What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Oct 24-30

Kris got a lot of painting done for his Star Wars Legion army this week! “I didn’t have much time over the weekend to get any painting done, but I managed to paint another unit and commander for my Star Wars Legion army. I love the look of these Syndicate Thugs and they are sure to add some character to my Shadow Collective army.”

Kris finished the first of his units of Mandalorian Super Commandos this week. “I was not a fan of the flight stands that the models come with so I replaced them with Paperclips that i straightened and painted black.  They were lots of fun to paint but I will report back after I paint 4 more units.” :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:

Renee read Auberon, the novella in The Expanse series that takes place between the events of the 7th and 8th books. “It focuses on a Laconian who is sent out to govern one of the colony worlds and provides some interesting insight into the Laconian culture as he and is wife try and adjust to a world with a completely foreign, to them, way of life.”

Renee and Jenn played a couple games of the new arrival Get on Board: New York and London, which reimplements the Japanese import Let’s Make a Bus Route! “Players build bus routes in either New York (2-3 players) or London (4-5 players), picking up tourists to bring to tourist locations, taking workers to office buildings and students to university. There are common objectives (e.g. pick up 5 students) as well as personal objectives (your route must pass through 3 specific intersections). It’s a quick and light game which we both really enjoyed!”

Greg and Tracy played the second scenario in Unlock: Legendary Adventures, a Robin Hood themed scenario. “We seemed to understand what we were supposed to do much more than in the first scenario, although we still needed a few hints. There were some cool puzzles and a neat visual element in this one.”

Later in the week Kris finally finished some more units for his Shadow Collective army. “I had a bit of a busy week so these felt very Stop/Start and I never felt like I hit a rhythm to just get them done but they are finished now!”

Kris finishes a fantastic week of painting with, “Painting Bossk is always enjoyable, this is maybe the 4th or 5th time I have painted this model.” :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Oct 17-23

Kris has managed to play a couple of games of Age of Sigmar as part of the store’s new Path to Glory campaign. “My Maggotkin of Nurgle army has been a pleasant surprise, as I seemed to have stumbled on a strong combination of units, and whilst I would love to claim some strategic brilliance behind it, it was purely the chance of one of the limited combinations that added up to our 600 point starting level! But I managed to fight off the Nighthaunt with a victory in my first game, but after facing a more choppy challenge in the Beasts of Chaos with their monsters and hard hitting units. I managed to squeeze out a draw by summoning a cheeky unit of Nurglings in my last turn, and those bothersome little scamps contested the objective at the end of the game.”

Kris has been working on his Shadow Collective army, “Which has been extra fun as I have managed to get some of the new Two Thin Coats paints to try out before they are officially released. The unit of Pykes was my first foray into this new paint line, and whilst I am pleased with the finished results it did feel like hard work. Maul was much more fun to do as I really limited my palette with him and the Triad system they use worked really well to make all of the different shades stand out. I also just bit the bullet and used my Games Workshop shades on Maul as they really me smooth out my work and having them as that safety net is liberating :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:

Kris managed to finish one of his Gar Saxon miniatures this week. One of the things I love (and hate) about Legion is that the character models often have multiple loadout options and are really good fun to paint (but I always end up spending double getting two of each character I like so that I can build them all!) I went for his Shield and Helmeted Head for the first attempt.”

Renee read Persepolis Rising, the seventh book in The Expanse series. “This was one of the more focused books in the series, with almost all the POV characters in the same location and all the characters engaged in the same storyline. There is an almost 30 year time jump from the last book, during which things seem to have settled into the new reality for everyone, with all the players figuring out their roles in this new universe. Until of course, things change and that is where we pick up the story. The book does a good job of reminding you that everyone is quite a bit older, and that things have changed somewhat for everyone, while allowing the main story to progress naturally with the characters. I really enjoyed it.”

Greg played a three player game of Space Base with Lani and Tracy, “I felt like it was going pretty well despite them both being a little ahead on points at the midway stage. I’d built up a pretty good engine and started ramping up, but apparently I spent slightly too long because I noticed that Lani was about to be able to win on her turn, only for Tracy to sneak in just ahead of her and get to exactly 40 points, leaving me lamenting in third place.” They also played a game of Sushi Go, “Another three player game, and this one had a pretty weird card distribution across the three rounds. Tracy and I were competing over cards, and there were only three puddings in the whole game. In the end it worked out ok for all of us as far as the scores went, but Tracy once again edged ahead with a great score of 55.”

Greg and Tracy had a few pretty bad games of Hanabi lately but they were hopeful they could do better this time. “It started a little better and things were looking pretty reasonable overall, but we did make a few poor choices that led to Tracy discarding a 5, and then a couple of cards only came out late in the game, meaning we ran out of time. It wasn’t a bad score, but definitely felt like it could have been better if we’d been more in sync with each other.” They also played a two player game of the awesome meaty Euro Barrage. “It had been a little while since we’d played so Tracy was rusty and made a few bad errors. Unfortunately it’s a game that can be a little unforgiving of mistakes, so it meant I was able to get ahead, claim some good spots on the board for my powerhouses and make the most of the neutral dams. I also picked up a bunch of points from round end bonuses, as well as the end game bonus, so it was a straightforward victory. Hopefully we’ll get to play again soon so that Tracy can get a chance at redemption.”

Kris played a game of X-Wing after hours on Friday night.

It’s actually been a while since I have been able to take the time to actually play so I just dusted off an old list that I was comfortable with and played Darth Vader in the TIE/x1, Countess Ryad in her Red TIE Defender and three supporting TIE/ln fighters. This list is very offensively focused, with all of the upgrades on Vader making him hit reliably with max results. We played Chance Engagement as the scenario, which involves contesting the center of the table as both sides are focused on shooting each other down.

Whilst things could have been seen to be going badly, (I lost a TIE and Vader and my opponent had not lost a ship) I traded very aggressively and put damage across most of the Republic list with Mace and Barriss both reduced to 1 Hill and the LAAT heavily damaged. So all that was left to do was stick in the center to keep scoring the passive Points and set up shots on the damaged ships to take them off the table. As the republic ships started falling, it got harder and harder to damage the TIE Defender and Ryad became something of a bully just landing in annoying positions and calling the bluff on the now extremely fragile Jedi.

The game ended in round 7 with the Imperials having recorded the 20 points needed, while the republic were close on their heels at 18 points.

Kris also played a game of 40K with his Nurgle Daemons as part of an on running Crusade that one of our Customers is running.

We were playing at 25 Power Level and I wanted to field the Poxbringer that I had added to my roster after my last game.  I really noticed the lack of the Speed Boost from the Sloppety Bilepiper but adding in a Psyker and him having a slightly more dangerous combat weapon really helped this game. Going against the Tau, I basically hid away from the Broadside Battle Suits in the hope of surviving the inevitable hail of incoming fire and getting in to combat.

The Ruinstorm was nice to me in the first round, generating enough Warpstorm points to summon up a descending shadow to mask my Daemons and apply a -1 to hit from shooting if the range was larger than 12 inches, but still the Tau destroyed half of my Plaguebearers. After that, I managed to get on top of the two objectives and just dug in deep and tried to distract the Tau with my other units so that they could keep slowly whittling me down rather than scoring points.

The Poxbringer discovered, much to his own regret, that the Tau commander could still shoot his 3 Fusion Guns while in combat and as such, regretted not getting the job done earlier and having left him on one wound remaining, as the searing melts weapons cooked through his (formally) impressive 6 wounds behind toughness 6. But when the dust (and ash) settled, the Daemons had done enough to guarantee the victory and came out on top.

The bonus for winning this game was an extra Requisition point, which I immediately had to spend to remove battle scares from the unit of Plaguebearers who were killed and failed their rolls. The good news is that my Plague Drones did amazing this game, having chopped through a few units and achieving both of my secondary objectives of Seeding the Garden, and Reaping my enemies units.

Kris finished reading Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, “I picked it up as it has a lot of cool Shadow Collective stuff to tie in to my new army for Star Wars: Legion. It’s a relatively short read as it was only a 4 issue run, but it’s action packed and fills in some of the gaps around the Clone Wars (I believe it was based on the scripts of some unaired episodes)Lots of fun with a nice art style that is easy to follow, and as a bonus, I am even more inspired to get my painting done!”

Greg picked up Mysterium Kids on Friday and tried it out with the kids Saturday. “Players take it in turns to be the ghost, so everyone gets a chance at that role at least once. Instead of the ghost using cards to clue the players in they use a tambourine to make the players guess the appropriate card out of five options. Some of them are pretty tricky to make sounds for, and Luke needed a little help a couple of times, but they picked it up quickly and we played three games in total. They wanted to play more too!”

Greg and Tracy played Unlock: Legendary Adventures: Action Story: “This was the first and supposedly easiest of the three scenarios in this box but we didn’t exactly breeze through it. I’m not sure if it was because we haven’t played any escape room games for a while and are out of practice or if we just weren’t on the right wavelength, but we ended up needing a fair few hints. Some parts were easy but others we just couldn’t see what we were supposed to do. It was a silly but fun story though and we still enjoyed it!”

Cam managed to finish a few minis this week.  “Vintage Deathwing Terminators.  Been trying to collect and paint a lot of the old 2nd edition angels of death stuff and decided to do the Dark Angels extremely weathered/beat up looking while still capturing the feel of the era.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Oct 10-16

Dan and family played a three player game of My Little Scythe and it went as predicted, with Oliver completing 4 objectives, Bree completing 3 and Dan completing 2.

It was only the second time we’ve played the game since we got it in 2017, and the first time that we’ve played with Oliver (7 years old). So it was a learning experience for all of us.

The game really does a good job of capturing the basic feel of Scythe, while making it more accessible to a younger audience, without making it feel like it’s been “dumbed down” so much that a more experienced player will be bored with it. All of the basics are there, move your pieces, collect resources, or turn those resources into something more useful, and then wage war via a pie in the face against your opponents.

Oliver predictably and consistently played aggressively, racking up as many magic pie cards, and actual pies as he could do the he could wage war with impunity, and it wasn’t until he saw that losing Friendship points every second turn was hurting him that he started trying out other strategies out.  He eventually forced the end of the game by collecting his third magic card.

Bree (also, predictably) played the most balanced game and could have ended the game 2 or 3 rounds earlier than it ended had she wanted to.

In a very atypical fashion, I tried to play the role of Me Nice guy, and attempted every turn possible to grant my opponents free resources so that I could move up the friendship track quickly to claim that achievement, but the dice were against me. I did manage to achieve 8 pies as well as cashing in some crystals for my second chit, but that’s all I could muster. I’m this case, nice guys finished last, but at least I had some fun doing it.

Greg played another two scenarios of Roll Player Adventures, “With the first seeing us trying to find a missing halfling girl who had apparently been taken by a troll, and the second had us investigating in the Undercity trying to find and kill a vampire that was infecting people. There were some trickier skill checks and combats and we failed a couple of times, but overall managed to get through everything ok. We had lots of story choices to make, which typically involve helping or hindering one of three different factions in the game, and the choices you make can open or close doors to you later on. It seems like not everything is what it first appears.” :grinning:

It’s Octoberween, so Sue painted up some tombstones from the Bloodbowl Necromantic Horror – Wolfenburg Crypt-Stealers. “I don’t play Blood Bowl myself, but I do love their box sets and feel they’re perfect for adding flavor to my Warcry teams or just really cool diorama pieces.
I was drybrushed the ravens with Thunderhawk Blue and I really think it looks great. I used orange and green Contrast Paint for the pumpkins. And, of course, my favorite Contrast Paint Gore Grunta Fur for the soil.”

Renee and Jenn finally busted out The Mysteries of Terra Proxima, the second expansion for Space Base. “Like The Emergence of Shy Pluto, this expansion is set up as a campaign, with each element being introduced as you make your way through the story. So it slowly adds new elements with win conditions in your game determining when you unlock the next part. It was a great excuse to place Space Base again and with some of the elements already introduced in Shy Pluto, namely the bonus Pluto dice you get to roll on everyone’s turn, we had so much fun!  We played 2 games which allowed us to introduce the first 3 parts of the story, so we’ll likely have to play a couple more sessions before we get to open the big mystery box.”

Renee and Jenn also played a game of Azul: Queen’s Garden. “This is by far my favourite Azul since the original; its thinky, requires lots of planning and adapting and it’s hard compared to the previous versions. I wish I got to play this more as I feel like every time we play it, I’m having to relearn what I do wrong but never seem to remember enough to get that much better the next time. That being said I think Jenn had the highest score we’ve seen yet, going around the score board about 3 times.”

The card game TEN came out this week and got played a bunch of times between the members of Renee’s family with different player counts. “But props go to Jenn, who in our two player game, managed to get complete runs in all 4 colours! This was also the most fun I’ve had playing this game ever, as I had to just watch as time after time, whenever a wild card came out, it was on Jenn’s turn (meaning I had to bid first), and I never had any tokens to bid with, so I just had no choice but to sit there and watch Jenn get almost an entire run of just wild cards! And she would have, if I hadn’t managed to buy the wild 6. It was so ridiculously unfair and made me laugh harder than I have in a long time while playing a game. And because I know all of you are wondering, I have no idea why 2 of the runs go one way the other 2 the other way. Jenn was consistent in the randomness of her tableau set-up.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Oct 3-9

Kris played his first game of Warhammer 40,000 against an army with Knights in it.

And not the fun Knights who search for grails and stuff, giant, spiky, mean Chaos Knights who worship the dark gods and ride around in gigantic armoured mechs with big guns and bigger close combat weapons. Luckily, I had prepared for such an occasion, and my Great Unclean One was well equipped to kill them, or so I thought…

Turn one went well, with my Sloppety Bilepiper increasing my Great Unclean Ones speed, to allow him to not only get close enough to blast one of the wretched warmachines with psykic powers, but to charge in to combat and swing his own giant blade dealing a whopping 24 wounds, and felling one before it had had a chance to fire a shot. Unfortunately for the Greater Daemon of Nurgle, that left him high and dry on the wrong side of the table, and the Big Bad Knight with the even bigger death lazors and space swords blew him back into the warp with very little ceremony!

Luckily, on turn two, I could actually start claiming objectives, and even having traded down in power level, I was well positioned to start digging up the relics, that were our actual mission objectives. Thus began the game of how many points will Kris score while Aiden is killing his army, and the Nurgle tricks keep things on the table long enough to matter? I was actually really surprised, whilst I had zero chance of bringing down his larger knight without the Great Unclean One, the Plaguebearers actually managed to drag down the smaller knights and racked up quite a tally on the objectives.

The game finished 80 points to 20, with the Nurgle Daemons being wiped out to a man(?) but being too far ahead for it to matter at the end of the game!

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They Might Be Giants! A D&D Frameworks Hill Giant Review

D&D clubs all over the city are starting up again and you may be considering which minis to use in your campaign. Earlier this year, WizKids released their new line of Frameworks minis. These minis are the most detailed WizKids D&D minis on the market right now. They may be at a slightly higher price point than other D&D models, but these are beautiful, showpiece models that should not be overlooked. In this writer’s opinion, they are some of, if not the best D&D miniatures to date. And here’s a few reasons why:

  • They are the most detailed officially licensed D&D minis on the market today
  • You’ve got options! Personalize your character your way with a crazy amount of customization
  • The fun accessories! Every kit comes with super fun accessories! (Heck, I would buy most of these kits *just* for the accessories!)
  • Even if you don’t care about customizing your models, these are some really beautiful miniatures!

Sue & Sean each painted the Hill Giant. They both felt that this was a fantastic model and have summarized their thoughts on the project below:

Sue:

I built both of the Hill Giants as I was originally going to do up 2 different Hill Giants myself, but I was really glad that Sean got involved because I love what he did with his model! I have assembled a few Frameworks minis now and I definitely recommend dry fitting your models before you commit to gluing them. Frameworks models have the option of painting accessories and hard to reach areas prior to gluing, which I like, or you can build the whole model and then paint. Really, there aren’t too many hard to reach places on this model so even though I glued the accessories on after, it really wasn’t necessary.

I ended up greenstuffing some quick fur on mine in place of cloth so his outfit was just a little bit different.

I liked all the options! It was tough choosing between them all! The Hill Giant comes with a bunch of fun accessories. The ham was definitely my favorite! Not shown: He also comes with the options of more furs, a cart for a backpack, and an alternate left hand that’s holding a cow!

If you’re interested in reading about how I ended up painting my model, you can read it here: https://sentrybox.wordpress.com/2022/09/19/what-have-the-sentry-box-staff-been-up-to-sept-12-18/

I love this model! There is just so much detail and so many options! As you can see from the photos, the D&D Frameworks minis let you get quite creative. You can really personalize your model and end up with something quite unique. Even if everybody in your campaign got the same model, they could all end up looking quite different! And I think that is very cool.

Sean:

Buster Bonkeroff, is a Hill Giant of some local notoriety, Buster recognizable by his distinctive lucky hat and personal pungency. Amiable for a giant he often works as a mercenary as his rock lobbing skills are devastating in their effectiveness. His belt is decorated with shields of great warriors he has vanquished. Buster is a popular mercenary with less ethical warlords and generals as he asks little in pay, just so long as he gets his pick of the wounded and prisoners. A notable gourmand and chef, Buster’s pressed and smoked dwarf-ham is very popular with local monster-kind.

When Sue invited me into this project I was stoked. The Frameworks Hill Giant kit has an exceptional range of parts and options. The sculpt fired my imagination quite a bit and I saw some potential to it, really liking what WizKids is trying to do with this line even though I was a bit shy about the price sticker.

Sue presented me this half-built, half-painted lad that she had a start at and passed it to me to have a go.

I love Sue’s painting and ideas, but we approach painting methodology a bit differently and I had to change the base colours. I’m very much a ‘start dark and work up from there’ painter when it comes to flesh. And lemme tell ya folks, this guy has lots of flesh. So I covered with Vallejo Burnt Red, a smashing pigment for basing red toned skin colour on.

While doing that I started his eyes. I’m more typically a unit/army painter so I don’t do eyes. I’m pretty content with lots of dark shaded eye pits. But when I do eyes, I love what I call the Kabuki Eyes technique. Sue just did a sweet tutorial on it (link here) and it’s worth your time. The giant’s sculpt has tiny little piggy eyes, but I felt like he needed a bit more oomph.

In short you paint ridiculously exaggerated eyes and then using dark colours, shape and outline them. Hence the Kabuki look.

After that I started getting more ideas as to where I wanted to go with this guy. And before I did I had to address a wee issue with the kit. The big lad’s body is two hollow polystyrene parts. Assembling him is like a plastic model kit, tank or airplane. There will always be some variance with gaps and overlaps with plastic this size. This is a quality kit so there isn’t a lot, but there is some.

Cleverly most of the joins are covered by other parts like his furry cape. But there is a visible seem from behind his thick neck down to wrist. It really popped when the red dried. So I called up my old friend, Tamiya Putty and went to work. Sure green stuff or gap filler would work just as fine, but I’ve been using Tamiya for ages and I know its properties. There were two other visible joins on his side, but we’ll get to those later. Consider yourself forewarned, extra time dry fitting and shaping the parts will pay off later.

I am a big proponent of limiting your palette when you paint. I like a unity of shades. I picked two of my favourite shades as my base paints, GW Jokaero Orange and Vallejo Game Colours Heavy Goldbrown.

These two shades where mixed in to all pigments I used on the big guy, who I now had named Buster after the singular Buster Bloodvessel of the great Second Wave Ska band Bad Manners.

Buster Bloodvessel

Using a large brush, wet palette and judicious use of Vallejo Matt Medium I started mixing, layering and blending. As I lightened up I introduced Vallejo Heavy Skin Tone. Together with the orange it created a skin shade I thought really popped.

Let’s go back to the visible seem on the sides I previously referred to. So halfway through painting I sort of recycled the box and part diagrams. So I sort of glued things where I felt looked cool and didn’t really consider that their job was to disguise the join. So I improvised and dug out a bunch of shields from various fantasy and historical sprues I had kicking around. 

Buster now has a very decorative belt with shields and a severed head from Warlord, Northstar, and Wargames Atlantic.

As you see we’re getting close to finishing up. And I really had to stop myself painting, if there wasn’t a deadline to this project I might still be going. As I said this guy has a lot of surface area and there is an agreeable amount of detail to paint and play with. I had fun painting his finger and toe nails, picking out patches on the banners that make up his breach cloth and his nifty skull necklace. Best feature by far was his cap. It fits snug on his head without gluing. So I painted both his shiny skull and the cap. The cap I finished with white polka dots over a faded red. It adds a whimsical extra pop of colour to his very fleshy and angry bulk.

For shadows I mixed up a wash with Army Painter Strong Tone and Sepia Wash. I used this blend in the deep folds. For lighter shadows I really like Tamiya Panel Liner.

It’s alcohol based and as such it flows differently than the water based inks and shading products, pooling deeper and not really staining the colours next to it. The stuff is magic. I finished with spraying two coats of Testor’s Gloss and one of Vallejo Matt Acrylic, I find this combo provides an excellent protection and look. I finish all minis as if they are going on the tabletop and get pushed around by potentially nasty fingers. I finished up the terrain base that came with the figure, using some washes and a grey for the rocks then adding Gamer’s Grass and Army Painter Tufts for the finishing touch.

So is this ‘The Last Hill Giant You’ll Ever Need?’ Very well could be. This kit is worthy of a major villain character as Sue suggests, naming hers after the Big Boss of the first Against The Giants modules. The customization potential gives a miniature building game master the chance to spring a mini on the group that is WYSIWYG. Table-top wargamers should take advantage of this guy as you can configure him for either melee or artillery capacities. The sheer size of the model is quite intimidating and would be splendid for smashing up a unit of silly elves.

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 26-Oct 2

Kris and his group finally, after much real life happening, managed to finish their Arkham Horror Innsmouth Conspiracy Campaign! “This is by far the most time a campaign has taken us to play, including the Circle Undone which we were playing when COVID happened! The joys of being grown ups I suppose. :grimacing: It’s hard to give feedback with it being such a stop start campaign, but I enjoy it, the structure and story felt strong and well put together, and our choices felt impactful. I didn’t like the time jump elements, as I think the deck building, upgrading, and bag organization involved detracted more than added to that feeling of unlocking your memories. That said, I think it still sits in my top 3 Arkham Horror LCG campaigns, now on to Edge of the Earth, which I have been really looking forward to!”

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Kickstarter Update – OCTOBER 2

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 1 additional project. 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 Kickstarter 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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