Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Sorting some shade for the Spartans

These Persians are no pussies! Just because they dress like colour blind residents of Carnaby St c.1966 does not make them any less deadly. Their arrows can block out the sun... hence the title of this post.

The force features some cavalry, which will be an interesting addition to the Mortal Gods gaming experience.

A bit of a closer look with the Persian Chief of Warriors in the foreground.
 The miniatures are a mix. The cavalry are Warlord Games, the rank and file Crusaders Miniatures, and the heroes are from Footsore Miniatures. A pack of Crusader Spearmen and one of Archers gave me the figures to assemble 2 bases of Sparabara, 2 of Archers and 1 of Spearmen.
The best view of the Persians is from the side so that you can see all of the stripes, zig-zags and dots on them.

More close ups

An army of fashion victims - but hopefully not Hoplite victims.
I really like the Persians. They get a bad rap due to them being the bad guys in the Western tradition, but we are lucky enough to live in times where the historic record is being seen with a bit more balance. I'm awed by Cyrus (the Great, not Billy Ray or Miley), and I wish we knew more about him.
I'm just waiting on the Persian Cards to be back in stock at Footsore, so I can order them and get these guys into battle.

On the painting tray at the moment are a mix of Ancients - some generals for Craig's Successor army, some casualties and vignettes, and some Skeleton warriors for Mortal Gods Mythic.


Monday, 27 April 2020

Digging into the Ancients pile

Painting over the last few days has seen me finish off Craig's 'blob' of pikemen for his successor army, and move onto some Gauls.
The red phalanx completed

A closer shot. LBMS shield transfers, looking very nice.

The red and blues phalanxes. Only the purples to go.
 Gauls are a tricky proposition. They can be overworked and look to busy, or underworked and not look like Celts at all. Either way, they can be quite consuming, so I was looking for some speed painting techniques with these guys.
The shields are the Warlord Games decals. Quite a nice selection.

Zooming out to see some of the other figures

I'm not a great fan of the guys that are bent right over. It may be a dynamic pose, but there's too many of them on the sprue.
 I went back and looked at some Peter Dennis battle scenes with Gauls in them, and saw that his technique was to take a lighter colour as the base and do a check pattern in a darker shade over the top to give the impression of plaid. So that is what I did with these figures. The flesh is Gulliman contrast, which I cannot rate highly enough, and all shading is done with washes. In the end these 15 figures took 2 painting evenings, but the first evening also saw me finishing the successors, so I'm really pleased with the speed painting experiment.

When I based up the Gauls I also rebased some Romans for the Rule Britannia rules.
12 figures to the maniple

Ready to conquer
So the first two units for Rule Britannia are ready to go, although these aren't my priority at the moment. Currently the painting tray has 18 Achaemenid Persians on it for Mortal Gods. I'm listening to Dan Carlin's King of Kings Hardcore History podcast at the moment when I go walking, and I'm loving the way he tackles Herodotus. Expect some games from Ancient Greece soon.


Thursday, 23 April 2020

Keeping busy

I'm back at work, but confess that working from home offers many distractions. Most notably the accessibility of my garage, where a bunch of toys in painted and unpainted states constantly call to me. I have avoided being sucked in to the vortex entirely, but yesterday could not prevent myself from playing another fantasy game, just to try out the rules and refine them a bit. And there is definitely some refining needed. Orcs for instance, were ripped apart by the Dwarf army before getting into contact. This tended to happen in Dragon Rampant too, so maybe my Orcs just need to be sneakier, but I suspect what I really need are some faster units, like Boar boyz. Add that to the shopping list.
Aerial view of the Battle of the Two Fords
 I didn't do a full battle report for this game, just taking a few photos of the set up, as I new time was precious, but the idea was that the Orcs were advancing from one direction, and Chaos from another. Opposing them were an Imperial-Dwarf alliance, defending the two fords that cross the river.
The Imperial set-up. No knights, just foot troops.

Opposing them a matching force in terms of points, but light in numbers.

The Orc force, ready to strike

And the brave Dwarven defenders

In the centre sat a woods which was unpassable.

In the first clashes the Orc Warlord was seen off by a combination of the handgunners and the gyrocopter. After that, things just got worse for the Orcs. Only at the end did the Shaman use his magic to literally squish the Dwarf King.
 Overall the Dwarfs were too strong, but I put this down to the activation system. The Orcs' lower Discipline rating meant that they failed their command tests often, and this allowed the Dwarfs to activate their units. As such, the cannon and handgunners were shooting just about every turn. So I think that I might abandon that mechanism, and just try the rules with IGo-UGo.
AT the end the Chaos knights are sweeping through the Imperial flank, while the Giant turns around and walks away - he did this for most of the game.

In the evenings I've continued to paint, mostly Star Wars Legion.
The dark lord of the Sith

I tried very hard to follow the guide by Sorastro

But gave up in the end and used gloss varnish

My third squad of stormtroopers

And two units of speeder bikes
The second squad of Stormtroopers, and the last dozen 54mm Great War figures

The Chaos Sorcerer can summon a demon, so this Reaper miniature that I bought years ago has been painted and drafted into use.
Currently painting Macedonian pikemen for Craig.


Sunday, 19 April 2020

Battle of Azgaar's tomb

Havin thrown together the outline of the fantasy rules in a word document and created some stats, I fought a trial battle today between the Dwarf and Chaos armies. The scenario called for the capture of Azgaar's tomb, a source of strong Chaos magic, which the Dwarfs are defending.

The Chaos battleline deployed

The Dwarven battle line, minus the miners who are digging under the earth somewhere.

Chaos had the first turn, and the first activation failure saw the Dwarf cannon react with a miss. 

The cannon was upgraded to a Runic Cannon, enabling it to reroll scatter dice. It didn't help this turn.

The Chaos hordes surge towards the Dwarfs.

The Runesmith casts Rune of Fire on the Giant.
 For the majority of the game I was playing the magic rules wrong. I wrote them last night when I was feeling extremely tired and was wondering why the casting was so hit and miss. Then I remembered how it was supposed to work and the game was much better.
The cannon misses again!

That's OK! Runic reroll!

Ooof! The Beastmen are battered.

The Miners appear and charge the Chaos Sorcerer!

The Wizard takes most of the hits, but it is the Dwarfs who fall back due to failing to batter the Sorcerer.

The Gyrocopter had attacked the Giant with its steam gun, but was then charged by the lumbering beast. Here it is fleeing from that encounter!

After suffering the fire of the Dwarf cannon, the Chaos Lord charges the Dwarf King and his bodyguard.

But is wiped out.

At this stage the Handgunners have seen off a unit of Beastmen, the Giant has attacked the Warrior shieldwall and been repulsed, and the Dwarf King has eliminated another unit of Beastmen.

A blast of magic from the Runesmith and the Giant is out of here!

The Gyrocopter rallies and returns, but the Chaos Warriors are closing.

Chaos flank attack! The Dwarf King was wiped out here. I think that flank attacks in the future will reduce resilience by 1 as opposed to reducing it to 1. Either way, this unit still would have been destroyed.

On the flank the Chaos Warriors run down the Dwarfs as they fall back from combat.

The Chaos Warriors surround the remaining Dwarfs.

Beastmen and Giant continue to rout, but the Sorcerer destroys the Miners.

As the sun pours onto the table the Dwarf defeat becomes apparent.
The Dwarfs deployed 33 points, and Chaos 34 points, and the battle was relatively even, so I think the points are about right. However, I also made quite a few changes to the lists as I went, so as a playtest it was a good first run.

I need to write the lists for the Empire and Orcs now, and hopefully have another game soon.