Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Bet you weren't expecting this to appear on Gathering of Hosts:

A few years ago this vignette was one of several RAFM sets that I couldn't resist as long as I was ordering... something or other. Now they are painted.

Haven't decided yet if they should be gloss varnished and added to the People of the Forests host or not.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Dragon Host in Battle

As I feared, after 2 multi-player games and having watched a multi-player Viking vs Saxon  Lion Rampant game, the rules weren't as bad as they appeared in my solo games. I'm not tempted to adopt them but I'd be willing to play if the occasion presented itself.

My Men of the Sea gave a good account of themselves but the poor Black Cauldron force were pushed aside and demolished by heavy cavalry on both games. Their deadliest enemy!

Right!  1/72nd fantasy interlude over, time to brush the dust off some 25mm's.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Magic Cauldron is no match for a Good Blade

Today I took a short break to blood my 1/72nd Dragon Rampant armies.

Given that I'm  still pretty green at this, I just did an equal points encounter on random ground. A toss of the die indicated that the Lord of the Black Cauldron was the Attacker. He himself was rated as an Elite Foot Minor Magic user with the Dragon's Breath, Heal Thyself (aka "back in the cauldron buddy") and Befuddle them spells. His army consisted of a unit of Scouts, a unit of Heavy Horse, a unit of Bellicose foot (led by a Chieftain in a chariot)  and a unit of undead Cauldron warriors, Bellicose foot (which I just realized were supposed to be Elite foot, slow and reluctant to die. Damn!). Their plan was to send the cavalry forward up the right with an attack en echelon while the magician used dragon's breath to protect his army from catapult fire until they got into range.

The enemy under the Sea King, himself Heavy foot, were the men of the sea with a unit of scouts, a unit of Giants (Elite Foot), 2 units of light spearmen with short range missiles and a catapult (Heavy Missiles). Their plan was to make as tight a shieldwall as possible while pounding the enemy with BIG rocks.

About turn 4, just before I realized that I'd forgotten the 3 inch "no go" zone around each unit. No wonder the armies were so hesitant to advance! All of the Celts have advanced at least once in 4 turns while only 2 of the Saxon types have.
After a shaky start the armies started to get together. The magician's first attempt at Dragon's breath was a small puff of mist which didn't stop the catapult from nailing a few zombies. The second attempt was better but the Zombies were already dashing ahead full speed regardless.

The Giants and their little friends see off the first wave of Cauldron warriors.

The wild tribesmen rushed in and then rushed back out even faster, those Giants are TOUGH!   A second attack by the Zombies ended with the last standing giant sending the last standing Zombie running back to the Cauldron to jump in and hide. Apparently even fearless undead aren't happy with a morale result of -4.
With 2 units out of it, it was the cavalry's turn and after all, this was only a handful of light foot, what had they been baulking at? The spearpoints and Shieldwall apparently. After handily repelling the cavalry charge  the spearmen followed up with a barrage of javelins and arrows at the retreating cavalry and the game was over.

So there we are. I think I am starting to get a handle on these silly rules and can see how some one well versed in the system could develop various valid game tactics (as opposed to ones inspired  by either fiction or history).

My 2nd star of the game (after the Giants). It rattled the Wizard a little by squashing one of his acolytes and squished a few zombies in between attacks thus hastening their return to the nether world.
The catapult came with my Marx Knights and Vikings set and with a new elastic in place showed itself still capable of throwing a missile across the room.

Luckily, after next Saturday's game, which I hope is exciting and fun for all who take part, it won't be any of my business!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Small Dragons Rampant

Rob  (Sharp End of the Brush blog) will be running a multi-player 1/72nd Dragon Rampant event at Huzzah and I have agreed to bring 2 armies and be assistant GM.

Today I flocked the last of the new additions that were needed and I'm ready to go.

The first army is based around a box of Ancient Britons picked up on a nostalgic whim a decade ago. The Cauldron part was inspired by a child's book I read 45 years ago crossed with the wounded Briton and a stray cauldron from a Barzso Daniel Boone set. 

Black CauldronPts
WizardElite Foot10
Spellcaster, reduced model
Cauldron WarriorsBellicose Foot8
Offensive, Shiny Armour, No feelings, Fear
Wild HuntHeavy Riders4
HillmenBellicose Foot6Shiny Shields
Hillmen with leader riding to battle in his chariot plus a unit various resurrected warriors.

Cavalry, Wizard and Scouts

The second army was based on a box of Orion Vikings that I bought around the same time because they included copies of my old 25mm painted hard plastic Marx Vikings. One of my original Marx catapults has been included on one of the stands. It'll still send a matchstick across the room!

Men of the Sea
Viking KingHeavy Foot4
shieldwall, reduced model
GiantsElite Foot6
RaidersLight Foot4
short range missiles, shieldwall
RaidersLight Foot4
short range missiles, shieldwall
Thor's ArmHeavy Missles4(catapult)
Odin's EyesScouts2

2 units of Light Foot and some Scouts.

Heavy Foot, Catapult and Giants (Elastolin 4cm)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Born in Battle

Well, it was a fierce-some battle, no doubt about it, but the Northern Federation Herdsmen are finally painted and ready to take their place in the battleline.
Here come the Herdsmen.
I was looking forward to painting these from the time I got them right up until the moment I looked at the primed figures and realized that I had no idea really who they were, how they should be dressed, and what painting techniques I should use the get the right look for what I wanted. A week later after several short, unsatisfactory  painting sessions, I was just about ready to quietly pack them away again.

Luckily I can sometimes get stubborn and after figuring out who they were and experimenting a bit, and remembering a bit, I started putting in some longer sessions and experimenting and they finally started coming together. Then it started to feel tedious with no end of little details and shading to do, and redo, so I decided to just push through and finish them.  So there are a few spots where the shading etc aren't quite what I wanted but the glossy finish helps and at arms length they have the right look and I am well satisfied. 

The Dalefolk Muster
The Northern Federation is composed of several Folk or People of which the largest are the Dalefolk who live in the open, rolling, country between the mountains and the sea. Along the rivers the bulk of the population live in small farming villages surrounded by their fields. In the uplands the land is less fertile and crops and orchards are replaced by herds of sheep, cattle and horses tended by wandering tribes of Herdsmen.

By tradition, these farmers and herders are Freemen beholden to none but each other, abiding by the laws adopted by the people  themselves and serving in arms when the people are threatened. However, long years of war saw the rise of powerful Lords, each with his band of armoured horsemen,  and now most Freemen swear fealty to one of these Lords and pay taxes to help maintain him and his horsemen in his stronghold perched on its hilltop while the Lords in turn swear allegiance to a High King. In return, the King and Lords  defend the borders and enforce the laws and it is only in times of National Crisis that the Freemen take up shield and spear, axe or bow and march to war.

and there they go.