Friday, 30 April 2010

Unified Army Theme - The Brazen Boyz

Ron over at FTW Central (see my sidebar) has set a challenge for FTW members to show how to theme an army by cosmetics, i.e. colour scheme, basing. I have been creating a new themed Ork Meck Army so I have put it up as an FTW collaborative post.

I wanted to do something new and different that suggested Mecks. So I adopted a brassy-look rather than a traditional ork look. It's a big galaxy out there (a very big galaxy in the case of 40K :) ) so I do not think one should get fixated on whatever is fashionable at GW itself. Start your own fashion. A unique colour scheme is a bold statement that immediately unifies your forces into a theme.

With regard to basing, I reflected the brazen look with a dark burnt umbar brown topped off with red-brown rocks (and occasional cadmium red smears). Red is a splash colour on my army. I use it for leather-cloth artifacts like scarves or axe handles. I used an artificial green platform for the Dread for some variety. Green is repeated through the army by, well, greenskins. However, I added red-brown rocks strewn across the platform to maintain the theme.Another splash colour is that all lights, vision ports, goggles etc are orange highlighted in yellow and shiny-varnish finished. Again this is a theme unifying the army.

I do not play in competitions and I am far more interested in fun battles built around interesting scenarios than winning. Therefore, I really do not give a damn whether an army is 'competitive'. Built in weaknesses merely add to the challenge, and hence the enjoyment, in my view.

The warbaoss and some off his nobz.

Choppa boyz.

Shootah boyz.

I did not want my army to have tanks and wanted to suggest that the Mek was not very interested in large wheeled-tracked armour. So the battlewagons are rebuilt, rusty Imperial hulls and are used more for transport than armoured warfare. This battlewagon has a zapp gun.

The Meck likes Orky things so builds killer cans. The bases are painted with oil paint over light grey followed by a wipe with kitchen roll.

This army is not heavy in infantry so has trucks so the boys can get stuck in quick. Each vehicle is a one off. It is dirtier and rustier than the Mek's prized dreads and killer cans.

A cut'n shut truck.

There are squadrons of fast attack light vehicles such as these buggies.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wargames Factory - Kriegs? Stormtroops

Wargames Factory have an interesting business model where they make market-lead plastic sprues to order. The latest, a shock troop sprue, is now on pre-order here:

I wonder what is under the bit-of-fun sticker :)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Da Meck an' da Boss

My quick-paint Orky armour is coming together. I had these HQ figures semi-finished and have now tarted them up a bit. The army theme is a meck-force so it is heavy in machines.

The most important member of the force - da Mech.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Killer Kan Squadron

Finished the last of my Killer Kan Mix. I just have to wait for the oil paints to dry and job's a good'un.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Salute 2010 - More things that caught my eye.

Have at you d'Artagnan.

Seek, Locate, Exterminate!

Ángel Giráldez

Schultrum Steampunk

Rifleman Harris.

Wargaming at a really big scale.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Salute SF Demo-Games

South London Warlords put on a Star Trek game which included cams that could be phone controlled.

This was an urban SF game.

The Lego Star Wars got a great deal of attention.

There were also two 28ml Dr Who and many, many others.

Salute Loot

Only essential purchases made, foam gibber, nurse the screens.........................

Friday, 23 April 2010

Runners - Wargamers, ID Guide

Salute 2010 is being held at the ExCeL Centre in East London. As usual the runners for the London Marathon will be registering at the Centre on the same day. There is substantial potential for confusion between the two groups so I have enclosed a guide below.

Two typical wargamers attending Salute. Note the natural habitat involves sitting down indoors. Observe also the substantial girth in the stomach region and the beards. Usually burdened down with carrier bags and boxes. In extreme cases, may have rucksack.

two typical London Marathon runners. Note the outdoor habitat and the practice of standing upright and running. This is a dead giveaway. Wargamers rarely run. Note also the lean body form.

I hope that is some help.

St George's Day

Today is St George's Day, the patron saint of England.

A good day to paint knights, and dragons.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Killer Can

A Mek's work is never done.

The base is a resin prebought model heavily washed in nearly neat fairy liquid to degrease.
Then painted:
1. Sprayed black using Citadel undercoat.
2. Repainted white on the rocks with Citadel white.
3. Painted all over with Burnt Umbar water-based oil paint by Winton.
4. Wiped with kitchen roll to show rock strata.
5. Touched up with a Burnt Umbar Cadmium Red mix. Note that it is only slightly mixed such that it is streaky.
6. Leave for 3-4 days to dry depending on conditions.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Da Dredd

Da meck has reassembled his pride and joy and promised that the next boy to break it will be used as an organ bank.

Three combat arms wiv da cutty-crushy things were fitted along wiv a burna to winkle out da grots hidin in de bushes.

Note da tank of burny stuff fo da burna and anuvva one for da worky bits.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Hartlip Wives

“I have nothing to declare but my genius.”

Ok, it sounds better coming from Oscar Wilde. No blog today because (i) I dropped my dreadnought while taking it outside to photograph, and (ii) I am lecturing on writing to the Hartlip Wives tonight on writing fiction.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Hammers Slammers Hardback - Rules of game design

The revised harback edition of Hammers Slammers that incorporates all the various updates is in preperation.

The pick shows a draft of a page.

I do not claim to be anything other than an amateur game designer as it was never my day job. However, I have had a number of games published commercially with a degree of success and I do have some thoughts on what makes a successful game. So I have put them below.

1. KISS - Keep it simple stupid. This is the most important rule. Complexity and detail do not increase realism, whatever that means. Every extra rule adds exponentially to the grit in the machine. The rules of chess are so simple that even a computer can play yet no one has come up with a better game. Less is more.

2. It's a game. Repeat that to yourself. Games by definition are based around game theory - i.e. there should not be a single best strategy.

3. You are providing entertainment not setting an exam. If it ain't fun it ain't a game.

4. Ask yourself a key question - What is the game about? Decide, focus on it and stick to it.

For example, Hammers Slammers is about David Drake's iconic SF books - that is armoured cavalry warfare in colonial wars. That immediately tells me what matters in the game. It has to be a fast-moving vehicle game where the tanks are king and infantry abstracted. The player must be able to field decent numbers of tanks so complicated tank damage rules are out. Colonial warfare as depicted by Drake involves multiple tech levels AND multiple skill levels. The latter has to be as important, no more important, than the former.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Moon Nazis in Space

You may be unaware that the Nazis had a secret base in the German Antarctic region of New Swabia. Mad Adolph and Martin Bormann fled here in top secret flying saucers after the fall of Berlin. This was only discovered when Nazi saucers started reconnaissance flights over the USA . The Nazi saucer intercepted and shot down at Roswell in '47 gave the game away. The new Swabia base was discovered in 1955 by the American Operation Deepfreeze and Soviet Somov expeditions.

The Nazis fled to a prepared base on the dark side of the moon. Most of the ridiculous overproduction of weapons up to and including reagan's Star Wars had more to do with defending the Earth than the Cold War. The American moon landings were of course faked to reassure the public.

Now they are returning - to conquer the Earth!

Mysterious Foo Fighters were spotted by allied aircraft at night in '44. Miniatures from my collection, souced from Majic Miniatures:
After the war, plans were found by Operation Paperclip agents in German design bureaus of saucer shaped aircraft that apparently operated 'on a new principle'.

Early prototypes to test saucer aerodynamics and circular landing ramps were also discovered.

A Nazi saucer checks out a U-Boat aproaching New Swabia. (Artwork by Jim Nichols - used without permission)

Well it's worth a try.