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!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

There's something in the air!

Just completed another Superhero from Reaper. This one is called Twister and is clearly an air elemental hero, a companion for Inferno that I already painted. There are an earth and water figure, too, but I haven't got my hands on them yet. Both the blue and white were just a base colour highlighted up by adding white. In the case of the white/grey it was VMC Light Grey with white added until it was just white. The blue was VMC Andrea Blue with white added and a final highlight of VMC Sky Blue. I thought the base needed a bit of dressing so I added some newspaper pages swirling in the gusts. It's not brilliant but it'll do! I wasn't sure of the brown hair either will the whole thing was finished, but now I think it looks just right.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Malifaux - first impressions

She's a honey, isn't she? :)

Played my first game of Malifaux last night at the G3 club in Glasgow and thought I'd post my impressions. Normally I would try and review the game, but there are so many good reviews out there that I don't think I could really add anything new, so I've just provided a couple of links at the end of this post. So this is really just a reflection of the experience and my thoughts on what I liked and didn't like. Alas, I got a little swept up in the game and forgot to take pictures! Next time...!

I've been aware of (and collecting the books and figures for) Malifaux for quite some time now. I think it must be more than a year and you can chart the incredibly slow pace of my painting over the course of this blog, but I had never had the pleasure of playing it, mostly for want of opposition. So I was pleased to find that the G3 has an active Malifaux contingent and immediately set about trying to get a game. A really nice bloke called George graciously agreed to guide me through the mechanics and off we went! We eschewed schemes as it was my first game and just took a strategy each. I used my Guild Ortega crew and drew the 'Slaughter' strategy, which really plays into their strengths. George took Rasputina with some hulking monstrosity called Snow Storm! If they intended to intimidate you with that figure, then Wyrd succeeded! Anyway, he drew 'Reconnoiter' which was possibly the poorest strategy he could have got, given the slow movement rate of most of his figures.

The game basically played out with the Arcanists grouping up to take advantage of the many mutually supporting abilities and advancing up the middle of the table. The Guild spread out and just blasted away with everything they have and started to whittle away the minor characters like the Gamins. There were three critical moments that had a major impact on the outcome:

First, after Nino had landed a couple of weak shots on Rasputina, Perdita managed to hit her with a Peacebringer strike after using a Soulstone to make sure of the hit. The damage was only moderate, so I played the Red Joker from my hand (i.e. her above) and that automatically caused severe damage which killed her outright!

Second, the huge Snow Storm character landed a series of devastating ice blasts on Papa Loco, which also caught Francisco and Perdita. Francisco was killed and Papa Loco reduced to a single wound. Critically, I managed to cheat fate on the last casting attempt and caused the spell to fail, as Papa Loco would have gone up in smoke and likely taken Perdita with him!

Lastly, Papa Loco made his last move which was to run into range of the Arcanist group and use his 'Take Ya With Me' spell! This essentially meant the detonation of a large amount of TNT that killed Gamin after Gamin. Unfortunately for the Arcanists they each shattered into fragments that damaged Snow Storm enough for the surviving Guild to gang up and take him down. Great fun!

What I liked

This was a really entertaining game! There was quite a few 'cinematic' moments with characters getting frozen to terrain (as George pointed out, they shouldn't have licked the drainpipes!) and huge explosions. So my first impression is that Malifaux is FUN! And this is what skirmish gaming is all about! Both of us were in the mind to enjoy the game and I was buzzing for a while afterwards and wanted to play again, there and then. If that's the mark of a good game then Malifaux has it in spades!

I also really, really like the card mechanism. This is central to the game and the use of the suits to control triggers and spells is simply genius! It's very refreshing, too; a game that you can play entirely without the use of a single die. The control cards that you have in your hand also play a major part and that just adds another dimension to the game. Let's face it, decisions are the mainstay of any wargame. That's why we play them and the more impact they have on the game, the better. In Malifaux you are deciding what figure to activate next, what abilities will it use, how can they influence the current and future situation, whether to expend precious soulstones and whether to cheat fate (by playing a card out of your hand instead of the one drawn). A myriad of decisions need to be made constantly and I found that barely a minute elapsed where I wasn't thinking about my next move or agonising over whether to accept a hit and keep the good control cards for later or not.

Finally, the characters themselves. They are all highly individual and each brings value to the table. Even from very limited exposure to the game it can be seen that there are many synergies between characters, but I suspect that there is real depth here and you could find some pretty odd, but powerful combos with some experimentation. And that brings replayability!

What I didn't like


Seriously! I liked it all! OK, I probably didn't like having to refer to the cards all the time, but that's more a feature of my noobness. The more you play with the same crew, the more you'll get to know their abilities without constant reference. Although, having said that, the vets at the club acknowledged that even with experience you still need to reference the cards as there is so much to it. And that's actually a good thing in my book!

The verdict...?!

You should have guessed this by now! I love the game and I want to play it again as soon as possible. From the moment I bought the rules and read them I knew I would like it and last night just affirmed that. So now I have an unbridled desire to paint all the Wyrd stuff I have, but I must reel it in! I will finish the second Guild Guard figure and then finish the Super team I have assembled. Then, and only then, will I allow myself to paint more Malifaux. Until then, I'll just get to know Perdita a little better...if she'll let me! :)

Anatoli's Game Room Review
Bell of Lost Souls Review
BoardGameGeek Review

Friday, 6 April 2012

Malifaux Guild Guard 1

Just finished the first of the Guild Guard figures I've been working on. As they're Guild I thought I'd better do them a bit better than normal to fit in with the rest of Perdita's crew. The coat on this one was painted Vallejo Dark Blue and then shaded by adding Dark Prussia Blue to it bit by bit and glazing away. Then Andrea Blue was added to the Dark Blue and some very minimal highlights added. To try something different I painted the second Guardsman coat by starting with Dark Prussia Blue and highlighting up. To be honest I prefer this model, but I won't go back and repaint the other one. Hopefully I'll get it finished before next Tuesday, though, because...shock...I actually have my very first game of Malifaux scheduled! Really looking forward to that and I'll try to remember to take some pics and post a batrep. After that I'll be concentrating on more Reaper superheroes.

Again, not varnished yet so excuse some shininess in a couple of pictures. I'm hoping to pop into town tomorrow to investigate some alternatives.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Up and at them!

Rainer Wolfcastle: Up and at them. 
Dialogue coach: No, "Up and atom". 
Rainer Wolfcastle: Up and at them. 
Dialogue coach: Up and *atom*. 
Rainer Wolfcastle: Up and at them. 
Dialogue coach: [frustrated] Better. 

A couple of weeks ago a colleague at work introduced me to SuperSystem. I'd never heard of it before and the idea of creating your own superheroes? Well...who could resist? A good deal of my University grant and loan money was spent on comics and I've always liked the genre. So I had to get some figures for it. I looked at Superfigs first, but it seems you can only source them from the US, so I thought there must be more lines out there somewhere. Enter trusty old Reaper miniatures! The Chronoscope line has several suitable figures, all bearing that mark of quality sculpting. So first up is Inferno, the female version of the Human Torch:

I haven't varnished her yet, as I'm actually in the market for a new varnish, not being satisfied with recent attempts using brush on and spray Humbrol Matt Cote. So the pictures aren't the best, but they'll have to do. Not entirely convinced about the fire, but I think it's as good as I can get on a first attempt. Still toying with adding an icon to her suit, too, but I can't decide what!! Perhaps when the team is done I'll think up one for them all, like the X-Men, or something.
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