Friday, 29 April 2016

Vampifan's Views 78 - Monthly Musings 53

What a busy month April has been for me. I'll start, as usual, with my latest picture of the gorgeous Vampirella as painted by the supremely talented Joe Jusko. Vampire and Zombie in one picture - the perfect combination for my blog.

So what has Vampifan been up to this month? First and foremost was the launch of my new blog - All Things Dungeon Crawl, which is being run on a weekly basis collectively by myself and three very good friends, games designer Stephen Gilbert, his partner Hilary and our latest recruit, Tarot Hunt. Please do check it out. Here's a link to it -
It has one of the liveliest comments sections of any blog I've read. Feel free to join in. This week's post features our first batrep for the Chibi World game and a link to download the complete Chibi World rules for free.

On the painting front, I'm getting lots done. As well as painting brand new 28mm scale Wild West figures from various sources, I'm also repainting and re-basing many of my old 28mm scale Wild West figures. I now have loads to show you, which is a nice situation to be in. Figures that have gone off the table are 15 Crossover Miniatures Ninjas, painted up as Foot Assassins to use as opponents for my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I also painted a stunningly beautiful Black Scorpion Birthday Girl as a St. Trinian's sixth former. She was such a pleasure to paint - drool! Currently on my painting table are 5 North Star Wild West gunfighters and 6 civilians, 6 Greebo Games not-TMNT allies and villains, 2 Ninja All Stars Ronin and a Super Dungeon Explore Mini-Boss. Quite a mix, I'm sure you'll agree.

Despite my efforts to cut down on spending more money on Kickstarter projects I failed spectacularly this month and backed two within a week or so of each other. First up was the new sci-fi/Western game by Soda Pop Games called Rail Raiders Infinite. This just ticked so many boxes for me - sci-fi, Wild West, Chibi miniatures and simple and fast game play. You can check out my preview of it here.
The other game I backed was Rum and Bones: Second Tide, which was another no-brainer for me, seeing as I loved the first Rum and Bones game so much. Please, no one remind me that I have yet to paint any figures for this game (yes, Simon, I am thinking of you!). I know and I will get round to them... sometime.

One thing that did please me immensely was that I managed to play 3 games a total of 8 times this month. WOOT! All of them were games that arrived this month. First up, I played two games of Thunderbirds by Modiphius Games. This parcel contained the three expansion sets I had ordered when I first backed this Kickstarter project. Expansion set 1 adds three new player characters to the mix - Brains, Parker and Tin-Tin. Expansion set 2 adds 10 new non-International Rescue vehicles to aid in rescues. Expansion set 3, which I haven't played and to be honest, am not too keen on, sees the villainous Hood take a much more active part in the game as a player character in his own right. The two games I played used the first two expansion sets, individually, not together.

The second game that I played was Airfix Battles, which is also produced by Modiphius Games. It is a simple World War 2 boardgame played at squad levels. You do have the option to replace the card counters with your Airfix toy soldiers and model tanks if you so desire. The game is fast, fun and easy to play. In fact, I enjoyed playing it so much I played it five times in three days. The game is designed to be played by 1 to 4 players. Despite the solo play rules, I played all of my games with the rules for a two player game. Funnily enough, all five of my games resulted in resounding victories for either the Allies or the Germans. There was never a closely fought game where the outcome was in doubt. The setting is Normandy in 1944, starting just after the D-Day landings. If there is interest in the game I'll do a full review later. This was not a Kickstarter project. I bought it purely for nostalgic reasons as I used to collect hundreds of Airfix figures and models as a youngster. It costs £24.99.

The third and final game that I played (just the once) was Project Z by Warlord Games. Yes, folks, what we have here is yet another zombie apocalypse game. This was designed primarily as a game for those who collect the former Wargames Factory plastic multi-part zombie and survivor figures. Warlord Games now produce these sets and have added two new sets to the range - bikers and special forces troopers. All of these figure sets are excellent and you can mix and match the parts between the sets giving you so much variety and choices. However, whilst the figures are top notch the game failed to impress me. I will do a full review of the game next time as it is very relevant to this blog but my advice to you would be buy the figures but don't buy the game.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Killer B Games Criminals with Shotguns

I have more wonderful 1970's style 28mm scale villains made by Killer B Games to show you. This time, the one thing they all have in common is that all six are armed with Shotguns. I have given them all names to help identify them better.
So, starting at the far left is Marc Jessup, a gang leader, who could be either a Villainous Star or Co-Star in 7TV2e. He is carrying a 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun and is aiming a .38 Revolver. With his sunglasses, porn-star moustache and huge sideburns he could only be a 1970's character. You'll find him on Killer B Games webstore in the "Geezers! Shut It!" range as KB023 Blagger with Shotgun and Pistol.
In the centre of this group is balding Roger Longhurst, who is armed with a Double-Barrelled Sawn-Off Shotgun. He is KB015 Bald Geezer with Sawn-Off Shotgun. Finally, is hippie criminal, Jeremy Campbell. He is definitely not all about "peace and love!" He is armed with a Sawn-Off Pump-Action Shotgun and he is KB019 Funky Geezer on the Killer B Games webstore.
At the far left of my second trio of ne'er-do-wells is "Mad Mike" Turrell, a psychopathic thug, very much in the same mould as Gang Boss, Charlie Slater. On the Killer B Games webstore he has been painted as having white hair and beard. I almost went with that paint scheme myself but in the end I decided to make him a much younger version. Not surprisingly he is known as KB017 Bearded Geezer with Pump-Action Shotgun.
In the centre of this trio is Davey Lowe, who is armed with a Double-Barrelled Sawn-Off Shotgun. He is unshaven and unkempt and a low level criminal. You'll find him on Killer B Games' webstore as KB004 Geezer with Sawn-Off Shotgun.
Last of all, is a figure that some of you may recognise - he is a dead ringer for Jack Carter (played by Michael Caine), the eponymous villain of the 1971 film, Get Carter. Forget the awful remake with Sylvester Stallone! I could have named him Jack Carter but seeing as how the film ended I decided to slightly change his name to Michael Carter, mixing up the character and actor's names. He is, rather unusually, armed with a Pump-Action Shotgun (in the film, Carter used a Double-Barrelled Shotgun. See photo below) and he wears his trademark black trench coat. He is a terrific figure and such an iconic villain. Killer B Games sell him as KB009 Hitman with Shotgun. I'd most likely use him as a Hitman Criminal Extra in 7TV2e.
As always, each of these figures costs a mere £2.00 each. Let's get tooled up!
Michael Caine as Jack Carter in an opening scene of the film, Get Carter.

Friday, 22 April 2016

7TV2e Criminals in Balaclavas

Here is Charlie Slater's gang that I'll be using in my first game of 7TV2e (see my last post about Criminal Masterminds to see who Charlie Slater is). These figures are predominantly by Killer B Games with one addition from Ral Partha, who is a real "blast from the past." All six figures have been named by me.
At the far left of the two photos above and below is Slater's right hand man, Micky Neville. He is armed with a 12 Gauge Sawn-Off Pump-Action Shotgun and is carrying a bag of money. Like Slater, he is dressed in a British Army camouflage jacket. Both men grew up in South London and have been close friends all their lives. He'll be a Faithful Lackey Co-Star in my 7TV2e scenario. On the Killer B Games webstore he is KB042 Masked Raider with Shotgun and Sack.
Next up are two Bruiser Thugs armed with a 12 Gauge Sawn-Off Pump-Action Shotgun and a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Sawn-Off Shotgun. In the centre is Dougie Wetherall and at far right is Tom Kilgour. You can find these on the Killer B Games webstore as KB046 Masked Raider with Pump Action Shotgun and KB044 Masked Raider with Sawn Off Shotgun respectively.
Moving on, I have two more Bruiser Thugs made by Killer B Games. At the far left is Colin Briggs, armed with a pick-axe handle and in the centre is George Houseman, armed with a 9mm Pistol and carrying a money bag. These are KB045 Masked Raider with Pick Axe Handle and KB043 Masked Raider with Pistol and Sack.
Bringing up the rear, is Paddy MacDee who is armed with a 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifle. He was made by Ral Partha and is a very old 25mm scale figure of mine. In those days all 1" tall figures were 25mm scale. Then scale-creep raised the average height to 28mm and we now regard that as the norm for 1" figures. Paddy is a teenager and so his lack of height is not an issue for me.
All of the Killer B Games figures cost £2.00 each. Good luck finding the Ral Partha Masked Raider with Assault Rifle as he is long out of production and I can't even remember what range he came from, although I am certain he was made by Ral Partha.

Monday, 18 April 2016

7TV2e Criminal Masterminds 01

Having concentrated on the Police figures I plan on using in my 7TV2e games these past few weeks, it is now time to look at their opposition, starting with this post concentrating on the criminal masterminds - the Villainous Stars and Co-Stars.
At the far left is Tony "King Tut" Tuttle, who bears a close resemblance to the inimitable Arthur Daley (played by George Cole) in the TV series of Minder. I might have named him Arthur Daley, but Crooked Dice Games gave him a much cooler name, in my opinion, and so I have stuck with that. In 7TV2e I see "King Tut" as either an Underworld Boss Star or as a Faithful Lackey Co-Star. He appears to be unarmed but there is a good chance he's carrying a concealed pistol. He costs £3.50 on the CDG webstore.
In the centre of the group is another CDG figure who bears a close resemblance to yet another well known villain from TV - "Genial" Harry Grout (as played by Peter Vaughan) in Porridge. "Grouty" as he was also known as, was feared by prisoners and prison guards alike. Upon his release from prison he returned to his life of crime and eventually died of a heart attack. This time, I have decided to keep the name as CDG have not named him, simply referring to him as Underworld Boss to tie in with his Villainous Star status. On the CDG webstore he has been painted with a white shirt and black tie. I decided to swap the colours round and it works very well, in my opinion. He is quite expensive, costing £4.00.
At the far right is Charlie Slater, a crime boss made by Killer B Games. He'll be making an appearance in my first 7TV2e scenario, either as an Underworld Boss Star or as a Jackbooted Sadist Co-Star. He's a vicious bastard who specialises in violent crime, notably armed robbery. On Killer B Games' webstore you'll find him listed as KB006 In Scarf with Pistol, where he costs a mere £2.00.
All three are full of character and great sculpts and each one makes for a great Mister Big. "King Tut" and Grouty (doesn't he just ooze menace?) are more sophisticated villains; both share a love of expensive cigars. Slater, on the other hand is one of the new breed of criminals, violent, hot-headed and unpredictable. I'm going to have lots of fun running these guys.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Killer B Games UK Policemen with Caps

I reach the end of my batch of reviews of Detectives and UK Policemen from the 1970's and 1980's to use in my games of 7TV2e. This time I'm showcasing six Killer B Games 28mm scale Policemen wearing caps. When I saw these figures my first thought was to use them as members of the Special Patrol Group (SPG). The SPG was active from 1961 to 12 January 1987, being replaced by the Territorial Support Group.
The SPG recruited experienced officers capable of working as disciplined teams, either in uniform or in plain clothes preventing public disorder, targeting areas of serious crime, carrying out stop and searches or providing a response to terrorist threats. It also conducted its own surveillance and was tasked with reducing the problem of burglaries. During the time it was active it had a dedicated radio channel and a fleet of vans to allow it to work independently of routine divisions.
The SPG originally consisted of four units based throughout London. This was increased to six and finally to eight. Each unit was made up of an inspector, three sergeants and thirty constables. Its position within the Metropolitan Police was unusual; whereas the Flying Squad became the symbol of the Criminal Investigation Department in London, the SPG became recognised as a unit that efficient uniformed officers could aspire to join. As such it had an exceptionally high level of esprit de corps. Other police forces outside London created their own versions of the Special Patrol Group. The Greater Manchester Police created the Tactical Aid Group (TAG) in 1977. The Merseyside Police formed the Task Force in 1974 which was later disbanded in 1978 and replaced with the Operational Support Division (OSD).
In the two photos above are KB012 Police Officer in Cap Standing, KB010 Police Office in Cap Tapping Truncheon and KB028 Police Officer in Cap Swinging Truncheon. The Officer at the far left of this group is Inspector Steven Dyson, leader of this group and the only one I have named so far. The other figures are all unnamed constables.
Next up are three more constables who appear of the Killer B Games webstore as KB011 Police Officer in Cap Advancing, KB026 Police Officer in Cap with Pistol and KB027 Police Officer in Cap Firing Pistol. All six figures can be bought for just £2.00 each.
In 7TV2e I would use Inspector Dyson as a Strongarm Co-star and the five constables as Riot Police Constable Extras, due to their superior training in dealing with violent crimes. I'm not sure when I'll get round to using them in a game but they are good to have, especially if I want a small group of cops that are better equipped to dealing with trouble than my ordinary Police Constable Extras.

If you haven't checked out my other blog, why not give it a view. You may well be pleasantly surprised as it is a very different beast to this blog. Here's the link to it - 
The comments received so far have been highly favourable and quite surprisingly, very long, which is great because Steve, Hilary and myself love writing and we do enjoy a long chat about anything to do with gaming. Oh, and it's not all about Chibis!