About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

My Hero

Last night I painted up another of the Nightfolk range from Northumbrian Tin Soldier. This little chap is called The Hero and really sums up the quirky, unique nature of this growing range of figures. It's just so charming!
Fear my wooden sword!

My son had the idea to paint the shield as a dragon's scale.
If you like this you should check out the latest sets to come out over the past couple of months. I'll have the 'Pythonesque' knights on this blog sometime in the near future.

Northumbrian Tin Soldier

Monday, 7 July 2014

Verthandi, Sword of Light

So, here we are in July and this blog has been as quiet as ever! It really has been a slow year so far, but I haven't been altogether inactive on the painting front. But as a change of gear from the usual wargames figures, I tried my hand at something a little larger. The nice lady pictured below is a 54mm figure from Andrea Miniatures and was painted almost entirely with Scalecolor paints from Scale75. I really enjoyed painting her and it definitely stretched my techniques, blending and NMM in particular, which was really the aim. I've actually done a few extra wee bits since these pictures were taken but I hope you like her anyway! 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Mozambique Manhunt - Perlious Island Episode 4

A week or so ago I played the fourth episode of our Perilous Island campaign with George and it was as much a hoot as always. Due to our terrain, and the fact that we've been in Africa already, we decided that the hunt for the old sailor should happen in Mozambique, which also gives us a nicely alliterative title!

This scenario was a lot of fun, with the 'red herring' rule meaning that there was a chance that a plot point would actually turn out to be a false lead. Also, the major plot point was only revealed by a random draw of the Reward cards, but any character attempting the a plot point had to have a minor plot point to have any chance of finding the old sailor, which added to the chaos!

So, on with the show!

The hunt begins. The white arrows indicate where the plot point marker are (a couple are in buildings). George clumped his league into two groups at the right hand corners of the table, whereas I spread mine out across the board.
Lo Chan Fu emerges from a sinister bank of swirling fog!
The Dragon Warrior skulks behind some crates, waiting for the heavily armed sailors to come closer.
Lo Chan Fu approaches the priest outside the Catholic Mission to interrogate him. However, his mental assault is too strong and the priest's mind is blasted clean! (I got a Red Herring! D'oh!)
The Dragon Warrior and Ed Hands clash in an alleyway, knocking each other down. This epic battle of martial arts versus sheer brawn would last almost the whole game. Meanwhile Robeson and Xiufang engage in a gun battle, the bullets zinging by the struggling brawlers' ears.
Lo Chan Fu spots another member of the Catholic Mission's clergy and stalks him. This time he is less brutal with his psychic assault and garners the information he desires, but alas, the priest is still left as a twitching husk of a man.
Meanwhile, across the town, Chao Lee tries to prevent anyone getting to his assigned mark before he does, and Castro reels back from the whirling meat cleaver.
Having seen the deck hand off, and intimidated the informant into divulging his secrets, Chao Lee selflessly hurls himself at Chief Mackenzie in an attempt to prevent him finding the old sailor (all other plot points were done, which meant the last one had to be the major plot point.)
The dark mist enshrouding him, Lo Chan Fu moves to make his mind felt, while the ethereal Dragon Lady drifts past to intercept Castro, who had recovered from his cleaver cuts.
As the battle comes to it's climax, the ringing sound of steel on steel still echoes from the alley.
Chao Lee, in a fit of rage and fury, somehow takes on the Chief and gives as good as he gets! Cortese himself is wounded by gunfire from Xiufang as he rushes to help, but he loses his footing in the dirt and can't quite make it.
And suddenly, the fight is done and the sailors know the game is up. A bolt of psychic energy stuns Cortese and he drops to the floor, just as Ed Hands succumbs to the skill of the Dragon Warrior. Surrounded, Chief Mackenzie dodges from his assailants and drags his Captain to safety. In the building, Xiufang secures the Old Sailor and hauls him off to the waiting Lo Chan Fu.
 Another great game and a satisfying end to Act I. So far, the cunning and wiles of Lo Chan Fu have had the edge on Cortese's sailors, but now the mind games are over. Who will survive the dangers of exotic predators and hungry cannibals as Act II takes us to - Perilous Island!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Nightfolk review

A couple of posts back I reviewed a NMM paint set that I picked up from Northumbrian Tin Soldier at Carronade in Falkirk. Along with that set I bought a couple of their new line of dark fantasy miniatures and thought I'd post a quick review of them.

First off, the minis are very crisp and there was next to no flash. There were a couple of mould lines, but these were easy to get to and were removed with little effort. Can't really fault the castings at all. Next, the actual sculpts. I really like this range and each miniature is packed full of character. The two that I bought at Falkirk were a cool Dwarf called The Gatekeeper, and an extremely charming little teddy bear holding a wooden sword, called The Hero. So, wanting to paint some more NMM, and use the Scalecolor Flesh Paint Set that I have since acquired, I decided to paint the dwarf.

I hope you'll agree that this is a very nice sculpt. It was an absolute pleasure to paint, with nice clean surfaces and not too fussy or cluttered. The face really conveys the character of the piece too, and practically painted itself! All in all, this is a quality new range of unique figures that is worth checking out if you like quirky, unusual fantasy stuff. Their newest figures they have released are described as being 'Pythonesque', which is quite accurate and they are definitely on my shopping list.

Check out the full range here - http://www.ntseshop.co.uk/index.php

Monday, 12 May 2014

Dark Nimbus Chapter - progress update

So, in a bid to get back up to date, here's some shots of the stuff I have actually managed to get done of late. The Space Marines and terminators were all actually quite quick to paint, but I thought I'd best spend a bit more time on the Chapter Master.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Scale75 Paint Sets

'lo all! Been a while, hasn't it? Well, I've simply not been doing much in the tabletop side of the hobby for various reasons, both painting and playing. However, the past couple of weeks have seen things starting to pick up again and I was delighted to get to go to Carronade yesterday, the Falkirk wargames show. To highlight just how little I've been up to I actually didn't have anything in mind to buy when I went and only bought a couple of miniatures, one of them for my son! However, what I did get was a NMM paint set. I was browsing around the stalls when I came across an interesting one under the name of Northumbrian Tin Soldier who were selling Scalecolor and Andrea paint sets. I had a wee chat with the trader about them and decided to give theScalecolor a go. As far as NMM goes, I am quite happy with my gold recipe, but steel I struggle a bit with because I can't seem to get the bluish tint just right, so a ready made set is quite attractive. So...was I right in putting down some hard earned dosh for the set?

The Scalecolor 'Scale 75' NMM paint set box.
The back has nice examples and indicators of the colour. There is a cutout so you can see the bottles themselves. All in all, a very nicely produced set. Inside there is a short guide to using the paints, although it is pretty poorly translated from Spanish. That doesn't matter, though. The pictures speak for themselves.
The end result. I'm delighted with the result! The paints were a little different in texture to Vallejo, but they really work beautifully! I will be buying more! :)
I used the bluish paints for this sword. There is really two sets in the box - one for the 'azure' steel and one for a more regular grey steel. 
Conclusion? I love these paints. I will be buying more sets. I can see myself getting the flesh paint set as they are far more workable than the Lifecolor paints I reviewed a couple of years ago.

Check them out (and some cracking dark fantasy figures) here - http://www.northumbriantinsoldier.co.uk/

Saturday, 8 March 2014

My FATE is in my hands!

I've mentioned roleplaying a couple of times on this blog but never really expanded on it. However, just recently I found a system that I think is the perfect fit for me - FATE.

Whenever I run an RPG game I always set out to tell a good story. If the players and I all come away with the impression of having read a good book or seen a good movie, then I consider that job done. Likewise, when I play a game I want to immerse myself in the character, but this can be really hard sometimes, particularly if you're spoon fed things that you can do, such as in D&D 4e. For example, I'm currently in a campaign where I'm a Dwarf fighter and I have a fixed set of attacks that I can make, some of them all the time, some just occasionally. Now, there's really no decent justification for why I can only make the more powerful attacks once a day other than the mechanics state that. Obviously I would be using the best attacks  all the time otherwise, so for balance the rules impose a restriction but there's no narrative sense to it. And in this way, the mechanics are completely obtrusive to the game and I basically always feel like I'm just playing an extended board game. I certainly don't feel encouraged to come up with creative solutions to the problems set by the GM. Normally, just hitting something is the best way forward.

Contrast that with the way Call of Cthulhu plays out. Combat in that game is deadly, so you are very justified in trying to avoid it at all costs. Instead, it is a game of investigation, mystery and atmosphere. There are still only certain ways of attacking, etc, but there is also a massive skill list that allows you to try and roll against for most situations. Also, I normally only call for a roll when it is really necessary, so driving a car in normal circumstances doesn't need a roll. Chasing some fleeing cultists across a busy town? Now we need rolls! So, Call of Cthulhu's rules blend a lot better into the background. Most sessions I play in or run actually have relatively few rolls. But, it doesn't answer an age old question - how do you encourage your players to actual roleplay? One of the most common errors I see in games are when players fail to divorce themselves from the character. The player simply ends up reflecting their own motivations in the character, not accounting for the characters past at all. And I have to put my own hand up; I sometimes fall into this trap, but it can be difficult to make your character do something detrimental to them because you know it is!

Enter FATE! In this system each character actually has a very basic set of skills encoded by the rules, but what sets it aside is the concept of aspects. When you create a character you come up with a set of statements that define them, from an overall concept to a set of troubles and relationships. These are all completely free-form, but they actually have an impact in the game and the mechanics. If you fail at a roll or don't succeed well enough, then you can invoke an aspect for a bonus. But it can also work against you! Imagine your character owes another player a debt. The aspect might be "I owe my life to Jacob". In play, Jacob gets captured and you go to save him. When tackling his captor you can invoke that aspect to get a bonus because, narratively, your character will go all out to save Jacob. However, imagine that both of you were actually chasing your nemesis, The Jade Assassin! In our scene, you are just about to capture The Jade Assassin when Jacob is captured by a henchman. The GM can compel your character to have to save Jacob because of that debt and, thus, The Jade Assassin slips from your clutches. Damn your luck! Of course, there's masses more to it than that, but just the bare essence of the aspect rules sets my spine a-tingling with all the possibilities. Here we have a system that actually binds the character concept to rules mechanics and actively encourages the players to roleplay. Genius!

I cannot wait to run this system! If anything I have described above ticks any of your RPG boxes, then go ahead and check out FATE. You can get it from DriveThruRPG or RPGNow. It is Pay What You Want, so you can effectively try it for free (and hopefully reward the publishers afterwards with some of your hard earned cash! I think they earned it!)
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