Sunday, 6 April 2014

Gaming table test

I mentioned in my previous post that I'd been working on a portable gaming table. Today I finally got a chance to put it to use. Here's how it turned out:

I started by ordering a 6mm wooden thick 110x115 cm piece of plywood. Malifaux is played on a 90 x 90 mm terrain but I wanted to have some extra space for ccharacter cards, markers, fate decks etc. 
I used an old gaming mat that was in a pretty bad shape. I had to cut it into several pieces and use some static grass to cover the whole surface. Once that was done I outlined the gaming terrain by gluing a thin line of darker static drass along the lines. I like the way it turned out as it's more subtle than simply gluing tape or using a marker.
Overall, I'm really pleased with the final effect. It's portable, the terrain (I didn't make it' ordered the whole set from an online store) looks nice on it and my living room can be easily turned into a neat gaming area.

The game itself was fun too. I wanted to show how Malifaux works to a buddy of mine so we played a quick 20SS game (Francisco, Papa Loco, Santiago and a Pistolero vs the Judge and 3 Death Marshals). The Judge seems much better in M2E and Death Marshals are annoying and it's not easy to take them down. Still, I managed to win. Cards turned against my opponent in a crucial moment. He had a good hand and wanted to use Judge's trigger and launch 2 attacks against a wounded Santiago but he got a Red Joker instead. I survived the attack and retaliated. At that point my opponent drew... Black Joker.

The pic above shows another funny situation when my opponent shot down Papa Loco. At first he was very happy about it but he quickly realized that his DM was within the 3' range and got 5 wounds from the blast.

OK, that will be all for now. I'll probably paint Perdita or Papa Loco next. Right now I'm mostly looking forward to the premiere of new season of Game of Thrones. Last week a plastic replica of the Iron Throne was showcased in a shopping centre in Warsaw and the nerd in me couldn't resist the temptation of having a pic taken ;)

Friday, 4 April 2014


I haven't been writing much lately but that doesn't mean I wasn't active hobby-wise. Been pretty busy at work and finding those extra few minutes to sit down, gather my thoughts and write them down seemed too challenging.
First off, I played my second game of M2E last Saturday. It was a 35ss game against Lynch, HD, 2 Illuminated and 2 Beckoners. I chose 'Dita, Francisco, Santiago, Enslaved Nephilim and 2 Austringers.
The strategy was Turf War and my schemes were vendetta and Assassinate.
The Austringers didn't actually do much but were a constant threat that held the Beckoners back and their 2AP Deliver Orders action once saved Perdita from HD's charge. I think 2 Pistoleros/1 Pistolero+2 hounds might also be a good idea. Francisco is very good around Dita as he can give her extra 2 wp and df every turn as long as she's within 2'. I played more aggressively this time and managed to secure victory at the beginning of turn 4 when 'Dita killed Lynch in 3 sweet shots. She also killed two Illuminated. And yes, she did that in one turn (Trick Shooting is a must for her, can't imagine using this master without this upgrade).

'Dita's harvest
It was a shame I played using unpainted minis so this week I've tried to catch up with my brushwork. I want to finish the whole Latigo Posse crew as soon as possible but at teh same time I want them to look good so I'm not going to be rushing things. I started with Nino, in previous edition he was a killer with his huge range and powerful triggers. In M2E he's still good with some nice new tricks but his survavability is an issue.

I used a Wyrd  ghost town themed base insert and added a small cactus from Pegasus hobbies set. I chose to paint his duster in a way that would reflect Nino's function in the Family (a sniper and an agile scout). That's why I added random patches of dirt and kept the colors toned down.
His glasses were really hard to get right. It might be hard to notice that in the picture but they're extremely small and getting to them was a big challenge.

Santiago is a true monster of a man. He's huge and towers over all the other members of his family. He's quite interesting in game as he gets better when he's wounded. He also has a nice trigger that allows him to shoot more than twice in one activation. And he's a member of the Family so companion rule can be used with him as well.

 Before I got started on painting I had to add one small change. I cut off the stone his keft foot was on and pinned his right one to the base. I think he looks even better now, more dynamic. I can't take credit for this idea as I saw it first on Wyrd forums. Can't remember the author but kudos to him/her for sharing the idea.
I wanted to use brighter and more vivid colors than I normally do so I made sure that the base shade was of a lighter tone than I typically choose. After that it was just a matter of applying a few highlights and returning to work on the recesses later on.
Santiago is a fantastic miniature and painting him was a lot of fun. I'll be focusing on other models from the Latigo Posse now. Perdita's next and I really like the new plastic version so working on her will be a pleasure.

Apart from miniature work, I've also prepared my first gaming table. I'm going to test it tomorrow when I'll be introducing some friends to the game so I will take pictures then.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Stalkers done and another crew is completed

 The Witchling Stalkers are done, which means that I now have 4 fully painted starter sets (the other three are Justice, McCabe and Lynch). These three are actually cast in one single piece which is pretty amazing considering the amount of detail the designers managed to squeeze in on them.

I didn't use the box artwork as reference as I wanted them to look like the old metal versions I painted a while ago (you can see pics below). As far as comparison between the two versions goes, I think I'm leaning towards the classic metal versions. The plastic ones are pretty cool with dynamic poses and solid amount of detail but the metal ones seem to have more character to them. The details are sharper too. This is particularly noticeable on the hilts of their blades and the robes with recesses more carefully defined.

Anyway, I'm glad my fourth crew is ready for gaming and now I'm going to work on the Family :)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew is King's second collection of short stories (though one of them - "The Mist" could actually be treated as a standalone novel(la) ). The first thing that immediately comes to my mind when I think about it is variety. There are nineteen short stories, two poems and the above-mentioned novella. There's also an afterword from the author at the end, which is always an enjoyable read and offers interesting insights into various inspirations and 'stories-behind-stories'.

As far as the stories are concerned, there are a few true gems among them. It's really hard to pick a favorite. I'll just quickly go through the ones that I liked the most.
"The Monkey" is a story about a cursed toy. Each time the cymbal-clapping monkey plays, someone dies. It might seem like a parody of a horror story at first glance and in a way it is. However, there are some very good descriptions of what's going through the head of the protagonist along with some very suggestive descriptions of his emotions. You can almost feel sweat trickling down your spine as you read it.
"The Jaunt", a short tribute to Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination" is an unusual tale for King. First off, the setting - science fiction and the future in general are not typical elements of his works. The story pays homage to the original work nicely but King adds his own touch of grotesque horror and the ending leaves you not feeling too comfortable.

Speaking of feeling unsettled - the "Survivor Type" is a story that is really hard to read. It's basically a diary of a surgeon (involved in drug trafficking) who ends up on a tiny desert island. He has no food and he has only heroin with him along with some surgical tools. He has an accident in which he breaks his ankle and soon realizes that he needs to perform an amputation. He survives (using heroin as anesthetic) but after a while it becomes clear to him that in order to survive he will have to eat the amputated foot. His torment doesn't end here as other limbs soon have to go. It's not a pleasant read at all but you can appreciate King's use of language as the protagonist's notes gradually become more disjointed and less comprehensible.

"The Mist" is the longest story in the book and it can be treated as a novella. Unfortunately, a few years ago I saw Frank Darabont's movie (a pretty good screening to tell the truth) which spoiled it for me. Here King plays with the idea of devastating effects of secret army experiments. They result in a catastrophe on a potentially huge scale. I liked the idea of showing the crisis through the eyes of inhabitants of small town who are stuck in a supermarket during the crisis. The author also plays with the idea of who the real monsters are (surprise, surprise - it's the humans again!) and the negative effects of religious fanaticism (it seems to me that it's something King dislikes particularly strongly). It's a good read and for those who were dismayed with the movie's outcome - here it ends differently.

These were the ones that stood out the most to me but some of the other stories also read very well. I can easily imagine "The Raft" screened as another (run-of-the-mill) horror movie about teenagers who first get drunk and then get into trouble with something Evil.The miraculous gadget from "Word Processor of the Gods" is something that everyone would like to have (and use sometime too). "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet" is an interesting story about a man's gradual descent into madness.
"Skeleton Crew" is a very solid collection of short stories. Not all of them are exceptionally good but the range and themes of them is so big that everyone should be able to find something of interest here.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Praetorian Stalkers

They used to be among my favorites in the original Warzone game. They operated in pairs and were pretty much a self sufficient unit well capable of dealing with enemy forces.
I really like the new versions of these minis. They still have ancient looking massive armors and wield the same type of weapon (though I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by lack of detail here)

I had fun working on their armors. I started with a solid basecoat of Vallejo Red Gold. It's a very strong tone so I used P3 golden metallics to play around with highlights and shadows. Sometimes I work without a specific outcome in mind, just paint freely applying highlights and shadows. I knew that I wanted something that would look ancient and that would not resemble and metal that could have been made on Earth.

 I added some contrast by painting their skin using more vivid shade of blue than I'd initially planned. After that I tried to add some texture to the weapons by using GW technical paints (Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust). I kept the bases simple as aim for a desolate look here.
More to come soon - I'm working on Alakhai and Razide now.

Sunday, 9 March 2014


Yesterday I finally played my first game of M2E. It felt really great to put the minis on the table again. I played a quick game for 36 soulstones and we simply used the starter sets for Perdita and Sonnia. Before that game I'd only played using Lady Justice so I was really impressed with Perdita's mobility. The companion rule is a nice thing (even though it's been nerfed in M2E) but it's easy to overdo it and as a result let your opponent outactivate you. And damm, Papa Loco isn't the guy to keep close to your friendly models - I learnt that the hard way.
The game feels easier than 1,5 and faster. I thought that pre-measuring would make the turns last much longer but it actually doesn't. Without that I'd spend a lot of time trying to work out if the opponent is withing my charge distance or whether I should do something else. Now it's just a matter of a quick measure and the game can continue. So, even though I suffered a major defeat, it still felt nice to play Malifaux again after a long break.

I also painted one more miniature. This one is by far my favorite from Wave 1 of plastics for the second edition. I see this one as a big improvement comparing to the original metal model. The pose is dynamic, the details (especially the hunting tools) look great and the facial expression is appropriately grim.

Painting Samael was fun but I had to work out a color scheme that features mainly different shades of brown.I like working with this color so choosing and applying various shades never felt like a chore. 

 I decided to use brighter colors on his base as otherwise the whole thing might seem too uniform. The base is a resin cast from Micro Art Studio and it also features a big toad. At first I wanted to get rid of it but then I changed my mind and left it there, making it even brighter so that it could add a small element of extra contrast to the whole thing.

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