|The Joker WIP - In game he'll be armed with twin jokerfish to slap in his opponent's face|
Every now and then I read a blog post which genuinely sends me into a creative frenzy of building, gluing and painting. One such article I’ve recently encountered is the marvellous “Pillow Fight At St. Trinian’s 02” battle report which can be found on Bryan’s incredibly popular website “Vampifan’s World Of The Undead”. This frantically fun AAR of “brutal pillow combat” appealed for several reasons. Most notably because the “Pillow A-Go-Go” rules were unbelievably brief and simple, a single ‘match’ could easily be played within the space of an hour and each player only actually needed to field three miniatures. In addition it seemed relatively easy to ‘translate’ the game’s mechanics over to a super-hero campaign I’ve had in mind for some time… the battle for control of Gotham City.
Obviously a pillow fight held upon a gigantic King-size bed between warring criminal factions wouldn’t actually look too out of place within an episode of Adam West’s “Batman” Sixties American television series; especially if the episode were to feature the Joker. But as I wanted this game to be a bit more serious in tone I’ve instead decided to base each ‘fight’ atop one of Gotham City’s high-rise buildings, and provide me with the opportunity to finally assemble some of “Ainsty Castings” terrific “Streetwise: Flatroof” resin scenery.
|High-rise WIP - Having undercoated the rooftop's edging wall I now plan to work on some of the 'interior' pieces|
In addition I’ve decided to expand the size of the ‘arena’ from a 6” square bed to a somewhat larger 7” x 9.5” rectangular roof. Whilst this somewhat significant increase in ‘ground space’ may slightly skew the length of a game. It also allows me to populate the ‘battleground’ with some of the other “Ainsty Castings” products I’ve acquired over the years, such as junk piles, roof entrances, skylights, chimney stacks and even a pigeon shed. These obstacles could easily be utilised within a battle itself, such as causing combatants to automatically trip and fall, or ‘miss a turn’ as having been propelled through a doorway, they have to race back up the stairs they’ve tumbled down…
Replacing the rules’ different pillows (and subsequent bonuses and penalties) has also proved remarkably simple to reimagine by renaming the various cushions in favour of close combat weaponry. As a result rather than be armed with a standard feather pillow, a grim-faced villain will be carrying a crowbar. Whilst an especially mean bad guy would have his “Big Bolster” (which knocks back an opponent 2”) replaced with a bean bag shotgun.
|Two-Face WIP - The still visible pre-paint job is so thick that I daren't undercoat this miniature|
Perhaps the biggest change however, apart from swapping “scantily clad young women” for super-heroes and villains, is that once a model is knocked over the roof’s edge they are permanently out of the game (and probably plummeting to their death) unless they manage to fall on to a fire escape platform which will be dotted alongside parts of the high rise building. Then they’ll be able to ‘ankle grab’ opponents just as in the original rules.
Having built my (first) rooftop, and allowed for the center tiles to be removable so I can alter the layout from time to time, I’ve been basing and undercoating a number of “Heroclix” miniatures to use as gang leaders and members. Fortunately I’ve already painted a Commissioner Gordon and two Police officers in order to ‘field’ a team who can try and take back the streets of Gotham, as well as the Riddler and enough henchmen to populate the vast majority of criminal mobs. But harking back to my monthly plan to only paint miniatures currently on my table, I have also managed to undercoat a few of Batman’s more notorious gangsters, such as Black Mask, Penguin and Two Face. I have even started work on one of my many Jokers, as well as a “Horrorclix” Mime Monster and a Yama to use as his minions.