Monthly Archives: May 2019

NQSYW: Field Maneuvers at the Weishaus Tavern

Rob Dean

King Rupert had noted the the recent performance of the army of Schoeffen-Buschhagen on the field had been, to say the least, uninspiring.  While troops deployed against Rosmark had some success in le petit guerre, stopping a vital convoy of supplies for the Rosish forces, and had successfully delayed the advancing Rosish by destroying the bridge at Sittangbad (though at fearful cost),  attempts to counterattack had not been successful.  Recalling reports of a session  of field training maneuvers which had been held by the initiative of a group of Allied colonels some time previously, the King and the Prince-Palatine of Wachovia agreed that another such exercise should be conducted.

Adjudication Team meeting before the maneuvers

The field of action, with Monk’s Hill on the left, the orchard in the left center, and the Weishaus tavern in the right center

A relatively open area near the Weishaus tavern was chosen for the action.  The Adjudicators were briefed on the rules for the day’s activities, and the troops were drawn up as though for battle.

The Wachovians deployed with their gun on the far right of their line, intending to emplace it on a small hill, and both of their cavalry regiments in the relatively open ground between the Weishaus and the hill.  Three infantry battalions were tasked with seizing the Weishaus, control of which was considered to be the condition of victory.  The light infantry were poised to advance into the orchard, and a forth infantry battalion anchored the line to the left.

The Schoeffen-Bushhagen troops, approaching the field from the north, deployed with their light infantry at the edge of the wood on their left, dragoons at the road to the tavern, three infantry battalions poised to attack the orchard and angle, and a right flank guard consisting of the artillery, which intended to deploy on Monk’s Hill, an infantry battalion for security, and the hussars as a flank guard.

S-B infantry advances on the angle by the orchard
The Chief Adjudicator ordered the bugles sounded to commence the action.  Eager to demonstrate their elan, the Wachovian hussars dashed across the field and attacked the King Rupert Jaegers, still drawn up by the woods in a line formation.  Despite the protests of the hussar commander, the Adjudicators ruled that the charge had failed, and that the hussars were destroyed.  The hussars cheerfully headed off to the tavern to await the end of the maneuvers, and it was later suggested that this might have been a deliberate ruse on their part to get out of the action early to begin the drinking.  The Adjudicators may have to consider this point in future maneuvers.

Wachovian hussars realizing that the drinking can begin once they have been adjudicated as casualties
With the Wachovian hussars cleared from the field, the S-B dragoons (elements of the Prince’s Dragoon Guards not involved in the recent surrender at Sittangbad) spurred across the field to be met by a countercharge by the Wachovian cuirassiers. Since it was just an exercise, both sides slowed before contact and engaged in a display of horseback fencing.  The Adjudicators ruled that the S-Bs had the better of the contest, and the cuirassiers trotted off to await the end of the day, along with a few dragoons.

Cavalry clash

Meanwhile, in the center, the Schoeffen-Buschhagen infantry advanced with drums beating and flags flying.  The plan had been to take the Weishaus with a detachment of jaegers, while the line infantry cleared out the Wachovians.  In practice, this did not go as planned.  Wachovian jaegers (the Wilderin) in the orchard proved very difficult to dislodge, and the S-B infantry was slow in taking up positions along the roadside wall at the angle, which was expected to provide sufficient cover to be able to engage in a fire fight with the Wilderin.

The attack on the Angle

Out on the S-B left, another detachment of the King Rupert Jaegers was caught by a Wachovian line unit, which showed more enthusiasm for running than the Jaegers.  Perhaps this was another case of motivation during maneuvers being less than during an actual battle.  In any case, they were sent off to the tavern to await the end of the exercise.

Knowing it’s only an exercise, S-B Jaegers fail to retire quickly enough

By mid-afternoon, the Wachovians were firmly in control of the Weishaus grounds.  In the center, one of the three S-B infantry battalions had been battered and was in danger of being removed from the field.

Overview

Wachovians seize the Weishaus

Situation about mid-action

The few S-B dragoons remaining in action attempted to deal with the Wachovian infantry, but despite charging them while they were reforming, were ruled defeated and out of action.  Their officers were getting thirsty, otherwise they would have undoubtedly protested this decision.

Remaining S-B dragoons attempt to break a small troop of Wachovian foot

Eventually rising losses among the S-B infantry in the center decided the action.  Compelled to withdraw, there was insufficient time to reform, organize another attack, and perhaps drive the Wachovians, also wearing down, from the Weishaus.

S-B infantry retires from the Angle

As the sun touched the horizon, the Adjudicators ordered the bugles sounded again, to signal the end of the maneuvers, and all the Allies settled down to supper, with drinks provided by King Rupert.  The Prince Palatine looked over the field at the thirsty troops, and remarked that he was pleased that his troops had won, as Wachovia could ill afford such a defeat.

The situation at the end; Wachovians hold the Weishaus as the clock runs out
The Players’ view

From the players’ point of view, this game was played with A Gentleman’s War rules, from Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley.  Since Norman was trying these out for the first time, we left the distinctions rules out, as suggested in the book.  In the NQSYW, our countries are always staunch allies, so we followed the fictional conceit we use for battles between the two as being field maneuvers.

While I didn’t keep good notes, timestamps on the photos suggest that we started playing around 8:30 AM and finished up around 11:00, having cycled through three decks of cards.  We had agreed that breaking five units would constitute victory, or possession of the Weishaus at the end of the third deck (since Norman was up against a real world time limit and needed to get home).  As it was, we ran out the clock, although he was close to breaking a couple of my units. We had eight units per side, and the available space in the well of the game table is 3 feet by 5 feet.  Six units and perhaps one fewer terrain piece might have made for a more mobile game, but I am still getting a feel for the rules.  Nevertheless, I was generally very pleased with how much it felt like a larger battle.  Norman noted that he wouldn’t want to give up the grand sweep of the Charge! rules which we usually use with these figures.  While I agree, we also would have been hard pressed to put a Charge! game on in this 3×5 space.  I intend to post a fuller review of the rules soon.

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Ghost Pirates: Bones 4 Figures

Chris Palmer

   This past week I worked on the Ghost Pirates set from the Bones 4 Core Set.   The Core Set came with 5 of these figures, and I ordered a second set so I would have a unit of 10 for larger games. I painted the second 5 the exact same way that I painted the first 5, so did not include progress shots of them; but I did include them in the group photos at the end.
   I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.   I then glued each one to an unprimed 1" fender washer, with Aleene’s Tacky glue.  I then glued the figures to a number of tongue depressors with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

 

       I began by painting the washers with Americana “Metal Primer”.  I then painted the figures completely with Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish; as I  planned to use ink on them, and the matte varnish gives the ink something to hold on to better than the bare plastic.  When the matte varnish was dry, I applied a heavily thinned wash of Citadel “Green” Ink to the figures, trying to keep it just on the pirates themselves and not on the “scenery” pieces on the bases.

Note, I added a coat of un-thinned “Green” ink to the bottles the righthand pirate is carrying to give them a green glass look.

      When the ink was was dry, I painted their eyes with tiny dots of Americana “Margarita”, and then painted the bases with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”.

     Next, I drybrushed the scenic bases with a 50-50 mix of Americana “Neutral Grey” and Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  This was followed with a lighter drybrushing using Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and a last highlight drybrushing with Americana “Dove Grey”.  I then painted the skulls on the bases with, first, Americana “Khaki Tan”, and then drybrushed with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.  Lastly, I painted the rest of the base and washer with the Mississippi Mud".
    I let the figures 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 apply a fine sand mixture to the bases.  I decided not to spray varnish these as I have had some issues in the past with the translucent figures getting a little tacky after a while; so I’m just going to go with the brush on matte varnish. I did put a little Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish on the bottles the drinking pirate is holding to make them look like glass.

This is the original five I painted as shown above.

These are the original five as well.

And here’s the whole crew.

     I’m really happy with these.  They turned out just as I had hoped.    The translucents are always a challenge to strike the right balance between keeping the translucency and applying shadow and highlight, and I think I hit a happy balance here.

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Huzzah 2019 AAR

Rob Dean

It has taken me a week to get to my Huzzah report.  Ross Macfarlane has, as usual, written circles around me and gotten all of his Huzzah material posted already, although it might be noted that he has the advantage of being retired. For those not already familiar with Huzzah, it is an excellent local convention run each May by the Maine Historical Wargamers (MHW) in Portland, and has the additional special advantage of being about halfway between my house in Delaware and Ross’s house in Nova Scotia.
In preparing for this year’s Huzzah, Ross and I had agreed that we would field games using our Not Quite Seven Years War collections.  Mine hadn’t been out in a year or so, at least until we did the remote playtest of the Ambush scenario a few weeks ago.  Following the playtest, we agreed on the force levels we would use at Huzzah.  I brought two 24-man infantry units, 2 12-man infantry units, 2 12-man cavalry units, a 12-man sapper unit, and a couple of guns, plus some command figures.  Two 6-liter boxes have been calculated to be the most that will fit under the seat on most commercial flights, and that all fit, once I selected the cavalry from those who were’t waving swords in the air.
Infantry ready to go

Cavalry, with a few needed taller figures cushioned in handkerchiefs
Armies on the go; 2 6-liter Really Useful Boxes

Getting the troops through security was interesting, as always.  I could see by the look on the x-ray operator’s face that she was trying to decide what to ask, so I just jumped in and said that it was a box of toy soldiers.

I met fellow HAWK Duncan Adams at the airport; we hadn’t planned to travel together, but the limited air schedule from Baltimore to Portland meant that I wasn’t completely surprised to see him.  We had a limited HAWKs team this year, just four of use altogether.

We arrived at the hotel in good time, before the MHW people had finished setting up registration.  Registration was the one element of the convention that didn’t go as well as the MHW had probably hoped.  It was entirely my own fault that I forgot to register in advance, but the computer system they were using this year turned out, as they discovered, to be unable to register people at the door.  Handing them cash in return for a handwritten badge was not a problem, but it did have the knock-on effect of leaving me unable to register for any games, since I wasn’t in the computer system.  They said that they would return the paper game registration books next year, or perhaps they will have the computer system worked out.  I will also make sure that I am properly registered…

Ross arrived within an hour, and we decided to set up a test game of A Gentleman’s War in the afternoon session.  I don’t have much to add to Ross’s account of the battle

A couple of turns in; initiative cards and rules prominently displayed

We were pleased with how the rules played, particularly as a two-player game.  I was a little slow in picking up the implications of the initiative system, and Ross was able to get better use from his artillery.  So, the forces of Schoeffen-Buschhagen were eventually compelled to retreat, leaving the village in the hands of the Rosish.

After supper, we set up the second game.  This was the ambush scenario (#30) from C.S. Grant’s Scenarios for Wargames, using Ross’s home rules, “With MacDuff to the Frontier”.

S-B Adelmann Regiment advances to its blocking position

S-B von Nordhafen Regiment also moving to block

Wachovian Hussars facing down the Rosish cavalry

As Ross has noted, the Schoeffen-Buschhagen ambushing force put most of its strength into a blocking effort along the road, and left the light infantry off to their left to harass the convoy, and, as it turned out, lure a significant part of the convoy escort into chasing them into the rough ground away from the road and the wagons.  The S-Bs managed to win the game by not losing their patience .

I took the Saturday morning session off, to do some shopping and get my Gencon event wishlist in order, because the Sunday of Huzzah was also the opening of the Gencon events registration.  I was fairly restrained; although I did pick up a nice clean copy of  the Avalon Hill edition of Kingmaker and a couple of figures for my Dark Ages/Saga collection.

On Saturday afternoon we set up the second game we were running, the Sittangbad scenario from Charge!.  Ross and I occasionally slipped and referred to our usual forces as “my side” while gamemastering.  As it was, what felt like an endless array of “his” forces came rolling across the table at “mine”, which were attempting to evacuate supplies and mine a bridge.  Excellent work by the King Rupert Jaegers in holding the farther town slowed down the advancing Rosish tide for just long enough to mine the bridge.  Rosish grenadiers had just assaulted “my” troops guarding the bridge and were in a position to clear the engineers if they drew the next initiative card.

Starting view of the table, prior to Rosish entry; key bridge at the upper left
S-B forces form a line to hold, following an initial cavalry melee

Just in the nick of time; the general and the engineers cross the bridge to safety moments before the explosion

Happily for S-B, the card fell for “us”, and the general and the engineers made it to safety as the bridge was demolished in the explosion.  Unhappily, a dragoon regiment, the remaining grenadiers guarding the approaches to the bridge, and half of the engineers were left on the wrong side and compelled to surrender.  It is to be hoped that a prisoner exchange will occur soon.

Jeff Bickel’s C&C Ancients Gaugamela game

I spent the evening session commanding the Persians against Alexander in a Command and Colors Ancients game run by Nova Scotian Jeff Bickel.  As expected, Alex was hard to beat, and we didn’t…

We tried one more session of A Gentleman’s War on Sunday morning before we departed.  I got busy running the game, and didn’t end up taking more than one picture. 

Rosmark artillery takes a toll of S-B Grenadiers

As noted in Ross’s report, he used a fire advantage carefully, and the S-B infantry attack was repulsed without too much difficulty.

We talked about next year’s convention over lunch; the current notion is that we will dust off and expand the French Revolution collection for the game(s).
Meisterzinn pieces for a new 1793 unit
Checking available Meisterzinn head castings against Funcken illustrations

More on that to follow…

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Converting and Assembling the Mossbeard Treeman: Bones 4 Figure

Chris Palmer

     How about a bonus Thursday post today!  This past week I worked on assembling and converting the Mossbeard Treeman figure from the recent Bones 4 Kickstarter.   While I loved the basic design of the figure, I did have one quibble with it.  In my mind the arms were wrong, as they were narrower at the shoulder and wider at the wrists.  I felt that arms, as well as tree branches, are generally thicker at the base/shoulder, and get thinner as they go towards the ends.   When I pledged for the figure my hope was that it wouldn’t be too hard to reverse the arms and mount them with the thick end at the shoulders and put the hands on the the thinner ends.

     Since the arms and hands were all constructed with peg and hole joints, reversing them would give me peg on peg and hole on hole connections.  This wouldn’t work, so the first thing I did was cut of the pegs to make the peg on peg parts fit more closely together.   The pegs on the wrists and hands were large thick chunks of plastic, so in order to remove them more easily, I first soaked them in boiling water for about 40 seconds.

     I was then was easily able to slice through them with a hobby knife.

 

     I then assembled the legs and body, and laid out all the parts to get a feel for how it would look.   So far I was happy.

     Next I trimmed the overhanging shoulder on the body’s right side.

     I then worked on trimming the new shoulder connections on the arms (What were intended to be the wrists) so that they would fit onto the body more closely.  This was a matter of trim a little, put it up against the body to test, and trim a little more as needed.

     Test fitting.

     I then got the idea to glue the pegs that I had sliced off back into the holes in the shoulders and body where they would have gone.  This, I realized, would give me good points to put in pins to help anchor the arms.

     So I then drilled holes to insert anchor pins.  I didn’t have any wire thick enough, so decided to use some doweling.

     While I got the holes and pins all ready, I didn’t actually glue the arms yet; as I wanted to first work on blending the wrist joints with some greenstuff epoxy putty.

      I used some of the leftover greenstuff to fill the gap in the joint where his head joins his body.

  After the wrists had time to set,  I glued the arms to the body using the wood pegs to anchor them.

      After the glue had time to set, I then blended the shoulder joints using greenstuff.

    I then primed an old CD disc and glued the feet to it.  That completes the conversion and assembly phase.  Now all that’s left is the painting!

Shown with Sir Forscale. 

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Combat Patrol(TM) Games at Historicon 2019

Buck

I just went through the PEL and identified the various games that will be using Combat Patrol™ and Feudal Patrol™ at Historicon in July.  Don’t miss your chance to play in one of these exciting and fun games.

Thursday Combat Patrol™ Games at Historicon in July.  Click to enlarge.

Friday Combat Patrol™ Games at Historicon in July.  Click to enlarge.

Saturday Combat Patrol™ Games at Historicon in July.  Click to enlarge.

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Last Two HeroForge Figures

Buck

I “designed” and purchased a few HeroForge figures a couple of months ago, just to see how it worked.  In previous posts, I have provided pictures of the others.  On Sunday I finished the last two.  I had originally envisioned them to work with my Border Rievers project, but I think the skirt on the one figure makes her unsuitable.

Defending the peel tower…

Is anyone out there?

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Part 2- Nagendra (Snake Cultist) Heroes and Shaman: Bones 4 Figures

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted my remaining Snakemen figures: two Hero/Leader types and a Shaman, from the Bones 4 Core Nagendra Set.  Last week I painted the 8 Swordsmen, Glaivesmen and Archers from the two 6-figure Nagendra sets I ordered in the Kickstarter.
       I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying. I didn’t want to have two dual sword wielders, as I only needed one to represent a Leader for the unit; so I cut the left sword arm off of one of the figures and replaced it with a spare shield arm from a Bones Gnoll, using Gorilla Superglue gel.  I then glued the figures to 1" black-primed fender washers with some of the Gorilla Superglue Gel glue.  I then glued the two sword figures to a tongue depressors, and the shaman to a separate one, with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

New shield arm added.

   Like the previous figures, I first gave these a base coat with Krylon Camouflage with Fusion “Woodland Light Green” to give better opacity to the green paint I would be using.

Oops, I forgot to take a “beginning” picture of these two before I started applying paint!

      I began by painting their bodies with Americana “Festive Green”, and their belly scales with Americana “Margarita”.  After that, I painted the unscaled portions of their arms with Crafters Acrylic “Wild Green”.

      Next, I painted their belts with Accent “Mustard Seed”, and the back of the shield with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”.  I then painted their shield, armor, sword hilts, and belt buckles with Folk Art Burnished Metal “Burnished Bronze”, and their sword blades with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  After that, I painted the straps on their shield with Americana “Light Cinnamon”.

      Like above, for the Shaman I painted the belt, and the dagger sheath, with Accent “Mustard Seed”.  I then painted her robe with Ceramcoat “Black”, and when dry, repainted it with  Folk Art Color Shift “Black Flash”.   Next, I did the trim on the robe with Reaper MSP Bones “Cinnamon Red” and the dagger grip with Ceramcoat “Walnut”.  After that, I painted the pouch on her belt with the “Light Cinnamon”, and the ball of flame with Crafter’s Acrylic “Cool Blue”.

  After everything had dried for a while I gave the figures a complete wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash, except for their sword blades.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed their body scales with the base “Festive Green”, and then some of the “Festive Green” mixed with some Reaper MSP Bones “Dungeon Slime”.  Next, I highlighted the belly scales with the base “Margarita”, and then with some of the “Margarita” mixed with some Americana “Snow White”.  After that, I highlighted the scaleless parts of the arms with the base “Wild Green”.

      Next, I gave their sword blades a wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals “Mid Blue” Ink, and then highlighted the belts, and dagger sheath with the base “Mustard Seed”.  I then highlighted the shield straps with the base “Light Cinnamon.    After that, I highlighted the shield, armor, sword hilts, dagger fittings, and belt buckles with Ceramcoat "14K Gold”.  By now the ink wash on the sword and glaive blades had dried, and I highlighted them with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.
     On the shaman, I highlighted her robes with a mix of the “Black Flash”, some Folk Art Color Shift “Blue Flash”, and a little Folk Art Pearl “Aqua Moire”.   After that, I highlighted the trim on the robe with Ceramcoat “Opaque Red”.  Next, I worked on the ball of flame.  I realized I shouldn’t have given it the wash with the “Nuln Oil”, so I repainted it with the “Cool Blue”.  When that was dry, I gave it a coat of thinned Americana “Snow White”.  When the “Snow White” was dry, I drybrushed the flame, and the surrounding parts of the figure (to give an Object Source Lighting OSL effect), with the “Cool Blue”.  After that, I  touched up the flames with some Crafter’s Acrylic “Tropical Blue”, and did final flame highlights with Americana “True Blue”.
     I finished up by painting all their eyes with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”.
       I let the figures 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 flock the bases.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Testor’s “Dullcote”.

      I’m really happy with how these figures turned out.  I especially surprised myself with the blue flame and OSL.  I’m never quite sure what I’m doing with light, fire, and OSL, and it always seems overdone when I’m actually painting; but I’m really pleased with how the Shaman turned out in the photos.
   And here’s a photo of the whole group of Nagendra Snakemen:

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More Retreat From Moscow Figures Completed

Buck

Mounted Cossacks attack retreating Frenchmen.

Despite a lot of business travel and a lot of activity at work, I managed to complete a few more figures for my Retreat from Moscow game at Historicon.  The game will use the free Napoleonic supplement to Combat Patrol™.

More Cossack attacks.

I have had the retreating Frenchmen completed for quite some time.  Lately I’ve been working hard to complete the pursuing Russians.  In these first two pictures you an see mounted and dismounted Cossacks from Old Glory.

Russian Hussars attack some retreating French infantry.

Today I completed a unit of 10 mounted Russian hussars in maroon uniforms.  You’ll note that many of the figures are not mounted on snow covered bases.  While the retreating Frenchmen are unique to the Retreat from Moscow, I plan to use the other figures frothier games, so I have mounted them on my neutral earth flocking.

Russian Dragoons attack retreating Frenchmen, including a sledge.

Right before leaving for a week in Europe last Saturday for business I completed a unit of 10 Old Glory Russian Dragoons.  These are in green uniforms.

Dismounted Cossacks vs. Retreating French.

In Combat Patrol™ I will probably make all the figures have an Accuracy of Regular.  The French will be outnumbered and trying to get across the length of the table to a small village with as many figures alive as possible.  The Russians will arrive at points along the long edges to keep the pressure on the French and make sure they don’t just lager up in the middle of the table and fight it out.

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Ghost Archipelago ’19, Game 5: The Mysterious City

Chris Palmer      This past Saturday we played the fifth game of our Ghost Archipelago Champaign.  We had 5 of our regular players in attendance, and used a 3’ x 7’ table.  For our scenario this time we turned back to the original Frostgrave rulebook, and did a modified version of “The Keep”.
     Whereas the original scenario takes place within the ruins of a single building, we changed if for our game by spreading it out to be the ruins of an entire village.   In this village there was a series of mysterious teleport discs spread throughout that had enabled the original residents to move quickly from place to place thorough their swampy jungle village.   Now the system had either malfunctioned, or maybe the crews just don’t know how to properly use it; but whenever a figure would step on any of them, they’d immediately be transported to a random one on the table, including the possibility of ending up right back on the one where they started from.

A view of the table.  The numbered circles denote the teleport discs.  The light blue ones are the Central Treasures.

     We placed two special discs with the central treasures on them, then each player placed two discs like they would treasure, and placed their treasure tokens on top of the disc.  If you stepped on  a disc you’d be immediately transported to the next disc, so you couldn’t pick up the treasure on the disc you stepped up, but you could pick up any treasure on the disc you landed on.  Also, we ruled you couldn’t use any magic to move treasures off of the discs; they were treated as magical null zones.
    I did poorly with my place in the order of Start Zone selections, drawing chip number 4.  The good thing was, with there only being 5 players, that I was still able to get a corner spot on the 3 player side.  Unfortunately there was only one teleport pad and treasure anywhere near me.    I ended up with the Heritor Barl the Librarian directly on my right,  and the Heritor Gnomeo across from me and a little to the right

The Report

     The storm was blowing  more strongly now,  and the Captain headed to the Heritor’s cabin to have a frank discussion.  The ship rocked and swayed, but the old seaman easily kept his footing.

       A little while later he was finishing up his summation of the situation. “…the simple fact is we need to find a protected bay or inlet to ride this out.” he concluded to Barley.  The little Halfling Heritor sat at her desk looking a little green and sipping from a small mug. She nodded and, taking a big swig of the last of the amber liquid in the mug, replied, “You’re the expert, Captain.  I defer to your judgement.”
   "Good.“ the Captain said, relieved.  "My man up top had spotted what we think is an island a short distance to port before the storm hit.  We’ll head for there.”
   As it turned out, the island had a small bay that shielded them from the worst of it.   When the gale had passed, Barley surveyed the coast, and quickly spotted the ruins of a tower, up in the low hills beyond the thin strip of beach. 
   "It looks like there was some sort of outpost or settlement here", the Halfling Heritor said to  her Human Warden, Tork.  I’m thinking we should investigate before we leave.  It will give the Captain time to see to repairing any damage from the storm, and chart us a new course.

My starting deployment

         A couple hours later, they had reached the remains of the tower.  It stood half crumbled and long deserted. After considering it for a while, and glancing into the shattered remains of the walls, Barley was about to declare it a wasted trip, when Tok spotted the signs of an overgrown path leading further into the jungle.  Barley figured while they were there, seeing where it went would be worth while.
   A short distance away, they came to the outskirts of a ruined town.  Crumbling, overgrown buildings were visible in all directions.  Barley took the time to divide her crew up into three commands: with herself she took her Scout, Perkin, the Crossbow-woman, Lily, and the Crewman, Habby.  With her Warden Tork, she assigned; the two Archer brothers Billy and Jikam, as well as Crewman Link.   Crew members Corel and Ginsink would act as an independent reserve, helping out where needed.
         Barley advanced towards a large tree on their left.  She could see a small stream flowing a short distance away, seemingly dividing the village into two sides.   What caught her eye was an ornate mosaic disc(12) set on the ground beside the stream.  It measured about 10 feet across, and was mysteriously pristine when compared to the ruins and overgrown vegetation all around them. On the disc, the Heritor noticed sat a small chest, toppled to one side as if it had been dropped.
     Then, as the Heritor studied the curious disc and the chest upon it, the air above it seemed to shimmer for a few seconds, there was a brief hum like a hive of bees, and suddenly a rotund Dwarf appeared magically, standing directly on the disc(12), right next to the chest.  He appeared confused at first, but had the presence of mind to bend down and grab the chest.  With a double take, Barley recognized it as the Heritor Ragnam!

Barley, Perkin, and Lily advance to the left, as Ragnam appears on the  nearby disc (top center of photo behind clump of tall grass)

         Barley was still puzzling over what just happened, when Tork came running towards her, and shouted “Little one, behind you!"    The Halfling Heritor whipped around to see a Mountain Goat trotting towards them.  Tork stopped in his tracks, and quickly attempted to use his Control Animal ability, but he rushed it and failed.  The Archers, Jikam and Billy, both ran forward as well, and pausing, let loose with their arrows.  Both missed.  The Goat was angered now, and stopping a second, pawed at the ground before lowering its head and charging directly at Barley.  The Halfling nimbly stepped aside, and brought her sword around with a powerful swing against the beast, stabbing it directly in the side.   The animal skidded to a stop, flipping over and was dead before it hit the ground.  (I roll 17, Goat rolls 3).
     Then, there was a sudden loud roar in the distance that seemed to make the whole jungle go quiet. In the silence Barley could hear Tork, her Beast Warden, say to himself, "Uh, oh. Big Monster."  And he was right; for just a short distance away, above the trees on their right, they could see the huge head of a Monarch come unto view among the highest branches. (Monarch from a Treasure Random Encounter enters behind Barl’s Start Zone)
     Before Barley had a chance to consider the implications of this new arrival, she heard the hum again from the disc(12), and turned in time to see a Human Crewman (belonging to Cassilda’s crew) now appear on the disc(12) next to Ragman.  The new arrival was as startled to see the Dwarf as he was to see her. Beyond the disc and its occupants, the Halfling Heritor could also see movement, and members of the Heritor Gnome’s crew came into view, moving among the ruins on the far side of the stream.

The Monarch enters directly behind Barl’s start zone.

     Quickly, Barley gathered her wits, and taking cover behind a nearby tree, unshouldered her bow, and let fly an arrow at the Dwarf Heritor.  It struck Ragnam in the shoulder, and the dwarf clutched at the shaft cursing (I roll a 17 +2S).  Perkin joined his Heritor behind the tree and he too shot at the Dwarf, hitting him as well, in his thick thigh. (I roll 17 +2S again!)  The Dwarf’s leg went out from under him, and he went down with a thud.  Ragnam weakly crawled off the disc, dragging his prize with his good arm, then turned and crawled back on.  This triggered the disc again, and with a hum and a shimmer of light the Dwarf disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared.
     Tork once again tried to Summon Animal in an attempt to gain them an ally, and this time had success.  Making a link with a Snapping Turtle further down the stream, he called the creature to assist them.   The Warden then advanced, along with the two Archers, to a low ruin of a stone building that appeared to be the remains of a well house, as the masonry of the round well could still be seen.   The two Archers seeing the strange Crew-woman still on the disc , both fired upon her, and both missed.
     Crewman Link decided to follow the Dwarf with the treasure, and so ran after him, onto the disc.  As soon as his foot touched the mosaic surface, he felt a strange spinning sensation, and the world around him blurred into a swirl of color and just as quickly reformed into  unfamiliar  surroundings.  Looking down the mosaic on the disc was different.  He quickly realized he had moved to another disc(5) somewhere in the village.  Turning, he realized there was a Human standing on the disc next to him (Another of Cassilda’s crew); and before he could react, a large fist clutching a sword, swung at him and the metal of the hilt connected with his temple.  His head snapped around, the world went black, and he collapsed onto the disc unconscious.

Barley and Perkin take aim at Ragnam from behind the cover of a large tree.
     Back near the other disc(12) where the rest of the crew were, the Human Crew-woman, like Ragnam, quickly stepped off and back onto the platform, and instantly disappeared.  In her place a Gnome now appeared, and Lily the Crossbow-woman quickly took aim at him and fired.  She hit him squarely (I roll  19 +2S), and the little Gnome dropped like a rock and rolled off the disc, dead.

    Suddenly, there was a distinctive "hiss” from the tall grass behind Barley, and turning quickly she spotted the head of a Giant Snake bobbing and weaving just a dozen yards away. (Summoned by the Gnomish Beast Warden).  The little Heritor brought up her bow and fired, but the arrow went wide.  “Perkin!”, she called to her Scout, and in a flash, he too spun around and readied his bow.  Perkin’s arrow hit its mark, piecing the Snake just below the head, and it dropped down into the grass, dead.  (I roll 19 +2 S = 21) 
    “Thank you!”, Barley said, relieved; and continued, “I think you should follow Link, and see if you can help him with the Dwarf.  And with that, the loyal Scout turned and ran for the disc(12).  Setting his foot upon it,  Barley watched as he disappeared.    The Halfling Heritor then turned to the Crossbow-woman, and called over to her, "Lily,   follow Perkin and see if you two can help Link with the Dwarf.   In the distance they could hear the Monarch give a loud roar that echoed among the treetops.
    Tork seeing the three Halflings  run to the disc assumed that everyone was supposed to, and he told the two Archer brothers to come with him, and the three of them ran for the disc.  Like with the others, as each stepped upon it, each was immediately teleported elsewhere.

Tork, Billy, and Jikam advance to the old well house and the Archers fire on Cassilda’s Crew-woman. (On disc behind clump of tall grass.)

     Meanwhile, when Perkin materialized on a different disc(8), he quickly realized the Dwarf, Ragnam, was nowhere around. Neither was Link.  He was shocked however to suddenly realize there was a dead Human laying on the disc, and to his right was a Gnome Crewman.  The two eyed each other suspiciously, but before either could act, there was a sound of loud wind and a sudden crashing of branches and both occupants of the disc stared in horror as the Monarch suddenly was blown past a nearby patch of jungle and landed just a few yards from the pad where they stood.  (Barl’s Warden successfully casts Wind Blast against the creature.)
     Lily had landed only about a hundred yards further away from Perkin, on another disc(4 Central Treasure).  She was struck by the extra elaborate nature of the mosaic, and noticed a fine leather pouch studded with gemstones, laying in the center.  She reached down to pick it up, admiring the craftsmanship.
    Back on Perkin’s disc(8), the Halfling and the Gnome were frozen with indecision, not knowing whether to run or attack. As they stood there, dumbfounded, the air shimmered between them, and Tork now arrived on the same disc.  He quickly realized the situation, and looking up at the big creature before them, said, "Oh, no."  and instinctively threw his arms up to cover his head.
     The Monarch however, had no doubt of what to do, and seeing an easy meal before him charged at the three occupants of the disc.   Perkin, Tork, and the Gnome cowered, and though none were looking, they could feel the beast’s closeness and awaited the inevitable.  None of them saw as the Monarch, leaning down, his jaws open wide, placed his leading foot on the disc.  With a shimmer and hum he vanished.

The Monarch is blown to a position near Perkin and a Gnome on disc 8

    He wasn’t truly gone of course, for as Lily ran her hands over the jewel encrusted pouch on the ornate disc(4), she became aware of a loud hum, and the sudden appearance of a large shadow above her.  Looking up, she had barely time to let out a scream as the huge jaws descended on her. She tried to leap away, but the Monarch’s power jaws clamped down, just getting a hold of her cape.  She was lifted high in the air, as the Halfling struggling to free herself.   The Monarch, realizing it had missed the meaty part of its target and was trying now to flip the Halfling up into its mouth.   Desperately, Lily grabbed at the clasp holding her cape, and ripped at it.     It came loose just as the Monarch tossed her, and as the cape came free of her shoulders she was flung even higher into the air.  The beast clawed and snapped  frantically at its now-flying meal, but the creature’s arms were too short, and its mouth was still tangled in the flapping cape.    Lily found herself hanging in the air for an instant, and then the rapid decent began.  The Crossbow-woman came down hard, her head hitting the edge of the disc, knocking her out cold.

The Monarch teleports itself to another disc (4) where it finds Lily with a Central Treasure.
     Meanwhile, Jikam the Archer had found himself alone on another disc(6), and his brother Billy landed a little further away on yet another disc(7).  There was a chest on the disc(7), as well as a Gnome.  Drawing his bow quickly, the Archer shot at the Gnome, hitting him directly at such short range.  The Gnome fell back off the disc, unmoving.     
     In the meantime, Crewman Habby, had also moved to the original disc(12), and he was now transported to join Billy on his disc(7)     Billy, pointed to the chest, and told Habby to grab it and go.  "I’ll keep you covered”, the Archer added.   As the Halfling Crewman grabbed the prize and started dragging it towards a nearby arm of jungle that jutted out into the village, an Archer from Ragnam’s crew came into view from around the far side of the same jungle area.  He saw Billy first and shot at him, hitting him in the side.  The half-Halfling Archer spun around and fell backwards, falling hard to the ground with his head dangling into a shallow pond next to the disc.   Another of Ragman’s Archers followed the first, and this one caught sight of Habby with his treasure.  His arrow, cut into the Halfling back, and the little Crewman almost fell over, but kept his footing.  Despite the pain, Habby pushed on (Reduced to 3 HP)towards the cover of the trees and vegetation.
Habby and Billy both land on disc 7 and recover the treasure there.

          It was now Barley’s turn to try the disc(12); and like the others before her, she too ran forward and leaped onto the mosaic circle.  In a swirl of color she was gone.  Her trip was shorter though, as she materialized on another disc(10) that was just across the river and next to the ruin where she had first spotted Gnomeo and his Crew.  And, to her surprise, there was the Gnomish Heritor himself, in the ruin just a short distance away, dragging a large wooden box with decorative inlays on it.
     The Warden, Tork, back on the the disc(8) he first traveled to, had seen the Monarch materialize in the distance on the further disc(4).  Worried the creature would return, the Warden had immediately hopped off and back on to the disc(8) where he was.   In a swirl he vanished and reappeared on a disc(9 Central Treasure) just a short distance away, on the far side of a branch of stream from where he had been.    This was a much more ornate disc(9 CT) than the two he had been on before, and upon it sat a well made chest  with gold and silver inlays .    After admiring it for a brief time, Tork reached down and heaved it up onto his shoulder, and made for the cover of a nearby patch of jungle.
     Crew members Ginsink and Corel, who had spent the last hour trying to work their way into a beneficial position behind the Heritor Barl’s crew, had finally given up, and now tried to find their way back to where they left the others.   They came across one of the discs(8), and having not seen one being used yet, were unsure of what it was.  First Ginsink stepped upon it to study the fine mosaic work, and when she disappeared in a shimmer, Corel ran onto the disc(8) too, to see what happened.  Miraculously, they both reappeared in the same place; standing on each side of their Heritor, Barley, on the disc(10) she had materialized upon.
   The two new arrivals, also saw the Heritor Gnomeo and his treasure.  The three Halflings were so distracted by the excellent opportunity before them, they didn’t see the Gnome Archers who lingered around the ruin as well.  First one, then another fired, both hitting Barley. (-4HP, and -2HP, reduced to 14HP)  She staggered as the first arrow gashed her leg, and the second left a crease in her arm.  Ginsink and Corel rushed forward to try and reach the shooters, but it was too late.  Gomeo himself stopped, and turning shouldered his bow.  Using his Trick Shot ability the Gnome Heritor took aim at Barley and hit her squarely in the right shoulder, knocking her back.  The Halfling fell and blacked out before she hit the ground.  Without thinking her two nearby Crew members rushed forward, and grabbing the unconscious Heritor.  They started dragging her back to safety on the far side of the river, as the Gnomes shouted insults in their wake from the protected safety of the their ruin.    The two Crew members jettisoned her light armor, sword, bow and quiver, to make her easier to move.  They, along with the rest of the crew, now all started making their back to where they had  landed on the beach.

Barley, Ginsink and Corel teleport amongst the Gnomes.
     Back on the Jolly Scallop that night.  Barley sat at her desk, all bandaged up, and sore, but functional enough.   It had been a Close Call for her, and she wasn’t happy about losing all her equipment.  Luckily, it was all easily replaceable from the ship’s locker, as she was carrying no magic items.  Lily and Link would both heal nicely too, their injuries not being that bad.  Billy the Archer however, had been Badly Wounded, and would need at least a month to recover. 

        Treasure had been difficult to come by, and the Heritor felt lucky that her crew was able to bring home anything at all.  Tork’s chest (a Central Treasure) had held 100 Gold Coins.  And the one Habby had retrieved had held 10 Gold Coins and vial with some Gillivourt weed in it.
   Her mind turned to the increasing pile money in the ship’s vault, and the number of Magic and Superior Weapons stored there as well.  Perhaps, the Heritor considered, it was time to make a trip back to the Mainland.  They could do some repairs and upgrades to the ship, take on fresh supplies, and perhaps find a potion that would cure Billy a little quicker.
       A week later they were in a port on the mainland.  Their haul of weapons brought a hefty sum! Barley found a beautiful Compass for the ship (-200GC) and Tork had found a stray hound that befriended hm, and begged for them to put a kennel on the ship.  (-200GC) He asked for so little, Barley felt she couldn’t refuse.  They had also located a potion (-50GC) that would help cure their Archer.  And they still had plenty left over.  Bailey considered adding Extra Quarters, but that would drain their treasury to almost nothing. Maybe next time, she thought…

The final tally.

Epilogue

    What a wild and crazy game!  It was bad enough that treasure was so hard to get, but having the Monarch appear on turn 1 certainly didn’t help.  Luckily, I think I was the only one to land on either of the Central Treasure discs, and to have actually gotten one away was sheer luck.
     I also wanted to add a note about the Snapping Turtle that Tork Summoned in the second turn.  A Swamp Zombie entered the same turn in almost the same spot, and the two spent the entire game fighting each other, with neither managing to hit the other.  So he was never able to play a roll in the game.
     I finally decided to head to the mainland and cash in all my treasure, even though I haven’t lost any Specialists.  Those of you who have been following along with my reports will know that many of the treasures I have found have resulted in Magic or Superior 2-handed weapons; and since I don’t have anyone in my Crew who carries such a thing, they were useless to me.  So they have been gathering dust aboard the ship. I finally felt it was time for them to go.  They brought in over 1000 GC, which helped pay for the trip, a new Compass, and a Kennel.   We’ll see how that all works out next time.
   

via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2019/05/ghost-archipelago-19-game-5-mysterious.html
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Nagendra (Snake Cultist) Swordsmen, Glaivesmen, and Archers: Bones 4 Figures

Chris Palmer

     This past week I painted the Nagendra (Snake Cultist) Swordsmen, Glaivesmen, and Archers, from the Bones 4 Core Set; in my ongoing efforts to round out my Ghost Archipelago Bestiary.  There were 6 Nagendra that came with the Core, and I purchased an extra set of 6 so I could make a unit of 10 with an additional Snakewoman Shaman.  Thus week I painted the four Swordsmen, two Glaivesmen, and two Archers from the sets.
    I prepped the figures in the usual way; soaking them in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added and then rinsing and drying.  I wanted there to be a little variety in the figures, so with one of the swordsmen of each pose, I cut the sword arm at the elbow and reglued it, with Gorilla Superglue gel, at a slightly different angle to give a different look to the figure.  I also did this with the archers.  I then glued the figures to 1" black-primed fender washers with some of the Gorilla Superglue Gel glue.  I then glued four figures to 2 tongue depressors with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue each.

      Before I began, I decided I wanted to give the figures a base coat with Krylon Camouflage with Fusion “Woodland Light Green” to give better opacity to the green paint I would be using.  So, I removed all of them from the tongue depressors and sprayed them. Then, when dry, I reglued them to the tongue depressors.

        I began by painting their bodies with Americana “Festive Green”, and their belly scales with Americana “Margarita”.  After that, I painted the unscaled portions of their arms with Crafters Acrylic “Wild Green”.

     Next, I painted their belts, straps, and quivers with Accent “Mustard Seed”, and the bows and glaive shafts with Crafter’s Acrylic “Navy Blue”.  I then painted their shields, armor, sword hilts, bow and glaive fittings, and belt buckles with Folk Art Burnished Metal “Burnished Bronze”, and their sword and glaive blades with Folk Art Metallics “Gunmetal Grey”.  After that, I painted the straps on their shields with Americana “Light Cinnamon”, and the arrow fletchings with Folk Art “Barn Wood”.

     After everything had dried for a while I gave the figures a complete wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash, except for their sword and glaive blades.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed their body scales with the base “Festive Green”, and then some of the “Festive Green” mixed with some Reaper MSP Bones “Dungeon Slime”.  Next, I highlighted the belly scales with the base “Margarita”, and then with some of the “Margarita” mixed with some Americana “Snow White”.  After that, I highlighted the scaleless parts of the arms with the base “Wild Green”.

     Next, I gave their sword and glaive blades a wash with some thinned Iron Wind Metals “Mid Blue” Ink, and then highlighted the Snakemen’s straps, belts, and quivers with the base “Mustard Seed”.  I then painted the lacing on their wrist guards with Ceramcoat “Maple Sugar Tan”, highlighted the shield straps with the base “Light Cinnamon”, and the fletchings with Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”.  After that, I highlighted the bows and glaive poles with a drybrushing of Crafter’s Acrylic “Tropical Blue; and the shields, armor, sword hilts, bow and glaive fittings, and belt buckles with Ceramcoat "14K Gold”.  By now the ink wash on the sword and glaive blades had dried, and I highlighted them with Ceramcoat “Metallic Silver”.  I finished up by painting their eyes with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”.
       I let the figures 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 flock the bases.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed them with Testor’s “Dullcote”.

     I’m really happy with how these guys turned out.  I decided to go with just a simple coloration on them since I was doing so many, rather than attempt to repeat a fancy pattern on each one, and I think they turned out looking just fine in the end.  I just need to paint the two armored ones and one of the female shaman figures to complete my unit. 

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/05/nagendra-snake-cultist-swordsmen.html
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