Monday, December 31, 2012

Eyes front, mister

Today I got an email to one of my online accounts that someone had left a comment on my blog.

Only not this one. This was on a blog I had back in the heyday of Livejournal. (I used to have a Myspace page as well. Good Lord!) It was a response to a post I wrote about the alleged "War on Christmas" that has been waged, apparently, ever since, well, Christmas. I wrote that piece back in 2005 and had no idea it was even accessible anymore. Here's the link, if anyone wants to check it out.

My "holiday" musings

I used to write a lot of stuff like that, slightly political, embarrassingly personal. Loads of fun.

I am much happier doing this, sharing my interests and my passions and sharing, usually to those of you who are my friends on Facebook, the real events that impact my life, normally dealing with Tracey's and my health challenges. Thank you all for your support, attention, and prayers during the tough times we've had during 2012.

Oh, and I passed a milestone the other day. Or was that a kidney stone? Actually, this blog passed a milestone, not a huge one, but one I'm proud of and didn't think I'd hit so soon. Sometime around Dec. 8th or so, Dispatches from the Rim passed 5,000 pageviews. Too cool!

I couldn't have imagined back on July 8 of this year that so many people would've looked at my writing here. Thanks, everybody, for the time and attention you've given my corner of the Interwebs. I promise it's just going to get better from here. More posts, more pictures, and some actual PAINTED miniatures -- newly painted by ME -- in the new year!

More soon. This is Christopher Sheets, over and out from the closing minutes of 2012 and looking forward to sharing 2013 with you, all my amazing, talented friends.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Last few hours for Zombie Plague kickstarter

Everybody loves Zombie Plague, which has been around as a free downloadable game for a number of years. Now Brian Roe (Roebeast) has incorparated the game into a double sized comic book and created minis for both the survivors and the zombies. There's about 5 hours left, and he's only a few hundred dollars away from reaching his final stretch goal, which is scenic bases for all the minis. For a $50 pledge, you get the four survivors and the stretch goal zombie minis, the comic with game rules inside, and there are great add-ons to choose as well. C'mon people!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm a Kickstarter junkie.

I've really got to get it under control. Shiny, shiny! I want to support ALL the great miniature company Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects I see going on right now. But I'm not made of money. On the contrary, I'm made of old receipts, ticket stubs and dust.

I showed the unboxing for Zombicide, which was the first Kickstarter I got behind in a big way, but not the first one I contributed to. I first kicked in support for It Came From Beyond the Still, also known as Aliens vs. Hillbillies. I'll show some of my models for that later on,

What I want to share with you today is the result of what support I could put behind a project from Impact, called Little Urban Achievers. My rewards arrived today, and they look fantastic. The goal of this project was to produce minis with the look of the cast of a certain film involving bowling, carpet, and a Dude who Abides. I didn't have much spare cash as the funding period wrapped up, but I did have about $20, so I scored three figures from the initial run. I chose El Duderino, The Vet(eran) and Chino. Impact already had the Valkyrie figure available, so I figured I could grab her any time.

Chino, El Duderino and The Vet(eran)

 I plan on using them for my zombie table. Once I have a zombie table. Oh, I've got plans, but no table yet. Soon, oh my brothers and my sisters, we will viddy well a real horrorshow table for my zombie kriegspielen. Yes we will.

What you see behind the figures (and underneath them) was my other acquisition today, the limited edition strategy guide for Capcom's Resident Evil 6. I'm getting the game for Christmas, but I'm a patch collector, so I wasn't going to let these get away from me. I already had one of the BSAA patches you see behind Chino there, since it was included with the limited edition copies of the Resident Evil 5 game. But the other two are new. When I say I collect patches, let me be more specific. I collect patches of fictional groups or organizations and imaginary events. I have the patches for some of the Clans from Battletech, the factions in
Warmachine and Hordes from Privateer Press, one from the Miskatonic University 1930-1931 Antarctic Expedition detailed in Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness," by Propnomicon, who is a propmaking mastermind and artisan without equal, the Ishimura Planet-Cracker patch from the original Dead Space video game, several more. I haven't added any of patches for units from the Infinity game yet, but I'm sure I'll get some in time as I get more into that game. I read "Campaign: Paradiso" over my vacation and really enjoyed it. The writing was top-notch, the production values are off the chain, and the painting and art are breathtaking. Love, love, love it.

Enough rambling. So here's the other two patches, along with the BSAA one:

One cool thing of which I was unaware was that the strategy guide's cover is the box art for the Japanese release of the game. The U.S. edition just has that funky giraffe-looking weblike No. 6 on it.

Has me all excited! I hope all my friends and readers in the States enjoy their Thanksgiving, however they get to spend it. And I hope all my readers and friends elsewhere enjoy the next few days as well. I've got to come into work on the infamous "Black Friday" this year, but I'm actually off on Thanksgiving Day, which hasn't happened in a while. Not sure yet what Tracey and I are doing.

Check back in a few days and I'll give you a rundown of the kickstarter and indiegogo projects I am backing and the ones I wish I was backing.

Oh, and I think I disabled the Captcha on the comments, at least I tried to, but who knows?!? Somebody try it and tell me how it goes. I really want people to feel free to comment, and I'd rather spend my time deleting spam than hearing only the sound of crickets because I've made it difficult.

Thanks, everybody, for stopping by and spending this bit of time with me. You, my friends, and this hobby we share (these hobbies, more like, for which of us is ONLY a wargamer) are some of the things for which I am truly thankful this year.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Empire of the Dead vampires

My wife has decided to field a vampire warband with a female Graefin for Empire of the Dead. While she hasn't worked out the stats yet, I did write up a little fluff for her, in the same manner I did for my Army of the Abandoned.

Francesca Annalyssa Alford Stonavorja Diamanté Delamere (a name for each husband she survived) holds no illusions about what she has become. Seductive, beautiful, stylish and at the height of fashion she may be, but the undead Lady in Red knows she is a scrap of velvet and a twist of flesh wrapped around a neverending hunger.

While she has gathered around her the thralls and servants typical of a powerful vampire, Delamere does not play the courtly political games of the other Lords of the Night. Her coterie are a means to an end, an aid to her hunting and, in an emergency, food.

When Delamere and her followers are seen beyond the grounds of the dilapidated mansion they inhabit, all others had best flee before them. They are fast and aggressive, flushing their prey from its hidey holes and running it to ground.

They then devour their victims in the field, heedless of watchers or witnesses. If sustenance is plentiful, Delamere may truss or captivate survivors and remove them to stock her living larder. Her whole band will then melt into darkness, leaving drained corpses and body parts littering the battlefield.

Real life has kept me from much hobby activity, even painting up minis for Hendybadger's Paint the City Pink charity effort, but maybe I can bid once the auctions start and help that way.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Another worthy pursuit

The amount of news surrounding gamers doing good is almost overwhelming these days!

It snuck up on me, but apparently it's time for the 4th SemiAnnual Frothers Charity Thingy. This charity effort rewards your donation to one of two charities (or to both!) with a fantastic mini, this time a sculpt by Hasslefree's Kev White of Judge Minty (with whom I was unfamiliar until today, although I've long been a MegHead). (Is that a term for fans of Judge Dredd? If not, it ought to be.)

There are lots of places on the Interwebz where you can find the details now, like Frothers itself, the Lead Adventure Forum, and others.

Here's a link to the Facebook page, which is where I ran across the effort, that has all the details on how to donate and where to send your information. The amount you donate is up to you, but it will certainly be put to good use. I'm glad I was able to get in on this effort this year! So go check it out, why don'cha?

FB page for The 4th SemiAnnual Frothers Charity Thingy

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A worthwhile endeavor

Please check out the following. So many of us have lost loved ones to cancer, and this fundraiser that Hendybadger is running has so many ways we all can participate and help.

Paint the City Pink

I fully intend to paint at least a couple of minis for this, if not more. I'm just so notoriously slow that I don't want to overpromise and underdeliver.

Thanks for your time and attention.

Monday, October 15, 2012

They made it!

Effigy's kickstarter reached their funding level, plus a couple hundred dollars! Great going, Tom, and thanks to all my fellow backers who helped this happen. To answer any nascent questions readers may have, I am in no way connected to Effigy Miniatures other than as an enthusiastic fan. My rabid touting of their Havoc Protocol project has been purely out of my own self interest, because I really wanted those Founder figures to join my household in February.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Down to the wire for Effigy's Kickstarter

There's less than two hours left in Effigy Miniature's kickstarter for their Havoc Protocol miniature line. While the line is an anime-influenced set of both male and female sci-fi troopers, there are other add-ons available, like their earlier specialists and the aristocratic civilians called the Founders. That's what I'm in it for. Here's the concept art for the Founders, by Aaron Minier.

The line is around $225 from its funding goal. If you're interested at all, now is the time to make sure Effigy can bring this great line to fruition! Thanks for taking the time to read this and take a look at Effigy's great effort.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Effigy's Havoc Protocol Kickstarter ends in a few days

As I write this, there are about 70 hours to go in Effigy's Kickstarter for their Havoc Protocol science fiction minis.

I bought their three specialist minis a while back and absolutely love them, so I'd really like to see the rest of these get made.

Effigy is about $800 from its funding goal. So if you like clean, strong sci-fi combat and civilian minis that have an anime edge but steer clear of the strong distortion you sometimes see in anime designs, these are for you.

Effigy's Havoc Protocol Kickstarter

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reaching out to help

Hendybadger is coordinating a breast cancer fundraiser that needs our participation to help. Paint a Pulp City mini in a pink theme for an auction and be eligible for prizes from the large pool he's gathered.

If I'm back home from the hospital in time, I'll definitely paint up something. Here's the latest link to Ian's blog, Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher, about the contest:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back to the hospital

My wife's strength and mobility have dropped off precipitously in the past few days. She was unable to even lift her legs to get out of the car when we went for her usual visit to the pain clinic Tuesday. One ambulance ride later and we're in the local ER. They've transferred her up to the hospital where she had her spinal surgery in June. So postings here and on Facebook will be erratic and probably not about miniatures for the next few days as the doctors try to figure out what's happened. I've got my smartphone, so I'll try and keep up with everything, even if I don't have much to contribute. Thanks, everyone, for the well wishes, prayers and good thoughts. Tracey and I appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrrrr, take a swill o' grog and batten down yer hatches, it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! In honor of the occasion, here's a video from the best rappers with buccaneer technique, Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dr. Moreau and the Army of the Abandoned

I promised in my last post to bring you a writeup about my new idea for a warband for Empire of the Dead. After seeing the amazing Greystoke faction that Laughing Ferret created, I figured I'd have a go.

Thus, I bring you the first bit of fluff detailing the Army of the Abandoned.

They are the remains of experiments conducted by Dr. Moreau at his laboratory in England before the townsfolk discovered his repeated use of vivisection and went all torches-and-pitchforks on him. He had retreived many samples from Noble's Isle before he took up permanent residence there and built his compound (which is where Prendick encounters him in Wells' novel). This misshapen bunch of crocodilians that Moreau had experimented on (I guess later science fiction would say he had "uplifted" them) has banded together for their mutual survival in this unfamiliar land. Although they were native animals of Noble's Isle, they predate Moreau's compound and the prohibitions and praises voiced by the Sayer of the Law. They most certainly will follow men, eat fish and flesh, and go on all fours, if that is what they need to do.

They seem to want to be left alone, but when they do strike, the violence can be horrifying and brutal. I plan on running them as a Lycaon list, unless a better option presents itself.

Here are the words of Gulth Deathroll, Speaker for the Army of the Abandoned:

This land hurts. The air hangs thick and wet, but not warm. We seldom see the sun so that we may bask in it.

The doctor brought us here from our island, then he awoke us from our long dreaming, living in the memories of our ancestors stretching back to when the Great and Terrible strode the land. We had not changed much, until the doctor woke us with his machines and his potions and the hurt of his sharp knives. Now we are awake. Now we know things, and think things, and walk upright and hunt and kill things other than those foolish enough to come near our water.

The doctor has gone, chased from his buildings and his domicile by angry others of his kind. We smashed our way free, lashed the gates with our spiny tails and slashed those who stood against us with claws and teeth as their paltry weapons beat ineffectually upon our scales.

And now, like others we have found, we have taken to the sewers beneath this city, where great brackish rivers move slowly through the manmade tunnels. The ruby crystals the men so adore keep us warm even in this northern clime, and our numbers grow. We slither up the river banks and raid; we clamber from the sewers and destroy. And we wait.

The doctor will return, or he will not. And we will murder him, or not. Our patience is far greater than man's, and the memory of the saurians is long.

As usual, I do not yet have any painted models for this faction of my dreams, but I do have many such models already in the Unpainted Mountain of Lead. Here are some catalog shots from the various manufacturers of figures that I'm likely to use:




Also, if giant monster rules are ever forthcoming, either from West Wind or one of us home-brewers, I could use several of the different BaneBeasts monsters from Maelstrom Games:

Of course, that would also necessitate me suddenly being made out of money, so we'll see what the future holds.

Further bulletins as events warrant, genties and ladlemen!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Super J" lands at my house

I stopped by the P.O. box Friday, and I was greeted by a tiny, wonderful visitor. Brain Cottrell produced these "Super J" minis in honor of his son, Jason. You can read my earlier post about it here, and Brian, whom many of us know as WeirdWWII, tells the story here on the Lead Adventure Forum. The proceeds from sales of the mini are going directly to the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance.

Brian said the first batch sold out in a matter of hours, but he is expecting another shipment shortly.

Like many, I was glad to help out and delighted to receive such a mini. Every time it graces my table I'll think of Jason, and of other children who could use some help as they soldier on against the heavy burdens life has placed on them. The warmth it engenders in me will, I'm sure, push me to make other donations later. Thank you, Brian, both for letting us share in helping out your son, and for helping me be a better person by sharing of what I have, now and in the future.

One thing I wasn't prepared for, though, is the size of this figure. I know Brian said he was 18mm high, but I certainly didn't look on a ruler. He'll scale right in with my 25-28mm minis, but seeing him IRL is a shock. The excellent paint job by Simon of Stone Cold Lead must have been done with a scanning electron microscope. Super J is so (to use a good Southern word) tee-ninsy!

(That's a long i in the second part of the word, by the way, for those of you unfamiliar with Southern dialect. Watch "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." They play up, exaggerate and exploit that family plenty, but those ARE authentic (mid)south Georgia accents. Even I need the subtitles sometimes.)

Here's my copy of the mini:

"Super J" mini from Brian Cottrell, sold as a fundraiser for the Friedreich's
 Ataxia Research Alliance. (Sorry it's a little blurry. Still learning
 to use this camera phone. And yes, my desk is always that dirty.) 

And here is he up against a U.S. penny.

That penny is sitting on his base with him and is tilted
 back slightly to rest against the keyboard base.

I doff my invisible cap to all those involved, and I hope Brian and his family raise a great deal of money for the charity through their efforts. I am eager to get Super J and his ever-present pal Snakey fighting the menaces in my own particular Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Coming up soon: More Empire of the Dead ideas. I actually wrote a few paragraphs of background for a new warband I plan to field using the Lycaon rules. My wife has decided to go for Vampires (as if there was any doubt. My wife is an evil mastermind.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weird WWII: "SUPER J" Charity Miniature

Brian, whom I know from the Lead Adventure Forum, has crafted a mini honoring his son Jason. In real life, Jason faces plenty of challenges and a bleak prognosis from Friedreich's Ataxia, and the proceeds from sales of this mini are going to research into the genetic disease.

I'll let Brian tell his own story, but suffice it to say in my dealings with him, he's proven to be one of the jewels of the wargaming community -- a true talent and a hell of a stand-up guy. That his efforts here are about providing hope not only for Jason but also for others who suffer from this currently incurable disease show you how big his heart is.

Brian is behind the excellent WWII-era Cap and Bucky minis you've seen floating around, and he's just done a Princess Diana of Themyscira that I'm eager to get into my mountain of unpainted lead.

The "Super J" unpainted mini is $10 with free shipping, and the proceeds go directly to the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance.

Brian, my best to you and your family! Here's a link to Brian's post from his own blog:

Weird WWII: "SUPER J" Charity Miniature: This gaming mini was made in the image of our son Jason and his sidekick, Snakie.  Jason was born with a rare genetic disease called ...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Follow-up question

OK everybody who read the description of my character Farraday Kage's powers, I have a question for you.

What miniature do you think I should use to represent F.K. On the tabletop?

Keep in mind that he's not your typical spandex-clad super. So we're talking contemporary male, youngish (late teens to late 20s, I'd say), wielding energy-based powers (both negation and projection).

Any suggestions?

Introducing Farraday Kage

I cannot believe it. Hendybadger's Create a Supreme Contest ended last week, and the winners were announced today.

The top winner was ... me! I'd entered a low-powered reluctant hero who's been stirring around in my cranium for a number of years, and the Pulp City-focused contest Ian ran was just the impetus I needed to get him out of my head and down on paper.

(Warning: The Pulp City link above plays music. The shut-off is at the top right of the screen, if you're viewing this from work or, like me, are listening to something else as you surf the Web.)

Here's the link to the announcement in Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher. I love it that Ian wrote up a combat between my hero, F.K., and Terminal Velocity, the character created by proditor.

Proditor won a colletion of 12 Reaper Chronoscope minis, and I won the hero and villain starter sets for Pulp City, plus two individual characters, Kitty Cheshire and Chimp Chi.

The photo I used to illustrate how I see F.K.s powers working. The photo illustration
is by artist Chris Maverick. See his work at

The quality of the entries was very high, and I was surprised to win the judges' decision because F.K. isn't a flashy, high-flying star-spangled hero. Of course, that's what I like about him -- he's a young guy dealing with powers he neither expected nor wanted and the side-effects of which have made him an outcast most of his life. But now he's coming into his own, I think, and the impetus of this contest win is pushing me to get some of his experiences down in writing.

Here's something else that helped inspire parts of F.K.'s creation:
Top Gear's Richard Hammond sitting on a Tesla coil while encased 
in a Voltrex suit, directing bolts of lightning with his hands.

As I told Ian in a private message I sent him, I've always been a writer, but by vocation I'm a journalist. I've always wanted to turn my hand to fiction, but I've been tentative about it. I've written poetry and plays and RPGs, but never narrative fiction.

So don't be surprised now when I foist my handiwork on you. And feedback is most welcome! My followers and readers on this blog are people whose work I myself admire, and I'd love to hear what you think once I get some fiction up here. I'll try and create a separate page for it so I won't clog up the blogging lanes if you're just here for gaming and the like.

Be safe, everybody.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ironclad Ladies Arrive + 20 Questions

Yay!* My first order from Ironclad Miniatures arrived today. As I've previously mentioned, these Victorian ladies will be the core of my warband for West Wind's Empire of the Dead, the Ladies Auxiliary.

My Ironclad ladies that just arrived:
From left, Mina Murray Harker, Irene Adler and Constance
Special thanks to John at Ironclad for enduring my emails. I think the ladies wanted to stop and see some of the Olympics before crossing the pond to get to my house. I must say these minis look even better in person than they did on the website. There are minor mold lines evident, nothing that can't be remedied with a moment's work with a needle file, and no flash that I saw. Mina's sword and Irene's pistol both bent somewhat during shipping, but I got them mostly straightened by hand here at my desk, and I'll get after them with some pliers once I get home. More once I get them dressed in some paint!

* Because "yeah" looks like a simple affirmative and "yea" looks archaic to me, so I'm going phonetically, "yay!"

Additionally, this questionnaire has been making the rounds on many of the wargaming blogs I read. Looks like it was crafted by Ray at "Don't Throw a One" and Fran at The Angry Lurker in a fit of ennui and animosity. So here are my answers. The questions are repeated below if you want to copy them for your own blog.
1.  Favourite Wargaming period and why? 
Modern, because I love to play Zombie games
2.  Next period, money no object? 
Weird World War II
3.  Favourite 5 films?
"Eat Drink Man Woman," "City of Lost Children," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Creepshow," "Duck Soup"4.  Favourite 5 TV series? 
Revenge, Project Runway, Dr. Who, Warehouse 13, Lost Girl5.  Favourite book and author?
"Armor" by John Steakley6.  Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
7.  Favourite Wargames rules?
All Things Zombie from Two-Hour Wargames8.  Favourite Sport and team?
Sorry, I don't follow sports.9.  If you had a one-use time machine, when and where would you go?
I would go back to get a chance to meet my paternal grandfather, who died several years before I was born.10. Last meal on Death Row?
Fried chicken, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and 247 Cadbury Creme Eggs11. Fantasy relationship and why?
I'm already in my fantasy relationship, with my lovely wife, Tracey12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Ben Affleck, or maybe Bruce Vilanch13. Favourite Comic Superhero?
Rorschach for "Watchmen"14. Favourite Military quote?
From Murphy's Laws of Combat: "If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush." 
15. Historical destination to visit? 

Stonehenge16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Selling my old Grey Knight Terminators17. Favourite Fantasy job?
Like Dave Attell said, "Manager of a chocolate factory run by big-breasted hookers." Unfortunately, like Dave, I ain't got the training for that. 
18. Favourite Song Top 5?

"All the Madmen" by David Bowie, "Ogdru Jahad" by Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, "Better. Faster. Stronger" by Kanye West and Daft Punk, "Better" by Jonathan Coulton, "Whistling in the Dark" by They Might Be Giants
19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?

It wasn't good for me, but I just loved the way it turned out. I was teaching an opponent to pay Battletech and we were having a 1-on-1 mech duel with the bendy plastics that came with the box set. I dropped into a pool to speed my cooling and my opponent walked up and kicked at me, crushing my mech's head. Priceless.20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
I work very hard to keep things from upsetting me (I have a heart condition). That said, I hate prejudice, racism and homophobia. 

The questions:

1.  Favourite Wargaming period and why?
2.  Next period, money no object?
3.  Favourite 5 films? 
4.  Favourite 5 TV series?
5.  Favourite book and author?
6.  Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
7.  Favourite Wargames rules?
8.  Favourite Sport and team?
9.  If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
10. Last meal on Death Row?
11. Fantasy relationship and why?
12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
13. Favourite Comic  Superhero?
14. Favourite Military quote?
15. Historical destination to visit?
16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
17. Favourite Fantasy job?
18. Favourite Song Top 5?
19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Latest acquisition

I don't think I've mentioned before what a Whovian I am. Tom Baker is my Doctor, but I've loved all of them since Russell T. Davies reinvigorated/resurrected the series.

So when I saw this, I had to have it. Luckily, my lovely wife said that was OK. It's from Dragon Chow Dice Bags, and it's gorgeous!

My new TARDIS dice bag from Dragon Chow.
A dice bag that's bigger on the inside!
I hadn't paid close attention to the dimensions (no pun intended) when I placed the order, so it was a little smaller than I was expecting, but I'm still delighted with it. I included the Cherry Coke Zero can for a size comparison for you. And the cute little blue d20 came with the bag. I'm a sucker for a lagniappe that has such utility.

It's got a flat, square bottom, so when full it will stand up well and make for easy access at the gaming table. The drawstring at the top, with its plastic catch or closure or whatever (is there a name for these things?) seems to work very well: no slippage that would let the bag come open and spill your lucky dice on the floor.

I have a larger dice bag from marsbarn on etsy, so this one will likely be used for special sets, likely ferrying enough for playing 7TV or the Doctor Who Miniatures Game.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Zombicide tokens

As per Jake's request, here are both sides of the sheet of double-sided tokens. Most of the items are identical on both sides, but there are a few differences. Police cars on one side are pimpmobiles on the other. Solid doors on one side are depicted on the other as if they've been shattered by brute force.

Click on the pics for a closer look.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Zombicide unboxing (picture heavy!)

'Cause it's the THRILLER, thriller night! (That song's been running through my head since I went to my P.O. Box.)

Zombicide is here! One of the many advantages, I guess, of living so close to Atlanta means that my copy of Zombicide from Guillotine Games and Cool Mini or Not arrived in my mailbox the same day I got the email notifying me it had shipped.

Here are my unboxing photos of the Abomination level package. (Some of the items won't ship until next year, and the T-shirts were hung up in customs so will ship after Gencon.)

Here are the three special characters. Zombified versions will ship in the second quarter of 2013.

Dave the Geek:

Nick Walker:

Sorry for the reflection of my hand!

El Cholo:

Note the plastic slider for the character cards in each of the boxes.

And here are those character cards.

Here's the signed lithograph of the box cover art, suitable for framing:

Here are the extra walkers, fatties and runners from the Kickstarter stretch goals:

Here are extra Walk of the Dead alert mini-cards, and they are hiding the extra Abomination:

Dice! Read pips on both black and glow-in-the-dark:

Now the actual box set itself. This is what people who didn't join in on the Kickstarter will get when they purchase the game:

Let me say this box is strong. I don't know what's woven into this box, but I'd hate to be hit with one and, in an emergency, you could probably chock your car tires with it on a hill in an emergency.

The tiles and tokens below seem to be made out of the same material. They're going to be durable and hold up very well to the rigors of play.

Map tiles:

These sheets are thicker than a U.S. quarter and feel stronger than flat-pack furniture. Great job, CMON!

Double-sided tokens:

Mini-cards, regular dice and more plastic sliders for the survivors's cards:

The survivors (and the Abomination):

And all that zombie goodness!:

Here's a close-up from one of the trays (a runner, a fatty and a female):

For any of you who were worried about the strength of the plastic in which these things are molded, all I can say are allay those fears. This is not the bendy plastic we've seen before. It's stronger than Clix, it's stronger than the figures in Flying Frog's Last Night on Earth or A Touch of Evil. It's good stuff. I've only made a cursory examination of the individual figures, but there's been no flash and, while there could be mold lines somewhere on some of them, I haven't found any yet.

This is even better than I expected when I supported their Kickstarter. And there's still more goodness to come with the other extra characters I bought. Like the zombie virus itself, Zombicide is the gift that keeps on giving.

I can't wait to see how these paint up!

Feast or famine, and it's FEASTING time

This is unbelievable. In addition to receiving Zombicide, I also received a really great prize that I won, in a manner of speaking.

I say "manner of speaking" because the contest at Chronowraith's Corner only had two entrants, and the other entrant won the big prize, which was a copy of the new 6th edition of Warhammer 40K. Kevin Dickens, aka Chronowraith, was gracious and generous, and he asked me to contact him by email. He decided, since his contest had so few people enter, that he would award me a prize as well.

I was left in the dark as to what the prize would be until it arrived. And what a prize it was! I don't have pictures, unfortunately, but Kevin sent me a new box of Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Skaven Clanrats and, best of all, the rulebook for Dystopian Wars from Spartan Games!

Now I have vowed to myself and promised my wife not to get involved in another scale, but if there was one that was tempting me, it would be the fleet-action scale of Dystopian Wars. Plus, it's steampunk! I LOVE ME SOME STEAMPUNK GOODNESS.

So that one's mine, but I may hold on to the Clanrats for my own contest later.

I also want to commend Kevin for his openness on his blog, talking about the process by which he decided to run a contest and his observations as to why he didn't get the response he anticipated. I recommend his blog highly, and as a novice gaming blogger I greatly appreciate him letting me learn from him.

So go sign up to follow him, especially if you're a Warhammer or Warhammer 40K gamer. His archives also have some great stuff.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Speaking of Hendybadger ...

Today I received the prize I won in an earlier Hendybadger contest: a collection of seven Pulp City postcards. Here's a picture of five of them (the other two didn't show any apes or monkeys; they're still cool, though). See my earlier post about winning a prize in that competition to observe my obsession with simians in action.

Thanks again, Ian!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hendybadger's doing it again!

Want to win some excellent Pulp City prizes? Or a heaping helping of Chronoscope goodies from Reaper? Just love superheroes gaming?

Then hie thee hence to Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher and enter Hendybadger's new contest. It'll take a little creative work on your part, but who doesn't like to show off their own superhero (or villain) ideas?

Why are you still here? Get to work! You've got a city to save -- or destroy (and swag to win)!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Put my order in

I'm following up with something I mentioned earlier, planning to do a Ladies Auxiliary to run by Gentlemen's Club rules. Several people on one of the forums (maybe Lead Adventure, but I'm not sure) talked about the Mina Harker figure from Ironclad. I really fell in love with it, so I ordered her and Irene Adler and Constance as well. I'll be back for Ironclad Man and probably some others, but I've got to work out this warband first.

Mina will always be Mina Murray to me, after the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. I love that this figure has the prominent scarf Mina wore in that series to cover her scars. This won't represent Mina per se, but in the backstory I'm preparing, somewhere there is a central organization to all the Ladies Auxiliary chapters with Mina Murray at its head. In her honor, the Presidents of the local organizations wear the red scarf (once they've killed a vampire!). Irene will be the Vice President of the organization, acting as its spymaster. Constance, with her steampunky gear, is the Secretary, of course. Of course, the L.A. will have their own distinct titles, such as Chairwoman, which I will work out more fully later.

Another figure I ordered was from Reaper, the beautiful and mysterious Xiufang. If West Wind releases Chinese Tong rules, which I'm certain they will at some point, I'll include her there as well, but I have an inkling she's working both sides of the docks, so to speak, using her contacts in Cheapside to funnel information to the Auxiliary. Maybe she's really the spymaster, not Irene! I'll have to see.

Seeing the teaser images of the Railroad Crew that Wyrd is putting out for Malifaux, I think I'll have some use for them in EOTD. (image from Alliance Game Distributor's Facebook Page).

I know I need some regular membership, too. I have some Victorian ladies from Foundry floating around somewhere, but the only other one I'm thinking about ordering right now is a long rifle-wielding steampunk goddess from Ramshackle Games. What warband doesn't need a sniper? And that name! Fidelia St.John-Smythe. Oh, I am truly enraptured.

I promise to post some of my own pics once things arrive. Hopefully I'll have my painting and modelling area set up by then! TTFN

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hey, that's me!

This is silly, but seeing my name in print always makes me giddy. It's probably due to the fact that I work at a daily newspaper and write headlines all night long, but my name never appears in print. (I have written a smattering of pieces for the paper over the years, but it's been rare.)

So when I saw the list of Kickstarter supporters on ArmchairGeneral's Aliens vs. Hillbillies blog, I was delighted to see my name. Robert's game "It Came From Beyond the Still" is one of my new obsessions, and I'll be writing on it at length later. If you like humorous games, hillbillies, aliens, greys, blobs, Men in Black or moonshine, this is the game for you.

I was glad to be able to help support the Kickstarter for the ICFBTS factions, and when the minis from the second book, "Something's in the Sauce" come round, I'll support that one too.