Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Dracula's America Supernatural Hired Guns 01

The Hired Guns I'm reviewing here can only be recruited in Dracula's America if you're using the supernatural rules. The game can be played as a normal Wild West skirmish game without the supernatural elements.
At the far left is a member of the Carpathian Guard. They are a unique fighting force that began life as Dracula's Cossack henchmen in Eastern Europe. Their uniform may have been standardised since then but their resolve to protect their assigned vampire ward has never wavered. Rumours persist that, though still mortal, their lives have been prolonged unnaturally by regular infusions of vampiric blood. The Carpathian Guard are Veterans with the Nerves of Steel and Tough exploits. They are armed with a Pistol and a huge, two-handed Woodsman's Axe. They can only be hired by the Red Hand Coven Faction.
Next up is the Stitch-Doctor. First reported during the American Civil War, the undead Stitch-Doctors unnaturally prolong their existence through harvesting the organs of others. Despite their unsavoury reputation and the odd missing patient, their medical skills are still highly prized. A Stitch-Doctor is a lowly Novice with the Supernatural exploit. A Stitch-Doctor never rolls for injuries - they keep the choicest spares for themselves! They are usually armed with a Pistol.
At the far left is a Skinwalker shape-shifter made by North Star for Dracula's America. The Skinwalkers whose name has been taken up by this faction are shape-shifting guardians of Nature made up of Native Americans. Up to two members of a Skinwalker posse may be shape-shifters with the ability to transform into either a bear or a wolf - this is chosen when a model first becomes a shape-shifter and cannot be changed from that point on. A Skinwalker shape-shifter must begin each game in Human Form. Shape-shifters are Supernatural and may assume Beast Form or return to Human Form by using an entire Move Action to do so. All weapons and gear that they carry transforms too, as part of the magic. In Beast Form, the model is replaced with a suitable bear or wolf model. I bought some specifically for this purpose, which I'll show in a later post, once I get them painted.
These three figures can be purchased in the same set - DRAC16 -Hired Guns from the North Star webstore (see here - http://www.northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=10767 ) In a previous post, I lamented the fact that there was only this one figure produced for the Skinwalker Faction. Well, I'm pleased to say that North Star have resolved this issue by producing a set of seven figures to use as a Skinwalker Posse, see here - http://www.northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=11215 Suffice to say, I have already ordered them.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Assorted Sheriff and Deputies

I have shown a lot of police figures in the past, both American and British. They have almost all been of the kind you'd find in urban or suburban environments. Today, I'm concentrating on a small unit of police you'd find in the rural areas of America - the sheriff and his deputies.
These are from a variety of sources. At the left are two figures produced by Reaper as part of their 28mm scale Chronoscope range. At the far left is Sheriff Joe Don Mitchell and next to him is Deputy Wayne Tisdale. These are the names Reaper have assigned to them and I saw no reason to change them. The sheriff is a metal figure but Wayne is one of the plastic figures I got with one of my Reaper Bones Kickstarter sets (I think it was Bones 1). They are both in very similar poses but I think they are full of character. They are just how I'd imagine a sheriff and his deputy to look like.
The next two figures are very old 25mm scale Citadel figures. The fat deputy is called Hoyt Axlebury and his partner is Carl Whiteley (both named by me). Hoyt was designed for the old Paranoia range and Carl is even older as he was part of the 1920's Gangster range, both produced by Games Workshop in the 1980's. Who remembers either of them? The fact that they are 25mm scale doesn't bother me in the least because as I keep on saying, in real life people come in all shapes and sizes. These guys just happen to be on the small size. Hoyt is a fantastic sculpt but Carl is a bit bland.
The final figure is Deputy Jennifer Lewis. I named her and sculpted her. When I made her, way back in the 1980's, female cop figures were unheard of. She was always meant to be a deputy. I made her to partner Carl. I did debate about whether to sculpt her with the Mountie-style hat the other deputies are wearing or give her the more traditional peaked cap. In the end, I went with the peaked cap. She's not a brilliant sculpt but she's not bad either and she serves her purpose well.
Probably the most obvious use for these figures is in All Things Zombies as the cops of a rural setting. But I also think they'd work extremely well in 7TV2e, especially in a Scooby Doo scenario.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Rumbleslam Green Bruisers & Heavy Pounders

The two teams that you get in the starter boxed set of Rumbleslam are the Green Bruisers and the Heavy Pounders. I'm going to take a closer look at them here, along with a couple of their superstars. Note that in the game only the superstars are named. The basic team wrestlers are unnamed but I decided to name all of my wrestlers, just to give them more character and personality.
The Green Bruisers are made up of Orcs, Goblins and Trolls. From left to right are Trolgar the Troll, Wurgoth the Orc Brawler, Grabda the Orc Grappler, Brik the Goblin Brawler and Grok the Goblin Grappler.
The Green Bruisers are some of the biggest stars of the Rumbleslam arena. They're fast, they hit hard, and they don't let up! If you want a team that likes getting stuck in, regardless of what danger it poses to them, these greenskins are for you, and make an excellent choice for The Rolling Bones.
Trolls are big, blue, and mean. They have absolutely devastating special attacks, so make sure they're in the right place because they don't move fast. Their Regeneration ability helps them to stay in the fight long past most other wrestlers.
Orc Brawlers and Orc Grapplers are the ones you want to be getting into combat! Hit first, and make it count. And if you can't reach the enemy, use their Da Boss ability to pick up goblins and throw them instead!
Goblin Brawlers and Goblin Grapplers do not hit hard. But getting them into a fair fight is not what they're for! They're quick and can do lots of actions a turn, meaning their special abilities will get lots of use. Of particular note is their Antagonise ability, which makes opponents slower and angrier!
The Heavy Pounders are made up of Humans, Halflings and Ogres. From left to right are Dragark the Dark Destroyer, an Ogre, Vyctor Fistpike the Human Brawler, Stafford "Furious" Titangrip the Human Grappler, Bertram Goodbody the Halfling Brawler and Turpin Oakbottom the Halfling Grappler.
The Heavy Pounders fill that ideal space between speed, strength, and defence. They're reliable and even the smallest member can be extremely useful. They're easy to learn, but tricky to master. The crowd loves them though, multiplying their already solid stat lines even further. Kaiser's Palace teams needing some stability should look no further.
Ogres are big. Ogres are strong. Ogres are hard to throw out. What more could you want? It would be tempting to just brawl away with an Ogre, but that means that you're not using their many useful special attacks. A Choke Slam does wonders when paired with the Halfling Brawler, and a Belly Bomb Bonanza hits every opponent in base contact, if you're brave enough to climb the turnbuckle to do it!
Human Brawlers and Human Grapplers do what they say, and do it well. Don't go getting their roles confused though, as they won't be nearly as effective. Brawlers first do the damage, and then grapplers move in and throw the opponents out of the ring. A tried and tested formula that works match after match.
Halfling Brawlers and Halfling Grapplers get a lot of actions per turn, and their special abilities are cheap to use, meaning they'll be mainstays in your team.
Next we come to the superstars and I have two for each team - Statesman and Triple D for the Heavy Pounders and Gun and Gobba for the Green Bruisers.
“The Statesman is as much a fan of wrestling as he is a superstar. Growing up watching the heroes of old in the ring, the young wrestler trained his body with painful tenacity. He was soon the picture of perfection. Joining the ring at eighteen, his selflessness and devotion to the sport fast became a shining example that inspired countless fans.”
With a stat card like that, it's obvious that Statesman is a great all-rounder. He makes a great centre-piece for any team, his unassuming look hiding a solid line up of skills. With a regenerative ability on all KO'd wrestlers for his Crowd Pleaser, and his Shield Passive Ability giving close friendly wrestlers his awesome Defence, Statesman is at his best when helping out team mates. With a great all-round stat line and hailing from Kaiser's Palace, he's the perfect companion to The Heavy Pounders, or any team with low Defence and low Stamina WEIGHT 1 wrestlers.

“The bad girl of wrestling, Triple D is synonymous with rule breaking. A powerful wrestler who has held numerous titles in her time, Diana will take on anyone who threatens her reign at the top. Using all the methods at her disposal, she has been known to cripple opponents that might one day rise to challenge her. She has dubbed herself the Queen of the Ring, a title her fans cheer with extreme diligence and fervour.”
Triple D is a fan favourite, and for good reason. If you feel like your team is lacking a wrestler that can pick up and throw any other wrestler fairly easily, go for Triple D. Although you might struggle to even lift other wrestlers with the amount of great special abilities she has. Her biggest problem is that she doesn't have 10 AP to do everything you want! As a Heel character she rolls Crowd Pleasers differently, so if you feel like your Heavy Pounders need to take a walk on the wild side, she's the perfect wrestler for it.
So we all know who Gun is based on... yes, he's an Orc Hulk Hogan. If you want a great Rolling Bones wrestler who may Hulk Out when he's down on his luck then look no further.
 “They say you’ve never seen a show until you’ve seen Gun fight. An Orc of a different kind, Gun is far different to the rest of his race in the ring. Unlike his bloodthirsty brethren this charismatic Orc is there to entertain. A master of ceremony he thrives under attention and can often be seen pleasing the crowd with poses, chants and shows of power! This superstar is adored by his followers who go time and time again to see his exploits.”

Gobba the Goblin has some weird stats. His Dexterity is the highest in the game, and he uses it as his Defence too, meaning he's extremely hard to damage at all. He's fast too, so good luck catching him! Although with such a low Defence, Grapple, and Stamina, he's delicate too.
Gobba is the ultimate support Superstar. There Is No Try is an Active Ability that allows you to move an enemy wrestler 3 squares in any direction, putting them in the best place for you and the worst place for them! And his Crowd Pleaser removes all negative counters from friendly wrestlers. Considering the all-out attack nature of the Green Bruisers, Gobba complements them perfectly, giving them some much needed defensive stability.
"Wrestling is a sport for the physically gifted. Or so everyone thought until this mysterious goblin entered the ring. Wielding a special power alongside his seemingly inhuman dexterity, he joined the Rolling Bones casino and waited for his debut. It was a match to remember, though only a handful of fans remained to watch the small superstar battle. Assuming his team would lose easily, many missed him pushing and pulling his opponents around the ring with nothing but a wave of his tiny hand. Despite his clear superiority, Gobba didn’t mock or belittle his adversaries at all. It was almost unheard of to watch a wrestler wait for his opponent to stand before striking again.”
TRIVIA FACT - Gobba is rumoured to be the younger brother of Gobbo who appears in this blog here - http://dagobbosgrotto.blogspot.co.uk/

Although you get the Green Bruisers and the Heavy Pounders in the starter boxed set, you can also purchase them separately. They cost £22.00 per team, which is a reasonable price, I think. The four superstars I showed here cost £7.00 each, which is pricey. All of the figures are made of resin and most are single piece castings. They are expertly sculpted and so full of character. I like them all.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Rumbleslam - a Review

The contents of the starter boxed set shown straight from the box.
Rumbleslam is the game of fantasy wrestling produced by TT Combat. I begin my review of the basic boxed set with the blurb about the basic starter set taken from the webstore -

Welcome to the ring! The spotlights are on, the confetti cannons are loaded, and the mages have had their staffs taken away. The world of Rumbleslam awaits!

The original game of fantasy wrestling is coming to a table top near you. Join in on fast paced high action gaming as goblins jump off the turnbuckles, dark elves bounce from the ropes, and dwarfs pick up werewolves to throw out of the ring!

This boxed game contains everything a budding sponsor needs to start their Rumbleslam career.

Two teams are included – the stalwart Heavy Pounders consist of a Halfling Brawler, Halfling Grappler, Human Brawler, Human Grappler, and a mighty Ogre. Meanwhile in the other corner are the unrelenting Green Bruisers – a Goblin Brawler, Goblin Grappler, Orc Brawler, Orc Grappler, and unshakable Troll. Each wrestler comes with its own character profile card. These cards show each wrestler's innate abilities, and moves they can perform, from basic clotheslines to the formidable Blue Thunder. All miniatures are supplied unpainted and unassembled with a clear acrylic base. Note that clear acrylic bases may have a coloured peelable protective film.

The box contains a 12”x12” soft mat ring with 104 squares for wreaking mayhem, ropes to bounce off and turnbuckles to leap from.

With 5 Copper dice, 5 Silver dice, and 4 Gold dice, wrestlers can brawl their way to victory, and 2 Crowd dice allow your wrestlers to rally the crowd behind them to perform mind-blowing special moves. Note that because the dice are screen printed the symbols may wear with frequent use. To protect against this, a light spray coat of varnish will stop any fading of the symbols.

The box also includes 40 acrylic counters for each special status in the game, as well as 16 acrylic Crowd Pleaser tokens to help keep track of your wrestlers' attempts at wooing the audience.

And of course the box includes the 64-page Rumbleslam rulebook. Containing all the information needed to play the game, including background information, team building rules, and a miniatures gallery.

What are you waiting for? There's no better time to jump in the ring and start your path to superstardom!
The box contents shown on my dining room table with the two teams fully painted.
I wasn't aware of this game until recently when I was browsing the TT Combat webstore but as soon as I saw it, I was intrigued by it. I was a big fan of what used to be the WWF (World Wrestling Federation), which later became the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). I am not a sports fan at all, (some may argue that wrestling isn't a sport but show business) but I found this a whole load of cheesy fun and the idea of adopting the wrestling format so that fantasy races could take part was, I thought, inspired.

The rules are easy to learn and a game usually lasts for five turns that can take from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the number of fighters involved. In Rumbleslam, teams are owned by casinos, paid for with cold hard Dosh, paid for by you, the sponsor. When hiring your team, you and your opponent have to spend the same amount of Dosh. The casinos and their wrestling teams are -
  1. Kaiser's Palace. The Heavy Pounders (Humans, Halflings and Ogres) and Runic Thunder (Dwarves).
  2. Gomorrah. The Deadly Divas (Female Humans and Female Ogres) and the Twisted Shadows (Female Dark Elves, Shadowlings and Gorgons).
  3. Rolling Bones. The Cryptborn Nightmares (Undead) and the Green Bruisers (Orcs, Goblins and Trolls).
  4. The Forest Soul. The Cold Bloods (Lizardmen) and the Timber Fists (Amazonians, Sprites and Treemen).
  5. The Feral Den. The Furry Fury (Ratlings) and the Raging Beasts (Barbarians, Goatmen and Minotaurs).
In addition are the Free Agents, individual superstars who can be hired by any team, although they often favour one team over the others. Rather than explain how the rules work here I'll explain them when I run through a batrep between the two starter teams very soon.
 Here are the Green Bruisers ...
...and their opponents, the Heavy Pounders.
Please note that the figures are huge. A human stands roughly 40mm tall! Now this may be a problem to those of you who moan about scale-creep. But my argument is, if the figures are only ever going to be used in Rumbleslam, as mine most likely will, then does it matter how tall they are? I felt the same way about the figures for Rum and Bones. With the figures being so tall, the detail on them is exceptional. They are cast in resin and some come in multiple parts. They also come with clear plastic circular bases either 25mm or 50mm in diameter. I do not like these at all. I am not a fan of these transparent acrylic bases. I stuck my figures on MDF bases appropriate to the size of the figure. So the Goblins and Halflings are on 20mm diameter bases, the humans on 25mm diameter bases, the Orcs on 30mm diameter bases, the Ogre on a 40mm diameter base and the Troll on a 50mm diameter base.

The MDF ring in its unpainted form. Mine will be painted.
At present, I only have the two starter box teams but I have bought a couple of superstars for each of them, and I'll show them next time. The teams I am most interested in playing are the Cryptborn Nightmares, simply because of my love of all things undead, and the Twisted Shadows (sexy Dark Elves). I have placed an order for both teams, and I'll showcase them as soon as I paint them. They'll be going straight to the front of my painting queue. To be honest, I like all of the teams and the Free Agents. In time, I'd like to get all of the figures available for this game.
I have also ordered the Rumbleslam Deluxe Ring, which is a laser-cut MDF board of the ring and which looks most impressive. See the picture to the right.

I do realise that this is very much a niche game and it certainly won't appeal to those of you who don't like wrestling. But for me, it is a guilty pleasure and one I look forward to playing many times. The Rumbleslam starter boxed set costs £45.00 from the TT Combat webstore, see here - https://ttcombat.com/collections/rumbleslam/products/rumbleslam-starter-box
But if you shop around, you can find it cheaper on other webstores. For example, Element Games are only charging £40.50 for it. See here - http://elementgames.co.uk/wargames-and-miniatures/cult-steampunk-other-miniatures-games/rumbleslam/2-player-starter-box

Monday, 30 October 2017

Vampifans Views 97 - Monthly Musings 70

Welcome to another of my Monthly Musings and once again it has been a very busy month hobby-wise for me. But first I start as always, with my picture of Vampirella. This offering is by comic artist, David Rodriguez, whose work I am not familiar with. I do like the cartoony look of Vampi here and I think the gold glasses are a cool touch. The orange moon and sky put me in mind of pumpkins, which is appropriate seeing as Halloween is only just around the corner. I love Halloween and I already have my bag of goodies ready for the trick or treaters.

I'll start with some news about the RPG I am most excited about seeing and that is Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000 AD. Previews of some of the pages of the book are now available for viewing (see https://www.worldsof2000adrpg.com/news-previews/) and we have been given a release date of this winter. Yes, I know, that could mean late this year or early next year but it gives me something to look forward to. I'll be covering this game in great detail on my WOIN blog.

Speaking of my WOIN blog, have you checked out my The Ace of Spades Campaign there? Playing and writing about it is a total labour of love. The scenario I'm running my PCs through is very long (I'm currently up to part 08), full of atmosphere and detail, and the way I'm writing it up, makes it feel more like reading a sci-fi novel than a batrep. The PCs are people you want to know about and spend time with. Please check it out if you haven't already. You may just be pleasantly surprised. 😉
I showed this picture of the main NPCs who were appearing in my current scenario on my WOIN blog. The female in the centre attracted the most comments. She was produced by Asgard Miniatures as part of their sci-fi range of 28mm scale figures way back in the early 1980's. I thought that this range was long out of production but to my great surprise I have only just discovered that Alternative Armies have revived it. You can check it out here - https://www.alternative-armies.com/collections/space-marines-and-adventurers The female whom I named as Sheas Danelish is HA6 Adventuress with Laser Pistol and she costs £2.00. I can't tell you how happy I am to see them all available again even though I have them all.

Work continues on the painting of my figures for Dracula's America and Shadows of Brimstone. In addition, I have started painting the four figures I ordered for the Frazetta Miniatures Kickstarter - 2 versions of Vampirella, a werewolf and a chaos knight on horseback. Photos will appear as soon as they're finished. Suffice to say, these are incredibly detailed resin cast miniatures. The chaos knight came in 12 parts, including his base! I'm pulling out all the stops on the painting of these figures. They deserve time and care being lavished on them.
I have also been painting some of my growing collection of micro-scale starships for my The Ace of Spades Campaign. For someone who was never interested in starship combat gaming I have fully embraced this genre of the hobby. My primary source for the starships I have been buying is Brigade Models (see here - http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/Spaceships/index.html) Their range is very extensive and they have just what I'm looking for. I haven't decided whether to showcase them on this blog or on my WOIN blog.
Finally, I have also painted all of the figures that came with and which I added to for a brand new game that has tickled my fancy. It is called Rumbleslam, the game of fantasy wrestling and it is produced by TT Combat. Expect a full review very soon.
It is a really fun game but I realise it won't be to everyone's taste. That's okay. I don't mind.

Kickstarters - love 'em or loathe 'em? Personally, I love Kickstarters and I've backed many over the years. This month I've backed two. One was for the Resident Evil 2 game by Steamforged Games. Backing this was a no-brainer. It features zombies, so of course, I'm going to be interested in it. Plus, I'm a big fan of the Resident Evil films and books. Oddly enough, I have never played any of the computer games, but that's simply because I'm just not into computer games at all. I have far too much to do anyway without having to find time to play computer games. My brother, however, is heavily into computer games, so he keeps me up to date with them.
The other Kickstarter I backed this month was for the Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures by Paizo Inc. and Ninja Division. My reasons for backing this project are not so obvious. The Starfinder RPG was only released very recently and it certainly intrigued me. However, at roughly £70.00 for the rulebook, I was in no rush to buy it. My patience paid off because a month or so after its launch, Amazon UK were selling it for £40.00, so I bought it at this bargain price. Running at 528 pages, it is a massive book. I've started reading it but I'm only half way through it. As I read it I keep making comparisons to the N.E.W. RPG by EN Publishing, which I absolutely adore. The two systems have much in common but of the two, I much prefer N.E.W. It is a lot simpler to play and more importantly, it does not have a fixed setting, which Starfinder does. I pretty much knew that I'd prefer N.E.W. before I bought Starfinder so why buy it? That's easy - to pinch stuff from it to use in my The Ace of Spades Campaign. It has cool new races, weapons, equipment, vehicles and settings I can use. This also explains why I decided to back the Kickstarter campaign. The resin cast 28mm scale figures are just a joy to behold. The level of detail on them is incredible. And they also make starships as well, although not in 28mm scale! So, I'm looking forward to getting some ultra-high quality figures to use in N.E.W. instead of Starfinder. Just check out these five figures from the range. I was wondering why they looked so familiar to me and then the penny dropped - they're the five characters who appear on the front cover of the Starfinder rulebook. I really love that purple-haired female. She reminds me of Lieutenant Gay Ellis from Gerry Anderson's UFO TV series. 😍

Next month, Battle Systems are going to launch their first sci-fi game, which will come with new card terrain and 28mm scale figures - a first for them. I'm immensely looking forward to that one.

That's all for now. Take care and have fun - that's what the hobby is all about!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Kick Ass Figures

One of my favourite superhero films and graphic novels is Kick Ass. The film Kick Ass 2 was okay but nothing special, in my opinion. I only recently discovered Bad Squiddo Games run by Annie the Dice Lady, who is such a wonderful person. Whilst browsing through her excellent range of female miniatures, I saw that she had made two versions of Hit Girl from the movie. I had to have them to go along with my Hasslefree Miniatures version of Kick Ass himself. And here they are.
Dave Lizewski was an ordinary teenager who lived in Staten Island, New York. Inspired by comic books, Dave planned to become a real-life superhero. He purchased and modified a bodysuit, and armed himself with batons. During his first outing, he got stabbed and then hit by a car. After recovering, he gained a capacity to endure pain and enhanced durability. He named himself Kick Ass.
In the centre is Hit Girl, an 11 year old vigilante, who along with her father, Big Daddy, are the real superheroes of the film, even though they have no actual superpowers. Big Daddy's real identity is Damon Macready, formerly an honest cop. Framed by Mafia boss Frank D'Amico, he was jailed. His wife committed suicide, leaving behind his daughter Mindy. Against the protest of his former partner Marcus Williams, Damon trained himself and Mindy as preparation for getting revenge on Frank. They undermined Frank's operations by raiding his warehouses, robbing his money and destroying his drugs.
The third figure shown here is Mindy Macready the schoolgirl. After taking out Frank D'Amico and his gang, Dave and Mindy retired from crime-fighting. Marcus became Mindy's guardian, after Big Daddy was killed by Frank, and she enrolled at Dave's school. Their retirement lasted until Kick Ass 2 started.
These figures would work well in almost any superhero game and they complement each other so well. Great figures beautifully sculpted. The figure of Kick Ass is produced by Hasslefree Miniatures as HFA071 Aaron (named after Aaron Johnson who plays Kick Ass in the film). He costs £4.50 and can be found here - http://www.hfminis.co.uk/shop?product=aaron~hfa071&category=modern-%26%0D%0Apost%252dapoc~modern-adventurers The figures of Hit Girl and Mindy are sold as Vigilante Schoolgirls on the Bad Squiddo Games webstore and they cost £8.00. See here - http://badsquiddogames.com/shop#!/Vigilante-School-Girls-2/p/71819722/category=21735093

Monday, 23 October 2017

Dracula's America Crossroads Cult Faction

Here is the third of the factions from the Dracula's America: Shadows of the West skirmish war-game - the Crossroads Cult. A Crossroads Cult posse serves diabolical masters, masquerading as wealthy rail barons back east, and can call upon unnatural Abyssal Entities in battle. Native American posses can never join this faction.
At the far left is Maximillian Underwood, a Harbinger of the Abyss. He is the true diabolical power behind the throne of this faction. A Harbinger is Flying, Supernatural and automatically knows the Summon Arcane Power, but does not count as an Arcanist. If he is not Downed and is within 6" of their posse's Magister, then the Magister gets a +1 Die modifier on all of their Casting tests.
Next in line is Brother Zebulon, the Magister and boss of this posse. He automatically becomes an Arcanist for free. One of his three chosen Powers must be Summon.
The other two figures are both unique Abyssal Entities who must be Summoned. All Summoned models disappear at the end of a game - they do not increase a posse's Infamy and they cannot Advance or suffer Injuries. The monstrous, four-armed Abyssal Entity whose eyeless skull is crowned by four curling horns is a Major Entity called a Behemoth. Its Special Abilities are Fearsome and Flying.
At the far right is a Hell Hound, a Lesser Entity with the Fearsome Special Ability. The Behemoth and the Hell Hound can only be Summoned by the Crossroads Cult, which is why I have included them here.
These figures are all official Dracula's America sculpts produced by North Star. Set DRAC112 - Crossroads Cult contains the Harbinger, Magister and Hell Hound and costs £7.50 from the North Star webstore - http://www.northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=10762
The Behemoth can be bought separately as set DRAC108 - Abyssal Behemoth. This multi-part figure costs £6.00 from the same webstore - http://www.northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=10758
To complete this faction I need to add some standard Cultists. There are a number of companies who make Cultist figures. At the moment I'm favouring the male and female Cultist sets sold by Crooked Dice Games to use with this faction.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Dracula's America Red Hand Coven Faction

In the wake of the American Civil War, with the country struggling to regain its balance, Dracula seized power. The Count's thralls assassinated President Lincoln and his entire administration in a single night and, in the ensuing chaos, their master made his move. Dominating the Senate, he declared himself President for Life, and now rules the Union with fear and an iron fist. His vampire progeny, the Coven of the Red Hand, infest every strata of society and enforce Dracula's will with ruthless efficiency.
In this post I'm going to review my figures for the Red Hand Coven, my favourite faction for the Dracula's America: Shadows of the West game. This is currently my largest faction because I have combined the official North Star figures with a set of vampires from Pontoonier Miniatures. The two ranges complement each other rather well, in my opinion.
At the far left of this group of male vampires is a Brood Sire, the Boss of a Red Hand Coven faction. He, and the two figures to the right of him, are official Dracula's America figures produced by North Star. This ugly-looking creature looks just like one of the vampires of Clan Nosferatu from Vampire: the Masquerade.
The next two figures in line are both Broodkin. A Red Hand Coven faction may have two Broodkin in its posse. Like the Brood Sire, they are Supernatural, have a Move rate of 6", are Hard to Kill and they have the Transfix Arcane Power (even though they are not Arcanists). Note that they are both wearing red-tinted glasses. I have painted all of the other figures here with red eyes just to reinforce their supernatural aspect.
The two vampires at the far right were produced by Pontoonier Miniatures. The chap with the sabre is a lot taller than the other one. He is clearly 28mm scale and the other appears to be 25mm scale, unless he is meant to be so short. Curious! I had to stick the smaller one on a slottabase just to raise his height a bit to make him not look too under-scaled. The vampire with the sabre could be a Brood Sire or a Broodkin, whilst the smaller one is most likely a Broodkin.
Moving on, we have the female vampires. The one at the far left is my second favourite figure out of the official North Star Dracula's America range to date. My favourite is the Seraphim, whom I showed here. Sadly for me, she is classed as a Vampire Fledgling, a creature who appears as an Unwelcome Guest on the Supernatural Events table. These feral creatures, still clad in ragged clothing, were once ordinary folks but are now in the first throes of vampiric infection. They are little more than ravenous animals, driven only by the urge to feed. Vampire Fledglings are Supernatural and Mean. Given my love of female vampires, I will most likely use her as a Brood Sire, despite what the rulebook says.
The remaining three female vampires are all from the Pontoonier Miniatures Old West Vampire Cabal set of five figures. Again, these all appear to be 25mm scale, but I still find them usable. These would also be classed as Vampire Fledglings. I have given them all blood-smeared mouths to emphasise their feral natures. Note that all of my figures, apart from the Nosferatu, are wearing items of red clothing, as a nod to them being members of the Red Hand Coven.
The five Pontoonier Miniatures are set OWS010 Old West Vampire Cabal and they cost £12.50 from the Newline Designs webstore - http://newlinedesigns.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=490_508&zenid=64duvcck1kl1si82heufcl9203
The Nosferatu Brood Sire and two Broodkins are set DRAC104 Red Hand Coven and they cost £7.50 on the North Star webstore - http://www.northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=10754
You can get the female Vampire Fledgling as one of three figures from DRAC118 Dracula's America Characters (the other two are a Preacher and a Dark Confederate Revenant) also costing £7.50 from the North Star webstore - http://www.northstarfigures.com/prod.php?prod=10769
I am looking forward to pitting this faction against the Twilight Order in my first Dracula's America batrep. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Assorted Androids 01

Let me start this post with a question - what is the difference between an android and a robot? It is the issue of free will. An android is self-aware and has rights - a robot does not. In RPG games such as N.E.W. and Starfinder, androids can be player characters. This is another one of my posts that could have appeared on this blog or on my WOIN blog. I'm posting it here simply because it has crossover potential for other systems and isn't limited to just N.E.W.
These five 28mm scale figures come from a variety of companies. At the far left is a very old figure produced by Grenadier Miniatures for Cyberpunk 2020 and/or Shadowrun. He is a cyborg cop, heavily influenced by Robo-cop from the films of the same name. In the few games where I have used him, I've always referred to him as "Robo-cop". I have no idea if this figure is still available for sale or not. I know a lot of old Grenadier figures are still available but I'm uncertain about this particular one.
Next in line is a figure I bought very recently. She is Maria the female android produced by Reaper Miniatures as part of their Chronoscope range. She looks like a female version of C-3PO from Star Wars. However, her name is a dead giveaway on who she is really based on - Maria the Maschinenmensch (German for machine-person) or robot in Fritz Lang's 1927 film of Metropolis. The figure is a very good likeness of her and the sculpting of her is quite exquisite. You'll find her in the Reaper Chronoscope webstore as 50246: Maria - She-Bot where she is priced at £5.22.
In the centre of this group is Narindan, who is an android produced by Space Vixens From Mars. I have been buying quite a few figures from them this year to use in my The Ace of Spades Campaign. I only recently became aware of this company and I have been very impressed by their friendly and swift service... and reasonable prices. This figure is listed as SV36 and costs a very cheap £2.00.
Finally are two androids produced by Alternative Armies for their Ganesha Games sci-fi range. They bear a slight similarity to the B1 Battledroids seen in some of the Star Wars films but they are different. However, it is fair to say that my colour scheme for them was directly influenced by the B1 Battledroid. They are listed as PSY04 Combots and they cost £2.00 each.
Anyone who is following my The Ace of Spades Campaign on my WOIN blog will know that one of the crew of The Ace of Spades is an android. Celeste is the most mysterious of all of my player characters and could well be the most powerful if she really is a Forerunner survivor. That should tell you that I like androids. My main use for these figures will be for N.E.W. but don't be too surprised if some of them appear in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Alternative Armies Sci-Fi Figures 02

Following on from my last post here are some more of the Ganesha Games 28mm scale sci-fi figures produced by Alternative Armies. These four figures come from set PSY01 Psi Paladins. I guess the most obvious association with figures looking like these is with the Jedi Knights from Star Wars, and there is no reason why you couldn't use them in a Star Wars game. But for me, the reason why I bought them was to use them as Star Knights in the N.E.W. role-playing game.
In N.E.W. Star Knights are an elite order of warriors who are respected throughout the galaxy. They rarely use ranged weapons, preferring to engage their enemies with their laser swords. They also possess psionic powers, which makes them very similar to the Jedi Knights, albeit more openly accepted by society. Once again, I have taken the optional rules from N.E.W. to denote the types of laser swords they wield, with the colours being highly significant.
At the far left is a novice warrior who wields a blue laser sword. Blue is the standard laser sword colour and is the one described in the N.E.W. rulebook (see p.92). Technically, laser swords are not lasers; they are made of plasma contained in a magnetic field.
The female armed with twin green laser swords is slightly more proficient. If blue laser swords are classed as basic rank 1 weapons, then green laser swords are slightly better and are classed as rank 2. They represent peace and defence and are often used for deflecting energy blasts.
Moving up the ranks, yellow laser swords are classed as rank 3 and they are focused on melee defence, used by guardians throughout the centuries. The size of this figure's head suggests he is an android, which certainly could be possible, despite the fact that androids are non-psionic. Playing a non-psionic star knight would be an interesting challenge. Or conversely, perhaps he does possess psionic powers, making him unique amongst androids.
Finally, at the far right is the ultimate star knight, armed with a rare rank 5 purple laser sword. This weapon is a potent mix of offence and defence. His oriental look makes me think of him as a futuristic samurai. Certainly, he is a character to be respected.
Red laser swords, which I mentioned in my last post are classed as rank 4. The rarest of all laser swords are the black ones (rank 6), mainly (although not exclusively) used by those who have succumbed to the dark side of the Force. They cause damage which cannot be healed except by psionic (or magical) means.
There was an excellent article about laser swords published in EONS, the online magazine for WOIN a while back. I'd post a link to it but you have to be a subscriber to read it. Most of the info I have presented here came from that article.
These figures are all very beautifully sculpted with exquisite detailing. The hands holding the laser swords are separate castings and have to be glued in place. They cost £3.00 each and are available from here - https://www.alternative-armies.com/collections/ganesha-games-scifi/products/psy01-psi-paladins
I have yet to name any of these characters or work out their stats. I have already created one star knight character for my The Ace of Spades Campaign and she is a female Venetian. I'll show her in a later post. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Alternative Armies Sci-Fi Figures 01

I recently discovered a range of figures produced by Alternative Armies for their Ganesha Games 28mm scale sci-fi range. I was instantly attracted to them and ordered the complete range. I want to start my reviews of them with a look at the following four figures shown below.
At the far left is Graul Granite, a rock-like alien and a bodyguard of Lord Phalag. He does look a lot like Ben Grimm aka the Thing from Marvel Comic's The Fantastic Four. I have yet to decide what race he is. He could be a Boromite from Warlord Games Beyond the Gates of Antares game but seeing as I have no interest in that game at present, I doubt if I'll go down that path. Most likely I'll come up with my own stats for him. The figure is a two piece casting - upper body and lower body.
The figure that most intrigued me from this set is the one second from the left. He is Lord Phalag and most likely a human. He looks every inch the cruel despot, powerful crime-lord or planetary governor. I plan to use him as a crime-lord in my The Ace of Spades Campaign for my N.E.W. RPG that I'm running on my other blog. I also think he would be a great rival of Lord Valatrix in the Death Match game by Wargames Terrain Workshop. The figure is made of resin with the four lower panels of the hover chair and the familiar sitting on his shoulder being made of metal. The alien familiar very much reminds me of Salacious Crumb, Jabba the Hutt's familiar in the Star Wars films. Note that he is not supplied with a flying base. Fortunately, I have loads of spare ones. I attached him to the base with a piece of copper tubing.
The light turquoise skinned female second from the right is another member of Lord Phalag's retinue. She is called Skarra and is described as a mutant mindblaster, so that means she is a psyker. To me, she looks like a Yazirian, an ape-like race with wings who appeared in TSR's Star Frontiers sci-fi RPG. Or she could be a totally different species.
Sticking with the Death Match theme, the final figure is Lord Phalag's champion gladiator - Silas the Strong. He is clad in tight-fitting silver armour and he wields a laser sword. Note that in the N.E.W. game, the colour of a laser sword denotes its core properties. Red laser swords symbolise aggression and anger. They do more damage than other laser swords. That seemed highly appropriate for him. I'm in two minds about whether to add a shield to him. The way he's holding his left arm means it would easily fit on.
These figures are all currently available from the Alternative Armies web-store, see here - https://www.alternative-armies.com/collections/ganesha-games-scifi
Prices are £8.00 for Graul Granite, £5.00 for Lord Phalag, £2.00 for Skarra or £15.00 for all three. Silas costs £2.00 and is also available as part of the Techno-Barbarian pack of three figures. I am very impressed with this range of figures, especially as I can get double use out of them in Death Match and in my The Ace of Spades Campaign. I realise that I could just as easily have posted this review on my WOIN blog, but by posting it here, ensures it gets seen by a wider audience.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Shadows of Brimstone Heroes 03

I recently showed some of the new resin cast sculpts by Flying Frog Productions for their Shadows of Brimstone game. As well as making alternative figures for the eight original Heroes in the two starter sets, they also make new Heroes that you can add to your posse. I have three of the new Hero archetypes so far, but more are available. The ones I own are the Drifter, the Orphan and the Prospector. Each set comes with male and female versions, which I most certainly approve of.
At the far left are the two figures for the Drifter. A Drifter is an enigmatic and deadly force to be reckoned with. An expert shot, and the grittiest Hero around, the Drifter's skills as a fighter and a survivor are unmatched. His long years of experience can prove invaluable in helping the posse as a whole, but a darkness surrounds his past and seems to be almost drawn to him, making his presence a danger to all. No prizes for guessing who the male Drifter is based on - Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name from the Dollar trilogy of films. To me, the female has a Mexican vibe about her. They're both great figures.
In the centre are the two Orphans. Orphans have low Health, but can constantly bounce back from damage with their Youth ability. They are Quick and agile, moving before enemies at their Initiative level, and automatically passing all Escape tests, but do not have the discipline or strength to Dual Wield guns. An Orphan's greatest asset is her speed and manoeuvrability. Combine that with a mission of vengeance, and you have one tough cookie. It is nice to see some youngsters added to the mix of Heroes, as they are most often overlooked.
Finally, are the two Prospectors, at the far right of the group. One of the most hearty classes around, Prospectors have very high Health and Sanity, as well as a Miner's Canteen to heal up either. With a powerful Heavy Pick Axe and the ability to make Deathblows (a critical critical hit, or Crit Crit if you will), Prospectors may be slow but they can deal out horrendous damage when the chips are down. This combined with their Crotchety nature, preventing them from using guns or Tech items, means the Prospector's focus is as a close quarters tank in the field. Their Expert Miner ability also means that they will never be short of Gold or Dark Stone, and can even help those around them get rich along the way. The male Prospector is very heavily laden with loads of gear. The female looks quite formidable with her dark glasses.
Every one of these figures has been superbly sculpted in resin. The detail on them is crisp and sharp. Sadly, these are not easy to get hold off outside of the USA, and they are quickly sold out when they appear in the web-store. I acquired all of mine from sellers on eBay. None of these were cheap as they are highly sought after and are swiftly snapped up. It is such a shame they aren't more widely available.
I haven't named any of these yet, but the male Drifter will almost certainly be used as the Man With No Name in my games.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Vampifans Views 96 - Monthly Musings 69

This month's Vampirella picture is the third of a trio painted by Bo Hampton, featuring my favourite vampire with Batman. Here they are looking out across Gotham City from their rooftop vantage point. It is a very good illustration.

So, what have I been up to this month? Figure painting has been going extremely well. I'm still working on my figures for the Dracula's America game, and I'm working on the vampire faction known as the Red Hand Coven at the moment. I hope to be able to show them next month. I have also been painting a lot of sci-fi figures to use in my N.E.W games.

Speaking of which, this month saw the start of my The Ace of Spades Campaign on my other blog (see here - https://vampifanwoin.blogspot.co.uk/  )
Kimberley and the crew of The Ace of Spades have accepted a job from a young farmer to help protect his colony from a bunch of marauding bandits. So far, so good but that is all about to change as they set sail for the colony on the planet, Breuse. This is very much a narrative campaign, with little mention of the rules, so if you fancy reading an epic sci-fi space opera, give it a view.

For me the highlight of this month was the arrival of my Battle Systems Sci-fi 2 terrain sets from the Kickstarter I had backed. The postman struggled to carry the box indoors as it was so heavy! Oh boy, did I order a lot of stuff. This is what I received - 2 Frontier sets and 2 Galactic sets and one of each of the following add-ons - Arrival Bay, Detention Cells, Epidemic Infestation, Gothic Crawler, Gothic Walls, Medical Research Lab, Outlands set and a Particle Transmitter. These sets are just superb!
This photo taken from my The Ace of Spades Campaign represents a hotel bar and uses some of the walls from the Galactic set, a control panel from the same set along with furniture items from the Urban Apocalypse sets. It is easy to mix and match elements from the different sets. I haven't made any big builds yet but what I have been doing is making lots of furniture items and set dressings, like that control panel shown above. You'll be seeing a lot of these new sets in my The Ace of Spades Campaign and in future Judge Dredd Miniatures Game batreps. Indeed, the main reason why I haven't been posting more JDMG batreps recently is that I have been waiting for these new sci-fi terrain sets to arrive. With them, I can really bring Mega City One to life.

I don't have much else to report this month, so I'll sign off and wish you well. Take care, folks.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Shadows of Brimstone Heroes 02

It has been a while since I posted anything for the Shadows of Brimstone game, but my enthusiasm for Dracula's America has reignited my passion for the Weird Wild West. I have recently been painting a lot of figures for these two games, and still am. One of the things I liked about Shadows of Brimstone is that you had the option of playing male or female versions of each of the heroes provided in the game. However, sadly, the two starter sets, City of the Ancients and Swamps of Death only came with figures of one sex, and they were predominantly male. Six of the eight Heroes were the male versions. Fortunately, Flying Frog Productions have rectified this oversight and have produced alternate sex figures for the eight original Heroes. Here they are.
The first thing to note is that these figures are made of resin, whereas the original Heroes were made of hard plastic. The second thing to note is that the detail on these new figures is very sharp and vastly superior to their plastic counterparts. Most of these new figures are multi-part castings. I found that they went together very well. I used Superglue on them, which worked very well. I named all of the original Heroes but I haven't yet got round to naming any of these.
In this line-up, from left to right, are the Bandida, the Indian Scout, the Nun (counterpart of the Preacher) and the Piano Player (the counterpart of the Saloon Girl).
Moving on, in this group from left to right are the Gunslinger, the Rancher, the U.S. Marshal and the Law-man (technically, she should be called a Law-woman). Stats for these alternate figures are identical to the original versions.
Now, thankfully, players have the option to chose whatever sex of a Hero they want to play. Some may favour an all-male posse, whilst others may prefer an all-female posse. Or you can mix and match if you so want. I am delighted that Flying Frog Productions have taken this step. These new figures are simply superb sculpts. I should point out that there are also resin versions of some of the original plastic Heroes available  - the Bandido, the Gunslinger, the Rancher and the Saloon Girl. I don't have any of them yet, but I am very tempted to buy them. Each resin Hero costs $8.00 from the Flying Frog webstore. However, I bought all of mine from eBay at very reasonable prices. That said, they very rarely appear for sale on eBay, so if you really want them it would probably be best to order them direct from the official webstore.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Dracula's America Twilight Faction

Last month I mentioned that I had received a whole bunch of figures and rulebook for a Weird Wild West skirmish wargame called Dracula's America: Shadows of the West. I have already painted quite a few of the official 30mm scale figures produced by North Star for this game and in this post I want to show you the figures belonging to one of the six main factions of the game - the Twilight Order.
The Twilight Order are amongst the bravest and most skilled of the forces of good and light as they fight to keep at bay the insidious forces of darkness and evil. Their forces are made up of Crusaders, Templars, preachers, ordinary gunmen and very occasionally, majestic otherworldly Seraphim.
From left to right are two Crusaders equipped with plate armour and weapons loaded with silver bullets. A Twilight Order faction may include two Crusaders in its posse. In the centre is a Seraphim. Wrathful, angelic beings borne aloft on majestic white-feathered wings, the Seraphim are Heaven's warriors in the guise of hauntingly beautiful gunslingers sent to aid the righteous in their war against evil. This creature must be summoned before it may join a posse and will leave when the encounter is over. She is armed with two Blessed pistols loaded with silver bullets that will never jam. Next in line is a Templar. A throwback to the Twilight Order's medieval origins, the Templars' methods of combatting the forces of evil have remained unchanged for centuries. Though somewhat out of place in the modern age, many posses have found cause to be thankful for the presence of these determined and ruthless warriors. He is armed with a Blessed great sword and wears full plate armour. Finally, is an ordinary preacher, whose stern admonishment or uplifting verse can inspire even the yellowest of hearts. He is armed with a sawn-off shotgun.
The reason why I chose to complete this faction first is simply because it contains my favourite figure out of the full range of Dracula's America figures and she is the Seraphim. Most surprising, given how much I like vampires, it was this one figure that captured my imagination the most. I think she is simply stunning! The full page illustration of her in the rulebook is even more beautiful than the figure is. To be fair, all of the figures in this range have been superbly sculpted by Mark Copplestone, but for the Seraphim I think he has really outshone himself.
I have the leaders of all six factions painted and once I finish painting the other figures for a faction I'll showcase them on this blog. I'll also be showing other figures that are extremely compatible with this fun little game. I do want to post a batrep of the game but sadly that must wait until next year by which time I ought to have amassed enough Wild West buildings to do it justice.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Death Match Horned Hominid and Recnac

Here are two more beasts produced by Wargames Terrain Workshop to use in the Death Match arena. Sculpted by Dave Stone, these are very tall figures but seeing as they are alien beasts, does that really matter? Here then are the huge Horned Hominid and the deadly Recnac.
The huge Horned Hominids originate from a lush vegetative planet. In the wild, Horned Hominids live in family pods of one alpha male and several females. As the male young get older, they split off and create a new pod. Only the males are used in the arena as they are highly aggressive and a lot easier to provoke into fighting. The females have a strong aggressive nature as well, however, it only comes out when protecting their young from imminent threat. In Death Match, the Horned Hominids have two special abilities. First is Charger - whenever this beast moves, treat that move as if it were a charge and add 1 hit to this beast's attack. Second is Large - certain rules and abilities apply to large beasts. Large beasts are easier to hit with a ranged attack - any stars rolled in a ranged attack against a large beast count as hits. This impressive figure stands 93mm tall and is a multi-part model. Note the little lizard crawling on its base. That's a nice touch that I like.
Found on desert planets, Recnacs hunt using heat vision. They have a deadly sting in their tail. However, their mouth can be just as dangerous. Territorial creatures, the Recnac is usually found alone, however, there have been cases where more than two have been found sharing territory. Ultimately, a predatory creature, it attacks when its territory is being invaded. In Death Match, the Recnac has three special rules. First is Heat Vision - when selecting a "nearest player or beast" for the Recnac to approach, the Recnac will select a Scabendi if it is within 4 inches. Any further than that and the Recnac is unable to "see" the Scabendi. A Lava Salamander will always count as the "nearest player or beast" for the Recnac. Second is Stinger - if the Recnac is engaged with a player or beast that has suffered less than half damage, it will attack with its tail. It has a base attack of 1 hit, rolls 2 red dice and scores a knock-back on 2 successful hits rather than the usual 3. Third is Powerful Jaws - if the Recnac is engaged with a player or beast that has suffered half damage or more, then it will attempt to finish it off with its powerful jaws. The jaws have a base attack of 2 hits and roll 2 red dice. The figure of the Recnac stands 78mm tall and is 78mm long.
Both beasts are available to buy from the Wargames Terrain Workshop (see here - http://wargamesterrainworkshop.co.uk/?product_cat=death-match&paged=2
) The male Horned Hominid costs £15. Note that Dave also makes a female Horned Hominid (price £8.00) and a baby Horned Hominid (price £2). A set of all three is available for £20.00, saving you a fiver. The Recnac costs £9.00. By the way, Dave told me that Recnac is "cancer" spelled backwards. A piece of useless trivia for you! Given the size of these two beasts, they are very impressive models and I found them a joy to paint.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Death Match Lava Salamander and Deathcoil Beast

In Death Match, not only must the gladiators fight each other, but also various alien beasts. The sabre-tooth razorback, an animal indigenous to Traventi, was the first exotic beast to be introduced to the games in 2588. To accommodate the latest addition, four pods were built around the outside of the arena equidistant from each other. With large sliding doors, the sabre-tooth razorbacks were housed in those pods before being released one at a time into the game. Since then, Lord Valatrix has assembled numerous teams of hunters to bring even more beasts into the arena, as the introduction of the sabre-tooth razorback was so successful. Here are two of the newer beasts to appear in the arena - the Lava Salamander and the Deathcoil Beast.
The Lava Salamander, shown at the left in my two photos, is native to volcanic regions and the sight of it jumping in and out of lava pools is truly majestic. Hunting armoured fish, their teeth are adept at tearing through armour finding weak spots. Tough armour plating covers its body to protect itself in its natural environment. Its special ability in the game is that it treats any stars it rolls on its defence dice as blocks.
Various species of Deathcoil Beasts have been found in varying climates from dense jungle to vast deserts. They were originally considered to be only from the Scabendi home planet, however, they have since been found on other planets. Their front legs are used to drag themselves along and can move at lightning fast strike speeds. However, this speed cannot be used for a prolonged period. Victims are crushed, making it easier for the Deathcoil Beasts to swallow them. Prey can be as large as themselves, with a triple jaw, their mouth can open as large as needed.
In Death Match, the Deathcoil Beast has two special abilities. Constrictor - if the beast's combat roll scores 2 stars, then in addition to any normal damage inflicted, the victim also becomes ensnared in the beast's constricting tail. An ensnared victim may take no action other than a fight action against the Deathcoil. Secondly, Down in One - when the Deathcoil Beast is in combat with an ensnared model, its dice roll becomes 2R instead of 1R,1G. In addition, if its combat roll against an ensnared model scores 2 stars then the opposing model is swallowed whole. A swallowed model has one more chance to fight its way out of the beast's stomach. When it next activates, it rolls 2 red dice - on a score of 3 hits or more the victim escapes and the Deathcoil suffers 4 damage. On a score of 4 hits, the victim bursts forth from the beast's gut with a flourish - the Deathcoil is killed and if the escaping model is a gladiator, he gains 1 Favour Token.
Only a model smaller than the Deathcoil can be ensnared or swallowed. If the Deathcoil already has an ensnared victim and rolls 2 stars against another model, the original victim is freed in favour of the new one.
These are two interesting beasts. I like the Deathcoil Beast the most, despite suffering very badly against it when I played Death Match with the game's creator, Dave Stone. My gladiator got ensnared by it, allowing Dave's gladiator free attacks against me, which eventually killed my poor gladiator.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Death Match Lord Valatrix and Concubines

In the year 2579, the planet Traventi had become a cesspool of crime. The poor were either preyed upon or forced to turn to a life of crime just to survive. The planet contained 40 provinces each with its own Lord. Each province was struggling with criminal activity with more of the population becoming imprisoned by the day.
A year later the prisons were overrun. With more criminals arriving each week the prison wardens looked for a way to keep the population down. Some of the wardens started to pit criminals on death row against each other in trials of combat to help keep the prison numbers down. These trials were crude and barbaric; two inmates were tossed swords and instructed that one would eat that day and one would die. Inmates surrounded the the two in combat lining the walls and watched until one triumphed. Lord Valatrix was asked to visit his prison as the wardens had run out of ways to keep the prison population down. A trial of combat had just been started by the wardens and upon entering, Valatrix caught the exchange. Struck by an idea that could help keep the prison populations down permanently and create massive riches, the Death Match games were created. They became a huge success and soon saw alien races and beasts being introduced into the games as their popularity extended far and wide across the galaxy.
These three figures from Wargames Terrain Workshop show Lord Valatrix, the creator of the Death Match gladiatorial games, and two of his alien concubines. I should point out that these are all very big figures, that may be too big for some of you. The fact that they are aliens means I'm not at all bothered how tall they are. Lord Valatrix. in the centre of the group, is 48mm tall and 60mm wide from the edges of his cushions. The blue-grey skinned mutant concubine is 60mm long and the feline concubine is 57mm long from the tips of her toes to the tips of her fingers.
I have to say that I like these figures a lot and whilst they don't do anything in the actual Death Match game, I just think they are great spectator figures. I'd certainly like to develop Lord Valatrix as a non-player character for my N.E.W. role-playing game. He'd make an ideal crime lord. Note that the blue-grey skinned mutant concubine has three breasts. I shall say no more on that matter. The feline concubine is by far my favourite figure out of this set. As a cat lover, I have a fondness for feline alien races. This particular figure has been exquisitely and very cleverly sculpted. I say "cleverly" because incredibly, she is a one-piece casting. When Dave Stone, who sculpted her came to visit me, I asked him how on earth it was possible to cast her in one piece? Dave enigmatically replied that it was a trade secret. The more I look at her the more I'm stumped how he did it! Dave, you're a genius!
Lord Valatrix costs £7.00, the mutant concubine costs £6.00 and the feline concubine costs £5.00. All are available from the Wargames Terrain Workshop web-store found here - http://wargamesterrainworkshop.co.uk/?product_cat=death-match&paged=1
If anyone would like them for free I have a spare set available. Just leave a comment saying you'd like to own them and I'll draw out the lucky winner by the end of this month and announce his name when I post this month's Monthly Musings. Note that my spare set is unpainted.