Saturday, August 28, 2010

Workbench: Whispers from Below

Hey everyone and welcome to a deep edition of the Dispatch!

For this one, we are going to stay at the Workbench as we take a look at the next warband for SOBH but I gotta be honest; this one's a little shorter. Yep, I cheated this time. But enough with the talking, read on to find out more... and try not to get too claustrophobic.

It Looked So Cute... At Least Until It Opened Its Mouth!
"Building" Another Warband For Song of Blades and Heroes

For this warband, I decided that it was time to dig deep. Real deep. As in to the bowels of Hell itself... at least so they say in the fluff for Claustrophobia. What? You've never heard of Claustrophobia? No worries, I'll be sure to get to that one in the future but for now let's take a look at how I made use of some of the minis from that game to "make" my second warband.

As was the case with some of my Wolfen, the minis in Claustrophobia are also pre-painted but this time I decided not to re-paint them (at least not yet anyway...) .The quality is similar to that of the Wolfen and I kind of like how most of them look anyway. Sure, I could give them more detail, but they'll work for now. First up is the troglodyte, which will be the minor minion munchkin for this warband.

These little guys are pretty weak by comparison but they make up for that weakness by their sheer numbers. And pointy teeth. Then again, they are facing off against the Wolfen which stand taller than a human, never mind these little guys. Looks like they might need some back up.

This is their "big brother", there to guide them through the trials and tribulations of life... and rip their heads off if all else fails. From a mechanics point of view, I made this guy a little over the top compared to what the rules recommend, but considering how weak the trogs are (and since he is supposed to be some kind of demon) I think it will all balance out in the end.

And there is the warhand! Okay, maybe not the whole warband as they still have some points left over but it's enough to put them on the table against my Wolfen warband for now. And that, my friends, will be in the next Dispatch!

The Parting Shot

As always, thanks for checking out the blog and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to either leave them right here on the blog or you can email me at I hope you enjoyed checking out the workbench and be sure to come back again. Until then, remember that if you can't change the rules, then it's time to ignore them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Workbench: Songs of the Wolf Pack

Hey everyone and welcome to another howling edition of the Dispatch!

For this one we are going to take a break from the Noise and look at the Workbench to check out one of the projects I have been working on. I recently heard of Songs of Blades and Heroes and decided to pick up the basic rules to give them a once over. All and all, it seems to be a nice and quick little fantasy skirmish game. While they are simple enough to keep the game moving at a good pace, they also seem to have enough variety to keep things interesting I haven't actually played it yet but I've mentioned it to a couple of my friends and they are interested in checking it out so I decided to make a few small warbands for us to push around. But enough talk! Let's get a little feral as we head on over to the Workbench to take a look at the first warband, the Wolfen of the Black Thorn Forest.

The Hills Are Alive With The Howls of Wolves...
Building A Warband For Song Of Blades and Heroes

For my first Songs of Blades and Heros warband (or SOBH for short) I decided to make use of some of my old Rackham minis that I have lying around. Mind you I don't have too many of these but amongst them were some Wolfen figures and this seemed like a great reason to finally paint them. Or actually re-paint them in a few of the cases.

First up were the hunters. These started their lives as pre-painted hunters for Confrontation. In my opinion, these are really not bad miniatures. The paint job is not the best that Rackham has done but if you are looking for something that you can set down on the table and play they fit the bill nicely. In my case I'm looking for something a little more, especially since a couple of my figures are the original metal figs. Call me a perfectionist but I would rather have the same style paint job throughout than some mix and match. Thankfully this is easy enough to achieve with a just a little black primer and away we go!

Wait a minute! Hold the primer! What's that on their backs? Where did those things come from? Those are actually taken from a couple of Trollblood Impalers that I happen to have lying around. I love the idea of these Wolfen having these giant spears to throw but only one? Really? What do they do, play fetch with it before they can shoot again? Instead, I attached a pack of spears to the back of each so they'll have plenty of ammo. The spears are slightly different but close enough to pass casual inspection so that works for me.

Here are my two hunters sporting their brand new paint schemes.

Next up are my two Wolfen warriors. These are from the original metal range so they are a little harder to find today but thankfully I had them stashed away for a rainy day.

The poses are much more dynamic than the plastics but that works for me. Instead of just making these guys plain old warriors, I decided that they will each different pack leader so I can expand to another warband in the future. In fact, with that in mind I've only painted up one of the two for now.

Now I just need to work on a better set-up for taking close up pictures of my minis. Battle reports I think I have a hand on but the up close ones not so much. You get the idea at least.

Now I just need to get some regular warriors to bulk out the ranks and I'll be good to go. For this, I am going to head back to the plastics range as you can find them dirt cheap if you look around. I had originally thought about getting the Great Fangs as I like the look of the figures with the two blades but since I decided to use my metal minis as characters, I going to get some of the regular fangs instead. This will make them look a little more plain in comparison which is alright in my book. They are supposed to be the grunts after all, not elite warriors like the two characters. Now I just need to order a box of them and I'll be all set...

The good news is that just the two hunters and the warrior give me enough to try pushing them around to see just how the rules play out once I get my second warband together. Be sure to check back next week to see what I dug up for that one!

The Parting Shot

As always, thanks for checking out the blog and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to either leave them right here on the blog or you can email me at I hope you enjoyed checking out the workbench and be sure to come back again. Until then, remember that if you can't win, it's time to change the rules.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Audio Noise: Footwear of Terror

Hey everyone and welcome to terrifying installment of Audio Noise that you're sure to get a kick out of.

For this segment, we are going to look at one of the most established RPG podcasts out there. How do I figure? Well, when you've hosted your own con for three years running you have to figure the guys are doing something right. I'm talking about none other than...

Fear The Boot

Focus: Role-playing topics of all kinds
Audio Quality: four out of five well polished boots
Content Quality: four and a half out of five well polished boots
Average Length: Roughly one hour
Language: Mild compared to some.

There are a number of different role-playing podcasts that I listen to but Fear the Boot is definitely one of the best. Taking a more serious bent then most, these guys try to look at a different aspect of the role playing hobby each week producing not only an entertaining show but also an informative one as well. They have even taken it a step further by addressing the issue of gamer health, a topic that definitely should not to be taken lightly.

We as gamers tend to grab whatever we can get our hands on to munch on while we play our games. From chips to candy to burgers and more, quick and convenient tends to be the order of the day. In episodes 180 and 181, they take a look at things you can do individually and as a gaming group to help those of us looking to improve our quality of life just a little bit. Honestly, even if you aren't interested in role playing games I recommend checking out at least these two episodes.

As for the rest of the podcast, it is definitely worth giving it a listen. These guys have lots of great advise to help you improve your role-playing experience and deal with many different things that you might encounter around the table. They also have an extensive website and a very well established forum community if you are looking for something more. How well established you wonder? As I mentioned before, they have hosted their own con for three years running and they still have plans for more so get over there and check them out! It will definitely be worth your time.

The Parting Shot

As always, thanks for checking out the blog and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to either leave them right here on the blog or you can email me at I hope you enjoyed this bit of noise and be sure to come back again. Until then, remember when you are given a choice, take both.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Audio Noise: What does it mean?!? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!?

Hello everyone and welcome to a definitive installment of the Dispatch!

For this one, we are going to do something a little different as we take a look at just what it all means. Life. The Universe. EVERYTHING!!! Or at least all the little comments I put into Audio Noise. I think that most of them are pretty straight-forward but I thought I'd take this moment to run through it for clarity's sake.

Defining The Noise

Intro and Cover Art: There's no point in talking about something if you don't say what it is which is what this part is all about. Expect a brief introduction, a link to the podcast, and (usually) a pretty picture so that you can see who's in the spotlight this week.

Focus: Every podcast is about something. Well, in theory at least. Some of them do get pretty broad but I try to cover the highlights here so that you know what you are getting into.

Audio Quality: This is just what the name says but what does it really mean? Honestly, I think that most podcasts that you find today have very good audio quality. There are some exceptions but they are pretty far between. This does not take any random noise into account (dice rolling, belching, other various and myriad noises that you find on the net) but just the overall quality of the recording. Needless to say most reviews will score high here because it's almost a gimme.

Content Quality: While the Audio Quality is pretty easy to define, Content is not so much as it is much more subjective. I generally try to look at how engaging the 'cast is. If they keep my interest and enjoyable to listen to, then they will score high. If I find myself wanting to yell at my iPod in the mad hope that the idiots on the other side can hear me telling them to stop tapping on the damn table... well, then not so high. Not very scientific I know but as long as I can convey a general idea of the quality it works for me.

Average Length: Think this one explains itself but keep in mind that this is just the average. Some might be longer, others shorter, but I try to give you some kind of an idea what to expect.

Language: Virtually all the podcasts that I listen to are marked as explicit. I live in the real world and people swear there, it's as simple as that. What I try to do is give you an idea how extreme they get. Most of them are pretty average but there are some that go to extremes and I try to point these out. As they say, forewarned is forearmed.

Detailed review: This is the meat of the review where we look at anything more specific that caught my eye about the podcast, be they good or bad. If there are specific good things, I try to highlight them and why they're good. If there are bad things, well I try to do the same. Too many people on the internet like to scream "This is bullshit!" without explaining why. How you're supposed to learn from that I'll never know which is why I try not to do that. Then again you should also keep in mind that these are only the things that I like and don't like. Maybe you don't like to listen to things that are interesting. Heck, maybe you can't think of anything better to do then listen to some random person belch into a microphone. If that's what floats your boat, more power to you... just keep your boat over there, okay?

The Parting Shot

And there you have it! This is what the Noise is all about. Hopefully this clears up any confusion but if not, feel free to either leave a comment here on the blog or send me an email to Also, if you have something that you are enjoying listening to, be sure to pass on the good word. I'm always looking for more audio goodness out there. Next week, we'll be getting back to the actual Noise but until then remember: when you're given a choice, take both!