Saturday, 13 October 2018

Frostgrave club league - Week Four

Last Sunday we held the fourth of our Frostgrave league games at the club. Unlike previous weeks, we played a scenario from The Frostgrave Folio. In this scenario, certain kinds of magic would be inoperable (as decided by each player secretly choosing one school to ban) and there were also six pylons on the table which, if the dice fairies so decided, would send out jets of arcane energy which would strike any characters in their path. Here is the initial table. The energy pylons are represented by columns with green jewels on top. Once again, the central zone, where the bulk of the treasure was located was surrounded by a barrier preventing spells to be cast inwards.

I began to deploy my treasure hunters, led by my Elementalist.

Elsewhere, Andy began to cast fog spells, ostensibly to protect his band from long range attacks, but also to gain experience points.

My wizard cast Wall, closing off one of Owen's lines of advance, giving my Thief protection from his crossbows. Note that I was now able to use my new walls for this game.

That Fog was spreading. This was helpful to me.

My Apprentice successfully cast Raise Zombie. She was now accompanied by a shambling and fairly useless Undead Thing. 

Owen's gang began to advance, but soon became involved in a skirmish with Richard's band.

Andy's Frogs began to move up behind the Fog barrier.

Things were hotting up in the treasure enclosure and both Owen and I had people ready to grab some loot.

I also managed to cast a second Wall, blocking off Owen's Thief and Warhound from attacking my Thief and making off with the treasure.

Due to a Random Encounter generated by picking up a treasure item, a Large Construct appeared elsewhere on the table (we used a scatter dice plus a D20 for distance from the treasure). Not nice.

The Construct (actually my Bad Squiddo Golem from the My Last Sunrise gothic horror range) attacked my Thug, who heroically defeated the monster with an attack score of 20.

The treasure-grabbing action was serious now. Both my Treasure Hunter and Infantryman were grabbing some treasure action, and my Man-At-Arms was also close to picking up a casket.

One of Richard's Knights was beset by Beastly Things while his friends were engaged with fisticuffs with Andy's Frogs. 

Unhappily, my Man-At-Arms was killed off by crossbow fire, but overall I was pretty happy, because I ended up with four treasure items.

In the post-game reckoning, no one in my band was killed and I did rather well with Experience, Gold Coins, Scrolls and Grimoires. As a result, my Wizard has advanced to Level 7 and made spell-casting a bit easier.

I've also improved my Inn with the purchase of a Kennel, so expect to see some canine action next time around.

Friday, 12 October 2018

The Maze of Malcor - a Nickstarter

This is excellent news for all of us who want more female miniatures for our games.

As Annie says on her Facebook page;

The Maze of Malcor Nickstarter IS NOW LIVE - and excellent news for you all - you can join in the pre-order program through Bad Squiddo Games - woohoo!

This is the extra monsters and encounters from the book, as well as PLASTIC FEMALE SOLDIERS, more troop and wizard types (female!) and some fancy token things.

What does this mean?
Basically you just buy it like any normal pre-order system. It will ship early December. The "starter" element is that the more people join in, the more freebies you get on top of what you've bought.

Will Bad Squiddo totals count towards this total?

Yep, every penny of Malcor bucks will be counted up weekly and sent to North Star to add their counter.

Why Bad Squiddo though?

Because we're cool! You get to support North Star, Osprey AND Bad Squiddo if you come through us. Also, as the leading company in Believable Female Miniatures, you can add even more to your new female Frostgrave force while you are here.

So I can add anything else from the shop at the same time?

Hells yes, do it!

Any other questions - go for it. 

To find out more, and to order some terrific toys, just go HERE

I've already succumbed and ordered the lot, because it all looks so good I didn't want to miss out on anything.

Latest Freyja's Wrath figures - WIP and completed figures

I've finally got round to working on my Bad Squiddo Freyja's Wrath figures again. I am initially working on the armoured Shieldmaidens, who will all be Hearthguard for my forthcoming Saga Vikings, plus various other figures which will be used for a variety of things. Below you can see four each of spear, axe and sword armed Shieldmaidens, four Berserkers (in bearskin clothes), Fenrir, a big scary wolf, Morgana, a user of some kind of nature magic, Skalmöld the Valkyrie (with the severed head in her hand) and two models of Thorrun, an earlier Bad Squiddo model. The reason that I have two of her is that I want to paint one up for my Frostgrave warband. There are also shields to paint.

Anyway, that was where I started and now I have three completed figures. Skalmöld the Valkyrie, Thorrun (for Frostgrave) and Fenrir. First, here is Thorrun. I wanted to keep her looking quite sombre to fit in with the general theme of my Frostgrave warband. I will be using her as a Knight, or maybe as a Woman-At-Arms. I really like her fox fur collar.

Next, here is Fenrir, who is a very Big Bad Wolf indeed. No huffing and puffing required by this guy. He'll just knock your house down with a few swipes of his paws, and as for the Three Little Pigs, well, what can I say? Those guys are clearly just going to be snacks.

And finally, Skalmöld the Valkyrie, clearly a woman who is not to be messed with, as the chap currently missing his head found out.

As I have said before, these Bad Squiddo Shieldmaiden figures are absolutely fantastic; lovely crisp detail, virtually no flash and really lovely to paint.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

A few more Late Romans

I've been clearing the decks ready to start work on the main body of Bad Squiddo Shieldmaidens, and these are the last of my Gripping Beast 28mm plastic Late Romans for a while, although I do have 40 more foot troops to work on at some point, plus a box more armoured cavalry and another of Dark Ages unarmoured cavalry. I intend to turn the latter into javelin-armed skirmish horse. I've also got a lot of Saxons, but more about them below.

As people who have read the blog before, I am working on expanding my original Saga Late Roman warband into an army for Sword and Spear, the Great Escape Games ruleset.

Anyway, I wanted to have more armoured Roman foot troops, so I decided to use the Gripping Beast plastic Saxon Thegns figures as Late Romans. This was pretty much just a matter of head swaps and using Roman shields because, when it comes down to it there really isn't a lot to choose between one 28mm early mediaeval body in a tunic and a chainmail shirt and another one. To be honest, even a headswap isn't always necessary.

Here are eight armoured infantry, mounted on a single 12cm x 6 cm base for Sword and Spear. Annoyingly, I didn't notice the blue paint on one of the faces until after I'd taken the photo, but I've fixed the figure now. These are a mixture of armoured Roman bodies and Saxon ones. I really don't see any problem with these at all. Absolute uniformity was never a thing for the Romans, as I've discussed before.

Next are two command stands for my S&S army. These are all Saxon thegn figures, but Romanised with helmets and shields, except for one, who has a Saxon head, which looks fine to me, seeing as it is just another variant on the conical Spangenhelm shape so common in later Roman armies. I liked the idea of using the cloaks which come on the Saxon command sprue for my Roman leaders. 

Both of these command groups are standing in front of walls I've made for Frostgrave. My Elementalist wizard has the "Wall" spell, which allows her to create a 6" x 3" wall within 12" of her. These are a lot better than using random bits of card, or even just a line of dice on the table.

All the shield transfers and the image on the vexillum are from LBMS.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

I've been away for a week, but now I'm back

I was away on a short break to Italy, Bologna and Ravenna to be precise, but now I'm back and I've got to restart my painting mojo. Before I went away, I completed some plastic 28mm scenic pieces that the club bought as part of a Kickstarter, Mantic's TerrainCrate one, unfortunately. Anyway, the pieces are all on a dungeon and fantasy theme, so great for a lot of different games, Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago etc. There are a couple of us painting things up, and this is how I approached my share (note that the figure is mine, and shown for scale purposes only). First, we have some piles of treasure, the kind of thing that no self-respecting dungeon, cavern system or ancient ruined city can afford to be without;

Next, some distinctly martial pieces, including a sword in a stone for aspiring Once And Future Kings to have a go at;

Various scatter pieces, including a treasure map for a lost treasure island, and a crown on a cushion on the bedside table. Surely we've all got one of those at home?

Finally, more scatter, useful for hiding behind when the sound of "Fee Fi Fo Fum" starts echoing around the place.

These were all pretty straightforward to paint. A case of spray undercoat, touch up with paint where necessary, paint in the metallic bits, dry-brush and ink to bring out the textures. Quite nice pieces, and very useful. 

By the by, when I was in Ravenna, somewhere I totally recommend visiting, I had a look around the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, the House of Stone Carpets. The stone carpets are, of course mosaic floors. These date from between the 1st and 6th centuries CE, and for the purposes of this comment, I want to show you these two. The upper one is the Dance of The Seasons and the lower one a representation of the Good Shepherd, a pagan image which was adopted by early Christians to represent Christ. The thing I want to point out is the tunic decoration. In both mosaics, you can see decorations (e.g. disc-shaped patches and shoulder markings) on the tunics which are often claimed to be "military" in wargaming and re-enactment circles, but which were actually commonly used by everyone across the empire of Late Antiquity and the Early Mediaeval period. It is more likely that soldiers adopted what was a common style rather than the reverse, but perhaps we shall never know definitively. It does seem unlikely, though, that a representation of Christ as Good Shepherd would be shown wearing an item of military appearance.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Colours 2018

So, last Saturday morning, up bright and early, fried egg sandwich and coffee for breakfast and then off up the M4 to Newbury for Colours.

The journey was uneventful and I got to the carpark with about 20 minutes to spare before the doors opened. Once inside, I made a beeline for the Bad Squiddo stand where I had a nice chat with Annie and Bruce, before picking up my pre-ordered Pulp Explorers and also some additions for my Swordmaidens.

After that, the world was my mollusc, but I knew that I needed to visit the Warlord stand early to buy stuff for a Sharp Practice FIW project I need to get finished before next January.

These will give me enough figures for three groups of skirmishers and at least three groups of line infantry, plus leaders, a musician (drummer) and a colour party. Any left over figures might end up as vignettes to be used as deployment points.

I also visited the Crooked Dice stand for some extra figures for two of my 7TV casts. Actually, I currently only have two casts, but I am planning a couple more, not sure what they will be yet, though.

I spent a lot of time wandering around, looking at the various stands and seeing what was available. Unfortunately, Wargames Foundry weren't at the show, so that meant I wasn't able to pick up any figures for a project I've had in my mind for ages now, so I won't go into that yet.

I did look at the range of 15mm figures and chat to a helpful chap on the Essex stand, which helped me to firm up ideas for an extra force for my 15mm Sharp Practice 18th century Syldavia and Borduria imagi-nations project. That is now looking like a distinct starter for 2019. I also had a helpful chat with a nice man on the Warbases stand about custom bases for my Sword and Spear 28mm Late Roman army, allowing me to reuse my Saga Romans on movement trays. While I was there, I also bought two carts and draft horses which will be useful for my 28mm Peninsular War Sharp Practice troops, together with some single and double dice frames and 7mm dice for shock recording (for both SP and CoC).

After that I visited the Coritani stand for more magnetic discs, some resin bits and textured paint. There is a nice 15mm gate and wall set, which will be useful for lots of things and a  couple of 28mm tree stumps which I think will make nice deployment point markers for Sharp Practice.

I bought two useful-looking MDF trays which fit inside Really Useful 4L boxes. I am hoping that these will make transporting my 15mm ACW and imaginations forces easier.

I couldn't go to Colours and not see Ground Zero Games. I've not really been doing a lot of 15mm Sci Fi stuff recently, but I've always like the Ixx figures, so I bought some, together with a few Darghaur. My plan here is another army for Alien Squad Leader, probably a Children Of The Gods one.

I am a big fan of the resin pieces made by The Square and these thatched buildings caught my eye. I can see them working for 15mm Sharp Practice, but also for CoC, especially Eastern Front. The oil drums piece is also going to be hugely useful for WW2 games.

Last, but most definitely not least, I bought this lovely collapsible dice tray from Saddle Goose Designs, which is run by Deborah, the wife of painting expert Matt Slade of Glenbrook Games.

It was nice to catch up with various people, Matt and Deborah, Jon Tuffley of GZG, Geoff of Ham and Jam, Annie and various others.

The club also had a presence at Colours, in the shape of Alex, Nick, Owen and Richard who were running a game of Alien Squad Leader, 100pts each of Human Cultists and Biker Gangs.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Postal Blitz!

Look what the postman left on the doormat while I was out shopping;

124 pages of superb Lardie goodness; packed full of all the information you'll ever need to play Chain of Command in the Western European theatre in 1940. There is a huge number of army lists for different formations for the Belgians, Dutch, French, British, Germans and Italians, plus five new scenarios. There are even rules for Fifth Columnists, Civilians and Germans disguised as Nuns (or Belgian etc police officers). Of course, because of the role played by dive bombers, there are rules for deploying Stukas too.

As usual, the book is a lavish production with colour pictures and plenty of explanation. I've just had a flick through so far, but I am already wondering which units I really want to deploy. So many choices! So many support options. It is going to be a tough call. The only thing I do know is that I'll be building my forces in 15mm and they will be from the excellent Peter Pig early war range.