Thursday, 5 August 2021

The Kingdom Rises

    Painting has been a bit of a struggle recently with an increasingly active little terror but I'm finding the odd moments of time to keep projects moving. I have 4 or 5 projects that I have marked as priority projects that I want to focus on getting finished so I can get figures on the table, hopefully, this year - so it come as no surprise that this post is about another new(ish) project.

   Late 2020 when I was building up a painting pile ready to be broke for the next year or so, I got it into my head that I wanted a small, self contained ancient army that wouldn't end up sprawling into an endless project and I had half an eye on an Egyptian army. I'd priced up an army using Warlord Games figures, but as you buy box sets I was either going to end up with extra units to round numbers out or wasted figures, plus the army got really expensive. Then I discovered Newline Designs and their ranges. I placed an order for a Celtic chariot so I could test the size of the figures and see if I liked them - I can't remember if it made it onto the blog or if it became the last unit of chariots waiting to be built - and deciding I was pleased with the casting, I bought myself a New Kingdom Egyptian army after carefully checking my planned figures would fit in a single 4 litre Really Useful Box.

   However, with my fluttering interests moving around and currently focussing on 15mm stuff, the army fell way down my backlog list to the point where I considered selling it on. In the end, I decided that as long as I started it asap, it wasn't going to take up much space, it would make for an interesting game and as it isn't that many figures, it should be a fairly quick job. I have no doubt other armies will be mixed into between units, but I aim to get this army done before the autumn . . .

   The first unit was a unit of infantry. I wanted to test colours - esp skin tone - on something easy before hitting the more complicated stuff - I'm looking at you chariots. I've take a few assumptions with the painting, for one, I've seen claims that Egyptians of the period was darker skinned than their wall art and that lightening their skin was a way of showing that they were different to those black skinned savages in Numida, despite being similar tones. I've also seen it claimed that the art is darker than their real tone due to the paint they had at hand. So I've gone for something darker than I would paint someone from the middle east, but lighter than I plan to paint the Numidians - so that I'm probably wrong in both ways.

Newline designs new kingdom egyptians 28mm

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Tying together

    Following on from my trip to Warhammer World I decided to carry on painting my 40k projects and as they were the newest, it made sense to get on with one of my (limited) purchases from the day. As my games at WHW were thematically the same force - Sons of Horus, Daemons to show the corruption and then my Chaos Marines which are the warband my SoH become, I thought it made sense to add some jump troops to my Chaos.

   I've painted them in the same palette I used 7 or so years ago, starting with a dark brown before moving onto reds and I'm pleased with how they have come out. I've always joked that squads armed with plasma guns and jump packs would be brilliant in 30k, so when I realised raptor squads can have 2 plasma guns in 5 men, I had to do it. Then the power sword is my first attempt at making a weapon look like it has energy flowing through it.

   While I painting the red armour, I decided to finish off some more strays that I ran out of time to paint in the run up to the Warhammer World trip, the second Hellbrute and some more Khorne Daemons. The hellbrute was from the Dark Vengeance boxset from years back and has been sitting in a box for just about as long, while the daemons are much newer and were the sacrifice to get my armies painted to the deadline - even building the last few unnecessary ones would have meant I failed the time pressure - but now mean I have 38 bloodletters and a herald.

   I suspect I need a second squad of raptors to complete the theme, but that can wait as I have a couple of better ideas first.

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Monday, 12 July 2021

A beast of a post - the trip to Warhammer World

   Like the title says, this is going to be a beast of a post, so strap in. . .

   At the start of 2020 my podcast mates and me were discussing a dedicated trip to Warhammer World where we would book a big scenic table and play a massive themed game - we were thinking one player with 4-5k of Space Wolves vs 2 players with the equivalent points in Thousand Sons and Tzeench Daemons, to just play the sort of game that you talk about for years afterwards. Then Covid hit and WHW was closed for the year. Then with 2021 and the world starting to open up, we modified the plan but kept chatting about it.

   The end result is a day booked off in early July, we figured we should have been past the end of restrictions (although we go that one wrong) but before the school holidays (we go that one right). The big scenic tables have been taken out of the hall, so they weren't an option and as it is only 2 people per table, we limited our plans. But then we got chatting even more, if we weren't planning on playing a single game that would take up most of the day, why don't we use the day to test out multiple ideas, its a long way to drag models but if the day is going to be fun anyway, why not use new lists and try ideas out in quick succession - this is where the length of this post start to come in.

   First up, the guy I spent the day with (Keith) is currently a 30k player and, although, he used to be a 40k gamer, he only plays one ruleset at a time and really focusses his energies on it in a way that I will never understand. So this trip is predominately 30k, I did manage to sneak in some 40k.

Sons of Horus

   The first army I had a look at was my Sons of Horus as they are my go to legion for 30k games at the moment. When Keith said that he wanted to play a smaller size game it gave me the idea of trying the sort of list I'd love to play in full size games, but, without winning the lottery, would never be able to afford. Full jump pack armies have always excited me but the sheer cost has put me off, even in plastic the old assault marine packs were too expensive for me to have more than a single squad and in Forge World resin, the fact I have as many as I do is simple due to how old this army now is, and the vast bulk of them in this list are sub optimal in load out but too expensive to do anything about.

   The list is a Centurion with Lightning Claws - how I always used to love characters with a pair of these, 2x apothecaries, 2x 14 man assault squads with a power fist, power axe and power sword (and melta bombs), a 10 man reaver squad with 2x power swords and a power fist and a 10 man destroyer squad with power sword and 2x missile launcher.

  Despite the reavers being one of the Elite SoH units, they are actually a tad worse than regular assault marines and I've never actually made destroyers do half the damage that people think they should do.

  The only new model in this list is the Centurion himself, which was interesting to paint as I had to look up my SoH painting recipe, something I never thought I would have to do.

30k Daemons

   Daemons was the next thing that jumped into my head. I've made noises about doing a daemon army for years now as a single box of figures can be an army for 3 different game systems (plus sub-games like Warcry and Kill Team) without needing any modifications - proper value for money.

   When the new Slaanesh daemons were released 3 or 4 years ago, GW sold a starter box that had a few units of Slaanesh vs a few units of Khorne and when I was offered the Khorne half of a box, I said yes. Then I was offered the Khorne half of a second box and said yes again. Without any real plan, I then bought an old metal Blood Thirster that I was offered, put everything away in a box and got on with my life.

   Mucking about with a vague idea to try AOS's Warcry as a playing in the back garden in the summertime game and writing lists for that meant I had daemons on my mind already, then the chance of a low points 30k list pushed this idea up a few notches. I realised for the cost of a Start Collecting box (already fantastic value), I had a full army and I just needed a quick paint job.

   The list is a Blood Thirster, a 6 daemon unit of Blood Crushers, 2x 5 Flesh Hounds, and 4x 8 daemon units of Blood Letters - again not an optimal list but it looked good on the table. This isn't everything I've bought for this army, but its everything I painted to directly get on the table at Warhammer World.

The Sacrificed Sons - Chaos Space Marines

   Lastly, we have been talking for a while now about putting our toes back into the 40k waters again, again, it was going to be a game we would sprinkle in last summer, but C19 put a stop to that. As we had a table booked for a whole day, so there was no point playing a game or two and heading home, we decided that for the sake of another box of figures plus a rulebook, it would be nice to play a really small game of 40k to top the day off. I have a fair few 40k armies in varying states of completion, but I knew my mate would be bringing his Primaris Space Marines, so I thought I should avoid bringing my ones, then it dawned on me what army I should be packing - my Chaos Space Marines.

   My Chaos Space Marines jumped out at me for three reasons; 1, they were mostly painted but I had a couple of units that were half done and just had no motivation to finish. 2, I'd been meaning to remove their sculpted resin bases and replace them with my normal bases for a few years now and as with point 1, it was just lacking a reason why they should jump the queue. 3, it kept a narrative theme through all my armies on the day . . .

   The paint jobs aren't the best in the world, but with no time to deal with that, I added the bare minimum of fixes to bring them up a little bit - black on the (I assume) rubberised joints on the back of the legs (a small difference but looks much better), repainted a single shoulder pad black and painted the backpack vents metal. In my head cannon, my Chaos army is my SoH but 10,000 years later, so I wanted small details to tie the armies together a bit more, plus it breaks the red up a bit more.

   The units that needed to be finished was the Hellbrute, one of the Forgefiends and the Spawn, who I did in my Daemon colour scheme to tie in as well.


   I'm not going to go into too much detail on the games themselves as they were generally short affairs where I took the majority of the figures off the table. My Sons of Horus list was completely outclassed, it was up against a planned tournament list and was countered at every turn. The first turn looked to be going well but when I lost a whole squad in the first combat phase to the leviathon dreadnought and I then had Abbadon appear behind my lines at the start of turn 2, the writing was on the wall.

   The Daemon game ran a lot closer. I've never used or played Daemons of the Ruinstorm in 30k before but I've heard broken things about them. I'm pretty confident that after playing a game, I know how people make broken lists with these guys but my list was not one of them. Daemons take forever to kill and throw out a lot of attack dice, but lacking anything that can just ignore armour means marines just take their saving throws all day long. While I killed off two of his squads, the characters and the bogged down nature of the combats swung against me after a few turns.

   Lastly, the game of 40k. I've played 4 games of 40k since 8th edition came out a few years back and my mate hasn't played one, so we were rusty as anything, but the rules are easy enough that we muddled through and got a game out of it. Honestly, I think this was my game to lose. I had complete control until the last combat phase where my last heavy hitter were mopped up and it went from a close, but easy victory to me, to a total wipe out of my troops.

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Monday, 14 June 2021

Yes, the Dead ride behind. They have been summoned

    As I mentioned in my last post, painting time and motivation has gone off the cliff at the moment but I've not stopped thinking about projects. One thing I keep thinking about with my 15mm Undead army is how to include a unit of ghosts/spirits to my ranks of risen mortal remains. A few companies do the classic sheet shaped ghosts, which I think look brilliant in small units like DBA/HOTT but ranked up I'm not sure they would work as well.

   My next thought was to buy some normal troops and paint them as ghosts, so as I am reading a series set in the late Roman republic, I decided that would be a good era to buy figures from. The figures are from Essex and are a mix of their Marian troops including a pack of cavalry for variety. I painted the figures in my normal ghost colour scheme and spread them across 3 bases in what I hoped was a fairly even manner. 

Essex Miniatures Marian Romans 15mm Ghosts

   I could easily have just done a single base to test the idea out but there is always something about doing 3 units of any standalone project that I like and now they are done and based up, it has got me thinking about whether a whole army would be cool, but that is a project for another day.

I really could do with getting the necromancers done for this army now . . .

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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Essex Regiment of Foote Pt2

  I've called this the Essex Regiment of Foote pt2 as its basically a rehash of a project from last year, so let's start at the beginning. Last year, I finally managed to get my ECW project moving and once the momentum had started, I found I really enjoyed it. It was a pity it only got onto the table twice, but with everything that happened last year, twice is actually really good going.

   However, with my head currently thinking in terms of 15mm armies, ECW was one of the projects where it dawned on me that 15mm would make a huge difference. A regular infantry company of pikemen and musketeer wings takes up a lot of space and as I'd like both sides to have at least two of these blocks, 28mm on a 6/4 board looks cramped very quickly. So on a recent trip to Essex Miniatures (I was only going to have a quick look) I saw the ECW figures in the display cabinet and decided to sate my curiosity.

   As this is the second time I've painted this unit, I decided to match both the officer's uniform and the flag to the 28mm version of the unit. I'm not planning on getting rid of the 28mm stuff any time soon, but if my idea is right, I think the 15mm might see more table time. Size wise, I've double the figure count from 28-15, so that I think the pike block looks more dangerous and less like a minor annoyance with 20 pikes vs only 8, while the full length of the unit is about half of what it is in the bigger scale.

I really do need to focus on a single project again now, though.

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Thursday, 27 May 2021

The Battle of Wattling Street (ish)

    I've had a few weeks off from painting now, but I've managed to get one of my lockdown projects onto the table and I thought it was worth blogging about. As of (I think) Saturday 22rnd May, Wayland Games has reopened it's gaming side of the business to those who prebook a table, so on the first Wednesday after that, my club arranged our first proper club night since the start of March last year. In the end we booked 2 tables and had 5 members turn up, with one of the games being my attempt at a small version of the Battle of Wattling Street with Boudica vs Gaius Suetonius, with only the Roman occupation of Britannia at stake.

   We used a modified version of Lion Rampant that I had found online and got playing. About turn 3 we noticed that there was something wrong with the modifications made and it was only on the drive home that it dawned on us what it was. The author had modified the test rolls to match Rebels and Patriots (so 1 ability score rather than separate ones for Move, Attack, Shoot and Courage) but left the morale rules the same as base Lion Rampant. While not major, this meant if a Ancient British unit lost 3 guys to the Roman shooting (pilums) they needed a 10+ on 2 dice or else they got a Battered marker. In Lion Rampant a Battered marker means the unit can do nothing the following turn but Rally, so the next turn they would be shot at again. If they lost 2 more guys they now needed a 12+ to pass, with anything below a 7 removing the unit from the table. As you can imagine, this got brutal quickly, so that the Ancient Britons only got to the Roman lines to actually attack on one occasion.

   Suffice to say the game did not go well to the Brits, although the chariot unit did manage to wipe out a unit of Legionnaires with hit and run shooting attacks. We have some modifications to make to the ruleset for next time, but it was still a really fun game and it was great to see real people at a gaming venue to chat about games, plus who doesn't like seeing projects get onto the table for their first outing?

Battle of Wattling Street warlord games boudica boudicca SEEMS wargames club essex gaming gamers

   While I haven't managed to get any painting done, I did have a few bits for this project that were waiting on a varnish, so I thought this was the perfect time to add them to the bottom of a post too. They are from a few different ranges, the first wagon is from Fenris and I think has been on this blog in a different form a few years back, the Ancient Britons are Warlord Games and the Roman Wagon is from Warbases.

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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

The Unquiet Dead

    I've made a bit of a concerted effort to paint this week even though life has been pretty busy again. The lists I put together for a Middle Imperial Roman vs Undead Dragon Rampant game last week were small due to how cheap Undead units are compared to Romans, so while my Romans should be the priority, I decided to get moving on some Undead instead.

   While I was mucking about I, also, painted up a unit of praying monks. Quite a few of the historic novels I've been recently have had mentions of the commander at the back of the field, surrounded by a crowd of aides to advise, religious people to advise and pray and hangers on just getting in the way and this is a lot of the stuff I want to start getting onto the board. These monks are from Essex Miniatures and are part of my first small order where I wanted to check scale with other ranges - figuring a stand alone side unit doesn't matter if it is slightly out - and while I mostly plan to use them in future Dark Age/Medieval projects, what I thought I could do with them for the short term was give them to my Middle Imperial Romans for their fantasy games. While I am aware that the Romans I am painting would be mostly pagan, in a fantasy world where the risen dead are shambling towards you, any divine favour wouldn't go amiss.

   I've ordered the fantasy version of Sword and Spear, so that I can work out how to base up my necromancers for my Undead army, but I suspect it will be the same as I plan to do my captains for historical Sword and Spear.

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