This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Last week, Doug and I had a great game of Pulp Alley. Our game was set in the Pirates setting.
The games table was set up with none Terra-Former blocks representing a country road and fields running in front of some cliffs that concealed some linked caverns with an underground river where it was believed that Blackbeards secret treasure haul was hidden.
We decided that the underground river including the bridge were perilous areas, together with the rocky areas outside that were infested with rattle snakes. The brown bear and the wolf were moving perilous areas. Each turn we rolled a D12 for direction and a D6 for distance.
Doug's league was lead by the infamous pirate captain, 'Black Bellamy' assisted by his trusty sidekick, the one legged 'Jezebel Jake' and a rum bunch of scurvy sea dogs.
Captain Henry Avery headed up my league, backed up with his sidekick Guybrush Threpwood, Usop, Nammi, Malgo, and the cabin boy John Merrick.
Black Bellamy sends Lofty Lamora and Sanji off right flanking to climb the hill, putting the cliff between them and the angry brown bear.
Black Bellamy heads straigh for the place marked on his treasure map where he believes the first clue will be hidden.
Captain Henry Avery fires the first shot of the engagment, with his trusty flintlock pistol. Mulligan falls to the ground, down and out. As our game is set firmly in the black powder era, we used the optional rule for re-loading, which basically means that re-loading is an action, and you can not fire again until you have reloaded.
Black Bellamy searches for the first clue, overcomes the peril but only has partial success overcoming the plot point challenge.
Lofty Lamora and Sanji find a cave entrance and head underground.
The brown bear starts heading west towards Captain Avery's merry men.
Lofty Lamora and Sanji move further underground.
Around Black Bellamy his loyal crew see off opponents who are atempting to muscle in on the action. Franky Finn (pirate on the right with tricorne and blue jacket) is particularly deadly with a black powder handgun!
Meanwhile Lofty Lamora and Sanji find another chest underground but unlocking it is to much of a challenge for them.
Hunting for the first clue takes Guybrush far to long! When we rolled for scenario events, extremly perilous was selected. This made all perils, extreme perils, so we spent as much time fighting the dangerous enviroment as fighting each other!
However, the melee continues around Black Bellamy, with Jezebel Jake going down.
In a break in the combat, Frankie Finn gets to re-load and get another shot off. Habing to take an action to re-load really makes you think about when to fire and when to just dodge out of the way.
After solving the first clue, Guybrush can not believe his luck when both the bear and the wolf get his scent and move rapidly towards him.
Captain Avery sent the cabin boy, John Merrick and old Usopp through the other cavern entrance to investigate underground.
Sanji opens fire on John Merrick who returns fire and both fall to the ground gasping. Lofty fires at Usopp, who returns fire, both shops going very wide of the mark.
As turn six comes to end, neither side has found the where abouts of Blackbeards treasure, but Black Bellamy has a clue and is declared the winner.
Another great game of Pulp Alley, black powder /pirates worked very well indeed, so look out for the further exploits of Captain Avery and Black Bellamy.
I've put a page together with some of the best pirate models that we have available on. Click here to take a look.
Last week, Doug and I got together for another game of 'The Walking Dead - All Out War' by Mantic Games.
Last time our game was based in the Atlanta Camp, this time we decided to use some of the Sally 4th Urban Terra-Block boards to represent a city centre location.
Doug's league comes on through the Shopping Mall.
We've used the abandoned cars in the centre of the table as resource hubs, next time I think we will spread the items out across the shops as well.
Doug choose the characters and equipment for the game, and for a change did not go for firearm heavy teams at all. Each side had a single hand gun.
I hope they all enjoyed their last Christmas before their world was turned upside down with the zombie-plauge!
Emerging out of the shopping mall, the walking dead start to shuffle forwards to investigate.
Rick had the handgun for our team. With his first shot he takes a walker down with a head shot. Good fellow! Oh, dear looks like that was his only clip of ammo, as he failed his out of ammo role. Ironically, I'd decided to split the team, to cover more supply points and Andrea who is on the other side of the board, without a firearm finds two ammo dumps but can not get to meet back up with Rick to hand the ammo over. Lesson learned, for the next game!
Doug's team put the first few walkers down with little difficulty.
Unfortunatly, they have this nasty habit of getting back up again!
Andrea attempts to gather in the loot, but as the threat level rises, her position starts to look a little exposed. One zombie is not much of a problem, however if two or three get to gang up on you, your survival chances decrease alarmingly.
Rick thinks he has some supplies in the bag, unfortunately instead off supplies, he draws a lurker. I just hate it when that happens, and it's happened to one of my characters in the last two games!
Now to add to our troubles, something has triggered a car alarm, which is attracking the attention of every walker for blocks around.
The threat level hits maximum and it's time to bug out. Ricks gang pulls of a victory with 5 supplys retrieved against 3, but now the concern is routes back to safety.
This was another really enjoyable game of 'The Walking Dead'. Next time we play we are going to start the narrative campaign.
All our miniatures are based on Sally 4th clear plastic bases, full details of the range is available here.
The games was played on Urban Blocks from the Sally 4th Terra-Block range. If you want to find out more about them, click here!
Just before Christmas I plunged into the then unknown world of 3D printing with a Flashforge Creator Pro 2 printer. I did not really know anything about it, so decided to use a piece of software called Simplify 3D that made it very easy to get started straight away. I had backed the Indigogo campaign forPrinted Scenery's OpenLock dungeon tile system which is called Rampage. There are so many different dungeon tile pieces to choose from in the Rampage set that it would be easy to get distracted by printing out random tiles that look good so I decided that I would play the Dwarf Kings Quest from Dungeon Saga by Mantic Games and print out the 3D tiles and walls needed for each scenario before playing it.
The first introductory scenario, Journey from the West saw our two heroes Orlaf the Barbarian and Rordin the Dwarf battling skeletons to gain entrance to the Necromancers dungeon. The scenario was very straightforward, introducing combat and movement mechanics. The tokens seen above represent piles of bones that the Overlord can use to raise skeletons and other horrors.
It is not long before Orlaf and Rordin are locked in desperate combat and face additional skeletons joining the fight, raised from bone piles behind them.
I really like the Dungeon Quest combat mechanics, which I found very intuative. Each character (or monster) has a combat statistic which determines how many dice they get to roll. This can be modified by tactical factors such as being outnumbered, attacked in the rear, wounded etc. Characters also have an armour value that represents how difficult it is to wound them. In combat the attacker and defender roll the number of D6's determined by their combat statistic, a skeleton for example has 2 dice, Rordin the Dwarf has 4. Any dice that do not beat your foes armour class are counted as 'Feeble' and are discarded. Then the attacker and defender line their dice up from highest to lowest. Any of the attackers dice that beat the paired defenders dice cause a wound.
Rordin the Dwarf gets stuck into the skeletons. He can easily defeat one or two, but as they gang up on him things become more desperate and he is reduced to a single wound. One more hit and he will be 'crippled' and the evil overlord will have won!
Orlaf the Barbarian comes to the Dwarves assistance allowing him to break off from combat before ho lost his last wound.
Both of our heroes make it to the door, and begin to batter it down. Normal (or 'mundane') locks are attacked like a foe in combat. This particular lock has a defense of 2 dice and an armor class of 2.
Just as the next wave of skeletons is about to fall on our heroes the mighty door gives way and our heroes escape, barring the door behind them.
I have printed by Dungeon Tiles using PLA ( a type of plant based plastic) and have painted them to look like limestone using Sandtex Masonry paint. After undercoating with a spray primer, I painted all over with Sandtex Bitter Chocolate before drybrushing with Sandtex Mid Stone, followed by Ashen Green.
For further information about Mantic's Dungeon Quest miniatures / board game click here.
All of the miniatures in the photographs have been remounted on to Sally 4th's Clear perspex bases because I love the way that the miniatures blend with the scenery when they are on clear bases. Click here for further details about clear bases.
On Tuesday night (20th December 2016), Doug and I had a great little skirmish game using Mantic's The Walking Dead rules.
The encounter took place around an abandoned campsite, by a pleasant stream just off a minor road junction.
We played the resource gathering scenario from the starter set, with 150 points per side and nine potential resources.
Doug choose characters first and went for Rick, Carl and Sandra.
My survivors fetaured Dereck, Dale and Andrea.
My team split up straight away with Andrea putting a fence barrier between her and the walking dead before opening up with her hand gun to draw the walkers away to help Dale make it safely to the RV.
Rick, Carl and Sandra stay close together for mutual support and approach the tents cautiously from the stream bed. Some walkers have spotted them and are shambling their way.
Rick and Carl open fire on the approaching hord. Carl seems to have a steadier hand than his dad and drops a walker with the all important head shot.
Meanwhile, at the other side of camp, our plan seems to be working. Derek armed with a crowbar protects Andrea as the walkers get in close and personal. All of this Mayhem is enough to allow Dale to climb up on to the roof of the RV. Once in position, he takes over as the zombie magnet, firing as many shots as he can to draw the walkers back to the RV so Andrea and Derick can loot the car and the tents.
Rick's group holds their own against the walkers in their area, and put a number of them down for good with accurate shots to the head.
Although the plan to use Dale on the RV to draw the walkers away worked, it did not end happily for Dale. The trunk on the roof seemed a good place to replinish supplies from, but alas the only thing up their was a lurker which managed to wound Dale before he forced it back in the trunk. After a short storm, the RV caught light. No one was really sure if it had been struck by lightning, if their was an electrical fault or a booby trap. After manouvering round to the other side of the RV, with the intention of jumping down, Dale was shot, in the head by a well aimed round from Rick's handgun.
Rick claimed that he it was a difficult choice, but killing Dale was really for the greater good as the rifle fire from the RV was drawing every walker from miles around. As always, the walking dead is filled with moral ambiguity!
By now the noise and mayhem had pushed the threat level to high. An event card forced the more panicky firearm armed characters to blaze away at each other.
On the last turn off the game the alarm goes off in the abandoned car, drawing walkers like a magnet.
In the final analysis Derecks gang had won with 4 resources collected, but for the loss of Dale.
It was a fantastic game, we can not wait toplay again in the new year.
The terrain was allmade from the new Terra-Former range from Sally 4th, and as always miniatures were rebased onto Sally 4th clear bases so that they blended in nicely with the terrain they were standing on.
We still have a few sets of the Walking Dead starter set available with a free terrain set containing fences, road barriers and crates worth £7.50. Click here for details.
Combat Patrol: Op Torch
Last night (30th November 2016), Doug and I dusted off our US and German Infantry for a Combat Patrol game set in Morrocco, November 1942.
Over the last few months we have been working on Terra-Blocks: Exotic Location Sets for representing North African terrain in a flexible, modular way. The idea is that your building is made up of 100mm cubes that can be re-arranged to make different types of buildings. We have played lots of games recently on the terrain including Pulp Alley and 7TV. Last week Doug suggested that the terrain would be perfect for skirmish wargaming Morrocco during the second world war.
Our scenario is set during Op Torch. Both US & Germans have fighting patrols out probing the forward line enemy troops. Nightime is fast approaching, in November temperatures at night are going to drop way below freezing. In the distance both patrol commanders identify a riad, a set of buildings around a central courtyard and decide it would provide a warmer base for the night.
As we were playing on a 3' square table, both patrols start off table. Activation dice are assigned to each squad and as their card is turned from the activation deck, they deploy onto the table from opposite corners. Running along the back of the Rhiad is a convinient wadi that the US troops deploy into for cover.
The Germans take a bold (rash) approcah and as no enemy are in sight send platoon HQ and two squads to check out the courtyard and main entrance to the buildings. The other two squads are dispatched to cover their rear.
US troops send their MG section with two .30 calibres to move along the wadi, into position.
A fierce fire-fight develops around the front corner of the Rhiad. The German platoon HQ is first unit engaged, and although behind cover the Platoon Commander becomes the first casulaty of the engagment.
The US section endeavour to get all available rifles into a firing position, even although some are rather exposed.
The US troops have just entered the rear of the building and the Germans have one section in the bottom right building and a second section in the courtyard, about to enter the large area center left.
At the front of the building the US troops are winning the firefight. The German Platoon Sgt joins his officer on the casualty list. At this point, a single wounded runner remains, who soon breaks and flees.
After a couple more turns of fierce fighting, with all sections pinned due to command casualties, the Germans decide to retreat and the US forces occupy the building complex.
This was a really exciting and very different game to the WW2 Normandy games that we have played in the past with Combat Patrol.
The Terra-Block: Exotic Location terrain was very effective. At the moment Exotic Location Terrain is available to pre-order at a discount via our Indigogo campaign. Click here to take a closer look at what is available.
We always get lots of questions about the clear bases that we use on our miniatures, so click here for further details!
Last week Doug and I had a great game of 7TV using a MI6 cast made up of a Flamboyant Agent, Dependable Deputy, Plucky Assistant, Army Corporal and two Army Privates. Facing them was a Spectre Cast containing an Evil Mastermind, Faithful Lackey, Minion Commander and four Thugs.
We set up our Exotic Location Terrain as Rick's Cafe with surrounding Souks and adjoining properties surrounded by an external city wall.
The US Marines move forward by pairs fire and manouver to improve their firing positions.
Bond and his girl split up. Bond heads for the rear entrance where he senses the enemy are gathering while the plucky assistant heads to the bar to attempt the objective.
Thugs in the street outside of Rick's Cafe.
Plucky Assistant fails the challenge to resolve the objective with her first attempt, but hangs around and solves it next turn.
Bond kicks the door open and empties the magazine of his Walther PPK into the thugs in the street.
Meanwhile at the front of the building Piers (the dependable deputy) is waylaid by Rosa Kleb who just happens to have a gadget card for a blade in her shoe!
After getting the better of the thugs, Bond rushes around the back streets to the furthest corner of the city where Blofield has been mysteriously transported by a 'Capture Bubble'!
The Marines come to the rescue and Colnel Kleb is arrested.
Peace and quiet returns to the Souk.
Another great game of 7TV. The terrain is all part of Sally 4th's Terra Block Exotic Locations Set, which is currently available for pre-order (at a discount) through Indigogo. Click here to take a look.
Last night, Ann & I had a chance to play throught the Dark Truths scenario from the Pulp Alley, Tomb of the Serpent campaign book. As we are half way through the Indigogog campaign for pre-orders of Sally 4th Exotic Location terrain, we thought it would be a great idea to put together a museum location with surrounding market streets and adjacent buildings. The terrain that we have used is the same as the 'All In Pledge', but we only used the museum 'Set Dressings' and a few of the Market Stalls and barrows from the Souk's 'Set Dressings'
Our Intrepid leagues were constructed from the Sally 4th Pulp Alley Character Cards, Rugged Archeologists, Safari into Danger and Archeologists and Desert Guides.
The plot points were the catalouging area and files (represented by the desk and filing cabinet), a suspicious guard (he's wearing khaki and a black peaked cap), an un-opened crate (their a lot in the museum, the one in question is the crate on the hand cart), a mysterious visitor (he is the guy with the red fez in the room behind the dinosaur exhibits) and a corupt curator (who is talking to some locals in the souk).
During the first three turns we had to 'mind our P's & Q's, so no running, shooting or brawling. We kept on our best behaviour.
The poor suspicious guard got mobbed by the visiting leagues, who had lots of interesting questions for him. Eventually he gave in and told one of Ann's lakeys, all he knew.
Meanwhile, out in the Souk, Dr Conrad trys to get the 'low down' from the corrupt curator, much to the annoyance of Abdul the carpet salesman.
Ann's league hot foots it over to the office for a good rummage in the filing cabinet.
Bertie Brook-Smythe waits until no one is looking, raises his hunting rifle and takes an aimed shot at Katheleen, who falls to the ground, down and out.
Carnahan chases the professor into the back room, and attempts to bring him to the ground with a flying tackle, but the professor manages to step aside at the last minute.
Ann's league hurries around the back allies and manages to catch up with the curator, offer him a bribe for his secrets and gains a second plot point.
The final tally was one plot point for me and three for Ann's league including the all important lead, pointing the way to a hidden relic.
The lady in the blue dress, and the gent in the white jacket were obsessed collectors. They wandered around the museum providing a mobile perilous area.
As always, Pulp Alley delivered an exciting couple of hours gaming.
If you'd like to find out more:
Mantic's The Walking Dead (TWD) has been a very eagerly awaited game. It was about a year ago that we backe it on Kick starter, but I think the wait has been worth it!
One of the first things I like to do when I get a new games system is to work out the best way to store it once the components have been punched out and the miniatures painted. The game comes with a platic moulded tray to take the figures, which is great, but it means that you have to put the figure back in it's right slot and does not cater for expansions and additional figures, so I opted for ditching the inserts, storing the figures in a Sally 4th Warchest with 25mm round base insert and the cards and bits and pieces in grip lock bags.
As you can see, all of the pieces fit nicely into the box for transportation to friends houses or clubs, and I have the option to have the fantastic miniatures on a shelf for dispay too.
The second thing that I like to do is to paint the miniatures and upgrade their bases to Sally 4th clear bases. This way the miniatures look fantastic which ever part of the board they are standing on and don't drag a bit of the lawn around with them when they are standing on a road or in the RV!
We played the introductory scenario, which was a lot of fun. We soon got the idea of using noise and obstacles to draw the walkers away from your characters.
Next up was a test game using a couple of the Sally 4th Urban Blocks.
These are 300mm square terrain boards with roads, pavements and buildings.
What makes them different from other buildings is that they are part of the Terra-Block range,
Terra-Blocks are 50mm cubes of terrain that include opening doors, glazed windows and other building features. These blocks can be re-arranged to give you countless terrain layouts, so no two games need to be the same.
Here we see Rick defending the entrance way to a couple of shops, while Carl and Dale check the shops out for supplies.
Across the street the opposing survivors including Patrick and Derick get ready to defend against the walkers that are heading their way.
Lewis and I were really very impressed with the quality of both the miniatures and the rules. We have played loads of zombie style games including Zombicide and Project Z, but this one does appear to be a bit special and has lots of potential for expansion.
Click here for more information on:
The Latest episode of 7TV's highly acclaimed and long running 'Scooby Doo' was filmed last Tuesday (4th October 2016) on location at Fothrington Hall.
This episode sees our intrepid heroes and heroines backed up by a passing Federal agent investigating strange lights and sounds coming from the infamous Fothrington Hall. At about the same time a villainous cast led by a Mysterious Mystic backed up by a coven of cultists and a man in a rubber suit pretending to be a mysterious monster.
An early countdown card sees the Cultist leader knocked down by the crew re-arranging the set.
These preparations really need to be done before shooting starts, as the crew then knock down Daphne while adjusting the position of the swanky motor for best shot composition. In the mean time the action has started and in shot the Federal Agent challenges the scary monster then shows him his warrant card, closely followed by the contents of the magazine attached to his government issue side arm.
Using the gunfire to mask the noise, Shaggy and Scooby break in through the back door. On his way upstairs to find a nice comfy bed to jump up and down on, Scooby discovers a nice shiny round, black Scooby-Snack on the stairs and thinks it best to take it back to the Mystery Machine to share with his palls.
Meanwhile in the front room Velma is set upon by the by the Mysterious Monster and the Mystic. Don't they know it's not nice to hit a girl wearing glasses?
Out in the parking lot, Daphne acts as a Danger Magnet forcing the Cultists to focus on her and also making her harder to hit. This allows the G-Man to take a couple of Cultists down.
Fred and Velma retreat to the Fireplace and Fred manages to take another objective.
The Mysterious Monster moves in for some two-fisted action. Velma attempts to back away and use her 'spot weakness' ability to help out Fred.
Meanwhile in the back of the mansion, Shaggy discovers the kitchen, Scooby-Snacks and another objective is in the bag for 'those pesky kids'.
Oh dear, that's not very sporting. After softening the kids up with the man in the rubber suit, the villainous mystic lets off a cylinder of nerve agent, to grab a marginal victory in the closing shots.
This was our first proper game using 7TV 2nd edition rules, and we had a great game. I liked the tongue in cheek mechanics like the countdown deck that gives the flavour of shooting a TV episode rather than fighting a war game, however my friend and gaming buddy Doug was a bit frustrated by the randomness of it all. We are planning to try them out again next week with Star Wars casts.
Pulp Alley: Tomb of the Serpent - Episode 2 'The Haunted House'
3rd October 2016
Last Monday, Lewis and I settled down to play the second scenario in the Pulp Alley Tomb of the Serpent Campaign. The four scenarios in Act 1 are played by a single player league, in this scenario my Royal Archeological Society, veterans of Perilous Island led by the indomitable Professor Snow. The opposition, played by Lewis, were the Servants of Apothis. In this scenario a deck of character cards that includes two leaders, four sidekicks, eight followers in constructed and two of these enter play each turn. Warning... This scenario is not for the faint hearted, it was by far and away the most brutal game of Pulp Alley we had ever played.
It all started, as these things often do, with a dream and a drive. In this case to Fothrington Hall, a rather desirable residence in the Scottish Higlands. Professor Snow and his team, arriving in the dead of night, split up and begin to search for clues. Dr Jones, Blythe and Davis head for the dining room. Their investigations are soon disturbed by some militant cultists climbing in through the windows and starting a fire fight. Snow had brought his faithful hound, Bouncer along for the exercise. He bounds in and distracts the intruder temporarily to allow Jones to start searching the bureau.
Hearing the sound of breaking glass in the lounge, the other side of the hallway, Davis and his old army buddy Travis rush through and down a fierce cultist who had just entered through a window. This, arguably marked the high point of the leagues endeavours at Fothrington Hall. From here on in, it was a slippery down-wards slope.
Professor Snow and Gilbertson's investigation of papers in the writting desk in the hallway were disturbed by a sound behind them. Moments later a 'Faceless One' had burst in through the back door. Meanwhile, in the lounge additional reinforcment for the Servants of Apothis, in the form of an additional militant cultist had clambered through the open window.
Blythe protected Professor Snow for just long enough to enable him to open the bureau and resolve the plot point. Unfortunatly, rather than a clue to the where abouts of the ancient relic, he had released a perilous ghost!
Meanwhile Gilbertson had made it to the kitchen. His investigations were abruptly ended by the appearance of a 'Faceless One'. The brutal, masked assasin knocked Gilbertson to the ground and then as our unfortunate adventurer was just coming round knocked him out for good.
The Servants of Apothis strengthen as more reinforcments arrive. Things are not looking good for Snow and his boys. Dr Jones has been knocked out by a fierce cultist, and in the lounge Davis and Travis have been dispatched and Blythe has retreated to the entrance hall.
Distracted by the ghostly apparition, Snow is way laid by two 'Faceless Ones'.
The ghostly apparition lets out an uneartly cackle, as Snow hits the ground... down and out.
The only man left standing is Blythe, who makes a run for it to the Crossley, parked outside.
The Servants of Apothis search the hall and discover 'The Ring of the Pharoahs'
Another exciting game of Pulp Alley. We really enjoyed it, although I have never played a game before where we did so badly. Just one follower left standing, and not a single plot point to show for it!
As the scenario is set exclusively within the confines of Fothrington Hall, we played out the game on the Sally 4th Fothrington Hall Kit. Click here for details.