Monday, 21 July 2014

Zombicide Day


Saturday the journey up to the mighty metropolis that is Ashford to seek out the 'Dark Templar' and introduce him to the intricacies of Zombicide.  Having survived the storm of the previous night there was a pang of guilt as I waved farewell to the ‘Saintly Mrs. Awdry’ surrounded, as she was, with buckets of water and soaked towels*, but this soon dissipated as today was a games day!

 *it would appear ‘Awdry Towers’ had sprung a leak!

With the requisite parts of the original Zombicide, along with the Toxic Mall extension, all carefully packed off I went in search of a game or two.  Mike was the perfect host and after a quick sneak peak of the new man cave and armed with a cup of tea we settled down to a quick tutorial.  It is important to stress that I am still relatively new to this game and that I am not a Zombicide purist, insomuch that I have a tendency to mix things together and interpret the rules for the benefit of the games as opposed to the letter of the law – so to speak.  This was to become evident as the day progressed, but with our first tentative steps it was very much the blind leading the blind!  After  successfully completing what seemed like a suspiciously easy scenario, due to the fact that I had completely overlooked the rule about movement when faced with a zombie, we went for a more advanced set up.

'City Blocks', ranked as a Hard scenario saw us required to collect all the objective tokens along with at least one Canned Food card, one Rice card and at least one Water card before one member of the team, equipped with said provisions, escapes off the edge of the board.


For the uninitiated, I should point out that Zombicide is a collaborative game where the players have to work together in order to achieve their goals.  All seemed straight forward enough, buoyed as we were with our earlier success, but fate has a habit of dealing you a duff card, or two!  My first room search had left Wanda, fearlessly brandishing two frying pans, surely things would get better?


Well the answer to my question was a resounding 'No!' with the arrival of the Abomination so early in the game.



Things got even worse when Wanda faced with dispatching a single walker to end the survivors' phase threw a one - the dull metallic thud of a frying pan missing everything but the wall behind the solitary walker's head, meant that she started the next phase with a wound!


As the game progressed, fate seemed to shine a little brighter on our rollerskating waitress as she picked up some serious weaponry in the shape of a meat cleaver and an automatic shotgun.* Now armed to the teeth Wanda was to become our vanguard, but sadly this tactic came to an abrupt end…
*I warned you I wasn't a purist as these weapons should not have been available, oh well!





Opting for search on her final move Wanda discovers a zombie under a pile of rags, already wounded the result is unavoidable - and I was so looking forward to unleashing that automatic shotgun! 



It was fair to say that I wasn't having all the bad luck, with Mike's hapless Sheriff Phil opting to fire into  a crowd of walkers only to miss with every shot!


What followed was an heroic, but ultimately flawed stand off as Amy and Phil fought back to back trying to buy Doug some precious time as the hordes of shambling dead surrounded them...


It was to prove a futile move and the game was abandoned in favour of lunch!


Our enthusiasm renewed, due in no small way to the restorative power of tea and sausage sandwiches, we vowed to avenge the losses of the previous game by returning to the scenario with a new cast and a clear plan of action.  Mike was running Raoul and Elsa, whilst I set out with Josh and Ned.  It seemed that the bad luck of the previous game was continuing to haunt me in this as my two characters found themselves accompanied by the abomination in far too tight a spot!  With two actions remaining Josh was weighing up the option of leaving Ned to fend for himself when an inspired search turned up…


… the Concrete Saw, in one swift move Josh fired up the beast first time and despatched the lumbering mass that blocked their way.  Now seemingly unstoppable Ned, armed with matching .44 Magnums and Josh with his shotgun and the truly awesome concrete saw, opened another set of rooms before taking up a holding role in the street.  


The plan was a simple one, draw the hoards of undead towards them, buying valuable time for the others to collect the provisions and make a break for the exit point - yes we abandoned the objective tokens at this stage, but in the interest of the game you understand!  Although they went down fighting with the bodies of their victims starting to pile high around them, Josh and Ned succeeded in drawing shuffling mass of reanimated corpses to one side of the board, making enough noise to literally raise the dead.  Meanwhile on the other side of the board...


Mike had managed to unearth enough provisions to prepare a veritable banquet, but now had to find a way for Elsa to escape the whole length of the board.  What followed was a truly cinematic moment as the hoard descended on Raoul's position; they shuffled the entire length of the board as Elsa quietly waited, having garnered enough experience points to claim 'slippery' as a skill.


As Raoul emptied his sawed off shotgun in the swarming mass for the last time, the sound of the shots slowly faded as Elsa broke cover.



Although she didn't have it all her own way, the exit was eventually reached and so our session for the day came to an end.  A hugely enjoyable day, I am always impressed at how well this game works and throughout the day Mike and I were already mulling over possible custom scenarios - a St. Trinians field trip for example.  With so much more to explore within the Zombicide world, I think it is fair to say that we are both looking forward to the next encounter.  



Saturday, 19 July 2014

Dry Stone Walls


A fairly self-explanatory post this morning as I head up the mighty metropolis that is Ashford for some zombie themed shenanigans with that splendid chap the 'Dark Templar'.  These are from 'Warlord Games' and were originally sold as part of their 'Rorke's Drift' set, something I still want to get my hands on! 


My first impressions were not favourable, particularly when looking at the amount of air bubbles that needed to be filled and excess plastic that had to be hacked away.  That said, it was clear that they were a good looking sculpt and I was hopeful that they might yet prove their worth.


Plenty of dry brushing and flocking later and they war complete, I just need to rediscover the damaged versions that I have put in a safe place! 





Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Redoubt Enterprises Clubmen


Having safely returned from a short break visiting my parents in the Principality, it is time to get the summer's hobby work underway.  First up, these additions to the ranks of the Clubmen, three splendid sculpts from 'Redoubt Enterprises'.  I have mentioned on many an occasion that I am very fond of these more robust of sculpts that look to keep things simple.  Compared with more the recent releases, from the likes of 'Warlord Games' these 'honest' sculpts shun the need to impart the most meticulous amounts of fine detail, giving me the freedom to slap paint on the miniature without unduly worrying that I might be concealing the sculptor's craft.


Sold as individuals, the gentlemen required a head selection to be made and I found it too difficult to pass up the opportunity to use one of their bandaged types.  Looking at the fearsome blunderbuss that he is brandishing, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the wounds were self inflicted! 


 The matriarch, was again, one of those sculpts that you look at and think, "I have to have one", armed with little more than her womanly charms and a knife lashed to a pole, she is clearly determined to fight to the death to protect her plot.   With plenty of large spaces to paint, I managed to get through these three relatively quickly and thoroughly enjoyed finding a palette that suited my needs.

Finally, then, an image comparing the recent 'Warlord Games' sculpts with these latest additions from 'Redoubt Enterprises'.  Clearly they are bigger, and if you focus on it for too long they seem ridiculously so, but having based them on the same size washers and used the same basing materials, they are starting to hold together, particularly when seen from a distance.

More from 'Warlord Games' on the table at present, with the Hell Hounds lurking in the shadows, but looking forward to some Zombie fuelled nonsense this weekend with the 'Dark Templar', I must remember to take the camera!





Saturday, 12 July 2014

Riot Girlz

Well technically one, but who is counting?

If all goes to plan then should be the last scheduled post, whilst I enjoy so time with my family.  Looking forward to catching up with everyone soon, but in the interim:

    Now there was a tradition, here at '28mm Victorian Warfare' of painting up a miniature that tied in, albeit it very loosely, to the most recently completely page turner to have graced the bedside table. Well with the completion of thoroughly enjoyable 'Radio Hope' by Sean McLachlan it seemed only fitting that something Post Apocalyptic was promoted to the painting table.

Now I had hoped that this would have been in the form of some very interesting scavenger types that I had spied over at 'Black Cat Bases', but sadly things are obviously still not right there.  When my previous order finally turned up it came with a discount by way of an apology, a nice touch and not necessary given the unfortunate family circumstances that seem to have befallen them.  I decided to continue to show support by redeeming said voucher only to find that the order had taken so long to arrive that the voucher had expired!  Not to worry, thinks I, I will just simply place another order, after all they do have some wonderful items on their list - that was over three months ago.  


It then occurred to me that I had a possible stand-in for a wasteland wanderer in the shape of this delightful miniature.  This was a freebie from that splendid chap, the 'Dark Templar' and was one of the preproduction sculpts for the game he had been working on 'Aetherium'.  Even though this was not not the finished article, so to speak, there were so lovely touches, including tread on the soles of her boots - now there's attention to detail!


The plastic was a little bit fiddly to work with and although I had washed the miniature in detergent first it still seemed to resist the application of acrylic primer that I was using.  In the end, I resorted to giving it a coat of matt varnish to allow the paint some form of key, obviously this would not have helped the delicate details, but there was still plenty left to work with.


A fairly predictable colour palette with a nod to all things punk including the addition of some cherry red Dr. Martens and a studded leather belt.  I had pinned her to a 'Warbases' MDF disc, which allowed me to have a little fun with the debris of a forgotten world strewn about the place and ultimately I'm pleased with how she turned out - a timely reminder to myself that I had backed yet another Kickstarter in the shape of 'Across the Dead Earth';  Expect more of this later in year!




Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Book Review#21. - Radio Hope


It is funny how something as important and fulfilling as reading can slip from your daily routine.  Like a good many, I spend a lot of time reading at work, this combined with keeping up with the many splendid weblogs that I follow rather leaves me with little time to get to grips with the latest page turner – I am either too tired or too easily distracted.   So Radio Hope by Sean McLachlan was just what I needed to get me back in the habit, as it were.


This is a cracking little tale set in the near future; with just enough reference to the past to prick the social conscience of the reader.   The world, as we know it, has been ravished by war and ecological disasters and is now populated by inhabitants that will seem all to familiar to those that enjoy the genre.  It is the interaction between the various factions that drive the story and Sean paces this first instalment in the ‘Toxic World’ series beautifully.  To quote directly from the book:

In a world shattered by war, pollution and disease. . .

A gunslinging mother longs to find a safe refuge for her son.

A frustrated revolutionary delivers water to villagers living on a toxic waste dump.
The assistant mayor of humanity's last city hopes he will never have to take command.
One thing gives them the promise of a better future--Radio Hope, a mysterious station that broadcasts vital information about surviving in a blighted world. But when a mad prophet and his army of fanatics march out of the wildlands on a crusade to purify the land with blood and fire, all three will find their lives intertwining, and changing forever.

The fast paced and well constructed narrative make this a quick read and I couldn’t help think of it more as a screenplay that a novel.  There is a sense that Sean is very much teeing up a series rather than a stand alone story, but it is not necessary the poorer for it.   I shall certainly be interested to see how he approaches book two, perhaps from a completely different perspective?  Perhaps looking at the siege of  the city from of the fanatics?  Certainly lots of ideas for gaming scenarios and for that Radio Hope is awarded three crowns. 





Monday, 7 July 2014

More Clubmen!


Just the briefest of posts this morning to showcase the other half of the Clubmen pack from 'Warlord Games'.  As mentioned before they were not the best of miniatures to prepare, but ultimately the investment in preparation time resulted in some wonderfully characterful sculpts to paint up.



I perhaps should have mentioned previously that these miniatures come with an assortment of tools and implements to act as weapons so plenty of scope for conversions.  I like that the idea that these tough, toiling sons of the earth would not have had access to military grade hardware, instead choosing to pick up the fist 'pointy' thing hat came to hand, consequently I went for a rusted look, with a freshly honed edge - perfect for dispatching those denizens of the night.  I hope to have some 'Redoubt Enterprises' clubmen to show in comparison soon, they are just applying their make up before their turn in the photographic studio!




Saturday, 5 July 2014

Paint Table Saturday#35


It seems like an age since this I last posted an update for 'Paint Table Saturday' so having seen off the end of another busy academic year my mind has started to turn to plans for the summer.  Now I would like to tell you that I had a joyous period of quality hobby time ahead of me, but sadly this won't be the case.  The Saintly Mrs. Awdry has already hinted at a substantial chores list and a focus on exercise, of all things, so the need to maximise painting time may see me rising early to get some time on the brushes before the lady of the house, rises from her slumber.


Anyway, I digress, returning the table and my immediate plans.  I have some bits that need to be photographed and I hope to have those posted early next week, so the first job will be to complete more recruits for the clubman, again from 'Warlord Games', these still required a lot of work, but did arrive more quickly this time.  Also on the table are some splendid sculpts from 'Heresy Miniatures' in the shape of Hellhounds to represent the Barguests*.

*Same thing different name!

Finally, I need to add to my terrain with some drystone walls and some additional trees to represent the boundary of the forest, where the bad things comes from!  So this is the plan for July, which will hopefully see me with enough components to roll some dice on the first scenario for 'Witchfinder General'.  There are distractions lying in wait to snare the unwary, in the shape of Bloodbowl and 7ombieTv, but more of those another day.


In other news, '28mm Victorian Warfare' has received another 'Liebster' award, a tremendous honour, but made more special as it was nominated by a Gentlemen whose blog, and work therein, have been such an inspiration to me.  Mad Guru's 'Maiwand Day' blog is such a treasure trove of ideas, research and quality terrain making tips, that to receive a nomination from him in an honour indeed and the very least that I can do is find the time to graciously accept it.  I do urge those that have not had the pleasure of visiting his blog to do so, you will never look at bark chips in the same way again! 


Finally, there is the small matter of 'Zombicide Season 3' that has launched on Kickstarer; lots of stretch goals have been added already as this juggernaut of a game has ploughed through a $1,000,000 pledged and still over twenty days to go. For someone that was late onto this game and has had to buy the previous two instalments (and of course the Toxic City Mall extension) at full price, I determined not to miss out this time, but I shall probably wait a little longer to see what additional add ons might be in the offing.  I should add that as this is technically a board game the accompany miniatures will not add to the lead pile tally - my hobby, my rules! 



Finally, please remember that you can see many more 'Paint Tables' by popping over to Sophie fabulous weblog here.


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