Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Castle Occupant Rides Forth

Over at The Alexandrian, there is a great post about hexcrawling and "archaic game structures."

One part of Justin's post is this paragraph:
A vestigial remnant of this structure survived all the way into the Rule Cyclopedia (where tables were still being presented to randomly determine the attitude of castle occupants), but I’m guessing it’s been essentially nonexistent in actual play since 1980 at the latest. And, unlike JG-style hexcrawling, I doubt these “castle occupant rides forth” game structures are likely to enjoy a significant renaissance any time soon.
Well, I'm not arguing with the thesis of his article, but last night, on "Game of Thrones," this happened --
Danerys Targaryian visits the Thirteen at Qarth...

The castle occupant strode forth...

To me, this was a very good scene, filled with tense drama and "roleplaying."  Delightful interplay between the primary characters.  

With excellent examples like this, maybe there will be a renaissance of this game structure.  :)

Monday, April 23, 2012


Over at Monster Brains,  Aeron Alfrey has a great post with the covers of a German magazine, "Ghost Stories."

One that really caught my eye involved gorilla-like monsters with tentacle arms.

Here's an Arduin Octorilla mini --
I want to believe that David Hargrave was inspired by the image below...

Here's the pic from Aeron's blog (I took the guy out of it...) --


Num. Enc: 2-5
Align: NE
Move: 180' (60') ground movement, swinging and climbing
AC: 3
HD: 7
Attacks: 2 (or 4) tentacles and 1 bite or net (see below)
D/Att: 1d10/1d10/1d8
Save: F7
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XIX
XP: 1,400

Octorillas are an obscene combination of an octopus and a gorilla, created as a servant warrior race by a mad wizard.  At some point, a group of octorillas escaped from captivity and now they dwell in remote swamps and bogs, capturing humans and humanoids for food.

Octorillas like to keep their food alive until they are ready to eat it, so they often deploy nets to entangle and trap their prey.  If hit by a net, the prey must save vs. paralyzation or be unable to move for 1d4 rounds.  Entangled prey suffer a -4 AC penalty.

For every five octorillas encountered, one will be an alpha male with four tentacles, rather than two.

If both tentacles of an octorilla hit a target, the target is grabbed.  There is a 5% cumulative chance, per round, per STR point over 15, that the grabbed target will be able to escape.  Otherwise, the octorilla will automatically hit with both tentacles for 2d10 points of damage each round.  Targets reduced to 0 HPs in this manner are rendered unconscious for 2d10 turns and awaken with 1d6 HP.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Land Raider Mk I

Was cleaning out my bits box today, when I came across this page of instructions and stickers.  These are from the Land Raider Mk I, circa 1986.

I get a kick out of the advice on page 2 --
Parts from the Land Raider kit may also be combined with parts from other Citadel plastic kits such as the Rhino.  Metal parts may also be combined, if you wish, although epoxy glues and a degree of modelling expertise will be required.
There WAS a time when you didn't have to stick to the Codex!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fitz's 6x6 Matrix Idea

I realize that I'm a little behind in my blog reading, but I was really taken with Fitz's idea over at his Shouting Into the Void blog.

His idea is to roll 3d6 36 times and let a player pick the row or column that she likes for her character's stats.

I whipped up a Google Spreadsheet here

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Converted 40k Space Marines

Back in 1987 when I first started playing Warhammer 40,000, it seemed a bold move to convert your minis.  :)

I didn't have a lot of money, so cutting arms and legs off of your little plastic (or lead) fellows might just turn a perfectly good mini into so much junk.

Luckily for me, I was (am?) kinda good at it and the original plastic space marines were modular and practically begging to be converted.

One of my first attempts was a leader.  I was inspired by this pic in the back of the WH40k Rogue Trader book --

Here's my Captain with the cyberleg.  I built it out of tiny pieces of plastistruct.

I also tried to make some guys with "combi-weapons."  Was that a thing back then?  I don't remember...  These aren't too spectacular, but you can see I went a little crazy converting bolter accessories into armor bits.  "Chainsaw shoulderpads" on both models...

I think I originally wanted the guy on the right to have a Meltagun.  I used an aluminum standoff as a giant muzzle on his converted bolter.

I have a bunch more of these that I will share in future posts!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stock THIS Temple

Over at 9 and 30 Kingdoms, Talysman challenges us to stock this Scandinavian Temple from the OBI Scrapbook Blog.

It's an awesome pic, but there are a bunch of cows in the foreground...

I took them out.  :)  Here you go, and thanks to Talysman for the challenge!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Magnetized 40k Land Raider Redeemer/Crusader

Back in the olden days, we used to just build our 40k armies and vehicles however we wanted and we played with whatever equipment we wanted.

Our only real rule was you couldn't "hide" a heavy weapon on a regular trooper -- they were too obvious to see -- but otherwise, we just talked about what each vehicle, squad, etc. had as weapons.

Well, the new normal is WYSIWYG.  Which is fine, but models are REALLY expensive!

So, I have embraced the new trend -- MAGNETS!

Last weekend, I went down to my FLGS and bought a Land Raider Redeemer/Crusader.  The kit is designed to build ONE of these two options, but if you are clever; you can build two!

Here are some pics
Land Raider Redeemer  It has Hurricane Bolters in the sponsons.

Land Raider Crusader.  It has Flamestorm Cannons in the sponsons.  

Here are all the magnetized bits.

I think you can see, on the sponsons, that I have magnets set up in a diagonal pattern.  These match a diagonal pattern in the hatchways.  I place them this way so I'd have a better time drilling.  The corners are clearly marked.

For some smaller parts, I just glued a tiny bit of steel onto the part.  The magnet holds the smaller parts just fine.  The larger, heavier parts have paired magnets.

GW only includes two (2) pieces to attach the guns to.  These pieces rotate within the sponsons.  To be able to mount both pairs of weapons, you'd need two more.  Some folks magnetize these pieces and then attach the guns with magnets.

I decided to build four (4) magnetic rods, magnets at the top and bottom, for gun mounting.  I used plastistruct tubing 3/8 inch diameter.  I put a bit of sprue inside the tube and then I pushed it down with a disk magnet.  Using the magnet assured that there would be JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT of space for the magnet in each end.  See sketch:

Then I glued the magnet on top of the sprue bit INSIDE the rod.  The weapons were then glued to each of the rods.

I also embedded eight (8) magnets on the top of the Land Raider.  This will allow me to mix and match bits on the top like the antenna, storm bolter, hunter/killer missile, spotlight, etc.

Anyway, I'm not an expert painter, but I think it looks pretty good.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Old School 40k Landspeeder Squadron

Back in the olden days of Warhammer 40k, Games Workshop didn't produce many (if any) vehicles.

They published articles (like this one) to inspire you to create your own.

I know now that creating your own stuff has fallen out of favor with players of 40k (and with GW -- I wonder why?) but it hasn't fallen out of favor with me!

In a couple of weeks, my grandson Matt and I will be teaming up to play in a 40k battle against his dad!  I will be bringing my Land Raiders (one old and one new) to bear in that battle, but I wanted to try to bring a squad of Landspeeders.  

In the past, I've played with a speeder, but I've always used only one.  They are fairly fragile --

-- with armor of 10, so one doesn't last very long...
That's OU812...  I've had him for 20 years, believe it or not...

I would LOVE to be able to buy three of these...
They are sooooo cool!

... BUT I want to see how they play FIRST!

To that end, I went down to my local Dollar Store and I bought 3 travel sized sticks of deodorant and a bag of ballpoint pens.  Total $4.

I went to Hobby Lobby and I bought some small plastic champagne glasses.  24 for $3.

I dug in my cabinet for some plastic spoons -- I'll call that free.

I also busted out some electrical connectors that I used for rocket launchers on my drop pods (I made these out of foam core...) 

So, I drilled and painted and mounted them on the bases of the little cups.  I magnetized the rocket pods so I can take them off, if they get destroyed OR if I need to shave points (+40 each).

Here they are.  They aren't fantastic, but they are serviceable and I will get a chance to play with three 'speeders in a couple of weeks.
They actually look a bit better in person than in this photo...