Thursday, February 5, 2015

Battlefield galore!

  In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!!!  Apparently, there's so few trees and so little grass that those wars are being fought over that (which, funny enough, would be very counterproductive).  Most of the games that I've played have been over 'green fields with woods and hills'.  Soooo, my Ultramarines are fighting Chaos marines on the way to Grandma's house?  C'mon now...

  Having finally caught up on all my schoolwork and even crushing my new classes, I found myself with time to hobby.  As y'all saw, my Orks got slapped together, and I've even built more of that.  But that's a later post.  Because I didn't want to wet a paintbrush and begin that arduous process, I decided that building some more models would be in order.

  Better yet, I pulled my buddy and primary opponent into it.  Wanting to focus on another game right now (which may or may not be a little of my fault), I roped him into some kind of hobbying with this.  More than anything, we're excited to actually play somewhere other than the rolling plains of central Asia.

  Now, I do have to disclose that another of our gamer buddies had played a game at the workshop (that Space Wolf player that I mentioned before) and DEMANDED that we get all the city ruins built and play some City Fight games.  Having everything for so long and doing nothing with it, added to my frustration at 'not the future' battlefields, meant that I only had one response- 

Challenge Accepted!

  All credit to the building above.  This was my buddy's first ever experience with these models and he decided to go hog-wild with it.  I look up from my work and he's got jackhammers and rock-drills going and ridiculous amount of plastic bits and shavings flying all around the room at his attentive machinations.  And it all came down to a building that will be very useful and is downright exactly what these sets are for.  I've seen some GW staff members put these things together in ways that make Frank Lloyd Wright wonder.  I'm actually impressed that my buddy went so crazy on this...

  These two ruins are just typical ruins.  I built the second one just for the balcony.  Every other ruin I had was multi-level, but none had balconies.  And I really just wanted one.  But the building below, now that one is going to confound players for years...

  I build this one out of extra door panels (making double doors on either side AND a single door between the buttresses), and just wanted an excuse to build another LOS-blocking terrain piece.  There's a landing halfway up, but no door to get there.  There's a battlement up top, but no hatch to get there.  There's not enough room inside for this to be anything other than a 'small building' at best, but I think it'll just be an impassible terrain piece.  So how do I explain that insane design?  

  Um...  It's the broom closet for the janitors.  You know, the janitors that scrubbed that big SM statue in the plaza?  Yeah, that's it.  Broom closet, for really tall scrubbers!  Yeah...

  After building all the ruins, I can now say that I have enough to make a legitimate City Fight battlefield.  There are six ruins and two 'buildings' (although they're not really).  I even have a ton of bases that I can put them on.  I'm still deciding on that as those base-boards are strangely-shaped.  But we'll see when I start the 'finishing' on these things...

  Funny enough, the next day saw me putting together then Vengeance Weapons Batteries.  Why did I have those?  Well, one day I was at the shop and had some allowance money burning a hole in my pocket.  But GW hadn't put out anything that I wanted that day, so I figured I'd spend that money on these just to beef up my Planetstrike terrain kit.  After reading the rules, I think that decision was even better than I realized.  Vengeance Weapons Batteries are boss! 

  I must admit that I love me some GW terrain.  Not only is the game fun (so much disagreement on the interwebs these days) and the models are great, but their terrain stuff is awesome too!  I have had this lying around (and two boxes of materials for home-made terrain) for too long and I needed to use it.  Now that I have it and can play 40k on actual '40k' battlefields, I don't need my 'green' terrain anymore...

  This will be donated to the shop and give the guys up there a chance to play on 'good-looking' terrain rather than the old, busted stuff they currently have.  I've had plans to overhaul that collection for a while, but being employed prevented that.  No more of that employment business, so it begins!!!

  You know I'll post more as I get these painted and possibly based.  Until then, let me see some of the terrain stuff you've been working on and, as always, Happy Hobbying!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chimerae, Dragons, and Bugbears, OH MY!

  A month ago, I did my really basic review of the PHB for the new 5th edition.  My verdict- I LOVED IT!  This edition very much reminds me of the old days when I used to enjoy the game much more than what Wizards did at the beginning of the century.  I know there are plenty of 3rd-lovers out there, but I know a ton of them love this edition as well (so far).  

  Well, the next most important book in the core set is the Monster Manual.  I've read, reread, and reread again this thing like any good, self-respecting DM would.  So how does it stack up with my expectations so far?

"I can SEE you!!!"
  Well, I have to say that I like it just fine.  Gone are the 4th edition blocks and the ridiculous concept of 'troop type' with monsters.  We're back to 'a monster is a monster', which is great.  We're gone from the days of the old 2nd edition 3-page-long stat block for each monster, detailing what climate they lived in, how many you would find, and what levels of villains would be in each group.  TMI much?  I grew up on that and those stats were almost completely ignored.  I wanted to know the basics- Ability Scores, HP/HD, equipment, AC, and saves.  This edition gives just that (and a little more).  It still keeps the 4th edition style of icons indicating 'actions' for each monster, but not the 'Press K on the keyboard to attack' mechanic that 4th edition really fell into.  

  There is one part that I especially enjoy- the NPCs appendix at the back of the book.  Instead of including Humans as a monster race, they are basically represented in all their professions and can be easily modified to represent any of the 'common' races.  I need bandits and thugs often in my campaigns, and there they are!  No longer do I have to take the Human monster type and modify it to fit my needs- it's already done!  That is probably the best part of the Monster Manual for this edition.

  There is one gripe that I have with this book- The background and detail of most of the monsters is sorely lacking.  I'm happy to know that the Goblinoid races worship Muglibuyet, but I want to know more about Duergar.  I simple column of three paragraphs is not enough to tell me anything about the race.  I know that, as the DM, it's my responsibility to flesh that out.  But sometimes a little  hint or two are rather nice.  

  Overall, I'd have to say that I love this Monster Manual in the same way that I love the PHB- it's back to the DnD that I used to know!  Most importantly, it serves its purpose beautifully, as it has for generations and multiple editions.  I am geeked to put this stuff into use!
  Let me know what you think and, as always, Happy Gaming!