Monday, February 27, 2012

Foundry Old West vs Knuckleduster Miniatures

Since this is my first batch of Foundry Figures from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Shainghai Peirce's Cowhands to my Knuckleduster figures just arrived about a week ago. I found that this is a good time to take a few early snaps of the figures to show you how they compare in sizes.

The painted figure is from the Knuckleduster line.

Knuckleduster on the left, one from each set middle and right.

One Foundry on each side to see the size blending.

A closer shot.

Another shot to see how they stack up.

I hope that you have found this helpful and always, feel free to comment about the blog as I always welcome feedback! Happy Trails!

Black Cat Bases

Here is some shots to accompany my prior review of various companies I just ordered from, here is some shots of Black Cat Bases figures and some overview on packaging and such...

My shipment, sleek packaging.
If I was a retailer, I would like this as it is a real space saver.

Freebie they send out with your order, a nice touch.

Some shots of the packages.

Black Cat Female Captain against a Foundry Pirate

Details of the build your own pirate pack. Mine had a small mispack and they kindly sent me replacement parts.

Two Black Cat Figures to the left and two Foundry Pirates to the right to see how they size up.

Another close up to another Black Cat with the same pirate from Foundry I used before.

Overall, Black Cat is a tad larger, but not by much and works well with the Foundry pirates that I have picked up. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Making the grade: Reviews of Companies I have ordered from.

Well, it has been some time since my last post but things have been busy of late in one way or another. Plus my energy level has been low of late which has kicked in the lazy switch. Granted I just got a few of my orders in and a few more are on the way so I now have to step up the pace to get ready to play some games by the end of March.
That said, I figure I would do some reviews on the stuff I ordered from various companies and my experiences about them. You  may notice that on the sidebar will have a few new additions soon to my recommended vendor lists. These are people I have had excellent experiences with and feel you would to.
With one of my purchases being the Foundry Old West figures from the Good, the Bad and The Ugly set. I feel it is a fitting theme for this review.
First up Black Cat Bases, I ordered some pirate stuff from them as part of some delayed Christmas money that finally got to us and I have a second order placed with them for some miniatures for Strange Aeons that should be off in the mail soon.
The Good: The miniatures are of excellent quality and well detailed, some more so than others. The price works out well as Black Cat gives you a fair price for their product. Their turnaround to ship my product was excellent and the packaging of my items arrived with no incidents. Their customer services was excellent as they followed up with my on my mispacked blister.
The Bad: My worst complaint is that I got a mispack on the mixed pirates set as it was missing some left arms thus making it impossible to build anything until I got replacement parts. They did a good job sending me some left arms and some other extra stuff in the end to be able to start work on them now.
The Ugly: My two thoughts here is the US to Pound exchange rate sucks. So, as a US customer it hurts to purchase overseas as our $ is not strong vs. the pound. The second is the wait time to get something overseas, it could take an extra 2-3 days compared to US/Canadian delivery.

Second up, FRP Games, these guys got a mixed bag order from me of both some pirate figures from Foundry as well as some Old West figures from Foundry as well.
The Good: Fast delivery and reasonable discounts on most products. You also have several companies to purchase from all at once in one easy to purchase from location. Why order from multiple spots if you don't have to?
The Bad: Back orders, if they don’t have something in stock or it is a special order item. You will have to wait, I ordered some Old West figures back around the first of the month. So, you will have to decide if the discount is worth the wait or delay in getting your product.
The Ugly: Special orders and Back orders have to be done separate from anything that they have in stock, if you want to get what they have sooner than the other product. They sent my blisters if bubble wrap packaging and arrived in fair shape, the boxes did get battered around some but nothing were damaged.

Third up, Gripping Beast, I ordered the Pirate that looks like Jack Sparrow that was simply a must have model to the collection.
The Good: The miniature quality is amazing, had a note with the other that said thank you that was hand written. A special effort that says they care about their customers.
The Bad: Tiny, even for 25mm it seems a bit small and up against Black Cat and Foundry, the guy is a bit wimpy which a disappointment is.
The  Ugly: Gripping Beast has some great figures at their site, but there are only a few pirate figs to purchase from. Again, the blasted exchange rate works against overseas buyers that have the weaker value in the exchange. Again, a few extra days having to wait to get the product overseas was my only other thoughts on downside.

Uncle Mike Worldwide, Strange Aeons, I just made my Valentines purchase for this and will be starting a new blog shortly that will be supporting this game separate from this blog. Keep your eyes tuned for links to my other two blogs including the new one!
The Good: Excellent customer service, quick to respond to my inquiry and the shipping was fast once it got in the mail. The book is of perhaps one of the best gaming quality that I have ever seen. The miniatures are made of resin and for the most part look good and with the prices of rising metal the resin idea isn’t bad. What is  nice, is there are no bubbles.
The Bad: The resin does have some flash, perhaps a bit more than the white metal version. Ordering to Canada also hurts slightly as Canada has a stronger currency factor.
The Ugly: Well, nothing bad to say here except Uncle Mike became a dad when I placed my order and caused a slight delay it seems. I can’t complain about taking care of family first and the little girl he had Olive is cute as a button.

Tell me your experiences with a company and share it here. I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lawmen Rules of Conduct (LOTOW Players Guide)

At a glance, the Lawmen hands down have access to the posse with the best Shootin’ stat in the main rules. Out of all the supplements only the Texas Rangers and the US Infantry posse can put more men on the field that are superior shots. The major problem with the US Infantry is that you have to arm the henchmen with rifles so that makes them get rather expensive quickly. Second, this is the only posse in the core rules that can have a LeMat pistol or a derringer as options at the start.

Check your guns here:

Sheriff & Deputies:  Hands down, you should have at least one LeMat pistol in your posse. Who would not want a heavy pistol and a sawed off shotgun? Yes please! After that you should consider a repeating rifle if you don’t take a LeMat. You could opt to take a sixgun as a backup for either if you have some extra $ or a hand weapon and in these cases only the sheriff should have this.

Upstanding Citizen: A 5+ Shootin’ isn’t that great. So, keep it simple! A sawed off shotgun or a sixgun is your best choice. Either a blast template that does not require skill or the sixguns to fan your shots to ensure you get one hit before you’re a target.

Vigilantes:  Shotguns, Rifles and Pistols are to order here. Depends if you want range, stopping power or on a budget. Take what will fit your model options and posse concept.

Gathering a Posse:

 Two types of posse setups come to mind when I look at this list:

1)      Range Riders

Sheriff Lematt Pistol or Repeating Rfile $44
Deputies x2, Lematt Pistol or Repeating Rifle $68
Vigilantes x5 Sixshooters $85

Concept here is simple, everyone in the posse has a 4+ shootin’ stat, you can either build a list heavy on pistols and the scattershot option of the Lematt or the range ability of a repeating rifle backing up your Viglanties as they protect the heroes from anyone getting close.

2)      Scattergun Rules

Sheriff: Letmatt Pistol or Repeating Rifle $44
Deputies x2: Lematt Pistol or Repeating Rifle $68
4 Upstanding Citizans with sawed off shotguns $88

In theory if you take the Lematt pistols on all three heroes you can have a total of 7 scatter templates to hose your opponents with. Bear in mind shotguns use the “two barrel” rule also, so that’s two shots per shotgun unless you fire both at the same time!

3)      Hammer of Justic

Sheriff:  Repeating Rifle $44
Deputies x2: Repeating Rifle $68
Vigilantes x3: Rifles $75
Upstanding Citizen: Six-shooter $12

What you have here is a long ranged posse that nobody is going to want to get in range of. Sniper your targets and keep in cover. The Citizen is optional and is more or less there to give you an extra body and can fan a six-shooter if something gets too close and the rifles have other work to do. You could save the cash to buy another Vigilante after your next game.

A word about hired help (guns):

Your posse is limited to 12 models unlike others that can have at least 15 (Cowboy and Outlaw) thus leaving you extra room to take on much else. Once you have 3 Heroes and 5 Vigalanties you just have enough space for 4 Upstanding Citizens to squeeze in after that.

The Lawmen is the posse that could do without Hired Guns unlike other groups. Unless you just want to put some overkill on the table, you would really only need to consider a specialist like the Explosives Expert or Prize fighter for example. To bring something unique to the group that would round it out.

Support Guns as I call them are a bit more useful for you and choices you can take could influence your posse in the campaign.

Campaign play:

Develop up your Henchmen into heroes when possible to ensure they are more likely to survive each game. Hired guns should only be taken when you need a critical boost to a specific development plan or style of play you’re going for. I also feel that Upstanding Citizens should only be taken once you max out your number of Vigilantes in your posse. So, depending on you’re the build you go with you want to round out the other to bulk up your numbers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Outlaws Guide to Infamy (LOTOW Outlaw Guide)

From my reading online is that the Outlaw posse tends to fall short to other types of posse groups in the game and often players are looking for solid advice. After reading over the rules here is what I have come up with as advice to current and starting Outlaws everywhere.


The Desperado Hero is the only model with 4’s for several stats. Namely shooting and fighting along with Grit. The rest of the gang takes on the average 3 for everything except the Toughs that get a Grit of 4. With the rest of the gang with a Shootin’ of  5+  life is going to be hard, but that is why you’re an outlaw anyway!

Building up the posse:

First off, take as many heroes as you can pack in. Out of all the posse choices, the Outlaws allow you to take 4 (one more than the standard 3 of most others). Kids are fairly cheap and can prove to be useful. How? If you take 3 Kids and 1 Desperado you have 5 FA points in your early games to use. Simply put, you can control a game by calling Quickdraw, Yee Haw! and Time for a Whuppin as well as modify a dice roll at a critical part of the game. That’s five there boys and girls! No other posse can bring that much Fame to the table! Not to mention the extra Hero lets you roll an extra 2d6 in income also.

Second, take as many Toughs! Why? For 2 dollars more you can get a Grit of 4! So a six-shooter needs a 5+ to wound you instead of a 4+. Harder to hurt equals longer life span as a henchmen. Plus if he gets to become a hero then blam! He already has one 4 in his stat line that makes him better than a Kid at that point.

At a glance there was four builds that hit me right off:
1)      Tons’o’Guns: The concept is simple, cheap guns and bodies. Your goal is massed firepower to bring down your opponent fast. You are playing the numbers game in essence.

Here is an example of the build I had in mind:

Desperado with pistol. $35
Kids x3 with pistols $63
Rowdies x5 with pistols $70
Toughs x2 with pistols $32

The concept here is simple, you have more guns than they do, walking on the table with 11 models to most others with 8 gives you a slight edge to numerical advantages and also lets you focus on the mission by using some as sacrificial lambs while you stick to the scenario. In a straight up firefight fan those pistols! Fill the air with so much lead you’re bound to roll a few 6’s and take more of them out than they can. Then run for cover and reload. Repeat as needed.

2)      Only the best can ride with us! Take the best of the best, you will need them!

Example Concept:
Desperado with six-shooter. $35
Kids x3 with six-shooters  $63
Toughs x5 with six-shooter pistols x5.  $80
Rowdie with six-shooter x1 $14

This is a slight variant to the first one, your maxing out on Toughs instead of taking Rowdies. While you still have the same number of heroes, the Toughs in this list are less likely to get wounded and survive as well as more likely to get advanced to a hero themselves making that bargain of $2 more a very sweet deal!

3)      Ranged Robbery!

Desperado with repeating rifle $46
Kids x3 with repeating rifles $96
Rowdies x2 with Rifle $44
Rowdie with a six-shooter $14

Deploy your rifles to vantage points and sit back and shoot your targets down and force a Pluck test before they can get close enough to inflict damage on your gang. Really, this gang isn’t playing the mission, just trying to drive off the other gang to win the scenario. The Rowdie with the pistol hides until something comes within range to give his support, after the first game you buy him a rifle. The real weakness to this list is the lack of bodies, you’re only starting with eight and rifles are slow to reload.

4)      Scattershot Special

Desperado with repeating rifle and hand weapon $48
Kids x3 with sawed off shotguns $87
4 Toughs with a six-shooter $64

This is a very hybrid posse and can be hard to play until you get used to the concept. The Desperado stays back and shoots with his rifle taking advantage of the range and high firepower as the kids hang with the Toughs to deal with anything that gets close to the gang. Hide and keep in cover until your ready to jump out and spray a target with scattershot and fan some pistols. Then run for the hills to reload!

Weapons for your Posse:

Desperado: Should take a heavy pistol or repeating rifle if possible. He has the best Shootin’ score and should take advantage of the best weapons.

Kids, Rowdies and Toughs: My only two suggestions here are six guns and sawed off shotguns. SOS requires no S stat to shoot, just aim and fire, ignores cover and hits tons of targets. Six-guns are cheap and your basic weapon that allows you to “fan” your shots. This lets you toss out tons of lead at once for that desperate shot, it is up to the dice at that point. I am all about taking down your targets quickly, if you lack the skill you make up for it with dirty tricks.

Weapon Loophole: Want to save some cash? The Outlaw weapon chart is cheaper for some weapons for heroes/henchmen than the other chart!

Cheap Hero Weapons: Six-guns are $1 cheaper and sawed off shotguns are $3 cheaper.
Cheap Henchmen Weapons: Shotguns are $2 cheaper.

With the limit of 4 weapons per model you buy the cheaper weapon off the chart with that hero/henchmen type. Example: You want to give 5 six-shooters to your 5 Toughs, buy 7 six-shooters for your Kids and allocate them out to the gang (see below).

Deploy your models and bottle out voluntary first turn. Draw your XP and basic income.  Hire your henchmen before the second game. Is it dirty? Yes it is! Is it legal? Yes. Outlaws have no code of ethics! Would I advise anyone to pull this stunt? No. I just find it funny it is there.

Taking on more hands!

After your first game, work on expanding your posse with new hires to bulk up the size and add new gear to the gang to help you in the campaign. I always suggest to take as many models that you can instead of taking on a hired gun. While a Rowdie isn’t as great as a hired gun you can get more of them for your money and no upkeep to them. You could very easy purchase two Rowdies with six-shooters for the cost of a single Gunslinger. Once you reach your max posse size then you can add extra models to your gang.

Research your hired guns. There are two types of hired guns to me. Support or Combat oriented. All hired guns have their own perks and benefits. Here is my suggested hired guns for both that I think could be worthwhile:

Combat: Gunslinger, Prize Fighter, Chinese Rail Worker, Scout, Mexican Ranchero, Knife Fighter, Explosives Expert, Pony Express Rider and Renegade Soldier.

The best fighters are the Renegade Soldier, Gunslinger and Mexican Ranchero. Top notch stats, gear, abilities and all around boosts your gang in the weak point of shooting. Close combat is found in the Prize Fighter, Chinese Rail Worker and Knife fighter. Each can be nasty in up close situations, if plan to go that route. The last three make up an odd niche if you will the scout makes a good sniper using the stealth ability, the Explosives Expert can double as a sniper and a demolitions man to toss templates or achieve goals, last is the Pony Express Rider, for $20 you get a horse, pistol and a 4+. When you’re on the cheap this is one of the best options you will get.

Support: Soiled Dove, Prospector, Reporter, Cookie and Tejano Guide

Support models have a specific use in the gang. The Soiled Dove is to harass your opponent, the Prospector a cheap demolitions expert and bonus income, the Reporter to get extra Fame, Cookie if you want a larger gang and the Tejano Guide if you want to hire Legends or get hard to find gear, his major perk (and cheap!) is the ability to move 3 models after deployment before the game. Support models give you a tactical advantage in the game. Choose wisely.