Black Plague – Fatties

I showed some ‘Walker Zombies’ from Black Plague a few posts ago.  So here I include all the fatties which I have. It may not be politically correct name, but that’s what they are called in the game. They are tougher zombies and it takes a bigger weapon to kill them. Normally, most player characters have to find such a weapon, so the time is ticking for players to ‘tool up’ by searching so they can deal with these nasties.

With the kickstarter I have a total of 17 of these big guys guys. Unfortunately there are is only a couple poses for these Zombies guys so I varied the colours and blood splashes on the models. However, I still wanted to keep them in the same color palette that I have been using.img_6059You can see the front and back of the models here as well.  I tried to limit the number of shots of them so they may be a little small but I think the photo’s still work.img_6060The colours are all like I have done all the zombies – grey skins with browns and greens as the main colours. There is an occasional different colour but I have kept them fairly plain and washed out as you can hopefully see. It may not be clear but I did all their tongues purple – an after effect of the plague maybe. I also have done all the zombies with red eyes.img_6057Overall, these came out quite well. I thought about doing all the zombies in a black and white style – like one of the really good painters in the local area has done, but decided against that. Partly as I think I would fail in comparison to his excellent version and partly as these will work better with other models.img_6058Talking of that the reason for the grey skin in simply that with ‘Green Horde’ – a second game of Zombicide in this era is coming. I knew that I would be doing lots of green zombie orcs for hat, so the humans needed to be green to different from them!img_6055I still had a little of the brightness challenge in these photos but I hope they are ok. I really need to get a better photo location set up – especially for these bigger models.img_6056So there we are. I posted a summary of the game a couple of weeks ago and will continue to show the finished models. I like how they have come out well for a board game models. Having them painted makes such a difference for me in playing the game.

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8th Army – Mortars and extra stuff

So after some Zombies it’s time to show the last of my 8th army figures for a little while. Here are a small selection of toys which I found/bought after I started the project as I found that I needed a few extra toys to make valid lists. First are 3″ mortars. All the foot troops are from Peter Pig. The mortars are a pretty standard item for the British and were used for close support as well as dropping smoke for advancements. Simple, nice models which work well with the force that I have. They will be useful for any game of company level or so.img_5495The second item are a couple of 2″ mortars. Again a very standard item for the British and I did get some in the standard packs but these are Peter Pig ones and nice and clear/easy for identification on the table.  These are great for smaller scale games such as Chain of Command, as each platoon at the time had a 2″ mortar for local smoke and HE supportimg_5494Next we have some Peter Pig engineers and a couple more this time mobile 2″ mortar crews – this time moving, The moving team is much harder to identify on the table but are good for extra troops if nothing else.As you can see they have been painted the same of the other figures in my force and these will be useful for various reasons. The engineers at least will also be useful for specialist roles in some scenario’s. The figures are nicer (cleaner cults and more detailed faces) than the battlefront Flames of War ones which I have used, but fit in very well with them as well.Lastly, I found another Matilda 2 tanks which I had missed painting! So I had to paint that an include this in the force. This one is another Zvezda model kit so not expensive. The only issue with these kits is that it’s not easy to spin or remove the turret, as that is a close fit, but for the price it’s hard to go wrong with the kit really.  Having an extra one of these gives me a little extra flexibility. Although not the best tank they at least provide some heavy support to the foot troops. Again this is done to match the other tanks in the force. These have already have seen the table in a Battlegroup game but I want to try them with other rules as well – Chain of Command and ‘I ain’t been shot yet mum’ are the two which I am focused on at present.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | 2 Comments

Black Plague – A quick review

So after last weeks post, I thought I would write a little review of Black Plague and show a few pictures of the painted models in action. Basically, like all Zombicide games (there are a few out there now and more coming) the basic premise is that all the players work together (co-operatively) against the game to win. Thus, everyone wins or no one does. The rules work for any sized groups and can even be played solo without any issue. The setting is ‘fantasy medieval’ and the concept is a black plague (yes get the name) has been set loose by some Necromancers. This has infected most of the people and made them into Zombies. To win the game scenario you have to do various missions aiming to survive or defeat the necromancers.

The game a heart is quite basic. There are the heroes (6 or more) characters an they have to often get objectives – the red X counters as shown below. There are about 10 scenarios in the base game and more official ones on the manufactures site. There are loads of fan made ones as well. It’s fairly easy to create your own as well.

The game mechanisms are fairly simple really. Every hero gets a turn to move and perform 3 actions, at the start. That can be to move, attack (with ranged or melee weapons) if they have them, shout/make noise, search a building(which they can can only be done once per turn, trade with other heroes in the same area, or cast spells.  At the end of the turn the first player rotates around the characters.img_6230After all the heroes move, the baddies get to action – which is to move towards the closest hero visible or if not the most noise – thus the reason to make noise at times. Zombies move one square normally but there are some ‘runners’ who get two action per activation. After that the zombie spawn points (seen above in the bottom right of the picture), each get a card draw for them to see how many and what type of zombies come on there.

In Black Plague you can also spawn Necromancers from these cards, as seen in purple below. They create more spawn points. They also move and take one action but rather than going for the heroes they run for the closest spawn point to exit the board. If they exit then their additional spawn point becomes permanent.  Killing a necromancer allows a spawn point to be removed. If a necromancer escapes when there are 6 spawn points on the table the game is automatically lost.img_6229The other way of generating zombies is to open doors into rooms. When this is done you draw a card for each room in the building that the door was opened to. So at the start there are few monsters on the table but as you start opening doors and searching for objectives and items you find more zombies and they just keep appearing on the board. img_6228Now to add interest to the game you keep track of the number of kills each character makes. This is like a very basic D&D etc As you kill more things you go up in levels. Each character has different skills they get as they go up in the levels. So this makes each character unique. Thus the reason for the different characters.

Added to that though, the zombies spawn at the level of the highest character, so there is an inbuilt escalation mechanism in the game. As you do more, you encounter more zombies and kill them. That gains you more experience and skills but also increases the number of zombies around…img_6227Weapons, spells and equipment are all done through cards – you start with some basic items and have to search rooms to fine better ones (or an occasional Zombie). All characters can use anything (spells , bows etc.) but some of their skills make them better after different things. The specifics for the effects are all shown on the cards – range, number of D6 to roll, the damage done and any special effects.

Heroes have a few hits – which can be saved if they find the right armour etc and zombies either die or don’t. You need to do enough damage to them in one strike to kill them. But a swarm of Zombies kills a hero pretty quickly so care has to be taken as no hero is invulnerable.img_6226There are some specific rules for big baddies – like the one above who in the standard game can only be killed by collecting specific items and combining them. This means you can’t just kill everything without some tactics and planning, It also adds to the escalation concept in the game.

One of the challenges with this escalation is that some of the later activation cards allow specific types of zombies to have double move.Added to that, if you run out of a particular type of model when spawning zombies, then all the models on the board of that type get an extra activation. This often ends the game for us – in a loss. img_6225So although overall the game is not massively complex rules wise, it requires some planning and thinking to win. The rules say 14+ I would think most kids who are used to gaming will be able to play if a few years under that age, as long as parents etc were also playing. But the tactical aspects and planning becomes a little deeper.

But during the course of this game it is challenging. If you like to always win then this game may not be for you. We as a group loose at least as much as we win in the games. We likely loose 2 for everyone one we win. It’s no cakewalk to victory. I actually really like this about the game and it says something that we all enjoy if just as much whether we win or lose.img_6224Deciding when to open rooms, when to split the party and when to stay together, and who is best for what actions are all part of the discussion around the table. You can predict zombie moves to an extent but not completely, and the randomness of the combat mechanism, based on D6 rolls means there is no sure thing.img_6223So, the pictures here are from a game this week, actually the second game of the night. Three of us played, so we took 2 hero characters each. Between 7 and 11 in the evening we played 2 complete games, losing the first which was a hard scenario and moving to this more basic medium difficulty one for a second game. I won’t spoil the surprise of the result of this one. The scenario was simple – just collect the the 8 objectives spread across the buildings. These were supposed to be trapped villages, but a couple were really zombies – the only way to find them would be to get the objective and see if it was a different colour on the back, which meant zombies.img_6222As you can tell for the earlier pictures in the post things went well early on. We spawned few zombies so could search and gain objectives. The part split up and we took on different buildings in small teams. We also encountered a few necromancers but killed them to keep the spawn point numbers in control. img_6221We did get the Abomination – which could only be killed by lighting a potion of dragon bile with a touch. Of course we did not find those items, so we had to ‘dance’ with that to ensure it did not get too close to anyone. But half way through the game things were looking good. There was not too many zombies on the table, a couple of necromancers had escaped, increasing the number of spawn points and the tension, but things looked ok.img_6220However, in an attempt to get an additional objective my dwarf – Samson bit off more than he could chew and died. The runners came up fast and killed him off in his vain attempt to sneak in and claim one of the two remaining objectives we had to get. He was lagging behind the other characters in kills so was trying to catch up and failed. You can see the typical character control sheet below. This shows the weapons etc and the kill tracker at the bottom. This is a very nice looking game I have to say!img_6218This did not end the game though – in some scenario’s a hero dying does lose the game but not this one. The problem was though that the escalation of threats was getting more than the we could handle. Our searching for weapons had not been wonderfully successful and more zombies were coming on the board than we could cope with!img_6217In the end it was a necromancer who lost us the game. A couple of necromancer move cards came up and one got off the board before we could kill him. At that point we already had 6 spawn points out. So that was an auto loss. We thought we might do it till close to the end but it was not too be.img_6216Still we had a great deal of fun and it was an enjoyable game. In fact I never have not enjoyed Zombicide. The ones you loose are as much fun than the ones you win. A horde of Zombies killing you all makes for a light evening somethings.

Overall, as I said although not crazy complex or massively  tactical this game provides a fun light gaming. You do end up playing the ‘period not the rules’ as they drop into the background. There are plenty of decision points and the escalation in the game adds tenson. It’s not massively tactical but far from just a die roller either.  For an evenings light gaming with friends IMO it’s hard to beat. The ability to support any number of players with ease is a bonus as well.

Posted in 28mm, Board game, Review | 1 Comment

Black Plague – Zombicide

So I guess I have a confession to make – Zombicide ( all the various versions) generally are one of my favourite board games to play. Yes it’s not massively deep or complex but it’s fun, a little silly and difficult to win at. The base logic of the game is easy to understand and as a co-op game the players all win or lose together. It does not take itself too seriously either but it’s not a stupid game, and one where players do need tactics as well as luck to win. It does not hurt that the models in the game are really nice as well.

Black Plague is the first of the fantasy versions of the game and I got the Kickstarter version. It’s been sitting around waiting to be painted – we have other copies in the group and some people have painted copies so we have played those. So why not start this summer and get my version ready for the table all painted. This post includes half of the ‘walker zombies’ which I have – the first 20. I have been working on these for a little while now and so can show these as well as others.So down to some shots of the individual minis. I must apologize as some of these have come out quite dark . I tried to correct them as best I could but it was not perfect, especially on a couple of the shots. Ah well I hope you get the effect anyway – so much for using the iPhone for taking pictures.So here are the first set of 5 zombies. I tried to do a mixture of colours and blood splatter but have mainly used greens, browns and dark blues for clothing colours.You can see the very medieval influences on the models although some of them are obviously not true to the historical costumes.The middle one here is an example – stockings such as these were not common in the Middle Ages to my understanding! Overall, although plastic models these painted up well in my view. Sometimes such models don’t have enough indentation (sculpting relief) on the features but these are fine.Below is one of the photos which is just too dark. Hopefully this does not spoil this too much.Not sure why that lack of colour happened but it’s too take to reshoot the shot so I’ll live with it. I have just done the bases in straight grey. I thought about doing a more complex version but decided against in in the next.The final zombies are again a little dark but not quite as bad. Hopefully you can see the paint scheme ok.So there we are. Painted mini’s are much better than unpainted and makes the game come alive. These are not that hard to paint and make the game so much better.

Posted in 28mm, Board game | 4 Comments

8th Army – Bren Gun Carriers

So I’m nearing the end of this project. I have enough toys to do various games with at this point. But it’s time to show some more of them. This time it’s 9 Bren Gun (or Universal) carriers for the army. I believe this is the most produced fighting vehicle in history but in reality they are not that impressive on the table or in real life. It’s a combination Jeep, halftrack, truck as the ultimate army utility vehicle.First I have three with heavy machine guns mounted on them. Although having four crew as standard most of these particular models came with 3. All these models in the post are the old metal battlefront versions. I believe they now have a plastic kit for universal carriers as does PSC, but in the end I’m not sure I really want a lot more of them in any force.They will be used for transport and scout units. Like the halftracks of the Germans/US they really were transport vehicles than a fighting ones most of the time. I’ll try to remember to use them as such on the table as well! The six remaining ones have no obvious weapon and will be for just such a transport role – allowing for fast deployment of infantry squads to the right location on the table. If troops get caught in them then that’s not a good thing as they really don’t have much protection for them to hide in. I believe they were very maneuverable, reliable and adaptable which made them perfect for a massive number of roles for the British army. It’s just that front line combat was typically not one of them.The one combat use on the table they will have is it can have is as a mobile carrier platoon. They rode to the rescue in these things (in theory anyway) in the fast reaction role. There were meant to be 10 carriers in such  platoon but mine will have 9 in any event as that’s all I have. So their use as reserves in various games may be the right tactic.So another platoon ready for the table. As you can see I even have one with an officer in it – so I can see these dropping off an infantry platoon and then getting out of dodge pretty quickly.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | 2 Comments

8th Army – Objectives and a Grant tank

A quick post this week of a couple of items for my desert army. First two objective bases. These can be useful for all sorts of games or just as terrain but are the official ones which came with the Flames of War army pack.I must admit I was tempted to try to paint the tank as a burnt out wreck as thats how it would really be – but I’m not sure I’m up to doing the rust really well. The heat rust effect is hard to pull off but that’s how it would be in real life – most likely anyways. So instead I just did some browns over the engine and rear area. So it shows a problem there but not the results of a true fireball from being hit.  I also have a single grant tank for the British force. It’s actually the US style one not the British with a true US turret on the top vs. the British one which was smaller. However, for the few times I’ll use it that should be ok. Let’s call it a conversation starter if people can really identify it as incorrect.If the local store had more of them I may have gone for a platoon of 3 as they were used quite a bit in the desert by the British as the lend lease program really came into effect. However, the single one will be good for Chain of Command etc. games as a major support item I believe. I can use it for a command tank as well in bigger games.So there we are a small post this week to balance things out I guess. As the football World Cup has started my painting time is likely to be impacted a bit but I should be able to keep up the posts here all the same.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | 3 Comments

Necromunda Cawdor gang

Ok I have been showing my 15mm desert war stuff for a while but now is time to have a bigger post of figs and of a different scale. I feel some of those posts have been a little ‘eye candy’ light so it’s time to change that with this post, which is picture heavy. Included are the touched up/redone original Cawdor gang from Necromunda. You can see them all below.These were my favorite faction in the original game and I got several good campaigns in with these figures. I have redone the basing, touched up the painting and added more highlights/contrast to the figures. You can see the detailed pictures of the figures – front and back below.  I always try to keep to a theme with forces and use a limited or specific set of colors. With these it was pretty easy, with the original colours I used being browns, greens and purples. The last was kind of highlight or emphasis colour on them. There are a few other bright shades mixed in – the leader is most obvious with orange and some blues here and there as they are a gang after all.I always liked the standard gangers of this group. They look to have a the ‘futuristic medieval throwback’ style. In some ways it’s quite similar to what some tv shows do to give a different feel of cultures. We’ll have to see if the new Cawdor sculpts have the same appeal to me as these.The hooded look had one extra side effect – which is that I don’t need to pain the faces. When I first did these that was a big deal. It helped me get through them, but I think my painting has improved these days to the point that I’m less worried about that now. The basing is a mixture of two of the GW new textured paint colours and some light highlights after the fact. I must admit I quite like the overall mixed effect but I have been trying to do a different basing style for each of these redone gangs. It provides just enough context to them to make them interesting though.There are a few repeats of the poses, as is common in the old packs. However, I think these are reasonable and still look decent for their age – and travels, having been with me since the original release of the game in the mid 90’s.  The leader is the orange cowled guy with the chainsword. He stands out nicely on the table so just like the heavy guy there is no confusing him with another model. The fact that he is the only one with a chain sword makes him unique as well.Overall, I’m happy with how these have come out and they really did not need too much work. Their basing was awful (well basically I did nothing with them), and they had basic block painting but the touch ups have brought them out nicely. So it’s cool to have another go at them now. So there we are a load of pictures of models in this post. Another gang ready for the revitalized under hive.

Posted in 28mm, Gangster, Necromunda | 1 Comment