Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I'm pruning my bookshelves and have decided to give some of the rulebooks to fellow gamers who will give them a better home.

These are the two bundles:

The Medieval Bundle: Peter Pig's Conquerors and Kings, Poleaxed 2nd Edition, Ed Smith's Wars of the Roses rules, and MiniFig's A Knight to Dismember rules.

The Indian Mutiny Bundle: TVAG's John Company 2nd Edition, and The Devil's Wind.

OK, this is the first time I am doing this and I am note sure if there are some internet rules about the whole thing, but these are the terms I offer.

Let me know if you are interested in getting either of the bundles by leaving a comment, and I will draw a recipient at the end of the month. This is not a first-come, first-serve offer.

The offer is free; once I let you know you have been drawn, do let me have your email and mailing address and I will mail it off to you. You don't even have to pay for the postage. I am doing this not to get some money back, but to give these rules a good home. If you want to pay back somehow, I ask that you make a small donation to a local charity, or consider doing the same thing I am doing and give some rulebooks that you no longer use a chance for a new lease of gaming life.

The Medieval Bundle is a straightforward, but the Indian Mutiny bundle is more... dubious. I understand that John Company is now in its 3rd Edition, and for some inexplicable reason I am missing the Event Cards sheets, so if you get it, you are getting an "obsolete" and "incomplete" game. In addition, it is also a thick book so postage will be higher, especially since there are also all those card sheets. If you want The Devil's Wind but not John Company 2, do indicate that in your comment/request and I will take that into account when deciding whom to send the Bundle to.

Thank you.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Song of Drar and Murin: Game 6

This scenario is inspired by a Tabletop Teaser from an old issue of Battlegames, which is the only frankly "fantasy" scenario I have seen so far. It gave me the idea that I can actually combine underground and overground tiles in the same game.

The dwarves must cos the overground tiles to reach the entrance to the mines, then search for a stolen relic which is in one of the three rooms there.

Warg riders attack!

A dwarf warrior is slain!

The dwarves push on despite their loss. More warg riders attack!

Birgir is felled by a war rider, but I use the warband upgrade I bought from the victory in the previous scenario to avert his death - rank hath its privileges.

With the overground tiles cleared, the dwarves enter the mines.

Puny goblins are no threat to my experienced dwarf warriors.

The first room is empty! Move on, boys!

Die, foul goblins!

Found it! Let's haul it home, boys!

Despite the loss of one warrior and the near-death of Birgir, the game wasn't really challenging; I gave myself a limit of 40 turns, and completed the scenario in fewer than 30. Should I increase the number of cards per tile? Or the number of points of enemies on each card?

I may shelve the campaign while I try to think of some way to make it more interesting. In the mean time I should get started on my Egyptian warband for OGAM, or catch up on some reading...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Wanting to have a solo game to play too, fg bought himself the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game last week and brought it over this afternoon.

The game is rather daunting, and has almost 500 cards in the basic set - fg bought a couple more expansion packs, which meant we had over 500 cards. Fortunately the game box was design to help organise the different sets of cards, and the rules actually come with a "map" of which cards go into which slots.

The game itself is not too difficult once you get the basic mechanics. It plays rather like a mapless dungeoncrawl, or a role-playing game without the role-playing. A campaign consists of several scenarios, each of which consists of a few scenes; each scene comes with a randomised deck of encounters and treasures, which the characters go through as they "explore" each locale. The make-up of each deck has some relation to the locale: a civilised locale will have more ally cards for example, while a dungeon locale will have more treasures and monsters.

The characters may choose to stick together or split up to explore the locales. While sticking together is the safest, there is a clock running - if your party does not "close" all the locales and eliminate the boss villain in 30 turns, you lose the scenario.

Winning a scenario allows your characters to upgrade, and they also get to keep some of the treasures they gain along the way.

We played a campaign through and a scenario in a second campaign, and kept our characters. This is a rather fun beer & pretzel game which we will most likely play again soon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gallows Grove

Privateer Press makes really nice figures and models, but they can be expensive. I've been eyeing their Gallows Grove for quite a while now, and was able to get a pack in a recent sale - still cost quite a bit though.

It's a beautiful model, if a little hard to put together and paint. I don't think I got the glowing sigils effect, but I guess I can always go back and re-do that if I get better at it.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Song of Drar and Murin: Game 5

As promised, I took the fighting outdoor and added some warg riders to the pack.

Instead of placing the cards on the tiles, I changed the rule for this scenario: the dwarves must make their way to the entrance to the mines, with the pursuing goblins being placed on the starting tile each turn. Since the goblins move faster than the dwarves, the dwarves must make their way across the open area quickly before the goblins can surround them.

To make sure that the goblin commander and the warg riders make an appearance in this scenario, I picked the goblin commander and one war riders card out, then drew another four cards at random, and then shuffled the six together.

The dwarves need to make it to the top left corner. The goblins enter from the bottom right corner.

The first two cards I draw are the goblin commander and the warg riders! Birgir, the new leader of the dwarves, orders the men to leg it.

Bit it is not possible to out-run the warg riders. The dwarves form a defence at the defile.

The goblins are pushed back after the first scuffle, but more warg riders arrive and one warrior ventures too far ahead of the line...

The warg riders charge again, and the warrior stumbles. Birgir face a tough choice: should he try to save the warrior, or get the rest of the men to safety?

We are dwarves - that's not even a question! Birgir sends two dwarves to prepare a second line of defence while he and the slayer charge in to rescue the downed warrior. The goblins begin to gather but they are unable to make it into combat.

A gruesome kill by Birgir sends many goblins fleeing - you can see the "casualty pile" on the top right of the photo.

The goblin commander rallies his men for a second charge, but another gruesome kill, this time by the slayer, sends more of his followers scrambling for safety.

Now outnumbered, the goblin commander decides discretion is the better part of valour...

Lucky tile placements allowed the dwarves to hold off superior number of enemies in this game. The most tensed part of the game was when Birgir was faced with the choice of abandoning one of his men or risking all their lives.It took me a while to decide, but I realised I had to do the dwarven thing.

I played the whole thing through in an hour, with History Channel's Vikings in the background, and managed to pack all the figures and tiles away in less time than a commercial break took. Now I wonder what the next scenario should be.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I've been thinking about consolidatng all the rules I made for the solo campaign, and a request by a fellow TMPer provided the impetus for me to do so today.

The Tabletop Rules and Lists

I use the SOBH rules unmodified, as well as the lists in the basic rules.

Murin is a Dwarf Commander, Drar a Dwarf Elite Crossbowman. Dwarf archers are Dwarf Crossbowen, Dwarf warriors with axe and shield Dwarf Warriors, and Dwarf warrior with two-handed axes Dwarf Goblinslayers (Orcslayers, except Lethal vs, Goblins).

The Goblins are Goblin Warriors and Archers, with the leader being a Goblin Commander.

I start with a warband of 300 points. Each victory gives me one Victory Point. One VP allows me to buy a warband upgrade or a warrior or crossbowman, and two VPs allow me to buy a character upgrade for Murin or Drar, or a slayer.

Tile placement

When using random tile placement, start with a small tile, which is the deployment zone for the dwarves.

Randomly pick one large tile, numbering its three open sides 1~2, 3~4, and 5~6. Roll 1d6 to determine which side of the large tile is joined with the small tile.

Then, number the two remaining sides of the large tile 1~3 and 4~6, Roll 1d6 to determine which side the next large tile will join to, then pick another large tile and repeat the process as above.

If it is not possible to fit the tile as determined by the dice, simply fit the tile as best you can.

When the desired number of tiles are placed, add the smaller tiles to close off the open sides of the large tiles.

Place one Encounter Card per tile. A card is revealed when a dwarf enters a tile, or when the Goblin Commander enters a tile.

Goblin Placement

Once revealed, the figures indicated on the card are placed onto the tile.

Each large tile has 8 rows and 8 columns. Number the rows and columns 0~7, then roll 1d6 twice to see which row and which column the figure will be placed.

If a square is impassable or already occupied, simply place the figure on an adjacent, unoccupied square.

If a goblin is placed next to a dwarf figure, it is in melee contact and counts as having Ambushed the dwarf. If this happens during the dwarves' turn, the dwarves' turn ends immediately.

Goblin Reaction

If a figure is within command of the Goblin Commander, the player may decide how to activate the figure. If a figure is not within command, follow the reaction as indicated on the card.

A goblin warrior or troll will attempt to move into contact and melee with the nearest dwarf. A goblin archer will attempt to move to Medium but out of Short Range and shoot.

That's all I can think of for now. Do let me know if you want to know anything else by leaving a comment.

Odin and his wolves

Painted Odin and his wolves over the weekend - I still haven't decided which is which yet though...

The wolves are from West Wind. They do look rather cartoony, but as fg had some handy they got recruited. I orignally planed to make them rather plain, but on fg's advice decided to stipple their fur a little.

The Odin figure is rather obviously a Gandalf figure, in this case from the Mithril line. I cut his wand off and drilled through his hand and inserted a brass wire for the shaft of Gungnir; the head is from a GW High Elf. Again, it looks rather cartoony, but I couldn't fit a more realistically-sized spearhead securely onto the end of the wire.

Anyway, with these three figures complete I can now field another warband for our OGAM project. I am now working on a Gallows Grove model from Privateer, after which I may start work on an Egyptian faction.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

OGAM: First games

fg and I got together this afternoon to try out the OGAM rules which I have been enthusing about for the past few months.

We set up a basic scenario and played two games using my Norse dwarves versus my Fomorians, swopping armies between games.

We had some initial confusion regarding the casualty removal, but soon got the hang of things.

By and large the game played like a fantasy skirmish game, but the gods made things... different. Slain gods can be "respawned" on the table by the followers, but killing a god also triggers a morale check for the whole warband, which in the right circumstances can decide a battle.

We will probably need a few more games to figure out how to maximise the potential of each faction, and the interplay of the traits between different gods and legends will certainly mean more interesting match-ups. fg and I are already talking about larger games where gods become less dominant, but I guess we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Song of Drar and Murin: Game 4

Following the suggestion of readers and friends, I decided that this scenario will depic tthe dwarves' attempt to recover the bodies of Murin and Drar.

The set-up. The dwarves need to fight their way through to the bodies at the other end of the board. If they have fewer than two figures on a cleared tile, a new card will be placed on it.

I recruited three more slayers this time, and they clear the first tile easily.

One down, three more to go!

Leaving two figures behind to guard the first tile, I push a slayer past the third tile into the fourth to beat the clock, unveiling the troll and the goblin commander.

Sending a warrior against the lead slayer, the goblin commander dashes to the tile to his right to raise the troops there. The archers keep the troll penned in in the side room.

I then make a mistake of sending the goblin commander back to attack the isolated slayer - he is cut down and his minions flee in terror. Murin and Drar are avenged!

With this win, I can purchase another leader figure to lead the warband.

I think the "Lethal against goblins" trait is perhaps too powerful in this campaign where every figure except the troll is, well, a goblin. I think I shall limit my warband to one slayer hereafter.