29 March 2020

Big April Approaches and Solo Gaming

April is almost here. That means Big April, what has become my traditional giant painting month. This year, I may still try to paint something for the Old World Army Challenge, but would still like to paint a giant or two.

But I haven't prepped or even decided what to paint. Here's some of what I'm looking at...

Otherworld, Mantic, a few Reaper Bones. Also, not pictured are a couple of giants sent to me by Shadespyre, but they got buried in a late night shuffle to avoid basement flooding last night.

I've still got some more photos & reports from my recent dive into solo gaming with Sellswords and Spellslingers. I just haven't had much time or energy to write anything up. I'd like to play a few more games as well.

I've also got a bit distracted reading the Frostgrave rules, since the author posted a free download code for the rules, plus a couple of downloads for solo play/solo scenarios.


At any rate, once I put the basement back together and get access to my table, maybe more solo gaming as well...

23 March 2020

Sellswords and Spellslingers (Game 1)

It's been about a year since I bought the game and started prepping for it, but I've finally played a few games of Sellswords and Spellslingers. For those not familiar, it is a cooperative (or solo) fantasy skirmish game with a bit of an RPG feel to it. I downloaded the PDF from Ganesha Games, and bought the printed cards. You go through a points based party/character creation and then dive into scenarios. There are "between games" campaign activities and progression as well.

I originally had a some other plans, but ended up creating a team of four barbarian adventurers, from left to right... P-Stash, Bowie, Stabbie, and Yubie. I'll get back to the other ideas after running this group for a while.

There is no order to the scenarios, but I started with the first one, "Through The Badlands" because it seemed like a good learning scenario.

It was brutal.

This is what I was up against... Orcs, Orc Brutes, and a Troll. At least to start with. The way the mechanics of the game work, each character rolls between 1-3 activation dice. Roll 8+ on a d20, and each success is an action for that character. Fail, and you draw a card which means enemies activate, more enemies join the game, or one of a handful of events happens.

I failed at least 2/3 of my activation rolls throughout the game, which meant that the Heroes didn't get to do as much as the Villians, and more of them kept spawning around the table. Stabbie the shaman fumbled (rolled a 1) his first spell roll, which meant no magic the rest of the game. Bowie fumbled (rolled a 1) her shooting early on, which took her skills down a major notch as well. The scenario involved my group getting from one side of the killing field to the other. It was a flight for survival.

After many rounds of activation, at the end of the slaughter, this was my deployment area. Yubie got bogged down in combat and almost never making an activation roll. She lasted longer than expected, but eventually fell from her wounds, comatose. She could have been carried to safety by her "friends" but by this time they were in a panicked sprint for safety, far far away.

Here's a shot from the other side. You can see the others (Stabbie and P-Stash each down to their last hit point) making a dash for survival, corpses, pursuing foes and their abandoned friend all on the distance (and to either side, off camera.) This is right at the edge of the table. You would think they were home free.

You'd be wrong.

Here's Stabbie, the inept shaman, mere steps away from "edge of the world" safety. He's already been lapped by his companions because he can't roll above a 5 throughout the game. Just one activation and he's free... nope. Failed, resulting in another orc (just to his left) ambushing out of the bushes... er, ambushes? Just an orc, not a difficult combat at least... right? Nope again. Fumbled, lost his last hit point. But at least he's got a roll to see what happens... aaaaaand he's flat out dead.

The carnage at the end of the game. We started on the left, and 50% of The Low Rollers (they have a name now) exited off the right.

Since Stabbie and Yubie didn't really get much of a chance, I added their twins back into the party for the next game.

Next game? Yes. I thought it was worth another try. I like the mechanics, though they seem like they fluctuate between extremes. And the dice really had a heavy part in the game. But that's also what went wrong here... A large majority of my rolls were 5 or less on a d20. No rules are going to mitigate that. The game deserved a second try.

Back to that in the next update. (FYI, I just finished Game 4. Give me a few days to catch up with updates...)

08 March 2020

Hobhounds pt. 1

Hobhounds. Midlam Miniatures. I wish there was a second hobhound design for variety, but very happy with the quality of the sculpts and castings.

29 February 2020

Midlam Hobgoblins

I painted the first of the Midlam Hobgoblins. Related to a recent post as well as my re-purposing of the old Citadel "Hobgoblin Despoilers", these have been adopted as hob-orcs.... er, half-orcs and painted as such.

I'm very happy with them -- both the sculpts as well as how they painted up! Looking forward to painting some more.

OWAC3 February Wood Elves

My Old World Army Challenge entry for February is up!


Follow the link for more photos and details.

24 February 2020

Althammer: Of Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Half-Orcs

Since I recently received, posted about, and already started painting a few of the Midlam Miniatures hobgoblins, I've been thinking about how they fit within my Althammer setting.

My Althammer setting is the Warhammer Old World, with a twist -- and centered on Marienburg & the Wasteland. In this universe, orcs & goblins have been largely driven off from the area, as well as the adjacent Empire & Bretonnia for almost a century. A few (very few) orcs have been assimilated into the mercenary culture. And there are still some small, stray bands of goblins skulking around the wilderness.

Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Half-Orcs.... who are they?

Orcs. The orcs are a more or less homogeneous species. Sub-classifications (black orcs, savage orcs) are arbitrary or cultural. As mentioned above, they were driven out of the area as a large-scale population. A rare few have ended up in small mercenary bands and have partially taken on a semi-civilized lifestyle. Far more numerous in more distant regions, there are no immediate threats of large scale invasion.

Mercenary orc, warlord Zogmar, and an orc warrior

Goblins. Goblins are a far more heterogeneous group of species, classified together (and frequently living/working together) due to a few similarities... most are physically smaller and less numerous races thriving by stealth, trickery, and manipulation. Some may ally themselves with other groups (orcs, trolls, etc.) but all are ultimately self-serving due to the necessities of survival. They may appear in mixed groups or homogeneous bands, and are more numerous than anyone in Marienburg suspects Each population or warband may have it's own quirks and characteristics.

An assortment of "goblins"

Half Orcs & Hobgoblins. Both are terms used by outsiders (mainly humans) for largely (but not always) mixed race populations who don't quite fit in with any of their parent cultures for one reason or another. Sometimes their communities are simply a destination for those who don't feel they fit in with the society in which they are born. Differences between half-orc, hobgoblin, and other similar names are typically just a difference in regional terminology. The Grey Mountains and its foothills are home to significant half-orc populations who have mixed relations with their neighbors -- and each other.

Half-orcs, hobgoblins

19 February 2020

Stuff! In the Mail!

I backed the Midlam Miniatures Raiding Party KS. They just arrived and look great. A little larger than I expected (see second pic) but that's OK. Got a few extras so I can have a warband of 12 melee, 6 archers, and a handler with 3 hounds.

Looking forward to painting these (soon)!

17 February 2020

Master of Hounds - Conversion

Inspired by a conversion contest that's taking shape at Warhammer-Empire.com, I quickly put together this Master of Hounds.