Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sedition Wars - First Models Finished

A little under a year ago, I was going nuts for the Sedition Wars Kickstarter, by Studio McVey. I missed the bus for the Zombicide fund, but I liked what I saw on its successor and jumped aboard. After a long wait, the game got sent out and, after a slightly shorter pause, I have got round to painting up the first five (of about 50!) figures.

Not quite 10% of the way there...

The setting for the game is a future dystopia, nothing novel there. Except in this world-gone-mad, terrorists have attempted to awaken ancient gods or something but inadvertently fused AI with bio-matter, creating a new life-form - the Strain. Dun, dun derrrrr! Sedition Wars: The Battle for Alabaster takes place in a research station that has been infested with this new biohazard - players can be either the troops sent in to investigate and reclaim the place or the Strain.

Gameplay is fun enough, but I really want to talk about the miniatures here.

The McVeys are artists, so the visual design of the set is a pretty big component.

Girls! In space!

The art and the mini's have what I can't help thinking of as a 'European' feel. Maybe its the fact women are part of the Vanguard - the combat troops sent in to the fight. Maybe its the fact there are non-Caucasians in there.  But I think there's something else about the while thing that just doesn't feel like standard Americanised sci-fi. Nothing against Americans or American sci-fi.  But I'm not going to buy just any old marines-in-space game. These figures are all very very cool though. I'm looking forward to painting Akosha and the higher level Strain models in particular. But you do get a lot in the box, even if you don't have the Biohazard pledge level set with double the basic figure count or all the optional extras to work through. Add to that my addiction to BLOPS2 and Aliens:CM, and, well, its going to be a while before they're all ready.

Master Who?
The five Vanguard I have finished off are based with GW's Astronomicon Grey, washed with a mix of blue and black wash, layered again with the Grey, then a layer of Grey mixed with Skull White, then a line highlight of White. This gives a very cold looking model, so, to contrast,  I did the visors with a base of Blazing Orange, then a layer of Vallejo's Amarillo Yellow, and a highlight of Sunburst Yellow. For the ladies, basic skin tones and light coloured hair provided a bit of warmth. The bases are all done with a base of Black mixed with a touch of Codex Grey. I then drybrushed them with Codex Grey, Fortress Grey, and, finally, Space Wolves Grey. I washed them with thinned Desert Yellow, and added a few spots of Devlan Mud for added warmth.

Not entirely gratuitous - also to show the detail on the back
For playing pieces for a board game, I'm fairly happy with the standard and it didn't actually take too long either.

Next: a few Strain grunts, before I treat myself to a character mini.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

3-Month Hiatus - Dreadball

Its been a while! Frankly I got a little bored with the hobby and a little disillusioned. Its hard to say which was the bigger factor in not writing for so long.

Any way, here's some models.

For those who don't recognise them, these are Mantic's Veer-myn models for their boardgame, Dreadball. Here are some things you need to know about Dreadball:

It is nothing like Bloodbowl.
It is not the same as Bloodbowl.

I mention these things because the first question most people ask when I mention Dreadball is 'is it like Bloodbowl?'. When I say that out loud I say it like Scott used to ask 'how are the graphics' on his podcast. I forget the name of the podcast, but I've only had a few hours sleep so I can barely type right now, let alone remember the name of a show I haven't listened to for four years.

Anyway, Dreadball is an excellent game. It plays like a mix of ice-hockey and basketball with lots of fast plays and end to end runs.

Games can be over really really quickly or they can go a maximum of seven turns per player. I played in a tournament a few weeks ago that ran for four games in a day and was not tired at the end of it. There would easily have been time for most players to get in five or maybe even six games in the day.

The mechanics are really simple and intuitive. It is so easy to pick up - I have taught four or five players how to play so far and none of them had any trouble picking up the system.

If it has a weakness it is perhaps that, for pickup games, the teams may eventually become somewhat limited. There are rules for MVP's included in the game, but these are only designed for inclusion in league-playing teams. so for casual gaming you are stuck with a vanilla selection of strikers, jacks, and guards - no special rules or abilities.

The runaway success of the Kickstarter campaign means two expansions, including further teams are guaranteed though, so there is variety on the horizon.

As for my team, the LV Raiders (formerly the LV426 Raiders) wear the silver, they wear the black, don't get in their way. Star players include: Sqeaky Barber, Randy Mouse, Troy Ratomalu, and Pavel Ratsuyk (I love hockey as much as football!).

In the Copperbowl tournament, they did - ok. Two 7-0 wins, two 3-0 losses. Both of the losses were real squeakers though, with one seeing me fail four shots on goal while my opponent only scored one. The other saw my opponent score a 1-pointer and a double while I, once again, could not hit the mark on two or three attempts. I even missed my last shot on my last rush, caught the rebound, then failed to hit the goal on the second bite at the cherry. So it goes with rats....

Dreadball is great fun, quick to pick up and learn, and doesn't cost the Earth.