Monday 29 April 2024

I'm Not Going to Paint HeroQuest

I told myself I wasn't going to paint the HeroQuest figures. My family is already using some Reaper figures I painted up for our heroes, and there were just too many monsters and furniture to be worth the time...

I was looking at that mummy figure, and I thought, I'll bet I can basically paint him with a wash. So I sprayed him white, gave him a heavy wash of Army Painter Mid-Brown, and then picked out the fleshier areas with Army Painter Pallid Bone contrast paint. Then I painted the base grey. That's it, four paints and it came out looking pretty good. 

So then I thought I might try a skeleton. He's mostly contrast paints and washes too. It probably took me about 1/4 of the time it usually takes me to paint a figure. Well, it doesn't make much sense to just paint two figures in the game... so I guess I'm committed to painting them all now!

Thursday 25 April 2024

Oh, Hypocrisy…

A few weeks ago, I posted an article over on my Patreon (free to read) about why I gave my Dungeons & Dragons 5e books away. Long story short, I didn’t want to support the company, Wizards of the Coast, when there were so many great alternatives available. About a week later, I ordered HeroQuest, a miniature heavy board game produced by Avalon Hill. The problem is, both Wizards of the Coast and Avalon Hill are both ultimately owned by Hasbro.

I didn’t realize this at the time I ordered HeroQuest, but I don't think it would have changed my decision anyway. I have been looking for a long time for a dungeon-crawler style board game to play with my family, especially my kids. We had played Mice & Mystics, which they really enjoyed, but I wanted something that was a bit more classic dungeon-crawling and something that was infinitely expandable. I searched, and searched, and all roads kept pointing back to HeroQuest. There is just nothing else, that I could find, quite like it.

Does this make me a hypocrite? I don’t know. In the case of D&D there are alternatives that I think are just as good (if not better). In the case of HeroQuest, I couldn’t find any.

The world is a big confusing place, and every question that gets asked is a little bit different. It’s hard not to trip over your own feet sometimes, and I doubt any human is 100% consistent.

So, I still believe that it is better to support the small companies, and independent creators, and companies with a better track record towards their employees and fans, but I also believe we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. Those big companies often produce cool stuff. Sometimes it’s the best; sometimes its just loud and shiny and marketed everywhere. And I don't think anyone should feel too guilty about how they spend their hobby money.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this. Apparently, its a habit of mine.

My kids absolutely love HeroQuest. We’ve played a couple of games and they ask for it basically every night (when there usually isn’t time).

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Scavenger II

Amazingly, my only miniatures acquisition at Salute this year was the new Stargrave: Scavengers II box. (Those were the only miniatures, there was other stuff...) I was pretty excited to get this, as I've had so much fun kit-bashing and painting the Stargrave plastics, and they didn't disappoint. I quickly assembled a little squad of wastelanders, and here's the first one I painted up!

This figure mostly comes from the Scavengers II box, except the gun arm, which comes from Mercenaries II. The mask is designed to have a gasmask attachment, but I liked the look without it for this figure and left it off. I think it makes the figure strangely menacing. 

Sorry, I didn't have better lighting on the photo. I mainly rely on natural light, and it's in a bit of short supply around here at the moment. Spring teased us for a week, and then went on holiday.  

Monday 15 April 2024

Salute 2024


Despite my slightly uncomfortable look in the photo, I had a fantastic time at Salute, 2024. The Osprey Games crew treated me fantastically, as they always do, and we shared many laughs as well as interesting discussions about games and life.

My hot new product for the show was The Silver Bayonet: Egypt. Apparently a shipment arrived just in time to be available at the show a week or so early. They proved rather popular, and I spent a lot of my day signing books and chatting with fans.

Also new on the stand was the Stargrave: Scavengers II box set. I brought one of these home myself. 

The show seemed extremely well-attended this year - certainly the best in years, if not ever, and the atmosphere was wonderful. I'm already looking forward to next year!

Thursday 4 April 2024



Another 'give it my all' weekend figure. This is another Reaper Bones USA figure sculpted by Bobby Jackson. I wanted to paint it, specifically, because of my recent interest in the OSR style of role-playing. I won't go deep into that topic here, but essentially OSR looks back to the earliest days of role-playing, of Dungeons & Dragons specifically, when 'dungeon crawling' was the central focus of the game. Back in those days, carrying a torch was crucial for dungeon explorers, so crucial, in fact, that adventuring groups often hired someone specifically to carry torches. 

Painting this figure was another way to explore this idea, mentally, while giving my fingers something to do. As always with BJ sculpts cast in either metal or Bones USA, the figure was a delight to paint, with both lots of character, and hard cuts separating detail.