Monthly Archives: May 2019

Completed Some HeroForge Figures

Buck

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of a figure I “built on HeroForge.”  I made a couple of figures just to try out the site and see the quality of the 3D printing.  I was quite impressed.

A mounted cowgirl.

The front of the dismounted cowgirl.

I made a matching mounted and dismounted cowgirl and painted them in the same color scheme.

The side view of the cowgirl.

I also made a pulp girl.  There are two versions of the same figure, one with a backpack and one with a jet pack.

Front view of the pulp girl.

Back view of the pulp girl with the jet pack.

The back of the pulp girl with the backpack.

I have two more figures from HeroForge to paint.  I’ll post pictures eventually.

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Ghost Archipelago ’19, Game 4: Battle on the Rooftops

Chris Palmer      Two Saturdays ago we played the fourth game of our 2019 Ghost Archipelago Campaign.  We had 6 of our 9 regular players in attendance and used a 8’x3’ table.
     We did a modified version of the “Battle on the Rooftops” scenario from the Gods of Fire supplement book.  In this scenario, the crews are attempting to recover treasure on the rooftops of a long-abandoned mountainside city.  The treasure has been hoarded by, and is guarded by, strange savage birdmen-like creatures called Cathaka.  The table is set up to represent the rooftops of the city, with gaps between them that can lead to possibly fatal falls.  Moving between rooftops requires jumping, a few walkways and bridges, or various Heritor and Warden abilities.  Being pushed from a rooftop can be disastrous. 
     There were no central treasures, and treasure tokens were placed with equal number of real and dummy tokens.  So players never know if they are heading for a chest of gold or somebody’s old laundry.  Between each pair of players there was a large Central Platform rooftop that had the bulk of the tokens, which starts the game being guarded by 4 of the Cathaka birdmen. 
      I luckily got an early set-up chip, and took one of the corner spots.  I ended up with the Heritor Gnomeo, and his shooter-heavy crew across from me, and the Heritor Arkham to my right.  Diagonally across from me to my front right was the Heritor Barl.

A view of the table showing starting areas.

 
The Report

     The Halfling Heritor Barley Gimblehill  squinted against the sunlight, trying to see what her Warden, the big human named Tork, was pointing at.  “See, city!  Built into cliffs.  There!"  he said exasperatedly.
 Finally the ship had sailed close enough, that the little Heritor began to see the shape of the buildings against the rocky sides of the mountain.  Many of the structures were carved from the very rock of the island, so blended in perfectly.  The haphazard architecture was build topsy turvy almost down to where the mountain reached to touch the sandy strip along the coast.  The highest buildings though seemed to tower up near the clouds.  As Barley peered upwards, she could see tiny black specks circling lazily around the rooftops…some sort of large birds she pondered.
    She looked at Tork, "What birds are those?” she asked pointing.
    Now it was her Warden’s time to squint into the sun.  “Big ones.” was his only reply.
The Heritor could tell the city was long abandoned; no smoke rose from the chimneys, and many of the structures had toppled over, or stood half crumbled.  And an abandoned city meant the possibility of worthwhile clues or treasure being left behind. 
     Barley hopped down from the crate she stood upon, and said over her shoulder to Tork, “Let us go check it out.”
  Tork replied simply, “Big birds…”

     It was two hour later that Barley, Tork and a group of specialists and crew from the Jolly Scallop found themselves climbing staircase after staircase, and a few rckety ladders, to reach the higher rooftops of the city.  As they had neared the city they could clearly see gold glinting from the topmost rooftops in what appeared to be big piles of assorted belongings and detritus; small pieces of furniture, armor, weapons, cloth…  And the “big birds” turned out to be some sort of strange bird and man combination.  Vulture like in their appearance, but with arms and legs and torso like a man.  They wore scraps of clothes and some carried primitive weapons.    For the most part they left the Halflings alone.  One or two curious ones approached within a few dozen yards to check the little folk out, but for the most part the birdmen kept their distance.   Barley and Tork noted that it appeared the strange creatures were responsible for the piles on the rooftops, as they could see one every now and then fly some load to one of the roofs where it dumped it upon one of the piles.  Others would flutter over and inspect the new addition.

Barley’s initial deployment.

     The band of diminutive adventurers eventually reached the top of a building near the highest structures of the city.   They could see the birdmen and their piles much more clearly now.  Directly in front of them, on the next building over, was a large expansive rooftop containing a pyramid structure in the center and decorative columns on each corner.  It contained a number of large piles of belongings.  There were also 4 of the bird creatures who lingered there.  They cast wary eyes upon the Halflings, and Barley clearly recognized them as guards of some sort.
    As the Halfling Heritor sized up the situation, Tork removed one of his Divining Rods and worked its magic.  Pointing over to the right he said, “Gold close. Over by pool,”, and pointed to a low rectangular structure to their right on a nearby rooftop. (I move token from within pool, 3" towards my start zone, bringing it out of the pool.)
     Barley organized her crew; giving Tork command over the two Archer brothers, Jikam and Billy Wizzit, as well as Crew-woman Ginsink.   The Heritor took along with her,  her Scout Perkin, and the two Crewmen, Corel and Habby.  Crewmen Fernando and Link positioned themselves between the two groups to help out where needed.  The little Heritor had Tork position himself and his command to move towards the central platform; while she oriented herself and her group to move off to the right and check the gold the Warden had detected by the pool.
     It was an easy leap for Barley and her group to jump the span between the building they had entered on and the building with the pool next door.  They could see a worn wooden chest laying by the pool atop a pile of what appeared to be old clothes, and the Heritor ordered Corel over to check it out.  As he went, Barley pointed out a nearby outbuilding on the same rooftop, and suggested to Perkin they go check it out.  She told Habby to stay and assist Corel.

Barley, Perkin, Corel and Habby, make the jump to the building to the right of their start zone with the pool and the nearby treasure token.

     Meanwhile, Ginsink, never one to follow orders well, spotted a promising leather pouch laying on a rooftop to their left, and she ran off, easily making the leap to the other roof, before Tork realized she was gone and could call her back.  The Warden was too busy trying his Summon Animal ability, but alas they were too far from any animal he guessed for any to respond. (I fail my roll.)  As he worked his spell, Jikam and Billy took aim at the closest bird-man; Billy hit wounding the creature, but Jikam’s arrow went wide.
     At that point they became aware of a chattering of voices on the far side of the large rooftop, and they could see Gnomish members of the Heritor Gnomeo’s crew come into view.  Fernando and Link realized time was against them now that another crew had appeared, and rushed over an old wooden gangway towards the large roof; hoping that the two archers would take care of the guards by the time they reached their destination.
     By now Ginsink had reached the pouch, but before she could bend over to inspect it, an arrow from Gnomeo’s crew hit her in the shoulder, and she cried out in pain.  Before she could react in any way, a second shaft struck her, this time in the leg, and she toppled over cracking her head upon the hard roof beneath her and was knocked out. 
     Tork attempted his Summon Animal spell again was was shocked when he made a mental link to a Snapping Turtle!  How did it get up there he wondered.  The creature sensed his question, and he got the mental image of the turtle being carried to the roofs by one of the bird-men, who mistook it for some sort of treasure chest while it was sleeping.  It had since wandered the roofs living off rats and mice.   Seeing Ginny go down, the Warden instructed the Snapping Turtle to move towards the pouch that the Crew-woman had been heading towards and guard it.
     The two Archers had now notched their second arrows, and once again Billy’s hit, dropping the first guard; while Jikam’s went wide again. Billy could not stay silent over that, and commenced to relentlessly tease and comment on his brothers poor marksmanship.

In the foreground, Tork tries to Summon Animal, as Billy and Jikam shoot at the Guards.  Fernando and Link dash across the gangway towards the central rooftop. 

     By now, Barley and Perkin had made their way to the outbuilding, and began to climb a ladder leading to its roof.  Two arrows whizzed by the Scout from the Gnome crew, but neither hit its mark.  The pair began to climb, and another arrow came towards the Scout, but this one hit, sinking deep into the Halfling’s thigh. “I can’t continue up!” he said through gritted teeth.
   "Alright.“ Barley acknowledged, "head back down and take care of your wound.  The Scout slid as best he could back down the ladder, and crouching behind a nearby pillar, worked at removing the shaft.
       As Barley continued up  the ladder, Corel reached the chest and giving the old lock a good whack with the hilt of his sword, pried the lid up and was pleased to find it filled with gold coins!  (I flip token and reveal a "T” treasure marker.)
          Having reached the top of the outbuilding roof, the little Halfling Heritor moved over to a large cloth sack on the rooftop and quickly unlaced the cord tying it, only to find it stuffed with old rusty serving pieces and flatware. (I flip token to reveal an “X”.)

As Corel recovered his chest of gold coins, the wounded Perkin takes cover behind a column.  Near the top center of the photo, Barley checks the token on the outbuilding rooftop.

    Over on the rooftop they had started from, Tork could see Perkin was badly hurt, so he quickly cast Water of Life on the Halfling, and the Scout could feel his wound magically begin to heal. 
      Meanwhile, Fernando and Link had crossed to the large roof, and both moved towards the nearest piles of debris.  Link pulled at a small chest, and hearing clinking inside, opened it to reveal some pieces of fine gold jewelry. (I reveal another “T” token!)  Likewise, Fernando found an ornate wood box, and prying it open, saw it contained gold coins and some heavy potato sized object wrapped in smooth cloth. (And yet another “T” token!) He had no time to investigate further as a loud flapping behind him warned him that the surviving guard had taken issue with his prying.  Quickly the Halfling Crewman turned and brandished his sword, wounding the bird-man with a well placed thrust. The Birdman fluttered backwards in pain, giving the Archers a clear shot; and this time Jikam found his mark, killing the creature.

The birdman attacks Fernando as he and Link try to steal the creature’s treasure. Near the top center of the photo, the Gnomes can be seen working on recovering a treasure of their own.

     With the guards dead, the Archer, Billy Wizzit, decided it was time to go try and investigate the pouch that Ginsink had tried to retrieve earlier.  The Snapping Turtle stood nearby at the base of a bridge leading to a further rooftop, upon which one of Gnomeo’s crewman stood dithering as to cross and tangle with the hard-shelled creature or not.   The Gnome Heritor could see the situation, and using his Trick Shot ability, put a well placed arrow right into an opening in the Turtle’s shell.  striking it right at the base of the neck.  Almost dead, (1 HP remaining!) the Turtle still faithfully stood guard at the base of the bridge.
     Meanwhile, Link and Fernando had secured their treasures and were making their way back down the old gangway back to the rooftop from which they had started.

Link and Fernando return cross the gangway with their treasure, as over on the left Billy (figure with yellow shield) can be seen hiding behind a pillar.

     Over on the building to the right, Corel moved with his chest back towards safety. The Halfling was then shocked to see two animated Skeleton soldiers ascend a nearby staircase and come marching towards him. (Brought on by the Gnome Warden, Julliette’s, successful Beast Cry!)   Quickly, the wounded Perkin moved with his bow towards the new threat.  He fired an arrow which struck one of the Skeletons, sending it crashing to the ground where it shattered into dozens of loose bones.
    Meanwhile, Barley had come down from the outbuilding rooftop by this time, and she too moved to help, as did Crewman Habby.  But new danger appeared nearby.

Two skeleton soldiers appear as Corel drags his chest towards safety.

         One of the distant circling birdmen had spotted Fernando and Link carrying off their treasure, and swooped down to stop them, heading directly at Link, claws outstretched.   In a flash Barley was there, using her Leap ability to easily cross the gap between the two buildings and moving directly into contact with the creature to help Link.  Link had drawn his sword, and slashed at the flying creature.  striking its wing.  He did no real damage, but feathers fluttered all around him, and the bridman circled up into the air before making another attempt.  (I win fight but do no damage, push birdman out.)
     The creature now tried its luck with Fernando, swooping down powerfully at him.  With a might thrust the Halfling stabbed the birdman in the gut and, though badly wounded, it still continued to flap and claw at its opponent. (I roll 20, leaving the Cathaka with only 3 HP) .  Barley saw her chance, and moving up behind the creature stabbed it from behind.  It took a few weak flaps hit the roof and fluttered off the nearby edge where it plummeted to the ground far below.

A lone birdman swoops in to attack Link and Fernando.

     Back on the nearby roof to their left, Billy crouched behind a pillar, as an arrow from the Gnomes whispered past him.  The Gnome Crewman on the far side of the little bridge finally found his courage, and charged at the Turtle.  Billy knew it was now or never and dived for the pouch.  He heard the clink of bottles inside and threw the pouch’s strap over his arm.  (I reveal another “T”!) The Turtle and Gnome engaged, but neither managed to damage the other.
     Back on the other roof, Perkin shot again, disabling the second Skeleton.  Coral now had a clear path to escape with his treasure.  Likewise Link and Fernando began to descend the nearest staircase, making their way back to the ship. Tork once again cast Water of Life on the injured Scout.

Billy finally recovers the pouch as the Snapping Turtle still guards the bridge against the Gnome’s advance.

     Billy fled with his pouch, and the nearby Gnome knew that even if he killed the Turtle, the Halfling Archer was well out of his reach, so he too began to make his way back to join his crew.

     Later that evening, back onboard the Jolly Scallop,  Barley looked over the day’s haul.  The chest Corel had retrieved from near the pool contained 100 GC!  The Little Heritor estimated the jewelry in the chest Link had recovered was worth around 40 GC; and the pouch Billy Wizzit had retrieved contained a few broken and empty potion bottles, but there was one still intact that the Warden, Tork, had determined contained a Potion of Regeneration.  Lastly, there was Fernando’s Chest; it held 50 Gold Coins, and wrapped in the cloth was a flat stone the size of Tork’s big fist, with runes on one side and what looked like a primitive sea chart on the other showing three islands.
    After puzzling over it for a few minutes, Barley handed it over to Tork, saying, “Any ideas?”
    The big Warden studied it closely and ran his fingers over the worn carvings.  “It’s Map Stone” he said matter-of-factly, and continued, “Clue to location of Crystal Pool.”
     Barley jumped from her chair; “It shows where the pool is?” she exclaimed!
     "Yes… and no, “ the Human magic-user said shaking his large head.  "It shows part of a route to the Pool.  It is just piece of larger puzzle. We must find more to know complete path.” He set the stone gently back down on Barley’s desk.
     There was a map. In pieces, yes, but a map nonetheless.  Barley pondered the implications.  If they could find more of these stones…  The little Heritor felt invigorated.  Her ship’s hold was filling up with more and more gold, and they now had a specific objective to search for.  Barley gazed out the window of her cabin at the moon lit water; her mind already plotting their next destination.

Final outcome.

Epilogue:

   This was an enjoyable game, and played more like a bank heist than a regular battle.  The nature of the buildings kept everyone for the most part separated, and it really came down to defeating the guards, grabbing the loot, and running.
    I must say I did have an inordinate amount of good luck though.  The majority of tokens I flipped proved to be actual Treasure; a fate not shared with all the players.  Also, once I had the treasure and was lugging it away, I would have been easy pray for the Gnomes and their preponderance of missile troops;  but I lucked out that two of the Cathakas arrived in their rear area at just the right time, keeping them quite busy guarding their own recovered Treasure.
    I only had one figure fall, the Crew-woman Ginsink, which is very unusual.  And, luckily,  she fully recovered.
     I couldn’t believe my good fortune at getting 4 treasures; but my luck let me down on the treasure rolls.  Three of them were under ten:  4, 8, and 9.  Which are not particular valuable results.  My one big number was a 20, a map stone.  But quite honestly for what is basically a 12 month/game campaign it’s hard to ever find more than one or two of these stones so they have no real effect.  I would have preferred a nice magic weapon or armor.
    Luckily, I don’t have to wait long for our next game as it is this coming weekend.  Stay tuned for a another report soon!

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Assembling and De-Necro-ing the Stygian Barge: Bones 4 Model

Chris Palmer

     Welcome to a special Thursday blog post!   I was excited to get the Stygian Barge Add-On from the recent Bones 4 Kickstarter, and I was not disappointed in the model when it arrived.  It is a truly beautiful and big ship.

      However, I didn’t necessarily want to use the barge in all its Stygian glory; it looked more like a Necromancer’s fancy yacht than anything else.  I wanted more of a plain everyday working barge.  I figured a plain barge would have much more game use than one specifically decked out in death-related motifs.  So, the first thing I set about doing was looking over the pieces to see just what removing all the skulls, etc. would involve.  With a little effort it seems like it just might work

All the Barge pieces minus the figurehead pieces and the crew and passengers.

      The first thing I did was to glue the front middle and rear hull sections together using Gorilla Superglue Gel.  I then used coffee stirrers and toothpicks to lay down a new deck and trim in the middle hull section to cover over the bone strewn deck that is molded onto the model. 

    I then cut off the two skull decorations on the front protrusions of the rear deck piece, and replaced them with two round wood beads.  When they were dry, I glued the rear deck and front deck into place.  I then painted the hold interior on the front deck with Ceramcoat “Black”.

When the Black was dry I glued the hold cover over it, and then worked on putting together the rope and anchor assembly.  I then glued the barrel assembly to the other side

      After that, I worked on gluing in the rear deck bracers.

    I then began trimming the vertebrate spines off of the rear deck roof, and trimming the skeletons off of the roof supports.

     Next, I glued the rudder into place, and then the mast.  I left the skull on the mast, figuring it looked like some kind of trophy or oddity the crew came across, rather than strictly saying “necromancer’s boat”. 
     When these ware dry, I glued the roof supports to the deck, setting the roof in place to keep them aligned while the glue set, but not actually gluing the roof.  I don’t want to permanently glue the roof until after I have painted the underside.

      After the roof supports were dry, I worked on fixing where the skeletal mermaid figurehead was supposed to go.  I used a bit of bamboo skewer to make a spar, and a little nail in the center of the rope circle to make it look like it was actually hanging from something.

      Lastly, I cut the skulls off of the ends of the railings, and once de-skulled, glued them into place

   And here is the finished boat; ready for painting!   I’m very pleased with how it turned out, and think it will look suitably like a regular workaday barge.  Hopefully I will get it painted in time to use it in our June Ghost Archipelago game.

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Ghost Archipelago Campaign 2019 Game 3: Isle of Dragons

Don H
A few weeks (okay, quite a few) back we played game 3 of our 2019 Ghost Archipelago Campaign.  This time around me managed to have 8 of our nine players available.  The scenario was recycled from a Frostgrave game involving dragons and all the treasure markers were corpses.

You can read more about the set-up here: Barley’s Game 3 Report

As we drew tokens to determine our starting locations, I used the Compass I had obtained.  This allowed me to select a corner position which gave me one protected flank.  Plus the location had quite a few treasure options.  This resulted in Ragnam being opposite the Heritor Safar.  To the right was Heritor Barley and diagonally to the right was my old nemesis Barl (curse his name).  Before the game started, I used the Divining Rods obtained as loot from the last game.  They allowed one treasure marker to be moved up to 3 inches in any direction – so one treasure was moved 3 inches closer to my starting location.  I had also added a Tribal Guide to replace a Hunter lost in game 1 to Heritor Barl (curse his name).  The Guide has a skill called Pathfinder which allows him and one other crew member to deploy 3 inches further forward (and closer to potential treasures).

A view of the set-up
Another view of the set-up

The Report

“Dragons?  Hrrmmpp.  What tales have you been listening to Bengel?  Everyone knows dragons have been dead for quite some time.” said Ragnam as he looked skeptically at his young Warden.  “But Master Ragnam, its true.  They say dragons still exist in the Archipelago.  Dragons and many other strange creatures.” argued Bengel.  “Well, I don’t put much stock in tales of mythical creatures.  We’re still going to explore the island.  The compass brought us to this spot for reason.  Let’s go find out why.” replied Ragnam and he turned to go give the command to drop boats.

Ragnam and his crew stepped out their row boats onto the sandy beach.  A dense wall of vegetation started a mere 20 feet from the water.  Ragnam started to sweat just thinking about how hot and humid it would be once they entered.  “Dogba, take point” he commanded.  As with that, the crew stepped forward and were engulfed by the jungle.  Fortunately, once they had traveled inland for a hundred yards or so, the vegetation thinned out a bit – but not the heat.  Soon they were all dripping wet from their sweat.

After an hour of traversing through the thin jungle, a large stone carving was sighted.  Ragnam and his crew took cover behind some bushes to survey the area.  Off in the distance, he could spot some movement on the other side of the stone structure.  It looked like another crew was in the area.

Ragnam directs his crew forward

 Ragnam waved Dogba (Tribal Guide) and Kippen (Pearl Diver) to move forward a bit more (Pathfinder ability of the Tribal Guide).  After carefully watching for a few more minutes, Ragnam moves forward to a small clump of bushes.  Once there, he spots an the remains of an unfortunate adventurer.  As he pokes at it with his boot, the corpse arises as a Ghoul.  Seeing the Ghoul, Knurrig (Crewman) charges forward to protect his Heritor.  With the momentum of his charge, Knurrig’s sword smashes through the Ghoul’s defense and strikes deeply in its side (hits the Ghoul for 8 damage).

Ragnam and crew engage a Ghoul

Bengel hunkers down behind a small stone statue and casts his favorite spell – Summon Animal.  Off in the distance he hears the loud howl of a Screamer Monkey.  It was shortly followed by another similar howl.  “Could there be another Warden nearby summoning animals?” he thought to himself (Barley’s Warden also summoned a Screamer Monkey).

Dogba and Kippen

Watching Ragnam’s advance, Dogba moves forward with the stealthiness of only someone born in the jungle.  Kippen followed behind, a bit more noisily.  As they approached a clump of bushes, Dogba wrinkled his nose at the smell of a decaying body.  Looking under the large leaves, he sees the body of a half eaten corpse.  A short sword in a fancy tooled sheath was still fastened to its belt.  Using his hunting knife, Dogba deftly cuts the belt and retrieves the sword. 

A thick mist starts to settle in reducing line of sight (Safar’s Warden cast Cloud Cover).  The mist would continue to get worse as time progressed.  In teh end, it was of little hinderance to ragnam’s crew.

Ragnam swings his sword at the Ghoul but his attack is parried.  The Ghoul manages to strike Ragnam on the left shoulder, drawing blood (Inflicts 6 points of damage).  The ghoul attempts to push him out of comba so it could face Knurrig alone.  Drawing upon an Heritor ability, Ragnam remains planted in place as he feels the burn race through his veins (Used Stand Firm).  With The Ghoul focused on Ragnam, Seppl moves forward to assist and strikes fast with his axe.  The Ghoul’s head flies from its body and lands somewhere in the dense brush.  Knurrig notices a leather satchel and removes it from the corpse.  Bengel cast Water of Life on Ragnam.

Pimpel finds a corpse laying in the brush. Looking closely, he discovers a leather pouch containing 50 gold crowns.  Pimpel picks it up.  Seeing some of Safar’s crew nearby, he slowly falls back, keeping an eye on their movement.

Pimpel finds a treasure

Seeing movement to the right, the archer twins move in that direction to check it out.  Teflin paused to let loose an arrow at two of Barley’s crewmen, one of whom was dragging a large sword (All swords are large to halflngs).  Much to his dismay, his arrow whizzed between the two halfings missing them both.  Around the same time, Bengel’s Monkey pet ran through a thick patch of jungle only to discover another Monkey waiting on the other side (Summoned by Barley’s Warden).  The two stared down each other for several minutes.

Everyone pauses for a moment as they hear the sound of giant wings flapping.  Even through the dense mist, a Dragon passing by and is quickly lost in the mist.  Bengel looked up in awe, “They do exist, I knew it.”

Barley’s Warden sends his Monkey to delay Ragnam,s crew

Ragnam decides that Safar’s crew is in too strong of a position to contest their claim to any treasures they might find.  He notices his archers moving towards the right and turns to follow them.  As he passes by Bengel, his Warden sees his bloody left sleeve and casts Water of Life on him.

Teflin takes aim at the halfling dragging the sword.  He releases his arrow and watches it strike the back of the halfling’s helmet, dropping him to the ground.  The other halfling barely stops as he grabs the sword and keeps moving.

Bengel’s Screamer Monkey decides to attack his cousin.  He pounces but is smacked down hard.  Victorius, the other Monkey runs off to help out his crew members.Sensing the demise of the Monkey, Bengel once again cast Summon Animal.  This time he calls forth a Snapping Turtle from the direction Barley’s crew was heading.  He commands the turtle to track down and attack halflings.

A snapping turtle harasses Barley’s crew

The Snapping Turtle moves through the brush and sees a halfling heading his way burdened with carrying a large sword.  The turtle rushes forth from the thick underbrush to attack (Well, not so much a rush and a slow crawl).  The two exchange blows but the halfling manages to momentarily stun the turtle.  The halfling manages to get a a couple of steps lead on the turtle.  The last Ragnam crew sees as they disappear into the jungle is the halfling running for his life with the turtle snapping at his heels.

And with that last bit of excitement, Ragnam sounds recall and his crew fade into the jungle to make the hour trip back to the beach.  A hot meal and a pint of dwarven beer await their return.

Ragnam and crew with their treasures

Epilogue

Back on board the Iron Fist, sipping on a pint of ale, Ragnam reflects on the day’s adventure.  His crew took no casualties.  In addition, they recovered three treasures:  a Superior Hand Weapon +1 Fight, some Magic Beans, and 80 gold crowns.  And a big plus, they all got to see a real live dragon.  “Tomorrow we’ll study our maps for our next destination.  Tonight we’ll celebrate” he pondered as he listened to the crew enjoying their good fortune.

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Cave Sloth: Bones 4 Figure

Chris Palmer

     This past week, I continued to work on filling out some of the holes in my Ghost Archipelago Bestiary, and painted the Cave Sloth from the Bones 4 Lost Valley Expansion.
     I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking the parts 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. The figure comes with the body and right arm pre-glued, and the left arm and base requiring gluing.

     So I used some Gorilla Superglue Gel to assemble the parts, and I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1.5" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue after trimming the base so it would fit. I then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by painting the entire figure with Americana “Charcoal Grey”.  When dry, I gave the entire figure a wash with thinned Vallejo Game Ink “Black”.

     I then drybrushed the figure using, in sequence: Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, Americana “Khaki Tan”, and Americana “Bleached Sand”.  I used the “Bleached Sand” heavier on the face to try to give the figure a more realistic lighter colored Sloth face.

      Next, I mixed some Ceramcoat “Black” with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate” and painted the area around his eyes, his nose and mouth area, and his claws.  After that, I painted the inside of his mouth with a mix of Apple Barrel “Apple Light Pink” and Folk Art “Milkshake”.  I then did his teeth with Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”

     I then applied a wash to the inside of his mouth using Citadel “Agrax Earthshade”.  While it was drying, I painted his eyes “Black”, and then added colored irises using Crafter’s Acrylic “Cinnamon Brown”.  I also painted the insides of his nostrils with the Black".  Next, I highlighted his claws using Crafter’s Acrylic “Storm Cloud Grey”.  I went back and added highlights to the exterior of his nostrils with Americana “Dove Grey”, and also used this color to do a little further highlighting on his claws. I used some Americana “Snow White” to highlight his eyes.  The inside of his mouth was dry now, so I also used the “Snow White” to highlight his teeth.  Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  When the “Dullcote” was dry, I went back and hit is eyes with a little Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish.

     I’m really happy with this big fellow.  For a simple figure I think he came out with a nice bit of character.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/05/cave-sloth-bones-4-figure.html
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US Armor for 75th D-Day Anniversary

Mark A. Morin

I am working on creating a Normandy scenario for a What a Tanker© game that I plan to run at a monthly gaming session at both the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club and the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge.  With the 75th Anniversary of D-Day coming up in little more than a month, I thought that would be appropriate. 

My challenge was that I really did not have enough historically-appropriate tanks and tank destroyers for such a scenario.  I did have 9 plastic British Shermans and 2 Fireflies that I bought on eBay that were well-painted.  I also had 2 resin Shermans and 2 resin Stuarts that I got from a guy who makes his own models and sells them already painted.  The British stuff came with a bunch of infantry that I sold, so the nice plastic British armor ended up costing me net only $1.40 each!  The US tanks were OK for the tabletop, and for the price (about $5-6 as I remember), a relative bargain – but I wanted better.  I also had no Germans for that theater, so that is part 2 of the project.  For this part, I am focused on five US vehicles.  Together, I will have enough to make a joint US/UK force.

Three of the five vehicles came from Battlefront and were metal and resin and some plastic:  one M3A1 Stuart (#US003); one M4A2 Sherman (#US045); and one M10 Wolverine tank destroyer (#US102).  The other two were M24 Chaffee tanks that did not make it to D-Day, but replaced Stuarts starting in the latter part of 1944.  These two were 3D printed models from somebody on eBay – and not great detail-wise.  But, the M24 was the tank my grandfather, Marcus C. Delaney, drove in Europe during WWII, so I thought I’d work on those at the same time.  I used many of the same research books that I have cited before – and I did not take pictures as these are more recognizable to most gamers and modelers.






Above, you can see the group – below is a group shot after assembly.

1 all assembled
Ready for paint – 2 M24 Chaffee’s, an M3A1 Stuart, an M4A2 Sherman, and an M10 Wolverine – with its crew on toothpicks.
2 turrets
Turrets mounted for painting.

I mostly used my airbrush for painting – and on the M24’s I tried to minimize the 3D printer lines with paints, washes, and weathering.  I decided to try a few Vallejo weathering products that caught my eye – I made a test of them first.  Of course, these are applied with a brush!

3 weathering
I thought the brown mud was too heavy, and the industrial splash mus was too thin – so I went with the other three.
3a weathering
I really liked these three – very nice weathering products.  The white labels on the top are what I do to help identify them in my supplies.
4 turrets painted
Completed turrets.

It’s now time to share some eye candy of the completed tanks and the tank destroyer.  Of course, I am also using these 5 as the first entry for a monthly painting challenge from Australia’s own Azazel – this being “Mechanismo May ’19 Community Painting Challenge“.

5 M3A1 front
M3A1 Stuart in the bocage.
6 M3A1 side
Side shot of the Stuart in a field.
7 M3A1 rear
Rear shot of the Stuart – it’s not as shiny as this!
8 M4A2 side
My M4A2 Sherman – “Deuces Wild”.
9 M4A2 front
Nice shot coming through the bocage – I really liked the mud and grass effects.
10 M4A2 rear
Rear shot – beware lurking panzerfausts!
11 M10 in field side view
Side shot of the M10 Wolverine cutting across a field into a gap in the bocage.
12 M10 in field side view
Another side shot – this was a very fun model to build.
13 M24's front
My two M24 Chaffee’s.  They won’t be at Normandy, but they will be later in the war.  I do like that I was able to give them some better texture with the weathering products.
13 M24's rear
Rear shot of the M24’s.  
13 M24's side
M24’s in convoy.  They were mostly used as scouts, and were used (and some are still used) by many different armies worldwide.  My grandfather told me many stories about his service driving one.
14 All US painted
My 5 US tanks for this project.
15 3 Shermans
For comparison, here you see three Shermans – from left to right – my M4A2, a plastic British Sherman I bought already painted, and the resin one I bought pre-painted on eBay.  
16 2 Stuarts
Here are the two Stuarts for comparison.  Mine is on the left – and the eBay resin one is on the right.  I will treat the resin ones as M5’s, which are better in What a Tanker
17 all Allied ETO
My complete ETO Allied vehicles – there’s a couple of Fireflies in there too.  I will use all of these except the M24’s for Normandy.

Now I have 18 US/UK vehicles for Normandy – which should be plenty.  I also know that some folks are bringing some DD Shermans and a couple of Churchill’s.  I have 6 German tanks and tank destroyers for Normandy and 11 for the Eastern Front (all about 60% completed), with 3 more to assemble (plus 5 scout cars).  That should be enough for a couple of fun games.  Stay tuned as I’m hoping to complete the Germans soon.

Thanks for checking this out – below are the paints etc.  Let me know your thoughts if you would!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  5. Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
  6. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  7. Battlefront “Black”
  8. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  9. Battlefront “European Flesh”
  10. Battlefront “Skin Shade”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  12. Vallejo “Base Grey Primer”
  13. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  14. Army Painter “Military Shader” 
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  16. Polly S “Rust”
  17. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  18. Gorilla Glue
  19. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  20. Microscale Micro-Set
  21. Microscale Micro-Sol
  22. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  23. Microscale Satin
  24. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  25. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  26. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  27. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  28. Vallejo “Crushed Grass”
  29. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  30. Aleene’s poster tack

 

 

from Mark A. Morin https://markamorin.com/2019/05/05/us-armor-for-75th-d-day-anniversary/
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Battle of the Crossroads

Rob Dean

I had the opportunity yesterday to break out the 1/72 scale plastic Portable Fantasy Campaign figure to resolve a pending battle in my solo Northlands campaign.  I’m still evolving the campaign resolution mechanics, but I had reached a point in March where I had a full-scale battle (using Hordes of the Things), but it’s taken a few weeks to finally get it done.  It’s terrible when you can’t find the opponent for a solo game…

The Cold Islanders (loosely Vikings) had invaded the Kingdom of Darmis (loosely medieval French), but a skirmish previously reported (last May) and a lot of parleys were the only actions up to now.  I may have to tweak the battle generation system, so that the amount of record-keeping per battle is a little more favorable.  However, with a battle in hand, I decided to take a suggestion from Ross and try a scenario battle, randomly chosen from Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames book. I ended up with Scenario 11, “Surprise Attack”, based on Quatre Bras in 1815.  I randomly assigned Darmis the role of the attacker, which was appropriate since they had been trying to force a battle in the strategic decision system.

The Northlands Map, Rienne toward upper left

This left the Cold Islanders split up, with part of their force on the table and two parts arriving later.  I elected to go with the 15 turn time limit, but, as you’ll see, that didn’t end up being the decisive factor.  The Cold Islander had, in Hordes terms, a Hero-General, 2 Blades, 4 Warbands, and 2 Shooters, and Darmis had 4 knights (including the general), 3 Blades, 2 Shooters, and a Wizard.

Battle drawing, showing the opening phases

From the Northland Chronicle, as maintained at the University in Darmis:

In the seventh month of that year, King Rollant of Darmis, having failed to secure the removal of the Cold Islanders from the lands of the Count of Rienne by negotiation, resolved to attack the encampment of the barbarians.  Perhaps muddled by fine wines looted from the territory around Rienne, and lulled by the exchange of parleys, Eric Stronghand, leader of the Cold Islands army, was caught off guard by the King’s advance.

     Nevertheless, the Cold Islanders drew up their shield wall, and waited as the king and his knights formed their battle array.  Impatient with this maneuvering, the captain finally advanced to within bowshot of the knights, and the battle began in earnest.

     King rolland had secured the services of Cassara, of the Blue order, a sorceress of the great university in dramas, and hoped that her powers would enable a swift victory.

Knights of Darmis deploy into a battle formation

The first part of the battle, though, was won by steel and valor, as a charge by the king and his knights scattered most of the barbarians.

Eric and his shield companions finally reached the field, and were able to gather the scattered barbarians into a second shield wall.

Cassara sent a messenger to the king to tell him that the augers were propitious for her sorcery, and the king held back to allow her to do her work.  Four times the sky darkened and the mystic energies crackled about the field, and/or times Eric Stronghand stood against the spells.  But the fourth time was enough for him, and he and his companions charged toward the dreaded sorceress.

The final charge of Eric Stronghand

In close combat, axe against spell, Cassara finally prevailed, wrapping the Cold Islander in unbreakable bands of enchantment.

With their general ensorcelled and casualties heavy, the Cold Islanders broke and fled the field, racing to protect their boats.  Well pleased with this result, King Rollant withheld his knights, not permitting them to scatter in pursuit, and bade Cassara bring Eric to his table to discuss the terms of his ransom…

So, it wasn’t a bad game overall.  I wasn’t sure what would happen with scenarios in Hordes, but it seemed to work reasonably well, with a caveat for starting the Cold Islanders with their general off the table, doubling all their maneuver costs initially.  In retrospect, it might have been better for the Cold Islanders to take their chances with the Sorceress, since she used most of the command pips for four turns unsuccessfully casting spells at the enemy general.  However, past experience has led me to believe that a Hero-General has little chance in the long run against a Wizard, so I went ahead to see if I could eliminate the threat.

Now it’s back to the log book to consider the next set of moves, and see what sort of battle will generated.

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/05/battle-of-crossroads.html
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The Cossacks Are Coming

Buck

Both of you who read this blog will know that I am working on a scenario for Historicon 19 using Combat Patrol, called Retreat from Moscow.  In a previous post, I showed pictures of my retreating French, but I have been in need of pursuing Cossacks and other troops.  I traded with Greg a large box full of Jacobites for some French infantry.  In the meantime, I ordered a  bunch of Cossacks and other pursuing cavalry from Old Glory.  I finished the two bags of mounted Cossacks and will begin working on the bag of dismounted Cossacks soon.  If I get those done in time, I’ll begin working on some mounted Russian Hussars and Dragoons.

First of four pictures of mounted Old Glory Cossacks.

Second of four pictures of mounted Old Glory Cossacks.

Third of four pictures of mounted Old Glory Cossacks.

Fourth of four pictures of mounted Old Glory Cossacks.

While I was working on these, I completed a few other odds and ends.

A squad of winter German infantry.

In the box with the Russian Napoleonic figures, Greg had thrown in a squad of winter German infantry.  They were mostly done except for boots and flocking.

A figure I designed on Hero Forge.

The guys at work were talking about HeroForge.  I wanted to give it a try, so I went to their site and designed a couple of figures.  The printing is excellent, with very little indication of layer lines.

Darth Wader

I had been looking for Duck Wader for a long time.  I recently got one from Mark for Christmas, but I recently found this one on Ebay.  It was in terrible shape, and it had been painted in garish blue colors.  I “rescued” it, and repainted it.  Since I have two now, I am thinking about a scenario with twin Sith Ducks attacking a Rebel base.  Hmmmmm.

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Battle Reports

Rob Dean

One of my personal hobby challenges this year is to try to keep more entertaining records of games played, so I have been sketching maps with colored pencils to memorialize the games.

I was getting a little behind, so I was pleased to be able to take some time today to catch up on entries for the latest two games.

The Ambush scenario from the 20th of April

Here’s the Ambush scenario as played with Ross Macfarlane on the 20th…

Ghost Archipelago game from the 27th of April

and the Ghost Archipelago campaign game from the 27th.  I may yet get a fuller battle report for that posted here, since I do have a few additional pictures.

At any rate, since I am now caught up, I can set up the solo game for my (theoretically) ongoing fantasy campaign without a sense that there’s anything else I should be doing.

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/05/battle-reports.html
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