Monday, June 26, 2017

Table Two Part Duex : The Update

By some bit of incredible luck I actually got about 14 hours uninterrupted work up in the studio on Saturday and then another 7 on Sunday morning and afternoon before heading out to the barn and couldn't be happier with the results! So the basic table is set, lots of detail work on the buildings to complete as well as debris throughout the destroyed areas but super pleased overall.

Here are a few of my favorite parts of the build so far - I found a really neat Suze sign for the side of the three story building. I need to weather it up a bit though.

And a close up of the sign, and just for fun I put Oddball and his Sherman in front of it :)

I had several of the Lemax cobblestone mats from Christmas time sitting around so I cut those up to make my streets, and I think they look the business.

I needed to make sure I had cuts where the foam boards connected as well, so unfortunately I have several cuts throughout the streets which is a bit disappointing, but surely something I'm going to focus on more than anyone else.

I ended up deciding to pull the ruined church off it's base I originally had it on as it allowed me a bit more play with where I could place the church.

And you can see the final spot I decided on below.

I brought the cobblestone street down in front of the church and then turned it a bit so it goes off the edge of the table. And I also have a nice crossroads that will surely be a contested area.

And the completed street. Still was playing around with what exactly I wanted to go across from the hill - at that point I had another bombed out building, but end up deciding on a fenced field.

Like the other table I made some raised hill areas so the board wouldn't be a football pitch. I used Woodland Scenics plaster cloth to build the hill over the newspaper and foam board.

At this point I'd got flock done around the church and made a dirt path to the cobblestone. Much destruction needs to be redone around the church and bomb craters now that it's off its base.

A partial vegetable field. What's neat about the board is I will easily be able to expand it from any side to make it 6x4 or 8x4 or 6x6. I think that could be pretty fun - to try to recreate a little town.

Looking down the back street.

And an overview of the table with all the buildings placed and almost completely flocked.

Meanwhile, back over on the other board, I thought it would be fun to get some Hydra banners on the manor just to give it a bit more of that Hollywood flavor.

I found some banners online, sized and printed them out and then decided to try something different with them. I glued them onto tinfoil as I thought that it would give them more of a "wavey" look.

And I think I got the look I was after :)

So yeah, I've really almost got a Bolt Action board don't I!? I'm sure I'll use it for that too, but the narrative I'm looking for here is Agent Carter and the Howling Commandos in a race against Hydra to find the Tesseract or some other object of power hidden in the church. So in a way very much like the beginning of the first Captain America movie, except this time Hydra will have a tougher opponent to get the Tesseract. I'd really like to utilize at least one of those blue lights I bought to make the major plot point a bit more recognizable on the table, so we'll see if I can make that happen. The other thing is that it's becoming clearer that the 7TV rules really won't fit with this new narrative I'm going for, so it looks like I'll be changing to Pulp Alley - which means I need to start writing up some leagues and getting some test games in. I think this will be a good thing as the test games I ran the 7TV rules, which are really written for two people, needed a lot of modifications to work with four players (and especially being a convention game too, but that could also just be my inexperience with the rules set, no real knock on 7TV). I know Pulp Alley will have no issues handling four players so more on that soon.

Lots happening, moving in the right direction, let's just hope I can keep getting a few days of uninterrupted studio time :)

As always, thanks for looking!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A New Idea

First, apologies for the semi-melt down the other day! When you have a vision and don 't see it being able to be completed it can be frustrating. One thing that working on the farm really allows is for me to have a ton of time alone around the property. And usually it's when my mind is racing with ideas and thoughts of the past and future.

I was in the pastures yesterday when I couldn't stop thinking about Historicon and in a lightbulb moment it hit me "Why am I completely focused on a 1946-47 Agent Carter setting in the US when I can easily put her in Europe during the war?" And I'd even written about that as a possibility for the story in early posts about the game!? Seriously, what's wrong with me?!

Probably because, number 1, I already have the narrative submitted to HMGS and it's in the PEL as that, and number 2 because I continue to watch and have in the background the Agent Carter tv show on while working, which of course is set in that time period. This is pretty much been my bedtime routine for quite a while now, reading through the books and watching the show.

If I put the narrative in Europe during the war I have pretty much everything I already need built, there definitely would need detail work done, but it's nothing like what still needs done with the underground facility. I feel an incredible sense of relief that I can still pull this off and now even possibly leave it where, like a cliff hanger season finale, next year actually have the facility built and ready for Historicon and the narrative continues from there.

So part one would be built around finding the McGuffin in the bombed out church, which has been sitting on the floor for the past 3 months or so and I walk by it every time I'm up in the studio, and then part two the manor. Story wise I'll need to sort the details out but I feel that it's there - somewhere anyway!!

I have an entire town of 4Ground buildings to represent a destroyed city, as well as trees and roads. Again though, detail work will have to be done on them.

I have several "field" Carter's and the Howling Commando figures, as well as the Hydra soldiers, ready so that's a big item to be able to check off. Here are the Carter figures - the first one will definitely be the one used for the game, almost identical to her outfit in the Agents of Shield episode she was in, as well as season one of Agent Carter when she met up with the Howling Commando's in Europe.

Here are some of the Howling Commandos. I have that first version of Steve Rodgers Captain America on the right, you can kind of see the star under the jacket. I have a Dum Dum figure but the head is all wrong. We'll see what we can do about that.

A few more commando possibilities, as well as another Zola in white lab coat, and a couple of Red Skull options.

Hydra Soldiers - armed to the teeth though. That will have to be adjusted for gameplay balance without question.

Fingers crossed that we've found a solution and that I can pull it off in time. It's always an emotional rollercoaster here at Studio 13 lol!!

As always, thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reality... Unfortunately

Summer is always without question the busiest time of year for the farm. Horse shows 2 to 3 times a month, the daily maintenance of 56 acres and 6 horses - I'm normally at around 50 hours worked per week. But add in everything that this year has brought - the monthly 2 day clinics with our Olympic team members Boyd Martin and Richard Picken, two area rider fund raisers at the farm in the next two weeks, Jakob's graduation two weeks ago, Jakob's 18th birthday tomorrow, Jakob's graduation party now apparently scheduled for July 9th, my sister-in-law will be back in the states from Chile in less than 10 days, the farm next door (who has 42 horses) lost their farm manager so I've been going over there each morning and making almost 100 buckets of grain which takes over 2 hours to do, and freshman orientation at University of Cincinnati is July 7th and 8th, my feed business that has increased quite a bit in the last year which takes me all around the area making deliveries, that's probably another 15 to 20 hours a week.... for my own sanity I'll not continue with more!!

I just don't see how I can finish the second board for the Agent Carter game. Weekends were going to be when I got the bulk of the work done and that has pretty much been taken away from me over the last month or so, and definitely in the next 3 weeks.

I'm extremely frustrated, and honestly pretty mad - if I had the slightest idea that the months before Historicon would snowball into this kind of chaos I absolutely wouldn't have committed to run a game. I knew there was a lot going on in May, June, and early July but nothing like what has happened. Especially because this years Historicon was really important in regards to attendance and the number and quality of games being run. I didn't want to ultimately impact that in a negative way which I now feel I will.

And a big part of it is my own fault - for not knowing 100% what I wanted to do initially, that really cost me February through March which is when I had nothing going on at the farm. At this point it should really be nothing but playtesting, all terrain should have been completed.

Lots of hard lessons learned over the last few days. The thing I absolutely don't want to do is bring a game that is not 100% ready or 100% complete. I've played in games like that at Historicon and it was nothing short of a disaster. I know a few of you who read this signed up for the games and I owe you all a huge apology.

Enough of my complaining - I have been working despite no time and just being exhausted everyday. I've been working through my computer terminals from Crooked Dice, painting and adding styrene strips to cover up the MDF connections.

Here are the styrene strips with a coat of silver paint on them. I should have painted them after cutting (and have since) because I had to do touch ups around the edges after I glued them onto the models.

You can see what an improvement it makes.

I also went back and added another part to Sousa's crutch as I missed the brace around the wrist.

Watching the series again while I have been working I really can't believe I missed that detail the first time around.

I was also able to use one of the figures from last years The Chicago Way game that didn't make it down to Fredericksburg. This figure came from the Prohibition Agents set from Great Escape Games.

This is an absolute perfect representation of Dr. Jason Wilkes from season 2 of Agent Carter. Even has the suspenders, though they are probably pretty hard to see in the photo. I used a cut out for his tie to make it a bit more interesting.

I went through and got all the minion good guys and bad guys based onto their clear bases.

Here are some of the more "important" minions because they are wearing different colored uniforms :)

Female scientist working for the evil Isodyne Energy.

This guy has the secret formula for Zima in his briefcase, someone needs to shoot him :)

The color of the uniform on the bad guys is something I really like a lot. The off yellow suits them perfectly I think.

This is my favorite figure of all the bad guys - reminds me of the character from the movie "Von Ryan's Express", it's the eye patch.

The complete bad guys minions group.

And some of the good guys in a more military type of uniform. These guys are pretty cool and hopefully I'll be able to use them in several scenarios in the future.

They are much more heavily armed though then their counterparts. For game balance that will be something that I'll have to be aware of.

And a group shot. Several female figures too, which is a nice addition.

I got all the casts together, with their bases outlined so you won't lose your figures on the table. The first good guys cast with Peggy Carter, Jack Thompson, Jason Wilkes, and then two generic agents.

The second good guys cast lead by Daniel Sousa, Edwin Jarvis, Howard Stark, generic agent, and Dr. Samberly.

The first bad guys cast with Whitney Frost, Dr. Armin Zola, Joseph Manfredi, Calvin Chadwick, and generic thug.

The second bad guys cast with Vernon Masters, Dottie Underwood, Rufus, Hugh Jones, and generic thug.

I completed cards for the entire good guys cast but still need to get photos of the figures to help with identifying them on the table.

Close up of the Carter and Thompson cards. I just copied everything from the original cards, the special effects, star qualities, ratings, I just changed the names to make it simple because the explanations of all the qualities and effects are on the reverse of the cards.

Stark and Jarvis. I like how Jarvis has the "Screamer" special effect :)

And finally just for fun Dr. Emmett Brown got put onto a clear base.

Complete with radiation sign.

And to complete the effect, the Hot Wheels Back To The Future Delorean!

Well, not much more I can say. Pretty bummed honestly. I will continue to try to do as much as I can when I can. Again, apologies to those reading this who have signed up for the game :(

As always, thanks for looking!