Saturday 3 December 2022

Kings of War - (Riftforged) Orcs

My first Mantic KoW army was Orcs... way back in 2014. Since then it's grown and grown... However I've not added much to it for a while.

I noticed the Riftforged Orcs list in Clash of Kings 2019 and it piqued my interest, though I didn't look more into it as I was determined to play Sylvan Kin and nothing else for a while. To concentrate on them rather than flit around like I've done in the past.

Anyway, having played Sylvan Kin consistently for a year I was looking to move onto another army. After playing Richard Miles' Riftforged Orcs at the recent TT Gaming Tournament at Element Games Sheffield, I decided to look into them again. He had a very good build, taking advantage of some special units in the new Orcs and went on to win the tournament. I worked out I actually had all the models needed to make his army, but just needed two more. 

The first is the Stormforged Shrine a floating forge with an orc hitting an anvil firing off lightning bolts. I didn't look initially for the Mantic model and instead looked for something I could 3D print. I found this island on thingiverse and decided it was a good starting point. With the addition of a Dungeon Saga Orc, 3D printed hammer heads, a 3D printed anvil and a single Hirst Arts block from my spares, I made this... I've really happy how it's come out.

The second is a unique Orc commander on a gore. Thonaar. I've had the heavy all-metal mantic model on my bench since pre-covid and never got around to painting it. I had to search for his weapon arm, but now he's finally ready.

I'll probably not play Richard's exact army, but will try using these two and the Riftforged Orc formation in a few battles. I'm actually thinking of concentrating on my Abyssals this year.

Sunday 27 November 2022

Kings of War - Succubi

It seems a very, very long time since I painted anything for my Kings of War Abyssals. These are the first batch of Succubi. I have about the same number again ready and primed. They've been that way for several years! 

It's also been quite a while since I used my photography display board and focus stacking software, but it seems I've not forgotten how to use it.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Blücher - Spring 1813 Map Campaign - Second Campaign turns

Having finished off all of the four battles after the first few turns of campaign movement we'd been waiting for a chance to get the next campaign turn done and then play any battles immediately after. Well that just didn't happen so we decided finally to just get the campaign turns done. This we did on Monday at COGS.

We had to remind ourselves what had happened previously in the campaign and then we managed to play through two campaign turns. In the first of these turns no battles were declared. The French pulled back from the South and decided to concentrate their attacks in the North. The allies also tried to move their forces North to head them off.

A single battle was declared by the French in the North and the remaining forces jockeyed for position. Attempts were made by both sides to stop opponents reaching the battlefield.

In the end though the French have the upper hand with a 6 corps including the Imperial Guard on the table at the start and 1 corps in reserve. The allies have 4 corps, with guard forces from both Prussians and Russians, but also two weaker corps. They have also got 5 other corps of varying sizes ready to come on as reserves.

As you can see nearly all the forces are involved in that big battle. The remaining forces in the South will not be fighting this turn.

So now we need time to actually play this huge battle. We'll need a whole day. It looks like Gerald won't be able to get to the next Dales Wargames, so we'll probably have to play it my house.

Friday 14 October 2022

DBA 3.0 Beyond Rebasing - Part 3 : The City of Troy

 In the earlier Part 1 of the "DBA 3.0 Beyond Rebasing" articles I showed off a camp designed in the style of the ancient city of Troy. This was from a set of 3D prints from here. The set contains the camp and two versions of the city. I've just completed one of those two cities and I like it so much I think I may have to do the other one as well.

Of course I don't actually have the minis for the Trojan Wars, but I think this model will do quite well as a generic ancient city.

It's sized correctly for the DBA 3.0 rules, so I'll have to try it out at our next DBA session.

Also, here are some photos of the armies and terrain I've been making being used at COGS on Monday.

Monday 10 October 2022

DBA 3.0 Beyond Rebasing - Part 2 : Classical Indian Army

Back when I was playing DBM with my Bactrian Greek Army I'd started to extend it by buying additional elephants and an extra chariot. These have sat unpainted for years since then. It was time to make use of them.

So my first (almost) completely new army is Classical Indian 500BC-178AD II/3a. These can fight my Graeco-Indians, Graeco-Bactrians and Skythians, so fit in perfectly. All I needed was a couple more elephants, a chariot and a couple of bases of Cavalry.

I've just finished those in time for our DBA evening at COGS tonight.

Saturday 8 October 2022

DBA 3.0 Beyond Rebasing - Part 1 : Camps and Hamlets

I've pretty much completed all the straight forward rebasing I can do as I've done all the armies I had. I am currently painting up some additional models to make a Classical Indian army, but in the mean time I've been sorting out a few camps.

I hadn't really ever built any camps before, but I did have some baggage mules and carts for use with DBM. I have put those to good use along with some 3D printed tents, Celtic round-houses and a rather nice model of Troy. I have also added a few camp follower elements to the various armies

I may have gone a little overboard with the number of camps I have available now.

I also found that the middle-eastern buildings fit well onto one of my Blucher town bases, so I've made another of those and added some more round-houses. These will work as Hamlets in the DBA rules and The buildings can moved around and removed to make play through them easy.

I have also printed out a large version of Troy that came with the small camp version. This will be ideal to use as an ancient city in the DBA rules. More on that in a later post, hopefully...

And finally, in order to reduce the amount of flipping through the rule-book required I've made a few army cards. The less dense format of these makes it a lot easier to work out what can and should be in each army that I own, without distraction/confusion with other armies I merely want to own.

Monday 3 October 2022

DBA 3.0 Rebasing - Part 3 : Skythians

The next army to be rebased is the Skythians I/43b. These were part of my Bactian Greek DBM army, but there were just enough models already painted that it's worthwhile making the army up despite it being not a great one. Or at least not the easiest to play.

My version, which does not include all options, consists of 10 Light Horse and the a General and a second cavalry base that can be either Knights or Cavalry as desired.

I think they're a great looking force even if not the most powerful, so I will use them. Plus these, the Graeco-Bactrians, Graeco-Indians and upcoming Classical Indians are all historical opponents, so they fit in nicely with my other armies.

Wednesday 17 August 2022

DBA 3.0 Rebasing - Part 2 : Ancient British and Marian Roman

The first armies I bought for DBA 1.0 were Marian Romans (Minifigs) and Ancient Britons (Essex). I remember vividly crouching in the old wargames shop on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh choosing them from the available selection. I bought them as a pair so I'm really unsure why they are from different manufacturers. 

Anyway this second rebasing exercise has been to bring these up to date as the old cardboard bases were very tired. I've not repainted them or repaired them at all.

First up are the Ancient British. These I've always liked. Three chariots, some cavalry, psiloi and a few warband.

The Marian Romans, on the other hand, I detest. The minifig sculpts are very poor. They were poor back in the '90s, never mind now. Also the metal is unbelievably soft. That broken lance was broken and lost years ago and I can't be bothered to repair it. I'm very tempted to buy a new Roman army from Essex to replace this, probably Early Imperial Roman. I thing EIR was what I really wanted anyway instead of these. That may have to wait a bit though.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Blücher - Spring 1813 Map Campaign - Forth Battle

Its taken quite a while to find a day to actually play this game, but finally today we completed the forth, and largest, battle of our Blücher Spring 1813 campaign. 

This battle was over the town of Brandenburg which the French held. They needed to push beyond it to enable them to take Potsdam and make their way towards Berlin. The Allies needed to ensure this didn't happen and if possible capture Brandenburg.

On the Allied left flank the French had an impressive force. A thin line of Prussian infantry and artillery was all that stood in their way. They assaulted in columns behind their eagles...

On the road to Brandenburg Bülow's Russian Corps stood and considered attacking. But the French forces looked far too strong to even consider it, so they set up a line on the road and awaited the French attack. They must not allow the French to take the road.

And it was not to be. The French forces in the Brandenburg area proved to be mostly Marie Louises, the young conscript troops, fanatically loyal to their Emperor, but no match for the steadfast Russians. They broke on them like the sea against rocks...

On the left flank the Prussians held a desperate defence. Their numbers dwindled, but they kept the French at bay. Cavalry sallied forward to pick off French troops too slow to retreat to safety. Then the French reserve cavalry arrived. The crème de la crème of the Grande Armeé were reduced in stature after the defeats of 1812 and could not turn the tide for the French.

On the Brandenburg-Potsdam road the Russians saw their chance to begin an assault on Brandenburg, but it was not to be. The French troops, though massively reduced, were too strong and the assault faltered.

In the last few turns the Allies realised that they only needed to rout one more unit of the French to win the battle and take the entire battlefield, pushing the French out of Brandenburg automatically. But the French began to retreat and there was no way that total victory was going to happen.

As the sun began to set in the West, the battlefield became quiet. The two sides counted up their losses. Both sides had fought hard and lost many men, but the French were hit harder. They paid dearly to hold the key town of Brandenburg. The Allies had regained one location making it slightly more difficult for the French to manoeuvre next turn.

And with that this turn of battles is completed. We didn't have time to start the next campaign turn. That may have to wait until August now... 

Sunday 10 July 2022

DBA 3.0 Rebasing - Part 1 : Graeco-Bactrian and Graeco-Indian

After, more years than I'd rather think about I'm starting to play DBA again. With this in mind I'm rebasing my old DBA 2.0 armies off their hand-cut cardboard bases onto accurate 3D printed bases. I'm also re-organising them properly and with that in mind I thought I'd catalogue the different armies I can put together.

First up is my Graeco-Bactrians (Bactrian Greek in DBA 2.0 terms). There are two styles to this army, mixed and all cavalry. First up the mixed options:

With 4Kn (cataphracts) and 4Ax option

With 3Kn (Iranian lancers) and 4Ax option

With 3Kn (Iranian lancers) and 3Ax option

With 4Kn (cataphracts) and 3Ax option

And the all cavalry version:

Next up is my Graeco Indian army. I actually never got around to completing this back in DBA 2 days. I've had to paint up the Indian cavalry. There are a few options with this as well:

With Cv and 4Bw option

With LH and 4Bw option

With LH and 3Bw option

With Cv and 3Bw option

I can field these both together and they are aggressors against each other.

Monday 4 July 2022

The Battle of Roundway Down at "Joy of Six"

Yesterday we ran the Battle of Roundway Down demonstration game at the "Joy of Six" show.

I had originally booked in to the show 2020 to run my Blücher Vyazma game, but since Covid happened that was cancelled. With my 1812 armies re-organised for my 1813 campaign, a different game would be needed, so I've been spending the last couple of months preparing my first English Civil War game, with Roundway Down, 13th July 1643 as the chosen battle and Liber Militum : Tercios as the rules being used.

I'll not go into the detail of what happened at the real battle, the British Battles website gives an excellent description of that, but suffice to say, that yesterday the Royalist Troops did not have the massive success they had in 1643, but instead suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Roundheads. This was blamed on bad dice rolling, of course, but also a bit of unfortunate general-ship that lead to the death of the Royalist commander.

Anyway, we had a lot of interest from the public at the show and had a great day.

The terrain was based off the real-life contours as found on modern Ordnance Survey maps of the area, blown up to the right scale.

Hills were cut out from these following the contour lines;

MDF shapes cut-out and the edges bevelled;

and contours applied with 5mm thick expanded polystyrene floor insulation, before being covered with Sculptamold, plaster, paint and static grass.