Sunday, February 27, 2011

Post-apocalyptic tiles and ruins

Recently, I bought a pack of pre-cut 29x29cm boards made of 4mm thick cork, with adhesive on one side. Gluing them on heavy cardstock (240gsm), they turned into perfect terrain tiles. With four of them I can play games of Song of Blades, and Hordes of the Things in 15mm. Adding another five, I'll have enough for my Mutants and Death Ray Guns in 28mm. Here are some photos testing one tile with some ruin pieces. The first one features a crosspiece from one of Dave Graffam's sets I recently got from his sale on WargameVault.
In my opinion, the cork texture fits well with the post-apocalyptic mood, resembling sand or dust. I'll probably glue some static grass to form small patches of vegetation, too. Here are some other pictures of small ruins built from paper and cardboard.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Earthquake Relief

Yesterday I purchased the New Zealand Red Cross Earthquake Relief bundle from DriveThruRPG (their newsletter states that it will be offered until 2/28.) Not only you get that warm fuzzy feeling of helping people in need but also a huge virtual pile of RPG books.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The grey city

I was very satisfied with the result of printing one of the buildings on a sheet of light grey paper, so I decided to build a whole set for a future campaign of zombie survivors using Fear and Faith. First off, here is the prototype of the building with an inside area:
 Here is another view, with a two-story building in the background and a bunch of simple terrain tiles.
And here are some additional photos, with all the buildings I made so far:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Zombie Survivors

Tonight I managed to finish drawing my first 15mm zombie survivors for Fear and Faith. I also made a prototype for a flat-folding building to use as part of the scenario (and a wooden crate to use the remaining space on the sheet). Here are the uncolored models:
The roof attachment to the building worked well but the walls ended up looking too short; I'll have to work on that. Anyways, I still can use this building to get some variety. The width and length of the building feel right and I'll probably build a few more around this size (12cm x 8cm). Next up on my prototype list are buildings with interiors.

The figures worked well and I may even reduce a bit of the black outline thickness -- and maybe increase the thickness of the rifle barrel. After completing this evaluation, I used some colored pencils to paint the models.
I still need to add some texture to the building walls (and painting the crate after it was built was not the smartest thing in the world) but the results are good enough that these prototypes will be kept for use.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A solo ambush scenario for Song of Blades and Heroes

Today I created a simple solo scenario for Song of Blades and Heroes. I have playtested it three times (yeah, not much but I'm only one) adjusting rules and rosters to make it more interesting.

Basically, the player controls a group of humans escorting a noble through a wooded area. Why are they doing this? I don't know, maybe they've just survived a larger attack, or they intended to move under secrecy. Anyway, a group of orcs and goblinoids learns this and decides to ambush and eliminate that noble.

Playing HoTT in Battle Chronicler

Last night I managed to run a simple skirmish of Hordes of the Things (HoTT) using Battle Chronicler. It worked really well, since HoTT keeps to the IGO/UGO convention used by the software. Even though I barely used Battle Chronicler's features for laying out terrain, the images look very nice:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ready to play SBH in 15mm

After many hours over weekends and evenings, I think that I have more than enough paper minis and terrain to have many games of Song of Blades and Heroes in 15mm. Here is the 60x60 board with most terrain pieces -- too cluttered for actual game play but it showcases the different features:
Here's another angle with lots of minis spread in themed groups. Bases have different textures for normal, big and huge models. The models with white bases on the top right are "civilians", to be used as hostages, escorts and the like in specific scenarios.

Sir, I think they're multiplying!

A quick update on my box of 15mm paper minis. The huge models are under the tabbed bases... later I'll take a picture with them arranged in warbands.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Box of Paper Minis

This weekend, I've been expanding on my set of 15mm paper miniatures. This picture shows why I've come to like this scale in paper: 47 miniatures in a small box (about 20x15cm) and, being paper, I'm sure I can put three times as many on that box without worrying too much.
The minis come from the OneMonk sets as usual. I've been thinking about creating my own 15mm paper minis, with thick outlines to avoid keeping the white borders on the minis (for those who prefer it) and poses adjusted to allow simpler cutting at the reduced scale. For a first test, I'm thinking of editing some existing minis in Gimp to add a thicker black border (to compensate for the reduced size printing) and edit it to make the outline as convex as possible.
Currently, the minis are mostly humans, undead, kobolds and orcs. The idea now is to add more variety, including some big and huge models (in that case, with tabbed bases instead of fixed ones). These should be more than enough to build many different Song of Blades warbands.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2.5D Trees - Update

Based on feedback from the helpful members of the OneMonk forum, I created a new paper tree model, which ended a lot nicer than the first one.
There's still room for improvement (as always) but I feel that now I'm close to being able to create a set of paper trees that will look good with my 15mm miniatures.

UPDATE: Here is a pack of six trees in three variations, ready to print in A4 or letter formats.

Armor Grid: Mech Attack

I finally had time to build my first set of Mech Attack miniatures and try a solo game. It must be said that all the models look very good when assembled. The downside is that the models, especially the mechs, have some intrincate cuts that must be made, which means that they take some time to build properly.
For the first game, I decided to settle with two very small forces (20BP): on one side, a single heavy mech with four medium cannons; on the other, a light mech with missiles and lasers, along with a vehicle, one heavy infantry and one light infantry. I was curious about how balanced the fight would be.

ICONS: First Impressions

I never was too much into superhero RPGs until I came to know Mutants & Masterminds. When that game came out translated to portuguese here in Brazil, I bought the books mostly to support the publisher. I was surprised, first to read what I consider the finest RPG translation into portuguese so far, and second, to find the great game system that M&M is.
Anyway, when I recently found out that the PDF version of ICONS, a superhero game that includes Steve Kenson (from M&M) and Gareth-Michael Skarka among its authors, was on sale for US$1.99 at RPGNow, there was no thinking twice. As I write this, I'm finishing my first quick read of the 126-page book. Here are my first impressions about it:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2.5D Trees - Printed version

I've tried to create a printed version of the 2.5D trees that so far I've been building with cardstock and paper. Here is the first version:
You have to score the vertical lines that cross the frame, then fold it making a "Y"-shaped profile.
Here is the result near a 15mm and 28mm miniatures, for comparison. I think that a 3-4" high would be good for the 28mm one.
I'll probably create some more versions in 300dpi to replace my current paper trees.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Playing HoTT... in Inkscape

Over the last two evenings, I tried my first game of Hordes of the Things (HoTT). Since I had no suitable minis, no time to build some with paper, and no terrain either, the game would have to be run on the computer. Unfortunately, as far as I know RPTools does not allow free rotations, so I decided to try Inkscape. The first step was to create a 60x60cm "page" and create a few markers for the elements. The elements containing the generals are marked with stars. Using layers, I kept the base terrain, features and elements separate.
To sum it up: Overall I liked HoTT, but I feel that I still have to fully understand the rules, especially the ones about tactical movement. Inkscape worked well as a "virtual board" and battle report tool at the same time. The detailed battle report follows.