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 - http://allthingsdungeoncrawl.blogspot.co.uk/
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.

37 comments:

  1. Great post, lots on the go this last month

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    1. Thanks, Loki. I do like to keep busy, especially when my enthusiasm is this high.

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  2. Cannot wait to see those Greebo figs man! Lots of gaming done buddy, congrats :-)

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    1. Ha, ha! I'm not surprised, Andy. The Greebo figures are tall, aren't they? but being mutant superheroes and villains it doesn't really matter.

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    2. Not all of them are tall but they are all good. Greebo Games kindly sent me Mister TM as a freebie and he's TINY! Even so, I think he'll fit in well with my TMNT figures either as a wee ally or a wee baddie.

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  3. I am interested in the Airfix game. I am sure it will expand to cover so many of thir figure ranges.

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    1. Cheers, Clint. I'll most likely do a more in depth review of the game just for you (and anyone else who might be interested). I can tell you that Modiphius are planning lots off expansion sets for this game.

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    2. yeah I would have been interested in that game too Clint: only I have Memoir 44 and all the expansions too, so buying another one very similar would, for me, have been overkill. Besides I`m in love with my Memoir 44 hehe. having both would be like having two wives.... no hold on a minute, that actually sounds okay doesn't it ^^

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    3. Yes. I know all about your love for Memoir 44. Indeed, if Airfix Battles hadn't come along when it did, I would have invested heavily in it. From what I've seen and know about Memoir 44, both games share much in common although Memoir 44 wins out hands down in terms of expansions. I will definitely do a full review for you guys.

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  4. Uuuugh I just wrote this twice... and blogger went and lost it twice as well, don’t you just hate the internet some days. Here goes the third time.

    I was interested to hear your take on Project Z. I was pretty sure the rules for that game would be totally naf. Rick Priestly simply can’t let go of his former glory days with Warhammer 40K, and now everything he does seems to feel like yet another endless take on the 40k universe. I knew the miniatures would be breathtakingly good, they always are from that company. Are they 25mm though, like most the ones are by Warlord Games, making them noticeably diminutive alongside standard 28mm minis?

    Black Scorpion Birthday Girl sounds fun, I`d like to see her painted Bryan. She`s a personal fav character of mine.

    Vampirella is looking suitably cool this month (or should that be hot).

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    1. Blogger can be a twat at times! My next post will be a full review of Project Z and I'll go into greater detail of why I don't like it.

      I'll send you a photo of Birthday Girl real soon. She is amazing!

      Vampirella ALWAYS looks cool AND hot at the same time! :-)

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    2. I very interested to read your upcoming review (and kind of dreading it) because I really wanted to adopt this one. Oh well I can't have enough of those former wargames factory models and I'd really like some of those bikers so if worse comes to worse I'll grab it simply for the plastic.

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    3. Hi, Horridperson (I bet you're a really nice person!). Welcome on board. The Project Z figures are superb but the rules themselves are below par. Check back tomorrow when I'll post my full review of the game.

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  5. I'm feeling Stephen G's pain here Bryan, as this won;t be the first time I've typed this... Grrrrhhhh....

    Great posting Bryan, as I too succumbed to Rail Raiders (Thanks to you and Stephen's dratted Chibi blog I might add!!!) and Rum'N'Bones; the first KS of which presumably you've now painted up!?! ;-) ). I too also own Airfix Battles, though I've not had the chance to actually play it yet - too many games not enough time, and Battlefront's Tanks has undoubtedly distracted me on the WW2 front currently - played it at "Salute" and loved it.

    I'm especially looking forward to Greebo games minis, though I'm surprised you didn't sneak in their impressive-looking Chibi range onto your order... or did you? Either way looking forward to seeing your TMNT-related minis in all their glory :-)

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    1. Good man, Simon, for backing Rail Raiders. I had no idea you too had bought Airfix Battles. How cool. I'll tell you a big thing I like about it - no figures or models to paint! YAY!

      The Greebo Games figures are about half done. They should be finished in about a week's time but I don't know when I'll get round to posting them given the stack of other material I have to post. No, I did not buy their Chibi figures but I am aware of them. Maybe, just maybe!

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  6. Welcome to the madhouse of "Rail Raiders, Chibis, Mice & Men" (hmmm that should be the title of a set of rpg rules). This Raiders cow boy/girl thing should be fun, through for me I will pretty much be taking the components apart for other things: The train carriages for making really cool rpg terrain (Oo, ideal for Chibi Pulp and Cthulhuu adventures) and the western Chib` guys for adding into Brimstone, etc etc etc. So "welcome aboard" Simon seems really apt here. "chooo.... Choooo!!!!" <--- starts making puffer-train noises*

    Those Greebo Games minis look really splendid. I may well succumb to one or two of those one day; though, in all truth, I have enough anime/chibi stuff now to last a lifetime, and I fear I`d probably mostly only be duplicating pieces I already have (i.e. troll, pixie, Orcs, etc). But they ARE lovely looking aren't they. Very tempting.... hmmmm, VERY tempting.

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  7. ..... oh heck they really ARE nice aren't they, those Greebo Games minis.

    Drat, uuugh its not my fault. I was being good: so good. Its all your fault you guys, for telling me about them.

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    1. You have my sympathies, Steve. One of us posts some cool-looking figures and almost inevitably, someone else will want them. I know I'm guilty of getting others to spend their money on shiney new stuff, but it's not all one way traffic. It was Andy who "forced" me to buy the Greebo Games figures, just as he forced me to get into the whole Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vibe. Let's face it, we all have low willpower stats! *Chuckle!*

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  8. *best Fraser voice* "Och, we`re doomed... we`re all doomed"

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  9. Wow, you had a lot going on - I'm glad at least I didn't miss the monthly round-up if I can't pay much attention to the blogs lately!

    Congratulations on the start of the Chibi blog, it is great to hear it is a success!

    As for Project Z, I only pay a little attention to it (from what I've seen the miniatures are weirdly expensive, but I might be wrong?) and I'll take your word about the quality of the rule set.

    Lately so many new things were published - not only for zombie wargaming - and most of them simply seem half done transitions from their parent games.

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    1. Many thanks, Mathyoo, and thanks for commenting. First up the Chibi blog covers far more than just Chibis, although we are concentrating a lot on Steve's "Chibi World" rules at first, just to make people aware of them. And they are free!
      I'll talk a lot more about Project Z in tomorrow's post. It would seem that zombie apocalypse games are spouting up all over the place. The fascination with them has not reached saturation point yet.

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  10. Here`s the thing, right (yes yes yes I know I sometimes sound like a cracked record, but I promise to make it brief lol), okay, here's the thing.... Mathyoo pretty much hit the nail on the proverbial head: coming at this another angle, I`d simply ask:

    Just take zombie gaming as an example: What`s WRONG with a nice favourite set of rules and your chosen preference of minis to play with? Whether that favourite thing is All Things Zombie, the set I wrote - Twilight Dawn, Ambush Z, Zombie Dawn (15mm zombie gaming), No More Room In Hell, GURPS Zombies, etc etc doesn’t matter which one your tipple is. You FIND your preferred perfect set of zombie gaming rules, collect the zombies and survivors from the company you like (or go eclectic, and collect from companies... plural), and you stick to what you do. Anything new is probably only going to be same old disappointment anyway, once the hype is over, the smoke clears, and you actually get down to studying your new purchase, invariably we just end up deciding to stick with our old tried and trusted favourite game. What is this endless need for something new.... because sure, it may be new, but its rarely better is it?

    I think of it like a marriage. You find a girl you like, then fall in love with; and then you marry her. End of story, you make your life together from that moment on. Do you keep looking around for nicer, better looking, more exciting girls all the time in an endless charade of infidelity, or do you STICK with your wife and build upon what you already have?

    Simple really, when you bring it down to stark basic.

    For me, with zombie gaming, I use the Zombicide miniatures, some of the terrain that comes in the boxes (but am usually on a jihad to replace that flat stuff, in time, with 3D equivalent), I use some of the tokens, and then I use my own rules to play the game with lol.

    I know I know, sinful hehe, but it’s how I enjoy the game best).

    Okay, I`ll shut up now lol.

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    1. You are very lucky, Steve. You know what you like and stick with it. I admire that. It shows willpower. Sadly, most gamers are a fickle bunch. They tend to suffer from a condition known as "Shineyitis". They see something new and have to have it, even though it might not be the best choice to make. Wisdom and common sense go straight out of the window for "Shineyitis" sufferers.

      My preferred zombie games are ATZ:FFO for tabletop gaming and Zombicide (and its supplements) for boardgames. I can't ever see me straying far from those two. But I have valid reasons for buying other zombie games.

      First up and rather sadly, is curiosity. A part of me wants to know if the new game is better than either of my preferred choices. It hasn't happened yet but who knows.

      Secondly, and more importantly, if the new game comes with figures, that is probably the main reason I want to buy it. I am, I admit, a zombie figure collecting addict. You'd think with over 1,000 28mm scale zombie figures in my collection that would be enough. It isn't. As long as firms keep making them I'll keep buying them. Sad, isn't it?

      My third reason for buying new games is one that few, if any of you, will have thought of. My Vampifan blog has built up a reputation for being one of the most respected gaming blogs currently going. I feel a responsibility to my readers and followers to inform and advise them on what is currently available and what I personally think of said products. I know my opinions carry some weight but ultimately it is up to the individuals if they want to buy something I review on my blog. Sometimes, they won't be aware of a product I review. Sometimes they will but they want to know what I think of the product anyway. I am offering a service to my followers. From the comments I receive I think my readers trust me to be as honest as I can. If I can help someone save money by not making a dodgy purchase then that's great. Equally, if someone is inspired to splash the cash because of one of my reviews, that is just as good. Either way, I have helped them. I'm good with that.

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  11. I think I would go another route, in your respected position, where (as you rightfully say) others DO rely on your advice and reputation, and your amazing reviews. I think I would take that 1000 plus figures and I would show them being used, played with, nurtured, handled, and loved through extensive use. I`d take that amazing terrain you have collected over the years, and use it all to create endless amazing things to delight and thrill your readers.

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    1. Believe me, Tarot, that most DEFINITELY is my plan. There is a reason for collecting so many zombie figures and it involves an epic game in which I will use as many of them as I can. One of the big problems I see with many zombie apocalypse games is that zombies only appear on the boards in dribs and drabs. They speak of zombie hordes but where are they? Zombicide is good with its growing escalation of zombies but it could still go further. As a huge fan of zombie fiction and films I see situations where the survivors are facing massive hordes of zombies but I never see this on a gaming table. This is the big plan I have. I am committed to making it happen and God willing, I will make it happen. All I can say right now is, watch this space!

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  12. That sounds a bit like the Battle of Waterloo Exhibition over at Prince August Model Toy Factory (Macroom in Ireland) I am currently writing the script for. Took a guy seven years and he made and painted 17000 miniatures and made the whole terrain for the battle (a 32 foot by 22 foot table). Guy built it in his LIVING ROOM... poor bloody wife, and he never even saw it all assembled until the end, when he tried it all out for fit and size in his garage.

    I see your massive zombie horse game being a bit like that Bryan hahahaha.

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    1. Ha, ha, ha! Oh it'll be big but not that big. I'm rather restricted by the size of the board I can put out which is 6' by 4' maximum. Considerably smaller than the Battle of Waterloo's chaps. Still, I bet his looked damned impressive!

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  13. I`m still chuckling at the "zombie horse" typo. I swear he gets worse you know.

    Yes it is impressive, if you are interested I`ll send you a link to it sometime. Its on Irish news, Nationwide, and everything.

    A 6 by 4 is a fine size. Ever thought of having a custom sand table made.... they look incredible. It is Stevie`s ultimate dream to own one of those, aka Donald Featherstone style, he says lol.

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    1. Do you think he meant a full sized zombie horse, Hil? The mind boggles! But, hey, I knew what he meant so no harm done.

      There is no way i could fit a custom built sand table in my house. My 6' by 4' gaming board is in fact made up of two 3' by 4' boards and it spills over three sides of my dining room table, leaving little room to get round it. My mum keeps on saying I need a bigger house. But isn't that true of all gamers? We make do with the space we have and dream of what could be if money was no barrier.

      As a fan of the Napoleonic Wars in general and Waterloo in particular I'd love it if you could send me that link you mentioned.

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  14. Maybe he meant a Trojan Horse stuffed full of zombies?



    (links sent)

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  15. You have been very busy indeed it seems! Look forward to your review of Project Z. I am looking forward to grabbing some of the bikers at some point.

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    1. Thanks, Simon. The bikers are well worth having.

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