Monday, October 31, 2011

Pre-End-of-Year Review

On a whim I decided to count the number of games I've played this year so far.

With just two months left, the count is 16, not counting the solo test games I played. That's about two games every five weeks.

Not too shabby.

Let's see if we can break 20 this year.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Revenge, Gold, and Other Things!"

We had a rare Sunday when all four of us could make a game. I toyed with the idea of a starships game but decided to do a mutli-player Strandhogg game eventually.

For the scenario I turned to an old issue of Wargames Illustrated (#79, April 1994).

The article, by Dominic Cook (is this the same person I wonder), was titled "Revenge, Gold and Other Things" and described a four-player skirmish scenario set in a fantasy world but equally usable for ancients and medieval settings.

As FG and Martin arrived first, I assigned them the roles of the first two characters.

Martin (who played goblins last time and wanted to try something different) chose to play the dwarven commander, who must escort a mule train of gold to Fort Azak, across the river. He knows there are goblins nearby and has the option of calling for reinforcements from the fort; but while he wanted to stay alive, he would also welcome the chance to fight them off if they attacked without any help from the fort's garrison to win himself some glory.

FG played the goblin king, who must take the gold and exit the northern table edge (left of the photo). He deploys his forces on-table and waits to spring his ambush. 

(The goblins wait in ambush on a foggy morning...)
The dwarves hug the southern edge of the table as they move from the southwest corner towards the bridge to the northwest. As they cross the middle of the table the goblin king emerges from an abandoned farmhouse with his first warband.

The dwarves deploy their rangers to fend off the attackers while the warriors continue westwards...

While passing the woods in the centre of the table Martin thought it would be a good idea to scout it out... which turned out to be a good idea as FG has hidden his other warband and the troll right there!

Fierce melee ensued as both sides fed troops into the woods. As the situation started to look grim Martin called for help - a roll of 3 on a d3 meant he had to wait for some time!

Around this time wahj arrived, and I gave him the brief for the third player: the goblin king's half-brother who had come to kill him and usurp his throne!

Martin was worried when wahj started to deploy his figures, but wahj ignored the dwarves and charged his warg-riders straight into melee with the goblin king, who was alone on goblin's left flank.

Despite their numerical superiority the newcomers could not score any wounds on the king. In the meanwhile wahj's spy in FG's camp revealed himself and attacked his former comrade who was trying to lead the mule train away, and directed his other warband to attack the troll.

(The Goblin King fends off all attackers... Like A Boss!)

The dwarves took advantage of this sudden turn of events and despatched the remaining goblins and retook control of the mules, even as reinforcements became visible on the horizon.

After losing a warband, wahj finally managed to kill the goblin king with the use of an "Extra Wound" Fate Card while the dwarves limped off the table. The troll once again survived the battle.

The game was very close - even after wahj's forces came on table it was uncertain who would win. It was nice to see that a scenario written for a different set of rules worked so well 17 years after it was written.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quick & Dirty Dice Tray

When I asked the guys if they wanted anything from Istanbul, Martin asked for some Turkish Delights. On the recommendation of the hotel staff (a post-grad student doing a thesis on the Bronze Age Collapse; we had interesting conversations - maybe I'll write more about him another time), I went to Koska. They had dozens of selections for just Turkish Delights alone, but when I saw this package, I just knew I had to get one. In fact, I got four, which proved to be quite a weight to carry home.

After finishing the contents of the first box, I gave the box a quick wash (may have been a mistake as there was minor warping afterwards), glued a piece of green felt wahj got for our FPW game (sorry), and I have a brand new dice tray for tomorrow's game!

It's not high quality wood or construct, but it took minimal time and I have 2 more boxes to use... provided the other fellows don't ask me for one each so they can make their own!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yet More Space Marines and Dwarves

I managed to paint up a couple more figures this weekend.

The first one is the sergeant for my Assault Squad; I just had to give him the sword-and-shield combo since it's 'the thing' for my Marines...

I'm quite happy with the gemming on the sword; although most of my troopers have gems for their chest 'eagles', these were all painted by my brother (who is a great painter but has since retired). I think I replicated his technique quite well here.

The second figure is the female dwarf from Red Box Games. I've posed her alongside a LOTR dwarf for scale. She will be useful as a 'civilian' figure, or a priestess/druidess/sorceress type figure if we ever go down that path in our fantasy wargaming.

When I viewed the photo on my screen, I realised I have to touch up some parts of her face. I guess age is catching up.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


As part of the trade with Dan, FG got two boxes of Assault Space Marines, one of which he passed to me.

These are pretty good sculpts, and the legs are made such that only part of one foot is touching the ground, to give them a dynamic look. Add to that separate torso, arms and heads, you have a lot of scope for posing.

FG and I discussed various ways of basing them so they look like they are 'flying'. We toyed with the idea of basing them off the base with some sort of stem, but thought that would make them look like they are levitating instead of jumping.

Eventually I decided to work with something I already had and was familiar with: resin bases.

The sloping surfaces on the 'slate' type base I have chosen for my Space Marines meant I could pose them in a more 'leaning' attitude than I could on a flat base, giving the impression that they are propelling themselves off or cushioning a landing. The soft nature of the resin base and the plastic figures made it easy to drill and pin - had the figure been metal instead of plastic, it would be rather unbalanced and liable to tip over during gaming.

There are four more of these to go, plus a chaplain figure which I am planning to build with a magnetic backpack stud so he can be fielded with the normal backpack or a jetpack (the jetpack plus plasma pistol combo seems to be a favourite amongst 40K SM players, so I thought I might as well do that in case I ever play 40K).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More Space Marines and Dwarves

Over the past few weeks FG passed me about a dozen figures, which will keep me busy for quite a while...

The first figure I completed was this figure based on the Space Marine Veteran with Lightning Claws. I realised that my Space Marine force needed an extra figure to make a complete Command Squad (the force commander not counting as one), so I added this guy to the squad. His tabard and skull motif fitted with the ethos of my guys, but I didn't really want a Lightning Claws marine (not that I know what those do...), so I took a combi-melta arm off FG and coupled it with the left arm from a Death Company arms sprue I bought a while back. I like the way his looking at where his weapon is pointing.

Here is the reconfigured command squad.

The other figure is a dwarf from Red Box Games, specifically
Birgir. He is the only male dwarf figure from the range that doesn't have that large nose look. He came with a large round shield; the corresponding part of the body where the shield is attached is actually just a flat surface with two depressions to guide the fit - no painting details only to have them obscured by the shield!

I decided to make him a leader for my Huscarls, so I glued the kite shield in its place instead

The cape has a nice fur detail.

Friday, October 07, 2011

More flags, dude

When I decided to base my WOTR forces on an old friend's family name, I set about looking for someone who could custom make the flags for me. The first person I thought of was The Flag Dude. However, as Rick's place just got hit by a tornado, it was some time before he could reply and by that time I have already had some flags made by Maverick Models (see here). Nevertheless, I asked Rick to make me a set of flags anyway since I was curious to see how his pre-shaped flags are like in real-life. After three weeks of being stuck with our post-office, I today picked them up (along with some books from Amazon that took 2 months to arrive!) and found that Rick has given me an extra flag. Thanks, Rick.

Here they are:

And here is the smaller banner shown alongside the Maverick Model one. As you can see the colour is slightly different, so I won't be able to mix the two sets. Ah well...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Meet the new team

With two-and-a-half games of our planned seven-game league played, I reckon it's time to finish the job I started more than five years ago and complete my fantasy Greek-themed Blood Bowl team.

They are a proxy for a Chaos Dwarf team - I confess that my decision to put together this team was based mainly on the desire to field a minotaur, and of course the Chao Dwarf team also allowed a Bull Centaur... it was a no-brainer!

So the minotaur represents a minotaur, the Shadowforge Dark Temple centaurs Bull Centaurs, the Wargods Spartan Warriors Chaos Dwarf Blockers, and the Shadowforge Dark Temple warrioresses Hobgoblins. In addition, the RAFM centaur (the huge one) was meant to represent a Bull Centaur Star Player, although within the time-frame of the league we are likely to play I may in fact use it for my starting regular Bull Centaur. The Eureka Pan/satyr figure was meant to represent the Hobgoblin Star Player. The Chorrim figure I just bought because I was buying the centaur - what's a fantasy Greek collection without some sort of a giant?

They are all ready to go, except they lack a team name... so if you have a suggestion, do leave a comment.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Warring States rules playtest

wahj and I managed to playtest the rules he wrote this afternoon. In general the mechanics work, but already we see the need to tweak the size of the table to provide for a more variable game. We'll probably need a couple more test games before we are ready to launch into the campaign proper.