Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Abbey Project Update

It's been a while, but I've finished off another (pretty small piece) of my Abbey Terrain Project, namely the Walled Garden wall which is the second last piece for the west range.

I won't tell you how long it's taken me to get around to getting them painted.

A couple of other bit's that have been looking to get finished off which I've finally gotten around to do were a couple of generic hills, which should be useful anyway.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Mordheim Season 2 - The Hanging Tree

Being the seventh exciting installment in our ongoing Mordheim Campaign and the crowd were as usual waiting with baited breath for the outcome.

The usual suspects were all out for the event with Kev's Beastmen, Dave's Marienburger's, Andy's Sisters, Ian's Reiklander's and my Kislevite's all out for a stroll in the sunny Talabec Border Country in search of 'The Hanging Tree'. A huge gnarled oak where-in is imprisoned the spirit of an old and evil necromancer, with it's branches festooned with the remains of past victims of it's malevolent spirit. The reason the bands are searching for this evilness is that there is a Mace of Undead slaying rumoured to be among the roots at the trees' base dropped from a past hero.

The clearing round the Hanging Tree will randomly raise 1-3 zombies at one of six points around the clearing at the end of every complete turn on a roll of 5+ on a D6 once anyone enters the vicinity of the tree.

Once again the bands were deployed at random with the Sister's close to the Beastmen, the Kislevite's next on the right of the Beastie Boys and then the Reiklanders a little away followed by the Marienburgers in the opposite corner from the Beastmen.

This led to an immediate pairing up of the Reiklanders vs the Marienburger's and as Kev's Beastmen were pretty much stuck between the Sister's and Kislevite's decided to make a dash for one (deciding to go for the Sister's first) so as not to get caught between the two.

The Beastie's charge through the woods towards the Sister's

The Kislevite's then started to move towards the the Beastmen in the hope that the Sister's would soften them up a bit before the crunch.

Kislevite's move out
The Reikland and Marienburg Mercs moved towards each other and a bit of sniping ensued as they approached with little effect both jockeying for position as they did.

The Reiklander's and Marienburger advance
 towards each other through the woods
In a very short order, the Beastmen rushed the Sister's and in what seemed the blink of an eye the Beastmen felled a number of the Venerable One's and Andy promptly failed his rout test on his next turn. Hardly able to swing a hammer in anger much to his chagrin, and an early bath ensued. While the Kislevite's continued to advance on the Beastmen extending their line and staggering it to hopefully blunt the coming unabashed storm.

The Beastmen hit the Sister's with an audible thwack
The battle on the other side of the clearing lasted a bit longer with the two Merc bands trading blow for blow in the woods but the Marienburger's coming out the worse for it and Dave deciding pretty early on to cut his losses and making the rout.

The Reiklander's and Marienburger's meet in a vicious scrum
With the Beastmen clear of the Sister's, they turned and rushed towards the advancing Kislevite's. Losing one dog to the usual paltry support fire from the Kislevite's, the almost unscathed Beastie's hit the front of the Kislevite line (in the form of the Merc Ogre and the Esaul) which had advanced ahead of the rest to hopefully break up the band a bit.

The Kislevite's extended line breaks up the Beastman charge
The barney was a great ding dong affair with the two bands trading blows and in the end with loses equal Kev was first to have to check for the rout and fail where I managed to hold but just.

With my numbers depleted I decided on the better part of valour and made a voluntary rout leaving the field to Ian's Reiklanders.

It was of course at this point where the tree managed a token defense and threw up 3 zombies right at the end where the Reiklander's made pretty short work of having no other distraction's at this point.

The Reiklander's deal with the Tree's token defense for the win.
And with the zombie's dispatched Ian got another victory under his belt and a tasty weapon to boot.

The post game round up threw up a couple of interesting results with the Beastman leader getting to fight in the pits (again) and loses all his equipment, the Kislevite Captain was slain with this being a pretty disastrous result for my band at this point in the campaign and losing the spell book too adds to that misery. The other bands didn't get too much of a mauling but Dave's luck with the after game rolls has been pretty dire up till now.

Another enjoyable outing for the bands and the campaign now enters it's final phase as they close on Allek and his minions.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary - Feeling Old?

With the realisation that it was forty years ago this year that the venerable D&D rules were released on an unsuspecting world made me stop and think.
I first picked up on the rules towards the end of the 1974 from an issue of Military Modelling which had an advert for the rules and as I was already getting into Fantasy Table Top gaming at the time and it caught my attention so I launched out and spent my pocket money on the boxed set of booklet and I was hooked.

I spent the next fourteen years or so enjoying the game that was D&D and then AD&D with my RPG gaming starting out at the old Clydesdale Wargames Club, and then moving to my own group The Lords of Entropy, where up to about 30 players at one time or another dropped in and out with a hard core of about a dozen or so regulars and was a great social event every week, often two or three times each week in one campaign or another.

In the late 80's I dropped out of RPG's and gaming in general for a while, largely due to the pressure's of a young family and career and all that entails and the lure of D&D paled.

Getting back into gaming in the late 90's D&D reared it's head again but in a much quieter model with a few short campaigns now and again but these fizzled out by the time the mid Naughties rolled around. The various guises of 2nd, 3rd and 3.5 editions never really catching the original wonder of the original and to my mind best, AD&D.

The huge plethora of material available over the years ranging from the TSR/WOTC produced official stuff to the fanzine and less professional modules, articles and so on is immense and quite mind-boggling really, and all the names that go with this plethora that still conjure up memories; Judges Guild, Trollcrusher, Fantasy Games Unlimited, Underworld Oracle, TSR and a hundred others.

The RPG genre has blossomed over the years into all sorts of games, and in fact if you can think of it, there's an RPG version of it. Going into your local game store and seeing what's on offer is often a sobering sight by it's sheer quantity.

The art work generated over the years is quite staggering too and the humble D&D was the progenitor of a huge art industry now largely feeding the games industry both electronic and table top or card based. I still think many of the early illustrations from the rule books are quite iconic and summon up all sorts of memories from those that know them.

I still have huge numbers of very fond memories of all the campaign's which latterly I DM'd more often than not in the world of Alba which ranged from the usual dungeon bashes to large continent spanning conflicts and I still have pretty much all the material generated for Alba Campaign's and indeed is the basis of my slowly ongoing solo wargames campaign over at The Lornian Chronicles.

To think that the mighty D&D has been around for 40 years does make you stop and think, and although it's fortunes have gone up and down a bit, there aren't many rule sets or games out there that are still alive and kicking after 40 years so it must have something. A quick search on the internet will easily show that the game is very much alive and with the recent re-launch and Beta test not long complete D&D should be here for a while yet and still inspiring gaming out there. Still it's been a while. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Mordheim Season 2 - Juttesdorf Jig

Being the sixth exciting episode of our Mordheim Campaign Second Season rolled around just before Chrimbo and and the troops were out for blood once again.

The town of Juttesdorf
The usual suspects were abroad on the streets of Juttesdorf, namely Kev's Beastmen, Andy's Sisters of Sigmar, Dave's Marienburgers, Ian's Reiklanders, and my Kislevite's were all on the hunt for treasure and the Amulet of Allek which had been stolen from the Beastmen Leader in the last round.

As usual with these things, the action started almost immediately with the Reiklander's getting the initiative and kicking things off with a quick advance toward the centre of the town and their bowmen having a few pot shots at he Kislevite's on their right.

The Reiklanders moved into the ruins to their front and their bowmen quickly took up firing positions on the upper walkways there while the rest of the band advanced towards the centre of the town as well.

The Sisters, slightly caught in-between a rock and a hard place after random deployment found themselves betwixt the Marienburger's and the Beastmen also moved into cover and the town hall to their front and the merc Elf Archer moved to get a position on the hall tower while the majority of the band moved towards the Marienburger's.

The Beastmen, moving all the while in cover and slightly away from the rest of the bands, moved towards the Sister's.

The Kislevite's going last in the round, moved towards the Reiklanders pretty quickly, trying a different approach in not relying on their large number of (sadly inaccurate bows) and seeing if getting into combat was a better approach.

Kislevite's taking fire
Kislevite's charge into the Reiklander's
The direct approach seemed to work pretty well and with a quick advance and some fairly poor shooting from the Reiklander's as they did so and a couple of sniper shot's from the Kislevite's and a good showing in the resultant couple of rounds of combat the Reiklander's went down to the axes of the Oblast's finest including the Reiklander's Captain who lost the Spell book of Allek to the Kislevite's.

After finishing off the Reiklander's who promptly made a hasty retreat and a voluntary rout after an unlucky showing, the Kislevite's proceeded to advance into the town but not unscathed.

Over to the other side of town the action between the Sister's and the Marienburger's had also hotted up with a swirling melee and much dashing about from the Sister's and a singularly inaccurate Elf Bowman, and several melee's developed and broke and re-developed in a ding dong barney.

The Sister's slug it out with the Merc's

Meanwhile behind them, the Beastmen continued their slow but inexorable advance towards the Sister's.

But with things suddenly turning in the Marienburger's favour, the Sister's broke failing their rout test but in fairness Andy had already decided enough was enough and his losses were getting serious.

A lone sister becomes a casualty in the middle of the town square
With the Sister's and the Reiklander's broken the Marienburger's also decided they'd had enough having picked up some treasure and a few casualties from the fight with the Sister's and made a bee line for the exit.

This left the Beastmen having walked halfway across the town and finding everybody gone, made a u-turn and now headed for the burb again and the Kislevite's who were forming a hasty firing line before the beastly onslaught.

The Beastmen horde descend on the Kislevite's
The Kislevite's stand was brief and after bringing down a couple but nothing like enough and a brief melee I decided to leg it before major casualties were inflicted, leaving Kev's Beastmen frustrated having not seen much action but once again victorious on the field.

Another good bash and a very bloody one once again but with the Kislevite's and the Marienburger's making a better showing than previous but the Beastmen proving that on their own their pretty un-stoppable unless softned up but someone else first.

Next leg of the campaign is up tomorrow to should be good.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Rouvray Skirmish

First game of the year at the FDWC for myself and something a wee bit different. Dave K asked if I was up for a game on Monday and I suggested a Medieval Skirmish, something easy and not too long as there were a few club duties to perform early on so time may have been an issue. So pulling out the trusty Retinue Rules ( a rule set which are older than some of the club members) and a nice and easy scenario in a mini version of the Battle of Rouvray (sorry we just like pickled herring - honest), we were sorted. Pete joined us on the day to throw a few dice and jeer at the fishy defenders.

The forces consisted of a pretty heavily armed and armoured Scots contingent of 23 descending on the encircled English defending their herring, numbering a meagerly armoured 18.

The game went quite simply (we were using a simplified version of the Retinue rules which we have used before to speed things up) with the Scots advancing pretty quickly and the Men at Arms getting in the way of their bowmen in the process. The defenders fire took out three of the Scots MaA's pretty quickly with some pretty nifty dice rolling from Dave and managed to give the Scot's leader a bit of a limp wounding him in the first round of shooting.

The attackers return fire while they advanced was pretty dismal all told and once the MaA's and assorted ruffians reached the wagons, the bowmen advanced into the fray to lend a hand. 

To cut a short story even shorter, Pete and myself's dice were pretty atrocious and we couldn't hit the side of a fish wagon and by round 10 or so, the defenders were outnumbering the attackers with the none of the attackers without some form of wound and several had been disarmed and were fighting with their side arms, it was obviously not going to happen for the Scots, recreating the outcome of the historical battle quite nicely. So the Scots beat a hasty retreat to lick their multitudinous wounds. The only success being the doughty Falstaff had been laid low by one of the Scots MaA's in the midst of the melee, which is something that we did manage to achieve that the real counterparts didn't.

A nice, simple game and lot's of fun for a quickly put together bash. Looking forward getting into this in the coming month's and getting more figures painted up and have some more scenario's too.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Planning 2014

Once again the thoughts of  the year ahead and what has been achieved over the past year and what is planned is in everyone's mind and I'm no exception there.

I think the whole process of reviewing these things is very a therapeutic and indeed quite a useful task.

Last year was definitely a 'game of two halves' as far as getting stuff done and working to my planned output was concerned. The first half of the year I managed to get a reasonable amount done both in terms of painting/modelling and gaming with a great deal of variety thrown in to the mix of games/genres played. The second half of the year was a completely different story with work and life getting busy (in a good way) and my self imposed task of finally building my 'Man Cave' in the garden taking up nearly all of my free time and craft related energy.

With the 'Workshop' now pretty much finished in time for Christmas with all the power, lighting and data all installed the build has moved to the operational stage and I'm looking forward to reaping the rewards of this task with the first project being completed over the festive break being an Assembly Workbench made from off cuts and left-overs from the build.

This bench is already being put to good use but more of that anon.

With the year being carved up with different tasks my plan for last year was pretty much blown way and although my overall output was up on previous years, it fell well short on what I hoped to achieve both in terms of projects but in terms of completed figures and terrain too.
So the revised plan for this year looks quite similar to last year, but knowing what I and life in general  (and my own whimsy) is like is probably more a wish list that a plan of attack.

* Almohad Berber Army - Looking to get a bit of progress on this army (which I've been saying for some time now) but with pretty much everything prep'd and ready to go this well used army deserves a bit of attention.

* Italian Wars French - Again little or no completion here last year but with my Painting Mojo suitably fired up and a plethora of undercoated figures ready to go, I have a good feeling for about this one for this year.

* Hungarian Black Army - Not up there on the priority lists and the reality being it won't achieve much attention, but I would like to get the unit of Clipeati finished as they've been sitting on the painting queue for two year and their complaints are beginning to annoy me. The rest of the 500 strong army will likely wait until next time.

* Future Wars Project - The one general success of last year with a good bit of progress and the current scheme should be complete and up and running for Easter. Will try and get some more of the progress here posted. I have had a couple of thoughts of expanding the original platoon level scope of the project but will keep that for later.

* Mordheim Campaign - This has been on going and has produced some real fun games and is now more than half way through the second season and building to the finale nicely. Once the current season is done and dusted by the summer, the Season three is currently in development for later in the year and looking to do something a bit different here.

* More Skirmish level gaming - The gaming over the last year or more that I've enjoyed the most have largely been skirmish type games, probably because they tell more of a story or paint a picture that enjoy, so more scenario driven skirmish games of all genre's are on the cards. In particular, I plan to do more Medieval era games and with Osprey releasing their new set of medical skirmish rule 'Lion Rampant' which looks interesting.

* Scots Army in France - This one has been rocking around for a while and has begun the take shape in it's basic form. This one will be in the fullness of time a full table top 15th century army plus a retinue sized force of figures for skirmishes. The long term goal for this one is to expand the force to be a full Scots experience and enabling an 'Grande Army' or a recreation of Harlaw. But starting small and building with this one.

* Overall Painting Target - Since I was well shy of what I thought was an achievable target of 400 figures for the year last time, I'm looking at getting 300 completed and shiny for this year. Since I did manage to get more than this number prep'd and ready to go last year this should have no excuses and with a bit of luck exceeded.

* Terrain Building 1 - The Abbey Project didn't get much completed as hoped but I did manage to get most of what's required casting-wise so I can get into the fun part of building and modelling here with hopefully the majority of the project done and dusted by the end of the year. This is really my only 'must do' for the year, as I'm itching to see the finished article in the flesh instead of my mind's eye.

* Terrain Building 2 - The Terrain for the Future Wars project having stalled in the summer is once again under construction and although this one is likely to be an 'on-goer', I'd like to get enough bits done for the summer to get a couple of games in. The Assembly bench is already covered with the assembled bits of gantries and hab-pods and once I get my airbrush working again it should be no time in getting these bits finished and game ready.

* The search for my 'ideal' large scale Fantasy Rule set will continue. So a trial of different rule sets will be trialed.

* Attend more wargaming/modelling shows - I would like to get to a couple more shows this year including one's I've not been to before just to broaden my horizons a bit.

* Re-furbishing some oldies - Having done some clearing out during the move of my wargaming stuff to the Man Cave, I found a pile of my old RPG figures. Lot's of great figures but most looking a bit worse for ware, so a bit of cleaning and re-paint on a select few of these will be in order.

* Solo Fantasy Campaign - My solo campaign 'The War of Rulership' stalled last year too, because of above mentioned activities, but now that I have a suitable venue that I can lay out games and maps and leave them in-situ, I'm looking forward to move things on here and getting things moving here as well. I did get a lot of prep work done here and spent a lot of PC time doing more detailed maps of the campaign area and so on. So I'm looking forward to some interesting blood and guts here too. Once some un-resolved actions are fought out I'll post these up for anyone interested on the Lornian Chronicles blog. 

Generally more than enough to be getting on with over the next few months I think, and none of the above is in any particular order other than the priorities given above. I've learn't I can't force myself into scheduling these hobby related tasks and need to go with the muse on this. Which is the way I enjoy it really anyway.

Looking forward to a fun and varied wargaming year ahead.

Thursday, 2 January 2014


Wishing all a happy and prosperous New Year!

Looking forward to a productive and enjoyable year ahead, hope it's a good one for all.
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