Friday, 9 June 2017

More Test of Honour - And Some Mid Year Musings


June is proving to be a bit of a busy month for me, and I can`t seem for the life of me to find time to get much done on the game table, hence no battle report this week or last. I like always to be up and doing whenever possible, as I truly believe a happy gamer is one who plays lots and plays often.                                                                                              
However, we are still waiting for an actual date for Hils knee operation.. and things are a bit up in the air at the moment, as the house needs to be straight and tidy for when she gets home, so we are beavering away doing house blitz on each of the rooms, disassembling a bed from one of the spare rooms and carting it downstairs and reassembling it in the lounge (so she has easy access to the main bathroom, the kitchen and of course the main downstairs lounge). All those little things and then of course, waiting each day for the post, half expecting a letter from the hospital and confirmation of a finite date. So all in all, I`m not as hobby productive as normal right now.
But, again, all in all, it`s an interesting year for me hobby wise. I have boxed up (well, I`m in the process of doing it as part of my mass house tidy-up) many of my ongoing projects, and focussed on the subjects I feel inclined to do for the rest of this year and into the next. My “Test of Honour” by Warlord Games, remains firmly top of my current schedule of interests.
That's coal dust {from the lounge fire} stuck up my finger nails, not normal dirt lol
Basic  Inking Technique:
first I undercoat with spray can matt white paint, purchased from the hardware shop.

Then I quickly paint in the main detail on each figure (using ordinary matt paint.. not ink), allowing myself about a minute or two per miniature. Then let the colours dry.
Next I use a bottle of Windsor and Newton brown Ink…. water it down 2 parts ink and 1 part water, and cover the entire miniatures, and let it dry.
Paint the bases: I did mine plain black with highlighted dry brush edges, it seemed to suit.
Finally  spray with Games Workshop matt Purity Seal, and bingo! Your Samurai are finished and ready for the table. Time per miniature… all told maybe ten minutes (max) spent on each model, from start to finish.






Still to be painted, my lovely Torii Gate - for my next Samurai game (will have black slates on the roof, and red ink dye wood for the rest).

Meanwhile, my Hero and Horror Clix seems to have mutated into a consolidated, eclectic subject, that encompasses Batman`s Gotham, Judge Dredd`s Cursed Earth, elements of The Terminator, and now even Aliens and Predators have entered the happy mix. But now even the Doctor Who verse is possibly on the verge of working its way in there as well.
Oh yes, I just realised that might sound a bit confusing. Let me explain.
I have been agonising a bit over which rules to use for my ongoing `Gotham` and `Cursed Earth` campaign for  while now (meh! I`m always agonising over rules): be it D20, D&D Judge Dredd by Wizards of the Coast and Mongoose Publishing, or `Mutants and Death Ray Guns` by Ganesha Games, or even my own sets of rules `Generic Wars and Miniature Figurines`  or even  Jez`s `Way of the Crow.` But then recently something happened which changed all that decision making and led me (for the first time) in a clear forward thinking decision. That decision was a bit of a brainstorm/brainwave really… to use the Clix rules (actually, our own re-write Clix Redux) to play all our superhero games from now on. Thanks to Simon, who sent us hundreds of empty Clix bases, it means we have a veritable heap of spares which we can use to create our own characters for our games.
You see,  I have so many options for Clix (due to now having so many empty bases), I can customise these to make my own proxies for all manner of new miniatures, which I can then put into the games as will.  As an example: I recently bought (on eBay I seem to recall) a group of a dozen 28mm Judges for Cursed Earth. These are beautiful miniatures, the old Mongoose ones I think, and perfect size for using alongside HeroClix. All I have to do is scrutinise  them carefully, and find a dozen bases with stats that seem suitable for each judge; a base for Hershey, one for Anderson, Judge Caligula, Judge Giant, Brit Cit Judge, etc etc etc then re-spray the top of each base (using a fine spray modelling gun), add in new name, photo shop a custom stat card, and bingo!!!! I have my own brand new custom built Heroclix miniature(s).
 I can do this for so many miniatures I have, all just crying out to be added to and used in my games, and now, by carefully mix and matching bases, the sky`s the limit to what I can actually do with this cool idea.
Which leads me on neatly to the new Doctor Who miniatures  game by Warlord games. I wondered long and hard whether I would just play the game straight out of the box: and watching Simon

 {from the `Fantorical` blog https://fantorical.blogspot.ie/ }

play this remarkable looking game, really gave me pause to sit back and think “do I want to go the official route and play this game straight out of the box, or do I want to use the wonderful components and miniatures contained within, and go my own route using whatever preferred  rules  I choose to use, to create my own style of Doctor Who adventures?”
I VERY nearly decided to play the game as intended, the Warlord Games way. But in the end several things stopped me dead in my tracks, right at the finish line. One influence was Jez {from Carrion Crows Buffet  https://carrioncrowsbuffet.wordpress.com/ } and his infectiously enthusiastic way of showing me you can enjoy any kind of gaming without always needing to have the right official model for the job….  Just make your own facsimile and make it look how you want it to look. This has had a big influence on me this year and I am grateful to him for his lateral way of thinking.
Another thing to influence me was the nagging thought in the back of my head that I don’t HAVE to buy into everything Warlord Games are selling for this new franchise. I don’t even like every miniature they do for their Doctor Who game, but I love enough of them to want to collect a fair few. The 35/38mm thing bothers me… but for things like the Daleks and Cybermen, I can easily wing this. I have hundreds of Hero and Horror Clix miniatures I can use to make as many Doctor Who proxies and facsimile models as I could possibly want, from Aliens to Monsters, side-kicks and out and out villains, to assistants or UNIT guys.  What`s more, with my newly acquired  pile of empty Clix bases, I could even mount the Daleks and Cybermen and all the lovely cherry picked Doctor Who miniatures I desire to pick up, on HeroClix bases, and be done with it. What a unique game I could make then huh? Never seen that done before, I think I might actually be the first, if I did go that route.
So, aware I have literally hundreds of usable 28mm miniatures going begging, and having long ago broken the addiction which makes me feel the need to buy everything that’s new, just because it is new and I don’t have it: I can see that I already have a full Doctor Who collection just waiting to be utilised. Fleshing this out with Daleks and other odds and ends will, thus, be a pleasant distraction from DIY gaming.
The rest of this year should promise to be quite an interesting time, full of many new hobby endeavours, done the good old typical Gilbert way.
Missy

Another reason I paused to think before diving deeply into playing and collecting for the official Doctor Who game is that… honestly, I think there are perfectly good alternatives which allow more game potential (for me) than the one Warlord Games is promoting. It looks GOOD yes I can`t deny it, but I have been watchful and, sat in on it being played with a keen, studious eye… at least half a dozen times now, on at least three separate occasions. In addition I sat and watched hours of it being played on you tube, and although it looked fun (like most Warlord Games do) I was not convinced it played just the way I wanted it to do.  I`m looking for more than  “I line my guys up six inches from the edge of the board, opposite the enemy: then both sides advance to the middle of the map, and pound hell out of each other in the process.”  I`m looking for narrative role play, and a Doctor who can duck and weave and run away, using his wits to win the day, not just brawn and a multitude of cool weapons. The Doctor Who game almost achieves this by a clever use of objectives and tokens, but it doesn’t go far enough to convince me of a true Doctor Who feel and tone.
And so at the very last moment I stopped and went, NO! And in that moment I made the decision to steer my own path, and create my own game… using as many of the official game components as I feel I want to add in… by cherry picking the bits I want – and as I need them.
Wish me luck, and I  shall update here as things develop. But for now, wooohooo!!!
Happy Gaming
Article by Steve.

43 comments:

  1. Brilliant Mr Stevie Sounds like you have soooo much fun to enjoy, all ahead of you. :))

    T

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    1. Bless you Tar` yeah having a blast with this one.... and when you come next, you will get to share it all too :-)))

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  2. Very nice inking. Not seen any decent full coat inking in years (its a dying art). It really suits the Japanese Samurai theme well, the ease, the simplicity, and the speed of painting is just staggering, but extremely effective. It certainly has made me stop and think about giving it a go for myself.

    I wondered if you would go for the entire Doctor Who collection `bundle` deal, or would cherry pick the sets you really like (which ones do you like). I bet it was a hell of a temptation just to go buy the lot, huh? Two ways of looking at that I suppose. Buy the lot now, and you are on top of what promises to be an absolutely VAST collection of official Doctor Who miniatures by the time Warlord games are done (with 50 years of aliens, monsters and characters to cover, if they truly intend to do a full range), and will probably turn into way over a thousand pounds worth of models to collect by the time they are all released, if you went that route. OR you can go the path you have chosen to take. Pick and choose what you want, and make do playing your own way, at a fraction of the cost, secure in the knowledge that your collection will be somewhat unique and thoroughly DIY.

    I respect that. Good luck with it, and happy Who-verse. Welcome to the Who club.

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    1. Hey Dave, nice to see you`re back. how was the trip?

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    2. Cheers Dave mate, you give me encouragement to pursue this path **gulp** its a scary place slashing your own path and not following the safe trail.

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    1. 国内、海外, 五輪代表に 1万m出場にも含み

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  4. The inking looks great love.

    I don't know what`s happened to me of late, but I`m starting to think, eat, breath, sleep Doctor Who thoughts (I even dreamed about Daleks last night). What have you all DONE to me. Woe is me, I`m.. I`m.. oh God no!! I`m turning into a Who fan.

    And to make it worse, I`m looking forward to Exterminate and the rest of the goodies to turn up as much as Stevie is. There`s no hope, I`m doomed.

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    1. Thanks Hillers xx

      Never mind being Tango'd, you`ve been Who-doo`d :)))

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  5. Samurai AND Doctor Who?! Right... *pulls up chair and puts feet on table* that's me not going anywhere then. Lol

    I'm glad my articles were of use to you - that'e part of the reason I do it, to show that it's not always neccessary to buy everything the games companies think you should just to get the figures you want. In fact, it can be more satisfying to create your own version of a character or figure, because you can make it exactly how YOU think it should be and you now have your very own unique figure that no-one else has.

    And great minds obviously think alike, as I was just discussing the possibility of using your existing Heroclix collection and rules for playing Doctor Who with Hils, probably as you were typing up your article. Spooky...lol

    Consider me completely at your disposal regarding anything Who-related, but to ensure that I don't spoil your discovery of this new (to you) world, I won't provide any information that will reveal the surprises you have in store as you work your way through the series. That way you'll experience it with no real pre-conceptions and enjoy it as it should be, with a child-like sense of wonder. It's going to be SO much fun!

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    1. "Mummy, Mummy..... are you my Mummmy?"

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    2. {{{{{I'm glad my articles were of use to you - that'e part of the reason I do it, to show that it's not always neccessary to buy everything the games companies think you should just to get the figures you want.}}}}

      You articles hit the spot and sure showed me the alternative routes one can take. Just takes the first few tentative steps, then the rest gets easier doesn't it.

      Yeah she told me you were both talking about the possibility of using Clix for Who, and as you were chatting, I was writing exactly the same thing here, Lol. Great minds huh ^^

      And I will, I will.... WE will. `WE` will be picking your brains for Who stuff for a very long time to come I imagine. Plan is not to follow the episodes so much, not even to collect most the aliens and characters from the shows.. lots of the iconic ones yes, but mostly we`re interested in making up our own `unwritten` tales, and making up our own legendary critters and characters, who come alive and become iconic through memorable campaign play, as opposed to the virtue of being iconic before we even have a chance to leave our mark on them. We always tended to do that a loot in D&D too, the Monster Manuals are great, but often we`d just make up our own dastardly creations from scratch. Can be great fun hehe.

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    3. Whilst Who does have certain iconic monsters that have appeared multiple times, quite a lot of episodes and stories featured 'one-shot' aliens and given the vast lifetime of the Doctor, I choose to think of any scenarios I run as taking place 'off-screen'. This means that I can pretty much do what I like, as long as I stay true to the feel of the series. So yes, I may have used Cybermen in 'Day of the Master' and plan on using Daleks for 'Nemesis of the Daleks', but the third 'episode' will feature an all-new alien race - although there will be an appearance by a familiar hairy face.

      And with your new acquisitions, there's no reason that the Doctor shouldn't face Aliens and Predators...or Samurai...or anything else you fancy. All of time and space is at your disposal, so you have no limits. What fun!

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    4. I couldn't agree more Jez, and I picked up my ears at the mention of you finishing your Who campaign. GOOD, because then you can start the next one..... and the next one!!! I`m rather inclined to call my games `episodes` and my campaigns `series.` feels right somehow.

      Ooh oooh, the latest news: we`ve found a way (using rolls of magnetic strip, purchased from the local hardware/farm shop a mile down the road) that we can base all our minis twice. Once on Clix bases: or taken off their magnet and slipped onto another normal (20mm) base and magnet strip.. and voilà, the model is now suitable for a non Clix game too. One model, but double use - pretty neat huh :))

      I got the idea when I started to look at a starter set of Mage Knight/Horrorclix minis I bought last year ( I bought a set for Bryan at the time too, I seem to recall). Each figure was detachable and came with two bases. One base for using with Mage Knight, and the other for Heroclix. Nifty idea I thought, so I simply turned my mind to replicating it DIY. Means a bit of hard work ahead (but Hils says she is willing as she will have nothing BUT lots of time on her hands to sit and do this soon). But it does men I can... for example... rebase my Aliens and Predators on nice normal bases for playing with what ever game I want at the time, without destroying the intrinsic beauty of the clix bases what-so-ever. And simply take them off the magnet whe I`m done, then re-apply them to the clix base magnet when I need them to be Clix again. I`ve tested it, you cant even see its been tampered with, so woohooo, Yeeey go me!!!!

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  6. "Ten minutes (max) spent on each model, from start to finish." - Crikey Steve, sometimes it takes me longer than that just to apply enough watered-down layers of undercoat on a mini!!! You'll be forever known as Steve "The Speed Painter" from now on in my books :-)

    Glad the Predators and bases arrived safe and well, and more importantly that you'll have a use for them. Looking forward to seeing what you do with "Doctor Who: Exterminate!".

    Interestingly, people are talking about the fact that many of the currently released 'official' miniatures don't come with cards and aren't covered by the cards in the boxed set (e.g. Tetraps and Dr. Sim). Not sure what "Warlord Games" plan to do about that issue - unless they're releasing a deck expansion or book at some point? So you sticking to your own rules/minis etc is definitely a good alternative. I'll be following your project with great interest, and obviously if I stumble across any more bases, minis I can spare, then they'll be shipped across to the Emerald Isle ;-)

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    1. Hi Simon, haha, yes I do admit we paint pretty fast most the time.. when we put our minds to it. But inking is a tiny bit like dipping (only a lot more precise) and is a bit quicker than normal painting. Cuts it down by about half the normal time I find.

      Oh man those Predators you send us..... you have NO idea how much they have boosted things for us. I total game changer. And the empty bases are absolutely like rare gold dust too.

      I have absolutely no doubt the Warlord Games Doctor Who game is going to be great and very big, and will grow and grow with future expansions (Heck, naturally I`m going to give it a go myself), but somehow, for us... I think we are looking for a slightly different experience. Hopefully you will enjoy reading what we do in our future games - just as we will enjoy reading yours :))

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  7. I paint faster than you Stevie na naa na na naaaana!!! **Grins**

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    1. yeah but not if I hide your brushes ^^

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  8. Great painting on the Samurai Steve, Hope the Op goes well Hils.

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  9. Oh hi there Dave, good to see you here mate. Glad you like the inking, its a bit of an unusual style I suppose, but extremely effective with this genre: and sooooo much quicker to manage than normal panting.

    Welcome aboard :-))

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    1. {{and sooooo much quicker to manage than normal panting.}}

      oh Lord, I married a werewolf *wink*

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  10. **waves across the ocean to Dave**

    Hi sweetie, its lovely to see you here. And thank you, still no date yet, but it it looms ever closer *gulp* Cant be long now and each day we half expect a letter from the hospital to say `that`s it`

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  11. Slowly finding people's blogs and the time to read them, have seen the inking method used but what you've done here Steve looks outstanding.
    Hils big wave back ! The anticipation for the date is the worst but good to see you keeping positive

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  12. {{Slowly finding people's blogs and the time to read them}}

    haha, I`m the same. Every week I find a cool new blog I`ve never spotted before, and its always like Christmas when I do (and I then spend days looking back at all the past posts within it. So many past posts tend to get buried by Blogger, which is a shame). Yeah check out past posts here at the Cupboard Dave, there are some cracking articles.... going right back to the blog`s creation even.

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  13. Thank's Steve, have started going back through the posts, it may take me some time ! Fitting it in when I can't work

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  14. Take all the time you need Dave. Hopefully you will find something to titivate and interest you :) I`m always amazed just how excited I get sometimes as I browse the hobby blogs and ping! I will spot something that just jumps out at me and inspires me in new and wonderful directions. That`s the beauty of our hobby and of blogging isnt it.

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  15. Indeed Hils, only got into the blogging scene last year Thank's to Simon, Bryan and Andy. Have enjoyed commenting and giving advice, just don't have the time to run my own Blog with all the social media I already do for the business, otherwise I'd never make anything new ! LOL

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  16. LOL oh I hear you **grins**. Actually, we are watching your lovely terrain with interest. Stevie might put you onto someone in America who he thinks would be interested in what you do. Too late for Gencon this year, besides Stevie`s busy working flat out with another project for that event this year already: but I know he was meaning to contact you and test the waters with a tentative offer (not for himself, but to put you in contact with one of the big companies he deals with).

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  17. Thank you Hils, glad you like what we do. No problem at all on contacting me when Steve has time as I fully appreciate how time consuming things can be, last year flew by while developing our first game, while keeping up with releases for our regular customers

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  18. ah yes, was that Zero Hour by any chance? I was glad to see able to do Salute this year, are you booked to exhibit at Colours and maybe Warfare this year as well? The smaller ones are better for the independents, but the bigger events are great `shop front windows` for potential new customers, especially once you nail the commissions route (which is where the pro-painters like tarot tend to score best). She can attend half a dozen and pick up enough work to last her the year.. just from custom/bespoke commissions: and off the shelf then becomes a nice bonus (and helps pays the rent too, as it were)

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    1. The game was Death Match, which is sci-fi gladatorial combat based. have a couple of smaller shows this year, Bovington and IPMS, then Crisis in Antwerp in November which is a large European show. Commission wise have a couple of regular clients that I sculpt for, the rest of my time is primarily taken up with sculpting for my business, but take on other projects if I have time and it's a project I like

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  19. Cant WAIT to get there and have a game of this. Excellent inking.

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  20. There would have been a Test of Honour post next T hun, but Hils is going to write an article on Doctor Who and the new Warlord Games boxes, so I will postpone all things Samurai for a little while longer ;-))

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  21. And then...cybermen vs samurai! You know you want to...😉

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  22. HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHHAHhahahahaahahahahahahaa!!!!!!!!


    ...... that`s beside the point ^

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  23. Oh really? Let me paint you a picture...on one side we have a small force of temporally displaced Cybermen and on the other...Terracotta Warriors! Steel vs pottery! At the Great Wall of China! How cool would that be?

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  24. "Hiiiilllllllllls!! Quick, get that miniature Penzai garden finished, we got a diorama to make for the next game"

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  25. But, but.. but?

    ... Penzai gardens and terracotta warriors are Chinese, what are the Japanese Samurai doing fighting in China?

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  26. Just go with it woman... go with it ^^

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  27. You do like to live dangerously Steve mate >>grins<<

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