Friday, August 26, 2016

picking a faction for the Marvel game

This release made it easier by adding a big data point.

I'm moving to a new house in the next couple of weeks, a large endeavor that has kept me from miniatures a lot this summer. So naturally on my daily commute my mind wanders to gaming topics. Aaron has been tempting me (I'm an easy sell) to try out the new Marvel minis game by Knight Models, as I am a fan of the Batman game. Nonetheless, it took me a while to get into the Batman game, just because there wasn't a lot of variety in the initial releases, which has also been a factor here with the mighty Marvel game.

With only three-ish factions, picking one to focus on first would make getting things table-ready more realistic. (Since there's crossover between the good and bad sides with the neutrals.) And really, as the game is so new, I think we can safely speculate as to what's coming out... eventually. Having Knight Models spoil us so early with surprises like the Dark Avengers and the Thing gives us some strong material with which to guess.


Hells to the yeah.

The COSMIC side of things currently has the least number of figs, mostly the Guardians. And really, no bad guys. Adding the Thing and giving Doctor Doom the Cosmic icon leads me to believe they will also have the Fantastic Four and their longtime foes. Armed with that knowledge, I would speculate Cosmic would also get Ronan the Accuser and the Kree, the Silver Surfer, and the Skrulls. And frankly, the possibility of getting to play the Super-Skrull is tempting in and of itself. But who else? Other space types, sure, but even given recent comic book events, that's the smaller group of the three factions we have to pick from. On a farther limb, I would guess the royal court of the Inhumans would fit here as well (with bonus Lockjaw!), and hey, even more obscure Fantastic baddies like the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes. So, some choices, but I don't see a lot of increase right around this corner.


When Juggernaut comes out, this crew will be very tempting.

The next faction being the MUTANTS gives us an even more self-contained world, almost entirely the X-men and their various splinter groups facing off against their foes. There's easily a number of less-popular heroes I could work into a team (Havok, Polaris) considering the depth of their rosters over the decades. And so many of their foes have become their friends at one point or another, so I bet there will be many neutral picks as well. But the Brotherhood has an equally lengthy tenure, and adding in the Marauders, many fun options. Plus Juggernaut! And, dare I hope, Arcade! (OK, maybe that's just me.) I seem to have an affinity for playing the bad guys, to boot.

Finally, the SUPERHUMANS have the widest scope for growth, IMHO. Right off the bat, Black Widow implies to me that anyone SHIELD-related would fit in, which also gives us their enemies over in Hydra. Spider-man is neither a Mutant nor Cosmic, so we get his friends and his foes, including the long-awaited Sinister Six (ooh, yesss.) This also implies, to me, that Superhumans will also get the Marvel Knights affiliates like the Punisher, Moon Knight, and Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The surprise introduction of the Dark Avengers also makes it an easy leap to include the Thunderbolts here. And on top of all that, there's also decades-worth of Avenger friends and foes to bring in, from Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to Taskmaster (another personal fave) and the Wrecking Crew. My dream pick would be the Squadron Supreme here, and with the Dark Avengers going here, this'd be where they go too.

Personally, I think the Cosmic side will have less attractive choices for me. I could see Dr. Strange getting in there too, but it won't expand that faction much more. The Mutants are perfectly self-contained, and have the most crossover potential (so, so many of their foes end up joining them at one point or another.) They'll always just come back to the X-Men and their enemies, in the end. Which isn't bad! I would love to run some Brotherhood with some classic Marauders backup. But leading the pack, Superhuman has the largest capacity for growth. It's a wide net to cast over anyone that isn't Cosmic or Mutant, and it covers a pretty wide swath of the Marvel-verse. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Zombicide: Black Plague wave 2 is here




This just showed up on my doorstep. Luckily I happened to be home, because it's certainly warm out here in Maryland today.



Yeah, I bought big. The sculpts are great, and useful for so many games.

But man, with this here and Massive Darkness starting soon, I really, really need to come up with a better storage solution, before my wife kills me (and no jury would convict her.) (She fully supports my gaming habits, but does her best to help me keep my pack rat nature in check. And the gaming area was already overflowing.)




Oh, and it's been a fortnight since the last update. In that time, I think I played all of two games of Frostgrave, and three games of Guild Ball campaign. And kept meaning to post here, but would get a couple paragraphs in before I was boring myself. So, yeah, still struggling with that. But! Gaming! People are talking about Bushido again, and we have a standing offer for This is Not a Test whenever I can starting making it up there. Plus a Pulp City day in the near future. Many opportunities for which I need to make time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016



As noted previously, I am spoiled by my generous friends. Today's example is shown above. Aaron made me these fine tokens for our upcoming This Is Not a Test games. Speaking of which:

The kickstarter for This Is Not a Test is in full swing, and has been meeting and exceeding goals at a nice steady clip. No, this isn't one of those kickstarters where you get mountains of stuff. It's a relatively modest affair, but there's a lot to pick up, and you will definitely get your money's worth, while supporting a great game.

Long-time readers will recall the great time I had when I discovered TNT many moons ago, and I have been a fan ever since. Hands down the best post-apocalyptic system, and I have read through many. But the #1 complaint interested players had was, where is the printed rulebook? Hence this fine kickstarter. And it's working great; many people are interested and getting factions started.

So, yes. Check it out. Sign on. Tell 'em I sent you. The affair wraps on April 7th. You won't regret it.

Oh, and while you're waiting, you can download the demo rules from the files section on the TNT Facebook group, and even download the images for the tokens seen above, to get you ready to duke it out in the Capital Deadzone.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Today's petstore aquarium terrain find


Picked up these two at the local Petsmart today. Both were on sale, from the National Geographic line of aquarium decor. The ruined colosseum wall was about seven bucks, and the statue head was about four. The 28mm fig for scale comparison is from the Mage Knight line, and is on a 28mm base. Perfect for Otherworld, Frostgrave, pulp gaming, fantasy gaming, and more.

(I also picked up more cat litter while I was there, but y'all don't care about that.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why I keep losing, and why I am OK with this


First couple games of 2016 have been us finally trying out the Batman Miniatures Game. So far the game seems decent (and there's a lot of support online) but it's definitely been an uphill struggle getting anything going for me. Like, scoring any victory points. But that's OK!




Game one with some creative lamp posts. Deadshot draws a bead on a Black Mask goon.

Right away, to try it out I went with figs I already had assembled (see top pic.) Which I chose by starting with the coolest. Now, from reading up online, I knew this was something of a sub-optimal build. I was using the most expensive model in the game, plus an expensive but fragile support figure to boot. And both had a passel of special rules to learn.



Game two with the store's mishmash terrain. Not a lot of batclaw-worthy terrain, but we also didn't bring any batclaws, so...

But really, it was more a matter of finally getting figs down on the turf and getting some dice rolling. As always, the first couple games are about me figuring out how the rules work. I can read a set of rules forwards and backwards, but until I play a few games, I won't really *get* them.

So even hammering through a few terrible losses does teach me how things are supposed to work, and what I should avoid going forward. As is, being snowed in here near Washington DC, I have spent some time assembling and basing more mercenaries and prisoners to bulk up the numbers of my gang. You can do an elite force of high-cost figs in the game, but I don't know the system well enough to run that out of the gate, But I will get there.




The year is off to a Batman-ish start then. I will likely get in another game of Guild Ball before too long. Next up on the agenda is likely trying out Otherworld, or giving Frostgrave another go. Thereafter, maybe Wolsung or back to Bushido after a long absence? We shall see.

--- Trying something new for 2016. On other social media, I am always posting articles from the news other other things that have caught my interest. So let's do that here too.

Interesting links:
* A good read on the demise of Alien Dungeon and All Quiet on the Martian Front. I've seen just enough behind the scenes of the gaming industry to see what a Shakespearean mess it is, and this article pulls back the curtain a bit there too.
* As we've been all Batman here, I've been listening to the Blood Damage podcast for some interesting overviews of the various factions and other game-related talk. The one on the scenarios is especially nice.
* I haven't really played RPGs in many a year, but the Dungeonomics column is always fascinating.
* And I am always a slut for zombies, so I will be eyeing Mantic's Walking Dead kickstarter when it drops.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: not a bang, but a whimper?

Starting an Otherworld warband. I've had these Reaper Lizardman partially painted for like ten years.

Yeah, this. I have started and discarded many posts in the past few months, even before Zomtober. I've played Guild Ball a handful of times (and even fully painted my team) and played in a day-long tourney for it to boot. That's... been about all the minis gaming I have done recently. (Started playing Pandemic Legacy with the family as well, on the board gaming side.) (And of course Team Fortress 2, my long-term video game vice.)

So I have about no excuse as to why I couldn't get posts back to the regular here. For a while I told myself that I was sick of putting up pics of my half-painted figs, figuring it wasn't interesting to anyone else either. And the holiday season is always busy, so gaming always suffers this time of year, naturally. But honestly, I have just been feeling uninspired. Haven't picked up a paint brush since I finished the Guild Ball team about a month back.

I'm still reading gaming blogs and Facebook groups? And perusing various rulebooks on the daily commute (Otherworld, Frostgrave, etc.) So I am still emotionally invested. And enjoy it! Just haven't had the drive to get anything finished up to post here to my liking. (Insert 'performance anxiety' joke here.)



Frostgrave Sandtomb!

No, this isn't a walking-away letter. I am looking forward to having the energy to get back into gaming projects, and yes, spamming it all up here. I'm working on getting everything together to give Otherworld a real try; I think it could be a good substitute for a regular D&D evening. Maurice and I did a run-through of Frostgrave not too long ago, and I think we're going to give it another as well. (It's really caught on online.) And finally, finally, giving the Batman game a go.

But the topic has been on my mind these days. I am old, well, I feel old. And I have been gaming for a couple decades now. The past few years, I have been more attracted to broader rulesets that could play multiple genres/settings, or something close to that. Rather than more focused games that will go out of style in a year or less. Because I have a library full of those rules, and an army or two I bought for each. I never catch up with really learning the rules of the season, never really master the latest ruleset, and never get things fully painted. So my alternative is figuring out a ruleset or three I can really work with, use various figures for, and most importantly, get the locals to enjoy enough to play it with me on the regular. That's my working treatise going into 2016. And a happy new year to all of you out there in gaming-land.



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Zomtober '15, week 4: the fourth horseman

My name is death, and the end is here...

The finale! Zombicide season three introduced the skinner zombies, emaciated and tough as nails and all creepy-like. This charmed caught my eye as soon as I opened the box.



I wanted to keep the skin tones pale and go for an old and faded look to the whole scheme. Definitely an end-times affair.


Team height comparison

The Zomtober graduating class of 2015


Thanks to all the great words of encouragement out there! I honestly do look forward to Zomtober, and it always helps kick my gaming juices right where it counts. Next month I hope to get my Guild Ball team fully table-ready, so I don't feel like a loser posting pics of half-painted toys all the time.