Wednesday 24 January 2024

Space Hulk by Pub Light

Sunday before last saw me back in the pub for another round of first edition Space Hulk! Once again, I took on the role of the genestealers, while my two gaming buddies each took a squad of marines (played here by Steel Legion and Karskin troops). We played 'Mission Five: Decoy' from the main Mission Book. I can't remember ever playing this mission before, but selected it because it just fit on the pub table!

The mission tasks the marines with getting 5 of their 10 guys across the table and out the exit. In truth, I thought the marines blew it in the opening turns of the game, when they got bottled-necked at an early cross roads and had their flamers stuck in the middle. I perhaps didn't go after them quite as hard as I could have at that moment, but I have always been more of a games master than a competitor*. Anyway, the game is still notoriously hard for the marines, even when the stealer player isn't the smartest.

We also adopted one house rule for the game, saying that when a flamer trooper runs out of ammo, they can switch to a pistol, which only rolled one die, hitting on a 6. This actually proved crucial in the late game, as the Steel Legion flame trooper racked up an impressive number of pistol kills, defending a crucial corner before finally being taken down (that's him with the plasma gun in the photo!). 

In the end, the marines just managed to get the 5th guy off before everyone else was dragged down by aliens. Another turn, or a bad command points draw on that last turn, and they wouldn't have made it.

I am continually impressed by how this very old game design continues to deliver great play experiences. 

* In my defence, the cover of the first edition box proudly proclaims the game to be '3D Role-Play'. Though Rick Priestly once told me that they only put that on there because RPGs were so big at the time.

Monday 22 January 2024

Monkey Slush

 It was said that 10,000 monkeys, typing on 10,000 typewriters, would eventually produce Shakespeare. ‘Artificial Intelligence’ may prove this true. What isn’t said is that 10,000 humans would have to read this mountainous pile of monkey-slush, almost of all of which will be closer to shake-poo than Shakespeare. Ask yourself, do you really want to be a monkey poo reader?

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Pyrkon in Poznan, Poland!

It's official. In June I will be a guest at Pyrkon, a large geek-gathering in Poznan, Poland!

I have never been to the convention before... in fact, I've never been to Poland before, so it should be loads of fun. 

While the program is still being worked out, I am planning on giving a talk about writing games and also participating in a few games of Frostgrave and The Silver Bayonet

Last year their miniature gaming guest was Jervis Johnson - so I've got some big shoes to fill! 

More news as I have it, but if you are Polish (or looking for a new geek adventure in another country!) and you love miniature gaming, please make sure to come by and say 'hi'. I'll be practicing how to say hello in Polish, but that'll probably be the best I can do.

Monday 8 January 2024

Rangers of Shadow Deep Compendiums...

I’m really looking forward to the release
of Rangers of Shadow Deep: A Gathering of Heroes
. You can pre-order in the USA here, UK & Rest of World here and you’ll get the PDF now. Or you can wait to see what kind of deals North Star does with the book and figures. However, the book has naturally raised a lot of questions. These are the same kinds of questions that always come up when dealing with books of collected material – questions that have plagued game publishers for decades. 

As I said before, I mainly created A Gathering of Heroes to get a big, beautiful book! I included new material because I had some new exciting material that I wanted to present in the best-looking way, and I included older material both to make the book big enough to justify publication but also to give that material the A-star treatment. I wanted to give people the option to buy the better-looking book, but not force them to just to get the new material – which is why the book will have a low ebook price when it is officially released.

If this book goes well, I hope someday I will do something similar with the 3 supplements that currently aren’t collected (Across the Wastes, Dungeons Dark, and Tenebrous Citadel). I don’t know when (or truly even if) that will be. My question – are there people that would like to see these three supplements collected into an Adventure Compendium 2 (to match the Adventure Compendium 1 that I published?). This would contain no new material and would literally just be the three books bound together. The only real plus is having them in one book and getting a cover to match Adventure Compendium 1. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And just for fun, and for those who might be wondering, here are the 10 Archetypes contained in A Gathering of Heroes

Red Hawk Knight
Chthonian Mage 
River Shark 
Servant of Seth 
Varakian Archer
Vampire Hunter 
Scrollmaster of Melnoth 
Encarnoth Delver 
Wasteland Firesword 
Shadow Deep Survivor or Defector

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Genestealer Hybrids (and 2023 Review!)


Here's the last three miniatures I completed in 2023 - a trio of 'homemade' genestealer hybrids. I want a complete set of the genestealer hybrids that can appear during Space Hulk games, but I didn't fancy paying the price to get either the classic or the modern models. So, I decided to use what I've got -  a box of Stargrave Scavengers and a few left over genestealer bits. Thankfully, the scavengers box includes a few heads that work great for hybrids (including one zombified version which I used for the magus in the middle). I'll need about a dozen of these guys all together, but I'm not in a huge rush.

These capped off a year in which I painted 104 models - down a bit from last year's 116 - but still a pretty good tally! Once again, those models are spread all over the genre map. 20 of them were genestealers or hybrids. Another 29 were science-fiction, including my new Stargrave crew and a bunch of Colonial Marines. A few were for The Lord of the Rings, as I finally finished up my Fellowship of the Ring. This doesn't count the 12 figures I painted for my slowly growing Dol Amroth army.  Another 8 were for Marvel: Crisis Protocol. 

I've got a couple of projects I'd like to finish in 2024: Those hybrids I mentioned, phase 1 of my Dol Amroth army, and that set of Warcry terrain that has been hanging around for too long. But, I'm also going to try and not worry about it too much. I like hopping around, depending on my mood, and as long as I don't buy too much for anyone project at any one time, I don't see this as being a problem. In truth, I'd rather spend a bit more time this year getting minis onto the gaming table than getting them off the painting desk!