Friday, June 22, 2018

(Painting) German East African Schutztruppe

It's done.  

After gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands, and inhalation of sealant fumes, my German Schutztruppe are done.

It's been forever since I placed an order for these from Pulp Figures

Three packs German Colonial Rifles (PGS15) and an accompanying pack of German Colonial Officers and NCOs (PGS16) later, and there are 20 Colonial Germans ready to wreck havoc on whatever I paint next.

With so many varieties and combinations of uniforms, I stuck with East African Südwester colors, although most WWI and "alt-history Pulp" Germans would be wearing tropical hats.  

They may see some action in the "Pulp Egypt" game.  If I've allowed gnomes, elves, and the supernatural in it, some German influence on the undefined map couldn't be that unusual.  
Worst case, they'll be incorrectly dressed Germans in a "what-if" Second Samoan Civil War Scenario where the Germans actually get active during the hostilities.  

I do have the two machine gun team to paint up, but their pretty far back in the queue.  

Next in the Queue:  The Arabs (Civilians and Revolt) take over the role of 800-pound gorilla on the painting bench, but I'd like to refurbish some dinged-up Samoans and possibly visit some 6mm powered infantry from the New Transnitrian Scientific Republic.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

(Kickstarter) The Dungeon Dome Card Game

The good folks at the One Shot Podcast (aka James D'Amato) have launched a Kickstarter for a card game version of their popular Dungeon Dome.

The Mike Lung Gallery #53: Oriental Rugs and the Petal Throne

Quite some time ago, Mike sent me a link regarding some cool miniature oriental rugs from a fellow in Turkey.

While he attached a different blog for samples, Mike's order underneath some of his painted Empire of the Petal Throne figures displays them nicely

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ballad of the Pigeon God #63: Awaiting the Oncoming Storm

20th of NonDec 1072- Chateau d'Echelon, Barony of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
It was unsure if the news had traveled to his enemies, but to the common folk of the Barony of Eding, they were equally relieved and worried about the appearance of the assumed dead Baron Echelon.  But he was not there to take back his title from the ten-year-old Baron Timmy.  He had the prophetic return of a God-King to worry about and the possible subsequent Apocalypse to prevent.

After smiting three score worth of bounty hunters looking his head (by royal decree no less), few people of ill intent even pondered bothering the eccentric cleric.  He spent most of his time using a long covered porch in the back of the Chateau as a war room, accepting guests, garnering intel from them, and barking back plans to execute.  Sitting at his feet was his wolf, Pathfinder.  The two shared an psychic connection, but the wolf knew things were better left unsaid and certain questions shouldn't be answered.

The Chateau's current owner, "Baron" Felix had been riding to the Cult of Apotheosis daily to return with a scouting report, but as a prominent citizen allied with Echelon, he was putting his life in danger.  He had met a young paladin of Akana, Sigard of the Slate Gap, and after much discussion with Echelon (and numerous attempts to confirm he was not one of the dread Spider-People dopplegangers that plagued the kingdom) he was offered the job of spy for the gathering masses.   The halfling villages also sent their finest riders on their fastest ponies to report to Echelon of the huge movements of monsters and tribes through the thick Nightwood Forest to the north.  Very oddly, most did not venture south to harass the halflings.  In fact, some of the orcs kindly apologized to the halflings for their intrusions, and quickly sped away.  Their destination?  Lake Apotheosis and the tombs of the ancient Ferasean kings.

23rd of NonDec 1072- Chateau d'Echelon, Kingdom of Crosedes
Sigard reported back that the Cult's encampment had swollen to be miles across.  Somehow, their priests were keeping the peace, even though King Cervinal,  "The Dread Lord" to our heroes, had ordered troops to patrol the ever-expanding outskirts.

Rumors from the far side of the encampment claimed that the Grimsong Clan of orcs from far-off Markovia had arrived along the river above the lake and had established a ferry service for humans and orc alike?  Surely, it must be madness, but madness had been par for the course recently.

24th of NonDec 1072- Chateau d'Echelon, Kingdom of Crosedes
Echelon's remaining adventuring companions were without their own worries.  Thorrin Slatebelt alternated his time between the small forge at the Chateau, and the much larger on in the village.  The dwarf was forging as many arrow tips, spear heads, while repairing anything the locals brought to him, free of charge.  He had befriended a mountain of man who volunteered to aid him at the village forge.  Beourn was a ranger from Ras-Prythax that had the same worries as the entire Chateau.  He was never vetted like Sigard, but spoke of "having the heroes and villagers backs," should the prophecy go south.

The strange eastern water mystic Kane did a variety of tasks throughout the Barony, healing pilgrims, aiding families departures before the 1st of DecDec and the appearance of the "God of Goodness and Light, and reinforcing some of the defenses of the Chateau.  No matter what happened, the Chateau, not the village of Eding was to be the last line of defense, in order to let the last few locals a chance to escape, should things to horribly, horribly wrong.

Echelon's mentor, Mohammad, was perhaps the most powerful holy man on this side of the kingdom, yet he still showed no signs of recovering from the moment he was able to become a conduit for his god, Tshang Kai Ching.  The divine power scrambled his brain, and the already legless priest still spend most days in a second story broom closet, hiding from the open air.    But when Echelon took a moment away from his back porch command post, he had noticed his teacher staring out an open window in the bleak winter weather.  For such a cryptic prophet, he seemed resigned to the fate of the world... and his friends.

26th of NonDec 1072 - Barony of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Kane was never a heavy drinker, but with the impeding doom/divine nirvana merely eleven days away, a trip to the Blue Wizard Inn seemed to be in order.  Outside the establishment, the militia was doing their best job possible moving the mass of humanity moving towards Lake Apotheosis, but there was a different commotion distracting most people.  The remaining people in town were either too brave, too poor, or too stubborn, having survived goblin invasions eleven years prior, then a series of plagues, droughts, and tornadoes that preceded Echelon's rule.

It seemed that some of the stalwart old timers were chucking rocks at a gigantic (6'2") elf.  It took an appearance by Captain Torm Touchberry of the Baronial Militia to disperse the locals, but he was equally unhappy by the elf.  The elf was a former travelling companion of Torm's, a loudmouth elf cleric who nearly brought on the goblin invasion all by himself.  He and Torm were the only members of the adventuring party to come back and face charges of dereliction of duty in defense of the village, although this elf, Markuus Brightelm, disappeared before trial.   His arrival was a bad omen, and a worse one for Touchberry.  If Markuus was here to atone for his sins over a decade ago, something horrible was going to happen on the first of Undec.  Torm swallowed his pride, bought Markuus a drink, and the two caught up.

31st of NonDec 1072- Chateau d'Echelon, Kingdom of Crosedes
More reconnaissance confirmed orcs moving up from Masgoth, en masse, right alongside gnomes.  The lizardmen of the southern marshes were acting as police to the keep the two groups from interacting.

32nd of NonDec 1072- Chateau d'Echelon, Kingdom of Crosedes
Desperate pilgrims from Ruuna were first to report it, but actual barbarians from the distant plains of Galmar were peacefully riding down the road from Ruuna to find a late spot in the ritual.  Once word of them reached Echelon, he demanded an audience, expecting his friend and former adventurer Rolf Wolfsblood with them, but alas, he was not.

32nd of NonDec 1072- Chateau d'Echelon, Kingdom of Crosedes
Reports of kobolds, hobgoblins, and even an army of minotaurs were matched by rumors of King Cervinal himself nearing the Lake, along with a good portion of the Crosedes military in tow.

35th of NonDec 1072 - Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
In all the pomp and circumstance one could muster from a long, muddy early winter march, General Norm Dingleberry rode into Eding from the East, escorting nearly 2,8000 soldiers the dwarf had commanded while they freed the Duchy of Ruuna from the hands of the Skyforge Dwarves.
After a great ceremony, Echelon rode from the Chateau to greet him.

In two days, they would gather their friends and reach the gargantuan encampment of the Cult of Apotheosis (Cult of Light) to see the prophesied arrival of the God of Goodness and Light back onto this earthly plane of existence.    But for now, it was time to drink and regale their new allies with tales of their fallen comrades.

DM Notes: The Apocalypse is upon us, but for Echelon, Kane, and the others at the Chateau, there was only time to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  The arrival of Norm meant that there was still hope their other friends, many long missing, might return to aid them in their time of need.

Or the return of  God of Goodness and Light was legitimate and a time for great rejoicing!

The actual finale of the campaign was run at Griffon Games, the game store I managed.  We closed up early on a Saturday, brought everyone in with snacks and booze, and played till until completion. We did allow three new players to bring in some characters to fill in some gaps.  Sigard is a character run by Albert U, whose actual character name is lost in time.  Beourn was Matt B's long-running ranger, and Mike Dalcin returned to the campaign world with the same character he had played years ago, Markuus Brighthelm, a super strong wild-elf cleric with a loud personality and zero filter.  We may cover his exploits sometime in the future, but for now, the response by the long-time villagers to him was quite warranted.

Next: #64 - The God-King Arrives!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day and the Battle of Mirbat

Father's Day isn't so much the crazed holiday of traveling, food, and questionable gifts that it is for a lot of families.  With my wife traditionally working that Sunday, and the kids old enough to fend for themselves without the possibility of imminent death, it's a day of guilty pleasures.

First off, with the pending heat wave and snoring children, I avoided the super-early miss-the-crowd breakfast with the kids and ventured downstairs and painted without interruption.    Of course, I'm still not done with the infernal Schutztruppe that have haunted me the last few months.  Just some details on the hats and some static grass and I'm done, but who knows when I'll get a chance to go downstairs this week.

After the pitter-patter, I mean *thump thump * of feet, we had breakfast, watched the end of the last season of Flash on Netflix, and shot some hoops before it got too hot.

But it's Father's Day, so there's always a game.

With my wife coming home early, I gave the girls a choice between two games:  the next episode of our Pulp "Egypt" game or just a fun game with "army men."

They chose army men, so the crate of green dudes and worn out shoebox houses came out.

The next army guy game from my backlog of blog ideas was the Battle of Mirbat, pulled from an old issue of Wargames Illustrated.  The map provided looked to be played in smaller than 15mm, certainly not 54mm.  And the author didn't anticipate us playing with Burning Plastic, rules which are going to be 25 years old this year...
The revolutionaries storming the training facility.  
With Millie in charge of the revolutionary horde, Maja took charge of the British, we not only reacted swiftly to the attack, but charged out of the their blockhouse in brazen fashion!
Burning Plastic is Offensive dice vs Defensive Dice for a dice chucking frenzy kids (and most grown adults) love.  And as the too sides converged, Defensive was winning the day.

The British finally  took care of the revolutionaries stalled by the barbed wire, but Maja could not successfully roll for her heavy reinforcements (a machine gun, mortar, and air support after turn 3) were not.   Millie, realizing her reinforcements were literally "grab a handful of guys from the box and line them up at the table edge"  so politely asked "Daddy, if all my guys work together, can we tear down all the barbed wire? 

With no resistance on the other flank, I gave them a full turn without any actions would open the barbed wire wide-open for the hordes behind. 
The Barbed Wire Falls....
Maja's reinforcements from the beach finally worked their way up and held their own (she actually used cover for some of them!).

With revolutionaries finally pouring into the base, Maja finally rolled for her mortar and decimated the first wave, taking a few of her defenders with them!

Millie moved her right flank onto a nearby building to set up snipers for the mortar (also on a roof), as well as a flaming pegasus statue the British stole from the people (it's not in the WI article or Wikipedia, but my girls insist it's true!)

The problem for both sides was that the machine gun team finally appeared and walked outside to a firefight.  The soldiers with the machine gun were killed and the rest traded gunshots and grenades with the revolutionaries on the roof...
The chaos of that firefight barely muffled the sound of an incoming aircraft that strafed the remaining revolutionaries.
*takka takka takka takka BOOM!*
With the encroaching forces at the base of the building, the revolutionaries took well aimed shots at the mortar (and the sacred statue).  Rolling 2d6 on the attack, Millie chucked some dice on her three shots


With rolls that good, the mortar team had a catastrophic event.  And the statue was destroyed.

Just enough time to clean up, put everything away, and have our mandatory tea party, now with peanut butter cupcakes!

And as I appear to have done this in previous years, links to previous Father's Day games:
2017 - Against the Ape God
2016 - Assault the Secret Base
2015 - The Lost Shrine of Tu'Lip
2014 - Battle of Hook's Farm
2013 - Attack of the 50-Foot Princess
2012 - Rorke's Drift

2011 - Battle in the Mists  (Father's Day Weekend gaming with friends, no bambinos)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Pilgrimage to #FreeRPGDay2018

A perfect, messy storm occurred on Saturday.  My wife had won a free hour-long massage from one of the vendors a wine festival she had attended.  Between the distance to the place and the whole production of a massage, it seemed like a perfect excuse to take the kids and and participate in #FreeRPGDay.

Except, no one local this year was participating!   AAAAARRGH!

Last year my local shop and the local games cafe joined forces to split the cost of the box (they ain't free for the store folks), and had organized a few events.  That would have been great, except the the owners of the game cafe closed up for the day and ran down to Philly for some anime con.  

Needless to say, this may have left a bad taste in the game store's mouth and a reluctance to do it again.  But none of the other stores remotely in the area decided to do it either.  I could imagine something that doesn't generate insta-Magic or GW profits and forces them to learn about other products frightens them.  

However, with the wife gone, a beautiful day, and a full tank of gas, we could venture further away, and visit The Portal for a second time. 

Braving interstate construction season, we made it down in good time to an excellent greeting and "elevator pitch" about Free RPG Day, where the free stuff was (in the back of the store in the open gaming area), and of course, the 15% off RPG sale. 
They call him... Tim (From The Portal's Facebook Account)
We ventured back to the open gaming area I hadn't checked on my review to discover the shelves and table o' gaming.  

The staff and the volunteer from the local gaming network were very nice.  My eyeballed estimates, might be wrong, but it seemed like they might have splurged on two boxes, allowing people to comfortably taking two items each.  

My daughter Maja immediately snagged a Cthulhu Confidential/Fall of Delta Green from Pelgrane Press.  

Millie was fascinated by the Muchkin CCG promotion card, and both of them were enthralled by the cover  "Skitter Shot" Starfinder module. 
The adorable Skittermanders are the "We Be Goblins" of the Starfinder universe.

Dear old Dad?  I grabbed the Kids on Bikes quick-play rules and left a copy of CoC's Skitter Scratch on the table. 

Of course,  the the whole purpose of Free RPG Day is to promote (and hopefully support) the FLGS experience, and we were happy to oblige.  A few dice bags, a hellhound "puppy" for Millie to paint today, some Magic cards for Maja, and traditional cardboard baseball card boxes for all the stuff we've accumulated recently.  It amazes me how many stores don't stock the $3 two row white shoeboxes (or any size items), forcing ignorant customers to buy "official storage product" with logos or artwork that wear out in weeks.  I know, some stores don't have storage, and others are two lazy to assemble the boxes, but a dollar box or three dollar shoebox is an impulse buy that even the people only window shopping will pick up. 

We would have stayed and tried to play something if, (a) we didn't drive to Easton to visit/check on my mom (b) we had told my wife where we were for the day and (c) the wife and I didn't already have late afternoon plans.