Sunday, 20 August 2017

Important Announcement



I'm really, really excited to announce that the Nerd Herd has now got it's own blog!!!!!

Yes, it's been a long time coming but we decided we needed to put a group blog together especially in light of the new direction the Herd is moving in.  "Naps" aka Chris will explain it in his intro over on the new page and the reasons for doing what we're doing, suffice to say I'm extremely excited about this project!

"Veni, Vidi, Nerdi!" - we came, we saw, we nerded!

Here's the link

http://wecamewesawwenerded.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/hi-there-and-welcome-to-veni-vidi-nerdi.html

cheers
dGG

Friday, 18 August 2017

ATZ - an English Adventure - Family

Hi all

I've finally managed to get all of the previous episodes of my ATZ campaign in a single page and I will be updating it with each new episode as it comes.  Having just re-read them all back to back, it's actually shaping up very nicely and is fairly cinematic.  So before we go onto the next one I guess it's time to deal with the aftermath of the last.

Now if you don't remember what happened last time then now's the opportunity to check out the new page and refresh yourself with the story so far.... of you go.... done it?

Good, to continue so finally Day One has drawn to a close and Andy has found his family. Together they have bugged out of their home, persued by a veritable horde of the infected citizenry or "D-Subs" as they are being referred to by the authorities.  Roaring off in their "borrowed" Ambulance, the family's departure is watched by a mysterious observer.  Earlier that day we saw Anna and Chris, aided by Gobbo escape from the Hospital (see the ATZ page for the links) with Chris acting a bit weirdly and hiding his medical notes from Anna. Prior to that we saw journalist April Nillson taking footage of the early police response to the brutality of the apocalypse and thinking about where she left her camera man!

Loads of plot points to follow up! so where to start?  I think what we need to do is meet the Wosa family and then we can go from there....

The Wosa family from L to R - Astrid, Andy "Gobbo", Lisa "The Vampire", Stephen


Obviously I have introduced you all to Andy "Gobbo" Wosa before, the ex-civil servant turned EMT/student paramedic.  A lover of all things horror and sci-fi, Gobbo has inadvertently been preparing for the "Zompoc" for 25 years. A student of martial arts as well as emergency medicine, he's got some serious skills to offer a party.  Following on from Day One, Gobbo has fulfilled all the requirements to increase a statistic in ATZ which he tests for and duly increases his "Shoot" skill to 4 - note I'm using Bryan's adapted ATZ skills card and subsequently split the almighty "Rep" characteristic.  He has also fulfilled the requirements to put his citizen status behind him (seen the feast, killed at least 3 zombies and injured an armed human)  and is now a survivor, meaning he no longer has to test for "citizen brown pants" every time a zed comes along.  His dance card now looks like this.

apologies for the photo, my screenshot function is disabled!!
Who's the lucky gal then that has married an overweight geek with a zombie addiction....well that would be Lisa "The Vampire" Wosa.  No she's not called the vampire because she sucks the life from Andy (just pre-empting the comments...).  Lisa is a phlebotomist, a specialist in taking people's blood and a damn good one! need blood drawn from a 32 stone diabetic with a shut down vasculature - call "The Vampire", urgently require a blood test for a habitual IV drug user with only one half decent broken vein - call upon Mrs Wosa! She's the one they call when all others have tried and failed - oh and she's gorgeous and totally like most of the sultry vampires in those Hollywood classics....

Lisa is most definitely not a sci-fi geek (so she says!), but she does enjoy watching TWD with her hubby of 20 years as well as catching the new super hero films when they are released.  This has NOT prepared her for the awful onslaught of the day's events, however she has hunkered down with the kids ever since the explosion ripped through the Nightingale's property earlier that morning.  She had been desperately trying to get through to Gobbo's mobile phone when she saw her neighbour's attacking each other, like Gobbo she made the connection and started making "bug out" plans.


Looking at her card she is a Civilian still as she hasn't ventured outside (her and the kids have rolled to see if they "see the feast" when the zombies chowed down on Nudger's gang and they did witness said event).  Although the very cornerstone of Gobbo's life as an adult she is not the star of the show and must remain a "grunt" as Ed so nicely puts it in the ATZ rules.....pssst don't tell the missus!

She is Rep 3 having taking some self defence classes with Gobbo following his mugging, but never took it further than that - this means her melee suffers and is a poor 2.  That said she's an excellent shot (this is true!) having taken part in many archery lessons while on various trips - shoot becomes 3!  She hates driving and makes Andy do it all and this is reflected in her Drive skill of 1.  She is a fitness fanatic and goes to the gym regularly - fitness 3. She is also great with people, getting them to relax is key to her excellent success rate with the needle - people skill 3.  Lastly she has trouble using the remote control let alone any modern tech so - savvy skill 2.  As for her ability, yup you guessed it - attractive! (she's gorgeous after all....)

Next up is Gobbo's eldest child - Stephen.

Stephen is in his early twenties and has grown to be a very physically powerful man indeed.  Taller, stronger and quicker than his very proud father, Stephen is extremely capable in a fight.  He has studied martial arts since he was a child, firstly alongside Gobbo at Karate and then branching out into kickboxing and even western martial arts such as fencing.  This competence is only inhibited by his passive nature, Stephen is kind and caring - characteristics that are great in peace times but.... added to this is his poor eyesight, due to some issues his sight isn't great and this is reflected in his dance card below.


Yes he's a civvie and a grunt... I made him Rep 3 mostly because although he's got the physical tools to be a great fighter, he's a big softie and that's gonna make him hesitate - Melee skill had to be 3 though.  Drive skill and shoot are low due to his eyesight - 2 and 1 respectively.  Fitness 3 - all those sports! His people skill suffers as he's not a fan of the human race - 2.  As he knows his way around a keyboard and is the resident electrical expert he gets a good savvy skill - 3.  As for the attribute he gets "Brawler", now I know I said he's not a fighter, but this is due to his kind nature not his skill and there isn't a better alternative in the rulebook, if it makes you feel better call it - "Martial Artist" instead.

Onto the final member of the family, Gobbo's youngest and the apple of his eye - Astrid.

Astrid is a feisty, sassy, D&D playing, intelligent (read - know it all!!) twenty year old.  Always quick with a one liner or put down (depending on the situation) and quick of temper she is ready to defend her family to the hilt!  Like her brother she started Karate when she was a child but her natural laziness has led her down a different path and this is also reflected in her scores. That said like her mother she has a decent aim especially when she has practiced with her boyfriend's crossbow, a tidbit she has kept from her mother who would go spare if she heard about it!


yup Rep 3 civvy grunt - of course! She has a drive of 2 having only just got a car.  Her melee is only 2 due to the lack of recent karate lessons, with her shoot 3 - reflecting her recent practice.  Like her daddy she's not a natural athlete and gets a rubbish - 1 fitness.  She is however very pleasant company and a sharp cookie too and benefits from a solid 3 to her people and savvy skills, the latter bolstered by her Logical ability.

So that's them then, finally you may remember that I did a post about a post apoc family I called "The Simpsons".  Well I wrote a couple of rules (well 5) that reflected the family dynamic within the zompoc, not all of which I could bring over to the Wosa family as the "kids" in this family are actually adults. So I've taken the three that reflect them better...

Rule one - The family that slays together stays together!

The family never need to test at the end of an encounter for keeping it together, they automatically pass.

Rule two - protect the Cubs!

The adults (parents) will never runaway while the children are still on the table, they will always stay and fight!

Rule five (now known as rule three) - a parents grief

If one (or more!) of the children die then each remaining adult must test immediately by rolling a d6. On 1-3 the parent becomes filled with rage and will 'kill' any zed on the table before ending the encounter, they will gain the rage attribute from here on out. On a 4-6 they will become overcome with grief and will become inactive until they roll a 1-3 in following activations and then they become enraged as above. Note when inactive they can do nothing at all including defend themselves!

Having introduced the Wosa family I'm going to leave them to nurse their (Gobbo's) wounds and spend some time adapting to the new Isle of Thanet.  Instead I'm going to tease out one of the sub plots and start to work on them, hopefully I'll be able to draw it all back together again at some point.

Hope you enjoy
dGG

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Urban Project - Tables and Chairs

Hi all

Firstly my apologies for the lack of regular posting, I'm working on long term projects and it does mean I don't have lot to post about as I'm sure you don't want to read about how I made yet another brick wall or 28mm toilet, coupled with the lack of time due to recent real life stuff means that I missed Friday and yesterdays posts.  With that in mind I think I may just cut down to two posts a week Tuesday and Friday with the occasional bonus post thrown in if I manage to get ahead and get some bits done.  Anyway onto today's offering....

As regular readers will know, I'm building some urban boards for a show in february and I'm busy beavering away with those at the moment.  What I thought I would do is post about how I get on with making some of the pieces, I'll block these posts into what I'll title "Urban Project".  Of course I've already started with the Urban Debris and Blotz posts but that's ok.

Although I normally like to announce a new project with an exciting post with loads of pics and sparkly pieces to draw you in, I'm actually gonna start fairly low-key this time with some really basic stuff that often gets overlooked in game building - tables and chairs!

I know, I know not exactly grandiose but think about it - how many beautifully crafted buildings do we see on any number of gaming tables that look fabulously detailed on the outside, but when you open them (if you can even open them up that is!) there is just empty space.... I'm guilty of this, I've got lovely 4Ground buildings with rooms and lofts - not a stick of furniture!  I also know that if we clutter a building with furniture where are the miniatures going to go? this is because model buildings tend to be fairly small so that they don't dominate the battlefield and allow us to fill it instead with our toy soldiers.  

The beauty of skirmish games however, means that we only have a few models on the board. This allows us to invest more time in creating back stories for each of our heroes, breathing life into them and watching them interact in the games with purpose and with some story telling.  What better way to do that than building a complete and fully developed and interactive board and this means detail!

Gobbo fights in yet another completely empty house!

I'm right in the middle of building a really vital part of my board, the final objective as it were, in the plot that I have in mind.  I will reveal the whole thing eventually, when it is completed and I know that the concept works but for now I need to build some of the detail and yep that detail this time is - tables and chairs.


For the chairs I used some "liberated" coffee stirrers from Mccy D's as they were interestingly shaped.  Cutting the end off and then scoring the wood to fold and form the backrest and seat, I then used matchsticks for legs and viola....


using another piece of the stirrer as a cushion I applied a quick coat of paint and we have....

I mounted the chairs on cereal box card for stability
For the tables, these were even simpler with 40mm and 25mm round bases and a block of 1cm thick blue foam.


Chopping the corners of the blue foam off to make a pleasing shape and gluing the lot together


With a drop of paint and a some card coasters and miliput glasses we get.....


28mm zombie for scale (it was the closest mini to hand!)


so a very low-key introduction to my new project but one I think is essential in building the level of detail into these boards and breathing life into my stories.  These will fit beautifully into a pub or cafe/restaurant setting and are perfect for my main objective on these boards.

I'm afraid if this didn't tickle your fancy then the next few posts won't either as I'm concentrating on furniture for the near future, as I want to have several buildings worth of "clutter".

hope you enjoy
dGG

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The kindness of others

Hi all

This week has been hard, a poorly daughter (who is getting better bit by bit and thank you all for the best wishes) and some seriously challenging shifts along with some disappointing news regarding the postponement of exam review boards has led to me being very downcast.  So with almost divine timing (if you believe in that kind of thing!) this morning I received a parcel that has bought a big ol' smile to my face.  

So a little background first, as you know I'm gonna put on a demo/participation game in feb and I've decided to go with a zombpoc theme. A few very nice chaps have offered me their help and I'm truly grateful for that (and I will be taking them up up on the offers too!) including a fellow that is new to blogging and a new follower of this (not so)humble blog - Greg from "The Wargame Addict".  If you haven't checked it out yet, then I urge you to do so as he is doing some excellent posting with a truly gripping ATZ campaign.  Anyhoo, Greg who I have not known very long, offered to send me some vehicles to populate my game boards, an offer which I gratefully accepted as I'm a little light in this regard, particularly rescue/responder vehicles.  Not only did he refuse my offer of any payment he sent me these....


Just a load of vehicles!! including a bus, which I have been looking for and a rather cool mini cooper, which I SHOULD have been looking for! ;-).  They are excellent for scale, detail and finish (although I'll probably weather them up a bit) and I'm so very pleased with them.






I'm really tempted to send the bus to Dave Stone who has volunteered to help me with some of his sculpting brilliance but I may try to source another as I really, really like it as it is - ooooh I'm so torn as I know Dave has something really cool in mind too..........

anyway I cannot tell you how grateful I am to Greg for his amazing gift, not only will it help me in feb (and my normal gaming) but it restored a little bit of faith in this tired and cynical Gobbo. What a thoroughly wonderful hobby we partake in.

best wishes all
dGG

Monday, 7 August 2017

Can't see the wood for the trees!

Hi all

just another quick post from me today (seems to be an awful lot of that at the moment!), real life issues with a poorly daughter is quite rightly bumping the hobby down the priority order.  That said I've managed to get a mini project completed in between hospital visits and lucid moments, mostly as a distraction so it may not be up to scratch but I'll consider it complete for now.

So a few weeks ago I hit the 'net looking for all sorts of cheap terrain items and I came across another eBay post for cheap trees from China.  I'm always a little dubious about scale when it comes to trees, particularly off the interwebs, but these were sooooo cheap I felt like I needed to gamble. Listed as 10cm high and £6.41 for 15 with free P&P and flushed with success from my cherry blossom trees from a similar experiment, I rolled the dice and placed the order.  2 weeks later these arrived......


Marvellous!! a little bit garish in the green but not too shabby at all.  Like my cherry trees they were packed flat and need the branches teased out, this causes the loss of some foliage but that was swept up for use to scatter on the bases.  I won't bore you with the ways and hows I put the trees together, suffice to say I used the same methods as my cherry trees which you can find here.  What I did do however is get my other trees (which incidentally cost me £17 from woodland scenics!) and take them off the cardboard bases that had warped and generally looked a bit naff and add those into the mix.  I also used a few big 100mm round mdf bases for clumps of trees.

mixed in you can barely tell the difference

the original woodland scenics
I also found some animals that I'd got from "Warbases" a while ago and rather than add them to the woods I popped them on 20mm rounds so that they are a bit more versatile.

mr Badger

sly old Mr Fox with Bunny in mouth

not quite so happy Mr Fox

lunch - rabbits

an idyllic woodland scene.....


quite a large coverage!

28mm elf models for scale!

Arineal strolls through the forest with his lady friend...

So that's it a mini project complete.
hope you enjoy
dGG

Friday, 4 August 2017

Motorbikes!

Hi all

I've been looking to add to my vehicle collection for my modern game settings, particularly zombpoc gaming.  While perusing the interwebs for suitable models I find these...


bought on EvilBay from a Chinese company for £3.40 for all 4 (free P&P too!), these are the perfect size for my 28mm miniatures as Daryl can attest to.

Here they are individually, I'm not sure I can identify any particular makes or models so if you can then excellent.  I do know they have great detail for such cheap models and they will enhance my battlefields no end! 






sorry for the fuzzy picture.

anyway just a quick post but I was dead excited about this cheap and cheerful little purchase.

hope you enjoy
dGG

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Taisei

Hi all

It's time for some serious melee power for my snakes!! Time to welcome to da Grotto my latest recruit - Taisei.

Deep in the cold, moist temples to Orochi where the greatest nightmares lurk, Taisei waits, conserving his energy only for the bidding of the one true Kami. His physical prowess making him an impressive specimen of the Hebi, his great strength allowing him to wield the no-dachi with frightening agility, fearsome power or crushing an enemy beneath muscled coils, immobilised and helpless to the mercy of the merciless. 

Taisei is my big hitter, armed with a giant sword giving him a damage of +2 combine that with his "Hack" Ki feat - adding a further +3 dam he is gonna crunch some bones! "Grapple" can reduce dice advantage for those pesky samurai by immobilising them.

Swift of "foot" as it were, the boy-snake can move and is impossible to prone or throw  due to his inherent snakiness. "Blood of Orochi" means that he fits my favorite theme "The Blessed" and he contributes to the poison pool.




Not much more to say about his paint job, that hasn't been said in previous posts.  He fits in the theme, he looks fab and he slithers into the warband!

hope you enjoy
dGG



Monday, 31 July 2017

More modern scatter

Hi all

I'm busy looking for ways to improve my modern urban boards, ostensibly for my upcoming debut at the PAWs show but also for my continuing ATZ campaign.  I want my boards to look authentic and urban terrain by its very nature is busy so I need lots of it!  I'll try to make as much as I can, particularly the buildings but some of the finer detail is a bit beyond my skill or desire to make so I'm gonna buy some stuff in.  With this in mind I've been scouring the interwebs for bargains and found my old friends -  Debris of War and Blotz.

First up is Blotz, this UK company is making some lovely mdf products that are simple to put together and look fab.  Among other things I bought two phone booths, one modern and the other the traditional red telephone booth.



for painting these beauts, I find adding watered down PVA glue to the undercoat stops the mdf drinking up the paint. 



with my 28mm coppers for scale
Debris of War is a cracking local company putting out interesting resin pieces which include the excellent bases I've been using for my Ito Clan.  For modern settings, the owner/sculpter - Anthony has put out the bin bags and wheelie bins that I've previously shown on this blog.  He contacted me recently and offered me some new things he's been working on.


These are fun little pieces that will "litter" **sighs** my boards, the bins are cool and will populate the tenements and alleyways with the discarded matresses.


"There's nothing behind my back officers"



Along with Dave Stone's lovely flaming barrels I'm starting to get some really cool layouts going. More pieces are on the way from all sorts of other companies and I look forward to seeing them populate my boards.

hope you enjoy
dGG