Friday, 29 July 2011

More Piratey Thoughts

Don't get me wrong, these thoughts are based upon personal preference not the quality and standard of the Rules and the Miniatures - and that no Pirates were harmed as a consequence of these thoughts . . . . .

Cutlass!
Definitely a good solid game, good fun, and definite potential here. I love it, but there are a few typo's here and there. Nothing to cause confusion, just irritating in such a lavish book. And, whilst we are on the subject of production values - Do the guys at Black Scorpion think TEN Pages of Art a great idea (often not actually filling the entire page), or were they just trying to get the page count up! Thats without the Maps (which everyone likes), the ten pages of Painted Miniatures (pretty but unnecessary - as all the images are already on the website), and two pages on "how miniatures are made" - no offense, but most (if not all) wargamers are aware of such things already. The rules however are solid, and the campaign system is great - overall its well worth the effort (and the wait, Black Scorpion aren't the fastest apparently) getting into.

Ron & Bones
I've really fallen in love with the R&B sculpts, yes they are quirky and cartoonish - but thats kinda their style. HOWEVER R&B is really only a board-game, movement (and combat to a certain degree) requires a Grid for it to work. If you do make a table to play R&B on you need some sort of grid in place, making it unsuitable for other games. The game-play is good and solid, however making it board based reduces its "fun factor" for me at least. Great miniatures, let down by a limiting factor in the rules - quite a shame really.

Freebooter's Fate
Along with Cutlass, definitely my favourite so far - loads of fun, light and easy to learn. I love 'most' of the miniatures, but a couple leave me cold - "The Lady" for one. However, upon saying that the miniatures I do like I absolutely adore! The ONLY thing really wrong with Freebooters Fate (for me at least) is the lack Campaign Rules - the scenarios are great, but there is nothing tying them together. Or rules for improvement between games etc - which would rocket this game to be my favourite I reckon. There are SUPPOSED to be Equipment cards coming, that would be a huge leap forward for FF - also, I'm HOPING for campaign rules in the new book when it comes out to co-incide with the release of the Amazon's Crew.

I'm still trying to get a look at Legend of the High Sea's, and I will review it as soon as I can!

Love 'em or Leave 'em - Pirate games are here to stay!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

FINALLY!

I've FINALLY tidied up my Painting Area, it was getting so bad I couldn't find anything LoL!

TOO many Pirates to paint LoL! (and not just for me either)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Games People Play

Do people still play the games they loved, even though they are "dead systems" or simply unsupported nowadays.

Fans of a LOT of GW Specialist games have this problem, especially with the Evil Empire dropping their favourites like Hot Coals when they cease to generate Cash.

I still play and collect Starship Troopers and VOR - The Maelstrom, two Games that I think are awesome.

In fact, I was playing VOR Last Night!

I get caught in the "new and shiney" trap myself, don't get me wrong - but if I love something, and I mean truly love it - I never stop loving it, or playing it!

Just Sayin'

Thursday, 7 July 2011

House of Paincakes

I am glad to announce I am now part of the "House of Paincakes" Gamers Blog Network!

Just Sayin'

Tor Gaming Facebook Competition

Tor Gaming (the Relics guys) Are still having a Competition over at Facebook - "Like" them and have a chance at winning some cool Relics Starter Packs (two in fact)!

It's a pretty simple competition - all you have to do is "Like" their Facebook Page!

They've already hit 250 "Likes" and one lucky Bugger has already won two Relics Starters (not me unfortunately) - but the fun continues!

When they reach 350 "Likes", they will randomly choose one person to win two Relics starter sets - AND they will do the same once they are at 450 Likes!! 

http://www.facebook.com/TorGam​ing

So COME ON PEOPLE they are on 275 Likes (and counting), keep it going if you want PRIZES! 

It costs you nothing to "Like" something on Facebook - and you stand to win cool stuff!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Relics - Some Thoughts


Having delved through the Alpha rules and found them to be quite fast and playable, I've been watching with interest over at the Relic Forums what people who've been play-testing them think.

Interesting stuff really, seeing rules evolve and change like that. I've played a couple of games now, and had no real issues - but I'm sure the suggestions will help strengthen them for the Beta Release!

But, as is always my way - Toys TRUMP Rules - so here are my thoughts on the Britanan Miniatures that arrived through my Letter Box Today!


First of all, speed - for a Small Outfit Tor Gaming are really on the ball - I didn't have to wait long at all. The Packaging though rudimentary, was strong and effective - and everything arrived safe and sound.

I already had some Miniatures, Basic Troopers, a Royal Arcanum Guard, and 3 Grenadiers - so todays delivery was a "booster" to start bringing my collection up to be a playable force. It consisted of a Britanan "Starter" Pack (9 Britanan Troopers, 3 Britanan Grenadiers, & 2 Britanan Dragoons), and an extra Pack of Dragoons (cos I like 'em).

 The Troopers are simply immense, full of character and humour - I love them to bits! The detail is crisp, with zero casting faults (thats a dig at YOU Tales of War) - I just wish I could do them justice with my terrible camera skills LoL.


These little guys pretty much form the backbone of any Britanan Army, so it's an idea to have a few of these - so far I have two Units of Seven (one is to be converted to be a Colour Sergeant) - I plan to make them up to two Units of Ten "Men" each.

Again, the Grenadiers are wonderful - almost "commanding" in stature (if that's at all possible for someone so short LoL) - once again, sorry for the pictures. Linda is going to start taking all my Pictures, she's so much better than me!


Lastly, the Dragoons - these guys are immense - WONDERFUL in fact. Torso's of Puppets literally "tacked" onto horse-like bodies. I say "horse-like" because one has a wheel FFS!


Gorgeous and wonderful, I simply cannot praise these guys enough.

The concept is brilliant (and far more attractive than some of the Wyrd 'Puppet Wars' range that's coming out) - sorry to the guys at Wyrd, I know you try hard - but some of your concepts are so disparate they simply don't fit together well at all!

The ideas behind Relics is unique and funny, with a sort of Terry Gilliam/Guillermo del Toro (as in Hellboy - The Golden Army/Pan's Labyrinth style imagery) to it all. Providing a refreshing if  in places disturbing - gaming Milieu for us to enjoy.

So, Relics - 

Concept - 8/10 - its different enough (whilst having an 'air' of familiarity) to draw ones imagination in and keep you interested. HOWEVER (and this is why they lost a couple of points there) with Wyrd HEAVILY pimping their "Puppet Wars" nonsense, people might just have their heads turned away from Relics, which is a shame - because it's going to be a superior product in the long run IMHO.

Miniatures (so far) - 10/10 - The ideas and concepts coming out of Tor Gaming atm are immense, wait till you get a hold of the Neum (they are wonderful concepts), and the Vaettir have something coming out which I have been reliably informed is scary and nasty (can't wait actually.

Quality of the Product (so far) - 10/10 - I cannot praise this aspect highly enough, I've had some REAL issues with Quality Control from other Miniatures manufacturers lately, the castings I received today were simply perfect!

Overall - 9.3 out of 10.

That is the HIGHEST Score I have given in a VERY long time! I see great things ahead for Relics and Tor Gaming. Lets hope people jump on board and start playing and painting, at the end of the day you can demo a game till you are blue in the face - what you really need is people who are into a game - not volume of Demo's.

Go over to Tor Gaming, have a look-see. Join the Forums and give the Rules a whirl, you won't be disappointed.

OK, time to start building and undercoating!

Next up - "Ron & Bones" . . . . . .

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Plastic Pirates

Why has no-one (as of yet) produced 28mm hard plastic Pirate miniatures?!?!

Now I know we have the Mordheim/Empire Militia Plastics - but there are too many armoured options in with them to make them truly useful and "Piratey" - what we need is someone to do Hard Plastic Multi-Part Pirates.

With the various Pirate Rules available, I (personally, and without bias LoL) think they would be a big seller - you could even "follow up" the release with some Metal "Characters" (Captains, Privateers, Ships Cook etc) and then maybe even some Royal Navy Marines (multi-part of course) and Metal Officers and Characters to support that release too!

I know I am REALLY biased, but seriously - how damn cool would that be!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Tales of War - Pirate Captain

People keep telling me HOW GREAT the Tales of War range is, now I have never purchased any - mostly because they have never produced anything I could "use" - I'm the sort of painter that likes gaming pieces you see, and NOT ornaments . . . . .

I actually wasn't aware of the ToW Pirate Captain miniature, but a friend of mine who collects and paints the ToW range avidly gave me one to look at and review - so here goes, though I doubt if he will be happy with my thoughts.



The Miniature itself, lets face it - is a homage to Captain Jack Sparrow - and although facially he doesn't look that much like Johnny Depp, the hair, accoutrements, and clothes are spot on.

Unfortunately, thats where my praise really ends.

The packaging is abysmal, for a model using such a soft (and it is VERY soft) Metal, they should have used MUCH more padding really - although you can't see it from my picture (my camera-fu is weak) there is a LOT of scuffing a softening of detail.


There is also a miscast, on the front of his tri-corn hat. Considering the premium price ToW charges - such things should be non-existant, period - no excuses IMHO. Its not a two quid miniature from some small "garage" company. These guys are usually praised for their quality, if this Mini is any example at all of that quality - then I shan't be buying from them any time soon.

Lastly, onto the pose - the production picture shows the post as being unusual but "kinda" OK - but the angle of the picture is important here. If you tried to fight with your arm at that angle (and there is no other way of fitting the arm without pinning and GS work tbh) you would hurt your bloody shoulder - and the positioning of his legs, looks like he is trying to walk whilst crapping himself.

Poor production and execution, weak packaging, and a dodgey sculpt - not good. I do have the Resina Planet "Pirate Johnny" on the way too (thanks Alex) - I just hope that's a lot less disappointing than this guy!

Overall (out of 10) -

Quality - 4/10
Packaging - 4/10
Sculpt - 5/10 (some of the detail pulled it back a little there)

Sorry ToW :-(