Monday, 14 June 2021

New for Rangers of Shadow Deep!


Two exciting releases for Rangers of Shadow Deep today! First up is Adventure Compendium I. This book collects the first four expansions for the game (Blood Moon, Temple of Madness, Ghost Stone, & Incinerator) into one book available in print-on-demand in both hardback and paperback. Note, this book has no new material, it’s just for collectors who want it all in a nice format.

Next up is Star of Alladore – the official Rangers of Shadow Deep Fanzine! For this book, I served as editor while inviting 5 Shadow Deep fans to contribute their own pieces. In these pages are scenarios where Rangers must quell a revolt in the heart of the capital of Alladore, investigate a hamlet stuck down with plague, explore the dungeons beneath an abandoned tower, sneak into a gnoll occupied village, and defend a group of refugees as they flee the frontlines of the war. It also includes my short piece on Aventine’s sword. Featuring Barrett Stanley’s usual dark and moody artwork, it tells a lot of stories of the war that I’d never have time to cover or would have never thought of in the first place!

For those wandering about part two of The Rescue, Dungeons Dark – I have finished writing it, Barrett has nearly finished the artwork, and I hope to be sending it to design soon. That still leaves a lot of work to do, but hopefully it should appear before the summer is out!

Friday, 11 June 2021

Bug-Eyed Monster

I believe my first encounter with science-fiction literature was Andre Norton’s The Last Planet (sometimes entitled Star Rangers). My parents read the book to me when I was quite young. I say ‘parents’ because I can’t actually remember which parent. Mom was the big Andre Norton fan, but Dad did more of the reading… In fact, it may be that both read it to me at different times.

I can’t say whether or not it is a great book, but I certainly loved it at the time. It features a small team that crash lands on a remote world. I don’t remember much about the plot, but I do remember the ‘team’ consisted of a human, a bird-man, a reptile-man, and a human with large eyes adapted to low-light who had to wear large goggles in normal sunlight. I also remember that the non-humans were called ‘Bemmies’, short for ‘Bug-Eyed Monsters’. Not overly PC, but certainly believable. Amusingly, the cover features 3 humans and a robot!)

I hadn’t thought about the book in years, until it popped back into my head while I was working on Stargrave. It popped in there again as I was painting my most recent miniature (above).

This is completely a ‘for fun’ figure. I have no specific purpose for him, but I can see him getting use in all kinds of scenarios. He could be a medic, or the guy carrying the case full of money, or maybe just the Ravaged Galaxy’s equivalent of a travelling shower-curtain ring salesman. Who knows.

Anyway, he was fun to put together and even more fun to paint!

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Only Diet Soda?


Even colonial marines get thirsty! These are the last two miniatures I have completed. The one on the left is the second of the colonial marines I'm assembling from the Stargrave plastic box sets. The other is a soda machine from Reaper miniature's Bones line. 

I love little pieces like the soda machine. I mean, it can either be some kind of special loot token or objective in a Stargrave game, or it can just be a bit of scatter terrain. 

Friday, 28 May 2021

No Life-Signs...


For my second Stargrave figure, I wanted to see if I could paint up an Aliens-esque colonial marine. I think the answer to that is a 'affirmative'! This guy is mostly made from the Mercenaries box, though his arms might come from the Troopers box, I can't quite remember. One of the great things about these figures is the depth of the detail. Not only does this make them a real joy to paint, but it makes it very easy to add a bit of scraping and battle damage to the armour, as I did rather liberally on this guy.

I'm planning on making up a small squad of these guys.

This photograph is also a hint towards and article I was working on last week... coming sometime in the future in Wargames Illustrated!

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Pilot for my A-Wing!


A few months back, I picked up a bargain, - an A-wing fighter from Amazon. You can read all about it here.

The only thing that disappointed me was that I didn't have a pilot for it. Well now, thanks to the Stargrave Crew box, I had the parts available to build my own! 

The figure is a straight assembly of parts in the box, and it scales almost perfectly with the fighter! 

I don't paint with orange very often, unless I happen to be painting pumpkins, but there is something really delightful about the high contrast between the orange jumpsuit and the white straps. It really makes the figure pop! 

I must admit, doing this one figure has kind of got me interested in doing a small squad of 'rebels'. 

(P.S. Yes, I know that in the movies A-wing pilots are generally depicted as wearing green, but I wanted orange.)

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

A Little Corner of Frostgrave

Christmas 2020 was an odd one for a lot of reasons, but one of the good ones was this amazing gift I received from the guys as Illusionary Terrain. I've hung out with these guys many times over the last few years, and even played a few great wargames. That said, I wasn't expecting this!

It's 10mm Frostgrave! A 12" square, covered in snowy, ruined terrain. There are even two little warbands to fight over it, and a couple of wandering monsters - a large construct and a monstrous Ice Toad! 

Now, I admit, I haven't actually played a real game on it so far, but I've had a lot of fun playing with it none-the-less. Thanks guys! I'll let my mediocre photos say the rest.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Stargrave: The Powers

The official release of Stargrave is now just two weeks away, and the Stargrave Nickstarter pre-order program is surging onwards, with lots of cool new miniatures.

Today, Osprey Games released the Power Card Sheets from the rulebook as a free download. These cards contain the rules for all of the powers that Captains and First mates can choose from, all 52 of them.

Creating these powers was probably the most enjoyable part of the design process. It was my chance to develop fun and clever ways to bend or break my own rules, to give players the chance to manipulate the game environment, and to allow the main characters to do some really cool, cinematic stuff.

Also, it presented a nice challenge. In Frostgrave, everyone is controlling a wizard, so it was easy to justify anything cool they could do, just by saying ‘its magic’! In Stargrave though, the characters come from all kinds of different backgrounds. While a few, such as the Mystic and the Psionic can do things that look a bit like magic, most of the others; however, can not. Soldiers, Rogues, Cyborgs, etc. should have abilities based more on skills, or technology, or luck. In fact, that’s why I called these things ‘Powers’, as I couldn’t think of a better, all inclusive term, for the different abilities that captains and first mates can possess.

Now, in truth, I haven’t worried too much about the logical justification of why a particular captain has a particular power – that’s up to the player when creating the captain’s background – but I did want to create powers that could match as many different sci-fi tropes as possible. So, if you want a captain who survives by his combat training and wits alone, you can. You can also have a mystic that can suck the lifeforce out of others and blast things with weird energy. The key for me, was making both characters fun, balanced, and desirable.

So, have a look through all the powers and, hopefully, it will get your own creativity stirring, giving you ideas for cool characters to start their adventures in the Ravage Galaxy!