Friday, 29 November 2013

Salute 2013 Preamble - Hot or Not? (21/04/2013)

Hey Guys!

So yesterday was Salute 2013 - My second ever Salute and this time I went alone without my darling fiancĂ© to stop me from spending all my hard earned cash. Which was ultimately pretty dangerous considering i'd only just got paid the day before. Oops! However, I managed to behave and only spent £30.
Well, no. Thats actually not true in any way, shape or form. I spent just as much on Amy as I did on myself. So £60.
Annddd thats not including the money I was given by one of my gaming buddies to pick up his order and buy him a cool mini. So £85.

Ok, so I may have spent a lot of money. But at least some of it wasnt mine and the other was a gift for my darling partner in crime. It still wasnt as much as The Responsible One spent. But then again I'm not sure anyone spent as much as he spent. He bought a god-damned TABLE.


This post isn't going to have any pictures in it. I HAVE pictures, but I'm also supporting my buddy Chris "The" Chapman at the London Marathon today so i'm a little pressed for time this morning (And was exhausted yesterday!). So much in the style of how my various Larp societies give their impressions of events, lets go for the very simple HOT or NOT (Followed by '... What?')

  • I was very much left feeling like a little bit more effort could have gone into the participation games and what was on offer. Frothers Unite UK is an exception to this and I will get back to it later in the HOT section. Whilst i'm sure that the selection of historic wargames was good fun for the people playing, none of them especially reached out and grabbed me. They just seemed very bland and many of the tables looked like the same battle was being played in multiple places. It wasnt - I checked.
  • Waiting Times to get in. There was a LOT more people wanting to get in this year, as was shown to me by the 5 minute walk to get past the pre-booked ticket holders and then the 10 minute walk to get to the end of the line for Pay on the Door tickets, followed by the 45 minute wait after the doors had opened just to get in.
  • The sheer amount of people. I don't know about you, but I find that gamers often (Don't bite my head off! I know its not 100% accurate, but its a fairly common theme i've noticed) don't pay much attention to whats going on in the rest of the world when they are doing something they want to do. Such as looking at models when a short guy is allready in the way. Or leaving their massive backpacks on and turning constantly so said short guy gets smacked in the face. It made shopping hard - Really what I should have done was let the crowds thin out a bit and play a game of Snit's Revenge or something.
  • Hearing one of the chaps at Ground Zero Games tell someone that the reason their website didn't have many photos in the catalogue is that they never have the time to get pictures done of all the models. That was slightly aggravating, since i'd offered over email.
  • I mentioned Frother's Unite UK earlier. They managed to make two participation games that looked amazing fun and just straight up cool. The first was a 3D Cross section of a Bolotomus. Oh, wait? You don't know what a Bolotomus is? Check out Snit's Revenge on Wikipedia, I'll wait. Its one of those old TSR style chit-and-paper-map games where one player controls a giant creature called a Bolotomus and its internal organs while the other player/s control a small tribe of beasties called Snits that are invading the Bolotomus with intent to kick its internal organs until the Bolotomus dies of massive system shock and organ failure. I'm really not kidding. They made everything out of polystyrene and modelling clay and it looked absolutely brilliant. They also made a dice bidding WWF wrestling game that also looked great fun which I know i'd have been dragged into playing if Amy had been there but she wasnt, so I got to wallflower which is fine by me! The game used WWF Action figures! ACTION FIGURES. Amazing.
  • They had a Trebuchet set up at the door. Hee!
  • The absolutely amazing Underdark display model that someone had made up with the Dungeons and Dragons collector models. It was all cavernous and had purple crystals everywhere which were LED light sources! Stunning.
  • Finding a £10 box labelled 'Flames of War Bits Box'. Had about 40 models inside it, LOADS of tank turrets and cannons for the front of them, bundles of loose small arms (... as in guns, not severed limbs) and other bits and peices im sure I can use. Bargain!
  • Seeing The Responsible One and Sim Lauren. Two very lovely people who treated me to lunch at an absolutely fantastic cafe/restaurant called Fede. Seriously you guys, this place was utterly amazing. The chap we spoke to, Giovanni was charismatic and personable, didn't even require writing down our orders because he didn't need to because his memory is great and he's one of us. You know. A gamer.
... WHAT?
  • Booth Bunnies. Now, we're not talking about gamer girls dressed up pretty in an attempt to lure gamers in. No no no. I'm fairly certain that these girls had no experience of gamers what so ever. They did not seem able to comprehend WHY no-one was paying a blind bit of attention to their skimpy cheerleader outfits. They occasionally looked downright dissapointed when they realised that people were more interested in toy models then pretty ladies. I might be wrong here, but thats definately the vibe I got. Several other stalls then the one I have in mind here ALSO had booth bunnies, but those girls actually seemed interested in gaming and where there for more then just looking pretty. I am amused.
Anyway, some pictures and more detailed stuff will be going up during the week. Hopefully thats whet your whistle, though!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Gray Aliens - Finished! (07/11/2012)

So I finally finished painting my grey alien models... hurrah!

Took god damn long enough. I've been pretty stressed and been searching for quick and easy ways to keep myself occupied rather then painting. But i've been bitten by the bug again so now we're back in action.

So bitten even that last night and this morning, I sat and painted the whole set of Greys that i have!
Allright, its only 27 models but its the most i've painted in one sitting since I started collecting 15mm. don't judge me!

So, the Grey Aliens are from Rebel Minis, who make up a third of my models at the minute and were my first 15mm company I purchased from. I bought a single pack of These Guys ($10.95, or £6.84 for 22 models) to function as Sectoids for my wanting to play X-com tabletop style. The models are actually pretty good

10 of the Left, 8 of the Middle, 2 of the pictured leader and 2 of the other leader

You can also see there in a background one of Rebel Mini's Terror Mites  ($8.99, or £5.61 for 5 models) terrorising a passing car. The Terror Mites come 5 to a pack rather then in the more common 21 like the rest of the Rebel Mini bags. The Terror Mites are big compared to the Greys, and were bought to act like X-com Reapers.

Lookit that sexy mofo

I'm really chuffed I got all of these guys painted finally. It means that tonight when I get some marines painted, I actually have enough models to play a small game of Tomorrow's War X-com stylee!

Also, this was something that chuffed me:

Terror Mission!
That car. I bought a pack of 10 cars for £1 in a local shop down the back of where I live. The actual cars are hideous fucking things, with the bottom/windows being made out of one block of black plastic and then a tiny sliver of the top being made out of hideously coloured tin.
So I improved it. The wheels still need painting and theres a bunch more that need painting a variety of colours... but I'm happy with the scale!
So yeah, those guys are done. GROUP PHOTO YOU GUYS

Friday, 22 November 2013

More Models (11/07/2012)

As promised on monday, here is the rest of the 15mm stuff.

Armed Crewman (GZG)

Armed Crewman (GZG)

Armed Pilot (GZG)

Crewman with Binocs (GZG)

Group Shot

So these guys are actually a bit of a combo which I lumped together. The chap holding the helmet and the guy with the Binoculars are all part of the GZG 'Technicians' Pack along with the chap with the computer from monday's post. The random guy with the rifle and the woman with the gun were actually free 'Help yourself' models from a bucket on the GZG stall at Salute!
These guys are what make me a little wobbly on GZG proportions as they look a bit like their heads arn't the right size.

Protolene Ayame Battlesuit (CMG)

Protolene Scout Khan (CMG)

Protolene Scout (CMG)

Protolene Scout with Particle Cannon (CMG)

Protolene Scout with Assault Laser (CMG)


I really love the Critical Mass Games Protolene. They're incredibly anime looking and sleek, unlike the gritty and function over form look of the humans I have! The Protolene are Hyena-Men, which are pretty interesting, and have a very distinct look to them. My one complaint... is how difficult it is to actually identify which weapons they are carrying.
Ah well.

Three Civilians from Rebel Minis. I like them! Looking forward to painting them.

Light Recon Sargeant (Rebel Minis)

Light Recon HMG (Rebel Minis)

A ww2 Panzer. Or something. Probably Airfix?

Light Recon Sniper Team (Rebel Minis)

Light Recon RPG Trooper (Rebel Minis)

Size Comparison/Group Shot

Now, I loved these models until I sat down and started to undercoat the bastards. Then I noticed the fault-lines down the middle of a lot of them. Take a look at that HMG trooper, you'll see what I mean. Some of the ordinary troops have a little squished head. I still like the models and people probably wont pay that much attention to them, but its still a bummer.

I've had that tank for years. Then I realised it was actually the right size for my 15mm guys! Winner. Going to repaint it in my trooper colours and think about picking up one or two more!

Special Forces Rifleman (Rebel Minis)

Special Forces Pistolman (Rebel Minis)

Special Forces Sargeant (Rebel Minis)

Group Shot!

I originally bought these guys to be Biohazard guys, but when i'd unpackaged them and had them in my hands i'd changed my mind as soon as i'd spotted them. I like them!

So that is, so far, Everything I have for my collection!

Well. Everything that was supposed to be a 15mm wargame model, anyway...

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Forsaken Larp Project

This won't mean a lot to a good chunk of people looking at this blog, I imagine.

I'm working on a thing which wont come to fruition for at least a year, but I want to be ready to roll out a proposal document for people to make a desicion about when the time comes. For the most part, its going to end up being a whole bunch of notes and reasons why I think its a good idea until we get closer to me putting my hat in to try and run it.

I'm a member of a Live Roleplay Society in the UK and one of the games we play is Werewolf: The Forsaken. We have... well, as of right now I think i'm confident enough to say at least 10 games with over 50 characters that play in them. Probably more. So for the Forsaken fans reading this going 'Jesus how many players is he planning for?'... well, a god-damn lot is the answer.

The Role of the ANST

As a start, i'd like to overhaul the job description of the ANST. As it stands, the ANST is a Direct storyteller as well as a team leader and an administrative organiser and rules-decider. While i understand that Teams do help with this serious spreading thin issue I think having the ANST write national level plots does take away from the personal, visceral nature of werewolf. Its not a story about how the Forsaken Nation won, its a story about a bunch of werewolves carving a place for themselves under the eye of an insane godess whilst trying to live up to the job they inhereted from their father.
As such, i'd like to put more power into the hands of the local ST's when it comes to plot and the freedom to write plot for their game and turn the ANST into a supervisory/advisory role. As such, my plan is to make the ANST responsible for the following:
  • Creating and Modifying rules addenda
  • Adjudicating Fetish Creation and Approval
  • Adjudicating Renown at the Heroic and Legendary levels (4 and 5 respectively)
  • Mediating the use of Venue Antagonists (Balehounds, Pure Society, Shifting Breeds, Hunter Organisation) at a national level to ensure the game does not suffer an oversaturation of various antagonist groups.
  • Administrating for each of the local games in their purview to ensure that information is shared between games (such as when a non-local character acheives a renown-worthy deed or steals a fetish) and for ST handovers to be completed and passed along.
  • Mediating ST/ST disputes and ST/Player disputes when they cannot be solved personally or locally.
  • Helping local ST's organise games for Nationals and acting as a co-st during them.
  • Translating local ST plot drops into Luna-Given Cahalith dreams and passing them down to players as the local ST requests them. (This is to give cahalith dreams more of a 'handed down by god'  feel)
Noticably, at this point there is no plans for the ANST to write plot at a national level.

Forsaken Character Creation Guidelines

  • No Membership Class XP (This may change depending on society-wide desicions about how we use MC in the future, and I am using 'No MC' to represent my personal opinions and preferences until i'm told otherwise)
  • Limited Fetish Ownership at character creation for the first 3 months of the new Chronicle. No fetishes at Character Creation after this point. (This is to give fetishes more of a feel of items of significance rather then useful tools and to ensure no oversaturation of fetishes occurs with the 'Fetishes don't cost XP' point in 'venue guidelines' section)
  • No Renowns at 3 at Character Creation.
  • Fighting Styles function according to the books except where stated. (... My plan is for a low powered game which actually makes fighting styles more applicable then a simple bonus or penalty applied to characters. This point is seriously subject to change and the fighting styles might be heavily addenda'd depending on the XP system we settle with)
  • No Skills or Merits higher then 3 dots before XP is applied.
  • No Attributes above 4 before XP is applied.
  • No Pure, No Balehounds, No Shifting Breeds (The first two I am negotiable about, the last one no way in hell)

Forsaken Venue Guidelines

These will be a series of notes rather then a well organised thing for the moment as my brain meanders.
  • Everything is owned. There should be no territory where a werewolf or a pack of werewolves can just walk in and claim it unchallenged. Packs new to the area should have to work towards gaining territory. Wether its held by Azlu, Pure, Forsaken, Claimed, Powerful Spirits, Vampires or Mages doesn't matter.
  • There should be no gaps between player territories unless it is a serious plot point. Werewolf packs should be in close proximity to each other and causing problems on each others territories should be common. Werewolves should feel like everyone else is constantly on the border of invading their territory.
  • There should be at least one neutral territory on a VSS to allow live games to occur.
  • When a pack is created, they should have less then 5 points of Loci between all members. How this is distributed across the territory should be discussed with the pack and the ST.
  • The entirety of a pack's membership should be on a single Vss, not split between multiple.
  • The entirety of a pack's territory should be on a single Vss, not split between multiple.
  • If the VSS has 5 or fewer local players, they should be a single pack.
  • Totem Benefits only apply to your local VSS - Totem spirits won't venture far from a pack's territory and are NPC'd by your ST only. Yes, this means that travelling to other domains robs you of your totem benefits. Yes, this means that travelling to National Games robs you of your totem benefits. I am considering some sort of 'Temporary Lodge' for these national games which grant benefits that apply to the nature of the national game so that everyone has a way to get involved.
  • Each Pack should make a short list of territories they would like. The ST should make sure that at least one of these territories is owned by another PC pack (if a Clutch or Tur game) or an NPC Pack (if a Pack game). One of these territories should be within the bounds of the pack's territory but as so far unclaimed/neutral by the pack or contested.
  • Each VSS should decide wether it is a 'Pack' game, a 'Clutch' game or a 'Tur' game.
    • Pack: All local players are members of the same pack and plot revolves around that pack's territory and local area.
    • Clutch: Two or more packs who are often at odds if not downright agressive to each other. Pack on Pack conflict is common, co-operation should be begrudging. Plot should focus on causing conflict between the packs either requiring them to battle it out or come to a temporary truce to resolve the problem.
    • Tur: Two or more packs who have created a Tur. Packs may be at odds with each other but a truce stopping them from downright attacking each other exists. Packs can also be genial to each other. Co-operation is common and Pack on Pack conflict is rare. Plots should focus on the Tur coming together to resolve issues.
  • National Games should be Warbands, Moots or Revels. Each National Game should be based on a VSS's location with the local ST acting as the Lead Storyteller or as the decision making part of a National ST Team if they don't feel comfortable running a national game as the lead ST.
    • Warband: The Game focuses on Forsaken Society in the UK having been called to a location by the local pack/s in order to battle or otherwise defeat a foe that cannot be beaten alone.
    • Moot: The game focuses on a large gathering of the UK forsaken having been called together to discuss 'Political Matters'. Im not sure how this one would work but ideally there would be locally run plots that several games in close proximity to each other share that require deep thought from multiple werewolf packs.
    • Revel: The game focuses on a social get together hosted by packs local to the area for the Forsaken of the UK. Cahalith Storytelling and Branding, Individuals and Packs bragging about their acheivements, Hunts (Competative or for Ritualistic Purposes) and perhaps music and a buffet.
  • Combat should be quick, viscious and savage
  • Fetishes should not cost Experience to purchase but require either a Ritualist to create them or for them to be stolen/looted from foes.
  • Talens should be common
  • Low level fetishes should be uncommon but present.
  • High level fetishes should be plots unto themselves or inhereted from dead family/packmates.
  • Renown should not cost Experience to purchase but after the first two levels they should require serious effort. A characters level 2 renowns should be able to be detailed by their Packmates, level 3 renowns should be able to be detailed by non-packmates on the VSS, Level 4 renowns should be able to be detailed by Cahalith from other domains and Level 5 renowns should be able to be detailed by every character living within the UK for any length of time.
And thats what I have had bouncing around my brain for a few months now. Finally written somewhere I can't easily lose it like my notebook...


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

As Promised (09/07/2012)

Yesterday I said that I would try to get some photos of pretty much everything I'm currently working on/collecting for the 15mm guys. This is that post!

As a warning, this post is going to be fairly picture intensive. Sorry about that.

First of all, the companies from which i've been buying my models - Since its only fair and just in case people want to buy any for themselves.

Ground Zero Games - Fantastic drones and the awesome supermutant style guys. I'm not 100% sold on their humans as the proportions seem a little weird, but the models are still very good.
Critical Mass Games - Produce a whole bunch of awesome aliens, and are where the Protolene Khanate come from.
Rebel Minis - Produce pretty much everything else I have in this post, from Soldiers to Greys to Civilians. I really love their stuff, but I have a few issues with their mouldings.

so, onto the models.

Flying Drone (GZG)

Drone Decal

Spider Drone (GZG)

Drone Decal

Drone Controller (GZG)

Group Shot

At Salute 2012, I went with the express purpose of picking up models that I was after without having to pay a shipping fee, which is pretty much an additional cost to all of my models due to only a few brands shipping to FLGStores.
The Drone Controller model I figure can use for a variety of different roles - Technician, Drone Controller, Hacker, all sort of things. The model was really simple to paint up and I was quite suprised about it, but essentially its a nice figure.
The Spider Drone is a thing of beauty. Its a very simply model which I saw posted on another blog and went 'Damn! Where can I get THOSE?', They also have this really big round flat plate on top which I got a bit inspired for - Putting Decals on top of each of them to make them a bit more personalised.
The Flying Drone was something I wanted for function rather then appearance. I was a bit bummed out they didn't come with their own stands but as you can see, I made do!

Big Alien Sargeant (GZG)

Big Alien with Cannon (GZG)

Big Alien with Rifle (GZG)

Size Comparison

Group Shot

So these guys were bought because they looked like Supermutants from Fallout 3, or maybe Mutons from X-Com. I am really pleased with these models as they're moulded fantastically and they have a LOT of character to them.

Alien Bug (Rebel Minis)

Grey Alien (Rebel Minis)

Grey Alien with Blaster (Rebel Minis)

Grey Alien Sargeant (Rebel Minis)

Group Shot

I bought the Grey Aliens from Rebel Minis as one of my first purchases. I wanted to have some bad guys for some X-Com action. The Greys with pistols seem to come with their arms dinged up a little from packaging... which is actually a little ok since it gave them some individuality and their arms are positioned differently. The Reaper/Bug is a really nice model, and the size of it is fantastic.

More picures Wednesday, to save on post size!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Joust! (Second Draft)

So in continuation...
We decided to try splitting the equipment cards and the attack/defence cards into two separate decks.
This ultimately necessitated us to pick up at least 3 joust cards at the start and depending on how many you had picked up previously you might have to pick up less. It felt a lot more like you were planning out your tactics - have more cards for the list to modify your tactics and a higher chance of picking up things like Irresistible Force OR pick up more equipment cards for the improved chance of being able to find a great piece of equipment for your knights.
Well, we had to re-hash the equipment system a little and how the joust actually worked. Later on in the day when Fantum helped me play testing (Robert is the chap in the pictures however!) It was pointed out to me that the Jousters should cycle as the game was too long and it ended up feeling like the second and third knights were already fully equipped by the time they hit the lists.
So we ended up deciding that each knight would joust one after the other and that at the beginning of a joust you could place two equipment cards and then you could place another one as part of your action on the lists.

I also managed to take a sharpie to some of the cards when playing with Fantum also, so when we played it the second time around we actually had a reasonable number of Double Attack cards. I also created some Double Defence cards which seemed like they were needed.

With all the cards on the table now we really, really needed to have cards with different backs and maybe some colour on them to make it much more noticeable what cards are which. Robert also pointed out we might benefit from having some sort of 'Play Mat' so that you can see where stuff is supposed to go.

And looking back at the pictures... yeah, god damn that takes up a lot of table space.

We also decided that maybe it would be an idea to have some tokens to make it easier to make a note of how much attack and defence someone has. Also, the Block/Strike system needs a rehash - maybe some sort of  'targeting card' that both players put down markers on.
So right at the moment, we're at a 'rebuild the play test deck' place which is slowing down the testing!