Monday, January 30, 2017

Somewhere in Antioch... 1260ad.

Suppose for a moment that Antioch had been rash enough not to become a tributary state of the Mongol empire when it invaded the Levant.  I don't imagine such an idea would've ended well for them.

Myself and Ross would endeavour to explore this idea, via a game of Lion Rampant.  In which my Feudal English would once again take on the role of Crusaders, whilst Ross - quite enthused by his first play of LR some time ago - would take on the task of commanding Mongol raiders, having assembled a set or two of the Fireforge miniatures for the part.

This looked like being a tricky challenge for my troops, as whatever the scenario this was going to boil down to a low mobility, low shooting army, facing a High mobility, high shooting one.  A real chalk and cheese encounter that I felt would advantage the Mongols heavily.

In the end the randomly rolled scenario would only make this seem even harder for me.

The battlefield and initial deployments
 The scenario was the Messenger; one that was a challenge for me and would've been easy for Ross had he been the attacker.  As it was, it was my task to get from one corner of the field to the opposite, with a Priest bearing vital documents in tow; for the most part, on foot.  Meanwhile the enemy was dispersed yes, but entirely mounted, and mostly armed with bows.  This set off looking impossible.

 Fortunately the crusaders were able to get most of their force on to the field before the Mongols closed; Ross proved to have a somewhat slow witted leader, who despite having a reroll for failed commands tended to need most of those himself.  My leader was of sterner stuff, but would spend much of the early game distracted by mounted scouts.

It would be up to my foot men at arms and their supporting infantry to try and draw the Mongols in.

Mongol bows shot down my scouts, but had no real effect on armoured knights - mounted or on foot.  In hand to hand fighting the Mongol general was repeatedly drawn into rash attacks on my strongest foot; eventually to be lost.  However the losses were enough to force my messenger back behind the lines of foot solders.

 My own general eventually caught and chased off the enemy scouts, and then with his full force still available to him, advanced to turn the flank of the remaining Mongol troops.

Close up on the charge
 At this stage there was a chance for a Crusader victory, but Ross' remaining heavy horse put up a sterling battle at the wadi.  A grinding match would ensue, whilst my remaining infantry tried to drive off the other, damaged, unit.

 In the end though, both would be grinding matches, and it came down to a pair of rallying tests for me.  Both would fail and my leader and final man at arms would both think it best to quit the field whilst the enemy was to weak to pursue.

End game
For the Mongols this would be mission accomplished.

When Glory was factored in it was a victory for them still, though the odds were evened up somewhat as I had managed 6 points of boasts.  As I recall it ended 8-6 to Ross.

This was, as I've already alluded to, a really tough game, enjoyable, but a real challenge.  My force as it stands is not suited to this scenario - which I've had to play twice against such a foe - and certainly not to this foe.  I think I will have to find some time to add some reinforcements to the English, but the question is what?  The three candidates are a unit of Mounted Sergeants, for more mobility, a unit of Crossbowmen (heavy missilery) to add firepower, or a unit of slingers to add more skirmishing.

Time will tell, but it looks like one of these must be recruited soon if we're not to be whipping boys to these 'mounted shooter' types.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Back to Kings of War - Orcs

When I'd finished my assignments for the semester I did find some time for painting over the course of the holiday period and early January.  Amongst a few other projects I managed to knock out some more Orcs and Goblins (unphotographed) for my KoW greenskin force.

Firstly a troop of converted 6th Ed. Orc Bows; now equipped with choppas and crude shields:

 As you can probably tell, they are rather crammed in on a 125x50mm base.  Ten models have to be ranked with six in the front to stan any chance of fitting in.  The effect is that of an aggressive shield wall; but this doesn't make ranking up multiple bases easy, to say the least:

There's quite a gap there!
 Less troublesome were these 4th/5th Ed. Bows, forming a troop of Skulkers.  These are led byan old metal Orc (bonus points for where he's from) and a converted musician from an old DnD game, I think.

Now there is nothing fancy to any of these, hence they were simple and quick to do.  A lot of the colour variation is simply produced by working with a steadily renewed single base colour - blended and applied as one goes.

For example, start with a basic green for Orc flesh and paint two orcs with it.  Add a drop of brown, mix and paint two more.  Add a darker green, mix and paint two more; and so on.  Soon you have lots of variety for little effort, also a good range of subdued, muddy, Orcish colours (it also works well as a process for medieval and barbaric types).

Finally a glazed varnish was applied for protection and shading.

Alongside 10 goblin spears also done, this adds about 400 points to my KoW forces - including the Trolls finished a few weeks ago.

I found I had a bigger window than first anticipated, and so there was time to do a few more Orcs, but I'm a mini gamer, we know how we get that way... A new shiny project distracted me.

But that will wait for another day.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

First Game of the Year - Beastmen vs. Kobolds

Paul looks like being a more regular attendee for the club in the coming year, his daughter having got through the teething and toddling stages of the most sleepless nights, and a move nearer to the heart of Leeds in the offing for his family.  This means we were in the position to try and arrange games again after a long hiatus, and after the grand battle to wrap up last year I thought a good place to start would be with another game of Dragon Rampant, but this time on opposite sides of the table.

Paul's Beastmen would face my Kobolds in a ruined jungle temple setting; we selected 30 point armies and took the standard Bloodbath scenario so that Paul could get used to the system.

Naturally Paul's army looks impressive, his brushmanship is top notch - though I think he told me the Shaggoth thing was someone else's handiwork...

 For my part I'm perfectly happy with my Kobolds.  What they lack in stature against the beastmen they made up in numbers and their more eclectic units.

Looking at the situation I decided to take some high risk boasts, one of which certainly would reduce my potency if I allowed it to become a long range game.  We both had wizards, but I decided to boast that mine would cast no spells, worth three points if I achieved it; alongside that I declared the Shaggoth a hated foe (2pts) and that my scouts would destroy a unit solely with their crossbow fire (1pt).

Battle was joined and I took the first turn, managing a general advance, slowed by some reluctance.  After a couple of turns the forces were coming into range of one another.

On my Left the scouts and Insect herders made swift progress, eventually charging and routing the Beastmen warriors.

Paul, was also in the process of losing his Chaos Hounds, so turned his Shaggoth to cover his flank.  I had turned my Jabberwock to the left, before wild charge urges took it out of commission and set a trap baited with Insects I knew the Shaggoth couldn't resist charging.

Alas he did resist, on account of low rolls for a couple of turns, and meanwhile in the temple yards Paul's Minotaurs advanced to take on all comers.

It did not entirely go well for them, and although I suffered losses of light troops my elite leader and his wizard evaded destruction.  Paul's leader retired to where his wizard could try to heal him.  In the distance an attritional battle between the Shaggoth and Jabberwock was only slowly going my way.

My leader and a handful of survivors did their best to keep out of sight and out of range.  The Shaggoth finally succumbed, and it left the Jabberwock close enough to the Minotaur leader to make a surprise attack to his rear.  They went on to wipe one another out.

He was caught and slain.  With only four units left on the board the game clock rolled an end.  On the table it was a narrow victory to me, 11 points of surviving units to 10, but I had completed two of my boasts to only a minor one for Paul,  I came out of the game with a 16-11 win.


The Kobolds are a feisty foe, despite their tiny size.  For once the Scouts were not the star payer, though they did survive to the end of the battle as usual and throw out some useful support.  My wizard holding his fire was an astute move, and really helped tip the game for me.  I think Paul kept his wizard at a distance wary of mine engaging, in fact the bluff was enough.

So a good way to start the year.  Next time out with DR I might try a different army though.

Which will be easy, as I just finished a quick and cheeky one; but more on that another day....

Monday, January 16, 2017

Clearing the Decks

Some time ago I sold off my 28mm World War Two collections.

Well, nearly.

I actually had the contents of the Original Warlord Bolt Action starter set, and a couple of other bits, to do something with; but after selling my own collection (and deciding that for WW2, my heart was always set on 20mm) there was little motivation to do anything with them.  The intent was to sell them on eBay at some stage, but to get any return from them they needed to be painted in my opinion.

Well I've eventually got around to dealing with them, and will stick them up for sale in a week or two (experience says wait until after people's payday!).

A weak German Platoon

Sections based around an MG team

Leutnant, Medic and fire support
 The Germans were done first, and as should be apparent they are basically done using the same method as I use for 20mm models.

An American two section sized detachment

These lucky fellows have a Jeep loaded up with equipment

One of two 8 man fire teams
The same process was applied the US infantry.

I always have an issue with US uniform, mine tend to be greener than most wargamers paint them.  But there is plenty of evidence that this is fine; it's clear that US uniform faded badly in service, but it seems the Cinema is responsible for much of the perception of the uniform being shades of brown.

Incidentally the Jeep is a Matchbox die-cast; 1:58th scale according to the underside.  Looks the part though and I think it was the princely sum of £1.50.

So I'm going to get these shifted, and think of something worthy to do with whatever fund they raise.  A contribution to my favoured club in some form springs to mind...

I'll update when the Sales go up, in a week or so.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

War Trolls Horde

Although working very hard over the festivities, I did find a little time to do a few hours painting.  I've finished a couple of projects which will see the light of day in due course, but for today lets have a look at those War Trolls I purchased a few weeks ago...
A Kings of War Regiment
 These are only very simply painted, to conform to the standards of my Orcs and Goblins army which is predominantly flat colours and a shaded wash.  This can result in a crude look up close; not frankly helped by these models.  Don't get me wrong, they are not that bad in terms of intended detail, but it is the sort of work a good paint job would really bring to life; a simple paint job like this is not going to bring every element of that out.

Another one, two together make a Horde!
Annoyingly, as usual in small formations my efforts to randomise the regiments were stymied the mixture of models and paint schemes, my eye is always drawn to where the unit ends up looking uniform.  Case in point, I randomised the flesh of the trolls, but ended up with both blue-grey trolls on the same base, so I swapped them about, and lo, ended up with two of the same pose on the same base.  Sod it!

The only conversion work was to swap and pin some of the weapons, but I think it would be possible to repose some of the arms.  Nevertheless I'm hoping that a second set is forthcoming from Dark Alliance.  

These were not the most fun to paint, being all greys, browns and metals with little to break it up and muddy detail to interpret; but they were at least quick and it does add a decent whack of points and fighting strength to my Kings of War army.  

It may inspire me to knock out a few more quick pieces for the Orcs and goblins too.

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016 in review....

Yeah I played a few games, not enough.  I painted a few models, not enough either.  Too much of the rest of my year was hard work, thankless, plain awful.

And let's not even go into the disaster the world seemed determined to be for everything/one else this year.

And not to piss on anyone's bonfire, but given 2017 is the inheritor of 2016's massive cock up, it's gonna take a while to turn around isn't it?