This hobby area is going to feature articles on games that we have played including Frostgrave, OtherWorld Fantasy Skirmish, WH40K, Combat Patrol and many others
Probably not a new approach for many, but definately a new approach for me.
Over a decade ago I started collecting miniatures to game 'The Punic Wars' using Hannibal Ad Portas & Archon from the Piquet series of wargame rules.
I collected the Republican Romans and a friend started collecting the Carthaginians. Then I moved, and the Romans have languished on the shelves ever since. Over recent months Nick & I have talked about gaming the Punic Wars. Initially I was less than enthusiastic as I could see that there would be 4-6 months of painting and model making to get a Carthaginian Army ready for the tabletop.
Then I thought, one of the things that we sell hundreds of every week is movement trays. What if I assemble 12 units of miniatures, base coat them in main color, stick them onto 25mm round MDF bases and use some of theSally 4th Movement Trays to hold them until they get painted and based permanently? This seemed to offer the best of both worlds, we could start playing and learning the rules before our enthusiam waned but as the figures are on individual painting bases in movement trays, I can pull one unit out of the army at a time to paint up properly until they are all done.
Last week we had our first game. Obviously it did not look as good as if both armies had been painted and based, but it did allow us to enjoy a game and start learning the rules and the tactics.
I played Carthage. Carthage has a very mixed bag of unit types. The only ones that can really slog it out on an equal footing with Roman Legions are Hannibals Veteran African Spear. However I tried holding my best units in reserve to soften up the Romans with my lighter troops. My Army Morale reserve dissapeared very quickly.
The miniatures that I used for Carthage are from the Victrix Plastic range and they are superb models. I used gthe excellent multi-part plastic kits from Victrix to build this army including Warriors of Carthage and Carthaginean Citizen Infantry.
Lewis and I recently played 'Buried Secrets' from the Pulp Alley Tomb of the Serpent campaign.
The action takes place in and around a 'dig site' in the desert. I've put together some terrain using Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain tile kits. All of these tiles have been made using the 12" Standard Tile. The kits make a sturdy 12" frame which is 2" high and contains 8 rare earth magnets to hold the tiles together. A piece of polystyrene is dropped in and sculpted. This makes it very easy to make a board with 'below ground' features such as the excavation. I've modelled the dig with statues being uncovered. These were 3D printed and I just printed as much of the top of the statue that I needed for the place it was going on the board. After texturing the board with sand, I added the wooden shuttering, which was made from scaps of balsa wood. The market stalls and goods are from the Sally 4th Exotic Location range. The palm trees were scratch built from 'teddy bear' fabric, florist wire and sisal string, the statues are aquarium ornaments. The ridge and bell tents are also Sally 4th kits.
This terrain worked really well for the plot points identified in the scenario which included half buried statues, a deserted campsite and some sealed jars.
Lewis' Manfred Leage deployed in the market place. Those Hell Hounds he brings with him always look a bit intimidating!
Dr Jones (from my Royal Archeological Society League) hurries down the ramp to check out a statue and comes under fire from Manfred who's 'Fighting Dirty'.
The rest of the Archeologists follow him into the dig site where some interesting urns were also spotted, however they soon become transfixed bt a weird force eminating from Lewis' witch.
Don't you just hate it when you get your own stuff used against you? Professor Rockstompin' gets charged by Manfred's Hell Hound who 'Sallys 4th'...Ouch, that hurt!
Yet another Hound charges Ms Cook, who draws a hidden .45 and takes it down. Pow, Pow!
Manfred's sidekick finds an interesting looking vase in the market place, she trys to swipe it put is challenged by the stall holder, (she failed the plot point challenge).
However, in the deserted campsite Manfred has a little more luck and finds some important papers hidden inside a packing crate.
Down in the excavation 'Snuffles' Manfred's favourite Hell Hound worries Ms Cook and Ms Fothrington. It is amazing how disintrested these beasts are in the diggers, NPC's obviously do not taste as good as Followers and Allies!
Manfred's sidekick is still attempting to make away with an ancient vase from the market stall.
Unfortunately for her, the fatal words "You've got it, how can any one fail one sucess with might finnese or cunning" were uttered.
Manfred skilfully negotiates the perilous terrain to make it down the wickety wooden ladder down into the dig site to take a look at another archaic piece of pottery. Meanwhile his witch is temporarily disarmed.
Professor Snow & his local guide Mohamad take advantage of the temporary respite from the witches eldritch powers and move in to deal some good old fashioned 'two fisted action'
... while at the other end of the excavation Dr Jones & Mr Cook confront Manfred over the vase, "That vase belongs in a museum".
In the final turn the stall keeper is distracted by the snake charmer and his pet and the artifact on his stall is spirited away for a win by Manfred with two minor plot points collected compared to just the one recovered by Professor Snow. Another fantastic game of Pulp Alley. It never fails to deiver an enjoyable afternoons gaming!
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Doug and I were keen to put a scenario together and give the game a go.
The scenario featured an Imperial Base which the rebels needed to infiltrate. Once inside they had three possible mission objectives, rescue the prisoners, destroy the mainframe, assasinate the base commander. The imperial player did not know what the rebels objective was.
The imperial player had a couple of squads of Stormtroopers 'dug in' outside the entrance as a first line of defence, prison guards, armed tech support and a couple of squads of reserve Stormtroopers.
The sneaky rebels included a squad infiltrating the base through the network of tunnels in disguise as 'Snowtroopers' led by 'Chewy' who they were pretending was there prisoner.
The alarm is raised and the perimeter defence Stormtroopers redeploy back into the base. Combat Patrol uses a great little unit activation mechanism. At the start of each turn each leader has a D6 rolled and assigned to them for the turn. The activation deck contains cards with Black 1-6, Red 1-6 and some special cards like end of turn and 'Heroes'. When an activation card is turned, all leaders that have a dice assigned that matches the number on the card can activate there squads. If a squad has become pinned, they only activate on the black number (reducing there combat effectiveness by 50% until they are rallied)
So in any given turn a squad could activate zero, one or two times, however a leader can influence this. In Combat Patrol (like in real life) there is a chain of command and any commander can swap his (or her) activation dice with a subordinate (so long as neither has acted yet), to get that part of there command in to action first.
The rebels move through the first cave of the system pretty much unopposed as the Imperial player frantically redeploys to meet the threat.
The first Stormtroopers appear on the scene and a fierce firefight gets under way.
Doug considers his deployments and objectives. The terrain is all built fromTerra-Former kits. These are precision, laser cut frames that make 12" terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets that align the boards and hold them tightly together. The game board we have put together for this game includes bunker tiles, cave tiles and cliff tiles together with some plain tiles for the outside of the base, some of which have had Sally 4th Trench Formers set inside them.
Rebels mass outside the control room bunker. The 'techs' are aware of this through survailance images and have gone onto 'Overwatch' mode to allow them to react without taking an activation test once the rebels break through the door.
Stormtroopers assigned to guard the rebel prisoners redeploy to take a more active part in defence of the base.
Out in the caverns the rebels become outnumbered.
Princess Leia defeats the Stormtroopers facing her in melee, breaks off and uses an activation to sprint for cover. Running allows you to move double normal movement rate but at the end of the move you take a 'pinned' token to show that you can not act again until you have taken an action to rest and remove the status.
Casualties mount up on the rebel forces. The red 'splat' tokens represent morale tests. Each time a unit comes under effective enemy fire (i.e. takes casualties or would have if cover had not saved them) the leader collects a morale token. When the unit next activates, the first thing it must do is resolve these tests by drawing one card for each token it has collected and apply the results. The results are dependent on morale type of the unit and if they are in cover or in the open.
The rebels break into the HQ / Comms room. The 'Techs' are making good use of the pillars for cover. In Combat Patrol you draw a card to see if you have hit a target, your odds are modified by tactical factors like range to target, have you moved? has target moved? etc, then you identify which figure in the target group has been hit by drawing another card. Now you know who has been hit you can see if the figure is behind cover. If they are and the card turned had the appropriate cover icon on it the round hit the cover rather than the target. The target then takes a stunned marker rather than taking a wound.
The rebels have collected a sizable pile of morale tokens for resolving next time thay activate.
Hans Solo and his hand picked team of freedom fighters have gained control of the prison corridors and are ready to bust the prisoners out.
Stormtroopers have moved forwards to reinforce the 'Techs' in the control room, and have caused some serious damage to the rebels.
Meanwhile back at the prison the rebels demolition charges went of sucessfully and the prisoners join them to fight there way out of the base.
However, things are not looking so good back in the entrance caverns. Princess Leia has been overwhelmed in hand to hand combat and has been taken hostage by Imperial forces.
The same thing has happened to the Rebel General. Maybe not such a bad things seeing the pile of morale tokens he would have needed to resolve on his next activation!
The Rebels objective had been to rescue the prisoners, so technicaly they had won, however the price they paid was heavy with Leia and the Rebel general now prisoners and needing rescuing in some later game.
Doug and I had a great couple of evenings gaming Star Wars Combat Patrol, which provides an excelent set of rules for sci-fi gaming.
If you're interested, click on any of the links below for further details of:
Four weeks to go until Hammerhead 2018 (Saturday 3rd March 2018), so time to start working on the terrain in earnest. Yesterday we put together as many of the pieces that we have to get a first lokk at how the table will look. The key features are the Port of Umbar with it's impossing harbour wall and wooden jetties. Behind the Port is the walled City itself. Key locations in the city are the Sultans Palace, the market place and the arena / slave pits.
At this point most of the structures have been made and just need final painting and detailing.
In this photo we have an archeological dig site standing in for the arena / slave pits. This will be a board set below ground level with a stone wall around it and gateways in each side. The arena is surrounded by stadium seating.
Over the next 4 week's I'm planning to update this page to show progress on the table. I hope that not to much off it gets done the day before the show!
Products we are using include:
Terra-Former tiles, these are 12" square terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them together. These come with different profiles for roads, rivers, canals, cliffs hills etc.
Middle Eastern / North African flat roofed buildings from Sally 4th Outremer Range
3D Printed Harbor Wall
Over the last week, particularly last weekend I have been very busy developing the set of scenery for our Lord of the Rings participation game at Hammerhead on 3rd March 2018.
The main updates for the week have been building the arena pit, the base for the lighthouse at the harbor entrance, adding four additional sea tiles, 3D printing city walls and texturing and base coating 15 North African buildings
This is our new gladiator pit / arena. This was a very straightforward tile to build. We based it on a '2" high standard terra former tile' added a solid base which we covered with PVA glue and sprinkled sand over. The stone walls were made using textured Plasticard. This is a very useful product for cladding MDF structures. We have recently added a 'Builders Yard' section to website that contains Plasticard sheets, roof tiles, doors and windows etc..
All of the Arab / North African buildings have had first stage of painting / texturing applied. Using a tub of ready mixed filler, and my fingers, I smeared filler on to walls to create a bit of an uneven surface and over the corners of the buildings to hide joints. When this had dried, everything was sprayed with a textured spray paint called 'Rust-Oleum' Desret Bisque'. The spray takes a few hours to dry, but has a lovely texture. When it had dried the buildings were drybrused using Sandtex 'Ivory Stone'
The roofs have all been covered with PVA glue and fine aquarium sand has been sprinkled on to texture them. Some of the roofs have had extra details added such as domes, awnings and pottery from the Renedra Mud Brick House Accesories pack.
Here we can see work on the city wall. The wall sections, gateway and redoubt are 3D printed and the large tower to the left is the Renedra Tower kit. The main work for this week is to build a platform to sit the city wall on to raise it to the height of the GW Mighty Fortress so that the wall height matches the ramps on the siege towers.
The photo above shows the rocks and foundations for the lighthouse. The first couple of storys have been 3D printed already, so hopefully will be able to show some more progress next week.
An over view of the harbour, showing the extra sea tiles that I have made this week. The tile on the left has a small rocky island. This is built up on a standard sea tile using cork bark and polystyrene.
This weeks activities have been all about the city walls and the siege equipment that the attackers are going to be using.
All of the walls and redoubts needed to be raised by 30mm so that the ramparts are the same height as the Games Workshop Mighty Fortress and Helms Deep because the Sally 4th Siege Towers are designed to be compatible with them. I made 30mm open boxes out of 3mm MDF and clad them with stone textured Plasticard.
The attackers have a wide range of equipment available to help them over the walls and through the gates, including Siege Towers, Penthouse with Ram, ladders from the hasty assault pack, mantlets, wheeled siege ladders and covered ways. Click here to take a look at the Siege Equipment models.
For several months I have been working on a harbour project. My goal is to make a set of terrain tiles and scenery that can be re-arranged to make a wide range of port or harbour settings across history from the medieval / fantasy period right through to the present day and near future.
The foundation for the terrain is the terrain / battle boards. These are all constructed from Sally 4th Terra-Former kits, which provide a series of components to assemble a sturdy, light weight MDF frame with embedded rare earth magnets to hold all the tiles firmly together as there is nothing worse than boards that drift apart mid game. There are about 40 different kits, all with different profiles to build rivers, streams, hills, cliffs, caves, sewers and much more. For this project I've used Sea Tiles, Canal / Quayside Tiles and Plain Tiles.
I've also used a lot of 3D printed printed components including the harbor walls and many of the boats. The large motor launch with the black and white stripped hull, the blue hulled fishing boat and the jetty are from Z1 Design Precinct 187 range and the harbor walls, towers and redoubt are from 3D Print Terrain's Pirate range.
The plan is also to be able to represent harbours from different areas around the world. This set up is inspired by trips that I've made to ports in Morrocco. The harbor wall is a typical medieval feature, still standing today. I've used some of the Middle Eastern / North African flat roofed buildings from our Outremer range to represent typical North African dwellings.
The miniatures that I'm using are from Crooked Dice and are part of there 7TV range. I've remounted them onto Sally 4th clear perspex bases so that they can stand on the decks of the boats and the wooden and stone jetties without looking like they are dragging half of there back garden around with them.
This little motor boat carrying Bond and Anya the rescue is a free to download 3D print file that I found on Thingiverse.
For further information, click on any of the links below:
Episode 1, First Patrol had not gone so well for 'The Buffinator'.
Buffy and the Scobbies had been on a routine patrol around the dead centre of Sunydale when Luke and his minions had turned up in force, spiriting away a pair of 'innocents' with out as much as a 'by your leave'.
After consulting some boring old books in the libary, Giles comes up with a that there must be some underground tunnels that the Vamps disapeared down, outstanding work, Giles... now let's get on with the 'stake out'
Underneath the Mausoleum in the cemetry is a crypt, and it looks like the wall has been broken through and a tunnel dug behind it.
The tunnel links the crypt in the graveyard with Sunnydales sewer system.... Yuck!
By using the sewers the Sunnydale Vamps can travel all around town without exposing themselves to sun light.
Luke and his minions have a neat little pad to hang out in, an underground cavern thats been connected to the sewers via a secret door.
Luke briefs his gang on tonights mission. "No feeding, you need to bring them back here so that when the planets are aligned we can sacrifice them and collect their blood in the sacred 'Cauldron of Alamazar' in order to perform the ritual to raise 'The Master'.
Plot points for the scenario include a Cop who's investigating missing person’s reports, a mystical pillar, the cauldron, the secret door and the major plot point is the innocents that are going to be sacrificed.
After a short delay due to Christmas and New Year, Lewis & I finally played this scenario last Wednesday (17th January 2018)
We rolled to see which leagues we would play. I got the Scooby Gang and Lewis played Luke and the pointy teethed fiends from hell. We decided to use a slightly modified version of 'Trail of Clues' for this scenario.
Our first clue was the helpful looking lady cop, but we figured that there were bound to be more clues in the cemetery so Buffy & Willow headed off towards the cemetery gates while Giles & Xander went to ask the cop if she had heard anything about people going missing in Sunnydale.
We decided to have a phased deployment for the bad guys. We shuffled the 6 character cards for Luke and his Vamps and drew the first three from the pile. The Vampire Lieutenant a Vampire Minion and a Freshly Sired Vamp. At the start of turns two to four the next card would be turned and the Vamp could be deployed underground or in the cemetery but not within 6" of an opposing character or plot point.
The road and the entrances to the tunnel systems were declared as perilous terrain and the pre-scenario event turned them into extremely perilous areas. Unfortunately Willow, head in books has a near miss on the busy road outside the cemetery gates. She manages to avoid injury, for now.
Giles impresses the cop with his English accent and a touch of Finesse. She tells them that she thought she had heard a noise coming from the locked mausoleum door.
Meanwhile, down in the rat infested sewers; Luke has decided that he needs to aid his minions by reminding them the penalty for failure.
Back in the cemetery Buffy introduces one of Luke’s minions to 'Mr Pointy', "Ouch, did that hurt you?".
The doors to the mausoleum are temporarily free of blood drinking fiends so Ms Rosenberg has a good crack at opening the doors. She does not come to any harm and identifies that it is a fairly simple lock but drops her hairpin before the tumblers fall into line.
The Vampire Lieutenant heads down the secret entrance underneath the well that leads to their lair, and the prisoners.
The steps of the Mausoleum soon become 'Vamp Central'. A Minion lunges for Willow, who normally likes to keep out of the fighting as she is basically 'Harmless', but on this occasion she defends herself with ease, staking the Vamp with her HB pencil. Vamp disappears in a puff of dust. ‘Go Willow!’
Buffy & Xander help out too and soon the Vampires are no more.
The doors are quickly unlocked and our blond headed, stake wielding combat machine heads down into the sewers.
Willow & Xander are delayed by the arrival of another 'Freshly Sired Vampire'
When Xander finally makes it through the crypt to the tunnel, he is startled to see Buffy running in the opposite direction. She's obviously 'got the wiggins', Luke has completely unnerved her and she is running away!
Meanwhile, back in the sewers, Rupert experiences an unexpected wave of bravery and goes hand to fang with Luke, electing to 'deal two and take three' in the smug assurance that he is going to be 'Alright'.... until Luke played 'Misfortune' to cancel it out with equal smugness. “Ouch... that hurt!”
Seeing Buffy run, and hearing Lukes approach, Xander is overcome with 'Intense Fear'
For a moment Willow thinks that she will rush past Luke and head off on her own to rescue the prisoners while Giles keeps Luke occupied.
.... But when Luke’s trusty Lieutenant arrives on the scene it becomes clear that a rescue is not going to happen today.
Buffy and Xander never managed to shake off the 'Horror' effects, and that is what really prevented them from rescuing the prisoners (they were the major plot points), so at the end of the game Willow & Giles had both collected a minor plot point each, but overcome with fear and running away, the major plot point eluded them (again). Better luck next time Buffy. Don’t give up, you are after all the chosen one!
Click on any of the following links for more information.
Rules: The game was played using Pulp Alley, The Game of Extraordinary Action & Adventure.
Terrain: The terrain is built on Terra-Former terrain tiles. These are 12" square tile kits with embedded rare earth magnets to align them and hold them tightly together
Sewers & Lair: These are 3D Printed from designs available fromPrintable Scenery.
Clear Bases: The Miniatures have been remounted onto clear bases from Sally 4th's clear Perspex base range.
Last Sunday, Doug and I had our second game of Frostgrave:Ghost Archipelago. As a change we opted for the Swamp scenario, as we both liked the idea of trying out the small boat rules.
The scenario in the book is set in a swamp with three islands connected by two bridges and covered in ruins. We decided to use some of our existing Terra-Former terrain tiles as we had plenty of sea and coastline tiles. Terra-Formers are 12" square terrain tiles, available with a wide range of profiles such as roads, rivers, streams, beaches and cliffs and with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them together during a game. The island tiles are just constructed on top of plain sea tiles. The Islands are made out of polystyrene and cork bark. I think our island chain is probably off shore, maybe in a bay as there is a bit more off a swell to the water than in a swamp!
All five treasure tokens are placed on the islands, following the normal rules for treasure placement and each is protected by a Swamp Zombie. Swamp Zombies are not very tough and you get 5 bonus victory points for each one you kill, so archers were positioned in the prow and did there best to take some down as the boats approached the island.
The shark did not feature in the scenario, but is part of the Frostgrave range and looks so good that I could nor resist having it set up on the table for decoration!
The scenario allowed each side to add up to three boats to there roster for free. Doug and I both opted to take two boats, and we both had either a warden and four crew or the heritor and four crew in each boat.
My warden and two crew jump ashore and head for the treasure token while the other two crewmen look after the boat. The rules give a movement for the boat plus an extra 2" for each figure in the boat. We decided that a figure could only give that bonus if they did nothing else that turn to represent them rowing.
This swamp zombie proved to be annoyingly tough and being placed by Doug on the bridge really held my side up.
Dougs side beaches both boats and storms ashore, heading for the treasure. Both our wardens used 'Earth Wave' to good effect to move treasure into more advantagous positions.
Another interesting scenario rule was that when you rolled low for initiative you got to place a swamp zombie on the table. I placed the zombies that I had spawned in this way around Dougs beached boats
Doug's Heritor is in the corner of the ruins, we were eager to get to grips with him but once we had dispatched the swamp zombie, Doug sent a crewman to take his place. At this point my team has already got some loot in the boats and I was considering the merits of having my warden jump into the boat as it passed under the bridge. Unfortunately before she could do this she was cruely taken down by an expertly aimed shot from one of Dougs archers.
At the end of the game, I had won just as I had claimed the major treasure and two minor treasures and we were about equal on scenario special points for killing zombies and visiting Islands, although the victory was at a heavy cost as my Warden had been taken out, hopefully she will make a full recovery before the next game!
I designed the footbridges last weekend to use in this scenario, and we have now added them to our web site, you can take a further look by clicking here; Footbridge Kits
For further information, follow the links below:
Last night at the club we continued our D&D campaign
I have been working for the last month or so on a large round keep that will fit in with my Terra-Former terrain tiles.
The keep is made from 3D printed components from Printable Scenery Rampage Dungeon and Rampage Castle range.. These are all interchangable pieces that clip together, so the plan is to develop the tower into at least a four story tower.
For now it is a ruin, with just the ground floor and cellar level intact and a ruined first story.
The game board that we played on consisted of six of the Sally 4th Terra-Former tiles, two road tiles, two stream tiles, two plain tiles. One of the plain tiles has been modified, to hold the basement of the tower. Each tiles is 12" square and 2" high with rare earth magnets in each side to hold the boards closely togethe, align them and stop 'in game drift'. Terra-Formers are supplied in kit form. They are easily glued together, filled with polystyrene and then painted, textured or flocked. Click here for further details.
Two guards armed with crossbows were stationed as lookouts on the ruined first floor level. They spotted Bill, the half orc babarian as he charged across the open killing field towards the door.
The ground floor of the tower contained an entrance hall with two ruffians on guard, the evil cleric Malzhars study and bedroom together with the keeps kitchen. A spiral staircase led down to the cellar and up to the ruined first floor.
Malzar does not like to be disturbed when he is working. Luckily for the party he left his minions to deal with the minor irritation of visitors.
Another ruffian keeps an eye on the hog roast.
In the entrance hall, two ruffians stand guard. Malzar does not like to be disturbed. Bill the barbarian charged the door, broke through surprising the guards. Eventually he was overwhelmed and died from his wounds. Luckily the cleric reached him in time to 'spare the dying' and it looks like Bill will live another day.
Malzar has lots of books in his study and a ruffian to do his bidding.
Under the tower are some cellars. This is a Terra-Former plain tile that has had some Rampage walls set into the polystyrene. Terra-Formers are 2" high and so are the Rampage Walls. The base of the Terra-Former tile is 3mm thick so it was an easy modification to take 3mm off the bottom of the wall and floor tiles before printing them out so the finished size was compatable.
Only the outer walls were glued in place. The floor tiles and interior walls are removable so that different room layouts can be made.
A secret door leads from the tower's cellars to a small dungeon.
The dungeon area contains a store room, living accomodation for some Gnolls in Malzards service and a couple of prison cells, currently occupied by the merchants from the caravan that the Gnolls had recently hijacked.
The tower and dungeon tiles have been painted by spray priming with Army Painter Black Spray, before havily drybrushing with Storm Grey matt household emulsion. Individual flags and stones were then painted using Sandtex Mid Stone. When dry everything was drybrushed with Sandtex Ash Green before a liberal coating of Army Painter Quick Tone was brushed on followed by a final spray with Army Painter Matt Varnish.
Miniatures have been rebased onto Sally 4th Clear Bases.
For further details click links.
Gnolls - built from Frostgrave Plastic Gnolls kit
Terra-Formers - kits to build 12" magnetised terrain tiles
Last Monday Doug and I had a first game of Ghost Archipelago.
Both Doug and I had played Frostgrave in the past and had really enjoyed it, so we had been looking forward to trying out this new campaign set in warmer climes. We played on a 3' x 3' gaming area made up of nineSally 4th Terra-Former 12" square terrain tiles. For this game we went with a fairly straightforward set up with 3 beach tiles and six plain tiles. Terra-Former are supplied as kits which are easy to put together, robust and feature rare earth magnets in every side to hold them firmly together and prevent drifting during play.
As this was a first try out of the rules we rolled up our Heritors abilities on the random generation table. First thoughts were that the skills were not as powerful as Wizards in standard Frostgrave, but maybe this is not such a bad thing!
The Frostgrave Plastic Crew box set was a lot of fun to put together. I used one of the metal heritor miniatures, but made the second from plastic parts using a body from the barbarian set with armor and a cloak combind with the eastern head dress and sword option from the crew box.
I used the new Female Earth Warden as my groups Warden and a standard Frostgrave Apprentice Elementalist for Doug's Warden.
We played the 'standard' pick up scenario. Placing an objective token in the centre of the table and then each placing two additional tokens. We played the optional wandering monster rule, where when you recover a treasure you roll a D20 and on a 15+ you get a random encounter. The encounters that we rolled included a Monarch Saurian, Blood Bats and a group of Gorrilas. Rather than carrying a big collection of miniatures around, before the game I'd rolled on the tables for 6 encounters and just packed the miniatures for them. When needed, we rolled a D6 against this collection to see what the actual encounter was.
The first encounter rolled was the Monarch Saurian, probably the most dangerous encounter in Ghost Archipelago. It's presence made us very anxious and certainly influenced movement options. However due to terrain placment it never got a line of sight on a miniature and wandered about harmlesly. WHich is more than could be said of the Gorillas, nut we will get to them later!
Here, one of my crewmen has claimed an objective. Unfortunately I had not read the rules in enough detail before diving in and assembling and painting miniatures. In your group you will normally have 10 miniatures. The heritor and warden and eight crew. Four of the crew can be specialists, at least four have to be standard crew. The standard crew can be equiped with hand weapon, hand weapon and shield or two handed weapon. My though when assembling my miniatures was why would you not take a shield and get that +1 boost to your armor, after all, it's a very dangerous world out there. As a consequence I built two crew with hand weapon and shield and two with two handed weapon for each group. This was a mistake as it is only figures carrying only a hand weapon and no shield whose movement is not halved when they are carrying treasure. That makes the standard sword armed crewman very handy.
The way the crew talked about it afterwards you would have thought they had been attacked by a flying dinosaur! I had not painted any blood bats yet, so this is standing in as a proxie. It slowed my crew down, but when a second crew mate stepped in to help out, it was soon seen off.
The group of Gorrilas were a tougher proposistion. I underestimated there strength. At this point one of my standard crewmen who was trying to exit the board with some treasure is attacked by the brutish pair. He did not live to tell the tale.
My Heritor stepped in to help him out but she is also taken down by them. The last crewman manages to disengage and make a bid for freedom.
When it was time to call it a night we had not quiet got the treasure off the table, because everyone was encumbered and could only move at a maximum of 4 1/2" a turn (using both actions for movement), however we judged that given another turn I'd have recovered 3 and Doug 2, but at the loss of my Heritor, so we settled for the reult being a very close run thing, a lot of fun and worthy of lots more gaming time.
Last Monday evening Doug and I settled down to another fine game of Congo. Congo is a miniatures game that features small groups of individually based miniatures, called 'columns'. Figures are arranged into units of 3-5 figures and the scenarios are a refreshing change from the deploy on one side of the table and advance to contact variety.
This was the third game of Congo that Doug and I had enjoyed so we decided to play 'Escalation Along the Nziari'. As you can see from the photographs, a wide river dominates the centre of the table with patches of 'high dangerous' and 'impasable' terrain along either bank. We decided to put the table top terrain together using Sally 4th Terra-Former tiles. These are 12" square terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them securely together, strong MDF sides with a wide range of terrain profiles including the featured river. We used 12 to form a 3' x 4' playing area.
Both sides in this game used the 'White Men Expedition' army list and we settled for 70 points. My column 'The Smut Expedition' was led by Major Smut who had served with 'The Legion' and accompanied my group of Soldiers, Mrs Smut, an 'Explorer' joined a group of Askaris and the three Smut girls formed a group of 'Adventurers' who were accompanied by a native bearer. Another group of trained Askaris and a group of Scouts brought us up to 70 points.
Three objectives, (we used packing crates) were placed in the river.
The objective on my left flank was fiercely contested. My brave Askaris waded, waist deep into the crocodile infested Nziari to seize the crate.
However after softening up my bearers with fire from his Askaris, Doug sent his 'Young Warriors' in to melee my troops, mid river. The Warriors from Dougs 'Banks Expedition' won the fight and my Askaris were forced to retreat leaving the crate behind.
The Young Warriors from the Banks Expedition carry the loot towards the table edge to claim the victory points.
I hope to catch them up and seize it back but my Askaris pause mid river and are savagely attacked by a group of lurking crocodiles. If a group starts the turn in the river a D6 is rolled to see what happens. 1-3 nothing, 4 you draw a stress token, 5 you get attacked by a single crocodile and on a 6 you get attacked by a group of crocodiles.
Typical of my luck that night, the 6 that I rolled on the encounter table was about my only high roll of the game. My brave Askaris, who had already been reduced to just two, were attacked by a whole group of crocodiles who got to roll 4D8 for melee. They won by two, meaning I took two casualties, wiping out the Askari unit.
We did not fare much better on the right flank either. Here a group of Askaris from the Banks Expedition recover a crate after wiping out my unit of Soldiers who were contesting it.
Doug won this game very convincingly. It was a lot of fun. We have just ordered the new scenario book for Congo, 'Congo Mungo Mah Lobeh' based on the fantastic exploits of Miss Mary Kingsley.
We need to paint up some extra African wildlife including an elephant, hippo, leopard and some hyenas to be able to play the scenarios. Sally 4th have put together a couple of special offer bundles including models for these animals.
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