Friday, 3 May 2019

Epic Command Squads


I've passed the blip of mentalness concerning 28mm and have been working on repairing my Epic command stands that my cat so thoughtfully ate the banners from last year.

Ultramarine Command Squads, Techmarine, Captain and Medic

Whilst pootling away with them, it got me to thinking about how command squads are represented in Epic. In 2nd edition, each Space Marine character got it's own base with different abilities while in Epic 40k, things got streamlined and they all got combined on to one.

While I can see the wisdom of such a move, I do like the spectacle of having each little character moving around the battlefield carrying out their own role so went with mounting each on their own base with a bodyguard and banner.

I love the spectacle it provides and helps identify command elements from a distance and while a tad ostentatious, I think it fits the 40k universe quite well!

Here's a pic of all my command squads to show how they look:

Banners Aplenty

Eventually, I plan on adding a Chaplain and Librarian to my Ultramarine force and have got their stands underway as I type but I also have some Orks primed and ready as well as a batch of jungle terrain that I'm busily making for my retro green table!

I had forgotten how much fun it was to paint in Epic scale as it's surprisingly easy to paint up a small formation of troops and vehicles in a short period of time. The only downside is that I am running low on lipped bases so will need to replenish my supply soon. I'm also looking for some slightly larger lipped bases for superheavy tanks and titans so will need to have a bit of a peruse of the interwebs for a source that's not too expensive to fit my meagre budget.

In the meantime, All the best!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Hitting a Snag


Well I seem to have hit a bit of a snag in that I find myself wanting to do about a million different projects in different scales all at the same time and it's resulted in me grinding to a halt with all things hobby!

It's rather frustrating as I've been plugging away quite happily for a while now with my assorted bits and bobs but all of a sudden it has all stopped dead in its tracks. I think the problem is that I've been trying to put together some 2mm scale Dwarf infantry for my ongoing Land Ironclads project and it's just not working.

Orc Infantry

My Orcs are made out of plastic Granny Grid, the stuff that is used for cross stitch but I've now tried three different ways for my Dwarves using the same materials and must admit that each result has been less than satisfactory. It has got me tempted to take a peek at getting some of the Irregular Miniatures 2mm stuff but the prospect of spending even a small sum is causing me to baulk. I have tons of 15mm and 6mm stuff that I can be getting on with, not to mention the Flintloque stuff that I've been slowly painting my way through so what is it about the struggle to get some tiny, tiny infantry looking right that has resulted in such a jam?

Maybe I just need to rummage out a random figure and paint it instead but I've been wanting to get my forces for such a tiny scale game painted for a while!

The other issue I find myself flailing against is that I recently picked up a green gaming mat and it's got me looking longingly at 2nd edition 40k and 4th edition Fantasy Battle and images like this aren't helping:

Orky Goodness!

High Elf Army

On the one hand I know I'm being ridiculous as painting 28mm scale armies is now beyond me as I don't have the budget, space, time or patience for such an unwieldy project but there's still that nagging urge to give it a go and that, along with my current 2mm conundrum seems to have resulted in me utterly bamboozled as to what to do.

I'm going to take a bit of a break, go out and enjoy my day off and hopefully come back with some sort of plan but in the meantime, if you've got any suggestions, give me a shout as I'd love some advice!

All the best!

Friday, 26 April 2019

Aldi Gaming Mat


I'd noticed mention on assorted sites over the last week that Aldi were selling a grass effect mat that many in the wargaming community suspected would do for a gaming mat so when we were out today getting our shopping, I nipped in and had a peruse.

They only had one left, the dark green one at that and at first I wasn't too sure but my ever patient wife suggested I should pick it up anyway as it's only £6.99 and we could use it for something else if it wasn't suitable for gaming. I must admit that I am super glad that I heeded her advice!

Gaming Mat!

Measuring 1x2 metres, it's perfect for gaming purposes and I had originally planned on chopping it in two for use as two skirmish mats, one green and the other somewhat snow covered but having plopped it on my 3'x3' board, I find myself sorely tempted to keep the full length as is as there's something pleasingly retro about it that got me thinking about those classic White Dwarf battle reports where either the Old World or some far flung planet had vivid green boards.

15mm scale shot

While our library most definitely hasn't got space for anything as grand as a classic 6'x4' gaming board, I do think that with a bit of bodging, I could just about manage a 5'x3' or am I being a mentalist? I'm not sure but I find myself trawling through the old Citadel terrain book for inspiration and itching to make some simple scenery to add to it and recreate some of those classic stylings!

 28mm scale shot

I think for £6.99 it's proved to be a total bargain and with a little bit of drybrushing and addition of flock it will look the business and if you've got an Aldi near you, it's well worth a peruse to see if they've got any left.

Zombie Musketeer

It's a nice change from all the desert landscapes I've been working with over the last decade or so and I'm going to use the opportunity to explore some more retro gaming so watch this space.

In the meantime, All the best!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Messing About With Epic


Sadly hobby time has had to be suspended for the time being as we've got guests visiting so the man cave has been converted back to a bedroom but I've taken the opportunity to have a sneaky peek at some of my posts over the last few years and have taken a bit of a hankering for some more Epic shenanigans!

While I'm tempted to have a go at creating a massive army ala Epic Space Marine with entire companies of troops and tons of titans, superheavy tanks I'm much more likely to actually paint up some slightly more modest forces.

Epic Imperial Guard!

With that in mind, I will be using Epic 40k as at least the basis for some skirmishes featuring something more like reinforced platoons or possibly even smaller by converting some more stats for use with Song of Blasters!

I managed a couple of games last year using both systems and rather enjoyed the experience so think I will use it as an opportunity to both flesh out my current armies and build a few new ones too!

What I loved about Epic 40k other than the super streamlined system was in the original rulebook, the sample forces were essentially 6mm scale versions of 2nd edition 40k armies as can be seen with Force Firestorm:

 As you can see, it's pretty small with just a command squad plus two tactical squads plus a smattering of vehicles which was very doable in 2nd edition 40k and I've got plenty of gubbins that wouldn't be too much effort to paint up something similar!

Better yet, with a bit of effort, I could even use my old Codexes a bash to actually put together some teeny versions of a 40k force!

I'll need to rummage my bits boxes to see what I've got and I suspect I need some more lipped bases but I'm raring to have a go and if it gets me painting and gaming, all the better!

In other news, I've now got a Dwarven steamtank formation or two built and ready to paint for my ongoing 2mm project and I've got the makings of my Orc Carnosaurs to work on too and once the gaming room come library is back in place I'll be showcasing my progress and trying out Land Ironclads with some reinforcements!

All in all it's proving to be rather a satisfying week but I'm once again finding myself lured by 28mm and am having to resist as best as I can as I know I'm unlikely to make a go of any larger scale project that I start. Hopefully I'll be distracted by my smaller scale gubbins but if all else fails, maybe I should have a go at putting together a Mordheim style warband to test out the waters...

Anyhoo, for the meantime All the best!

Monday, 8 April 2019

Tiny Steam Tanks


I've finally managed to get a trio of Steam Tanks painted up for my Land Ironclads project!

Constructed from some plasticard, paper and cotton wool smoke, I really enjoyed putting the little tanks together and I'm really pleased to have finished painting them too!

 Dwarven Ironclads on the move

These are class 5 and the smallest of the Dwarven Land Ironclads and I painted them up in blue and gray to represent an armoured force from the great Dwarven Hold of Kareth Dull which is situated next to the Axebite Pass.

Slow moving but heavily armoured, the Ironclad class steamtank is armed with a pair of heavy cannon mounted in a turret. The Ironclad relies on a combination of heavy plate to keep it in the fight long enough for it's powerful armament to destroy enemy Land Ironclads and Warbeasts at range as it doesn't have any close defence weapons.

With the three of the tanks finished, I can move onto painting the larger Warhammer class Land Ironclad that I've also sculpted before moving onto putting together a Dwarven Infantry Battalion as well as finally painting my Orcs Mighty Titanosaur and a third Orcish Yellowjacket unit.

Dwarven armour clashes with an Orcish formation somewhere on the border.

I must say that working in such a small scale has been really refreshing as I keep finding myself thinking of new units to add to my slowly growing forces and have had quite a few other forces that I would like to start putting together too. Handily it's also super cheap as each tank or warbeast only uses a small amount of plasticard or greenstuff so I hope to make a fledgeling Elven force next which will combine tech and Warbeasts so watch this space!

All the best!

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Land Ironclads


I managed to play a quick game of Land Ironclads this morning with my rather outnumbered Dwarven steamtanks giving the numerically superior Orcs a bloody nose.

I must admit that I rather enjoyed the game as it lasted all of half an hour and saw two brigades of Orc infantry trying to take a settlement while their Warbeasts took on the Dwarven machines.

It ended with the Dwarves having successfully defended the outpost but at a terrible cost with most of their Ironclads destroyed or badly damaged. The Orcs lost both infantry brigades and quite a few warbeasts but didn't manage to quite push the Dwarves away from the objective they were holding.

Sadly I didn't manage to get any pictures this time round but once I get a bit of spare time, I will be painting up my criminally bare Dwarven Ironclads and will get a proper battle report posted.

The Orcish Infantry supported by Necrosaur Wartowers

Looking at how things went with this, my second attempt at playing the game, I think I need to make some markers to show when units have fired as I kept forgetting and I'm keenly aware that my Dwarves need some infantry of their own as the Dwarves only succeeded in holding their objective due to some really bad activations from the Orcs.

Titanosaur Wartowers

In Land Ironclads, infantry and cavalry activate pretty normally but the larger warmachines require to roll for successful activation due to the number of technical gubbins that can go wrong with such complex machines and I used the same rules for the Orc Warbeasts, imagining it was their brutish nature not to want to do what they were ordered. Subsequently, the Titanosaurs and Mighty Titanosaur spent considerable time doing nothing much while the Dwarves were much more fortunate. 

The ensuing shelling saw two small Dwarf Ironclads decimate the Orcs infantry and Necrosaur formation while the remaining Ironclad and Cruiser shot up the larger Orc Warbeasts before they managed to get their act together.

I'm needing to get some more stuff made for the game as I really enjoyed the small skirmish I played out and enjoyed the climatic action which saw the two small Dwarven Ironclads first shell and then assault the attacking Orc infantry destroying them utterly!

Hopefully this will give me the motivation to paint my Dwarves up and add some new gubbins that I've been pondering on for a while but in the meantime, All the best!

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Song Of Blasters Ponderings


I've had an unexpected week of holidays and have spent much of it off out enjoying the equally unexpectedly nice weather we've been having so must admit that hobby time has been rather limited. What little time I've had spare has been dedicated to lots of illustrations and background scribblings for my Somewhere on the Border project but I've been pondering my ad hoc ruleset Song of Blasters and some of the possibilities it has.

I had originally based it loosely on Song of Blades and Heroes but with a few tweaks as I never really liked the fact that close combat seemed to involve lots of pushing and shoving and actually removing a model as a casualty was surprisingly difficult. Over the last year or so, the rules seem to have developed a bit of a life of their own and have morphed considerably.

Song of Blasters SD Scale

Instead of the two stats of Quality and Combat that Song of Blades had, along with the assorted special abilities which gave each model some more character, Song of Blasters has Quality, Move, Shoot, Combat and Armour as well as special abilities. I felt that the extra stats were needed as I found they worked better but still kept things simple while allowing for a game to run in about half an hour with a reasonable number of figures.

Song of Blasters in 15mm

As things developed, I tried the rules with 15mm sci-fi, Epic scale and my SD scaled stuff and found it worked fairly well for what I was looking for in a game. I've since added more crunchy bits for magic which makes things a bit more interesting without requiring much record keeping or faff. I've also tinkered with using different kinds of dice for this and that and each little revision has brought me closer to what I'm looking for in a game.

Song of Blasters 6mm scale

I must admit it's been hugely entertaining as I play around with the rules but I've been tempted to give it a try with some more RPG Lite elements with smaller numbers of figures (possibly half a dozen a side) with multiple wounds and more in depth abilities such as different modes of attack and defence with everything based around a heavily scenario driven approach.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this project but I'm interested to see how it develops as I'm tempted to use it to paint up some small warbands that I've had kicking around for a while and seeing how things develop. Hopefully I'll be able to post a sample battle report in the coming week or so once I've got myself sorted out but I also need to start compiling my notes as much of the rules are scribbled on bits of paper or stored haphazardly in my rather poor memory and I could really do with putting it all into some sort of order and seeing how I get on...

Having re-read this rambling, I realise it's a bit of a drabble but I kind of wanted to get my thoughts in order and always find posting something on my blog helps so apologies for the meander and thanks for putting up with it!

All the best!