Tabletop Gaming Magazine – Star Saga Painting Guide!

Let’s take a peek at the latest article we have completed for issue 14 of Tabletop Gaming Magazine.

This month’s guide covers the villains from Mantic Games Star Saga, a sci-fi dungeon crawler set within the Warpath universe. Covering each of the 5 ‘bosses’ of the story set out within the Eidas Contract, the first mission book of what we hope will be many more. Here’s a look at the 5 big bads:


That’s only 5 out of 35 miniatures for the game, so keep an eye out for future guides for the rest of the miniatures!

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Kings of War – Ogre Speed Painting Guide

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Another article I realised I had not shared anything about was a guide I did, again for Tabletop Gaming Magazine, focussing on speed painting a Kings of War Ogre force. You can grab copy of the issue this guide was featured in here.

The guide primarily covers the speed painting of the main bulk of the force, but also goes into a more detailed process on the captain, a process that could easily be replicated across the whole force. This also gives a fantastic example of the two different levels of painting I tend to work towards when doing commissions. The captain shows off the more expensive but detailed approach, where as the rest of the force shows off the cheaper option.

Here’s some more images of the individual units…

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Dreadball Xtreme – Free Agents!

Free-Agents

My next batch of models for Dreadball Xtreme, the free agents!

After the hard times I had with the Kalyshi(I will stop going on about it eventually), I thought I’d treat myself to the free agents as they have a good amount of variety to them. I got stuck in and here’s what I came away with…

Yndij Reaver

Yndij Reaver

Yndij Reaver

Yndij Reaver

My favorite of the Free Agents, the Yndij Reaver. I wanted to give him a bit more of a veteran look so went for some whiter looking fur to help with this.

Vlorox Spinipede & Pusk Rampager

Vlorox Spinipede & Pusk Rampager

Vlorox Spinipede & Pusk Rampager

Vlorox Spinipede & Pusk Rampager

Went a wee bit different from the studio paint scheme on these. The Spinipede was a bit of a homage to my old Tyranid army and the Pusk I just wanted to make look a bit more alien.

Jetari GL14 & Jetari SL22

Jetari GL14 & Jetari SL22

Jetari GL14 & Jetari SL22

Jetari GL14 & Jetari SL22

These guys(do robots have gender?) I wanted to look like what they are, over used practise bots. I knew I wanted a touch of colour to make them stand out at least a little so threw in some blue glowy bits, the chevrons and the red helmets for the tie into the rest.

Avaran Treebeast & Nameless Bloodsucker

Avaran Treebeast & Nameless Bloodsucker

Avaran Treebeast & Nameless Bloodsucker

Avaran Treebeast & Nameless Bloodsucker

These two where the models I liked the least from the Free Agents although the Treebeast wasn’t so bad once I got cracking into him.

Zee Buccaneers

Zee Buccaneers

Zee Buccaneers

Zee Buccaneers

Finally we have the Zee Buccaneers. These guys were a doddle as they’re so small ti doesn’t take long to get ’em painted up.

These guys were good fun to paint. Whilst they still had a fair amount of mold lines, they where a lot easier to clean off but I think I may have missed a couple :(.  I tried to keep a lot of the main colours used similar to the Kalyshi and Blaine as to tie them together when a team is made up. This also got me to wondering if I want to do the same with the rest of my teams, so that no matter what sponsor I use my player pool will all look good together. Something to ponder before I paint the next team…

Dreadball Xtreme – Kalyshi Team!

Kalyshi-Team

Started to get stuck into my first Xtreme team, and I thought I would start off with the Kalyshi becuase I liked the models the most. That turned out to be incorrect, but before I open that can of worms let’s take a look at the team…

Kalyshi Strikers

Kalyshi Strikers

Kalyshi Strikers

Kalyshi Strikers

Kalyshi Jacks

Kalyshi Jacks

Kalyshi Jacks

Kalyshi Jacks

Kalyshi Prone Markers

Kalyshi Prone Markers

Kalyshi Prone Markers

Kalyshi Prone Markers

That’s the main eight players and the two prone markers done. I was planning on doing maybe a couple of more to give a bit more flexibility but wanted to stick to what’s out the box at the moment, and I’m glad I did. I found it really hard going to clean and paint these. The mold lines on these models, whilst not numerous, are in some of the most horrible places. Some such mold lines where down their neck and chest, which is a really obvious place, that is really hard to get the right angle to clean. Further to this the models lack a lot of definition leaving a lot of the details looking flat or a bit messy and ambiguous as to what is what.

I decided to do something different with the paint scheme and, inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy’s Krylorians, decided to go for a pink skin with a dark armour.

Overall I was unhappy with the models and in the end know they are not my best work as a result.

In addition to the team I also painted up their sponsor, Blaine…

Blaine Sponsor

Blaine Sponsor

Blaine Sponsor

Blaine Sponsor

In contrast to the Kalyshi, Blaine is awesome. He had little to no mold lines and the definition was great. So Blaine was a lot more fun to paint, and very rewarding after the time I had with the Kalyshi.

I do plan on painting up the Kalyshi MVP, Kailasa, some time in the future in the same scheme for two reasons. To be used as the MVP but also to be used as a guard so I can use this team as a standard Dreadball Asterian team.

Dreadball Xtreme Unboxing & Review!

Dreadball-Xtreme-Box

I have been sitting with this box of goodies since just before Christmas and thought it was time I cracked it open, had a good rummage through and let you all know what I thought of it all 🙂

If you have not heard of it before, Dreadball Xtreme is a much more violent variation on Mantic Games sports game Dreadball. Dreadball takes place in large, shiny arenas watched by millions of adoring fans and monitored by refbots, cameras and the strict ruling body, the DGB. Xtreme on the other hand takes place in the darkest, dingiest holes in the galaxy. Gambling dens, abandoned warehouses and every other place of ill repute you can think of. Rules go out the window and the fast and furious game becomes very bloody indeed.

This boxed game is much like the one for Dreadball I reviewed quite a while back, this box acts as a starting point for getting into the game. Everything you need to play a game of Xtreme is in this box and we’ll take a look at each now…

The Miniatures: We all know this is why we play these games, so we might as well start here. The box comes with 31 miniatures in total; 10 Kalyshi, 10 Convicts, 9 Free Agents and 2 Sponsors…

Kalyshi Team & Blaine Sponsor (note the amount of models is doubled because my box was from the Kickstarter)

Kalyshi Team & Blaine Sponsor (note the amount of models is doubled because my box was from the Kickstarter)

The box comes with 10 Kalyshi, broken down into 4 Strikers, 4 Jacks and 2 Prone Markers. The design of these is really nice, with a sexy space elf punk vibe, with a good variation on poses to keep them interesting.

Convicts & Prison Warden Sponsor (note the amount of models is doubled because my box was from the Kickstarter)

Convicts & Prison Warden Sponsor (note the amount of models is doubled because my box was from the Kickstarter)

For the other team the box includes 10 Convicts, broken down into 2 Guards, 3 Jacks, 3 Strikers and 2 Prone Markers. Again the models look great, with the character really on point. It’s nice to note the guards come with a choice of arms and heads so they can be constructed as guards or keepers.

Free Agents

Free Agents

9 Free agents come alongside the rest as more generic aliens and critters that can join up with the teams to fill some interesting or more specialised roles. The design on these is once again great and begins to expand on Mantics sci-fi universe, fleshing it out even further, something that is always welcome.

Every model (other than the Convict Guard) comes as a one piece model which means no construction but also means more difficulty for converting and a real pain in the behind for cleaning off the mold lines, which I found there was a quite a few of and in some very hard places to manoeuvre a craft knife. The addition of prone markers straight of the bat is a welcome one. These are very useful in Dreadball, but even more so in Xtreme where injured models stay on the pitch.

The Deluxe Play Mat: The pitch has been improved on, with the success of the mats used for Deadzone and Mars Attacks, the Xtreme pitch is also printed onto a large mat made from material similar to a mousemat…

Dreadball-Xtreme-Mat

This large mat, 2′ x 2′, gives plenty of space for not only the pitch and key gaming markers like the rush tracker, subs bench and score tracker but also some nice extras. It includes areas to place the card decks for drawing and discarding, an area for your fan check cards and areas for your used and unused action tokens. Overall this is a cracking and easy to transport pitch for the game.

Terrain: One of the big additions to Xtreme over original Dreadball is terrain on the pitch. You have 3 types; the first is large terrain such as support struts, big crates etc. that blocks everything entirely. The second is explosive crates arranged on the pitch to make things more interesting for the spectators and the third is the strike posts which can now be in different places each game…

Dreadball-Xtreme-Terrain

These add another dimension to the game in a couple of ways. Literally, they add height, blocking passes and movement. They also add a restriction to where you move as if you get too close you can set off an exploding crate, or your opponent could push you into a crate hoping the resulting explosion could take you out. It’s not guaranteed though as it could be a dud. Finally they allow some diversity to the game, as you can set them out how you wish or use the 6 layouts that are found in the rulebook.

All of these are in your standard wargaming plastic, meaning they are easy to clean and assemble, and look great with crisp, clean details. The only problem is they are quite light, meaning they can be knocked around and off the pitch quite easily and it may be worth either basing them or weighing them down a little.

Card Decks: There are two cards decks for Xtreme; Special Moves and Sabotage…

Dreadball-Xtreme-Cards

Special Moves act much like the deck from standard Dreadball, giving extra actions to your different types of players – giving a wee extra boost when you need it or a surprise for your opponent. They are also used for fan checks, something that gives your team a boost if a player does something exceptional.

The sabotage cards represent hidden tools and weapons on the one hand, and the proper equipment to counter these things on the other. This means they have two options as to how they are used, offensively or defensively. Do you use them to try and poison an opposing player for instance, or keep a hold of the card to unstick a player targeting by your opponents glue bomb? It’s a great addition that adds some great strategy but also the opportunity for a good laugh.

The cards are smaller than your standard deck of cards, coming in at about half the size, which does make handling a lot of them much easier.

Dice, Tokens and Bases: You get a full set of card tokens to help mark various things in the game..

Dreadball-Xtreme-Tokens

These are used for your action tokens, to mark the score and rush, to mark injuries and to keep track of the new gambling and threaten mechanics.

These are of a really good quality on par with any other board game out there and a marked improvement over the ones from the original Dreadball boxed game. Even though they are very nice I would still like to upgrade to the acrylic counters once they come out.

You also get a useful compliment of 14 dice and some nice coloured hex bases…

Dreadball-Xtreme-Dice-and-Bases

The dice come in three colours for different purposes, blue and yellow to match the team markings on the pitch and action tokens, so when you are rolling against each other you don’t get the results mixed up and red for the coaching dice.

Also included is the bases for the minis but this time they are coloured! Coming in blue and yellow, again to match the team colouring on the pitch, action tokens and dice, these could come in handy especially considering how the teams are put together in Xtreme.

The Rulebook: Finally one of the most important components to having a game, the rules…

Dreadball-Xtreme-Rules

The 64 page rulebook is beautifully presented, with clear crisp graphics, text and some fantastic artwork and pictures of the game minis in action. The rules are laid out in a clear and concise manner, with a few minor details seeming to be hidden in the ‘wrong’ section. The inclusion of a reference page is a welcome one, giving a good rundown of everything in the book and I mean everything.

If you have never played Dreadball before, don’t worry, it is one of the easiest games to pick up I have found. After only a few games to work out a few wrinkles, you begin to feel like an expert and if anything this rulebook will make it even easier than original Dreadball. If you are familiar with Dreadball then you will find it really easy to get to grips with Xtreme. The majority of the gameplay mechanics are carried across, with a few tweaks here and there to spice it up. For a good rundown of the differences have a look here.

The only difference not in the article above is the way in which you pick your team. First you pick a sponsor, this gives you a specific list of players to choose from with a points cost for each, which is different for each sponsor. For instance Blaine can get Kalyshi very cheaply but the Cons for him are pricey, but for the Warden the Cons are cheap and the Kalyshi are pricey. It’s then as simple as picking who you want depending on the funding you have, which means you can build some really unique teams from a good choice of players.

The book only includes rules for using the two sponsors in the box; Blaine & The Warden. They can pick from any models out the box, the Kalyshi, Cons and the Free Agents. This could be quite limiting, but there will be an expansion at a later date including a lot more sponsors and a hell of a lot more players to choose from. Considering the game has not been officially released yet, I think these will do to get people started.

Overall I’m very impressed with the quality and the quantity of the contents of the box and would highly recommend it for anyone who’s even a little bit interested. My feelings at present are this represents something of better value for money than original Dreadball and from what I’ve played so far is much more fun :). My only gribble is with the quality of the miniatures, they represent something more akin to a normal boardgame than the more detailed minis commonly associated with tabletop war gaming.

The game will be available very soon and you can pre-order your copy from Mantic Games now!

I’m Back Baby!

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After a long hiatus from this blog and any hobby activity in general, I’m getting back to it now! Yay 🙂

Many factors contributed to my absence; Preparing for my first-born, moving house, getting an Xbox One and a few other things, but all in all it came down to needing a break from toy soldiers for a wee while.

Luckily in the last few weeks that monkey has climbed back onto my back, and the brushes and tools have been unpacked ready to go and I can attribute my new found enthusiasm to one man; Batman!

I recently discovered a miniatures range from Knight Models featuring the Dark Knight and a whole host of his allies and rogues gallery and was so impressed with the minis I got ordering right away :), and here’s what I’ve got to work on…

Batgirl, Batman, Robin & Nightwing

Batgirl, Batman, Robin & Nightwing

Deathstroke, Green Arrow & Black Canary

Deathstroke, Green Arrow & Black Canary

I’m suitably impressed with the quality of these folks, with good, clean and exceptionally detailed molds, but also the scale is amazing. Being 35mm rather than the usual 28mm I’m used to working with they really do stand apart and look really special. This also helped alleviate a problem I had with the price, and realise that they are worth the £12 a peice they come in at.

So I have these chaps to work on, and I’ll have an update on them later today once a few more licks of paint have been added, but I also have another bucket load of models to work on in the form of…

dbx-box

The box set for Xtreme arrived just before Christmas and whilst I haven’t had a chance to do much with it yet, this new boost of hobby enthusiasm has got me starting to prepare the models for painting and playing, and I’m hoping to get a review of the box set done soon. The second wave has just started shipping as well, which means I’ll soon be buried under a pile of minis, and I’d like to get ahead of it while I can 🙂

Finally I’d like to say it feels good to get back to this and share my progress with all you lovely people 😀

Dungeon Saga – Last Few Hours!

It’s been a crazy time since I last posted about the Kickstarter only 48 hours ago. Stretch goal after stretch goal has been absolutely smashed and another $200,000 has been raised. All in two days!

Take a look at all the great stuff that has been unlocked and, if your sitting on the fence, hopefully this will sway you (you only have a few hours to go)…

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That’s a lot of cool stuff. We also finally managed to unlock something people seem to be foaming at the bit for, the simple door…

 

 

 

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And one of my favorites is some kind of giant Abyssal beasty which will come in something similar to one of these concept designs :)…

 

 

 

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There has also been a couple of great articles over on the games designers, Jake Thornton, blog. These delve into what else will be in the game including hero advancement, downtime between dungeons etc. Check ’em out…

Getting Along Famously

What’s The Difference Between Core And Advanced DS?

Hero Experience In Dungeon Sagas

Dungeon Saga Downtime

Build Your Own Heroes

 

And if that doesn’t get you hooked on this great project and running here to pledge, I really don’t know what will.