How'd I get by without this?

The gps of gaming! 48 interchangable tiles of detailed terrain goodness. I know I'm WAY behind where I intended to be with the modeling this year. But I've finished painting these tiles and their accompanying accessories, PLUS the gorgeous hive tiles I ordered from the local GW shop. Because they come on the sprue already looking gorgeous, there's little I did at all except paint them. Well, except the one hive tile...I did kinda want to make a bigger hive city so...

Trimmed Dark Eldar rifles make great gothic looking towers for this kind of scale -- (also true for Battlefleet Gothic ships and space stations.) The central spire is a shell from a WW2 military set. For that particular Hive city tile I painted the base largely navy and blue and used Games Workshop's brush on gloss varnish to give it the appearence of an absolutely gigantic hive city clinging to the only land mass around for protection or necessity. But imagine that tile on a map necessitating an amphibious assault on a hive city, then dove tailing into a game of Cities of Death. Man...

Which brings me back around to the rest of the box set tiles. Out of the 48 tiles, 6 are single sided -- scultped spaceports. Still, that's 42 double sided tiles... that's 84 sides to play with in sculpted groups of 14... Meaning there are 14 individual sides before they repeat pattern; that's 6 solid terrain types to craft with the paintbrush. And with these tiles, you'd have to try deliberately to screw them up as far as painting goes. With little effort and some dry brushing they become instantly beautiful. But that's assuming you want just 6 terrain types, or full sets of each. I did opt for that with 4 sets of the 14 faces:

set one: desert
set two: Snow (This was a powder blue undercoat, highlight with white, flat clear coat and blue glitter sparingly sprinlkled onto the flat parts as the clear coat set for that snowfield look.
set three: general green/brown/water
set four: Black ash wastes leaning towards volcanic.
The rest I mixed up, not sticking to any one scheme, including swamps, melting snows, darker churned up earth looks. Just to get a decent mix to build a playable landscape.

Best thing about them is they're not necessarily 40K specific. First of all, buying this:

...and marrying the two sets is an ideal set up. But they are still general enough to be used hundreds of ways for ANY map based campaign for whatever game seems appropriate, from wargames to rpg's to fusions of those to the Games Workshop products they're designed for. Just a brilliant piece of gaming goodness from GW!


Renegade Legion: Centurion

Sunday night 3/7/10 was archeology night. Roughly 16 years ago, my friend Cain and I played a game of 2nd ed Centurion, and apparently that particular set hadn't been played since. We remedied that.

Swift gameplay, "realistic" rules for the TOG setting that don't get up their own sphincter, and a compelling background of SciFi. The exchange of fire betweenthe tanks is immediately rewarding with a great template based damage system. Great looking minatures that you's have to TRY and paint wrong to screw them up they're so cool. Also, tactical manuevering counts -- it's not just a run-at-each-other and throw dice kind of game. The game is readily expandable to include other aspects of the TOG setting like Interceptor and the RPG connected with them.

In the few short hours we got reaquainted with the game, I got plenty more inspiration for an upcoming Star Frontiers campaign I'd like to run and a small pang of regret for not focusing more on this game when it was available as a new product and not a resale.

If TSR ruled the "Old School" era for setting the bar high for RPG's, then FASA had their thumb on the pulse of tactical games -- the fun ones anyway. It's a shame they, like TSR, went belly up. But with the advent of card games like Magic the Gathering (of douchebags -- yes all 6million of them) and the infusion of Goth/emo games full of sparkly douchebaggery like Vampire: The Masquerade, the old school stuff just couldn't sell fast enough.


Nerdvana, another step closer

Whoa, the places you could go with these two boxed sets of the game...why didn't I already own a copy of these from 27 years ago? Oh well, they're here now and on first assessment of the materials I can say firmly, with mental clarity: WOW KICK ASS!!! WHO WANTS TO PLAY??