Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gruntz! forces arrive from the UK!

I got a call at work today saying a package had arrived from the UK! I rushed home, eager to open. I knew what it was - I had sent off some of a  force of old Epic metal tanks and a titan the week before to Robin Fitton, author of the award-winning Gruntz! 15mm sci-fi rules, and he had agreed to set me up with some 15mm figures and vehicles to get started. He'd also generously provided me with a copy of the rules.

Even though knew generally what the contents would be, I had no idea of the specifics. I eagerly tore into the box, and pulled out the first squad: Jaffa from Stargate! Or at least a very close approximation.

Next up - some wasp-like aliens armed with guns in addition to their stingers:

There were several whole groups of humans in different armors and with different weapons. It's hard to see details, but the group on the left look like SWAT guys and have a small mech-like walker. The squad on the right look like rebels in Hoth gear from Star Wars!

There were guys in different types of power armor (or are they robots?) as well as some more alien types (left).

Now for the vehicles. There's a very cool speeder bike that is very Star Wars-ish, and some sort of hovering drone or probe.

This guy is not terribly tall, but those plasma guns on his arms look deadly!

Three tanks! Two tracked, with different weapons, and a hover tank with a big gun.

My personal favorite, a futuristic halftrack with a small turret and some missile pods. I just need to figure out where they go. I managed to track this one down (no pun intended) - it's the Dragoon Halftrack from Old Crow models. These will definitely go on my list to get some more.

And lastly, a painted squad with a small APC armed with a cannon of some sort. It's attached by magnets, so it rotates freely. These guys are all decked out for some urban combat - I am loving it!

I cannot say how pleased I am with the trade. I love surprises, and opening the box from Robin was a treat!

More importantly, after a first read of the rules, I must say they are terrific! And since they are not tied to any one line of figures, all of what you see above can be used together. The game includes rules for working up stats and point values for any unit you choose, so you are not limited to one manufacturer, or even one scale. I suspect the rules would also work for 28mm actions as well.

I am very much looking forward to painting up some of the squads and the tanks and playing my first game of Gruntz!. Of course, as soon as I do I will share the details here.

Robin, thank you! I cannot wait to get started.

'Til next time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 Resolution - Organizing is underway

Quick update: despite a busy Super Bowl weekend (YES! The Giants beat the New England Patriots, again!) I did manage to make some good progress on organizing my work and game space in the basement.
First, a quick look at the "before":
Among the things I was able to get done, I have the bookshelves re-ordered so that I can actually access and find any books I may need for reference.

And the various rulebooks, supplements, etc., are now beginning to see some sense of order - again, so that when I am looking for a particular game I can find it without digging through a pile of stuff.
And let's not forget the boardgames

Also, I have set aside a couple of shelves for my paints and some figures. I am not sure yet if I will keep my "in progress" minis here, or turn it into a display area for my completed models. I use cheap plastic spice racks to set the figures and paints on.
I have some larger shelves up for bins, and I hung a flag over the front to make it look neater.

I have space now for my rolling racks of plastic drawers, and I have started to sort and organize my tools, supplies, etc., into those drawers. No more digging through a ton of clutter just to find the superglue! No more accidentally and painfully  "finding" an Xacto knife blade! (And to appease the obsessive side of my psyche - labels! Tons of labels on drawers, magazine boxes, etc.!)
And, I hung a small set of display shelves. While sorting through boxes as I was organizing, I found some metal minis from the late 70s which were the first ones I ever painted when I was in my early teens. For now, they can sit on the shelves. The plastic GW horse at top left was painted by my daughter - she painted her first mini when she was three! :)

So, this is what the overall area looks like:

I have some other "real world" tasks to concentrate on during this week, but I hope to get some time in the evenings and next weekend to finish off the organizing and finally be able to get started gaming, painting and modeling! There is still quite a bit left to do. I still need to carve out a space to have a gaming table or two set up, and I need to keep going through bins to sort and organize. Time consuming, yes, but the progress I have made so far has got me excited about getting the job done and enjoying the fruits of my labor!

In the meanwhile, I have found a new home for a bunch of my Games Workshop Epic suprlus armor. At this moment, a formation of Leman Russes, Predators and more are making their way across the Atlantic. In exchange: a copy of the Gruntz 15mm sci-fi rules from their creator, Robin (@inrepose), and some 15mm figures to be able to put together a starting force and get some games in.

Yes, I know, 15mm sci-fi was not on my list of games/genres to concentrate on in 2012. But I saw on Twitter that Robin was looking for some Epic models, and since I happened to have some surplus I reached out to him to see if he was interested. I'd recently seen some fantastic images of  Gruntz games and 15mm sci-fi models, and I was intrigued enough to suggest a swap. In the end, I get  some cool new rules and models, and the only out-of-pocket cost is the shipping cost of the Epic tanks to the U.K. It doesn't get much better than that!

'Til next time!