Tuesday, 2 March 2021

To Boldly Puzzle Where no Man has Puzzled Before

The above statement is not strictly true as this Star Trek TOS 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle was gifted to me by a friend (Thanks Louise) and I am sure that it has been put together by several puzzlers.

It has been many decades since I've done a jigsaw of this size and I had forgotten how backbreakingly frustrating it was.  I am a recent subscriber to YouTuber Karen Puzzles and used some of her techniques like colour sorting and edgefinding, but it still took the best part of six hours to complete.  

However, once complete there is an enormous sense of satisfaction that your pattern matching skills are still up to scratch and that you pushed yourself through the pain barrier.  Plus it's fun playing spot the character and episode.

Can you find the Lava Monster of Janus IV?

1000 Piece Star Trek TOS Jigsaw Puzzle

Monday, 1 March 2021

Reaper Bones #29 - Valeros, Iconic Fighter

Another Monday, another Reaper Bones Miniature painted.  This week it's...

Valeros, Iconic Fighter - Bobby Jackson (SKU 89007)

Valeros is a desperate looking specimen.  Not in terms of the sculpt, Bobby Jackson has done a fantastic job, but in terms of his expression.  The fight has got to that stage of the evening where it's all or nothing.  The party are out of action and only Valeros stands alone against the horde.

 I chose to give him some bandages and he's dropped his broken shield to fight two handed against twice as many foes.  Let's hope that the cavalry turns up soon...

Valeros Iconic Fighter
Valeros, Iconic Fighter

Bones Progress 

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Newsround Feb 21st to Feb 27th

In the best tradition of John Craven's Newsround here's my rundown of "What I Learned" on the Internet this week.

Bromley has a new games store called Troll Trader Bromley

Bromley had until recently had only one dedicated games store.  Yes you could get your Games Workshop fix at the Warhammer store and yes you could buy some of the most popular games at Waterstones, but if you wanted to buy anything that was remotely niche or you wanted some Army Painter or Vallejo paints then War Boar was the place to go.  Unfortunately, they bit the dust just before the pandemic, closing their doors in late 2019.

Troll Trader Bromley is a new venture in association with Cornwall Based miniature manufacturer TTCombat.com.  The new shop is located at 3 The Mall, Bromley, BR1 1TS (directly opposite Iceland and Poundland).  

Troll Trader Bromley
Troll Trader Bromley

With the Lockdown still in effect, I sincerely hope that they managed to open physically as I'm running out of paint!!

Bridgerton Star Signs on for New Dungeons & Dragons Movie

Rege-Jean Page has officially signed on for the new Paramount Dungeons & Dragons movie alongside Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu).  Slated for a 2022 release the movie is written and directed by the partnership of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Game Night, Spiderman Homecoming).

There's scant details at the moment, but this is seen as a welcome 4th movie and a reboot of the Dungeons & Dragons movie series (Which I must rewatch) given the renewed popularity of Dungeons & Dragons.

Here's hoping that they do a serious rendition and hopefully they can feature some cameos from famous D&D fan actors like Henry Cavill, Joe Manganiello, Matthew Lillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Favreau and Vin Diesel

Wyloch's Armoury is Back

After a 4 month hiatus YouTuber Wyloch's Armoury is back in the saddle and building cheap as chips scenery again.  I have been waiting with baited breath to see the culmination of the Tomb of Horrors Dungeon Series (now on Part 9) and am so glad to see him return to D&D crafting.  Keep up the great work.

Tabletop Gaming Magazine 

I can't say that I've been into a Newsagents for quite some time and haven't bought a monthly magazine in even longer so it's no surpise that I missed the launch of Tabletop Gaming Magazine in 2017.  

However, doing some promotional work for my Friday Night club Dragons Keep has meant that our paths have finally crossed.

They have recently launched a Tabletop Gaming YouTube Channel which is a refreshing addition to my subscribed list rather than than the plethora of American channels which seem to pump out let's play video after video ad nauseum.  It's nice to hear an English accent with high production values for a change.

The Glenn (Ford) and Mike (Hutchinson) show is a particular highlight as the two hosts are responsible for my favourite tabletop game of car carnage Gaslands.

Give it a whirl it might just suit you too.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members of my Roleplay Club Dragons Keep.

With their shift at an end Judges Hammer, Teal and Uthred return to the sector house and turn in the scrap of hairy flesh.  A persuasive Teal convinces Senior Pathologist Judge Quincy to run it as a priority job as lives could be at risk.

The team hit the changing rooms and meet up with Judge Cully who has been dealing with the GC Essexwood suicide all day.  It's been a real long one and she is in need of some excitement so she agrees to go accompany them to Dapper John's apartment.

Hob Nobbing with the Big Cheese at Buck House

Dapper John lives at 72055 Buck House Block on the north fringe of the Eurozone.  It is one of the more luxurious apartment blocks reserved for the sectors wealthy or famous elite.  

The robo-knocker announces their arrival and the door is opened by Call Me Arthur, Dapper John's robo-butler, who shows the guests into the palatial living room dominated by a floor to ceiling window which opens onto a balcony terrace overlooking the city.  John descends from a mezzanine floor via a sweeping synthi-marble staircase and immediately urges Arthur to serve the guests drinks.  After taking the Judges requests he waddles into the kitchen to prepare the beverages.

Judge Cully goes upstairs on the pretense of a attending a call of nature and immediately heads for John's office.  Accessing his terminal she is soon copying accounts documents and sending them to Sector House for forensic examination.

Meanwhile Judges Hammer and Uthred question Dapper John about the origins of the Trend Topper Toupee line and the manufacturers.  John reveals that the owners Duncan Spivey and Melvin Why have been suppliers for some time although the Trend Toppers line is relatively new and a vast improvement on their previous wigalicious products.  He gives them a business card with their contact details.

Judge Teal is surveying the room and notices that of all the objet d'art and curios that Dapper John has decorated his apartment one looks out of place.  On the mantelpiece under a huge mirror stand 3 Maneki Neko (Chinese fortune cats) two are lazily waving in sync but one is out of phase. He is joined by Judge Cully who returns from her investigation upstairs.

Chinese Fortune Cats Maneki Neko
"One of these cats is not like the others, one of these cats just doesn't belong..."

Despite the protestations of a very anxious Arthur Judge Teal picks up the out of sync cat and turns it over to reveal a sticker which reads "Good Job, You caught us - COVID-55".  Peeling off the sticker reveals a plastic twist bung which when pulled out reveals a complex surveillance device.

Surveillance Device

An embarrassed Dapper John, reaches for the TV remote and pulls up COVID-55 on the 15ft wide Tri-D screen which dominates one wall of the apartment.  The screen is filled with a fish-eye view of Judge Teal inspecting the device.  The screen is filled with snow and a graphic explaining that COVID-55 is experiencing Technical Difficulties.

My John apologises profusely and assures that he will get his PR team on it right away.  He wasn't aware that he was a person of interest but then he is one of the most eligible and fashionable bachelors in Sector 55 so he has always suspected that he was in their sights. 

" They do like to dish the dirt.  Why only yesterday evening they exposed GC Essexwood for her romantic involvement with her robo-butler!"

The hour is late and the judges need to catch up on their regulation sleep chamber time if they are going to be an effective team in the morning.

Another Glorious Morning Briefing

The morning starts with Judge Belloch's customary and compulsory briefing
"OK ladies, we had an incident at Buck House last night which has put the city on edge.  The COVID-55 surveillance of Dapper John has unleashed the Justice Department Legal Eagles.  They swooped in last night and shut their operation down.  The citizens are melting down.  COVID-55 was one of their favourite shows and now they're out to get us.  Be extra vigilant out there and expect some retaliation.  
The anti-gang and loony squads have been doing some great work taking out key gang members and keeping that powder keg from exploding.  
Weather control reports that it is still on the fritz with a reboot expected at 14 hunderd hours so expect a cold front to move in from the east.  Cully!, you're with Hammer. Teal and Uthred for the time being."   

A Moloko Droog

As they peel out of the sector house they get a call from despatch
"There's a problem down at Resyk, sewer droid says they've seen something that's put the willies up them.  Asked for you personally."

Alex - A Moloko Droogs Gang Member
Alex - a Molok Droogs Gang Member

On their way they spot a citizen in all white overalls and a bowler hat admiring a freshly scrawled "Droogs Roolz" in red paint.  As they approached he runs.  Cully shouts "Freeze Punk" and gives chase firing off a burst of GP rounds blowing the saps legs clean off at the shins.  Uthred spots a bulge in the punks overalls and reaches into a pocket pulling out a recently used can of red spray paint.  

Judge Scully asks the perp if he has anything to say in his defence.  The perp can only manage "AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGG" as he screams in pain.  A meat wagon turns up moments later and bundles him into the back.  Judge Teal retrieves the punks legs and hands them to the Med Techs commenting "Hey punk you nearly got 5 years for littering".  

Trouble at RESYK

When the Judges get to resyk they are met by  Ro-Jaws who recounts seeing several small furry creatures matching the description of the wigs that the Judges gave yesterday.  He says there was a lot of them offers to show them to the spot in the sewers where they encountered the creatures.  Sadly Harry didn't make it out alive.

Descending to city bottom Ro-Jaws leads them to a manhole in the middle of a street in a rough part of the sector close to RESYK.  He flips the manhole cover open and drops down into the darkness below.

Following the fetid stream of waste as it follows the tunnel the judges hear a horrifying bellowing  animal roar.

Uthred goes down a 5ft wide side tunnel into a cistern in which a giant alligator is being attacked by a tiny hairy creature.  The alligator is in obvious distress and lashes out at Uthred who returns fire with an armour piercing round.  The hairy creature leaps into the tunnel and begins to attack Cully.  Teal fires an AP round through the alligators head as Cully stabs the hairy monstrosity with her boot knife.

Sewer Map
Map of the Sewers

Uthred calls Ro-Jaws into the tunnel and orders him to open up his trash bin and stash the dead wig.  Reluctantly he agrees but demands that he wait outside for their return.

Exploring further down the tunnel Hammer and Cully are ambushed by a pair of wigs who lay in wait in side tunnels.  Uthred assists Hammer and attempts to bash the wig with his day stick.  Teal aids Cully and tears the thing off her helmet and whips it against the wall until it stops squeaking.  Cully fishes out an evidence zipper from her utility belt and bags the evidence for the boys back at forsensics.   

Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Friday, 26 February 2021

What on the D&D Earth is this?

The Dungeons and Dragons movie is 21 years old this year and after a 9 year hiatus there is 4th movie in production.  Hollywood does love a reboot.

However, The thing that has been bugging me for the last two decades is...

What the hell is Phil Cornwell supposed to be?

Phil Cornwell - Dungeons & Dragons Movie
Phil Cornwell as uncredited Purple Humanoid

Obviously someone spent a whole heap of effort to design the prosthetics that Phil wore (you can't disguise his voice though) but I don't know of any civilised humanoid race which matches his description.  I do think he is kind of cool though. 

Is he supposed to be a triclops? Perhaps he is supposed to be some form of demi-beholder?  What is the purpose of the third eye? what is that vestigial fin on his head? why is he purple?

Answers (and any homebrew builds) in the comments box below.

My favoured explanation is that he is the product of some ill conceived magical experiment fusing the DNA of Mick Jagger with Xanathar?

What if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards ran a corner shop?

Of course this comes several months after the sad passing of John Sessions who was a long time partner of Phil during the 80s alternative comedy explosion.  Mick and Keith's corner shop on Stella Street holds a very dear place in my heart.  He is sorely missed but I will immortalise them both in my RPG campaigns.  Mick & Keef's Magical Emporium & Shoppe of Convenience.

Mick and Keef - Stella Street
Phil Cornwell (Mick Jagger) John Sessions (Keith Richards) - Stella Street