Ever wondered what the Osprey Games team gets up to when they are not working on...well...Osprey Games? Here is the first of our weekly updates, where we'll be sharing any updates on things we are working on or particularly enjoying at the moment. We would love to here what you are up to too!
Phil Smith - Head of Osprey Games
One of the downsides to the recent shift to working from home is that I have one desk, which doubles as a workplace and as a painting station. So, while I'm sat working, I have unfinished projects gazing at me the whole time. I feel judged.
Simply hiding them away wasn't viable, as it turns out that was how I dealt with the last time I faced a somewhat overwhelming backlog of projects, and drawer space is painfully finite. So, it looks as though I have no option but to crack on with them! At least then I'll have painted figures cluttering me up...
So, here are my current figures, six pikemen:
I'm hoping that small numbers (not to mention a uniform... uniform) will help me get them done swiftly before I get distracted and move onto kit-bashing something else.
All of these are from Fireforge Games' Northmen Warriors, from the same range as the cultists in the Choleric Order of the Yellow Bile (found here and here). They're straight out of the Game of Thrones Stark army, and I'm planning on building a small, generic military force that can be pressed into service for a variety of Fantasy games. The real flavour will come with the commanders and characters I add to the force. For now, I'm planning on some clerics and paladins so that this force can be pitted against the very same Choleric Order of the Yellow Bile. I don't have a name for this faction just yet, though (suggestions welcomed!).
Somewhat unusually for me, they're a straight build out of the box (I think the bare head might have come from the Archer pack instead), albeit with the plastic spears clipped off and replaced with metal pikes. I tend to do this with all spear-armed models these days - I generally prefer the less exaggerated look, and the occasional pricking is a small price to pay for the additional heft - so drilling out the hands was a doddle. The only slightly odd one was the arm wrapped around a banner pole (seen in the centre of the rear rank in the photo above), which required a little more carving to get right.
If that one was the oddity, the two levelled pike were the pains in my behind! The original component is both arms and the spear as a single piece, so drilling out the hands and getting everything to level up properly was a bit of bugbear! The effect is great, though, so I'll be doing two more should this unit expand further.
You can keep up to date with what Phil is up to by following his blog.
Joseph A. McCullough - Wargames Writer
Filip Falk Hartelius - Games Developer
Whenever I roleplay, whether as a PC or GM, I cannot help but start crafting my own ideas in the background. I can spend hours thinking about mechanics that invite good roleplay, imagining settings that are rich grounds for exploration, or considering the comparative advantage of dice systems. Yes, I’m real fun at parties. All of which is to say I’ve been thinking about how you’d make a roleplaying system that models the emotional saturation of the slice-of-life animes I was obsessed with at university. These shows, like Clannad or K-On! or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, were usually fairly low on, well, plot, but characters still were wildly emotional and sincere and very over-the-top. They were arguably trashy, but I find them utterly delightful.
Now with a roleplaying group that were familiar with the tropes of this kind of anime and were happy to jump straight in, it would be easy enough to just run it in another system, like the fantastic Tales from the Loop. However, I wondered if there was something you could do to invite the type of overblown characters mechanically, and I think I’ve found what might be a crucial puzzle piece: emotional investment. The reason the characters react so strongly to the very everyday events in their lives is because they invest so heavily in these events. It may just be (say) an election for student council, but they really care about winning. Mechanically, I reasoned, you could model this by letting players invest in any roll they take to up the emotional stakes – regardless of how trivial the matter was. By doing so, they would get a bonus to the roll (be it a modifier or a number of dice), but if they failed even with this advantage, they would suffer all the more greatly – not from anything external, but from their own teenage angst and woes. This way, players would be naturally invited to react really emotionally to the fairly minor pitfalls and hardships of teenage life.
Of course, it’s early days in its design and there is plenty more to do, but I’m excited to see where this idea goes. If it bears fruit, I may even post about it again on the blog (if that’s something you want to hear about).
Pete Ward - Games Marketer
Given everything that’s been going on, I really wanted something that would cheer me up as I painted. The answer – the beautiful Burrows & Badgers miniatures from Oathsworn Miniatures. I needed to finish my new warband, with my dapper Toad and Wildcat needing some work. Getting from my work desk to my painting table now only requires me to roll about a metre to my right, so over some lunch breaks and after work I got them finished.
The Toad (well, actually, a Frog, but I'll be using him as a Toad) is definitely my favourite. He’ll be leading the group, and is based on Toad from Wind in the Willows. He is dressed in his finest clothes, ready for battle, but when it begins you better believe he’ll be hiding behind Buster the Wildcat, waiting to deliver a killing blow in an enemies back then sing about his triumph!
Not only are these miniatures an absolute joy to paint, but it's really helping me with painting brighter colours. I find quite often when I'm painting figures I'll think that they are nice and bright, but when I get them finished and onto the tabletop they don't pop quite as much as I wanted them to.
I also wanted to get a bit more terrain that fits nicely to the Burrows & Badgers aesthetic built, and thought a nice tree would do the job. This one is made with the cardboard tube from a toilet roll, some wire, and filler. I regret not texturing the inside (I guess I could go back and do it…) but overall I’m pretty happy with it. The space is big enough for some small and medium beasts to fit in, but not large and massive ones – a perfect hiding place for Toad!
What projects are you working on? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook page!