Sunday, November 14, 2010

Robota Are Coming

Changed the name from Robomasters to Robota Masters, since Robomasters is copyrighted already. So, coming soon to a tabletop... the Robota!

"Peo-ple of Earth... We are the Ro-bo-ta... We bring you peace... We bring you har-mo-ny... Un-der our rule!"

"Sub-ju-gate! Sub-ju-gate! Sub-ju-gate!"

Doctor Who and the Robomasters

While waiting for my miniatures to arrive in the mail, I've been watching the early Doctor Who episodes, and love the 'man in a suit' style to the old monsters. I've always liked recurring monsters, like the Daleks, Cybermen, and silurians/sea devils, and I thought, wouldn't it be neat to have my own unofficial Doctor Who 'episodes' where an untelevised recurring enemy was encountered by each of the Doctors in a series of adventures.

I came across a site called Shapeways, it's a 3d printing shop - you design a 3D model on your computer, and they 'print' out a miniature figure based on the model. After looking at some vintage/retro robots on the net, I've designed a robot I call the Robomaster, in a 'man in a suit' style.

I won't be able to order any for a couple weeks, but I've made the model for the Mk1 version of the Robomasters, who the first and second Doctor might encounter in my gaming :) They are tall robots (35mm high miniature, compared with 28mm high humans) planning to conquer the universe.

Shapeways has a minimum order of $25, and I worked out a single Robomaster (figure and base as a single piece) would cost $5.90 US. So, in a couple weeks I'll order a bunch of them, paint them up, and see what they are like. Hopefully my Doctor Who miniatures will have arrived by then, and after painting them up too, I can try out some games.

I'm very impressed that a 35mm custom figure can be manufactured and it costs less than $6 to do so!

Here's a rendered pic of the Robomaster Mk1 model, unpainted. I'm thinking of making variants holding rayguns or engineering equipment as well. I plan on painting them up in a white 'plastic' and crome/steel metal paint scheme, with black 'eye' and chest panel, and there are some black 'slot' indentations on the right half of the head, and there is a ring indentation on the top of the head, which is a glowing blue, red or green light. (groups could be painted with different coloured head lights to identify them)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crooked Dice new stuff

Crooked Dice make figures that are very suitable to use as recent Doctor Who characters (9th - 11th Doctors).

Some new 'minions' figures have been released that have a nice familiar look to them. Unpainted and Painted examples are in these posts:
http://www.crooked-dice.co.uk/forum/Blah.pl?m-1287407848/
There are also some 'living scarecrow' designs in the works:

http://www.crooked-dice.co.uk/forum/Blah.pl?m-1288733146/

While there, be sure to check out their other great figures!

ruined city board in progress

Here's some shots of my ruined city board in progress.

Ruined paper building in progress:


completed paper ruined building:



City Ruins map in progress:

Thoughts on gloss coated photo paper:
The glossy paper experiment was a bit of good and bad. It works great on everything - this is draft quality printing, but it still comes out looking like a high quality print because of the coating on the paper. And as long as you are sitting or standing by the table, looking down at the table to move figures around, eveything looks fine. However, if you get down low, for example, to take a side on shot of figures on the board, the gloss coating on any ground surfaces becomes completely reflective and it is impossible to take a photo from that angle.
I'm thinking now that quality photo paper works great for buildings, but the ground should be on matte cardstock. I have yet to find an alternative that has a non reflective surface but still has the strong colours and tones of the photo paper... and is cheep. (I got the paper I'm currently using at a really low price)

What's next:
I'm going to assemble a couple more paper ruin buildings of different types. Then I want to find some craters and more rubble. At the moment, the roads are very clean, but I want to junk up the ground surface of the board, clutter it up with craters, rubble, more barrels and things, so that it looks more like a blown up warzone.

Links:
For those interested in the PDF paper ruin buildings, here are links to a few of them. These PDFs have 'layers', which you can toggle in Adobe Acrobat Reader, allowing you to print tudor, brick, concrete, wood, bullet holes, cracks, and other types of details, to make different looking buildings from the same model, and then print. I thought that was a really great feature.

http://www.wargamevault.com/product_info.php?products_id=82592

http://www.wargamevault.com/product_info.php?products_id=81781

http://www.wargamevault.com/product_info.php?products_id=81967

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

World War Ruins

I was thinking a ruined London city battlefield would be nice, but I don't have any of those sorts of ruins - or enough to make a large bombed-out street scene. However, today I stumbled across a paper modeller named Dave Graffam, who sells pdf paper scenery.

He mostly does fantasy, but there are a number of more modern buildings in there. I've grabbed a whole bunch of different types of ruined buildings - a snipers wall, bombed house, etc... Each ruin comes with a range of different texture options, so you can assemble them as a range of different ruined buildings. I'm looking forward to printing them out and making my first Ruined London battlefield!

I'll post some photos once I have assembled a bunch of ruins, to show what they are like. I'm using thick 'photo' glossy paper, because I love how strong the colours are, and the look of the quality of the print, when using that sort of paper. The only downside with gloss paper is that there are often reflections, depending on the angle you're looking at it. I'll try a couple ruins, and see what they are like on photo paper, before doing a whole table of them.

The thing I like about paper scenery, is that if you sticky tape it together with small tabs of tape, you can get a craft knife and slit the tape, to seperate the pieces, so you can fold them flat, and pack them away for easy storage. This is good, because I don't have much storage room for large scenery pieces.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

BATTLE REPORT #1

Hi guys. So I've played my first game of the Doctor Who Miniatures Game. I made a few mistakes here and there (like blowing up a Dalek, without giving it a chance to avoid death using its Dalekanium Armour) but I'm still learning how to play this. Anyway, had a great time, took lots of photos.

I'm only using paper standups at the moment - I didn't want to collect an army of miniatures, paint them up, then find I didn't like the rules or the style of the game. However, I really enjoyed this game, so I'm going to be buying heaps of Black Tree Designs miniatures and painting them up for a proper 3D miniatures game experience :) For now though, I apologize that the figures are just photos of miniatures printed out and folded so that they stand up.

The Scenario:
I based this battle on the Tournament Game in the Dalek Invasion of Earth PDF (my first blog post has links for getting rules and scenarios). I made a couple alterations, so this is basically what this battle is about:

Plot:
A Dalek Saucer, detecting human life signs, sets down in the ruined British countryside. Local resistance fighters move into the area, seeking out human survivors, to evacuate them to safety. Meanwhile, a wheelchair-bound resistance leader named Dortmun needs to cross this area to reach a secret resistance meeting.

Following the Tournament rules, I made 8 groups, and assigned each group a coloured gemstone to identify them:

Invader Forces
Dalek Black - 1 Dalek - out to exterminate any enemies encountered.
Dalek Red - 1 Dalek - patrolling each Quarter of the map.
Robomen Green - 3 Robomen - planted with explosives and remote controlled, they will blow up near resistance humans.
Robomen Yellow - 3 Robomen with a mission to capture humans and bring them to the Saucer.

Resistance Forces
Resistance Black - 2 soldiers - escorting Dortmun to and off the north end of the map.
Resistance Green - patrol each Quarter of the map
Resistance Yellow - try to take out as many invaders as possible - and carrying Dalek Bombs
Resistance Red - try to find survivors in the ruins outside of their starting Quarter and escort them off the Resistance starting zone.


ROUND ONE

Priority: Resistance

The resistance soldiers set about their missions. Res-Black push Dortmun's wheelchair north from the entry zone, into the ruins. They plan to go up the east side of the map, and push him off the north east side of the map, to achieve their mission. Res-Green runs north, skirting the ruin walls, and gains a Victory Point (VP) for patrolling this Quarter of the map. Res-Yellow follows behind them, also skirting the ruin walls. They want to get in front of Dortmun, so they can fight the enemy and give him a chance to push through.


Res-Red runs west over the river ford crossing, heading to the southwest ruins in search of surivors to rescue.



Robomen-Yellow slowly pace southeast from the Saucer, planning to cross the river bridge and capture some of the humans. Robomen-Green similarly mindlessly shuffle toward the bridge. Dalek Black heads southeast for the river, in search of humans to exterminate, while Dalek Red rushes south, gaining 1 VP for patrolling this Quarter of the map, and heading toward the southwest Quarter.


Point Tally:
Resistance: 1 VP / Invaders: 1 VP

Round Two
Priority: Invaders

Dalek Red heads into the southwest Quarter. Robomen Yellow mindlessly stomp toward the bridge. Robomen Green also head for the bridge. Dalek Black hovers over the river toward the humans.

Resistance Red heads into the southwest ruins, and searches unsuccessfully for survivors. Dalek Red sees them from the distance.
The other resistance groups continue to head north up the east side of the map. Res-Yellow move behind some barrels for cover. Dalek Black, seeing the humans, begins to chant, "Exterminate! Exterminate!"

Round Two Point Tally:
Resistance: 1 VP / Invaders: 1 VP

ROUND THREE
Priority: Invaders

The Invaders get to go first again! Dalek Black moves beyond the river, and fires at the nearast resistance soldier, killing him, and gaining +2 VP. Robomen Green and Yellow continue shuffling for the bridge. Meanwhile, in the southwest, Dalek Red moves and opens fire on the resistance group who are searching for survivors, but it misses.

Resistance Red rolls lucky, and a survivor is found! They grab the survivor, and together, the trio run for the southeast corner of the map. If they can get the survivor off the map, they'll achieve their mission. In the northeast, the humans attack the Dalek. Res-Yellow attacks with both of their Dalek Bombs. One bounces off the Dalek, and explodes harmlessly off to one side. The other hits the Dalek and explodes! However, when the dust settles, the Dalek is still there, unharmed, and very, very annoyed. The surviving member of Res-Green runs up to the Dalek and fires his gun - hitting a critical spot and causing the Dalek's head to explode in fire and sparks, gaining VP for the resistance! A cheer goes up among the resistance fighters, as the wheelchair-bound leader Dortmun is wheeled toward the smoking Dalek, and on his way toward the north end of the map.

Round Three Point Tally:
Resistance: 3 VP / Invaders: 3 VP

ROUND FOUR
Priority: Invaders
Daleks get to go first yet again! Dalek Red swivels on the spot menacingly, and shoots at the fleeing Resistance soldiers who are escorting the civilian survivor. Instead of moving this round, he fires twice - but both shots miss.
And then - tragedy! Robomen Green shuffle across the bridge, and are actually within 4" of Dortmun the Resistance Leader! The mind-controlled robomen are packed with explosives, and the moment they get within range, the Daleks detonate them! Both resistance soldiers - and Dortmun - are blown up in the explosion, gaining the Invaders +3 VP.
Robomen Yellow shuffle onto the bridge, after the explosion goes off, still intent on finding and capturing a resistance soldier.

Resistance Green aims at the front Roboman Yellow and opens fire. Even though he aims, the shot goes flying over the roboman's head. Both Resistance Yellow soldiers also aim and fire at the robomen. Amazingly, both shots hit the Roboman, but ricochet harmlessly off the metal mind-controlling helmet.

In the southern end of the map, Resistance Red makes it to the corner of the map - but they still have to spend a turn moving off the map to succeed in their rescue mission.

Round Four Point Tally:
Resistance: 3 VP / Invaders: 6 VP
The Invaders pull ahead into the lead with the assassination of Dortmun!

ROUND FIVE
Priority: Invaders

They just keep winning initiative over the poor embattled human resistance! Dalek Red sees that even if he moved then shot, he couldn't fire at the fleeing resistance soldiers and the rescued civilian, so he turns his eyestalk to the northeast, and hovers to the river. The move grants him another +1 VP for his mission of patrolling each Quarter of the map! The Robomen shuffle beyond the bridge, heading towards the two soldiers of Resistance Yellow that are behind some barrels. They don't shoot at the resistance soldiers, as their goal is to stun and capture them to fulfill their mission.

The three resistance survivors open fire on the approaching robomen, and take out the one in front, gaining +1 VP. In the southeast corner, the resistance rescuers escape with the civilian survivor, gaining +2 VP.

Round Five Point Tally:
Resistance: 6 VP / Invaders: 7 VP
The invaders are still in the lead, but the resistance is catching up as they rescue a civilian!

ROUND SIX
Priority: Resistance

For the first time since the first turn of the game, the resistance gets to act first! Lone Resistance Green soldier moves to the east edge of the battlefield, and heads north, over the rubble, then moves back west, to stand behind cover, looking back at the robomen. He has now moved far enough to complete his mission to patrol each Quarter of the map, gaining +1 VP for the northeast Quarter of the map. Meanwhile, the two Resistance Yellow soldiers aim and open fire again on the robomen - and while they hit with both shots, it's just a scratch.

The two Robomen Yellow split up, shuffling to either side of the barrels, to come at the Resistance Yellow soldiers from both directions - and attack them with their stun batons. One of the resistance soldiers falls unconscious to the ground!

Dalek Red hovers across the river at full speed, and comes to a halt behind the melee conflict.

(I forgot to take any photos of the game during this round)

Round Six Point Tally
Resistance: 7 VP / Invaders: 7 VP
It's pretty close, but a Dalek has just moved into firing range, and only two resistance soldiers are still standing...

ROUND SEVEN
Priority: Invaders
The invaders are back in priority!

One Roboman Yellow starts dragging the stunned resistance soldier back toward the bridge - and the Saucer. The other continues to try and stun the other resistance soldier. The resistance soldier has higher agility, and gets to melee attack him first - but fails. However, the roboman also fails again to stun him.

The Dalek Red opens fire from behind the struggling resistance soldier, and blasts him away! +1 VP for the Invaders!

Meanwhile, only one resistance soldier is still standing, and he shoots from behind the rubble. He shoots the roboman who is dragging the stunned resistance soldier, and kills him, gaining +1 VP! Even better, at the end of the round, the stunned soldier rolls lucky, and wakes up!

Round Seven Point Tally
Resistance: 8 VP / Invaders: 8 VP
A close couple of rounds. Neck and neck points!

ROUND EIGHT
Priority: Resistance

Hoping to get two victory points, both remaining resistance soldiers move to a firing position, and shoot at the Dalek. However, even though one flukes a wounding shot, the Dalekanium Armour lets the Dalek roll to avoid taking damage - and it succeeds in staying alive.

The Dalek screeches "Exterminate! Exterminate!" and opens fire on the closest resistance soldier, but misses with both shots!

The remaining roboman moves to the closest soldier - the one who just woke up from being stunned - and tries to knock him out again, but fails to stun him.

Round Eight Point Tally
Both sitting on 8 VP, no one earned any points this round! Only two rounds left until the game ends...

ROUND NINE
Priority: Invaders

The Dalek opens fire with another set of blasts, but miraculously, it misses yet again! The roboman repeats his attempt to stun the resistance soldier - but with higher agility, the resistance soldier gets to strike first - and kills the roboman, gaining +1 VP for the resistance!

Resistance Green, whose mission is to patrol Quarters of the map, decides to try and earn another point at the end of the game, and runs away from the Dalek, and across the bridge, into the northwest Quarter. He still has to move some more to gain a patrolling VP though.

Round Nine Point Tally
Resistance: 9 VP / Invaders: 8 VP
The resistance pulls ahead by 1 point!

ROUND TEN: THE FINAL ROUND
Priority: Resistance

With luck, the Resistance gains priority for the final round. Both humans run away from the Dalek. The patrolling human moves far enough to gain another +1 VP for his patrolling mission.

The Dalek has to get closer to a target to fire, but if he moves, he will still not be close enough, or in sight of, anyone to shoot them. Infuriated, the Dalek starts shooting wildly at the scenery, screeching, "You can-not de-feat the Da-leks!" Then, remembering his actual mission, he hovers off toward the river, moving far enough to earn a final +1 VP for his patrolling mission.


FINAL POINT TALLY
Resistance: 10 VP / Invaders: 9 VP

The Resistance wins by 1 point, then flees the area, leaving a disgruntled Dalek to return alone to his Saucer.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Paul's Doctor Who Miniatures Blog

Hi guys! I've always loved doctor who. The old classic series had a mix of great and boring episodes, but the costumes, dodgy scenery, and having all of time and space to explore, was fantastic. I'm a minatures games enthusiast, collecting all manner of minatures games, maps, rules, scenery, etc, and I thought, it would be so great to have a time travelling doctor who universe miniatures game.

Then, I discovered there was one! A range of miniatures were made by companies in the 80's, even Citedal Games (the warhammer guys) made daleks and cybermen and more! I was quite surprised, because I had never heard or seen any doctor who miniatures things before.

Then I stumbled upon the main rules set being used by people at the moment, an unofficial doctor who miniatures game that features lots of free pdfs covering all of the doctors, and supporting the huge range of miniatures made by companies such as Black Tree Designs and Crooked Dice. The free rules can be found at: http://www.drwhominiatures.co.uk/

To get started, I have made paper miniatures (stand-ups) based on photos of painted miniatures on the internet. I'll use them to play a couple games, and see what the actual gameplay is like. If I like it, I'll start building up armies of daleks, cybermen, UNIT, earth resistance fighters, Doctor and companions, and more!

To begin, I'm tailoring the Dalek Invasion of Earth: Tournament Scenario into a two-player / solitaire scenario set in the british countryside, in the future. The Dalek Invasion of Earth is based on a first doctor adventure, where the Daleks had conquered humanity, leaving the cities of the earth in ruins - until thwarted by the Doctor and his companions.

Here's a photo of my current table setup. Once I've finished assembling paper miniatures, I'll play my scenario idea as a solitaire game test, and write it up as a battle report with photos.

The scenery is a mix of: citedal gaming mat, paper-printed roads from WorldWorks, 'battlefield-in-a-box' pre-painted hills, trees, rivers and bridge, and pegasus pre-painted gothic ruins and ruined walls. I'm can't remember who makes the industrial stacks / sci-fi machinery pieces, or the pre-painted barrels and crates. The paper model UFO (only partially assembled. There's landing gear, but I haven't done that yet) is from http://www.ebblesminiatures.com/.

As always, click on image for bigger image.