17 June 2018

Workbench Rampant

After a few months in which I've been using my desk for non-gaming creativity, I've has a burst of mojo. Geeking hasn't been abandoned in the interim, however, and my two sons and I are nearly half way through a 2-teams-each Bloodbowl league.


Fortunately I can fit two pitches side by side so the little Rablings can fluke their way to victory over me simultaneously... I am actually a little miffed that I've taught the older one to play skaven so effectively!

25 March 2018

RaBBL season 1



Good afternoon, sports fans, and welcome to round two of the inaugural RaBBL league!

Last week saw a fantastic double-header with the Vantius Villains from the Northern wastes beating the pre-season favourites Moloch's Malefactors 3-1, although taking a pummeling in doing so. Meanwhile, the chaotic Beastly Bonecrunchers edged to a 2-1 win over the World's Edge Wyverns orc team.

And now we get the winners of those two matches competing to take an early lead in the championship. The weather is beautiful, the crowd of 18,000 are ugly as sin, the two teams (and their coaches!) are slavering psychopaths... perfect!

26 February 2018

Orc archers 1

He was sitting with his back to a great tree, as if he was resting. But Aragorn saw that he was pierced with many black-feathered arrows; his sword was still in his hand, but it was broken near the hilt; his horn cloven in two was at his side. Many Orcs lay slain, piled all about him and at his feet.

One of the arguments I regularly trot out to the incomparable Mrs Rab about why I'm painting "horrible, ugly monsters" is that without such horrible, ugly monsters, how are the heroes to prove themselves? Tolkien (of whom she is sensibly an admirer) understood this and so, while he further understood that the worst monsters could be apparently fair or only temporarily wicked (Boromir himself...), I picked half a dozen older Citadel orcs as the next victims of my brush, of whom the first three are now complete.


17 February 2018

Double figures

With a grunt of "It'll do!" I put down my brush and reached double figures of completed miniatures for 2018 and also completed the set of current characters (seven, plus a dog and a choice of two characters to replace the latest one Ed killed) for my currently-paused old-school D&D campaign, Averaigne.

The latest two figures are the (previously unknown to me) adventurer variant of Mimbrin from the Dwarf King's Court boxed set from 1982 - exactly the same figure but with a great big pack slung across his back - and a masked wizard that caused me much irritation to paint. Still, no regrets and no do-overs this year, so he'll have to face eldritch what-nots and delve into long forgotten dungeons just as he is!



Assuming that "Mimbrin" will take on an NPC role, the photo below shows the party at full strength.



28 January 2018

Ain't no party like a D&D party...

... 'cos a D&D party don't stop until they're out of healing potions and all the clerics are dead!

If that's the case, this party should keep going for a little while as they have not one, but two fully-fledged clerics, as well as a fighter who has a newfound devotion to the god of safe passage to the afterlife and is seeking holy orders.

Still phone photos, but this is what I've painted this month...


20 January 2018

D&D party - WIP 2

Those of you who lie awake at night, worrying over my ability to finish painting any figures to completion need fret no longer. At the end of week three of 2018 I have finished three figures, and am probably only one session away from finishing three more. I've amazed even myself!

Here are the current three WIP figures (two Ral Partha, and I think the dog is one of Farmer Maggot's hounds from GW's film tie-in range). I'll save showing the finished miniatures until the whole adventuring party is complete and, if I'm feeling brave, varnished.


These figures represent Dumnorix (cleric of Alathea and righteous smiter), dog (who hasn't appeared in our adventures yet; he's one of the two additional pieces that got lifted from the shelf of shame to join this project), and Nausicaa (elf of great diplomacy, great hair, and great boots).

15 January 2018

D&D party - WIP 1

I'm enjoying painting up these Ral Partha figures for the current characters in my Averaigne campaign which we're playing using the BFRPG rules for a retro-D&D experience. All are WIP, and just snapped with my phone - proper photographs will happen when I finish a batch of them. There are eight characters in total, and two extra pieces if I get round to it. The plan is to complete them all by the end of February.

Gwen Smoll
A tough little fighter who will, when the situation demands, "just whack it with [her] axe".



Oiseau Nouriture
Lights his sword on fire to receive divine guidance.




The man with no name
The next character that Ed O will doubtless get killed in highly characterful but entertainingly idiotic ways.



10 January 2018

Dungeon delving

Regular readers will know that I've overcome my teenage/early-adulthood disdain for roleplaying and have been enthusiastically dungeoneering with retroclone Dungeons and Dragons with my sons and, separately, a group of students (sadly on hiatus while they're off at university). We've been using the excellent opensource Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game (BFRPG) rules by Chris Gonnerman (Solomariah on several forums), and doing so purely with dice, pencil and paper in full "theatre of the mind" style.

But I got some new toys over Christmas, so I think there's going to be a little more of a half-way approach for encounters from now on. Think props and clarifications, representative rather than millimeter perfect, and absolutely no counting of squares or arguing line of sight! But I still get to use a few figures when I want to. Anyway, the new toys:

A Chessex Battlemat:


Some of the great dry-wipe monster tokens from Billiam Babble of Inked Adventures:


And an impulse purchase of some adventurer miniatures in Autumn last year yielded what I needed to provide suitable figures for the Averaigne crew. Last night I started blocking out metals and a first layer of flesh in front of McMafia:


It feels good to be painting again and starting the new year with a new project feels fresh and appropriate. There's also the chance of a get-together game in mid Spring, so I have a target.

8 January 2018

Deadcember 2017 - a champion is crowned



It has been both an absolute pleasure, and a cause for mounting panic, for me throughout December as excellent entry after excellent entry arrived in my inbox for the Deadcember competition (sponsored this year by Ral Partha Europe - thanks chaps!). The pleasure came from the well-planned conversions, clever colour combinations, nostalgia-made-lead model choices, and the evident satisfaction from both completing a figure(s) and from taking part that came across in the submission emails.

But the panic.

Oh yes, the panic. How on Earth was I supposed to pick a winner from this array? Should productivity be rewarded - Alex painted a whole army, and there were other multiple-entrants. Should keeping it hardcore Oldhammer miniatures be a guide? That only leads to the rabbit-hole of "what is Oldhammer?" all over again, and gnomes have only just saved us from that!

It's a cliché of any competition to say that any contributor could have won, but I genuinely mean it when I say I'd have been happy to reward any one of them. In the end I listed them all and picked between two at a time, like in a knock-out competition, using some excel jiggery-pokery to randomise the list. I did it several times and the same winner came out each time, although the final choice was really, really, really hard each time.

2 January 2018