Friday 23 June 2023

Tiny Orcs for Leviathan


Its been a while since I've been able to update as its been really busy, not to mention roasting! I have been busy with hobby gubbins for most of the last week though which has been brilliant, especially after the loss of motivation over the last few months.

Tiny Orcs

In my ongoing obsession with Leviathan, I'd decided at making some tiny troop style figures so I can put together an army without spending literally months trying to track down figures, clean and paint them. Coupled with the fact that they cost me pretty much nothing and storage is going to be an awful lot easier than 28mm scale, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

They're made from two pieces of plastic rod and some eva foam strips and while they may not be the most detailed of figures I've ever made, they will suit their purpose to eventually allow me to play some games as they look far better than using counters.

As I had them set up I also realised they would be handy for other games like Five Leagues From the Borderlands or even Rangers of Shadowdeep so they are proving doubly handy and I'm now thinking of making a few adventurer miniatures as well to give them some instant opposition.

I've yet to attempt to make any of the larger stuff for them such as Necrosaurs or even Titanosaurs but I shall experiment a bit to see how they come together as I have a rough plan on using similar techniques to what I did for my 2mm Land Ironclads for the Orcish Wartowers which should translate pretty quickly.

I've also been working on some other odds and ends but I'll save them for another post as I don't want to ramble on too much but I seem to have really got my inspiration back and it seems to be by doing a little bit of this and that rather than solely concentrating on a single project but picking up something and working on it for a bit and swapping out for something else before I get bored.

Needless to say its probably going to result in me taking ages to actually finish anything properly but I am having fun with the process and its getting me motivated to keep going!

I'll try and get another post up in the next couple of days with some more completed figures but until then, All the best!

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Re-Exploring Old Games: Leviathan


I seem to be getting a bit of a post hobby slump urge to look at old games again which is always exciting, until I realise the possibility of actually creating said project it decidedly marginal at best but this got me to thinking about ways I can actually incorporate the spirit of the old games I love into a more manageable format.

For todays update I'll be looking at Leviathan, possibly the game that has obsessed me the most over the years.

Released in 1995, I picked up this book in Mac's Models on the Royal Mile and was blown away by how awesome it looked. As with all things hobby related it then sat on a bookshelf for 20 years as I left the hobby and sold pretty much everything I had apart from a few old rulebooks that nobody wanted.

Skip forward to 2008 and I found myself at university as a mature student and for some reason I had taken my now old and battered copy of Leviathan with me and sat down to read it one evening. This reignited my obsession and over the next couple of years I set up and ran my Leviathan blog:

I initially attempted to collect and paint whole armies of massive resin monsters and vehicles as well as sourcing infantry as well as speaking to the original creators about any further material they had for Earthpower, the promised but never released supplement but the whole thing was too much to do while trying to study at uni as well as working part time with a long commute to boot so things basically ground to a halt.

Over the next decade I've periodically ventured back into the game, using cardboard counters or my own sculpts to allow me to play the game or at least skirmishes set in the world of Aeroth. 

I found the game was pretty playable using counters but lacked the visual appeal of actual miniatures and despite getting in at least one or two games a year using them, I've never really done much more with classic Leviathan as is.

This brings me to today where I once again find myself wanting to explore Leviathan again but to actually go into the miniature side of things a bit more. 

Before I go any further though I realise that I just cannot face collecting all the miniatures for a mass battle game, especially with all the massive resin warbeasts and engines of destruction that were required for Leviathan (it recommends one use an 8'x4' board which I most certainly do not have!).

Coupled with the fact that while I love the old sculpts, the range is showing its age and it also has an awful lot of stuff missing from even the core rulebook which surely makes any attempt to play the game a futile endeavour.

But then I got to thinking about a two prong approach. Was there a way of putting together an army in a smaller scale that would tick the visuals but also allow me to play a game without spending a fortune or needing a large space and is there a way of capturing the feel of Leviathan in a different game? The answer is kind of. The thing is Leviathan has a lot of unique figures that just don't have anything like them in other scales which is an issue that many of my old game collection has: they are unique for a reason and its getting increasingly difficult, not to mention expensive to get figures that fit the vibe. Similarly the post apocalyptic setting makes for a difficult choice for fantasy gaming.

Before throwing my hands in the air and admitting defeat, I decided to look through my rulebooks for other games systems that I could use to play skirmish games which are driven by an interesting narrative that I could port Leviathan and the world of Aeroth into and came up with the following:

My collection of random rules gave me the options of Rangers of Shadowdeep, Frostgrave and Brutal Quest. You may notice I've gone for primarily small skirmish games as that will allow me to focus on small warbands and a small playing area rather than having to spend a fortune on figures. 

Of these options, I must admit that Brutal Quest is a firm favourite as I've played it a load of times and feel its sandbox nature will lend itself to playing games really well in the grim post Death world of Aeroth. Similarly Rangers of Shadowdeep and Frostgrave allow for both interesting warbands and narrative driven play that I really enjoy so I find myself pondering on having a go. 

I'll need to see what I have in my collection but I figure I could easily start with Brutal Quest level warbands of 4-5 figures and expand the collection so I can play either Frostgrave or Rangers of Shadowdeep without too much stress.

But what about Leviathan? I really want to play the mad mass battle game that it is so I'm looking at putting together some of my Tiny Troops to build a couple of armies and see how I go.

While not super detailed, they do give the feel of a proper miniatures game and are really easy to make so literally anyone can build at least infantry that fits the aesthetics of Aeroth. If this works out, I'll post my progress here as usual and may end up using this approach to allow me to try out other games in my collection that I don't have the time or money to invest in collecting armies for.

With this two prong approach, I've some high hopes of playing out at least a small skirmish or two using Brutal Quest and hopefully a classic Leviathan session and if it goes well, I will use it as an opportunity to build upon any successes I have to keep the hobby mojo going!

Gosh! Looking back at this post makes me realise I've basically jabbered on about what I want to do in yet another project that may or may not take off, but I find laying out an idea and working on it does help get the creative juices flowing. Hopefully I'll have something to show for the weekend but in the meantime, All the best!

Tuesday 13 June 2023

Royal Opera House Il Trovatore: Oddly Oldhammer


I don't post about high culture very often but we went to see a live screening of Verdi's Il Trovatore by the ROH and it was pretty brilliant!

The reason I'm posting it up here is that it may actually be of interest to Warhammer fans as this version reimagines it as part of a Hieronymus Bosch settings with all manner of wonderfully weird characters. 

The chorus are particularly fantastic as either grubby looking soldiers or Bosch inspired creatures and the chap playing Ferrando was brilliantly villainous and stole every scene he was in.

Opera may not be everyones cup of tea but its well worth a watch for some inspiration!

I'm knackered so am off to bed but I'll be posting some updates over the next few days as I seem to have recovered from my hobby slump and have been busily painting all sorts of bits and bobs. I'm also going to be posting further ponderings on forgotten games and what I can do to play some of them!

In the meantime, All the best!