Sunday, 28 June 2009

Wot, no pictures!

No pictures of my minis this week. I managed to finish yet another contubernium of Romans this week, but as one unit looks pretty much just like another I won't post any more pictures of the Romans unless it is of the whole century on completion or the Optio and Tesserarius I have nearly finished.

I also managed to complete a few more fantasy figures to the varnish stage, so they will be photographed ready for next week's update. I am getting through my old fantasy minis quite efficiently at the moment. I am aiming to finish a handful of rogue types ready for next week - I have two that are almost there and the rest should be done by then.

Tavern Knights of Legend will be starting within the next week or two, and I have chosen my character for the game. This weekend I also started painting up a figure to represent her - a human mage called Esme. Her mini should be finished by next week also - I have spent a fair bit of time on this mini tidying it up, so I am hoping she turns out a little bit better than the rest.

During the week I also took a quick look at my Lord of the Rings minis. I have a couple of units that were half painted a few years ago and served me well in a few games down at my local Games Workshop. I have two 250 point armies; one of Rohan and one of Easterlings. To allow me to play them they had to be a minimum of three colours, and that is precisely how far I got with them. I don't think they will take too long to get in shape and completed. I will start on these when I have finished my Romans. That way, I can take them down to GW again and hopefully get a few more games in. I also started to catalogue my LotR minis. I have a few rather large armies (Rohan, Easterlings, Gondor, Mordor, the Dwarf Kingdoms and Moria), and they should look impressive when lined up on the gaming table facing off against their most notorious foes.

I almost forgot; I also spent a couple of hours glueing up and undercoating some Romans for my son. He got the remnants of the minis from the box sets I bought last year. He paints more quickly than I do - he has already finished the centurion and half his legionaries. He also has some Bretonnians that he has almost completed. When he completes a few units, I will give him a thread on here to display his minis in all their glory.

I was having an email conversation with one of my gaming buddies last week and he has convinced me to try to run a pbm D&D campaign. I think the Tavern Knights players would probably be interested too, so I'll try to get some characters out to them shortly. I have always enjoyed D&D but was mainly an AD&D player. I bought the 3rd Edition rules when they came out but never actually played. I know 4th Edition is out now, but as I don't have those rules, I may as well run the campaign as 3rd Edition.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Bugman's Dwarf Rangers

This week I put the finishing touches to some of the Bugman's Dwarf Rangers boxed sets I bought in the early days of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I had ideas of creating a unit of Rangers as part of a dwarf army, but never got round to painting any up.

I have decided to paint up some for Fantasy RPG and the rest (majority) will be based up for Hordes of the Things. I have decided to put these Rangers onto coins as I don't have any bases ready for Hordes of the Things (HotT). I will be trying to acquire some pre-cut bases next time I get paid, to mount the rest of the dwarfs and the others I have yet to paint up. I am aiming to create two HotT armies to begin with - dwarfs and orcs/goblins. I have nearly enough to create 24pt armies for both "races", the rest I will be purchasing also later this month. I want an impressive dwarf leader but am not sure what to do for the orcs/goblins yet.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

6th Contubernium

This week I was hoping to get a few more fantasy minis completed but time was a bit constrained and I wound up just finishing off another contubernium of Romans. This unit was made up from the rag-tag left overs from the sprues so consists of a half-and-half mix of pilum and gladius minis.

I am aiming to get the rest of the Roman legionary figures done as quickly as possible now to make room on the painting station for others in the range. There are four more contubernia which just need the bases and spray varnish doing (I managed to get the shields sorted this week) before completion. I have a couple of units of auxiliary troops, archers, cavalry, slingers and artillery left to complete a large WAB EIR Roman army. However, after the legionaries I will start on some of Rome's enemies - a couple of boxes of Celtic warriors - before doing more Romans.

The fantasy figures I was due to complete were a small unit of Bugman's Dwarf Rangers from a boxed set released back in the 80s. I almost completed six of them, but they should be done by next weekend though. I was going to put a few on pennies to use in RPG or skirmish gaming and the rest I was going to base up for Hordes of the Things. I was also going to start on a couple of trolls I got from EBay, but only got as far as stripping the old paint off.

Gaming wise, the rules have been sent out to all the players for the upcoming Tavern Knights of Legend epbm. I still need to get round to reading them and creating my character. I was due to read them today but time just flew by and I was unable to. I will have to make time next week so the referee can start to put the game together - he is also a fantastic artist (he drew the map) and mentioned that he would create images of the characters when he got descriptions returned to him. I was going to try to match the characters to minis too, so we would have a couple of visual representations for use in RPG if it ever gets that far. The reason we game epbm though is because we are situated all over the south of England, so it is a little difficult for us to get together regularly.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Tavern Knights of Legend

This is the third ePBM game in the series of the Knights of Legend. The first two involved the saving of the Kingdom of Neame from the Orc Lord Kahlua. Both games involved Knights of the Realm charging around on their destriers rescuing maidens and ridding Neame of Kahlua's monstrous hordes. This, the third version, involves the lowly adventurers of the land taking up arms to defend the realm.

It was a dark and stormy night…

Laird Dram of Glenfiddich sighed. From beneath his white, knotted brows he cast his eyes towards the roof-beams of his great hall to where the shadows danced beyond the reach of the flickering braziers and spluttering bracket-torches.
“Someone stop that infernal singing!”
Bright steel blades scraped free of ironbound scabbards and glowed crimson in the firelight.
“No!” he cried rising to his feet, “Not like that! For pity’s sake!”
The blades slid noisily back to safety.
“Has my vocal quality offended you my Laird?” asked a weak, reedy voice.
The Laird turned to the musician seated beyond his reach, Dram’s benevolent smile lost on the blind bard, his sightless eyes bound in rude, homespun cloth.
“No Pulteney my old friend.”
“Have I not struck the right notes on my lyre?”
“No Old Pulteney, I cannot fault your skill, your accuracy or the feeling you lace your words.”
Laird Dram’s men slowly edged forward, perplexed.
A resigned sadness crossed the Laird’s face “It is the songs you sing bard.”
The hall was silent save for the low crackling of the flames.
“Does not the tales of Sir Riccard and his defeat of the Orc King Kahlua fill you with pride? Shall I sing instead of Sir Rhosis or Sir Occo, both heroes of great mettle?”
The Laird of Glenfiddich sighed and sat down once more. “They should fill me with pride for as a man of Neame I share their blood, but alas their songs fill my heart with nothing but shame. They recall a kingdom lost, a spirit that has died and having departed leaves but a barren moor where brave banners should fly in the stirring wind.”
“How so my Laird did not the deeds of those great chevaliers bring a better age?”
“Aye, an age of apathy where men are no stronger than maids, nay weaker for can our maids not carry milk-pails across their shoulders? Aye, I sent my sons to the Royal city of Kir to be knights and how did they return? Effete and ineffectual, that’s how! Oh yes, they learned how to eat with forks and how to dance and to hang politely on the words of an empty-headed damsel. They even learned how to wear shiny tin armour and to hold a lance so the pennon elegantly catches the breeze, but what use is that in battle?
His sons delicately smiled for they agreed and could see no reason why not to, for they had indeed become knights of the court and were proud of their refinements.
“Even now’” continued the Laird, “the forces of darkness are gathering beyond the palisade, milk is souring, wild animals prowl the forests and mountainsides and strange scraping sounds are to be heard coming deep from beneath the earth. Who stirs? And what do we have to counter them? We have no heroes, we have no true knights in this kingdom any more, we do not even have horses that can face the screech of a night owl without shying and throwing its rider. If those forces rise as they are poised to do, our kingdom, our bloodline and our memory will be forever lost!”
Everyone shrugged, for things were surely not as bad as their ageing Laird claimed. It was true his words only echoed the stories that were brought in by the farmers and crofters of the hills, but what can be done even if their tales were true?”
“We have no heroes,” muttered the Laird.
“But my Laird…” Motley the jester stepped forward, “you are being too harsh on your people.” Even the Laird smiled, as even now he was willing to laugh.
“Your halls may not brim with knights,” continued Motley, “but the perfumed fops of your hall are not the only blood of the kingdom, for come with me to the tavern, for there beneath lower, soot-blackened beams are the heroes of your land, brave and resolute, facing the hardships that are the coarse bread of their station in life, rising to any challenge, willing to fight at the merest perceived slight. They may not ride but their bellies are full of fire and at your command they will doubtless venture into the night and bring back the trophies of their exploits!”
The hall echoed with peals of hearty laughter.
“Silence!” ordered the Laird, standing once more. “Your jest Motley has given me an idea. Guards, go to the tavern and announce that all who would be heroes must now come to my hall for I shall place the future of our kingdom in their hands!”
The Laird turned to Old Pulteney, “In nights to come you will be singing of a new hero of Neame for I feel it in my blood that their courage will inspire you to song!”

Tavern Knights of Legend (T-KoL or Tavern Knights) is a variant of Knights of Legend (KoL). I hesitate to call it a development as that implies a claim that it is a step in the right direction. Tavern Knights is based less on the heroic romances of the high middle ages and the reworking of that genre and more on the work of E Gary Gygax and his popular fantasy game, Dungeons & Dragons. That stated T-KoL does not attempt to be a PBM version of D&D or even a KoL version of D&D, only a version of KoL that uses D&D style adventurer character classes of fighter, mage, cleric, dwarf, thief, ranger and barbarian rather than only heroic knights errant. Unlike KoL, T-KoL is more a game of swagger and opposed treasure hunting. It isn’t so much about bashing the monsters as about getting their treasure, which does admittedly mostly involve bashing them, but most of all it is about squandering ill gotten gold and bragging about it in the bar about how it was come by.

Heroes take on monsters, rescue maidens and recover lost treasures, gaining glory, charisma and fame. If a hero’s fame rises so high that the blind bard, Old Pulteney is inspired to immortalise them in song, that hero so feted, wins the game.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Half way there

As all of the other pictures of my Romans have tended to be taken from the front, showing off their shields, I thought it better this time to show them side on so you can actually see the paint job for a change. I have now completed half of the contubernia that make up a century and most of the command structure.

I have to still make up a tesserarius but have managed to create a passable optio. These should be ready in a few weeks time.

I'm not sure what I will have ready for next week's entry, but I am hoping to get a few more of my old RPG minis completed. On a rethink, I have come to realise that many of the old figures are either Citadel or Ral Partha. Some date to as early as 1976. Unfortunately, I am no longer sure which figures belong to which manufacturer, so apologies if I label them incorrectly.

Gaming wise, I am about to get involved in an ePBM. This is run by one of my oldest (as in longest known) gaming buddies whom I have known since I was about twelve or thirteen years old. It is a kind of turn based RPG where each of the players will play an adventurer from a small kingdom, beating up baddies, rescuing damsels in distress and gaining treasure.
Gaming has been a bit thin on the ground this year, but I am preparing to run a couple of games and it looks like there are a couple of games run by other gaming buddies coming up too. I will also be looking to attend Games Workshop for the occasional LotR game against the staff and perhaps one of the two major gaming clubs located near to where I live. I have been a bit slack in getting out there and playing, so this year is, hopefully, the start of new things.