27 February 2015

Undeadish WIP on the Painting Table

I've been working on 800 things at once, so I've got some more figures started, but nothing quite finished yet. But a lot of the undeadish are coming together on the painting table...

After I finish this batch, I will do a small group of cavalry to go with them, followed by a boatload of basing. Then I believe I will wrap up some odds & ends.

21 February 2015

Undeadish Ogre Prototype

I was wrong about no pictures in my last update. I forgot I had painted a prototype undeadish ogre & took a photo. Pretty happy with it, so I think I will go ahead with the rest of the small unit of them.

20 February 2015

Photo Pages

I am going to start putting together photo pages for my current project(s). These will appear in the links at the top of the blog (or a pull down navigation menu on the mobile version.) Right now there is only the Army of Marienburg, and just a few photos there so far. I will add more as time permits.

I think I'm also overdue in assigning my domain (www.zerotwentythree.com) to the blog. For years it has just forwarded viewers to the Blogger (zerotwentythree.blogspot.com) site. It's about time that I (finally) set up Blogger to just incorporate my domain. I'd like to set that up sometime soon, too.

Sorry, no new photos of painted figures. I have some other pressing deadlines to meet by the end of February, so not much painting for another week or so.

12 February 2015

Great Orcs and a German

Small update. I painted up a woman from Foundry's Ancient German range (will go on a command base,) and did a bit of rebasing on some previously painted great orcs (and a hobbit...) Both intended for use in the solo fantasy game I'm working on.

06 February 2015

Northern Ohio Game Stores 2015

Four years ago I posted a blog entry about the lack of game stores in my part of town (East side of Cleveland) and then followed up with a review of the game stores around town -- almost all of which were on the West side of town.

Well, since then, a lot has changed. I now live on the West side, where most of the stores are/were. Additionally, I drive about an hour further west once or twice a week, putting some other stores within range of an occasional visit. So this is more of a "Toledo to Cleveland" review than the old one, which focused on Cleveland. Another other big change is that I don't actually play much, so in-store gaming isn't much of a factor for me anymore.

Having stopped by a few new stores, and having changed my opinion on one of the previously reviewed stores, I thought it was time for an update. Just brief comments about the stores this time. So, going roughly from the furthest west, through my own neighborhood, and beyond to the east, here are the stores of which I am aware:

Game Room (Toledo)

Have not been there for over five years, but the "bits bins" were legendary. Giant tubs of second hand Games Workshop bits and loose figures in giant plastic bins, sorted by army. Bigger store, with a bunch of gaming tables. I don't usually head as far west as Toledo, but if I'm out that way, I'd like to stop in again.

Games! (Port Clinton)

Small store, just a handful of 40k miniatures. Looks to be more of a board & card game and RPG store. They did have a table with some 40k terrain set up, and the owner was really friendly. I didn't explore too much, but the web site says they have some vintage stand-up arcade games.

Hero Zone (Sandusky)

I finally got a chance to stop by. The store seems like it is mostly card games, with a small amount of RPG, board games, and a little bit of GW product (including a full looking paint & hobby rack.) I think there was a miniatures gaming table in the back of the store, in addition to a lot of card playing tables near the front.

Ctrl-Alt-Elite (Sheffield)

A clean & roomy store with a lot of tables. Seems to be mostly card games, but there's a very small selection of GW figures and a full paint rack (plus a few Vallejo paints.) They have miniatures gaming tables, and the night I stopped by there were three 40k games going on.

Recess (North Olmstead)

Moved since my last "review." No longer in the mall, nice roomy store near the old location. Recess remains one of the cleanest & most professional/organized stores I've been to. A ton of board games & family games, card games, some miniatures games (mostly Games Workshop) and I think a small section of RPGs. Big section of tables in the back portion of the store.

Immortals Inc (Rocky River)

Small store in the lower level of an office building. A lot of board games, RPG, and I think some card games. Very little miniatures, just a handful of Games Workshop and a small selection of paints & supplies. Plenty of tables for board & card games.

Warzone Matrix (Cleveland)

This store deserves an update since my last review. Someone who's never been there before might not be able to tell, but it's way more organized & clean than it used to be a few years ago. Much easier to find things & see what's available. Despite being a big store, it feels a bit cramped. But that's because there's so much available. Personally, for me it's hit the tipping point of being clean enough to be a great place to go and look for the stuff no one else is carrying. A ton of miniatures, board games & RPG. Maybe card games too? (I'm not a card game player, so I don't usually look too hard.) If you feel overwhelmed, just let the owner know what you're looking for. I didn't go into the back room, and the lights were off there, so I don't know the status of the in-store gaming tables.

Wings (Lakewood)

Although Wings didn't carry games, they did carry plastic models and hobby supplies. Unfortunately, they are now out of business. In the brief year or so that I lived nearby before they closed, I had grown fond of having a hobby store so close by, and bought a lot of supplies there that I will otherwise have to mail-order now.

Games Workshop (Mayfield Heights)

Not long after I moved to the west side, GW opened up a shop in the gaming vacuum of the East side. I haven't been there, and being a GW store, I don't really have any reason to go other than mild curiousity. If I'm in the area, I'll drop by.

Comic Heaven (Willoughby)

Haven't been there in a very long time. I'd like to check it out again, though. I will update when I do. Last I was there, about half the store was dedicated to board, card, RPG and miniatures games.

Have I missed any stores? I'm not really familiar with anything further east. From looking at Google Maps, it seems like there might be a few stores catering to card games in Mentor, Painesville, Madison, and Ashtabula.

02 February 2015

Leonardo vs. the Undead

That's more a concept than an official title, but who knows.

The idea I'm pursuing for a solo game is fantasy. My old Empire/Marienburg army as the live player (me) against a programmed/solo army of the undead. Seems like a good fit. I'm heading out of WFB territory. The first rules I'm planning on trying out are a variant of Hail Caesar and either Crusader's Legions of Battle (fantasy) or a variant of their historical Crusader rules (which I think I prefer for a few reasons) or a combination of the two Crusader books.

So that means no "army lists" either, just my own ideas, which is liberating. I think I had already grown tired of the rigid & overly competitive atmosphere that was increasingly dominating WFB. I've just started to poke around some of the blogs/pages of "Oldhammer" stuff, and I think that's sort of more my calling.

I've been posting  some of these thoughts at Warhammer Empire, which I've still continued to visit during my "break" from gaming and increasingly jaded view of WFB. (Great people on the forum, they feel like old friends...) So I will copy & paste what I wrote there regarding my first concepts for the two forces below. (Next time I may post my first thoughts on solo gaming rules.) But first, a few pics. Because this is the internet, and a miniatures blog, and I know that we don't "just read the articles," as the saying goes.

These are some old ancient Germans I still had from my now sold ancients. A mix of Foundry and Crusader. Painted to look a bit undeadish... but not entirely. My initial concept is inspired a bit by the Brothers of the Pines from Moorcock's second Corum series. They've sold out to an inhuman power, and are now unnaturally bound to service, while still retaining some will of their own. So not the mindless undead, but not entirely free, either.

 And also a few more artillery crew for the Marienburgers, old GW figures.

So on with the words...

Concept for the forces of Robo the Necromancer

Robo (as I am calling him/her/it for now) is obviously the C-in-C, but for now will remain out of the picture. Or off the battlefield, at least. That will leave various subordinates commanding in the field. I'm going to use the structure of Hail Caesar/Warmaster as a starting point, so armies will have several commanders, each in charge of their "brigade." So to begin with, I will define several subcommander archetypes, which will mostly determine the composition of their forces, but maybe to a certain extent will also determine their leadership capabilities as well. I think most of these will be unique, except there will be multiple Military Animators. Possibly more than one Spiritual Enslaver.

1. Military Animator: Animates undead troops, which are directly controlled by the leader, in a militaristic style. These will form the backbone (haha) of Robo's forces, and will be composed of typical skeleton infantry & cavalry.

2. Spiritual Enslaver: A manipulative leader, controlling the semi-undead & magically bound slave troops I mentioned before. Infantry & Cavalry of formerly independent humans, and possibly other races.

3. Agent Provocateur: Scheming necromancer who destabilizes towns/cities, then animates the dead into mobs of zombies. Since the Agent is more a social manipulator than military leader, this explains why the zombies are masses of sloppy, meaty dead compared to the more reliable skeletal troops of the Military Animators.

4. Vermin Lord: Allies. I have some Skaven and other rat themed figures. I like them, want to use them, and think vermin fit well with the undead. This is not a GW Vermin Lord, but I do like the name.

Other hazy concepts under consideration: Etherialist, Beastmaster, Constructor, Besieger. Maybe those last two are combined into an Engineer.

Also under consideration are individual mercenary or slave units that may show up in any of the commands above, as individuals, or maybe together in a sort of "evil dogs of war" type mercenary brigade. This is entirely based on either figures I already have, or things I may want to get & paint up for whatever reason. So far this would include (from my existing collection) Greater & Lesser Goblins, Myconids, and maybe Greater & Lesser Troglodytes.

Concept for Marienburg forces

Well this one is easier, as it's just a slightly modified version of the canon Marienburg, though my AltHammer setting will be somewhat different than the official Warhammer setting. So it will be an independent city state with a mixed relationship with the neighboring Empire. Since it's mercenary based, I will have less distinct brigades. Most will be mixed. I will keep the diverse racial composition. But I do have a couple of distinct brigades.

1. Mercenary. The core of the army, diverse troop types.

2. City Militia. Only present in armies directly defending the city and immediate environs.

3. Wood Elf Allies. I have a small 3rd ed. Wood Elf army. May as well use it on occasion.