Thursday 23 June 2011

Boring old magic weapons

I hate those stupid anime/GW oversized weapons.
I have an idea for defining how the pluses (e.g. +1, +2 etc.) could work for magic weapons.

A +1 weapon, instead of just adding +1 point of damage, the player would roll +1 damage die, and choose which of the two results to use. A +2 weapon would add two dice, and so forth. A character wielding a +2 longsword would get to roll 3d8 instead of 1d8, and could choose the result showing on any of them. A +1 dagger would roll 2d4 instead of 1d4, and so forth.

Just to clear up any misconceptions: you DON'T add all the dice to get a damage result, you CHOOSE ONE of them.

I should note that I have done absolutely no statistical analysis to determine how this might affect damage infliction rates. At this point, it's just a brain-fart.

I guess it should work well enough for cursed weapons as well, except that the player would lose the element of choice and would always have to take the worst result, normally the lowest.... but if, for example, attacking a friend while charmed, it might be the higher.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Battlefront 15mm A9 Cruisers

These 15mm (1:100 scale) models of the A9 Cruiser Mk.1 are Battlefront's old casts; they've since been remastered, but I haven't seen any of the new ones in the wild so I don't know how they compare. These ones were given to me by my friend Steve.

I've painted them in BEF livery, circa 1940. It's taken me an age to get them finished.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Great Geomorphic Genesis, Batman!


(The link goes to Stonewerks blog).  I'd just like to second the plea for an automated geomorphic mapper to pump out pseudo-3d maps like this.

It would not only make me happy, it would also align the stars and bring peace and happiness on earth.

(NOTE: I am not a programmer, so I have absolutely no clue how difficult such a thing would be to create.)

Monday 13 June 2011


Today, two major earthquakes within a couple of hours once again laid waste to my workroom. The shelf module holding the plastic storage drawer thingummies that I keep all my figures in, painted and unpainted, tore itself loose from its brackets and dumped everything on to the floor, simultaneously blocking the door so that it will be very, very tricky getting in there to clear it all up (again).

There's bound to be other chaos in there too, but that's all I could see through the tiny gap I could force in the doorway.

I'm really over all this earthwobbling crap. Enough is enough.

Monday 6 June 2011

"Plastic Soldier" and Battlefront 15mm Pz IV comparison

The sprue - obverse and reverse
The Plastic Soldier Company makes, well duh, plastic toy soldiers for wargamers, in 15mm (1:100) and 25mm (1:72). They also make a limited, but expanding, range of vehicles and guns in those scales.

Proving that I have absolutely no impulse control, I just bought a box of their 15mm Panzer IV models in spite of the fact that I'm (supposedly) getting out of 15mm WWII gaming. There are 5 models to the box for $45 NZ; not too dear, but they could certainly be cheaper, since they retail for £16.50 (about $NZ 35.00) direct from their website.

Parts are supplied to build Ausf. F1, F2, G or H models of the Panzer IV, though some compromises have had to be made — for example, the muzzle brake on the long 75mm gun barrel is more or less right for the G or H, but not for the F2. However, the fundamental form of the Panzer IV never really changed, and unless you're feeling really anal about it the errors in detail really don't matter that much on the wargames table, and if you are feeling anal about it, plastic is a lot easier to modify than resin and/or metal.

Shown here on the left is Battlefront's model of the Panzer IV D (which I use as a stand-in for the Pz.IV A of 1939-40).
To the right is the offering from Plastic Soldier, built as the F1.
The two are pretty close in size and proportion, and would mix and match well enough on the table.

Each kit comes on a single sprue in a dark yellow plastic that is a reasonable match for the German Dunkelgelb base colour. They go together very smoothly. There are a couple of things to be wary of though, when building the track assemblies:
  1. The drive sprockets are not interchangeable left and right; make sure you have the right one for the appropriate track assembly.
  2. The tracks come in two sections, an upper and a lower run, and will only fit properly one way. Test-fit before charging ahead with your glue.
A few stowage extras (spare road wheels, jerrycans, a length of track) are provided on the sprue, and there is also a set of schurzen for those who want to build the Ausf.H. Unfortunately the sheet showing an exploded view of the model presents only the Ausf.F1 build, so if you want to do any of the later models you'll have to nut it out yourself.

No transfers are provided, so markings will have to be painted on, or transfers in the correct scale obtained elsewhere (Battlefront sell them).

In the example shown here, I've just sprayed it with Vallejo ModelAir German Grey, given it a wash of Devlan Mud, and then a quick dry-brush in VMC Stone Grey to highlight the detail. Properly weathered, and with the commander and markings decently painted, it would look just as good as the more expensive resin model I think.

Compared with Battlefront's resin and white-metal model, the injection-moulded Plastic Soldier model's detail is generally crisper, more delicate and more regular. On the other hand, surface details like the tools on the fenders are more deeply modelled on the Battlefront model, and have more dimension to them. The Battlefront model is heavier, and feels more satisfying in the hand, but it's an easy matter to add weight to the plastic model by glueing a couple of lead weights into the hull during assembly.

In the end, where the Plastic Soldier model really comes out ahead is in price. On a model by model basis, you pay less than half what you'd have to fork out for Battlefront models (and resin/metal models are only going to get dearer). If you're on a budget, the choice is clear — build the bulk of your armies in plastic, and only spend the big bucks where you absolutely have to, for specialty items.

Thursday 2 June 2011


Clickerate to embigginify

Apart from the outlines, which were drawn in black fountain-pen, this is all done digitally — the tones and textures are all drawn in Photoshop.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Swampy Ruiny Goodness

Combining my two great DMing loves: swamps and ruins. The possibilities are endless (and slimy).