Monday, 27 July 2009

T-KoL Turn 3 (Mid-day)

Strepos the ranger looked bewildered, he then violently shook his head.
“What misleading trail had I been following? Who had led me astray? Well, once I have gone to the aid of the mighty Onan, someone will pay! Onwards to Grants Gibbet!”

Finally the blood bats scattered and at last Onan the barbarian could see the bloody ruin that was once Esme the mage. His eyes narrowed.
“As those of my companions who were reliable are now dead, I shall move on to Cragganmore!”

Wasting no time, Strepos the ranger rushed towards Grant’s Gibbet. As the sun reached its zenith the grisly site came into view. Instantly he saw the slaughtered corpses of Sincha and Esme, but Onan was nowhere to be seen. Then, sensing his presence, smelling his sweat, the screeching bats rose like a black and angry cloud. Swiftly, Strepos loosed two arrows into their midst. The cloud swirled, but no bats fell. Yet rattled, they came no closer. Suddenly, from the corner of his eye he saw a low mass tearing through the heather. Without turning he knew it was the boar, bloody-snouted, charging and giving him no time to nock an arrow. In an instant he drew his sword and with a quick twist of the wrist he brought the shimmering blade down towards the rushing boar’s lowered head, but the pig was upon him. Steel sword clashed against ivory tusks and tossed by the impact both man and boar rolled apart into the deep bracken. Strepos sprang to his feet. Crouching he listened. The boar was circling, crashing through the undergrowth. Strepos knew the fight was far from over.

“I see you!” Jim Bean staggered to his feet and stabbed the air with his stubby finger. “Scurry back to ya stinking holes ya rats or I’ll roast and eat ya like would ma grandpappy Sawney!”
The doors slammed shut as terrified, the villagers of Cragganmore fled once more to the shelter of their homes.
Jim Bean spat on the ground and tugged his belt more firmly into place. Then he saw him. On the road to the south, moving with the speed and grace of a mountain cat. Bare-chested and tousle haired came Onan the barbarian. Bean swore and spat once more, pulled his coarse cudgel from his pack and turned to meet his challenger. In a single, smooth motion, Onan drew his axe and raising it high brought its broad blade crashing down on Bean’s befuddled head. The bellicose brawler fell to the dirt. Onan grunted and planting one foot on the slain man’s chest, and with a sickening crack, he wrenched the bloody, brain-smeared axe free from Jim Bean’s cloven skull.
Snorting, Onan searched the body and smiled gleefully on finding three gold pieces. Cautiously the villagers stepped out into the street and hoping this was indeed a deliverer, timidly cheered.

“Forgive my intrusion…”
Kenny the farmer’s son looked up from his tankard to see who had spoken. In the dim light of the Glenfiddich Inn he saw that it was not one of the usual regulars who had spoken but a stranger dressed in a long blue robe studded with arcane symbols. Kenny, above all others at the beer-bench knew him to be a mage.
As Kenny made no objection the stranger continued.
“You look to me as if you plan a journey.”
Kenny nodded.
“Yet I have heard that only the brave or foolhardy venture beyond the palisade walls as have you not heard, there is evil upon this land?”
“Aye!” replied Kenny, “I too would be safe behind a barred and bolted door had I not vowed to spill the blood of all things foul and mal-aligned to avenge the cruel death of my poor sister Esmeralda Dalgleish!”
“A mage?”
“None other.”
“I too,” said the stranger, “feel for her loss, for I am also a mage and all mages feel the absence from the world of one who knows our art. May I introduce myself? I am Secundus the Trivial, mage of Hecate.
“I hope,” interrupted the Blue Nun, “you two are not waiting for Bash the Cleric. He left ages ago.”

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The New Heroes

Just had the latest pictures of the band of warriors for T-KoL delivered by the referee. Once again, he has done a fantastic job of rendering our new heroes.

I shall get the new turn up tomorrow night along with character stats etc.

Kenneth Dalgleish

With the sad demise of Esmerelda in the first combat of the new game, I decided that my next character would be her avenging brother. He is a tough crofter's son (one of half-a-dozen offspring) with a penchant for combat.

Hopefully he will last longer than his sister and Sincha No Ha. I am currently painting up a miniature to represent him but am just waiting for the protective varnish to dry before doing the base. I should be able to get a picture of the mini up during the week.

Roman Auxiliary Cavalry

The first of my Roman cavalry have been completed. The troops are ready for action but the command won't be ready until next week. They are from the Early Imperial Roman range by Warlord Games. They are not bad figures at all and quite easy to paint. Warlord are pretty helpful to their customers too in that they produce shield transfers for most of their troops thus making completing shields that much easier.

As mentioned above, the command will be completed by next week and so should the final contubernium of Roman legionaries.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

T-KoL Turn 2 (Morning) Report

As the rising sun cast its warming rays across the meadow, Esme the mage shook her head, “I was always led to believe that the cleric drew the maps but as Bash has deigned not to join us, we must press on without him!”
Her companions smiled and silently shrugged.
Then she began to dance, the ribbons trailing from her wand tracing graceful arcs through the fresh, morning air.
“Hail fellow travellers at the Rosebank field”’ she sang,
“Within our hands our weapons wield
Let's up and fight the boars and bats
Or shall we turn and run like rats?”

Onan the Barbarian, his eyes wide and his spirit moved, beat his meaty fists against his mighty chest and taking up his axe thrust it towards the north and to Grant’s Gibbet beyond, “Forward by Frygg!” he cried. Sincha No Ha the thief and Strepos the Ranger nodded and raced off into the hills as Esme and Onan broke camp and headed north.

Moments later Strepos reappeared in the meadows. Had he lost his way or had something more sinister occurred?

Meanwhile Bash the Cleric was still discussing theology with the Blue Nunn in the inn at Glenfiddich. His head was clear for water was all he could afford.

Sincha No Ha crouched behind a rock. Ahead upon the creaking gibbet the blood bats hung sleeping, but there was no sign of the wild boar. He had heard that through the boar’s nose was a golden ring, a ring that for gain and kudos, he intended to steal. Slowly he crept forward. Suddenly a snort broke the silence. Instinctively Sincha leapt. The boar, eyes blazing, thundered across the very ground the thief had swiftly abandoned. Sincha landed and rolled, springing to his feet, his tanto dagger drawn, but the boar was gone, its charge spent. Sincha’s eyes flashed to the gibbet. The caged skeleton hung naked in the wind. The hairs stood up sharply on the back of his neck and then the bats were upon him smothering him like a black and screeching blanket, their gelid wings flapping and their fangs biting deep. Pain seared through body as they drank, draining his strength. He thrashed wildly and with each moment more weakly until at last he fell silent and the bats gorged.
On the road ahead, beneath the gibbet, Esme and Onan saw a trembling black mass. At first they were puzzled, but their bile rose as they realised it was a swarm of blood bats feeding on a human victim. Then the wild boar stepped from behind a rock and began drumming the hard ground. The black mass rose. Onan’s muscles rippled as he drew his axe and dagger and Esme’s lips quivered as she began muttering arcane words of power. Lightning licked from her extended wand bathing her in lurid light. The air sizzled and cracked as its livid fire shot forward scorching the thin mountain earth, but her aim was unsure, and unharmed the boar charged. Onan rushed forward but plunged into a dark, churning maelstrom of shrieking blood bats. His blades carved a swirling swathe of shimmering steel through their twisting swarm, striking none but forcing them back beyond his deadly reach, but he was unable to press forward as they dived in once more behind him forcing him to turn and defend his back. Onward the boar charged. Wide-eyed Esme firmly thrust her wand before her only to see it shatter against the unyielding skull of the boar before it smashed, tusks tearing, into her unprotected belly. Her wind burst from her open mouth, loud and bloody and she crashed to the ground, the boar ripping deeper into her struggling flesh until her thrashing and screaming ceased.

Oh well, one turn in and I have already lost my character. Esme bit the dust, but also so did Sincha No Ha. Poor planning and misunderstandings led to our downfall. Back to the drawing board ready for next turn with a new character - better luck next time eh?

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Troll wife

Another busy week on the figures front this week. I managed to finish another troll for my fantasy RPG game. She is an old Citadel Troll Wife. I have named her Mara after the female troll character (if my memory serves me correctly) in the Weirdstone of Brisingamen - a children's book by Alan Garner.

It was a lovely figure to paint - in other words very easy for my painting style.

Also, this week, I managed to almost complete 10 Roman cavalry (hopefully I'll get them up on the blog next week), and half-a-dozen more Bugman's Dwarf Rangers for HotT. I also dug out some early (1985 I think) slotta-based figures. I will be basing them on LotR style bases for skirmishing and RPG. I think they are GW Empire crossbowmen, GW Fighters and some TSR female fighters (the same character in three poses throughout an imaginary career).

Alex started on some Bretonnian archers; he'll probably have those finished by next week so I'll post them up when he has completed them.

At the moment there isn't really any use for any of these figures I am painting. However, I am aiming to amass enough painted minis to create a couple of armies for WAB and HotT to play with in the coming months. The old Citadel minis will be used for a future fantasy RPG, but I think they are just nice to paint for the sake of it (and the fact I have a large lead mountain that needs reducing). I think the blog will be a painting catalogue for the next few months but then, when armies are completed, they will be played with and battle reports written up where possible. Tavern Knights of Legend will also be reported on each week as a central repository for returns that can be accessed by players from anywhere where they have access to an internet connection.

Monday, 13 July 2009

T-KoL Turn 1 (Night) Report

After the cheers had died down, the five tavern knights were left alone in the flickering torchlight.
“Well,” asked Bash the cleric, “does anyone have a plan or is each of us to venture out alone?”
His words were met with silence as each of the five bravoes eyed each other with guarded suspicion.
Sincha No Ha’s unfamiliar accent broke the silence. “Well since no-one else appears to have anything to say, I suggest we all go to the Rosebank Meadows immediately - the darkness holds no terrors for such a band of heroes!”
“Well said by Frygg” broke in Onan the Barbarian, “we must set off bonded as one as if by blood, but Rosebank Meadows sounds unlike a battlefield fit to honour my ancestors! Shall we not head for Dewar’s Well?”
“We could’” replied Sincha No Ha, “but is it not the shortest route to Grant’s Gibbet and the chance to face some real opposition and to lunch on roast boar. Roast wolf does not hold the same appeal to my taste buds”.
It was then agreed, they would venture forth together to Rosebank Meadows as one band of heroes.

The gates of Glenfiddich creaked shut and the heavy bar slammed into place. Esme the mage, Onan the Barbarian, Sincha No Ha the thief and Strepos the ranger looked out beyond the meager circle of torchlight into the blackness beyond. The rain had eased. The night still shuddered with the crash of distant thunder and the black road ahead held only the dread of the unseen.
Strepos, his face hidden in the shadow of his hood was the first to speak. “Both I and Sincha No Ha will better serve scouting and protecting the party’s flanks and rear.” He looked about. “No doubt foul creatures lurk with malevolent intent in that darkness, it will be better that we take the fight to them than wait for them to strike.” Following sagely nods of approval, both he and Sincha No Ha slipped away into the inky blackness.
Onan and Esme stood alone.
“So where’s Bash?” asked Esme.
Onan shrugged, “Frygg knows!”
With that, they began their muddy trek through the night.

Their passage was slow and laborious. Their only comfort was that the storm was showing no will to return. From time to time Sincha No Ha or Strepos would emerge from the blackness with little or nothing to report before plunging back into the unwelcoming night. By the time, muddy and tired, they arrived at the meadows, the sky above the eastern peaks was beginning to gently peach with the coming of the dawn. The dampness of the lush grass was the only sign that a storm had passed in the night. Sheep gamboled gaily in the half-light and once Sincha No Ha and Strepos had confirmed that nothing untoward had awaited their arrival, the four made camp and began discussing their next move.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Alex's Romans

This afternoon, my son Alex finished off the Romans I gave him a few weeks ago. I think he has done a great job on them. He decided he wanted them based up for Warhammer rather than the round bases I chose for skirmish gaming.

They have yet to have their shields made and glued on (except for one!). I will sort out some shields for him from the sprues when I get a chance.

Roman NCOs

I managed to finish the Roman NCOs I was talking about a few weeks ago. Below is the Optio, second in command of a century. I took a centurion's head, resculpted the crest and turned it through 90 degrees, added a scarf (to stop his armour from chaffing) and sculpted his hastile from green stuff - my first ever foray into converting figures. I know these were very simple things to do, but hopefully I will improve and try more intricate stuff from now on. The hastile is a little exaggerated but will be easy to spot on the table-top which, for me, is important.

This is a shot of the optio and the tesserarius. Unfortunately the quality of the photo made the poor transfer application stand out. It doesn't notice very much when seen on the table-top but this close-up shows up all the small blemishes - a bit like HD TV I suppose?

I am almost finished the rest of the century, so when done I will get a few pictures of the whole lot on the wargames table. I also made a good start on the Roman cavalry this week.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

T-KoL Turn 1 (Night)

“My Laird”
The Dram of Glenfiddich raised his head and saw before him, standing between two guards, five rain-soaked bravoes. “So,” he asked, “are these the brave knights of the tavern that I have heard so much about?”
“There was another,” declared a guard, “but she wouldn’t come with us unless we paid her, but we’re used to that.”
The Laird sighed and began to wonder whether Motley was a true comic genius after all. He looked to his sons and realised that no matter how ill suited, ill equipped and in so many ways unworthy to fulfil the role of Neame’s legendary knights, these five bedraggled, ale-sops were the fief’s only hope against the forces of darkness that gathered beyond the heavy, barred gates of Glenfiddich.
As thunder rolled above the great hall he beckoned forth two lowly crofters, who turning their tightly clutched tam-o’-shanters nervously in their hands, shuffled forward.
“Tell these heroes” commanded the Laird, “what you told my guards!”
After the further encouragement granted by the sharp point of a guard’s gisarme, the crofters began their tale. They told of packs of wild wolves roaming the ruins of Edradour and the Linkwood Forest, preying on unwary travellers. They told of swarms of blood-bats and a malevolent wild boar whose hunger for human gore made the northern path impassable beyond Grant’s gibbet. Yet most worrying of all they told how villagers of Cragganmore cowered in their cottages, too afraid to venture out to care for their crops and flocks for fear they would attract the bellicose attentions of Jim Bean the wife-beater and drunken brawler and with eyes wide with terror, they told of a cruel cut-throat going by the soubriquet “Cobra “ who had taken a room at the Black Bottle Inn and leaving his slate unpaid terrorises all those who seek shelter beneath the roof, forcing merchants and tinkers to stay at home rather than face his wrath. Then with fear still clear in their unshaved faces, they paused for breath and bowed low before their Laird and master.
The Dram of Glenfiddich turned to the five tavern knights, “It’s close to midnight,” he declared, “something evil’s lurking in the dark, I place my trust in you five heroes to venture forth and save this world for all our children. Our fate is now in your hands, prove my faith worthy or let me hear that you have died trying!”
The five tavern knights looked to each other. Should they venture out into the stormy darkness, or should they return to the taproom and await the clear sky of dawn?

The Tavern Knights

Here are the initial images of the Tavern Knights characters, along with their counter markers (to display their positions on the game map). I think an absolutely fantastic job has been done on these and I look forward to playing the game.

Rogues in the House

I have been exceptionally busy painting wise this week and, as a result, I have finished another contubernium of Romans and quite a few fantasy minis. Seen below are the rogue/thief/assassin style figures I have in my collection.

The two minis in the first picture are from Ral Partha's "Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night". The one on the left is an assassin and the one on the right is an adventuress. It seems this batch of photos has turned out a little on the over exposed side - it is extremely sunny here at the moment.

These two fellows are from Citadel, but I cannot remember the range. I am extremely pleased with the way the one on the right has turned out. He looks real mean and ready to rob anyone of their hard-earned.

These two are from Citadel's "Fantasy Adventurers" range. They are both designated as thieves. They are both overly busy in chunky detail but they haven't turned out too badly.

These final two are from a company called Denizen. One is an Amazon and the other, I think, is a fighter. Due to the fact she is wearing leather armour, has no shield and a short rapier-type weapon I have decided she'd serve better as a thief-type.

Finally, here's a shot of the whole dastardly band of cut-throats.

During the week I ordered some pre-cut mdf bases for Hordes of the Things. They arrived in good time for me to get started on some more Dwarf minis that will form the basis of my first Hordes army. Here is a list of the minis I currently have part-way completed, that will feature on the blog within the next few weeks...
The final contubernium of Roman legionaries
An Optio and Tesserarius for the Roman century
Half-a-dozen Bugman's Dwarf Rangers for HotT
A female troll
Ten Roman cavalry
About a dozen or so peasant/farmer types

Tavern Knights of Legend is coming along, and I think the first turn will be sent out within the next few days. My character has been created and the mini has been painted (see Esmerelda in the posts below), and the referee will be drawing her fairly soon. I am looking forward to this game as I haven't really played anything for nigh on a year. It will hopefully spark me into getting more done gaming wise, perhaps at one of the local gaming clubs. Unfortunately my problem lies in the fact that I don't get home from work until past 7pm, and most clubs start around that time. Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and turn up in the hope of getting a game on the off chance.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Esmerelda Dalgleish

Here are a couple of images of my Tavern Knights of Legend character.

Her name is Esmerelda Dalgleish and she hails from the Glen Fiddich region of the land of Neame. She is the daughter of a local crofter and a magic user to boot. The figure I have used is from the old Citadel Fantasy Adventurer range. I had originally painted her back in the days when I used her in my AD&D campaigns. All I have done is touched up her paint work a little (it is amazing how much gaming wear and tear had rubbed off the paint), then varnished and rebased her. I should have blown off all the loose grass before I photographed her (I have done so now) but it was getting dim in the house and I didn't see it when I took the photo.
The campaign referee will use these images to create an image of her to use in the T-KoL game. He will also be doing the same for the other characters - when I get to see the pictures of those I will try to match them to figures I have at home and hopefully do them justice in the media of paint and lead.