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.
A few weeks ago Nick & I decided to revisit Games Workshops, Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle. This is a game that has gone through a lot of different versions, I am playing with the original version 'The One Rule book', Nick has the very latest copy, but at the end of the day it still boils down to you both roll a D6, highest roll wins, if a tie highest fight value wins, is still a tie, enie-minie-minie-mo! A simple and fun game, as long as you don't take it to seriously.
Our plan is to start at the beginning of the story, and work our way through the scenarios starting with the Fellowship journey book. As many of the scenarios are a bit unbalance, we are playing through twice so we both get to play both sides.
The minatures are all original releases, brought and painted up when first released 12-15 years ago. At that time I was running a games store, so had made all of the special scenery pieces that the scenarios required. I have however taken the opportunity to freshen them up a bit. I know use 'Lukes Apps - Geek Gaming' scenic materials as my default choice, they just win hands down on range and quality. The terrain boards are all based on 12" square Terra-Former modular terrain tiles. These are kits to build frames with consistant profiles for hills, streams, roads, rivers, canals, cliffs etc and encorporate strong rare earth magnets for perfect alignment and to stop terrain drifting apart mid game.
The first two scenarios in the Fellowship Journey book feature the Dunadain, Rangers of the North defending the borders of The Shire from the Nazgul who have been dispatched to search for 'Baggins'.
This was an interesting match, the Nazgul are fielded in there weakest state, so 7 Will but no might or fate. Each time that they cast a magical ability or fight a round of combat they lose a point of Will and when they get to zero Will they dissapear as the magical energy that holds them together is spent. This means that the evil player needs to make careful decisions about which abilities to use.
The Dunadain, on the other hand are pretty handy with a bow and arrow, but it's low strength combined with the Nazhuls high defence means that you need to roll a 6 followed by another 5 or 6 to actually cause a wound, however if you can get enough shots off you only need to cause a single wound.
Both of the Dunadain vs Nazgul scenarios had victory conditions based on the number of Nazgul that can cross the table and exit opposite side, to head for the Shire. We played both scenarios twice and two were won by Evil and two by Good.
Flight from the Shire
The first scenario that features characcters from the fellowship is based on 3 frightened hobbits assisted by Gildor, an elven hero evading the attention of 3 Nazgul on foot. For the fellowshop to win, Frodo needs to exit far side of the table.
The hobbits set up in contact with the hedge. One Nazgul sets up behind them, center of table and two Nazgul set up at the center of each side. Gildor set up centre of far side of table.
The three hobbits are lost and afraid so at the start of the game they have to pass a courage check to activate.
The Nazgul do not know where the hobbits are, so they are subject to the sentries rule until they get close enough to sniff the hobbits out.
Gildor takes a shortcut through the forest to come to the hobbits aid. As he is a 'woodland creature' the difficult terrain does not slow him down.
Eventually all 3 Nazgul get on the scent and close in on the hobbits.
In one of the games, Frodo slips out of there clutches and makes a bid for freedom, while Gildor holds the Nazgul at bay.
This scenario was played twice with one victory to good and another to Evil.
In November Dungeonwork Architects were giving away some nice 3D printer files for a Banquet model set (table, chairs, food and tableware), this happened to coincide with us discovering Redwall Abbey which is an anthropomorphic fantasy series that features a lot of banquets and food descriptions. This got me thinking that the banquet files were great when printed, but would be even better with some miniatures sitting at the tables.
The seated miniatures are 'The Seated Crowd' figures, which were designed for sitting in our Blood Bowl Stadiums, but are also great for filling our Fantasy or Medieval Taverns, click here for more details. The seated figures have been converted using Albedo Miniatures 'Critter Conversion Kits'. These are head and tail sets for dogs, cats, rabbits, otters, foxes etc. that allow you to take any miniature and easily convert it ino an anthropomorphic 'critter'. Click here for details.
Last week Doug and I got together for another fantastic game of Pulp Alley
We had not played Pulp Alley for several months so our trigger fingers were itching to give a western themed game a go as we have been talking about having another play through of 'Vice Alley' using outlaws and lawmen.
As we had not played for a while, we decided to keep it simple, so we choose the 'Smash and Grab' scenario from the main rule book. In this scenario, all the plot points are on the table at the start of the game. The major plot point in the center of the table and the four minor plot points anywhere on the table that is at least 6" from another plot point or the edge of the table.
We decided to have four movable perilous areas. These were represented by a dog and three horeses, who were obviously very spooked by the gun fire. At the end of each turn these moved D6" in a random direction projecting a 3" diameter periolous area around them.
The stray horses, proved just as dangerous as the flying lead!
For my league, I had focussed on quality rather than quantity. I took the 'Com,pany of Heroes' perk that allowed my league to include four sidekicks, Marshall 'Leather' Durham, the leader for this game (Quick Witted & Sharp), Bernard 'Glory' Barnes (a Deductive Veteran), Ralph 'Wild Boy' Hicks (a Daredevil Veteran) and WIlson 'Wild Hog' Hurley (A Quick Shooting, Eagle Eyed, Shotgun wielding SOB!), we also gained a Level 1 Brawler as a random scenario event, although he did not last the day, as is often the way.
Doug took a different approach and seemed to field a cast of hundreds, (well quiet a few).
In traditional style our leages deployed at opposite ends of the main street, my league split up heading for minor plot points hidden in the back lots and side streets.
Doug's crew emerged from a side street between the Saloon and the Bank and a savage fire fight errupted that lasted several turns (but did not cause the off duty cow hands to spill the beer they were sampling out side the saloon).
Here we see Bernard 'Glory' Barnes and Wilson 'Wild Hog' Hurley captured for Time Life Magazine by a passing photographer while taking cover behind some handy sacks and barrels while tradding shots with one of Doug's sharpshooters.
Distracted by the photographer, they were very surprised when a stick of dynamite landed behind the crates!
However, this low down trick was not enough to carry the day and Marshall Durhams boys slowly whittle down the opposition.
Eventually Doug's leader goes down in a 'Blaze of Glory' leaving the Marshall in possesion of the major plot point plus two minor plot points.
Another great nights entertainment from Pulp Alley that has left us both eager to refine our leagues and get started with an Old West themed Vice Alley campaign.
Albedo Combat Patrol, ACP164 is a new 28mm science fiction miniatures game set in Steve Gallachi's “Albedo Anthropomorphics” universe.
Fast paced, easy to learn rules combine with a unique range of miniatures, vehicles and terrain to produce a fun and excitingly different SF gaming experience
Sally4th spent three days with the great guys over at Beasts of War filming some Interviews and 'Lets Play' videos about Albedo Combat Patrol
.... so if you want to see and hear what it is all about check out some of the videos that we made.
Last Saturday (15th September), Doug & I had a first play through of the introductory scenario from Albedo Combat Patrol.
I also played this scenario through with Justin when we visited Beasts of War and we made a 'Let's Play video of it'
The introductory game represents a recce patrol running into a defensive standing patrol. Confed Forces are in defensive positions around the main communications complex. The ILR have sent out recce patrols of fire team strength to identify the defenders state of readiness and the strength of their positions.
This clash takes place in the industrial estate surrounding the comms complex.
As this is an introductory scenario with very small forces involved, each figure gets it's own activation dice and acts as an independent unit. Confed had a fire team consisting off a squad leader with machine pistol and three troopers armed with the LAKW 1-56 Assault Rifle.
The ILR fire team has a team leader and five troopers, four armed with carbines and one with a LMG.
The Confed team leader and foxy trooper deploy into a building, hoping to get a good field of fire from a covered position.
Trooper Fox smashes the glazing with his rifle butt and scans the horizon for signs of movement.
At the far side of the complex, ILR troopers are moving through buildings and taking up positions for a cautious advance.
Confed form a loose line, making best use of the cover in and around the buildings to the left.
The superior range of the Confed rifle takes it's toll, as the lepine casualties mount.
However, the frontal assault is a feint and a pair of ILR troopers make their way around the rear of the buildings. Although one of the pair goes down, the survivor takes Trooper Fox out as he fumbles a magazine change, leaving the path clear for a rush to the exit (which game the ILR three bonus victory points) as they had slipped the patrol and could report on the positions they were shielding.
At that point, on the last turn it looked like a draw with 4 victoty oints a side. Confed had incapacitated 4 ILR troopers for 4VPS, ILR had got a trooper of the table and incapacitated one Confed trooper for 4 victory points. How ever, in the last activation of the last turn this Confed trooper charges and manages to incapicitate his opponent tipping the scales to a 5 vs 4 result for Confed.
This was a very tense and exciting game which could have easily gone the other way. The introductory scenario is a great way to get to grips with the fast, fuirious and realistic card driven combat mechanics at the heart of Albedo Combat Patrol.
Around fifteen years ago, I used to run a couple of hobby stores and I had just about every Warhammer and Warhammer 40K army that was available, including a 3,000 point Imperial Guard (Cadian) Army. Most of my 40K troops were auctioned off on ebay to finance other projects but I do have some bits and pieces of Space Marine, Ork and Tyrannid left.
When I was tidying up last night I came across a case of Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon Platoons, so I've decided to use these as a basis for putting a small force together.
They are all heavy weapons teams. Enought to make a Mortar Platoon, Anti-Tank Missile Launcher Platoon and a Heavy Laser Platoon. I will need to check the latest fluff to find out what these are called at the moment.
I had a quick look and I'm pretty sure that these are the same as the currently available Imperial Guard Miniatures, so my next job is to pick up a box set of the standard infantry to start putting some core troop choices together.
Just arrived, a brand new box of WH40K Imperial Guard Infantry, just the way that I remembered them from about 15 years ago when I last put some guardsmen together.
This time however I am going to be looking to do some conversions rather than straight builds.
One of the things that I used to love about Warhammer was the sheer breadth of the canvas, back then you could buy straight from Games Workshop a huge variety of different uniforms for the Imperial Guard including ones based on 19th century British soldiers from Rorkes Drift, WW2 Russians, WW1 Germans and many more together with Abhuman troops including Ratling (Hobbit) Snipers, Squats (Dwarves), Ogryns (Ogres) and Beastmen. The whole rational from Games Workshop was that the Imperium was huge and that the Imperial Guard raised regiments from tens of thousands of planets and that there was a wide diversity of life to work with.
... so this next stage is going to be to play around with some bits that I have left in my bits box from making some miniatures for another new sci-fi miniatures game, Albedo ACP164, to come up with a new and unique look for my Imperial Guard.
Finally got around to assembling and painting first five Imperial Guard Feline Conversions.
These all use the plastic pieces from the standard Games Workshop Imperial Guard plastic sprues combined with Feline head and tail conversion pieces from Albedo Miniatures.
I've also upgraded the bases to Sally 4th clear plastic bases so that they will belnd in with what ever terrain they are standing on.
All of the terrain shown is from the Albedo Miniatures game Kickstarter which goes live on 15th October.
On Sunday 19th August we were at 'The Other Partizan' wargames show at Newark Showground, with our Red Book of the Elf King participation game.
2. The game was played on terrain boards made using Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain tile kits. These are kits to make 12" x 12", 12" x 24" and 23" x 24" square terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets and precision laser cut profiles of hills, cliffs, rivers and streams and much more.
3. If you like the look of these terrain boards, and would like something similar, you can give Sally 4th a shout as they now offer a custom terrain making service.
9. The author, Rick Priestley offers some advice and answers some questions on how the rules work.
Click the links below for further information on.
Lukes Apps terrain making products - these are what we use for ground cover and are highly recommended.
Last week Nick & I decided to have a go at Simon Millers 'For King and Pariament' English Civil War rules. Both Nick and I had played ECW miniatures games with many different rules sets including Warhammer ECW, 1644 and Piquet Anchor of Faith over the years. One of the idea that attracted me to this set of rules was that the rules have done away with tape measures and measuring completely. For King and Parliament rules use a grid for movement, the size of the grid is related to the base size of your miniatures.
My ECW collection are based on 50mm square bases. I therfore decided to use a 6" grid. This was very easy to achieve as my wargames terrain is built on Terra-Former tiles. Terra-Formers are kits toacy build 12"terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets to hold the tiles together so that they do not drift apart during play. The pieces are precision laser cut for accuracy. There are a wide range of profiles available including hills, cliffs, rivers, streams, beaches and many more. We found that no markings were needed when using Terra-Formers as it was easy to judge the centre of the tile and mentally divide it into four quarters.
My miniatures are magnetically based. I therfore made a small tray for each unit large enough to hold three bases together with space for a unit stat line together with a coloured square to identify which brigade the unit was from. The rule mechanisms such as activation, shooting, melee and morale tests are all conducted using standard playing cards. To activate a unit you draw a card and need a card with a value of 2 or greater. The more difficult the maneuver, the more negative modifiers to subtract from the value of the card turned. For example, a maneuver other than advancing straight to your front is -1 as is maneuvering a large unit.
If you have an officer attached to your unit and it fails to activate, the officer can use his influence to draw another card. If you were lucky enough to have drawn a low card (that was still enough to carry out the activation) you can activate again by drawing another card, although this time you need to beat the value on the previous card. Instead of using actual playing cards, I made a set of 25mm square playing card chits that could be drawn from a bag and placed on a space left for them on the units base.
We played the introductory scenario in the rule book which saw a slightly stronger Royalist force with a less effective command structure deployed along the length of a broad hill. The Roundheads initial force was weaker as they had two regiments of horse who had been dispatched to forage for supplies. The return of these troops was diced for each turn, but when they did return, they arrived on a flank, which gave them a big advantage.
We played the scenario twice, taking it in turns to play Roundhead and Cavalier. The Royalists did win both times but my the smallest of margins, and we felt that the battle could have easily gone the other way. I really liked the mechanisms of the game. Easy to learn but with depth and just the right amount of command friction.
For further information on Terra-Former terrain, click here. To check out our range of magnetic and steel vinyl basing materials, click here.
On Monday, Doug and I got together for another great game of Lucid Eyes, Red Book of the Elf King. Up until now, all of our battles have taken place up in the mountains on our waterfall and cliff boards, so we thought we would have a bit of a change, especially as we are taking our waterfall terrain to Partizan for participation gaming on Sunday.
As usual, we shuffled the 6 faction cards from the Glamour Deck and drew randomly for Thane (leader). Doug drew Saylian Trollblood from the Sarlant Marshes, a good all rounder, versed in the powers of troll knowledge with a troubled face that causes enemy within 6" of him to roll courage checks at a big disadvantage. He is also armed with the Blade Impure, a cursed weapon that deals two wounds per strike instead on the normal one. I drew Meksant Farseer, Keeper of The Red Book, he is one of the most powerful mages in the game. With him you know that pretty much every glamour (magic) you cast is going to work. Although he only has 2 wounds compared to Saylians 4, he does have very powerful magic armour giving him a save of 8 on a D10, plus he has a magic item which allows him three rerolls for failed armour saves.
Saylian deployed all of his forces together in the centre of the table.
Meksant deployed half to match him in the centre and the other half, led in person went arond the left flank.
The companions clashed early on outside the ruined keep. In RBEK fortune does favour the bold, giving a healthy plus two bonus (on a D10) if you charge rather then defend.
Meksant brings a second unit up to form a battle line in the centre and attempts to wear down Saylians companions.
Meantime he works his way forward on the left flank, making good use of cover. He has drawn a mixture of offensive spells and activation manipulation spells, which serve him well. Casting a glamour on the enemy that causes a red death to spread amongst the enemy, in a single turn he kills a companion and wounds three more before the spell is spent.
In the fight, center stage, Saylian moves up and leads from the front, causing much damage with his savage melee attacks.
The combination of his companions and his own savage melee attacks, combined with his special ability that forces an enemy to check courage with a minus three modifier (on a D10) clears the center ground of opponents.
AT this point Meksant casts a mighty glamour that rolls back time, meaning that all of the activation tokens he has, and any units within 6" of him have get put back in the bag. This meant that Meksant and the Companions next to him got two activations each in a row. These were used to deliver no fewer than 14 ranged magic missile type attacks against Saylian. This reduced Saylain to two wounds, but he passed his courage test and proceeded to cahrge Meksant regardless of his wounds.
In the resulting melee both Thanes managed to inflict two wounds on the other, however Meksant used his magical item to reroll the two failed armor saves and second time around he saved one of them. This left Saylian dead but Meksant still on his feet, wounded but the victor of this encounter.
This was another great game of Red Book of the Elf King. If you are not familiar with the game, Sally 4th are the official show stockists for Lucid Eye. We keep there full range in stock, which you can take a look at by clicking here.
We always get a few questions about scenery, bases and tokens, so here are some useful links.
The terrain is all built using Sally 4th Terra Former terrain tiles. These are kits to make 12" terrain frames with embedded rare earth magnets.
The miniatures have been based onSally 4th Clear Perspex Bases.
The red blood splats that we use as wound markers are Sally 4th Perspex Wound Markers. These are available in either Black or Red Perspex in either shape of a drop of blood or as a blood splat, they are on the Bullets & Brains page as they were originally designed for them!
We are running participation games of Red Book of the Elf King at The Other Partizan at Newark Showground on Sunday 19th August from 10:00 onwards.
Hope to see some of you there!
Warmaster Fantasy Battle
For the last year or so Lewis has been tirelessley running an online Mighty Empires campaign. Mighty Empires was a great board game that Games Workshop released about 15 years ago. It could be played as a stand alone game or it could be used to generate table top battles to be played out using Warhammer or Warmaster Fantasy Battle rules.
The first campaign year saw rising nations enjoying an uneasy peace as they seized unpopulated lands to form there lands. As most of the unpopulated lands had been claimed the second year opened with a Tomb King invasion into the Dwarven Republic.
On Monday Josh and Lewis came over to transfer this action on to the table top. My Dwarven banner in the campaign was worth 1100 points and Josh's invading Undead ammased 1500 points worth of troops. We selected troops, determined that the game would last for 8 turns and deployed on to the table.
As my thin line of Dwarves were defending they positioned themselves in a line across a significant hill side. The centre was strengthened by a couple of cannons and a flame cannon while a unit of troll slayers was positioned on each flank behind the main line to reinforce where needed.
The Tomb Kings army must have outnumbered the Dwarves four to one, including a huge block of chariots, bone giants and the mighty Spinx.
The Tomb King archers cross the river as the skull chuckers are set up on top of the cliff.
A pesky unit of Carrion attack the flank of the flame cannon, luckily it manages to hold off the birds for the first turn. It then turns to face and incinerates most of the birds.
During the first couple of turns the Tomb King is very unlucky with command rolls so the army does not make the progress needed to sweep the Dwarves off the hill.
In places the Dwarves make localised counter attacks. Here a unit of Dwarf Warriors seizes the opportunity to charge into the flank of a unit of Tomb King chariots.
The Bone Giant models were actually representing Sphinx. These huge monsters charged the centre of the Dwarf lines and created a huge dent, but not huge enough to sweep the dwarves off the hill. At the end of turn eight we counted up our losses. The Dwarves lost 80 points of troops, the Tomb Kings 120points. The difference was so small that it was judged to be a draw so in campaign terms both armies had to withdraw from the campaign hex.
On Tuesday Lewis tried his High Elf army out against Josh's Tomb Kings.
After the previous inability to activate a lot of the army in early turns, Josh took far more Liche Priests as leaders and consequently got to activate far more of the army each turn.
A mighty river divided the battlefield, crossable by a ruined bridge in the centre of the table. Armies were deployed on both sides of the river.
After some initial localised successes by the High Elves the Tomb Kings rallied and scored a significant victory. Although the elves caused a lot of casualties, the tomb kings units were very cheap compared to the high elves troops so when the losses were totalled up Josh had scored a significant victory.
The game was fought over terrain tiles built using Sally 4th Terra-Former kits. If you've not seen them before, you can check them out @ Terra-Former Tiles.