Friday, 10 January 2020

LotR battle report: Orcs vs Dwarves

For my sins, at CanCon in a few weeks I have decided I will play a few tournament games of GW's Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game, the latest version of their Lord of the Rings ruleset. I haven't played this edition before, and I've played about one game of the first edition in the last decade...

So I drafted Gorillamo to give me a test game to blow off the cobwebs and kick the tyres. I threw together two forces (~370 points each), dropped down some of his great scenery, and gave him a run down of the rules.

My force was Mordor Orcs with a troll and some minor commanders, and he had dwarves (pics way back here) with some captains, Iron Guard shock troops, and some rangers with bows.
Orcs and troll


The forces face off.

The orcs rush forwards...

... and form a hasty shieldwall.

The dwarf captains smash into the orc line.

The Iron Guard hurl throwing axes and join the fray.

The orcs melt away...

... and dwarf victory is assured.

It wasn't quite as one-sided as I had expected. The terrain funnelled us and protected our flanks. I did inflict some hits on him, but he made mincemeat of my orcs who broke and ran. The troll was tough, but only able to smash one guy per turn. I'll have to familiarise myself better with the rules because there's more actions monsters can do in this edition.

Overall, it was fun. I like the hit-wound-remove mechanic (no saving throw), and remembered how underpowered scattered bows are. Gorillamo will be a soft touch for playing more LotR in the future.

I've decided to keep my force simple for CanCon- numbers rather than fancy heroes and cavalry etc.  I'll tweak my list and build it up to 500 points. I've got a decent collection of LotR that I painted many years ago- I'll have to drag it out and onto the blog.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Aeronautica Imperialis

I got to play two introductory games of Aeronautica Imperialis last week. The game and its superb models belong to my nemesis Gorillamo.
Three Thunderbolt fighters and a Thunderbolt Fury

Ork Dakkajets

Ork Fighta Bommers

The game is quite simple, even compared to, say, X-Wing or Wings of Glory. It is hex-based, which is great for removing disagreements over distances, facings and arcs. Movement is almost too easy, and your planes skip all over the sky- but I still never mastered it!
Dakkajets caught in a crossfire

I was pretty comprehensively blasted out of the sky in both games. The Imperials have great mid-range firepower, and Gorillamo's uncanny ability to roll 5+ saw me decimated before I could get in to use my close-range orky advantages.
Dakkajet damages a Marauder before being obliterated

A fun quick pick-up game.

Friday, 27 December 2019

Spanish Inquisition

In the early years of the 16th Century, to combat the rising tide of religious unorthodoxy, the Pope gave Cardinal Ximinez of Spain leave to move without let or hindrance throughout the land, in a reign of violence, terror and torture that makes a smashing film. This was the Spanish Inquisition...

Monty Python’s Flying Circus S2E2 (1970)

These figures are from Hungry Troll, but I cannot find them on their website. My recipe for red here is:

  1. Vallejo Scarlet Red spray
  2. Wash with 3:1 VGC 73.206 Red Shade: Army Painter Strong Tone
  3. Black lining
  4. Highlight with AP Pure Red and VMC 70.909 Vermillion
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, 20 December 2019

40K Slaanesh cultists

These have been floating about for a while, and I decided to polish them off before AHPC X begins. There's a fair amount of detail, and being ragged militia types, I couldn't paint two the same, so they took a bit of effort. But now they're ready for Kill Team, Necromunda, whatever.

Slaanesh cultists



Cultists with Heavy Flamer and Heavy Stubber

Cultists with Autoguns

Cultists with Autopistols and Melee Weapons
Skull-o-meter™: 1 ?!!?!

Friday, 6 December 2019

Journeys in Middle-Earth: 3D printed scenery

Journeys in Middle-Earth has two scenario types- a journey, or a battle. Battles are small skirmishes played on an interesting area grid, with cardboard tokens used for scenery which has in-game effects- shrubs and rocks provide cover, statues can be toppled for damage, etc. Cardboard tokens are a poor  substitute for 3D scenery, and I decided to fire up my 3D printer.

Wait, what, a 3D printer?

Yes- I invested in a small cheap-ish one a year ago and have been dabbling with it for a little while. I decided to push it a bit further than I had previously, and plunged into the addictive world of 3D printed terrain.

The technical details, for those who want to know:

  • XYZPrinting Da Vinci Jr Pro 1.0
  • 0.4mm nozzle
  • 3DFillies Black PLA
  • 0.2mm layers
  • 10% infill
  • 200℃
I've printed some statues, firepits, walls, barrels and tables. I have enhanced the scenery with basing, paint, flock, etc. The Skirt Swisher helped me paint the walls with drybrushing in the Dwarven Forge style.

The portcullis gate opens and closes!

Some of these were free, some designs I bought:

I'm very happy with the appearance- a small table like this is a perfect attainable starting point for a 3D printer project. I'm very much a beginner!

Friday, 29 November 2019

Happy Blogday!

Happy 8th Blogday! I read that internet years are like dog years, so WwB is overdue a mid-life crisis. This is my 399th post.

This Blogday review is brought to you by the colour Batman.

Last year, I pre-ordered the Batman: Gotham City Chronicles extravaganza. I cleared the decks before it arrived in May, so was able to dive into a busy painting schedule and got it all done. Yay me!

I quite enjoyed the research for this project.

I also had fun painting my15mm poilus and tanks for WW1.

The other bigger project this year was Pinkstone Fortress, which has produced some fun battle reports.

I've just returned from Japan, so the blog went quiet for a few weeks. I saw Tokugawa Ieyasu's shrine, which has a carving of boardgamers on the gateway:

I also visited the Tokyo-Edo museum, which has some stunning 1:30 dioramas.

What does the next year hold?

  • More terrain
  • More Batman
  • More Blackstone Fortress
  • A return to Lord of the Rings
  • Dabbling in 3D printing
  • Samurai?

I'm looking forwards to AHPC X and CanCon! It was an honour to be a minion for AHPC IX.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Journeys in Middle Earth: Villains of Eriador

I picked up a pack of evil characters for FFG's Journeys in Middle Earth. I painted them the same as their minions.
Villains of Eriador

Gulgotar is an orc chieftain.

Coalfang is a warg pack leader. I like her arrows and scarred eye. I rebased her on a 40mm base. I literally gave her black fangs; does it work?

Atarin is an evil wight or wraith or some such. My colour scheme of metal and ghostly cloth is not a resounding triumph, being a bit bland.
I've now played through two different campaigns of about a dozen scenarios each. I really appreciate the different scenarios; they are quite varied and interesting (certainly when compared to the repetitive grind of Blackstone Fortress). The underlying mechanic of card-based skills and tests is quite nifty.

I'm not a fan of playing 'as' Aragorn, Legolas etc. When you whiff an attack it doesn't ring true, unlike if you were playing as, say, a generic ranger or dwarf. I think Imperial Assault handled this better, when named characters could turn up and ask for your assistance.

I do look forwards to more campaigns, more heroes, and more villains.