Thursday, December 26, 2019

T'was the Swap Meet Before Christmas...

(Image by:  OOP Games & Hobby)

A few days before Christmas I ventured up to the Angel of the Winds Arena for the 13th Boardgame & Miniature Swap Meet hosted by OOP Games & Hobby.

The venue was nice, large enough to accommodate all the vendors and easy to get to once off I-5.

Since I left 30 minutes later than I planned, I rushed off without my cameras, so I don't have any "man on the street" pictures to post.

My usual quest at these affairs is purchasing items I don't have to cut-out, paste together or paint.

For the most part I was successful in this endeavor.

One vendor, I'm afraid I didn't get his name, was selling off spare items from the several Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader Kill Team Starter Set.

 For a mere $10, I obtained the rulebook...

...the supplement guides...

...the double-sided, mounted playing board...

...and the status counter sheets.

Okay, that's one item I have to punch out and trim, but there's less than 50 counters, unlike many boardgames which contain hundreds of them. Even over a thousand if you consider monster games.

I've never been good at haggling.  But when I asked another vendor about these near-future, pre-painted figurs, he said it was $25...

...But then added prices could be negotiable.

When I offered him $20, he accepted.  Upon my return I conducted  a quick Google search an extensive on-line research and found these figures sell for about $20-$33.

So I got another deal.

The most expensive item I bought turned out to be this WH40K-ish looking dice tray made by Carrie Emmerich, artist and proprietor of Omnibusy.

She also runs a Tumblr blog called Iris of Ether.  The dice tray cost me $30.  But as we concluded my purchase, some of the furniture figures on her display table caught my eye.

Specifically, these wine/beer casks:

Carrie originally wasn't planning on sell them, but offered them to me for $5 each.

Unlike previous swap meets there were a number of non-gaming vendors, specifically artists and authors.

While I spent some time chatting with these folks, along with other game vendors, I didn't spend any more of my money.

I always feel rather bad when I don't help out small/at-home business owners.  My late mom was an artist and attended art & craft shows throughout her life.  Plus I'm a wannabe writer myself.  So I know how hard it can be to make a profit at various shows, conferences and conventions.

However, I couldn't bring myself to buy anything else I was interested in, or something I have no room for, like this:

(Image found on eBay, not from the vendor I spoke with)
One vendor did have this Star_Wars_Miniatures AT-AT but I had to pass it up due to lack of shelf & storage space.

Here's a list of the game vendors, artists and authors I talked with and picked up business cards from before departing:

Authors 4 Authors Publishing

Almost Critical

Moon Dragon Games

Arcanum Miniatures

Ink Gasket

Ford 3D Printing

This has been the second swap meet I managed to attend. The last one two years ago, which I didn't even get a chance to write about. What keeps me away is my rotating work shift.

Hopefully it won't be another two years before I can attend the next one.

Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Pass in Review: WH40K Imperial Inquisition

(Image:  Inquisitorial Rosette)

When I got into Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K), I intended to raise only an Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard force, because the stories that move me are about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.  And the “...grim darkness of the far future...” is about as extraordinary as circumstances can get.

However, I had the good fortune to attend one wargamers swap-meet and stumbled across some great deals.

The first of which were three lots of painted and previously-owned Imperial Inquisition vehicles and figures.

Here’s a rundown of my Inquisitor and her entourage set in the Sector Fronteris:

1. Inquisition Land Raider.

2. Three Inquisition Chimera Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs)

3. The Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus with her entourage/henchmen, servo-skull and cherubim.

4. I'm calling this character "Inquisitor Faustina."

5. An alternate version of Inquisitor Faustina.

6. Crusaders.

6. A Ministorum Confessor flanked by Acolytes.

8. A sister from the Order of the Blue Robe's Dominion Squad, a Grey Knight and a Vindicare Assassin (I think) in winter camouflage.

9. A Callidus Assassin (I think), moves stealthily through the ruins on her way to sow mayhem among the enemies of The Emperor.

And stealing as an homage to Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition Skits, I concocted this meme:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Product Review and Pass In Review of WH40K Kill Team Sector Fronteris Environment Expansion

It's been a couple of months since I posted anything about Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K) Kill Team.

That's because I was waiting for my friend Dan to finish painting my set of STC Ryza-Pattern Ruins and Sector Fronteris Environment Expansion.

I haven't gotten the Kill Team Starter Set's buildings painted yet.  I figured I'd "start at the Imperial Frontier and work my way Coreward."  That is, when I picked up my frontier buildings and ruins, I gave the Starter Kit buildings to Dan to work on next.

Okay, so back to the Frontier.

This expansion includes a thick, double-sided board, which depicts a frontier outpost, which may or may not be active...

...and an urban area--which I forgot to take a picture of--and I didn't want to delay posting this by doing another photo shoot.

Other items include:  An 8-page booklet, a dozen Fronteris Tactical Cards, a Fronteris Environment Card, 4 Fronteris Mission Cards and of course four frames of ruined buildings.

Instead of coloring the buildings red, as depicted in the expansion kit's cover art and just about elsewhere, I had Dan paint my buildings a shade of khaki to suit the desolate terrain.

The Sector Fronteris and Ryza-Pattern ruins have a lot of pieces in common and both of my sets are intermingled.

The following is a sample of my Fronteris terrain collection.

1. Right-angled ruins and a ruined wall with a ventilator fan:

2. An intact environmental shelter:

3. A ruined support section--and another ruined wall with ventilator fan:

4. Two large, right-angled ruins:

5. A couple small, ruined walls:

6. A two-story ruined wall and a tunnel hatch leading to--where, I wonder?

I'm impressed with how solid and sturdy these terrain pieces are--and even more impressed with Dan's work.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Warhammer 40K Webcomic

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Author's Notes:

I got the idea for this silly, gender-bender story while rummaging through my miniature collection in preparation for the Chaos Cultists Pass in Review post.

I thought:  What would be the "worst" that could happen to a bunch of evil, vengeful fighters?

While their fate may not be as horrible as their previous lot in the "...grim darkness of the far future..." the story was fun to write.

As to the "behind the scenes" of this webcomic's imagery:

About half of the female figures were from an older line of D&D Miniatures from Wizards of the Coast.  The other half, including the male bartender were another set of pre-painted figures that I can't remember who manufactured them.  Googling the images hasn't helped.

I was also frustrated at attempting to find the source of the "Inquisitor Faustina" images.  I downloaded it from Tumblr years ago, but am unable to relocate it, even when I typed-in the HTML, my search came up with zilch.

Here's what I can tell you about the other products used during the creation of Suitable Servants--

--The badlands scenery is a terrarium backdrop I purchased from PetSmart.
--The ground is represented by Cigar Box Battle Store's Arid Lands Terrain Mat.
--The mysterious Chaos Temple is the Altar of Evil by Pegasus Hobbies, I purchased years ago.

The planet Kalf does exist in the WH40K 'verse.  It's listed as a frontier world in the Calixis Sector that can be found on the inside cover of  Fantasy Flight Games "Only War" WH40K RPG (2012).

A more readable map can be found on the WH40K Fandom Wiki:

I picked this location for a few reasons.  First, the idea of a frontier world brings to mind a planet that's not the usual toxic waste dump, war-torn hell that WH40K games and stories take place on.  Second it's one of the border worlds, so it's close enough to main fighting that was portrayed in Fantasy Flight Games' (FFG) Only War series, without being on the front lines.  But at the same time, close enough for raids and incursions by xenos and heretics.  Finally, it's location fits in with both FFG's WH40K RPG and WH40k/Wrath & Glory's Imperium Nihilus or the Age of the Dark Imperium.

I hope you enjoyed Suitable Servants along with the background material that went into creating it.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Chaos Cultists Pass In Review

When it comes to miniature wargaming; ever since I joined the military, I've felt compelled to collect multiple factions of miniatures.  I have my own World War II and Modern Micro Armor, consisting of vehicles from nearly all sides.

I've done this because I'd often be located in an area with few gamers and it would be up to me to provide both of the opposing factions' figures.

I'm no longer "globetrotting," but I work a rotating shift. Which means more often than not, I'm a "no-show" for scheduled gaming events.  I also like to concoct webcomics based on miniature gaming.  So I like to have an opposing faction on-hand for a photo-shoot, or even the rare game.

This has bled over into my Warhammer 40K collection.  The bulk of my figures and vehicles come from the ranks (upon ranks, upon...) of the Astra Militarum--the common foot-soldiers of The Imperium of Man.

But for the past couple of years, every time I purchased stuff at a game store, usually The Game Matrix, I'd pick up a small, 5-figure box of easy-build Chaos Cultists...

...until I had a total of 7 boxes/35 figures.  The box's content description lists the typical weaponry carried by the cultists.

A few months ago, I assembled the figures, then I sent the whole kit & kaboodle to Dan, my go-to guy for painting WH40K figures and vehicles.  When I got them back last month, I painted and flocked the bases.

I divided my Chaos Cannon Fodder into three groups differentiated by their bases.  One group of 10, are mounted on green, grassy bases.  The second group of 10 are on ash-grey bases, while the last group of 15 are on tan/brown sandy bases, with the darker brown-based figures forming a "command" group of sorts.

The next 11 pictures are a sample of one finished, 5-figure box, which I'll assume is a fire team or half squad.

A fire team of Chaos Cultists on patrol in the wilderness:

The first figure, I assume could be a team leader, or at least a close-combat specialist brandishing an auto pistol and morning star:

A side-view of Figure 1:

The second leader/close-combat figure is similarly armed with an auto pistol and flail:

A side view of the flail-bearer:

The third figure is cloaked and lugging an autogun of some sort:

A side view of the cloaked figure:

Because this figure leans so far forward, it was the most "tippy" of all the Chaos Cultists.  To resolve the tipping issue and to add more weight to the light plastic figures, I super-glued washers to the bottom of each base, then painted over each one.

The fourth figure is also a rifleman carrying what's generically described as an autogun:

The rifleman's side profile:

The last figure is another riflemen with a bayonet fixed to his autogun:

The bayonet-armed rifleman's side profile:

The remaining 30 figures were painted-up by Dan in a similar fashion.  No two look exactly alike.

Here's the entire 5-man "brown" command squad, and 10-man tan rifle squad:

My fully-mustered Chaos Cultist force looks something like this on the battlefield:

One of the main reasons I chose to collect the Astra Militarum is because the figures have a generic enough look I can utilize them in other sci-fi game settings.  Like US Colonial Marines in the Alien vs. Predator 'verse.

I can also use these Chaos Cultists as mutant soldiers in various post-apocalyptic/sci-fi horror settings.

Getting back to the grim darkness of WH40K, I couldn't find any printed game statistics for a mob of Chaos Cultists.

However, I found a few on-line sources.

For anyone still playing previous editions of WH40K, there's--

--Dark Future Games' 100-point Chaos Cultist force w/stats (2012), and

--Frontline Gaming's Chaos Cultist review (2017).

And for 8th Edition players, Creative Twilight brings the cultists up-do-date.

I certainly don't have enough cultists for a full WH40K Chaos force.

But I figure it will be enough as a mob of minions to throw at a Kill Team, or player characters in a session of Wrath & Glory.