Friday, 27 January 2012

The Joy of 28mm Scale!

Hi!

I know I've already mentioned that I't taking a break from my Leviathan project but I have been frothing over some of the beautifully painted miniatures over on KINGS MINIATURES and SOMEWHERE THE TEAS GETTING COLD blogs and cant help but think that I am missing out!


Thantsants Classic Miniatures!


Dave of Kings Minis Classics!

I especially like the fact that folks are painting and enjoying old school miniatures. Another example of this is OLD SCHOOL MINIATURES BULLETIN. I've mentioned in previous blog entries that I had hoped to do something similar in a limited scale but as yet have done precious little about it.

My Goblin warband has some nice classics in it but I haven't had time to paint anything for it for some time now. Its got me thinking that I should probably dig out the remaining figures and do something with them! I've got a few classic miniatures kicking around and I think that I may have to take a rummage through my box of bits to see what I can find!

All the best!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Taking a Break!

Hi!

Well its been a very busy 2011 for my Leviathan project with more to come in 2012 but I am going to be taking a small vacation from fantasy to allow me to get back to my first 15mm scale project which has languished unloved for the past couple of years.

When I first started university I started a project to cover the rather fantastic books by Harry Harrison chronicling the exploits of Slippery Jim diGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat! Alas like so many projects I got distracted after 12 months and for the last two and a half years have done absolutely nothing with it.

Now I find myself thinking about the sheer fun of collecting and painting figures from the setting and to be honest I need a bit of a break from Leviathan for a while. In the meantime take a look over at my SPECIAL CORPS blog where I hope to be uploading some new stuff soon!

Worry not though! I am continuing to sculpt stuff, and have recently tried upping the quality of my work to a level I am happier with too! I am hoping to be able to wheel out a small range of figures for sale in the coming months (Yes I know its been promised before but with the coming of slightly more clement weather, I will finally be able to get my casting machine up and running!)

I have even begun work on a setting of my own for them as well but its in a very early stage at present. There will be news of it within the next few weeks along with a new site to host it along with some previews of my first figures!

In the meantime apologies for the lack of updates but rest assured I haven't been idle and theres a fairly large update coming!

All the best!

Richard

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers

Hi!

After a post over on BLEASEWORLD about the SOCIETY OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION WARGAMERS 20th anniversary. I've been aware of the society for a number of years now and have always intended to join but never seemed to get round to it. Steves post has finally motivated me to actually joining!



The society produces a magazine called Ragnarok which contains all sorts of interesting articles and even gives you discounts on several miniature companies and is well worth a look at.

I eagerly await my copy and will post a bit of a review here!

All the best!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What Do You Look For In A Wargame?

Hi!

I've been spending some time thinking about what makes a good wargame. Is it the background, the rules, the forces available or whatever?

I'm interested in hearing what you all think makes for a good game!

Over the years I've collected and read literally dozens of rulesets and nearly all of them have had something of merit too them. Some have been unplayable, badly written or poorly explained while others run to hundreds of pages and could be used to beat someone to death with but all of them have had at least one nugget of gold in them that you think, that's a good idea.

I must admit I tend to lean more towards simplicity and skirmish games these days with the likes of Song of Blades and Heroes leading the way. Its a breath for fresh air to be able to simply pick ups few figures you has lying around and play a game in under an hour. The rules are simple yet cover all the requirements for a good game, while keeping both players involved and a fair amout of tactical thinking is I required too.

Bladestorm is a mother skirmish game I found interesting, it has different levels of complexity that is appealing and I like the multiple hits a model can take before being removed as a casualty. Likewise Reapers Warlord is a game where most models can take multiple hits, but with the added interest of their stat line being effected by their wounds, effectively making them weaker as they get hurt.

Games like Warmachine with their over the top powers and giant machines and really unique spell casters have quite a bit of a following too. I like the use of stat cards in the game as it allows for a quicker game instead of having to rummage through rulebooks or notes, all the required information is in front of you on the table.

This was used really nicely in Chronopia where the cards could be used instead of deploying your army which would lend to a more interesting game. Instead of simply lining up ones armies one never new how their opponent would deploy.

Finally there's GWs Fantasy battle. It's gone through so many editions now but is still the same basic system. I must admit the thought of collecting such vast forces as one requires now is more than a little off putting. Surely it would have been better to put it to 15 or even 10mm scale.

I recently picked up a copy of the 3rd editon of the rules and found it to be far more fun which is odd as many veteran gamers seem to be gravitating towards a more retro system too.

It all leaves me thinking what elements form each game are worth keeping and what does make the best sort of game. No matter how many different rules I have, I keep finding my way back to the simplest and more fun, despite the production values of the others I just can't bring myself to send weeks trying to familiarise myself with all the rules.

Leviathan was produced during the early 90s at the height of the Herohammer type game where heroes were the deciding element and a tooled up character could slaughter entire regiments by himself with one hand tied behind his back. Unlike these games, Leviathans characters, although powerful could be killed by even the most lowly with a bit of luck. The monsters and Warmachines were the key to the game.

Unfortunately Leviathan was originally intended as a skirmish game but became a mass battle one and you can see there's elements that just don't mesh properly. As it stands to rules are pretty well suited for a skirmish game with one or two big monsters in them, somewhat like Warmachine used to be in fact, but as a mass battle it just needs too much space to play (who has a 8x4 foot board to play on and dozens of giant creatures or war engines for that matter) its almost a sci-fi game in that one expects to field units of infantry supported by lots of tanks.

Aeroth is a world inhabited by unique peoples and terrible monsters but its a difficult setting to get the balance right. You need to get some big resin stuff into your force as its part of the character of the game and the models are really nice too but the game should be centred more on the individuals who fight in it.

Ive always loved necromunda and think that leviathan could fit into that sort of niche quite nicely with small bands exploring the weird lands supported by one or two creatures. This could also be scaled so that you could have smallish armies such as we're seen in Chronopia where two or three warbands would comprise a force, supported by a couple of characters and a monster or two.

With the way things are these days folks just can't afford to spend hundreds of pounds just to get a playable force. Games see to be moving towards either skirmished in 28mm or mass battles in 15 or 10mm. Take the science fiction wargame for example. Until recently 90% plus of the models and games were intended for 28mm scale mass battles but theres been a renaissance of 15/18mm figures which means that folk can collect a force for a fraction of the cost but retain most of the detail and size of army can be increased too. What If the fantasy market were to go the same way?

For years there's not been much of a selection to choose from but with companies like Ral Patha and Copplestone Castings and Splintered Light producing ever more high quality figures is it possible that fantasy will move in the same way?

Anyhow, enough of my ramblings!

What do you guys think makes a good game and how would you like Leviathan to be developed?

All the best!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Galdo The Exile

Hi!

Ive just finished a couple of new characters for the Axeblade Campaign:

Galdo the Exile and Grigor the Squire

Galdo is an exiled Knight of the Eternal Light. In his youth he was disgraced for killing a fellow knight and exiled into the Axeblades. He took his faithful squire Grigor with him and has spent the last thirty years roaming the Axeblades attempting to atone for his crime.

He has joined a Dwarven supply convoy part of the way as rumours have surfaced of the long forgotten temple of Arizhiva, the Angry God and is hoping to find it and finally end his long exile.

I've also started work on some other bits and pieces which will get photographed as soon as possible!

All the best!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Goblin Re-enforcements: Wartowers

Hi!

Well I've placed a small order for a couple of Lesser Goblin Wartowers from SCOTIA GRENDEL:

Lesser Goblin Wartowers

I will be converting them rather heavily into Goblin Wartowers which will in turn add some much needed muscle for my Goblin Warband.

As the background I have been developing has leaned more towards the Native American look, I will be making them into nomadic transports of a sort. The howdah will be replaced with a somewhat different platform sporting a couple of Braves apiece. I may even be tempted to sculpt them up a bit to turn them into either Spiny Devils, Rivetbacks or Firebelly.

These hybrid Carnosaurs are found throughout the High Mesa and Western edge of the Endless Plains and have been tamed by several tribes of the Goblin Nations. They form the basis for the Goblins nomadic lifestyle and transport the Goblins tents and supplies as well as their heaviest warbeasts.

I also plan on sculpting an entirely new Warbeast in 28mm scale as I want to have a bash at sculpting something large and impressive to act as a centrepiece for my Goblin force!

Speaking of which I think I am going to have to re-evaluate my current collection as the figures I have don't really match the background as they are too heavily armoured. I don't think theres actually any figures out there currently available which fit the bill so I may have to sculpt them myself! If so I think there will be some 15mm scale versions of them too!

All the best!

Goblins in Aeroth

The Free Goblin nations of Aeroth are descendants of the Goblins who fled the shores of the Cold Sea far to the East of the Endless Plains when the Orcish Horde enslaved their kin. These tribes now eke out a living amongst the desolate foothills of the Axeblade Mountains.

The Cold Sea

These Goblins are a wild and hardy breed who regularly raid the herds of the Great Orc Khans for food, mounts and fun. They will also free any Goblins they find from their Orcish overseers. The free tribes see these downtrodden wretches as distant relatives and will actively recruit them into the tribe which helps keep their gene pool diverse.

The constant raiding enrages the Orcs who see the Goblins as property at best and vermin more often than not. Many punitive expeditions have been sent to find any Goblin encampments and wipe them out. To combat this some tribes have taken to a nomadic life, following herds of the lizardlike Megadons. Others live in cunningly constructed villages built high on cliffs out of the reach of their enemies.

The Edge of the High Mesa

Ruin of the Goblin Settlement at Ul Ygoth-Vaah

Unfortunately these tribes have come into conflict with the other inhabitants of the region, namely the Dwarves of Kareth Dull and the Barbarian tribes. Determined to survive at all costs the Goblin Chieftains have taken to capturing and training all manner of strange creatures to bolster their fighters.

The leaders of the Goblin tribes are the Chieftains. At one time Chieftains were elected by the elders of the tribe but following the Death this has changed. Now to become a Chieftain, a Goblin Brave must pass many physical trials in order to prove their worthiness as leader of the tribe.

A leader who is brave, cunning, able to lead raids with panache and hunt successfully is now seen as of prime importance. The Death has been hard on the Goblin nations and food has become ever more difficult to get hold of and their hunting grounds have been encroached on by both the Orcs and the Dwarves.

Although the Chieftain is nominally the leader of the tribe, they defer to the tribes Shaman. These wizened creatures are the true guiding force behind the tribes. Within their dark sweat lodges the Shamans commune with all manner of spirits and can wield amazing powers in battle and only the most foolish Chieftain would ignore the advice of the tribes Shaman.

The bulk of any Goblin force will be made up of braves. Although individually quite fearless, they are no match for the sheer size and strength of most opponents so prefer to attack from range using shortbows before closing to finish off the survivors.

Goblin Brave

Most tribes will also field large numbers of Carnodons, sleek killing machines which are well suited to both open plains and uneven ground. These Goblins will use either shortbows or spears and are the tribes shocktroops.

Carnodon

Some Goblins join warrior lodges and become Headhunters. These crazed individuals will hurl themselves into combat with anything believing that their names will live on in glory if they die and taking heads to mount above their lodge if they live.

Headhunter Lodge Banner

Nearly all Goblins will bedeck themselves in warpaint before battle with the colour and patterning reflecting their tribe and status. Many also wear feathers in their hair with the patterns and quantity showing their deeds.

Cunning Fox, the Chieftain of the Tribe of the Heights, gazed down towards the canyons floor. From his vantage point he could see the Orcish column wending its way along amongst the rocky dry riverbed which formed the canyon floor.

Riven Tongues, the tribes Shaman had been right. His spirit vision had shown the route of the Orcs march and the most auspicious time to spring the ambush was close. Hidden along the rim of the canyon Goblin braves waited, their short bows ready and flint tipped and poisoned arrows notched waiting for the signal to attack.

Far below the one of the Orcish warbeasts bellowed, as if sensing something was amiss. With a piercing howl the Goblin Chieftain fired his own bow, aiming at the rearmost Orcish Carnosaur rider. The arrow flew true and embedded itself in the Orcs neck pitching him off the beasts back. All down the canyon barbed arrows flew from the ambushers peppering the Orcish column.

Many fell clutching at the shafts as they died but at least one of the Orcish leaders saw the danger.

Roaring at his underlings and using one particularly unfortunate minion as a shield, the great beast began forming his remaining troops into a shieldwall and backing them down the canyon towards freedom.

Taking careful aim Cunning Fox once again let fly an arrow, striking the Khan in the eye, killing him where he stood.

Seeing their leader fall the remaining Orcs broke and ran but there would be no escape for them. Cunning Fox grinned tightly as he signalled down towards the canyons mouth. More Braves appeared to block its entrance, this time mounted on brutally sleek Carnodons and hurled themselves on the fleeing Orcs.

"Today we shall eat well and gained much prestige amongst the other Tribes!" murmured Cunning Fox as he hopped over the boulder he had been lurking behind and descended the canyon face to help finish off the surviving Orcs and claim his loot as is right as Chieftain.


Friday, 6 January 2012

Eye Of Gorath!

Hi!

I have recently sent out a call for images of painted Leviathan stuff and have received this rather snazzy version of the Eye of Gorath:

Eye of Gorath painted by Braxandur's Girlfriend!

I really like the skin tone on him and despite the fact he's not quite finished yet, he's already looking menacing!

If you have any painted Leviathan stuff please feel free to contact me here and i will post pictures on my blog!

All the best!

Campaign Terrain!

Hi!

I've been busily working away getting some new terrain elements for the upcoming campaign!

First up theres the Tarn of Gorm:

Orcs Discover the Tarn of Gorm

The Tarn

It was constructed by building up a layer of sculpey in a rough ring on a baking tray then adding more sculpey rocks and cooking it. It was then glued onto some thin plasticard, flocked and painted. I added a layer of PVA glue to give it a bit of a sheen as well and am quite pleased with the results!

Next up theres the mysterious ruined village:

Boar Company Dwarves explore some ruins of a long forgotten village high in the Axeblades

Flint explores the interior of one of the ruins

They were constructed by making lots of little blobs of sculpey and forming some little ring ruins from them!

Finally I have been sculpting lots of bits and bobs and have almost finished the Dwarven supply caravan!

Pack Yaks

The one on the right still needs his packs adding but they will make a rather nice objective in upcoming battles! I also have a herder finished who just needs basing and painting and a couple of special characters are nearly complete too and will be getting photographed as soon as possible too!

All the best!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Leviathan Skirmish

Hi!

While I've been enjoying sculpting and painting my own figures, I find myself wondering why I haven't actually played using the rules from the Leviathan rulebook, the reason I started this whole project in the first place!

Leviathan!

The rules themselves are rather nice and simple and the armies all have a different flavour to them rather than being carbon copies of traditional fantasy, usually Tolkienesque races but still I find myself entering the fourth year of my Leviathan project without having actually played it!

I think the problem is that of scale. To play a decent game of Leviathan one needs at least an 8x4 foot board, lots of terrain and models. I don't have the space or budget to really do it justice. I moved into 15mm scale to cut down on costs and space but still haven't got round to playing a full game.

Another issue I've had with Leviathan is its incompleteness. It needs the Earthpower supplement to cover magic, flyers and siege warfare but it never got released. The main rulebook could also do with having been playtested a bit more thoroughly as theres several bits and bobs that have been left out or poorly explained which can make attempts to play it a bit of an adventure. Each time I start playing it I find something else that needs explaining!

I've spent quite a bit of time collecting all the errata and begun work on Earthpower but want to be able to play with a reasonable number of figures in a limited space.

One of Leviathans strengths is the sheer size of the models and I want to be able to field some of them!

Orc Necrosaur
Lesser Goblin Wartower

Therefore I've decided to write a skirmish game set in Aeroth using the Leviathan rules as a basis. I want to be able to use both my 15mm and 28mm scale figures and where possible keep to the spirit of the warped lands of Aeroth and the incredible forces that fight to conquer it.

15mm Scale Orcs

28mm Scale Goblins

The basic idea is to field 10-15 infantry or cavalry with a couple of warbeasts or war engines with an emphasis on converting and scratch building. I also plan on posting my progress here along with the draft version of the rules as I develop them!

I have really enjoyed playing Song Of Blades and I suspect it has a lot to do with the sheer simplicity of the game and the ability to create warbands from any figures you have in your collection!

I think that I am going to incorporate some of these principles into the skirmish version of Leviathan!

All the best!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Forlorn Hope Games

Hi!

I recently ran out of green stuff and decided to have a peruse online to find a company to order replacements from as my usual source was out of stock. After a little rummaging I found FORLORN HOPE GAMES and ordered a couple of packs of greenstuff and some new static grass.

The order arrived very quickly (especially as the postage was free) and I must admit I am very impressed. I think I have found a new source for materials too as they stock Gale Force Nine scenic bits and bobs as well as a load of miniatures!

All the best!