Saturday 30 May 2020

Clash of Spears: It Arrives

After an enforced delay due to the COVID situation locking down the distributors UK warehouse and then another delay in arranging for a delivery whilst I was home it has finally arrived.
I had hoped to land the Roman starter box as well as the Carthaginian one but the distributor had not sent those out to the shop so I need to wait on those being released. In fairness that is fine as I want to complete the Ostrogoth force first before I start on these chaps.
The book itself is of excellent quality by first looks and comes with a lovely thick fast play sheet which will no doubt soon be going through the laminator.

The rules are for unit skirmish games of about 30-40 models split into 4 - 6 units, depending on the make-up of the army, so similar in scale to SAGA. So the starter boxes come with enough models to build around 900 points worth of troops (normal game size being 800-1000 points) using Victrix plastic models. Normally you'd need to either buy the individual sprues from Ebay or invest in many more models than you need so the starter box is a great foundation for any force. At present 3 boxes are in production, Carthaginian, Roman, & Gauls, but with several more being released soon (depending on the pandemic of course) which will include Iberian, Greek Cities and Pyrrhic expedition.

The rules are set to cover the Punic period and the Syracuse wars on Sicily that preceded them so you could mix and match pretty much all these forces with each other to create historical actions. So I'm thinking of adding an Iberian starter to the Roman one as they fought as allies/mercenaries for both Romans and Carthaginians as well as on their own.

The box like the book is very nicely produced, especially considering that this is the first offering from the Fighting Hedgehog company, and has some nicely painted models to help with the inspiration. Inside where the Victrix sprues (no bases) and some stat cards for the units you could build. I hadn't realised the cards came in the box so that was a nice bonus.

Again the cards are of really nice quality and have the special rules for the unit on the back so once you get the basic rules down you should just be able to play using just the fast-play sheet and the stat cards.

So all in all a very nice parcel to receive today with lots of goodies in. I also received some extra kits from Gripping Beast for the Ostrogoth force so expect to see some more painted troops next week.

Sunday 24 May 2020

Ostro, Visi, or Plain ?

My plan at this stage of the year was to be painting up some lovely Romans and Carthaginians for Clash of Spears but due to the closure of the UK that had to be put on hold so I had a chance to look at something I had vaguely been planning for next year. The thought was to create a cavalry based human army that could be used in Historical KOW games as well as the fantasy version. Why cavalry based I hear you cry ? For a couple of reasons, one to encourage me to paint more horses and to make them more diverse and interesting and secondly to have an army without the normal large amounts of infantry I field. I decided to use the Kingdoms of Men list as a starting point as they have access to three different types of cavalry and the historical lists play off the KoM as the basis for their units.

As we can see we have the options for heavily armoured Knights, lightly armoured Sergeants and unarmoured horse archers. The next step was to then find a range of preferably plastic models which could be used to build these units and Gripping Beast provided the ranges required. I had initially wanted to go down the Arabic/Muslim route but the lack of plastic armoured horse models ruled that out so the Goths stepped up to take the lead. Gripping Beast do nobles on armoured and unarmoured horses (same models for the riders the kits have different horses) and also a nice fit of generic dark age horsemen, but the horse archers are Roman auxiliary types and my quick internet searches suggested that a horse archer in a Goth force would more likely be Hunnic than Roman.

Fortunately they also sell bow-hands and quivers which could be used to convert the dark age cavalry into horse archers. The bows fitted onto the left arms of the cavalry with a little knife and glue work and then the quivers where added to the backs. I left the right arms wielding a weapon as this does offer some flexibility to add the bases to form the rear of melee units behind spear-wielding models.

So one box of the generic dark age horsemen converted with bows and three standard bearers added from the Goth Noble cavalry gave me enough men for five troops of Mounted Scouts. I went with just three models per troop base to make sure they looked like skirmishers, the aim being that more models will be added to each base as the weight of the troop-type increases.

The basing material is a mix of three different Geek Gaming products, Forest Path, Forest Ground cover and Pine Forest Ground cover. The photos wash out the differences unfortunately but the cover mixes are different enough to offer a variation of colour and texture across the bases to which I then added a sprinkling of grass tufts from WWS.

So that's fifteen horsemen down with a fair few more to go as I will be fielding Knights and Sergeants as well. 

I also painted up the first character for the fantasy army who is an assassin, very useful for taking out enemy characters. With the way the model is sculpted he could be equipped with the Wings of Honeymaze with increase the speed up to 10 inches and gives him fly at the expense of reducing defence down to a 3+. This still gives a fairly cheap hero with a bit of shooting who reliably deal out damage, especially to enemy individuals.

And to answer the original question, I think Ostro.

Saturday 16 May 2020

Deadzone: Mo-Maruaders

With containment protocols still in place I picked up some extra reinforcements for my Marauders after listening to the Dead Zone team building exercise podcast. The hosts are working through all the factions and offering their opinion on what makes a good 200 point list. All of them fielded multiple Mawbeasts so I took the chance to pick up and paint some more.

Whilst I was at it I also picked up another Gruntbot to make three and Boomer, the Hobgoblin Grenadier. He is a unique character who comes with all the grenades but also a chance to blow-up when shot.

These where pretty quick to get painted up and then joined the ranks of the Goblins and Mawbeasts section of the Marauders. I have enough now to field a 200 point Mawbeast and Goblin themed list.

I also completed the Greater Fire Elemental that I received at the Mantic Open day last year.

I've not got a place for him in any of my armies but it's nice model and I was running low on things to get painted up. He can sit on the shelf with the Chroneas waiting for his chance to come out and play.

On a positive note I heard that my Clash of Spears book has arrived in store along with the Carthaginian starter set so hopefully those should arrive in the post very soon and I can get started on that project.

Saturday 9 May 2020

Mythic Battles: The Poseidon Adventure

No, not this lot.

But this one.

Poseidon, brother of Zeus and Hades and ruler of the sea is the last of the Mythic Battles models I had left to paint up. He was the largest and most complex model in the expansions that I bought and took a good while to get completed, even with the extra painting time I have at present due to working from home every other week.

I went with roughly the same scheme as the other aquatic elements I had already completed from his expansion. The pink elements offer a good splash of colour against the blues.

In game terms Poseidon has good defence and vitality and is quick with speed 2, he also has an interesting crowd control mechanic for messing around with his opponents units or indeed letting you reposition your own units. His special attack is quite expensive but a three 7 dice area attacks could be a lot of individual attacks, Poseidon wants to be in the middle of the melee.

I also got the whole aquatic group together for a family shot as I had Poseidon out.

They are quite a fearsome group when all put together and you could build an aquatic themed force around Poseidon and one of the other big monsters all of whom are 5 points.

It's a shame that at least one of the monsters isn't less than 5 points (warbands can only include one 5+ point non-divinity) so you could field more of them together.

Saturday 2 May 2020

Mythic Battles: Hera We Go Again

First off let me offer apologies for the pun, it was the best I could think of!
With painting still going ahead but no gaming this week we have a good group of models completed, first off Hera.
Hera is the long suffering wife (and sister) of Zeus who's constant dalliances offend her. In the Mythic Battles back story it is Hera who releases the Titans to gain revenge on Zeus for straying again, this then causes the cataclysm which sees the Gods cast down and the dead rise.

Hera is noticeably shorter than all the other Gods so I mounted her on some cork pieces to lift her up, in game terms she is also only four points as opposed to the six point cost of all the other Gods. Hera does allow you to bring two 5+ point units which combined with her cheaper cost allow you to draft a couple of the big boys into your team.

I also completed the Children of Echidna box, in fact both of the box's I had as I had already opened the first to use the Chimera as an Undead mount. The second Chimera I painted with a brighter scheme and whilst not my favorite model due to some soft features around the head it came out OK.

It's always handy to have a flyer in your Mythic Battles force and the Chimera is a tough fighter with some nice special attacks, if you have the Art of War cards to use them.

Next is a pair of Teumessian fox's which I opted to paint up as red and snow varieties. Having two of the model allowed me to try something different with each of them and the red version is based on a 50mm square for use in Kings of War.

The Teumessian fox is fast and has 5 activation cards and his ability to move away from enemy units would look to make him a perfect unit to capture and carry omphalos back to your divinity.

The last monsters from the box are Basilisks and for these again I put one on a 50mm square and went with contrasting paint schemes. For one I went with colour shift paints which when used over a gloss black base give a metallic sheen effect, the other was painted with normal paints and then the Army Painter 'dip'.

The Basilisk is another unit with the useful (but expensive) Petrify ability which allows it to destroy Troop units and hinder all the others. It also has a rather nice second free attack it can use each turn.

Lastly we have the Manticore which is one of main reasons I re-backed the game in Kickstarter. It's a really nice model and I was annoyed I had not picked it up the first time around.

The models itself is a good size and sits on a 100mm long base just like the Hydra. The wings on the model came in a straight up position just like those on the Chimera so I gave them a soak in hot water which allowed them to be re-positioned into a better pose. The model has got a lot of nice detail on it from the poison dripping tail right up to the tong lolling out of it's mouth.

In game it is another five point flying monster with good attack and defence stats and an interesting ability to lower the attack and defence of your opponent, the Manticore will be looking to get in among the enemy and then grind them down.

That's almost all the Mythic Battles models painted up now with just Poseidon left.