Monday, April 25, 2016

Ekranoplan work in progress

Some time ago I purchased a Thunderwolf helicopter from Kenner's old Mega Force line of military toys to use as a transport in my sci-fi combat games. I finally got around to working on this vehicle, removing the remaining rotor and some oversized gun turrets. As you can see, it scales nicely with Ogre (and other 6mm) miniatures.
Instead of a chopper, this piece now represents an ekranoplan--a cross between a conventional airplane and a ground-effect vehicle used for transporting large cargo, such as armored vehicles, more quickly than seagoing vessels.
This model took a spray coat very well, and the paint brings out the details on it nicely. The front cargo door still opens. In my games, it will probably serve as a terrain piece/objective at first. I can also see using it as an actual vehicle in an amphibious invasion scenario, but that's a long way off.
I also created a couple of cargo containers (not pictured) from spare game pieces. Now I just need to do some detailing on the windshields, engines, and landing gear. Then it will be ready for my Ogre miniatures to fight over.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Take a ride on the Reading Railroad

The Ogre Designer's Edition has a couple of scenarios involving trains (one of which dates back to the original publication of GEV). So I decided I want one for my Monopolis battles.
I found this Micro Machines bullet train and track on eBay. It's about the right scale for games of Ogre on my large hex mat. In the game, a train comes in two sections, each of which takes up one hex, so I don't need the three passenger cars.
It also has nearly enough track sections to span my entire map. All aboard!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Modern Appendix N: Your suggestions?

Dungeons & Dragons was heavily influenced by speculative fiction of the years prior to its creation--everything from classical mythology and folk tales, through the pulp stories of the early 20th century, to then-contemporary novels. These legendaria became known as Appendix N material, so named for the section of the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide in which author Gary Gygax listed some of the many influences on his gaming.

There have been plenty of overviews of this source material--see here, here, and here, for example. And because that list of inspirational reading is decades old, folks have been suggesting additions to the literary canon.

Which brings me to my question: What are three relatively new (published within the past three decades or so) works that you would suggest to inspire fantasy gamers?

Here are my suggestions, all of which have great settings and, just as important, great characters:

  • The Deed of Paskanarrion series by Elizabeth Moon: A sheepfarmer's daughter joins a mercenary company, setting her on a path to become a paladin--but not before numerous battles with opposing armies and even creatures of darkness. 
  • Books of the Elements series by David Drake: Four citizens in ancient Rome Carce defend their empire from creatures of the Norse sagas, Native American legends, African mythology, and Indian folk tales, with pulp elements like Atlantean flying ships thrown in.
  • The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones: Two officials in medieval Baghdad team up to stop a plot against the Caliph in a swashbuckling tale that combines 1930s action with 21st century sensibility--and a djinn.
Your turn: Suggest three works (series or standalone novels) that are inspirational reading for you and your gaming.