Another Gnoll Warrior

First, a little history. Here is the first figure from my second Chainmail Naresh warband. It has been a long hiatus (including more than one out-of-town vacation), but I’m back in the saddle again, and have painted the second figure, the Goblin Warrior which like the Demonic Gnoll Adept comes from the Chainmail starter set.

I’ll be painting about six miniatures total for this Warband, hopefully getting to the next one a lot more quickly.

Gnoll Warrior 2

Better Gothic Descent pics

Finally, after quite a long hiatus, I’ve acquired a new (used) camera and can post some decent pictures of my gothic dungeon floor tiles.  In addition to these rooms, I’ve also got quite a few hallways pieces done, but they do not look nearly as interesting, being plain tiles (I’ll post pics if people really want to see, but you can just keep up with my progress in the “On the Workbench” page.

Gothicrooms1

Keep your eyes out–I’ll be posting some pics of my Naresh Warband minis soon.

Roanoke Station revisited

I’m still thinking about how to run Roanoke Station, my dark low-tech sci-fi RPG.  I went to the RPG.net forums to get suggestions for a ruleset to use.  I had originally been considering d20 Future, because my gaming group is pretty familiar with the d20 rules.  However I’m a little concerned that the “flashy” elements of d20 (feats, etc.) might overshadow or convolute the psychological horror aspects of the game.  I want the PC’s to be constantly feeling a bit of dread, like the situation is just a little bit bigger than they are, and that they are getting by on borrowed time.

The suggestions so far have ranged from the obvious to the less-so.  Traveller is a good low-tech game with a strong focus on skills, and appeals to the “old school gamer” in me.  Alternity was sort of the roundabout bridge between second and third edition D&D, sort of a “dX” system, rather than just a d20 (so much so that the Star*Drive setting appears in d20 Future).  Some sci-fi suggestions are a little more obscure, like Blue Planet, which oddly enough I own, or Jovian Chronicles (which uses a variant of the R. Talsorian ruleset, if I remember correctly).

Other people eschewed the entire sci-fi genre completely and focussed on the horror aspect of the game.  Suggestions included more contemporary-era games like All Flesh Must Be Eaten and Conspiracy X.  It is an interesting notion–shows like Firefly proved you didn’t need a lot of high-tech paraphenalia to have a believable and effective saga.

 Finally, a few universal systems popped up: Savage Worlds (which I think shows up in most RPG.net threads), HERO, and something called Nemesis.  On a side note, I actually own all the gamesystems mentioned, except All Flesh Must Be Eaten.

Postscript (and justifying the “terrain” tag): I bought a new digital camera today.  As soon as it arrives, I’ll get the pics of the Gothic Descent set posted.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I’m always a little surprised when I read things about this movie with “SPOILERS!!” in the title, because the book has been out for years and I’d be truly surprised if anyone watching the film hasn’t read the book.  In fact, the movie is such a cursory sketch of the novel (not surprising, given that it is both the longest novel and shortest movie to date) that it seems like you would almost have to have read to novel to truly appreciate the movie.  While the movie does a fair job of following the story, it is almost like viewing a ViewMaster of the novel: here’s a one pic *CLICK* here’s the next.

Also noteworthy is how little time is spent with the rather sizable cast outside of Harry himself.  Helena Bonham Carter, who gets fourth billing after the core trio, is in the movie a surprisingly short period of time (Lucious Malfoy gets more screentime by my reckoning).  Again that is a symptom of trying to pair it all down, and stick to the core theme of Harry’s isolation in the face of the increasingly fascist wizarding community, the one aspect of the movie that was nailed down quite well, even if a little overdone with the many newspaper headlines panning by in that cinematic canard.

An Unusual Dilemma

My local gaming store is running a huge sale on the Starship Troopers Miniatures Game, to the tune of 50% off.  Their reason is simple: Mongoose Publishing has all but said that they are going to switch the line to pre-painted miniatures, like they have with Battlefield Evolution.  That means that there will probably not be releasing new unpainted miniatures for the game.

I’m considering picking up the basic box set, if they still have it in stock.  That’d be $28.  It’s tempting, because I like the idea of getting a whole game (rulebook and two intro armies) on the cheap.  But there’s some arguments against it, too.  For one, I don’t actually get a lot of gaming done: I play Warhammer about once a month, usually against the same guy.  I get a game of C&C in a couple of times a month if I’m lucky.  So when, pray tell, am I supposed to actually play this new game.  Second, there’s the money, which isn’t really a huge issue, but it is buying yet even more unpainted miniatures.

Finally, there’s the whole point about getting into a game that doesn’t have much of a future.  Starship Troopers has basically run its course, with Mongoose introducing three armies, and soon a fourth that is pretty far off-canon.  Of course, for someone who hasn’t invested anything in the game, that’s not really a big problem.  But finding a game out there in the wide world becomes a bit more a challenge.  That presumes, of course, I can find time to play…