Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Alfred

I started painting Alfred before switching to Swamp Thing, but ended up finishing the latter first, and chose both simply because I am struggling to paint a couple of other minis (Damian Wayne/Robin and Killer Frost). I felt I needed to get something finished as the most important thing, and so I am pretty pleased to have finished both of these minis.

Alfred is a Henchman for Batman crews, but not one I envision using much as he is very much predicated on a support role. For his Reputation value his Medic and Business Agent abilities in particular are simply not enough to make me want to use him.

There has been a little controversy about how Knight Models marketed and made available the Alfred miniature. Originally it was pitched as an 'exclusive' miniature available to pre-orders of the original BMG core rule-book; later it appeared as an occasional tournament prize, and later still it was made more widely available through a couple of sales promotions. As a consequence there is no regular Alfred alternative on sale at this time, and Bat-fans lacking the mini but wanting a list with Alfred may need to wait until the next sales promotion.

In the next couple of weeks i hope to get another couple of BMG minis painted and retain some momentum if I can.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.2% (67 models)

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing is my latest painted BMG addition, and is yet another Sidekick. Swamp Thing primarily sits within the Poison Ivy crew, but his Affinity to Batman makes him a Free Agent in Batman crews. I am not especially looking to build up either crew right now, instead I wanted to get a mini painted very quickly and Swamp Thing seemed to fit the bill, once he was readied....

Assembly of the mini was straightforward and just required a bit of green-stuff filling at the various joins (none were a snug fit, and each join had a gap ). However, before that I had to remove the 'surf log' the mini was attached too. Knight Model's way of solving the fact that they sculpted the mini with a stance wider than their designated 'Large' model base size was to mount him standing on a log, which in no way fitted the urban basing style I have for the line - all my BMG minis are mounted on bases from the same range (Fraktured by Dragon Forge). That meant a lot of clipping, sawing and filing to remove the log, and with assembly included, meant that prepping the mini probably took longer than the painting.

The painting was intentionally quite rough to begin with, with a base layer, a variety of brown and green washes, with some dry-brushing, then picking out areas of colour, all of which made painting quite a big mini pretty simple.

Although I said I wasn't looking at developing my Poison Ivy or Batman crews right now, I like the thought of Swamp Thing coupled with either Clayface or Solomon Grundy. Swamp Thing is a costly but powerful, potentially hard-hitting and seemingly durable character, and could lead to lists quite unlike those I usually go for. Hmm, thinking hat on....


BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: nothing further)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.6% (66 models)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Alberto Falcone (BMG)

You wait several years to paint yourself a BMG Sidekick, then three come along seemingly at once! Alberto Falcone is a character who first surfaced in The Long Hallowe'en Batman story, and is a very recent addition to the BMG range.

I have been working on another mini (Damian Wayne) but stalled over some of the fiddly bits of painting that one, so decided I need to get something finished really quickly or risk hitting another slump.Looking in the painting queue I saw Falcone who I reckoned I could get finished quickly, and thankfully I was correct. A couple of brief painting sessions over the course of a day got him done, so I am very happy about that.

Alberto Falcone is part of the Organized Crime crew, but this does not mean I am embarking on Organized Crime any time soon, it was simply expedient to paint him up. He seems a decent and sneaky threat on the table, especially to more vulnerable Leaders with his Assassin Trait offering up extra Victory Points.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: forgot to include the Batmobile in my last update)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.2% (65 models)

Friday, 5 May 2017

Who Will Save Us Now? Watchmen 'Homebrew' Update (BMG)

I like the Knight Models' Watchmen minis (missing detail on Nite Owl aside!), but found them somewhat lacking on the table (only one run out mind you, so hardly cast-iron evidence - I will accept!), a view which seems shared by many. Basically the game has moved on but Knight have never really addressed updating the Watchmen despite several recent opportunities.

Well it turns out that Knight can no longer produce the Watchmen - by which I take as the movie incarnations as the movie rights are a somewhat messy affair; Knight are not saying why they cannot produce them, just that they cannot do so.

So what to do with an underwhelming crew? Homebrew update of course! Several years working on a supers-based minis game has taught me that it is better to be cautious as it is easy to make things 'over-powered'. As a consequence I approached my personal update with a simple rule of thumb - each character got one new Trait, no more, and two characters each got a single Ammo weapon. Then it was a case of dusting off my GiMP skills to produce some cards - the downside meant retaining a certain level of Spanglish that was inherent on the source cards.

The Updates and Why I Chose Them
Working through in some kind of order:



Comedian - he had a hefty array of Traits as-was, and his greatest weakness was his relatively low Defense for a character of his Reputation value. I added Undercover to reflect that he stumbled on to Ozymandias' plan to an extent, was at the Kennedy assassination, may have murdered Hooded Justice and was generally very good at sneaking around as a special ops and spy. To cap this off I added a tear gas grenade which he is seen firing during the 1977 riots in the movie.


Ozymandias - was given Precise Blow; I saw this on another gamer's homebrew update (credit to Liam Callebout). Based on the source material, especially the Before Watchmen comics, this just seemed very fitting for a man who always plans every single move he makes, and who has the coordination to parry a bullet with a piece of furniture and later catch one in his hand.


Nite Owl - I chose something simple for Nite Owl, Master Fighter. Functionally this is worse than the rerolls Silk Spectre gets from Unarmed Combat Master, but I didn't want to duplicate what she had, and at a similar Reputation cost Damian Wayne has the same Trait. With Bonebreaker, Brutal and Arrest already I feel it is a fair trade-off and upgrade.


Rorschach - I felt Cruel fit his efficient way of putting foes down; while the character has some nobility about him, he is incredibly brutal and the rule functionally fit with his existing repertoire. On top of this I added a one-shot attack based on firing his grapple gun at a hapless target.


Silk Spectre II - I had a few thoughts about stuff that could fit, but a lot came down to 'gamey-ness', and so when I thought about Silk Spectre I recalled two sequences in the movie in particular (the street gang fight and the prison raid) when she just mows through hordes of mooks, and Devastating Blow seemed the nearest representation of that.


Let me know what you think, comments and critique welcome!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Emperor Penguin

In painting Emperor Penguin, I have now finished six BMG minis in just under two weeks, putting me well on target for the annual target I set for the range, as well as helping me get back on track with my painting overall. I am pretty happy with the results as I set out to paint up a mini in a day (well, an afternoon in reality); I am not planning a Penguin crew any time soon - no, I chose the mini as I thought I had a good chance of starting and finishing it in a single day. That said, I quite like what I see in game terms...

Emperor Penguin (also known as Emperor Blackgate in the comics) is a fairly recent addition to the batman rogues gallery. He starts off as a number-two to the Penguin himself, then sets his boss up in order to take control of his crime operation. Soon after he took a combination of Bat-verse serums (venom - Bane's stuff and Man-bat serum) with some help from Poison Ivy to become superhumanly powerful - as you do - and later takes the name Emperor Blackgate following his incarceration.

Which brings me onto his game rules, and I have to say, I like what I see. As far as Leaders go, Emperor Penguin offers very good durability with Defense 4, Endurance 9, Tough Skin and Regeneration. This makes the fact that he is geared up for close combat a much more palatable option, and makes him a less vulnerable option than Penguin, but at higher Rep cost and at the loss of some Funding.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 280 (added: new Penguin crew, Penguin Lieutenant, Reaper, new Catwoman, Arkham Knight Sniper, Arkham Knight Nightwing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 22.9% (64 models)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Talia (Arkham City)

This Arkham City version of Talia was started at the same time as the comics version, and both were set aside together. It is one of the older sculpts in the range and wasn't the greatest cast, with some of the detail shown on the 'studio' picture that was simply not visible on the copy I had. Therefore I am happy with the mini being 'done' more than what I have achieved with it - I did a better job on the comics version Talia than this one; for example the highlighting on the face is a bit sharp to my eye in the picture.

The hair colour I chose is pretty atypical for Talia in comics and movies, but looking at screenshots of Arkham City it looks like she had a kind of 'dark blonde' colour so that is what I opted for, even though the studio paint-job has her a a red-head. It also helps differentiate her from comics Talia.

In rules terms, I prefer this Talia to the comics alternative. Both are Sidekicks, but this one is simply a better combatant in my view, and as there is an alternative tournament card set of rules for her, that one may be better again as the cheapest option able to cover ranged and close combat offering greater flexibility. If I did field a League of Shadows crew I would be more tempted with the tournament card profile, but time will tell if I ever get around to playing that crew.

In all it has been a productive couple of weeks for me with my BMG painting, and I have even made a start on yet another mini I hope to complete soon - Robin (Damian Wayne), probably inspired by painting up two version of his mum!

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 271 (added: Alberto Falcone, and I have a bundle of stuff on order)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.2% (63 models)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Talia Al Ghul (comics)

Talia is my 62nd painted BMG character, and oddly enough, only the first Sidekick I have painted in the range. For readers unfamiliar with the game there are several main character ranks: Leader, Sidekick, Free Agent and Henchman. Out of 270 character models (and rising....) almost 40 are Sidekicks, so in other words, I am long overdue actually painting one...

This is one of currently two versions of Talia, both of which I started a while back and both were subsequently sidelined to finish other stuff prior to my recent painting slump. Regaining BMG momentum helped get me on track to finish this mini and do a little more work on the Arkham City version of Talia. I have seen Talia depicted with an array of hair colours over the years, so decided on painting her as something of a red-head. Probably a lighter hair colour than she has been depicted with, but I am happy with the contrast to all the dark parts of her costume.

I don't have painted League of Shadows or LexCorp crews yet (Talia is the only dedicated LexCorp mini released so far), so I don't expect to use this Talia anytime soon, or indeed ever. However, even if I was using either crew, she does not wow me with her character design in game terms, so she may be destined to forever remain in the cabinet. Still, the most important bit is another mini done, and my first Sidekick to boot!


BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 23.0% (62 models)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Hugo Strange

Another BMG mini done, following renewed motivation spurred by finishing Prisoner 05 and Joker, although Hugo Strange proved somewhat infuriating in the painting! The pale greys I was mixing up as the base layers to the 'white' looked fine until painting on the 'white' which made them look too dark. I stepped away from my usual choice and now realise that was a mistake!

While Prisoner 05 and Joker were cases of finishing part-painted stuff, Hugo Strange was done from scratch over a couple of days - he just took longer than planned due to the 'white' and then dropping him at one point (clumsy me!). I hope to finish off another couple of part-painted BMG minis very soon.

With so many BMG minis still to paint I am not entertaining thoughts of repainting Hugo Strange, so I accept him as he is. Even though I have been a fan of the character since a memorable story back in the 1980's, to be honest he is not likely to make it to my gaming table any time soon, if at all. The main reason being that I just don't see a place for him in any of my more likely crews since his rules push him to be surrounded by Arkham Asylum Inmates and Free Agents with 'Mental Disorder' rules. He offers buffs for relevant models, but at a cost of being the cost equivalent to a couple of Henchmen and not being able to take Catwoman - including her Arkham City VP generator version. For me he simply does not offer enough value in what he does, especially as many of my games are in tournaments where I feel he would be lacking. Mileage may vary though.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: nothing)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 22.6% (61 models)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Joker (Arkham City)

Joker was started many months ago (early September 2016), with a view to building up a new crew to be able to play with. I got side-tracked (as usual) so that hasn't really materialised - I certainly have a playable Joker crew, but not necessarily one I would choose to play if that makes sense?

As the mini had been part-painted for some time, it was recently finishing Prisoner 05 that motivated me to want to clear this one too. This Joker is my 60th painted BMG mini, and I hope to clear some other part-done minis from the range in the next few weeks.

Arkham City Joker recently saw a cost increase via FAQ/Errata which I think has been long overdue, simply because he bends four major areas of rules (initiative and game length; counter allocation for his Henchmen; being able to shoot around corners; a universal re-roll via Luck). I have faced Arkham City Joker crews a few times and it has always been the fact he bends so many areas of rules which I found frustrating to play against, so I am more than content with the cost adjustment even if I end up fielding this version of Joker myself.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: nothing since posting Prisoner 05)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 22.2% (60 models)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Prisoner 05 (BMG)

Prisoner 05 for BMG has been part-painted for far too long. This is likely due to a combination of factors curtailing my motivation, few directly due to the mini itself.

It has been almost four months since I last painted a BMG mini, so I think that says quite a lot. Based on last year I averaged a little over two BMG minis per month, so I am far off that pace in 2017. Hopefully I will get a few more done over the next couple of months.

In game terms, Prisoner 05 offers a fairly decent package I think, for what is relatively low Reputation and Funding. As he relies on his Automatic Gun and Smoke Grenades, his low Willpower is not a problem, and Endurance 5 is a nice touch. For me though, I am not looking at using any crews right now into which Prisoner 05 would neatly fit, so he is likely to sit in the figure cabinet for a while.

BMG Painting Summary
BMG characters owned: 270 (added: quite a bit since the last painted mini)
Percentage of owned characters painted: 21.9% (59 models)

Monday, 17 April 2017

Sandblaster (Crimemasters)

Sandblaster is a mini I assembled and undercoated years ago. Her undercoat was black, which I reckon puts it at least as six or seven years ago, maybe more. In other words - long overdue to get out of the dread 'painting queue'!

The mini is produced by Reaper in their Chronoscope range, and to be honest, the detail is somewhat soft. That said, she made for a fairly straightforward paint job, even if a pretty basic one, which was ideal after the barren painting spell of February and March.

I'll be using the mini as Sandblaster, a Super in the ranks of the Crimemasters, a Team I'll use to play-test Supers Unlimited (you can read more about Supers Unlimited in general on the Kitbash Games blog). A crook who never made the big time, Jenna Thomas was part of a gang who stole a sample of sand energised with extra-terrestrial energy. The sand was affected following the appearance of Ion, the Caller and his subsequent battle with The Watch near Groom Lake. The sample was being held and tested at OMNI Labs under government contract. With inside help, the gang secured a flask of the sand for their buyer, but as they tried to escape, an OMNI security guard's energy pistol blast shattered the flask and reacted with the contents, spraying them across Jenna's body. She awoke days later, handcuffed to a hospital bed in an isolation unit. Thinking only of escape, her body turned to a crystalline form and as living sand she slipped her bonds, escaping into the night. Months later, the Villain known as Sandblaster started her Super-crime career.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Shadowblade (SHOC Force)

Shadowblade is the final member of SHOC Force (for now!). Like the rest of the Team the mini is from the Nexus Miniatures range of models. The range was perfect for me in creating a Team visual across a group of minis.

Shadowblade is an Unhuman like her colleagues; in her case her powers allow her to teleport short distances, and give her enhanced stealth capabilities which she allies to formidable combat prowess.

A former assassin for hire, Shadowblade is now trying to build a new life and atone for her past, while supporting the SHOC Force cause and Dr. Omega's Unhuman Manifesto.

I followed the basic template of colours for SHOC Force with Shadowblade, although her costume is the most varied of the bunch. It has been twenty eight months since I first painted Oculus and Razorclaw for SHOC Force, so this has been a pretty long-gestating project. It also means the first finished faction for my 'Super Earth' project - basically the minis I will be using to play-test Supers Unlimited.

More hopefully, I seem to have regained some painting momentum which I hope lasts for a while and gets me back on track with my output goals.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Dr. Omega (SHOC Force)


Dr. Omega is the second of my very recently finished batch of minis. Like the rest of SHOC Force, the sculpt is from Nexus Miniatures; for my purposes he is an Unhuman Super, the most powerful member of SHOC Force and its leader.

Dr. Omega is a powerful psychic, with telepathic and telekinetic powers. Most heroic Super-Teams view Omega and SHOC Force with suspicion, which has resulted in many skirmishes as Omega pursues his Unhuman Manifesto.

To add a regal element to Dr. Omega I thought the purple cape and gold trim would be good options. it helps differentiate the model from the rest of the Team and hopefully elevates him a little in 'rank'. The rest of his costume colours are aligned to the standard SHOC Force template.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Fortune (SHOC Force)

Fortune is the third member of SHOC Force I have now painted, almost two and half years after completing Oculus and Razorclaw. Like the other members of the Team the mini is produced by Nexus Miniatures.

With the model I wanted to achieve a kind of generalised 'East Asian' skin tone, but I am not sure how successful that was. The rest of the colour scheme follows the pattern of the SHOC Force uniform template.

Like his Team-mates, Fortune is an Unhuman, one of a secret off-shoot of humanity gifted with amazing powers. In Fortune's case he can manipulate probability to a degree, in order to create plausible shifts in the likelihood of events. In terms of direct power, Fortune is possibly the 'weakest' member of SHOC Force, but he is nonetheless vital to their successes.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Quarter 1 2017 Painting Summary

The first of my 2017 Painting Summaries shows I had a bad couple of months on the hobby front. 'Real life' stuff reared its head and impacted my motivation to paint in particular. So, following a fairly good January, I then didn't paint anything for pretty much two months, and have only just started to get back on track.

I painted Feartigo and Grimm Lee Chan from Pulp City (click for link to my blog for Pulp City), and Green Goblin, Goblin Knight and the Goblin Minions from the now-defunct Spider-man Miniatures Game.

On a more positive note, I am hoping the fallow period is behind me as in the past 3 weeks or so I have painted 5 minis (some still to be shown). In addition, while I felt unmotivated to paint during those eight weeks, I did find enough impetus to pull together a rules draft for a skirmish minis game, and work on stuff for another two games while I was at it.

Painted in Q3 (-9 from Q3 2016)
Pulp City: 2 minis
SMG: 5 minis

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Granite

Granite is my first painted non-Pulp City, non-Knight Models Super in almost two and half years - certainly long overdue!

Doing the recent writing on Supers Unlimited triggered me to start work on a bunch of unpainted Supers minis which have been sitting around for years, and hopefully means I can start to get back on track with painting in general after a barren couple of months.

The mini is actually called Rocco and was part of the defunct ComfyChairGames line (makers of Spinespur, who created two Supers minis including Rocco/Granite). Unfortunately the mini has not been picked up by another manufacturer yet (unlike its companion piece John Henry which is now with Rebel Minis).

In my mind, Granite is an Unhuman, living on the same Earth as the members of SHOC Force, Heroes like Targeteer and Villains such as Lady Tiger. I see him as a reluctant Hero and sometime viewed as a Villain by the public at large, and a member of the powerful Elemental Four along with Aquamarina, Airstriker and Firelight. The Elemental Four follow their own path, protecting and preserving the planet even as doing so brings them into conflict with other Teams of super humans.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Goblin Cult Crew

The Goblin Cult is the first SMG crew I have finished, and one of only two that were fleshed out at all. In early 2016 Knight Models proclaimed 'coming soon' for SHIELD and HYDRA, however neither materialised. In addition, the Elektra card which materialised had her Affiliated with The Hand (Marvel ninja clan), and gave her Affinity to Kingpin suggesting plans were considered for at least 6 Factions during early development. Which makes the failure to adequately support or promote SMG by Knight all the more disappointing, as I think that could have led to some very cool characters being released.

With that polemic out of the way, on to the Goblin Cult! So what do we have? Well for one I have yet to play SMG, so my thoughts are all theories. SMG is basically an extra 'skin' of rules for BMG, but there are a few noticeable design features.

The first thing that sticks out is that crews are really geared to 400 Rep rather than the tournament standard of 350 for BMG. I say this simply because Goblin Cult can assemble a 340 Rep crew (with or without Venom), but not one at 350. The next thing is that the Spider-types (the two Spider-man options and Venom) have a suite of Traits bundled under a single label (Arachnid), and similarly the Goblin-types (Green Goblin and Goblin Knight) have a Trait bundle (Goblin Serum). The impact of this is that some bonuses are not immediately obvious, and these characters may carry a few more Traits than many of the typical equivalents in BMG. In addition, all of the Goblin Cult (except Venom) have the Fly Trait, making them highly mobile. The array of Traits is likely the driver for the relatively high Rep costs of the SMG characters overall.

The high Rep costs means that an SMG crew looks lighter on numbers than many or most equivalent size BMG crews (at 400 Rep I would expect 6-12 models), making competing for Objectives a trickier proposition, and I guess forcing the Goblin Cult to take a swarm head on since they can be outscored simply by not being able to cover all Objectives.

I hope to answer these questions for myself fairly soon as Brummie and me have a game planned, allowing him to use some high value Free Agent, Sidekick and leader characters.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Goblin Knight

Goblin Knight is my first painted mini in a couple of months, due to a lot of real-life stuff - at times like those I usually can write some stuff (hence the Supers Unlimited progress), but painting tends to take a hit. Thankfully I have cleared this mini which was started a while back, and I may try and tackle some easier to paint generic stuff soon to get myself back on track.

I really didn't enjoy painting this in anyway to be honest - the sculpt felt fiddly in terms of design, and the casting was poor in places, not uncommon with too many Knight Models in my experience. It does mean another SMG mini done, a range I expected to become defunct and since I commented about that it has come to pass. Brummie and me are planning a 400 Rep BMG versus SMG game sometime soon, so that will be a positive out of getting this mini painted amid the ongoing stuff related to the collapse of Knight's Marvel ranges.

In terms of my painting progress for SMG I am adding Venom and Elektra to the overall target list since I consider them part of the range; both had cards published digitally if not physically. I have since had my own copies printed for eventual gaming. Venom will give another Goblin Cult option for a bit of variety when I eventually get round to painting the mini.

SMG Painting Summary
SMG characters owned: 15+2
Percentage of owned characters painted: 47.1% (8 models)

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Shameless Blog Plug!

As mentioned in my last blog post, I have decided to work up some ideas around skirmish minis games systems which I hope to publish eventually (very likely via Wargames Vault), all under the Kitbash Games brand.

The first project is Supers Unlimited - a supers genre game naturally! This will be followed by Squad Wars (think high-octane, Saturday morning pseudo-military 80's cartoons and action figures), Fantasy Wars (small Parties facing off and unleashing world-shaking abilities) and others.

The approach I am taking is to provide 'sandbox' rules which are fast-flowing and allow players to creatively tailor their characters without massive crunch - building a super in Supers Unlimited is something that can be done in a few minutes even on first reading. Essentially you will be able to grab whatever models you want to play with and quickly make them into a playable Team.

If any of this sounds like your cup of tea, please head on over to my Kitbash Games blog to learn more (click for link). Once the blog has a few more Followers I will be announcing a competition to win a copy of the only Kitbash mini so far (Doc Cosmos - seen in concept art and mini forms here), so if nothing else feel free to Follow for that reason alone!

Friday, 3 March 2017

All Quiet on the Eclectic Front?

February was one of those 'life stuff' months, and has been incredibly busy. Consequently, I have not felt up to painting, which puts me behind for the year already, but that is not to say I didn't get some motivation for other 'hobby stuff'. (And hopefully the painting will kick back in soon!).

I decided to dust off a few ideas which have been percolating through my brain for a number of years, and have made significant progress on a set of 'simple supers' rules I am provisionally calling Supers Unlimited. The characters are ideas that have been with me for a long time, while the rules engine is an amalgam of a number of ideas I have been working through in drafts for other games. There will be simple character creation but overall the rules will be light on 'crunch'.

One of the characters I am working into the background for the game has already appeared in the form of a sculpt I had commissioned a few years ago, so this has been a slow-burn to say the least!

I am not wholly sure what I will do with Supers Unlimited yet, but I hope to complete the first (very rough) draft quite soon - watch this space!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Green Goblin

Another SMG mini painted, my first non-Henchman, and thankfully this one went from contemplation to completion pretty quickly! Even better, it is my sixth mini of the month (along with a couple of Pulp City minis).

The reason for the sudden motivation to paint Green Goblin was to play a larger Rep-value game using the Goblin Cult against a Suicide Squad crew played by Simon as soon as possible. With Green Goblin and the Goblin Minions done, I now just need to paint Goblin Knight. It should be a weird and very much asymmetrical game, so will hopefully be a lot of fun. 400 Rep will allow Simon more freedom to pick some 'big gun' characters, and it looks like some big hitters will be on show, not least Deathstroke, Green Goblin and Goblin Knight.

In game terms Green Goblin clocks in at 200 Rep, way beyond any BMG character (the current highest Rep character is 150 for Arkham Knight and Batpod Batman(s). Whether he is worth it will remain to be seen! What you get for that 200 Rep is a lot of Endurance (10 points), a lot of Traits, along with Strength 2+, and enough ammo for 10 shots during a game (he will never actually be able to use all his ammo in fact)! Most importantly, like all of the (admittedly not very many) Goblin Cult characters, Green Goblin has Flight, which is something which will take some getting to grips with I think.

I do wish they had added a couple more options per SMG faction (Elektra could have been obvious and easy to do with Affinity: Daredevil, and some thing for Venom and Doctor Octopus since all three had minis casts up with rules done for two of them at least), but it looks like that ship has sailed unfortunately.

SMG Painting Summary
SMG characters owned: 15
Percentage of owned characters painted: 46.7% (7 models)

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Goblin Minions (SMG)

My first painted minis of 2017 are these Goblin Minions for Spider-man Miniatures Game (SMG) - they were done a week or so ago, but I had to wait for improved conidtions to spray varnish them. I wanted something nice and easy-ish to do to get some early momentum, and thought these would fit the bill. Unfortunately the casts were not great with some honking mould lines obliterating details, and a weird porosity to the metal which I have encountered a couple of times previously on Knight Models minis.

In the Superior Spider-man comic books, the Goblin Minions are kids originally working for the Vulture who acts as a kind of super-villain Fagin I suppose. When he gets brutally taken down, they flee and soon join up with the disparate ranks of the Goblin Cult. They swap Vulture-themed masks and wings for Goblin-themed alternatives. As I don't read Spider-man regularly, I am not sure how far back their association with Vulture went prior to my reading them.

The colours are classic Goblin-esque and Marvel villain purple and green. The painting was mostly straightforward, except for the weird porosity which meant the paint did not seem to fully cover the metal in the odd place. The group was batch-painted for ease and speed, and I tried something new for me with the shading, which was to mix dark green into the purples, and dark purple into the green of the wings. It may need further experimentation to get used to.

I am quite some distance from building a playable SMG crew, but that is an ambition for this year. With so few models, there are not many distractions within the range, and it seriously does  not look like it will get expanded.

SMG Painting Summary
SMG characters owned: 15
Percentage of owned characters painted: 40.0% (6 models)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Watchmen Crew

A long-time coming in painting terms, I first started the Watchmen back in the middle of 2014! I have thinking of using them as my main crew in 2017, but they do have a few issues which make me reticent.

Choosing the Crew
Not a problem, but noteworthy is that the Watchmen are an atypical crew in that they only (currently) have a pool of 5 models to draw from. Consequently at 50 Rep increments from 150 to 350 Reputation there are only very limited crew constructions that can be selected.

What I See
For me there are a few major concerns for a Watchman crew, especially if going into a tournament. Comparing them to Court of Owls with whom I had successes in 2016 (two tournament wins and a third place out of 18 among other results), this is how I feel they compare in some key in-game areas:
  1. Pre-game: With Ozymandias' Mastermind and Great Strategist, Watchmen are clearly better here.
  2. Numbers: Watchmen have the lower model count, a disadvantage for claiming and contesting Objectives, therefore Court of Owls have the advantage. They felt horribly outnumbered in the first game in which I used them.
  3. Deployment: Rorschach having Hidden and Nite Owl having Archie trumps Undercover on William Cobb.
  4. Mobility: with the new Equipment upgrades available to the Court, they are much, much more mobile than most crews, including Watchmen. With the proliferation of Fly, Grapple Guns and Tireless coming out lately, Watchmen feel pretty slow to be honest.
  5. Ranged Combat: Neither crew is top tier, but Watchmen edge it with Comedian and Nite Owl vs Strix and the High Court Member.
  6. Close Combat: The Court may be the best close combat crew around, so no contest. After that first game, my opinion has only strengthened.
  7. In-game management: Here I think of the stuff that offers synergies to other models, and I call it a tie between the Traits the Court Leaders offer, and the Bodyguard Talon against Comedian's Demential Laugh and Nite Owl's Archie and Arrest.
  8. Durability: Beyond the various individual Traits helping model durability, I feel the Court edge it based on their ubiquitous Stealth, Reanimated Owl rule and overall combined Endurance.
I give the Court an advantage in four out of eight areas, Watchmen an advantage in three, which leads me back to thinking they will have a very steep learning curve. Watchmen may arguably be a sub-par choice compared to the Court of Owls, which itself was an arguably sub-par crew until it got additional Equipment upgrades in the Flash and Arrow expansion.

All of the above aside, Watchmen do boast some impressive qualities: Ozymandias seems to have pretty much the best Dodge in the game (89% chance of success except against Silencers); Comedian seems a decent all-rounder for his Rep cost (but slow and a lower-than-typical Defense for his character type); Rorschach may be the hidden gem of threat. So it will be interesting to see how they stack up.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Quarter 4 Painting & Year End Hobby Review 2016

2016 been a pretty good year hobby wise for me. Since changing my focus to low model count skirmish gaming in 2009, it is my best painted minis total within a single year. I finished Quarter 4 with 18 minis (top two images).

I managed to paint 67 models across 10 ranges, even starting some new ranges. I met or exceeded my targets on 5 ranges (but missed my targets for another 3; I unexpectedly started a couple of new ranges this year).

Quarter 1
I am really pleased about the amount of Pulp City minis I painted this year, which took me past 150 painted Pulp City minis in total. I hope to maintain that momentum next year, but time will tell. Pulp City and BMG were my big areas of output, but I stalled on stuff like Tooth & Sword and Warmachine/Hordes in 2016 unfortunately.

I added and assembled some new terrain (most of it was blogged), so that was nice, and I have a bit of a backlog of terrain stuff still to paint and put together for 2017.

On the gaming front I managed 32 skirmish games, so a little over one game every two weeks. I played in several BMG tournaments and won two (1st out of 10 or 11 in one; and 1st out of 6 in another) and came 3rd in another (out of 18 players).

Quarter 2
My painting in 2016
I set a high-end target of 60 minis for the year and thankfully exceeded that. I think I'll be setting the same target for next year since it is do-able (in 3 out of 4 years at any rate).


Quarter 1: 16 minis
BMG: 11 minis
Pulp City: 4 minis
Anima Tactics: 1 mini

Quarter 3
Quarter 2: 12 minis 
Pulp City: 5 minis
BMG: 4 minis
GI Joe: 1 mini
Malifaux: 1 mini

Quarter 3: 21 minis 
Pulp City: 8 minis
BMG: 8 minis
MUMG: 3 minis
Malifaux: 1 mini
Other: 1 mini

Quarter 4
Quarter 4: 18 minis 
Pulp City: 5 minis
Zombies: 5 minis
BMG: 4 minis
SMG: 3 minis
MUMG: 1 mini