Saturday, October 29, 2016

Brother Claudio Stinks!

In a much earlier post, I related the mis-adventure of Brother Claudio while playing the Space Hulk: Death Angel card game.

Well, it happened again. And on the very first turn! Brother Claudio, you stink!

And his squad mate Brother Goriel was no better. While being attacked by Genestealers, he needed to roll anything but a 0 to survive the attack. Sure enough, I rolled a 0.

Or maybe I shouldn't blame the Space Marines for my bad dice rolling.

FYI - the Space Marines got slaughtered again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Battle for Redwick

The devastating raids of the Iron Legion have unnerved the defenders of Anarendor. Unsure where the army of evil will strike next, they have been scattered among various outposts throughout the land. Thus, when a strong enemy force pushes toward the town of Redwick, only a meager force stands in the way.

The enemy vanguard approaches. Sir Dennis and a unit of infantry blocks the road while rangers are stationed in the forest. A swarm of giant spiders advance on the rangers.

More minions arrive while the spiders hit the rangers' flank.

An orc warband charges Sir Dennis's infantry. More orcs (left) and a unit of the Iron Legion (right) move to outflank Dennis. Meanwhile, the rangers are swatting the spiders.

The Iron Legion hits the infantry in the flank. Sir Dennis leads the defense and repulses the attacks, although some of the spearmen fall.

 The spiders whittle down the rangers but Dennis's men hold firm. Orcs make a dash for Redwick. However, Anarendorian reinforcements arrive and are speeding to the battle.

A fresh unit of rangers peppers the lead band of orcs.

 Forcing them to flee. Meanwhile, despite casualties, the infantry has routed a unit of orcs. Alas, the spiders have dispatched the rangers and are moving through the woods.

Sir Dennis fiinds himself virtually surrounded.

But the levy joins the fight and wipes out some more orcs. By now, more reinforcements arrive in town.

A newly-arrived unit of levy attacks a battered orc warband.

And destroys it. Dennis's depleted command continues it valiant stand. Assisted by the levy, it destroys the Iron Legion. The spiders will go slinking off into the woods.

For their heroic efforts in this battle, Sir Dennis and his spearmen earned the nickname "The Invincibles." And yet another enemy assault has been vanquished.

Game Notes
The scenario was #10 - Late Arrivals from Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargames. The defending army (Anarendor) begins with only 2 units on the board while the attackers all come on at once (although you won't see them on the board because they are backed up behind the rest of the column). The defenders are trying to prevent the bad guys from seizing the town (in the lower right of the first picture)

The evil army consisted of 2 units of infantry (the Iron Legion), 3 hordes of orcs, and 1 band of spiders. They are led by a Death Lord (leader stand, which gives bonuses to attached units)

  • Spiders are a special type of unit. They attack, and move like light cavalry (2A/1D/3M), although they may move through woods. They also get 2 special abilities:
    • Poison - if they wound an enemy, that unit is +1 to Quality (lower is better) for the next turn. This represents sluggishness caused by the poison
    • Web - a short ranged attack. Webbed units cannot move in their next turn
The good army had 1 infantry, 2 rangers (archers), and 3 levy, along with a leader. Two units start on the board with an additional two arriving in turns 5 and 10. 

Because I was playing the good guys, I choose their set-up. I opted for a forward defense, with the rangers in the woods and Sir Dennis and the infantry on the road. I figured that one of the levy could secure the town when they arrived. I was worried that the initial defenses would collapse quickly, allowing the evil army to rush the town. Fortunately, Sir Dennis put up a stout defense (their defense rolls were amazing; nothing could get through them), delaying the enemy attacking.

I did rewrite history a bit. Late in the game it became obvious that the evil army was not going to win. I thought about ending the game but decided to press on. The infantry was destroyed in the next turn, although the Iron Legion also fell. I decided to rewind a turn and allow the infantry to survive the fight.

I also, unintentionally, cheated for the good army. I forgot to apply the horde rule to the destroyed orcs. They may have returned to the battle as reinforcements. Oh well, fate was on the side of Good today.

As it stands now, the Good Army is leading 2-0 in major battles (I'm not counting skirmishes). It's looking good for Anarendor.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Another Update

A fantasy battle report is in the works. Until then, here is a little update on my sci-fi minis. I completed both base armies.

Here us a sample of the Federation army:

From left to right there is a unit of armor, a unit of infantry, and a unit of artillery (missile launchers). The complete army consists of 5 infantry, 3 armor, and 3 artillery.

I did a minimalist paint job - a base coat of a lighter blue with a few highlights in white or dark blue.

And here are the robot enemies:
Likewise, the picture shows 1 armor, 1 infantry, and 1 artillery, with the same number of units as the Federation army. They are simply silver and black.

Both are pictured on my completed arid battle board.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Projects Update

Now that I have completed phase 1 of my fantasy project, I find myself flitting off to another project. I recently ordered some 2mm sci-fi forces from GZG.

Here they are in the first stage of painting. So far, I painted the bases of the infantry and put on the main coat for the artillery and tanks. I'm creating 2 forces - the Federation will be in blue and a robot army is in silver.

I initially planned on ordering some O8 3mm troops but I wasn't all that keen on their stuff. It actually looked too realistic. I wanted something a little more futuristic, perhaps even space opera-like. Germy's 2mm fit the bill.

This is just the first stage of the project. I'll be basing each stand or vehicle individually. 2 bases will form a unit. I have enough for 5 units of infantry, and 3 each of artillery and tanks for each army. Ultimately, I want to expand the armies to include stompy robots (I really like Germy's 4-legged walker).

To go along with my new troops, I'm making some new terrain, starting with a new battle board.

Don't worry, the felt squares haven't been glued on yet. When I do I'll make sure the gaps aren't visible. I choose a "copper" color because it looks like it could be a desert-y planet (I also may use it for the Swartherian desert of my fantasy project). The board is 18 inches by 24 inches. Using 2 inch squares, I'll have a 9 x 12 board - double my current size. For some time, I've been wanting to expand my board - sometimes 6 squares just does not feel deep enough.

Next up will be making some hills, vegetation, and buildings to match this board.

This doesn't mean that I've forgotten my fantasy project. In fact, I have the next battle in the works, featuring these spiders from Perfect Six miniatures.

They seemed a bit small for 6mm but they are perfectly sized to join my 3mm evil army.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Something's Burning

Despite Baron Hendrich's successful ambush, the Iron Legion continued its advance deeper into Anardendor. A small force of Legion Knights, led by a Death Lord, come across a band of peasants heading toward a nearby village.

They converge and slaughter the peasants. A band of rangers (in the wood) and the local levy (in the village) look on in horror.

The Knights charge the rangers and levy. The rangers take some casualties before they can make it back into the safety of the woods.

Their opponents skirt around the woods en route to the village.

The levy manfully held out for some time, as the women and children fled to the woods. Finally, the Knights ride down one of the bands.

But the other fights on with a desperate courage. Meanwhile, the rangers make their way through the woods.

Their deadly shafts slaughter a troop of Knights. The rest ride to the far side of the village.

The rangers pursue. They are too late, however, as the last of the levy is butchered.

The rangers flee to the woods. The Knights burn down the village and then ride further into Anarendor.

Game Notes
Since I finished my Evil Army knights, I've been itching to get them into action. I decided to run a quick scenario this morning. I just threw some terrain and troops down and went at it.

The peasants are actually skirmishers from one of my horse & musket armies. I also used a horse & musket casualty stand to show lost stands. I think I'll paint some specifically for medievals. You may also notice that I painted my casualty markers; they are no longer a garish red. I would like to decorate them. I've seen some cool medieval casualty stands with discarded shields and broken weapons. It may be hard to do at this scale but I may try it.

Once again, I used my home-brew rules, which is a conglomeration of ideas from Song of Blades and Heroes, Command & Colors, Mice & Mystics, and others. I'm calling them WISER (Warwell's Incredibly Short and Easy Rules). I think I'll use the same core mechanics across periods, with additional rules and unit stats depending on the era. Currently, I am working on compiling the rules into a single document.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


My fantasy project is coming along well - I now have 2 units of Evil cavalry and an Evil leader painted. I just need to finish the Anarendor cavalry and leader; then I will be able to field 2 armies. Each army consists of 4 levy/horde, 2 cavalry, 2 infantry, and 2 shooters, which allows me to field any random unit selection using the One Hour Wargame rules. I have ideas for additional armies, but I'm putting those on hold for now.

But, as is typical, I find myself getting distracted with other projects. It started when I was cleaning my garage so I could get my patio furniture stored before Hurricane Matthew passed by. My miniatures were scattered in various sized boxes around the garage. I decided to organize them, so after the storm I picked up a set of plastic drawers from Wal Mart.

I also picked up some smaller boxes and moved my miniatures into them.

As I was doing this, I noticed that I never finished my spaceship project. I'd like to add another cruiser and a couple more destroyers per fleet. I also need a red battleship and carrier.

Sci-fi forces
Ground troops in top row
Shops in bottom row (+ a carrier on top of a battleship in the middle)
Then I started thinking of getting my scratch-built, sci-fi ground forces back into action.

Which led me to using my nook to shop for sci-fi rules. I came across, and ultimately purchased, Horizon Wars.

I read some reviews and even checked out this video playthrough. Some of the mechanics are not to my liking, but I am interested in the army set-up - a low number of small-scale figures featuring infantry, tanks, and big, stompy robots. I ended up buying the rules for the army lists / army creation rules. I'm now tempted to order some of the Oddzial Osmy 3mm troops.

To come full circle, I had planned to play a small game this morning using my newly painted Evil cavalry. One of my cats had other ideas. He decided he wanted to nap right next to me. If I got up to prepare a game, it would disturb him. Like many cat guardians, I chose not to move.

Ollie napping
(The picture is from another day. I didn't dare get up today)

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Plot Thickens

My 3mm fantasy project was supposed to be a simple affair between the orc and monster hordes of the Dark Lord vs. the good people of Anarendor.

Things are getting out of hand in my mind. I'm thinking of adding more factions.

It started when I used my 6mm medieval figures to represent enemies attacking the southern border of Anarendor. In my mind, I started populating the southern reaches - the Swartherian barbarians, the Hyanid beastmen, and the good kingdom of Presteria. I then started thinking of adding armies for standard fantasy races - elves and dwarves.

Dwarves. Well there's a challenge, I thought. Who does dwarves in 3mm? Then it dawned on me - I could use Irregular 2mm humans as 3mm dwarves!

Darn! I had a bunch of 2mm that would be perfect, but I sold them off.
My now departed 2mm ancients
 Now I have a mind to re-stock my 2mm forces.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lord Matthaus Strikes

It was 12 years ago that Francesia (my imagi-nations continent) was born. I drew the map while Hurricane Frances was passing over my head. Today, I am off work as I await the arrival of Hurricane Matthew so I decided to get a game in. Matthew is looking pretty ominous, as you can see from the satellite image, so I decided to make him a character in my Anarendor campaign. I used an alternate version of the name, which I feel sounds a little more sinister.

Satellite image of Hurricane Matthew
Lord Matthaus was once one of the most renowned knights of Anarendor. For his service to the Crown he was elevated to the peerage. Alas, the desire for power corrupted his soul. To achieve his goal, he sold himself to the Dark Lord. Through powerful dark magic, Matthaus was transformed into a lich. He now commands the Dark Lord's armies.

After his vanguard secured the crossing into Anarendor, Matthaus rushes his army into the kingdom, bent on quick conquest and destruction. The local baron, Hendrich, seeks to slow down the invasion. He positions a small force to block the road while he takes the rest of his troops on a flanking march. He hopes to surprise the enemy and crush their vanguard.

Battle Notes
I decided to play a One Hour Wargames scenario (in fact, I think I will run a 5-game OHW campaign). The only scenario of the first 6 I haven't played is #6 - Flank Attack 1. This will be today's scenario.

Army of Evil - The evil vanguard consists of 4 hordes of orcs, 1 company of the Iron Legion (undead knights), and 1 band of orc archers. Their goal is to get 3 units off the board along the road within 15 turns.

Baron Hendrich - the baron has committed 1 company of local levies and 1 company of rangers to block the road. He commands the flanking force, which includes a company of Royal Infantry, 2 companies of levy, and another company of rangers.

Initial dispositions
The army of evil is rushing down the road (headed to the bottom of the picture). Levy holds the road while rangers lurk in the woods. Hendrich's flanking force is cresting the hill.

Note: In the past, I only allowed 1 unit per square. I've been bothered that the armies seemed too dispersed. For today's game, I allowed 2 units per square. Only the front unit could participate in melee. It worked well in this scenario.

Battle Report
As the army of evil marches on the levy, archery takes out some of the Iron Legion (leading unit). Hendrich sounds the charge and his flanking force rushes on the enemy column.

Note: In the past, I ruled that melee occurred when enemy units were adjacent. For this game, I changed the rule. A unit must be able to enter the enemy's square in order to initiate a melee. This resulted in a delay in fighting. In the picture above, for example, none of the units are in melee. I think the rule works better for ancient/medieval battles.

The orc warbands take on the flankers but are cut down. The levy, supported by 2 companies of rangers, tries to hold out against the Iron Legion.

But the levy cannot stand. The survivors flee down the road. Meanwhile, the rangers take out the orc archers.

Hendrich and the Royal Infantry (in the middle of the flanking force) are pushed back. Both ranger companies loose upon the advancing orcs, decimating them.

Note: I borrowed an idea from HoTT. Once eliminated, orc hordes may return to the battle. I ruled that it required a roll of 4-6 on a die. The 2 orc units destroyed in this turn failed their rolls and thus did not return.

The Iron Legion continues its march, exiting the battle. Meanwhile, the remaining orc warbands drive off the last of the levy. Hendrich and the Royal Infantry fall upon one of the warbands.

It is an epic fight, but Hendrich goes down. The rangers come out of the woods and pepper the orcs. The remaining orc warband loses heart and flees from the battlefield.

The day is won, but at a heavy price. Baron Hendrich lies dead on the field.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

More Progress

More infantry nearing completion. This time it's the good guys.

In back are 4 units (8 stands) of local levies. It is a little hard to see in this photo but they are unarmored (painted in white tunics) with blue shields.

In front are 2 units (4 stands) of rangers. They are in light green tunics with brown shields. Although the figures themselves are armed with spear and shield, I will be treating them as archers. I'm doing this because I have not yet ordered proper archers so I'll have to pretend. When I finally do get archers, I'll add another strip to each base and convert them to infantry.

I still need to finish the Royal Men at Arms (armored infantry) then I can proceed to the cavalry.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Miniatures Update

During the week I received a package from Scale Creep. My Magister Militum 3mm ancient warriors had arrived. Since then I have been diligently painting them up to represent the good and evil forces contending for my fantasy kingdom of Anarendor.

 Here's witness to my efforts - my very disorganized painting table.

 Some finished product - orcs (top) and the Iron Legion

I am especially pleased with the orcs. For both types, I primed black. I then added some brown (leather armor) on the orcs and painted their faces green. A little gunmetal for the spear tips and tops of the heads (helmets) and red shields completed the figures. I think they stand out quite well; I can tell what they are supposed to be at a distance.

The Iron Legion is a unit of undead knights. They are painted entirely with gunmetal, which gives them a subdued metallic appearance (which I want to contrast with the bright silver armor of the good guy knights). The shields are purple, although the color is difficult to see.

The Army of Evil is based in the volcanic Bleak Mountains. I wanted to create bases that looked like lava fields so I spray painted a dark gray and added red rivers of lava. The bases didn't work out as planned. The gray was lighter than I expected and the red rivers were too muted. Oh well, they now represent ash and rock with rivers of blood, as befits an evil army. Nevertheless, I like I'll easily be able to tell which side the unit is on just from the base color (they good guys will march on lush fields of grass).

There are more stands in the works - orcs in the foreground and good guys behind them. The good guys have been primed in white. To the left are some Anarendor rangers painted in green.

Speaking of miniatures, I made a discovery - some errant sci-fi figures. Earlier this year, I posted that I misplaced some space marines. Well here they were, stuffed in the bottom of a box!