Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Little Zombie Gaming

Played some All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out a couple weeks ago. It was a simple Search scenario in an urban setting. The players were all new to the game so I kept it simple and did not use PEFs. I played as the referee and ran the zombies while they each took a character. It was a fun game and my friends enjoyed it.

My urban board.
I need to get some MDF buildings to replace those card stock ones.
Here you can see the character cards I use.
I've made one for each of my survivor/ganger models.
The zombie kills are piling up!
They did pretty well, for noobs. Only one of them got killed.
Drone view.
That's all I've got for today. We had a great weekend and I'm looking forward to when we can do it again.

I've been doing a fair bit of painting lately. Since I have such a nice space for painting now, I'm trying to develop a more regular habit. I borrowed an idea from the running world and have committed to 30 minutes everyday for 30 days. It's the best way to start a new habit of anything. It's felt great to get back into the hobby with more consistency.

My goal is to finish all the character models for my other D&D game. One of my friends is the DM and my 12 year old son, his 12 year old son, and I are the players. We each run two characters, so there are six character models. I've finished three. Once the six are completed, I'll start slogging through my lead pile. Clearing out several half-finished projects will be the first priority. Next week I'll have some minis to show you.

Until next time, carry on!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dads And Daughters D&D

Last weekend I hosted our Dads and Daughters D&D group in my new game space. I'm probably beating a dead horse hear, but allow me to say once more how much I LOVE my new house and game room!

As I think I've shared before, Dads and Daughters D&D started back in 2014 when, on a lark, I invited some of my old high school buddies to get together for a weekend and play the new 5th Edition D&D. We played through an adventure I had written, drank beer, relived the glory days, and had a fine weekend together. We enjoyed the game so much in fact, that we decided to do it again. Schedules being what they are and us living several hours drive apart meant that it was a few months before we could get together.

At our second gathering, one of my friends asked if he could bring his high school senior daughter along. Considering these friends are like family, we were glad to have her join the game and once again we had such fun we decided to set another date. For the 3rd gathering we decided we would all bring a daughter, step-daughter, or niece along and, BOOM, Dads and Daughters D&D was born.

It has been such a cool thing to introduce these young women to a game (and a gaming hobby) that typically includes only about 30% women and girls. In what is too often a sexist, misogynist gaming culture, we have taken great delight in empowering these young women to "take a place at the table", literally and figuratively, and enjoy the game as equals. It gets a little crazy with 9 (!) player characters, but it has been well worth the effort. It has been amazing to see these young people go from shy, sometimes skeptical, hesitant players to full on, sword wielding, spell casting, monster bashing, bad asses. We dads (and uncles) couldn't be more proud of how our "girls" have taken to the game.

One of the young adventurers went off to college this year. We expected her interest would decline, but she has consistently made arrangements to travel long hours by bus just to make it to the quarterly games. She's also started bringing a boyfriend (insert eye roll here). But, I have to admit, he's a great young man. After all, any guy willing to give up his weekend to play D&D with his girlfriend's father and his old high school buddies must be a stellar individual! Besides, he's pretty good at the game too...for a noob.

The college kids and their Yorkie-Poo familiar.
(that's my little dog, Charlotte. She was there for the snacks.)
Massive battle in the keep as the party is besieged.
Grognards and their offspring.
Thanks to my wife, you also get a shot of me, DMing at the head of the table.
So, the break-in game session in the new space was a complete success. A truly spectacular day was had by all. I'm so grateful for these friends, for the time and space to do this, and for you all for caring to read about it.

Until next time, carry on!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Gameroom Taking Shape

Between moving, fixing up our old house for sale, and trying to settle into our new house, I haven't had much time for gaming. Still, I've managed to set up my hobby space/painting table and game room.

A cozy, well lit space.
My wife and I love IKEA products so we made a  run to our "local" store an hour or so drive away. I have been doing some research on display cabinets and settled on the BILLY cabinet with OXBERG doors.

This is only part of my collection.
I will be getting at least one more of these; maybe as many as 5. I like the idea of an entire wall of cabinets for my figures, games, books, and supplies.

Still need to install the lights.
I'm also planning to build a permanent gaming table. I want to make one with a well like I've seen others have online. I'm thinking I might use our old dining room table once we replace it. My thought is to build a table with leaves that can be taken out or added in depending on how much gaming space is needed. My old dining room table would be perfect for that as all the hardware for expanding/contracting the table is already there.

Wouldn't a wall of cabinets back there look great?
I set up some portable tables to get an idea of space and discovered I have room for a 5'x10' table! That would allow for a 4'x8' well with a 6" edge all around. Positively huge! Considering that my Dads and Daughters D&D group is composed of 9 players and the DM, that should about do it.

Yes, that's a mini-frig there by the door.
Who wants to walk up the stairs to the kitchen for a frosty beverage?
The DM's view...
Things are coming along nicely. I've been exhausted for most of the last 6 weeks, but it is well worth it. Moving is never easy but is a great opportunity to take stock, sort through, and reconfigure one's hobby. What a gift this space is to me for that!

Until next time, carry on!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sometimes Dreams Come True

So, my beloved and I are buying a new house. It's been a long time coming and looks to be a dream come true - lots of space for all of us (we have 3 kids still at home), a great neighborhood, a nicely remodeled home - all the perks. We couldn't be happier about it.

But what does this have to do with gaming, you ask? Consider these shots of the finished basement:

Workout room.
Nice. Gonna get ripped. LOL! 
Play room.
Even nicer. Kids will love it.
Gaming Room!
BOOM! That's what I'm talking about, baby!
Ever since I was a pimply middle-school kid I've wanted to have a whole room dedicated to this hobby. It took 40 years to get there but... I'm thrilled.

I look forward to sharing with you all how the space develops, but just wanted to share my excitement for now.

Until next time, carry on!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Game Mat

I haven't been doing much modeling or gaming lately as we are prepping for a move. I did, however, recently purchase a 3'x3' gaming mat from here. I bought it on a whim and I have to say I'm really impressed with it. The printing is beautiful - very clear and vibrant. I think it will be a nice foundation for games of Songs of Blades and Heroes as well as my Dungeons and Dragons games. I'm sure it would work well with any game in fact. Anyway, here are some pics:

Close up of bare/rocky area.
Close up of path.
A party of adventurers is ambushed by goblins!

A shot with a Dwarvenforge cottage.

A mat like this is essentially a giant mouse pad. It rolls up for storage and lays flat instantly. It creates a nice padded surface for minis, important especially for games that rely on laying minis down as a game mechanic. As you can see, it's a nice addition.

If you've not looked at these types of mats you may want to give them a try. It took me a while to pull the trigger on one, but I'm glad I did.

Looking around online you'll find several companies that sell them. They come with lots of different types of terrain, from rural to urban to wasteland to outer space. You can buy them in sizes from 3'x3' up to 6'x4'. You can buy them with square or hex grids printed on in a variety of sizes. They really are a very versatile tool for miniature gaming. They can be pricey, but with care I think they will last a lifetime of gaming.

Until next time, carry on!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bones Goblins

These are my first Reaper Bones models. I thought I would try them out since they are so inexpensive.

Bones Goblins, front
Bones Goblins, back
These photos are actually of my second attempt...

On my first try, after washing in soap and water, I painted directly onto the Bones material, as recommended. Initially they painted up fine using Reaper paints. I did a simple paint scheme and then thought I would wash with Army Painter Quickshade.

Big mistake. They never dried...stayed tacky for days afterwards. I let them sit for about a month and they were a little less tacky, but not much better. So I thought maybe a spray coat of matte finish would help.

Bigger mistake. They fogged and then, when handled, the finish and paint cracked right off. What a mess! I almost relegated them to my son's toy bin, but after a little reading on the forums I thought I'd try again. They went into a soak of Simple Green and I started over. The pics above are the result.

Once again I painted directly onto the Bones material, using Reaper paints. Then I gave them a wash of Vallejo sepia wash. Once this dried I went back and picked out a few simple highlights. Then I coated with Liquitex gloss varnish. After this dried, I coated again with Liquitex matte varnish. Et, voila! There they are.

These models are fine for basic troops and D&D monsters. The detail is not as good as their metal counterparts, but it is still serviceable. I've bought a few other Bones models and will paint them simply like these. They are a cheap way to flesh out your collection.

Anyway, here's a few action shots...

A High Elf paladin and Elf archer defend the bridge from goblin raiders.
Meanwhile, help is on the way in the form of a dwarf, a human paladin, and a wizard.
The battle rages on!
Until next time, carry on!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

High Elf Paladin

Here is another Reaper mini I finished recently...

This time I didn't use spray finish. I don't think I will use spray finish for any character models again. It's fine for units of basic troops, but I hate to risk it with a model I've spent a lot of time on. Instead, I'm switching to using Liquitex matte varnish over a coat of their gloss varnish. Works well.

Clear coated and acrylic base added.
Sword looks HUGE at this angle...just a trick of the photo.
Here he is defending the Holy Elf Caves from an incursion of Bullywugs.
Until next time, carry on!