Well, it’s been quite a while since I posted and even longer since I’ve played a solid “Ranks and Flanks” miniatures war game so now seems a good time to change the former as I had a great afternoon doing the latter. Despite not actually playing Kings of War for ages I’ve been working away at various units for different armies. New units (a regiment and troop of archers) had me tempted to run Undead especially as I haven’t done so since the second edition rules came out. The fact that the rest of the army is still based individually for Warhammer and scattered between three Army Transport boxes made it clear that I really wanted to run Dwarfs. Besides, I had three finished units that hadn’t been used in a game yet. Only two of those made it into the final army list, a Troop of Berserkers and a Regiment of Sharpshooters.
Okay, truth be told, I don’t often use Berserkers, other than Brock Riders, in my armies but I keep assembling units because I love painting them. Speaking of the crazed badger riders, I am busy doing some conversion work on a unit of them at the moment. I am planning on posting the step by step in the near future.
A long running grudge match on the Road of Death is between the Kingdoms of Men (led by my buddy Ryan) and my stalwart Dwarfs. It is always a close fought thing with today being no different. I believe it says something about Kings of War as a rules set when we haven’t played for almost two years and remembered how. Sure we had to look a few things up but not as many as I would have expected.
The forces were 2200 points a side and we went with a straight Kill scenario for it’s simplicity. I have to admit to some serious horde envy whenever this army gathers across from me, especially when it’s a cavalry horde. The far right of the human line was a war machine sporting a nasty ballista and a wizard both looking to crush some Earth Elementals. Next to them was a horde of Foot Guard, a HUGE ballista, a regiment of Heavy Pike Block, a mortar, the Army Standard, and the General.
To make matters worse for me, the rest of his line consisted of a horde of Pole Armed soldiers, a troop of Mounted Scouts with carbines, a horde of Arquibussiers all screening a horde of Knights. Yes, a horde of Knights (32 attacks at 3+, Thunderous Charge of 2 OUCH!). A Siege Artillery unit watched over the left flank and I was sure there were plenty of magic items scattered throughout the force. I would be proven correct in my assumptions.
Facing this lethal nightmare was my humble army of bearded warriors. A troop of Ironwatch Rifles secured the far left beside a Greater Earth Elemental, a horde of smaller Earth Elementals, a Berserker Lord on Brock, a regiment of Brock Riders, and a regiment of Bulwarkers. In the woods in the center were Bugman’s Rangers.
A bombard team set up between the woods and my own horde of Ironwatch Crossbows. The Army Standard was close beside as were my regiment of Ironwatch Rifles, and the Sharpshooters. Another Bombard anchored the right flank while the troop of Berserkers and Lady Ursula were held in reserve. In the end I didn’t have enough points for a troop of Berserkers and magic items, a common enough dilemma and why I rarely run the orange haired buggers. However, these guys have been finished in the last couple of months and really deserved a chance to prove their worth. So I went with no magic.
The first turn went quietly for both of us as neither seemed able to roll decently in our shooting phases. Almost my entire gun line emptied their weapons into the advancing horde of pole armed troops for a total of five wounds. The Greater Earth Elemental, known as Stompy took some wounds from the ballista on the war machine but we were both in solid shape as the second turn opened.
A second turn of bad shooting rolls was uncharacteristic of Ryan but the left of his line advanced steadily. My rolls were considerably better and saw away the horde of pole armed men while the troop of berserkers and Lady Ursula destroyed the scouts in a single charge. This left the knights open to charge my line. Crap.
Turns out Ryan could have skipped the shooting all together as that horde of knights was a steamroller. It slammed into my horde of crossbows and ran them down in one round before pivoting to face the regiment of rifles. The math worked out better if I charged them with everything I had left but my dice didn’t agree and I only inflicted five wounds on the armored ruffians. Following turns would see the troop of berserkers blasted apart by cannon fire along with one of my bombards. Somehow Ryan can always roll a six when he really needs it with his artillery. Mine were failing to hit anything. In the end the knights accounted for many more points in damage than they cost, destroying the Rifles and Lady Ursula before the last vestiges of the gun line could finally do enough damage to destroy them. It took the one hit my cannons scored to tip the balance.
On the dwarf left things went a little more to plan with the Brock Riders and the Earth Elementals weathering some fire before closing with the enemy. Really missed my Stone Priest with his Surge ability but they made contact with the horde of foot soldiers and helped Stompy break them in a turn. The Brockriders crushed the war machine and moved around the woods hoping for a flank charge. This came on turn six while the heavy pike was defending itself from my spear block. Fortunately for the badger riders neither Phalynx nor Ensnare work on a unit’s flanks and they helped bring down the pike block. Stompy was quite heroic in his contributions but in the end succumbed to one of those sixes Ryan rolls for his artillery and was blown to rubble at the top of the final turn.
As the miniature sun was setting on our 28mm battlefield there were considerably fewer units standing on either side than when we commenced. The horde of human arquibussiers were wounded but standing on the hill overlooking the few remaining dwarf gun units who in turn were aiming at them. The human right flank was all but gone with the army standard bearer still refusing to give up, continually firing that damned Boomstick. I’ve got to get one of those for my own army. Final score saw the Kingdoms of men inflicting almost 1100 points in casualties while the dwarfs took down over 1600 points of their enemy. Hard fought and close to the end but the dwarfs pulled off a victory. I do love how often a game of Kings of War comes down to the last turn. Considering how consistently Ryan has been beating me at cards (Dominion is another addiction of ours) for the last six months, I really needed a win to maintain any gamer cred.
So next time I will need more bulwarkers painted, my own mobile war machine, and a Boomstick. Oh, and the new regiment of Berserkers really needs to make an appearance.
I try to get to the three closest game conventions each year as they are the best places to interact with most of my oldest friends, meet new ones, and light my creative fires all in one very entertaining weekend. This time was no exception at DundraCon 2016 (San Ramon, Ca) with the highlight being all the Frostgrave we played. For those who may not have heard of it, Frostgrave by Osprey Games is a fantasy skirmish game in which players run a wizard and their band of adventurers seeking the arcane knowledge and treasures of an ancient ruined city (think Mordheim) that was destroyed in an icy, magic cataclysm. It is supposed to be frozen and snow covered but none of my terrain is so I figure there is a brief thaw in the neighborhood. I was delighted to break out long neglected Mordheim terrain and share figures from my also long neglected Role Playing Miniatures collection. Learning a fun new game was bonus.
One table had two gangs fighting it out over the treasures while a giant worm burrowed around under them. Eventually it burst out and much mayhem ensued. When we get together everyone pools their miniatures and terrain, especially the terrain. We all have little projects, okay, some of us have numerous projects that might not fill a three foot square battlefield but added up really look great. Plus I’ll jump at any chance to use the Abbey AronBC built based on a scenario in an old Citadel Journal. This time he had brought a figure from our ancient youth, a giant millipede and, like myself, he was happy to have it get table time.
I was ecstatic to game with so many of the beautiful Hasslefree Miniatures I had painted simply because I loved them. Now they had names and missions. Just to ice the cake, now I really need to paint three from the Unpainted Box to round out the gang. Who knew I’d need a thief? The game uses opposed rolls with twenty sided dice for spell casting and combat. If the caster/attacker rolls higher the number they rolled is also the damage caused. My first game started out well when I rolled a twenty on a twenty sided die to cast Elemental Bolt at my opponent’s wizard who happened to be in the open from where my wizard stood. Modifiers, armor figured out and BOOM! One dead wizard on turn two. We decided to set up and start again because it was about to get very one sided and to have that happen when one is focused on learning a new game seems ridiculous. Besides, there’s no fun in that.
The second game was a closer run thing with both of us hugging terrain and taking shots where we could. The silent tower and it’s connecting buildings are not only a major objective but also a magic null zone so the wizards were quite limited. A couple of henchmen were taken down here and there but it ended with both wizards deciding discretion was the better part of valor and backed away warily as the gangs hauled in their swag.
One of the things I really like about the game is the easy campaign aspect. It was always my favorite part of Mordheim and Necromunda as well because it encourages me to paint miniatures I might not get to as well as creating character and narrative. In this case not only did we use my wild boars, bear, and familiars but the Stone Mountain troll finally found a game use, granted my opponent used Wind Blast to immediately push him back off the table but he got on the table. It also moved the resin toads I’d picked up to the painting table.
So, a fun system that was much easier to learn than I thought it would be. The campaign book, Thaw of the Lich Lord looks very entertaining not to mention creatively inspiring. Now I have a list of old figures and projects to dig out and dust off. Going to to be making buildings, ladders, and bridges for a while.
I received a classic Hudson and Allen Tower Keep not long ago and as I am attempting to only store new finished terrain decided to paint it right away. I have one I painted years ago in dark greys so wanted to do something different with this one, maybe go lighter. Necron99 was looking at it and noted that with the warm brown color the foam had turned over the years it really only needed a stain and highlight. Since the color would make nice base for ivory or tan I decided to test his theory.
After washing the piece, I began with an even coat of Agrax Earthshade directly on the foam, over the entire surface. Next I drybrushed with a tan going fairly thick since it was the base coat.
Stage three was a lighter drybrush of ivory. The various textures sculpted into different stones really changes the tone of the color.
I went with a dusting of white as the final highlight to really get the most out of the wonderful textures and details sculpted into the surface.
I painted the non stone details before using Secret Weapon Washes to weather the tower.
Well, there you go, Necron99 called it right. Pretty quick work, all in all. Might have to add this to the Frostgrave terrain box.
I recently completed enough Hasslefree Miniatures crossbow armed dwarfs to assemble the second Regiment for my Kings of War force. Since it was pretty much the same process as the first one I don’t see any reason to go through all the steps though I did document it. I didn’t add a musician to this unit mostly because I could decide neither what instrument I wanted to use nor which figure to convert. In the end, not to decide is to decide and apparently I prefer no musician for this Regiment. That’s alright, the other half of the Horde has a drummer.
A very attractive unit that I am sure will hold it’s own on the battle field. It fits in nicely with the overall army look as well as looking like it is half of the other unit.
I think I’ve painted enough of this color scheme for a while. In fact, might have to change it up completely and paint some Forge Fathers for Deadzone and Warpath. Gotta admit, rather stoked about the possibilities offered by science fiction unit bases and vehicles.
Once again I was enthralled by figures from Hasslefree Miniatures and being Star Trek homages I couldn’t resist. Once the MicroArts base inserts had arrived these ladies moved to the front of the prep line. Besides, the beginning of a new year should be a time of looking forward and what’s more so than space travel? They aren’t any particular characters but I think of them as Nurse Chapel, Yeoman Rand, and Lt Uhura. Being Kevin White sculpts they are lovely and sport some nice details. I went with the three primary colors Star Fleet Old School uniforms came in as it just made sense with three figures and besides the yeoman sports a yellow uniform in more than one episode.
I tried to keep the details on the bases clean and the colors simple, almost what one might find on a television sound studio in the sixties. As I may have mentioned in earlier blogs, I love the plastic base inserts MicroArts makes. They really add level of place, a sense that the figure is moving through it’s natural environment and are just so much fun to paint.
I find myself wishing for more crew so I can build a foam core Gallileo 7 for them.
Such lovely, formidable ladies and who serve no purpose in my collection except the joy they brought me in their creation. I kept the bases nice and clean to match the sets of the original series. Those miners chasing the Horta were spotless. The bases would look great with weathering and damage, painted dirty, gritty, all Star Wars style. Hmmmmm, seems to me I saw Jedi on Hasslefree’s website…
Having joined in and thoroughly enjoyed Angry Piper’s (http://angrypiper.com/gaming/) November challenge to paint and post a dwarf a week I jumped at the chance to participate when he announced the December Wizard challenge. It gave me the perfect excuse to take on some of the wonderful wizard figures by Hasslefree Miniatures that were sitting in my Unpainted collection as well as a reaper Bones I really wanted to add some runes to. Since he was largely done I started on him while the other three were waiting for their primer to dry.
Week Two I had an Elven Sage who seemed custom sculpted for a character from a recent lethal role playing game a friend ran. Using the Dungeon Crawl Classics role playing rules, we each ran multiple characters as most of them wouldn’t make it to the end. The female half elf sage was the only one of mine who made it all the way through the harrowing adventure, still clutching the skull of an ancient fallen hero. Even though Aron doesn’t really use miniatures in his game I like having a 3D representation of my character and this one was perfect. The fact she looked fun to paint was bonus.
Next up were two figures I ordered as soon as they were cast in metal simply because I loved them and wanted to eventually paint them. I’m still waiting for the “Casting Lenore” to make it to pewter but was happy to have a reason to paint the one I have. But I finished painting Amalthea first so she became my entry for Week Three.
Finally, all that was left was “the one whom angels named Lenore”. With the holidays and all that they entail I didn’t actually complete her by the fourth Saturday deadline but as Angry Piper shared my issues he extended it until the end of the year. I sent my final photos off at 10:30 PM on the thirty-first. Whew, squeeked through.