Sunday, 31 December 2017

That Was 2017.

OK. it seems obligatory in Blogland to post a look back on the fast fading year.  Who am I to argue?  Anyway, I don't want the 'blog police' to arrest me.  So what were my own personal highs and lows, hobby wise?

I started 2017 playing through the Nexus Psi campaign for Deadzone.  I leave December with two games to play (although I have scheduled at least one game in the coming week).  Perhaps unfortunately I managed with the models I had currently painted,so there has been no real impetus to add to my Enforcers.  I do have one or two odd models that I do need to finish though, and I will get some sort of AAR up on the games.
Early 2017 was quite a good time for Deadzone, and I managed to get a good selection of Rebs painted.  I intend to revisit this force with some of the Star Saga minis as a combined painting project.  I also got some terrain built and painted, and improved on the quick sponge painting technique.

The middle part of the year seems to have been dominated by terrain and minis for roleplaying.  I got a few goblins (almost) done and some of the Conan boardgame mummies as well.  Lots of floorplans and similar, and even a few home built monsters for the Dungeons and Dragons game and I even got some of the Dungeon Saga furniture painted.

I discovered Blood Eagle in my search for the perfect skirmish system.  Its very good (based on a very limited experience of playing) and I am still looking forward to getting down to playing a short saga.  Illness put paid to the regular Christmas game in the Dales this year unfortunately.

I also got the urge to do something more with Frostgrave, so got a couple of warbands built and painted, and even some ruins to provide something to fight over/on.  My plans to start a campaign have yet to get any further though.

Mantic's Vanguard kickstarter encouraged me to paint a goblin warband, some of this will also come in useful in Kings of War, though as I multibase my koW armies, not everything fits in.

Towards the end of the year I looked seriously at what I had, and began a concerted effort to thin out my collection.  This led to the rediscovery of my 15mm Empire army for WFB, and the decision to rebase them for KoW, specifically a League of Rhordia army.  As is usually the case, a simple idea ballooned out, and led to some terrain building, and thoughts of digging out Orc's Drift to run with Dragon Rampant.  I do have a reasonable League force in excess of 1000 points, so it might be time to look at an opposing force in this scale, as its always easier to introduce new players if they can play a game.  I'll look at some of my historical minis to see if they might make a Varangur force, well the lighter infantry and cavalry anyway.

Acquisitions wise, the biggie has to be Bones 3.  As I still haven't finished Bones 1 yet, thats a huge pile (or several boxes) of 'Bonsium' waiting to paint.
I also got Frostgrave; Ghost Archipelago, which I have yet to do anything with, and Star Saga, which has a better chance of seeing the painting table given that I can use many of the minis in Deadzone.  Dreadball 2 is due, so yet more painting and another game to play. And of course, the odd eBay purchase and similar means that despite a lot of old stuff going via eBay, I probably have more at the end of the year than at the beginning.

Gaming wise I had a much less successful year, at least as far as miniature gaming is concerned.  The Monday night D&D game continues and seems to have a never ending need for minis and terrain.  I also got a good Delta Green campaign in on Thursday nights, but that is currently resting to a) give me chance to recharge the mental batteries and b) give me some free time for some tabletop gaming (but non has happened so far).  The Thursday night slot will soon be filled with a D&D 5E campaign at the FLGS.  More minis and terrain and less tabletop time.  This time though I am running through the Starter Set, as most of the players are new to the game, so I already have a chunk of terrain built.
if I count up the number of tabletop games its less than ten.  I think that has to change next year, otherwise I will have to look at if I need to refocus my attention away from miniatures for a while.  if that sounds a little whiny its not meant that way.  I think a game requires at least five games in a relatively short time to get to understand the rules and decide if its worth pursuing.  Fewer and infrequent games means that the rules have to be refreshed each time (I made some serious mistakes in the only game of Kings of War I managed this year due to lack of familiarity, aka 'forgetting the rules') and skewed results in one or two games can give a false impression of a game.

A long post, and I haven't done any looking forwards yet.  I'll get a 'Looking Ahead' post done in a couple of days, meanwhile,

Happy Hogswatch.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas

Just to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I am informed by my daughter that early in the 20th century it was fashionable to wish a cheery Christmas.
If Christmas itself isn't your thing, have a good time anyway, if you can.

And as a little musical aside try singing 'While Shepherds Watched' to the tune of Ilkley Moor.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Return to Orc's Drift?

I have enjoyed building the old GW card buildings. So much so, in fact, that I have been thinking about replaying the games.
I wouldn't use the old second edition Warhammer (for which the scenarios were written), nor the latest GW fantasy game, Age of Sigmar. I'd much rather recapture as much of the feel of the original using a system I play now.
I have some excellent memories of Orc's Drift. I bought it pretty much when it came out and it, and the early Citadel Journals informed much of my Warhammer.

I first played it through using the card tokens included. I remember the orcs did so badly in the first couple of games that we put in an extra battle to give them more of a chance.  All great fun, and as we went through the campaign we added miniatures to the card tokens, including some home cast Prince August ones. We never had a full army of minis though.

Fast forward some years. A good friend was moving from North Yorkshire to Scotland, so as a send off I got together with his gaming club to play through the campaign again.  This time we had full armies and I updated the stats to the current edition (it was the late 90s).  As we could only fit in two sessions we played the opening three games simultaneously on the first night, and the final Bloodbath at Orc's Drift on the following week.  Playing like this was even more fun as players tried to find out how the battle was going elsewhere.  Incidentally, apart from myself, one other player was present for both run throughs. Although he doesn't play anymore, much of my early gaming involved him and other school friends.

So how shall I replay Orc's Drift now?  My first thought was to use Kings of War. However, looking at the troops involved the battles wouldn't be very interesting. In most cases boiling down to two or three Troops of elves or dwarves against a horde or a couple of regiments of orcs.
Since the buildings are in 15mm, what do I have in that scale already? I have a Dragon Rampant force of orcs. I think this might be the way to go. The dwarves and elves can be in reduced model units to emphasise how they are superior troops but outnumbered. Heroes can be single model units, though this does make them pretty powerful.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. I'll post some more concrete ideas once I have them straight in my head,just in case anyone else wants to try this themselves.

Now where can I find enough players,terrain and figures to run it through in two sessions again?

Thursday, 21 December 2017

15mm Cottage

I enjoyed making the tower so much that I decided to make a cottage to accompany it.  At this rate I'll soon have a village for my League troops to fight over.

This one is based on one of the buildings from the second edition Warhammer Fantasy pack "Bloodbath At Orc's Drift".  Rather than reducing the measurements as I did for the tower, I simply copied my original at 60%, then used that as a template.

The body is once again made from the card from an envelope, with thinner card used for the roof tiles and the door planks.  I had forgotten how tedious tiling a roof can be, but the relatively small size meant it didn't take too long.  The chimney stack is XPS foam.  That's the original position for it, but logic suggests it should be against a wall with a large stack as part of the building.  Maybe next time.

As an experiment I textured the wattle panels simply by dabbing on craft glue.  We shall see how well that works once it's painted.

As this project is to provide some themed Rhordian terrain, I suppose I ought to make something for the halflings.  LotR style hobbit holes might be a bit obvious; perhaps some smaller 'grub hut' style buildings?  Or will that look too primitive?
Another possibility is to adapt the various tower houses in the GW sets with halfling sized doors; in an ironic twist they live in the tallest buildings in the League. 

If anyone has any suggestions please drop a comment.

See the finished cottage here.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

15mm Tower

I quickly built this simple tower as some additional terrain for the League of Rhordia to fight over/for.

I simply reduced the measurements to 3/5ths of the original.  Looking at it it is perhaps a bit small, but it will do.

It is actually based on the very first wargaming model I ever made; the stone tower off the back of one of the early Citadel Journals.   I made the stone tower, a wooden variant, and the cottage. I always prefered their 'mock Medieval' look of the early editions to their later 'Skullsville' style, and given that I am no longer playing in the Warhammer World (a moment's silence, please) this works fine for me.
I recently found that virtually all the original card models were reproduced in Warhammer Townscape.  That didn't matter to me, as I have all the originals, having photocopied them back in my youth and built sturdier versions on thick card.  

Back in the day when I made these for 28mm Warhammer I stuck card copies onto thick card taken from the bin at work.  This stuff was amazing for modelling, being about 5mm thick though an absolute beast to cut out windows and doors.  Very sturdy though, and I still have one or two lying around.  Then I added balsa and filler for texture and painted with my model paints.

The 15mm version is much simpler to build, simply draw the shape out on one of those card envelopes the online delivery firms use to post (wargames) books, cut out, fold and stick, and add the fiddly bits of stone edging.  Use filler for texture, and a simple paint job.

The wizard has had a new coat of paint too, though he is still awaiting varnish.  I'll do a mammoth varnishing session soon, as I have several bits and pieces to protect, so I'm claiming him for the totals a bit previously.

So what has that done to this month's totals?
Current totals for December
Painted 1 (1)
Bought 124 (Magic the Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers, Star Saga)
Painted 7 (two troops of 15mm minis and 15mm wizard, being a character figure, he counts as 1, if only because I need the numbers)
Sold/traded 0
Terrain 1 (15mm tower scratch built)

At this rate I'm not going to get into the black this month.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

League Reinforcements

I've got some more troops ready for my League of Rhordia army.  Some are just rebased minis from my old 15mm Empire WFB army, but I've painted a couple of troops of new minis as well.
Household Knights.  These were my old Reiksguard.  Essex miniatures cavalry of various codes.  They do need a bit of attention on the lances especially.

Crossbows.  These are Lancashire Games.  They are all the same pose, though when I come to do another troop I'll do a bit of converting so they can have a standard and a captain at least.

City Spear Militia.  A full regiment of Essex medievals.  Again these are just rebased, and need a bit of attention to the paintwork in places.

House Guard.  More Essex designed to add to the earlier troop. Most of these were painted for the League.

City Militia. Essex billmen.  These are new as well.  They look grubbier than the earlier paint jobs, I'm not sure if that really works at this scale.  When I next send off to Essex I'll get enough to make a full regiment.

I haven't done standards yet.  I am not sure if I should replace all the standards to get away from the Empire look.  After all, I already have that in my Kingdoms of Men army in 28mm.  If I did start afresh, I'm not sure what look I would go for.  The League originally consisted of five city-states, though two were destroyed by the orc invasion that lead to the creation of the League.  I could have three (or five, if they rebuilt afterwards) main colour schemes with associated heraldry.  The halflings joined afterwards, and I have had some (not very original) ideas for them once I get some more halfling units.  
If I look at what I already have, it pretty much breaks down into red and blue, who tend to be the better equipped troops, Blue and white, and with the new billmen, green and yellow.  Each of these could be the colours of one of the city-states.  I think that the red and blue troops are from Eowolf (the only named city) as it appears to be the principle city of the League and home of the College of Warcraft.

So what has that done to this month's totals?
Current totals for December
Bought 124 (Magic the Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers, Star Saga)
Painted 6 (two troops of 15mm minis)
Sold/traded 0

The two acquisitions have given me a huge mountain to climb, though I have included all the crates, doors, desks etc.  I have started on some of the MtG minis though, just to see how well they paint up, and I have some more 15mm stuff to finish.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Star Saga

I got my copy of Star Saga the other day.  Actually it was last week, but its been a hectic weekend of Concerts (and migraines).
This puts my totals for December back some way, so what is in the box and is it worth it?
The box is just 11" square and 4" deep, designed to look like some sort of containment vessel.

A lot packed away inside.  I haven't checked, but I think there is some sort of dimensional warp here allowing Mantic to fit in more minis.
I haven't tried the game yet, but the system is like Dungeon Saga, which I liked.  There is an artificial intelligence option, either allowing up to four players to play against it, or one person to have a go on his or her own.  A great way to learn the rules.

But its the minis that I suspect a lot of you are interested in.  These are all photographed straight from the box (with insufficient overhead light to show the details).

The four main heroes, Wrath, Francesco 'The Devil' Selvaggio, 'Curby' and Captain Erika Dulinsky.  Wrath is an established Deadzone character, being the only Judwan to turn to violence, a result of tampering by the Corporations.  Selvaggio appeared in a Deadzone short story.

Extra heroes Alyse and Ogan Helkkare, flanked by two of ogan's Sentry Guns.

Four of the 'bosses', organic Data Storage Unit X-02-A (a Chovar), Enforcer ES435 'Monarch', Guard Commander Graves and Dr. Lukas Koyner.

Lab Technicians, the lest powerful of the minions.

Security Guards

Plague Victims (I wonder what Dr. Koyner has been experimenting on?) 

Corporation Marines

Two Corporation Rangers (elite marines) flanking another Marine.

Extra Mercs, a Koris, the Rebs Sphyr leader Kira Nikolovski, and The Fear, one of the Nameless.  

Blaine (of course), Hacker Halftail and a new sculpt of the Survivor (another established Deadzone character)

Finally, The Abomination, straight from Deadzone, and a pleasure to own.

There is some scenery as well. cabinets and storage tanks

Desks and tables

A small cabinet and some computer terminals.  in the game the terminals are used to unlock doors or find out additional information

Crates, which can be searched for extra items


The quality of the pieces is good.  Dungeon Saga seemed OK, but The Walking Dead was much better in terms of sculpts and casting.  Star Saga is, to my mind, even better.
There are also a slew of tokens and floor plans, special dice (reminiscent of the old heroquest dice), data cards for teh heroes and the opposition, as well as events and items and a Rule book and a Mission book.  More missions will be published, and several were unlocked during the kickstarter.

The Kickstarter edition contains some extras; bonus minions and the Extra mercs.  Even so, the base game is a good set.

Apart from playing the game itself, there is lots of opportunity to use the minis in games of Deadzone.  I'll certainly be using Nikolovski in my Rebs trike team and the technicians would make ideal targets to be captured, rescued, or even infected.

One very nice thing about the game is how mantic use it to expand their Warpath universe.  Including Some known characters makes the place come alive, but the addition of new races and details about worlds and different Corporations help it to grow.  I wonder how many different races now inhabit the Warpath Universe?

Monday, 4 December 2017

MTG Arena of the Planeswalkers Review

I received a copy of the Magic the Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers board game the other day.  I have seen a lot of posts on forums suggesting that now it is reduced (sometimes as low as $5 in the US) that it is worth getting just for the miniatures.
I found a copy for £9.99, which worked out at less than 30p a mini, and the photos suggested that several of them might work well for the current D&D campaign.
Here is my personal opinion of the game's contents, I'll leave it up to you to decide if it's for you.

The box is well packed, with the now standard tray to hold the minis in.  Beneath it are the remainder of the components.

The bulk of the components resting on the six card pieces that make up the board.  These fit together well, but the image is sometimes a bit 'off'.  The water features don't always have proper coasts, though I suspect that with more care a better job can be done with this.  My first complaint (if I were looking atthis as a playable game) is that the reverse of the boards simply shows art work and descriptions of the five 'Planeswalker', the heroes of the game.  Yhis space could have been better used with more terrain.

The game features five Planeswalkers, interdimensional heroes who have nothing better to do than duel across a sandy plain.  Each has access to two squads of three creatures.  These are moulded in coloured plastic which I suspect matches something in the MtG card game.  The Planeswalkers themselves come in transparent plastic with a (crude) paint job.
Nissa Revane, Animist.  Nature guys, with Elf Rangers and Pummelroot Elementals.

Chandra Nalaar, Pyromancer.  Fiery dudes with Blazing Firecats and Flamewing Phoenixes.

Gideon Dura, Combat Mage.  Holy warriors with Kor Hookmasters and Rhox Veterans

Liliana Vess, Necromancer.  Undead with Restless Zombies and Blighted Reavers

Jace Beleren, Mindmage.  Tricksy images with Illusionary Projections and Leyline Phantoms.

So how useful are they?  Value wise they are good.  The five Planeswalkers can certainly be used in D&D and similar.  I'm sure that Frostgrave has a place for some of these as wizards.  They will definitely benefit from attention to the paint job, but the translucent plastic gives some nice effects, for instance Chandra has flames surrounding her fists.  Gideon is perhaps the  least interesting of these, armed apparently with a wet T-Towel.  I'll look at giving him one of the translucent weapons from Bones 3.
The squads are varied.  One nice thing about all of them is that each mini is an individual sculpt.  Great for tracking damage etc.  However, detail is variable.  On some, green and white especially, it is quite soft.  Others like the blue and red show better detailing.  It may be possible to correct this somewhat when painting.
The humanoid minis are the least interesting for me.  The undead are poor in detail; I have much better zombies, and the Reavers would be more useful if they were larger.  similarly the Hookmasters are uninspiring, though they might paint up well as Shadar-Kai (a D&D shadow race).  The Rhox are a fun idea, but perhaps a bit on the small size for a rhino-person?  I think they will find a place in Ghost Archipelago as a stand in for the elephant people in that game.
Similar comments apply to the elves and the elementals,  if the latter had been obviously large creatures they would be right at home in a D&D game.  
Nicest of the lot are the blue and red minis.  The Projections are supposed to be copies of Jace, so right away we have a Mirror Image spell.  There's something appealing about the four armed Phantoms, I know they will see action on the gaming grid. I'm also a sucker for translucent minis, though I have yet to master painting them properly.  If nothing else, this set gives me plenty to practice on.  The fire creatures make the set for me.  Who wouldn't like a large fiery cat?  Just don't let it jump up on your bed.
Finally an idea of the size of the minis, posing with a GW mini from one of my Frostgrave warbands (squares are 10mm on the background).

I should point out that I am looking at this from the point of view of using the minis in my various gaming projects rather than playing the game itself.   I haven't tried it, but I suspect the game plays rather well.  There is clearly a lot of strategic thinking involved in when to use spells, as well as luck with the dice and what spells you draw when.  It might be great for a light hearted break from normal gaming over the festive season.
For me the game is worth while as I can use many of the minis in D&D,m Frostgrave etc.  There are some I won't get much use out of, but I reckon more that half will see some action.  I'm not looking for any more sets (unless they are reduced even more, and already I can only find it for around £15 on Amazon now), but I would be interested in other sets in the series.  

This puts my totals for December in quite a hole.
Current totals for December
Bought 47 (Bear, dogs and wolves, Celtic cross and two piles of packages,  plus Planeswalker minis)
Painted 0
Sold/traded 0

I'd better get painting and/or stuff on eBay

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Pudsey Haul

I'm back from Recon at Pudsey.  It might not be the biggest show, but I've always had a fondness for it, I went to one of the very earliest Recon shows when it was in Headingley, and I've tried to get to them all since.

It seemed a little quieter than usual, maybe that was just because I was earlier than usual.  The organisers pride themselves on still running a Bring And Buy.  This was very busy, though I didn't see anything that quite called to me.

I looked at various manufacturers 15mm figures with a view to using them with my 15mm KoW, but all the new stuff, nice though it is, is noticeably larger than the old Essex stuff I already have.

I had a good chat with the chap behind Too Much Lead about bargains and the unfortunate attitude of some members of the hobby.  He was running a very nice looking Dragon Rampant game.  Having seen him collecting the forces on his blog, it was almost like meeting an old friend.

I particularly liked his giants (details on them here).  They look even better in life.

So what was my haul?  Not much actually.  A resin cross for Blood Eagle and similar
Dark Age games from Ainstey Castings.  Two piles of crates and other items from Skytrex (very nicely detailed, these).  A metal Reaper Miniatures bear (second hand, or should that be paw?) and a pack of dogs and another of wolves from Warbases, great for Frostgrave.

Current totals for December
Bought 8 (Bear, dogs and wolves, Celtic cross and two piles of packages)
Painted 0
Sold/traded 0

Friday, 1 December 2017

November: Went the Month Well?

A quick look back at last month and I seem to have been unusually productive (for me) and also relatively restrained on the acquisitions front (again, for me).

Current totals for November
Bought 11 (the survivor and 1 Dreadball team)
Painted 32 (Frostgrave and Vanguard warbands, including a troll, which must be good for bonus points and 30 15mm halflings)
Sold/traded 92 (5 dwarf berserkers and 3 lesser obsidian golems, 18 Napoleonics, 26 Gothic Horror, approx 40 GW orcs, plus some WH40K scenery)

I do need to alter the totals slightly as the post brought a Dreadball team.  I 'reinvested' some of my eBay sales, in one of the few teams I hadn't got, and it was a very good price (I also have other plans for them, but that might remain secret for now).

The Frostgrave/Blood Eagle warbands have been fun to paint, though towards the end I got weary of deciding what colours to paint the various bits of clothing.  Two warbands down now, so I'm ready for some games.  I've got a couple more made up of various old D&D pre-paints, so plenty to go at.

A bit of scenery building was also fun (and I've just remembered that I built up some MDF ruins for Frostgrave and similar.  I'll do a post dedicated to them as I have added to them somewhat).

The 15mm KoW was a very useful exercise.  It uses old minis that otherwise would be sold on, and allows me to get armies on the table that I wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to try.  I am thinking that I might even look at my 15mm historicals, as I would like to try KoW Historical rules as well.  If only I hadn't sold off my Greek army.

Enough of painting and modelling, that's just one part of the hobby.  What about gaming?
I've had less success here.  My Monday night D&D group plods on, and much of the modelling is for this, such as the ramps and blocks I made for the ziggurat (you can see them here).  I've not managed any other gaming though.  I have stopped the Thursday night Section/Delta Green game for a while, so hopefully that will free up some time for more table-top action.

I should be at Recon tomorrow.  I've a small shopping list, mostly of odd bits of stuff to complete projects.  I'll report back afterwards.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Small Scale Kings of War

I mentioned a short while ago that I was looking at my old collection of 15mm figures.  Way back last century I used to play Warhammer in 15mm, and it was a fun challenge to match the troop types with available figures.  I took the easy route for my first army; Empire, as there are lots of historical figures out there.  One of my friends/opponents did some excellent work with Tomb Kings and Lizardmen, and I also did Skaven, Dark Elves and Chaos Dwarves.  Alas, most of mine went the way of eBay, and I have gradually reduced my 15mm collection.  I have gone back to the scale for some projects, such as Dragon Rampant, but I decided to see if I could use my old Empire collection in Kings of War.
I've already talked through the process and the decision to base at 3/5ths the scale, so here's the current progress.
A troop of House Guard, mounted hero, regiment of City Militia (though a bit over armoured for De 3+), wizard and a troop of Muskets.

These are some of my old Empire troops just rebased into Troops (as opposed to troops) for KoW.  The paint scheme is straight out of the old Empire army books (Altdorf I think) and could do with some attention in some places.  The wizard, for instance, is losing some of his paint, and looks dull, and the gold armour on the general could do with brightening up, it looks like a kids plastic toy armour.

All the humans except the wizard are from Essex' various late medieval and early renaissance ranges.
I have still to find the tin that holds the cavalry section of the army, and there are a lot more minis in there that don't fit quite so well into the League.  But I also had a unit of 12 halfling archers.
Two troops (or one regiment) of Halfling Archers and a troop of Halfling Scouts.  A Halfling master Sergeant is lurking at the back, but he does have the Stealthy special rule.

I had some extra unpainted halflings, enough to make a regiment of archers and a troop of scouts.  Initially I thought I could get away with just painting the new minis, but the paint jobs were so different that in the end I repainted the original halflings.  I kept the halflings wearing the 'Robin Hood' hat as the scouts, and the other two poses as normal archers, led by a scout.  The scout leader is a minor conversion of a halfling originally wielding a pickaxe and they have only 8 on the base, cos they are just that good.

The halflings are all Essex fantasy halflings.  I really like the style, it rather reminds me of Peter Jackson's film Hobbits, though Essex got there before him.

I've also painted up five strips of wicker fencing as useful scenery, and am currently working on a troop of City Militia and bulking up the Guard to a full regiment.

So where does that put us now?  Counting the 15mm as 1/3 of a mini (random, but anyway);
Current totals for November
Bought 1 (the survivor)
Painted 32 (Frostgrave and Vanguard warbands, including a troll, which must be good for bonus points and 30 15mm halflings)
Sold/traded 92 (5 dwarf berserkers and 3 lesser obsidian golems, 18 Napoleonics, 26 Gothic Horror, approx 40 GW orcs, plus some WH40K scenery)

Very respectable this month (as long as Star Saga doesn't turn up today).

And a quick reminder, Recon, the Wakefield and District Wargamers annual show is on on Saturday at Pudsey Civic hall.  Its always a friendly show, with lots to look at, including the bizarre sauces on the bar.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Goblin Vanguard Ready

I've finished the Vanguard goblins I was working on.  They make up the sample warband from the alpha rules, though I have had to do a bit of fudging for some of the support characters.

Group shot.

The troll and mawbeast, both from Dungeon Saga.

Various troops and rabble, all KoW goblins just like these I did earlier.

The brains behind it all, Dungeon Saga Biggit (because he looks impressive compared to the KoW goblins) and an artillery crew and a sneak from the KoW orcs.

They all painted up nicely, I used mostly Vallejo Game Color paints with a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone to shade everything at the end.  The minis were gloss varnished with yacht varnish to provide a good protective coat, then given a layer of Windsor and Newton acrylic matt varnish.
the base texture wasn't my usual, its too coarse for my liking (though I think it would look good painted as rocks for my dwarves).  Its good enough that I don't feel I need to re do it though.  I will add to these eventually but this should be enough to get a feel for the rules.  

I had to make do with some substitutes as I couldn't find my goblin command pack.  The DS goblin makes a very fine leader, but he may get demoted when I do find my command.  The other two metal minis will stand in for a Banggit and a Wiz, but again, will still find a place in the band when the proper minis turn up.

I've also been working through more 15mm figures for my Kings of War small scale project, more on those later, and I am near finishing the dwarves to fight the above goblins.

Current totals for November
Bought 1 (the survivor)
Painted 22 (Frostgrave and Vanguard warbands, including a troll, which must be good for bonus points)
Sold/traded 92 (5 dwarf berserkers and 3 lesser obsidian golems, 18 Napoleonics, 26 Gothic Horror, approx 40 GW orcs, plus some WH40K scenery)

This is going to take a hit when Star Saga turns up, and its Recon on Saturday, though I don't really have a shopping list.  I might have to count those 15mm troops individually!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Worst Job in the (Wargaming) World

OK, this could be many things, but my vote is rebasing. You're revisiting a project that you once thought was finished rather than making inroads into the lead mountain, you risk damaging the paint job on the minis, and it's tedious.

I've recently been looking at my old collection of 15mm figures as part of my Five Year rule.
A long time ago I played Warhammer Fantasy Battles in 15mm and built up quite a collection of several different armies.  I also collected some historical armies for Warhammer Ancient Battles.  Eventually I moved back to 28mm and gradually sold off the armies, keeping a few of the bits I was most pleased with (including my Empire army) and the usual gamer's box of lead.

When Mantic released their Uncharted Empires book I saw the opportunity to re use my Empire as League of Rhodia, if only I could work out what base size to use.

I wanted something that was easy to calculate, didn't need much in the way of new measuring, and gave bases large enough to fit the recommended number of minis on.  The small scale Kings of War Facebook group has recommended sizes (half the 28mm dimensions), but these seem to be mostly used for 10mm or 6mm (with lots of extra minis).  The few 15mm I have seen at their size look cramped, and/or short of minis.  So i would have to come up with my own.  As long as my friends had the same size, it should be fine.

Much experimentation later and a size of 3/5ths the 28mm dimensions seems to look good.  It's easy to calculate and looks good with full figure count units.  It does mean making measuring sticks, but you can't have everything.

So, here's a photo showing some of my rebased troops.  I've still to texture the bases, but it shows how they look.

Since these were already painted, I can't really put them in my monthly totals.  I hope I can get my Vanguard goblins ready soon though.