Friday, December 30, 2016

Mantic Crazy Box 2016

I received a very intriguing package from Mantic Games recently.  Each year Mantic Games sells a special Crazy Box, filled with random miniatures from all their different games.  This year is especially crazy, as there was a chance one of your boxes may come with an even more valuable prize.  I ordered the Crazy Box Bundle which gives me a box of fantasy stuff and a box of sci-fi stuff.  And I got a big prize in both boxes!!!

Fantasy Crazy Box

The big prize is the dragon from Dungeon Saga's expansion Tyrant of Halpi.  The expansion is $49.99, not sure how much the dragon itself is worth, but its a hefty chunk of plastic.

These are some abyssal demons from Dungeon Saga's Infernal Crypts expansion.

And also from Dungeon Saga the orcs and goblins of the Warlord of Galahir expansion. 

This big boy is Grokagamok, an Ogre hero of Kings of War.  Value $14.99.

This is an undead skeletal dog handler, which could only be purchased with Mantic Points.  Sadly I do not see him available any more. 

Kings of War chariot (without driver).  Value ~$19.99.

Kings of War - Forces of Nature - Salamanders (5)

Kings of War - Forces of Abyss - Succubi (5)

Kings of War - Forces of Abyss - Lower Abyssals (5)

Sci-fi Crazy Box

The 'big' prize in this box is the Deadzone compilation book "Containment Protocols".  Value $10.99.  I was able to read the book on our family vacation.  There were some good and some mediocre stories, but overall it was nice to have a little background in the Deadzone universe.

A very random group of Mars Attacks miniatures; two from the Novas Vira Militia and the flaming cows from Civilian Slaughter.

Deadzone - Plague - 12 Plague Mutants, 2 Plague Hounds, and an Aberration (he's $19.99 himself)!

Dreadball - one guy from Midgard Delvers, Trontek 29ers, Skittersneak Stealers, and Greenmoon Smackers.  I don't play Dreadball, so these guys will all be modified for sci-fi skirmishing.

Deadzone - Marauders - 2 Commandos, 2 Goblin Snipers, and 2 Mawbeasts.

Deadzone - Asterians - 1 Overseer and 3 Cyphers.

Deadzone - Forge Fathers - 5 of the old Steel Warriors models 

Deadzone - Veer-myn - 2 Nightmares and a Night Terror ($19.99 himself)!

Deadzone - Battlezone Scenery - Landing Pad Sprue B and I think an Urban sprue that has a crane.

Thoughts on Mantic's Crazy Box 2016

I really like the Crazy Box concept.  It suits my current interests of gathering a variety of miniatures without having to purchase whole armies.  With that being said, its inevitable that you will get something that you have no interest in using.  But for me, I just see that as an opportunity to do some kit-bashing and conversions.  As for the value in each box, I think they were fantastic.  I tried to put prices up for the higher value items under the labels of the pictures.

Out of the fantasy crazy box, I think I like the 5 Salamanders, 5 Succubi, and 5 Lower Abyssals the most, mostly because they came on sprues so I could design them how I want (I love having creative freedom when assembling miniatures).  The dragon is cool too, he's a monstrous paperweight and I'm limited on dragons in my collection.  I don't care for the other Dungeon Saga miniatures since I already have them.

I think I will get more use out of the sci-fi crazy box however.  I've already got plans to incorporate most of the Deadzone miniatures into either Rogue Stars, In the Emperor's Name, or FUBAR.  Even the Dreadball minis will be converted accordingly.  The Mars Attacks miniatures are my least favorite.

One negative feedback about the Crazy Box, and it can be a major or minor complaint depending on your point of view, but there are NO bases for the miniatures.  NONE.  ZERO.  That means I need to order bases for all these guys, which is an inconvenience.

But overall, I like Mantic's Crazy Box.  And depending on how they arrange things next Christmas, I might have to order another bundle.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sci-fi Terrain

As I mentioned in the last couple posts, I am preparing for sci-fi skirmish rules that will be released in the near future, as well as for current rules that I already own.  I have completed the acquisition of miniatures.  The next step is terrain.

I have the battle mats and containers from Infinity, which are nice and work in a pinch.  But I wanted something more, something modular and with lots of walkways and stuff.

So I dug around on the internet, looking at buying terrain or building my own.  But then I saw Battlesystems (, which is exactly what I want.  They even have their second sci-fi pack up on kickstarter (  But I don't want to wait a whole year to get that kickstarter, and their first sci-fi pack only lets you build so much.

But, paper terrain, that sounds like a viable option.  And I believe I found the solution.  Stones Edges' Orbital Starter (  Obviously they designed it to be a spaceship layout.  But I see so much more potential.  And so I have begun the laborious process of building a modular system out of the basic starter pack.

Here is a sample layout with what I currently have assembled.  

Here is everything glued currently.  The corner walkway on the left uses walls from a different paper terrain maker and is on foamboard, which lets me plop it down on any section of walls as a second floor addition.

Deadzone - sci-fi miniatures assemble!

As I look to the future; with Rogue Stars from Osprey in late December and Harder than Steel from Ganesha Games sometime next year, or as I think of Double Tap by One Page Rules and In the Emperor's Name and FUBAR by Forge of War, I have come to the conclusion that I'm severely lacking in my sci-fi miniatures collection.

With this serious injustice to my meager miniature stockpile, I have searched for ways to inexpensively augment my horde.  One option I discovered was the starter boxes for Deadzone from Mantic Games.

I picked up three starters; Forge Fathers (Dwarves in Space!), Veer-myn (Ratmen in Space!), and Marauders (Orcs in Space!).

Due to a slight error, I was sent the faction booster instead of the actual starter, but it contains plenty for my needs regardless.  Here is a big cannon-tank thing, a couple engineer/pilots with tracked drones (which I put weapons on), and a couple motorcycles.

Here are the grunts of the Forge Fathers.  I made a sergeant stand on an orc head while holding a maul and one-handing the rifle.

I made one of each special/heavy weapon and one hussar.  Then there are the Brokkrs, which would make great space pirates or miners or engineers or scouts.

The Veer-myn, space rats.  I made one of each type of rat ogre then the two progenitors/leaders.  The giant drilling machine is a cobbled together contraption from random bits, I love constructing stuff out of leftovers.

The swarm of Veer-myn.  Up front are the 12 pistol/knife wielders, then three heavy weapons, and in the back are the rats from the Project Pandora boardgame.  

The Marauders, or Space Orcs.  The two big guys I outfitted each with heavy ranged and close combat weapons, instead of making them only one type.  Then there are the four mutant dog-things and goblin snipers.  The fourth goblin sniper was supposed to look like he is scared or running away, so I modified him to look like he is sneaking up instead.

And the Orc horde.  In the back are the Marauders I picked up many moons ago, they have pistols and close combat weapons, along with two heavy weapons and a couple with power claws.  The Marauders up front are more like commandos; with rifles, shotguns, and a guy with a flamer.  The commando captain has some kind of power spear thing.
At this point, I have plenty to use for sci-fi games.  Coupled with the Sedition Wars' Vanguard, Deadzone Enforcers, Infinity Haqqislam/Nomads/Panoceania, and miscellaneous Reaper Bones Chronoscope minis, I should have enough variety to play anything.

Now I just need to paint....alot.

Infinity - Operation Icestorm

I've already dipped my toes a bit into Corvus Belli's Infinity ( by purchasing the Haqqislam Starter Box (  I really like all the details in the miniatures and the character concepts are so original.  I have yet to play Infinity, but that might change soon.  I bought:  OPERATION ICESTORM.

The box has some gorgeous artwork and showcases the fantastic painted models (which I have no chance of replicating).  Inside are 14 miniatures, dice, lots of tokens, rulebook, and paper terrain.

The tokens were flimsy, so I glued them to thin cardboard.

Here is the paper terrain and battle mat.

I had this Infinity terrain from a while back, I should be able to combine it with the ones from Operation Icestorm to make an even bigger playing field.

Here are the miniatures; all glued and primed.  The goal is bright colors.
Once all the miniatures are painted I will try out the missions in the rulebook.  I'll most likely be playing solo, so hopefully the rules will allow some friendly solo play.  If that fails, I'll try out Double Tap again from One Page Rules (which is no longer found on their website), but I have a copy still and shouldn't be too difficult to augment as needed.

As well, as mentioned in the previous blog post, I'll have these miniatures ready for when Rogue Stars comes available.  Or for even further down the line, Harder than Steel from Ganesha Games.  Its nice having multiple options on rules to use for sets of miniatures.

Rogue Stars

One of my favorite game designers, Andrea Sfiligoi (creator of Song of Blades and Heroes, Of Gods and Mortals, etc.), has penned another ruleset for Osprey Games, called Rogue Stars.  According to the description of the game:

Rogue Stars is a character-based science fiction skirmish wargame, where players command crews of bounty hunters, space pirates, merchants, prospectors, smugglers, mercenary outfits, planetary police and other such shady factions from the fringes of galactic civilization. Crews can vary in size, typically from four to six, and the character and crew creation systems allow for practically any concept to be built. Detailed environmental rules that include options for flora, fauna, gravity, dangerous terrain and atmosphere, and scenario design rules that ensure that missions are varied and demand adaptation and cunning on the parts of the combatants, make practically any encounter possible. Run contraband tech to rebel fighters on an ocean world while hunted by an alien kill-team or hunt down a research vessel and fight zero-gravity boarding actions in the cold depths of space - whatever you can imagine, you can do.

Of course I had to join in on the pre-order program available from Osprey and North Star, called a Nickstarter:

It won't be shipped out until late December, but I've already started making plans and purchases in preparation.  I had to beef up my sci-fi collection and progress is looking great.  Standby for more posts....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fightin' Fungi/ASOBAH battle report

I have finally gotten around to playing a scenario out of the Fightin' Fungi book.  The scenario is called Trapped Under A Mushroom.  Basically a warband is traveling through some woods when suddenly a giant mushroom falls on one of the members.  But of course this was a trap, and an ambushing warband pops up from the table edges.  The ambushers' goal is to prevent the trapped model from escaping and the defending warband must free the trapped model and get him off a table edge.

For this scenario I made two warbands of similar designs, 400 points with no more than 200 points spent on Personalities.  Then I used my personal guideline on generating warbands; each band must have a Leader and Subcommander.  This will be a precursor to my planned guide to help players to use ASOBAH to play Frostgrave-like campaigns.

The first warband created is using the Fightin' Fungi from Ganesha Games' kickstarter.

From left to right:  Fungi Amazon Warrior (Q3, C3, Dashing, Poison), Fungi Warrior Elite (Q3, C3, Dashing, Expert Block), Matanagar (Q4, C4, Big, Squishy, Steadfast), Fungi Sorcerer (Q3, C2, Spellcaster, Subcommander, Spell: Blast, Wall of Worms), and Fungi Wizard (Q3, C2, Leader, Spellcaster, Spell: Lightning, Switcheroo)

From left to right:  Fungi Archers (Q4, C2, Short Bow), Axeman (Q4, C2), Spearman (Q4, C2, Block), Warrior (Q4, C2, Block)
The second warband is comprised of Orcs and Goblins.  There is a mix of Reaper Bones and Mantic Games.

From left to right:  Orc Brute (Q4, C3, Block, Heavily Armored, Heavy Weapon), Goblin Wizard (Q3, C1, Subcommander, Spellcaster, Spell: Fireball, Wall of Fire), Troll (Q4, C4, Big, Heavy Weapon, Regeneration), and Goblin Warlord (Q3, C3, Heavily Armored, Leader).

From left to right back row:  Orc Warrior w/ shield (Q4, C3, Block), Orc Warrior w/ two weapons (Q4, C3, Parry), Orc Warrior w/ big sword (Q4, C3, Heavy Weapon)
From left to right front row:  Orc Halberdier (Q4, C3, Long Reach) and Goblin Archers (Q4, C2, Short Bow)

Then rolling randomly, the Orcs & Goblins were the lucky ones to be trapped by a mushroom and the Fungi were the ones preparing the ambush.  Then rolling randomly again, the Orc Warrior w/ shield is the scenario objective pinned down by the giant mushroom and must make it off a table edge to win, or slain for the attackers to win.

The pinned Orc Warrior has the other two Orc Warriors prepared to extract him out of the giant mushroom.  

The remaining Orcs & Goblins spread out, preparing for the obvious ambush.

The Fungi spring their trap along the table edges.
The Fungi Wizard leader, Matanagar, and Amazon warrior appear to the east.

Both Fungi Archers are to the north.

The Fungi Sorcerer, Axeman, Spearman, and Warrior are to the west.

The Fungi Warrior Elite stands alone in the south.

Orcs & Goblins have the first turn.  The Goblin Wizard summons a Wall of Fire to the west as the Troll moves that way to block the bulk of the Fungi troops.  The Orc Warriors are able to shift the giant mushroom slightly, completing 3 out of the 5 Task actions.  The Goblin Warlord moves eastward to provide some needed leadership.

After a turn-over, the Fungi leap to action in a daring attack.  Both the Fungi Amazon and Elite Warrior spring towards the Goblin Warlord, hoping to end the battle swiftly and scatter the Orcs & Goblins.  But the attack fails.

Knowing the objective is the priority, the Orcs free the captive Warrior who uses his own actions to head towards the now unprotected south.  But the Fungi Elite disengages from her own fight and dashed to the fleeing Orc.

Seeing the open field ahead, the Fungi Sorcerer attempts to intercept.

A costly turn-over by the Fungi and the Orcs capitalize, rushing many of their warriors to help their fleeing ally.

A grand battle ensues with the Fungi Elite Warrior, who fends off many of her attackers and even knocks down the target.

The Fungi Sorcerer summons a Wall of Worms to hopefully slow down the Orc's escape.

The Matanagar rushes southwards in hopes to free the Fungi Amazon to pursue the target or perhaps to kill the Goblin Warlord, first by stomping the Orc Halberdier flat.

The brave Fungi Elite Warrior is gruesomely killed, which startles both the Fungi Sorcerer and Fungi Amazon, who are knocked prone as they saw their comrade butchered.

The Matanagar attempts to move further south to intervene with the escaping Orc but is stalled by a pesky Goblin.

With freedom in sight, the Orc Warrior and scenario objective, rolls for three actions and succeeds with all three.  Three movements later, the Orc is free!  A victory for the Orcs & Goblins.

The Orc Halberdier is the only Orc & Goblin to be put Out-Of-Action.  Rolling for his survival, he failed one, he will have -1 Quality next game.

The Fungi Warrior Elite suffered a Gruesome Death.  She is permanently deceased.

This was a fun little scenario.  Although the scenario objective seems simple enough, their was a bit of strategy involved.  The attackers needed to cover all avenues of escape, so they are spread thin and rely on their allies along other table edges to assist in a hurry once the objective is freed.  The objective model has a clear goal in mind, escape, but has four potential escape routes to choose from so has a bit of an advantage, being able to dictate where everyone will go.

Hopefully time will permit me to try this scenario again with different warbands.  Then again, I have a stack of scenarios I've been itching to play; some from the Song of Blades and Heroes books, some from Hour11gaming, and some from Frostgrave.  We shall see.