Elven Blacksmith: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

    This past week I returned to working on the Townsfolk set from Bones 3, and painted the Elven Blacksmith.
      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.    I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.   And, when the glue was dry,  I put it in my Citadel painting grip.

     I began by painting her skin with Apple Barrel “Flesh”,  When it was dry, I gave it a wash with some Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.  When that was dry, I painted her leggings with Americana “Zinc”, and her skirt with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.  I then painted her top, and the borders on the skirt, with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”.

    Next, I painted her apron, and her eye wrap, with Folk Art “Platinum Grey”, and her gloves with Crafter’s Edition “Taupe”.  I then painted the handle of her hammer with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, and her hair with Accent “Golden Harvest”. After that, I painted the bark of the tree trunk with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and the interior of the trunk with Reaper MSP “Ginger Cookie”.

     I let everything dry for a while, and then gave the tree trunk, her hair, the gloves, and the hammer handle, a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthsahde” wash.  When the wash was dry, I then gave her leggings, skirt, apron, and top all a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When that was dry, I worked on highlighting her hair, drybrushing it first with Americana “Moon Yellow”, and then Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”.  I then touched it with a few Americana “White” highlights.

     Next, I painted in her eye and mouth, and then highlighted her skin with the base “Flesh” and the “Flesh” mixed with a little Americana “White”.  I then highlighted her leggings with the “Storm Cloud Grey”, and highlighted her skirt with a mix of the base “Storm Cloud Grey and some of the "Platinum Grey”.  After that, I highlighted her apron, and her eye wrap, with a mix of the “Platinum Grey” and the “White”.    I then highlighted the border on her skirt with Americana “True Blue”, and afterwards, used the “True Blue” to paint the decorations on her apron. When I was finished, I went back and highlighted those decorations with some of the “True Blue” mixed with a little Crafter’s Edition “Tropical Blue”.

    Next, I painted her boots with Americana “Black”.  I then drybrushed the tree trunk with, first, “Americana "Neutral Grey”, and then with Folk Art Barn Wood".   After that, I painted the anvil and the head of the hammer with Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”, and I painted the sword with Accent “Princely Pewter.   I followed that with painting the vine on the trunk with Reaper MSP "Christmas Wreath”.

     After the new colors had time to dry,I gave the hammer head, anvil, and sword all a wash with the “Nuln Oil”.  I then drybrushed the anvil and hammer head with Folk Art Brushed Metal “Brushed Bronze”, and then painted the scrolling on them with Ceramcoat “Wedding Gold”.  After that, I worked on making the sword look like it was still a little molten by layering on Reaper MSP Bones “Cinnamon Red”, Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”, Reaper MSP “Hearth Fire”, and Reaper MSP Golden Glow"  I had to keep doing it several times and in different thinnesses until I got a look I was happy with.
     When I was happy with the sword, I moved on to the vine.  I thought I’d try something a little different, so I first tried doing the  highlights with Folk Art Color Shift “Green Flash”, but I felt it was too drastic of a color difference from the base “Christmas Wreath”. So I went back and tempered it with Crafter’s Acrylic “Wild Green”.
      When I was done painting the figure, I used some white glue to glue some fine brown sand to the base.  When the sand was dry, I painted it with a coat of Americana “Raw Umber”. When this was dry, I drybrushed the sand with the “Territorial Beige”, and then with some Folk Art “Butter Pecan”; lastly I drybrushed it with a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  When dry, I glued on some bits of grass tufts.   Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I’m really happy how she turned out!     Particularly the sword and the anvil.  I messed up her face a little on her left cheek; but given her missing eye, I figure she is a retired warrior, so a scar on her cheek looks fine to me.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2018/04/elven-blacksmith-bones-3-figure.html
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St. Mere Eglise Battle (part 2)

Buck

A couple of posts below you will see part one of a battle report that Brian Ivers sent to me with permission to post it here.  This article is part two.


Pvt Anderson signals the approach of Armor coming down the Cherbourg road. Mad Mike informs Buck, who warns his teams to hold their fire.  There are 4 Hawkins mines on the road waiting for the German column.  (The identification of the tank is usually hit or miss, as the actual vehicle is a Stug.   It leads a column of two along with a Panzer IV and two Hanomag halftracks.)

The table with all the various play aids, including Action Decks, the Activation Deck, and small rubber bands to use as markers during the game.

As the enemy draws closer, the type of vehicle is confirmed. The yellow dice represents the number of Hawkins mines on the road, the medallion on the road is the mine field.

An explosion beneath the Stug’s left track rocks the tank, wounding the driver and stunning the rest of the crew who bail out.

The supporting German infantry fires into the hedges without effect. Hauptman, Ernst Flick, orders his Grenadiers to flank right and calls up the second.

Mad Mike opens fire with his support team and sends a principle direction of fire down the hedge. The green dice represents morale hits on the team leader.

Buck decides to charge down the road as he knows he can flank the Germans next to the field and he has support, by fire, from Mike.

A Stug begins to spray death into the Hedgerow in front of Mike, so he pops smoke. Buck continues his charge.  The church signals friendly armor coming from the beach road.  Buck can’t see it, but Mad Mike swears and crosses himself in thanks.  Corporal Cromer tells the Sgt in the Stuart where the trouble is, and the Stuart heads to the city square.  A very nice Sherman follows close behind.

It’s getting nasty at the cross roads. Everything the platoon has left is committed.

The Stuart rolls into the square and positions itself behind a sand bagged position.

There is a mortar team in the M-3 Half track that unloads into the sand bagged position. The Sherman is waived over to the left flank where a MkIV has been spotted.

The German commander feels like he is getting the upper hand and wants Lt. Heinrich Schmutz to push.

Meanwhile a column of armor approaches from the South: a Puma, a MkIV, and a truck full of infantry. The Puma fires at the Stuarts rear without effect.

The Sherman wheels around and fires at the Puma, engulfing it in flames as the crew bails out.

The Hanomag pushes across and is missed by the bazooka team trying reaction fire.  A .30 cal opens fire from the 2nd floor of the house to the left and almost wipes out the supporting infantry team.

The MkIV sees the Sherman rounding the corner and fires, missing it.  The Sherman returns fire, and Sgt Oddball scores a hit.  The Mk IV loses its right track and is immobile.  The crew doesn’t bail, but they are stunned.

The Mk IV, seeing the Puma disappear in smoke and fire, steps on the gas to come upon its right side.  The Sherman pushes forward to get a better view of the road.

The Stug in the meadow supported by the Hanomag is causing a lot of tactical issues for Buck and Mike.  Finding that the newly arrived Mortar team was up, Mike uses colorful language towards his runner, who advises the Mortar team to barrage the meadow to Mike’s front.  The sweet sound of outgoing mortars punctuates the air as Mike and his team hit the deck.

The template covers the Hanomag and the Stug.  In Combat Patrol™, indirect fire lands on the Reroll and Reshuffle card. 1 dead, 2 wounded, and a burning halftrack.  The Stug is stunned.

Buck’s charge kills and wounds the Panzer Grenadiers who are in panic and are pinned as displayed by the black dice.  That was the last straw for Strasser.  He formalizes a retreat, which was already in progress.

The Airborne troopers held.  Buck lost 9 men KIA, 12 wounded.  The Germans lost 18 KIA over 20 wounded, 1 Mk IV, 1 Stug, 1 Hanomag, and 1 Puma.

The object of this game is fun.  There are role play elements added.  The most important thing is the Random Events table and interaction between teams and players.  [I posted Brian’s Random Events tale on Combat Patrol™ Yahoo group.]  At any time, the Airborne troopers could pull back and hit again.  If allowed to do this, they can play for tactical advantage and usually beat their opponent.  Combat Patrol™ is very good and allows for large scale battles even with vehicles.  We had up to 4 players on the allied side and I played the Game Master and Germans.  This scenario was played over three nights, seven hours total playing time.

I hope you enjoyed this After-Action report.

Brian Ivers

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Ghost Archipelago Campaign ’18, Game 4: The Island of Floating Hulks

Chris Palmer      This past weekend we got together for the fourth game in our Ghost Archipelago campaign.  We had 6 of our regulars players, and we used an 8’x3’ table.   For this outing, we decided to use a scenario from the November ‘17 issue of Wargames Illustrated, called “The Floating Hulk”.  This was a scenario written by core-rules author, Joseph McCullough, and was designed for solo play.  It featured a derelict ship floating on the ocean, that the player’s crew decide to investigate.  It is guarded by Sharks in the water, and “Talonjacks” (think pterodactyls) in a large nest at the top of the mainmast.  Also, the larger ship is difficult to climb up onto, so requires a Move roll with a target of 12.
     In order to make the scenario useable by our group, a few changes need to be made. Fellow campaign player Don Hogge, and myself, worked on reconfiguring the scenario so it would be playable by a group of 6 players, not just one.  We decided to make it a large “island” of derelict ships, kind of like a ship graveyard, that had all gathered together amongst some jagged rocky outcroppings, forming one large intertwined mass.   We then multiplied the mainmasts, with the central treasure and the nests of Talonjacks to a total of three; so there would be one for every two of our players.  We then assigned a Shark to be just outside the starting zone of each player.  We also upped the number of total Sharks and Talonjacks that could be brought into play during the game, and created a specialized Random Encounter Table that contained only Aquatic creatures, and some creatures one might find on derelict ships; like Pirate Skeletons, Swamp Zombies, and Sea Rats.  Also, a special rule of the scenario requires anyone trying to climb from one of the small boats onto one of the ships to make a special Move Roll with a target number of 12.  We decided to include climbing from the boats onto the rocks, climbing from a ship to a ship, or climbing from the sea onto one of the ships or rocks; figuring everything was a rocking, tossing, slippery deathtrap.

A long view of the table, showing my start position, and the locations of the central treasures.

       I was once again terribly unlucky in my choice of starting location, drawing chip #6, and being stuck with the spot no one wanted.   Across from me was Skorri Drakenberg, and his new Beast Warden,  Agger. (His Wave Warden, Anemone, having perished last game)   To my left was the Heritor Molly Malone, and her Storm Warden, Niskaru.  Diagonally to my my front left was Kragmar of the True Blood, and his Storm Warden, Samael Gale.

    To read my account of the previous game, see: The Drichean Cages

My crew’s deployment, and the location of the killer Shark.

The Report

     Lord Fotrywn collapsed the spyglass and handed it back to The Silver Sword’s captain. The Elf Heritor turned again to peer out across the waves at the black mass that lay along the blue horizon in the distance.  It surely appeared to be an assortment of derelict ships, all trapped in an area of jagged rocky outcroppings jutting from the waves; their falling rigging and frayed sails causing them to become intertwined and locked together. The Elf Lord’s mind calculated the prizes that might await in the holds of those ships; already bought with someone else’s blood and effort in the deadly jungles of the Archipelago.  Ready to be reclaimed by anyone who dare investigate the hulks.  It was a risk he was willing to take.  The Silver Sword’s Captain advised the Heritor that it would be too dangerous to bring the big ship in close to the rocks, they would need to use the small boats. 
     Lord Frotrywn decided on three of the ship’s small landing boats so he would have more options where to land, and be able to cover more area.  He divided up his party so that he would have his trusty Hunter, Gwynwater, with him; along with Salin, the Pearl Diver, and the able Crew-woman, Arbyn, who had proven her worth on more than one occasion.  Lord Fortrywn assigned his niece and Warden, Marnilyne, to a second boat; along with Randilas the Archer, and the Crew-woman, Meriwyn.  In the third craft were the three crew members; Vilkse, Finil, and Bry.
     As they approached the floating mass of seaweed-covered wood and rotting sails,  they could make out large bird-like creatures flying lazy circles above the remaining tall masts of the hulks.  Arbyn identified them as Talonjacks, a kind of pesky lizard-like shore-bird with a nasty bite, and sharp talons.  They also saw the fins of  several shark swimming lazily near the shipwrecks. Further out, they could discern the sails of other Heritors’ ships, and the small dots of their landing boats in the water.  They weren’t alone.  Lord Fortrywn steered his boat towards towards large vessel on the right of the “island” that looked promising.  It had once been a fine ship and it’s bright blue and red paint could still be seen on it’s hull, though much of it was sun-bleached and peeling.  They reached the side of the ship and found it was rocking up and down so and covered in  slimy algae, which made climbing up aboard difficult, but they all managed it.  Gwyn immediately turned and shot an arrow at a Shark, who was  prowling the waters by the ship, but missed.  Arbyn spotted a promising chest under a nearby gangway and moved towards it, while Salin and Lord Fortrywn moved off to the left to investigate a large old Dwarven ironclad, whose hull was now about half rusted over and covered in barnacles.   As the Heritor went, he could see the small boats of the other crews nearing the island of shipwrecks. He quietly cursed to the gods and pressed on.

Lord Fortrywn, Salin, Arbyn, and Gwynwater, reach the blue-hulled ship.

     Marnilyne, with her boat, moved off to the right to check an old black-hulled ship, whose masts and rigging lay in a tangled heap upon it’s deck. She thought she saw movement, and the bobbing head of another crew approaching the black ship from the far side, so took the precaution of casting Brambles on the front of the black ship’s deck.  While she worked her magic, Randilas the Archer , also in her boat, turned and fired at the Shark, missing like Gwyn the Hunter had. 
     The third boat, with the three ship’s crew aboard, moved to intercept and deal with the Shark.   Bry and Vilkse had their weapons at the ready as Finil guided the boat at the beast.  The two crew slashed and stabbed at the Shark but  missed. The creature however leapt suddenly at it’s attackers and it’s mighty jaws clamped down on Bry’s sword arm.  She cried out in pain and shock as the Shark suddenly twisted and yanked her clear off the boat.  Vilkse leaned forward to help, but instead caught the full brunt of the beast’s tail as the Shark completed it’s twisting turn, pulling Bry under the water.  The force of the tail dislocated the crewman’s jaw, and unbalanced him.  With a grunt his feet went out from under him and he fell forward, his knees cracking on the side of the boat, and he tipped forward into the murky blue water.
     Finil now found himself alone on the little boat.  Desperately he scanned the choppy waters for some sight of his companions or the Shark itself; but he saw nothing.   As he leaned forward searching, the creature came from directly below the boat and rammed it with his head from underneath.  The lone Crewman pitched forward out of the boat.  As he hit the water, he felt the Shark’s jaws clamp around one of his boots, and with a yank he was pulled beneath the surface. Gwyn, watching from the nearby ship, could not believe how quickly the three had disappeared.  Far above the choppy surface of the water, grey clouds began to boil up in the sky, as the Warden, Niskaru, cast Cloud Cover above the shipwreck island.
     A melancholy mood settled on the rest of the party, but knowing there was a job to be done they all returned to their tasks.  Lord Fortrywn called to Gwyn, “Kill that Shark!”

Vilkse, Bry, and Finil begin their fateful first turn fight with their hungry friend. 

        Marny, the Warden, and her group finally reached the black-hulled derelict and despite the slippery old wood, and bobbing of the ship, managed to climb up on board.   The Elf-girl reached the railing of the ship and stood up on it to get a view of her surroundings.  Sure enough, there were crew belonging to the Heritor Skorri Drakenburg scurrying like rats over the hulks on the far side of the floating island.   As she watched, one of Drakenburg’s Archers drew an arrow and let it loose at Gwyn.  Marny tried to shout a warning, but it was too late.  The shaft hit the Hunter in her muscular back and sunk deep through her leather coat.  The tall warrior fell forward on her knees and let out a gasp of pain. (Reduced to 3 HP)  Marny began chanting the spell for Warp Weapon at the Archer, and thick vines grew from the seaweeds on the side of the ship, and wrapped themselves around the enemy’s bow, trying to bend the wood. Quickly, the Archer drew his dagger and cut his weapon free before the plants could do much damage (Rolled a 20 for the -1 Damage Warp Weapon result)
    Next to the Warden, Randilas, the Archer, fired another arrow at the Shark.  He hit the beast, but the missile merely sliced through the creature’s fin (-1 HP).  Meanwhile, the third member of their group, Meriwyn, spied a promising chest near the middle of the deck and clambered across the rigging-strewn planks towards it.
     On he blue-hulled ship, Gwyn had painfully gotten back to her feet. Beyond the sharp stab of the shaft in her back, she could feel an exquisite spike of heat when ever she inhaled deeply.   She knew her lung was punctured.  Gritting her teeth, knowing she had a job to do while she still had breath, the Hunter drew back her bow as fire burned across her back, and she launched another arrow at the Shark, missing.  Below the injured Elf, on the prow of the ship, Arbyn had secured the chest she found there, and dragging it over to the edge,  let it drop into their boat below.

Marny, Randlas, and Meriwyn reach the black-hulled ship.

     Meanwhile, Lord Fortrywn had raced along the gangway over to the rusty old Dwarven ironclad, and quickly climbed down the engine house.  Seeing some of the Heritor Molly Malone’s crew rounding the front turret of the vessel, he Surged froward to pick up a chest that lay just behind the metal structure.  Salin, the Pearl Diver, followed on a lower path, crossing over an old Barbarian ship, with it’s tall dragon masthead and a few old shields still adorning it’s sides.  He jumped for the deck of the Dwarven ship, but miscalculated the roll of the two ships, and ended up short; one foot getting a brief hold on the edge of  the smooth metal deck of the Ironclad before he slipped backwards and tumbled into the sea in a small area between the Barbarian ship, the Ironclad, and a large slime covered rock.   The zing of a crossbow bolt from one of Molly’s crew, shot over the Pearl Diver’s head and imbedded itself in the Barbarian ship behind him.
     Back on the black-hulled ship, Marny could see that Skorri himself, and his Pearl Diver, were approaching by swimming through the sea around the island. (Skorri had a Piscian Helmet.) Once again, the young Elf cast Warp Weapon, this time at the enemy Heritor, and the seaweed vines wrapped around his sword, bending it only slightly before the powerful Heritor yanked it away.  (Rolled 12 for -1 Fight result.)
     Meriwyn reached the chest on the deck and picked it up.  Behind her Randy fired an arrow at a pesky Needlefish that appeared, leaping high out of the waves off the Starboard side of the ship, killing it instantly.
     Over on the blue-hulled ship, Gwyn fought through the pain and fired at the Shark again, missing it once more. She cursed, at her own weakness.   Arbyn looked at her concerned, and asked, “Can I help you?"  The Hunter merely shook her head, and through gritted teeth said, "Get on the boat, and get that chest safely out of here.  I’ll be fine."  By the gods, it hurt just to talk.  Her breath gurgled with moisutre.  Gwyn knew her lung was beginning to fill with blood.

Lord Fortrywn reaches the treasure on the Dwarven Ironclad, but is quickly swarmed by the Heritor, Molly Malone, and her crew.

        By now, Molly Malone herself, along with a couple of her crew, had reached Lord Fortrywn.  Clutching the chest in one arm, the Heritor acrobatically Evaded his three assailants by leaping up, twisting, and planting his right foot on the side of the engine house to aid in propelling himself past the third attacker, then jumping down behind the man,  The Heritor thrust his sword into the enemy’s back, and the man crumpled to the ground before he realized what had happened. (I rolled a 20 for my attack!) Turning quickly, the Elf Lord attempted to get away.  He reached the edge of the Ironclad, and dove onto the Barbarian ship.  A third member of Molly’s crew approached, and gave chase; leaping after Lord Fortrywn, and landing practically on top of him.  The man was too close to even swing his sword, so he struck the Heritor in the back of the head with his fist wrapped around the grip. (Does -2HP damage.)
     Down below the fight, in the water between the grinding, rocking, hulls, Salin tried desperately to climb out to help the Lord Fortrywn, but he was finding it a chore just trying not be smashed against the rock or a hull. (Failed his climbing Move Roll again.)
     Gwyn’s health continued to decline, but she didn’t give up; focusing all her energy she aimed at the Shark, and this time hit it squarely.  (Shark reduced to 2 HP).  Randilas, over on the black-hulled ship, followed up her shot with another true hit, finally killing the beast.

Lord Fortrywn tries to make his escape, but is caught by one of Molly’s crew; as Salin flounders in the small patch of sea, literally caught between a rock and two hard places. 

     After Randy finished off the Shark, he turned back and caught sight of a Large Snake gliding through the waves towards the ship.  (Summoned by Skorri’s Warden.) Between the appearance of this new threat, and knowing Skorri and the enemy Pearl Diver were almost upon them, he moved back and up onto a large rocky outcropping at the back of the black-hulled ship.  Marny cast Brambles once again along the centerline of the ship in a desperate attempt to slow Skorri and his Pearl Diver, and then she herself fled too, back onto the ships’ fallen mainmast, by way of the top yard. 
     The pair of enemies had now climbed up the side of the black-hulled ship, and were just crossing over the railing as the Warden’s thorny vines grew to their full height.  Meriwyn moved away as fast as she could, picking her way through the fallen masts and rigging, carrying the heavy chest.  Frantically looking around, she decided her best route was to chance crossing the fallen mainmast, like Marny had, over to the blue-hulled ship.  As the Crew-woman stepped out on the yard with her heavy load, she felt a sharp stab of pain in her side as an arrow hit her from one of Skorri’s Archer’s, almost knocking her into the water.  The Elf sailor gritted her teeth and with her free hand she yanked on the shaft, located just a few inches below her ribcage.  Crying out in pain, she removed the projectile, but was suddenly overcome with dizziness, and her whole side began to heat up into extraordinary pain. The skin all around the wound was turning bright red. (The arrow had Envenom cast upon it.)  Realizing she had been poisoned, Meri prayed she would make it across the mast.

As Meriwyn tries to escape with the treasure, the Heritor Skorri Drakenburg, with his Pearl Diver, reach the deck, while Marnilyn the Warden prepares to cast another Bramble down the centerline of the vessel.

     Arbyn had obeyed Gwyn’s command, and dropping down into the boat, untied it, and shoved off.  As she turned and picked up one of the oars, she noticed a sight that filled her with dread; less than 50 yards away, the Crew-woman saw the tell-tail tentacles and large fin of an Octopike.  Gwyn saw the beast too, and straining, fired an arrow.  Her shot went far wide as her ability to hold her arm steady was diminishing.
      Frantically, the Crew-woman began to paddle, but the creature had seen the small craft and sped towards it.    Arbyn set the oar down and, standing, brandished her sword.  She had been sailing most of her life, and was not afraid to face any monster of the sea with a good Elven blade in her hand. She smiled, and braced her feet in the rocking craft.   The Octopike disappeared a few yards from the boat; then with a shower of spray 8 powerful tentacles burst from the waves right next to the tiny vessel, and shot forward to wrap themselves around it’s next meal.  But Arbyn, daughter of the sea, was not prepared to die that day; and before the tentacles could tighten their death grip around her, the Elven sailor pulled back her arm, and leaning forward plunged the long blade down the very gullet of the beast, her hand nearly being sliced on the rows of sharp teeth in its yawing mouth.  (Rolled 20 + 2F!) The Octopike writhed, and released it’s tentacles as it pulled back, an off the blade; disappearing again beneath the waves.  Arbyn stood still for a moment scanning the surface of the water,  then turning she set the sword down beside her and picked up the oar once again.

Arbyn prepares to make her escape, as the Octopike approaches.

     Back on the Barbarian ship, Lord Fortrywn turned to face his assailant as Molly, and her other Crewman, arrived to support the first attacker.   Once again, the Elf Heritor skillfully Evaded all three assailants, and dodging, leapt onto the side of the ship so he now only face one.  The Heritor swung at the enemy Crewman, but his opponent blocked him.  Lord Fortrywn was now in a vulnerable position, poised forward on the edge of the ship’s side, and his enemy took advantage and quickly moving from his block to an upward thrust, struck the Elf in his gut. Between the downward momentum of the Elf Lord’s blocked attack, and the power of the enemy’s  thrust, the blade pierced right through the chainmail at the bottom of the Heritor’s chest plate. Lord Fortrywn gasped, as  his face formed a look of shock and surprise.  Losing his balance, the Elf Lord fell backwards, landing hard on the deck, and a blackness overtook him.  (I rolled a 1 for the combat… the enemy didn’t.)
     Back on the fallen mast of the black-hulled ship, Marny knew instinctively that something had happened to her Uncle.  As Skorri and his Pearl Diver easily climbed her Bramble obstacle in the center of the ship, the young Warden tried to ignore the feeling she was having about her Uncle,  and once more attempt to cast Brambles in the path of their pursuers; but her mind was too clouded and the spell failed.  She called to Meriwyn, "Hurry!”, then turned and climbed up the stern of the blue-hulled ship.   But it was no use; in a blink Skorri was upon the Crew-woman and sliced her callously with his sword while nimbly grabbing the treasure from her.  She toppled from the mast, her body falling to the waves below.
    Over on the rock, Randilas the Archer fired at the Large Snake, but missed.  He then turned and attempted to follow Marny by jumping from the rock to the back of the blue-hulled ship, but he miss-judged, and dropped into the sea below.

The chase across the fallen mainmast, as Drackenburg reaches the wounded Meriwyn.

          Back on the Barbarian ship, Molly Malone laughed at the sight of Lord Fortrywn sprawled on the deck. “Arrogant Elf,” she spat.  “He got what he deserved."   Turning, she made to jump back onto the Ironclad, but misjudged the pitch of the two ships, and splashed into the water next to Salin; who still was trying to free himself from his watery prison. (Failed Move Roll again!) She swung her sword wildly, and it hit Salin in the shoulder.  It was not a direct hit, but there was enough power in her Crushing Blow, to give him a deep cut. (-4 HP).
      From the back of the blue-hulled ship, Marny immediately saw Gwyn and noticed the arrow sticking from her back.  There was small pool of blood on the deck by her left boot, and the Warden could see the Hunter’s face was almost pure white.   Running towards the tall Elf she began chanted the spell for Waters of Life.  Running and casting was a mistake though, as quickly she lost the cadence and began to lose the spell.   The young Elf, stopped and concentrated; the Warden could feel the spell continue  to slip and focused her brain with all her might.  A fire began to burn behind her eyes, and her knees gave out.  Marny fell to deck hard.  (Pushed spell for -5 HP) But slowly, the waters rose up the side of the ship, and began to pool around the Hunter, washing away the pool of blood and climbing up her boot.  Gwyn could feel a slight relief from the pain.  It would have to be enough.
     Out at sea, Arbyn was paddling to get away as best she could. Suddenly, the there was a thud against the side of her boat, and the tentacles appeared again! She hadn’t killed it after all.  From the deck of the ship Gwyn hastily fired at the beast but missed.  On the little boat, there was no time  for Arbyn to reach her sword, so as the tentacles probed the boat ,she reached out her booted foot and stamped on the nearest. (I win but do 0 damage.) It was enough. Once again the beast withdrew for good.
     Over by the Barbarian ship, Molly Malone soon realized what a dangerous place the small space between the ships was, and leaving the Pearl Diver to be ground to pulp on his own, used her blood gift strength to pull herself up and on to the ironclad.   Miraculously, Salin, too, was able to finally get the leverage he needed and hoisted himself up and onto the rock. (Finally made my Move Roll!)   At last he was free!

Gwynwater, on the far side of the blue-hulled ship’s deck, fires her final arrow at the enemy Archer in the crow’s nest.

     Back at the black-hulled ship, the Heritor Skorri Drakenburd and his Pearl Diver  jumped down from the fallen mast onto a seaweed covered raft a short distance away.  Upon landing, the Heritor turned to see if anyone was following.   Noticing Randilas in the water below the rock, he fired his bow, striking the Archer in the chest below his right shoulder.   (Reduced to 1 HP left.) Randy fell backwards, trying to stay conscious.  Desperately, he began to climb back up the rock, but saw the Large Snake come around it and move towards him.  As best he could the Archer gingerly un-shouldered his bow and fired an arrow at the Snake, hitting the creature near the tail.  (-4 HP).  Then, using his good left arm, he hoisted himself up onto the rock.
     Marny reached Gwyn and asked how she was doing.  "Better Now. Thank you” the Hunter replied, thought the Warden could see the pain and weakness in the Elf woman’s eyes.
    “Are you sure you’ll be alright?” the young elf asked.  Gwynwater nodded.  “I need to go find my Uncle, and see if there’s anymore treasure to be found,"  Marny explained.  And with that the Warden turned and ran off in the direction Lord Fortrywn had gone.
       The Hunter watched the girl go, and took a deep gurgling breath.  A shout behind her caught her attention, and turning she crossed the deck.  Looking up, she saw one of Skorri’s Archers up in the crows nest of a small derelict sloop right behind the blue-hulled ship.  He seemed to have found something, and was calling to his friends on the larger vessel behind.  Slowly, the Hunter raised her bow and notched an arrow.  Determinedly, she drew back the bow, despite the fiendish pain it caused her.  Gwynwater could feel a trickle of blood going down her back,  but she did not waiver.  A brightness shown in her eye for a brief flicker as she sighted down the shaft at her target.  "Let it fly true.” she whispered to herself, and released the arrow.  her trained eye followed the shaft all the way, and a slight smile formed t the corners of her mouth as she saw the shaft hit home.  The man tumbled backwards out of the crows nest to the deck below. (I rolled a 20!) “Perfect.” she said softly to herself, and she closed her eyes for second.

“Are you sure you’ll be alright?” the young Elf asked.  Gwynwater nodded.

          Across the way, Skorri Drakenburg, form his position on the raft, saw his Archer fall from the crows nest.  Turning, the Heritor looked for where the shot came from. He could just see the top half of Gwyn over the rail of the ship, her tall frame silhouetted against the bright blue sky.  Drakenburg quickly readied his bow, and drew the arrow back with all the strength of his blood gift.
      Up on the blue-hulled ship, Gwyn began to look for another target when her delicate Elven ears heard the distinctive twang of a bowstring over the sound of the waves and the creaking and groaning of the ships. Instinctively, she turned her head in that direction, and caught site of the shaft in the second before it hit. Being a trained Archer with decades of experience, she knew; and gently she closed her eyes. The Heritor’s black shaft struck true high on her chest with enough force it threw her back as it pierced her breast bone.  For a second Gwynwater Lighteye had the sensation she was floating before landing hard on the deck. She thought of the Warriors Hall on the Golden Shore.  There would be a seat for her she knew. Puzzled, she thought she heard the crystal sound of a silver horn sounding in the distance, as the darkness grew around her and all became quiet.
         As Salin stood on the rock by the Barbarian ship, he noticed a lone Crewman, one of Molly Malone’s, sitting in a small boat guarding a treasure.  It seemed ideal, and the Pearl Diver dove in the sea and swam towards the unsuspecting man.  With his strong swimmer’s muscles he covered the distance in no time.  Like a shot he sprung from the water and began to climb aboard the little boat, much to the man’s astonishment.  But the Pearl Diver did not notice one of Molly’s archers on a dilapidated barge at the front of the ironclad.  The man drew his bow with skill and fired at the newly appeared threat to his group’s treasure, hitting Salin’s sword arm, almost pinning it to his side. The Pearl Diver fell back, blacked out, and sank beneath the waves.
     Over on the rock by the black-hulled ship, Randilas weakly climbed higher to escape the Snake, but it was no use.  It eventually caught up to him, and try as he did to defend himself, the Snake was able to get ahold of his leg; and as it clamped down, with a snap of his head, the creature yanked the Archer from the rocks, and he fell into the sea below, passing out as he fell.

Marny crosses over the gangway to the Ironclad, spotting her Uncle along the way.

          While all this was going on, Marny was hurriedly moving across the gangway above the Barbarian ship.   She spotted her Uncle lying on it’s deck, and could see him move a little, so knew he was not dead, though he seemed to be unconscious.   She would need to find a way down to him.  But before she could do that, she heard shouts from the far side of the Ironclad about an unclaimed treasure.  A spark lit behind her eyes; if she could recover another treasure, her Uncle would be so proud!  She dashed across the rest of the gangway, and climbed down onto the top of the engine house.  From there The Warden could see the treasure lying in a large mastless boat.  As she climbed down the engine house, one of Skorri’s Crewmen reached the treasure first. Even though Marny was already weak and tired from the magic she had been doing all day,  she worked up her courage and launched herself at the sailor,  sword drawn.  The man easily deflected the Elf girl’s attack, and with his backswing prepared to finish her off.  But the young Warden had good reflexes, and she was just able to bring her sword around and deflect his blow, knocking it downward.  The Crewman’s sword sliced down the front of Marny’s boot, neatly pealing the leather away from her leg, and the steel landed with a thunk in the top of the boot, sinking through her foot and into the deck below.  The pain shot up the young Elf’s leg, causing her stomach to flip and her head to spin.  She tossed backwards as the boat rocked, her foot still pinned to the deck, and the girl’s ankle twisted as her head hit the side of the boat with a crack.   The Warden’s world went black as fire and sparks danced behind her eyes…

         Lord Fortrywn awoke with a start, and found himself in his bed on the Silver Sword.  The first thing he noticed was the noise, and the bright light streaming in through his cabin window.  It was loud…his mind was foggy but he tried to put the pieces together. The indiscernible shouting, chains jangling, somewhere a horse whinnied…then the smells hit him; fish, tar, spices…it was a port. He quickly looked around, and he saw his Niece sitting by his bed, and at the foot stood the ship’s healer.  The old Elf looked at him with concern, “How do you feel, my Lord?"  Lord Fortrywn’s thoughts turned to himself.  He seemed to be in one piece. What had happened?  He shifted in the bed, and that’s when the pain hit him; a hot spike in his chest. "Try not to move too much, my Lord”, the healer added. “It was a very bad wound." 
    The Heritor stopped moving, and asked hoarsly,"Where are we?”
    Marny spoke up at that point, “Uncle, we are docked in Corlair, on the mainland.” Her face reddened, and she talked in short bursts.. “I didn’t know what to do… And the healer said you might die…if we didn’t get a special healing potion…  And there was no one left I could get advice from…  So I gave the order to leave the Archipelago… and head for the closest port.”
    All the Heritor said was, “Where is Gwyn?”
    Marny’s face went from reddened to white, and she swallowed deeply and then fought back tears, “She’s…she’s dead, Uncle."  And a tear began to run down her face.
    Lord Fortrywn closed his eyes, and the room felt like it was spinning. Gwynwater gone? He couldn’t believe it.  But somehow he could feel it was true.  She had passed on to the Golden Shore.  He wished he had been there for her in the end.
     With his eyes still closed, he said, "Leave me.  I need to rest, and think.” and then he turned his head, and opening his eyes, looked piercingly at his niece,  “Later, I want to hear everything that happened.”
   The healer exited the cabin as the girl stood awkwardly, “Yes, Uncle."  And she reached over and grabbed a delicately carved crutch from where it leaned against the wall.  It was covered in small green leaves and white flowers, and Lord Fortrywn realized it was a living plant as well as a crutch. Tucking the crutch under her arm, the girl turned to leave, and the Heritor noticed then the bandage around her foot and lower leg.
    "You’re foot, girl?” he snapped.
     And Marnilne stopped at the cabin door, and turned.  Looking down at the foot, not meeting her Uncle’s gaze, she said simply, “I lost two toes, Uncle.  Fighting for a treasure."  Sadness welled up inside again. Her uncle had no reply, as he absorbed this information.  She shrugged resignedly to herself, and backing out of the cabin door, closed it softly behind her.

The final post-game roll call.

 Epilogue:

     I feel like I say this every week, but: Wow, what a game!  And a long game, too!  Losing three of my party in the first turn was a big letdown to start off with. And then the carnage continued for 8 more turns!  (The game was a total of 9 turns!)  One by one my crew fell, with only Arbyn with her treasure being able to escape unscathed.
     And the bad luck continued in the after-game stage too, with me rolling Badly Wounded for Lord Fortrywn, and then Permanent Injury for Marnilyne; with her result roll for that being "lost toes”?!  Not even something heroic or dramatic.   Hoping the bad luck was behind me, I started rolling for crew, and then first off rolled a 2 for Gwynwater the Hunter.  Dead. 😦  I was so sorry to see her go; she was a favorite.  I really liked the figure I used for her, and she was fun to write.  The rest of the rolls were better, with everyone being okay; except for Bry, who ended up being Wounded in her fight with the Shark.
     I ended up with only one treasure, but that was Magic Light Armor +1 F, which is pretty nice.  But no gold though.
     With my Hunter dead, and the loss of an Archer a couple games ago, I decided it was time to head back to port; as my firepower was now too under-strength to be competitive.  I sold the Magic 2-Handed Sword (350 GC), and the Superior Dagger (80 GC) I found in the last game to fund the trip back to the mainland (-200 GC), and pay for a new Hunter (-100 GC), new Archer (-50 GC), and the Healing Potion (-75 GC) to let me use my Heritor at full strength next time.  Ah, well; easy come, easy go.
        The scenario was treacherous.  Luckily I did do better than many of the others with the climbing from ship to ship; with Salin the Pearl Diver being the lone extreme exception; ending up stuck in the water for 3 turns!  Unfortunately, where he fell in the sea was closed off on all sides and allowed no way for him to swim away.  Also, thankfully, the Talonjacks all but ignored me.  When they appeared, Skorri did a good job of either shooting them out of the sky, or using his Beast Warden to control them.  Others weren’t so lucky.
     Final analysis, I shouldn’t have gone fool-heartedly chasing after treasures with lone figures.  I need to be more conservative, and stop risking my key crew on wild chases.  I think I also need to stick together better.  It won’t allow me to cover as much ground, but it will allow me to have the strength I need wherever I do go.
   

via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2018/04/ghost-archipelago-campaign-18-game-4.html
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Battle in a Box Contest at Fall In 2018

Buck

This is a reminder to being to prepare your submission for the Battle in a Box contest.

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Brian Ivers’ St. Mere Eglise Game with Combat Patrol

Buck

Brian Ivers sent me another battle report from one of his Combat Patrol games.  He agreed to let me post it here.  Brian does a great job of taking pictures during his games.  I never remember to do that.  (And I love the name of the platoon leader in this game.)


Imagine if you will, paratroopers from many different units scattered throughout the Normandy countryside. The full moon overhead is darkened by the shadows of the bocage.  The sound of anti-aircraft batteries populates the night air. The constant drone of hundreds of aircraft overhead provides a comforting hum. The sleepy village of St Mere Eglise is fighting a fire near the town square.

Its dark:  maximum visibility is 6 inches in the bocage and 9 inches along main roads and in the middle of the fields. The Paratroopers can’t see the anti-aircraft batteries, only the flash and sound of their guns.

Lt. John “Buck” Surdu has 25 Paratroopers, a machine gun team from the 101stAirborne with three men, and a .30 Cal Machine Gun with 400 rounds, a team from his own platoon, 4 men of the 82nd All American, and apparently all lost in Normandy Divison.  Buck has his Platoon Sergeant “Mad Mike” Monagan. There are two other rifle sections of 6 men each from various units of the 82nd Airborne plus a bazooka team.  The dice seen in the pictures represent the units’ activation numbers.  If a figure is a leader it gets a command die that indicates the unit activates when that card is drawn from the Activation deck.

They advance towards the village. They hear anti aircraft batteries peppering their buddies above. The flashes represent  the area the fire is coming from.  “No animals, real or plastic, were injured during the playing of this battle.”  One of the teams lose a Browning Automatic rifleman as they move forward and have to stop to look for him. These random events happen in war, I made a random event table for it.  Mad Mike is choking private Jones’ team leader, when Buck interupts his councelling session to deploy the teams for battle.

One of the teams finds a parachute in the bocage, a random event, and with it a weapons and ammo pod containing grenades, .30 cal linked ammo, and bandoliers of M1 ammo.  “God must love paratroopers,” Sergeant Masters says to no one in particular.  The platoon distributes ammo and moves on.  [Editor’s note:  Why is the sky blue?  Because God loves the infantry.  And he loves paratroopers too!”]

The Americans resume their marching to the sound of the guns and their objective past the cross roads in the city.  The anti-aircraft position is up ahead.  The plastic orange fire markers indicate general direction the flashes and sound are coming from.

The platoon splits once the recon elements discover the Anti-Aircraft positions. One half attacks the Germans on their left of their advance, the other the right.

A base of fire with the .30 Cal, Screaming Eagles team covers Buck’s advance towards the preoccupied German AA team.  The AA team is rated Green for Guts (morale in Combat Patrol), while the paratroopers are rated Elite.

Buck sets up a base of fire, leaving Mad Mike and the 101stguys with a rifle section.  Buck pushes forward with the assault element, fixed bayonets, and a bad attitude. “Mr. hand grenade is your friend.”  Training came in handy as the paratroopers rain grenades on the unsuspecting Germans.

The plastic overlay indicates the grenade blast radius.  Cards are flipped, and casualties assessed.  One German dies as he is thrown on the grenade by his courageous buddy.  Another is wounded, and all are concussed except two outside the cone.  The different elastic bands indicate wounds and morale condition.  Tipped over figures indicate dead/incapacitated Germans.  Buck cleans up the bad guys in the AA pit and pulls his support element forward.

Buck secures the first AA position and displaces the base of fire, who under Mad Mike, push towards Buck’s position. Corporal Josh Cromer handles the rest of the platoon across the road and into an awaiting sand-bagged position. “Geronimo!” and hand grenades take the position.  [It’s a good thing they found the weapons pod with all those grenades!]

The paratroopers set up another assault and push into the second AA battery.  Cromer’s team lays down suppressive fire as Sgt Andy Krieg’s team rushes to the second AA position.  With fixed bayonets and no serious adult supervision, the teenage paratroopers close with the enemy who have been killing their buddies in the air.

Corporal Sanders gets a bullet in the throat going into the bunker and dies with his bayonet embedded in the chest of the man who shot him.  The German AA garrison is alerted, and men begin to come out of their quarters to assist their comrades.

An arial shot shows the two AA positions and relative advances of the two teams.

It’s all over.  The AA crew lies motionless, their weapon silenced.  A fierce hand-to-hand took place, but trained elite infantry will usually defeat untrained artillerymen.  The paratroopers must press on.  There is a hidden team inside the town who had dropped with F Company where most had been killed or captured.  They make their presence known to Sgt Krieg as he occupies the wall across from the road. The team has almost no ammo but a nice .30 cal.

Buck has a determined counter attack heading towards him.

The counter attack is broken up by concentrated fire.  Enfilade fire from Cpl Cromer’s team in the sand bagged position and Buck’s forward element firing from behind the cover of a hedgerow. The Germans await the paratroopers in the town.

The German garrison has no idea how many or what kind of support the Americans have, which is good news for Buck, Mad Mike, and Sgt Krieg’s’ teams.

Two groups of paratroopers occupy the road before the town. The Americans have 5 wounded, two dead, and another guy who went missing.

Someone is yelling at them from the bakery in front of them. “Sounds French,” Pvt. King yells. (Another random event.)

Corporal Dubois from Church Point, Louisiana, said, “They are saying ‘don’t shoot.’”  It’s a family, and they say the house is empty, but the boche are in the houses across from them.  The bazooka team, led by “Lumberjack” Hansen, begins to shoot holes in the house to support Buck’s advance.  Buck and his troopers move towards the house.  The Germans are stunned and begin to withdraw from the town.

The Germans take casualties and are ready to scram as their morale is low and casualties high.

The team that pushed across the road took 2 dead and 1 wounded.  The lower floor opened up on them just after the bazooka round impacted.

The objective is taken, but can they hold?  Buck organizes the defense of the town. He places teams in the church tower and places teams in the buildings near the cross roads.  It’s getting light.

A team of 101st come running down the road.  Mad Mike yells at them to get in a building. “Damn right, Mac.  There’s a tank chasing us.”

The 101st team runs into the destroyed house while their brothers attached to the 82nd begin to feed their MG and mow down the supporting grenadiers of the Puma armored car.

The Germans advance slowly.

The machine gun “processes” the advancing Germans.

Mad Mike empties his Thompson into the crowd as his team lays on the lead. “ Where’s that bazooka?”

The Puma can’t see the fire from the church tower, so hoses down the buildings in front of him, wounding a Screaming Eagle and killing an All American.  The German  grenadiers are caught in a cross fire and are cut to pieces. The Puma begins to pull back.  The battle will continue.

Waiting for the Sherman’s to give us a “very nice edge.”  To be continued….

The game system is Combat Patrol™: World War II.  The action is generated by cards drawn for each side. This produces movement morale, casualties, etc.  The models are Flames of War. The buildings are a mix of 4Ground. E-plastic, and Flames of War prebuilt.  The trees and hedges are from kits and scratch-built railway hobby parts.  We have 4 people playing, and I am the Game Master.  This plays quickly and has a lot of role play elements to it.  The mat on the table is for ease of movement and is GMT product from Command Colors.

Hope you liked it.

Brian.

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Torture Equipment- The Rack: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

   It was another busy week this past week, so I selected the last piece from the Bones 3 Torture Chamber set to paint.
      I prepped the pieces of the figure in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.    I then assembled the rack with Gorilla superglue gel.  When the glue had set, I glued the rack to a pair of primed 1"x 1" steel bases with Aleene’s Tacky glue (I would have just used a 2" x 1", but I didn’t have one.), and then glued the mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the whole thing with Americana “Neutral Grey”.  When that dried, I gave the whole piece a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash. 

      When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the whole thing with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.   Next, I painted the ropes with Folk Art “Porcelain White”, and the metal fittings with Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”.

     I let everything dry for a bit again, and then gave the rope and the metal bits a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I highlighted the rope with the base “Porcelain White”, and I highlighted the metal with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  After that I dabbed on some Winsor Newton"Peat Brown" Ink here and there on the table to look like assorted stains.  I also put a little of the “Nuln Oil” on the wheel spokes to look like stains from constant hand contact.  Lastly, I painted the base with the “NeutralGrey”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I’m really happy with this one.  I think the aged wood looks just right, and the  addition of the staining adds a nice touch of authenticity.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2018/04/torture-equipment-rack-bones-3-figure.html
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Torture Equipment- X-Rack and Hot Iron Brazier: Bones 3 Fgures

Chris Palmer

     This past week, because I was getting over a cold, and it was Easter weekend, I selected something relatively easy and quick to paint; the X-rack and Hot Iron from the Bones 3 Torture Chamber set.
      I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued the X-rack to a primed 1.5" square steel base with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and the Hot Iron brazier to a 7/8" black-primed fender washer.  I then glued the figures to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the Brazier Ceramcoat “Black”, and the  X-rack with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.   I then drybrushed the Brazier with Folk Art “Medium Grey” followed by Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.    I moved then back to the X-rack, and gave it a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  When I was done applying the wash, I went back to the Brazier, and gave the coals a light wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals “Orange” Ink to hopefully make them look like they had a heat glow.

      When the “Orange” ink and the “Agrax Earthshade"  wash were dry, I drybrushed the X-rack with some Folk Art "Barn Wood”.  I then painted the Brazier itself , and the little bit of the poker sticking out, along with the fittings on the X-rack, with Reaper MSP “Scorched Metal”.  After the “Scorched Metal” had time to dry,  I applied a little Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash to the “Scorched Metal”. When that was dry, I hit the fittings on the X-rack with some thinned Accent “Golden Oxide” to try to give them a little rusty appearance.  Lastly, I painted the bases with Americana “Neutral Grey”, then when it was dry, I gave the carved rocks under the Brazier a little dab with some of the “Nuln Oil” to help accent the crevices between them.
        I let the pieces dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Testor’s Dullcote". 

        Well, they’re very nice.  Nothing exciting; but they’re done, and thats a good thing.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2018/04/torture-equipment-x-rack-and-hot-iron.html
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Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game 3 – Drichean Cages

Don Hogge
“You know where you are?  You’re down in the jungle baby, you’re gonna diiiiiiiieeeee…….”

The lyrics bounced around in my head as we were preparing for our next Ghost Archipelago Campaign Game, the second one in the rule book titled: The Drichean Cages.  We ended up with five of our regular players plus one guest.  We placed three cages containing prisoners down the center of the table, placed treasures, and then drew for starting positions.  I was able to select a corner position which would give me at least one protected flank.  Across from Skorri was Heritor Griffin, to the right was Heritor Herndon, and diagonally to the right was Heritor Kragmar (guest player).  Further down the table were Heritor’s Gregorious and Fortrywn.



One of the cages with prisoner and guards

You can find Lord Fortrywn’s report here: Ghost Archipelago Campaign ‘18, Game 3: The Drichean Cages

Skorri’s end of the table

Skorri’s story begins here:

“GRIFFINNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!” Skorri bolts upright in his bed and immediately feels the pain in his head from his encounter in the jungle a few….not even certain how many days ago it has been.  He can tell he is on board his ship and that they are under sail.  Other than that, he is not sure how he got back to the ship, nor the status of his crew.  His hand went to his head and he could feel the bandages wrapping his head, as well as a steady throbbing pain.  Skorri laid back down on the bed and ran through the events that led to him being here…….

The sky was clear and a gentle, salt-laden breeze was blowing from the southeast.  Waves lapped gently again the hull of the ship as it pulled against the anchor chain.  Skorri and his crew climbed down into their boats to head to shore, once again following obscure passages written on moldy and decaying scrolls.  Hopefully this will be a productive exploration.  Anemone was busy praying to the Goddess of the seas and casting a few coppers into the water as a small sacrifice for good luck.

The boats slid into the white sand and the crew members nimbly leaped ashore.  Skorri consulted with Kukala and they quickly obtained their bearings.  Today’s target was the rumored location of a map stone near a large waterfall.  Of course the rumor included the usual tale of a large beast protecting the area.  With Kukala in the lead, the crew headed into the jungle.

A view of the table from atop the waterfall

After an hour of hacking there their way through the thick jungle underbrush, the crew emerged near a small stream.  Far off to the right, a majestic waterfall could be seen.  Immediately to the front, about 100 meters away, four Drichean warriors can be spotted.  They appear to be guarding a small cage containing a prisoner.  From the way he was dressed, the prisoner appears to be crew member from a sailing ship.  A quick conference was held and Skorri decided it was worth the risk of freeing him to see if he had any useful information.

Skorri’s crew

After moving slowly forward, Amras and Amrod find a good spot to snipe at the guards.  They both take aim at the nearest Drichean guard and let fly their arrows.  The guard is hit hard and falls to one knee, surveying the surrounding jungle looking for his assailants.  The other members of the crew move forward through the heavy brush trying to keep in cover.

Skorri notices movement in the brush behind the cage.  The way they appear to be sneaking up and keeping hidden makes him think its another crew, probably thinking of freeing the prisoner as well.  His thoughts are confirmed as he sees several arrows flying towards the Dricheans.

Further back in the brush, Anemone decides her talents aren’t needed yet.  She thinks it would be helpful to hinder any other crews who might be in the area today.  Anemone calls forth to the denizens of the jungle and successfully casts Beast Cry.  Blue Boy spots something laying in the brush and rushes forward to check it out.  It turns out to be a small chest which he quickly picks up and places in his pack.  His job done, he turns to head back to the beach.

Skorri shoots at a Drichean guard and misses his target.  He is angry with himself and feels his blood burning as he Surges to shoot again – and once more misses.  Kukala and Amrod fare no better as both of their shots fail to hit their mark.

Anemone joins in by casting Wrath of the Waves.  The water from the nearby stream rises up towards the Drichean but looses momentum at the end, merely drenching her target without damage.
Kukala reels back as he is hit hard by an arrow from Griffin’s crew (11 points of damage – ouch).
Off to the left, Chen lee moves forward to contest a treasure.  Unfortunately he doesn’t last long outnumbered three to one and Griffin’s crew claims a treasure.

Chen Lee challenges three of Griffin’s crew for a treasure

The clear, sunny day suddenly starts to darken as low cloud begin to form.  Gregorius and his Storm Warden must be nearby (Cloud Cover was cast).  Skorri, still angry at himself for failing to hit with his bow, draws his sword and charges forward.  He slams into the Drichean guard, spins around and skewers him with his sword.  Skorri then turns to face the other guard.

Skorri takes out a guard

As he moves into better cover, Kukala hastily fires an arrow towards Griffin’s crew but fails to hit anyone.  Anemone watches as Kukala pulls the arrow out of his shoulder.  She draws forth on her mastery of the power of the waves and casts Water of Life on him.  Kukala immediately feels better but is still far from being healed.

On the right flank, Hat Chet moves into the ancient ruins of an old temple and finds a small leather bag.  As he reaches down to pick up the satchel, he sees another crew member he doesn’t recognize climb into the ruined tower.  He pulls out his hatchet and signals to Wu and Amras for some support.  Fortunately the interloper, seeing Skorri’s three crew members, decide its not worth the trouble and climb back out of the ruins (He was a members of Kragmar’s crew).  With their departure, Hat Chet decides it is time for him to get the treasure back to the beach.  Skorri didn’t think too kindly of those who fail to properly recover treasure items.


Hat Chet claims a treasure

The clouds continue to thicken, further restricting line of sight.  Skorri moves into contact with the other Drichean guard.  A quick series of thrust, feints, and parries ends with the Drichean face down in the brush.  Skorri’s feels the hairs rise on the back of his neck as his heritor senses alert him to a spell being cast his way.  His blood burns as he activates his Spellshield, immediately putting an end to Griffin’s warden’s attempt to cast Wrath of the Waves.  Amrod and Amras both continue their poor shooting form by missing everything they shoot at – Skorri takes note to schedule some target practice time for them.

Skorri takes out another guard

 Anemone cast Water of Life on Kukala again.  Kukala takes a quick shot at Griffon but the arrow flies wide.  Skorri thinks to himself that all of his crew’s arrows must be defective.  But not those belonging to Griffin’s crew, Chen Lee is dropped with a single arrow to the chest.  Amrod finally hits a target with his bow, cause one whole point of damage to Griffin – I don’t think he even noticed.
Anemone reached into her tunic and pulled out a small bone whistle.  She blew hard but no one could hear any sound. A few moments later, a bone chilling roar rang out off in the distance – Anemone smiled, “Mangia bene amico mio.”  (A monarch had been summoned by the Beast Cry spell and entered directly behind Gregorius’ crew.  Beast Cry allows the caster roll at the end of each turn to see if a random creature enters the board)

The Monarch chases Gregorious’ crew through the jungle

Visibility has been greatly reduced as the clouds thicken once again (Line of sight reduced to 12").
Griffin picks up a huge stone and Hurls it at Skorri.  Skorri ducks but the stone still glances off his shoulder causing some minor damage.  One of Griffin’s crewmen charges into contact with Skorri.  Skorri goes through his thrust, feint, and parry maneuvers but is shocked when he feels the cold steel of the crewman’s sword bite deep into his side (caused 9 pints of damage).  Amras sees Skorri is in trouble and charges into the crewman, momentarily distracting him.  Skorri takes advantage of this and strikes the crewman in the head, knocking him to the ground.  Amras then has to quickly duck as an arrow flies out of the brush.


Skorri takes out one of Griffin’s crew

Kukala manages to hit Griffin with another arrow but it simply careens off his breatplate.  Anemone had witnessed the Skorri’s fight and the wound he received.  Knowing Skorri would be weakened by his injury, she manages to cast Water of Life on him.

Skorri falls to Griffin’s hurled rock

Skorri turns to thank Anemone.  In that same moment, hidden in a clump of jungle bushes, Griffin Hurls another rock at Skorri.  He fails to see it coming and the rock strikes his helm with a loud clang.  Skorri eyes roll up and he drops to the ground unconscious.

At this point, Amras entered Skorri’s room, “Good morning Sir, I see you are finally awake.  We are heading to the nearest port."  Seeing Skorri’s confusion, Amras adds, "Let me fill you in on what happened once you…..ummm…..got injured.”

Amras’ Story

The battle with Griffin’s crew continued without any quarter being given by either side……

Wu fights off one of Griffin’s crew, inflicting a severe wound to his arm (9 points of damage).  Amras is hit hard in the side by an arrow (9 points of damage).  Ignoring the wound, he draws a bead on Griffin and with vengeance on his mind, lets an arrow fly.  His aim is on target but Griffin is saved by his armor.  Anemone, still stunned by seeing Skorri fall, draws upon her anger to successfully call forth the power of the water to strike a fatal blow against one of Griffin’s crew.  The water rises up and crashes down on Griffin’s crew member drowning him (Successful casting of Wrath of the Waves).

Anemone’s Wrath of the Wave spell takes out one of Griffin’s crew

Another Drichean warrior runs out of the jungle and takes up a position to guard to the prisoner in the cage (random creature).  The chances of releasing the prisoner had pretty much vanished but the remaining members of Skorri’s crew were not about to let Griffin capture him.

Griffin Hurls another rock, this time the target is Kukala.  The rock hits his left arm, the shock causing him to blackout.  Later, when  he wakes up, he finds his arm had been broken.  That will take some time to heal (rolled Badly Injured on the Recovery table, will be sitting out the next game).  Amras and Amrod return fire but once again they both miss.  Anemone casts Water of Life on Amras, pushing it for 5 points of damage (which is okay since she is safely hidden behind cover).

Amrod dodges an arrow and is immediately attacked by Griffin’s man-at-arms.  The man-at-arms easily bests him.  Anemone counters by casting Wrath of the Waves on the man-at-arms but the water dissipates just before it strikes, causing no damage.

The dead pile up around the prisoner’s cage

Anemone watches as Griffin emerges from the thick brush where he had been cowardly hiding.  She quickly incants the words for Wrath of the Waves only to have Griffin activate his Spellshield ability and cancel her spell.  And while she was concentrating on casting, Griffin’s archer managed to sneak around behind her and fire an arrow.  Amras was momentarily in shock as he sees the arrow bursts out of Anemone’s chest, he knew right away she was gone.  She fell to the ground in a heap of robes (rolled a “1” for Anemone’s recovery roll).  Anemone’s death momentarily stunned the rest of the crew.

The roar of the nearby monarch galvanized everyone into action.  Griffin and his crew withdrew into the jungle carrying their wounded but leaving the prisoner still in the Drichean’s control.  One of Griffin’s crew looked like he was carrying a map stone.  Looks like the old scrolls were correct.

Amras and Wu rush to Skorri and quickly rig a stretcher.  Amrod groggily wakes up.  He moves to assist Kukala who is tenderly holding his broken arm.  He fashions a suitable sling for him.  They all pause momentarily beside Anemone, knowing that she had finished her last adventure.  A few silent prayers were said.  they then turned and headed towards the beach, and the safety of their ship.  They arrive to find Blue Boy and Hat Chet waiting for them.

Tiefer tries to take out an archer – spoiler alert – he fails

“I do not know what happened to Tiefer.  One moment he was there but when I looked back, he had disappeared.  We called out his name a couple times but didn’t have any time to conduct a search for him.  We could hear the roars of a monarch nearby – no one wanted to stay and face that creature.  We waited at the beach as long as we could but he never showed up.”

While the crew waited for boats to be rowed ashore, Chen Lee manages to stumble onto the beach before collapsing from a loss of blood.  The crew place him in a boat along with Skorri and Kukala and they all row out to the ship.  Their heads are hung low in the shame of being beaten so badly.  Even the two treasures they managed to recover brought no real joy as Amras realized Skorri’s magic sword was not in his scabbard.  There’d be hell to pay for that (Skorri rolled a Close Call on the Recovery chart meaning he lost all items he was carrying).  They knew they would lose valuable time sailing back to a port to recover and refit.  But none of them would ever forget the name of Griffin.  His name was written into the book and underlined twice.  Retribution will be had.

“We did manage to recover a magic looking helm (Piscian Helmet) and 40 gold coins.  Get some rest, we’ll wake you when we near the port,” and with that, Amras got up and closed the door.

Tiefer had been slowly moving around to ambush Griffin’s archer.  He charged out of the brush, knowing this would be an easy fight.  The archer wass startled by Tiefer’s charge.  He spun around wielding his bow like a staff.  The bow struck Tiefer on the left temple with a loud crack.  His knees buckled and his newly acquired sword slipped from his grip (Superior Hand Weapon +1 Fight found during the last game).  Tiefer had a look of astonishment on his face as his eyes closed for the last time (rolled a “3” on Tiefer’s recovery roll).

The end of game photo

Epilogue

What a great game as player’s fortunes waned back and forth!  Skorri and his crew got spanked hard with 60% of them out of action.  The loss of Anemone will force a return to port meaning some of the few magic items will have to be sold off to make the trip.  She will have to be replaced so I have some decisions to make concerning what kind of warden to replace her with.  In hindsight, Anemone shouldn’t have pushed that last heal, she would have survived the arrow hit.

Anemone’s Beast Cry spell bringing in a Monarch on the other end of the table was great – not so much for Gregorious and Fortrywn but at the other end of the table, everyone was entertained.  The game was a bit unusual as the six crews seemed to be playing three separate battles, centered on the prisoner cages.  Little to no flank action – which was probably a good thing given the number of Drichean guards.  No one managed to get away with a central treasure (the prisoners).   Fortrywn came close but between “Hail Mary” crossbow shots and the Monarch devouring Gregorious’ last crewman, he was denied his hard fought over prize.  When Skorri heard the story, he got a good chuckle out of the final outcome.

As for Skorri’s tribulations this game – Griffin – we shall meet again……

“I’ll chase him round the Lost Isles, and round the Ghost Archipelago, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up!”

A view of the action between Gregorious and Fortrywn at the other end of the table
 

from Wargaming Notes http://wargamingnotes.blogspot.com/2018/04/ghost-archipelago-campaign-game-3.html
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Ghost Archipelago Campaign ’18, Game 3: The Drichean Cages

Chris Palmer      This past weekend we got together for the third game in our Ghost Archipelago campaign.  We had 5 of our regulars players and one guest player.  We continued to work on the scenarios in the rulebook moving on to the second one: The Drichean Cages.    We used an 8’x3’ table and had three cages with their prisoners spaced evenly down the centerline of the table.  Our job was to free the prisoners, and exit with them, or at least have possession of them at game’s end.

An overview of the table with the prisoners and my starting area marked.

      I was lucky with my chip draw for starting location, getting second choice.  I picked one of the corners, down by the waterfall, as there seemed to be a good chance at getting at least a couple treasures there; including one that was easily within a single move away.    The Heritor Gregorious and his Storm Warden, Missy, were directly across from me…it seemed the rematch that my Heritor and Gregorious knew would come one day after our first game, had arrived this day.  To my right was a new Heritor,  Kragmar of the True Blood, and his Storm Warden, Samael Gale.  Diagonally across to my front right was the Heritor Herndon and his Storm Warden, Arwhine. 

   To see my report from our previous game, see: The Xs Mark the Spots.

One of the prisoners awaits his gruesome fate.

The Report

     Lord Fortrywn was a retired general, and the Elf Heritor was used to seeing dead bodies, and had already seen a fair share here in the Archipelago; but the one lying in the grass before him held special interest, for he recognized the man.  It was the Heritor known as Tavic.  The Elf would not shed a tear today for one who shared the blood gift, for the man was a known brute and lacked any civility.  But Fortrywn did know one good thing about the man; he had amassed quite an enormous amount of treasure very quickly here in the Archipelago, something the deceased Heritor had never been shy to brag about. And everyone knew the crafty Human Heritor had hid it somewhere to keep it safe.
    Just then, Lord Fortrywn’s Hunter, Gwynwater Lighteye, came up and stood at attention before her old commander waiting to report.  The Heritor lifted his head from looking at body at his feet and simply raised an eyebrow at the tall Elf-woman.  Gwyn held open her palm, revealing a pair of bronze arrowheads on the ends of broken shafts, and stated, “It’s Dricheans, sir.  There’s the bodies of three of his crew15 yards over there,” she tilted her head,  “and more of these,” she indicated the hand with the arrowheads.  “And a shattered bronze blade." 
     Lord Fortrywn picked up one of the metal points and considered it, his mind working on an idea.  He set the arrowhead back in Gwyn’s hand, and thought out loud, "If there are only three dead, then some of his crew may have survived; and these survivors may know where old Tavic’s treasure is hidden."  He stared out into the jungle.  "You’ve heard of Tavic’s Treasure, or course."  he directed his attention at Gwyn.  "If you can pick up a trail, and we could locate the remaining crew, they might be very grateful to whoever rescued them from the hands of these islanders."  The Hunter smiled, and dropped the arrowheads into the tall grass. Turning, she strode away on her long legs to find the way.

Lord Fortrywn’s disposition upon entering the battle area.

     Two hours later,  Gwynwater  put up her hand to indicate the group should stop.  Lord Fortrywn came up to her, and silently the Hunter pointed to her own ear, and then pointed ahead.   The Heritor tilted his head, listening, but all he heard was the sound of rushing water; as if a large churning river was ahead.   He strained with his Elven ears to hear past the sound of the water. And then suddenly he picked it up faintly…voices in the distance.  Gwyn held up 4 fingers.  They advanced slowly, through the vegetation, until they both could see movement, and the glint of the sun on bronze armor.  The voices and the roar of water were much louder now.  Also, a large cliff face rising on their left had come into view, and from it a  huge waterfall plummeted from the top into a wide pool below.
    Lord Fortrwyn divided his party into three groups.  With him he took Gwyn, and the two seasoned crew-women, Arbyn and Bry.  He ordered Randilas the Archer, Salin the Pearl Diver, and the crew-woman, Meriwyn (who was making her first trip with the ashore party) to go with his Warden, and niece, Marnilyne.  Lastly, he had the two crewman Dirkand, and Lurlin wait in reserve to help where needed. 
     Only a few yards further, and they came to a large frog-like idol.  The Elf Heritor sneered at it’s repulsiveness, and shook his head in derision at the pathetic gods of these islanders.   Turning back to the matters at hand, he could now make out a small cage in the distance, which seemed to be resting in a small stream. Inside the cage they could see was a man, and around it stood four Drichean Guards.   Lord Fortrywn then surveyed his more immediate surroundings; he saw a large wooden totem a short distance away on their front right, and beside it set a chest and some jugs. Offerings, perhaps?  He pointed to Gwyn and Bry, and then to the totem. They quietly and quickly jogged over, and when they got to the totem, the Hunter launched an arrow at one of the Drichean guards in the distance, missing, while Bry, the crew-woman, investigated the chest.  Meanwhile, the Heritor had strode towards the cage and its guards, while Arbyn headed off towards their left.

Gwyn and Bry move up the wooden totem to get the chest, as Lord Fortrywn charges towards the cage.

          Over on the left of Lord Fortrwyn and his group, Marnilyne, the Warden, advanced with her party as well.  She and the Archer, Randilas, moved to a small patch of trees and undergrowth that provided good cover, and from there she surveyed the situation.  The Warden’s keen young eyes, saw movement further away behind the guards.  It was another crew, coming around the cliff face.  They must have the same idea that her Uncle, Lord Fortrywn, did.  Quickly, she cast Brambles on the far bank of the waterfall’s pool to slow them down.
     As she did this, Salin advanced towards the pool, and caught site of a large bronze urn on a pedestal in the center.  He was sure he saw gold glint inside. The Pearl Diver knew it would be deep in the pool, but that did not bother him at all.  He plunged into the water, as enemy crewmen appeared around the end of Marny’s Brambles and they jumped into the water as well.  The first one reached Salin ,and slashed clumsily at him with his sword while trying to stay afloat in the swirling pool.  Somehow, the enemy’s sword made contact, and sliced a long gash into the Pearl Diver’s chest (-7 HP).
    Aryn and Dirkand could see what was happening and rushed to Salin’s aid.  Arbyn plunged into the pool, though the crewman, Dirkland, tried his best to stay in the shallower mouth where the pool overflowed forming the stream.  Suddenly a crossbow bolt hit the crewman in the back and he pitched forward into the water. (-7 HP) As he scrambled for the bank, another bolt caught him a few inches below the first and he fell unmoving,  half his body still submerged in the gurgling stream.
     Marny chanted hurriedly seeing the desperate situation; casting  Warp Weapon on the crewman facing the wounded Salin.  Watery vines shot from the pool’s depths and wrapped tightly around the enemy’s sword, as he struggled to hold on to his weapon. The blade bent and then was ripped from his hand entirely, and pulled into the depths.

The battle in the waterfall pool for the urn treasure.

     Several yards back down the stream, Lord Fortrywn had reached one of the Drichean Guards, and swinging his sword high, he brought it down upon the man with the full force of his powerful arm.  The soldier received a long cut down his chest, splitting his armor, and opening his flesh .  (Lord Fortrywn rolls 20) Trying to stand his ground and block, the Drichean wavered, his life leaving him. The Heritor felt his Blood Gift burn in his arms as he Surged for a second strike, bringing his sword back around and slicing the man hard again.  The guard crumpled like a doll before the cleaving blade and fell to the ground.  Movement caught the Elf’s eye, and he now also saw the enemy crew approaching.  He spotted the black and gold armor of the Heritor Gregorious.  Lord Fortrywn was not pleased at this development, and knew this interloper would have to be dealt with before the day was done.   The Elf Lord also knew he must act quickly, and with his blood now like fire coursing through his body, he practically leapt the few yards over to the cage, landing with a splash into the stream.  The Heritor  called the crewman, Lurlin, who was nearby, to come assist him.
   Some distance away, Marny heard the sound of battle ringing out over on her right and turned to see what was happening with her Uncle.  She could see the enemy crewmen approaching the cage as well, so quickly chanted her Bramble spell to block them from interfering with Lord Fortrywn.  Thick ropy vines covered in thorns sprang from the stream bank, and rapidly coiled into a full sized hedge with dagger like spikes all over it.
     Back by the wood totem, Gwyn the Hunter had taken two more shots at the Guards and missed.  The tall Elf was puzzled at this and was becoming a bit frustrated.  She was not used to missing.  Were the air currents being effected by the waterfall and throwing her shots off?  Next to her, Bry had recovered the chest and had started dragging it back towards the rendezvous point.  Overhead, the sky begin to darken with thick grey clouds.  Gwyn looked up, frowning; someone had cast Cloud Cover (Missy, Gregorious’ Warden), and that certainly wasn’t going to help her archery a bit.

Lord Fortrywn and Lurlin free the prisoner, as Marny "brambles” the far bank.

     Back at the cage, Lord Fortrywn took a second to try and let the prisoner know he was there to help the man, but the poor fellow just cowered in one of the far corners staring wide eyed at the big Elf Heritor.  With his blood still burning hot in his veins, Lord Fortrywn grabbed the big padlock that sealed the cage and attempted to wrench it from around the bars that held the door shut.  He took a gasp of air as he pushed himself to the levels of his endurance, and with all his Heritor’s might he twisted the lock in his vice-like hands and pulled.  The shank began to bend as tiny cracks developed, then with a final effort it cracked clean in two.  the Elf Heritor let the remaining body of the lock drop into the stream and, swinging the barred door open, reached in to grab the prison.  But the fire within him overcame him, and he faltered, leaning for a minute up against the side of the cage. (Failed roll to use Surge)  “Lurlin!” he called out.
    The lean Elf crewman was there in a flash, but cried out as a crossbow bolt pricked at his shoulder. Lurlin’s hand instinctively went to the injury,  but it was just a flesh wound, doing little more then tearing his tunic, and giving him a shallow scratch. (-1 HP)  The crewman reached in and grabbed the cowering man by the arm and pulled him from the cage.  Then the pair turned and Lurlin practically dragged the frightened man up onto the bank of the stream.

Lurlin with the prisoner pauses to catch his breath by the wooden totem.  His last breath, as it were.

     Meanwhile, back at the pool, Arbyn glided through the water with her sword raised, and sliced at the now-unarmed enemy crewman facing Salin.  She cut a deep wound across the man’s chest.  The enemy fell backwards into the water, and sank beneath the surface.  The Pearl Diver, mustering what remaining strength he had, took the opportunity to swim over and grab the urn.  As he did, a second of Gregorious’ crewman swam up behind Arby, and raising his sword, swung with all his might at the back of Arbyn’s head.  The blade slid a bit on her wet hat, but had enough force to cut through the soggy fabric slicing a long bloody gash. She cried out and pitched forward into the water. The crew-woman’s head was on fire, and she fought to stay conscious and afloat. (Hit for 9 HP; 1 HP remaining)  If it hadn’t been for her wet hat causing the sword to slide from a true hit, her head would surely have been split in two.
    Marnilyne, the Warden, from her vantage point in the group of trees, could see Salin in the pool with the urn, his chest was red with the wound and blood.  She knew Pearl Diver couldn’t last much longer, and if the urn was lost to Gregorious’ crew it would be very bad.  She reached out her hand and chanted the spell for Waters of Life at Salin, but the distance was so far, and from her vantage point she could barely see the water.  The young Elf girl felt the spell failing as she was chanting it, and tried to focus her mind around the words.    The Warden pushed with all her inner energy, and felt a sapping pain grow within her.  (Pushes spell for -5 HP)  With a gasp of pain, the Marny finished; and said a small prayer that her words had done their job.  They had. The Pearl Diver felt a tingling as he stood there in the pool with the urn, and his pain and wound magically improved. 
    However, two more of Gregorious’ crew were still in the pool, flailing about in the deep churning water.  (Failed swim rolls)  As Arbyn splashed about trying to find the edge of the pool one of them moved up along side of her, and awkwardly swung his weapon.  It was a bad swing as the man tried to stay afloat; but the flat of the blade landed on her head near her wound, and that was enough to take her out of action.  Lights flashed in the Elf’s eyes, and her head seared with pain in the few moments before blackness overtook her.
       The other crewman advanced on Salin.  The Pearl Diver had had enough, and with his pain and having seen Arbyn and Drikand fall already, an uncharacteristic anger swelled with him.   With a loud rage-filled cry he swung his sword in a wide circle, slicing into the pool, and caught the enemy crewman clean across his gut. (Rolled 18+2 F)   The human clutched at his wound and sank beneath the surface.    Quickly, Salin climbed from the pool with his prize, and tried to make for safety.  As he went, Marny cast a wall of Brambles behind him to discourage any pursuers.

As Salin makes of with the urn, Marny grows a wall of brambles behind him to discourage pursuit.

       As the Warden worked her magic, Randilas the Archer, standing next to her, saw Gregorious’ Crossbowmen reloading his weapon on the far bank of the pool behind Salin. The Archer  drew an arrow and let it fly, striking the man, who toppled backwards.  (Hit with 18 + 2 S)     Randilas was then shocked  to see the man, pull the arrow from his side, and slowly get back up, clutching at his wound.    Gingerly the enemy shooter crossed over the stream, and with some effort lifted his weapon and began to aim at the Pearl Diver, but then his eye was caught by something over on his left, and his aim changed.
      Back at the cage, Lord Fortrywn had recovered himself enough to continue on.   As he turned from the cage, he saw another one of Gregorious’ Crossbowmen move up to the nearby stream bank.  The Heritor knew that would spell trouble for Lurlin and the prisoner, so he climbed up the bank and engaged the enemy.  As he swung his sword the man dodged and the strike caught the enemy on the arm, cutting a deep gash. (-7 HP)
    Lurlin continued dragging the half-petrified prisoner back away from the fighting, trying to explain to the man that they were there to help.  The Elf crewman didn’t know what had been said or done to the man when he was in captivity, but he was surely frightened beyond all rationality.    They reached the wooden totem where Bry had recovered the treasure earlier, and Lurlin paused a moment to catch his breath, and get a better grip on the prisoner.   In that second of pausing, the Crossbowman over by the pool, that has been badly wounded by Randilas, fired.  The bolt hit Lurlin hard in the back (Rolls an 18 +2 S), and the Elf let out a cry and pitched forward.
   Fortrywn’s keen ears heard his crewman’s cry, and the Heritor looked over to see  Lurlin fall, and the prisoner, now unattended, cower in fright by the totem.  His eyes were then caught by movement in the distance, behind where Lurlin lay; and through the jungle undergrowth, another Drichean Guard emerged, and stopping in shock at seeing their prisoner standing there free. The Guard ran to recapture the man.    The Elf Lord knew he had to act quickly.
   The Heritor, took a hasty swing at the crossbowman, who ducked and the big Elf  leaned forward and simply shoved the man away.  (Lord Fortrywn hits, but does no damage & pushes the Crossbowman our of combat.) The Heritor  turned to run for the prisoner, but suddenly, from around a clump of tall bushes, Gregorious himself appeared.  Catching sight of his old nemesis, the Human Heritor lunged at the Elf.  Lord Fortrywn could see it had been a hard morning already for his new opponent, as Gregorious’ armor showed rents and splattered blood from encounters already fought.  The Elf could also see the man was wounded; there was a slight limp, and blood was dripping from his left hand.  A narrowing of Gregorious’ eyes, showed pain concealed behind them.  “Do you really want to do this now?” Lord Fortrywn asked with exasperation, but the Human Heritor’s pride was now at stake, and like a panther he sprang at the Elf Lord.  Fortrywn blocked his blow, and bringing his sword down, drew his enemy’s blade lower; then, he  quickly sliced his blade back up catching his enemy below his right arm and slicing the damage armor, cutting into his chest and then upwards across his chin.  (Lord Fortrywn rolls a 20!) Gregorious stumbled backwards and his large frame hit the ground with a thud, where he lay unmoving.    The Elf Heritor wasted no time with any thought for the fallen foe and, turning, prepared to reclaim his prize.     
        There was little that could have halted Lord Fortrywn in that moment of determination, but something did.  In fact everyone in the area froze momentarily as a loud deep roar carried out over the jungle from the far side of the waterfall cliff, behind where Gregorious and his crew had entered.  The old Elf had never heard one in person, but had listened to enough tales to know exactly what it was that approached; a Monarch.  Kings of the Archipelago, these giant lizards walked on two legs and stood 15’-20’ feet tall, and had large mouths filled with razor sharp teeth. Suddenly the puzzle pieces fell together in the Heritor’s mind.  These prisoners were being held as sacrifices.  Intended to feed and appease the Jungle King.   A crossbow bolt, whizzed past Lord Fortrywn’s ear, bringing him back to the increased urgency of the moment

     Over in the clump of trees, Randilas had quickly notched another arrow, and fired again hitting the Crossbowman a second time; dropping him for good this time. But the man had already done serious damage by killing Lurlin.  Marny could no longer see her uncle in the Cloud Clover induced gloom, so bounded from  the trees, and towards where she last saw him.  As the Heritor came into her view, she halted and cast Water of Life on him.    The waters from the stream flowed towards him as he climbed the near bank, and ran up his boots and legs.  He could feel the blood in his veins cool a bit.  and was thankful for his Niece’s help.
    The Heritor didn’t get far however, before another of Gregorious’ crewmen charged at him.  Taking the Elf Lord by surprise, the man got a lucky hit, and sliced the Heriot across the arm (-7 HP).  But the man lost his nerve, and moved back away from Lord Fortrywn, where he came face to face with a remaining Guard for the cage. The Drichean made short work of the cowardly crewman. 
     Lord Fortrywn had already turned from the encounter and headed again towards the prisoner.    Another enemy crewman approached the area, and Randilas shot at him, but missed.  Desperate, the Elf Archer shouldered his bow, and drawing his dagger ran at the target.
    Back at the wood totem, the newly arrived Drichean Guard had reached the prisoner, and roughly snatched him up as the man wailed.  The soldier didn’t notice Gwyn, as the Hunter had silently moved up behind him, her bow stored, and her magic two-handed sword drawn.  The sword was raised above her head, and the Elf brought it down with her full strength, cutting through the man’s Bronze armor, and separating his shoulder bone from his body.  (Gwyn rolls a 20 + 3 F)
   A chill went through everyone’s spines as the Monarch roared again.  They could all tell it was closer now, but the fighting continued.    The crewman facing Randilas, swung with his sword as the Archer approached, and the dagger proved  a poor defense as the man stabbed with all his might. He caught the Elf  right below the ribs on his right, and the blade went deep.  Randilas pitched forward with his own momentum, and lay there in the grass at the man’s feet.     The enemy crewman jumped over the body, and ran towards the prisoner.  Another enemy crewman, from the pool,  followed close behind.

Te Monarch advances towards the cage.

                  The Elves could now feel the vibrations of the ground from the Monarch’s large feet as the huge lizard strode ever closer.  In a moment there was a crashing on the far side of the river and the monster came into view through the trees no more than 20 yards from the bank of the stream, looking for it’s expected meal.
     Gwyn could see the enemy crewman approaching and sliced once more at the new Guard, hitting him, but his armor held and protected him this time.    The Hunter was relieved to see Lord Fortrywn run up to the scene, as one of the enemy crewman arrived and stabbed the Guard, finishing him off.  As he did this,  Gwyn quickly sheathed her sword and notched an arrow, firing at the  crewman as he drew his sword from the Guard’s body, hitting the crewman and sending him spinning fully around, before he fell to the ground.   Quickly she notched another arrow, as the lone remaining Guard from the cage was now moving up behind Lord Fortrywn, as the Heritor prepared to strike the remaining enemy crewman.  The Elf Lord struck a mighty blow at the man, stabbing deep into the man’s gut. (Rolled 15 + 5 F).  The crewman crumpled over.  The Hunter fired at the approachingGuard as he was just a couple feet behind Lord Fortrywn, his spear poised to strike, and the arrow sunk deep into the man’s neck, right above his armor.  But he somehow kept coming (1 HP remaining) , and prepared to stab the Heritor in the back.  Gwyn shouted a warning, and Lord Fortrywn turned quickly, striking first, and the weakened man could barely offer any defense. With an easy stroke of his sword the Heritor laid the last Drichean low. 
   All through the fight, the poor prisoner had huddled up against the totem, sobbing and trying not to be hit by all the flashing blades.  Every time the ever-nearing Monarch roared, he let out a long wail, punctuated by the unceasing sobbing.

The battle at the wooden totem. Gregorious’ men have the black bases, the Guards have the red shields.

      As the fight was ending, Marny ran up to help.   While the others hurriedly cleaned and sheathed their weapons, she went over to the prisoner , and taking him by the arm, tried gently but urgently, with soothing words, to get the quivering, sobbing, man to stand and go with them.
    They all knew the Monarch was very close now. In fact they could see him on the far bank of the stream less than 100 yards away.   "Quickly!“ Lord Fortrywn said to his Niece.    The Heritor looked around at the carnage.  It seemed like there was no one left from Gregorious’ crew. He surmised that they were probably all out of action, or ran at the sight of the Monarch.  But he was wrong.
      On the far bank of the stream, in the shadow of the Monarch, stood a lone Crossbowman; the one Lord Fortrywn had wounded after opening the cage.  Somehow the man knew he was the last one of his party still standing.  He could see his once proud Heritor laying a short way away in the grass, bloodied and groaning. The man knew the rest of his party were laying somewhere dead or wounded as well.  As the Crossbowman finished cranking his crossbow, he raised the weapon and inserted a bolt .  He splashed over to the near side the stream to get a better view of his targets in the gloomy Cloud Cover.  The man could sense the Monarch moving up just a few feet behind him on the far bank.  He could hear it’s large nostrils sniffing it’s prey, and smell its fetid breath descending on him.   He no longer cared about his life; but he did care about those who had inflicted this fate on his group.  Closing one eye, he sighted down his weapon at he cluster of Elves less than 100 yards away.  He saw movement as one of them stood up, and his eye focused on the motion. He pulled the trigger, as the horrid breath of the beast was right above him, and a drop of sticky saliva dropped onto his head.
     Marny’s words of comfort had reached the prisoner, and slowly she stood as the man came with her.  Without thinking, she gave a tired smile at her uncle, proud of her success.  Then, suddenly, the smile turned to a look of shock and pain, and the young Elf let out a gurgling sound and pitched forward with the spike of a crossbow bolt sticking squarely from the back of her jacket.   The prisoner shrieked as the body hit hit the ground at his feet, and he cowered down again against the totem.  Lord Fortrywn instinctively drew his sword, and turned towards the source of the shot.   He saw the enemy Crossbowman just as the Monarch’s jaws closed around him and lifted the man off the ground as if he hardly weighed anything.  The Heritor knew there was nothing he could do about the shooter now, and hastily he turned back and knelt by his Niece.  In the distance the beast roared, and they could hear it’s large feet splash into the creek.   The Elf Lord scooped up the girl in his strong arms, her breaths coming slow and wheezing.  To Gwyn the Hunter he said through gritted teeth, "The Prisoner."  The tall Elf woman pulled at the man with all her might, but he was lost; he sobbed and wailed and clawed at the totem as if trying to burrow inside.  She knew they had seconds before the monster would be there, and even with her skill she knew she was no match for something so large.    And the Hunter realized she was virtually alone, as Lord Fortrywn was already far ahead, practically bounding through the jungle with the wounded Warden.  With a grunt of disgust the Hunter let go of the man, and turned to follow her Heritor back to the ship.

The Monarch prepares to dine on the Crossbowman as the man lines up his last shot.

          Back on the ship, The Silver Sword, later that night,  Lord Fortrywn stood over his Niece as she lay there in her cot.  She was as white as the bandages which wrapped around her chest, and her breathing was shallow and raspy.   The ship’s healer had done all she could, but in her words it had been "a very close call”.    If it had taken the Elf Lord just a few minutes more to get her back to the ship all would have been lost.  The Heritor stayed in the girl’s room into the evening, and it was there that Gwyn found him late in the night.  The Hunter ashamedly reported her failure in bringing the prisoner with her, and was surprised when Lord Fortrywn seemed not to care.  He was strangely distant and lost in thought.  Gwyn also reported that other than Marnilyne’s close call;  Lurlin the crewman had not returned and was presumed dead, and crewman Dirkand was badly wounded.  The others who had fallen during the day,  Randilas, and Arbyn, would be fine with a bit of rest and medical attention.  The two treasures they recovered had contained 40 Gold Coins,  a magic two-handed sword (+1F), and a superior quality dagger (+1 damage).
     Lord Fortrywn nodded and thanked the Hunter, but his mind was with his Niece.  He thought back and tried to find what he could have done to protect her better.  She was so cavalier, and head strong, it was hard to keep the girl in check sometimes.  He couldn’t help but smile inwardly as he realized she was much like he was in his foolish youth. The Elf’s mind traced back over those sunny days as a young officer as his eyes slowly closed and the Heritor drifted to sleep as he sat there in a small chair at the foot of his Niece’s cot.

The day’s results.

Epilogue

   So close… I almost had it!    What a great game!  I came so close to getting the Central Treasure (the prisoner).  The final minutes were so exciting as Gregorious and I fought tooth and nail for control of the prize.  At last it seemed victory was mine, as I disabled all his troops in the vicinity.  But both Gwyn and Lord Fortrywn had activated, and I knew the game was almost over.  Who could I get there in time to actually grab the prisoner?  And then I saw the Warden.  I measured; yes, she was within a 6" move of the prisoner.  the Warden Phase came and I moved her over to the prisoner, her second action was picking the “treasure” up.  Then came the Soldier phase.  Surely, Gregorious would attempt to move his crossbowman to safety.  Nope.  He announces he wass going to take a Hail Mary shot at the maximum sight range for the Cloud Cover, and sacrifice his last figure to deny the treasure to me.  I was confident he’d miss. I was wrong. And I had sacrificed a lot of he Warden’s  HP to “push” spells, thinking she would never be involved in any real combat.  Down she went.  I had one last hope; if the Monarch actually lost the combat with the Crossbowman, the game wouldn’t end in the Creature Phase, and I’d get another chance to grab the prize.  But, no,  I rolled the attack against the Crossbow for the beast, and rolled a 16, plus the Monarch’s Fight +8. It was more than enough to kill the wounded man, and with that being Gregorious’ last figure on the table gone, the game ended. 
    I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting finish. I just wish had gone in my favor. Ah, cruel fortune! 🙂
    All in all though, it was a pretty good game for me.  My dice rolling was actually on the good side, with a lot of nice 18s or 20s when I needed them. And I got two treasures, which is a step in the right direction for me.  Also, the Experience Points for killing a couple Drichean Guards, and freeing the prisoner helped.
   The game was interesting in that it devolved into three distinct player vs player battles.  There didn’t seem to be any of the sniping on the flanks, at least down by our end, that we usually see.  I’m not sure if that was a function of terrain, or the immediate need to deal with the four Guards in the center of the table.  It was also interesting that I was the only one to actually free one of the prisoners.  At the other cages, the Guards put up more of a fight, and the opposing crews’ missile troops kept each other at bay from getting too close to the prisoners.
   The next game is in just two weeks, and Lord Fortrywn is looking forward to testing his mettle once again.  We feel the tide has turned in his favor!   Stay tuned!

via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2018/03/ghost-archipelago-campaign-18-game-3.html
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Rugg, Bugbear Leader: Bones 2 Figure, Converted to an Elephantman

Chris Palmer

      I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the Elephantman from the Bones 3 Kickstarter “Savage Avatars” set so I can order a couple to play the role of Erithereans from the Bestiary.  But that is a little while away, and we’ve already started our campaign.   So, I was just going to be content to wait, until a friend sent me a link to some photo of some fantasy figures a guy had made by chopping the heads off of dollar store animals, and gluing them to the bodies of 28mm plastic medieval figures.  The little lightbulb went on in my brain…I had just seen a small elephant figure in a box of junk, and I knew I had a spare Bones Bugbear, Rugg, Bugbear Leader, from the Bones 2 Gnolls & Bugbears set  laying around somewhere…
     I found the elephant and the Bugbear, but I had borrowed the Bugbear’s weapon hand for an Orc a while back. So, a quick dig in the bits box, and I came up with what I believe is a GW Ogre weapon hand.

      A little bit of sawing, and I had this.

        It was just a matter of gluing it all together then. 

    I then used some greenstuff around the head to blend it to the body, and added some ears.  Another problem was his Bugbear hand only had four fingers and his ogre hand had five fingers.  Considering the problem, and the fact I had already glued everything together, I decided adding an extra finger with greenstuff was the easiest solution.   I also added some hair to the top of his head, and tried to blend it in to the hair on his back.  Lastly, I clipped the claws on his feet to make them look more like elephant toenails.

     Satisfied with the conversion, I decided to spray the figure with some Army Painter “Necrotic Flesh”.  I choose this because I had it on hand, and I’ve found Army Painter primer to be the best option to be a safe primer for multiple types of plastics, including Bones; not because I particularly thought the color was the best option. 🙂 .

     I began by painting all his skin with Folk Art “Medium Grey”, and then painted his scale armor with Americana “Raw Umber”.  I then painted his belts and straps with Folk Art “Teddy Bear Brown"and his loin cloth with Duncan "Olive Green”.

     Next, I decided I wanted all his armor to be the same color, so I also painted his arm guards and his shin guard with the “Raw Umber”.  I then painted the cloth/fur under his arm guards and shin guard with Folk Art “Butter Pecan”, and the bandage? around his right knee with Americana “Khaki Tan”.  After that, I painted his hair with Black, and then painted the pouch around on the back with Americana “Mississippi Mud”. I then painted the sword blade, and his back shoulder armor with Americana “Zinc” and the grip on his sword with Reaper MSP “Pumpkin Orange”.

I decided I didn’t like the orange sword grip, so repainted it with Reaper MSP Bones “Cinnamon Red”.   I then painted his tusks with Americana “Dove Grey”, and his sword blade with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  After everything had a while to dry, I gave the whole figure a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash. 
     When the wash was dry, I painted his eyes, and then worked on highlighting his hair using Citadel “The Fang”.  After that, I highlighted his skin using Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”, and then highlighted his tusks using the base “Dove Grey”.  I then highlighted his armor with Americana, Sable Brown, and his belts with Americana Shading Flesh".  For his pouch around back I highlighted with Reaper MSP “Tanned Shadow”, and then highlighted his sword grip with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”.   Next, I highlighted the fur under his arm and shin guards using Americana “Antique White”, and highlighted the bandage on his right knee with Americana “Bleached Sand”.   Lastly, I highlighted all the metal bits with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”, and then I painted the figure’s base with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the bases.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed him with Testor’s Dullcote".

      I’m really happy with how this conversion turned out! The head seems to go perfectly with the body.  The ears are probably the weakest point, I should have studied some photos first before sculpting them.
  And of course, I was left with a headless body, and a bodyless head; so this had to happen.  A Bugaphant!  😀

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2018/03/rugg-bugbear-leader-bones-2-figure.html
from Tumblr http://tumblr.hawks-club.org/post/172273339693
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