Wednesday 28 October 2020

I Built a Wall (and Paid for it)

 As I'm on leave this week I've had plenty of hobby time and decided to work on the walls for my adobe village from Fogou models.

I bought the extra walls and posts at the start of lock-down and have only now gotten to them on my work list. The idea was to produce some light defences to go around the village to add some flavour and also to add some options for scenario play.

To make the wall sections I first glued the walls and posts to some mdf I'd cut to size and then built up the platform behind with the blue foam I had left over from making hills. This was then covered with Polyfilla mixed with some paint to make sure everything stayed in place and to make the whole thing tough.

Once everything was set I then painted up the walls whilst trying to remember how I did the rest of the buildings back in February. It seems I didn't do anything too fancy as I managed to get the match pretty close.

After that I used some Geek Gaming products for the top of the walkway and the same flocking as I've been using on the bases for all the Clash of Spears units. The gates I made out of some wooden drink stirrers I bought on eBay which were stuck together with PVA glue.

This was actually only a few days work with much of that spent waiting for things to dry, once completed I dampened everything down with a PVA & water spray and once that was dry hit it with some spray varnish.

Now I just need to think up some scenarios to use the walls in, though they could be used to mark off one side of a battlefield as well.

I do have a couple more bits of scenery that I'm working on this week and hope to get completed before I'm back into work next week.

Sunday 25 October 2020

Kings of War: Braiiiins

 With the arrival of my copy of Halpi's Rift from The Pit Gaming we where ready to start our pre-campaign practice games of Kings of War. The practice games will not only give us the chance to learn the rules changes in v3 but also work out what we want in our lists.

When I was writing up the Undead list I couldn't settle on a build I liked until I included some Zombie Trolls, this was unfortunate as I didn't own any to play with. A couple of ebay orders later I had some Mantic Trolls (the normal ones) on the way. I chose these as the Zombie version are all metal and having 4 or 5 large metal models on a multi-base makes the units to heavy in my opinion.

The Zombie Trolls are a hammer unit that can also take a punch, with -/17 nerve and Def 5+ and Life Leech they should stay in the fight if they aren't taken out in one charge. With these chaps I based them in the same theme as the rest of the Pestilence section of the army. I did want to try something different with them so under the water effect I used some green LIT pigment which has a strong glow then exposed to sunlight / UV.

This can of course been seen most clearly in low-light conditions but as the gloss gel dries and goes clear then it should show up more and more hopefully.

As the trolls are pretty straightforward to paint I managed to get both Hordes done in 8 days though the gloss gel was still drying on Friday when we played.

I also took the chance to remove the trees from the Zombie Regiment bases as after some consideration I decided they where hiding too much of the work I had put into the models on the bases.

Pestilence now has quite an impressive number of 'wet' undead under his command, certainly enough for a solid core. One of the reasons I went with the Zombie Trolls was the option to add the Viscous aura to foot Necromancers in the Undead list. In order to make the most of this you need the big hitting Zombie Trolls and/or Goreblights to make the most of it. You could use this with normal Zombies but they aren't really doing enough damage to just use it with them alone.

So on Friday we played a quick (well not that quick) game to try out some lists and to re-learn the rules.

The Kingdoms of Men went with:
1 * Foot Guard Regiment
1 * Knight Horde
1 * Knight Regiment
2 * Mounted Sergeant Regiment
1 * Mounted Scout Regiment
2 * Mounted Scout Troop
2 * General of Winged Beast
2 * Wizard, one with Heal
1 * The Captain

The Undead went with:
1 * Necromancer with Heal and the Viscous (Zombie Aura)
1 * Legion of Zombies
2 * Hordes Zombie Trolls
1 * Goreblight
1 * Regiment of Revenant Infantry
2 * Troops of Wraiths
1 * Regiment of Revenant Cavalry
2 * Troops of Revenant Cavalry
2 * Mounted Revenant King with Surge
1 * Liche Queen with Blizzard

As we were busy playing I didn't get any pictures of the game itself but the out-come was reasonably well balanced with the KoM fluffing a charge by the Knight Horde on the Zombie Legion who they should have killed, this allowed a Zombie Troll Horde a flank charge into the Knights which took them off.

Sunday 18 October 2020

Clash of Spears: Last of the Greeks

 This week I completed the last of the models I have for Clash of Spears, the Iberians army box has sadly still not been released. That does mean I can work on a couple of other projects and I have some plans for some scenery pieces to help decorate the battlefield.

Another 12 heavy Hoplites have been painted up to join with the 10 I'd already done to give enough for a couple of units to join either the Romans or Carthaginians. In fact with the Greek Cavalry I have from the earlier Basilea project I probably have enough for an all Greek force. 

I also painted up a couple of Greek commanders, again these can be used to help bulk out either of the two main forces, that gives me up to 4 commanders per side now.

So that gives a nice sizeable force which can be used to depict a decent variety of Hoplite types as we saw last week

Whilst I've been painted these up Mick & I have been getting some practice games in for Kings of War: Vanguard, the Mantic fantasy skirmish game. With the arrival of the latest Kings of War campaign and rule supplement book being imminent we are going to switch over to some Kings of War games.

The idea is to do a linked Vanguard and KoW campaign like I did before for the Tale of Two Forts. As I've only managed one game of KoW 3rd edition we will be doing some practice games to brush up on the rules and also to give me time to write the campaign. The Halpi's Rift book comes with extra magic rules so the plan will be to use those to frame the campaign.

Saturday 10 October 2020

Clash of Spears: Greeks Sir, Thousands of 'em

 Whilst I wait for Victrix to release the Iberian army box for Clash I've been working on painting up some Greeks to use as allies for either the Romans or Carthaginians. These are all Victrix so will fit in with the other models already painted.
I started with a unit of archers who with a simple tunic and no fancy armour or shields went together very quickly. As with the others I have tried to keep the unit looking bright and with a good mix of colours.

The Greek list has two entries for archers with the normal peasant with a bow type being complimented by the mercenary Cretan archer. The Cretan has a one better shoot stat but also the ability to 'aim' as an action and then when they shoot re-roll any misses, that should help with the hit rate.

Victrix do packs of 12 archers but these come without the shield option which is included in the larger Greek skirmishers pack they do. Both types of archer have the option to pay one point per model for a buckler which increases the melee save to a 6+.

Of course no Greek army of this time would be complete without the iconic Hoplites and Clash allows you to field these in several different configurations. Whichever you choose you will be getting the standard spear and large shield abilities seen in the other armies.

As the Hoplites increase in quality you get better armour and grit as the main benefits but also 3+ melee in the top levels.

So far I've completed ten each of the unarmoured and armoured Hoplites with some more armoured Hoplites and a couple of leaders on the way. I do like a good Hoplite so it's been fun to paint these chaps up and the Little Big Men shield transfers look great, certainly beats trying to freehand all those shields!

The Hoplites could also be used to represent the Etruscan or Campanian allies of the Romans which would give them a good way of adding more milites level troops into the list to open up more rare choices.

The style of armour isn't quite correct, but close enough to look ok on the table.

So up next are some more Hoplites and leaders and then on to some terrain pieces for the table.

Sunday 4 October 2020

Clash of Spears: The First Clash

 Having just completed the Roman and Carthaginian starter boxes for Clash of Spears I was able to put the figures to immediate use with a game over in Cirencester. Stu provided the terrain, tea, and a willing opponent to try the rules out with.

I went with 2 evenly matched starter forces with the Carthaginians fielding:
2 * Level 3 Leaders
1 * 8 Javelinmen
1 * 6 Iberian Scutarii
1 * 10 Punic Infantry
1 * 8 Veteran Punic Infantry

The two level 3 leaders both gave 3 command points which seemed a decent number in game, not so few that you couldn't react but not so many that you didn't have any choices to make.

The Roman force consisted of:
2 * Level 3 Leaders
1 * 8 Velites
1 * 8 Samnite Allies
1 * 8 Hastati
1 * 6 Principes

The initial exchanges of javelins produced only light casualties on the Romans who pushed onto the Carthaginians so it looked like shooting wouldn't be that over whelming in the game. Of course it was at this point that the 8 Hastati wiped out all 6 Iberians with a deadly volley of pilums which swiftly put pay to that theory!
The main mechanic seems to be a gradual wearing down of units by building up fatigue until they start losing men to tiredness rather than deadly and overwhelming combat. The loss of a whole unit in one go was therefore a bit of a shock, but sometimes the dice-gods go against you and you get the result from the wrong end of the bell chart.

Other than that the game played as you would expect, heavy infantry with locked shields proved difficult to kill, but tired out, and light infantry caught by heavy melee specialists died unless they got lucky.

It proved to be an enjoyable first game of Clash and gave lots to think about, with the addition of cavalry in future games and the balance of command points to number of units something to try out. 
It's tempting to think that more points could be sunk into commanders to give more flexibility but they aren't cheap. So for example the top level commander with 5 command points is almost the same cost as a unit of 8 Hastati, and considering that games around 1000 points are recommended (we played at around 740 point) you don't want to overspend on commanders and have no troops to command.

I've also completed the Pegasus riders for my Kingdoms of Men Kings of War army. I went with two armoured hero types and two unarmoured to use as Wizards. The armoured models will probably see duty as Generals on Winged Beasts as we heard this week that League of Infamy is delayed until January. This means the Drakon rider models I have ordered to convert into Generals on Winged beast are delayed.

The Pegasus riding General and Hero options are not as tough or powerful in combat as the Beast version but they are very cheap and offer a fast, flying chaff unit that can score as well. These could prove useful at the end of game for grabbing or contesting objectives.

The Wizard option is much in the same vein but can also carry a ranged threat if equipped with lightning bolt.