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!!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Black Hat - Tales of the Dragon Kings review

What with my work on Lo Chan Fu's gang I thought I would keep the Chinese theme going with some Chinese mythology figures for 7th Voyage. So, when George suggested taking a look at Black Hat miniatures' Monkey figures, I was instantly enamored with their 'Tales of the Dragon Kings' range. The pictures on their site are sumptuously painted and I just had to get a sample to see them in the flesh. The pack that I couldn't resist was the 'Vampire Hunter', complete with hopping vampire! Man! I love the film Mr. Vampire, so this was an absolute no-brainer!

Now, I'd ordered a couple of books from Black Hat before (Morituri Te Salutant and Strange Aeons) and had been satisfied with their service, but...good grief! They were lightning fast this time! I impulse ordered the minis on Wed night and they arrived in the post today, Friday! So many kudos to Black Hat for their service. But what of the miniatures? 
Vampire Hunters plus hopping vampire!
Ok, I also couldn't resist Chinese zombies!
As soon as I pulled them out their bags I was very pleased with the figures. There isn't a lot of flash and the mould lines weren't too bad either. Overall, they are pretty clean and well cast. So plus points there. Looking at the sculpts, they are crammed with lots of detail and plenty of character. The Hunters have garlic buds around their necks and are nicely posed. The figure second from the right has very well sculpted robes (and he's a pretty hefty chunk of metal, too), while the vampire has plenty of detail in his funeral robes, and his face is absolutely perfect! The zombies, likewise, have characterful faces and really look the part. 

So, is there anything bad about them? Well, the only thing I can say is I found them to be a shade smaller than current 28mm. They're definitely bigger than 25mm, but not quite as big as current 28mm ranges. Of course, most '28mm' are actually bigger than that, so these might actually be a more 'true' 28! On the whole, though, I don't think a millimetre or two makes a huge amount of difference and height wise they will probably just about fit with other ranges like North Star's In Her Majesty's Name figures:
A zombie next to a North Star Tong. This shot is a bit deceptive as the Tong is leaning forward.
Vampire Hunter next to Westwind's Dragon Lady.
For me the size difference probably doesn't matter, as I have some slightly smaller Tongs that I can mix in, plus the Tales of the Dragon King range has enough that you could easily put together a skirmish game from them alone.
A Hunter carrying a lamp. Very atmospheric!
Overall, I'm happy with the figures and will be investing in more of them. They are full of character and there is very little that I would say against them. My rating is a very solid 8 out of 10 (who can resist a hopping vampire?)! 

You can find the full range with the pictures of the lovely painted figures here - Tales of the Dragon King

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Inscrutable Dr. Lo Chan Fu - A 7TV Villain

At the turn of the 20th Century, a fanatical group of Boxer rebels called the Brotherhood of the Fist fell under the thrall of a mysterious and enigmatic leader known as Dr. Lo Chan Fu. Under his guidance they waged an extremely successful campaign of terror and extortion against the wealthy elite until the Boxer rebellion was finally stamped out. However, through Lo Chan Fu's mystical abilities the majority of the Brotherhood escaped the retributions and vanished into the countryside. For years they preyed upon minor nobility and wealthy businessmen while evading the authorities until a fateful event in the Siberian summer of 1908!

The meteor strike of 1908 was an event that a sorcerer of Lo Chan Fu's ability could not ignore. Gathering a cadre of Brotherhood thugs he went to the site of the crater seeking the meteorite, but he was not the first there. Already scouring the countryside was a the Mad Monk, Rasputin, leading a band of Russian acolytes. As the two groups squared off a group of British, French and American agents appeared and a running battle ensued. The Chinese and Russians were driven off but, finding common ground, they united into a force that would plague all the civilized countries of the globe - the League of Occultists, Subversives and Terrorists or L.O.S.T.

Dr Lo Chan Fu

Very much the manipulator, Lo Chan Fu is older than any would suspect. His longevity is achieved by a tonic that only he knows the recipe for and an aptitude for having others do his dirty work. He is averse to physical confrontation and will do all he can to avoid enemy agents getting too close. If pressed he will often resort to the magics of his ancestors and cross to the spirit plane where he cannot be touched.

Sinister Mystic | Star | Ratings 55

Mv: 6 Def: 5 Hits 3 Str: 3 Agi: 3 Int:5 Morale: 5

Special Effects
Hypnotise; Luck (2); Incorporeal; I Will Return!; Telepathy; Leader (1); Obey Me!


Basic: Brawl 3+

Star Quality
Weaver of Fates
The Sinister Mystic seems to be able to influence the very destinies of the cosmos. You may draw an extra 2 event cards at the start of the game, and can influence event card die rolls by either +1 or –1 if you wish. In addition, a tied initiative roll grants the Mystic’s side one audience appreciation marker as the cosmic energies favour the Mystic’s cast.

Expect to see the sinister Lo Chan Fu coming to an episode of 7TV soon. The script writers have also hinted at the possibility of seeing his rise to power charted in a spin off using In Her Majesty's Name!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Lost and found - my painting mojo!

The past couple of months have seen me do practically no painting. For some reason I just totally lost my mojo and was quite uninterested in it. I think the root cause was pushing myself to paint all the Malifaux stuff, but never actually managing to get a game of it. But I think I've finally found it again and I picked up a brush the past two nights and finished off a couple of Malifaux figures that had been sitting half done and bugging me.
The big factor in getting back to it is the insane amount of fun I had in George's 7TV game and the release of the new In Her Majesty's Name rules. I picked up the Black Dragon Tong company for the latter and I have some plans to make a couple of 7TV villains that would allow a lot of crossover use of the figures.

Also, this coming weekend is Wappinshaw, the Glasgow games convention, and I'm really looking forward to that. Details for anyone interested can be found here: http://wappinshaw.blogspot.co.uk/

Friday, 24 May 2013

On The Road Again - a Force on Force AAR

This week's game at the club was a return to Murdistan and the Royal Marines pushing further into Murdistan. The scenario was the Marines had to try and escort two Challenger IIs through an area of known enemy activity. Mustered in front of them were a mixed bag of Murdistani Jihadists and a rag-tag bag of regulars. Plenty of RPGs awaited the tanks as usual, while at the rear lurked an 82mm mortar. George took the British forces while Nick and I split the Murdistanis, Nick taking the regulars and I the Jihadists.

The Jihadists lie in ambush. They are positioned to create a stubborn 'road bump' and soften the enemy up before hitting the regulars.

The regulars are entrenched in the rear.
The game began with the British advancing cautiously, suspecting an enemy surprise, which was duly delivered. Fortunately, the resulting fire was sporadic and the transports were only lightly damaged. However, the effect was to make the infantry start to de-bus to dig out the resistance, thus slowing the advance down. And that was pretty much as far as they got! In an incredible twist of fate, the Murdistanis managed to seize the initiative over the next two turns and they just poured the fire on making the British react with fire and thus losing their ability to move forward with any purpose. Critically, it meant that the British couldn't make use of their superior firepower on overwatch. And, to add insult to injury, the mortar displayed some scarily accurate fire and began to pick off some of the transports still carrying troops. The end result was 2 British dead and several seriously wounded. The Challenger IIs did start to make their presence felt, knocking out the two obsolete T-55 tanks that the Murdistanis brought up, but it was not enough.
A direct mortar hit sets a Viking APC ablaze., while the Challengers rumble up the road.
Another mortar strike brews up another APC. The crew and passengers suffer 50% casualties.
Looking up the road from the British positions at the end. The Murdistani positions are mostly intact.
The same cannot be said of the British!
At this point George decided that the losses were way too heavy and withdrew. I have to say, I haven't seen dice rolling quite as bad as George displayed during this game! Losing two turns of initiative is almost unheard of and there were several times that Jihadist cells were actually untouched by the incoming fire. It just goes to show that the superior training and organisation of the Western forces doesn't always triumph. George was really unlucky throughout the game, but things just went pear-shaped and started to snowball. As is usually the way in wargames!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Dr Price, I presume? - a 7TV report

On Tuesday I had an extremely fun game of 7TV with George and Nick. George kindly provided the figures and the game was played out on G3 terrain. The scenario was basically a re-work of our 3 way cowboy games but updated to a 70s TV theme. The dastardly Guru (me) was out to get the United Radionics team (George) for selling dodgy fembots, while they were after Tweedy Mattison (i.e. The Doctor played by Nick) for non-payment after delivery of sonic screwdrivers. Tweedy was determined to end the machinations of his arch-nemesis the Guru. Cracking stuff!

The episode opened on a shot of a deserted shopping centre! But soon, out of the shadows the cast of heroes and villains appears.
The villainous Guru is escorted by his sinister, black-clad guards!
The Man in the Lead-lined Suit grunts as United Radionics make their way into the mall.
A dapper, charismatic fellow leads a group of burly Department X troopers out of...nowhere!
Each of the groups was also intent on finding Dr Price who has fled to the shopping centre with the secret to a doomsday machine. Who will find him first?
The Guru manages to blend into the background and approach the United Radionics goons unnoticed (he has the Infiltrator characteristic which lets him deploy near the enemy, but they can't target him till he gets close). He then offers them a cigarette but they are all stunned by the sleep gas it emits! Muahahahahaaaa!

But Department X also have their infiltration specialists! One of these Guru guards searching for Dr Price is actually a UNIT officer in disguise!
Tweedy and May Killian, his ever present companion, search a groovy record store!  The penny token turns out to be Dr Price!
Meanwhile, the Guru's guards fan out across the concourse!
And suddenly May Killian leaps out on an unsuspecting guard! A fierce struggle ensues during which the girl proves she is as fearsome in close combat as a new-born kitten! Luck is with her, though, and she finally cleaned his clock, only to be casually gunned down by the faceless Guru guards that surrounded her! The cads!
Meanwhile, in the climactic scene of the show, Doris, the United Radionics fembot, sashays towards the nearest Department X trooper, attempting to lure him out of his cover! But, as she draws near he flips open his Pocket Watch Jammer and she whirls out of control! The supporting troopers draw a bead and Doris is soon fit only for the scrap heap! 

As Doris crashed to the ground, the Guru guards swarmed forward and took out the hulking Man in the Lead-lined Suit, whose hideously mutated hide could not save him! As he slumped to the ground the United Radionics boss, Lancelot Cray, decided that discretion was the better part of valour and slunk away into the shadows. As the credits began to roll, Dr Price was shown through a door that led nowhere by the charismatic stranger while the Guru cackled as he throttled one of the hapless goons that was stunned by his sleep spray. Many children were found hiding behind the couch as the episode finished!

What can I say? This was one of the most fun games I've had in ages! 7TV is a fantastic set of rules with tons of scope for making up your own characters and this time we played with gadgets which really added to the fun! The sleep spray and the pocket watch jammer had amazingly thematic and entertaining impacts on the game and were definitely worth including. Also, we saw this out in about 2 hours flat, as the rules are very easy to get to grips with, but give you plenty of tactical headaches as you can't activate all your figures. If you enjoyed this report I'd thoroughly recommend checking out the 7TV rules as there are scads of supplements to be had, from Harryhausen inspired escapades to underground Bond villain lairs! Brilliant!
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