Archive for the ‘Game reports’ Category

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From the painting desk #61 – Terrors that flap in the night

November 18, 2018

It’s more than a couple of weeks since Halloween, so time to recap! As is tradition, I put on a horror themed miniature game for my friends, which in turn was a good incentive for me to get some vampires painted.

Click for a larger version

These two ladies are part of Bad Squiddo’s My Last Sunrise line, and they’re lovely! I showcased the third one in a previous post. Long, flowing robes and clean sculpting (courtesy of Gus Kearns) made these really fun to paint. Again, I went with a very grey skintone – I had both corpses and statues in mind. I painted the robes in bright colours to counterbalance the grey skin. The painting isn’t as smooth as I’d like – it was a bit rushed so the blending is just not there especially on the blue dress. Other than that, they’re ok.

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Another miniature from said Kickstarter campaign, this one needs no introduction. He’s obviously the big D, Dr. Acula, Alucard, the mysterious owner of Carfax Abbey…so yeah Dracula. A quality sculpt by Gary Morley and a easy to paint mini, I’m quite happy. As with the notorious cloaker, I went with a very, very classic look with red cape linings and all. I went for a more human – if pale – skin than with the brides, to represent Dracula being a bit more sophisticated and trying to blend in with humans.

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This one is from Reaper, and documentation in this blog reveals that I bought the mini…nine years ago, back in 2009. Sheesh. Well, after nine years of waiting, she’s now finally painted! As you may have noticed, I love painting red, so I went with that here as well. It was a quick, rough-ish paintjob but I feel it does the trick. After all those years in the cupboard I’m just happy that the mini is finished. It’s still a pretty neat sculpt, so kudos to Derek Schubert!

Click for a larger version

Vampires come in all flavours, and this one from Heresy is definitely one of the nastier-looking ones. Paul Muller has managed to sculpt one of the nicest vampires around, in my opinion. I gave the mini a really quick paintjob consisting mostly of drybrushing and washes, but I’m still immensely happy with the end result. It looks like a nasty beast, just like I wanted it to.

The Halloween game itself was great fun as usual, with vampires successfully eating every single villager before sunrise. A random selection of photos shows you many of the usual suspects appearing in these Halloween games as well as some of the painted minis showcased above. You can click on any photo to open a bigger version in a new tab. Thanks to the players for the photos!

The hunters…

…and the hunted

Nosferatu stalks his prey

A hapless nightwatchman flees from approaching zombies

A damsel in distress

It’s a monster rampage!

Due to some really poor luck on the vampire’s part, these two basically spent such a long time together that they became a couple

 

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Halloween in the Caribbean

November 3, 2016

Halloween came and went, and it brought a nice chance for some horror-themed gaming. I obviously wanted to do something a bit more pirate-y this year, so the theme was obvious.

Putting together a game to play with my friends, I went with my go-to ruleset, Flashing Steel by Ganesha Games. I tweaked and simplified it at places for ease of gaming, and then wrapped it in a nice little cocoon of story. The story was a suitable genre piece, with the dread undead pirate captain Armitage Shanks (last seen bothering the Orient) coming to claim charming young Rosalie Underwood for his bride for all eternity at the strike of midnight. To make things easier for him, Shanks decided to bring along an army of the dead as well as two horrible, imaginatively named lackeys, Ghost and Crab man. Luckily a group of heroes was there to thwart Shanks’ evil scheme! The protagonists consisted of dashing captain Pemberton Smythe and his two redcoats, pirate queen Valeriana de Torres with her voodoo priestess Madame Labadie and first mate Benson, Rosalie Underwood’s father with his priestly friend Father Wexcombe and trusted servant Belinda, and Daring Dragoon, the people’s swashbuckling hero.

What followed was an epic battle, with poor Rosalie’s fate hanging in the balance almost up to the last dice rolls of the game. What did we get to see? Our heroes cut down waves upon waves of zombies. Father Wexcombe banishing the ghost with holy water, only to get shot down by Shanks just moments later and brought back as a zombie. The terrifying Crab man crushing poor Daring Dragoon after the hero’s valiant charge. The pirate queen and His Majesty’s captain fighting side by side to buy more time before falling to the claws of Crab man and Shanks’ blade. The voodoo priestess dueling magically with Shanks, pulling the enchanted Rosalie this way and that…and finally, first mate Benson putting a pistol bullet in Shanks’ skull just as the witching hour passed and the forces of darkness withdrew.

It was a blast! We laughed a lot, we rolled a lot of dice, imitated death groans and roars of frustration (thanks Joonas!) and pushed little toy soldiers across the board, all the while overdosing on sugar. What more could you want from a Halloween game?

Shown below are photos of various quality from the game, taken by the various participants on their phones. You can click on any of them for a larger view.

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The defenders

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Preparing for the forces of evil

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One of the character sheets I put together

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First mate Benson pretty much spent the game standing in this spot killing zombies

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The Daring Dragoon’s fateful battle

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The Halloween theme extended to the snacks as well

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Another shot of our heroes, with the Daring Dragoon showing off

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SHAME

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Father Wexcombe’s heroic moment

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A closer look at pirate queen de Torres

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Belinda comforts the rescued Rosalie

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Our heroes hold off the zombie horde

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An aerial view of the starting positions

Shanks and his minions go forth

Captain Smythe half-hidden by a fountain

Captain Smythe half-hidden by some stocks

The battle is won!

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Belinda and Rosalie again – a subtext of romance was suggested

A blogger with that good old Innsmouth elegance

A blogger with that good old Innsmouth elegance

I think ending this post after that photo is appropriate.

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Pirate raid

September 13, 2016

After a long dry spell gaming wise, I ran a game of Flashing Steel for our regular gaming group. It was a fairly simple affair, with pirates trying to get away with as much loot as possible while the local militia and a few redcoats did their best to stop them. All photos in this post are by Mia Meri, and used with her kind permission. You can click on any picture for a larger version.

Pirate queen Violetta watches over her second in command Jack as the militia fights back

Pirate queen Violetta watches over her second in command Jack as the militia fights back

The outraged reverend watches as the chaos of the pirate attack unfolds

The outraged reverend watches as the chaos of the pirate attack unfolds

This guy has no idea of what's happening

This guy has no idea of what’s happening

The dastardly duo of Violetta and Jack

The dastardly duo of Violetta and Jack

Aerial view of the full battlefield

Aerial view of the full battlefield

Townsfolk team up with a redcoat to take a pirate down while a villager flees

Townsfolk team up with a redcoat to take a pirate down while a villager flees

Jack sneaking behind a building

Jack sneaking behind a building

Violetta and Jack prevent one of the townsfolk from going for help

Violetta and Jack prevent one of the townsfolk from going for help

Tempting loot for the pirates

Tempting loot for the pirates

It was good fun as usual! The soldiers, militia and townsfolk put up a valiant defense, but in the end it was the pirates escaping with their pockets full of loot. I was really happy to get my pirates and terrain boards into action. As the aerial shot shows, I’ve built another board, making this into a fairly playable setup. Still needs a few extensions to make it more square – and I want a shoreline!

It’s currently a good hobby period for me, with plenty of painting and gaming. I’m trying to make the most of it while it lasts. Comments welcome as always!

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Super pop culture showdown!

July 27, 2016

You’ve heard of pirates vs. ninjas, haven’t you? It’s one of those pop culture tropes that just sort of sprung up, most likely [citation needed] through the following chain of reasoning:

  1. Everyone loves ninjas.
  2. Everyone loves pirates.
  3. Ninjas are tougher, though.
  4. No, pirates are.
  5. Pirates vs. ninjas it is.

I’ve long known Paul “Cheetor” Shorten – who runs the wonderful sho3box blog – from the miniatures blogosphere, as we started our blogs around the same time and were both initially blogging about zombie miniatures. He’s lately been working on his wonderful pseudohistorical fantasy Japan project (see the tags Shonen Knives and Kurîpu jima), and with me working on my pirates…it figures. When I made the travel plans for our Spring UK trip, we threw in a week in Ireland and set aside time for a blogger meet-up! This gave us not only the chance to spend some quality time with Mr. & Mrs. Cheetor, but also the opportunity to put the question of pirates vs. ninjas to rest through the gentlemanly art of wargaming.

I won’t bother with a long write-up of the game itself. It was a fairly quick one, using the Song of Blades and Heroes mechanics roughly cobbled together from various Ganesha Games titles. The dread undead pirate captain Armitage Shanks brought his dastardly crew to the peaceful town of Kurîpu Jima to steal their obviously cursed treasure.

To be honest, we kept the game short and sweet, spending much more time setting up the table and talking about miniatures, wargaming and everything related long into the night. The result of the game, perhaps luckily, didn’t solve the question of pirates vs. ninjas – Cheetor’s ninjas soundly destroyed my pirates in combat, yet what was left of wily captain Shanks’ crew managed to make off with the treasure.

Without further ado, here’s a bunch of photos! Most are fantastical reconstructions instead of actual in-game pictures. You can click on any photo for a larger version.

All in all, we had a great time! My sincere thanks to Cheetor and Mrs. Cheetor for accommodating us and making all this possible. It was a pleasure playing on such a beautiful table against such a gentlemanly opponent. I was very happy to finally get to meet a fellow blogger who I think of as a friend after years of online-only communication.

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Halloween fun

November 1, 2015

So, Halloween is behind us, and it was a blast! We had a few friends over for gaming, too much food and a movie, and while sadly a couple of guests had to give it a miss due to a flu, the evening was a success. The movie of the evening was Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. I was seriously suspicious at first, but the movie was an absolutely brilliant 80s horror comedy that I had somehow missed until now. We ate, ate and ate some more, here are some pictures of what was on offer:

Photo by Emmi Lounela

Photo by Emmi Lounela

Photo by Emmi Lounela

Photo by Emmi Lounela

I did a lot of prep for the game, which in my mind was the main event of the evening (although the food and sweets most likely were it, actually), painting the last minis until 6AM Saturday morning. Even with that I wasn’t able to finish everything on time, so the priest mini you’ll see in the photos had to go on the field unbased. In the end I had most of the minis finished – pictures will follow in later posts – so we got to play the game with fully painted minis. Plenty of pictures to follow, just click on any of them for larger versions.

The game featured an unlucky town somewhere around New England in the 18th century. Every year this town gets attacked by monsters on Halloween. It’s not that big of a deal, some towns have to deal with drought, some with Indians, some with monsters, and at least the monsters attack only once a year. The scenario was very simple, with an endless stream of villagers streaming towards the village church from the edges of the board, monsters trying to catch then and five villagers armed with muskets trying to drive the monsters away. There were some bonfires scattered around the table, making life more difficult for the monsters and weakening them in combat if they got too close, with the church and the priest having a similar effect. The game lasted for 12 rounds, or the twelve tolls of the church bell on witching hour. The system we used was a simplified and streamlined version of Ganesha Games’ Fear and Faith, utilising the Song of Blades and Heroes engine.

The monsters were a werewolf, a vampire and a group of zombies. Each had their own strengths and weaknesses: the werewolf was the strongest in combat, but if he killed anyone, he had to stop for a while to savage and eat the body. The zombies were slow, but all but impervious to shooting and they added anyone they killed to their ranks. The vampire was the weakest one in combat, but usually had more actions than the others. He was also unable to go too near the bonfires and the church grounds. The villagers couldn’t kill the monsters, only drive them away momentarily by shooting – after all, the monsters were the stars of the show. The players were running the monsters, trying to gather as many points as possible by eliminating the villagers.

What followed was a riot. I don’t have a detailed report of the game, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. We saw the vampire and the werewolf rampaging around, the zombies milling around in confusion, plenty of villagers die and the monsters getting driven off several times by well-placed shots. During the entire game, only three villagers made it to the church alive, with the vampire proving to be the most efficient killer despite the werewolf collecting big points by catching the priest on the final round. Everyone really enjoyed the game, especially my girlfriend playing said vampire and trying miniature games for the first time. And NO, the game wasn’t biased…

First off, the monsters:

The zombies (Photo by Joonas Laakso)

The zombies (Photo by Joonas Laakso)

The werewolf (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

The werewolf (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

The vampire (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

The vampire (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

And then the game itself (photos by Emmi Lounela):

In the darkness of night, the church offers sanctuary (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

In the darkness of night, the church offers sanctuary

A villager's eye view of the church. It's far away and there's a vampire waiting (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

A villager’s eye view of the church. It’s far away and there’s a vampire waiting

The werewolf catches sight of two villagers

The werewolf catches sight of two villagers

Will the musket be enough?

Will the musket be enough?

The bonfire offers meagre protection

The bonfire offers meagre protection

In the woods the vampire attacks a villager

In the woods the vampire attacks a villager

Photos by Mia Meri:

The werewolf goes after the priest and a villager

The werewolf goes after the priest and a villager

“Where is your God now?”

This lady took down two zombies - it wasn't enough

This lady took down two zombies – it wasn’t enough

The town's previous priest is a little under the weather

The town’s previous priest is a little under the weather

The gentleman lines up his sights

The gentleman lines up his sights

The priest by a bonfire proved to be a tough nut to crack

The priest by a bonfire proved to be a tough nut to crack

Safety looms but the vampire is close behind

Safety looms but the vampire is close behind

Divine light

Divine light

...for the night is dark and full of terrors

…for the night is dark and full of terrors

This is what it's all about!

This is what it’s all about!

Cthulhu hovers outside reality

Cthulhu hovers outside reality

So that’s it! We had so much fun, I definitely recommend themed games and plenty of sugar for everyone. I’ll leave you with one more horror, happy Halloween everyone!

hallodork

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Innocent bystanders

October 27, 2015

A few weeks back I had a great idea: I want to run a themed game for Halloween! Thus began a small project I’ve dubbed “Bump in the Night”. It’s a quick participation game I’m running for friends next Saturday. As a few of them have no experience with miniature gaming, I’m doing the game using the SoBH engine and its Fear and Faith mod. I haven’t abandoned my pirate project, as the Halloween game uses 18th century minis as well, so its two birds with one stone. The scenario is a tongue in cheek competition with monsters (a vampire, a werewolf, a zombie mob, a hellhound and the headless horseman) trying to cut down as many civilians as they can while the civilians try to make their way to the village church. It all takes place somewhere in New England, possibly.

I have most of the minis I need for the scenario, but they need painting. First up are these innocent villagers. They’re actually English Civil War civilians by Redoubt Enterprises, so historically they’re off by a century or so. However…I don’t really care. I’ll just say it’s a really rural colony, and some of its people are very traditional. I originally bought the miniatures to add to my Warhammer Fantasy Empire army, and they’ve been sitting in the cupboard for ten years or so, I think. I was really happy to give them an airing and finally slap some paint on.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

They were pretty quick paintjobs, hence the groupshot that handily hides some mould lines and rough painting. I especially need to single out two minis, however, and they’re the disheveled lady in the back row and the red coated gentleman in the middle. Both were painted by my girlfriend, and they’re her first and third mini, respectively, with the first one painted a long while back. I based the minis with a mixture of green and brown flock, with assorted pizza herbs thrown in. I think they make for a nice autumn look, and are generic enough to be used in different settings. The minis themselves are actually quite nice, with separate weapons and heads on some. They’ll work nicely as village farmers and woodcutters not only in the Halloween game, but in fantasy and pirate games as well.

I still have a bunch of 18th century miniatures to do, so better get to it. I’ll hopefully post new pics later in the week! Comments welcome, as always.

The ones painted by me bring my painting count up to 24.

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Utopia #9 – Old friends

November 16, 2013

When we left off a whopping four months ago, the 16th were in the process of storming Conner Industries’ research center 13 on the asteroid DH-3. The operation was going swell right up until the moment the squad realised they’d walked right into a trap. The forces of the Outer colonies had decided to crush one of the vaunted UTOPIA squads in a display of force and cunning.

The 16th was unfazed, though, and did their best to set up defenses. A search of the station armory (with the help of some defected security guards) revealed three brand new, unused automated sentry guns, which were quickly placed at critical locations. In addition the troopers hauled a few small shipping containers into the corridors to provide cover, and prepared to receive the attackers.

The sixteenth prepares

The sixteenth prepares

First to enter the installation was Pvt. Johnson of the Outer colonies 3rd Heavy infantry. He barely had time to step into the first corridor, when the sentry turret opened up and quite literally tore him apart. The demoralising start stalled the assault completely as the Heavy infantry leader Sgt. Mancala ordered a more cautious approach.

The new approach proved more successful, aided by the sentry gun misfiring. Having sat in their crate for years, they simply hadn’t been field tested and the squad could only curse as the gunfire suddenly died down. The troopers pitched in with their own firepower, with Lt. Fender and Pvts. Lau and Abdul pouring pulse rifle fire and grenades down the corridor.

It was tough going for the attackers, with trooper after trooper falling. However, the Outer colonies had committed to the mission, and a steady stream of reserves kept pouring in. Metre by metre, the attackers were pushing forward and taking the corridors. The grenades fired by the defenders served the attackers as well, with drifting smoke obscuring the advancing Heavy infantry. When another of the sentry guns died to the sound of electric fizzing and popping, things were starting to look worse. The 16th had something to look forward to, though: a hail from their dropship, the Apache Owl let them know that help was on the way. Would it reach them in time?

Heavy infantry advancing behind smoke

Heavy infantry advancing behind smoke

Four security guards had joined the 16th after it became apparent that they were not about to be rescued. However, it was quickly becoming clear that they were ill-equipped for the situation. While they did their best to guard the corridors with their few semi-automatic rifles, they were completely failing to do damage to the attackers, much to the frustration of the sixteenth. The Heavy infantry was getting closer and closer and were already at a distance where they could lob grenades at the defenders.

Disaster struck the attackers just as they were about to break through the defenses. The last sentry gun had malfunctioned, and Sgt. Mancala pulled the pin from a grenade and turned to throw it at the defenders, when the gun suddenly came back to life thanks to Pvt. DiGlaeser’s technical aptitude. Mancala hurriedly pulled back but fumbled with the grenade which fell at his feet, blowing up the sergeant and knocking nearby trooper Kaneda down. On the brink of breaking the defenders, the attack collapsed and the attackers pulled back, leaderless. With the Union of Terra fleet approaching, the defenders were suddenly close to winning.

Sgt. Mancala's grenade fail clears the corridor

Sgt. Mancala’s grenade fail clears the corridor

A heavy clanking announced a new turn of events. To the shock of the UTOPIA troopers, Pvt. Jane, MIA after the cyborg attack on Ryukyu Epsilon, had been brought back as a monstrous hybrid of man and machine. Apparently the Cyberdyne-Sendai corporation had managed to salvage more from the disaster than they’d let the Union know. The cyborg marched in, smashing Heavy infantry aside and stepping into the corridor. Lt. Fender and Pvts. Lau, Abdul and Dastevan stared eyes wide as the monster activated the minigun mounted on its right arm. The howl of the barrels was followed by a storm of bullets that tore up the corridor. Lau was hit twice and fell to the floor, while the rest ducked behind corners to avoid the onslaught. Miraculously, “Dog” Lau was still alive and unharmed, although scared out of his wits by yet another close brush with death. The troopers returned fire, but their shots ricocheted harmlessly off Jane. Lt. Fender could immediately see where this was going. It was time to abandon their positions and fall back to wait for extraction. Abdul fired another grenade down the corridor to slow Jane down and to provide them with some smoke for cover.

Cyborg Jane makes his entrance

Cyborg Jane makes his entrance

There was one man who didn’t want to retreat without a fight. Pvt. Krayten Dastevan was itching for combat and stood his ground in a branching side corridor, looking to not only engage Jane, but to engage him/it in hand to hand combat! Lieutenant Fender would have none of this. “Quit messing around, Dastevan, and haul ass out of there on the double!” he ordered. Grudingly Dastevan obeyed, but he did it too late. As he sprinted down the corridor, Jane spotted him and turned the minigun on Dastevan. Halfway through his escape, Pvt. Dastevan was cut in half by the hail of shots, spraying a nearby security guard with blood. The bullets tore through the last of the sentry guns as well. Jane spotted some more guards at the end of the corridor and stomped off after them. This enabled several of the 16th to sneak off towards safety.

Jane prepares to fire on Dastevan

Jane prepares to fire on Dastevan

The security guards fled, leaving Jane with no visible targets. The cyborg lumbered on and came face to face with one of the Heavy infantry troopers, who had been more than happy to hang back and let Jane clear the corridors for them. The minigun barrels whirred up again, but luckily rudimentary recognition protocols had been installed and Heavy infantry Pvt. Julian only suffered a case of soiled underwear.

Most of the 16th were fairly safely tucked away in a remote part of the research centre. Most, apart from Pvt. Lau. Lau had been too scared to stand up, and was slowly crawling down the corridor, hidden from sight by the shipping crate the squad had dragged up. There were two Heavy infantry troopers walking down the corridor, however, and it would only be a moment before Lau was spotted. Determined not to leave any more men behind, Lt. Fender ordered covering fire, and whether it was because of Lau’s uncanny luck or the troopers’ skill, the Heavy infantry was gunned down before they noticed the scruffy trooper.

The 16th huddles together

The 16th huddles together…

...as Lau crawls towards safety

…as Lau crawls towards safety

Fear spurred the three remaining security guards on, and they fled from Jane as fast as they could, barricading themselves in a room to wait for retrieval. True enough, a moment later the Apache Owl landed on the roof of the installation with a pressurised dome and started cutting an escape hatch. The Outer colonies forces were retreating, and the day was won. Only one decision remained: “Wait for us!” cried the security guards. Jane’s minigun had just shredded the door to the room and death loomed. Eyes turned to Lt. Fender for the decision. To wait for the security guards would endanger the squad, but this was the call Fender made. The guards had helped out, and it would have been inhumane to leave them behind – besides, with Dastevan gone there was always room for new recruits. The guards escaped, but the delay meant Jane had one more chance to open up on the Apache Owl. Bullets punched through into the crew compartment, and one of the security guards lost his leg at the knee. The sixteenth had made it, but had suffered yet another casualty, bringing the tally up to 15.

Pvt. Dastevan - KIA

Pvt. Dastevan – KIA

Man oh man, am I happy. After four months of inactivity, I had my doubts about the survival of this campaign. A much shorter delay has killed games before, and Utopia is my beloved pet. I was super happy to see that my fears were for nothing, as we quickly got into the groove again despite one of my three players dropping out at the last minute due to illness. After the first few rounds the players again remembered their characters and their personalities, and we once again got to grips with the rules. The game was as cinematic as before, and after the game we heaped praise on Flying Lead by Ganesha Games. The simple mechanics allow for quick and easy modification, and we came up with a lot of special rules on the spot, such as grenade explosions clouding the corridors with smoke, sentry guns and their malfunctions and Jane’s programming glitches – there was a very real chance of Jane actually firing on the the hapless Heavy infantry trooper, and when he was swatting aside the Outer colonies troopers, sheer luck stopped them from being injured.

That’s pretty much exactly one year of Utopia behind us. The next scenario will once again be something completely different. This one was a great opportunity for me to field my lovely new Pig Iron Heavy infantry and my cyborg Jane conversion. Now, what should I paint next…

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