Scenery Workshop: Bring boardgames to the next level

cropped-SceneryWorkshop_logo_transparantPainting your miniatures is a fun activity and greatly enhance your board games visuals. I have “invested” (if we can call it an investment) into some modular workshop system found on the website of Scenery Workshop. This Dutch webshop has really all what you can dream about to establish the perfect your work-area.

I bought the Hobbyzone Benchtop Organizer (WM1) for under 50 euros. It’s big enough to hold all my material (cutters, scissors, holders, glue, pencils, …) together in the handy drawers.

IMG_6877In addition to store all my paints (I have a mixed collection of both Citadel paints and The Army Painter, Vallejo, Rackham, etc..); I bought 3 extra elements to have a good visibility on all my paint colors :

You can see them on the picture over here:

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To be complete, I also have the now indispensible LightCraft Triple Tube Pro Task Lamp – LC8015 – that allows me finally to paint also when it’s dark outside. The usage of this lamp is just amazing. I could not do without it anymore.

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Last but not least, I had a little problem with one of the neon lights in my lamp who broke down after a few hours of usage and Patrick from the Scenery Workshop went to extreme length to get me a replacement (free of charge) that he sent over to me.

The after-sales services is just great with a practical ticketing system you get answer to your questions in no-time.

I highly recommend this webshop because good prices, selection of goods and service is just excellent !

They push the hobby to the next level !

Monthly Games Talks: October 2015

Everyone, whether they just paint models or only play games, loves a nicely painted force. There is just something impressive about the skill and dedication it takes to produce such an inspiring site. Not to mention, when arrayed on a battlefield or placed into a displayed, they just look so cool.

What is it about a fully painted collection of miniatures that we find so engaging? I really don’t think that there is a single answer. For me there are a number of things that make a collection of painted miniatures interesting.

Colour choice and model selection are a huge part of it. Miniatures that are well painted always cause a certain amount of awe for the least amount of work, probably because you get such a striking first impression for just choosing and applying a handful of colours really well. Models too are a quick way to impress me, by choosing a selection that not only gives a uniform look, but also introduces variation to create visual interest.However, while these two aspects create a good first impression, they don’t always hold my attention when brought to close scrutiny. So what really impresses me? What makes me remember a collection of models? Above all else, what I always look for is a story.

A lot of people mistake what a story within a collection means. They seem to think this involves having a detailed knowledge of the background fiction, adding minute details from the background and being accurate to the world. This is not the case. Not at all. To me, the story is the element that binds all the miniatures together. Something that takes them all from individual pieces and makes them say “we belong together”. For me, the story means I can look closer at each miniature and see a common thread that ties them all together.

This doesn’t have to slap you in the face, either. In fact, I love it when a story is quite subtle or implied. Being told the story of a force directly is one thing, but I relish those miniatures that I can look closer at, find common elements and construct a story myself. There are a few regular tricks I look for when trying to find a collections story. A feature colour is always the first thing. Is there a colour that has been used to pick out a certain feature, and how has this been applied? This can be as obvious as the general model and his guard having the same colour shields, to as nuanced as patterns recurring among certain models. Another thing I look for is conversions, or use of unofficial models. Swapping out one set of models for another, or altering them, is a good way to create a unique visual that contributes to the story. Like replacing knights that are usually quite ornamental for ones that are more dour and drab.

When creating a collection of miniatures it might seem like a hassle to stop and think about introducing a story. However most people are injecting a story right from the start, whether they know it or not. Normally the models we choose and how we paint them instinctively creates a basic story to bind them together. The challenge is to consciously develop this visual fiction to introduce multiple layers. When you do this you take a good collection and make it really great.

Risk: Star Wars Edition

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So you’re a boardgamer and think that buying games from retail stores are not “really gamers’ games” hu ? Well .. maybe you’re wrong ! Think about fun factor & material.

In this game one player plays the rebels and the other the Empire. There are three areas on the board and three things going on. One has Luke and Vader fighting. The other has a track that has the progression of the task force that seeks to blow up the shield generator. The final area is the center which is the space battle for the death star.

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Each player has an unique deck of cards and each card has two or three possible actions. At the beginning of a round players will pick three of their six cards to play. Starting with the rebel player, they will reveal their top card and pick one of the symbols to resolve.

Each symbol corresponds with one of the three areas. Both sides can choose to do the lightsaber duel. This involves rolling four dice and getting 4+, each one is a hit. The first side to get the other down to zero life on this track will get several bonus actions.

Other actions can allow the rebels to move up the shield track. The rebel player rolls five dice. At the beginning they need 2+ but at the end it requires 5 and 6s. The Imperial players can add storm-troopers to this track to increase the difficulty.

The middle section is where the win conditions exist. Rebels can move and attack with squadrons of fighters or the Falcon. The Empire can attack with tie fighters, the Super Star Destroyer, spawn new fighters, or use the Death Star to blow up capitol ships (which may have starfighter reinforcements). Fighting is done rolling dice.

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The Empire’s goal is to destroy all of the rebel ships. The Rebel’s player goal is to destroy Death Star. They can do this if they reach the top of the shield track, and then roll a six with a ship next to the death star. If this happen, the rebels win.

The mechanics are a lot of fun, and the theme really comes through. The biggest issue with this game are the components. Outside of the starship tokens, all of the other components are cardboard tokens. This means the shield track is really just some spaces that a cardboard chit moves up.

Try to replace these tokens with for example Micro Machine miniatures; This simple change does help a decent amount.

Nice KS campaign ongoing for Zombicide decors

If you’re like me having several boxes of Zombicide, you might want to go to the next level and also have some nice/3D elements on the board.

This was already possible by doing it yourself if you have creative hands, but easier and probably cheaper would be to have a look at this Kickstarter Campaign from Battle Systems:

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For about ~120,00 € you get some nice modulable decors that can be used for various missions. The feedback about the quality of their is good and the team is actually using also Zombicide miniatures for their tests.

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