The third act of Andy Slack's gaming blog

Achievement Unlocked: Pile of Shame Painted.

Fully painted, the Pile of Shame go out to celebrate at the local Italian restaurant.

A Week in the Pile…

Day 16 (Friday): Discover can strip Speedpaint using damp cotton swab. Useful on Copplestone troopers where easy to paint uniform rather than gear straps. Should really give up painting smaller gear straps. Can tell players “same colour as uniform” – often true in real life, actual combat uniforms boring colour schemes. Research hair colour – statistics vary depending on study, decide on 85% black/dark brown hair, 10% brown, 3% blonde and 2% red. Out of 46 figures need one red, one blonde, 5 brown, rest black/dark brown. Nothing like gaming to broaden horizons. Probably sticking with black for guns, many colours available but black common.

Day 17 (Saturday): Remember that 10 of figures have hats and 5 are bald. Decide to count them as black hair. Rest of paint delayed; hard end stop when wife returns so decide [a] zeds are second-class citizens and get Tamiya black rather than Speedpaint, [b] guy in snow camo (or possibly NBC suit with no mask?) gets same paint job as everyone else, not Holy White. Disappointed (want to see how self-shading white works) but can live with it. Thinks: If 15mm figures suffer same scale screep as 25mm (now called 28mm but really 30-35mm), 15mm will be 25mm soon. Realise Copplestones are 35mm to top of head so roughly 1:50 scale, 18mm to top 1:100.

Day 18 (Sunday): Rain stopped spray, so no varnishing today. Check figures, paint bits I missed. Not bothering with eyes; can’t see eyes more than 45 cm away, so ignore anything can’t see at 45 cm. Arm’s length 70 cm, typical distance eye to figure if sitting 60 cm. No further progress until last of paint arrives or it stops raining.

Day 19 (Monday): Still raining, still no paint. Start assembling Fat Dragon buildings instead. Measure figures; eyes and gear straps 1mm across. Peculiarity of Copplestone figures – left thumb often oversized, 3mm long, would be 15 cm on real person, twice length of real thumb.

Day 20 (Tuesday): Sun comes out; spray varnish on catgirls and zombies, resist temptation to paint eyes and fangs. 26 of 46 figures now completed. More building assembly; does not go well. Think of better paint schemes for some models; too late for that now. Stripping didn’t work well even if had time. Make list of figures for new schemes, can be birthday present to self.

Day 21 (Wednesday): Last paints arrive; paint hair and guns in Grim Black and Runic Grey. Speedpaint greys work well as non-metallic steel, gunmetal etc. Grim Black self-shades nicely. Varnish running low; visit local model shop, drawn into extended discussion of merits of various paint ranges, impact of Brexit on VAT for overseas shipping, and train journeys in Colorado. No matt varnish; buy satin instead, can respray if looks horrible. Unable to resist painting trigger guards.

Day 22 (Thursday): Final checks and touchups, varnish last 20 figures. Achievement unlocked: Pile of Shame painted.

Pile State at End Week Three

20 discarded, 46 of 46 fully painted.

And that’s it, I’m out of time.

If you hear ’em howlin’ outside your kitchen door,
You better not let ’em in.
Little old lady got mutilated late last night –
Werewolves of London agin.
– Warren Zevon, Werewolves of London

Swallow was not a suspicious man. Most of the time, he just did his job and didn’t worry about things that weren’t his problem. But Rumpling was right when he said there was something strange about opening the wharf at midnight for a special delivery, whatever the bonus. And the muscular men dressed all in black, talking to each other in Foreign, as Swallow thought of it, were not usual either.

Certainly, over the last few years there had been a surge in activity at Cresswell’s Biscuit Factory and Winkstead Hall. Swallow couldn’t remember when Treddle’s Wharf had been so busy; and a good thing too, in his opinion, as Chigley had been on the verge of being abandoned altogether. To the best of his knowledge there was only one child left in the village, and what was left of the population could most charitably be described as ‘aging’.

The new workers largely kept to themselves, and from what he could tell, they were posh, educated people. A few had stopped by Farthing’s pottery to buy some of his weird ceramics, but that was about it as far as integrating with the community went. A more curious – or suspicious – man than Swallow would have wondered why the surge in incoming freight had not been matched by lorry-loads of biscuits going out, but that was not Swallow’s way.

Rumpling pulled his barge up to the wharf, and Swallow laboriously made his way to the crane. Between them, they connected the chains from the single container to the crane’s hook, and started winching it up. An articulated, flatbed lorry waited for it.

Swallow had the container halfway across to the truck when the weight suddenly shifted, alarmingly. He did his best to control it, but one corner dipped precariously, making it too hard to drop neatly onto the truck. He could feel something moving inside the container, hurling itself from side to side as if deliberately trying to get the container dropped. What was in there – some kind of animal? Over the noise of the crane’s diesel, he could hear something roaring, or yelling, or something. The men in black had opened up the boots of their cars and were pulling out guns, short black stubby things with banana-shaped magazines. They danced around the swaying container, trying to get into position.

Finally, one of the chains snapped, and the container dropped on one corner, the doors bursting open. At once, the men ran to that end and started firing into the container, emptying their magazines in long bursts, replacing them, and emptying them again. Swallow’s only previous experience of firearms had been on TV, and he was astonished by how loud they were in reality.

Now the cars had swung around and aimed their headlights into the container. The men in black crept forward with a heel-and-toe motion unfamiliar to Swallow. The caution seemed unwarranted to him; he couldn’t imagine any animal, however big, surviving what must have been hundreds of rounds from those guns.

It seemed that it hadn’t. The men emerged, less cautiously than they had entered, and called to each other in Foreign. Swallow didn’t understand, but one was clearly reporting, and another was giving orders. Quickly, the men took chains and a tarpaulin into the container. In due course, they emerged, dragging something towards the waiting truck and manhandling it onto the flatbed. It looked heavy, whatever it was. At one point, something flopped out from under the tarpaulin, and Swallow caught a glimpse before they stuffed it back underneath. Something long, and furry; a leg maybe?

While his men clambered onto the truck, improvising seats from which they could cover the tarpaulin with their guns, the leader jogged over to Rumpling. Seeing Swallow climb down from the crane to join them, the man waited until they were both present.

“You see nothing,” he said. “Understand? Nothing.” He gestured at the container. “That is gone tomorrow. Go home. You see nothing.” He turned and jogged back to the truck, where his men pulled him aboard as the truck fired up its engine and headed off towards the Biscuit Factory.

Rumpling and Swallow stared at each other.

“Did you see anything?” Rumpling asked. Swallow shrugged.

“Maybe. The light was bad, but it looked like a dog’s leg. Biggest bloody dog you ever saw.”

Here there be spoilers! Skip this one if you want to play the second campaign in 5150 New Beginnings without knowing how it ends!

New Hope City, 18 March 2989: Knowing Too Much

Arion meets up with Amber in Bishop’s Gate that night, and it’s all going swimmingly until a merc steps out of the shadows and points a gun at Arion. Both are experienced, but while the merc is slightly faster on the draw, he misses in the dim light. Arion returns fire, but fares no better, sparking a rapid exchange of shots, and Arion and Amber both duck back into cover.

“Looks like somebody knows I know,” Arion grates out. He pokes his head and gun hand up quickly, and the merc misses with his next shot; it’s Arion’s turn to force him to duck back; he recovers quickly and fires again, but only to cover his retreat as he fades into the night.

For the first time we invoke Police Are Called. The current Law Level is 3 (it varies by time of day and city district), so I roll 1d6-3 and get a score of 0. The cops ain’t coming.

“Come on,” Arion urges. “Let’s get inside. They’ll try again.”

New Hope City, 18 March 2989: Denouement and Spoilers!

Inside the building, Arion scales a file from his commlink to Kenglo’s display wall.

“Here’s what’s going on,” he says. “The Minister of Sport wants a high-scoring zhuh-zhuh CVL team from the B League to move to New Hope. That will bring him, and the planet, a lot of money. The zhuh-zhuh ambassador to new Hope is a close friend of the team’s owner, and can get them to relocate.”

“But there’s no opening in the B League…” Kenglo begins, before continuing. “Oh. I see.”

“Yes. There’s no opening in the B League, until there is – say, if the Rampage were to drop to the D League. That brings us to Kattan, your dead player. He bet heavily on Alien Fight Night in the Stadium, and he lost heavily too. The Minister paid off his debt in exchange for him throwing the match. Then, the ambassador hired someone to shut him up permanently.”

“How did the Minister find out about this?”

“Hard to be sure, but notice that his wife and Tatiana at the Stadium went to school together; my guess is they’re still tight.”

“Who actually killed Kattan?”

“One of Mister B.E.’s thugs, I think; that’s why he wants to know what I found out. Anyway, that’s the story; the file has all the details, they killed Ashlynn but she left meticulous notes. What do you want to do now?”

“I think Ashlynn deserves to have her last story published,” Kenglo says, grimly. “I’ll see to it. Now, a deal’s a deal; we agreed five IRD. Here it is.”

“Thanks,” Arion says. “If you’ll excuse me, people are still trying to kill me about this, so I’ll bid you goodnight.”

“Until next time, then.”

“Until next time.”

New Hope City, 18 March 2989: Parting Shot

The merc is waiting outside, but Arion was expecting that.

“Hey,” he calls from the well-lit and camera-infested lobby. “You’re too late. Kenglo knows everything. You can watch it on the news in a couple of days. So there’s no point shooting us now. Think about it. You could be risking a murder rap for nothing.”

The merc does think about it, for a few seconds; then he sketches a salute and walks away.

“I think I’ll travel a little now, for my health,” Arion says to Amber. “Are you going to be okay?”

“Yeah. I cover my tracks a lot better than you do. You’re like a bull in the proverbial.”

“That,” he says, somewhat offended, “Is done deliberately, to draw the opposition out of cover.”

“If you say so,” she smirks.

“Hi, I said I’d get back to you on how my investigation went… I know all the answers now, and I think you already did. I can’t stop the story coming out, and I can’t stop your name being mentioned; but I can give you a few days’ advance warning. By the time you get this, I’ll be offworld. No estimated time of return. Good luck, and no hard feelings, I hope.”

Team Dolphin

DRD: 4 (3 ship, 1 vehicle) – deferred to month end. 1 for failed interaction (with the merc). IRD: 5 for job payoff. Net: 4 IRD. Roll: 1356, +1 Rep. Clues: 8/8.

  • Arion: Rep 8 Star, Exotic/Jack. People 6, Savvy 6. Hard as Nails, Quick Reflexes. B2, pirate ship, vehicle. Lifetime Rep: 40.

MIA on Cheremoshna:

  • Coriander: Rep 5 Exotic/Psy. Pep 6, Sav 4. Free Spirit. A3. Lifetime Rep: 19.
  • Mr Osheen: Rep 7 Grath Exotic/Mercenary. Pep 1, Sav 2. Hard as Nails, Rage. A3. Lifetime Rep: 6.

GM Notes

And there we go, case closed, although perhaps with a higher body count than intended.

The second meeting with the merc I played as a People challenge, with failure meaning a gunfight; I’ve become quite confident in doing, or evading, things using challenges now. The first meeting was a failed interaction resulting in a firefight; that happens sometimes.

Arion now has enough Rep to recover both his former companions, but he has to find them first.

A Week in the Pile…

Day 9 (Friday): Blitz Studio Miniatures zombies. Quick and easy to paint, make excellent progress. Scaly primer accident and bubbly paint horrifying under magnification, but invisible at arms’ length. Meh, only zeds, who cares; only use them for solo ATZ. Consider sunk cost fallacy re: Mantic zombies. Spent money on them years ago, yes, but 99% certain will never use them now; so is painting them best use of time and resources? Shuffle to back of painting queue while thinking about that. Notice have splodged red paint from catgirls’ costumes onto Pallid Bone skin; discover can’t overpaint red with brown, reprime selected areas with Tamiya flat white (no, not a coffee); this reactivates the red paint in places, so wait for it to dry, try again – works fine. Let’s see what repainting does.

Day 10 (Saturday): Pallid Bone on Tamiya white different shade than on Corax White. Irritating, but won’t show up from arm’s length so decide can live with it. Glue Studio Minis zeds to bases, stable without but look better with. Progress slowed by deferred Cinco de Mayo lunch with daughter and family, spend afternoon playing seven-year-old grandson’s homebrew skirmish wargame with him; especially like remote-control exploding pig summoned by ‘good’ wizard. Kid’s got promise.

Day 11 (Sunday): Wait impatiently for moar Speedpaint, need extra colours to complete chosen schemes; rework colour schemes where possible to use existing colours, carry on. Would’ve been better to buy Mega Set initially. Gravelord Grey works well as non-metallic gunmetal; must try overpainting with Zealot Yellow to make non-metallic gold, use reactivation to advantage. Paint bases for figures with painted shoes; on a whim, use plain grey for bases as did in 1970s. Executive decision: Discard Mantic zombies – only bought Studio zeds because forgot Mantics were in cupboard, but prefer Studio ones anyway.

Day 12 (Monday): Invited to lunch and beers with old college buddies; no schedule impact, can’t go further with chosen schemes until more paint arrives.

Day 13 (Tuesday): Waiting for paint to arrive. Distract self from painting eyes on figures by buying Fat Dragon Games’ Capital City Base Set (allegedly buildings fold flat for storage). Read instructions. Start printing first building; printer runs out of ink.

Day 14 (Wednesday): Replace printer ink, print first building; instructions recommend glue I don’t have. Part of Speedpaint order arrives; start painting zombie skin, hair on bareheaded figures, trooper body armour. Bubbly primer incident gives zombie skin appearance of pustulent boils – not bad, actually.

Day 15 (Thursday): Painting slows down as need to colour inside lines; requires more concentration and smaller brush. Confident can finish surviving 46 minis next week.

Pile State at End Week Two

20 discarded, 38 partially painted, 8 fully painted (6 catgirls, 2 zombies).

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed – for lack of a better word – is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” – Wall Street

The creature turned to watch Varney, Dr Mopp and Dr Grant as they entered the viewing area. It was a bald, ugly, grey-skinned humanoid, wearing some kind of tight-fitting jumpsuit which revealed it to be female. Mopp noticed that its fingernails were unusually long, thick, and sharp; almost claws, he thought. There was something disturbing about the way its knees and elbows didn’t bend quite the right way, or in quite the right places.

“This is the source of the new DNA, I take it?” asked Dr Mopp.

“That it is, Doctor Mopp. That it is,” Varney assented. Mopp moved up to the thick window and peered at the prisoner. It – she? – glared at him in return, peeling back thin lips to reveal sharp, pointy teeth. The audio feed from the room carried the sound of almost-but-not-quite hissing.

“I’ve never seen anything like this… Where did you find it?” Mopp felt better calling the prisoner it. He might have to do unpleasant things to it later, and the less he thought of it as a sentient being, the easier that would be.

For a moment, Varney debated with himself whether to answer, and how truthful to be. He decided the truth would serve him best.

“All I know is this,” he said. “The military found a crashed… well, I suppose we must call it a spacecraft… and some of the crew were still alive. Thanks to our expertise in medicine and genetics, and our long association with the military, this one was handed over to us under NDA. We’ve kept it here for the last year or so, sequencing its DNA, experimenting, and learning to communicate with it. It calls itself Arvjuh.”

“Where do Dr Grant and I fit in?”

“The Senate is getting too interested in what we’re hiding in the black budget. We need to relocate the specimens and the research somewhere the Senate can’t reach them; Trumptonshire looks like the best candidate, for a number of reasons. We need people to run the project, and carry out the more delicate experiments personally. We hoped that could be you and Doctor Grant.”

“Won’t you have the same problems with political oversight in the UK?” Varney laughed at Mopp’s naivete.

“No, I don’t think so. Everyone has a price; the price for Members of Parliament just happens to be ridiculously low, much more cost-effective than buying Senators. We’ve also bought a controlling interest in a local corporation – several, actually – and a Peer of the Realm. No, we’re good, thank you.”

“What about test subjects?” Mopp asked.

“Oh, I’m sure your Home Office will be able to find us some people they want to get rid of. They seem to have quite the list of those. We’ve also taken the liberty of arranging to open a new medical practice in Camberwick Green, jointly owned by the two of you.” Mopp had never heard of Camberwick Green, so he could only assume it was too small to rate its own practice under normal circumstances.

Mopp wondered whether to ask what would happen if he refused Varney’s generous offer, but given Varney’s statements so far, he thought he already knew the answer. There was a shortage of test subjects, after all. He looked at Grant; she gave the slightest of nods.

“Splendid. Very well, Mr Varney, we accept. When do we start?”

New Hope City, 17 March 2989: Find

Arion decides he’s visiting this branch of Green often enough to get a loyalty card. His pickpocket friend is loitering outside, and they exchange nods, but he is hot on the trail now, no time to talk with her or with the lady reading court papers on her commlink near the window.

The starport mechanics are in their usual spot, and Arion shoots the breeze with them over a couple of drinks while he waits for the CVL players to drop in, which eventually they do.

The xeog is too wary to be cut out of the herd this time, but the hishen is both more easily extracted and less practiced at talking without giving anything away; one of his comments makes everything drop into place.

Dodging past more mechanics on his way out, Arion calls Amber.

“Amber? Yeah, it’s me. I’ve got it now; I’ve got it all. Meet me at the boss’ office. I can explain it all now.”

Team Dolphin

DRD: 4 (3 ship, 1 vehicle) – deferred to month end. IRD: 3 for interaction. Net: 3 IRD. Roll: 124, no change. Clues: 8/8.

  • Arion: Rep 7 Star, Exotic/Jack. People 6, Savvy 6. Hard as Nails, Quick Reflexes. B2, pirate ship, vehicle. Lifetime Rep: 36.

MIA on Cheremoshna:

  • Coriander: Rep 5 Exotic/Psy. Pep 6, Sav 4. Free Spirit. A3. Lifetime Rep: 19.
  • Mr Osheen: Rep 7 Grath Exotic/Mercenary. Pep 1, Sav 2. Hard as Nails, Rage. A3. Lifetime Rep: 6.

GM Notes

A repeat of encounter 6, and now we have enough clues to solve the case. I’ve been a bit coy about what they are, exactly, to minimise spoilers, but there’s no real way to avoid them next time.

I found my attention starting to wander after about clue number 5, so I think 8 clues will be too many for me next time; in future, I will assume the minimum roll on the difficulty die, so that nothing has more than 6 clues. This probably says more about my attention span than the game.

Yes, I know it’s just a pile of grey at the moment. Trust me, it gets better.

A Week in the Pile…

Day 2 (Friday): Find missing Copplestone figures shacked up with half-a-dozen long-forgotten Eureka space pirate catgirls; decide not to judge them. Some bits broken off and one catgirl tail AWOL. Discover prices have doubled since last time painted anything; grudgingly buy small bottle of plastic glue. Seduced by YouTube videos into ordering starter set of Army Painter Speedpaint; start planning colour schemes. Dig out clippers and magnifying painting light (present from wife before she turned against smell of acrylic paint and/or was replaced by alien doppleganger). Assemble first 10 zombies; simple as Studio Miniatures zeds have torso and legs moulded as one piece, but have skills fade from not having assembled minis for years. Figure what the hell, only zeds, “can fix it in post”. Find leftover white primer; blu-tack first 10 to sticks and prime them. Weird scaly bits appear on their trousers – why not anywhere else? Might need new primer.

Day 3 (Saturday): Grudgingly buy small bottle of superglue and more primer. Don’t need varnish just yet. Discover GW white primer hasn’t been called Skull White in a decade, so mine must be at least that old, not surprising went a bit weird. Assemble 20 more zombies; Mantic ones take longer – more parts, more dynamic poses. Mantics look bigger; measure, find eM-4 and Copplestone minis 31mm to eye level, Studio Miniatures 28mm, Mantic zombies at least 33mm but hard to tell because of poses. Wonder if miniatures companies do this deliberately to lock us in to product ranges? Why do they still insist these are 28mm minis? What was wrong with 25mm anyway?

Day 4 (Sunday): Have impure thoughts about buying more minis. Resist temptation for now. Assemble and prime final zombies; don’t like Mantic ones – too big, gaps appear during assembly – but decide to finish anyway for practice as don’t care if go horribly wrong. Studio Miniatures zeds develop scaly trousers even with new primer; Mantic ones don’t, so maybe it’s minis? New primer doesn’t cover as well as old one, effect on basecoat uncertain.

Day 5 (Monday): Superglue broken metal figures back together. Improvise replacement catgirl tail from paperclip, doesn’t look right but leave for now – remember being upset about getting arm wrong on Mantic zombie some years ago, but this year took three days to figure out which one so can’t have been too bad. Can always remove tail and claim this is Manx catgirl. Prime catgirls; note that while Skull White was actually white, Corax White is more of a light grey. Wait impatiently for postman to bring Speedpaint.

Day 6 (Tuesday): Speedpaint arrives, huzzah! Prime remaining figures. Bend two when they fall off priming stick onto patio; bend them back into shape but get self covered in primer. Debate whether to base with sand and grass, or have plain black or grey bases; no longer part of local wargames club so can ignore rules ‘no bare metal, no plain bases’ so decide on plain black. Based on swatches at Tale of Painters, decide to order more Speedpaints: Grim Black, Holy White, Camo Green, Malignant Green, Dark Wood. Internet research on colour of decomposing skin suggests Malignant Green good match. Search history going to cause trouble someday.

Day 7 (Wednesday): Commence painting! Speedpaint has about the consistency of ink; flows very well, so can use a fat brush for everything. Blood Red sort of meh, but Crusader Skin and Pallid Bone both very impressive; Pallid Bone very versatile, sort of pale brown. Some Mantic zombies have developed scaly trousers, so can’t be minis’ fault; appears on both old and new primer, maybe humidity? Why only on trousers? Why only on hard plastic figures? Swear off GW products for good, switch to Tamiya and Humbrol – half the price, shops easier to get to and have wider range.

Day 8 (Thursday): Acquire Tamiya black, grey and white for basing and (after prolonged hunt) Humbrol acrylic matt varnish. Continue painting, focussing on figures with confirmed colour schemes; rather than waste time dithering will mix up zeds and paint (say) trousers alternately grey, blue, brown etc. then shuffle and repeat for tops. Ordering Camo Green for soldiers good decision, Orc Green OK for civilian clothing but not body armour. Pleased with Zealot Yellow scheme for Mantic hazmat suits, more of a pale orange but looks good. Notice that Pallid Bone and Zealot Yellow both have a tendency to make tiny circular bubbles, need to watch out for those. Swear off spray primer and varnish (again), decide will use brush-on versions in future. Maybe experiment with that in this batch, could be years before next chance to paint minis.

Pile State at End Week One

All figures assembled; all primed, some better than others; 47 of 66 partially painted. On average, each figure will have 5 colours plus varnish, and putting one colour on one figure taking about 7-8 minutes. Have done 67 colour/figure combos to date, leaving 329, so 42 hours to go. Hmm, have to speed up, only 22 days left before wife and sister-in-law arrive, need to stop 3-5 days before that to ensure smell of paint adequately dissipated. Therefore must paint 2.5 hours per day; doable if don’t paint eyes or camo patterns (can fix those in post) and park idea of building terrain (nowhere to keep it anyway). Mentally shuffle Mantic figures to back of queue as they’re least likely to see use.

Cost of project to date has just nosed over £90, not counting pile of shame (which was already there, but at current prices would have cost about £70). Don’t usually notice as buy paints singly, but replacing whole set expensive. Starting to see wife’s point re: expense of hobby, must remember retired now, may be time to switch to card figures or VTT.

“I have wondered before now whether the vast astronomical distances may not be God’s quarantine precautions. They prevent the spiritual infection of a fallen species from spreading.” – C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night and Other Essays

Arvjuh settled back in her acceleration couch as the ship rose steadily towards orbit, favouring her injured arm. Even a mental blast could only do so much, and sometimes the prey got lucky.

The hishen rulers were well-informed; the Lycaons were indeed present on this insignificant backwater planet, and she had carried out her orders – she had captured one for interrogation. She could hear it faintly, banging on the walls of the modified cargo module where she and her crew had managed to drag its unconscious body. On losing consciousness it had reverted to its natural form, and that natural form was two and a half metres tall and weighed almost 200 kilogrammes. Hauling it back to the ship hidden in the woods, in the pounding rain and the dead of night, with a damaged arm, without being seen by the indigenes had been something Arvjuh did not wish to repeat.

In a short while, she would reach the Automated Transfer Point and ride the network back to the hishen homeworld to deliver her prisoner. After that, her mission would be complete, and the Lycaon would no longer be her problem.

The soft couch, steady acceleration and medication conspired to lull her to sleep.

She was awakened by the sound of her crew screaming in counterpoint to the bass roars of the Lycaon, and the noise of rending metal. Lycaon claws couldn’t be that strong – could they?

It seemed they could.

The Lycaon’s growling was deeply unsettling, even to a razor. It loomed over her, fangs and claws red with the lives of her crew.

“Take me back to Earth,” it rumbled. “Or we all die here.”

Razors are cautious and calculating to the extreme, but fast thinkers. Arvjuh thought through the options and contingencies for almost two seconds before deciding. There was nothing to be gained by having her throat ripped out by this hulking beast. If nothing else, submitting to its demands would buy her time. If it could fly the ship, she would already be dead.

“Agreed, but you must let me go free.” Arvjuh was not concerned about any surviving crew; they were hishen drones, considered completely expendable by everyone, including themselves.

“Agreed. But your ship must be disabled. I know enough to recognise the critical power plant components.”

What choice did she have?

GM Notes

I’m going to finish Arioniad season five before starting 28 Months Later in earnest, but just for fun, I’ll post some teasers of how things got to be the way they are in the campaign. Think of them as the bit before the opening credits when Netflix option the campaign for a TV series. 🙂

This one’s for Ron ‘Baddawg’ Strickland. I wish I’d known him better.

New Hope City, 16 March 2989: Find

There’s an expensively-dressed lady outside the Stadium who catches Arion’s eye, but she’s not interested in the five o’clock shadow or the beat-up spacer’s jacket with the bullet holes, so her gaze snaps past him in search of someone more her style.

There’s a group of what looks like pickpockets working the crowd, but they give Arion a wide berth; maybe the word has gotten around. Arion spots Tatiana at the bar and sidles up next to her.

“Hello Tatiana,” he says.

“You again? I’ve told you all I know.”

“See, I don’t think you have. People know I’m looking for answers, people who are trying very hard to shut me up. I imagine if they saw us talking, you could become a loose end.” She sighs.

“Okay, but this is absolutely the last thing I can tell you. Follow the money. Not the money that’s there now, the money that could be there in future. Now get out.”

Arion gets. He’s running out of leads now, but there’s one last chance; the xeog CVL player. She knows something, he’s sure. Back to Green’s.

Team Dolphin

DRD: 4 (3 ship, 1 vehicle) – deferred to month end. IRD: None. Net: None. Clues: 7/8.

  • Arion: Rep 7 Star, Exotic/Jack. People 6, Savvy 6. Hard as Nails, Quick Reflexes. B2, pirate ship, vehicle. Lifetime Rep: 33.

MIA on Cheremoshna:

  • Coriander: Rep 5 Exotic/Psy. Pep 6, Sav 4. Free Spirit. A3. Lifetime Rep: 19.
  • Mr Osheen: Rep 7 Grath Exotic/Mercenary. Pep 1, Sav 2. Hard as Nails, Rage. A3. Lifetime Rep: 6.

GM Notes

A repeat of encounter 12, in the hope of finding more clues. This is starting to become repetitive, so I decided that Tatiana would provide one clue on a successful interaction, and another on a second successful interaction. She’s got People skill 5 though, and a roll of 6 always fails, so I was lucky to get the first clue and the chances of getting both were very slight.

Still, just one more to get.

Pile of Shame: All those figures that you bought and never got around to painting.

Family business calls my better half away for about a month, which gives me a chance to attack the Pile of Shame without concern for when she might need the table or her opinions on the smell of glue and acrylic paint.

Sing along with me as I try to eliminate the Pile!

Day 1 Objectives

  • Dig out the components of the Pile from their hiding places around the house.
  • Wash any unassembled plastic minis to remove traces of mould release agent or general ick that might have built up over the years.
  • Check out the assorted glues, paints, brushes and whatnot; see what needs replacing; replace it while I am home alone with the credit card.
The Pile of Shame

Pile Status

Let’s see, what do we have here… 15 Copplestone Castings Future Wars troopers; one box of 20 zombies from Studio Miniatures; one box of Mantic zombies, which I had a half-hearted go at assembling and painting a couple of years ago. That last seems to be out of production now, so no links for you.

Hmm. I’m sure there are at least five more Copplestones lurking somewhere. Never mind, this is enough to be getting on with, I don’t need to find the missing ones before I start work on these.

I could be playing ATZ with proper zombie minis in a few weeks; I’ve wanted to do that for over a decade now, so that would be cool. If you’re good, I’ll show you some pictures.

Tag Cloud