Wednesday, January 29, 2014

War Hedgehog

I have been aching to get one of these silly little buggers for ages!  Here he is, in all his daft glory... the War Hedgehog from Standard Games (As a kid, I didn't know 'Standard' meant flag... and wondered why a company would call itself 'average' games).  This guy predated all the mouseling and teenage mutant ninja turtles silly monster fads, and was truely amusing back in the 1980s.

War Hedgehog (Standard Miniatures)
Here he is mounted on a 30mm base... so he is quite a big critter.  I don't really have plans to get the killer penguin, but if he lands on my desk he will get a darm good painting too. It is a shame he doesnt have the dramtic swing and cool axe that appears in the artwork, but hey... a little slice of my gaming history come true... a chunk of white dwarf I used to pour over as a child now a painted reality on my shelf.  I suspect I will add a few mushrooms to his base when I can be bothered to give him a little color.  Well, there you go.  Onwards and backwards in time I go!

The war Hedgehog advertised bottom right.  Page from White Dwarf.

Mass combat idea (part 2)

So following on from yesterday's brain dump, I am pleased with the leader centric system (though a little bummed Foundry got there first!).

Idea 2: slaughter margins
So the next issue is buckets o' dice.  I like the idea of essentially comparing the number of troops in a unit to the enemy and gaining 1 dice if you outnumber them, 2 dice if you double, 3 if you triple them... and so on.  Rounding down.
Example:  6 orc ninjas face off against 15 zombies.  Its 2:1 advantage- the zombies would need 18 for 3:1- or would need to slay 1 orc (15/5).
This means you can have swarms of goblins and only need a few dice.  Swarms are an advantage in that they keep this bonus for a while and take time to slaughter.

Idea 3:  diceyness
A D6 (or D8?) roll equal or less than own skill to score a hit.  Attacker rolls vs. melee score... Enemy rolls defence score.  Deduct defense hits from attacks- remove casualties.  If attacker rolls zero hits, enemy gets to counter attack. On a draw, both lose 1 casualty each.  If neither score a hit, no casualties.  If defender scores no hits, enemy hits doubled.

Idea 4:  igoabit-yougoabit
Play passes to one player, who rolls for activations (custom d6 maybe- 1, 2, 2, 3, wild, wild). Move that number of units and mark them with a gem.   Play passes to next player.  This continues til all models have been moved.  Once opponent has all units marked, you can move all remaining units.
Rolling a wild means you get activations equal to your total morale points.  These are given by command units, baggage trains etc.  The max is 3 activations by default, but you can have any morale points you like.

Idea 5:  Measuring
A single measuring stick approx 3 bases wide is used.  Slow get 1 move, medium 2, fast 3.  You can force march your troops by placing a fatigue marker next to them giving you 1 more stick move.  A unit can have three of these normally.  They give a dice to enemy, and one can be removed by resting a turn.  You can have a max of 2 fatigue, and force marching once full kills troops/adds wounds.

Idea 6: Shattered units
Golems, titans, giants.  The ability to field stupidly big models if you like, have them bowl down troops like skittles, throw casualties at other units- fall on them when slain.  A unit could be 'downed' or 'shattered' by placing one or more of its models prone.  Potentially getting up and seeing who survived on next turn to keep game moving.
A successful spell shatters a unit... you then work out casualties when that unit is next targeted or used.  So, if you shatter a unit, then charge it... you dont know how many units are standing until your charge ends... the smoke and debris clears.

Mass combat idea

So playing with this idea for a mass combat rule set.
Fantasy war using loose squad rules.
Each squad has a leader model and any number of troops.  The leader gets a different base.  So a hex or 30mm base.
All los and measurement is done from leader models base to leader base.  The only model you measure movement distance for is the leader.  Once he is positioned, you can then move his troops to anywhere within 1" of his or another troops base in any formation you like.
Once a leader is in range of an enemy leader, the squads are engaged in combat.  You may arrange your troops how you see fit, as it is aesthetic only.
Casualties are removed by owner usually but critical strikes allow enemy to pick off any model- because troops can have special powers such as standard, musician or medic.  Once model removed, that ability is lost.

The idea is to get rid of rigid move trays, allow any and all bases and keep game super fast with buckets of minis.

Good idea?  Seen it before?  Tried it?  Let me know in comments below!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Giant restoration begins

My Grenadier war giant project kicked off last night.  I wanted to halt any corrosion by getting him to a primed state asap.  So I polished, assembled and filled the main body and attached him to a mdf drinks coaster to give him a sturdy base.
The throne is also missing, and one of the cross bars snapped- so I have decided to build my own howdah.  Since I am going to all that effort, I thought I would build it for chaos dwarfs instead and fleabay off the original orcs and howdah platforms.
My plan now is to aquire some citadel or metal magic dwarf cannons, swivel guns or flame cannons then build a snap-in magnetic platform.  Skaven warp cannons may also work nicely.
The crew will be seperate and also snap into place on magnets buried into the howdah.
The throne I think I will replace with Saurons throne from the old citadel range.  Some real chains would be nice too.
Quite a project- but it can be done in stages over the next year or two as I aquire bits.  I will just paint the giant to begin with.
I also based up my war hedgehog.   I love him!

Grenadier War Giant (Mirliton), Citadel White Dwarf 1st edition

Monday, January 27, 2014

GW share price plummet

Uh oh... looks like rude, smelly, sale focused staff, poor quality resin, constantly making expensive rule books redundant, suing fan websites, treating retail stores like scum and extreme price markups doesn't make for sound business practice.

Here is my solution to kick up the GW game.  I have covered this before but I do so love talking about it!  Comments below!

1) 50% pricing reduction in 2 installments to increase cash flow, restore fan base and return old players to fold.

2) Low cost/loss leader entry rulebooks and sets. Strip rulebooks down to thin, cheap books with several multi-race expansion books.  No more 160 dollar entry products.  50 bucks for A4 sized 40k basic box- no figures just rules, dice, templates and counters.  Buy with a small starter army set- (a few heroes, a squad, a heavy weapon, a dreadnought & stat cards).  You are off and running!

3) Close the shops, support retailers and online delivery.  White dwarf to be the thing that gets new kids interested.  Support retailers with demo tables and armies, contest day prizes and online advertising.

4) White dwarf covers all armies each month, includes codex rule changes, comics, new fluff and user content.  Support bloodbowl etc.

5) Drop finecast, focus on plastics alone.  Resin to forgeworld only.

6)  Reduce tooling costs / packaging on future products by making kits more multiuse.   Less products produced but more purchases of product.
  For example- war hydra contains handlers for orc, dark elf, lizardman and chaos warrior. 

7) Revise rules to allow more racial crossover in army building- remove 'can't' from rulebooks.  Consolidate armies removing staggered release codex system, balance rules by making analog forces (elves = dark elves, beastmen= lizard men=orcs & goblins etc).  Analogs make balancing easier, allow smaller rulebooks and less arguments.  Forces of darkness book, Forces of light book.  Want a chaos force with daemons, skaven and a necromancer?   Sure.  Buy it!

8) Smaller new releases each month for several armies including free rules where needed.  Releases can be cosmetic and not require new rules.  No 'this month it's tyranids'.  Instead a few things for everyone that can be impulse purchaed.  What like?  At the least, scenery making bits (doors, windows), corpse packs, skulls, weapon sprues, man eating plants, crows, alien things for bases etc.  Monster/aliens are also useful for all players.

9) Address sexism in products to widen audience. Female spess marines allowed.

10) Support specialist games by using crossover products.  Bloodbowl components in kits, for example.  A dreadfleet boat in every new kit.  Use cheap specialist games as entry products for flagship games.  Spacehulk--> 40k, for example.

11) Give me money.  Lots of money.  Looooots money.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cancon haul 2014

Wow, what a haul this year!  The second hand stall was buzzing and things where cheap as chips.

Here is a photo of most of my haul.  A few really exciting pieces.

A standard miniatures 'war hedgehog'- the grand daddy of modern furry minis like Justice & Cayke or mouslings.  This bad ass was on my ebay search for years.  Appearing in white dwarf mag, it just tickled my fancy.  Bumped up the paint queue!

Second, and I am still trembling with excitement (or possibly the hotdogs from the centre may be to blame)- I scored an original Grenadier Orc War Giant for 30 bucks.  The ballistas are missing, but I care not... this is kilos of lead badassery I don't have to ship from Mirliton in italy now!   Oh the leaden awesomeness!

Third is a 45mm female inquisitor.  Yessss.

Fourth- two metal reaver titans.

Fifth- 14 ral partha centaurs in need of a little tlc.

Sixth- a copy of confrontation third edition for $2.

Then in no particular order,  hasslefree female troops, copplestone corporate babes, Eureka skeleton pirates, citadel 80's orc war machine crew, dnd warforged titan, confrontation earth elemental, fuseliers and Bregan the Apostate, abysal dwarf blacksouls, warmachines mariner, a huge bitsbox and a fat kevin adams goblin.

Happy birthday to me!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cancon excitement

Oooh... saturday is Cancon day (formerly Australia day).  Time to blow my savings at the second hand stall again!

I vowed last year to have assembled and painted all my cancon purchases from previous years ready for this year.  Result?

Nope. Not even close!


Anyhoo, next year will be Skulldred demo table year.  Hopefully I will be too busy to buy too much!

Okay peeps... your worst convention blow out?  Comments below!

Monday, January 6, 2014

New look for the new year!

Spring clean time in the King household, and so along with my new mini style, is my new website style.  Mmm... freshness.  I also updated the Skulldred and Darkling link buttons to be a bit more sexy and up to date.  Okay... chores done, back to Skulldred.

Broo test piece

I love Broo.  This is my test piece, a mix of natural hydes, insane scribblings, sickly green greys and poopy shit splatters.  Likey?

I hear a whisper on the wind that Broo where the Space Marines of their time insomuch that they made citadel a tonne of money- and this is reflected in just how many they churned out.

This chappy is from the pre-slotta era and is a fixed head variant.  Broo later morphed into 'beast men' with several artists tackling them, including Trish Morrison, Bob Olley, Kev Adams and Jes Goodwin no less.
As the range evolved they became less beast men and more goat men, though you can find all creatures great and small in the early ranges- camels, owls and bees for example.

Added to lead pile
None today!

Paint Queue
More undead.  More broo.  And a coffee and sandwich.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

King's minis: a new era. Rise of Morbius.

And so it begins!

 Rising from the ashes of 2013, these undead are the dread harbingers of what is to come in 2014. New bases, new style, new direction.  Huz-fukkin-zah!

Morbius, Longhorn and Skelly.  (Citadel '80s)

So I chose to kick off the year with Morbius, the necromancer behind Citadel's skeletal war machines boxed set.  Joining him is his chariot riding champion from the same set, the bestial headed Long Horn.  This figure, and the Skelly appeared at the start of this blog many moons ago.  He is all sparkly and new again with his paint job refreshed and crispened (with glazes and edging) and sporting a sexy new 30mm base.


Morbius is a classic undead figure from the last of the golden age undead. After this came the disaster that was Morley's undead- ushering in an era of poorly posed, vague weapon waving, stiff undead that culminated in the worst figure of all time... Nagash. Why they replaced Kev Adams and the Perry Brothers undead with the poopy shit that followed is a mystery to me.  Mind you, that was the era of bright, clashing primary colors.  Who knows what they where smoking.

Morbius is a fantastic model to paint. After years of languishing in a plastic bag in storage, it feels great to have him finally pointing my skeletal warband around and poking enemies in the eye.

'He went that way!'

'No... that way!'
To get the skin tones I used thin glazes built up over a light, cool grey.  If you use a warm tone in your glaze it suggests light passing through the skin and making it glow from within.  The deeper shadows should be cool.  I decided to do a similar

'Or maybe...'

The original boxed set promotional art in White Dwarf.  Courtesy of Stuff of Legends.
As you can see, I decided to go with a similar scheme to his origibal promotional paint job back in the 1980s.  I did, however, tweak the colors in my version to lean towards aqua and purple with dead, ghostly flesh.  I also glued mine at an angle to give him a more dynamic, forward stabbing feel.

Skeleton Infantry

This skelly (Skeleton Infantry 132211) also appeared in the early days of my blog- painted with simple tints over grey scale.  I decided it was time for him and his brethren to come alive again with a refresher paint job.  After a thorough dusting with a soft house paint brush, I gave him a glaze of Lahmian medium to flatten any shine and give the newer glazes better purchase.  I then picked out the edges of his clothes in aqua, and blended them in with successive glazes of midtone.  Black ink and flow aid was used to pick out his details.  The new base gives him a more epic, important feel, and the subdued colors let even his pale bone stand out.  To give a shot of color, I added greenstuff mushrooms ala Meistro Blanche.

'Urry up and make up yer mind guv'nor... this pole is well 'eavy when you ain't got any muscles.'

Added to the Lead Pile

A nice little score this Xmas!  Some sexy Miaow miniatures courtesy of my brother in law (cheers ears!).  Some Tom Meier Lizardmen and a couple of FF figs.  Thanks all my lovely ebay sellers for those!  I love the lizardmen- I may have to get some of the troglodytes to go with them!

On the slab

Well thats the first batch done in the new style!  On the slab now is a handful more armored skellys and a couple of night horrors to fill out the warband.  I won't get through all my undead though- because next up is a Broo warband that I am just toooooo excited about.  I love Broo- that should be delightful.  After that is an small orc warband in the new style!


So I hope you like my new look and style- comments, questions and suggestions always welcome!   Oh and free stuff. I like free stuff.

Goodnight leadfreaks.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New years resolutions

Hey peeps, 2014.  Seriously! We are alive in 2014.  So where is the hoverboard I was promised huh?
Growing up reading 2000ad magazine it never occurred to me that I would be living through it.  They did get some things right.   Totalitarian big brother dystopia... check.  Robot manservants... er... roomba I guess... check.  Evil megacorporations... checkity, check-check and if course fatties.  Bang on there.
So how will I be spending my 2014 on this here blog?  Well folks... I have been giving it some thinkage... and here is the thunks I am thunkimicating.
First, I am going to start focusing on finishing small warband projects, with lavish attention given to each figure to give it some personality.  For minis without much hope of that, the base will get some attention instead.  Last year was all factory mode... a race to get everything done.  This year it's about making little treasures.
For this years bases I have finally decided to stop buggering about and commit to 30mm classic 'multi' bases for my fantasy warbands.  Having tried everything last year I gave it some serious thought and found these suited my needs the best.

They are... super cheap (in bulk), do not require slot filling, do not need sanding, do not need drilling to magnetise, are mdf and resin dust free (so no toxic lung death), easy to pick up by the base, lightweight,  the sides are black and polished, the surface flat and responsive to superglue and I can keep the slot on rare figures.  Done.  Next problem.

The next thing on my list is base decoration and colors.  This year I am taking a fresh approach by using subdued mottled colors over green-grey with a more frazetta like feel.  I keep coming back to John Blanches modern bases and his really early ones for inspiration. Last year I mentioned that the thing about Johns Bases is that they evoke the world beyond the bases edges... and a twisted,  mad world it is too.  I want that for mine.

Terrain wise I have decided to explore a twisted, dusty realm of alien plants and lost civilizations that crosses both sci-fi and fantasy, allowing me to mix and match peices on the same game board.  I am tired of lime green flock!

Figure wise, this year is about higher contrast for tabletop- punching out details and getting some cool free hand going, such as banners and shields.  I still want the soft blends of Fraser Gray, if possible- but deeper shadows and crisper edges than my usual.

The subdued bases will allow the figure to stand out a bit more too.

The start of the year is about getting shit done.  What shit?  Playable small warbands... that's what buddy!  First off the ranks with the new look will be my orc, armored skeleton and broo warbands, which are now all based up and ready for paint.  I love broo.

On the collecting front, I will try to track down enough undead for my John Blanche undead assault project when cash is available.   Expensive year coming up... with any luck!

Well, that's me.  Speak soon!