Saturday, March 31, 2012

Like a sir

With the Perry WOTR mounted men-at-arms due to be released next month, I have been stepping up on my painting.

The figure in the centre is Sir John Savage from Trent Miniatures - I have no idea which Sir John Savage he is supposed to represent, but his size and the style of his armour makes him blend perfectly with the Perry plastics, even if his hairstyle may not...

I also bought the Friar Tuck and Maid Marian pack from the same series, which will give me a couple of civilians/non-combatants figures; skirmish games are always more interesting if you have them, aren't they?

I actually managed to prime the figure this afternoon and completed it in an evening, which gives me optimism about the time it will take to complete the mounted men-at-arms.

I also primed the resin bases I bought for my beastmen. The extra height the base provides makes Daachuh looks even more menacing than he is to begin with - I don't know how any human can not run away with such a beast towering over him...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sit, boy!

Halfway through work this morning I was seized by a desire to own a 28mm scaled ceratopsian dinosaur model, perhaps suitably modelled with a fighting platform or howdah upon its back.

A visit to the mall near my place after work yielded this little guy, which is just the right size. Unfortunately I came in a big bag with several other ugly and out-of-scale dinos, which meant it didn't come at a bargain price. Still, a dino in hand is better than making a trip to another place to look for a toy that may not be there...

It's made of some sort of soft rubber or plastic and smelled quite strongly of solvent, but after a bath and some deflashing of the mould lines, it is ready for further work.

With the horns on its frill covering the front half of its torso, it means having a mahout sitting astride its neck is not an option - I'll have to think about how to control the creature. It also makes mounting a howdah or a platform on its back difficult, so I will probably fashion some sort of caparison and mount the goblin crew from the Chronopia goblin myrmadon set I ordered on it, while the myrmadon will await some other crew... (I don't know why I keep doing this sort of thing.)

One that is settled I will have to decide what colour to paint it. I'm not sure I want to go for the modern brightly-coloured interpretation, which may not work well on a wargaming model. Well, more googling then...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Overcoming Perry Paralysis 3

I've allowed the WOTR project to lapse for a long time (even as I rounded up my other projects and plot new ones), but the promise of the mounted knights boxed set at or soon after Salute 2012 has finally stirred me into action.

I completed a few half-painted figures and prepped the artillery piece and crew for priming. With luck, I can get some headway on these before my reservist stint the week after.

Other than the dozen foot knights I've completed, I now have these bills and bows.

Enough to use in a game of Strandhogg!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daachuch the Broken

It took me many evenings, but he's done.

This is a resin model from Maelstrom's BaneLegions line. The material allows them to cast very thin parts - the head and the horns are actually a single piece.

I replaced the banner that came with the model with one from the GW Beastmen box set - the original one looks like it's stiched together from skin... Some of the models in the line (and other "premium, not-GW" lines these days) can look a bit gory, with what sores, open wounds and weapons stitched to stumps... and I want to reduce that here.

For the emblem on the flag I decided to use the symbol on his belly-armour (which is also on his shield), which also appears on some of the other figures in the Bane Legion line - I'm not sure what the fluff behind it is but it looks good and is easy to reproduce.

Here he is posing beside his boss, the Beastman Warchief from the Avatars of War line. I don't get why they feel the need to put so many skulls on the models. The beastmen must really hate us...

On the RPG front

I don't know about you, but that manticore brings back fond memories of childhood.

I was a solo-gamebook player before I was an RPG gamer (then gamemaster) before I became a wargamer. I playedRPGs regularly throughout my student days, but stopped after university. A few years ago I met Adrian through an RPG forum when Dragon Warriors was re-released, and we have been gaming since then.

I suppose nostalgia is one big part of why I still play RPGs (I still have the GrailQuest books I firstbought almost 30 years ago), but like wargaming, it's the company that makes the experience worthwhile.

Anyway, in preparing for a possible RPG campaign based on "John Carter's Mars", I found out that Arion Games (which I get the paper miniatures I use in my RPGs from) is going to publish the Steve Jackson Sorcery! series as a multi-player RPG campaign.

This is really welcomed news to me because I was left hanging without the last module in the series after Myriador, which formerly had the license to the Sorcery! series abruptly closed down after releasing the first three. I have hoped to run the campaign with some friends but without a finale, it seemed pointless. Now, with Arion Games taking up the baton, I can once again hope.

The module will be in the 2nd Edition Advanced Fighting Fantasy format, but I am sure it's little work converting it into my system of choice. I'll be keeping a close eye for the release date then.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fun with Colour Printer

OK, so I've been playing with my printer more than I have been painting, but it's all for gaming purposes, I swear...

I bought some card and printed out the Age of Blood Fate Cards made by Sean. Most of the events translate to Strandhogg mechanics easily - 30 out of the 36 are usable. Unfortunately the cards did not come with 'colour lock' technology. If I do this again I will probably just print them on paper and put them into sleeves.

I think I will let each player start with two cards, and each time your opponent uses a card, you may draw one from the deck.

I also printed out a gradient colour backdrop to photograph my minis with.

Since I haven't completed the bestman standard-bearer yet, I used Pumpkin Nagg, my Blood Bowl Star Player, as the model.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Beastman Warchief feat. Devlan Mud

My beastmen force has been sitting on my painting tray for quite a while now, and after the arrival of yet another beastman model (from Reaper) and with planned purchases taking advantage of the Chronopia sale, I resolved to complete at least one model today.

I decided to complete the Avatars of War Besatman Warchief first - he has, after all been the model that inspired this little project.

I knew I needed an easy way to paint the beastmen since I will have a couple dozen of them to go through before I have enough for a game, so I chose to base the entire paint scheme on half a dozen colours straight from the bottle (i.e. no mixing my own hues). Now the earth tone can mean the figures will look rather dull, so I decided to give them white snouts and eyelids like Bighorn Sheep.

And to add depth to an otherwise plain base, I used GW's Devlan Mud (pretty much how some singers 'feature' a rapper in their number, hence the title of the post...).

You can see the results before...

 and after.

Like I said the figure is still too plain, so I will need to spice things up with some work on the base. I bought some resin bases just for this purpose, so hopefully I can be posting pictures of the completed figure by next weekend.

Scottorum Malleus

Last week Dan Mersey, author of the Dux Bellorum rules which will be published by Osprey in August this year, sent me a draft of Scottorum Malleus, his medieval rules aimed primarily at feudal and medieval English warfare (as apparent from the title of the rules) for playtesting an comments.

At the heart of the rules is an Orders Chart with 12 different orders a player can issue to his units during a turn. At the start of each turn, players take turns 'claiming' orders (which they may then issue during the turn), such that if the order for Rally is already claimed by the other player, you may not claim or issue the order Rally for this turn - however, there are duplicate for some orders like Battle, Move, and Shoot. This system requires the player to prioritise on what orders to claim during a turn, and also what orders to deny his opponent. Combat is a DBA-ish - units either stand, recoil, or rout and are removed.

As WOTR is a period my friends and I do, I decided to try a game using WOTR troops. As my figures are not with me, I printed out and used the paper figures from Junior General once again. As the figures they have there are for the battle of Towton, I decided that would be the scenario I would use.

The basic game recommended 8 units or so per side - I used 9 for the Yorkists and 11 for the Lancastrians (I planned on the mounted ambush and reinforcements but decided not to play them). The frontage of the battlefield was narrow, which prevented the Lancastrians from bringing their superior numbers to bear right from the start.

I gave Edward 4 orders per turn and Somerset 3, which gave Edward the initiative throughout the battle. The Yorkists advanced towards the Lancastrians, started to trade volleys, before closing in for melee.

Once melee is joined, the whole thing became a scrum. Since I matched like troop for like, and those who were most able to deal out damage were also the ones who could absorb the most damage, and damage resulted in a morale check but was not carried over from turn to turn, melee was rather indecisive.

After a few turns gaps did appear in the Yorkist line, and Edward tried to 'hog' the Charge order to prevent the Lancastrians from bringing their free units into the flanks, but this wasn't always successful. After many turns of trading blows with neither side giving way, I decided to end the game.

While it wasn't a very exciting scenario, I think it is fair to say that this represented WOTR warfare rather well - historically it was the arrival of flanking units that shifted the tide of the battle first one way and then the other; evenly matched opponents going at it face-to-face tended to result in a grind.

The use of the orders chart, while interesting, made things a little artificial - by hogging the 'Charge' order, Edward was able to prevent Somerset from bringing his available units into melee - perhaps the Unstoppable Force order can be modified to allow one unit to Charge and Battle an enemy unit?

I think it will be interesting to see how these rules work for armies with different troops, for example the Scots and English, or the Welsh and English. Hopefully other playtesters will be posting their battle reports soon too.