25 August 2016

While the wife's away...

...the geeks will play!

The incomparably wonderful Mrs Rab is away this week, leaving me in sole charge of the two little'uns - we worked out it's the longest she's been away from them since they were born which caused her all sorts of angst! To take their minds off her absence, what else was there but to cook up a decent chilli, crack out the PS2 from the loft for a bit of LEGO Star Wars and Burnout - Takedown, and then get on with some good old pre-digital gaming? Nice!

Yesterday saw this:

The older boy got some decent layering, drybrushing and ink-washing on his lizard (thanks to Harry for that pile of plastic sprues - it's gone to good training purposes), and the younger had fun with choosing lurid colour combinations after reading a book about frogs in the rainforest! They're making good progress for their ages, I reckon, and the older is almost "ebay pro-painted" standard already.

This morning we went for a three-way game of Dragon Rampant, with 16-point warbands to fit on the table easily and make sure they had a good overview of their whole force. We've played before, but this time we rolled characteristics for our warband leaders and played a scenario - "the sacred mole of Ukkert". Or rather, "the unexpectedly solitary princess near the abandoned watchtower".

The princess Tiffany.
The necromancer wanted the princess as royal blood is useful for dark magicks, the depraved followers of the swan knight want to try out a new recipe that calls for princess as a key ingredient, and the dwarves of dragon peak want to thwart the evildoers (plus, said dragon collects princesses). Even in a rigidly feudal society, being royal isn't all riches and bossing folk about!

Necromancer (light foot, spellcaster), skeleton spears (light foot, undead), and skeleton ogres (bellicose foot, undead) 

Swan knight (elite cavalry), evil knights (elite foot), band of beasts (bellicose foot)

Ancient dragon (greater warbeast, flying, flames), dwarven king's hearthguard (elite foot)
We picked our warbands and got stuck in. Or rather, they did, as I failed to activate anything for the first three turns. An alliance appeared to have formed between the undead and the dwarves, much to the amusement of the swan knight (me!) who could see what was coming later...

And indeed, as the skeleton spearmen clattered breathlessly around the princess, the double-cross took place to glee and outrage from the double-crosser and double-crossee respectively. By now I finally had troops on the move but had to do Wild Charges rather than anything sensible.

Here are a few photos before the denouement:

Now, a funny thing happened at this point - the skellies had taken advantage of the swan vs dragon battle to scurry out of range of being caught before they could escape. However, in being made to retreat (unbattered) from the swan, the dragon was forced into range. It all came down to one activation roll - if the skeletons could move, they'd (just) make it off the table with the princess, if not, the dragon would catch them. The boy rolled...

...and the dice gave him the minimum score required - he'd won! Cue cheers from the necromancer, and the bitter recriminations of the betrayed dwarves.

As it was so close, though, and we had the time, we decided to pretend he'd failed the roll, and played on. The skeletons were wiped out by the dragon, the dwarves captured the princess, the skeleton ogres and the beasts ground themselves into mutual destruction, the dragon was routed off the field by the swan, and the survivors likewise turned tail and fled. This all left princess Tiffany uneaten, unsacrificed, and uncollected - she returned to her quiet spot and waited calmly for the next war to arrive to enrich the soil. This idea of her invulnerability and hidden dangerousness amused the boys enormously, so we chose the director's cut ending instead.

Oh yeah, "Tiffany" is named after the innocuous seeming cardboard target in MIB - the most dangerous of them all!

As if the day hadn't already contained enough geekery, I christened my set of Space Hulk that I'd bought the first time it was never going to be released again (charlatans!), bagging a set off a guy who'd only bought it for the figures. It's a really lovely, well-made set, and looks just dandy with some classic miniatures on it... which I just happen to have. I did have to break my "painted figures" rule, but I decided they could count as counters for a boardgame and so avoided guilt.

I played the genestealers ("alien monsters") and the boys commanded the Emperor's finest ("space knights"), naturally. I left out all the unpleasant grim-dark wafflery, as you might expect for an 8 and 6 year old! And as you might also expect, this was the outcome of mission 1. Hint - not a good day for the xenos.

Mission 2 went the same way, and so did 3, despite borderline tears as six out of ten terminators were rent limb-from-augmented-limb by the monsters. It's a really good game and complicates my painting plans again! If any of you know a good but simple, wash-based 'stealer scheme that I can set my two minions to work on, I'd be really grateful.

Phew! A long post, but it was so good to get such successful gaming and geeking done with my sons.



  1. This is so rad! Hoping to be doing a lot of this sort of thing with my boy soon. I've also dig out my very old Space Hulk to try too but need more stealers. Looks like you had a lot of fun!
    As for a simple stealer paint scheme I used this method http://www.corehammer.com/painting-classic-genestealers-quickly/

    1. Cheers, Bawb, I'm glad you've got all this to come - after a couple of false starts I think they have embraced the Way of the Geek, and I get more hobby time as a result! Everybody wins :)

      Thanks for the paint scheme, that's exactly the sort of thing I'm after. They'll be able to do lots of that themselves which is ideal.

    2. Looks like you've got them heading the right way for sure, and Dragon Rampant rules are great! Have you had to simplfy them at all for your boys?

      Not forcing it on my boy just yet, but he's aware of it and we've had a few goes at your "Goblinquest" rules too which he loves (everything hobby orientated is now Goblinquest, which makes Space Hulk "Space Goblinquest").

      Hope the paint scheme works, would love to see the results!

    3. "Space Goblinquest", eh? Awesome! I haven't had to simplify the rules of DR, but I do act as GM to ease the details.

  2. Fab geekery. I've just been getting my eldest to paint a little (4yo)

    For genestealers, may I suggest my wash based scheme designed around a tropical crab?

    Undercoat white, wash green ochre, wash purple round fleshy bits, stripe carapace with bleached bone then glaze carapace with transparent blue.

    You can see the result here: https://critfailure.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/space-hulk-first-mission.html

    As you can see I have the old Space Hulk stuff; is it worth upgrading the board pieces and other components?

    1. That's a nice and simple scheme, too. I can see I might have a few variations throughout my xenos horde...

      As for upgrading, the new board pieces are really stand-out quality and the tokens and doors go along with that. If you're using the new rules (which I think are an improvement, actually, and I remember finding a site ages back which updated the old mission books and mission design bits to the new rules), the gameplay is the same. If I had had the older sets already, I probably wouldn't have upgraded, but I'm glad I have the new, if that makes sense.

    2. Perfect sense. You've got me curious about the rule changes now...

    3. There's a fairly exhaustive summary of rule and mission changes here: BGG link

  3. http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/102-painting-airbrushing/52693-painting-genestealers.html

    1. I let my 4yo loose with the airbrush this week. Probably wait until he's 8 or so before trying again :-)

    2. Thanks for the suggestion, Phil, but sadly I don't have an airbrush!

      Herbert - :)

  4. I used this for all of my buds and it looks pretty good, wouldn't be hard to find replacement washes;

    1. Another good scheme - I'm spoiled for choice. Thanks.

  5. "Ebay pro-painted" already?!!! Not possible! They'd need to sink a few brews to "improve" their vision first. Then they'd need to be using only the best paint & brushes money could buy from Crayola or some such vendor before they could "pro-paint" that well!

    Made me laugh at the "pro-painted" comment Rab :DDD

    1. Thankyouverymuch, I'm here all week - also available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and arcane rituals to summon eldritch beings. Don't forget to tip the waitress.