Uncertain Scenery Industrial Ramp

Ramps are hard to come by in Deadzone terrain. There’s a hard plastic ramp that’s half a cube in width and that elevates up half a cube in height, which I have several of and mainly use in my fortified walls/ military compound. I can’t recall which of the original sets of Deadzone terrain these came in (Landing Pad set, the extra bits n’ piece one that had the 45 degree walkways..?) and with a casual glance through the current Terrain Crate range of Deadzone scenery I can’t see that they’re currently available.

This is probably because there’s not a huge demand for ramps in games of Deadzone, as strike team members can climb up ladders, walls etc and its only vehicles (IIRC) that require a ramp to change levels.

Well, after buying a Mazon Labs strike team, I thought it would be good to have some ramps for my monocycles to be able to zip up and down (and my Forge Father biker and Marauder Guntrack) , so I suggested the possibility of ramps to Craig at Uncertain Scenery, who tweaked an existing design and came up with a standalone Industrial Ramp, which I promptly purchased three of. I’ve painted one to fit with my fortified scenery (as per the header photo above) and and the other two in industrial yellow to fit with the rest of my scenery.

Here’s a turnaround look at a single ramp:

As you’ll see in the photo above, the design of the ramps fits in with the aesthetic of the rest of Uncertain Scenery’s range, with the shape of the doorways and the vertical detail (painted in silver above).

The hazard stripes really helped to ‘make’ the paint job for me, along with the dirt and weathering airbrushed and sponged on.

The ramps are £7.50 each, which I think is good value, as they’re quite large – two full cubes in length and a full cube in height. Here’s more photos of my ramps in fortified and industrial settings, so you can see how well they fit in with both Uncertain Scenery’s mdf scenery and Mantic’s hard plastic scenery.

Thanks to the COVID 19 restrictions I haven’t yet had opportunity to use these ramps in any games, but I’ll be fixing that at the first opportunity as we come out of lockdown.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Hanley’s Hope Cargo Bay set by Combatzone Scenery for Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps

Looking at the gaming boards for Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps I realised that painting up just the one set of Combatzone Scenery’s excellent ‘Hanley’s Hope’ scenery would help to fill several boards and so got down to work on the Cargo Bay set.

The components in this set are used on both the U.S.S Sulaco hanger board and the approach to the North Lock of the Hadley’s Hope colony. There’s a mixture of groups of two and three crates and several single crates and also some barrels, a storage box, hatch and airlock piece.

Here’s the game board for the hanger of the U.S.S Sulaco:

And the same board with the 3d elements added (yes, it would be nice to have a model of the front half of the dropship…) :

Here’s a closer look at the scenery, starting with the airlock:

The card scenery that comes with the game has the nice conceit of two tokens, one stacked atop the other, representing the inner and outer airlock doors. This 3d piece has the exterior door only, but the card interior door will sit underneath just as nicely and let’s face it; the inner door is supposed to look like it’s located below the rest of the hanger bay deck, so it’d be a bit odd to have it standing proud on the board.

Here’s the storage box and open hatch:

The storage box has the Weyland Yutani logo embossed on it and I found the plaster mix used to make the majority of Combatzone Scenery’s scenery captures enough detail to be able to paint the logo quite distinctly. The hatch is a simple but effective piece too.

As nicely detailed as the ‘naked’ boards are, I think the 3D scenery really helps to make the board much more visually interesting and subsequently a lot more satisfying to play on. This becomes especially true when you compare the ‘naked’ and ‘loaded’ boards depicting the approach to the north lock of the Hadley’s Hope Colony, which has a lot more scenery elements than the Sulaco hanger:

And when I go a step further and add in the Hanley’s Hope Lifter & Loader set, one of their doors (more on these in a future post) and an MDF crate from TT Combat which I bought as scenery for games of Deadzone, it really begins to pop:

I know which of these two following boards I’d rather play on:

My Cargo Bay set contained a mix of plaster and blue (what I assume to be) resin pieces. I think the resin holds detail a LOT better than the plaster, especially when you look at the tiny lettering on the Weyland Yutani logos present on the crates. However the plaster components do their job of being 3D and looking just fine from three feet away, which is how you’ll generally be seeing them when playing the game, so I’m perfectly happy with them.

There’s some nice touches in the design of the crates too, that isn’t immediately obvious, although present, in the illustrations on the game board: ‘grab handles’ on the side of some crates for the Power Loaders to be able to easily take hold of them. You can see these clearly on the grey crate in the bottom left of the photo above.

I painted this Cargo Bay set by undercoating everything in matt black and then airbrushing on colour, building up to the brightest tones. Both the plaster and resin pieces take paint perfectly well and I think you get a lot of both for the £20 price point this set retails at.

Another great set that breathes more life into my games of Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps.

Follow the links for articles about my painted Hanley’s Hope Loader & Lifter set and the Hanley’s Hope Canteen set and you can find the full Hanley’s Hope range and many, many other fantastic-looking scenery pieces on Combatzone Scenery’s website.

As always – thanks for reading! 🙂

Canteen set by Combatzone Scenery for Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps

After painting up my Lifter and Loader set by Combatzone Scenery I fancied a bit of a ‘quick win’ and so chose the canteen set as my next project.

This set represents the locker room and canteen aboard the USS Sulaco, which is featured on gaming boards in the Get Away From Her You B*itch expansion for Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps along with the Sulaco’s cargo bay. Here’s the ‘naked’ canteen tile for comparison to the photo above with the scenery in place:

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted the hypersleep pods to the left of the board. Combatzone Scenery produce a set for them too which is going to be up next on my painting table. The doors in the background are part of a separate set too, but more on them in a future post.

There is also a… I’m not quite sure what it is to be honest. (an Ablution station? Water fountain? Food dispenser..?) which should have been in the photo above too, but I forgot to set it up (durr!). in the image above it sits in one square, second row up, far left. It looks like this:

If anybody does know what this is, (and that red stripe, although a bit jarring, is there on it in the film) then please let me know in the comments.

There’s three lockers in the set, two double and one triple, which have detail on both sides. The canopies made me think “Eh..?” but Combatzone Scenery are spot on, the lockers in the movie have these canopies too, which I’d never noticed until I looked for them. I suspect they may house a small strip light? I like the detail of the keypads on each locker. I must go back and give the keypads a quick light grey drybrush to make them pop a little and add some dark green paint to their screens.

The centrepiece of the set is the dining table, a sizeable piece of scenery complete with benches, food trays, cups, jugs, food heaters and what I’ve chosen to paint as cornbread.

Two of the mugs on my piece were only part-formed, so rather than trying to build them up with green stuff, for the sake of my sanity I removed them. There’s still plenty of lovely detail present. I chose to paint some of the jugs and mugs to look like they contain coffee and the other orange juice.

I undercoated everything in matt black using a Rustoleum brand rattle can and the sprayed the lockers and unidentified unit with Army Painter Plate Metal rattle can. I airbrushed on a little black to tone down the Plate Metal colour and help add a little scale to the pieces and lined some of the detail (the grills on the lockers and edges of the doors) with some Citadel Nuln Oil for some extra definition.

The table was airbrushed with Citadel Corax White and the benches painted Citadel Wraithbone for some contrast with the Corax. Table legs and edges were pained light grey and the the details on the table were picked out in various appropriate colours.

Whilst the subject matter is a little unassuming, this is a great set which I think particularly enhances the Aliens AGDITC gaming table and you get a lot of resin/plaster for your money in the table alone. You can take a look at the full range of ‘Hanley’s Hope’ scenery by Combatzone Scenery here.

As always – thanks for reading. 🙂

“Hey Bishop!? Do that thing with the knife..!”

Tractor and Lifter by Combatzone Scenery for Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps

Ever since 1986, when I bought the ‘Official Movie Book’ of the film Aliens by Starlog magazine, I’ve been interested in the colony of Hadley’s Hope, as the Movie Book contains a pre-production illustration of the layout of the colony by legendary artist Ron Cobb and a ‘colony tow lorry’ which has always spoken to my inner child, as I’ve loved diggers and ‘Tonka Toy’ style vehicles since I was a nipper.

I’d imagine how the colony came to be infected and finally overrun by the Xenomorphs and how the colonists’ last stand unfolded (the remains of which the Colonial Marines encounter as they enter the Colony), so you can imagine how delighted I was when the ‘Special Edition’ of Aliens had extra footage showing the colony prior to the outbreak.

I love the scenes in the movie as the Marine Dropship circles the mysterious, very industrial-looking colony and the APC then deploys the Marines at its north lock and they advance past the blast wall, crates, tarpaulins and heavy duty vehicles, including the colony tow lorry mentioned above.

So, with all the above in mind you’ll understand how pleased I was when I saw that some of the boards in the Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps game recreate the crate and vehicle strewn approach to the colony’s north lock.

About a week after my copy of the game arrived I saw a link on a Facebook group to a scenery company I hadn’t heard of before, who made some 3D scenery to enhance the Aliens AGDITC game. Now, if you’ve read any of my Deadzone posts (and if not, you may want to take a look here) you’ll know that I loves me some scenery, so I followed the link and was blown away by what I found.

Combatzone Scenery (who are based just a couple of towns over from me here in West Yorkshire, England) offer a wide range of fantastic-looking resin/plaster scenery compatible with a large number of gaming systems and they have over a dozen sets of scenery specifically designed to fit on the Aliens AGDITC boards and bring a 3D element, and a much more satisfying gaming experience, to them.

The set that really caught my eye is the Hanleys Hope (we see what you did there, Combatzone Scenery) Tractor and Lifter, which quite faithfully recreates the ‘colony tow lorry’ vehicle and a smaller ‘tractor’ vehicle. Suffice to say I had to have ’em and placed large orders for most of the ‘Hanley’s Hope’ range. So, this is just the first of what in time will be many posts looking at the scenery and how I’ve painted it.

Here’s some turnaround shots of each vehicle in turn

And my best attempt at capturing a comparison of the ‘Lifter’ with Ron Cobb’s illustration of the ‘colony tow lorry’.

Of course, there are obvious difference between the two, as you can’t recreate some of the finer detail from the illustration at this 28mm scale i resin/plaster, but you can see how the lifter miniature completely embraces and very faithfully recreates the essence of the tow lorry.

Here’s a Xenomorph miniature for scale:

And in these photos you can see just how well the miniatures fit the footprints of the illustrated elements on the game boards:

I painted both miniatures using my now tried and tested method of painting ‘industrial yellow’ Deadzone scenery:

  • Base coat in matt black spray. I tend to use either Rustoleum or Hycote matt black, both much cheaper than Citadel, Army Painter or Humbrol acrylic sprays and a lot less smelly than the matt black car spray paints I used to buy from Poundland (here in the UK).
  • Airbrush on Vallejo Model Air Dark Yellow.
  • Airbrush on Citadel Averland Sunset
  • Apply a wash of Army Painter Soft Tone ink to the recesses and around details I wish to stand out.
  • Metallic areas were painted in Citadel Leadbelcher, washed with Citadel Nuln Oil and drybrushed with Leadbelcher
  • I painted the windows using Vallejo Model Colour Blue Grey. mixed with black
  • I sponged Vallejo Model Colour Chocolate Brown on the vehicle’s edges for a chipped/rusty/weathered look.
  • The miniatures were given a coat of spray clear varnish and after that had cured, a coat of spray matt varnish. The windows and various head and brake lights were given a coat of gloss varnish.

I LOVE both of these miniatures, especially the lifter/tow lorry. I magnetised the lifter’s crane arm, giving me some additional flexibility in storing and displaying the vehicle. Both kits are nicely detailed, had very little, if any flash to remove, are great value for money at £12 for the two and they were a pleasure to paint. More importantly they make my inner 14 year old, who poured over his Aliens Movie Book time and time again; very, very happy. Both vehicles will get a lot of use in my games of Deadzone, too.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂

‘Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps’ Painted Xenomorphs

After test painting a ‘spare’ Prodos Resin Xenomorph, I felt happy I’d selected paints to give me the effect I desired for my Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps miniatures. You can see the test Alien here. So I’ve painted all sixteen of the Xenomorphs that come in the core game, production line style.

My chosen paint scheme, to try and capture the brown look that the actual Xenomorph costumes had in the film, is:

Undercoat/basecoat: Hycote brand matt black paint spray (which in the UK I bought from The Range, although my local branch now appears to have stopped selling this).

Quite a heavy drybrush of Vallejo Model Colour Flat Earth # 70.983

Lighter drybrush of Vallejo Model Colour Dark Sand #70.847

Very light drybrush of Vallejo Game Colour Glacier Blue #72.095

Nuln oil applied to the miniatures deeper recesses.

Army Painter Soft Tone Ink washed randomly over the most raised areas to soften the Glacier Blue a little.

Vallejo Model Colour Silver #70.997 for the Aliens fangs and claws on the hands and feet.

I gave them a coat of clear spray varnish, as I wanted the Aliens to look shiny, as in the movies. However, I find that this has all but killed the brown tones and that the black and grey now almost totally dominate. A bit frustrating, but I suppose this tracks with how the Aliens look in the film, when the costumes are lit.

The brown tones look more present in these photos of two of the models than they do to the naked eye, so it’s reassuring to know I didn’t obliterate them with the drybrush of Glacier Blue:

I painted the bases using Citadel Leadbelcher washed with Nuln Oil and then with randome splodges of Army Painter Soft Tone ink to break up the uniform metallic colour.

I ‘ummed and ahhed’ about whether or not to paint the edges of the bases in Leadbelcher too but in the end settled for painting them black, as I felt it just looked neater. However I do feel a little bit ‘meh’ about the overall end result of the bases , and wonder if I should have painted the bases in grey / blue tones, to match the game boards more, but they’ll do for now. If they continue to bug me down the line then I can always repaint them.

En- masse I’m happy with how ‘authentic’ I feel they look:

Especially when they’re wall to wall. Now where did I put those Sentry Guns..?

The mdf scenery in these photos is by ‘Uncertain Scenery’s’ range of Skirmish Tunnels, which I’ve bought for my games of Deadzone. This is a great little company run by Craig Birks and I can heartily recommend you take a look at Craig’s ever expanding range of mdf scenery here.

As always – thanks for reading! 🙂

‘Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps’ Test Alien / Xenomorph Paint Scheme

I’ve been giving some thought to how best to paint my Xenomorph miniatures, with the first step being to decide which broad color scheme to use; brown to be faithful to the actual costumes used in the film ‘Aliens’ or more of a blue grey which is how they tend to look when lit in the movie and be portrayed in comic books I have.

In the end I decided to try and replicate the look of the costumes and opted for more of a brown look. Here’s the test miniature, which is a resin Prodos Alien I decided to sacrifice for the sake of my test paint:

(By the way, for anybody complaining about the Gale Force Nine Aliens miniatures being a pain to assemble, especially the tails? Well, I found the resin Prodos Aliens , although nice sculpts, to be an absolute pain in the ass to assemble. Especially their tails. And I have 30 plus years of hobby time under my belt. The hard plastic Gale Force Nine minis are a doddle in comparison).

Here’s one of several great reference photos of the actual Alien costumes used in the movie which I found online on the Harry Harris Aliens Collection & Archive,  and the look I was broadly trying to replicate:

And here’s the end result:

These photos were taken in my conservatory, with lots of light spilling in from all sides and above, so the miniature is overly ‘lit’ and looks brighter then it actually is.

I’m pretty pleased with how this looks and will carry this colour scheme over to my Gale Force Nine hard plastic Aliens. This was my ‘recipe’:

Undercoat/basecoat: Hycote brand matt black paint spray (which in the UK I bought from The Range, although my local branch now appears to have stopped selling this).

Quite a heavy drybrush of Vallejo Model Colour Flat Earth # 70.983

Lighter drybrush of Vallejo Model Colour Dark Sand #70.847

Very light drybrush of Vallejo Game Colour Glacier Blue #72.095

Nuln oil applied to the miniatures deeper recesses.

Army Painter Soft Tone Ink washed randomly over the most raised areas to soften the Glacier Blue a little.

Vallejo Model Colour Silver #70.997 for the Aliens fangs and claws on the hands and feet.

The Prodos Alien above came with a plain plastic base, so I’m still not 100% sure exactly how I’m going to make the best of the lovely textured Gale Force Nine bases. I’m thinking I’ll use Citadel Leadbelcher with a black wash, but I’ll give it more thought before slapping on the paint.

Well, one test model down – sixteen ‘proper’ miniatures to go. I’ll create a new blog post to show ’em off when they’re done.

As always – thanks for reading! 🙂

‘Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps’ Get Away From Her You Bitch Expansion, by Gale Force Nine

The ‘Get Away From Her You B***h!* expansion (the asterisks are always present in Gale Force Nine’s title and references to this expansion) certainly adds a lot to the ‘Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corp’ game. (You can see my post about the ‘Ultimate Badasses’ expansion here).

You get four new double sided gameboards, which doubles the number you have from the core set:

If you look closely, from top to bottom you’ll see the interior of the Sulaco, with it’s hypersleep chambers, locker room, mess hall and hanger bay, compete with dropship; the dropship again in the pouring rain outside the Hadley’s Hope colony; the Queen’s egg chamber and fiery interior of the exploding atmspheric processor; and the streets of the Hadley’s Hope colony. With more gaming boards to use, the campaign is expanded from three to five Missions, each larger than before. There are five new and bigger Bug Hunt Missions too, two of which feature the hissing horror that is the Alien Queen.

Speaking of which, here she is in all her hard plastic glory:

I like this miniature. By necessity her limbs aren’t quite as lithe as the creature in the movie. If they were then the miniature would simply be too fragile. She’s an impressive size though – here she is next to one of the two miniatures of the synthetic Bishop you also get in this expansion:

Speaking of Bishop, this expansion gives you two, or more accurately I suppose; one and a half Bishop miniatures:

The expansion also contains the rather superb miniature of Ripley piloting the P-5000 Power Loader:

Considering the scale I think this is a very good likeness for Sigourney Weaver. And I think both this and the Alien Queen look great when put together to recreate the climactic battle from the movie:

The final miniature you get in this expansion is, I think, the best miniature of any for this game; ‘Enraged Ripley’:

Absolutely brilliant.

With bigger Missions, you also get more Endurance and Motion Tracker cards, two more aim dials (you can now take fire teams of up to 8 Marines) and a whole new twist for the game – one player can now play as the Alien Hive and you get a Hive card organiser, hivemind cards and a Willpower dial to facilitate this. There’s a more crate, computer, tunnel and blip tokens too, along with Alien Queen damage tokens, APC damage tokens and Character Cards for Bishop and Enraged Ripley.

Did I say APC? Yep – did you notice what was in the top left of the photo above? A card token to represent the M577 Armoured Personnel Carrier! I have always LOVED this vehicle and it features in it’s own ‘APC Chase’ Mission, which I’m stoked about and really looking forward to playing.

The flip side of the APC shows its interior:

I bought the Prodos resin APC a couple of years ago and I’m very happy to report that it and the card template in this game are almost exactly the same size, so the resin APC can be used in the APC Chase Mission. More on this in a future blog post..!

So all in all, you most certainly get your money’s worth from this expansion and I heartily recommend it! It’ll be interesting to see what playing as the Alien Hive is like.

As always, thanks for reading!

‘Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps’ Ultimate Badasses Expansion, by Gale Force Nine

Here’s a look at the contents of one of the two expansions for Gale Force Nine’s co-operative survival boardgame Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps.

You can find my post about the core game here with lots of photos of the assembled miniatures and also watch an unboxing video on my Youtube channel. I look at the ‘Get Away From Her You B***h! expansion here.

This is quite a small expansion compared to the ‘Get Away From Her You B***h’ expansion (which costs as much as the core game) but it adds some extra depth to the game with six extra Marine characters and a set of experience cards. You can watch an unboxing video for the Ultimate Badsses expansion on my Youtube channel.

Here’s the extra Marine characters, which are hard plastic multi-part kits. From left to right Sgt. Apone, Dietrich, Crowe, Drake, Wierzbowski and Burke:

Here’s a closer look at each, starting with Sergeant Al Apone:

Corporal Cynthia Dietrich:

Private Tim Crowe:

Private Mark Drake:

Private Trevor Wierzbowski:

Ans (boo, hiss) Carter J. Burke:

As with the Marine miniatures in the core game, I like these. They’re characterful, have nice detail (I especially like Crowe, Wierzbowski and Burke) and have detailed bases with the character’s name embossed at the rear. My set had next to no flash and mould lines, so didn’t require much cleaning up and they assembled nice and easily.

Each character has his/her own card with again, a character and a grunt side (with varying skill levels) depending on how they’re being used in the game. You also get another four Marine dice, which is a nice touch, as the Marine fire teams in the game comprise six marines and so can accommodate six different players, each of whom can now have their own dice.

There’s a new element to the game too, a deck of experience cards for the Marines, which make new abilities available to them. There are eight experience paths, each path having three different levels, so you can really focus a character’s skill set by focusing on one path for them, or choose cards from several paths, making them more rounded. I haven’t used these cards in a game yet, but I’ll expand this blog post with my thoughts and observations on them once I have.

So there you have it. A nice, simple expansion that looks to add quite a lot of extra variety to the game.

As always – thanks for reading 🙂

‘Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps’, Co-operative Survival Boardgame by Gale Force Nine

I love the movie ‘Aliens’ I saw it at the cinema when I was 14 (my mates dad got us in) and it was an awesome spectacle to my teenage eyes. I loved the designs, from the pulse rifles and power loader to the Alien Queen, USS Sulaco, drop ships and in particular, the APC.

I managed to resist the Prodos Alien vs Predator game, as it was blummin’ expensive, but I picked up an APC and a few other miniatures in a sale when Prodos lost the Aliens licence.

When I saw that a new Aliens game was coming out, I was cautiously hopeful about it. And when I saw the finished products, I just knew I’d have to get them. even if the gameplay itself turned out to be pants (and by the way, it isn’t!) – those miniatures…! I just had to have them.

You can watch an unboxing video on my Youtube channel here.

The new game is by Gale Force Nine (who I previously only really knew for their ‘Battlefield in a Box’ scenery sets which I’ve seen at gaming shows here in the UK) and is titled ‘Aliens Another Glorious Day in the Corps’, which you may recognise as a line of dialogue from the film. The two expansions that are available (more on those in future posts) also take theirnames from dialogue i the film, which I think is a nice touch.

In short – it’s a co-operative survival game for 1 to 6 players. Now this is what really persuaded me to invest in the game. You can play it solo as the Aliens are controlled by an in-game A.I.

But first – the miniatures! First up, the Colonial Marines. From left to right Hicks, Hudson, Gorman, Vasquez, Frost, Ripley and Newt.

And a closer look at each. Firstly Hicks:

Hudson:

Gorman:

Vasquez:

Frost:

Ripley:

And Newt:

These are hard plastic miniatures and they mostly come in two or three pieces, so assembly is quite simple and a good assembly guide is provided. The miniatures are nicely detailed, characterful (I especially like Newt wearing the marine helmet and saluting) and in a nice touch, the name of each character is embossed onto the base. The bases are nicely detailed too, with a grated floor pattern fitting for the game’s setting at the Hadley’s Hope colony on LV-426.

But the name of the game is ‘Aliens’, right? You get 16 multipart and multi pose Xenomorphs in this core game, which come on four sprues:

At first glance these look quite complicated, but all the parts are clearly labelled as belonging to model A, B, C or D and again, there a detailed step by step assembly guide. The tails and arms fit on any of the bodies and each has two different heads to choose from. I found that even though the connecting points are a very small surface area, the parts go together very well. So with polystyrene cement and a little patience in holding parts together for a minute whilst they bond, the Xenomorphs go together very well. And they look suitably (bio)organic and dynamic when assembled:

Here’s a closer look at two of the Aliens:

Both the Marines and Aliens are very good castings, with absolutely no flash and very little in the way of mould lines.

The game play takes place on four roughly 10 inch square boards. These are nice quality thick card stock and double sided, with one side representing the deserted Hadley’s Hope colony and the other the eerie sub levels with strange alien secretions on the walls and the bodies of colonists entombed there.

There are nine missions, a three mission campaign with two optional additional missions and four standalone ‘Bug Hunt’ missions. The 28 rulebook is american comic book sized, full colour and on glossy paper. There are many good, crisp stills from the film throughout and the rules are easy enough to follow with good use of diagrams. I did have several questions during my inaugural solo play through and Gale Force nine have produced a useful FAQ available to download from their website. I do wonder a little at how some of the more obvious questions that crop up weren’t covered in the main rules tin the first place, but no worry, they’ve been answered now.

There are many thick, card stock counters and dials throughout, so you can keep track of each Marine’s current aim ability, represent crates, computers, broken sections of floor, facehuggers and sentry guns:

I especially love the ammo tracker for the sentry guns. The sequence featuring them is one of my favourite in the extended cut of the movie and the design of the tracker is taken directly from the Marine equipment in the movie:

And there are decks of cards that for both the Marines and Aliens:

One thing that soon becomes apparnet about the game is that you will need quite alot of room to be be able to play it. Even when playing solo, you have six Marie characters to use, and this is the set up for just one character:

So multiply that by six, add in the game boards and the Marine and Alien card decks and you need quite a bit of space to play.

I’ve only had one quick play through of the first mission and I was very lucky in almost immediately finding my objective and then being able to concentrate on getting my Marines off the board (“Marines! We are LEAVING!!!”). As such I didn’t have too long to get a sense of how the game works, but I like the ‘endurance’ mechanic for the Marines, where you have to use cards to perform certain actions and event cards can force you to use them up too. If you run out, you lose, so there’s a balance to be struck between what you want to do, when you want to do it and what you can afford to do. Certain character;s abilities and events allow you to recycle cards, so I’m looking forward to playing more games and getting a better sense of how this works.

I jumped in with both feet and have bought both of the expansions that are available for the game, ‘Ultimate Bad Asses’ and ‘Get Away from Her You Bitch’ and also the ‘Hazards & Expansions’ set that enables you to replace several of the card stock counters with hard plastic miniatures for a more aesthetically pleasing experience. More on these in future blog posts and I’ll update this one as I manage more game play and begin painting the miniatures.

As always – thanks for reading! 🙂

Uncertain Scenery 28mm Freestanding Staircase

The only real option for a staircase in Mantic’s Terrain Crate range of Deadzone scenery is the piece from the landing pad set. It looks just fine and can be assembled in a variety of ways (standalone, attached to the side of another panel, in widths of one, two, three or four) but I found I never quite had as many of them as I would have liked, despite the large amount of scenery that I’d bought.

Uncertain Scenery recently added some new items to their range, one of which is this neat 28mm mdf freestanding staircase, retailing at the time of writing at £7.50. I bought myself two of them to check them out.

This is a great little kit. It has some lovely detail in the grated effect on the stairs. The stairs are deep enough so that a 28mm/32mm model can fit onto a stair to show they’re between levels, as you can see in the photo above.

Here’s a quick ‘turnaround’ look at the kit:

The design of the staircase is in keeping with the rest of Uncertain Scenery’s superb range of mdf scenery, so it fits in seamlessly with them. In the photo below you can see the staircase next to an Industrial Stairwell…

And in the this photo you can see how the design of the doorways/openings on the Industrial Stairwell is mirrored on the rear of the Freestanding Staircase…

The Freestanding Staircase, like the rest of Uncertain Scenery’s Industrial Wasteland range and other kits, is designed to scale perfectly with Deadzone’s cube system. Pleasingly, two of the Freestanding Staircases side-by-side is the perfect cube width for Deadzone…

I really like this kit, it looks great and adds real character to your Deadzone. It’s pretty simple to assemble (although it took me a little while to get all the individual steps lined up with both sides of the staircase, but nothing a little patience can’t overcome), takes paint nicely and comes at a relatively ‘pocket money’ price.

A couple of these will make a great addition to any sci-fi or modern day skirmish game. Take a look at Uncertain Scenery’s website to see the full range of excellent scenery. Even better, treat yourself to some and support a superb little independent business.

As always, thanks for reading! 🙂