I’ve been making some in roads into the huge lead pile that arrived as part of the 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter. In true ‘hobby butterfly’ style I’ve just been picking stuff up to paint that I fancy the look of, rather than having any particular plan.
It goes without saying that the figures are as always with Crooked Dice lovely sculpts, with next to no clean up required. For the majority of these I’ve chosen a grey or white undercoat as a base.
In addition to the figures I’ve also been adding in some vehicles to the mix. I got an extra Interceptor in my pledge and have gone for a basic, but what I think is quite effective black colour scheme for this. It was also my first time using the Citadel technical/dry paint rust effect (I forget it’s actual name). Although this looks VERY orange in the pot once dry brushed on it gives a really subtle effect that could pass for both rust and dust.
Finally I’ve completed the conversion of the 1/43rd Teamsterz toy car I have been working on. Post apocalypse Penny has finally got her Compact Pussycat – although I feel to be properly PA we should refer to this as the Kompakt Puzzycat!
Next on the apocalypse painting production line – Science Division Hazmat troopers.
But I might be about to get distracted by dinosaurs!
Crooked Dice Game Design Studio are launching a very short Kickstarter on Friday 29th March at 7pm GMT. This is to fund a small range of 28mm scale miniatures to support the 7TV Pulp boxed set which is launching for retail at the UK Games Expo this year.
The cost is a mere £7.50 and will include refreshments (and quite possibly cake). More details can be found on the event Facebook page. We’ve taken inspiration from the amazing Board in Brum days and indeed have the backing of some of the big minds behind those great events.
In the true spirit of 7TV this won’t be a competitive event, but a chance for like minded ‘directors’ and ‘producers’ to get together to enjoy some fun narrative gaming and have a jolly good time. There will however be spot prizes for best painted cast, most sporting player and best terrain/table build (we are encouraging people to bring along a layout if they can).
The format for the day will be three games based around the theme of ‘Invasion Earth’. Casts can be based on any of the archetypes from the Spy-Fi or Apocalypse lists and be around 30 ratings. In order to accommodate the widest possible variety of casts, the games will not however include vehicle combat from the Apocalypse rules.
We are really keen to encourage new players and share this wonderful game with them, so even if you have never played before and/or don’t have any figures please do sign up and we can sort you out with a cast and some guidance on the day.
In addition to the standard games I’ve also volunteered to run a drop-in game of 7TV Apocalypse using the vehicle rules and destruction derby scenario, so players can jump into a buggy or war rig for a bit of distraction if games finish early.
I’ve not yet decided what cast to field myself yet, but I did find myself digging these guys out to finish the other day (after all they fit the theme)!
I had the opportunity this last weekend to introduce a number of new players to the wonderful world of 7TV while attending the regular monthly meeting Dales Wargames Club at Darley Dale near Matlock.
Teaming up with Mike Wilkins from the 7TV Production Facebook group, whom I had previously met at other events last year (and unbeknown to me also happened to be friends with some of the other members at Dales), we set about taking four new players through some introductory games.
We had prepared a selection of 30 ratings casts with the idea that we could easily get through a couple of games in parallel on small tables and get people used to the game rules quickly through playing.
The casts in question were variations on the Department X and Shiva casts from the 7TV Programme Guide Volume 1, concentrating primarily on the Spy-Fi shenanigans of the core 2nd edition game.
Mike brought his excellent ‘desert compound’ table which I had previously seen at the Board in Brum day back in January. I setup a small 2′ by 3′ board using a neoprene mat (originally from the Terminator Genesys Miniatures Game) and various bits and pieces of scenery I sourced both from home and the clubs ample terrain collection.
I’m pretty poor at remembering exactly what happened in games (battle reports are not my strong point), but the first thing to note was the ease in which the players I was coaching through the game got both the basics of the rules and the unusual ‘meta’ concept of the game.
The latter is really helped by the mechanics of the ‘countdown deck’, and one comment that was repeated a number of time during the day was how fun it was to play. In fact one quote was ‘I’ve not laughed this much in years while wargaming’. I could rest my case here, but it was also worth noting at this point that the only thing that did distract my players was the allure of checking out on smart phones what other figures and settings could be used to play. Discworld, ‘Allo ‘Allo, Sharpe and many others were mentioned in passing….
The first game ended with the Shiva cast being axed during Act II (partly down to the Guru repeatedly mistakenly energy blasting his own co-star as he fired into a combat).
Once Mike had finished taking his newbies through their game (which lasted slightly longer than ours) and involved Fembots and a very mauve Hugo Soloman duking it out on a slightly larger table we retired for refreshments and discussion. It was at this point, Robin who had just had his first game (and was responsible for the aforementioned blue on blue incident with the Guru) started talking about placing a club order with Crooked Dice – so job done!
The afternoon was taken up with a larger four player game that both Mike and I took part in this time. Having setup a 6′ by 4′ city board we agreed on some ‘house rules’ to cover the additional players. Deployment were done simultaneously and restricted to an 8′ square in each corner of the board. Spy placement (and subsequent turn order after initiative) was determined by drawing coloured counters from a bag (well a spare coffee mug anyway). Objective counters were placed by a neutral third (or should that be fifth) party. For these we used Mike’s War Bases MDF crates with random victory point values pencilled underneath. The countdown deck was beefed up to a larger than normal number of cards for the table size due to the increased number of players.
The activation system worked really well. As mentioned above we each had a different coloured counter and we took turns drawing these to randomise the turn sequence. Once everyone had a turn, back into the mug went the full set of counters and the draw was started again. One concession we made was that if the same person who had previously taken a turn drew first again the next time round, each other player would draw up two plot points each (this actually happened at least once).
So in this game we had two different factions of Department X going up against an alien invasion of ‘visiting’ aliens and Mike’s interesting mix of Spectrum/Bond/Yakuza types!
It was during this game that we got the biggest laugh of the day when an early countdown card caused the swap in positions between two star and left General Gordon of Department X right in the middle of the lizard like invaders. Despite dispensing five rounds rapid (or at least trying to), the poor General wasn’t too long for this world. Unfortunately time got away from us and we had to call it a day before the venue closed.
By this point it was even more obvious that we had a hit on our hands as there was open talk of holding a 7TV campaign day at Dales in the near future (more on that soon).
So all in all an excellent day. 7TV continues to be my favourite game and the reaction we had from new players at the club really reinforced for me why I like it so much. No one was really bothered about who won, a lot of imagination was stoked in terms of thinking about potential figures and casts and most importantly we all had a really enjoyable day playing with toy soldiers. Which is really what it is all about isn’t it?
A quick should out for the Dales Wargames Club. We meet usually on the 3rd Sunday of each month in the wonderful setting of the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale, just outside Matlock in Derbyshire. We play loads of different games (are always happy to try out new things) and are very welcoming to new comers. If you are interested in finding out what we are up to, or when the next meeting is please check out our Facebook group.
More work on the post-apocalyptic motor pool as I prepare for my first full game of 7TV Apocalypse.
Never one to start one new project, when I could do two in parallel, I’ve embarked on building the Crooked Dice V8 Interceptor resin kit and also a conversion of a die cast toy. The latter is going to be the wheels for my PA ‘Penelope Pitstop’ figure which along with the Interceptor I picked up as part of the recent Kickstarter.
The (second to) last of the V8 Interceptors
So first off the Interceptor kit. I originally got hold of one of these when they were released last year and made sure I included another in my Kickstarter pledge. This is a really nice, crisply cast resin model with loads of accessories. Taking it’s inspiration from the Mad Max films, the extra bits and pieces allow it to be built in a number of configurations.
I had previously built and painted this as a ‘Main Force Patrol’ police pursuit car from the original Mad Max. Looking back I wasn’t too keen on paint job I’d done, so the chance to built another one and make a better fist of it wasn’t to be passed up.
I’ve decided to go with a much more wastelands ‘last of the V8s’ look for this one, with the addition of the massive rear shield (which puts me in mind of the Death Race remakes of recent years).
Following a soak in warm soapy water and using pound shop superglue the pieces went together really well (with minimal clean up required). I was also left with plenty of accessories left over to use on other kits and conversions.
The Compact Pussycat (with claws)
Despite having a huge pile of figures to paint up from the Kickstarter all of which are excellent, there are a couple that stuck out that I really wanted to get to the top of the queue. One of these was the aforementioned Penny. Now of course, Penny needs a ride for the ‘wacky wasteland races’, so off the the big pile of unused Teamsterz cars it was then.
Using some of the left over Interceptor bits and bits from the stowage set I’ve come up with my own interpretation of the ‘Compact Pussycat’ (only this time with guns)!
Paint job has yet to be finalised, and as I have now got the full boxed set of rules through for 7TV Apocalypse I shall also be shortly stating up this motor.
Having recently taken delivery of both the rules and a huge set of miniatures from the 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter I decided I should probably finish off some of my incomplete PA projects before diving into any new stuff.
Back at the Wargames Illustrated 7TV day last summer I came away with a 1/48 scale Tamiya kit from the prize pool. This was a World War II SS-100 aircraft tractor, but I immediately saw the opportunity for some conversion work to make this suitable for the wastelands.
The build of the basic kit was fairly straightforward and I cut some corners in terms of the detail (for example leaving out the interior and some of the smaller body work bits) to make it both more suitable for conversion and more sturdy as a gaming piece.
Using some of the conversion parts made available by Crooked Dice and a few bits and pieces from the spares box (including some 1:1 scale car body mesh) I gave it a suitably shabby and cobbled together PA look.
I completed the build last year and it has sat on my hobby work bench ever since. Inspired by the arrival of lots of lovely figures from the Kickstarter I was spurred on to finish painting and weathering it.
Basecoat was a from a spray can (Plastic Soldier Company Olive Drab) with a few suitably muted block colours used for stowage. The exception being the fuel tanks on both the original kit and the conversion parts which I picked out in red.
Weathering was completed using a thinned down wash of Army Painter Strong Tone wash and chipping was done using a dark brown using the sponge technique (a cross between dry brushing and stippling using a piece of foam). The gunner was picked out in blacks and greys – the gas mask giving him an almost SAS look.
All in all I’m pretty please with the overall result. It was quite a quick, but I think effective paint job. I’m also thinking that this vehicle would go really well with the ‘Mutant Hill Mob’ cast, so I think they are going to move close to the top of my 7TV Apocalypse to-do list.
I’ll be doing a quick write up of Robin and an overview of the Apocalypse Kickstarter items in another post shortly, but in the meantime I just wanted to point you the reader in the direction of the 7TV Pulp blog.
7TV Pulp is due for release at UK Games Expo later in the year, and is a unique collaboration between Crooked Dice Design Studio and Edge Hill University. You can find out more about the game on their new blog, which includes a game design and development diary.
The Pulp version of 7TV is an ode to the cinema serials, crime novels and ‘pulp’ magazines of the 30’s and 40’s; with a serious nod also to the cosmic horror of HP Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, as well as the cinematic outings of Nazi bashing archaeologists everywhere.
I was lucky enough to have Karl show me some of the figure previews for the Pulp range and there are some corkers in there. With such a wide genre definition, there’s sure to be something for everyone. I for one am working on a ‘Flash Gordon’ cast that should slot in nicely, that said I have a lot of post-apocalypse to get through in the meantime…..