Wednesday 30 January 2019

Vampifans Views 115 - Monthly Musings 85

Here is my first Monthly Musings post of 2019. To the left of here is a portrait of Vampirella painted by Manual Sanjulian, whose work I highlighted throughout 2018 and will continue to do so for the near future. I really like this portrait a lot. There appears to be a trio of zombies and a hooded necromancer sneaking up on her but I bet she's fully aware of their presence.

January has been a very good month for me. I have been gaming practically every afternoon. The two games I have been playing were Nemesis and Resident Evil 2, both of which I have found incredibly addictive. The Nemesis game came with a graphic novel campaign that should be played in co-operative mode, which is the mode I usually play. I worked my way through the scenarios and completed them successfully. I gamed with four crew members. In the basic Resident Evil 2 boxed set there is a campaign booklet that contains eight scenarios. I have played five of them and hope to finish them in the next few days. I am using the four survivors that come in the basic set - Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Ada Wong and Robert Kendo and they are still going strong. Once I finish playing this campaign (hopefully, successfully) I plan on running through the twelve scenario campaign in the Here's Negan game.

Painting has been going well. I finished painting the six survivor figures from the Here's Negan board-game. In addition I have painted some more Black Scorpion Tombstone figures and some new Doctor Who figures from Warlord Games. All of these will be shown on my blog in my February posts. Currently on my painting table are more Doctor Who figures and the new crew members for the Firefly: Brigands and Browncoats board-game. I should have these finished in the next week. Once they're done I plan on painting the figures from the Resident Evil 2 game, starting with the heroes.

For those of you who are interested, I am about to start my St. Trinian's campaign on my WOIN blog. I'll be using the N.O.W. rulebook for this campaign. I have just finished posting the last of my cast reviews and should be posting part 1 of the introductory scenario within the next few days. I know that some of you are eagerly awaiting this campaign. It will be story driven like my The Ace of Spades Campaign but I plan on including lots more how the rules work notes in my batreps.

One thing that has pleased me immensely is that I have spent nothing on figures or gaming products this month. I am trying to cut back on what I spend on gaming this year, so I'm off to a good start. All the best from Vampifan.

Friday 25 January 2019

Rumbleslam Referees

Currently, the newest supplement and set of figures for TT Combat's Rumbleslam are the Referees. This supplement offers optional rules to include referees in your games. Referees is the second expansion for Rumbleslam, introducing two all new attacks, tripping and pinning. Use a trip attack to get your opponent onto the ground, then pin them to evict them from the ring! Referees are only in a Rumbleslam ring to monitor the match, not participate in it, but that doesn't stop most of them from interfering!
First up is the human referee who comes with two stat cards - Good Referee and Dirty Referee. In both cases his special ability is very similar. As a good ref if a friendly wrestler makes a No Class action or an action with the Dirty special rule, the ref can force the player to re-roll the Crowd dice. As a dirty ref if an enemy wrestler makes a No Class action or an action with the Dirty special rule, the ref can force the opponent to re-roll the Crowd dice. Note that this figure is not part of the Referees set - he was a limited edition figure that I was lucky enough to but earlier. His stat card can be downloaded from the Rumbleslam website.

The Goblin ref has identical stats to the Dirty ref with the addition of the Put the Boot In special ability. If the ref ends its activation in base contact with any wrestler with Knockdown counters, those wrestlers lose 2 STA.
Death is unique in that he has no stats other than Move 3. This is due to his Beyond Time Itself ability which means wrestlers cannot interact with Death in any way. Death may move through squares occupied by other wrestlers but may not end its activation in an occupied square. Its second ability is Dicing with Death. If Death ends its activation in base contact with any wrestlers, the controlling player must choose one. Both players roll 1G - these rolls cannot be re-rolled. If Death rolls higher, remove the opposing wrestler from the game. If the opposing wrestler wins, it gains +1 to its ATT, DEF, GRP and DEX until the end of of the game and cannot be chosen for this rule again.

The Dwarf referee is a good ref. His first ability is Got My Eye On You. Any wrestler within 2 squares of this ref is affected by No Class after the second identical action in its activation. His second ability is Keep It Clean. Any wrestler that attacks a wrestler with a Knockdown counter gains the DIRTY special rule for the attack.
Moving on is Jittery Ref, whose only ability is Crescent Moon. Every time he takes damage, roll a Crowd dice. On a Cheer result, replace the Jittery ref with Were-Ref. Note that once Jittery Ref transforms into Were-Ref he remains in that form for the rest of the game.

Were-Ref is a real brute with awesome stats. He has two abilities, the first of which is Full Moon. If Were-Ref ends its activation in base contact with any wrestlers, it will make a Brawl attack against each one. His second ability is Claws and Teeth, which means his Brawl attacks deal 2DMG.
Finally, is Big Ref, a female Ogre. She has only one ability - Break It Up. If Big Ref ends her activation in base contact with any wrestlers, she will attempt to Lift and Throw each one for 0AP. Any wrestlers Lifted must be Thrown as far as possible into an empty square but not on a turnbuckle. She has a Throw range of 5.

Referees are used in much the same way as any other wrestler and are always counted as their own team. Refs cannot be attacked as normal. They cannot gain any counters, but other special rules affect them as normal. The player that placed the first wrestler in the ring also places the referee as close to the centre of the ring as possible. A referee activates at the end of the round after all other wrestlers. Each player rolls 1G. The player that rolls higher controls the referee for that round. Alternatively, pick a third player to play as the ref all game.

This boxed set of six resin cast figures and rules cost £30.00 from the TT Combat webstore. I do like these figures and whilst I haven't used them in a game yet, I am looking forward to trying them out.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Rumbleslam Free Agents 01

Over the Christmas holidays I added to my collection of Rumbleslam figures with a few new purchases from TT Combat. These three characters are all Free Agents, which means they are not affiliated to any one casino and thus can be hired by any team without affecting their important sponsorship bonuses.
 First up is Big Andy, who is clearly inspired by the dearly departed Andre the Giant.
"Contrary to his kind’s scary and angry nature, he has been known to play with his fans, carrying them on his shoulders as he walks about! Children love Andy and aspire to be as strong and tall as him when they grow up! But it is not wise to prod this slumbering titan. Even the calmest can lose their cool at times, but most don’t have punches that can break stone and arms thick as tree trunks!”
Big Andy is a great all-rounder superstar. He's not quite as dangerous as some (Trihorn, I'm looking at you), but his Dosh cost is barely higher than a regular Weight 3 wrestler. For that little bit more Dosh you get some incredible special abilities like Underhook Suplex and Body Slam which cause the all-powerful Knockdown. And because of his Walking Stupor passive ability, Big Andy is immune to the Dazed special rule, meaning he's very hard to take down.
Big Andy costs £8.00 and comes in three parts - body and two arms. I'm not a fan of the clear bases that come with these figures , so I have stuck all of my Rumbleslam figures on MDF bases.

In the centre of this trio is Granite. He could team up very well with the Golem from a Runic Thunder team (double the Stoneskin!), or could join in with The Cold Bloods for a little one-man flexibility that can hold his own without relying too heavily on the rest of the lizards for support. 
"This resilient superstar has it all: power, toughness, size, charisma... There are few wrestlers in the ring that can match a natural charm and presence which have enthralled and captivated the hearts of countless viewers. He's even been known to break the rules to deliver a better show for his adoring fans. If he sees that the crowd is getting bored, he'll perform a dirty move, or kick an opponent when they're down. Cheers or boos, he only wants to entertain, as that's the only way to fill the seats of an arena.
With one of the best Defence stats in the game, you know Granite is tough to deal with. Combined with his Stoneskin Passive Ability he's almost entirely impervious to Brawl attacks.
His real draw is the Face Heel Turn Passive Ability though. Granite can choose each turn to be a face or a heel, gaining a stat boost to go along with it. That gives him a lot of flexibility, starting off as a face and getting extra attack power, then finishing the match as a Heel when it's time to throw the opponent out. Or you can go for a Crowd Pleaser to have your cake an eat it too! If successful in wooing the crowd, Granite may choose both choices, gaining extra attack and grapple, and getting the HEEL special rule too! Now that's a walking mountain with flexibility!
Granite costs £10.00 and comes in five parts, body, arms and legs. His legs were incredibly fiddly to fix to his body and in the end I had to use Milliput to secure them in place.
Finally, is Ice. So what teams is he best in? The Raging Beasts and The Green Bruisers benefit a huge amount from his presence, as he counters their low defence stats.
"A slippery superstar possessing a cool demeanour, Ice has chilled the hearts of his opponents for many years. Men and women can't help but shiver as he makes his glacial way towards the stage where his powerful figure gleams in the limelight. Try as they might to grapple or lift his monstrous mass, his glassy exterior seldom allows opponents to find purchase, whilst his hard as steel hide deflects all but the strongest of blows."
What Ice may lack in grappling and dodging, he more than makes up for in Defence. And defending himself isn't all he's good for! His Glacial Skin Passive Ability makes him extremely hard to grapple, and The Wall is a Passive Ability that allows him to share his Defence value with any wrestler in base contact. Just think on that for a second. You can take high offensive wrestlers or great grapplers, then just hug up to Ice and be extremely difficult to take out.
Ice costs £10.00 and he comes in four parts - body, head and two arms. 

Saturday 19 January 2019

Strontium Dog - Wasters

The last set from Warlord Games' wave 3 of Strontium Dog figures are the Wasters set. This blister pack contains three human figures.
Wasters appear in the lists for the Outlaws and the Pirates/Slavers on pages 82 and 83 of the Strontium Dog rulebook and are all armed with Basic Hand Blasters. However, these figures are armed with a Club, a Basic Hand Blaster and a Basic Blaster Rifle respectively. I like the fact that they all have different weapons as it makes each one an individual.
Wasters are not the most reliable of Allies. They are cheap, however. I like them a lot. They are well sculpted and definitely fit in well with the rest of this range. They could easily fit in other sci-fi games as starport scum or street gangers. As I said, they come in a blister pack and don't have any stat cards or Armoury and Chicanery cards. This set costs £8.00, which is pretty good value for money.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Strontium Dog - Build a Mutie Set 01

The Great Atom War of 2150 decimated Britain's population and saw a massive increase in mutant births due to the fallout of the radioactive isotope, Strontium 90. Mutants are vilified, shunned and segregated into mutant ghettoes, away from decent normal folk.
Mutations can range from the mundane to the extreme and this set allows you to build your own mutant miniatures - either to use as S/D Agents or as downtrodden muties railing against the draconian laws passed by the Norms. A variety of arms, legs, torsos, heads and weapons allow you to build five mutant models in a myriad of different configurations.
This set contains, five sets of legs, five sets of torsos, ten heads and over ten right and left arms mostly with weapons. They are all fully interchangeable, giving you a near infinite variety of combinations. I have based my figures on those shown on the back of the boxed set and the Warlord Games webstore. In addition, you get three Armoury cards (Anti-grav Chute, Medipack and Frag Bomb) and two Chicanery cards (Angry Mob and Sneak Attack). This boxed set costs £20.00

Saturday 12 January 2019

The Walking Dead Corpses

When I placed my last order with Mantic Games for the Here's Negan board-game, I also ordered a set of The Walking Dead Corpses. This set comprises of six figures - 4 zombie corpses, 1 human corpse and a dying human. All are sculpted on 25mm diameter bases and are made of resin. The detail on them is very good.
At the back is the kneeling human. I painted him with his eyes closed. He would make a good hostage. To his left is the dead human. She hasn't turned yet and bears no obvious wounds. I painted her with a very pale flesh for her skin to show she is still human. The four zombies at the bottom of the photo are very obviously undead. They all have multiple wounds and their faces look very gaunt and emaciated. All of the figures have been cleverly sculpted to fit on their bases with their legs bent.
This is not an essential purchase as they serve no purpose in the game. However, for me, in any zombie apocalypse game, corpses are an essential part of the scenery. Like zombies, you can never have too many corpses, in my opinion. This set costs £14.99 from the Mantic Games webstore, so they're not cheap by any means. Although sold as a The Walking Dead accessory set, they could be used in any zombie apocalypse game.

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Nemesis Intruders 01

As promised in my last post, I'm showcasing the Intruders that appear in the Nemesis board-game. As in the Aliens films, the Intruders mutate, becoming larger and more dangerous as time passes. I present them from smallest and weakest to the largest and most deadly.
Hatching from eggs laid by the Queen are the Intruder Larva. There are three Larva on each base. These are very easy to kill - one shot is all it takes to kill them. Rolling the combat dice you have a 5 in 6 chance of wounding them. However, they can infect a crew member and that is not a good thing, although surgery can remove them. You get six of these figures in the game.
Next up are the Intruder Creepers. These are much tougher opposition and can have anywhere from two to six wounds, depending upon which card is drawn when you score a hit on them.Rolling the combat dice you have a 4 in 6 chance of wounding them.
You get three of these figures in the game. They rarely make an appearance but when they do they can prove a deadly threat.
By far the most numerous of the Intruders are the Adults. These are the Intruders that the crew members are most likely to encounter. Once again, they can have two to six wounds depending upon which card is drawn when they are injured. Each time you injure an Intruder you draw a card to determine how many wounds it has so it can vary in a single turn if you injure it multiple times. Rolling the combat dice you have a 3 in 6 chance of wounding them.
There are four versions of the adults and you get two of each version, giving a total of eight Adults. The two standing Intruders have bits of debris sculpted on their bases with pieces fixed to their legs and hands to add strength to their sculpts, otherwise they might snap at their ankles. It is a wise decision that the sculptors made.
These are three Intruders you least want to encounter. Two Breeders stand on either side of the mighty Queen. When you injure one of these figures you draw two cards to determine how many wounds it has. This gives them a range of four to twelve wounds depending upon which cards are drawn. For both of them you only have a 2 in 6 chance of wounding them on the combat dice.
In one game I played all of my crew had completed their missions and had gathered in the Hibernatorium at the end of the game to enter their hibernation chambers when I drew an Intruder token from the bag and it was the Queen. It could not have appeared at a worse time. The crew did not defeat it but did force it to retreat, which was lucky. They all suffered wounds and were lucky no one died. You get two Breeders and one Queen in the game. It is very rare that they appear but when they do it is brown pants time!
To give you some idea of just how big the Intruders in this photo are I have placed one of each of their types against all six crew members. They really are a frightening sight and their sculpts are just incredible. The detail on the Queen's base is amazing, with Larva emerging from openings in the floor. I also like how she is holding a Larva in her left hand. In real life she would probably be over 20 feet tall!
The Queen was the first figure I painted out of this set and I decided against painting them all black, which seems the most obvious choice for them. I liked the idea of giving them a metallic sheen, so painted them with a base of Foundry Black Shade 34A then dry-brushed them with two coats of metallic blue with the second being lighter than the first. I was very happy with the results so I quickly painted the rest of the Intruders. I have to say, they were some of the easiest figures I've had to paint.
I really love these figures. I'm thinking that they would fit in perfectly with the N.E.W. supplement Xenomorphs: the Fall of Somerset Landing. They would be great figures to represent the various types of Xenomorphs, who look very similar to these Intruders.

Sunday 6 January 2019

Nemesis Crew 01

Nemesis is a game that I received shortly before Christmas. I played it for the first time on Christmas day and became addicted to it. I have been playing it just about every day since then. So, in this post and the next I want to show you the figures that come with the game, starting with the six crew members.
At the far left is the Captain. He starts the game armed with a Six Shooter Pistol which has 6 shots. It is a classic weapon and can only be reloaded with the Reload Action card. When you roll double damage you deal 1 additional injury. He is a good all-rounder.
Next up is the Mechanic. He starts the game armed with a Sawed Off Shotgun, which only has 2 shots. Rolls of 1 damage are treated as double damage. He is the guy who is best suited to repairing stuff.
At the far right is the Pilot. She starts the game armed with a Shotgun which also has 2 shots. Every time you deal at least 1 injury you deal 1 additional injury. She is the person you most want to get to the ship's cockpit, where her skills prove most useful.
Moving on is the wheelchair bound Scientist. He starts the game armed with a Pistol, which has 3 shots. Unfortunately, rolls of double damage are treated as single damage, so that's not good. Obviously, science skills are his forte. He is not good in combat.
The female Scout is next in line. She starts the game with a Rifle, which holds 4 shots. It has no special rules. She is excellent at exploring the ship and can check out rooms without entering them or move silently.
Last up is the Soldier. He starts the game armed with an Assault Rifle, which has 5 shots. Each time he deals at least 1 injury he deals an additional injury. Obviously, he is the character best suited to fighting the Intruders.
The figures are nicely sculpted with realistic proportions. However, the facial detail on them is poor. All of the figures have textured bases, which is a nice touch. The game is designed to be played by 1 to 5 players so you can't field all six characters. When I've been playing, the most I've taken has been four. However, I usually play with three characters. My win ratio is good but every game is so tense and unpredictable. Victory is never a certainty. The Intruders are truly frightening and I'll show you them in my next post.

Thursday 3 January 2019

Schleich Watering Hole

My brother is a very generous person and he bought me a very impressive 2018 Christmas present. He asked me what I'd like and I replied anything from my Amazon wish list. He then asked me to choose the one item I'd most want and I had no hesitation in nominating the Schleich Watering Hole set. I'd already bought two Schleich River sections and the Waterfall set, all of which were compatible with one another. Schleich are a German firm who specialise in highly detailed large scale animals, dinosaurs and fantasy creatures. I have some of their dinosaurs and I'm very impressed with them.
Here are all of my sets including my small Scorpion's Nest. Note how the river seamlessly fits in with the waterfall and watering hole sets. I should mention that these sets are not sold as 28mm scale scenery pieces but they fit in perfectly with figures of that scale. I've included my Copplestone Castings figure of Vampifan in many of the photos to give you a sense of scale. The main reason that I wanted these sets was to use them in my Wild West games plus others like, for example, the Cursed Earth from Judge Dredd.
For the rocky outcrop of the waterfall, I gave it a Citadel Agrax Earthshade wash then dry-brushed it with Foundry Arctic Grey Shade 33A and Foundry Base Sand Light 10C. The waterfall was heavily dry-brushed with Foundry Arctic Grey Light 33C (White). For the sandy base I gave it a Citadel Seraphim Sepia wash followed by a dry-brushing with Foundry Base Sand Light 10C. Note that there is a cave hidden behind the waterfall, which is useful for hiding in.
Vampifan has climbed to the top of the rocky outcrop. I'm glad I took the time to paint my scenery items as it makes them look much more realistic. The sculpting of this set is most impressive
The two river sections were the first items that I bought from this range because I always wanted a river section to use in my games. A major criticism I have of many commercial or scratch-built rivers is that the water does not look very realistic. In the old days I just used blue mounting board to represent my river sections. They worked but were hardly realistic. One look at the Schleich River section and I was immediately taken at just how realistic the water looked. What they have done is use a piece of coloured paper for the river bed and fixed a piece of clear perspex on top of it, which is textured with the ripples of the river.
A very small item I bought was the Scorpion's Nest. It comes with one plastic scorpion. My second scorpion came with the Watering Hole set. Using the scorpions with 28mm scale figures places them in the giant mutant category - ideal for a Cursed Earth or Weird West setting.
The Watering Hole set has a large footprint and is very cleverly designed with a cool surprise, which I'll reveal below. It came with about half a dozen animals you'd find if on a safari but they are all massive and totally unusable for 28mm scale gaming. That didn't bother me at all as I wanted this set for the scenery not the animals.
That said, the scorpion and the giant centipede shown above emerging from a cave, are very useful as mutated insects. Just look how the light is reflected on the water in a very realistic manner.
There is a small island in the centre of the watering hole. How do you reach the island if you can't swim? The tree splits in half to form two bridges. Perhaps it got struck by a bolt of lightning which rent it in half. What a cool surprise!
The large rocky outcrop shown above forms another cave which is big enough to stand a 28mm scale figure inside.
Yet again, just look at how realistic the water effects are. I am mightily impressed with these sets. I'm already thinking up scenarios based around the watering hole for a few of my games.
The river section costs £11.99, the waterfall costs £17.98 and the watering hole currently costs £58.00 but when my brother bought it, it only cost £39.99. I'm not sure why it has had such a massive price hike. The scorpion nest cost £3.99 but is currently unavailable on Amazon UK.