Blotz Mausoleum

This is another simple kit, with some nice detail. It didn’t take any time to assemble, but undercoating it black did – due to all the nice detail!

I left the roof pieces loose as it has an internal tomb feature that’s worth being able to see.

Although designed as a 28mm piece I think it also works fine for 15mm, so into the Frostgrave and general fantasy scenery pile it goes 🙂

Those jungle bases definitely have to happen next…

Blotz Minaret

This is an MDF kit I picked up at Partizan, which I decided would fit well into my Frostgrave scenery collection. Blotz offer the same model in 15mm, 20mm and 28mm. I went for the 20mm one as I thought it would make a more impressive piece for 15mm.

It was relatively easy to assemble, and the online instructions gave a useful tip about putting some weight in the bottom section for ballast. I loaded it with 2p pieces. I may base the model at some point to give it some steps up to the door and a bit more stability.

Some of the upper section needed painting before final assembly, which I realised just in time. It’s the sort of thing I usually spot just after I’ve applied the glue!

A couple of Battle Valor 15mm figures give it a decent sense of scale.

 

 

 

 

 

A Couple of Temples

It’s been a bit slow on the figure painting and gaming fronts lately so I’ve tried to keep going with a few other bits and pieces.

I am working on some base boards, which need to be ready for a big Sharp Practice game at the end of July. They’re not exactly picturesque while being prep’d for painting, but I’l post pics when they’re done.

Meanwhile, I have managed to knock together a couple of pieces that will serve as monuments or temples for various settings. They’ll be nice and big for 15mm Frostgrave, and about right for hiding a few 28mm figures in a skirmish.

They’re made from wine corks, cork tile and styrofoam, like a lot of the other scenery I’ve made this year. The domes are the finials from a recently retired curtain rail. I had my wargamer’s eye on them as I took it down!

Before pic:

Now to finally finish off those jungle bases I’ve been putting off for so long!

A New Battalion for Savoy

This unit was finished off just in time for this year’s big 18th century gaming weekend at Ayton (which reminds me – I need to post my pics of this excellent event). It’s a converged Grenadier battalion made up of companies from the Savoy line battalions I have collected so far.

The figures are Crann Tara, and they were painted by the very talented Dave Jarvis. As my Grenadier battalions don’t carry flags I like to give them a bit of height on the centre stand, hence the mounted colonel.


Best of all, they didn’t embarrass themselves in their first outing. I didn’t actually end up commanding them, so that’s probably why!

I also managed to do a tiny amount of painting for Ayton myself – to the tune of 3 battalion guns. I had 3 bases of Savoy battalion gunners without the all-important cannon, so finally got caught up. These are Crann Tara/Minden Prussian 3 pounders, very nice pieces.

 

 

A Brilliant Weekend In Essex (yes, really)

I can’t believe it’s over 3 weeks ago already, and I’m only just posting now! LAW forum member Essex Boy finally had a few of us down for a first game in ‘The Shed’. This snazzy new venue has reached almost mythical status, due to the length of time it’s taken him to get it ready. But, it was most certainly worth the wait.

The Shed has very good lighting and heating, and a decent amount of space for 6 people to play a decent-sized game. Every wargamer’s deam 🙂

Essex flag bunting greeted us on our arrival! You can’t have everything I suppose.

Inside was an excellent custom-prepared battlefield, assembled that very morning (with the help of a just-woken Andy apparently!)

We were using Iain and Gary’s 20mm WSS armies, plus a brigade of Andy’s Savage Swans and Altfritzenbergers that he’d painted for the occasion. The troops all looked superb, and together with the terrain, presented a real spectacle and were a pleasure to play with.

Iain had devised a cunning scenario which called for both sides to fight for control of the numerous road junctions. Andy and I played as the defending Franco-Bavarian (and Alfritzenberg) commanders, with Gary, Tim and Simon controlling the allies. Iain ran the game, umpired and took control of the odd unit of locals who popped up to surprise the allied attackers.

The rules used were Rank & File and they gave a decent period feel, were easy to learn/remember, and allowed the game to move along at a good pace. There were close-fought actions all over the battlefield, with attritional losses building up steadily (and often worryingly) during the day. By the end Andy and I had just about held on, and controlled enough of the roads to be declared the victors. It was getting very close though!

Once the game had been wrapped up, we had a good evening filled with Mexican food and plenty of beer, and all promised to come again when The Shed doors are open again to the LAW mob.

Big thanks to Iain for all the effort he put in, and for the others for their contributions and great company. This type of weekend is always an excellent way to spend hobby and social time, and this was no exception.

More 15mm Frostgrave Scenery

I have finished off a few additional bits of scenery for my Frostgrave set-up. The main piece is a larger bridge, and there are some more rubble piles, columns and stone walkways/jetties too. I added a pit as well, as it’s one of the extra scenery pieces you can use with the Ulterior Motives cards.

The bridge was designed by my wife, who’s taken an interest in Frostgrave and played in the first game (2 crossbowmen on the roof, I ask you…!). I did the construction under close supervision, and added optional leg extensions to allow the bridge to also span taller gaps. It was mostly made from styrofoam, but has an arched cobbled roadway using a sheet of Slaters plasticard.

A couple of drinking fountains:

There are some more bits and pieces I want to do, and I’m still finding it fun so they should happen soon!

Lion Rampant in the Late Roman Era

Well it’s still cold and we’ve had more snow, so I thought some further gaming on the winter terrain was appropriate. I also recently re-read The Eagle in the Snow by Wallace Breem, so out came some Late Romans and their Goth enemies and over the weekend I played a few solo games using the excellent Lion Rampant rules.

I wanted to try some of the scenarios I hadn’t played before, so picked two 24 point forces and had a few goes of ‘Hammer and Anvil’, and one of ‘The Messenger’. Both require the forces to move a lot to achieve their objectives, which is always a challenge with the unpredictable activation rules in the Rampant series! My house rule is that all leaders have the Commanding trait to gain a re-roll on the first failed activation roll each turn (if the unit is within 12″). This suits me better, but a good plan can still be ruined when things don’t happen for you.

The figures are 15mm and I played at half-scale (ie. 2″ in the rules being 1″ on the table). It worked well on a 4’x3′.

The Hammer and Anvil games proved very tough to win for the side trying to exit the opposite table edge, but I did manage it once out of 3 attempts. I swapped the forces around to give each side a chance to attack and defend.

The Goths managed to get the Messenger through in the last game I played, having had a rough time of it initially.

All the games proved exciting, with some challenging decisions (even playing solo) and lots of incidents. I may just have to play a few more now!

15mm Frostgrave – First Game

After all that scenery making it seemed logical to give 15mm Frostgrave a go. So, we played a 3 player game on a 3’x3′ table, using the basic treasure-grab scenario. We had a Chronomancer, an Illusionist and a Thaumaturge, each with a reasonably typical starting warband.

There were a good variety of figures in use, including lots of adventurers/characters, but also some Orcs and even the odd Lizardman as thugs and thieves.

The table was put together fairly randomly, but with plenty of raised areas, especially towards the middle to create an interesting setting to game over. We placed 2 treasure as centrally as possible, the players then placed more 2 each, and off we went!

We were using a few light house rules, designed to encourage a broad use of spells, keep the focus on treasure and the mission, and provide a greater likelihood of random monsters appearing. Apart from the last, which still only generated a single bear, they seemed to work well and everyone was prioritising their spells and movement over just lots of shooting and fighting (although there was a fair bit of that too!)

Crossbows on the roof – nasty!

Anti-crossbowman fog spell:

Cat and mouse in the old courtyard:

Creeping up to the treasure:

The surprise bear was dealt with very efficiently:

General action shots:

The Chronomancer tries a last spell before legging it:

The game took a good while to get through, but everyone needed time to learn the rules and get used to things. I think there were more than 15 different spells cast in all, which provided a lot of variety to the action. Playing against two opponents was a lot of fun and made things very unpredictable.

For me the most dramatic moment was when the Chronomancer’s apprentice managed to cast Scatter Shot, with my wizard and half my warband in range. Only a few cuts and scratches were suffered, but it was pretty worrying at the time! My archer was able to remove the risk of it happening again with a well-placed arrow.

At the end, honours were pretty even in terms of treasure and experience points. We’ll certainly be playing again with these warbands and we have a bit of gold to spend in the meantime!

Sci-fi Rampant – Sausages With Mustard Scenario

Last weekend Jase and I played one of the scenarios from Lion Rampant, using our 15mm sci-fi stuff. Jase brought his ‘dogmen’  force and I used my mercenaries, which included several new additions since the last game.

The mission is for one side (me, the defender) to protect a number of buildings/features in the centre of the table, while the enemy attempts to destroy them. We chose 36pt forces and played the game length-ways on a 4’x3′ table.

Noble mercenaries hurry towards the threatened facility:

The mortars are not technically necessary as on-table pieces, but are there to look good and represent the indirect fire capability of my advanced spotter team (a unit of Dragon Rampant ‘Scouts’ with a ‘Wizardling’ upgrade that gives them the ability to bring down a bombardment or smoke).

Soon-to-be-gnawed Scouts on the roof:

Mercenary HQ and combat teams:

Despicable dogmen (counting as Bellicose Foot with Armour upgrade) advance, with destruction on their minds:

They even brought some nasty mechs (counting as Elite Foot with ranged fire upgrade in this instance):

My little tank (counting as Heavy Riders with ‘Chariot’ and ‘Venomous’ upgrades) did sterling work taking the fight to the enemy, but was eventually overcome by fire and close assaults:

 

The game played out very well and it was touch and go at the end as to who would come out on top. Two buildings were already burning when I had a final chance to snatch victory by destroying one more unit of attackers, but I just couldn’t manage it. Jase kept his force together very well, and kept them focused on the mission. I managed to lure one or two units of impetuous dogmen away with my jetbikes (‘light riders’) but couldn’t do enough damage overall to force a retreat.

 

 

So, despite a desperate defence, the facility went up in smoke in the end. I’ll have to plan a revenge attack for the next game! Great fun, and we thought it looked good at this scale and size of game, and played very well.

 

 

Landing Pad

Having painted up the sci-fi buildings recently I decided something was still missing – a landing pad. There are one or two MDF models available but I thought I’d make my own instead.

So, a 6″ square piece of cork sheet, some card and a few stick-on bits and pieces, and voila…

It didn’t take very long to make, and will fit in well with my other scenery.

I can see some interesting scenarios being played out, with dramatic arrivals and escapes, and missions requiring the capture or destruction of the pad, etc.

Now I just need something to actually land on it. It’ll be back to the web for that one I think!