Monday, 28 November 2016

Vampifan's Views 85 - Monthly Musings 59

As the dark, cold nights draw in, it is time for another one of my monthly musings. The painting to the left is another fine piece of art from Joe Jusko, showing Vampirella standing in a waterfall of blood... or should that be a bloodfall? Is there such a word?

October was a very busy month for me but November has been a very quiet month. However, I have managed to get a lot of painting done, which has pleased me immensely. I mentioned last time that both Mongoose Publishing and Warlord Games had lost their licences to sell the Judge Dredd range of figures. This was really bad timing as I am getting ready to start what I hope will be a long running Judge Dredd campaign using the rules from the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game and its supplement, Blood on the Streets. I made mention of the fact that I was missing just a few figures from the JDMG range. Well, thanks to a few very reasonable sellers on eBay and especially to one of my followers, Paul Smith, my collection is completed to my satisfaction. I am still missing a few sets but they are ones that are of no great interest to me (the Judda and Oz Judge on Trike). I'd like to offer a massive and heartfelt thanks to Paul for going above and beyond the call of duty for selling me the figure sets I most wanted (Assassinator Droid, Electro Cordon and Zombie Conversion pack) as well as throwing in some unexpected extras (a weapons pack, two Zombie Judges and six pre-made Mantic Zombies using the Zombie Conversion pack). He also totally surprised me by offering to sell me his Justice Department Pat Wagon, a model that I never expected to own, due to it being only available to a few people who made a pledge for it on the Judge Dredd Kickstarter project. I chose not to back this particular Kickstarter. Seeing as how badly it has been run, I suspect I made the right decision.
A Justice Department Pat Wagon in 28mm scale.
When the parcel arrived I was both surprised and impressed at how big the Pat Wagon was. I quickly made it and it is currently on my painting desk getting painted right now. However, whilst I am using a similar colour scheme of the photo above, I will not be adding all of the lettering on that model.

Speaking of parcels, a couple of weeks ago I received the Wave 1 parcel for backing Mantic Games'  The Walking Dead miniature skirmish game on Kickstarter. To the left of here is the box it came in, all very cleverly packaged so that all of the figures and components fitted into the box perfectly. I have played a fair few of the introductory scenarios from the Quick Start rules booklets. My verdict is that this is a very good little skirmish game. You can play solo, co-operatively with other players or competitively against other players. I took to it straight away and I certainly enjoyed playing it far more than Project Z by Warlord Games. One thing I must mention about the game is the figures. They are all one-piece castings made of hard plastic and are incredibly detailed and just gorgeous to look at. Yes, you do get a lot of zombies with this set, as you'd expect, but what really surprised me was that every one was a unique figure. No duplicates here, like in Zombicide. Massive respect to Mantic Games for making this decision. It is fair to say that being a big fan of The Walking Dead, I backed this project heavily. One of the add-ons I was very happy to get was this scenery booster set.
Ignore the fact that it says "Shipping Wave 02". It shipped with Wave 01, albeit without the two Neoprene Mats (they are coming with Wave 02). These plastic 3D scenery items replace the card counters that represented them and will be usable in many other games. Those vehicles are not solid castings but have hollowed out shells to keep the weight and cost down. Unless you turn them over you'd never know.
A game in progress with unpainted figures and scenery.
I should point out that this game is based on the comic series of The Walking Dead and not the TV series. So, the likes of Daryl will not be appearing as an official figure but there's nothing from stopping you adding him if you so wanted to, as there are rules for creating your own survivors. You could well ask, do I need another zombie apocalypse game? Well, only you can answer that one. For me, however, this is a very welcome addition to both my collection of games and figures. Highly recommended!

Finally, if any of you scored a bargain on Black Friday then well done to you. If not, well done for not succumbing to the hype. Personally, I hate it and I spent precisely nothing on the day.

24 comments:

  1. Delighted you have managed to get your hands on some more "Judge Dredd" models Bryan, as your enthusiasm for this genre has certainly proved entertaining over the past few weeks. I didn't go in for "The Walking Dead" KS but can see why it was right up your street, and indeed, hope to get my hands on some of the models at some point - now I've seen them in the flesh. The terrain in particular looks superb, and I'm sure you'll get many hours of pleasure from the KS - I hope I will too when you start posting the finished minis :-)

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    1. Many thanks, Simon. I really can't describe just how delighted I am to have completed my Judge Dredd collection. Getting the Pat Wagon was the icing on the cake and a lovely surprise.

      There was never any doubt that I'd back "The Walking Dead" Kickstarter but I admit I was uncertain about whether the rules would be any good. "Project Z" had great figures but very poor rules. Fortunately, Mantic have produced a great set of rules to go with their amazing figures. A win-win situation! This is a game I will be playing a lot and I'm really looking forward to painting all of the figures for the game.

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  2. Hmmm were to start...

    JD: Very nice to feel like you have a "complete" set and the Pat wagon is a fantastic addition. Wargamers are nice people and Paul demonstrates that in abundance.
    While I would have very little use for a PAT WAGON I still feel a little envious of you for having one when I do not!

    Walking Dead: The KS does look very good and I could so very easily get tempted I will resist at least for now. I am sure some of the items will turn up on eBay soon enough.

    The reason I am a little "Meh!" about WD is that I am not really enjoying this current season. Which is a shame as I usually do like it a LOT. But the Loss of Glenn and Abraham and Carol leaving the group (yet) again is disappointing. But I feel sure Carol will return in later episodes. So just a little disjointed in it at present. Zombies are no longer the bad guys other survivors are the bad guys. Yes you may argue they always have been, but I want to see the group surviving against zombies, and not Neagan!

    Sorry not wishing to put a downer on it for anyone but for me at present the shine has worn off. But if you love it that is fantastic I will be happy for you.

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    1. Thanks for such an honest reply, Clint. Yes, gamers are, for the most part, very kind and generous. It has happened to me a lot in the past but it always amazes me when someone I have never met shows such kindness.

      I can fully understand your feelings about TWD. I follow the comics and the TV series. Both have faults but both have good points as well. They are a mixed bag. The TWD game emphasises the fact that humans are the greatest threat to other humans. However, you can play the game purely as humans vs zombies. It's your choice. No, you certainly haven't put a downer on anything. You're just being honest and I respect that a lot.

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  3. Wow that Pat wagon is a lump and a half isn't it that should look superb rumbling around your mega city one games.

    The walking dead has really passed me by as I have never read the comics or watched the TV series, so the KS (which I don't like anyway) didn't really attract my attention at all TBH, the scenic bits look really nice though, so you never know I might be tempted if I see them in the flesh somewhere.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks, Roger. The Pat Wagon is even more impressive when you see it in the flesh.

      Hopefully, Mantic Games will sell the TWD scenery items separately in the near future. They are so versatile and usable for lots of games. I could see them being quite popular.

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  4. Thanks for another helpful review Bryan. I think WD will be the zombie game for me; I'm mostly a sucker for pretty models but I watched an early, "Let's Play" and just read your favorable review I'd call me sold. Now I'm just waiting on my supplier to get it in stock. I liked the models that came out of WGF and Warlord but the game didn't call to me. In the interim I am looking forward to getting some of those models painted and build some scenery of my own.

    TWD TV has been bleak this season but they must be orchestrating some kind of payoff. Like Clint I'm a little disappointed because Carol is probably my favorite character. The comic styled version in tabletop wouldn't do anything for me but I'd probably switch my reality to TV style because I really like Daryl and Merle too. When I have some post outbreak models completed I'll share a link; Your zombie painting has entertained me for quite a while and I hope to return the favor.

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    1. I'm so glad you found my brief review helpful, HP. With me not having access to satellite TV I'm way behind on watching "The Walking Dead" on TV. I rely on the DVD boxed sets and I still haven't seen series 6 yet. I'll be getting it for a Christmas present, however.

      I would love to see your own take on the zombie apocalypse and if you do start a blog I'll happily promote it here for you.

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  5. I'm really happy that you got the PAT dude, it looks amazing so have fun with it! What a kind and generous offer from Paul.

    I so nearly bought into TWD but backed off it as the budget tightened, shame really as it looks fab.

    Yes I succumbed to Black Friday greed, but 40% off Bushido, models that I wanted anyway is too good to ignore. Plus I finally got the book, I've been using the downloaded rules which is great as they are more up to date than the hard copy BUT the printed version has all the fluff that I've been missing (in fact it's nearly all fluff - about 70%!)

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    1. Thanks, Andy. Paul is an absolute star and I am really indebted to him. Just wait until I post my JD vehicles on my blog. There's some serious eye candy to feast on.

      TWD has turned out far better than I could have hoped for. I'm very glad I was able to back it.

      Good on you on grabbing those Black Friday deals. I don't begrudge you them at all and I'm chuffed you got them so cheaply. There was lots of stuff I saw that I liked but nothing that I desperately needed, so I kept my wallet closed for once.

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  6. Your hardworked wallet must have screamed in indignation at being kept shut dude but I understand the resistance, not as many bargains as last year for us gamers. But a few honorable exceptions and for my beloved Bushido I made out like a bandit!! Unfortunately its all being taken away by Missus Gobbo until Xmas!

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    1. Ah, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. The Lord in this case being Mrs. Gobbo. Actually, I'm sure I heard my wallet emitting a sigh of relief! :-)

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  7. Which all begs the question: will you ever have time to paint all these models and play all these games, or are you a completest collector? I doubt that anyone could really do both :-) .

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    1. You clearly don't know me very well. My lifestyle is very different to yours. I will paint them and I do play all of the games I own.

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  8. I was disappointed that I couldn't find the funds to jump in on this at ks. Its a cracking looking set very jealous!

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    1. Sorry to hear that, Simon. It really is a very good product.

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  9. NO WALKING DEAD SPOILERS. Bryan knows NOTHING of the current series... well he didn`t until these comments lol. That's why we never talk about them with him. Massive spoiler alerts here, don't look Bryan.

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  10. oooops!!!!


    ouch, that's torn it. I know you`ve been d-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-e-l-y struggling not to hear anything about the current Walking Dead and waiting for the DVD`s. Try to skim over the comment and go la di da di daaaa. *quick, cover your ears ethyl*

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    1. I'm up to date on the comic series but I know that the TV series does not follow the comics, so I'm sure there are surprises to come that I wouldn't have even guessed at. Sometimes, however, it's hard to avoid spoilers when so many fans are talking about the latest episodes. Such is life, huh?

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  11. I think you made a good call not backing the Dredd kickstarter. We gave up even trying to keep track of what we'd ordered and what arrived. Every now and then a very flimsy (normally torn and battered) jiffy bag would arrive with a bunch of figures just thrown in. I'm surprised more weren't broken on arrival.

    I'm glad the Dredd bits have gone to a good home :)

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    1. I have heard nothing but negative reports about the Dredd Kickstarter. Much as I love the series I just didn't trust Mongoose to deliver and so i steered well clear of it.

      All of the figures and models you sent me, Paul, have found a very good home and are very much cherished. Thanks again.

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  12. The Judge Dredd stuff is awesome. Congrats on the wagon its really great-as is your painting of all the JD stuff.

    I am anxious to see your painting of the WD. I'm sure it will be fantastic.

    BTW there is a WD kickstarter based on the tv show, The Walking Dead No Sanctuary. It has a lot of great characters based on the tv show. The walkers are heavily duplicated though. BUt then most KS's do this.

    Can't wait to see some more stuff.

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    1. Many thanks, Roger. I admit I am very much looking forward to painting my TWD figures. Sadly, I haven't seen any of the TWD spin off series, so I probably won't be backing this new Kickstarter.

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