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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

  I hope you and your families are enjoying this holiday, and may your stocking hang low with lead.

  As you read this, my wife and sons and I should be winging our way to London, our family gift to each other. I hope to do a little shopping there for toys...

  See you after the New Year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Age of Worms, Session IV

   We met again last Friday - two weeks in a row, it's a new record! I was hoping we would finish the Whispering Cairn, but it was not to be... However, things are coming to a conclusion, and I think we may be able to finish off next week. Maybe. Anyway, on to the play by play...
  •  Our intrepid heroes have healed up and rested, and proceed back into the Cairn for what they hope will be the last time.
  • They successfully bypass the face in the wall trap, and no one is injured climbing the chain (they cleverly shared the ring of feather fall, you see...).
  • Entering a new chamber, Norman and Sarmek are knocked off the beam into the iron ball pit, while Wren and Degar more wisely lowered themselves to its surface first. Or was it wise? Because they are attacked by the grick! Ahhh! Degar swings his mighty axe, striking the fiendish abomination squarely, only to see the creature's tough hide bounce the razor sharp steel. Wren electrocutes the beastie with Bigby's shocking grasp.
  • No sooner do our heroes defeat the abomination, then a ghost materializes out of nowhere and possesses the cleric with his malevolence attack! The ghost offers to let the party into the final secret chamber if they will bury his bones with his family in their farm cemetery; naturally, our party agrees.
  • The party returns to town to sell a few items, check in with their mentor, Allustan, and find out what the other group of adventurers in Diamond Lake were up to. In the process, Sarmek (played by my 12 year old son) spilled the beans to the rival adventurers about what they were exploring. Ooops! Thankfully, he did not give exact directions.
  • So now the party is in a rush to get the bones buried and get back to the Whispering Cairn to enter the True Tomb. Sadly, the rest of the family's remains are missing. Returning to town yet again to seek informattion, Wren decides they should investigate an abandoned observatory to see if there are any clues - it seems the perfect hideout for graverobbers!
 And that's where we ended up. Still not there, but oh so close...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Whispering Cairn, Part III: Getting Our Feet Wet!

  Well, it's been a good while since we played, but our Heroes finally returned to the Whispering Cairn last Firday night. And, in what I thought was going to be one of the most challenging parts of the adventrue, breezed through with nary a difficulty!

  Having penetrated into an area where the laborers who built the cairn once lived, the party advanced to find the communal shower area totally submerged! What awaits them? After a deep breath of air (and a quick overview of the rules for holding one's breath and moving underwater), they proceeded into the murky depths:
  • A small water elemental attacks in a whirling vortex! And utterly fails to harm the party, while Norman the Interchangeable (our NPC Hieronean cleric) repeatedly slashes him with his longwsword!
  • A ghoul left over from a previous adventuring group (the Seekers) is in the locker room. Our warmage, who is bereft of his spells because he can't talk under water, is hit, wounded unto death, infected with Ghoul Fever and paralyzed! Happily for him, the paralysis prevents him from taking in a breath of water for two rounds, while Norman quickly pulls him out of the submerged area. A near miss - one more round under water and Wren would have drowned! (After leaving the cairn, Wren is taken to the temple of Heironeous in Diamond lake, where he trades a pearl of power for a remove disease spell.)
  • Special treasure is located: the last of the colored lanterns (red) from the sarcohpagus chamber!
  Additional encounters follow, in the area of the cairn where the Wind Duke architect Nadroc once lived. Yet another elemental (this time, an earth elemental) is defeated. A fantastic roll on Knowledge: dungeoneering allows our ranger to warn the party about a brown mold, making it an easy dispatch. Great treasures are located and experience is gained.

  The party is now only one major step from completing the adventure: they must somehow gain access to the True Tomb of Zosiel, the Wind Duke lord buried in the Whispering Cairn! And, they have figured out how to get past the trap that guards it, so they are most of the way there... or are they?

Monday, December 6, 2010

I... Love ... Stories!

If you hate gnomes, you will love this.



Get 'em, Frances!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Renaissance Decision Made

I know many of you have been waiting with baited breath to learn which of the Field of Glory Renaissance armies I was going to choose to begin with. No, really? You haven't been? Well, you're gonna find out anyway.

 I am doing an Early Thirty Years' War German Catholic League army. Yes, Count Tilly's merry band of pike and shot in old fashioned tercios. I have my order ready to go to Old Glory to purchase said army, now just waiting for financial clearance from the CFO, also known as SWMBO.

  In other game-related news, I finally finished my second battalion of 6mm German colonial troops, and the first legion of Martians. I am moderately happy with them, but I used GW's clear coat on them, and I don't like it at all. It leaves a very dusty look on the figures. For $15, I expect more from a matte coat. Back to Krylon and ModelMasters for me, thanks! I also finished a base of powered armor infantry in 6mm for BattleTech, and a battery (with limber!) for the Germans.

 Finally, we look forward to hopefully getting another game of D&D in on Saturday or Sunday. Only two sessions down, and we are starting to get antsy. But the reward of making 2nd level is a soothing balm...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Whispering Cairn, Part 2

  An update from last week's D&D game:

  Having acquired the use (though not title!) of an abandoned house near the Whispering Cairn, our heroes (Sarmek, Degar, and Wren) spend some time and hard won treasure beginning to fix the place up. With the trash hauled out, the outhouse and well repaired, a new door and the broken windows boarded up, they set off back into the Cairn, to finish their exploration.

  On the way, they encounter a dire weasel, who manages to latch his teeth into Degar's throat and greedily suck a few pints of blood before being dispatched by the rest of the party (now including Norman the Interchangeable Mk. 2!). The resulting Constitution loss worries the party, and they return home for a few days to let Degar heal up. Obviously, they are concerned for the short but doughty knight!

  So, after a quick trip into town to pick up a few supplies (including a pair of cure light wounds potions, some torches, etc., again our intrepid quartet venture into the Cairn... It seems unchanged. They place the colored lanterns they have retrieved, but do not light them. The sarcophagus has mysteriously returned to the 'orange' position. Our Heroes spin the arrow about, activating the elevator at yellow, nothign at the collapsed green tunnel, nothing at blue, and a new location, indigo. Another elevator rises out of the floor, and Wren goes to investigate. His sharp eyes detect a sack of treasure in the bottom of the elevator, amidst a large number of bones broken into distressingly small, shattered bits. Snatching the leather sack, he ducks out just before the trapped elevator slams shut. Surely, Wren has narrowly evaded a gruesome death!

  Turning the sarcophagus to point at the violet alcove has no apparent effect, nor does sliding it all the way around to red. Momentarily stumped, Our Heroes investigate the alcoves once again. this time, Norman notices that the blue alcove's ceiling is higher than the others, and there is a shattered skeleton laying amidst the debris collected in the alcove. No treasure, alas, only a broken dagger hilt.

  A quick climb up the chain locates a doorway forty feet above the alcove floor. Wren and Degar follow Sarmek up the chain, climbing safely, if not easily, to the tunnel. No one notices the snaped dagger blade in the stone floor, but all notice several long scratch marks along the tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, an angry face - not-quite-human - is setin the stone. Suddenly, a blazing kaleidescope of mesmerizing rainbow hues comes from teh eyes of the face, and from the mouth, a strong wind blows. The mesmerizing light show paralyzes Degar, and the strong wind (which quickly ramps up to hurricane force) blows all three back down the tunnel. Paralyzed and unconscious, respectively, Degar and Sarmek fall to the alcove floor; Wren manages to grab the chain as he tumbles out. thankfully, Norman had decided the climb was too arduous in his heavy armor, and he was available for some quick healing. Out of spells, the party rests in the chamber overnight.

   The next object of investigation was down the green alcove. An easy climb, Degar still manages to trip and fall, injuring himself. A battle against yet mroe acib beetles, and their queen, a giant bombardier beetle, leaves the party badly banged up again. A potion revives Norman, who then uses the helaing power of Heironeous to restore his comrades. In the room, a few other human remains are located, and some treasure at last! The party climbs out (Degar falls again, is knocked unconscious, and has to be carried up after being stabilized by first aid).

  The adventuring part of the evening was done at this point. Time to do some book-keeping. All party members had enough experience to advance to second level now. Also, Wren's mentor Allustan identified two magical items the party had found: a pearl of power (1st level) and - ironically - a ring of feather falling. Needless to say, the ring now lives on Degar's hand...

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Whispering Cairn, Part One

  When last we left our intrepid crew, they were setting out from a dilapidated mine manager's home to seek fortune in the Whispering Cairn.

  I'll skip the boring bits, and tell you the highlights:
  • Upon entering the cairn, Sarnek noticed several sets of wolf tracks back and forth across the entrance.
  • After the party locates a broken artifact, Wren recalls from his class on History of Air Elementals at Tarth Moor that the glyph on the base is actually the name of a powerful creature of air called a "Wind Duke." [Rolled a natural twenty plus his skill bonus in Knowledge (arcana), total 26! 50 bonus XP for a clutch roll for vital information.]
  • Continuing further in, the party encountered a small pack of wolves. Sarnek successfully used animal empathy to adjust their reaction from hostile to indifferent. The wolves returned to their den, taking a bribe of meat thrown to them. [Dane did fantastic with his ranger here... 50 bonus XP for good roleplay]
  • Minutes later, the party disturbs the wolves in their den, drawing an attack. All three wolves killed. Oh well. However, they do find an important piece of a puzzle: an indigo lantern.
  • Entering the false tomb, they begin to muck about with the turning sarcophagus, discovering all sorts of elevators, and releasing a swarm of acid beetles and a nasty aberration. Wren kills the swarm with one well-placed Burning Hands spell. The aberration is dealt with swiftly, but not before it can kill Norman the Interchangeable, our NPC cleric.
  • With the cleric dead, and most spells used up, the party wisely retreats to Diamond Lake, bearing the remains of their fallen comrade.
End of first night, but not even close to the end of the adventure... we play again in three weeks.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Age of Worms has Begun!

  So, we played a little D&D 3.5 last night...
  My buddy Jim has been living in Gulfport, MS, for the last two years since he was called to active duty by the Navy. Anyway, he finally got back home a couple of weeks ago, and he came over last night. To celebrate, we all (Jim, my sons and myself) played some D&D for the first time in, oh, a couple of years! being me, and that meaning disorganized, I didn't really have anything ready to play. I didn't want to go back to the Caves of Chaos again, even though they have never completely cleared those fabled caverns.

  Then I remembered that Dungeon magazine had, a few years back, created an entire campaign, and that I owned most of the issues already, including the all-important first issue with the adventure for 1st-3rd level characters! RESULT!

  The party consists of:
  • Wren Fredericsson, a Human Warmage, recently returned from his training at Tardath Moor, to his childhood home of Diamond Lake. He seeks the guidance of Allustan, the local wizard who helped him enter the Warmage school. Allustan arranges for him to band with other youngsters in an effort to explore one of the local cairns. [Jim]
  • Sarmek of Bronzewood (self-styled 'the Slayer'), a Human Ranger. Sarmek grew up in the Druid enclave in the Bronzewood, not far from Diamond Lake. He has been sent forth to find his place in the world; the Druid Elders arranged for him to act as a guide for a small party of adventurers. [Dane]
  • Degar Stoneface, a Dwarf Knight. Degar hails from Greysmere, the Dwarven stronghold nearest Diamond Lake. He was sent by the HoldKing, Hrogar Greysmere, to Diamond lake as part of his final training as a knight of the stronghold. His mission complete, Degar sought guidance from the head of the Greysmere delegation to Diamond Lake; the head delegate made arrangements for him to join with others through his friend, Allustan. [Greyson]
  • Norman the Interchangeable, a Human Cleric of Heironeous. Norman is the name for all young clerics at the Diamond Lake temple. At the urging of Allustan, the head of the temple has provided one of his lower level acolytes to support the effort to explore the Whispering Cairn.[NPC]
   After meeting at an abandoned mine manager's home near the Whispering Cairn, the party ventured into the mysterious cairn...



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aethergraph Issue #2 Now Available!

  In case you don't follow my VSF-only (well, pretty much only...) blog, I thought I would repeat here: the second issue of my little VSF e-zine is now available, and still totally free! Which it will continue to be for the foreseeable future, as I see no real future in trying to make a professional publication out of what is essentially a niche fanzine.

  At any rate, you can get it directly here, or from the link on Victoria's Boys in Red.

  As always, I am seeking submissions for the next issue, which I hope to have out by Thanksgiving. I am especially interested in artwork or roleplaying submissions, but miniatures reviews, battle reports, fiction... pretty much anything steampunk or VSF-inspired would be appreciated.

  Thanks again for your support!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Declare thyself: For King or Parliament?

  Well, they came in today, finally! I received a lovely package from the guy in the brown shorts, containing two books: the core rules and the Wars of Religion companion. I've been looking forwad to these rules for a good bit, ever since I learned they were being made back in the Spring. The local gang I play with has been going through FOG Boot Camp for Ancients and Medievals for about six months, and we like the rules.

  While at Historicon this past year, I played a single ECW game, and though I really like the miniatures and such, the rules they used were not fun to me. They may have been an accurate model of battle in the era, but dull ain't in it. I mean, you basically could not remove any enemy troops, even when you catch fleeing troops from behind with cavalry! They just got to run further, and you had to follow them, until one or both of your units ran off the table/battlefield. Yawn!

  So now I only have to decide which army I want to get, and how I am going to pay for it! I am torn between the Swedes of Gustavus Adolphus and the German Catholic armies commanded by Tilly, et al. The Scots Covenanters look interesting as well, but I think my friend Gerald will have them covered. Another friend, Zach, is considering the Late Imperial Spanish, and the last hurrah of the tercios. No idea what the other fellows are contemplating, if anything. Cavaliers? Roundheads? Egads, the French?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Food and Gaming

The genesis of this post lies here: My New Favorite Cheese.

My friend Eli at I See Lead People mentioned having discovered a new cheese in the previously mentioned post. It got me thinking about eating and gaming. Both are (or at least can be, and are usually best as) social activities. And, in my experience at least, hardly a game goes by in which someone (usually me!) is not stuffing his, her or their face(s). We eat it all, from Twinkies to pizza to hummus. Yes, hummus. With garlic pita chips.

And then drinks, as well. Soda, water, beer or liquor - they have all made the rounds at our games as well. Anyone who gamed with me at Historicon knows about my back pocket lubricant (rum in a flask, and yes, I shared).

Heck, there is even a 'genre' or category of games we call "beer and pretzels" games. And then you have 'theme' game snacks: port for after a colonials game, for instance, or Twinkies for a zombie game (Zombieland, of course, Rule #32, I believe...).

So what, if anything is the point of all this? Nothing really. I was just commenting on some thoughts I had about eating and gaming. And hummus and rum.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two Years already?

  Has it really been two years since Hurricane Ike ripped through Galveston County like a starving great white shark through a bunch of baby seals?

  The answer, of course, is "yes." Tempus fugit, as they say. Not that Ike has anything to do with the rest of this post, but still...

  Speaking of tempus fugiting, I ran out of month in August for my painting projects. Not an epic fail, but certainly not a goal reached month. Call it about 70%.

  And September has been very dry so far, paint and game wise. However, I am looking forward to Game Saturday this weekend, and my buddy Jim is finally coming home in two weeks after a two-year deployment! Hooray! We're already talking about getting some D&D going or something. We have decided that the boys really are not ready for a more modern, tactical type RPG like Twilight 2000. Greyson might manage it, but Dane just wants to blast stuff, and that kind of thing ends up with you making a new character every week.

  Also, this month I should be receiving my copy of the new Renaissance rules from Fields of Glory (Osprey Publishing). Looking forward to that, although it means yet another project. I am torn between Thirty Years War Imperials (Catholic forces) and Gustavus Adolphus' Swedes for the first armies in that project. Can you tell I have been reading Eric Flint's 163x series of books?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Conan, what is best in life?"

  "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women."

  "Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."

-The Phoenix on the Sword, Robert E. Howard
 
  Yeah, I am on something of a Conan kick. Which is odd, as I don't even play any Conan games. I think we are going to start a D&D 3.5 campaign again soon, once my buddy Jim returns home this month. Maybe I'll be a barbarian?
 
  More importantly, what army would you use for a FOG Ancients game? One thing I always liked about Conan was that magic was one of two things: immense and all-powerful but time consuming or quick and personal, but not likely to affect a battle's outcome. This means that essentially, magic is a non-entity on the battlefield.
 
  There is currently a Yahoo group with useable (I suppose - I have not tried them out) army lists for many Hyborean nations at: Field of Glory Fantasy. Yes, you have to join the group to look at them. But if you like them, join, download and then quit, like I plan to do.
 
 
   Is this another new project? Not yet. But maybe... 15mm Conan wargaming... it is so tempting!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Palmyrans Lose!

   I played a game of FOG with my monthly club today. Zach and I took the Palmyrans and Tom and Chris had the Sassanid Persians.

   The outcome was predictable: Palmyran forces in total disarray, Queen Zenobia fleeing for her life. Me, I blame a stupid mistake in the deployment of our forces. Never should have held those big heavy cataphracts in reserve...

   However, there were some really amusing spots in the battle, such as my camelry (Unprotected, Poor, Undrilled, Bow, Swordsmen) holding out against a cataphract charge (with the Persian CinC!) and then three rounds of melee. Those horses really don't like camels. Can't wait to see Tom's 'camel-phracts'...

   So, even though we lost, I had a really good time. I like playing with Zach, Tom and Chris (and the other gents at the club as well - they were involved in another game, Byzantines v. ??).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer 2010: Officially Over

   Today was my first day back at work. No students for another week, unless you count schedule pickup on Thursday evening. Bummer. Gaming-wise, the summer was a bit of a disappointment.

   However, this evening was interesting. My friend Zach came over and we mucked about a bit with some Fields of Glory Ancients. He is considering a samurai army, and wnated to see how the troops did against various scenarios. So, using bases as counters, we sort of set up scenarios and ran through them. The bushi did well against Ancient Britons, both chariots and warriors. However, samurai cavalry got slaughtered by French Hundred Years War knights. The knights charged, the samurai died, and then it got really ugly in melee. Two turns to break the samurai. We plan on testing some more stuff out tomorrow night, especially the rules about charging into flanks when an enemy is already occupied to the front.

A Masked Minion Diabolical Weaponeer

   I've been painting a bit the last week. I have finished totally five more 25mm Martian sepoys [RAFM] and the five Masked Minions Diabolical Weaponeers [Parroom Station]. I also finished some more 6mm terrain bits (more walls). I am almost done with the last three Eureka Prussian fliegerjager I have (need Dip, base and clear coat) and the five 25mm Martian artillery crew from Parroom Station. I am looking forward to receiving my scudder that I ordered from Brigade Games at Historicon in the near future, too. Hopefully in the next week or so - I should probably contact them to be sure of it. The shield gunners and archers are languishing at the moment. I need to hustle on those, the month is half gone! Plus some finishing touches on a bunch of 6mm Colonial/VSF stuff: 4 infantry stands, a gun stand, and the limber stand are almost done, and I have started the Martians (nee Mahdists).

Rear view of Diabolical Weaponeer.
Note the glowing handwavium power source in the pack (green).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monthly Painting Progress

  Greetings, all.

  Making a bit of progress on the painting front this month. Which is nice, because, as I have mentioned previously, I've done darn near none all summer long.

  I have the five diabolical weaponeers just about done with their base colors. Hopefully finish them up today, along with a late addition to the painting queue: three Eureka fliegerjaegers (the Pax Limpopo helicopter Prussians - you know the ones I mean). I've gotten most of the rest of the lot for this month cleaned up and primed, and a color scheme worked out for the shield gunners. Honestly, they are mostly waiting on me to clear a little space from my painting table.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August Goals

   Okay, so it has been a few months since I set any goals for painting. And guess what? Not much painting got done in those moths. You would think that the summer, what with me being a teacher and having the time off, would be a very productive season for me. You'd think wrong, but you would think it.

   Anyway, I am getting ready for school to start back up and back into the swing of things. And my thoughts turn towards painting again. So here's what I want to accomplish this month:
  • 10x 25mm Martian Shield Gunners (RAFM, Space 1889 line)
  • 10x 25mm Canal Martian Archers (RAFM, Space 1889 line)
  • 5x 25mm Masked Minion Diabolical Weaponeers (Parroom Station, VSF)
  • 2x 6mm Prussian Gun and crew
  • 1x 6mm Prussian limber
  • 24x 6mm Prussian Line
  • 24x 6mm Prussian Jaegers
  • 48x 6mm Martians (Mahdist infantry re-purposed with paint)
  • Finish 6-8x Empire Flagellants (GW)
  • Finish 5x Kislevite Horse Archers (GW)
   That's quite a good bit. I'm feeling ambitious. We'll see how it is going in a week or so. One other thing, if any of you has an extra Battle for Macragge force field pylon or two laying about, I could surely use it. Please let me know and we can work out details.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Terrain! And more... Terrain!

   I have been working on many things terrain-related recently, both for VSF and just in general. I thought it would be interesting to show what I've been up to. There is more in the pipeline right now, including a "how-to" on making a set of 6mm barbed wire. Look for that in the near future, I hope.

"Sun Kissed" 2-3cm Trees, by Woodland Scenics

   I found a package of these on sale at the local Hobby Lobby this week. They looked nice, and they were on sale, so I bought them. My wife would be so proud of me if she knew how I was saving money. This is the same justification she uses when buying a new purse on sale. The difference is mine started at $8.99 and hers started at $300. Anyway, they are a good size for 6mm (1/285) gaming. Here they are shown with a Battlemech just in the background.

6mm Rough Stone Wall, by TimeCast (37/060)

   I bought a small set of 6mm walls at Historicon, but I can't recall for the life of me which vendor had them. They had a lot of terrain. I think it was Battlefield Terrain Concepts. I got these to help with my new 6mm VSF project and BattleTech. I think they painted up nicely. The mat, by the way, is homemade, my "open fields" terrain (as opposed to the "urban", "jungle/forest" and "Martian" mats).

Resin Palisade, by Acheson Creations

   The palisade is something that the folks at Acheson make with their extra resin. When they make a batch and start pouring castings, tehre is always some left over. Anyone who casts their own stuff knows how that goes, right? Anyway, rather than waste perfectly good resin, they pour the excess into any of several small molds they keep. They make tons of the stuff, and then haul it to conventions. I got this piece for $.50. I bought about 16 more at the same time, and have purchased some previously. Finally got around to painting this first one up, and several more are in the pipeline. Two hints when working with this: 1) wash it thoroughly with warm water, detergent and an old toothbrush and dry it completely, and 2) prime it using Krylon Fusion for Plastic spray paint. I then hit it with a dark brown spray paint, dry brush two coats, and basing. GW's Purity Seal spray dullcote on top.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

BattleTech AAR: Defense of Fintroll Dam

Scenario
Fig. 1: The Battlefield. The small tower is the powerplant, the large building a factory.

   On Bogenhafen IV, the small city of Fintroll is burning, nearly entirely destroyed by fires started by a fierce orbital bombardment. However, two key points have been left unscathed: the hydroelectric power station and a factory complex just south of the city. With assets stretched thin, two medium Mechs of the 2nd Talabheim Guard are sent to secure the structures. Opposing them, two stray Mechs, remnants of the 1st Imperial Engineers, deployed from the ruins of the town.

Forces

  • 2nd Talabheim Guard (red and white): 1x PNT-9R "Panther" [35t], 1x PXH-1 "Phoenix Hawk" [45t]

  • 1st Imperial Engineers (blue and red): 1x WSP-1A "Wasp" [20t], 1x RFL-3N "Rifleman" [60t]
Victory Conditions

  • Destruction of all Talabheim Mechs: Total Imperial Victory

  • Holding the Hydroelectric Plant: Partial Imperial Victory

  • Destruction of all Imperial Mechs: Total Talabheim Victory
The Battle

Turn One:
   Talabheim PXH-1 advanced directly up the road, into relatively ineffective fire from the Rifleman at extreme range. The Wasp and Panther maneuvered out of line of sight.

Turn Two:
   Already in heat trouble, the Engineer Rifleman moves carefully into the Fintroll River shallows. Again, his fire is ineffective. To take pressure off of the Rifleman, the Wasp pilot bravely dashes across open ground to draw opposing fire. It works - the Phoenix Hawk moves into close range and pounds the smaller Wasp. Large laser and a barrage of SRMs slam into the Wasp's arm and torso, reaching the Wasp's own ammunition supply, detonating the entire supply and vaporizing the hapless Mech. [Note: Used a Stinger model for the Wasp, as I don't have a Wasp.]

Fig 2: Phoenix Hawk burns down a Wasp
Turn Three:
   Now protected and cooled by the shallow water, the Rifleman's long range guns go back into full fire. The Panther approaches, bringing its PPC into play, and striking the Rifleman in the torso. Finished with the Wasp, the Phoenix Hawk returns to the roadway and advances toward the dam.

Turn Four:
   Both attacking Mechs advance down the road, directly into the Rifleman's fire, determined to eliminate this pesky remaining defender and seal their victory. However, the Panther masks the Phoenix hawk's fire, and takes the full fury of the RFL-3N's Magna Mk. II and III lasers and the pair of Imperator-A medium autocannons. Critical hits in the central torso destroy the Panther's gyro, causing it to crumple to the ground.

Turn Five:
   Daunted by the intense fire coming from the Rifleman, the Phoenix Hawk pilot moves onto a nearby hill. He plans a devastating "death from above" attack. In response, the Rifleman shifts his fire onto the Phoenix Hawk, blowing the left arm off, damaging the gyro, and causing the 45-ton Mech to topple off the hill, out of LOS.

Turn Six:
   The Phoenix Hawk tries (and fails) to right itself. With no other target, the Rifleman continues to fire on the downed (but not out!) Panther, causing serious damge to the useless legs of the unstable Mech. The Panther manages to prop itself up and fire its PPC at its tormentor, narrowly missing.

Turn Seven:
   The Phoenix Hawk continues to try to stand, again without success. The stricken Panther finally succumbs to the heavy and continuous stream of fire coming from the Rifleman. With its central torso totally shot away, the Panther simply falls apart. With the sun setting, the Phoenix Hawk pilot decides to sneak away, abandoning his damaged Mech. For now, the ruins of Fintroll remain in Imperial hands...

Fig. 3: Death of a Panther. Note the Rifleman is standing in shallow water.

RESULT:
PARTIAL IMPERIAL VICTORY

Wrapup:
   Honestly, once the Wasp blew, I thought I was in serious trouble. Dane had aggressively eliminated my manuever unit that I foolishly left vulnerable to a Mech twice its size. However, by advancing straight into the Rifleman's strength (long range gunnery), especially bulwarked by the cooling assistance of the river - which offset the massive heat buildup that is the RFL-3N's main weakness.

   I used some of our old Heroscape hexes to create the battlefield. It worked okay, but I think that a hex-pattern stencil may be getting ordered from Litko sometime in the near future if we start playing a lot of BattleTech. Either that, or I make a turning template and we go 'hexless' for it. Which, all things considered, might be easiest.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Historicon, Day Three (Final battle report)

SKYRUNNERS: Historicon Race Day
Saturday, July 10, 8PM

   The only game I played in on the third (and last full day) of the convention was in the evening. Most of the day was spent in shopping, shopping, shopping! And being peeved with the hotel for putting two holds on my bank account for the room, thus reducing the amount of $$ I had available to spend in the Dealers' Room and Wally's Basement.

  Anyway, all bitterness aside (ooo was I pissed off!), the last game of the con was a great one. The first round consisted of seven racers in two seperate heats, with the top two contenders in each heat going on to compete in  the final. Naturally, I forgot my camera in the room (I was really pissed off), but another participant took several photos and emailed them to me last week.

A Skyrunners "Scudder" Flyer, with complete Racing Crew

  The rules were Skyrunners, written by Bob Charette of Parroom Station Enterprises. Bob also ran the game, and sculpted the boats and figures. All around master of the ceremonies. The rules, ships and minis are all available through Brigade Games. The booth was already sold out of ships when I got there on Thursday, so I ordered a ship and all the crew. It should arrive in August (waiting for new ships to be cast by Acheson Creations, who do very nice work, btw...)

Yours Truly, indicating where my scudder (Blue and White) will be going.

   As far as the first heat of the game went, I came in second, and so moved on. One player was knocked totally off our course and into the other racing course, causing no small amount of confusion and lots of fun mayhem!

Another picture of Round 1

   In the Final Race, I earned the nickname "Vomit Comet" for my scudder and 'Swooperman' for its pilot, as I was forced to swoop over and under and over and under again to avoid collisions. My gunner also earned a nickname: 'Deadeye,' because after coming through a screeching 180 degree turn, he still managed to bullseye the target atop the scoring pylon. Another scudder got known as "Pinball Wizard" for the number of collisions it spawned! The final result was slightly disappointing: second again! Still, the game itself was  a blast and we all had a lot of fun.

   This one is going on the Christmas List for the boys, because I think they will enjoy it a lot as well. I figure four to six scudders is enough. Plus, they can do double duty as 25mm light Martian flying craft. I love when I can 'economize' that way. I'm not cheap, I just have a lot of projects!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Madness! Madness, I say!

   Really, I am getting too scattered. Far, far too scattered. Let's take a look, shall we, at just the minis by genre, scale and number of forces:
  • VSF/Colonial, 25mm: British, German, Texicans, Turks, Japanese, Lizardmen, Automatons, Vardu, Martians, plus Skyrunners Racing Game
  • VSF/Colonial 15mm: British, German, Texicans, Lizardmen (carryover!), Automatons (carryover, mainly), Martians, Vardu (some carryover), Zulu
  • VSF/Colonial, 6mm: Martians, Germans, British, Lizardmen
  • VSF, 2mm: Confederation of Italian States, British, German, Martian (Aeronef, SGoM, etc.)
  • Fantasy, 25mm: Lizardmen, Empire (WFB)
  • Post-Apocalypse, 20mm: Car Wars, Matchbox scale
  • Sci-Fi, 6mm: Battletech, OGRE
  • plus terrain for all of theabove, of course...
   And then there's the RPG projects with the boys, which we bounce around between. I am hoping to get a more coherent RPG schedule when my good friend Jim gets home in a few months after two years of active service in the Reserves.

   Oh, and I am considering adding 15mm Sci-fi to the mix. Just too many cool toys out there in 15mm. Any suggestions on rules for them? I am considering Future War Commander (I think that is the name of the rules). I want a sort of feel where most troops are like the Colonial Marines from Aliens, but there are armored troopers as well, like the real MI from the novel Starship Troopers. Plus tanks, flyers, etc.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Post-Apocalypse GURPS

Alright, new update on the GURPS gaming with my sons. The two Wolf brothers are still exploring the Camden County Mall, and have made their way about a third of the way through it. They have searched through Radio Shack, and Camper's Outlet, and a variety of other stores. They were attacked by multiple swarms of rats at the Dogs and Such, which required them to spend the better part of three weeks recuperating, thanks to the infection one contracted and the crippling damage to the leg of the younger brother. though still limping, he is slowly improving...

Today they explored another couple of stores, including Appliance Alley. In the backroom of the Appliance Alley they found a skeleton in a store smock, its leg smashed and trapped under a dishwasher. The smock had a nametag: Earl. Once they distrubed the skeletal remains, the temperature of the room dropped from a chilly 50 degrees down to just above freezing. A glowing image, an apparition of a man with a huge 'stache grew up out of the remains and spoke to them. Dakota was startled, but recovered easily. Victor, on the other hand, was quite frightened by the ghostly apparition. Earl said this:

"My name is Earl. I had a list of tasks that I had to complete in my lifetime. A list of all the bad things I did to people. Karma punished me for those bad things, and I had to make it right for all of them. But I died. Now I am stuck here, until I can present my list to Karma, or I can never rest. And if I can't rest, neither will you. When I died, I had several friends with me, and my brother. Maybe one of them took the list. Bring me the list, or I'll haunt you forever."

So now they have a quest to complete beyond just looting the mall, which is only going so-so anyway.

Guess what show we have been watching a lot of lately? Man, that Catalina can change my towels any day.

Toys from Historicon, Part 1

Hoo boy, this is a long list. I thought I would present it so that folks who have never been to a Historicon could see what all is available for sale there. Naturally, there is more stuff, too, like hot wire foam cutters, tons of terrain options, books, videos, t-shirts... you name it. But this is what I bought for myself:

Tokens/Markers (all from Litko):
  • Charge token (red) x10
  • Routed token (red) x10
  • Mini wound marker x10
  • Micro fire marker x10
  • Chicken tokens x5 (freebie)
  • WTF token (freebie)
  • Epic Fail token (freebie)
Bases (trying some things out, plus stocking up a bit):
  • 1 pint box of misc. 3mm thick MDF bases from GF9 ($10 for about 120)
  • 1 pkg 20mm square metal bases from Wargames Accessories
  • 25 Small FOW plywood bases (3mm) by Litko
  • 1 pkg FOW compatible bases with beveled lip for labeling (BA109) Battlefield Accessories
6mm Sci-fi (for Battletech and just, well, because...)
  • 5x Utility APCs (Scotia)
  • 5x Large Grav APCs (Scotia)
  • 48x Battle armor troopers (Scotia)
  • 5x Tracked Ammunition Carriers (Future Wars by CMD)
  • 5x Police Van (CMD)
  • 2x AV72 Attack VTOL (CMD)
  • 3x GEV, Pan-Euro Lights, I think (Ogre)
6mm Colonial/VSF (for bigger scale battles, all by Heroics and Ros)
  • FPW Prussian Artillery, 1 battery's worth
  • FPW Prussian Gun Teams (limbers), 2 battery worth
  • FPW Jaegers advancing, 2 battalions worth
  • FPW Prussian Uhlans, 1-2 regiments
  • FPW Prussian Line Marching, 2 battalions
  • Colonial Mahdist Spearmen (to be Martians), 2 Battalions
  • Colonial Mahdist Ansar Infantry (Martians), 2 Battalions
  • Colonial Mahdist Artillery (Martians), at least 1 battery, maybe 2
  • 4x WWI Fokker E.III "Eindecker" airplane
  • 2 each: MkIV tank, Renault FT-17, St. Charmond WWI tanks
25mm VSF:
  • Eureka Minis' Stukasaurus x3
  • Eureka Minis' Feldgendarme w/ raptors
  • Empress Minis Zulu War British, infantry x8
  • Empress Minis Zulu Brits, ensigns x4
  • Empress minis Zulu British 7 pdr gun (aiming crew) x1
  • Parroom Station: Skyrunners Scudder with racing team (on order) x1
  • Parroom Station: Masked Minions with Diabolical Weapon x5
  • Parroom Station: City Dweller Martian Artillery Crew
  • Games Workshop: 8 Saurus with spears (old, metal, one is Temple Guard)
  • Reaper Dark Heaven line Mushroom Men (2 in the pack, need 4 more packs)
15mm VSF:
  • Blue Moon Manufacturing's Twanax Horde x6 (1 pkg, need at least one more - painting them as plant men/swamp monsters for Venus's mad genius Doctor Vardu)
  • Blue Moon's Fereen on Goranax x2 (1 pkg)
  • Chariot Miniatures lizardman on pterosaur (LIZ4) x1 - may want more of these...
  • 3x Battletech 'clickies' for war walkers: Uller, Firestarter and Mining Mech Mk II MOD
2mm VSF (Sky Galleons of Mars/Aeronef):
  • 1x Zeppelin (LZ41)
  • 2x "Skylord" kites
  • 2x "Whisperdeath" kites
  • 2x "Hullcutter" screw galley
  • 2x "Skyrunner" screw galley
  • 3x "Endtime" screw galley
  • 2x an unknown model screw galley, very small.
  • 1x "Smallbird"
  • 1x IJN Mikasa armed transport
  • 1x Large Merchant kite
  • 1x USS Ranger
  • 10x Litko 1" hex flying bases with pegs of varying heights. (need more, and bigger ones)
Terrain:
  • 16 pieces resin stockade by Acheson Creations
  • 3x GW forcewall pylons (from Assault on Black Rock - I want more if you have any...)
  • 2x Cthulhu statuettes (maybe 25mm?)
  • 1 steam engine (25mm, or HUGE 15mm)
  • 6mm Hedges
  • 6mm walls (TimeCast)
  • 6mm railroad track (Les batiments, bought at I-94 Enterprises)
  • 15mm ACW tents (x6) by JR Miniatures
Misc:
  • 3x 1/144(?) WW2 puzzle planes (2 Pfeils and a Japanese pusher prop)
  • 25mm "Not" TARDIS by MBA
  • A few random bits for the bit box.
  • The free swag I mentioned before

I also have a list of stuff I bought for other people who couldn't go. I'll mention that in another post. Some of this stuff is going to be 'surplus to the needs of the service' as they say, and will be Game it Forward-ed in the near-ish future.

I hope my wife doesn't read this...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Historicon Swag Report

   I am dividing the posts on Historicon between this blog and Victoria's Boys in Red so that I don't bog down either one too badly and so that I get a a little more cross-pollination. Bear with me.

   This post is about the free "swag bag" goodies given out this year. I bought a ton of stuff (well, about 20 lbs, actually), so the purchases will be dealt with in seperate, more organized posts.

  The contents of the bag:
  • A CD-Rom game disk for a MMO game: "World of Tanks"
  • A bonus card to get an extra tank (M3 Sherman) in the MMO
  • A plastic tank (1/144, I think), a Tiger I think, but the package was labeled in Japanese so I don't know for sure.
  • A sprue of Perry's plastic 1812-1815 dismounted dragoons (2 figures)
  • A sprue of 13 Warlord Games "Pike and Shotte" infantry.
  • A copy of the Civil War Times magazine, (Oct '09)
  Not a bad haul, really. though I don't need the figures. They will be offered up soon on Gmae it Forward. You know the drill: First come, First Served. Just be sure to use them!

   More to come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heading to Historicon...

I'll be attending North America's big historical minis convention this weekend. There was a lot of doubt about if I was going to be able to attend this year, but... by putting off my kid's braces and ignoring the dog's vet needs (just kidding!) I can manage to attend! Not with a huge load of spending money, sadly, but hey, at least I'll get to play!

I will be taking my mini along as well, and the digital camera, so look for updates while I am there (assuming I can get a wi-fi connection). If anyone has photo requests, please send them to me and I will see what I can do. I know sometimes I hesitate to buy a mini because I have never seen it - I'll try to hook you up with a photo or two if I can!

Very excited about this trip, as I will be going alone for the first time. That means no one to keep an eye on for a change. I love my boys, but it can restrict your gaming schedule and shopping when they are along.

It may also be the last time I attend for some years. We are trying to save up for a big vacation in 2012 (as in, London, baby!) so justifying the $1K it costs me to go will be tough. My wife thinks I am nuts to spend that kind of money on a hobby, but then I refer her to the neighbors who deer hunt, fish, etc. Do you have any idea how much that costs these days? $1K for a rifle on a lease, easy. Plus corn, stands, feeders, etc. And fishing? Sheesh, a boat!?! Just storing one of those for a year would pay for this trip, much less the payments on it... And if she still gets up about the cost, I point out how much her trips to the nail salon run per month and multiply it by 12... You get the picture!

Well, gotta get packing! I only have 46 hours until my plane leaves!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

GURPS! Excuse me!

I always thougt the name of Steve Jackson Games's Generic Universal Roleplaying System (aka GURPS)sounded like a rude noise one might make after eating a rather large meal. But the system itself has always sort of appealed to me, for some reason. Maybe it was early conditioning: I bought Man-to-Man, the GURPS combat system on the day it was released, ahead of the remainder of the game. I was 13.

A friend of mine and I toyed with GURPS off and on for years. I collected books, then shelved them, then got back to it, then sold some on eBay, then bought some back on eBay... you know the way that works, I am sure. Recently, I brought it back out. The reason: my sons. They wanted to play a post-apocalyptic game. I didn't want to do anything as gritty as most of those games are with my 14 and 11 year olds. So I decided a generic system might work well. GURPS, here we come!

So far, they have made characters. They are brothers, and the storyline we built (all three of us) for them is pretty great. I'll share it with you in another post, if you are interested. We have played out one short combat and escape scene, and they have found themselves in some sort of shopping center, buried in a landslide and thus, fairly well preserved in the hundred plus years since the Great Dying Time.

Its been fun, but yet another example of the Scattergun approach...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Aethergraph Reviews

Reviews are pouring in... and the crowd loves it!

No, really. The reviews of my new VSF-themed PDF fanzine are pretty good. You should check it out.
The Aethergraph, Vol 1, #1

And if you'd like, you too can put stuff in it! Just send me your idea at aethergraph@gmail.com.

Look for Issue #2 in August/September - unless I get a lot of submissions that just won't wait!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Stupid Gamer Tricks, Vol. 1

Having read an interesting post on ISLP just now, I got to thinking about all the clever/stupid things I have done or seen done while playing RPGs. I'll list some here, but what I really would like to see is other people's crazy ideas...

Some of mine:
  • The Glowing Marble: Cast continual light on a wooden or stone ball, maybe two inches in diameter. Very handy to see "what's down there?" Just chuck the Glowing Marble down the hallway or whatever.
  • Flashlight Shield: Again, another use for continual light. Way before 3.0's everburning torches, I used to have a friendly spellcaster cast continual light on the boss of my shield. Then, have a leatherworker make a cover to fit over the boss. Remove the cover, and voila - hands free torch. Pop the cover back on to get a good night's sleep.
  • Bedroll of Comfort: Speaking of a good night's sleep, I also used to try and get a really interesting magic item made for my fighter-types: a bedroll in which they could sleep comfortably in armor. I hate when you get attacked in camp and you have no armor on. This little gem fixes that problem. One version polymorphed you into yourself as long as you were in it, which also polymorphed your armor, etc. Also, getting resist elements added to the mix made a lightweight bedroll quite toasty in colder climates.
  • Poisoned Caltrop Sling: I played this thief that disguised a sling as a simple belt strap. This gave him a weapon on one or two occassions when he was captured. Tired of flinging lead hunks about, I changed to using caltrops, which were nicely spikey, and then dipped them in poison.
  • Guard Dog: Simply put, it's a dog. Why on Earth would you not want one? Even if it isn't a fighting dog, the senses on a sleeping dog will alert it to danger faster than an awake human. Add to that some characters' ability to speak with animals, and it's a no-brainer.
  • Trap Pole... on a Wheel!: Take a ten foot pole. Put a pair of wheels on one end. Weight that end (say, twenty or thirty pounds). Roll it along in front of the party. It sets off pits, tripwires, falling blocks, and other nasty surprises.
So, what have you got?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Blimey! Quiet around here, innit?"

Sorry guys. Real life has a nasty habit of getting in the way sometimes. End of school craziness. Only one more week to go!

Little progress. We have been playing a bit of Labyrinth Lord lately, for an hour or so in the evenings. The boys are still slowly working their way into the Caves of Chaos. In fact, I need to re-populate parts of it, as they were down for a month with a nasty infected rat bite or two... So those caves they thought were clear... aren't any longer. I wonder if they go back over there?

One beef I have with LL is that it is way too easy to kill off a first level character or five. Even in what is supposed to be an introductory module, the boys are either having terrible luck or just not enough healing. We frequently play one encounter, then have to go back to the castle to heal up for a day or two. Their tactics seem sound (fighter and dwarf in front, then elf and cleric, then wizard and two hirelings). But with only one 'cure light wounds' spell, the cleric runs out fast.

I did finish the black smoke projector and the four heavy BattleMechs, plus a couple of trucks for BattleTech. I need to finish work on the Aethergraph. It is looking pretty cool, I just wanted a little more content for it. Again, if you have any... email me! aethergraph@gmail.com I especially would like artwork or reviews of rules sets or even fiction... plan to publish what I have on May 31, God willing and the creek don't rise.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What was lost...

...has been found! I lost one of the wheels for my Masked Minions' Black Smoke Launcher. This meant that I could not (obviously!) finish the gun and crew last month. The crew is done, but the gun was set aside until I could obtain replacement parts.

Found it on Friday. So I will hopefully have the gun done by tomorrow night. So why is all of this a big deal? Well, it is one of the things that is keeping me from publishing The Aethergraph. I wrote up the devilish device in GASLIGHT terms for an article in the first issue, but it really needed a photo. Now I can add that. Woohoo!

Just thought I would let you know. By the way, I am still hoping to get some more stuff for the fanzine. Send it to me at aethergraph@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Upcoming Game [TSATF]

Genre: Colonial gaming.
Scale: 15mm.
Rules: The Sword and the Flame/20th Anniversary
Figures: Mix of OG and Stone Mountain

Scenario: Not much story here. Lieutenant Hiram Bigg-Botham is leading a platoon of infantry through the savannah of Zululand. A supply wagon is along. And a troop of lancers, for protection. Suddenly, a hundred Zulus appear from nowhere. Stand and fire, or die at the end of an assegai (iklwa)!


Okay, so the question I have is this: do you think this will give a decent game for two to three players plus a referee? Some of the guys down here in Clear Lake and I are looking at getting a colonial game together for our June gathering. I've never set up a TSATF game, though I have played in a few. I have twenty British infantry, twelve lancers, a supply wagon and a field gun (if needed) ready to play, and forty Zulus done, with (hopefully) sixty more to be done by game time. I would like to have one British player and one or two Zulus. All Zulus are spear-armed (no rifles).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yazirian Conversion Possiblity?

From Mega Miniatures: Vermillionz



Some greenstuff wings and maybe you are in business... Supposedly closer to 15mm in height, which is fine for Yazirians. Several poses available as well.

Dralasite Sighted!

http://www.reapermini.com/FigureFinder#detail/50129

Except for the neck mouth and the size... looks like a Dralasite to me. Need to be buying one of these...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Labyrinth Lord...

Still exploring the Caves of Chaos, our heroes have hit many snags.

The original adventuring party consisted of an Elf, Halfling, magic user, fighter and cleric, all just beginning their careers.

The goblin tribe of Ghazgug the One-Eyed has been destroyed, including Ruben the Ogre Mercenary. Ghazgug himself was not discovered by the adventurers as they cleared the caverns of goblins, but his losses forced Ghazgug to flee. Ghazgug took his tribal treasure and few remaining followers to serve his allies, the hobgoblin tribe of Hakazuz the Mighty. The heroes were saddened by their heavy losses in this scouring: Dyacus the Meek, a young wizard, Marid il Shibbaq, a halfling warrior, and a human fighter named I. Arthur Tickus, who plunged to his death while leaving the caves to return to the Keep.

The adventuring group recruited three new members at the Keep after waiting a week: Keith Stone, a fighter, Oumdur of Clan Telttab, a Dwarf, and Arrod Blackstock, a magic user. They set off again with the Elf warrior Lancegorn and Brother Eltsen, an acolyte in the service of Oz the Great and Powerful. Returning to the caves, they began the scouring of Hakazuz's tribe.

In their first foray against the hobgoblin menace, the adventurers purged one of the tribe's common areas, slaying the males and the females as well, but allowing the young to flee. One female fled early in the battle, and returned with additional forces: six goblins and a hobgoblin guard from the nearby guardroom. Defeating these foes, our heroes decided to retire to the Keep for healing and rest.

Two days later, the heroes again advanced into the dark caverns. In this foray, they discovered a guard chamber, and cleared it, and then found a torture chamber. The two brutal hobgoblin torturers were slain, and most of the prisoners released. Among the prisoners were four humans (a merchant, his wife, and two guards), an orc and a gnoll that gibbered madly about "slaying them all." The humans were released and the guards armed with hobgoblin weapons (crude, but serviceable). The orc was also released and given a sword, as he had sworn to kill any goblin or hobgoblin scum he saw. He got the chance to do so soon, as the party ran into a small group of goblin messengers almost immediately after leaving the torture chamber. Although our now quite large group managed to slay the goblins before they could flee, the orc fell to one of the goblin spears. The remainder escorted the merchant and his wife back to the Keep, to safety.  The guards, cousins named Efil and Erup swore to serve the party faithfully for one year for no more than equipment, room and board.

That's where the adventure stands as of the start of the day today. This afternoon's epic struggle against Hakazuz the Mighty will be chronicled in the near future.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Poll on British Colonial Figures

The poll at the top of the page is specifically for colonial British figures, not VSF specialties. Hence, no GW Praetorians or Mordians, no Parroom British, no Eureka Queen's Own Skywalkers, or anything like that. I suppose Eureka's pure colonials would deserve a spot, but I can't modify the poll now, so just mark them as "Other".

If you vote for "Other," please leave a comment here to let us know which you like.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Updates to archive

I've gone back and added all of the Royal Xenological Society posts from Victoria's Boys in Red now. You can find them under the post label of "Xeno Society."

Friday, April 30, 2010

April Wrapup from the Painting Table

A few shots of the work completed this month...


25mm Masked Minion (1 of 10) [Parroom]

25mm Half-Jacks (9 of the 10) [Privateer]

Masked Minion Gun Crew (1 out of 4)
[Parroom Station]

6mm (1/285) Trucks [GHQ Modern Microarmor]

25mm Masked Minion Officer (needs base work)

I got a good bit of work done this month. I was kind of surprised, considering how many other projects I worked on and how crazy work was. But, to be honest, I am pretty happy. I was disappointed in finishing the Minions because I have lost the wheel for my smoke launcher! I need to order a replacement or find the silly blasted thing... guess which one is more likely to happen?

One other mini-related disappointment is the Star Frontiers Player Character box set I bought from eBay. Still sealed from 1983. Lead rot, big time:

25mm Vrusk, lower body [TSR, 1983]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #9

Manchester (63rd) Regiment

History

The 63rd Regiment was formed in 1758 from the 2nd Battalion, 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot during the Seven Years War against France. The regiment has been a single battalion regiment for most of its lifetime, barring a short period during the napoleonic Wars when a second battalion was created. The 63rd has served Her Majesty (God Bless Her!) in many theaters of operations, including Afghanistan, New Zealand, and the Martian Crown Colony.

In 1881, as a result of army reforms, the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment was amalgamated with the 96th Regiment of Foot into the Manchester Regiment. As with all the regiments, many officers and other ranks still refer to the regiment as the 63rd (it having numeric precedence over the 96th, you see).

The Manchester Regiment was posted to the Martian Crown Colony in 1880.

Combat History

The 63rd has taken part in the Seven Years War, the American Rebellion, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Crimean War. Some of the battles in which the 63rd fought include Bunker Hill (1775),  Brandywine (1776), Monmouth (1778), Guadaloupe (1809), Martinique (1810), Inkerman (1854) and the Siege of Sevastopol (1854-55).

More recently, the Regiment took part in the Second Afghan War in 1878.

Uniform

The Manchester Regiment is outfitted in the manner typical of modern British Line Infantry. The basic field uniform consists of white sun helmet, scarlet tunic, grey shirt, white braces, dark blue trousers with scarlet outside seam, brown leather leggings and low black leather boots. Facings (collar, epaulettes and cuffs) are white for this English regiment. NCO insignia is worn on the right sleeve.

Some officers and men of the 63rd wear either a Glengarry cap or local ulurr straw hat in place of the typical sun helmet. Officers sometimes exchange the standard scarlet tunic/jacket for a dark blue patrol jacket. Officers may also wear riding pants and boots, and most forego the leggings issued to the NCOs and Other Ranks.

Equipment for enlisted men consists of white leather 1879 pattern gear. Enlisted men and NCOs are armed with the Martini Henry breechloading rifle. Sergeants carry a sword bayonet, Other Ranks a triangular spike style. Officers wear a Sam Browne belt and shoulder strap, and are typically armed with revolver and saber. Again, individual officers may make adjustments to their equipment as funds, personal tastes, and regimental command sees fit to allow. After all, the officers do pay for their uniforms out of their own pockets.

Intrepid Heroes, Mission 1

Intrepid Heroes is the name of the freelance troubleshooter trading house that my sons created when they started playing Star Frontiers with me a few weeks ago. I've already mentioned the first adventures of Bahud and Yan here in other posts. I thought you might want an update on the IH team.

First, we have added another player: Kellie, my wife's assistant. She's never really played a pen-and-paper RPG before, so we're teaching her how it goes. She got intrigued on Saturday when we had a garage sale here at the house and she brought a lot of stuff over to sell (she and her husband Chris don't have much of a "garage sale" neighborhood). Sitting about waiting for customers, the boys and I got into talking about playing some more. Kellie demanded we help her create a character. After the garage sale (not very successful, sadly), we went up to the game room and started playing!

Intrepid Heroes has hired a few new faces: Chooba, a Dralasite; Gar Pok, a Gorlian; and a female Vrusk whose name is utterly unpronounceable. The Dralasite and the Gorlian are Military PSA, the Vrusk a Biosocial PSA with Psycho-social skill (hypnotism!).

IH was hired out by Pan Galactic Corp to make a delivery run to a rather remote village called R'Haldran , some four or five days' travel by hover transport from Port Loren, the capital and starport on Gran Quivera, the primary planet of the Prenglar System. In exchange, each employee (of four) is to receive a payment of Cr500. Naturally, it isn't as easy as all that. So far, the four being IH team (Chooba stayed behind in Port Loren to mind the shop) has come across:
  • A small town obviously raided by some kind of bandits, with all adults killed and at least one child taken, and a series of burned out farmsteads.
  • Communications are out. The team's short range stuff works, and reception from satellites is still good, but there are no operating uplinks for long range comm transmissions.
  • One farmstead (where they stayed the night) was similarly raided. Two dead human adults, two missing Human children, one dead male Vrusk in the farmyard.
  • A mysterious glijet operating without running lights.
  • A roadblock, manned by a single sentry who shoots first and didn't bother with questions. He was captured by a sweet tangler gun shot from the Vrusk, then interrogated after an attempt at hypnotism failed, but before Bahud got mad at him and burned a hole in his head with a laser rifle. Bahud needs to watch that temper!
That is the point at which we had to stop. The team has figured out that someone is kidnapping children, but have no idea why. The empty town kind of creeped them out, too. Which is great because it was totally what I wanted to happen.

What further adventures await the Intrepid Heroes? Tune in again next time...