Thursday, June 23, 2016

Diehard Miniatures Kickstarter Review.

Last Saturday I received my Kickstarter Pledge from Diehard Miniatures a new company by sculptor Tim Prow, with Sculptors Chaz Elliot and Drew Williams..all guys with long lists of sculpting credits with A list companies like Reaper, Ral Partha, Wargames Foundry and Wizards of the Coast*, (*when they actually made good miniatures during D&D 3rd Ed)  These generic fantasy figures, were marketed as "Oldhammer" which has taken on several meanings over the years but basically if your into Fantasy RPG gaming, its the OSR (old School Rules) of wargaming, Miniatures wise it focuses on the classic age of Citadel Miniatures 1983-1987, but often includes later figures depending on what you are into.

Anyway. I really liked alot of these figures, So I went for the 10 figure pledge, they were pricey at about $8 USD a figure but that's on par with what I pay for premium new metal figures these days. With all the plastic figures out there in the $2-3 range, people like to get all worked up over figures at this price, but coincidentally I am currently painting some really high end plastics right now and they just don't compare to these Pewter figures so I wanted to review them publicly as they came out very, very good.

As for the Kickstarter campaign , it delivered in just over 6 months, which is the new record for any miniatures  related Kickstarter I have been involved in. Overall the campaign was flawless, as far as I can tell (there arent any outraged backers in comments section demanding blood, and that's kind of a new one compared to some of the stuff I have been involved in. ) The resulting figures are just lovely, Now, despite my 10 figure pledge , I did only end up with 6 Figures and 2 KS backer freebies. Because I choose 4, large figures, each of which counted as two choices.

I broke my purchases down into 3 categories, Heroes (2), Undead (2) and Monsters (2)

The figures are:

Human Knight
Hillsman ( half-giant)

 Undead Minotaur
 Undead Knight

Son of Slomm (chaos beast)

There all for basic fantasy gaming, they scale perfectly with lines like Otherworld, Reaper, and Citadel they fit right in with my core collection, I'll be painting some of  them up soon, some later as I need them. As I mentioned I received them Saturday and had them all modeled up and primed by Sunday evening.

Overall the miniatures where exactly as pictured or described, fantastic casts, very minimal mold lines , there was some additional flash on the larger models but nothing remotely problematic.
The only critique and its really a sculptors prerogative is the pose of the Minotaur was so elongated I had to put him on 60mm base and he's still hanging off, which is ok as he works as a large monster for games on a 60mm, but I kind wish I could have got him on a 40mm

That aside, I am quite happy with these and look forward to painting them, since I photographed a bunch of black primed models here, I've included some of the pictures from the KS so you can the models are exactly as advertised.

Diehard is doing another Kickstarter in October, not sure If I'll jump in or not as I'm on a KS moratorium for a good while, but what I see is on the Facebook page is looking really good.
If you missed the original figures first time around, I believe they will be available this time around
as well, check it out.

As for the final review, as far as Kickstarters go this one is 5 out of 5 Stars.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Otherworld Skirmish, Green Magic Part 2

Picking up where we left off....


Man, the attackers cannot get a break.


3 Activation's
SKELETON 1- Attacks Sorcerer -  2,2, misses twice, no luck here.
GHOUL 1- continues climbing up tower after Neb,  1st Agility test.. 5!,  2nd Agility Test he at the top and abut to reach Neb and rolls a  ..2!  He need s a 4! So the Fate point wont help, climbing wasn’t the best idea for this ghoul…He falls! (or was he pushed?!)
I was surprised to find in the manual that there no damage mechanic from falling from height, just  a stunned status if you succeed a -1 agility test, so I have added that if you keep missing your agility test and you hit the ground you take a STR 4 hit for every agility test you have failed on the way.
In this case the Ghoul had climbed 8 inches when he fell but  there is an additional 4 inches of cliff face he was able to enter horizontally on,  above that cliff face. before he started climbing. Falling he could potentially drop all the way to the bottom . So it would be 6 agility tests, the first he failed, the second he makes with a 6!, needing a five…should he have missed he could have potentially made the next with 6, then a 7 using fate..then he’d be out of options hitting bottom taking 6 Str 4 hits.more than enough to make him go Splat unless he was very very lucky.  As it stands he fell 2 levels caught himself and is “Stunned” so he is right back where he started at the beginning of his 1st activation this turn.
Again I am also surprised that Undead doesn’t have it own rules outside of “Damned” as  subtype they should be immune to  stun and scared status, I’ll probably implement that in future games but for know he “Stunned” until its removed.

 The Lich is thru messing around he fires his Rob of lightning as his first activation and fires it at the Monk so he can use his Block ability and the Skeletons can swarm the Sorcerer. He is withing 6 inches and needs a  “4” and rolls a 5., he then rolls a 5 to damage the Monk who is only DEF 3…(needing a 3)
The Monk must then take a Defensive Statistic test or be Stunned he rolls a the required “4” So he wounded but not Stunned.

For his Second activation , The Lich is of course going to keep summoning…rolling all 3 Dice.., 3,3,5,+6  Or 16! Success.. the final 2 Skeletons on on the board.
The Lich has given activation tokens to two  Skeletons  already in play. via the Helm of Command  (leader 2)

SKELETON 3 – Since the Monk ‘s Blocker ability is still in effect, this Skeleton obliges and charges with his first Activation. And misses with a 3, on his 2nd activation he makes a follow up attack…rolling a 2, the Monk and Sorcerer are hanging in there but are totally surrounded..

SKELETON 5- can’t charge because there is not straight open path, but can move into base contact to join the combat vs the Sorcerer and then attacks with its 2nd activation but he also rolls a 2, (I am rolling 2’s like crazy)

Sucessful Mystic Web Cast!

3 Activation's.

ELAZAR THE SORCERER :  In combat with two Skeletons, the Sorceror is again going to try to cast his Mystic Web, he can potentially immobilize both Skeletons attacking him and the one attacking the Monk..should he succeed!...rolling two dice.. we roll a 6 and 4!  + hit INT 5 =15 of the needed 12 so he succeeds!. For his second activation he’s going to Arcane Bolt the newly summoned Skeleton 6…hitting with a 6! the Skeleton is DEF 4, and  the wound roll is a 5! The Skeleton has a shield…and can avoid it the magic blast with a lucky 6 but rolls a 3! Destroyed…big round for the Sorcerer.

THE MONK.  (via Follower ability) normally would be getting to attack an immobilized Skeleton for most likely an easy kill, HOWEVER the Defenders have 8 models on the board..4 of which are now suffering status effects (3 immobilized and 1 stunned) that count toward a shaken or wiped out test. While the lich has a very high morale at 5,  we could potential force a Shaken or even Wiped out test in the end phase  and maybe get him to concede the battle IF we can take out some more of these active models. So we go with that. The Monk withdraws from  the Immobilized Skeleton 3 and moves into the newly Summoned Skeleton 7 behind him…I cant charge as the Skeleton is behind him and he has no Line of Sight, so I must turn and move as my 1st activation, attacking with my Second. He get to roll two due to “unarmed adept”  rolls a 5 and a 6 ! , then rolls the needed 4 on the damage roll, the Skeleton rolls a 4 on his Shield roll looking for a 6 to save but fails and is Destroyed!

Note the climbing, but fallen and stunned Ghoul on the right.

SCORPA THE ASSASSIN  has been sitting on an  Adventure Token for a full turn now, we need him in the fight so for his first activation I we turn the card..and it’s “THE CROWN” worth 2VP, I want him to fire his crossbow for his second activation but there are target in Line of Sight, so he moves 3 inches succeeds at an Agilty check and climbs 2” up to a cliff ledge for next turn.
Lastly I am left with Neb and Grym…

I go with NEB at the top of the Wall who look down and try to shoot his hand crossbow , the stunned hanging by his fingernails ghoul 1 who slipped and fell,  he’s within 6” inches and is stunned so Ned is +1 to hit he needs a 3,  and I roll a 3!  To damage he rolls a 5 and the Ghoul is done. For his second activation Neb secures the treasure at the top of the tower which was the Attackers main objective.
The Thieves had their biggest turn so far, the didn’t even need the their Luck or Fate .as the plan succeeded , we will see how it works out.


DEFENDERS,  had 7 models on the start of the turn, it went up to 9 thru Summons, , I assume we have to base it on 9, they are now down to 3 active models on the board, so 1/3 exactly, we need to resolve the status effect first as any skeleton shaking off the effect with move the Wiped out morale test to a Shaken., I roll 5, 5, 4 so with the Defenders unused fate point we free a skeleton and the Defenders catch a break,  The Lich must take Morale test at -1 or fail his morale is a 5, with the -1 he need a 3+ and he rolls a 2!..and fail so I roll the D3 and only roll 1 model  removed. so I remove  Immobilized skeleton 5 and battle continues!!




Seems as  if the tide is turning and  Attackers are in control right now, since we finally have 2 fate we certainly will buy that additional activation, meaning everyone from the Guild will get to go…
4 Activation's

ELAZAR THE SORCERER:   Engaged with Skeleton is clear he’s got good Area of Effect for a Fireball if he can move to better spot. Activation 1, he disengages…opposed agility test   Sorcerer  3+3 =6, Skeleton 5+2=7 The Skeleton gets a free Strike..rolls a 4! Hit, Elazar has dodge, rolls a 4! (for Agility 3)  he succeeds and has avoided the blow!  Moves 3 inches away.

Activation 2, Cast Fireball…rolling 2 Dice..4+3 +5 Int = 12!  Success.  To hit he rolls a 3, one short so it scatters D6 inches, I roll a 1” in the direction of the Lich..and the template just clips his stroke of good fortune it hits all 3 Skeletons and the Lich!

Now, the reason I didn’t bother trying to get the Lich in to begin with is Magic Resistance, every target is DEF 4 so I need 4’s., I roll a 5 for the Lich he’s hit, but then a 4 for the MR roll and he laughs it off.

My other rolls are 3,4 and 5 thou….two Skeletons get their shield roll and fail and burn away…, the 3 was on the immobilized skeleton , I can find it in the book when I got to look but I was thinking Immobilized models are DEF 1 and cant do anything,  regardless its webbed and I rule it destroyed.
Major points for the Sorcerer, really earning his points this game, all the Skeletons are down.


SCORPA THE ASSASSIN:,\  Activates nexts moving up the rock face into position to fire a Crossbow bolt at the Lich.  Activation 2 is his shot..he hits with a 4 which is what he needs given his move and fire rule ( his Crossbow shot is an upgraded 3+..and wounds the Lich with 5!, the Lich turns around and isn’t playing games anymore, he also has regeneration…LOL

RAIDEN THE MONK- we need to tie up the Lich if Neb is going to escape with recovered loot…The Monk activates with his “follower”  ability, and is determined to engage the Lich. His 1st activation is movement and he cant charge due to where the lich is positioned, so he moves to engage and his 2nd activation is a melee attack. However the Lich is fearsome, so as soon as end his move action he must make an immediate morale test.. needing a 4 and the Monk realizes he’s made a terrible mistake and now suffers the scared status.. attacking while Scared is a -2 Penalty, I am looking for 5’s and with the 2 attack dice we get I roll a 2 and 3..oof.

NEB THE THIEF is next….Neb climbs to level 2 of the Tower where there is an Adventure Token inside he ends his move on it, allowing it to be turned with his 2nd activation. It’s the Dice Lore card which is boon for the Defender!,  I talk about that if actually comes up..Nebs Turn ends..

Finally we have minor thief GRYM  who hasn’t been able to do much all game Zombies on the right , the Lich on his Left, he doesn’t  have many options, I decide to move him into some trees on his 1st activation then on his 2nd use his one-shot move silenty ability to move x2 past the zombie , on to a far adventure token.  7” from the zombie Just far away to work.

Many dead Skeleton left them feeling cocky.


THE LICH.   is somewhat in tough spot here he is engaged in melee, but he needs to summon Zombies or else he’s going to have to take a wiped out test at the end of turn….

At the start of this activation phase the Lich is only receiving 1 Activation which is uses himself.
He’s got 3 Magic Dice and he also has  2 Fate , so I think I can pull it off,

Activation 1, try my new Disintegration spell with a DC of 13!,  we. Try 2 magic dice.. we roll a 5 and 2 for a 7 +6 Int =13!! Success.. bad new for Raiden the Monk who is Scared , wounded, and faces D3 S6 Hits..I roll a D3 and its 2…his DEF is -1 because of Scared so I need anything but ones and he is toast.. I roll a 2 and 6, and the Monk is Disintegrated!!! Oof.

Most likely to be Disintegrated!

Activation 2 is to Summon Zombies, I have on magic dice left and roll a 3! , +6 Int =9 not enough! But he has 2 Fate..we use one and get the required 10 to succeed. D6 Zombies appears I roll 5 but there are just 4 in the que so they all go on the board rising up out of the ground around Scorpa!!

The Lich is making his comeback., I had to reread the activation section because with the Zombies now on the board, I thought I might be able to get some activation however The Lich’s leader (2) ability was moot because when his activation began the Zombie where not on the board yet..(And the other lone zombie is too far away) and the Zombies- Mob Leader (3) rule doesn’t kick in unless a Zombie can be activated by an already available activation token which I don’t have…so the Lich’s turn ends.




Plenty of activation's to go around here, as the is six Defending models on the board  3 base activation and multiple activation thru Leader ( Helm of Command) and Mob Leader (Zombies)

THE LICH, Uses his Force of Will Power against Scorpa the Assassin and easily bests him with a 6, Scorpa is now Weakened, For his is 2nd Activation he use his 2nd Charge from his Rod of Lightning Firing it at Elazar the Sorceror, I roll a 4 to hit and a 6 to wound…The Sorceror is wounded, but he makes his DEF statistic test and is not stunned.

MOB LEADER ZOMBIE  is activated, using mob leader (3) he gives all the Zombies activation tokens…3  zombies move into base contact with the Weakened Scorpa!
ZOMBIE 1  finally activates and moves to minion thief Grym who is just out of range.

Surrounded by Zombies , Weakened by the Lich, somehow he survives.


At this point I think its time for the Thieves to call it a day, there is no way they are taking down this lich, without some sort of super warrior type character which they don’t have. The Thieves only have 2  Activation's.
SCORPA chooses to voluntarily withdraw from the Zombies, he is weakened, and they get free strikes, He’s not going to waste the action trying to regain his strength, he just runs..I roll 3,3,2, the Zombies need 5+ to hit so he’s free, his 2nd Action he makes a agility check succeeds with a 5 and climbs down the Cliff face.
For the 2nd Activation I have GRYM the minion thief  flip the adventure token and we draw a card, I draw wandering monster..there are no more in WM pool, so we draw again and get a Dragons Egg! (worth 2 VP)  I want Grym to voluntarily leave the board however he can not as there is a zombie within 6 inches of him so for his 2nd activation he turns and engages it..( can’t charge he’s facing the wrong way) He passes his fearsome test as the Zombie is damned and he is a minion and make base contact.

END PHASE, Scorpa  tries to regain his strength. Rolls a 5 and with out 1 fate to help out he does!




In a huge break the Attackers get the opposite luck and keep the initiative, they will also buy an activation. So they have  3.
SCORPA and ELAZAR both leave the board scoring for the Thieves Guild, I wanted to Sorcerer throw another Fireball but don’t want to risk rolling a 1, so they just leave.

NEB, makes an agility test. Rolls a 6 so he climbs the wall near the top of the tow
er steps where he is..
Long way down, Zombies coming up the stairs...JUMP!
For his 2nd activation I have him Jump!!!  I paid for 50 Feet of Rope for him because I thought  I would do a lot of climbing on this board. It however requires he make agility tests for each level  fallen he will be falling 3 levels here… he passes all three but we must use a point of luck here to make sure he does bumping a 2 to a 3 ( Neb has  an Agility of 5)  so he get to the base of the outside without damage.l

Unfortunately there are no activation's left for Grym who just stands there.

Looks like 50 Feet of Rope was worth it , too bad about that failed morale check!


Again plenty of activation's to go around but not a lot to do

THE LICH  moves twice to get within striking distance of the remaining two Thieves!
THE ZOMBIES all move.
ZOMBIE 1 attacks Grym and rolls a 4 which the Lich uses fate to bump to a 5 to hit!
The Zombie then rolls a 5 to wound, Killing minion thief Grym! Oof


Neb is now alone on the board and must take a Shaken test first…he rolls a 1! Failing  and must be removed feeling the board…I guess the Lich scared the pants off him, worst case was he had the Objective Treasure which stays on the board!


Defenders, The Lich and company scored 8 VP, 3 for Kills and one for a fleeing character (Neb)
Who’s now failed morale tests end game twice in a row now definitely earning the  “Coward” disadvantage in future profiles.
Attackers , scored  2 VP  for models voluntarily leaving the board and 4 VP for treasure cards.  For a total of 6 VP
The Lich and his Green Magic win the day!, it was close thou should Neb have gotten off the board voluntarily the Attackers easily won.


The end was somewhat anti climatic with the morale failure but overall a solid match, the Lich is beast and We barely used him to full effect,  he’s a hard one to bring down…without some real muscle with spell support for sure.

This is last of these type reports for awhile, I hope they were useful Illustrating how the game is played,  I’ll drop back to more narrative reports in the future as obviously these take awhile to get done.

We’ll be starting a narrative campaign in my fictional town of Blackbarrow in the coming months.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Otherworld Skirmish- Green Magic.

Here is another walk through for Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish.  This scenario called “Green Magic” is named after a photo I took for LPL6 which features some of the defenders of this scenario and are its inspiration. While progress continues on my fantasy village of Blackbarrow and it all that it contains.  The game takes place on a small section of the table  I’ve broke out on to separate board  just for this play-thru.  I’ve started tweaking some home rules for the game, specifically spells where I feel its lacking but overall the rule-set  has really grown on me, I love the narrative nature of these games, I am going to continue these reports in the that style.

THE ENCOUNTER.  Theoretically a 250 gp per side game,  I am more concerned with balanced sides than actual point totals.  This battle features a host of Undead , led by a Lich facing off against members of the local thieves guild and their associates.  There are few tweaks to the standard rules for scenario purposes but the profiles are standard  and the game setup is based on the “skirmish” book scenario. The goal of the attacking team (the Thieves Guild)  is recover a specific  treasure item and any other treasure tokens they can beforehand and leave the board treasure in hand with the least of a casualties as possible, The Attackers get  1VP for each surviving Model as well as 5 VP for the special treasure item and any standard VP from Adventure Cards.  The Defenders get 2 VP for each Attacker for doesn’t leave the board of their own freewill, meaning if any Attacking models  Flee due to failed morale, the Defenders get the points,  Defeated Legend/Unique models are also worth an additional Victory Point to the respective side. This make the VP spread a  potential  max of “14”for the Defenders vs  “12” for the Attackers before any Adventure cards come into play.

THE BATTLEGROUND.  This once again takes place on my  2x2 battleboard, My Hirst Fieldstone Ruin which serves as the entrance to Blackbarrow dungeon is the setting of choice. Surrounded by heavy forest, the old ruin still guards the entrance to the infamous dungeon and fills that exact role on the larger table as well.

THE STORY.   The sole survivor of the last scenario I ran “Bait!” was Neb the Thief.  Neb used his new gotten gains to found the Thieves Guild of Blackbarrow and now has two Hirelings working with him.  Recently while scheming   at the Wayside Inn, they met  a traveler who claimed to be a survivor of another unfortunate Adventuring Party and to have escaped Blackbarrow Dungeon . He claims not to have escaped alone but with a partner who was carrying some extremely valuable treasure. Chased from the Dungeon they were separated and he last saw his partner  climbing to top of the ruined tower at the Dungeons entrance  while Undead swarmed from below.  Dropping everything  he ran, and claims his companion , badly wounded  surely met his end trapped at the top of that tower.  Treasure in hand. Neb obviously know he’ll need some additional help here, and who has been staying at the Inn these last months claiming to have cleared out Blackbarrow Dungeon? Why the 3 survivors of  “Burn Baby Burn” of course.

Varga the Lich. The highest point creature in the current book other than Dragons, The Lich comes with host of awesome powers I’ll go into as we play,  he also has a slew of magic items in this case, the Helm of Command (leader -2), a Rod of Lightning (3 charges) , a Ring of Invisibilty,  a Scroll of Haste and a potion of Great Strength.  Spells are Raise the Dead, Strike Fear and Disintegration (*new spell)
*Disintegration- Whats a Lich without a Disintegration type spell?  
 I came up with DC 13, Touch, creates D3 Strength 6 hits, Once use per turn.  While the DC13 is higher than standard spells potentially wiping out most characters in one shot is a big deal but with Magic (3) and INT 6, I don’t think it will be too much of an issue.

3 Ghouls.  Standard servants of the lich, despite needing  5+ to hit, their Drain ability could get nasty, a good rank and file troop that doesn’t need to be summoned.

7 Skeletons. Starting off the board, they must be raised by the Lich via the raise the dead spell.  D3 per turn can arise..7 will make sure new Skeletons are coming on the board at least thru the 3rd turn.

5 Zombies.  Normally they must also be Summoned via the Raise the Dead Spell  at D6 per turn I am however going to allow Zombies to be played anytime a Wandering monster card is drawn,  (1 per card) or until all 5 are on the board or summoned by the Lich, which ever happens first.

(Evil Profiles)
Neb (Legend profile -Corsair)  Neb is back with an evil profile this time to fit the team. Extra point for Def and Agility, his skills are  Dodge , Set Traps, Treasure Hunter (1),  Thieves Tools(1),  Luck (1), Leader (1). He has an extra attack with a hand crossbow at 4+ and since there will be climbing involved I gave him the extra 50 feet of Rope ability for 5gp.
( I also think Legends and companions, should be able to purchase additional equipment above the basic profiles so I do that here)

Grym, Neb, Mott

Elazar (Legend profile –Sorcerer. )  The wizard has bumped up DEF and INT and the following abilities Magic (2) Magic Items (1), Arcane Bolt, Scrolls and Potions (1), Shield of Force Grimoire (Haste), Potion of Cure Wounds.  His Spells are Web and Fireball * (new spell)
*Fireball- what’s the deal with no traditional Fireball?
I came up with DC 12,  Range 18” Str 4 Attack Roll 4+ Blast 5” Scatter D6” On Fire. A more difficult to cast Pillar of wrath, with increased range and a bigger template.

Raiden the Monk (companion profile Myrmidon)   The Wizard faithful servant , has upgrade his Brawl attack to 3+ and has the following abilities:  Blocker, Follower, Dodge, Unarmed Adept, Critical Blow, and the “will..not..stop” special ability

Scorpa the Assassin ( Companion profile  Slayer)  The Assassin an extra base attack  with a Crossbow which has again been upgraded to 3+. The Assassin has the following abilities: Concealing Cloak, Dodge, Thieves Tools (1), Move Silently, Light Armor. He also has the special power Unseen Strike, allowing a one time double dice roll, for a single wound.

Scorpa, Raiden, Elazar

Finally I needed some Thieves for my Thieves Guild. The standard hireling profiles didn’t quite fit, these aren’t simple bandits, they are decent  thieves, so using the 15gp Veteran profile we have:
Mott and Grym,    Thieves.
Agility upgraded to 4, Pickpocket (1) and Move Silenty,  Brawl and Shortsword 4+.


As the band of Treasure Hunting Adventurers reaches the Ruins that guard the entrance of Blackbarrow Dungeon just after dusk,  they are welcomed by a sinister green glow.

At the start of the first turn, each side rolled a morale test to see if the other was surprised, both sides passed so each are aware of the other
The Lich and his Ghouls are deployed in the center of the ruin near the dungeon Entrance. The Thieves are in two group deployed in opposite corners on at the front of the ruin, Neb and his Thieves plan  to climb the tower to access the main treasure, while the Wizard and his muscle use range and AoE spells to destroy the undead from a distance. The Lich of course has other plans.

There are 9 Adventure Tokens placed randomly on the board, an extra token was thanks to Neb’s Treasure Hunter (1) ability.


INITIATIVE   Defenders 4, Attacker 3


The Defenders currently have 4 Models on the board. So they start with 2 Activations, however the Lich wears the Helm of Command, giving him Leader (2) so all 4 models with Activate for the Defenders

Ghoul 1- Activates and use both actions to move where he can now has cover and Line of Sight on the interlopers.

The Lich.  His first activation is a special action, casting Raise the Dead, needing a 10 he uses only 2 of his 3 dice as he’s going to try to cast it twice. And get those Skeletons on the board, His first action to cast the spell is two dice and rolls an 8 with a 6 in the easily cast the spell… we roll a D3 and get a 1 so 1 skeleton enters play, He summons the dead once again with his second action. Rolling a “3” + 6 Int gives him a “9” one short of casting the spell, so he uses his Fate token to make it a success…this two skeleton join the fray.

Ghoul 2 – Activates from the Lich using his Helm of Command here moves twice toward a position of ambush or flank the Wizard group.

Ghoul 3- Activates from the Lich using his Helm of Command and does the same, expect he needs to climb down the rock face to woods rolling a 6 on an agility test , easily does.


The Thieves get 3 Activation's, however Neb has Leader (1) and The Monk is a Follower of the Wizard meaning  5 members of the team will activate this turn.

Elazar The Sorcerer  Activates and having nice target of 3 Skeletons and a Ghoul cues up his Fireball Spell.  He only has Magic 2, and this spell needs a  “12” he rolls a pair of “4”s +5 Int = 13” the spell is successful! However he only rolls a “2” to hit so the spell is off target I roll the D6 Scatter and get 2 “ to Left,  Not too bad as it still hits one skeleton and Ghoul #2 whose on outside the wall. The Skeleton survives but is “on Fire” the Ghoul  is destroyed.
His second activations he fires an Arcane Bolt at same skeleton he targeted the fireball at but misses again.

Raiden the Monk . Activates using his Follower ability using both actions to move toward a nearby adventure token and intercept Ghoul # 3. After his first action he is 6inches away in a straight line so he charges the ghoul, and uses his enhanced brawl attack of 3+ which becomes a 4+ because of Charging., Ghouls are Damned but that doesn’t effect him as a Companion model. He rolls a “4” and hits..and thanks to unarmed adept gets 2 dice to wound..only needing a 3! But rolls a 1 and 2, the Ghoul survives.

Neb  activates and moves to the nearby cliff face to start climbing, he easily passes the agility test and climbs one level, he will have to climb many more levels to reach the top. as each "level" of climbing is 2"

Mott the Minion Thief Activates and follows Neb but fails his agility test and is stuck at the cliff face.

Grym the Minion Thief Activates and moves twice just reaching an Adventure Token.

Scorpa doesn’t get to activate this turn.

Here you can see wear the fireball set one Skeleton "on fire" and destroyed 1 Ghoul.

End of Turn 1

INITIATIVE   Attacker 3 , Defenders 1,


In a bit of poor strategy I have botched the use of  the “follower” skill by moving the monk too far away from the Sorcerer.  Since I want to move the Scorpa the Assassin as well this turn its either the Sorceror doesn’t go..and  I get 4 activations due to Nebs,” Leader (1)” OR none of thieves do and I get my base 3 tough call. I wont make this mistake again. The Monk is in base contact with a Ghoul, so  I choose to activate him first.

Raiden the Monk-  Attacks Ghoul  due to Unarmed Adept, he rolls 2 dice, needing only 3’s rolls a 5 and 1, so the 5 hits. Thanks to “Critical Blow” his unarmed attacks are STR 4 vs the Ghouls DEF of 3 he rolls a 4 to Wound and the Ghoul is down.  His second action he returns 6 to his Sorcerer mentor.

Scorpa the Assassin-  uses both activation to Move /  ending on the Adventure token the Monk originally went after. At least from this position he can try to flank someone, maybe

Neb- I then decide to move Neb as my 3rd activation so he can use his leader skill move the thief Mott. Neb activates giving an additional activation to mott, then continues climbing the tower each climb move , allows him 2” per activation Neb now has a choice to enter a window of the tower and proceed from inside or keep climbing,  Neb only needs a “3” for his climb check, and I roll a “2” on my second roll, however Neb had Luck (1) but we also have the 1 fate, we use the Fate  and he’s safe.

Mott- Activates and after failing his first attempt makes both agility tests ,he is now just starting to climb the tower.

3 Activations.

The Lich activates giving the two Skeletons (#2 and #3) who are not on fire , activation tokens
The Lich. has line of sight on Scorpa the Assassin decides to attack him at Range. He’s more than 12 inches away so activation 1 is a 4 “ move , then the Lich uses he Force of Will ability rolling a “6” to hit. Scorpa must face the lich in an opposed INT test. Where the Lich is a “6” and his is a “3” I roll a pair of ‘3’s and the Assassin gains the “weakened” status.

Ghoul 1.  the lone Ghoul at this points activates, and moves 6” toward the outwall tower base and the climbing thieves.., He is able to make base contact but not  Charge the minion thief, Mott so he attacks as his second activation using his drain attack, hitting with the required  5 Drain is  STR +1 so in case STR 4 vs  DEF 3 and I roll a “3” good enough…Mott is also Weakened. 

excuse the legos needed something to hold up figures climbing the tower..note the Ghoul on , the Thief Mott.

Skeleton 1. Activates Suffering the “On Fire” status due to the Sorcerors 1st turn Fireball, needs to make a Morale test, Skeleton have a very high Morale of 5 being Undead they don’t care about being on Fire and he easily succeed, he make two moves the second of which is a charge at the Sorceror.  The Skeleton hits the Sorcerer with a 6!.. but rolls a 1 to damage him.

Skeleton 2 and 3  Activate via the Helm of Command,  both make double moves  and cannot quite  reach the Sorceror  but Skeleton puts himself between the Sorceror and his Monk while Skeleton 3 plans on joining the combat with making the Sorcerer’s life short and very difficult.

END PHASE,  Scorpa gets lucky and rolls a “6” shaking off his weakened status, Mott does not. The Lich is not happy.


INITIATIVE  Defenders 5, Attackers 3, 

A bad break for the Attackers here as the Defenders seize initiative!

3 Activations..

Ghoul 1, - in combat with the weakened Thief Mott the Ghoul now attacks, The Ghoul being  “Damned” is “Fearsome” to minions but since they are in base contact the effect doesn’t apply.
Ghouls rolls a “4” to hit, I’ll the teams 1 Fate to bump it.. to the needed 5, the ghoul is STR 3, Mott Defense is normal 3 but now effective ‘2” as he is “weakened “ the damage roll of 4 is enough to put Mott down and out. For his second activation the ghoul starts climbing the Tower after Neb!, rolling a “5” for his agility test he proceeds two inches up the tower in hot Pursuit.

Climbing after Neb , Ghoul 1, Neb victoriously has reached the top!

The Lich activates. Unfortunately for the Lich, he has let his Skeleton move too far away from him to use the Helm of Command, his first activation is to move within 6 of them for the following turns
His second activation is to Summon more skeletons!  He rolls all his dice..and rolls a 6, 1 and 1, lucky for him its second activation or he’d be done for the turn, due to  the “taxing nature of magic” however 8 + his 6 INT is easily enough to get the spell off and he summons two more skeletons to the join the battle!

Skeleton 1 who is now in base contact with the Sorceror Elazar activates and attacks.  Rolling a 2, Miss and another 2, Miss again.

3 Activations

Elazar, The Sorceror with 5 Skeleton bearing down on him, sees a good opportunity to use his one shot mystic web spell, so makes a special action and goes for it. He rolls both his dice. And rolls a 1 and 2!! Even with 5 INT and if we used Fate and Luck we still be short! So the spell doesn’t go off and since I rolled a one Elazar is done..Ugh.

Raiden the Monk, his Loyal Follower activates thank to his ability and Charges  Skeleton 2, (the nearest) On the Charge Attack, he gets 2 dice (unarmed Adept) but misses. On his second activation he hits, 6,3, and gets the needed “4” to wound, the Skeleton has a Shield but rolls a 5, and is destroyed.

Next we need to something going with the Minion Thief  Grym and start scoring some points, hes been standing on an adventure token for 2 turns, so I have activate and flip it…

“Wandering Monster”  if you’ll remember I mention for this scenario the Zombies were pre summoned  and in the Wandering Monster pool, so Grym get a Zombie!, no treasure for him!.

A bunch more where he came from (the wandering monster board)

For his second action I have Grym drop back toward the others but the Zombie is also Damned so Grym , being a minion must make a morale test and he gets the required “4” passing so he moves away!

Since Neb cant use he leader ability as no one was close enough, the last activation is for him or Scorpa, who potent attacks are direly need, Neb however is being  pursued by a climbing ghoul so it I think it best to activate him and get to the top of the tower.. with a 4, and 6, Neb makes both climb checks reaching the tower and the abandoned treasure!

End Phase, downed models removed , no status effects to test.
I am going to end part one here ., Cliffhanger!! 

End of Turn 3, One Skeleton Dead, 2 Ghouls 2, One Thief Dead, The Lich cackles.

Monday, May 9, 2016


I was working on a new report for my most recent OWS game, and doing some blog maintenance when I realized I had overlooked posting about a couple of milestones. One. The blog turned 10 years old on March 31st, unreal..It didnt seem like 10 years., then I think oh my daughter turns 10 this fall so there you go. Two..this is my 500th post! despite my feeling how I have slacked off so much on the blog I am averaging 50 posts a year which isnt so bad.

I figured I take the time here to talk about what I am working on and doing Hobbywise these days since I haven't done anything like that in a good while.

Bolt Action. Despite my griping about Adepticon, Bolt Action has been the only game I have played with other Adults in years so that keeps its in the forefront, the next big tournament for me is Operation Sting in the fall. Although tournaments for me have lost their luster.  I'm still optimistic and working on my  armies, I'm looking for Sd Kfz 234/3 for my  Waffen SS recon force. I thought Warlord used to have one but  now I only see the 233 (the early model) which makes me think maybe they are putting out a new one? while I am on the hunt for that, I have a whole bunch of new british I want to get to...two big squads of Gorgon  regular British infantry , plus some HQ, and Cromwell and Sherman tanks to do, that would put my Brits on par with my Germans now as far as points on the table.

Frostgrave and Otherworld Skirmish.  I've working on Fantasy models alot lately, I have several posts coming  with new figures and while I have not played Frostgrave in awhile as its more a competitive type game, I've been have alot of fun doing narrative type fantasy games using  Otherworlds Skirmish rules., My kids and I  have great time playing these games out and its always Adventurers vs Monsters in some capacity instead of  warbands facing off  ala Frostgrave, and the kids like that better -still I'd like to get some more Frostgrave in.

Fantasy Terrain. -I also have a pretty hefty Fantasy table going right now, that I am totally decking out and want to photograph, I was inspired by that epic zillion dollar Fantasy table that was making the rounds  on You Tube and a bunch of forums several months ago. The one where the guy has like 30K worth of Dwarven Forge Stuff and is paying the worlds top painters to do all his models. Despite my natural disdain for "buying your way to the top" there is no denying it is a truly impressive layout and I wanted to something similar on a smaller scale and of course, I'll have done everything myself. I have few smaller Hirst pieces in the works and am finishing my castle, that really only needs one wall section and the 8' tower and its complete, photos this summer I am betting. It wont compare to its inspiration, but it will be 1/100th of the price and be pretty cool.

Deadzone.  I picked up some Deadzone Rebels a few years back and built and painted them as I had a Sci Fi itch and I really like the vibe and look of Mantic Sci Fi stuff, I'd like to play some games on the Space Station I built using some ruleset, what I am not sure as DZ isnt really conducive to terrain other what the game is designed for. either way, I went in on latest KS from Mantic for DZ in March of 2015 and its just shipping now..I've got models for 4 different factions and a bunch of the plastic terrain so If I can find some other humans I maybe playing this a bit, I demo'd  the new rules at Adepticon and liked what I saw.

SAGA- While I still have my vikings, I about sold off or gave aways all my other historical Dark Age and Ancient models. I dropped out of trying to play Hail Caesar!, I like the game but the armies are too time and size consuming. SAGA is more a better fit for me, and while If. I got the chance I'd gladly play standard SAGA, its more likely I'll play the home brew "Fantastic SAGA" or the Lord of the Rings SAGA, I have all the materials it just hasnt happened until Aaron expressed interest in "FSAGA", as an excuse to use his insane Warrior of Chaos army or some Dark Elves he's been working on, I do have an Undead Army ready to go.

base10studios- my other "new" blog where I talk about all the miniatures and models and terrain I am selling, so far I have sold quite a bit, my Warhammer Empire army is all but gone as of this week, I am pretty thrilled with I ended up getting for it after the time I put into it. I have also moved a bunch of other items including some older custom terrain pieces, books etc, if you are interested you can read about that there.

Lord of the Rings. I haven't played any lord of the Rings in years now, the GW game is all but dead and while I still like the system, and there is talk of GW bringing it back, I am pretty much done I think, because I dont see myself buying anything from Games Workshop again. I have a pretty huge collection some of it is already going for sale, and unless I start using it everything but the things I want to display are heading to auction.

Pirates.  Still mostly packed up from the move a year ago now. my pirates havent seen any action in years, select few of the models make their way as cast extra's into my fantasy games and this Firelock Games Kickstarter has alot of interest. No I didn't buy in, but may pick up the rules if I get a chance to try it  out, I certainly have plenty of models.

That's the rundown on about everything I currently own, or least that get any type of traction around here with that I leave you with a teaser for my next battle report,  10 years on the blog, crazy.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Wayside Inn

Every December or January, I seem to start some type of Hirst Arts project. This time I finally got around to building myself a proper Inn. Called "The Wayside" its in the mythical town of Blackbarrow. I gave me the chance to try to out some of the newer Hirst Arts molds, namely the Inn Molds, 57,58, the Inn floor mold 221 and the Half Timber plank molds 224,225. Currently we are playing both Otherworld Skirmish and Frostgrave, and the Inn is used with both games, I am sure if I every get into playing some Pirates again, they will find "The Wayside" quite confortable.

This project was inspired by a totally amazing Inn I saw over on the Hirst Arts forum, that much more detailed than mine here. But this is about as big as I can go and have it playable for my town.
The Inn features:  The Tavern Room, a private meeting room, a store room, a large kitchen, 2 private rooms upstairs and a large common room upstairs

Notice the combination of walls on the second story. Its half my old school building approach, using some planks over poster board with some spackle and half done with  the Timber molds on the front on two sides.  I was well into construction on the project when the Half Timber molds where released so you have combination of materials, which I found I quite liked.
 I had alot of trouble with Airbubbles on the Inn molds..usually I can bang out most of any air bubbles, even this year when I made a vibrating table out of an old scroll saw I had, I still needed to buy some sulficant and  literally had to brush it into the mold cavities on certain pieces in order to get clean casts, These molds are really great but do require a bit more work. you'll will notice some airbubbles on some of the tables, I will replace them eventually with better cast pieces.

The First floor is three separate sections, and the Roof is 3 separate sections, fitting the roofs , which are all scratch builts took some serious trial and error , fitting numerous paper templates before I started cutting plastic card.

The whole second story is one continuous "L" shaped piece, base around a solid piece of 1/4 laminate wood, that I scored with a dremel to make the floors.

My medieval village table. Blackbarrow is about 4 x 10 at this point and its my ongoing project going forward this year. It features, The Village of a dozen building ,now with The Inn and a Graveyard, Castle Blackbarrow, which looms at the head of the table, is my Pirate Castle expanded, and what I plan to finish next. Finally we have some Ruins which lead down to my Dungeon which are projects long completed well documented here.

Overall, I am pretty happy with the results few things I do different and may change, I still need to add a bunch more interior details when time allows. the most complicated building I have done yet due to large scratch second story and roofing.

There is a google photo gallery showing another dozen or so pictures linked in the photo galleries section on the left sidebar, please check it out.

Materials list.

Hirst Molds  70,75,701, 260, 57,58, 220, 221, 224,225
Plaster - Hydrostone
Laminated MDF 1 sheet 1/4"
Posterboard, standard sheet 1/4"
Roofs are Plastruct Wood Shake Shingle #91655 I need 4 sheets to do the 3 roof sections
1 Cereal Box for stiff card roof backing, overhanging shingles and roof trim.

Time to start to finish..approx 60 hours.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Conan and the Lamentation of Kickstarter.

I'll admit to having a Conan fetish..It all started with the Savage Sword of Conan black and white Comics I started picking up around the late 70's , a time when the rest of my friends where all about the original Star Wars movies. I quickly started gobbling up the original (BWS) Marvel series as well so by the time I was 16 and the Conan the Barbarian the movie came out, I was freaking out as I owned literally 100's of various Comics and Books, reading all the original Howard stories I could get my hands on at the time. Flash forward 30 something years and I of course picked up Age of Conan , The Strategy Board Game, at the time published by then hungry for titles- Fantasy Flight Games.

The thing about board games is I own very few because I rarely play them. I do like playing them very much and I often revel in memory of my one and only 8 hour Twilight Imperium Session. However these heady board games are of no interest to my wife, and any gaming time I do get I am always with serious miniatures hobbyists, so despite all our love of board games, it was only on a proverbial blue moon that we actually stopped playing "X"  miniatures games and played a board game with a decent group.

Still back in November of 2014 , 16 months ago..that fact I had never actually played Age of Conan, The Strategy Board game..didnt stop me for getting in the Kickstarter that Ares Games , new owners of the games license had launched  re -publishing the game with a hefty expansion. now coined. "Age of Conan, Adventures in Hyboria."

great box  art , in fact all the art on the new cards and in game is very much to my liking classic 70's Conan.

So this expansion has arrived today, since I owned the base game, I just got the expansion and retooled original components and put up some extra for some very nice "King Conan" official coins that can be used in place of the coin counters in the game and also for whatever type gaming you like.
The expansion is packed solid with all kinds of neat stuff including miniatures that expand the core game and its play style. All of which I have zero clue of what they do or are used for -because I have never played this game, even thou Its been in my closet since probably 2010.

The additional  conundrum I faced is right after I bought into this, not 3 months later in February of 2015 is that from out of nowhere Monolith Games launches it own Kickstarter  for its very own Conan Miniatures games with amazing 28-32mm plastic figures!, of course I freak out and buy into that too...( after many delays due to miniatures QA and delivering so many miniatures from the factory, we are currently looking at delivery late this year, 1 year past the original est. delivery date.)

 Now the Core pledge here , which I bought into with only a select few add ons, is literally 100's of miniatures. I've been working hard to prune my collection the last year and have done a pretty good job. although I still have along way to go just to shed myself of stuff I havent touched in 5+ years! let alone the host of vintage items, I have come to terms with parting with.  SO. To get to the point of this post, despite my Conan fetish I need both of these like I need  a hole in the head. Its extremely unlikely I will ever get around to playing either of them, despite my best efforts to and even thou I would really like to. but its just doesnt seem feasible or realistic. So the reality is both of these will be going up for sale , the board game with expansion, ASAP, (thou I am keeping the Coins) and the Miniatures game when it arrives. Although there I am keeping the extra Yag Kosha and Brom based sculpts of Conan and Belit  to paint up for the shelf here.

The lamentation of Kickstarter is a powerful thing, these things all seem like great ideas at the time because you are waning nostalgic and invested in the intellectual property enough that it hooks you in like a shark in a feeding frenzy.  Then when the euphoria is long long gone, most likely 2 years later it finally arrives and you find yourself saying wow this is really cool? but so what?. In reality I have shed all of large format army games over the last 2- 3 years, Warhammer, Hail Ceasar, Flames of War. because its really only realistic that I make time to paint and play smaller skirmish type war games. There comes a certain point where you must challenge your hobbies aspirations, look yourself in the mirror and say "what the hell am I doing?"  (I find even my love for Bolt Action being tested just recently due to investment of hobby time versus the actual payoff of return in the fun department.)

In Schwarzenegger's 1982 Conan, he has what has become one of the most well remembered lines of the genres history, when asked by the Mongol General, "Conan, what is best in life?" he replies

"Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women."

Conan never had to worry about Kickstarter.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Adepticon 2016 Photo Dump

Adepticon 2016 has come and gone, I was there all four days but only played in the Bolt Action Nationals on Saturday and Sunday. The tournament was a personal let down for me, I wont dwell on it, other than to say I had host of things that bothered me, from my four epic "fubars" that cost me two games , to the bloody lack of space between tables, again, to the abysmal lighting, again.    To allowing a super majority of players to bring Germans and not alerting everyone in the months before the event so some could have switched Armies. As a result and I am sure others German players clueless to this German glut, played 3 of our 5 games against Germans which was not very thematic in tournament that worked hard to promote theme.  As as an example, at Operation Sting last fall the German player total was 8/25, so at least as local players we could not have expected this. It would be nice if they could split the sign ups 50/50 Axis vs Allies..many other events have done this in the past, asking you what army you are bringing when you register. ( please see below for an update on these original comments)

It was also super disappointing to see the Warlord Games staff not helping run their own "US Nationals"  event (especially the set up/ tear down and judging!) leaving the local organizer ( a friend of mine) to do about everything single handed. While they did apparently run the other Bolt Action events, they were hands off on this one, which was too bad as they were physically present but not involved , As a result the event felt under staffed to me, having to run to scoring table for a ruling or having to see armies being appearance judged while a game is being played (which is huge pet peeve of mine going back to those massive WFB tourneys they used to have) One man can only do so much.

 However It was nice to see that Warlord and Adepticon did step up with rock solid prize support this year after dropping the ball the last two.  The event was extremely well organized from a T.O. perspective it was just damaged by it not really being a marquis event but a "Specialist Game" , that term -which Adepticon actually uses-  is perfect if you equate how Games Workshop treated its own "Specialist Games" versus its Marquis games over the years, its the exact same relationship. And finally for 6th time now since 2010 I lost a maxed out "judged" Best Appearance score to the "player voted" Favorite Army tie breaker, and fondly remember the days when these both used to be separate awards.

As for the photo dump- the link is in the photo gallery side bar to left, its about 220 photos, just a heads of whats in there before you click..

Tons of Bolt Action, some of my game pics, and lots of the Armies
A few shots of the Crystal Brush heavy hitters..(Like the Orc Lord above)
A shot of my daughter standing in front of some 40K super titan with a building on its head asking me "how big do miniatures get?"
The freaking epic Warmaster game in 28mm!
A couple of shots of the Charity Raffle Armys..
Some  pics of the Fist Full of Seamen Ships and Tables.

What you wont see..

Any Fantasy gaming
Any 40K gaming
Any Star Wars

Adepticon is a huge event now and an all year business for the guys that run it, and it couldnt run without the volunteers that I have a great respect for. Like any big convention, it now suffers the trappings of a big convention, you get the good with the bad, there are tons of options for gaming and a lot of stuff to see- but you can spend 4 days there and not see those old or "once a year"  friends you've made because the thing is big enough, you are not just going to run into them unless you have the time to make the time. Alot of the old Adepticon camaraderie that used to exist between players of all stripes has fallen by the wayside as a result of the conventions growth. While I do like the Hotel its super expensive and oddly isolating due to the layout. I'm going to try to make time to go to Little Wars at the end of the month which is at the old hotel that Adepticon used to be at and I want to see how it compares to charm of Adepticon in say 2011 or 12 which I think were its banner years. This was my 11th year at Adepticon, I am sure I will be back in some capacity for 2017, for what I'll just have wait and see...

(Update 4/9), Upon further investigation it seems I got some bad information, its seems that Germans only fielded 13/40 spots or 32% which isnt terrible , when I asked about this I given a 70% number which was what bothered me, However that was in the Doubles that I didnt play in,  So it seems no one "screwed this up" I was a mere victim of bad luck in the swiss pairings that is all. The problem did exist but not for me  so I want to apologize for unjust criticism here pointed at event organizers. I still hope correcting some of my valid issues, particularly keeping forces paired to Axis vs Allies in future BA events is a goal I hope all TO's can event managers can work toward, as playing your own army 3 out 5 games in WW2 Theme event, even with the above caveats  is not working for me.


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