Showing posts with label lego. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lego. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Lego Micro-Military

Over the last couple of days I've been looking for some inspiration for small-scale Lego builds, for a challenge in one of the many, many Lego groups on Flickr. I was going back through some of the things I'd done in the past, and came across my micro-military models from a couple of years ago. I thought that it might be fun to share them here. The pictures link through to the original images on Flickr.

I started of with this - a Generic Two-Seater Biplane

But the basic design got me thinking, and over the next couple of weeks I came up with variants. Here they are.

Heinkel He 111
Heinkel He 111

Messerschmitt Bf 109
Messerschmitt Bf 109

Fieseler Fi 156 Storch
Fieseler Fi 156 Storch

Heinkel He 162 ''Volksjäger'
Heinkel He 162 'Volksjäger'

Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet (Front)

Flettner Fl 282 'Kolibri'
Flettner Fl 282 'Kolibri'

And I even managed something that wasn't a WWII German aircraft. This is one of my favourite Lego builds ever - despite being about fourteen bricks in total.

Renault FT-17
Renault FT-17 - Rear

Monday, 9 April 2012

Interesting Stuff - 09/04/2012

This blog has now passed 5,000 views!

And today I achieved a true HOTT rarity - a genuine drawn game. In a battle between Elves and Dwarves, the Dwarves lost their general (and more points than the Elves) on the same bound that their Sneaker captured the Elven Stronghold. So the Dwarves lost through casualties and loss of the general, whilst at the same time the Elves lost through their Stronghold being captured.

Also some painting; expect more WWII-style Giant Monster Rampages:

Nazi Robot - British Land-Ship

A round-up of odds and ends from other blogs and beyond that I found interesting.

Customising Lego Minifigs - A piece on The Brothers Brick about converting and painting Lego figures.

Alan Garner  - Apparently there's going to be a sequel to 'The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen/Moon Of Gomrath'.  It will be interesting to see if that gives me more things to add to the armies I have for those books.

The Internet Sacred Text Archive - An outstanding resource for anyone who likes to base their HOTT games on myths and legends.

Wargaming On A Fridge - Two ancient Chinese armies clash on a vertical battlefield. A great solution to the problem of finding space in which to wargame.

Shadows Of The Apt - HOTT lists for a set of books that, I have to confess, I'd not heard of before.

And finally:

Kaptain Kobold - Because there's a hero in all of us. Even if it's just a small plastic one.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Lego Series Seven Minifigs - For Gamers

It will not have escaped your notice that I like Lego. And I always like to keep an eye on forthcoming releases, mostly for the photographic possibilities, but also with a view to other uses as well - like gaming.

The forthcoming set of Lego Collectible Minifigs offer a few possibilities for gamers.

All of the pictures are by WhiteFang (Eurobricks)

First up we have a rather nice Aztec Warrior:

Sadly you'd need a lot of these do a DBA/HOTT army, so you're either looking at getting lucky with your selection of the sealed packets, or wait for a while and resort to the specialist Lego marketplace sites like Bricklink. Actually this holds true for all of the collectible figures ranges; there is a rather nice Roman Legionary in Series 6 for example.

Next up is a Galaxy Patrol officer for sci-fi buffs:

Lego has a good range of sci-fi figures of various races and types, and they would lend themselves very well to a skirmish game setup. There are even companies which produce Lego-compatible accessories for Halo and similar universes.

And let's not forget the Star Wars line; it's certainly viable to get a small skirmish set-up out of them, and at a cost you could even stretch to a couple of HOTT-type armies.

This Valkyrie seems to be operatic rather than combat-orientated, but it's not a major issue and she can always be given a head-swap so she doesn't look like she's singing:

Indeed component swapping is always a possibility for Lego figures used for gaming purposes and could be considered one of their strengths. The only thing to watch for is the colours of the heads/hands; ordinary Lego lines, such as the collectible figures, have yellow as the base flesh colour, whereas ranges based on film or TV licences, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter, use flesh. They don't mix well.

On a par with the Valkyrie, for fantasy/medieval skirmish, certainly, is this Evil Knight:

Pretty standard stuff, but useful.

Finally we have the Ocean King:

A perfect God or Water Lurker for a Lego HOTT army, but also a possibility for giant monster gaming as well. 

It's worth looking back through the previous series of Collectible Minifigs for other game-related figures. Readers of this blog will have seen me use a number of figures from past ranges for monster gaming (and I haven't given the Statue of Liberty an outing yet either), but there are numerous space and fantasy figures in the ranges, as well as historical ones such as a Coldstream Guardsman and a Gladiator.

Lego - it's more than just terrain.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Mini Monster Rampage

Using my Lego minifigs to try out Mighty Monsters the other day was so much fun that I decided to give them a go with my current favourite set of rules, Giant Monster Rampage (GMR). This is part of the Toy Battle System, which is a family of rules designed for use with action figures in various genres. As well as giant monsters, there are sets covering martial artists, superheroes and robots. A lot of the rules, powers and abilities are interchangeable.

Since I'm more familiar with those rules than I was with Mighty Monsters, I decided to have a four monster free for all.

Hunting through my selection of figures I came up with these, and used 200 point versions of each (click on a picture to make it bigger):

Left to Right: Robotron 2000, Kong, Godzilla, The Minotaur

Godzilla - The perfect balance of long-range firepower with close range destruction. Reasonably tough.

Kong - Poweful close-combat attacks, but no ranged ability.

The Minotaur - Similar to Kong, but the close combat ability is focused into a giant axe.

Robotron 2000 - The opposite of Kong; no close combat ability at all, but with a single, multi-use, blast weapon. All of Robotron 2000's skills focus on making the blast effective.

I tend to play a GMR game over a fixed number of rounds, and settled for six for this particular game. At the end of six turns the monster with the most points, from wounding other monsters and destroying buildings, would win.

I used Lego for much of the terrain as well. Each block represents a building section; when all of a building's sections are destroyed it becomes rubble. Scattered over the playing area were small objects which mosnters could pick up and throw, or use as improvised hand weapons.

I used a 2'x2' area, and switched all distances from inches to centimetres to allow for the use of smaller figures than the normal 3-5" Bandai models I use. Each monster started in the centre of a board edge, their relative positions being determined at random.

This is how they started:

Kong and The Minotaur both closed in on the buildings in their corner of the table, demolishing a few and picking up some points. Since there were a limited number of buildings it was obvious  there would be competition, so it was only a matter of time before once monster attacked the other. It was The Minotaur who started it, charging into Kong:

And missing. They set to fighting each other, although the odd building fell as collateral damage too:

Meanwhile Godzilla and Robotron 2000 set about the long-range demolition of the areas they were in:



Godzilla was more successful; having some decent close combat attacks meant that he could use his blast attack on one building, whilst moving up to another and demolishing it with his jaws and tail. The robot, meanwhile, was restricted to shooting, which uses atomic power. Since the atomic power a monster gets each turn is random, Robotron 2000 was at the mercy of multiple die rolls, and didn't fare well. despite bonuses for targeting he rarely hit anything even when he did have the energy to fire a shot.

By the middle of the game, this was the situation. The Minotaur had come off worse against Kong, who had basically pummelled the man-bull into the ground. Godzilla and Robotron 2000 were still shooting at anything in range, but Godzilla was picking up a steady number of points from demolishing buildings by hand as well.

Kong now moved in on the two large buildings in the centre of the table, as they offered lots of points for minimal effort. This now put him in range of the other two monsters who realised that he needed to be taken down before his points total got too high. Godzilla started to close the range whilst Robotron 2000 kept up a steady fire. They both kept missing and, meanwhile, Kong demolished most of a skyscraper:

With the skyscraper gone, Kong moved in on Robotron 2000, looking to pick up a few points in the final round for wounding another monster. Once again the robot failed to hit Kong, but Kong's efforts weren't much better either. Godzilla took out a few more building sections, and the game ended with a bit of a whimper.

 The final points were:

Kong - 13 wounds + 9 buildings = 22 points
Godzilla - 2 wounds + 9 buildings = 11 points
The Minotaur - 2 wounds + 3 buildings = 5 points
Robotron 2000 = 0 wounds + 4 buildings = 4 points

So, despite being knocked out halfway through the game The Minotaur still scored more points than Robotron 2000, who was ridiculously unlucky in terms of hitting things and then converting the hits to actual destruction. The Minotaur and Kong were well-matched, but once Kong started pounding The Minotaur it was difficult for him to get back into the fight. It could have easily gone the other way. Monsters designed entirely around close combat can be quite deadly in GMR, as they don't rely on unreliable atomic power in order to launch attacks. Godzilla showed that a balanced approach can steadily tot up points; on most turns he could potentially attack one building with his tail and teeth, and another with his atomic breath. However I spaced the buildings badly; they gaps were too large given that movement was in centimetres rather than inches, and on some turns he struggled to reach the next building with a basic move. Possibly if I used monster of this scale again it will be in half-inches, or I will used smaller bricks for the buildings and have them more closely spaced.

Anyway, it was an interesting game, with The Minotaur and Robotron 2000 being new designs I'd not tried before. The Minotaur is a potentially good anti-monster monster, assuming the target doesn't have powerful close-combat retaliatory attacks.

For those interested, here are the stats for the monsters:

Godzilla (Animal) - Distance 3 Dexterity 3 Toughness 5 Instinct 4 Wounds 10, Bite (2"/2), Tail (2"/2, Knockback), Energy Blast, Regeneration, Swim, Tenacity

Kong (Animal) - Distance 4 Dexterity 4 Toughness 4 Instinct 3 Wounds 10, Fist x2 (2"/3, Daze), Strong, Cling, Tenacity

The Minotaur (Humanoid) - Distance 4  Dexterity 4 Toughness 4 Instinct 4 Wounds 10, Axe (2"/3, Massive), Horns (2"/2), Follow Through, Impaler, Skilled

Robotron 2000 (Mechanoid) - Distance 3 Dexterity 3 Toughness 4 Instinct 6 Wounds 10, Microwave Blast, Targeting Systems, Multiple Blast Points, Determination x1, Alternator

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Songs Of Kong And Kaiju

As many of you will know one of my guilty pleasures is watching Godzilla movies, so it will come as no surprise to find that I therefore play giant monster games from time to time. I have had good times with both 'Monster Island' and 'Giant Monster Rampage' in the past, but was intrigued by Ganesha Games' 'Mighty Monsters' because of the creative way it used the 'Songs Of Blades And Heroes' (SoBH) system to run giant monsters. Each monster is, in effect, treated as a warband, with its body parts being the individual elements. You activate the parts like you would individual figures in SoBH - activate the Legs to move, the head to launch your fire-breath and the Arms to throw a building. It seemed such an odd, and unique, approach that I decided to buy and download a copy, and I gave it a quick run-through this evening.

I couldn't be bothered going down into the basement to find my official Bandai giant monsters, so I used what was to hand - Lego minifigs. However some of these are more than suitable, as anyone familiar with the recent Collectible Minifigs will know. Which is why I was able to go for the classic matchup ...

From the depths of the sea, via a hefty dose of radiation: GODZILLA:

Click On Any Picture To Make It Bigger

And against him, the King of Skull Island - KONG:

Their stats were taken from the book, but in order to even up the points I dropped a lot of Godzilla's special abilities - the Toughness and Regeneration went altogether, and I downgraded the Radioactive Blast.

Godzilla's main weapon is his Radioactive Blast (even downgraded) and he's tougher than Kong. Kong is more of a close combat specialist, being a Massive monster with the Grapple ability and Intimidation.

I set a very basic terrain, with a mixture of rubble and standing buildings, and started the monsters on opposite sides of the table.

Godzilla went first, and activated his legs to move into range with his Radioactive Breath. He got 3 actions from 3 dice and moved rapidly to the centre of the table. Activating his head for 3 dice only gave him 1 action, but he took a long range shot anyway, which missed - this was something of a risk, since a ranged combat roll of '1' means that the attack has run out of energy and cannot be used for the rest of the game.

With two activation failures for Godzilla it was now Kong's go. He needed to close up fast, but even a maximum move this turn wouldn't get him into close combat. So he opted to close up to the nearest building - 2 actions from 3 dice on the legs allowed that, the first action being used to move to the building, and the second to kick it, collapsing it into a pile of rubble. The plan was then to throw the rubble at Godzilla, which involved activating his arms. However he only go 1 action from 3 dice - enough to pick up some rubble, but not enough to throw it. And the 2 failures meant it was now Godzilla's turn again.

Godzilla decided to close the range for his Radioactive Breath first, rolling 3 dice against his legs. He got 3 failures, and it was Kong's go again.

Now was Kong's moment. A bold 3 dice were used to activate his legs, and 3 Actions got him into close combat with Godzilla:

His plant was to grapple Godzilla, hold him in place and bite with his Fangs to inflict some serious damage. So first he activated his arms, rolling 3 dice and getting 2 actions. This was enough for a grapple attack, but the dice were against him and he missed. The bite was still worth doing, though, so he activated his head for 3 dice, getting 3 actions and allowing a very powerful bite attack. This hit, inflicting 1 wound on Godzilla.

In 'Mighty Monsters' wounds are tracked by substituting wound dice for your activation dice - each wound substitutes one die, the normal white ones becoming yellow, then yellow ones becoming red. Certain failures on yellow dice, and all failures on red dice, cause lasting and cumulative damage effects on the monster. It makes doing anything risky.

It was now Godzilla's turn again. He was still aiming to go for the ranged attack option, so opted to activate his tail first; 2 dice gave 1 Action and allowed a tail sweep, which could potentially knock Kong off his feet. He missed so badly that Kong got a free attempt to grab the tail and throw him instead, but Kong missed as well. Godzilla then activated his arms to attempt a Grapple (which allows a throw). again, he missed. There was now no other option; it was time for the Radioactive Breath at point-blank range; 3 dice netted 2 actions, allowing a powerful attack. This doubled King's defence score and scored 2 wounds.

It was Kong's turn again. He activated his arms, got two actions and punched Godzilla, inflicting 1 wound. He went for a kick, activating his legs for 3 Actions - the kick was even better than the punch, inflicting 2 more wounds on Godzilla - his activation dice were now 2 pinks (I don't have any yellow) and one red. Things were looking bad for the big lizard. Finally Kong activated his head and performed an Intimidation attack; a mighty roar which caused Godzilla to lose one action of his first activation next turn.

Godzilla resorted to desperation and took the once per game option of going Berserk. This heals one wound, and gives three automatic actions with your chosen body part - in this case Godzilla's head. Once more he poured forth his Radioactive Breath, and another good combat roll inflicted 2 wounds on Kong - Kong was now on 1 red and 2 pink dice. Godzilla then took a gamble, activating his tail for 3 dice and getting a lucky 3 Actions. A mighty Tail Sweep knocked Kong off his feet:

Kong started his turn on the ground, but got 2 actions for his Legs, allowing him to stand up and kick; he missed. He then went for a 3 dice activation of the arms - the pink ones both rolled ones, and the red one also failed; this meant three rolls on the wound table, and saw Kong knocked out.

Godzilla was the victor.


So how does it work as a game? Well, it seems quite fiddly but I was playing it solo, for the first time and at the end of a long, tiring day, so my concentration wasn't at its best. With familiarity I can see it rattling along nicely. The game did seem a little static, but I suspect that more monsters, or scenarios and objectives would change this. The mechanisms are interesting, and whilst odd they actually seem to work. There's a lot of combat options, but again familiarity with the game should make them easier to remember. It's certainly one I will try again, possibly with my 'real' monsters.

Finally, since we know that Godzilla and Kong were really actors in suits, let's meet the cast:

Update: Rereading this report, and the rules I can see that I made at least a couple of mistakes. Firstly I finished Godzilla's last turn early; he could have activated his Arms as well. Mind you, with wound dice stocked up maybe not doing so was a good idea. In addition I allowed him to shoot when he was in close combat, which isn't allowed. This would have actually made for a less static game as well.

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