Games days, Frostgrave and Hanomag conversions

Hello MoDers, It has been a busy yet fun filled month so far, I decided it was time for my mug to pour forth its content.

In late February we had ‘HATE CON 1’ my local gaming club opened its doors to welcome gamers from far and wide to sample a variety of games old and new, and experience the fantastic ambiance of the ‘Bethnal Green Workingman’s Club’. There really was a wide variety of games to choose from such ‘Hero Quest’ and ‘Wings of War’. I volunteered to run the one of the two Frostgrave tables; which was a bit of a baptism by fire given the fact I’d only played twice myself prior to this. I had read the book about a dozen times, but with my sieve like memory I still made a few errors, that certainly did not appear to effect the fun had by the players, but did make it a little too difficult to wound the warband members. Still if you want to learn how to play a game you can’t do much better that to GM five games in a row.

Some of the club members ran a table that allowed people to delve into a number of bits boxes, and put together any weird and wonderful structure that you could imagine, for a small monetary offering, through this and some other generous donation the HATE club raised £100 for the charity ‘Mind’.

Due to work commitments I had to wait a whole week and a half before I got some more gaming action. But when I did I chose to play Frostgrave yet again, it is such an addictively fun game, so many nuances that make no game alike. This time it was a three way affair, to parties from the school of Witch craft whilst the other followed an Elemental mage. The rounds were quite evenly balanced with most wizards getting their spells off. There were some distinctly different styles of play, my witch mainly used spells like ‘Telekinesis’ to get to the treasure tokens, whilst her missile troops took pot shots at their opponents. The other witch kept trying to summon a daemon to take the fight to his enemy, and the elementalist kept magically boosting his warband enabling them to make some devastating attacks. Both my opponents lost their apprentices, the elemental trainee summoned an imp who then charged and attacked said junior mage and tore him a new ear hole. As the game came to an end I had three treasure tokens, the other witch had two, and the elemental mage also had three. It was looking like a draw, and then my apprentice snagged the last token, the other players did not make it plain sailing, but she managed to scuttle off the board and bring my witch’s hoard to four. She needed it though as she lost half her party during the scuffle and would need to hire some new hands.

Painting wise I’ve been quite busy too. After my last game of ‘Kings of war’ in which my ‘League of Rhordia’ army got a royal kicking from some surly dwarfs, I decided to kit them out a bit. Impressed by the carnage wrought by the ‘Steel Behemoth’ the dwarfs have at their disposal, I decided to fall back on some trusty Halfling engineering and construct an ‘Iron beast’. I don’t think that ‘Mantic’ currently do a model for this vehicle, so I decided to get converting. My dwarf opponent had used the Empire steam tank from old Warhammer as his behemoth, I racked my brains before deciding that halflings would have to have a Halftrack. I scoured the web for a suitable 28mm model halftrack and found the ‘SD.KFZ 251/1 AUSF D HANOMAG’ by ‘Warlord’. Having found a suitable base, I got some bits and pieces together to take the WWII out and hammer the fantasy in:

Once I had a basic idea what I wanted to look like, but before adding glue, I decided on the paint scheme. I wanted to have a large crest somewhere on the vehicle, and the elongated bonnet gave ample room for this. I used the last of my green stuff to make a basic shield shape, and some lumps of coal for added detail in the back. I was pretty much decided on having a rooster as the shield emblem, but could not decide how it should look, after a few practice sketches and some more web surfing I was ready to free hand paint my avian centre piece. I think it worked well.

My last chore was to select and paint a crew from the plethora of Halfling sculpts I’ve purchased over the years, I’d say they are my second favourite fantasy race after Dwarfs, so I had a few to choose from. I finally settled on two from the ‘Arcworlde’ range and a third from my old Halfling Blood bowl team finally with all painted and assembled it was time to take some pics, it was a rare bright and sunny day so I popped into my back yard and found a suitable spot for some photographs. I think I may enter this piece into the Salute 2016 painting competition, there is still a little work to do basing and highlights, but I’m definitely happy with the progress so far.

Sadly it is lent at the moment so I have no beer recommendations to make. Hope you enjoyed reading, and until the next post, take care.

Active Feb

Hello MODers,

With February coming to a close I thought I’d better get typing, as I’d like to blog at least once a month, memory permitting that is. February has been quite an active month what with journeys down to Cheltenham, games at my local table top club, and catching up with ‘Arrow’ season 3 (Yes I’m a little behind).

 

There were some good ‘Kickstarter’ projects both in January and February. I managed to get on board of ‘Oathsworn Miniatures’ campaign ‘Heroines in Sensible shoes’ a project set the sculpt and produce a line of realistic female adventures for 28mm table top gaming, I loved some of the figures they proposed and just had to fund it. I had also wanted to fund the campaign by ‘EffinCoolMinis’ who were making a nice line of Halflings, but I just didn’t have the cash, which was a shame as the figures looked great. As far as rewards go I received my Dwarf footknights by ‘The Assault Group’ I only made a small bid on these and really wish I’d paid a little more:

My local gaming club is opening its doors to the public for what promises to be a fantastic day of gaming from across the spectrum. Games such as ‘Mantic’s’ ‘Dreadbowl’ and ‘Anvil’s’ ‘Afterlife’. I will actually be co-ordinating the ‘Frostgrave’ table so I need to swat up on the rules. My Elemental warband is coming on slowly, some completed, but most still on the production shelf:

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On Wednesday (17th Feb) I managed to get in a game of ‘Kings of War’ which was great. I’m currently trying to put together an army of the ‘League of Rhordia’ which allows me to mix Halflings and Knights. I’m still getting used to the rules differences between ‘Warhammer (8th Ed)’ and ‘KoW2’ Magic and shooting are much better systems, but I’m not so sure about the movement phase. My Rhordian’s teamed up with the Elves, but were utterly trounced by a Dwarf army that was really rather tough:

Well Lent is here, but I was able to get an ale in before the 40 day dry season, and it was rather a nice drop from the ‘Sharpes’ brewery ‘Atlantic Pale Ale’ try it if you can find it:

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A fun start to 2016

Hello MoDers, welcome to my first post of the year.
I have had a busy, yet fun beginning to the year. I have finally had some ‘Frostgrave’ action, done lots of painting, played a little Warhammer 8th, and drank some fine beer.
My first thoughts of ‘Frostgrave’ is that it is a game that is everything it promises to be, that may not mean a lot to many, so I’ll expand and say that they advertise a game of magic and adventure and that is exactly what you get. Being able to not only choose which school of magic that your Mage will follow; but also a set of spells from a wide range, and which adventurers to hire, makes for a great table top RPG suitable for one off games, or campaigns. You need to be careful in selecting your spells, as some work well together whilst some do not really mix. As you become more au fait with the gaming system, you can develop some unique moves that suit your style of play and wrong foot your opponents. I did not get any pics from the game I played, but can report that I came close but did not win. Campaign wise I would have done quite well having dispatched my enemy’s apprentice and one of his archers with no loses to my team, but the aim of our game was to collect the most treasure, and he gained 5 tokens to my 4. The gaming club I take go to: H.A.T.E is planning a ‘Fronstgrave’ campaign I am definitely going to sign up for. I have been working on my war-bands and can show my ‘Elemental Apprentice’ WIP plus selected mercenaries:


My good friend Nik Green has started to develop shells of buildings laser cutting wood panels into frames that can be made into structures of the hobbyists choice. Here is one that I have been working on:


My Warhammer game was lots of fun, my high elves had another outing, and this time they faced the Warriors of Chaos. The game managed to last the whole evening and was closely fought, with good moves by my opponent and nice counters by my troops. The chaos Chimera swoop upon and devoured all but one of my Ellyrian Reavers, the musician fled the field to scared to return. In response my prince mounted upon a Dragon and horde of white lions charged head long into a large unit of forsaken, and another one of warriors led by Festus the leech lord, and chopped them in to tiny pieces. At the end of the game the scores showed the high elves to be on top. However the gap was under 300 points and by Warhammer 8th rules that meant it was a draw. Results are all very well but it is the fun of the game that is important, and this was an excellent bout with ups and downs for both sides:


This year I am looking forward to new painting projects, more games, and Salute 2016. Despite the very sad news of the loss of four of my favourite stars: Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Frey, (three great musicians and a fantastic actor), I feel this year holds some promise.

Of the beers I sampled over these fews days of January my favourite was definitely ‘Innis & Gunn’s’ Highland Ale, A rich smooth ale that goes down a treat:

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December projects, New Year hopes

Hello MODers, it has been an eventful month as you might expect December to be, I’ve managed to start and finish a Christmas project and complete one of my many long running works in progress.

First is my grumpy Ogre Santa from ‘Scibor Miniatures’. I had decided that I wanted to paint something different, but was not sure what, the only thing I was certain of; was that it needed to be festive. I surfed the net jumping from one gaming site to another and eventually found the special Christmas sculpts from ‘Scibor’, amongst many things they had Santa Dwarfs, Tree baubles and the Santa Ogre, I just had to have the big guy. I wanted to have this task completed by the 25th, so as the package arrived on the 5th, I had to get a shake on. Now clearly red and white had to feature but I wanted a different colour in there to make the traditional ones stand out. I decided first I would paint a green lining inside his coat; and to test myself I added a yellow diamond check; I think it worked out well:

Secondly I completed the unit filler/Standard bearer base from my Highelf White Lions unit. I’ve been working on this bit by bit for about 3 months. I had hoped to get a lot done on this whilst I was off post hernia op in October, but actually found it too uncomfortable to sit up, let alone paint, so this didn’t happen and the project went to the back of the list:

I have also been busy supporting some more kickstarter projects, one I back in October ‘Die Hard Miniature’ has been funded and I made a request for the figures that most caught my eye, picks will be posted when they finally arrive. I have also backed the following projects that have funded and are crashing through stretch goals as people continue to back them, they are as follows:

 

So time to look at the new year, I hope of course to attend Salute 2016 set for Saturday 16th April at ExCel London. I looking forward to trying out a few games I’ve had my eye on for a while, I am going to get some regular games of ‘Frostgrave’ starting tomorrow at my local gaming club H.A.T.E so some positive things to be looking forward to.

Last but not least It has ofcourse bveen the festive season, and I have sampled one or two beers, and I have to say if you get the opportunity to try ‘Curious brew’ by the ‘Chapel down’ brewery, go for it. It is made using champagne yeast and has a clean, refreshing taste:

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Best wishes of the holiday season to you, and a happy 2016.

Paint-off, Kickstarter & board games

It seems quite difficult to get myself to sit in front of the computer for a good old blog, but here I am again with an update for all of you ‘Mug O Dice’ followers.

In October I took part in an excellent painting competition, which came in time to give me something to focus on whilst I recovered from my hernia operation. ‘Gidran miniatures’ set some nice simple rules, to start with an unpainted Sci-fi or Steam punk dwarf mini, and by the end of the month have entered 5 photographs of the completed mini for judges to make a decision. ‘At last’ I thought an opportunity to use one of the lovely sculpts I earned as a kickstarter reward A Steam punk Scrunt (Dwarf) by Bob Olly. I used the full month to paint, repaint, touch up and detail, and the time put in netted me 2nd place, which I was very happy with, and I got a fantastic prize out of it too.

On the subject of Kickstarters, I’ve back a few good ones this past month, but one I’d like to mention, as they are still running, up until 3rd December that is. Talented sculptor Tim Prow has launched his ‘Die Hard Miniatures’ campaign, in which he is hoping to make some really lovely ‘Old hammer’ style models, including Snake men, Undead Minotaur, and cretinous Goblins. Follow this link to see what is on offer, and make a pledge of you can:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/diehardminiatures/diehard-miniatures-fantasy-miniatures?ref=nav_search

I had an opportunity to visit my brother Daniel and nephew Oscar in Cheltenham over the weekend, and the board games came out. I took ‘Cryptozoic’s’ Epic Spell Wars and we had quite a few hilarious rounds of blowing each other up. We played the new format of risk, on the mission level, apparently now you have to complete 4 different tasks at various levels to be able to claim victory. The markers now look like military models rather than stars and triangles, which adds to the atmosphere of the game. Finally we played ‘Lords of War’ with the Elves Vs Lizardmen pack, I had not played this for a while and it was nice to get a few rounds in.

Sadly no beer to talk about this time, the combination of medication I’m on means I’ve had to give beer a miss for a while, not a good mix apparently.

Painting and games

Hello Mod’ers

It’s been a while again; however there are various good reasons for this. I have now decided to pull my finger out and type a new post. So what has MrSeb been busy with, you may be thinking to yourselves, and there’s no single answer, but amongst the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune faced in this life, I have had the opportunity to game and to paint, so I have to concede that when they say that there is a bright side to everything, they are actually right.

Frostgrave, I have still be as useful as a chocolate fire guard in regard to playing this game, the number of figures I plan to use in the game is piling up upon my bedroom floor, and I’ve managed to get three wizards painted up, my most recent being an elementalist:

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If I ever get close to playing this game I’ll let you know.

Other painting, I currently have a number of paint projects on the go (doesn’t everyone) I finally got around to completing the repaint on my Ostland Halberdier Captain for by ‘Blue Bear Old Boys’:

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When I have the front rank complete, the others will take less time as they will require less detail.

On top of this I have started a character based unit filler for my Lothern Sea Guard, and I have entered a painting competition run by ‘Gidran Miniatures’ I am painting up a kickstarter reward from last year; to take part in this; and will be painting a ‘Victorian Scrunt’ as sculpted by Bob Olley. Posts to follow when these ard complete.

I am able to get to my gaming club in Hackney a bit more regularly since me change in shift, and so have been able to get some good games of ‘Kings of War’ and ‘Warhammer 8th’ In particular I had a fun three way game of WHFB; in which I used my Lothern Sea Guard against a Chaos warrior horde and a Skaven litter. To prevent any kind of one sided play, we set up some objectives, each had a marker in their own area that needed protecting, and there was a further marker in the middle of the table that needed to be captured. There were some good plays, and crazy mistakes on both sides, the most enjoyable was seeing the chaos lord get rewarded for his valiant efforts against a pack of storm vermin, by being transformed into a Spawn. My High Elf prince mounted upon a moon dragon, charged and chased of a 40 strong unit of Chaos warriors, and the Skaven player turned a unit of Chaos ogres into clan rats with the 13th spell. My High Elf captain managed to capture the centre objective and my Reaver knights tried to capture the Chaos warrior marker as it had been left un-attended; however some Skaven swarms put pay to that plan by making it a contended marker. However as I held two marker at the end of a long and enjoyable game, the High Elves were victorious.

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As usual I have sampled many good ales since my last post, and although the ‘Three Sods IPA’ is a welcome refreshment at my gaming club, the tastiest on this occasion was the seasonal special:

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Frostgrave, Kings of war and more.

I have been quiet for too long, the intention to blog has been there, but not enough will to actually put finger to keyboard. I have however been busy, getting some games in, painting/finishing some figures and drinking beer, well maybe not so much of the latter if only due to finances.

I got my copy of Frostgrave from ‘Northstar Miniatures’ at the end of July. The book itself is beautifully put together, and the rules are intriguing. I am still to play it as I have been preparing my own wizards/apprentices to use, the ones prepared by Northstar are nice, but this is the type of game where you can do your own thing. So far my Arcworlde Wizard is going to be my Illusionist, and I bought a lovely sculpt from ‘Black Scorpion Miniatures’ to be my witch. I also plan to use a classic ‘Citadel’ High Elf Mage as an Elementalist, and have my eye on several minis for my Necromancer.

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Even though I have not yet played Frostgrave, I have had the opportunity to play Kings of War 2 and Dungeon Saga by ‘Mantic’ who visited my local gaming club on two occasions over the last three weeks. On the most recent visit Ronnie Renton himself came down, a very nice fellow to whom many of us at the Hackney Area Table-top Enthusiast are very grateful to.

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Kings of war is very much the game to replace ‘Warhammer Fantasy Battle’, if you wish to continue to play proper table top battles. It is actually faster and easy to play than WHFB, and because you do not remove figures as the casualties’ accrue, it is easy to set up for a new game or tidy your army away. I have played this 4 times now, although 2 of those times were the 1st edition. I love the fast pace of the game, and they fact that artillery and magic are useful, but they are not game changers, means there is guaranteed combat, and often unexpected results. The fact that Mantic are expanding the range of their armies is a real bonus.

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Dungeon Saga is similar to Hero quest, but with some important differences, the one which stood out to me is that if even one of the adventurers dies, the whole mission fails; this encourages greater team work to complete the game. Each level is tougher than the last and it becomes imperative to protect the weaker members of your team.

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Despite the bad taste it left in my mouth, I have tried ‘Age of Sigmar’, and although many people have enjoyed it, it’s not for me. I will be taking up ‘Kings of War’, however I will also continue to play Warhammer Fantasy Battle, as long as I have an opponent to play with. I have also decided that in an effort to keep the old world alive, I am going to write and alternative narrative which I will post on the ‘Warhammer battle reporters’ website, for people to use if they wish, like many do, to continue with 7th or 8th Edition. I am also going to add 3 further armies to my collection, I already have Dwarf, Empire and High Elf, and it took some time to decide which three armies would join them, in the end I decided to go with Khemri, Orc & Goblin and Beastmen. I just need to get hold of the figures; I have had some luck, but keep getting out bid on Ebay. I need to find some other sources.

As I have said some nice beers have been consumed since my last post, and it’s difficult to say which I preferred, possibly the badger brew, but here’s a few pics of some of my recent refreshments.

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Painting Hiatus

I’ve had a sudden stall to my recently acquired drive to paint my minis. I am not sure what has caused this halt, as I have plenty of half-finished sculpts just screaming out for that final lick of paint. Whenever I see them however; laying around in their various states of near completion; instead of picking up a brush and getting down to it, I turn my head and pretend I did not see them at all.  Despite the joy I get; not just from the finished article but the painting process itself, at the moment I just cannot muster that spurt of inspiration I need to dip my sable bristles into a pot of acrylic.

I have however spent some of my spare time playing various table top games, ‘Lords of War’, still features heavily on the agenda, as it is a thoroughly enjoyable gamer, and I still had my kick-starter packs, and booster sets to try out, I recently took a set to a local gaming club, the Hackney Area Table-top Enthusiasts (H.A.T.E) and to a friend’s house for a bit of gaming evening.

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Whilst spreading the word about the ‘Black Box Games’ product, I have had the chance to play some other games, the funniest and frankly most weird I have sampled is the strangely titled ‘Epic Spell Wars of the battle wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfyre’ a bit of a mouthful yes, but mad fun, especially with a drink in your hand. The premise of the game is that you control a wizard, and each round you use a combination of up to three cards to formulate a spell that is hopefully powerful enough to take out all the other wizards. Having played this several times in one evening, I had to find and purchase it. Whereas Ebay unusually let me down by only offering the expansion version, Amazon came to the rescue, however I have to wait a month for delivery apparently! Well I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

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My search for this game, brought my attention to a few other titles that I’m now itching to get my hands on, my budget prevents my on just splashing out on them, but ‘Smash up’, ‘Mage Wars’, and ‘Sheriff of Nottingham’, will soon be mine.

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Not much else to type about at the moment, other than to leave with a beer recommendation, there are two that I have particularly enjoyed since my last post, the first is ‘Adnams’ dry hoped lager, a lovely golden drink with a nutty finish. But the beer that topped the lot has to be ‘Three Sods Brewery’ Amber ale, a lovely drop with a nutty flavour, bitter tang and almost citrus finish. Ale heaven.

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Four have fun in Chelters…

I had the recent opportunity to take a trip down to Cheltenham to visit my older brother Daniel and his wife and child (Ruth and Oscar). Daniel and Oscar both enjoy a bit of fantasy gaming, and have a small collection of Warhammer Fantasy figures. I had toyed with the idea of taking a small force of Dwarfs from my collection to put their armies to the test in a three way skirmish. However I remembered that I have been trying out some alternatives to Warhammer, and decided to carry something that is quite a bit lighter, but still loads of fun; Lord of War.

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In my earlier posts I have spoken about this card based skirmish game, as I have backed the kickstarter campaigns that they have launched to get the game of the ground, and make improvements. There are currently three box sets that feature six races Dwarfs, Orcs, Elves, Lizardmen, Templars and Undead. There are also some booster sets and other accoutrements that assist with and enhance game place, such as the foam battle mat. The basic rules to the game are really easy to pick up; and as you improve the advanced rules and boosters sets come into play, maintaining the enjoyment of the game.

On my first day in Cheltenham; Daniel took me to a local pub called ‘The Sandford Park Ale House,’ which an excellent establishment, that serves a wide variety of beers crafted around the UK and beyond, they also serve some really tasty food; specialising in a great selection of cheeses. They are also wheel chair friendly which is good for Daniel. We found a free table, ordered our first round and I cracked out the card, I had opted to take my ‘Templars Vs Undead’ card to the pub as they are in plastic card protectors and I did want any errant spills damaging my game. I read the rules to Daniel, and then showed him how to play, as I had been shown by the ‘Black Box Games’ team that were at SALUTE this year. After three pints of ale, a large plate of cheese and a bowl of chips, we had played about four games in three hours. We used both races twice each, and I beat Daniel each time, although I have to admit having played on two occasions previously, I had a bit of an advantage.

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When we returned to Daniel’s home, Oscar was back from school; Ruth was cooking up a roast pork meal, the smell of which had me salivating when we entered the door. Daniel went for a rest, and I offered Oscar a couple of games with the ‘Dwarfs Vs Orcs’ pack, we got one and a half games in before Ruth wanted to serve up, I won the first but the unfinished game was declared a draw as we had both eliminated 10 cards including two characters. Oscar enjoyed the game so much he wanted to go and buy a set on our way to the coach station the following evening.

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The next day Oscar showed me his largely unpainted figure collection, he has some lovely rare metals in there, finds at local auctions apparently. I suggested that we could do some painting that morning, and upped the stakes by challenging Daniel, Ruth and Oscar to a speed paint session. We all chose a figure we wanted to paint, I set up the table, and after Daniel finished having a natter with our Mum on SKYPE, the hours painting session started. As usual with these things the time flew by, Oscar finished his figure (A High Elf Sea Guard) before the time limit ended, while the three oldies were left wanting more time.

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In all I though good efforts were made by everyone taking part. We all had a look at the figures and discussed them, and then it came down to me to pass judgement. Daniel came 4th with his Wood Elf Scout, Oscar was awarded 3rd place for his High Elf, Both Ruth and I had that little extra detail on our figures that made them stand out. However, given that I have more painting experience, and was judging; I declared that Ruth had won with her Chaos Warrior. So my Orc (Whom I had decided was a Chaos Orc) took 2nd place.

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So I had a fantastic weekend visiting family, and got some hobby time in too.

I’ve had some really nice beers since my last post, the dark ales I drank at the ‘Sandford’ were beautiful, but my pick of the most recent ones has to be:

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A nice strong dark ale, perfect for a slow drink whilst you paint you figures, but at 6% make sure you don’t imbibe too many.

My day at SALUTE 2015

Upon leaving the house this morning it looked as if 2015 had decided to skip past the rest of spring, and summer in that case and get on with Autumn. The sky was grey, the air was cold and the rain just kept pouring down. However, I was in a positive frame of mind because today was April 25th, and it was finally time for SALUTE 2015. I also strengthened my resolve by remembering that the event is held indoors, so rain do your worst, today was going to be a good day.

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I reached Excel in good time. Crowds of people were already gathering, and as I paced down the café strewn walkway of the internal corridor, I noticed that there were in fact 4 different conventions taking place. Along with SALUTE and the annual London Marathon registration (these two always seem to run in conjunction) there was a pharmaceutical conference, and a convention for the modern BBC1 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.

As I approached the entrance for SALUTE; I noticed that unlike past events that I have been to, we were not required to queue outside, they had arranged a waiting area inside one of the hangers, and with the doors to the main event open, allowing a glimpse into the honey pot, and the golden treasure the lay inside. After half an hour waiting in my place within the queue, I was ready to gaze and new sculpts, play new games, and spend obscene amounts of money (well maybe not the latter), I was in total geek mode.

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Once they had finally let slip the dogs of war, I made a head long rush, straight to the Southern Warlords stand to book my models into the painting competition. Each year I fool myself into thinking I can paint to a good standard, so scoop up my most recent pieces, and proffer them to the SALUTE judges, hoping that I might get a mention, a slip of recognition. But then I see the other entries and think, ‘Wow, I still have a long way to go.’

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My next port of call was the ‘Hasslefree Miniatures’ stand to get some new Dwarf female warriors for a new work in progress, and a copy of their Female Greatsword (an excellent sculpt that would work well as an Empire Captain). I also picked up a few other models I liked because it’s got to be done really. Next stop was ‘Black Scorpion Miniatures’ they had a lovely sculpt of a witch with a cat familiar which I have wanted since I saw it on their website last year.

After this flurry of purchasing, it was definitely time for a game. I had spotted the ‘Lords of War’ stand in the corner near the entrance, and having enjoyed an introductory game in 2013, and subsequently forgotten the rules, I decided to see if someone would like to shake the rust out of my system with another game. A very friendly young lady sat me down and we had a round of ‘Templars Vs Undead’ I was happy with this choice as I had backed the kick starter for this particular version a while ago, then not played with me boxed set. The game at the intermediate level is quick to pick up, it is fun and very addictive. I enjoyed the game so much that I bought one of the special battle mats to start using my own cards upon, as it is definitely a game I’m going to get into. ‘Black Box Games incidentally are running a new kick starter, which is an expansion to their ‘Elves Vs Lizardmen’ set. After today, I think I’m going to making a pledge.

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Next up was lunch, I met up with two good friends Nick and Marc. We try to meet regualry at SALUTE, have lunch and go through our early purchases, it was pleasant as always and we chatted about the demise of the ‘Warhammer Fantasy World’ among many hobby related topics.

My post lunch amble around the bustling avenues of the SALUTE arena, was a flurry of window shopping and photo opportunities. I saw Dani Abrams ‘artist. comic book creator and war gaming guru’ who does some work with ‘Beasts of War’. I follow her on twitter and asked if I could take her picture, and she kindly allowed me to do so. Next I saw Alex Huntley the creator of the brilliant skirmish game ‘Arcworlde’, I back his kickstarter a while ago and received some beautiful sculpts in return.

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Then a sign caught my eye ‘Crooked Dice Game Design Studio’,  I was intrigued to know what they did. I approached the stall and got talking with the wonderful Helena Nash, who told me that they make games based on cult TV programs such as ‘Doctor Who’, and ‘Blake 7’. (two of my childhood favourites). Helena told me about one game in particular, 7th Voyage which is a table top game set in the world of classic stop motion mythic/fantasy films such as ‘Arabian Nights.’ There is an expansion book available that brings ‘Robin Hood,’ and ‘King Arthur,’ into the fold. It turns out that Helena is the games developer for this particular system, and I was eager to try it out. After a game of trying to get Robin and his merry men out of a castle town surrounded by the sheriff and his men, I was hooked and  bought the rule book and expansion straight away. If you’re looking for a new game to try then you should certainly give this company a try:  http://www.crooked-dice.co.uk/wp/

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Over all I had a really great time as SALUTE which made up for recent difficulties in everyday life. The escapism of war gaming has such a stress relieving quality, it would be good if they could bottle it up, but for the time being I’ll have to make do with shows like this.

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Something else to look for in the coming months is a game called ‘Frostgrave’ by ‘North Star Military Figures’ and ‘Osprey Games’. This is a game in which wizards steadily build up a warband as they battle and search for lost treasure. A funding event for this will start in May and will be worth watching out for: http://www.nothstarfigures.com