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)!