September 21, 2016

Some Classic Characters Painted for BMG Demos

When preparing for my demo earlier this month I planned out a little 2x2 table to force the player's characters into combat more quickly. I had originally planned to do some kind of bank heist scenario using loot and the safe boxes, but it seemed too far from the actual way the game is played. It wouldn't help if I made things more complicated just for the sake of a custom scenario. In the end I decided I'd do 200 reputation crews: Arkham City Batman and Robin vs Classic Harley, Joker (Killing Joke) with Turk along for the ride. Since I only had Turk painted I had some work ahead of me and only a few days to do it!

Having a deadline is often helpful for me, even if it's a self imposed one. I was able to paint all four characters over a few sessions on Friday and Saturday. Harley's face detailing was just too small, so I wasn't even able to do some white in for her eyes, and may go back now that I'm no longer under pressure. The rest turned out very nicely and I'm happy with them. Robin is my favorite paint job of the four.

This version of Joker does better with a bunch of henchmen around him, but I love the sculpt and the poison flower. It just captures what I think most people want when having a Joker model on the table. For Classic Harley...I just love the acrobat trait. The ease of getting around the board is great, not to mention that Harley can dodge bullets as she also gains Dodge. Her 360 attack didn't serve much use in the demos, but the players loved the flavor of "True Love: Joker" as well as the mallet!

In one of the demo games the Joker crew caught Batman up on some containers. Harley hit him and pushed him with her mallet. Luckily Batman had a special counter in reserve and was able to use his cape to avoid falling damage. The Joker crew won by a slim margin in VP.

In another demo game, Batman and Robin went on the offensive, picking apart The Joker crew from the bottom up. Turk got hammered by a batarang then several bat-fists to the face. Harley picked up some loot but misread the dynamic duo's plan and paid for it with getting knocked out twice! The Joker made a last gasp effort to collect some victory points on his ammo objective, but Robin dropped a smoke grenade on him, blinding him. Batman rushed into the smoke and took the Joker down hard.

In terms of the models and the rules, I think the Arkham City version of Batman and Robin make a great team. On initial release Robin lacked a little in the damage department, but was given "Combo w/ Bo" later which helps a lot. His smoke grenade is a potent weapon against groups of henchmen and more expensive characters, hindering their ability to move and spend counters. Batman is pricey, but can do it all. Ranged attacks without direct line of sight, good mobility with Batclaw. His damage isn't to be underestimated either, as he has "Reinforced Gloves" which can't be stolen.

All the players had a great time and I really enjoyed running the demos. I've got a demo game of Batman Miniature Game and the Marvel Universe Miniature Game scheduled for Saturday October 1st at Fallcon. Check their schedule page to sign up!

September 12, 2016

The Berserker Island Beasts

With play underway for the  Calgary Dreadball League's third season I had a finished season 2 human team, or a season 4 martian team that I could have used, but I didn't really want to play either of those teams in league play. This is the final of my four original season 1 teams to be painted.

If you've stopped by and read any of my posts about other teams, you've have seen that many of them are based on characters from Masters of the Universe. The "Berserker Island Beasts" are based Beastman, who is also serving as their offensive coach.

Despite looking through lots of reference images, I struggled to find a colour I liked for the fur and ended up using the bright P3 Ember Orange. Selecting uniform colours for the team was also a challenge as Beastman doesn't have much in the way of accessories or colours other than orange, and those he does have vary widely depending on the depiction. The Beastman figure I'll be using is an old Grenadier miniature from the 80s, but he's not painted yet.

The Veer-myn team has no jacks, just plenty of strikers, a couple guards, a keeper and also the MVP "Reek Rolat" who will only play for Veer-myn teams. Might as well paint him up the same as the rest.

I modified a few of the striker figures to try getting some more variation in the poses. The end result is serviceable, however the models for this team are not my favorites from the line. Despite that I've enjoyed playing the team in a few games so far.

Here's a quick paint recipe:

- fur: P3 Ember Orange & other browns
- wraps and teeth: GW Bleached Bone
- armour: GW Hawk Turqoise, GW Goblin Green, white
- metals: P3 cold steel
- straps: P3 Greatcoat Grey
- tails: P3 flesh

I coached this team to an undefeated 5-0 record to win the 2016 CDBL Championship. I didn't miss the fact that the don't have jacks. The low skill of the strikers is well mitigated by their speed, and adding an extra guard made a huge difference to how well they were able to survive against other teams.

August 12, 2016

Marvel Minis by Knight Models and...Kinder Surprise?!

After I had my original four Avengers figures painted for the Marvel Universe Miniature Game, I knew I wanted to build up the list while I waited for some more cosmic figures to be released. Having already built several other early-release figures I looked through the cards and chose Wolverine, Black Panther and Deadpool to join my team. Deadpool still taunts me from my painting table, but the other two are finished and ready for battle.

Wolverine is a nicely done sculpt. Appropriately small of stature and big on the snarls, he was a simple model to build. Only the forearms were separate and fit together easily. I mounted him on a resin base insert I had rattling around. Even based on that, he's still shorter than all the other Avengers, even Black Widow.

I did some looking around online to see if I could find inspiration for a costume colour scheme, and ended up with the two-tone blue you see here. I think it fits nicely. His skin is GW Tallarn Flesh, washed with GW Badab Black, highlighted with the base colour and then a very light dry brush of P3 Menoth White Highlight.

The suit is GW Mordian Blue and P3 Cygnar Blue Highlight. The claws were done with P3 Cold Steel. All the blue were dry brushed using Army Painter Ash Grey then washed with GW Asurmen Blue, along with the claws. I reapplied the base colours then highlighted the claws with GW Mithril Silver.

Black Panther is a similar build to Wolverine, with only his arms being separate pieces. I had to use a little putty to smooth over the gaps on him. After priming him grey I applied two thin coats of P3 Thamar Black, followed by a solid dry brush coat of AP Uniform Grey. His necklace got a coat of P3 Cold Steel. This was all followed by a wash of GW Thraka Green. The gloves and boots got a heavy dry brush of P3 Trollblood Highlight, and a much lighter one on the raised areas of his suit. Finally I gave everything a wash of GW Badab Black and then retouched the necklace with GW Mithril Silver.

I was tempted to go back in and to some brush highlighting on the suit, but opted not to. I like the soft transitions of colour and didn't want to have sharp areas that would make it look too shiny.

Finally we have Spider-Man. If you were paying attention you already know that he's not by Knight Models, although they do make one for the Spiderman Miniature Game. I picked up a few Kinder Surprise eggs at a dollar store in July, and this little guy was inside one of them. The detail isn't great and he's a touch large in terms of scale, but after I glued him together I decided to rebase him and throw it into my collection.

From a table distance away, I feel like he looks just fine. Certainly not KM calibre, but hey for $1.25 I'm not going to complain!

Animal-themed heroes to the rescue!

August 05, 2016

BMG Nightwing Paint & Review

Nightwing was a spur of the moment paint job a few days ago. While waiting for some washes to dry on another batch of figures I ended up alternating work on him. Although initially not very excited by the pose I'm really quite pleased with how he turned out. He took also took a minimal amount of time to do, clocking in at under 45 minutes start to finish including dry time.

After priming him grey I applied two thin coats of black to get nice even coverage on the suit and mask. I followed that with a wash of GW Asurmen Blue, and once dry applied a light dry brush coat on all the black of AP Uniform Grey. It has a slight touch of blue in it and brought out the models details perfectly. The hair was done the same way, followed with two ink washes of black.

On the blue detailing I painted a solid coat of P3 Platinum which I followed with two even coats of Tamiya Clear Blue. The face was done with a base coat of GW Flesh and then some highlight of Elf Flesh.

In terms of gameplay I think Nightwing is one of the best Batman-affiliated free agents for his points. If he is ideally positioned and undamaged he can attack twice in the same activation, using 3SC+1AC for Electric Storm, and the remaining 2AC to net another three attacks through combo with his electric baton. Handy and mechanic mean you're very likely landing two of those attacks.

The biggest challenge to laying down that kind of beating is his 6 willpower. If you've suffered anything more than 1 damage you'll be unable to do this, so if possible, picking up a Titan on the way to the fight is crucial.

Nightwing is also highly mobile with Batclaw and Acrobat. He can get where he needs to be faster than most free agents, climb scenery more easily, and with Sneak Attack can stop his target from defending in certain situations. He also has some ranged weaponry when necessary, although I'd suggest saving those as a last resort.

In my last game using Nightwing I was able to knock down AK Red Hood, forcing him to flee combat or take a KO in the next turn. Shortly after I was able to land several solid hits on Dark Knight Returns Batman and KO him. To add insult to injury, acrobat let me climb up to activate the Batsignal for another 4VP that same round. I know I won't always be that lucky, but the potential for damage output, combined with his mobility makes him a current favorite for now!