Saturday, 29 December 2018

Rising Sun

hi all

I was thoroughly spoilt this xmas by my extended family and I couldn't be more grateful.  

Most of the bits are set-dressing pieces for a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign that I will be running in the Spring/Summer of 2019 so aren't particularly exciting to see in isolation but don't worry I will be showing the pieces with some photo sessions during game play as and when I get up and running.

One of the most exciting gifts that I received was "Rising Sun" written by Eric M. Lang and published by CMON. This "miniatures" board game is set in feudal Japan and as regular readers of this blog will know, that just about scratches most of my gaming itches!

Rising Sun is a board game for 3 to 5 players designed by Eric M. Lang[ and published by CMON Limited in 2017[. Rising Sun is a game about strategy, negotiation, and warfare in a feudal Japan where the ancient gods (Kami) have returned to rebuild the empire. The game was originally released via Kickstarter, raising over $4,200,000. Rising Sun received positive reviews, and was awarded with the 2018 RPC Fantasy Award Tabletop & Miniatures Game Winner

This blurb is lifted from the ever reliable Wikipedia...

Anyhoo, the most exciting part of this game is the superb range of miniatures (used in the loosest term as they are huge!) that come with the base game.  That said I have got some expansions coming too...  So far I've decided to just paint the monsters (and later the Kami, when the expansions arrive).  This is mostly so I can get it onto the table quicker.  Because it's a board game, I'm going to introduce it to my board gaming group and hopefully get some games in shortly.  In the meantime I will showcase the monsters as and when I get them painted.  Each one will come with a little bit of Wiki knowledge if I can find it...

bottom left is a 32mm Rise of the Kage miniature just to give you an idea of scale

Today's offerings though is a 2 for the price of 1 as the first one was so simple it took minutes rather than hours.

I've tried to keep things simple as possible due to the fact that they are going to be handled by those that are less used to picking up miniatures

First up is Komainu

Komainu (狛犬), often called lion-dogs in English, are statue pairs of lion-like creatures either guarding the entrance or the honden, or inner shrine of many Japanese Shinto shrines or kept inside the inner shrine itself, where they are not visible to the public. The first type, born during the Edo period, is called sandō komainu (参道狛犬 visiting road Komainu), the second and much older type jinnai komainu (陣内狛犬 shrine inside komainu).[1] They can sometimes be found also at Buddhist temples, nobility residences or even private homes.

As you can see I went with a very basic gold colouring based on the game art rather than the traditional stone.  I think it looks very striking but it was also dirt easy to paint and all told it took longer waiting for the inks to dry than actually painting it.  I did use some basic weathering in an effort to "sex it up".

Next is my favourite "mini", the River Dragon.  My love for dragons is well documented so I won't go into it here., but this piece is stunning and I was desperate to do my best with it, however the miniature is much simpler than it looks and there were only 3 different basic colours in the whole piece (exc base).  However each colour has multiple shades and highlights which has produced a pleasing scheme and I'm really happy with the results.

Japanese dragons (日本の竜 Nihon no ryū) are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China, Korea and India. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Like these other East Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. The modern Japanese language has numerous "dragon" words, including indigenous Tatsu from Old Japanese ta-tu, Sino-Japanese ryū or ryō from Chinese lóng , nāga ナーガ from Sanskrit nāga, and doragon ドラゴン from English "dragon" (the latter being used almost exclusively to refer to the European dragon and derived fictional creatures).

That's it for this week.
hope you enjoy

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Xmas

Hi all

I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish the readers of this (sadly intermittent of late) blog, a really Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year. I hope to post a swag pic at some point but in the mean time here’s a quick (and rare) pic of me before I dip into the Xmas booze...

All the best

Andy aka da Gobbo

Thursday, 13 December 2018


Hi all

despite my post only two days ago claiming that I don't have the time to "hobby",  I have managed to scrape together a quick post.

I was asked by a club member to paint up some minis for a Dr Who RPG he's running for some of his friends in a weeks time. It was a quick commission and I was happy to help.  So here she is - Number 13.

Available from Warlord Games with the Tardis model, she was an interesting one to paint with very similar colours for the majority of the mini but with rainbow stripes to break up the monotony.

I posed her here with my own 1st Doctor and Sara Kingdom one of his companions facing those classic Daleks.  My miniatures are from Black Tree and I have quite a few sitting in the painting queue.

After taking these photos, I've realised that my backdrop is not very good for photography. Sadly I can't do anything about this at the moment, because the only reason I have managed to carve out the time to do this is because I've pulled my back, so no heavy work for me for a few days.

hope you enjoy

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

Hi all

My apologies once again for the absence on here and my fellow bloggers pages. No I haven’t abandoned blogging but with “winter pressures” at work and a multitude of home improvement projects, hobby time has been a bit sparse. That’s not to say I haven’t done anything only that I haven’t been able to capture it in the written form. 

I have however been recording some of my efforts which centre around terrain building rather than playing but hopefully are a little interesting none the less. I uploaded them to YouTube and have supplied a link to the first part, if you subscribe you can watch all 6 parts that I have done so far.

Now I’m gonna try to catch up on my favourite blogs, I may even get to comment 


Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Uncon 4.0

Hi all

This weekend, my friends and I hosted the 4th incarnation of Uncon - an Unconventional Convention.  Initially started up as an expansion of a local board gaming club  "All Around the Board", the founders, Jayde and Darius have taken this small gathering of  gamers and transformed it into a weekend gaming convention that caters for damn near everyone!

Darius and Jayde = LEGENDS!

The event, which the dastardly duo have decided will be biannual, opened at 08:00 on Saturday morning until 23:30 on the Saturday and opened again at 08:00 until 19:00 on the Sunday.  I was there for both days hosting my homebrew games and teaching other modern board games to the punters and so I thought I would share my musings about the weekend. 

Before I do however I do have to thank all of the hosts and volunteers and of course Darius and Jayde for their unending enthusiasm for this event as it goes from strength to strength.  Without them the event would be no more than a small group of geeks in a backroom somewhere... nothing wrong with that of course.

So I guess firstly I have to adequately describe what Uncon is?  Uncon is primarily a gaming convention, principally it was bought about for board gamers but later incarnations included tabletop wargaming and even limited digital gaming in the shape of classic console games at 3.0 and a full on Virtual Reality suite for 3.0 and 4.0. But first and foremost it is an analogue event, where people can congregate and interact with others over bits of cardboard, plastic and dice! 

The planning for Uncon 4.0 goes way back to April 23rd, literally the day after the 3rd Uncon event (my first as an exhibitor and host).  Uncon 3.0 was hugely successful with a couple of hundred people attending the event and enjoying the decent board game library that is one of the central features of the "con".  Despite our exhaustion following the weekend, we were determined to put on an even bigger event that put Uncon on the gaming map!

One thing that could not be compromised though was the location. Darius was determined that Uncon would be a convention for the local community as well as for the wider area of the South East.  Yes we could have moved the 'Con closer to London and therefore gain a (potentially) wider appeal, but that would betray the central tenet of the founders.  However we have been very lucky in sourcing a local school that has amazing facilities that perfectly fitted the vision. 

the open play area

the library

As well as providing a huge open play area, where people can just grab a game from the library and start playing, the venue allowed us to offer space to game designers to come along and demonstrate their latest projects as well as some established and much loved games.  

To that end we had the fabulous guys from Yay! Games playing with fans of their excellent Ominoes as well as a game that is still in prototype format.  Glenn Ford, one of the driving forces behind the very successful Gaslands was there with his new game SSO, recently published off the back of a Kick Starter.  On a side note, I backed SSO and had specifically not even opened it as I wanted to be taught the game by Glenn himself and it was soooooo worth the wait.  Glenn is a really decent guy and the game was much more atmospheric with his input.  The game itself, a co-op game set on a deteriorating space station/ship is tense and thrilling and well worth the punt imho.

SSO, great game
As well as the main hall, we booked several side rooms for various events including a Social Games room, over 18s, RPGs, bring and buy, quiet play and VR suite.  The RPG room had three different D&D campaigns running at the same time and was extremely well attended all weekend.  The VR suite had a queue most times and the over 18s... well probably best not to talk about those games...

For my own part I put on a couple of my home brew games the first being a zombie apocalypse game, I called the Rising Dead...  

Using terrain from my vast collection, including my scratch built hospital and my copious amounts of survivor/zeds miniatures I knocked up some rules and tokens and let the zombpoc loose.  It seemed to go down well and we played, in total over 6 hours of zombie goodness.

The other game I put on was my chariot racing game - Blood, Sweat & Horses.  I really loved teaching this game and to see the enjoyment of the players.  In total I played over 9 hours of chariot racing and had players returning to play the game more than once, one of the best compliments I could receive.

You may have noticed my garish lime green T-shirt.  This was the official T-Shirt of the Uncon hosts, a brilliant bunch of volunteers who have a ridiculous amount of gaming knowledge between them and the enthusiasm to teach people how to play them.  The ethos of the 'Con team is that no one need even open a rule book and try to learn a new game by reading one. The hosts were in and around the attendees, encouraging them to try new games, join in social games and bringing a sense of fun to the event - I love them all!

Oh and yes we had a mobile escape room and it was bloody brilliant!

oh and Orcs!

On the Sunday we paused the gaming to show our respect for the fallen and reflect on the ultimate sacrifice that those who have and are currently serving have made for this country and across the world. It was eerie to be in a room for of enthusiastic gamers of all ages become very still and quiet for just a few minutes but I was very proud of the community at that moment, that we had come together at that moment to think about others.  Talking of that sense of community, we invited The Carers Support Charity to the 'Con and they became our charity of choice for the weekend.

The numbers are still being crunched but they already exceed Uncon 3.0 and I can only see this event growing and growing although I do feel for D&J a bit as literally the week after booking Uncon 5.0, Salute announced their date for 2019 and we do clash.  However I hope the diversity of our 'Con will ensure we continue to draw people in.