Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Looking back at the last 18 months or so

It has been a good couple of years on the hobby front and this blog has benefited from both the variety and intensity of my indulgences.

In early 2012 -13 I had been playing Warhammer 40k, my Dark Angels and put a lot of time and effort into the new models and some real learning from the games we played. Very enjoyable but large scale and a lot of effort required.

A change of pace was needed and so Star Wars X-Wing was discovered. We loved it. Totally new game mechanics and each game was of short duration. A blast to learn and play.

The game acted as inspiration. We had played many games over over recent years and recognised the joy of getting away from the large scale stuff for a blast of fun to break things up. Short sharp games with lots of action and dice rolling. Heroic acts where you could risk all and maybe, just maybe it would come off. A new game was born - Dark Crucible

Myself and the Dark Templar spent several months developing the game. The idea was to have something that most people with a small collection of models could play on a coffee table. We started with an agile, lightly armoured force, the Celts against the more heavily armoured and regimented force, the Romans. We wanted each side to have 5 -10 models and so it began.

We tried a few different systems of game mechanics. This was not easy but definitely great fun.

I had the pleasure of being the Celts and coming up with ideas to bring them to life. I wanted them to be fast and lightly armoured Tribesmen.

War band by Michael at 28mm Victorian Warfare

I started doing some reading and really liked the idea of having reckless, body painted/tattooed , semi naked freaks to give character. We also discussed the influence of magic or the druids. This was very important to the Celts. The idea of The Morrigan was born, influencing all on the battlefield.

I have recently discover this model, I just need to figure out how and where to buy it ;-)

Game development was great fun. We came up with the concept and the starter rules in the first couple of months and then began to develop stage two. To be honest I think we should have bedded in stage 1.  Finished it off properly and then launched into stage 2 but ..... excitement got the better of us. It was a great break from the norm though and something for us to revisit maybe later in the year.

At this point we rediscovered a long lost friend Blood Bowl!

There followed a manic few months where first I played by Orks and then my Skaven. It was pure joy. 

I launched myself into scenery building first for the Orks and then for the Skaven. This was all new to me and it added to the joy in a big way.

We had been away from the large scale games now for a while and Gameworkshop brought out the 7th Edition for 40k. We couldn't resist and new rules were purchased, new models bought and new armies developed.

First my 1500 point army which was victorious and then my Ultimate 2500 point Walker Army which did not fare so well. But it was fun all the way with great banter and name calling!!

Christmas has been heralded with the arrival of a new venture - Zombicide.

I am already deep in the painting phase and my Zombies are gradually becoming drenched in blood. Now that just has to be a great start to the year!!

Roll on 2015 and all the fun that it brings.

Happy gaming out there in hobby land.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


Yes folks, the paints have been out and work has been progressing on the zombies. It is an interesting challenge to try and get the models different but in theme. The colour pallet needs to broaden and I have figured out I usually paint green and blue sometimes a little red but that it my limit. I am really enjoying this though.

I started with a fairly human skin tone and have recently moved onto something a bit more dead and decayed with a green / blue hue to it.  I am treating the groups in fives so that I don't get to disheartened by the huge numbers involved.

Tray 1 -  I have started all four of the Fatties but still need seven more zombies and 10 walkers.
Tray 2 - Not started.

I am enjoying the level of detail that each model contains. It is not until you start painting them that you appreciate it.

This Fatty has a zipper on the boiler suit and a belt buckle hanging down in front. There is also a little tool bag on the right hip with a pliers, hammer and couple of other tools in. The vest is also torn in places and the face a mouth with teeth and a good level of facial detail. I need to have him under the magnifying glass just to see it never mind paint it.

The last thing to add is the bloody gore. This really adds something to the finished article and looks great on the board when playing.

Oh oh - I have just counted the zombies and ....... I make it thirteen so far ..........

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Over confidence the killer

I have recently been playing Zombicide and enjoying the experience. I have worked my way through a few of the Missions. I started with the 00 Tutorial which came good and got me used to the play sequence.

I moved on to play 07 Grindhouse. This is listed as 'easy' and helps to learn the whole noise principle. I played to a number of times and lost the first couple. However in time I learned to move the zombie horde around using 'line of sight' against the 'noise'.

I then tried 02 Y-zone. This is classed as 'medium'. I applied the lessons learned so far and successfully completed the mission a few times. It is a great learning mission as it has some big rooms which reveal loads of zombies especially if opened when the threat level has risen beyond 'blue'. Important to open big building early but frightening if you don't have the weaponry to handle them. I suffered lots of wounds but survived.

I decided to tackle 05 Big W next. The buildings are not quite as big but it is classed as 'hard'. Again success. Challenging but good to play.

I felt ready to step up and play something that included cars. A new twist. I went for 03 The 24hrs race of zombicity. It is classed as 'medium'. There was a lot to get used to. It is easier to get weapons because you can loot the vehicles. However this does not let you gain the 'loads of ammo' that I had become used to. Then you can drive the cars to mow down zombies. A really cool idea. Make sure that the survivors are not in way. It was close but I got a couple of games done with success.

And so to 04 Drive-by shooting. My downfall. The board is smaller and I figured I could handle it but no! It whipped my ass. I think I didn't make enough use of the cars but this was tough due to there being only one road. I am planning a revisit. A new plan is required.

However on the up side the painting is moving along.

I have been working on the Survivors building up the layers. They look good on the battlefield and it is easier to get into character.

The zombies are coming along as well. I do love a good blood splatter!

Obviously along way to go here, but its a start.

Survivor Phil is a cool guy. As a cop he starts with a pistol and this means that early in the game he is important.

I usually play him second or third. He backs up someone armed with the fire axe who opens doors. It is his job to clear the first room. He is a handy shooter and later in the game he has the skill 'Born Leader' which gives another action to anyone in the group who needs it. A great help.

Survivor Doug is also cool.

You want Doug to be searching as fast as possible because he has the 'matching set' attribute. This means that if he gets a pistol or similar with the 'matching set' symbol he automatically gains the second of the same weapon. He has good variety and can be used for ranged or combat. At high levels he can be truly awesome! For example - Ambidextrous allows him to wield two chainsaws at the time that is a whole lot of dice to roll and a lot of Zombies to take down!!

Be happy and enjoy the Zombicide!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Getting the paints out - Zombicide

Well I have played a few games of Zombicide and am really enjoying it. I started with the introduction game and then moved on to the 'easy' missions. Yesterday I played my first 'hard' mission and then this morning I used cars for the time.

There is a lot to think about and I have learned that line of sight is very important to move the zombies around. There needs to be some use of this ploy to keep the zombies from piling onto the main group. I like to keep at least one person separate and in the street. This means that some of the zombies will move towards that person instead of moving towards the noisy square.

Using unpainted models was driving me nuts. I am just not used to it. Its just so bland. My plan is to get some paint on a Fatty, some zombies and the Survivors.

I started with a Fatty. Having a look online pointed me towards a very orange boiler suit.

I have kept it basic at the moment but will add detail later. He looks intimidating on the field of play. I kept him looking 'dirty' and the idea will be to adopt this for all of the zombie horde.

My first Survivor is Wanda.

I must say that there is a fantastic level of detail on the model. Once I started to paint I kept finding little things and I really like that. Too many layers of paint can swamp the details - so beware. Wanda is great fun to play as she can move twice as fast as others. She also gets the options to improve movement and combat at higher levels. She can be great for slipping in and stealing that last objective to save the day.

My next survivor is Josh.

Josh is interesting because he has 'Slippery' from the start. This means that he can move through Zombies without penalty. So he is good at getting out of tight spots. He can be a distraction to move Zombies away from the group. Armed with a Goalie Mask (saves a wound) and Molotov Cocktail he can really do damage by sliding up next to a square filled with Zombies and taking the whole lot out.

I am enjoying the game and recommend it anyone. The nice thing is that you can play by yourself.

Now back to the painting station.