Friday, 8 May 2015

Warband: Red Mountain Hill Dwarves - Part 2

See part 1 here

It's been a while and I've been up to other things, other painting projects etc. lately, so my new Warband Hill Dwarves have been falling behind a bit.

However, I've completed the second unit; a unit of dwarf archers with the shieldwall special ability.

The king with his new archers.

Under the banner the Baron and his archer kin-folk.

Bad photo, but shows the gold livery of these bow-dwarves.
 I'm also doing the banners free-hand.  They're a little rough up clase, but look pretty good on the tabletop.

The King of the Red Mountain's personal banner, amid a bunch of other army standards.

So the army progresses slowly.  I'll try and make some better progress and get these done.

I'm keen to move on to the next army which will probably be a rather fun take on the goblins as 'fire goblins' or some such thing.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Primal Skorne

Recently I was persuaded to try something a little different, mostly following a short campaign with the Iron Kongdoms roleplaying game.

And so I've put together a small force for the Hordes wargame.  

Mostly due to, well, nothing at all actually - just a random choice - I purchased a battle box, extra unit and extra leader for the Skorne faction.

I've not played yet so I have no idea if i'll like the game or be happy with the faction and force i've built, but it has been fun painting them.

Here's my chaps in all their glory (apologies for the poor photos).

Apparently I have:

Supreme Archdomina Makeda
Master Tormentor Morghoul
Titan Gladiator
2x Cyclops Savages
6x Paingiver Beasthandlers

The figures certainly weren't the easiest to assemble.  There was a TON of flash on them, and the metals in particularlry are very fragile.  Not only that, the parts are slender and therefore I couldn't pin them - so i suspect if they're dropped arms and bits will snap off easily.

I decided to go with the 'standard' paint shceme, that is the one in the Skorne book, and its a pleasing three-colour scheme which I painted as a darker red, black/charcoal, and brass.

Overall, I think the scheme works well.

The cyclops'

The Titan gladiator.  Shall I call him Russel?

The banner is of the Kurshon army, Paingivers decurium...apparently.
 This Morghoul chap appears to have a Freddie fetish.

And the warbossess Makeda.  

This minature was an absolute horror to assemble.  Nothing fit properly, and the pats were too slender to drill for pinning.  I'm pretty sure she's held together by the paint...

Minions.  Paingiver beast masters it would seem...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Warband: Find the Prize (Hill dwarves vs Goblins)

We played another game of Warband.  For this match I handed over the armies to my friends and I took a ringside seat at the action.

The Goblins list was as follows:
Chieftain (exceptional)
Shaman (good)
2x Wolf riders (+skirmish)
2x Archers
2x Warriors (+fierce)
Giants and ogres
Giant spiders
A nice mixed force that is flexible and able to take on most challenges.

The dwarves took a 'one trick pony' list as follows
General (exceptional)
Spell crafter (average)
Honour guard (+formed)
6x Warriors (+formed and resolute)
Its a solid, immovable wall of iron!

First thing's first the players rolled for the scenario, and got 'Find the prize'.  Somewhere on the board was a treasure chest awaiting discovery!

The players have to take the maximum terrain for the secnario and they both chose two pieces of large rough ground.  The terrain drop was kind to the dwarves as they got three pieces on their side of the table.  The pressure would be on the Goblins to press into the dwarf lines to contest the prize.

The goblins opened proceedings on turn one, and their shaman, placed in the terrain send his minions out searching for the treasure...

They found nothing though and the token was removed.  

The dwarves opened their battle by advancing a unit of warriors into the central scrubland.  They searched and found nothing.
The dwarf generals sneaky tactic now became clear.  With both remaining treasure tokens to the rear of his army, all he needed to do was hold the line and keep the goblins at bay while his magic user unit found the prize (it had to be one of the remaining tokens after all!)
The dwarf spell-crafter searched the northern rough ground and found nothing, meaning the prize was behind the centre lof the dwarf line.  Their plan was working - all they needed to do now was to keep the goblins at bay.

Things looked desperate for the goblins and they advanced towards the dwarves as fast as they could.  On the north flank, the giants thundered into the dwarf line, pinning down that flank.  The first part of the goblin plan began to develop, although the well armoured dwarves were able to hold their ground against all the odds!

To the south, the second part of the goblin plan began to take shape.  One unit of fast moving wolf riders pinned down the dwarf warriors holding the flank, and the other swept around behind the dwarf line and headed for the prize.  The giant spiders headed out to help too!


As the rest of the goblins move up, and began to shower the dwarf lines with arrows and spells.

For several turns, all along the line the dwarves began to take a vicious pounding.  Their tough armour, together with magical support meant that despite the pressure from the goblins, the dwarves were holding firm.  They were buying the time they needed.

Goblin spells hurt everyone!

Eventually though, the goblins archery started to crack  the hill dwarves resolve, and the first of many units routed.

Running for the hills...

The dwarven southern flank begins to fall apart.

The flanking warriors are destroyed and the Honour guard falls back to cover the gap.

The goblin chieftain piles in to try to break the stubborn honour guard, and the dwarf king nearby throws command inspiration into the honour guard in an attempt to destroy the dwarf general.

Completely surrounding the honour guard, the goblins amass 16 dice...and roll...4 successes.

The tough little nuts hold on for another turn, but in the next fight, all 12 dice are successful!  The honour guard, unable to escape are cut down by the swarm of whooping goblins, but they do manage to break the goblin chieftain as consolation.

The dwarf flank collapses, and as the goblins inflict further losses and overring the prize, the dwarf line finally breaks and the army routs.

A fun, and hard fought battle came to an end with the dwarves losing 267pts and breaking.  the goblins lost their chieftain and a unit of archers.

Another fine outing for Warband.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

That Teri Girl, Adam Loper and the state of gaming

I'm a big fan of Miniwargaming, and follow Teri Litorco's blog, vlog, etc.  She's sewll worth checking out.

This video interview with Adam Loper regarding customer perceptions of how Games Workshop has lost its way in a very exciting wargames market, is very interesting and well worth a look.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Comic Con 2015 - Newcastle

And so, quicker than the blink of an eye, the second Newcastle Comic Con is upon us.  My darling wife and I headed up The Toon and the Metro Arena for a weekend of fandom and general fun and games, and what a weekend it was too!

Firstly, the organisation this year was far better than last year and the crowds seemed to be under greater control.  As with last year we'd purchased Early Bird tickets, so the crowds weren't really an issue for us and so we wandered in to find the place buzzing.

Comic Con has Three main elements to it:

1.  A large fandom marketplace, and this basically dominates the layout.

2.  Celebrities - a variety of celebrities, and others who have acted or contributed to various films, TV shows etc.  Typically they do a meet & greet panel and autograph sales thing, and some also contribute to various formal 'breakout' talks.

3.  Cosplayers - attendees often turn up in the costumes of their favorite fandom or character.

Ultimately its an opportunity to spend time among like-minded individuals of all ages, and to express and enjoy being immersed in a culture of unrestrained joy.

The Marketplace
OK, well, sure the chance to pick up a few purchases is always welcome and I purchased a few things, as did my wife (pop vynals are her new thing).  I'm always interested in the artists who pitch up to show their wares too; from professional comic artists, to other more general semi-pro and amateur people.  Of those present, I was particularly taken with Kate Mia White.

Her work reminds me of Russ Nicholson's stuff, which i'm a huge fan of.

Other than that the marketplace is a good place to wander and view the cool stuff on display, like this...

On the first day the marketplace was heaving, but nowhere near as crammed as last year, i think in part due to the better organisation this year.  It never felt overwhelming, although you did need to do a few circuits to be able to get to see everything you wanted to through the crowds.

Generally i'm not starstruck, so these hold little interest for me.  My wife on the other hand was specifically interested in meeting Louise Jameson, here childhood heroine, who among other things played Leela in Dr Who.

We only managed to get to one talk this year and it was with the Dr Who panel; Louise Jameson, Bonnie Langford, and  William Russel.

William Russell as Ian Chesterton.

 Louise Jameson as Leela.

Bonnie Langford as Mel Bush.

It was an interesting panel discussion, and Bonnie Langford was very good.  Being a huge Whovian, this delighted my wife, and she was particularly happy to get to spend time talking to Louise Jameson.

Of course I'm rather more interested in Star Wars and it was great to see Jeremy Bulloch.

Perhaps he's better known as Boba Fett.

There was also KITT from a rather, ahem, show from back in the 80's...

But for me the highlight of the whole weekend was on day two with an impromptu display from Ray Park and Garret Wang.

Does it get anymore awesome than Harry Kim...

...having a lightsabre duel with Darth Maul...

...???  I'll admit, I nergasmed a little bit.


Ray was so fast, the camera couldn't keep up with him...


Garret was watching in joyous awe like the rest of us, and then he wanted in on the action...


Ray Park showed him the moves...

And it all kicked off...

Bloody awesome!  

Someone else managed to get video footage of the whole event...

This year there was a fine crop of excellent costumes and people indulging their fandom fantasies.  I'll let the evidence speak for itself.

I find your lack of costume...disturbing...

Star Lord...there were a LOT of these!

A female Comedian.  My wife's favourite, and this cosplayer certainly did the job!

Impressive groinal attachment you have their Kryten...

So refreshing to see the Good Guys for a change!

Poor unfortunate souls, in pain, in need...

Could I get away with this at the office?

Overall, an excellent weekend.  Can't wait for next year!