Sunday, 22 May 2016

Phoenix Industries Science Station Alpha Six

Its taken me three months of this and virtually nothing else but my Forward Base Kickstarter is finally approaching completion.  The buildings are mostly done,  with just a few final adjustments to be made and a few touch ups, but I now have 5 nicely detailed buildings in s ready enough state to hit the table.

All in all I am reasonably happy.  There was a lot of work in those seven buildings, as there are a load of additional resin pieces that need painted and then stuck on.  These pieces all help though as they looks more like buildings and less like MDF boxes.

One thing it has highlighted is my lack of skills as a model maker, as there a fair few mistakes made by me during the construction.  I had it pretty down by the 6th and 7th buildings but the early ones are a bit of a mess. Good enough for the table but not quite as good as I would have liked.  The thing I like the most about these buildings are the detailed interiors.  There are full sets of panels that fit nicely inside, hiding all the internal joins from the MDF. Furniture also helps to add an extra dimension, especially in the case of the Science Centre and Medical Centre as these have some very nice lab and medical equipment inside them.

I still have a bit of work to do to finish up a few of the buildings, and there are still the extras to paint and the vehicles but I am a bit burnt out on this at the moment and will revisit them at a later date.

How was the experience of painting and assembling these?  Pretty time consuming to be honest. Thank goodness I have an airbrush as I don't even want to think about how long it would have taken me to do this without it!  Anteniciti have been very helpful throughout this process with great assistance with missing parts, as inevitably with the hundreds of pieces involved there will be some mistakes, but they always sent replacements nice and promptly.  They will look good on the table, especially when all the vehicles and additional scatter have been added to make it look like a working environment.

I originally bought these to use with my Aliens vs Predator kickstarter, and they scale very well with them, but they are generic enough to get used in most sci-fi settings, they may even get used for Infinity at some point.  I also hope in the future when the kickstarter is delivered that the individual components will be made available for retail, as I would like to get my hands on a pile of the external fittings to use with other buildings, but for now I am more than happy with what  have and hope that Anteniciti is not put off by this kickstarter and goes on to do some more.

All I need now are some civilian scientists to man/be rescued/eaten by Aliens...

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Mordheim, Season3 Game 1

Our third Mordheim campaign kicked off this week, and I was very happy to be returning to one of my favourite games.

This time we had seven players signed up, with 6 attending the opening game.  Following on from the last campaign, where the evil Necromancer Alex managed to evade our warbands as we all destroyed each a new set of "heroes" are now hell bent on bringing him down.

We had a good spread of warbands this time round, including:

Skaven Warphunters
Marienburg Mercenaries
Dwarf Treasure Hunters
Protectorate of Sigmar

and I had brought my Undead.
Ghouls and Dregs watch as the Vampire races ahead.

Loads of Marienburgers!

The scenario was a straight token grab, but as usual with Rory's games there was a narrative twist. We were all searching a recently raided town for the body of a witch.  One of the treasures that we collected would turn out to be what we were looking for, determined randomly at the end of the game. In addition to this there were some flagellants wandering in the area, with a number being on the table at the start of the game and also each player having a chance for one to enter the table from their deployment zone every odd numbered turn.

Deployment was random, with the Skaven and Marienburgers both deployed on one edge of the table, the Protectorate of Sigmar (PoS from now on!) and Dwarfs on the opposite short edge with myself and the Witchhunters opposing each other along the long table edge.

Early game saw some moving about as I cautiously moved into the centre of the table trying to collect as many treasure tokens as possible. On my left the Skaven and Marienburgers pretty much got straight down to business and started fighting each other from turn 2, with the Dwarfs and Witchhunters doing the same on the other side of the table.  The PoS moved up the centre also, trying to pick off any opponents using their long bowmen. 

Mid game and both the Skaven and Marienburgers had reached their break point, but miraculously neither gave any ground as they both passed multiple break tests.  The Witchhunters discovered that while there were not to many dwarfs on the table they were all very tough and started to rack up the casualties. 
PoS on the advance

In the centre I cautiously advanced through the ruins, managing to kill a wandering flagellant and pick up a third treasure token before advancing towards the PoS.  The PoS were still moving towards my Undead, while trying to take out some of the Witchhunters as well.  

Late game and the Marienburgers finally failed a break test, leaving the field, and the Skaven decided to follow suit in their turn having managed to secure a treasure token.   The Witchhunters were down to their last man and finally gave up and fled, but not before reducing the dwarfs to their break point, who dully failed their break test and also left the field.

In the centre after an early charge from the Dire Wolf my Undead got stuck in to the PoS, and generally had the better of it, thanks mainly to failed fear tests from the enemy.  Rory saw that things were beginning to turn against him and decided to quit the field leaving the Vampire lord and his minions victorious.
Undead Wolf (played with great skill by a beasthound) leads the charge into the PoS

The Undead lurk in an alley, waiting for the moment to charge.

There are a lot of dogs in warbands this year, resulting in a big dogfight in the middle of the table.

So game 1 and a victory for my undead, including a hefty treasure haul and no casualties so a pretty good start to the campaign.  I dot think any warbands suffered too badly apart from the Skaven, who lost their sorcerer and Witchhunters who suffered some pretty grievous wounds.

The game was basically three smaller games played out on a large table, with everyone pairing off and fighting it out, and two of the pairings ending in a stalemate as both warbands went out of the game. Rory and I were the last two standing mainly because we were a bit further apart and were more cautious in our advance meaning that we came to blows much later in the game, so more down to lucky deployment and procrastination than any real skill.  One thing I would note is that once again my main character, the vampire Lord proved useless ad failed to do much of anything despite easily being the most powerful character on the board. I hope this does not set a precedent fro the campaign as a whole as without him preforming it is going to be an uphill struggle for my Undead, especially against those Dwarfs.

A good start to the campaign, with everyone staying on the table for a good five turns or so, with the 2nd instalment to follow in a month or so.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Its Another Bug Hunt

Aliens is a favourite movie of mine, as are the Predator movies. Unfortunately the Aliens vs Predator movies turned out to be rubbish, not a patch on the comics.

I went for the Prodos Games Aliens vs Predator kickstarter in a big way, certainly enough to make some interesting three way games.  I am lucky and have received most of my pledge, and am just waiting on some Predator's, Marines and the wargame rules.   

We have had one try out of the rules so far, which while hardly balanced or logical turned out to be a lot of fun if approached in the right frame of mind.  The one thing that spoiled it first time our was the lack of paint on the models.  We had a second game recently, with painted models but they were not based properly as I could not decide how to do it. 

I finally made a decision and went for clear Perspex discs for all my AVP models.  This would allow me to use on any surface without worrying about them looking odd or out of place.  If I had opted to base them to match the boardgame tiles, perhaps using the bases available from Fenris Games then they would have looked out of place when used on the wargames table. If I had opted to go for my usual sand and flock then they would looked really odd when used in the boardgame, so clear discs it had to be.   These are available cheaply enough from E-bay.  

So far I have only painted up one boxed games worth of models, so that is 5 marines, 3 Predators and 15 Aliens.  I have a bit more than that and this will probably be my big project for this year, as the Anteniciti's Workshop Forward Base is also going to be used mainly for this, although probably with Infinity and Urban War as well.

As to the boardgame itself?  We have played it twice now, with a good report on the second game here. Both times extreme luck has had an unexpected effect on the battle.  The first time it was the Predator's inability to make any saving throws, causing them to lose the game pretty quickly. The second time the Predator's did not fail a single armour save for the whole game, making it a complete cake walk for them so some more testing is required.

So far everyone playing the game has not taken it too seriously and rolled with the punches and still had a good time. If you want a tightly ruled and balanced game them this is definitely not for you, but if you want to have some fun with some lovely looking miniatures then it is a good laugh. 

I think I will play through all the basic missions in the main rulebook as they are written, and then start looking at the advanced rules and including some of the more juicier pieces, especially for the Aliens as it would be great fun to see the look on everyone's faces when a Queen or Predalien is put on the board.

I am also very interested to see what they do with the wargame rules.

As for the Kickstarter?  I think it has been badly handled, with a company that makes excellent miniatures but isn't project managed terribly well.  There is a lot of vitriol written about Prodos on various web forums, but I don't think they set out to make a mess of this (of course not, who would?) but I think they underestimated the amount of work involved by getting involved with a major IP licence with a company that will aggressively defend it. Having said that there are a lot of people still waiting on their games, so I can sort of understand their annoyance at them.

Regarldless of the background problems, the game is a lovely (if that is the right word to describe a game including Aliens and Predators!) package and I still think that I will eventually receive all my items.