Tuesday, December 21, 2010

D&D 3.5 game 1

Ahhh..... that warm comfortable feeling of a game you haven't played in years, like sliding into a nice warm bath (with a bottle of Malbec, and {Canada's sexist D&D player} Mandy Morbid), or playing a sport your competent at with a team at your level against drunken toddlers.

Played the first session of the new D&D campaign tonight, went far better than any of us were expecting. Sure we didn't get into a fight but that is due to the PCs having brains, reconning the enemy and setting up an excellent ambush. Two dice into our next game, the trap is sprung and orcs are getting stabbed in pairs if not dozens.

In my last few gaming groups I have been blessed to be surrounded by motivated, intelligent and courteous gamers, and although only one of 4 PCs has even played a paper and dice RPG before, we seem to be off to a good start. Lots of high level tactical thinking, character intraspection and a heaping portion of desire to game right off the bat.

Needless to say I am more than a little stoked.

And you wouldn't believe the kinds of characters these guys came up with. A Svirfneblin Rogue, Air Genasi Wizard/Fighter, a human Wizard with designs on Techsmith and/or Mystic Theurge, and get this...... a Minotaur Monk, talk about left field characters with obvious depth. Sure we are starting with an ECL +3 Svirfneblin, an ECL +2 Minotaur, an ECL +1 Genasi and a 4th level Mage so game balance could be an issue, but in my brief experience in D&D (all the way back to the red box) I have found that it is far easier to just throw increasingly meaner monsters at an over powered party than tinker with the tender sweet breads of game mechanics. That being said I have to keep a nervous eye on a certain Svifneblin with 7 hit points. Game changing disadvantages make characters, never break them. Been there, loved it.

How on earth does a 30 year old man continuously spell Svirfneblin right and never get experience right once? Sigh, I think spellcheck is my DM.

Also starting a gaming group on the first Lunar Eclipse on a winter Solstice in almost 400 years of almost make me feel like a devout Heathen. Normally D&D won't turn you into a Satanist, but starting tonight....?....it might already be too late.....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ignorant movie reviews, Hobby Synergy and further excuses?

Our world gets smaller everyday, interconnections between people and things seemingly far apart are revealed to us almost daily now. This fascinating quirk of human experience seems to exist on all scales, and yesterday a film did so for me. The dice of girlfriend/boyfriend movie selection fell as 6s right at my feet and I raised them victoriously and selected "Centurion", it seemed perfect, it was about the failed Roman conquest of Scotland, and it had Dominic West from the Wire in it !!!! Not only was I entertained, but I realised that this film overlapped into my hobby world in two ways.

Obviously I am a historical wargamer who prefers the ancient setting, but aside from that most of my hobby time of late has been spent planning a new D&D campaign. That's where this movie really shines. The historical accuracy of this film wasn't at all a motivating factor in my renting it, but I was actually surprised by how well this film did within its budget. They didn't just give a passing notice to the right hats and armour, they also had them hanging their swords and Pugios the right way, and don't worry you get to see them use both. In all honesty I get the feeling that this movie changed around an expensive table in a meeting somewhere, and there were aspects that seemed to be out of key with the quality of the cast. However the cast was astounding, Pilums in the air for Liam Cunningham as Brick, he played the part of a blooded veteran soldier to the narrow hilt of a Pompeii Gladius, his apology mid-film alone was leveling. I look forward to seeing him stab other people in future films.

Aside from the historical shopping list of cost vs realism this film was an ideal example of a well run D&D campaign. No really, bear with me. Apart from any use of magic and fantastical beasts this movie was a well tuned gaming group 2 years and 8 or so levels in. The brutal trek back from enemy lines was perfect in tone and pacing, Les Stroud would be proud. It's far too rare now to see a violent movie that attempts tension without relying solely on startling you. It's not the type of movie that is going to change film, but it doesn't embarrass itself, and remains a very satisfying action movie. You just may have to consider its gore, as the frequent and well fought swordplay often lead to realistic results.

Good movie, expect a HUGE increase in D&D posts from here on in, as well as the usual FoG craptacularism. But I can't really post D&D related home brewed content until I drop the first adventure on my hapless friends. (Que maniacal villain laugh)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Re-Animated !!!!!

I must have picked up a level in Necromancer at some point in my rather varied career path, as I amazingly managed to piece my computer back together with the parts of lesser computers. In celebration of that fact I sat down and threw together a 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons monster loosely based upon my computers recent resurrection. But feel free to reuse it to represent anything that your Campaign/Hackfest calls for, something with legs might be infinitely more intimidating.

Small Re-Animated Object
- Undead Construct

Hit Dice: 2d12 + 13
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30ft
AC: 15/13 touch/14 flatfooted
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+5
Attack: Slam +2 1d4 +1
Space/Reach: 5/5 ft
Special Attacks: None
Special Qualities:
- Single actions only, Damage reduction 5/Slashing, Darkvision 60 ft
- Undead traits
- Fortitude: +0
- Reflex: +1
- Will: +3
- Strength: 12
- Dexterity: 10
- Constitution: 0
- Intelligence: 0
- Wisdom: 10
- Charisma: 1
Skills: None
Feats: Toughness
Environment: Home or Workplace.
Organization: Pair (chair)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Neverwinter Nights save files, rare Born Against bootlegs.
Alignment: Always Chaotic Neutral

Sorry about the delay, but now that I can type on a real (ly old) keyboard I beat I will post more.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All your base are belong to Flock

Sorry about the delay between posts again, but my PC died a sudden and seemingly painful death. He will be missed. A traditional Viking funeral will be held at New Brighton Park as soon as I have found a way to get my Neverwinter Nights saved files and (YEARS AND YEARS !!!!!!) of writing off of it. The family requests a private service, in lue of flowers please send wood and nails for a boat.

Although I haven't got any pics I have been working. I have finished getting the bases for my entire army up to the standard of the 5 elements I entered into the painting contest. It was a bit of a slog because I had to address several rookie mistakes and start the process from about the 3rd step. That being said, I did learn a lot and have settled on a basing technique that I will be using from now on. Even at my clumsy skill level I am getting rather realistic results using about $15 worth of Woodland Scenics Ballast, Talus and Static Grass, they almost look like they are marching across some semi-arid agricultural ground. I am getting all kinds of scenery ideas.

More to come.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Final Contest pics

Evening I hope this email finds you well, it sure finds me well, I got a job.

But onto the Nerdom that this blog was made for, I did indeed enter the contest on Saturday, unfortunately due to a previously planned family event (which ruled) on beautiful and scenic Vancouver Island, I was unable to attend the event in itself. But I did get a good look at the other entries, and wow were they good. Like scary good, like redefining the limits of human motor skills good.

I myself did not win a thing, (didn't think I would) but am infinitely more happy that I entered. I have struggled with painting models in the past and the fact that I actually went through with it feels like a victory in and of itself. The whole experience in itself was a huge dose of inspiration. I definitely learned alot of interesting things about painting at a smaller scale just by looking at the other models in my category. I also made sure to pick up some pointers from the painting Yoda that runs the store, as he has massive experience in painting 15mm Celts.

Here is some pics, and check out my new and improved basing techniques. It took a lot of research, and a TON of trial and error, but I think it adds a lot to the models. More on that later, now I have to get to bed.

Take care,

p.s. My blogger stats tell me I am getting hits from as far away as China and Columbia ?!?!?!?!

Ni Hao and Hola Amigos !!!!
Feel free to comment I would love to hear about your hobby ventures around the world.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Painting contest thus far

Afternoon folks I hope this post finds you well.

Sorry for the delay between updates but life threw a couple of curve balls at me lately and circumstance dictated my attentions be else where. If your curious, I was laid off and then got a chest cold so bad it damaged my lungs. September has been so fun, but at least Hockey is starting soon. I also got to escape to a friends cabin in the Mountains of British Columbia, it was calming and nearly as spiritual as the unintended spirtquests my medication was sending me on a couple weeks ago.

In between all that drama I did manage to work on my first Command base which is one of the 5 bases I will be submitting to the contest. I put infinitely more time on these chaps than ANY single model I have thus far in my 20 + years of gaming. Untold amounts of careful inking and dry brushing went into these bad boys, and by my estimate they are nearly done.

Yesterday Ella swung by and snapped off some pics, and since she not only has a better camera, but actually knows what she is doing with it, I think they turned out pretty sweet. Next step is figuring who else is going with the Command base, thinking one elephant, one base of team Linen Cuirass, one of Numidian horse, and then I don't know maybe another base of the Linen chaps to add depth to the presentation of their unit, or possibly a base of Numidian Skirmishers.

Painting contest WIP shots 2b

Painting contest WIP shots 2a

Splitting these shots into two posts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not dead, still deluded......

Sorry about the delay between posts, but life has an odd way of forcing you to pay attention to it at the cost of fun. As you may recall I had a friend in town from Japan, and although we didn't get a chance to physically play FoG, it did figure heavily in our conversations, when he returns to Canada we will be undertaking a map based campaign. We used to do so in 40k and it invariably makes for a better game. Lately I haven't really had the time to paint and as such didn't post, but this weekend I had a whole Saturday to myself (and the laundry machine), and got started on my next project.

I started working on the pre-requisite Command elements for my army. For the first base I used the basic Carthaginian command pack, which I picked up from 50 Paces, this company is great not only do they sell 15mm historical models, they also stock magnetic bases and are conveniently located not far from my apartment. Their prices are awesome and their customer service is exemplary.

Here is a link to their site:


I kept the paint scheme close to that of the rest of my army, with the subtle addition of some purple and gold on the standard itself. These little touches I think add a fair amount of character by their contrast with the rest of my army. The Carthaginians made a lot of money in the manufacture and exporting of rare and astoundingly expensive purple dye, couple that with a solid (or more likely plated) gold standard and they serve to convey a huge amount of wealth. Sure purple was so rare it was almost invariably restricted to Royalty, but it isn't too far fetched to see a commander of the army of Carthage sport purple tones.

The pics below are only work in progress as I am lavishing these bases with previously unseen amount of effort not only because they are an obvious focus point for my army but also because of a new goal, something I have never attempted before.....

Blame the heat of late August cooking my poor cold adapted brain, but I have decided to enter a painting competition. That's right the good folks at Strategies Games are holding their 4th annual Immortal Brush painting competition, and there is a small scale historical category !!! So after much deliberation, (not to mention friendly goading from the lovely Ella) I figured I would give it a shot. Now keep in mind that I am no Dave Taylor or Scott MacPhee, and doubt I will win, but I won't let cowardice stand in the way of a bucket of fun so between now and October 2nd I will be painting and repainting and rerepainting until I have 5 bases that I think both look good and are a decent representation of my army. With that in mind this new Command base is already out to an early lead for base one.

Here is a link to more info on the comp, its near the bottom of the page.


here is a link to their main page,


Feel free to drool all over their amazing board game section. I love this shop, they always have all the new stuff, and are more than willing to answer any questions. I frequently raid the owners brain for painting advice, he is not only a very, very talented painter he is also eloquent enough to explain complex techniques in simple terms. He is the origin of my ever faithful 3 point painting stance, as I have a crazy low blood pressure and shake constantly. Two of my favourite things about that shop are the used RPG book section (keep 3.5 alive !!!!) and all the cool little gaming aids they have that many other shops don't. It is truly a gamers shop run by people that love games.

But I digress, here is some pics pardon my crappy cameraphone and lack of Macro lense.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Current Muster

Got home late from a busy day and was still rocking a blood caffeine level of .8 so I thought I would use this unbudgeted block of high alertness, low motor skills time for something useful. Immediately disregarding that goal I decided to instead remind myself of how useless my cameraphone is not just as a phone, but also as a camera. I then proceeded to go a little Paparazzi on my army as it stands now.

The above are two shots of.....ummm.....some....that almost turned out.

Of course it is still shy of the prerequisite Command bases (x2), Camp and Gallic/Spanish heavy horse (also x2), it is almost playable, and doesn't look half bad set up beside each other. I think its because if you place poorly painted models with poorly painted models, you don't notice the poorly painted models as much. The overall lack of quality adds to the consistent feel of the whole piece.

Thankfully I already have the few models I need to finish off the army, aside from the Camp which I might make from scratch. I am certain that doing the 2 command bases next is the priority, as in completing them I make my army playable if not legal. Best part of that is I can split it in half and play a friend. That being stated if I can get these done by mid-august I can play my ex-patriot amigo when he returns briefly from Japan. He is the only person that I have played FoG with at this point so I think I would prefer to stumble through it with him again before embarrassing myself in public.

If your curious it weighs in at 352 pts.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Suprise BG !!!!

Or not, but I finished Team Linen Cuirass a couple days ago. Painting was pretty sporadic, and I have given up on my camera phone being little more than half of a phone, so as such there was no WIP shots. Furthermore I took the pics myself and even with Ella's editing they look like crap, or possibly less than crap. It's also worth mentioning that I think I am on to the solution to my basing problems, but I will get into that in greater detail after a couple more experiments.

The shot above is (of course) another sunset off of my balcony, I love city living.
Longer post and better pics coming shortly, just been awhile since I had posted.
Take care.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Elepantitis cured !!! Replaced by Boneitis !!!

Well it was down to the wire but they are done, admittedly that's assuming that my basing experiment (ie: Basingfailure 1.5 ed.) worked. I added a few drops of my Ramones grade model glue to my usual potion of quicksand, and when I got back tonight it appeared to be holding good but I am not messing with it until its had a day to cure.

None the less this little experiment was a blast. It motivated me to get a BG done under a deadline and I honestly didn't think I could get one done that fast. That being said, as much as I like this pace I don't think I will be setting a 7 day goal again. I cherry picked when in my week to start them instead of just starting them, which in a longer view of things is not good practice. One thing that I find quite funny about this little experiment was my initial delusion that this would be a quick and easy build. No sir, I spent entire days waiting for glue to dry, and that hurt the deadline, and this unit wasn't particularly easy to paint either despite my hopes. I do think that when I use Ella's camera (or better yet get her to take the shots) you will see a readily apparent improvement of my painting skills. The skin texture of the Elephants was a real fun challenge to paint, I think they look awesome.

Next on the plate is the other half of my giant bag of Carthaginian citizen spearmen, team tunic. I won't be putting a timer on this BG but I think I could get them done in less time than the elephants, opportunity permitting.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Elephantitis day 3 - More pics and some ranting

So 3 days in and I am making great progress. I can't stress how much easier undercoating in Snakebite Leather has made this, not only that but the colours come on much more realistically and evenly. I used this opportunity to experiment a bit and painted up the Mahouts in a similar manner of skin tone as my Numidians. This was the best result, their skill looks far less patchy than my previous attempts. Love it.

But I must admit to a mistake, since I had two elephant head designs and intended to make two Battlegroups, I figured I would split the head designs between them and paint one BGs elephant saddle blankets blue and the other red. However on Saturday I woke up to watch the World Cup at 4 am and was still rather tired, and painted each head design in a matching colour. Not to fear, I have since repainted one of each brown and will then repaint them the correct colour.

My only concerns at this point are my continued difficulty with basing and how to make spear tips for wire spears. Thinking greenstuff.

Making better time than I thought I would though and am a little surprised.

Elephantitis day 3 - first of 2 batchs of pics

Friday, June 11, 2010

Elephantitis day 1

So it is officially on. I started the elephants today, I cut, cleaned and assembled everything and glued them to Popsicle sticks. They had very little flash (an excellent recurring trend with Old Glory 15s thus far), and were a breeze to glue together, the only thing that took any skill was drilling holes for pikes into the hands of those four chaps out front. I was really impressed with the way the Mahouts fit together, you can't really tell on my craptacular cellphone camera but their legs are cast on the elephants themselves and their upper bodies must be attached during assembly. The thing that I can't get over is how seamlessly this went, the join is disguised as a fold in their attire and I don't think they will even require any green stuff. Nice.

I am almost confident that I can get this done in seven days, but come June 17th....we shall see.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ella's better pics

Ella sent me the pics I took !!!!
Note the visible difference in quality compared to when she takes them, she takes her time and has used the camera before. I play with lead, enough said.

Anyway I didn't really zoom in on these, but they are way better than the ones I took on my cellphone, you can actually get a vague approximation of their colour. And yes there is indeed a u in colour.

So I decided that I would go with Elephants next, just not sure when I can start them. Hopefully tomorrow, but I will let you know when to start the clock.

Go FC R'LYEH Go !!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Numidian Light Horse is done, bad pics for proof !!

Ok so the camera on my cellphone is less than crap, but I also snapped some pics with Ella's camera that likely turned out better than these. However she will need to plug into her home computer and then email them to me before I can post them, so we will all have to work together and squint to see these.

First off, I am way happier with these guys than with my previous two BGs, the Corvus Belli sculpts are crazy detailed (especially for models so modestly attired) but the final results are more than impressive even at my basic level of skill. My only complaint is that my basing technique has yet to hit its stride, although I mixed a lighter concoction and didn't get that unsightly pooling affect again the mix seems too weak to grip the basalt. I am going to put some more thought and research into that before I try and fix it.

On a more positive note, I think that I am really getting the hang of inking and dry brushing at this tiny scale. And I highlighted the spear tips with silver in a manner that almost looks like its shining on one side and shaded on the other. I am more than a little surprised at how well it turned out, but I don't think it will show up in this batch of pics. Again I left the shields blank as with my previous Numidians, although I will be doing something simple to denote units later, I have yet to decide how to split them up. Also like my previous two BGs I will not be varnishing them yet as I may be giving them another coat once my skill increases. I am likely to do the spear trick on the previous BGs, but want to start my next unit before that. More on that in a minute.

More importantly I picked up a bunch of practical knowledge and think that I am actually getting better. I am also sure that I am done under coating in white, I spent more time on these models fidgeting with mistakes than I did actually painting which in hindsight likely hurt my motivation. That being said I can see myself building another 4 pack of Numidian Light Horse, and possibly (really possibly as it would cost about 5 bucks) expanding my Numidian Skirmishers into 2 6 packs. If that happens I will of course be undercoating them in (stupid, stupid, shining through like stars in the night sky) white for consistency.

Now I have some options for my next BG (thanks to Ella's stellar BDay gift, certificate at imperial hobbies !!) I have one more unit of spearmen to do and enough Gallic horse to make 2 BGs (if I throw down a further 8 or 9 bucks on Gallic cavalry HQ), both of which are pre-requisites for a legal list. On the other side I also have 4 elephants with stylish and seasonal towers, a unit of Carthaginian citizen heavy cavalry (armoured, superior and drilled? meow.....), and tonnes of extras which I can turn into HQ. Admittedly I am loathe to follow a cavalry unit with more damn horses (will buy more paint to avoid mixed paint touch up hair pulling), but both types of cavalry would require Corvus Belli HQ blisters and with that adding to the cost of paint and my tight belt I think it is safe to say that the cavalry options are off the list.

Which leaves the HQs, Spearmen and Elephants. In all honesty I am likely to continue my ongoing plan of painting the easy stuff first and am likely to choose the elephants. Also while painting grey horses I came across the most beautiful tone for their skin. But I am going to give this some thought, as I intend to add a bit of a time constraint to my painting. As you can likely surmise from my blogs title I am not the most motivated painter, and seeing the success other bloggers have had giving themselves a time limit per BG, I am tempted to embarrass myself and my work ethic with a similar attempt. But that's only half the reason for a time limit, and not even the best part.

My sole experience of FoG up to this point has been pushing pieces of paper around a table and figuring out the rules with a friend of mine that has since moved to Japan. But he will be back briefly in August, and if my army is done by then I can cut it in two and we can play against each other. Sure it wouldn't be a legal list, and we might have really small units of skirmishers, but it would be a blast so that is the goal. I will try and finish a BG in less than a month (which is the pace I set with my light horse, slow as it was it was 2 BGs), but even if I can't I can still get enough for a decent game ready by then just with what I already have.

So I am throwing down a paint splattered gauntlet.

2 - HQ
2 - 6 packs of spearmen
2 - 4 packs of Light horse
2 - 4 packs of skirmishers
2 - 2 packs of elephants
some scenery

Admittedly I could throw the Gallic horse on there, but I don't see my budget getting better anytime soon, and I find painting them to be terrifyingly intimidating. If I did add anything it would likely be another $4 bag of skirmishers as two 6 packs of them would add a lot of dance to the game. I think even with adding them I could get this done by August, totally achievable goal.

I am also leaving the scenery in a nebulous definition as I easily have the materials to do that, just not a clear idea of what I can make. But if overloading on scenery is anywhere near as fun in FoG as it is in 40k (particularly City Fight), I will want to make a fair bit. But know this, my scenery will be magnetised for ease of transport and everyones safety.

Ok so I will ponder Elephants vs Spearmen vs HQ tonight and then start that project with a clear 7 day time limit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The most Dungeons and Dragons Name ever.

While scanning the Maxim hottest women in the world list, I came across a name that seems to have been constructed from the devastated remains of all previous names in human history or possibly finely distilled awesome:

Moon Bloodgood

Love it, your name could actually be Dungeons and Dragons and it would be less Dungeons and Dragons than Moon Bloodgood.

This woman gets my vote for Pope.