What have The Sentry Box staff been up to March 6-18

Sue finished a couple of Necromunda kitbashes for her Escher gang. “First up, I finished an Escher Clan Chymist from Forgeworld. I modified the Chymist slightly by using my hobby knife & file to remove her pant leg as I love the Escher’s high boots. I used the hobby knife to get the basic shape of a leg and then used the file to smooth it out. The head is from the Forgeworld Escher Ash Wastes Upgrade Set. I really wanted a Chymist with ponytails like in House of Blades, or buns, so this was really the perfect head. There is a gap in the back of her coat for her hair, which I easily filled in with Greenstuff. This was a very simple conversion. Below, is the photo from Forgeworld of the original, and then my modified Chymist on the right so you can see the changes.”

Next up, Sue finally finished her Escher leader. “As soon as they announced Forgeworld’s Estus Jet on Warhammer Community, I knew that was my leader. The weapons are from the Forgeworld Escher Champion with Shock Whip. I really wanted my leader wearing shorts or pants and I considered several different bodies, but finally settled on an Escher Death-maiden body. The Death-maidens are wearing a cloth over their pants, so I clipped the cloth, and used my hobby knife and file again to smooth it down, and I used Green-Stuff to fill in the rest. Below, is a photo of a Death-maiden from the Games Workshop website and my modified body on the right.”

Sue painted these primarily using Contrast Paints. “Although I did use Dorn Yellow with a thinned down (w/ Contrast Paint) Skeleton Horde overtop. I also used Gauss Blaster Green for the medical smock with Aethermatic Blue overtop. I used Iyanden Yellow and Black Templar Contrast Paints for my Escher Colors. Even though the Chymist is wearing a medical smock, I wanted her to have black and yellow as well to tie in with the gang.”

Renee read The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi. “He wrote this a year into the pandemic as a fun project when he found he couldn’t focus on the book he was supposed to be writing. I don’t want to give too much away as I think it’s better to go in blind, so I’ll just say it’s a fun wild story. Funny and extremely enjoyable.”

Greg finished reading Sunshine by Robin McKinley, “I don’t typically go in for Vampire stories, whether contemporary or not, but this one was on my top 100 sci-fi and fantasy list. If modern horror-fantasy is your thing (or if you like cinnamon rolls and other baked goods) then you may want to check it out. I thought it was fine, but overall not really my jam.””

Greg had the chance to play new arrival, Star Wars: The Deckbuilding Game. “This is a neat little two player deck-building game where one player is the Rebels and the other the Empire. It’s had obvious comparisons to Star Realms, but does play a little differently and has a neat way of handling having different factions cards in the card row. Only the Rebel player can buy Rebel cards and vice versa, but the other player has the opportunity to attack those cards, removing them so the other player can’t buy them, and gaining a bonus for doing so. The main objective of the game is to destroy a number of your opponent’s bases though, by attacking them until they take enough damage to be destroyed. Players can also buy and play Capital Ships, which stick around until destroyed, can have some good abilities, and protect your base. It was a fun game and I want to play a few more times to try both factions and see more of the bases and other cards.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Feb 27-Mar 5

Behold Sean’s Contubernium! “Clearing off the workbench is starting to bear fruit. :sweat: These duders are Gripping Beast Praetorian Guard (circa 100 CE, now out of print) with Little Big Man Studios shield transfers. Essentially an essay on Sean’s Rule of Miniature Wargaming #3: ‘Get the Shield and Base right and the rest is gravy’. (yay flowers, yay gravy)  Tired of palace intrigue, assassinating and proclaiming Emperors, these Praetorians have ventured out into the field to face down some Germanic Panic. All slappychoppy technique with the exception of the metal tones. GW Gullyman Flesh is a really decent Mediterranean skin tone over black/grey/white.  AP Dark Wood I just fall in love with more every time I slap it on a spear shaft, or pila shaft if you will.  Highlights courtesy of Vallejo Silver and AP Matte White.”

Greg and Tracy played another two player game of Barrage using the Leeghwater expansion. “I was the start player and had the Executive Officer that lets you use concrete mixers to build conduits instead of excavators. I also took an early external work that let me build a power house, and that got me into a good position in the early game. I was able to get a 4 value conduit and also build a base to start managing the water flow to my advantage. By the mid game Tracy had caught up a little, and in the late game she made effective use of her country power (Germany), but it was too little too late.”

Greg and Tracy played Escape Room: The Game: Candy Factory. “This is one of the Family Versions, so you might expect that it’s slightly easier, but we still managed to go over the time limit by three minutes. That was down to a couple of time consuming things when opening one of the envelopes, and the fact that we screwed up one puzzle and had to restart it. Overall it wasn’t difficult, we just failed to pay proper attention and wasted a bunch of time. It was a fun one though, I enjoyed it quite a bit.”

Greg read A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. “I’ll admit that I didn’t quite get the whole concept of the different Zones (Slow Zone, Beyond, etc.) or the idea of the ‘Powers’ and the Blight, but I did enjoy the idea of the planet with the Tines. The concept of them existing as packs that make up individuals was an interesting one. Overall I enjoyed it and it definitely felt different to most of the other sci-fi books I’ve read lately.”

Luke wanted to play a game with Greg since Alex was at school and Tracy was out, so they played Catacombs of Karak. “He chose this game and picked out the character he wanted. He’s definitely much better at focusing now, and kept his attention on the game the whole time. I just prompted him to ask which way he wanted to go, but he did a great job of adding up the numbers in the combats, remembering to add the bonus from his weapons. He also crushed me, despite me eventually killing the dragon. He kept finding treasure chests and the monsters that give you the keys, ending up with 6 points to my measly 2.5. However, he informed me that all of the treasure we both got was actually for the Queen :grin:

Sue doesn’t typically post work-in-progress shots, but she was very pleased with how the blue Superstar 5/0 brush worked for the Ash Waste Nomads eyes. “I was able to use this inexpensive brush to do 9 pairs of near-perfect eyes. I felt like this brush was made to paint the eyes on these masks and wanted to share this recommendation for anyone else working on these, or similar models. If you like the rest of what you see so far, I used Vallejo’s Bone White primer then used a Citadel Layer Small brush to apply a thinned down (w/ Contrast Medium) Black Templar Contrast Paint for the masks. Since the Ash Waste Nomads come with 2 heads for every body, you might want to clip and prime a few extra heads for practice to get the hang of how the Contrast Paint flows in this small area or to practice the eyes.”

Renee and Jenn have recently played a bunch of expansions for Escape Room: The Game. “We’ve played Secret Agent (with a cool spy theme) The Magician (which has you figuring out different tricks), Wild West Express (where you’re on a train trying to save all the passengers), and The Switch (aka The Break In, in which your crew needs to pull off a heist in a museum). This series continues to impress us with its puzzles, components, storylines and overall experience. We do occasionally find some of the puzzles finicky so figuring out which key to use may take a couple of tries and once or twice we found ourselves looking up the answer, but overall we’ve always enjoyed each one. I also really appreciate that every component that you need to destroy in the process is available for download off their website so they are re-playable.”

This week they also played the latest Exit game with puzzles, Nightfall Manor. “Compared to the earlier 2 we’ve done in this series, this one was rated easier and we really appreciated that. The puzzles themselves were fun to put together and the ‘exit puzzles’ were once again creative, interesting and most importantly fun! The fact that it was overall on the easier side meant that we got to have a chill afternoon with the game together without having moments of frustration trying to figure out what we were supposed to be doing. So not on the more challenging side, but we still had our fair share of ‘high-five’ moments when we figured out the code. These EXIT games are longer experiences, taking 2-3 hours, so they make for a more extended gaming session.”

Sue picked up some of the new Dragonlance D&D pre-painted minis and the following are some of her favorites. Interestingly, (and fortunately), most of my favorite models from this line are common or uncommon so I won pretty much every model I wanted from the blind boxes. First up, the Dragon Army Ogre and a couple of Draconians. I love models that have something fun going on, and an ogre with a bucket of fish certainly qualifies. This uncommon model is one of my favorites out of this entire range.

“There are quite a few Knights of Solamnia in this collection, but this classic looking, uncommon one is definitely my favorite. Pictured with a fun little piece of dungeon dressing, the Dragon Egg, as well as this cool looking Warhorse.”

“Although I couldn’t get a great photo, I thought the common Qualnesti Elf was quite beautiful, and the uncommon Kender Vampire is cute also. I also thought this Gnomeflinger was adorable and fun.”

“I was glad to get a Leedara to go with my Lord Soth (from a previous D&D prepainted collection). If you want your own Lord Soth, a new Lord Soth on Greater Death Dragon due out in the near future and he will be detachable at the waist so he can be a dragon rider or standing.”

“Lastly, my favorite, black robed wizards! I was so pleasantly surprised to see my favorite Dragonlance character, Dalamar the Dark included in this collection! I also thought it was nice to see a dwarven(?) black mage included as well. I actually think she is one of the nicest models in this set and she is a common as well, so there is a good chance you can win her pretty easily from the blind boxes. The other black mage is Wyhan, the magic shop keeper.”

Greg hadn’t managed to get the group together for a month or so, but they were finally able to do that and get their Roll Player Adventures campaign back on track. “We played the 8th adventure as well as the Colosseum side quest, which leaves us with 3 more scenarios to play I think. We were a little more consistent with our choices this time, even if we thought it might prevent us from unlocking more of the adventure. There are lots of ways that previous choices can affect things in the future too, so we may find things come back to bite us later!”

Crowdfunding Update – MARCH 1

Today we bring you another update on our Kickstarters and other crowdfunded projects. During the last month we’ve received 2 projects at the store and backed 5 additional projects. If you want to be updated when new products – including Kickstarters and crowdfunded projects – arrive at Sentry Box, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  If you are interested in a project below, contact us at the store for more info, prices or to be added to the pre-orders list. It works just like any other pre-order at the store, you only pay when you pick up the game. This is a great way to get your hands on some of the most popular crowd funded games without having to pay upfront and you don’t have to pay for shipping. Plus you get double points on all pre-orders!

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to? Feb 20-26

Dan came into the store one morning with his nephew Parker to play some Battletech. “We got in a good round of Battletech using 3025 level tech, until he grouped his forces in the middle of the city and let his mean Uncle Dan get my Phoenix Hawk and Panther on top of some high buildings, in a prone sniper like position. It was death by ammo explosions (3/4 mechs) not too soon after that.   My Banshee got the death blow on all 4 of his units, so that was fun.”

After the game of Battletech, Dan got home for a learning game of The Quest Kids with Oliver and Bree. “Spoiler: it’s fantastic. Quest Kids is a kid friendly (5 and up) competitive Dungeon Crawler, with a voluntary cooperative element, meaning you -can- help someone complete a quest if you want to, but you’re in no way obligated to. If you help you get what’s called a Nice Kid card, which gives you some pretty significant benefits. We went all in on this game during the last Kickstarter campaign, so we have 2 expansions still to crack into, including a campaign mode. I’m looking forward to a lot of plays of this one in the next couple years.”

Sue painted the head for Estus Jet from Forgeworld’s Necromunda range. “I wanted her to have a pinup/cyberpunk/California Girl look. I used Dorn Yellow with Skeleton Horde Contrast Paint overtop for the first time for the California blonde hair and I was pleased with the result. I thought that cherry red lips would go well with her retro bangs. After discovering you can ruin paints by leaving them in the car in the cold, I ended up using Evil Sunz Scarlet for the lips because it was the option. I mixed the red paint with white to make a color for the line on the bottom lip. Ordinarily I wouldn’t use Evil Sunz Scarlet for lipstick because it’s too bright. I would recommend Khorne Red or Gal Vorbak Red for a nicer lipstick shade. However, in this case, Evil Sunz Scarlet was ok because Necromunda and cyberpunk in general is all about anything-goes make up. I put a little red make up under her eye to add a bit of a weird cyberpunk flair.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Feb 13-19

Greg played Ragnarocks. “This game is from Gord Hamilton, the designer of Santorini, and it shares some DNA with that predecessor in that they are both two player abstract games that offer a standard version, or you can add asymmetric player powers to change up the game. Whereas Santorini is typically a race to get one of your builders up to the third level of a building, Ragnarocks is more about claiming territory on the board by blocking off areas with runestones. Each turn you move one viking in any direction and then build a runestone in any direction based on where the viking ended. Vikings and runestones block movement and building channels. When an area only contains vikings of one colour it becomes ‘settled’ and those vikings can no longer be used. Once both players have no more possibilities for movement or building you count up the areas of the settled territory and whoever has the most wins. Tracy and I just played the standard game and it was quite interesting even without the player powers. I’d like to see how they shake things up though. Oh and the runestones are awesome and look amazing on the board!”

He also played Get on Board: New York & London. “This is a new version of the Japanese game ‘Let’s make a bus route’. In this version the board is double sided with the New York side for 2 or 3 players and the London side for 4 or 5. It also changes to using wooden pieces to mark your bus route rather than pen on a dry erase board. Other than that it’s basically the same game. Over 12 rounds players add to their bus route around the city, picking up and dropping off passengers which get marked off on their player sheet. Each type of passenger scores points in a different way, and there are also points for a hidden objective of hitting three different spots on the board, and common objectives of hitting a certain type and number of passengers or locations. There are some negative points to avoid, for causing traffic, and you have to be careful not to ever hit the same junction twice or you just straight up lose! It’s a nice, fun quick game that’s kind of like a flip and write, so feels a bit like that style of game.”

Greg finished reading The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. “I like Isaac Asimov’s books – despite being on the older side I don’t find them to be quite as dated as others. The Caves of Steel is basically a murder mystery set in the future, where the police detective is partnered with a robot, on an Earth that, at best, is pretty unenthusiastic about robots. I think the sci-fi elements in this book are fairly low-key, which helps. I don’t think he’s the greatest character writer in the world but he does an adequate job on that front, and the murder mystery element is a fun one to try to figure out.”

Renee, Jenn, and their Dad played a couple games of Azul this week. “One game stood out as the highest scoring for all of us. We all focused on getting columns and so it was many rounds before we triggered game end and then only because between all our boards it was impossible not to do so. Check out my final board – I rarely manage to get one full colour set, let alone two!”

One game that Renee’s Dad requested they bring to the cabin was Ticket to Ride. “This is a game that we used to play a lot 10 years ago when we started to game again as a family while Christopher was a baby. The base game and its many expansions saw a lot of table time for the three of us. Now that Christopher is gaming with us, Dad requested that we all play together, which we did a couple of times this week. Playing it again brought back a lot of great memories of discovering and mastering this game and it was a lot of fun to pull it out again and play it with Christopher.”

Renee got to play some Crokinole at the cabin! “My cousin Sanne lives in Golden and one evening she brought a friend’s crokinole board to the cabin and we played a bunch of games and wow did we have a blast! None of us had a lot of experience so it was just fun to play together with none of us taking it too seriously. Congrats to Dad who had the highest scoring game when he managed to get 2 disks in the center!”

Renee read the final book in The Expanse series, Leviathan Falls. “I struggled making my way through this, wanting to devour each chapter while knowing once I did, it would be over. It’s always hard, spending so much time with these characters and wondering how the author will wrap it all up for you, or if they even will. I am happy to say that I absolutely enjoyed this book and its story. Definitely satisfied with how it ended, so I can wholeheartedly recommend this series.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Feb 6-12

Sue picked up the Red Wizards expansion for D&D Onslaught, the new D&D Skirmish game. “This might be my favorite faction for Onslaught, and I’m generally pretty happy with the quality of D&D pre-painted miniatures these days. However, I thought Quellabrelten Amasnodel looked like he had just eaten a powdered donut. I think that the white on the lips was supposed to be from teeth, which were just too small on this model. Anyway, I used some Kislev Flesh to touch it up, and I thought it was a pretty good match to the original paint. I also thought the V neck on the outfit was a little wavery so I tried to touch that up too.”

One of Sue’s 2 favorite characters in the Red Wizards pack was Farilun of Scardale. “But my model had some eye and teeth paint on his scales so I tried to touch that up. I was happy with the results. If you get a pre-painted D&D miniature, and there is paint somewhere it shouldn’t be, these can usually be touched up.”

Lastly, Sue did another face painting tutorial. “For this tutorial I used a Wizkids pre-primed Pathfinder Gnome Bard. I did 2 different eye techniques; the line and the dot and also the two white dots, so you can see the subtle differences side by side. I also demonstrated lips using Bugman’s Glow and highlighting with white *before* adding the Contrast Paint (or wash if you’re not using a Contrast Paint). For the highlight, draw a white line on the lower lip. The top lip is always naturally more shaded than the bottom lip. For the eyes, block them out *before* adding your Contrast Paint or wash, then either draw a white line followed by a dot (right eye), or do 2 white dots on either side of the iris (left eye). If you are more comfortable painting the eyes before adding the Contrast Paint or wash, just have a second bush on standby to pull most of the Contrast Paint or wash out of the eyes when you do that step. Note that the iris is typically slightly closer to the top of the eye than the bottom. For this demonstration I blocked out the eyes with Rhinox Hide, though I often use Dryad Bark, and I also used a black Citadel Layer Small Brush for the eyes and lips.”

Greg finished reading The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. “This is a collection of short stories rather than a novel, so it was a quick and easy read. I have to remind myself when these were written, and I wish I could have read them back then to understand how different they were. As it is, they seem very dated. There are some interesting ideas but I’m constantly pulled out of the story by things that don’t fit with the world as it is now. I guess that’s one of the problems with writing science fiction: when the world catches up with your future it shows just how wrong you were about some things.”

Renee and Jenn played Get on Board! “We’ve only played this a couple of times but always end up enjoying our plays when we do. The key seems to be focusing on a few specific goals and making sure you achieve them, but being at the whim of each turn’s required route really challenges you to either change your plan or take a penalty so you can alter the route as needed. We’ve only played it as a 2 player game on the New York side, so I’m really curious how it plays with 4 or 5 players on the London side.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 30-Feb 5

Greg hadn’t played Deus in a while and thought it should be a quick enough game to teach and play on a Friday night with his group. “It’s a medium weight game with some engine-building and some territory control. The turns are quite simple, either building a building onto the board and triggering it’s ability, and the ability of all buildings of the same type that you have previously built, or you discard cards to gain a bonus and draw back up to your hand limit. How and what you build will depend somewhat on what you’re dealt, and what direction you start to go, strategy-wise. I mostly clumped my buildings together as I had cards that gave me bonuses and points for doing that. Other cards encourage you to spread out more. There are also points to be had by surrounding the barbarian villages on the board, so there are a few ways to get points.Overall I enjoy it for quite a lot and it’s a good choice for if you don’t have time for something meatier.”

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Crowdfunding Update – FEBRUARY 4

Today we bring you another update on our Kickstarters and other crowdfunded projects. During the last month we’ve received 3 projects at the store and backed 9 additional projects. If you want to be updated when new products – including Kickstarters and crowdfunded projects – arrive at Sentry Box, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  If you are interested in a project below, contact us at the store for more info, prices or to be added to the pre-orders list. It works just like any other pre-order at the store, you only pay when you pick up the game. This is a great way to get your hands on some of the most popular crowd funded games without having to pay upfront and you don’t have to pay for shipping. Plus you get double points on all pre-orders!

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 23-29

Sue painted a WizKids pre-primed Nolzur’s Marvelous Githzerai Monk for the new D&D skirmish game, Onslaught. “Onslaught comes with everything you need to start playing, including pre-painted miniatures, but on their website (https://www.dndonslaught.com/) they actually have a list of alternate miniatures you can use for each character. So I painted this guy up for my Zhentarim team. I used Black Templar Contrast Paint for the robes, and Black Legion Contrast Paint for his leather shin and arm guards. But the real star of this show was Iyanden Yellow Contrast Paint for the skin. I feel like this beautiful and versatile Contrast Paint was made for Gith skin. I did most of the spots on his skin before adding the Iyanden Yellow Contrast Paint.”

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