Project Dungeon Crawl – The Additional Players

Ah time to catch up on some of those side projects…

Oh.

As you might have guess by the slow down on the main blog, I just didn’t have time for very much other than moderns for the last little bit and so my fantasy adventuring plans have gone literally nowhere. I still have a pile of unpainted models on my desk and I have yet to even play a single game of Open Combat.

However, that wasn’t going to stop me picking up some sprues and creating a few more adventurers to go into the dungeons. Kicked off by the arrival of single spures on ebay for the new female soldiers, I quickly grabbed some off eBay and got to work.

ghost archipelago Crewmen

Hailing from the more tropical realms of Frostgrave’s sister game Ghost Archipelago, these 5 figures have a bit more of a tropical pirate vibe to them. However, I think they would work pretty well as the townsfolk of this northern town once they are indoors or in the underground. For this reason, I decided to go with the less “sea dog looking heads”. These are going to be the poor peasants or workers, suddenly interrupted by the appearence of cultists or barbarians (or maybe worse)

Assembly wise, it’s obvious there is the same feel to them as the other Frostgrave kits. I didn’t try any cross assembly but it might look a little unusual with the difference in clothing styles.

Let’s take a look at what I assembled, going from left to right

  • Simple bowman – maybe someone to be encountered out in the woods near the city, moments before something nasty appears.
  • Big axe, bag on back – either another woodland dweller or maybe a merc hired to cut through obstacles before grabbing the loot.
  • Bandana, beard, sword – simple cannon fodder. Ideal for a bar fight.
  • Mohawk, sword, simple clothes – another sailor ideal for throwing into the mix
  • Okay, this guy is my secret favourite. Floppy hat, club in hand, closed fist. I am willing all my luck

I’m actually tempted to pick up some more sprues of this, especially if I decide to add some docks to the city for the opportunities. So expect to see more of these guys.

Female Soldiers

I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on these girls for a while, especially after seeing the original previews. I really like the style they have gone for, continuing the wrapped up warm look that the original figures had while being sculpted to still look feminine. These all look like tough practical fighters working in winter conditions.

Options wise, there is the same mix of kit as the original spures, everything from bows and crossbows to various swords and spears. There is a great selection of heads

So lets look at who I assembled. Again going from left to right

  • I went for a classic adventurer look here, here striding forward, resting on her spear as she treks into the mountains.
  • This one is probably going to be used as the leader of the adventuring party. Cape hanging off there back sword held low as she advances, her mouth covered in a cloth against the environment.
  • An experienced fighter, axe in one hand and a bow in the other
  • Big lady with a big axe. This figure also has the two-part ponytail head, slightly moved to give her some motion
  • I think the hood and crossbow makes her look like some form of tracker, ideally suited for living up above the snow line

Overall, this is a really nice alternative to the normal soldier sprue if you want some additional variations. There is a good selection of parts and they do look different to their male variants – it’s definitely more than just a headswap.


So where do we go from here? I really like both of the sets I’ve take a look at, and I’m tempted to play around with the crewman sprues a little more to make some more civilians.

Next step: Actually do some painting.

Wargaming Week 17/12/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 10th through to the 16th of December.

BLOG STUFF

Surprise, I’m back! Last week I took a look at the Ember team guys from Spectre Miniatures. I really like these guys and I really hope we’re going to see more figures from this partnership with Echelon Software.

And just as I get back, I immediately go away again for my Christmas break. There will be a new Wargaming Week on the 7th of January but I might try and drop a few things during the break. For example, I think the last figures for my fantasy project should be arriving today so I can at least get them glued together.

NEWS

Empress has revealed their plans for the next year. As well as showing off some late war British figures (which are really making me think about building a force for crossing the Rhine) they also mention some of the other ranges they will be adding to. For Ultramoderns, I am very excited about the prospect of some Kurdish Freedom Fighters. With so much variation, it will be exciting to see what they are equipped with.

I seem to have missed these but Miniature Building Authority has some cool weapon caches. These would be ideal for objective markers or setting the scene. I’m really tempted by them.

PURCHASES

Now owning a BMP 1, it is only a matter of time before it takes a hit, spews smoke and sends the crew running for cover. So, I needed some crew! I ordered some of the Chechnya War AFV crew from Empress and they arrived super quickly. These guys might be a little overdressed for operating in the desert but they should do for now.

HOBBY

I finally finished Ember team. Turns a month and a bit off from painting the models means you’re a bit slower when you come back. On the other hand, not rushing to get these guys done means I had a lot more fun painting them.

I’ve also started to look forward at what I’ll be doing next. There are a few forces I should look at (including that platoon of Brits that’s hanging over me) but I really like the latest undercover operator. I’ve been playing a lot of Overwatch and I think I’ll be taking some inspiration for her based on one of my favourite characters who is also from the MENA region.

Kind of related to wargaming, but I’ve been playing a lot of Insurgency Sandstorm. This game is one of my favourites at the moment, perfectly blending high-speed shooting play with the requirements of a tactical game (and customisation that lets me dress up in some really good looking Tigerstripe). But more importantly, it has a really nice variety of environments. I’ve been taking a look at them, capturing screens shots ready for the next stage of painting up B-Town. I’m going to try to pull out some of the graffiti just to put it on the Sarissa buildings I have.

The gameplay is also an interesting idea that could lead to a simple participation game, letting players drop in and out while working through a map. Now, I just have to build a load of structures to push through.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week year!

Impressions: Spectre Miniatures Ember Team

To say I have an interest in Black Powder Red Earth is putting things mildly. I think it’s an incredible series that, despite having a few issues with the pacing sometimes, details the activities of a PMC named Cold Harbor operating in international hotspots, all detailed in a striking (and sometimes very unpleasant) art style. It feels unlike any other comic book, presenting a realistic take on the world packed full of action and operators operating operationally.

More importantly, I love the look of these operators. Equipped to the nines with the latest military kit, their faces covered by bandannas, these guys look operators. Hearing that Spectre had managed to sign an agreement with Echelon Software to bring these guys to the wargaming table made me very happy indeed.

The first pack represents several operators from Ember team, a force shown in the Black Powder Red Earth Yemen series. This set includes 6 operators, all equipped with heavily modified 5.56 carbines. As someone who has an interest in all the latest gear (such is the curse of the airsofter) it was easy to spot that these guys are covered in all the latest and greatest kit. The carbines are decked out with parts that you may recognise if you have been on the BCM website recently, including cool details like offset red dot sights alongside short dot scopes or upgraded stocks and rail kits. The operators themselves, over their civilian clothing, have Haley Strategic rigs and belts. Even their side arms, a tiny detail, are setup like they are in the comics, in custom holsters and with red dots on their slides.

It’s important to note that this pack includes the NOD sprue – you don’t need to buy additional packs unless you want to swap some of the two tubes out for the panoramic versions (maybe your operators got a particularly well paying client this time).

As with all these Spectre figures, the posing is one of the unique features that sets them out from other manufacturers. This pack has a neat variation in terms of poses with two in the firing pose, two in the rapid movement and the last two readying up. Out of all of them though, I really have to say I’m a fan of the guy using his backup optics (pictured here in his red shirt). However, all of them look as cool and dynamic as expected.

It’s well worth looking at the selection of operators currently available from Spectre and showing off the different options each of them provides.

From left to right:

  • US Rangers – Much more uniform look. Everyone wearing the same uniform with similar kit
  • Task Force Operators – Varied style of uniform and equipment. Everything from full-sized plate carriers down to low profile chest rigs. Also the widest selection of weapons and poses
  • Ember Team – Civilian clothing mixed with a very specific set of gear and weaponry
  • Tier 1 Operators – Military-style clothing (can be painted as camo or plain colours), a wide selection of modern weapon systems, chest rigs and soft headgear.
  • SWAT – Older style of kit and weapon however still pretty uniform.

Painting wise, I decided to set these guys up as the QRF for my other Tier 1 guys, having stopped long enough to grab their helmets and NODs before going out on the street. As part of this, these guys were once again treated to the irregular force painting scheme I’ve used before, By picking a small number of colours and making sure each is used in different locations on a few models, it helps to make the team look a little more unified. With these operators, there was also a third region (as well as the shirt and trousers) with the bandannas to populate and I’m pretty happy with the overall look.

So what do I think? Well, I think Spectre has done a fantastic job of capturing the style of the Ember team operators. These guys look exactly like the team from the comics, and if you go hard on the original scheme you could make some really impressive looking models.

If your warzone doesn’t include Cold Harbor, then these guys would still be ideal for any number of heavily armed and well trained groups, from private military contractors to special operations forces. And best of all, you get to put the very latest in gucci kit on the board

I’m also looking forward to what comes next from this partnership. Ember is from the Yemen books but there are other operators from the earlier books that are also pretty stylish looking, especially as someone who loves the baseball cap and ear defender look. This first pack also only includes troops armed with assault rifles – it would be handy to get some alternative weapons for different situations. Either way, I’ll be keeping a close eye on them.

So remember – All Kill No Capture.


As an aside, I also recently ordered the Ember team ID patch from Echelon Software itself. And when it arrived, this spilled out of the packaging (along with a few stickers).

Nice try Echelon, but I’m already hooked.

Wargaming Week 10/12/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 2nd through to the 9th of December.

BLOG STUFF

Oh look, blog stuff is back.

Okay, after my lovely time away I’ve been doing some thinking about this blog. As much as I have loved writing a feature post every week, it’s safe to say it’s knackered me out. So I’m going to change how I’ll be running posts.

Monday posts are remaining the same. It gives me a good place to check in and update how I’m doing. I also know a few people who don’t use Facebook read this and so it’s handy to pass on new releases and such. Also, I like writing them.

Instead of a feature post every week, you’ll be getting a bit of writing every time I finish something. So what this means practically is that some weeks all you get is the Monday news update while others you might get a pile of posts to read. They will still be going up at the same time (12pm GMT) to make sure you get something ready to read on your lunch break or first thing in the morning depending on where you are.

This is not me giving up on the blog – far from it! What it is is a re-arrangement – this isn’t my job and if I treat it like such I’m going to grow to dislike it. It also means I get some more time to do other projects than riding the painting train to hell – including writing more scenarios and rules! I’ve already been testing a rules tweaks so maybe you’ll hear about them soon.

NEWS

Honestly, no real news, we’re getting close to Christmas so it’s to be expected. A minor point for anyone stateside is that Spectre Miniatures has announced they will be going to Adepticon next year, sharing a stand with Black Site Studio.

PURCHASES

Some black spray paint. It’s all go around here.

EDIT: Okay, false here. I actually (after setting this to be scheduled) went and picked up a sprue of the new Frostgrave female soldiers and a spure of the Ghost Archipelago crewmen (and bases) so I can finish off assembling figures for my fantasy project.

HOBBY

Not much movement on the hobby front this week unfortunately – it’s been a week filled mostly with video games thanks to a few key releases coming out. However, there was a little bit of progress on the BPRE operators, mainly neatening up some of the colours and getting the detailing in place. Fingers crossed, you’ll see these guys finished this week.

In other news, my latest order arrived. I’ve already got to work basing the new figures. I’m going to plan out a few ways to base the walls and brick piles, ideally to create interesting features rather than just gently placing them on the tabletop.

And also there is the small matter of building another Humvee…


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 03/12/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 26th of November through to the 2nd of December.

NEWS

Under Fire Miniatures has updated its Cold War US Army infantry range. As well as adding a new release (the Dragon ATGM team), they have also been rebalanced. This mean the packs are a little easier to choose when trying to build you force, splitting the riflemen from the support weapons.

If you want some of your own, you can find them on the Under Miniatures site .

Image from Spectre Miniatures

This week also saw a small but exciting release from Spectre Miniatures. The first figure is the undercover operative you see above. Dressed in civilian clothing ideal for the MENA region and with a suppressed pistol, she is perfect for more covert missions. I’m also a big fan of her sculpt, and can’t wait to get her painted.

The other release was designed to give the FSB team some backup. Deciding that .50cal rifles were not enough of an advantage, this new killteam operator arrives in full heavy body armour. Although not quite as covert, it won’t matter when he is kicking in the door.

PURCHASES

Image from Spectre Miniatures

Okay, I may have done a big Spectre purchase. As well as the two new figures (which I’m very excited about getting on the table) I also decided to pick up a few things

  • HMV 4 – This is going to be another blank Humvee, probably with some stowage applied but not much else. This will give me a pair of vehicles ready for use in various countries, as well as two additional high-tech vehicles for special forces use.
  • DSHK and gunner – An upcoming scenario I have planned is going to see some of Bazistan’s SF rolling around in a Humvee. So I’ve picked up a suitable gunner and another DSHK to add to the ring mount.
  • Scatter terrain – Spectre released a pile of scatter terrain that I hadn’t picked up, such as the walls you can see in the picture above. I really want to start improving my picture and tables and this terrain should be a great addition.

HOBBY

We have action on the painting bench. After a nice break away, I finally broke out the paint and got to work on Ember team from Spectre. I managed to get the basic colours sort, so maybe there will be a post on Friday with some more details on them!

Maybe.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 26/11/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 19th through to the 25th of November.

NEWS

The Ultracombat Kickstarter has now concluded. It managed to hit it’s minimum goal, as well as storming up the stretch goals list to add a few additional teams to both sides such as HQ units, weapon teams and two other fire teams full of additional poses. Now we just have to wait for it all!

Spectre also had a big week. ALong with a Black Friday sale, they also released the first figures from their co-operation with Echelon Software, the company behind Black Powder Red Earth.

These figures are Ember Team, a set of operators from the latest series. Despite wearing civilian clothing these are some pretty high tech operators with all sorts of tech and high speed, low drag gear. I’ll have more thoughts on them once they arrive.

PURCHASES

Surprise, I bought Ember team. I really like the posing and style to them, they should look perfect for the middle of a fire fight. I’m really hoping to get them painted up quickly once they arrives

HOBBY

This week has been busy with real world family things so I’ve been away from my desk with no time for any hobby work.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 19/11/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 11th through to the 18th of Novemeber.

NEWS

Oh boy is this a big one. The long-awaited French from Empress have been finally released. These guys continue their Ultramodern releases, seeing as they are not wielding the trusty FAMAS but instead various items from H&K’s catalogue, the 416 and the 417 specifically. There is a nice variety of poses in the packs, as well as plenty of grenade launchers.

The release includes four packs of infantrymen, a three-man AT missile pack and a set of heads with NVGs. I quite like this range, both for using as modern French but also for generic 416 armed troops if you swap the heads for US Army or Marine Corp

PURCHASES

None, still working on my backlog. I was very tempted with the new French but I’ve decided to wait until Vapa in the new year. Maybe the feeling of the nations I haven’t finished yet (like the USMC and the Rangers and the British) were weighing on my mind.

HOBBY

I finally assembled something! And then threw some paint on it. The BMP1, which has been sat on my desk for a while, is now assembled and base sprayed. I was planning to get it finished off this week and get the write up done but there have been some personal things that mean I’ll be away from my desk for a bit.

I’m also going to get the Dshk turret for the Humvee finished and then this pair will be ready for my next game.

Although speaking of my desk, here is just a glimpse of it. I managed to get a few new things on bases, including the special edition Texas sheriff that Spectre released. He is only made of resin so fingers crossed he doesn’t get knocked over too often

I’ve also decided that my Christmas project (when I’m back down in Leeds) is going to be getting my Fantasy adventurers painted up. You can see them in the back of the shot and it’s been a while since I finished assembling them. However, I am already thinking about picking up a frame of the new female adventuruers when they are released and getting everything painted up in one go.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 12/11/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 5th through to the 11th of November.

NEWS

The Ultracombat Kickstarter continues. At the time of the writing, we’re sitting well funded and with two stretch goals down. Usefully, the team at Radio Dishdash has released this handy comparison image. The image shows the relative height of the new Russian figures in the kickstarter compared to Empress US Infantry, Tiny Terrain Chechen, Radio Dishdash Taliban and Eureka US Marines. This type of image is always useful and I think the new figures look like they should work well alongside most other manufacturers.

The kickstarter can be found here

Alas, by the time you read this, the smart looking gentleman above will no longer be for sale. However, Spectre have released a special edition figure to celebrate their trip to Texas for Millennium Con. For those of us not at the show, he was on the store from Friday until Sunday.

PURCHASES

Well I just had to grab the Spectre exclusive. I’m not planning on doing anything cartel focused but I love the sculpting on this guy. I can see him ending up as some eccentric figure in Bazistan. I also picked up a few extra RWS systems, including the light setup ready for mounting on technicals.

HOBBY

This week’s hobby time was mostly eaten up by me going away to do one of my interests. Yep, I headed down to York to run around airsofting after around a 6 month break. Despite my problem child of a primary refusing to play ball, I had a really good time. Although that weekend has meant I’m not thinking of playing around with what BB throwing systems I use.

However, there has been a little progress. I’ve started writing the next scenario I’m planning to run down the club. I don’t want to spoil it just yet but it’s going to be a change from the usual Insurgents vs BLUFOR scrap. Expect to see the BMP1 out and about


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!