Monday 27 May 2013

Man Date to Common Ground Games in Stirling

So at the weekend, myself and some of my cohorts from Glasgow Games Group decided to go through and check out a new games store that has opened up in Stirling, called Common Ground Games. If you click on the link, you'll be taken to the facebook page, and you can join, ask questions, and find out more about it. Common Ground Games facebook page

The plan was to bundle into a car, with various games, drive through and spend most of the afternoon there. And I must admit, this time I really did love it when a plan came together.

We'd met the owner, Steve, before at Carronade (the wargames show in Falkirk put on by the FDWC), when he was handing out flyers. And what a nice fellow. Arriving near opening time, we said hello, and Steve quickly said he'd give us the grand tour of the place.

Upon entering, you're presented with two options. You can turn right, into the retailer section, or straight ahead into the gaming section.

The retail section has a good stock of various games, including Dystopian Wars, Dropzone Commander, Malifaux, Warhammer, 40K, Warmachine/Hordes, Empire of the Dead, Infinity, and some slightly more obscure ones like Anima Tactics, and MERCS. He's also said that he's looking at stocking Bushido and Godslayer (Yay!!!!)

Along with miniatures, there's a small section of RPGs, including the FFG ones based on the GW universes, some D&D, Pathfinder and a couple of others. There's also a whole load of board games, from the usuals like Settlers of Catan, and the various FFG games, to the more usual family games.

A good selection of the popular card games are behind the counter, while facing the counter is an area with scenery from the ever popular Battlefield in a box range by GF9, to a whole load of scenic bits also produced by GF9, a good selection of paints from Vallejo and Army Painter, and tools and brushes, while another shelf stocks a good selection of the current wargaming magazines.

That's not all in the retail section though, as he also has a fully functioning cafe, serving baguettes, toasties, various cakes, cans of soft drinks, and tea and coffee, along with a dedicated staff member for said cafe. While not featured on the menu, they allow a bit of customization, so I ended up with something dubbed "The double pig", comprising of a ham, bacon, and cheese toastie. And it was mighty tasty. There's also a nice little seating area in the cafe part, for relaxing away as well, perusing your purchases, while having a tea.

I can tell your impressed. Now the gaming area is no less impressive. He's got if I counted correctly 20 6x4 tables set up, all with scenery, and a whole host of smaller tables for things like card gaming, roleplaying, or as we used them for, playing Dreadball and Bushido, as I'd brought a 2x2 board.

A photo of one of the lengths of table, with some of my cohorts having a game of X-Wing in the corner. I'm informed Darth Vader died like a bitch.

A wonderful sea board, great for things like Dystopian Wars, lovingly hand painted by Steve's wife.

Another board, with some Malifaux terraclips, and some Dropzone commander card scenery.

One of the space boards, again lovingly handed painted by Steve's wife. Also note, cupholders are a feature on all the boards, so no more spillages.

Another row of boards. You can also see off to the boards to the left and right, space is provided for all your bags etc.

Some wonderful scenery made using the hirst arts moulds, which was kindly donated to Steve by a benefactor. Perfect for Godslayer I think.
 And how much I ask you to use these fine tables. The answer, £3.50, per person, for a whole day, during which you can have access to any of these tables, so you can play a game of 40K on one, then switch to another table for another game, or use the space board for some X-Wing. While the scenery currently looks a bit sparse, he is looking out for more, and is in talks with Sarissa Precision to get more stuff, and actually look at stocking their items.

If you just intend on using the smaller tables, it's only £2.00 for the whole day. Again perfect if you play a lot of RPG, or a Dreadball league. Given the opening times are 2-9 Tuesday and Wednesday, 2-11 on Thursday and Friday, 2-8 on Sunday, and a mammoth 11-11 on Saturday, I'm sure you'll agree that's a good deal.

Also, as if it couldn't get better, there's also some lamps provided on one table, so you can do a bit of painting or modelling.

And yet there's more. If you decide you don't want to play games all day, and actually fancy a break to go do some of that outside stuff, but don't want to lug all your gaming possessions around, they also have lockers to rent out, so that you can store your stuff and come back for it later.

So to sum it up, I'm a bit in awe. Steve appears to have thought of everything and has crafted what could be the perfect store. You can go in, make your purchases, have a bit to eat, and play games in what is a nice, bright and airy gaming room. You can then put your stuff in a locker, go out for a bit, and then come back for more games.

I keep thinking to myself the only problems is that it's in Stirling, and I'm in Glasgow. Yet when we drove there, when we got on the motorway at 10, we were there and parked by about 10.40 at the latest. So really not very far at all.

I know we are already talking about going back, possibly making it into a monthly visit, but even then, with the long opening hours, and actual relative closeness, you don't even need to plan it that much, if you just fancy going up for some games, it's a great place.

So if you're anywhere near this place, I can only recommend it. Go there, play games, buy stuff, cause otherwise who knows if it'll survive. And given how great this store is, that would be a terrible, terrible shame.

As always, thanks for looking. 

Sunday 12 May 2013

Carronade 2013

Yesterday was Carronade 2013, and was the debut for the newest demo game from our club, G3.

The game, X-Treme G 3000 racing, a fast, fun and furious race around the track to be crowned champion of the track.

The track in all it's glory, with the buildings I've slaved away over, plus all the over bits all the other club members have contributed.

You can see the LEDs under the track section here, though it was actually a bit too bright in the hall to get the best effect.

Apparently, when you google for fictional energy companies, the first one that comes up is Ewing Oil Co.

Some of the race attendees

Some of the races. From left to right "La Femme Fatale en Bleu", The Yellow Hornet, Edward Dredd, and Princess Barbara. Unfortunately I managed to cut The Red Baron off, so they'll have to remain a mystery.

More race attendees.

It's basically a homebrewed ruleset we came up with, which results in a reasonably fast, enjoyable game, that's basically a bit like Mario Kart or Wipeout. You get two laps round the outer circuit of the track, you go over speed boosts, or slow downs, you collect power-ups, and shoot each other with missiles and spin out.

We managed to run 5 games during the 6 hour show, and each game had all 5 racer slots taken up, with several more people coming up during the course of the day, asking where we got the track, the buildings, what was the game about etc.

All in all, it was a long day of talking to people, running games, and our shift system going out the window, but it was an enjoyable day. There wasn't really any downtime at the table, as the slots very quickly filled up once one game was finished.

All in all, I didn't get much time to wander around etc. I did manage to see a few of the boards and what not, but not really any other pictures other than grabbing these ones. However the guys from the club next door to ours, the Phoenix club, who organise Wappinshaw (which is the next show for us, on the 1st of June in Kelvin Hall, Glasgow) managed to get a good few, and they can be found here

Unfortunately as well, there was no prize this year, as it went to RAF Leuchars, who were running a game called Divine Wind, about Kamikaze attacks on an aircraft carrier. There's photo's of it in the link above, and it certainly looked a good table.

 In the few occasions I managed to get away for a wee bit, I did a quick round of the traders there, and it was a decent show as always, along with a new presence from Hawk Wargames who make Dropzone Commander. They along with Critical Mass games got pretty much most of my money, as I purchased some items from them, and a few packs of bases for 15mm stuff from Warbases.


That's a set of Hawk Wargames new card scenery, which for £30 gets you enough 10mm scale roads and buildings to cover a 6' x 4' table. The road tiles are double backed too. The Arc Fleet Otilium refinery set from Critical Mass games, which given if you pre-order for the show it goes from £60 to £30, is an absolute steal. While it's 15mm, given it's big industrial nature, you can easily get away with having big doors, so can see use in 10mm games as well. Some of Critical Mass's Alien Jungle Flora stems, 18 for £7.50, to make some weird sci-fi planets with, some 15mm radars from CM as well, a pack of the digital camo MaskFX as I want to try it with my airbrush, and the bases from Warbases.

I also bought some more stuff from Hawk Wargames, though it's getting posted to me, though since I bought it on the day, they'll ship it free of charge, which is jolly nice, as the guys made the effort to come all the way from South London type area, and came up on the train, so couldn't carry everything. However it was really good to see them, and nice to see more companies coming up to do the Scottish shows, as I know it's a long day for them.

Possibly the best purchase though, and one which I have bought several of, in various colours I might add.

Knitted Cthulu says Fhtagn  

I'll leave you with that image, as I don't think I can top it. Thanks for looking.

Sunday 5 May 2013

Sarissa Precision System Infinity complete

Today draws a close on Operation: Paint all the fecking club scenery on time. And I must admit it's glad. While I enjoyed getting the use out my airbrush, I at times get bored of painting very quickly, and having a deadline at times can either help, or hinder, as I feel the pressure mounting.

Still it's done, and to a good standard if I do say so myself. I'm pleased with how the airbrushing has come out. Given it was pretty much my first time doing anything of actual substance with my airbrush anyway.

I still don't think I'm up to painting normal miniatures with it, but I certainly look forward to giving it a go, and using it more in the future. I've at least got all my own scenery that I can do with it, so that'll give me more practice.

Anyways, here's some pictures of the finished product.

The first show is Carronade, which is in Falkirk, this coming Saturday the 11th of May. If you can make it along, come along and you can see the scenery, and myself in person at the Glasgow Games Group (G3) participation game, X-treme G racing.

Thanks for looking.

Monday 22 April 2013

Post Salute 2013 and the Salute Haul

So Salute 2013 has been and gone, and another good year it was. Vast amounts of money was spent on toy soldiers, toy buildings and books about toy soldiers and toy buildings.

First of all the Salute haul. As last year, this year I took part in the Oath that I and a small group of friends started last year, of not buying any new miniatures from the 1st of January, until Salute. So that means I'd managed to save a good bit of money, and of course, had a few things on my list to buy. Needless to say, I bought them all, and then some stuff that wasn't really on the list either.

And this is what it all looks like

Infinity stuff, a good start on a new faction for Bushido, some Japanese scenery from the nice folks at Sarissa, the gorgeous new Dropzone Commander stuff, some 15mm bits and pieces from Antenociti's workshop, counters, scenery and templates for Infinity from MAS, some random figures from Ax Faction, just because, Dreadball season 2 book, the Noble Armada expansion book with a heavy cruiser, some spaceships from White Dragon Games at British indie, the Forge World limited ed Warrior Priest, oh and the Salute figure of course.

I also managed to grab a look at some new things that are particuarly exciting.

For Bushido the game by GCT Studios they had pictures of some of the new models that are coming out in Wave 12 and in the future.

The four painted figures, are the new fisherman for Temple, the Air Kami for Temple, something for Cult, and the Earth Kami for Temple.

At the back the only two you can really make out are the Giant Bat which will be for Savage Wave, and a large wheel with a face in the middle, which will be for Cult.

I also had a flick through their art book that they always bring. I didn't take pictures, as I thought they might not want those all over the place. Needless to say, some nice things coming up for the new faction, Silver Moon, including some Sumo types that are as large as an Oni, and some excellent artwork for all the other factions.

The other exciting news is that there's already artwork being produced for another faction. The faction that looked the most fleshed out so far, with a couple of pieces was the Miyamoto Clan, who are the bear clan that live in the mountains. A shugenja type woman, and a large samurai with a rather large tetsubo. There was also symbols for pirates, the Shi-o, and the Tengu, along with a piece of art for a Tengu, which looked quite cool.

Also news is that they're only a few weeks away from print for the rulebook, which will be nice to finally have in my hands when that gets released. 

Dropzone Commander was looking great as always, and I picked up the new releases for UCM. They were also giving out samples of their new cardstock buildings, with people getting one to take away. I must admit, I'm impressed, with the cardstock being thicker than I thought it would be. While I would love a set of the resin buildings, my budget just can't afford it, so these could be a second best alternative, and £30 to cover a 6 x 4 table, is pretty good really. They also had a new bit of terrain that they were showing off.

Monorai, Monorail
When asked on price, the people behind the stand said that it would be reasonable, and it would come with approximately 2m of track, supports for the track, the train itself, and a scenario booklet to go with it, to allow it to be used. I'm pretty sure I saw Dave talking to BoW about it when I was there, and he mentioned about having troops in the train, and allowing it to move around the battlefield with guys inside. Exciting.

On to gorgeous boards. The first one was the Japanese battle, that was kitted out with Oshiro Model Terrain


A great looking board. I love the Oshiro terrain, and I got myself some of the scatter packs, though looking at it I feel it would be sligthly too small for Bushido, so I went with the new MDF terrain from Sarissa. Still, gorgeous stuff.

Next up, the general sci-fi board from Antenociti's workshop

The guy manning the board did say that unfortunately they hadn't managed to get everything finished, but even so it was still looking great. The new modular buildings are looking nice, and they've overcome the problem that put me off buying more when I bought some of the first run of the 15mm buildings. The laser barriers at the side may make it into the store, he was saying the problem is they can't do them with the holes, so they would require to be drilled out by hand. I also told him he needed to make some of the weird aliens that they've got on the board as well.

For a stunning 15mm board, I think the organisers of Salute, the South London Warlords really did it this year.

It was a Hammer's Slammers participation game, which I must admit, I don't know a great deal about, having never read the books, nor do I know what system they were using. Really though, who cares, cause it's a gorgeous looking board. I only wish I had the space, time, and motiviation to do something like this.

And lastly it's Twilight Miniatures


I love the wacky world that Mike has come up with, with it's leanings towards Jim Henson Dark Crystal muppets and all that kinda thing. The figures are superbly sculpted, and he's got such an imagination. I always make time to go and talk to Mike every year, cause I enjoy catching up. And every year, even though it's a game that I hardly ever play, he always manages to sell more figures to me, as I just really love them. One of the other guys at the club has bought stuff as well now, so we might get some more games in. 

Anyways, that was my Salute. I'm sure I missed half a million things as always, but I never find the time to see every board, every figure and all the other stuff, and get in buying stuff. Still, that's the joy of reading everyone elses experiences. 

Hope you had fun if you went, and thanks for reading. 

Sunday 14 April 2013

Sarissa Precision WIP post number 2

So the date for the debut of the club demo game gets closer, and I keep working on the Sarissa Precision scenery that's forming a reasonable amount of the scenery for the board. I'm starting to grow a little bit in ability and confidence with my airbrush (though I'm far from claiming I'm some kind of master, but I know what way to point it).
The Industrial pod in progress

The two larger habitation pods, awaiting small details to be finished like vents, hatches, doors etc.

There's been a little bit of bleed through with the masking tape, so I've got a bit of tidying up to do. The industrial pod has the yellow at the front, though it's also going to get black, so it's like a large hazard stripe. And I've got the little bits to do, like doors, vents and hatches etc to do.

The finished silo, sans sign that will be on the side.

The silo is finished, though it'll get a sign on the side as well.

All in all, it's starting to shape up well. The figures have been painted by another club member, and other parts of the board that are needed have arrived, and are currently being worked upon by somebody else.

If we pull it off, hopefully it should look quite good.

Thanks again for looking. 

Monday 25 March 2013

Sarissa Precision System Infinity WIP

So, work has started (well it started a while ago to tell the truth) on the G3 demo game for this year's convention circuit up here in Scotland, and with rules being written, figures being painted and all other sorts of things, it's fallen to me to do the scenery painting.

To tell the truth I volunteered for it. Not only did I want to help out, I got an airbrush for Christmas, and this seemed like the perfect thing to get some time in, hone my skills and what not. I even decided to order some airbrush paint.

So after ordering the paint, at the start of FEBRUARY!!! and it not arriving, despite it being dispatched twice, I decided to just use thinner and regular paint. However, it was not to be, as the white wouldn't thin, instead it just clumped up into some horrible mass, that wouldn't do anything, let alone go through an airbrush. So I ordered more paint, from a different company, and lo and behold, they actually sent it to me, and it arrived and everything.

So all this meant, that over the weekend, I finally got started on the scenery.

So I've so far got two of the longer habitat buildings painted, and awaiting random sci-fi shapes, doors and what not. The fine details. The small habitat building has received it's random sci-fi shapes, though there's been a little bit of bleed through, so that shall be fixed.

I need to do one of the larger habitat buildings, one of the industrial pods, and a silo. Hopefully more progress shall be made over the Easter weekend, as I need to crack on with it. I shall post more pics later in the future, rather than these hastily grabbed snaps, which were quickly taken so I could get approval from the rest of the committee, to ensure they were happy with them.

Hope you like them. Between these, and everything else we've got planned, it should be another good looking board, and hopefully take us home a few prizes again.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday 10 March 2013

G3 Necromunda Campaign

The nightmare undercity of Necromunda, where muscly men must blast guns wildly into the air, and fight for more hair products for their mohawks.

So the G3 Necromunda campaign is just about to kick off, and with it a load of old gangs are getting dragged out of cupboards to participate. I've got my Orlocks ready 'Sons of Anarchy', inspired by a certain popular television program. I'm in two minds whether I should paint them, or whether I should keep them just now, given they're painted, even if the paint job was done about 15 years ago. They're still painted, so it still counts.

Anyway, currently on the roster of gangs we have

The Shadow Hawks (Delaque Gang)
The Stonebreakers (Goliath Gang)
Squee (Ratskins)
The Strangers (Delaque Gang)
Sons of Anarchy (my very own Orlock gang)

There's more players showing interest so it should grow. The idea is to play a couple of games a month, whenever you can, and it'll all be normalised over the time period, so it shouldn't matter if you're only playing once or twice, or hundreds of games.

I'll let you know how I get on, I face the Strangers on Tuesday, so we'll see how many of the lads survive. Try and do a bit of a running commentary on such things.

Thanks for reading. Mecha Ace out.