Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of my readers, old and new. Thank you for dropping by and taking a peek into my little world of gaming. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and get everything you ask for in these difficult and austere times. Let us all be thankful for our families and friends and all the good things that they bring to us.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Warriors of Rohan

I haven't made an update in a short while, but I have been busy painting some Lord of the Rings miniatures. I managed to finish up 36 Warriors of Rohan today. These, along with the Riders of Rohan from last year, make up teh core of a Rohan army I am trying to put together. I just need to paint up the elites and heroes now (next year's project?).

I managed to pick up all of these plastic miniatures quite cheaply when the Battlegames in Middle Earth magazine ended its production run. The distributor sold off their excess stock at a knock down price. As a result, I was able to pick up the core of several armies including; Rohan, Gondor, Isengard and Mordor.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the warriors I finished up this morning. First up is a unit with gold/bronze(?) embellishments on their helmets ...

And from above ...

This is the second unit with a red theme on their helmets...

And the first two units from above...

Here is the thrid unit with a green theme to their helmets to show them apart...

And finally, all three units from above...

I will probably get a few pictures of the entire army when completed sometime in the future. If I can get the elites (Outriders, Royal Guard, captains and banner bearers) done next, I will finalise the army with the heroes (Theoden King, Theodred, Eomer, Erkenbrand, Grimbold, Gamling, Hama and Eowyn). I still have just a few more minis to buy to round out this collection but it is about 90% there.

So, what else have I been up to? Well, I undercoated dozens of Norman horses, the rest of the Splintered Lands Druid's Children and put a bit more paint on the ghouls that will accompany the barbarian magician for Hordes of the Things.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Dragonewt on weirdy beast

I actually finished this little monster mash-up on Sunday, but thought I'd write up my gaming session with Dunc first.

The rider came from the Runequest set of Dragonewts I painted up a few months ago and would ordinarily ride on a terror bird (painted maybe a year or so back). However, I wanted to keep the terror birds as separate adversaries as they are lovely figures and would be too limited if used only with the actual Dragonewt riders. I had a rummage through my unpainted lead drawers and found this strange horsey-chaos thing. I think it is a Citadel mini that had some sort of fish-man or long-necked rider, that I doubt I will ever use, unless I stick it on a horse? Anyway, the Dragonewt fitted onto this mount perfectly, so I thought 'Why not?'

Next up : I have put a little more paint onto some Warriors of Rohan and I also undercoated the freebie Ghouls that I got with one of the wargames mags a month or two back. I aim to put them to use on my magician base for the HotT barbarian army I finished a while back. I have also almost finished the Splintered Lands minis. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Into the Perilous Realm...

I got down to see Dunc, my new online gaming buddy, this weekend. I packed the chariot with all the requirements for a day's gaming and set off through the Dark Wood into the Perilous Realm of Sussex. My landlubber's legs trembling at the thought of meeting my sea-worthy adversary in mortal combat. The Saxons were invading and the remnants of the Romano-British resistance needed to show they were made of stern stuff.

After a thoroughly warm and friendly greeting at the door of chez Dunc I was ushered into the realm of the lord of battle. We had four smashing games. The first three I was able to roll an absolutely unbelievable amount of sixes (something I am not usually renowned for). However, when the dice went back to resembling normality in our final game, Dunc gave me a sound thrashing with his superior tactics.

Dunc has actually beaten me to the write up of our games here, but I have a few photos and comments of my own to add to his wonderful summaries. I managed to photo (on my Blackberry, so please excuse the poor quality) the Splintered Lands versus Dwarfs match up close to the start and then at the death.

Dunc's Dwarf Hero on a bear charged forward in the hope of mashing up some mouselings cowering in a huddle between the hills and the marsh. My Hare leader ran out to meet him in single combat - ordinarily a foolhardy decision but he thought his troops would back him up. Looking back, he saw the mice cowering together and the otters refusing to enter the marsh - perhaps these aqueous creatures didn't want to get their fur wet? This game saw me roll unbelievably in combat but I failed on numerous occasions to activate - rolling a double fail for something like four turns in a row. If it wasn't for a Transfix cast by the mouse shaman, the Hare (and then the rest of the army) would have been mincemeat, but the constant flow of sixes meant the combat went against the far superior warrior.

The battle ebbed to and fro, but the Splintered Lands army just managed to cling to a victory.

This was my first foray into the world of Songs of Blades and Heroes, and I can quite honestly say that this set of rules makes for a fun, actioned packed half-an-hour. The four games we had during the afternoon were great and the ruleset made for each being unique.

After the actual gaming, we were both called indoors by Mrs Tangent to a hearty, and most tasty, meal of meatballs (thank you again for your hospitality). Absolutely perfect for rounding off a great day out.

We parted with the promise of more to come. I look forward to it with great anticipation.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Roman Top Brass

These took me forever to finish. Not sure why, but I just lacked the enthusiasm for them for a long time. Maybe it was because I had painted so many legionaries and auxiliary troops in the last year I had just lost the will to do any more, or maybe it was because for the first time in a long time I had used a white undercoat instead of my usual black. Anyway, I got stuck into them this weekend and finished them up late this afternoon.

First up is the legion's top brass - the Aquilifer, a tribune or legate and a Primus Pilus (all are from Warlord Games's range of Early Imperial Romans). These are way too highly ranked for my skirmish set up of a century plus its auxiliaries hidden away on some frontier somewhere, but I guess they could always show their faces in a scenario idea - kidnap/kill the legate type thing.

Next up are the top brass of a century - cornicern, centurion and a vexillarius (carrying a vexillum that doesn't have any unit details on it - I decided to keep it blank).

To round out my auxiliary units, I needed an optio for each. Below is the first optio I painted, for the western auxiliary unit of spearmen and archers I have. I stayed with the standard oval shield and chain armour for him.

For this chap I decided on a little back story. He was a late transfer to the auxiliaries from a legionary century. Therefore, he is wearing his lorica segmentata and carrying a rectangular scutum. I gave the scutum the unit's shield design, but had to fill up around the transfer as it was an oval decal on an oblong shield. I think it makes a nice change. I have another optio in chain with round shield, but will paint him up to go with the century command above.

What other Early Imperial Roman stuff do I still have in the painting backlog? Well, I have 2 scorpios and 1 onager with attendant crews, plus a unit of Balearic slingers. I also have a unit of about a dozen Numidian auxiliary cavalry. I think I will add enough Roman cavalry to create a full turma of around 32 men. I may also add some Numidian footmen, Celtic cavalry, a few elephants and a baggage train along with some civilians. I also have a Roman watch tower that I could use as the beginnings of a semi-permanent camp if I can manage to sum up the courage to create some earthworks.

Next up I am painting a few odds and ends of fantasy stuff and I have made a start on my Warriors of Rohan.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Nick Lund's Kobolds

I bought these way back in the day when they were first released at a shop in west London. I cannot remember the name of the shop now but, as far as I know, it is no longer there - a shame really as I only went there the once (to get these and their Hobgoblin counterparts) and I recall it being a haven for RPG gamers. I went with my friend Steve, from school, whom I had just got into gaming and we went armed with a wodge of pocket money and high hopes. My aim was to get a stack of Nick Lund's stuff and his was to get a stack of dwarfs and orcs. We were neither disappointed and both of us came away with massive bags full of miniatures. Happy days indeed.

First up here is a picture of the hand weapon and shield armed Kobold warriors. They are nice and chunky and no way do they represent the weedy D&D style Kobolds. They are dressed in furs, cloth and a bit of chainmail for one - they look like they scavenged all their weaponry from their (or others'?) victims in the depths of the dark woods or dungeon.

Here are the same fellas showing off their shields.

These figures are of more warriors with two-handed weaponry. Again in an assortment of clothing; furs, studded leather and chain. The large weapons look functional - heavy (but not outsized like many modern manufacturer's renditions) and grim. I believe there was another from this part of the range, but the shop didn't have all of them in stock (likewise the Hobgoblins). Alas, I was unable to complete either collection, but nine of the critters should be enough to create a small, spiteful warband.

No right minded warband would go into action without magical assistance. Here is the Kobold shaman.

And finally, here is the chieftain himself. Much larger than the others, armed with a solid looking two-headed axe, wearing chain mail and a tatty green cloak that must have seen a lot of action.

I decided on a green theme for these to tie the warband together, with a couple of contrasting red items to complement the green. I like the way they have turned out.

The only issue I had with these was that they were mounted on pennies from a long time ago and therefore didn't have the steel content of today's currency. I couldn't remove the figures from those old pennies without damaging them, so I had to stick more modern pennies underneath to 'magnetise' them for storage. The double height bases look a little strange from close up, but look fine from a distance.

Next up should be some EIR command.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


This is my oldest shop bought figure; a Ral Partha Centaur from 1976. I don't remember why I bought him as I had no use for him at the time. I think it was a case of I saw what I thought at the time was a fantastic figure and made an impulse buy; the first of many, I might add.

I painted him up for use with Runequest, but the lack of detail meant it was hard to make it look any good. He was originally armed with a sword, but that has gone missing through the mists of time, so I added a heavy spear and a shield from my bits box. I painted a very crude Sagitarius symbol on the shield to match his barbaric origins. I will most probably start using him in SoBH along with some human adventurers to go against the Broo I painted earlier this year before trying to resurrect an old Runequest character (created after the fact I bought the figure so I could get some use out of him!).

I am hoping to finish those Kobolds this weekend and make more headway on the last of my Early Imperial Roman command figures (I am finding these very difficult to summon up any enthusiasm to paint at the moment).

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Some random fantasy stuff

Here are the rest of the miniatures I painted up over the weekend. They are a random assortment of fantasy and historical figures painted to be fantasy miniatures of sorts.

First up is a Warlord Games Celtic boy being chased by an old Citadel Amazon.

And back in the other direction in true Benny Hill style. I wonder what he has stolen to make the Amazon chase him with such wrath?

Here are a couple of left over Warlord Games Numidians painted like my HotT base of mounted barbarians. I still have a stack of these to be used with my ever growing Roman army.

Almost finished: a very old centaur (my first ever bought figure from around 1976), some Nick Lund kobolds and some Roman command.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Reaper Cleric

The weekend allowed me to finish off quite a few fantasy minis to the stage where they just need to be varnished or have their bases completed. This is a fairly modern take on the Cleric character class by Reaper Miniatures. I bought him at Colours about two or three years ago on an impulse, with no real use for him.

I decided to paint him in a mixture of D&D and Runequest styles; the bronze chain armour being the nod to a standard Runequest character and the iron weaponry and plate a nod to iron shod Rune Priests/Lords. However his look, to me, is far more D&D. I used him as an experimental paint job to see how well the purple and yellow go together.

This figure is quite a bit bigger than my earlier fantasy minatures, which are all true 25mm. This miniature fits in more with my Runequest minis or later historicals by Gripping Beast. As a result, he needed to go on a 2p coin rather than the usual 1p coin.

I have been using all sorts of basing colours but have yet to settle on a particular colour or style. Eventually when I get to paint an army for use in a game, I will have to settle on a particular colour scheme. I may have to then go back and repaint a few base rims to match further figures in with them.

The next few days should see a few more fantasy figures up on the blog as I finish and photograph them.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Bretonnian Duke

Alex finished up this Bretonnian lord over the weekend. I thought I'd give it an entry of its own as it didn't really fit in with the Doggerland stuff. He also started to glue up another unit of Men-at-Arms to augment his growing Bretonnian army. At the same time, he started on some more Warhammer 40K Space Marines. More on those when they are painted.

I managed to finish painting several fantasy minis but they still need their matt varnish spray etc to finish them. Hopefully these will start to see the blogosphere any day soon.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Real Doggerland

I was reading the Metro (a free daily newspaper in the UK) on the way to work a few weeks back and came across the following article, which I duly cut out and scanned into my computer. It is a very simplistic view of what Doggerland may have looked like but I thought I'd share it. I have studied this prehistoric landscape in more detail whilst taking a Prehistoric Archaeology diploma at night classes. A lot more has been found out about Doggerland recently, after several sea-bed scans have been made. I based my game map on a map from an 'offical' website, but amended it somewhat for gameplay. Anyway, enjoy the article for an insight into what drew me into using Doggerland as a game setting.

Doggerland, for me though, is a somewhat Howardian Hyperborea. A time when ancient empires were growing from the wandering tribes as they started to settle down. The tribes in my Doggerland are more advanced technologically than the people of the real land bridge; I see them more as what we would now call 'Ancients' - Bronze/Early Iron Age people with a smattering of magic thrown in. However, this all came to an end for the peoples of Doggerland with a great deluge, which swept away any vestiges of civilisation they had, plungeing the rest of the world back into a Mesolithic Age.

On the theme of 'cave-men', here are a couple I picked up many moons ago from Denizen (I think). I painted them yesterday and based and varnished them today.

I have started to put some paint onto a few more Roman figures, but next up should be some fantasy figures.

Doggerland - 17th Campaign Turn

A filler to be getting on with until I can get some painted miniatures up on the blog. Here is the 17th Campaign turn summary for Doggerland.

The great battle of Dogger was more than a contest of swords and spears, it was also a battle of the sharpest of tongues. All the great warlords of the land puffed and preened themselves in front of their warriors, but which of them held the loyalty of their men most steadfast? Was it the lord Bjarni with his glorious rise from raider to war chief and promises of more to come? Was it the divinely praised lord Elrich who would hold his men with belief in his greatness and the future prosperity of the Land? Or, was it the lord Bran; slayer of men and builder of castles?


(Popularity + Economic value of Territories + Military Might + Gold)

Bran Mak Morn = 185
Bjarni Glittertind = 176
Elrich the Alwise = 106
Gorgo the Grim (NP) = 22
Carloman (NP) = 0 (Killed by Elrich the Alwise)
Anker Banksidhe = 0 (Killed by Bran mak Morn)
Strom Sealegs (NP) = 0 (Killed by Bjarni Glittertind)
Ugh the Thug = 0 (Killed by Bran mak Morn)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Update and Chat

I haven't been up to much gaming-wise recently and, as a result, the blog has gone a month without any updates. This is because real life has got in the way of gaming. I have been very busy at work with a new project that will last until the end of November at the earliest.

That said, I was able to dip the paintbrush (not a euphemism) a little last weekend and I am hoping to do so again this weekend. I am feeling a bit tired and a bit fluey at the moment but have a meeting with an old friend in Brighton tomorrow evening. I'll dose up with cold remedies before I go as I could do with a night out and fish 'n' chips at our usual restaurant on the beach.

I have a few figures that should be finished by the end of the weekend provided I stick to my guns. I may also finally drag out those Warriors of Rohan and start on them - just one or two colours to get started mind.

Alex bought some more Space Marines a week or two back. He is really getting into Warhammer 40K at the moment and is busy planning his army, codex on lap, as I am typing this.

My gaming has also ground to a halt, not that I do much anyway. Doggerland is crawling along but it has recahed a great stage and should develop nicely from here on in - I should get the latest return out to the players on Sunday morning. My friend Colin has also knocked up the latest of our Tavern Knights adventures for epbm. More on this in a later post, so I can do it more justice.

What am I thinking of playing at the moment? Well, after seeing Saga at Salute I think I may be tempted by the rules. I prefer skirmish gaming and have often played games that included Fatigue, so I am interested to see how it plays in Saga. I am also thinking of knocking up a couple of 28mm SoBH 28mm warbands just to get some gaming done. I think I have enough painted stuff to manage that - just. I think my first army would be Normans as I have a good stack of knights sitting in a box; Conquest Games, Crusader, Gripping Beast and Perry make up an army about 40-50 riders strong, with plenty of footmen too. More than enough for a large Saga warband or two.

I am also becoming tempted by sci-fi  and fantasy gaming again. I used to play a very modified version of Traveller back in the day, which was then adapted for pbm as our gaming group drifted apart geographically. I think the sci-fi gaming may start up again soon. I am also tempted to dust off my old AD&D campaign and re-write it for 3E (I'm not over -enamoured by what I have seen of 4E). The conversion from AD&D to 3E should be quite simple. I have started thinking about 'modernising' the world and using my old PCs as the new world order. This should be interesting to say the least, as I have great back stories for them and then I can just make up what happened to them in the last 15-20 years to get them to where they are 'today'. It may be interesting to put some of their bios up on the blog.

I guess I just wanted to get this post out so that October didn't have a big fat zero, but I found I had quite a lot to say about nothing in the end. Hopefully things will pick up in November and get back to normal in Decmeber.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Brytenwalda Command

I am on a bit of a late one tonight, so thought I'd post the latest pictures of the minis I was working on a week or so ago. They are of a new building I bought from a company called Conflix and half-a-dozen Brytenwalda command troops from Gripping Beast.

The new building - a Barn. It is more for use with fantasy miniatures I think, but it will double up nicely for late-ish Medieval. This building has a set of double doors at the left end and the single door you can see in the facing wall. I will get round to buying a few more of these when I see them, to make up a small village...

Here's my foot commander - a Pendragon. Figure by Gripping Beast and shield transfer by LBMS.

Here's another leader type - ditto the figure and shield transfer (although it cannot be seen!).

A third leader type. I like this one as he is in the process of drawing his sword, so it is a just before the action figure. So many figures are either in marching or combat poses these days, it is nice to have one in a different type of pose.

A standard bearer type.

A couple of cornicens.

I still have about a dozen or so heavily armoured troops and some archers to paint up to finish my army. These can then hopefully take on Dunc's Saxon invaders in the very near future.

Still to come:
~20 Splintered Lands Druid's Children
8 EIR Command figures
~6 various fantasy figures
9 Nick Lund Kobolds
Then I can get onto those Warriors of Rohan I have been threatening to get onto the paint station.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Some of Alex's Brytenwalda and LotR minis

Here are the rest of Alex's minis that he finished painting last weekend. They are stood in front of a new building I bought at a show a little while back. It is by Conflix, who produce a good range of what I would consider D&D period buildings. I only have the one so far, but I will buy more over time as I really like them.

First up are a couple of Arthurian leaders for his Brytenwalda forces.

Next up is a Games Workshop Gimli from their Lord of the Rings range. He did a really good job on the claok, but like a doughnut I didn't photograph it in all its glory. He did some great shading work on it.

Finally, here is a Games Workshop Legolas from the same range as Gimli above. He used one of the 'official' painting guides for this one. Again, I think he has done a splendid job.

Next up should be a bunch of my minis, but probably not until early next week as I am off to the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany this weekend, leaving the wife and kids behind. This is my annual pilgrimage to savour the flavours of the finest German beer, food and hospitality.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Lord Kaldor Draigo

Here's the next couple of space marines from Alex. First up is Lord Kaldor Draigo. Alex picked this up second hand off a stall at a gaming convention recently at a good price; ready made and undercoated. He has done three-stage shading on this one but I think the shading is too subtle to show up in the photographs - I especially like the way he has painted the face. I think he has painted him as a Space Wolf, thus the bare metal Terminator armour. I am sure when Alex reads this he will sceam at me for being an idiot and let me know what chapter he is actually from, so I will update the post if I have got it wrong.

UPDATE - Yep I got it wrong. He is a Grey Knight!

This next mini is the limited edition one you get from the Assault on Black Reach box set. Again, he got it second hand from a show we attended a little while back. He has painted this one with the block paint and wash method to fit in with the rest of his standard Space Marines. I think his brush work is getting neater and he is making fewer mistakes now; he just needs to start pushing his limits with the 3 stage painting to perhaps a more blended style approach. It will come with time though. It took me thirty odd years to get to where I am (which is not so good) but I didn't push myself, so never really improved after the first year. I wish I had done so as I am now happy with mediocre paint jobs when maybe I could be producing stuff a tad better. I am great at giving the advice but not so good at following it!

Next up should be some more of Alex's figures and then maybe a few of mine.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Vanguard Veterans

It has been a while since I posted last. Last weekend I was working, the weekend before I wasn't feeling too good and the weekend before that nothing was ready to go up on the blog.

Alex and I have been busy and got a few things completed and a few others closer to completion. Over the next few days I will report on Alex's recent output as he has managed to get quite a bit more done than I and there is a bit more of a theme to his work.

First up are some Vanguard Veterans. These are the new resin Citadel Finecast. They came out of the box pretty well except for one slight mould imperfection on a shoulder pad which was put right with a strip of green stuff. Alex moved away from the block painting and 'Dip' with these. He has put on the paint in a 3-Stage process and 'dirtied' the white areas with a light wash of Devlan Mud. They were then dulled down with the usual matt spray varnish. These have been photo'd with each member of the squad getting prime focus each time.

First up is what I used to call a 'womble head', but I think Games Workshop prefer the term 'Beaked' helmet. I think I'll still call them Womble Heads as it keeps me in touch with my youth and the first set of Space Marines I ever bought...

This chap is the sergeant of the squad - noted by his red helmet...

Next up should be some more of Alex's WH40K stuff, as well as a few LotR and Brytenwalda figures he had lying around that he has now finished. My stuff will be presented after I have put up Alex's figures, so hopefully the next few days will have them all displayed.