The Start of our Seafall Campaign!

I’m sure most of you don’t know what Seafall is.  My guess is that, of the folks that happen to drop by this blog, most of you play 40k and might dabble in a other games.  I sincerely doubt many visitors have embraced board games as I have (not that I’m special, mind you, but because my hobby focus on the blog is almost exclusively GW related, so it makes sense that I would attract a specific type of followers).

Don’t get me wrong: I do like 40k.  Heck, I built a blog around it.  Anymore though, I find myself playing (and purchasing) board games more than 40k–by no small measure.

Back in February (or perhaps a little sooner), I had heard of a game called “Seafall” that completely intrigued me.  Seafall is a legacy game (meaning a game that changes over time based upon the outcome of each game played and the choices that the players make.  And like other legacy games, you wind up literally destroying components of the game, or otherwise modifying pieces so that you can never play it again (well, without buying another copy of the game).  While that might sound like a horrible waste of $79.99, it seemed really intriguing to me.

I viewed it as a board game where the choices you make really matter.  It’s a campaign, akin to the old D&D campaigns I used to play in, and gives true progression throughout.

Well, anywho, I heard about (and subsequently purchased) the game back in February, largely due to some feedback from The D6 Generation.  I’ve been listening to that podcast for a long time, and I’ve found that whenever Russ tends to really like a game, I seem to like them as well.  Plus, it had a great concept, and who doesn’t love pirates?

Then, it became a matter of finding friends that wanted to play–which turned out to be quite easy.  In fact, it’s a 3-5 player game, so the problem actually became who wasn’t going to be able to play with us.  Then we had issues with timing (we wanted to play, but didn’t want to usurp our regular game night–nor did we want to eat up weekends when it was Summer outside).

Well, last week, we finally got around to cracking the box open and playing our first game.  I warn you now, for this post, and the rest of the series, I will be including spoilers.  I’ll try to be good about including warnings and “more” tags so that you don’t have to see the spoilers if you don’t want to.

Before our first play-through, we passed out links to the rulebook online as well as the official training video on youtube.  The thought was that, by doing so, we’d have more time to play the game.  Since we’re committed to playing on a Saturday morning and we want to try to get two games per week (which may be impossible), not having to read the rules to everyone would be a boon.  In practice, it probably helped a ton, but we still wound up reading a fair bit of the rules as we played.

We started with the prologue (I’m not sure you have to, but it was a good primer for what we’re about to get ourselves into).  In total, it took about two hours for us to get through it with five players–but that includes assorted shenanigans and coming up with names for things.  For example, my captain was Okimoto Dai Bunto, a Japanese sailor from the province Wu.  Okimoto Dai Bunto (or O.D.B. as I call him) named a series of advisors throughout the game: Ghostface Killa, RiZA, Raekwon, & Mrs. Fields.  For those of you who aren’t big fans of rap music, those are all members of the Wu Tang Clan–well, excepting Mrs. Fields, but she just looked like a Mrs. Fields.

If you don’t listen to rap, don’t feel bad.  I typically don’t myself, but I did find myself buying a Wu-Tang hoodie to wear at next week’s game.  What can I say?  I’m totally into this…

I tried to play the role of a trader and an explorer, but wound up being the only player who didn’t get to name an island of my own in the prologue.  (It’s not a spoiler to say that, because the entire mission of the prologue is to name the islands).  Most of the other players tried to raid everything, but found that raiding didn’t work until other people explored things.    Clearly, I’m not saying my strategy was the best because I effectively lost the first mission (actually, I came in 4th out of 5).  In my defense though, the winner was only two points ahead of me, so it was a pretty tight race.

The hardest part about the game was when it came to ripping up components.  None of us had an easy time with doing it.  It just feels wrong to destroy a game component.  But, if I’m being honestly, it’s secretly a little exciting to do so.

Sadly, we only got one game in because one of the guys wasn’t feeling well.  The hope is that we’ll get in two this weekend.  I’m honestly having great fun and don’t remember the last time I was this excited about a board game.  I keep trying to convince the guys to all call in sick and see if we can’t knock a few games out.

And here come the spoilers.

Stop reading if you don’t want to know.

Continue reading

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Finishing Our Imperial Assault Campaign

Though the blog is primarily focused with 40k and all things Games Workshop, game night around my house is anything but.  In fact, because we often have odd numbers of players, people that don’t bring armies, or just attendees that don’t play 40k, we more often than not find ourselves playing board games.

For those wondering, this is the number one reason why I struggle to get in 12 games of 40k per year.

Many in our group are big fans of Star Wars, playing games like Star Wars Destiny, X-Wing, and Armada.  I’ve dabbled in a few of those, but never actually purchased any of them (I figure I have enough sunk costs in 40k and Magic: the Gathering to justify playing yet another massive money sink.)   Well, one of them also went out and purchased a copy of Star Wars: Imperial Assault and even went to the trouble of painting it all up, so that naturally inspired a group of us to start playing. Continue reading

Zombicide Progress: Dags (the living kind)

Wh39kZLiveDogs (2)

It’s hard to believe after hitting the blog so hard with posts on Zombicide models for so long, that I just petered out at the end and didn’t post the pics of the final models I’d painted.

Not to confused with the unliving kind, mind you.  These are the genuine article: man’s best friend, if you will.

Dogs (or “Dags” as the pikey from “Snatch” would have you believe), are a pretty great find in Zombicide.  They give you additional flexibility in that they can search for you, scout ahead, attack for you, or supplement your existing assault weapons.  Plus, they’re loyal and do what you tell them (even if that means to run into the middle of the street and wait for an impending zombie horde to eat them up).

These are the first models that I’ve painted up that are neither player characters, or zombies of any sort.  Part of me wanted to paint them up in a more generic scheme so that your eye is always focused on the figures that really matter: the players, but I couldn’t neglect these little guys.  Frankly, I love collecting them when we play, as each one gives you (at least) one additional attack.  Honestly, I’ve never used any of their other abilities (aside from the foreshadowed event where I did send my beloved mongrel out to the middle of the street to greet a band of unhealthy looking visitors–I never did see that dog again…).  Sure, it’s nice to know that they could do something if I needed them to, but generally I’m content with just giving me some extra attack dice.

Wh39kZLiveDogs (3)When painting them up, I opted to do the german shepherds first because they’re just the easiest.  I did have a little reluctance because that style of dogs are the ones that came out the worst when I did my zombie dogs, but they’re essentially all black with a little bit of brown: how could I mess that up?

I’m happy to say I loved how they came out.  Like I said, it isn’t a terribly difficult paint scheme to pull off, but I think I did smashingly.  I even like the subtlety of the choke chain on their necks (the artwork on the cards actually show colored leashes, so part of me debated whether I should paint them to match, but the figure clearly has a metal chain around it’s neck, so I opted to go with the silver).  The dogs are quite similar in appearance, but I think it’s pretty clear by looking at each dog, which one is which.

For the pitbulls, the coloring is vastly different so it’s far more obvious as to who is who.  The layers of gray built up to white were quick and easy (it shows on the model), and I was a little taken aback by the brown spots on each because I didn’t think I was going to be able to wash just the affected areas.  Wh39kZLiveDogs (1)Instead, I just skipped that part altogether and did some highlights with the underlying color mixed with a little bleached bone.  Again, I think it’s a pretty spot on color match for both dags.

As for the blue heelers (the name given to Lucien & Cherry’s breed), I honestly had no idea what kind of dogs those were.  If, like me, you’re confused, Wikipedia comes to the rescue!  A Blue Heeler is actually an Australian Cattle Dog, and they really do have the coloring and same mottled markings as the artwork on the cards (why would I be surprised?).  I tend to prefer the other breeds in the actual game–which shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that I use them almost exclusively as attack dogs, but in a big deck, I’ll take any mutt that globs onto me.

Wh39kZLiveDogs (4)Their bases were painted black, of course, because they all get extra activations.  Unlike the Zombie dogs, they don’t have innate activations themselves, but rather use up your own, so you could either move yourself three squares or move the dog.  The third option is that, if the dog is with you, you can move both you and the dog–so that’s a big reason why they’re attackers for me.  I don’t have to forgo my moves to usher a dog around the table if I just hang out with him all of the time.

In total, I’m happy with all six of the dogs, and they took just a couple of hours on a weekday evening.  With them done, I’ve literally 8 more figures to paint before my copy of zombicide is complete… Yippeee!

 

Zombicide Progress: Heroes – Volume 12 (Parker, Kyoko, & Amy)

Can it be?  Am I really done with this series?  It seems like I’ve been working on these guys forever, though I didn’t really start on them until January.  So, in the matter of three months I managed to paint up all of the figures in the board game (well, excepting the last few that are still outstanding: dogs & helpers).

Parker:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (5)This is another one of those generic models that I avoided because I’ve never seen her used and because she frankly didn’t interest me.  The end result turned out pretty well though, but nothing in particular was overly complex or notable.  I like how she turned out in her human form.

Her zombie form, however, leaves a little to be desired.  In particular, I don’t like the way her shirt turned out, but I told myself that it didn’t matter because I was so close to finishing and she would rarely hit the table anyway.

Kyoko:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (3)Speaking of unhappy, Kyoko fits that bill perfectly.  I think this is actually the model I painted instead of Maddie back in the day,  The model is obviously Asian in descent, but the artwork is a bit stylized and looks more alien than human.  I tried to paint her more Asian (read: use more yellowsin the skin tone), but it didn’t come out that well.  There’s no mistaking her for another figure on the board, but the tone didn’t work out.  Likewise, the skin tone of her zombie figure is off, but I do like how it turned out.

I also rushed her red because, like above, I was ready to be done with the lot.  Keep in mind that I painted her a full five figures before, so that tells you how long I’ve been agonizing over finishing the lot.  It’s no surprise that she didn’t come out as nice as I’d hoped, but I have had friends tell me specifically about this figure that she looks pretty good, so maybe I’m my own worst critic…?

Amy:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (6)I ended things up on Amy because she was pretty easy and I think she might be one of the core characters.  Plus, with the fishnets, she’s easy, but has a little uniqueness to her that made it a good finishing model.

I avoided her throughout the time because, well… I don’t know.  Maybe the issue was that she has that pasty white skin and I didn’t know how to pull it off (what I ultimately did was a mix of bleach bone layered up to pure white and then used a purple wash–vaguely reminiscent of the old GW cultists).

For fishnets, my micron pen had died on me earlier in the process, and though I knew I could just go buy another, I made due with what I had (which was another Micron 05–roughly twice as big as the fine detail one).  The lines are relatively straight, but are far too big…

It’s better than what I did with the zombivor–I messed up her tights in several spots where the lines just jumbled on top of each other.  It doesn’t look too far out of place though because she’s a zombie and they weren’t in good condition on the original figure…

So, it’s great to be done, but I’m sad to realize that I still have dogs and helpers to go.  In order to meet my original deadline, I have four days left to knock out six dogs and eight helpers.  That’s pretty aggressive (especially considering that I have a dentist appointment and an after-hours meeting, plus work all four days this week), but I’m still optimistic I can meet that deadline… wish me luck!

Zombicide Progress: Heroes – Volume 11 (Cathy, Adam, & Jeff)

The last six figures I have to paint for Zombicide really come down to the models I didn’t want to paint for one reason or another.  Well, I should clarify that these aren’t necessarily the last six models, but the last six characters (There are still some dogs and helpers left after this).  I won’t even go out on a limb and say they’re the last that I’ll ever paint for the game, as I’ve learned from painting my Tyranid army that there’s really no such thing as ‘the last model I’ll ever paint

As for why these particular models got pushed to the end, I don’t know… maybe they were ugly or time consuming or boring?

Cathy:

wh39kZombiCharsAlmostDone (6)Cathy falls into the boring category.  There’s nothing offensive about her, but there’s nothing particularly exciting about her either.  As a whole, I pushed her off because she just failed to excite me.  As a finished model, I’m very happy with the way she turned out.  Something about her shirt and her hair makes it seem like I didn’t paint this model though.  The stark contrast in the shades on her shirt isn’t my style, but I really like how it turned out.

Her hair though is a shining gem.  I’m not sure why I decided to take more time on this particular model’s hair, but I did.  Perhaps it reminded me of a girl from high school who had all sorts of colors in her hair?  Or maybe it was because the model had depth of color in the artwork and the sculpt just didn’t lend itself to painting with washes?

Yup, now that I think about it, that was it.  Oh well, I’m really glad it didn’t, because it gave me a chance to build up the yellow with layers and layers of strokes.  Sure, it flies in the face of painting them quickly, but I managed to put in about five layers of different color strokes for her hair, and I think it turned out great.  In fact, I think she might be in the running for my favorite paint job from the set!

Adam:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (1)Adam got delayed because of those paints and that tattoo.  As both are fairly amorphic, I didn’t think either would be exceedingly difficult, but honestly they proved to be amazingly easy.  The only camo I’ve painted before has been for my space marine scouts (I’ve been really remiss about getting pictures of my space marines on the blog–I’ll have to fix that one day, but you can see some pics of the scouts’ cloaks here).  Anywho, in my normal pattern, I have a fairly distinct way of painting the scheme, but this was just bubonic brown with a reddish wash, and clumps of other paint on top, and I think he came out fantastic.

As for the tattoo, I just mixed some red, yellow, and blue with the flesh tone and painted it on his arm.  Not quite as successful as the camo, but not a bad end result either.

Jeff:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (2)Jeff reminds me of a cross between Miami Vice and Ken Jeong from “The Hangover.”  Oddly enough, when painted up, the figure lost all sense of Asian ancestry and looks like a boring white guy (with overdone white-rimmed glasses–I mentioned before that my skill on them lacks any subtlety).  He looks ok for what it’s worth, but neither the art or the model inspired me, so I didn’t do a particular good job on him.

And then there were three.  Are you as excited as I am?