You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Friday, December 11, 2020

40mm Jousting Knight

When you buy one of these, you get all of this!

Such a great figure from Steve Barber Models, this one kit can be used to build several variations of a jousting knight (at the 40mm scale). I commissioned this piece a year or two ago and was not disappointed with what Steve sculpted for me. (By the way, need a mini sculpted? Steve Barber has a commission service that has very reasonable prices, and he is willing to sculpt anything from 10mm to 54mm. Check it out!)

Now, this figure does take some expert modelling skills to assemble, and there will be some seams to smooth out and a gap or two to fill, but the result is rewarding -- it's also one heavy miniature; that horse is almost solid metal!

My first knight -- a little too vanilla, but I'll
try something a little more intricate with No. 2

I also asked Steve not to add too many folds/wrinkles to the mantle over the horse so that painters could have a nice large swath to paint whatever heraldry they dared tackle. 

"What on earth can I use a 40mm jousting knight for?"

Well, I commissioned this piece so I could play some jousting game(s). Sure, there are plenty of 28mm knight minis already on the market, but since a jousting game takes up such a small footprint, I wanted to make it almost a display piece in its own right, so I bumped the knight up to 40mm. Now, he's small enough to store away easily, but large enough he can sit on a shelf, look great, and gather dust. Some day, I want to add some more customization elements (helms, shields, crests, new lance, lance decorations, new horse pose etc), as well as foot knights, servants, squires, heralds -- basically, everyone else who worked at tournament. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

Playing new old games: Qwik


My wife and I have quite the board game collection, as well as a few tabletop miniatures games. She always says, rightly, that we shouldn't buy new games until we've played the old ones. So I've been looking through the old collection and finding all kinds of fun games that I have played (and that have graced this blog before), but that we BOTH have yet to play together: Space Hulk, Blood Bowl, Dreadball, my own Machinas, and this little gem: Qwik.

Qwik is a post-apocalyptic sports game (by Two Hour Wargames) based on the game, called Juggers, that is central to the Rutger Hauer (and Delroy Lindo and Hugh Keays-Byrne AND Vincent D'Onafio!) movie: "Blood of Heroes." The best way I can describe Qwik is Quidditch without the brooms and the snitch, or rugby with weapons, or maybe field hockey with gladiators? Check out the wiki for it; there are actual leagues of this game around the world.

Incidentally, Qwik is not the name of the sport, but the name of the most important player: the qwik, who is the only player on your team who is allowed to handle the "ball," which happens to be a dog skull. There are the "drivers" who batter and attack the opposing team's qwik, as well as the "chain" who does the same but with a little more reach. That's it: Five players, one skull and one dirt-hard field to litter with bodies.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Playing new old games: Dreadball (and vs Blood Bowl)


I've owned Dreadball since the beginning, having backed the first Kickstarter campaign in 2011-12. I even posted some blog entries here as I painted the teams.

I played it for the first time a couple weeks ago. When I met my wife, I learned that she loves co-op games, and enjoyed competitive games, but not necessarily "take-that" or fighting games. So I figured she wouldn't like Blood Bowl or Dreadball, both of which I owned but were in mothballs.

As the years went by, we started playing more and more of those competitive, take-that, and fighting games, culminating with Adrian Smith's "Hate." Then the Harry Potter: Catch the Snitch Kickstarter campaign popped onto the scene and I thought that would be a fun game to play (and my wife loves the Harry Potter franchise.) But I remembered I already had a couple "sports" games, so that was the catalyst to dig those games out from hiding.

We tried out Blood Bowl; the rules took a a little bit to get back into, but after a few turns, we had things in hand. Verdict: Wife liked it -- it was nothing special, but she enjoyed playing it. Next we tried Dreadball. Verdict: She loved it! She already (after one week) has her sights set onto creating a Mechanites team, though she's also enjoying playing her human corporation tea.
I've since forgot all about the Harry Potter game.

If you haven't played Dreadball (and/or have played Blood Bowl,) here are a few comparison points between the two games:

Dreadball Hobgoblins on the same team try to one-up each other
and will punish each other for failure. I love it. (art by me!)


-- Both games have a "tackle zone," (Called a threat zone in Dreadball.) In Blood Bowl the zone is all the squares adjacent to the player; in DB, it's only the three hexes in front of a player. Both games require some sort of test to be made to be able to evade out of one of those zones.

-- Blood Bowl and Dreadball, a player's turn ends mostly when you drop or lose the ball (or after a score,) though, in Dreadball, if you fail an evade test, you can keep on going. So it's a little more high-stakes in Blood Bowl.

-- If you drop the ball in both games, it will scatter, and a player who is able must try to pick it up.

-- There are a large number of teams and stars/MVPs to choose from in both games. Blood Bowl has 21 official teams and 23 Star players. Dreadball has 29 teams and 67 MVPs and team captains. Both have the requisite humans, dwarves, elves and orcs. Blood Bowl expands on the fantasy races with Chaos and Undead, for example; Dreadball has more aliens, such as the the Judwan, Mechanites, and Sphyr, for example. Both games have large player options.

-- Both games have team-building, and league rules, along with coaches, cheerleaders, and player development and injuries.

My beloved Iotacorp Rockets -- my first Dreadball team.

-- Blood Bowl: After a score, you re-set a players to start a new drive.
-- Dreadball: After a score, players do not re-set as a new ball is launched (and woe to those who forget to move out of the way of the ball launching area!)

-- Blood Bowl: Game play is a little slower, more methodical. Sometimes, it might take multiple turns (dirves) to score
-- Dreadball: Game play is more freeform and faster, with scores possible almost every turn (rush.)

-- Blood Bowl: You can pass once per turn.
-- Dreadball: You can pass as long as you have activations or free turns remaining to do so.

My first Blood Bowl team: Wood Elves

-- Blood Bowl: Every player gets an activation.
-- Dreadball: You get five "activations" per rush -- and each player can be activated up to two times (or three if you have a nearby team captain.) If you roll particularly well on some "tests" (passing, catching, evading etc.) you are rewarded with a free run, throw, slam (tackle) etc.

-- In Blood Bowl, the fans will try to hurt you if given the chance.
-- in Dreadball, the fans will cheer great plays; and you can "collect" those cheers to inspire you to do better in the game.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head; I'm sure there are more similarities, but if I had to choose one sports game, I'd go with Dreadball. Though, Blood Bowl still has a place in my heart even if it's only for the nostalgia.