Thursday, 26 October 2017

Hatter, hatters are cool...

Finally getting around to some hobby, which along with everything else seems to have taken a bit of a slump lately.
I had an urge to paint a bust which is fast becoming one of my favourite types of painting to do, and I just so happened to have a box of busts from Salute crying out for some paint.

The set is based on Wonderland but slightly more twisted ( or more openly twisted as Alice in wonderland is already pretty dark) they’re advertised as transition busts meaning the scale is a bit more friendly towards painters used to working on minis (I believe?) Check our Broken toads website for a better look and an actual explanation.

First up was the Hatter, who has a face that is really screaming to be the focus of the piece.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

A bit of Dungeons and Mali-meh

So it's been awhile I know, and I know that traditionally this is a Malifaux blog and it's been a long while since there's been any of that here but I thought I make an attempt at a post while I had some time free.

First off the reason there's not been much 'faux is because I've not been doing and 'faux related stuff lately. Painting has dried up and playing has died off. Other than the podcast I haven't really thought much about Malifaux at all. I don't think it's particularly a problem with Malifaux at the moment more likely it's an issue with my limited attention span and the fact that currently Malifaux isn't the easiest choice when I want a game with my mates and I'll almost always take easy if it's an option.

What I have been playing for anyone who hasn't been following the blog is Dungeons & Dragons, which I have been thoroughly enjoying. So I'm going to have a brief ramble on about that before I try and tackle my Malifaux problem.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Abnormaliroll - Fighter Part 5

It was no use. The thick wooden support pole of the tent showed no signs of breaking or even cracking. The ropes around her neck and wrists was also thick and tough, not something that could be easily snapped. Reezka growled loudly in frustration, earning a sideways glance from the disheveled monk bound to a neighbouring pole. But she had to do something! Come the dawn Reezka, Verina and Stei were facing the very real threat of execution. She didn’t know where Asla, Machi, Hesh or Badger were but she hoped that if they were killed, they had at least taken a few cultists with them. Or maybe there was the slim chance of a rescue….

They had all taken a rest after the battle at the ridge. Feeling some of her strength and vitality returning, Reezka had scanned the surrounding area with a wary eye. As good as the rest felt, they couldn’t afford to let their guard down too far. Her instincts seemed to be correct when the sound of stealthy footsteps could be heard coming up the path towards the group. Wheeling around, one hand on her axe, Reezka was relieved to see the slight form of Stei heading up the slope towards them. Badger wasn’t with him however and Hesh had quickly slipped off to see if he could pick up any trace of her, he had more chances of avoiding any patrols that might be in the area after all.

They had followed the tracks of the large mob of cultists until early afternoon when the narrow path opened up into a large quarry. In the quarry was a large encampment of tents and crude shelters. Concealing themselves behind a clump of rocks the group observed the camp for a short time. Numerous campfires were being kindled in the darkening light and they could see a considerable amount of movement, including a few random groups entering the camp. There didn’t seem to be any sort of check or password and Reezka wasn’t sure that the kobold guards could recognise each individual group. There were a few ramshackle guard towers but other than that there seemed to be no defences around the edge of the camp.

They had had a discussion about how to approach the camp. The suggestion was raised of just walking in, but Reezka wasn’t sure that she, as a half orc, could walk through the camp without arousing any suspicions. Eventually it was decided that they would walk around the ridge overlooking the quarry to see if they could find another way into the camp. Machi had protested this plan and had kept trying to tell them about some dream he had had. He became quite agitated in his speech and, fearful of his cries alerting the inhabitants of the camp, Reezka had clapped a hand firmly over his mouth and had manhandled him along with the group, around the edge of the quarry.

By this time it was getting dark and the ground was slightly rocky and uneven. Reezka was so focused on not making any noise as she walked, that she was startled when the crossbow bolt flew out of the trees on their right hand side and thudded into the ground in front of them. Two hunters stepped out of the woods, a human female and a male who, to Reezka’s eyes, appeared to have more than a trace of half orcish blood in him. The pair weren’t exactly forthcoming with any helpful information about the camp or any potential prisoners that could be their missing monk. Suddenly Machi had given a great heave and twisted himself out of Reezka’s grip. Before she could catch him, he had rushed towards the big male hunter, waving a flask of some liquid. The hunter took it, sniffed the contents carefully and then, to Machi’s apparent consternation, had drained the flask with seemingly no ill effects.

This had seemed to thaw both hunters demeanours somewhat and they had told the group everything they knew. They had been employed to supply the camp with fresh game every evening for the rather paltry sum of 1 gold apiece daily. They didn’t recall seeing a prisoner that matched the description of the monk they were seeking but did give the valuable information that the kobolds at the front of the camp were a sort of early warning system to deter anyone from slipping into the camp and then into the back where the higher up members of the cult had made their quarters.

Over the course of the conversation it transpired that the pair had been making their way back to the camp with the days catch, a large skinned deer carcass. Verina had offered to pay them 5 gold pieces for the carcass, allowing the group to walk into the camp under the guise of a pack of hunters returning with food. After finding a large sturdy branch to lash the deer to, Reezka and Asla had heaved the carcass up between them and they had all set off back towards the entrance of the camp, with Machi trotting along in dog form to help sell the illusion of a hunting party.

Much to her relief, they had been waved through the camp entrance with very little problems. Walking past the mobs of kobolds and their tattered, hodgepodge tents and shelters had been tense but for the most part the kobolds ignored them. Once they were past the main kobold encampment they had come into a slightly more ordered section. Unfortunately there were also quite a few armed guards. There were no visible sigils or insignia which suggested to Reezka that the cult had employed the services of mercenaries to aid them in their aims. She had little time to look around though as they had been approached by a small number of guards, demanding to know why they were so late back. Asla had quickly replied that feeding the large camp had taken a toll on the local wildlife and they’d had to go further afield than usual to find anything worth bringing back. The guard had grunted, seemingly satisfied, and had left them alone.

They had found the butchers tent without too much trouble, mostly thanks to Machi’s canine senses. With the deer carcass safely delivered to the butcher, the group had scanned the surrounding tents for any that might be where the prisoners were kept. Stei had spotted a tent that was rather shunted to the side with a rather unhappy looking guard standing outside it. Reezka thought that perhaps the source of his displeasure was the large and rather full latrine pit near to the tent. Somehow Asla had managed to convince the guard that she was there to take over his shift and he headed off towards a campfire, throwing a few suspicious looks over his shoulder as he went.

Reezka, Verina and Stei had been so preoccupied with the exchange between Asla and the guard they had failed to notice another guard coming up behind them. Thinking them to be workers that had been slacking, he had quickly set Verina and Reezka to work extending the latrine pit whilst Stei was sent off to hand out the meat rations to some of the other soldiers around the campfires. Machi had wandered off and Reezka could only hope he was scouting for signs of their missing monk and not getting into trouble.

Reezka soon became absorbed in her task, digging was something she was familiar with and in her determination to not draw attention to herself she failed to take in anything that was going on around her. It wasn’t until Verina nudged her hard that Reezka looked around.

It’s Machi.” Asla said quietly. “I think he’s been captured and taken to the main command tent over there. All I can hear is him screaming.”

Reezka hadn’t stopped to think. Asla had indicated that there were slaves in the tent that she had been guarding so Reezka decided that freeing them would provide a distraction whilst they tried to rescue the druid. Asla had severed the chains holding the slaves in one mighty but incredibly loud strike from her axe and then dashed out of the front entrance. The slaves hadn’t moved, just milled around slightly with dazed expressions. Reezka lost her patience. Why were they not rushing to freedom? Why were they just standing there? Unleashing all of her rage and concern for the rest of her group, Reezka let out a mighty roar that sent the slaves scurrying out of the front of the tent towards the waiting guards. Whilst they were fleeing, Reezka had turned to the back of the tent, sliced through the fabric and escaped that way.

Only to run nose first into the solid canyon wall.  She was trapped in between the tent and the wall! Before she could even decide what to do, a large group of guards was closing in on her. Her Orcish blood rose. She had to fight! Her hand was on her axe before she was able to get control of herself. She wasn’t well rested, still carried some wounds from the previous battle and had no-one around to help her. She was in no fit state to take on half the camp, which she realized was a likely outcome if she fought this group. Instead, still fuming with rage, Reezka allowed herself to be dragged towards the main command tent. At least, she told herself, I can be sure that Machi is still alive and avenge his death if they have killed him.

As they reached the front of the tent a woman in robes and a headdress emerged. Reezka recognised her at once as the woman that Nighthill had pointed out as Wyrmspeaker Mondath.
“Another intruder?” she asked the guards. “Bring her in, she can join the others.”
As the guards dragged Reezka into the tent, they were met with a very strange sight. There seemed to be a half man half rat creature, wearing Machi’s clothes. Even as she watched, the clothes crumpled into a heap on the floor and a small rat rushed past their feet and out the front of the tent.
“Let him go,” Mondath said with contempt. “He’s some sort of gibbering idiot. I’m sure one of the kobolds will eat him. Tie this one to the post and we shall see what she’s doing here.”
The guards obeyed her with a will, trying Reezka firmly by the neck to the main support post and binding her wrists with strong ropes.
“Now,” Mondath said “Who are you and what are you doing in our camp.”
“Was in Greenest. Thought there might be money to be made with your lot.” Reezka grunted in response.
“Lies.” replied Mondath. “I’ll ask you again, half breed. Who are you and what are you doing here?”
“Told you.” Reezka said. “Thought I could earn some coin working for you.”
Mondath glanced at the guard behind Reezka and nodded. A fist slammed hard into Reezka’s kidney, making her wince with pain.
“Once more,” Mondath said with barely contained fury “who are you and what are you doing in my camp?”
Through the rising rage and pain, Reezka felt something snap. “I’m here,” she said “to find Cyanwrath and kill him.”
“Well then,” Mondath smirked “I’ll make sure to help you find him. He can be the one to execute you and your friends at dawn.”
With that, she swept out of the tent with the guards in her wake, leaving Reezka to struggle in vain against her bindings.

Left alone in the tent, Reezka failed to even realise for a good long while that there was another prisoner tied up with her as she was so focused on freeing herself. Before long there were the sounds of fighting on the outside of the tent and before long Verina was dragged in and tied up. Thankfully none of the others followed so Reezka could only hope that they were safe…...

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: I finally did another event!

 So I finally went to my first Malifaux event in ages. Over 4 months since my last proper ranked event. I haven’t been playing much Malifaux in the last few months as I have been fairly focussed on Guildball, which has taken over as my main competitive game. But as this was a tournament at our LGS Dark Sphere run by the lovely Tom Skitt, I wanted to go along and suprport it. I had been planning on going solo Pandora as the strat/scheme pool wasn’t bad for her and I haven’t played her much this year and always enjoy running her out. But the night prior to the event I realised I wasn’t actually looking forward to playing. I think bringing out a Master I used to be quite competitive with but was very rusty with and was realised the idea of losing games with her because of lack of practice would frustrate me. So I brought this issue into the Abnormalifaux group chat and our resident Guild expert Francois offered to lend me a Guild crew as he was playing Yan Lo for the event. I’ve been meaning to try Nellie for ages and thought trying something new would let me have a fun day without putting pressure on myself to do well. So I went into the day with Nellie and my own Lucius stuff just in case (tho I did end up sticking to Nellie for all 3 games). Brought a few of my favourite mercs along as well (Burt, performer, sue, McTavish, etc.)

Thursday, 21 September 2017


This is a write up of the events of week four of our new Dungeons and Druids Dragons 5ed campaign.

It makes a nice change form carrying the heavy bag of Malifaux stuff.

I've created a nice Druid character, called Machi Tokai Lautaro. He is not a traditional "Wise old beardy forest bloke type." He is more of a "drug addicted shaman type." Not crazy, but definitely a fish out of water. If only his companions realised that being bitten by the scared snakes was his way of healing them! He's genuinely baffled by why they won't try his mind expanding cactus juice and mushroom strew.

Still he has a good (well neutral) heart and a complete lack of understanding of civilisation on the Sword Coast. Despite everything he tries to keep calm and chop on a hallucinogenic mushroom when times are tough. That way he can be sure of pretty colours and perhaps a chance to play with pink fox.

At a later stage, I'll go through the design mechanics and some of the choices I've made for him in terms of background, abilities, equipment and things like that.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Abnormaliroll - Fighter Part 4

The sound of an oath cut through the air, making Reezka pause in cleaning the blood from her axe. Quickly glancing around she realised that the source of the noise was Asla, being jolted back into consciousness by Machi and his snakes. Suppressing a smile, Reezka went back to removing the clotted blood from the edge of her axe, and honing it back to the original sharpness. The druid’s methods were not the most orthodox but they did seem to get results. Hesh and Verina had joined her, Machi and Alsa on the small rocky plateau, which was now littered with bodies. Perhaps now would be a good time to decide on their next move, possibly by the time they had decided, Stei & Badger would have rejoined the group. That would definitely be an advantage, Reezka was sure that there would be more of these ambushes set up to try & discourage them from following the cult members. She was determined though that nothing would keep her from finding Cyanwrath. She was so looking forward to returning his sword after all…..

It had all gone wrong somewhere around 1am. Once the drake had been dealt with, the small band had regrouped in the keep. Asla had reappeared with Machi but then Stei and Badger were called away to help another of the townsfolk with another problem. Reezka wasn’t sure what but the woman had sounded frantic when she had asked them for aid. Before she could follow the pair, there was a shout from the top of the battlements. Nighthill had realised they were back and had called them up to bring him up to date with the events since they had left the keep. Stepping past Billy, who was sat on the keep stairs munching a corn on the cob, the group made their way to the battlements. Whilst Asla was questioning Nighthill over the lack of available siege weapons in the town,Reezka scanned the area surrounding the keep for any sign of Mondath and her elite retinue but could see no trace of the woman.

A sudden shout from Hesh made Reezka look up, just in time to see the dragon diving down once more towards the battlements. Quick as a flash they all flung themselves into the cover provided by the narrow walkway, all except for a few unfortunate guards who were not fast enough to escape the breath of the dragon.

As they emerged from underneath the walkway, Reezka glanced over the edge of the battlements to see another mob of cult members making their way towards the keep, many of them carrying torches. A chill of fear shot through her; did they mean to burn out the keep? But it quickly became clear that this was not their intention as they halted some way from the keep, all save a lone figure who stepped out in front of the mob. The creature, for it was most certainly not a human, was over 7 feet tall, was covered in blue scales with the muzzle and claws of a dragon. Fixing its gaze on the battlements, the creature hailed the group on top of the keep;

“Defenders of Greenest! This has been a successful night, and I am feeling generous. Do you see these four pitiful, useless prisoners? We have no need for them, so I will trade them back to you. Send out your best warrior to fight me, and you can have these four in exchange.”

Glancing behind him, Reezka saw several kobolds with spears prodding four bound and gagged humans into the light. There was a woman, a boy who looked to be about half grown, and to Reezka’s absolute disgust, two children. She growled angrily, who were these scum to pick on small children? While Reezka was no fan of most humans, she understood that picking on the weak members of the town to be the move of a coward. Suddenly there was a small scuffle from behind her and a woman dashed to the edge of the battlements screaming “My sister! That’s my sister! Someone do something!” Glancing over at the woman, Reezka recognised the woman whose mate had been cut down by the kobolds earlier in the evening. Before anyone could make a move, the woman let out a scream of rage, grabbed a spear and helmet from the nearest guard and charged down the stairs clearly intent on facing the half dragon horror herself. Nighthill had cast an imploring look at the group and begged one of them to face the half dragon as none of his militia would have a chance of defeating it.

Without even stopping to think, Reezka grabbed her shield and raced down the stairs after the woman. Once she reached the bottom of the keep staircase she found that Machi had managed to prevent her from rushing out of the front door. Barely pausing for breath, Reezka wrenched open the door and strode out to face the half dragon. She was barely aware, through the red haze of rage and fury, Machi and Asla following behind her and she felt a faint sense of gladness that they had come with her.

As she stepped towards the creature, the kobolds quickly closed the circle behind her, blocking Machi and Asla out of the makeshift arena. Looking directly at the half dragon, Reezka was startled to see a slight smile cross the creature’s lips. He had introduced himself as Langdedrosa Cyanwrath and had proceeded to set out the rules for the combat. There would be no interference from either side. The children were released, as a sign of his good faith he claimed, but the woman would be held to ensure that there was no outside aid from either her companions outside the circle or up on the balcony. If such a thing was to happen, Cyanwrath said, then his kobolds would immediately slay their prisoner. Reezka nodded grimly, while she didn’t trust the half dragon as far as she could throw him, he had released the children. Maybe he would hold to his honour.

With his speech finished, Cyanwrath stepped forward, stabbing his spear into the ground as he did so. Clearly he meant to fight with the greatsword strapped to his side. So be it, Reezka said to herself and leapt towards the half dragon, channelling her rage into a mighty swing of her battleaxe. To her surprise, the half dragon was far more nimble than his bulky frame suggested and he easily stepped out of the way. Reezka was even more surprised when the blue half dragon made no attempt to draw his sword. Instead he moved towards her with inhuman swiftness and headbutted her.

Her vision blurred and her ears ringing, Reezka desperately tried to make sense of the world around her. At one point she thought she could hear panpipe music but shook her head, convinced it was just the ringing in her ears. She took another strong swing at the blurred form of Cyanwrath but wasn’t too surprised when he again, almost leisurely, stepped out of the arc of her axe. What WAS a surprise to Reezka was the force behind his fist as it connected with the side of her jaw, enough to send her crashing to the floor. Cyanwrath looked down on her prone form as she struggled to rise, disdain clearly written on his scaled face. With a last contemptuous sneer he spat on the half-orc and then, with a swift movement, he unsheathed his greatsword and rammed it deep into Reezka’s chest. As she bellowed in agony he turned and strolled leisurely out sight. And that was the last Reezka knew for a while as everything dissolved into a dark void.

The next thing Reezka was aware of was extreme agony as Asla, assisted by Priestess Falconmoon, was tending to the large wound in her chest. The half dragon’s greatsword was lying by her side, stained with her own blood. Reezka gazed at it in some confusion. Why had he left it? Was it now tainted because of her half breed blood? But no, Cyanwrath was a half breed so that couldn’t be it. Her musings were interrupted by a chorus of shouts from the battlements followed by a slightly muffled yell. Struggling to a sitting position, Reezka looked up to the top of the keep to see none other than Billy; standing on the very edge of the battlements, his holy symbol in one hand and what looked suspiciously like a cooked leg of some sort of meat in the other. He was facing down the diving dragon, chanting some sort of spell. His holy symbol began to glow with a bright light as the volume of his spell casting increased, albeit slightly muffled by the meat he was chewing. Just as the dragon reached the top of the battlements in preparation to breathe it’s electric breath all over Billy, he stumbled and fell with a shriek from the battlements. With her injuries rendering her immobile, Reezka was forced to do nothing but watch as the hapless boy, still bathed in bright light, tumbled towards the ground. At the moment he seemed to hit the ground there was a small flash of light that hid the boy from sight. Once it had cleared, Billy was on the ground, unharmed and seemingly none the worse for wear. Other than the fact that Billy….wasn’t Billy anymore. Reezka stared in bewilderment as Billy, seemingly quite unfazed that he was now a goat, placidly bent his head and started nibbling at the weeds that grew along the edge of the keep. It was at this point that Reezka once more slipped into the realms of unconsciousness and knew nothing more until morning…..

The following morning had dawned over the keep, revealing that not only the dragon, but all the members of the cult, had cleared out from the town. Standing by the window of her room, Reezka could see more townsfolk emerging from their hiding places and making their way slowly to the keep. Turning aside from the window, Reezka began to don her gear once more. To her surprise, along with her battleaxe and shield, she found Cyanwrath’s greatsword. It was a well made weapon, to her eyes, made of a blueish steel with a dragon engraved on the blade and scales carved into the hilt. Her eyes narrowed. She would keep this blade. And she would take great pleasure in returning it to Cyanwrath, blade first.

Slightly later that morning they had gathered in Nighthill’s map room. He had thanked them for their efforts the night before but had wanted to ask them for one final favour. He would pay them 250 gold coins each if they would follow the cult and find out where they were headed and what they were doing. Hesh, Verina and Asla had agreed quickly while Machi had seemed out of sorts and unmoved by the promised reward. As for Reezka she was pleased to hear talk of a reward but her thoughts were still centred on Cyanwrath. She would find him, she vowed. And he would die.
During their council with Nighthill, a young monk had stumbled into the room and introduced himself as Nesim Waladra. He was clearly distressed and had blurted out something about his Master having gone with the cult. Once he had been able to calm down, he told the full story. His teacher, an older monk named Leosin Erlanthar had disappeared at some point during the cultist attack last night. Nesim had tried to look for his master but all that he had found was his broken staff and choker. Nesim didn’t know if Leosin had been taken prisoner or had infiltrated the cult, as studying cults was a specialty of his, but he was worried his master was in danger.

Having agreed to follow the cultists path to the southeast, as well as try and recover Leosin, the group had gathered their supplies and equipment and set off on the trail of the mob of cultists. The trail was clear enough to follow and soon they began to discern the tracks of smaller groups beginning to join together and all heading in the same direction. Their trek was uneventful enough, despite the terrain growing more & more rocky.  until they reached a point where a small mob seemed to have broken off. They followed this small band’s tracks until they could smell a campfire and some sort of roasting meat. Hesh had snuck forward for a closer look, leaving the others to cool their heels until he returned.

Hesh related what he had found, a small group of cultists and kobolds attempting to cook a miserable breakfast of chickens over a small and largely ineffectual fire. After a short discussion they decided to leave the small mob to their meal and carry on after the main group so as not to lose much time and distance to the mob.

They journeyed on for a short distance until Asla held up her hand and shouted for them to stop on the lip of a shallow valley. As Reezka watched, a large clump of boulders detached themselves from the top of the opposite slope and crashed down into the valley floor.

“Ambush!” cried Asla. Reezka looked to the top of the slope to see a variety of cultists as well as one hulking leader in heavy armour who seemed to be in charge and looking slightly angry that their trap had failed.

With barely a pause, Reezka charged up the slope, although her attention was slightly diverted by the sight of a large black panther racing up the slope & leaping with a snarl onto one of the cultists. Reezka had no time to ponder this development however as she was preoccupied with her axe biting deep into the armour of the leader as he gave a cry of pain. As she did so one of the acolytes behind the leader had murmured some words and the large wound on the leader’s chest ceased bleeding. A healing spell! Reezka roared in rage at the acolyte but before she could do anything, the leader kicked her legs from under her and she landed flat on her back on the rocky floor. As she heaved herself to her feet there was a huge blast of magic that struck the rocks where the leader had been standing a moment previously. Clearly Verina had stayed at the bottom of the slope to try and pick off a few with her magic. Reezka could only hope that her aim was true and none of the party was accidentally caught up in one of those blasts.

Upon clambering to her feet, Reezka was able to easily dispatch one of the cultists. Asla was knocked slightly backwards as one of the acolytes let off a blast of white fire that impacted on her armour. Not to be deterred, the scarred cleric had leapt forward, swinging her axe and had rent a deep wound in his chest. At the same moment there was a loud and pained roar that faded into a groan. Reezka wheeled round to see the slightly battered form of Machi appear in place of the large panther. Reezka marveled at this new skill & bravery that the druid displayed, he had come so far in just a couple of days!

Arrows whistled overhead and found their mark in one of the acolytes who fell to the floor dead, Hesh also seemed to have not rushed into the fray and was covering them with his bow. Whirling around, Reezka maimed another cultist and was just lining up a return swing when there was a mighty thunderclap which made the ground shake in a most terrifying way. Another cultist exploded into nothing more than particles and Reezka looked around in amazement to see that the source of the thunderclap was Machi. It was all too much for the final cultist and he fled in terror. Machi shouted something after him but Reezka didn’t hear what it was, she was too busy making her way towards Asla and the group leader as the latter gave a final scream and fell to the ground, badly injured. Grimly the remaining members fought on, but the leader proved to be a formidable foe indeed. Finally, when Reezka was gasping for breath, the leader who was bleeding and battered, seemed to sag suddenly. It was all the opening Reezka needed and she slammed her shield into his face and followed it up with a swing of her axe. It cut through the air straight and true to sever the leader’s head from his body.

Her attention had immediately shifted to Asla, who was lying bleeding on the rocky ground. Managing to attract Machi’s attention Reezka had sent him over to heal the fallen cleric. They were soon joined on the ledge by Verina and Hesh as they examined the pockets of the fallen foes. A small amount of gold was handed to Verina for safe keeping whilst Reezka was pleased to see that his crossbow was of a superior quality to hers. It joined the half dragon’s greatsword on her back. Sitting with her back against the rock, Reezka began to clean the blood off of her axe. Yes, she thought. The day she could return that sword to Cyanwrath would be a good day indeed…...

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Abnormaliroll - Fighter Part 3

After what had seemed like the longest walk of her life, the group had made it back through the tunnel and back into Greenest Keep. Governor Nighthill had met with the group & asked for a recounting of the events at the mill. Reezka, leaning heavily against the wall had listened to Verina tell him what little they had learned while reassuring him that all the cultists and guards at the mill had been dealt with. Nighthill seemed relieved that there was no immediate danger to the town’s grain stores and had given each of the party a healing potion as a small token of thanks. He told them that not much had changed while they had been away, the dragon was still circling the town whilst making the occasional sweep down towards the top of the keep.There had been sightings of a potential leader though; a woman in a large headdress and vivid purple robes. She seemed to be in charge but she was surrounded by a large group of heavily armed guards. Nighthill’s frustration was clearly visible - his town was under siege from a host of creatures and he wanted answers. Pacing distractedly back & forth he had asked the group if they could bring in a cultist alive - perhaps then they could get an idea of why this group was here and what their purpose was.

Suddenly there was a shout from the floor below where they were standing and a cultist darted across the floor from a side door. Before Reezka could even react, Nighthill’s hand moved like lightning & the cultist fell dead, a gleaming silver knife embedded in his skull. The Governor had whirled around to face the group and snapped out an order to go and find Escobert and capture a prisoner they could get answers from.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Abnormaliroll - Fighter Part 2

As they slowly limped & hobbled their way back towards Greenest, Reezka's mind was running over the events of the evening. The meeting with Governor Nighthill had gone well once Asla had managed to convince him they were here to help. He'd asked them to go and see what was the cause of the flames at the town watermill and to save the grain that the population would need in the coming months. Reezka had wanted to go right away - she knew the long hours and toil that would be required even to attempt to replace the lost supplies. But with the howling mob of kobolds outside the keep and the ever circling dragon above them, how could they get there?!
It was Nighthill who had had the idea - an old,disused passage that led from the keep & out to the stream. From there they would be able to follow the stream all the way to the mill. The only problem though was that no-one knew where the tunnel was. Except....maybe Escobert the Red, the dwarf archivist who knew more about the keep than any other inhabitant of the town.
As they made their way down the stairs to look for Escobert, there was a ringing shout from somewhere above them. Reezka looked up to see a hero, clad in shining armour, standing on the battlements taunting the dragon. In the blink of an eye the dragon dived low and let out an intense cone of heat and flashing breath. The hero didn't even have time to scream before he was completely annihilated. Reezka insitnctively flung up her shield but as quickly as it had come, the dragon flapped it's mighty wings and soared off again into the night sky.

Friday, 18 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Monk

Image result for d20It had been a more interesting start to his time away from the monastery than Stei had expected. Despite the tales of adventure and other exotic races he had heard, he had been warned that the most likely experience would be to spend a year doing odd jobs and meeting other humans, rather than the variety which he had found himself among with this group.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Fighter

Image result for d20The keep door swung shut with a heavy thud, just as several arrows buried themselves in the thick oak planks. Reezka stopped. gasping a little for breath, and absentmindely swung the small child down to the ground. Strange, she thought, that the child had no fear of her. Most humans were at the very least wary of her. Despite the orcish blood not being the main component of her heritage, it certainly showed stongly in her features. The sloping brow, large frame and blunt tusks were more than enough to make most humans approach her with caution.
She glanced over at her newly acquired companions. How did they feel about the half orc? So far no-one had seemed hostile or attempted to injure her, but there was definitely some wariness there. The Druid had stared openly when they had first come across each other. He hadn't said much, which suited Reezka fine, but he didn't seem to be familiar with orcs. Maybe they didn't have them where he came from.

Monday, 14 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Druid

Image result for d20As the door of the keep slammed shut behind them, Machi Tako paused and rested his hands on his knees and took a deep breathe. He was not having a good day he decided. It had started well. He had travelling companions. That was good. They seemed able to fight, that was also good. Still, he was slightly worried. The northlanders were so different. They way they seemed to act and think was alien. He had grown up in a small village by the sea. He had dug the dust and fished with his father before his wanderlust had driven him to the mountains in the furthest south. He felt he understood the silver haired woman, Asla, best. She followed a goddess of the sea and nature. She liked the sea as he did. That was good. He could sense her nervousness, her feeling of being an outsider. That meant nothing to him; to be a druid was to be an outsider. She would learn in time to rejoice in the power such freedom gave. Outsiders didn’t have to dig the dust after all.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Cleric

Image result for d20Asla stared into the waves as the ship headed towards shore. She inhaled the salty air as she reflected about her new companion. She'd spent the last few days with a Druid from the distant South. Not one to make friends easily Asla still felt this Druid was different. Ever since her family had drowned and she'd discovered her powers the sailors had been nervous of her. They respected her, but held their distance.
While not warm, the Druid did not shudder at her presence and he seemed happy to discuss the world and the places he'd seen. So she'd agreed to join him on his travels. And while there she could spread the word of Umberlee.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

AbnormaliRoll - Bunch of hordes

So as I briefly mentioned before the Abnormalifaux group have decided to take a stab at some RPG fun by running a D&D campaign.
I'm the poor soul who has to herd these fine examples of adventurers so I suppose it's also my job to inflict ... sorry inform you with what's happening as we go.

For those that want to know we're playing Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition and we're running through the Horde of the dragon queen adventure (with a few tweaks from me)

Hopefully the player will fill you in on the story as we go, from their view point as its their story. I'll try and stick to the more technical side of the adventure with my posts going forward.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Summer summer summertime showdown.

Once again my Sunday plan was to head down to Wayland for another in the showdown series of events. This time I was picking up fellow Abnormalifaux Francois. (Also as a treat my car didn't breakdown until the day after instead of the day before)

No drama getting there and a fairly reasonable start (for me anyway less for Francois who had to get the tube to the countryside before risking getting in my car)

Got to sunny Hockley in time to help set up the tables, this would normally be the time I'd grab a pre game tea but for some unforgivable reason Wayland didn't open the bar until 11 so no tea, which hurt my cold dark soul.

Usual chat, handshakes, and hugs (Malifaux players are huggers) we joined the queue and registered with the TO team. (Non English readers do you enjoy forming into an ordered queue to register at events or is that just us??)

Thursday, 20 July 2017


First off let me apologise for the lack of content lately. As a group we've not been gaming as much as we used to due to a mix of real life, gaming burn out, and the hideous heat that I'm slightly concerned is going melt the paint off my models. (For those non UK readers who are thinking it's not that hot please remember our entire country is designed to survive on grey skies and hot tea).

So what have we been up to? Well as you asked so nicely I'm going to tell you (also because otherwise this post would be tragically short)

Monday, 10 July 2017

Gaming Down Under - Part 1

So after 6 big years in the UK, arguably the tabletop mecca of the world it was time to head back to Oz. Kids are still young, weather is better and the beer cold etc.

I also thought what better time to actually contribute to the blog again giving a bit of a run down of my adventures on the 'Otherside' ... see what I did there !!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Product Review: Leodis Games Malifaux Mat

Hello Everyone! I know, I know it's been ages. All of us here at the blog have had a bit of trouble finding the time to write lately, and sadly I'm not sure if it's gonna get better any time soon. I do want to do a review of how my year of Guildball has gone so far as I have played a LOT of fishermen since my last article. But as for today, we have our first (I think) product review on the blog. Our friends at Leodis Games were kind enough to send me a battlemat to review. As I know quite a few people have been picking them up lately hopefully this is useful for those of you who have not yet gotten ahold of one. So I decided to get a Malifaux mat as I already had an official Guildball mat and thought having a faux map with all the deployment lines would be very handy. So as for the product itself. I was worried the matt wouldn't lie flat after being in the tube as it is quite light (not as light as my cloth mat, but much lighter than the mousepad ones). The first time I used it I definitely had to weigh down the corners, but it stayed flat quite easily after the corners had been weighed down for a bit. 

I chose a grass background as I thought that would best go with my Malifaux bases. I really like the pattern and was quite impressed with how it looked.

That is some realistic looking grass....

 As seen here and in the above pictures the center lines (both diagonals and the standard centerline) are very clear at a distance and the 6" center circle is also fairly clear and incredibly handy. We actually played Search the Ruins in our game and it made it much easier to bluff not having to measure things from the center during the game (though I still failed to score for it... I hate that scheme :P ).  My biggest issue with the mat, however is that the deployment lines are very hard to see. I managed to find the standard and close deployment lines (although it was tricky) but even when I was looking closely I couldn't find the lines for Flank or Corner, which is a bummer. However, I think this is an issue with the grass mat specifically as if you look at the below picture you can see the lines are much clearer. I think a stronger line print is necessary for the grass matt or possibly doing the lines in white, which would be much clearer. I personally would rather have more obvious lines than very subtle ones, but could see that being an issue for some people so it may come down to personal preference.

 As mentioned above, see how much clearer all the lines are on the cobblestone mat. Would definitely suggest picking this one up rather than the grass one if you specifically are wanting the matt for the deployment lines.

 Here is how the mat looks with terrain from Bendy Boards (mostly) before we started our first game on it. Really looks good even with unpainted terrain.

It's hard to tell from this photo, but the grass on my bases works quite well on this mat which is excellent. Really like the pattern.

Here is my Rooster getting ready to put down a Claim marker near the centerline.

 Here you can see the center circle quite well.

And here is a photo of me giving up a bunch of points for Search the Ruins to my opponent :P Cost me the game...

Anyway, all in all I am very impressed with the quality of the matt and playing with the lines on it was really handy and saved a bunch of time. As previously mentioned the only downside was the clarity of some of the deployment lines, but this appears to be an issue specific to the black lines fading into some patterns rather than an overall issues (as the cobblestone picture proves). Thanks again to Leodis for sending me the matt and I plan on continuing to use it whenever I play Malifaux at home.

Monday, 5 June 2017

ITC: Abnormalifaux Rises!

I haven’t had much time to write lately, but I really wanted to cover ITC because it was an amazing event and has really reignited my interest in Malifaux (even if it felt like there was a NB support group there about how crap out waves 3 and 4 were… but I digress). Before I get into the actual games I would just like to thank Mike Marshall for running yet another amazing event. Mike has now run two of my three favourite events I’ve ever been to (Daffcon 2016 and ITC 2017). The third one was in Canada, though I’m sure Mike would’ve run it even better. Also thanks to all the judges and other volunteers who were great and looked like they were having a blast. I’m still unsure if we will get a team together for next year or not, but if not I definitely plan to volunteers as a helper/judge. Finally thanks to everyone at Element games. Wow, what a venue. So far the only other venue I’ve been to that compares is Firestorm in Cardiff. Also it was lovely that they noticed me eating a salad I bought elsewhere on the Saturday as I couldn’t eat the provided sandwiches (which I am totally okay with) and offered to get me a salad for the next lunch, which they did. So props on that, they really went over and beyond my expectations. Finally, having an on site bar is fantastic and the late hours were great too. Honestly one of my favourite parts of the weekend was drunkenly playing Dom Westerland and James Reeves in Guildball (borrowing James’ Masons team) and trying to explain to some of the Finnish team how the game worked. 3 Games of Malifaux (and several pints) during the day and still was up for some Werewolf (Paul Butler is always a werewolf…) and Guildball (and more pints) at night. What an awesome time. Other big highlight was just chatting with a bunch of new players. Was great seeing Elinore, Martin and the rest of their team again as I had met them at Nationals 2015 and had faced Martin in Daffcon Frostgrave event. Also was great chatting with the Americans who were just excellent blokes. Also props to Team Trump Card for winning the event and for embracing their role as the heels of Malifaux by dressing up in super American gear. Loved it. Anyway, enough gushing let’s get on to the actual games.

Arran (Metalhed), Francois, Pippa, Me, Brad (Mechanical Dove)
So I lied… before we get on to the games I want to talk about my team. Abnormalifaux brought a team! That’s right we were repping the blog. Though only 4 of the 5 of us have actually written for the blog, but still, we are a true team and I was really excited to see how we would do. Also nervous though as I think we had played a combined 4 games or fewer of malifaux in the previous 1-2 months (I’ve been playing a lot of Guildball and a few other guys have been as well or were just generally busy) and one team member Brad (Mechanical Dove) was forced to play a different faction and ended up using a Master he had never won a game with (hamelin) for the whole weekend. For simplicities sake Brad went fixed master Hamelin, Francois went fixed Nellie, Philippa went fixed Ironsides except one round where she dropped Raspy, so it was really only Arran and I that were swapping Masters, and both of us only ended up using 2 of the 3 we brought (Sorry Tara/Pandora).

Thursday, 25 May 2017


A while ago I wrote a post about my attempt at painting a bust. It was something I'd wanted to try for a while and as it turned out something that I really enjoyed too.

Image may contain: 2 peopleWith my first busts finished I now I'm keen to carry on and do more, (unfortunately this is at the expense of the rest of my painting queue)

Image may contain: 1 personWhile I'm pleased with these busts they did help me pick out a few (many) gap in my skills. As with most things the key to improvement is research and practice.

The research I could do, the only benefit of going to work is time and access to trawl the web for tutorials, videos, diagrams, and inspiration. This is also a time where social media is brilliant. Various painting groups on facebook plus following other painters on twitter and instagram is a gold mine of information. I've also found figure painter magazine to be really good for all things painting.

Practice was looking to me a bit more difficult, unlike painting models for gaming where I seem to have a never ending supply, bust feel like a bit more of a luxury purchase. Thankfully Salute is a thing that exists. While at the show along side my many other (much needed) model purchases I treated myself to a selection of busts.

Firstly there was the Wonderland set from Broken Toad which my daughter insisted I buy. ( she's also insisting that she gets to paint one of them but I'm skimming over that).

These other than just being gorgeous sculpts are also aimed at painters looking to make the jump from models to bust. The scale is big enough to try out new skills without completely rethinking how you paint. Which was an issue I found with the flower girl bust.

I'm hoping to really push myself on this set, which while its a great goal does restrict the practice element slightly. So my final purchase at Salute was ideal, spotted completely by chance on a stall that sold random boardgame bits and bobs. (If anyone remembers the name please let me know). Here I found a box of loose bust which looked like pieces from a game. They were ideal, bold simple sculpts with enough character to really have fun with. And at £1 each (If I had had any cash left I would have got the whole box for that price).
No automatic alt text available.
So now I have a selection of busts to try techniques and ideas on. The first of which I grabbed out of the pile of shame the other night and started on.

This happy fella was the first out the bag, And the things to try were bolder colours, dappling to blend skintones and also better shading of hair.

I decided to go a bit random with the colours, as I usually have a predecided scheme for gaming minis this would make a nice change.

Image may contain: outdoorI started off with the skin, I've wanted to try something greenskin for a while so that seemed like a good excuse. I painted all the shadows in first with a purple, most of it ended up covered but it helped with the tone. I then built up from dark to light green in layers which I then tried to blend together by building up multiple areas of spots in various shades all overlapping. I also added in spots of browns and yellow to help.

I then moved onto the hair using something closer to NMM gold than the highlighting I'd do on a 32mm models hair. I think the idea was right but seeing it finished I probably should have increased the contrast between the light and dark areas (similar issue I have with NMM)

The glasses where next and it was another excuse to try something I'd been wanting to for a while. Reflective surface. I think the term is Sky Earth Non Metallic Metal or SENMM (or shiny).
No automatic alt text available.This took quite a light touch as too heavy or bold on the colours and it would look closer to just mutlicoloured glasses not a reflection. I think it worked but it'll definatly take a few more tries before I'm happy with the theory of it.

The clothes were a bit simpler, bold colours and attempt some texture. The shirts is supposed to be slightly silky which will need a rethink to get right (but the colour is great) The tie has a more woven texture used by criss crossing lines along the length.

I'm rather pleased with the results and it has given me some new things to go away and read up on before I start my next project.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully there won't be such a wait before the next post.