Friday, 26 August 2016

Vampifan's Views 83 - Monthly Musings 57

This has been a fantastic month for me. I have a lot of good news to share but first I will start, as always with another picture of the gorgeous Vampirella as painted by Joe Jusko.

On the painting front, I have been extremely busy working on my Shadows of Brimstone 30mm scale figures. I have painted two thirds of my collection and have taken photos of most of them. That's over 60 figures all done this month! Expect to see lots of reviews of these Weird West figures next month. Shadows of Brimstone is a game that greatly excites me and I can't wait to start playing my campaign and of course, chronicling it on my blog. In a related topic I have been buying more MDF scenery for my Wild West games. I bought two more log cabins from 4Ground and lots of furniture items from TTCombat (chairs, tables, bar counters, bottles and coffins). I haven't made any of these yet as I only recently received them, but they will get made sooner rather than later.

The best news ever for me, was that I received my huge parcel of goodies for the Battle Systems Urban Terrain sets. Good grief, but that parcel was HEAVY! I spent far more on this Kickstarter project than any other project I have backed. I won't say how much, but I consider it money very well spent as these sets are going to totally transform the way I play so many games. Let's take a look at some of the stuff I got. Note these photos were taken from the Battle Systems' website.
I bought four cityscape sets. The photo above shows just what you can do with four sets. Each set comes with a gaming mat measuring 60cm by 60cm (roughly 2 feet square), which are made from synthetic cloth with a 2mm thick rubber foam backing, much like a mouse mat, making them very durable. The four sets combined as above will cover an area four feet square. Just imagine gaming on a board like that! These sets are ideal for zombie apocalypse games or contemporary 7TV2e games but I also plan on using them for my forthcoming Judge Dredd campaign (more of which later).
I also bought two shanty town sets. The photo above shows the contents of one set. Again, this set is ideal for any post apocalypse game or even a contemporary setting that takes place in the slum area of a city. This set will also see extensive use in my Judge Dredd campaign. Mega City One is now just a shadow of its former glory as much of the vast metropolis was destroyed in a recent war and its population greatly depleted. Shanty towns are now prevalent there.
Here we see one of each of the cityscape and shanty town sets combined, which just goes to show how versatile they are. This is how I want my Mega City One to look like. This is what I love about these sets - you can mix and match to your heart's content. Later this year, Battle Systems will be launching a new Kickstarter campaign - this time featuring sci-fi terrain. I can't wait for it to be released as it will give my Mega City one a more futuristic feel and allow me to recreate the interiors of the vast city block buildings. I have cut back on the Kickstarters I'd like to back but this one just fills me with excitement. Best of all, it will be fully compatible with the urban terrain sets.
Here's a preview shot of what you can expect to find in the sci-fi terrain sets. I am drooling over this already as my mind fills with ideas for gaming possibilities. In a rather prescient move on my part, I bought a couple of the sci-fi terrain mats which were on offer as an add-on extra. That's forward planning for you!
In addition to the four cityscape and two shanty town sets I also bought numerous add-ons, including these fine houses to make a suburban housing estate set up. Other sets that I bought were the fire station and police station, the art deco buildings set, the diner set, the generator set and a fair few duplicates of sets from the cityscape and shanty town sets.
Bear in mind, these sets are made of thick card, they can be assembled by means of plastic clips and when you've finished, disassembled and stored away flat. Roofs and floors can be removed easily to gain access to a building's interior. In addition to the buildings the sets also contain loads of furniture items, scenery items and scatter terrain. For these smaller parts, I'm glueing them together. One other thing I'm doing, which is a pain in the ass, but essential in my opinion is to paint the white edges of the components. This is something I do with all of my card scenery and the results speak for themselves as a sofa, for example, that has been edged looks like a proper miniature sofa and not a cardboard cut-out. It is very time-consuming but well worth doing. Note that everything shown in the photos above have been edged, so Battle Systems also think it is worth doing.
Finally, I also bought a couple of these transition game mats to better combine the cityscape mats with the shanty town mats. I really do love these mouse mat style gaming mats. These sets are incredibly versatile. I remember that World Works Games attempted to make buildings and scenery that could be assembled without glue and taken apart after use. They were the TerrainLinx range, often abbreviated to TLX. I really disliked them and I never made any of them as they were overly complicated to make. Plus, I much preferred buildings that did not come apart. What Battle Systems have done is solve the construction problem that WWG failed to grasp properly and they have made these flat pack sets such a must have item for gamers with storage problems. I'm a convert to their way of thinking. These sets most definitely appeal to me and I rate them the best thing to happen to my gaming hobby!

As I mentioned above, I am keen to start a Judge Dredd campaign. I will be using the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game rules by Mongoose Publishing. I am currently building up my collection of Judge Dredd figures, which is fairly extensive anyway, with the figures and vehicles I'm missing from the Warlord Games range of Judge Dredd miniatures. Warlord Games currently sell the largest range of 28mm scale Judge Dredd figures. Their various boxed sets are a cheaper way of buying the figures when compared to buying each one individually. You're usually saving £10.00 per box.
My plan for my campaign is to use a small force of Mega City One Judges, who will all be named after my blogging friends. The force will be led by me, Senior Judge Scott. The other Judges I'm planning on using are Street Judge Gilbert (my good friend and co-editor of The Gamers Cupboard, Steve), Street Judge Hillers (Steve's wife), Street Judge Moore (Simon/Blaxkleric), Street Judge Webb (Roger/Dick Garrison), Street Judge Crowe (Jez, who asked to be called Judge Crowe instead of Judge Winstanley), Street Judge Burnett (Clint), Med Judge Nash (Andy/Da Gobbo) and Psi Judge Tarot (Tarot from the Gamers Cupboard). These names and posts are not yet set in stone. So if you want a name change (Hil and Jez did), just let me know. Also, if you want to play another role like for example Cadet Judge (surely not!), Rookie Judge (again, surely not), Exorcist Judge (unusual), Heavy Weapons Judge, Riot Judge, or Tek Judge, just let me know and hopefully we can work something out. The campaign will be more combat oriented and less investigative. If anyone doesn't want to be included or wants to be included but hasn't been mentioned, do let me know. I don't know when I'll be starting this campaign but anywhere between one and two month's time is most likely. Depending on interest I may well run a play-by-blog scenario to run alongside the campaign, using the same characters. This however, will likely happen next year after everyone has gained some experience and risen in levels.
If you are interested in my look at a history of gaming Judge Dredd on the tabletop, please check out my article on the Gamers Cupboard blog which you can find here - http://thegamerscupbard.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/gaming-judge-dredd-on-table-top.html

Generally speaking, my Monthly Musings post comes at the end of the month but I've posted this one a few days early because my next few posts will be a Zombicide batrep, which I wanted to run over consecutive posts without a break in the middle. It features the return of Elsa and Gary, who fled from a growing horde of Zombies and Crowz.

22 comments:

  1. Wow! now that some Kickstarter backing!! The terrain looks superb and with amount you've got there you'll be able to make setups that you wont be able to reach the middle of.

    Looking forward to you Judge Dredd games immensely.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. I'm also looking forward to starting my Judge Dredd campaign, especially now I have these gorgeous terrain sets.

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  2. By the way I have three Dredd fig's that came with the "Heroklix" collection I bought off of the net a while ago, if they are any use to you you are most welcome to them.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Oh, I could certainly find a use for them, Roger. I'll send you an e-mail with my home address. Thanks ever so much.

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  3. A lot going on!
    Dredd is my childhood! I could say more but if you are a certain age you really would not need to!
    The terrain also looks good but for me it would get destroyed at the Club (probably by careless OTHER hall users. So I have to be very careful about leaving anything there.

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    1. It has been such a busy month, Clint. I knew you were a big fan of Judge Dredd, so you had to be included in my team.

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    2. While I am more than happy to be a street judge. I somehow would have thought you might have put me in the "Wally Squad". But your choice, just happy to be included!

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    3. Whilst a Wally Squad Judge is an interesting and viable choice and actually not as bad as it sounds, I'd prefer to have you as a normal Street Judge, Clint.

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    4. Happy to go with what ever you want..... and just a little bit excited!

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  4. hahaha Med Judge Nash has a cool enough edge to it dude, as handy with a lawgiver as he is with the bandages I hope!

    The terrain sets look AMAZING dude! absolutely brilliant and I can't wait to see your setups. with all of that lot you could quite easily cover my 8 foot by four foot board with several stories of buildings as well - heaven!! if it were me I would throw out that board and put in a 10 x 6 foot board which would mean nothing else would fit in da Grotto but boy oh boy the setting would be bloody brilliant!!

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    1. Med Judge Nash will be shooting as many people as he heals and yes, he will be handy with his Lawgiver.

      I'd love to cover a huge table with this terrain. My dining room table covers an area of 5' by 3' but I can lay on two 4'by 3' boards to give me a 6' by 4' area. Doing that would make one hellishly impressive table.

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  5. Fantastic stuff Bryan!!! Absolutely love it :-) It all sounds great and I'm looking forward to it enormously. I think people are going to see a lot of those terrain sets over the coming months as I'll be 'super-heroing' mine to death too!!

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    1. Simon, I'm sure you're right about how often these terrain sets will appear in batreps. Superhero gaming will work perfectly with them. Of course, if you're limited for space you can always build upwards, which is something I certainly plan on doing.

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    2. "you can always build upwards" - Precisely why I stopped building any more rooftops for my "High-Rise" games, as I thought a proper 3-d building would look even cooler. Hopefully it'll work...

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    3. Oh, with these sets it certainly will work, Simon. Pun intended, but the sky's the limit!

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  6. very nice Bryan. You are set up for life now with this little lot.

    Sorry things are so quiet on the Irish front this week... just all of us soooooo busy.

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    1. Thanks, Steve. I must admit, these Battle Systems Urban Terrain sets are the best thing since sliced bread. They offer so many gaming possibilities.

      I'm not surprised you're so busy what with birthday parties and a big box of new figures arriving. No problems at all, just as long as you're happy and well.

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  7. Damn missed this one. Looking forward to seeing some batreps.

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  8. Bryan, have you ever heard of the Spanish artist Blas Gallego? Hes done some Vampirella art which can be seen on his website http://www.blasgallego.com/illustration/illustra.htm

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    1. I have heard of him, Phil, but thanks for the link. I have just downloaded his Vampi pics.

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