Monday, 2 October 2017

SHADOWS OVER HAMMERHAL - THE JOURNEY - part 2



Sunday 16th July 2017

So we revisit to pick up where we left off last time where our daring heroes went even further down into the dark beneath Hammerhall

Only difference here is we now have 1 of the heroes painted.
Step up Mr Loremaster!



Being played by my youngest daughter and the lack of females in any GW world. I've basically conned her into believing that any slightly androgynous elf (aelf) are actually all girls.
A bit of purple and pink surely solidifies that right? But then she questions "is it a boy? because it has blue on it" to which being the good father I am and completely lie and impose a rather old fashioned look on what is male and female...she’s an inquisitive kid and I love the fact that she questions everything. But she simply would not play if she couldn't be a girl. So a little white lie here isn't going to hurt :)

So we venture on down into the dungeon, this level introduces a few new things. structured ambushes, a couple of map board triggered occurrences like silver tower, we managed to nab some treasure too, a healing elixir and some magic boots that the Cogsmith really needed and wanted to keep him swift on his feet to fire those pistols off at any ambushes. We also managed to find an ancient relic too which the Fleetmaster gladly got his paws on after a nice little 'Indiana Jones' style smash and grab game past some traps to nab the treasure!

The one thing we noted was that our characters were starting to grow on us. The added fluff for the characters in the painting guide actually gives them names. Which means you can identify with them better. This lacked in silver tower and left the characters as being pretty soulless in my opinion. and we all agree that just simply by giving a name to the characters does actually make them feel a little more real and that you care about them somewhat, and i wish they had of gone with the character names on the character cards as opposed to the 'model' name. But this is surely to cement the marketing side of the GW world. But i really feel the characters names would have been better placed here. (Nothing a little Photoshop can’t fix)

So we reached the end of our second dungeon, but there was still more rooms to search back up the stairs from where we came. So it was decided to head back on up. Sneaking past the obstacles in our path and heading back luckily without any further ambushes.

Once back to the first dungeon level you have to reopen all of the doors (i still don't get why they called them portals. Doors just fits better in this setting)
As such any previous adversaries are gone, but each time you open a door the GM has chance for an ambush. Which is a nice little touch to keep you on your toes, we decided at this point as it was getting late that we would head back to the stairs up and call it a night. Luckily no ambushes so we headed out of the dungeon and back up to Cinderfell to discover what joys the land above could bring.



First rolling on a random event which allowed us to visit 2 locations each as opposed to the 1 each of any other normal visits.
We then proceeded to discover what Cinderfell had to offer the intrepid adventurers

I'll note at this point. All the fluff, maps and images throughout the rule book start to come together.
All of the places you can visit are shown on the map so it feels like actual real places you are heading to and really helps build an RPG element into the game.

The adventurers went their separate ways as we discovered more about the city.

The Fleetmaster went first. Heading to the guild of certified Thumaturgists, (i think my daughter has been playing way too much Skyrim as she thought she would get an offer to join the guild. which you don't. Instead you get chance to buy some carefully crafted potions. Sadly having no gold this proved a worthless venture. So off he went pit fighting in a hope of hard earning a little gold. Sadly. He lost and was out of options other than to go sit in the tavern with a black eye, watching the patrons drink and be merry until the rest of the band returned.

Meanwhile across Cinderfell the Cogsmith. Had just arrived at the Rift market that stands next to the Adramar Rift after browsing the wares he decided against any purchases and decided to head off to the Toil's End to take part in a drinking contest. Sadly he drank like an Elf and ended up coming away with nothing but an extreme headache.

The Lord Castellant decided to head to the local chapel 'of the shattered blade' for a little prayer. But ultimately coming away with nothing as this place is more for faith healing and he had nothing in need of healing. Upon leaving the chapel he headed over to the house of venargo to see what the fuss was all about. Opting to not buy anything or sell at the auction house.

Lastly the loremaster was on a mission first heading to Baugrens Bountiful Bazaar and successfully haggling on some potions for the upcoming revisit beneath the city. Before finally heading to Red yugol's reverie, sitting with the red yugol to see if his (her) future could be told. Sadly this time around nothing was to prevail.

So at this point we wrapped up our second session.
What have we discovered/learnt?
  • We are still a little concerned that we won’t get much out of this game. It has a lot of added depth that silver tower lacked. But the 8 dungeon levels still seems relatively thin. And think there will be very little to revisit once we are done. You could argue that previous games like HQ had the same problem. But that base game came with 14 quests and because of its approach, still felt re-playable. "So what you knew where Sir Ragnar was kept" it just didn't seem to matter. As well as all the supporting expansions. It was never a concern. Thematically these quests have much more to them. And the approach to the dungeon layouts is still variable in a sense that each location feels different in how it plays. But does this detract away from replay-ability? Only time will tell.
  • Cinderfell. Whilst a nice new touch. It isn't explained great in the rules. At one point it says not to read anything to the players until they visit the locations. And another point it says to read them out. I liked discovering these for the first time. But as these characters are all inhabitants of this city. You would of thought they knew what was where. I can feel this getting very samey on each visit and we are yet to really discover how beneficial these are as we were relatively unsuccessful in our first visit, but again time will tell.
  • The relatively seamless dungeon layout works great. And whilst it does suggest you map out where you have been it isn’t really needed do to the charts provided on the back of the GM book.

Friday 21st July 2017
So session number 3 kicked off. after out visit to Cinderfell the heroes returned back to the first dungeon to explore the rest of that level that they had touched upon in the first session and passed back through in session 2 to get back up to the surface.

This session took us 3 hours!! As well as traipsing through previously explored chambers and discovering another6 more...3 hours! And this happened for 2 reasons.
When playing crawlers...we crawl. I mean its bad tactics to open a door on your last action right?
Unless of course you get caught with an ambush on nearly every single attempt. And the GM also rolled high on all of these so we were pretty much always up against a gang of acolytes.
The heroes took a lot of damage. A lot of recuperating and then more acolytes came along. Rinse and repeat.

We got ambushed to hell and back. And whilst there were no casualties, it was pretty close a few times. Literally every ambush roll was dropping in and big too!

There wasn’t really much new. A couple of not so interesting rooms we discovered a stairwell both up and down and the dwarf maxed out on gold. From one of the searches. Also the loremaster nearly got wiped out by a rather nasty trap!

We found a stairwell both up and down but decided to uncover the rest of the map. Where we found a room packed to the rafter with acolytes again. And in dropped an unexpected event and guess what?
Another AMBUSH!!!
Luckily myself as the Castellant got lucky with some stun roll which were able to raise my rather dwindling renown up quite a bit.

At this point the loremaster had already gone around the wheel once and overlapped the Castellant.
By the time we had cleared this last room the loremaster had gone around twice. And the Fleetmaster and Cogsmith had both picked up a skill a piece.

Once done we decided to venture back to the stairs and head back on up to Cinderfell. This time the Castellant was met with prise which finally gave me a chance to draw a skill.

After this the Heroes went off to spend their spoils.

First the Fleetmaster headed off to the rift market and picked up an ancient relic.
The Cogsmith headed over to the house of venargo and spent all of his 5 gold pieces on a treasure card of choice.
The loremaster only had 1 gold so didn’t do anything.
and myself as the Castellant wanted to try and earn some more gold in the pit fighting tournament in the vain hope of cashing in for some much needed extra renown, only to get knocked out in the first round by the barkeep...1st round KO. I'm ashamed.

Anyways we packed up and are eagerly awaiting our next session.

What did we learn this time?
As we have gotten more familiar with our characters their strengths and weaknesses are starting to stand out.
  • Lord Castellant - is a little bit too generic. He’s a healer, but not a very good one, his stun ability seems to be his greatest strength but needs a 6 to trigger it. Overall. he’s a very run of the mill average character that so far hasn’t been able to chalk up many kills and lends much better as a supporting character due to his minor healing abilities (which again need a 6) and his stun ability. I'm currently using him to tank his way in lock down some of the bad guys and hopefully get as many stuns as possible for the other heroes to come in and finish them off.
  • Cogsmith - it’s odd that the ranged expert is a dwarf! But he’s got guns! His axe doesn’t do enough damage to warrant him getting up close and personal. And the rules for portals and LOS couple with the small cramped chambers means it’s not often he can actually get a shot off. You really need to keep him protected away by using the other characters as a shield to get the best out of him. His Grudge-raker is beastly if you can string a combo of hits together. But can be quite unreliable.
  • Fleetmaster - he's the poacher of the team. Able to deal pretty high damage. Being able to link together attacks too meaning he often swoops in late to score the renown.
  • Loremaster - seems to be an absolute beast. That my 4 year old is basically clearing up the table for us. Left right and centre hacking with the sword and picking off the other guys with her ranged magic. Maybe its luck. But she’s simply tearing up the place.
  • Overall the Castellant is coming out as the poorest character so far. Maybe I’m playing him wrong. But his strength seems to be in his support. And that’s not even that great. His to hit rolls are all 4+ which means he misses quite a bit too. But his lowest damage he can deal out is 2. I guess time will tell whether or not i am actually playing him wrong. I’m hoping a few skills might flesh him out to get the best of him.
  • Searching. From the previous sessions i was kind of let down by searching. But it’s starting to flesh out a little more now. originally i wanted to house rule it that a roll of a 1 gave a low level ambush (think wandering monster in HQ) and this might still be a good little house rule to implement. However due to the sheer luck of the GM dice rolls. And the amount of times we got ambushed in this session, it might be slight overkill to bring more ambushes.
  • The games feeling a little easy and a little bit rinse and repeat, this could be due to our cautious style of play and the amount of ambushes. But i have hopes our next session will bring us cool new things to discover and draw away from the same hard slog we endured here.

So far our 3 sessions have covered the entirety of 2 levels over the course of about 6 hours of play. So my early theory of this only giving a minimal output already seem to be getting quashed. But i really do hope we get some expansions for this. The game really needs a bestiary. As i would already of started creating a new quest by now if i were able to use Skaven :)

Also i don’t quite understand how you would crossover minis from silver tower to this game. Other than exotic adversaries. And a kairic acolyte ability to bring in a pink horror. I don’t quite understand why people are saying "you can use everything from silver tower in this game" as thus far. It doesn’t seem that apparent to me.

but regardless. we are still enjoying. maybe someone can answer if weve played it wrong or have any other questions i can hopefully cover in the next part.
for now. ive got to take some pictures..




Sunday, 1 October 2017

TRYING SOMETHING NEW

If anyone follows my blog you may of noticed my disliking for unit painting. in general i dont want to spend more than 5 hours on a model. especially when you have lots to paint. not im not a massive fan of the GW style of painting. base coat wash blah blah. for me i just dont like those results and whilst they are ok for table top standard, i dont feel they are good enough for my table top. so it comes with vary patterns. if i genuinely love a model i will spend a longer time on it. and i can live with that. but when ive got 10 or 20 of the same thing. i dont really care. so how do i get better results?

well i stumbled upon a little blog not so long back. where it seemed that this same blogger has the same woes as myself.
so firstly check out his excellent blog here
HOBBY HORSE

basically he utilises much thinner paint layers/ washes have you. so that the white undercoat assists in the highlighting giving a white undercoat first. then a thin brown wash to sit in all of the recesses. and then painting your thinned colours as you will see. some of the results are great....so thought i would give it a punt with this guy first

he was a freebie from the marauders of the apocalype pack i bought from avatars of war. see the blog post on that here

so first things first...this guy..i can see why he was free. he is made from some sort of resin that if i were to describe what it is like....i would say "soap"
yes soap.... a really bizarre type of resin...if you see the painted figure of this guy in the avatars of war website...he looks very little like this one in terms of quality.
and to top it off. i dropped him on my carpet (bare in mind i love thick carpets so my living room is like walking on warm sand) and he broke into about 5 different pieces!!!
yup. soap doesnt make good resin!

this made me care even less about this figure. so i glued him back together and now even more so than before he was the perfect model for my first test with this new paint method.

 all of the paints used are extreme thinned down with a medium/water/paint mixture. and whilst not perfect and definitely needing some work. it still did'nt turn out too bad. the integrity of the miniature remains to be seen though. next time i pull him out for a game. i fully expect him to be in pieces again
 the skin would still require some work. but the somewhat translucent appearance is perfect for skin. it just needs some topmost highlights to really set it off. and you can see the base shading coming through a little thick around the pictorials...something ill need to work on.
 You can still see the odd spec of white in the odd very deeply details recesses, not really seen to the naked eye. but as soon as you take a picture and blow it up...well I'm sure I'm not the only one that reels back in horror.
 this method doesn't lend itself at all to metallics at all and you need to paint these in full. i went for a blackened steel look to help speed the model up.
overall he didnt turn out too bad for a paint job that probably only took about 40 minutes max. the intention here was to attempt to paint something that still looks palpable on the gaming table. but still looks better than the GW base coat wash highlight method.

overall. I'm happy at a first attempt at completely ripping out my painting ethic and trying something brand new. whilst it lends itself perfectly to flesh tones, it seems like it will be very helpful with unit painting, which is clearly one of my biggest bug bears

TWISTING CATACOMBS - THE MINOTAUR HORDE

Just needed to share this super quick. because these beasts are the absolute bomb!

KICKSTARTER



TAKE MY MONEY!!!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

SHADOWS OVER HAMMERHAL - THE JOURNEY - part 1


OK. Last year I dipped in and bought silver tower, whilst we enjoyed it for a short while. It didn't really have the last ability at our table. If anyone frequents this blog you will see how I started posting up painted figs. but held off reviewing the game because i didn't want to be one of those "i played it once so i will review it” type of players. But the boat has kind of passed on me running a review on silver tower now. So I've decided to do a blog post that i will update and then finally post it when i am happy. So it’s kind of like a journal so to speak.

EDIT - this post has now been broken down into chapters which will be posted up following the journey. call it a journal review if you like

I'll try not to spoil anything or state too much of the obvious. But because there is very little source wise. I'm going to try and give everything, without giving anything away so to speak.

Sunday 2nd July 2017

So after a few very hard weeks of work i decided a little retail therapy was in order. A treat for myself! Shadows over Hammerhal was not on the agenda at this point. A nice summer’s day out shopping with the family. Where i actually treat myself for once lol. However after shopping we passed my local GW and i just decided there and then to take the plunge.

I walked in grabbed it off the shelf. Paid and away i went. A little bit of guilt soaked in because i was buying a game that has been out now for 2/3 months and still there is very little to be found about it on the internet. I had even posted a thread over at BGG asking people to state the differences purely so i could try and learn a little info before spending anything. Most of the responses i got were very indifferent. Some giving valid points and some feeling very one sided, but none really telling i should go and buy 'BECAUSE' this forced me to hold off even longer.
Seeing the lack of support for silver tower over the last year also had put me off. Yes they released lots of cards for heroes.......really? Isn’t most of the fun making your own? Maybe that is just me and the other 90% of dungeon crawling fans
But no new quests. Very little to add to the game. And maybe it was a little too thematic to ever feel extendable i dunno. But i have very little faith Hammerhal will get additional support either. It seems they are pumping a lot into Bloodbowl at the moment and the new edition of 40k. But regardless i didn’t get the dungeon crawler i had hoped for in silver tower and Hammerhal looked a little more generic. So maybe there is hope?

Anyways... What DID i know about this new Warhammer Quest before i decided to splash my hard earned cash on it?

- It doesn't have coop play. It has a GM!
Whilst we enjoyed the coop play in silver tower purely because it allowed us all to play together on the same side for once. It also brought a lack of direction. The AI for the adversaries was awful. And even with the behaviour charts to vary the actions of the adversaries it still felt very black and white. "Move and attack, move and attack with range, attack" OK let’s say black white and orange. But regardless. There is only so much AI can do. So with this in mind maybe having someone control the bad guys isn't such a bad thing? Potentially it could also help drive the story line better? I guess we will see...

- But the rest is like silver tower?
Sort of. Uses same mechanics i believe? But the result of having a GM means that the dungeon is no longer laid out in random by turning cards over to discover what comes next. I liked that. So will be sad to see it gone. Not sure why they couldn't have done both?? I mean really a few cards so that people could generate random dungeons to just play whenever they liked? Like the original WHQ!!

- No new models this time but still a decent selection.
I think the WOW factor of silver tower was not only a return for WHQ but it had brand new sparkly miniatures. And love or hate the Age of Sigmar setting but there were some absolute crackers in that box. Now there still is some great models here. But not brand new ones. It seems GW are recycling a lot of stock at the moment. Repackaging to sell in varied batches. And whilst this offers great value. It would of been nice to see a couple of new sculpts in Hammerhal. But again this didn't put me off as i kind of wanted some blight kings anyways.

- It's not in a magical tower!
One of my gripes with silver tower was that the theme was so strong that it had very little leg room for custom created content. A year later and still not a single new quest in white dwarf or a single user created story line kind of reinforce that for me. I know nothing of the AOS world. But i loved the old world. And something here very much twanged the nostalgia strings. Hammerhal is within the mortal realms. What does that mean? I don't have a clue! But straight away I'm thinking 'mortals'? Like...normal people? Like proper dungeon crawlers? OK well whilst this still isn't grass roots dungeoneering it does hearken back very much to the original Heroquest where a band of adventurers are brought together for a cause.
It’s actually set in a district of Hammerhal called Cinderfell. Of which to me screams that all these varied districts could have quests for themselves (99% of which i can’t even pronounce!)

SERIOUSLY....that is all i knew going into buying this game.
So i go home crack open the box (don't you just love that smell when you open a brand new boxed game? takes me right back to when i first got Heroquest. There's something nostalgic about that smell. Or maybe that's just me?)
Anyway. I won't go on about UN boxing as there are loads of online UN boxing videos. But none of them really tell you much about the game other than what I've stated above.
- Loads of sprues
- A divider so nothing gets damaged by the sprues (nice inclusion as i was one of the suckers that ended up with damaged cards when i purchased silver tower)
- cards (some character cards treasure cards, skills cards, artefact cards, achievement cards, red yugol cards a compass card and a torch bearer card.
- Double sided dungeon tiles
- Dice
3 books.
  The rules book is thick for a game like this. Then you soon realise that half of it is a mini novel to set up the story for the game...cool idea. But not sure I want to read all of that just yet. This also contains the rules of course and a basic painting guide that also includes some fluff to build up the in game characters (read the fluff before playing and this will get you more in tune to your heroes)
  Games master book that contains all of the secrets for the game (I'm fighting not to look!!)
  And an assembly book for the miniatures. Which seems like a great place to start?

Tuesday 4th July 2017
So it’s taken me since Sunday to assemble the miniatures!!
OK not 3 whole days. But most of Sunday. And Monday and Tuesday after work. I'm fairly certain it only took a day to do all of silver tower. So maybe it was the additional choice options here to these recycled multipart kits that caused me to ponder over what choices to make
I was never much of an Airfix model person as a kid. In fact i wasn't one at all! And whilst I like having the variation and choice that comes with these multipart kits. They do feel like an Airfix model kit. Can’t they make solid models anymore with a few changeable bits? Maybe people will disagree with me here. Choice is great. And the designs are fantastic so maybe I'm just whinging for the sake of it.
But after putting them together I really like what i see.
The Blightkings are fantastic models
The kairic acolytes are an improvement over the ones in the silver tower box
The heroes look great
As do the bloodreavers
The evil wizard dude though...meh

The instructions are about 98% correct, with a few misleading examples that i pondered over. To get the most out of the variants its worth actually looking in the back of the games master book at this point to see what variations can be played. I'm sure people would be pretty pissed if they glued all of the figures together and then soon realised that they'd cut a mechanic out of the game purely because the info needed is in a book that is branded with a "for games masters eyes only"
The silver tower booklet had quite a few errors in it if i remember right. But here they have managed to sense test it a little better. But i feel they should have listed the "recommended build" variations within this booklet first.

Tuesday 11th July 2017
so I've read the rules started reading the story that comes in the first half of the rather impressive rule book, sadly i got bored of the story purely because i just wanted to play. I guess if you want to read a mini novel to start playing, it most likely adds plenty of fluff. For me i read the first 2 pages
"Gold dude and dwarf start investigating some strange goings on that lead to something beneath the city of Hammerhal" So with me being lazy. I'm assuming they meet up with the fleet master in a bar (he's a pirate after all) and the loremaster later on and they end up going underground to see what the eff is going on?
Anyways for now. That’s the story until i can be bothered to read anymore.

it would of been nice to of had a few paragraphs at the beginning of the quest that summarises this story line so that players can be quickly introduced instead of saying "go off for an hour and read this!"


What stands out in the rules?
- That horrible respite ruling is gone from silver tower
- There is a book you absolutely shouldn't read unless you plan on being GM
- You can search! YAY!
- Portals still exist? Couldn’t they just call them doors? This isn't in a magical tower anymore
- Rune bearer becomes torch bearer
- destiny phase is a little varied as there are no little critters to crop up on doubles anymore but still looks pretty sound
- Ambushes added. Every time you reach the GM phase and no beasties are on the board the GM gets to roll to see if an ambush occurs
- stair wells that go up and down, you can either proceed further into the dungeon or go back up to spend your hard fought gold in the district of Cinderfell.

Pretty much everything else was as per silver tower from first glances anyways.

Wednesday 12th July 2017
Right now we are aching to get moving, there are a few things i would like to point out first before i embark on our first venture under Hammerhal

- The game isn't really filled with 8 quests. It is 1 big long seamless quest that gives you "save spots" so to speak (stairwell down or going back up to Cinderfell)
- You have to play with 4 heroes. Any additional heroes required are brought along as companions.
- We soon realised there isn't enough dice!!! WTF! In silver tower you have those nicely coloured dice to represent the destiny dice and 1 of each colour for the heroes...not here. You get some black dice. That doesn't cover 4x4 for heroes and the destiny dice. So we cracked out the dice from silver tower so we all had something unique. I don't know why they moved away from this and it worked nicely in tune with the renowned mechanic.
- Renown becomes harder to track!!! WTF again. Because of the no colour dice it’s much harder to remember whose marker is whose. So I made this. Or you could just additionally use the markers from silver tower.



I think both of these last choices were poor ones. If it isn't broke don't try to fix it. And the whole destiny/renown thing with silver tower was one of the high points of the game. So i have no idea why they changed it here

- Adversary stats are still in a book.....these needs to be on cards! C’mon GW!!!

Anyways that aside. We are itching to get going. Another quick scan over the rules led us to take the first steps alongside the rule book to get us familiarised with the play.
My wife took charge of being GM and buried her head into the GM book (which I somehow still managed to avoid looking at...painfully holding back from having a flick through there)
I decided to take the Lord Castellant and the rules
My eldest daughter took hold of the Cogsmith and Fleetmaster
And my youngest daughter took the Loremaster (i had to lie and say it was a girl so she would play)

So away we went, first setting up the stairwell to which the GM reads out the opening paragraph to get the quest going.
I go first and right away how to play the game comes flooding back via silver tower.
Open portal. Into a new chamber. And so on.

Having search here adds a bit more flavour. It’s already starting to have a HeroQuest vibe about it.
From the basic actions to the GM book. It feels like they are trying to recapture a much loved classic.

At this point i really don't want to give a great deal away. But we quickly found that searching is a must do. To the point where I have no idea why you wouldn't search a chamber once you've cleared out the bad guys. It would be stupid not to! But we searched a few rooms whilst i constantly flicked through for rules clarification. Taking our turns and getting used to the heroes attacks and specialities. We cleared a couple of rooms out and found a stairwell. Where we decided to wrap up for now. And we enjoyed it too. Didn’t take too long for us to reach this point. Which concerns me as this was less than an hour. And there are only 8 dungeon level...90 quid for 8 hours of play? Surely not? But we already know we took the first stairs down and there were still doors we hadn't opened. So we will go back later on to explore further.

The inclusion of the GM adds a much better dynamic from initial appearances. Making the adversary phase a much more fluid action as well as helping tell the tale.

I'm still baffled by the search thing. It’s just like a must do action. And am struggling to see why it was even an action in the first place. Maybe it’s supposed to be a way of killing time to allow the GM to spring an ambush? I dunno but it hasn't happened yet. So feels like a waste of time. In a game like HQ it works because you are searching for different things. Here it is just search and you find something. I think if a wandering monster sort of trigger was in place here it would feel like the whole search mechanic had more risk. But so far we haven't needed many rolls to successfully search. I thought also comparing search to HQ was maybe an unfair comparison due to the board layout lending a lot more suspense to the search, but AHQ had search with a much more similar table set up to this game. And even that worked better.

So overall.

  • We enjoyed it immensely but as this was our "learn what we are doing stage" it was much more stop start, but can see us flying soon enough.
  • there's still parts of this level we didn't explore and can go back later on (maybe we might find something cool?)
  • Search is weird. But springs up some nice little things
  • Destiny dice and unexpected events is nice and simple
  • Exploration feels really fresh and that the choices you make may or may not have a varying impact.
  • We were all a little disappointed about the renowned tracking and dice issue. I was more annoyed because i had to go out of my way to fix it.
  • And you need to track on a sheet of paper anyways once you've wrapped up...no phone app here guys and gals)
So for now we wrap up until the next session.
I'm hoping to provide as much info as possible on this one as i really do feel that because of the secrets within the GM book having the potential to give away the story...but I'm not the GM this time, and I'm not going to look at that book, and I will do my best to pick up on all the things that i like and dislike about this game to give a pretty conclusive final review.

stay tuned for part 2



Sunday, 10 September 2017

WARHAMMER QUEST CUSTOM TILE - SKAVEN LAIR

with the recent release over the last year or so of both silver tower and shadows over hammerhal. there hasnt been very much in terms of player created content.
silver tower didnt really have very much room for this. but with hammerhal being very much a 'successor' to the ethos of heroquest. the door got swung wide open!
so first i released a map making kit this was to help not only myself but others create some player created quests.
additionally i thought it would be worth taking another venture into making some map tiles.
the design of both silver tower and hammerhal means you do not need to have flagstones as squares..just make a cool looking tile and put an overlay of 35mm squares over it.

this gives much more freedom to creating i feel. so thought i would give it a try for this game.
so here it is


hammerhal tile
SKAVEN LAIR

The idea here was to make something relatively generic but also with a light theme around it.

I'm looking to create some more going forwards. so if you guys play this game or have any ideas or requests i would be happy to give it a try.

anyways if you play and want this you can download its fullsize here
for printing purposes. just print at fullsize as it was made for 35mm squares

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

WHQ Shadows Over Hammerhal map making kit

so me and the family have been playing this a few weeks now and are thoroughly enjoying it. i very much see this as a natural successor to Heroquest as opposed to WHQ.

Regardless ive made a map making kit.
so anyone that owns this game will know it was needed. it just so happens to be the case i was the first to do it lol.

you can nab the download here

Please note this is for photoshop users only although there is a plugin for paint.net users that will allow you to open PSD files
shadows over hammerhal custom
as you can see i've made a replication of the entire quest book so that players can now create their own quests and campaigns


feel free to share this link or any of your creations if you do dive in and make any quests.

peace

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Descent Fire Imps

nice and simple models here. nice and easy to do utilising a white base coat with washes a plenty building up the white through yellows and oranges
fireimps
having bought a few descent expansions recently ive got quite a few to get through...but slowly getting there :)

Peace

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Descent - Tatianna



Tatianna is a renowned huntress from a secluded tribe of female warriors living in the far reaches of Terrinoth. As civilization encroached on their long-held hunting grounds, Tatianna found her people unprepared to combat the modern world. To ensure the survival of her sisters, she left her home in search of gold, weapons, and powerful magic. With the fate of her people on her shoulders, Tatianna believes she can find some crucial knowledge or weapon in the legacy of the Stewards. as well as being my eldest daughters new character of choice. of course i had to point her up.

what i like with a lot of these descent character designs is that they leave a lot of scope to add the free-hand designs. here being no different with plenty of teenie tiny warpaint/tattoos to be added.
descent tatianna


She came out pretty well. and my daughter is well impressed too. oddly though this character is pretty naff as my daughter is now discovering in our current campaign.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Descent - Seer Kel

next off the line from the Stewards of the Secret H&M expansion is Seer Kel.
now this character itself...It's a little odd. shes like some sort of fairy looking thing. and the overall shape and design of the model is something most painters will think "i'll paint that one last!"
and i was going to leave it till last...until that is. my 3 year old daughter proclaimed her "that's my favourite character please daddy can you paint it next"

repeat that over a thousand times over a couple of days. and you now understand why i tackled this one much earlier on.

onto the design. i searched the internet to see how others had painted this. and as i expected. there hasn't been many paint strokes thrown in seer Kels direction.
the overall shape of the model is a challenge to paint. and even though i base my models onto a loose paint pot with some blue-tac. i found myself constantly having to go and retouch up the edge parts of the model. This mini wasn't easy to paint. and i really have very little idea what i was going to do other that attempt to follow the hero card.

so he were go

the challenge here was the obvious focal point of the model is at the back of the model. the skirt thing is huge and what gives her the levitating look. the base artwork had this shown with dark blues. not sure if this was a shadow effect or not. but that's what i went with. and due to the design of the model. what i decided to paint first and get out of the way.
Seerkel
the next challenge was actually ficuring out if this skirt was supposed to be peacock feathers or leaves. i went with a mixture of both.
Seerkel
the final challenge was "what level of detail shall i go for?"
she has some facial/tribal type markings on her face.
and then there are those intricate designs on her leggings..
freehand is something i really want to improve on. so i thought "screw it, lets give it a bash!"
Seerkel
also shes blind..hence the lack of pupils on the eyes.
the freehand didn't turn out too bad. its hard enough painting at this size and then managing to get it completely symmetrical. i tried. and well i think it came out well.
ive given the expansion heroes much more love than the original descent base game. but that said. these are better models in every way. they are actually a joy to paint. and i think that shows with the fact that they can keep my attention throughout.

still got many more to paint. but going strong i think :)

Friday, 3 February 2017

More descent Monsters

having recently gotten back into descent, along with the purchase of a couple of expansions. i've been painting some of them up.

first up i have the hybrid sentinels from the lair of the wyrm expansion
simple technique applied to all of the monsters. base colours and army painter strong tone. thats it. no highlights. no nothing..want to keep it simple on these paint jobs and then make the heroes stand out more by giving them decent paint jobs.
Regardless i still think these work well. they are painted...which is better than not painted right?

Next up we have the Ferrox from The Stewards of the secret hero and monster expansion box

i did something a little different on these. due to the colours. giving them a murky wash of strong tone wouldn't of given the desired look. so these were painted different using various washes over the white basecoat

these however were back to the old strong tone. i gave the bones a wash of sepia and touched the eyes up at the end as i prefer an older looking bone to my skellies

all nice and simply done. and adding a bit more to my collection.
enjoy :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Nanok of the blade

Descent Descent so many expansions to choose from after being away so long.
of course i go with the one thats got a barbarian in it!!

all games. i wanna be the barbarian.
cluedo...im the barbarian
monopoly....im the barbarian
poker.......yeh im the barbarian

and of course descent. i now have the barbarian. so guess who i'm gonna be?




The guy was really fun to paint. i get a lot of enjoyment in painting fleshtones. and i like the contrasts between the red and yellow/gold.
and just had to try freehand on that emblem.

i also want to add how impressed i am that FFG decided to change the designs of the descent figures. they are a huge improvement.


Monday, 23 January 2017

Descent finally gets some love!

OK I've not been shy in the past on my opinions of the miniatures that came with the base box set of Descent Journeys in the dark 2.0

DESCENT INTO CRAPPY MODELS!!!

DESCENT 2ND EDITION - THE REST

In fact in this household we loved the game and played it a lot. at the time there were no expansions. so this sat on the shelf for a while.
Following the disinterest and quite disastrous reign of Warhammer quest silver tower at our gaming table, this baby was brought back off the shelf.
noticing a whole load of expansions had been released i decided the research a little.
and you know what?
i think the designers have read my blog!! hahaha.
From each expansion the miniatures have seemed to of improved. the miniatures in the most recent expansion released being far superior in design to the original. you can actually see the incline in quality from each expansion.
so much so i went out and bought a couple to put my theory to the test.
the scale has increased from realistic to heroic. which is'nt totally out of place. but it is actually a whole lot better.

so i went back over my 2 previous posts where i pretty much berated 90% of the minis within the descent base box.

was i harsh or was i fair?
I guess opinion may be divided. but regardless I thought "maybe i just did'nt give them any love"
so seeing the massive upheaval in quality i thought maybe i should at least revisit the older minis and try and give them a little love to bring the quality up

so lets start of with Avric. ive decided to put a before and after shot side by side mainly for myself to see the difference that extra time and effort may or may not of paid off. I think it did!

 Leoric of the book.. still smug. but definitely looking much better. i was pestered and pestered to repaint him by daughter #2 as he was her favourite at the point of painting these. that has since changed after purchasing some of the expansions

Syndrael. again another full repaint. toning down the facial features a little rather than trying to over compensate them. not a great sculpt but the repaint brought out a much better overall look i think.

Widow Tarha. i like this character. the scale leaves a lot to be desired. but the repaint definitely brought out more in the sculpt.

Tomble. i didnt actually repaint this one at all. i just painted the base and gave him a nice dulcoat finish. still an improvement i think.

Grisban. another i chose not to repaint. the original did'nt come out that bad. so again i just painted the base and gave him a dulcoat finish. still look better than he originally did

Jain. full repaint on this one. not a great sculpt but was able to breathe a little more life into daughter #1's fave character. i think one of the major flaws with these figures away from the scaling was the mold lines. any of the character facing sideways all had mould lines directly down their faces. which is why in not giving you full 360 images of these! haha

Ashrian...poor Ashrian. i forgot to take a picture of her. but it doesnt matter. because i didnt repaint her anyways. just painted her base and gave a dulcoat finish. but regardless you can see her below with all of her base game buddies!

my eyes are firmly locked on progressing with descent now and fleshing out my collection with more expansions. i now own

Lair of the wyrm
Treaty of champions
Stewards of the secret

so expect to see some posts of my paint jobs on those
i may also possibly revisit some of the monsters from the base game. at least finish the bases on them at minimum :)

oh and happy belated 2017!