Sunday 31 March 2019

Vampifans Views 117 - Monthly Musings 87

I start my latest Monthly Musings with another gorgeous painting of Vampirella by Manuel Sanjulian. I really love this portrait as she just exudes sex appeal.

As usual, this past month was been very busy for me. On the painting front I have been painting a bunch of Paranormal Investigators and their vehicle, ECTO-1, all by Crooked Dice Games. These were bought for use with the Ghostbreakers: Spirits of Manhattan supplement for the N.O.W. role-playing game by EN Publishing. See my review here
I'll be reviewing these figures on my WOIN blog soon.

I have also been painting a lot of figures from the Resident Evil 2 board-game by Steam Forged Games. Currently on my painting desk are 24 Zombies from this game. I hope to have these finished in the next week or so.

I am also painting a small bunch of female civilians to use in my Wild West games. These came from Wargames Foundry.

Two weeks ago I received my 7TV:Apocalypse Kickstarter package from Crooked Dice Games. The boxed set contains three rulebooks, including one dedicated to vehicular combat. I also ordered a whole load of figures and a few vehicles as well. This is a game I am very much looking forward to playing. For a long time I have been waiting for a good set of contemporary or post apocalypse vehicle rules that uses 28mm scale vehicles. I'm hoping these will be the rules I've been looking for. The opportunity to recreate some games from the world of Mad Max greatly appeals to me. I strongly suspect I'll be buying a lot more vehicles from CDG in the near future.

I'd like to say that I'll be concentrating on this game in the next few weeks but the truth is my attention is focussed elsewhere. My current passion is preparing for a new Judge Dredd campaign based on the Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000 AD rulebook by EN Publishing. I have been busy creating a small force of Judges to use in my campaign, many of whom are based on my player characters from my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign. I liked the JDMG rules a lot but they were primarily a set of small scale skirmish rules with very little opportunity for any role-playing. It is for this reason that I much prefer the new Judge Dredd rulebook. Because this rulebook is based on the WOIN rules sets, my campaign will appear on my WOIN blog. My first scenario will most likely be the State of the Empire scenario from the core rulebook as it is very much geared for starting characters.

Friday 29 March 2019

Resident Evil 2 Lickers & Zombie Dogs

After painting the four heroes for the basic game of Resident Evil 2 by Steam Forged Games, I turned my attention to some of the enemies they would encounter. Strictly speaking, I should have started with the Zombies as they are the common enemy who appear in every scenario, but instead I opted to paint some of the uncommon and rare foes. In this post I'm reviewing two of the uncommon foes - Lickers and Zombie Dogs. Note that in each photo, I have included my 28mm scale figure of Vampifan to give you an idea of the scale of the enemies.
Lickers are skinless mutants with long prehensile tongues and claws. They are very adept at climbing walls and ceilings, not unlike a spider. In the game, they have a movement rate of 1 and 3 wounds, making them tough opponents. Their special ability is Scuttler. A licker makes a move reaction every time a character on the same tile or a linked tile performs a move action, unless the character began the move in the same square as the Licker.
The two Lickers to the left of the photos are normal Lickers. The two to the right are slightly different with a much longer central claw on their hands. These are Evolved Lickers. In game terms, Evolved Lickers move 2 squares and cause 2 points of damage as opposed to 1 by a normal Licker. Both types of Licker may attack a character who is one square away from them or in their same square. Lickers are nasty!
Next up are the Zombie Dogs. They only have 1 wound but can move 2 squares and they have the Pack Mentality special ability. Before resolving a Rabid Chase attack, all Zombie Dogs on the same and any linked tiles as the active character perform a move reaction.

Although Zombie Dogs are just as easy to kill as human Zombies, they are much faster and close in on you in no time at all.
These are great figures and they were very easy to paint. I do like the fact that they are all unique sculpts. The Zombie Dogs are sculpted on 20mm diameter bases and the Lickers are on bases measuring 20mm by 40mm.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Warlord Games Specialist Daleks & Kahler-Tek

In this post I'm reviewing the three figures from the Maximum Extermination! boxed set from the Warlord Games' Doctor Who range as well as the figure of the android Kahler-Tek, who was recently offered as a freebie if you spent £75.00 or more. Believe me, that was not hard as Warlord Games are constantly adding to this range.
At the far left is the Genesis Ark. Dimensionally transcendental, like the TARDIS, the Genesis Ark was a Time Lord prison ship, similar in shape to a Dalek casing, and contained millions of captive Daleks. The Cult of Skaro, led by Dalek Sec, used a void ship to transmat themselves and the Ark out of The Time War, materialising on 21st century Earth. They aimed to resurrect the Dalek empire, opening the Ark and releasing the Daleks inside. However, to achieve this they needed the touch of a time traveller. Mickey Smith accidentally primed it by placing his hand on the outer casing during an altercation with the Cybermen. The Ark was subsequently raised into the sky, releasing the millions of Daleks inside to wreak havoc on the human race and into battle with the recently arrived Cybermen armies. The Doctor eventually re-opened the void and the Ark was sucked back through along with the Dalek and Cybermen forces.
The Supreme Daleks were commander Daleks, either of a faction, or, in the absence of the Emperor Dalek, the leader of the entire Kaled race. Traditionally they were different to standard Daleks casings, often seen entirely in black or gold, or a mixture of these two colours. After the return of Davros and the establishment of the new Dalek empire, the Supreme Dalek was red in colour, featuring gold ridges and spheres as well as an extra light on the back of the head dome. The Twelfth Doctor, Clara and Missy encountered this model on the rebuilt Skaro, home planet of the Daleks, but his army was destroyed by reactivated Daleks in the sewers beneath the city.
Visually different from other models, The Special Weapons Dalek was heavily armoured with deadly offensive capabilities. The traditional Dalek eyestalk and operating arm was replaced with a giant laser energy cannon. Capable of destroying several renegade Daleks at once, it also easily deflected their energy rays. Known amongst the Dalek race as "The Abomination", it was emotionally unstable as the result of radiation damage seeping into its brain from its own energy weapon.
Kahler-Tek, also known as ‘The Gunslinger’ was a Kahler cyborg, one of many humanoids who was experimented on by Kahler-Jex on his home planet of Kahler. Jex wanted to create a super soldier race so he could win the war his people were engaged in. Tek and several others were converted into powerful half men, half machines: A terrifying army of armed war machines featuring powerful energy weapons and built in targeting computers. Kahler-Tek became damaged on the battlefield and slowly his original personality returned to him. He became aware of what he had become and what Kahler-Jex had done to him. Enraged, he set out to track down Jex and his scientists who had turned him into a killer cyborg, hell-bent on revenge.
Years later, the vengeful Tek tracked down Kahler-Jex to Earth, where he had taken on the role of the Doctor in a town called Mercy. Tek lays siege to the townspeople, and when the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive they face an ultimatum – hand over Kahler-Jex to face his fate or the gunslinger would kill every innocent civilian in town, despite his strong instincts not to harm innocents. When Jex expresses genuine regret for his past crimes, he chooses to commit suicide rather than face his cyborg creation. Kahler-Tek believed he no longer served a purpose: all those who had mistreated him had died, so he decided to self-destruct in the desert. However, the Doctor persuaded him to stay in town to take on the role of protector of the people and keep them all safe from outsiders.
As a massive fan of the Daleks I like this set a lot. The Genesis Ark is made of resin but the two Daleks are made of pewter. As for Kahler-Tek, I barely remember him at all and I doubt if I'll use him in any Doctor Who games. Instead, he looks like he'd be more at home in the Cursed Earth of Judge Dredd or as a villain in Strontium Dogs. The Maximum Extermination set costs £16.00 and Kahler-Tek costs an eye-watering £25.00 if you don't take up the spend £75.00 or more offer.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Warlord Games The Master

In this post I'm reviewing the five figures from the I am the Master boxed set as part of the Warlord Games' Doctor Who  range. These figures represent the Master in five of his incarnations.
At the far left is the first incarnation of the Master (played by Roger Delgado) and he was first encountered by the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee). Charming but deadly and adept in disguise and mind manipulation, this iteration of the Master failed in an attempt to destroy humanity by forging an alliance with the Nestenes. He reappeared several times, striking alliances with the Sea Devils and Daleks amongst others. The Doctor and the Master would often be forced to work together after the Master's allegiances didn't go according to plan.
In The Deadly Assassin, the second version of the Master (played by Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beavers) returns, arriving on Gallifrey for a final showdown with the Doctor. After faking his own death, the Master steals the Sash and Rod of Rassilon, which would allow him access to the Eye of Harmony, the centre of a black hole once captured by President Rassilon. He seeks to absorb the power of the Eye to grant him a new regeneration cycle, knowing that this act would result in the destruction of Gallifrey. Although his plan is foiled, he escapes the Time Lord Citadel in his TARDIS disguised as a grandfather clock.
The third Master (played by Anthony Ainley) appears in The Keeper of Traken, where, emaciated, he assimilates the appearance of Nyssa's father, Tremus of Traken, to renew his body without the need for a new regeneration cycle. In Planet of Fire, the Master re-establishes psychic control of his robotic slave, Kamelion, who has been travelling with the Doctor, and the android briefly takes on his appearance. The last appearance of this Master is in Survival, where, after a battle with the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) he is left for dead on the failing Cheetah Planet.
Having had his true identity returned by the Chameleon Arch, a regenerating Master (played by John Simm) steals the Tenth Doctor's (David Tennant) TARDIS and hides away on Earth under the guise of Prime Minister Harold Saxon. His plan to subjugate the human race is foiled when time itself is reversed, creating the year that never was. In The End of Time, the Master once again tries to bring the human race under his control, in an elaborate plan to restore planet Gallifrey, destroyed in the Time war. We last see him on a colony ship where he plots to bring about the genesis of the Cybermen, facing opposition from both the Doctor and Missy, his own future incarnation.
A female incarnation of the Master, Missy (short for "Mistress") (played by Michelle Gomez), first reveals herself to the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) in Dark Water. Having founded the 3W Institute, Missy explains that she has been storing the minds of the recently deceased to the Nethersphere in order to convert them into an army of Cybermen. A Cyber-converted Danny Pink ultimately defeats her army and Missy is seemingly destroyed by a shot from a rogue Cyberman. This end and her next on Skaro are yet more ruses and, after being spared execution at the hands of the Doctor on a faraway world, she is held captive in a vault on Earth, guarded by the Doctor, to whom she has promised she will become a better, good person. Despite some internal conflict, Missy stands with the Doctor against her past self on the colony ship, Mondas, but is ultimately fatally wounded by the former Master.
This is a great set to own. The Master is just as iconic as the Cybermen and Daleks. As you would expect from this range, all of the figures are superbly sculpted and are great likenesses of the actors and actress who played the various incarnations of the Master. My favourite Master is Roger Delgado, closely followed by Michelle Gomez. This boxed set of five figures costs £22.00 from the Warlord Games webstore.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Warlord Games Fourth Doctor & Companions

Here are the Fourth Doctor and some of his companions produced by Warlord Games. I know that Tom Baker is many people's favourite Doctor and I too like him very much.
At the far left is the Doctor (played by Tom Baker) and his faithful robot companion, K9 Mk II. Never without his trademark infeasibly long scarf and a bag of jelly babies, the Fourth Doctor was more distant and alien then his predecessors. His big almost maniacal grin and offbeat humour was often contrasted by a sombre and sometimes aloof personality.Defeating countless enemies old and new, including the Daleks, Cybermen, Zygons and the Black Guardians, he was declared Lord President elect of his home planet, Gallifrey and travelled the universe searching for the Key to Time. Charming, selfless and amoral crusader, the Fourth Doctor was a force to be reckoned with.
Next in line is Romanadvoralundar (Romana for short) (played by Mary Tamm). A fellow Time Lord, she often came across as snooty and authoritative, no doubt to her achieving a "triple first" from the time Lord Academy on Gallifrey. This sometimes led to inevitable personality clashes with the Doctor but she chose to stay with the Doctor and K9 long after their quest was completed.
Seemingly on a whim, Romana decided to regenerate into a new body taking on the appearance of Princess Astra (played by Lalla Ward) whom she had met during the events of The Armageddon Factor. Romana and K9 eventually decide to stay in E Space (a pathway between universes) after the Doctor escapes back into his own universe.
Fourth in line is Leela (played by Louise Jameson), a warrior of the Sevateem, a tribe of regressed primitive humans. Despite being offered the chance to become the leader of her society, her new found friendship with the Doctor led to her jumping aboard the TARDIS to join the initially reluctant Doctor on his travels. She had an understanding of the technologically advanced wonders of the universe, but often resorting to her primitive instincts and violence when faced with something she didn't understand - often with her knife or poisonous Janis thorns - much to the Doctor's distaste. This sometimes led to inevitable personality clashes with the Doctor, but she chose to stay with the Doctor and K9 long after their quest was completed.
Finally is Royal Navy medical officer Harry Sullivan (played by Ian Marter) who was amongst the first to encounter the Doctor shortly after his regeneration at UNIT HQ. This dashing, loyal and sometimes put-upon young man encountered the Wirrn, Cybermen, Daleks and other horrors of the universe, before deciding to depart the TARDIS after a deadly encounter with the shapeshifting Zygons.
I really love these figures. They are beautifully sculpted. I'm not at all surprised that Warlord Games chose the Fourth Doctor for their releases of the Old Doctors. Also, I was pleased to see that there will be a second release of the Fourth Doctor with companions, journalist Sarah Jane Smith, Nyssa of Traken, Australian air hostess Tegan Jovanka and young mathematical genius Adric. This boxed set costs £22 from the Warlord Games web store.

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Black Scorpion Old West Terrors 03

Following on from my last post here are the last five figures from the Tombstone Undead faction produced by Black Scorpion. These zombie figures are all 32mm scale and are sculpted in resin.
At the far left is the Undead Deputy, who is a zombie 7th Cavalry Officer who is armed with a .45 Colt Cavalry revolver and a cavalry sabre. He is sold separately from the others.
Next in line is a female townsfolk who at a distance could pass as a normal human. She still holds on to her shopping bag but in her right hand is a .32 Smith and Wesson revolver.
In the centre of the group is a zombie preacher. He is armed with a .44 Winchester rifle. Note his exceptionally long pointed tongue sticking out of his mouth. Creepy!
Second from the right is a Mexican bandido and hanging victim. He is armed with a .45 Colt Army revolver. The crow feasting on his neck is a gruesome but so cool touch. Note that he also has a long pointed tongue.
Finally is a zombie plains warrior. Although he has a skeleton face I'm assuming the flesh was stripped off by zombies before he died or scavenging animals or birds. He is armed with a .45 Colt Army revolver and tomahawk. He also has a bow and quiver of arrows on his back.
These are a great bunch of figures and are very varied. The detail on them is very crisp, making them a joy to paint. Having more zombies is never a bad thing in my opinion. The zombie deputy costs £4.50 and the other four come as a set costing £9.60.

Sunday 10 March 2019

Black Scorpion Old West Terrors 02

When Black Scorpion ran their Tombstone Kickstarter, I was pleased to see that one of the seven factions was the Undead faction. As you should know I'm a sucker for Undead figures. The faction included the four Tombstone Terrors that I reviewed here . In this post and the next I'm going to review the new figures for this faction, starting with the skeleton gunfighters.
I start with the leader of the faction, a gunfighter armed with a .45 Colt Army revolver and a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun.
There is also a mounted version of him, which I received as part of my Kickstarter package. I thought he might be riding an Undead horse but he isn't.
The next set of skeleton gunfighters has four figures who are similarly dressed and armed with a pair of .45 Colt Army revolvers. The exception is the one second from the right who has replaced his Stetson with a bowler hat and who is armed with a double-barrelled shotgun.
I think these are terrific figures. It is very rare to see skeleton gunfighters. Zombie gunfighters are much more common. The Tombstone rulebook does have stats for skeletons and zombies but I'm not a big fan of the rulebook. My two preferred Weird West rules are High Moon by Two Hour Wargames and Shadows of Brimstone by Flying Frog Productions. I will most likely just use their rules for zombies when I use these figures in a game.
The leader figure costs £4.50 for the foot figure and £9.60 for the mounted version. The four gunfighters cost £9.60 for all four.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Resident Evil 2 Heroes 01

Last month I finished painting the four Hero characters from the Resident Evil 2 game by Steamforged Games. Each character comes with multiple figures. Made of hard plastic, they are 32mm scale and are realistically proportioned, meaning they do look slimmer than many other 32mm scale figures like those from Mantic's The Walking Dead range.
First up is Claire Redfield, a college student who is looking for her missing brother, Chris. The figure at the far left is the one you get with the starter boxed set. She is armed with a pistol and a knife. The figure in the centre was a Kickstarter exclusive and has Claire armed with a grenade launcher. The third figure in line was a Kickstarter stretch goal and has Claire armed with a revolver.
In the game, her special ability is Made in Heaven. Once per scenario, Claire can spend an action to heal another character on the same tile by two levels.
Next up is Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie police officer who arrives in the doomed Raccoon City late for his first day on the job only to confront a zombie outbreak first hand. As the main protagonist of the video game, he comes with four figures. The one at the far left comes with the starter boxed set and has him armed with a pistol and knife. Next in line is a bandaged version of Leon carrying a custom pistol. He was a Kickstarter exclusive. As was the third figure in line, which is a more stripped down version of the first figure in line. Finally is another Kickstarter exclusive which has Leon armed with a shotgun and in civilian clothing.
In the game, Leon's special ability is Cool Under Fire. Once per activation, Leon may use an item while one or more enemies are in his square without making an evade roll. Note, this includes any weapon he is carrying.
Next up is Ada Wong, a spy for an unnamed rival company who is sent to recover a sample of the deadly G-virus from Umbrella's lab in the zombie-infested Raccoon City. The figure of her at the far left is the one you get with the starter boxed set and she is carrying a pistol in one hand and a key in the other hand. The alternative version was a Kickstarter exclusive with her armed with a bow gun. In the game she has two special abilities. First is Reckless. At the end of any character's activation (including her own), Ada may take an out of sequence activation. After doing so, she must forfeit her following activation. Secondly, she has Intrigue. Once per scenario, Ada may discard a card drawn from the tension deck without resolving the effects.
Finally, is Robert Kendo, the owner of a gun store in Raccoon City. The figure of Robert armed with the shotgun is the one that comes with the starter boxed set. The other version was a Kickstarter exclusive that has him armed with a high calibre Magnum pistol. His special ability is Marksman. Once per activation, Robert may re-roll all of the dice from an attack roll, providing the weapon used was not a knife. He must keep the results of the second roll.
I do like these figures. They are well sculpted and posed and I do like having multiple figures of a character. Being realistically proportioned, their facial details are a bit soft. Rather unusually, they all come on 20mm diameter bases, which makes a change from the usual 25mm diameter bases. I knew Claire, Leon and Ada from the Resident Evil films but had never heard of Robert before. I had to check up his background on Wikipedia to find out who he was. The four work well as a team and I was delighted that all four survived my first play-through of the short campaign from the starter box.

Monday 4 March 2019

Firefly Adventures - Heroes 02

Last month I finished painting the figures from the two expansion sets for Firefly Adventures by Gale Force Nine, Respectable Folk and Wanted Fugitives. These two sets include the four passengers of the Serenity captained by Mal Reynolds. Respectable Folk contains Inara Serra and Derrial Book, whilst Wanted Fugitives contains siblings River and Simon Tam. Once again, the figures come in two sculpts for each character - Casual and Heroic.
A member in good standing of the Companion's Guild, Inara Serra brings a level of refinement to any system, city or room she enters. Out on the fringes of the 'Verse. Companions are the stuff of stories and fantasies. Inara is uniquely capable of negotiating with friend or enemy. If your crew needs to talk their way out of a situation, Inara is the person most likely to succeed.
With a love for spaceships with character, Shepherd Derrial Book is travelling in search of his place in the 'Verse. While not all of Serenity's crew welcomes the message of the Good Book, his past connections with the Alliance can pull some useful strings. A man of God can provide a certain amount of cover in heroic situations. Even violent thugs pause before doing harm to those in the company of a preacher.
Simon Tam's skill as a doctor is only matched by his awkwardness outside the medical bay. Given how common bullets and blood seem to be, putting up with him is worth it to have a real doctor around to patch the Crew back up. Simon's ability to heal two Wounds with one Action can be crucial in tough jobs. River is not able to Act Casual without Simon's trusted presence. If you need River to keep calm and quiet, you'll need to have Simon nearby.
Calling River Tam a prodigy is a vast understatement. Taken by the Alliance at a young age, military scientists subjected River to experiments that enhanced her prodigious abilities and shattered her grip on reality. Now, only her connection with her brother, Simon, and the rest of the Crew anchors her enough to not destroy everything around her.
For the most part these figures are nicely sculpted and posed. What does let them down is their facial detail, which is very soft. In the case of River, it is virtually non-existent. These four figures complete the crew of the Serenity, so are useful additions to the game.
The two boxed sets each contains 2 Casual plastic figures, 2 Heroic plastic figures, 1 building (the bottom of the box), 11 tokens, 10 equipment cards, 2 Crew character cards, 2 Downed cards and 3 Job Briefings (scenarios). I bought my two boxed sets from Amazon UK for £15.00 each.