Sunday, October 7, 2012

Half Price Books Finds #1 - Four AD&D Modules

My latest score from Half-Price Books: four AD&D modules from way back when. All in pretty good condition.

S2: White Plume Mountain. Go into volcano dungeon, kill things, get past traps, and take stuff.

I2: Tomb of the Lizard King. Find source of evil, go to source of evil, and try not to get killed by source of evil.

C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness. Go into dungeon, kill things, get past traps, and take stuff.

Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits. Go into extra-planar space dungeon, kill things, get past traps, and wonder why invading the lair of Lolth ever sounded like a good idea.

Now, as the name of this blog suggests, I've been gaming for awhile. Modules like these were among my first gaming products. I've parted ways with many gaming books over the years. Some got lost during moves. Others were sold off during lean times. Purchasing nostalgia items like these modules is a chance to reconnect with my earliest days as a gamer. It's a luxury that I've come to relish.

Of these four modules, C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness is the only one that I owned previously. I missed out on the others the first time around, but I'm familiar with them from other sources. I'm looking forward to reading them. Maybe I'll get the chance to run a couple of them in the First Edition game I started recently.

Of course, I don't think I'll be able to convince them to take on Lolth on her own plane of existence.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tectonic Craft Studios 30mm Bases

It's always nice to have a little something show up in the mail. Last week, for me, it was a set of 30mm round miniature bases from Tectonic Craft Studios. All of their bases, terrain, and other game aids are made from laser cut MDF. Tectonic Craft Studios got started early this year when they ran a Kickstarter to raise funds to buy their equipment and get things rolling.

For my very modest pledge of $3 USD, I got twenty of these bases. I opted for four different types, Gangplank (lower left), OrthoGrid (upper left), Diamond Tread (upper right), and Cobblestone (lower right). I already have plans for some of them. The rest will likely get used up when the Reaper Bones Kickstarter miniatures show up next year.

I had a very positive experience with Tectonic Craft Studios and their Kickstarter. Updates came often enough to show their progress and I received exactly what I requested on their survey. These bases are a clear demonstration of their commitment. Going from funded to shipping product in a matter of months is not something every company can achieve.

It doesn't look like the Tectonic Craft Studios is taking orders on their website yet. But I'll be keeping on eye out for when they do.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Matchbox Finds for 15mm #2

All of the models below are part of Matchbox's Real Working Rigs line.

Abrams M1A1 Tank

The level of detail on these models is outstanding. A more realistic paint job and they fit right in on the tabletop. The scale may not be an exact match for 15mm, but it is close enough to work.

I've picked up a total of four of these models over the past few months. Two are the gray/blue/black scheme seen in the pictures. The scheme actually looks pretty good, but I could do without the “United Alliance” markings. The other two were part of Mission Force packs and had a hideous black and green paint scheme. Even worse, the paint was thick enough to obscure the details of the models. I've already stripped one and the other is going through a long soak in Simple Green. I'm thinking about a jungle green scheme might work well over the green plastic pieces.

Stryker M1128 MGS

These are based on the real world Mobile Gun System version of the U.S. Army's Striker. The gun in question is a 105mm cannon. My understanding is that the vehicle was designed for situations calling for a large bore direct fire weapon, but not the tank that usually comes with it.

The detailing is excellent, but the models are a little too large to be in scale with 15mm. That's fine with me, since I have no plans to use them in a modern game. These will likely end up being repainted for sci-fi wargames like Tomorrow's War. They have the right look to be convincing as tank destroyers or in an infantry support role. Unfortunately, placement of the cannon and the fact that the rear hatch opens to a blank panel makes using one of these models as a troop carrier problematic.

Tracked Missile Launcher

As far as I know, this model is not based on a real world vehicle. Most of the large missile launchers that I am familiar with are wheeled rather than tracked.

The model is nicely detailed, although there are some mold lines on the plastic missiles. This model will likely see use as an objective in sci-fi wargames. A planetary defense force would be wise to keep some of its missile launchers mobile and in the field to survive a surprise attack The missiles are big enough to convincingly threaten a large target – like part of a planetary invasion force or the ships that deployed it.