Friday, 18 October 2019

Journeys in Middle Earth: Villains of Eriador

I picked up a pack of evil characters for FFG's Journeys in Middle Earth. I painted them the same as their minions.
Villains of Eriador

Gulgotar is an orc chieftain.

Coalfang is a warg pack leader. I like her arrows and scarred eye. I rebased her on a 40mm base. I literally gave her black fangs; does it work?

Atarin is an evil wight or wraith or some such. My colour scheme of metal and ghostly cloth is not a resounding triumph, being a bit bland.
I've now played through two different campaigns of about a dozen scenarios each. I really appreciate the different scenarios; they are quite varied and interesting (certainly when compared to the repetitive grind of Blackstone Fortress). The underlying mechanic of card-based skills and tests is quite nifty.

I'm not a fan of playing 'as' Aragorn, Legolas etc. When you whiff an attack it doesn't ring true, unlike if you were playing as, say, a generic ranger or dwarf. I think Imperial Assault handled this better, when named characters could turn up and ask for your assistance.

I do look forwards to more campaigns, more heroes, and more villains.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Blackstone Fortress battle report 2/2: Into the lair of the beast

Following last week's adventure, our heroes returned to Precipice to recover and get new kit. They had enough clues to track the ambull, and have now battled their way to its very lair...

Saved by urghuls again?! In Blackstone Fortress, enemy reinforcement rolls are rare but often devastating. Here, some unexpected urghuls erupted from a portal right next to the ambull. I randomised who they would attack- and luckily, it wasn't the explorers! Then, I rolled the rare reinforcements again- and again. There was no way Pious Vorne was going to survive.

In another unusual twist, I subsequently rolled an event that allows an out of action adventurer to return! Pious Vorne is back, baby!

Unlike the previous mission, the ambull cannot recover and return, so I wasn't worried by it once we had taken it down. I did enjoy the drama of it tunnelling and then emerging halfway across the board.

With the successful raid on the nest, I can now open the special sealed envelope that comes in the game, and get the unique goodies inside...

Friday, 4 October 2019

Blackstone Fortress battle report 1/2: Tracking the Ambull

An odd match of adventurers have been tracking an ambull through the Blackstone Fortress. Finally, they met it face to face...

A precision strike- the adventurers were all able to hit it with their up-gunned weapons, and it took some serious damage from the urghuls. By the time it recombobulated, the adventurers were well on their way to the exit.

Next week: Into the lair of the beast.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Blackstone Fortress: The Dreaded Ambull

Or, the most expensive Umber Hulk I will ever own.

It is a nice sculpt, not huge, with some interesting grubs literally dropping off the beast. They are rad-maggots, that help heal its wounds. The kit includes two Borewyrms as well, which are the Ambull's larvae.
Ambull and Borewyrms

With Traitor Guardsman for scale

Rear view

Skull-o-meter: 0?!

Friday, 20 September 2019

Blackstone Fortress battle report- Into the Deathmaze

This is a battle report from our protracted Blackstone Fortress campaign. BSF is a dungeon crawler in space, with unusual grimdark characters filling the adventurer tropes and journeying into a mysterious alien space station to glean its secrets. They are opposed not only by creatures in the station, but also by the forces of Chaos, who want to control the Blackstone Fortress themselves. 

Each Expedition takes four explorers and throws them against random challenges and encounters. They recover items which can be traded for upgraded equipment back at Precipice Outpost, and they also discover Clues. Finding enough Clues allows you to launch another Expedition with a climactic Stronghold mission; a more challenging encounter with added scenario rules.

Here's a Stronghold encounter, Into the Deathmaze. We've launched eight previous Expeditions so have a bit of experience under our belts. On this expedition, we've battled through some smaller skirmishes and challenges to get here and are a little bruised already.

Click to embiggen!

UR-025 is certainly a powerful tanking robot. But he couldn't have got there without Locarno's sneaky sacrifice!

I won't pretend it is a fantastic game, but the setting is fun and the figures and components are superb.  To be honest, it allows you to tell a nice pulp story. The new Escalation campaign expansion looks pretty good.

Report created with Comic Life 3 and LensFX iOS app.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Batman: Gotham City Chronicles completely painted

Holy painted miniatures, Batman!

Yes, Robin, it was a simple matter of working steadily towards a goal.
Batman: Gotham City Chronicles

Whew! You are no doubt relieved to hear that I'm Bat-done with this Bat-project, from Arkham to Zsasz. I began in late May, so that is over three months of fairly steady painting. It was an achievable goal because it was finite, and I had a year in which to mentally prepare myself before a huge carton arrived. It was mostly interesting painting as well, with bright colours and nothing too complex. (Except for masks- I thought they'd make painting faces easier, but that is not necessarily true!) I had a deadline- which always helps- of the games we played a few weeks back. Towards the end, a lot of the figures were a basecoat and wash, without necessarily a highlight.



I did enjoy the research as well, immersing myself in bat-lore and trying to find the drawings the sculpts were based on. It was one way to celebrate Batman's 80th! If you were only ever going to read one Batman, I'd recommend Hush. Lovely artwork, decent story, and every Bat-villain under the sun.

I have pre-ordered/ crowdfunded a few more Batman miniatures- not as many- and they'll arrive mid-2020, same Bat-Blog!

Indulge me in my wish-list for figures that I'd like which have not been made:
  • Other Batgirls- Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, Batgirl of Burnside
  • Carrie Kelly/ Robin
  • Ace the Bathound
  • Slam Bradley

I'd love to see more of the comical/ kooky villains because the game can be a hilarious romp:
  • Kiteman (Hell yeah!)
  • Condiment King
  • Egghead
  • Crazy Quilt

It comes with a decent selection of thugs and muggers, but I'd like to see some classier cannon fodder such as smartly-dressed gangsters and mercenary contractors. And some Rocket Penguins. And Dollotrons. And maybe some dedicated evil hackers. And a Bat-Signal!

Time for me to relax, revert to 28 and 15mm, settle back into once a week posting, and read something other than Batman.

Thanks for following this journey!
Detective Comics #1000 (2019)
Batman will return to WwB in 2020.

PS After taking the Heroes and Villains shots above, I realised I'd left a few characters out- full marks if you work out who!

Friday, 13 September 2019


"At least tell me what it looks like! [Batmobile speeds past] Uh, never mind."

Highway Patrolman, Batman Begins (2005)

There have been many Batmobiles over the years- this one certainly belongs.

Batman: The Return (2011)

It comes with red transparent plastic windows, and I chose not to paint them. I removed the rubber tyres and taped the windows before spraying black, but couldn't disassemble it further. Then I edge-highlighted all the panels in medium and light grey. Madness. I then painted the metallics and lights, and added some heat-staining to the exhausts. I painted the tyres Panzer Grey.

Tyres off and taped windows before spraying and painting
Removing tape at the end

Bat-tally: 215/ 215 (100%)

Tomorrow I'll post a group shot and some closing bat-thoughts.