February 29, 2016

More Malifaux - Angel Eyes

So here's a start on the second crew from the starter set, beginning with Angel Eyes!

I wanted this model to be very monochromatic like the art from the card. These models have TINY features and it was a challenge to paint the face and the bionic eye. I'm not sure the base is finished. I might add some dead grass or something to add a little more interest. These rubble bases seem kinda plain after the morgue bases from last week. She's fine for getting on right now - the goal is to get the starter set models painted so I can try the game!

February 27, 2016

The Warband of Madcap Toddlekin

Right, so here is the motley crew with a second level Madcap Toddlekin. I established a base in the Inn of the Waltzing Werebear and that allowed me to increase the size of my warband by one model.

The aforementioned Master of the Seven Sounds and his Apprentice Kip Nine-Toes...

Captain Bornad the Archer and his dog, Rudy...

My Barbarian, Ulrich, and Thief, Raker...

My Crossbowmen, Dahar and Jenkins...

...and the thugs - Olaf the Stout, Hrothgar, and Knurl (all Reaper minis).

The fourth thug from my original warband named Sven was slain by an arrow to the throat! Dahar must miss the next game, recovering from an arrow wound of his own. We are playing the second round of our campaign tomorrow and I'll be interested to see if any of these guys survive!

I was chatting with my brother a few days ago and mentioned it would be neat if your henchmen could advance. Olaf survived two arrow wounds and managed to leg it off the table with a treasure. I added 'the Stout' to his entry on the character sheet after the game. He pointed out all I need to do is dismiss Olaf the Thug, add a shield to the model and hire Olaf the Man-at-Arms... instant advancement! I will be keeping that in mind as my warband develops. Obviously the game is all about the wizard, but the narrative surrounding the entire group is important to me as well.

I'll let you know how they do!

February 26, 2016

Malifaux - One Down...

... and the angel of mercy, Nurse Heartsbane...

... and here is the whole crew...

Well, these were fun to paint and I can honestly say I've never painted anything like them before, which was sort of the point. If I end up liking this game, I can easily expand this warband with some more Guild minis. For that matter, I could build any faction I like and still incorporate these models, because they all have the 'Mercenary' characteristic (almost as if Wyrd planned it that way). A crew can include up to two mercenaries from another faction.

Anyway, hopefully next week I can get the Neverborn painted...

February 24, 2016

Malifaux - The Orderlies

Here are a pair of Orderlies for Dr Gimwell's crew...

These pics came out a little dark, but playing around to much with the white balance washed out the subtle shading in the white coats. A grungy look is probably appropriate for these guys anyway!

One more and Dr Gimwell's crew is finished!

February 22, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different...,

I stopped by my FLGS to fill in some gaps in my paint set and decided to stroll through and look at all the shiny stuff on the racks. For some reason I left the shop with this box - they were actually out of the paint I wanted and I couldn't very well leave without buying SOMETHING could I?

I have always loved the artwork, models, and creativity of this game. I have the first edition rulebook around somewhere, but I never bought any models for it. The starter set comes with two factions of four models, a Guild crew led by Dr. Stanley Grimwell and a Neverborn gang led by Angel Eyes (both pictured on the cover of the box above). I figured I could paint both crews in a few days and try out the game (can't try the game without painted models - ick) with little invested in the way of time or money.

The game comes with eight models, a 34-page rule booklet, two Fate decks (the engine of the game rather than dice), stat cards for the models, and two tape measures (nice touch). The booklet seems to be well designed as a teaching tool. The first few pages cover 'what is a tabletop skirmish game' for the uninitiated, walks through the box contents, and explains a few basic things like measuring, line of sight, etc. Then there are two pages that break down the stat card. After that you are ready to go! Rather than simply list all of the rules and then say 'Have at it', game concepts are introduced through short scenarios. The first scenario simply pits two minion types against each other that start one inch apart. The Fate Deck procedure and basic combat rules are covered while you play the fight. There are four more scenarios that introduce new models and new rules, gradually increasing the complexity until you are playing a full game in the end. Again, it seems like a neat idea and I'll let you know how it works after I've played through the series.

But first I need to paint my models. I decided to start with Dr Gimwell and his crew...

I picked up the 'Morgue' base inserts the same day. I felt they were appropriate for these models. The model was painted using mostly Wargame Foundry paints with a few GW washes.

I'll have more Malifaux minis all week!

February 17, 2016

Frostgrave en Français

My Wizard sheet for Frostgrave has proven very popular. At the request of Nicolas at Le Repaire de Gulix, I made a French version. Nicolas was kind enough to provide the translation terms as I did not trust an online tool to provide the correct terms in context!

Sorry, no form-fillable version of this, but if anyone familiar with Adobe Acrobat wants to tackle it, feel free to use these as the background to lay in the forms.

February 15, 2016

First Game of Frostgrave

Last weekend my bother Dennis and I launched our Frostgrave campaign and got in our first game. There are two more players joining soon. Unfortunately neither of us thought to take any photos! It's just as well as the terrain hasn't all been painted and I proxied a few models because all of my warband isn't painted yet - we had a great time and they will all be finished for the next session!

The intrepid warband of Summoner Madcap Toddlekin consisted of his Appretice, Kip, a Barbarian named Ulrich, a Thief known as Raker, a pair of Crossbowmen called Dahar and Jenkin, and four Thugs - Olaf, Sven, Hrothgar, and Knurl. My brother's forces were led by the Elf Thamauturge, Vall Paelias Aeridon. His force consisted of a Captain named Aelyr Pelt, two Rangers, a Tracker, two Archers, and a War Lion (Hound).

Initially I was worried about facing so many bows, but the table had lots of cover and more often than not my forces had the advantage in the dice rolling. By turn three I managed to get two treasures off the board (one with the judicious use of the Leap spell) and the Elves had only just secured one, though they hadn't been able to get it off table. The biggest threat to either of our wizards were themselves between miscasts and expending Health to ensure a critical casting roll was made, however they both managed to survive the game. I successfully summoned a minor demon though it did little more than draw fire. I also managed to use the Telekinesis spell to secure my third treasure.

Not so my Apprentice. Kip was dropped by an arrow from the Elf Tracker - we both rolled natural 20's. We were using the Critical Hit Optional Rule which means the attack hits regardless of the defender's score AND causes double damage. If we were in hand-to-hand, we both would have scored Crits, but there is no Critical Dodge result. Even without the double damage, Kip would have sustained 12 damage so it seemed a moot point.

At one point, I could have captured four treasures, but I got greedy and tried for five. In doing so, the arrows I had been careful to minimize all game finally took their toll, dropping two of my soldiers and my summoned demon in one round. The d20 mechanic can be very swingy like that. Earlier in the game, the Elves had +6 on an attack to my +2 and failed because their die roll came up a '2' to my '12'. My 14 Health Barbarian was laid out by a single arrow while my 10 Health Thug, Olaf, took two arrows and made it off the board with a treasure. In any case, it was time to leg it!

In the end, the game was a literal tie - three treasures each and 250xp for each wizard. I suffered five casualties, including my Apprentice. Sven was slain and Dahar will miss a game recovering from his injuries. Kip suffered the loss of a toe (and 1/2" Move) and from now on she will be know as Kip Nine-Toes. The Elves had a Ranger slain so I guess I came out ahead in the casualty department.

On the other hand, Madcap rose to second level, gained a new spell (Brew Potion), and focused on perfecting the Telekinesis spell (giving him a +1 to cast in future games - that's how much I liked that spell). I also gained a handful of potions and enough gold to replace poor Sven with a crossbow armed Captain named Bornad the Archer and a War Hound called Rudy. Finally Olaf, the Boromir (think Amon Hen) of my warband, was given the moniker 'Olaf the Stout'.

The rules are very simple and after a couple of turns we rarely had to look up anything beyond the spell descriptions, for which we have the handy Spell Cards. Part of me wishes the dice mechanic was something besides a d20. Three d6 would have nearly the same range with a reduction in a bit of the randomness - average die results would mean victory would go to the better fighter or the side that managed to maneuver for tactical advantage. You could still roll badly (speaking from experience as a Warhammer player who has watched handfuls of 1's come up in a single cast).

Anyway, it was a fun game. I think we both left feeling we had gained from the encounter which is good in a campaign system. I am looking forward to my next game and also seeing the wizards and warbands of the other players (a Witch and a Necromancer - the wizards, not the players).

Next time we'll take pics (I'll post pics of the other members of my warband as well in a few days)!

February 13, 2016

Frostgrave, The Wizard Sheet

Something I am always compelled to do when starting a new wargame or RPG is design my own character sheets. Here is the roster sheet for my wizard, Madcap Toddlekin!

The sheets were designed with oldschool RPGs in mind. They are also meant to be printed double-sided and folded in half like a pamphlet to minimize the space they will take up at the table. The Frostgrave logo has been used without permission and these sheets are in no way official.

Here is my brother's Wizard, Vall Paelias Aeridon. I edited the sheet to replace 'Apprentice' with 'Captain' for him, but I plan to use one of the regular 'Soldiers' slots for my Captain after I've conquered many foes and gathered enough loot to afford one.

We are planning our first foray into Felstad this weekend. I'll have a report on the battles and thoughts on the game next week.

Finally, here are blank sheets you can use for your own Frostgrave games if you'd like...

EDIT: At the request of Dalauppror (and several more folks on the Frostgrave Facebook page), I added the blank Captain sheet AND redesigned the main page to fit the Apprentice there. Now you have lots of options! I should have wrestled with the layout another day and I would have arrived at this solution on my own...

Finally, there is a link to a from-fillable PDF here... Enjoy!