26 February 2015

A good day for a geek

After a properly disheartening day at work...

...not only have I been offered, nay encouraged, by my ever-gloriously wonderful wife to set up a gaming table in the newly cleaned out cellar, but I log on here and find that this blog has now reached a hundred followers. Hurrah all round, and welcome - I hope you enjoy what I post in future.

Take that pointless and time-consuming paperwork, stuff it in your pipe and smoke it!


24 February 2015

The costs of gaming - February 2015

January 2015 - £0.00

February 2015

  • BOUGHT - 2nd hand metal demon bits for conversion fodder - £7
  • BOUGHT - clip on battery-powered LED lights to go on my painting tray - £2.99
  • BOUGHT - "after the fact" post-kickstarter warbot and support droids from Oathsworn - £15
  • Total = £24.99

Total for 2015 to date = £24.99

22 February 2015

Super EM and the Monsters

Sadly for music lovers in the audience, this is not a post about an obscure early 90s indie band who counted the Beach Boys, Thomas Tallis and Hebridean folk music as their influences and had been brought together by a shared love of honey and nutella sandwiches. Although I now have a slight sadness that such a band didn't exist...

Fortunately I am able to console myself with more gaming time with my little 'uns, or specifically, the littler one. Sunday was a day of serial children's parties with both boys in full social mode. After EM was done for the day he demanded first, a rough and tumble, and then second, a game "but not with knights - I want to be the monsters, the BIG monsters, and you can be peasants." I was happy to oblige and got out the New Gaming Board (TM) which is a two foot square piece of some kind of ply, painted black on one side and with some grass mat glued onto the other, along with some BIG monsters:

The peasants spread out, trying to cover all the avenues of attack the monsters could take, but the evil mastermind behind their assault swiftly moved his forces to counter, charging forward with an old Metal magic giant who proved to be man (giant?) of the match.

The Mask of Rolling Really High Numbers on Dice (as modelled by Super EM) proved its worth, as plucky peasants were battered about like ninepins...

First roll of the game - 20

Second roll of the game - 19
Chaos knight on giant evil swan charges peasants in open formation, assisted by an orc, under the command of a boy in a superhero mask? Yeah, that's absolutely the quintessence of Younghammer right there!

Meanwhile, in the centre of the village, the giant was running out of Romans

Third roll of the game - 20
At this point I have to admit to an ulterior motive in allowing EM to use my chaos knight; it was the first time the knight had been used in a game. Sneaky, eh? True to the "newly painted miniatures" law of the universe, he promptly was defeated in his first combat. Dice gods duly satisfied, I look forward to wreaking havoc with him in future. Mwahahahaha!

Any bird passing by would have seen the conflict splinter across the board, with nine brave/foolish peasants still striving to protect their cows...

... but a second bird in close pursuit would have struggled to spot a single breathing human. Sad times.

Lots of fun, with made up rules - everything moves the same distance (the length of a broken craft stick I had to hand), the larger the creature the "bigger" the dice (more sides) you could use. It all worked beautifully, with triumph and tragedy for each side. Admittedly I got the larger share of tragedy, but that's fair enough when indoctrinating introducing gaming to the nipper.

Have a good half term, fellow teachers, and remember it's just five weeks until Easter.

100,000? Blimey!

Logging on this morning I was rather gratified to see that my various witterings and pictures have garnered 100,000 views! Extraordinary!

Thank you for reading, twice thank you if you comment, and thrice thank you if you've contributed in any way to the ongoing development of Knights' Quest. You're all wonderful :)


20 February 2015

KQ - Dragons don't scare us!

After nearly a week of half term I'd become human enough again to want to game with my boys. Even better, the request came from them! What large, lizardlike flying creature could be responsible for the recent spate of agricultural arson and princess-napping? Time to send in the knights...

Each boy took a knight and a retainer with crossbow, and I ran a wizard with three spells (Bless, Distract and Fireball) as the fifth party member. This was to give them the chance to get in a terrible tangle, to check that the order of Actions was correct, and to further test the Magic rules.

It wasn't long before the party of heroes encountered some goblinoids of various sizes that were in thrall to the dragon, and the Fireball proved its worth...

The dice by the crossbowman shows he needs to reload.

Not wanting to be left out, the two knights shouldered their way past their fellows and soon sliced and diced the remaining baddies into less combat effective sized chunks. This was to prove characteristic, by the way; their dice rolling was verging on statistically impossible!

After a quick check that everyone was okay, the party surveyed the room they were in. Two pillars held up the roof, making it difficult to keep an eye on the comrades of the slaughtered monsters as they rushed to take their revenge...

This was what I was interested in from a game mechanics perspective - a bit of tactical thinking required. As it turns out, the two little 'uns (Gawd bless 'em) had the idea of line of sight, fields of fire and the like immediately - more high rolling soon left the orcs as little more than arrow-filled and charred corpses, with the survivors minced by the two tanks. Did I mention their dice rolling? Sheesh!

The two knights had been racking up Hero Points (HP) from their slaying and had so far avoided even the lightest injury. The closest they'd come to harm was during one fight when EM had drawn a round but only thanks to a fortuitous Blessing boost to his score.

Would the dragon fare any better and burn up this crew who were metaphorically on fire?

An early blast of flame from the beast left Sir CJ a little scorched, but the rest of his band weren't far behind. Despite the dragon's Huge size and Toughness, there's little a monster can do against a minimum roll of 17 over eight consecutive dice rolls. Sad times for the big fellow...

... but medals and promotions all round for the heroes who had done the storybook double - slain the dragon and rescued the princess. Only the wizard was weakened by his exertions; the two knights had plenty of HP to spend. Both replaced their destroyed shields, Sir CJ acquired the Charge skill and Sir EM got two: Grapple and Parry. They were both delighted with their advances, with EM telling me he hoped there would be a bridge in our next game so he could Grapple his foes and throw them off the bridge into the water. Godd idea, kiddo!

Note to self - send more monsters!


19 February 2015

Luthor Pavonis

Luthor caught sight of himself in the mirror and raised an appreciative eyebrow; all his items of clothing clashed with at least one other piece - perfect! He'd explained it to Gregor one evening while the brute was having one of his regular memory wipes. Some men of wealth and power took great care to dress exquisitely; what did that say but they had money and lots of people have money. Some wore discrete clothing; this said they were confident that everyone knew who they were without having to catch your eye. Luthor's approach was different; dress like a colourblind pimp to send out the message that no-one dared to tell you how stupid you looked.

Besides, he had whispered as Gregor went into the deepest part of the reboot, Luthor loved to feel fabulous!

18 February 2015


Before the incident with the fungus harvester, Gregor had been regularly mocked and knocked around because of his diminutive stature. Since they rebuilt him (they had the technology!), very few dare to mess with the eight foot of servo-enhanced plasteel pit fighter and bodyguard he has become - the only thing that is short about him now is his temper...


17 February 2015

"Lefty" Johanssen

Lefty sucked habitually at his prominent overbite and sighed. "A straightforward job" the boss had said. "Quick and easy" he'd said. "You lads are just there for show" he'd said. Lefty sighed again and settled his trusty autogun into the crook of his arm; things were never that simple and now he and the others were holed up behind an abandoned generator surrounded by armed and angry locals, waiting for the shuttle to come and get them out. Yet again.

Life's never easy for redshirts, even when you paint them orange! Here's the first member of my Sanctioned Privateer crew for Rogue Trader/Necromunda/Confrontation, and actually the first ever Imperial Guardsman I've painted.

Still in need of a matt varnish to flatten the gloss from an ink wash over the armour, but otherwise done.

It's a figure from the old Metal Magic "Spacelords" range, now being produced by Doug at EM4 miniatures. You have to email him directly for them, but they are so characterful and just scream "big bad universe" at me.

Realising he was my first guardsman inspired me to set up an "I've never painted a ... before" painting challenge for Rogue Trader over on the Oldhammer Forum, blatantly copying Colin's fantasy version that is well underway.

His fellows are coming along and should be ready to join him behind that ruined generator any day now.


14 February 2015

Spacemen and other spacepeople

Inspired by the second Oldhammer Forum (link on the right) legacy project which has just gone live, I dug out the Metal Magic figures I've been picking up from Doug at EM4 as he rereleases them and picked those that would be needed for the Sanctioned Privateer crew for Rogue Trader that I rolled up last April, as well as the figure I've chosen for the legacy project.

11 February 2015

LAF resurrection project (gladiators) - 3

This time a murmillo. The characteristic gladiator (apart from the retiarius with his net and trident who is next in the paint queue) in my eyes, the murmillo carried the stabbing gladius and large scutum of the legionary. He also was associated with the sea, his flamboyant helmet being decorated with dolphins or various real or mythical sea creatures or personages. This aquatic association was a key part of the appeal of his common pairing against the retiarius; the sea versus the fisherman. They also fought against the thraex and so I have my first matched pair.

8 February 2015

LAF resurrection project (gladiators) - 2

Hoo-aah! I've broken my painting drought with my first painted model of the year, first painted 54mm figure, and first figure for this project - a thracian (or thraex) ready to strut his stuff on the arena sand.

7 February 2015

The costs of gaming - January 2015

By "costs" I don't mean social ones - the looks of pitying incomprehension from your wife or girlfriend (the female gamers I know have gamer partners, not so for the majority of male gamers I know), or the moments of concern when you realise your search history for suitable parts for a conversion might take some explaining to your employers ("What do you mean, boss? Of course I have an innocent explanation for looking up child-corpse-mutant-animal-wound-bombs-nightmare-conjoined-sacrifice-dungeon.")

No, this is actual raw finance costs.

I thought for my own interest I'd keep a log of how much I spent on gaming this year. Paints, brushes, miniatures, rulebooks, random bits from DIY and toyshops - the whole lot. Oh, and I'll include p&p costs as well and do it month by month.

Gaming costs for January 2015

  • £0.00
Yes, in January I spent absolutely nothing on gaming. Not a penny. But the downside is that I got no gaming done at all.

I wonder if I can keep my net spending on gaming under a hundred and fifty quid this year....

Are you more or less profligate than that?