Monthly Archives: September 2017

Tanks for the memories…

Buck

Blitzkrieg Miniatures 1:48 scale Pz. Kfw. III

I have been working on a stack of kits that were sitting on my war room floor.  These included some Bandai plastic kits and some Blitzkrieg Miniatures resin kits.  This is part of my campaign to be able to walk into the war room.

All of these kits will find themselves in a Combat Patrol™: WWII game soon.

Blitzkrieg Miniatures Stu.III and a Bandai 232

Much of my WWII ETO gaming is early war — Finland, Poland, and France.  I painted these in the early war paint scheme.  I’ll add some hand painted crosses to these this evening or tomorrow evening.

Bandai Hetzer and Pz.IV H

These late war tanks will get their crosses this evening as well.  This gave me a chance to get out my new airbrush and do the camouflage.  I have found the results are very dependent on the viscosity of the paint.  The Vallejo Model Air paints go through the brush like a dream, but I could NOT get the cheap craft paint to flow.  The Pz. IV skies are probably too fragile for gaming.  We’ll see.  I also plant to apply some foliage clusters to the front of the Hetzer for some visual interest.

Bandai Matilda II tanks

These were really fun kits to assemble.  I don’t game the desert campaign.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to use these.  On a recent trip to the Bovington tank museum, I bought a little book that showed this paint scheme for the Matildas in France in 1940.  I painted them in those colors for that campaign and also for some hypothetical Sea Lion games.

Bandai AT-ST “Chicken Walker”

I also assembled this for the upcoming Star Wars supplement to Combat Patrol™.  This was a fun kit.  I may get another one.  I generally like to employ vehicles in pairs.

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HAWKs Host Test Game for Alzheimer’s Patients

Submitted by HAWKs’ Member, Sam Fuson:

 

On 9 Sep HAWKS Ed Duffy and Sam Fuson conducted a test play of Panzer Kids Deluxe with Alzheimer’s Patients from Cross Keys Village.  I’ve attached two pictures, one of the table set up for play and second a post game photo with all the participants.   A staff member from the facility monitored and assisted in running the event.

Across the board this was a successful test; the players were engaged, had  fun and said they enjoyed destroying each other’s tanks.  Our goals were to promote thinking by running a Problem Solving Exercise, push motor functions, use lots of colors (eye stimulation/brain function) and do something they’ve never done.  The Germans and Italians fought against the British and French in an early war scenario (non-historic). Each player (there were 6 players and two observers) controlled 3 tanks.
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Early on as I explained the rules we saw that we needed to adjust the complexity of the game down.  We simplified the rules to a point where most of the players understood what was going on and game mechanics.  The players had a pretty wide range of ability to comprehend and actively participate.  The staff along with Ed, Kathy (my wife) and I feel we hit a good functional level so that the participants didn’t get confused or frustrated.  Fundamentally,  they enjoyed moving vehicles and rolling dice.  They made their own decisions on what to do after prompting.  The players followed our lead and we guided them through play, announcing the results of their rolls etc.

Bottom Line: They want us to come back; the look on the players faces on the post game photo shows much; we had fun.
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We used game dice and rules provided by Peter Schweighofer;  Thanks to Peter and all the HAWKS for sponsoring this event.

Final note. One of the players, named Ed, was a WWII Bombardier on a B24 Bomber.  He wanted to know where the planes were to support his attack!!

Wild West Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch and Winged Monkey: Bones 3 Figures

Chris Palmer

     Sorry we’re a day late… I ran out of time yesterday to finish up.   Anyhow, this past week I finished the last two figures from the Bones 3 Wild West Wizard of Oz set and did the Wicked Witch and the Winged Monkey minis.  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 figures from this set that I have already finished, see: Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion, and Dorothy & Toto.
       Once again, I tried to as best I could copy the look of the corresponding character from the Wizard of Oz movie.   What I found interesting about the Wicked Witch was that her outfit was entirely black from head to toe.

       I prepped the figures 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 witch figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer , and the monkey to a black-primed 7/8" fender washer, with Aleene’s Tacky glue. I then glued each washer-mounted figures to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

     I began by painting the witch’s clothes entirely with Black. When dry, I drybrushed them with Folk Art “Medium Grey”.

      I then painted her face and hands with Crafter’s Acrylic “Wild Green”.  After that I painted her broom handle with Ceramcoat  "Territorial Beige", and the broom straws with Americana “Sable Brown”.

     When the face and hands had time enough to dry, I gave them a wash with Iron Wind Metals “Dark Green” ink.  When that was dry, I gave the broom handle and straws a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash.  I then added shadows under her yes by mixing a little of the “Wild Green” with some Black.  I also  applied a little Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash to between her lips to help define her slightly open mouth.   Next, I painted her eyes, and then highlighted her face and hands with the base “Wild Green”. After that, I did some highlighting on her hair using Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and then went back over or outfit and did specific highlighting on some of the clothing edges with the “Medium Grey” to help define them.   I then turned to her broom and did highlighting on the straw with Ceramcoat “Maple Sugar Tan”. When that was done, I did a little crosshatch pattern between the two metal rings on the broom (like in the movie photo at the top) using Americana “Raw Umber”.  I then painted the rings Black, and then went back over them with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.  Lastly, I painted her integral base with Americana “Charcoal Grey”.
         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 her a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I then worked on the Winged Monkey.  I wanted to try to imitate the bluish-grey fur, blue face, and grey wings of the movie monkey, except in a metallic look.   I began by painting him entirely in Black.

     Then, when the Black was dry, I made a mix of Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey” and Folk Art “Metallic Blue Sapphire”, and used this to drybrush his body.  I then drybrushed his wings with the “Gunmetal Grey”. I then added a little Folk Art Pearl “Aqua Moire” to the mix to lighten it, and painted highlights on his body.

     Next, I used Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver” to do highlights on his wings, and after that I painted his face with the just the plain “Metallic Blue Sapphire” and highlighted it with the “Aqua Moire”.   I then tried to paint a bit of his jacket pattern (as seen in the movie photo at the top) on his shoulder pads and on his medallion.  I began by doing the base of the pattern in black, and then painted it with Americana “Dove Grey”, leaving a little of the Black edge showing.  This was followed by doing the interior of the pattern with Ceramcoat “Opaque Red”, making sure to leave the “Dove Grey”, and Black edges show.
     Next I worked on his eyes and the grill work on his chest.  I painted his eye sockets and the grill slots with Iron Wind Metals “Red” ink. When the ink was dry, I painted the eyes and the slots with the “Opaque Red”.  Afterwards, I painted the pupils and the very center of the slots with Reaper MSP “Golden Glow”.   Finally, I painted his lips with the “Opaque Red”, and then mixed in a little of the “Golden Glow” to do highlights.
     Then, like with the witch, I painted his integral base with Americana “Charcoal Grey”.
         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 like how the pair turned out.   Of all the set, I think these two fall closest to their movie counterparts in appearance.
     And here’s a look at the whole Wild West Wizard of Ox set, both heroes and villains…

     I think they all turned out really well, and make a pretty nice looking set of figures.

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Commencement of Hostilities

Norman Dean From The Times of Mindon – March 4, 1854 AUT

WAR DECLARED
Occiterran troops force border crossing near Urell
Our correspondents in Lutens and Rugen have confirmed that a state of war now exists between Occiterre and Elabrun. This follows years of tensions between the continental powers over the North Seridian question, and Emperor Jules III’s repeated statements of support for the rebels in Melaponte and Pollograta…

Reports from the frontier indicate that the Occiterran First Army have seized the crossing at Rougepont, but that the Elabruner Army des Westens under General Graf von Kettefurt has repelled a two-pronged attack on the town of Urell. If the Occiterrans can take the town, they may be able to capture the key passes of the North Canton that lie beyond, threatening to sweep into the disputed provinces along the Fredda River…

A response is expected shortly from the government of the Republic of Seridia, which has also supported the North Seridian rebels. Chief Minister Athelby and the House of Thanes have reaffirmed that Stratland will remain neutral…

This past weekend, the armies of my 19th century imagi-nations, Occiterre and Elabrün, finally got their first outing. Dad and I played three games using Neil Thomas’s “One Hour Wargames” rules, using the some of the scenarios included in the book. I wanted something short and simple that would require only a limited number of units, and these certainly fit those requirements. The games were fast and entertaining enough, but maybe a little too simple – it seems like the side that is forced to move is at a distinct disadvantage, since units can’t move and fore, and there are no distinctions for long vs. short range. On the other hand, the combinations of slightly randomized armies and classic scenarios offers a good amount of replayability that could be carried over to a different ruleset.

Occiterran infantry crosses a river with artillery support

The first game involved the Occiterrans crossing a river, with the Elabrüners attempting to gradually withdraw their forces while holding off the Occiterran advance. While the Elabrüner troops in the town did hold off the Occiterrans for a while, by the end of Turn 15, the Occiterrans had secured the bridge and proceeded to advance across the board.

Elabrüner infantry and jaegers defend a key hill
The second game involved a small Elabrüner force defending a hill against a larger Occiterran force while waiting for reinforcements. Elabrün was fortunate to have some light infantry available in this game, who stationed themselves in the small patch of woods at the base of the hill and proved a nuisance for the Occiterrans the entire game. The Occiterran assault petered out, and the Elabrüners were able to reinforce their position.

Occiterran forces press an unsuccessful attack on a town
The third game saw the Elabrüners once again taking a defensive position, this time in a town, which the Occiterrans were required to capture. Unfortunately for the Occiterrans, their forces this time included two units of cavalry, which by the rules were not allowed to enter the town, and their infantry was not able to carry the day alone.
So, overall score at the moment is Elabrün 2, Occiterre 1. So far Elabrün seems to be holding out pretty well against the invasion; maybe a counterattack will come next, or maybe Occiterre will bring more forces to bear…

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Combat Patrol(TM) Star Wars game on Friday

Buck

Droids lining up for battle

Last Friday night we played another Combat Patrol™ game to test the soon-to-be-released Star Wars supplement.  This scenario involved droids versus clones.  I had recently gotten my hands on a couple of droid and clone tanks, so this gave us a chance to try — and correct — vehicle stats for the supplement.  This was our first test with a LOT of vehicles on the table.

Clones lining up for battle

You can see that we make heavy use of the old Star Wars collectable miniatures games figures — and anything else we can get our hands on that is within scale..  The droid AAT tanks are from Revel.  The clone tanks are a Transformers toy that is in the right scale for 25mm figures.

Another view of the clone initial deployment

We played one of Greg’s stock scenarios.  A ship has crashed, and both sides must recover the droid that has important information.

Droids advance. Roger! Roger!

The clones rushed forward with a speeder bike scout unit, reaching the area well ahead of anyone else.  The damage important droid (the objective)  moved randomly, and unfortunately he moved away from the speeder bike unit.

Clones on speeder bikes rush forward

A view of the droid advance. You can see cotton on the far AAT where the clone tank hit it and “brewed it up.”

Send in the clones! The advance through the woods.

There was a large melee between droids and clones on the clone left flank.  The droids got the better of the fight, eliminating a squad of clones, but the clones sent more forces forward to turn the tide.

A view from behind the droids. In the distance you can see Yoda has grabbed the droid with the important information.

The droid with the important information wandered aimlessly, moving away from the clones on the speeder bikes, but right to Yoda.  Yoda gave the droid a force push into the arms of another clone squad.  At this point, while the combat casualties were about even, the clones had the upper hand in the scenario, because they had possession of the droid.

We uncovered some items we needed to fix regarding the Star Wars vehicles.  I think that the supplement has really come along well.  Combat Patrol™ with Greg’s modifications gives a pretty good representation of Star Wars-era combat.

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Photo Shoot for Star Supplement to Combat Patrol(TM)

Buck

Yesterday HAWKs member, Greg Priebe, and I got together to take some illustrative and filler pictures for the nearly-completed Star Wars supplement for Combat Patrol™: World War II.  This supplement is nearly complete and should be released in a couple of weeks.

We also had a chance to review the vehicle and weapon listings and correct some inconsistencies.  I think that this will make a very popular supplement.  The rules will allow much larger games than the Star Wars collectable miniatures game, Imperial Assault, or Legion.

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Imagi-Nations Interlude

Rob Dean

I’ve been in a busy period at work, so I haven’t been doing too much gaming in the evenings the past couple of weeks.  I did get one thing done, as a leftover from the previous blog post.  I sat down and finished the Saxon mounted companion stand I’ve been working on, for Dux Bellorum.  I’m experimenting with some commercial flags from Wargames Designs for this project.  I also did the metal work last weekend on several more stands’ worth of troops, so I’ll be able to provide some choices in war band composition for the Saxons even if I don’t get in a casting sessions before the weather becomes too cold.
My son Norman had arranged to stop in for a visit this weekend, in conjunction with getting some car maintenance done, so we had been considering what we might do by way of gaming. He has been working (intermittently, as we all sometimes do) on a 19th century imagi-nations project for several years, originally inspired by the acquisition of some interesting toy building blocks at Cold Wars back in 2014.  He’s recently completed a few more stands, leaving him with forces that would do for Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames rules.  Ross Macfarlane had posted a review of One Hour Wargames back in 2015, and I didn’t have high expectations, but I also didn’t have a good suggestion for an alternative set of rules, so we agreed that we would give them a try.  
One of the nicer aspects of One Hour Wargames are the scenarios, already keyed to a three foot square map.  Norman and I both have sets of double sided mats in that size, so setting things up was a breeze.  The first game we tried was using Scenario 9 “Double Delaying Action”.  I took the Elabruenese forces, attempting to prevent the Occiterrans from capturing the town and exiting the map on the road on my side of the river, while also subject to a requirement to withdraw three units at various stages of the game.  We each had a full six unit army (the maximum given for scenarios in these rules).  I ended up able to withdraw my units on schedule, but was unable to prevent the capture of the town and the subsequent exit of a pursuit force,
Elabruen forces mass for delaying action; dice indicate remaining unit strength
Cavalry and skirmishers on my left flank guard the ford
We chose scenario 8, “Melee”, for our second game.  We switched armies, since Norman wishes to maintain an impartiality to these forces, rather than espousing loyalty to one of them. The scenario involves both sides attempting to control a dominant hill, with forces coming in piecemeal for both sides.
Elabruenese defending a large hill in Scenario 8

Since Norman’s forces started in possession of the hill, it was up to me to take it, and I did start with a larger force.  Unfortunately for me, I was still figuring out how tactics work in this game, so ended up spending too much effort uselessly attempting to get an artillery unit in position.  I was never able to put enough concentrated fire on the hill to clear it, and Norman was victorious again.

Not a good day for Occiterre…

After the game, we did a quick hot wash, and concluded that the side with the need to move into the enemy fire zone first was going to be at a disadvantage.  However, with the random force assignment, we did note that the battle would have been much different if his force had included cavalry instead of the skirmisher who had made trouble in the woods through the whole game, for example.

We had intended to play some Full Thrust, a space game that’s been in Norman’s collection for many years, but the business of digging out Legos and forming them into two spaceship squadrons took longer than expected.  We boxed the ships up for the next visit, which will give me a chance to read up on the rules as well.

 Before his departure this morning, we threw one more One Hour Wargames scenario on the table.  This time the battle was #10, “Late Arrivals”.  A random throw left me with the Elabruenese as defenders in a race against time, as I started with 2 units against his 6, and the reinforcements were not particularly prompt.

I did, at least, have a town to defend.  This time around, Norman got an army list with cavalry and no artillery, and the cavalry can’t enter the town.

That made the open ground a dangerous place for my troops, but the difficulties Norman had in wearing down my town defenders fast enough ultimately gave me the victory, leaving me one for three for the weekend. 
Nevertheless, a good time was had by all, and it was nice to have the opportunity to get his project on the table for the first time.  I would play One Hour Wargames again; it was neither quite so static nor so fast as Ross’s review had led me to expect, but I should note that he used the ancients rules section, while we used the horse and musket rules.

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From “The Encyclopedia of Proxia”

Norman Dean A bit of background on some of the countries from this map

ELABRUN

The Emperor of Elabrun rules a vast large and diverse realm, from the plains of the east to the mountains in the west, and his subjects speak a dozen languages or more. This Empire has been slowly patched together since the Chivalric Age by the Falkenburg family, who started as Dukes of a small Nordoric state in the Nivean Mountains. Through advantageous marriages and shrewd alliances, they expanded their realm, and by the end of the Chivalric Age, the Falkenburgs ruled the sizable Duchy of Rugen and had holdings as far away as northern Seridia.

With the fall of the Maxenian Empire, the Falkenburgs found themselves in the path of the Koraman advance, as the victorious nomads swept through Stecjia and conquered the city-states along the Muriatic Sea. However, the Falkenburgs were able to raise an army of their own from among their vassals, and held off the Koraman invaders in the great siege of Rugen. Throughout the Rational Age, the Falkenburgs regained much of eastern Proxia, unifying it in what became known as the Empire of Elabrun, after the Falkenburgs’ original domain.

As the Empire grew, it came into conflict with other powers besides the Koramans. The Haumont kings of Occiterre resented Elabruner expansion into northern Seridia, and many of the Nordaler states were wary of their southern cousin, which often tried to expand its influence in the north. With the fall of the Haumonts, Elabrun became entangled in the Fraternal Wars, and was a frequent foe of Jules I after his rise to power. The long period of war strained the Empire, and many of the far-flung provinces began to see calls for independence.

With peace once more reigning in Proxia, the current Emperor Maxim IV has been working to weld the Empire into a more cohesive whole, and to develop good relations with the now-unified Republic of Nordalen to the north. But the recent independence of Stecjia and Dobria from the Koramans has caused some of the southeastern provinces to grow restless, and worse still, some of the Seridian provinces have risen in revolt, no doubt inspired by their compatriots across the border. The recent ascension of Jules III in Occiterre has sparked fears in the court at Rugen that he may intervene on the side of the North Seridian rebels…

FLUSSLAND

Flussland has always depended on trade. Its origins lie in the Chivalric Age, as a defensive pact between a number of merchant cities along the Sleeve. At its height, the city of Plewen was one of the busiest ports in the world, and the Flusser Republic rivaled Stratland and Occiterre in power, with profitable colonies around the globe. However, the economic tides turned, and a series of wars with its rivals left Flussland exhausted.

Nor did Flussland fare well during the wars of Jules I. The country was conquered by Occiterre, and even after the death of Jules I, Occiterre retained two of its southern provinces. The remainder of the country regained its independence, but the republic was abolished, and a cousin of the Stratish monarch was made king. These days, though neutral in theory, its interests largely align with those of Stratland, which sees it as a potential foothold on the continent. Meanwhile, the old mercantile families are using the years of relative peace to rebuild their trade networks.

GOSPODINIA

This vast country stretches far to the east, across both forests and steppes. Much of Gospodinia was once ruled by nomads from these steppes, who were slowly driven back by the ancestors of the Gospodinians. Because of its size, the country has never been subject to a strong central authority–the Grand Hetman is elected by the nobility, and the greatest magnates rule domains the size of small kingdoms. Most of the population are peasants, tied to the land in a way of life largely unchanged since the Chivalric Age.

Since the disastrous Occiterran invasion forty years ago, the Gospodinian nobility have started to take more of an interest in the affairs of Western Proxia. Several of the recent Grand Hetmans have come from the Narostki family, and have been trying to increase the power of the central government. A key part of this effort has been to build a modern national army and navy to supplement the nobles’ levies. However, a recent attempt to test these new forces in an invasion of the Koraman Empire came up against opposition from the western powers. This culminated in an intervention by the Stratish, Occiterrans, and Seridians on behalf of the Koramans, and a lengthy siege of the port of Strelopunsk.

KORAMAN EMPIRE

The Koramans were once a single tribe among the nomads of the Procalan steppe, raiding the borders of the Tyran Empire. When the Tyrans lost their western provinces, the emperor Maxenius built a new capital in the east, which he named Maxenopolis. For centuries, the Maxenian Empire held sway over the Archian islands and much of nearer Procala. The Koramans fought against the Maxenians as well, even as they grew to lead a confederation of the steppe tribes. Over centuries of war and peace, the Koraman-led confederation gained the upper hand, forcing the Maxenians out of Procala, until at last the Empire was left with little besides the city of Maxenopolis.

By this time, the Koramans had become an Empire in their own right, one of the greatest of the late Chivalric Age. When Maxenopolis fell to them at last, it sent shockwaves through all of Proxia. Koraman armies swept west, subjugating the mountain kingdoms as far north as Rugen, and Koraman fleets threatened the Seridian city-states. Only an alliance led by the Duke of Rugen was finally able to halt their advance, after a long siege of Rugen itself. Throughout the Rational Age, the Koraman Empire remained a great power, but the Elabruner descendants of the Dukes of Rugen have gradually retaken much of their eastern Proxian holdings, and in the past few decades, some of the mountain kingdoms have regained their independence. The Koraman Empire these days is a shadow of its former self, propped up by some of the western powers as a counterbalance against the increasing strength of Gospodinia.

OCCITERRE

The history of Occiterre dates back to the fall of the Old Tyran Empire, when Nordoric barbarians overran many of the western provinces and set up numerous petty kingdoms of their own. One of these was the kingdom of Lutens, centered on the former Tyran city of Lutenium. Over time, the kings of Lutens expanded their holdings at the expense of their neighbors, and by the end of the Chivalric Age, they reigned from the Stratish Sleeve to the Gulf of Lucra. By this time, their realm was more often known as “Occiterre”, the “western land”. 


As Proxia emerged from the Chivalric Age into the light of the Rational Age, Occiterre took its place as one of the great powers of the continent. Under the Haumont kings, Occiterre contended with Stratland, Pelendia, Elabrun, the Flusser Republic, the Koraman Empire, the city-states of Seridia, and the fractured fiefs of Nordalen.

But sixty years ago, with the death of Omri XII, the Haumont dynasty came to an end and the Fraternal Wars began. There were many claimants to the throne of Occiterre, both foreign princes and scions of its own noble houses. Alliances were formed and broken, and in some places the peasants and bourgeois rose up, calling for the end of the monarchy.

It was with the help of some of these radical factions that Jules Brasfort first came to the fore. A minor noble and distant relative of the Haumonts, he was a captain stationed in the port of Mayon when Omri XII died. When the Pelendians invaded, he organized the defence of Mayon, then raised an army to repel the invaders. After this victory, the people of Mayon acclaimed him as Tribune of the city. The next year, Jules marched north to Montchemin, where he defeated the army of a prince who was supported by Elabrun. In every city he passed, he gathered the people together and had them choose a Tribune to govern them. Soon he arrived at Lutens, and the people of the capital threw open the gates for him. Jules called for all the Tribunes to come to Lutens, then told them that they must choose someone to rule all of Occiterre. Naturally they chose Jules, who was crowned as the first Emperor of Occiterre.

This was the beginning of the end of the Fraternal Wars–there were still some provinces in the west that did not acknowledge Jules as Emperor, and even today there are still some “Haumont” pretenders who claim to be the rightful king of Occiterre. But soon Jules I had unified all of Occiterre and turned his attention to the rest of Proxia. He decided that the best way to keep the Occiterran people united was to lead them against their neighbors. So he began campaigns against Pelendia and Elabrun, and set up new states in Seridia and Nordalen. The Stratish became worried about his domination of the continent, and joined an alliance against him. For twenty years, he fought up and down Proxia, winning victory after victory. But finally, in far-off Gospodinia, his luck ran out when a wound from a stray musket ball festered.

His son, Jules II, was only fifteen when his father died, and so a regency was set up. The generals and statesmen of the regency council negotiated an end to the wars and began rebuilding the country. Once he came of age, Jules II continued these policies. Under his rule, the first railroads and telegraphs were built in Occiterre. Trade flourished, colonies were set up in far away lands, and Occiterre became a great power in Proxia once more. But new powers were on the rise as well: the Confederation of Nordalen that Jules I had set up soon collapsed, but from its ashes emerged the Republic of Nordalen. And in the south, the Seridians also formed a Republic, whose leaders still look north to those territories still held by the Empire of Elabrun. Occiterran governments greeted these developments with cautious optimism, hoping that these new nations will be allies against the old powers of Stratland and Elabrun.

Two years ago, Jules II died, and his son took the throne. Jules III is a brash young man who idolizes his heroic grandfather and wishes to see Occiterre dominant in Proxia once again.

SERIDIA

The Seridian peninsula was once the heartland of the Old Tyran Empire, one of the mightiest powers of the ancient world. Bolstered by the Archian diaspora after the fall of the Islands, the Tyrans built an empire that spanned much of western Proxia and nearer Procala. But that empire collapsed thirteen centuries ago, in an invasion by Nordoric peoples from the north, who even sacked Tyra itself.

Throughout the Chivalric Age, Seridia was a backwater, sometimes dominated by foreign powers and sometimes by city-states that rose above their neighbors. But when Maxenopolis fell to the Koramans, the Seridian cities became havens for the new Diaspora. The advances in arts and sciences brought by the fleeing scholars of the east marked the start of the Rational Age, and the city-states of Seridia were among the first to benefit. For centuries, they were unsurpassed in culture–yet politically they remained weak, and often influenced by Occiterre, Elabrun, Pelendia, or the Koramans.

It was not until the wars of Jules I that Seridia was united once more. Jules conquered both the northern regions–then controlled by Elabrun–and the Pelendian-backed kingdom in the south. In their place, he established a republic, harkening back to the pre-imperial traditions of Old Tyra. This republic did not long survive Jules’ death–the Elabruners reconquered the north, and a king was restored in the south following the Treaty of Rugen. But it endured long enough for a generation to come of age knowing Seridia as a united country.

One of these was Alessandro Capporossa. Born in Zampogna, he was a student in Tyra when Jules captured the city. He served as a representative for Zampogna during the First Republic, and when the king was restored, he fled overseas to the Pelendian colonies, where he fought in aid of the revolutionaries there. Twenty years ago, with the death of King Luigi III, Capporossa returned to Seridia, with a force of three hundred fellow exiles. Together they marched on Tyra, and proclaimed a new Republic. Despite the efforts of Elabrun, many of the southern cities raised the Green Star once more.

Now an old man, Capporossa still dreams of liberating the north from Elabruner rule. Seridian patriots in Turchino, Melaponte, and even Trampoli have repeatedly risen in revolt, but still Elabrun has maintained their hold. With the ascension of Jules III, the Seridian government has renewed hopes that Occiterre may help them regain the lost provinces.

STRATLAND

This island country has long been the premier naval power in Proxia. Known to the Old Tyrans as the Tin Isles, when the Empire fell, the islands were conquered by Stratic raiders from across the Cold Sea, cousins of the Nordoric tribes. In the early Chivalric Age, the Stratish frequently raided the coasts of Occiterre and Flussland, until finally an invasion led by the bastard son of the king of Lutens crossed the Sleeve and brought the islands under control. The descendants of Martin the Bastard set up their own kingdom in Stratland, which would prove to be a great rival of Occiterre throughout the Chivalric and into the Rational Age. Since the beginning of the Rational Age, much of the power is held by the House of Thanes, some of whom are hereditary, but others of whom are elected from among the free yeomen.

Despite their long rivalry with the Haumont kings of Occiterre, the Stratish were no happier to see Jules I on the throne. The formidable Stratish navy fought many battles against his empire, and the profits of Stratish trade and industry funded alliances against him on the continent. Since the death of Jules I, the Stratish have been content to maintain the balance of power in Proxia, even cooperating with their old Occiterran rivals in some cases. Stratish interests are increasingly taken up with trade and colonization abroad and booming industries at home, fueled by the islands’ rich resources of coal and metal.

from Junkyard Planet http://junkyardplanet.blogspot.com/2017/09/from-encyclopedia-of-proxia.html
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Frostgrave “Thaw of the Lich Lord” Bone Wheel: Simple Halloween Scratchbuild

Chris Palmer     This past week I assembled a prototype Bone Wheel terrain piece for the “The Bone Wheel” scenario in the Frostgrave supplement book, Thaw of the Lich Lord.    Since we usually have 6-8 players in our Frostgrave Campaign games, I intend to make three more of these now that I have finished the prototype.
     The scenario describes the Bone Wheel as, “A gigantic wheel, sitting some eight feet off the ground on a central axle…the wheel is constructed of human bones, bound together with old leather straps…”   I knew there was no way I was going to make a big wheel out of 28mm bones, as it would take hundreds, so I headed to the local Dollar Tree store in hopes of finding something that would be bugger than 28mm but not so large that it wouldn’t look too out of place with 28mm scenery and figures.
    Happily, I found a skeleton Halloween garland that looked like it would suit the purpose perfectly.

   But, before I built the wheel, I wanted to make the central axle.  So I dug through my wood bits box, and found some pieces I thought would work; a disc, a couple small spools, and a small soda bottle shape.  I glued those in a stack on a 2" fender washer.

    I then cut off the skeletons’ arms and legs, and then cut the feet of the legs.    Next, I hot-glued the legs to a 1" fender washer, and then hot-glued the arms around the outer edge.

      I decided the center needed some sort of cover piece,  so I cut one of the ribcages in half, and glued that to the center.  I then did a test fit of the two parts.

      Happy with the fit, I used some of the string that came with the garland to make some lashings around the bone junctures, where the central spokes met the outer rim bones. I then sprayed the parts with flat black primer.  And, as seen in the photo below, I began drybryushing the central axle with some aged wood colors.

          It was just a matter of finishing painting everything, and then fitting the two pieces together.

Shown with a 28mm Reaper figure for scale.
    I’m happy with how the project turned out.  Since this is a scenery piece that will probably only ever be used for this scenario, I didn’t put a lot of effort into it.   Still, for a quick job, I think it looks pretty good.

via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2017/09/frostgrave-thaw-of-lich-lord-bone-wheel.html
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HAWKs Launch Battle in a Box Contest

Buck

The Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers are launching the Battle in a Box contest for Fall In! 2018.  Pass the word!

See more information here:  http://www.bucksurdu.com/Buck_Surdu/Battle_in_a_Box_Contest.html

from Buck’s Blog http://bucksurdu.com/blog/?p=6907
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