Sunday, 27 February 2011

Still looking for Whimsy...

It's not going too well, I still can't find a Whimsy that looks how I want her to look. However, there are some minis out there that have a liitle of Whimsy's look about them.

Front runner for me is 'Bonnie' from the Lead Adventure Online Store - she's a Ratnik design, now produced in white metal and a fine looking mini. Added to which she has a cool comapnion with a big gun. The whole bargain set is only about €8 (about £6?) too - a bargain.

Also a very nice mini (but again, not perfect for what I'm after) is this:

This is from Dark Sword minis - more pictures here.

Sadly, it appears to be $15 (about £10?) and is a bit beyond my price range I think...

Monday, 14 February 2011

More minis! Hurrah!

I've begun putting glue to plastic to get my Riflemen and Aetherines together, as well as my GW walker that's been lying around in bits. The Wargames Factory British look like they'll be OK for what I want them to do, and after a very fine chap called Mors (as detailed in this thread on the Lead Adventure Forum) gave me some heads in Glengarry Caps, I have enough to make a unit of 10 in Glengarries, which makes statting GASLIGHT units much easier I believe.

My idea is that these fellows will be a dual purpose unit - either the fictitious (but plausible) Northdale Rifles, a Victorian incarnation of one of the fictional army units in the lists; or, when I'm feeling a little more 'way out', or when Torchwood 1891 need a bit of firepower, they can be Uniformed Naval Infantry Territorials, or 'UNIT'. Their uniform I'm thinking (in an homage to the 1970s UNIT uniforms) will be green jackets and khaki caps. I did consider black with red caps like the modern iteration of UNIT, but... nah.

I also have started, with the other 10 bodies from the Wargames Factory pack, putting my Aetherines together. They will have Pith Helmets; after all, they may fall out of their airships, and bang their heads, so they need something more robust than a Glengarry cap. But on the other hand, Home Service spiked helmets might be a liablity when ballooning; hence the Pith Helmets.

I've also started the process of building the breathing apparatus for these chaps, for high-altitude assaults, or fighting on Mars or Venus. I wonder when I'll finish the experiments and actually get the minis ready... Don't hold your breath, as the saying goes.

And the walker... the Pith Helmeted Wargames Factory heads seem to fit the pilot OK; perhaps it could belong to the Aetherines.

Pictures to follow I hope soon.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Hmmm, Some lost noodlings.

These were some notes that have just stayed as a draft for a very long time... published August 28th

I'm a big fan of narrative in games, and correspondingly not so much of the plot being 'You Guys are over here, Those Guys are over there, you turn up and fight'.

So, as a change from my usual mental noodling about campaigns, I've been thinking of 'mission' based games. These could be something simple like seizing a strongpoint, or something more complicated like collecting loot counters.

This is why I found the page with the 'Big List of RPG Plots' that I posted a few days ago. I was looking for inspiration for narratives to apply to games.

My idea is to try to accommodate the idea of special missions as random determinants of action in a game, representing orders from High Command as to what the purpose of the battle is. Might work, might not, but I feel it'll be fun to give it a go.

As I thought about the various possible missions, I realised that they came in two types. Some are 'army' missions, and represent the overall strategy of the battle. These would include missions to stop the enemy from overrunning positions and things like that - missions that the whole force must co-operate on to achieve.

Others are 'unit' missions, that could be accomplished by a small part of the overall force. A unit could be tasked with taking and occupying a strongpoint, while at the same time another unit could be looking for loot counters, for instance.

The two aren't mutually exclusive, missions that you could apply to a unit could also I suppose be army missions too - such taking out the enemy leader by any means necessary - but they might be a bit limited.

Anyway, I'm trying to put together a list of potential missions, to be used as 'plot drivers' in games. I'm thinking that each player could have a single 'army' mission, representing the overall strategic goal, and several 'unit' missions, representing certain battlefield conditions that need to be met.

Say, for example, the army's mission is to break through the enemy's trenches (deployment zone, defensive cordon, whatever); the 'unit' missions are to take the highest ground on the table, to disable the enemy leader, and to collect loot counters. These unit missions would be distributed among the units that the player thought most likely to be able to fulfill them.

Anyway - on with a list of potential missions that could be applied to armies, or units from those armies.

Army Missions

Break On Through
The mission is to rupture the enemy's line; the army's commander, and at least one unit at more than 50% strength, must be in the enemy deployment zone (or advanced off the enemy's side of the table?) at the end of the game.

Hold the Line
The opposite of the scenario above: the army must prevent the enemy from exiting the table via the player's own deployment zone, or alternatively deny the enemy a foothold in the player's depolyment zone.


and there my list ends. I will come back to this at some later point.

New link added

I accidently discovered a great web-page while browsing the lovely old Lead Adventure Forum, The Big List of RPG Plots. As it says on the tin, it's a list of basic plots - with some complications you can add to them - that cover the vast majority of game storylines.

I had a quick read and I think it's great. I will definitely be consulting it from time to time in future - it's a great resource!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Lead Adventure Forum and Lead Painters' League

Well, I think I have to at least try to enter The Lead Painters' League at the Lead Adventure Forum this year, even if I don't complete 10 new entries or indeed paint to a very high standard.

I'm a bit dubious as to whether I can manage to get enough done to make it worthwhile, but I plan on giving it a go. The point after all is to get more stuff painted not to get points particularly, so it doesn't really matter if I don't get all the bonuses.

Round 1 should be OK, I can finish my Cluedo characters and enter them as civilians - I need to find a good way to base them though.

Round 5, Africa, is possible - my current thinking is the Northdale Rifles vs Kapitein Jango's Boer Commandos, which would mean getting a 5 or so chaps to serve as Boers. I hope to have my Riflemen built by then, as long as I can resist showing the pics on here it should be OK.

Round 10, the film round, is very tough. Thinking of films in which 2 groups of at least 5 people face each other in a fight isn't too hard, but finding minis for that and working out how to do it over the next 13 weeks or so (while still doing everything else) is a bit tricky. Still, I've got a few ideas and I'll give it a go...

Of course, I do have a massive pile of lead (and plastic) to paint - not a single lick of paint on my Dwarf Britannia chaps, or the gorgeous figs I got from Ironclad last month. Maybe Captain Nemo and his Henchmen could be one of my entries, that might be fun...

Anyway, onward and upward, if I am ever to conquer the Lead Mountain!