Franticon Kings of War 2020: Doubles

Hello MoDers,

Welcome to my much delayed post following my 3 day attendance at Franticon 2020 that was held in Dark Sphere (Shepherds Bush) London, between 6th and 8th March 2020. It had originally been my intention to type up an all-encompassing blog to post the weekend after the event, but life happened and ‘Corona Virus’, started to get a grip on the UK so I have been somewhat distracted.

So after the usual procrastination I have decided upon a strategy to write about the event. I plan to write 3 separate blogs for each event: ‘Vanguard’, ‘KoW Doubles’ and ‘Kow Singles’.

Last year I took an Elven Sea-kin list to match my friend Neil Dennison’s Trident realm army. We came dead last, but over all had a great day. I was inspired to return. A few months later my ‘Kickstarter’, pledge in the ‘TTCombat’: ‘Halfling and friends’ arrived and brought with it enough ‘Treemen’ to build a ‘Forces of Nature’ ‘Shamblers’ horde. I knew then what my doubles army would be for ‘Franticon 2020’, I just had to think about what else I should add. My friend Neil came to the rescue again as he did not want his ‘Treemen’, and gave me his, so now I had 2 hordes of ‘Shamblers’ it looked like I had a theme for my ‘Forces of Nature’: lots of tree men.

My work had a restructure and I had a relapse with my anxiety and depression. Somehow during this time I lost touch with Neil who moved to a new department, which is a real shame. However toward the end of 2019 several London based ‘Kings of War’ players put together a gaming group and ‘Facebook’ page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/414256149261614/ for Kings of War: Central London. We play at venues all around London, but mainly seem to congregate either at the ‘Bad Moon Café’ or ‘Dark Sphere’. Here I met Chris Lynch, who mainly plays with an Elven army with a fantastic autumnal sylvan style, the army is really well painted and Chris uses it to great effect. He agreed to partner me in the up coming doubles, and by early January with some suggestion from Chris, my 1000pts ‘Forces of Nature’ army was ready, on paper that is.

With just over 2 months I had to get the following army together:

1 Druid mounted on a Forest Steed with the Shroud of the Saint, which gave him healing (5) I also paid for him to have Surge (4)

1 Tree Herder with Healing Brew, (the main reason for this choice was the Radience of Life aura which provides the army with added healing, very useful). He also came with Surge (8)

2 Forest Shambler Hordes

1 Beast of Nature (with fly and extra attacks)

It was only 5 drops, with an overall unit strength of 8, but with similar choices on Chris’s army, I believed we stood a good chance, despite my awful memory and lack of experience using this faction.

I had a good amount of minis in my collection to represent most of these army choices with the ‘Treemen’ from ‘TTCombat’, a ‘Manticore’ from ‘Warploque Minitures’: ‘Arcworlde’ range (I made some slight alterations to this mini by adding some ‘GW’ ‘Ghast’ wings) as my ‘Beast of Nature’, and a lovely sculpt by ‘Conquest Games’ from their ‘Wealdgeist’ range, a mounted elf lord on a boar, that I believed would be perfect as my mounted ‘Druid’. ( I picked this chap up at SELWG 2017, always hoped he’d come in useful). However no matter how much I looked around I could not find a large ‘Treeman’ that I liked enough to buy as my ‘Tree Herder’. Thankfully Chris came to the rescue and suggested that I look closer to the source, as ‘Mantic’ make a ‘Tree Herder’ sculpt that is really nice, I looked at the website, and have to admit it was one of the best large ‘Treeman’ figures I have seen. Chris said that I could use one of his, as he had 2 ready to go and only needed 1 in his army, but having seen the ‘Mantic’ model, I just had to buy it. The model arrived 3 days before the event, and I had a huge task to finish all of my units including my herder, It is the fastest that I have ever finished a paint job, and took three nights staying up past midnight to manage it, I was exhausted before the first day, but it was worth it:

The Doubles event was being run by ‘Kings of Herts’ on Saturday 7th March. As usual Paul Roberts and Matt Green put together a really well organised tournament. Here is where my terrible memory comes in, I cannot remember the names of all out opponents, I really should write more down, when I know I’m going to be blogging. I remember that we faced Jude and Gino, 2 lads from Cornwall (Like me!) who brought a Kingdom of Men/Nightstalker alliance. I have played both in the past and they are really good at ‘Kings of War’, I was a little worried, but we had an upper hand, as Chris and I had more experience with 3rd edition. Despite some careful deployment and manouvering, it was not long before our units were engaged in a grinding melee. Thanks to Chris we were lucky to gain the central objective early which meant they had to come to us if they wanted to get those points. We managed to hold out toward the end, I think I lost everything bar 1 ‘Shambler’ horde. We claimed victory in our first game, it was very close though:

Our next opponents were Daniel and Ed with a Sylvan Elf/Dwarf alliance, Ed’s army looked lovely. Their army was quite similar to ours, but boy did they know how to use it. After the 1st round things looked bleak for us, and we decided that someone was going to need to make the first move forward, we did and we were crushed. I learned a big mistake I had been making regarding the movement for flyers and their pivoting. Most will know this, for some reason I did not. Whereas flight gives you up to 20 inches movement, if you use it you can only pivot once. If you only use the basic movement of 10 inches then you nimble comes into play and you can pivot twice, but not if you move more than the 10 inches. I hope I can remember this as I plan to use flyers a bit more often than I have in the past, due to the disruption they can cause. Needless to say we were annihilated, but it was a fun game especially the press in the centre of the table:

Our last game was against Jon and his partner (sorry I have tried to research your name, but failed miserably). They had Orcs, Goblins and lots of Trolls. I am still not use to the way in which an Orc army can dash across the table and brutally clash with your units. Thankfully most of our troops were toughness (5), with good nerve, so not so easy to break as my ‘Rhordian’ or ‘Empire of dust’ soldiers. I must admit that by game 3 I tend to be really tired, I don’t understand how the game tires me out so much, in many ways it is much more exhausting that a good session in the gym, and does not bring then benefit of an adrenaline/endorphin rush to keep you going. Therefore I cannot remember a great deal about this game, I think it was close, I know we lost, but that is pretty much all I can say, other that we had another brilliant set of opponents:

As often happens when fun is being had, the time flew and it was heading into the early evening. I started to pack, only taking a break to listen to the placings and awards. I did not think I had played particularly well, and had been a bit grumpy after my mistake in the 2nd game, mainly because I don’t like to make mistakes, so I was very surprised when it was announced that I had won the ‘Most Sporting Player’, award, so surprised in fact that I responded, ‘Me! Are you sure?’ It was an unexpected end to the event. As a prize I was given a ‘Mantic’ ‘Greater Water Elemental’ which will help me expand my ‘Forces of Nature’.

At the end of the day I travelled back home, very tired, both looking forward to and dreading the next day. Overall day 2 of ‘Franticon 2020’ was excellent.

After winning the greater elemental, I obviously had to buy enough miniatures to build a lesser elemental horde. And as the ‘Mantic’ Glade Walker Druid is a great match to my mounted druid from ‘Conquest games’ I definitely needed to purchase one of these also, now to reach 2000pts:

20200328_215145

Here is a list of links to the suppliers I used to build my army:

https://www.facebook.com/darksphereshepherdsbush/

https://ttcombat.com/collections/fantasy-realms

https://www.warploqueminiatures.com/bestiary?page=2

http://www.conquest-games.co.uk/index.php?cPath=41_46&&page=1

https://www.manticgames.com/games/kings-of-war/forces-of-nature/

Clash of Kings 2019

Hello MoDers,

I know I said my next article would be after SELWG 2019, however after my first weekend long ‘Kings of War’, tournament I just had to write something about it, it was utterly fantastic.

I decided to represent the ‘Empire of Dust,’ as I am most practiced with this army. Don’t worry I am still Halfling obsessed. I just seem to be better able to utilise the abilities of this army, in a way that provides a challenge for my opponents, whilst giving me a better opportunity to obtain those elusive victories. I took the following 2000 pts army:

Ahmunite Pharaoh – Mreb’s Grimoire – Drain Life – Spell Syphon,

Cursed High Priest – Myrddin’s Amulet – Fireball/Vicious – Drain Life,

Idol of Shobik,

Bone Dragon,

Reanimated Behemoth – Light Balefire Catapult,

Soul Snare,

Skeleton Spear Horde – Brew of Strength – Casket of Damned,

Skeleton Archer Horde – Heart Seeking Chant.

Enslaved Guardian Archer Horde – Chant of Hate.

Upon first view, it looked quite a small for a force that cost 2000 pts. I think that my selection, especially with the spells and other buffs I added, I kind of tied my hands a little as most other armies at the tournament were much larger than mine, and after getting out flanked and pretty much overwhelmed in my first three games, I several valuable lesson over the weekend, this one was: ‘More boys, less toys”.

20190928_094058

On the Friday evening I played a practice match against Richard Massie, who went on to join our team ‘Jacks of Herts’ for the weekend. He played with The ‘Trident Realm’ and they are quite tough, each unit has ‘Ensnare’, and Richard had brought along two ‘Kraken’, (giant squid monster) which have ‘Regeneration’, this means that unless you take them off in one round they have the potential to heal any/all the wounds you give them. They did this to great effect and I could not really focus on the rest of his army. I had been lucky enough to take out his two units of ‘Naiad Heart-piercers’, before they could do any damage, however his two ‘Leviathan’s Bane’, more than made up for any damage those units might have caused. Half way through this game came another lesson: ‘Know your army’, my memory is not the best for this, however it was good to find out before the actual tournament, that the Stats for ‘Guardian Archers’ are: Me (4) and Ra (5), not the other way around. I really dislike making mistakes, and am glad I learned from this before the proper games started. This is what practice games are for.

Over the weekend I played six games of ‘Kings of War’, against five different races from ‘Pannithor’ (‘Salamanders x2, Orcs, Abyssal Dwarfs, Vampiric Undead, and Night-stalkers’) with six brilliant hobbyists (Dan, Jez, Caillem, David, Tom and Andy). Of my six games I lost five, and finally broke my duck by gaining my first tournament victory in the grudge match: Undead V Empire of Dust (I like to think of there being an ancient grudge between these two evil factions). Four of my losses were quite close, and could have gone either way. However my Skeletons were smashed to smithereens by an unstoppable green tide, played very well by Jez Gurney. Two more lessons from these games were ‘Set up according to your strategy, not theirs’, and ‘Play to the scenario, it not all about killing’ (Unless you are playing the kill scenario). Also if you buy a spell or magic item, make you you use it, I wasted 30 pts on ‘Spell Syphon’, and did not use it once.

As well as the fun of seven games of ‘Kings of War’ over the weekend, there were plenty of shenanigans on the Friday and Saturday with games, quizzes and some special reveals from Ronnie Renton and the Mantic team in relation to ‘Kings of War 3’, and their new ‘Kickstarter’ project ‘The League of Infamy’:

https://www.manticgames.com/shop/what-is-the-league-of-infamy/

(There was also some mention of Mantic Halflings).

After all the talk and sneaky peaks at some beautifully painted ‘Mantic’ miniatures, I played a couple of really fun games. The first was called ‘Guns & Money’ a game of heists and hustles, in which you are armed with a gun shaped piece of foam, and need to bluff your way to the end without getting shot (too often) and amassing a fortune in ill-gotten gains. The other game was ‘Tiny Epic Defenders’, a great fantasy based co-operative board game with really interesting game mechanics. I played this with Paul and Matt from ‘King of Herts’ and it was a perfect end to a fantastic day.

I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I started my journey home on Sunday evening, but was lucky enough to have the company of Tom, the Night-stalker player I had face in my fifth game. We had an interesting chat about everything we heard about ‘Kings of War 3’ whilst we waited for our train to Stockport.

Over all I had a really good weekend. The Mantic team had run an exciting and enjoyable event, the host gaming centre ‘Element Games’ in Stockport was well very welcoming, and the Premier Inn across the road was clean, warm and very comfortable. I definitely recommend attending the tournament if you have the chance, the event has already been planned to take place in Cardiff in October next year:

https://www.manticgames.com/games/events/tickets/kings-of-war-tickets/clash-of-kings-tournament-2020/

I can’t wait until next year to get me ‘Kings of War’ fix, and so I have bought an early bird to the ‘Franticon’ weekend at ‘Dark Sphere’ in Shepherd’s Bush, London in March 2020. I have five months to plan and prepare 2 armies and a skirmishing force for the three day event, and learn to play ‘Vanguard’:

https://www.manticgames.com/news/mantic-franticon-2020/

Until then however my next stop is SELWG 2019.

Games on…

Hello MoD’ers and happy almost Easter. I cannot believe it is April already, it is astounding how quickly time seems to pass, it fair leaves me exhausted at times. I have been gaming busy this past month getting some action with ‘Kings of War’, ‘Frostgrave’ and ‘Epic 40K’. There has been a little painting and I’ve been having fun interacting with fellow #Geekstalkers on Twitter.

KoW – I played round two of my encounter with the forces of Basilea, and yet again was faced with the uncomfortable scenario of having to split my forces and having over half my army turn up late to the ball game. I had hoped on this occasion that as I was holding a town I’d get a chance to take the role of a besieged enemy that would have made things harder for my opponent who outnumbered my defenders by 3 to 1. However those who have played the siege rules so far in this campaign have highlighted issues that have placed it on the back burner in favour of scenarios from the ‘Mantic’ ‘Destiny of Kings’. The scenarios within this book are not too shabby to be fair, I just would like to start the game with my whole army. To be fair my opponent selected a balanced army and played as fairly as possible, but in a game of ‘Knights’ against ‘Halflings’ there was only going to be one result even with re-enforcements arriving on turn 3.

The scenario we rolled for was #Defence of the Idol, which has one player splitting their forces and defending a statue, whilst the attacker can focus on taking out all of the defenders, or  destroying the idol as either will produce a victory. My initial set up was aesthetically pleasing, yet tactically flawed as it allowed a fast moving army such as the Basileans to nullify my artillery and out flank me. The only positive I had to take away was the fact that my opponent was a decent chap who played a fair game and that can often make the difference in such games.

40K Epic – Recently I have been getting an itch to jump on the 30K band wagon and collect an army from ‘Games Workshop’s: Horus Heresy based 30K’. I was a fervent player of loyalist armies in the 1990’s with an Ultramarine Chapter, an Imperial Guard Army and a Clan of Squats. The less we say about the latter the better as it still stings. However love them of hate them ‘Games Workshop’ make some decent games that ‘war-gamers’ just cannot resist at least trying. I have wanted to re-animate my Squats and when a fellow gamer at H.A.T.E in Bethnal Green suggested starting a 40K Epic league, I jumped right on that bandwagon, in the belief that it will scratch both my 30K and Squattish cravings. So far I have gathered a small Squat Clan of 1425 pts and even had a test game which was brilliant, makes me wonder why GW drop these games in the first place.

Frostgrave – The third of my recent gaming experiences was a round of ‘Frostgrave’. As I have said before, the different choice of magic school and spells make it very easy to mix things up and come up with a different wizard and war band whenever you feel like a change. I started the system using a ‘Witch’ and swiftly moved on to an ‘Elementalist’. I decided to shake things up again and pick an ‘Illusionist’ spells which seem based more on trickery than the outright attack of spell schools. With the ‘Illusionist you can teleport, transpose and cast spells to create false treasure and fake soldiers. You still get to choose spells from other schools, so are not too reliant on the offensive power of you hired hands. The ‘Frostgrave’ books give scenarios add challenge to a game that could otherwise get bland. We selected the ‘Genie of the lamp’ scenario which makes the players test on a D20 to see whether a furious genie is released when they pick up a treasure token. If the genie is found he will attack members from both war parties so collecting gold becomes a lot more risky. At the end of the game however my opponent and I had recovered 3 treasure tokens and lost one party member each, leading to a draw. The Genie had been released in the 3rd round but not caused a great deal of trouble, luckily.

Kickstarter – Since my last blog I have decided to rather interesting Kickstarter projects:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sigilstonepublishing/clash-of-steel-a-tactical-card-game-of-medieval-du/posts/1853268?ref=backer_project_update

Which is a tactical, two-player card game based on medieval duels. I like a ready to play card combat system. This is why I loved ‘Lords of War’ by ‘Black Box Games’ so when I saw this by ‘Sigil Stone Publishing’ I just had to make a bid. At $32 I stand to receive the game and a playing mat should the campaign be funded successfully.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/durginpaintforge/the-iron-crows-and-other-dwarves-of-kazhuk-izril/description

The other project I backed is ‘The iron crows of Kazhuk Izril and other dwraf miniatures’ by ‘Durgin Paint Forge’ I backed their ‘Dragon’ based project which lead to the production of some stunning miniatures. Being a Dwarf fan I could not resist the plans for these characterful looking sculpts

Both campaigns are still running so if you are interested, go to the kickstarter website and jump on board.

As well as my own monthly blog, I have started contributing to the ‘Jack and the Geekstalk’ Geekstalkers a grouple of guys and gals on Twitter who share interests and like to talk about the thing that we love, this month we wrote about our favourite film score, this can be viewed on:

https://jackandthegeekstalk.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/%EF%BB%BFgeekstalkers-3-best-film-score/

 

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

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:

IMAG4981_1

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

Kickstarter up-date

Hello MODers,

I had a nice suprise waiting for me when I got home today, my ‘Lords of War’ kickstarter reward arrived, a pack of the new ‘Templars Vs Undead’:

IMAG0081

I first played this turn based, strategy card game at Salute 2013 with the ‘Dwarf VS Orcs’ set. This was fun but I did not get around to buying a set, since then ‘Black box games’ have release a ‘Elves Vs Lizardmen’ set and now the kickstarter set. Sadly I don’t get to game very often these days, but hope I’ll get some use out of them. In the mean time feast your eyes on these cards:

IMAG0082 IMAG0086 IMAG0083 IMAG0084 IMAG0085

Been busy, so been quiet.

I have not written for a while, real life as ever had become quite busy, and so I have not been able to write anything, not that this is a weekly blog in any case.

I want to talk about two kickstarter projects that I have my eye on, and think are well worth the support if you have the money to invest, not that it costs a lot to back.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/388 … d?ref=live

The above link is for ‘Lords of War – Templars Vs Undead’

Lords of war if a really very fun trading card strategy game. I played the ‘Dwarves Vs Orcs’ game at Salute this year, it was a fun 1/2 hour, and is a good collector game for those who don’t want to paint before they can play.

The cards are nicely details with some good art work and the company has kept the price very reasonable.

As well as the Dwarf set there is a second set which features Elves Vs Lizardmen.

If you have any spare cash going and want to help these guys get game no:3 of the ideas pad and into the shops, then check out their kickstarter link and watch the video:

Templar-Vs-Undead-Teaser

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433 … a?ref=live

The second kickstarter is for a new range of models by veteran sculptor Bob Olley, who is hoping to release a new range of steam punk style figures, his first outing is a set of Victorian Dwarves.

For those who do not know Bob Olley is a talented sculptor who has worked for the likes of Games Workshop, Reaper Miniatures, and Ral Partha, now he’s free lance and his work is well worth backing if you have a penny or two to help him raise his bid.

You can see more of his work at: http://www.olleysarmies.co.uk/home.html

I really like his sculpting, and if you are/were a fan of Games Workshop 40K Squats check out if Space Scrunts.

BobOlleysDwarfs