Category Archives: Pulp

Forgotten Heroes 2021: Jon Sable, Freelance

Jon Sable: Freelance was a comic book (and a comic book character) created by Mike Grell, the same guy who created DC’s Warlord. It was one of the First Comics flagship titles and ran from 1983-1988; with another series, simply titled Sable, following afterwards. (That series didn’t last very long.) Unusual for its time, Jon Sable: Freelance was wholly owned by Mike Grell; who presumably still owns the rights to this day.

Jon Sable has had a somewhat bumpy publication history. Once First Comics folded in 1991-1992, Jon Sable didn’t get another comic book series until 2005, when IDW published a six-issue miniseries. The character hasn’t been seen in a comic book since 2010.

Jon Sable was an Olympic athlete at the 1972 Munich games. After witnessing the massacre there he moved to Rhodesia where he used his training as a mercenary and bounty hunter to organize safari trips and become a game warden (because why not?). His family was murdered by poachers, so Sable killed the poachers and moved back to the US to resume work as a freelance mercenary. When he’s working, he paints his face, dresses in black and carries a 1917 Broomhandle Mauser, which he uses to shoot people. When not working, he hides in plain sight by masquerading as B.B. Flemm, an author of children’s books. Yes, he writes the books and supposedly, they’re pretty good, because his publisher is always on his ass about his deadlines, even though she knows he’s really a merc-for-hire and not a children’s book author.

There was a (mercifully) short-lived TV series, Sable, that ran for only seven episodes in the 80’s. It’s based on the comic, with some minor differences, like a character called Cheesecake who is a hacker who (wait for it) likes cheesecake; and the fact that Sable is the alter-ego of author NIcholas Fleming (not B.B. Flemm), not the other way around, as it is in the comic. The series starred Lewis Van Bergen as Sable, who you may remember from nothing you’ve ever even remotely given a shit about; and a young Renee Russo as Sable’s publisher, Eden Kendall. I remember watching it in high school as I knew about the comic, but I forgot about most of it until Tom found the pilot episode on YouTube and told me about it. I warn you…it’s a tough slog. Van Bergen’s 80’s mullet is truly extraordinary, however, and it may be worth the watch for that alone.

For my Jon Sable conversion, I was going to use these two Heroclix: Daredevil and Quicksilver. (Quicksilver has served me well in past Forgotten Heroes challenges; I used his head for Jack Frost and his body for Water Wizard before). I also needed to find a 28mm Broomhandle Mauser; which you think would be easy. It’s not. I had to buy this weapon pack from Pulp Alley to find one.

Before I got the Pulp Alley accessories, I noticed this Bullseye Heroclix. He’s carrying a submachine gun that could pretty easily be converted into a Mauser. D’oh! I decided not to use Daredevil or the Pulp Alley accessories after all.

One quick head-swap and some filing, and here’s the result. Kinda looks like Jon Sable already. I also cut off a bit of the back of his gun, so it looks more like a Mauser pistol.

Here’s the finished result. It wasn’t particularly difficult, considering Sable’s “costume” is a black outfit with a holster for his pistol and some face paint. Sometimes he uses a knife, too.

This close-up shows I wasn’t as thorough as I could have been when filing off bits of Bullseye’s costume. In my defense, I can’t see shit anymore. Now that I’m aware of it, I could fix it. Or not, considering I’ll never use Jon Sable for anything, ever.

Forgotten Heroes has provided me with a chance to make miniatures for several First Comics heroes: Badger, Nexus, and now Jon Sable. Add one of the Grimjack miniatures my friend Jeremy (Carrion Crow) gifted me with, and it’s almost the full roster! Still, I hesitate to really call this a submission, as it took almost no time to complete once I had the idea.

I have at least one more entry coming this month, possibly two. In the meantime I look forward to seeing what everyone else is doing!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

It’s June, and that means it’s time for my most favoritest, bestest painting challenge ever, Forgotten Heroes! I look forward to this every year, and I will always take part unless Carrion Crow says I can’t, or I’m dead.

What is Forgotten Heroes? Go here. The Crow will explain all.

So…what do I have planned for this year? Two submissions; one that’s going to be easy as pie (I hesitate to call it a proper submission); and another that may take a little more effort. Two submissions is not much for me, but I’m still trying to get through my Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps miniatures, and finish up my British Vospers for Cruel Seas; both of which were put on pause for Monster May(hem) last month. Plus, I will have June’s Character of the Month to do…

Still, a mere two submissions isn’t sitting well with me. This is Forgotten Heroes, man. It’s time to bring it, brah! (I call people “brah” now.)

So if YOU want to take part in Forgotten Heroes, drop by Carrion Crow’s Buffet if you haven’t already and let the man know. Bring something shiny (crows like shiny things) and/or something dead (crows like carrion) to improve your chances.

Just kidding. He lets everyone join. Even me.

Don’t bring him anything dead.

Monster May(hem) 2021: The Ripper Beast!

Not quite a week into Monster May(hem), and I have finally completed my first submission. I present: the Scourge of Planet X: The Ripper Beast!

This miniature from Rattrap Productions has been primed and sitting on my desk since last year’s Monster May(hem). I never got a chance to get to him and moved on to other projects; so I made him my first priority this year. Partially, this is because I’m sick of looking at him; but it’s also because he has been so patient and understanding; two traits not normally associated with Ripper Beasts of Planet X.

The Ripper Beast, as the lore goes, is the most feared predator on Planet X. It loves nothing more than to live up to its name by ripping things, usually into bloody chunks. The Ripper Beast is doubly feared because it seems to regenerate as soon as it is wounded, making it nigh-impossible to put down for good.

Despite its renowned savagery, this Ripper Beast seems to be wearing clothing. It has two spiked wristbands and no dangly unmentionables to speak of. This either makes it smarter than you would think, able to clothe itself and perhaps forge weapons; or just oddly modest. The only picture of the Ripper Beast I could find was the one on the cover, there; so I couldn’t verify this. The only example of a painted Ripper Beast miniature I was able to find was the one inside the book, which doesn’t help because it’s black and white.

So I went with the clothing look, and I tried to get it as close to the cover as possible. It’s a retro sci-fi creature, so perhaps some space-spandex is appropriate after all. While I may never use this miniature as intended, it can sure get some use as a super-villain for games of Super Mission Force!

I have at least two more projects for Monster May(hem) I’m trying to get done by month’s end. Both require a lot of base work, so they’re taking longer than usual. Check back soon, but in the meantime, be sure to stop by and see what everyone else has been up to!

Here’s the blogroll:

Don’t see your name here yet? No problem! Just email me at angrypiper@angrypiper.com or drop a comment below and let me know you want to participate! It’s never too late to paint a monster!

More coming soon…

Monster May(hem) 2021 Begins!

It’s May 1st! Time for Monster May(hem), so get painting! Those monsters aren’t gonna paint themselves!

Here’s a list of all the current participants, along with links to their blogs (where applicable):

Don’t see your name here yet? No problem! Just email me at angrypiper@angrypiper.com or drop a comment below and let me know you want to participate! It’s never too late to paint a monster!

(Unless it’s June; it which case it’s technically too late.)

Here’s what’s happening so far:

We have our first submission! Matt from PM Painting is Johnny-on-the-spot already! Check out his awesome-looking Lovecraftian Elder Thing!

Although technically not submissions for this year, Dave from Wargames Terrain Workshop is showcasing some amazing Dragons he sculpted AND painted (both masterfully) over on his site right now!

Tom from The Good Ground jumped into the pool with a very cool Red Slaad!

And Azazel painted this beautiful Coral Golem! I love it!

I’m running behind already; and I’m the guy hosting this challenge! It’s the same every year…

Gonna go start mine…

The Storage Yard: A Green Hornet .45 Adventure AAR: Part 2

For scenario details, be sure to check out the Prologue and Part 1!

Through the rear-view mirror, Kato regarded the Green Hornet as he checked his equipment.

“Hornet Gun: check,” said the Green Hornet. “Hornet Sting: check. Let’s roll, Kato.”

A few minutes later, Kato steered the Black Beauty up to MaClane’s Shipping Yard. The car was set for silent running. In the darkness, it made no more noise than the faintest whisper as it pulled up to the curb. The Green Hornet and Kato exchanged a quick glance in the mirror. Both men nodded, then quietly exited the car on opposite sides.

Time to go to work.

Turn 1: From their concealed positions, the Green Hornet and Kato split up, each making his way to one side of the shipping yard. Being Observant, the Green Hornet comes close enough to an encounter marker to possibly trigger it; but he fails his Brains test. He’ll have to get closer! Kato, meanwhile, sprints to another container. This gives the guard atop the container a chance to spot him; but Kato keeps to the shadows and the guard fails to do so. This brings Kato in contact with another encounter marker. Unfortunately, it’s bad luck for him! Kato startles a stray cat, which yowls loudly. This gives the guard another chance to spot Kato, but the guard fails miserably and doesn’t react at all. Since the alarm hasn’t been raised, only one guard gets to move. The guard stationed atop a shipping container overlooking the meeting moves to his right, along a makeshift bridge.

Turns 2-3: The Green Hornet begins to climb up the side of the shipping container, trying to get a better vantage point. Once atop it, he activates the encounter marker. He takes a moment to angle a long-range microphone towards the meeting. He lucks out! One of the lieutenants coughs loudly, which is enough to identify him as Louie the Lunger, enforcer for “Lemonface” Bucco, boss of the Bowery district! Meanwhile, Kato moves around his container, while the guard atop it ambles down its length, failing yet again to spot Kato, who begins his own climb up the side of the container. Finally, Another guard heads out towards the center of the yard, halfheartedly scanning the darkness.

Turn 4: The guard atop the container Kato is climbing does an about-face and returns to his original position, which means he walks right by Kato for a second time. The guard is oblivious; once again failing to spot the black-clad Kato clinging to the side of the container. Kato quickly climbs up and attacks the guard from behind, delivering a silent but highly-effective kung-fu chop to the guard’s neck. Down he goes! The Green Hornet drops silently from the top of his container, coming into contact with another encounter marker. It’s a restless guard. One of the guards gets the urge to stretch his legs, so he gets to move out of turn. The guard on the bridge continues in the same direction, scanning the darkness, seeing nothing.

Turn 5: The Green Hornet moves quietly around the side of a nearby car, taking aim at the driver with the Hornet gun. He fires off a gas canister and the driver quickly succumbs to the narcotic effects of the knockout gas! A nearby guard fails to see the driver slump to the ground, unconscious! (These guards are really terrible.)

Meanwhile, from his vantage point atop his own shipping container, Kato has a clear shot at another driver. Not one to miss an opportunity, Kato hurls one of his drugged Hornet-darts at the unsuspecting driver; who is quickly overcome by the knockout venom! The Green Hornet and Kato are like the two pieces of bread in a SANDWICH OF JUSTICE! The guard in the middle of the yard moves back to his position atop the metal platform overlooking the meeting. So far, the Green Hornet and Kato have avoided detection!

Turn 6: The guards seem to realize they’re too close together, so they separate to better keep watch over the yard.

Like flowing water, Kato slips down the side of the shipping container. No longer worried about attracting the driver’s attention, he moves closer to the car, trying to get a better look at the mob lieutenants. The Green Hornet makes a break from cover towards another encounter marker. For a brief moment, he is all too visible to the guard atop the metal platform; but the guard is distracted by something on his shoe, and fails to notice the Emerald Avenger as he gets close enough to note the identity of another mob lieutenant! It’s “Clean-Head Chang”, enforcer for the notorious Chinatown crime boss, Wise Uncle Wei!

Turn 7: The Green Hornet backtracks to his original position. Through his powers of Observation, he activates the encounter marker atop the shipping containers; but it’s a dud. Nothing happens. Kato moves closer to the meeting, for a brief moment fully exposed to two of the guards. Both fail their tests to spot him. (These guards are the WORST.)

Turn 8: One of the guards shifts his facing, giving him another chance to spot Kato. He does not. Kato moves towards another encounter marker, desperately trying to identify the last mob lieutenant; or even catch a glimpse of the mystery man. But before that can happen, the Green Hornet, trying to remain out of sight, moves around the back of the shipping container stack.

He activates an encounter marker. It’s the cops, led to the scene by crusading reporter Mike Axford!

Immediately, the mob lieutenants make a break for their cars, while the Mystery Man slinks away into the shadows. MEETING ADJOURNED!

Turn 9: Although Mike Axford is scanning the yard for the elusive Green Hornet, “Clean-Head” Chang runs out into the open in full view of the cops while making a break for his car, not knowing that his driver has been KO’ed by the Green Hornet’s gas gun. The cops fire, but fail to hit the Tong gangster. Meanwhile, Louie the Lunger runs for his car, also unaware that his driver is down for the count because of Kato’s dart. He comes face-to-face with Kato, and wastes no time pulling his gun and taking his shot. He hits! Kato takes a grazing shot along his rib cage!

In response, Kato screams his Battle Cry, leaping into hand-to-hand combat with Louie the Lunger. To his credit, the mobster doesn’t panic; but he does drop to the ground senseless on the receiving end of Kato’s vicious flying kick!

The Green Hornet tries to head off “Clean-Head” Chang, even going so far as to attack Chang’s car with the Hornet Sting in an attempt to disable it. Unfortunately, the device fails, and Chang’s car is unaffected. Chang reaches his car and speeds away, leaving behind his enforcer. The identity of the third mob lieutenant must remain a mystery, as he manages to reach his car and speed away, leaving his enforcer behind as well!

Turn 10: There are only two criminal models left on the table; these are the two goons left behind by the lieutenants as they made their escape. Mike Axford is obsessed with the Green Hornet and doesn’t care about these small fish. He’s desperately scanning the darkness, looking for the Hornet; but finds Kato instead. He hastily points him out the police, who open fire! Although most of the cops miss, Kato is struck again! He’s down to one wound! This serves to highlight his position to the goon atop the shipping container, who also opens fire at Kato with his tommy gun! Despite leaking like a sieve, Kato manages to leap and roll to safety, easily avoiding the hail of bullets! (Kato rolled two natural 10’s, which are Heroic Saves. The bullets never even came close.) The remaining mobster fires upon the Green Hornet, but only sprays the air as our hero vanishes into the concealing darkness!

Turn 11: Kato needs to get out of here, and fast. He sprints to the edge of the board to join the Green Hornet, spending Hero Points to gain extra movement. The heroes flee the scene with the identity of two of the three mob lieutenants, as the cops collar the remaining gangsters and Mike Axford wrings his hat in frustration. But questions persist: who was the third lieutenant, and who was the mystery man? What did they want?

Analysis: This game was a lot of fun, and it flew by pretty quickly. With two Grade 3 models, you would think the odds were stacked in favor of the heroes; and for a while, that was the case. Once the alarm sounded, though, all bets were off. The fact that the guards couldn’t spot snow in a blizzard helped; but Kato survived by sheer luck alone. I fully expected him to go down in a hail of gunfire from the cops, but they rolled like shit. Then, he pulled off a miraculous dodge when one of the gat men opened up with his tommy gun. Lucky!

I was really pleased with how the two heroes methodically took out the sentries while trying to discover as many clues as possible. The encounter markers weren’t going their way; but they did get seven full turns before the cops showed up, and the identities of 2 of the 3 lieutenants. The final VP tally: Heroes: 7, Gangsters: 1. A pretty decisive (though by no means complete) victory for the heroes!

Epilogue: The Next Day

Britt Reid paced the room, pounding his fist into his palm in frustration. “Blast it, Kato, why does Mike Axford have to be so darn good at his job?”

“Isn’t that what you pay him for?” asked Kato. He was propped up in bed, his ribs bandaged. Despite the pain, he was feeling fortunate that mobsters were such lousy shots.

“The Daily Sentinel is lucky to have a reporter so tenacious. The Green Hornet, not so much. Axford brought the cops down on us before we could find out what was really going on in that storage yard.”

“We know the identities of two of the lieutenants,” said Kato, ” Louie the Lunger and Clean-Head Chang. That’s something.”

“It would have been nice to be able to interrogate at least one of them, and find out the identitiy of the third,” said Reid, “not to mention the mystery man, and what they were doing in the first place. Chang got away, and Louie is cooling his heels in a cell downtown.” Reid sighed in exasperation. “D.A. Scanlon says he isn’t talking.”

“Sorry I got shot, boss,” said Kato.

“That’s ok, my friend,” deadpanned Reid. “Just try to do better next time.” The two men exchanged smiles. “So, what now?” asked Kato.

“Clean-Head Chang is top enforcer for Wise Uncle Wei,” said Reid. “I think it’s time Wei got a visit from the Green Hornet.”

Kato nodded, sliding out of bed; but Reid stopped him. “You need to stay here and rest up, Kato. I’ll handle this one alone.”

Kato shook his head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“You worry too much, Kato. I have done this before, you know.” Reid smiled. “I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.”

Kato sat back and watched as Britt Reid left. A few minutes later, he slid out of bed, wincing in pain. The Green Hornet needed Kato, and there was no way he wasn’t going to be there.

The Storage Yard: A Green Hornet .45 Adventure AAR: Part 1

If you missed it, start at the beginning here!

Scenario: At midnight, three of the most powerful mob lieutenants in the city are meeting with a mysterious figure. Who do these lieutenants work for and what are they discussing? Who is this mystery man? And why wasn’t the Green Hornet invited? The Green Hornet and Kato plan on finding out the answers to these questions; but there’s another problem: Ace Reporter Mike Axford has also learned of the meeting and tipped off the police. It’s only a matter of time before they arrive…can the Green Hornet find his answers before then?

Victory Conditions: The Green Hornet must discover three clues (the identities of the enforcers) and escape the board. The criminals must prevent him from learning everything before the cops arrive and they are forced to make their escape. Victory points are awarded for clues. Each clue discovered by the Green Hornet is worth 1 VP, each clue that goes undiscovered is worth 1 VP for the criminals. In addition, each model that is eliminated is worth one VP equal to his grade (i.e. a Grade 3 model is worth 3 VP, etc.), and each Mob Lieutenant (not including the mystery man) that is able to escape is worth 1VP to the criminals. Whoever has the most VP at the end wins.

Forces: The Hero player controls the Green Hornet (Grade 3 Crimefighter) and Kato (Grade 3 Crimefighter). The Criminal Player starts with 3 Enforcers (Grade 2) and 6 Gat Men (Grade 1).  (Each lieutenant brought a driver and a goon.) The lieutenants and the drivers are armed with pistols; the goons are armed with submachine guns. The Police (3 Grade 1 Officers) and Mike Axford (Grade 1 Reporter) are controlled by either player, subject to the conditions below.

Setup: Play is on a 24”x24” surface, representing the yard of MacLane’s Storage Yard. There are shipping containers stacked around the yard, forming a central clearing of sorts. Crates, barrels and oil drums are liberally scattered about the yard, providing cover and spots to hide. There are three cars each facing an unobstructed path through the containers in roughly a Y-shaped pattern. In the center of these cars, the three Mob Lieutenants are deployed, along with the Mystery Man.  One Gat Man is deployed next to each car; these are the lieutenants’ drivers and they don’t usually take part in any of the action unless the shooting starts. The remaining 3 Gat Men are deployed on Guard Duty. The guards can be placed among or atop the shipping containers. The Green Hornet and Kato start on one board edge, in cover but at least 8” away from any enemy model.

Special Rules

Stealthy: A hero can attempt to take out a guard in melee without alerting any of the others. If a hero attacks a guard in melee and KO’s him, he does so silently. If the guard doesn’t go down, he immediately sounds the alarm. If a hero attacks a guard with line of sight to another guard, any attempts to spot him are made at +1.

Sounding the Alarm: Any guard who spots a hero model or who survives a round of melee can sound the alarm. This instantly alerts all the guards on the table, who can activate and act normally in subsequent turns. The bosses make a break for it as if The Police Arrive (see below).

The Police Arrive: When this happens (or when the alarm is sounded), all the bosses immediately make a break for their cars, and will reach them in one turn. The drivers can shoot at any of the heroes or the police they can see for one turn, then they speed away with their boss on the following turn. Any of the bosses who get off the board escape. As for the mystery man, he cannot be captured. He vanishes without a trace!

The police choose their targets as follows: first, they fire at any model that fired upon them, otherwise they fire at the closest hero or criminal they can see. Whichever model is the target, the opposing player rolls for the cop’s attacks. The Green Hornet and Kato will not enter combat with the police or with Mike Axford (no matter how much they want to), the one exception being the Green Hornet can use his gas gun if needed.

Pesky Mike Axford: Mike Axford is obsessed with unmasking the Green Hornet, and is constantly pointing out his whereabouts to the cops. By spending a Hero point, the player controlling the mob enforcers can force the police to fire upon either of the heroes, even if there is a closer criminal target. The criminal player cannot do this if any criminals fired upon the police earlier this turn, however. Axford cannot be the target of attacks, nor can he attack any other model.

The Characters

The Green Hornet (Grade 3): DR 5 Brains 4 Will 3 Brawn 3 Guts 10 Heater 5 Shiv 5 Dodge 4 Speed 5 Brawler +1d10, Pugilist +1, One-Two Punch, Sharpshooter +1, Quick +1, Nerves of Steel +2, Observant, Quick Recovery, Heroic Action

Kato (Grade 3): DR 5 Brains 2 Will 4 Brawn 5 Guts 8 Heater 2 Shiv 6 Dodge 4 Speed 5 Brawler +1d10, Pugilist +2, Multiple Attacks +1, Shiv Thrower, Driver +1, Battle Cry, Leap, Devotion, Nimble

Mob Lieutenant (Grade 2): DR 4 Brains 2 Will 3 Brawn 3 Guts 7 Heater 3 Shiv 2 Dodge 3 Speed 4 Brawler +2d10, Sharpshooter +1, Rapid Fire, Fearful Presence, Nimble, Quick Recovery

Goons/Drivers (Grade 1): DR 3 Brains 2 Will 3 Brawn 2 Guts 5 Heater 3 Shiv 2 Dodge 2 Speed 5 Brawler +1d10, Sharpshooter +1, Rapid Fire, Quick Load

Police (Grade 1) DR 4 Brains 2 Will 3 Brawn 4 Guts 4 Heater 2 Shiv 3 Dodge 3 Speed 5 Brawler +1d10, Ferocious, Fencing +1d10, Bruiser +1

Mike Axford (Grade 1) DR 3 Brains 3 Will 2 Brawn 2 Guts 7 Heater 2 Shiv 2 Dodge 3 Speed 5 Deception, Genius, Savant, Nerves of Steel +1

This post was a little longer than I expected…Full AAR to follow soon!

A Meeting at Midnight…

Another challenge for the Green Hornet; his aide, Kato; and their rolling arsenal, the Black Beauty!

Britt Reid, publisher of the Daily Sentinel, sat in his home office, uneasily drumming his fingers on the desk. “Very interesting, Kato.”

“What’s that?” Kato asked, setting a glass in front of his boss and friend. With a flourish, he held aside the sleeve of his white valet jacket and began to fill the glass with orange juice, raising the decanter impossibly high before lowering it at just the right moment to avoid an overflow.

Reid smiled at Kato’s theatrics. “Three of the city’s biggest mob lieutenants have a meeting tonight­­, Kato– a secret meeting with a mysterious fourth party…and it seems the Green Hornet wasn’t invited!”

“Maybe our invitation got lost in the mail,” Kato said dryly. “What do you think it’s about?”

“I don’t know, my friend. But one thing I do know: this is one soiree the Green Hornet isn’t about to miss!”

Kato nodded. “I’ll get the car ready.”

It’s long past time I played some Pulp. Although my Star Trek skirmishes last year scratched an itch for adventures in spaaaaaace; I wanted to get back to some good old-fashioned two-fisted Pulp action. And who better for that than the Green Hornet and Kato?

I used .45 Adventure 2nd Edition, my favorite rules for Pulp gaming. You can get the PDF here for a measly 10 bucks, and it’s well worth it. That being said, I made a few changes; the same changes I used when playing the Star Trek games using Fantastic Worlds. I’ll repeat them here: .45 Adventure has a detailed combat system that involves wound location and deteriorating statistics based on damage received. For example, you get shot in the arm, your shooting and brawling abilities go down; you get shot in the legs, your movement speed decreases, etc. The better your character, the higher his stats and the more wound boxes he has; therefore wounds have less of an effect on heroic characters and a greater effect on scrubs.

For my taste, this was a bit more bookkeeping than I wanted to deal with. I decided a model has a number of wounds equal to its rank and damage resistance (DR) commensurate with their abilities, and that wound location doesn’t matter. If a character is wounded, he loses a wound. Rank 3 and Rank 2 characters are KOed when they lose their last wound; Rank 1 scrubs aren’t so lucky: they’re dead (unless they are supposed to be KOed). This makes combat a lot faster and more deadly, but requires a lot less effort to keep track of a character round-to-round. Heroic characters (like the Green Hornet) may have access to abilities that allow them to shrug off and/or heal wounds, or to act regardless of them, but goons go down fast. As it should be!

The tradeoff is that a lot of special abilities in .45 Adventure are based around wound location, such as Supreme Effort, which allows a model to use his starting stats for a wound location for a turn (regardless of how badly damaged that location is); or Dead Shot, which improves your chances of hitting a specific location. Since I scrapped wound location, none of the models could use these; which somewhat limited the selection of skills I had access to. Each location also has its own Damage Resistance value. It’s generally easier to wound someone if you hit them in the head as opposed to hitting their arm, for example. I scrapped that too, and just assigned a blanket DR to an entire model. The more important or tough the model is, the more DR it has. This makes the game move a lot faster at the expense of some of the detail of the system; I like it, but YMMV.

That about covers the rules. But, what about the scenario?

It’s simple: At midnight, three of the most powerful mob lieutenants in the city are meeting with a mysterious figure. Who do these lieutenants work for and what are they discussing? Who is this mystery man? And why wasn’t the Green Hornet invited? The Green Hornet and Kato plan on finding out the answers to these questions; but there’s another problem: Ace Reporter Mike Axford has also learned of the meeting, and tipped off the police. It’s only a matter of time before they arrive…can the Green Hornet find his answers before then?

Find out next time!

Monster May(hem) fast approaches!

Gather ‘round, ladies and gents! (Are there any ladies in the house?) It’s almost May; time for the second annual Monster May(hem); to be hosted right here at Dead Dick’s Tavern! But wait…SECOND annual? It seems like this has been going on for more than two years…

Aaaah. Yes. Three, actually. It used to be known as Monster Month, but then Roger changed it. (Sigh. Roger. I friggin’ love that guy.)

Anyway, what is Monster May(hem)? Why, it’s the month you paint monsters, of course. Any monster will do, although it should be a proper MONSTER; not an orc or a vampire, or something equally as lame. I mean something truly beastly; like a dragon or manticore or giant sandworm. Check out the last couple of years by looking at that handy “Archives” drop-down menu on the right and picking any May (starting in 2018); or, if you’re too lazy to do that, you can get a pretty good idea what I’m talking about by looking at this post and this post.

I can hear the choruses now. “I wanna join the club, PIper! But, how do I participate?”

It’s easy! Simply let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email at angrypiper@angrypiper.com. I’ll add your name and website to the blogroll once May starts; and, if it’s not there already, I’ll post a link to your site in my sidebar menus. You might even pick up a few regular visitors to your blog! Don’t have a blog or a website? That’s ok. Send me your pictures, and I’ll post them here and ensure you receive proper attribution.

If you’re looking for some good monster miniatures but don’t want to break the bank, Reaper Bones or Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures are your friends! You can get some great plastic monsters for under 5 bucks, and even more for under ten. Or you can splurge and spend fifteen bucks and get something like this T-Rex from Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures:

But no one’s saying it has to be a Fantasy monster. Got a particularly nasty Tyranid or Elder God you want an excuse to paint? Well, look no further. Here’s your excuse. You can also sculpt your own, if you have the inclination and you’re the daring sort. Roger did just that last year, and he even named it after me! The likeness is uncanny… (I told you I love that guy.)

Monster May(hem) officially starts on the first of May (duh). Chances are I’ll be posting something soon after. I have a couple of miniatures in mind, including one really big project planned. I’ve been pretty productive in past years; but invariably I post a few stragglers in early June as my reach tends to exceed my grasp. Guess we’ll see if this year is the same…

My Latest Dumb Idea

Few of us get to be what we wanted to be when we grow up. When I was 5 years old in 1977, I saw Star Wars. I wanted to be a spaceship driver. (My father still has my 5-year-old voice on tape saying so.) Then a few years later, I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark; and I wanted to be an archaeologist. Not because I had any interest in the ancient world or the people that lived in it, but because archaeologists used bullwhips to swing on things, and that was what I knew I was meant to do.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll turn 48 years old. There’s still time.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve re-watched all the Indiana Jones movies before they’re due to leave Netflix at the end of the year. I haven’t seen some of them in a long time. Raiders is still the best, followed closely by Last Crusade. Temple of Doom wasn’t bad; and it was better than Crystal Skull for sure. As far as that one…it wasn’t as terrible as I remember it; but it sure wasn’t great, either.

Throughout this re-watch, I began to wonder…how much does a bullwhip cost? Well, settle down, amigos, because this is one rabbit-hole I went down so you don’t have to. Here’s what I discovered about bullwhips.

Bullwhips come in lengths from 6 feet to as long as 16 feet or more. The shorter the whip the easier it is to crack; the longer the whip the tougher it is to handle. Nowadays, the best whips are made from kangaroo hide (whip-cracking is pretty big Down Under); but they still use cowhide, too. Many modern whips are made from paracord. My eyes glazed over while reading about plaits and the “belly” of the whip; I gather it’s important stuff but I didn’t really care. The more plaits a whip has, the more pliable and responsive it is. In other words, the better the quality; kind of like a thread count in sheets. 16 plaits is better than 12, is better than 10, etc.

The general consensus is you get what you pay for, and a decently-made beginner bullwhip will likely cost you around $150 USD for a 6′-8′ whip, $250 for anything over 10 feet. (One thing is certain, the cheap whip I use when I dress in my Catwoman costume won’t work. Enjoy that image.)

So, I got to thinking about the practicalities of buying a whip.

I’m 6’1″ tall and I have plenty of backyard space, so I would likely try my hand at an 8′-10′ whip. Anything smaller and I would probably whip myself (which is apparently something you better get used to doing, especially in the beginning); anything larger would require Herculean strength that, at my advanced age, I sadly no longer possess. As a general rule, I don’t believe in buying cheap shit; for example, when I needed a reciprocating saw a couple of years ago, I bought the good one. A worker is only as good as his tools, after all. (In my case, my tools are usually much better than my level of skill would require.) In other words, I’m looking at spending about $250.00 USD to start this new hobby of mine; i.e. the hobby of whipping stuff.

I began to look at whips, and research whip manufacturers. Based on my recently acquired expertise and on the opinions of anonymous (but no doubt wise) Internet whippers all around the world, I dismissed inferior (or what I considered inferior) whips outright and homed in on the good quality bullwhips; the ones that must be better because they cost more. If I was gonna do this, I was gonna do it right, damn it.

As my collection of unpainted miniatures proves, resisting impulse buys has never been a strength of mine. But I generally pause when I’m about to spend over 200 bucks on anything. I decided I’d sleep on it. I did, and by the next morning I had pretty much forgotten about my whip obsession completely.

At least until about a week later, when I was shopping on Amazon, and this blue paracord bullwhip popped up in my “suggestions for you based on your browsing activity” window. I thought nothing of it, believing I was alone. Until…

“What’s that?” I heard from behind me.

“Nothing,” I said. I suddenly felt like I got caught watching porn.

“Why are you looking at whips?”

I shrugged. I resisted the urge to turn around. The silence was deafening. It seems an answer was expected. I began to wish I had been caught watching porn instead.

I sighed, and it all came out of me. I confessed the whole thing. I blabbed about how my re-watch of the Indiana Jones movies led to my new bullwhip obsession, which led me to research buying a bullwhip, because I know could get really good with one and that would be cool, and I’ve always wanted to be an archaeologist and…”

“Oh, please.”

Two words. That’s all it took.

That was when I began to reconsider the whole bullwhip purchase; to think about a better way to spend $250.00.

I thought about the utility and practicality of becoming a bullwhip adept. What do you use a bullwhip for, really? I mean, Indiana Jones is quite skilled with his; but I suppose that there may be a bit of creative license there. Am I going to whip someone? No. It’s not exactly a weapon ideal for home defense. You can’t swing a bullwhip in the house (I certainly wouldn’t be allowed to, even if I could); and unless I’m attacked in my backyard by someone who is taking their sweet time approaching me, it’s not a good option there, either. Can you really swing on a whip? Probably. The initial swing would be fun, but getting your whip untangled from the ground is probably going to be more of a pain in the ass than the trip was worth in the first place.

Whips make a loud noise. That’s about it. I have to assume the novelty of making a loud noise will wear off quickly, probably the first time I injure myself. And self-injury is pretty much assured. Whips hurt; that’s why being flogged is generally considered an unpleasant experience.

So, knowing what I know about me, here’s what would have likely happened had I gone ahead with this:

I would have gleefully uncoiled my new whip and tried to crack it. I would do this until I cracked it successfully, or more likely until my arm got tired or I cut my own flesh. Then I would either get bored or get upset, depending on whether I cracked it or cut myself. I would put the whip down and not pick it up again. Occasionally, I would glare at it, remembering that I spent two hundred fifty dollars on it.

That would be a really fucking stupid thing to do, so I’m not doing it.