04 February 2024

Five Bananas From Home

When I first played Sellswords & Spellslingers I went through some big misunderstandings of the rules through the early campaign, but I really liked the characters so just fudged my way through it and corrected course the rest of the way.

I keep stalling on this Five Parsecs campaign but have really been itching to give it a go. Or maybe just learn the rules on a mini test campaign? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. So I rolled up a random crew of four. I ended up with two ferals, a K'Erin, and a hooman.

Then this started repeating in my head.

So there it is. I need to find four new anthropomorphic figures for my test crew, I need a dog, ape, lion, and elephant. Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky. I'm disregarding my randomly rolled background for the crew (but adapting the individual crew backgrounds that were rolled as a writing exercise). They will simply be violent anarchists posing as a pop band. Their ship's AI (and thus, name) will be Banana Vac. But I am also considering the AI named Banana Vac but the ship to be named Suspect Device. Maybe note and that will bleed into something else in the narrative....

Thinking rapidly, O'Neill said, "Don't check any of them. The factory's undoubtedly ready to test and resample. It'll make its own analysis and then ignore us." His face glowed as frantic inspiration came. "Write in that blank at the bottom. It's an open space for further data."

"Write what?"
O'Neill said, "Write: the product is thoroughly pizzled."

"What's that?" Ferine demanded, baffled.

"Write it! It's a semantic garble -- the factory won't be able to understand it. Maybe we can jam the works."

(From Autofac, by Philip K. Dick)

I remember the Banana Splits from my childhood. But in searching for a few reference photos I found some interesting facts that I never knew. Mainly because I haven't really considered the Banana Splits at all since I was maybe 6 years old. I never even made the connection with memorable scenes  Kick Ass  & Nimona - in spite of being very fond of both movies.

  • Produced by Hanna-Barbera,
  • Costumes created by Sid & Marty Kroft. This kickstarted them into their own (awesome) psychedelic productions soon after.
  • First season directed by Richard Donner
  • Was rebooted in 2008.
  • Was used as the basis for a horror film in 2019. (Pic below, great vibe for my crew

 So I have limited ideas for figures. They will all be converted to some extent, so I am looking for base anthropomorphic figures. I appreciate aby suggestions! Here's what I have in mind so far. (Not endorsing any of the specific Etsy 3D printers, these are just a first-pass of me looking for ideas. There's usually multiple printers of each figure .)

  • Fleegle (dog/hound)
    • No idea outside of wolf ro werewolf type figures. But I would like something more hound like, referencing the original a bit more.
  • Bingo (ape)
    • https://www.reapermini.com/search/ape/sku-up/50031
    • https://www.alternative-armies.com/collections/ganesha-games-scifi/ape
    • https://www.reapermini.com/search/Orangutango
    • GW Jokaero Weaponsmith.... haha, no, just kidding. It was overpriced when it was new, the secondary market prices are 10x as stupid.
  • Drooper (lion)
    • https://www.reapermini.com/search/lion/latest/50312 (this would be the "human" crewman)
    • https://www.etsy.com/listing/1436945798/king-deepcut-the-kings-of-karmaaz-leonin
    • https://www.etsy.com/listing/1441992402/king-dawntredder-kings-of-karmaaz-32mm
  • Snorky (elephant)
    • https://www.reapermini.com/search/elephant/latest/77588
    • https://www.etsy.com/listing/1342116621/elephant-man-harawat-beastmen-army-32mm

I also have these to use for Drooper and Snorky. But I don't think I'm willing to do any further conversions, repainting, or even rebasing for either. So they would be sort of proxy-ish. This will be just a test to learn the rules, so maybe I shouldn't be so focused on specific figures.... 

21 January 2024

Warhammer The Old World Ramblings

The new Warhammer: The Old World seems to be making a big splash. I've only been keeping up with it a little bit, and while there seems to be quite a bit to like about it, I'm not really sold on it.

Instead of getting into some of the heated social media discussions, I'm just going to put my general opinions here. By opinions I possibly mean the grumblings of an old nerd. ;)

Like I said, it seems like there's definitely some things I like about it.
  • GW going back to a "ranks & flanks" battle game.
  • Incorporating some old mechanics that I missed from later editions.
  • Bringing back players who won't play non-current editions of the game. (I have never understood why players would stop playing a game that they enjoy just because it's not being sold new anymore!)
  • Putting old models into production again. I already have two of the Marauder giant, but I love the idea that more people can get their hands on such a classic!
  • Exploring a different time period of the in-game history.
  • I actually like the idea of scaling up bases to 25mm, even if I have a ton of old 20mm based figures. Plenty of easy ways to deal with this since it's ranked units. This probably would have been difficult to do previously, but this "reboot" was a great opportunity to make it happen.

However, there are some things I'm definitely not crazy about.
  • The format of the game/rules. I think it originally went downhill after 3rd ed. where you bought a rulebook and an armies book and you had everything you needed to play, and could spend the rest of your cash on shiny, shiny miniatures. Those days are long gone and the new edition seems to be continuing the later trend of a constant stream of army books in order to "keep up." So far there is a $70 core book, plus two $50 books for the basic lists. So that's $170 for 3 books just to get started. Then the stream of additional army/faction books, two of which are already out now (bringing the actual starting rules-only investment to $224) with more to come.
    • Or $156 for all digital. I actually buy more digital books than physical books these days But they better have a decent price break.
  • Figure prices are insane, especially given that they've already been sculpted & molded long ago. I hope the artists are getting a fat commission! :D
  • "Legacy Factions." 🙄
  • As long a history as I had playing Warhammer (3rd ed. through 8th ed.) it was ultimately never a great "wargame." It always seemed stuck somewhere between a battle game and a skirmish game, but didn't do either thing well. I feel Warmaster was a much better large battle game, and Mordheim was a great skirmish game. Still are. I'd play either of those any day! And there are also other games on the market, made by (*gasp*) other publishers that also do what Warhammer does... but better. It's a golden age of wargaming, with a ton of options available. It will take more than nostalgia to get me to invest in WFB again, and from what I've read/seen I'm not sure there's enough here to bring me back.
  • Competitive play. Highly competitive play and an obsession with tournaments, winning at all costs, and *shudder" "the meta" seemed to dominate from at least 6th ed. onward. I've had my fill of that. Narrative play, campaigns, and "fun" scenarios were almost completely missing. This is something I've rediscovered in newer solo games, retro wargames, and a possible re-entry into RPGs with my kid. This may not be part of the game as sold, but I expect this to continue, especially since it's the focus the big post-WFB/AOS successor games took (9th Age, Mantic, Kings of War...)

I think the only way I would buy into the new game would be if I could get a bootleg PDF to "try before I buy" the physical game and find at least one, if not more, players interested in non-tournament gaming. The idea of picking up some old figures I missed back in the day seems appealing, but based on the prices I've seen so far, that's not terribly likely either.

This is 2024. There are a lot of options for both games and figures. 

15 January 2024

Adventures in Adventures

 Some more figures painted now for D&D, but pretty good for general use....

These cheap, plastic Halloween spiders were a great investment!

Following on my last entry, here are some photos of the real-life dogs that inspired the painted figures!

10 January 2024

New Year New...?

2023 ended not with a bang, but a whimper. But over the last week of the old year and the first week or so of the new year, I did get a little painting time in. 

I did some more painting and basing of "unaligned chaos daemons." I've been thinking about that idea since I received the Drachenfels figure a few years ago. It/he has long since been painted, and I even (finally) finished the novel! Lately my mind has turned back to the idea of chaos as chaotic, like in old Moorcock novels & early fantasy gaming. Not a bunch of organized, uniform creatures.

This will be a slow, ongoing project. I'll just keep adding any odd figures that seem like they belong as I continue to work on other projects.

Since I started this entry a week or so ago, I've added some more. Most are actually for a potential D&D campaign, but I feel they will fit the chaos vibe. The undead gnoll things I just got because I thought they looked cool. :)

The ochre jelly is homemade from some wire and melted hot glue, similar to some I did previously with different paint. The flameskull is just a plastic skull with some crudely sculpted flames. I liked the floating skull thing I did the same with a Bones cow skull painted blue. The rest are soft plastic D&D figurses

I also finally painted a pair of figures to represent our current two dogs. I had one but had been searching for the other for over a year before painting. On the left is Moji-Tater, our Corgi-Sheltie mix. He's the youngest. In the center is Cookie, a shelter rescue dog who we think may be a mix of Boxer & Border Collie. On the right is Sasha aka "Muffin Butt", another shelter dog who passed away almost 10 years ago. She was a German Shepherd-Husky mix. Cookie was the tough one to find, but since I was recently looking at D&D figures I found a pack of three dogs, one was a pointer with a pretty close body & head shape, but I had to cut off the ears and re-sculpt them to fit the real thing.

I've also painted a few sci-fi figures of mixed quality & complexity. The first is an Eru-Kin and jagual figure from Knightmare Games. I will be using Eru-Kin for K'Erin in Five Parsecs From Home. You can almost rearrange the the letters to shift between teh two names. Maybe the apostrophe is for the "u"? This one will be a member of my crew. 

I also finished the space goblins/Malig from Alternative Army's Ion Age range, which will serve as pirates in Five Parsecs. I painted a test figure earlier in 2023, but never got any further until December. One more faction down, and another month of "Five Months From Painted Factions" under my belt!

Lastly, my slacker painting from this week. First is Orbus, a sentient sphere of what appears to be some sort of plasma like matter. No one knows for sure. Orbus is literally a pearlescent bead on a stick. I didn't even paint it. Just drill a hole, make a base, and glue it on the stick. Next to that is the second of the two D&D nothics that came in the pack. One is for D&D, the other I thought would make a good sci-fi alien or mutant. Super quick paint job, mostly just abase coat, wash, then a few details. I almost want a whole squad of them now.