After all that historical stuff we were craving something a little out of the normal. One of my friends has a habit of leading us astray by buying stuff for me to read and thus influencing our gaming habits (sometimes not to subtly).
This time he simply went out and bought 3 copies of Empire of the Dead by West Wind Productions. Its a great, simple and small scale game which we could proxy figures into to start with (my Malifaux crew have been on more EotD missions than anything else).
Empire of the Dead is set in an alternate, gothic Victorian era where a steampunk style of imagery has clearly influenced the world view. A great twist on a game world and one that lends itself well to the stories many gamers would have read as youngsters. A world where vampires and werewolves can be seen side by side with Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. All on a backdrop of high tech steam power and mechanical servants.
A few reinforcements were needed as this is designed to be a campaign game. As members of a gang die or new members are recruited I would find that my Malifaux range would need to be complemented with figures that didn’t look too out of place.
Starting with a Zendarian gentleman’s club I had my leaders and heroes already. I needed basic troopers to represent their footmen and personal guards… West Wind do a range of Victorian Gothic types and they fit well with the Malifaux range too.
To play this game the way it deserves, a new terrain setting was again needed. Some of my buildings would work well but the cramped smokey cities I wanted would need something more. I think my modelling bug truly started here… The table deserved all types of extra touches like the lamp posts and gardens pictured.
This was an endeavour that would go on for some time as one gentleman’s club is never enough for some of us…
To be continued…
Saga was a great rule set for us. Is a great rule set in general. All great rules must be born and nurtured by a great rules writer (they probably prefer the term Game Designer, sounds more professional).
The guys at Studio Tomahawk did a great job on Saga so we trusted in their skills and tried Muskets and Tomahawks next. One of my friends has been fascinated by the tales of Rogers Rangers and the French Indian wars ever since his childhood. He had been talking about trying this era for months by then, without getting very far. It didn’t appeal to all of us but I talked myself into joining in and I picked up some napolionic bits and bobs along with a few AWI figures to try out this new era.
It also gave me the perfect excuse to buy even more buildings (notice a theme yet?). This time it was a quartet of old west log cabins. These are again 4ground prepainted mdf and were a joy to put together.
I already had a few Wild West shop fronts made by Sarissa and having plenty of old west buildings will be useful as one day we will probably end up with a cowboy game of some sort.
Only time will tell if I am right…
We wanted more. I wanted more. I was too lazy to paint more (and anyway, my painting would never match the great job Felix had done already.)
Enter the new painter for hire… A local chap with a steady hand and a love of painting that I could never have matched. eBay user zulu1870.
A great painter and a nice chap to boot. Not his usual style of painting but he kindly found time to accommodate me, and the new figures stand out as great miniatures while still fitting the original warband’s style if combined into a larger force.
All we needed now was a rule set to get us started. War and Conquest was the game that caught our eye. Exactly how we expected a big battle rulebook to be, hard backed, full of glossy images and reassuringly expensive but with a large online resource already available, ensuring we would have army lists to use from the start.
Sadly we never got any further with this little venture. Mustering such a large force and finding time to paint it proved too much for some of us and we never got things off the ground. I still use the warbands for the occasional game of Saga. And we used them to help with the playtesting of The Valhalla Sagas (finally published as Valhalla). I would still love to get them out on the table for a big bash at some point…
It would seem that skirmish games have their benefits, and the ease of collecting a skirmish force in preference to a main army is obvious to me now. I will get my big game but will have to wait a little longer it would seem.
Saga. A little game you might of heard about before.
We found it, as is often the case, when a friend started collecting something new. In this case it was dark age miniatures. Vikings to be exact. In an effort to keep up and get some use out of these miniatures we all bought into the Saga buzz.
Saxons have always appealed to me. I didn’t find the thought of painting all those miniatures in one go appealing though. Time was against me with family and work commitments at that point leaving little time for a paintbrush.
I did find time to identify a reliable and fair priced painter for hire though. Felix Figure Painting did a sterling job on my first warband and supplied me with something I had always wanted. Villagers, a village looks empty without them and so many games call for objectives these days it would have been foolish not to get some done at the same time…
Pop in a few extra archers and huscarls from my older collections and I was ready. I already had the setting ready as my ever growing collection of buildings contained thatched cottages that would fit our needs nicely. Again 4Ground provided a beautiful backdrop for our games.
The Saga was started… It wasn’t to end there though. After playing skirmish games for so long now we began to dream of larger battles. My mind drifted back to our games of yesteryear. It was WAB back then, but why go back when so many new games are out there to look forward to. A new game beckoned. But I would new more men…
Everyone loves pirates, right?
We had been talking about getting into a pirate game for a month or two when we went to Warfare in Reading. Talk about good timing…
On display there were the new Black Scorpion pirate ranges and their pirate game, Cutlass. 3 rule books later we were all off and digging through our bits boxes for figures that could be pressganged into a pirate crew. Fortunately some old Games-workshop Empire sprues were kicking about in my drawers which, with a little effort, would do just fine.
The first crew were based on planking made from blue craft foam, cut and carved to size. Only problem was, it melts when exposed to plastic cement. The second attempt worked better but the glue then reacted with the matt varnish leaving the boots of the crew looking a little odd. Matt varnish has often been problematic for me as you will come to see.
Second crew were based without making as much of an effort and worked more to my liking.
The buildings in the photos are mostly made by 4Ground and are excellent examples of their prepainted, lasercut, MDF range. I love these and they often find their way into many of our games.
Cutlas has a unique and fun initiative steeling mechanic which keeps you wondering just how long you can keep going before you fail something and lose the initiative to your opponent.
As usual though, before too long, we found a new shiny thing in the form of Saga to distract us…
I was asked today by a friend to remind him again why I use the name Steinberg as an online identity. I guess it would be wise to put this in the blog early on, as others may find this explanation helpful too. The story predates the shed. Predates the house even… You may have noted that my gaming history started in my childhood (early teen years really). It has not been continuous though. Lots of other gamers appear to have followed a similar path, where early gaming is full on and takes up most of our time. Then life takes time back! Work and family commitments begin to kill off many things we love. It would seem that some things never truly die. After being away from gaming for about 8 years, a job change and relocation led me to rediscover gaming when I attended a game club in the new area. The club was not entirely to my tastes as the competition gamers there were more hard core than I wanted to be. However, many gamers there were into gaming for the love of playing, and I found firm friends in that environment. The main reason for going in the first place. Enough history… Time to tell you about The Steinberg Stingers. In those first steps to restart my gaming life I agreed to join a Bloodbowl league. I guess it was an easy way back in. Buy and paint 13 figures and you are in… In hind sight a 14th player may have been a useful addition as their first league results show how 13 is never a lucky number. It could never be the fact I have had a loosing streak that has lasted for the past 12 years. So the team only lasted for another season but the name Steinberg has lasted much much longer. Therefore, if you find a forum user by that name, with very few posts to his name, it is highly likely that my very short attention span has been there and done that…
October 2012 and with the colder weather creeping in we ventured out to the home of citadel miniatures, Games Workshop Nottingham… The trip got me thinking about terrain for our games and tunnels especially. The Zone Mortalis board on display there was ripe for the copying and I returned home to brew up some ideas and make my own copy.
While that idea was growing in form and complexity our next gaming venture was beginning. We uncovered the world of Warmachine and as usual immersed ourselves completely. Menoth was my faction of choice. Nothing like religious zealots to get the blood moving.
Putting the two together the result was yet another unfinished army and a set of terrain boards that still reside in a box in the shed in a form unchanged from this photo.
I’ve been thinking back to what was first seen on the painting table when I got the shed finished and what was played most at that time…
These guys are likely the first to be seen when the grand opening was done…
We had just discovered Malifaux and as usual we all started with a buy in at starter pack level. Not a game we played for long but some great little figures for painting. If I’m honest, they have probably been out more often as an Empire of the Dead Gentleman’s Club crew than anything else.