Monday, 31 January 2011

Interesting Developments!

Hi!

Well I have been really enjoying how my Leviathan project has been developing over the course of the last month or so. It seems to have developed from a fairly simple fan project into something somewhat unexpected!

I have played three games in a week, sculpted and painted more in a month than I did in a whole year and generally had a lot more fun with my hobby. To top it off I have posted more updates in a month than much of last year!

As for the rest of the year, I plan on continuing apace with regular battle reports, painted miniatures and reviews of all sorts of wargames!

This is still primarily a blog dedicated to Leviathan as I really love the setting and feel that there is so much scope to develop it! Although I may be using different rulesets, the action will take place in Aeroth and new factions, forces, locations and monsters will be added as time allows! For example, I need to get 15mm representations of my Technomancers done, followed by Steppe Orcs but also plan on sculpting some assorted bits and bobs that will see action in games ranging from skirmishes to massive battles!

I will be adding another update in the morning featuring the rogue spellcaster I sculpted who will be facing off against the Boar Company in a forthcoming border skirmish but more details on that in the morning!

All the best!

The Boar Company!

Hi!

Heres the finished painted models representing the Boar Company I sculpted in 15mm scale:

Boar Company

All in all I am really pleased with how they turned out! Theres some soft details and their size varies a little but the only thing I am not too sure about was the decision to make some of their swords out of plasticard. Maybe next time I will try doing it properly but I was in a bit of a rush to get them finished so I could use them in actual games!

I have four more in the sculpting process, three crossbowmen and a battle rager along with my first four orcs! Its all very exciting!

Soon I will be able to include pictures in my reports which is good news for everyone as its a bit more interesting than having to wade through lots of text!

I am thinking of expanding the Boar Company somewhat so they will have some cavalry too but I want to get the orcs out of the way first before I start getting carried away as I have a plan and want to try and stick to it!

Hopefully I will be able to get the orcs sorted out ASAP!

All the best!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fire At Will Battle Report and Review

The Scenario

The boar company has finally draw near to the dwarf keep of Dur Zamor, only to find their way impeded by a horde of goblins who are attempting to cut off a smaller dwarven force from reacing the safety of the fortification.

The scenario objectives are for the goblins to overwhelm the dwarves by killing alf their number while the dwarves must break through their lines and exit the opposite table edge.

Special Rules

The boar company is deployed behind the goblins at the start of turn 3 and may begin the turn within charge range representing their stealthy approach.

The Forces

Dwarves

1 formation of 10 heavily armoured infantry

2 formations of 5 heavily armoured infantry (one of which is the boar company)

1 formation of 10 crossbows

1 formation of 5 crossbows

Goblins

1 formation of 20 goblins

1 formation of 10 goblins

2 formations of 10 archers

1 formation of 5 cavalry (carnodon riders)


The Battlefield

The battlefield consists of a broken rocky plain with a rock pile to the east. The dwarves start the game in a defensive formation here with the goblins spread out facing them from the confines of a broad canyon that leads to the keep.

East to west the dwarves deploy their smaller crossbow unit defending their flank, followed by the larger infantry unit and larger crossbow unit. Their other flank is defended by the remaining small infantry unit.

East to west the goblins deployed a unit of archers, the large goblin unit, the small goblin unit, the second archer unit and the smaller goblin unit. On the extreme west flank their small cavalry unit anchored the line.

The Game!

Turn 1

The goblin horde moved out in a ragged line attempting to close to within bowshot of the dwarves but failing to find the range, meanwhile the dwarven line moves out in a staggered formation with its crossbowmen slightly to the fore.

Turn 2

The goblins break into a shambling run, with their cavalry just failing to close with the dwarven infantry formation on the west flank. As they have moved this turn the goblin archers miss out on an opportunity to fire at the dwarven line which may cost them dear as the disciplined dwarven troops march steadily forwards. The small infantry formation in the west makes contact with the goblin cavalry resulting in an inconclusive swirling melee. Meanwhile the dwarven crossbows fire at the goblins, resulting in five goblins from the large unit dropping to the ground dead. The smaller crossbow unit fares less well, causing no casualties.

The casualties cause the large goblin unit to pull up short and mill around confusedly. This in turn breaks their morale and they flee the field showing just how cowardly they are.

The smaller goblin unit moves towards the large crossbowmen unit, in an attempt to engage them in combat but the dwarves prove to be just out of range. Seeing their companions turn tail the two goblin archer units let fly at the ten dwarven infantry facing them causing the loss of a base. This proves to be too much for the dwarves who turn and flee!

In a final twist for the turn the goblin cavalry is killed outright by the stalwart dwarven infantry in the west.

Turn 3

The large goblin unit reforms and turns to return to the battle, while the smaller goblin unit charges the larger of the crossbowmen units. The goblin archers prove ineffective against the small crossbowman unit defending the dwarves eastern flank. The combat that ensues between the goblins and the crossbowmen sees another stalemate.

The dwarves turn sees the arrival of the boar company who herald their arrival by charging into the rear of the eastern archer unit! The short but brutal combat sees half the archers dead and the remaining goblins running for their lives!

The survivors of the larger dwarf infantry unit, heartened by the boar companies arrival rally and return to the fray, hurling themselves into the exposed flank of the goblins attacking the crossbowmen. The combat results in a loss of a stand of crossbowmen but the goblins have been wiped out.

Turn 4

The fleeing goblin archers rally and turn to face the dwarves and the western unit opens fire on the victorious dwarven infantry but fails to cause any casualties. Meanwhile the large goblin infantry unit again tries to move on the bloodied dwarven line.

The dwarves spend the turn consolidating their position with the boar company moving back to join their lines and the western infantry unit moving forward slightly. The crossbowmen once again let fly killing another stand of the approaching goblins resulting in them once again turning tail and fleeing.

This sees the end of the battle as the goblins lose the will to keep fighting and have lost half their numbers.

Aftermath

The battered but victorious dwarves marched to the keep carrying their with them. Grimli and the boar company are received by no less than Hrothgar the Bellower, the thane of Dur Zamor. Taking the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of the keep to rest and recover before beginning their expedition to scout further into the borderlands.

Conclusion

The game was actually a lot closer than it seemed as the goblin archer regiments were proving to be quite deadly and the breaking of my main dwarf unit was almost disasterous. Fortunately they rallied and the line held, annihilating much of the goblin force piecemeal.

Played using Fire at Will, another free ruleset aimed at 6mm fantasy. Despite being my first game using the rules it was a rather fun game, which allowed me to play larger battles quickly and simply.

Review

Fire at Will is a free ruleset available from HERE.

The game is separated into four phases, which cover movement, shooting, close combat and morale. The players take turns to activate their entire force rather than alternative activation which is a tad disappointing but it plays very quickly. My game lasted about an hour despite me taking lots of notes.

The mechanics are simple to understand with different types of units moving different rates, for example heavily armoured infantry move 3 inches while goblins and lighter infantry move 4 inches.

Shooting is resolved by the attacking player rolling a d6 and adding several modifiers such as range and target armour. If they then get a high enough result they cause a kill (this actually made for very bloody results as the goblins did really well against the heavily armoured dwarves).

Close combat is resolved by an opposed d6 roll with both players adding modifiers from a table reflecting

It’s a very simple ruleset that doesn’t actually have any specific force lists or points costs but does cover all sorts of troop types as well as monsters, heroes and magic users.

Incidentally the way heroes work is rather interesting. They bolster troops morale and in combat with each other they toss a coin to see who wins with the best of three being victorious. Also the players are encouraged to be heroic with them and will be penalized for cowardice such as retreating from single combat with another hero.

All in all its a nice little game that allows decent sized forces to fight it out rapidly. My only real criticism is that the shooting is a tad lethal!

All the best!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Big List Of Rules!

Hi!

Well I've now got the following rulesets to try out:

Chronopia
Crucible
Dungeon World 2
Empire Chronopia
Fantasy Rules 3
Fantasy Warriors
Fire At Will
Gobbledy Gook
Hordes of the Things 2
Kings Of War
Leviathan
Leviathan 10mm
Mighty Empires
No Quarter
Shadow Sea
Skull Crusher
Song Of Blades
Unbridled Fury
Warlord

I still have several to get hold of but I reckon that should keep me entertained for some time to come but if anyone can suggest any others by all means give us a shout!

I hope to get another battle report up this evening, along with a review of another ruleset. Alas there won't be any pictures this time round but as of next week I will be cracking on with painting and sculpting so I will have something to include in the reports!

All the best!

Skull Crusher Battle Report And Review!

Hi!

As part of my attempt to get more games in heres a quick battle report and review of Skull Crusher, a freely available ruleset:

The Forces

2 Dwarves, Heavy Armour, 2 Handed Weapon, 16 points

1 Dwarf, Heavy Armour, Throwing Weapon, 8 points

4 Dwarves, Heavy Armour, Shield, 32 points

2 Dwarves, Light Armour, Crossbows, 22 points

78 points

8 goblins, shields, 32 points

1 goblin, light armour, 2 handed weapon, 5 points

4 goblins, short bows, 24 points

2 goblins, heavy armour, throwing weapon, shield 14 points

1 goblin, sling, 4 points

79 points

The Scenario:

The boar company sets out to the frontier but runs into some unexpected trouble in the form of a large group of goblins. Unsure as to their intentions Grimli orders his troops into battle in the hopes of wiping the goblins out before they can report on the location of the small dwarven force.

Despite being heavily outnumbered, Grimli is confident that his dwarves superior training and equipment will see them through safely.

The scenario requires at least three goblins to break through the dwarven line and exit their table edge. The dwarves must kill as many of the goblins as possible.

The Battlefield

A few stunted trees clinging to life in an otherwise barren landscape.


The Map

Deployment

The goblin force lost the initiative so had to deploy first. Forming a ragged line with their basic warriors forming a group in the centre and the archers and slinger guarding their flank. Mingled into the mass stride the goblin leader and his bullies.

Meanwhile on the other side of the table, Grimli forms his troop into a tight ranking formation with his crossbow-armed hunters holding one flank and his axe-throwing standard on the other.

The Game!

Turn 1

Grimli leads his troops forward in a somewhat ragged line, possibly caused by their relative inexperience at operating as a unit. On his right flank the hunters move forward steadily in an attempt to outflank the goblins. The hunters open fire but fail to hit. The dwarven turn saw the boar company reform their tight line.

The goblin chieftain let out a shrill battle cry, which was soon picked up by his ragged troops who broke into a shambling run in an attempt to close with the hated dwarves as quickly as possible. One of the goblin bullies out distanced his fellows in a fit of enthusiasm. On the right flank the goblin archers scurried forward with the aim of angling round the smaller dwarven force. Meanwhile the right flank archers moved towards the dwarf hunters. The goblin slinger skulked around in the rear, obviously less eager than his fellows to engage the armoured line.

They fired a crude arrow each at the opposing hunters and one actually managed to hit and take a cursing dwarf out of the battle, a barbed arrow embedded in his shoulder. The left flank archers were less successful, merely embedding arrows in the ground around the dwarven standard bearer.

Heartened by this early success the goblins rushed forward with their leader and his bullies showing unexpected courage by actually leading the charge.

Turn 2

The dwarves retained the initiative and charged the goblins. Grimli spotted the goblin chief and engaged him in single combat while Flint took on one of the goblin bullies and the remaining dwarves also chose opponents. Enraged by the plight of his companion, the remaining hunter moved to defend his fallen comrade while the dwarven standard skirted the combat on the right flank in an attempt to close with the goblin archers.

The combat proves less than impressive as not one of the dwarves manages to damage their foes, meanwhile the hunters crossbow bolt once again flies wide of its mark. On the other flank the dwarven standard manages to hit one of the goblin archers with a well placed throwing axe, planting the blade in the goblins head.

The goblins slowly start to envelop the dwarven line while their archers and slinger angle in for the kill. The combat saw blows traded and a single dwarf fall to a rusty cleaver. Again the goblin archers fired but this time the remaining hunter was left unscathed. On the other flank the dwarven standard fell from a goblin arrow. Things were starting to look grim for the dwarves.

Turn 3

The goblins seized the initiative, possibly sensing the dwarves were crumbling. The goblin archers finally struck down the last hunter, however they failed to kill a single dwarf in combat. Bellowing his clan’s battle cry Grimli stuck the goblin chief’s head from his shoulders along with an unfortunate goblin that had attempted to sneak behind him. This was more like it! Obviously inspired by his leaders courage, Flint similarly struck down one of the bullies and a second goblin attacker. One of the other dwarven troopers also managed to strike down his opponent.

Turn 4

Suddenly things were staring to look less grim for the dwarves as the goblins began to lose courage. Seizing the initiative, Grimli waded into the remaining goblins, striking down another of the vile creatures, Flint also succeeded in running another through. Seeing their standard lying bloodied, one of the dwarf troopers hurled himself at the goblin archers killing both outright!

Meanwhile another goblin fell to dwarven steel and the remaining goblins decided that discretion was the better part of valour, running from the bloodied but victorious dwarves of the boar legion!

Aftermath

The dwarves underwent a real trial by fire, but survived to fight another day with two lightly injured and two seriously injured. The lightly injured standard and trooper would be able to return to duty in a few days but the hunters would be missing for several weeks, leaving the unit very short of ranged firepower. Fortunately they were within a few days journey of the dwarven outpost of Dur Zamor, a fortified keep high in the mountains where expert medical attention and fresh recruits could be found!

Conclusion

Well that was quite an exciting game as it looked like the more numerous goblins were simply going to overwhelm the dwarves for a while but the boar company came through in the end

This was the first game of Skull Crusher that I’ve played and have to admit that the four page document did not initially inspire me with confidence as its just a word file

Playing the game itself was really rather fun though with some quite bloody combat and some nice touches. For example the goblins are penalized when shooting as they are poor archers or their arrows are sub standard, meanwhile the dwarves are very hard to kill (mostly!)

Review

Skull Crusher is a free set of fantasy rules that

“is a skirmish war-game developed by, and for, those of us who (a) are fantasy fans, (b) have purchased our fair share of fantasy miniatures and (c) have neither the finances or time to commit to a proper war-gaming hobby-BUT who still want to kick some orc-butt when we have a spare hour to kill !!”

It is available from HERE and is a small PDF running to four pages. Aimed at quick and fun games between small numbers of models it has stats for creating orcs, dwarves, goblins, elves, humans, skeletons and zombies, along with some basic equipment such as armour and weapons.

The players must choose whether they be good or evil, which is supposed to limit your choice of troop with the good getting humans, dwarves and elves, while the evil gets humans, goblins and orcs.

Once you have created your warband both sides roll a d6 for initiative with the looser being forced to deploy first. There are some basic rules about deployment such as all members of a warband must start the game within 2 inches and at least 16 inches from opposing troops.

Next up comes movement, the player must roll a d6 and add the models racial modifier, dwarves have 1, while elves have 3 which results in dwarves moving generally quite slowly while elves will quickly move over the battlefield.

This roll must be done for each model which can result in them spreading out somewhat. Alas it doesn’t make it clear if they have to move this amount or up to it. I took it as common sense that I could chose to move them up to the distance required, but the option of forcing a berserk dwarf the maximum has real possibilities.

Once movement on all of ones models has been completed they may fire their ranged weapons, with hits being effected by the range, either short, medium or long. Next both players roll a d6 and add any modifiers. If the attacker rolls higher than the defenders modified total, the defender is removed as a casualty otherwise there is no effect.

If a model ends within 1 inch of an opposing model, combat ensues with a similar opposing d6 plus modifier roll being made. Again if the attacker rolls higher, the defender is removed. Unfortunatley it does not make it clear whether or not if the defender caused damage by rolling higher than the attacker.

Once all this has happened, any model that has not either been in combat or fired a weapon may move a further d6 inches. Play then moves to the other player.

All in all it’s a nice simple little set of rules that allows players to easily have a quick and fun game without getting too bogged down. I did feel that about a dozen models a side is the maximum one should go for with the game as theres quite a lot of dice rolling required.

There is also no morale to be taken into account, but I simply had one side retire once they had lost 50% casualties.

I suspect I will be using Skull Crusher again as its both simple and fun and allows for a game to be played quickly and without too much record keeping. Despite having a few minor quibbles with the rules I quite like them and with the addition of a little narrative, had a good time using them!

Incidentally I decided to roll a d6 for each casualty with a 1 being dead, 2-3 seriously injured, 4-5 lightly injured and 6 fit for duty. This will allow me to re-use characters and models throughout the campaign.

Also serious injuries take two games to recover from, while light only one. This will limit my choices in future but as the boar company have found shelter in the keep of Dur Zamor I am sure I will be recruiting some fresh blood while allowing the injured to recover some of their strength!

Hopefully the review will encourage folks to give the game a go!

All the best!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Off On Holiday!

Hi!

Just a quick message to let folks know that I am off on holiday from today till Sunday so there won't be many updates! 

On the bright side I have got my computer with me and will be trying some playtests of the new Leviathan game, along with some more Song Of Blades games too! Alas I will just have to make do with counters until I get chance to buy the 6mm stuff and sculpt the 15mm gubbins!

Still it will mean that I am getting some games in and getting the hang of the systems!

On a related note I am still on the lookout for any fantasy rulesets folks would like to see gamed and reviewed! At present I am aiming for the lesser known stuff, rather than Fantasy Battle or Hordes/Warmachine but let us know what you want to see and I will attempt to have a game or two of it!

Why am I doing this you may ask! The answer is simple: big games get plenty of coverage and I want to try out as many of the others as possible as theres some real gems to be found amongst them which really deserve to be played! Hopefully my reviews and attempts at gaming them will serve two purposes: firstly people will get to see these games in action which may persuade them to give them a go themselves. Secondly it gives me the excuse to play lots of games and keep my new years resolution to play as many games as possible! 

The target is currently to get at least four games in a month but I hope to do a lot better over the course of the year! Alas I am somewhat behind as I have only managed a single game this year which already leaves me with a load of catching up to do!

All the best!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Meanwhile Somewhere on the Border, Battle Report!

Hi!

Having undercoated my dwarves I was keen to give them a go on my new gaming board and decided to set up a quick mini game featuring a training exercise between the members of the Boar Company, the dwarves frontier troops.

The Forces!

Grimi Ironfist, Boar Company commander (95 points)
Snorri Rockdelve, Boar Company swordsman (34 points)
Ulf Rumblebelly, Boar Company swordsman (34 points)

Flint Swordsworn, Boar Company second in command (95 points)
Rapp Flint-tongue, Boar Company swordsman (34 points)
Olaf Rockdelve, Boar Company swordsman (34 points)

The Scenario!

Grimli Ironfist, commander of the Boar Company has recruited some new troops who will be accompanying him into the wild highlands surrounding the Axebite pass to defend the dwarven frontier against marauding creatures. Before departing Gimli has decided to put the troops through their paces.

The battlefield is a large cave with four columns supporting the ceiling and a statue of an obscure dwarven hero standing in the centre. Both parties deploy at opposite ends of the board.

The game was played on a board 30x30cm.

The Map!

The aim of the game is to take as many of the opposing dwarves out of the game!

The Game!

The game was played using Song Of Blades And Heroes.

Flints party won the initiative and Rapp moved slowly forward towards the opposing party, alas they promptly lost the initiative and Snorri Rockdelve hurried forward into the shadow of a large column in an attempt to close with Flints party.

Ulf moved down the other flank, angling towards the centre of the area while Grimli strode forward confidently towards the statue in the centre of the cave.

Seing their movement, Flint moves rapidly forward in an attempt to engage Grimli in combat. Meanwhile on the other flank Olaf moves forward towards the other party.

Turn two saw the action really heating up. Grimli and Flint hurled themselves into battle trading blows which saw first Grimli and then Flint forced to concede ground. Seeing his leader engage in combat spurred Rapp forward where he spotted Snorri behind the column. Attempting to impress, Rapp hurls himself at Snorri, which turns out to be ill advised as a meaty fist knocks him out almost instantly, removing him from the game.

Losing the initiative, play moves to Grimli's team where the combat between Grimli and Flint saw first one be knocked off his feet only to be knocked over as he attempts to finish off his prone opponent. At this point Ulf enters the fray and knocks out Flint, saving his leader some embarrassment!

Seeing that he is the only dwarf left standing, Olaf calls time!

Conclusion!

All in all it was a fun little scenario which saw lots of action and surprise results. Its the first time I've played Song of Blades and it was surprisingly good for such a simple ruleset.

I am sure I got lots wrong in the playing of the game but I had fun doing so. I suspect further games will help me get the hang of things with Grimli adding some more recruits and moving into the wilds of the Axeblades in search of glory and ale.

All the best!

Small Scale Gaming Board Part 1

Hi!

Well I nipped into Homebase this morning and picked up a pack of vinyl floor tiles to use as the basis for my small scale gaming board.

To be honest I have not been too impressed with the result as the pattern on the tiles is blurry and foolishly the texture which is supposed to run with the pattern, has been printed on 90 degrees out so it just doesn't look right!

Tiles

I was planning on using the cake bases as seen in QALPHA'S project but spotted some cork tiles instead. They add a nice bit of grip to the back of the board and will hopefully stop them shifting too much!

As the pattern looks a bit rubbish I have decided to texture them a bit with some sand and paint over the lot of it to get a better finish! I think that a little bit of brown static grass at this point should finish it off nicely!

I also have to add a dead copse of pines to my project list! Along with some volcanic craters it should give my dwarves something to fight over!

In other news I have got seven dwarves finished (alas no sleeping beauty!) but not had chance to get a photo yet! I will, however try and rectify that first thing tomorrow before I head north!

I had a bit of putty left and also made a random magic user but I don't know what force he will fight for as yet or if he will be a freelancer!

All the best!

What Rules!

Hi!

I was wondering what rulesets people would like reviewed and playtested with 6mm or 15mm scale?

I already have quite a list to work through but am more that happy to have a go at any others that people can think of!

For example I am also expanding the search for rules into the sci-fi area and will be trying out games like VOR, Aetherverse, Savage Worlds, Fantastic Worlds and Star Mogul. What are you doing you may say as these will play very differently from a fantasy game!

The reason I want to give them a go is that Leviathan has some advanced technology, it just happens to be magical in nature.

Using Star Mogul as an example, the dwarves could easily be formed into a salvage team, their wargolem taking the place of a robot. I think this could make for some interesting games and am keen to give it a try!

Anyhoo! I am off to get some work done!

All the best!

Richard

Monday, 24 January 2011

More Rulesets Added To The List!

Hi!

Following requests I am adding Empire Chronopia to the list of games to try out this year!

Empire Chronopia

It was never officially released alas as it would have predated Warmaster and some of the units were truly amazing looking:

Chronopia Empire Devout and Blackbloods

I may even attempt to make some of the big war engines!

All the best!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Meanwhile Somewhere on the Border...

Hi!

I've just chopped my 15mm scale (yes I know I said they were 10mm but look too big!) dwarf sculpts off their corks and have based them on 20mm round bases.

I will add some pictures in the morning but I am planning on using them as a skirmish force to represent an almost roleplay game element to the campaign.

In this case I hope to have about ten dwarves finished over the course of the week and then will get on with some orcs to menace them, as well as a monster or two along the way. They will feature in a couple of linked scenarios using Song Of Blades as its a nice simple set.

I have to admit that I am really liking the fact that everything in the force will be sculpted by me as it gives each of them a real personality of their own!

The prospect of sculpting, painting small scale stuff and actually getting some games in, using lots of different rulesets is really reinvigorating the project!

More info to follow!

More Scenic Ponderings!

Hi!

Heres some more inspirational images I have rummaged out to represent the lands of Aeroth!






I hope to get some scenic madness sorted out soonish in the form of a 2x3 foot board covered in textured vinyl tiles and a few bits of mesa and broken terrain for my 6mm armies to fight over!

All the best!

Leviathan and Crucible in 6mm!



Hi!

I seem to have worn myself out with my Leviathan project so am going to be taking a bit of a break from painting the big stuff and experiment in playing Leviathan and Crucible in 6mm scale!

The plan is to place a small order with IRREGULAR miniatures for two small forces, one of dwarves and the other of orcs. I have calculated the cost to be about £5.00 each which is nice!

The two forces will see action in games of both Crucible and Leviathan as at that scale they should be fairly interchangeable. I will also get to work sculpting a couple of warbeasts for them!

I will be fielding the following forces:

DWARVES

Crucible

1 Grandfather, 131

1 Knome, Null Bomb, 64

20 Shieldmen plus Leader, 334

20 Shieldmen plus Leader, 334

10 Thunder Chiefs, 230

10 Thunder Chiefs, 230

5 Ornithopters, 115

Total 1438

Leviathan

1 Level 3 Hero, H. Armour, Shield, 75

10 Guards, Shields, Standard, 332.5

10 Guards, Blunderbuss, Std, 347.5

2 Multi Barrel Launchers, 230

2 Wargolems, 212

2 Thunderhammer Battle Tanks, 280

Total 1477


ORCS

Crucible

1 Chieftain, 114

1 Shaman, Tough, 120

10 Skirmishers, 200

10 Skirmishers, 200

10 Skirmishers, 200

20 Warriors, 380

15 Warriors, 285

Total 1499

Leviathan

1 Level 3 Khan, M. Armour, Shield, Necrosaur Mount, 196

1 Level 1 Khan, L. Armour, Shield, Spear, Necrodon Mount, 55

10 Orcs, Bows, 295

5 Orc Necrodons, Spears, Shield, 200

5 Orc Necrodons, Bows, 220

2 Carnosaurs, Bows, Spears, Shield, 170

1 Necrosaur Harpoon, 215

1 Necrosaur, Bows, 145

Total 1496

As you can see, each system has a very different layout of unit sizes. Leviathan is more of an armoured combat game while Crucible is a mass battle one. I am settled on using multiples of 5 for my units as I will be counting each base of troops as five models (each base will have between five and ten figures on it though but it looks better for mass combat effect!)

The Dwarves for Crucible will be relying on two large blocks of heavy infantry backed up by two smaller units of ranged troops and a skirmish force of ornithopters, while their command is the Grandfather who excels in both ranged and close combat. I also included a Knome to give me some magical protection and with a few points left I may get him another couple of spells.

For Leviathan the Dwarf force is split between the infantry who will be protecting the artillery pieces and the armour, golems and tanks who will move forward to engage the enemy.

The orc force in Crucible is formed of a mass of infantry, both skirmishers and warriors who will try to use their weight of numbers to smash the dwarven lines. They are led by a chieftain to add some muscle to one of the warrior units and a shaman who has used his magical skill to toughen up the large orc unit so it can better withstand the powerful thunder rifles.

In the Leviathan force I have gone for a highly mobile army of assorted warbeasts with a few archers to back them up. I will need to use the warbeasts to engage the dwarven armour as quickly as possible so they don't get chance to annihilate me with their powerful cannons, I will use the orc cavalry to close with and engage the infantry.

Most of the infantry will come from Irregular Miniatures with the cavalry, artillery,war engines and beasts being sculpted by me!

These will form the opening battles of my Axebite Pass campaign which will see the orcs trying to break through the dwarven defences and invade the lands beyond. Some of the games will take place in the dwarven underholds that extend under the mountains, while others will be meeting skirmishes between scouts.

I will post battle reports, painted samples, new sculpts and a blow by blow account of the campaign as it develops!

All the best!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Big Clear Out Coming!

Hi!

I have decided its high time to have a big clear out of the stuff I am not going to be using or is just taking up valuable space!

I plan on posting a big list of stuff up here first to see if anyones interested in purchasing any of it and after that its off to ebay with the lot!

At present I have a large pile of books ranging from History to art and wargaming rules and graphic novels and its being added to hourly. I will also be flogging off some excess miniatures so keep your eyes peeled for s0me bargains!

In other news I seem to have broken the 7000 mark for page views which is nice! I have something special in mind for when I get to the 10000 mark!

All the best!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Frustration and a Change of Scale?

Hi!

I've been sat painting my Dwarf Technomancer with increasing frustration! Maybe its just the choice of colour scheme or the fact that the last stuff I painted was either 15mm scale or a large maquette for animation standing over 30cm tall. But I am really rather unhappy with my progress so far.

I have experienced some misgivings about my painting standard since I started my Technomancers at the start of the month and today has re-enforced this. Maybe I just need to knuckle under and get some practice in but I am really not loving 28mm scale at present!

For gaming I have got used to painting 6mm and 15mm which requires a very different style from that of 28mm! Getting my head round this difference seems to be taking a frustratingly long time!

Still I will persevere with the current force and get them completed! The next decision will be whether I continue in the scale or change to a smaller one.

To be honest I swithered about this last year too as I can churn out a fair number of good paint jobs in smaller scales in a couple of hours while the bigger stuff seems to be leaving me cold. I am used to painting being a pleasurable and relaxing experience, not a stress. Sadly I have got quite a few Leviathan bits and bobs kicking around so I will need to paint them at some point. I am just not certain now is the right time!

Coupled with the prospect of spending hours cleaning smelly resin this is a pretty depressing scene.

I think I will rummage out some of my smaller scale stuff and see how I get on with that and compare my experience!

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Its a difficult decision to make as traditionally 28mm has been my real passion but my life seems to be hectic enough at the moment that the thought of spending endless hours painting a handful of figures is less than appealing. Looking back at my Stainless Steel Rat project I can't help feeling that it was more fun to work on and I actually looked forward to painting...

I will be off to Scotland in a couple of days for a much needed holiday and think I will spend the time carefully thinking about how this project will progress.

I am still dedicated to the Leviathan project but do think I need to think about what direction I will take it. To be honest this is more than likely to result in a change of scale with both 6mm and 15mm forces coming into play. I have been really enjoying sculpting 15mm of late and will try and get one or two of them painted up soon to show folks.

The price of miniatures is also weighing heavily on my mind as I will be graduating in six months time and needing to save the pennies in order to get by. Needless to say spending £20 plus on figures a month is a luxury I cant really afford. If I could drop this to about £10 I think I would be happier.

I do apologise for my long winded ramblings but I do feel I should pause and take stock before launching myself headfirst into a project I will struggle to complete. This is after all my hobby and should be fun, not frustrating and stressful!

Anyhoo! Enough of this moping!

All the best!

Dwarf and Orc Reviews!

Hi!

I thought it would be a plan to post a review of my recent Leviathan purchases so without further ado:

Orc Necrodon Spearmen

The pack comes with three identical beasts and riders. Sculpted by Kev Adams they have a really good sense of personality but I was slightly disappointed that there was only a single sculpt as variety with skirmish games is better, especially in an Orc horde.

Also the casting quality of the resin was a bit mixed. As you can see in the picture theres rather a lot of flash and in one case, some large air bubbles in the Necrodons chin. The metal sculpts on the other hand are perfect. I know they were having difficulties with resin casting up at Scotia due to the cold weather so that may be the cause.

The only other problem I have with the sculpt itself is that the cast on legs of the rider have a very unorcish skinny waist!

Dwarven Multi Guns

The pack contains three identical multi barreled cannons with built in gun shield. The casting quality for them is much higher than those of the orcs. The sculpting is also really nice and I will be looking forward to fielding them in my dwarven forces!

My only criticism is that the dwarf artillery crew which is available from Scotia is a bit mixed in quality (alas I forgot to order any so my guns have no crew!!)

Dwarven Mk2 Wargolem Black Thunder

I ordered a bit of a conversion of the Black Thunder with the mk1 Wargolem arms so I could represent them as updated editions and having a look at them, I think they are going to look fantastic once finished. The casting quality is again a real problem though with lots of flash and the main bodies themselves having a bit of a dirty look to patches of them. I don't know much about the casting process but it looks like dust has got into the resin when it was wet.

All this aside I believe that with a good clean they will be fine and add a really eye catching element to my dwarven force!

The Goblin Carnodons I ordered are reviewed HERE on my blog.

I am rather surprised by the overall quality of my recent purchases as they are more like the old stuff I got right at the beginning of my project. The previous orders I made had a far better finish to them. This may be due to the weather conditions as already mentioned, or the moulds are needing looking at. I will place another order in a couple of months and see how it goes!

In other news I may be offline for a few days as my computer is going in for repairs and I am off to Scotland next week. Hopefully I will get chance to post a few bits and bobs here in the meantime though!

All the best!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Scotia Parcel Arrives!

Hi!

Just a quick update to say my Scotia parcel has arrived at last as temperatures in Scotland have finally risen enough for resin to be pourable!

Huzzah!

I will post reviews of the stuff once I have finished my uni work along with a host of pictures!

In other news I will be heading to my parents on Wednesday so will be able to unearth the remainder of my substantial Leviathan bits and bobs. This will allow me to get my Technomancers completed, My Dwarves completed (apart from an artillery crew or two!) and my orcs and goblins done too!

That will save me several pennies in itself but I will also have a rummage to see what else I have of use up there!

All the best!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A Clever Idea!

Hi!

I spotted THIS article over on Qalpha's blog. He uses vinyl floor tiles stuck to wedding cake bases to produce some rather nice results:

Vinyl Wargaming!

I was struck by how handy that would be for my gaming needs! Maybe I will give it a go but I do have some experience with the glue on the rear of the tiles being a bit of a nightmare to keep stuck on with a past project!

More investigation is required!

All the best!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Wargaming on the Cheap?

Hi!

I have been wondering if it is actually to collect an entire force for £10 or less.

Back in the day when I first started gaming GW sold 3 tanks for a tenner and the same price bought you 36 imperial guard. Fantasy wise, figures were £1.25 each which meant that ones money went quite a way. Nowadays its a different story with many figures costing £10+ each!

The best option seems to either go for the cheap Mageknight or Dungeons and Dragons pre-painted plastics or to choose a different scale!

The first option has its plus points as I have in the past used a similar approach to get some rather nice figures cheaply. However, one must be prepared to have slightly soft detail and somewhat bendy figures plus a lack of variation as most have a single sculpt for any given miniature.

I did well with the other option over on my Stainless Steel Rat blog where I managed to get quite a pile of lead for relatively little outlay by electing for 15mm scale. The choice to play mainly skirmish games aided this but for fantasy, I sometimes want to see a large-ish army.

I have also got very little gaming space at present so collecting an army of any real size is out of the question and I am attempting to make do with skirmish forces for my Leviathan project.

I do however want to be able to play larger actions from time to time as my Axebite Pass campaign will call for a mixture of skirmishes and several pitched battles so how can I represent this without spending a fortune or running out of space?

The answer seems to be with dropping the scale down dramatically. The reduced space, price and painting time are all attractive and a massed army can look really spectacular too!

Therefore I am looking into placing a small order with IRREGULAR MINIATURES, who produce a vast range of figures in 6mm scale that could solve my dilemma. I have painted their miniatures before and have been struck by just how nice they look when painted (unpainted they look really quite rough which is really off putting).

Irregular 6mm Miniatures Painted By Andrew Taylor

As you can see from the image above a splash of paint can have amazing results!

As to the gaming surface, I plan on building a small gaming board, perhaps 2x2' which will allow me to play a decent sized game and can easily be stored. It will also give me the opportunity to test out my 28mm army lists quickly and without spending too much. An added benefit is that the units painted will be generic enough to be useful in several different systems!

I will post my progress as and when I can but I figure I will be able to get the first few rounds of the campaign season in relatively quickly using this approach!

All the best!

More Inspirational Terrain!

Hi!

Following on from my previous rant heres some pictures I have been sent or found of prime examples of fantastic terrain at its best!


Jungle Display Board By Exigent99 Over On Terragenesis

Hex Terrain By Ableman33 On Terragenesis

Terrain By Irishserb

More Shots of Irishserbs Terrain

Yet More Of It!

Driftwood Forest by N810 On Terragenesis

They are from all over the place including TERRAGENESIS, a rather good scenics forum thats well worth a rummage!

Of course no mention of fantastic terrain would be complete without mention of Tony of DAMPF'S MODELLING PAGE fame amazing Flash Gordon terrain:

Flash! By Dampf

Hopefully this will give me something to work towards!

All the best!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Landscape Ponderings!

Hi!

Following my map ponderings I have been looking at some rather stunning images that I thought represent my view of the lands of Aeroth. Most come from the American west but theres some other bits and bobs too!









All this got me to thinking that I want to try and avoid the usual greens and greys seen in most wargaming, but to go for something a bit more visually eye catching.

Aeroth is a blasted desert following the death but it does not mean I should go for a boring sandy yellow, instead I want to have vivid reds and oranges, blues and the occasional patch of green where vegetation has survived. I want to make my board look as appealing as the miniatures. I am always a bit let down by how often folks will settle for a battlefield thats more like a bowling green with the odd tree stuck on. I know its quick and easy but at the same time I think wargames could be so much more.

All this enthusiasm is all fine and well but another factor to take into account is the usability of the terrain as it can look stunning but at the same time be totally useless in a game (usually as you don't want it to get damaged!

Coming from an animation background, I have seen some sets that would make stunning gaming boards, and they have to stand up to the rigors of animators working on and around them for weeks on end so they have a certain robustness too! I want to try to do something along those lines!

A somewhat unexpected aspect of my terrain fixation has been a bit of an interest in geology as just because its a fantasy setting, doesn't mean it can be totally removed from reality. The best concept artists I know harp on about it all the time! The best concepts will come from something with a grounding in reality! It gives the audience an element of believability so that the fantastic elements, when added look all the more effective!

Anyhoo! Enough of my demented rambling! I am on the lookout for examples of stunning gaming boards so if anyone out there knows of any please post links so the rest of us can take a peek!

All the best!

Restraint!

Hi!

I've found myself perusing IRREGULAR'S 6mm fantasy range with vague ideas of collecting some armies for Crucible on the cheap!

After a bit of cool headed logic I went back and looked at them again and saw I could get a complete army for £10!

Surprisingly I am more tempted than ever but must refrain from spending cash I can't spare!

Still its a good idea...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

An updated Map Part 4

Hi!

My order from WARBASES arrived this morning and I have to admit that I am really pleased with them! My previous experience with them was somewhat less than stellar but this time round the order was just what I was looking for!

Hex Bases!

Now they have arrived I will be able to get on with my map project! Hopefully I will be able to get a test piece done by the end of play tomorrow!

In the meantime heres a picture I found online which sums up my idea for what Aeroth looks like:

View From The Axeblade Mountains!

I want to avoid the usual cliched European look of the setting as the background clearly says that Aeroth doesn't look like that anymore but is a blasted desert!

All the best!

Crucible: Conquest of the Final Realm Review

Hi!

As promised heres a review of the core rulebook for Crucible: Conquest of the Final Realm.

Crucible


Background

The background itself is rather interesting, the long lost continent of Crucible has been discovered by human explorers after the impenetrable fogs that have shrouded its shores for centuries have finally lifted.

The continent itself is a mix between North and South America, along with quite a bit of African savanna which makes a welcome change from the usual dark age Europe.

This discovery has led to all the races of Ashkelon, the other settled continent of the world to launch a colonisation race to settle these new lands, especially as ruins discovered in Crucible are rich in lost and arcane magic devices. The new land is however settled by the Orcs who believe these ruins to be sacred and will fight to defend them.

The Forces

The rulebook itself contains a basic force listing for eleven different forces each with a very different feel and appearance to them:

The Principate

An aggressive human culture which is ruled over the eternal queen, a woman who led them to freedom from their Elven overlords some centuries before and have ever since set up a militaristic culture.

The Prinicipate forces revolve around solid infantry and supported by cavalry, with some more unusual troops such as ogres and barbarian mercenaries thrown in for good measure.

Command comes from Dukes, heavily armoured and trained nobles with magic users present in the form of the Arcane Masters, a fusion of man and magical device that act as the Queens eyes and ears on the battlefield.

Orcs

The Orcs are really rather original and are reminiscent of African Zulus. Almost an entirely infantry force the Orcs have a rather nice hit and run ability that allows them to assault an enemy force before withdrawing before their targets get chance to strike back. One of the most impressive figures of the range is the River behemoth, a hippo riding orc which acts as a powerful shock troop!

Command revolves around tribal chieftains, and masked shamans bringing magical support.

The Royal Elves of Tyren

The Royal Elves used to rule much of the world in the service of the dragon gods, but have fallen somewhat from their lofty position. A mixture of powerful infantry forms the bulk of their force, but their appearance is not that of the typical elf, they are savage looking and aggressive with spiked armour and weapons. Their elite wear winged armour and dragon masks and can actually fly while their cavalry comes in the form of Wyrms, powerful land dragons.

The elven command are also magic users and are some of the most powerful in the game.

The Witches of Selene

The witches are a rebel faction of humans whose failed assassination of the eternal queen led to their fleeing to Crucible. The bulk of the witches force comes from animated scarecrows, with a smattering of allied light cavalry, twisted experiments and giant ravens.

Their command is not surprisingly formed of the witches themselves!

The Tauren Protectorate

The Taurens are an artificial creation of the Elves, created through magic these beastmen once formed the majority of the Elves armed forces and still have a close relationship with them. Their highly structured civilisation has many different castes of creatures which range from werewolves to beastmen and satyrs. Unlike other game systems they are not actually evil but rather honourable.

Their command are all minotaurs, one is a Blood Fiend, a huge axe armed beast, while the other is the spell casting Guardian.

The Infernal Elves

The Infernal Elves are an offshoot of the Royal Elves who were exiled for their forbidden magical experiments. They fled to the Infernal mountains, a volcanic range and set up in this inhospitable region to nurse their hatred. Their force consists of an assortment of aggressive looking infantry supported by snake riders and even the warped Hydra, the unfortunate result of one of their forbidden ceremonies.

Desolators lead the Infernal Elves into battle and have the ability to leech life from surrounding units to sustain themselves while their magic user, the Spoiler is a terrifying flying unit capable of casting some truly unpleasant spells.

Goblins

The Goblins are a very original take on the usual view of the green skinned hoard. They dwell in marshes and swamps and are renowned for stealing the children of other races. Chaotic looking creatures that defy description they march into battle in chittering hordes, while bat riders swoop overhead. They also have deadwoods and swamp terrors, the result of Goblin spirits inhabiting trees and even patches of swamp.

Their leader is a Goblin king and is both hard to hit in combat and a magic user!

Dwarves

The Dwarves of Crucible are a nomadic people whose armoured caravans trade with many other races. They are a rather high tech force armed with firearms, ornithopters and oddly a number of halfling assassins, not to mention savage warbeasts who they use to guard their caravans.

Their command is formed from the Grandfather, the patriarch of the clan who is armed to the teeth. The magic user in the Dwarf force is the Knome, a technician whose many devices have magic like effects.

Necromancers

The necromancers are a force who animates the dead, but rather originally were not once evil but became so over the centuries. The bulk of their force consists of zombies and skeletons, with elite units of savage ghouls and the occasional bone construct or flesh golem to act as shock troops.

Their command is the necromancer himself who isn't fantastic in combat but vital to the force as without his nearby presence, a unit will begin acting very erratically.

The Bane

The Bane are a demonic race who abide on a barren rock between the continents and raid passing ships. They are a mixture of small demons, feeble individually but often forming large hordes, and larger more powerful beasts including magical armoured suits called Gargoyles.

The Banes command are the Fallen, massive winded humanoids who often bring arcane relics to battle.

The Legion

The legion are a race of demented humans who passed through a dimensional portal and communed with ancient and dread gods. They fight in large masses of crazed cultists, supported by gorgons, wyvern riders and cyclops's.

Their command comes in the form of Void Dwellers, mutated humans who can transport themselves around the battlefield by use of Void gates and Invokers, mad spell casters who have the ability to summon terrible godlings to battle.

The Rules

As you can see theres quite a range of unusual forces to choose from and the rules themselves are rather well thought out too.

The game uses 12 sided dice which is a bit unusual but is well considered and makes use of different formations ranging from pickets to hordes and phalanx. Each has a different effect in battle which effects the units effectiveness.

The rule section itself is well illustrated with plentiful illustrated examples to aid the players understand the rules more clearly.

The turn is separated into several phases, the Initiative phase, where players roll to see who activates first with each sides command effecting the roll. Next up comes the Rally Phase where routed units may attempt to re-form.

Following this comes the missile combat phase where players exchange ranged combat, this allows missile troops to pepper assaulting troops!

The movement phase follows on from this and the magic phase ends the turn. The game is alternate unit activation so you are not left waiting for ages while your opponent decimates your force which is a real plus in my opinion!

Forces are chosen from the lists provided with units being common, uncommon, rare and unique. Each force has a required minimum required troop selection, for example the Principate needs to have a minimum of one Duke and five spearmen.

Although intended as a mass battle game, Crucible works really well as a skirmish with a couple of units of about five to ten troops each along with a single individual which means one can start small and build up their force over time without spending a fortune!

Artwork and Miniatures

The artwork in the book is very high quality throughout with the likes of Clint Langley, Wayne England and Ian Millar producing illustrations for the book. Being it was produced by FASA its not too surprising they went to town on the images!

Elves by Clint Langley

The miniatures themselves are a somewhat mixed batch with some fantastic sculpts mixed in with the occasional stinker, but that has to be expected in any large range. My only problem with the range itself is that its incomplete! FASA ceased trading not long after its launch and subsequently some of the miniatures themselves are missing. Also in most cases only two sculpts were produced for each troop type which is a tad limiting.


Infernal Elf Serpent Riders

Conclusion

Crucible is a really nice game and well worth looking into getting a copy as the background, forces and rules themselves are rather good! Also its one of the few games where different formations can be used to good effect. On the minus side its not supported any more and there is no plan for any more miniatures. Saying that the miniatures themselves are still available from Ral Partha Europe and Iron Wind Metals!

Hopefully that will give folks a brief overview of the game itself! I hope to put the rules to use with my upcoming Axebite Pass Campaign so I will be able to give a bit of a better idea of the game in action!

All the best!

An updated Map Part 3

Hi!

I've mapped out the rough region of the Axblade mountains which will be the setting for my Axebite Pass Campaign!

Axeblade Maountains

Once my wooden hexes arrive from Warbases I will get to work texturing and painting them into a decent topographic representation of the campaign map. Once this has been completed I will need some counters to represent settlements and castles and some armies!

I am also considering having a part of the campaign fought beneath the ground in the vast maze of tunnels and caverns that spread underneath the Axeblade region. This will probably involve skirmishes between Dwarven tunnel fighters and Orc scouts, but also give me the opportunity to involve all sorts of underground dwelling beasties to torment both factions!

As you can see there is also an elven citadel on the west side of the mountains, this will be an independent empire that may take a hand in the campaign. There may also be a number of undocumented barbarian settlements in the northern section of the map who are not averse to raiding baggage caravans or picking off stragglers. It also provides the Orcs with the possibility of raiding the villages for supplies and slaves and a possible source of allies for the dwarves!

Hopefully I will have stuff up and running soon, including a few completed hex tiles so folks can see what I am up to!

In a related topic, I was watching Land of the Lost Volcano, a BBC nature programme the other day and they visited an island with an active volcano on it which gave me some ideas as to what the terrain should be like on much of Aeroth!

Volcanic Ash!

I also spotted this image and it made me think what a fantastic board that would make!

Hoodoo

Its actually a rock formation called a Hoodoo! I plan on using it for some of the locations in Aeroth but making a tiny version of it for my campaign map is very tempting!

All the best!