Adventures in Roleplaying Part 4 – The Gathering Storm

“At the time, like most things, it seemed like a good idea.

Reasonably ok pay, three meals a day, and free board for a year. Everything seemed rosie for a change, at least until you read your contracts small print… Miserable weather, near constant marching, and routine patrols….

The air smelt of blood, death, and fecess. As what remained of Baldrick rained down on you, all you could think was that he would never return home to his family’s turnip farm.

The company had been dispatched 10 days ago to hunt down a goblin raiding party that was attacking northern homesteads.

But It wasn’t a raiding party… They were a scouting party for a larger horde.

The screams of a group of pikemen  being cleaved in two by an Orc barbarian’s Greataxe snapped you back to your senses in time to see a group of 6 Goblins armed with Scimitars charging straight for you…”

As I mentioned in a previous posting, I was getting a new group together for some D&D loving. 
We’ve had our session (0), ideas were exchanged, a social contract was signed, and characters were rolled up… And then there was a couple of weeks break till Session (1).

For party composition we have a Dwarven Cleric, a Human Fighter, a Lizardfolk Wizard, an Assimar Paladin, and a Half Elf Rogue. 

Personally I think some of them based their characters off Game of Thrones characters, but cudo’s to our player Paul for basing his Lizardfolk Wizard on a character from ‘Cadillac’s and Dinosaurs’.

 For safety sake I took a copy of their character sheets.

As I was getting back into the swing of things and I was DM’ing (dungeon mastering) for a new group, I started the group as a level 1 party. Also, instead of starting the party in a tavern, I started them in the middle of a battle with npc’s (non player characters) dying all around them. This way I could get a feel for how they Roleplay their characters and give them a taste of combat straight out of the gate.

To get my players pumped for session (2), I had there first combat encounter sort of layered. They first fought a group of 6 goblins, then followed up with 2 Orcs. 

By then end of these 2 encounters they were in a bad way, so things didn’t look too rosie when they got charged by a Troll.

Luckily our party was saved by the timely intervention of their Dwarven Sergeant D’van StoneHammer, who planted his axe in the middle of the Trolls head.

D’van reminded the party to burn the Troll before charging off to meet the oncoming green tide.

Session (1) ended with the party barely alive, facing a green tide charging at them as the scene faded to black.

I think I gave my players a good show, as I got a few ‘come on’ when the scene faded to black and my players wanting to know what happens to their characters. 
Personally I can’t wait till we get into session (2), and find out what has happened to our band of adventurers.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave 

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Imperium Rising Part 6: Reinforcements Inbound 

I’m really enjoying 8th edition Warhammer 40k, especially ‘Open Play’. Myself and a friend, Dermot, have been enjoying just slapping down what we have on the table and going at it.

my current Dark Angels army stands at basically the contents of the old Dark Vengeance Starter Set, Which is :

HQ:

Company Master

Librarian 

Chaplain

Troops:

2 Tactical Squads (10 men each)

1 Combat Squad

Fast Attack:

Ravenwing Bike Squad (3 Bikers)

Elites:

Terminator Squad (5 Terminators)

I also have the recently released Primaris Captain but that’s it. 
It was time to go thru my bitz box and see what I have to work with in order to expand my chapter.

So after going thru my bitz box, I have enough parts for an Assault Squad, a Combat Squad, and 3 Scout Squads (1 squad with bolters, 1 squad with shotguns, and a close combat squad). I’m just missing a few parts (mostly legs for my troops).
Now being a bit strapped at the moment for GW prices or kits, I searched out an alternative company to Games Workshop in order to meet my hobby/ gaming needs.

Anvil Industry is a UK based company that offers a range of alternative resin models and parts for both 28mm SciFi and modern day military miniatures.

I ordered a range of bitz from themselves, from their ‘Black Ops’ and ‘Regiment’ range.

I’ve spent tonight giving the parts a little wash, to clean off any mold release that might still be present. To say that I find the level of detail impressive is an understatement. I can’t find any mold lines and flash is a minimum. I’ll show them off shortly but as a taster for my Scouts I’m going to be using Anvil Industry’s Medium Armour torso and Fatigues legs from their Regiment line.


Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

Adventures in Roleplaying Part 3 – The City

So… It’s a new year, and time for a new adventure. I’m going to have a new group of adventurers next month, so it’s time I got started writing a new adventure. 
This time round, the group will be running Dungeons & Dragons 5E. It’ll be set in the Forgotten Realms, in ‘The Spine of the World’.
I’m being a bit lazy this time round. I’m not going to homebrew an adventure arc or campaign. I’ve been going through some of the  adventures I have in my DM (Dungeon Master) folder, and starting off I’m basically going to link them together as part of a larger story arc.
I’m going to do this by firstly making a homebrew city, high up in the Spine of the World. I haven’t settled on a name for the city yet, and to be honest I don’t think I will name it (I’ll leave that up to the players). 
The inspiration for ‘The City’, comes from drawings of medieval cities, the image at the start of this article, Helms Deep from The Lord of the Rings, and with a touch of ‘Attack on Titan’.
So the basic idea was of a city high in the mountains with multiple layers of defence. The city would be populated primarily of humans, elfs, and dwarfs. With each race being in charge of a particular layer of defence, and section of the city.

I did a pencil scetch of the city, to get my ideas down on paper. The humans will have an urban environment, the elves will have a forest environment, and the dwarfs will live in the mine, at the center of the city.

I then went over the pencil drawing in pen. I finalised the design, added a few flourishes.

And then I coloured it in.


Obviously my little drawing isn’t to scale, and I’ve purposely left most of the city blank for two reasons. Firstly, so that new players can explore the city. And, secondarily so I can link the adventures I have picked out (more about them in a later post), better to the players choices.

Well that’s all for now, until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave

Hobby Hack #4 – Cutting the Costs


We are all aware of the cost of our hobby (well, except our partners, who we usually fudge the prices of our purchases to). 
Let’s face it, our hobby isn’t cheap. Between model/ miniature costs, the cost of accessories, paint and glue, costs rake up pretty quickly. As such, we are usually on the look out for ways to either cut our costs or to get a good deal on our purchases.
Some times this is buying on the secondary market, other times it’s finding alternative products, and it’s the latter (alternative products), we’re going to delve into today.

The first item we’re going to look at is ‘Primers’. For those of you who are uninitiated, a ‘Primer’, is basically the first step in painting a miniature or model. It’s basically a base coat of paint you apply to your model, so that your other paints can grip to, and not flake/ rub off. Although the most common colours to be used in priming a model are black and white, you can use nearly any colour, it just basically depends on your paint scheme.
There are a number of different ‘Primers’ available on the market from companies such as Games Workshop and Army Painter, just to name a few. Generally they are applied either via an Airbrush or a rattle can. I use the rattle can variety (as I don’t own an airbrush), the price of a can of ‘Primer’ can vary depending on where you get them, but usually a can of ‘Primer’ will cost between €10 to €15 per can, and if your painting an army of miniatures for games such as Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Warmachine/ Hordes, Dropfleet Commander, or Infinity as an example your going to need multiple cans.

Today we are having a look at a cheaper alternative to the big boys.

Today we are looking at Halfords Plastic Primer (grey colour). I’ve been previously told about this product but haven’t had a chance to test it till now. Now that I have tried it, I don’t think I’ll be using anything else going forward.

So how much does it cost?

At a cost of less than €8 for a 300 ml can, and less than €10 for a 500 ml, price wise you can’t go wrong.
What’s the coverage like?

To me, the spray seemed to be finer than say Games Workshop or Army Painter ‘Primer’ sprays. It didn’t clump or collect in recessed areas either, like I have happened with the previously mentioned sprays. I was impressed in the colour coverage, the spray even reached those hard to reach places (you know the ones I’m talking about, like between the legs, and in recessed tight corners).

So how did the ‘Primed’ model turn out?

I was interested to see how a ‘primed’ model would turn out, so I tested the spray on a number of different models. I would a this point take a moment to point out that although I did ‘prime’, for the most part I didn’t remove mold lines and flash from the models.


First up I primed a couple of containers from Puppetwars.eu, the containers are made of a resin-foam material. In a few places it appears the spray ate into the model but I believe this is more to do with the resin-foam than the spray.


Next up I tried a Fusilier model from the game Infinity.


I then did the Librarian from Games Workshops Dark Vengeance box set (I swear it has nothing to do with 8th edition 🤔). The grey is nearly an exact colour match for the Colour of GW plastic. The spray actually got in between the sections near the shoulders and back pack.


Next up I primed my fleet of UCM spaceships (8 frigates and 5 cruisers) from Hawk Wargames, Dropfleet Commander.


Finally I primed the web store exclusive Saratoga class cruiser from Dropfleet Commander.

The Halfords sprays come in a variety of colours so if grey isn’t your preference, you have a range to choose from.
If you haven’t tried the Halfords Plastic Primers before, based on my experience with them I can’t recommend them enough. 
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

I got a new Gundam (Iron Blooded Orphans Astaroth)


I got a new Gundam, High Grade, 1/144 scale, Iron Blooded Orphans Astaroth.
As usual I got this kit from the most excellent folks over at Dublin City Comics and Collectibles.

When I first saw Astaroth I knew I wanted him. I very much like his design. Although Astaroth is part of the Iron Blooded Orphans (IBO) product line, he’s actually not part of the IBO main story line in the TV show. Instead he was the main Gundam suit from a manga side story.
In the side story, the family that owned Astaroth hit hard times and were basically selling off his parts (and replacing them with cheap parts from other Mobile Suits) in order to make ends meet. This is what gives Astaroth his asymmetrical look. Anyways I digress.
Inside the box, you get…


2 bags of multi coloured sprues, the assembly instructions, and a bit of promotional flyers.
Inside the bag of sprues, you get…


… A small sticker sheet, 7 sprues, any of you that have built a HG Barbatos, will recognise the inner frame parts, and then some blue, red, and White sprues for his armour panelling.

One of the gimmicks on the Astaroth is his giant hand that pegs onto his right arm. It gives him a sort of ‘Hellboy’ ascetic (which I really dig), it has 2 fingers and a thumb that have a limited range of motion. Which can help pulling some poses, and to help hold his main melee weapon. Speaking of which…
When not in use his main weapon, the ‘Demolition Blade’ (I believe that’s what it’s called) is stored on his back.


It has a sort of ‘Buster Sword’ from Final Fantasy 7 vibe to it, which I dig. The blade has a extendable gimmick, where it unfolds. In the extended mode Astaroth’s ‘Hellboy’ hand, and a little fold out handle for his regular hand, aids the gundam wield his gigantic weapon.

Astaroth also comes with a gun and a dagger, to complete his weapons load out (however there is nowhere to store these weapons when not in use).


Visually Astaroth is one of the more unique Gundam’s in the IBO line (due to his odd parts) and has the inner skeleton that we have been spoils with in the IBO line, allowing for some great poses.
“By the power of Grayskull…I…Have…The Power…”

Now I’m not going to lie, Astaroth has a few issues with himself. The first is due to his ‘Hellboy’ hand. It likes to pop off when posing (at least mine does), and it can get in the way with his blue shoulder, so you may not get all the poses you want with him. The second issue I had with him, was with his waist mounted thrusters. They have a habit of getting in the way and can pop off during posing as they are attached too close to the hips and legs. Too me, these issues are a bit minor as I do love this suit.
It’s also worth noting that as the Astaroth shares much of the same inner skeleton as the Barbatos, if you have the Barbatos 6th form, you can perform some parts swapping to give Astaroth a new hair do.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

The Man Cave… Patron of the Arts

A long time ago, someone very dear to me gave me advice. Part of which was basically ‘At some point in your life have some kind of art made for you, it doesn’t matter what it is’.
Now as a self confessed geek/ nerd, I’ve always gone for things that have resonated with me, on one level or another. Whether that was toys, what I read, games, art, etc.
When I was in my early 20’s I got a tattoo, to always remind myself of what ideals and principles to strive for (my scrawny arms just happened to come free with the tattoo).

Recently I learned that an artist I know, thru my love of all things geek, was accepting commissions. As I have been a fan of his art style,  I jumped on that chance and had a piece of art commissioned of my 3 favourite characters from the Marvel universe.

The artist, was Wayne Talbot. One third of the Irish Pubcast crew, Whovian, contributor to geekirelandonline, and alround nice guy.

With his permission I grabbed a couple of his works, and thru them together to showcase some of his talent.

**Disclaimer- the first piece of art featuring ‘Dark Wayne’ was by another very gifted artist, Lisa Marie Farrell, and was commissioned by Ciaran Marcantonio. **

If you like Wayne’s style, then good news. He’s accepting some commission work at the moment.
You can contacting him on Facebook, on Twitter (@waynetalbot) or by Email (wadetalon@gmail.com)

To Cos, or not to Cos Part 3


Unfortunately I still haven’t gotten any ‘actual’ work done on my Cosplay done yet 😔
Instead of getting a refill for my printer, so I could start printing templates. I got a chance to pick up the Numenera Starter Set by Monte Cook Games and have a piece of art commissioned for myself.
My middle daughter wanted to get in on making a cosplay, so she decided to try a little test costume.

In the meantime Andrew DFT, has released the first part in making a helmet for a Titanfall costume.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave