Monday 31 May 2021

Dark Age Brutal Quest Project Log Part 3: Miniatures Arrive and Testing the Waters


I've got the delivery of my assorted gubbins for my Brutal Quest mini project set in an alternative Dark Ages but before I set to painting them I wanted to test the waters and see if I could paint something in a different style from my usual bright and cheery 90's way and something a bit more grim and grimy.

With that in mind, I noticed that the new Wargames Illustrated came with a sprue of Caesarian Legionnaires from Warlord Games and I grabbed it to use them as test pieces for my new project. 

Primed black then given successive drybrushes of grey and then white in as close to a zenithal style as I could get without spray paints (I fished my rattle cans out of my cupboard and discovered they'd dried up some time ago) and then painted in a quick and grimy fashion with quite a few washes of browns and rust.

I also changed my usual flesh tone, moving away from a healthy and rosy tan to a pallid bone with a brown wash. It worked out pretty nicely and despite repeated panics that I was making a big mess, I think they turned out ok and I now plan on painting up the remaining two to complete the set. I do want to do something a bit more interesting with the bases, be it add some scatter material or some fallen leaf litter but they look a tad bland with just a drybrush of brown and some static grass. 

Still I've now settled on a style that should work out pretty well for some Dark Age Mythological shenanigans and I plan on trying some different washes for the remaining Romans to see if I can get a more interesting finish that doesn't look quite so unhealthy...

I had originally ordered a sprue each of Victrix Saxons and Vikings and really am impressed with the quality of the figures and look forward to beginning on working on them. 

I'm really impressed with the combination of bits, dynamic sculpts and mixture of armoured and unarmoured figures and reckon I have enough to represent a couple of decent sized warbands which will be a good starting off position for the project.

I also accidentally ordered a set of Warlord Games Saxon Fyrd (UPDATE: They're actually Gripping Beast plastics!) at the same time and while the detail is not as crisp and the figures somewhat more simplistic, They're pretty cheap and will make decent low level Levy, ruffians or angry villagers.

My plan is to get the two test Roman figures out the way and then paint 3-4 Saxons and a similar number of Vikings which should allow me to get some games of Brutal Quest in before adding some more fantastical touches, be they monsters, ancient beings or some souped up humans and I will be posting battle reports of my progress as I make it so watch this space but until then, All the best!

Friday 28 May 2021

Armour in Planet 28 and Brutal Quest


There seems to be quite a bit of discussion over on the Planet 28 Facebook page about armour in the game. 

Many folks, myself included, seem to be finding that when you gear up a character with Power Armour (or even heavy armour such as Vash of the Mechanicus has in my own games!) it makes it super difficult to damage them and they tend to act as tanks, trundling around the battlefield crushing all that they meet. Instead of waxing lyrical on Facebook and spamming the page with lots of random ideas, I thought I'd post a quick rundown of some ideas I have for dealing with the heavily armoured in games of Planet 28 and will post some ponderings on Brutal Quest another time once I've got my Dark Ages project properly up and running!

Setting the Scene

I've found that having a bunch of goons armed with pistols really isn't going to cut it when it comes to facing a power armoured opponent as barring a really lucky series of dice rolls, the armoured trooper is going to shrug off pretty much whatever gets thrown at it so tailoring the scenario itself to give the unarmoured a fighting chance is key. Allow your characters to have access to at least one gun or close combat weapon that will hurt even the doughtiest of warriors!

Maybe the skirmish is a pure chance but having a gun that will do significant damage is really handy, if necessary, write it into the scenario and have a cache of weapons hidden on the table and their acquisition is key to the characters chances. Have some mining gear lying around and do an A-Team construction with actions being spent to transform some corrugated iron into a device of mind boggling destruction, or at least converting some blasting charges into an impromptu explosive device. Think of Kyle Reese in Terminator desperately trying to damage the machine using home made explosives and sheer guts.

Have a think about terrain with an eye to making it difficult for the power armour clad figure to dominate and allow lowly scum to sneak up on them and stick an knife in an unprotected seal or have a set number of booby traps ala Predator which will have a bit of a chance to do in or at least badly damage the armour clad figure. It would need to be written into the scenario with the lowly armed and armoured troops knowing they have to fight off a veritable walking machine of destruction and setting up a series of pitfalls, spring loaded traps or whatever else to give them a chance against a more advanced and mighty opponent.

Guns Guns Guns!

If you are going to be facing heavy armour, get some suitable guns or at least weapons of destruction to hit them with! The rules for weapon creation in Planet 28 are pretty good and allow for all manner of fun devices of shooting, blasting or general carnage to be made.

Allow something like DumDum or Manstopper rounds from the likes of Necromunda. For say an extra 10 points you get a +D6 damage roll on the gun you are firing. It may not be much but it may just add enough to start damaging heavily armoured chaps or chapesses. If you want to add a bit of excitement, if you roll a 10 in your attack dice roll, it represents running out of ammo or the bullet being a dud and an action needing to be spent clearing the chamber or loading another clip.

What about having an underslung grenade launcher? It could be single shot with a successful hit causing D20 damage? It would be a one hit wonder but would force the heavily armoured trooper to keep his head down to avoid getting it shot off and stop him dominating the board. 

The Power Maul in the rules is pretty awesome for dealing with heavy troops in close combat and it's not too hard to imagine rebels or ingenious types repurposing mining equipment to bore through, cut open or blast apart Power Armour.

Tweak the Rules

I've seen Ash over on Guerrilla Miniature Games use a critical success as an opportunity to double a damage roll in Planet 28 and I really like the mechanic as it's simple and makes combat that bit more deadly so even a lowly underhive scabby could potentially poke a mighty Space Marine through the eye with a pointy stick if they are lucky enough.

Similarly what about allowing something like an extra D6 for every supporting model in base to base contact with an opponent, it could easily represent a proper scrum of kicking, biting and stabbing thugs trying to weigh down their armoured opponent using sheer numbers!

Another option is to look at Power Armour as very high tech and expensive to keep in proper running order with each time it rolls to save being marked on a piece of paper during the course of a game and afterwards credits needing to be spent to repair it or it starts degrading so instead of it being 2D10+5 it would loose a point of effectiveness for each previous successful hit it had stopped. For example if a model wearing power armour is hit 10 times in a game but nothing damages him, at the end of the game and during a campaign, they must spend say 2 creds per hit to repair it or the armour becomes 2D10-10 if they haven't paid for upkeep. It would mean that a character would constantly need to keep repairing armour between games or it's going to rapidly become no better than a flak jacket.

Another simple option is to downgrade the dice for armour rolls a bit so Medium Armour becomes D10+1, Heavy Armour D12+3 and Powered Armour 2D10 or something similar which would still allow the heavier armour to do its job and stop its squishy occupant getting turned to paste but penetrating damage is going to become more likely and even feeble weapons have some chance of doing some hurty things to the trooper.

Planet 28 is a really great sandbox set of rules that can be easily fiddled with to allow you to bodge all manner of interesting little quirks and rules that turn it from just a game into an almost RPG like experience without bogging down.

Tricks and Traps

As I mentioned previously, it can be written into the scenario that there could be say D6 traps concealed around the table and can be triggered by the defending player or indeed on a random dice roll to spice things up but there's also the very terrain itself as there's the opportunity to include covered pits, pools of acidic slime, rockfalls, hivequakes, sudden animal attacks, unexploded ordinance or any one of a hundred different unexpected events that could ruin the heavily armoured troopers day and give even the most poorly equipped a fighting chance against them!

I really need to get some more games played and will try including some of the randomly waffled ideas that I've come up with but I'd love to hear how other folks have dealt with similar situations in Planet 28 or indeed any other small scale skirmish game that they've played but in the meantime, All the best!

Sunday 23 May 2021

Dark Age Brutal Quest Project Part 2: Gathering the Troops and Further Reading


After finding myself drawn to putting together a bit of a mini project for Brutal Quest set in the Dark Ages I've been doing a bit of reading and perusing of the charity shops to see if I can find some more interesting source material to pull ideas from and found the interestingly titled Bloodfeud for a princely 50p!

It's proving to be a rather interesting book on a quick flick through and for such a paltry sum, I couldn't resist it! But all this reading and planning requires some miniatures to fight in blood feuds, quests and other skirmishes and after a bit of a ponder, I settled on picking up a sprue of Victrix Saxons and one of Vikings:

As Brutal Quest only requires a handful of figures, I figure that the single sprue of each will give me a decent selection of stuff to get started with, especially as the Victrix sprues come with a mixture of armoured and unarmoured figures and the reviews for them have been really positive too.

With a smidgen of a grounding in the history of the era, I am fairly sure that the historical purists will be outraged by the inaccuracies I plan on playing but the more I read, the more ideas I seem to be getting and while my version of the Dark Ages (or early medieval as is apparently what it should be called but doesn't sound so exciting) may well end up being a fictional setting similar to England in the 9th century but it's own thing with elements drawn from various sources and with a fair amount of imagination but its proving to be fun!

For visual inspiration, I've been perusing the rather wonderful art of Angus McBride who illustrated many of Osprey Publishings books over the years and its rather wonderful to boot. Combine a bit of Blanchitsu gribble, a pinch of muted paint tones and I will see what I can put together but in the meantime, All the best!

Saturday 22 May 2021

Dark Age Brutal Quest Project Part 1: Introduction


It's been a bit quiet here for the last week or so as I've been super busy with work so I figured it was high time to get back to the blog and post something new!

Earlier this year I backed Brutal Quest, the fantasy version of Planet 28 and I've rather enjoyed playing it using my Boar Company and their assorted friends and foes but I found myself pondering on trying to use it for something a little bit different, namely a low fantasy version of the Dark Ages featuring Saxons, Vikings, the odd Fae and various other bits and bobs.

A little bit of rummaging in my library at home and the history section at work and I have some historical reading materials which have been really fun to peruse and I am starting to get a bit of a feel for the sort of vibe that I want to try to replicate on the table.

I must admit, I am not entirely sure what has got me onto this train of thought but I am going to pick up a couple of sprues of assorted Saxons, Vikings and whatnot from Ebay and see what I can come up with and plan on trying to do some Dark Age of Sigmar style painting with the figures.

The best thing about Brutal Quest is that I only need 2-3 heroes and a small selection of foes to make a game of it so it works out, I may try a similar project going for an Arthurian theme as I'm rather liking the prospect of a fantasy game that is rooted in British myths and legends as there are so many fascinating elements to draw on.

Similarly, for my games I only use a 2'x2' board so it won't be too onerous a task to build some more realistic terrain to cover it and I'm quite excited to have a try at making some themed terrain for the project too!

 If nothing else, I am really enjoying reading about periods of history that I had only a passing knowledge of previously and I'll see what I can get done in the coming week but in the meantime, All the best!

Thursday 13 May 2021

Rising Above the Stress and Fare Ye Well Chronopia!


I've worked myself into a bit of a rage over the revamped Chronopia and instead of stewing in it, I have decided to try and rise above it and cast any hopes of getting the beloved game that I hoped for to the abyss of lost causes.

I had really high hopes for Chronopia coming back into production after over 20 years and was super excited at the announcement but the ensuing months and first previews of digital sculpts and then artwork plunged me into disappointment and then neck beard levels of outrage up to the point that my wife (ever the voice of reason!) suggested I let it go as I was getting too emotionally invested in a game that wasn't even out yet. The original was my favourite and still is she says and not liking the new one is ok but it's not worth getting into such a state over.

An aptly named Wailer

Instead of raging hopelessly at what is increasingly looking like an incredibly passionate but woefully unprofessional fan project I've decided to step away from any hope of seeing Chronopia getting a revamp and will stick to the original and still best and only version.

I've raised my concerns with the games creators and will not be backing the kickstarter have left the facebook group and will leave it at that...

Having actually posted this has been an actual weight off my shoulders as I was becoming obsessed to a point that only a nerd can get obsessed to and on the plus side, Warzone Eternal is looking like it's going to be ace and I've been putting aside some pennies to back it when it launches so in the meantime, All the best!

Tuesday 11 May 2021

The Joys of Gaming!


Just a quick post today as I'm headed out to work soon. I managed to play a quick game of Planet 28 last night with Inquisitor Fisher's team facing off against a bunch of Orks with a grudge.

It was great fun as always and I plan on playing another attempt at the mission and posting it as a full battle report in the coming days but it got me thinking about just how much fun a good game can be and what a pleasure my hobby can be!

There's something really pleasing about playing a game and finding myself rerunning it in my head and thinking about possible future missions and new models I want to paint up and it's got me champing at the bit to get more gaming in.

 Not only that, I'm actively looking for other games to try out and I'm also planning on having a bit of a rummage through my own collection for games I own but have never played. 

One such game is War of Ashes Shieldbash which is a lovely looking game and I have a fair few figures painted up for it but need a few more to get a decent warband sorted. In the meantime, I may use the figures I have in Brutal Quest to allow me to get them into use!

I've also been perusing Guerrilla Wargames awesome Lets Play videos over on Youtube and am liking the look of Relic Blade:

It seems to have a lot of plusses, namely low model count, quirky figures and simple rules. I do believe there is even a UK distributor so I may have a peek at them in the coming weeks but in the meantime, I want to keep the momentum going and keep on gaming!

Hopefully I'll get some more battle reports posted up soon and finish painting a few more models to add to my warbands but in the meantime, All the best!

Sunday 9 May 2021

Battle Report: Unexpected Encounter in Freeport City


As promised, I managed to play another game last night featuring Inquisitor Fisher and her loyal retainer Geralt the Wolfbane who encountered some old foes in the slums of Freeport City!

The Background

Inquisitor Fisher has heard rumours of more Orks than usual being sighted in the rundown slums of the capitol of Farpoint, Freeport City and has decided to investigate. While it is not uncommon to see several of the more 'civilised' clans such as Bloodaxes, Badmoons or even Deathskulls, the rumours identify the Orks as Goffs and such warlike Xenos infiltrating the Orkish enclaves no doubt is a sign of trouble to come.

While heading to meet with a local Ork representative in one of the less salubrious parts of town, Fisher spots furtive movement and as the Inquisitor and Geralt draw their weapons, a group of Goff Boys burst into view, their ambush spoiled by Fishers keen eye and charge forward bellowing warcrys and firing wildly.

The Forces

As I am using a bit of a hodgepodge of rules, I put together a sample of the forces stats and feats that they can carry out by using Hero Points. 

Inquisitor Fisher is accompanied as always by Geralt the Wolfbane while the Ork force consists of four Goff Boyz all armed with bolt pistols and axes.

The Setup 

The game takes place in one of the slums of Freeport City. It is a warren of dark alleyways, buildings constructed from a plethora of materials ranging from adobe to plascrete and scrap. The street, such as it is, is littered with junk and smells vaguely of boiled cabbage, a sure sign of Orkish inhabitation.

Fisher and Geralt begin the game on the southern edge of the board whilst the Orks begin at the north. The Inquisitor needs to survive the encounter and if possible exit the board's northern edge. The Orks are out for blood and must kill Fisher but will settle for Geralt if the opportunity allows it.

The Game

As I already mentioned, I am using a bit of a random mix of gaming elements, some of which may get bodged further as I play.

Each turn begins with a dice roll to see if any Hero Points are generated using my old Space Crusade dice with the red dice being the Hero's and the white the Villains. These points can be used to perform feats, be they impressive attacks, extra moves or in the case of Fisher, glaring.

Turn one begins with Fisher seizing the initiative and moving confidently forward towards the approaching Orks, snapping off a shot at the distant figures with her las pistol but failing to hit the leering xenos. As the Orks move towards the Imperial agents, Geralt uses his Move It! feat to sprint forward towards one of the Boyz who has foolishly split away from the rest of his companions.

Turn two sees no Hero Points rolled and the Orks take the initiative with the lone boy on the flank rushing towards Geralt firing wildly with his pistol but failing to damage the Wolfbane. In return, Geralt bellows his clan's warcry and charges the Ork.

A stellar couple of dice rolls sees the surprised Ork badly wounded by Geralt's blistering attack and things may be looking up for the Imperials.

The second Ork, seeing the approaching Inquisitor, opens fire with its bolt pistol and despite her armour, Fisher takes a point of damage.

Cursing as blood begins to trickle from the graze on her cheek caused by the shell exploding on her shoulder pad and hearing Geralt's warcry, Fisher activates her power sword and lunges at the Ork who fired upon her. Unfortunately, she fails to damage the Ork who nimbly ducks under the glowing red blades swing and loses the spike from the top of his helmet instead of his head.

The remaining two Orks rush down the alley on the western flank, determined to get behind Fishers party and attack from the rear.

The Imperials win initiative in turn three and roll a Hero Point too and Geralt runs his blade through the Ork he had been fighting. As he kicks the corpse of the greenskin off his blade, he hears hobnailed boots pounding down a nearby alleyway and hurries towards Fisher, aware that she's about to be outflanked.

Fisher uses a Hero Point to perform her Imperious Glare feat on the Ork as it tries to swing at her and her piercing ice blue eye makes contact with the red of the Goff and he quails under the judging stare (he had rolled a really good attack dice and the re-roll resulted in him rolling poorly!) Taking advantage of the creatures momentary pause, Fisher sweeps her power blade and sends the beasts head flying from its shoulders.

Unfortunately Fisher doesn't get chance to savour her victory as the two remaining Orks burst out of the alley behind her and one opens fire with his pistol at her unprotected back and sends the Inquisitor sprawling. Bellowing in victory, the greenskin rushes forward to finish the job brandishing its axe but is surprised to find the supposedly deceased Fisher pull herself to her feet and meet his charge with a curse.

The second Ork, sees Geralt emerging from the other end of the alley, covered in green blood from the Ork he slew and opens fire but Geralt avoids the shells and they scream past his head before ricocheting off a nearby wall. 

Turn four begins and once again no Hero Points are rolled. Inquisitor Fisher and the Goff in melee with her exchange a flurry of blows but fail to find their marks but Fisher is keenly aware of the fact that the shot to the back has pierced her armour and she is bleeding pretty badly.

Geralt rushes the Ork that fired on him and in another brutal attack wounds the beast, driving it backwards with a flurry of swings with his punisher sword. In response, the Ork fails to damage the Wolfbane.

Turn five one again sees a decided lack of Hero Points and the swirling melee that continues sees Geralt stagger as the wounded and now throughly enraged Ork smash his axe into Geralt's side, cutting through his armour and into his flesh. Grunting in pain, Geralt swipes at the beast, failing to damage it but driving it back somewhat.

Things are looking equally grim for Fisher as the Ork fighting her proves that a wounded Ork is a dangerous Ork as it scores another wound on her and she fights down the pain and snarls at the beast, determined to wipe the sneer off its face if its the last thing she does.

Turn six begins with no Hero Points being rolled once again but Imperial pluck wins out as focusing all her rage into a well timed thrust, Fisher runs the sneering Ork through and disembowels the greenskin. Pausing to kick the dying creature in the head, she staggers towards the Wolfbane who is bleeding like a stuck pig as the Ork he is fighting scores another hit, breaking his sword arm. 

Before the creature can celebrate, Geralt lifts his pistol and sends an explosive bolt into it's head sending it sprawling to the ground, skull shattered and quite dead.


Geralt slumps and groans, not sure where hurts more, his cracked and broken ribs or his badly mangled arm but sees an equally bloody Fisher glaring down at him. "Come on Geralt, there's no time to lie around feeling sorry for yourself. I'm sure there are more of them out there so suck it up". Sighing, the Wolfbane pulls himself to his feet and painfully follows his boss towards the safety of a local agents compound wondering if he can have a day off after this and plaintively wishing for a drink or ten.

So there we go! Fisher and Geralt have avoided an ambush but what are the Orks motives? Is this a simple attack of opportunity or is there more at work than it appears. Hopefully once they've both been patched up, the Inquisitorial team will be able to get to the bottom of it!

The bodged rules went pretty well and it was a good fun game with the two heroes fighting off a group of goons and my only regret was I didn't get enough hero points to perform any really powerful attacks but I had great fun playing the game and will need to play another soon!

I'm really enjoying playing games with only a handful of figures a side as I can get a game in quickly and don't have to paint too much to get a new force into play either which is a definite bonus.

I've got today off and have a vague plan of playing a game of Planet 28, one of Song of Blasters and one of Brutal Quest which will give me lots to post about in the coming days so watch this space but until then, All the best!