Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Painter's Block

It happens to everyone, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. I need to paint, and I've got plenty to paint, but just can't get the enthusiasm to get into it.

Get the paints out, select from the wonderous selection of beautiful miniatures, apply first coat of something, and then... interest wanders. Put it away again.

I always admire professional figure painters such as the impossibly talented Andrew Taylor, or Dave Imrie - not just because of their stunning ability to colour in toy soldiers, but also because they seemingly manage to paint relentlessly to a fantastic standard.

This morning I even tried forcing myself to paint by sitting down and starting on something simple (15mm Saxon war dogs from Splintered Light), but that just made it worse. So, in the absence of painting, I'm going to ramble on about the other bits of my wargaming world.

Currently my gaming is occupied entirely by 15mm Dark Ages, and Song of Splintered Lands (notionally 18mm, but fairly open to interpretation). Over the years I've grown tired of playing on cricket pitches, so have been investing some Google time on scenery.

I've picked up a Celtic farmstead from Hovels (via great service from Essex Miniatures), and had a pop at some OO scale trees on individual bases. Currently waiting on a delivery from Hotz Matz to play on, and a Longboat from Essex for raiding party action. The farmstead is very good value at £27 with the pigsty (still missing the pigs I got from ERM at the same time), but been looking for something special to fight over.

This led me to pick up some books on Iron Age forts, and culminated in a discussion with a commission scenery builder about Roman roads, dykes, and marsh sections. As I'm largely hopeless at scenery building I think I'll be investing in this soon.

The real spark has been the scenery builder's suggestion of having a go at making Bamburgh castle circa 500AD

Whether intentional or not, this has struck a chord with me as I love Cornwell's Warlord series about Uhtred of Bannenburg. Will report shortly on progress

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

SSL: The Good, The Bad, and the Unlucky

Third SSL game in as many weeks last night, and a huge attack of Arrghhh!!

An outing against Pete's Kobolds, only the second or third time Pete has played Songs with the Kobolds, so let him get away with more than I usually would. Also threw some advice across the table - although none of this would have made the blindest bit of difference to the way the game panned out.

Kobolds brought legions of little dog-faced warriors to the table - ten warriors, five skirmishers, a wizard, and a leader. The Faithful had an Otter Leader, Otter Hero, two Otter Archers, and two Badgers.

When you're outnumbered 3-1, there's only really one thing for it - Charge! However, Charge! relies on several factors of statistical likelihood occurring; namely, activation dice.

The Faithful managed to turnover play on their first activation roll no less than four times, and turned over six times in total. Kobolds only had to maintain formation to pick off the various Badgers and Otters.

I should point out that these failures were occurring with a Leader at Q2 (he failed twice), and Badgers and Otter hero at Q3 within command radius giving them effective Q2.

So I lost - badly. Managed to kill one solitary Kobold warrior (all fifteen points) for the loss of 250pts worth of Badgers and Otters.

I'm going burn my dice today, and plot revenge.

I've got some Otter Rogues, and the not Wind-in-the-Willows packs winging their way from Splintered Light. These, I think, will be supported in future by the Mice spearmen - I've not used them for some time now, and I think it's beginning to show.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

SSL: For A Few Badgers More

A very picture heavy battle report for the next instalment of Song of Splintered Lands this evening - sorry if you've got a poor connection.

So, to business - the freshly painted Rebels/Flowering (Oli) were out for revenge after last week's drubbing (see A Fistful of Badgers a few posts back), so much so that they wheeled out the mighty Wolverine character. 122pts of mightiness. Escorting him were two Rat personalities, five rat warriors, and the obligatory pair of fox archers.

Flushed and confident from their last success, the Faithful's Badgers had largely gone onto the reserves bench. Thus, the Faithful warband (Me) comprised of things not often seen; The Tassletail Brothers leading a pair of Squirrel Swords, a Squirrel Archer, Otter sword, Otter Spear, Otter Archer, and heavy support in the form of just two armoured Badgers.

Excuse the pictures - poor lighting and the texture of the terrain mat confused the hell out of the camera.

Starting positions
Faithful nearest the bottom, archers just out of shot in bottom right corner.

And they're off - business as usual for the rats, no doubt feeling particularly brave due to the presence of that Wolverine

The Faithful adopt a similar formation. Archers again out of shot.

So, on the second turn, combat begins. Badgers engage the Wolverine, who is knocked down after pushing back the first Badger

The Rats swamp the Blue Badger, and the Shamen transfixes him. He dies - with crashing inevitability Mr. Anderson, as Elrond might say.

The Wolverine then deals with second Badger after knocking him down (Badger did get up, then fell over again, then the Otter failed his activation), and it all starts to go horribly wrong. Nasty death and the Faithful make their first morale check as Fergus Tassletail also falls to the Wolverine.

The Faithful fall back, and the Flowering regroup. The Squirrel Archer brought down the Ratlord, and the Otter archer finished him off. Too little too late though.

The Fox Archers took the Squirrel out, and forced the Otter back. Meanwhile the Wolverine and Rats closed in on the shaken remains of the Faithful. The Rats are held at bay and then fall back when another falls bring the Flowering warband to under 50%. The Wolverine, however, is completely impervious to such fripperies as dead rodents, and proceeds to deal death to the hopeless little Squirrels. A below-50% morale check for the Faithful and they rout.


Game over.

Great fun, as Songs always is.

The Squirrels aren't good in hand-to-hand, but I love the look of them, so I think they'll get another run out soon. The Otters are intriguing though - very good in hand-to-hand, so they'll definitely feature in the next warband.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Price of War?

As regular readers of my ramblings will know, I've got a thing for 15mm at the moment. Although I maintain the guiding principle behind this fixation is cost, it must be said that the 15mm world does get some seriously cool toys to play with, and with a typical board being two or three feet by two, not much space is required.

In a rare moment (for my gaming at least), I decided to work out how much my 15mm Dark Ages setup has cost thus far;

Brytenwalda Rules - £0
Splintered Light Romano British Warband - £20*
Splintered Light Saxon Warband - £20*
LBMS Shield Transfers - £9
Hovels Celtic Pigsty & Farm/Hamlet - £26
ERM Livestock (for rustling scenarios) - £5**
Hotz Matz 3 x 2 Gaming mat - £18
Trees - £0 (left overs from 28mm tree making
Shoreline/Beach - £0 (more on this later)

Total - £106

**tiny livestock have vanished, completely, so will need to be replaced

There's a few other scenic/objective type bits I'm going to get, but haven't decided yet. Nevertheless, a hundred quid for everything one might possibly need to play 15mm Dark Ages skirmish until the cows come home. Two warbands as well - so I can play against anyone on our Tuesday gaming nights.

So, ignoring the fact that the terrain mat and scenery are useable for other systems (such as Song of Splintered Lands) I'm pretty chuffed with the whole thing myself. By comparison, that £100 spent on a Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard Army would get you, just, the absolute basic platoon.


Cheap wargaming.

Sort of.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Dwarf Shield

Rather happy with the back of the RBG Dwarf I've been working on.


All freehand - looks awesome on the miniature (i.e. without Macro)

That is all.