20 January 2017

Scrap Mecha fighting in MUTANT universe

A while back I visited my friend Thomas and tried out another of his homebrewed games/rules. The idea was to build a mech-fighting game in the world of MUTANT as a companion to MUTANT:Kriget, but focus mainly on large machines bashing each other and throwing objects around on the table.

Much of the core mechanics differ from the previous game which focuses on skirmish warbands, this game borrows ideas and builds heavily on the activation system of the boardgame Dead of Winter. In Dead of Winter you have characters who have abilities that can be activated on certain D6 results, and you generate a pool of resources to pick from each turn. In this game likewise you roll some D6 dice at the start of the game equal to the power level of the mecha and then distribute it as you see fit, depending on what you want to do each turn. Action consist of walking, running, picking up/manipulating/throwing objects, shooting, reloading etc.

Each part of the mech also has several armor values depending if you hit the soft rear or the hard front area, parts can break and your mecha can start losing power making activation more difficult and you can also run out of ammunition and such. It was a very well developed and detailed set of rules, and Thomas had managed once again to make a game from scratch that felt like a ready to be sold product. It would be wonderful if he could gather his ideas in a book and sell them, maybe I can talk him into running a Kickstarter or something :-D

In our demo run we tried a mexican standoff with 3 individual mechas. Despite their different looks they all worked in the same way as we were testing the basic builds to see what needed tweaking. The idea is to make mechas of different tonnage to make close combat assaults favor heavier mechs when ramming, and make lighter mechs more nimble. All models are kitbashed custom vehicles that Thomas built himself.

Enjoy the pictures!

17 January 2017

Kingdom Death Monster boardgame review

My friend Thomas bought the Kingdom Death monster v.1 with the previous Kickstarter and came by a couple of weeks ago to show off the game and we played a partial campaign spanning "4 lantern years" which was enough to play the introduction scenario, 2 hunts and have a faceoff with the first boss "The Butcher".

I didn't really know much about the play mechanics having read just a little in advance and what I found was a mixed bag of thoughts and impressions. This post will be kind of a review/battle report merged into one.

Kingdom Death Monster is a campaign driven boardgame that combines character development, base building, research and tactical combat into one game. The setting is some kind of nightmarish reality where people wake up in a world of darkness, with no language, culture, knowledge or anything to keep them together - in your case a group of people wake up and are attacked by a large creature looking like a lion.

The game starts with a desperate attempt of survival where 4 humans attempt to fight and kill an attacking beast. Those that survive this first encounter bond together and form a small tribe of sorts, and the backbone of your civilization is born. After the first victory a small settlement is formed and players have to decide how to use materials foraged from the carcass of dead monsters (sometimes also fallen humans) to craft buildings, tools and weapons. Each "year" in the game sees further development of your civilization, as they learn about life and death, language, music, sculpting, weapon crafting see your settlement grow as more buildings are constructed and new humans are born. 

A "lantern year" as the game calls it, is broken into a couple of phases, but each year includes a hunting for monsters phase, character development phase and settlement development phase. There is an ultimate ending, which I think is 20-25 lantern years. Over that time you will die with lots of people in combat, but others will also grow old and not be able to go out on any more hunts. As such you will be raising and training new hunters over the campaign and probably never have characters that are experts in everything.  Though people are replaced on a regular basis, you could take comfort in knowing that items, buildings and your civilization remains intact for most of your campaign.

15 January 2017

Blood Bowl Skaven team painted up

Third and last team from Black Scorpion Miniatures painted up. Had these painted for a couple of weeks but had not finished the bases on them until now, there is also a backlog of boardgames and miniature wargames posts that I need to write and post - I have not been very active lately but will try to increase the number of posts on the blog once again.

The Skaven team from Black Scorpion Miniatures is decent in the makeup, with 2 runners, 2 blitzers, 1 catcher and 6 Linemen. The Rat Ogre is a separate add-on that I purchased. You should probably buy more runners to make it more competitive but it does work quite OK as it is.

I'm pretty happy with the skin on the rats which was painted using both "Lifecolor" skintones with a "Citadel" Ratsjub Flesh at the very middle of the skin palette.

The way the skin is painted was using the following "Lifecolor"  Diorama series flesh paints. This particular set of paints includes: 
  • UA 707 Flesh 2° Light
  • UA 708 Flesh 1° Light
  • UA 709 Flesh 1° Base
  • UA 710 Flesh 2° Base
  • UA 711 Flesh 1° Shadow
  • UA 712 Flesh 2° Shadow
Not all of those paints have been used for the rats, but I can highly recommend the paints as they are fantastic for painting flesh and give a great result.

1) Undercoat Flesh 2nd Shadow
2) Basecoat Flesh 1st Shadow 
3) 50-50 mix of Flesh 1 shadow and flesh 2nd base
4) Citadel Ratskin Flesh
5) Flesh 1st Base
6) 50-50 mix of Flesh 1st base and Flesh 1st light
7) Final highlights of areas around eye, lips etc with Flesh 1st Light

Finally a size comparison between the races from Black Scorpion Miniatures

20 December 2016

Blood Bowl Dwarf team painted up

Second team from the manufacturer Black Scorpion Miniatures painted up. Just like with the Dark Elves these are good (and durable/non brittle) resin castings. I really liked the look of these and the team composition is perfect with 5 linemen, 2 blitzers, 2 runners and 2 troll slayers - 850.000 gold which allows you to purchase 3 re-rolls to get a great team!

I wanted something colorful, and also wanted to avoid using metallic paints, so I went with yellow, blue and blue for the mayor colors using extreme highlights to continue the more cartoony look of my Dark Elves. This is something I plan to continue using on the remaining Blood Bowl teams I have yet to paint (Skaven, Orcs and a new Human team).

As an experiment I have been painting minis using white undercoat on the Dark Elves and Dwarfs, it was a pain in the ass to be honest as you lose a lot of the dark lines when block painting. Here I had to use black paint in most deep parts of the minis and washes to make sure enough shading was provided. On the other hand the bright colors came out better than when I used black undercoat. Another tradeoff using white undercoat is that it took a great amount of paint to cover the sand on the bases, whereas using black I just drybrush with various brown colors.

On the upcoming Orcs and Skaven I will revert to black undercoat to make the painting process faster.
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