Monthly Archives: July 2016

Tablescapes Dungeons’ Mine Themed Kickstarter

Chris Palmer

I just wanted to let folks know about a neat Kickstarter that I just backed: Tablescapes Dungeons Mines brought to you by Secret Weapon and Reaper.  What I like about this Kickstarter is the nifty mine track and cart Add-On.  Also, it is all compatible with my Dwarven Forge stuff.
Currently the Core Sets gets you 76 components for $75.

They are also offering a number of sets of Bones Minis for those who missed out on any of the Reaper Bones Kickstarters, as well as a selection of sets of Reaper paint!

You can find more info here: Tablescapes Dungeons Mines.  Please check it out, and if possible, pledge! 🙂

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Tablescapes Dungeons’ Mine Themed Kickstarter

Chris Palmer    I just wanted to let folks know about a neat Kickstarter that I just backed: Tablescapes Dungeons Mines brought to you by Secret Weapon and Reaper.  What I like about this Kickstarter is the nifty mine track and cart Add-On.  Also, it is all compatible with my Dwarven Forge stuff.
Currently the Core Sets gets you 76 components for $75.

They are also offering a number of sets of Bones Minis for those who missed out on any of the Reaper Bones Kickstarters, as well as a selection of sets of Reaper paint!

You can find more info here: Tablescapes Dungeons Mines.  Please check it out, and if possible, pledge! 🙂

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Frostgrave Campaign 6

Don Hogge
Ah, Frostgrave campaign day has finally arrived.  Six of our group was able to attend  plus one new member.  So seven intrepid adventurers would be setting forth into the frozen town in search of fame and fortune.  We would be playing the Genie scenario (with the potential for three Genies) plus adding in a homebrew scenario involving random hot spring geyser eruptions.  As a level balancing thing, the higher your level, the more likely you could trigger a geyser and suffer a +5 scalding water attack.

My warband will enter at the bottom left
A view of the table center
A view of the far end of the table

Knabe’s Story

As I surveyed the ruins, I could feel my ole bones longing for the warmth of the fireplace and the taste of heated honey mead.  But today, the surrounding area seemed to be charged with energy.  I hoped it would be a successful foray into the ancient city.

I had paid good gold for rumors of magic lamps once existing in this part of the city.  The rumors mentioned some unknown threat as well.

My warband ready to enter the ruins

I managed to summon up an undead creature.  My young apprentice failed to summon a snow leopard companion for this trip, so our band would be one short today.  Luckily, we had both been successful with brewing some potions; invisibility and teleportation which I handed out to Fritz and Faenger.  I took an elixir of chameleon from the vault and gave a potion of healing to Vogel – just in case.  I attempted a new magic spell to locate nearby treasure items but both myself and Vogel completely failed in our attempts.  More training in this area is definitely a must.

As I entered the ruins, I detected my old adversary Lingzhu moving off to my left.  I also noticed his crossbowmen moving to good firing positions – in my direction.

Lingzhu to my left

I also notice Kodak’s crew moving around to my front.  Another worthy opponent.  This should prove to be an interesting day as we all jockeyed for an advantage.

Kodak’s warband to my front

I decided to make thing interesting right from the start.  I cast Leap on Uhlmann (Owl Master) and propelled him to the top of a nearby tower to check it for loot.  His owl followed him up there as well.  Vogel successfully cast Fog to protect our movement to the front.

I directed my undead creature to head towards some loot and return it to base – I then left him on his own as other things occupied my time.  I found the way to my left completely covered by crossbowmen and marksmen from both the previous detected warbands.  This was quickly proved the hard way when Donan (treasure hunter) leaned out for a peek and was shot dead right through the eye for his troubles by Kodak’s crossbowman.  That new hire didn’t last long.



Slowly moving forward

 I drank my Elixir of the Chameleon and stepped out in the open.  I could hear cries of frustration ring out as the shooters knew I was there but couldn’t draw a bead on me to shoot.  I like this potion!
Kodak’s apprentice leans around the fog and tries to cast a spell on Vogel.  He responds with a Bone Dart but the dart harmless ricochets away.  My fox darts left, then right, then starts nipping at Kodak’s apprentice’s shins.  That’ll prevent her from casting spells for a while.  Uhlmann sends his owl over to an adjacent tower where he discovers Kodak himself searching for some loot.  I would have thought rooting for treasure was something the hired hands did but there’s no discerning some people’s tastes.  At least the owl will keep him busy for a while.

Kodak’s man looking in the geyser crater

One of Kodak’s men darts out of the fog wall and roots around in the bottom of a small crater.  Suddenly in a puff of smoke, a Genie appears, attacks, and easily takes down Kodak’s man.

A genie appears

I looked around for Fritz to direct him to engage the Genie but he had disappeared. (For some reason, he drank a Potion of Invisibility and was running through the kill zone towards a distance piece of treasure – I ’m still not sure why I did that)  A geyser erupted with boiling water and I heard a slight yell; that must have been Fritz.  A short time later, Faenger drinks a Potion of Teleportation potion and appears way on the other side of the town (Back at the tavern he says he thought saw a treasure item – it turned out to be a rock).

I saw a member of Lingzhu’s warband out in the open so I threw a Bone Dart his way, causing minor injuries.  Vogel realized he did not have any spells that could hurt the Genie.  So he cast Push on him and successfully flung him through the fog a good distance (14 inches).

I attempt to cast another Bone Dart at Lingzhu’s thug but fail.  Vogel has the same luck as he fails to Push Kodak’s annoying archer off a nearby ledge.  Then things turned in my favor.  Bobo (bear) burst through the fog and knocked Kodak’s apprentice out of the fight with one swipe of his mighty paws.


Kodak’s apprentice takes a nap

The fox had done well keeping the apprentice engaged.  Vogel spots a snow gorilla in the mist and directs the fox to keep it busy.  Vogel had noticed the gorilla heading towards our undead treasure hauler.  So the fox engaged and managed to force the gorilla back while the zombie makes good his escape with a large chest.


The little fox wins his fight with the snow gorilla and steps back

I once again fail to cast Bone Dart at one of Lingzhu’s minions.  Vogel successfully hit the same guy by does minor damage.  My new thief takes a crossbow bolt to the chest and drops like a rock.  Kruger manages to take down Kodak’s archer.  And the brave fox tries to rejoin the group only to get boiled by a spout of boiling water.

Then the fateful moment arrives – not for me and my warband.  I spy Lingzhu attempting to leave the ruins.  With extreme focus from my Gloves of Casting, I manage to cast Bone Dart at him.  The successful spell hits him hard and he drops to the snow covered ground.  Unfortunately, I later heard that he succumbed to his wounds as did his apprentice.  A worthy adversary has passed away.

With that last act, my warband and I headed back to the warmth and comfort of our tavern base.  My two new hires lay crumpled in the snow, both victims of crossbow bolts.  I need to remember to cast more fog to cover our movements.  Kruger scooped up the fox as Vogel rooted around in the steam pit.  The boy found the Genie’s lamp; I’m sure that will sell for a good amount of coinage.

My summoned undead minion lumbered into base dragging a large box that turned out to be filled with 425 gold coins.  This marks the third time that one of these creatures has made it back some kind of loot.  They may be hideous to look at, and smell worst then a full night soil pot, but they do mindlessly obey orders.

The rest of the treasure items include: three scrolls (Leap, Fools Gold, Reveal Death); two potions (Elixir of Chameleon, Fairy Dust); 505 gold coins; and the Genie lamp worth 300 gold coins.  Not bad for a days work, even with the two lost warband members.

End of game group photo

With my new found wealth, I may have to browse through the market place and see what goodies may be on sale.  Maybe some new robes or a couple pieces of jewelry or a grimoire or a……decisions, decisions…..  Of course, I also have two vacancies to fill as well.

Till next time……

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Mystic Theurge: Bones II Figure

Chris Palmer

     This week I painted up the Mystic Theurge figure from the Bones II Pathfinder Heroes Set.  My plan is to use him as a Soothsayer type wizard’s apprentice for Frostgrave.
    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 white-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

     Since I joined the Reaper Forums about a year ago, I found I was reading a lot of high praise for the Reaper brand of Liners, which are a kind of mix between and ink and wash. From what I read, they are reported to be great as a kind of “primer” coat of Bones as they really show off the details as well as shade the figure.  So, I finally broke down recently and ordered a triad of the Brown, Grey, and Blue.  I thought I would take this opportunity to try out the “Grey” Liner, so I gave the entire figure a wash with it using a wet brush.  I then painted the hands and head with GW “Vermin Brown”.

 Next, I painted the under robes with Apple Barrel “Apple Scotch Blue”, and the outer jacket with Crafter’s Acrylic “Purple Passion”.

      I then painted the belts around his waist with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”.  I also used the “Navy Blue” to paint the left hand side of the scarf, and blended it in with Accent “Golden Harvest on the right hand side.  My idea is to eventually make it look like it transitions from night to day.  When dry, I gave his whole body a wash with GW "Badab Black” wash using a wet brush.

     Next, I worked on the book hanging at his side.  I painted the pages with Americana “Bleached Sand” and the cover with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”.   The two wands were painted with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cinnamon Brown”, the stones on their tips were painted with Crafter’s Acrylic “Deep Red”, and Folk Art Platinum Grey", and the sting wraps were painted with “Americana "Khaki Tan”.  I then painted the shoes, belts, all the pouches, and the right end of the scarf, were painted with Black. Next, I painted the medallion around his neck, the buckle on his book strap, and some highlights on the right center of the scarf with the “Golden Harvest”.

     I continued with the “Golden Harvest”, painting the bracelet on his right hand, and the object he holds in his hand. I then painted his hair with Black. Next, I re-painted his under gown with Folk Art Pearl “Aqua Moire”. Then I highlighted his waist wrap and did highlights on the left center part of the scarf with Americana ‘True Blue".  I then highlighted his outer tunic with a mix of the “Purple Passion” and Apple Barrel “Apple Lavender”. At this point I used Ceramcoat “Bronze” to paint his medallion, book buckle bracelet, and the object in his hand.  Then, after everything a while to dry, I gave the book, wands, and his face and hands, all  a wash with GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.  I also gave his light blue under robes a wash with Iron Wind Metals “Dark Blue” ink using a wet brush.

   When the wash and ink were dry, I work on his face; painting his eyes, and then highlighting his skin with Americana “Terra Cotta”. I highlighted his hair and his belts, shoes, and pouches with Citadel “The Fang”, and then did lighter highlights on his hair with Folk Art “Cloudy Day”.  I worked on highlighting the right hand side of his scarf with first Crafters Acrylic “Bright Yellow”, then Crafter’s Acrylic “Daffodil Yellow,” and then Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon” at the very end. I also painted the little tab bookmarks in his book with the “Deep Red”, and the “True Blue”. Next, I highlighted his under-robe with a mix of the “Aqua Moire” and White. I also painted the rock slabs he is standing on with Americana “Zinc”.
    Next, I highlighted the pages in the book with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  I highlighted the wands with Americana “Sable Brown”, and the cord wraps holding the stones on the ends with the “Bleached Sand”.  I highlighted the red rock with Americana “Tangerine”, and the white rock with White.

     I drybrushed the rocks with first Americana “Neutral Grey”, then Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”, and lastly Folk Art “Platinum Grey”.  I couldn’t quite figure out what the two little rectangles on his chest were, so I painted them as scraps of paper with the “Bleached Sand”, and added a little script to them with Black.  I then painted the borders of the other tunic, and his necklace, with Folk Art Metallics “Gun Metal”, and then highlighted them with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.  I highlighted all the parts I had painted “Bronze, using Ceramcoat "14K Gold”.   Next, I added a moon, stars, and the sun to the scarf using White. I also used the White to tough up the non-rock portions of the base.        When everything had overnight to dry, I gave the figure a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish” early the next morning.  Midday, I flocked the white areas with Woodland Scenics “Snow” flock and the next day I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote.

     I’m happy with how this figure turned out.  I think he has a good mystic look to him, and will do good as a Soothsayer.

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Colonial Combat Patrol(TM) Play Test

Buck

Counting casualties

Counting casualties

Last weekend several HAWKs joined me in a combined Colonial and Napoleonic play test day for Combat Patrol™ supplements.  Dave has been working on a Boer and Zulu supplement for Combat Patrol™, but because of his busy schedule we had been unable to test some of his ideas.  In particular, Dave has been concerned that there are no formal leaders at lower echelons during this time period.  In the British Army, for instance, the lowest level corporal would be in control of 25 or 30 infantrymen.  This span of control was probably sufficient when units fought in lines, but is not suited for small skirmishes.  My feeling is that three or more soldiers is a formation and someone would be designated as being in charge.  Anyway, Dave has developed an interesting concept for leader in the game that provided a different flavor.  I think there are some ambiguities and second-order effects that have to be identified and resolved, but it worked fine.

The table set up for the colonial game

The table set up for the colonial game

The purpose of the day was more about the rules than the scenarios, but we were also looking to have some fun.  In order to test as much as possible, we had Boers and Zulus against the British.  The Boers were on the side of the creek in the foreground, and the Zulus were on the far side of the creek.  The game very quickly turned into two separate games with little interaction.  I commanded the British on the far side of the creek facing Chris’ and Dave’s Zulus.  Duncan controlled the British on the near side of the creek, facing Mike’s Boers.

Early in the game; most of my British are still strung out on the road

Early in the game; most of my British are still strung out on the road

Zulus advance on my British infantry in a hasty defensive position

Zulus advance on my British infantry in a hasty defensive position

The situation for the British on both sides of the creek were in a difficult situation, with the enemy on both sides.  Against the Zulus I was facing superior numbers with most of my men scattered and in the open.  The scenario began with a single section of British infantry in a hasty defensive position, but the rest of my forces were strung out along the road.

Chris' Zulus emerge from the scrub to attack my British

Chris’ Zulus emerge from the scrub to attack my British

Chris had a few riflemen,  but he had his typical luck, and most of his rifles went out of ammunition early.  In this scenario, Dave determined that an out of ammunition result would be permanent.  Chris then quickly charged out of the scrub and toward my forces.  I tried to seek cover behind the wall you see along the right.  That helped a little, but there was nothing to stop three units of Zulus from circling around my flanks and overwhelming that section of British infantry.

The battle rages

The battle rages

I was busy on the Zulu side, so I didn’t get to see much of what was happening on the Boer side.  I was very pleased with the way the rules seemed to work for the Zulus.  When I had British in hasty positions, the Zulus had difficulty.  Where my infantry was caught in the open, the Zulus were able to circle around my flanks and overwhelm me.  This felt right.

Dave's Zulus swarming against my British infantry

Dave’s Zulus swarming against my British infantry

At one point, Dave was throwing units at my British in the defensive positions.  The section in the foreground is about half strength.  They began in the open and had to fight their way to the defensive position.  Once there, the Zulus were unable to dislodge them.  Even when they had 2:1 odds in the hand to hand, the defensive position provide enough benefit that I was often able to push them  back.  You can see the white rubber bands on several of the Zulu figures.  Each band represents a wound.  When wounds are greater than or equal to the figure’s Endurance attribute (typically 3), the figure is killed.  You can also see some black rubber bands.  These indicate stuns.  When a figure is wounded, it is also stunned.  It is not allowed to take any actions until it takes an action to remove the stun marker.

The fighting gets desperate

The fighting gets desperate

Dave brought more Zulu units to bear, and threatened to destroy this section and my sergeant within the defensive position.

An overhead view of the fight between the British and Zulus

An overhead view of the fight between the British and Zulus

This shot is about mid game.  You can see the British section in the foreground still trying to make it to cover.  You can also see the British on the left beginning to circle around my British section at the wall while other Zulu units are advancing toward my Gatling gun at the top of the image.  I never did get the Gatling gun into operation before the Zulus overran it.

One of my British sections is overwhelmed by Chris' Zulus

One of my British sections is overwhelmed by Chris’ Zulus

It took several turns, and I was able to inflict some casualties, but this Section of infantry, caught in the open, died to the last man.

I quite enjoyed the game, and I felt the rules worked pretty well for the period with Dave’s tweaks.  Some of us are still not convinced of the needed for the added complexity Dave has introduced for leaders and command, but it worked fine.  It will be included in the supplement as an optional rule.  This play test also gave us a chance to make sure that we were being completely consistent between Dave’s supplement and Duncan’s Napoleonic supplement.  We need a couple more play tests, but in general I think the supplement is shaping up.

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Napoleonic Combat Patrol(TM) Play Test

Buck

My French firing from the scrub at the British

My French firing from the scrub at the British

Last weekend a bunch of the HAWKs came to my war room to conduct another play test of the Napoleonic supplement for Combat Patrol™ that Duncan is writing.  This play test focused on confirming the last batch of changes and looking at cavalry vs. infantry and cavalry vs. cavalry fights.

The supply train being ambushed

The supply train being ambushed

The scenario involved a British supply train being ambushed by a French force.  The force sizes were about equal, but the British were in a tough situation, having enemy on both sides of them.  While the skirmishing took place, the wagon train continued to work its way across the table.  While the intent of this event was less about the game and more about the rules, I think the British might have eventually gotten the wagon train off the table.

Another view of my French with the wagon train escaping in the distance

Another view of my French with the wagon train escaping in the distance

Chris Palmer posted some additional pictures here.

The rules are shaping up nicely.  The next play test will involve artillery.  I have made some suggestions to Duncan about information that probably needs to be on the unit record to help players remember the differences in movement and terrain effects between infantry and cavalry, in open or close formation.  The supplement is getting very close to being releasable.

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“Combat Patrol” Supplement Playtest Day.

Chris Palmer   This past Saturday I got to take part in a playtest day for two upcoming supplements for the “Combat Patrol” WWII Skirmish rules: Colonial, and Napoleonic.
    First up was a Colonial period game, testing both Boer and Zulu vs British.  Though ahistorical, it allowed us to look a two different kinds of Colonial period combat: elite marksmen and mass melee vs British steadfastness and firepower.  The set up featured a British column which stretched almost the length of the table, and the two attackers were divided by a river that ran down the center.

      I got to command one of the Zulu units, and had a great time.  The rules really recreated the slow disintegration of the British lines caught in the open as wave after wave of Zulus hit them, while the British units that were able to find cover were almost impossible to pry out without sustaining massive casualties.

     The Brits didn’t fare much better on the Boar side of the table, where the Boar firepower was able to take it’s toll on the redcoats before the Brits could dislodge the more fragile Boer units.

     After the Colonial game, we set up a very similar Napoleonic game with a British column being attacked by a French force.  I commanded the French cavalry, and thought the cavalry rules really gave a good feel for the furball nature of a swirling cavalry skirmish.

      I had a blast in both games, and the supplement authors got to try out some new ideas, and gain some valuable insights.

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Bird Familiar: Figure 231 of 266

Chris Palmer

   Knowing I wouldn’t have a lot of time to paint this past week, I grabbed the Bird Familiar from the Familiars Set to paint.  I wanted to do it up as a crow in case some day I decided to field the Crow Master type of soldier from the Frostgrave game.  Of course I also thought it would make a good familiar if needed.
     I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then I gave it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsed and dried it.  Next, I glued a column of scrap cork to an old 5/8" fender washer I had, that I had removed a figure from long ago, with Aleene’s Tacky glue, I then cut down the base of the bird so it fit roughly on top of the cork, and used the tacky glue to glue it on.  I then coated the cork column with regular white glue to help strengthen it, so it would be less likely to break in two during game play.   I then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

     I painted the bird all Black, and used Americana “Zinc to paint the column and the base (which already had the remnants of painted sand glued to it from the previous figure that had been on it).  when dry, I gave the column a wash with GW "Badab Black” Wash using a wet brush.

      When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the column with Americana “Neutral Grey”, Crafter’s Acrylic"Storm Cloud Grey", and Folk Art “Platinum Grey”.   Next, I drybrushed the bird with Citadel “The Fang”, and then did lighter highlights with Folk Art “Cloudy Day”.  Lastly, I added a little White highlight dot to the eyes.
     After the figure had overnight to dry, I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.   The next morning I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote.

   For a quick paint up, I think the bird turned out really well.  I had originally planned to paint the top of the column as snow, and add some around the base, but decided at the end to leave it seasonal-neutral so I could get more use out of it.

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Frostgrave Campaign: Game 6

Chris Palmer      This past Sunday was our 6th outing into the frozen city as part of our ongoing Frostgrave Campaign.  We had 6 of our 7 regular players and one guest player; as the teenage daughter of one of our regulars came along to give the rules a try.   With 7 wizards in play we used the big 12’x3’ table.
    For the report on Game 5, please see: Game 5
    This time out we once again decided to do two scenarios; the first was the Genie in the Bottle scenario form the core rulebook, except we planned to use 3 Genies;  and the second was a geyser scenario thought up by the group.  This involved the placing of 6 craters along with the first 6 treasure tokens at the start of the game.  The treasure token went into the crater.  At the end of each turn, any player who had a figure within 3 inches of one of the craters would have to make a roll equal to, or greater than, his wizard level.  If he failed it was assume the geyser erupted at that moment and shot a jet of boiling hot water up into the air which would fall/splash down on the unfortunate figure, doing a +5 attack.

A view of the whole table.  Kodak entered from the area on the near right between the two markers on the table cover’s edge, by where the tape measure is laying on the table.

    Since we had developed as 10+ difference in wizard levels among our players at this point, we decided to use a different method for choosing player entry points; letting the  lowest level wizard pick the corner they wanted to enter from first.  We then worked our way back and forth down the table seating players in order of their levels, lowest to highest.  This way, players would be facing opponents closer to their own level.
     Unfortunately, this set-up method put my Illusionist, Kodak, and his party in an area of the city in which his old nemeses, Knabe the Druid, and  Lingzhu the Necromancer, were also exploring.   The old Elf Illusionist knew he would need to be cautious and clever to have success this day.  He began by dividing up his party into three groups.  With him he took Reissa the Templar, Linesse the Thief, and Danlin the Marksman.  Kodak assigned to his Apprentice, Leighlyndana, Jack 2 the Treasure Hunter, Weiss the Archer, and Cadwalleter the Thief.  That left Agamemnon the Treasure Hunter,  Edel the Archer, Bash the Man-at-Arms, and Kinddrif the War Hound to act under their own initiative.

The party gets their orders before heading into the city.

    Kodak immediately Teleported into a nearby tower to secure a treasure there, while he sent the rest of his warband forward into a nearby ruin; telling Danlin to provide covering fire for the party, Linesse to gather up a treasure on the top floor of the ruin, and Riessa to stay alert and provide assistance to whoever needed it.
    Leighlyndana moved off to the left with her group.  She instructed Cadwalleter to wait for Kodak to come down from the tower to take the treasure he was retrieving. She then told Weiss to keep and eye open and provide covering fire, and she took Jack 2 with her to help him recover a treasure in the crater of a nearby geyser.  Almost immediately though, the Druid’s Apprentice, Vogel,  cast a Wall of Fog immediately in their path.  Leighlyndana stuck her head around the corner of the Wall of Fog,  and seeing the  Druid’s Apprentice tried a quick Mind Control spell on her.  It failed miserably, and Leigh felt a pike of pain in her brain.  She ducked back quickly as a Bone Dart from Vogel went whizzing by her cheek.
        Kodak’s Apprentice quickly reevaluated the situation.  She knew there was a treasure just on the other side of the fog.  She quickly instructed Weiss to climb up on the ledge around the nearby tower (the one Kodak was in), and provide covering fire, and she sent Jack 2 through the fog to snatch the treasure.  The old Treasure Hunter saw it was a battered chest, and when he lifted it up an old lamp fell out of the rotted bottom.   Before Leigh could should a warning to the Treasure Hunter, Jack picked it up and almost immediately a reddish smoke started pouring from the lamp’s tip and formed into a large imposing Genie!

As Leighlyndana watches in horror from the edge of the fog wall, Jack 2 picks up the lamp and a giant Genie materializes. 

      Before Jack could react the Genie was upon him, and struck him down.   Leigh froze behind the fog hoping the genie wouldn’t realize she was there; while Weiss on the ledge above,  flattened herself against the wall of the tower so as not to be noticed.   Then, just as they thought the danger might pass, the Genie came shooting through the fog wall at high speed, propelled by a mighty Push spell cast by Vogel.  The genie shot over a foot past the Illusionist Apprentice, and ended up over by the ruin where the rest of Kodak’s party was.  Leighlyndana, didn’t have time to consider this, as soon after one of the Druid’s many animals, a fox, loped around the fog and started snapping at the Apprentice’s feet.

As Linesse the Thief (in brown) battles the other Genie, Riesse (in blue) desperately climbs up to aid her.

         Things weren’t going much better for the rest of the warband either.   Linesse had climbed up and recovered the treasure; but like Jack, she found an old lamp under some tattered rags and picked it up.    Smoke poured from the mouth of the lamp and another Genie materialized next to the shocked Thief.  As the Genie lunged at the Thief, Linesse shouted for help; and Riessa the Templar, hearing the call, began climbing the ruin to assist her friend.   The Genie landed a mighty blow on the Thief and she staggered back against the wall of the ruin, dazed and barely able to stand.  As the Genie prepared herself for the kill, Riessa reached the floor where the fight as happening and launched herself directly into the fray. She raised the her mighty magic sword, named for her deceased twin sister, Elessa, and brought it down on the Genie practically cleaving it in two (Roll of 20, + 5 Fight, +2 Damage). It dissolved in a wisp of smoke.

Kodak battles the Druid’s snowy owl, before recovering the treasure in the top of the ruined tower.

     Meanwhile, Kodak was in the tower and had noticed the great view of the city he had from that high up.  He debated with himself whether he should grab the treasure and leave or take some time to make use of the great perch he had to cause some mischief.  He spotted the Necromancer’s Zombie on a distant rickety walkway between two buildings, and thought it cried out as a great opportunity to use his Push spell; but in his haste to cast it, he incorrectly spoke the spell’s enchanting words and missed the Zombie.  As he cursed his luck, and turned to get the treasure, he heard a fluttering of wings and looked up to see the Druid’s owl come soaring into the top of the tower and fly around his head.  He struck at the owl and missed.  He tried again, as the bird wove in and out, and this time his staff connected, and the bird fell dead.
     Back in the ruined building near to where Kodak battled the owl, Riessa sheathed her sword and looked over at the wounded Thief.  Linesse smiled weakly back.  She tried to stand up straight, winced, grabbed the lamp, and began climbing down to the next floor of the building. She hurt all over but still had a job to do.
     Then out of nowhere another Genie shot into view at the rear of the building, as if pushed there by some unseen force (the one pushed by the Druid’s Apprentice).  It charged forward, and seeing Linesse carrying the other lamp, shot a bolt of energy at her.  The Thief let out a cry, and crumpled to the floor.  Riessa couldn’t believe her eyes.  Fast as she could, Riessa, climbed down the ruined and broken building, drew “Elessa”, and ran towards this new threat.

The Genie that killed Jack 2 appears behind the ruined building, and hits Linesse with a fire arrow; as Riesse sizes up her new target. Also note on the ground floor Danlin the Marksman providing covering fire from the building’s doorway, and Cadwalleter standing by to take Kodak’s treasure (though he ended up recovering Linesse’s).

        Over by the Fog Wall, Leighlyndana was still trying to deal with the annoying fox who kept nipping at her ankles.  She noticed the fog to her right dissipate a little and looked up in shock as the Druid’s bear BoBo came looming out of the misty wall.  She was caught off balance, and the bear’s mighty swing caught her squarely on the side of the head.  She felt the ground spin a little then everything went black.

Leighlyndana, usually and animal lover, has trouble feeling that way when the Druid’s bear appears. through the fog.

     Meanwhile, back at the ruined building, Kodak had Teleported down from the tower and crouched with his treasure by a corner of the building, hoping he was out of sight of all the Druid’s and Necromancer’s missile weapons.  Also, Cadwalleter climbed up to recover the lamp that Linesse had dropped.
     Riessa braced herself as the Genie who had appeared behind the building made contact with her, and once again she swung her magic sword with all her might.  She hit the Genie, wounding it; but knowing she was the party’s best hope for defeating it, she keep close to it and looked for the chance to land a second blow.  The Genie looked shaken, and before it could recover, she swung again doing massive damage (18 roll + 5 Fight, +2 Damage), and this time the Genie evaporated into a puff of red smoke.

As Kodak crouches in the lower right corner of the building, Riessa delivers the killing blow to the second Genie.

    While these fights were happening, the Man-at-Arms, Bash,  Treasure Hunter, Agamemnon, and Kinddriff the War Hound were struggling to recover a treasure from a well which sat in front of the ruined building.  The Necromancer’s skeletal War Hound appeared and after a couple rounds of combat, they killed it, but not before Kinddriff had been killed, and Bash had taken a wound.  Knowing that Agamemnon would be faster with the treasure, Bash nodded to the Treasure Hunter to take it, and with effort he climbed up  on the fountain to block any threats while the treasure was carried away.  It wasn’t long before Bash was felled by a crossbow bolt from the Necromancer’s marksman, but his sacrifice was worth it, as Agamemnon had safely made it back to the cover of the ruined building with his treasure.

Bash and Agamemnon try to recover the treasure in the fountain, as they battle the Necromancer’s skeletal dog. 

     With three treasures in their possession, and their party badly mauled, Kodak knew if was time to head back to their Inn. He gave the signal, and the group started melting into the shadows.
     Kodak always felt that these hours were the hardest; waiting for the wounded and stragglers to return to the home base. They had had to carry Linesse back, as even though the Genie hadn’t killed her, he had dome some serious injury to her, and she would need to rest.  Kodak thought that he might be able to buy some simple curing potion in town that might get her back on her feet. (20gc for new thief) He was relieved when Leighlyndana came sheepishly back to the inn, full of apologies for her poor performance.  Little did she know, the Old Wizard thought to himself, how happy he was that she simply survived.   Edel and Weiss came back battered but none the worse for wear, as did Kinddriff; who was soaking wet and shivering from having fallen into the fountain.  Kodak, had to move away from the soggy dog, whose soaking wet aroma was too much for the old Elf’s nose to handle.
    Sadly, Jack 2 didn’t make it back.  His battle with the Genie had been his last.  Kodak was going to miss his gruff disposition, as he felt on some level the grizzled Treasure Hunter had been a kindred soul.  Kodak turned his mind to how best to find a replacement.
    Later, as he considered the group’s performance, he felt the outing had been a mixed bag.  While he had only managed two spells (Teleportation in and out of the tower), and his Apprentice had cast none; he had learned a great deal from the groups encounters with the two Genies.  The Lamp they found, and the tales of how the Genies had appeared, acted, and fought, gave him a great deal to consider (200 exp. for each Genie killed, and 50 exp. for each lamp discovered) The lamp itself was worth a great deal (300gc); and after throughly studying it, Kodak sold it.  They had also found 140 other gold coins, as well as a Grimoire of “Absorb Knowledge”, and a Fate Stone.  Kodak thought that might be a useful spell to learn, as he had never been a particularly fast reader; and the Fate Stone would be a great boon to their next expedition.  
   About a week after their expedition, as they were in the nearest small town to buy supplies, they heard news that the Necromancer, Lingzhu, and his Apprentice had both been killed during the last expedition into the city.  This saddened the old wizard, as the Necromancer had been a highly skilled opponent who had earned Kodak’s respect.  Rumor had it that the late Necromancer’s warband was trying to find a new wizard to take over their group.  Kodak pondered at what surprises that might bring to the next trip into the ruins.
    For now though he needed to study, and help Leighlyndana with her practice.  And, he would need to see about hiring a new Treasure Hunter; for the time for their next trip into the frozen city was fast approaching.

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Historicon 2016

Don Hogge
Well another Historicon has come and gone.  I hosted four games and played in two.  The drive down from Aberdeen, MD was pleasant without any real traffic problems.  I arrived around 1130 and the parking lot looked to be mostly full.

I made a pass through the main gaming hall and took a few pictures before heading to the dealer’s hall and stimulating the gaming economy.  There were some great games in progress.

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Another great looking game
A good looking Bolt Action board
After the dealer’s hall, I headed to the HAWKs room to set-up the rubbled city table.  We would run seven games on this table throughout the convention with five different game masters. 
The HAWKs rubbled city table

Tanker’s Challenge aka World of Tanks – Tabletop Edition

 My first game was at 7 pm Thursday evening – Tankers Challenge using Battleground WWII.  I had 12 players broken out into four teams.  Everyone started with an early war tank.  As they got destroyed, they got an upgrade to something better.

Panzer 38t takes a hit.
British Cruiser and Italian M13/40 slug it out at point blank range.

 

Churchill VII rolls through the wreck cluttered street

Panzer III attacks Italian 13/40 from the rear

British Cruiser gets a flank shot on an Italian Semovente

Sherman engaging a STuGIIIb

More tank action
An more…..

 My next game was Friday morning at 9 am:  Trouble in the Rubble.  Another Battleground WWII game pitting elements of the 29th Inf Div trying to take a portion of St Lo from elements of the 352d Inf Div.

A panzerschreck pops up in ambush…but misses the M8 Armored Car.
US recon teams fan out in the rubble hunting the Germans.
A view of one rubble filled street
An “88” covers the main street and has a Sherman in it’s sights

Next I played a game of Look Kaiser, No Charts;  the 1914 Battle of Maissin.  I played the German right flank.  My mission was to protect the town of Maissin and slow the German advance.  It was a great game with lots of friendly smack talk on both sides.

Next I played a game of Look Kaiser, No Charts
German artillery on a ridge
A view of the artillery position from an observation balloon
A view of the town from an observation balloon

  After thrashing the French, it was time to set-up my evening scenario, River Crossing at Arnaville; another Battleground WWII game.

US troops have crossed the river; engineers are working on a pontoon bridge
A view of the US lines
German view
German troops advance to reduce the bridgehead
US smokescreen drifts across to cover the bridging site

 The evening game went well – for the Germans.  They managed to delay the bridging operation long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

I managed to get a couple pictures of some other game board set-ups.

Almost looks real
Nice little town
Another view
A PAK-40 on the same table

 A Force on Force game being run on the Rubbled City table:  Chechnya War scenario.

The Battle of Grozny
Russian tanks cautiously move forward
Russian tanker’s vi

 The final game I hosted was a Muskets and Tomahawks scenario.  The French and their allies were raiding a British outpost.
 

The French close in on the British outpost
A unit of Rangers fall to a party of Hurons

 Sunday morning I managed to get into a tabletop version of the Source of the Nile.  The game was fun but by then I was ready to go eat lunch and head back north home.  So I meet several of the HAWKs at Wegmans for lunch.  The drive back home was slower but the traffic never stopped moving.

Had a great time as usual.  Didn’t take as many pictures as I should have, and didn’t record the names of the games I did capture digitally.  Will have to do better next time.

 After a short rest, it’ll be time to start planning for Fall In.

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