Thursday, February 7, 2019

Of Armies and Hordes

Recently, I have dusted off my game credentials and renewed writing, editing and consulting for various game companies. My projects span various genres. In addition, I have been encouraged to republish several rules sets...stay tuned.

Andrea Sfiligoi of Ganesha Games has written Of Armies and Hordes. I was privileged to involved in the editing of these new rules. Of Armies and Hordes is an outgrowth of the excellent Song of Blades and Heroes game system. I've kept mum about the rules. The publishing date is imminent. As we get closer, I will provide more detail. I can say they  are an area movement system that is exceedingly flexible and provide for either one-off large battles or entire integrated campaigns with minimal record keeping.

Andrea has allowed me to post the front cover artwork.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This Week in Wargaming

From 2008 until 2015, I wrote a weekly update on new releases, gaming tips and various other wargaming related topics. It became a PDF newsletter called "This Week in Wargaming" which had a large subscriber list with issues being sent out to individual emails, and posted on various sites. The newsletter had actually been an outgrowth of a weekly update email sent to friends seerving abroad and with limited communications. Overtime, it morphed into a PDF.  The BLOG also grew out as some subscribers indicated a prference for reading a BLOG or receiving an email update about the BLOG. There was much overlap. The following spanned across the hobby and the population of wargaming and was quite extensive.

Later, I stopped running the newsletter and the BLOG as other elements of life intervened.

Now, I am considering bringing back the newsletter. If you were a subscriber or would be interested in the same, please drop me a line and let me know your thoughts...

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fanticide Revisited, Evil Bob's Figure Painting and Express service...

Image result for fanticide miniatures

Throughout the craziness of my life, I added a move...

Fanticide the game was a collaboration between Rick Priestly, Alessio Cavatore, E. Skye Chaney and Ernest Baker. Now, long out of print and defunct, like a Creep it lurks in my collection waiting to leap out into the light and deliver a bite!!!

My teenage son, a former wargamer, stumbled across the Fanticide rule book in the process of moving. Surprisingly, he expressed an interest in playing a game. Imagine my shock and pleasure...

The game was written in 2012 and is a large 
skirmish game for battles between opposing homicidal warbands. It is very whimsical but also quite grim and does have some PG-13 elements. The system is a card driven sequence including random events. As it's card driven and not I-GO-U-GO, command & control choices for determining what units can move and act keep the players engaged throughout. A card is assigned to each unit, character and monster in the game and also includes random events which produce random outcomes like killer unicorns enraged by the ‘Rainbow’ Event. While not a mass battle game it is also not a skirmish game. The "typical" battle is 30 to 40 figures per side.

The universe is friendly to all miniatures and genres. There are very clear guidelines for building four of the Fanticide specific war bands with some guidance for use of any figures including SciFi and Historical collections. The four starting bands were the Liberi (Native American themed centaurs), The Fae (Faeries and Forest creatures), Creeps (a bizarre race of skin eating Cylops that run from the very small to the terrifying grotesque), and Flying Monkeys (think of Wizard of Oz with guns and dung bombs).

Is there a downside?
Although open to inclusion of any genre of figures, there is no large list of special abilities with balanced point costs. I am not a fan of points based games; but, some guidance would have been nice. You will have to make things up and balance them yourself to add something not covered. We plan to play it a bunch... in the mean time.  I do suspect to ultimately end up back playing the excellent go-to fantasy rules for me: Dragon Rampant for the large skirmishes; and, Song of Blades and Heroes for the smaller skirmishes.

Where to get the rules and figures?
Architects of War created the game under its Alien Dungeon line.  Unfortunately the company is no longer. I am told that many of the figures they used were made by other manufacturers like Eureka so you can still find them. Sadly, the pieces they made specifically for their game are gone. Evil Bob tells me purchaser of the liquidation  did not save all of the molds so some are now lost. Let's hope the the others may resurface some day. The figures and terrain were all sculpted by Mike Broadbent, Alan Marsh, Paul Clarke, and Ernest Baker

Here is a list of 28mm manufacturers that might provide some forces:

Where to get the rules? and Noble Knight Games all have copies. At time of publishing, there were twelve or more copies available. Make sure you get the cards with the rules.

What does a force look like?
If you can't find the time to paint, then you can always hire from the list of painters I have used: Battledress StudiosEvil BobGlenbrook Games or Stan Johansen. All are excellent!

I have been sorting out the Fanticide collection from my unpainted and painter figures. I do not seem to be able to find the time to paint; thus, I asked Evil Bob to paint my Fae army. He agreed as an experiment to cycle it into his New and VERY popular Express service. You can see all of the pictures and read his post at his BLOG.

Enough are images of a recently completed Fae army and a few extras by 
Evil Bob for the game Fanticide:

Satyr Legend and Unicorn
The Satyr legend may appear at battle and are stronger, faster and quite a threat on the battlefields
The unicorn is NOT part of the Fae army and are a much feared, deadly and CARNIVOROUS random event which disrupt and otherwise ordered(?) battle.

Satyr Infantry & Satyr Master with club.
The most common types are shootists (missile troops) and stickers (spears). Additionally, a much tougher type (Female Thumper--which I do not yet have a unit of figures...yet) can be added if the army has Sprytes who are required to urge them to come forth from the forests and do battle.

A Spryte Swarm which can be used as swarms or to attach to units to provide magical defense. They do have a soul-searing scream which can cause insanity. Sometimes hidden in the swarm is a Spryte Master that have magic and are destined to become a May Queen or Faery.

Brownie Heroes on snails (heavy cavalry?!?) and Heroes on squirrels and Swarms can be a nasty force to overwhelm much larger opponents.

Forest Fathers and Bogies are large immensely strong tree spirits which can be infested with Sprytes to give them magic resistance.

Dryads which are not part of the Fae army, nor do they appear in the book. I will have to stat them up or possibly use them as a "counts-as" the very rare and tough female Satyr unit.

Fungal Herd is not actually part of the Fae army. They shoot spores and feast upon dead flesh. Only the Creeps are immune.

Lastly, the Iron Wind Kickstarter has plenty of figures usable in the Fanticide universe. and is closing soon...check it out.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Iron Wind Metals Kickstarter

The Iron Wind Kickstarter that has plenty of figures usable in the many Fantasy universes including their own of Chaos WarsNaturally, there are many options. I have only borrowed the images for the three different Battalion Deals as the most versatile. Iron Wind's Chaos Wars is a mass battle game and you will need to scale your forces upwards from the Battalion Deal. If you play the large skirmish games like Fanticide or Dragon Rampant, the Battalion Deal covers you with variants. Naturally, you can buy much lesser and inexpensive groupings for RPG and small skirmish games like Ganesha's Song of Blades and Heroes or Four Against the Darkness. Check out the Kickstarter as it closes soon.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blade Runner...the interlude

Blade Runner 2049 is finally out in the theaters. Try as I might, I have yet been able to see the movie. Wandering around the internet and avoiding the spoilers, I encountered three YouTube videos that are official content. The content fills in the missing years between Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. I encourage you to give them a viewing, especially if you have not seen the new movie.

2022: Black Out

Without spoilers, The First Interlude occurs in 2022 and provides background on the Great Blackout, replicants and the Tyrell Corporation. Watch above or click here on the link Black Out: 2022.

2036: Nexus Dawn

Again without spoilers, this second of three Interludes is set in 2036 to further build background on the Nexus Corporation, its founder and the state of replicant technology. Watch above or click here on the link 2036 Nexus Dawn.

2048: Nowhere to Run

The third and final of the official Interludes takes place one year before the new movie. Watch and  or click here on the link 2048: Nowhere to Run.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Human Interface: Nakamura Tower, Scenario One

The Human Interface: Nakamura Tower, Scenario One (Infecting the Nakamura Network):

My buddy Bret came over on Saturday. A long time fan of the cyberpunk genre, he convinced me to play the first scenario. I was a bit uncertain as the figures are not finished but definitely wargame standard finished. I also have plans to base them on the clear acrylic bases...Bret was persuasive. We rolled out the first scenario which is the start of the eighteen game campaign.

Harvey Scott, muscle and the hacker Tomo Kosuda of the Ubermensch gang were hired for a mission of industrial espionage against the Nakamura Corporation. The scenario starts when they infiltrate into a secret lab complex deep within the Nakamura Tower. They had been tasked with hacking and inserting an experimental virus into the Intranet of the building. Tomo tried to hack in remotely but was unable. The game starts when the two have located a schematics and location of a server tower where Tomo can jack directly into the system and upload the virus. 

Turn One:
Tomo slipped down the corridor masking his presence with a commercial level "Ninja"neural chip. As Harvey stepped into the hall way, security drones engaged. Harvey avoided gunfire and prepared to engage with an AMM Needle Knife.
Turn Two:
Tomo located the Server Tower and waited for an all clear from Harvey. Harvey danced around some drones skillfully slicing them to ribbons. It seemed as fast as he eliminated drones, more would advance down the corridor attempting to block access to the Server Tower. Harvey took some slight damage to his cybernetically enhanced legs from Drone gunfire. 

Turn Three:
Tomo jacked directly into the server and promptly hacked the terminal. He overwhelmed the defensive programs with a Chisel 3 Worm boosted by a Kinga 6 procedure. The experimental virus was uploaded and the AI began flashing codes across security screens: 
Code 24 Network Safety Compromised
Code 44 Terrorist Attack 
Code 66: Virus Attack 

As the system glitched, Harvey finished off the drones. Alarms and flashing lights...

Harvey and Tomo infiltrated further into the building for their second the AI system became unstable and then shrugged off its controls becoming self aware.



Scenario Two should follow pits the Nakamura CEO's assistant and bodyguard against the rising AI. They must  attempt to determine the extent of the threat and halt the nascent threat of an unrestrained and armed AI...

Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Human Interface: Nakamura Tower are finely cast figures. Their proportions are scale accurate making for normal size faces and hands. I don't paint with a magnifier. Painting actual scale figures is a challenge after years of painting the "typical" wargaming figures. They definitely require much more blending, washes and even black lining.

Additionally, the imagery from the game has lots of white clothing, probably silks and cottons. White is challenge to paint correctly. I start my white with either a light brown or a light blue, depending on what the white clothing is designed to replicate and whether the figure is supposed to be "warm" or "cold" in its presentation. Typically, that means about five to seven layers applied very thinly to get the white to look like something more than white paint.

Cyberpunk...cold. Cotton fabrics in the modern world...light blue. This collection has me starting my white with Game Colors' Glacier Blue blending up to MSP's Ghost White and on to Vallejo's white and finally highlights of GC's Dead White. Hopefully, when it is complete, it will look good.

As I have progressed, I found the HI:NT fine detail requires black-lining, inking, blending, etcetera. Even the metal has required extra work to make the fine detail visible. I used to paint for money. I don't think painting these would be a money maker. They require serious work beyond what I prefer. In addition, painting them is more like work than I prefer...this is my hobby, after all.

Either way, the nine figures are well under way with Tomo Kosuda closest to completion...I thought it looked good until I enlarged the photograph.  It's OK; but, Tomo needs some clean-up. I've also tried to add texture to the white of Tom's pullover--it looked like a rough cotton and it looked too smooth.

You be the judge...I hope he will look better with some clean-up and a Litko Acrylic base. I'll try to find the time to get them done sooner.

As for the others, they look too rough to post singly: