Sunday, August 16, 2015

Game Time, Old West Style!

I had a chance to game with some friends, and didn't pass on the chance!  We had several stacks of games to play, but ended up playing just one...

Shadows of Brimstone
Art from the box (Not mine)

I'm sure many of you have heard of, played and love this game.  This was my first chance to play it, and I was not disappointed!  It plays very fast and I found the rules to be very solid.  The characters are complimentary, and everyone gets to get involved in the fights.  The layout is modular so each game is unique and it scales nicely with the number of players.

I took a few pictures, but to be honest, I lost track of taking pictures and just enjoyed playing the game.
I played the Lawman...
We were playing through scenarios somewhat randomly.  We would roll for what we were doing, but re-rolling to get 'new' missions.  It gave us plenty of variety of game play.
It seemed like these mines were empty
We wandered forever and didn't find anything...
Careful what you wish for!
It seemed we would wander quite a bit before encountering actual monsters.  Plenty of strange stuff from searching and such, but when we sprang an encounter, wow, they came at us!
That's a mess o' trouble for our posse
Our posse keeps hacking away
Now a giant hand attacks?!?
Just need to kill the pile of corpses
Like I said, I lost track of taking pictures, so there's not as many as I'd like.  Still, it's enough to get a feel for the game.  I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a Heroquest style dungeon crawl, or anyone who likes the weird west setting.  I found the rules pretty easy to pick up, and deep enough to keep us entertained.

An excellent game, the pieces are good quality, the minis are well detailed and everything has a nice polished look and feel.  I am looking forward to another chance to play the game.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Scenery: Rusty Car Wreck

There is a hair spray-salt rust effect painting method that I have seen demonstrated a few times on the web in a few places.  I decide to give it a try.  If you don't know what this method is, in short it is painting a model rust, spraying it with hair spray (yep) and covering areas with rough salt.  You then paint over the whole mess with a top coat color.  Then you soak it in water and brush off the salt which breaks through the top coat, leaving holes to the base coat (rust).  Then just some detail work and sealant.

I found about eight older plastic toy cars for ten cents each at a yard sale.  They are not really any scale, but they are close enough for 28mm.  While not very detailed, nor any particular real world design, I figured they would make decent empty husks of cars, useful for cover and not much else.

To try out the painting method, I am just going to do one car, the others will follow (and show up on battlefields!) as I get a chance to get them done.
Starting out
The car is molded in a softer plastic, but still pretty strong.  It's a very bright green, and has a few molded details (door handles, door lines, engine grill, etc.) but no interior whatsoever.  The wheels are actually pretty strong, and are a good size.  I'm going to add those to the bits box.
Removal of some parts, basic undercoating
First, I removed the wheels, they came off very easy.  The rear window was solid, so I cut it out.  that was a bit more difficult, as the rear axle supports ran up to the window.  Luckily, this is going to be a wreck, so it getting hacked out and it looking a bit rough is fine.  The body is ready, and I start undercoating black, I focus a bit more on the inside getting it coated.
Rusty undercoating
After the black, I add a red oxide (rust) and a terracotta spray coating.  The terracotta gives a nice orange  look over the red oxide, like an active rust.  The idea is to get a decent coverage for the rust to show through later.  Next I get some hairspray (its just a cheap small can, donated by my wife) and some salt.  I am using a mix of table salt and sea salt.  The sea salt is larger and rougher pieces, but I hope to get some interesting effects from the smaller salt as well.
Salting the car
A salty snack!
So several other people have posted videos and guides, they warn about too much salt and also too little.  I figure I am going to go for too much to start - this is supposed to be a hulk.  I don't think it can look too rusty and nasty.  I try and get a couple of areas of just the table salt and the coarse sea salt separated.  I want to see what the different salts give for effects.

Watch your eyes - the topcoat is next!
POW!  Yellow!
Sorry couldn't resist, I used a gloss yellow and the camera flash made it...glow.  Here's a couple toned down shots:
Yellow over the salt and rust
Side view
After the topcoat was dry (I left it alone for 24 hours or so) I dunked the body in warm water.  I found out it was actually buoyant, so I switched from a tray to a drinking glass (disposable) so I could keep it submerged.  I used a pretty nasty old brush to knock off the salt as the water worked to dissolve the salt.  I didn't realize how much of a mess it would be, but luckily it was mostly water that made it a mess.

If you try this, be aggressive when you knock loose the salt, BUT, be careful as you can scratch right through the base coat rust color if you are to heavy.  I had a few spots that I went all the way through, but I figured I could cover those up easily enough.
After the wash and brush cleaning
Some touch ups but it looks pretty rusty
Overall, I was pretty happy with the result.  The car is still too good looking for a rusty hulk, so I add a black and brown wash (very similar to my zombie wash) to dull the paint and bring out details.
The wash darkened it a touch
In the end, this is a decent effect, and I like it.  I am going to try it on the remaining cars I have, I will go a bit heavier on some of them, or at least in certain areas much heavier.  My goal is just some rusty looking wreckage, which this definitely looks like.

In comparison, I have the new wreck next to the VW bug wreck I did recently.  The bug is paint over the existing paint job, not the salt method.  They both look like wrecks, just different.
Two wrecks
This method does not save any time for rust effects.  It does give some pretty interesting paint effects, as the paint is really peeling away from the model, it gives a feel of rust showing through.  I think it is better used on models that are more 'active' such as tanks and cars that still in use.  I could see applying the salt and then a finished coat, then using the salt to reveal rust, that would be a very cool and dramatic look.  If I can dig out a model to try it on I'll post some pics of what I mean.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Helping Hand - Part 2

Dawn shook her head, clearing the cobwebs and restoring her vision.  Looking just out the front of the windshield, she could see Mary barely conscious , kneeling in the street ahead.  Zombies were shambling towards her, sensing an easy meal.  "Get up!  They're almost on you!"  Dawn yelled as the first zombie reached out towards Mary.

Luckily, the next turn starts with the survivors going first, then the zombies and finally the agents activate.  The soldiers don't activate this turn (which is very unfortunate for them...)
Mary faces two zombies as others close on agent Jenkins
Private Olsen looked back at the ruined fire station they had left.  Desperately he cleared his assault rifle, trying to slam a new magazine in place before the gray, undead things could get to him.  Hands shaking, he dropped his magazine to the ground, seeing a shadow cross it as the closest zombie reached out for him.  "Sarge!  They're right here!"  Panic filled his voice.  "We're gonna die!"
"Shut up and fight you pussy!"  Sergeant Myers yelled back.  "You have a knife, use it!"

Zombies swarm the infantry
Agent Hammer watched the soldiers getting swarmed as a lone zombie shambled towards him.  With the barest of pauses, Hammer raised his pistol and shot the zombie in the face as it reached him.  Something in his instincts told him to be on guard, and a zombie stumbled from the ruins behind him.  Hammer spun around, locked in hand to hand combat for his life!
A zombie attacks from behind
The zombies really made a go of it this turn.  Two attack Mary, who manages to knock one down and scores even with the second.  Hammer shoots and kills one zombie, and spins around and kills the second (not very surprisingly).
The street is a bit less dangerous...
Surrounded and down a man, the infantry don't fare very well...Only one soldier passes the charge test and gets a shot off.  The others fall in melee very quickly.
Soldiers try to make a stand...
After the other had fallen, the final soldier still passes the man down test with 2d.  He's going to stick around until the bitter end...
More undead roam the street
With some rather poor rolling, the agents get a free turn - they are the only side to activate.  Not even the zombies activate.

Agent Hammer moves up and Jenkins picks up Trish and runs forward.
Hammer charges for some hack and slash
Jenkins shoots and scoots
Starting the next turn, the survivors move first, the zombies second, the soldier third and the agents will activate last.

Dawn watched the agents dragging Trish's limp form away.  She knew they would take her back to the doctor or lab or whatever hell she had manged to get away from.  "Not without a fight!"  Dawn said, checking her pistol and stepping out of the Hummer.  "Let her go!"  Dawn shouted in the street.
Agent Hammer turned, shaking off his sword.  He raised his pistol to meet Dawn.  "We have our orders.  Get your people and leave.  I won't let anyone take our subject."  Hammer gestured with his sword "There are many more of these thing coming.  The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get away."
Dawn paused, looking around the street.  "We don't leave anyone behind."
"Neither do we."  Hammer said.
Gunfire echoed in the street...
Dawn faces Hammer in the street
Dawn gets out of the Hummer and triggers an in sight check.  This is just Hammer and her, as Jenkins is out of sight, and Mary is in melee.  I really agonized over this course of action - Trish is a ganger, and very likely not a good fit for the team, there are zombies facing Mary, more in the area and the Hummer isn't running yet.  However, the team wouldn't just hand someone over to a 'mad' scientist.  She is going to try and get Trish back.  Time to walk the walk.
Dawn wins the in sight check
Dawn fires, hits once and gets a kill.  Hammer has the advantage 'Hard as Nails' and ignores the hit.  He fires back, getting two hits on Dawn.  One is a kill, which she ignores (hard as nails again!) and passes 2d for the knockdown check, and carries on as she is protected.
Is it high noon?
After the in sights, Dawn stands up and the two shoot simultaneously.  This is one of those rules I don't entirely understand from ATZ, everyone shoots again simultaneously after the in sights, it makes it hard to see why anyone moves into contact.  Both Dawn and Hammer shoot again, Hammer gets one hit, and Dawn passes her knockdown test with 2d, and carries on.  Dawn gets two hits, and Hammer passes 2d and 1d for his knock down test, and goes OOF.
Dawn wins the duel
Mary kills the zombies she is facing, easily finishing off the one she had knocked down last turn.  The zombies swarm forward towards the living...
One last soldier makes his stand
Zombies everywhere!
Zombies move towards Mary
With all the human sides pretty much ignoring the undead, the zombies have become a pretty good size swarm.  The last soldier falls under the wave, going down fighting, but still killed.  Mary takes care of the zombie she is facing, but is still looking at four more coming at her... 
Mary takes a zed down
The last agent (who passed a man down check when Hammer went OOF) kills the zombie who attacked him.  It's then his activation.
Jenkins makes a hole
Jenkins could hear the chopper approaching.  His whole team was down, but he had the package.  "Time to be a hero."  He mumbled, placing a pistol shot square between an undead office workers eyes.  Picking up the unconscious Trish, Jenkins ran in a clumsy manner around the corner of the parking garage.  He knew the landing zone was on the top of the structure.
"Eagle this is primary.  Package en route to LZ."  Jenkins said into his radio.
"Primary, Eagle has visual.  Making final approach."  Static filled the reply, but it came through clear enough.  "Be advised there is a large zed mass moving on your position from the south.  Out."
"Just another distraction."  Jenkins thought as he shifted his burden and continued to run.
Jenkins runs past the zeds!
For the next turn, it's the survivors, then the zombies and finally the agent activate.

Dawn is torn, I could have her try and run down the agent, she has a good chance to at least get an in sight roll off at the corner, or she can make sure Mary and the rest of the group escape.  She still needs to start the Hummer, and zombies are closing in on the two remaining survivors.  It's a hard call to make, but Dawn has to let the agent go...for now.
Dawn and Mary face 4 zeds
Dawn shoots, dropping 2 zombies
Dawn can't quite get the truck started
Dawn kills 2 zombies and makes one attempt to start the Hummer.  It fails.  Mary tries to shoot the last two zombies in the street, and manages to get them both.  She runs back to the Hummer, joining Dawn.
Time to get outta here!
Time for the zombies to act.  They basically split into three groups.  One group moves down the street towards the Hummer, another chases the agent, and a final group decides to eat the soldiers.  Unpleasant to say the least.
Zombie Feast!
Start the truck...
Jenkins is just out of reach
The zombies can't quite get to Jenkins and the Hummer is still well out of reach.  The only real action is the start of a feast, which I roll a 5 for duration.  That group is going to be out of action for awhile...

The next turn, the zombies don't activate, the survivors go first and the agent second.
Dawn starts the Hummer...
...and gets moving!
Dawn tried to start the Hummer, the engine growled and died.  Trying again the engine sputtered and died.  "Come on, start!"  Dawn yelled as she punched the steering wheel.
"They're getting closer!"  Mary yelled.  "We need to move!"  Mary changed magazines in one of her pistols.
Dawn cranked the engine again and with a hard shudder, the engine caught.  With a yell of triumph Dawn shifted into gear and roared down the road.  A dull rhythmic thud sound filled the air as the Hummer started to roll.
"Is that the engine?"  Mary asked worriedly.
Dawn glanced out her window to the top of the parking ramp.  "Nope.  The agents have a chopper."
A blue helicopter descended to the top of the parking ramp as Agent Jenkins carried Trish to the landing area.  The zombies on the street were falling well behind and he allowed himself a moment of satisfaction as he was getting to the top.  The cost was high, but they were successful.
Jenkins is just about to the chopper
With Dawn driving the Hummer and Jenkins a move away from the helicopter, that pretty much ends the scenario.  The next turn the survivors don't act, the zombies act first and the agent acts last.  As the Hummer is moving, they move first and leave the table, although Dawn does pass a 2d check to swerve around the agents Hummer blocking the road.

The mission is a failure, and I do a quick keep it together check.  Dawn passes 1d (only rolling 1d!), both Blake and Larry pass 1d, and Mary passes 2d.  Everyone is ready to leave... oh $*&^%!

Mary gestured towards a side road as Dawn rolled down the road.  "I am part of a larger camp, we're just a few blocks away."  She glanced at Larry and Blake who were still shaken from the ambush.  "You can rest and maybe we can figure out a way to get your friend back."
"That sounds too good to be true."  Dawn said, casting a sideways glace at Mary.  "Maybe we should just keep moving..."
"We need to recover.  Let's check it out."  Larry said, grunting in pain from his gunshot wound.  "We can help them, they can help us."
Dawn considered for a moment, "Okay how do we get there?"

There is a survivor enclave that Mary and Nathan were ranging from nearby.  The group will head there and I will deal with the fallout of the group splitting up.