GameMatz War Zone mat

At this stage in my life, I’m fortunate to be able to game with some great guys. We enjoy different games, campaigns, different genres as well as each others’ company. It may sound weird, but it’s a genuine blessing.

Because we play a lot of Post-Apoc and SF skirmish games, I took the plunge and ordered a high quality 4′ x 3′ mouse pad War Zone theme ProMatz from GameMatz.com. Not cheap but between the gushing reviews and the hankering for fun, great looking games, I figured it was worth a shot.

See below. Looks cool, eh?

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Well…

Shipping was fairly quick and the mat arrived two days ago, rolled up in a clear plastic bag. I unwrapped it right away and set it on my table. As advertised, it is solidly built – it’s so sturdy in fact, it still hasn’t quite laid flat on the gaming table yet.

Ruggedness aside, I have two reservations: 1. the mat is MUCH  darker than pictured. 2. the image is FAR MORE more grainy that anticipated. Now I hate to be ‘that guy’. I love supporting small businesses and so appreciate the global war gaming community made possible by the internet. I understand fabric might not accept the image transfer process the same as vinyl, but honestly… the mat I received is very dark and the details are not crisp. In fact, it kinda looks like someone used up all the black ink printing this one at a low resolution.

Will we use it? Sure. It’ll work just fine once I plunk down terrain and deploy some troops.  GameMatz offers variety of sizes, this one certainly fits our needs for skirmish games, and like I said, it is solid. But would I recommend it or buy again from GameMatz? Ahhh….

*sense that hesitation?*

Now YMMV – Their other mats/styles might suit your needs perfectly. But I confess, given the reviews and the price, I expected higher quality.

It gets THREE STARS. (not bad but not great)

 

Wire Cutter Test Pieces

With a ruined castle looming on the horizon of our SOBH campaign, I picked up a hot wire cutter off Amazon. I made two very simple  test pieces to get a feel for how it works.

It’s a very handy tool with loads of terrain-building potential. Nasty fumes aside, it cuts  1″ and 2″ insulation foam like a dream, and now that I’ve got some mistakes out of the way, the next batch will be that much better. Now I get to hunt down inspiration for the Storm Crag Keep – a very cool problem to have.

Next SOBH adventure Tues eve: “The Desecration of St. Cuthbert’s Abbey.” Have a great weekend.

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Game Night: ASOBH

What little hobby time I have lately has been dedicated to Fantasy figs and terrain for our upcoming Advanced Song Of Blades and Heroes campaign. Also, I plan on entering three of the human warbands in this year’s Lead Adventure painting contest. While I can’t post pics of the pjs before the official entry date, I do have some shots of last night’s table, the Gnoll warband, plus a couple extra fantasy characters on new terrain pieces.

I’m sticking with Reaper figs. Doing good so far, what with the huge variety and excellent quality of the sculpts. We’re still running one-of games to familiarize ourselves with the ASOBH rules. Someone once noted that you know a particular rule set is good if after the game, you talk about the game rather than the rules. By that standard, we are extremely  happy with ASOBH.

I will also say the change in genre from Sci Fi to Fantasy has reinvigorated my painting. I’m very much looking forward to these games.

 

GN1
Homestead raided by vicious Gnolls
GN2
The aforementioned vicious Gnolls. Reaper Bones hold detail and paint quite well.
GN3
Reaper Viking/Barbarian badass

 

GN5
Face off at the Shrine of the Skystone.

 

SoBH Terrain and Baddies

So the reason posts have been so sparse lately is I plan on entering this year’s Last Painter Standing contest over at the Lead Adventure Forum. Trick is, none of the figs can have been shown on the internet prior to entering, and my latest brushwork has mostly been focused on entries.  I don’t harbor any illusions of winning – there are far too many excellent painters out there – but I think my pjs can hold their own for a few rounds at least.

If you’re not a member at LAF, you should seriously consider joining. The site has avid gamers in every period, genre and scale. The ones I’ve encountered are great, creative folks. The forums focus on war gaming, while the controversial issues that usually constipate forums (politics, religion, porn and slagging companies) are kept to a minimum.

My gaming group is ramping up to do some serious Fantasy gaming using Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes. We’ve been running practice skirmishes to familiarize ourselves with the rules, and while I can’t post pictures of the adventuring parties, I did snap a few shots of some new terrain and several Baddies.

Metal Snob that I am, the adventurers are all metal Reaper figs while the bulk baddies that the table will generate are Reaper Bones figs. Sorry these aren’t the best pics. (Orcs aren’t very photogenic anyway) I’ll try to get better shots this weekend.

Wish me luck for the contest.

Have an excellent day.

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Junction Box Bunker no. 3

Gaming schedule is getting back on track next week. Here’s one of the new terrain pieces for the upcoming mini-campaign. Even if you don’t add detailing from your bitz box, Home Depot is an excellent source for inexpensive, interesting structures. A little spray paint, some drybrushing, and you’re good.

Electrical gangbox and bitz.
Electrical gangbox and bitz.
Add some plastic bulkhead doors from the Sedition wars set.
Add some plastic bulkhead doors from the Sedition wars set.

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Modified TAG soldier goes full-auto on old VOR NeoSov mutant.
Modified TAG soldier goes full-auto on old VOR NeoSov mutant.

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Upper walkway is two plastic .22 bullet holders supported by plastic girders
Upper walkway is two plastic .22 bullet holders supported by plastic girders
Wish that gun emplacement worked.
Wish that gun emplacement worked.
Hannibal at the gate!
Hannibal at the gate!

Sci Fi Interior Boards

A while back I wanted interior terrain for quick and dirty guncrawls. Five years teaching TTGs as part of an After School Enrichment Program and running a Game Room impressed me with the need for durability, simplicity and playability. Thus these Interior Boards were fabricated out of insulation foam and MDF, with minimum fiddly, breakable detail, and a 1.5″ hex grid to speed up play. They’re configured to maximize re-playability.  Inexpensive resin scenics like crates, computer consoles, and weapons/fuel caches add even more variety.

Here’s some pix:

The four boards separated. Two 24" x 24" and two 12" x 24".
The four boards separated. Two 24″ x 24″ and two 12″ x 24″.
Sector Red 21
Sector Red 21
Sector Red 22
Sector Red 22
Green 21 has several inlaid screens and permanent computer stations
Green 21 has several inlaid screens and permanent computer stations
Green 22 contains power grids/generators
Green 22 contains power grids/generators
Resin Scenics on plexiglass. Bases are increments of 1.5"
Resin Scenics on plexiglass. Bases are increments of 1.5″

 

Very much a low tech Underground Secret Lab, these work with anything from WW2 to Sci Fi to Post Apoc. These halls have seen plenty of carnage over the years and are holding up well, considering.

Guess I’d better get building my Bug Hunt Corridors if I want anything Hi-Tech.

Fig in Storage Area with some permanent resin crates and lockers.
Fig in Storage Area with some permanent resin crates and lockers.
Permanent console with one of the moveable caches
Permanent console with one of the moveable caches
One of the permanent computer stations. Armorcast, IIRC
One of the permanent computer stations. Armorcast, IIRC
Ventilation fan and holo-console.
Ventilation fan and holo-console.

The hex grid/board game feel make these pretty popular, movement and weapon ranges suddenly super-simple. Rule mechanics fade and the game, with its mission and story, come to the forefront. Last week’s Game Night went incredibly smooth, in fact. So much so, I’m considering hunting down a hex mat on eBay now.

Anyway, ask any questions. I’ll post answers ASAP.

Have an excellent day.

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Bug Hunt Demo Set – Terrain and Mech

Wanted to give an update with pix of some finished terrain pieces and the replacement Armored Combat Suit for the Terran force. Click images for larger versions.

First the Terrain:
These are JR Miniatures Ruined Research Station pieces and Armorcast Tech Walls mounted on MDF, along with styrofoam debris and bits. Limits the configuration but easier to store and set up. Armorcast is the usual excellent product while the JR pieces are more lightweight, like rigid foam, and a bit sloppier detail-wise. It’s fine for ruins. Nothing a bit of paint and flock won’t cover.

Ruined Lab 1
Ruined Lab 1

Ruined Lab 2
Ruined Lab 2

Next is a foamcore, balsa, and styrofoam building corner. Simple enough.

Building A corner
Building A corner

Building A corner from the front.
Building A corner from the front.

Last is a small fueling station made with a vitamin bottle and pieces from the bits box.

Fuel Station 7
Fuel Station 7

Here are some close-ups:

Safety first? No. Safety OFF. Sedition Wars and HF figs. Part of a salvage crew.
Safety first? No. Safety OFF. Sedition Wars and HF figs. Part of a salvage crew.

Levi Nekh. Captain of the "Angry Rabbit", a  Torres Mk5 Heavy Freighter favored by pirates, smugglers, and salvage companies.
Levi Nekh. Captain of the “Angry Rabbit”, a Torres Mk5 Heavy Freighter favored by pirates, smugglers, and salvage companies.
Still  searching.
Still searching.

I have several more pieces planned.

Second, after posting the Bug Hunting crew, sho3box kindly recommended Mantic’s new strider suit for Deadzone, as opposed to the Dreadball fig I modified. I’m glad he did. The difference is significant. Nice model, reasonable price, clean casting, easy assembly with different weapon and cockpit options. What’s not to like? Here are some shots:

Flamer and chainsaw? The new Strider is perfect for bug hunt missions.
Flamer and chainsaw? The new Strider is perfect for bug hunt missions.
"Here buggy, buggy!"
“Here buggy, buggy!”
Bug stompers advance
Bug stompers advance

That’s it for now. Back to NaNoWriMo and The Grim Fall.

Thanks and Take Care.