Friday, 26 August 2016

What to play?

Image result for battlefleet gothic

Last night Tom and I headed over to the Ilko Gaming Hut (made of wood, so a hut, but Loki's Great Hall is made of Wood, my North Nottingham Gaming Hall is made of bricks etc) for a game of Triumph and Tragedy somewhere in Africa called Tombongo Land where Professor Greenwich's elephant "poaching" expedition is trying to clear off with its haul of Ivory. Obviously the Ilkolites are not having any of that and try to stop them.

This battle report will be published when I get one Apple product to talk to another.

The point of the post is to try and get down on paper the conundrum that I am facing.

We, the mighty three who make up the Sherwood, Hucknall, Ilkeston Team are struggling to get a consistent flow to gaming. Now we have all the life shite that gets in the way; jobs, kids, family and such but the deeper root to the problem is that we can't decide on what to play for any period.

What is agreed:

Toy Soldier Gaming
With models we have painted ourselves

This may feel like it is almost there, however, as with everything in life, the devil is in the detail.

Let's try and get down what each party wants and see if with open reflection we can ascertain a winning road to gaming nirvana.

Let's start with Tom

Probably been wargaming the longest
Will paint around 40 models for a system
Likes the more fringe stuff - North Western Frontier, Africa Stuff, some Naps, Dark Ages, Middle Ages, Warhammer and 40K

He will not play AoS

General Ballroom

A man who probably loves toy soldiers more than anyone else I know. He has a gaming hut and a painting room (in England that is dedication).
Again GB wants to paint up to about 40 miniatures
GB is the least focused of the three of us (or is he the one covering the most ground) though we have managed two age of Sigmar games in Tom's absence
GB is adamantly opposed to 8th ed. He has moved on and will not go back with his models.

Now there is Stevo

What I really want to play is large (over 100 models) battles with lovely looking armies and terrain.
This was working fine until the Sherwood Hucknall Ilkeston Team hit the mighty AoS schism of 2015.
At this point Tom went one way and GB went the other. Your tricky point here is that there are three of us. We have dabbled with AoS with Tom grudgingly enjoying it when he plays but refusing to embrace it. We have also done just about every skirmish game I can think of over the last year. And whilst enjoyable in a popcorn sort of way I am hankering for a full meal with all the trimmings.

Now I have my chance to host a game on Wednesday to try and tempt the Gents into getting to a place where we have a load of models on the board. However once you take 8th Ed and AoS out of the equation then I am scratching my head for a battle game that I have enough figures to host.

So far on my short list:

WAB - as I have some Normans and Tom has everything
Something War of the Roses - I could try and learn Hail Caesar in a weekend
War of The Ring - probably the most likely but I would have to not play as I suspect I would butcher the other two as I played a load of games against the writer and bent the game out of shape!

I think i have talked myself into WoTR but I don't see this as the long term as GB doesn't much like it.

The other way to go might be BFG as we all have fleets and it is something completely different. Could be tempted by that!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Age of Sigmar unit template

I have seen various solutions to the AoS what does my army do conundrum. Some of the best ideas I have seen are:

Cutting up the Grand Alliance Books and Laminating the pages
Cutting up White Dwarf and Laminating the pages
Zaki (off gaming and painting ideas) has made MTG style cards - using pictures of his models
Having a heap of books next to you

My solution was an excel sheet, however my technical foo to actually attach that to the blog has failed me somewhat (hopefully Sean will stop by as he normally knows how everything works) so here is a picture:

So these cover the basic rules and have little photos. The thing I love is that they are photos of my models!

I will make the offer that if you want the file drop me a note and I will send it over!

Hope this helps, it helps me!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Go with the flow two!

So Brenden (brother from Chicago) has complained that I did a less than adequate job of explaining how to use the three paint mediums in my previous post here.

Therefore I will attempt to assist further though I feel like I am robbing you, dear reader, of the opportunity to take a voyage of discovery with these products for yourselves.

Glaze Medium

This stuff is the king of making washes and glazes work properly. You should add a drop or two to every wash. As stated in article one, this stuff slows down the drying process so you get a gentler fade in for the wash. This is especially good for that all over wash that you hit those base coloured models with. If you live by the Agrax Earthshade army painter method this stuff is your best friend for amazing results from your washes.

Lahmian Medium

OK, see this stuff as your basic thinning agent. This is basically the number one ingredient in citadel paint. Which means if you want to soften a wash this is your best friend. DO NOT USE WATER. It will cause frosting!

If you are loaded you can use this as a thinner for all paints but I find that a bit extreme! Also useful for painted on varnishes that don't like water either. As you can see this stuff comes in pots. I transfer to dropper bottles (push all air out of dropper bottle, stick in pot, science will do the rest).

Air Caste Thinner

This fella is not a thinner in the traditional sense. If you are in a hurry, but need to apply a thin wash or glaze then this is your secret weapon. This stuff hacks your drying time. Don't use it on your washes as you won't get that beautiful gradual fade that we are looking for. But it does get you model done super quick. Again I have dumped it into a dropper bottle (they are buttons on the web so get a load) as it is super easy to use.

I have also been using this as the thinner for my inks. When I ink I am trying to add depth to the colour and I only want that effect exactly where I put it. As such adding this dries it quicker and gets me the result I want.

I know Brenden requested pictures of me doing stuff but that would be a lot like (exactly like) watching paint dry, which is the point of the article!

Monday, 22 August 2016

AoS Khorne vs Free people II

Heading over once again to the Ilko gaming hut I was very excited for two reasons. Number one we were going to play more Age of Sigmar, number two GB's favourite daughter has got herself a job at Papa John's so delicious spicy pizza was happening!

This mission has three objectives on the centre line. My first drop sees my Khorne Warriors spread a thin red line putting them within 6" of all three. GB went for the cluster on the back line approach - as troops can no longer retreat this is less dangerous than in other games. I spread down the centre.

I think this photo shows it better, no fighting would occur in my half of the board!

The first turn began with me firing 20 Bloodreavers into the outriders - GB we need more light down this end of the table!

The warriors advance in good order.

Right flank has its eye on the characters. To hold an objective you need to have a character with 6" in your hero phase. All of mine started the game on them. My sneaky plan was to kill all the Free People Heroes whilst stacking VPs from the objectives and win the game.

Crunch, the Skull Reapers and Khorgorath start character munching. Whilst the Blood Warriors are whittled by musket fire (are Empire handguns rifled or not?)!

Out of range of the Bloodsecrator the Blood Reavers are rubbish. This grinds for the rest of the game! The Khorne Warriors are rapidly chewing through the Helblaster Crew and Engineer. My characters languish on the centre line not doing a great deal apart from being shot at as GB works out my plan!

The Free People strike back. 20 Halberdiers into my Blood Warriors, the fight is fairly even!

But on the left the Khorne Warriors finish off the Gun and crew and are heading to the enemy centre. All this directed by my Khorne Lord!

At that vital moment GB rolls for initative, gets it with this six, he is having two turns in a row!

A lot of shooting comes out of the Hand Gunners but it doesn't appear to be enough!

The Khorne Warriors and the Khorgorath pile into the Handgunners, the mighty Blood Warrior continues his valiant battle with the Halberdiers.

The last Outrider finally died but the unit is 20% of its starting strength. Without the synergies Khorne is nothing!

With all of GB's characters dead and 9 VPs stacked up for me we called it a night.

We are both still learning how this whole thing works. You do get a dynamic game. There is a lot going on when you are trying to get the buffs and synergies to work and in this game we both fell foul of forgetting the ranges and exactly what the powers do.

I think for me with every unit in the game changing distinctly and there being no easy conversion table from 8th to AoS it is going to be a slow learning curve as that knowledge base (stats have not really changed since 3rd) of 30 years is not switching over night. Maybe I am just getting too old!

Anyway, great game, great Pizza (thank you GB and Martha!) and this week we are off to the North Western Frontier as Tom is hosting some kind of game based around the murder of some indigenous population armed with sticks battling (very fairly) the British Empire!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Zulu at John's

My friend John invited me over to his regular weekly gaming session. This week it was a game of Zulu Black Powder. And we got to be the thin red line protecting the plucky British settlers!

We had a shaky start with some friendly locals and the navy boys hitting the field, as you can see a wave of Zulu's are already inbound.

We brought our cavalry on our left to protect the villagers holed up in the farmhouse, the sailors took cover in the walled paddock. The locals guarded their flank.

Here is the tide of Zulu's

I was in charge of the British Red Coats who finally arrived and started blasting the horde.

Contact was made with the King's bodyguard supported by the dreaded White Shields.

If it wasn't for some great dice this flank would have been lost!

Meanwhile on the left the cavalry where being closed in on by the Zulus.

Our battle line is holding and one of the waves is driven off.

At this point we called it a British victory  as the Zulus had been thrown back. Doug's Zulus had blundered and he abandoned the king to a hail of British fire, mumbling something about checking that the Zulu Queen would need someone to comfort her.

Smashing game with hundreds of beautiful figures on a whopping 8 foot by 6 foot board. Thanks John, it was a blast!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Go with the flow

This is kinda odd technical painting post, but it is something I learnt recently and I hope sharing will help add something to people's painting.

I work almost entirely with the Citadel Colour Range. I find it to be the best range out there and links together well. And once you know the first rule of working with it, do not go over wet paint. You have fantastic coverage and great colours but if you go over wet paint it seems to pull and reveals the coat beneath. Now of course this might be something you can use, but not if you haven't thought about it.

Next up I want to talk about three products, two Citadel and one Vallejo.

First up, Lahmian Medium.

This is the carrier fluid for Citadel paints, the raw unpigmented paint. as you may have discovered the Shade range are great, but quite strong and sometimes you want them a little more dilute. Now if you have tried mixing water in you may have found you get some unwanted frosting.

But here comes our hero now! Lahmian Medium will thin your paint with no fuss and no mess!

Next up we have Glaze Medium from Vallejo

This stuff slows the drying process - what use is that I hear you cry. Well this should mean that you get a much smoother ease in when using washes and inks. It does mean that you have to wait for it to dry (if on Citadel this is a big change as those washes dry really quick) but for a better effect it is worth it.

Last one - Air Caste Thinner

This is an odd one but bear with me.

I do not use this for the airbrush. But it has a unique property that some of you may find useful. This stuff dries your paint quicker. Now this is actually bad for Air Brushing as it clogs your brush. However where this is useful is if you need to get a lot of layers of paint on quickly or if you have a very thin wash to an area. It still thins the paint but rapidly dries it too.

This really just scratches the surface of the uses of these three so if you have more suggestions for them please send them in.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Battling the Free People - AoS Battle Report

After receiving the challenge from General Ballroom I headed over to the Ilko Gaming Hut (still not got a full definition on what constitutes a Gaming Hall and what makes a Gaming Hut) with my freshly painted Khorne Bloodbound. GB had got his army of the Free People painted so I was expecting a lot of guns!

Here is the field as the forces deployed. I was wanting to get stuck in as I have one missile weapon and no spells in my army, as such I dropped on the centre line.

Left flank, Khorgorath, Bloodsecrator and Bloodreavers, facing Helblaster, Swordsmen, Handgunners, BSB and General.

My centre is Khorne Warriors, Blood Stoker, Mighty Lord of Khorne vs Fire Wizard and Outriders, my Right has Blood Warriors and Skullreapers.

Turn One and we mosh into the Freepeople, we have to hit hard and fast as the guns can really hurt us. I split attacks off from the unit to hit characters, tbh a mistake. Focus for best results. The Warriors hit the Handgunners too so we were up to our nuts in guts! Khorgorath let me down, no charge into the Helblaster, next turn!

On the right the Blood Warriors went into the Outriders (who proved tougher than expected, I need the other five painted!)

Skullreapers are left holding an objective which is a total waste! I need some cheap troops for these gigs, I must get the other two Khorgoraths painted! Sorry this BR is turning into a shopping list of my painting needs!

The Hand of GB begins removing the casualties!

Khorgorath rages ineffectually at the Helblaster!

The Freepeople Guard are badly mauled!

But in return the Bloodreavers are destroyed bar one, and the Khorne Warriors are cut up!

Blood Warriors are also not doing well. I will have to send in the reserves!

So no guard and one Bloodreaver left, the cheap hordes balance out (GB had two characters in there that helped a lot!)

Two Blood Warriors and one Outrider die!
Chaos Warriors are down to three, darn Handgunners!

Points wise I have quite a bit left but the body count is well over half!

Bloodreaver Champ sits on objective, Khorgorath charges Helblaster.

Khorne Lord comes to help his lads, but has been stabbed so could be in bother!

Skullreapers "rock up" to sort GBs left flank out.

Bloodstoker hangs back to claim my objective. In this scenario there are four, one in each deployment zone, two on the centre line. If you hold yours you get one point per turn, the centre ones are two per turn and your opponents is worth four. I was all over the objective tally but struggling on the killing stuff fast enough tally.

Kaboom, wizard nukes Mighty Lord of Khorne, knew I should have brought Jugger Lord!

Outriders die, Khorne Warriors die. GB is somewhat reduced in forces, model tally fairly close. I have nine models left he has six.

Battle field view

Skullreapers pile in killing wizard and handgunners

Then they close in on the Freepeople caharcters!

I clean my claws with the Freepeople erradicated! Chalk one up to Khorne.

It has taken me a week to write this up so I am over there again tonight so hopefully another BR should be hot on the heels of this one. Looking forward to the battle. May look at mixing the army list up a bit!