Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Durins' Folk ~ Should I Build a New Army?

A couple of years back I bought a box of Oathmark Dwarf Infantry. I made all of them and painted most and even bought a command set and a set of heroes. But I still had a few that sat on my paint desk for a long time. These were half a dozen archers. I started painting them but then I lost interest and couldn't be bothered finishing them. 

However, last week I decided to finish the job and get them off the table. And I'm glad I did because they look pretty nice and they compliment my little band of dwarves perfectly.

I don't have much in the way of dwarves and I'm debating whether I should increase their numbers. If I do decide to build them up I think I'd have to rebase them onto multi figure bases. I've started rewriting a set of fantasy "big battle" rules that I created during our extended lockdowns, here in Melbourne. If I take this project further I think I'm going to need a good sized dwarven army to put on the table...

So maybe it's time to bring Durin's Folk up to par with my other fantasy armies. 

Sounds like I'm trying to talk myself in to buying a few boxes of dwarves.

Monday, 29 May 2023

Some Fantasy Odds and Ends

Whilst I'm back in a Fantasy frame of mind I thought I'd paint up a few new things. I wanted more elves to build up my elfin army a bit more and I also wanted to get a couple more mundane but useful figures painted. So over the past week this is what I did.

These figures are from a Reaper Bones Henchmen and Hirelings set that I got last year. I think the set is part of their Dungeon Dwellers range. It's a pretty good set of figures but I never got around to painting them until now. They are well cast and only needed minimum clean up to get them ready. There are 13 figures in the set so I still have 10 to go.

I also did this unit of elf archers. These are Oathmark and they're a mix of the Elf Light Infantry torsos and the Elf Infantry arms. I saw this mix of parts on another blog and thought they looked good. I have plenty of spare Oathmark elves  so I thought I'd do a unit. I'm a bit disappointed with  their heads. They are very limited and I wish I had use a greater variety (I couldn't really see the sameness before painting).
And that's it for a quick post. I'm working on some of the new Oathmarc orcs. I'm converting them using left over polearm weapons from some Perry Wars of the Roses kits. So far they're looking good.

Saturday, 27 May 2023

The Battle of Bach-Sachenkrach

Today we played our second annual Medieval May Big Hail Caesar game. I say "second"... The first one was in 2018 and it's taken us all this time to play the second one! So...

In the fields outside the Schloss Bach-Sachenkrach, ancestral home of Otto von Rickenbacker, leader of the Hemmingsaetic League, a great battle took place. Lady Godiva made her usual apperance and this time set the pace for the battle. If we didn't finish the battle it would end when she got to the castle gates (she moved one road-section per turn).
The traditional meeting of the generals so that appropriate boasting and insults could be hurled in the time honoured fashion prior to the commencement of hostilities. Barron Otto von Rickenbacker with his banner bearer and Christopher his Squire (any Yes fans out there?) on the right and Sir Lorne de Gibson from the despotic kingdom of Noire-Broulee in the wrong... I mean on the left.
Half time! Swap sides!
We had six players clockwise from the bottom left, Darryl, me, John (whom I'd only just met), Alan the Observer, Mike, Poitr (the Barely Seen), and Lorne.
I'm not going to give a blow by blow account because I don't really know what happened outside my own command in the centre. I know the basic results but I have no idea about any of the details. Our troops came from everywhere. Mike and my own armies are Imaginations forces. His based on French and mine German. So this was basically an all-in: "Bring Your Medieval Troops" game.
In the centre I was facing Poitr. My knights charged and caused major havoc but eventually broke and fled the field but not until after they had opened up a big hole in the middle of the enemy line..
On John and Mikes flank things took a while to get going with john making a slow advance and Mike consistently failing his Command rolls for five straight turns. At least Lady Godiva had an easy road to tread and, no doubt, provided a welcome sight for those poor soldiers far from home and their loved ones.
On the other flank, right outside the gate of castle Bach-Sachenkrach, Sir Lorne de Gibson and Duke Darryl of Cox slugged it out right from the get go. Units were charging and falling back and getting reinforced and pushing forward and retreating all over the place in a massive scrum. I'm sure Lorne, the rugby union player, enjoyed this kind of fight.
Above: Some of my Wars of the Roses Lancastrians mingling with Darryl's WotR troops.
Below John's Crusader knights.
King Michael of Noire-Broulee's repurposed Bretonians in all their glory.
And Lorne's own Bretonians getting stuck into the thick of it against Darrly's spearmen.
And of course, these Noir-Brouleean's can't fight fair so they infested the woods with villeins and vagabonds who spoke in outrageous French accents and hurled abuse at Sir Johns brave knights as the passed by.
My own infantry prepare to launch a devastating assault!
Lorne's knights again, looking resplendent in their colourful panoply.
The good Lady Godiva slowly made her way towards the castle. Seemingly, without a care in the world.
In this combat my brave knight Sir Freidrick Flintenstein the Forgettable perished as he led some mounted sergeants-at-arms into the fray. The enemy archers were broken and routed but so were the sergeants. 
Whilest their centre crumbles, the Noire-Broulee generals attend to more important matters. Now that a big hole was made in the enemied line it was time to exploit it. Unfortunately Bishop Eisenwurst (the command at the bottom of the pic) also had more pressing affairs that needed his attention (he failed multiple command roles and stood still).
In the same turn the Triple F fell so to did Sir Lorne de Gibson. Worsted by the billmen of Sir Darryl le Cox, that soon to be hero and all-round good guy (so long as he stays on my side!!!)
The Good Lady just keeps a-rollin' on.
I forgot to take many photos because I was too involved. Many of these are from other club members to make up for my poor efforts. Because of this I missed when Lorne's entire command collapsed and left Darryl in command of the whole of his flank. This came quite unexpected to the rest of us who didn't know what was happening. It pretty much ended the game. 

Below, I got Bishop Eisenwurst's command moving and he made a last ditch charge into the flank of Poitr's infantry who were already Shaken and in no position to fight back effectively. This was the end of a very enjoyable game.


Thank you to all those involved. Mike and I organised it and got it happening (Mike far more than me). The big armies looked impressive but I would have preferred even more troops on the table. I'd love to have a big fantasy game on this scale. I have the troops but not the rules. I've recently been reviewing the rules I wrote and solo-played during our extended Melbourne lockdown. They need significant work and I'm hoping to be able to test them sometime soon with an actual proper opponent.

Sunday, 21 May 2023

Dragon Slayer

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm planning a game of Dragon Rampant for my clubs' open day in August. The idea behind this is to use the rules to create a mighty dragon and a classic D&D party to fight him. By using the various unit templates I've made a dragon that is the equivalent to a 36 point warband. likewise the party of "Adventurers" is also equal to a 36 point warband.

Each character is a Single Model Unit represented by a unit profile. The Knight is, obviously, an Elite Rider, The Dwarf is Heavy Foot, whilst the Barbarian is Bellecose Foot. Both the elf and sorceress are based on missile templates. The sorceress is a limited spell caster (Wizardling) so her shooting is played as if it is a "Magic Missile." The hobbit is a Light Foot unit with my own special rule Limited Invisibility. All of the characters have their own special abilities. For example: Azgrim Ironbeard has Dwarf Forged Armour (Mystical Armour in the rulebook).

Below: The party of brave adventurers: Lanolix Greenfeather, Grogan the Barbarian, Sir Garavel the Paladin, Bongo Stinkfoot, Vanya the Sorceress and Azgrim Ironbeard. Are they really brave or just unsuspecting Dragon fodder?
The idea for the dragon seemed sound and I sat down with the Dragon Rampant rulebook to sort it all out. The Dragon ~ Anglanchor the Great, is made up of 6 "Body Areas": his head, 2 front claws, 2 rear claws and his tail. His head is a Greater Warbeast, his front claws are Elite Foot units, his rear legs are Heavy Foot and his tail is also Elite Foot. He also has a breath weapon and a few other little tricks. Each of his Body Areas has the chance to activate during his turn so he is capable of dealing out multiple attacks and smiting his enemies.
It took a while to determine what was what and I spent the better part of last week putting it all together, chopping and changing things here and there. I eventually got things to where I thought they should work and got together with some friends to play test it.
Initially the first game was a devastating win to the dragon and I thought: "Oh dear." I thought I had dramatically over powered him. Another game and I remembered that was forgetting to use the characters' special abilities, magical weapons, etc... (That's right: everyone else wanted to be the dragon and I got stuck with the adventurers.) The problem was that I was concentrating so much on trying to work it all out and get the game up and running that forgot those little details for the characters. To much to think about!

Okay! Now that I settled into it and started using the characters abilities the game was much more even. They managed to get a hard fought win, even though some of them went to meet their maker from getting to close to Anglanchor the Great's iron claws.
All in all what I came up with worked out exactly as I had hoped. The only thing I'm going to change is to reduce the armour of the dragons' rear legs. The Heavy Infantry profile has the special ability Wall of Spears. I removed this because it made no sense. So to compensate, I increased the armour by +1. This change drastically over balanced these body areas: 12 Strength points with 4 armour. For me that didn't work. So Rear legs ~ Armour 3. That's the only change.
These pics are not from any of the games. I set them up just give an idea of how the game looks on the table. I already had a 3' x 3' double sided board that I made during the lockdown. It's nice and sturdy and looks great. I made four corner hills using some left over high density foam and moulding plaster that I had in the garage. It has to look good for the open day, after all.
One thing I found out is that each character has their own role. Some should not be in the front line. Both the elf archer and the sorceress I put into the front line initially and they both suffered. I moved the sorceress to the back and got the elf to make a dash to the cover of the woods on the flanks. They both performed a lot better. The little hobbit is fun. He is hard to hit but isn't very good on the attack. On the other hand his unit profile enables him dish out a bit of damage when he's on the defensive.


So I'll be doing more play testing over the next couple of months to cement the rules into my head. It was a really fun game and took about 45 minutes from the first dice roll to the last. That's perfect for an open day participation game. I figure I should be able to play at least 4 games throughout the day and still have time to visit the traders.

By the way, the name of the scenario is Dragon Slayer. I hope to get the scenario published but if that doesn't pan out I'll put them up here and on facebook.

Monday, 15 May 2023

Anglanchor the Great ~ King of the Fire Drakes

I bought a new dragon. I have a game planned for my clubs' Open Day in a couple of months. I started early because I had a good idea that is pretty easy to pull of, and while I'm on a bit of a fantasy jag, I thought I'd start now instead of waiting until the last minute.
This dragon is huge. I needed a big dragon and I found this one online. It is yet another Reaper Bones model called Viridius. The idea for the game is simple: Using the Dragon Rampant rules the dragon will be a 36 point warband. Each part of the dragon will be considered a separate "unit," (for instance each front leg will be a unit of Elite Foot with the relevant stats for that type of unit). Facing the dragon will be a party of six characters: A knight, dwarf, elf, hobbit, barbarian and a mage. Each character will be a Single Model Unit in line with the DR rules with combined points adding up to a 36 point warband.

That's why I needed such an impressive and dangerous looking dragon.
I have renamed him:  Anglanchor the Great ~ King of the Fire Drakes.
To give you an idea of just how huge this model is, here it is with my other dragons. These models are all quite impressive in their own right but they are dwarfed by this mighty beast.
One thing that makes my prep for this game easy is that I have a good collection of fantasy figures and I didn't think I'd need any more. But I was wrong. Looking through my figures I realised I didn't have a good fantasy knight/paladin figure. I have lots of historical knights but none are worthy of fighting such a mighty foe. So I started looking online for one. I found some nice figures but I wasn't prepared to pay the exorbitant postage demanded (I'm in Melbourne, Australia). I was telling my friend and opponent Mike of this problem. He went away and came back with a box of old GW Bretonian Grail knights and let me take my pick.

Thus was born Sir Gavarel, Paladin of the Chrystal Court (his name is likely to change!). I remade his lance with a brass rod, the horse plumes are Perry Wars of the Roses and the helmet plume is from Eureka. Not a great photo. The light glare is ruining most of the shading detail.

So that's my big new dragon for my small project. He isn't based but I plan to magnetise him so that I can fit him onto either a grass base or a dungeon/cavern base. That way I can alter the setting for the game. I already have a double-sided 3' x 3' board with grass on one side and stone on the other and I'm making some extra terrain for it. I'm considering adding some objectives to the game such as, saving a princess or getting an item of treasure. I'll have to think about that.