Friday, August 30, 2019

My M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestling game

Hi all!

Well, as everyone who reads this knows, I make a lot of games:)

My most recent one is a very simple little card-based wrestling game for one of my favorite, and one of my son's favorite, toys... MUSCLES!  They are an old wrestling action figure toy that came out years ago; I loved them, so I found some for my son and he loves them too!  Of course, any wrestling figures need a game too, so I made one!

It's VERY very simple.  Each player gets a hand of cards, made up of attack and defense cards.  As a player takes more damage, it gets easier to pin them.  The cards are broken up into generic cards that make up a chunk of both players deck, but each player also gets some cards that are specific to the "style" of wrestler they are playing (Hulks get a lot of close range, high damage attacks... Flyers get a lot of longer range attacks and also cards that let them move, Ghoulies get to snatch away opponent cards, and Brains get a lot of cards that let them move and recover damage.)  They also get a single "Special" card that is different for each wrestler... you can see those above.

So we had a match (each lasts between five and ten minutes) between Sumo and Vampire!

Here is my guy, Sumo, ready to go.  He is a hulk, so he likes being up close and personal.

Here is my son's guy, Vampire, as the match begins!

 You get three cards each "round."  Here is an example hand, where I had two attack cards (A Hammer Punch, which is specific to Hulks, and a Big Punch, which is a generic card) and one defense card (A Quick Sidestep, which is a generic card.) You can either use the cards as they say, or just discard one to move a single space.

Here is one of my son's hands... he had two generic attacks (Quick Kick and Snap Suplex) and a Ghoulie-specific defense, which lets you block two damage and also move your opponent one, which can let you drag an opponent into range of an attack, or even move them away from you if you worry they have some huge damage, close range card in their hand.

Another of my son's hands... a bit of a beast!  A generic Spin Punch (which is nice, because it lets you move as well as attack) and then the Ghoulie attack Kendo Stick Smash (really high damage and some decent range) and Embrace Attack, a tricky Ghoulie defense card that has no actual defensive value, but makes your opponent take the same damage you take!

Here is one of my hands... the best generic defense card (Heroic Defense... there are only two in the whole game) and two Hulk attacks... Chest Smash and Overhead Press, which is an interesting card because it moves the opponent AWAY, which isn't ideal for Hulks, who like to work up close.

Here we are... Vampire and Sumo have smashed away at each other, and have each gotten a few Pin markers.  Basically, if you want to pin your opponent, you can use your last card of a round to make a Pin Attempt.  Roll under the total number of Pin markers your opponent has, and you win!  But if you don't, they actually heal away one Pin marker... if you know how wrestling goes, you know that, when a guy gets out of a pin attempt, he often gets a second wind!  So going for a pin can backfire!

Here we are, deeper in the game, and my son pulls this nasty hand...

Here is a sample round... I played Bear Hug.  My son had no defense cards, so the damage went through.  He responded with Vampire's special attack, which moved HIS damage over to ME!  Yikes!  I responded with Overhead Press and moved him a square away from me.  He used a card to move towards me, into range 1.  This made me suspicious... why does he want to get close to a Hulk?  So I played another card to back off.  He growled, and played a second of his cards to get into range 1 again.

Turns out I made the right move, as he had the Range 1 Ghoulie Attack, Cheating Attack!  Here you can see the three cards we used to move.  It's tricky, using cards to move instead of what they are used for!

My son was starting to put serious Pin makers onto me, although here I gave him a Big Boot to the face!

Not to be outdone, he drew these three cards for a hand... getting hit with  Kendo Stick Smash, and also getting bit by Vampire's special move AGAIN, started to really wear me down.  I tried one last desperate attempt at a pin, needing to roll under a three, but it failed, and my son went down to only two Pin markers...

... and he promptly pinned me, rolling under the seven pin markers I have!  (Although we realized afterwards that a six is supposed to ALWAYS be a fail... a guy always has a chance to fight out of a pin, no matter how desperate it looks!)

So that's the game!  I made it in one morning, and I'll be honest, it is the smoothest game I've ever developed.  

Up next?  Adding cards to represent special match types (i.e. Table Match cards) and also developing Tag Team matches!

Anyway... thanks for reading, and if anyone wants more specific info for the game, lemme know!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Some 10mm Napoleonic photos from a game with my son!

Hi all!

Whelp, I played a fairly simple 10mm Napoleonic game with my son, so I thought I would share some photos!

He was the French, I was the British.  He initially had two of his infantry divisions come onto the field together, and began to advance towards the fields and forest in front of him.

Here are his men advancing, Guard in the lead!

His cavalry and artillery came on in the center of the table, and his cavalry immediately began to move towards the center.

Meanwhile I had a single infantry division arrive and take up position in the woods... the rest of my men hadn't come to the battle yet!

Here is the French marshal, contemplating his next move!

Finally another British infantry division, my elites, entered the battle, but at the far end of the field!

The French cavalry advanced, forcing some of my men into square.

The French cavalry then turned and threatened my newly-arrived elite division, forcing them to halt and (after this photo was taken) get into square.)

The rest of the French infantry arrived to support their attack on the woods.

The attack on the woods was fierce!

And while my few infantry fought, they couldn't hold off basically the entire French army.

My cavalry then came to the field, and harassed his cavalry, chasing them down and killing many of them to let my elite division advance.

The French press the woods, with a newly arrived division of Brunswickers trying to support the British.

One French cavalry division tried to break the British squares, but couldn't.

You can see the fight for the woods on the near flank, and in the far corner you can see the elite British infantry push the French cavalry away.

Another shot.

The French pushed the British out of the woods and began to swing through them to engage the British in the center and the oncoming British elite division, while a British cavalry brigade moved behind them, forcing many of the French into square.

I brought my elite division up finally, but there were simply too many French left, so I had to retreat!

Here is what was left of my son's French army at the end... he whupped me good!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Some painted 28mm Knight Models Harry Potter miniatures!

Hi all!

Okay, first off, it's been a LONG time since I posted!  Sorry, been a VERY busy summer!

But I'm still doing toy soldier stuff... and most recently, post-6mm-Vikings, I've been trying out the Knight Models Harry Potter miniatures!

Overall I am very happy with them.  I can't do them justice like the examples from the company (those are INSANE) but they are still good.  I originally did try to do eyes on them, but it just didn't work... the eyes made them too clearly NOT the actors, if that makes sense?  The weakest is my Umbridge... she was hard to get right, and the pinks weren't ideal

Anyway, here are some of them.  I AM wondering... do I do the black around the bottoms in gloss, or matte?  Snape is in gloss, the rest are matte.  Thoughts?

I've got a bunch more to do.  I am a bit annoyed, though... you can only get Harry, Ron, and Hermoine by buying the super expensive game, and I don't want to buy it:(  Plus, I don't love the Hermoine sculpt... she is all floating and ethereal, and if there is any character in Harry Potter who is grounded, it is Ms Granger.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A BUNCH of painted Baccus 6mm Vikings, including casualty bases!

Hey all!

Well, although I haven't posted in a short bit, I HAVE been doing a little bit of painting, in between chores and taking care of kids and the rest!

So I tackled a few projects.  

First was a few more units of standard 6mm vikings.

I also did up the last part of my original plan for my vikings... namely, casualty bases!

I don't have a game for these yet, but in my head I imagined being able to track casualties per base using a small die.  The idea was that, when a base was finally wiped out, you would replace it with a base of dead guys.  So here are some of them!

At the very top of the blog post you can see a few units that have some casualty bases scattered into them.  Right above here is a full unit of dead... not that I imagine this happening in a game, but I wanted people to get a look at them!  They are SMALL, but I think they still look good.

I also did up a command base.  It is basically two bases glued together, with a dice holder at the back.  I also made it a little bit of a hill, so it would be particularly noticeable.  I used the Microworld Odin figure as the general (and repainted the one I had put in a unit a little, to make that one less Odin-like.)  There are shield armed vikings on the ends of the stand, so that when it is in the midst of a unit (like it is in the photo above) the shieldwall continues onto the command stand.

And here are all of the finished units so far!

Anyway... comments or thoughts MORE than welcome!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Another unit of 6mm Vikings painted!

Well, I got another unit of 6mm Baccus Vikings all painted up!

They paint up VERY quickly... a few hours and they are done.  At this tiny scale they don't look great up close for the most part, but man, from two feet away they look AWESOME.  Again, they are all on individual stands, so I can always change up the unit when I want to.

The highlight of this unit actually isn't from Baccus... it is the commanders, from Microworld!  In this case, it is Odin himself leading the men!  You can see him in the front, with the white beard, with Gungnir in his hand and Huginn and Muninn on his shoulders. The miniatures are REALLY well detailed and beautiful... much nicer, I must say, than the Baccus figures.  I've got a few more... can't wait to get them painted up!

Monday, May 13, 2019

My newest addition to the House of War... a great French Shako from Shakos GBL!

Hi all!

Well, lucky me, I've managed to add yet another fantastically cool piece to the House of War!

If you reading this blog, you'll know that I am obviously a big fan of the Napoleonic wars.  I've long felt that I needed to add a shako to the collection, although I was unsure WHICH... I considered a 95th Rifles shako, but it is a bit plain, so instead I went with an 1806 pattern French voltigeurs shako!

So here it is!  It came in relatively quick from Willem at Shakos GBL.  He works out of the Netherlands, and came highly recommended in Napoleonic reenacting circles, so I figured... why not?  And the price was reasonable, which was an excellent bonus!

I settled on a voltigeur shako for a few reasons.  First, because it is French, and let's face it, the French are the French.  Second, because I liked the yellow and green.  I considered a grenadier's shako instead, with all the red, but thought that the samurai helmet was red enough, and I wanted to get something different.  Finally, it is a light infantry shako, and the French light infantry were awesome troops.

You can order a shako from Willem at...

As an added bonus, poor Willem agreed to answer a few questions as well, because I am always curious and I figured readers might be too!  So here are his patient answers to my annoying headwear questions (slightly edited for grammar and the like, since English is not his first language!)

Here is Willem himself, sitting at his workspace!

Some assorted bicorns

1)  How did you get started making hats and shakos?  Is it your full time work?

I started to make my own shako as I found the prices (from other builders) too high in 2002. It is not my full time work (I am an elevator constructor) but do have an official company making them along with to my regular job.

A fantastic colpack

2) Are you a reenactor as well?

Yes I am a member of Le 85eme Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne, a Dutch regiment in service of Napoleon

A shako for the Tirailleurs Corses

3) Can you give us a rough idea of the steps in constructing a piece like this shako? (Don't give away any trade secrets!:) )

I use correct materials: wool, linen, leather... pressing the top with a mall. The drying process (is important) and some other secrets!

The Casque (1791-1795)

4) In terms of research, where do you find the historical references for your pieces?

One of my best references is a good friend who is a historian; he always checks my work, especially if I have any questions.  If I am not sure there are also some great books. But "the Customer is the King" as we say in Dutch. If the customer wants it in another way I am always open to their ideas!

Some assorted shakos

5) What are the most common shakos and hatware that you are asked to make?

The French infantry shako. I think since 2013 (the start of the company) I have more than 750 of them!

The Dutch Merliton

6) Which are a few of the more rare pieces you've done?

The Casque (three photos up), the Dutch Merliton (see photo above), a United States of America Marine kepi, and a Dutch marine hat (see photo below).

The Dutch Marine "shako"

7) For you personally, what is a piece you've done that you are particularly proud of?  Is there any piece that was a particular challenge?  What made it a challenge?

I am especially proud of the Dutch marine hat (see photo above)... I got all the information out of a museum and it is completely made out of leather. To get the shape right, and to get the head size correct, was very hard work. But in the end it was a success.

A French shako

8) Is there a piece that nobody has ever asked for, but that you would like to have a chance to make?

A Belgian WW1 cavalry czapka and a Danish one... they are just too complicated, but I would love the challenge... but even if I were able to reproduce them, the costs might be way too high!

A leather WW1 pilots helmet

9)  What are the biggest overall challenges you face making these?

To make my customers happy for a reasonable  price.  One of my motives is to try to produce reproductions that are historically accurate.   Of course, sometimes there are things that go wrong, my motto is that, if there is something wrong, please tell me so I can correct my work and make a better product!

So thank you to Willem for an awesome piece, and for answering my annoying questions... and again, if you want to see hundreds of awesome pictures and maybe even order something for yourself, here is his Facebook page (he is VERY fast to respond on Facebook messenger and email!)

And one last shot of my new piece!