Monthly Archives: August 2017

Wild West Wizard of Oz Scarecrow: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

    Last week I started the Bones 3 Wild West Wizard of Oz set and posted the Tin Man mini. This past week I continued working my way through the set by painting the Scarecrow.  As I said before, I don’t know what particularly makes this set Wild West; it seems to me it would fit in in any kind of Steampunk, VSF, Pulp, or Post-Apocalyptic setting.
     These figures were actually cast in the newer grey Bones material, and are a bit stiffer than normal Bones.
     To see the already completed figure from this set, follow the link: Tin Man.
     In painting this figure, I wanted to try to copy the colors used in the Scarecrow from the movie; with the realization that they weren’t dressed or constructed exactly the same.

    I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.    I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

       I began by painting his hat, head, torso, arms and legs all with Black.   I had assumed at first that he was a skeleton figure underneath his clothing, as I clearly saw the ribcage and spine.  Then, as I began applying paint, I realized is arms and legs were supposed to be, in fact, wood. That left me a little perplexed as to how he was supposed to be put together; was it a human ribcage on a wooden frame?   That just seemed odd; and I thought it might look odd once painted.   I decided, therefore,  to go with an all over dry grayish-brown wood color, and hoped that visually it would just look right.  So, when the black was dry, I drybrushed his internal structure with Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and then went over it with a lighter drybrush of Folk Art “Barn Wood”. Next, I painted his head with Americana “Antique White”.

      I then painted his straw hair with Accent “Golden Harvest”, and the rope around his neck with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”.  I decided I didn’t think his head looked yellowish enough, so repainted it with Americana “Moon Yellow”.  Next, I painted his pants with Nicole’s “Brown”, and then did his shirt in Folk Art “Porcelain White”.  After that, I painted his coat with Crafter’s Acrylic “Forest Green”, and his boots with Americana “Raw Umber”.

     Next, I painted his rifle stock with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cinnamon Brown”, and the metal parts on it with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.  I painted what looked like rope around his wrist, and wrapped around part of the gun with the “Territorial Beige.”  I one again decided his head didn’t look the right shade of yellow tan, so repainted it once more with Apple Barrel “Apple Maple Syrup”, and then painted his nose with Apple Barrel “Raw Sienna”.  I let everything Dry for a while, and then I gave the entire figure a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash using a wet brush.
     When the wash was dry, I drybrushed his hat with Americana “Asphaltum”, and highlighted his straw hair with the “Moon Yellow”. I then applied a little Iron Wind Metals “Mid Green” ink to each eye socket.  When the ink was dry, I painted the pupils with Crafter’s Acrylic “Citrus Green”, and then added a White highlight dot.  After that, I highlighted his head with Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”, and the rope around his neck with Folk Art “Butter Pecan”.

     Next, I highlighted the remains of his shirt with the base “Porcelain White”, and his coat with Folk Art “Hauser Green Medium”.  I then highlighted his pants with Americana “Sable Brown”, and his boots with Folk Art Teddy Bear Brown".  I did the ropes around the gun and his wrist with the “Butter Pecan”.   After that, I worked on the rust effects on the gun, and the bolts in his knees, blotching the metal parts with Crafter’s Edition “Spice Brown”, and then applying thinned Accent “Golden Oxide” to the crevices.   Lastly, I touched up the highlights on his wooden limbs using the “Barn Wood”, and then painted his base with the “Walnut”.
   When I was done painting the figure, I used some white glue to glue a mixture I made of some fine brown sand, and courser black sand to the base.  When this was dry, I drybrushed the sand and the figure’s own base with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, and then with some Americana “Antique White”.  When dry, I glued on some bits of grass tufts.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave him a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I’m pleased with how this fellow turned out.  I have to add in closing though; one thing I puzzled over while I was painting him (other than the human ribcage on a wooden frame??), is why the sculptor chose to give him what is clearly a modified Game Workshop Kroot rifle?

via All Bones About It
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Announcing the New South Pacific Supplement for Combat Patrol(TM): WWII


Announcing the Release of the South Pacific Supplement for Combat Patrol™: World War II.

Like all the previous supplements for Combat Patrol™, this supplement is FREE to download as a .pdf.

Why a South Pacific Supplement?  Fighting in the South Pacific during World War II was unique compared to other theaters, even other parts of the Pacific.  This supplement includes rules that represent the unique nature of Japanese morale, Banzai! charges, suicide anti-tank attacks, night infiltration, vehicle-mounted flame throwers, and other rules. 

This supplement has been almost a year in development.  During that time, several other supplements have been developed and released.  These are all free and can be downloaded from the rules’ Web page:  During development I shared the draft supplement with geographically distributed Combat Patrol™ players to play test the new rules.  Feedback has been quite positive.  In particular, play testers have commented that both the Banzai! charge rules strike a good balance between effectiveness without overpowering the charge and making the Japanese invincible.

Of these new rules, the most significant are those for Japanese morale.  The basic morale rules work very well for other theaters, including China, Burma, and India.  In Combat Patrol™ morale failure is represented more as a loss of cohesion than a sudden, unexpected retreat.  As units take morale checks, the unit gradually dissolves or stops responding to commands.  Japanese morale failure in the South Pacific seems to have been more unit oriented than individual; the unit leader will decide to retreat, take cover, or assault the enemy in response to fire rather than individuals melting into the jungle.  The new morale results reflect this.

In Combat Patrol™: World War II, cards in an Action Deck are used by players to resolve shooting, determine movement distance, conduct hand-to-hand combat, and check morale.  This eliminates the need for charts and tables.  Each player has an Action Deck that he uses to resolve these actions.  While each player has his own deck, all decks are the same.  The only difference is the color of the card backs between decks so that players can keep their decks separate during game play.  Each card has a unique serial number.  The South Pacific supplement includes a table that enables players to look up Japanese-specific morale results.

Along with the free supplement, I have also created two new, Japanese-specific Action Decks.  The new South Pacific set of cards includes two new Action Decks.

Most of the cards are exactly the same as the other 10 Actions decks that are available for purchase from either DriveThruCards (Set A [] or Set B[] are needed to play Combat Patrol™: World War II) or Sally 4th (  Only the morale portion of the cards is different.

While not strictly necessary, players who use these cards will find doing so much easier than using the morale table in the free supplement.   For players who want to play Japanese forces in the South Pacific, I highly recommend these new Action Decks.

For more information on how the game works and to see some demonstration videos of the unique, streamlined mechanics of Combat Patrol™: World War II, see the rules’ Web page here:

You can download the supplement for free from the rules’ Web page:

You can order the cards from DriveThruCards ( or Sally 4th (

Don’t wait to get your copy of the supplement and your South Pacific Action Decks!

 The new rules in this supplement are also useful for representing other historical periods, such as Moros in the Philippines.


from Buck’s Blog
from Tumblr

Wild West Wizard of Oz Tinman: Bones 3 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week I started the Bones 3 Wild West Wizard of Oz set and did the Tinman mini.  I don’t know what particularly makes this set Wild West; it seems to me it would fit in in any kind of Steampunk, VSF, Pulp, or Post-Apocalyptic setting.
     These figures were actually cast in the newer grey Bones material, and are a bit stiffer than normal Bones.

       I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.    I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

      I began by painting the entire figure, and his base, with Black.   When the Black was dry, I drybrushed the figure with  Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  I then passed over it with a lighter drybrush of Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”

     I applied a little Iron Wind Metals “Medium Blue” Ink to the eye sockets, and then that was dry, I pianted the eyes with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tropical Blue”.  I then did pupils with Crater’s Acrylic “Cool Blue”, and then added White dots in the center  of the pupils.
     Next, I painted his pendant and the chain it is on, as well as some of the rods in his abdomen with Ceramcoat “Bronze”.  I then painted the pendant with Ceramcoat “Opaque Red”, and did a shadow on it with Ceramcoat “BlackCherry”, and a highlight with Crafter’s Acrylic “Tutti Frutti”.  I finished the pendant by doing small White highlight dots on it.

     I then went back and highlighted the “Bronze” pendant, chain and rods, with Ceramcoat “14K Gold”, and after that I went back and did more specific highlights on his armor with the “Metallic Silver”.
     When I was done painting the figure, I used some white glue to glue a mixture I made of some fine brown sand, and courser black sand to the base.  When this was dry, I drybrushed the sand and the figure’s own base with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, and then with some Americana “Antique White”.  When dry, I glued on some bits of grass tufts.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave him a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I’m really pleased with how this figure turned out, particularly the glowing blue eyes.  Next up, I will be working on the Scarecrow.

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr

Combat Patrol Gaming in Rippon


While in England, I took the chance to travel to Yorkshire and visit Chris Alley of Sally 4th for a Combat Patrol™ game in Rippon.  Chris has a really nice games room.  We played Combat Patrol™, had an excellent dinner with Chris and his wife, and then played some Settlers of Cataan.

Chris is working on terrain and scenarios for “The Other Partizan,” an upcoming wargaming show in the U.K.  The game was based on the movie The Wild Geese.  Chris has the mercenaries and simbas all painted up, and the African-style buildings will be part of a future Sally 4th Kickstarter.  In this scenario I was the wild geese, I had released President Limbarny from prison, and I needed to escape.  To accomplish my objective, I needed to secure enough transport to take Limbarny and my team off the table.  Limbarny moved as Green because of his reduced physical state, which slowed me down.

The defenders were in several of the buildings, the recreation room, barracks, and guard room.  The guards at the gate were awake and active, as were the Simbas in the bottom left of the picture.  The sections in the barracks and recreation room each had a morale marker that had to be worked off before they could begin to respond.  In the previous play test of this scenario, Chris set the Accuracy of the mercenaries as Elite, and he thought that overpowered the mercenaries.  In this play test, my wild geese had an Accuracy of Regular.  My Melee was 0 to reflect the fact that the wild geese were somewhat older and not in their prime and that the Simbas, with Melee of 1, were in good shape.  The Simbas, however, had Guts of Green for their troopers and Regular for their leaders.  This meant that if their leaders were alive, they used the Guts of Regular for activation and movement, but if the leader was killed they would have Guts of Green for activation and movement.

Outside the camp, I had two teams in land rovers coming to reinforce my mercenaries.  One land rover contained a bazooka team, and the other a Vickers machine-gun team.  As the guards at the gate were active, I elected to halt, dismount the machine-gun, and fire on the gate guards.  Tom engaged my land rovers with fire, killing a member of the machine-gun team and wounding another.  The bazooka team fired several shots at the gate defenders and also the Simbas in the recreation room.  I was very lucky with the bazooka.  I never received an out-of-ammunition results, so I was able to fire several shots.  Tom reduced my machine-gun team by killing an ammunition bearer and assistant gunner.  He even knocked out the assistant gunner for the bazooka, but he never knocked out either team.

I had two sections move toward the truck park while the third section moved President Limbarny to the relative safety of the headquarters building.  One section advanced into the barracks and was surprised to run into a section of active and awake Simbas.  This is when I learned that my wild geese had a poor Melee attribute.  I lost a soldier and was pushed out of the building.  The team then spent several turns being gunned down in the open by Tom’s Simbas before they could respond or seek cover.  The section near the 55-gallon drums advanced toward the truck park.  As they advanced, they were surprised in the open by the Simba motor transport operators.  That section also was gunned down in the open before reaching the trucks.  My headquarters section that began the game in the Simba headquarters moved to come up behind the Simbas at the gate, but Tom’s marksmanship was just too good.  Though this attack diverted the attention of some of the gate guards and those in the towers from my machine-gun and bazooka teams, it was just not enough force to clear a path for the land rovers.  By then, Tom and knocked out one of the land rovers with small arms fire.  At this point, Chris jokingly pointed out that my heavy casualty rate meant that I didn’t need as many trucks to extract what was left of my team!

At this point, we determined that I no longer had enough combat power to accomplish my objectives.  It was a convincing Simba victory.  Despite Tom’s lopsided victory, it was a fun scenario with lots of interesting decisions for both players.  I suggested to Chris before he runs this at Partizan that he might want to give the wild geese a couple of blue cards in the Activation Decks to give them an initiative advantage.

from Buck’s Blog


from Tumblr


Dagon Statue: Bones 3 Terrain

Chris Palmer

   I thought I’d make a quick Thursday post for a bit of terrain I just completed.  I painted up the Dagon Statue from Bones 3.  This figure was added in to the Bones 3 Kickstarter at the very end via the Pledge Manager.   I picked it up, since I figured it would make a good terrain piece for Ghost Archipelago.
      I prepped the 2 pieces in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying them.    I then glued the large section to a black-primed 2" fender washer, and the smaller section to a 1.25" black-primed fender washer, both with Aleene’s Tacky glue.

      I began by painting both pieces entirely with Black.  I then drybrushed them heavily with Americana “Zinc”.

     I then drybrushed both pieces with Americana “Neutral Grey”, followed by Apple Barrel “Rock Grey”, and then Folk Art “Porcelain White”.
      I let the pieces dry overnight and the next day I gave them a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to glue a little sand to the base.  When this was dry, I painted the sand with Americana “Asphaltum”.  When the “Asphaltum” was dry, I drybrushed the bases with some of the Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, and then some Americana “Antique White”.   Lastly, I glued on some tufts of grass.
       I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed the statue with Testor’s Dullcote".

    I’m real happy with how this terrain turned out.  It’s nothing fancy, but a welcome addition to my growing collection of Ghost Archipelago terrain.

via All Bones About It
from Tumblr

Frostgrave Campaign 2017 Game 8: Who Closed the Door?

Don Hogge
This past Saturday our gaming group got together to continue our 2017 Frostgrave campaign based on the “Thaw of the Lich Lord” supplement book.  This month’s game was the Lair of the Ghoul King scenario.  We had several cancellations due to real life and only had five of our nine players available.  So we modified the scenario to add an additional throne.  We placed the treasures and trap doors and then diced off for set-up locations.

You can find my fellow Sigilist’s report here: The Lair of the Ghoul King & Queen for additional information about the game set-up plus another perspective of what happened.

The Ghoul King
Basil’s warband
Missy’s warband
Quail’s warband

 "Mawahaha!!!! Puny human, you are now my servant.  You will serve me for a thousand years" and with that, Bemis suddenly awoke from a deep sleep. “Just a dream” he said to himself but still he wondered if it was a portent of the future.  The night before heading into an unexplored section of Felstad was not the time to have weird thoughts.  Well, dawn was not far away, maybe a spot of tea would help.  Soon the rest of the group would be awake.

Under Nigel’s supervision, the lads prepared their kit to enter the frozen city.  Bemis and Agarn busied themselves in the lab.  Bemis successfully prepared a Scroll of Reveal Secret and Agarn a Scroll of Dispel.  After brewing up some tea, they both turned their attention to brewing potions.  After several failed attempts that produced some nasty smelling liquid, Bemis decided they’d had enough (Both failed their Brew Potion spells).  Bemis managed to summon his beaver Familiar named Leavittoo.  Agarn was not successful calling his Familiar.  Bemis then turned his attention to the staff they had discovered on their last trip.  After careful examination, Bemis determined it would enhance the casting of the spell Circle of Protection (forgot to roll for the staff at the end of the last game).

Bemis then took a few moments to read the spell Reveal Secret from the newly written scroll.  After several moments of intense concentration, Bemis said “Their’s a sigilist spell book buried under some large rocks somewhere in the underground chamber of an old monastery.”

Which preparations complete, Bemis and his band of adventurers headed out into the chill of the morning air.  As the warband approached the ruined monastery, Bemis noted Quail’s warband heading in the same direction.  “Pick up the pace, we must beat Quail to the entrance” Bemis ordered as they quickly moved forward to secure their entry point (Bemis had the fourth pick of starting locations ahead of Quail who got the leftover spot).  As they descended underground, Bemis thought it odd that the entrance way was not filled with at least some debris.  “Were they not the first ones to enter?” pondered Bemis.  And when they reached the bottom and the door easily swung open Nigel (Captain) said “I’ve got a bad feeling about this, look sharp lads."  And with that the warband cautiously went inside.

The starting locations

As soon as the last of the warband entered, the door slammed shut behind them, and then disappeared. "ITS A TRAP” cried Agarn.  “Mr. Agarn, sir, be quiet now will you; there’s a good apprentice. You’ll upset the lads.” Nigel replied, putting a hand on Agarn’s shoulder to calm him down.

Bemis and the lads

Bemis decides to make things a bit harder for his rivals and casts Draining Word – Telekinesis.  Even though visibility was already pretty bad (Line of sight restricted to 12 inches), Agarn cast Fog to protect the left front of the warband.  The rest of the warband spreadout a little to search for treasure – and a way out.  As usual, Shadow (Warhound) goes running off (Probably looking for some Scooby treats). Bemis directs Hatch (Thief) to search through some fallen rocks for the ancient tome revealed to him earlier while casting Reveal Secret.

Agarn casts Fog
Hatch finds the Reveal Secret treasure

Suddenly two trapdoors in the floor burst open as a ghoul emerged from each one.  “Oh, this will be fun” thought Vale (Treasure Hunter) as his Axe (Sword) of Undead Slaying started to glow.  Agarn found himself facing a ghoul without any backup.  Luckily he remembered his many hours of training with Nigel and easily took out his opponent.  He then moved over and stood on top of the trap door hoping that would prevent additional ghouls from appearing.

Agarn is attacked by a ghoul
Agarn defeats a ghoul

Nigel and 9Toe (Treasure Hunter) move to engage the other ghoul just as it knocks Piko to the ground.  Nigel easily slays the ghoul.  9Toe moves around a stone wall to look for treasure.

Diesel Vin (Treasure Hunter) moved up quickly and stuck his head out a doorway to look around.  His eyes were drawn to fancy throne.  ZAP!!! An Elemental Bolt cast by Basil’s apprentice struck him squarely in the head dropping him to the dusty floor (That’ll leave a scar!).

Niko (Thief) and Kleppo (Thief) both manage to find some treasure and quickly place the items in their backpacks.  Searching through the rock, Hatch discovers a leather parcel and places it in his pack as well – just in time to be assaulted by a pair of large rats.  He barely manages to fight both of them off by wildly swinging his dagger. 

Agarn, feeling a bit exposed, decides to cast another wall of Fog to cover him position.  He was getting a bit worried as he had heard Shadow barking off in the distance, followed by a sharp “yelp”.  Unbeknownst to Agarn, Shadow had been cruelly cut down by Quail’s crosbowman (Nicknamed Puppy Slayer).

As Agarn was nervous looking around, he noticed a strange eye materialize on a wall to his front (Grue’s apprentice had cast Wizard Eye for some nefarious purpose).  “That can’t be good” he thought as the eye seemed to stare at him.  He quickly attempted to cast Dispel but his tongue tripped over the words causing the spell to sputter.  He pulled out a Dispel scroll, easily read the words, and eye vanished.

Popping through a hidden door, four death cultists appeared behind Bemis and his warband (an unfortunate random monster roll by one of my opponents).  Thinking qickly, Bemis picked up a small rock from the floor and incanted the words for the Grenade spell.  Being successful, he then flung it towards the cultists.  The grenade landed in their midst, showering them with rock splinters causing some damage but not enough to slow them down.  Hatch easily defeated the two rats and quickly hopped over the wall to hide from the cultists.

Death cultists crash the party

Another ghoul came through a doorway and charged towards Nigel.  Nigel easily bested him and quickly cut him down.  He then turned around to face the cultists charging toward him.  9Toe picks up a small chest and turns to move back towards Nigel.

Bemis manages to fling another Grenade at the group of cultists as they charge forward but sadly it does little damage.  Nigel engages in a whirling duel with one of the cultists.  Vale easily drops one cultist with a single swing of axe.  Even old man Bemis manages to strike down a cultist much to the bewonderment of his warband members.

Fighting the cultists

Bemis fails an attempt to cast a Grenade at the remaining two cultists as the rock crumbles in his fist.  The bewonderment turns to total disbelief as Bemis is then charged by the two remaining
cultists and somehow manages to kill them both.

Meanwhile, ghouls continue to appear.  Vale and his Axe of Undead Slaying found themselves very busy.  He engaged several ghouls, some singlehandedly, and some in partnership with Nigel.  The end result was three more dead ghouls.

A door in the far wall slowly creaked open.  Expecting the worst, Agarn moved over to stand beside Kleppo who was hiding behind a wall.  Just as he got there, Kleppo pushed him to the ground yelling “Incoming."  Up on top of the wall, an Explosive Cocktail exploded.  It must have just been a large firecracker because neither of them sustained any damage, except a slight ringing in the ears. 

A big bang….

Kleppo cautiously peered around the corner.  He saw Quail’s young apprentice off in the distance, kneeling on the floor sobbing. "Eh, nothing to cry about lassie, you missed.  It happens” he thought as he turned and helped Agarn stand up.  “That wasn’t very nice, girls are mean.  Look, there’s a hole in my hat” Agarn exclaimed as he picked up his purple pointy hat.  “Aye, lad, sometimes they can be but wait ‘til you get older” said Kleppo.  Kleppo was about to say more but two ghouls suddenly dropped from the ceiling beside him (My fellow players are so kind, I must remember to repay them).  “Run lad” he yelled to Agarn.  Agarn stopped to throw a grenade.  As he rushed to get the spell cast, he misspoke the words and the spell failed to materialize.  He quickly ran out as directed.  Holding a small treasure chest in one hand, Kleppo managed to fight off both ghouls.  Beating them back, he too turned and quickly ran out of the area to join the others.

Kleppo fights off two ghouls
Vale moves to search the dead Ghoul Queen’s throne

While this was happening, Vale moved up and glanced through an archway.  He could see a large throne, plus the crumpled body of Diesel laying on the floor.  He appeared to be breathing.  Vale called to Bemis who also moved up a bit.  Vale pointed at the throne, “I’ll like to go check it out."  Bemis nodded and cast a wall of Fog to cover his movement.  Once he got to the throne, Vale searched around quickly.  He saw the smoldering body of the Ghoul Queen laying on the throne as well as a series of levers.  He decided to pull one.  As he did so, he a loud "Woohoo” from the other room (A door had opened near the warband).  Bemis said to Vale, “Good job, a door has opened.  Lets go…and grab Diesel."  As Bemis turned, he found himself staring into the dead eyes of a ghoul (Courtesy of one of my fellow players).  He quickly fought him off and moved towards the exit.

Bemis fights a ghoul

Bemis and Vale, carrying Diesel, headed back towards the rest of the group.  9Toe poured some water on Piko’s face.  he sits up and grabs his head, still a bit groggy.  "Time enough to rest when we get out, let’s move it lad” says 9Toe as he pulls Piko to his feet.  About that time, Agarn and Kleppo joined the group, “Oh look, another open door.”

Everyone quickly leaves the underground chamber, glad that they survived.  All except Shadow, who Agarn said wouldn’t be making it out.  It was a travesty to leave his body there, no telling what foul experiments the undead creatures might perform on his corpse.

Post game photo-op

Bemis was extremely happy with the four treasures his warband recovered, each yielding a grimoire:  Furious Quill (the one previously revealed to Bemis), Wall, Raise Zombie, and Leap.  He increased his knowledge and understanding by scanning through them and some other interesting material in his library (Successfully cast Absorb Knowledge).  Selling the duplicate grimoire (Wall) for 250 gold added to the 280 gold from the four treasures was a nice haul (after subtracting 63 gold for Nigel’s pay).

Diesel and Piko should make a full recovery in a few days, Shadow would have to be replaced, maybe by a dog that doesn’t go running off all alone.

Another great and challenging scenario completed.  It could only have been better if our missing players had been able to make it.  The limited line of sight, the randomly appearing ghouls from the trap doors, and the player placed ghouls made things interesting.  Bemis made out well gathering four treasures and gaining four levels in experience.  Nigel gained 50 points of Captain’s experience as well, he should gain another level after the next outing.

Already looking forward to the next scenario…..Agarn will be seeking an opportunity to even things up with the petulant Bailey for the damage done to his purple pointy hat.  And Grue will be bringing bagels for breakfast.

Thanks for reading.

from Wargaming Notes
from Tumblr

A visit to Bovington Tank Museum


The entrance to the main hall of the Bovington Tank Museum

For me, a highlight of our family vacation in England was a visit to the tank museum in Bovington.  Somewhat off the beaten path Bovington is the armor (armour) school for the British Army and the site of the largest collection of tanks I’ve ever seen — and most of them have been repaired to working order.  We modified our agenda to make sure we were in Bovington on a weekday when they perform a tanks-in-action demonstration.

A model of DaVinci’s tank in the queue to get into the exhibits

The museum is actually a series of buildings, but we only had time for the main building.  We did not go over to the conservation building where they repair tanks to working order.

The displays begin with a depiction of life in the trenches in WWI.  This helps motivate the need for the tank to help break the stalemate in the trenches.  This section of the museum then depicts the development and evolution of early tanks into the early 1930s.  There were several WWI tanks that you could walk into or where sections of armor were replaced by plexiglass windows to enable you to look inside.

Sam and Tom coming out of a trench

A British Mark IV or Mark V tank

This hall was very dark, so many of the pictures are a bit blurry.

An early tank with a cutout to allow people to look inside. They said that this tank is in running order. Many of the tanks had oil drip pans under them – an indication of which were still able to run.

Tom and me in the Royal Tank Corps – and my patient wife wondering how long she was going to have to pretend she was interested in tanks before we could leave

After viewing the WWI section, we went outside for the Tanks-in-Action demonstration.  They drove four armored vehicles around a track, which included a hill.  Each stopped in front of the audience so that the narrator could provide interesting information about each vehicle.  The Tanks-in-Action demonstration naturally focused on British vehicles.  The same type of demonstration in the US that focused on US vehicles would likely be criticized as jingoistic, because only in the US is it insensitive to highlight our accomplishments.

A Cold War era Ferret armored car. This was very fast and incredibly quiet. I had seen Scorpions and Scimitars before and even had a chance to climb around inside one with the crew, but I had never seen a Ferret before.

An FV-234 armored personnel carrier. This vehicle is strikingly similar in design to the US M-113. The FV-234 is still in service.

The Chieftain main battle tank. This Cold War era vehicle never fired a shot in anger and is no longer in active service.

After showing these three vehicles, they set up a mock battle involving these three fighting insurgents from Ruritania equipped with a Saladin reconnaissance vehicle.  The Ferret conducted reconnaissance to find the Ruritanaians and called in artillery, complete with pyrotechnic devices that were a crowd pleaser.  Then the Chieftain and FV-234 advanced.  Volunteers from the audience de-bussed the FV-234 and assaulted the Saladin, winning the day.  It is not considered insensitive in England for the British to root for themselves and to defeat the enemy.

The “Ruritanian” Saladin reconnaissance vehicle

After the tanks-in-action demonstration (and some pasties and cider) we went back into the main building to look at the displays.  The hall depicting the evolution of the tank is breathtaking and includes a number of displays I have never seen in person, like the D-Day wading device on a Sherman tank.

A panoramic shot of the hall showing the evolution of tanks from WWI to nearly the present day

Another view of the history of the tank hall

A French Char B tank

Each vehicle on display has a nice plaque next to it that describes the tank and also where this particular example of the tank came from.  Some of the vehicles had a very interesting story behind how they came to Bovigton.

German Pz II tank

There are over 300 tanks at Bovington.  It is mind boggling.  I couldn’t see everything and read everything if I had two full days there.  I MUST go back when I am not pulling the family along.

German Panther tank

British Crusader tank

The US Army made many bad choices over the years regarding the extensive collection of armored vehicles on display at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  The collection is now scattered and no longer available to the public.  Even in its heyday the APG collection was open to the elements and deteriorating.  It was amazing to see such beautiful specimens at Bovington.  Some are claimed to be the only known example in the world.

Tom in front of a Pz III

A Sherman Firefly along with obligatory derogatory comments about US tank design in WWII

German Tiger I in the “Tiger Hall,” where they have one example of each Tiger variant except the Sturmtiger.

A US M-46 Patton tank. The M-46, 47, and 48 were all called “Patton”

Sam in front of a cutaway view showing the interior of a tank

This was a particularly interesting exhibit showing the interior of a tank.  The kids were very surprised at how cramped it is inside a tank.

The other half of the tank

Another view of the history-of-the-tank hall

There were a number of simulators set up around the exhibit hall.  There were ones for rifles, a Bren gun, and even a PIAT.  Sadly the PIAT simulator was out of order, but in these next two pictures you see Sam and Tom firing a simulated Bren.  Neither of them “qualified.”  Both commented on how hard it is to aim the Bren with the site offset to the side because of the top-mounted magazine.

Sam firing a simulated Bren. If you look in the background of this picture you can begin to get a sense of scale for just how big the exhibit hall is.

Tom firing the Bren simulator

There are over 300 vehicles at Bovington.  This does not include all there other items on display like anti-tank weapons, comparisons of barrel lengths, tank crew equipment, etc.  While the story of the tank hall tells a story of the evolution of the tank, the largest hall is just filled with row after row of vehicles and other displays.  It is amazing!

A view of the largest exhibit hall that I hope provides a sense of the sheer size of the collection.

Bovington was the only item on my must-see list for this trip to England.  I am very glad we went.  All the items on display are extremely well maintained.  Every vehicle has informative plaques.  Many still run.  Everything is under cover.  It is tremendous museum.  I need to try to talk a couple of my gaming buddies into coming here in June next year for Tank Days, when many of the vehicles are driven around and members of the public get a chance to get into some of the vehicles and drive them.  I have driven modern US armored vehicles, like the M-1 Abrams and M-2 Bradley, but I would love to drive one or two of the historic tanks.

A final view of the large exhibit hall

Despite starting the day at a QuikFit to replace the tire on our rental car, a harrowing drive through goat paths led by our GPS and dodging a farm tractor, and a need to depart Bovington early enough to arrive in the Peak District before dark, I had a great time at Bovington and NEED to return for another visit.

from Buck’s Blog
from Tumblr

Frostgrave Campaign ’17, Game 8: The Lair of the Ghoul King & Queen

Chris Palmer     This past Saturday we got together for the 8th game of our 2017 Frostgrave Campaign.  We once again continued to make our way through the “Thaw of the Lich Lord” supplement book, and this month we did the Lair of the Ghoul King scenario.
(To read an account of last months game, see: The District of Longreach. )
     We only had 5 of our 9 regular players, so we modified the scenario to make it The Lair of the Ghoul King and Queen, adding a second throne.   We also multiplied the trapdoors per player (2), times our 5 players, so we placed 10 trapdoors . And, given there were 5 of us, we placed the two treasures on opposite sides of each throne (2 treasures x 2 thrones), and then placed the other 11 treasures normally.    Each player was assigned two Ghouls to place during the game as per the scenario instructions. Also, since there were so few of us, we decided to determine initiative the normal way: with dice rolls, rather than our usual numbered poker chip method.
     Unfortunately, since I can’t roll dice to save my life, I got last choice of starting location and Quail entered on the back end of nowhere, with what looked like very little prospects in the way of treasure.  It was, however, a corner spot, so she wouldn’t be surrounded on three sides. Across from her was Gru the Soothsayer, and to the right of her entry location was Bemis the other Sigilist.

A view of the table before the game.  Quails entry zone can be seen in the far back left corner.  

          The weeks since the last expedition into Frostgrave had been stressful ones for the Sigilist Quailelyn.   Her Apprentice, Bailisette, seemed little improved since the near-fatal magical Grenade attack and resultant scarring she suffered during their expedition two months ago; where they had fought against Bemis the Sigilist’s warband in the Library.  And, since the humiliating defeat Bailey had suffered in last month’s foray, during an ill-advised attack on one of Bemis’ Treasure Hunters; it seemed to the Maga Librarian that on some days her Apprentice was even mentally worse than she had been last month.  Bailey had gone from being quiet, withdraw, and perpetually distracting herself with busy work in the weeks after the initial attack, to, in  the past few weeks, being angry and argumentative all the time. And the rest of the warband were becoming unsettled by it all.
       She had asked Sir Cardidil, the Knight, to give Bailey some sword fighting lessons, in hopes that getting the young woman outside and active, doing something proactive, might help.  And it seemed to help a bit, because when Bailey was out there clashing blades with the knight,  the Sigilist saw glimpses of the bright soul and mind she had brought with her from the University to be her Apprentice almost a year ago now.  She also saw a raging anger and fierce fire in the young woman’s eyes as she wielded the weapon with a ferocity unlike the Apprentice’s thin, reserved, appearance would bely.  But whenever Bailey was not out on the training field, the anger and argumentativeness flared anew, and it was spreading to other members of the group.
     Quail thought they all needed a good distraction, so one evening she discussed with Sir Cardidil the persistent rumors they had all been hearing about a large magical treasure horde located in the chambers beneath an old monastery, and the decision was reached to go and check it out the next day.  The Maga Librarian consulted her Magical Atlas of Felstad that night before bed, and having located the monastery she was able to locate where there was a cache of hidden grimoires within it’s underground chambers. (Quail casts Reveal Secret pre-game.)

The Ghoul King, on his throne, awaits his victims guests.

      The next morning Quail tried to interest Bailey in preparing potions for their trip, but the Apprentice simply stormed out of the great hall when she heard that the Sigilist had chosen to brew Explosive Cocktails for the trip.  To Quail it seemed a sound choice given the rise in undead sightings they had been seeing in the city. (Quail successfully casts Brew Potion pre-game. Bailey fails to cast Brew Potion pre-game.)  Later, as the group gathered outside their tower base, Quail handed the potion vial to Bailey, and said “Take this.  I have no more room in my pockets and pouches.” (Quail was at 5 item limit.)  Without a word, frowning, Bailisette reached out her hand and snatched the vial. The Apprentice’s arm then froze for a moment in mid movement, and the young woman slowly raised the hand grasping the vial to her face, and unflexed her fingers.  Bailey stared at the clear red liquid frothing in its glass container as it rested on her palm, her eyes fixed upon it.  Quail thought for just a second she saw Bailey’s eyes glint the same red as the liquid; then, before the Sigilist could consider this strange sight, as quickly as the Apprentice had snatched the vial, the young woman closed her hand around the smooth glass and shoved the vial deep into one of her pockets… a slight unseen smile coming over her scarred face.
     Once the band was in the city, it didn’t take them long to find the ruins of the old monastery complex.  Quail looked around for a few minutes to get her bearings, and then located the steps they needed to get down into the underground chambers.  As the group descended the staircase, the Sigilist was surprised to find a solid looking iron-braced oaken door swung open at the bottom.  There was very little wooden structures left intact in the city after a 1000 years beneath the snow and ice, and to find a solid door like this was rather unusual, but Quail dismissed it as another of the strange sights one sees in this ancient city.
     The group entered the inky dark chambers, and a few of them removed torches from their packs and lit them.   They stood in a long T-shaped foyer, and Quail was organizing them into commands, when the door they had just come through suddenly swung shut of its own accord with a loud bang.  Everyone suddenly went quiet; and in the still air they heard bolts sliding within the door, firmly locking it in place.  Clol the Barbarian crossed to the door, and pulled with all his might and it didn’t budge.  He raised his magic Club of Battering and swung mightily at the oaken beams, and the impact nearly broke his wrists, as the club bounced ineffectually off the the hardened wood. Quail step forward and put a hand to the door and studied it in her torchlight.  She could see now that is was no thousand year old portal, but a new one designed to trap them.  As if to confirm the Wizard’s  thoughts a deep gravely voice echoed off the walls around them, “Welcome to my Lair.  I am the Ghoul King!  You are now my prisoners! Prepare to die.”
     "Well, we’ll see about that.“ the Maga Librarian said to no one in particular in her most authoritative voice, as if challenging one of the many students who had tried to test her mettle at the university; much to their dismay.  Quail continued to the group around her, "The way I see it; the only way out of this is to push ahead,” and she motioned everyone forward.

Quail and her group prepare to delve into the Ghoul King’s Lair.
          They had not gone far when Quail sensed a Draining Word spell against Telekinesis go into effect.  "Bemis is here as well,“ she thought to herself.  The Sigilist knew she would need all her wits to get them safely out of the current situation, so she began to chant the spell of Awareness.  Her mind reached out to unlock her ability to sense future outcomes, but then her mind suddenly began to fold back in on itself, and she had to force her thoughts to re-open her link to special insight. Quail’s brain seared with pain and she felt dizzy.  The chamber spun and she slumped up against a nearby wall to keep her balance, but the Sigilist had made the link to an awareness of possible futures. (Failed to cast spell, so pushed for 6 HP) "Bailey!” she called out.  
     The Apprentice, who was off to the left, where she had just located the Reveal Secret treasure, let out a huff of frustration, and rolled her eyes.  She turned and stomped towards the Sigilist.  "Can you cast, Heal?“ Quail asked weakly as her Apprentice approached. Without replying, Bailey, put her hand out and pressed it against the side of Quail’s head.  She mumbled the words for casting Heal under her breath, and her half-hearted attempt was met with a sharp pain behind her own eyes. (Failed to cast by 6 points, took 1 HP damage.)  Her gasp of pain caused Quail to look up at her. "Are you alright?”,  the wizard asked; but the young woman didn’t reply, and merely rubbed her own forehead to relieve the sting.
     Suddenly there was a creak of wood in the darkness above them, and a Ghoul dropped down onto the floor from above. (The Gru player put one of his two scenario Ghouls in the middle of my group.) The creature looked slowly around with dull eyes, and then launched himself at Cirvid the Warhound. 
The party’s opening advance towards the throne room.  The first Ghoul has dropped from the ceiling and set upon Cirvid the Warhound.

     Quickly, Quail put her own hand on her forehead and chanted the words of the Heal spell.  She immediately felt the burn behind her eyes lessen and her equilibrium returned.  The Sigilist strode further down the rubble filled hallway, determine to locate a means to get out of this trap.  She turned to Bailey, and said “Come on!”.  The Apprentice followed and pushed right past her, plunging deeper into the darkness.   Luc Demic, with his crossbow at the ready; and Sallisee, with her bow in one hand and a torch in the other, had also moved on ahead to scout a path with their keen eyes.   In the distance, behind a crumbled wall, the Marksman and Ranger could see a large stone structure with a large ornate chair upon it.  Then off to their left, they heard the clash of metal on metal, and could see the light from other torches.  In the glow they could see the large yellow heads of Gru the Soothsayer’s strange minions bobbing up and down, as some of them fought a large armored Ghoul with a crown.  They realized immediately that it must be the Ghoul King himself. In a matter of minutes, the yellow creatures had overwhelmed the Ghoul King and brought him down.
    Meanwhile, Cirvid had his teeth sunk into the arm of the Ghoul that had dropped from the ceiling, and shook vigorously.  Sir Cardidil the Knight ran up to aid the dog, and with one slice of his sword, empowered by the Knight’s Ring of Life, the Ghoul was struck down.    He had little time to rest on his laurels though; for behind him he heard a creak of wood, and as the Knight turned he saw a trap door in the floor open and a Ghoul climbed quickly out from some unseen room below and charged at him.
     And to make matters worse, another Ghoul dropped from a hiding spot in the ceiling and landed right between Bailey and Innis Flin the Treasure Hunter.  Innis shouted at the Ghoul and attempted to distract him from moving towards the Apprentice.  It worked and the Ghoul lumbered towards him.

The party presses further towards the throne room and runs into Gru’s warband. Another Ghoul has dropped from the ceiling and a third has climbed out of the trapdoor.

     While Quail, Bailey, and their group advanced towards the Ghoul King’s throne,  the Treasure Hunters, Dorchesman and Kinny, accompanied by the Barbarian, Clol had taken a path to the left through a different series of crumbling underground rooms, unnoticed by any enemy.  Dorchesman was quick to locate and secure a treasure, while Kinny spotted another a little further on, and moved towards it.  Clol tired to stay equidistant between the two in case either needed help.  What he didn’t notice was the trapdoor on the floor nearby, and before he realized it, a Ghoul had jumped out of it and was upon him.  It carried a bone club and swung it hard against the Barbarian, who instinctually raised his left arm to block it.  The club made contact and Clol could feel a sharp pain shoot up through his elbow. He, in turn swung his mighty Cub of Battering around and caught the enemy cleanly in his torso.  Though hurt, the undead creature shook it off and came at him again. Clol could not believe his eyes, for as they battled, another Ghoul climbed up out of the trapdoor and was immediately upon him as well.

Clol takes on two Ghouls as Dorchesman guards his treasure behind a wall on the left, and Kinny secures another chest that sits in a far corner of the room

     Back over with Quail’s part of the group,  they had little time to think after the death of the Ghoul King, as Gru’s minions now noticed them as well.  A crossbow bolt sliced the air, and hit poor Cirvid who, with a yelp,  toppled over onto the stone floor, motionless.  Quickly, Quail cast Fog, and called to Bailey to do the same.  Two walls of mist appeared, blocking them from the view of the  Soothsayers shooters.   Sally and Luc pressed forward to a low ruined wall near the throne, where they saw Bemis’s hound trotting forward out of the darkness.  Sally set her torch down and quickly took a bow shot, but missed.  Luc fired his crossbow, and hit; the dog dropped to the floor.  They also noticed a treasure sitting behind the throne, and called to Barc, the Man at Arms,  to come retrieve it.
     Quail worried about the continued  appearance of more Ghouls, and saw what she had to do.   Since everyone around her was either busy with their own life or death struggle or out of view, the Maga Librarian realized it was up to her be the one to take care of the trapdoor.  She cast another wall of Fog to replace one that suddenly dissipated, continuing to block Gru’s view of her warband, and then ran to the trapdoor and stood upon it; as there didn’t seem to be any way to lock it.
     The Sigilist called to her Apprentice, as she tried to think of some way to block the door other than with her body.  She used Telekinesis to move a piece of rubble toward her, but realized one stone was not going to hold the door, and it would take to long for her to make a heavy mound of crumbled stones, even with Bailey’s help.   Bailey came and stood by her, arms folded and back turned.  Then, suddenly,  the Apprentice walked away into the darkened chamber behind them.  Quail could see a torchlight in the distance, but wasn’t sure who it belonged to, and why Bailisette suddenly left her to head towards it.  She called to Bailey, but the Apprentice just ignored her.

Quail moves on to the trapdoor as Innis and Sir Cardidl tangle with the two remaining Ghouls. 

     Back in the throne room, Sally had mounted the throne to look for some kind of mechanism to release the door they had come through.  She found a promising bank of five levers, and grabbed one and began pulling on it.  It took all her strength, but she was slowly able to fully move it.  She heard a clang echo somewhere in the distance, and realized she better pull all of them to be sure. (First lever opened a door near Gru’s area of operations.)
       In the far chamber where Clol battled the two Ghouls, the Barbarian was hard pressed.  He was badly wounded, but had managed to kill the first Ghoul, and luckily for Quail’s soldier, the second Ghoul was fighting from a position on top of the trapdoor, so no more of his fellows could climb out.  Kinny and Dorchesman had both retrieved their treasure chests, but were a bit at a loss as to where to go with them.  They weren’t sure if they should drop them to help the Barbarian, or try to make their way to some safe spot…but where was it safe?   They didn’t have to puzzle for long, as Clol, and his Club of Battering soon took care of the lone Ghoul survivor, and the big Barbarian quickly moved to stand upon the trapdoor.  The three of them had a hasty discussion and decided to stay put, until they heard if an exit had been located.  For Clol’s part, he certainly did not seem inclined to want to step off the trapdoor at the moment.

Sally climbs up on the throne to find the levers that operate the doors, as Barc recovers the treasure behind the throne, and Luc stands at the ready to provide covering fire.

    Back near the throne room, Quail called desperately to Sir Cardidil, “She’s run off!”, and pointed in the direction Baliey had gone.   The Knight dispatched the Ghoul  he was fighting with a final blow, and ran over to the Sigilist.  Sir C. grabbed the torch from the wizard, and ran in that direction the Apprentice had gone.  He didn’t go far before he spotted her.
    Bailey’s eye had been caught by torchlight she had seen in the distance; and she could have sworn, silhouetted for a moment in the flame she had seen a familiarly shaped cone hat bobbing around behind a low wall.  Sure enough, as she approached she could see the top of the tall purple hat that Bemis’ apprentice, Agarn, wore.    The flame from the boy’s torch flashed red in her eyes, and her anger burned.  It seemed only logical to her that one cruel deed deserved another in return.  "Let his apprentice live with the scars forever!“, she thought.  Without thinking her hand went to the deadly vial in her pocket and her cold fingers coiled around it.  She now ran towards the wall, and as she neared it, she pulled the vial out and hurled it with all her might.  Bailey watched the glass cylinder turn end over end as it glided through the air and it hit the far lip of the wall near where she could see the pointed hat.  Instantly the cylinder exploded in a ball of red flame, and a loud boom echoed back and forth between the walls of  the low chambers.
   The burst of red flame was blinding in the darkness, and Bailey came to a stop as she was momentarily sightless.  She strained to see the wall through the red flashing in her eyes, but the blast had blown out the torch. There was nothing before her, only darkness and silence, and dancing red spots in her eyes.  Something snapped in her mind, and tears welled up in her eyes. She gasped, "What have I done!”  Falling to her knees, the young woman sobbed, repeating over and over, “What have I done…what have I done..”  She was so overwhelmed with weeks of pent-up emotion, that she didn’t even hear the tell tail sound of creaking wood in the ceiling, and was unaware of the Ghoul that dropped down almost directly in front of her.

Bailey hurls the Explosive Cocktail at Agarn and the Treasure Hunter.

      Quail, still standing on the trap door,  could now see a little of the scene as the Knight with her torch neared where the Apprentice stood.  The Sigilist saw the Ghoul drop from above, and quickly grabbed a quill from her pouch and rubbed it between her hands, frantically chanting the spell of Furious Quill.   Like an arrow, the feather shot from her hands and proceeded to dance around the monster’s head, distracting it.  Sir C, dropped the torch to the ground and ran at the undead horror with his sword raised.  One mighty swing of his blade, and the distracted Ghoul was cut in two.  Bailey, oblivious, sat slumped on the cold stone floor and still sobbed, shaking her head, as waves of regret and sadness swept over her.  "I’ve killed him…I’ve killed him…I know I have…What has become of me…What have I done…“
   Sir Cardidil, leaned over and helped the young woman to her feet, she was so overcome with emotion, the aged knight wasn’t quite sure what to do; but his first instinct was safety; so after retrieving the torch he dropped, he forced the Apprentice back away from the immediate area of danger.
        By this time, Innis had killed the Ghoul that had dropped near him earlier, and he now ran back to find Quail.  When the Sigilist saw him, she called, "The Grimoire by the door we came in; get it!”, and the Treasure Hunter nodded and let the Siglist know that Sally was working on an exit for them.  He then ran back the way they had come in to retrieve the book.

As a Ghoul drops from the ceiling in front of Bailey, Quail hits the creature with a Furious Quill and Sir Cardidil rushes to the Apprentice’s aid. 

     Sally still stood upon the throne, and she heaved at a second lever.  Again she heard a distant clang, but had no idea if it was the door they had come in or not, so she continued on to a third one. (The second lever opened a door near Knabe’s area of operation, and the third opened the one Gru had entered through.)
   While she slowly and methodically worked her way down the row of levers, Barc had retrieved the chest by the throne, and was heading back the way they had come in, and Luc had moved forward to make sure no new threats appeared from the far side of the throne room.  Suddenly, a trapdoor opened in the chamber on the far side of the crumbled wall where Luc stood, and a Ghoul emerged and lumbered towards him.    The poor Marksman then could not believe his eyes as two more dropped from hidden doors in the ceiling. (Gru and Bemis decided it was a good time to use up their remaining player controlled Ghouls).  Luc fought bravely, and killed one of the monsters, but he was no match for all of them, and they quickly overpowered him.
      Sally eventually pulled the correct lever, and the door they had come in swung open. (But not during the course of game play)  Slowly the exhausted and battered group made their way out and into the overcast gloom of the city.  Everyone was too tired to talk much on the trip home.  Sir Cardidil passed Bailey over to Quail, and the wizard held her tight under one arm as they walked, like a mother bird.  The young Apprentice still cried quiet tears on the trip back to the tower, and kept her eyes lowered towards the road before them; except for one point where she turned her head upwards and looking squarely at the Maga Librarian and said simply, “I’m sorry.”

Luc is overrun by Ghouls

           Back at the tower they were able to take stock of all they had retrieved from the Ghoul King’s Lair.  They had luckily managed to come away with four treasures.  There were two Grimoires: Wizard Eye and Explosive Rune; as well as a Book of Rangifer, and a Belt of Animal Repellence.  There had been a  good deal of gold too; 320 Gold Coins; and Quail figured if she sold the Book of Rangifer to the university, that would bring in another 150 in gold coins.    They had gotten off well injury-wise also.  Cirvid had been badly wounded, but a 10 GC salve would mend him up nice and quick.  And Luc had somehow managed to survive the Ghoul attack relatively unharmed.
     Later that night Quail sat in her room and considered the day.  It had been a trap they had walked into, pure and simple.   She would be more careful in the future following wild rumors.  However, it did mean that they were a threat to someone, or something, but who?   Then her mind turned to young Bailisette.   Her Apprentice seemed, at last,  to truly be on the mend now.  The Sigilist wasn’t sure what exactly happened in the chamber where her Apprentice had run to, (she had only bits and pieces of the story from Bailey and Sir Carididil,) but whatever it was, the emotional surge that had overtaken the young woman had seem to clear away a lot of the demons that had haunted her.    Quail knew she would have to find out the full story later, and that there was still a way to go before the old Bailey was back; but she was content for now that the anger seemed to be gone.  And, if the wizard was not mistaken, as they all took their evening meal, there had even been the briefest of happy smiles pass over the girl’s face as she sat quietly and listened to the others joke and laugh about their exploits during the day’s adventures.

The after-game shot.

Game Epilogue 
    It certainly was an interesting game!  I’ll give the author credit, each scenario in this book has offered it’s own unique challenges to overcome; which have been fun to tackle.   In this one the darkness and all the walls meant that there was very little the Spell Casters could do, as there were seldom targets to be seen.  Also, the Warbands, to a large extent, had only the briefest of contact. This was mitigated by the continually appearing Ghouls, and wandering monsters (Though, luckily, no wandering monsters ever entered in Quail’s area.) The trapdoors became particularly problematic, as more folks started standing on them, the chances of the Ghouls popping out of the ones by me jumped significantly; so I had no choice but to stand on them myself.
     We made one error in set up, as we originally set the table for 6 players, then when we found out we were only going to have 5, we reset things so instead of 3 thrones and kings/queens we had only two.  In doing this, we didn’t pay attention to the new spacing of the thrones (we were eager to start playing!), and it turned out that from two of the starting zones, (Gru’s and Basil the Enchanter’s) the thrones could be easily seen and brought under missile fire in turn 1.   This meant, in both cases, that the battles for the throne rooms were rather one sided.  Luckily for me, Gru was content to kill the King, gather the amulet, and the closet throne treasure, and move on, rather than stay and fight for the remaining treasure and levers.
     Quail had a good outing with 9 spells cast, 3 levers pulled, 7 Ghouls killed, and 4 treasure recovered; for 390 Experience Points.  Also, 470 Gold.  And, another trip where no one died.  I’m not sure how long this luck will last.
   I was also happy to resolve the Bailey story arc.  Yes, I pushed the issue a bit, as I don’t know if I would have run Bailey over towards Agarn by herself like that if it wasn’t for the narrative.  But, to be fair, Bemis’ Apprentice and a Treasure Hunter  that was with him, with a treasure, were over a move away from any help from their own side, so were rather juicy targets…

via One More Gaming Project
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Painting my Bones 3 Shipwreck Revenant Conversion with Succubus Queen Figurehead

Chris Palmer

     Last week, I posted my article for the conversion work I did on my Shipwreck Revenant, from the Bones 3 Titans of the Tide add-on set.    Since then I have been busy painting the model, and here are the results.
     To go way back to the beginning, the first thing I did before I even started the conversion work, was to soak the parts in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then I gave them a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsed and dried them.  I then did all the conversions.
     My first step to begin the painting process was to spray all the parts with Krylon with Fusion “Flat Black” spray paint.

    After the Black primer was dry, I drybrushed the whole model with Americana “Charcoal Grey”, and then Americana “Mississippi Mud”.

  I then did a final dry brush of Folk Art “Barn Wood”.

     I decided to paint this model in parts rather than glue it together first and then trying to paint it as one piece.  I selected the left arm to begin with.   When all the the drybrushing had a little while to dry, I began by applying some thinned ink splotches here and there to represent various algae and slimes. I used Iron Wind Metal “Orange”, “Chestnut Brown”, “Dark Green”, and “Deep Turquoise”.

     When the ink was dry, I base coated the coral with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cherry Blossom Pink”, Ceramcoat “Maple Sugar Tan”, and Americana “Buttermilk”.  I painted the lantern with Americana Sea Breeze, and the cannon with Ceramcoat “Walnut”. The rope was painted Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”.

   When the paint was dry, I gave the parts I had just painted (coral, cannon, lantern, rope) all a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I highlighted the coral with Apple Barrel “Apple Light Pink”, the “Buttermilk”, and Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  The cannon I applied some Duncan Aged Metal “Iron”, and then I highlighted the rope with Folk Art “Butter Pecan.  Next, I drybrushed the lamp with some Ceramcoat "Bronze”, and afterwards painted some broken glass in the panels of the lamp with White edges and Folk Art “Cloudy Day” streaks.  I also decided everything might look better if I tinted some of the wood a different shade so it didn’t all look the same color, so I gave the cannon mount a wash with some Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”. wash

     I basically repeated all the above steps for the other arm as well.  On this arm there were some barnacles as well, which I base coated with Americana “Dove Grey”, and then highlighted with White.

     I then moved on to the lower body.  I also used some Winsor Newton “Peat Brown” Ink here to give some of the wood a different shade, as well as the"Agrax Earthshade".  And, on this piece there were some starfish which I painted with Ceramcoat “Raw Sienna”, and some little knobby shellfish or coral of some kind which I painted Citadel “The Fang”, and a couple larger shellfish which I painted Folk Art Pearl “Aqua Moire”.  Also on this piece I painted some of the coral areas with Folk Art “Hunter Green” to (hopefully) look like seaweed.

     After the “Nuln Oil” wash was dry, besides doing the highlighting I had already listed with the left arm above; I highlighted the starfish with Citadel “Bronze Flesh”, the knobby shellfish with the “Cloudy Day”, and the seaweed with Crafter’s Acrylic “Holiday Green”.

    Lastly, I painted the top, just like I had painted the other parts.  However, there were some additions here:   There was an octopus around the back which I painted with a Reaper MSP mis-match sample that is kind of a salmon orangish color, and a paper handbill which I painted with Americana “Bleached Sand”.  The skeleton I painted with Americana “Antique White”, and the succubus I painted with Folk Art “Tomato Red”.  I painted the gold coins with the “Bronze”
     After the “Nuln Oil” wash was dry, I did the highlights as outlined on the other parts above.  I also highlighted the handbill with the “Light Antique White”, and did a little freehand writing on it with some Americana “Raw Umber”.  The skeleton I highlighted with the “Bleached Sand”, and the Succubus I highlighted with the base “Tomato Red”. 
      When I was done painting the figure, I glued all the parts together with Gorilla superglue.    I then used some white glue to glue a coarse sand mix to the base.  When this was dry, I painted the whole base with the “Raw Umber”; then, when that was dry, I drybrushed the  base with the “Territorial Beige”, then with some of the “Antique White”, and lastly with some of the “Bleached Sand”.  When dry, I glued on some tiny seashells, a little flocking, and some plastic foliage bits.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".   When the Dullcote was dry, I superglued some tiny gems onto the gold pile in the upper hull.

     I’m really happy with this project and how it turned out.  Unfortunately it’s one of those models that don’t really photograph well, but are better seem in person.  The way the long arms stick out to the front really blocks a lot of the good camera angles, and look weird jutting straight at the camera when photographed from the front straight on.  I also noticed the whole thing is a little top heavy from a composition standpoint.   I think if I were to do this model again, I might remove a couple sections from the middle and back end of the harpoon/anchor attachment, just to help bring it in a bit, and help it look less unwieldy.

via All Bones About It
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Portable Fantasy Campaign, Part 3

Rob Dean

As I noted previously on this blog, some gaming with my elder son in March left me with an itch to do a campaign.  I therefore sat down to do some reading, and pulled out five books from my collection that seemed pertinent.  These were:
The Partizan Press Guide to Solo Wargaming, Stuart Asquith
The Solo Wargaming Guide, William Silvester
Setting Up a Wargames Campaign, Tony Bath
Solo-Wargaming, Donald Featherstone
Wargame Campaigns, Charles S. Grant

Thus fortified by the wisdom of those who have gone before, I started considering how much record keeping I wanted to do, and what my goals were.  I have reminded myself periodically that my goal is to generate some interesting battles when no opponents are to hand, and to help to keep my painting focused on a broader goal of having this whole project available for conventions someday in the next few years.
Recalling that Hordes of the Things will be the army-level rules of choice, and that I intend to spice things up with Dragon Rampant games which will affect the outcome of the larger army-scale gaming (with skirmish games a possibility, but only rarely being something that would have a lasting effect at a higher level), I set down some preliminary thoughts on scale and record-keeping.
Having drawn the map, I started doing some calculations.  For purposes of the campaign, I wanted to use an area movement system, and have the turns be approximately a week.  With a movement rate of one area per week, this would imply a typical distance of about 50 miles across an area.  The map is about 7×10 areas, or about 350 by 500 miles.  
That is approximately half the size of France, an area which might have contained 6 million people before the Black Death.  If 5% were available for military service, that would be about 300,000 fighters.  Given that there are five countries on the map, if each had a 12 element Hordes of the Things army, each element would represent about 5000 men.  I typically imagine a HotT stand as about a thousand troops, and we are therefore in the right order of magnitude.  Let’s assume that the population is only half of that, since it’s going to be a turbulent period, and that each country can field two armies.  That would make each Hordes stand about 1250 figures, which is going to be close enough for a fantasy campaign which will not involve detailed logistics calculations.
This set of calculations implies to me, by the way, that the cities marked on the map are only the major population centers, and that there are undoubtedly a lot of smaller cities/towns/castles that are not represented.  At some point, I’ll have to think about what that implies about sieges and control of territory.
The logistics that I am willing to deal with will be based around HotT army points.  So, each country will have 24 army points times two armies, or 48 army points.  If each army point is supported by an abstract tax point, each country would have 48 tax points distributed across its six to eight locations.
I could probably handle the paperwork involved with the idea that each territory has some inherent “value” and that the tax points collected each year are 5-10% of the total value.  The reason to do this would be to reflect the effect of raiding warfare, where a successful raid would produce tax points immediately and reduce the overall tax base of the area, so that things would gradually wear down unless some sort of reinvestment was made.  I’d probably want to start each country with some sort of reserve treasury. Ross Macfarlane suggested to me that I could probably just let the tax value regenerate after the collection season, so that raids would have to be sustained to keep a province’s value depressed.  That would certainly take less record keeping.
The next question would be what the scale of a Dragon Rampant unit would be.  I am thinking that it would be hard to justify more than about 100 men per unit (so a ratio of about 1:10 against the figure representation on the table).  That would make a Hordes element worth 10 Dragon Rampant units.  So it would be a reasonable amount of bookkeeping to track the results of DR battles at the larger scale.  If a HotT element has lost 6 DR warbands it would round down to being undeployable in a HotT game, but from 0-5 DR warbands lost, it would round up to a normal HotT element.  
I have some thoughts about how to handle raiding/looting/chevauchee in more detail, but I think that will wait for later.
My hope is to kick this off soon with a Dragon Rampant scale game involving the forces of the Baron of Rienne against an increasingly organized company of bandits attempting to build a fort in the Debatable Marches.  The bandits will be “free”, but I’ll record any results against the Baron of Rienne’s forces.  Whether there are follow-ups and what they are, of course, is what makes a campaign.  

I might also note that I have been brainstorming ideas for role-playing game scenarios using this map, and the broader military campaign will potentially be interwoven with any games which result.

via The Sharp End of the Brush
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