Monday 27 June 2022

Reaper Bones #41 - Human Fighter, Duke Gerard

You wait months and two Reapers come along in quick succession!

Human Fighter, Duke Gerard - Bobby Jackson (SKU 77063)

This is a great mini because it is so purposeful.  Every fantasy game you've ever played has this type of veteran fighter as an NPC.  They're usually the one giving the orders and putting your neck on the line!

Duke Gerard

Saturday 25 June 2022

The House of R'yleh: Part 3 - All Tooled Up

The House of R'yleh is a Call of Cthulhu adventure set in London in late November 1923.  The Games Master is Mark and play takes place at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club in South East London every Friday night.


  • Yoshi "Kanagawa" Yamamoto - A disgraced former Sumo wrestler turned journalist - Tony
  • Chester "Pretty Boy" Lyle - A bareknuckle boxer - Sam 
  • Ryan Wurmshurst - A retired policeman turned private sleuth - Steve
  • Thelma "Ginger" Purdey - A recently graduated botanist and girl about town - Matt

In the Lambeth Slums

The misshapen creature watches the foursome as it climbs out of the well.  Still shaking from the shock of it's appearance they come to the realisation that this is no man.  Wurmshurst draws his revolver and begins to approach the creature from their vantage point at the top of the stairs.  Yoshi's deep voice booms "Inugami" as he thunders down the stairs clattering into Ryan and knocking the gun from his hand.  Ginger runs for the kitchen to find a weapon.

The creature seems unphased by this and cautiously approaches sniffing the air.  Chester shouts at the creature to stay back as Yoshi tries to grapple it.  Ginger grabs a heavy poker and has a few practice swings before running back to the cellar stairs.

The creature lunges at Yoshi but is momentarily distracted by Ryan and the big man from Japan locks the beast in a bear hug, pinning his long skinny arms to his sides Yorikiri style.  Chester lands at the bottom of the stairs and slams a right hook into the creature knocking a tooth out and dark brown blood splatters over Yoshi's face and shirt.  Yoshi slams the beast against the brick wall.  Ginger grabs Draper and threatens him with the poker, he complies and she drags him down the stairs.  Ryan realises he has brought a gun to a fist fight so puts it away and joins in the melee.  

The creature attempts to bite Yoshi but the ex sumo is having none of it, with a twist of his body he drops his knee and flips the beast over his shoulder and down onto the ground.  The momentum forces Yoshi to fall onto the beast with a sickening crunch.  Uwatenage.  The creature convulses and dies.

Draper breaks down and confesses that Peters made him do it.  He lured the two girls and Davies here with false promises and Peters took them away.  Yoshi instinctively heads to the well but Chester protests.

"I aint goin dawn there without me sword mate.  Don't be a fool we've got to get tooled up."

Ginger agrees and leads Draper back up the stairs after Chester.  Left on their own Ryan and Yoshi decide to stash the body in an upstairs pantry cupboard and then follow after the others.

Mrs Miggins House for Single Gentlemen

Back in his room Chester grabs his katana and Yoshi's Webley & Scott .32 pocket pistol and stuffs them into his training bag.  Mrs Miggins stops him on the stairs and asks where Mr Yamamoto is.  He explains that he and Yoshi have had a disagreement and the lummox is cooling off.

"Big fight tommorrow night Mrs Miggins.  Gotta do some last minute training.  That pikey feenian won't know what hit him, wish me luck" 

he shouts back as he closes the front door.

Bare Knuckle Boxing

Ginger and Draper are waiting for him outside.  He looks down at the poker.  "that thing's gonna be no use to you where we're goin'.  Can you shoot?"  Ginger says "I've won a few goldfish at the fair"  Don't worry, I know a man.  A cab skids to a halt beside them, inside are Yoshi and Ryan.  Chester tells the driver "Take us to the Bull and Hide mate and don't spare the 'orses"     

Seeing a Man about a Dog

Chester and Ryan walk into the Bull and Hide in Whitehapel.  A den of iniquity full of dockers, roustabouts and old Tom's.  Chester spots his mark sitting at the bar and buys him a pint of Old Peculiar.  After a brief discussion the man agress and he sends a runner to fetch another man with the goods.  Twenty minutes later a rough looking fellow sits at the stool on the other side of Chester and slides a hastily wrapped bundle of cloth across the bar.  Chester slips the man 25 knicker.

As a fresh flurry of snow floats on the cold late afternoon breeze, Yoshi, Ginger and Mr Draper are huddled in the cab waiting.  On the floor lies Chester's training bag, Yoshi slips out the handle of the Katana he gifted to him and checks that Chester is keeping the blade oiled.  The exquisitely made hamon pattern is briefly visible as he thumbs the blade from its lacquered scabard with a satisfying click.  "Good" he mutters to himself.   

When Chester and Ryan return they head to Lambeth with a brief stop off at a small hardware shop to buy supplies.

Into the Sewers

Draper leaves the intrepid monster hunters back to the tenament in Lambeth but protests and will not go into the well.  He is clearly scared and would be more a liability than an asset.  They let him go knowing that he will return to his house and the bottom of a bottle of whiskey.  One by one they climb down into the well and the darkness swallows them.

Chester picks up the bag of art materials which lies at the foot of the ladder.  Yoshi, armed with a torch and a handgun, takes point and they begin to traverse the dry tunnel following a set of the the creatures hoof prints.  As they travel the sound of flowing water gets louder.  

Entering the sewers proper they try to avoid slipping on the slick wet bricks of the walkway, Yoshi and Ryan unfortunately get showered in what can only be described as a Water Closet outflow.  The tunnels emerge into a large cistern with many pipes and tunnels flowing into it.  Yoshi finds a discarded tube of paint near the mouth of the only exit and the team continue.

Chester and Yoshi slip and fall into the main sewer and as they struggle to climb out something long brushes against their bodies.  Further down this tunnel they come to a section of wall which has been ripped away.  Discarded bricks lie piled at the entrance to a long dirt tunnel which stretched off into the darkness.  Among the dirt lies a discarded Chelsea Art Club lapel pin.

Chelsea Art Club Pin

They continue into this tunnel which winds its way along in pitch blackness. Yoshi spots that several human remains lie in various states of decay embedded in the walls of the tunnel intertwined with tree roots and fragments of rotten wood.  Ahead they can hear voices and the sounds of screeching metal on metal like trainwheels on rails.

Eventually the tunnel opens into a large cavern.  In the dim light Yoshi can make out two women and a man who appear to be sitting in front of easels painting.  Between them stands another Inugami (a dog demon) wearing a bĂ©ret who appears to be giving them artistic direction.  Yoshi instinctively shoots the Inugami.  The mussle flash momentarily illuminating the cavern revealing about twenty other Inugami lining the walls of the cavern.

It is only then that the gang get their first glimpse of what the artist prisoners appear to be painting.  In the centre of the cavern stands a wooden scaffold and suspended from ropes and hooks hangs the decomposing body of a women wearing a tattered and mouldy blue dress.  What is left of her body throbs and pulsates as maggots crawl in and on the surface of her rotten skin.  Looking at the remains of her face the friends recoil in horror as they recognise what was once Josephine Brydon...

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Jessie's Prints - Episode 20 - Cthulhu Characters

This week, I are mostly been answering...  The Call of Cthulhu

Victorian Tough with Dog - Pinshape 48509

I know our current Call of Cthulhu game is set in 1923 but who can pass up on the opportunity to print out a tough guy villain and his dog?

Victorian Tough Guy with Dog

Pirate Pugilist - Thingiverse 3981631

Sam is playing an east end ruffian called Chester "Pretty Boy" Lyle.  A bareknuckle boxer Chester bears the scars of hundreds of bouts in some of the seediest dives that London's docklands have to offer. 

Barenuckle Boxer (Pirate Pugilist)

The Colonel - Thingiverse 3107434

Usually found sleeping in his easy chair in The Garrick Club, Colonel St.John Smythe saw plenty of action in his youth fighting for Queen and Country across most of Africa.  He now earns a well deserved retirement and occassionally tells of his exploits across the dark continent to anyone who will listen.

Colonel Mustard

Dr. Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein needs no introduction and wasn't intentionally looking to build up a collection of classic horror minis, but when I found this one I just had to download it.  From sculptor Roman Bevza, I just love the pose and especially the action of pulling on of the rubber gloves.

Victor Frankenstein 

Frankenstein's erstwhile and capable manservant is another of Roman Bezva's creations and of course I had to print him aswell.


Private Investigator - Thingiverse 4231499

Steve is playing a retired policeman turned private investigator by the name of Ryan Wurmshurst.  No case is too small and his rates are very reasonable.

Private Investigator

Researcher - Thingiverse 4499796

Every Cthulhu game needs a character with excellent research capabilities who can answer the call for "Library Use".  At the moment this is the stand-in for Thelma "Ginger" Purdey, our courageous girl about town.  I am currently on the hunt for a more appropriate miniature.

Botanist Academic

Monday 20 June 2022

Reaper Bones #40 - Pirate with Treasure

It Seems like forever since I painted a Reaper mini (Dec 2021 to be exact).  I've had this one trapped shipwrecked in the painting queue for quite a while.

Pirate with Treasure - Julie Guthrie (SKU 30026)

Another simple and evocative sculpt from Julie Guthrie makes you wonder what this guy's backstory is.  What's in the treasure chest? How good is he with that cutlass? That knife looks like it's got it's own story.

Pirate with Treasure

Sunday 19 June 2022

The House of R'yleh - Part 2: What Lurks in the Darkness

The House of R'yleh is a Call of Cthulhu adventure set in London in late November 1923.  The Games Master is Mark and play takes place at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club in South East London every Friday night.


  • Yoshi "Kanagawa" Yamamoto - A disgraced former Sumo wrestler turned journalist - Tony
  • Chester "Pretty Boy" Lyle - A bareknuckle boxer - Sam 
  • Ryan Wurmshurst - A retired policeman turned private sleuth - Steve
  • Thelma "Ginger" Purdey - A recently graduated botanist and girl about town - Matt

Thursday 15th November 1923

At the Chelsea Art Club, the mystery deepens, more names are added to the list of the missing but the chums still don't have any solid leads to follow.

  • Jason Davies - missing for over a month - Art professor at the Chelsea School of Art.
  • Helen Wilson - missing for two weeks - a student of Prof. Davies.
  • Ruth Hall -  missing for a couple of days - a student of Prof. Davies.
  • Ambrose Draper - Davies patron and the person who sold the silver locket to the pawnbroker.
  • Thewlis - An artist and friend of Davies who was kicked out of the club for obscenity.

Chester decides to break into the concierge's office and try to get addresses for Davies, Draper and Thewlis.  He narrowly avoids being caught by Percival the concierge.  Ginger decides that what they really need to know is what the papers said about the whole affair.  She takes a cab to the British Library in Kings Cross, arriving just before closing time.  

Rudolph Valentino reading Tatler
The news archive is well indexed and she quickly finds 3 clippings which detail the missing persons before returning to the club.

Friday 16th November 1923

The friends meet at their favourite spot, Jenny's Tea Rooms in the Strand.  Armed with Draper's address, Yoshi, Ginger and Chester head to Kensington leaving Ryan to see if his police contacts can tell him more about the case.

The Draper Residence

A large detached house which appears to have fallen on hard times.  The rose beds have been untended for some time and the windows are dirty and curtains closed.  Chester knocks oin the door and is suprised when a man fitting Mr. Draper's description opens the door.  Clearly a lover of the demon drink, Draper seems distracted and apologises for not paying his club dues on time.  They sit him down in the drawing room and after a little questioning manage to extract some useful information.

Draper was given the locket by a man called Peters who uses him as a go-between.  Whatever money he gets he uses to buy art supplies for Peters.  Draper struggles to describe Peters and Yoshi detects that there is definitely something Draper is witholding either out of fear or some other psychological reason.  They convince Draper to take them to Peters.  Draper insists that they will need to take Peters a gift of some brushes or paints. 

The World's End

Ryan's investigations begin at the World's End Public House on Victoria Street, an old haunt and a regular watering hole for the constabulary's finest.  He is immediately recognised by one of his former colleagues, Constable Tim Barley.  Ryan is not shy in asking about the Chelsea School of Art missing persons case and Barkley complains that they don't have the manpower to do a search of the riverside, they are effectively just waiting for a body or three to wash up on the banks of the Thames. 

Barkley mentions that these are strange times, in fact he had a chap come into the station the other day.  He claimed that someone had dug up his dead mother, stolen her locket and sold it to a pawnbroker on the Fulham Road.  He didn't know what to make of it, but the man seemed a little out of sorts. 

Ryan leaves the pub and as he ruminates on the case he realises he is near to his informant and sometime errand boy Jim.  Jim is a greasy looking young ruffian and is more than happy to help Ryan out for a few shillings.  Ryan tells Jim to go to Stokes Pawnshop and see if he has a silver charm bracelet with butterfly charms on it.

An Encounter with Mr Peters

Freshly furnished with art supplies the friends and Draper take a cab to Lambeth.  The dereliction and squalor of the tightly packed ramshackled tenament buildings an anathema even to Yoshi and Chester whose rented rooms in the East End were still classified as comfortable.

The cab sped off as soon as the four alighted.  Draper led them through narrow alleys and passageways to a boarded up half ruined building.  Opening the door with a key he led them inside the dark confines through corridors and down stairs until they entered a basement room with what looked to be a well.

Leaving the art supplies against the low wall of the well, Draper was keen to leave.  Chester and Yoshi shone their lantern into the well.  Something caught Yoshi's eye, a glistening in the light.  They climbed down into the well for a closer look.  The bottom of the well clearly entered into the subterranean warren of the London sewer system.  The ground at the bottom of the iron rung ladder was dry, poking out of the earth was a silver butterfly which matched the description of the charm bracelet worn by one of the missing girls from the art school.  As Yoshi turned the charm over in his big hands he could hear the sounds of someone sloshing through the water from down the tunnel.  Chester and Yoshi scampered up the ladder and the group cowered in an adjacent room leaving one of the lanterns on the floor next to the well.

As they watched a long withered hand and arm reached out from the well grasping at the bag with the art supplies.  This horrifically contorted creature, they presumed was Mr Peters...

Mr Peters

Saturday 18 June 2022

The House of R'yleh - Part 1: The Mysterious Case of the Silver Locket

The House of R'yleh is a Call of Cthulhu adventure set in London in late November 1923.  The Games Master is Mark and play takes place at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club in South East London every Friday night.


  • Yoshi "Kanagawa" Yamamoto - A disgraced former Sumo wrestler turned journalist - Tony
  • Chester "Pretty Boy" Lyle - A bareknuckle boxer - Sam 
  • Ryan Wurmshurst - A retired policeman turned private sleuth - Steve
  • Thelma "Ginger" Purdey - A recently graduated botanist and girl about town - Various

Tuesday 13th November 1923

Six weeks had passed since we buried Freddie's mother Josephine at the Kensal Green Cemetary.  She finally succumbed to the polio that had made her final years a struggle.  We had arranged to meet Freddie, who we had not seen since the funeral, in the Princess Victoria Public House on the Uxbridge Road and were looking forward to spending some time with our ebullient chum.

It was quite the shock when the normally dapper Freddie burst into the boozer looking somewhat worse for wear.  Ginger immediately ordered a double whiskey for Freddie and he gulped it down, desperate to tell us his story...

"I can't believe that they would do such a thing, to my poor old mum who never hurt a fly.  I was just browsing in the pawnbrokers for a bit of something for my girlfriend Sophie, you know the one from the bank I was telling you all about.  Anyway, I popped into Stokes Pawnbrokers, the one on the Fulham Road, and there I spotted it... My mum's silver locket... the one I put in the casket with her when we buried her.  I had it out with the bloke, questioned him, but all he wanted was 15 nicker.  What sort of man would steal an old woman's locket from her dead body?"

Freddie's story gripped us all and we all agreed that we would solve this mystery and bring the culprits to justice. We shared a few drinks with Freddie and decided to take a cab down to the pawnbrokers to see if we could get to the bottom of it.  It was about 10pm when we arrived and the place was closed.  We vowed to take up the case in the morning and meet at the undergound station at 9am.

Wednesday 14th November 1923

Another damp day loomed as the gang trudged along the Fulham Road towards Stokes Pawnbrokers.  Yoshi went in first aiming to distract the fellow behind the counter with his oriental guile.  Briefly looking around, he turned his attention to the jewellrey case behind the counter.

"Sivur Rocket, Arigato"

The man, presumably Mr. Stokes (or one of his employees) took the bait and was pleased to take advantage of this foreigner and charge Yoshi the princely sum of £50 rather than the £15 he charged Freddie.  Incensed with this blatant display of price gouging, Yoshi grabbed the fellow under the armpit and tried to hoik him over the counter.  Sadly Yoshi's best days as an Ozeki were behind him and the chap was a little too heavy for The Great Wave.

Yoshi's friends came to the rescue and shooed him out of the shop.  The perfect ruse to act as saviours and get some info out of him.  After some questioning it turned out that the man did not know the locket was stolen and that it had been sold to him by one of his regulars called Mr Draper.  A clearly wealthy man Mr Draper dressed shabbily and exhibited the signs of drinkers palsy.  He did sport a lapel pin from the Chelsea Art Club and Stokes commented that he always brought him tasteful objet d'art from time to time.  According to his ledger Draper's last visit was 5 days ago.

Stokes gave Chester a small discount as thanks for saving him from the oriental beast.

To the Cemetary

Their next port of call was the grave of Mrs Brydon located in the Kensal Green Cemetary. 

Kensal Green Cemetary
Kensal Green Cemetary

The grave was undisturbed, a dead end.  The friends considered that the locket must have been lifted before she was interred which left only one option.  The undertakers.  Perhaps Draper works there or has a man on the inside.  They headed to the funeral parlour.

Fowler & Williams Funeral Directors

Mr Fowler and Mr Williams were most upset to hear of the disturbing incident and were extremely helpful with the gang's enquiries.  An employee lineup was hastily convened, none of whom matched the description of Mr Draper and none of the staff had heard of the man.  
Funeral Hearse
Funeral Hearse

Another dead end left the team with only one lead...

The Chelsea Art Club

Situated in the heart of the Latin Quarter the Chelsea Art Club had some notoriety as a private members club for the appreciation of art.  Posing as a dilettante and her entourage, Ginger managed to get the friends into the club so that they could enquire about this Draper fellow.

Their enquiries were fruitful and they were introduced to two members, Mr James Cummings and Mr Charles Young.  Both independently wealthy men, they were art lovers and patrons of some of the bohemian types who frequented the club.  Draper had not been seen for some time since the disappearance of his protege Jason Davies, a professor at the Chelsea School of Art and a promising talent in the macabre scene.  The papers aluded to some sort of scandal at the School and at least two of the students had likewise gone missing... 

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Jessie's Prints - Episode 19 - Free Files Galore

This week, I are mostly been enjoying printing free pre-supported files I found on the interweb.

Truth be told they found me really.  I was approached in a random email by who run an email newsletter called Free Files Friday.  Seriously peeps if you aren't subscribed to this smorgasboard of STLs then you are missing out.  Join now at and maybe even join their latest kickstarter campaign.

Blackjack Dreadnought Omni - Custom Miniature Maker

All the cool kids seem to be sticking it to the man (Games Workshop) these days with their "proxy" models for WH40K so I thought I's jump on the bandwagon.  I've always loved the chunky aesthetic of the WH40K vehicles and been a fan of the dreadnought's since the early days of Rogue Trader.

Blackjack Dreadnought Omni

This is a wicked model and has so many possible weapon options that I thought I would have a go at magnetising my loadouts (ooer sounds a bit rude!!).

Blackjack Dreadnought Missile Carrier

Goatman - Infernal Miniatures

For old skool gamers the Broo were the iconic bad guy minions of the Runequest franchise and I fancied printing me out this great double axe wielding bad boy.  Worth the download.


Amazon Warrior - Artisan Guild

I've been hearing about these chaps and their patreon but I wanted to try out one of their files for myself.  It came unsupported but I put my new found support skills to good use and she came out a treat.  And lets face it, who doesn't like a bikini clad warrior woman?

Amazon Warrior

Slime Weird - My Mini Factory

In our last D&D game we ventured into the underdark and encountered a water weird which almost ripped our party to shreds.  This one is a slime varient and I love it's animated pose like it's trying to smother you.  

Slime Weird

Friday 10 June 2022

Yoshi Yamamoto - Ex Sumo Wrestler and Foreign Correspondent

In Episode 18 of Jessie's Prints I printed of a couple of models which, as the Spice girls once sang...

Two Become One

This is a head swap of a sumo wrestler onto the King Pin's body.  A perfect marriage IMHO for my next Cthulhu character.  Hai!!

Yoshi Yamamoto - Sumo Wrestling Journalist

This was another exercise in using the Army Painter Speedpaint over a zenithal highlight.  The suit about 4 layers of Gravelord Grey and the flesh tones are Crusader Skin with my usual blend of Army Painter Tanned Flesh and Vallejo White.  Black accents are Scalecolour Black.  The base is Speed Paint Hardened Leather with a light dry brush of a couple of other Army Painter browns.

Tuesday 7 June 2022

Jessie's Prints - Episode 18 - I Need Supports

This week, I are mostly been learning how to add custom supports to unsupported STL files using Any Cubic Photon Workshop.

Suppprted minis
Rafts are essential to make the prints stick to the bed and not the FEP film

This is the slicer which came with my printer and has a somewhat frustrating interface.  The key things I learned were:

1. Always add a raft using the RAFTS tab in the Shape Edit window.  This is essential to help your minis to stick to the bed (Foot) of the printer and peel away from your FEP film.

2. For best results with tabletop mini prints set your supports to LIGHT this will allow you to get more supports in tighter spots.

3. Fill your model with auto generated supports and then add more manually.  You're gonna need them.

King Pin - Thingiverse 4140572 

There are a lot of marvel minis out there but very few free ones of King Pin.  I liked this one because he had a useful pose and body shape for my character mini in the game of Call of Cthulhu which begins next week at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

King Pin (Wilsopn Fisk)

Sumo - Sketchfab

To be honest I just needed the head for my character project.  I should probably have cut it apart in mesh mixer and blended it together with the King Pin but that's what superglue is for.


Crouching Gargoyle - Thingiverse 3604340

This is a neat model and useful for both set decoration and as a monster in almost any game.  I printed a bunch to fill up the print bed and get the best value for money from my printer.

Crouching Gargoyle

Sunday 5 June 2022

My First Resin Mini - Sci-Fi Adventurer

As I mentioned in last week's Jessie's Prints one of my first successful prints on the new Resin 3D Printer  was the insanely detailed Sci-Fi Adventurer from Loot Studios.

Over the Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend, I painted him.

Sci-Fi Adventurer

This is most definitely not my finest hour.  I became incredibly frustrated with this model which decided to snap at both the ankles and the ipad hand multiple times.  

I am not sure if this was an error in the printing or curing process, the brittleness of the resin or the robustness of the sculpt, but if a mini cannot stand up to the rough and tumble of painting then it does not bode well for gameplay.

There is a distinct difference between digital sculpts and hand sculpts.  Personally I prefer the chunky aesthetic of hand sculpts over the extreme detail and "spikiness" of these newfangled digital sculpts.  There is a certain charm of a vintage oldhammer mini over the new plastic kit warhammer minis never mind the scale creep that has occurred over the years.

As you can see I am still getting to grips with Army Painter Speed Paints and I ran out of white primer so the zenithal highlight was a bit muted.  The next one will be better I promise...

Saturday 4 June 2022

Obi What a Disaster!

I confess I am not a fan of Disney Star Wars.  It has been a car crash right from the first sequel movie (with the exception of the Mandalorian and the Book of Boba Fett) and the latest installment continues that fine tradition.

What The Actual Fuck! 

I'm just a jobbing DM okay, but I understand continuity and if you are going to write a story in a well established universe then there are some rules you have to follow or you are going to fuck it up.

1. Don't rewrite canon!

Established events are exactly that ESTABLISHED.  If it happened in a previous story then it must happen again.  If a character says something which ordains a historic set of actions then any prequel story you write must maintain those actions or events.

For example when Leia contacts Obi Wan Kenobi she refers to him as a Jedi who fought alongside my father in the clone wars.  This intimates that she has never met him herself and has only heard about him through the war stories her father told her.  So don't set up a 6 part prequel TV series with the singular premise of finding and rescuing the kidnapped 10 year version of Leia.

Young Leia Organa
Don't worry farm boy, I got this

Another example would be the meeting of Kenobi and Vader aboard the Death Star in A New Hope when Vader tells him that the last time they met he was but the learner and now he is the master.  This clearly refers to their last encounter on Mustafa when Anakin was Kenobi's padawan.  Don't set up a showdown that breaks the canon and can only end in a standoff because you can't kill either of the main characters.

2. Be consistent with your characters!

The mark of an incompetent writer is to set up an event and then to back out of it when they realise that they have written themselves into a plot cul de sac.  They usually hit reverse with some mcguffin of an idea which further compounds their error and highlights their incompetence.

For example in the quarry standoff between Kenobi and Vader the Dark Lord of the Sith uses his considerable power to drag Kenobi around like a ragdoll and put out flames with a wave of his hand.  But when the writer has realised that Kenobi is going to die (which can't happen right) he is suddenly defeated by flames and cannot force grab the droid rescuing Kenobi.  Pathetic writing which isn't even consistent with the events of a few seconds ago.  

Darth Vader defeated by flames
Can someone call the firebrigade?

A lesser event but no less irritating occurs when the stormtrooper tells Kenobi to tell them his "long story" as it's a long ride and then no more than three minutes later that's it the stormtroopers are at their destination.  Let's be honest, It wasn't a long story and the stormtroopers were a few miles at best away from their destination.  For God's sake was this written by a 10 year old. 

If you are going to make Obi-Wan a shadow of his former self then at least stay consistent.  When he is confronted by the stormtroopers at the laser gate (oh God, the laser gate...) he instantly turns into John Wick and laser blasts them in seconds despite having a known hatred for "uncivilised" blasters.

Kenobi Wick
You killed my dog mother funsta!!

3. Things don't happen instantly

We know that time is a tricksy thing.  You have to allow a certain amount of time to elapse between establishing a thing and then that thing having a consequence.  Travel between worlds takes time even using hyperspace.  You can't just despatch probe droids one minute and them turn up conveniently in the next scene at exactly the right place.  That my dear writer is a mcguffin.

This was an entirely unnecessary element which only served as the backdrop to a power struggle between the two inquisitors.  Do the garrison on Daiyu not have communication with Inquisitor HQ?  Does the notion of sending a photo not occur to them?

Oh my the force is weak with this one. 

Boardgame Rescue - My Next Project - Warrior Knights

The next in my Rescue Mission series is going to be one of my two copies (if not both) of Games Workshop Warrior Knights circa 1985.

Warrior Knights is a great medieval wargame designed by Derek Carver who alsodesigned Blood Royale which was similarly released by Games Workshop two years later as part of their Bookcase Games range.

I have played Warrior Knights a handful of times but it always stood out as a great game with lots going on for each player both in their turn and in others as you strive to capture cities across the board, wage war and try to put your pretender on the throne.

To Pimp or Not To Pimp

That is the question.  There is limited scope for pimping the game as it comes with a huge amount of cardboard tiles for all manner of item , however, there are some options including:

Strongholds and Cities - The most notable game piece on the board are the stronghold counters which come in three flavours:

  • Stronghold - x1 - This is your barons home
  • City Control Marker - x14 - Some city walls to surround your
  • Improved Control Marker - x6 -

Noble Markers - As you can see from the photo below these generic shields just look cheap and nasty and mine have even changed colour!!

Warrior Knights - Nobles, Strongholds and Cities
Warrior Knights - Noble pawns, Stronghold and City Control Markers

Money - It makes the world go around and you end up playing with these tiny little tokens throughout the game.  Much better to have some nice plastic tokens that don't blow away if someone coughs.

Warrior Knights - Money
Warrior Knights - Money - Who has time for 1/2 crowns these days!!

Trade ships - There is an exploration element to the game represented by the 4 colonies in the corners of the board.  These work in the same way as the cities on the main board and can be captured and fought over.  Getting there requires a vote in the council and the ship's progress is represented by a small cardboard counter.  This could easily be replaced by a tiny sailing ship.  

Wish me luck

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Movieweek 8 - The Batman

The Batman (2022) - 7/10

I grew up on the caped crusader, not the brooding Dark Knight but the spandex wearing Adam West style Batman.  In the 80s he had a bit of an identity crisis and along came Alan Moore (The Killing Joke) and Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns) and rejuvinated him.

This latest outing follows the excellent Gotham TV series and the Ben Affleck movies recasting the bat with Robert Pattinson.  Pattison does his best and excels in the titular role but as Bruce Wayne he fails to be a convincing troubled young man.  Note to Hollywood, stop writing moody men roles, they aren't appealing and frankly I'm bored of them.

The rest of the cast are utterly convincing and there is some great talent on offer with the likes of John Turturro (Carmine Falcone), Jeffrey Wright (James Gordon) and Colin Farrell who is unrecognizeable as the Penguin.  Zoe Kravitz is a very sultry Catwoman but I couldn't help feel that the story failed her character.  Paul Dano had a good turn but the whole mask thing was a total mistake and is far more appropriate to the Joker.

Overall I can see what they were trying to do and I want to like it, I honestly do, but I feel like this was a misstep rather than a triumph.  How this fits into the DCEU (if that is even a thing anymore) or a trilogy of films heavens knows.  I think that they should go back to the Animated Universe archives and mine the Batman Beyond or Batman of the Future stories.  These I would love to see in live action.