306 Numidian Javelin Throwers

Numidian Javelin Throwers

For reasons not worth going into I lost a little time on this project, but hopefully am back up to the speed of four figures (one sprue) per week.  Since of the 28 in the pack I’m doing 14 of them as javelin throwers (or as they will be played in WHFB, Empire spearmen) the most recent sprue is all them.

It’s also the end of January, and my monthly paint total is an impressive 29 figures.  At least for me that’s impressive–I’m well aware that there are many who paint much faster.  As a point of reference, that is half of what I painted for the entire year last year.  I’m really in this odd painting grove where there is something almost zen-like about the progess.

I’m also not really sweating questions like “what’ll you do for Empire Greatswords?”  First, it’ll be months before I get through all the light infantry.  Second, I may just build this army to build an army and not sweat the gamesmanship of it.  We’ll see.

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305 Hostile Realms on the way

It’s been a while since I dropped any real money on hobbies.  The Numidians I’m working on were from November , as was the copy of The Pathfinder Bestiary.  So I was about due for something.

I thought long and hard about getting a new wargame.  I’m pretty set on RPG’s, have plenty of molds I’m not using, and about three dozen miniatures on the painting table.  I also decided to perhaps look at a new fantasy game.  You see, I’m mostly a Warhammer Fantasy Battles player to the point where you can take the number of times I’ve played other games, add them together and multipliy by three, and you still wouldn’t have the number I’ve played WHFB.  So I was thinking about something different.

The problem is, there’s not a lot in the way of fantasy wargames out there, which surprises me.  There’s upteen Napoleonic games, but little in fantasy despite the wide range of miniatures available.  Or rather there isn’t a lot that isn’t either a skirmish game (eg. Confrontation, Song of Blades and Heroes, or Malifaux) or a thinly-veiled Warhammer clone (e.g. No Quarter).  I like skirmish games, but I was looking for something to scratch my big-battle itch.  That got me down to two choices: Armies of Arcana or Hostile Realms.

Side note: I know about Hordes of the Things, the fantasy hack of the DBA rules.  I own it.  But my honest opinion is that HOTT isn’t that far removed from a skirmish game, given that you are usually battling with a dozen stands (40-60mm bases) with one to four miniatures on it.  Nothing against the game–it looks like fun and I appreciate the inherent flexibility.

Armies of Arcana, from what I can tell, seems very tooled for 15mm, which isn’t that big a handicap.  Hostile Realms is the fantasy hack of the Piquet system, which is (in)famous for its innovative ruleset.  That innovation (loved or loathed) was what won me over.  I wanted something really different from WHFB so that I’d have to start thinking differently about gameplay.  That was my problem with No Quarter (which is a free download and should definitely be looked at).  Yes, you get different monsters and the ability to tool up your own army list, but it plays very similarly to WHFB  and wouldn’t really push me in terms of new gamesmanship.

I’m not familiar with Piquet, as I said, but I’ll post a review of Hostile Realms after it arrives.  It should be here in about a week.

298 The 2009 Warhammer Campaign final battle report

After about eight months of regular campaigning in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, it all came down to the battle for the Lost City.  There were a lot of special rules and details about the scenario, but it basically boiled down to one single siege battles.

Attackers: 2500 pts. of Vampire Counts with Mannfred von Carstein (me) and 2500 pts. of Skaven with Grey Seer Thanquol (Chris)

Defenders: 2000 pts. of Bretonnians with the Green Knight (my arch rival Vince) and 2000 pts. of Lizardmen (Tom)

We played on a 5′ by 14′ table with a castle wall running the length of the table.  Deployment wise, we paired off: VC vs. Lizardmen on one end and Skaven vs. Brets on the other.  I don’t know about the others but basically I fielded three units of skellies, one unit of crypt guard, two units of fell bats, a unit of ghouls, a unit of DoW halfing archers and a varghulf.  For heroes I had von Carstein, a wight lord, and a vampire standard bearer.

Vince surveys the fortifications

The defenders had the tactic of putting skinks and peasant bowmen on the walls, and then knights and saurus warriors behind the walls to repel attackers after the missile units have thinned them out.

On the Skaven side things went very badly.  The Green Knight and several knight units went outside the walls and killed Thanquol and scattered many of the units.  There were also a lot of misfire problems with the Skaven weaponry.  By the time the Skaven got through the walls, the knights made easy work of them.

On my end every major infantry unit of mine made it over of through the walls to the other side and put paid to the Lizardmen.  Mannfred lived up to his title as Master of the Undead by continually moving and reinforcing units as they were picked off by skinks or falling to Saurus Warriors.  Despite my strong victory, there wasn’t enough zones under my sole control and my side lost by a very narrow margin.  In the last turn there were several “this is the game” die rolls and enough of them went their way to make the difference, including an improbably halfling/skink melee combat.

Tom desperately looks to Vince for advice as undead swarm the walls

This was one campaign where I was always in the #2 spot behind my arch rival Vince and despite my best effort at the end I ended up in second place for the final.  Now we move into the 2010 campaign, which is my responsibility to put together.  I’ve been considering less of a “narrative” campaign and just going a flat “win-loss” tournament instead.

297 Bretonnian Archers

I thought I’d try something a little more colorful.  Here’s the result:

Bretonnian Peasant Archers

They are the old OOP plastic Bretonnian archers from the 5th Ed. Warhammer box set (the one that had Brets vs. Lizardmen).

The dipping dulled down the bright colors a little too much, but like I said, it was an experiment.

294 Skeleton command

Skeleton musician, standard, champion, and warrior

I’m slowly making my way through the base coat-and-dip skeleton warrior unit by Games Workshop.  I’m up to twelve, with only four to go, but I am doing a little experimentation with dipping and wanted to use a throwaway mini to do that.

290 The 2009 Review

As the year draws to a close, I thought I’d take stock in what I’ve accomplished in terms of hobbies over the past twelve months.  As usual, I’ll go by my “three setting switch” categories:

Miniatures

By my count, I’ve finished 57 miniatures in 2009, most in the last few months.  Adopting a swifter painting technique and dedicating more time each evening to painting, rather than watching television, has done a lot to get that going.

Terrain

I was shocked to see that I had completed 15 terrain pieces this year.  Admittedly three of them were cardstock, but I had forgotten how many of them were sci-fi related (e.g. the filtration tower, the green thing, the zombie bunker).  That doesn’t even count the several pieces I made for EOW, which I left off the list because they lack paint.

Roleplaying Games

I have managed to stick with D&D 4E, getting my gaming group all the way to fourth level.  Hopefully we will be getting back up to speed now that the holidays are over.

Wargaming

We have not had the final battle of the 2009 campaign yet (it will spill over into 2010) but I spent the year battling with Vampire Counts, and doing a pretty bad job of it.  I thought the army would be easy to use with its large blocks of unbreakable units, but it proved to be too slow, too predictable, and too dependent on magic to do well, especially at smaller point levels.

Looking ahead to 2010

Miniatures

I’ve got a load of Numidians from Wargames Factory to paint, and I hope my new “bop ’til I drop” painting philosophy will keep the tempo high when it comes to miniature painting.  I’m also looking at some old Chronopia and Games Workshop dwarf miniatures too.

Terrain

Unless something radical shifts, this area may go a little dormant, to the point that I’ve even packed up in long-term storage some of the molds.  Right now I just lack the space for more pieces.

Roleplaying Games

This will remain unchanged, since the twice-a-month-or-so D&D campaign is healthy and going well.

Wargaming

Once the current campaign is over, it is my turn to conceive of a new campaign concept.  I’m still thinking on this one.

Thanks for taking the time to come here.  I always hope that it is an informative and inspiring visit.