Tag Archives: History

Crowdfunding Spotlight: The Legends of the Wulin Board-Game Kickstarter

15 Mar

Another interesting campaign over on Kickstarter, is the boardgame The Legends of the Wulin. I do enjoy a good boardgame now and again, and I am always partial to stuff based on ancient China and it’s legends (and fantasy kin)

Although it looks a tad complicated, it’s very slick looking and certainly attracts the eye with the board and its components, it also is a change to see a KS actually based in china (the place, not the game is what I mean) so at least it could have a bit more authenticity than the slew of westernised material out there.

As I said, it did catch my eye, and I’m tempted to get involved, but as per usual, cash flow might scupper my plans. If you want to take a look, clicky the linky below!

The Legends of the Wulin Board-Game by Eos-sama — Kickstarter.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Grinning Skull at the movies: World War Z

4 Jul

WorldWarZ-Poster

Well, well well, I thought it was time to put up a review about the latest zombie movie everyone’s been talking about (mainly for negative reasons…) World War Z.

I had seen much about this movie on the net, before even seeing the film there were plenty of rumours and spoilers that I thought were going to cloud my opinions about it beforehand. Even so I hate pretty much anything with Brad Pitt in (well, just it’s Brad Pitt I can’t stand, he’s such a floppy haired dickhead…) I thought I should at least give the zombies a try, who doesn’t love zombies? Right?

Now, I haven’t read the Max Brooks book yet, and I was waiting for the film to come out, then read them (Yeah, I’m weird like that) to compare, that way I think I will appreciate the books more, since this cinematic effort is just a dire example of what hollywood deems to be a “zombie movie” (remember Warm Bodies, that was shit too)

I must like causing myself pain and suffering, because I really did try and watch it with an open mind, I wanted to be wrong about the swarming zombie ant, liquid poured effects, the poor story and script, ropey acting from Pitt and co, but the nails in the coffin for me at least, were mentions of the word “Zombie”, I mean come on, since when in decent zombie media of any type refers to the undead using the term? Walkers, runners, munchers, biters, ghouls etc are a mark of quality, albeit some might say an extra level of realism given to the setting by thoughtful writers to create more believeability to the thing. (Not that zombies are realistic anyway, but those involved in genre dabbling should at least try!) Using the word scores minus points in my book.

Without spoiling the end for you who haven’t seen it yet, or plan to, frankly it’s utter drivel, and so ridiculously cheesy, hooray for Brad, he saves the world! Nothing downbeat and signifiying the end of the human race here, everything works out for us! Gee, thanks Brad, it sure is swell you were here! What a load of bollocks! I’m just thinking of any good points, but it’s tricky! I thought the whole idea of the genre was that there was the impending doom of survival, not this crap. As the lyric from System of a Down’s song goes: you should have never trusted Hollywood. (to make a decent movie!)

Good points: Well, like I said not too many, a few good action bits, some odd bits of destruction here and there, high point for me zombie wise was how the infected went from being bitten etc, to rising as a zomer, that was OK. Still not enough to shout about.

I must add that there were parts I found pretty boring too, and when I get board, I have a habit of messing around in cinemas and such in situations like this, but I did resist the urge this time! Could it be World War ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz……

There are just so many things I dislike about this movie and it goes without saying on subsequent watching I fear there would be more faults I could pick (but I think I’ll be watching something else)

world-war-z

Please Brad, don’t adopt my children, you floppy haired c**t!

Note to Hollywood: It does not take a massive budget and big star to make a good zombie movie, most of the biggest films of the genre were made on tiny budgets. I get that the zombie bandwagon isn’t something that you’ve had much of an opportunity to exploit fully yet, and bastardise it to oblivion, so please take a hint from the past masters in the genre.

Wouldn’t it have been better to have called the film something else, thus eliminating the need for huge amounts to have been spent on the rights to the adaptation? Cast another lesser known, or even unknown actor to play the part of the hero too. Was it justified by casting Brad Pitt and spending more money for a film thats going to bomb (It’s no classic I tell ya!) You know all he’s going to do with his cash is buy some more orphans or something! Words cannot describe how disappointing this movie actually was for me, I wanted it to be OK, alas twas not to be!

Summing up after my vitriol. It’s shit.

I feel dirty and used that I spent my money on seeing it.

Watch it and be prepared to feel abused by the might of the studios and their latest mindf**k. (And I haven’t even told you what I thought about Man of Steel yet!!)

Grinning Skull rating: 1 frowning skull (1/10)

Enhanced by Zemanta

It’s time to open the Book of the Draxxion!

2 Jun

A while ago a few of us were working on a campaign system and universe for 15mm gamers to inhabit and allow cross overs from the different scifi 15mm manufacturers miniatures with other games and rulesets, and so forth. The project stalled, probably due to the amount of work it would have taken over time and other commitments. Myself too having family health problems at the time didn’t help either. Anyway, it started me off creating a race of space dragon saurians for the campaign, which then lead to me doing a few sculpts, so by then I was invested into the idea and not wanting to waste a good idea, have devised ways and means to combine them with what I would like to think of as the “Grinning Skull Universe” setting (which includes the Oggam, Pliiim, Kize, and all my other strange and weird  aliens) So I think it’s time to create a new book in my Grinning Skull Ebook suppliments range, but this time will detail that of the Draxxion race! (Hey, if I can do it for mutant pig ogres, I can sure do the same for space dragons!)

Here’s a start to it, there’s still loads to do, notes, diagrams, charts and even some fiction to come (as well as some art too) Please have a read, and tell  me what you think or if it inspires you any!

dragon

The Royal houses of the Draxxion

The history of the Draxx Millions of years ago, at the time of the great extinction on earth, there dwelled a race of great saurian creatures that lived at the same time as the legendary dinosaurs. These creatures were intelligent and wise, highly advanced in all sciences, wisdom and learning. They lived in cities above and below the ground, and were happy and successful, until the planet killer came. This huge asteroid was fortold by the scholars and wise, prompting them to take steps to preserve their numbers by escaping to the stars. Huge ark ships were constructed to transport them and their stocks of more primitive relations to safer worlds. Thus the asteroid came (which they name “H’chosk’uhur” or the “Great Motivator”) and most of the early Draxxion race fled to nearby systems to find a new home. Thus the mammals inherited the earth and the Draxxion settled in several new worlds. Over the millions of years the Draxx race flourished, many times would civilisations rise and fall on many worlds they inhabited, sometimes leading to new advances in the arts and science, sometimes leading to disaster and stunting their progress. Around the Draxxion universal 12,788 (AD 1590) The Draxx were in the hieght of another multiworld war with each other, as the worlds of Metritoch, Vich’iktin and Gannis were laid waste by the battles fought by rival Draxxion brothers, Eclipsion, Infernus and Meteora and forces loyal to them. This wide spanning war threatened to destabilise and engulf hundreds of smaller planets in the wake, each staging large battles with immense weapons of war. The decision was made to put a stop to the fighting by uniting against the three sides with allied force led by many mighty and legendary Draxxion leaders and champions,thereby creating the Grand Conclave of the Elder Council (Which still stands today) The council eventually battled the brothers, each eventually succumbing to the authority of the conclave and beginning a golden age of peace and co-operation between all Draxx. Ever since this formation, the Royal Houses of the most influencial players in this war are remembered by the founding and each can trace their hertiage back to any of the houses.

dragon1

There are hundreds of these royal lines, some large and influencial, some small and insignificant, but still each hold a direct line back to that war and the heroes of old.

INFERNUS: Decendants of Infernus, dwellers adapted to worlds of high temperatures, highly proud and warlike.

METEORA: Decendants of Meteora, tough and resilient, adapted to dry worlds of rock and stone, blunt and to the point.

ECLIPSION: decendants of Eclipsion, scheming and sly, dwell on worlds with little light and harsh conditions.

AYRTACLON: Decended from Ayrtaclon, dwell in many worlds, but favour mountainous or high altitudes, famed for their wings and affinity with flight ad starship tech.

TYRIDION: Tyridion’s forebarers are formidable psions and arcanists, feared by all for their ability to “know the fates” and second guess opponents.

AQUATAYNE: This house stem from the line of Aquatayne, living upon many waterworlds within undersea caverns and cities, changable and deadly. Mistrusted for thier neurotic behaviour.

SERAPENTIA: Decended from Serapenta and Serapentis, the twin wyrms, Politicians, diplomats, spies, lowlife. Seen to be highly suspect in all matters, excell in science and advanced medicene.

JURASSIKA: Having a more prehistoric look about them, this house could be further from it, they prize high tech ideas and equipment.

PANGARI: While dracconic looking, the House of Pangari amount to some of the most ancient ways and traditions, often looked upon as backwater cousins.

VERTIGAN: Favour a more classic approach to draxxion living, and more natural settings and environments. Fearless and unashamed in behaviour.

WYNTATHORN: Occupying cold and frigid worlds, hardy and resilient, warlike and highly traditional in their ways. Tend to have the most random assortment of equipment available

META’LYKORR: Vain, arrogant, highly strung and proud of their heritage. Discriminatory of the “lesser” and inferior. Bullies of the highest order.

KAOTIKA: Generally despised by the other houses for their highly varying appearances, these favour places of high radioactivity and have questionable past breeding with mutations galore. cunning and wily, they tend to side with the best options in the council.

Each royal house or bloodline is made up from many related smaller families, all of which are decended from the original
house progentitor.
These might be anything from a large multi system empire ran by an ancient emperor warlord, or just a world or moon ruled by a single young Draxxion.
It is likely that most of these worlds populations are also decended from common ancestors, given that Draxxion live for a long time, but out breeding and mutations have created many forms of these lower Draxx giving each world diversity in appearance.
The High Draxxion however tend to exhibit a more dracconic look than their lower kin.
Each house therefore have enhanced traits, adaptions and colourings that are shared by most others in their family genus, some of this can be traced direct to the common ancestors of the line, or due to certain environmetal planetary factors that they have been exposed to over thousands of years successive breeding. This avert display of the exaggerated characteristics is how the Darxxion caste system is played out within “polite” draxxion society, breeding and heritage is everything, without it a Draxx is a nobody, with it they could stand side to side with emperors and kings!
The greater good of the entire draxxion races falls on the juristicion of the Grand conclave of the Elder council, a great meeting of the strongest and most powerful high draxxion kingdoms and worlds. Only the best of the best ever get to play this truly collossal scale of these politics, in which negotiations can quickly become frought with danger of a fight between houses or simply two rival 100 foot high dragon lords disputing territory.
The more thoughtful members of this council use their influnce to go even further than their own galactic doorstep to further their gains, and as such a great deal of the intergalactic politics is concerned with that of rival alien races and empires.
The Draxx influence has thus been slowly and surely been introduced to many other places and governments, corporations and factions over the years, giving them far more reach than just their home systems, indeed many high draxxion can be found in roles throughout the galaxy, as advisors, corporation board members, ambassadors, and special envoys, in fact in any high ranking roles they can find out for themselves, especially when these jobs involve added clout in the spherse of influence they can manipulate.

Not to say that all Draxxion are sly manipulating creatures, indeed some are kindly and peaceful, just not many!
A trait that most Draxxion share is that of materialistic greed and the want to horde beautiful and precious things, since the high draxx can live for thousands of years, they feel the need to furnish themselves with these things, even if it may come at a cost to their own people, and as a result, the lower draxx lines can be left in deprived and sometimes primitive conditions.
Even so the “accepted” Philosophy is that any Draxx may aspire to greatness and achieve the ideal draxxion potential, this tends to be not the case unless you are born a high draxxion. Many of the lower draxxion tend to resign themselves to loyal service in their High Draxxion houses, and tend to be rewarded well, on the flip side, lots of low draxx find that the inherent elitism within the draxx houses leaves them with a bitter taste in their mouths, and may rebel or abscond from service.
If found, these traitors are severely dealt with, a lord who would not make an example of such insubordination would be seen as being weak and unable to control his domain, easy prey for a rival to come and take what was his. Standard High Draxxion protocol!

Each family line of the main houses, are made up from the eldest surviving decendants. Each elder has a family line within the house, and is responsible for all its kin. (For example: Firebranch Infernus are the decendents of the legendary draxxion lord Infernus, Firebranch is the grandson of Infernus, thus Firebranch Infernus is the family line in the house Infernus, and so on.)
The oldest surviving member of each line is expected to take the mantle of leader of the line, however at times this varies if other factors are involved (marriage, exile, etc) As you can imagine, there is a lot of intense backstabbing and underhanded schemes, as the draxxion rarely hold the family ties precious.
The other functions of house business are divided up amongst the other important elder draxx within the family, right down to the youngest up and coming high draxx, although sometimes influencial lower draxxion who show promise may gain positions. This may be more to do with contact between other races as a way to lessen the impact of direct face to face dealings, as the elder draxx are massive nightmarish creatures that may create fear and tension. The lower draxx tend to be less menacing, so are used frequently as envoys and messengers to limit hostilities, and in turn helps facilitate better relations!

DRAXXION FORCES


Typically, a Draxxion force is lead by a Lord overseer, charged with keeping order. These overseer lords are Elder High draxx and will resemble what is more recognised as a typical “Dragon” in form. Rarely will they take part in main hostilities, prefering to watch the battles to study and annalyse the data in which to learn valuable knowledge on the tactics use by the foes.
Following these are a retinue of lesser ranking Elder Draxx and other High draxx, who will be responsible for different sections of the forces. These then are followed by elite high draxx troops who serve to protect the family.
These are followed by the smaller draxx who display more dracconic features and are closer related to the higher caste, but have evolved a more humanoid appearance, they will usually feature heavily in a typical draxx force, as these tend to form the backbone of the elite and specialist troops.
Lower draxx make up the numbers with hordes of them desperately trying to gain favour of the lords, they are often reffered to as Neo-Draxx and some even look not far from a human in many cases, and may pass with little effort, sometimes only given away by telltale traits like scaly skin, a forked tongue, fangs or reptillian eyes. Some Neo-draxx have developed shapeshifting illusionary holotech and skinsuits to help infiltrate populations in secret, especially to conquer worlds, or assassinate rivals of other races. The Eclipsion Royal house is fond of this tactic and are masters of stealth.
A typical Lower (Neo) Draxx can come from a myriad of different worlds, from low tech primitive worlds, or borderline highly advanced with tech to match, so they can be armed withanything from simple archaic ancient weaponry and armour, to entire divisions of the latest model alien equipment, vehicles, flyers and walkers. It really is a case of just how much wealth an overseer lord is prepared to spend on his latest “toys”. High Draxxion are very materialistic and superficial, so the latest must have fighting warbot or Grav tank is just the thing to show their superiority to a rival Draxx lord!
The Draxx will use whatever is available and best suited to the task, they spend long periods of time plotting and scheming, planning elaborate strategies for optimum effect. Many Draxx have positions of influence outside that of their own kingdoms, often titles within offworld corporations or secret alliances with other non draxxion factions. Such is the shady reputation of some, a few are rumoured to fund huge criminal organisations and operations anonymously. By way of these connections Draxx forces can sometimes include such things as hired mercenaries, subjugated human or alien populations drafted into service, even “borrowed”corporation troops and equipment. Indeed, each Draxx force is as different and unique as its lord overseer.

Well, That’s the beginning of it at least, sorting through my note books and scribbles there are loads more still to be written up and developed. A few of you might of even seen the pic of the draxxion overseer elite guard commander that I did. So for those who haven’t here it is!

draxx

Along with a few more of his kin, both big and small they will be joining the Grinning Skull range. Over time I hope this will grow in both  models and mythology.

If you’d like to help carve out the Draxxion by submitting any material or pics, please let me know, I’d love a few colaborators to work with (that way there will be a totally different angle from their side!) Please do let me know (grimacereaper73 (at) gmail.com)

Peace out….

Enhanced by Zemanta

So, what’s what in the new Grinning Skull range? (Part 1)

28 May

2

grn00_300dpi

So, I guess I’d better put a bit more meat on the bone for those of you who are interested in what figures are in the new Grinning Skull range. What exactly are each of the miniatures and what’s their background?

Therefore I will reveal to you a little more information about each of them and help colour in a bit of background about them! I know that folks will like to work these figures into their own games and settings, but I’d like to share with you where I was coming from in creating these figures.

The Grinning Skull Miniature range can be found at 15mm.co.uk 

grn01_300dpi

Ok, lets start with GRN01:  The Mutant Reptiloid soldier.

These troopers are big fellers, a nice heavy trooper while not really meant for their swiftness, I had envisioned squad after squad in some Draxxion Khatoika war clan (The Draxxion are many races of sentient saurians all of which are decended from their ruling elites dragons and their close kin) The Reptiloid being a stock type of warrior, with a this kind of mutant two headed reptiloid having either coming from one of the Draxx homeworlds that has ancestry of some hydra dragon lord, or vat grown to maturity for the purpose of war (or egg grown, however you prefer) I’ll sure be adding other reptiloids and Draxxion in the future, so look out for them.

grn02_300dpi

GRN02: Kize Soldier.

Now, the Kize are a race of psionic/telepathic worm humanoids with a single eye. Distantly related to the Oggam home world’s native Stingworm (which start life as an intestinal parasytic worm, before being defecated out and raised as a warbeast), the Kize will infest a world with just a few individuals and set to releasing their microscopic young into a water supply. These in turn grow inside an unknowing host who ingest them, and gradually hatch out and invasion begins. Eventually I’ll be sculpting some more Kize troopers, with other types and a few gribbly bits like monsters and vehicles possibly.

grn03_ws

GRN03: Pliiim Adventurer.

Pliiim are a race I created a long time ago for the Spacemaster ICE game campaign we used to play, but then was transplanted to my Universal Carnage Scifi game from wayback. I thought that they should feature as a cameo in my range at least, but who knows, if folks like him, I’ll no doubt do some more Pliiim figures (heavy weapons, troopers and tech)

grn04_300dpi

GRN04: Oggam Pigdog.

These creatures are a strange breed of mutant pig on the homeworld. Used by most Oggam as guard dogs, pets, hunting beasts and all manner of tasks and jobs. They are most prized if one can find a pigdog with a nose for truffles. Scrofa Truffle hunters and miners always have one or more trained pigdogs for this task. (Oggam do love the truffles…)

grn05_300dpi

GRN05; League of Anthracks standard barer.

As you may know about the League of Anthracks, these are the nasty, death god worshipping Ogs, fanatical war priests and zealots. Heres the battle brother standard barer. I love his face, he’s got a big cheeky grin that just cracks me up! (I know I sculpted him, and it could be seen like me laughing at my own jokes etc. but, I love it!)

grn06_300dpiGRN06: Oggam Mechanic.

Another cheeky faced one! The Og Empire  has vast resources invested in the Mechanog war machine. These maintain and create the heavy support for the entire empire, from bikes, to tanks and armoured vehicles, and the mighty Ogmech. It was fitting that they would need some field mechanics to accompany the empire squads (who knows what equipment a warband would find on the battlefield?) These guys fit that role. There will be more Mechanog stuff later, still busy on the Scrofa and okvans for now!

grn07_300dpi

GRN07: Oggam Light Infantry Trooper #1

This was the first Oggam to come to being, a commission piece from Richard “Spacecow” Smith, he’s a lovely little model. He’s got that great piggy face that goes fantastic with the other Ogs. The Light Infantry are intended for the Empire of Og, but they will work well in the other factions too!

grn08_300dpi

GRN08: Oggam Light Infantry Trooper #2.

It was my intention to arm the Ogs in the light infantry, with different stuff, so this little guy has a pistol. He’s got a really creepy face I think, but giant ogre sized pig mutants would be creepy, don’t you think!!

grn09_300dpi

GRN09; Oggam light Infantry standard.

If the LOA have big bold battle standards, so must the empire! Empire troops are well drilled and patriotic chaps all in all, so the role of the standard barer is an important one, and I wanted him to look the part. He’s got a south american revolutionary look to him,  so I imagine he’d do fine as a Notocheros freedom fighter too (I’ll get round to doing them I promise, when I get lots of others ticked off my list!)

grn10_300dpi

GRN10: League of Anthracks Battle Brother #1.

This LOA battle brother is quite a serious faced og, he really means business! I think by the moment I sculpted this one, I finally worked out the pattern of how to scupt an Oggams face. A little variation from figure to figure provides a huge range of expressions, which is where the unique selling point of the range is, its something you can see looking down on the battlefield for gaming. Yes they are cartoony, but they are supposed to be!

grn11_300dpi

GRN11: League of Anthracks Okvan Storm trooper.

The Okvans are part of the LOA and reside on a large country to the south west of the main continent. Their land is harsh and dangerous, filled with poison and polluted air, swamps and savage creatures. Okvan Stormtroopers are well equipped to deal with these awful climes with heavy enviromental resistant suits. The troopers are elites among the Okvan hordes and can be found with other LOA troops where ever they are. Some legends even say they have elaborate blood drinking rites when they celebrate the full moons…..

grn12_300dpi

GRN12: Scrofa Tribe Hero.

As you might know, the Scrofa are the wild, mad max oggam tribes, and even so he’s the only Scrofa miniature in this release, the scrofa will be found in the armies of most factions to some degree. They aren’t fussy in who they tend to hang with so often will be in retinues of Og Empire warlords, guides, trackers and scouts, Truffle hunters and miners etc. The Scrofa are in line at the moment with me modelling a set of Hoggit gangers, so those who fancy getting a Scrofa warband won’t be dissapointed (There are some already done, but can’t tell you a release date for them yet, but I’ll let you know when they are!)

TO BE CONTINUED……

Enhanced by Zemanta

Update: Finished Book of the Oggam PDF available for free download!

22 Mar

oggambookad

Well, all I can say is its been a long time in coming, but finally the Book of the Oggam PDF has been finished! I thought I would let you know it’s now on site and available for free download!

This is the full version, complete with detailed history, geography and physiology about the oggam, plus faction history and descriptions, and full colour art.

Please feel free to take a look and leave me your comments  and suggestions about it.

It can be directly downloaded here the bookof theoggam v2 or from the download section of this site. I hope you enjoy!

Peace out….

Enhanced by Zemanta
%d bloggers like this: