Friday, 17 August 2018

Strontium Dog - The Weerd Brothers

The Weerd Brothers, Cuss, Hiss and Silent, fought alongside Johnny Alpha during the first mutant war. They joined the Search/Destroy agency at the end of the war to cash in on their deadly skills. Becoming somehow trapped in an alternate dimension, Hell-World, they stole three tickets back to Earth, and would have escaped, but lost them in a fight with Johnny Alpha, against whom they swore revenge. After they eventually escaped back to their own dimension, they were employed as Gronk poachers by an alien gastronomic terror called Cruso Slugg. Their slaughter of thousands of Gronks on the planet Blas for their master to eat was intended to lure Johnny Alpha into a trap. Attracting the ire of Johnny and his partner Wulf Sternhammer did not go well for them, and the three brothers were overcome a second time by their sworn enemies.
These three figures are produced by Warlord Games as part of their new Strontium Dog skirmish game. At the far left is Hiss Weerd, the leader of the trio. His mutation is that he has Medusa-like snakes for hair and their venom is deadly, giving him a +1 Fight modifier in melee combat.
In the centre is Cuss Weerd, who is classed as a main character. His mutation is he is an ugly snekker, which is purely cosmetic, giving him no effects in the the game. Younger brother, Silent Weerd is just a minor character, totally lacking any facial features. He can not take any double actions in the game, but nor can he ever be pinned.
They are available as a boxed set from Warlord Games, which contains the three figures, as well as character cards for each of them, two Armoury cards (Anti-gravity Shot and Time Bomb) and 1 Chicanery card (Team Work) for £15.00. I like the sculpting of them very much and they make fine bad guys.
I finished painting everything that I received in the Strontium Dog Collection 1 a day before I received everything that was released for the second wave of this game's figure releases. All of the new named characters are on my painting desk, getting painted now. The fact that Durham Red is amongst them ensured that these shot to the front of my painting queue. I also bought two boxed sets of the Build a Mutie sets and I'm pleased I did. Each box contains 5 figures that can be built in a staggering amount of poses with options galore. I need to work out what options to use on each figure.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Strontium Dog - Max Bubba and his Gang

Max Bubba was an outlaw who eluded capture by taking over a time portal and escaping to Norway in 793AD. There he hatched a mad plan to eliminate the Vikings as well as humanity in revenge for its treatment of mutants. He was thwarted by Johnny Alpha, who had been sent into the timeslip and made an alliance with a Viking known as Wulf Sternhammer. Bubba waited many years until Johnny and Wulf retired. He tracked them down to their humble shack and ambushed them. His men pinned out the Strontium Dogs to die from exposure, but was forced to gun down Wulf when he tore free of his bonds. Alpha faked his own death and, driven by vengeance, hunted down and executed Bubba and his four henchmen.
Warlord Games released figures of Max Bubba and his gang as part of The Good, The Bad and The Mutie starter boxed set and here they are -
I have two versions of Max Bubba. The one at the far left was produced by Wargames Foundry and as you can see, he's a good bit taller than the Warlord Games version standing next to him. Of the two, I prefer the Warlord Games version, mainly because his facial features are more indistinct and almost blurred, which closely matches the artwork of Max. Max's face looks like he's wearing a stocking over his head. Also, I like his Blazooga he's carrying.
The blue skinned mutant is Brute Mosely, whose mutations are his bestial-like head and blue skin. He is a minor character, as are the next three henchmen.
Third from the right is Impetigo Jones whose skin is badly diseased. He wears bandages covering most of his face to hide his deformity.
Second from the right is the mutant known only as Skull. He has skeletal-like features, which offer no advantages or disadvantages in game.
Finally, is Low-Down O'Phee, whose torso is much reduced in size, even though the rest of his body is perfectly proportioned.
The Warlord Games figures of Max and Brute came with separate arms and weapons, but the other figures are all one-piece castings. I like these figures a lot and rather conveniently they have a Notoriety rating of 40, the same as the combined total of Johnny, Wulf and Gronk. The Good, The Bad and The Mutie set features a scenario booklet that pits these two sides against one another in three different encounters. I'll certainly be giving them a try out.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Strontium Dog - Wulf Sternhammer & Gronk

Johnny Alpha's partner for much of his career, Wulf Sternhammer was a Viking warrior brought to the future during one of Johnny's forays through time to hunt down the outlaw, Max Bubba. Wulf's loyalty to Johnny was unshakeable, as was his fondness for cracking skulls with his favourite weapon - a huge hammer he called "der Happy Stick." Here, I present three versions of Wulf, made by various companies.
At the far left is the Wargames Foundry version of Wulf. This is a cracking good sculpt of Wulf and he is dynamically sculpted in an advancing pose as he swings his hammer. When I reviewed the Stix Brothers and Johnny Alpha in my two previous posts I stated that the Wargames Foundry versions of them were my favourite sculpts of those characters. In this case, whilst I do like this sculpt a lot, I actually prefer the figure in the centre of the group, who was produced for the Indyclix game. It does same that both figures were sculpted by the same person, Shane Hoyle. What I particularly like about this figure is the way his face has been sculpted. His stern expression is beautifully realised.
At the far right is the official Wulf figure produced for Warlord Games' Strontium Dog game. Reading comments about this particular figure there has been a lot of negativity regarding the sculpting of him. The posing of his right arm is what displeases most critics, and having seen the figure in the flesh, I have to agree. The way the arm is attached to the body looks wrong. It is such a shame because the rest of him is nicely sculpted, although his hammer is a lot smaller than the Foundry and Indyclix versions. I doubt very much if I'll be using this particular figure in any of my games. He really sucks!
Occasional companion to Johnny and Wulf was the strange alien known as the Gronk. Though prone to fear-induced but non-fatal heart attacks, the meek Gronk nevertheless proved a useful ally. Able to digest metal and lick his way through steel bars, he rescued Johnny and Wulf from tight spots on occasion, but it was his medical skills that saw him become a useful member of Alpha's band of allies.
At the far left is the Wargames Foundry version of the Gronk. He is a lot larger than the Warlord Games version and so I've named him Big Gronk - a relative of my other Gronk. Warlord Games produce two versions of the Gronk, one on foot and one on the back of a skimmer. The one on foot, carrying his medical bag, is my favourite version. The size looks right and having him with his medical bag is an excellent choice. The Gronk is next to useless in combat but his medical skills makes him worthy of inclusion in a game. At the far right is Wulf and Gronk riding on a skimmer. Rather nicely, the Gronk is leaning to one side to see past Wulf. He doesn't look very happy! This skimmer is much longer than the single-seater version that Johnny rides. It is primarily a resin sculpt with a few metal parts - Wulf's upper body, his arms and handlebars and the Gronk's upper body.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Strontium Dog - Johnny Alpha

The Strontium Dogs storyline focuses on Johnny Alpha, whose mutated eyes allow him to see through walls and read minds. He is responsible for such legendary achievements as destroying the Wolrog homeworld, leading the mutant uprising on Earth, and bringing Adolf Hitler to the future to face trial. His legendary career and his assistance to mutants in trouble - such as donating a large sum of money to the Milton Keynes ghetto in "Mutie's Luck" - have made him an icon to Earth's mutants. He is a highly skilled and dangerous fighter.
A dogged bounty hunter, Johnny never gives up in the pursuit of his quarry. While he does work for money, he possesses a conscience and will often take a job, forego payment or sometimes drop a job entirely: in "The Doc Quince Case", he immediately relented and rescued a man he'd hunted down, and in "The Slavers of Drule" he took an assignment to track down a group of slavers because he felt it was the right thing to do. He also can be extremely vengeful when angered, as shown by his actions towards Nelson Kreelman and Max Bubba.
He is the son of Nelson Bunker Kreelman, a bigoted politician who drafted the anti-mutant laws and gained power on the back of bigotry. Despised, abused and hidden away by his father, Johnny escaped at a young age and joined the Mutant Army, becoming one of its key leaders by age 17 and playing a major part in the mutant uprising of 2167. He never revealed the identity of his father, changing his name from Kreelman to Alpha.
In this post I'm taking a look at the six different figures I have of Johnny, produced by various companies.
Starting at the left are two versions of Johnny produced by Wargames Foundry. The figure at the far left was one of the the first figures that Foundry made based on characters from the 2000AD comic, and he is my favourite version of Johnny. The figure second from the left is too tall, too static and the face is off. He's my least favourite version of Johnny. Crouching down is the Indyclix version of Johnny. He is the most chunky of the figures but he is nicely posed and sculpted. I prefer standing figures to crouching or kneeling figures so it is unlikely I'll use this figure very often.
The other three figures were all produced by Warlord Games specifically for their Strontium Dog skirmish game. I do like the version of Johnny holding his pair of pistols a lot, and he's my second favourite sculpt. You'll notice that the Warlord Games figures are slightly smaller in size to the others and are more realistically proportioned. Moving on, is a special edition figure of Johnny with his Electronux and rather unusually, without his helmet. This figure can only be acquired if you buy the Strontium Dog rulebook (priced at £20) or the Strontium Dog Collection 1 bundle for £120. I do like this figure. Finally, is Johnny riding a skimmer (also known as a hover sled or hov-bike). His face is obscured by a pair of goggles and a scarf covering his mouth and nose. This is a wonderful figure made of resin with a few metal parts (upper body and handlebars). I like the dust cloud effect, showing it is moving at speed. I might not use this figure very often but I'm happy to have it in my collection.
Do I really need six versions of Johnny Alpha? Of course not! But I'm such a 2000AD fanboy that I had to have them all, and it's not as if they were all released at the same time. When I use Johnny in a game I'll most likely mix up which figure to take depending upon circumstances but for the most part it'll be a toss up between the original Foundry figure or the two-guns Warlord Games figure.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Strontium Dog - the Stix Brothers

With Warlord Games having just released the new Strontium Dog sci-fi skirmish game last month, I plan on showing you my collection of figures for this game. Obviously, most of them will be the new figures produced by Warlord Games but two other companies made Strontium Dog figures as well and they were the Heroclix Indyclix offshoot and Wargames Foundry. This post will show figures from all three companies so you can compare how they match up. You'd probably expect me to start off with a look at the Johnny Alpha figures. After all, he is the main hero of the Strontium Dog stories but I haven't quite finished painting Johnny on his Gravbike. Instead, I'm showcasing the infamous Stix Brothers - a family of mutant Search/Destroy Agents who were more of a hindrance than a help to Johnny, even though they were all Strontium Dogs, the derogatory term given to all Search/Destroy Agents by pure-strain humans. Bounty hunting was one of the few jobs that were open to mutant-kind following a devastating nuclear war that mutated many humans, thus rendering them as second class citizens, pitied by some but hated by many.
At the far left are a pair of Stix brothers produced by Wargames Foundry. They have quite a chunky feel to them and are about 35mm tall. I really like them, mainly because of their facial expressions which capture the comic book look of them perfectly. Next in line is the one and only Indyclix sculpt of a Stix Brother, and he is such a close match to the two Foundry figures that I suspect the same person might have sculpted all three.
Then we come to the three newest Stix Brothers, who are sold as a set of three by Warlord Games. These are slightly smaller than the other three - about 32mm tall, and are more realistically proportioned. I did find that their facial features were not as well defined as the previous three but other than that I can't really criticise them. Their poses are very static but that kind of reflects their nature. Indeed, in the Strontium Dog rulebook, one of their skills is Purposeful - they cannot choose Charge or Sprint double actions.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Stix Brothers, you may be wondering how many of them are there? The answer is, no one knows. The info given in the rulebook about them reads thus - The Stix Brothers come from an unknown number of apparently identical mutants, all of whom are contracted to the Search/Destroy agency. They are, on the whole, utterly mercenary and without scruples - ice-hearted killers who affect the look of gunfighters from the Old West, with an unflinching and laconic demeanour to match. Nobody is sure how many Stixes there are. There seem to be an endless supply to take up the family feud and cause trouble across the galaxy. On the planet Freedonia there is a town called Stixville full of Stixes, including Stix women and children.
So, if I wanted to, I could field all six of these figures on a side in the Strontium Dog game. In my upcoming batrep I plan on fielding five of them against Johnny Alpha, Wulf Sternhammer and Durham Red. It should be fun!
The Stix Brothers boxed set of three figures, 1 character card (they all have identical stats so you only need one card for them, irrespective of how many you plan on using), 2 Armoury cards (Frag Bomb and Gas Bomb) and 1 Chicanery card (Stone Cold) are available for the price of £15.00 from the Warlord Games webstore.