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 Friday Doug, Nick, John & I got together for another exciting game of Pulp Alley. Although we all had 'Western' leagues as we are in the middle of playing Vice Alley in an Old West setting as I had recently added a new add on set to our Exotic Location Terra-Former range we decided to base the scenario, around that. The new set is a stage which can be used to extend 'Ricks Palce by 30cm x 40cm adding a stage, wings and a backstage area with dressing rooms, storage and rest rooms. We decided that for the sake of the campaign the scenario would be set across the border in Mexico! The Stage and the other Exotic Location Terrain is curruntly available at a pre-order discount on KickStarter, click here for details.
The scenario that we played was 'The Serpents Eye'. This was a scenario that DAve Phipps had written several years ago for Wargames Illustrated that featured our Exotic Location scenery. If you missed it in Wargames Illustrated, you can down load the PDF for the scenario by clicking on the link below.
The scenario involves leagues searching for a recently stolen relic. The police are also searching for it, which adds a great complication. In the photo above, the policeman represents the police searching and interviewing witnesses. All characters had to set up within 12" of the police marker and any characters that are 'Wanted' treat an area with a 6" radius of the policeman as 'perilous'. A character became wanted if they shot or brawled and either they or their target was within 6" of the policeman, or if they were unlucky with their draw from the rewards stack!
Four NPC characters were set up around the board as plot point clues. These were 'The Fat Man', 'The American', 'The Inspector' and the 'Rat'. Each character had a specefic plot point challenge associated with them. If this was passed a potential 'Thief' was placed on the table. This was the major plot point. Resolving this gave you a chance to draw from the Rewards stack which contained a 'Red Herring' card that relocated the thief, a 'Framed' card that made your character wanted, and a reward card that represented recovering the relic..
The game was very much a 'game of two halves'. The first half of the game saw our leagues that were deployed as individuals across the whole table making a bee line to the witnesses to either talk to them or intefere with other polayers characters talking to them.
In the photo above, some information has been gained and the character in the white jacket has been placed as a potential 'thief marker'. You can also see a snake under the arch, to make things even more interesting, each player got to place a perilous area at the start of the game.
The presence of the police search area did not keep the piece for very long. The interior of 'Ricks Place' soon became a 'Free Fire Zone'. Doug had anticipated this right from the start and had positioned a couple of guys with rifles in the prime position behind the bar.
This was the turning point in the game. Johns Sidekick has a run of great luck and easily passes the peril and plot challenge and drew the relic card.
The second half of the game became very shooty. Initially all guns were trained on the character that had recovered the relic. He did not las so long and the relic marker was dropped. Not surprisingly, characters were a little hesitant about picking it up and becoming the next target.
In the end the game was a draw, due to where the plot point had been dropped and the position of the other leagues picking it up and surviving was just not going to happen!
However the game was a lot of fun, and all the leagues benefited by gaining a resource point and a reputation point.
The new Exotic Location stage is available to pre-order together with all of the other Exotic Location terrain, furniture and miniatures via our mini'That's Entertainment' at a pre-order discount until 6th December. Click here to take a look.
Perilous Dark is a new supplement for Frostgrave that introduces rules for and scenarios using Solo and Co-operative play modes.
In this video we look at an overview of the contents of the Perilous Dark Frostgrave supplement and then play through the first scenario: Writhing Fumes.
As the supplement has only just been released, and the new miniatures are not yet available, I have used some proxies from my existing collection. The scenario features a pair of Ballista II Constructs which I have represented with some old MageKnight miniatures and lots and lots of large and small vapour snakes which I have used various snake and snake like creatures as stand ins including D&D Naga, the giant snake from Conan boardgame and lots of snakes from Great Escape Games Dead Man’s Hand range.
The scenario calls for a 2.5’ square game board. As all my modular terrain boards are built on Sally 4th 1’ square Terra-Former Tiles, I played on a 2’ x 3’ playing area, which seemed to work OK.
My warband is anthropomorphic. The miniatures are converted from Frostgrave plastic Parts (apart from the Crossbowman who is a metal Wargames Foundry casting) using ‘Critter Conversion Kits’ from the Albedo ACP164 range. The miniatures are based on 25mm clear Perspex bases.
This week I have started working on a new Hobbit Hole model.
The Hobbit Hole will be set into a 1' square Terra-Former corner hill modular terrain tile, although the same technique can be used to set into a piece of polystyrene for a free standing model.
The first thing that I did after assembling the Terra-Former modular tile kit was to shape a piece of 2" deep ploystyrene into a hill shape. This was very easy using a cheap £1 utility knife using the hillside profile of the tile as a shaping guide.
The Hobbit Hole kit is easily assembled using PVA wood glue from the 2mm and 3mm MDF components in the kit.
Once the glue had dried, I drew around it, cut out an indentation and used its profile to shape the hill around it.
Here is another Hobbit Hole kit that I made and fitted into a straight hill section a couple of years ago.
I've used it as a handy terrain feature within a 2' square games table for the Battle Companies variant of Games Workshops Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.
My plan over the next couple of weeks is to finish off the two Hobbit Holes to match the landscaping that I have done around this model Inn that I have made for my Blackstone Heath fantasy village project. The two Hobbit Hole tiles are going to go to the left hand side of the Inn to make an annex for Hobbit travelers, like the Prancing Pony in Bree as described in the Fellowship of the Ring.
I've made a couple of YouTube videos about my Blackstone Heath Fantasy Village build. I've included a link in the link section below:
Over the last few months we have had the opportunity to participate in playtesting of Feudal Patrol. This is a ruleset, currently in development with a planned release date of March/April 2020. The rules are written by Buck Surdu retired US Army Colonel and prolific rules author whose works include Gaslight, Combat Patrol and the Look Sarge No Charts range. Feudal Patrol covers historical periods dominated by melee, so from iron age up to around 1500, plus swords and sorcery fantasy genres. The system is great for small unit actions such as raids, ambushes, escalades etc. Figures are based on single bases. Units are typically made up of between 4 and 6 figures, although it is also possible, as in this game to treat each miniature as a unit in its own right.
Last week, my son Lewis came over from university for a couple of days and we got some terrain and miniatures out to play another game of Feudal Patrol using the excellent set of scenarios that were published for the medieval skirmish board game, Cry Havoc. The scenario that we choose was 'Foraging Party'.
Foraging Party represents an army living off the land, foraging for supplies for men and horses. The horses particularly, require a significant volume of stores to keep them in fighting condition. Sir Richards forces are feeding their horses while he attempts to protect them from Sir Williams force who are intent on stealing the horses and making away with them.
Sir Richards force consists off Sir Richard (a superior knight), a standard knight, 6 peasant horse holders with horses and six spearmen led by a Sergeant. The raiders led by Sir William consists of two superior knights and four standard knights (all mounted). In Feudal Patrol figures are rated for Guts (morale), Accuracy (ranged combat), Melee (hand to hand combat ability), Endurance and Reaction. There are three categories for Guts; Elite, Regular & Green. Accuracy and Melee values range from 1-9 with lower numbers being better. We defined the units for this game as follows:
Superior Knights: Elite, Melee 2, 1 point or armour all over, armed with lance, sword and shield.
Knights: Elite, Melee 3, 1 point or armour all over, armed with lance, sword and shield.
Sergeant: Regular, Melee 4, 1 point of armour head, chest & abdomen, armed with sword and shield.
Spearmen: Regular, Melee 5, 1 point of armour head, chest & abdomen, armed with spear and shield.
Peasants / Horse Holders: Green, Melee 6, Unarmoured, armed with club
Victory Points were awarded:
Each horse captured: 10 points
Each horse killed: 5 points
Each enemy knight killed: 15 points
Each peasant killed: 1 point
Other enemy killed: 4 points
Each attackers horse killed or captured: 10 points
Each enemy knight killed: 15 points
Lewis played the Foragers and set up the horses and horse holders in and around the Inns courtyard and gardens.
The attackers deployed onto the table, from a chosen table edge as they were activated. In Feudal Patrol, at the start of each turn, an activation dice is rolled for each unit. An activation deck is uses that has two sets of numbered cards 1-6 in black and red and an end of turn card. When an activation card is turned, all the units who share that activation number get to move, so depending where the end of turn is, units will activate 0, 1 or 2 times. If a unit gets pinned, through a morale result or being out of command, it only gets to activate on the black numbers, reducing its effectiveness by 50%.
My attackers went for a two-pronged assault. Half made their way around the side of the building and through the kitchen garden to get to the courtyard, with the intent of stealing some horses before they could be moved off table, while the rest of my force charged down the main road to engage the covering force.
Seeing events unfold, Sir Richard rearranged his defenders to form a solid wall across the road.
Lewis decided from the start, that the best way to ensure victory was to save the horses. As a scenario rule, a unit on foot can use its activation to add a horse or mule to a train. This is what he is doing now to free up some horse holders to assist with the defence.
Sir Jacques, the other knight in the foragers force organises the defence of the courtyard to buy time for the horses to be withdrawn.
Here we see the first of the foragers horses making it to the safety of the tables edge.
…while the main raiding force still has a way to go to make contact with the defenders.
First blood goes to the raiders, with Sir John incapacitating Sir Jaques for 15 victory points.
Sir William takes a diversion to attempt to engage the defenders in the flank.
Here’s an overview of the whole gaming table. Terrain construction is covered in my Blackstone Heath series of articles and videos.Click here to take a look. The scenery is built on 1' and 2' square terra-former modular terrain tiles. The buildings are 3D printed. Full details of what has been used and where to get it from in the Blackstone Heath article, linked above.
Sir William and Sir Richard fight with chivalry. Eventually Sir Richard prevails, and Sir William is incapacitated.
The foragers manage to get the rest off there horses off table...
While the defenders fight a brave rear guard action.
At the end of the game, the foragers had well and truly won having incapacitated 3 enemy knights for 45 victory points, while the raiders had not managed to steal any horses and had only collected 20 victory points for incapacitating one knight, one spearmen and a peasant. So well done Lewis. In hindsight, I would have done a lot better if I had deployed from the opposite table edge, as I had to far to move and it was too easy for the foragers to exit their horses.
However, the game was a lot of fun, the scenario was a lot more fun than a line up and advance to contact game and I would certainly play the scenario again and hope to do better by learning from the experience.
The miniatures are mainly from 1st Corp and have been mounted onto Sally 4th clear Perspex bases.
Click here for Blackstone Heath articles and videos about building this gaming table.
Over the last couple of months Mark, Nik, Jon, Richard and myself have been busy putting the finishing touches on the miniatures, vehicles, buildings and rules for the Whiteout Arctic Kickstarter project.
This post will be updated over the coming weeks as we get all of the models cast and painted.
Update 21st November
Jon has just sent me photos of the last packs of new White Out, Classic Movie Miniatures this morning.
All figures sculpted by Mark Fuller and painted by Jon Atter.
USAF Arctic - Inspired by the 1950's version of 'The Thing'
US Marines Arctic Pack 2 - Inspired by Ice Station Zebra
Soviet Paras Arctic Pack 2 - Inspired by Ice Station Zebra
The other breaking news is that if you missed out on the Kickstarter, for this stuff you will get a second opportunity very soon.
We will be running a mini one week Kickstarter from 29th November, titled 'Thats Entertainment' This is based around a couple of packs of entertainers, one with a snowy and seasonal link.
We will also be making all the existing Classic Movie range, including 'White Out' available as part of the campaign for shipping in Febuary.
Update 18th November
Over the weekend I have been working on 8 additional terrain boards for upcoming photo shoot for the White Out rulebook, these have been four crevase boards, three plain boards and a mysterious hole in the snow board!
I've just put the snow texture on them and they are outside drying, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to take some snaps of the recently cast Arctic wildlife. Photos are taken on my phone, outside as I was trying to catch the feel of long arctic shadows.
A scientist taking meterological readings next to the mysterious hole in the ice is surprised by a pack of Arctic Wolves looking for scooby snacks.
Wolves take an interest in the campsite. I love the animation Mark has got in the wolf pack, especially the wolf that is landing on front legs and the other that is leaping off it's hind legs.
Close encounters of the bear kind!
Scientist check out the crashed sattelite camera while keeping a wary eye on the wildlife... she looks friendly ehough!
Dont step back! Scientist, Walrus and Crevase.... what could go wrong!
I'd been amazed at the size of the sculpt, when I'd first seen it, however since discovered that an adult Walrus can grow up to 12' and weigh 2,000 Kg!
Update 1st November
Snow Patrol, Ice Station Characters, Soviet Paras - Sculpted by Mark Fuller, Painted by Jon Atter in front of Conning Tower designed by Sally 4th with accesories from Nik at N-FX
The Scientists and Explorers hauling sledges - sculpted by Mark Fuller, painted by Jon Atter in front of Expedition dome tent and crashed spy camera sculpted by Nik @ N-FX
1950's and 1980's scary 'Things' sculpted by Mark Fuller, painted by Jon Atter in front of alien spaceship fin sculpted by Nik @ N-FX
This is for a size comparison. The Thing is a towering brute holding his last meal (husky dog) in one hand and a length of 2"x4" in the other. He is standing next to a 28mm figure for comparison. As the original film is black and white, I was not sure how to paint him so I went for green skin as he is of vegetable extraction!
These five items have been designed for use with Pulp Alley or similar plot driven miniatures games. They represent the pivotal moments or clues in the storyline of 'The Thing'
The plot points are The fin of the crashed alien ship. Reporters camera on oil drum, alien plants being fed with blood plasma, radio desk, and block of ice (containing The Thing) on a sledge.
Here we see the 'inside' plot points in a building together with the model of 'The Thing' and a standard size 28mm miniature for comparison.
3D printing is becoming more and more popular in the miniatures gaming world and the amount of 3D designs that are available either for free through services like Thingiverse or through Kickstarters and Patron schemes is astounding. I have been 3D printing scenery for gaming for many years, my latest project is Blackstone Heath which involves combining 3D printed buildings and accessories with Terra-Former modular terrain boards. I have printed all of this myself using an extruded plastic 3D printer. However, I also have a lot of files for 3D miniatures and they do not print very well on an extruded plastic printer as you can see the lines for each level. Miniatures and small detailed pieces print far better on a resin based 3D printer. I don't have one of those, and a figure that there must be other gamers who do not have one, so I've set this service up so that we can take our 3D files and get them quickly and easily printed and posted out to us. A 28mm foot figure tends to cost around £2.50 - £3.50 to be printed from grey resin. I have tried the service myself and have been very pleased with the results.
How to get a 3D Miniature Printed
Click on 'Upload New 3D File'. You need to have fist brough the 3D file or downloaded a free file from a website such as Thingiverse
Select the file that you would like to print from your computer or other device.
Your model will be loaded into the 3D preview part of the tool, where it can be turned and resized using your mouse (or other pointing device) to confirm that it is ready for printing.
Select the type of material that you would like your model to be printed with. I always use Resin for miniatures and PLA for buildings and terrain.
Select the colour you would like. I'm a bit boring, I always choose grey, figuring that I am going to undercoat and paint the model, however their is always a choice depending on the material that you have choosen. I do keep thinking it would be good to print a Halfling wearing a ring or a telephone box using clear resin at some point!
When you are happy with your selection, click 'Add to Cart' You can see your model added to the list of models within the order.
Click the big green 'Upload New 3D file' to start the process again to add additional models to your order.
When you have added all the models that you want to be printed, click 'Checkout' and add your name, address and payment details and then sit back and wait for your new miniatures to arrive. Obviously the figures are printed to order, just for you and the turn around is about 10 days. You can go back to the tool to check the status of your orders.
Here's some photos of some 28mm miniatures that I have had printed in grey resin using this service.
Over on Lead Adventuers Forum, I came across a great new project that I am very, very tempted by. 'The Lazy Forger' has put together a whole range of medieval miniatures for building 6mm or 10mm armies as 3D print files.
The set includes infantry armed with full range of melee weapons for the period, spears, swords, pikes etc, missile troops with bows and cross bows, various types of cavalry plus siege equipment and terrain including a lovely burnt out church. The complete deal is $34.99 / £27.92 and that includes pretty much everything you need to build two armies and some terrain for medieval gaming in 6mm or 10mm scale.
Once you've got your files, you then need to print them out. I've still only got an extruded plastic printer, and I want to have the extra detail of resin prints so I am going to use our 3D printing bureau service.
I've just checked that it all works with these files and that it come out as a reasonable price. I loaded up the siege mantlets and found that it worked perfectly and that I could get the set of 4 printed in resin for 28p.
On that basis, I think I'm going to buy the bundle deal and get a couple of new armies underway!
On Monday (7th October) I was joined by Doug, Nick & John for a playtest of Feudal Patrol, a fantasy - medieval skirmish ruleset due for publication first quarter of 2020.
We were playing the first scenario that appears in the introductory section of the rules, 'Gallic Revolt'.
The scenario is described in terms of Romans and Gauls, but as we did not have any of those miniatures mounted on single bases we set our game in Tolkien’s Middle Earth with the men of Gondor standing in for the Romans and Uruk Hai Orcs standing in for the Gauls.. Below is the scenario setting from the rule book.
Romans under Greggarious Pribus are marching through a rural part of Gaul. Having established a marching fort, Pribus has sent Prefect Ignavus with a small group or Roman Legionaires to scout the nearby countryside. Tired of Roman domination and taxation, the local Gallic chieftain, Chikflix, has rallied the local men in pursuit. Ignavus sees that he is in a precarious position and orders his patrol to retreat to the comparative safety of a small farm enclosure. Chikflix launches an attack on the Ignavus and his men with the intent to wipe them out before reinforcements can arrive. All units begin the game on the table as indicated on the map.
The encounter was set in a valley, with wooded hillside sloping away at each corner, a stream meanders through the valley floor, bisected by a road with a bridge. On the far side of the bridge a small farmstead has been built. The men of Gondor are deployed to defend the farmstead, with reinforcements hurrying down the road. The Uruk-Hai attackers are closing in from all directions.
Control of the bridge over the stream features highly in the plans of both sides. Looks like Gondor has got there first. Feudal Patrol is based on a card-based action resolution first seen in the WW2 Combat Patrol and the Sci-Fi ACP 164 rulesets but rewritten to give more detail to hand to hand combat which plays a central part to fantasy and medieval combat. Feudal Patrol also uses a double-blind activation system. At the start of each turn, each leader rolls a D6. This is the leader’s activation number for this turn. The activation deck contains black cards numbered 1-6 and red cards numbered 1-6 plus an end of turn card and some optional special action cards. For each phase a card is turned from the activation deck, all leaders whose dice value matches the card drawn can activate in this phase. Higher leaders can swap their dice with subordinate leaders to get the important units moving first.
When a unit is activated, the members of the unit can move and or shoot. If movement brings a figure into base contact with an enemy figure, a melee is fought. Distance moved ranges from 2"-10" and is determined by turning an action card. The action card gives three movement values for light, medium or heavily armoured troops. Here we see the Uruk-Hai sweeping down the hillside to engage the Gondorians in a melee.
At the bridge, the Gondorians had arrived first which was advantageous as there were far more Uruk-Hai on the table, so this move limited the amount that could attack them at any one time. It also put both units into close order, which gave them an advantage in melee. To be in close order you needed to have at least 4 bases touching and to be in two ranks.
The first round of combat on the bridge was inconclusive, however the Uruk-Hai were pushed back and had to take some morale test markers. The Uruk-Hai sent additional troops wading across the stream with the intention of attacking from both sides.
The Uruk-Hai had left their archers behind when they charged. Their bow fire had managed to cause a few wounds, stuns and morale markers before their comrades charged home.
As the battle lines engaged, the melee was broken up into a number of smaller 1:n combats which are each resolved separately.
Here we see the Orcs massing for another charge across the bridge.
The card driven mechanics of Feudal Patrol are very different to other fantasy / ancient / medieval games we had played. Basically, a card is turned to see if you hit, and if you hit a second card is turned to see who is hit and how much damage and does cover or armour stop or reduce the damage. This is all fairly quick and intuitive. Your chance to hit is based on how well you are trained with the missile or melee weapon. These qualities range from 1 (god like) to 9 (abysmal). This base chance is modified by tactical factors such as range, movement, being stunned, wounded or out of command.
We will be playing lots more play test games for Buck over the next few months. If the concept of the game sounds interesting you can download the free introductory Combat Patrol WW2 rules from here, or the ACP164 Sci-Fi rules from here.
Miniatures shown are from Games Workshops Lord of the Rings range.
Buildings are from 1st Corp / Curteys Miniatures
Modular terrain boards are built using Terra-Former Modular Terrain System. Click here for details.
Yesterday Doug and I got together for a little medieval skirmish gaming. We had both been big fans of Cry Havoc (a medieval skirmish board game by Standard Games & Publications) when it had first came out..probably about 30 years ago. Cry Havoc had some great scenario ideas, which were so much more fun than the line-up and advance to contact games that so often get played when time is short. We therefore decided that it would be a lot of fun to take the Cry Havoc scenarios and adapt the for medieval skirmish gaming. We are currently helping out our good friend Buck Surdu, who is developing a new set of miniatures rules for ancient, dark age, medieval and fantasy skirmish called Feudal Patrol.
The Knight Errant scenario takes place in a village that has been terrorized by a company of marauding mercenary soldiers who have been threatening the villagers with dire punishment if they do not pay with both money and 'in kind'. A goodly wandering knight, Sir Richard had heard of the villager’s plight and has encouraged the villagers to stand up to the bullies. The mercenaries have decided to teach the villagers a lesson. In the photo above we see the eastern edge of the village waking peacefully with no idea of the dramas the day ahead has in store for it.
Sir Richards force consists of Sir Richard (a superior knight) and Sir Lacy (an inferior knight) both on foot but with their horses to hand. They also have ten peasants armed with clubs and axes, a short bowmen and two civilians (Audrey & Edith). The dastardly mercenaries are Led by Sgt Martin assisted by Sgt Tyler. They also muster four men at arms with halberds, four with spears and a crossbowman.
Victory conditions were: Sir Richard incapacitated or six other characters from Sir Richards force incapacitated - Mercenary victory, five mercenaries incapacitated a Villagers victory.
Picture above shows western edge of village.
We rolled for sides. I got to play the mercenaries. I divided them into three groups. Two groups entered from the southern road, four halberdiers led by Sgt Martin and a group made up of the crossbowman and a spearman to protect him.
My mercenary spearmen led by the cruel and unprincipled Sgt Tyler entered from the western road where they immediately set their sights on Edith & Audrey who were loitering outside the inn.
Doug deployed the bulk of the knights and the villagers in the courtyard of the Inn, as he was not sure which way the mercenary attack would come from and this was a central location. The knight’s horses are tethered outside the stables.
Two villagers provided sentries on the Eastern road.
As soon as I could, I rushed my Crossbowman and his escort to the stone wall opposite the Inn, as this seemed a good position to fire upon the villagers as the rushed out on to the road. In Feudal Patrol you can elect to sprint. In effect you take two moves at once, but end up stunned, which is indicated by the token with an exclamation mark. If you are stunned the only thing you can do in your next activation is to become un-stunned. This represents your troops getting their breath back. It is however a useful tactic to get your forces into cover quickly.
Sir Richard and Sir Lacy rush forward to get to grips with the evil marauders.
The ladies had fled down the side of the Inn. Goodness knows why they did not head up the stairs to the safety of the building. The unscrupulous Sgt Tyler saw (in game terms) to easy victory points and he and his men got stuck in with their spear points (so to speak).
The ladies defended their honour the best they could, in the first round they even caused one of the attackers to become stunned, but eventually the inevitable happened and Sgt Tyler and his men grinned with satisfaction as they 'pocketed the 2 victory points'
Meanwhile at the Eastern end of the village Sgt Martin hurries through the narrow lanes to engage Sir Richard, unaware that Sir Lacy is also fast approaching.
Sgt Martin and has Halberdiers get the better of Sir Richard causing a serious wound. They caused 5 points of damage. Sir Richards Endurance was 3 but two points were absorbed by his metal armor and he managed to utilise his medium shield to absorb a point as well bringing the damage down to 2 points: A serious wound, but he was still on his feet and fighting. In Feudal Patrol strikes in melee are resolved by looking at which weapon has the longest reach, so because the halberd has a longer reach their strikes are resolved before Sir Richards sword blows. Meanwhile Sir Lucy had easily dispatched the mercenary facing him.
Back outside the Inn, my crossbowmen had moved out of cover to reduce the range.. He let fly a crossbow bolt, aiming at the villagers advancing from the side of the Inn. He scored a significant hit. Feudal Patrol uses a card based resolution system for shooting and melee that is innovative and intuitive. You turn a card to see if you hit. This is based on the skill off the shooter and tactical factors such as range, moving target, being wounded or out of command. If you score a hit you turn a second card to work out the effect; who in the target was hit, how much damage, where and if there was a cover save. Unfortunately for Sir Richard and the villagers, it was the leader of the peasants who was hit, in the face with the crossbow bolt for five damage with no cover save. Ouch! I guess it was probably quick and unexpected. At this point the tally was 3 victory points to the mercenaries and 1 for Sir Richard.
But alas in the next turn the two mercenaries with halberds managed to land the killing blow on Sir Richard, handing a definite win to the vicious bullies.
It was a great game, great ebb and flow and some tense and exciting moments. Feudal Patrol is in early play test, some ideas for improvements came out of our game which we will pass on to Buck.
The expected publication date for Feudal Patrol is March 2020.
The game was played on my 'Blackstone Heath' terrain project. If you'd like to find out more about the terrain,
The Latest BlackstoneHeath construction video on YouTube
Part 1. The Inn Building
It was about 40 years ago that I first came across D&D and fantasy miniatures and gaming. A discovery that has in many ways shaped the direction of my life. What has kept me interested for over three decades is the combination of gaming with friends, the sheer breadth of gaming possabilities and the creation of a world in miniature. There are so many ways to play these games and I know that for many nothing more is needed then a pencil, a sheet of notepaper and an active imagination. For the last six months I have been playing that sort or role playing game as well, set in the world of Harn using the Fate RPG engine with out a single miniature in sight. However, ever since the start when at the age of 16 I held a Games Workshop trade account to keep our school D&D and wargaming group supplied with the latest Citadel Miniatures I have enjoyed collecting and painting miniatures and using various props to illustrate there enviroment, including Dungeon Floor Plans, maps drawn with dry wipe pens and now 3D printed terrain.
The age of the hobby 3D printer has really transformed what is available. The variety of dungeon tiles and buildings is astounding. The design files are either very cheap to buy or are available for free and the material that is used for printing is also very economical. I use a material called PLA, made from cornstarch and costing under £15 a Kilo. About 3 months ago I started 3D printing 'The Wobbly Goblin Inn',. This is a 3D printable kit from Hobgoblin 3D. It took forever to print, literally hundreds of hours, but you could put half a dozen pieces on to print before going home from work and in the morning come back and as if by magic you their were new pieces to harvest.
My plan is, over the next couple of years to expand from this model Inn to build a complete fantasy / medieval village and from their a small town. I have built the Inn into a 2' square Terra-Former modular terrain tile kit. Terra-Formers are kits for building modular terrain. They can be built as either one foot or two foot suares or one foot by two foot rectangular modules. There are a wide range of different profiles available such as roads, canals, streams, rivers and hills and each piece has embedded rare earth magnets to perfectly align and hold the modules together so their is no drift during play. The next stage will be to extend the two foot square Inn to a three foot square with an assortment of outbuildings such as stables and barns and an orchard and garden area. We will then extend awayf from the Inn adding some cottages and a watermill. I'm hoping to be able to update my hobby blog with progress once or twice a month.
So, lets take a look inside. This is the bar area. The bar itself is 3D printed as are the wine storage cabinets and some of the barrels. The other's are resin models that I have had for a while. Behind the bar is the Innkeepre from the Otherworld Miniatures NPC range.
This is the kitchen area. The large fireplace is part of the Inn itself. The range and bread oven were free designs from Thingiverse. The roasting pig is a metal cast I've had for ages, the lady with the rolling pin is from Otherworld Miniatures and the table if from a Mantic Games terrain crate.
Here's a view across the main dining area. The big table with the red runner down the center was a free 3D design from Dungeonworks, as was all of the food and plates on the table. The other tables and benches are metal casts from various manufactuers.
This is the Inns guest bedroom. The beds are resin casts, other furniture is from Mantic Terrain Crates, the Conan miniatures game and an MDF table.
This is the upper level, accessed by an external staircase where the innkeeper and his family live.
It felt that this was a fairly large inn for the amount of bar and kitchen staff that I had to run it, so last weeks work on the tavern project consisted of painting up some additional staff and customers to make the Inn look like it was in use.
In the photo above you can see the six staff that I painted last week, all apart from the chef 'Raclett' with chefs hat and cleaver are from the Otherworld Miniatures NPC range. I've had Raclett on my to-paint pile for decades, so not 100% sure on his origin, I think he came with the pig on spit model that you can see in front of fireplace, and they could all be from Minifigs (from a long time ago). The Otherworld Miniatures are, back row left Claudette the Innkeepers Wife, Barny the Cellarman, and Maria Serving Wench II and in the front row we have Harriet Serving Wench I and Master Fairbake the Halfling Chef.
I also added nine seated customers. Three were old Citadel Miniatures that had been in the lead pile for decades and six were from a pack of Sally 4th 'The Crowd' Miniatures. These are unarmed medieval / fantasy unarmed civilians intended for populating tavers, jousting and blood bowl stands. I also made the seats on my 3D printer. I had a basic chair design file which I decreased the height and stretched the width until it was the correct size to take these seated miniatures.
Here we have a team photo with the rest of the team which includes Thenardier The Innkeeper, Bruce the Bouncer, Madame Rousett The Brazen Strumpet, Timmy the Stableboy and Henrietta the 'Old Crone'.
The catering team are hard at work while Timmy sweeps the floor and Bruce scratches his back with a huge club while smiling at the guests.
The Inn is really coming together with the addition of some deated customers to go around the tables.
It still looks a little quiet, so I am planning to paint up another pack of 6 seated 'The Crowd' miniatures over the next week or so and for variety swap there heads with some Victrix Viking and Frostgrave plastic heads.
However, my main goal for this week is to complete five one foot suare terra-former modules to model the immediate surrounding of the Inn to give me some space for a garden, orchard, stables and barn.
(We are not affiliated with any 3D design companies, I'm just including links to companies whose products I've used in case they are of interest)
Over the last couple of weeks we have been busy building new boards for the start of the village for Blackstone Heath.
The buildings are 3D printed from designs by Black Scroll Games and the drystone wall is made from 3D prints by Printable Scenery.
The buildings have all been set into Sally 4th Terra Former 1' square modular terrain boards so that they blend into the landscape but are modular enough to allow the boards to be rearranged in different configerations.
Update 17th March 2020
Over the last few months I have been working on two new developments for Blackstone Heath.
The first one is the development of two hill section (a straight hill and a corner hill), both with Sally 4th Hobbit Hole kits set into them. The idea is that when I am using Blackstone Heath for Fantasy rather than Histrorical gaming, I can swap out the two hill tiles behind the Inn to make it a bit more like 'The Prancing Pony' in Bree from Lord of the Rings. There the Inn had accomodation for both the big folk and the hobbits.
We have also been working with a fantastic sculptor from Russia's Evocatus Miniatures to release a range of 28mm Fantasy / Medieval village Folk.
The sets are all themed, detailed and very animated. The Exorcist set includes the bed, floating women victim and the ghostly painting!
Packs that fit in with the Tavern include drinkers, gamblers and fighters.
An important part of daily life in any period or genre is laundry, and in the 'Wash Day' set we see villagers hard at work at these chores.
.... and at the end of the day, what better way to relax than in a good hot bath. This miniature is a free bonus miniature for kickstarter backers!
These packs of fantasy / medieval miniatures are curruntly available to backers of 'Blackstone Heath Village Folk' project on Kickstarter. Click here to take a look.
Rebasing miniatures onto clear bases.
We always get lots of question about how to go about rebasing miniatures on clear bases, so I felt it was about time I put a hobby article to show how easy it is. We've been rebasing miniatures onto Clear Perspex Bases for about six years now, and they have always been very popular. The big benefit of mounting miniatures on clear bases is that the miniature will match whatever terrain it happens to be standing on. This is not a problem if you paint miniatures for display purposes only, in which case a nice diorama base is a great addition to display the figure in its surroundings. However, most of us paint miniatures to use on a gaming table and the same miniature might be placed in a field, on a road, on a beach or inside a building and it always looks a bit odd when you have figures inside a warehouse for example surrounded by a circular mini garden!
Some figures are easier to rebase than others. The easiest figures to rebase are the ones on slotta-bases which snip of very easily. This article is going to look at rebasing a metal miniature cast on the traditional plinth.
Using a pair of side snippers (mine are a very old pair of GW clippers), snip either side of the insdide of the feet.
Once you've removed the metal between the feet, use your side clippers to remove the metal from around the outside of the feet as well.
You will then be left with a 'V' shapped wedge under each foot, which is easily removed by turning the clippers 90 degrees and clipping across each foot.
Use a file to level off the underside of the feet.
Put a drop of superglue under each foot, place the miniature for a second on a piece of paper to remove the excess glue and then place on to base.
I remove the base after cleaning up the miniature with a file and knife put before painting and undercoating. I glue the miniature onto an old mdf 'painting base', paint and varnish the miniature before prising off, recleaning the underneath of the feet with a file and remounting on a clear perspex base. This ensures the clear base is in top condition with no paint or scratches on it.
Sally 4th clear perspex bases come with a protective film on the top and bottom to prevent scratching or scuffing during manufacture or transport, so always make sure you have peeled these off before sticking your figure down.