Category Archives: Blog

Merry Christmas


While I am aware that the blog has not been at its most active over the past year things are starting to look up! There are more regular gatherings happening (we even have one for this coming Friday) and a number of projects that people are working on gaming wise. I have a good feeling about 2014 if we can build and carry forward some momentum.

So, for what is likely to be my final posting of 2013 I’d like to wish our readership a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year from myself and the other denizens of the 6 Inch Move floating citadel.

I hope Santa fills your homes with even more toy soldiers! See you next year!

 

Super Dungeon Explore Deeproot Druid


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Whilst looking for inspiration I stumbled upon this fine piece of work.

This is one of the best paint jobs I have seen in a long time; it took me a few glances to notice that it was actually a pair of miniatures and not a piece of drawn artwork. I especially love the non-metallic gold work on the bear, I hope you would agree!

The source can be found here: http://hard-liners.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/super-dungeon-explore-part-3.html

Super Dungeon Explore Royal Paladin


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It’s been a while since I picked up a paintbrush so recently I spent a bit of time painting this up.

It all started last week when a friend a I went to Games Lore. SDE is a good fun game, so I was planning to pick it up at some point. I’d hate to be in the predicament of it going out of print and then having to fork out to pick up a shoddy copy on fleabay when the kids are old enough to play it. We got a tour of the place and I bought a copy for myself.

It’s been good fun getting back into painting. Normally I paint really fast using a black undercoat. This was the first time in about twenty years where I’ve painted off a white undercoat. The differences are startling. With a white undercoat the colours are much more vivid, however brush precision is essential as you have to cover every part of the mini to get a decent result. To aid this I used some flow enhancer which helped a lot. With a black undercoat colours are much more muted and often require several layers to get the correct colour, however any parts you don’t paint simply look shaded. Obviously all you long standing and reading googlespiders know all this already as there are loads of decent articles on mini painting out there on the internet, but nothing beats licking that brush tip and getting stuck in!

Oldhammer – Bring Out Your Lead 2013


Today the cosmic portents and omens were favorable and I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural meeting of Oldhammer.

What the heck is Oldhammer I hear you lament? Well, remember when you were young, say back in the eighties when mullets were cool and Wolverhampton Wanderers were a good football team? Well I don’t remember much of it either but the gaming back then was pretty anarchic. Turn up, chuck every model you own on the table and proceed to fight a massive battle where space marines face off against medieval knights and orks fight against 1930’s gangsters and Judge Dredd.

Yeah, them were the days. The rules were terrible, all the charts were ambiguous and everything was massively imbalanced. You got to play all day in your mate’s dad’s garage and gorge on fizzy pop and crisps and watch the maelstrom developing like some epic movie on your tabletop as you continue to chuck dice and make stuff up on the fly when the rules failed you.

Oldhammer gaming is different. It couldn’t have been that bad as everyone I knew was an avid gamer and collector and everyone loved to get stuck in, whether it was Space Crusade, Heroquest, Space Hulk, Rogue Trader or Warhammer 3rd Edition. The focus was on the narrative and fun, because the rules didn’t allow for much else. This was before tournaments came along and made wargaming an exercise in maths, spreadsheets and army-list optimization. Not to bemoan modern wargaming systems – most of them are far slicker and easier to play than in days gone by but the overall experience is just… well… different. And sometimes a change is good! We can all learn something from each other.

So googlespiders, try to inject a bit of Oldhammer into your games today! And I don’t mean stick a bunch of GI Joes on the table to represent titans. Try to get some sense of imbalance and aim to make sure everyone, win or lose, partakes in the narrative and has some fun!

And here’s a photo I took especially for Gribblin. It’s quite possibly the only miniature of it’s kind in the world but what is it? Answers in comments please!
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Great news from Gencon


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While we gamers are stuck over here in the sunny UK, scratch that rainy UK, the US is host to Gencon 2013 in Indy. While following the news from various sources, there have been a few stand out exciting announcements. The first I would like to share with you is from the excellent Fantasy Flight Game X-Wing.

Here is the picture that had me all excited:

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Yes, that’s right! The small X-Wing is dwarfed by Tantive 4 (Corellian Corvette) & Rebel Transport for a WAVE 4 release in early 2014.

I wonder how the game will cope with the larger ships, I hear that there will be some new rules (New Epic tournament rules), also I hear that the X-Wing in the picture is Jek Porkins and included as an escort with the Corvette. Priced around 89.95 for the Tantive IV & 59.95 for the Rebel Transport I think we can expect a direct exchange into Pounds, will you pay nearly ¬£90? I think I may have too ūüôā

Here are some more pictures until I have some more news.

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Confusing the DM and why I love DnD


For a number of months now Servitob and myself have been playing Dungeons & Dragons with a local role play gaming group. ¬†Servitob has been playing his usual Dwarven chef turned warrior waking people meat cleavers and bashing them with his wok-turned-shield. ¬†Myself I went with my usual hippie Elf, though as the group already had a ranger when I joined I chose a Druid, with his pet eagle (Emohawk). ¬†The party also includes an Elf Ranger who likes to run up walls, a Half-Orc Cleric who’s out to drink the world dry of booze and a Human Cleric/Wizard who likes to heal and light up the room.

Our adventures reached a climax last night in a sea cave where we encountered loads of Drow and an Orca who liked to take bites out of people. ¬†Its been a long time since I’ve play DnD (we’ve been using the Pathfinder edition) and I’d forgotten how much fun it can be. ¬†One of the things I love most about the game is the ability to be creative. ¬†In the battle last night in the sea cave there was the Drow shattered wooden walk ways and shot crossbow bolts, charmed and throw fireballs, but all this time in the water was the Orca taking bites out of us as we walked along the narrow shoreline.

This led to the moment of creativity that I love so much about DnD. ¬†After having been bitten by the Orca myself, my Druid (in leopard form) had jumped up on to the walk way and with the eagle pet had taken out the Drow guards, whilst the Half-Orc (with a flying spell) tried to take on the Drow boss. ¬†The Orca bit our Half-Orc friend, virtually killing him, and at the least rendering him unconscious and drowning. ¬†In an effort to save our co-adventurer I came out of leopard form and cast speak to animals, and courtesy of some decent dice rolling, manged to persuade the Orca to stop attack us and save the Half-Orc instead. ¬†All this done for the promise of fish. ¬†Its not the fun of the adventure or the heroic save that made me enjoy the moment, but the look of the DM’s face when I told him what I was going to do and him trying to figure out what and how this was going to happen/work.

That’s what I love about DnD; the ability to think/act outside of the box and to confuse the hell out the DM.

Arkham Horror By Fantasy Flight Games


250px-Arkham_Horror_revised_boxBeing a fan of Lovecraft I correctly guessed that there are three possible outcomes for players of Arkham Horror: Death, Insanity and Death by Insanity.

The game basically goes like this: spend forty minutes setting up and dishing out a bazillion counters and cards, spend an extra thirty minutes checking a very badly organised rulebook for a few obscure rules and then spend the next three hours hopelessly trying to stop the destruction of the world by malign monsters before your character is killed or goes insane.

Once things get going it’s actually a pretty neat game. Arkham begins as a quiet 1920’s town but soon enough portals to other spaces and times begin to open and the streets are quickly awash with eldritch horrors. It’s up to you, the players, to put a stop to all the terror, close the portals and more importantly stop the awakening of a random God. You are pretty much boned anyway but if the likes of Azathoth or Octopus-face wanders into town then it really is game over.

What is good about this game is the almost RPG feel of it and the build-up of the story and fluff levels as the tension level gets higher. As the situation worsens the town shops begin to close and allies start to flee. Everyone has to work together here; it’s the players versus the board. Yes you will lose but you feel like you’ve been part of an interactive fiction in a sea of cardboard.

The game is however incredibly complicated to begin with and I suspect it takes a few goes to get the hang of it so it flows smoothly. That’s not to say it isn’t fun, it’s just that rules checking can slow things down. Luckily for me I was playing with some veterans who only had to consult the rulebooks once every five seconds to keep things going.

Overall, if you are a fan of Lovecraft, horror games or co-operative games then this is definitely worth a go.

azathoth

Cthulhu fhtagn!

So I Read A Book And It Was Called “Roadside Picnic”


downloadI am finding recently that I am reading more books; I tend to pick up anything that gets a vague recommendation from a friend or any of the websites I visit. So it was with Roadside Picnic by the Strugatski brothers. I won’t go into the plot or anything too detailed here as there are plenty of sites with a decent descriptions of what it’s all about. Simply put, it’s a book about aliens without any aliens in it.

Let’s be straight here – there are not enough superlatives to describe how epic the concept of this book is. It’s science fiction at it’s dirtiest and most grubby. There are no heroes here, only a cast of chain smoking unbalanced degenerates trying to get by in a completely random and incomprehensibly lethal environment; part of a universe where alien civilizations actually either do not notice or want nothing to do with humankind.

Highly Recommended!

Dropzone Commander; My First Game


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Yesterday saw the get-together of us gamers here at the floating citadel and my first real game of the much talked about Dropzone Commander. ¬†I had heard some good reports of DZC from my fellows; notably Zombiepirate and Cerebus and after playing a demo game at Salute last month I decided to dish out the cash and go with the Shaltari. ¬†I’ve spent the past few weeks devouring the rules, assembling models and I have now started to paint a few. ¬†Above are the ones I’ve finished. ¬†Yesterday’s game was a bit of an eye-opener, as none of us have seen the Shaltari in action, so I’d like to share my thoughts on the game as a whole and the Shaltari in particular.

First off is my army list. ¬†We had decided to play a 1500pts game (about average size). ¬†For those who are unaware, DZC has a slightly different army selection to other games. ¬†The army is divided into battlegroups (at 1500pts a maximum of 6), and each battlegroup is divided into units (at 1500pts between 1-3). ¬†These battlegroups activate at the same time, though they don’t have to work together. ¬†The battlegroups have different names and compositions depending on the army but are essentially; HQ, Armour, Infantry, Special (choice of heavy support or fast scout) and Air support (Fleet). ¬†For my army I decided to max out on Battlegroups to give me some flexibility. ¬†I also ended up with at least one unit of everything (part be chance, part because I wanted to see what they could all do). ¬†I have not included the two new units. ¬†So here is the list:

  • HQ Battlegroup; 1 Coyote Warstrider with a Shaltari Warchief upgrade
  • Armour Battlegroup; 1 unit of 5 Tomahawk tanks, 1 unit of 3 Kukri AA tanks
  • Infantry Battlegroup; 2 units of 2 bases of Braves, 1 unit of 2 Thunderbird Gunships
  • Special Battlegroup 1; 1 Jaguar Warstrider, 1 Ocelot Warstrider
  • Special Battlegroup 2; 1 unit of 2 bases of Firstborns, 1 unit of Yari light tanks with AA guns
  • Fleet Battlegroup; 1 Warspear Heavy Fighter
  • Gates; 1 Gaia Heavy Gate, 2 Eden Medium Gates, 2 Spirit Light Gates, 1 Haven Terragate

In one of those rarities in gaming the army actually comes to bang on 1500pts.  The Shaltari are different from the other armies in that their transports (the teleportation gates) are not attached to specific units, but instead form a pool from which you activate the chosen gate with any battlegroup you like as the game progresses.  Each one can only be activated once though.

So how did the battle go? ¬†My opponent was Zombiepirate with his UCM army, and then came my first surprise. ¬†In an event that almost led to a collapse in the space-time continuum and the end of the universe as we know it…Zombiepirate had more stuff painted than me! ¬†To be fair to my long time friend and gaming opponent, he has been putting in some work on his DZC models. ¬†We had decided on the basic scenario of a cityscape with 5 objectives to capture and take off the table (you get one victory point if you control an objective and 2 if you get it off the table).

The game began with me being lucky, getting both the initiative and having my reserve fighter turning up to perform strafing runs (more about this brave pilot later). ¬†All of the units are kept in readiness off the table and arrive via transports when the battlegroup becomes available. ¬†As units cannot shoot on a turn they disembark (or dematerialize in my case) the only shots came from my fighter who swooped in and took out a light transport carrying the Wolverine scouts. ¬†Sadly both buggies survived the crash. ¬†Zombiepirate advanced on the two objectives nearest to him on my right flank and also to the one in the centre. ¬†I also went for the centre and an objective on my left. ¬†This is I think, one of the biggest differences with DZC over other gaming systems; it is designed around objective grabs, not destruction of the enemy. ¬†DZC is more like modern warfare’s surgical strikes and rapid insertion and extraction as opposed to a more World War I style annihilation found in other games such as 40K. ¬†This I found to be a big difference in gaming style. ¬†As a long time Tyranid player, I am use to just throwing my troops at stuff. ¬†With this game I really had to think and there were moments where I took a few minutes to decide which battlegroup to activate, nevermind where & what they were going to do.

As the game progressed, there were units blowing up a plenty. ¬†The first big casualty was my Coyote Command Warstrider, which got taken out by the UCM tanks and some excellent shooting on the part of Zombiepirate. ¬†My shield rolls failed me, but luckily the escape module worked and my commander survived the game (unlike the UCM commander), allowing me to still use the command cards. ¬†Casualties on my side were fairly light. ¬†It may only be a 5+ save those shields give me, but I made some fantastic rolls. ¬†My fighter pilot gained a promotion when he flew threw the entire UCM AA fire to strike the heavy dropship and come out the other end without so much as the paint being scratched. ¬†The centre witnessed the biggest rumble of the game with opposing infantry fighting room-to-room for the objective and my Firstborns showing why they are elite infantry and cutting apart the UCM infantry. ¬†The game eventually ended up with Zombiepirate scoring 4 VP to my 3. ¬†So victory to the UCM. ¬†This I put down mostly to lack of experience on my part. ¬†As Cerebus can attest, I left an infantry unit out of most of the game instead of sending it to the final objective earlier in the game…I just thought too much about destroying my enemy instead of objectives… oh well learning curve.

Shaltari army thoughts and the things I learnt. ¬†They make a very different army. ¬†Not having dedicated transports means you can do what I did a few times and relocate units across the battlefield in seconds, so long as the gates are there. ¬†Such shannigans can be really good when timed well. ¬†The disadvantage to this, any unit that dematerializes cannot shoot that turn. ¬†The fact that Shaltari gates continue to carry objectives when a unit passes through it, means that the gate can get the objective off the field whilst your unit searches for another. ¬†The 30″ movement of the light gate is scarily fast in a game where most ground units move 4″ or less. ¬†The tanks have some awesome firepower (though I do hate the armour 10 on the UCM…it makes them so hard to destroy). ¬†I would recommend always moving 6″ to give the enemy the to hit penalty and help make the most of your armour 7 and 5+ save tanks. ¬†AA vehicles are ¬†a MUST in this game. ¬†Having my fighter flying up and down the UCM lines, picking out targets was a great advantage…though after my game I’d recommend attack small-medium transports as they will carry the infantry & objectives off the table…and not the big transports which deliver the tanks (once they’ve dropped the armour they really don’t do much else). ¬†Without a save aircraft go down easily to AA fire and having good flak cover means your enemy really has to think about where to put their air support and “do I risk it?” moments are common. ¬†The warstriders…mixed feelings about these. ¬†My commander was unlucky getting one-shotted in the second turn. ¬†The Jaguar performed well, taking out tanks and coming with its own AA guns extends your flak shield. ¬†The Ocelot however I’m not sure about. ¬†It is one of my favorite looking Shaltari models, but I found that its one-shot particle cannon not much use. ¬†The problem is that it cannot move & fire, which restricts it somewhat and although the gun is epic in its power, it’s still only 1 shot. ¬†The best use I can see for it is when your enemy brings their own heavy armour which will have multiple hit points, then the high chance of doing double damage will really pay off. ¬†The Thunderbird Gunships are my other favorite Shaltari model, but they need to be kept out of AA range as they are vulnerable to it. ¬†I’d still keep them in the army as if there is no AA guns, these units can roam free around the table. ¬†After playing the game, I have realised what my fellow gamers have; Infantry is key. ¬†You really need to get as much Infantry as possible…somewhat a weakness of the Shaltari as their Infantry only come in units of 2 bases (opposed to 3 for most armies) and they only have 3 hit points (unlike the 5 of most armies). ¬†This being said they are very dangerous in combat. ¬†With an Armour of 4 they can only be wounded on 6s in close combat, so get them into a building and they will be almost impossible to take out. ¬†The Firstborns are even tougher having 12 attacks per base and a 4+ save in combat. ¬†It was they who won me the combat in the centre and killed 3 bases on UCM infantry in a single combat with only 1 hit in return. ¬†Another unit that will be a must I think.

Conclusions of the Shaltari; ¬†Use your speed as much as you can: your skimmers are harder to hit if they move 6″ or more, the ability to move your infantry from objective holding in a building, to gate, to inside another building to find another objective is fantastic. ¬†The gates holding the objectives frees up your limited supply of infantry to look for another. ¬†This is perhaps their biggest tactical advantage. ¬†The 5+ save is good, but don’t rely on it all the time. ¬†My fighter pilot go lucky, my commander less so. ¬†As for the game itself, different and fantastic. ¬†It is very different to anything else I have played and really makes you think about your army choices and how you are playing. ¬†You can’t go into autopilot gaming mode, you need to think. ¬†Great game, look forward to more.

Kerbal Space Program: The Eagle Has Landed


d1uEBThis particular Kerbal Space Program has been running for just over a week and has already seen a remarkable reduction in average life expectancy of kerbal test pilots, astronauts, scientists and engineers. Previous “test flights” have stranded at least four kerbals on the moon, one in lunar orbit in a spacesuit and one in an elliptical orbit around the inner planets. Not to mention many an exploding rocket, parachute failure and crash landings.

It is with much kerbalish pride that we can report that we have finally and successfully designed, built and flown a space rocket to land three kerbals on the surface of the moon; and most importantly brought them back to Kerbin completely not dead. From that achievement we quickly stepped up the challenge level and using the same technology and rocket design managed to achieve the same on Kerbal’s second and much smaller moon, Minmus.

Next then, we will try to open the doors to constructing a space station, only as a stepping stone to the other planets. All shall be in awe of our fledgling space empire!