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By Jordan Peacock
Okay, first of all, this isn't so much about, "Gee, look at what awesome paint jobs I managed to sloppily churn out over the holiday," as it is more about, "Wow, this board game has some rather cool minis that could be interesting for a cyberpunk campaign."
Anyway, every now and again I work on painting up board game minis for a friend with at least enough detail that they can be visually distinguished easily enough on the table. As such, most of my effort goes into color-coding, and that's especially the case here.
(AGENTS - L to R: Orangutan, Cobra, Blue Jay, Spider)
The game has two teams: Agents, and Hunters. The big catch of the game is that you don't just stick all the minis and move them around as playing pieces like you would in a normal game. Rather, there's a hide-and-seek element at play, where the player of the Agents is secretly tracking their actual positions, and the player of the Hunters is trying to hunt them down before they can complete their secret objectives, with some predetermined missions and a lot of tracking required to keep things honest.
The cards for the characters have color-coded frames -- red for Agents, blue for Hunters -- so the first and easy part was just to make sure that the figure alignments are clear by the color of the rings. The character art is nearly monochromatic -- the suggestion seems to be that just about EVERYONE is dressed in black, and so the main color elements of the artwork seem to be based upon the idea of bathing each character in a different shade of light. So, maybe Orangutan is really dressed in armor that looks rather orange (or brown -- hard to say), or he just happened to be bathed in some amber-red light, or something like that. This color-coded scheme serves me well for the Hunters, but not so much for the Agents: Aside from Orangutan, their artwork depicts ALL of them as dark with primarily bluish highlights. Fortunately, their silhouettes are SO different from each other that I don't think anyone's going to mix them up.
Cobra suffered from having a hopelessly bendy sword blade that defied attempts to straighten it out. I ended up fashioning a replacement out of a pewter sprue tab, and pinning it in place.
(HUNTERS - L to R: The Beast, The Prophet, The Puppet, The Gun)
See, here I had a bit more color to work with. Beast's artwork is mainly purple-blue, the Prophet is all green, Puppet stands around in red light, and The Gun stands in a dusky sunset scene that makes him look all golden-orange. I could have just dry-brushed them all with the requisite color and called it a day, but I added a few details here and there (skin tones for bare skin anywhere I got a hint that there SHOULD be any skin tone, for instance, and bright points of white -- usually the eyes). I probably could have done the gun of The Gun in more of a gunmetal look, but I felt that it would detract too much from the otherwise one-color look that dominates the figures, since the gun comprises SO MUCH of the figure.
I suppose the Prophet could have gotten some skin-tone as well, but the artwork for him makes him SO GREEN. I tried to compromise by mixing a lighter and slightly greyed shade of green for the head, but it doesn't really show up well in the photo. Too subtle? Probably.
For the bottoms, I painted them graphite-grey, then wrote the figure name in white acrylic, but that's only barely legible. It's more a clue for someone who already knows the names but for some reason can't FOR SURE remember which mini is which. ;) I'm not showing THAT, since it'd just look painfully ugly in a photo.
By Darsc Zacal
Kickstarter is Live and has reached the initial funding level:
From the Mantic Newsletter:
"Star Saga: The Eiras Contract will see players guide a team of space mercenaries on a mission to retrieve stolen data plans from a research facility orbiting a far-off alien world. Players will take on platoons of minions, powerful alien bosses and be forced to make difficult choices as the story takes unexpected twists and turns.
The spiritual sequel to Dungeon Saga, Star Saga introduces newly improved and stronger rulesets, 'learn as you go' rules for new players and, more detailed, advanced mechanics for seasoned gamers."
If it wasn't for Mantics long history of fulfilment issues/delays/changes I'd be tempted by this. It sounds like the game I've been waiting for.
Instead I'll likely just keep an eye on the Kickstarter and consider buying at retail.
Meet Bonnie Futuristic Hero from Reaper's Chronoscope line. Or as I call her, Bonnie babe of the Secret Swedish Beach Patrol.
For those interested in my WIP: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/62242-50210-bonnie-futuristic-heroine-by-xherman1964
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