Friday, December 24, 2010

Fritz Leiber: A Centenary Celebration

December 24 2010 is the 100th anniversary of Fritz Leiber's birth. As a fan of his fiction particularly the Lankhmar series of stories featuring Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser I couldn't let this pass without some small celebration.

I think compared to many of the other SF and Fantasy authors of the era that he was active in, Leiber's work holds up well even now. I think this is due to the humour in his writing where the heroes are rarely taken completely seriously and because of the overall quality of Leiber's writing. For example though Howard's Conan stories in particular often have a thrilling narrative drive they often are weakened by the tendency towards particular patterns of writing and lack of surprises in the narrative.

Anyway tonight I'll raise a glass in Leiber's honour.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Year projects - wargaming

My wargaming projects for 2011 are:

  1. Keep painting up my ACW collection to get sorted out with the figures I need to play the scenarios from Fire &, picking up any extras I need from Peter Pig.
  2. Start painting my 10mm Zulu War figures from Pendraken miniatures for use with The Sword and the Flame rules and possibly an adaptation of the Sharp Practice rules from Too Fat Lardies.
  3. Make strongholds for all my 15mm Hordes of the Things armies. These will be a Pirate Stockade; Arabic Castle gate; Mountaintop stronghold for the eagle flyers and a Garden Pond for the gnomes.
  4. Finish painting the eagles for my 15mm Hordes of the Things army.
  5. Make plenty of terrain for 10mm and 15mm figures. This will include buildings, trees, roads, water features and hills. At least most of it will be suitable for both scales and some might even work with 25mm figures too.
  6. Paint up the remainder of my 25mm medieval figures that are still unpainted. 
  7. Keep rationalising my miniatures collection and sell off any odds and ends that I don't want any longer. 
  8. Sort out and get my 25mm fantasy figures usable for gaming - plenty of old MiniFigs that need to be given weapons and painted or just stripped of old paint and painted.
  9. Sort out my last 15mm ancients DBA armies and get them painted and based up.
  10. Look at doing Spanish Civil War games in 10mm with Pendraken miniatures and Through the Mud and the Blood rules .
  11. Last and most important - get playing more often!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Miniatures Gaming - Free rules from the web

There are currently a wide range of good sets of miniatures game rules available for free on the internet. My particular favourites out there are:

Fast and Dirty FAD from Weasel Fierce's website. This is a set of SF large skirmish rules for platoon to company level actions with no specific background specified and a design influenced by Stargrunt II.

Stargrunt II from Ground Zero Games is an interesting set of SF miniature rules for large ground skirmishes. They are possibly a little fiddly in use because of the different types of dice used and the mechanics for resolving fire fights needing multiple die rolls.

Full Thrust is a set of starship combat rules from Ground Zero Games, who produce an extensive range of human and alien nations' starships to use with these or any other sets of suitable rules. Full Thrust does give a fairly quick and enjoyable game and can be used with any set of starship models that you want.

GZG also have Dirtside which is a set of larger scale ground action rules intended for use with 6mm or similar small scale miniatures.

The fantasy miniatures rules Hordes of the Things have now been made available for personal use till the next edition appears at some future time from the Wargames Research Group.There are quite a few other sets of miniatures rules avaialbe for free from the WRG website. The old version of the DBA rules is also there and that provides a fun game though it is somewhat of a chess with miniatures game.

There are also a large number of sets of rules at Freewargames Rules, but I haven't tried any so can't really say more than point people at them.

I'll post some links for the paid for rules that I favour in a separate entry on the blog soon.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Miniatures collection - 25mm Fantasy and Medieval

Some images of my medieval and fantasy figures that I use with rules like Song of Blades and Heroes and Retinue, as well as for role playing games. 

Manufacturers (l-r) MiniFigs, Asgard, Asgard, Ral Partha, Ral Partha, Citadel

All Citadel miniatures

Dwarves and a Gnome
Manufacturers (l-r) Heritage, Heritage, Citadel, Citadel, Citadel

Giant Goblins
All Asgard miniatures

Goblins (most with replacement weapons)
All Asgard Miniatures

Manufacturers (l-r) Essex, Essex, Asgard

Manufacturers (l-r) Ral Partha, Lamming, Citadel

Peasants and tradesmen.
Manufacturers (l-r) Lamming, Lamming, Minifigs, Citadel, Lamming

Knight's retinue. 
Manufacturers (l-r) Asgard, Lamming, Essex, Asgard, QT

Monday, December 06, 2010

GROGNARDIA: Mutant Future News

I was pleased to see that from the Grognardia blog there is an updated version of the Mutant Future RPG due out soon. I've been looking to use this ruleset and will probably do a play by post game some time once I've worked out my addon rules for trade and bartering and to see what amendments I might want to the mutations and creatures.