Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Vampifans Views 116 - Monthly Musings 86

February has been a very good month for me on the hobby front. I'll get round to that soon, but first I present another portrait of my favourite vampire, Vampirella, as painted by Manuel Sanjulian. It is a very beautiful portrait that I like a lot. Vampirella just oozes sex appeal here.

I have been painting and am continuing to paint a lot of 35mm scale Doctor Who miniatures from Warlord Games. I just recently finished painting the 9th and 11th Doctor and their companions sets. On my painting desk right now are the 4th Doctor and his companions, the five figure Master set and Kahler-Tek the Gunfighter (a free figure if you spend £75 or more, which was so easy to do). With quite a backlog of Doctor Who figures to paint I did not want it grow any bigger, which is why I have been doing my best to reduce it. They are a lot of fun to paint so it certainly isn't a chore.
I also still have loads of 32mm scale Black Scorpion Tombstone figures to paint, so I have also been making inroads into getting more of them finished. Black Scorpion is my favourite manufacturer of Wild West and Weird West figures, so painting them is a real pleasure. I am currently painting a group of skeletons and zombies which I hope to showcase soon.

On the gaming front, I finished playing the basic Resident Evil 2 campaign from the starter set. My heroes survived and completed it successfully. I look forward to trying out some of the expansion sets. I have almost completed the campaign provided with the Here's Negan board-game, which has been a lot of fun. No survivor deaths so far, so fingers crossed I can successfully finish the 12 scenarios that make up the campaign. Also, I completed the first scenario of my St. Trinian's campaign using the N.O.W. rulebook. You can read it on my WOIN blog. It was an incredible amount of fun.

Just last week, I bought a brand new game called Judge Dredd - The Cursed Earth, a card game by Osprey Games. The premise of the game is that a group of three Judges (Dredd, Giant and PSI Judge Anderson) are searching the Cursed Earth for Max Normal who has fled Mega City One. Also on his tail are a group of perps led by Mean Machine Angel. The Judges must find Max before the perps do. Gameplay is very simple and it does not take too long to play a game. You can play as a solo player (always a big plus for me) or as a team either co-operatively or competitively with Judges verses Perps. Playing as the Judges is the default mode. Also, there are three difficulty levels for the game - Cadet (beginners level), Judge (standard level) and Chief Judge (difficult level). Each investigation is split into two day parts beginning at Dawn and Dusk. In each part, six Encounter cards are laid out in a row and must be played in order from left to right. In the Dawn phase, the player chooses three cards from his hand of six to play and the top three cards from the deck to form a row of six cards which are arranged in numerical order from low to high. At Dusk, the player places his remaining three cards from his hand plus the top three cards from the deck but each card placed can be placed to the left or right of the row. Once they have all been resolved the player draws six more Encounter cards to add to his hand. A new day begins at Dawn.

The encounter cards show their numerical value at the bottom left corner. The boxes at the top of the cards are split into three codes - yellow boxes are compulsory and must be played; red boxes are choices (you choose one red box to play and ignore the other red boxes); blue boxes are optional - you can decide whether to play them or not. The symbols in the boxes must be resolved in order from left to right. They can be good, granting you resources or allowing you to progress through the Cursed Earth, or bad by removing your valuable resources, wounding you or allowing the Perps to advance. A symbol in a circle is bad, a symbol not in a circle is good.
Here is an example of the end of a game. The black meeple on the Max Normal card at the right of the row of location cards shows that the Judges have won. The grey meeple on the Great Dust Bowl card in the same row represents the Perps. My thoughts on this game are very favourable. The cards are large tarot card-sized with beautiful and evocative artwork. It is a very difficult game to win, which is not meant as a criticism. I played Cadet level first and won first time, by the skin of my teeth, admittedly. Afterwards, I played eight Judge level games and only won once, again by the skin of my teeth. I have not attempted to play Chief Judge level. My only criticisms are that the tokens are made of thin card; I'd have preferred they be made of much thicker card. Also, I do not like the two meeples used to represent the Judges and the Perps. In my opinion, they cheapen the look of the game. I use a 28mm scale figure of Judge Dredd and Mean Machine Angel to replace them.
If you are a fan of Judge Dredd I can highly recommend this game. It costs £24.99 from the Osprey Games webstore. However, I bought my copy from Amazon UK for just £21.23.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Warlord Games 11th Doctor and his Companions

In this post I'm reviewing the figures from the 11th Doctor and Companions set from the Doctor Who range of 35mm scale pewter figures by Warlord Games.
Youthful in appearance, but centuries old, the 11th Doctor (as played by Matt Smith) loved life but had little time for those who did him wrong. A fondness for hats and Jammie Dodgers, he was adventurous and unpredictable. His main companions included feisty Scot, Amy Pond (as played by Karen Gillen), her husband Rory Williams (as played by Arthur Darvill) and the mysterious Clara Oswald, aka the Impossible Girl (as played by Jenna-Louise Coleman). He also frequently appeared alongside Professor River Song (as played by Alex Kingston), a fellow time traveller, with whom he shared a romantic storyline which resulted in them marrying.
From left to right the figures are the 11th Doctor, River Song, Clara Oswald, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. Note that the figure of Clara is the second to be made by Warlord Games in this range, with the first appearing in the 12th Doctor and Companions set. This makes me very happy as Clara is my favourite companion from all of the series. She had star appeal in abundance! I liked Matt Smith a lot and I was very fond of all of these companions. They were all worthy allies of the Doctor who put in many fine performances.
This boxed set of five figures also includes 12 cards to use in the Exterminate! skirmish game. It costs £22.00 form the Warlord Games webstore.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Warlord Games 9th Doctor and his Companions

I recently bought some more boxed sets of Warlord Games Doctor Who miniatures, which included the 4th Doctor (as played by Tom Baker), the 9th Doctor (as played by Christopher Eccleston), the 11th Doctor (as played by Matt Smith) and their companions. In this post I'm focussing on the 9th Doctor and his four companions.
Battle-scarred, but with a great love of life and adventure, the 9th Doctor invited 19 year old shopgirl Rose Tyler (as played by Billie Piper) aboard the TARDIS for a trip of a lifetime. Later joined by time traveller Captain Jack Harkness from the 51st Century (as played by John Barrowman), and occasionally assisted by Rose's boyfriend, Mickey Smith (as played by Noel Clarke) and Rose's mother, Jackie (as  played by Camille Coduri), their adventures took them from Victorian Cardiff to the end of the world, fighting enemies old and new, including Autons, Daleks and the Slitheen.
From left to right are the 9th Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith, Rose Tyler and Jackie Tyler. Note that this is the second figure of Rose that Warlord Games has made. She also appears in the 10th Doctor and his Companions set. The sculpts are all excellent, and have faithfully captured the likenesses of the five characters. They are statically posed but I have no problem with that. The four companions would make excellent generic civilians in any contemporary game. I rather liked Christopher Eccleston's performance as the 9th Doctor but after it was announced that he was leaving after just one series, it came as no surprise to me. I never expected him to be a long serving Doctor. As for his companions, I liked them all immensely, especially Rose and Jackie.
This boxed set of five 35mm scale figures also includes 12 cards to use in the Exterminate! skirmish game. It costs £22.00 form the Warlord Games webstore.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Black Scorpion Hillbilly Boys

Here I present the four 32mm scale Hillbilly Boys figures from the Black Scorpion Tombstone range. I haven't named any of them yet but will do when I use them in my Six Gun Sound campaign.
At the far left is "Junior" who is armed with a pitchfork and a .44 Colt Army Revolver. "Junior" is clearly not the sharpest tool in the box. Note his buck teeth.
Next up is an old timer armed with a Double-Barrelled Shotgun and wearing dungarees and a big hat.
Second from the right is the leader of the group, sporting a mightily impressive white beard and moustache. He is also armed with a Double-Barrelled Shotgun.
It wouldn't be a proper Hillbilly gang without at least one moon-shiner. At the far right is the old timer in charge of the moon-shine still. He has a bottle of hooch in his right hand, a .44 Colt Army Revolver in his left hand and a banjo slung over his back.
These resin cast miniatures are very well detailed and so full of character. They'll be a great addition to my growing Wild West collection. This set costs £9.60 for the four figures from the Black Scorpion webstore.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Warlord Games Time Lords

Here are three more figures from the Warlord Games' Doctor Who range of 35mm scale figures - the Time Lords.
Gallifrey, the home planet of the Time Lords, stands in the constellation of Kasterborous. The Time Lords invented space and time travel machines known as TARDISes but closely monitored their use to ensure time was neither abused nor history changed. They had a strict policy of non-interference in other planets and their cultures. Thought destroyed in the Last Great Time War, the Doctor's home planet was actually frozen in time and shifted into another parallel dimension. In the Citadel, a giant structure enclosed within a glass dome in the main city, Lord President Rassilon and the Time Lord Council watch over their home world.
From left to right are a Time Lord General, President Rassilon and a Time Lord Councillor. These are very statically posed, which is appropriate for their characters. I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of these figures but I still like them. This set of three figures, which includes six cards for the Exterminate! skirmish game, costs £13.00.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Warlord Games Emojibots

Continuing my look at my recently purchased figures from Warlord Games' Doctor Who range I move forward in time to review the Emojibots. These appeared in the second episode of the tenth series of the reboot called Smile.
The Emojibots were robots who served as avatar interfaces to the sentient microbots, the Vardy. Their purpose was to ensure the humans on the off-world colony Gliese 581d remained happy at all times. To monitor their moods, everyone wore a badge which reflected the person's mood through the language of emojis. Emojibots viewed unhappiness and grieving as anathema and would enlist the Vardy to kill those showing such negative emotions.
When the TARDIS arrives on the colony, the Twelfth Doctor and his companion, Bill Potts, are greeted by the Emojibots and given badges. After the Doctor comes to the shocking realisation that the colonists are being slaughtered and their bones used as fertiliser for the food supply their resultant upset is picked up by the Emojibots...
These figures are a lot smaller in size to the rest of this range, so would fit in well with 28mm scale figures. I could see them fitting in so well in Mega City One as part of a Judge Dredd game. This set of three figures cost £13.00 and comes with six cards to use in the Exterminate! game.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Warlord Games Movellans

Just prior to Christmas, Warlord Games had a sale on their range of Doctor Who miniatures - buy two sets and get a third one free. This was too good an offer to pass by so I ordered the Movellans, Emojibots and Time Lords set. I finished painting them all last month and in this post I'm going to present the three Movellan figures.
Outwardly resembling humans of different ethnicities, the Movellans are androids from the star system 4X Alpha 4. Sporting long, silver dreadlocks, white uniforms and a conical gun, they are extremely strong. Each Movellan carries an external power pack round their belts; if this unit is damaged or destroyed, the android unit will cease to function. They have a strong code of honour, refusing to allow other species to see them in death. The Movellans are noted adversaries of the Daleks.
I can remember seeing them when they first appeared in the 1979 episode, Destiny of the Daleks and was immediately attracted to them. The white uniforms and metallic coloured hair very much reminded me of the female Moonbase personnel from Gerry Anderson's UFO TV series. Being such a big fan of strong female characters I like these miniatures a lot. I could well see them being useful characters to appear in my The Ace of Spades Campaign. This boxed set of three figures and six Exterminate! cards costs £13.00 from the Warlord Games webstore.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Here's Negan Survivors

I present here the five survivor figures plus Negan from the Here's Negan board-game by Mantic Games. This stand-alone supplement from The Walking Dead franchise concentrates on the vicious Negan and five of his followers clearing out a large warehouse to make it safe for Negan to use as a headquarters. Although the survivors are working co-operatively, each one is hoping to impress Negan enough to earn the title, Top Dog. This is measured in Reputation levels, which can go up or down during the course of a game. The game can be played by 1-5 players. Negan and the Zombies are controlled by cards and the game's Artificial Intelligence. Making sure that Negan does not suffer from Rage will help to ensure victory. An enraged Negan can be more of a threat than the zombies.
At the far left is Negan, the brutal, foul-mouthed leader of this group. I was pleased to see a new sculpt of him. He is armed with "Lucille" his baseball bat, a sniper's rifle, a pistol and a knife. Next in line is Dwight, who is armed with a dagger and a crossbow. He is good at running. If a character runs they must roll to see if they make noise. Dwight can re-roll the noise dice. Also, his base move is 4 instead of 3. Third in line is John, the bruiser. He is really good at melee combat and can kill zombies even if he doesn't score a head shot - he just has to roll double or more than the zombie's defence roll. He is armed with a tyre iron, which allows him to automatically open locked doors.
The three females are made up from left to right of Tara, Laura and Sherry. Tara can not use ranged weapons but is very good at melee. She has the best defence dice and if her defence roll is more than twice a zombie's attack roll, she can make a free attack against that zombie. She is armed with a dagger. Laura is ranged combat expert. She is armed with an assault rifle and a dagger. Her special ability is that she can perform the same action twice in a turn. This is very useful as the default rule is that characters must perform two different actions when they activate. Finally, is Laura, who is armed with a pistol and a dagger. Stat-wise, she is the weakest but she does have a very useful ability - she can give up one of her actions to give another character an extra action, which does not affect their activation.
I have started to play the twelve scenarios that make up the campaign and I'm using all five survivors plus Negan. They are a good mix of characters who, so far, are working well together. The rules are similar to those used in The Walking Dead games but are not identical. Here's Negan is very much its own game and I have to say, it is a great deal of fun. I ordered the game shortly before it went on general release and as a bonus I received extra stat cards to use the five survivors in The Walking Dead games, which was something that pleased me immensely. The figures are all beautifully sculpted, very crisply detailed and an absolute joy to paint.