Sunday 25 January 2015

Gerald's Game

The novel begins with a bondage game between a husband (slightly overweight middle-aged lawyer) and his wife, Jessie. It doesn't end well for the wife. In the aftermath of a hustle she ends up handcuffed to the bed in a house in the middle of nowhere in the state of Maine. Her desperate struggle makes for the major part of the story. 

As she tries to free herself, using any elements in her vicinity that may be helpful, her mind is restless. She not only vocalizes her deepest fears but also starts talking with different voices. Her internal dialogue gradually reveals events from her past that shaped who she's become and also give insights into her complex psyche. King goes into details when he describes a traumatic event from Jessie's childhood. I found this part really hard to follow as even thinking about such situations causes uncomfortable feelings, and it gets even worse when they're shown so distinctly. At the same time, various manifestations of fear were really well created.

It is one of these novels where the scary part isn't something unnatural, some more or less tangible evil. The real horror here is the feeling of being completely helpless in the face of approaching death. There are other novels and stories by King that deal with similar situations. "A Very Tight Place" immediately comes to mind. "The Library Policeman" is another one that features similarly disturbing descriptions. It's also hard not to mention "Dolores Clairbone" as it was also released in the same year (1992) and the protagonists of both novels share a very peculiar link.

As disturbing as it gets, Gerald's Game" still reads very well, even though it can make the reader feel as if they were secretly peeping at something forbidden.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Lelu & Lilitu

I've had a chance to paint the classic metal version of these minis a while ago (I've done it twice in fact!) but this time I wanted to make them using TTB bits. The inspiration came from A Wyrd Place on FB where I saw these two heads used to create Lelu and Lilitu. It encouraged me to buy the set and give it a try.
I wanted to make them look almost human, and the parts from the set seemed perfect. Humanoid bodies with Neverborn heads. TThe only addition was a bit I used for Lelu's tail. It's actually a part of tentacle from the plastic Illuminated. At the same time I kept the original skin colors to make it easy to recognize the enforcers they're supposed to represent immediately. I plan to use both of them with Dreamer as summons so I used the same Orphanage base inserts. 

Lelu is clearly more of a beatstick. He has two decent melee attacks with a potential chance to heal up some wounds using his Vampiric Bite. His claws can also be a nasty weapon as the target he hits autmatically gains Poison +2. This attack gets a + if Lelu has 5 or fewer wounds remaining. He has a nice (0) action that allows him to push up to 3' and get Pounce Condition, which somehow compensates for his unimpressive Wk 4.
Lilitu's whip has an impressive Rg of 4 and can even cause the target to be Paralyzed with a Mask trigger. She can be also very useful with her Rg 18' Lure. With a very decent Ca of 7, it requires only a 5 of any suit to succeed. She also has a (1) action that gets her a + to all duels for one turn. She is also much faster than Llu with a Wk of 6.
While each has different characteristics and uses, they have a few things in common as well. They both have Black Blood and Regeneration +1. Also, each time one of them heals, the other gets to remove the same amount of wounds. The same goes for any conditions (unless 2 cards are discarded), so they can both have Pounce and a + to all duels (or both).

Saturday 17 January 2015


Two more minis I put together using parts from TTB male and female sets. I also added mutated limbs that I found in my bits box (I think they're from old WFB plastic Chaos Warriors set). The idea was to show how Brilliance changes humans and how it affects their bodies. 
I chose a "zombie" head for the female on purpose as I thought that even the part not yet affected by mutation might be showing signs of degeneration. i wanted to make it look as if she isn't fully aware of the changes taking place and that's why I chose an arm with cards held casually in hand.
I took a slightly different approach when working on the male one. I imagined him as some kind of veteran, possibly a bouncer at The Honeypot who was exposed to the effects of Brilliance. Unlike the lady, he is fully aware of the changes taking place and fully embraces them, understanding the power they give him.

The Illuminated are quite versatile beatsticks. Their Df 5 isn't impressive but they have Armor +1 and Regenaration +1. They are also terrifying, which can limit some threats from other living opponents. What's more, they have a (0) action that allows them to heal. It's not hard to pull it off as it requires just a 5 of any suit. 
Their melee damage output is solid and gets even better when the target has the Brilliance characteristic. A very good Cg 8 helps them get to the target much faster. They also have a Sh attach, at Rg 8. It has the same damage profile as the melee one, a little lower base value (5 compared to Ml 6), but it can help spread the brilliance among the opponents. 
The Illuminated have a strong synergy with Jakob Lynch but other Neverborn masters can also benefit from hiring them. A fairly fast, model that can serve as a solid beatstick and is very survivable is a welcome addition to many crews. One nice trick is to use Black Blood Shaman and have him attack the Illuminated to trigger Blood Infusion and add Black Blood to him.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Misery Loves Company #5 No Shelter Here

Pandora is a tricky master. She doesn't attack her opponents directly, relying on Wp duels to hurt them. She has strong synergy with her crew as both Pandora and Sorrows inflict 1 damage to each enemy within 6' that fails a Wp test. Both her Ml and Sh attacks cause the target to hurt himself/herself using their own (1) action. It's a unique mechanics that is used only by Pandora and her minions. 
As far as defense is concerned, she can always use her strong Wp of 7 in any opposed duel instead of her low Df 3. She can also effectively manipulate the order in which her opponent activates models and put Paralyzed on them with suitable upgrades. 

I wanted to make her look completely different than teh rest of teh crew so I used typical human skin color and dark clothes to set her apart from the rest. I tied her in with her crew by using the same type of base (Wyrd Orphanage insert) and bright green around the box she's holding (I used the same shade on Sorrows and Poltergeist).

No Shelter Here

Monday 5 January 2015

Memories of Ice

The action of the third novel from the Malazan Book of the Fallen takes place simultaneously to the second one. In the "Deadhouse Gates" there were some moments when there were glimpses into what was happening to some of the characters (such as Kalam's brief conversation with Quick Ben or goodies delivered to Fiddler) so now it was an opportunity to finally learn of the fates of Dujek Onearm's Second army, Anomander Rake, Caladan Brood, Tattersail, and many others.

The renegade Malazan army forms a shaky truce with the Tiste Andii  from Moonspawn and Caladan Brood's forces. The interactions between commanders were very well presented as each struggled to maintain the alliance while working on their own agenda secretly.This power play was very interesting but what I found even more intriguing was the way Erikson introduces the main enemy - Pannion Seer. Little is known about the nature of the leader of the empire of Pannion Domin. Even the most powerful and influential characters have just a few insights into what awaits them, only knowing that it's something nasty. The author keeps the reader interested and as more details are revealed, it is shown that the main antagonist is a very complex figure.

As the combined forces near the city of Capustan, its defenders struggle against an overwhelming attack from enemy forces. The attacking army consists in the large part of the Tenescowri, a peasant army formed from the starving survivors of Pannion's neighbours.This is probably the most terrifying description of an army I've ever read. These are starved men and women thrown into defenders in overwhelming numbers. They feed on the bodies of their enemies (and their fellow soldiers as well). Fighting against them is extremely unpleasant for the defenders of Capustan as they have to slaughter huge numbers of helpless peasants. At the same time the Tenescowri are driven mad by their plight and no longer resemble normal humans. They actually made me think of zombies from World War Z as the creatures were climbing the walls of Jerusalem. Definitely not a pretty sight.

The other characters include a recurring Malazan soldier who disappeared in tome #1 and now returns to find himself in very unusual company... Thanks to the presence of a very special Lady we get interesting insights into the ancient history connected with the Crippled God. Also, another interesting tribe is presented - the Seguleh, fierce warriors who value battle prowess more than anything else. There is also some comic relied in the person of Kruppe. This character, as usual, brings some humor with his witty dialogues and unlikely situations he finds himself in. He is also still the character I haven't figured out yet. Who he really is, what is his role and what other skills than his considerable intelligence does he posses that allow him to pull so many strings still remains unknown. Speaking of humor, there is also a very interesting duo of two necromancers, Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. The latter in particular brings new meaning to the word "madness".

While reading Memories of Ice I couldn't stop thinking how deep the world created by Erikson is and that it continued to become even deeper as I read through the novel. I like the fact that he gradually reveals past events that affect the world. He seamlessly combines narrative from the past to present events. As a result, new facts about seemingly well known characters emerge regularly and affect the way they're perceived. There are some truly gut wrenching moments here but overall it's a really good read and I look forward to finding more answers (and more questions!) in the next novel. 

Sunday 4 January 2015

Misery Loves Company #4

Candy is another Woe that Pandora likes to use. She's also a henchman so she can always use soulstones to improve her flips or help with defense. She is a Casting expert, which really helps as both Candy's attach are Ca-based. She's only Ht 1 but despite that, her Ml range is an impressive 3'. She uses a nasty attack in the form of Self-Loathing. She can also hit from a distance with Wail. At Rg 8. It's damage spread is not that impressive with severe 3 (plus a blast) but it has a very nasty trigger with a tome. Once she hits an opponent with it, she can pull some really mean shenanigans with activation control that can even make up for a lost initiative flip. She also carries around a basket full of goodies, which allows her to heal herself. 
Candy is not a tough one as her Df is 6 with 9 Wd. Her only defensive trick is Manipulative 12. She can be excellent for certain strategies with a 1ss Best Behaviour upgrade that gives her a (0) action. Using it, she can bury and pop back into play anywhere in the controller's deployment zone during the next draw phase.
 Painting her wasn't easy as she's a very small model. What's more, there are lots of tiny details, not only on her dress and hair, but also in her basket. I used dark shades for her dress, skin and hair as I wanted the details to be brighter and contrast with the rest of the model. I also used a Wyrd Orphanage base insert. I thought it looked haunting enough for the little Woe that Candy is.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...