Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hubcon 2015

I had all the fun I could have at Hubcon 2015 at the Forest County Center, thanks to Tim Broome once again.

Work kept me from attending on Friday, but we got there early on Saturday and stayed until about 5pm, when waking up a 4am and putting on a game ended my stamina.

I put on a game in which a medieval lord had a bottleneck on a river that throttled the commerce of the lords both North and South of his domain.  They united to take out the bottleneck, formed by a watchtower with a small group of archers and a catapult. The rules used were Warrior Heroes - Legends with the heroic melee.  I had intended to use Captains and Kings, but the forces commanded by the players were too small.  The rules are from, need I say, Two Hour Wargames!

The Southern lord (Bill Majure) reached the watchtower first and succeeded in breeching the doors to the postern and the watchtower.  At this point, the Northern lord (Larry Touhy), realizing that the tower was about to fall, and that the Southern lord was losing men left and right, decided that he wanted the watchtower for himself and attacked the Northern lord's host in the back!

As the game ended, the watchtower had lost 15 of 20 men, the Southern lord perhaps half of his horde, and the Northern lord had lost very few men.  A true game of medieval treachery and mendacity!  I'd like to thank the players for their cooperation in playing the game.

All of these pictures were taken by my wife, Theresa, on both the Canon Rebel EOS T3 and Canon PowerShot SX-120 IS.  So here's the pics!

This is the initial setup before any players arrived.  The watchtower has 16 mailed archers, a leader, and the leader's wife.  They will be defending against 6 cogs, each with 12 archers, 10 men-at-arms, 1 leader, and 5 crew, who only man the cog. All of the buildings and fences are paper, mostly from Fat Dragon.

Here's a view from the other side of the promontary.
The Northern lord's ships and crews.  The Southern lord has the same.
Larry Touhey and Jim contemplate the best was to back stab the Southern lord.
Lord Touhy assigns his subordinates their ships. (Mike Bobe's back in the background)
The Southern lords, under Bill Majure, approach the promentory.  The sails were removed to make it easier for the players to move their shipboard figures.
Closer they come, but the left ship has been unmasted by the catapult on top of the watchtower.
The Northern ships begin their approach, held up by awful rolls on movement!

They approach the Southern ship, who will be glad of their help (hah)!
As they approach, one of their ships is unmasted!
Dwayne Bailius, the lord of the watchtower removes the top of the tower to place a few archers in the second story arrow slits.
Bill Majure prepares to hassle the sheep.  Dwayne asks for his mounted knights (ain't gonna happen)
Bill's flotilla has beached on the shore, and his foot soldiers prepare to climb the rocky beach. Meanwhile, the Northern flotilla has bypassed the docks, coming ever closer to the
Southern flotilla.
A shot of the tower top with the catapult, which suffered from poor reloading rolls.
There are no shots of the end of the game, as the players were getting packed in for the game.

The Southrons got ashore, suffered a lot from the tower's bows but succeeding in bursting through the small tower doors.  Then they pulled down the wattle fences and burst down the tower doors, and found themselves in a murder hole. At this point the Northron flotilla began to rain down arrows on the rear of the Southroners on land, and set fire to one of the Southron cogs.

As our 4 hour slot ended, I declared the Northerners the winners, since they had suffered little, though the watchtower did put arrows and catapult projectiles on a few of their men.  The Southrons would have made them pay dearly for the watchtower, but they were significantly outnumbered, and hadn't got out of the murder hole.  The men in the watchtower were very few.

These photos are mostly from the Bolt Action tourney.
 Hilton MacMannus and opponent for L'Art de la Guerre tournament.
 Walt Bourgoyne and his opponent.

 Chris Swearingen and his opponent.
Chris Johnston and his opponent.  That may be Lee Drake in the rear in the cap.
The tournament was well attended.  I don't know the results.  I know that Chris S. wasn't using his campion Tamil Indians. (No elephants!)

Steve Wirth and Paul Arceneaux discussing the finer points of Viking raids!
An incredible fantasy table.  That parthenon was really beautiful!

A game I did not see, but that is friend Wayne Trovinger seated.
Old friend Rudy Nelson of Time Portal Hobbies reads rules.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

GW'S LOTR Uruk-Hai scout.

Just a short one today to show one of the plastic figures from Games Workshop. The photo is not one of my best. I forgot that the camera was set for "auto" since we had just got back from a Star Wars troop at the Metairie YMCA. There are a couple of places where it shows that it's a plastic, with fill-ins where there would be undercuts on a metal figure, but not bad at all.
For those who are interested in such things, here's my entry from my painting dairy.
Skin: my U-H skin mix which is a reddish-brown mix of craft paints.  It's then highlighted with P3 Bloodstone. (Anyone notice that there's no really good red brown in craft paints?)
Chest & leg armor: Reaper ProPaint Walnut highlighted with Ral Partha Dark Brown.
Skirt & shirt: Delta Ceramcoat Dark Brown
Helmet, gloves & shoes: P3 Battlfield Brown, highlighted with RP Dark Brown.
Belt and back straps: Reaper ProPaint Walnut.
Coat: Ceramcoat Brown Iron Oxide.
Teeth: Ceramcoat Old Parchement.
All metal: IWM Steel Plate
Yes, I have LOTS of old paint bottles!
The figure is then given a thin black wash.
Base is painted with Ceramcoat Dark Brown, and then flocked.
When finished, the whole model is then sprayed with a matte finish.
That's it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Modifying Fat Dragon Games' Borderline Keep tower as a stand-alone piece.

I recently decided that I needed a stand-alone tower with a basic interior for gaming purposes.  Searching through my paper models, I found that Fat Dragon Games Borderline Keep had a tower that was about 5 " square and should do admirably.

Since the tower sides are symetrical, I just printed each side twice for the exterior and interior.
Of course the hardest part was the crennellated top.  I glued this to heavy comic book or scrapbooking paper I got on line. And I used the same paper to support the floor.
Here's a photo of the completed tower.

Although it is not immediately apparent, the crenellated upper story lifts off as does the story with the arrows slots..
Here's the underneath of the tower top.

The second floor was strengthened with black foamcore.  It cuts so much better than the white foamcore, without the great gouts of foam pulling out as you cut. The red is to help locate its position on the first floor, since I'm not perfect and the pieces fit together better in a certain way.  This floor, and the ground floor are from Model Builder.
Here's a bottom view.  I had to add a double floor with spacers to get the figures to the right height versus the arrow slots, which I did not cut out. There are two locators made from the black foamcore.
And the interior of the ground floor.  Since the door is not impenetrable, I added a murder hole, created in Model Builder.
Was it fiddley? Yes! Is it perfect? No.  Am I happy with it? Yes.  It will do well in the game it is intended for. This is just a little advice on how to convert a quick build tower with no access to its interior into a playable tower with 3 floors.

Friday, May 8, 2015

SAGA Irish Warband from Gripping Beast.

As always, from Gripping Beast, these are well produced figures.  They're easy to paint.  A caveat, however.  The hearthguard don't match the options listed in The Raven's Shadow.  They should have either javelins or Dane axes.  There are 4 Dane axes included, but no figures properly configured to hold them with the shields on their back.

So here they are are, and a few comments on painting, etc..
This is the warlord, my least favorite figure in the box.  He's too squinched up for my taste.  Also, I couldn't get his sword to hold with super glue.  It got knocked off 4 times on the painting table. The last time it disappeared, and was replaced with a Dane ax, so he's lost his sword.  His two "companions" are from Crusader Miniatures' Gallic Women Warriors.

These are my hearthguard.  As you can easily see, I don't go for fancy shields.  The figures are great, and many of the weapons are molded with the hand, and plug into end of the right arm, a very strong attachment! (Wish they'd done the same for the warlord)  I did a little research on Irish textiles of the Dark Ages, and found varied colors and patterns.  Of course, they are brighter than the warriors. Eye color, and some of the plaids were done with Pigma Micron Pens, specifically the 005 ones.
And the warriors.  The dogs were easy and fun to paint.  The hound master has a light javelin added from florist wire.  His pose just didn't look right without something in his left hand.

They haven't been blooded yet.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Have at them! Captains and Kings and the War of the Roses...

I decided to have another go with my War of the Roses retinues.  Unfortunately for the poor figures, the dice gods were unkind on the Leader rolls!

Sir Blue's Foot Knights were led by Sir Red himself a Rep 5 leader.  His men-at-arms were led by a Rep 3, which would effect them mightily on activation, and his bow were led by a Rep 4.

Sir Red was not so lucky.  He was a Rep 4, his men-at-arms with a Rep 3 leader, as were his bows!

The lined up across the field with the bows in front and the knights and men-at-arms trailing them.

On turn 1 only Sir Blue's men were able to activate, and they advanced.
Turn 2 saw both retinues advance. Sir Blue's bows and men-at-arms were slowed by the sand pit.
Turn 3 saw Sir Red activate first and move his men forward.  Sir Red's bows were now in range of Sir Blue's, and they loosed a fusilade, bringing down 1 bowman. It has no effect on the red bow's morale.
In turn 4, the bows exchange fire with no losses, but the Blue bowmen don't like it and 1 figure leaves. (I decided for photo purposes to show the figure bolting, but they are actually removed from the field).
Turn 5, Sir Blue's knights interpenetrate his bows, preventing them from firing or moving.  His men-at-arms, no longer under his leadership, stand around. (Note that I forgot all about Fast Move for the entire game.  Sir Red's knight loose and a Blue knight goes down!
Turn 6. The Blue knights charge the bows.  Their leader has enough sense not to challenge a knight to single combat, but, flustered, they do not fire!  The knights kill 4 bowmen, including their leader, but they hold, though losing another figure to morale.  The bows have no choice but to continue the melee and they are wiped out! Sir Blue, reduced in numbers, now finds himself face to face with Sir Red! Sir Red's men-at-arms advance on Sir Blue's bows, who do no damage.

I should point out that at the beginning of each round of melee, a figure is removed from each unit in melee, so there is on-going attrition.  The only time this does not apply is when one unit is down to its last figure. These figures are not mentioned in my commentary.

Turn 7. Sir Blue has no choice but to charge, hoping his extra die for Ferocious charging will even things out.  It does, but no one dies, and both Carry On. The Blue activation die was a 5, so no one else can activate. Sir Red continues the melee against Sir Blue, killing 1 knight. Both Carry On. 

Sir Red's men-at-arms charge Sir Blue's bows who get off a shot, taking no one down, but causing 1 runaway. The men-at-arms knock down 2 bowmen.  Both Carry On, but 1 man-at-arms runs away.
Turn 8 Sir Red's men cannot activate, including himself! Sir Blue's knights continue the melee with no results. The bows continue to melee the men-at-arms, with little result, but 1 man-at-arms runs away.
Turn 9. Sir Blue dies! Both his remaining units pass their Leader Down test. One of Sir Red's knights has had enough!  Sir Blue's bows finish off the men-at-arms. Sir Red's knights advance.
Turn 10,  The Blue bows take out 2 knights!  The Blue men-at-arms change facing to get around their bows.
Turn 11.  Sir Red charges the bows, who fire to no effect.  Sir Red takes out 3 bows.  They rout, and so does he, leaving the untouched Blue men-at-arms masters of the field!
So quite a different result this time.  Sir Blue's knights suffered too many casualties fighting Sir Red's bows to be able to go one-on-one with Sir Red's knights.  I haven't had both units rout at the end of a melee before this, and forgot that the men-at-arms should have rolled