Monday, 3 August 2015

'Gotham City High-Rise' - WIP - Part One

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. 

30 comments:

  1. You never fail too amaze me, Simon. Your take on Pillow-a-go-go is as inspired as I have come to expect from you. Just as you did with Zombicide, I can see many possibilities for adapting a game to other genres and creating something that is uniquely yours. Substituting the giant bed for a rooftop is a great idea. Ditto with swapping the pillows for assorted melee weapons. Now I'm really looking forward to your first batrep.

    Sticking with the DC theme, I'd love to see a pillow fight featuring the likes of Batwoman, Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It's just the sort of thing Harley could set up. :-)

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    1. Many thanks Bryan, much appreciated. All down to you though I stress with that cracking AAR of yours :-) Hopefully I can get the scenery painted reasonably quickly and get the first Batrep posted, as I always find such things keep me motivated. Obviously I have some considerable "Marvel" minis to finish off too... so don't be surprised if a battle for New York's skyline isn't forthcoming as well ;-)

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    2. Oh Bryan, trust you to come up with that a scenario containing those four, but don't you think it would be a little too convenient for it to be wash day for all four of them and a roof top covered in jelly!

      Roger (shaking his head).

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    3. Well I do have those models... and have actually painted Selina Kyle up already ;-)

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    4. Laughing my ass off at your comment, Dick!

      Simon, I'm not as familiar with the DC universe as the Marvel universe but I'm sure you could think of two more DC females to make up the numbers to three per side.

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    5. Can I put in a vote for Black Canary, and Cheshire.

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    6. Bryan, I immediately thought of the Huntress and Lady Shiva; predominantly as I've painted them both up already ;-)

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    7. Roger, I have a Black Canary somewhere I'm sure... I don't think I own a Cheshire though, and considering what the "Heroclix" model looks like I can see why :-)

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  2. That is genius Simon, can't wait to see how it plays.

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    1. Cheers Michael. Hopefully it'll work out well enough.

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  3. Looking forward to seeing how this one unfolds. :)

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    1. Thanks PulpCitizen. This one has certainly got my interest... for now ;-)

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    2. As a hobby gadfly I know that ominous feeling of focus that is there 'for now'....

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    3. Indeed... I've just had a load of scenery and minis arrive for a "Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars" game I want to put together. I daren't post another project - WIP - Part One without finishing one of the others ;-)

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  4. Good luck with this endeavour, though I can't help but feel it's a bit contrived, then again if it 's fun then why not?

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    1. Cheers Joe. I'm hopeful that I may well be able to tweak the rules in the future that they better suit the scenario. But I do take the point as to why gangs of criminals would fight one another on a single rooftop using 'non-lethal' weapons. It certainly should be fun though and deliver 3-4 games in a session.

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  5. Melee combat between rival gangs, fought on rooftops? Now I'm envisioning rival gangs of chimney sweeps fighting across the rooftops of Victorian London...lol

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    1. That sounds like a cracking idea Jez. Certainly something I'd be interested in reading about. They could all have great big handlebar moustaches in time for Mo'Vember too ;-)

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  6. Sounds good, Simon. I'll have to go and check out the sexy pillow fight though :)

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    1. Bryan's blog has two wonderfully well-described AARs for you to enjoy Roy. Great stuff from a top blogger.

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    1. Cheers Gordon. Another project I know. But this one should have legs...

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  8. Sounds like a good'un to me Simon! but if you don't actually finish something it's going to be slim picking for me at the end of the year for my top ten!

    Oh and I look forward to the mime miniature, he will have a striped shirt I hope!

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks Roger. Yes I know about starting lots of minis and never finishing anything. But the mojo is back so hopefully things will pick up and start getting finished. I'll be using the "Horrorclix" paint scheme for the Mini miniature, so he'll be wearing a grey shirt I'm afraid :-)

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  9. Nice reworking of Pillow a go go Bk!
    Watching with interest dude.

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    1. Cheers Bob. I've already got some zombie-goodness planned for this game if I can get it up and painted ;-)

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    1. Thanks Ray. Glad you approve... and I do have a Mister Freeze in the wings too ;-)

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  11. Love how you've managed to take a ludicrous game and convert the rules into something worthwhile. Pillow-fighting-girls is just too cheese, even for me.

    The rooftop playspace is great. Excited to see how you'll paint it up - don't forget to add Seagull poo.

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    1. Cheers Dai. The "Ainsty Castings" scenery is definitely well cast imho - though a few of the pieces don't line up as well as I would like. The colour scheme will be pretty simple - I hope, as I want to concentrate on the figures more than the scenery :-)

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