15mil Loveliness – Last Day

White DragonIt’s not often I’m impressed by 15mm scale foot figures. In fact, it might be never. Until now.

Well, until the last Salute, when I first came across these gorgeous little offerings from the guys behind the previous year’s rather nice spaceships: White Dragon Miniatures. I bought a bunch of the pre-production test pieces they had on sale, and they’re really, really nice. Simply the best 15mm figures I’ve ever seen, for any period. The pic is not the best, but it is clickable and very big. Remember that these are only 15mm. Yes, it does say Prodos on the sprue. They are doing the manufacture for White Dragon.

15mil SF15mm squadsAs I type this they are in the final few hours of a Kickstarter for the production versions of these, plus some more goodies. Hurry along if you’re interested. Well worth a look if you’re into the scale at all. And, even if you aren’t, you might want to look at the big mechs who look like they scale well to 28mm too. The example below is painted by the very talented Dwartist who has a load of pics of all the White Dragon 15mms (plus lots more). The 28mm figure in the pic is a limited edition pilot sculpt from White Dragon.

Scale mech from DwartistPersonally, I’ve pledged for some more troops to bulk out a force. Been looking at 15mm SF for a while now, and finding these was a great piece of timing. They’ll be forming my core human infantry.

And they’re doing the Fiddler in 15mm too :)

Posted in Kickstarter | 2 Comments

Dungeon Saga Role Playing

Is DS a roleplaying game? It’s a question I’ve heard a few times now. The answer is very simple: no… and yes.

No, DS is not designed to be an RPG, and never was. It lacks any specific guidance or suggestions for a DM and differs from a pure RPG in the structure of what it includes and how this is presented. It was always intended to be a board game, and that’s what it remains.

However…

What is a roleplaying game anyway? Having designed DS as a board game and without thinking about how you’d use it as an RPG, I started thinking about what made it not. And, having thought, I don’t think there’s much, if anything, to stop you.

It’s been many years since I did any roleplaying, so I may be (= am) out of touch with what is considered normal these days, but the principle can’t have changed all that much. It’s about playing a role and telling a collective story, and a competent GM and players should have no trouble at all in using Dungeon Saga as a springboard for adventuring in the fantasy world of Mantica. In fact, thinking back to the early days of RPGs, what’s included in the box (and especially the Adventurer’s Companion) is a far greater source of plot hooks and guides than many early systems started with. Try playing T&T, for example. Even D&D was very spartan when it started.

You will have to use your imagination, and you won’t get spoon-fed with pre-written adventures. However, you should remember that pre-written adventures aren’t generally aids for good roleplaying, they’re useful crutches for the time-poor DM, and products to keep companies solvent. Having played many systems and more adventures than I can recall, I can happily say that none of my personal top 5 moments in RPGs were pre-written. To be honest, I’m not sure I can think of any really good moments that were. The whole style of gaming is about imagination, and DS provides all the hooks, hints, plot ideas and springboards for adventure that you need. It’s really down to the GM to make a game from that, and that’s more about his skill than anything I’ve written or not.

Posted in Dungeon Sagas | 13 Comments

Don’t Know About DS

What don’t you already know about DS?

I’ve been trying to write something interesting about DS and failing. Not because there’s nothing to say, just that I think I’ve already said it all already. A combination of articles here, Mantic blogs, interviews, seminars, podcasts and many, many individual conversations at events leave me feeling like it’s ground we’ve covered before. Obviously there are lots of details we’ve glossed over, but you want something left to discover when you get your shiny box(es) of goodies, right?

Given that there have been a number of events, seminars and interviews since I last asked this question, and given that I’ve entirely lost track of what you do and don’t know at this point (you may have seen all of my burblings or none of them), what do you want to know? What is there left for me to cover?

Posted in Dungeon Sagas | 51 Comments

Back At My Desk

Back to the routine (and a full inbox) again after a splendid time at the UK Game Expo in Brum. If you’re at all interested in board gaming, or just going in general, then you should seriously consider attending next year. It’s 3 packed days of all manner of gaming, and everyone’s there, from veteran gaming execs to inexperienced individuals playtesting their first ideas, and everything in between.

Although most of my time was spent in discussion with various folk about upcoming projects, I still had time to discover some great new games, a new gaming magazine, and buy some more games and a toy soldier or two. I’ll be talking about them as the week goes on. However, first thing I said I’d do is some more about Dungeon Saga, so that’ll be next.

Posted in Events | 11 Comments

Lead Painter’s League

BRU-57I keep forgetting to mention this, which is odd as I find it so entertaining. Many of you will know this, though I’d guess a few won’t (the internet is quite large). In case you don’t know it, the Lead Adventure Forum (LAF) is a forum about miniatures, with the emphasis on painting. It’s got a linked range of Lead Adventure figures (really Ratnik), which include some excellent weirdness – see above, but today I would like to point out its annual competition: the Lead Painter’s League (LPL).

This year is LPL 9, and the astute among you will realise that it’s been going for a while now. What I like about the LPL is that it has a wide mix of abilities, and the forum is overwhelmingly positive. With a number of negative sites about, it’s nice to browse though the LAF, where it feels like a bunch of mates who are happy to offer help and advice.

What’s also interesting is that while the top painters on the LAF are very good, they aren’t all Golden Demon winners because they mostly game with their models as well as paint them – meaning these are standards that are practical for whole gaming forces. For real people. Well, sometimes ;P

What’s also interesting is the variety of styles employed. There’s a definite lean towards Dallimore-esque layering, but that’s far from universal. So, plenty of hints to be picked up and ideas to be stolen inspire.

Anyway, the LPL runs on a weekly basis, with contestants putting up something every week, to be judged by the forumites in pairs (I think that anyone registered on the forum can vote – I certainly do). Some are great paint jobs, some just dipped, though the pairs tend to put similar qualities together, so it’s not always easy to pick a favourite regardless of the level of technical skill, which is clever. The breadth of models the contestants manage to find is huge, and I’ve discovered several companies in this way. For that alone I find it a worthwhile place to lurk in :)

For additional inspiration, all the previous rounds from all the previous years are also available for your perusal, so there’s plenty of eye candy. Have a look for yourself.

Posted in Painting & Modelling | 4 Comments

Mantic’s Reveal Week

Danor-basic-450x315Over on their blog, Mantic are doing a week’s worth of spilling the beans on all manner of upcoming goodies. Some of these are DS related, so until the dust has settled on this I’ll hold of on DS topics of my own. I know that there is (supposedly) a daily schedule of what these reveals might be, but you never know when they’ll pull a surprise out of the hat. Plus Ronnie is on Beasts of War this week, and he’s the expert bean spiller :)

Posted in Dungeon Sagas | 16 Comments

Weekend Eventing

As I said on Friday, the weekend had a couple of events to fill my time.

DS boxThe Mantic Day on Saturday was jolly, with plenty of happy folk playing a variety of games. Instead of a single theme, the plan was to have a little of everything, and there were tables of DZ (sort of – a big mech rumble), DS, KOW, DB, DBX and even a Warpath demo showing off the latest version of the rules. Was MA there too? I can’t remember. Too much to keep track of. Of course, there were also goody bags, seminars and a bunch of shiny new bits and bobs in the studio cabinets, some of which will be revealed later this week over on the Mantic blog. Or their Facebook, or somewhere.

Digger BossOn Sunday I went up to Triples in Sheffield with a friend of mine. There I spent all the money I’d just made selling other toy soldiers, as well as bumping into several people I knew. One of these brave fellows has just started a new miniatures company, and you might like to have a look. It’s called Macrocosm, and takes an unashamedly “Oldhammer” sort of look at SF skirmish gaming. He’s also taken the old skool approach of selling his first born rather than using Kickstarter, which is something I have heard clamours for from a number of people with KS fatigue. Bold? Brave? Foolhardy? Only time will tell. It’s certainly the less common approach these days. Perhaps he’ll see the light and run a Kickstarter later…

MalignancyThe pics here are all lifted from his site and FB pages. He’s got a couple of factions out already, plus what sounds like a lot more on the way. The rules are available for free as a download from the Macrocosm site. Worth a look. They remind me most strongly (as does the whole vibe) of my early days playing Laserburn. Ah, the nostalgia :)

Og trooperIn the end I didn’t buy any of these on the day as I’d already spent most of my cash by then, and I knew I’d see him at the UK Game Expo later this month. I expect that I’ll pick up a starter there (though which one? I like both). And, who knows, he may have more by then – all of which will help my decision process no end ;P

It also occurred to me that these should fit in nicely with the Colony 87 Kickstarter I pledged on the other day. I knew I had a reason for backing it…

Posted in Events | 1 Comment