Sunday 3 January 2021

Happy New Year

I hope you had a marvelous Christmas – topped off by making it onto Santa's “good” list, and have enjoyed every minute of the festive period. I wish you all the very best for 2021, and good fortune with whatever New Year Resolutions you might have made!

Traditionally this is a time of reflection and looking at plans for the future – due to personal circumstances here at Westwood Towers (my wife needed an emergency op on the run up to Christmas, and her convalescence continues), I've had plenty of time and opportunity to do indulge in both over the last few of weeks, so here's my weB LOG record of “the state of my hobby”.

First off, I was already aware that I had too many projects on the go at once, with less time available than when they all started (since we can't get out and about entertaining, we volounteered to host a weekly internet radio show which is aired on both “Move-Radio” and “GHR Midlands”).

The “new normal” due to the covid restrictions initially presented hours of 'free' hobby time, obviously this allowed me to dive headlong into my gaming with gay abandon.... and so it was that I ended up “plate spinning” – even with all of that extra time, painting up minis for one game would delay the basing of minis for another, which prevented the terrain being built for a different game, and the campaign 'down time' checks for the ATZ campaign still needed doing before I could start a new table top session for this blog, and of course there's a mass battle to fight which will open the new feudal Japanese campaign I've been working on for THE EMERALD MUSKETEERS blog – but I need to play out the prequel to that battle where Lord Toji meets the oracle, but I really must sort out what the Wormriders are up to after completing the “Dragon Heist” campaign before they venture into the Dungeon of the Mad Mage over on THE GAME CUPBOARD cetera, et cetera. I'm sure you get the picture, and of course, plenty gets done but very little seems to get finished!

This (dis)organised chaos obviously requires resolving, but I don't intend shelving any of the 'new' projects - or scrapping yet more which I have in the pipeline since the desire to play them is quite simply TOO great and my personal wargaming world just won't be complete without the planned Dark Age chronicles, a little WW2 action, and a dash of Steampunk whimsey.

So just what IS the New Year Resolution?

Well, thanks to the mobile phone game “AFK Arena”, my better half developed enough of an interest in fantasy gaming for me to lure her into a few simple adventures. I cobbled together the 'combat dice' from the old Milton & Bradley HeroQuest, the floor tiles from Games Workshop's Advanced HeroQuest, and the rules (especially the solo / co-op mechanics) from Mantic's Dungeon Quest and we've had a whale of a time.

The lesson I learned is to keep everything else SIMPLE and concentrate on the GAMING, which is my aim for this year, which should result in less of this........


 and more of this...........

Many thanks for dropping by, and if you don't already (and perchance derive some entertainment from my efforts) please consider checking out the blogs mentioned above, since they'll be carrying more-or-less “equal shares” of my game write ups from now on and until further notice ta.



Saturday 31 October 2020


....or, "ZOMTOBER 2020 WEEK FIVE", because I promised to continue the All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out campaign this month. (You can play catch-up with the story so far if you need to, by clicking the "Zombie Apocalypse" label on the right of the blog page)

Bobby and Madelyn caught up with Brad's group on route 194 between Aiken and Plainview, where they'd stopped at a filling station and had tried (unsuccessfully) to scavenge parts for the RV (Zac had diagnosed the problem as a cracked distributor cap – he'd bodged a fix, but they needed a reliable replacement).

The “Meet & Greet” was initially a little frosty, but the new arrivals quickly put Brad at ease by stepping out of the UPS van unarmed and explaining that it was them that had left the note with the provisions outside the warehouse in Lorenzo. Bobby also pointed out that they'd loaded up the van with supplies, including food, fuel and ammo when they made a run for it. He also pointed out that they should get moving just in case the “The Guardians” were on their tail, though he doubted they'd stray too far from 'The Stronghold' – they certainly didn't patrol this far out, but better safe than sorry.

The convoy moved on following the 194, swinging around Plainview and Edmonson. By late afternoon they were on the outskirts of Hart and decided they'd rest up there, figuring that it would be better to set up a defensive camp in the suburbs rather than parking out in the open, just in case The Guardians bore enough of a grudge to bring them this far from their comfort zone.

Brad designated Amy, Chris and Madelyn as drivers to stay with the vehicles and at this point Bobby produced two walkie talkies from the van. Handing one to Brad and the other to Amy, this would enable Brad to call the girls forward with an all clear, but more importantly, the two groups could stay in touch if things kicked off.

The road ran alongside a railway track which curved to the right and crossed the road on the edge of town. As the group crossed the track Travis joked about them looking like a scene from The Magnificent Seven but nobody laughed – the zeds were coming to greet them!

With the larger groups approaching from the flanks, Brad instantly decided to push straight ahead and punch through the weaker line to their front, saying ”Stay close and don't fire unless you really have to!” while thinking “There's anger and grief at losing Nate, and frustration at having to run from the warehouse in Lorenzo. A fight with the zombies is maybe what we need right now”.

The survivors won the initiative and Brad advanced until he could see around the corner of the building to his right – relieved when he saw there wasn't a hidden horde.

The furthest PEF's passed 1D6 and moved further from the group while the nearest passed none and remained stationary. The zeds, all now having the survivors in sight (raising their activation Rep to 4 for “zombie frenzy”), advanced, just out of reach of the group.

The survivors won the initiative for the second turn and immediately attacked the nearest of the walking dead!

I resolved the melee in Rep order -

Brad cleaved the head of the zombie facing him with his machete, “killing” it instantly. Hannah brought her hockey stick down on her opponent but only struck it a glancing blow, knocking it to the ground with such force that its head split open on the road. Zac rained a flurry of blows on the brown suited abomination in front of him, but only managed to knock it down, while Travis swung his “axe” (he'd heavily modified his guitar!) and smashed the head of his foe.

Meanwhile, Hilary only managed to fend off her zed with the butt of her rifle, and Bobby had completely fluffed his machete attack which allowed the undead corpse to grapple him before sinking its teeth into his neck – severing the jugular vein and Bobby dropped like a stone to the ground, obviously dead!

 Brad's attack wasn't going to plan, and it was now the zombies turn to move.

The zombies from the left now attacked the group, while those from the right had appeared around the corner of the building and were now cutting off their retreat.

Hilary managed to knock down the zombie she was fighting, but Zac and Dave were now facing three opponents each. Zac was quickly overwhelmed and went down 'obviously dead' with horrific wounds. Dave managed to hold his ground, but things were quickly going from bad to worse. 

Brad REALLY needed to win the next initiative roll.......... and did!

RUN DAVE!” Brad yelled, as he began pushing Hannah, Travis and Hilary into the road and along the shop front. Dave didn't need telling twice, and while the zombies nearest to him began feasting on the corpses of Zac and Bobby, he broke free and chased after the rest of the group.

Brad and the rest of the group had moved normal distance so as not to leave Dave behind, which was lucky because he only passed 1D6 on his 'fast move' check – just enough to close the gap.

As the survivors ran along the front of the shop, the nearest PEF advanced into line of sight, (which resolved as another group of six zombies)

Once again, Brad needed to win the initiative......... but didn't!

The ravenous horde caught up with the rear of Brad's group before they could get off the street, forcing Hannah, Travis and Dave to turn and fight.

Hannah and her hockey stick once more got the better of her attacking zed, but again, only managing to knock it to the ground. Travis fought off his attacker but caused no damage to it and Dave drove his knife straight between the eyes of the zombie clawing at him, killing it instantly.

Brad yelled out the order “RUN! GET AROUND THE CORNER!”

Needing no further incentive, the remainder of the group ran for their lives. Although true to form Dave only passed 1D6 for his fast move – but it was enough.

The survivors won the next initiative roll and completely outdistanced the zombies as they crossed the railway tracks and exited the table.

The foray into Hart had been a disaster. Not only had they failed to find a safe haven for the night, but they'd lost one of the established members of the group as well as the new guy. Brad was going to have his work cut out holding the group together that's for sure.

No time to think about that for now though, and as he paused to glance behind him, he thumbed the talk switch on the walkie talkie - “We're on our way back, get ready to move. Things didn't go to plan here,... and we lost Zac and Bobby. I'm sorry.”


erm, Happy Halloween everyone and thanks for dropping by. Sorry about my wonky cork tiles - I STILL haven't got around to replacing them, and they had been under a pile of books and were flat when I laid them out! Anyhow, I hope you have (or HAD if you're reading this after the fact) a Spooktacular weekend and get to enjoy the Blue Moon, which only occurs....... once in a Blue Moon!

As always, your comments, queries or suggestions are most welcome, and please call back. It's been a long time coming, but I enjoyed this game of ATZ:FFO so much that I'm just going to have to play another one soon!



Sunday 25 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 Week Four


Well, here we are, we made it through Zomtober – well, the painting challenge part, I've still to finish and write up the game I'm currently playing, but the aim is to post that for Halloween.

Now, I'm really pleased to able to say that “my cunning plan” has actually worked, and once again it's something a bit different! This started off as one of the spare heads from the undead peasants sprue from last week, which got me wondering about attempting a kitbash to produce a mounted general for my 'evil' fantasy samurai forces.


The body is from a Warlord Games mounted samurai sprue, with the torso suitably cut, filed and filled so he could lean forward in the saddle (the riding posture for a Wyverns neck IS quite different to a horses back). The Wyvern (Ikazuchi no hiryuu) itself is a Mage Knight model (Many thanks AGAIN Stevie!) which I simply rebased and gave a dark tone wash.

Since the rider is bare headed, I wanted his helmet (kabuto) attached to his waistband, which meant taking a head from the samurai sprue and drilling out the face – I'm quite pleased with the effect that adding this little detail has had on the rear view of the model.

Next up is the rejuvinated graveyard.

I cut a base from a sheet of thin plywood so that I could do something about how the model 'sits' on the table (it's moulded with quite a deep base, which just doesn't look right to my eyes). I cast some plaster flagstones to create steps leading up to the entrance, then used the last of my “Ready to use Instant Filler” to blend the edges of the graveyard to its new base – it really could have done with another tube, but even though it's the Home Bargains cheap stuff, I'm on a strict 'no hobby spend' at the moment!

After a quick flick round with the paint, my homebrew ground cover was applied followed by some highlighting by the addition of commercial sponge flock. I'm calling it “Done”, but in truth it's still technically a work-in-progress since my intention is to tittivate it a little further.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here!” - adventurer's eye view of the entrance.

MY final contribution this year marks the start of a new zombie horde in the form of these “mutated” undead. Stevie very kindly sent me a LOAD of minis from the Zombicide Toxic City expansions, and these are headed for the wastelands of my cyberpunk campaign.

And now for the bonus feature!

SWMBO expressed an interest in “having a go” at painting a zombie for the challenge this year, which of course I thought was a wonderful idea, and one which I fully endorsed – and here's the result (I LOVE the blood splatter!).


I think she's got the job!

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Zomtober Challenge this year, and many thanks to YOU for visiting. Your comments or queries are as always most welcome.


Sunday 18 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 Week Three

 This week containing Zombies!

As promised in last week's post, I assembled and painted the sprue of Fireforge zombie peasants. There are "empty handed" left and right arms on the sprue, but not enough to build all six miniatures without any of the improvised weapons - and it's been one of those up-and-down weeks which hasn't seen me in the best frame of mind to bother with any conversion work. In the end, I'm quite pleased that I went with the decision to do them this way, since they're destined to populate the blighted villages in the Erewash valley of my Witchfinder General campaign and can be used as a strain of undead which pose a higher level of threat than the usual "common zombie"!

Continuing to rummage through the unpainted pile, I found this "Zombie Vampire Witch" and did a quick paint job on her to up my tally for the challenge.

Again, she's destined to appear in the Witchfinder General campaign, no doubt up to no good and providing a strong link between the Vampires and Witches.

A sneak peak to next week by way of a "before" photograph of a piece of terrain I intend to finally tackle. This poor old Games Workshop graveyard actually spent several years outdoors, cemented in behind the church on my garden railway. Wildly under scale, it helped to give a "forced perspective" and the illusion of distance to the scene. I'd resumed gaming again when the church was relocated, so the graveyard was rescued and brought back indoors for use on the wargames table - but the ravages of the weather haven't received attention (and yes, there's still the remains of concrete around the edges!!)

I've no idea how much TLC I'll actually lavish on it, but hopefully by this time next week it'll look a darn sight better than it does now, so please call back for the final Zomtober offering. Oh yes, there'll also be more zombies! (Well, at least one, IF my 'cunning plan' works!!)

Many thanks as ever for visiting, and since it seems a much quieter Zomtober than previous years, PLEASE show your support for the other participants that are helping to keep the event alive.

Sunday 11 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 Week Two

Stretching the “rules” a bit this week, which means we're half way through the challenge and I STILL haven't painted any zombies!

What I have done though, is finally tackled this unit of Sepulcherov Guard Hussars which have languished in my lead pile for I don't know how many years – wraiths riding skeletal pegasii (pegasuses?!) qualify as 'undead', right?


While working on this Flintloque unit for the Witclhands army, I had another root around and found a sprue of Living Dead Peasants from Fireforge Games, so (if all goes to plan) next week's challenge entry will definitely be 'on topic' !

Many thanks for dropping by, and please stay safe as these uncertain times.




Sunday 4 October 2020

Zomtober 2020 Week One


By way of introduction to the 2020 challenge Phil wrote “please raise your brushes in tribute to Bryan Scott A.K.A. Vampifan who passed on in March this year”.

Truth to tell, it was Bryan and his awesome blog that got me into zombie apocalypse gaming and he's in my thoughts every time I indulge in this corner of the hobby, so I “raise a brush” every time I add to my collection of survivors or the zombie horde – what could I do as something 'special'?

One of my standout memories from Bryan's write-ups was of Vampifan making his way to the office during the “Day One” scenario (seen here in this photo from his blog).


Of course “That Mini” of Vampifan wearing his iconic Vampirella T Shirt and toting his assault rifle and katana became pretty iconic, featuring not only in the campaign, but quite often in any photo's that required a miniature to illustrate scale. I think it's pretty fair to say that it became Bryan's avatar.

I hope no-one thinks I'm being disrespectful – my intention is very much the opposite, but for this weeks entry I decided to “invite Vampifan along”, and so present my own version of the man himself.

I'm quite pleased with how he's turned out, especially considering I only had a day-and-a-bit to get him done and I never normally attempt freehand work !

I dunno if he'll ever actually appear 'in game' (would that be inappropriate?), but he'll be on the shelf overlooking the table for all of my ATZ games in the future.

Many thanks for dropping by, and please visit the rest of the guys taking part in the challenge this year.


Thursday 1 October 2020


A zombie is a fictional undead corporeal revenant created through the reanimation of a corpse, most commonly found in horror and fantasy genre works. “

Quite an appropriate month to resurrect my humble blog from its slumbers!

I must admit that I've been caught in the 'lockdown doldrums' for a while, and though I have managed to get a fair few posts done over on The Game Cupboard and The Emerald Musketeers, things have been shamefully neglected here.

The Zomtober Challenge will be a testing experience this year, since due to my complete lack of hobby funds I can only paint what I can find in the 'pile of shame' that fits the theme (so I fully expect to pick up some more penalty points on my artistic licence).

So, to offset that situation, I've decided to pick up and continue the story of Brad and Hannah's fight for survival in the All Things Zombie campaign this month, so between now and Halloween the blog will shamble along featuring nothing more than death, decay and missing/rotten body parts!

You can play "catch-up" with the Zombie Apocalypse link, but just a quick refresher - Brad and the gang had driven into the town of Lorenzo and set up camp in a small warehouse complex, before getting tipped off that they were on a large hostile group's 'patch'.

They decided to make a run for it, and drove out in the early hours of the morning.

The "informers", Bobby Johnson and Madelyn Hopper, narrowly escaped members of the gang and followed Brad's trail hoping to join them.

Only a very short post, but fingers crossed there's plenty more REGULAR updates to follow!