Finally Some Gaming

A recent house move has disrupted projects, painting and gaming plans, but it’s all been worth it. The new games room is mostly sorted, and last weekend Jase and I managed to fit in a couple of co-op games of Rangers of Shadow Deep and a game of Sci-Fi Rampant. Everything was in 15mm.

Rangers scenario 1 – we did pretty well with our shiny new Rangers and their companions, bar the odd guardsman being taken out by a rabid rat.

Sci-Fi Rampant (which is Dragon Rampant played straight from the book, but with a lot of thought going into the representation of the troop types we want to use) was great fun as always. It presents a very different tactical challenge when both sides have a lot of shooty units. It was a close game but on this occasion the force with armour upgrades won the day.

Now I need to get some painting done, as there hasn’t been any since January and there are deadlines looming!

 

 

Rangers of Shadow Deep – First Go

I’ve had some fun today with Joe McCullough’s new game. It uses the Frostgrave mechanisms so it’s been pretty easy picking them up (despite the lack of a QRS or playsheet…!)

I’ve got a lot of 15mm fantasy stuff – scenery and figures, but it’s still been a challenge putting the scenario settings together. Actually it’s a nice departure from the norm, and the scenarios themselves are very varied and challenging.

I created my Ranger, Vantaniri, and recruited a few companions (one each of Rogue, Tracker, Archer, Guardsman, plus Fido the Warhound). The first mission saw the Warhound slaughtered by a giant rat, while the rest of the team kicked evil ass pretty well.

Nasty giant spiders got Fido II in the 2nd scenario, while Vantaniri and the boys torched the spider nests, etc.  Everything was going swimmingly, although the good die rolls couldn’t last forever.

Here he comes, bounding and panting with doggy enthusiasm. Oh dear.

The next mission, which I’ve not yet finished, is proving very tough. Getting past some Gnoll bridge guards involved a combination of sneaking, swimming and getting chopped up pretty badly. Luckily everyone made it through, thanks to the recovery rolls, but we were carrying some residual injuries going into the tower that’s the main mission objective.

There’s time pressure once in the tower, with a turn limit for crossing each of the initial (very large) rooms. Leaving a man down in each of the first 2 rooms, it’s a slightly beat-up team trying to make it through to the end game. Will it be enough?

I’ll be finding out post-turkey 🙂

Critters

I haven’t managed to paint much recently but have tinkered with a few more 15mm fantasy bits and pieces.

I say ’15mm’, but actually these were mostly either 10mm or 28mm, but that’s the beauty of fantasy! I put in a couple of small orders, to Element Games for some Reaper Bones figures, and to Pendraken for some of their fantasy range.

The Bones figures:

Giant rats done:

I’ve also painted the scorpions, along with 3 from Pendraken, which are a good match size-wise. The bat swarms and 3 of the spiders are also Pendraken, all nice figures, and the bigger spider is actually from a 15mm range (Demonworld):

I still have more to do – you can’t have too many nasties in a dungeon crawl can you?

Ruins, Generously Donated

The very kind Count Belisarius sent me these plastic ruins that were surplus to requirements. They’re going to fit in very well with my 15mm Frostgrave setting.

They arrived as assembled kits, in shiny black plastic. I based them on cork tile and added some rubble and patches of plaster to blend them in with my existing scenery. I also covered over a couple of electrical cables, presumably they’re originally designed for W40K or similar.

They then received a matt black undercoat, followed by dark grey, light grey and white dry-brushes. This was very quick to do, so they’re all finished within 48 hours of arriving.

Thanks Andy! 🙂

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!

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!

15mm Frostgrave Scenery

So, after a year or so of being convinced that making a my own 28mm Frostgrave scenery was just too daunting (and a future storage challenge too far), I’ve gone ahead and done it in 15mm instead!

In the end this made a lot of sense. I’ve already got a pretty good 15mm fantasy collection, both for conventional wargaming and for my dungeon game. This includes characters, monsters and some minor scenery pieces. Now, after a January styrofoam, cork and card blizzard I have produced a 3×3 ft ruined playground for wizards and their warbands to explore and fight over.

It was a lot more fun to do than I expected and I’m happy with the outcome so far. There are some more pieces to do, and most importantly there are new base boards to make. The ones in these pictures are my old winter boards and I’ll be going for something with cobbles in the future. Hopefully February will see all this finished.

I’ve had a solo test game and the 15mm figures certainly help make the whole set-up seem grander and more imposing than I would have been able to achieve in 28mm. Modelling buildings and ruins in this scale is also a lot more forgiving. I’m a basic level modeller and happy to try for a consistent look rather than finely miniaturised architecture.

Some of this scenery can also be used with my dungeon game, and for future plans for a Dark Ages/Middle Earth hybrid skirmish setting – ruins of Rome, Arnor, etc.

I’ll post more pics as I finish new bits, and hopefully some in-game shots soon.

 

 

Ice Demons – Cos ‘Tis the Season

I’ve had these Demonworld figures for a few years, having bought them on ebay when the range was out of production. Although I prep’d and based them at the time, I’ve only just now painted them. They didn’t take very long, so as always it’s a mystery why I kept putting them off!

I decided that they’d look best in icy colours, and I’ve dry-brushed the bases with white over the top of my usual green/brown.

They’ll be used in my 15mm Dungeon game as big demons, and potentially in 25/28mm Frostgrave as man-sized demons.

 

A Few More Fantasy Additions

A few 15mm fantasy figures received some paint recently. These will see action in my Dungeon Game, as well as for Dragon Rampant and bigger fantasy battle games.

Below, Reaper Bones beast hound, Demonword beholder and demon wizard.

The other 4 figures are conversions I did a few years ago (about 50 more to paint, including mounted versions). They’re Museum Miniatures medievals to which I’ve added greenstuff cloaks with fur mantles, some weapon upgrades, and of course horns on their helms. They are inspired by GW’s take on Chaos Warriors/Knights and I wanted some for my 15mm Chaos/evil army. Now I’ve settled on a simple paint scheme, I’ll hopefully be able to get the rest done at some point.

Chaos on Chaos action:

Satanic beasty Sorceror. He’s going to get a partial re-paint as his skin looks like he’s some sort of water-based guy, and it’s a bit of a clash with the lava!

Lots more to do, but I’m enjoying picking away at them slowly.

Bear Clan!

A couple of months ago I painted some 15mm fantasy figures for use with Dragon Rampant and my dungeon adventure game. Before I went back to the 6mm SYW project I did paint a force of Bear Clan/Cultists but have taken forever to get the bases done.

Now they’re finally finished, here are some pics:

 

Leader, champions and shamen:

Shapeshifters (Copplestone):

Crazy bear:

The men are mostly Splintered Light, with a few Copplestone and a Demonworld leader. The bears are from a variety of companies too, in small, medium and bloomin’ big sizes. I’ve kept to a very simple pallet and, with most figures having some bearskin on them, that’s provided the overriding look.

I have another batch of about 20 to finish, which will allow me to field more options for a Dragon Rampant force. When I’m fed up with painting 6mm I’ll switch back to these and get the rest finished off.