Monthly Archives: February 2017

Play Testing Some New Rules at HAWKs Night

Buck

At last Friday’s HAWKs night we play tested a set of rules under development by Lee Sowers and Allen Kaplan in New Jersey.  The rules are for division-level WWII games.  They have some interesting concepts.

Mike schools us all on the rules.

Mike schools us all on the rules.

Chris ruminates...

Chris ruminates…

Mike and Chris duke it out for control of the hill.

Mike and Chris duke it out for control of the hill.

Don plots is nefarious stratagem.

Don plots is nefarious stratagem.

Don slaps around one of Chris' elements while Mike's forces are on the ropes.

Don slaps around one of Chris’ elements while Mike’s forces are on the ropes.

While Duncan was play testing his Cold Wars game, and we were play testing the division-level WWII rules, Eric was play testing his new fantasy skirmish game.

Dave, Eric, and Colonel Sanders play Eric's fantasy skirmish game.

Dave, Eric, and Colonel Sanders play Eric’s fantasy skirmish game.

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Combat Patrol (TM): Napoleonic Wars

Buck

Last Friday at HAWKs night Duncan Adams play tested his Combat Patrol™: Napoleonic Wars game for Cold Wars in a couple of weeks.  It was a hard slog for the British.

This is the first in a set of linked scenarios.  Duncan will run this game using his Napoleonic supplement to Combat Patrol™.  If the British capture the church, they will be in possession at the beginning of the next, larger-scale scenario, run by Dave using Wellington Rules.  The outcome of that scenario will impact the starting setup of their combined Fate of Battle: Look, Sarge, No Charts: Napoleonic Wars game.

British Rifles try to suppress the French defenders.  The white pipe cleaners mark that the men have fired.

British Rifles try to suppress the French defenders. The white pipe cleaners mark that the men have fired.

I think the scenario went well, but it will be a difficult task for the British to seize the church.  Stop by Duncan’s table at Cold Wars and participate in this interesting fight.

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Starship Generator: Bones II Scenery Piece

Chris Palmer

  This past week I painted the Starship Generator from the Bones II, Expansion Set 3. Since we are planning a Rogue Stars playtest sometime in the future, I thought some more Sci-Fi scenery might come in handy.   
     I prepped the piece 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 it to a 1" square steel base with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and when dry, I painted the base with some brush on metal primer.  I then glued the steel base to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

     I began by painting the bulk of the machinery, including the base, with Folk Art “Cloudy Day”, and then painted the top fan, and then inner part of the side coil with Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.  Next, I painted the outer coil housing with Crafter’s Acrylic “Pure Pumpkin”.

     I then painted the cables running from the side and up around the coil’s center with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  I let everything dry for a while, and then I gave the entire piece a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash suing a wet brush.   When the wash was dry,  I drybushed the main housing with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cool Blue”.  After that, I highlighted the top fan and the inner coil housing with Folk Art “Platinum Grey”.  Lastly, I highlighted the outer coil housing with Americana “Tangerine”.
    I let the generator dry overnight and early the next morning I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.   I let it dry all day, and late that afternoon  I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

   A simple piece, but I am happy with how it turned out!

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Buck I have been working some insane hours at work the past month, but this weekend, I finally had…

Buck

I have been working some insane hours at work the past month, but this weekend, I finally had a chance to finish some figures I began a while ago.  The first batch are some Japanese infantry that I will be using with the South Pacific supplement of Combat Patrol™: World War II.   I don’t know the manufacturer of the figures, since I picked them up in a bag from a flea market.

To paint these, I first primed them in Krylon camouflage brown.  Then I gave them a very heavy dry brush of Vallejo 880 Khaki Gray and a lighter dry brush of 882 Middlestone.  I think they ended with the right yellowish green color.

This gives me a full Japanese infantry platoon.

I also finished up another 10 Russians for my Winter War (1939) project.  Zeb Cook and I are running a double blind Finland game at Cold Wars in a couple of weeks, and I thought I was short a couple of riflemen.  Again, these were in a flea market bag, so I’m not sure the manufacturers.

After texturing the bases with ceramic stucco, I painted them with dark chocolate and dry brushed them with territorial beige.  I then applied some of the Citadel Valhalla Blizzard to the bases for that snow effect.

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Campaign Game 2 – Icecapades

Don Hogge
Game 2 of the 2017 Campaign season – Icecapades (or fun on the frozen river)

Last weekend we played scenario 2 from the Thaw of the Lich Lord.  We had 7 out of 8 players so we expanded to 4 Mages, one of which was carrying a fake treasure, to be determined after the game ended. 

For a couple other viewpoints: One a Frozen River  and Battle on a River

Here’s a few pre-game shots of the table.

A Dwarven submarine
A three masted, de-masted schooner
A Dwarven Ironclad
A Dhow
A large ship of the line
The view down the length of the river

Prologue
The door burst open as Agarn ran into the room, startling Bemis from his studies.
“Master, Master, we found an old library.  Its perfect.” said Agarn with youthful excitement.  “You must come see it." 

"Calm down and tell me more about your find.  Then we’ll go have a look see”

Agarn relates that he was out exploring with Niko and Piko.  They were examining some of the old ruins near the inn.  Niko found a door that was iced over.  After much chipping with some hand axes, he and Piko managed to pry the door open.  Inside they found the abandoned workshop and library that looked like it belonged to a long departed wizard.  Niko stayed behind to guard their find while Agarn and Piko rushed back with their news.

Finding the ruins of the old library satisfactory, Bemis decides to set up his base of operations.  There’s some work needed to patch some leaks and seal some drafty areas, but it’ll do.  To his delight, Bemis finds there are some partially collapsed tunnels under his new home that appear to contain a few undamaged books and scrolls.  Now he’ll have a place to explore while he is planning future forays into the frozen ruins.  Maybe he’ll find some interesting tomes, grimoires or scrolls.  And where there’s books, there’s knowledge to absorb.

Bemis and his warband

Pregame
As Bemis was rummaging around his new home, he came across an interesting scroll.  It told of a location along the river where mages would ship and receive their magic items and spell components.  Of course the river was now frozen solid but could there still be some relics or unusual magic items stored in the hull of some vessel or along the docks?  As consultation with Nigel (Captain), they decided to make this the target of their next expedition.  Nigel would need to recruit another treasure hunter.  Bemis left that kind of thing to him and went back to reading his scrolls and tomes.

As part of the warband’s preparations, both Bemis and Agarn attempted to prepare scrolls (Write Scroll) but the ink was too runny.  They then tried to scry around for hidden treasure items (Reveal Secret).  Both failed. 

Bemis then took some scrolls from his scroll library, scrolls of Reveal Secret and Raise Zombie.  These would be used just before they reached the frozen river.

Moving towards the river, Bemis could detect the movement of several other warbands nearby. “I wonder how they found out about the ships?” thought Bemis.  Once he reached a suitable position, he halted his group behind some ruins.  He read his scroll of Reveal Secret.  A small breeze suddenly blew in and moved the snow concealing a small pouch hidden in some rubble.  Agarn read a scroll of Raise Zombie and an undead minion appeared.  Bemis did not like dabbling in the dark arts but at times it could be useful.  He directed the creature to pick up the treasure and return to base where it would be freed from service.

The Game’s a Foot
After surveying the vast array of ships frozen in the ice, Bemis and Nigel come up with a plan.  The warband would focus its effort on the dwarven ironclad ship to their front.  Shadow II and Piko (Thief) headed out onto the ice, slipping and sliding their way forward.

Bemis cast Draining Word – Telekinesis and then carefully stepped out on the frozen river (+25 experience for entering the frozen river).


Bemis and the gang moves across the iced river

Agarn failed to cast Draining Word but was able to use a scroll instead, Draining WordBone Dart.  The zombie picked up a potion case and headed out of the area to the rendezvous point.  Shadow II ran across the ice, taking a glancing blow from an arrow along the way (Rob’s Ranger hit him for 1 point of damage).

Bemis cast Fog to provide additional cover for his group.  Seeing what his master had  planned, Agarn quickly jumped in to help. Unfortunately in his haste, he misspoke the spell’s words.  A shooting pain went through his head and his nose started to bleed (Failed to cast Fog by 11 and took 2 points of damage).

Shadow II sees Rob’s minions trying to get a box inside a small boat and moves to contest it.  The rest of the warband slowly makes it way across the slippery ice.


Fog to cover the warband

Bemis once again casts Fog to protect his warband from pesky bowmen.  Shadow II is attacked by one of Rob’s minions and is driven back – right into the line of fire of Rob’s Ranger who doesn’t aim poorly a second time.  And just like that, Shadow II is out of action.

Shadow II down and out

 A light snow begins to fall over the river area, slightly reducing visibility.  “Hmmm” thinks Bemis, “it didn’t look like it was going to snow today, must be some elemental magic at play” (Chaffarn, a Summoner, cast Call of Storm).  Agarn once again fails to cast Fog, and once again suffers a severe nose bleed (another 2 points of damage).

A figure emerges from the depths of the Dwarven ironclad with a bundle under his arm and moves towards the stern.  He turns and quickly throws a bolt of ice (Elemental Bolt) at 9Toe (Thief) who easily dodges its path.

Bemis picks up a chunk of ice, waves his hand over it, and throws it towards Rob’s warband.  It shatters upon landing but fails to harm anyone (A successful cast of Grenade…well kind of,,,).

9Toe moves into contact with what is apparently a Mage.  Vale also moves in to attack the Mage.  Even though he successfully strikes at the Mage, he fails to penetrate whatever armor he was wearing.  With the Mage already engaged by two members of the warband, Piko, yelling like a banshee, charges into the fight.  And he runs straight into the business end of the Mage’s staff – THWACK – and he dropped like a sack of rotten potatoes.

At the other end of the ironclad, Niko (Thief) manages to climb into the pilot hoping to get a better view of the cluttered river.  To his surprise he find a leather satchel which he quickly stuffs into his backpack.

And once again, Agarn fails to cast Fog (The boy obviously needs more training and practice).  The snow fall started to get a bit heavier (Chaffarn cast Call of Storm again)

Bemis dodges an Elemental Bolt from Rob’s wizard.  Bemis attempts to transpose to Transpose Nigel and 9Toe in order to Nigel into combat with the Mage but fails.  So he decides to join the fray; maybe he can distract the Mage so someone can get in a killing blow.  Bemis is successful as Vale manages to sneak a fatal strike into the Mage’s side, dropping him to the deck of the ironclad.  9Toe grabs the bundle dropped by the Mage.

At the other end of the iron clad, Hatch has spotted a treasure chest in a nearby ship and is slowly working his way across the ice to retrieve it.  Agarn spots one of Gru’s crossbowmen taking aim at Hatch.  He quickly pulls out a Scroll of Elemental Bolt and reads the magic.  A bolt of ice zips across the ice and successfully impacts the crossbowman, leaving him lifeless on the ground. 

The fire from Rob’s cursed warband was picking up: Vale dodges a crossbow bolt and 9Toe was hit by an arrow.  Nigel decides to take the fight to Rob and jumped through a fog bank, attacking Rob’s Thug.  The Thug is successfully taken out of action with a single, well placed thrust.

Nigel earning his keep

Bemis hits Rob’s wizard with a Grenade and does a great deal of damage.  His wizard is only saved due to his Elemental Shield which absorbed just enough damage to keep him alive.  Agarn fails to cast Grenade.  Nigel moves up and engages Rob’s Thief, quickly taking him down.  Rob’s crossbowman strikes back by hitting Vale with a well placed bolt to the chest.  Vale is hurt but remains standing (7 damage). 

Nigel takes out his second victim

Hatch was still chasing after a treasure chest that Gru managed to Telekinesis out of the ship.  In doing so, he encountered one of Gru’s henchmen and quickly dispatched him.

Bemis tosses another Grenade at Rob’s warband with no effect – but he leaned out too far.  Bemis is hit by an Elemental Bolt from Rob’s apprentice that knocked him off his feet.  As he falls, he strikes his head on the side of the ironclad’s turret and is knocked unconscious. 9Toe grabs hold of robe and pulls him to safety.  He can tell Bemis is badly injured and calls out for assistance.

Meanwhile, Agarn cast Fog to cover Hatch as he moved to try and beat Gru’s gang to a treasure.  Nigel and Vale see some of Rob’s henchmen moving around to try and intercept our treasure bearers.  They move to cut them off.

Agarn cast Dispel on a Mage fighting both Greg and Jim warband members, dispelling a Plague of Insects.  Why did he do this? – because he could.  Plus anything that prevents another warband from gaining an advantage in the frozen ruins is always good.

Over eagerness, or maybe over confidence, pushed Vale to close with Rob’s riffraff faster than Nigel.  Vale quickly finds himself fighting both of Rob’s henchmen.  He doesn’t last long and is soon slumped on the ice.  Meanwhile, Nigel is distracted by a giant rat who has a larger stomach than brains.  The rat is quickly dispatched by a single, well placed swing of Nigel’s sword.

With Bemis wounded and the storm picking up, Nigel signaled for the warband to withdraw.

Epilogue
Bemis is badly wounded, Doyle (Thief) and Shadow II do not recover.  Vale and Piko recover with no long term effects.

After game group pose

The treasure hauls equates to two potions (Chameleon and Toughness), a grimoire (Familiar) and a set of eye glasses (Eyes of Amoto).  And the bundle the Mage was carrying was a Sword of Undead Slaying.  With the rumors of the Lich Lord returning to power, it easy to see how he would not want this artifact to be found.  I’m sure my warband will be able to put it to good use in the future.  As for gold coins, they would all have to be spent to find a healer to tend to Bemis.  His wound was worst than they thought (Badly Wounded result on the recovery roll).
Another great game.  Already looking forward to next month’s foray.

As requested from last game, here’s some pictures of some of the other warbands.


Rob – Elementalist

Necromancer

Chaffarn – Summoner

Another Doctor – Soothsayer

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Dollar Tree Mermaid Tail Ghost Archipelago Arch

Chris Palmer        While on a trip to the local Dollar Tree a couple weeks  ago, I noticed some Barbie-like Mermaid Dolls in the toy section, and was struck by the intricate molded detail on their tails.  Having had recently read about the upcoming Frostgrave rulebook, Ghost Archipelago , I thought that these tails might make some sort of neat sculpture or totem of an ancient nautical themed civilization for use with the new rules.  And, so I began my first Ghost Archipelago terrain project.

        I started by removing the tails from the upper torso.  They are just held in by a plastic button, so easily pull apart.  I then created a base out of an old CD and a couple 1.5 inch washers.  Next, I cut the tails down so they would sit, and cross, at just the right angle.  After that, I cut off part of one fin to help give that ancient crumbling look.  I then glued the tails to the base, and also glued a pattern of plaster hexes into the center to help hide the hole in the CD.  I then filled the broken fin piece and the part of the tail where I cut it from with a bit of cork, and then covered the cork over with hot glue.  Lastly, I glued the brown fin down, and then covered the hot glue with some white glue, and sprinkled a little fine sand on it to help the broken stone appearance.

     I then coated the base with white glue and then covered it with a coarse sand mix.  When everything was dry, I sprayed a base coat on the piece with some dark brown camo spray paint.

    It was then just a matter of giving everything a drybrushing of progressively lighter shades of tan.  Afterwards, I glued some foliage to the base, and bit of vine to the top of the arch.  I then sprayed the piece with some matte varnish.

   I’m really happy with how this turned out, and look forward to next Fall when the rules are released and I will get a chance to use it in a game!

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Frostgrave Campaign ’17, Game 2: Battle on the River

Chris Palmer       This past Saturday we got together to play the second game of our new 2017 Frostgrave Campaign.  This year our goal is to play a game each month and work our way through the “Thaw of the Lich Lord” (TotLL) supplement book.   Last month we played the book’s first scenario, (To read the account of last month’s game see: The Eclipse), and this month we moved on to the second scenario, “Battle on the River.”
     We had 7 of our 8 regular players available for Saturday’s game, so we used the full 12’ x 3’ table set-up.  As already mentioned, we ran the second scenario from the TotLL book, “Battle on the River,” which features, as the title implies, a river running the length of the entire table, with only 6 inches of riverbank on each side.  On the river is a treasure ship from which, on turn 3, a Mage servant of the Lich Lord, will emerge carrying a special treasure.  The goal is to kill the Mage and recover the treasure they are carrying.  Also, the river is considered to be ice, so if any figure attempts to make a second move it must pass a die roll first or fall and take damage.
   Since there were 7 of us, we increased the number of treasure ships to 3, and the number of Mages to 4.  We also determined that after the game we would randomly determine one of the Mages to be carrying a “fake” treasure that was worth nothing.  The treasure ship in the center would be the one from which the two Mages came from, while the ships on each end would just generate a single Mage.

A look at the table before the game began.  Quail’s start zone was about two feet down from the upper right corner of the table.

     We placed the regular treasure, as well as determined set-up positions and turn order, normally using our numbered-poker-chips-in-a-paper-bag method.  My Sigilist, Quailelyn, and her Apprentice, Bailisette, with their party, started on one corner of one table. To their left was the warband of  a Soothsayer named Gru, while across from them was both a Summoner to the left front, and  a Soothsayer called the Doctor, to the right front.

    Earlier that day Quail and her Apprentice had stood on the parapet atop their new tower home, the cold morning wind stinging their faces.  The Maga Librarian, Quailelyn, however, seemed unaffected by the cold as she intently studied a large Atlas laid open on the low wall before her; while her Apprentice, Bailey, hopped from foot to foot with her hands tucked under her shoulders, in an attempt to stay warm.
     Without turning her head, Quail said, “Not much longer, child.”  She pulled a disk-shaped crystal from a pocket in her robes, and held it over the map before her peering through it. She looked up at the distant city just visible in the light of the rising sun, then back at the book.  With her other hand she traced some letters on the page before her and spoke an incantation softly to herself. As she spoke and her fingers spelled the proper words, she continued to scan the page through the crystal.  Slowly, as she peered through the polished disk of clear rock, the squiggly lines on the map began to organize themselves into distinct features, landmarks, and words.“
     "It’s a river!” she called out.  "It’s near a river. “  She looked up quickly at the city in the distance and back at the map.  I think I know where we need to go.  (Successfully cast Reveal Secret pregame.)

Starting deployment.  Quail (Wizard), Sir Cardidil (Knight), Luc Demic (Crossbow), and Dorchesman (Treas. Hunt.) on the left.  Bailey (Apprentice),  Sallisee (Archer),  Kinny (Thief), and Innis Flin (Thief) on the right.  Barc (Man-at-Arms) and Clol (Thug) in the center rear.

  Later that morning, as the the Sigilist, her Apprentice, and the rest of their party approached the city,  Quail related the story that she had read a few days before in "Lough’s History of Felstad”; of the famed wizard Zenopil and the monument that had been erected in his memory. Legend held that many of his belongings were sealed up in the base of his monument; and thanks to the magical Atlas of Felstad, the Maga Librarian had been able to find just where that monument was located.
     Sure enough, as they approached the riverbank, there stood the monument to Zenophil, showing the wizard seated in a large chair.  But what stuck the party even more than the crumbling old monument was the spectacle of the frozen river beyond it, crammed as it was with ships and boats of every size and description; all in various stages of decay.  Masts and rigging toppled here and there; and half-sunk boats sticking out of the ice at all angles.  None had seen such a sight, both mesmerizing and horrifying.  Quail pondered the magnitude of the destruction that had caused such chaos.
     The Sigilist regained herself quickly though, and seeing a rotting old crate half buried in the ice a few yards away, her mind turned to the ships’ cargo.  What wondrous things might be hidden in those old hulks? She didn’t have long to consider that thought, for as she gazed across the frozen expanse of the once great Meregile River, her eye was caught by movement on the far bank.  Sure enough, she saw soldiers from two other wizards’ warbands moving on the far side, while to their left Quail thought she he heard the strange jabbering of the odd yellow creatures that the Soothsayer Gru counted as his followers.

While Quail tries to Telekinetically move the treasure, and Bailey and Luc Demic provide covering support,  Dorchesman and Clol move out to retrieve the treasure.  the Summoner’s men can be seen advancing from the far side of the river, and Sir Cardidil can be seen climbing the fallen mast on the upper right. 

           The treasure of Zenophil could wait Quailelyn decided, as she quickly divided her warband into three groups.  With herself she took Sir Cardidil the Knight, Luc Demic the Crossbowman, and Dorchesman the Treasure Hunter. She assigned Sallisee the Archer, and the two thieves Kinny and Innis Flin to go with her Apprentice, Bailistte.  She told Barc the Man-at-Arms, and Clol the Thug to stand by and fill in where needed.  The Sigilist then stepped over a low wall lining the riverbank and stepped tentatively out onto the ice.  She spotted a promising looking chest lying on the ice a couple dozen yards away and spoke the words of a Telekinesis spell.  Immediately the chest began to slowly drag along the ice towards her.  Dorchesman crossed over the low wall along the bank and headed towards the chest, but he didn’t go far before he slipped and fell on the river ice, injuring himself.
   Bailisette with her group were on the other side of a small stone hut from the rest of their party, and seeing several of the Doctor’s archers moving out across the ice, she chanted the words of a Fog spell, and a billowy mist rose from the river 30 or so yards away to her forward right.  Kinny, and Innis Flin crossed over the low riverbank wall, and they too didn’t get far before slipping on the ice and falling. (Every fall on the ice does 1 HP of damage.)  Sallisee spotted a strange lizard creature the size of a War Hound crossing the ice from the direction of the Doctor’s party.  It moved just clear of  Bailey’s Fog bank that the archer was able to get off a true shot that hit the beast.  The small dinosaur faltered but didn’t stop.  Quickly Sally notched another arrow.
     Then, suddenly above them in the skies they saw two Draining Word spells appear, one after the other: first Telekinesis, then Bone Dart.   Quail knew immediately that the other Sigilist, Bemis, must be somewhere along the river.

The Lich Lord’s Mage emerges from belowdecks and bolts (seen standing on the ship’s rail) as Sir Cardidil prepares to give chase. Barc has already moved up on to the deck, and Kinny is preparing to climb up the side.  

     Despite the Draining Word spell against Telekinesis burning in the sky, Quail tried to continue her Telekinesis spell on the chest in the river; but her counter measures failed miserably and she felt a searing pain corkscrew in her head (Rolled 2 and took 2 HP damage).  Seeing the Sigilist reel in pain, her Apprentice came running over to her to see if she was okay.  As Quail blinked through watery eyes, and not yet collected enough to speak, the Sigilist pointed out onto the river; and looking up, Bailey her Apprentice could see the Summoner’s Zombie shambling toward the now unmoving chest.   Quickly, Bailisette raised her right hand, palm facing outwards towards the river and spoke the spell of Push.  The Zombie slid backwards several yards, and looked around baffled, as Luc Demic got a bead on him with his crossbow, and shot a bolt through his left eye.  The Zombie didn’t fall however, and continued to shamble forward again towards the chest.  As they watched the walking corpse, the sky clouded over with unnatural speed, and a light flurry of snow began to fall. (Summoner cast Call Storm) Through the swirling flakes, they saw the undead terror only went a few steps further before he lost his footing and slipped on the ice.  Falling like a sack of potatoes,  the Zombie landed at such an angle the it pushed the arrow sticking out of his eye socket up into his brain, killing him instantly.(He only had 1 HP left, and the fall damage killed him.)  Down on the other side of the hut, Sallisee the Archer launched another arrow and killed the Doctor’s small dinosaur.
     Quailelyn recovered herself, and tried to overcome the Draining Word spell again to cast Telekinesis.   She could feel the spell’s power slipping away from her again so she gritted her teeth and concentrated all her energy on making it work.  A painful hot flash flickered behind her eyes, but she pushed through it and successfully cast the spell. (Pushed spell for 3 HP damage) The chest began to once again slowly slide across the ice towards Quail’s side of the river.  Dorchesman ran out to grab it, but could see two of the Summoner’s soldiers fast approaching.  "A little help here!“ he called out as he lifted the heavy load and turned to move back to the rest of his party.  Quail, seeing the chest safe in Dorchesman’s hands and knowing Bailey, Luc Demic, and Clol were there to assist him, felt it was time to retrieve the Zenophil’s treasure that she had discovered that morning with her Reveal Secret spell.  She wasn’t sure where Gru’s yellow minions were, and she didn’t want to risk one of them happening upon it by accident.  So she turned from the river bank and moved back toward the monument to Zenophil.  Meanwhile, as Clol the Thug moved to help Dorchesman, Bailey pulled one of her writing quills from her pouch, and rolling the point between her hands spoke the words of the Furious Quill spell.  She tossed the quill up into the air, and it went shooting off like an arrow towards the Summoner’s Treasure Hunter.  It must have gotten damp from the falling snow though, as the enemy soldier was easily able to snatch it from the air and snap it in two.

A view from the other end of the table. Quail’s forces are around the center and center-left of the photo.

     Nearby, Sir Cardidil had made his way onto a large hulk of a ship that lay towards the middle of the river.  As he made his way up the fallen mast on one side though, soldiers of the Doctor’s were climbing up the other side.  He could see he was outnumbered, so called to Innis Flin, Kinny, and Barc to help.  They all ran to help, but the  Thief, Innis Flin,  was felled by one of the Doctors’ archers before he reached the boat.  Then out of nowhere, an evil looking Mage came bolting up from below deck and burst through the cargo hatch; clutching a bundle under her arm, she ran for the edge of the deck.    Sir Cardidil ran after her but an arrow from one of the Doctor’s archers caught him in the shoulder. He winced in pain, his shield arm all but useless, but continued his pursuit.  He met up with the Mage, who turned and with a force fueled by pure evil, slashed at the knight with her sword.  Taken off guard, and with his shield hanging limply at his side, the Mage’s blade struck him in  his already wounded shoulder and sent him reeling backward.  He stumbled on a loose plank, and fell hard upon the deck where he lay motionless.
    While this was going on, Quail had climbed back over the wall and handed the treasure off to Luc Demic, the Crossbowman, for safe keeping.   They watched in horror as the Summoner’s war hound came bounding over a half submerged  boat and lunged at Clol, the Thug.  Clol was knocked back by the dog’s force and landed heavily on the ice where his head hit with sharp whack,  so loud that Quail could hear from over on the river bank, and the Thug lay there motionless.
   At the same time, Bailey was speaking the words of a Push spell, and sent the Summoner’s Treasure Hunter sliding 20 yards back across the ice.  It was of little help though, as the enemy Treasure Hunter and another one of the Summoner’s soldiers were quickly able to overtake Dorchesman anyway, slowed as he was by his heavy load.  Outnumbered and with help now out of reach,  Dorchesman fell quickly to the enemies’ blades. dropping the treasure on the ice.
     As this was happening, over on the other side of the stone hut, Sally put an arrow cleanly through one of the Doctor’s archers, dropping the soldier like a stone.

Quail teleports to the top of the crows nest. Good thing she’s not afraid of heights! 

     Quail was now beginning to worry.  One treasure had just fallen from within her reach; and with Sir Cardidil down, and the Doctor having four archers, well three now thanks to Sally,  as well as the rest of his warband trained in on Kinny, and Barc, she didn’t see much hope for retrieving any treasure off of the ships on that part of the river.  As she studied the river frantically and considered her options, her eye was caught by a large crows nest high above the ice up on a once mighty dragon ship a ways down the river.  "I might be able to get a better view of the situation from up there”, the Sigilist thought to herself.  Without hesitation, she turned to Bailey and, pointing,  said, “I’m going up there to get a better look at the river”, and then began to speak the words of a Teleport spell. She had restudied this spell since her dismal attempt at it durning her last foray into the city, and she was able to cast it without mistake.  In a blink she was up on the rail of the crows nest. She wobbled a bit, but was able to reach out and extend an arm to grab the mast.  The Apprentice looking up at her superior realized  how terribly exposed Quailelyn was up there, and quickly started  to chant the words of a Fog spell.  The Apprentice watched with satisfaction as the mist began to billow around Quail hiding her perfectly in it’s white tendrils.
     Back on the hulk in the river, Kinny, and Barc moved against the Doctor’s troops as they tried to remove a large chest from the ship.  As Kinny moved to contact though, she felt her mind suddenly cloud as the Doctor’s Apprentice cast Mind Control on her.  Barc was caught off guard as the Halfling thief turned and sliced at hum with her dagger, cutting a large gash in his arm.  He didn’t have long to consider this turn of events, for he was soon after struck in the back by an arrow from one of the Doctor’s archers, and fell with a thud to the deck.  Seeing Barc fall snapped Kinny out of her spell (rolled 20 for Will roll), but she didn’t last long on a ship full of the Doctor’s solders surrounded by his archers…
   Up in the crow’s nest,  Quail hopped down inside, and felt something like a log under her foot.  She reached down and was shocked to find a large club laying on the floor.  As she touched it, she felt a tingle of energy in her fingers…it was enchanted!.  The Sigilist hefted the large weapon up as best she could over her shoulder, and looked for safe spot to teleport down. She saw a graveyard along the river bank far down from where she had entered the city, but it seemed quiet and no one else seemed to be near it.  Speaking the words of Teleport again, in a blink she was down standing next to a large Mausoleum.  She repositioned the club on her shoulder and headed back for the tower. As the storm on the river was picking up (at this point the Summoner cast Call Storm for the third time), she prayed that Bailey would have the sense to gather the rest of the party… whoever still survived, Quail thought with regret and discouragement… and head back to their base.

The end results.  Quail and Luc Demic retrieve treasures, and 6 of the warband are struck down during the game.

     Quail reached the tower first and spent a frantic hour up on the parapet waiting for anyone else to return.  Bailey, who had got in to a short, and ultimately futile, Telekinesis battle with the Soothsayer Gru over one of the other Lich Lord’s Mage’s treasures shortly after Quail left, was first to return along with Luc Demic and Sallisee; all of who were unharmed. Quail then paced nervously in the parapet for the rest of the afternoon waiting for any more of her party to return. When it got too dark to see she moved down into the main entrance to wait.  One by one they started to shuffle in, battered, bloody and bruised.  Sir Cardidil was the last to return, and Quail was overjoyed and stunned at her good fortune that every member of her group returned; and despite some deep gashes and broken bones, none were seriously wounded.  The Maga Librarian, Bailey, Sallisee and Luc all set about tending to, and bandaging, the wounded.   Quail was utterly exhausted when she finally crawled into bed early the next morning.
     It wasn’t until she awoke later that day that she had the strength to look at the treasure they had recovered.  It wasn’t much; the contents of the chest they had recovered from the monument to Zenopil had mostly succumbed to the elements and they had to dig through a lot of moldy damp books and rotting clothes to find a salvageable Grimorie of Slow, and in a moldy crumbling leather pouch in the very bottom there was 150 Gold Coins.
     And then there was the large magic club.  It was in rough shape, but after studying its markings and construction, and a little research in one of the books she had brought from the University library, Quail was able to determine it was a magic Club of Battering.  She would let Clol use it, since he preferred to use a club anyway, but it would cost about 50 gold coins to have it restored (Cost 50 GC to promote Clol to Infantryman so he can use the magic 2-handed weapon.)
   Quailelyn was shaken by the experience of this latest expedition.  If it wasn’t for the luck of the gods she could have lost almost her entire party.   Was she too inexperienced in the ways of the world she wondered?  What was she doing out on this folly anyway?  Should she seek more experienced help?  Hire a Captain perhaps?  She would need more gold for that, and the only way to get the gold was to venture once again into the city.  She was discouraged and full of doubt and had much to think about in the weeks ahead.

Epilogue:  What a desperate fight!   Through the flukes of starting position, terrain, treasure placement, and the flow of the battle, Quail and her party ended up facing the Doctor’s entire warband, and most of the Summoner’s.  It was only the good fortune that Gru had his own fish to fry in his sector that for the most part he kept away from where Quail’s group was maneuvering.    It didn’t help that I lived up to my reputation for poor dice rolling.  By a miracle though, after the game my luck changed and the gods of dice rolling smiled on me as I successfully rolled 9 or more for every soldier that had fallen!
   I was also struck by the similarity to last game,  in that it was only a Hail-Mary Teleport to an out of the way location as the game was winding down, that got me that much needed extra treasure!  I hope this doesn’t become SOP for Quail and Bailey, as it is very nerve-wracking for me as a player. 🙂  Finally tally: 8 turns played, 13 spells cast, 2 treasures retrieved,  and 25 Experience Points for Quail stepping out onto the river.

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Drys, Dryad: Bones II Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted the Drys, Dryad, figure from the Bones II, Sylvan Creatures set.  Since I was in kind of a Frostgrave frame of mind when I was thinking about painting her, I decided I would try to pant her up in winter colors, like a dryad that has been unexpectedly awoken from her Winter sleep and is not happy about it;  so I would try to give her a pale and cold look.
      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.

      I began by painting the tree with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”, and then painted the dryad with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.   I then painted her sword with Folk Art Teddy Bear Brown", and her hair with Folk Art “Gray Green”.

      I then painted the leaves in her hair with Apple Barrel “Apple Maple Syrup”.  Then, after everything had a while to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash using Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the tree with Apple Barrel “Rock Grey”.

     I then highlighted her skin with the base “Barn Wood”, and then with the “Barn Wood” with a little “Crafter’s Acrylic "Light Antique White” added to it.  After that, I painted her nipples with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.   I then worked on highlighting her hair, first with Folk Art “Porcelain White”, and then with Americana “Reindeer Moss Green”.  I then did some detail highlights on the hair with the “Light Antique White”.    Then I highlighted the leaves in her hair with Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon"and then I painted her eyes.
     I painted what I interpreted as rocks on the base with Americana "Zinc”, and then painted what I thought was a skull, with Americana “Khaki”.  While they dried, I worked on giving her sword a light drybrushing with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.  I then went back and gave the rocks and skull a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  Then, when the wash was dry, I highlighted the rocks with the “Rock Grey”, and the skull with the “Light Antique White”.  Lastly, I painted the areas of the base that were’t the roots, rocks, or skull, with White.

     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave her a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish. Another overnight dry, and I sprayed her with Testor’s Dullcote". When the Dullcote was dry, I went back and applied the a mix of snow flock, white paint, and white glue to some of the branches and the base.

     I’m really happy with how this figure turned out.  I think it has the cold, awoken-in-the-middle-of-winter look I wanted.

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HAWKs Kick Off 2017 Armies for Kids Project

Chris Palmer    This past Saturday the HAWKs got together to begin work of painting this year’s Armies for Kids project.  For the past several years, the HAWKs have undertaken a project of creating a dozen or so armies with the goal of giving them away during a special kids game at Historicon.  We also usually present the kids with a bag or box full of terrain and gaming aids. At past Historicons we have given away Revolutionary War armies, Napoleonic armies, WWII, Seven Years War, and American Civil War.   And we wouldn’t have been able to if it were for generous donations of old armies,  new unpainted forces, and monetary contributions from wargamers from all over.  So many thanks go out to all those who have helped make this project a possibility!

This year we are doing a Franco-Prussian War project;  and so 10 of us got together on Saturday at Duncan’s house to put our brushes to almost 500 15mm French.  Duncan had taken the time to prime them in red beforehand so their pants, hats, and epaulettes were already taken care of.  There was also several sticks of Turco Zouaves that Duncan pre-primered  in their medium blue uniform color .

     We set to work, with some good old war movies on the TV, and plenty of good hobby talk among friends, to entertain us.  At the end of 7 long hours, with cramped hands and stiff backs, we were able to claim victory: 500 French complete!   Up next we will be gathering to tackle their Prussian opponents.

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Frostgrave for Kids

Chris Palmer   This past Friday I got the chance to help out with game of Frostgrave being run at the local game store for home-schooled children.  As part of a program to give these kids a chance to interact and socialize, a local fellow, Andrew, runs games for them every couple weeks at the store. I, and another one of the HAWKs, Don, were invited to help out with this one, and it was a lot of fun.

The kids getting their rules briefing.

      We played with reduced warbands consisting of just a wizard and four soldiers that we three GM’s had put together earlier; and each player only placed 2 treasures.  The kids were able to pick up the rules fairly quickly and had a great time.

In the thick of the fight.

           It was a fun time for us GMs too, and the kids enjoyed it so much that we are going to be doing it again in a couple weeks.

A close up of some of the action.

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