On the Painting Table

Just a quick update on what I’m working on at the moment. For my birthday, K. gave me a gift voucher from my favourite miniatures producer, Peter Pig. I’ve kept the card for a while, as I enjoyed browsing the webstore and pondering what to order. Recently, however, I’ve started to work on a couple of scenarios for Sharp Practice and decided I need more Confederate cavalry, so I got four packs of mounted and one pack of dismounted troopers. That still leaves me with a bit of money for another order! As always, the service from Peter Pig was exemplary.

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The Texas Longhorn cattle you can see on the other painting tray are from Irregular Miniatures. I’ve got two dozen of them, as I want to make an impressive herd. This is going to be yet another scenario, namely the curious naval cattle drive of 1862, where sailors from the USS Kathadin drove 1500 Longhorns through enemy territory. Doesn’t that sound like a proper outline for a game of Sharp Practice?

I’ve also recently finished scratch building two log cabins. The basic structure is made from plasticard, with shish kebab skewers glued on as logs. The chimneys are cut out of blue foam and then covered with PVA and dunked into grit – looks a bit irregular but ok enough, I think. The houses will be used for ACW as well as FIW.

More Board Gaming Fun

We are really busy with board games at the moment. Two days ago, friends invited us to play Talisman. The host is a real fan of the game – in fact, he told us that it’s his favourite board game! I’ve never played before and therefore was very curious, especially since it’s a classic and I was interested in how it would put up in relation to modern board games.

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Each of us drew three characters and we could choose one of them. I took the Prophetess, who has some fun abilities. K. was the Grave Robber, while the others were Sorceress and Doomsayer. The game itself is quite fun: You walk around the board, trying to improve your abilities and get equipment so you can enter the dangerous inner regions and finally grab the Crown of Command. The rules are not complicated and the adventure cards provide fun and dramatic encounters. I liked the narrative developing around my character, who was not very powerful but managed to get into the inner regions rather soon. I was the first to have a talisman, but when I decided to tackle the area where the crown was (with the help of a daemon I had befriended with a spell) I was thrown out immediately. Better luck next time!

As the game can go for a while, we decided to split it over two sessions. We took photos of the board and collected all our cards in envelopes, so we can continue as soon as we meet again.

Talisman shows its age in some aspects: It’s quite dependent on luck and dice-rolling, it’s a rather long game and player interaction is not very high. However, it nevertheless is great fun. Drawing an adventure card is always thrilling and the upside of the luck dependency is that the game is rich in variety. I’m certainly looking forward to finishing our session – and I’m still confident that I can get my hands on this crown!

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Another board game we played last week was Mice & Mystics. I bought it some time ago specifically for my nieces and the older one finally wanted to give it a go. She just turned seven and never played anything other than kids games, so I was curious how she would do. At first, it seemed that she was a bit over challenged and I wasn’t sure how much she liked the experience. However, her parents told me that she talked about nothing else than how cool this game was for the rest of the day and she keeps pestering me to have another game, so I guess she did like it. We were also joined by our nephew, who is now 13 and an old hand at geeky board games. He was a real gentleman and contributed a lot to make the game a great experience for his younger cousin.

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Mice & Mystics is a cooperative dungeon crawler mainly aimed at kids. The rules are simple but interesting enough to demand sound tactical decisions. The story is exciting, but it never gets brutal – characters can’t die, they get captured if they have a certain amount of wounds, meaning they can be freed by the others and continue playing. This makes it easier for younger kids, as you are not out of the game if you make a mistake (like in Zombicide). Also, I really like the miniatures and being a fan of anthropomorphic animals I had them painted up a while a go.

Virago told me that his girls also love Mice & Mystics, so it’s highly recommended if you want to introduce your offspring to geeky board games.

On the Painting Table

My gaming activities are stalling at the moment due to unforseen real life mishaps. Painting has also been halted, but I’m pretty confident I’ll wield a brush again soon. At the moment, there is quite an eclectic mix of stuff on the painting table:

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On the first rack, the two figures on the rightmost side are two 15mm scarecrows from Peter Pig. I discovered them by chance in their ECW range and immediately ordered a pack – they will serve well for my American fields. In the pack, there were also farmers which, although nominaly intended for ECW, will also work for ACW (there is one on the second rack). The 15mm figures you can see in the front row are irregulars from 15mm.co.uk to complement my Confederate Guerillas. The mules in the back row carry a limbered mountain howitzer – a simple conversion I’ve made from a Freikorps15 gun and spare pack mules.

The boat in the background is the Peter Pig USS Tyler in 1/600 with masts added for my VIVAT participation game.

The fellow with the oversized club on the right side of the second rack is a Reaper Neanderthal who will serve as a giant for my 10mm fantasy army. The animals are figures from the boardgame Mice and Mystics. The German version was re-released recently and I grabbed a copy because my nieces are getting old enough to start ‘proper’ board gaming and this might be something they enjoy. Also, I just have a thing for anthropomorphic animals.

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Incidentally, last week a nice chap on the Lead Adventure Forum sold off a bunch of animals from the Oathsworn Miniature Burrows & Badgers Kickstarter. When it was running, I’d been sorely tempted to back the Kickstarter, but reason prevailed at the time. However, I just couldn’t pass up this offer! For a change, I was fast enough to reply and two days later, 20 of those fantastic sculpts landed in my mail box.

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I’m really looking forward to painting them, but apart from that, I have to admit I’m not too sure what to do with them. My main idea is, as with Mice and Mystics, to try to entice my nieces to try out tabletop gaming – perhaps I’ll use Ganesha Games’ Song of the Splintered Lands or some other simple skirmish system.