Monday, April 28, 2014

Miniature Mondays 04: Brains! Must eat brains!

As you can guess by the title. This weeks Miniature Monday will focus on the undead. Either that or we've found ourselves dining in the Temple of Doom. As the undead goes these are the plastic zombies from Wargames Factory. As far as scale goes, they are 28mm but a bit emaciated. Thinner than my Zulus which are made by the same company. They are perfect when you need a hoard of the walking dead. And when it comes to zombies who really cares if it is exactly the same size as the rest of their 28mm figures. 30 figures to the box, in a variety of sculpts. There is not as much variety as the Zulu pack, but enough to reasonably mass a hoard of undead.

My plans for them is to run a "Pride and Prejudice and zombies" themed game of In Her Majesty's Name. They're not Victorian in dress, but they'll work. I'm still in the process of figuring out stats for them.

They come in sprues with five torso sets and five leg sets, there is also a single figure in a long coat. I would have liked to have both arms separate to create more variety. But then that's what knives and plastic cement are for.

Painting the undead.
I use a mix of Vallejo Basic Skintone and Ivory which gives a slight green cast to it. The resulting mix gives the figure a human tone, but a very pale tone (ie dead). The blood is Black Red Vallejo. In order to get the look of wounds I used Ratskin Flesh and then added the blood color.
I'm still in the process of painting them up, but here is a shot of the beginnings of the hoard.
Have a great game!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gaming Goodness 01: Forbidden Island

This will be a new segment on my blog entitled "Gaming Goodness" where I will review board games which I have played, among other things. For the first post of this new series I wanted to review a favorite game of mine. Forbidden Island a 2010 released game.

As you may be aware, this game falls into the category of co-op games in the vein of Pandemic. You and your fellow players either win or lose together. In the game's theme, you and your fellow players are adventurers on an island which is rapidly being reclaimed by the sea (global warming anyone?) and your task is to unearth four treasures and bring them back to civilization.

What's in the box?
In this case its a tin for a box. There is a flood gauge and marker, 6 pawns, 24 double sided tiles with flooded and non flooded locations respectfully, four plastic treasure markers. One deck of 28 treasure cards (5 of each treasure, 3 waters rise, 3 helicopter lift, and 2 sandbags) and one deck of flood cards matching the 24 locations on the board.

How to play?
The object of the game is to collect all four treasures and return to Fools Landing to escape before the island sinks under you (This is easiet said then done I might add). The players are dealt a random adventurer card, each having a specific unique ability. Each player begins with two treasure cards.
The order of play is simple
1. Take up to three actions
2. Draw 2 treasure cards
3. Draw flood cards to current level

What are actions?
Actions are what your player can do during the turn.
-- Move to one tile
-- Shore up (which is to flip a flooded tile to its unflooded side)
-- Give a treasure card if you are on the same tile, unless you're the messenger.
-- Capture a treasure. Turn in four identical treasure cards on one of the two matching locations and take the plastic token.

What I thought?
This game scales wonderfully in relation to the number of players. I must stress that every move in this game is important. If the players think that they can squander their moves in the beginning of the game to set up for a better end-game, they will be sorely mistaken as the island will sink beneath them. A redeeming fact is that the tiles that flood are always placed on top of the deck, so the players always know what will flood if their memory is good. Its a simple to play game with somewhat of a deep strategy.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 meeples

Monday, April 21, 2014

Miniature Mondays 03: Thrift Store Finds

I pulled my fedora lower over my eyes and readied my bullwhip as I hunted through the jungle. After clearing away a stretch of vines, I beheld an idol of a long lost civilization. Its piercing gaze stilled me. The small dog held in its arms made me wonder if the civilization held dogs in high honor, or simply as a tasty delicacy. I hoped that human's weren't on the menu also as I pushed farther into the uncharted jungle...

Recently Unearthed

These two tower over a 28mm figure

Captain Mal Reynolds scouts around the fallen idol of a lost civilization
These finds were of great use in the game of In Her Majesty's Name that I ran at the St. Crispin's Irregulars and the HMHS horse and musket day. The tall one worked well as the central objective and can be seen in action in the after action reports.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Into darkest Africa IHMN AAR 4/19/2014

I apologize as this post is quite picture heavy. I had the chance to run the same scenario the following week at the HMGS-PSW. I ran the event twice that day, teaching the rules to the grandchildren of a fellow member as well as other HMGS members. In my opinion all the players appeared to be having a good time.
My scenario for In Her Majesty's Name, entitled "Into Darkest Africa." I made some changes to the layout of the map after some suggestions of the players from the week before. The sun disc was now located at the central statue, thereby forcing the players to attack one another in one location.
The goal of the scenario was to excavate the sun disc which was located at this statue, surrounded by a river which stopped movement.

The addition of wild animals to the game, gave more hinderances and helped thin out the natives before the adventures encountered them.

The Queen's Rifles advancing in mass.

Part of the Queen's Rifles advancing through the river obstacle.

The Queen's Rifles have reached the statue. But beware, the British Expeditionary Force is in hot pursuit as a battle rages. Each group wanting to claim the victory and the accolades.

The BEF sets up a defensive perimeter in the jungle, hoping to cut off the escape route for the Queen's Rifles.

Dexter Small has claimed the Golden Disc and is running toward his friendly forces in hope of escape. No one could catch him however and the BEF lays down heavy covering fire as Dexter secures the goods.

The setup for the second game of In Her Majesty's Name. This time the Egyptian squad defends the statue and the two British squads must race to capture the sun disc first.

The BEF advances through the jungle, about to be ambushed by the Zulu natives.

The BEF defends their native bearer from the attacking Zulu.

At the statue the BEF and the Queen's Rifles fight to the death as Professor Maxwell Zwigler readies his electromagnetic device.

After activation, the electromagnetic device was far more effective on his own troops than it was on the British. The native hoard advances rapidly, eager to return their sacred idol to its proper place.

Clay Arkwright manages to unearth the idol and seeks to claim a victory for the Queen's Rifles.
Each British company had a victory in the two games. The second game had far more casualties, as I wound up losing almost all of the Queen's Rifles to the deadly military rifles of the BEF. All in all it was a great day of gaming and everyone involved had a good time. Until next time.

Have a great game!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Into Darkest Africa (IHMN AAR) 4/12/2014

This is some of the In Her Majesty's Name game that I ran with the St. Crispin's Irregulars in Anahiem at their Hobby Day. I didn't get a chance to take as many photos as I would have liked, as I was busy running the game for some of my friends.

Sweat dripped down the faces of the men in the British Expeditionary force as they peered into the haze. Little did they know that their fellow countrymen from the Queen's Rifles were also after the same goal. Off in the distance they heard foreign voices, and the howls of the natives. They wished now that they had stayed back at the base.

The three expeditionary forces began at opposite ends of the map. Each had the goal of unearthing the Sun Disc, a mysterious relic.

The British Expeditionary Force encounters dense native activity. Being tied up in combat the Steam Riflemen takes a shot at the Zulu.

Lady Hartinger's Expedition arrives at the first site. In her dainty voice she exclaims "Stand back, I'm going to try science!" The Egyptian military vigilance protects the scientists from the native hoard. After several attempts they shout "Eureka!" And hold aloft the golden artifact.

Meanwhile the Queen's Rifles are pinned down in the river by the Zulu.

The Queen's Rifles vanquish their native foes. Amid shouts of "Tally ho good chap!" They advance further into the jungle with the hopes of taking down Lady Hartinger and the Mad Doctor.

Upon spying the natives across the river, Clay Arkwright gets into position to lead the Queen's Rifles against the BEF. But the BEF's specialist Randy Dawes takes aim with his fearsome steam rifle.

Hartinger's Expedition runs off the board to the sounds of covering fire from their Egyptian troops.

The finale of the game, Lady Hartinger, Scientist Maxwell Zwigler and their native bearer escape with the spoils. Maxwell intends to use the sun disc to power his Solar Wave Magnetized Inductor.

Things I learned. The artifact should be in the center of the map to facilitate more of a struggle. I need to review the armor rules. I forgot that arc weapons ignore armor, And I'll be toning down the armor to make it more of a fight. The other possibility would be to add some more talents to make the soldiers better in combat.

Until next time, have a great game.
This is Kevin,
Over and out!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Not a house of cards

After arriving at the local craft store I stumbled upon cardboard houses with removable roofs. They were a few bucks each at the local craft shop. I hope to use them for the streets of Victorian London, or any other sort of industrialized 19th century city. Here are the houses before modification. 28mm figures are included for scale.

I've found some good brick textures online, I hope to print them out for the siding. I can make the windows with toothpicks. Another blog I saw gave me a good idea of using coffee stirrers for roof shingles. I probably won't have updates on the houses for two weeks or so. Since the next two Saturdays I'm running Into Darkest Africa IHMN. My scenario for In Her Majesty's Name. I'll update when there's progress on the houses.

I won't be able to cover the miniature table with a full blown city, but can at least cover it with a reasonable small town. Enough to give the zombies and the Bennett sisters somewhere to fight it out.

Have fun gaming!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Miniature Mondays 02 Thrift Store Finds

After a trip to the local thrift shop to see what I could pick up for gaming on the cheap, I discovered these three gems. Here are three tree-like pieces which will find in very nicely in a jungle game. They were originally aquarium pieces. Even with a little paint added to them you can create foliage from another planet. Although I'll keep mine green for the jungle right now. They are shown alongside a 28mm figure for scale.

I'm planning on using these objects for objectives in the Darkest Africa IHMN scenario which I'll be running this Saturday. The players will be searching for a lost artifact which will be hidden at one of these locations for them to excavate. Thus the pieces are not only pretty, but functional as well. And anything that can be used for several things, in my opinion is worth having.
I find that usually when I least expect it, that's when I run across a gem of an item which can be used on the miniature table.

Kevin. Over and out.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sleeping dragon Rising sun IHMN

This is the second expansion for In Her Majesty's Name released so far. Entitled Sleeping Dragon Rising Sun. It takes the game to the mysteries of the orient. According to Amazon its release date is June 17.

This is how Osprey's site describes it "China, the greatest empire the world had ever known, is weak and divided after a series of humiliating defeats in the Opium Wars, and the divine Empress’ court harbours many who deeply resent the westerners who inflicted and now take advantage of these losses. Japan, on the other hand, has embraced the West with open arms. After centuries of isolation the Japanese now march forwards and accept technologies that, a few decades before, would have been regarded as witchcraft. Possessed of the East’s most modern army, Japan now looks avariciously towards its neighbours. The next decade will decide whether the ancient empires of the East survive or are washed away, and every one of the Great Powers wants their slice." (

I'm speculating that we'll see some new walkers and steam-powered goodness. Describing Japan as possessing the east's  most modern army, sounds like we might get another squad similar to the Prussians, strong leadership and Tough talent. If they bring any Japanese mythology into the mix, we could see anything from ghosts to kitsune, to oni. I for one would like to see some rules for zombies, because I could then use the system to play a Pride and Prejudice & Zombies themed game.

I'm anxious to see what new fangled gizmos and talents await in this tome. Still two and a half more months to wait.