Saturday 25 April 2020

Mythic Battles: Perilous Seas

Continuing on with my Mythic Battles painting spree we come to a couple of the larger monsters that I bought.
First up is Scylla who in myth occupied the Straights of Messina along with Charybdis making the passage extremely hazardous. A good story about her origin can be found in the book Circe by Madeline Miller which is well worth the read. In the book Circe is also responsible for the death of Scylla along with the successful birth of the Minotaur (among other things).

Scylla was noted for her six tentacles which she would use to pluck sailors from the decks of passing ships and then feast upon them. The ships had to sail close to her lair if they wished to avoid destruction by Charybdis.

When I was painting this model up I decided it would be good to have the insides of all the suckers a different colour to the outside so I spent a fair bit of time filling each one in, I'm not sure I'd want to go through that again! It does look good though and she was an interesting model to paint and should look good out on the table.

In game play terms she is fast with Speed 2 and can collect omphalos in her surroundings which mean she could whip up the board and start hoarding the omphalos before your opponent gets moving. With her protective tentacles and good Defense and Vitality she is a powerful monster and well worth her 5 point price.

Next up is Chiron who was tutor to many of the Greek heroes including Achilles, Ajax the Greater, Theseus and Perseus, to name but a few. He was also a master of healing arts and thanks to his divine parentage (Cronus was his father) was also immortal. For his paint job I followed the card art as it uses the grey tone and red scheme which I have been using on some of my undead.

Chiron is fast with a good ranged attack and also has the benefit of being unkillable as long as you have an Art of War card in your hand. A useful character to harry your opponents from afar or to tie them up in melee if needs be.

Next up we have Ladon and Geryon both of whom feature in the adventures of Heracles. Ladon was shot dead by Heracles so  he could steal the Golden Apples for his eleventh Labour and Geryon's sheep where the target of Heracles in his tenth Labour (Heracles also shot him dead).

Geryon was noted for his three heads and these grant him a rather nasty triple attack, he also has the ability to take attacks from friendly units onto himself making him an excellent guard for a more squishy unit.

Ladon is also a powerful attacker with the ability to retaliate for free against any one attacking him up close and also pay to attack every enemy unit within range. For Ladon I went with a red and white pain scheme which makes him look very different from the other snakes in the set.

Last of all we Charybdis who pairs up with Scylla. As Charybdis is a swirling vortex of water and teeth in mythology the model isn't tall but is pretty wide. The model is cast in a couple of separate parts but due to the way they overhang each other it is difficult to see that unless turned over. I used the same painting method as I used for the water bases of the other models and again finished it off with the Liquitex gloss gel.

I took a picture with Polyphemus to try and give a sense of scale to her, you could probably use the model in deadly skimming attack against an opponent who upset you sufficiently!

In game terms Charybdis is another big monster with both Attack & Vitality of 10 (the maximum) and Defence of 9, she is hard to kill and deadly on the offence. She can move into area's within a range of 2 but this needs to have a capacity of 3+ so it would be possible to hide from her if you are careful.

So that's all of them for this week, I've not got many of the models left to paint for Mythic Battles now but they do include both Hera and Poseidon, with the later model being a big one, so that should look good once completed hopefully.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Beauty and the Beasts

I have some more Mythic Battles: Pantheon models completed this week leading off with Andromeda and Antaeus. Andromeda was rescued from the sea monster Cetus by Perseus using the head of Medusa.

As her parents where the rules of Ethiopia I decided to give her a brown skin tone rather than the paler skin tones of the Greeks. The model was slightly miss-cast so she had no nose, this was fixed by a little dab of Vallejo putty. Her role is strictly support as she has no attack value but she can stop all attacks on an area for a turn by sacrificing one health, very useful to keep more vulnerable or heavily wounded units alive.

Antaeus was the wrestler son of Poseidon and Gaea who could not be killed whilst in contact with the ground. To reflect this he has a Vitality regeneration ability similar to Hydra which allows him to regain lost Vitality and also units at range 0 have more difficulty attacking him. In the end he was crushed to death by Heracles who lifted him from the ground in a bear-hug.

The next grouping consists of Eurystheus, Periphetes, and Autolycus.

Eurystheus was responsible for setting the Labours of Heracles and again is a purely support unit with no attacks. He does have the interesting ability which renders him immune to all wounds as long as another chosen friendly unit is alive, this would potentially make him an excellent omphalos carrier or target for redirecting attacks onto. However once this immunity is gone his low health and Defence mean he would die in short order.

Autolycus was a famous thief and grandfather to Odysseus, his speed and ability to steal omphalos from enemy units mean he is best suited to frustrate the plans of your opponent. The omphalos are the red crystals of power that need to be claimed by your divinity in the skirmish games as one method of victory (the other being to destroy the opposing Divinity).

Periphetes was another bandit who was killed by Theseus and much like Autolycus has the ability to steal an opponents omphalos, he also has the ability to lock down an opposing unit for two turns which make him an excellent disruptor of the enemy.

Last up we Calydonian Boar who was sent by Artemis to punish the King of Calydon for failing to honor her properly. The Boar has similar charge ability to Minotaur and with Attack/Defence/Vitality of 7/8/8 can take a real beating. It's also a rather nice model and reminds me of the many boars I painted for the Kings Of War Herd army.

I still have more Mythic Battles models to paint so they should keep me going for a little while longer.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Back in Black (well 50 shades of grey and blue and brown....)

A quick update on the progress of my KoM Vanguard faction. Just the hero and Mage to finish......oh, and some proper basing!

Monday 13 April 2020

Mythic Battles: The Fab Four

Between them these four Heroes pretty much did it all, they cover the full range of monster slaying, tantrum throwing, princess rescuing, man slaying and family massacring that went into being a proper Greek Hero.

Theseus, Heracles, Achilles, & Perseus

The Hera expansion contains two veteran versions of previous Heroes and the first of these in Achilles. If one version of the Hero is drafted then the other cannot be, so you can't filed two Achilles' unfortunately. The veteran stats are largely the same though he does get a bump up to speed 2 and 5 activation cards instead of 4, which befits someone who is famed for his speed. Otherwise he stays the same hard to kill Hero he was before but also brings an extra Art of War card to set off other units special abilities.

Veteran Heracles has changed a bit from the normal version with the addition of his bow with Hydra blood dipped tips. This makes him much more of a ranged threat who is also able to mix it up in melee, possibly the best all around hero now. The Hydra was Heracles' second Labour and the blood tipped arrows meant no one was safe from his bow.

Theseus performed as many feats as Heracles but probably his most famous was the defeat of the Minotaur but he also had a penchant for killing bandits. He has an interesting ability which could allow him to avoid attacks by moving out of range which makes up for his lower health pool.

Perseus was the slayer of Medusa and carries her head into battle, this gives him the ever powerful Petrify ability. Petrify is great for clearing out groups of Troops and locking others in place, it isn't cheap to use though so needs to be saved for just the right time.

So those are the big four Heroes from the new expansions I purchased who would make a fine addition to the following of any Divinity able to recruit them.

Saturday 11 April 2020

Mythic Battles: The Original One Eye

Long before Antigonus the One-Eyed came along the original one-eyed monsters in town where the Cyclopes. Polyphemus was the Cyclops who was blinded and robbed by Ulysses whilst on his way home from Troy. He comes as part of the Poseidon expansion box for Mythic Battles: Pantheon which I bought when it was re-released via Kickstarter. I had played a fair bit with the initial box set and the models had plenty of use in Kings of War as well.

Poseidon Box Artwork
Having worked through all my other outstanding models I started working on these last week whilst I waited on the models for Clash of Spears to be released from lock-down (still no word yet). The two big boxes that I bought where for Poseidon and Hera and as well as adding these Gods to the available roster they also contained a range of Heroes, Monsters, and Troops.

Some of the first I completed where Polyphemus and the Sirens, both from the Poseidon box. For these I wanted to create a water base but didn't have any resin to make a traditional style water base but I did have some Liquitex Gloss Gel which I had bought for another project. This is basically a gloss gel mixing agent that can be applied in thick coats to give a gloss affect, it can have paint mixed in to add colour as well.

I chose not to colour the gel but instead to paint the bases with various shades of blue going from darker to lighter blending whilst the paint was wet. Once this was dry I stippled the gel over the top to try and produce a wave like affect. The gel isn't clear when first applied so it does take a couple of days to get the final look, with the thicker parts taking the longest to clear. Once it had cleared I gave the base a dry brush with white to add a wave-peaks sort of look. Overall I think this worked rather well and avoided the mess of using resin.

In game terms Polyphemus is a proper brawler who likes to get into the thick of the action, he also has a useful ranged attack. The Sirens are Troops so whilst they do die more easily than the Heroes and Monsters they do come with multiple models in the unit and can be recalled by the Gods. The models themselves aren't my favorite sculpt in the game and I wasn't entirely sure what to do with them but they came out OK.

The other big box I got was that for Hera which includes the veteran versions of my two favorite heroes, Achilles and Heracles along with a host of others.

When I painted the original versions of these models I was making heavy use of the Army Painter dip and at the moment I'm trying out a different technique that relies more on using a base and then the GW contrast paints as a wash. This of course means that the models look rather different with the later models being brighter than the older. I'm not planning on going back to repaint all the old models so I think we just have to assume that Veteran Achilles had a bath more often than his younger self.

So to round out this post I have a couple of Troops, one from each box. The brightly colored Stymphalian Birds where bronze beaked birds which fired their feathers to kill their prey, these where killed by Heracles for his Sixth Labour. I did them with a nice bright plumage as befits killer birds!

The other Troop is of Harpies who make up the second flying Troops in the game, these where driven away by Jason when he aided King Phineus of Thrace. The colors are more muted for these models and I went with a humanoid interpretation.

With the addition of two flying Troop choices you could now draft all all flying force, apart from the Divinity.

Saturday 4 April 2020

Clash Of Spears: First Units

Clash of Spears is a new set of rules that I'd spotted being widely praised on various sites so with my love of the ancients (especially the Greeks) I thought it was worth a punt. The rule-book itself is produced to a very high standard considering it is the Erize brothers first offering and is packed full of lots of great illustrations and other eye candy. There aren't many videos out yet about the game but a good introduction has been published by the authors.

The initial period covered by CLASH is the Punic wars with several army boxes being produced as part of the Kickstarter campaign. These boxes contain the excellent Victrix models and are made up of individual sprues rather than needing to buy lots of extras as would be the case if you bought the normal large packs individually.
The initial unit boxes on offer where Romans, Carthaginians, and Gauls, from these I decided a good starting place would be the Romans and Carthaginians. In preparation for these arriving I'd placed an order with Victrix to get some shield transfers and as the rules for elephants are in the book I also picked up the elephant box to add some attractive center piece units into the forces.

The elephants and transfers arrived before the UK lock-down moved to a higher level which unfortunately left the army boxes in a warehouse somewhere in the UK. But as I'd completed the Rebs for Deadzone I started on the elephants as the next thing to do.

CLASH is a skirmish game played with around 40-50 models per side and represents the scouting forces of the two armies meeting, it uses an alternate unit activation and fatigue model for the game with players able to try and activate units as a reaction to the oppositions activation's, as such it should keep both players involved at all times.

Illustration from CLASH
Given the scale of the engagements elephants aren't going to be a regular unit in use during these sort of encounters but no doubt some sort of escort scenario will lend itself to their use.

I did learn a couple of things whilst putting together models like it's best to stick the transfers onto the elephants body before adding the fur effect plastic piece that holds the howdah in place and that the howdah does in fact have a front and back. This has lead to some 'unique' transfer placement so I can be sure only other ham-fisted idiots have elephants that look exactly like mine.

I did enjoy painting these and cannot wait for when the rest of the models get released from lock-down so I can get stuck into those as well. In the interim I have some more Mythic Battles models to paint up and if required I do have enough Mycenaean and Trojan types to play a game.