Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rebasing Project

Miniature basing has always been a struggle for my perfectionist brain. As long as I'm playing on a table where the terrain matches the bases of my figures, it's fine. But when I'm playing on a desert world with woodland bases...well, it just bothers me.

So I decided to try a solution I stumbled upon a while ago: Clear Acrylic Bases. Since I play All Things Zombies on a variety of terrain, I decided to convert some of my zombie bases to see how I liked the results. I ordered 100 bases from Litko and I was off and running.
Here are zombies with my original base style.
These were to resemble asphalt and cement for urban terrain.
Fine for the city, not so much for the woods.
(Gulp!)
This was the hard part because of the idea of taking a knife to finished minis! 
Zombies with Clear Acrylic Bases.

Zombies surge out of the woods, across the gravel berm and onto a paved road.
You get a sense of how the clear bases allow figures to flow through different terrain.
I really like how this turned out. I've converted all my zombies and am starting on my survivors/gangers. It is not a perfect solution - that would be models that stood without any base at all - but I like how this works. In fact, I like it so well I've converted my Reaper fantasy figures I use for D&D... 

Reaper Fantasy figures.
The characters blend seamlessly into my Dwarvenforge Caverns.
I like how the eye is drawn to the model and not the base.
Works equally well with the Dwarvenforge City Builder.
One has to really look closely to see the bases.
Even as the dwarf moves from the sidewalk to the street, you get a sense he is "in" the environment,
not just sitting on top of it.
I am thrilled with this look and will be working on converting all my fantasy and All Things Zombie collections. Traditional basing, with that diorama-like quality, is cool for display models. But for game pieces, I really like how this works.

I'm interested in what you think or if others have tried this. Let me know your thoughts.

Until next time, carry on!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dwarvenforge Caverns

I'm continuing to collect Dwarvenforge modular terrain. I've accumulated a fair bit from their caverns set. It's great stuff and I thought I'd share a few pics just for fun.
Sample layout, aerial view.

Some Reaper figures make their way through the caves.
(STILL need to finish those bases...)

Crossing the bridge.
"You shall not pass!"
One of my favorite Reaper figs posed to hide that awful white base. : )

Until next time, carry on!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

All Things Zombie Returns!

I pulled together a couple friends Friday night for some All Things Zombie. The players were both new to the game so I played as the referee and ran the scenario. I created a Search Mission where the players had to secure a safe place to stay for the night. I loaded up a farmer and his wife as one PEF, a rogue cop as another, and a mom and her two kids as a third. Not all of these would automatically be generated by PEF resolution, but were possibilities on a d6 chart I made. The rest of the entries on the chart were zombies.

This was a one off scenario in a rural area with the farmhouse as the main feature. Since I was refereeing, I said the farmer and his wife (Mr. and Mrs. Brown) would be in the house if they did not generate as a PEF. Too bad, considering what happened...

Both of our heroes, Shawn and Ed, are stars with Rep 5. Shawn has a sawed-off shotgun and a cricket bat. Ed has a katana and a pistol. I did not use attributes as I was keeping things simple for my friends who were unfamiliar with the game.

I took a few pics throughout the game, but did not really log each turn in full. I think I've captured the flow of it though.

My idea was that the heroes would have to gain entry to the house and convince the Browns, one way or the other, to let them stay, all while dodging zombies and trying to stay alive. Of course, as is often the case in ATZ, it did not turn out that way at all...
The Farmstead. The main road runs east to west - right to left in this photo.
A look down the lane.
The house is a Stoelzel's Structures farmhouse.
The shed is scratch-built.
The rest of the terrain is random bits I've collected over the years.
My collection of zombies and humans.
Not a huge hoard, but plenty for most of my games.
Our heroes, Shawn and Ed, started on the east end of the highway.
They opted to cut though the hedge and run along the tree line on the east board edge.
Wise choice, considering all the zeds generated at the start of the game were randomly placed in the road.
This probably should have been a sign of how the luck was going to go for this game.
Shawn and Ed make their way towards the propane tank and the back of the shed.
Suddenly the farmhouse erupts into flame!
(We rolled doubles for activation and drew an event card.)
Tough break for our heroes, considering they were planning to stay there for the night.
Even tougher break for the Browns, who are about to lose their home.
You can see the PEFs hovering around the house as it goes up in smoke.
Then the alarm on the car in front of the house started to shriek.
(We had another doubles and an event card.)
Things went down the crapper pretty quickly.
A couple turns later zombies are closing in.
Our heroes have crossed the field, killing a few zeds on the way.
The PEF in front of the house resolves as a mom and her two preteen children.
Marie and the kids choose to join our heroes, but the relief of having a bigger group is short lived.
The zombies around the shrieking car pounce on Marie and the kids!
Before Shawn or Ed can do anything, the girl is ripped to shreds while Marie screams curses and the boy fights for his life.
Shawn leaps forward to help the boy but is bashed and stunned by a lucky zed.
Ed wades in and barely keeps the zeds from feasting on the girl.
Marie fires her pistol wildly, hitting nothing.
With the burning house and the car alarm, it's chaos!
Meanwhile, from the field, the zeds are quietly closing in on the noise. 
The survivors manage to finish off the zeds in melee and move to cover near the car.
Ed is able to hot wire the car to shut the alarm off as the rest of the gang blasts away.
A flurry of bullets and shotgun blasts takes down a number of zeds, but they keep coming.
It's a bloodbath in the yard as the flames fully engulf the house.
The heat is terrific, but our heroes fight on.
A view of the propane tank and fuel yard from the woods to the east.
Everyone remembers the house is on fire and this is a fuel yard, right?
Finally, the last zed is felled.
The survivors move to investigate the shed.
Maybe they could stay here for the night?
But what about the heat from the house? Isn't this a fuel shed?!
The survivors choose the better part of valor.
After a few more turns, they open the shed to find enough fuel for the van.
Surprisingly, the keys to the van are in the ignition.
Taking what they can, the heroes pile into the van and head off down the road, churning gravel. Behind them, as they turn onto the highway, a fireball erupts into the sky. The sound of the explosion rolls like thunder through the night.

"I guess there was propane in that tank after all," says Ed calmly.


"Yup," says Shawn, equally passive.


Marie lays on the back seat holding her son, the two of them weeping quietly.


So, not the most successful mission. Although, to have a fully fueled vehicle is nothing to dismiss lightly. Still, I sure hope the Browns weren't home after all!

We had a great time! My friends are hooked and want to play again. I'm hopeful that we might even get a regular game night going.

Until next time, carry on!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dwarvenforge City Builder

I've been slowly collecting Dwarvenforge terrain, particularly the City Builder stuff. I think it is spectacular, though it is expensive. Here are some pics just because I think this stuff looks great.

Quiet village street.
Street level view. Stone Cottage at the end of the street.
Two story tudor house. 
Looking out an alley.
The paving here is actually floor tiles from the Caverns set.
Another view.
The detail is very good and the factory paint jobs are better than I could have done myself. But it's the modular system that makes it really great stuff. You can build almost anything with it.

A small inn with some Reaper figures.
(The bases on the figures are yet to be finished)
A larger inn with expanded floors and a rear wing. 
The side door.
(The patio space here is a floor piece from the Caverns set) 
At the sign of the Prancing Pony.
Drone view.
The chimneys and gable section stick on with magnets.
The interiors are finished also. They have furnishings you can buy but I haven't bought any yet.

Second floor with stairwell.
First floor. Stairs are removable.
As I said, it's modularity is what makes it really useful.
Wall sections, stone and tudor, and a cavern floor tile.
The complete parts for the stone cottage seen above.
As you can see, it's really stellar stuff. You can buy it unpainted for less money, but since I have less time and more money, I went with the painted.

Until next time, carry on!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dads and Daughters D&D Characters

When 5th Edition D&D came out, I gathered some of my old high school D&D buddies and started a very occasional gaming group. Since we live a few hours drive away, we've only met about once a quarter, but we make a whole weekend of it. After our first game session, we incorporated our teenage daughters and nieces into the game. We call it "Old Guys D&D" or "Dads & Daughters D&D", depending on our mood. I've been DMing, and we've been having a blast!

I've been painting some figures for character models. These are all from Reaper and have been a joy to paint. I've used Reaper paints and Vallejo washes. Simple photos from my iPhone, but I think you get the idea. I still need to finish the bases, but wanted to share some WIP photos.

My daughter's elven druid character.
One friend's daughter's wizard.
A friend's dwarf cleric.
A friend's human fighter.
A friend's halfling wizard.
There are three more in the party. I will post them when they are finished. I hope you like these. Feel free to comment below.

Until next time, carry on!