Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Solid block of infantry

   As I said on the first of this quick trilogy of Norman posts, I was a lot busier in the last week or so with my hobby than my blog has suggested, but now I am starting to slow down again, it felt like the perfect time to get back up to date with the posts.

    I always like the idea of at least two solid blocks of infantry in a game of Lion Rampant, so when I was planning my Norman I knew I would be buying more spearmen. The Gripping Beast starter box set comes with 2 units of Horsemen, a unit of archers and a unit of crossbowmen and I already had a unit of spears which were bought to be mercenaries for my late Saxon army. So another quick trip to Gripping Beast got me the numbers I needed to boost units from Saga to Lion Rampant sized units and got me the extra infantry unit I wanted.

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

Norman Crossbows

   Following on from my Norman archers is a unit of Norman crossbowmen. For my Dark Age armies, I wouldn't tend to run two shooting units but both came with the Gripping Beast 4 point starter set (although I had to boost this unit's numbers for Lion Rampant) and I'm not going to leave them unpainted just because I have archers already, however, I have slightly more than 24 points worth of troops, so I can leave a unit out if I want to play a 'standard' sized game*.

*Although, we rarely do

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Thursday, 28 November 2019

Norman Archers

   I've been fairly busy lately which has slowed down getting finished units onto this blog, but I'm going to try and sort my game out and start posting regularly again.
   First unit to post about are my Norman archers to carry on my Norman army for Lion Rampant / Saga. The figures are all Gripping Beast from their 4 point Saga starter box. They have been painted alongside my other Norman units in my normal batch painting method.

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Thursday, 14 November 2019

The Professor

   This is another of those cart before the horse posts but here we go. A month or so ago I placed an order with Great Escape Games to pick up a new gang for Dead Man's Hand and as I'd had the professor (definitely not the Doc) in my basket for ages, it seemed daft not to pick him up as well. The plan was then to do a post about the new gang and then to tag this on at the end, however the new gang is sitting waiting to be painted while this has been finished and made it onto the table.

   The professor is a nice contained little set, it has a bit of scenery and the mad inventor himself, but also comes with cards and 2 linked games to play out something suspiciously like a certain film's plot. So that's what we played last night. Sadly, in the opening scene where the professor is being roughed up and his plucky sidekick comes over to help, didn't happen in quite the same way and (we'll call the sidekick Matt) Matt was killed before he had even moved.
   However, in the second scene, the professor, with help from the townsfolk, managed to stop his workshop being burnt down and defeated the bad guys, so all was not lost. Unless you are Matt.

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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Rangers of the wldlands

    Again, while I should have been getting on with the big projects (and I promise that I am) another small project that has been sitting on my shelf for way too long has managed to jump the queue. In this case, it is the rangers that were the reason I actually did the Midlams order, with the gnomes, earlier this year.
   The idea behind these was that I could play a themed warband for Rangers of Shadowdeep, Open Combat or Frostgrave but I'm now also thinking of adding my other two rangers and using them as an elite unit for Dragon Rampant as part of my 'Baratheon' army. Either way, it'll look like a good little unit for fantasy games.

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Monday, 4 November 2019

Zomtober 2019

   I had been putting zombie figures aside all year in anticipation of the fabled Zomtober, but I decided just before the event that I didn't want to commit myself to the rate of painting required and instead I would paint a zombie whenever I had an idea for a colour scheme or I just fancied painting one*. This didn't turn out to be many.
   Mainly, what it turned out I fancied painting was the spare zombies from the Walking Dead: All Out War sets, I'd picked up but that had fallen by the wayside. I keep meaning to buy more packs, but the price for 3 figures keeps putting me off by the time I have a few in my basket. We'll have to see what next year holds.

*I couldn't miss out of the fun of Zomtober entirely
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Thursday, 31 October 2019

Whose Fyrd Is This?

   As I am currently working on at least 2 projects at the sec, it made sense for me to add a few backlog figures from a different project to the front of the queue . . . No Wait . . .
   Let me restart. I've had the last couple of Saxons sitting on my painting desk for ages, but for some reason I've struggled to find the motivation to finish them, however, with my Normans working their way past my paint brush it was easy to put aside the next group for a bit and do the Saxons instead.

   In the photo, the ones that were finished last weekend are the banner bearer and the armoured guy at the front. In my head, this unit has become a thegn staying within his fyrd for the battle, rather than joining a more elite group of his peers. This is now my Saxon project complete until I buy more - which will happen . . .

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Saturday, 19 October 2019

Horse power to run the invasion

   While they weren't finished in time for the game, I knew I wanted a unit of the knights finished early in the painting schedule. I still enjoy sitting down in an evening with a base coated batch of infantry to start on than a base coated unit of horsemen, but that tends to be a good reason to make sure the horsemen aren't left for last, and I'm glad I didn't, as I am pleased with how they have come out.
   Again, they are Gripping Beast Normans and a mix of a couple of packs. the bit I enjoyed the most in the process was while building them, I was looking to see if each model had his sword still in the scabbard so I could make sure they were armed correctly.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Another invasion force

   It came to my attention a few weeks back that we were right in the middle of the anniversaries of the battles of the 1066 invasion period. It was the anniversary of the Battle of Stanford Bridge when I realised and this meant I had a couple of weeks before Hastings itself. So I proposed a Dark Age game at the club using Anglo-Danes vs the Normans. My mate, Neil, had a painted Norman army and I had a painted late Anglo-Saxon army, so we had the bases covered, but more troops is never a bad thing, so I dug into my Pile of Potential and found my languishing Norman army.

   The first unit (and the only ones finished in time for the game) were a unit of Norman spearmen. The models are all from Gripping Beast and are a mixture of different Saga races and packs, although I think they all actually come from the same Norman range in the long run. I've mixed heavy armour and no armour in the same unit, and plan to do the same for any of the following ones too as I think it looks better on the table.

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Monday, 14 October 2019

Making the Avenging Son Proud

   I've always found in my hobby that projects that are the most important thing on my painting list this week, can fall to the bottom of the queue with next to no warning due to no fault of their own. This is such a project.
   The Ultramarines were a project that I started last November so that I could have a loyalist legion but they were started just before I had my big 30k wobble and as a result, the project was sacrificed in favour of carrying on with my first legion just to keep me in the game. I was due to go to a 2000 point heresy event in November, which is a low points level for a standard game of 30k, and this lead to one of my podcast mates challenging me to buy a loyalist ticket and taking my seemingly dead project. Part of the reason the project was abandoned was due to the similarity between the proposed list and what I tended to run for my Sons of Horus, which with the cost of Forgeworld models just seemed a waste of time and money, but with a renewed interest I went back to the drawing board and wrote a list that felt like my play style, but had enough differences with what I already have to be worth buying.

   First up are my infantry (some of which you will have seen on earlier posts) three units of the ubiquitous tactical squad. All three are 10 men, armed with extra weapons and have sgts equipped with a power sword. As my Ultramarines are running a much more multiple small unit style army, each unit has to be able to deal with bigger targets than itself and a tooled up tactical squad can do just that.
  All three units (and all my other infantry units) are also equipped with Rhinos. This was another of those things that I wanted to try to set this army apart from my Sons of Horus and it's met with mixed success but having 6 rhinos gives me options as the army grows.

   Second are two squads of melta gun armed support marines. Both are 5 man squads, again, kitted out with extra weapons to make sure they don't go down in a fight without making their opponents regret their choices. I really like my support squads in my Sons of Horus army, but I wanted to do something slightly different with them in my Ultramarines, so I went with melta guns rather than plasma guns.

   Next up, we have my hitty unit. The HQ's bodyguard of apothecary and 8 veterans, armed with various fun weapons. This isn't the combat monster of a unit that you would expect to see leading a heresy army but it's the closest I am likely to run, especially if you listen to the Mournival Podcast. I've not included my Centurion himself as I'm not hugely happy with the model and am looking to do a replacement asap.

   Lastly, we have a complement of tanks, a pair of vindicators and a predator. I wanted to have some big guns to go alongside my tanks and units that can move and shoot and are mounted on rhino chassis just made sense for the theme.


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Monday, 30 September 2019

The scenery bug

   This post is a bit of a cart before the horse situation but I'm going to do it in this order anyway. Something that comes up a lot when I get chatting with the other guys on the Mournival Podcast is what sort of inspirational photos we all store on our phones. The other three guys all just store pictures of figures, while I store mostly photos of scenery and gaming boards and this got me thinking about all my half started scenery collections.
   I have tried in the past to collect enough scenery to fill a 4/4 or 6/4 table to suit whatever I am playing but in the last couple of years or so, I seem to have become really lazy when it came to both carting it to Wayland Games and actually finishing the stuff which is why there haven't been as many photos from my normal games - as they simply aren't as pretty. So with a couple of big figure count painting projects now behind me, I want to focus on the boards I play on again, I have at least 3x 30k/40k boards worth of scenery to do, a jungle board that I started, scenery to go with my Adeptus Titancius, my Saxon village, a modern city board that was destined for Batman and my Gangs of Rome scenery that is gathering dust. So, a fair few things to keep me quiet.

    So, back to the first sentence of this post. The Mournival guys have been planning a 30k campaign for months now and it had been decided that I would play on the loyalist side, so I dutifully got on with getting my Ultramarines finished and I meant to do a post or two on that project before the first weekend of gaming, but instead of blogging I got on with the scenery as I needed to supply at least two of the three tables. The first of the tables was already finished and I had just been waiting to get it out so I could take a decent photo of it, while the second was in various states of painted, unpainted and, in some cases, unbuilt and with a deadline looming it seemed like the perfect time to make it my priority.

   First up I thought I would focus on the Space Port table I started a few months back as it is the one that was already finished and is less likely to have anything major added to it. This table has been going on in the background since December with me painting another batch of Munitorum Container whenever I had the enthusiasm, although, I've not been putting any pictures of them on the blog before the first two batches*. I then added a SkyShield Landing Pad to ram home the space port theme and make sure the table had a big centre piece bit of scenery.
   The table will get some more scatter terrain in the future and maybe the odd extra container or two but it is essentially finished as it is. I'm aiming for my tables to be a mix of open and heavily enclosed so that no single army has a massive terrain advantage throughout an event, if we see a particular army is suited to a type of table and keeps rolling over their opponent's, we can swap them onto the opposite type for a game or two.
*I wasn't convinced 2 or 3 posts in a row showing near 
identical blue boxes would keep anyone else's interest, let alone mine.

   The second table is one that has grown from a different project. I initially planned to do a space depot board and a city fight board, and I still plan to, however, the city has gone on the back burner while the Mechanicum gantries are finished first. The Mechanicum scenery was originally bought to just be a small Kill-Team board's worth as I had seen what other modellers were doing with the kits and I wanted have a try myself, but as in many cases, it has spiralled way beyond the project's remit. I still want to do at least a couple more solid structures to really fill the board up but as it stands, with a few plasti-card walkways to connect the buildings up, this creates a really dense Kill-Team board which I am really excited to get some use out of.
   The buildings are mostly black washed metal, without too much colour, because when they are on a dense board, the colour really stands out and I didn't want it to look too busy. Getting this board done on the day before the event has got me thinking about what I want to add to it, so expect to see more of this one in the future.

Sector Mechanicus Ferratonic Incinerator

Sector Mechanicus Ferratonic Incinerator

Sector Mechanicus Sacristan Forgeshrine

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Saturday, 14 September 2019


   The second post in this quick two part project* is the other side, the Royalists. As I mentioned, I already had all the rabbits from Oathsworn's current range in my basket, so that left me needing a leader and something else to match points with my other warband. Looking through the models categorised as 'Large', as I wanted a slightly bigger animal to lead the warband to match the Freebeast's fox, I came across the Hare Warrior, which fitted the theme perfectly.
   When it comes to fantasy I normally associate myself to the ranger archetype and paint warbands in greens and browns, but the Freebeasts from the last post fitted that concept better, so my Royalist warband was painted in brighter colours to show the more structured lives that the Royalists would live in my head. That was until I got to the mouse ranger as I felt that the warband needed someone with that sort of skill set and also I liked the model too much to let anyone else use it.

*famous last words

burrows and badgers rabbit royalist warband

   I have half a thought of going back and giving either the Hare Warrior or the Rabbit Warrior a shield but I'm not sure which would suit it more.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019


   I said a while ago that my plan for the future of my hobby was to try and avoid what I was calling 'specialist skirmish games', by which I mean games that require you to buy not just the rules and some generic models, but also some combination of the following; unit cards, special dice and game specific figures. I always felt that Burrows and Badgers fell into this category because of it's figures, however, I also have house rabbits and I've had the pair of rabbits that Oathsworn produce in my basket on and off since they first released them, then it was listening to Meeples and Miniatures finally made me crack and I ordered the rulebook and then both sides for a game (although slightly under-pointed for a full game).
   Before I get to the rabbit warband, I decided to work backwards. In the fluff there are 4 main factions: Royalist, Freebeasts, Rogues and Wildbeasts, however, as a casual outsider* it feels like there are 2 main sides and a couple of disrupting factions. The big fight seems to be Royalists vs Freebeasts - supporters of the monarchy vs supporters of a less authoriative way of life, so these were the sides I decided to focus on. The next thing I discovered in the fluff was that the Freebeasts are led by foxes, which really gave me my theme, I just don't see many rabbits joining a cause led by foxes, so my rabbit warband had to be Royalist, which gave me room to play with the Freebeasts.
   As my mate Steve B is more likely to use my second faction I gave him a message and asked what his favourite British animals were and the useful bits of the reply were; Squirrels and Hedgehogs. So a quick trip online and I had a fox to lead the party, a squirrel and a hedgehog as requested and a dormouse, because the mice are seriously cool models**.

*and probably going to cause offense
**a very real risk of a mouse warband in the future

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