by hand with an old kitchen knife and razor. I enlisted the help of some local gaming pals later in the cutting stage. One of them is also making a matching game board half the size which will have a crater hole as the dominant feature. What he's done so far looks awesome but I don't want to steal his thunder. Here are two pics of my boards with all the cut pieces. There are 28 pieces that are removable and overlap connecting board edges.

Here is a close up of the Roughnecks investigating the new game board.

You'll also notice that this is not the only construction project going on in the room..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 20th, 2007

I got a little bit of gaming stuff done today. One of my current miniature gaming passions is the Starship Troopers miniatures game by Mongoose Publishing.

Anyway..I've been hoarding figures for both the Arachnid and Human armies. Yesterday I received the support missile set for the Mobile Infantry and today I worked on getting them assembled. These are multipiece metal models and required a fair amount of fiddling around to get them assembled without gluing my fingers together.

I also started work on a large terrain board for a game I'm running at an upcoming convention. It will be 4'x16' when finished. I hope to post a few work in progress shots as work on this advances more. So far I've just been cutting a lot of pink insulation foam. The end effect I hope to achieve is a look reminiscent of a dried lake bed except that the cracks are deep and wide enough for figures to move within during the game.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Day Zero June 19th, 2007

I never thought I'd start a blog. But here I am. I hope to capture some of my RPG and miniature gaming activities here. The gaming hobby has always been a large and fun part of my life since I was in grade school. Those were the Atari days..but I was playing Dungeons and Dragons instead. More on that. I would decide to start a blog during a lightning storm..time to go..