Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tab A Goes In Slot 2.76... What?

I recently picked up the Peacekeeper from Malifaux for my rapidly growing Guild force and I was really excited to get it.  Well, at least until I opened it.

Here are all the parts that go into this mechanical beastie, a whooping twelve assorted bits and bobs and no instructions.  Well crap.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited to get this one to the table... its just going to take a little bit longer than I'd originally excepted.  On the positive side, the other three minis are all much simpler assembly so getting the rest of them to the table will be a slightly more expedient proposition.

Just a short update today but beware... All Hallows Eve is coming.  Mwah ha ha ha!!! Until next time...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Look Ma! The Carnival's In Town!

The one game of Malifaux that Spacer and I managed to squeeze in has sent both of our creative juices into overdrive.  He's dreaming up stats for a haunted manor/mad house built out of Terraclips while I've started work on some carnival wagons!  My original thought had been make these for Collete and her showgirls but I've been able to dream up another option thanks to Black Scorpion Miniatures.

Years ago I'd ordered some of the Tombstone miniatures along with the Madhatter from their Desolation Row post apoc line.  Since then two of the Tombstone minis have joined the ranks of my Witch Hunter crew as Guild Guards but I'd been hard pressed to figure out what to do with the Madhatter until I started work on the carnival wagons.

Here's a view of the front of the wagon with minis for scale.
Rather than using them for Collette I decided to make some for the Hatter's traveling emporium, a cover for a much more sinister purpose and the perfect target for a scenario in Malifaux.  The two opposing crews have to search the wagons to find the captives he is trying to lure away while keeping their opponent from doing the same.  The winner would be the one to get the captives back to their deployment zone before the game ends.  To throw another wrench into the works I'm also thinking about sticking a convict gunslinger in another wagon just to mix things up.

And the back of the same wagon to show the door.
Definitely still more work to be done to iron out the details (not to mention I need to get the wheel assemblies for the wagons as well...) but I'll be sure to post more on this once we get it to the table.  Til then I'm off to build more wagons!  Until next time...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Raising My Ork Warband; AKA Grudark Smash!

I was cruising around eBay looking at old Mage Knight minis when I stumbled across something interesting. All of their orc minis that I'd looked at in the past were from the original line so they had a kind of WoW cartoony look to them.  Nothing wrong with that IMO but the figure I found was definitely not that style.  In fact it reminded me more of the orcs from the Reaper Warlord miniature line.  Looking around I realized that it was actually from the 2.0 version of the game so I did a little more exploring.

For those of you who don't know the 2.0 Mage Knight figures are a made of a stiffer plastic than the original figs and also seem to hold their detail better as well not to mention the paint jobs are typically better.  Don't get me wrong, these are still mass produced prepainted figures so the painting is nothing to write home about but they are much better than the originals.

I was able to piece together an eight figure warband for about $20 including shipping with only a couple of repeats and even a pretty good sized warbeast which isn't half bad.  I want to rebase them onto 30mm lipped bases but I thought I'd throw up a couple pictures to show everyone what they look like "out of the box" as it were.

First up are the grunts of the band, two marauders on the left and two hunters on the right.

This should give the group a nice mix of ranged and melee.

Next are the three personalities for the band, a warrior in light armor on the left, another in heavy armor on the right, and a blood shaman in the center.

Unfortunately both of the warriors are equipped with spears so I might do a weapon swap on the heavier armored one to make him more of a melee monster.  This shouldn't be too hard to do but it will definitely require me digging around in the old bits box... well, first I need to dig out the bits box before I can dig in it but you get the idea.

And finally here is the warbeast to round out the band.

I have no idea what this thing is supposed to be but I wouldn't want to run into it in a dark alley that's for sure.  Oh and to give you an idea of the size, here is the warbeast and a marauder next to a wizard from the Reaper line.

Not the best angle to see the height but it should give you an idea of how they match up.

As you can see the paint jobs are not that bad considering they are just a bunch of prepaints.  I know I can do better but if you are looking for some figs you can just swap the bases on and run with these really aren't a bad option.

Overall I'm really happy with all of them and I'm looking forward to getting them to the table and giving them a run.  Heck, maybe I'll do an orc vs. goblin battle just to mix things up!  After all, those poor little gobbos are just too much fun to beat up.  That's it for now but more Malifaux is coming... next week.  Until next time...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Further Proof That Skype Can Cause Sanity Loss

While listening to the Miskatonic University Podcast they mentioned an actual play 'cast that they were listening to that they were all enjoying.  Always interested in listening on other peoples games I decided to give them a try.  Fifteen episodes later and numerous sanity blasting feedback loops later its time to listen in on...

Focus: Call of Cthulhu rules actual play
Audio Quality: Four barbers out of five... except when Skype explodes
Content Quality: Four and a half G-men out of five
Average Length: from an hour and a half to just over three hours
Release Schedule:

If you ask gamers to describe Call of Cthulhu I think one of the common themes would be "that game where everyone dies or goes crazy in the end" and perhaps rightly so.  CoC can be a brutal game and character mortality is a major factor.  A few good shots/punches/claws to the face, and you'll be rolling up a new character while the rest of the group runs for their lives.

That said you might be surprised to hear that I've listened to the first three adventures the guys at Skype of Cthulhu recorded and... are you ready for it?  They are still using the same characters!  Now if that's not sanity blasting on a whole new level then I don't know what is!  The great thing is that its not because the keeper is pulling any punches.  Instead it is a combination of some crazy luck (such as fighting off a Deep Ones with hands and feet tied...) and the stubborn tenacity of the players that has kept these characters alive.  The keeper has also introduced almost an X-Files aspect to the game as there have been two occasions when the men in black have made an appearance which is a really interesting touch.

The only downside so far has been the aforementioned Skype explosions.  Over the course of the first fourteen episodes there are several times when feedback noise will blast over the game.  The worst ones are edited out and the group does a great job pressing on in spite of them but it can be a little distracting to say the least.  Thankfully it seems like they have solved the problem as of episode 15 so hopefully its smooth sailing from then on but even with this distraction I really recommend giving them a try as it really shines a new light on the concept of an ongoing campaign in Call of Cthulhu without repeated character generation.  Until next time...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Time To Go Into The Breach!

Wow, guess it helps to actually hit the "Publish" button when you finish typing.  Whoopsy!  Combination of too much work and vacation have apparently warped my brain more than normal.  Ah well, here's yesterday's post today.  Enjoy!

Today Spacer and I were finally able to get Malifaux to the table!  It took months to get it there but I think it was well worth the wait as we both had a really good time.

For our intro game we went with a 20 soul stone limit to keep things simple. I fielded Sonnia Criid supported by Samael Hopkins, a witchling, and a convict gunslinger while Spacer had Lilith, a mature nephilim, and three terror tots.  There was definitely a lot of page turning as we worked our way through the mechanics but after a couple of turns it was really clicking for both of us.  Unfortunately there are no pictures but next time I definitely plan on doing the session justice with a full battle report.

Even though we literally fought our way to a stalemate (we each managed to score a whooping two victory points!) we both had a lot fun and are looking forward to getting it back to the table again.  In fact I'm already looking at expanding my collection to try out more of the options that are out there which seems to be something this game really lends itself to.  Unlike more massive games like 40k which require you to invest at least a couple hundred dollars just to get the core units of an army, it really seems like Malifaux can be played with just a starter and still give you some options to play with.  Add in another starter or two and you can just start mixing and matching to really explore the possibilities your faction has to offer.

Now I just need to pick up the new rulebooks so I can figure out how to beat Collette and her showgirls, plus get Perdita and her family ready to go.  More on that and my "new" recycled orc Song of Blades and Heroes warband later though.  Until next time...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's Kind Of Like Training Wheels For Tentacles!

I've never actually played in a Call of Cthulhu game but I'm always on the look out for podcasts about it.  Perhaps that doesn't make too much sense but we are talking about Cthulhu here.  While trolling for some new podcasts to listen to I happened upon this esteemed learning institute and decided to give it a listen.  Everyone sit down and prepare to enroll in...
Focus: Call of Cthulhu rules discussion with some AP sprinkled in there as well
Audio Quality: Four mad cultists out of five
Content Quality: Four raving lunatics out of five for fresh faced investigators, three for the grizzled veterans
Average Length: roughly an hour and a half though it does very quite a bit
Release Schedule: weekly to biweekly depending on the stars

Unlike most of the other podcasts I've listened to, Miskatonic University Podcast has taken a different approach by focusing on breaking down and explaining the rules of the game instead of just general game discussion.  From character creation to combat to magic and beyond, this podcast has touched on all of them.  In addition they also have some actual play recordings which give you a view of the mechanics in action though I must admit that there are more entertaining listens out there.  This makes the MU Podcast a great resource for new players but I think it might limit its appeal to more experienced keepers.  They do still have other segments that might interest veterans but a majority of the recording so far have been taken up by the rules discussion itself.

One of the downsides that I see to this format is that Chaosium is playtesting the 7th edition of the rules which sounds like it will have some of the first major changes to the rules in 6 editions.  This makes me wonder if the MU Podcast will repeat this process when the game releases in 2013.  Then again the 7th edition is probably a year away so there is plenty of time before they have to cross that hurdle.  Then there is the fact that the book only contains so much information which makes me wonder what they will focus on in the future but I'm sure these guys have something up their sleeves.

Overall, if you are interested in learning more about the world created by Lovecraft and his peers I think that the Miskatonic University Podcast is worth giving a listen and even if you're already familiar with it you never know what else you might learn.  Until next time...