Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Warhammer Fantasy and the Dawn Battle

Always I want to play Warhammer. It was my first war game and it is my first war gaming love. The fantasy, the magic, the lizard men...all of it just jingles the kid in me. I still remember my days with the 5th edition starter box filled with Saurus Warriors, Skinks, and Bretonnians clashing over and over again. I lost a lot of those battles. In fact I don't think I won once the entire first year I played!

Greg is a good friend of mine who has been my opponent as long as I've been in battle. He has always played the stalwart Dwarf forces and I have always had a love for the cold blooded Lizardmen and last week we got together for 2,000 points of rumble!
Greg contemplates his tactics looking over the battle field at my massive Saurus Cohort.
I do not remember the exactly army lists but I can give you a general outline of both.

Lizardmen:

  • Quetxapopalotl the slann mage-priest
  • Krok'Itan the saurus scar-veteran
  • 40 saurus warriors cohort
  • two cohorts of skink skirmishers
  • a bastilodon with solar engine
  • my trusty and loyal stegadon
  • a pack of 2 salamanders
  • a cohort of 6 kroxigor
The Lizardmen battle line.

Dwarfs:
  • a lord with some kind of choppy axe
  • a thane on an oath stone
  • 30 hammerers
  • 30 warrirors
  • 10 thunderers
  • the usual suspects in the war machine department: bolt thrower, stone thrower, cannon ball thrower

The Dwarf battle line with their general over looking them.
I was honestly pretty intimidated by the Dwarf forces. Hammerers are no joke and great weapons are smashy good so I was not looking forward to that tangle. Also all those war machines can tear such large holes in the army and it's war beasts that you may not get to battle with them. I had high hopes for my Slann as I took lore master and had all the high magic spells and it looked like there would be several good uses for them in this battle.

The Early game was very much in Greg's favor. I had all kinds of magic dice but didn't have anything in range to use them on! I had to march my horde around the watch house in the middle of the battle field and the scenario rules put all my war beasts on my right flank instead of in the middle where they normally march. His war machines tore great rents in the stegadon and smashed a fourth of the horde of saurus warriors. My salamanders couldn't get their act together and did little to no damage and the skinks were inept as well. 



Mid game saw a little more action on my side but my magic dice suddenly dropped and I had no luck except bringing my saurus up in skill to compete with the Dwarf warriors when they clashed. The most interesting aspects mid game included my salamanders being destroyed piece meal by war machines and they shot up my stegadon which was terrible, but not fatal. The greatest part of the mid game was that challenges in the scrum in the middle. My saurus warrior horde with hero clashed with both the warriors and the hammerers. My champion and scar-veteran called out challenges and there were several excellent duels before his thane fell. 


The late game didn't get to happen. We had an interruption in the middle of the game and didn't get to play the last two turns which was a shame as ti was a great fight! The picture above was right before turn four and you can see my forty saurus block was significantly weakened and my kroxigor has been reduced to just two after loosing a fight with the hammerers who sent them packing. The stegadon did charge and stomp over the cannon there and eventually one of the skink units was able to eliminate the stone thrower. The game was still very much up in the air and I think the last couple turns would have seen a lot more carnage. 

I do so love Warhammer and i'm excited about the End Times and the possible new edition. The more I war game the more relaxed I become and more excited by just getting to play the game no matter what lol!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

D&D, My First Gaming Love

So my computer is dead, long live my computer! This means you're going to have to put up with potato quality pictures and if you don't like it you can...well...not like it. : /

I've been busy. Even though I haven't posted since October last year I have not been inactive in the hobby practice. I have finished painting a lot of models, even done a commission or two, and playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons. My sons have really jumped into the game and every Saturday one son runs a home brew game out of the FLGS, on Sunday I run Adventure League which they both play in.

The new D&D is a wonderful game with no significant flaws in my opinion. The characters are powerful, the monsters are threatening, and the magic is fantastic. Just what you want out of a FRPG.
 We have a small vinyl wet erase game mat so I've been toying around with small dungeons that will fit precisely within the mat. I thought it was 25x25 but it turns out it's 25x22 which means I have to re calibrate every map I made lol!

 Here are a couple pictures of our game in progress. We try to represent battles on grids or fields to help with the tactical. The rules of D&D are so smooth that is allows for some very dynamic fights.
 A couple of our rumbleres, Ron on the right plays the archer themed fighter from the starter box and has leveled him to fifth creating what the party refers to as "the Machine-gun" since he shoots twice a round at +9 to hit and can pull off four shots with his extra action. On top of that with a critical hit on a 19 now he has the potential to do 72 damage should he max everything out.

Josh on the right fields a fantastic warlock/fighter multi-classed dragonborn that brings some serious hurt with his dual wielding and his spells. Unfortuantely he has a passive perception of 9, which means almost everything catches him off guard lol!
 Josh has a great set of hard foam painted tiles that we use most of the time, then we combine them with the 4th edition card tiles to create different levels. In this scene you can see the party stealing a dragon's egg on the left (Lilli Raulmore the Gnome necromancer and Rougen the halfing...Rogue) while being over watched by Nova (the Archer Fighter), Connor (the half-elf Cleric of some serious power), and Barash the dragonborn fighter-lock. They are just being ambushed by four kobolds who aggravated the roper in the middle of the area.
I like ambushes a lot :) Nothing like keeping the players on their toes!

On the painting side of things I've painted a commission of Death Wing for a friend and finished several rpg models and war game units of my own. My most recent is this one...
...a chaos chariot. I don't have a chaos army and I probably won't have one but I love the idea of a chariot being pulled by some powerful monster like this. I'm sure i'll find role playing or skirmish game uses for it as how could I not! How can you not find a use for a metal chariot pulled by a gorilla like monster with an insane warrior of chaos wielding a massive halberd!?!?

I'm hoping that this initiates a return to regular blogging. I would like to get at least one blog entry a week for the rest of the year. I've got a lot being painted on my hobby desk (if you look close you can see a finished Ultramarine captain) and with any luck i'll also get to share some interesting aspects of my role playing.

So, cross your fingers and may luck be on your dice! I'm back baby!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dungeons, Dragons, Toy Soldiers, Computers, and Life.

I am not dead.

This could be called another "ubiquitous not dead post" but it isn't. I'm actually going to update you on a few things.

Firstly my computer is a goner so I can only blog when I have a work PC to do it on and then I usually don't have the time to upload pictures much less edit them just a little bit to make them less bad. I am still painting though and when I can finally do some blogging of the pictures I will be able to provide a small gallery of finished work :)

Secondly I've been organizing an Adventurer's League at the LGS every Sunday night for over a month now and it is surprisingly time consuming. In general the running isn't bad but prepping a new module every week is a little more work than you'd normally think it to be. It's been a positive experience in my opinion although at times the players tend to wander off track. I'm used to running more open environments than the modules provide so that can prove a little difficult but so far we've not had any significant breakdowns.

I really like 5th edition of D&D, I feel like it's the best of the spirit of 1st edition (and the origins of the RPG) combined with good mechanics from 3rd edition that have been reduced in complexity. One of the greatest aspects is the new artwork style which is a little less fantastic. I know that may seem odd for a fantasy RPG but I've always been one that feels the game should be firmly set in some form of reality to make the fantastical just that. Plus the artwork is truly more gender realistic. Don't get me wrong I have no problem with beautiful women in artwork but if she is a fighter going into a dungeon full of danger then I think she'd cover up well.

That being said, wtf is up with the halflings?
Is there a reason they decided to give them such huge heads and tiny feet?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lords of War (oh and not my work)

If you have read a lot of my posts you know that I certainly do not mind obtaining models that someone else painted well and adding them to my collection. I am always willing to recognize they are not my doing and my Ultramarines have 3 units that come to mind that aren't painted by me although they were touched up to bring them into line with the 3rd company.

Well I have finally obtained my first Lord of War model for 40K...a nicely painted Hellhammer!

Forgive the pictures, but I still do not have my personal computer and I am using my phone to get pictures taken.

This fine model was painted by my friend Grady, well all except the turret mounted on the left side; the blue one. That was lost in the dirt for  year in his yard then amazingly resurfaced. He traded the model to me because he didn't really want it anymore and I didn't have any LoW's so I was super happy to get it!

This beautiful beast will be the primary offensive weapon of my Planetary Defense Force for my Ultramarines. I had decided their uniforms would be plain gray with a single blue shoulder pad to indicate their link to Ultramar.

Just by wonderful coincidence he had painted is primarily gray and the one turret was unpainted allowing me to put the blue in place that needs to be!

This is a monster (obviously) and I look forward to fielding it as the points are preventative (it's less than 600 I think). I would love to get a battle report in with it!

I've been working on other things too and you can expect to see some more models go up soon as I can. There will be Germans, there will be space ships, there will be monsters. :)

Thanks to everyone who has stuck with this. Life has slowed me down, but it has not stopped me!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Stone Giant, Bears, and Roman Auxialry Cavalry

Been a while since my last post but as my personal computer is bombed out right now and I have to make due with the work lap top when I can and I am also still learning to use my new phone for pictures I'm lucky to be able to get anything done!

And I just got off a 48 hour stomach bug, which was terrible, almost as bad as the kidney stone incident.

So I have been working on the hobby when I can and I  got a few things done I'd like to share. First an easy drop...
My ongoing historical collection grows with a unit of Roman Auxiliary Cavalry. This brings my Roman army to four units, three of which are foot soldiers. If I keep it up I should have the Roman and Celts done in, say, 2020. I based them for Neil Thomas' rules but this ended up making them pretty tight on the base even though it looks good still.

Also I finished the first in a slow to build series of painting classic fantasy box sets. I was lucky enough to obtain a bunch of them a couple of years ago and have been wanting to gently dip my hands into that collection and put a brush to them. First up is the Dragon Lords Stone Giant set.
This box set was released in 1985 as part of their "Giant's Club" and it came with what was either an insert or a backing that was held in place by the plastic.
I suspect this was on the back of the box this side out.
A little bit of a map and some information about Stone Giants on the flip side.
This piece of map went together with the other Giants Club map pieces to make a full map which is kind of cool in my opinion. Inside the box is what you see pictured above and I was fortunate enough that my set had all the pieces: Giant (with separate hand holding club), two bears, and stone marker.
The giant is a very nice piece and I think I did him some justice. I tried to stay to just earth colors and passed on applying tattoos or tribal paint at my wife's suggestion. He is a solid looking giant ready to blast someone with a two ton boulder. He has a couple pieces of jewelry which the box kind of depicts as stone jewelry but on the model wouldn't work so well so I went with some raw gold hoops.

His two bear buddies. Nothing like a stone giant AND two bears just looking to eat you for lunch! The bears are nice quality bear miniatures, something you wouldn't normally have in a dungeon collection but just as frightening to put on the table. Could also double as a ranger's companion or a shape changed druid easily enough.

Lastly there was this plinth, monolith, marker, road sign?

This was a little decoration placed with each of the Giants Club box sets. It named the giant (obviously) and had runes and faces on it. It also had a "G" for Grenadier but somehow I totally messed up photographing this and didn't get that.

I have several more Dragon Lords box sets and a few old TSR ones as well. I am going to get to them slowly but I like the idea of putting paint to these and maybe getting a chance to use them in a game!

Hopefully my next post won't be so far out, but you never know, life is unpredictable right now :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dungeons in RPGs

So I've mentioned before I'm an "old school" role player, which isn't to say I only play older rpgs (when I play rpgs at all which is rarely) but I mean my mind is set in the way that RPGs where first conceived. I think there are a few different aspects that can classify you as an old school gamer but with RPGs I think the primary indicator is how you look at the dungeon.
 It feels to me that modern dungeon modules are on rails. They have a specific guided nature with few choices and almost seem to hold your hand. Maybe it's just my experiences though. I am not a fan of Pathfinder but everyone I know plays it and I play occasionally with a group who are playing with the Pathfinder Society rules and they use modules that fall in line with that system. These modules always feel small, linear, and a little less exciting than you'd expect things with titles like "The Frozen Temple" to be.

To my thinking, and how I run, is that the dungeon exists and the players are invading it. There is no clear path through it, all of it is dangerous, and the players are going to have to figure out how to loot it without dying...or dying as little as possible.
Dark Souls and it's predecessor and sequel both tap into this. The world exists regardless of the character you play and it is not going to be gentle to your invasion. I think role playing dungeons should be the same. They should be built with excitement, danger, and treasure in mind. Let the players find it. Stop holding their hands. Give them a sword, a spell, and a torch and let them be either wildly successful or just lucky survivors. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Game Night and 5,000 Points

Yesterday was my game club night and I got to do something I rarely get to do, I got to put on the table all of my painted Ultramarines in a face to face duel with all my painted Necrons. It was a sight to behold...
...this shows only part of the game off screen right is a contingent of armor and a Stormtalon bringing some firepower. Also, two units of terminators with accompany characters (librarian and chaplain) haven't entered into the fight yet. 

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