Monday, September 26, 2016

And the lava's red glare

Terrain is important if not critical when playing miniature wargames.  It breaks up charge lanes, provides cover, and just makes the game more interesting.  And it is even better if the terrain also looks good.

THMiniatures is a Canadian company (founded by Golden Daemon and Slayer Sword winner Thierry Husser) that is creating some really cool resin terrain pieces.  I backed their first kickstarter (I talked about it here and here) and was excited when the second one came around.

I picked up an early bird pledge which meant early shipping - and got in my new volcanic terrain in the middle of August.  Both their kickstarters had specific themed pieces, and both had a big centerpiece.  For the first one, it was the Pit+Grave

Painted and ready for the tabletop.  Note the top of the pit (with the sarcophagus) comes off revealing the spikes and skulls below it.
The second time, they did the Dark Altar + Grave - an altar set in the center of a volcano.  

I thought this would make a good piece to base an entire game table around - all of the terrain being volcanic. Rather than make additional rules the various pieces would just count as other types.

Of course with all the Deadzone, Dreadball, Dungeon Saga and Kings of War miniatures I have to paint - I decide to get these done up quickly instead.

So the dark altar is simply blocking terrain.  It is a nice piece of resin terrain - and like the pit+grave has the option to cover the center (with the grave) or leave it as an open pit.
clean resin
in living color
I have to comment here that it just amazes me how the exact same piece of backing paper (with kind of a slight felt like surface takes on different colors based on what is on it.  In the bare resin pictures, it looks much darker than it is.  The truer color is with the painted terrain.  I don't know if it is the camera adjusting for the white or what happens, but I do find it interesting.

with the altar
and painted

I also picked up a dark statue base - a two part piece of additional blocking terrain.  I glued it together after taking the picture, so the painted version doesn't quite match 1-1.
in two parts
and one piece painted
As with most kickstarter, there were stretch goals.  As part of these, I got these pieces ( volcanic stones, small crater, small puddle of lava, 2 wooden defenses, carved stela and stalag-mini ) for free. With a base this could be a nice area of difficult terrain (since small pieces of 'scatter' terrain don't work well for mass battle games (as opposed to skirmish games)
lots of scatter terrain
and now painted
I picked up two small volcanic rifts to use as obstacles
small volcanic rifts
looking hot

I remembered a couple of tables at Nashcon that used stalagmites as woods - so I thought I could put them on the lava lake and puddle of lava
Lava Lake
bubbling with joy
Puddle of Lava (I need to start putting in a mini to show perspective - this is about 1/3 the size of the lake)
ok, I'm running out of puns now

2 sets of 5 stalagmites
sometimes a stalagmite is just a stalagmite

These would be difficult terrain height 4 (the equivalent of forests)
Lake & puddle with stalagmites
and set up as 'woods' - or their equivalent

When I do my table set ups, I also like to include some hills - and this didn't provide anything that I felt was usable for that.  However making some 'volcanic' themed hills should be fairly easy - I've been cutting up some old volcanic based scenery - so I should be able to cut out a couple more hills out of it, put sand on the sides and paint them to match the terrain.  (ok, I haven't made those yet)

Now to make a new 'volcanic' table cover (i.e. black felt) - and I'll have a 13th table for events.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Saturday, September 24, 2016

. . . In Space!

First - some doors . . . in Space!
Everyone went nuts over doors in Dungeon Saga - so I figure this could break the internet.  Or not. But people do seem to love doors.  I hope these are in the same plastics (though maybe grey instead of brown ) that the DS ones are.  (There is just something about them - the way the clink together in your hands is so satisfying).

This weekend Beasts of War featured Star Saga in a segment of their weekender video.  There was some cool new pictures that I'd thought I'd share some of the  new character concept art.  One of the new characters revealed is a healer - sort of a vampire . . . in Space! that sucks the energy from one model then can give it to another.

Healer concept art
A stretch goal as they begin to add more characters from the Warpath universe - of course a teraton. Who doesn't want a giant teleporting turtle . . . in space
Next up is, so far, an unknown soldier.  Looks to me more of an enforcer
unknown soldier
Of course they need to have the Forge Fathers represented - because who doesn't want dwarfs . . . in Space!
Forge Father
One of the more interesting alien races that Mantic has introduced into the Warpath universe are the Chovar - basically giant Jellyfish . . . in Space!  With psychic abilities, plus the ability to store data - it is a bit of a loopy mutant. A giant jelly shaped SD card :-).
Chovar Boss
There also had some concept art that we had seen before, in the same formats
Captain Erika Dulinsky
Francesco ‘The Devil’ Selvaggio
The kickstarter starts on September 26 and will run through the middle of October.  So if you like the concept art, jump in for the ride to see how many expansions they will fund - from space stations and alien worlds to maybe even a dreadball pitch?  Expect dark and horrible missions . . . in Space!

You can check out the entire video below - the Star Saga portion runs from 26:15 until 45:20

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Thursday, September 22, 2016

To the Stars

For those two of you that haven't seen it already, Mantic has announced their next kickstarter.  Starting on September 26th at 8:30 am EDT, Star Saga: The Eiras Contract.

This is the "spiritual" sequel to Dungeon Saga - a dungeon crawler "in space".

The dungeon is a research facility orbiting a far-off world, and the "heroes" are mercenaries whose goal is to retrieve stolen data plans.  Players will face platoons of minions, powerful bosses and difficult choices.  Future expansions and campaigns hope to expand upon the Warpath universe that the game is set in, to include space stations, starships, alien worlds and beyond.

There are initially two (ok, three if you include the limited number of early bird pledges) pledge levels - $100 for the base game and first two expansions, and a retailer pledge for qualifying stores.  The $100 pledge gets you the core game, the mission creator expansion and the character creator expansion.

So what is in the core box?
  • The Rulebook featuring tutorials and basic mechanics for novices, as well as expanded rules for veteran players.
  • The Eiras Contract Mission Book with 10 narrative adventures, two intro missions, character bios and the story behind Eiras.
  • High Quality Card Sheets with floor tiles and counters
  • Four Character cards
  • More than 100 Game Cards for equipment, skills, and all the powers of the Nexus player.
  • A Selection of Custom Dice
  • 32 Highly Detailed Miniatures including:
    • Four Mercenary Heroes
    • Three Bosses
    • 24 Minions
  • plus loads of scenery
In addition, there is once again going to be a Kickstarter Exclusive Blaine model, as well as an exclusive art print.

If you have played Dungeon Saga - what is different and (hopefully) better now.  Here are some of the design changes that have been mentioned

  • Combat Resolution - now uses custom dice and armor is gone.
  • Cover - works similar to Deadzone - you get a clear view only if you can see ALL the base
  • Nexus Player Cards (Overlord in DS) - no longer a timer, it is now more important, determining number of activations, special abilities and events. 
  • Minions - the number of minions are no longer set - reinforcements can always show up.
  • Events - story events are now set in the Nexus deck.
  • Solo & Co-op Play - with everything being in the Nexus deck, solo and co-op play are now built into the base game.
  • Character Leveling - a simple experience system is built into the game - allowing your heroes to earn skills and upgrades.  This can make the game much more replayable - as you will be able to choose different advancements each time instead of just getting the "Legendary" version.
  • Mercenary Points - A simple point system will allow you to play with ANY mercenaries on any missions - straight out of the box.  It also means you aren't required to have four Mercenaries by adjusting the turn sequence.

There is no Adventurer's Companion, but instead there will be two smaller expansions - one for hero creation and one for mission creation.

The hero creator expansion will build on the base experience in the core game, listing ALL available races and classes with their strengths and weaknesses.  It will allow you to take your Deadzone strike team and drop it straight into the game.

The mission creator does the same thing for the Nexus Player.  It will be a bit loose, but have more cards and equipment.

To get you excited, here are both drawings and renders of the four mercenary heroes

Captain Erika Dulinsky: Former Captain for the Reiker Corporation. The exact circumstances of her dismissal from Reiker are unclear - her records remain classified. Whatever the case, her leadership and tactical experience put her in high demand among military freelancers, while her courage under fire make her an invaluable teammate.

Combat Utility Robot B07153: Designed as modular support, Combat Utility Robots have limited conversational skills and are almost exclusively task-oriented. That said, behavioural ‘quirks’ have been reported amongst older or battle-damaged units. ‘Curby’ is one such unit.

Francesco ‘The Devil’ Selvaggio: Soldier-for-hire with a predilection for close combat knife-work and demolitions. Selvaggio earned his nickname, ‘The Devil’, for his part in the fire-bombing campaign that laid waste to an entire planet. Since that dismissal ‘The Devil’ has made his way through the universe working for practically anyone with the credits to pay for his services, be they rebels, corporate snatch teams, or worse.

Wrath: There has only ever been one Judwan recorded as being capable of violence. Subjected to an arduous ‘training’ program and fashioned into a killer at a young age, he is now one of the most wanted beings in the galaxy, seeking the truth of what was done to him. And revenge…

Of course, the game is no complete without some minions.  Since the 'heroes' are not necessarily viewed as 'good' guys from the Corporations point of view - well the of course they will be going up against some of them.  First up are a couple of  corporation rangers

 Corporation Ranger
Corporation Ranger w/ Flamer
 Then a Lab technician

Lab Technician
 What are they experimenting with in that lab?  What does this plague victim mean?
Plague Victim
Of course, everyone loves tiles to play the game on
and you have to have something to REDACTED the REDACTED REDACTED.  If this kickstarter goes anything like the original Dungeon Saga did, then the internet will explode seeing these REDACTED.

Really cool looking, if you ask me.
Of course Mantic ALWAYS has a lot of cool stretch goals, and I expect nothing less from this kickstarter.  I do expect it to be similar to The Walking Dead: All Out War campaign in that they will build up expansions, adding to them with stretch goals, but you will only be able to buy full expansions, not individual models.  I am hoping for at least three additional campaign/adventure expansions myself.

The Star Saga Fanatics has already been mentioned on the Mantic blog as well.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Does this look infected to you?

This past summer the Deadzone 2 kickstarter shipped giving us all sorts of new toys, including new, cleaner, faster and deadlier rules.  Every faction got newly repackaged starter and booster sets (including the brand new Veer-Myn) - with Mantic moving away from the specialized boosters to making just the one starter and booster for every army.  Well, every army except for one.  But that is soon to be corrected.

The wait plague players is almost over.  We can call October plague month as there is a plethora of new releases for the infected.

Deadzone: Nexus Psi Expansion - MGDZM35 - £34.99/€49.99/$59.99
The biggest is the edition of the Nexus Psi expansion. This is a supplement that includes the Nexus Psi campaign for Deadzone, as well as the solo play rules updated for 2nd edition.  Not only does this include the book, but it als includes 2 sprues of plague zombies, a new (exclusive) metal Dr. Symmonds model, and 8 sprues of terrain ( 2 Urban 1, 1 Urban 3, 1 landing pad A, 1 defense line A, 1 defense line B, 1 Expansion A and 1 Expansion B) and connectors.

Right now neither the book nor Dr Symmonds will be available separately (though the book may eventually be available via Mantic Digital at some point) - so if you want it you have to get it here.

In addition the Plague are finally getting their redone starter and booster for Deadzone.  This includes a 1A, six 2A (2 of each pose), 2 sprues (10) of plague zombies (3Z) and 2 of the new sprues of 3A (which include a plague dog).  So 29 miniatures in all.
Plague Faction Starter - MGDZP101 - £24.99/€39.99/$39.99
The plague booster takes your strike team to the next level, with another sprue of both the 3A and 3Z, as well as a Plague Teraton, Plague Aberration, Plague Swarm and a plague mortar team, for 17 total models.
Plague Faction Booster - MGDZP102 - £24.99/€39.99/$39.99

Deadzone does not exist in a vacuum, it is part of the larger Warpath Universe.  And just like the other actions, the Plague are getting separate sets to boost their numbers for the upcoming Warpath release. So if you don't want everything in a starter or booster you can pick up the individual sets.

The 3rd gen Troopers box comes with 4 of the new sprues - each one can make five 3A and a plague dog, and I believe there are even parts for a mortar on it.
Plague 3rd Gen. Troopers - MGWPP301 - £17.99/€24.99/$29.99

Plague 3rd Gen. Troopers - MGWPP301 - £17.99/€24.99/$29.99
The plague zombies box comes with four sprues of sci-fi zombies - enough to make 20 miniatures (well, if you feel they have to have ALL their body parts.  They are zombies after all - and what horde of zombies isn't complete without at least one crawler without legs trying to make it across the table (and that then gives you some wandering legs to use - the conversion possibilities are endless!). With Halloween coming up who doesn't need more zombies?
Plague Zombies - MGWPP302 - £17.99/€24.99/$29.99
With the plague, bigger is definitely better.  So of course you need more of the big guys.  Now you can pick up a set of 6 2nd gen mutants.  These have to be some of the friendliest models you can field - one of them just wants a big hug, and another is like a big puppy waiting to be petted.  And the enthusiasm of the third model - jumping over the fence just to get some love when he sees you - these are just like my dogs when I get home from work. 
my big sweeties (Devo and Tip) - just waiting for me to come home from work so they can once more try to lick me death
Ok, so my dogs are not giant, mutated, infectious killing machines  - but you know what I mean.
Plague 2nd Gen Mutants - MGWPP303 - £14.99/€24.99/$24.99
You want still bigger - well the plague 1st gen is once again available.  A powerful (if slow) leader for your forces, he is a combat powerhouse as well.
Plague 1st Gen Mutant - MGWPP202 - £9.99/€14.99/$19.99
If he isn't big enough for you - the Aberration is also available separately.  This beast is just huge combat monstrosity - if you see one of these headed for your strike team shoot it first - because once it gets into combat then it's opponents have a very bad day.
Plague Aberration - MGWPV303 - £12.49/€19.99/$19.99
If have more pictures of this model in all its plastic glory here.

This is not it for new releases in October - as Mantic is releasing 7 new models/kits for Kings of War as well.  I don't have any new pictures (you can see what I have here (though there is one new bit of (unfortunately not good) news - the release price of the Naiad Wyrmriders has been set (a little higher than originally estimated unfortunately) - £29.99/€39.99/$49.99.  

Because it is all fun and games . . .