Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Forgotten Heroes

I don't post a lot of painting and modelling stuff on this blog. This is for two reasons. The first is that this is a blog for wargaming; I'd rather document what I actually do with my toys, as opposed to explaining how I put the toys together in the first place. The second reason is that, on the whole, I don't do a lot of painting and modelling.

However I came across the Forgotten Heroes challenge the other day, and foolishly decided to give it a go.

Here's the blurb from the BLOG set up to run it:

"Whilst there are a vast array of official Marvel and DC superhero and supervillain figures, both in metal and plastic, available AND various unofficial miniatures of both the big two’s characters and other heroes/villains, there will always be that little hole in your collection for a particular favourite or obscure character that they just don’t make. And that’s what Forgotten Heroes is about.

During the month of June, Jez* and I are inviting you to join us in creating/converting an existing figure into a costumed superhero or villain of your choice, from any source (be that Comics, TV, Film, Adverts, Toy lines, Novels; basically anywhere you can think of). The rules, such as they are, are quite simple.
  • The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it. 
  • The figure must be in 28mm scale. 
  • The figure must be completed during the month of June. 
  • In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why. 
And that’s it basically. It can be as simple as repainting a DC Heroclix Blue Beetle as Marvel’s Goldbug, to as elaborate as converting a GW Imperial Guard Commissar into Marshal Law.

As there are a vast number of costumed heroes and villains out there (the Leopard of Lime Street, the Private Eye, the Savage Dragon, Megamind, Mr Incredible, Thermoman, Green Cross man, the list goes on and on), the only question you have to ask yourself is this – Who will be your Forgotten Hero?

We’re announcing it now, to give you time to gather your thoughts and the necessary figure ripe for conversion. It’s open to all, just let me know if you want to join in and I’ll make sure links to your blogs are posted on here whilst it’s going on.

So it just remains for me to say thanks to Jez, for a) coming up with this idea and b) letting me pinch the above from his blog. So come on why not join the fun, you know you want to.

Cheers Roger.

And one update to the rules from The Miniatures Page:

"There has a been a slight 'rules' update in respect of who you can create, namely you CAN create a hero or villain who has already had an official or unofficial figure made, PROVIDING you don't use this figure to create your own.

This is for those who want a particular hero or villain, but are unhappy with the versions made so far. Don't like version of , now's the chance to make the "definitive" version! It's like an online version of a multi-company crossover event, without having to buy every single issue! And you KNOW you've always wanted a 28mm Hypno-Hustler…

Now obviously it's possible that I could take a whole month just to get around to doing a simple repaint of a figure, so that may be all I do, But I have made the effort to come up with a few ideas, some, or all, of which I will implement during June, opting for a quantity over quality approach to the challenge. I'll post my initial entries closer to the date, of course.

Obviously I'm posting this here so that you can think about having a go. If I know my loyal reader is attempting the same challenge, I won't feel so bad about submitting my own, paltry, efforts.

One thing I do promise is that I will post at least one game featuring any figures I do produce. I'm making toys for playing games with here, and I intend to play games, not just make ropey eye-candy. although, that said, the only reworked Heroclix in my collection - Captain Britain's arch-foe The Fury - is still waiting for that elusive first game. But then how do you even begin to use The Fury?

June also sees the annual Supanova event in Sydney, and once again my wife and I will be inflicting our ropey, cheapass cosplay on the event. But we trialled it the other week at Wollongong's Comic Gong, going as characters so obscure that even a cosplay website had to look them up.

Here we are:

Catherine is Dr Venus from Gerry Anderson's 'Fireball XL5'. I dug deep into comic history and emerged in 1940 to portray Madam Fatal - seemingly a harmless little old lady, with a penchant for beating up criminals wherever she finds them, but in reality a retired actor in a very convincing, long-term and somewhat dubious (for the time), disguise.

If I can find a suitable base figure in time, perhaps I should produce a Madam Fatal miniature.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Excalibur in 'Bank Heist!'

Breaking News! Three costumed villains, led by the enigmatic Mysterio, have robbed the Rymansville bank and stolen two cases of rare and valuable jewels! Even now they are making their escape. The police are helpless to stop them (aren't they always).

The villains: Mysterio, Hobgoblin and Mr Hyde.

Fortunately members of the superteam Excalibur are on hand to stop them - Captain Britain and Nightcrawler - plus this week's special guest-star, The Scarlet Witch.

The scene is set. All the villains have to do is get the jewels past the heroes and exit off their base-edge.

The heroes took the initiative and moved into position - Nightcrawler teleported to a rooftop, Captain Britain flew boldly down the centre of the street and the Scarlet Witch hung back ready to provide support where needed.

The Hobgoblin was carrying one case of jewels but launched into an attack on Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler easily dodged the fiend's rocket-sled.

Mysterio and Mr Hyde raced towards Captain Britain.

Mr Hyde stopped to try and heft a nearby car at Nightcrawler, but couldn't get a decent grip on it and abandoned the attempt.

Meanwhile Nightcrawler rained a flurry of blows on the Hobgoblin and took him down ...

... before teleporting behind Mysterio in order to distract him ...

... so that Captain Britain could zoom into the attack!

The Scarlet Witch attempted to hold up Mr Hyde with her hex-bolts, but he shrugged them off.

With Mysterio now locked in combat with the Captain, Nightcrawler teleported over to Mr Hyde, trusting to his agility to protect him from the monster's mighty fists.

It didn't. Momentarily disorientated by his teleport Nightcrawler fell to a single mighty punch.

An overview of the fight, with both sides now down by one character.

The Scarlet Witch moved up to try and slow Mr Hyde, who was trying to moving to pick up the Hobgoblin's case of jewels. However she was surprised when Captain Britain charged towards her, hypnotised by the malevolent Mysterio into thinking that *she* was one of the villains. Fortunately Mysterio's control over the Captian wasn't strong enough, and he stopped short at actually attempting an attack.

The distraction was enough for Mr Hyde to recover the second case of jewels, however.

Enraged, Captain Britain piled into Mysterio again, landing a damaging blow.

Meanwhile Mr Hyde lumbered down the street towards the Scarlet Witch who, once more, found her hex-bolts unequal to the task of slowing him down.

Seeing the he'd been distracted from the task in hand, Captain Britain attacked Mr Hyde, and scored a decent hit on him.

However Mysterio's trickery dazzled him for a moment, allowing Mr Hyde to return the favour.

Mr Hyde continued to make his escape.

Mysterio moved up, and used his illusions to convince the Scarlet Witch that her companion was, in fact, the Hobgoblin.

As Captain Britain flew past to engage Mr Hyde once more, she launched a hex-bolt at him. Fortunately, in her confused state, her aim was off.

She moved to the sidelines to recover, as the Captain and the monster traded blows ...

...  and with her wits now returned, engaged Mysterio.

WHAM! Britain's protector downed Mr Hyde!

Tricking the Scarlet Witch once more, Mysterio broke away from her, and ran to where the jewels were, hoping that his illusions would protect him from Captain Britain.

They didn't. The Captain had had quite enough of Mysterio's smoke and mirrors, and took him out of the fight as well.

The heroes had won the day, and prevented the robbery!

But wait. Was that really Mysterio they had defeated. Things are sometimes never what they seem ...

This was a game of Clobberin' Time, my own fast-play, low-detail superhero skirmish rules, which can be found on the Free Stuff part of this blog. The stats for the protagonists are as follows:

Mysterio - Shape-Shift, Hinder (M), Mind Control (S)
Mr Hyde - Superstrength, Resilience
The Hobgoblin - Flight, Charge, Ranged Attack (S), Hinder (S)

Captain Britain - Strength, Block, Flight + 3"
Nightcrawler - Teleport, Agility, Adhesion
The Scarlet Witch - Hinder (M), Ranged Attack (M)

All characters were Level 3.

The mix of abilities worked well to give an interesting game. Both sides had a hard-hitting close-combat specialist, one with more mobility and another that could provide support. Mysterio's mind-control came close to giving the villains a superior position twice during the game, especially the second attempt which saw the Scarlet Witch in a position to hinder Captain Britain sufficiently long enough for Mr Hyde to take him down and make his escape. Only a bad roll on her part prevented this.

I still need to fiddle with some of the abilities in the game; at its core it's a very workable system, but there ideas I've had floating around in my head for new things characters can do, and refining some of the existing abilities.

Observant readers will notice that the characters have all been removed from their Heroclix bases, and transferred to very nice perspex ones from Aetherworks. Whilst the clear perspex has its issues - highly reflective and prone to reacting to superglue being two of them - it does mean that the character blend in to any environment on which I place them. I'm not sure what colour I'm going to do the flying stands yet, though. The white looks less obtrusive than I thought it would be. The stands are florist's wire, with an outer sleeve made from the plastic tube of a cotton bud. The wire acts to pin the character and the base together, since it can be glued into good, deep holes on both. The plastic tube stops the wire bending, as well as providing a small amount of additional support.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Old Rules Never Die

When you write a set of rules, even one heavily derived from someone else's, and then post them on the 'net for others to see, it's always a great source of satisfaction to find people not only looking at them, but playing them as well.

About three years ago I put together Clobberin' Time, a simple set of rules for superhero skirmishes. To be honest it's been a while since I played them - over two years in fact - but it appears that they haven't gone entirely unnoticed.

The authors of the Old Heroes Never Die website is running a game of it at Kublacon at the end of May, featuring a scenario based around the still-classic X-Men #137 - 'Phoenix Must Die!'. I shall be looking forward to seeing more on this as it happens, as that comic was a defining moment in my love of comic-book superheroes.

In addition Natholeon, of Natholeon's Empires, has been modelling superhero RPG characters, basing them on various Heroclix figures, for use with Clobberin' Time, as can be seen HERE. He plans to run and document a game soon, and I shall be looking forward to that as well.

Update: Read The Anarcho-Bomb HERE

In fact, I almost feel inspired to play another game myself.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Epic 40K HOTT - Marines vs Chaos

I'm in a funny mood at the moment. I have a whole mass of games whirling around in my head that I want to play, or at least develop ideas for, but I don't seem to be able to summon up enough energy or enthusiasm to get on and actually focus on one. As usually happens when I'm offered too much choice I become paralysed and choose nothing. This is great when I'm shopping (it's the reason I generally buy very little at wargames shows) but a pain when you just want to play something.

Anyway, I forced myself to play something last night just so that I didn't spend another evening regretting not doing so. Since my Epic 40K stuff was still around after our recent camping trip, I set up a 24AP HOTT game - Space Marines vs Chaos.

I selected the makeup of each army randomly, assigning each a core force of 12AP of troops, then grouping some remaining elements into six groups of 4AP each and dicing for which three the army would get.

The Marines got 8 Blades (including the general), covering the Marines, Terminators and Dreadnoughts, plus two Knights (Land-Raiders) and a Hero (Chaplain). Chaos (represented by the forces of Slaanesh, in their fetching hot pink), got a God (Greater Demon), a Behemoth (Hellstrider), two Blades (Chaos Marines), four Hordes (Beastmen, Cultists and Traitor Guard), two Riders (Beasts of Slaanesh) and a Magician General (Chaos Sorcerer)

The Marines defended. I used terrain placement derived from DBA 3.0 and got an odd setup with four small areas of bad going along one diagonal - fields at one end and woods at the other. The Forces of Slaanesh found themselves attacking through the woods.

They quickly slipped the Riders through, hoping to harass the Marine's flank whilst the rest of the army came up. The Marines moved up the Land-Raiders to cover this attack.

They engaged.

Traitor Guard moved through the woods in support, as the Greater Demon of Slaanesh arrived.

The Marines had been doing well until the Demon arrived, but this changed. The hideous creature set to work dismembering the Imperium's elite.

The woods were creating a command issue for the Chaos troops, so the Sorcerer entered the fray directly, as it was now obvious that what was originally the diversionary attack was, in fact, going to be the main action.

The Sorcerer destroyed a Land-Raider as the Marines tried to form a line to meet the Chaos attack. They held some Marines in reserve in the centre, since Chaos had troops ready to advance on their stronghold if a gap were left. In the distance the Dreadnoughts and some marines faced what was actually a diversion; the Hellstrider.

The Hellstrider attacked the Dreadnoughts and destroyed them before the supporting Marines could swing onto its flank.

The Demon was now engaged with the Chaplain in a titanic, but fruitless, struggle. This continued until the Chaos Sorcerer blasted the Chaplain with eldritch energies, ensorcelling him.

The Marines were in trouble. They formed a new line, but the Demon, unwilling to quit the battle because of the fun it was having, was behind it in a moment. The Marines awaited the onslaught of the other Chaos troops ...

... but the battle was lost on the other flank as the Hellstrider and Marines fought in the fields. The Marines were wiped out and the rest of the army broke.

This was the end. The only permanent Chaos losses were an element of Riders. Some Hordes were destroyed, but quickly replaced. The Marines lost their Chaplain, the Dreadnoughts, a Land-Raider and two elements of Marines.

As with many games featuring one, the battle hinged on the God and the fact that it never went away. They are not that good at killing elements directly, but they can pin powerful enemy elements in stalemated combats or block recoils of less powerful ones, allowing other troops to secure the victory. The fact that the Marines army was extremely heavy on Blades also didn't help, as it left them too slow to respond to the rapidly developing Chaos attack on their flank.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Square-Grid Orks And Marines - The Stats

I fianlly dug out the notes I'd made on troop classifications for the square-grid Epic 40K game I played on our recent camping trip. Here they are.

Space Marines

Marine Commander - 5 Wounds, Ground, Assault Weapons, Veteran, Commander
Librarian - 3 Wounds, Ground, Psyker, Veteran
Marines - 10 Hits, Armoured, Ground, Tactical Weapons, Veteran
Land Raiders - 4 Armour, Ground, High-Force Weapons, Rapid Fire (Can transport Terminators)
Land Speeders - 3 Armour, Fast Skimmer, Support Weapons, Impetus
Terminators - 5 Hits, Heavy Armour, Ground, Power Assault Weapons, Veteran
Dreadnaughts - 2 Armour, Ground, Support Weapons, Overrun
Legion of the Damned - 10 Hits, Armoured, Fast Skimmer, Assault Weapons, Deep Strike, Berserk

Bad Moonz Orks

Ork Warlord - 5 Wounds, Ground, Power Assault Weapons, Warlord
Ork Warboss - 3 Wounds, Ground, Support Weapons, Veteran
Weirdboy Tower - 3 Armour, Ground, Psyker, Shield
Ork Boyz - 10 Hits, Light Armour, Ground, Tactical Weapons, Heavy Bolters
Tankz - 4 Armour, Ground, High-Force Weapons, Overrun
Stomper - 5 Armour, Ground, Power Assault Weapons, Blade
Battle-Wagon - 5 Armour, Ground, Support Weapons, Rapid Fire (Can transport Warlord)
Madboyz - 10 Hits, Light Armour, Fast Ground, Assault Weapons, Unstable

The abilities not in the original rules work as follows:

Berserk - In assault combat any scores of ‘6’ count as a hit, and are rerolled with the same chance of hit as before to see if additional hits are scored. Any scores of ‘6’ from the rerolls are rerolled and so on until no more sixes are scored.

Blade - +2D6 in assault combat against non-troops.

Commander - If you have a commander then you can decide which player wins initiative on a tie, the player acting as if they had that roll. If both sides have a Commander on the field then ties are rerolled as normal.

Heavy Bolters - +2D6 vs Troops in ranged combat

Rapid Fire - When firing ordnance or ranged, any scores of ‘6’ count as a hit, and are rerolled with the same chance of hit as before to see if additional hits are scored. Any scores of ‘6’ from the rerolls are rerolled and so on until no more sixes are scored

Shield - Once per game may ignore ALL hits from one attack.

Overrun - +2D6 in Assault combat vs Troops

Unstable - After D6 are rolled for combat, reroll any 6’s with a 5+ counting as an additional hit on the enemy unit, but any scores of 1 being treated as a hit on the firing unit (which cannot be blocked or saved).

Psychic - A psyker can roll up to six dice in either assault combat or ranged combat, or can indirectly target any square on the board adjacent to or containing a friendly unit with up to four dice. Sixes are rerolled as for Beserk. After the combat roll a D6 - if the score is less than the number of hits scored, then the Psyker takes one hit. For the purposes of this roll, count double the hits scored if the attack was indirect, or if the target square contains an enemy Psyker.

I will probably drop the indirect attack from the Psyker, as it seemed very deadly in the game. In addition, after creating lots of abilities by making more specific versions of the originals, I may look at reigning in my enthusiasm and drop some of them. I created more abilities to give the individual armies more character, but I am rather taken by the original author's idea of traits for the entire force. If those are used then two armies with similar, simple abilities on certain troop types still differ from each other in the trait assigned to their particular army. It's something I will have to investigate in future games.

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