Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Veterans and Volkites!

I've been busy lately drawing and cutting out paper figures, but I haven't neglected my regular painting duties. Some friends and I are planning a big game of the Horus Heresy in the coming weeks, and I've been nattering away at some reinforcements.

First up are some classic Rogue Trader era Space Marines. I picked these guys up on kind of a lark - its been fun to apply my current painting skills to old models that when I originally owned them I painted terribly. Sometimes I think that's 90% of the nostalgia of Oldhammer for me. The new sculpts are better by pretty much every measure, but the chance to go back and get a second bite at the apple has a big appeal.

Everyone's head is suffering from some different form of hydrocephaly, it looks like.
I'm going to use these guys as a Veteran Squad. I see them as having been some of the Emperor's original experiments in gene-altering, before he got the process right and marines became semi-proportional.

Next, I am also adding a Heavy Weapon Squad with some Volkite Culverins. I picked up the weapons and have modified them a bit to fit onto plastic Mark III armor (which makes up the vast proportion of my army). 

The resin bits on these guys are super delicate and were really finicky to build. But I'm happy with how they turned out.

I hope to add some more Tactical Marines to a couple of squads soon, but in the meantime I'm trying to finish up a War Cry starter set for a buddy.


Monday, November 25, 2019

It All Looks Good On Paper

A few months ago, I got a wild hair up my butt and was seriously considering building a set of armies for a war game based on the Thirty Years War. I knew I wanted big blocks of pikes, at least 18 units per side, and I wanted to do the whole thing in 28mm. After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion:


There was no way I could commit to a project like that financially or time wise. The last time I'd done something that insane was for Napoleonics, and that had taken me damn near four years to complete. But I couldn't fully let go of the idea. I found myself picking up a copy of Peter Dennis' paper soldiers for an English Civil War game and thought to myself "Hey, stupid. You DRAW for a living. Why not try something like this? I bet if it was grand enough, it'd look awesome." So I set about trying my hand at designing and making my own paper soldiers.

A selection of paper soldiers in the colors of the Imperial household. This is just a fraction of what I printed out and
built. So far, I have 18 units for each of the Imperial and Swedish armies.
The pikes were made using plastic bristles from a broom, and each unit has its own flag that can be cut out and glued on.
Cannons were given a level of three-dimensionality in a simple, but effective, way.

It was a fun little side project that I'm still nattering away on. Paper minis will never replace 3D ones for me, but they are a quick and economical way get into playing war games. Additionally, if I run games with them at conventions, I'm less concerned with players breaking my precious models or ruining paint jobs by transporting armies. 

In a shameless bit of self-promotion, I've also done some paper fantasy armies for use with my Shieldwall war games rules. Again, I'd love to have a Goblin army in 3D, but the time it'll take is a little prohibitive at the moment. So these are a nice, simple alternative. 

An army of hideous Goblins!

The Goblins are opposed by an army of noble Elves

I've got a couple more armies in the queque - Undead and Halflings. I hope to do Dwarves and Servants of Anarchy soon after. For those who demand only the finest of 3D models, do not despair! I'm not hanging up my paint brush any time soon. In fact, I've been making good headway on my Imperial Roman army and am closing in on finishing that project soon(ish).


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Shieldwall Launch!

At the beginning of the month, I launched a set of fast-play fantasy war games rules called Shieldwall.  They are available here at WargameVault.com for $15US. I figured this would be a good place to direct those who are potentially interested with a bit of an overview of the system.

As I've gotten older, I've come to prefer lighter rules systems for my wargaming. The less I have to remember the better, and the more easily I can adapt a system to my own miniatures collection the happier I am. I set out to write Shieldwall to accommodate my own needs for playing games, and I've released it in the hopes it might be enjoyed by others.

Shieldwall is a mere 17 pages, with the core rules taking up only four pages. Lets look at a few of the ideas in the game and why I like using them:

Army Composition
Armies are composed of 12 units total - a variety of infantry, skirmishers, missile troops, cavalry, generals and monsters. The game is model agnostic - so the number of models in these units is entirely up the players, Shieldwall doesn't require specific model counts or unit sizes. Players simply agree to how big they think units should be. If player's collections allow only ten man units, those work fine. Players with larger collections could decide that twenty man units are the minimum. Its really up to you.

Scenario Forces
There are six scenarios included in Shieldwall. Once players decide on which scenario to choose, they randomly generate a force from their army dependent on the rules of the scenario. So an army in Shieldwall is more of a pool that players draw from. This ensures that scenarios can be replayed quite a bit as your force changes each time, and it prevents players from choosing one optimal build that they then game with every time. This means almost every game of Shieldwall is different and poses a new tactical challenge every time.

Units roll a number of dice dependent on their type, and results of 5 or 6 indicates a HIT has been scored on the enemy unit. Once a unit accumulates three or more HITs at the end of a turn, they are eliminated. Record keeping is kept at a minimum and a Quick Reference Sheet is included.

Special Event Cards
The friction of battle is represented in Shieldwall with a deck of Special Event Cards that can be printed from the pdf. During a game, players will draw hands of cards and then play them to modify attacks, execute special maneuvers and cast powerful spells. The Special Event Cards keep the game from becoming stale and predictable, while also maintaining a balance between forces.

Magic System
The magic system in Shieldwall is directly tied to the Special Event Cards. Players can wield the powers of Order, Chaos, Life and Death to scatter their enemies from the battlefield. Shieldwall assumes every army has wizards steeped in arcane knowledge or clerics beseeching the Gods for miracles, so you are never penalized for not bringing a wizard. However, if you choose to, you can make your General an Arcane Master which unlocks additional spell effects if you play cards associated the proper school of magic that the general has pre-chosen.

Command and Control
Every army has a general, a mighty character who will move across the battlefield rallying troops, bolstering their combat effectiveness or giving bursts of speed. Proper positioning is key to keeping your troops in the fight and ultimately to victory.

While the scenarios included can be played individually, they can also be played as a series of linked battles. Most games take about an hour, meaning its possible to play multiple games in an afternoon. You can decide the outcome of a full story in a few games time.

On The Horizon
I have a few plans for future Shieldwall products. Very soon, a print and play paper Elf army will be available on Wargames Vault. I hope to follow it with army packs for Goblins, Halflings and Undead as soon as I can finish drawing them!

I hope this peaks your interest!


Friday, September 27, 2019

The Legion Grows!

For the Glory of Rome!

The last few weeks have seen me nattering away on my new Roman project. I've managed to complete thirty of these sculpts from Victrix Lmtd and its all starting to look like a little force now. I'm building the army with the intent to use them with a heavily modified version of Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames rules (I'll post the mods up sometime soon) or Basic Impetus. Right now I can use these as three separate units in those games, or I could form them into a large single unit for something like Hail Caesar.

Unit one has a Centurion and associated command units. 
Unit two is all infantry, with the front rank advancing.
Unit three is more troops advancing under watchful eye of an Optio in the back rank.

I'm super happy with how these guys are shaping up. I'm not really going for historical accuracy - more of trying to create the Roman army that I've always wanted in my head. The next unit will be a ten man unit of Praetorians, mostly because they are fun models and will look really cool in a unit. I've also got some archers winging their way across the Atlantic from Wargames Foundry, so I'm looking forward to adding some missile weapons to the force. 


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Back to Rank and Flank

Looks like some of my future projects are a return to games involving mass ranks of troops organized in blocks. Its a good place to return to, and its been a while. First on deck, I finished up my first unit of Early Imperial Romans. I have mounted them on a 120mm x 60mm base, and I really like how it lets everything breath and have room. The basing size is compatible with the Impetus rules system, but I think I'm aiming to build the army around a heavily modified version of Neal Thomas' One Hour Wargames rules.

These are Victrix plastic kits - Roman Legionaries Advancing. I've got three more blocks of these cats to do.

I also drifted back into Oldhammer this week by completing a fourth unit of High Elf archers. The command group is cobbled together, but overall I think it works. Also of note in this unit: the archer on the viewer's right is the first ever model my girlfriend has painted. She sat down to try it out and under my cruel tutelage managed to do an amazing job for her first ever mini!

This unit brings me to 40 archers in the army. 

On deck are more Roman infantry and a classic Tiranoc Chariot that's been begging for some attention. 


Monday, September 9, 2019

"Alea Jacta Est."

The die is cast. 

I have always wanted a model army of Early Imperial Romans. I've tried twice before to build a Roman army - once with Italleri plastics in 1/72 scale and once with Old Glory metals in 28mm. Both times I enjoyed painting them, but got side-tracked with other projects. A few months ago, I picked up a pair of sets of excellent Legionaries by Victrix and they've been sitting in my "To-Do" pile. This week I managed to assemble some and start painting them. 

These models are from Victrix's Legionaries Attacking set. 
Starting with a red priming coat, these guys paint up super quick! I also made some custom shield decals in Photoshop and printed them out on waterslide transfer paper. It takes some extra cutting to make holes for the shield bosses, but I think its really worth the end effect. 

I've got two sets of 25 guys each, so I should be chewing through them for a little bit. But right now, I'm 1/10 of the way through them and already planning for my next purchases. I'm unsure what basing scheme or rules set I'll be using, but I'm definitely leaning towards something Mass Battle-y. 

I also managed to get the last of the weapon options for my Warlord Titans painted up this week. Now everything I own for Adeptus Titanicus is completely painted. Huzzah!

A Sun Fury Plasma Annihilator and Arioch Power Fist for my Legio Mortis Engines.
The Mori Quake Cannon for my Legio Gryphonicus. 

I've also been doing some paper craft hobbying - terrain for Adeptus Titanicus and two whole armies for the Thirty Years War. I'll share more on those projects as I can!


Monday, September 2, 2019

House Epidemios Armigers

Hail, hail! The Gang is all here!
This week, I built and painted a third Armiger War Dog for my Death Guard army. I've realized that my force has struggled with fighting armored units in the past, and leaning into some support in the form of some Armigers will probably help mitigate that deficiency a bit. Plus, in terms of simple math - a third Armiger brings me to 200 Power Levels for my Death Guard and their allies.

I've tried to make each Armiger unique in silhouette, and for this one I decided to remove the arms
and move the weapons to a top mount. 
As usual, the GW Skull kit was amply raided to add a new head and plenty of trophies
across the hull.
Hopefully, the auto cannons on this version will give me real long range punch and allow some
more variety in the units that I choose.

I think completing this unit will let me put a bit of a pin in my Death Guard army for a while. I'd like to play some more Apocalypse games with it, as well as maybe some narrative 40k games. I'm in the midst of choosing my next big miniatures project, and there are some excellent Imperial Roman model by Victrix that have been languishing in my "To Do" pile for way too long.