Monday, July 26, 2010

Song of Blades and Heroes: Two Warbands


Okay, so, I haven't been able to blog much or game much of late BUT I did have the time to use Ganesha Games' handy little utility to build a couple of warbands from old Mageknight models. I'm sure you'll recognize a few of the models here.

First up is a war band with and undead theme. There is...
  • ROGER the Vampiric Draconum: 106 points; Q3; C2; Flying, Necromancer, Terror, Undead
  • Elf Hunter (x2): 38pts; Q4; C3; Lethal vs Elves, Shooter-Medium, Stealth
  • Marsh Zombie (x3): 21pts; Q5; C4; Poison, Short Move, Slow, Swamp Walk, Undead
  • Troll Zombie (x2): 26pts; Q5; C5; Savage, Slow, Undead
...so when building it I tried to convey the necromantic bend of what seems to be a vampire lich (dragon thingy) but in all honesty he got his 106 point butt handed to him by my 11 year old son. He didn't cause a single enemy casualty and didn't get one chance to make a zombie. I may need to rebuild him but as it is he is breaking the 33% rule so who knows what I'll do.

The second band is what I feel the nemesis to the Vampiric Draconum, a Guardian Draconum with his multi-ethnic allies. The band consists of...
  • HENRY the Guardian Draconum: 100pts; Q3; C4; Flying, Heavy Armor, Leader, Paladin
  • Elf Archer (x2): 63pts; Q2; C3; Forester, Shooter-Long
  • Dwarf Warrior (x2): 34pts; Q3; C4; Short Move
This is a small force of quality troops, unlike the zombie heavy bad guys. The paladin special rule is nice and all but as I don't usually apply the "Evil" special rule. I might change him to Cleric but he doesn't really look like a cleric to me, maybe Combat Master... I don't know.

So I want to track a campaign with these two warbands and if I get to I'll pass on the excitement!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Dead Continue to Rise

Well I have my laptop in with a friend to be refurbished because it had Windows Vista (which is a terrible OS imho) and the patches eventual pushed the 1GB of ram I had to its limits. To do more than open a single window caused it to slow down severely so my (more) technologically savvy friend is putting XP on it, which is an OS I like a lot.

My painting board has been busy though and when I get back my laptop I'll post pictures of what I have done so far. I finished three bases of Spirit Hosts from GW Army of the Dead (LOTR) and could have made as many as six (maybe even seven with a squeeze) but I just don't see the need for 390 points of spirity hots, 185 is plenty since I will also have a nice 20 soldier unit of Grave Guard.

I also finished 20 skeleton warriors (hand weapons and shields) and want to do the crypt ghouls next. I'm also putting together some war bands for Song of Blades and Heroes.  If you haven't tried the game you should do so it is a wonderful use of the pre-painted Dungeons & Dragons miniatures, just wonderful! I taught my two 11 year old sons to play pretty quick and we enjoyed and evening of humans vs lizardmen vs orcs. I'm building an undead war band with painted miniatures right now. It will be:
  • Vampire
  • Wraith
  • Ghost
  • Skeleton Human x3
...and comes to 298 points. It breaks the war band rules a little bit as the Vampire is 116 points and considered a personality but I don't think anyone will mind.

I also almost have an "Adventurer" war band done with the old Ral Partha's I painted up, I just need to finish a Human Warrior piece, which is also under way.

Well, hopefully soon I can get up a battle report and some photos. Be patient? You know I love you all :D

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am going to war... hopefully

This weekend is game night weekend. I am fairly certain I will be taking my Lizardmen to war against a Dwarf lord and his miscreant obstructions. I'm not sure what Dwarf lord David will be fielding but I am expecting heavy infantry and lots of hand guns/crossbows. This is what I've put together to bring the hurt...
  • Quetxapopalotl; slann mage-priest with TRANSCENDENT HEALING, SOUL OF STONE, THE FOCUSED RUMINATION, and the items; STAFF OF SORCERY, PLAQUE OF TEPOK, PLAQUE OF DOMINION, and ITXI GRUBS. I know the staff of sorcery isn't going to be used but I had him built this way and I'll just keep it.
  • Cohort of the Turtle: 16 saurus warriors to guard Quetxapopalotl
  • Cohort of the Crocodile: 20 saurus warriors
  • Hunters of Quetxapopalotl: 15 skink skirmishers
  • Cohort of the Raptor: 8 cold one cavalry
  • Stegadon
  • 2 Salamander hunting packs with 4 handlers each
This comes to exactly 2,000 points and I should be able to dominate with magic as the dwarfs will have a paltry 4 dice at most against my six plus one for every spell, and with five spells i can see some major damage being done. I am sure I will suffer horrendous casualties from enemy fire but I am just as sure that my Cold blooded soldiers will hold their line until they engage the enemy and ultimately push through to victory. I am a Pyrrhic general, hoping to avoid casualties but accepting that victory can be very costly and the sacrifice of the plastic soldier does my heart no harm.

As an aside, I can't seem to post comments to my own blog for some reason. So, Stokes, I will be getting some pictures up soon!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Dead Plans

Well, I'm feeling myself enter into full on army building mode. Which is nice, I've been very distracted and haven't got to model like I would like so it feels good to bend my focus back to the hobby I love.

My CSA army is nearly finished all I need to do is put some green flocking on the stand's bases and they are good to go. I will have two historical periods covered then; World War 2 and American Civil War. I'd like to have an ancients hunk done too and might go with Greeks and Persians mostly because I have some already. I also would like to get something done with Napoleonics but I dunno, I'll get there.

On the fantasy front I've begun a Vampire Counts army. I am planning a 1,000 point army first and will build from there. Currently my plans are;
  • Vampire with biting blade and avatar of death
  • Necromancer
  • 20 Skeleton warriors with command
  • 20 Crypt ghouls including a crypt ghast
  • Corpse cart with a lodestone
  • Spirit host of 3 bases
  • Varghulf
...this comes to 998 points. Everything is together and a couple of the units is done already. I'm going to be using a necromancer and vampire figure I have already painted. They are reaper (one's from Warlord) and mounted on 1 inch round bases which will be to some players but it won't bother me. I like having the character's on round bases since reading Martin Hackett's work, it feels good to have the character stand out like that. I've got the spirit host together and on a base, just not finished. I'm using GW's Army of the Dead from the LOTR line, I like them much better than their official spirit host and I was able to build three bases from half a box for only 16 dollars, as opposed to the 45 it would normally cost. Three figures per base so I also have a finished ghostly dead warrior to use for skirmish gaming, or perhaps as a vampire with the ethereal trait, who knows.

When I get the army finished I will post pictures of it on here, and then hopefully a special battle report!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Modeling Tamiya's 7.5cm German Anti-Tank Gun


Not only do I model for war gaming I do so for display. The pictures here are of a World War 2 German 7.5cm Anti-tank gun. These things where feared for their ability to penetrate American armor and the very low profile it presented for counter fire. The kit was in 1/35th (if I remember right) and it was a fairly nice kit to assemble. The gun will swivel on the chassis and elevate as well, though not much. it could be assembled either deployed (like shown here) or with the stability legs hooked up for towing so you can add it to their half-track kit and make a model in transit.

When I began this kit I wanted to build a diorama to go along with it and looked into various scenic materials and finally settled on an urban scene but I wanted an unusual urban scene. I thought it would be interested to have the gun and crew set up to appear to be firing from within a building that had been devastated by bombing or other cannon fire. I wanted debris everywhere like it had been hit hard and in my mind I though the gun crew though to use the few remaining pieces of wall as camouflage and cover combined.

The brick is another Tamiya brick wall kit arranged to look blown through. Someone commented that the right (your left) wall looks hokey because it just slants up but I've seen a lot of pictures like that so it seemed fine to me. The base is a thin piece of foam board with boards cut into one side and totally scraped off the other. The asphalt is a product by Hudson & Allen called asphalt which was pretty suit to use. A little water and a Popsicle stick and it looked like old cracked asphalt, very nice if a little costly.  The debris is also Hudson & Allen, pre-packaged debris with scraps of piping and wall paper all mixed in; the entire lot was coated in a glue that all you had to do was spray it with water to get it to stick. This was a neat idea that truly only half worked but it was easy to finish attaching.

I enjoyed building the model and it took me quite a while. I tried to make it as historically accurate as I could and the only mistake I'm clear on is that one of the gunners is missing his gas mask canister. I'm not sure how I missed it or where the hell it went to but it's gone, so he will just have to suffer through the smoke.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Magic Cards... not the game....

I started playing Warhammer with the introduction of the Lizardmen (whom I still love) and the Brettonians (did I spell that right?) and during that period of the game's growth magic was a whole separate box full of cards and templates.

If you aren't familiar with the magic system then it was pretty cool imho; you were dealt a hand of cards which gave your wizards power or magical abilities such as dispelling and destroying spells. Total Power was only a single card in the entire deck. My friend David is nostalgic about those rules and wants them back.

I am perfectly fine with the current magic rules and I like the dice system just fine. I am a game mechanics guy so I find joy in just playing/using game mechanics and don't often see to much in the way of superiority of one over another. I also like the dicker with mechanics so I've come up with a system of using a deck of normal playing cards in the place of the dice for the current magic in Warhammer.

The deck is slimmed down some, you only need the number cards, one joker, the four aces and the four kings. In regards to special items or rules that affect magic just replace the word "dice" with the word "card" and you're fine. I'm sure there is an instance this won't work but I haven't run into it yet.

When the magic phase rolls around you deal the active player one card for ever level of wizard in his army plus two. So an army with a Slann and a Skink Priest (level 1) would have seven cards. The other player gets one card for every level of wizard OR two cards if they have no wizards or are dwarfs. In the old rules every army got cards even without wizards because the winds of magic were fickle as hell. The cards are split just like the dice would be, each wizard gets their and there are two for the pool.

The normal rules for casting spells all apply but instead of rolling dice the player must play number cards equaling or greater than the cost of the spell; their opponent may then play cards to exceed the total power played by the casting wizard to counter the spell. A wizard may not use more cards to cast a spell than they could dice.

The joker is a combination of Total Power and Drain Magic from the old deck; basically it can be used by the active player to automatically cast a spell that cannot be countered and Drain Magic (used by the counter wizards) automatically ends the magic phase and drains all cards from any wizard.

The personal twist is the aces and kings. Each ace is sufficient power to cast any spell at it's required casting level. So, a spell with a casting cost of 7 would be cast at 7 (much like a bound spell) and could be countered by the opponent as normal with number cards. The kings act as dispel scrolls and automatically counter any spell cast. Now, these can be dud cards if in the wrong hand. The active player can make no use of the kings and the counter player can make no use of the aces. This was an aspect of the magic deck that was super cool and super frustrating at the same time. There were a variety of dispel cards in the deck and if you were wanting to cast spells and got a bunch of them is sucked.

Also, the deck is not shuffled after every turn. Instead it is played through completely so the joker is only coming around once every 45 cards.

I've not play tested this yet but I'm going to the next Warhammer game I play and I'll let you know how it goes.

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