Three games in June

Hello MoDers,

I cannot believe that July is already upon us. June was quite a busy month for me, and I did not get around to typing up a blog. I have mainly been spending a lot of my spare time with my family, so not really had the chance to hobby. I did get a few games however.

Game wise, I played three times using different gaming systems. The first was a ‘Kings of War’ style ‘Triumph & Treachery’. I played a game of this in May, so when the opportunity came up to give it another go, I jumped at it. ‘T&T’ has a strange mechanic with the random turns, decision changing cards, and the fact that you are allowed to build pacts with opposing players. In both of the games I have tried I fell victim twice to this final factor, yet somehow it enabled me to win both games. My attitude with both games was to just throw my units into any fray available, and hope for the best. Though risky it is a strategy that can gain a lot of coin, and it is the person with the most coins at the end that wins the game.

For the game in June I took my Rhordians, and went against Orcs and Varangur. In the first round my Duke tar-pitted the left flank by getting charged by an Orc Boss and some Boar Boyz , and surviving for 3 rounds. This freed up the rest of my army to tackle any Varangur that approached on the right. My artillery was not overly effective, luckily some melee combat did go my way, with my Halfling Knights sacrificing themselves to slow the enemy enough for the foot troops to form an effective position. The Greenskins had a long standoff against the Blood crazed humans, both sides opting to target any missile they had at my Halflings. When round 4 came about, the Varangur and Orc clashed in a grinding press of muscle and steel, in the end the stubborn orcs refused to give any ground, but it was not enough for them to gain victory. The objective of this game was to gain control of a magical tower, at the same time that the mighty forces clashed, my Halfling mage dashed through the gated entrance and claimed any magic held within, a sneaky victory, but a good one.

My second game the following week was a regular ‘Kings of War’. Having spent the day decorating the kitchen, I was quite tired, with no real mood for playing strategically. I decided to put a mobile Elf army together and see what happens. My opponent on the other hand is a very tactical player and had hoped for someone that would offer a challenge for his Orcs, I let him down on this point played recklessly, without a care for my troops or the outcome. There was an extra twist to the game itself, as we needed to choose a scenario. Normally I love these, as they add a difference to the game, making one think about each action rather than going hell for leather as one might in a pitch battle. On this day however it just added my confusion, I went against my pre planned set up, one thing led to another, and the Orcs carried the day butchering my elves and stealing all the loot. By the end of the battle I was down to two wizards. Strangely though; I was quite happy with the result.

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For the last of my June games I went back to ‘Warhammer Fantasy 8th ed’. My opponent for this game had been asking to have a go at the old game for some time. I was happy to oblige. I went with my High Elves, a similar list to the week before as I did not have time to re-pack. He brought his Warriors of Chaos. I set up with cavalry on one flank and infantry with artillery on the other. The game started well with plenty of charging and combat on both sides. However I seriously under estimated the power and toughness of the chaos troops, and although I struck first on most occasions, scoring many a hit, I could not wound them for toffee. By round five my entire army had been routed as the forces of chaos claimed victory. I did enjoy re-visiting this games system, but after a year and a half of ‘Kings of War’ the rules are a bit clunky, compared to the more basic, free flowing ones provided by ‘Mantic’.

Wolf conversions and Campaign days

Happy 2017 MoD’ers, here is my first post for the year. I do hope that the festive season treated you well and your eager to make this as good a year as you can, I know I aim to.

Since my last Blog I started on a new figure project. I finally had assembled enough pieces for my Rhordian Duke mounted upon a Winged Aralez Ancient (Huge flying dog), for my ‘Kings of War’ League of Rhordia army. I had most of the bits and bobs within the lead and plastic collection that I have dotted around the house. However for the main body I wanted something large and impressive, I scoured the web for suitable miniatures, and the answer was presented by eBay in the form of an alternative model for the ‘Space Wolves Thunder Wolf’ produce in resin by a European company listed below. One of my 1990 sculpted GW Griffons parted with her wings, and I sent off to ‘The Assault Group’ for one of their splendid mounted Dwarves.

The back story for this character is based upon the fluff provided for the League of Rhordia within Mantic’s: ‘Uncharted Empires’. Rhordia is a melting pot of races formed through adversity in the form of Orc raids that almost broke the Republic before it got going. The population of Rhordia is made up largely of Men, Halflings and Dwarves. Whereas the first two are given specific stat lines, the Rhordian Dwarves are not catered for. I use Dwarf figures when I want to represent their presence within the army, and use the stats that have been provided for the specific Rhordian units they are representing. I do this more for the character of the army, than any specific bonus of including dwarf troops.

This character came to power when his family used their Dwarven skills for smoking and preserving meats, made their adopted town of ‘Chipolata’ a thriving city known for mainly for the sausages and delicate meats they produce. Money brought them power and that bought then position. I wanted to choose food related names for my character, and came up with Duke Brok Wurst, in honour of his family’s business. I decided on Black and Yellow as the clan colours and gave him Bronze armour to show his status. As he is mounted I decided to go with the lance and shield option he came with, but added a spare Warhammer to the saddle, as a typical dwarf side arm.

Giant Wolf – http://bitspudlo.com/products/storm-hounds-2

Wings – Games Workshop (Citadel) Old style Griffon

Dwarf – http://www.theassaultgroup-shop.co.uk/index.php?p=7&tags_match=Fantasy

Hammer – http://www.thebattleforge.co.uk/

Although I hve a number of things to do to complete the model, the KoW International Campaign ran this weekend (14th Jan) and I really wanted to get him involved as the legendary hero you were allowed to put together. So I included him in a 2000 + 200 pts army list that was an even balance, and took it to my local gaming club: H.A.T.E @ Bethnal Green Workingmen’s Club, who were running a special Saturday opening for the campaign day. He I face a new opponent, a rather skilled, but very friendly ‘Empire of Dust’ pplayer. The sides appeared evenly matched, but I had not experienced the pain of an army with the ‘Surge’ spell, they were on me in second and tore my Rhordians apart. Despite this I had a really fun game and would certainly like to face him again.

However, one thing I have noticed in many of my games is the ‘tactic’ or should I say reticence of war-gamers allowing their figures to get involved in the melee, unless they can be the ones to charge. They appear to literally be scared of holding units in place to take the initial impact, opting to actively avoid combat unless they get the bonuses a charge provides. Whereas this may seem sensible to many, it can lead to a boring scenario of either allowing yourself to constantly be the one who is charged, or both players hang back and have a rather dull game. Maybe games designers could do something about this, perhaps design skills and/or magic items that can be used to force the players into moving at your units and risk receiving the charge; I believe the ‘Warhammer Fantasy’ Dwarf army list had a taunting rune that did such a thing. It would certainly avoid the situation where two competitive players don’t really get a game, as both are too stubborn to move.

Well that is all for now MoD’ers, hope January goes well for you, and hope to be more regular in posting this year, 2016 was a complete mare.

Back again, again.

What’s this I hear you say, Mr Seb has finally got off his arse and put finger to keyboard to speak again to the wider world about his hobbying. Well to be fair I have been a little busy, and tired, which means I really don’t want to get home and jump in front of the computer for more typing.

I have not played much since early August, but I have still been able to complete some paint projects and plan to do a series of short posts to talk about this.

A regular readers will know I’m really into ‘Kings of War’ and most of my painting is done in respect of this. One of the things I love about ‘Mantic’s’ fantasy war game is unit construction.  By that I mean that when you base your troops you do not need the exact number of figures that would make up said unit. For example a troop consists of 10 warrior and Regiment of 20 and so on. When you base up your troops you can use half the required number of miniatures +1, so a troop will be 6 figures representing the 10 that are actually present. Of course the base size must match that given by the rules, for example the base size for a regiment of regular cavalry is 120mm by 100mm. Having less figures to fill this space means you can go to town with your imagination in regard to how the base looks, I have seen great examples of scenic bases used in the game.

I recently received my ‘kickstarter’ reward for backing ‘Westphalia Miniatures’ Pugnacious half-men campaign. This contained a 10 man Yeoman infantry, 3 man command, 3 special sculpts and 10 man cavalry (Halflings mounted on goats). I’d been waiting for the knight for quite some time and decided to put some extra effort into their base. I sketched what I wanted it to look like, got my gear together and readied my epoxy resin:

Halfling knights (Before and Current status)

Base (Start to finish)

That’s all for this post, but I will be back soon with other projects I completed in the gap.

Oh one more thing, if you are currently looking for a Kickstarter project to back, you can’t go far wrong with Alex Huntley’s: Arcworlde (Troubles in the North). The talented young ‘Brindie’ sculptor has come up with expansion rules and three new races to play with, as well as making additions to the existing factions. Don’t miss your chance to get in on this campaign:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/warploqueminiatures/arcworlde-troubles-in-the-north?ref=discovery

My SALUTE 2016

Well yesterday was the ‘Steampunk’ themed SALUTE 2016, and I have to say that ‘South London Warlords’ did an excellent job as usual. (Although I still believe that it is a massive shame that the ‘Bring & Buy sale’ is absent from the event).

My good friend Nik Green came over from Austria, and after an early start courtesy of my little girl, we got ready for the big day. I wanted to get the ‘London Excel’ relatively early, so you get an okay place in the queue and there is that build-up of anticipation whilst you wait to be let through into the main hanger. We got there in good time and were in the middle of the second line of convention attendees.

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Once the theoretical starting pistol went off, I made a brisk walk to the main stand in the centre to add my paint contest entries. Nik made a bee line straight to ‘Ainsty castings’ as he had his eye on some treasure tiles they’ve produced that would be perfect in ‘Frostgrave’. We met up at the main stand and after Nik added his entries at the competition desk, we headed for the ‘Perry miniatures’, stall. Nik is a good friend of the Perry brothers from his re-enactment days, so always like to have as much of a chat and catch up as he can, not always easy as give the brother’s sculpting talents, it is a very popular place. They kindly allowed up to stow our lunch bag behind their counter, and then Nik and I went out separated ways, me to check out the ‘Frostgrave’, demo table, and Nik for a meetup with the ‘Oldhammer’ crowd.

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The scenery on the ‘Frostgrave’ table was phenomenal, snow covered ruins built into a mountain with bridges and other obstacles that could obscure line of sight, and therefore spell casting. At the back of the raised corner they had built a cavern with glowing crystal. Sadly I was too late to get into the first game, and after missing two other starts I decided to focus at looking at the other games taking place. There was a good mix of fantasy and sci-fi games going on as well as historical re-enactments, and games based on other genres. There was a rather impressive board based on ‘Mad Max’ and a really good siege of a medieval castle.

You may recall that some point last year I backed a kick starter that was run by Carl Brown through ‘Second thunder’, which was to fund a skirmish combat game with rules that had some flexibility such as stat creation for you war band, the game is call ‘Open Combat’, and Carl was present at SALUTE with Gav Thorpe passing out copies to those who had funded the campaign and to sell to those less fortunate. I have had a chance now to flick through the pages and I am really excited about getting to grips with this game.

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I did another circuit of the main hanger and found the ‘Bad Squiddo Games’ stand which was being run by the dice bag lady herself ‘Annie’, her ever present mascot ‘Baggie’ was also present, and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity for a photo. I have visited ‘Annie’s’ site a few time, there is a wide range of realistic female figures for gaming purposes be it fantasy, modern war or Sci-fi. Recently ‘Annie’, commissioned a range of sculpt that celebrate the sacrifice made by many women in the Russian army of the 1st world war, and they are really beautiful. If I played that genre I would certainly have picked up a pack, not that I could totally pass on the goodies on offer. I picked up a metallic ‘Mog’ a female orc warrior, a note book with a picture of a Russian sniper on the cover a badge of ‘Baggie’ and some crystals for scenery construction.

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My aim this SALUTE was to stock up on paints and brushes, whilst sticking within a budget I had set by putting money aside every month since January, this gave me a healthy £80 to spend. However I was not counting on how costly good paints and brushes can be. I also forgot how many stall had new shiny looking goodies on sale. I stuck to my guns and after a couple of  circuits I found a bargain, £1 for a tube of Vallejo paints I grabbed a handful which included a pot of metal medium, and gave the vendor a crisp £10. I followed that with the purchase of 4 ‘Army painter’ brushes, and a pot of ‘Army painter’, strong tone wash. £25 spent on my hobby needs; I had money to spend on some of my hobby wants. This started with a trip to Alex Huntley’s ‘Arcworlde’, stall to obtain some halflings, here I bought a trio of town guard who will make superb Sergeant figures in my League of Rhordia army.

Halfway through the day I checked the display cases for the painting competition entries, as usual there were so many great submissions, I felt less confident about my own contribution. Later this feeling was proven correct, as my entries did not make it into the final judging round. I was disappointed of course, but with all the entries left in the case with mine, fine examples of the hobby, I did not feel down hearted for long.

As usual with SALUTE the day flew past, and I was absolutely exhausted, my legs were grateful for the seat I got on the DLR home. I left ‘London Excel’ with good memories and a back pack full of goodies. The anticipation has already sparked for next year.

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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.