Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Zombicide Report: Doctor Who, Han Solo And Chewbacca Verses The Cybermen - Part Two

“The story so far… Doctor Who has joined forces with Han Solo and Chewbacca to try and stop the Cyber-leader and Great Intelligence from conquering the Earth. But having split up each of the heroes faces a deadly robotic threat of their own as the silver giants from Telos and murderous hairy Yeti start to encircle them…”


Trapped inside Roger’s Store Chewbacca desperately evaded the webbed claws of the powerful Yeti stalking him, and once again cast his eyes around for something strong enough with which to beat the robot down with. Spying something silver lying with a large crate of kiwi fruit the Wookie pulled out from the wooden fruit box… a Mark I Cyberman from Mondas!! Solo realising that his furry friend was in trouble on account of his co-pilot’s growls raced into the shop and at point blank range blasted the cyborg. But now the nearby Yeti was close enough to close with both of the Rebel smugglers. Meanwhile the Doctor managed to dispatch two more Cybermen with his rifle and moved up into the yellow danger level, acquiring an additional action in the process. As a result two Cybermats appeared in the road in front of him…
HAN SOLO RUSHES TO THE RESCUE OF HIS HAIRY CO-PILOT
Using all four of his actions the Timelord managed to finally dispatch the super-fast Cybermats. Equally as desperate Han and Chewbacca ran out of Roger’s Store and headed east down Vampifan’s Avenue away from another Yeti and an increasing cyber-horde. The Cybermen slowly stalked the Millennium Falcon’s crewmembers, increasing in pace as all ‘walkers’ were awarded an extra turn… Suddenly bringing the Corellian and Wookie face-to-face with two of the silver giants.
AS THE DOCTOR DISPATCHES SOME CYBERMATS, THE CYBERMEN ADVANCE
Somehow managing to evade their foes deadly clutches Han and Chewbacca reached the Eleventh Doctor’s side for a brief “reunion”. Sensing that they would soon be overrun the Timelord raised his trusty rifle and sent the two approaching Cybermen back to Telos, before racing back into the restaurant to find a flashlight. Meanwhile two Yeti and more Cybermen appeared at the north end of the road.

Throwing tables and chairs all over the place the Doctor suddenly dropped his fire axe and snatched up a shotgun he spied tucked safely away under a napkin. A moment later the Timelord was outside again and three approaching Cybermen had fallen as a result of his rifle shots. Realising that they needed another escape route, Chewbacca broke down the eastern door of Roger’s Store, shot at one of the few remaining silver giants in front of him, and having missed, re-joined the Doctor. Solo blasted the remaining cyborg, levelled up and also fell back to the time traveller’s side. In front of them a Yeti slowly approached. Whilst suddenly from inside Roger’s Store they heard the scuttling of fast-moving Cybermats and the crashing of something far larger…
A HUGE HORDE OF YETI AND CYBERMEN FORCE THE HEROES DOWN A DEAD END
The silver-haired smuggler took out the diminutive Cybermats and then watched as the Doctor brought his shotgun up and blasted the close by Yeti. The Timelord then disappeared into Roger’s Store and spotting another of the Great intelligence’s hairy robots destroyed that beast as well. Chewbacca fired away with his weapon at some Cybermen who had just recently appeared at the north end of the street and suddenly the roads were empty.
GUNS BLAZING, THE TIMELORD AND TWO SMUGGLERS CLEAR THE STREETS OF LONDON
But with a “Delete. Delete” three more of the silver giants from Telos appeared and many more could be heard slowly approaching…

Dum Da Dum, Diddly Dum, Oo-ee-oos…

For those interested in following the comic book exploits of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the new "Star Wars" series by "Marvel Worldwide", then I have reviewed the first five issues here:

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Zombicide Report: Doctor Who, Han Solo And Chewbacca Verses The Cybermen

THE DOCTOR, CHEWBACCA AND HAN SOLO BATTLE THE CYBER LEADER
This game was played predominantly using the ‘Season One’ rules of “Zombicide” by “Guillotine Games” and as we were attempting the mission C19 “A Little Setback” (once again) we used the Tiles 5B, 6B and 7B. Because I wanted to try out the rules playing with science fiction heroes, and have plenty of painted “Crooked Dice”, “Black Tree Designs” and “Wizards Of The Coast” models ready for the table, we simply swapped the Survivors, Walkers, Runners and Fatties with some space-farers, Cybermen, Cybermats and Yeti. 

“The story so far… Doctor Who continues to attempt to thwart the evil machinations of the Cyber-leader and Great Intelligence on Earth. However whilst working alone the Time Lord has got himself into a bit of a pickle and having safely locked the TARDIS up inside an abandoned Generator Room, now needs to retrieve his Neutron Flow Polarity Reverser from the Console Room. To make matters worse the Cybermen have cornered him in the bathroom of a local restaurant and will soon ‘delete him’. Fortunately the Doctor has managed to make an intergalactic phone call using his sonic screwdriver and a couple of toilet rolls, so knows that help is on its way. Indeed, a modified YT-1300 light freighter has already landed nearby having managed to make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs…”
THE TABLETOP - THE STREETS OF LONDON
Before we started we changed a couple of the printed scenario’s special rules in order to make it a bit different. Instead of following the “Split without enough weapons” instructions we gave Han Solo two pistols, Doctor Who a Fire Axe and a ‘Free Search Action’, and finally Chewbacca a Crowbar and ‘+1 Max Range’ skill. The Wookie was also made a Zombivor (as per the “Toxic City Mall rules) on account of his great strength. In addition we ignored “It’s quiet for the moment” and used all of the Zombie cards from the ‘Season One’ boxed set, didn’t award the Doctor 5 experience points simply because he had “already taken the key” and would not reveal any foes when opening the Generator Room door.
HAN SOLO AND CHEWBACCA LAND ON EARTH IN ORDER TO RESCUE THE DOCTOR
Having heard the approach of the Millennium Falcon, the Doctor started to search his location for anything useful for which to defeat his arch-foes the Cybermen. But in opening one of the bathroom’s cubicles instead found a still functioning Mark 1 silver cyborg and promptly had to send it back to Mondas by chopping its head off with his fire-axe. Meanwhile Han Solo threw his co-pilot one of his pistols and moved North into Vampifan’s Avenue. Chewbacca soon followed him and actually moved further East down the road so he was stood outside the bolted northern door of Roger’s Store. A little way in front of the Wookie appeared a Cyberman…
THE DOCTOR BATTLES A MARK I CYBERMAN FROM MONDAS
Still digging around the Doctor found a machete and continued to wait for help as the three Cybermen outside impotently pounded away on his hidey-hole’s plywood door. Chewbacca fired three times at the silver giant in front of him, but the Force wasn’t with him at all and he missed. Fortunately Han moved up alongside him and took down the cyborg with a single blast. With a Corellian curse though the silver-haired smuggler spotted another Cyberman emerging from a side-street.

With a satisfied smile the Doctor found a handy rifle tucked away in one of the rest room’s corners, and immediately opened the door between himself and the Cybermen. The Time Lord fired twice and two of the cyborgs crumpled to the ground before the third closed with him. Outside Chewbacca finally managed to ‘kill’ one of the ‘Giants from Telos’ and smashed open the northern door to Roger’s store. With a growl of horror the Wookie saw that the building not only housed three silver cyborgs but an impervious Yeti as well. Han’s pistol was out of his holster and firing before you could say “scruffy-looking nerf herder” and two of the Cybermen were down. However unable to damage the great Intelligence’s hairy automaton, the Rebel moved West to give himself some room and helplessly watched at the Yeti moved in on his co-pilot. Meanwhile more Cybermen appeared both to the East and West of the Corellian.
THE CYBERMEN SEEK THE ASSISTANCE OF A YETI
With two whacks of a fire-axe the Doctor dealt with the silver giant in front of him, rushed out into the restaurant’s main dining room and found ‘Plenty of Ammunition’ for a shotgun. Chewbacca used two actions to push past the Yeti, and battered the remaining Cyberman with his crowbar. Sensing his friend was handling the situation, for now at least, Han Solo fired twice at a Cyberman to the West of him and then moved south down towards the Generator Room. The Yeti once again closed on the Wookie inside Roger’s Store. Whilst two more Cybermen appeared to the East.
SEPARATED AND ALONE, THE HEROES BATTLE ALL MANNER OF CYBORGS AND ROBOTS
Safely tucked away under a napkin the Doctor somehow managed to find a katana. Pocketing the overlarge knife, the Time Lord moved outside the diner and spotted the two recently arrived Cybermen at the North end of the street. With a couple of shots from his rifle, the time-traveller managed to dispatch one of the silver giants. Meanwhile Chewbacca continued to dance around the Yeti looking to find something in Roger’s Store which would actually hurt the Great Intelligence’s robot. With a bemused roar the Wookie found a rifle hidden amongst the shop’s apple display.? Han meanwhile was able to shoot a Cyberman which had started to follow him, moved North into Vampifan’s Avenue and fired at the cyborg about to enter Roger’s Store through the building’s northern door. Attracted by the noise of the Time Lord’s rifle a Cyberman started to move South down the road towards the Doctor, whilst a second one emerged behind him from an adjoining side-street. To make matters worse a second Yeti and two accompanying Cybermen appeared behind Solo, making the silver-haired smuggle whirl around in surprise…

Dum Da Dum, Diddly Dum, Oo-ee-oos…

For those interested in following the comic book exploits of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the new "Star Wars" series by "Marvel Worldwide", then I have reviewed the first five issues here:
 Star Wars #1     Star Wars #2     Star Wars #3     Star Wars #4     Star Wars #5

Thursday, 25 June 2015

"Chewie, We're Home."

"Never tell me the odds."
This 28mm plastic model of General Solo is made by “Wizards Of The Coast” and is model 15 from the Master Of The Force expansion for the manufacturer’s Star Wars Miniatures Game. In order to ‘cover-up’ the miniature’s pre-paint scheme I initially undercoated the entire figure with a layer of “Vallejo” White and then painted his trousers with Charred Brown. I then washed this area with “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade.
"The Force Awakens"
Han’s shirt was initially undercoated with a couple of thinned down coats of “Vallejo” White before I ‘inked’ it with some watered-down Strong Tone Quickshade in order to create some dirty shading. His flesh was painted with a combination of “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone and “Citadel” Reikland Fleshshade. I then added some highlights with more “Vallejo” Heavy Skintone. Finally the aging Rebel’s hair was created using an initial application of “Heavy Bluegrey” followed by a wash of “Citadel” Nuln Oil, a dry-brush of more “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and finally some White highlights.
At the Earth's core WIPs - Just some basic undercoats with some charcoal shading on 'Peter Cushion'
These three terrifically charismatic 28mm metal miniatures from “Antediluvian Miniatures” have been quickly prepped, based and undercoated. Obviously the two male models are clearly inspired by the 1976 movie “At The Earth’s Core” starring Doug McClure and Peter Cushing. Whilst the fur-clad female is Raquel Welch from the 1966 'dinosaur flick' "One Million Years B.C." The company also do a smashing range of ‘Crystal Palace Dinosaurs’; all essential purchases once I’ve completed the company’s adventurers.

Monday, 22 June 2015

"Steamforged Games Limited" - Coin

Coin - "Guild Ball" Union club animal mascot 
This 28mm metal miniature of Coin is made by “Steamforged Games Limited” and is the mascot model from the company's "Guild Ball" Union Starter Set. The huge snake is especially fat in the middle on account of its club captain, Blackheart the Pirate King, making it eat the team's gold pieces in order to keep them safe. As a player Coin is pretty weak but is able to "Hamstring" opposing players and dramatically reduce their movement as a result.

 The reptile was initially undercoated with several coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Green. It was then heavily washed with "Citadel" Thrakka Green before being dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Green to bring out its scales. The snake's neck rope was painted using Heavy brown and “The Army Painter” Strong Tone Quickshade. For its bulbous eyes I used a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Ochre and more Strong Tone Quickshade by “The Army Painter”.
Han Solo WIP - Having completed the flesh, the model just needs its hair painted
I've just been finishing the last bits to this silver-haired smuggler by “Wizards Of The Coast”. In order to make his long-sleeved shirt off-white, I've applied a watered-down wash of brown ink to the garment and then painted/inked his flesh. I just need to tidy up the Corellian's eyes and paint his hair and he'll be ready to join his hairy co-pilot.
Prydian Army WIP - The blue undercoat will be washed with black ink to tie-in with the infantry's colour scheme
Finally I've been making steady progress on these wonderful 15mm science fiction 'Rogue Trader' flavoured miniatures by "The Ion Age". I've actually been adding more and more of these Prydian Army models to my painting queue, in order to fill out my 'Crimson Fists' Imperial Space Marine Force, including some additional Heavy Lifter vehicles and Muster Platoon infantry.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

"Guild Ball" - WIP - Part Four

Blackheart WIP - Having washed the pirate's armour and gold, I've just to ink his blade
As I now plan on posting a few game reports once I’ve got enough models painted for two three-player teams, I’ve spent a bit more time concentrating on the three Guild Ballers I used for last weekend’s matches. In particular I’ve been working away at my Union captain and central midfielder Blackheart.

To be honest I actually wasn’t all that terribly impressed with the pirate king’s performance on the pitch. But as you have to always field him as club skipper and he does generate four influence per turn, as opposed to Fangtooth and Rage’s one point apiece, then I did start to slowly warm to him towards the end of my second match. Indeed Blackheart’s whopping ability to use (and thus potentially attack) six times per turn finally started to wear his opponents down. Even if his playbook (which dictates the damage he inflicts) is a little soft unless you manage to score a hit with five or more of his six attack dice.
Fangtooth WIP - The centre back's trousers just need their stitching to be picked out and washed to be finished
Having said that the midfielder’s character trait of “Shadow Like” does give him a free two inch move at the start of his activation and his double-handed sword means he has a melee zone of two inches as well… something which is very useful when attacking rival players with a shorter attack range.

I’ve also been slowly progressing Fangtooth, and having inked his feet and highlighted his toes, I have been working my way up his corpulent frame. I’ve now finished painting his pants, and started work painting the lengthy rusty chain he uses as a belt.
Rage & Avarisse WIPs - Once his blades have been washed Rage's black waistcoat will be painted
 In addition I have managed to complete Rage’s red trousers, wash them with brown ink and start picking out the attacking midfielder’s ‘infamous’ meat cleavers and carving knife. I plan on giving these kitchen utensils, along with his white waist band a spattering of blood if I can.

Finally I have even found the time to begin painting Avarisse’s large brown leather coat. The brute's outer garment is absolutely covered in patches, off-puttingly so to be honest, so I plan on practicing painting such stitching on Fangtooth first.  

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

"Guild Ball" - WIP - Part Three

Rage WIP - Boots and slaughtered rabbit on hip have been finished. Just working on his red trousers
Having played a couple of matches of “Guild Ball” by “Steamforged Games Ltd” over the weekend I’ve found my enthusiasm for the game’s wonderful, but rather expensive, miniatures at an all-time high. Indeed I’ve subsequently ordered not only another Union player to fill out my squad so I can field a full Captain and four players, plus mascot. But I’ve bought the makings of a second opposing team in the shape of the Engineer’s Guild and a load of plastic templates and tokens.

As far as my painting table is concerned however I’ve been concentrating on my Union team’s attacking midfielder Rage; a character who has more than a passing resemblance to that of William “Bill the Butcher” Cutting, as portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis in the 2002 motion picture “Gangs Of New York”.
Avarisse WIP - Boots and trousers have been completed. Brown trench coat is next
Rage is undoubtedly the star of my squad and proved invaluable when I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in my second match. In a game where models require ‘Influence’ in order to be activated, run and fight, his ‘Furious’ ability allows him to very usefully charge (enter close combat with an improved attack) for free. Coupled with his ‘Bezerk’ power (gains a free attack when he damages an opponent) and this cigar-chomping killer can very quickly do some serious damage. In addition any successful attacks Rage makes also cause bleeding as a result of him always slicing a ‘Crucial Artery’.

I’ve also been slowly painting away at my incredibly large, and annoyingly cumbersome model of Avarisse. His magnetised chest loop is essentially finished, and I have finally managed to complete work on his trousers and leg studs – though the latter still need to be washed with “Citadel” Nuln Oil.
Coin WIP - The fat snake has been washed and dry-brushed. Just need to pick out his eyes and flock the base
Finally I’ve almost completed Coin, my team’s animal mascot. This model has actually proved incredibly difficult to ‘stick with’ as for some reason the edges of the snake’s scales don’t seem to like having paint on them. As a result the rather large python has had at least four green undercoats, been washed and dry-brushed repeatedly and still tends to ‘flake’ or ‘chip’ if even slightly handled. I’m therefore rather keen to finish this mascot and get him varnished, flocked and done… 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Zombicide Report: Batman & Commissioner Gordon Verses Werewolves

BATMAN AND JIM GORDON BATTLE WEREWOLVES
This game was played using the ‘Season One’ rules of “Zombicide” by “Guillotine Games” and as we were attempting the mission C19 “A Little Setback” we used the Tiles 5B, 6B and 7B. Because I wanted to try out the rules playing with superheroes, and have plenty of painted “Heroclix” and “SLAP Miniatures” ready for the table, we simply swapped the Survivors, Walkers, Runners and Fatties with some of my previously finished models…

“The story so far… The super-villain Hyena has sworn to murder Commissioner Jim Gordon before he can collect a file of evidence from a nearby G.C.P.D. evidence store and bring her to justice.  Having set out to collect the file, the Police officer has had to flee to a local restaurant as the streets are full of Hyena’s were-minions looking to claim the bounty on his head. As a result Gordon has locked himself inside the diner’s bathroom, knowing full well that the fangs of his foes are right outside. Hearing of his long-term friend’s predicament over the police radio, the Dark Knight has arrived on foot nearby. But there’s both werewolves and buildings between him and his fellow crimefighter, and then the duo will still need to collect the court file from the evidence locker…”
THE TABLETOP - THE STREETS OF GOTHAM CITY
Before we started we changed a couple of the printed scenario’s special rules in order to make it a bit different. Instead of following the “Split without enough weapons” instructions we gave Commissioner Gordon a pistol and a crowbar, whilst Batman was awarded a pistol and was allowed a free search action. In addition we ignored “It’s quiet for the moment” and used all of the Zombie cards from the ‘Season One’ boxed set.
BATMAN RACES TO THE RESCUE OF COMMISSIONER JIM GORDON
The game started with Batman moving north up the street so he had sight of the entire length of Alucard Avenue. This was a sound plan as the Dark Knight suddenly found himself outflanked by a grey lycanthrope (runner) to his west and a brown-furred fiend to his east. Jim Gordon meanwhile found another crowbar in the rest room, and decided to sit tight and simply listen to the howls of the three werewolves just outside.
THE DARK KNIGHT FACES THE WEREWOLVES OF THE HYENA
Realising the faster of the two fanged-frights was the biggest threat, the Caped Crusader fired two slugs into the beast. His cowl eye-slots narrowed as his shots flew wide, and Batman moved back south to put some space between himself and his fast-moving target. Gordon continued searching for anything useful in the restaurant’s bathroom and to his astonishment found a hunting rifle tucked away in one corner. Meanwhile the grey werewolf had leapt into contact with the Dark Knight, just as more fearsome howls were heard coming from Alucard Avenue.
BATMAN FENDS OFF THE FANGS AND CLAWS OF KILLER LYCANTHROPES
Batman finally managed to fell his furry foe and also ‘killed’ the brown werewolf at the north end of the street. Hearing the sounds of a nearby battle, Jim decided it was time to fight for his freedom and wrenched open the bathroom door. His rifle fired twice, and two of the werewolves waiting for him outside crumpled to the floor. Although the third one was upon him in an instant…
GOTHAM CITY'S FINEST DISPATCH THE HYENA'S FURRY FIENDS
The Dark Knight managed to shoot another werewolf to his north, and moved up into Alucard Avenue. Meanwhile the G.C.P.D. detective thwacked his foe about his furry head twice with a crowbar, and made to leave the restaurant. Up ahead Jim could hear more howls as more lycanthropes appeared in Alucard Avenue.
BATMAN FIGHTS ON AS JIM GORDON ESCAPES THE RESTAURANT
Commissioner Gordon had a last look around the diner, picked up ‘plenty of ammo’ and then moved north into Alucard Avenue. Just in sight the policeman could see Batman slaying the werewolf which was coming at him from the west and then miss the furry fright which had appeared between them. Sensing he was about to be overrun, a frustrated Batman slipped back south again. A good move as even more werewolves arrived.
RUSHING TO HIS FRIEND'S RESCUE, GORDON SPOTS LOADS OF WEREWOLVES
Eager to clear his cowled friend a pathway to his side, Gordon fired his rifle and ‘killed’ two of the newly arrived lycanthropes. Now it was just down to Batman to fight his way north but the Caped Crusader was having a bad day, and failed to fell any of his foes. One of the beasts closed with him, whilst the Dark knight spotted even more appearing at the north end of the street. Sensing blood the Hyena herself then suddenly appeared to the northeast, accompanied by two slavering were-wolves.
THE HYENA MAKES AN APPEARANCE HERSELF, FLANKED BY MORE WEREWOLVES
Gordon continued to try and clear Alucard Avenue so the vigilante crimefighter could reach him. But the policeman was only able to floor one of the werewolves who had just arrived in the street. Batman meanwhile managed to fend off the two lycanthropes who were encircling him. But another hairy horror replaced them and the Hyena was getting rather close. Gordon tried to yell out some encouragement to the Caped Crusader but the shout died in his throat as two more brown werewolves appeared before him.
COMMISSIONER GORDON AND THE DARK KNIGHT CONTINUE TO BATTLE
Firing his rifle the Police Commissioner had to retreat south when his shots missed. He was being pushed back to the restaurant. Batman was having problems of his own as all three of his attacks upon his furry foe missed, and he was wounded. Worse, the Hyena and her two fanged companions joined in the fight. He was going down next turn…
BATMAN IS WOUNDED AND ENCIRCLED AS JIM GORDON FLEES
Batman managed to fell one of his assailants, and as a result gained an additional action, which he used for a fourth and final attack. The Caped Crusader was going to take as many of his opponents down with him. Unfortunately this shot also missed and the Hyena was upon him, teeth biting and claws rending… Realising his ‘saviour’ was no more Commissioner Gordon pondered whether to ‘go it alone’ for the court file. But any resistance left him when he heard the distant approach of Chemo…
THE END OF THE CAPED CRUSADER AS THE HUGE VILLAIN CHEMO APPEARS
 Disappointingly G.C.P.D. had failed to bring the evil Hyena to justice and make the were-creature pay for her many crimes. But Commissioner Gordon had managed to escape alive and well and would soon be ready to fight another day, alongside a new incarnation of the Dark Knight...