Saturday, 30 December 2017

Vampifans Views 100 - Monthly Musings 72

It's my end of the month musings and also my 100th Vampifan's Views post and 100th post of 2017. Yay! 😊 This month's Vampirella picture offering is by Tim Sale, who has done a lot of work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. I don't have a lot to say about it other than I like it. Tim has certainly given Vampi a most impressive cleavage!

This year, Christmas was a strange affair for me as it was the first time I have spent it on my own. My mother, whom I live with and care for, has been very ill this past year and has spent more time in hospital than at home. Sadly, she was kept in hospital over the festive period. I did spend a couple of hours with her on the afternoon of Christmas Day, which cheered us both up a lot. But it was not the same being all alone the rest of the time. I do think that if she survives 2018, it will be a miracle, but who knows what the future might bring?

My mum gave me a big cheque for me to buy whatever I wanted for my Christmas presents and I spent it on gaming stuff, paying for two Kickstarter projects I backed in December. With the recent release of Necromunda by Games Workshop, I am devoting a lot of my time to that game by building up a large collection of scenery. The official scenery by GW is very nice but far too expensive, so I've been looking for cheaper alternatives and the best deal, in my opinion, are the Industrial Hive Complex sets produced by TT Combat. Check these three sets out.
TT Combat Industrial Complex Set 1

TT Combat Industrial Complex Set 2

TT Combat Industrial Complex Set 3
They just scream Necromunda, don't they? These three sets cost £43.95, £40.95 and £38.95 respectively. You can pay as much as £70.00 for just one platform item (the Promethium Refinery set) from GW, so this is a considerable saving. I was going to wait until mid-December to order these in time for Christmas but ended up buying all three sets on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. The reason being, if you ordered them on that weekend you'd also receive an exclusive Escher ganger and Goliath ganger figure as well. These two figures are beautifully cast in resin and will be unbelievably rare. I'm busy painting them up right now so I'll showcase them very soon. My TT Combat sets were put away and I didn't open them until Christmas Day. I also ordered a few other official Necromunda scenery items from Wayland Games, because they offer them at 20% discount on most GW items. So I guess you could say I've had a Necromunda Christmas. Of course these scenery items will also see use in my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game and in my N.E.W. games.

Currently on my painting desk are the new Goliath gangers for Necromunda and some more Weird West figures. I have recently finished painting some figures for Judge Dredd, the Skinwalkers faction for Dracula's America and a lot of miniature starships as I build up my fleets for my The Ace of Spades Campaign using the N.E.W. role-playing rules. I think the reason that my painting output has increased so dramatically this past year is because I've spent so long at home on my own. Not having to care for my mother has given me a lot more free time to devote to my hobby.

Looking back on 2017, I'd say it has been a great year for me hobby-wise, possibly the best ever. There were a few highlights for me and the one I'm most proud of is that I posted more batreps in this year since I began blogging way back in 2009. I started off in January with my Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign, which used the Comic Life format to great effect. Expect to see more of this campaign in 2018. In June I spent a most enjoyable weekend in the company of Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop and he introduced me to his Death Match sci-fi gladiatorial game. Also in that month I took part in the Forgotten Heroes challenge. I originally planned on sculpting the two human characters from the Bug Hunters comic strip but surpassed my expectations by converting the four robots as well.
Kimberley Wells, the sexy and charismatic captain of The Ace of Spades.
In July I began a new blog devoted to the What's Old Is New role-playing games. This quickly became a labour of love for me as I created a unique sci-fi setting in which to set a long running campaign featuring the all female crew of The Ace of Spades independent scout ship. The first scenario of the campaign ran to 16 parts, which was a mammoth undertaking on my part but by far and away my favourite gaming experience of 2017. Indeed, I have to say that playing that scenario was my favourite gaming experience ever! Everything about it worked so well - the figures, the scenery and most of all, the story. It also introduced me to starship combat, something I had never done before. I enjoyed it so much that I am now building up a large collection of starships to use in future scenarios. Suffice to say, there will be a lot more stories to tell in this campaign throughout 2018, starting with the next chapter in January.

That was the past. So what of the future? What are my plans for 2018? Pretty much more of the same, which means more figure reviews and more batreps. As I said above, the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game campaign and The Ace of Spades Campaign will continue. I hope to do some batreps for Rumbleslam and Necromunda, although the latter will have to wait until I get the Escher and Goliath gangs painted as well as the scenery items. I also hope to be able to finally get some Weird West games played. I am slowly building up a collection of Wild West buildings, most of which are produced by 4Ground. By Easter, I should have enough made to run a small skirmish, either with the Dracula's America or High Moon rules.

All that remains is to wish you all a very happy New Year. I hope it's a good one for you.

24 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about your Mum's health and spending so much of Xmas on your own. A lot going on hobby wise for you at the moment, hope you have a great 2018

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    1. Many thanks, Dave. I don't like talking about my real life problems on my blog, but I felt this was an appropriate point to explain what's been going on. This was far from a normal Christmas for me, but despite that, I'm in good cheer.

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  2. I've certainly enjoyed reading your WOIN posts, so great to read that you've more ideas for the campaign.

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    1. Much appreciated, Roy. The next chapter in my WOIN campaign will be an exploration mission for the crew of "The Ace of Spades" and will appear very soon.

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  3. Happy New Year, Bryan, and I wish both you and your Mother the very best of health. Despite your 'lonely' Christmas you have really pulled out all the stops posting this year, and I entirely agree that this has been a corking twelve months of productivity for one; especially with your "Judge Dredd" and "WOIN" campaigns. Very much looking forward to 2018 and seeing all that scenery painted up and featured in BatReps :-)

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    1. Thank you kindly, Simon. I'm hoping that 2018 will be just as productive as 2017 was for me. There is nothing wrong with my enthusiasm or mojo and health-wise, I'm doing very well. I'm just not sure how long my mother will hold out. She does appear to be in a downward spiral at the moment but hopefully, she'll pull through. If not, I'm prepared for the worst.

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  4. Sorry to hear about your Mum Bryan, and I really hope she picks up.
    On a brighter note, congratulations on your double century (1oo musings and 100 posts this year) - every one of them inspirational in its own way, and I thank you for them!
    You certainly have been 'in overdrive' recently, and the news that you spent Christmas on your own kinda explains that to an extent, and also proves how therapeutic our 'distraction' can be.
    Thanks to the modern wonders of the interweb, you never have to be 'alone'.
    Looking forward to what Vampifan's World and WOIN bring to 2018, so really do hope you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR my friend!

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    1. I greatly appreciate your kind words, Greg. Without any doubt, my hobby has been a great distraction for me this past year and what a godsend it has been as well.
      The many friends I have made as a result of the internet have certainly made me feel less alone, and for that i am truly grateful and humbled.
      I'm hoping for a happy new year. Fortunately I do have a very positive outlook on life, which helps a lot, as it so easy to get sucked into a deep well of depression. All the best to you, too, my friend.

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  5. Hi Bryan - I've finally sorted a Google account out as I am going to have a more regular internet connection in the future than in the past and can follow more of what you are up to.
    I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you were to me when I first discovered your blog 5 or 6 years ago. That initial campaign with vampifan was brilliant, I have it all saved on my hard drive, for when the dead really do rise and the internet goes down. I will have something entertaining to read, in between surviving and searching for food.

    I hope your mum improves and is able to make a full recovery, Christmas on your own is no fun for either of you.
    All the best for the future.
    Cheers John

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    1. John, how wonderful to hear from you and to have you on board. I'm delighted that you are going to have a more regular internet connection. If you start your own blog, please do let me know its address so that I can follow you.

      It is so heart-warming to still receive comments like yours saying just how much my ATZ campaign influenced you. That was a labour of love for me. I'd love to get back into zombie gaming but I have so many other projects on the go it's hard to find the time.

      All the best to you too, John.

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    2. Hi Bryan - as part of the google account set up I have started a blog which I intend to use as a means of recording my game reports. I think if you click on Vagabond above it will show the link to my Blog. I made a bugger of setting it up and so I have 3 but the Vagabond one has the content on it. You should maybe read the 1st post because you are mentioned in it. Hope you don't mind.
      Cheers and Happy New Year.

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    3. Wonderful news, John. I'm a follower of your blog and I've added your blog to my list of favourite blogs in my sidebar. I was honoured to be mentioned in your first post. I, too, wonder whatever happened to Whitestar? We were good friends then he suddenly stopped blogging.

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  6. Necro scenery LOOKs amazing and will I am sure make games far more fun. While I will not be buying any I am watching all your Necromunda stuff with MUCH interest.

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    1. Thank you, Clint. "Necromunda" is going to big project for me as it is a game I have a great deal of affection for. Expect lots of posts next year about it.

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  7. Happy New Year to you and your mother.
    Keep up the posts.

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    1. Cheers, Phil. All the best to you. I have no intention of stopping or slowing down my blogging. :-)

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  8. A post of milestones - a great way to wrap up the year.

    I know you don't have to be told this, but cherish whatever time you can have with your Mother :) Best to you in the upcoming year Bryan!

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    1. Thank you, Russ. I do indeed cherish the time I can spend with my mum. All I can do is take each day as it comes and hope for the best.

      Good wishes to you and your family, my friend.

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  9. I hope your mum recovers well mate, I missed mine over Xmas too.

    A good hobby year for you I think and a better one ahead I’m sure

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  10. Happy new year Bryan. Looking forward to seeing some of your new projects. Love the scenery. Necromunda sounds great. I am working on Frostgrave still and organizing to do some new 40k, I haven't done an army in 10+ years.

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    1. A very happy new year to you too, Roger. Best of luck with your "Frostgrave" and 40k projects.

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  11. Thanks for sharing Bryan. I enjoy your monthly musings so the annual is probably my favorite of the year. A run of the mill hobby article usually addresses an object or event concisely, but I enjoy the examination of self that comes with the review of a larger body of work. Best wishes in this New Year at home, and in hobby.

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    1. That's a lovely comment, HP. Thank you so much. All the best to you for 2018.

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