Thursday, 23 November 2017

Contemporary Witches 01

As a complete change of pace I thought I'd show you three contemporary witches, two of which were recent purchases and one, which I've had for quite  awhile now. They are all made by different companies to varying standards.

First up is my favourite figure out of this trio - the limited edition version of Jill Lucas by Silver Fox Productions for the RAFM Miniatures range of USX Modern Day Heroes. Jill is available in two versions - normal and limited edition. The limited edition versions differs from the normal version in that it comes with the spell effect rising from the pages of her spell book. Only 300 of these figures have been produced and mine is number 117. They all come with a small certificate. Jill is obviously a Goth Girl. The sculpting of her is just exquisite. I love her coffin shaped backpack and her red plastic horned tiara. The spell effect of the ghostly skeletal head is such a cool touch. Limited edition Jill Lucas is RAF09001 priced at $10.95. If you want the normal version, she is RAF02838 priced at $5.95.
In the centre is Witch Hazel, sculpted by Kevin White as part of the Hasslefree Miniatures range of Modern Day Adventurers. She is obviously based on the character of Willow Rosenberg from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, specifically series 6, when Willow turned bad and almost destroyed the world. I'm using her as an evil Goth Girl rather than bad Willow, and keeping the name Witch Hazel. I should mention that Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series, Angel, still remain two of my all-time favourite TV series and I would love for someone to do a full range of figures from both series. Witch Hazel has cast a levitate spell on herself. Once again, the sculpting of her is sublime. She is listed as HFA041 Witch Hazel on the Hasslefree webstore and she costs £4.00.
Third in line is Anastasia Tenebris, sculpted by Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop. She is actually described as a female necromancer but that just makes her an evil witch in my book. I must admit to having mixed feelings about this figure. On the plus side, I like the concept of her raising the dead so spectacularly. What is cool is that her base, with the two rising skeletons has been cast in transparent green resin. Most of this has been obscured by my painting but the ghostly flame effects do show some of the green resin beneath my dry-brushing. The necromancer is a separate casting and could, if you wanted, be glued to a different base. She'd fit well on any 25mm diameter base. What lets this figure down is the sculpting of the necromancer. Compared to the other two on display here, she looks rather crude. Now don't get me wrong, Dave is a very talented sculptor. His scenery pieces and monsters are just superb. However, when it comes to sculpting humans, he still has a long way to go to match the work done by the likes of Kevin White and B. Van Schaik, who sculpted Jill Lucas. The female necromancer is not named, so I gave her the name of Anastasia Tenebris. She does not appear in the WTW webstore's online sales section, but you can see her in the News and New Releases section as part of the September 2017 new stuff. I'm sure if you sent Dave an e-mail he'd be able to give you a quote for her price. I can't remember what I paid for mine.
I bought the figure of Jill very recently, and Anastasia a couple of months ago. Witch Hazel was bought a few years ago as soon as she was released. I could have called this post, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, but decided not to. I do like all three of these figures but I haven't decided how to use them yet. My thoughts at the moment are to wait for the release of N.O.W. by EN Publishing to use them in that contemporary setting RPG. Oddly enough, Anastasia is the one who has the most gaming potential. She is such a generic sculpt that she would fit in well in almost any genre from fantasy to sci-fi. I am pondering about whether to make her an ally of Malexica in my JDMG campaign. Does Malexica need an ally? We'll see. And no, I haven't forgotten about that campaign. A new batrep will be coming soon.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Dracula's America Supernatural Creatures 01

In Dracula's America there are many supernatural creatures, some of which may be summoned and others which may be randomly encountered during a scenario. In this post I'm going to review four of them, three summoned creatures and one encountered creature.
At the far left is a Temple Snake. A terrifying form of Voodoo-Spirit also known as Grand-Zombi, a Temple Snake takes the form of a gigantic serpent topped by a grinning human skull, which breathes sheets of supernatural fire upon its victims - its favoured prey being the corrupted Undead of the Dark Confederacy. A Temple Snake is a Major Entity with the Fearsome exploit. It has a breath attack with a 4" fire corridor. It can be summoned by Congregation Arcanists only. Note the Voodoo doll with a pierced heart tied around its body.
Next in line is the Swamp Baka. Malignant Spirits forced to inhabit a hulking, roughly humanoid form crafted from the decaying plant and animal matter of the swamps, then bound to the will of a powerful Houngan, Mambo or Bokor of the Congregation. A Swamp Baka is a Major Entity with the Fearsome, Hard to Kill, Lead Belly and Tough exploits. It ignores rough ground and may unleash writhing tendrils, using the rules for a Lasso. A Swamp Baka may be summoned by Congregation Arcanists only.
Second from the right is a Sasquatch, which can appear as an Unwelcome Guest on the Supernatural Events table. Sasquatch are elusive guardians of the wild and are terrifying foes when roused to anger. It has the Fearsome, Lead Belly and Supernatural exploits and when Shaken, gains the Mean and Ornery exploits. It ignores the penalty for moving through forested rough terrain. It always ignores Native American models, and cannot be deliberately attacked by them in return.
Finally, is the Wendigo. Feral spirits of winter and hunger, the Wendigo are the twisted souls of mortal men and women who committed cannibalism in life. Now, they possess a craving for fresh meat that can never be sated. A Wendigo is a Minor Entity with the Fearsome and Ornery exploits. When they fight against a Shaken opponent, they gain the Mean exploit. Wendigo can be summoned by Skinwalker Tribes Arcanists only.
Each of these figures cost £6.00 from the North Star webstore. Apart from the Wendigo, they are all one-piece castings. The Wendigo comes in two parts - head and body. They are an interesting collection of figures. My favourite is the Swamp Baka.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Dracula's America Supernatural Hired Guns 01

The Hired Guns I'm reviewing here can only be recruited in Dracula's America if you're using the supernatural rules. The game can be played as a normal Wild West skirmish game without the supernatural elements.
At the far left is a member of the Carpathian Guard. They are a unique fighting force that began life as Dracula's Cossack henchmen in Eastern Europe. Their uniform may have been standardised since then but their resolve to protect their assigned vampire ward has never wavered. Rumours persist that, though still mortal, their lives have been prolonged unnaturally by regular infusions of vampiric blood. The Carpathian Guard are Veterans with the Nerves of Steel and Tough exploits. They are armed with a Pistol and a huge, two-handed Woodsman's Axe. They can only be hired by the Red Hand Coven Faction.
Next up is the Stitch-Doctor. First reported during the American Civil War, the undead Stitch-Doctors unnaturally prolong their existence through harvesting the organs of others. Despite their unsavoury reputation and the odd missing patient, their medical skills are still highly prized. A Stitch-Doctor is a lowly Novice with the Supernatural exploit. A Stitch-Doctor never rolls for injuries - they keep the choicest spares for themselves! They are usually armed with a Pistol.
At the far left is a Skinwalker shape-shifter made by North Star for Dracula's America. The Skinwalkers whose name has been taken up by this faction are shape-shifting guardians of Nature made up of Native Americans. Up to two members of a Skinwalker posse may be shape-shifters with the ability to transform into either a bear or a wolf - this is chosen when a model first becomes a shape-shifter and cannot be changed from that point on. A Skinwalker shape-shifter must begin each game in Human Form. Shape-shifters are Supernatural and may assume Beast Form or return to Human Form by using an entire Move Action to do so. All weapons and gear that they carry transforms too, as part of the magic. In Beast Form, the model is replaced with a suitable bear or wolf model. I bought some specifically for this purpose, which I'll show in a later post, once I get them painted.
These three figures can be purchased in the same set - DRAC16 -Hired Guns from the North Star webstore (see here - ) In a previous post, I lamented the fact that there was only this one figure produced for the Skinwalker Faction. Well, I'm pleased to say that North Star have resolved this issue by producing a set of seven figures to use as a Skinwalker Posse, see here - Suffice to say, I have already ordered them.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Assorted Sheriff and Deputies

I have shown a lot of police figures in the past, both American and British. They have almost all been of the kind you'd find in urban or suburban environments. Today, I'm concentrating on a small unit of police you'd find in the rural areas of America - the sheriff and his deputies.
These are from a variety of sources. At the left are two figures produced by Reaper as part of their 28mm scale Chronoscope range. At the far left is Sheriff Joe Don Mitchell and next to him is Deputy Wayne Tisdale. These are the names Reaper have assigned to them and I saw no reason to change them. The sheriff is a metal figure but Wayne is one of the plastic figures I got with one of my Reaper Bones Kickstarter sets (I think it was Bones 1). They are both in very similar poses but I think they are full of character. They are just how I'd imagine a sheriff and his deputy to look like.
The next two figures are very old 25mm scale Citadel figures. The fat deputy is called Hoyt Axlebury and his partner is Carl Whiteley (both named by me). Hoyt was designed for the old Paranoia range and Carl is even older as he was part of the 1920's Gangster range, both produced by Games Workshop in the 1980's. Who remembers either of them? The fact that they are 25mm scale doesn't bother me in the least because as I keep on saying, in real life people come in all shapes and sizes. These guys just happen to be on the small size. Hoyt is a fantastic sculpt but Carl is a bit bland.
The final figure is Deputy Jennifer Lewis. I named her and sculpted her. When I made her, way back in the 1980's, female cop figures were unheard of. She was always meant to be a deputy. I made her to partner Carl. I did debate about whether to sculpt her with the Mountie-style hat the other deputies are wearing or give her the more traditional peaked cap. In the end, I went with the peaked cap. She's not a brilliant sculpt but she's not bad either and she serves her purpose well.
Probably the most obvious use for these figures is in All Things Zombies as the cops of a rural setting. But I also think they'd work extremely well in 7TV2e, especially in a Scooby Doo scenario.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Rumbleslam Green Bruisers & Heavy Pounders

The two teams that you get in the starter boxed set of Rumbleslam are the Green Bruisers and the Heavy Pounders. I'm going to take a closer look at them here, along with a couple of their superstars. Note that in the game only the superstars are named. The basic team wrestlers are unnamed but I decided to name all of my wrestlers, just to give them more character and personality.
The Green Bruisers are made up of Orcs, Goblins and Trolls. From left to right are Trolgar the Troll, Wurgoth the Orc Brawler, Grabda the Orc Grappler, Brik the Goblin Brawler and Grok the Goblin Grappler.
The Green Bruisers are some of the biggest stars of the Rumbleslam arena. They're fast, they hit hard, and they don't let up! If you want a team that likes getting stuck in, regardless of what danger it poses to them, these greenskins are for you, and make an excellent choice for The Rolling Bones.
Trolls are big, blue, and mean. They have absolutely devastating special attacks, so make sure they're in the right place because they don't move fast. Their Regeneration ability helps them to stay in the fight long past most other wrestlers.
Orc Brawlers and Orc Grapplers are the ones you want to be getting into combat! Hit first, and make it count. And if you can't reach the enemy, use their Da Boss ability to pick up goblins and throw them instead!
Goblin Brawlers and Goblin Grapplers do not hit hard. But getting them into a fair fight is not what they're for! They're quick and can do lots of actions a turn, meaning their special abilities will get lots of use. Of particular note is their Antagonise ability, which makes opponents slower and angrier!
The Heavy Pounders are made up of Humans, Halflings and Ogres. From left to right are Dragark the Dark Destroyer, an Ogre, Vyctor Fistpike the Human Brawler, Stafford "Furious" Titangrip the Human Grappler, Bertram Goodbody the Halfling Brawler and Turpin Oakbottom the Halfling Grappler.
The Heavy Pounders fill that ideal space between speed, strength, and defence. They're reliable and even the smallest member can be extremely useful. They're easy to learn, but tricky to master. The crowd loves them though, multiplying their already solid stat lines even further. Kaiser's Palace teams needing some stability should look no further.
Ogres are big. Ogres are strong. Ogres are hard to throw out. What more could you want? It would be tempting to just brawl away with an Ogre, but that means that you're not using their many useful special attacks. A Choke Slam does wonders when paired with the Halfling Brawler, and a Belly Bomb Bonanza hits every opponent in base contact, if you're brave enough to climb the turnbuckle to do it!
Human Brawlers and Human Grapplers do what they say, and do it well. Don't go getting their roles confused though, as they won't be nearly as effective. Brawlers first do the damage, and then grapplers move in and throw the opponents out of the ring. A tried and tested formula that works match after match.
Halfling Brawlers and Halfling Grapplers get a lot of actions per turn, and their special abilities are cheap to use, meaning they'll be mainstays in your team.
Next we come to the superstars and I have two for each team - Statesman and Triple D for the Heavy Pounders and Gun and Gobba for the Green Bruisers.
“The Statesman is as much a fan of wrestling as he is a superstar. Growing up watching the heroes of old in the ring, the young wrestler trained his body with painful tenacity. He was soon the picture of perfection. Joining the ring at eighteen, his selflessness and devotion to the sport fast became a shining example that inspired countless fans.”
With a stat card like that, it's obvious that Statesman is a great all-rounder. He makes a great centre-piece for any team, his unassuming look hiding a solid line up of skills. With a regenerative ability on all KO'd wrestlers for his Crowd Pleaser, and his Shield Passive Ability giving close friendly wrestlers his awesome Defence, Statesman is at his best when helping out team mates. With a great all-round stat line and hailing from Kaiser's Palace, he's the perfect companion to The Heavy Pounders, or any team with low Defence and low Stamina WEIGHT 1 wrestlers.

“The bad girl of wrestling, Triple D is synonymous with rule breaking. A powerful wrestler who has held numerous titles in her time, Diana will take on anyone who threatens her reign at the top. Using all the methods at her disposal, she has been known to cripple opponents that might one day rise to challenge her. She has dubbed herself the Queen of the Ring, a title her fans cheer with extreme diligence and fervour.”
Triple D is a fan favourite, and for good reason. If you feel like your team is lacking a wrestler that can pick up and throw any other wrestler fairly easily, go for Triple D. Although you might struggle to even lift other wrestlers with the amount of great special abilities she has. Her biggest problem is that she doesn't have 10 AP to do everything you want! As a Heel character she rolls Crowd Pleasers differently, so if you feel like your Heavy Pounders need to take a walk on the wild side, she's the perfect wrestler for it.
So we all know who Gun is based on... yes, he's an Orc Hulk Hogan. If you want a great Rolling Bones wrestler who may Hulk Out when he's down on his luck then look no further.
 “They say you’ve never seen a show until you’ve seen Gun fight. An Orc of a different kind, Gun is far different to the rest of his race in the ring. Unlike his bloodthirsty brethren this charismatic Orc is there to entertain. A master of ceremony he thrives under attention and can often be seen pleasing the crowd with poses, chants and shows of power! This superstar is adored by his followers who go time and time again to see his exploits.”

Gobba the Goblin has some weird stats. His Dexterity is the highest in the game, and he uses it as his Defence too, meaning he's extremely hard to damage at all. He's fast too, so good luck catching him! Although with such a low Defence, Grapple, and Stamina, he's delicate too.
Gobba is the ultimate support Superstar. There Is No Try is an Active Ability that allows you to move an enemy wrestler 3 squares in any direction, putting them in the best place for you and the worst place for them! And his Crowd Pleaser removes all negative counters from friendly wrestlers. Considering the all-out attack nature of the Green Bruisers, Gobba complements them perfectly, giving them some much needed defensive stability.
"Wrestling is a sport for the physically gifted. Or so everyone thought until this mysterious goblin entered the ring. Wielding a special power alongside his seemingly inhuman dexterity, he joined the Rolling Bones casino and waited for his debut. It was a match to remember, though only a handful of fans remained to watch the small superstar battle. Assuming his team would lose easily, many missed him pushing and pulling his opponents around the ring with nothing but a wave of his tiny hand. Despite his clear superiority, Gobba didn’t mock or belittle his adversaries at all. It was almost unheard of to watch a wrestler wait for his opponent to stand before striking again.”
TRIVIA FACT - Gobba is rumoured to be the younger brother of Gobbo who appears in this blog here -

Although you get the Green Bruisers and the Heavy Pounders in the starter boxed set, you can also purchase them separately. They cost £22.00 per team, which is a reasonable price, I think. The four superstars I showed here cost £7.00 each, which is pricey. All of the figures are made of resin and most are single piece castings. They are expertly sculpted and so full of character. I like them all.