Thursday, 27 August 2020

Boars, Spiders and a Table.

It's been a busy week in my wargaming life. Not only did I finish some more figures but I also did some house cleaning and ended up with a permanent wargaming table set-up as a result.

What figures did I do? First up I did these orcs riding on boars. They're from Mantic Games and I think they're called Gor Riders. They look pretty nice now that they're painted but I didn't enjoy making and painting them. The Mantic method of packing a bunch of pieces in a box with no instructions and all made out of that horrible plastic/resin/stuff they use... Ughhh! I didn't enjoy it.
But... They did come out looking okay and I'm pretty happy with them. I only made six out of the ten in the box because that's all I really need for the moment. I think I might do the rest now that I can see the final result.
I also painted up some giant spiders. These are from GW. They're supposed to have goblin riders but I didn't want them so I used a bit of putty to fix them. Now, I have really bad problems with spiders because I have arachnophobia. I can't make realistic looking spiders (I can't even look at pictures of them), but these look stupid. To me, they look like crabs, and I'm okay with crabs. I'm organizing to get more of these to make up a unit.
Now on to the important stuff.

I've had my modeling work room for nearly eleven years. It looked like a mad man's workshop with stuff everywhere. Things stacked on the floor and on top of each other with barely any room to move. Just a total mess. 

So I decided to clean it up. It took three days and when it was all done I reduced my working area, moved some stuff around, removed one workbench and found that I had enough room to fit a 6' x 4' table. So that's what I did and I now have a permanent table set up.
It's not the biggest or the most impressive wargaming room in the world but it's mine and I'm happy. Despite the perspective of the pics, there is enough room for me to get around the table comfortably (and I'm not small). I'm still working on some storage and should have that sorted out in the next day or two.

I need some decorations on the wall too. I have a nice Middle Earth map and several posters I made for some wargaming events in the past. I might stick those on the walls.

P.S. See that crappy green chair. I rescued that from a curbside rubbish collection in Melbourne, in the mid 1990's and it's been my modelling chair ever since. It traveled all over Australia with me during my years in the army. The vinyl and padding on the seat is torn and falling apart but It's still my chair. The other chair is just a ring-in. It was holding up boxes of figures a few days ago.

Monday, 24 August 2020

A Sword in a Stone... No, Not That One.

Whoso pulleth this sword,
from this stone and anvil
is rightwise king born of
all England!

Thomas Malory 

I made a little terrain piece. This is primarily a Special Terrain piece SAGA AoM  for my Great Kingdoms list. It's made from scrap bits of cork, squishy foam, a cd, a sword and some rocks. The standing stones are some old rocks from some fake banzai trees I bought years ago.
There's nothing difficult or special about it's construction but it came out okay and I'm really happy with it. It will look good on a table with figures interacting with it (just like Sir Percy, who couldn't miss out on this golden photo opportunity).
I also finished my undead army. When I say finished I actually mean: I've finished enough so that I can put them on the table as a warband for Dragon Rampant or Saga AoM. I still have 60 odd little GW ghostly guys to add to the 40 odd that I've already painted. Anyway these newest figures will finish it off for the moment.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Behold a Pale Rider...

I was hoping to finish by undead army last weekend but I realized that I wasn't going to make it (mainly due to the skeleton knights seen below) so I tempered my efforts. The knights took a bit more effort than the rest of the army because I had to spend time constructing them which slowed me down and they also required a wider pallet.

Ah well... Being a necromancer has never been an easy job, even in the best of times.

The army is completed if I count one unit as werewolves (which I already have painted and ready). But if I decide on something more ghostly it will take me until tomorrow to finish them. But when I say "finished" that only counts for a Saga/Dragon Rampant sized army. I still have about 50 or 60 of those GW ghosty guys to make and paint. But's they're easy to do and I can finish them within a few more days if I make the effort. A hundred or so of those guys will make a far more impressive army of the dead!

So, here are the latest additions:
This little chap is from GW. I don't know what it's called and I can't find him on their website. He looks good. I'll be using him as a Black Knight for Saga but I'm not sure where he'll fit with Dragon Rampant. He was a bit of a bugger to paint because I had to try and get the brush into lots of nooks and crannies. But he came out okay in the end.
Here are the guys that took time. These are Fireforge Undead Knights. They look okay but I don't think they're up to the usual Foreforge standard. They were easy to make but they did take a bit of time. Also, there were only six in the box. I was expecting 12 like their other kits. I could have made a nice big unit but I doubt that I'll invest in another box of these figures.
And last, but certainly not least, the centerpiece of the army - A Zombie Dragon. Yet again, this is a Reaper Bones (Black)  model and it's really nice. It has great detail, was easy to put together and came out looking great. I really like this little fellow. I tried to make it's eyes look glazed and cloudy and I like the effect.
So there we have it. My army of the dead is now completed enough to put on the table.

Monday, 17 August 2020

None Shall Pass!

I was hoping to get my undead finished on the weekend but I could tell that the Fireforge undead knights that I bought were going to take a bit more time than I expected. No worries. I instead took the time to try another solo game. This time it was The Horde v's Great Kingdoms.

Travelling to the near by town of Beerstein, on a diplomatic mission, the retinue of Bishop Baldsack von Bach-Sachenkrach has been waylaid by the half orc chieftain, Grimskrote and his horde of ne'er-do-wells. Luckily for the bishop he is travelling with a troop of holy knights (mounted hearthguard), Sir Ulrich a paladin of the realm and a half tamed jabberwock - a gift for the famous Beerstein Zoo!
Grimskrote's Horde consisted of the usual orcs, ogres, trolls... All the standard evil creatures of the wild lands.
As the horde emerge from overgrown ruins Bishop Baldsack takes the initiative and sends his crossbows forward ready to send forth a volley that is sure to devastate the enemy... When they get in range.
For turn 1, the first player can only roll 3 Saga Dice. This only allowed the levy crossbows, the foot warriors on the left and the mounted warriors on the right to move up.
In response the whole horde moved forward as an intimidating wave of muscle and iron with war cries and animal bellows rending the air.
 Unperturbed the Holy Knights moved forward to meet the threat with lance and shield.
Mounted on a Griffin Sir Urlich, Paladin of the Realm charged straight at a mountain troll that emerges from the undergrowth. He needed to use a double activation gaining a fatigue. As a "monster-slayer", paladins get 10 dice against monster and he also had a boost from Saga abilities. So it was 12 dice against the troll's 14 dice...

When the dust cleared from this titanic clash the troll stood it's ground and Urlich drew back. Both with fatigues but both still in good stead.
The rest of the Bishop's line advanced and first blood went to the crossbows who killed one of Grimskrote's bull masked hearthguard.
But now it was time for the assault. With the aid of an encouraging spell from an orc shaman, with howls and roars the horde charged in to break the Bishop's center. First the troll bypassed Sir Ulrich and smashed into the Holy Knights and tore them asunder. Only two remained to fight and they were thrown back in disarray.
The Bull Masks charged from their high ground and pummeled the levy crossbows killing six of their number. But the levy fought back hard and killed three of their enemy. (They only rolled 4 dice and three of them were 6's - The bulls didn't manage to cancel any of the hits!).
A troop of ogres pounced from behind a rock pile into the mounted warriors on the right flank hitting them hard.
 The plan had worked and the Bishop's line was broken.
 Grimskrote rode forward on his great beast to lead the next blow.
Only a lone battle cleric, Brother Maynard stood between the horde and total victory. He uttered a spell and a swirling wind rose up but had no effect (Tempest spell). Reading from his holy tome the cleric raised his warhammer and a bolt of energy struck the remaining Bull Masks and both warriors were turned to cinders (Bolt spell at maximum effect). Magical energy surged but the priest stood unscathed.
The Bolt spell was cast at maximum effect which entailed a roll on the Abuse of Power Table. Luckily he rolled an 8 so he was okay.
The troll now had three fatigues so Sir Ulrich charged into the attack again. But the troll fought back hard and the paladin was, once again, forced to fall back.
However, the troll was now exhausted so the remaining knights rode in to the kill the floundering beast. Again the troll fought hard. The brave knights killed the great monster but both were worsted and laid in their graves by the trolls' dying blows.
From behind, Bishop Baldsack urged the jabberwock's handlers to goad the beast into battle. So, with much goading the jabberwock galumphed into action and charged the half orc warlord. His blade went snicker-snack and the jabberwock, no doubt too tame to fight now, galumphed back again.
The spearmen in the center got excited and surged forward to charge a band or orcs. They came off the worst and only three of them managed to run away.
Meanwhile, on the right flank, the mounted warriors rallied and charged into the remaining ogres. And none of them rode back again. Although the ogres were now reduced to one remaining creature.
The Charge of Bishop Baldsack

Bravery now struck the heart of Bishop Baldsack and, seeing that his foe was only one hit/fatigue away from death, he charged into the fray. Holding aloft his mace and raising the ancient war cry of Bach-Sachenkrach he did battle with the orc warlord.
Much can be told of the duel between Grimskrote and Baldsack. The Bishop charged in thrusting his heavy club in his enemies face. But Grimskrote ducked the jab and swung his mighty chopper. With a massive blow he clove the Bishop's shiny helmet and, with a resounding crash, the holy man's skull was rent in twain.

Alackaday, he should have noticed that Grimskrote's beast was bigger than a horse and ridden in the opposite direction with his tail between his legs!
Things were getting grim and despite the half orc warlord's successes he and his troops were close to exhaustion. Their losses meant that only three Saga Dice were available and they rolled poorly. Both the warlord and the single remaining ogre had to rest.

The jabberwock fought poorly against Grimskrote and only survived by taking fatigues from it's "Resilience" special rule. So, to make the most of the situation, the orcs in the center charged. They did kill the beast but on this occasion if fought well and only three of the eight remained standing.
Fortunately for the Bach-Sachenkrachers, their troops were still generating Saga Dice and good rolls saw them gain more dice. The remaining levy crossbows took aim at the sole ogre and all three of their dice hit home. None were cancelled and the big ogre hit the ground like a felled tree.
Brother Maynard once again raised his warhammer and read from his holy tome. Once again huge powers were summoned and a bolt of power surged forth. This time it was the Grimskrote and his beast that were struck and hurled away leaving only a patch of scorched earth. (for a second time the cleric cast the Bolt spell with maximum effect and suffered not ill effects from the Abuse of Power dice roll).
 As the vortex of magical power subsided Sir Urlich decided he needed to prove that he was good at something, so he pounced on the three cowering, shivering  orcs in the center and hewed them down with callous ease.
 And thus the affray came to an end.


You can see from the above pic that both sided still had uncommitted troops on the left flank. There just never seemed to be enough Saga Dice to get these troops moving after the initial moves. Most of the action took place in the center and that's where the dice were needed most.

One mistake I made on behalf of the Horde is that I forgot to activate their lieutenant at one stage where he could possibly have killed the paladin. He did fight him once (the photo was crappy and useless) but the result was a draw. He could have charged again but I just forgot. I'd already rolled the other Saga Dice and I thought... Well if this was a competitive game and I forgot to activate him I'd just have to suffer... So suffer the Horde did. I think I need a more imposing figure. One that can't be overlooked.

I also re-read the Resilience rules because I used them wrong in the last game. I now have the hang of them. However, I did forget the "Gain a fatigue when a unit in eliminated within S," rule. I'll remember that next time.

All in all, I'm getting the hang of the game again and I think it works well as a solo game. The main thing is to play both sides to the maximum ability and (baring my stupid mistakes) the game can work out okay for solo games.

I think I need a warmachine of some description for Bach-Sachenkrach. Monsters don't seem to be a good fit so I'll have to find something different. They need a better warlord too.

P.S. I forgot to add that I made myself a set of Saga measurement sticks. I was going to buy some but decided to make my own using photoshop, some sticky label paper and some foamcore. They came out okay.