Monthly Archives: March 2014

More Kobolds!: Figures 79-81 of 265

Chris Palmer

    This week, I completed my second three of the Kobolds group from the Dungeon Attack set.  I began in the usual way, with soaking them in some water with a little dish soap added, and then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and then rinsing them.  When dry, I sprayed them with Krylon Flat Black Camouflage with Fusion spray paint, and when dry, glued them to black-primed 7/8” fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue. I then glued the washers to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s white glue.

Before I began painting the last group of Kobolds, I had consulted my old trusty D & D Monster Manual, to see how they had described them.  The manual had said that they were, “…a very dark rusty brown, to a rusty black.”    So,I had decided I wanted to go for the “rusty black” look.  To start I applied a coat of Folk Art “Barnyard Red” to the figures to get the “rusty” look.  Next,  I worked on their clothing, painting their loin cloths Accent “Real Umber”, and the rest of the clothing GW “Blazing Orange”.

Next, I painted the armored shoulder pieces on the two with swords using GW “Snakebite Leather”.  Their assorted straps i painted with Americana “Mississippi Mud”. The back of the shield I painted DecoArt Cinnamon Brown”; and the shield handle and any pouches they were wearing I painted Americana “Asphaltum”.  For the front of the shield, I used Americana “Cadmium Red”.   I then moved to painting the spear shafts Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and the rope binding on the spears with Americana “Sable Brown”.  I wrapped up the non-metallics on he figures by painting their horns with Americana “Khaki Tan”, and  the skull belt buckles and their teeth and claws, with Americana “Buttermilk”. (Note: on the last group I painted, I hadn’t realized that the thrusting-spear Kobold also had a skull belt buckle like the sword-only Kobold had, and so didn’t paint it on that figure in the last group)

Now I painted the stonework bases with Folk Art “Medium Gray”.  Also, this time I noticed there were some vegetation(?) patches on the base of the spear-thrusting Kobold, (which I hadn’t noticed last time) and I painted them DecoArt “Forest Green”.  Then, I did all the metal bits; sword, spear points, studs and buckle, with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”. 

After all the paint had a while to dry, I gave the figures a wash with thinned Vallejo “Black” ink.  I tried to make it thinner this time, since last time the figures came out a little darker than I had wanted.

I then went back and gave the figures’ skin and clothing highlights with the base colors I had used. I then painted black noses on the Kobolds, and “Cadmium Red” dots for eyes.  I also used the “Buttermilk” to highlight their teeth.   The weapon edges I gave highlights with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.    After everything had time to dry thoroughly, I gave the figures a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  When this was dry, I flocked the bases.  After the bases had overnight to dry, I sprayed the figures with Testor’s “Dullcote”.

I think these turned out a little better.  I don’t know if it’s noticeable in the photo, but they did turn out a little lighter than last time.

Figures 79-81: Complete

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“Look, Sarge, No Charts” Rules Author Team Hosts Army SLPD

Chris Palmer    Last Thursday the author team of the “Look, Sarge, No Charts” series of miniatures wargaming rulebooks, Buck Surdu, Dave Wood, and myself,  helped lead a Senior Leader Develop Program (SLDP) for a US Army unit, using three of the LSNC series of rulebooks: “Fate of Battle” (Napoleonic), “A Union So Tested” (Civil War) and the original ”Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII” rules.   Joining us in game-mastering the event were members of the HAWKs wargaming club,  Ed Duffy, Sam Fusion, and Eric Schlegel.  Sam was also the mastermind behind the event, and can be credited with putting the whole thing together. 

A look at the map, and a part of the Order of Battle for the Civil War version of the game.

   The idea behind this year’s event was to fight a battle from three different eras, Napoleonic, American Civil War, and WWII, on the same same battlefield using the same order of battle and initial deployment.  The battle we chose was the Battle of Laon, a Napoleonic engagement from the 1814 campaign.  For the WWII version, cavalry units were replaced with armor units.

Dave Wood (in blue shirt leaning over table), who co-gamemastered the Napoleonic game with Buck Surdu, discusses an aspect of the rules with one of the players, while Buck (in blue shirt on left) looks on.

   This is the sixth time we have run a wargaming event for this unit, and it has become very popular.  In fact there was such an overflow of folks who wanted to take part, that Ed, was called upon to run a fourth game using his home-brew modern skirmish rules. 

Same Fuson (in cap), who was the gamemaster on the WWII table, helps a player with moving his units

Approximately 12 Officers, NCOs, and Senior Civilian Staff took part in each game; with the goals of team building, problem solving, and learning a bit about the nature of warfare in the  historic period in which their game was set.

Eric Schlegel (in cap), who was the gamemaster on the Civil War table along with me, listens as a player asks a question.

While many of the participants had never played a miniature wargame before, the players were quick to pick up the rules, and really got into the games. There was frequent cheering, or groaning, as player’s fortunes rose and fell.  And, of course, plenty of friendly trash-talking among opponents. Everyone involved seemed to have a great time. And we, the authors, had a blast running the games. 

Ed Duffy (in green sweater), gamemastering his modern skirmish game set in Afghanistan.

After the games concluded, Buck Surdu conducted a debriefing session where those playing the roles of the senior commanders on each table got a chance to explain the goals they had hoped to achieve and how they had hoped to achieve them, as well as discuss some of the realizations they had had about the nature of warfare in the period in which their battle had been set.   Also discussed was how each of the battles were different or were the same given the different natures of the armies that fought on the terrain in each historic period. 

Buck (in blue shirt), leading the after-action report on the WWII table.

As usual, we had a great time and look forward to coming back and doing this again.

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(Almost) All Vehicle Play Test of G.A.M.E.R.

Buck

Last night at the club meeting, I ran another play test of G.A.M.E.R. (which stands for the attributes of a figure in the game: Guts, Accuracy, Melee, Endurance, and Reaction).  I have been pretty happy with the way the infantry rules are working, but I have been needing to give the vehicle rules a good workout.  Last night I ran a game that was almost entirely vehicles.  It wasn’t a particularly realistic scenario, but it served its purpose.  I also wasn’t very accurate on vehicle mixes, as the scenario included some late-war tanks, even though the scenario was set in Poland in 1939.

Polish infantry and an anti-tank rifle attack a German 38(t)

Polish infantry and an anti-tank rifle attack a German 38(t)

A column of German tanks was assigned the task of pushing across the board.  They were supported by two tank-killer infantry teams, one with a panzerfaust and the other with a panzerschreck (recall that historical accuracy was not part of this event’s objective).  The Poles had two 7TPjw tanks, two Vickers E tanks, two TKs tankettes, an anti-tank gun, and an infantry team with an anti-tank rifle.

Another shot from the German perspective

Another shot from the German perspective

The game began badly for the Germans, with a Hetzer and a Marder getting knocked out by the two tanks on the far hill in the picture (above).  After a while it evened out and was considered a marginal German victory, since they still had two “real” tanks left at the end, and the Poles only had one.

A shot from the German end of the table

A shot from the German end of the table

As the objective was to give the vehicle rules a workout, I was glad to see Bill use anti-tank rifle grenades (again, not necessarily historically accurate) and a satchel charge against Chris’ 38(t).  I don’t think he ever knocked out this tank, but he immobilized it early.  The tank-on-tank action in the center of the table between Geoff and Sam (Germans) and Duncan (Poles) seemed to have about the right feel.  Duncan’s Polish AT gun had ammunition trouble or something, because it kept jamming.

Recall from previous posts that G.A.M.E.R. is designed to be played at three levels of “detail” or “resolution,” at the GM’s or players’ choice:

  • Low Resolution: All infantry figures in a unit have the same G.A.M.E.R. attributes.  Wounds are all the same.  Wounds are tracked with markers on the table.  Vehicle crews aren’t tracked; if a vehicle is destroyed, all crew are killed.  If the vehicle is not destroyed, there is no effect on the crewmen.
  • Medium Resolution:  All infantry figures in a unit have the same G.A.M.E.R. attributes.  Wounds are tracked on the record sheet.  Upper body wounds effect fire.  Lower body wounds effect movement.  Vehicle crews aren’t tracked; if a vehicle is destroyed, all crew are killed.  If the vehicle is not destroyed, there is no effect on the crewmen.
  • High Resolution:  Each infantry figure has its own G.A.M.E.R. attributes.  Wounds are tracked on the record sheet.  Upper body wounds effect fire.  Lower body wounds effect movement.  Vehicle crewmen ARE tracked (at one of three levels of resolution, GM’s preference).  If a vehicle is hit, card flips are used to determine impact on individual crewmen.

Last night, I wanted to test the crew casualty resolution, so we played played at high resolution for vehicles and low resolution for infantry.  My preference will be to play with low or medium resolution on most cases, I think.  The extra steps required to determine which crewmen are wounded or killed as a result of a hit is usually not worth the effort.  But we tested it last night, and it worked fine.  I can see a lot of WWII gamers wanting the higher resolution.  It was fun to see that the gunner was wounded or the driver was killed and see the impact on the rest of the game.

We also tried the bog check rule (see previous post).  Woods and plowed field are considered “green,” pun intended.  When a tank moves through woods or plowed fields, it flips a card to resolve the “green” attack on it.  If the terrain succeeds in hitting the vehicle, the vehicle bogs down.  I was worried that this would be so frequent that players would get frustrated or so infrequent that players would forget to do it.  I think it was about right, but I’ll have to try it a few more times before I decide.  Rougher terrain might be considered regular or elite for bog attacks on the vehicle.  (This is how I plan to handle mine field as well.)  We had a TKs that bogged for three turns, and a German tank bogged down in the woods.

Part of the objective last night was to test the vehicle hit resolution procedure.  Geoff said that he had trouble remembering the sequence.  Most of the other folks who had played the infantry rules seemed to have picked it up quickly, but clearly G.A.M.E.R. is a paradigm that is different from what players expect.

I had a draft vehicle record card for last night’s game.  As a result of the play test, I revised the card.  Below is what I think it will look like.  When printed in full size, this looks like three 3″x5″ cards.  I think that experienced players will only need the one on the top left.  They will eventually learn the hit resolution procedure and the effects of a penetrating hit and won’t need the card, so I think that in a practical sense, a player will only need the single card.  At high resolution, the players will also need a second 3×5 card with the crew information.

I can see players printing this, cutting it into an L and then folding it to be a single 3×5 card.  On the hit resolution procedure card, I tried to show cards next to steps in which you draw a card, and a die next to the step where you roll a die.  (There is a d10 on the cards, so you could use a card and read the result instead of rolling a die if you want.)  The only “trick” on vehicle hit resolution is that you have to keep track of the hit location card, because if you don’t get a penetrating hit, the non-penetrating results are read from THAT card.  You don’t draw a different one.

As a reminder, here is what the infantry (or crew) card looks like:

I think it went pretty well last night, and the players enjoyed the game.  Sammy thinks that she likes it without vehicles better.  I need to come up with good stats for the vehicles I have in my collection, which I’m not looking forward to doing.  I’ll keep plugging away at it.  I think this game has potential.

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114th Signal Battalion Officer Professional Development

Buck

A view of the WWII game

A view of the WWII game

For the sixth year in a row the HAWKs supported an officer professional development event for the 114th Signal Battalion.  The first year, the event just included the officers, so we ran just a single game.  Over time, more and more of the battalion’s leadership have been corralled into the event.  This year we had almost 40 officers, senior NCOs, and civilian staff of the battalion.

Another view of the WWII game

Another view of the WWII game

Last year we had a similar number of players and tried to get them into a single game.  It worked out okay, but there were a number of players who were in reserve and didn’t get to see much action.  This year we divided the training audience into three groups and ran the same battle on three tables — with a twist.  The scenario we chose was the Battle of Laon, 1814, from the Napoleonic Wars.  This is from our soon-to-be-released scenario book on that campaign.  On one table we ran the game historically, as a Napoleonic battle.  On the second table, we ran it as an American Civil War Battle, with the Rebs taking the role of the French.  On the third table, we ran it as a France 1940 WWII battle, with the French taking the role of the — French.

A view of the Napoleonic game

A view of the Napoleonic game

Dave Wood and I ran the Napoleonic game.  Eric Schlegel and Chris Palmer ran the ACW game.  Sammy ran the WWII game.  He was going to be assisted by Ed Duffy, but we had some overflow folks, so Ed ran a modern skirmish game for a few extra players with the rules he has been developing.  (I haven’t had a chance to play this yet, but it is getting rave reviews from those who have!)  The three “main” battles all used variants of Look, Sarge, No Charts.

Many of the players did not realize until the battles were over that they were fighting the same battle on each table.

A view of the ACW battle

A view of the ACW battle

After the games ended, I facilitate an after action review with the staff.  It was interesting to compare the various plans and schemes of maneuver across the tables and then to discuss how the battle developed and differed from the plan.  I tried to point out some tactical lessons, because some day, these folks might need to use these skills on a real battlefield.

I think the event was both fun and interesting.  Thanks to Sam Fuson for inviting us and to the other HAWKs for supporting the event.

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Behold the Beholder: Figure 78 of 265

Chris Palmer

Over the weekend, I was able to complete the Beholder figure from the 30 New Bones set.  I’ve had this figure sitting on my painting table for a while now, as I was never able to really decide on a color scheme for it.  I finally figured the only way to get it done was to just plunge in.
       To begin with, the figure had not been pre-assembled well in the factory. (I’ve noticed this with a number of the pre-assembled figures.) There was a noticeable gap where the upper face/mouth part joined the rest of the body. So, very carefully, I took a hobby knife and pried the upper mouth part away from the rest of the figure, slowly working around the joint and loosening the glue that held it in place.  Eventually I got it free, and after several test fittings, and trimming of the tab on the face section that fit in the slot on the body, I was able to make it fit relatively tight.  I then glued it in place with super-glue.
     I then went about preparing it in the usual way; soaking in some water with a little dish soap added, then giving a light scrub with a soft toothbrush to remove any left over mold-release agent, and then rinsing and drying.  After it was good and dry, I sprayed it with Krylon Camouflage Flat Black with Fusion, and glued the figure to a black-primed 1.25” fender washer using Aleene’s Tacky glue. I then glued the washer with a couple drops of Elmer’s white glue to a tongue depressor.

  As I thought about the colors I wanted the figure to be, I decided I didn’t want it to be too psychedelic in coloring, but I didn’t want it to be too drab either, so I tried to split the difference.  I began by grabbing my bottle of Folk Art “Medium Gray” and painting the body/head of the monster . I then painted the tentacles Apple Barrel “Apple Lavender”, and, before they were completely dry, I got the idea to go back and add a short section of darker purple, with Anita’s “Violet” paint, at the very end; attempting to blend it in with the still wet lighter purple.  I now moved to the mouth painting the interior of the mouth and the gums with Americana “Shading Flesh”.  I then painted the teeth with Folk Art “Porcelain White”.

After the paint had time to dry, I gave the whole figure a coat of thinned Winsor-Newton “Peat Brown” ink.

I then went back and drybrushed the body/head with the original “Medium Gray”, and the tentacles with the “Apple Lavender”.  I added some highlights to the tongue and gums with the original “Shading Flesh”, and the teeth with the “Porcelain White”.  I then went back and added a little pure white to a bit of the “Porcelain White” to lighten it a little, and added some further highlighting to the teeth.

I now painted all the eyes, on the head/body, and the ends of the tentacles.  I began by painting them all white.  I then went back and added irises to them all with Americana “True Blue”.  Lastly, I added black pupils to each of them.

Next I worked on the scenic base.  I began by drybrushing the whole thing with Folk Art “Poppy Seed”. I then went back and gave it a lighter drybrushing with Folk Art “Gray Green”.

 I then  painted the dirt between the rocks with Crafters Edition “Spice Brown”, and then gave it a light drybrushing with Americana “Sable Brown”.  Lastly, I painted the skull with American “Buttermilk”, and the sword with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter.” I painted the sword’s grip black, and hilt with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.  I then added a couple splotches of rust on the blade with Duncan “Aged Metal: Iron”
    After the paint had overnight to dry, I painted it with  coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  When this was dry I flocked the base; and after the flock had a bit to dry, I sprayed the whole thing with Testor’s “Dullcote spray paint.  After the “Dullcote” had dried overnight, I went back and I painted all the eyes with Americana “Gloss Varnish” to make them more realistic looking.

I’m generally pleased with how the Beholder turned out.  My one complaint is that I wish I had painted the main eyeball looking downward instead of gazing straight ahead; so he would appear more like he was looking directly at any human sized attacker, and not peering over their head.  I got the iris so nice and centered and circular though, I don’t dare go back and redo it, as I would only mess it up.

Figure 78: Complete

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First of the Kobolds: Figures 75 – 77 of 265

Chris Palmer

With the one year anniversary for my Bones painting efforts looming just over the horizon in June, I am making a big attempt to reach the 100 figure mark before that one year comes to pass.  So, I am trying to work on the multiple figure sets like the Goblins I just completed, and now the Kobolds, in order to help boost my numbers.  I am also going to try and do two entries a week, like I did last week, one on Monday and one on Thursday.
   So this week, I completed my first three of the Kobolds.  I began in the usual way, with soaking them in some water with a little dish soap added, and then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and then rinsing them.  When dry, I sprayed them with Krylon Flat Black Camouflage with Fusion spray paint, and when dry, glued them to black-primed 7/8” fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue. I then glued the washers to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s white glue.

I began by consulting my old trusty D & D Monster Manual, to see how they described Kobolds.  The manual said that they were, “…a very dark rusty brown, to a rusty black.”    So, to start I applied a coat of Folk Art “Barnyard Red” to the figures to get the “rusty” look.  Next,  I worked on their clothing, painting their loin cloths Accent “Real Umber”, and the rest of the clothing Accent “Mustard Seed”.

Next, I painted all their assorted straps Americana “Mississippi Mud”. The back of the shield I painted DecoArt Cinnamon Brown”; and the shield handle and any pouches they were wearing I painted Americana “Asphaltum”.  For the front of the shield, I used Americana “Cadmium Red”.   I then moved to painting the spear shafts Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and the rope binding on the spears with Americana “Sable Brown”.  I wrapped up the non-metallics on he figures by painting their horns with Americana “Khaki Tan”, and  the skull belt buckle, with Americana “Buttermilk”.

Now I painted the stonework bases with Folk Art “Medium Gray”.  Then I did all the metal bits; sword, spear points, armor, studs and buckle, with Cearmcoat “Metallic Pewter”.

After all the paint had a while to dry, I gave the figures a wash with thinned Vallejo “Black” ink.

I then went back and gave the figures’ skin and clothing highlights with the base colors I had used. I then painted black noses on the Kobolds, and “Cadmium Red” dots for eyes.  I also used the “Buttermilk” for their teeth.   The weapon edges I gave highlights with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.    After everything had time to dry thoroughly, I gave the figures a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  When this was dry, I flocked the bases.  After the bases had overnight to dry, I sprayed the figures with Testor’s “Dullcote”.

I’m pleased with how these turned out.  They are nice simple little figures to work on.

Figures 75-77: Complete

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1/72 Fantasy Painting Progress

Rob Dean

I have been meaning to post some additional pictures of the progress on my 1/72 scale fantasy digression. My sons, being adept with the brush, have inspired me to try to do these to a somewhat higher level than most of my 1/72 massed armies.

There isn’t a lot to say about this project. The figures are intended to provide a portable set of props for a D&D travel kit, and double for portable skirmish games. So far, I have 12 different poses of Caesar adventurers finished, and 5 Dark Alliance orcs, from their Orcs 2 set. I picked up Orcs 1 and 3 at Cold Wars, so I could be at this for a while.

So, here we are, front and back views in groups of three for the adventurers.

The barbarian with the sword and shield is a conversion of one originally armed with a massively oversized axe. I replaced that with pieces from a Caesar Celtic Warriors box.

The orcs (of the Red Hand, mixing Saruman and Morder in Tolkien flavor, and not really referencing Ulster) so far:

For the skirmish gaming aspect, I hope to have a handful of cavalry. Here’s the first human, a Strelets sculpt.

I painted a Reaper Bones ghast as a troll.


For the curious, here’s a look at what the photoshoot set up looked like. My 3×3 ground cloth draped over some books served as the backdrop, and I put my camera on the tripod, for convenience with exposures running up toward a second. There’s a large window behind the camera for light, which isn’t too harsh since it’s overcast. I used a 28mm manual focus lens, at f22, with a +4 diopter supplementary lens to permit the close focus. I haven’t had the photo widgets out in a while …

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“Hillow Fight” — Song of Blades and Heroes Day

Rob Dean

Chris Palmer came over yesterday for a session of fantasy skirmish gaming using the Song of Blades and Heroes (SBH) rules and Reaper figures. Chris’s warbands are entirely composed of figures from the first Bones Kickstarter. Mine are a mix of Bones I, Bones figures available before the Kickstarter, and some Reaper metal figures. As much as I like Reaper overall, they are not very compatible with my older “true 25” fantasy figures, so I am keeping them separated into their own games.

SBH nominally calls for the use of a 3’ by 3’ table for most games. (That’s about 90cm square for those of you living outside the last bastion of Imperial measurement….) Therefore, I left my card table set up from the game I had with William earlier in the week. Chris and I played two rounds of 300 point warbands, then we added William for a three-handed cutthroat game, and William and I had one more game, using 450 point warbands, after supper. The main scenery elements used were my newly acquired “hillows”, double-sided hills of fabric over upholstery foam, woods (with trees on steel bases encouraged to stay in place by spotting them on woods outline cloth cut outs with circles of magnetic material, and a stream. While I ordinarily use loose sand scatter for roads, I am considering cutting some fabric roads out of more quilting print material to go with the general cloth theme of the table.

The first game pitted my favorite human warband (leader, magic user, two elite archers, barbarian, and two warriors) against Chris’s undead warband. Looking over the table, we decided that the struggle was for the haunted tower.

Chris is still working out tactics appropriate to his undead collection. I’ve been trying to keep my warriors together as much as possible with the tactical objective of outnumbering the enemy whenever in contact.


Nevertheless, occasionally things got away from me. We had a demonstration of Chris’s cold dice when his wraith finally managed to attack my isolated magic user. Despite having a d6+4 for a combat roll to my d6+1, the magic user knocked down the wraith, and it was dispatched shortly thereafter. With nothing left but a few skeletons, the humans were left to take possession of the tower.

We rearranged the scenic elements a bit for the second game, and replaced the tower with the Great Stone Head, since we decided to set aside the high quality warbands and slug it out with two groups of orcs.

Chris’s orcs were a typical band of savage orcs, backed up by a few reluctant goblins and a swarm of rats. I used an ogre and a band of gregarious kobolds (reskinning a ratman example profile from the book rather than pointing out something new). Chris’s orc and goblin archers were handily overrun by the swarm of kobold mercenaries, who turned out to be small but extremely vicious, and a gruesome kill sent his leader fleeing from the field in a dismal morale failure. Chris was getting a bit discouraged, since he hadn’t killed a figure in two games.

After some chatting about the rules, we invited William to join us for a cutthroat treasure hunt scenario. The objective was to find a cache of treasure hidden in one of three places on the board and drag it off the table. Naturally, possession of the treasure had a tendency to unite the opposition against you. Chris frequently does this sort of scenario with his Blood and Swash tavern brawls, and picking up the treasure first in one of those is not usually a winning maneuver.

Chris used his undead band again, I stuck with the orcs, and we let William use the humans.

Chris quickly checked the first hiding place and found that it did not contain the treasure.

William got to the second hiding place and found the treasure. Immediately the fearless barbarian picked it up and headed for the edge of table, picking his way carefully down the rocky hillow. Unfortunately, the orc leader, seen holding the standard below, was able to unleash the kobolds. This delayed the humans, but in the fighting the orc leader fell, and the resulting morale test sent most of my force reeling back to the ford. This left the undead in possession of the treasure.


Gamely, they started dragging it back toward their entry edge, harassed by the few surviving humans and the orcs, now down to an archer and a few kobolds.


At one point the humans had possession of the chest again, but in a confused melee the kobolds (now down to two) finally killed the last human and disjointed the last skeleton.

We thought that William had the ame won early, but it eventually developed into an epic struggle…

After dinner, William and I returned to the table one more time, to see what would happen if we increased the warband sizes. He took a band of mostly humans, with a centaur archer and a dwarf wizard, and sunk most of his personality points into a paladin, which we statted as an Elven commander from the book. I had orcs, kobolds, a small dragon, and a troll.


Despite his quality advantage, William got into trouble when the red shiled warrior below was gruesomely killed by an orc. The resulting morale checks caused one of his engaged figures to break, and that figure was killed as he ran. The centaur was swarmed by the kobolds.


Eventually a confused melee developed in which the commander attemted to come to the aid of the warrior in blue.


I threw my troll in, in a bid to eliminate him, but the paladin knocked him down, and dispatched him in three quick blows, despite his toughness.


In the process, though, the numbers of orcs eventually undid him. After being knocked down with a lucky (or unlucky) blow, he was dispatched by an orc, and we decided to call it a night.


There is a lot of luck in SBH, but I think that I am starting to get a feel for the tactics, and I was reassured to find that a mid-quality high numbers band did have some sort of chance against a smaller elite band.

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Opening a new front

Norman Dean

As I alluded to in my Cold Wars report, it looks as though I have a new project on my hands. (A new miniatures project, that is.) It started with a flea market purchase: my dad and I ran across a set of blocks called “CastleBlocks,” seemingly intended for building somewhat stylized castles and towns. For the most part, they are little pinewood cubes, printed with doors or windows, but there are a fair number of cylinders and arches to liven things up a bit, as well as a variety of roof pieces, all a nice cheerful red. They didn’t exactly seem historical, but they sure looked fun.

All 102 CastleBlocks, along with the helpful diagram showing how to fit them back in the nice wooden box.

As I mused over these, it all just sort of coalesced. The blocks might not work for any of my existing projects, but they had a nice toy-like look to them. They would fit right in with a “classic toy soldier” armies—stiff poses, glossy paint, plain green bases, etc.—which is a look that I’ve idly considered exploring before. The size is about right for 1/72 scale, and I had a box of Emhar 19th century French infantry left over from a previous project—the red-roofed buildings had a vaguely Mediterranean feel to them; I could pit them against the Lucky Toys Austrians in a sort of “Italian Wars of Independence” setting. One problem, easily fixed: I know very little about the Italian Wars of Independence—but I’d much rather do it with “imagi-nations” anyway. And so the imaginary nations of Occiterre and Elabrün were born. (The other two are more notional for now, but it’s surprisingly hard to leave empty space on an imaginary map…)

Flags!
Now, painting time since the convention has been pretty scarce, but yesterday evening I finally had time to sit down and start working on first of my Occiterrans. They aren’t quite finished yet, as I’m planning to do the bases somewhat differently than my usual sand and flock—that will probably get done sometime after next weekend, when I pick up the shipment containing their Elabrünese opponents.

There is one additional touch I have added so far: town bases. I was at my local craft store this morning (who doesn’t need a couple more bottles of paint?) and noticed some little pine boards. Recalling a similar sort of thing from H.G. Wells and his “Floor Games,” I picked up a couple to use with the CastleBlocks. With a little black line decoration and some varnish, I think they fit right in. (I’ll probably leave the other sides blank for flexibility’s sake.)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this—hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in some time to work on it over the next few months. I still owe a post to the few units I finished before Cold Wars, so look for that sometime in the next few weeks, along with more from Occiterre and Elabrün…

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Lizardman Warrior: Figure 74 of 265

Chris Palmer

This week I also had time to paint the Lizardman figure from the 30 New Bones set.  I began by soaking him overnight in some water with a little dish soap added, and then I gave the figure a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and rinsed it.  When dry, I sprayed it with Krylon Flat Black Camouflage with Fusion. I then glued it to a black-primed 1” fender washer with Aleene’s tacky glue, and then glued this to a half a tongue depressor using two drops of Elmer’s white glue.

  To begin, I painted the front of the figure with Americana “Reindeer Moss Green”; and the scaly back of the figure, and top of the head, I painted with Americana “Avocado”

When these two colors had time to dry, I gave the figure a coat of thinned GW “Dark Green” ink.

When the ink was dry, I went back and added highlights to the front and back using the original colors.   Next, I painted the inside of the mouth with Americana “Shading Flesh”, and then I painted the teeth, claws, and the spikes on his head and running down his back with Americana “Buttermilk”. Then I pained his eyes with Apple Barrel “Yellow”, and then added black slit pupils.

Next, I painted his turtle-shell shield with Accent “Mustard Seed”, and his spear shaft with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.  The rope bindings on the spear shaft I painted Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and the strap on the shield I painted, Ceramcoat “Walnut”. At this time I also painted the decorative rings on the shield all white in preparation for applying some bright colors to them..

When this white prep coat dried, I painted the decorative rings on the spear their final colors. I did the outer ones with Ceramcoat “Bronze”, and the inner ones with White, GW “Blood Red”, and GW “Hawk Turquoise”. I also painted his wrist band with the “Bronze”.  When everything had time to dry, I went back and applied some thinned Winsor-Newton “Peat Brown” ink, to the inside of the Lizardman’s mouth, his back spikes, and claws, as well as the entire shield and spear and his wrist band.  When this dried, I went back and painted the spear tip black, and then gave it a light drybrushing with Duncan “Slate Blue”, to give it the look of obsidian.  I also went back and added some highlights to the decorative rings on the spear shaft, and to the shield, in the original colors, and then I added some detail markings to the exterior of the turtle shell with the “walnut” paint.

  After everything had time to dry, I gave the entire figure a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”, and when this had dried I flocked the base.  After letting everything sit overnight, I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote spray paint the next day.

   I pleased with how this guy turned out.  And it proved to be a quick and simple figure to get done.
Figure 74 of 265: Complete

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