Saturday 31 July 2021

League of Infamy: Hive of Villainy

Having completed all of the defenders for League if Infamy I've now started on the villains.

In LoI the players take control of the villains and have to battle the goodie defenders and each other to come out as the top dog. The game includes a good range of villains for the players to choose from covering the normal archetypes of tank, damage and support, each with a little twist.

First up is Karzel who is a mostly deaf Abyssal Dwarf with a love of firing his pistols in all directions. He's quite a slow character but can increase his speed by sacrificing some of his stealth to give the Keep Master alarm tokens. Alarm tokens are using by the Keep Master to purchase defenders to bring onto the board during the game, so the more the Keep Master has, the harder it will get for the villains to complete their mission. 
As a ranged damage dealer Karzel has access to his pistols as his basic weapons and the more he fires them the more noise he generates and the more Alarm Tokens the Keep Master gains. Karzel is not the ideal choice for a player that likes a subtle and stealthy approach.

Melantha is Vampire warrior and shares the love of blood that is common to her race, as such she should make a hardy tank as long as she can keep killing off defenders. It's worth noting that whilst the villains are free to kill the defenders being the good guys & girls only subdue the villains. This means even once a villain is down they aren't necessarily out of the game. Melantha has an ability which allows her to heal a downed villain, the price of which can be extracted from them later on. Melantha also has a weapon that increases her defence when attacked from the front, she should be able to wear multiple enemies down without being overwhelemed.

Sharpclaw is a Ratkin Brute, the Ratkin spent many generations enslaved by the Abyssal Dwarfs who they came to almost worship and whose style they still ape to this day. Sharpclaw is a straight up melee fighter, his weapons allow him to roll extra attack dice and he can re-roll attack dice at the expense of creating a little Alarm. If you like getting stuck in and ripping the opposition limb from limb then Sharpclaw is probably the villain for you.

Krink is the first villain I've painted who isn't from the core box, the game recommends using the 4 that came with the core box first as they are easier to play. Some of the extra villains have a more nuanced approach, Krink isn't one of them. 
Inside his armour Krink is that rarest of things, a brave Goblin. At first glance he seems quite weak as although he has decent armour his health isn't that high and his attacks seem rather low. His equipment does help out with this so he can boost his attack dice at the expense of loosing activations (villains get 3 activations per turn) and he has the chance to entirely ignore incoming damage and reflects melee damage back. He probably doesn't want to go toe to toe with many opponents but if forced to he should hold his own.

These villains came together pretty quickly so hopefully the others are just as quick, the sculps seem to be better over-all than the defenders with the detail more sharply defined, which I guess is what you want from the player characters in a game.

Saturday 24 July 2021

League of Infamy: The Siren's Wrath

I've completed another set of the League of Infamy models this week with the Siren's Wrath campaign set in the Trident Realm being finished. As with the other campaigns you get some boss models and a good variety of fodder.

Up first are the three bosses with the Depth Horror Eternal being first up. He looks to have a nasty set of abilities which allows him to buff nearby defenders and also denies the Villains one of their three actions. He seems to have a decent defence and health values so is probably hard to shift.

The Knucker is all about moving fast and avoiding being hit, it doesn't hit quite as hard as the Depth Horror Eternal but should be harder to kill with it's ability to move about the board.

The Siren is better at ranged attacks than melee and looks to be more of a support character with he ability to bring on an extra defender and to mess with the Villains plans by dragging towards her.

Next up are some extra models I painted to make use of the bonus stats included with the game. These are some of the Trident Realm Naiad models used in Kings of War & Vanguard. I like these models which come as a hard plastic sprue with both ranged and melee options and some otters & frogs to use as critters.

Only the ranged option has stats provided so most are the Heartpiercer variant with just the harpoon and then one is modelled with a sword for the Hunter mini-boss.

Then we have the normal foot troops with the Giga Hatchlings being the cheapest and possibly cutest of the set. They aren't very tough but do ignore the Villains armour so still need to be dealt with.

The Nokken are water spirits with a mechanic that looks suited to out-flanking an opponent and the Riverguard are a decent ranged option who again can move between patches of water.

The last of the minions are the heavier foot troops with the Pondwarden's having the ability not only to heal but also potentially ignore armour when attacking. The Placoderm's have decent armour and health and look to be pretty nasty melee opponents.

Last up we have another Frog-man who was the rider on the Dambuster model I converted to use in my Undead army. He doesn't have any obvious stats in the set but perhaps could also make use of the Naiad Hunter stats as he has a ranged weapon.

These where are decent set of models to get together with only the Nucker needing much gap filling, of course I needed to do a decent amount of hot water work to straighten the models as well.

Up next will be the Villains who are all unique sculps so will take a bit more effort.

Sunday 18 July 2021

Deadzone: Bits and Bobs

 I've had some Deadzone bits waiting to be painted up for a while so I thought I'd take a little break from League of Infamy and work on them instead.

It's a bit of a mixed bag so along with a vehicle I have some stuff for the Plague & Veer-myn and a Dreadball character I liked the look of.

First up for the Plague is Dr Gayle Simmonds who is a specialist. She may not look much but her 3+ save and Tough special rule mean she will take a lot to kill. Her ranged attack isn't that potent but she can try to Pin with her rifle so she should be able to support the melee troops in a Plague force by knocking over enemy models. Her last ability is heal which allows her to keep models in the fight and makes them (and her) harder to kill with Resilience (1). She looks like a good all-round support model for any force.

The Rat Swarm's can either be purchased or come free with the Piper unique Veer-myn unit. They benefit from being fast and tough with size 2 making them hard to kill in one go. 

The last model is of Flurple who is part of a set of figures for Dreadball, the Mantic sci-fi sports game based on American football. He/it doesn't have any stats for Deadzone but I liked the model so bought it to paint up. I'm sure I will be able to think up some way to add Flurple in as an NPC into a game.

Deadzone doesn't include rules for vehicles but I have an idea for an escort mission including one so I bought the GCPS Mule to use. I've painted it up in the green & purple of my Marauders who are known to have fought both along-side and against the GCPS in the past. The model is a little fiddly to put together with the wheel supports being a bit of a faff, especially as no instructions are included. 

The last thing I made up are a couple of Zombie spawn points for use with the AI Zombie rules I wrote about the other week. These went together very quickly with some body parts from my bits store stuck into some Polyfilla on an MDF base.

Saturday 10 July 2021

League of Infamy: Halflings Completed

I have managed to work my way through the last of the Halflings for the League of Infamy which means the 4 bosses and the mighty Iron Beast are done.

The Halflings tend towards the comedy end of the spectrum so we have a range of archetypes on display. Greedyguts is obviously a Halfling that likes an extra serving or two and as such is literally more rounded than the others. 
The Feastmaster comes with two cleavers and a mean look in his eyes. He also has a useful ability which allows for two extra defenders to be activated, this could lead to the villians being overwhelmed under Halfling bodies.

The Master Burglar is one of the extra defenders that stats are provided for but not models. I went with a Reaper Bones model for her. She has an interesting ability which allows her to take equipment from the villains and even use it, which could be nasty for anyone holding onto a health potion for the right moment.

Lastly we have the Sauceror who practises Gastromancy, the ancient art of cooking magic. It's quite an interesting model which again shows a more comedy aesthetic but it's been nicely put together and works well for the food loving Halflings.

The Iron Beast came already assembled which made painting a bit of a fiddley job. It is a good size model though and will no doubt be released as a stand-alone figure for the upcoming Halfling release for Kings of War.

Stats wise it's a bit of a beast in not only name, having a good armour, lots of health and some nasty looking attacks. Any villains running up against this will need to be careful.

So with the Halflings now completed I have only the Trident Realm models and the Villains themselves to paint up for the whole game to be completed.

I had hoped to be starting on some Armada models with Dwarfs and Northern Alliance (for Kingdoms of Men) being the factions I was planning to buy. It seem the Northern Alliance are not being released before next year so I'm going to switch over to the Napoleonic's instead which I have also been planning.

Saturday 3 July 2021

Deadzone: AI Zombies

 The game of Deadzone is set within the eponymous 'Deadzones' of the Galactic Co-Prosperity Sphere (GCPS), the rule book describes as Deadzone in this manner:

A Deadzone is a place where ordinary rules do not apply. Any intruder, human or otherwise, found on such a planet will be automatically treated as hostile by the Enforcers, who are licensed to use terminal force in all such cases. Between the incidents that render them Deadzones, and the aggressive presence of the Council’s elite forces, these planets represent some of the most dangerous places in the galaxy, but also some of the most lucrative. 

There are several reasons that a Containment Protocol could be enacted on a planet one of which is a Plague outbreak. The Plague spreads across species and infects everything it comes into contact with (except for Marauders who seem immune) and rapidly over-runs a planet. Again in the rulebook we can read:

First encountered in the so-called ‘Death Arc’, an area in the Fifth Sphere of the GCPS, the Plague is one of the greatest threats to all sentient life in the galaxy. Whether the Plague is natural in origin or was, in fact, engineered by some ancient alien civilisation is just one of the many questions surrounding this horrific disease. Its link to artefacts of alien origin is established, though their purpose and provenance remains mysterious. It was thanks to the Plague that the Council established both its own authority over the GCPS as well as the Containment Protocols, as they desperately tried to manage the first encountered infestations of Plague.

So when playing Deadzone on a Plague infected planet it would be nice to have some of the Plague victims to be involved in the game to at least give a hint of what it would be like to fight in a Plague ridden zone. 

Deadzone does already include some rules for how Zombie types can be used in a game but this requires them to be activated each time a player activates a model, which effectively doubles the number of things you need to do for each activation, this can only slow the game down. What I wanted was a way to add the Zombies in but not overly slow down the game play.
My idea is that the AI troops will activate after both players have completed their turn so the normal flow of the game is allowed to continue and then players can resolve the AI at the end. The Zombies are meant to add a little flavour to the game rather than be the focus of the game.

So the principles that control the AI are these:

1) After both players have completed all activations for a turn, activate one squares worth of models at a time, players take it in turns to activate squares until all are done, in any order they like. The player that completed all their activations first gets first choice.

2) Must move/charge towards closest model as defined by behaviour flow, but controlling player decides on the move in cases of more than one valid move.

3) All models in a square move/charge at the same time, so can get the outnumbering bonus together.

4) AI models always attack if able, never defend.

5) When rolling for melee the player controlling the AI troops always rolls for them, even if attacking their own models.

In order to simulate the different types of Plague victims I've come up with 3 behaviour flows which can be assigned to various models. All of these are melee only, again this is to help speed the resolution of the AI phase but also to help keep this a flavourful addition to the game.

The first flow is for those mobs which like to be grouped up and attack as a horde, so the 3Z Zombie is a good example of these. I think these would want to be setup/spawn in groups of 3 on the board. They essentially are happy to engage in melee if they have a friend but would prefer not to if alone.


1) If in square with another Horder and within 1 of enemy, charge

2) If in square with another Horder move 1 towards closest enemy

3) If alone move 1 toward another Horder within 2

4) Move 1 towards closest enemy

Next up are the solo fighters, so from my collection that would be the Mazon Labs Plague Victim. As the name suggests they would be deployed a single models and they just want to get stuck in ASAP.

Solo Fighters

1) If within 2 of enemy, charge

2) Move 2 towards closest enemy

The last type is the Big Baddy, the Aberration is a perfect example. These want to be the biggest fiercest model on the table so they prioritise the larger models to fight first.

Big Baddy

1) If within 1 of size 3+, charge

2) If within 1 of enemy, charge

3) Move 1 towards closest size 3+

4) Move 1 towards closest enemy

I've not had a chance to play the AI rules yet so I need to work out a few points, like how many of each type do you want on the table at once and how do they get introduced?
My initial feeling is that you could probably have 2-3 groups of Horders and then one Solo Fighter or Big Baddy at a time in a smaller points game 150/175 without it impacting too much, though it could be you just want the Big Baddy on it's own at that points level. Introducing the models onto the table could be done via set spawn points and then a dice roll to see if you get a spawn event or perhaps via the Items counters, if you are feeling nasty.
Another question is should you get Victory Points for killing the AI ? I lean towards a yes on that one, if the majority are going to be the 3Z Zombies which are worth no VP's then it shouldn't unbalance things overly.

So this should be a good starting point to test from and see if the rules work to add some flavour and fun to the game and don't break the flow which makes Deadzone so special.