Monday, December 12, 2016

First Winter War Finns

I started painting my first batch of Winter War Finns. These are the Baker Company models from their Winter War Kickstarter. I'm still working out a paint scheme for them. I have a lot of them to paint, so I'm trying to come up with something quick that still gives decent results with plausible colors for the uniforms and equipment. Have a look below for some pictures of my initial attempt.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Warhammer Quest Skaven Stormvermin

Warhammer Quest
It has been a while since I've made any progress on the Warhammer Quest monsters, but I've finally completed a group of 12 Skaven Stormvermin. The paint job was pretty straightforward and similar to my previous Warhammer Quest Skaven, but for some reason it took a long time to get these finished. I suppose because I had other projects being worked on at the same time that I had more motivation to make progress on.

With these completed, I'm now very close to having the entire level 1 monster table painted, which you'd think would motivate me to work faster to reach that milestone. However, looking over the level 2 monster list and seeing how huge an undertaking that will be is somewhat discouraging. But I suppose I've just got to keep plugging away at it. Getting all the monsters painted for Warhammer Quest was always going to be a huge undertaking. Certainly a marathon, not a sprint, so I'll have to accept that there will be periods of relative inactivity. In any case, have a look at the Stormvermin below and let me know what you think.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kingdom Death Leather Armor Survivors

Kingdom Death
I've finished another magnetized set of Kingdom Death survivors. This time it was the Leather Armor set. I painted a mix of dark brown, light brown, and black leather to add some variety. Otherwise the painting was pretty basic. This kit did present some new challenges when it came to magnetizing them, which you will be able to see in the pictures below.

First, I had a hard time attaching a hand to the leather shield in a way that would allow it to fit on any arm, but still look like a natural way to hold a shield. So that didn't turn out very well. Hopefully someday I'll get around to making some new shield holding hands that look a little better but will still fit on at least most of the arms.

Second, it's almost impossible to get the hand holding the coiled whip to look good. Because a section of the whip hangs down, it needs to be aligned perfectly correctly, with the end of the whip hanging exactly vertically, or it looks wrong, like it's defying gravity. Very few arms will happen to be in exactly the right position to make this work, so I'll mostly have to use the hand with the uncoiled whip in mid swing.

Finally, there were a couple of really big weapons, with one being so top-heavy that the magnets wouldn't hold it upright. From now on I will use longer rod magnets in the forearms to give a stronger hold on these heavier weapons, but that revelation came too late to help with this armor set. Instead I added some weight to the bottom of the Counter-weighted Axe (which is actually not counter-weighted at all by default). That helps it balance better at just about any angle, and as a bonus it makes the name much more appropriate.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Painted Warhammer Krell, or Wight King with Black Axe

Having picked up the Warhammer Age of Sigmar General's Compendium, I became interested in the Path to Glory campaign rules contained therein. I was hoping to arrange a Path to Glory campaign at some point using my old Vampire Counts models. The new factions are much more limited, and my variety of different Vampire Counts stuff doesn't really make a coherent faction anymore. The closest I had and the simplest to implement was the Deathrattle faction, which contains Skeletons, Grave Guard, and Black Knights, lead by a Wight King. I don't have a painted Wight King, but have several unpainted, so this gave me the inspiration to finally paint one of them up.

I went with my finecast Krell model, who is no longer Krell in the Age of Sigmar, but simply a Wight King with Black Axe (of Krell). It's a really nice model. I tried to imitate the blue glow look of the black axe in the paint job on the Games Workshop website, but couldn't really pull it off. That aside, I think he turned out pretty well for a quick paint job, and hopefully someday he'll get to lead his war band to glory. Have a look below for plenty of pictures.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Black Powder American Civil War Battle Report: Surprise in the Forest

A Union division and a Confederate division approach each other cautiously through a vast woodland. Each commander is performing a reconnaissance in force, probing the wilderness for signs of the enemy. As such they don't know where they will encounter the enemy or in what strength. In addition to seeing off any enemy they encounter, they will be well served by occupying and holding onto any tactically valuable positions in anticipation of a potential escalation in the fighting.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Simple 10mm Roads and Fields

I have needed some dirt roads and farm fields for my 10mm American Civil War games for a while now, but I generally find it hard to get excited about making terrain. With my limited hobby time, I didn't want to spend a ton of time making roads and fields. However, I really needed some to make convincing layouts for my games, so I decided to just try something really simple and see how it turned out.

I had a lot of felt stored up, in green and a few different shades of brown. So I figured I'd see what I could do by just starting with that as a base. With very little time or effort, I ended up with something that looks convincing enough. Not only was it quick, it was also easy enough that my almost 3 year old daughter could help with it, which meant I could actually find the time to do it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kingdom Death Intimacy Survivors

Kingdom Death
Here are a couple of the special, non-modular, survivor models that came with Kingdom Death: Monster. I'm not sure they will be of much practical use in the game. I'm sure by the time I have a weapon that good, I will have enough armor for everyone to have some. So fielding someone with a fancy metal sword (I don't know what it's called, as I haven't encountered it yet) but no armor probably won't happen. Even so, they were quick to assemble and I figured I'd give them a quick paint job and get them done. I still haven't gotten the hang of painting the white cloth, but I didn't want to spend a ton of time on it smoothing it out. Though a bit rough, it looks fine at a distance so I suppose it's good enough. Have a look and let me know what you think.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Kingdom Death Monster - Olympus Year 5

Kingdom Death
Olympus is approached by a very threatening looking stranger. Hera, Aphrodite, Dionysus, and the inexperienced Hephaestus prepare to defend the settlement from the create they take to calling the butcher. Hera wears a full suit of rawhide armor and carries bone darts so she can attack at a distance. Aphrodite has some rawhide armor and carries the mighty scrap sword. The other two wear only cloth, but Dionysus is armed with the bone axe, and Hephaestus in his first encounter carries the king spear and can therefore strike at a distance. Having no idea what to expect, the four survivors march out to the edge of the settlement to face the approaching butcher. They can assume from his menacing bearing that he does not come in peace.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Preserving Warhammer Quest

Warhammer Quest
Since I've been playing Warhammer Quest again, I couldn't help but notice that my old rule books were looking a bit worn. They have been around a long time, and since they have a lot of tables and charts to reference, especially in the roleplay book, they get flipped through a lot. There's also no way to replace them if they get damaged or worn out, because the game has been out of print for a very long time. Because I expect to continue my Warhammer Quest campaigns with my current parties for some time into the future, I decided I should do something to preserve the books and keep them usable for as long as possible. What I ended up doing is disassembling all the books before laminating each page and spiral binding them back up. This should keep them well protected long into the future. Have a look below for the results and how I achieved them.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kingdom Death Butcher

Kingdom Death
I've painted the next monster for my Kingdom Death campaign, the Butcher. I again wasn't quite sure how he was supposed to look, and just went with something pretty straightforward. I painted his cape the same colors as I did the Screaming Antelope fur, and the skirt and fur sleeves the same as the White Lion fur, supposing he got his garments from hunting those monsters. The rest is mostly armor, with some leather straps here and there and lots of lanterns. I did paint the mask a different color than the rest of the metal, which makes it stand out more. I had no idea what the loin cloth like things hanging down from his waist are supposed to be. One I painted like teeth (maybe Screaming Antelope teeth strung together). The other I just made a brown leather color, though in retrospect I should have painted it like the scales of a giant snake or something like that. Have a look below and let me know what you think.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Warhammer Quest Custom Warrior Priest - Martel

Warhammer Quest
I've completed my first converted customized character for my Warhammer Quest parties. I had always intended to get specific miniatues for the characters in these Warhammer Quest parties once I had been using them for a while, and had a good idea what equipment they would be using and what their personalities would be like. I hadn't thought much about specifics, since I had been focusing on getting more of the monsters painted up. Then, I placed an order with Reaper for some Bones miniatures I needed for some of the monsters. Because of a promotion they were having, they sent me a couple free Bones models. One was called Barnabus Frost, Pirate Captain. Trying to think of something to do with this guy, I decided that with some conversion, he might make a good stand in for my warrior priest character, who has acquired a Hammer of Sigmar.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Kingdom Death Monster - Olympus Year 4

Kingdom Death
Zeus (carrying a king spear), Hades (new guy in rawhide armor with a founding stone), Dionysus (with bone axe), and Aphrodite (armed with scrap sword) set out to hunt a screaming antelope for the first time. They immediately encounter an antelope stampede, but fail to run down one of them to attack. They continue on, discovering some saliva pools that cause all but Aphrodite to vomit. Appropriately enough, they then discover a vomit pile left by a screaming antelope. Aphrodite and Dionysus scavenge around in the pile of vomit and both find something undigested to eat in it. Realizing from the warm vomit that their quarry must be near, the survivors soon encounter the object of their hunt.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Painting Tips for the Rest of Us

I'm not a great painter. I'm never going to win any awards or see pictures of my painted miniatures in magazines, but I think I get decent results. My goal is just to get things finished to a decent standard, and keep making progress against the backlog for whatever project I'm working on. In the course of trying to improve in that area, I've discovered some tips that have helped me, and may help other average painters, to make better progress. Hopefully these tips will be helpful for you as well, but if you are one of those exceptional painters trying to win awards and accolades, then they probably won't be for you. These are for us mediocre painters just trying to get our figures ready for the gaming table.

1. Use good quality tools, and replace them when they start to fail
This is a good tip in all areas of life. Quality tools are almost always worth the extra expense. So buy good paints and brushes and take good care of them. I use a brush cleaner (specifically General Pencil Company The Masters Brush Cleaner & Preserver) to keep my brushes clean and lasting a long time. But once they start to fray, replace them immediately. It costs a little more, but not that much because you won't need to replace them often if you keep them clean. In any case, the time and frustration you save by not using a worn out brush will be worth much more than the expense.

2. Paint at least a little bit every day
You want to make painting into a habit, which makes it much easier to stay motivated. If you practice doing it every day until it has become habit, it will become easier to sit down and start painting, and eventually almost automatic. You may think you just don't have time to paint every day, but you really don't need much time. Even just five minutes of painting is better than nothing, and don't worry if you don't "finish" anything. Let's say you have to paint the buttons on 20 figures. It's okay to only finish five of them. In fact, it might even be better...

3. Always make sure you leave something easy to start with next time
This will help motivate you to start painting tomorrow. And getting started is the hard part. Once you're painting, it's easy to keep going. If the next thing to do is paint 300 buttons, you might find it hard to motivate yourself to go paint with such a task awaiting you. But if you had left one figure that still needed his turnbacks painted, it's a much more inviting prospect to go finish up that last figure's turnbacks, and after that you're already painting, so it won't be so hard to launch into those buttons. "But it'll bother me to have that step left unfinished", you interject? Well, good! Then you'll really want to make time to go get that finished.

4. When batch painting, plan your steps so that you have as many "easy" ones as possible
When I say "easy", I mean ones that don't require being careful or skillful. For example, the first big base coat is easy. Even though you are applying a lot of paint, you don't have to be careful where you put it. Applying a wash over a big area is also pretty easy, or applying a base coat to any area where you haven't already painted the area next to it. So try to do big areas first, so you have a little as possible to paint that requires being careful. This will reduce your mental fatigue while painting and allow you to paint loger without getting burned out, and is generally also faster (though it does require a little planning ahead)

5. Use the biggest brush you can get away with
This is true even if most of the model is already painted and you're worried about paint getting onto an already painted area. I used to start with a small brush and paint around the edges of the area I was painting, then change brushes to paint the middle. This is a waste of time, and you end up spending much more time painting carefully than you need to. Your brushes are in good shape (see item 1) and should come to a nice point, which should be good for getting the edges and little areas. However, using the bigger brush will allow you to get the big areas much faster. If you really can't get a small area, switch to a smaller brush only afterward when you've determined that it is absolutely necessary. Often I'll do base coats of dark colors everywhere, then apply a main coat of a lighter color. In this case I don't need to worry about painting right up to the edge, because leaving that darker color near the edge will actually help add depth and shading, so I only need to paint the middle of each area.

6. Don't fix your mistakes right away
This will probably take some practice, but stop worrying about the mistakes you make. Leave them for the next painting session. You're probably thinking that if you do that you might forget where you made the mistake, and that would be the point. If you don't notice it next time, it's not a mistake that you need to fix. If it's still noticable toward the end, (or when you're using the color you need for fixing it) then go ahead and fix it. If you need to pick the figure up and hold it upside-down a few inches from your face to see the mistake, then you'd never notice it on the table. So stop doing that. Keep reminding yourself that perfect is the enemy of good.

7. Paint quicker than you think you can
I think it's very hard to practice painting carefully until you can do it really quickly. It is easier to start out painting quickly and with practice end up getting better results with your quick painting. You tend to do what you practice. So if you're always going slow to get really nice results, you may improve your results, but probably not your speed. If you always go fast, you can more easily get better at painting fast and get decent results. Just try it. Go a little quicker than you'd like and keep at it. At first you'll get worse results than you're used to if you've always painted slowly, but you'll get things done. You may make more "mistakes", but you'll make them much faster. Just tell yourself that even a quick paint job looks a lot better than on the table than bare plastic does in the closet. And besides, pretty soon you'll find yourself getting better at the quick painting, learning new techniques and motions that will have your results becoming just as good, but in a fraction of the painting time. It just takes some practicing going fast.

8. Display your results
I bought some display cabinets so I could move my painted miniatures out from the carry cases in my closet to somewhere I could actually see them. I think this has helped a lot with my motivation to paint new things. It's nice to be able to enjoy those previous accomplishments, and see how my painting has improved over time. Since I don't get to play often, this is a good way to enjoy and appreciate all the stuff I've finished painting, and appreciate how much better it is for a figure to have even a basic paint job than none at all.

9. Document your process
If you come up with a great (and quick) technique and combination of paints for something generic (like say leather boots), write it down! That way next time you need to paint that thing, you won't be starting from scratch. You'll already know that the leather parts will be done with base coat of paint A, dry brush paint B, wash with C. You can build up a repertoire of methods for common materials and colors that will get you started more quickly if, like me, you aren't great at picturing what color combinations will work for what you are trying to achieve.

10. Allow for some variety
I often have two units in progress and on the painting table at a given time. That way if I'm just not feeling into one of them, I can work on the other one. Or if there's a really difficult step next for one, and an easy step for the other one, I can start out with the easier step, which makes it easier to motivate me to get started painting. Then I can move back to the other unit when I'm ready. It can especially help to have two fairly different projects, if one of them involves painting a lot of models very similar to each other. If you've spent weeks painting horses, just having a break to paint something very different might help recharge before getting back to the rest of those horses.

11. Paint in smaller batches
If you have to paint 50 of the same figures for a unit, it might be best to paint at most about 10 at a time. Paint in stages, but try to keep each stage small. Everything that's the same color doesn't have to be done in the same stage. For example, you may have to paint all the cuffs, collars, and turnbacks the same color on all 10 figures. Paint the cuffs on all the figures first, then go back and do all the collars, then turnbacks. It may sound counter-productive, but having small steps means you complete a step more often, which makes it feel like you are making progress more often, which helps keep you motivated to keep going.

12. Make sure your painting setup is ready to go at all times
If you only have a little time to paint, you don't want to spend half of it getting all your supplies and materials out and getting ready to paint. You want to be able to jump right in, so have things ready to go. In particular, it helps a lot to pre-thin your paints. If you always end up adding water to your paint to thin it out, instead add water to the paint pot until you achieve the consistency you normally want, and then keep it that way. That way it's always ready to go, and you don't have to waste time thinning whenever you switch colors, or worry about getting inconsistent consistencies.

So, who am I to give out painting advice? Am I a great painter? No, I am not. But am I a fast painter? Well, no, not really. But I am better and faster than I used to be, so that's something. These methods have helped me, a painter of average at best skill, to get better results and also increase the speed of my output. I'm sure they'd be of no use to any truly talented painter, but hopefully they'll prove useful to some of you other average painters out there, trying to paint to a decent standard but still get your armies off your painting table and onto your gaming table.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Kingdom Death Screaming Antelope

Kingdom Death
Painting these Kingdom Death monsters has been interesting, because they don't seem to have an official color scheme. There is some artwork of the monsters in the rulebook and on some of the cards, but I don't look through all of them because I don't want to spoil anything before fighting the monsters. And even so, the artwork seems to vary, especially with regards to colors. So I'm left to come up with my own ideas on how to paint them, which can be a bit of a struggle for me as someone without much artistic aptitude.

To me, the screaming antelope miniature appears to be sculpted as it if has exposed muscles on its lower half. None of the artwork I saw of the screaming antelope supported this interpretation, but I went with it anyway. The model just seems to have been done that way intentionally, even if the artwork doesn't match. And it could explain why the antelope is screaming so much. I would be screaming too if I was missing most of my skin. Have a look below for some pictures and a description of how I painted my screaming antelope.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Warhammer Quest Beastmen

Warhammer Quest
I've completed another entry on the level 1 monster table in Wahammer Quest. This time it was 8 Beastmen with spears. The models are extremely old single-piece plastics. They also have halberds instead of spears, but close enough for my use. The painting was pretty simple. I gave them each a different color of cloth to give some variety. I also gave some of them brown leather and the rest black, and some white metal emblems and the rest yellow metal. Hopefully this helps them look a little less homogeneous even though they are all the same model. I didn't vary the skin or fur colors at all. I'm sure that would have helped, but I didn't want to spend a the extra time on it. I had some trouble getting the hooves to look convincing at first, but I'm pretty happy with how they turned out in the end.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Kingdom Death Survivor Magnetizing Tutorial

Kingdom Death
I've had a lot of interest in and questions about how I magnetized my Kingdom Death: Monster survivors, based on my previous post. So while I worked on magnetizing the leather armor kit, I took some pictures and created a step-by-step tutorial to show the entire process. This should help out anyone else intending to magnetize there survivors, as there are quite a few tricky parts where you can hopefully benefit from my experience and prior mistakes. If you intend to do some magnetizing with your survivors in order to get the most utility out of them, have a look below to see how I went about it. And if you've discovered any tips or tricks of your own, please leave a comment and let me know!

I talked in my previous post about why I went with the approach I did. Magnetizing the models at the shoulder looks terrible, and also there aren't enough arms for you to have all of the weapon options available. There are way more weapons than arms. So magnetizing at the wrist, though trickier, allows for all the options to be available, and allows for you to fill in the gaps at the shoulder joins, which looks a lot better. Magnetizing the heads allows you to use the same head for different armor sets, so you can use the same head for your character as their armor and weapons change in the course of the campaign.

I considered magnetizing at the waist, but didn't think it would be worth the effort. The armor sets have full set bonuses, so normally you will be trying to have a survivor with armor all of one set. It seemed unlikely that I'd want to have a survivor with chest and hand armor from one set, but waist and leg armor from another. Plus, it seemed like some of the body/leg combinations of different sets of armor might look pretty strange together. So it didn't seem worth the extra effort. I just use the body that most closely matches the armor the survivor has, which usually will be at least a few pieces from the same set. If you are looking to do yours the same way, just follow the steps below.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Black Powder - Glory, Hallelujah! review

Since the release of Black Powder by Warlord Games, I've been using it to play games set in the American Civil War without difficulty. Still, I was looking forward to the release of their American Civil War supplement book, "Glory, Hallelujah!". I was interested to see how they suggested handling some of the defining aspects of the war that aren't particularly reflected in the main rules. These aspects include the different role of cavalry, presence of river gunboats, susceptibility of brigade and even division commanders to falling casualty, and varying sizes of artillery batteries (some 4 guns, some 6) and infantry regiments (which could vary greatly in size). Also, having more scenarios never hurts, though I already have plenty of scenarios I haven't played yet from other sources.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Kingdom Death Monster - Olympus Year 3

Kingdom Death
Zeus, Ares, Athena, and Aphrodite set out to hunt another white lion. This would be Aphrodite's first time out of the settlement. She and Ares, Zeus's children, are given full sets of rawhide armor for protection, and Ares is armed with the bone axe. Zeus carries the newly created king spear, which has the advantage of extended reach.

On the trail of their prey, the survivors encounter refugees of a destroyed settlement. Zeus offers them his cloth covering to aid them in the journey ahead. In gratitude, the refugees tell the survivors about the monster who besieged their settlement. (As a result, at the start of the showdown the first 5 AI cards would be revealed, and could then be returned to the top of the AI deck in any order). Armed with knowledge of the beast's methods and weaknesses, the group quickly locates the white lion they have been tracking.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Little Wars 2016

This year, for the first time, I attended the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (HMGS) Midwest Little Wars convention. This year it was held at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois. The convention runs for three days, all day Friday through Sunday, but I was only there for about the first half of Saturday. I played in one game Saturday morning, a game of Black Powder set in the American War of Independence. It followed the Bemis Heights scenario from the Rebellion supplement. I had a lot of fun playing, and met a few people in the area who might be interested in getting together some time to get in a game of Black Powder, so hopefully something comes of that.

After the game I wandered around the gaming room a bit having a look at the other games. There was a huge variety in the games I saw being played, so it seems like there must have been something for everyone. Then I checked out the vendor area, located in a separate room, which also had a great variety represented. The afternoon game I wanted to play in was filled up before I got a ticket, so I ended up leaving early in the afternoon. But I had a good time, and hopefully I'll be able to make it again next year. See below for some pictures of the game I played in, and some others that looked particularly interesting.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Kingdom Death Monster - Olympus Year 2

Kingdom Death
Having built themselves a settlement, now known as Olympus, the survivors start to run low on food and other resources. They realize they will have to go back out into the darkness to explore, and hunt the monsters that dwell there for precious resources. Original survivors of the first white lion encounter, Hera and Dionysus, head out with Ares, the son of Hera and Zeus, along with another woman from the settlement, known as Athena. Hera and Ares wear the rawhide armor the settlement crafted, with Hera wielding the Bone Axe. Together the four of them set out into the wilderness in search of another white lion, with the survival of their fledgling settlement at stake.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Kingdom Death Cloth and Rawhide Armor Survivors

Kingdom Death
I've finished painting the bodies, heads, and weapons for my magnetized cloth and rawhide survivors. It was a pain trying to paint the individual heads and weapons, but having every option available to me going forward will be worth the effort I put into it. I magnetized at least two of each weapon, one right handed and one left handed. I also painted all of the heads from the cloth and rawhide armor sprues, so I can make a huge variety of unique survivors with these.

The painting was pretty basic. I did have to make sure all the skin tones turned out very consistent across all the different bodies and heads. I also needed to come up with a lot of different hair colors. I only took pictures with a small number of the available heads. There are many more, and I didn't want them all to have the same hair color, so painting the hair was pretty time consuming. Especially because the highlights mostly had to be manually painted, since the details were too shallow for a drybrush or wash to pick them out effectively.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Warhammer Quest Goblin Netters and Clubbers

Warhammer Quest
This checks off another entry on the Warhammer Quest level 1 monster table. I painted up 3 netters and 3 clubbers to represent the entry for 6 goblin netters. Well, one of the clubbers was actually painted by a friend of mine a long time ago. They are mostly black cloth and green skin, and were pretty quick to paint with my normal basic techniques. Nothing too fancy, but I'm now one step closer to completing the level 1 monster table.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Warhammer Quest Goblin Shaman and Wild Cave Squigs

Warhammer Quest
Here are some wild cave squigs and a night goblin shaman I've painted up or Warhammer Quest. These are on the level one monster table. I don't have much else to say about them, really. If you're interested in seeing the pictures, have a look below.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Playtest of fantasy skirmish rules: Empire vs Undead

I'm continuing to refine my set of simple rules for large skirmish fantasy wargames. I was pretty happy with the combat mechanics after my last playtest, but I made some changes to the morale and unit activation rules. I am also continuing to make small adjustments to unit stats and modifiers. As before, I don't yet have rules for magic, and special rules for things like the undead need to be ironed out. In both previous games the defender won my sample scenario, but it's hard to say if that was due to imbalanced forces or an imbalanced scenario, and it is way too early to start balancing those things. I'm still just just working out mechanics and characteristic values for the units I want to use.

I decided to play the same scenario again with the same units, but swap the forces. So this time, the undead warband would be escorting Princess Wutzernäm though the forest, when the Empire army suddenly ambushes them, trying to steal the princess away from her rightful owner. But the powerful vampire (whose bride she is intended to be) is approaching swiftly with reinforcements, so the Empire force will have to hurry to make off with her.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Second Playtest of fantasy skirmish rules: Empire vs Undead

I'm continuing to work on some simple rules for large skirmish fantasy wargames. After my first playtest game, I made some changes to the combat mechanics and played the same scenario again. As before, I don't yet have rules for magic, and special rules for things like the undead need to be ironed out, but I want to figure out the core mechanics before I get too far into those details. Like last time, the scenario sees part of the defender's army escorting Princess Wutzernäm through some dangerous territory. They are ambushed by a powerful vampire and his undead warband. The vampire wants to kidnap the princess, but time is short because help is on the way, and the undead will have to fight their way through the reinforcements to make off with their captive.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Playtest of fantasy skirmish rules: Empire vs Undead

Lately I've been working on some ideas for fantasy rules, essentially to have something to play using my existing collection of Warhammer miniatures. I've been looking for some existing rules that would work, but nothing I've read so far really fits what I'm looking for. It has to cover a pretty huge range of fantasy creatures, from mindless zombies up to gigantic dragons. I also want something with a 1:1 figure ratio, so each model represents an individual person (or orc, or dragon, or whatever). But I want the rules to be streamlined enough to have a lot of figures on the table, as I have many dozens of skeletons and zombies. Since I was unable to find any existing rules I liked that satisfied these needs, I started thinking about what kind of rules might do the job.

I've now made enough progress and gotten enough written down to try out some playtests of the rules, and this was the first game I played with them. I don't yet have rules for magic, and some special rules for particularly different things like the undead need to be ironed out, but I wanted to try out the core mechanics and see how it played.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Warhammer Quest Lair of the Orc Lord miniatures

Warhammer Quest
After many years, I've finally painted the miniatures from the Warhammer Quest Lair of the Orc Lord expansion. Half of them (the three Big'Uns and the snotling) were painted years ago when I was first playing Warhammer Quest. I did some touch ups on them, and added shield decals, but didn't bother to repaint them. The orc lord, shaman, squig hound, and goblin jester I painted recently. Hopefully I've improved a bit over the years. Have a look below and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Magnetizing Kingdom Death: Monster survivors

Kingdom Death
After finishing the introductory hunt scenario and my initial settlement phase for Kingdom Death: Monster (which you can read about here), I have have some gear for my survivors. Instead of assembling and painting a new batch of survivors to represent those armed with my new gear, which I would probably have to do after every settlement phase going forward, I decided to try magnetizing my survivor miniatures. I hope this will give me the flexibility to represent whatever gear combinations I need my survivors to have, or at least get a close representation, without needing to buy, assemble, and paint, a new batch after every game.