Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Wrap-up

According to my records, I managed to only paint 16 miniatures this month, way down from January's numbers. I have come up with the following excuses.
  1. I had a lot of work stuff come up this month, especially in the evenings when I do most of my painting.
  2. I have had this gross cold that sometimes wiped me out.
  3. It is a short month.
Okay, that last one was a bit much. I also managed to get one game in (a win at Warhammer Fantasy Battles) and played tabletop RPG's at least three times, which is really good. And honestly four miniatures a week isn't that bad at all, in fact it is about the pace I thought I'd be able to keep.
I have four of the sci-fi post-apocalyptic guys almost finished, and another four on the way. I'd like to get back on the Numidians as well.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

When will the dwarf-on-dwarf violence stop?

For those who haven't followed me over here from Strange Vistas, my wargaming experiences these days occur once a month, involve Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and feature my Arch Rival Vince. Today was my monthly battle against my Arch Rival, and was the first foray into the new campaign.
The campaign features a pre-determined battle scenario, in this case Flank Attack. Neither of us had really discussed what we would be playing , and as it turns out we both brought dwarfs. That means that for six turns we had the following:
  • really slow maneuvers
  • S3 vs. T4 close combat
  • making break tests

In short, we were heading for a draw. By my calculations around the beginning of the sixth turn the edge, such as it was, was going to Vince because I had lost two warmachines: one to crossbow bolts, the other to a misfire. I had repelled one of his flanking units, so the margin was something like 80 points out of a 1999 pt. game.

In the center four units had locked up in combat, including a flank hit on one side and a rear hit on the other. After all the combat resolution points were calculated, I had won by one point. Vince needed a 9, and he had a battle standard so he got a reroll. The first roll was a 10. The second, a 12.

Suddenly, the whole game tipped wildly. I ran down both units and suddenly was up almost 400 points for the units and 400 points in standards. It also got me a table quarter for another 100 points and two characters for another 250 points. At the bottom of the sixth he managed to wipe out one of my units, but it was still a Solid Victory for me on what can only be called dumb luck

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The first four of the Dirty Two Dozen

For the miniatures that were primed or painted, a trip to the tub of Pine-Sol to loosen their paint. For the others, I ground off their faction's insignia with a dremel and then sprayed them gray. Then I block painted them using a fairly simple palette so that even though they are sculpted differently they would still "hang together" visually.
Then I dipped them in wood varnish, dabbed off the heavy pools, and then left them overnight. The next morning I sprayed them with matte varnish and then added the flock to their bases. Here's the first four.

From right to left: Jupiter, Sarge, Billy, and "Boom Boom" McAllister.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Dirty Two Dozen

If there is one thing that gaming stores have over internet stores (aside from Unwashed Boy Funk) it is the miniature junk bin. I personally love these because I'm notoriously frugal and I love the thrill of finding something that someone thought was worthless and really finding value in it.
On a recent trip I discovered a plastic bin full of pretty crummy miniatures, all loose and in various states of paint. Each miniature cost twenty-five cents.
Amidst the odd and oft pitted miniatures I spotted several figures from the old Warzone wargame. After picking them all out, there were 23 of them. I tossed in an interesting looking ghoul that I might paint up for my D&D game and bought the lot for $6.00.

My plan is to paint up the lot not as members of all the different factions but as a single unit. My vision is this group of hard-care survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. But first, I need to finish some Numidians...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hostile Realms -- a review

Hostile Realms
by Peter Anderson
pub. Piquet, Inc.
160 pp. and includes two helpsheets and an uncut deck of cards

I have some nit-picky things about reviews for wargames, namely the most important things need to go first, just to make sure that they are in there. So, without further ado:
  • 28mm scale, with 15mm rules conversions.
  • Basing is stands of figures on 60mm by X bases, with X being a distance in millimeters based on the type of figure. Four stands per unit.
  • No rules regarding table size, looks like 4' by 8'.
I don't know why some review don't bother listing these very crucial details, but there you go. Hostile Realms is the fantasy variant for the historical wargame Piquet. I've never read or played Piquet, but for what I understand it tends to generate strong feelings one way for another. Perhaps the most controversial element of both Piquet and Hostile Realms is gameplay, which I'll get to in a bit.
In Hostile Realms, players can create fantasy armies using a pretty straightforward generation system, either from scratch or from one of the many army lists in the back. Most of the army lists are thinly-veiled versions of Warhammer Fantasy Battles or Lord of the Rings armies (e.g. Lizardmen, Rat-men, and "Realm" which is clearly the Empire. There's even the "Kingdom of Gonfor.") Units are determined by type, quality, and equipment, all of which then impact its melee, missile, defense, and morale abilities. There are also Heroes and Champions, which include wizards, and monsters of all types.
Where Hostile Realms breaks from the pack of "Igo-Ugo" games is the use of a deck of cards with various actions upon them. Each turn the Active and Reactive player draws a number of cards depending on the initiative die roll, and then the player must act upon the cards as they are drawn. Cards include basic things like Move or Melee Combat, but can also involve rare things like Favor of the Gods. The deck is based upon your army composition. What this means is that you can move your unit into another one ("engaging them") but not actually attack them until a Melee card is drawn. For players who are used to being able to move, shoot, cast spells, and engage in close combat each turn this is a big change, and is perhaps the biggest tactical element of gameplay.
There are some criticisms that I have of the game. First, the photography is sub-par. I understand it being black-and-white, but many of the shots are grainy and add little to the layout. Some just seem to be random miniatures. In these days of cheap digital photography and photoshop software, this seems amateurish.
Second, there's two glaring typos, both the same. On page 14 it says "This may be found on page XXX." On page 15 it says, "see Appendix XXX." I get not knowing where pages will fall as you're composing a work, but an editor should have caught this before it went to print.
I bought Hostile Realms looking for a fantasy wargame that wasn't a derivative of WHFB. The random nature of gameplay, plus the number of variables in army composition that aren't revealed in advance (is that a group of soldiers elite or just a levy? You don't know until you meet them.) adds that degree of mystery and anticipation that I've begun to lack in games of Warhammer. I will admit I haven't played the game yet, but I will try to find an opponent and perhaps revisit this review.

Numidians box one sprue five

I'm doing these Numidians one sprue at a time at a speed of about one sprue a week. I'm almost done with the first box set, and am tempted to just due two sprues at once to finish it out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Numidians

For the sake of completeness, here's some more photos of the Numidian infantry I've painted so far.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wargames Factory Numidians

My current project is to put together a Numidian army, mostly using miniatures from Wargames Factory, although I will eventually add in figures from other ranges as well.

The Army Collector

I started this blog just to see how blogspot worked. I chose the title I did because while I do play wargames using miniatures, I do so pretty infrequently. Lately I've been more of an army collector, just building up an army with little interest in playability. I thought I'd post my progress as I build up one army after another.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...