Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A troll on the wild side


Found this today hidden at the back of an old sketch book. Made me smile so I thought I'd put it on the blog.

 It must be about two years old at least, so that goes to show how long I've been on this fantasy project. Still enjoying it though so here's to many more years to come. I've almost been tempted by other eras but so far the fantasy vibe has still got me, it's pure food for my imagination, I'm loving It.

Monday, February 08, 2016

A Rampant Dragon!


Glaurung is based and ready to plunder the halls of men...and Dwarves come to that. He was renown for transfixing his victims with a look from his burning eyes. My Glaurung certainly looks the part with his glowing stare.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Elven general is finally in place.

Well finally the vacant place on the base has been filled after almost a year of hiatus. I have had this guy undercoated for ages but last night I got him in place at last and It feels good. He still needs a little tweaking with but hes good to go.

The Elven King is from Reaper Miniatures, the banner men and guard are from Mirliton miniatures.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Red in tooth and claw

 The Goblins have got some fleet footed helpers to even the odds with those bloody handed Elves. Above, the great White Warg, leader of wolf packs north of the mountains. He will bring order to the forests of the fair folk.
This lot have been varnished with 'Kleer' floor polish as a hard coat, ready for their matt finish.

 Several packs combine to form a huge ravenous coalition, these fast moving killers should tip the balance of power in the Southern vales. Where there are wolves in such numbers, Wargs are soon to follow and with them... come riders!

Just one look is all It takes to bring the baying packs into line from the great Warg.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Doodles from the Edge



I've been painting up a lot of wolves recently,,,thousands of 'em and this picture is me just thinking aloud.

 I want to use the old Asgard Dwarf range for my army of the Iron Hills. They fit the bill nicely as they are all dressed very similar in mail and have Spangle helms. Another nice touch is that the figures are all carrying bed rolls and bags of equipment, very much an army on the move. The only down side is that they are quite pricey on eBay but then most of those old eighties figures are now. Still I have gathered enough for a good sized force over the years and I'm looking forward to starting them later in the year. The problem is that Orcs are too addictive when It comes to painting and I can't stop...time to clear the palette with some nice wholesome Elven folk.          

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Thoughts on the game.

 Well I'm sorry for the lact of photos, I thought I had taken more. There were whole parts of the battle just not documented. I take it as a sign how much I was enjoying myself with the camera just forgotten about.

It was nice to include my wife in this game too ( her first wargame) and I was delighted when she started to really enjoy It. Although she was losing interest at the start of the game after failing to activate her companies three times in a row. The poor old Elves got off to a really slow start, time and time again both players failed to activate. The Goblins were having It all their own way at the beginning.
 However, once the did pass their activation test, It was a different story. The unit of Trolls (heavy Infantry, Offensive) seemed to become instant fire magnets, with everything sharp wizzing their way. They soaked up a lot but finally broke under the onslaught.
This did give my units of Goblins (light Infantry) a chance to dodge the rain of death and actually make contact with the fair folk. The Elves were Light shooters with the sharpshooter bonus added. This made them deadly at range, needing a 4 on a D6 to kill. That extra 1 point on the dice really does make a difference with each unit rolling 12 Dice attacks.
 The Goblins did manage to sting the Elves and push them back once in the game, being a light archer unit type made the Elves quite weak against a melee attack.

Going forward this is the only thing I will tweak with the rules. Units of the same type are basically equal and I like to think that a unit of Elves would be better than the that of Goblins or Orcs. I have got around this by giving the Elven archer units an armour upgrade. The Mystical armour option gives them a saving throw of 6 on any wound taken. For me it represents the high quality Elven mail worn and the skill of arms of the Elves to deflect blows. However, with the sharpshooter bonus already added, the armour bonus brings them up to 8pts a unit, twice that of a Goblin one. This I think is Okay and fits much better with the quality of the different warrior types.
 The Great eagle was a Greater War Beast with the flying option added. My wife really started to enjoy herself when the thing started to tear my companies apart. The eagles are coming...the eagles are coming, no shit.
 I think the main thing about the game is It has left me wanting more...normally after a big game I feel washed out and can quite happily leave it for a while. Dragon Rampant has got me creating new unit types and trying to even up the armies by painting faster moving units (Wolves and Wargs).
Trying to add options that really sum up the unit you're trying to recreate. For example, the Trolls I have given them the fear option and the venomous bite option (every 6 rolled on an attack counts as two kills). This represents the great lumbering beasts causing fear in the units they attack and the added damage caused by their great strength.

Dwarves again are something I'm having fun creating. I would love a rule that represents a shieldwall. The Pevise rule from Lion Rampant might be the solution, giving an armour rating of 4 from archery and a 3 from melee.Together with the 'Offensive' option this would bring them up to 8pts, again double that of a standard Orc unit. Cool with me.
I have to add here that I plan to up the game points on our friendly games as we just want more units on the board. I would be very interested to see a small battle line of well equipped and skilled elves hold out against masses of Orc units.
So there you are some thoughts on the subject of Dragon Rampant, at £12 go a get a copy you won't regret it. Simple and fun, I think It may be the rule set I was after all this time to play my LOTR games.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dragon Rampant Test Game

 The battle raged on and again the Goblins attacked the Elven battle line. This time a few Elves fell to Goblin blades and a company was pushed back, but yet again Elven arrows struck home and Goblins fell in their droves. It was around this time that Sireen the young Eagle from the Misty Mountains decided he had watched enough and swooped down on the wavering Goblins. His mighty shadow fell over them and they dropped to the ground in fear. His attack was devastating and the Goblins were scattered by his mighty wing beats. Sireen received a black feathered arrow in his neck, however this just made him furious and his assault was doubled.
 The Goblins were taken completely by surprise with the arrive of the monster from on high, panic started to spread through their ranks like wild fire. The huge Trolls had had enough long ago and turned back towards the feet of the mountains, they were too busy plucking arrows from their soft parts and faces to care any more about eating Elf flesh. Their huge iron hammers now lay abandoned in the long grass.
 Seeing war parties turning and heading back to the mountains, the whole Goblin advance started to grind to a halt. Clouds of arrows continued to darken the sky and as the mighty eagle took to the air again the Goblin will to fight evaporated like a morning mist.

 Sireen dropped from the heavens again on the last war party and the beat of his wings seemed to sweep them away. Those that weren't crushed or battered to death, dropped what they were carrying and ran for their lives.
The Elven companies had held strong and weakened the Goblins enough to throw them into disarray. The appearance of the great eagle was the last straw that had broken the Goblin's neck. The battle was over and the vales of Rivendell well still secret and still safe. THE END.

Dragon Rampant Test Game

 As the huge Trolls seemed to waver under the rain on arrows, the small Goblin war parties overtook them and closed on the Elven line. The Elves although out numbered stood like stones amidst a crashing wave. They fought hard and took few causalities but inflicted many. The first attack of the Goblins was repulsed without much lose.

 The Elves stand strong. Swift sword play and cool nerves hold the Goblin battle lines in check.

Although a war party of Goblins had been pushed back they had not lost heart completely and now joined with a second attack wave to finish job. The Elven commander seeing this, moved his companies back into a defensive position.

Dragon Rampant Test Game

 Well, after collecting fantasy armies for the past 30 years or so I was intrigued by the release of a new set of Fantasy rules. I have been toying around with different rules lately in order to refight the battles of Middle Earth and namely, The Battle of the Five Armies. So when I caught wind of this new set I thought lets just have a game and jump straight in. A new Lego table bought on ebay for my little boy seemed like the perfect place to have it too.

I have to say I really enjoyed the rules and the tinkering you can do with the options/skills to create your perfect units is priceless...and very,very addictive be warned.

 In this first test game we kept the unit points basically as they were in the book. Although I like my Elves and Dwarves to be a little more sturdy than Goblins, so will boost their units up with more armour and skills to better reflect their skill and staying power in future games.

Anyway enough gabbing, lets crack on. So my wife and a friend and I all chose companies of Goblins and Elves, I was the Goblins with my wife leading a band of Elves and a great eagle and my friend had two companies of Elves. All archers I may add you can see were this is going can't you.
 The Goblins being sneaky and fast on their feet got off to a racing start, they tore across the plain with shreaks and blood curdling cries that would of frozen all but the Stout hearted. Along with the high pitched din of the Goblins came the low bellows of the trolls, large Olog-Hai from the north carrying huge iron hammers.
 Against them in their companies stood the fair Elven children of Iluvatar. They remained motionless for what seemed an eternity. Even the great Eagle from the Misty Mountains circled high above, reluctant to make the first move. The Goblin chieftain laughed at the folly of Elves as they just stood there, he could see the giant war Trolls were making good ground on them and soon It would be all over.
 Then finally the whole Elven line seemed to spring to life. A volley of arrows leaped into the advancing Trolls, making one of them stumble, the other carried on, only to be hit by a second wave of arrows from the other Elven company. Both Trolls stopped and beat the ground in rage.
The Trolls were soon overtaken by the small bands of Goblins that came scurrying over the grassland crying for blood.

Basing the hordes

 Glaurung: Dragon, first and greatest of the Urukloki. Bred by Morgoth in Angband
 This huge, brooding dragon is in fact a plastic toy I picked up in a garden centre. I liked him because he kind of fitted the description of Glaurung, being large and wingless. If anything, his legs could of done with being a bit shorter but I can live with it. I also did loads of research on line about the colours of Glaurung, the ones that really caught my eye were the black/blue ones, So I used them for my painting guides.

 Elrond and his banner guard.
 Elven companies in battle line.
Elven swordsmen come forward to protect the vulnerable achers.

I've really enjoyed painting and working out my Elf army. I want them to have a grace and organisation that my other forces don't have. Messing around with the formations on the bases helped to create the illusion that the Elven companies were very measured and  disciplined in battle. The first rank steps forward to protect the archers so they can keep up a steady fire. Also putting them in nice neat battle lines helped give the impression that they were highly disiplined.
My Orcs and Goblins are all mounted on bases like little warbands and my Dwarves, although they will be in line, will form a rugged shieldwall type affair. It's great to play around with all the different fighting styles and characteristics from the books.