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)!
When Kickstarter first emerged as a ‘thing’ for tabletop games a few years ago Reaper Miniatures launched their Bones range of miniatures on the crowdfunding platform. It’s fair to say that their campaign was a success raising nearly three and a half million dollars in 2012! Three additional Kickstarter campaigns have followed all raising huge amounts and following each the majority of the miniatures have found their way into retail.
In fact when I ran Twisted Pinnacle Games as a online retailer Reaper Bones was one of my core ranges. It was difficult to get hold of in the UK (Reaper have only within the last year opened a distribution centre over here) and offered a huge range of mainly fantasy miniatures. This appealed not only to the wargaming crowd who were my core customers but also role-players and collectors.
For those who don’t know, Reaper are a US miniatures company that started back in the 90s and are proudly based in Texas. Although they have dabbled in rules in the past they are primarily a miniatures company. The core of their range were 28mm scale metal fantasy miniatures in the classic high fantasy vein. Rather than rank and file troops the concentration is mainly on characterful individual figures which very much have that Dungeons and Dragons vibe. That said one of the fantastic things about Reaper is the sheer range of different sculpts, races and figure types in their catalogue and not just restricted to fantasy. Need a cat person, a brain in a jar, some Victorian civilians or even just some different looking Orcs then their are bound to have what you need.
So what about Bones? The Bones range which launched in 2012 were initially versions of their existing metal models recast in a white PVC style plastic. The selling point and marketing for these concentrated on their value and the ability to paint them straight out of the box without primer (more of which later). While the detail was slightly less crisp than their metal versions, you could not argue with the value.
In addition to standard sized figures Reaper were also able to tool and release a number of larger figures including a rather splendid Cthulhu and plenty of Dragons.
So needless to say I bought into the first couple of Kickstarters in quite a significant way (this we before I had children and before I dabbled in wargames retailing for a while – i.e. I had the disposable income). I never did that much with them (I hadn’t got a game in mind for using them with, but was really taken with just paining them up). I ended selling most of my collection alongside my bought in stock during my retailing years and when post trading and company wind up I was able to get back into the hobby more I often thought about revisiting the range for myself.
Now, I think this big worm-like fellow is based on some of the classic D&D style fantasy monsters, but I immediately thought – Tremors! And then of course I thought – 7TV Apocalypse. There just happens to be a ‘Death Worm’ profile in the game that this chap would be excellent for.
After a quick order to Reaper (it did feel strange not doing this in bulk as a trader), I received the Goremaw and set about putting him together. The Bones plastic has a tendency to be a bit soft on smaller models, bendy swords and legs can be a problem. This wasn’t however a problem with my work who was cast in a handful of mostly really chunky pieces of plastic which following a thorough wash in soapy water, I assembled using super glue (polystyrene cement / plastic glue does not work on this material).
Undercoating was achieved using an Army Painter primer spray can. As I mentioned earlier Bones have been pushed in the past as not needing a primer. In fact some primers have been noted to not work at all well with the material. Reaper provide guidance on their website on which primers are most effective and how to use them. I have never had any problem with Army Painter primer on Bones miniatures. Wanting to go with a subdued ‘desert type’ palette I put down a layer of ‘British Army Uniform’ brown from the old Bolt Action range which was produced under license by Army Painter.
I then applied a top down yellow highlight using a can of Games Workshop Averland Sunset.
The idea with this project was to keep things simple, so I used the highlighted brown undercoat as the base coat and blocked out using a limited palette the other base colours on the model. This really only amounted to a deep pink flesh colour within the maw, a light flesh up the exposed frontage of the model and an ochre/bone for the teeth and horns.
Then to the dip. I’ve never been much of a fan of dip in the conventional sense. I have tried in the past the full Army Painter method, actually submersing figures in Quickshade and shaking them off and always found that I ended up with just a dirty looking miniature. However I have had a lot of success (particularly when wanting to paint up large batches of figures) in brushing on the shade. I have found that you can control the flow and thickness of the dip much more effectively using a brush, and used sparingly it can produce an effective result. I have been using this method to paint up the Space Marines I have been collecting as part of the Warhammer 40k Conquest part work, and have also in the past done a relatively decent job on Star Wars Imperial Assault figures (including the Rancor who was a similar colour palette to my worm).
Long and the short of it was that the old tin of Quickshade Strong tone was dug out and following an argument with a screw driver was open, only to find a mess of thick gloop! I’d not put the top on properly last time and a thick skin had developed, which although was easy to remove meant the the small amount of shade I had left was thicker than I would have liked.
When using this method the next bit is always the worse bit. You go from a neatly painted model, albeit only in a limited set of colours with no shading, to a very shiny, dirty looking object. The key is to hold your nerve, it will get better.
As the dip dried I soaked up any excess pooling with a brush and then gave it a good day or so to drive thoroughly. Following this a combination of dry brushing and highlighting was used particularly on the belly and the teeth/horns. By this stage it is starting to look neater, but is still really shiny (Quickshade is both a shade and a protective varnish after all). Decent weather meant I was able to get outside and spray some Testers Dullcote and voila a nearly complete Goremaw. The base was finished off with some dry brushing followed by a green wash to give it a mossy look and the ‘Death Worm’ is ready for the wastelands of the post-apocalypse.
I’ve got some ideas about maybe using this as an AI or referee controlled model in a vehicle only multi-player destruction derby scenario. Having a giant worm burst out of the ground could really bend some fenders out of shape!
All in all I really enjoyed building and painting this model, and it reminded me of why I fell in love with the Bones range in the first place – lots of choice, inexpensive and fun to paint.
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…..
A few months ago I waxed lyrical about some inspiration for post-apocalypse gaming and in particular the Survivalist novels of the 1980s by Jerry Ahern. As fulfilment of the Crooked Dice 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter gets closer I’ve decided to revisit this irradiated world where men were men, women were women, guns were cool (and overly described repeatedly in the prose) and the red menace was real.
As a reminder this pulpy post-apocalyptic novel series racked up over 20 titles telling tales of the titular Survivalist, John Rourke and his adventures following the nuclear devastation of World War III and a subsequent Russian occupation. In case you had forgot our hero had the following traits:
Survival and wilderness expert
Super-sensitive eyesight (so has to wear mirrored shades ALL the time)
Motorbike rider (almost exclusively always a Harley Davidson)
Smoker (because it was respectable in the 80s)
Fluent in multiple languages
Irresistible to women
His middle name is Thomas (yes really)
This guy is crying out for the tabletop!
So two things to do. Find a figure to represent this alpha male in 28mm scale, and stat him up for 7TV.
Miniature choice first! Rourke has many weapons of choice, but the most iconic are his ‘twin Detonics Combat Master .45, shoulder holstered pistols’. The novels are very focused on the exact name, model, calibre and so on of the various weapons being used, in fact arguably more effort is put into the description of military hardware and material than is expended on characters. But I digress, the key thing is I had a couple of sprues of the old Wargames Factory Male Apocalypse survivors laying around and a quick snip round with the clippers and plastic glue and I had the vested, shade wearing, pistol wielding post-nuclear survivalist I need.
In terms of the stats, I used the excellent fan built Agency Casting Tool for 7TV to produce a suitably matching profile for 7TV. I based the core profile on the generic Action Hero, but made a few changes to the attacks and special abilities to match the unique range of skill our hero has. With a star quality of Burst of Action coupled with Blown Clear, Hard, Fight Back and Lucky as base special effects for this profile I felt we were nearly there, I swapped out Lucky for Medic (as previously mentioned Rourke is of course also a fully trained MD, and he’s so damned good he’s no need of luck).
The only problem I really came across was how to represent the ‘twin Detonics’. 7TV doesn’t have any rules for dual wielding; the 2 shot ability most pistols have doesn’t really cut it as it simply allows more than one shoot action to be taken a turn. What I wanted was double the fire power in just one attack. After some head scratching I decided to swap out the standard pistol from the Action Hero profile with a high powered pistol from the military weapons list. This gave me a boost to the strike value and still gave me the 2 shots option, but I didn’t really think that it still represented that balletic gun play action I was after. Rather than invent any rules I think I solved the problem but adding the ‘Deadly’ effect to the attack profile. This would allow me to chuck in an extra attack dice, so to me gave a nice approximation of the extra punch you might get from firing two pistols at once.
Of course non of this came cheap. Following the rules in the 7TV Producers Guide for customising profiles has led to John costing a chunky 15 ratings (points). The vast majority of stars in 7TV only cost 10. However as I’m sure you can appreciate our Survivalist has a very unique set of skills and is in effect a one man army, so I’m not too worried about this.
With 7TV Apocalypse due out in March John will be getting some action soon I’m sure. Might even build him his ride if I can find that Project Z bikers sprue anywhere…..