Friday, 28 July 2017

A PATHFINDER RPG CAMPAIGN BEGINS IN THE GRIM NORTH


The commencement of our first Pathfinder campaign with the Popcorn Brothers in Yorkshire. Really looking forward to this..............
ALLIANCE OF THE BIG BATTALIONS ARTISTRY


Dismounted cavalryman from Ney's rearguard on the retreat from Moscow 1812

This is my first entry into the latest painting club on the Lead Adventure Forum.

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=101939.0

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

WAR OF THE RING

On a recent sojourn in the Grim North of England, we managed a game of War of the Ring.


The set-up.


The Fellowship elects to attempt a military victory and the Ring never leaves Rivendell. Saruman sets up in Orthanc and the hordes from Mordor advance towards Minas Tirith.


Minas Tirith falls, under the gaze of Aragorn (who is subsequently killed).


A nasty moment for the forces of Sauron as Angmar (the Fellowship player only needs 4 victory points as opposed to 10 for Sauron) falls to the Elves.


The Witch King flies north and retakes Angmar to the relief of Sauron.



We eventually called it a draw, late in the evening as we did not have time to finish it. A great game though, to be played again.




CURRENTLY READING............................

Flashman in the Peninsula (Adventures of Thomas Flashman Book 3)


This is the third instalment in the memoirs of the Georgian Englishman Thomas Flashman, which were recently discovered on a well-known auction website. Thomas is the uncle of the notorious Victorian rogue Harry Flashman, whose memoirs have already been published, edited by George MacDonald Fraser. Thomas shares many of the family traits, particularly the ability to find himself reluctantly at the sharp end of many major events of his age.

While many people have written books and novels on the Peninsular War, Thomas Flashman’s memoir offer a unique perspective. They include new accounts of famous battles, but also incredible incidents and characters almost forgotten by history. Flashman is revealed as the catalyst to one of the greatest royal scandals of the nineteenth century which disgraced a prince and ultimately produced one of our finest novelists. In Spain and Portugal he witnesses catastrophic incompetence and incredible courage in equal measure. He is present at an extraordinary action where a small group of men stopped the army of a French marshal in its tracks. His flatulent horse may well have routed a Spanish regiment, while his cowardice and poltroonery certainly saved the British army from a French trap.

Accompanied by Lord Byron’s dog, Flashman faces death from Polish lancers and a vengeful Spanish midget, not to mention finding time to perform a blasphemous act with the famous Maid of Zaragoza. This is an account made more astonishing as the key facts are confirmed by various historical sources.
THE CASE OF THE MUKKINESE IDOL


Professor Moriarty

Whilst Professor Moriarty sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. Currently there was a minor quiver in the strand that led to Snapcase’s Emporium of Wonders located in a tumble-down warehouse at the the back of an abandoned farm. The farm on the outskirts of Zeal Monachorum was known locally as Splatt’s Pond Farm, although Farmer Splatt was long gone and the pond was now no more than a puddle.

One of Moriarty’s myriad criminal enterprises was the sale of real or fake (he wasn’t fussy which) artefacts for the use of cults and secret societies across the country. If you wanted an altar to sacrifice a virgin on or the skull of a serial-killer to swear your secret societies’oaths of allegiance on, then Snapcase’s Emporium of Wonders was the place to purchase said items. The proprietor, one Athelstan Snapcase (younger brother to the Earl of Snapcase and the black-sheep of the Snapcase dynasty), known to his friends as Stan was about to pull off a right royal swindle.

Benjamin Plugsocket, Zeal Monachorum’s jobbing carpenter had carved an exact likeness of the fabled Mukkinese Idol. This idol was said to bestow immortality on it’s possessor and had been lost in the mists of time. Moriarty’s henchmen had put the word about ‘up in the smoke’ that the Idol had been rediscovered and was up for grabs if you had a Guinea or two about your person. Well, eight thousand Guineas to be precise!

An unknown gentleman of foreign extraction, Count Vladislav Dracule had expressed an interest to Moriarty and was on his way down to view and perhaps purchase this legendary artefact. Stan was already calculating how to spend his share on Dolly Mops and gin.
Unbeknownst to Moriarty, Stan or the Count, a telegram had just arrived at 221b Baker Street and had been brought upstairs by Mrs. Hudson.

COME AT ONCE. DEVIL OF A BUSINESS. DIRTY DEALINGS AFOOT. SPLATT’S POND FARM. ZEAL MONACHORUM.
LESTRADE.

Our tale begins…………………………………….






Thursday, 19 January 2017

X-WING MINIATURES

Two games of X-Wing Miniatures on a visit to the Grim North.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

THE GRAVEYARD CONTINUES....................

I've started making a lych gate for my graveyard. I started scratch building but didn't like how it looked. So I bought a kit from Petite Properties and then made the walls out of foam instead of using the supplied MDF.


It's left a gap in the walls where I removed the original posts but I can soon solve that. As soon as the glue dries I can tile the lych gate roof (it does actually have some gates, I just haven't fitted them yet).


X-WING MINIATURES

Been away for a bit but managed to get in a couple of games whilst in Yorkshire.

The campaign continues:


and then a 100 point dog fight:



Tuesday, 25 October 2016

THE GRAVEYARD

Working on some scenery as well, you can't be without a graveyard can you?






Monday, 24 October 2016

SECOND WITCH FOR THE BELSTONE CLEAVE COVEN

Witch number two completed. I'm still working on their names!



Tuesday, 18 October 2016

FIRST BELSTONE CLEAVE WITCH PAINTED

I've finished painting the first witch of the Belstone Cleave Coven. Rest assured, pretty much all the other witches (there will obviously be 13 in total) will have pointy hats! However, one Witch, three Ghouls and a Wisht Hound does not a game make, so back to the painting desk.



Thursday, 13 October 2016

WITCHFINDER H.Q. THE TORS INN

A bit of a WIP here for my first building. It has to be a pub of course! Initially it will represent The Tors Inn at Belstone where the Witchfinders intend to base themselves. The nearby church of St. Mary's has a cucking stool, which may well come in handy! I have got some paint on the Okehampton Trayned Band troopers, just need to highlight and finish them off now.




A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE

We are continuing our X-Wing miniatures campaign in November. A couple of the missions require asteroids so I've knocked up ten this morning.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

THE BELSTONE CLEAVE COVEN

The Start of My Witchfinder General Project

Phoenician traders made a permanent trading camp on the northern edge of Dartmoor around the year 1,000 BC. These particular traders were worshippers of Baal, a weather god, who had particular power over lightning, wind, rain, and fertility. Judging by traditional Dartmoor weather, Baal must be in a pretty bad mood most of the time. Eventually the settlement became known as Baal's Ton. Now, in the enlightened 17th Century, the settlement is known by the locals as Belstone. In nearby Belstone Cleave, a coven of witches have made their home. All sorts of evil happenings are occurring and the local villagers have sent a message to the Witchfinder General, pleading for help. The coven are able to summon and control the terrifying Ghouls that inhabit Taw Marsh. These Ghouls were probably once human and were living in the marsh even before the Phoenicians arrived.



The Ghouls of Taw Marsh

The Witchfinders will need to be very careful to avoid an encounter with Old Dewer (as the Devil is known around these yere parts). Dewer the Hunter rides out from Wistman's Wood on his headless black horse with his pack of Wisht Hounds. Human victims are either lured or driven to the Dewerstone where they are forced to leap over the precipice into the gorge below. It is said that their fall is accompanied by maniacal laughter, the sound of thunder and blue forked-lightning. The next day there are no bodies to be found below. It is also said that anyone who witnesses these events will die within the year. Lonely travellers passing that way have often seen cloven hoof prints at the top of the Dewerstone.



One of Old Dewar's Wisht Hounds

Saturday, 17 September 2016

NO PAINTING..........................

I've been on holiday so no painting for two weeks, but drank lots of this.................


..................and I read all of these, highly recommended!






Tuesday, 30 August 2016

DRINKING THIS..............................


AND READING THIS...........




THE TOWN GETS A NEWSPAPER....................

So, two greenhorns from back east rode into Hog Thief Bend a few weeks ago with enough money to buy a prime lot on Main Street. Turns out they are journalists come west to start their own newspaper, The Hog Thief Bend Reporter. The greenhorn newspapermen are called Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.




Saturday, 27 August 2016

SHOOT OUT AT THE BROKEN DRUM SALOON


The first shots rang out in Hog Thief Bend this morning just after 10 a.m. The last fatal shot echoed across Main Street at around 12.35 p.m. The frightened citizens of the Bend are only now coming out of hiding after being witness to one of the most violent shoot-outs in the history of the town. Gun smoke is still drifting across Main Street as the victors of this blood-bath adjourn to the Broken Drum Saloon to guzzle down some Panther-Piss and to lick their wounds. The losers won’t be going anywhere except in a wooden box.


This was my first game of Shoot N’ Skedaddle and it was awesome! Lead flying everywhere from the word go. A lot of tension (due to the Activation Deck and the Special Cards) even though I was playing solo. I used the first scenario from the rule book which I paraphrase here to suit the characters of Hog Thief Bend.
Outlaws
Bill Dalton – ‘Bad Man’
‘Red Buck’ Waightman – Bushwhacker
Chu Wing Phat – Bodyguard
‘Dynamite Dick’ Clifton – ‘Crazy’
Jubal ‘One-Arm’ Tardy – Soldier
‘Tulsa Jack’ Blake – The Drifter
Lawmen
J. W. Pepper – Deputy
‘Rooster’ Cogburn – U.S. Marshal
James McParland – Hired Gun
‘Big Nose’ Kate – Soiled Dove
Joshua York – Town Person
Pierre ‘LeGros’ Coqsure – Mountain Man

Bill Doolin and his Owlhoot Trail brothers have been in Hog Thief Bend for several days keeping their heads down, mainly in the Broken Drum Saloon trying to drink it dry. At around 9 a.m. this morning a telegram came through for U.S. Marshal ‘Rooster’ Cogburn. A federal marshal had been shot dead in Drake’s Branch, New Mexico a few days ago. It just so happened that this marshal had been trailing Bill Dalton and his gang from Arizona into New Mexico. Bill Dalton had been recognised in Drake’s Branch minutes after the marshal had been shot down from ambush. ‘Rooster’ called his deputy and hastily assembled a makeshift posse from nearby townsfolk and headed on up Main Street to confront the gang at the Broken Drum.
From the scenario rules, three characters from each side start 18” apart on Main Street facing each other. The other characters were distributed amongst the buildings by random dice throw. The six characters on Main Street enter a shootout (special rules in S N’ S 2nd. Edition). This meant that under the scenario rules the concealed characters would not be activated until all three characters on one side were lying dead in the street. Victory conditions were to kill all members of the other side. A very good introduction to my first game.
Just before the action started the stage had rolled into Hog Thief Bend for a change of horses. The 9th Earl of Snapcase was on the stage heading for Beau Gus Junction. Whilst waiting for fresh horses milord had ordered a large liquid libation for breakfast which his aged, wrinkled family retainer ‘Old’ Scrotum was bringing forth on a silver salver. The Earl’s favourite bulldog, Chulmleigh was at his side.

The outlaws activate first and Bill Dalton, Chu Wing Phat and ‘Dynamite Dick’ Clifton open fire but the range is considerable and the hail of lead goes wild.


‘Rooster’ Cogburn, Pierre ‘LeGros’ Coqsure and Joshua York return fire but their aim is equally wild and no one is hit. Both sides advance down Main Street towards each other to get into better shooting range. They confront each other outside the Broken Drum. “Surrender, Dalton!” yells ‘Rooster’ but the only reply is more gunfire.

‘Rooster’ is hit twice and drops to the ground spouting blood like a geyser. Joshua York is hit in the shoulder but continues to return fire (they must shoot at the Bodyguard (Chu Wing Phat)) first owing to his special character rules. ‘LeGros’ is also firing but the lawmen fail to register any hits on the outlaws.

‘LeGros’ is still reloading his muzzle-loader when he is wounded. Mountain Man is not a good choice for a shootout as he has to take an action to reload. We live and learn, or not in his case as more fire from the outlaws hits him again and he goes down like the proverbial sack of excrement. With Joshua being hit again, things start to look very bad for the lawmen as half their posse lies dead or dying in the dust of Main Street.

With the three lawmen dead in the street, the other characters are now free to activate under the scenario rules. ‘Big Nose’ Kate has been watching the slaughter from the Sherriff’s Office and with an anguished wail (she’s secretly in love with old ‘Rooster’) runs out onto the street, pulls her concealed Derringer from between her heaving bosoms and tries to shoot Bill Dalton in the back of the head but only succeeds in blowing his hat off!

Jubal ‘One-Arm’ Tardy now emerges from Roly Deschain’s gun store where he has been hiding during the main gunfight. Tardy by name, tardy by nature! He takes a shot at Kate with his carbine but his aim is way off and the stray bullet would have parted watching Bill Gull’s hair if he still had any on top of his head.

‘Red Buck’ Waightman knocks out a window in the bunkhouse overlooking Main Street and James McParland does the same across the way, in the upper storey of the Sherriff’s Office.

Unfortunately for Kate, she is the only visible presence of law and order in Hog Thief Bend, the other two male members of the posse are currently ensconced indoors! ‘Tulsa Jack’ Blake exits Roly Deschain’s gun store by the back door and seeing ‘Big Nose’ Kate pointing a Derringer at Bil Dalton takes a shot at her with his ‘Mare’s Leg’ and gives her a nasty leg wound. At the same time ‘Dynamite Dick’ moves round to threaten Kate with his sawn-off shotgun. The sawn-off adds +1 Marksman and the close range adds another +1. This cannot be good for Kate, already wounded she faces a close range blast of buck shot from an enraged ‘Dynamite Dick’. Dick lets rip and the air is filled with pellets (5 x d20 gets 5 hits but no damage!). When the gun smoke clears Kate’s bouffant hair-do has been blown to bits as Dick in his fury aimed too high. Kate is but still fighting on!

The outlaws turn up a special card and ‘One-Arm’ swigs from his bottle of ‘Rotgut’ and gets extra ‘Guts’!
So, while Jubal Tardy gets liquored up, Deputy J. W. Pepper enters into the action. Hearing the sound of braking glass upstairs (‘Red Buck’ Waightman in the bunkhouse) J. W. decides to investigate. He daren’t run out the saloon bat wing doors with three outlaws directly outside so he elects to exit via the back door and make his way round to the external steps. J. W. is running as fast as he can, particularly with the overwhelming smell of the outhouse. ‘Smoky’ Pete appears to be investigating the source of the smell but I wouldn’t go anywhere near there with a naked flame, Pete!

Meanwhile, Kate fires her Derringer again at Bill Dalton, this time putting a hole in his duster. Kate makes a mental note to improve her shooting skills but it may be too late? ‘Tulsa Jack’ (who has just emerged from the back door of the gun store, sees J. W. run round the corner of the saloon and gives chase.

From his vantage point, upstairs in the Sherriff’s Office, James McParland fires his sawn-off at Chu Wing Phat and wounds the Celestial Bodyguard.
‘Dynamite Dick’ having failed to kill Kate at point blank range with his sawn-off now feels that the more immediate threat is coming from the sawn-off wielded by McParland in the upstairs window rather that the pissant Derringer which Kate is using to try and hit Bill Dalton. Probably the safest place to stand is right in front of where she is pointing it! Dick hits the window with a shotgun blast and sprays McParland with glass but fails to wound him.
Before the shooting started, ‘Dynamite Dick’ had hidden his stash of dynamite in an old crate at the back of the Sherriff’s Office. A stray bullet (activated by a card from the outlaw’s special deck) ignites the dynamite blowing off the back wall of the office.

McParland is once again showered with broken glass as the back windows blow in, however once again he escapes serious injury. ‘Tulsa Jack’ gets an extra activation in this turn as he has a joker in the activation deck as well as his normal two cards. This gives him the chance to gain ground on poor old Deputy J. W. Pepper who has just mounted the bottom steps leading to the bunkhouse. Jack is within 3” of J. W. but no bonus for close range as J. W. is partially in cover. However, this doesn’t cause ‘Tulsa Jack’ a problem as he aims his trusty ‘Mare’s Leg’ and hits the deputy twice, killing him outright. Lord Snapcase is rather miffed to say the least, to see the deputy shot down in cold blood in front of him. His Sharps Big 50 is packed in the luggae compartment of the stage or he might have had a pop at the villain! More doom and gloom for the forces of law and order who are down to one man and one woman. The outlaws still have six men shooting!

Bill Dalton also elects to ignore ‘Big Nose’ Kate, concurring with ‘Dynamite Dick’ that the major threat lies in the Sherriff’s window in the form of hired gun, James McParland and his sawn-off shotgun. Bill fires up at the window and manages to wound McParland. Jubal Tardy advances up Main Street and takes another shot at Kate with his carbine. Surely he won’t miss this time (do ursine creatures defecate in arboreal environments)? His bullet passes through the hem of Kate’s skirt without touching her!
‘Red Buck’ fires at the window across the street trying to hit McParland but McParland is in cover and the shot merely passes through the smoke-filled office.
Bill Dalton now decides he’s had enough of McParland and ascends the steps to confront him. The lawmen get a lucky break from a special card and get an extra activation. McParland shoots through a second window as he sees Dalton reach the top of the steps (I gave him a -1 marksman as the window still had glass in it). Dalton receives a wound from McParland’s shotgun before he can enter the office.

Chu Wing Phat decides to end the threat of Kate once and for all and charges her to engage in hand to hand combat. Thinking his martial arts skills will see the end of this pesky Calico Queen, he forgets the Derringer at his peril. As he tries to lock her in a deadly embrace, Kate fires the Derringer and for once her luck is in. Chu Wing Phat, already wounded, takes a small calibre bullet right through his black heart and dies on the spot.

Jubal Tardy now strides towards Kate with murder in his heart and at close range discharges his carbine. Time for those of you with a nervous disposition to look away. Kate sinks to the ground with a final scream, as dead as a doornail. The feisty Soiled Dove is no more.




At this point the outlaws draw another special card, the errant shot.


A ricochet from who-knows-where flies though the Sherriff’s Office window. The dice are thrown and the already wounded McParland is killed in a final twist of fate. The end of the Lawmen and the end of the game. The five remaining members of Bill Dalton’s gang head towards the Broken Drum Saloon as the sun starts to sink in the sky.

I can assure you all that Shoot N’ Skedaddle is a bloody awesome game and I loved every minute of it. You will see more of this!