Continuing the Kingdom Death Monster story... which is timely because I just got notice that Kingdom Death... The Expansions of Death... has shipped!
After a couple of hunts... including a disastrous attempt on a Level 2 White Lion... it's Cunning Mood allows the Monster to kite the party unless they have long, or ranged, weapons... the Lantern year is indicating our first Nemesis Encounter... The Butcher!
Dlenn's wardrobe has evolved a bit and she's picked up some bits of Rawhide armor, a drum, and a bone dagger.
My main complaint with the game is the lack of handy reference charts which results in a lot of page flipping through, the admittedly beautiful, rule-book... which does't have much in the way of an index. But the game is otherwise proving to be highly engaging and has triggered a lot of creativity so, on the whole, it gets an A+.
Rost the Elder... now sometimes known as Rost the Barking Mad due to his insanity level of 26... far, far higher than most of the group which tends fluctuate between 0 and 3, and Dlenn have become a couple and have two children whose eyes are free of ink.
One of the best things this game has done is refresh my pool of ideas for painting. Because of the way the Survivors grow their technology and gear over the course of the campaign there are a lot of opportunities to represent the growth of the settlement on the models. For example the endeavor: Pictographs got me to writing some on the various cloth items in the party and the ink that encrusts the eyes of the survivors seems to be a recurring thing even after the first rub of the eyes. Natives, people born in the settlement. are free of the ink... so there is room for both types of eye treatment.
Insanity is a big deal, and mostly a positive thing no less, so I've taken to making the ink color around the eyes red for the more insane of the group... and am beginning to have the survivors adjust their ink in artistic ways... kind of like variable tattoos around the eyes and elsewhere on the face.
As we are still in the early lantern years the clothing and equipment of the survivors is very limited, and they haven't developed paint yet, so they are recycling the grave shrouds they arrived in and modifying them without getting into dying them yet. Bone based weapons and rawhide armor are scattered throughout the group. They've actually got some White Lion based Gear but that will show up on the next batch of minis.
The Butcher is the first nemesis encounter and seems to be some psycho that collects faces, wraps them round the victim's lantern and hangs them on his gear as he travels round from settlement to settlement collecting his grisly toll. But... since this guy comes back from time to time even if you kill him... he is either some kind of immortal or there is a Butcher tribe out there somewhere.
The Butcher isn't my favorite Kingdom Death model, and is a bit fussy to assemble, but it does have some very interesting details that might illuminate some of the mysteries of the setting.
For example... the lanterns he carries are of several different designs while the survivors only seem to have one design... this implies that the lantern design is either unique to to a settlement region or that the Butchers are hunting things other than the Survivors we know about that also carry lanterns and have humanoid faces... The butcher also has a much higher tech level than the survivors and is sporting some sort of metallic armor and weapons. I've treated this as blued steel (to my mind meteoric iron). I'm curious to see what this guy's loot deck looks like... assuming that we beat the monster!
This batch of Survivors is mounted on the stone face inserts. The stone faces are interesting because they seem to be renewed from time to time and the Survivors have caught glimpses of some kind of creature that seems to be doing that.
Fam is an example of a full unarmored kit build.
Mara is an example of the full Rawhide kit... sans the shoulder cover which does not accommodate some of the hair styles. Dlenn is wearing the Rawhide body with the shoulder and an unarmored leg.
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Friday, March 16, 2018
Thursday, March 8, 2018
The game components and the treatment of the Monsters is, in a word, lavish.
After getting set up for the first game, which took a while due to a plethora of one time only tasks like setting up the absolutely essential components organizer, we dove into the first showdown: The White Lion.
Having awakened into a strange reality, on a floor of stone faces with nothing but a bit of cloth and a mysterious lantern, the survivors are immediately set upon by the monstrous White Lion. They scramble for position and acquire weapons in the form of broken bits of the ubiquitous stone faces... this is the Founding Stone.
The monster headed over to the women and attacked Jahira. She was extraordinarily lucky that the monster missed one attack and the second attack landed on the only area that she had any protection.
It turned out that the men were out of position and could not make it to the monster to help so the women moved toward them after Jahira made a desperate, but vain, stab at the beast.
This is when we began to understand the combat mechanisms.
The game's AI works really well. The AI deck for each encounter is constructed from a large pool of cards. The number of cards varies with the difficulty of the encounter, is unique to the monster, insures that each encounter is different (sometimes radically so) and serves simultaneously as the action and health pools. Basically as the monster takes woulds its available actions are also reduced.
Luck helps as well!
Unfortunately the AI knows this as well...
The "Clever Ploy" is in the hit location deck and also reshuffles the Hit location deck once played... to include the Clever Ploy itself. Shuffle the deck well... nothing is quite as frustrating as having that evil card popping right back up!
The White Lion Enrages on its activation... which does not bode well for our survivors.
The survivors are also beginning to understand that many attacks, if unsuccessful, cause the monster to move away from the attacker making unresolved hits null. Its important to resolve attacks in a smart order and anticipate the results of failure.
She also rolls a lantern (crit) for damage! This gives the monster the persistent injury "Lost Ding Dong" which really... really... really.. gets it angry. The monster is livid, gains +1 damage which hurts a lot) and Jahira permanently gains the "Priority Target" token... the White Lion will attack her until she is dead!
Dishing this kind of damage the monster quickly kills Jahira... the primary focus of it's ire and briefly loses its enraged status.
Fortunately the monster is really beat up by this point and has few AI options remaining. This also means that it re-enrages immediately an remains in that state until the bitter end.
After a furious chase around the table Dlenn wounds the monster removing its last AI card.
The monster responds with its basic behavior which slaps Dlenn in the head for severe damage... blinding her in one eye and leaving her prone before the beast...
Samael then sacrifices his founding stone and flings it at the monster scoring the killing blow and saving Dlenn!
What a fight!
The survivors then wander about and find a strange glowing column called "The Lantern Hoard". They understand it to be a safe area and, with with the other survivors that have also found their way to this spot, found their settlement here.
We entered into the settlement phase and determined the population, gender mix, spent resources building a Skinnery, a Bonesmith, and an Organ Grinder. Dlenn emerges as the leader of the settlement and gains +1 Courage. They spent Innovations established some of their moral codes.. the first one is the Death Principle where they must decide what to do with their dead. Do they Cannibalize or Bury? We chose Burial but that may have some long term complications given the limited food supply... we'll see. They also developed Language and Consequences of Language which generates the core of the Innovations deck. They then crafted armor and weapons and , with resources running low prepared to depart to hunt another White Lion.
It was late by this time so we called it a night. I've got some reading to do and some idea what I need to paint up next for the campaign. I expect some alternate survivors, some survivors in hide armor, and a Butcher.
There is still a lot to learn about the game but it seems like it'll be fun along the way.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The presentation of the rules is very cool.. lots of space devoted to art and stories. I'm treating this project as an exploration and haven't done my usual research on the game. The plan is to treat it as a story and just see how it unfolds... learning the game and the lore as we go.
The group of four survivors is very elegant. Simple designs with great lines and character. Toward the end of painting this group I realized that the rock each of them are holding (The Founding Stone) is actually a fragment of, what appears to be, a floor of stone faces.
The shrouds remind me of funerary shrouds and, so far, the game seems to be a survival action RPG set in Purgatory... that is just a guess but I decided to treat the clothing as coarse linen shrouds.
Each starting survivor has the bit of cloth, a Founding Stone, and a Lantern. The Lantern seems to be a big deal, and a major theme throughout the game, which further leads me to suspect the setting to be Purgatory.
We'll see soon enough... I may be completely wrong but its a great new adventure!
The White Lion is the adversary for the first encounter. Even though this White Lion isn't anatomically a terrestrial lion I took some advice and had a look at some photos and paintings of actual lions before painting. It was a great idea and reminded me to include some details about the face markings, nose shape and color, and maine colors etc...
This lead to one of the first challenges... Lions tend to have a white mask, almost beard shaped, which I really wanted to include. The trick was I also wanted the lion to be "white" as its name implied. I went with the Menoth White Base (P3) for the main body and face (spot shaded with Seraphim Sepia (GW)) and Splintered Bone (Reaper) for the mask.
The shark-like teeth were and oddly hand-like paws underscores that this is not only a powerful predator... but an actual, and quite unnatural, monster!
Anyway... I'm off to set-up for the game!
I'll let you know how it turns out.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
I with "The Color of Money Green" for the group which will make them easy to differentiate from the "Law Enforcement Blue" Security Guards and the "Mishima Red" Rangers... which I seem to have forgotten to include in the group picture... DoH!
To make this even easier I went with color schemes that have a modern association with the role of the model... except for the red rangers but they'll stand out because of the lack of a modern equivalent.
A couple of mines crept into the pile. I put them on painter's tape to make them easier to paint.
That wraps up the main enemies for the Kickstarter Core set. Next for this project will be mercenaries and exotic or unique adversaries.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
This wraps up the painting of the core set of Dark Souls the Board Game.
Executioner Smough is part of the Boss Pair with Dragon Slayer Ornstein. Ornstein was covered in a previous post so I'll not say much about him. Executioner Smough however....
This is the model that convinced me to join the Kickstarter even though I wasn't a huge fan of the video game. The Bell Hammer is just awesome!
I didn't look at any reference material for this project. Mostly it was because I always thought I'd farm the minis out for other purposes but keep them together so I could play the game if it turned out to be good. We're going to give the game a few more tries before we make a call on it.
Since I didn't know what my final use would be for the figures I just played around and experimented. They look like they'd make great Daemon Princes for Warhammer Chaos or exotic giant types for an RPG. When I setle on a regular use for them I'll add some heraldic details and possibly some themed patterning.
The big experiment here was the primer. I used a metallic bronze primer and am pretty comfortable with the way it worked out for the armor. It has a kind of hammered look before you do anything to it so I was able to do some shading and highlighting with thin glazes and retain most of the hammered look. Some sepia glazes actually enhanced the hammered appearance which was an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise.
There is a lot of fiddling with shades of green and yellow in the big Jade-esque areas as well as on the legs. These were dry brushed in and softened with a Green wash from Secret Weapon.
This guy is massive seen with both Dragon Slayer Ornstein... a pretty large fellow in his own right... and the Warrior player character... that hammer bell thing is gonna really hurt!
The Boreal Outrider Knight and the Winged Knight are Mini Bosses. They are less massive than the Main Bosses but are still large models.
The ancient bronze metal look worked out really well on these and really sped up the painting process. These two have significantly more shading and highlighting on the bronze than Executioner Smough does. I did that with the Boreal Outrider Knight because the model is almost entirely armor and I wanted it to be visually engaging even if its a bit monochrome.
Shown here with the player character Assassin the Boreal Outrider Knight looks a bit weedy and almost insectoid. That lanky look is shared with the Dancer of the Boreal Forest.
The winged Knight has more color, being largely covered by a tabard, I worked up the tabard with Reaper Bone triad and some touches of the P3 Menoth White set. The tabard is left free of heraldic designs so I can update it when I find a regular use for it.
Looks like the queue currently is:
The Ynnari Triumvirate
Necromunda Bounty Hunter
Undertown Street lights and Barrier walls
Brugelburg Street people
Saturday, February 24, 2018
The first Kingdom Death model I've ever built is this Kingsman. The model is very cool but I just chose it at random from the Kingdom Death Monster 1.5 core set.
After working on it a bit I dug out the rules and started reading them....
We are definitely gonna play this game!
With that in mind its time to start working on a set of player characters.
Being an old metal mini guy I was reluctant to move into plastics. I had worked a lot with resin and, while that had some advantages in terms of conversion and weight, they tended to be brittle, fussy when it came to taking paint and I wasn't sold on them as durable in the long term. I then encountered Wyrd and the Death Marshals of Malifeux and was immediately sold on plastic! There are just things you can do in plastic that are impossible in either resin or metal.
Now that I've worked with plastic for a bit I am able to appreciate the quality control that has gone into the Kingdom death line.The material is great with the right proportion of strength and hardness while being sufficiently flexible to take a ding during regular handling. The model cuts, sprue attachment points, and mold lines are well thought out and are often hidden on interior surfaces. the external mold lines are very fine and easy to clean up. There are some places, of course, where its just not possible to have the cut or mold line be invisible that will require some greenstuff but these are the exception rather than the rule.
Its easy to see why this line enjoys such support among painters. Its got edgy topics but a lot of humor as well... its well sculpted and has high production values. It takes advantage of the abilities that plastic has to create great depth in the sculpt and to be gravity defiant but remain solidly usable.
The game looks like its gonna be great as well. More on that as we dig into it.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Her retinue, modeled in her own extreme image, is an example of powerful a personality she must be.
Lust Elves are shape shifters. the more powerful personalities among them determine the shapes of their followers... in the case of Keshryii, whose form is one of the more extreme, that personality must be powerful indeed!
I've continued refining the red process in particular and made some progress with cool highlights and lowlights.
Flesh also got a lot of attention being a wash of Sunny Flesh (Vallejo) over the base coat of Krylon Camouflage Khaki which had been dry-brushed with Apple Barrel Sandstone. A Flesh Wash from Secret Weapon was then applied followed by layering Sunny Flesh and Fairy Flesh (Vallejo).
Hair was Nightmare Black (Reaper) a heavy dry-brush of Void-Shield Blue (Warpaints), a Sapphire Wash (Secret Weapon) and a very light dry-brush of Void-Shield blue and top dusting of pure white.
Because the centaurs model themselves after Keshryii they all tend toward similar colors and were worked up using the same process.
As you can see the centaurs are massive!
There is also a set of these in Fantasy Version. But I may try to knock out the rest of my Lust Elf Sci-Fi stock first...