Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Here Be Monsters...

Or "guess what the postie delivered today!"

2 Monster bodies, 4 heads, and lots of bits and bobs - good job I have a couple of weeks free methinks.

The parcel was a welcome sight as I want to get on with painting some new Pulp City stuff and it also contained the latest releases: Loup Garou II & Moonchild/Moon Coyote; Arquero & Riposte. Reinforcements for the Blood Watch and the Coven, as well as some new Hero/Villains - a good all-round mix then.

I just need to decide how I want to build these Pulp Monsters then, and which heads to use...

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Comic Life

Anyone perusing my recent style Battle Reports has seen the fruits of the Comic Life software, and following a post on the Pulp City Forum I thought I would offer a few of my thoughts on Comic Life (from Plasq) as a product.

There are other products out there that do a similar job, including some freeware such as Comic Book Creator.

Having tried Comic Book Creator, I found it a little restricted and slow for my liking. Comic Life hit the spot in many ways with simple manipulations such as zooming images so that only the part of a picture you want is in the frame, as well as a wide array of manipulable page layouts. Add in font effects, speech/thought bubbles, and so forth and a nice basic package is available. I sometimes do some 'post-production' in GiMP or Photoshop, which is easy enough once you have exported your image to an appropriate format such as JPEG. Overall it is a pretty accessible package that has a number of helpful features for making this style of report.

I rather quite enjoy using Comic Life to present my Battle Reports; there are times I have had stop and scrap a page here or there simply because I started on the wrong flow of selected pictures, but even human errors like that have rarely slowed me up much. As I become more and more familiar with Comic Life I find it usually takes less than 2 hours to finish up a 4-8 page Battle Report. I would recommend spending a little extra for the deluxe version since it adds a lot more options.

Saturday, 27 August 2011


A new 'welcome post', on this occasion to hendybadger whose nickname I recognise from posts on the Pulp City Forum. I am more than glad to have you aboard Mr. badger! I really appreciate your signing up to this fan's blog about his favourite game and minis range.

While on the subject of the Forum, just to say (and I guess I am biased as I post a lot there) that I find it a helpful and friendly place and that it has been very cool to see new converts to the game joining up and posting.

On other stuff I have been prepping some more zeds along with loads of absolutely-not Pulp City stuff. Unfortunately my limited renewed progress on the Hadrons has (temporarily) halted, but as I have two weeks leave starting Monday I hope to rectify that situation. And hopefully I will be receiving some new minis in the post in hat time.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Sewers Terraclips (Sewers Of Malifaux - Terraclips 3D Terrain System)

A new buy for me; a new release from Worldworks Games and linked to the Malifaux tabletop minis game.

As usual, click on pics to embiggen them.

I have been planning to run some sewer set Encounters for Pulp City for a while now; I can envisage vigilantes chasing down Villains to secret lairs or stuff being 'lost' down below. I toyed with making my own or buying appropriate components.

Time prevented me building my own, and time, cost and finding exactly what I wanted stopped me looking any further with the pre-cast resin options (some nice stuff out there, just nothing ‘quite right’).

So when I learned of this set (and its companions) from Worldworks Games, I knew it would probably be my best option.

I haven’t bought it as a Malifaux player, but hope it may see some use eventually for generic pulp games, VSF, steampunk etc.

First Impressions
The box felt heavier than I expected after pre-ordering it. On opening the box each sheet looks tightly packed with pieces, so no worries about significant ‘wasted’ space on sheets really – I think they have crammed as much as practically possible in which is good news.

The finish of the card components is nicely matt – I had been worried about seeing a gloss finish to the pieces since that would create possible glare for photographs for Battle Reports.

The parts include floors (in two sizes: 3 inches x 3 inches; 6 inches by 6 inches), walls, archways and doors at 2 inches high and lengths to match the floors; all are double-sided. There are a number of counters also, balcony pieces and stairs for multi-level layouts.

I tried a dry fit assembly using the separately available connectors. Popping out the parts was smooth enough for the most part, only some of the very small linking pieces were a minor problem.

Putting a layout together was pretty straightforward, although after doing so I would suggest maybe laying out the whole flat board and planning where you want any walls etc. to save messing around with any need to change connector types. I didn’t try out the stairs at this time or balcony – that will keep.

I found that you need to be careful with arches with narrow wall surrounds – the card would start to bend going into the snug connectors.

All told though, maybe 10 minutes or so needed for a first time layout of 12 x 18 inches, which I imagine will get quicker with familiarity.

The Good
A single pack offers me the minimum I need and a little more to create a useful Pulp City board for sewer-set games. The art is uniform, no parts stand out too much for any of the wrong reasons and I was surprised that as the layout grew, then the connectors appeared less intrusive than I first feared.

It is nice that all parts are double sided offering a lot of variety. It was certainly a great time saver over what I would have needed to commit to create my own sewer layout. For the time-strapped gamer this kind of product is a real boon.

There are a lot of options for multi-level playing areas which for a sewers with the risk of a flat area creates nice tactical options.

The Bad
The price – it isn’t cheap, especially factoring in the cost of connectors which are compulsory to be able to change the layout at all with some solidity of build. It is cheaper than say some of the resin options out there, but probably more expensive than foam and MDF materials to create my own layout. That cost is mitigated by the fact that the only work needed is assembly. However the cost is compounded by the need to buy the connectors.

While for Pulp City this cost is contained since the required playing area can be thankfully small, it looks like one set will only make a 24 inch x 36 inch square (or permutations thereof) at most. Some creativity with negative spaces blocked by walls may increase that a little further, but the point is that larger areas are going to need more sets, such as the standard Malifaux 36 x 36 inches – it seems curious that the packs have been devised in such a way that two are required to play the game they are linked to. For games using 48 inches x 48 inches as a standard playing area (such as Anima Tactics), then with three or four sets needed I think cost looks to be prohibitive.

Also be aware that care needed with linking some of the finer components, both in handling and what to fit where as there are two widths of sewer channels to work with.

Finally, there is a grid-like approach to things on the board pieces; add in knowledge of wall lengths and application of a little mathematics (thank you Pythagoras!) and games that preclude pre-measurement of distances will be hamstrung by using this product. Just an unavoidable fact I guess.

I feel it is a product suitable for my needs, and I look forwards to getting in some gaming using the set, but I advise caution for anyone needing more than one set as the cost will be a big investment. I am satisfied with this purchase and will be buying a second sewer set, but won’t for instance trade up my current urban board terrain if ever a city-scape type of set was released.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Invasion: UK

We played quick game after we did the Merlin's Reach Encounter, and this time I was absolutely hammered!

To see which side I lost with, read on...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Nocturnals Volume 1: Black Planet & Other Tales

I had been aware of the Nocturnals comics for a long time without ever trying them out. I recently took the plunge with the second hard-cover (it was a cheaper 'tester') and I am so very glad I did. I was even aware of Dan Brereton through the excellent DC Elseworlds story Thrillkiller (sadly out of print as far as I know), I simply missed out on Nocturnals for whatever reasons for around 17-18 years.

The Nocturnals centres on exploits of a supernatural cast of characters led by Doc Horror and his daughter Eve in Pacific City, a fictional California town which seems to have more than its fair share of paranormal activity. The series features an eclectic mix of pulp-crime influenced storytelling, monsters and the phantasmagorical, an array of colorful characters, mostly rendered in Dan Brereton's readily recognisable painted art style.

Nocturnals Volume 1: Black Planet & Other Tales is a handsome volume with its black leatherette cover and nice production values. It presents the stories that are reprinted therein in a great way and so over the last couple of nights (I think this kind of stuff needs to be read at night!) I have dived in and devoured them all.

A fan of comics for over 30 years, my sensibilities have been very directly superhero orientated. I was never interested in other genres such as crime or monsters/horror, yet the Nocturnals takes all of those blending them with verve into a brew that is most heady. Having begun to engage with Dan Brereton's fantastically realised world I only wish I had started sooner - but then again if I had, maybe I wouldn't have been prepared to embrace the stories and art the way I do now, so maybe all good things come to those who wait?

I think Nocturnals is one of those overlooked gems. It has not had the same high-profile associated with Mike Mignola's Hellboy, yet has an equal depth in my view. And yes - I do wish this were made into a movie, by someone like Tim Burton or Alfonso Cuaron.

If you like comic books, horror, pulp sci-fi, and pulp crime, and more besides, then you could do worse than try and pick up one of the collected editions; even if alas they can be hard to find.

New Releases And Free Shipping From Pulp Monsters

I don't normally post about new Pulp City releases except when I have had them in hand, but since Pulp Monsters (Pulp City) are offering free worldwide shipping until the end of the week on minis (but not rule book), I thought it was highly appropriate to do so at this time.

The latest wave has been released yesterday: Loup Garou II & Moonchild/Moon Coyote; Arquero & Riposte; Perun; Pulp Monster Deluxe Kit.

From the announcement on the Pulp City Forum:

"The news are in the store! Two new boxes, Perun (w/cards)... and very limited Ultimate Edition of the Monster (incl. all variants!). Good? No, it gets better! Until the end of this week, all orders over 30 Euro ship FREE worldwide (excluding ones with the Rulebook)!

Getting into Pulp City was never easier!"

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mini Update

I actually dragged the Hadrons out of the cabinet 'awaiting painting storage queue' last night and slapped them around briefly with the hairy sticks. I had a problem in painting I needed to work out and I *think* I may have resolved it - hopefully! so there may be more progress on these this week back pain (and therefore sitting) permitting.

On other minis I have been looking for some stuff missing since the house move. Particularly some modern zombies.

Zeds. Walkers. The dead. Deaders.

Call them what you will, I need ta lot for an upcoming game. I have finally found 24 under-coated minis, mostly Studio Miniatures with some smattering of Hasslefree, Crocodile Games and Tengu, so work should resume on them soon. especially as I have been catching on watching The Walking dead (which has been ace, by the way) and I have the volume 1 hard-cover of the Walking dead awaiting reading!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Battle Reports

Before I get round to posting the latest (preview in the image, right) I just thought I would post a couple of words about these. Please note that the good pics are pretty much almost always Rob's, so credit where it is due on that score.

I have tried a couple of the comic creator software options, and Comic Life suits me very nicely I have to say. It would be better with some added simple transparent SFX options, but hey, as is it is nice to work with and images after being exported can be manipulated or added to with say Photoshop or GiMP. It isn't free but it is nice. there are freeware products with similar but possibly lesser capability out there.

I have done 4 'comic style' Battle Reports so far, (with a fifth on the way soon, and another redux of an old text and pics type report ready for later in the year), so I hope enough of you enjoy reading them. The spirit and cultural origins of the game suit the style very well in my view.

Anyway for anyone who may have missed the label (Battle Reports), here are links to the four so-far posted Comic Life-created reports:

Rooftop Rumble - an Encounter set on high above the city streets.

Seize the Isotopes (redux) - a Quest ensues as ARC Supremes and mixed bag of Heroes race for experimental isotopes lost on the city streets.

When Rampages the Beast! - Heroes face down a Monster threat!

The Souls of Merlin's Reach - Heroes led by Sovereign seek to protect the lost souls of this pocket dimension within England from the predations of Villains intent on consuming the power therein.


It looks as though another of the GOG contributors has signed up as a Follower, so without further ado, welcome aboard Eddy Artillery (a super hero or villain name if ever there should be one!). From Tea Urn's messages you guys are picking up on Pulp City which is great - the more the merrier. Thanks again to Eddie Artillery, as well as the other GOG guys, and to everyone else of course. 75 Followers for this little blog - who would have thunk it?

Thinking of the GOG guys and us UK based players/fans as a whole, I understand there could be news in September about UK distribution, so fingers crossed.

And speaking of the UK (subtle segue here! Okay nothing is that subtle about the Pulp Citizen...), I have the second of the two 'UK-themed Battle Reports finished this morning. Much shorter and I should post soon.

After these non-urban games I now have in mind a hell-themed/lava-themed board in mind which could pull double duty for a number of games (like Anima Tactics, WH40K, maybe Hell Dorado if I take that up) as well as Pulp City. Doing these two games was a nice change for us I reckon.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


The Pulp Citizen is fortunate to welcome another new Follower. This time Silverback, a contributor to GOG Online (link here) an eclectic minis blog. Another contributor is Tea Urn so I am glad to have you fellows aboard.

I enjoy blogs that take a broad brush view of minis offerings, and that don't take themselves seriously, so GOG Online is certainly recommended.

On the Pulp City front I have another Battle Report to work up, and further out have a stash of non-Pulp City minis to get ready for September or early October by the latest, for a very special future Battle Report...

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Souls of Merlin's Reach

A little different this one. We envisaged a game set outside of Pulp City to allow a visually different experience and a contrast to previous reports.

The game was played using the Quest Plot, but using three objectives to go away from the usual middle table pile-in.

Click on images to embiggen.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Battles Today

Rob and I managed two games today, one a modified version of the Quest Plot and the other a straight Smackdown! Honours were even, and we put some newer Supremes into play, some lesser used Supremes, and some old favourites.

Hopefully I will cobble together a suitable Battle Report for each, but the image accompanying this post is a taster of the clashes.

More soon...

Saturday, 6 August 2011


This welcome is a two-for-one deal.

First up we have Gothridge Manor (link to blog of the same name here); I stumbled upon the GM blog via the the current Show Me Your Dice Marathon post which had been linked into from another blog I Follow, which reminds me of one of things I enjoy most about the blogosphere - stumbling across a hidden gem you may otherwise never encounter.

Next new Follower is Risus Monkey who I guess happened along here for the same reason; the web of connections spawned by that post on Gothridge Manor. It then shows me some blogs to keep an eye on and so that is pretty cool in my book.

Thanks to both for Following - I really appreciate it.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Show Him Your Dice

Tim at Gothridge Manor came up with an idea entitled: Show Me Your Dice Marathon. I know I have shown these before, but any excuse...

I have owned many dice over the years (and still do), but these are my favourite. Custom made for me to match my favourite game.

Forget the dice I have colour matched to armies, these are the tops for me. Still my luck remains as poor as ever...


Welcome aboard to anew Follower with both a great nickname and superb avatar choice: hello and welcome to Tea Urn with a rather marvellous Rorschach (comics) head-shot avatar. Great name, great av - needed saying again I felt. If anyone knows me well enough, they may know my weakness for tea, so the name has extra gravitas to me. :)

Tea Urn is both minis fan and (lapsed?) comics fan I guess from his comments, so hopefully the Pulp Citizen can offer something worthwhile. Cheers for joining.

On the minis front nothing new painted fro a few days, although I have been doing some prep for a game witn Rob planned for next week; working title - Merlin's Reach. This will be a variant of the Quest Plot and will be set away from the usual urban battles e run, so should look nicely distinct.

On other news, word filters through from Gencon (US) attendees that some of the new Pulp City minis have been sighted, including denizens of Little Asia; all I can say on them is that some belong to a new Sub-faction (boo! hiss! bad guys), while some are more Heroic but maybe not quite tied into a Sub-faction, and other minis will have excellent utility in a number of Teams....

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Forthcoming 'New' DC Universe

DC are at again. First in 1956 they introduced a new generation of their existing concepts (starting with a new Flash - Barry Allen), meshing them with the continuously published Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. It was a time of renewal as a science fiction slant was added to creations such as Green Lantern, the Atom and Hawkman amongst others.

More golden age heroes would be revived and new characters added in to this era. It was a rebooting of the DC Universe, even if there was no word such as reboot to adequately describe the process in the fans' lexicon.

In 1985-86 DC published Crisis on Infinite Earths; a series intended to simplify the weighty continuity of 50 years (well 47 years from Action Comics #1....) of DC continuity/in-comic history. And of course Barry Allen died in that series, maybe as a signpost that the era begun in 1956 had passed. But DC is as DC does in my view, and so in trying to simplify they in fact created mess after mess of contorted retelling and repositioning of new continuity. Of course DC felt they needed to fix things...

So we had Zero Hour in 1994 which was intended to rectify the post Crisis problems as well as other ones that were around (time-lines, wibbly-wobbly timey-whimey stuff and time travel shenanigans in the DCU).

Of course, DC being DC (spot the theme here...), it meant that come 2005-2006 we got Infinite Crisis; a follow-up to Crisis on Infinite Earths (see what they did with the title there! oh so clever those involved in Infinite Crisis...), and once again some focus on fixing continuity.

Third time is a charm, isn't it?

I hated Infinite Crisis when I first read it. I thought the violence was way over the top in a medium that I first came to as a 6 year old; it was not something I would show to a 6 year old. It also brought us the most creatively and morally bankrupt creation I have come across in mainstream comics for some time - Superboy Prime (as villain). Superboy Prime was intended to be "a simplistic character who becomes complex" apparently, possibly as allegory to the fan-boy reactions of a cross-section of DC readers. Yet in the hands of an admitted fan-boy what I read was a morally reprehensible story where the excuse is "I didn't mean to do it" after Superboy Prime has butchered and maimed many, many heroes and villains. No complexity there, just sledgehammer storytelling lacking grace, wit or subtlety as Superboy Prime's punches to reality reshape reality (read continuity) in a way more in line with then current DC vision.

So cut to 2008 and we had Final Crisis (surely DC have cornered themselves with THAT title!); the third in the trilogy' as it were, and something from the pen of Grant Morrison. He who wrote the brilliant Zenith, and one of my favourite JLA runs (which I posted about here), and the stunning All-Star Superman. What could go wrong?

Everything as it turns out.

A mess of a story, Morrison decided to tell it via series of set-pieces, so it jumps around so much that we have in incoherent mess. The main impetus of the story was killing off Batman (he came back of course) and shunting the New Gods and related Jack Kirby concepts outside of the regular DC Universe.

So now we come to 2011 and we have Flashpoint, after which DC continuity will be reset once more. For the fifth time as a whole by my count, and for the third time in 5-6 years.

The same person is still in charge of DC amid this latest shift in shared back-story (Dan Didio) and one cannot help but wonder why his bosses have not taken a closer look at the direction in which their employee is guiding their ship, especially in taking 3 attempts to fix what is essentially the same core problem: accessibility.

DC are aiming this new DC Universe post-Flashpoint to be more accessible; in other words a jumping on point for new readers. However, after enduring 3 changes too many, I am now after 32 years of reading DC comics contemplating the once-unthinkable: using this new era as a jumping off point. I don't think Flashpoint will be the final problem solving event of DC's, and in that I think it a third trip to the well too many. The backwards-looking focus is evident as well: the return of Barry Allen/The Flashh in Final Crisis and the fulcrum of Flashpoint; are DC rolling things back in a way to try and ensure accessibility? That is an arguable fallacy, because a roll-back only creates accessibility for those who read the old stuff, it is a pointless exercise for 'new readers'. The architects of the DCU are its custodians, but I think that the powers that be may have lost sight of that, allowing the re-defining of the properties and characters to become the be-all end-all for 6 years, rather than focusing on, y'know, telling good, engaging stories.

But the real problem for me? I feel like DC have taken their readers for a ride for 6 years, intentionally or not, yet some of us are still here and my connection is such that letting go at last seems near-unthinkable. We are just under 4 weeks from the relaunch and I still have not decided whether I buy in or not.

Images copyright © DC Comics
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...