This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Last week I got my paint brush busy on some new conversions to use in the Burrows & Badgers campaign that Ann and I are playing. We've only had one game so far, but it was a lot of fun and I ended up capturing one of Rufus' Roughcoats, a 'not so cunning Fox called Centus. I'm figuring that with the loot from the battle plus the ransom money, I might be able to recruit another critter to my warband. WIth this batch of painting and converting I wanted to include some good cheap troops together with a couple of weapons that I have not got represented in my collection yet, such at the 'Caliver' (basically an early musket) and the crossbow.
I've also painted a rather nice coaching Inn, 'The One Eyed Rat' (named after a great little pub in Ripon). This is a piece of 3D printed terrain, which is going to form the center piece of our next Burrows and Badgers encounter.
Orlando the Otter started life as a Wargames Foundry metal casting, I think he was a free promotional model at one time. I found a couple of copies in my bits box so decided to convert one into an Otter using a 'Otter in Conical Helm Critter Conversion Kit.
I've just costed Melwarda as a basic soldier with a hand weapon, but I think that she could be destined for greater things, maybe serving as a magic user when funds allow it. She started life as a metal Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago Vine Warden, before being transformed with a bare headed cat critter conversion kit.
Jerimah is also earmarked to be a mage at some point. He is a Frostgrave Beast Master Mage, so already anthropomorphic. The only conversion here was to add a tail from a cat conversion pack. ALbedo miniatures have a socket for accepting a tail component. When I'm doing a converion though, I always drill a small hole where the tail is going to join with my Dremmel craft drill.
Heather is the first of a batch of female miniatures that I have made by converting the miniatures in the excellent Frostgrave Female Soldiers box set.
On Monday, Ann & I finally got round to starting our Burrows & Badgers campaign. This was our very first try out of the rules, but the campaign aspect of the game looked so great that we wanted to get stuck into it straight away. As it was our first game, we decided to try to keep it simple, so we played the 'Open Battle' scenario, and both just rolled for a single secondary objective. Coincidentally, we both rolled 'Showdown' which means extra experience for wounding or killing enemy leader with your own leader. Neither of us managed to pull it off though. We set up a 3' square playing area using some 1'x1', 1'x2', and 2'x2' Terra-Former terrain tiles. The battlefield featured a stream flowing from a rock pool / waterfall which had a number of fords and a lattive work bridge across it, together with a wooded area and a rocky depression. The tower is our dice tower and is not actually on the terrain board!
My Warband is the Royalist - Long March Patrol led by Sur Davros du Long March. You can check out the full details of the warband on an earlier hobby blog by clicking here.. As both forces were Warband Rating 40 with 5 models each we rolled off to see who choose sides. Ann won and chose the forested edge. I won the roll off to see who was attacker, so I got to move first. The Long March Patrol deploys using the lattice bridge and the nearby ford.
Ann decided to deploy Rufus' Roughcoats in an extended line in the forest. The Roughcoats are a spiffing bunch of likable 'Rogues' led by Ruffus (a well tooled up cat, sporting heavy armor and shield and skilled in the 'Killing Blow'). You can see there character cards in an earlier hobby blog by clicking here.
The encounter opened with some long range missile fire. The Roughcoats archer, Darley was first to open fire with him bow. Ann checks the range carefully, 17", that will do nicely!
Tantotalos, the otter is by archer. In first turn I decided to have him swim up stream (mainly because he's an otter and therfore can swim) to get into position behind the big boulders top left in photo.
Sur Davros, Hector the hound and Frances the fox advance cautiously round the edge of the dark forest.
It's not long before a scuffle breaks out when Sur Davros is charged by Ramus wielding a huge two handed war hammer, it looks like the fight is going Ramus' way, until Frances, leaps over the rickety fence and stands shoulder to shoulder with his liege lord.
Before long the scrap has escalated to a major melee with flailing steel and claws everywhere. The Ruffian Centus and the Royalist Hector get stuck into the action.
Combat in Burrows and Badgers is handled well, Characters have different dice (D4, D6, D8 etc.) for abilities. When you attack you roll your strike dice vs. your opponents block dice. There are a few, very intuitive modifiers (you get a bonus to strike if you charged 2" or more and you get a negative modifier to block if you are in base contact with multiple opponents). If you beat your opponent, the amount you beat them by modified by your strength and your opponents armour is the amount of damage you do. However, what makes it exciting is that if you roll a perfect roll, i.e. a 6 on a D6, a 8 on a D8, for example you get to add 7 to your dice score, which makes a big difference and represents that lucky, critical hit. At this point in the game Rammus the second in command or the Roughcoats has gone down as has Red Claw the second in Command of the March Patrol.
The game concluded with high drama. Sur Davros had been in the thick of the melee from the start, Centus had landed a perfect blow on him that had reduced him to 1 wound, he had somehow managed to withdraw from the melle and was rushing for cover of the rocks as fast as you can with 5 wounds. He did not make it as Darley the Roughcoats archer struck him down mid-flight with a lucky arrow shot.
In the previous turn, Centus had also fallen in the melee, meaning that both sides were now at 2 casualties per side, however the end came quickly, Tanotalos retaliated to the shot that had brought Sur Davros down with a well aimed volley that felled Darley. As the Roughnecks had 3 casualties at the end of the turn (above 50%) they had to take a rout test, which they failed, leaving the field to the 'March Patrol'.
This was a great game, I love the rules and we are looking forward to the next game in the campaign. The game was part of the campaign, so what was the impact of our first game?
The Royalist won so they got to roll 4D6 for pennies and 1 D4 for materials, gaining 18 pennies and 2 materials, however all of the characters that went down failed to avoid injury so Sur Davros suffered a head injury that throws him into violent rages (Beserk ability) and Red Claw suffered an arm injury so can now only use a single handed weapon.
The Rogues got to roll 2D6 for pennies and gained 12! All characters that went down failed rolls to avoid consequences so Darley picked up a leg injury, Rammus a hamstring injury and poor old Centus was taken captive.
In this game, victory comes at a cost. It reminds me of a quote from Waterloo,'the only sight sader than a battle won is a battle lost'.
The miniatures that we used are conversions using plastic bodies from Frostgrave, Perry Miniatures, Saga Plastics and Fireforge that we had left in our bits box from earlier projects, combined with Albedo Miniatures Critter Conversion Kits (metal heads and tails for converting miniatures to anthropomorphic versions).
The terrain boards are all made from Sally 4th Terra-Former kits, landscaped with scatter materials from Lukes Apps / Geek Gaming.
The Long March Patrol led by Sur Davros du Long March
Inspired by much listening to Redwall Abbey tales as audible books, Ann and I are getting ready for the start of our Burrows and Badgers campaign
Ann has choosen a Royalist Warband,'The Long March Patrol' led by Sur Davros du Long March himself (he's the hound with the very large two handed sword). The warband contains two hounds, two otters and a fox.
This is their starting Warband record sheet, Ann's choosen a Ruined Farm as their Den, giving the Patrol free upkeep between missions from the farms orchards and gardens.. The first den upgrade is a smithy, this comes for free and will come into operation after the first game. After equiping the warband the coffers are pretty low, with just 3 pennies left over, hopefully they will have a profitable first adventure.
Sur Davros leads this proud patrol, he certainly knows how to wield that huge two handed sword, sporting a very respectable D10 strike dice, although his block has room for improvement although he has learnt a few defensive tricks and as a melee master is not going to suffer a penalty to his block for being outnumbered.
The Long March Patrol's second in command is a feisty otter by the name of Red Claw. He has benefited from some training while in Royalist service to bring his Strike ability up to D10 and as a otter adds +1 to damage and can swim.
Tanottalos, an otter equipped with a bow and sword and sporting a set of leather armor provides the patrol with some long range firepower.
Hector the hound is pretty adept with a spear and also wears a well worn set on leather armor. He to has benefited from some training in the Royalst barracks to bring his Strike skill up to D10.
The last member of the patrol is a cunning fox, Frances Downer, who wears leather armor and wields a long sword.
We're big fans of character / unit cards rather than roster sheets, so we've designed these cards and made one up for each anthropomorphic figure in our collection. As well as being a handy in game reference, you can flip the card over when a character has activated so that you can easily see who is still to activate and it helps with warband selection as you can pass someone a stack of cards from which they can keep choosing until they get to 350 pennies (or whatever limit has been set).
All of the figures are conversions. I've used left over plastic bodies and arms from my bits box from Frostgrave, Fireforge, Saga, Perry Miniatures together with Albedo Critter Conversion Kits. These are metal cast sets of heads and tails to enable any miniature to be converted to an anthropomorphic version. The miniatures have all been based on Sally 4th Clear Perspex bases which allow the figures to blend in with what ever terrain they are standing on.
We've stocked Burrows and Badgers ever since it was first published and I can remember when it first came in having a flick through it, admiring the photographs and line drawings and thinking that it would be a great game to play. However, 2018 was a pretty mad year at work with the release of our own anthropomorphic sci-fi game ACP164, so I did not get round to trying it out, but over the last few months we have had gamers email us saying how great our 'Critter Conversion Kits' (animal heads and tails) would be for converting miniatures for Redwall Abbey style games. To be honest at that point I had not heard of Redwall Abbey, so thought we had best check it out. We purchased, downloaded and listened to 'Redwall Abbey' and 'Murial of Redwall' and really enjoyed the stories, and resolved to start a B&B campaign in 2019.
Our first game is scheduled for Friday afternoon, so Ann & I have both created warbands in preperation. My warband is led by a cat called Rufus and they are Rogues based in a Ruined Farmhouse.
I'm a big fan of character cards rather than roster sheets as it enables me to flip them over once a character has activated so that I don't miss any one out in the heat of battle.
I'm not sure if I've picked an optimum warband or not, as I have just choosen characters that I have already in my collection that I like the look off. All the models are based on plastic parts from my bits box from Frostgrave, Fireforge, Perry Miniatures together with Albedo Critter Conversion Kits to turn them into anthropomorphic characters.
Ruffus is the leader of the warband so he has been given an upgrade to his Strike skill plus the Killing blow skill.
Rammus is the second in command. He has taken the Weaponskill ability that boosts his Strike & Block skills, and has a boost to his concealment from the warband being 'Rogues'
Rammus has his concealment boosted from the leagues 'Rogue' benefits.
The first game scheduled for Ruffus is Friday (18th January) so check back next week to find out how they have got on!