Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sad News

I've just learned from Richard Phillips that our friend and fellow wargamer Chris Justice passed away in April.

Chris was a keen Cold War Commander player and attended the first two Crisis Point games at Dungworth Green Hall.

I will particularly remember him, though, for the couple of occasions when he attended my Saturday Afternoon Wargames.  Here he is, typically, helping young George give his elders and betters a kicking on the wargames table...

You'll be sadly missed, mate.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Black Dog Ambush

Fun was had today at Stately Counterpane Manor when Ron, Jamie and I played a game of Song of Blades and Heroes.  The scenario was set in Glorantha and was as follows:

A Troll merchant caravan is heading for the village of the Black Dog clan on a trading mission.  The rival Marshedge clan plan to attack the caravan and make it look like the Black Dogs were responsible.

Unknown to the Marshedge, a group of Broo and Scorpion-men have occupied some local caves and have their own designs on the caravan.

Meanwhile, the Troll merchant, alerted by worrying omens, has decided to lay on some additional protection for his goods.

Mules have medium move and Cbt 0.  They never attack and only move when an accompanying element does so.

Victory points 

1vp per 25pts of enemy killed

1vp per mule under your control at the end of the game.

Jamie played the Trolls and commanded an Argan Argar merchant, five Trollkin guards, two Trollkin bearers, four loaded mules and an enormous Giant!

Ron looked after the Marshedge clan warband who were led by Kollyr Stonebrow accompanied by her Vingan bodyguard, Kai Sorrowsdaughter, and four weaponthanes.

I ran the Chaos gang who had four Broo, two Scorpion-men, and a Jack-o-Bear.

The game began with the Trolls wandering down the trackway.  Jamie decided to keep his Giant off-table for the first couple of turns (for greater shock value when it did arrive as Ron didn't know what was coming).

The Troll caravan enters the table.

Shortly after the above photo was taken my Broo Hero charged forward and attacked one of the Trollkin guards.  Despite massively outpointing his opponent, the Broo lost the combat and fell at the feet of the Trollkin, at the mercy of any nearby Troll with a handy mace.

I did the only thing I could and threw the more powerful of my two Scorpion-men into the fight to try and drive off the threatening Trolls.  This worked nicely.  I got a "gruesome kill" on one of the Trollkin and the resulting morale rolls drove off the immediate threat.

Shortly afterwards the Marshedge clan members arrived and I found myself fighting two opponents simultaneously (but then so did the others).

At this point Jamie decided to bring on Guurgh, his Giant mercenary!

I got really unlucky with the die rolls and Ripper-of-Guts (the big Scorpion-man) was killed by Kai Sorrowsdaughter.

And then I lost my Broo hero too!

While the merchant and the Giant held off Broo and Orlanthi alike, Jamie's Trollkin began to move the pack animals back off the table.

Only two mules left!

Look, there's only one mule left now! Told you we should have eaten
them when we had the chance!
The Trollkin guarding the last of the pack animals had a particularly distinguished action fighting two tied rounds with one of Kollyr's weapon thanes before defeating a Broo in single combat and then knocking down the Uroxi weapon thane and escaping with the last load of trade goods!  And all this with a Combat value of 1!

We called it a day after a couple of hours (including the preceding rules tutorial) and totted up the victory points.

I'd killed a massive 20 points worth of Trollkin for no victory points at all!

Ron had taken out both of my Scorpion-men to end up with 4VP. One more point worth of figures killed would have given him five!

And Jamie?  Well Jamie got all four mules safely off the table and killed large swathes of his opponents' war bands for an impressive total of 15VP!

We're going to have to find a way of dealing with that Giant!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gregged... or Jeffed?

With the new iMac safely installed and working I can now get back to posting here!

Preparations for Pavis SOBH have progressed.  Decided to repaint the shields of my Lunar peltasts to match the unit known to be in Pavis in 1616ST or so.  These were the Silver Shields.  Definitely a peltast unit according to the Moon Designs reprint of the Pavis boxed set.

So they had silver shields right?  Whatever, I decided to ask for some idea of what their shields might look like at Glorantha on Google+.  Big mistake.

Glorantha fans of some duration will know of being "Gregged".  This is the process by which information you've known to be "true" for years is suddenly deemed false by creator deity Greg Stafford.  Now I've been "Jeffed", with Moon Design's guru Jeff Richards declaring that the Silver Shields aren't peltasts, they're hypaspids, lightly armed hoplites with, presumably, oval shields.

Well sod it, my Glorantha will vary.  I have however, followed Jeff's lead in giving them silvered shields with eight pointed stars.  I went with red stars.

Friday, June 13, 2014

New iMac ordered today

Traffic here has been slow of late as my beloved eight-year old iMac has expired after a short illness.

But not to mourn too long; I'm getting a new one tomorrow!

To celebrate, here's a random photograph:

They are Gloranthan Sable Riders built and painted by Ian Notter and seen at the first Glory Day event in High Wycombe.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cool Even Without a Fez

My enthusiasm for Pulp Alley and for my emerging Pavis project is driving me towards unprecedented productivity as far as painting 28mm toys is concerned.  Acquired at Triples and painted in short order are these from Ainsty:

Officially, they are May, Tweedy and a Constabulary Communications Cabinet but I think we all know the score here.

I'm not sure whether the Doctor should appear as part of a league in Pulp Alley or whether he should be restricted to the role of a Plot Point.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scorpion Lord

There's a reason there are broos, ogres and scorpion-men in Pavis and it has something to do with the ancient and evil magic used by the Cult of Pavis during the Nomad and Troll occupations of the City.

But that's deep background.  For now let's just enjoy the awesomeness of this guy:

Apparently he's a Ral Partha Chaos Imperium Scorpion Man Shock Lord.

The paint job was actually dead easy.  The body is Screamer Pink highlighted with  heavy dry-brush of Changeling Pink - my first attempt at using the GW dry-brushing paints.  The armour is Tin Bitz drybrushed with Dwarf Bronze.  The weapon's blade is Bolt-gun Metal over Tin Bitz.  A few additional details and Robert's that strange man who always hangs around the stead-house. 

I now have three scorpion-men to threaten Rubble expeditions:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


After Partizan on Sunday we went back to Gus's for an excellent lunch followed by a game of Pulp Alley.

 I set up a game using the "Trail of Clues" scenario.  In this the players have to find two minor Plot Points before they can discover the location of the Major Plot Point.  I wanted to use my newly painted Ainsty Constabulary Communications Cabinet so this time the Major Plot Point would be the TARDIS whilst the minor ones would be the warp energy converter, the heavy lifting gear, K-9, and a plucky reporter.

Andy played my previously unused 1920s UNIT league whilst Gus played the Cybermen.

UNIT is led by Lieutenant Lethbridge-Stewart (whose son would go on to command UNIT in the 1970s):

He's assisted by Sergeant Manson:

and leads a group of five UNIT squadies:

The UNIT league also has the Network of Supporters perk and they ended up reinforced by Mr Brawler, a level 2 character with a taste for solving problems with his fists.

The Cybermen have appeared here before.  They are a slow-moving league but they are hard as nails:

The game was played, once more, using my foamcore dungeon terrain.  Each league had to pass through a Perilous area (a rickety wooden bridge for UNIT and an area of slippery, spore-clouded fungus for the Cybermen).

The Cybermen were first to reach a PlotPoint, capturing the Warp Energy Converter (above) on turn two.

Meanwhile the UNIT troops had great difficulty getting over the bridge.  Two soldiers fell to their doom from the unstable structure.

Eventually the UNIT force was reduced (by accidents and long-range Cyberman fire) to just Lethbridge-Stewart, Manson, and Mr Brawler.  However they did manage to find the heavy lifting gear (in the wooden crates near the bridge).

Having secured the gear, Andy then placed the reporter in the main chamber (not far from where the Cybermen had located K-9).  The plucky young lass was immediately menaced by one of the steel-clad monsters but Mr Brawler rushed to her aid!

Whilst Lethbridge-Stewart quizzed the young lady about the whereabouts of the blue box (achieving the Plot Point whilst Brawler kept the Cyberman busy) Andy made great use of Challenge cards to frustrate Gus.  The Cyberleader repeatedly failed to take control of K-9.

With two Plot Points secured, Andy was able to deploy the TARDIS where he liked.  He liked back-down-the-corridor-we-just-walked-along.

Despite extending the game by a turn, Andy was unable to take control of the TARDIS but he did win the game by two Plot Points to one.  The lieutenant and the reporter were last seen heading for a rusty iron ladder and, hopefully, escape from the cyber-menace....

So another really enjoyable game of Pulp Alley completed in about an hour.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Partizan in a Tent

This Sunday was the Partizan show near Newark.  Thanks to a bit of a cock-up on the planning front Kelham Hall was double booked so Partizan ended up in a cruciform arrangement of, very hot, tents in the grounds.

I did a bit of shopping (a couple of Morokanth from Fenris Games and a few dungeon wall sections from Ainsty) and met up with some old friends.

I'm surprised to see I didn't take any pictures of Simon Miller's excellent Battle of Cremona game.  This was probably because my mind was focussed on ideas for Pavic ruins.  Here are some pictures I did take though:

A WW2 Western Desert game - very Pavis-like

Retreat from Moscow

A very nice 28mm early WW1 game

Zimbabweian ruins in an Alan Quartermain-styled
skirmish game using In Her Majesty's Name

More of the above - nice huts

And again - I like the elephant grass

And finally some termite mounds with a couple of familiar figures.