September 23, 2018

Ahriman, Sorcerer of Tzeentch

For ten thousand years, the seeker of arcane truths known as Ahriman has roamed the galaxy in a quest to acquire every artefact, every tome and every scroll that harbours eldritch powers. Worlds burn in his shadow as he plucks these treasures from their owners by any means necessary. Resistance is the last error his enemies can make – Tzeentchian magic reshapes reality around them, a pass of the Black Staff twisting their bodies unnaturally until nothing remains but bubbling flesh. Ahriman, lord of a broken Legion; his determination is such that destiny itself bends to his whim.

Painted for my brother Dennis' collection. It was fun to paint something different. The base is photoshop wizardry because he is going to finish it to match the rest of his army. I just didn't want to post the pic with an unfinished black base!

It was probably a mistake because this guy is dead hard and he is absolutely going to kill me...

September 3, 2018

Kill Team Crucible

When the new Kill Team game out, I was psyched to find the elements of role playing that was built into the game. Adding specialists provides a level of narration that also give you concrete benefits during the game. However, there is another layer of charts that allow you to add details like the reason your team was formed and the personalities of your main characters. These are unique to each army choice and there are also name generators to get you started if you don't know what  a genestealer cultist might be called. Of course, you can do this in any game, but I feel like having Games Workshop add these elements in each army list encourages people to make use of the narrative element, especially newcomers to the hobby.

After building my Kill Team from the Deathwatch list, I rolled randomly on the charts to give them more life beyond their stats and forge a narrative.

Kill Team Doctrine
The Deathwatch are humanity's shield against xenos horrors. I decided to go with an all Primaris Kill Team because I really like the models and haven't done a lot with them yet. I chose the Team Doctrine 'Fortis Kill Team' because... well... these teams are comprised solely of the heroic Primaris battle brothers!

Of course, every game will have a different mission, but this defines the reason your team was assembled. I rolled on the chart and got 'The Cull' meaning they are especially interested in suffering not the alien to live, even for Space Marines.

Squad Quirk
This is something that sets your squad apart from the rest. I ended up with 'The Bigger Picture' which says my warriors know full well the wider price of failure and are willing to commit unconscionable deeds in the name of victory. THAT sounds ominous...

Intercessor Marcus Aggrenor, Ultramarines
Leader (Tactician: Marcus' mind is a rich repository of tried and tested combat maneuvers.)
Bolt Rifle, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

Of course the leader is an Ultrmarine! I used some Deathwatch bits on my leader to make him stand out a little.

Intercessor Navaer "Never" Qeld, Chapter Unknown
Sniper (Black Shield: Mysterious and insular, Naever's past is a dark secret.)
Stalker Bolt Rifle, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

I wanted the sniper's Stalker Bolt Rifle to stand out from the others so I snagged a barrel from a Scout Sniper Rifle.

I rolled "Black Shield" for my Sniper, which is something peculiar to Deathwatch. For reasons known only to the Deathwatch Chapter Master this marine has chosen to keep his chapter of origin a secret. He may be on a clandestine mission for his Primarch, the last survivor of a destroyed chapter, or one of The Fallen. The Chapter Master has approved his assignment to the team and his brothers will not ask him further. His comrades call him "Never" as in "never misses" which is sure to doom his dice rolls.

Intercessor Jago Haden, Imperial Fists
Gunner (Contemptuous: Jago has nothing but scorn for xenos and all their works, and his disgust for them finds its purest expression in battle.)
Bolt Rifle, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

I love that the Imperial Fist came up with 'Contemptuous' as his personality. I seem him disdaining to take advantage of cover in games (which probably means he gets killed, but oh well).

Reiver Erik Stormstrider, Space Wolves
Combat Specialist (Hunter: Once Erik sets his eyes on a particular quarry, he harries them to the exclusion of all else.)
Heavy Bolt Pistol, Combat Knife, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Shock Grenades, and Grav Chute

Combat Specialist.. well, yeah, Space Wolf! Originally I was going to convert a model with an axe, but I really liked this pose. I added the wolf tail on the pistol grip and there is a wolf skull on the back of his belt. He will patrol forward through cover seeking to close with the enemy as quickly as possible on the tabletop.

Reiver Ari Mologhai, Black Templars
No specialty (New Comer: Ari replaced a beloved and trusted battle-brother who fell. He seeks to prove himself to his new squad.)
Bolt Carbine, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Shock Grenades, Grapnel, and Grav Chute

I went ahead and rolled a personality for the sole non-specialist on the team and got "New Comer". The others refer to him as "The Kid" despite his decades of service in Black Templars and I see him constantly trying to prove himself in battle and taking crazy risks in games.

I just realized I forgot to add the squad marking (4) on their knee pad.. oh, well.

I KNOW people are going to ask - the name plates are from Versatile Terrain and worth every pound. They have several different sizes and different style fonts. I will be getting more of these...

So that's it. I don't know how they will actually fare in games, but Primaris are dead hard with two wounds and 3+ saves. The special ammunition rule for Deathwatch will make them extra dangerous. This was a fun project and I see more Kill Teams in my future.

August 26, 2018

The Guns of August 2018, Sunday

Whew! Third game went totally different from the previous two. Though the Jacobites did manage to get all of their plunder across the ford (in eleven turns.. don't tell Dannie), they were slaughtered to a man save several units of horse who retreated in good order from the field.

Mike 'Fat Bastard' MacNeill captained the Williamite assault while the dynamic duo father-son team of Rob and Justin Buck tried to keep the Jacobites in line. None of these gentlemen had ever played BLB, but it half way through they mostly figuring out their own factors and more or less running the game themselves and reminding me of the rules..

This battle had several twists and turns, including the first squadron of Tyrconnel's Horse DEFECTING to the enemy, two-thirds of the remaining brigade riding away after an errant flare was launched to signal retreat, and the Danish Guard trading fire with the Irish Guard and Lord Grand Prior's at point blank range for several turns. Despite harrowing losses, the Danes refused to retreat and died to the last man after have inflicting grievous wounds on the Irish Guard.

This battle lacked the huge cavalry scrums featured in the earlier games, though there were still several well timed charges (and one not so well timed).

Again, I'll write up these games in a bit. It was a good weekend - the players were good sports all around, embracing both good and bad luck as it fell and seemed to enjoy the games. It was a lot of work, but I will definitely plan to host a game at the February show in Williamsburg next year and may have the opportunity to put on another game at the museum later this year as well.

More soon...

August 25, 2018

The Guns of August 2018, Saturday

Real quick as I am beat.. two great games Saturday..

Left to right, Dannie Fogleman, Joe Brecher, Richard Jaekel, and Dick Goettel.. ALL of the these guys played in one of Barry and my sessions of the Pennyburn at Historicon. Some of them came from quite a ways, just to play BLB. I was stressed because in my haste Saturday morning I left the house without my QRS... THREE of them brought their own copies (thanks, for that, guys).

What a cool venue. While it lacked a huge food court (lunch and dinner were available in the form of sandwiches from Chick fil'A), my table was in the Weapons Hall in the middle of the Virginia War Museum.

Dannie and Dick both wanted another game and we were joined in the afternoon by Rob Eubanks. We played the same scenario, but the veterans switched sides to have a different perspective on the game.

There were lots of nice comments from people, interest in the Warfare range, and I even managed to sell some books. The event also saw the blooding of Hilton's Regiment (seen below with the blue and white flags.. will get proper photos of them in coming weeks as well), painted for my collection by THE Barry Hilton.. more on how that went soon..

I'll have a full account of the battles, as well as action from Sunday and the full scenario in a few days.

August 19, 2018

Crossing the Shannon - July 15, 1690

In the period between the Battle of the Boyne (July 1st, 1690) and The Battle of Aughrim (July 12th, 1691) a variety of smaller engagements took place in central and the south west Ireland.

This scenario is a fictitious encounter placed against the backdrop of small raids, sieges and low level actions which characterized the year following the Battle of the Boyne. Scenario Background King William’s multinational army is now in the ascendant in Ireland and the Jacobite Army of King James is restricted to the western counties of the island. An advanced guard, five small brigades of the Williamite Army, has come across a small Jacobite force which is attempting to transport plundered light cannons and other baggage across the River Shannon at a narrow ford. A small force of enemy troops is occupying a farm immediately in front of the advancing Williamite column obviously to act as a rearguard. No other enemy troops are visible, but rumors of the vaunted Jacobite cavalry have greeted the advance at every village and there might still be infantry on this side of the Shannon as well...

This game is inspired by the scenario included in the first edition of Beneath the Lily Banners (published 2008) and will be my offering for the Guns of August. It's been modified to suit my collection and several details altered to take into account the likely participants would be new to the rules. I want to be able to fight the game to a conclusion in the time allotted so troops will start a little closer together to get the action underway. I also changed the crossing from a ferry to a ford because this terrain is the beginning of a new direction for my efforts going forward. I wanted a river that would be more flexible for other tables than the 12-18" wide span I would have wanted to make a model ferry seem necessary. I'll get around to building a wider river when I design my tables for the Boyne..

The Guns of August show is at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News, VA on August 24th-26th. I will be running two games on Saturday at 10am and 2pm and another game on Sunday at 10am. There is no pre-registration for the event, so if you'd like to play in one of the games, just come on by - the scenario can be played by two or up to seven, but I'll find a command for you if we end up with more.

I'll have a report on the show and hopefully AAR's next week...

August 15, 2018

Guns of August 2018


The static grass I use comes in sheets, so once the glue is good and dry, I can feather the edges and blend it in to make look a little more natural. That's it... I'll post another pic of the finished table with all of the rest of terrain in place this weekend...

August 6, 2018

Guns of August 2018

It's been quiet around here, but I've not been idle - just haven't had the time to do any proper posts. My games are officially scheduled for the Guns of August show at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News, VA. On Saturday (August 25th) I'll be running games of Beneath the Lily Banners at 10am and 2pm and again on Sunday (August 26th) at 10am. My table is in the main hall, across from the M-5 tank! I'll also have copies of the new BLB book, The War of Three Kings, as well as Donnybrook and Republic to Empire for sale at the table.

Speaking of the table, remember how I said I already had the boards I needed to run the scenario I've chosen - Crossing the Shannon? Well, somehow I decided they wouldn't work, so I'm building a brand new 4x8' table...

I'm trying something new, using 2-inch thick foam tiles, rather than my usual wooden boards. These are what Barry Hilton has used for the League of Augsburg games for decades. I'm using a mix of 2x2' and 2x4' sections. They won't be as tough as my old method, but my brother suggested painting the sides with a few coats of white glue before painting them which will give much more durability. They also won't be anywhere near as heavy as my old boards as I can easily carry the whole stack in one trip.

Barry's boards are painted and flocked, but I used my normal method of a felt-backed grass mat for the main layer. I just glued the mat to the foam and trimmed the edges flush when it was dry. With the method, you never need worry about the grass falling off and leaving bare patches!

This is a very fast way to make a table. I glued all of the felt in one evening. The river and roads were carved in another and covered in joint compound. The rough texture (my usual coffee grounds) was added this morning and the glue will be dry to allow the first coat of earth paint to cover all of the white areas this evening. Not bad for three days work. This week I'll finish the painting, including the river and add additional static grass and other ground cover. The last step will be adding resin into the river bed, probably next weekend.

I love building terrain and I think I really like this combination of materials. There has been zero warping of the foam so far. I'll reserve final judgement until after I see how these stand up to a weekend of gaming.

More later...

June 27, 2018

Crossing the Shannon - The Guns of August 2018

My work schedule has been crazy recently and I realized I was never going to be able to finish the Limerick project I had planned for The Guns of August (maybe Historicon 2019). Rather than give up on the idea of attending, I set out to find a different scenario to run.

While sorting through scenarios, I stumbled on the map for 'Crossing the Shannon'. This game appeared in the first book Barry and I did together - the original version of Beneath the Lily Banners! I already had all of the terrain I needed for this game and that will make sorting out the rest by August dead easy.

Hmmm... I was also surprised to find out I had almost all of the models I needed too. When Barry and I were designing the book and decided to include a scenario, I remember advising we make it a small one. Mr. Hilton's idea of a small game was 25 units... over 200 infantry, 72 cavalry, and 9 commanders... bloody hell. What surprised me was that I had MORE than that now. There are only a couple of things I need to paint and I could get away without most of them by tweaking a few things, but since I now have the LUXURY of time I do want to add them.

NOT the actual forces listed below, just a large part of my current collection...
(Commander rating: Plodder or Competent, roll a die to determine)

1st Brigade of Foot - Brigadier Baron Tom Grimm of Wedgewood
Garden til Fods (Veteran - Elite) All Musket
Funen (Drilled) All Musket
Jyske (Drilled) All Musket

2nd Brigade of Foot - Colonel Griggs, Lord Tilden
Converged Dutch Grenadiers (Drilled - Elite) All Musket
Hanmer’s (Drilled) Regulation
Brandenburg (Drilled) All Musket

3rd Brigade of Foot - Brigadier Bates of Doug
Mitchelburne’s (Raw) Regulation
Irish Regiment of Foot (Raw) All Musket (haven't decide which regiment)

1st Brigade of Horse - Colonel Treakle of Richmond
Danish Horse Regiment (Drilled) 3 Squadrons Bullet
Schomberg’s Regiment (Drilled) 1 Squadron Bullet

2nd Brigade of Horse - Colonel Harrell of Southland
Wolseley’s Horse Regiment (Raw) 2 Squadrons Blade
Wynne’s Dragoon Regiment (Raw) 2 Squadrons

Total Force: Commander in Chief, two brigadiers of Horse with 6 squadrons of Horse and 2 of mounted dragoons, three brigadiers of Foot with eight battalions (16 units total).

I just need paint a pike stand for Mitchelburne’s Foot and another brigadier! You can never have too many of those anyway...

(Commander rating: Competent or Skilful, roll a die to determine)

Brigade of Foot - Colonel Johan McDarius 
Irish Foot Guard (Drilled - Elite) Regulation
Lord Grand Prior’s (Drilled) Regulation
Clanrickarde’s (Drilled) Pike and Shot

Brigade of Horse - Colonel Edward Harrison
Life Guard of King James (Veteran) 2 Squadrons Blade
Tyrconnel’s Regiment (Veteran) 2 Squadrons Blade

Detached Commands
Dongan’s Dragoon Detachment (Raw) On Foot
Hilton’s (Raw) Pike and Shot

2 Light Guns (Raw if crew are found) Limbered
1 Field Gun (Raw if crew are found) Limbered
2 Wagons/Carts

Total Force: Commander in Chief, one brigadier of Horse with 4 squadrons of Horse, one brigadier of Foot with three battalions, one independent dragoon battalion and one independent battalion of foot (9 units total).

For this force I need to paint a pike stand for the Irish Foot Guard and at a couple of wagons or carts. I also need to build two ferries or rafts. I may also need some more civilian models or other single models milling around the river.

So, these are subject to change, but I this will be close give or take a battalion or squadron. I'll do a full scenario presentation AFTER the show in case some of you reading this will be playing. Of course, if you have a copy of BLB1 you can always look it up, but I've altered bits to make it fit my needs.