Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pulp City: Rumble in the Jungle

"This is April Winters with Channel 7 News reporting. As promised last night, we have exclusive pictures from last week's rumble in the Jungle Habitat at the abandoned Pulp City Zoo. Our city's defenders, Heavy Metal, received word that a mysterious gentleman was delivering a shipment of firearms to the Ape Revolutionary Committee. Channel 7 was able to obtain some images from the mostly nonfunctional closed-circuit security camera footage from the zoo systems.

"Always first on the scene, Androida scouted ahead of the rest of her team, hoping to head off the weapons drop before the shifty simians got their paws on them. 

"Having gone too far ahead of the rest of her crew, though, she was ambushed! Chimp-Chi and the tag team of Apebot and Virus surrounded her and quickly took her out of the fight. The perfidious primates didn't have long to gloat though, as the glowing form of Nuclear Jones, flanked by his sidekick, the alien robot X-50, cast a long shadow over them...

"Meanwhile, the people's champion Iron Train slowly made his way up the middle of the enclosure. Out from behind a small building stepped Guerilla, firing his massive minigun! Luckily, the armored hero was backed up by none other than Lady Cyburn, and the bullets melted in the air before they could do any damage. Iron Train raised a mighty fist, and a clash for the ages was coming.

"While in the back of the habitat, Dr. Red was using his prowess to press the advantage, pulling strings and working his tactical knowledge to turn the tide. He stood next to the crate of AK-47s knowing they could give his troops a fighting chance. But the shadows gave way to a liquidy silver form, which took the shape of Dr. Mercury, ready to show Red who was the real doctor on duty! His hand shifted into the shape of an anvil...

"The stage was set and the fists were flying. Virus scrambled furiously to keep Apebot working as blast after blast flew from Jones's hands into the robotic gorilla. X-50 acquitted himself finely, following up the attack and shifting the balance. Who would yield first? Their conflict was mirrored by Iron Train and Guerilla, trading powerful punches and fiercely trying to shift the momentum in their favor. 

"Nuclear Jones laid out a massive wave of destructive force, but eventually began to fade. Rather than let the monkeys win the day without a cost, he shone like the sun and unleashed a tidal wave of power. Apebot and Chimp-Chi, broken and bruised, looked up from their scorched patch of ground to see... Iron Train, victorious over his foe, and bearing down on them like a house on fire!

"After a hard-fought contest of his own, Dr. Mercury was finally turning the table on the inventive orangutan. Again a melee furiosuly fought, but the Heavy Metal hero stood his ground and took the day. Shots rang out from the shadowy arms dealer, but after some furtive attempts, he slipped away. ARC was taken out that day by the hometown team, Heavy Metal. But for how long would the streets be quiet?"


[Out-of-character notes: hadn't played in too long, so I just went with Heavy Metal, so I could try out Cyburn and Jones for the first time. Both did great! Good lord, Nuke Jones puts out so much damage. Also had a great outing for Iron Train. Many ones and sixes were thrown that day. Was really a great game, evenly matched and a lot of fun. And yes, I do have a fig set aside for April Winters, my alternate for Pulp City's own June Summers.]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

15mm scifi Blue Moon comparison shots

Don't call it a comeback: pics taken for a discussion elsewhere.

Left to right:
Rebel Earth Force Home Guard
Robot Legion Velon Skirmisher
Khurasan Plutonian
Blue Moon Robot Legionnaire
Laserburn Adventurer

Left to right:
Critical Mass Kaamados Agaamid
Blue Moon Aquan (he doesn't shoot first.)
Khurasan Plutonian
Blue Moon Twanax (love these beasts.)
Rebel Earth Force Home Guard

Maybe next time I do this, I'l have more painted figs to throw in? Who knows.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a new challenger appears!

I have featured the lovely painted figs of my amigo Maurice more than a couple times here on my blog. He's started up his own joint, and he's just posted his first FoW batrep. Sounds like it's going to be that, his painted figs, and 15mm scifi, so if that up your alley, check out his blog here. (He also mentions some game called Confrontation, whatever that is.

 Come at me, bro!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AE-WWII revival

I don't do news often, but this one makes me happy: Matt Hope of Blackball Games announced they have picked up AE-WWII and AE-Bounty and are looking forward to supporting the games. Darkson was the company that I worked the booth for at Gencon two years ago, and I am a big fan of those guys. They really put a huge amount of work into things, and a lot of energy. But the games have not received a lot of support as of recent. I love the system and the setting, and am crossing my fingers that the new owners pick up the ball and run with it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

7tv episode: Pilfering the Plans!

Every now and then, a game catches my eye and becomes the new hotness. As noted earlier, 7tv completely caught my mindspace a while back, and I've been reading up on it, writing up characters and ideas and painting and what-have-you-ing. And, last week, headed out to VA to, you know, actually play it. I've been looking for a good pulp action game, and this one looked to fit the bill. Adaptable to different settings, focused on the personalities, and easy to play.

Episode synopsis: the year is 1948, one of the last years of World War II. The AE Division, a breakaway Axis faction, has completed its secret plans for an outer space satellite. Hellbaby and his British allies, including the ineffable Leftenant Cumberbatch, are charged with breaking into a mysterious warehouse/laboratory to steal the plans and get them safely into the BPRD's hands.

I wanted a nice simple scenario so I could get down the system. (We did skip the Gadgets; the Plot Twists cards were event-ful enough.) Approximately 125 points each, using figs from our AE-WWII forces. Adapted one of the scenarios right from the book; if we continue with the plotline in future episodes, we'll likely maintain that trend. Possibly decades later, when the mysterious AE Division returns!

(Side note: when I get into a new game, I write up easy playsheets, telling me the basics of play order for each turn, what to roll for most of the basic actions, what to do before the start of the first turn, etc. And true to form, within ten minutes of playing, I had a list of five things to add to my 7tv playsheet. Heh.)

Hellbaby is a Million Dollar Marvel, His co-star Cumberbatch is, naturally, a Dependable Deputy. They were accompanied by four Soldiers. Figs painted by Maurice, who I have noted, has won awards for his paint jobs. The bastard.

For the AE Division, Maxim is a Failed Experiment. Ilsa is a Nasty Piece of Work (gave her Leadership, just to get the bad guys moving.) They brought along two AE Security Guards, two Attack Dog Handlers, and two Attack Dogs. These broke up into two patrols, with the guards near Maxim giving him a little distance. As you may have guessed, I have not won any awards for my paint jobs (but I do enjoy painting.)

Took a bit to get used to the activation rules, but once we had it down, it was a breeze. With the game, you only get to activate about half your figs each turn, but can jigger that number using Leadership or Audience Appreciation points or the like. By the middle of the game, was definitely a tactical choice as to who to activate when. Pretty keen.

No play-by-play. The Brits slowly infiltrated from the top of the board, while the AE forces slowly ambled around looking for the intruders. A soldier tripped the alarm by trying to sneak out the plans from the lab equipment in the middle of the board, and all heck broke loose. The good Leftenant flanked to the left and took out some troops with his Eagle Eyed shots. Ilsa used her Signature Weapon, a fierce bullwhip, to eliminate one soldier, while Maxim charged in and destroyed another.* Booby traps triggered explosions, to no effect, but man, the ratings. Expecting a charge from Hellbaby, the AE troops moved to deal with the 'infernal child,' but instead, he shot in at top speed, grabbed the plans, and hightailed it out of there!  The good guys win the day, and the AE troops will have to answer to their unknown master...

In short, great game. The scenario flows very naturally into the story, and it adapts well to the pulp setting. Plays quickly and cleanly.

* - Not coincidentally, this was the same tactic I used with him in AE-WWII. Parallelism!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

flame on!

So I accidentally learned to play Flames or War last night.

Well, not exactly. But. One of the unspoken rules of minis gaming is that you tend to play what other people in your local circle is playing. Yes, if you find a passion, you can try to win them over to the New Hotness, but really, when something catches on, there's a certain inertia. We're all here to play. And that's easiest with ready opponents. The vast majority of my local crew has a Flames of War army, or two. 

still cracks me up
Still cracks me up every time.

My running joke was that I would learn to play once I could use my rebased Monsterpocalypse creatures in the game. Yet, heading out for gaming last night, I don't recall how we started talking Flames, but we did. And after running our other game first (to be detailed in a future post) Maurice ran me through a quick couple Flames of War demos. It's simple and fun. The 40k comparisons are... readily available. Which isn't bad, mind you; 40k isn't my thing anymore, but there's nothing wrong with a game being easy to learn and play.

It certainly won't be a big part of my gaming life, no. But I can easily see myself borrowing an army for a game here and there, and if that sticks, maybe picking up some figs from the deliciously affordable Plastic Soldier Company. The hard part would be picking the force to play. Because my mind always drifts to the Weird War side of things (thanks AE-WWII!) and Flames doesn't seem to readily adapt itself to Nazi werewolves, psychic Russians, or Captain America and the Sub-Mariner. Ooh, wait, maybe I could do Cobra Command! (Can you tell why I am not suited for historical wargaming?)