Friday, 29 July 2016

Vampifan's Views 82 - Monthly Musings 56

Another month is almost over and that means it's time for another one of my Monthly Musings posts. As always I start off with a picture of my beloved Vampirella. Once again, this delightful portrait has been painted by the extremely talented Joe Jusko, my favourite Vampirella artist. It is rare to see Vampi wearing a cloak.

I haven't done much in the way of gaming this month, although I did manage to play a game of Zombicide, which I recorded as a three part batrep on my blog. That was fun but it didn't work out as I was hoping it would and I lost two of my four Survivors. Not a good result at all.

On the modelling front I have had a very busy month. I have made a new 4Ground 28mm scale MDF Wild West building - a Hardware Store. Most 4Ground buildings come without furnishings but I have been adding lots of interior detail to this particular model. After a very long absence (too long, to be honest) I have got back to making card buildings and card furnishings. I made a couple of World Works Games Wild West outdoor toilets and loads of furniture items for my Wild West buildings, including the aforementioned Hardware Store. In addition, I have also made every single figure I own for Shadows of Brimstone. There were a LOT of figures to make as I have been buying quite a few expansion sets for the game since the start of the New Year. All have been based and had their bases textured and all have been primed. I have finished painting a few of them and have a lot more on my painting desk. I am really into this game and I'm focussing all of my attention on it. You can expect to see a lot of posts about Shadows of Brimstone on both of my blogs over the coming months.

This seems like a good time to show you all of the sets I have bought for Shadows of Brimstone. At Christmas 2015 I bought the two starter sets for the game. First up was City of the Ancients, which features the other world of the frozen over Targa Plateau, a dead world that has slipped into an Ice Age. This game can be played in the ruins of a frozen city on Targa or in the mines near the cursed town of Brimstone.
The second starter set I bought for myself was Swamps of Death, which features as its other world, the Swamps of Jargano. This hot and humid swampland is populated with dangerous plants and creatures. The double-sided map tiles feature the Jargano swamps on one side and an abandoned mine on the other. Undead fans should note that this is the set that contains the zombie figures.
The first big expansion set I bought was the excellent Frontier Town. Of all the sets for the game this one is by far, my favourite. After each adventure in the mines or on another world, the Heroes can visit a town to sell their loot, restock on supplies or heal any injuries. What this expansion does is offer far more choices for what happens in town and on the way there as well as providing options for the size of the town and the type of town. All of which is great, but when you add in the options for having separate adventures in town, you soon come to realise that this is a "must have" expansion set. The board for the town encounters is a work of art and quite stunning.
My most recent acquisition for Shadows of Brimstone was this expansion set, Caverns of Cynder. This provides an extra other world setting, the burning Caverns of Cynder, home to many dark and ancient evils such as the fiendish Lava Men. This set is severely lacking in figures, just three 28mm scale Lava Men are included, but it more than makes up for that with its game tiles, counters, rules and scenarios. The double-sided game tiles feature another abandoned mine on one side and the Caverns of Cynder on the other side. Note that all three mines featured in the sets are different and you can mix and match them if you wanted to create your own scenario adventures.


Next up were a pair of giant monsters I bought. These are mightily impressive beasts, standing roughly 75mm tall and fitting on 60mm diameter bases. The Dark Stone Hydra does not come from an other world but is a mutated rattlesnake found in the area surrounding Brimstone and created by the twisting powers of Dark Stone, which releases Void energy to any who come in contact with it for too long a period. The Dark Stone Hydra is fast and deadly. It regenerates damage done to it every Turn although it does lose power the more heads it loses.
The Guardian of Targa is a gigantic and terrifying construct, found in the deserted frozen cities on the Targa Plateau. Its Hardened Shell has withstood the ages and can easily withstand simple gunfire. Though mainly a melee fighter with its four crushing arms, the Guardian also has a burning laser it can fire from its single lifeless eye at the start of each Turn. Though difficult to destroy, the Guardian can have its Control Systems damaged as it takes Wounds, reducing its effectiveness as more and more of its systems shut down and its arms go dead.

Finally, I also bought four more sets of figures and whilst they are all a lot smaller than the Hydra and the Guardian, they are still very nasty threats to the Heroes.

The Custodians of Targa comes with two types of enemy - a pair of Targa Pylons and a trio of Custodians of Targa. Stats and cards for the Pylons can be found in the City of the Ancients set but the Pylons themselves are represented by card counters. This set includes actual 3D models of them, which are far cooler. The Custodians are repair robots who can heal themselves and the Pylons of any damage taken. The Custodians and the Pylons are armed with defensive lasers.

The Masters of the Void set contains 3 large Void Hounds and 3 Void Sorcerers. Void Hounds lay in wait within the Void, choosing the right time to strike. Attacking as a pack, they phase in and out of reality as they move, giving them a variable Defence value. Void Sorcerers are predominantly ranged enemies, preferring to strike from a distance by firing Void Bolts as they chant their foul spells. Their powerful Magik both protects them and allows them to rain down destruction on their foes.
 The Scafford Gang is a motley crew of Mutant Outlaws, each plagued with mutations of various sizes and shapes. They are led by Colonel Benjamin Scafford, a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War and a hardened soldier. His strong leadership and ruthless cunning have earned him the unending loyalty of his gang and made him one of the most successful Outlaws of all time. This set contains 7 figures - Colonel Scafford and 6 Mutant Outlaws sculpted in 2 poses.
The Serpentmen of Jargano are an indigenous race from that world. Fiercely tribal, the Serpentmen have built a civilisation on brutal warfare and massive stone temples to their Serpent Gods. They stalk the swamps, hunting their prey and protecting their territory from outsiders and other tribes that would conquer their lands. Though highly intelligent, they are cold-blooded killers, calculating and ruthless. This set contains 1 Serpentman Shaman and 6 Warriors sculpted in 2 poses.

There are other sets available for the game and new sets are being made all of the time. I won't be purchasing them all but I will try to buy those that catch my eye. Even though I have painted a few figures for this game, I'm not quite ready to showcase them just yet. So, next month will mainly be taken up with reviews of the figures from the Zombicide: Black Plague boxed set. Oh, and there will probably be another Zombicide batrep. Quite a few of you wanted to know what happened to Elsa and Gary after their fateful encounter with the Crowz. All will be revealed.

38 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing more zombicide miniatures. Have seen a few cool ones pop up in Carry on Painting fb group.

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    1. There are so many cool minis for the "Zombicide" game and all of its expansion sets, Simon.

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  2. What a truly scrumptious post, full of promise of things to come. I especially enjoyed seeing all the lovely things you own for Shadows of Brimstone.. you lucky thing! Though even in collecting for yourself, your generosity has, as usual, proven legend: and you even thought of us (as was shown when a big parcel arrived on our door step containing the biggest.. and your personal favourite.. expansion set). You knew we had difficulty getting the expansions here in Ireland, and you came through for us, as you always do, bless`ed man that you are.

    I was so pleased to hear {{"You can expect to see a lot of posts about Shadows of Brimstone on both of my blogs over the coming months."}} This will, indeed, be a wonderful treat. Also the fact that we shall soon see lots of your Black Plague figures very soon as well. This interests all of us very much indeed.

    a lovely positive post Bryan. Thank you.

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    1. What delightful comments, Hil. Thank you so much. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of Frontier Town as I have (and will). It is the only SOB set that I've actually played so far, although that will change very soon.

      Yes, Black Plague will feature heavily on my blog next month then Shadows of Brimstone will take centre stage for a few months later. Zombicide and Shadows of Brimstone are going to be the main games I concentrate on for quite a few months to come.

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  3. Only Played Shadows of Brimstone once and did enjoy it but was not aware of SO MANY expansions. (That was quite a surprise). Looking forward to seeing and hearing/reading more.

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    1. Clint, Steve's reply below very accurately describes just what is available for this game. Steve is spot on, I have only scratched the surface with what is available. I'd love to own everything for the game but that will never happen.

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  4. Oh Clint, you have no idea, hehe. All the expansions were originally stretch goals for the kickstarter, and the kickstarter was VERY generous to its backers. What Bryan has shown barely scratches the surface of what is actually available for this game... with as much again still coming for the next wave, once the second Brimstone kickstarter gets announced late next year.... although there is speculation it may not go to a kickstarter at all, and simply be released in a couple of big box (yet stand alone) expansions; like Flying Frog did for Last Night on Earth and Touch of Evil.

    Excellently Moorish article Bryan. I want to see more of the BP and lots more of the Brimstone too :))

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    1. Steve, thanks for setting Clint (and I'm sure others as well) on just how big this game is. I'm being selective in what I buy but I can guarantee I will be spending a lot more on this wonderful game in the future. However, what I'm really looking forward to is starting my on-line campaign and posting lots of batreps. Has anyone checked out the YouTube campaign run by Derek Dvang? His campaign features a single outlaw character called Joseph Scotts and runs to over 100 episodes! Episode 1 can be found here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS7i8os-Rtk&list=PLQNGKMzdtPo_eJUeYecpm544cRhibDfOV&index=1
      I'd love to do something similar, although with a group of Heroes rather than a single Hero.

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    2. Oh WOW THANK you Bryan, that link to You Tube is simply fan-bloody-tastic. I will be saving all of them to the desktop tonight (overnight so as not to slow the computers down all day on the wifi) for sure.

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    3. Thank you for link in to those useful you tube videos. What a super treat: mmmm so many Brimstone videos to watch and enjoy. As Stevie says, we will be copying these to our harddrive to keep for sure.

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    4. Glad to have been of assistance, guys. Whilst the videos are not up to the same standard as Tina the Gamer's, they are still worth watching and a lot of fun. I'm slowly making my way through them and have seen the first 20 or so. If you like his stuff, you may be interested to know that he also runs Zombicide campaigns on YouTube as well.

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    5. Oo I`ll get himself to record that too. I`d be interested in seeing that.

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  5. Can't wait to see one of your batreps for Shadows Bryan ;-)

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    1. Nor can I, Andy. It won't be next month but hopefully it will appear sometime in September.

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  6. Well I own "Swamps Of Death" purely on your recommendation Bryan. But sadly its still in its cellophane wrapping, as I've not had a chance to play it on account of "Black Plague", "Dicemasters" and "Lost patrol". I too was unaware of there being quite so many expansions... So I suppose I had best soon take the plunge or else I'll be miles behind their releases ;-)

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    1. I am in a quandary as to how to advise you for the best, Simon. On the one hand, Shadows of Brimstone is a superb game and should be played. On the other hand, I fear that once you start on it you may well become just as addicted to it as I am and I know your wallet will hate me even more. Tough choices, my friend. Maybe after you see my figure reviews and some of my batreps you may be even more persuaded to give it a go. If not, you may well want to consider selling your copy. I know that both Steve and Tarot are very interested in the game and you may be able to come to some sort of arrangement with them.

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    2. Either one of the two base games contains plenty to keep you happy for a VERY long time. Just getting to grips with the rules, learning to play, enjoying the many, many scenarios provided and painting the host of minis contained in the core set is a massive undertaking in itself. The expansions, while lovely, meh.. they can wait until you`re ready for more, and then just pick off the ones you really feel you want or need to make your game experience fuller. Its too easy just to collect collect collect and the game STILL sit there unused, un-played.

      No, play the core game first... THEN buy more to add to it.

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    3. The fact I have "Rum'N'Bones" still unopened (not to mention "SDE" unplayed) with "Rum'N'Bones" Season Two coming this Fall causes me no end of dismay!!!

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    4. Your willpower is on a par with Steve's, Simon. When it comes to new purchases, mine is non-existent. I have to open the package as soon as possible.
      If you do decide to keep Shadows of Brimstone and get round to playing it, I can guarantee you will love the experience and love the game. As Steve said, you can get so much fun out of just that one set without needing any of the expansions.

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  7. I know Tarot is very much looking for the City Core Boxed Set. She has access to a copy of the Swamps. Kleric looks like he has the Swamp set sadly :(

    But on a plus side. the swamps set is my personal favourite of the two. It contains enough to keep you gaming for... well... for ever really, on just that game alone, if nothing else were even made for this game, it would stand alone as a great game in its own right.

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    1. I prefer Swamps of Jargano to City of the Ancients, as well, Steve. It has zombies in it! 'Nuff said!

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    2. its pretty easy really. In a perfect world where they both were available to me - I`D WANT THEM BOTH!!!! ^^

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    3. I want The Scafford Gang.. and I want it

      very very very very very much.

      *sighs in wistful blissful happy wishfulness*

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    4. It's a REALLY great set, Tarot. Be warned though that Colonel Scafford is a Legendary Outlaw and his stats are scarily high!

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  8. Did someone say Zombies: well now, I`m in lol.


    Don't have this core set :( but I hear it plays really well when combined with the one we got. I also miss that gunslinger and the bandit man; and Tarot says she wants to play that saloon girl.

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  9. oh wait a moment I read that wrong. I have the zombie set. Its the City one with the gunslinger, bandit and saloon girl I don't have.

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    1. D'oh! LOL! Still as Steve said, in an ideal world you'd get both. I'm noticing more and more of the two core sets turning up on eBay at reasonable prices. Reasonable is about £70, which is still a lot of money, although far better than paying the RRP of £110.

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    2. sadly, since England broke away, the postage increase, and then the tax increase, and then the VIT increase... each of roughly %12 additional charge, makes anything from the uk very expensive now. For a few weeks (while they forgot to make the changes to the exchange rate) the rate was very favourable, but that's all ended now as people have factored in the difference... and then some, with greedy smaller businesses and individuals... the increase even looks to be %17, which is just plain greedy. So purchasing from the uk is a thing of the past for me I`m afraid :(

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    3. .... there`s even minimum order charge now on most the companies I used to buy from, which is just infuriatingly.... duh! I was so sad, even The Toy Soldier Company in England (who I had immense respect for) now has a minimum order charge: i.e. buy an item for less than £20 and immediately suffer a fixed rate postal charge of $5.50. I found this out last week when I bought a set of six 12mm figures for £4.50 and after postage and VAT it ended up being £13.50... and it arrived in a tiny jiffy bag.... never, never NEVER again I fear :(

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    4. And some people still think the UK leaving the EU was a good thing! Unbelievable!

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  10. me`s loving this post Bryan. I know you spoke of more than just Shadows of Brimstone, but it seems to have been taken on a life all of its own on this one hehe.

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    1. Thanks, Tarot. Shadows of Brimstone seems incredibly popular, doesn't it? I'm loving it and I can't wait to cover it properly on both of my blogs. Soon, very soon!

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  11. Wow, you don't do things by halves, do you?!

    Like you, I haven't done any card modelling for a long time. Indeed, I have several part-finished pieces (well, more like just-started) somewhere in my hobby piles. Although in theory I would like to get back into it, I'm not sure it'll happen any time soon.

    It also occurs to me that I haven't played much ATZ or indeed anything else for a very long time. Somehow, real life just keeps getting in the way...

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    1. I feel lucky, Hugh. I was able to get the Shadows of Brimstone items when I wanted at very reasonable prices (well, to me at least) and be able to afford them. It doesn't always happen that way.

      It is great getting back into card modelling again and I didn't realise just how much I have missed this part of the hobby.

      I sympathise with you, mate. Real life does have a habit of getting in the way of our hobby time. It happens to us all.

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  12. Interesting but I'm afraid well (really well!) out of my price league, look forward to seeing all your painted mini's though.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. I understand, Roger. Hopefully you'll still enjoy what I have to show you.

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  13. Just discovered you're blog off brummies wargaming blog. Great read!! Liking the look of shadows of Brimstone.

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    1. Good to have you on board, Martin. Shadows of Brimstone and Zombicide are my two favourite games right now. There is much to admire in them both.

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