Tuesday, November 3, 2009

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December...January 5th.

Hmmm... I haven't posted on this blog in a very long time... mostly because I've been very busy and i'm 99.9% sure that no one reads this beyond me.

Well, I'm going to start using it as a wargame journal and try to track both my unpainted minis and my painted minis. As well as try to journal some of my wargame battles for myself.

Warhammer Fantasy Battles is probably my biggest collection of miniatures from any one manufacturer. I have a nice lizardmen army from the...third maybe...set of rules where they were introduced. Allow me to outline the order of battle for you.

Quetzapopalotl, Slann mage-priest; he varies in power according to the edition of the rules and the available options but primarily he is approximately 25% of my army points. He is well worth the expenditure as both a quality general and the most powerful wizard on the table (I have yet to see his magic truly challeneged).

Saurus scar veteran mounted on a cold one; sometimes he makes an appearance, sometimes he doesn't. The determining factor is if I know I need a fast footed hero or if I need the points in common scaly soldiery.

Skink chief on foot; he is rarely fielded, but on occaison I need someone to accompany the skink skirmishers with a surprise magic item.

Saurus warriors; two different units of the first edition plastics one unit of 16 and one of 20 both with hand weapons and shields. The unit of 16 accompanies Quetzapopalotl onto the battlefield which makes them effectively a 20 lizard unit in ranks and combat factors.

Skink skirmishers; I have three dozen first edition plastic skinks with daggers and short bows. The current edition of the rules don't allow for skinks with short bows, only blow guns. But I'm a wargamer not a rules monger so I just say screw it and treat the blowgun entry as shortbows. Saves me head aches and none of my opponents ever care. These guys typicaly make an appearance as either one huge unit or two sizeable ones, or one smaller one. I commonly use them as flankers or screeners and they never make a huge impact but are always threatening.

Cold one riders; a unit of 8 of the first plastic saurus cold one riders. They are my fastest unit and I am impatient so it is not surprising that I commonly pick something across the table and charge at it. With such good leadership and the cold blooded rule they tend to hold their ground well.

Kroxigors; three in number, two of the first edition metals and one second addition metal acting as my ancient. They aren't used so often but they do look nice on the table and combined with the skinks as a skirmishing screen they tend to get someplace, even if they don't do much.

Jungle swarms; three bases of giant spiders, the old plastic spiders from the warhammer quest game. Now all swams are snakes and lizards but when the rules first came out spiders were also part of the show. They, again, don't do much but they do absorb alot of attacks to kill off. They can't screen though.

Salamander hunting packs; two packs of the original salamanders (meaning four skink handlers each) that are always fielded since they are my cannons. The way salamanders work have changed with every edition and the current (sixth I think) is by far the least attractive imho.

Stegadon; the first edition, which was very challenging to assemble. He is the largest model i've painted to date and he is in every battle. More of a psychological weapon than anything else he typically lasts the entire battle and does a fair amount of damage to a single unit. The great bow, while super cool, never really does significant damage.

I've got about 3,000 points in total in the force and they are all painted and based (okay, except a bag of more skinks but they are just extras). I have been playing this army since 2000 and have lost tons with it, in fact the first year I lost every single match (against an amazing number of Brettonian knights, bah). But, now that i've expanded my understanding of tactics and come to understand my froces I've turned that around and now basicaly own the table. None of my opponents have played the same army as long as I have and I think the many loses have given me an advantage over them.

I'll post pictures of them as soon as I take some.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Update on the project

Okay, the evil army is based on new bases appropriate to the game rules. Also, i've changed the composition of both armies because I wanted there to be a little more than there was originally AND I figured out I was misreading some of the rules.

The basing is nothing special, I just used thin card board and after playing the game a few times if I like it I'll add some flocking and touch up the paint on the miniatures. Over all I want this to be a relatively cheap project as it kind of falls into the realm of recycling old game bits.

The new armies look like this...

Good army:
Winged Lizartole Hero with magic sword and magic plate armor
Elf Cleric Hero with magic staff and magic chainmail and 6 MA of spells
8 Centaurs with studded armor, small shields, and two-handed axes
3 Eagles (really big ones)
5 Elf Warrios with leather armor, swords, and bows

...over all we are looking at two solid heroes with some fair magic leading into battle a fair sized unit of centaurs, a small contingent of archers, and some flying support...

Evil Army: Winged Lizartole Hero with magic staff, magic robes, and 4 MA of necromancy
Chimeric Worm a beast with three heads that can breath fire
20 Zombies packing nothing but anger
5 Wolves
6 Human Mercenary Archers with leather armor, swords, and bows

...again a solid hero that isn't quite as strong as his opponents but he has a three headed fire breathing worm working with him. The zombies will take a while to kill but they are not particularly deadly themselves. The wolves and archers are some solid support.

Both of these armies are pretty different primarily in the hero department. The evil lizartole will need to be very careful not to get corned and let his Chimeric Worm do some damage before diving in himself.

Well, hopefully the next post will have pictures of the assembled forces...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Martin Hackett, Fantasy Gaming, and a Chimeric Wurm

Okay, so it's been months. You'll get over it.

Last year, almost this time, I purchased a book written by Martin Hackett called "Fantasy Gaming: A Guide to Fantasy Role Play and Table-Top Battles" and it is a fine book in my opinion. It does not get the best reviews but I think they are comparing it to inappropriate measuring sticks and commonly lack what I would dub intellectual individuality but I digress. This book has an interesting set of war game rules in it and for the past year I have had the desire to give them a go. So, finally, i'm getting on it.

Hackett encourages the use of any and all figures one might be able to obtain for the play of his rules. He sees no reason to limit your choices or be loyal to a specific company and I can't help but see this as a wonderful idea that most fantasy war gamers really don't take advantage of.

Well, seeing as how I have a HOST of fantasy miniatures I have come to realize I have an opportunity to put these rules to use while at the same time doing some game recycling if you will.

Any one here familiar with Mage Knight by the now defunct Wizkids Games? Yeah, I thought so. Well I have a hugeassload of these miniatures TOO and have been wondering how best to get my use out of them. I was teasing with their application to the Warhammer Fantasy Battles rules set and will still likely do some incorporation into said rules BUT Hackett's system (thusly dubbed by him as Magic & Monsters) fits this bill quite nicely indeed!

I will endeavour to pass on posts about the going of this project but tonight I want to regail you with the creation of the army lists and the conversion of the Chimeric Worm to the M&M rules set.

First, the army lists...

Good Army: I looked through my pile and pulled out the Draconum Guardian a figure I have always liked from the set. Ironicly I never got to play it as the game was starting to die a slow and terrible death in my area by the time I obtained one. Well he immediately became a hero in the M&M rules. I had decide at the outset that I would build two 400 point forces with at least 1 hero and 1 caster each. Equipping him appropriately he came to a nice 86 points. Not too much, not too little...mmm that is some good gaming poridge I tell ya.

He will be accompanied by the following:

* an Elf Religious Wizard with 5 MA of spells, magic chain mail, and a magic staff (108 points)

* 3 Eagles (84 points)

* 8 Centaurs (120 points)

...all of which weighs in at a nice 398 points.

So with the design of the Good Army done I turned my mind to constructing something villianous!

Now, if you know me, you will know there is a requirement for the exsistance of a Dark Army, specifically there has to be UNDEAD if possible. I love the rotting little bastards. Don't ask me why I don't know I just know it is so. Also, there is another model I have always wanted to use that has always seemed to me to be the flip side of the Draconum Guardian, the Vampiric Draconum!

This model just screams fantasy action to me. Doesn't it to you?! Well he would be the commander of the Ebil Army, and he had to be a necromancer didn't he?

Okay so this is what it turned into:
* Vampiric Draconum as a Necromancer Wizard with 4 MA of spells, magic robes and a magic staff (99 pts)
* a Chimeric Worm (107 pts)
* 20 Zombies (80 pts)
*5 Wolves (55 pts.)
* 6 Human Mercenaries with bows (60 pts)

Now, a couple of...okay THREE things...

1. The stats for the draconum models were based on the LIZARTOLE in the book with the ability to 'hop fly' with their wings. The -tole ending after the lizar- is Hackett's way of saying "man" such as in Lizardman without being sexist. So this could be a lizardwoman and I say why the hell not eh?
2. All of the army is being built with now defunct Mage Knight models. I've based their purchase off the appearance of the model and I will be poping the son-of-a-bitches off their bases (with some finger cutting effort I am sure) and attaching them to bases that are in the 1" range (either square or rectangle). When it's done i'll take a picture and share :)
3. You'll note the entry Chimeric Worm up above. Well this guy is what the rest of the post is about...

I did my best to stick to the M&M rules but Hackett has done a good job making it easy to add new new models and adjust stats. So I decide to exercise this with the worm. I wanted to include it as a 'hero' soldier, meaning it fights alone and doesn't have to be grouped up. After some comparison with the Troll from the book I came up with these stats...

  • Ratio of 5; this means one Chimeric Worm fights as 5 soldiers.
  • Alignment that is evil; alignment has effects on various factors of the game. Oddly enough it finds its way into several areas from melee to magic.
  • Move of 6; this is in inches and is the same as a human, trolls moved faster at 8.
  • DF (defense factor) of 10; this is like a human in plate armor and is lower than the troll's 12 mostly because I judged the troll was a human in plate armor with a large shield and the worm has no hands to defend itself. This is one of the most important stats if not THE most important stat.
  • Power of 60; kinda like a strength score that is rarely used.
  • Agility of 50; again, like Power.
  • MF (morale factor) of 1; judging it to be a beast that is blood hungry the morale of 1 means it will nearly never flee.

As for abilities both special and combatitive I judged it to have three bite attacks (which means three combat rolls if I understand this right) and the ability to breath fire. Now it is worth noting that this is NOT based off the little blurb in the Mage Knight figure index. It says the worm attacks with only one head at a time and has magical power. I scraped that and did my own thing ;)

Hopefully with the next post i'll have the army all assembled. Wish me luck.