'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Showing posts with label Skirmish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skirmish. Show all posts

Monday, December 24, 2018

Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles. First Look

I finally got my copy of Battlestar Galactica: Starship battles! You can check out my box opening here, BSG Box Opening, but don't worry it's quite short. This blog article is about my first impressions after opening the box and looking at the components. I am not looking to do a direct comparison with X-wing when I talk about this game, but it's hard to not bring it up play wise and component wise, simply because X-wing has been around awhile and I suspect most people reading this will be somewhat aware of it.

First Impressions

I had of course seen pictures of the box online, but this was my first time seeing it and holding it. It's outward basic form is that of most of the games of this type: Sails of Glory, Wings of Glory or X-wing. The little plastic window showed me their cool models, which did not disappoint. I also really liked the inside of the box having the phrase, "SO SAY WE ALL", across the box, one word on each side. Very cool.

Upon opening the box the first thing that made me chuckle was the books having their page edges cut off, just like all the paper we see in the TV show. It was a nice little touch. The insides of the box are nicely laid out with plenty of room for everything. I'll make a note that the cards all fit great when in plastic, but once open they are prone to no longer staying where they belong. This could be an issue with the maneuver decks, as you don't want them getting mixed up.

Models

Excellent. These models are beautiful. I expected that from Ares, as I had played Wings of Glory at a New Years Eve gathering some years ago. They are a little bigger than what we see in X-wing, but I am ok with that. Still I am happy to see them do justice to the Colonial Viper, down to call signs and markings. Very cool. The Cylon raiders are likewise excellent, and I am looking forward to the release of new ships, especially raiders from the original series.

This set comes with two Vipers and two Raiders, just as the windows shows. There isn't any other models in this box, but for $50, I wouldn't expect there to be.


Plastic components

In addition to plotting maneuvers in BSG:SSB, you have a plastic control panel allowing you to plan headings and speeds, as well as a few other things. This control panel is pretty cool and a nice way to track these parts of the game. Unfortunately these are a little stiff. (I'll note that they seem to have loosened up a little over time).

The game also comes, unsurprisingly, with plastic flight stands. These stands are different from what we see in X-wing and I found them to be a little more robust. They also have the ability to select heading, allowing ships to have a heading different than the direction of travel.

Cards

Like most games you get a selection of cards. Like X-wing these include ships and pilots. They also have a selection of cards to personalize your pilots with talents and flaws. Each ship also gets a maneuver deck which is used to plot movements and is the movement template itself, similar to the X-wing maneuver dial. All of the cards are nice, although apart from the ship cards, they are pretty small. The size is in line with the size of the ship add-on cards in X-wing. Downside I see here is the maneuver deck is a set of hexagonal cards. Sleeving them will be difficult.

Card Stock Components

You also get a series of card stock components with the game, basic tokens and range rulers. Nothing fancy here. Everything looks good and inline with the aesthetic of the game. The only standout is the asteroid fields, but it's because it's printed on thin card stock, more like a construction paper weight. They will work, but they aren't as nice as what was in X-wing. Of course I will suggest the game will be prettier with a series of asteroid models....



Dice

Although I appreciate people liking fancy dice, afterall it's more COOL DICE!, I am not generally as much of a fan. I like the concept of the dice in X-wing, as I like counting successes and fails rather than adding dice. However I dislike having to buy a certain die pack to get more. So depending on where you fall on this side of things you will either love or hate that BSG:SSB uses a simple set of 2d6.



Overall

It is a nice set. Fully worth the $52cad I picked it up for. Four excellent models, 4 plastic control panels and a plethora of cards and punch outs. My initial impressions of the components is easily......
4 out of 5 Skulls of my Enemies!

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Printable Miniatures. Part 2, Basing the figure.

In the first part of this series on paper miniatures I went over the various ways to get the paper miniatures with links to some kick ass guys on drivethrurpg as well as some links to a few custom tutorials. Today I want to continue this series with a short discussion on bases and the pros and cons of each type.

The easiest way to base the paper miniature is to grab a piece of foam core, put a slot in it and insert your figure. It may require a coin or similar on the bottom to give it a little heft. These are cheap, plentiful and with a little work, can look good. This isn't the method I use, but Wyloch goes over it in his video on creating the paper miniature.

The next option is also a DIY option with the caveat that it requires you to have access to a 3d printer. 3d printers can be fairly expensive, especially a genuine Prusa, however there are several models of inexpensive printer that are good for basic printing for a gamer.

I have an A-net A8 which is a decent machine, print quality wise, and gives you the ability to try getting your feet wet for not a lot of money. It is built with cheaper components which should be replaced if you are going to use it a lot though. It will be more than able to print up bases and other things that you might find at a website like thingiverse. These two links are some samples of thingiverse links you can use for basing paper miniatures. Sample 1 Sample 2

Moving away from the DIY option we start to move into some for of clip. The first and cheapest version of these is a binder clip. These are a pretty good solution being easily available, inexpensive and coming in multiple sizes and colors. I don't personally use them, and right now as I am typing this I am wondering why. The only real drawback I can see to these is they will be a little more fiddly when it comes to changing your figures over. You will have to re-insert the metal handles so you can easily open the clip to remove the figure. I think the pros may outweigh the cons here.

You can get a cheap acrylic base designed for boardgames as well. These are pretty good and give you a clear plastic base, and can be purchased in multiple colors. The downside to these is they require a fairly thick card as the clip is fairly wide. I have used these and need to use several layers of construction paper to make them work. Despite how inexpensive they are, I don't really recommend these ones unless your paper figs are quite thick.

The ones I have purchased and use the most are most similar to the binder clips, they can be found sold as "card holders". These are easy to use and replace the figure into. I have only found them in black, which is another strike against this style. The downside to these is they are among the more expensive option, that being said they are still going to run you less than $.50CAD cents each. As much as I like a lot about this style, I doubt I'll be buying more of them.

Litko makes a range of bases for paper figures, similar to the 3d printed model I talk about, these are square or circular and come with a curved slot to hold your figure. The downside to these are two fold. One, they are getting upwards in price, running about $.50CAD each. Two, I don't find litko to have especially friendly shipping options to Canada. If you are in the USA this might be a great option where they will be about $.40USD each and have better shipping options.

Over the past year of using paper miniatures in most of my games I have used several of the above purchaseable solutions. At this time I have not tried the binder clips or 3d printed models, but I think that the binder clips might be the best option being inexpensive, easy to get and in multiple colors. I have also not ordered from Litko. Another possible downside to some of these is that they represent non-standard bases sizes. I don't think it'll take much to make them work, but it's something to think about.

Now that we have our bases and figures, next week we will talk about the process I go through when I assemble these figures! Until next time, keep it weird out there!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pillar of Skulls!

New terrain project up on the YouTube channel. This week we are building a marble pillar adorned with 4 skulls and chains. It is a cool craft and great addition to any dungeon! Check it out!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Unknown Isle: Skull peak.


With my next session only a few days away I needed to put together the central piece for what will either be the climax of the evening, or very close to it. I have known what I wanted from the beginning of this part of the campaign.

The players are essentially shipwrecked on a mysterious island. There are hints of magic, there is a giant stockade, a small tribe of natives, an ancient city, apes and of course dinosaurs. On the peak of this island rests a skull cavern.

I had initially sought to carve this from foam and got a decent way into the rough cut of that carving, then I was in Michaels, and being as Halloween is the next major holiday I got a foam skull for about $5cad. It's scale was close to what I was building and would allow me to just short cut around the caving of the skull I was working on.

I didn't have time to film the construction, but I thought I could take a few photos and build a blog post around it. I hope you all enjoy it and find it useful.

And ON TO THE BUILD!

You will need......

Tools
Razor knife or hot wire cutter.
Hot glue gun.
paint brushes.

Materials
A foam skull.
XPS or similar.
Tinfoil.
Papertowel.
PVA glue.




The Skull in question. Foam, ~$5cad at Michaels.
Take the XPS, trace the skull foot print and cut it out.
Bevel the edges and make a cut inwards for the cave.
The skull sitting on it's rocky base.
Using some scrap foam, cut out to boulder shapes.
The front of the skull cave.
Using tinfoil build up around the skull.  Glue it with hot glue.
Test fit the skull and make sure you are happy.
I could have used more tinfoil, but it worked out.
Using some paper towel, water and PVA I applied some body to the piece.
Generally, wet the paper towel, place where you want and brush watered down PVA over it.
After it had dried I added some more shape with tinfoil to make it more rocky.
The other side of the skull.
Add more towel and glue over the new foil armature. 
The more of this you add the stronger it will be, but the longer it will take to dry.
Once the towel and glue is dry, give it a nice black base coat. 
Mod Podge and black paint.
Next base the whole thing in whatever color of stone you want.
I used a dark brown here.
Using a highlight color sponge paint the entire structure to bring out the texture.
You can use 2 highlight colors here for more depth.  Sponge the first darker highlight
on about 60% coverage and the next brighter highlight at about 10-20% coverage.
Add fake greenery liberally, yet sparsely over the skull.  I also glued in a couple of
plastic crystal gems I got at the dollar store.
And the skull peak in place on a rocky plateau ready for some adventurers to come and seek it's mysteries.


This was a fairly quick craft. I managed to build it over a course of a week spending a few minutes here and there on it.  It adds quite a lot of character to the scenario and a dramatic center piece for your game. 

I hope you enjoyed the idea and found it useful.  Feel free to browse the blog for other ideas, or leave a comment below with your thoughts on this project.

And of course come check out the You Tube channel over at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvCRyMzJoQBnjb-Qq5Rng_Q

Keith

Friday, April 7, 2017

Black Walls of Khemi

If you play any Conan RPGs and use terrain, you will probably come across the Black Walls of Khemi eventually.

This is my take on those black walls with a simple construction tutorial.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

28mm Horses for RPGs (and other games)

Horses are important in a medieval fantasy world. They allow your PCs to travel fairly quickly and provide a way to transport goods from town to town.  However if you use miniatures they can be on the expensive side.



You can go this route from litko: http://www.litko.net/products/Horse,-Character-Mount-Marker-kit.html#.WFLq2v7n_uo



Mounted characters from Reaper run around $10+ https://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/horse/



A Pre-painted horse might run you $6 or $7+  http://www.miniaturemarket.com/pbrdi-025.html


OR



If you swing by your local Dollar Store you might find something like I found in the party favour section.




I found this bag of 10 horses for $4 CAD.  They are of course un-based, and I wasn't 100% sure about their size. 






But for the price I had to give them a shot. I have a few Mongol rifle guys and they have slightly smaller mounts, but next to a regular 28mm figure they were not unbelievable.   They have an ok selection of colors, and with the exception of one of the poses (2 horses) they all stand very well without bases.


And next to a Paizo pre-painted? Pretty much exactly the same size. $4CAD for 10 horses. Enough for a party of 4 adventurers, with 6 left to pull carts or work as pack animals. Great deal for horse figs!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Lost in the Jungle: Ruined Huts

And so our brave band, after being shipwrecked on some lost coast of the Black Kingdoms and fighting their way past hostile tribes have come to a once open settlement that is now overgrown with jungle and in ruins.

The village huts, once likely thatched, only remain as rings of rough hewn stone.



Cut out a piece of foam core larger than you want the stone hut to be.

Shave the edges down to create a nice slope.

Draw a circle approximately where you would like the hut to sit.



Cut polystyrene blocks for the structure.  These blocks are about 1" x 1/2" x 1/2".

Begin fitting the stones to your circle by cutting corners at appropriate so they fit together.

Glue the blocks into place.  I used hot glue, but the high temperatures melted the foam in some places.  Next use your x-acto knife to distress the first level of stones.

Repeat with the second layer of blocks: fit, glue and distress.

Base coat the entire project in black.

Roughly paint the stones with a dark grey.

Add a lighter grey over the dark a little heavier than a dry brush.



Use a white to hit the edges of the stones.
Cover the base in white glue to prepare it for a covering of sand
Base covered in sand.  Once it is dry add more watered down white glue to cement it in place.
Paint base sand with a dark brown.
Dry brush with a lighter brown to bring out detail.
Add some moss flock to the edges.
Completed ruin.