Saga – Viking Berserker WIP I

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to play at all, but I recently picked up a Saga warband from Gripping Beast. I opted for the metal Vikings, which means I got four berserkers among my miniatures. Being historical miniatures, there is of course some variance expected from what’s shown on the packaging… the packaging let me know I might get a berserker in a loincloth, I got one in the buff. 

He’s pretty amazing. 

Obviously he’s not done yet, but I thought I’d share the progress I’ve made so far. First step was to clean up the miniature a bit. It’s not the cleanest sculpt I’ve ever seen, but based on the reading I’ve done online I get the impression the bar for historical miniatures is a little lower than for some other genres. Given that these guys worked out to around $2 each, I think they look pretty decent. 

Next on my agenda was doing something about the base. As it’s a historical miniature, it has the traditional small flattish bar attached directly to the model’s lowest point. Yuck. To deal with that I broke out my jar of Vallejo ‘Grey Pumice’. 

I believe they’ve changed the packaging since I got mine, but here it is!

It’s basically a gritty acrylic medium that can be used instead of the traditional sand-and-glue method when basing models. I used it to build up the flat Renedra base until it appeared level with the top of the miniature base. Now it bevels at the edges and should dry brush nicely later.

Another cool aspect of these miniatures that surprised me (again, probably nothing new to historical fans) is that almost none of these miniatures came armed. A couple were sculpted with weapons, but most had cupped hands awaiting a weapon selection, and the warband came with a bag full of swords, axes, shields, and spears. This fellow came with one cupped ‘weilding’ hand and an arm braced for a potential shield, but I felt like any Berserker *so* berserk that he charges into battle naked was probably not going to hang onto a shield (or any particular equipment) mid-battle, and therefore worthy of a random assortment of weaponry. With that in mind I did some modification to the shield arm so I could put a sword in his off hand. At this point I broke my only appropriate micro bit, and the new ones I ordered online have still not arrived even now. Last weekend I got tired of waiting and carved the hand out using the broken remains of that last bit. It was messy, but it worked.

A coat of brush-on primer went on after that, and this weekend I started painting him. I feel like the paint is really bringing out the imperfections in the miniature, but hopefully they won’t be too obvious when all is said and done. 

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Infinity – Minor League 2/3: Rescue

We’re running a miniature league right now. Basically, each session is a single ITS mission, we escalate the points a little each time, and at the end of the sessions we score it like a tournament. It just takes us three months is all, grin. So far it seems like a good option for us, providing the time to get in proper matches while fitting into our Sunday evening availability. 

Our most recent Infinity night saw us playing out session 2 of 3, and the ITS scenario assigned to the evening was Rescue. Group consensus? Once was plenty, let’s never play Rescue again. 

Rescue felt like one of those overly complicated ITS scenarios where you keep losing track of what you’re supposed to do. Not as fiddly ss some, but still a lot of extra stuff to keep track of. We had two games running (only 4 of us that night), and we finished with scores of 0-0 and 6-0. Almost nobody was able to get effectively through the massive difficult-terrain exclusion zone. 

I had the 6pts, and even that pretty much hinged on the fact that I brought Uxia with me and managed to drop her into Pan-O’s dead zone, halving the distance she’d need to travel. If she’d failed her deployment, I’d have done significantly worse. 

Book – Season of the Dead Hours

I just finished reading Season of the Dead Hours, an independent graphic novel by Merk (find him at merkasylum.ca).

I enjoyed it. Lots of walking and talking but it’s broken up frequently by little events, and it would probably need to be a much longer book to avoid all the exposition. The dead and undead seem much more comfortable in their skin than the living, but the art was solid and consistent throughout. The dragon made me think of Smith’s Bone, rounder than many and with a simplicity of shape and line that I appreciated. It felt like the artist really made it his own. 

If long-dead druids seeking to change the nature of their place in the void through magical and mythical interactions with the present seems like something that interests you even a little bit, you should probably check it out. 

Blood Bowl – The Road to Thunderbowl #1

Look at that kickoff!

Started up a Blood Bowl league at the shop, and played my first league game. The Crookshank Skullkickers faced off against Matt V’s Corpsetown Crushers. 

Both of us are still pretty fresh. I’m pretty sure this was Matt’s first game, although you’d never guess it from his fully painted, partially converted, team of Necromantic Undead! I got a few touchdowns, we both broke some armour, and Matt started to get a real handle on his team by the time the game finished. I look forward to my next game! 

Mordheim – Week 5/8: Magicked by Wood Elves

I was out sick for week 4,but back in action for week 5, up against an unofficial wood elves list. As one might guess, my dwarves had a rough go of it. I think I could have done better with the benefit of hindsight, but winning this one would have been a long shot any day of the week.

I deployed in two melee groups (plus a couple of thunderers up high in a central third area with good sightlines), but this was a straight skirmish with no loot, so I’d have been better off bulking all the melee into one clump. I could have focused my limited strengths a lot better. 

Eventually I was spread really thin with terrible lines on everybody (too close as the crow flies to run, but too far by usable routes to close the gap). Especially at dwarf speed. I will certainly be hoping to avoid elves during the final few sessions. 

Nonetheless, had a lot of fun, and it was my first time playing this particular player; it was nice to finally face off after chatting so many times. I did well of my Wyrdstone rolls, too, so I’m still doing pretty well overall. I think the wood elves are winning, but I’m surprisingly close behind the leaders for somebody that’s almost exclusively lost. Grin. 

Mordheim – Week 3/8: Another struggle, another dead beardling. 

This weekend the Tall Order faced off against some Beastmen Raiders, and it could have gone better. It started well, but was a pretty weird confrontation. They had no ranged attacks but huge charge ranges. I got a few shots in early, but forgot my noble’s BS5 and then had some trouble in close combat. Before long my noble, pit fighter, dog, and the beardlings were all either out or down. A lot more down than out when my turn started, so I opted to retreat.

Before being taken down by a centigor, Rakk of the Long Arm managed one incredible shot…

After my disappointing retreat (I usually push things far beyond any reasonable point), we crunched the numbers and levelled our warbands. It came to our attention that the Beastmen Raiders were almost double my own rating, which made me feel a bit better. Hayl Stormcannon, my engineer, got Eagle Eyes so he should be more effective at shooting in the future, and Shank (my lone surviving Clansman) became a Hero. 

Herring, one of my two beardlings, was killed. 

Oscar Weekend SciFi Superfest 2017

Well, last weekend was the Academy Awards, which of course means M went across the road for her friend’s Oscar party, and I sat down at home with a bunch of Science Fiction movies I hadn’t seen (generally because they were before my time). This year I started with Time After Time, and it was delightful!

Look at that font! That name! That blue smoke! I can already tell this is going to be good… 

This one’s been on my list for years, but kept getting pushed aside up make way for other movies. I’m super glad I finally at down and watched it. HG Wells (Malcolm McDowell) chases Jack the Ripper (David Warner) through time and space to 1970s San Francisco, and meets a lovely and independent young lady (Mary Steenburgen). Madcap adventure, romance, and comedy ensue. Wells is charming and wonderfully naive, Jack is cruel and confident, you get the idea. I totally recommend this. 
It was so good that I decided I could go high risk with my next selection, and that is how I found myself watching Metalstorm: the Destruction of Jared-Syn.

3d, PG, 1983. I almost feel like that’s saying enough. This is one of those post-apocalyptic road rage movies that were so prevalent in the wake of Mad Max. Mostly they just make you realize what a genius George Miller was/is. Everything feels slow and unimpressive, the vehicles look lame, you get the idea. Maybe that’s more accurate though… What are the odds that everybody working on a car after the apocalypse is some sort of monster garage hero? This one isn’t what I’d call actively bad, it’s just not at all good. The bad guy is filling a giant crystal with stolen souls, the good guy always leaves his helmet in the tank-car, there’s a girl and a scoundrel and an honorable subvillain. It checks all the boxes, but does so with a crayon. 

The final movie in this 2017 Oscar trifecta was The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and what a closer! Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) is a rockstar/scientist (and brain surgeon?) who uses a rocket car and a black box to punch a dimensional home through a mountain, inspiring an interdimensional alien exiled/trapped on Earth to rally his War of the Worlds compatriots and steal the black box, triggering an interdimensional incident that could result in global thermonuclear war. Along the way we meet Buckaroo’s fan club slash militia, a romantic interest that seems to be the long lost twin of hours ex-wife, and a series of ever-less useful bureaucrats and aliens. I definitely enjoyed it, but I think I mostly just love that it exists; it was a very different era for truly creative endeavours. 

That’s it for now. I’ve gotta say, I’m truly excited to see what I dig up for next year.