Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Saturday, 31 December 2022

Last of 2022 - Ogre & Goblins

As the year ends, I squeezed in a few final models complete, although I’d been working on them for a while, on and off.

All sculpts from Nick Lund I believe.  The ogre was, if I recall correctly, from Citadel Miniature’s old ‘Chronicle’ range from the ‘80s.  I’d hoped the pale fur on the shoulders would make the dark skinned face stand out more, but it’s not turned out too bad regardless.

The goblins are from Forlorn Hope Games, but I’m pretty sure were originally part of Grenadier’s Fantasy Warriors range.  I couldn’t decide on a skin colour so, taking inspiration from the trolls I did, decided on a mix of colours, for that slightly chaotic look.

I’m not that taken with the GW style of ‘gobbos’ - these are more up my street, mean and cruel looking.  I decided to be brave and go a bit ‘old Skool’ with individual, highly decorated shields.  I’d like to thank all the other painters and bloggers I ‘borrowed’ from or was liberally inspired by in producing these!  

Much as I like them, I couldn’t help but ponder why goblins otherwise dressed in rags would have such highly decorated shields.  I came up with two ideas:

1. They decorate their shields with images of whatever gods or demons they worship, believing they frighten the enemy and bring good fortune, hence the attention paid in comparison to the rest of their gear; or

2. The folk living in ‘goblin country’ decorate them and leave them as ‘tribute’, in the hope it will catch a goblin’s eye and persuade them to leave them alone. For a while at least.

I like the first idea, as it hints at goblin society and beliefs, and the second because it echoes old folk tales of leaving gifts for spirits and supernatural beings - like leaving a bit of a Cornish pasty to appease the tommyknockers.

Anyway, expect more goblins to follow! 

Monday, 5 December 2022

Men of the cloth

Priest and monks, formerly of Grenadier Models Fantasy Warriors range, now available from Forlorn Hope Games.

I wanted these chaps to have flagstone bases like my other ‘civilians’.  Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out a way of removing the cast on bases without compromising the feet and robes, so went instead with sculpting them out of milliput.  Not perfect, but not bad I think.

Saturday, 5 November 2022

Barbarian Giant

 Just finished this delightful chap





He's the Barbarian Giant, currently sold by Forlorn Hope, but formerly of Grenadier Models Fantasy Warriors Range.  One of those models I've wanted to paint for ages, but finally got hold of and built up the courage to attempt.  Very pleased with the result.  I decided to go with splash of colour on part of the tunic - in my head it's been stitched together from tents.  Exposed skin painted with a combination of GW and VJ paints - no contrast paints this time.

The model comes with a choice of two heads - I went with this one because it fitted without the need for any filler - and two weapons for the left hand; this tree trunk with sword blade spikes, and a spiked club, which I have used to arm one of my Grenadier Trolls

He's not really that big a giant (and Grenadier certainly did some BIG giants in the day!), but he'll do the job for me!  Here's a couple of comparison shots.



And some WIP ones...


Monday, 31 October 2022

LEGO Jousting!

The miniature and I were left to our own devices a couple of weekends back while the other half had a night out with her sisters.  As well as introducing her to Star Wars (she wisely agreed that ‘Empire’ was the best, good girl!), I snuck in some gaming while she wasn’t looking. 

(I’ll confess I built the castle in my 20’s, when old enough to know better, it has a detailed interior and everything!)

For the joust I wanted to introduce a bit of decision making, so borrowed the scoring from the English Heritage jousts that we go to each year as a family, as she’s familiar with it.  We had three knights each - I was the ‘Lion shields’ and she took the Eagles.  Before each run, we chose one of the following:

  • Head - 3 points; roll 1die
  • Shield- 2 points; roll 2 dice
  • Body - 1 point; roll 3 dice

If any dice rolled 4+ the relevant points were scored.  If we each got one success and rolled the same, it was a ‘barricade’ (crossed lances - no points, but it added some fun and flavour, and she remembered the concept from the jousts we've seen).

As you’d expect, she completely trounced my team!

The crowd were very impressed…

Archery next.  A similar system was used, but she was allowed a couple of extra dice as her character was Robin Hood in (a rather thin) disguise!

(Excuse the mess!)

Of course by the end, Robin was unmasked, and had to make a run for the forest, chased by knights - a series of events that were… less rules based, shall we say.  But a good time was had overall!

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Five Leagues Turn 13 - Tower Hill

The locals were so pleased with our heroes clearing the caverns of the Taken, that they plied them with plentiful food and ale [Village Event - no need to pay for upkeep].  A passing knight joined them, and in return for pie and wine offered to help them out if the opportunity should ever arise [Village action - Interact].  Unfortunately all the ale (and the subsequent hangover) put a damper on the group's attempts to study and no new skills were gained.

Instead of the usual adventuring, the party chose to follow up on the story told by their new party member, Wynn Stone [points if you can work out why he's named that ;-)], of a camp full of the Taken in an old tower in the fells to the north.

[The party would be facing 8 Taken, including a 'Captain', Skulker and Stumbler.  The terrain was rolled up as a ruined tower, with the 3 of the Taken within it and the rest randomly scattered around.  The battle would take place in fog, reducing all shooting to no more than 9"]

The ruin of an old watchtower loomed darkly through the mists that clung to the fells, the only other shapes those of scattered, ruined and dying trees.  The fog seemed carry strange sounds, that could perhaps be chanting, or just the wind through the trees.  Clothes and bow strings were damp, as well as spirits.  Will cursed, the mist would make it difficult for the bowmen in the party, "can't see a damned thing, anything could be out there, and it'll be on us before I can get a decent shaft off".  "You might even have to fight like a real soldier" Robert retorted.  Will was about to remind the arrogant knight about saving his bacon outside Winterbourne, when an inhuman howl came from the direction of the tower, and a dark shapes stumbled from the mists at the foot of the tower...

Dastardly goings on in the tower
"are we sure we want to go up there?"
Giacomo, Thomas, Oswald and Finan contemplate the watchtower
From left to right: Jocelyn, Will, (new boy) Wynn, Gregory, Robert and Guy
"There's definitely something out there"

Robert and Giacomo both stepped up and felled one of the Taken each, while one of Jocelyn's bolts found its mark in another.

As more rushed out of the tower, Thomas charged another on the right, taking him down after a protracted fight. Wynn's first outing was a success, shooting one of the Taken, while Will's arrows wounded another, only to be finished off by Robert's bastard sword.

But our heroes did not have it all there own way, as a particularly stubborn monstrosity beat down both Oswald and Giacomo, before finally being put out of its own misery by Thomas.

Oswald and Giacomo fall, while Robert and Guy take on the leader

In the centre, Robert and Guy engaged the Taken's leader, who proved to be made of tougher stuff, wounding Robert and pushing the knight and his retainer back.  Another creature charged at Gregory from behind the tower, only to meet a bolt from Jocelyn and then felled by a single blow from Gregory's hammer.

Now only the Taken's leader was left standing.  As a wounded Robert prepared himself to launch into the fight again, Will took aim, drew back his bow... and placed an arrow neatly into the once human's heart.

"That's another one you owe me", smirked Will.

eyeing up the target.  
It's unclear who the rude gesture is aimed at though

Oswald turned out to just be knocked out and nursing a sore head.  Giacomo had fared worse, his wounds were still light, but would put him out of action for three turns.  A rummage around the tower turned up three gold marks,some tarnished silver jewellery (no doubt taken from some unfortunate) an old map of the area, and several old swords and axes.

The tidy up at the end saw Will and Jocelyn level up Luck and Agility respectively, and the whole group gain a story point.

All in all, not a bad turn.  I liked the story beats, with the idea of the looming tower in the mist; and the way that the 'dark shadows' opponent rolls have come together to tell a story of a cult turned bad, and then worse.  However the action itself was a bit routine.  The party has become quite large and powerful, and the random enemy deployment meant that it was quite easy to overwhelm them in small numbers.  I might have to 'load' some die rolls in the next couple of turns  (possibly by spending some Story Points) to make sure of getting some variety in scenarios and opposition.  That said, I think I have also been lucky in not taking more serious harm, so I may need to be careful what I wish for!

Friday, 8 July 2022

Terrible Tots

 The latest civilians to arrive are three small children from Hasslefree Miniatures.  I pondered individual basing, but in the end a single base seemed most sensible.