Friday, 28 April 2017

Broadsword 3 is Coming!!! (May 6, 2017)

When there is an event coming that excites me, I like to lend my voice in hopes to have more people attend the event. One of those events coming up is Broadsword 3 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, May 6. Hamilton is about an Hour-and-a-Quarter to an Hour-and-a-Half drive to our American friends in the Buffalo area.

The image above is a bit of a collage of Pictures from Broadsword 2. I really enjoyed myself at that event and am looking forward to Broadsword 3.
The event runs 9am to Midnight. At the event are many games including Open Boardgaming, Heroscape and several Miniatures game. You can check out their line up on their Facebook Page.

I plan to be there for the entire day and will be re-running one of the Frostgrave: Forgotten Pacts Scenarios that I ran at Hotlead 2017 in the evening. If you are interested in trying out XOLK products and see me there, please feel free to chat to me. I have coupons to give out.

In addition to games, the organizer has arranged for a number of vendors to be on site. These vendors include...
I am really looking forward to this event and am looking at the outing as my Birthday present to myself. I hope to see a good number of people there and can't wait to chat to many like minded friends.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

MDF Terrain Review: Normand House in Ruins by XOLK

Recently I reviewed the first piece of Terrain that I bought by XOLK. That product was their Cottage in Ruins. That is a nice piece at a very affordable price. Since buying that piece, XOLK has sent Must Contain Minis a few products for Review purposes. Their 28mm Normand House in Ruins is one of those products.

MDF Terrain Review for tabletop wargaming
Check out this MDF House. It is gorgeous and goes together very nicely.

This piece is admittedly more expensive than the Cottage in Ruins. It comes in at $46.99 Canadian ($34.60 American with the current exchange rate). Is the product worth it?

Personally, I like this ruined house a lot, but I will let my readers come to their own conclusion.

This model comes as 5 MDF boards plus one sheet of Cardboard used to as shingles on the roof and details for the door. Using the instructions on XOLK's website, this kit was extremely easy to build and went together nicely. To make it even easier, I used watered down carpenters glue and a brush (rather than applying the glue in globs straight to the model.

XOLK Norman House in Ruins
The MDF model completed, but not yet painted. It looks fantastic!

The MDF boards are nicely textured and after I assembled the model, one of my friends questioned whether I even really needed to paint the model. Since I was using these on what I wanted to be a "Showcase" level table for Hotlead 2017, the answer was simple - these houses needed to be painted.  :)

Some of my readers will recognize the pictures below from an earlier post. I wanted to repost these images to show what the house looks like unpainted. There are new pictures of the painted house further below.

MDF Terrain Review for Bolt Action
Here a Pulp Figures' British soldier stands on the second floor of the structure.

MDF Terrain Review
A look from one of the sides. Lots of battle damage on this model.

Review of XOLK Terrain
All of the levels can be removed allowing players to access every level of the structure.

Review of MDF Scenery for wargaming
A look at the second floor with no ceiling.

MDF Terrain Review
A look at the ground floor. Love the stair case and all of the details in this MDF terrain kit.

As my friend stated, this model looks great even if it isn't painted. Time-wise, it took more time to assemble than a PlastCraft Games model, but significantly less time than a 4Ground Model. My guess is that I had it built in a couple of hours, but I assembled it while watching YouTube videos so I can't quote you exactly how long it took to build.

Below are pictures of the finished MDF terrain kit.

Painted MDF House with Bolt Action Figure for scale
The Normand House in Ruins with a Bolt Action miniature by Warlord Games on the attic floor. As one can see, this is a sizable piece of terrain.

Painted MDF House with Bolt Action Figure for scale
The exact same image as above, but with the roof removed.

MDF Terrain Review with Reaper Minaitures for Scale - Frostgrave
The second floor of the house with two Reaper Miniatures based for Frostgrave.

Osprey Barbarians in a XOLK MDF Terrain Piece
Some North Star Military Figures Frostgrave Barbarians on the first floor with some of the stray wooden planks scattered around the building. This image is a little over-exposed to better show off the internal details of the house.

MDF Terrain Review for 28mm Gaming
The full model from the opposite side. This MDF kit gives some nice access to the internal figures without even taking the layers apart (especially for the second and third floors).

28mm MDF Terrain piece for Fantasy Games
Another look at the image with which I started the article. I think this house looks fantastic and I am really happy with the model. A big thanks goes out to XOLK for sending this for Review.
I will admit, that I am not the best of painters. This model was not painted to the best of my ability either because I was in a rush to get everything done in time for my convention game of Frostgrave (I had multiple Warbands and terrain pieces to paint for the event).

To paint this model, I spray painted it black and then dry brushed it. I did no work with shading or highlights. For the quick paint job that I gave it, I think this model looks rather striking. It is certainly better than anything that I could scratch build.

From a table length, this quickly painted model look even better. Below is a picture from a yet-to-be-published Battle Report of Frostgrave. It gives a great view of the XOLK Normand House in Ruins alongside the Cottage in Ruins. There are also miniatures and a hand in the shot to give a sense of scale. The Normand House in Ruins is a large model compared to many other kits (including kits by 4Ground and PlastCraft Games).

XOLK MDF House in use for Frostgrave
A look at the Cottage in Ruins and Norman House in Ruins in close proximity. The House in Ruins is a sizable model.
Overall, I am very impressed with this product. It is easy to build, easy to paint and it can easily be used for either WW2 or Fantasy games. I am sure that the model could fit into Medieval to Modern games as well. This versatility gives the product a lot of life.

Thanks goes out again to XOLK for sending Must Contain Minis the Normand House in Ruins. If you happen to be in one of the shops that sells the product (or order it from the Internet), it comes packed as below.

Review of an MDF Terrain product for Bolt Action and Frostgrave
The XOLK Normand House in Ruins still in its shrink wrap. I do realize that the package calls the structure a "Norman House in Ruins," but it is listed as a Normand House in Ruins on the website so I have been staying consistent with that. 
For those that don't know about the company yet, XOLK is fairly new. They are based out of Quebec and build MDF terrain. Because they are fairly new, I encourage you to check out their Facebook Page and give them a "Like" if you like their stuff.

Finally, if you come out to Broadsword 3 (in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on May 6 [2017]), look for me. I will be there and I have coupons to give out for these products.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Runewars Miniatures Game Scale Comparison (Part 1)

A few weeks ago, Asmodee sent Must Contain Minis a copy of Runewars the Miniatures Game by Fantasy Flight Games. This is a game that I have been excited about for a while so I was really pleased when there was a surprise copy waiting for me when I got home from work. Since there are already a lot of unboxing videos of it on the Internet, I wanted to do something different. That something different is a scale comparison to other miniatures companies.

This post focuses solely on the Undead (Waiqar) miniatures in the base game. These miniatures scale nicely to other 28mm manufacturers and one large undead miniature comes in the box.

Scale Comparison of Undead (Waiqar) Miniatures in Runewars
Above is a picture of the Carrion Lancer in the base game alongside a Reaper Miniatures Hill Giant. They are pretty close in size.
The biggest undead model in the box is the Carrion Lancer. He comes in four or five pieces and assembles fairly well. There are some mold lines on the model, but overall a really nice figure.

Runewars Miniatures Game Carrion Lancer
A shot of just the Carrion Lancer.
Below is a scale comparison between the rank-and-file foot soldiers and the Carrion Lancer. You will see later that the Skeleton (Reanimate) fits in perfectly with 28mm miniatures by other companies.

Looking at miniatures from Runewars - Skeleton Warrior and Carrion Lancer
A Rank-and-File Reanimate (Skeleton Warrior) beside the Carrion Lancer.
The models themselves look nice. There are some mold lines on them and they are made of a different plastic than other miniatures. Being that they are plastic, I assumed that Plastic Cement would work as glue. The Plastic Cement did not hold, so I had to switch to Superglue.

Now for a closer look at the miniatures in the box.

Reanimates from Runewars
Above are all four of the sculpts one gets of the Reanimates in this box set. The base box comes with 16 of these figures (4 of each pose).

Comparing the size of Runewar miniatures versus other manufacturers
Scale Comparison (Left to Right): 32mm Reaper Cultist Miniature, Runewars, 28mm Mantic Skeleton, Runewars, 28mm Mantic Zombie, Runewars, 28mm Frostgrave Frost Wraith, Runewars

More Runewars to Frostgrave scale comparisons
Bases have been added to the North Star Military Figures Miniatures to make them the same starting height as the Reanimates. They fit together quite well scale-wise. Here we have a Frostgrave Cultist and a Frostgrave Necromancer Apprentice (by North Star Military Figures) pictured along side Runewars Reanimates.

Internal scale comparison of Reanimates
Above are two reanimate foot soldiers pictured with two reanimate archers. The archers are clearly taller than the other figures.

Good for if you play miniatures games or D&D (Dungeons and Dragons)
Above are two reanimate archers from ruinwars pictured beside two 28mm Frostgrave Rangers made by North Star. The Runewar ones look a little bit larger to me than the Rangers.

Leader of the Waiqar - An Undead Boss
This is the leader of the Waiqar from this boxed set. I think he looks pretty cool!

As I mentioned above, the plastic is different than the typical miniatures I work with. It is actually closer to a hard plastic board game miniature than to something made by GW. There are some mold lines on the minis but the models go together easy enough and look fairly nice. I was surprised that there were no one piece minis in the box. This means that people will have to construct their miniatures, just as they would for other miniatures games on the market.

Although this post is a scale comparison article, I wanted to mention that it would take extra work to proxy models from different manufacturers into Runewars. This extra work is because the movement trays have special pegs in them for the Runewars miniatures to press into. These pegs might get in the way if one decides to fill the tray with miniatures of another make.

That said, I see no issues using the models from Runewars for other games such as Dragon Rampant, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) or Frostgrave. Although - I am sure that most people that buy Runewars will likely use the minis mostly for Runewars.  :)

My next two articles about Runewars will look at the scale of the miniatures from the other faction included in the box and give my initial impressions of the game.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Spotlight on Wiz-Kids unpainted D&D Miniatures

I am constantly on the hunt for new and affordable miniature products. Recently I came across some unpainted D&D minis by Wiz-Kids at one of my FLGSs (Friendly Local Gaming Stores). Immediately, I thought that these guys would look great for Frostgrave.

A look at Wiz-Kids unpainted D&D minis for Frostgrave
Above are two Human Wizards surrounded by Frostgrave Barbarians. Scale-wise, they are just a little bigger, but not out of place.
What attracted me to these guys in the store was the price. $4.99 Canadian for two pre-primed miniatures. Not bad at all!

Wiz-Kids has some great packaging on this minis
$4.99 Canadian and pre-primed with Vellejo paints? That's perfect! I paint mostly with Vellejo paints to begin with.  :)

Wiz-Kids has some great packaging on this minis
The packaging on this product looks great.
Once I got the product home, I opened it up to see what was in the package. Inside are two miniatures, two bases (which are the perfect size to fit in with Frostgrave miniatures), and two plastic spell effects that can be glued onto the models.

What comes in the box for Wiz-Kids unpainted (pre-primed) Miniatures
The Contents of the package. Two Miniatures, two spell effects and two bases.
For their price, these miniatures look great!

A D&D Wizard for use in Frostgrave
Overall, I like this wizard the best. The details are crisp, there is no flashing that I see and it should paint up nicely; however, there is a strange pocket in the cape that can be seen in this picture as a small diamond. I may leave that is or fill it in with some Green-Stuff.

A D&D Wizard
The second Wizard, I would use as the Apprentice in Frostgrave. His free hand looks a little strange because there is a peg to attach the spell effect. I am sure that once it is built and painted, it will look stunning.

Size Comparison of North Star Military Figures Frostgave miniature to an unpainted D&D Miniature to a Reaper Miniature
A picture with the Wizard between a 28mm North Star Military Figure miniature and a 32mm Reaper Miniature. I would say these fit in well with 32mm Reaper Miniature. I use the two scales together so I won't let that stop me from using them in Frostgrave.

Size Comparison of North Star Military Figures Frostgave miniature to an unpainted D&D Miniature to a Reaper Miniature
The second Wizard between the same two miniatures. The base that comes with the mini matches the North Star ones perfectly, but the model itself is closer in scale to the Reaper Miniature than the North Star one.

Scale Comarison of Frostgrave Barbarian Miniatures to Wiz-Kids Miniatures
Another picture (with slightly different exposure than the first one) of the two wizards along side some North Star Military Figures Barbarians. I think they are going to look good as Wizards for this Warband.
I hope that everyone enjoyed this look at a couple of Wiz-Kids unpainted D&D Miniatures. They are fairly cool figures and worth giving a chance if see them at your local store.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

XOLK Cottage in Ruins Review

The first XOLK product that ever caught my attention was their Cottage in Ruins. This product runs for $10.99 Canadian ($8.25 American in Today's dollar) and is fairly impressive for that price point. Below is a picture of how the ruins paint up.

XOLK MDF Cottage in Ruins Terrain Review for Wargaming
Above: A WW2 British Commander and two rifle men guard take up a position in the ruins.
Overall, this was a fairly easy model to build and paint. I spray painted it black to start, dry brushed it, ran a black wash over the piece and then highlighted parts of the ruins with another dry brushing of the original colours. For $10.99, this piece looks great and was my entry piece into using XOLK on my tables.

Now, some readers will recognize that is a product that I wrote about before. In my Post "Have You Ever Heard of XOLK?" I gave my initial thoughts of this very product, but at the time - I had not yet painted one. This product was quick to paint and one could easily get away with spray painting it black and a quick dry brush without using a wash or highlights as extra steps.

The details themselves are etched in nicely in the MDF. Some people told me that they thought I didn't even need to paint the terrain piece up for the table. Personally, I like the piece better painted, but below are some images from the previous article of how the piece looks unpainted.

An MDF Terrain Review for 28mm gaming
A look at an unpainted XOLK Cottage in Ruins.

XOLK Cottage Review
Here we have some 40K miniatures using the structure for cover. Notice that there are some extra boards in the house. Those boards come with the model too. I painted them up and use them around the table as scatter terrain.

Review of a Ruined Cottage by XOLK - Makers of MDF Terrain
Another look at the Cottage with some Chaos Cultists using it as cover.
Again, I prefer the terrain piece painted. Below is a picture of the Ruined Cottage paired beside a XOLK 15th Century Urban Dwelling on a Frostgrave Board.

Review of MDF terrain for Frostgrave
The MDF Scenery looks great on the table.
I find that this terrain has multiple uses as it fits in for Fantasy games as well as historical games in Europe. I really like that I can use the same product for both Bolt Action and Frostgrave. The fact that this piece can cross genres really makes it useful for my collection.

Being that XOLK is still a fairly new company, I urge you to check out their website and "Like" their Facebook Page. Also stay tuned to Must Contain Minis as there are a series of reviews of XOLK products that will be going up over the next few weeks.

These products are available at some stores in Quebec and Ontario and from XOLK's website. My understanding is that they have good shipping rates for North America, but not as good for overseas. I do apologize to my European readers as you are potentially missing out on a good product here.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Flames of War Showcase: Brenden's Panzer IVs

Today, we are going back to Flames of War and looking at some more of Brenden's Painted Models. Here we have his collection of Panzer IVs.

Flames of War Panzer IV showcase

Like me, Brenden often runs Grenadier Armies, but we have quite different tastes in tanks. My forces rely on StuGs, Jagdpanthers and Stationary Guns while Brenden tends to go more for fortified Infantry Platoons and better mobile assets like these Panzer IVs.

Flames of War Panzer IV (4)
Here Brenden did a nice job with some battle Damage on one of the Panzers.

Flames of War Panzer IV (4)
A nicely camouflaged tank.

Flames of War Panzer IV (4)
I turned the turret to the side to show off some of the front details. Looks good to me.

Flames of War Panzer IV (4)
A nice job was done painting and weathering these tanks by hand.

Flames of War Panzer IV (4)
A damaged Panzer relying on some camouflage elements to keep it out of trouble.

Flames of War Panzer IV (4)
Another look at the same tank.

Flames of War Panzer IV (4)
Nice details over the entire tank.

I would like to quickly thank Brenden again for allowing me to take photos of his German army. The miniatures look great and allow me to share with the web units that I would otherwise not have access.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Frostgrave at Hotlead 2017

What a fantastic time I had running two demo games of Frostgrave at Hotlead 2017. This post is a retrospective on those games and a thank you to my sponsors. To start, I would like to show off five pictures sent in to me by a friend and reader, Randall Carder. Thank you for sending these pictures. Check out the engagement at the table in the first image!

People enjoying Frostgrave at a Convention
A Picture of myself (the guy with a shaved head, red name tag and glasses) and three Frostgrave players at Hotlead 2017. This picture was taken by Randall Carder and posted with his permission.

The table itself looked absolutely fantastic!

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Photo taken by Randall Carder and posted with his permission.
Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Photo taken by Randall Carder and posted with his permission.

XOLK Ruins - MDF Terrain
A picture of an exploded house with an intact one in the distance. For those wondering, all four terrain pieces showcased here (Ruined House, Bridge, White and Brown House, and Ruins in-between) are all made by XOLK. Photo taken by Randall Carder and posted with his permission.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Photo taken by Randall Carder and posted with his permission.

Running a game at a Convention is nothing new to me. My games at Hotlead are the third and fourth games that I have run at conventions. The first game I ever ran at a Convention was Mansions of Madness. The second was A Fistful of Kung Fu. The people at my Fistful of Kung Fu table enjoyed themselves, but I wanted to show the difference in table quality between that game and what I ran at Hotlead 2017. Check out these pictures.

A Fistful of Kung Fu Game table
The Fistful of Kung Fu table is functional, but certainly not as pretty as the Frostgrave table above.

Homemade Birdhouse for Wargaming
My terrain included birdhouses that I cut open and modified into houses for miniature combat.

The Fistful of Kung Fu table certainly was functional, but has nowhere near the same appeal as the Frostgrave table that I just ran. Check out the table below. It is absolutely gorgeous and a large part of that is due to corporate sponsorship and some help from some friends.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Check out how great this table looks!!! Simply stunning!!!

Specific to this event, my sponsors were Osprey Games, XOLK and North Star Military Figures. Osprey Publishing provided prize support, XOLK provided MDF Terrain and North Star sent me Chilopendra miniatures and a special miniature to represent Tiszirain (a Demon Lord).

On top of those companies, Jeremy Cada of Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge (Ontario, Canada) helped Must Contain Minis by painting up the Chilopendra and Tiszirain Demons for the table. My friends Dave and Randall also provided some terrain to help fill the table. With this help, I had a stellar looking table.

As a thank you to all of the companies that have helped Must Contain Minis along the way, I made an effort to include each of them somehow at the demo table. The only company that I could not work into the event was Hyacinth Games (the makers of Wreckage).

From Asmodee, I used miniatures from the Conan Board Game as a Warband and used Conan himself as one of the Barbarians. The gaming Mat came from Cigar Box Battle and I used the scenery from RAINN Studios' Battle Pack as spell effects and as a back up plan for ruins in case Dave and Randall could not make it to the convention with their terrain.

I also included several products from companies that have not sponsored Must Contain Minis. That includes multiple scenery elements from Six Squared Studios (craters, barrels and a Huge Keg) and Warbands with Miniatures by Reaper Miniatures and RAFM Miniatures.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Another look at the table. On each side, one Warband would deploy in the middle while the other four Warbands would deploy in the corners.

To determine the winners, I developed my own modified scoring system. In this system, points were given for normal conditions that would give Wizards Experience in the scenario. On top of the rewards available to all players, each Warband had their own hidden objective worth points if completed. The scenarios played included Mortal Shells in the Afternoon and Rescue the Prince in the Evening.

For the Afternoon game, some of those hidden Objectives included controlling a specific opponent's warband members through the use of a Control Construct or Control Animal Spell, Walking Demons off the board through the use of the Bind Demon spell, or killing creatures (or warband members) on the board with specific spells. The Evening's game also had specific hidden Objectives, but I will not disclose them at this point as I plan to re-run that scenario at Broadsword 3.

Amazing MDF Terrain
Check out the Terrain!!! The house and boards are by XOLK while the craters are made by Six Squared Studios.
Amazing MDF Terrain for Frostgrave - miniature wargaming
A look at the Centre most objective from Mortal Shells.

MDF Houses by XOLK
Another picture of scenery.

In Mortal Shells, the Players must read the ruins written on the walls in the middle of the table to gain the most amount of points. The game was set to run until we either ran out of time, or two of the six warbands left the board (either by elimination or by walking off). Aside from two wizards who got extra points for killing creatures (and warband opponents) with specific spells, all point incentives to kill Wizards and Apprentices were removed from the first game. I didn't want players going for player elimination right away.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
All of the players cautiously move towards the centre.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
The shooty dwarf faction squares off against the other dwarf faction that focuses on constructs - killing one of them.
Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Multiple Wizards converge to the centre.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
The shooty faction is finding themselves in a bit of trouble with a construct and assassin.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
With a couple of exceptions, most of the combat was between warband members rather than Wizards. The Wizards were too busy trying to gain new knowledge from the ruins.

In the end, it was the Necromancer Player that won this scenario by points. In the evening's scenario, things were different. In the evening games, the gloves were off. Wizards would now gain points for killing enemy Wizards, Apprentices and Warband members. In their secret objectives, I purposely set specific Warbands against each other - but to my surprise players found other reasons to attack each other.

The scenario this time was Save the Prince (also from Forgotten Pacts). In the middle of the table was an evil wizard preparing a sacrifice to raise an evil demon. This game timed out, so I will be sure to play this one on a smaller surface at my next convention. Regardless, my players had fun. It was the Enchanter's Warband that won this scenario.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Here the Necromancer is trying to get to the middle of the table while the Enchanter has his warband engage the Necromancer in a pincer movement with attackers rushing in from the front and rear.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
A better look at the objective the warbands are trying to get to.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
On the other side of the table, the Summoner is making good use of the Fog Spell to save himself from the shooty Dwarfs camping right beside him.
Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
These are some of the ranged attackers giving the Summoner a hard time. The Dwarf in the back with a Flame Thrower is an Elementalist and almost came in first. The Enchanter squeaked out a win in the last turn.

Convention game of Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts
Here we had two warbands making their way across the bridge to stop the Wizard from summoning Tiszirain

Unfortunately, this is about where we ran out of time. Tiszirain was not summoned, but the prince was never rescued either so no one got points for preventing the Demon from being summoned. The enchanter completed one of his two hidden objectives and won on points based on that.

I hope that everyone enjoyed reading this article about the Frostgrave games at Hotlead 2017. For those that want more background information on this game, below is a list of related articles.

For those interested in more, I ran the last scenario at Broadsword 3 with a different result. Tiszirain was actually summoned!!! Check out the Battle Report!

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

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