Monthly Archives: February 2014

I tried to shove the guy in the white suit, but he judo flipped…

I tried to shove the guy in the white suit, but he judo flipped me into the creek and then stabbed me with his sword cane. In the meantime Tommy’s hamster, Ritchie, was shot three times and skidded over the cliff into the river.

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“The Kid” shoots Inga into the water.

“The Kid” shoots Inga into the water.

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Tommy (gold car) crashes into the police. The police car’s…

Tommy (gold car) crashes into the police. The police car’s engine was knocked out.

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A couple of new guys joined the group for tonight: Ben, Harry,…

A couple of new guys joined the group for tonight: Ben, Harry, and Nick.

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HAWKs St. Valentine’s Day at Schlegel’s Ferry

HAWKs St. Valentine’s Day at Schlegel’s Ferry

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Snow Day!

Buck

Today the whole Baltimore-Washington area was blanketed by sleet and snow.  As a result, work was closed.  That gave me time to spend four hours on my consulting job and to shovel a ton of snow.  I also had time to finish a couple of small projects I started after I finished painting 16 battalions of 10mm Russian grenadiers for Fate of Battle.

The A Team (actually Foundry Street Violence "B Team")

The A Team (actually Foundry Street Violence “B Team”)

I only watch about three or four hours of television a week.  I consistently struggle to find things that we can all watch as a family without worrying about excessive language or people yanking off their clothes.  Netflix has been a godsend.  Lately we’ve been having fun watching old episodes of the A-Team.  The first four seasons are fun.  The fifth season isn’t nearly as good.

The A Team (actually Foundry Street Violence "B Team")

The A Team (actually Foundry Street Violence “B Team”)

I got the bug to find the van and paint figures to use in my town of Granville for pulp-style games.  The van I found by Ertl on Ebay.  The figures are from Foundry.  They were fun to paint and a nice diversion after all those white belts and red turn backs.

Tree Monster from Reaper Bones

Tree Monster from Reaper Bones

I’ve also begun picking away at some of the larger Bones figures from Reaper.  It was these large figures that enticed me into the Kickstarter project.  Many of the regular fantasy figures I ended up selling in the flea market at Historicon.  I wanted the larger creatures to work into my GASLIGHT games.  This tree monster didn’t take a lot of time or finesse, but I think it turned out okay.

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Bones Flame Things

Buck

Flame monster / elemental

Flame monster / elemental

After finishing up scads of Russians this weekend, getting them based, flocked, organized, and boxed, I was looking for something that would take a little less effort.  The figures I really wanted from the Bones Kickstarter were the large creatures.  I’ll be working on the hydra, rock creature, and other large figures later, but for now, I wanted to show the flame creatures I painted this weekend.

All of the flame things

All of the flame things

I think I bought two sets of these.  They come in translucent red plastic, so all I did was dry brush them with orange, yellow, and white paint.  I think they turned out okay.

The flame daemon

The flame daemon

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Snipers

Buck

…So this morning I was thinking about how to handle snipers in my under-development WWII skirmish game.  (You know the rules are almost done when you start thinking about snipers and vehicles getting stuck in the mud.)  I implemented snipers in Beer and Pretzels Skirmish (BAPS) many, many years ago.  (There are still some very unique aspects of BAPS that I think are superior to many popular sets of WWII skirmish rules.)  There really are two kinds of snipers.  The first is the good marksman who was handed an improved rifle (or the same rifle but with a scope) and was designated the squad or platoon sniper.  Often these snipers were not given significantly different training than any other infantryman.  The second was the specially trained sniper who not only had a better weapon but also had greater skills in marksmanship and camouflage.

The first case is easily handled by giving the squad or platoon sniper an “elite” accuracy attribute and increasing the range on his rifle.  The second case is a little more difficult to address without a lot of goofy rules.  These are not fully-developed thoughts but just a laundry list of some ideas.  Some are a rehash of things from BAPS, but others are new.  Here are some ideas I’ve been considering:

  • Snipers don’t flip a card to determine which figure they hit.  They get to designate their target — before shooting.  They do have to flip a card to determine the hit location and severity.
  • In contrast to the previous bullet, maybe a really good sniper just flips a card for wound severity and not for hit location.  In this way, the sniper would essentially negate any cover benefit the target soldier might be using.
  • When a sniper fires, he flips an additional card after resolving the shot.  If any explosion marker (used for HE) shows on the card, the sniper must displace (move) at least 24 inches before firing again as a sniper.  If during this displacement he shoots at someone, it is merely as an “elite” accuracy rifleman.  A key to a sniper’s longevity is to fire a few shots and move before the enemy pinpoints their location.  Most rules don’t enforce this tactic, so snipers can become overly powerful in a game.
  • Once a snipe reaches his new location, it takes some number of activations (TBD) to establish himself.  This means set up a good firing position, emplacing camouflage, etc.  This cannot be done in the open.  Once established, the sniper position should be difficult to spot.  This would require the use of the optional spotting rules, which are a modification of those in Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII.

So what are some other things I need to think about?

  • Blowing holes in walls,
  • Refining modifications to spotting,
  • Dog mines,
  • Land mines,
  • Medics,
  • Calling for off-board artillery, and
  • Close air support.

As these rules are for me and not for publication, I don’t need to make a comprehensive list, but at some point, I need to come up with the attributes (armor, reliability, etc.) for the vehicles I have in my collection.

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Bogging Down or Throwing Track

Buck

For the WWII rules I’ve been developing, I’ve been thinking about how to determine when a vehicle bogs down or throws track.  I didn’t want to create a new system or add yet more symbols to the action cards.  Duncan suggested that instead of this being the vehicle rolling to NOT throw track that perhaps rough terrain could “attack” the vehicle to try to throw track.  It’s an interesting notion that I’ve thought about quite a bit over the last two weeks.

What are the key things that would determine whether a vehicle throws track?  First would be rough terrain.  Tanks generally throw track when traversing deep mud or going across hillsides and then trying to turn.  Tanks don’t generally throw track when traveling across rolling terrain and making gentle turns.  Second would be the training of the crew.  Better crews would ensure that the track tension is inspected and maintained regularly.  Of tertiary importance, I think is the characteristics of the vehicle itself.  Most sets of rules start with this third factor, rarely tanking into account crew quality.

So the thinking was something like this:  The terrain has an “accuracy,” like personnel, graded Elite, Regular, and Green.  This is where the terrain would start on the action card in the top “bubble” area.  Swamp, with its deep muck and hidden, subsurface obstacles, would be “elite,” but a low stone wall would be “green.”  The vehicle would have a “defense” value associated with its innate reliability and whether it is tracked or wheeled.  Wheeled vehicles don’t “throw track,” but until very, very recently, they were more likely to get stuck in rough terrain than were tracked vehicles.  This defensive value would be a “column shift,” impacting the chance of the terrain getting a “hit.”  I haven’t thought about how to incorporate the training of the crew, but I thought about making that a column shift as well:  green crews shift one to the left and elite crews shift one to the right.  In any event, if you got a bogging down “hit,” you wouldn’t flip the next card to determine the impact as you would with a rifle hit on a soldier.  A “hit” would indicate that the vehicle is stuck, essentially a mobility kill.

I’ll need to look at the numbers a bit and make sure that it isn’t too easy to throw track or bog down, but for gaming purposes I’m likely to make the odds favor the terrain to discourage players from racing through swamps.

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Goldar, Male Barbarian: Figure 66 or 265

Chris Palmer

     This week I painted Goldar the Barbarian from the 30 New Bones set.  With the completion of this figure, I am now officially at the point of having less than 200 figures to go.
       I prepared this figure in the usual way; first soaking overnight in water with a little dish soap added, and then giving a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and rinsing to remove any remaining mold release agent.  I then glued it to a black-primed 1” fender washer using Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer to half a tongue depressor with two small drops of Elmer’s white glue.

Yes, I accidentally got some red paint on the figure while working on another project.

I began by painting his upper body with Americana “Shading Flesh”.  I wasn’t sure, from looking at the sculpt, whether he was supposed to be wearing pants or have bare legs.  The creases in his thighs looked more like folds in cloth than muscle to me, so I painted them as pants with Apple Barrel “Apple Black Green”.  I then painted his waist cape Folk Art “Poppy Seed”. And finally, I painted the little fur loincloth, and what appeared to be areas of fur lining sticking out from under his bracers, with slightly thinned Duncan “Slate Grey”; and his ax handle I painted with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.

Next, I gave all the flesh areas a wash with thinned Winsor-Newton “Peat Brown” ink.  When this was dry, I gave his skin areas a drybrushing with some of the “Shading Flesh” with some lighter-toned Apple Barrel “Apple Flesh” mixed in to lighten it.  I then went back and added some specific muscle and facial highlights with the plain “Apple Flesh”.  I also painted on two nipples using some of the “Shading Flesh” mixed with some GW “Terracotta”.  I then added stripes to his pants with GW “Golden Yellow”

My next step was to paint all the areas that appeared to be leather; the bracers, belts, straps, parts of the boots, and the upper shoulder guard, with plain black. Then I painted all metal bits with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”. I also, at this point, painted the white base with the “Walnut”

Lastly, I gave everything that wasn’t flesh a wash with thinned Vallejo black ink.

When the ink wash was dry, I went back and added some highlighting to the pants with the base colors I had used; and on the black areas, I added some highlights with GW “Shadow Grey”. The metal parts I highlighted with GW “Chainmail”.  I painted in eyes with white and then black pupils.
   When everything had dried overnight, I painted the figure with a coat of Ceramcoat “Matt Varnish”.  When this had dried, I flocked the base. Finally, I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote”

I’m pleased with how this fellow turned out.  I needed a good fighter figure for my Song of Blades and Heroes games, as it seemed most of the figures I had painted so far were archers or magic users, and this guy should fit the bill nicely.

Figure 66 of 265: Complete

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