Sunday, 12 February 2017

Buildings

Just a little update to show some progress on my WIP buildings for a scifi battlefield, which are what I've mostly been working on this week



I've been collecting junk for ages : this lot is mostly made of the tops of spray cans, margarine tubs, spare bits of plumbing , desert pots, and baked bean cans. A sheet or so of corrugated card and an old sieve provided some texture, and drinking straws were applied liberally. 

 Theres a few details I want to add, mostly just a few more windows etc, but otherwise they're ready for painting.  This will give my frontier colony 3 small houses, a small sheriffs office, a pub and a couple of light industrial units.

 I've also made a few piles of detritus , bits of sprue, pebbles and polystyrene mashed together with a lot of glue, to give the impression that somebody has been trying to clear ground for farming or building.  When finished they'll look a bit overgrown.


Obviously the colonists didn't get this lot built with just muscle power, so some sort of tractor was in order.  The result in the photo above was bodged together from spares, and resulted in a rugged little vehicle with dozer blade and an arm that could in theory carry a variety of tools, though I just gave it a grabbing claw, a flat bed to carry stuff and a towing hook. The perfect general purpose vehicle for helping establish a colony. Ideal for clearing ground and unloading spaceships...

Oh, and some more figures for my empire army made it onto the painting table- 5 of the old battlemasters archers. I rather like those figures, its not immediately apparent in that pic, but I upgraded them with spare arrows from the Perry WOTR archer/billmen kit, which seems to work. Theres another 15 to go, and then 25 Halberdiers too.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

A painting frenzy!

Its hard to believe its February already, and so I thought a new post was in order.

Its been a very busy month on the old painting table: around 150 models have marched of the production line! I've managed to get a bit of gaming in too, taking part in a large ECW game; the refight of Marston Moor run by Rick which you can see here, and getting started on our new favourite game- Frostgrave!


So, this is my warband, though two more chaps have been added to it since then. I'm trying to stick with old Citadel (or its foundry counterparts!) as much as I can, so we have the 80's LOTR Gandalf as my  wizard, and Frodo, as a thief. The first Grombrindal, a couple of the Mercenaries and Dogs of War ranges (F4 fighters I believe) are my general purpose thugs and fighters, The great Waldo is my Apprentice, and a Dungeoneer acts as a Knight. This last was my avatar back my days of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and is one of my favourite figures, mostly because of that nostalgia I suppose. The original disappeared long ago (along with my copy of WFRP!) and it took years of trawling Ebay to replace him. I'm not sure of the actual place of the figure in the Citadel range though- he appears in a pack of adventurers along with Waldo around 1990 but thats the earliest I can find him in my regular trawls of Stuff of Legends, but he looks older, and Waldo was definitely available around in 1985 in the Wizards range...

Anyway, we've been playing a bit of a campaign. My first game was against Chris, with a witch commanding a bunch of bestial chaps obsessed with summoning fog and Daemons!
My Warband managed to secure the bulk of the treasure early on, and here
can be seen covering the retreat of the treasure carriers

A horde of Daemons and knights charge under cover of fog (all those bits of paper!)
And then just as I manage to get all treasure to safety I manage
to shoot my own Wizard in the back with a crossbow bolt.


Ended up with a modest pile of treasure, and Niggling injuries for my Wizard...so, on to game two!  A three way this time with Geoff and Dafydd. This time it was the Haunted Crypts Scenario, which features 6 buildings containing treasure, and possibly a wight. Now Wights are tricky- you can't hurt them without a magic sword, and I had no magic sword. And they can do a lot of damage. But not to worry...I had a plan!  And the Telekinesis spell.
Most of the Scenery hand made by Geoff from the Hirst Arts Ruined Fieldstone Moulds.
Except the tower made by me and the GW ruin bottom right.
My warband trying to carry the treasure off without entering the building and having to fight the Wight! They managed to get two lots by this method, along with a third courtesy of the Reveal Secret spell, and put up a spirited fight for a fourth! 
During this game I discovered my band has a major weakness, namely a lack of offensive spells! Reveal Secret looks to be a good choice, giving me access to a treasure early on with no opposition. There are some useful things like Transpose, Heal, Teleport, Push and of course Telekinesis, which can be handy for controlling the table top, but XP is earned mostly by killing stuff, and my only offensive spell is Banish.  Which only works on Daemons. I'll just have to hope I can find a Grimoire with an appropriate spell soon! The result was that my Wizard got shot again, and my warband was fireballed to bits trying to contest the final bit of treasure. Luckily no permanent damage was done.  Game three in a couple of weeks!

So on to the results of the painting- a selection of pics, most stuff ended up put away before it could be photographed, including the contents of three of the Dungeon Saga supplements- thats Orcs, gobbos, daemons, trolls, heroes and demi-gods, all painted! Just need the Tryant of Halpi...

The new PSC 25pdr battery, with tractors and limbers. Plus some
 hotchkiss 25mm AT guns, AT rifles and some panzer II 

Harlequin Ogres.

22 Harlequin Orcs. Theres another 18 of these almost finished except for their shields on the table now.

And the Re-Start of my Empire Army! A Ral Partha Knife thrower  next to a Citadel Big Fighter.
Artizan Designs Great Swords behind the Foundry Mercenaries.
Now I was hopping to finish the last of the Orcs today, but got distracted by scenery building.  I had intended  to build a castle... seem to have ended up with a sci-fi frontier town, suitable for GOA or 40k.  Oh well.





Sunday, 6 November 2016

Build it, and they shall come!

Once upon a time, a group of gamers would regularly gather to play games set in the ECW.  There were big battles, little battles, battles in weird shapes and campaigns.  And then, for a long time, there was nothing.  I arranged a few dates, set up tables and so on, but after several occasions where the only figures on the table were my own I gave up...

Occasionally I'd be asked when I'd do another, but work would get in the way, and nobody could pick a date when anyone was free. Rick offered to pick up the baton and run with it for a bit, and managed to get some folk to agree to a gaming day in about 32 years time.

Feeling that perhaps this was a little long to wait I decided to lay down a challenge- I would turn up with my forces on a set date, (this saturday) and play against anyone who turned up.  So on saturday morning I boxed up my army, and scenery and set off down to the old sports hall at Broughton. I set up the table in that huge lonely building and put out some scenery. And waited. The deadline Id set was 9am, but I was still on my own at quarter past. After a while wondering around the empty rooms I found myself looking down on the near deserted car park...and there was Ian, sat in his car reading Pike and Shotte!  By ten oclock, there were 6 of us!  Ok so its hardly woodstock, but I was very pleased with such a turnout!

We split into two teams- Myself, Ian Shaw and Dennis, against, Ian H, Michael and Chris. No fancy special rules or deployments were used. It was just a line up and whack 'em affair!

I'm not sure of how the game unfolded along the rest of our line, but I took the Parliamentarian Right wing, facing off against Ian H. I had a good array of potential defensive positions to choose from and a clear run for my Horse on the very right, however I was in the mood to be aggressive- my troops hadn't had a fight for a long time and I was keen to let them get stuck in! My Brigade of Foot (4 regts plus fireloques and guns, commanded by Essex, held the grounds around a small village and a hall, but merely sued this as a launch pad for the assault of another village up the road lightly held by Ian's Royalists. Two regiments of Foot assaulted the village directly, the other two covered the open ground to the right and engaged a similarly sized force of Ian's. My brigade of Horse( 3 regts commanded by Fairfax) Galloped up the flank enthusiastically but came up against large amounts of pike, which resulted in a bit of a stand off, with some sporadic skirmishing. This saw us lose a regt of Horse each, and my dragoons eventually arrived to push Ian's out of the woods which helped a little but the Horse didn't make much headway.  In the village the opposing units wore each other down a lot trying to outflank each other and by the end both lots were spent, and staring each other down across the surrounding hedges! It was in the middle where the most decisive fighting took place, with two regts of foot breaking into Ian's centre and driving back and destroying several units.  When we declared time up, we determined that despite my losses both my brigades were just about intact, but one of Ian's was broken. Similar results came in from the Centre and Left wing where IanS and Dennis both managed to do more damage to their opponents then they took, and a narrow Parliamentarian Victory was declared!

Initial dispositions-Royalists to the Right, Parliamentarians to the left.

View from the Parliamentarian left wing commanded by Dennis,

Michael at least, is pleased to be there!

The right wing, my regiments of foote deployed.


Parliamentarians take up positions covering the approaches to the hall.

Fairfax's Horse out on the flank.

The Royalist left wing.

Cromwell, the overall General, waves my regiments forward.

Dennis's Foot faces Chris's Horse at the other end of the field.

The first melees on the the Right Wing.

Royalist infantry counter attacks!

Parliamentarian troops overrun the first line of Royalists!

Fairfax's horse presses the attack , trying to find the weak point in the Royalist line.

At the opposite end of the field Royalist horse are driven back in disarray!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Campaigns in Kings of War

Given that its been a few months I thought it was high time I put a post up:

Firstly, lets get the painted stuff on.  There's been quite a bit rolling off the painting table, and even more rolling into the queue but I've only picked out a couple of my favourites:
Firstly a Ral Partha Giant; well he's sold as a troll but he's plenty tall enough to be a Giant! Found this chap in Llandudno model shop and picked him up with a bunch of heroes and adventurers most of whom are awaiting paint, but I couldn't resist jumping the queue with this chap- hes just so FI, FIE, FO, FUM!
 Picked up these chaos knights of ebay for a pittance, they are the old Battlemasters ones, but I think they scrub up well!  Went for as varied a unit as I could with all sorts of colours. I felt that the unit looked a bit thin with just one banner so added a second- borrowed from the cover of the Hawkwind Album "Warrior on the edge of time"! Felt it was appropriate...


There's plenty to be working on at the moment- the Druchii are getting priority at the moment, as they are so close to being finished! But a horde of Orks and Gretchin, chaos warriors and Orcs, plus a few dwarves and eldar are in the pipeline...oh and I recently put my entire Empire army through the dip, (and even added more figures to it!) and its now ready to be reasembled and repainted!  Phew...should keep me going for a bit!


Anyway;  Campaigns!  I like campaigns.  Don't like tourneys, but campaigns are fun.  I like to run them too, though they tend to die after a while as players drift off to other stuff...the trick is to keep them short I think...anyway I've not seen any Kings of War orientated rules for a campaign yet so I thought I'd my usual trick and abuse the ones that were written for warhammer-  you'll find various versions of them in the Warhammer 5th ed Battle Book and the ECW rule book.  I wrote up one for Pike and Shotte and decided to do another for KOW.

So here goes- This campaign is for any number of players and is simply  a way of linking battles to a common theme- the aim is to collect territories and the player with the most at the end wins! The Gamesmaster adjudicating can set other prizes along the way, such as special magic items, territories etc...

All players start with the following restrictions in place on their force selection:
600 points to spend, this is their Army Points Limit.
0-1 Hero   (may be a spellcaster with no more than 1 spell) 
0-1 Monster (may be combined with the above for a hero/Mon)
0-1 Warmachine
0-1 Artefact ( >20pts)
No Hordes or Legions may be taken.
No Units marked with either * or [1] .
No restriction on Troops units.
No Allies

To overcome these restrictions you will need to win territories!  All players start with three Rolled from the following Table, the benefits of which are added to the choices available as listed above.
Roll D66:

11-14 Village
  • Each village you own allows you to recruit more troops-  Add 25 points to your Army Points Limit.

15-16 Town
  • Plenty of raw material  here for the Recruiting Sergeants! Each Town allows you to add 50 points to your Army Points Limit

21-23 Woods
  • Each Woods you own allows you to take 1 additional Warmachine in your army (purchased from your army points limit as normal)
24-26  Road
  • Each Road under your control makes it much easier to move and mass your troops enabling you to take  one Horde or Legion per road  (purchased from your army points limit as normal), and adds 10 points to your Army Points Limit.
31- 32 Hall
  • Halls and Manors, the home of the gentry- its only natural that such individuals should be offered a position of command as an officer in your forces in return for their support: you may take +1 Hero  (purchased from your army points limit as normal)
33-34  Bridge
  • Bridges are very valuable things to control if you want to move troops..as long as they are kept in good repair. Each Bridge adds D6x10 points to your Army Points Limit. Roll this when the territory is generated. If the Territory changes hands reroll it.
35-36 Ancient Tomb
  • Digging up the grave of a Hero of ancient times is a little unsavoury but he's not exactly going to need that magic sword...You make take an additional Artefact worth >30 points  (purchased from your army points limit as normal).
41-43 Armoury
  • With a good supply of Weapons you can arm and equip the militia to support your cause- you are able to take one unit marked with a *  (purchased from your army points limit as normal)
44-46 Tower
  • Wizards gravitate to Towers like Dwarves gravitate to Ale, not least because it keeps out the riffraff and lets them get on with their studies- Each Tower you have allows an Spellcaster in your army to take 1 extra spell  (purchased from your army points limit as normal).
 51 Ruins
  • Searching amidst the ruins uncovers a powerful magical artefact...or possibly a worthless trinket. Randomly select one of the Artefacts. This is added to you Army Points Limit and where possible must be carried in battle by an appropriate unit. If none such unit is present it must be kept with the baggage.
52-53 College 
  • Establishing a college is a mark of a sophisticated civilisation, but more importantly allows to you train your own wizards and clerics! For each College you own you may take one extra wizard  (purchased from your army points limit as normal).
54-55 Temple
  • Building a temple to your chosen God is a sure way to get them on your side. Unfortunately that's no guarantee that their blessings will be any way helpful; Gods don't really have the same priorities as mere mortals... Roll a D6 before each battle in the presence of your opponent to determine how the whim of the Gods will effect you today:  
  1. The Gods are pleased with your offerings! They bestow a Duck living in your realm with the power of flight.
  2. The Gods are pleased with your offerings! They appear to your followers in a blinding flash of light, which takes a little while to recover from. Once during the battle your opponent may force you to reroll all the attack dice you rolled for a particular attack, all dice for the attack must be rerolled just once regardless of result. 
  3. The Gods are pleased with your offerings! The Gods bestow your followers with great vigour! Once during the battle you may reroll all the attack dice you rolled for a particular attack, all dice for the attack must be rerolled just once regardless of result. 
  4. The Gods are pleased with your offerings! The gods put on an astonishing display of lights in the sky that would have mesmerised all that saw them were it not for the concealing cloud cover that prevented anyone seeing it...
  5. The Gods are pleased with your offerings! The Gods bestow your followers with great skill! Once during the battle you may reroll all the attack dice you rolled for a particular attack, all dice for the attack must be rerolled just once regardless of result. 
  6. The Gods are pleased with your offerings! The Gods bestow your followers with great skill and vigour! TWICE during the battle you may reroll all the attack dice you rolled for a particular attack, all dice for the attack must be rerolled just once regardless of result. 

    56-62 Mountains
    • You may take +1 monster area of mountains under your control.  (purchased from your army points limit as normal and maybe combined with a an available Hero to make a Hero/Mon choice)
    63-64 Port
    • A well established port is a natural stopping off point for all manner of travellers and adventurers- For each Port under your control you may spend 5% of your Army Points limit on Allied Mercenaries, chosen from a suitable allied list and obeying all other limitations on your force.
    65 Treasure Trove
    • Uncovering a Treasure Trove allows you access to D3 additional Artefacts of  any points value  (purchased from your army points limit as normal) .  Roll the D3 when the territory is generated, this is the number it provides throughout the campaign.
    66-  Spy Network (doesn't count to total of territories, if you roll this as a starting territory keep it and roll another )
    • Its not easy setting up a network of agents and spies to keep an eye on your enemies,  but it can be worth the effort: roll D6 at the start of each Battle, after deployment in the presence of your opponent.
    1. The Spy is turned! He now works for your opponent who may now roll on this table
    2. The Spy is discovered! Caught and executed, this territory is destroyed.
    3. The Spy is unable to do anything of use for fear of discovery, and only just avoids capture.
    4. The Spy steals your opponents plans - you may redeploy one unit you have already deployed, anywhere within your normal deployment area.
    5. The Spy manages to get amongst the enemy's horses in the night and causes havoc-select a single Cavalry unit in the enemy army - its Sp is reduced by D3 for the rest of the Battle.
    6. The Spy slips something into the punch during the Officers Supper: roll a d6 for each hero in your opponents force- on a 6 they start the battle with a single point of damage already taken.

    All players need to do is challenge each other to a battle- at the start of the battle they generate the territory that is up for grabs on the above chart, and each offers up one territory they own as their stake in the coming battle- the winner keeps his stake and picks whether he wants the newly generated territory or to steal his opponents stake, adding it to his territory, the loser takes whatever is left. Battles are fought until a winner of the campaign emerges or everyone gets bored and goes off to play Bolt Action or something...

    Simple eh?





    Sunday, 10 July 2016

    Gauntlet 2016 and other stories

    So Gauntlet has been and gone, and it high time I posted some pics of our game, firstly though I thought I'd post some of the other stuff that I've painted recently, and some of the other stuff I've been up to:

    One new thing we tried recently was the old GW WW1 rules- a surprisingly good version of WH40k! I wasn't sure that would work out well but the game flowed well, and felt like a WW1 game should. My BEF Royal Fusiliers went up against some late war German storm troopers who were rather tough, but the Fusiliers held them to a draw. My only gripe would be that the rules require whole formations so if I want to field my lancers I'll need about 40 or so, which is a bit expensive! So, I picked up a Rolls Royce Armoured Car from 1st Corps at Phalanx to provide a bit more manoeuvrability for next time.
    Add caption
    Found these chaps at the west midlands safari park- 50p each. thought they would do nicely in my undead army, and provide a bit of skeletal variety, and some much needed hitting power...
     however in their first outing against Rick's undead they were soundly trounced by zombies of all things...


     Also at Phalanx I picked up this chap; Nong the Not Very Nice At All, by Wargames Supply Dump. I very much like this figure and need to get him some henchmen so he can turn his evil against the galaxy!
    Bwahahahahaha!

     Gauntlet 2016:
    As usual this year the boys and I decided to run a big game for Gauntlet, another large set piece battle to awe and inspire as best we can! It was, apparently, my turn to come up with something and so after some thought I decided we should have a fantasy game, using the KOW rules but with a bit of an Oldhammer vibe. Obviously we wouldn't be using any warhammer rules for the simple reasons we wanted to actually get a result before we died of old age...

    To this end I envisioned a Champion of Chaos, a sorcerer known as the Duke of Damnation, powerful and ambitious, who has decided that he is beloved of the Ruinous Powers and that they want him to conquer the world in the name. With promises of plunder he has called a horde of barbaric, bestial and bloodthirsty followers to his banners. Subjected to his rambling sermons and badly thought out manifesto for world domination most of them have come to the conclusion that he doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance of actually getting very far, but have pragmatically decided that the opportunities for plunder still make it worth the effort.

    Their first target is an ancient city called, er....Stadtburghgrad.  Once known as the Bulwark of the North, for millennia its walls held back the tides of darkness from swamping the lands of men, but in recent centuries the city has been in decline. A long period of peace and prosperity means no hordes of daemons or barbarians throwing themselves at the walls, and with no enemies to hold back those walls fell in to disrepair , the city's population reduced and its armies were forgotten.

    An army on the march doesn't stay secret long and news of the impending attack spread. The Warden of the City roused himself and ordered the ancient defences be put in order, the militia to be called up, stores laid in, the beacons have been lit and the coffers emptied to hire mercenaries. The citizens are preparing for a siege and can do little more than wait and see if ancient alliances still hold true.

    So far so good eh? I came up some rules for fortress walls, siege equipment and looting and destroying buildings, and decided upon an actual scenario- The forces of the Duke of Damnation would attack a city and its environs (an outlying village, farms, mills etc), destroying everything in their path. A smaller force commanded by the Warden would defend the city , and possibly receive reinforcements from an ally. I decided to include various random elements which could fight for neither or either side- a Gigantic Ancient Spider in the woods who doesn't like to be disturbed, a coven in the city desperate to defend their homes by any means necessary, an old hermit in the wizards tower, and other things stirring beneath the city...As the Umpire I hoped to be able to control things impartially, but things didn't turn out the way I expected.

    In the original plan I would umpire, and Chris, Dave, Michael and Rick would pair off as the actual players. Dave abandoned us the week before to go and play Gates of Antares in Nottingham, so Michael roped his son Ben in to help, however he had to leave at lunchtime! Rick had manged to turn up long enough to help set up but was called away as his daughter wasn't well and didn't make it back till we'd finished! I thus spent the first half of the game umpiring and fighting on both sides! Luckily we were able to rope in a couple of chaps who were standing around without anything better to do- Dave and his friend (whose name escapes me) spent the rest of the day pushing figures around for us. Well they do say that no plan survives contact with the enemy, but it turned out ok in the end.

    I won't bother with a blow by blow account because it would take forever and I can't remember the details, so instead I'll settle for pictorial highlights.
    The Walls of Stadtbughgrad
    Michael and Ben arraying the defenders of the village.

    The last supply train makes its way to the City gates
    Dwarfish Artillery attempts to bring down the siege towers.

    The hermit in the tower, Sirius Diction summons his followers
     to defend his tower from the barbarian horde.
    The coven summons daemonic aid but fail to bind the daemons to their will- they devour
     the coven and spill out on to the streets but are contained by the militia.

    The Warden on his firedrake attempts to thin the horde but is trapped and killed before the walls.
    An Elvish prince brings his warband to the aid of the defenders,
    emerging from the woods to attack the Minotaurs
    Some noisy Orcs awaken the ancient Spider Lloth. She isn't pleased...

    The Beastmen find a gap on the walls and pour through to the undefended streets behind

    The ancient and rotten walls collapse under the assault of the
    minotaurs- the miltia fall back in good order, trying to stem the tide.
    The monstrous Snaegl makes short work of the commander of the villages defences.
    A beastslaying Champion is sent to deal with Lloth..she adds him to her larder.
    Another section of the wall collapses! The mercenary Pike plug the gap.
    Ratmen rise up from the cities ancient sewers to fall on the unsuspecting citizens. 
    In the final analysis it was deemed that the defenders and held their ground like heroes, and done enough damage to the Dukes Army that it would be in no condition to take to the field again. Several sections of the wall had fallen,the village was in ruins, but the defending forces were mostly intact, and we hadn't even brought on the reinforcements they were entitled to! The attack had simply taken to long to gain the momentum needed to drive through the defences and loot the city behind.

    It was a good fun game, and I'm sure you'll agree it looked rather good, which is the aim. A full third of the figures never made it on to the table and it was hampered by lack of familiarity with the rules. This was a known issue before the game- I was most familiar with the rules, Chris and Rick less so, and the rest not at all, but KOW is a pretty straight forward set of rules so I didn't envisage much problem as I was umpiring and able to help everywhere. However with Rick out of it, Chris remembering less than expected and a high turn over of players meaning I needed to actually play it wasn't as smooth as I'd hoped.  With no clear commander in chief on the attacking force, the attackers lost focus of the objective and didn't make as much headway in collecting loot as I'd hoped , instead preferring to fight the defenders.  When they did they tended to send individual heroes to try and knock over whole buildings alone whilst big hard hitting creatures which would have ground the city to dust in a few turns went for softer targets, which meant the all out assault was slow and did a lot less damage than it could have done.
    In future (and with a bit more time) I'd have provided each unit with a marker for it stats so any player could turn up and command any units with ease, otherwise I'd just let each player command their own forces rather than pooling them..which isn't something that would have worked for this game given that most of the figures on the table belonged to me and Chris! I'd probably make the buildings/city walls etc weaker as you can't rely on people to even roll average dice! With every roll well below par it took a long time just to loot a tiny little cottage!

    Still, all in all, I think it went well and everyone seemed to have fun which is the main thing.  Didn't seem as much at Gauntlet this year, but there was a small Oldhammer gathering playing Rogue Trader and what appeared to be a WHFB 3rd ed Skirmish. Also a couple of tournaments for WRG(?)Ancients and FOW, and a scattering of other games. We always try and do something big and impressive for Gauntlet, so I wonder what we're doing next year...any ideas chaps?