Monthly Archives: March 2019

In the HAWKs Room Friday at Cold Wars

Chris Palmer

      This past weekend was HMGS East’s Cold Wars Miniatures Gaming Convention in Lancaster PA.  I arrived Friday morning, and had a great couple of days gaming, and running a well-received War of the Roses game on Saturday using the under-development Feudal Patrol rules.   Below are some shots of a bunch of the games that were run in the HAWKs club room on Friday.
Greg Priebe’s post apocalyptic game “Wasteland 101” using This is Not a Test rules.

Japanese cavalry on the advance in Texas, Duncan Adams’ “Sayonara Gringo” game using Combat Patrol rules.

Zeb Cook’s “High Himalayas” pulp adventure game using Astounding Tales rules 

Don Hogge’s “Winter Along the Mohawk” game using Muskets and Tomahawks rules.

Dave Wood’s “First Battle of the Boer War” game using the Combat Patrol: British Colonial Variant rules.

Union and Confederate forces face-off in Eric Schlegel’s “Fury in the West” Battle of Shiloh" game using A Union So Tested rules.
Kurt Schlegel’s “The Saxons at Wagram: 1809” game, using SAF Napoleonics rules.

Bill Molyneaux’s “Battle of Hampton Roads: March 8-9 1862” game, using Beer and Pretzels Ironclads rules. 

Geoff Graff’s “Jutland 15” game, using General Quarters 2 rules.
Buck Surdu’s “A Hot Time in a Very Cold Place” game, featuring Finns vs Russians during the Winter War of 1939, and using Combat Patrol rules.
Don Hogge’s “Battle in the Alps: Italy Moves West” game, using Battleground WWII rules

via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2019/03/in-hawks-room-friday-at-cold-wars.html
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Translucent Slimes: Bones 2 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past weekend was the Cold Wars miniatures gaming convention, so I needed something real quick to paint last week, since I only had a few days to complete it and I was still frantically painting cavalrymen for my War of the Roses game.  So, I chose the two translucent slimes that came with the Bones 2 Gelatinous Cube & Slimes Add-On set.
     I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued them to ½"x1/2" black-primed steel bases with Gorilla superglue gel.  I then glued the figures to a  tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

I went back and forth about whether to even base these or not, as bases on translucents are difficult to handle because you can see them through the mini.  In the end I decided on these small steel bases, with the hopes that their size and  the irregular nature of the miniatures’ surface would make them had to see.  They fit completely under the large flat slime, and only stuck out a little from the more vertical slime. Their thinness would help the minis sit almost flat on the surface of the table too.

    I decided I would go for a Green Slime look with the vertical one, and an Ochre Jelly look for the flat one. So, I began by painting the vertical one with Mr Color “Clear Green” (This is not an acrylic paint and comes with all sorts of scary warnings on the label, so I would not recommend it.  I only have it as I picked up on clearance at a local hobby shop before I realized what it was.  I hope to replace it soon with some Tamiya clear.) , and I painted the flat one with Tamiya Color “Clear Yellow”.

     Next, I gave the vertical one a wash with Iron Wind Metals “Dark Green” ink, and the flat one a wash with Iron Wind Metals “Orange” ink.

     I was happy with the how the vertical one looked at his point, but wasn’t satisfied with the flat one; so I painted the shallow areas and crevices of the flat one with some Tamiya Color “Clear Orange” using a wet brush to thin it a little. Lastly, I painted the base of the green one with Americana “Zinc
     When they were dry, I gave them a coat of Americana "DuraClear Gloss Varnish”.  I realized I still wanted the base of the green one to be matte, so I subsequently sprayed the figure with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  When that was dry, I went back over just the slime with the “DuraClear Gloss Varnish”, leaving the base flat.

     While simple, I’m really happy with how these turned out. 
      And in those that didn’t hear the news, Reaper announced that they have begun Bones 4 Kickstarter fulfillment!  If you didn’t see it, check out the Reaper CEO’s video message for an amazing look at one of their Kickstarter fulfillment warehouses!

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/03/translucent-slimes-bones-2-figure.html
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Ghost Archipelago ’19, Game 3: Isle of Dragons

Chris Palmer       This past Saturday we played the third game of our 2019 Ghost Archipelago Campaign.  We had 8 of our 9 regular players in attendance; which meant we had 4 Central Treasures in play, spaced evenly down the center of the 9’x3’ table.
     We did a dragon attack scenario of our own devising, based on a Frostgrave game we did a couple years ago (Frostgrave Game 6.16),  where picking up treasures had a chance to activate a dragon which will fly in over the city, with random entrance and exit points determined by dice roll.  We changed it this time to having a chance for the dragon to enter every turn based on a roll each turn of 12+.  The dragon would fly in a straight path along this line and attack the first figure it reaches that falls within 3" of its flight path.  We used the stats for the Giant Worm from the Frostgrave rule book, increasing the Move and the Armor slightly, and assigned a 20 experience point reward for killing one of the dragons.   Each dragon would stay on the table until it ate somebody and satisfied its hunger, then it would fly off at the end of the next creature phase; or until it was itself killed.
    Since we had also incorporated a second scenario in the original Frostgrave game we were taking the Dragon scenario from, we decided to do it with this game too.  So, beside the Dragons, we also did a version of the treasure system from Cigar Box Battles’ “The Diabolist’s Scheme”, replacing all the treasure tokens with a corpse marker.  Then, when the corpse marker is first touched, the player rolls a d20 with the results being: 1-5 nothing, it’s just a dead body; 6-10 it’s a Skeleton that attacks the figure; 11-15 it’s a Swamp Zombie, 15-18 a Ghoul, and 19-20 a Spirit Warrior.   Once the player has killed the undead guarding the treasure, it reverted into its normal treasure form, and the player could pick it up and haul it away.  They also would then make a regular wandering monster roll when they picked up the actual treasure.

View of the whole table with my start zone indicated.

    I did okay with my set-up zone this time, drawing chip #4, and deciding to pick a spot with a known opponent, already seated opposite me; rather than pick one opposite a zone that hadn’t been claimed yet.  Treasure wise, I was happy with the opportunities in front of my zone; especially with the newly acquired Divining Rods I had found last time.
      The opponent I seated myself across from was Barl of the Library, and his Storm Warden, Lorria.  To my immediate left was the Heritor, Ragnam Eichenherz; and his Beast Warden, Bengel; and to my immediate right was the Gnome Heritor, Gnomeo, and his Beast Warden, Juliet.  That put Safar the Seafarer, and his Storm Warden, Willow of the Water, to my front left; and Cassilda Blackmane, and her Earth Warden, Quartz, to my front right.

The Report

     The Halfling Heritor, Barley Gimblehill, had never seen her big bear of a Warden so excited.  During a recent supply stop they had heard a rumor of an isle in the Archipelago where Dragons lived; and Tork, her Beast Warden, had been chomping at the bit ever since to go see them.  It was something of a lifelong dream of his to see a real Dragon, and Barley hardly felt she should be the one to deny him this chance.  The little Heritor was skeptical herself, as Dragons were a rarity to the point some thought they were merely fables and tall-tales.   But still, the thought of a new island to explore still made her happy, and to be honest she wouldn’t mind seeing a real Dragon, if there were any, as well.  The Warden’s excitement was bit contagious, so why not give the big Human what he wanted.  The fact that the rumors of the Isle had also come with tales of no one ever getting off the island alive, were easily forgotten in the excitement to see real Dragons.
     It was late in the day when they landed on the hot sandy beach of the island; so Barley told Tork straight out that they couldn’t stay long.  Just a few hours to see a Dragon and then back to the ship.  No one wanted to get caught on one of the islands of the Archipelago for very long after sun set. 
     They headed inland for a short distance when they began to notice various idols dotting the landscape; all with frightening faces of one kind or another.    She could hear her Crew begin to exchange hushed whisper with each other; and Barley realized he scary totems were’t doing the Crews’ nerves any good.   It was time to take matters under control,  so the Heritor stopped the group and divided them up into smaller commands.   She also had Tork take out one of the Diving Rods they had found on their last expedition, and had him show her how it worked.   The big Warden held it carefully in his hand extending it outward and perpendicular with the ground, and closed his eyes as if sensing the jungle around them.  As Barley watched, she saw the rod slowly begin to vibrate and the Warden’s arm moved as if being guided by the stick.  It gradually swung to the left where it stopped, and rod seemed to glow a bit.  Tork opened his eyes, and said “Something made with magic. That way”, and gestured with the rod in his hand. Barley noticed the rod looked blackened now and was smoking slightly, the runes burned off it. Tork dropped it to the ground; it was nothing but a stick now.  (I use one of my Divining Rods to move a treasure [corpse marker for this scenario], located in a pond on my left, 3" inches closer; bringing it out of the water and onto the shore.)

Initial deployment.

     As they passed out of the jungle into a large clearing the first thing that came into view was a huge skeleton laying n the ground  They couldn’t tell if it was from some sort of Dragon, or huge Saurian.  Even Tork, the Beast Warden was stumped.  To their right was a large wooden idol, it’s fierce visage staring skyward; and to their left the jungle jutted out into a wide arm that narrowed at the end, and just past that a large pond.  Barley told Tork to take is group over towards the pond, and she had Crew-woman Sallie and Crewman Habby head towards the idol to check it out.  The rest of crew were to fan out and keep their eyes and ears open, while the Heritor took her Scout, Perkin, with her and they headed towards the huge mysterious skeleton.
    Before Tork headed it out with his group, he took the time to cast his Summon Animal spell, and in just a minute they heard a loud screaming in the jungle behind them.  Apparently, a Screamer Monkey had answered his call.   As he was casting, Sallie and Habby wandered towards the wooden Idol, where another scream was heard; this time from Habby who nearly tripped over a body laying beneath the fronds of a large fern.   Though the corpse had begun to decay,  they could see that it appeared to have been badly mauled by some creature.  The unfortunate fellow still grasped a finely carved staff in his one hand, and the two Halflings could see a bulging leather pouch tied to his belt.
     While the two Crew investigated their find, Barley and Perkin made their way to the skeleton of the huge beast lying to their front.  They approached the big skull, and cautiously peered into the ribcage where, among the shadow lines of the ribcage, they could see a human skeleton sprawled out on the ground, one arm wrapped a round a large chest (Central Treasure).   It was then that the pair heard voices in the distance, and looking out the far side of the ribcage they could see a Human Crew approaching from the far side of the clearing.

Barley and her Scout, Perkin, check out the huge Saurus skeleton (and the Central Treasure inside), while over by the wooden idol, (lower right corner) Sallie and Habby make a gruesome discovery in the brush.

     Nearby in a patch of dense brush, the Half-Halfling Archer, Jikam Wizzit, had spotted the interlopers too, as they picked their way through the fallen remains of a stone circle.  He noticed one tall black-haired man who was well dressed and seemed to be barking orders at the others; so the Archer carefully drew his arrow and let it fly.  The shaft sliced the air and struck the big man as his right arm was raised pointing, hitting in the joint below his shoulder armor and sinking deep into his upper chest.  (I roll 20! and do 10 HP damage)  The Heritor, Barl of the Library, for that’s who it was, staggered backwards, grasping at his wound.
     Behind Jikam, and to his right, Crew-woman Ginsink ran past the patch of brush where the Archer stood, and came up short as she saw a leg sticking out from under a broad-leafed bush.  Pushing the leaves back, she discovered a dead body laying in the brush.  The Crew-woman noticed the man’s well-laden pack, and reached out to take it.  (I roll 4 on the Corpse table, so no Undead), and ended up having to cut the straps to get it free from the rigid corpse. 
     As Ginny was recovering the dead man’s pack,  Crewmen Corel and Link were approaching the pond.  In the distance, past the pond, they could see two more Crews battling among a large temple made of stange looking adjoined idols.  The  Humans seemed to take no notice of the two Halflings, so they continued on their way.  Like their fellow Crew had, however, as they approached the pond they stumbled upon the remains of an ill-fated adventurer.  In one hand he clutched a two-handed sword, and though the decomposing body showed the signs of time passing, the sword looked newly polished.  The pair of Halflings guessed this must be the magic item that Tork had sensed with his Divining Rod.
     Back by the wooden Idol, Habby attempted to liberate the decomposing body if it’s staff and pouch, only to find it wasn’t exactly completely dead. (I roll 13 on the Undead Table: Swamp Zombie)  The corpse was very much still alive, and a decomposing hand grabbed a firm hold of the staff before Habby could get a grip on it.

Jikam the Archer gets a lucky shot against the opposing Heritor, Barl of the Library.

     Back by the huge Saurus skeleton, Barley hesitated.  The chest the skeleton grasped looked very inviting, but the Humans were so close.  Turning to look back, she saw the Crewman, Fernando, approaching, and she beckoned to him.  He trotted forward, and she motioned silently to the chest.  Cautiously, the Crewman snuck forward between two tree-like ribs and reached out to grab the treasure box, keeping a wary watch on the Human crew.  As he pulled at the nearest handle of the chest, he became aware of the sound of clattering bones very close by, and turning to look back at the chest, was shocked to see the skeleton that had been holding it was now grasping firmly at the handle on the other end and was standing up!  (I roll a 7 on the Undead table: Skeleton.)  Instinctively, Fernando yelled, “Help!”.  But Barley and Perkin were already there, having seen what was happening.  Perkin reached his fellow Halfling first and thrust with his sword, but the blade went harmlessly through the creature’s ribs (Hit but did no damage).  Barley then arrived, and a wide swing of her sword, cut the Skeleton in two, severing it just above the hips.  It clattered to the ground merely a pile of bones now.
     The commotion however had alerted Barl the Heritor, and before the Halflings could react, an arrow from one of the Human Archers flew by, dangerously close to Barley’s ear.   Tork seeing the Human’s attention drawn to his shipmates within the giant ribcage, attempted to Envenom another of Jikam’s arrows, but failed the spell in his haste.  Jikam couldn’t wait any longer for the Warden to try again, and shot at the closest Human Crewman, dropping him.   A Human Crew-woman now charged into the huge ribcage brandishing her sword .   Fernando sliced at her, but she parried, and brought her blade back to slice the Halfling across the arm, making a deep gash (-6 HP).  Perkin leaped into help, stabbing while the Human was recovering from her thrust at Fernando, his sword slicing through her tunic, but somehow managing to miss her body completely. (I hit but do no damage.)  Barley took a swing too, but somehow the enemy Crew-woman swung her sword back to block and then the tip of the blade caught the little  Halfling Heritor across the ear, cheek and chin.  (-5 HP).  Barley tasted the blood in her mouth.

The fight in the huge ribcage begins as one of Barl’s Crew runs in to challenge the treasure.

     Seeing his little friend was in trouble, Tork rushed forward saying his Water of Life spell as he went.  Quickly he realized running and casting were hard to do at the same time, and he felt the magic energy of the spell slipping.  He concentrated with all his might to regain the spell (Push for -7HP!) causing a searing pain to go through his brain.  The big Beast Warden stumbled and went down on both knees, but the spell worked.   Barley felt immediate relief from the exquisite pain on the side of her face.
     By now another of Barl’s Crew had joined the fight.  The little Halfling Heritor felt her blood begin to heat up, and her temper grew.  The enemy Crew-woman swung at her directly now, but Barley ducked under the strike and thrust her sword up into her assailant’s gut.  The Woman stumbled backwards and fell to the ground, unmoving. (I roll a 20!)  Calling on her birth gift, Barley now let out a fierce cry, and brought her sword round in a powerful Backswing against the newly arrived Human Crew, giving him a slice across both thighs, (-6 HP).  The man staggered backwards.
     Meanwhile, over by the pond, Corel and Habby had recovered the Magical 2-Handed Sword from the dead body (I roll a 4 on the Undead table, so just a dead body) and were making their way as best they could with the big weapon back towards safety.   Suddenly, an arrow whizzed by the pair from back behind the section of jungle that jutted out towards the pond.  Looking back over their shoulders, the two Crewman could see one of the Archers from the Heritor Ragnam Eichenherz’ Crew had noticed them.  Likewise, the Screamer Money that  Tork had summoned when they first reached the clearing had noticed one of his own kind, another Screamer Monkey, lurking suspiciously in the arm of jungle that jutted out (Summoned by  Ragnam Eichenherz’s Warden, no less.),  and moved to keep an eye on him.
     By now, Sallie and Habbie had killed the Samp Zombie back by the wooden idol.  The pair now started heading back to the rendezvous point with Habby shouldering the well-made Staff with the pouch of, what felt like, gold coins hanging from it.

Over  on the lower left, the Screamer Monkey’s have a face-off, while some of Ragnam Eichenherz’ crew begin to move towards the gap between the jungle and pond.  In the lower right Tork can be seen where he has run forward to attempt Water of Life on Barley in the ribcage, and just behind the small totem in the lower center Corel can be seen hauling away his treasure.

          As Tork, worked at standing his big frame back up, his head splitting in pain, he didn’t notice one of Barl’s Archers had snuck around to the tail end of the huge skeleton.  He did, however, notice the pain when the enemy’s arrow struck him in the arm.  (-4 HP,  Current total -11 HP).  He looked up to see the source of the shot, but the Human had already ducked inside the ribcage, joining Barl himself who had also just entered the enclosed space.   Upon entering, the big Heritor came upon Perkin first, and swung the hammer side of his axe down at the Halfling with all his might (Crushing Blow).  Luckily  the Scout dodged the blow last minute, as the big head of the weapon only glanced against his skull, giving him a good crack (-7HP) but not crushing his head completely.  Fernando charged at the Crewman that Barley had wounded, and stabbed at him in the side; putting him permanently out of action.  Barley stood with her sword ready for the next attack, when her eye fell upon the treasure chest, just laying there by the bones of the defeated Skeleton.  She called to Perkin and Fernando, “I need you to hold them! I’ll get you help!” Perkin, his head spinning from Barl’s blow, couldn’t even nod in reply, as he tried to stay standing and guard against Barl’s next blow; dodging and weaving to confuse the big Human Heritor (Refuses combat on his activation).  Quickly, Barley grabbed one of the the chest handles, and began dragging it from the Saurian ribcage as best she could.  As the Halfling Heritor passed between two of the the tall ribs, she saw Sallie, not too far away, helping Habby with his treasure. Barley called to the Crew-woman, and leaving Habby to manage on his own, Sallie came running.

As the battle still rages in the ribcage, Barley grabs the treasure and runs.

      Tork pulled the shaft from his arm, and once more tired to stand.   Slowly and painfully he reached his full height, then paused as in the distance he heard an unfamiliar shriek in the sky,  Looking up, he spotted a dark, winged, shape in the in the distance.  A Dragon! Oh, how wondrous and graceful its flight was.  It circled a section of far jungle for just a minute, and then passed out of sight. He had seen a Dragon!  What he had not seen, however, was another one of Barl’s Archer’s still lurking in the ruins of the standing stone circle, nor the arrow that flew at him without him knowing. It hit him in the beefy leg, causing him to topple like a tree, his big head hitting the ground hard.  As the blackness overtook him, and he passed into unconsciousness, for just a moment he was on the back of the dragon, flying free among the clouds.
     Back in the huge ribcage another of Barl’s Crewmen came up to join in the fray. While Perkin had his attention on the Human Heritor, the Crewman came up behind him and crowned him across the skull with the hilt of his sword.  The Halfling Scout blacked out and collapsed.  Crew-woman Sallie arrived jus in time to see him fall, and joined Fernando in facing the three Humans within the tree-like ribs.

Tork is taken down by one of Barl’s Archers

     Back by the pond,  the Dwarven Heritor, Ragnam Eichenherz, was sending more of his troops through the gap between the pond and the jungle to chase down the two Halflings with the treasure.  One of the Dwarf’s Archers, got a bead on Corel and dropped him as he jogged along with his load.  Link stopped to pick up the Magic Sword, and bravely continued on.   Ragnam’s Screamer Monkey made a move, and Tork’s Summoned Monkey attacked and brought him down.  Tork’s Monkey then went to help plug the gap, but didn’t last long against trained Crew.  Jikam also ran over to attempt to stem the tide of enemy Crew with his bow.
    Back within the ribcage, Barl’s Archer quickly notched an arrow, and shot Fernando point blank.  Luckily for his short stature, the arrow only grazed his scalp, but sent him stumbling backwards where he fell against one of the massive ribs, and smacking his head, blacked out.  Barl made quick work of Sallie; using the hammer side of his axe again.  He delivered a massive blow to the side of her head; her jaw unhinged and the poor Halfling Crew-woman actually turned a full 360 degrees before dropping to the floor of the cavernous ribcage. The Humans now focused on Barley fleeing with the chest, and an arrow whizzed by her head.
   It was late now, and the shadows were getting long on the island as the sun was dropping low in the sky.  Barley continued on as best she could but the chest was slowing her down.  She heard the sharp twang of a bowstring behind her, and then there was a sudden pain in her back as an arrow found its mark.   She stumbled and fell into a patch of large ferns.  The Halfling Heritor was on fire with pain, but she used all her energy to lie perfectly still, and tried as best she could to curl herself around the chest,  burrowing down  to let the large fronds cover her.    She could hear Human voices approach, but they seemed to have lost her in the shadows.  Over in the direction of the pond, she heard the sound of a Dwarven Horn as Ragnam sounded the recall for his crew.  Patiently she waited for the Human voices to withdraw, then carefully, and painfully, made her way to the beach.

Over on the left, one of Ragnam’s Archers has moved up, and shot Corel; and Tork has already fallen to Barl’s Archer. In the gap, the Screamer Monkey has taken damage and is about to go down.  Jikam the Archer (red & grey shield) has come over to help, but it’s up to Link now to get the treasure safely away.

     Later that evening aboard the Jolly Scallop,  Barley and her Warden Tork sat in their cabin feeling sore and achy.  One appeared more bandaged  than the other.    They had survived, and that was most important.  In fact the whole crew had made it back in relatively one piece; though Sallie had a broken jaw as well as a bad concussion and would need to rest for a month or so.
    At least the trip had been profitable, and Barley studied the day’s rewards on her desk; while Tork just sat there, smiling inwardly to himself as he replayed  in his head over and over the image of the Dragon in flight he had seen on the island.   The chest that Barley had managed to retrieve (Central Treasure) had held 100 gold coins!  (Sadly, I only rolled 5 +2 for Central Treasure=7 on the Treasure Table.)  Habby had brought back a Superior Staff (+1 Dam) that was three times as tall as the little Crewman himself was! Slung on the staff he had also brought a purse with 30 gold coins. (16 on the Treasure Table) Link had brought the Magic 2-Handed Sword (+1 F) from the pond (13 on the Treasure Table), and the pack that Ginsink found had a bunch of useless dirty clothing and a small wood box with 30 gold coins (2 on the Treasure Table). 

The ending tally.

   
Epilogue:

     Once more my speed earned me the central treasure, though I almost lost it this time.  I was very fortunate when the game ended, as both Barl and Ragnam were a die roll or two from denying me the Central Treasure and the Pond Treasure. Luckily, another crew at the far end of the table exited their last man before either treasure was lost.  By our house rules, the game ends immediately when any Crew has no more figures on the table, and whoever controls a treasure when that happens gets to keep it, even if they are in contact with an enemy.
     The Dragons proved to be less than eventful down our end of the table.  Two did land at the other end, and caused some consternation for the crews there.  Also, I was lucky in that of the 4 treasures I touched, only two were actually guarded by Undead.
     I don’t know how long Barley’s luck will hold.  But, I’m happy to report she already reached Level 5 this time, and gained a new ability:  Mystic Energy.   Tork is lagging behind at level 2.  He just isn’t casting enough spells.
      I keep waiting to lose a Specialist to have an excuse to make a run back to a port to sell my growing collection of 2-handed weapons, but they all seem to be surviving; which I guess is a good thing. It seems wasteful to sail back just to sell stuff; though I’m sorely tempted.   Since, in reality I may not even go to port to replace a Specialist, as the Heritor Ragnam was operating with a Native Guide this game, which seemed mighty nice to have; but I hate to just fire a Specialist so I can hire a Guide for myself.  Decisions, decisions.
    Well, we now sadly, have a 7 week wait for our next game. 😦   But that gives me plenty of time to debate my crew options…

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Basilisk: Bones 2 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I wanted an easy to paint figure because of the pressing last minute painting I’m doing in preparation for Cold Wars this coming weekend.  So, I picked the Basilisk out of my remaining Bones 2 pile.
    I had no idea what a Basilisk was supposed to look like, so I turned to my old 1978 Monster Manual for Guidance.  It’s description describes them as being dull brown with yellowish underbellies; so thats the coloration I decided to go for.
      I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by painting the whole figure including the base with Americana “Raw Umber”, and then did the underbelly with Apple Barrel “Yellow”.

     Then after those colors had time to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the main body with Ceramcoat “territorial Beige”, followed by a lighter drybrush with Americana “Khaki Tan”.

     I continued with the drybrushing of the main body, moving next to Crafter’s Acrylic “Taupe”, and then just a touch of Americana “Bleached Sand”.  After that, I used the “Bleached Sand” to paint the teeth, then highlighted the underbelly with Crafter’s Acrylic “Daffodil Yellow”.  Next, I painted the eyes with Crafter’s Acrylic “Citrus Green”, and then painted the center of the eye with the lighter Americana “Margarita”.  I then lightly drybrushed around the eye with the “Margarita” to provide a little of the eyes’ Object Source Lighting “glow”.  I finished the figure by painting in Americana “Snow White” pupils in the eyes.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote". 

     Well, it was a rush job, and I think it shows a little; but in general I’m happy with it as a gaming figure.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/03/basilisk-bones-2-figure.html
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Ducks on the Ghost Archipelago

Buck

Today we played our monthly campaign game of Ghost Archipelago.  I have been crazy busy at work so for me “monthly” has been more like “every four or five months.”  While the other crews are at sixth or eighth level, I was at zero level today.


My Heritor is Robin Duck (top right of the picture).  My Warden, at the bottom of the picture, is Friar Duck.  At this point in the game, three of my normal crewmen were fighting a ghoul to gain control of a treasure while my Heritor and Warden moved forward to challenge Greg’s crew for a central treasure.  You can see Devil Duck in the lead.  He looks cool, but he is just a minion.

Her you can see that MacDuck, my Guide, has rushed forward and is fighting one of Greg’s minions.  Duckhilda (the blonde), an archer, and two of my minions have advanced.

Here you can see Robin Duck, MacDuck, and an archer in a bit of jungle firing arrows at some of Greg’s crewmen.

This is another view of the game.

In the end, I lost no figures (for a change), captured a treasure, and captured a “central treasure.”  In the process I killed three of Greg’s minions and knocked out his Warden.  It was an unusually successful game for me.

As an infrequent campaigner, I don’t take the campaign too seriously.  I think the Frostgrave / Ghost Archipelago schtick is getting old.  For me, the monthly games are more about hanging out with the guys and swapping puns and funny stories.   It is also a chance to get my ducks on the table.

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Behir: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

    This past week I painted the Behir figure from the Bones 3 Stoneskull Expansion, as I continue to work my way through the remaining figures I haven’t painted yet from that set while waiting for the arrival of Bones 4.  At this point, all I have left are the Kobolds and the big Iron Golem.
         I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking the pieces in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.  Next, I assembled the figure using Gorilla Superglue gel.  I then glued the figure to a 3" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.   In my rush to begin, I forgot to pre-prime the washer; so after I glued the figure on, I painted the washer with a brush on clear primer.   The washer didn’t fit in my painting grip, so I hand held the washer for painting.
   

     I began by painting the head and main body with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tropical Blue”, and then painted the top back portion and the body crest with Americana “Forest Green”.  After that, I painted the belly scales with Folk Art “Celadon Green”.

     Next, I painted the horns with Americana “Wedgewood Blue”, and then painted the mouth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tutti Frutti”.  I then painted the teeth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”, and the claws with Reaper MSP “Frosty Blue”. 

      At this point, I repainted the main body scales with Folk Art Color Shift “Blue Flash”.   I let the figure dry for a while, and then I gave the entire thing a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the main body scales with the base “Blue Flash” mixed with a little Folk Art Pearl “Aqua Moire”.  I then hit a few individual scales with just the “Aqua Moire”.

        Next, I drybrushed the back and body crest with Folk Art “Color Shift "Green Flash”, and then drybrushed the belly scales with the base “Celadon Green”, and then a little Americana “Snow White”.  I then hit each claw with a dab of the “Celadon Green” as well.  After that, I highlighted the legs with a mix of the “Tropical Blue”, and Crafter’s Acrylic “Cool Blue”.  I worked on the head next, highlighting the mouth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cherry Blossom Pink”, and the teeth with the “Snow White”.    I then highlighted the horns with Ceramcoat “Denim Blue”.  After that, I painted the eyes with Crafter’s Acrylic “Margarita ” and gave them Black pupils, and then used the Black to paint in the nostrils as well.   Lastly, I painted the entire base with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".    When the Dullcote was dry, I painted the eyes with Americana “DuraClear Gloss Varnish”.

         I’m really happy how this figure turned out.  I have to say though, the way it corkscrews around and has legs sticking out everywhere, it was a bit of challenge to paint.  This is one that might benefit from being painted disassembled first; or maybe assembled into top and bottom halves before painting.

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Some WWII Tanks

Buck

This weekend we were supposed to see my son’s Ultimate Frisbee tournament, but it was cancelled due to weather, so I had a chance to knock out some vehicles that have been in the project queue.

The first was a Churchill Mk. VII Crocodile.  This is a Tamiya 1:48 scale kit.

The second was a Sherman “Easy Eight.”

Finally, I completed two Dingo Mk. II scout cars.

In addition to these WWII vehicle, I also completed an AT-ST.  Like all Bandai kits, this one had nice, clear instructions and assembled quite easily.

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M11/39 Italian Tanks (and some US Steel for the 8th Army – a Grant and a Sherman), plus an Aussie! For What a Tanker

Mark A. Morin

I have been heavily engaged hobby-wise since December at building out both 8th Army and Panzer Army Africa tank forces.  This blog post describes my last few tanks (well, for now) for What a Tanker© in WWII North Africa.  As I plan on running this scenario at HAVOC in April, my goal was to create a diverse-enough tank list so that the players could have a very fun game that also would reflect the wide diversity of tanks and tank destroyers used by both sides from 1940-1943.  I analyzed my respective armies’ 15mm/1:100 scale tank rosters, and concluded a couple things.  First, my Italians lacked some rivet-laden death traps, also known as Fiat Ansaldo M11/39’s. Second, my British could use another M3 Grant and an M4 Sherman to deal with the German’s Tiger I.  Upon further research, I learned that the Australians captured several of the M11/39’s – so that inspired me to build one for the 8th Army as well.  Therefore, I built 3 M11/39’s, one Grant, and one Sherman.

This overall North Africa project has been documented in this blog in five previous posts, (which you can read about here, here, here, here, and here) and I plan on a summary post as well in the near future.  There I will detail more about the game scenario and how I run it.  These 5 tanks brings me to a total of 46 tanks since December for this scenario.  

M11/39’s

The M11/39 designation meant that it was an 11-ton tank, built in 1939.  100 were built by Fiat.  It had a 37 mm hull-mounted gun and a turret with double 8 mm machine guns.  It did not do well in combat, due to its inferior design, especially the turret having no anti-tank capability.  For What a Tanker© games, this means that the tank’s turret is meaningless – it is like having a tank destroyer without the benefits of a tank destroyer.

I decided to try a different source for the tank models, and found that I could get three from Old Glory for $25, which seemed reasonable.  I also bought a few other vehicles for other scenarios.  I was surprised to see that they were completely made of metal – even with a lead warning on the package!  As a metal aficionado, I was pleased.

I did have however a concern with the quality of the castings.  They all had significantly problematic mold lines on the machine gun turret, and the details on the hull were much less clear than Battlefront models.  Still, the price reflected that, so it was up to me to make it work.  Which I did. 

Two of these would be for the Italians, and one would be an Australian-captured M11/39 tank.  While technically not a squad, they certainly could have started out that way in the Italian Army!  For that reason – and because my good friend Azazel runs a fun painting challenge each month (and is an Aussie) – these three will constitute a submission from me for March’s “Squad March” painting challenge.

3 turret mold lineThe turrets needed a good amount of surgery and filing.4 M11 39 assembled and filedAfter assembly and a lot of filing.  I glued the machine gun turrets as it made no sense to have them be movable for What a Tanker games..5 all three M11 39 assembled and filedThe three M11/39’s assembled.

For priming, I went with a brush, as these seemed to be very smooth castings.  I worried that it would be difficult to get the paint to “bite”.  They also were hollow at the bottom, so I needed to devise a way to mount them for painting.  I ended up using a small square dowel and poster tack on small plates.

I did not take as many pictures during the process as I wanted to get these done for a game this weekend, but unfortunately some snow took care of that, and they will get a chance next weekend.  I list all the paints I used at the end of the blog for those interested. 

8 M11 with poster tackPoster pack on the M11/39’s as they are prepped for camouflage paint.  I use gauze on the spray booth filter to extend the life of my spray booth filters.9 M11 with poster tack close upClose up of the poster tack before painting.10 M11s after camoThis is not a fine Italian meal by any stretch!11 after pulling poster tack offAfter the poster tack was gently removed, I got this result.

Then I used washes, pigments, decals, and other paints to finish them all up.  There will be an eye-candy section following the sections on the tanks.

12 M11's with bookMy Italian M11/39’s with the model I used.  I ended up with more green, but I still liked the results.  In any case, I always want my tanks dusty and dirty.13 Aussie M11And here is the M11/39 the Aussie’s captured that will join the 8th Army forces.14 Aussie M11A nice comparison with a photo of the actual Aussie M11/39’s used.  I love the ‘roos.

I read that the Aussies used these until they ran out of diesel (their tanks had gasoline engines so diesel was rare).  Then they blew them up.  I believe that there are no surviving examples of the M11/39 in the world.

M3 Grant

I already had one M3 Grant painted, but with the Germans having a Panzer IVF2 and a Tiger I in the DAK inventory, I wanted to augment the 8th Army’s later war desert forces with another Grant and a Sherman.

3 Grant painted and washedAwaiting decals, pigments, and varnish.4 Grant with bookThe completed model with the one I used as a guide.  There was no way I was going to be able to pull off the white and black outlines here on such a small model.   I do like how it came out – again dirty and dusty.

M4 Sherman

The major difference in painting here from the M3 Grant was the camouflage pattern I used.

3 Sherman painted and washedM4 Sherman awaiting decals, pigments, and varnish.4 Sherman with model in bookThe completed model with the guide in my research material.5 Grant and Sherman with model in bookHere are the two with images I printed out from Battlefront’s web page.

Please let me know any feedback in the comments section, I do appreciate your thoughts.  Now it’s time for…

Eye Candy

0 all M11'sHere are the three M11/39’s, with the Aussie on the far right.1 M11 left frontRight front view of one of the Italian M11/39’s.  The main gun is the antitank weapon, and can only be moved with the tank itself as the turret had only machine-guns.  2 m11 left sideLeft side view of the M11/39.3 Italian M11's on roadThe two Italian M11/39’s hit the road.4 backs of Italian M11 39Rear view of the two Italian M11/39’s.5 Australian M11 39The Australian M11/39 with ‘Roo markings so as not to attract friendly fire.6 Australian M11 39 left sideGotta say I love the ‘Roo.7 Australian M11 39 right sideOther side.8 Australian M11 39 drives by Panzer IV wreckAussie M11/39 driving by a wrecked Panzer IVD.9 M3 Grant front rightM3 Grant with Desert Rat markings.10 M3 Grant front leftNice left side view of the M3 Grant.10 M3 Grant frontComing at ya!11 M3 Grant rear angleRear view.12 Sherman left sideThe M4 all dusted up.  I also gave the M4 Desert Rat markings.12 Sherman right frontM4 Sherman moving out.13 Sherman driving by wreckI don’t want to end up like Heinz!14 Sherman rear angleRear view of the M4 Sherman.  I had to pin the bustle rack, and at certain angles it looks off, but at a distance its unnoticeable.15 all 8th Army this projectThe 8th Army additions all assembled.16 all together at the wreckAll the tanks that were completed for this post.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THE M11/39’s:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Vallejo “Dark Sand”
  5. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  6. Battlefront “Army Green”
  7. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  8. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (shade)
  9. Army Painter Quickshade “Soft Tone” (wash)
  10. Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone” (wash) – on Australian version only
  11. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  12. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  13. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  14. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  15. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  16. Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  17. Vallejo “Desert Dust” (pigment)
  18. Vallejo “Natural Umber” (pigment)
  19. Gorilla Glue
  20. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  21. Microscale Micro-Set
  22. Microscale Micro-Sol
  23. Microscale Satin
  24. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  25. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  26. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  27. Aleene’s poster tack
  28. Sponges

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THE M3 GRANT AND M4 SHERMAN:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Vallejo “Dark Sand”
  5. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown” (M3 Grant only)
  6. Battlefront “Tommy Green (M4 Sherman only)
  7. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  8. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (shade)
  9. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)
  10. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  11. Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Rust Wash” (wash)
  12. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  13. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  14. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  15. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash” (M4 Sherman only)
  16. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  17. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  18. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  19. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  20. Vallejo “Desert Dust” (pigment)
  21. Gorilla Glue
  22. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  23. Microscale Micro-Set
  24. Microscale Micro-Sol
  25. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  26. Microscale Satin
  27. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  28. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  29. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  30. Aleene’s poster tack
  31. Sponges

Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback!

ON MY RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited in previous posts plus Google searches and Battlefront’s website.  Here the books are in case you are interested – you can find them on Amazon and I highly recommend them all:

  • Jean Restayn:WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • Smithsonian/DK: Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • Michael Green:Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • Robert Jackson:Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would again easily recommend all of these books as really good resources for gamers and modelers.  Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback in the comments section.

Now I might go back to retro sci-fi for a bit!  Still have many more tanks to do, but those will be for other scenarios.

Do you have a favorite tank of the ones here?  Why?  Let me know!

from Mark A. Morin https://markamorin.com/2019/03/03/m11-39-italian-tanks-and-some-us-steel-for-the-8th-army-a-grant-and-a-sherman-plus-an-aussie-for-what-a-tanker/
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Play Test of “Tales of the Gold Monkey” Game

Buck

Last night at the club meeting I play tested my Tales of the Gold Monkey game for Cold Wars in two weeks.  For this game I am using the G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. rules, but I gave all the extras a Save as well as the Main Characters.  The game began with most of the board blank, covered with palm trees.  As the different groups of explorers and adventurers pushed into the jungle, they discovered different sources of treasure, from a native village to idols with jeweled eyes.  These were, of course, guarded by natives, animals, or monster.  Each player had a “cut” card they could use for one free re-roll.  In addition, each player had three dirty tricks cards they could use to slow down other players.  The players were not allowed to shoot at each other at first.  Once a team had a jewel they were a legitimate target.  Units could return fire once fired upon.

Jake Cutter’s gang and the Sergeants Three gang move out.

The table at the beginning of the game.  The players began near the trading post on the lagoon.

A closer view of the trading post.  You can see the Italians and the On the Road gangs on the beach.

Bing, Bob, Dorothy, and the Andrews Sisters of Mercy climb a ridge to find a lizard idol with jewels for eyes.  Later in the game, Bing and Bob killed a couple of Italians with golf balls.

A giant spider has other ideas for Bing and Bob.

It’s a grim day for the Andrews Sisters of Mercy.

And then to add insult to injury, another player played a dirty tricks card that had a herd of oryx stampede through them.

Despite all their setbacks, and the death of Dorothy being gored by an oryx, Bob and Bing were able to retrieve one treasure.

The Italians found the lost elephant idol — but it was guarded by pygmies.

The Italians lost many men to pygmy attacks but were able to get a treasure at the elephant idol.

A much-reduced Italian contingent is attacked by an angry elephant (another player’s dirty trick), but they managed to secure a second treasure at the raptor excavation.

The French Foreign Legion ran into apes guarding an idol.

There seemed to be a never-ending supply of apes!

The foreign legion found a treasure after defeating a LOT of apes. They also found Amelia Earhart and a boat and were headed down the river to the lagoon when they were attacked by giant tentacles of some unseen monster. In a “Von Ryan’s Express” moment, the last Legionnaire tried to leap into the boat as it floated past. He rolled a 20, fell into the water, and was eaten by the crocodile you can see in the bottom right of this picture.

Teddy Roosevelt, two “dangerous dames,” the lady photographer, and his band of fearless adventurers ran into natives guarding an idol. As Kurt was the first one to find a treasure, players played FOUR dirty tricks cards on him, stacking up natives. But Kurt has perennial kid luck and easily swept them aside.

At this point, the Easter Island heads at the lagoon turned around and started to cut off Teddy’s path back to the lagoon. Teddy and his group tried to cross the river to avoid them but ran into some trouble.

The Sergeants Three found a native village where they were preparing to sacrifice a white woman for some purpose.

It took some time, but in the end, the Sergeants One (as two died) freed the woman and advanced on another idol.

The Sergeant One approaches the idol to get a second treasure, but Jake Cutter and Professor Challenger beat them to it.

Jake Cutter and the American infantry ran into a giant scorpion defending the lost temple. Almost all the American infantry were killed, but Don was able to grab the treasure and also find Professor Challenger to add to his party.

The game was sufficiently chaotic and bloody, so I don’t plan to make any changes before Cold Wars.  I think all the players had a really good time.  This will make a good Saturday night game at the convention.

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A Battle Near Dale

Rob Dean

Last Saturday (February 23) was a busy gaming day.  After the Ghost Archipelago game and a lunch with elder son Norman, I came home and played out a battle on the new table.  My brother Norman (yes, it can be confusing at family gatherings) called in by FaceTime to help me out.  We played Dragon Rampant using two armies composed entirely of vintage Minifigs Mythical Earth (ME) figures.  The MEs were the first fantasy figures I bought, and I think of this as an effort to do things the way I would have wanted to 40 years ago, had I been able to paint…
On one side we had the Orc King (a three figure “reduced model unit”) as elite foot, a unit of elite foot bodyguards, a pack of wolves (regular war beasts) , and two units of orcs, a lesser unit of light for, and a better unit of light foot with mixed weapons (i.e., having some bows and shooting capability).  On the other we had the allies of the Lake region, led by the Elf King (a reduced model heavy foot unit).  The elf king commanded two units of elvish light foot with mixed weapons, a unit of the men of Dale (light foot), and a unit of dwarves of the Lonely Mountain (elite foot).
Sketch of the opening moves

Overview of the start of the battle

We rolled for sides, and I ended up commanding the allies.

Aggressive as ever, the orcs rolled forward, with the wolves and bodyguard engaging the two units of elves, while the lesser orcs advanced to threaten the men of Dale, and the better orcs headed around the woods in a flanking maneuver.

The wolves attack the elves
The battle on the orcish left was bloody on both sides, and, at the end, the elves and the orc bodyguard both broke on the same turn.

That left the kings to engage each other.

Meanwhile, on the orcish right, the lesser orcs formed a hedgehog to deal with the appearance of the dwarves out of the woods on their flank.

The dwarves eventually drove the orcs from the field, but the flanking maneuver finally culminated in the arrival of the better orcs within shooting range of the men of Dale.  Unprepared for the volleys of arrows, they withdrew.

That left just four units on the table, and we rolled for game ending in accordance with the scenario instructions.

Position at end of game

That turned out to be the last turn, and, with more points left on the table (and in better condition, though it wasn’t a scenario criterion), we deemed the orcs to have won.

The total time elapsed was about an hour and a half.  It would probably have been half an hour shorter if we hadn’t been compelled to discuss the moves over FaceTime.  Nevertheless, it was a fun little game, and I look forward to getting a few more units done so that we can add a bit of variety to the encounters.  Two years of auction haunting have left me with a generous pile of these figures awaiting my attention.

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