Thursday, 21 June 2018

Warlord Games Fisher King & The Woman Who Lived

I recently placed a rather large order with Warlord Games for more of their 32mm scale Doctor Who figures. I tend to wait a while before ordering as I prefer to make one big order instead of lots of smaller orders. Another reason for sending big orders is that if you spend £75.00 or more on Doctor Who products you get a free figure of the Fisher King. To buy him separately would cost you £25.00, which for a single figure, even one as big as he is, is frankly a rip-off.
So, I have two figures of him and I only really needed one. So what to do with my spare? Simon, aka Blaxkleric decided to mount his spare Fisher King (see here) on a plinth to make him into a statue and I thought this was an excellent idea. So I stuck my spare figure onto a resin plinth I had and, hey presto, a neat piece of scenery to use in many a sci-fi game.
The Fisher King was an alien warlord who, in the 20th century, conquered Tivoli, ruling the subservient population for ten years until his apparent death. His body was transported to 1980's Earth by funeral director Albar Prentis, but he was not dead, simply waiting inside a status chamber to be recovered by his people. He turned humanoids into ‘ghosts’ which transmitted co-ordinates to Earth so that he could be tracked and rescued. He was trapped and killed by a flood, the result of the twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) blowing up a nearby dam. The Fisher King appeared in the second of a two-part episode called Before the Flood in the ninth series of the new Doctor Who series. The prequel was called Under the Lake.
As I mentioned in my intro, this is a big figure, standing 50mm tall. He is a one-piece casting. In my opinion, it was definitely worth it spending £75.00+ to get him for free. This offer still applies. I could easily put together another big order for the figures I'm missing from this range but I've no idea what I'd do with a third Fisher King model.
These three figures feature the same character in a variety of her guises - from left to right, Ashildir, the Knightmare and Mayor Me. The Woman Who Lived is the title of the sixth episode in series nine of the new Doctor Who series and was a sequel to the previous episode, The Girl Who Died. An ordinary Viking girl killed after a battle with the alien Mire, Ashildir was resurrected by the Doctor using a Mire repair kit which was able to fix her physiology. Now with a potentially infinite lifespan, she chose aliases such as Lady Sherade, Ash, El Dir, Alys, the Knightmare and Mayor Me, having forgotten her original identity over the centuries.
The last we saw of Ashildir was in the final episode of series nine, Hell Bent, in which she and Clara Oswald (in her final appearance) set off in their own TARDIS, which resembled an American diner. Personally, I would have loved to have seen a spin-off series focussing on Ashildir and Clara together, as they were two of my favourite Doctor Who companions. Clara still remains my all time favourite companion. Maisie Williams played the role of Ashildir, and was a joy to watch in all of her episodes. The boxed set of The Woman Who Lived costs £13.00 but sadly does not contain stat cards for her. I hope that Warlord Games rectifies this oversight soon.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

High Moon Scenario 01 - High Moon at Stillwater

Here I present my first scenario using the High Moon rules by Two Hours Wargames, a supplement of their Six Gun Sound rules, which adds supernatural elements like vampires, werewolves, witches and zombies to the setting. For my High Moon games, I'll mostly be using the background history used in Dracula's America as I like that setting a lot. Plus, it fits in so well for this introductory scenario. This encounter takes place shortly after midnight on 13th of June 1875 in the town of Stillwater, New Mexico. This is the same town that I used in my first Six Gun Sound scenario - Gunfight at Stillwater, but it is set in an alternative dimension wherein Count Dracula has taken over the presidency of the USA. As such, there is no need for me to describe the game board set up. If you want to know more about it see here - http://vampifansworldoftheundead.blogspot.com/2018/06/six-gun-sound-scenario-01-gunfight-at.html
This batrep will be very rules heavy as it mainly concentrates on melee combat, which was not covered at all in my first Six Gun Sound batrep. I'm using a combination of the Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory, Six Gun Sound 2nd Edition and High Moon rules with a few house rules of my own. The main rules come from Blaze of Glory, Melee Combat and Reaction tests from 2nd Edition and the Supernatural rules from High Moon. I've also added some narrative parts to this batrep and hopefully in future the narrative parts will increase as the rules explanations decrease.
"Sheriff, get out here now!" 
The voice was loud in the quiet of the night and was spoken with the confident authority of a man who demanded instant obedience.
Sheriff Frank Bonner was 32 years old, fit, healthy and good at his job. He stepped out of his office, in no great hurry, accompanied by his young deputy, Luke Simms, who was ten years his junior and shaping up to be a reliable officer of the law.
"What the hell do you want, stranger?" Bonner demanded gruffly.
"I'm here to take over this town," the tall, pale-skinned stranger replied with an arrogant sneer. He was dressed in expensive clothing, mainly in black, apart from his crimson waistcoat. "From now on, you'll serve me."
"Like hell!" Bonner angrily fumed. "Over my dead body."
"Oh, good. I was hoping you'd say something like that," the stranger smiled cruelly as his right hand hovered over the butt of his holstered Colt .45 Cavalry revolver.
The encounter would begin with a Gunfight, just as it did in my previous Six Gun Sound batrep. The strangers in town were from left to right, Radu Cazacu, a Rep:4 Cowboy Mountain Man and a Human Bodyguard Grunt. He was armed with a Colt .44 Army Revolver and an Axe. He had the Attributes Brawler and True Grit. Next in line was Amelia, a Rep:4 Vampire Grunt who was unarmed and had the Attributes Precognition and Nerves of Steel. The stranger who had spoke to the sheriff was Tristan Duran de Cuevas Rubias, a Vampire Leader and a Rep:5 Star. He was armed with a Colt .45 Cavalry Revolver and a Sword. He had the Attributes Precognition (all Vampires receive this attribute and it allows them to roll twice for activation if they want to, and choose which result to use), Fast and Initiative. Finally, was Raoul, another Rep:4 Vampire Grunt. He was armed with a Colt .36 Navy Revolver and his Attributes were Precognition and Agile.
Facing them were from left to right, Luke Simms, a Cowboy Deputy and Rep:4 Grunt, armed with a Colt .44 Army Revolver. His two Attributes were Brawler and Marksman. In the centre was Frank Bonner, a Gunman Sheriff and a Rep:4 Grunt. He was armed with a Colt .45 Peacemaker Revolver and his Attributes were Marksman and Nerves of Steel. Joining them, was a concerned citizen, Moose Ackley, a Cowboy Homesteader and a Rep:3 Grunt. He was armed with a .58 Trapdoor Springfield Rifle and had the Attributes Brawler and Coward. God knows what he was thinking when he decided to join in!
I set up the two sides 6" apart and had everyone roll on the Flinch Test table. This was taken against a character's Sand stat with 2d6. Tristan automatically passed 2d6 because he was a Star. Raoul also passed 2d6. Radu, Bonner, Simms and Ackley all passed 1d6, so they'd suffer a -1d6 penalty on the Draw Test. I didn't roll for Amelia as she wouldn't be taking part in this Gunfight.
Next up, everyone rolled their Rep scores, with appropriate modifiers, looking for successes (usually a 1-3 per 1d6) to see in what order the Draws would take place. From highest to lowest, it went Tristan, scoring 4 successes out of 5d6.
Ramon was second with 3 successes out of 4d6.
Radu scored 2 successes out of 3d6 (he suffered a -1d6 penalty for Flinching).
Simms scored 1 success from 2d6 (he suffered a -1d6 penalty for Flinching and a -1d6 penalty for being Terrified. Vampires cause Dread in their opponents unless they are a Vampire, a Werewolf, a Zombie or have the Nerves of Steel Attribute.)
Bonner scored 1 success out of 3d6 (he also suffered a -1d6 penalty for Flinching, but because he had the Nerves of Steel Attribute he was not Terrified). He should have done better because being a Gunman, he scored successes on a 1-4 instead of  a 1-3.
Ackley scored 0 successes out of 0d6! He started with 3d6 for his Rep but suffered penalties of -1d6 for Flinching, -1d6 for being Terrified and -1d6 for drawing a Rifle. Oh dear!
I did roll for Amelia and she scored 1 success out of 4d6, but I have no idea why I rolled for her as she was unarmed!
It was obvious that Tristan would target the sheriff, and so he fired his Pistol twice, rolling a 5 and a 2. Adding his Rep of 5 gave him results of 10 and 7 - a hit and a miss. Rolling 2d6 on the Shooting Damage table he scored a 3 - target is hit in the Head and must roll on the I'm Hit table. Bonner rolled 2d6 against his Toughness of 4 and passed 1d6, which caused him to go Out Of Fight. First blood to the Vampires.
Raoul fired twice at Deputy Simms rolling a 6 and a 5, which when added to his Rep of 4 gave him results of 10 and 9 - both hits. He rolled twice on the Shooting Damage table and got results of a 9, hit in the Gut and OOF, and a 4, hit in the Leg and I'm Hit. There was no point rolling on the Recovery From I'm Hit table for his Leg wound because he was already OOF.
With only one target left standing, Radu fired twice at Ackley but with poor rolls of 2 and 1, giving him results of 6 and 5, he missed with both shots. It looked like it might be Moose's lucky day.
Or maybe not! He could only fire his Rifle once. He had to target Radu but he rolled a 1 and because he was using a one-shot weapon, he was out of ammo! The darned fool brought his Rifle to the gunfight but forgot to load it! Well, I never saw that one coming!
With all the shooting being done, it was time for Reaction Tests. Only Ackley had to roll and he had to roll 2d6 verses his Sand of 3 on both the Being Shot At and Man Down tables. He only rolled once but applied whatever was the worst result. Rolling a 4 and a 1, he passed 1d6. For being Shot At, this counted as Duck Back because he couldn't return fire. However, the result for Man Down was if twice more friends are Out Of Fight or Obviously Dead he must Leave the Table. He was doomed to Leave the Table because by having the Coward Attribute, all results of Duck Back counted as Leave the Table instead. Bye bye, Moose!
Tristan, Amelia and Raoul advanced on the fallen bodies of Bonner and Simms in anticipation of feeding on their blood. However, they were stopped in their tracks when a female voice cried out from behind them.
"Halt now! Turn around and step away from those bodies. You will not feed on innocent blood this night."
Two strangers, an elderly, white-haired man and a beautiful young woman with long, lustrous black hair approached them, clearly unafraid.
"Who dares command Tristan Duran de Cuevas Rubias?" the cruelly handsome Vampire leader demanded indignantly.
"Allow me to introduce ourselves," the elderly gentleman spoke softly and calmly, "I am Mordecai Pendragon and this charming young lady is my assistant, Miss Ella Normandy. I strongly urge you to do as she says... if you value your lives!"
"You presumptuous fool!" Tristan's eyes flashed red and he bared his fangs. "I will make you suffer in ways you cannot imagine!"
"No! It is you and your lackeys who will suffer this night!" Ella spoke with a voice dripping with menace. 
Then she charged at all three Vampires.
Who are this pair of strangers? If you know who Pendragon is, you can probably guess the true identity of "Ella". I rolled for Initiative for both sides. I first rolled a 2 for Ella's side and a 4 for Tristan's but Ella used her Precognition Attribute to roll again and scored a 6. Tristan believed that Ella would fail to activate with that score, as a 6 usually means a failed Activation, so he chose not to roll again with his Precognition Attribute. It would have made no difference what he rolled. He could never beat a 6, and yes, Ella did Activate with a 6! At this point, Tristan and his followers had no idea they were facing another Vampire.
Ella automatically passed 2d6 verses her Sand of 6 on the Charge Into Melee table. Tristan also passed 2d6 and so could fire once at Ella before she reached him but it would count as a Rush Shot. He rolled a 4 for a result of 9 by adding his Rep of 5. Normally this would have been a hit but because it was a Rush Shot it counted as a miss. Raoul also passed 2d6 and like Tristan he could shoot once but it would count as a Rush Shot. He rolled a 2 for a result of 6 - a clear miss. Amelia only passed 1d6 and because she was unarmed, she couldn't fire. She just had to take the charge.
When fighting multiple opponents, the outnumbered person fights each opponent once in turn. The fights can take place in any order but usually the player controlling the multiple fighters decides who goes first. I decided to go from least powerful to most powerful against Ella, hoping to wear her down before she faced Tristan.
Amelia rolled 7d6 in the Melee Combat, looking for successes on dice rolls of 1-3. She received 4d6 for her Rep, +2d6 for being a Vampire and +1d6 for Outnumbering Ella. She scored 4 successes. Not bad!
However, Ella rolled 9d6 - 7d6 for her Rep (gulp!) and +2d6 for being a Vampire. She scored 5 successes. She rolled 1d6 on the Melee Damage table, and added her success of 1 over Amelia to her roll of 4 for a total score of 5. This was more than Amelia's Rep but was not a 6+ so Amelia was Out Of Fight. However, Vampires count OOF results as -1 to Rep instead. Note this is only a temporary loss of Rep. It is fully restored once the Melee is over.
So they carried on fighting but this time Ella rolled 9d6 to Amelia's 6d6. Ella rolled well with 6 successes and Amelia rolled bad with just 2 successes. Ella added +4 to her roll of 3 on the Melee Damage table for a score of 7. Any roll of 6+ counted as Obviously Dead if it can cause lethal damage, otherwise it counted as Out Of Fight.
According to High Moon, Vampires can only be killed by silver weapons, and any other Obviously Dead result is classed as -1 to Rep, but I disagreed and used my house rule which allowed other Vampires, Werewolves or a Witch's Damage spell to cause lethal damage to a Vampire. I've seen this happen so often in fiction, film and TV not to want to use it. Note that this Encounter is a very rare occasion in which Vampires are fighting one another. Usually, the weaker one will back down when they meet. Vampires of equal Rep would roll off with 1d6 to see who is the more dominant. But Ella is not an ordinary Vampire by any means! She doesn't follow the normal rules for Vampires.
Ella grabbed hold of Amelia's head, gave it a twist and ripped it off her body with consummate ease, killing her instantly.
"I told you that you'd suffer!" she snarled. 
She threw the head at Tristan but he batted it aside with his sword.
Next up was Raoul. He rolled 7d6 on the Melee Combat table, exactly as Amelia had. He scored 4 successes, just like Amelia had. But this time Ella rolled 6 successes. She added her 2 extra successes to her 1d6 roll of 4 on the Melee Damage table for a score of 6, which counted as Obviously Dead.
Ella's punch was so powerful it went right through Raoul's body to emerge between his shoulder blades. As she withdrew her hand, she pulled out his heart and licked it before throwing it away in disgust.
At this point, Tristan realised that Ella was far more dangerous than she looked and a brief flicker of doubt entered his brain that she might be even more powerful than he was. He shook his head and instantly dismissed the thought. She'd just got lucky, that was all. He was the master here and he'd prove it.
Ella and Tristan were evenly matched with 9d6 each. Tristan's 9d6 came from his Rep of 5, +2d6 for being a Vampire, +1d6 for Outnumbering Ella (Ella was still classed as being Outnumbered at this point) and +1d6 for attacking with a Sword. Both combatants scored 5 successes so they both suffered a temporary -1 to their Reps. 
The fight continued with both Vampires rolling 8d6 for Melee Combat. This time Ella scored 5 successes whilst Tristan rolled 4 successes. She rolled a 5 on the Melee Damage table and adding +1 for her 1 success margin scored a total of 6. This was an Obviously Dead result. Under my house rules this would have killed Tristan but remember he is a Star. He rolled 5d6 for his Star Power Advantage to try and reduce the damage. Any roll of 1-3 would be a success and reduce the damage by one level, rolls of 4-5 would be a failure and a roll of 6 would be a failure and reduce his Star Power dice pool by -1. Tristan rolled 1, 3, 4, 6 and 6. The two successes reduced his damage to OOF, then to -1 to Rep, giving him Rep:3, but the two 6's would reduce his Star Power dice pool to 3d6. He was still in the fight but Ella now had the upper hand. Could she capitalise on it?
The third round of Melee Combat began with Ella rolling 8d6 and Tristan reduced to 6d6 (3d6 for his reduced Rep, +2d6 for being a Vampire and +1d6 for his Sword. By now, he no longer Outnumbered Ella so he lost that advantage). Ella scored 4 successes, whilst Tristan scored 2 successes. Rolling on the Melee Damage table, Ella rolled a 3 and added +2 for her margin of success. This gave her an OOF result which was reduced to -1 to Rep for Tristan's vampiric Advantage.
In round 4 of the fight, Ella rolled 8d6 and Tristan rolled 5d6. Ella scored an impressive 6 successes to Tristan's 3 successes. She rolled a 4 on the Melee Damage table and adding +3 for her margin of success gave her a total of 7 - another Obviously Dead result. Tristan used his 3d6 Star Power dice to reduce this damage and rolled 1, 2 and 6. This reduced the damage to -1 to his Rep (now he was just Rep:2) and his Star Power dice pool to 2d6.
The fight moved on to its fifth round with Ella still on 8d6 and Tristan reduced to 4d6. The result was never in any doubt. Ella scored 5 successes to Tristan's 2 successes. Adding +3 to her die roll of 5 on the Melee damage table gave Ella a result of 8 for Obviously Dead again. Tristan only had 2 Star Power dice left. Could he survive again? Not this time. He rolled 4 and 5. The Obviously Dead result would stand.
However, Stars have another Advantage, called Cheating Death. A Star can be killed by anyone with an equal or higher Reputation. When this occurs, the Star may declare that he is Cheating Death. He is immediately removed from the table and whisked to safety. However, his Rep is automatically reduced by one level until he is eligible for a Rep increase.
Tristan fled Stillwater to live again but now he was a Rep:4 Star. Ella Normandy had not only defeated him but humiliated him and wiped out his coterie. He had to get to Washington DC as swiftly as possible to inform Count Dracula of this new threat.
Meanwhile, Pendragon revealed that he was more than just an elderly citizen. He was also a Warlock and he attempted to cast a Damage spell on Radu Cazacu. He rolled 2d6 against his Rep of 3 and added +1 to his Rep for using a casting tool (his wand). He scored 1 success, which meant the spell was cast but it could only target one person (half his Rep, rounded down). This was immaterial as he only wanted to target one person. He rolled 2d6 on the Shooting Damage table and scored a 6 for a result of a hit in the Gut and I'm Hit. Radu rolled 2d6 on the Recovery From I'm Hit table to determine the extent of his wound and scored 1 success. He was Out of Fight.
With the bad guys defeated, Ella and Pendragon helped Bonner and Simms recover.
"Your town is safe now, Sheriff," Ella informed Bonner. "I suggest you get in contact with the Twilight Order to let them know what happened here. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to take your prisoner away with them."
She turned to indicate the unconscious form of Radu who still lay where he'd fell.
"I'm mighty obliged, ma'am," Bonner said sincerely. "Say, I didn't catch your names?"
"Mordecai Pendragon and Miss Ella Normandy, at your service, sir," Pendragon proffered.
"But you can call me Vampirella," Ella added with a warm smile.

CONCLUSION
I can't even begin to tell you how much fun that was! Ever since I began blogging way back in 2009 I have wanted to run an adventure that starred Vampirella. I certainly could never have imagined that her debut would be in a Weird West scenario, but it all made sense to me. I designed this scenario with her in mind. As a Rep:7 Star, Vampirella is the most powerful character I've created for a THW game. She has all of the Advantages of being a Vampire but none of the Disadvantages because she is truly unique.
Regarding her alias of Ella Normandy, that is canon. Way back in September 1972, Vampirella appeared in a story in Vampirella Magazine #19 by Warren Publications called The Shadow of Dracula, in which she went back in time to the 19th Century to accompany Abraham Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker and Mina Harker on a quest against Count Dracula. This was the first time that she used the name, Ella Normandy. Note that this story took place after the events told in Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula.
She still used this alias in further stories, which is why I adopted it for this tale. The beauty of being a gamer is that we can play games of "what if?" limited only by our imaginations. So I decided wouldn't it be fun if I sent Vampirella back in time to the world of Dracula's America to throw a spanner in the works of this Count Dracula?
Congratulations if you guessed the true identity of Ella Normandy early on. The clues were there but I know not everyone will have picked up on them.
I have shown the figure of Pendragon on my blog before but this is the first time that Ella Normandy has been seen. She is a conversion of the Black Tree Design Doctor Who assistant DW219 Victoria Waterfield. I lengthened her hair to match that of Vampirella's. She is true 28mm scale, so looks a bit small against some of my other Wild West figures, but I don't mind that at all, as it appears she is far less of a threat than she actually is. At the time of writing BTD have her on sale for £2.25.

I hope you enjoyed reading this batrep as much as I enjoyed playing it. Thanks, folks.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Reaper Old West Figures 01

One of my favourite companies for 32mm scale Old West figures is Reaper, specifically their Chronoscope range. Whilst the Chronoscope range is huge, the amount of Old West figures in it is rather small. However, what they lack in quantity, they more than make up in quality. Yes, their figures are expensive but I still think they are worth it as there are some real gems amongst them. In this post I'm going to showcase ten characters (five female and five male), most of whom are named. They feature an assortment of character types - cowboys, gunfighters, outlaws and civilians. So let's get started.
At the far left is 50282 Cowgirl Janey Blenkinship. I have big plans for Janey for my Six Gun Sound campaign. She'll be a main character, riding with her husband, gunfighter Johnny West (I'll show him in another post) in a series of adventures. She is armed with a .44 Winchester Rifle and a pair of Colt .45 Peacemaker Pistols and more than likely I'll make her a gunfighter as well.
Next up is 50003 Cowgirl Ellen Stone. I love this figure but not her name. I can see that Reaper have based her on the character of Ellen, as played by Sharon Stone in the film, The Quick and the Dead, and whilst it is a close match, Ellen never used a Double-Barrelled Scattergun in the film. So, I gave her black hair instead of blonde, and renamed her Helen Hunter. Helen is close to Ellen and I chose Hunter for her surname because I'll be using her a bounty hunter. Regarding Ellen Stone, I have chosen a Black Scorpion figure to represent her and best of all, I have foot and mounted versions of her. Ellen is far too good a character not to appear in my campaign.
In the centre of this group is 50244 Cowgirl Victoria Jacobs. I see nothing wrong with her name so I'm keeping it but she sure won't be a cowgirl. At the moment I'm undecided whether to make her a bounty hunter, a gunfighter or an outlaw. I'm favouring a gunfighter most of all, but I might change that in time. She is armed with a pair of Colt .45 Peacemaker Pistols.
The lady in the long red dress is 50057 Madame Scarlet. I gave her the Christian name of Cynthia. I'll most likely be using her as the owner of a brothel in my campaign. This feisty woman is armed with a Winchester .44 Rifle.
Last up is the female half of set 50334 Old West Kids. I haven't decided on a name for her yet - that will depend on who her parents are. The fact that she is carrying a revolver in her right hand shows she knows how to take care of herself. Whether she's any good with it remains to be seen.
Moving on to the male characters, at the far left is 50050 Mexican Bandido Lobo Sanchez. I said there were some gems amongst this lot and Lobo is certainly one of them. With a pistol in one hand and a whisky bottle in the other, he'd be a good figure, but what elevates him to greatness is that the sculptor has added a chameleon resting on his back and left shoulder. That is just genius and is something I never expected to see. I chose this colour scheme for the chameleon from Google Images, but blimey, there sure is a lot of variety of colour schemes.
Next to Lobo is 50251 Gunslinger Hank Callahan. A good solid sculpt who'd work just as well as an outlaw, although I fancy using him as a Pinkerton Detective. He is armed with a pair of Colt .45 Peacemaker Pistols (one in his left hand and the other in a holster on his right hip). In his right hand is a severely cut-down Scattergun, which could be mistaken for a pistol at first glance.
I'll skip over the next figure in line for the time being and move on to the chap second from the right - 50119 Prospector "Crazy Pete" whom I gave the surname of Kaufman to. This is another outstanding sculpt, so full of life and animation as he jumps for joy having found a nugget of gold which he holds aloft. They may have thought he was crazy but who's laughing now? Yep, old Pete! Most of these figures are one-piece metal castings but Pete came in two parts with his left hand and pick being a separate component.
Finally, is the brother of the young girl from set 50334 Old West Kids. Again, for the same reason, I haven't named him yet. Like his sister, he is also armed, but this time with a Double-Barrelled Scattergun. Now with a Scattergun, you don't have to be too accurate to hit, especially at close range. A kid with a scattergun is a dangerous combination. I was delighted to see that the sculptor had decided to give both kids firearms.
Returning to the guy in the centre of the group of males, he is sold as 50076 Outlaw Jeb Lawson - yeah, right! He is quite clearly the Outlaw Josey Wales as played by Clint Eastwood in the film, The Outlaw Josey Wales. Compare his pose and sculpt to this picture to the left and you can see the sculptor must have copied it. Josey is armed with four Colt .44 Navy Pistols to save time on having to reload one. This was a common tactic in the American Civil War, where Josey took part as a Confederate rebel. Now I mentioned last time that The Outlaw Josey Wales is my favourite Western film of all time and in the comments of that post, John reminded me that the film is chock full of memorable quotes. Here's just a few of my favourites.
Josey - "Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?"

Josey - "When I get to likin' someone, they ain't around long."
Lone Watie - "I notice when you get to dislikin' someone, they ain't around for long neither."

Fletcher - "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."

Josey - "Dying ain't much of a living, boy."

Terrill - "Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes."

Jamie - "Ain't we gonna bury 'em?"
Josey - "To hell with those fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms."

Josey - "I reckon so." 

If you'd like to buy any of these figures and you live in the UK, I'd recommend ordering from the Miniature Heroes webstore, see here - http://miniature-heroes.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=487_501 
You'll save a fortune on post and packing over ordering direct from the USA, plus, you don't have to worry about the dreaded customs charges. If any figure isn't in stock, it will be ordered for you. You may have to wait a while but you will get it. So, lets take a look at prices. All of the figures shown above cost £5.22 each except for the kids who are £5.38 for the pair.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Shadows of Brimstone - Old West Allies 02

I recently paced an order with Flying Frog Productions for four more Old West Allies to use with their Shadows of Brimstone game and my other Wild West games. Allies are not as fully developed as the Heroes but the two human figures shown here could be upgraded to Hero status if you so wanted.
At the far left is another saloon girl sculpt, and seeing as the saloon girl is a Hero archetype, you could definitely use her as a Hero or an Ally. She is armed with a two-shot Derringer pistol. I must admit that I do love saloon girl figures, whether they are armed or not. As is now the norm with the Shadows of Brimstone figures, she is cast in resin. She was a two part sculpt with the joint at her waist. To help reinforce the join, I drilled holes into both parts and used a short length of a paper clip to pin the two halves in place after applying a small amount of superglue. I stuck her to one of my 25mm diameter MDF bases, which I much prefer to the wide brimmed 30mm diameter plastic bases that these figures come supplied with.
Next up is the Indian Brave ally. So often, the native Americans are seen as the bad guys so I do appreciate the fact that Flying Frog have made this plains warrior an ally. He too, was a two-piece casting, with his hands and tomahawk being a separate piece that very easily slotted into place at his waist. I haven't decided which tribe he'll belong to or what his name will be. His name will very much depend upon his tribe. The Fantasy Name Generator website has a section for naming native Americans, which I'll certainly be using. See here - https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/native_american_names.php#.WxvQYYoo-Ul
However, Flying Frog have recently released a new mission pack expansion called The Black Fang Tribe, which finally introduces Native Americans to the game, so there's a good chance that I'll make him a member of that tribe. I've just checked up on Amazon UK and they have 12 copies of this supplement in stock, so I'm placing an order for a set immediately.
Finally, the two dogs were sold as a pair and they are classed as Man's Best Friend and Stray Dog. Man's Best Friend has been painted up as a Doberman breed. He looks big and intimidating and is clearly alert. Google Images helped me get his colouration just right. The Stray Dog, in comparison, looks very pitiful and forlorn. If you look closely, you can actually see his ribcage, which reinforces the fact that he is most likely a stray.
These are all fantastic sculpts. The two humans could appear in any of my Wild West and Weird West games. The dogs, however, are so generic that they could appear in almost any game or setting. All four figures are still available for sale in the Flying Frog webstore. The saloon girl costs $8.00. The Indian Brave costs $10.00 and the dogs cost $12.00 for the pair.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2018 - Intro

It's July and that means it is time for the Forgotten Heroes Challenge 2018. I have participated in this challenge twice before in 2016 and 2017. The challenge is to create or convert a 28-32mm scale superhero/supervillain character who is not commercially available. In 2016 I converted standard and Chibi versions of two of my favourite comic book vampires - Vampirella and Purgatori. Last year I surpassed my expectations and both created and converted the six heroes known collectively as the Bug Hunters. This year I'm going much simpler and I'm going to convert a single figure to create another one of my favourite comic book vampires - Chastity Marks.

In 1976, teenager Chastity Marks was an American runaway living in London. Punk rock was all the rage, and Chastity was soon running errands for a local band. One night while on the job she was attacked by a vampire. She escaped, but not with her life: Chastity was now a vampire, but with a twist. To the rest of the vampire world, she was completely undetectable.
Today, Chastity works freelance for the Cabal, a secret society of vampires, werewolves, and witches who rule over the monster underworld. As strong as ten men and a master martial artist, Chastity serves (on her terms) as the Cabal's most efficient and merciless assassin, all the while trying to live a normal life.
Chastity's last appearance in comics was in 2015, when she appeared in the epic crossover event - The Swords of Sorrow produced by Dynamite Entertainment. Here, she threw in her lot with the bad guys and in a related four part mini-series, she led the forces of darkness against Jennifer Blood and Vampirella. Bad move on her part. Vampirella kicked her ass but refrained from killing her, in order to teach her a lesson that Vampi was far more powerful than she could ever imagine or aspire to be. This made Chastity question her decision to side with the bad guys.
The figure I'm using for the basis of Chastity is this one to the right and is one of the Copplestone Castings Future Wars Civilian figures from set FW45 Bodyguards in Bikinis. This should be a simple conversion so I'm very confident of completing her in time.
I'm looking forward to this challenge and to all the other contestants taking part, I wish you the very best of luck and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Six Gun Sound Scenario 01 - Gunfight at Stillwater

Finally I present my first ever Wild West batrep. This has been a long time in the coming but is something I have been dying to do ever since I started blogging. It has taken me a long time to build up my collection of Wild West buildings, figures and scenery in 28-32mm scale. Now my collection is of such a size that this batrep is possible. I am using the Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory rulebook with a few changes and additions from the upgraded, simpler and faster to play sequel. I much prefer the original version because it is so much more detailed.
This is my town set up, primarily using buildings from 4Ground. Now I know they are expensive, but to me the price is worth it because they are incredibly detailed and best of all, they come pre-painted. This is a huge time saver, however, I do paint the edges to blend in with the appropriate colour and to hide the dark wood. This is a tip I learnt from making my card buildings - always paint your edges.
The town of Stillwater, New Mexico is close to the border with Mexico. It has a main street running from south at the bottom of this photo to north at the top. A side street runs east and west.
As I said, most of my buildings are from 4Ground, but the one exception is the sheriff's office and jail, which I purchased from TT Combat. It came unpainted. Painting it wasn't too hard but it was time consuming. It did help me in that I used coloured card on the interior walls and I stuck black, fine-grade sandpaper on the roof.
This view of the crossroads shows from left to right at the top of the photo, a two-storey building under construction, the undertakers and across the street, the hardware store. A chuck wagon stands outside the store. This was a plastic construction kit in 1/48th scale that I bought many years ago. I don't know which company made it, but I do recall it was a Japanese company. Sadly, it did not come with horses.
At the western side of the main street is the only two-storey house in the town, with its family of four standing outside. Next to it is the land office and at the corner of the crossroads is Miss Kitty's Hotel, run by Kitty Trent. The name hotel is a bit misleading as the establishment is actually a brothel.
At the other side of the crossroads is Rogan's Bar, run by the strong-willed and tough miss Cathie Rogan. The upper floor is a bunkhouse for travellers looking for a cheap place to stay overnight. Next to the bar is a single-storey building under construction. The town is expanding northwards.
Here is a view up the side street. The two buildings at the bottom of the picture are single-storey houses for some of the town's residents. Some residents live and sleep in their own establishments.
In the north-east corner of the town is a small lake, from which the town got its name of Stillwater. This wonderful terrain piece came from Wargames Terrain Workshop, and its owner, Dave Stone, kindly painted it for me. I did ask him to and I was thrilled with the result. Dave added a rattlesnake to it, which is such a cool touch! It is only just visible at the top of the lake and directly below the topmost cactus. Note that my glasses are visible to the left of the house. I never noticed that they were there until after I'd posted this picture. Silly me!
The outdoor toilets are card models. The smaller one to the left was produced by World Works Games as part of their TLX Deadfall range. The larger one behind the sheriff's office was produced by Stoelzel's Structures as part of their Fatal Frontier set. I built two of each for my town.
And so we come to the scenario itself. I played a simple Gunfight encounter (p.35 of Blaze of Glory) and this was GF-2 where one side is outnumbered by the other. Obviously the encounter took place in town. The two female bandidas are after the four man outlaw gang after they shot and killed a good friend of theirs.
In this encounter the characters face off at the shortest effective range of all the characters involved. That was 8" for two of the outlaws. Although technically this is outlaws verses outlaws I called it outlaws verses bandidas, because the two females are Mexican outlaws known as bandidas. Note that males are known as bandidos.
The two females are from left to right Sara Sandoval and Maria Alvarez and both are Rep:5 Gunman Bandida Stars. Yes, I know this goes against the rules that a gang can only have one Star leader but I'm using a house rule that allows me two Stars as leaders. Sara has the Attributes Marksman, Lucky and Knife Fighter and she is armed with two Colt .45 Pistols and four Throwing Knives. Maria has the Attributes  Marksman, Lucky and Resilient and is armed with two Colt .45 Pistols. These figures are from my Shadows of Brimstone collection. Maria is appropriately enough, a Mexican Bandida and Sara is actually a Bounty Hunter figure.
The four outlaws whom Maria and Sara are after are a mixed bunch. From left to right are Benito Zedilla, a Rep:4 Gunman Bandido Grunt, Andrew Calder, a Rep:4 Gunman Bounty Hunter Grunt, Thomas McKay, a Rep:4 Gunman Gunslinger Star and leader of this gang, and "Wild Willy" Wilkes, a Rep:4 Cowboy Mountain Man Grunt. Zedilla is armed with a 12 Gauge Scattergun and has the Attributes Marksman and Dumbass. Calder is armed with two Colt .45 Pistols and has the Attributes Marksman and Initiative. McKay is armed with a Colt .45 Pistol and a .44 Derringer Pistol and has the Attributes Marksman, Nerves of Steel and Tough. Wilkes is armed with a Springfield .58 Rifle and a Bowie Knife and has the Attributes Brawler and Marksman. All four figures were produced by EM4 Miniatures.
Before the combat begins both sides must roll 2d6 verses their Sand scores for the Flinch test. Stars can choose their results, so Maria, Sara and McKay automatically passed 2d6 and could draw as normal. Zedilla and Calder also passed 2d6 but Wilkes only passed 1d6 and Flinched, giving him a -1d6 penalty on the Draw table.
Next, everyone rolled a number of d6 equal to their Rep for the Draw and applied appropriate modifiers. All Gunmen (that's everyone except Wilkes) got a +1d6 bonus and counted passes on 1 to 4 instead of 1 to 3 (this rule appears in the new version of Six Gun Sound and I liked it so much that I used it. Cowboys pass on rolls of 1 to 3 and Townsfolk on rolls of 1 to 2.). Zedilla suffered a -1d6 penalty for drawing a weapon that wasn't a pistol, derringer, knife or tomahawk. The same rule applied to Wilkes who decided to use his Rifle instead of his Knife. Finally, Wilkes suffered another -1d6 penalty for Flinching. Wilkes would only count passes on a 1 to 3 because he was a Cowboy, not a Gunman. So the results were as follows from highest to lowest -
Maria rolled 6d6 and passed 5.
Sara rolled 6d6 and passed 4.
Calder rolled rolled 5d6 and passed 3.
McKay rolled 5d6 and passed 2.
Wilkes rolled 2d6, and passed 2.
Zedilla rolled 3d6 and passed 1.
Shooting was carried out from highest result to lowest with ties being resolved simultaneously. When a character fires, it targets an opponent. That opponent must return fire. Each character must be targetted once before another character can be targetted twice. Maria went first and using her Marksman Attribute which allowed her to roll twice on the Ranged Combat table, counting the best result, but only for single shots. She fired once at Calder rolling a 5 and a 2. The 5 gave her a score of 10 because you add the dice roll to the character's Rep score. A 10 counted as a hit. Rolling on the Shooting Damage table, she rolled a 9, which was a hit in the gut. If hit by a Pistol, Carbine, Scattergun at 3", Shotgun at 6", Rifle, Buffalo Gun or Tomahawk the character was Out Of Fight, otherwise, the character rolled on the I'm Hit table. So Calder measured his length on the ground and took no further part in the fight.
Next up Sara fired once at McKay and like Maria, she used her Marksman Attribute. She rolled a 6 and a 3. The 6 gave her a score of 11 - a hit and she got to choose the result on the Shooting Damage table for rolling so high. She chose result 5 - hit in the head and Obviously Dead. With McKay being a Star I rolled for his Star Power Advantage to reduce the damage he'd taken. He rolled 4d6 for his Rep score and needed results of 1 to 3. Unfortunately for him I rolled high with rolls of 6, 6, 5 and 4 - all misses and the two 6s reduced his Star Power Rep to 2. I could have used his Cheating Death Advantage, which would have allowed him to be removed from the table to a place of safety, but that would have reduced his Rep by one level to Rep:3. I decided not to bother because for narrative purposes it made sense that he got killed.
Next to fire was Wilkes. He fired his Rifle, which could only target one character per turn. He shot at Sara and using his Marksman Attribute rolled a 3 and a 3, giving him scores of 7 and 7 - both a miss.
Zedilla fired his Scattergun at Maria and it could hit three targets but Zedilla concentrated all three shots on Maria. He rolled 5,4 and 1, giving him results of 9, 8 and 5. The 9 was a hit, the 8 misses because it was the second or higher target, and the 5 was an obvious miss. When firing a Scattergun you roll twice on the Shooting Damage table and count both results. He rolled a 4 and a 7 on the Shooting Damage table scoring a hit in the leg and a hit in the gun arm (if this had been at range 3" or less, Maria would have been Out Of Fight but the range was 8") and forcing Maria to roll twice on the I'm Hit table to see what the extent of her injuries are. She rolled 2d6 verses her Toughness of 5 and passed 2d6 twice, scoring a just a scratch result. She remained standing but must take the Being Shot At test.
At this point with everyone still standing and having fired, Reaction Tests had to be taken. I used the Reaction Test tables from the second edition rules. Stars can choose their result so Maria and Sara therefore chose to pass 2d6 verses their Rep and could Return Fire. Zedilla and Wilkes had to roll for Being Shot At and Man Down. They only rolled once but applied the worst result of the two tables. They both passed 2d6 giving them a Return Fire result on the Being Shot At table and a Carry On result on the Man Down table. Therefore they took the Carry On result, which allowed them to act as normal. And yes, this would allow them to Return Fire if they wanted to and more importantly, if they were able to, because Maria and Sara were about to Return Fire.
Maria shot first and once again used her Marksman Attribute to fire once at Zedilla. I should point out that Marksman is a Class Ability that all Gunmen characters receive. She rolled a 5 and a 2, giving her scores of 10 and 7. Obviously, she took the 10, which was a hit. Rolling on the Shooting Damage table she scored a 9. Zedilla was hit in the gut and was Out Of Fight.
Next it was Sara's turn to shoot. She used her Marksman Attribute to fire once at Wilkes with her Colt .45 Pistol. She rolled a 6 and a 1, giving her scores of 11 and 6. The 11 was an excellent result as it allowed her to choose the result on the Damage table without having to roll for it. She chose result 12 - hit in the chest and Obviously Dead.
And so the Gunfight at Stillwater came to a bloody end with the four outlaws lying dead and dying in the dirt. Maria and Sara had avenged their friend and they left town for further adventures. Neither increased in Reputation.
Conclusion
I played this game on a 4' by 3' table and I didn't think the buildings I had would fill the table. Individually they don't have big footprints but when put together, I was surprised at how much space they took up. I may have to get a 6' by 4' battle mat for future games as there are still a lot more buildings I want to buy, some of which have much bigger footprints, such as the 4Ground livery stable and corral or the 4Ground bank or the 4Ground Sassy Gal saloon. Playing this certainly gave me food for thought. I also want more scatter terrain, fences and saddled horses with and without riders.
As for the rules, I'm fortunate in being very familiar with the Two Hour Games rule systems. However, Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory is different to many other THW games in that it is incredibly detailed. For example, it has rules for hitting various body parts on humans and horses and more detailed rules for cover, horses and wagons. I love this extra level of detail and so I'm a huge fan of this game.
To be honest the game went pretty much the way I thought it would. Maria and Sara had the advantage of higher Reps but the outlaws had the advantage of numbers. Unfortunately for them, they didn't make it count. When Calder and McKay went down, Zedilla and Wilkes could have turned the tide but Wilkes missed and although Zedilla scored a hit on Maria, she shrugged it off. Bad news for them!
I know that this batrep was very rules heavy and that was deliberate. After all, this was my first Six Gun Sound batrep, and I'm sure most of you are unfamiliar with the rules. I would hope that future batreps would be more narrative driven with fewer references to the rules. Now that I have played my first Wild West batrep, you can expect a lot more.

Now then, in my last post I asked you to name the film in which Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz played Sara Sandoval and Maria Alvarez respectively? The answer is Bandidas, a 2006 French/Mexican/American comedy/action Western film directed by Norwegian directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and produced and written by Luc Besson. It tells the tale of two very different women in late 19th century Mexico who become a bank robbing duo in an effort to combat a ruthless enforcer terrorising their town. It is very much a popcorn movie, not to be taken seriously but it is a lot of fun and Salma and Penelope are so lovable and so beautiful you can't help but like them. Here's some photos of them.
Sara Sandoval and Maria Alvarez played by Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz.

Maria teaches Sara how to shoot. She is not so good with a pistol but an expert at knife throwing.

Maria the feisty, poor peasant girl with her twin Colt .45 revolvers.

Sara, pampered daughter of a rich landowner, takes aim with her Colt.45 revolver.

A scene near the end of the film taken after a running battle on a train.

Maria and Sara looking so cute and adorable. Who couldn't fall in love with them?