Sunday 12 May 2024

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre game

Our friend Graham popped round on Friday evening, bringing with him his copy of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre game.  As you can imagine, this is a gentle, fun-filled game for all the family to enjoy...

We took the part of some trespassers who have stumbled into the Sawyer house and its grim contents.  Graham played the part of the Sawyers.  We played the first scenario, where we had to explore the house and surroundings to find 2 car parts, some gasoline and the correct vehicle in which to escape.

The game features the ground floor and outbuildings on one board and the upstairs on a second, smaller board.  As you spend action points (4 per character) to move around, you make noise by opening doors, using the stairs, searching or running (moving two spaces instead of one).  These noise markers get passed to the Sawyer player at the end of your turn, they can then use them to assist their own actions, or move the "Panic Meter" along to bring on additional family members.  Vehicle markers are positioned around the outside of the house. Some rooms have yellow search markers which allow you to roll the dice to see the number of search cards from which you get to choose a single item.  "Horror" markers are placed in some rooms, these are revealed when you enter the room to cause various effects such as "Slick - you cannot start a run in this room".  Just don't look down to see what it is that has made the floor slippery...

 The dice are nice knobbly bone-textured objects, with 3 x blank, 2 x 1 slash and 1 x 2 slash markings.  They are used to find items when searching, to remove sound counters before handing them over to the Sawyer player, when fighting...

As the game goes on, you may take injuries. These come in the form of head/brain, body/heart, arm and leg, all of which include variations on how they affect your character.  My character ended up with a brain injury, which made it more difficult to search.  Laura had an injured foot which made her generate additional noise when running.

There are 3 plastic figures and 5 card figures.  This seems a bit of a shame, I need to try and find some stl files so I can print some other characters for Graham.  As you search, X markers are placed over the search points to show they've been used.  As the game progresses, these markers might be relocated to other search points, allowing you to return and search the original place again.

The game is very compact, fitting neatly into a sturdy cardboard box small enough to fit in a rucksack or shopping bag and still leave room for drinks and snacks.

We were very lucky in the first game.  We found the blue car keys on the first search, a blue car part and some gasoline a short while later, and the blue pick-up truck was the second vehicle card that we checked, so we escaped with only mild injuries.

I say mild injuries... does brain damage and a broken arm count as mild?!

In the final game, my badly injured character set fire to the barn with himself inside it.  He burned to death, but his sacrifice allowed the other character to escape.

This scenario seemed easier than the first that we tried, we just needed to locate 3 vehicles, siphon the fuel out and use it to light fires in 3 locations (barn, Grandpa's Room and the Sun Room).

 Who doesn't love a game where one of the cards you find features "Human Remains"?

Sunday 5 May 2024

Diceni 2024

Today saw the latest Diceni games show in Norwich, a free to enter event run by the Aftermath gaming club.  Proceeds this year went to the Guide Dogs.  Having a 5-year old and an autistic 9-year old in tow meant that I wasn't able to see everything, so the following collection of photographs are fairly random, but show how much there was.  What I captured is probably less than half the show!  Things I didn't get to photograph included: Pandyman's excellent WWI trench scenery participation game; a huge 2 or 3mm scale game Strength & Honour; Occult Wars spooky mansion; lots more.

Quite a few of these pictures were taken on high zoom from the balcony of Pizza Express overlooking the main hall while we were having lunch, so apologies for the slightly fuzzy nature of some images.


The event organisers

Local games cafe


Pandyman's Trench Offensive

Local games shop & venue Athena Games

3D prints for sale

1980's Afghanistan game run by Aftermath

Gilt Games

Slice & Dice games cafe

Krakon Games

Kore Games (note the tiny aircraft bottom right)

The main hall.

Great footwear sported by one of the ladies!

Number 1 Son and I joined a participation game run by Aftermath.  We took the part of 2 groups of Mujahideen.  An American supplied Huey had crashed and local tribesmen had captured the people on board.  Our objective was to locate the hostages concealed in a couple of buildings.  Our opponents were a group of Spetsnaz and some others, possibly just regular Soviet troops, who were aiming to kill the hostages.  Scattered across the board were some locals who started neutral, but would attack if they were attacked, or if we found the hostages.

Afghanistan, 1980's participation game I joined.

We managed to locate the hostages and were well on the way to evacuating 2 of them by the time we had to leave the game for lunch.  We succesfully wiped out the Spetznas team (the last one fell to one of the locals whilst searching a building).

We wiped out the Russian Spetsnaz team.

Lazy Bug Rugs

I was keen to see the ROK Minis stand, they had lots of 6, 10 & 15mm 3D printed models from a number of designers.  It included some Full Spectrum Dominance models for which I have the stl files but have only ptinted out a few so far.  I liked some of their paint schemes, I have some ideas to try on mine now.  They were wlao running a tiny game of participation game of Space Hulk but we didn't get a chance to look at that.

ROK Minis 15mm fantasy TTRPG set

ROK 15mm fantasy

ROK 15mm fantasy

ROK Gaslands set (6mm?)

ROK Minis Full Spectrum Dominance

Full Spectrum Dominance

Full Spectrum Dominance

Full Spectrum Dominance

We got the usual range of goodies from the show.  Number 2 son was given a free bag of extra large dice by Cymbeline Games, so now he can roll a D1000 whenever he feels the urge.

I bought a Ford Capri from Kore, he threw in a Mustang and a DeLorean time machine for free.

Sirplus Wargaming Emporium were dishing out goodie bags again this year.  The kids each got one, here is the contents of one bag: sprue of 3 Space Marines, sprue of 1 Dwarf, 1 Goblin, Hot Wheels car, Ty Beanie Baby bird, Pokemon cards, Disney Lorcana cards, baseball cap, post-it notes, cardboard £50 note, Simpsons keyring, pencil (hidden under hat!).

I entered a few models in the Black Dragon painting competition, sadly no prize this year, but never mind.  The organisers were overwhelmed by the number of entries, they hadn't expected nearly as many and were still judging when I had to pick up my models to head home!  I didn't get a chance to look at the other competitors' models at all.

My vehicle/mecha class entry

My squad/team class entry

Diorama class entry (may look familiar)

Single figure under 1:35 scale

Remember I pointed out the small aircraft on the Kore stand? I has some space in the competition models box, so took a couple of my 3D printed 15mm LARC (Low Altitude Rotor Craft) flyers to see if they wanted to display them on their stand.  They were delighted to do so, and I left them there all day.

Stretched Larc (top), gunship LARC (bottom)

LARC gunship.

Stretched LARC troop carrier.

It was an enjoyable day, as always, but next year I might try to go on my own, or just take Number 1 Son because he is able to focus on things a little better and can usually be trusted not to try and pick up every fragile model that he sees...

Saturday 4 May 2024

Star Wars Day - Droids

May the Fourth be with you!  A couple of my GZG droids that look vaguely familar...

Thursday 18 April 2024

AK-47 Republic Checkpoint Competition - part 3 (completion)

 At last, the finished checkpoint!

Everything came together more or less as I hoped.

It's got a few differences from the original plan, mainly due to me overestimating how much I could fit on a CD!

Overall, the changes work well, I particularly like how the white painted rocks have come out to mark the road.

The flower bed is coffee stirrers painted Humbrol 25 matt blue, drybrushed lightly with Vallejo bonewhite to weather it.  A bed of sand and brown tile grout was added for the soil, sealed in place with some watered down PVA. There are some small foam shreds for vegetation and the flower stems are tiny bits of thin guitar string painted green with teensy weensy scraps of red tissue paper superglued on for the flowers.

The flower bed has helped fill what would otherwise have been a fairly empty area on the opposite side of the road.

The barrier is a rather oversized compared to the figures, but it's not too bad.  This was hot glued in place with more sand/grout and static grass to hide the join. The little bits of scatter like the Jerry cans add a bit more interest, too.

A bit of copper electrical wire was soft enough to bend into shape to secure it as a hinge, so I can raise the barrier if desired.  It's a tight fit, so friction holds the barrier in position.

The building has come out particularly well, I think.  This was also hot glued in place with some extra grout/sand/grass to cover the gaps.

A couple of long-leafed plastic plants were hot glued in place on the raised bank around the rim of the CD.  These were really cheap from somewhere online and add to the variety of vegetation.  There are a few green dyed tea leaves scattered around here and there as well.

I tried to position the figures to tell a story.  They are superglued in place, then more grout/sand and a bit of grass to blend them into the groundwork.

"Rest break is over.  Get that rucksack back on and let's move out."

The old enamel sign table looks really good.  Plenty of rust around the edges hides the bits of ink I smudged.  A few little touches of silver complete the weathering.

I'm very happy with the rust roof too, it looks suitably decrepit.

"What the... this thing just ate my money!  Where's my cola?!"

I completed the scene just in time for the AK47 Facebook group checkpoint competition and managed to have the winning entry. This was against some stiff competition, and it has to be said that some of the other entries were completed before I'd got any further than the sketch for mine!  It's always great to see what other people have come up with, all the entries were distinctly different and they've given me some good ideas for other things I can do in the future.  The next competition, ending mid-May, is a river crossing.  I'd better start rummaging in the bits box now to see what I can find...