Recent Brushwork

Trying to change my palette if not my technique to achieve a different look on my minis. I read a ‘How To Paint Military Miniatures’ book ages ago, and settled on the ink wash/Shade Down method rather than the Highlight Up all the cool kids do nowadays.

Whippersnappers! Back in my day, a real painter had messy fingers from all the run-off.

40 years on, I still don’t have an airbrush. Maybe someday. But until then, here are several new figs from the painting desk.

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Trying for that Arabian theme.
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A Kev White sculpt according to Reaper. I like that he’s tough but normal looking.
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Great fig. Very subtle. The pic doesn’t quite show it but I went for a weathered duster feel to his cloak and jacket.
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Nothing really special about these four – except they’re a bunch of Do-Gooder, Avenging Paladin-types. (Sounds like a 90’s Christian metal band) There’s a fifth member of the band on the way.
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Brightening up a Thief defeats the purpose, but his gray clothes and lighter tone than usual armor works nice.
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“I told you what would happen if you got up.”
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Iconic Investigator investigating a mysterious rune stone. (Or a new FB Profile picture)

 

ZP Sample Character Sheet

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SAMPLE CHARACTER SHEET FOR ZONE FIREFIGHTS

 

CHARACTER NAME: Leytenánt Timur Bok

CORE PROFILE

MOVEMENT COMBAT ABILITY ARMOR WILL
6″/Action 5 Mil-Body Armor (4) 6

WEAPONS

WEAPON TYPE RANGE FIREPOWER DAMAGE
MP443 GRACH Pistol Melee -12″ 1 0
AK74 Assault Rifle 1″- 36″ 3 1

OPERATIONAL SPECIALTY/ABILITY

SCROUNGER: May SEARCH Terrain item twice.

HUSTLE: +2″ Movement Bonus for two consecutive Move Actions in the same turn.

 

GEAR

Military Body Armor: Armor 4 PLUS counts as Obscured Target from Ranged Attacks when in Cover. Med-Kit: (2) Self-administer. No Action Cost. Automatically replace Wound Result with two Pin counters. Hand Grenade: (2) Range: 1″ -18″  FP: 1   Dam: 2/model. Small Blast Template

“You’ve got dead on you.”

Finally got to run through a trial game of Rogue Stars last night. One character each to get the basic mechanics down. Cyber-Ninja and Tank against a Bounty Hunter and Pirate (he prefers the term ‘Privateer’)

Rolls for Mission, Objective, Environment, Complications will come after we have Activation/Reaction, Movement and Combat down. Besides, some of us haven’t worked up a full crew yet.

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3′ x 4 Game area. An old military outpost built around the ruins of an ancient warp gate. Attacker’s Objective was to take a quantum flux reading at the center of the ruin then skedaddle back to their base line with the info.

Our Cyber-Ninja and Tank were the attackers while the Pirate and Bounty Hunter found their mutual interests momentarily aligned enough to team together to thwart them.

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Turn One saw both sides spend Actions/Reactions advancing and jockeying for position. Derek’s Tank Quantum Harnessed its big self a mere three inches from the objective right away. John’s Alien Bounty hunter rushed forward hoping to bring his Laser Rifle to bear.

Cyber-Ninja aka “Sneaky Death-Borg” sidled up the left by the bunker and through the trees while our dashing Privateer sauntered forward, ostensibly in support of his (temporary) ally.

The next turn saw Derek’s Tank move forward and blaze away with his Plasma Cannon, inflicting a world of pain on the Bounty Hunter. First volley sizzled through the torso armor, knocked him flat with two Pins and a Serious Wound. Threat dispatched, he then grabbed the objective.

The Pirate, shocked by the violent display, rushed forward and unloaded his SMG on the Tank. Two rounds of Automatic FIre (four shots) and the Tank crumbled. Huzzah Team Pirate!

Thinking the tables are turning, the Bounty Hunter successfully activates, removes two pins, staggers to his feet, only to be charged by the SDB and decapitated in a devastating flurry of Monowire Sword blows. Oops. The cyber-ninja wiped his blade clean and ran off behind a hill before the Pirate could turn around with his trusty SMG.

All that by Turn 3.

The Pirate – who couldn’t help but notice the keenness of the Cyber-Ninja’s blade and his prowess –  decided the wiser course of action was to camp out at the old Warp Gate and force the SDB to cross the open ground to him. (rather than chase after him) So… we called  it and sat back to discuss our first encounter with Rogue Stars.

IMMEDIATE CONCLUSIONS:

  1. A QRS would really help. First game sure, but flipping back and forth in the book got tedious. (which is not what we want in a game) For the love of all the miniature gods, I’m imploring you, Osprey.
  2. Range for 2-Hand Weapons. 8″ Base Range for pistols and such makes sense, I guess. But for Long Guns? 12″ at least. Might House Rule that. We’ll see.
  3. Character Creation is Fun. Yes, there are Pre-Gen Characters and Crews in the back of the book but you really can slot in any SF fig in your collection and make it work. All of us enjoyed making our characters and are looking forward to making full crews.
  4. A QRS would really help.

Again, this was a one-of game to learn the core Movement and Combat mechanics, so our impression is limited. The Mission Tables, Environments, Settings, Complications, and Campaign Rules all look great, but we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them. Rogue Stars might be a bit crunchy for some, but I’m confident once we familiarize ourselves with the basics, we’ll move onto a full-blown campaign. At this point, we’re all very much looking forward to that.

Below are a couple pictures of more recent brushwork. They may or may not get some Rogue Star action.

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Infinity fig doing it STALKER-style.
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Nice Cyber-punk fig.

 

 

 

 

 

Terror in Tendale Wood

Derek was called into work, furiously cooking gluten-free alternatives for customers’ Thanksgiving celebrations, but Matt and I got together over a quick ‘one-of’ ASOBH game last night.

***

Hrodor the Druid and his nephew Brynar have been tracking the evil necromancer Heinrich Klutch for months. Following him to the quiet hamlet of Tendale, the Northmen hire two sturdy rangers to reinforce their party and follow the sorcerer into the woods. Little do they know the wretched man plans on desecrating the ancient Shrine of the Skystone with dire incantations and foul majiks.

After an hour in the woods, the rangers suddenly report the old man has stopped in the shrine’s clearing a quarter mile on and seems to be preparing to enact some kind of ritual. Worse, he has been joined by unnatural allies: two cursed spirits, a gibbering ghoul, a brawny ghast, and a large, ugly warrior armed with a heavy battle ax and a deadly hand scythe. Six against four – they’re outnumbered.

“No matter,” Hrodor said. “We will stop this desecration, cut Klutch’s black heart from his body, and finally put an end to his vile schemes.”

Brynar hefts his sword and ax. “Ja. And I’ll cut down anyone or anything that gets in my way.”

Reluctant at first, the rangers pluck up their courage, unlimber their bows, and stalk into the woods.

***

The battle began well for Hrodor. The Rangers crept forward on the right as he and his nephew went left. The Ghoul was the first to spot the intruders and raced to confront Brynar. Garn Gravehand, the large pestilent warrior, and the unnamed Ghast followed after, leaving Klutch and the Cursed spirits to finish the ritual.

Brynar cleaved the Ghoul in half, spraying ichor and black blood among the trees. The Ghast attacked one of the rangers but was forced back. Gravehand’s bulk slowed him down and he lumbered through the underbrush toward the fighting.

Eventually Gravehand and the Ghast reached the Druid’s warband and began slugging it out. The battle was evenly matched with neither side gaining an advantage – until the Cursed spirits showed up.

Aura of Terror. That’s what cinched it for the forces of Darkness. A simple spell but so effective.

Frustrated at the interruption, Klutch sent the spirits to help Gravehand. The spirits floated swiftly on dire winds toward the fighting. Before they landed a single blow, their eerie, forlorn wailing and unearthly glow forced Hrodor’s compatriots to make morale checks. First one Ranger panicked, then Brynar flinched. Next, the Northern warrior was forced back by the Ghast. Another ghostly wail, and he fled off the nearest board edge. That left the Druid and the second Ranger, who fired ineffectively at the creatures advancing on them before retreating themselves. A rather ignominious conclusion to noble intentions.

Like the old Northern adage goes: Run, run, run away. Live to fight another day.

Hrodor’s vengeance was thwarted but not quenched.

*Notice if you will, the fallen rune stone on the right edge of the board. If Matt had bothered checking it, (it was marked with an objective stone) he would have found Piotor, a former mercenary come on hard times. Not above rolling the occasional drunk or lone traveler for a few extra coins, Piotor had followed Klutch into the woods thinking him an easy mark. Once the uglies showed up however, he wisely decided to back off. Some assistance and the promise of a a share in the spoils/reward, Piotor would have gladly have given Hrodor and crew a hand. But did Matt check? Nooooooooooo. 

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Skystone Shrine in the Tendale Woods

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Apparently, the old man brought some friends.
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Desecrating the shrine. Is nothing sacred these days?
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Druid and his party.
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“Take your nephew on a quest. It builds character!”
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“We ain’t getting paid enough to face a necromancer.”
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“And here I thought the old man was an easy mark…”
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Bad Guy Backup
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No wonder they widdled their knickers.

ZP Squad 1

Creating faction squads for Zona Perestrelki, our latest iteration of home-brew skirmish rules for the STALKER-verse, I put together these five. Ex-military types, they have decent experience and gear. The figs themselves are Empress Miniatures Modern Russians with head swaps. Other faction squads on the painting table include Zone Enforcement troops,  a (heavily armed) U.N. Research Team, and RMU/Elite Bandits (Rogue Military Unit turned Mercenary)

These lads will be seeing action tomorrow night. Not my best work but decent enough to die in the Zone, eh? Wish them luck.

That’s all for now.  До свидания (Dasvidania)

 

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Zona Perestrelki: Test run 1

Play-testing the next iteration of “Cleared to Engage”, Matt, Derek and I ventured into the Zone last night. A bio-tech firm contracted a team of private military to escort a researcher to several sites in the village of Timanza, five klicks inside the Cordon. A crew of Bandits heard the news through the grapevine and figured there must be something worth having there, and so set off to stop them and get it for themselves. (whatever it is, it must be worth big bucks. Otherwise, why pay mercs to babysit an egghead?)

In the new version of CTE, weapon lethality is offset by lower weapon damage and more frequent Will checks in Combat. We’re undecided on the adjustments, still testing and tweaking, but it made for a quick, fun game. The Bandits took some hits early on, but rallied to drive the Merc Team back with their tail between their legs, dragging their dead and wounded with them.

There are more Zone excursions scheduled and some of the new modern Russians from Empress on the way, so expect to hear and see more Zone Firefights in the near future.

Until then, here are some pictures from the game.

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Impudent Mortal’s Starter Ruins set with debris and some 3D printed Fuel Tanks. Nice, inexpensive way to generate a post-apocalyptic battlefield. 
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Merc Team and Scientist from Lead Adventure Miniatures. 
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This guy earned his pay, taking out 4 Bandits before getting gunned down by the Bandit Boss. 
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The best STALKER style figs out there. 
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More LA figs with Mantic bits in the foreground. 
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Bandits by Empress Miniatures 
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Laying down covering fire. 
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Holed up in one of the designated buildings. 
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Paradise Lost. Post-Apocalypse Found. 

The White Monk’s Tower

“on we went, with every step a voice

whispering in our ears that this

was all folly…”

 

Our Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes campaign continued last week with our intrepid adventurers hiking into the foothills to locate the White Monk’s Tower. Rumors of treasure helped pull them on but a scroll hidden beneath the feet of the White Monk’s statue reveals the hidden passes to Storm Crag Keep – the lair of the Liche King.

Here’s some shots

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table with new terrain  piece- a nice Hirst Arts kit from an eBay seller
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Close up of the kit. My first time with one, so I’m grateful I picked ruins. 
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Lazarus Stern faced Jorek the Red. 
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Elf Death-seeker trying to ambush enemy.  Didn’t work out. 
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Elf Mage and Rogue watching the Death-Seeker run away with the scroll after almost having his death-wish granted. 
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Rogue tried for the treasure, but with three barbarian marauders on his heels, he decided he didn’t need the GP THAT bad. 
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“Stop chewing that gospel of Saint Udolf!”
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It’s been a long, hard road. Norbert the Novice is no longer a noob.