Monday 26 May 2014

SAGA Scots v Normans

The mist cleared over the swift flowing waters of the Invericay river. Lost in reverie Ruiseart was startled by the arrival of McMurdo, his most loyal and hairy retainer.
"There's some braw wee tin men oon their way doon tae the bridge tha noos" he blurted.
"Aye, that there is McMurdo"
"Shall we get yin and stick wan on 'em"
"Aye, that'd be best"
And so the two warriors gathered their weapons to them and marched off to meet the Norman invaders

My chum and I convened for one of our occasional games of SAGA.
Neither of us had played for a while. My opponent suggested we play a 4pt game, as that way we could try and get two in on one evening. I laughed myself hoarse as I knew even a 4pt game would take ages as we struggled with the rules and boards.

 Invericay Dickie and his warband

I took my Scots as they're finished now, led once more by Invericay Dickie or Ruiseart the Thane of Invericay to give him his full title. This time I was to fight Normans rather than Welsh.

We rolled and got the battle on the river scenario. My chum has amassed a rather nice collection of scenery, so we arranged a peaceful, picturesque Scottish valley as the killing ground. I set up with a unit of warriors and one of hearthguard opposite the ford along with Ruiseart. The other crossing point was covered by the remaining warriors and hearthguard.

 The peaceful Invericay valley

Jean Charretier positioned a unit of serjeants and a unit of knights opposite each crossing and posed on his horse across the ford from Ruiseart. I was to go first and duly rolled five worms and a duck. (Snakes and a Ptarmigan, possibly). Not a good start. It was at this point I remembered that the Scots board is a bit complicated. Certainly compared with the brutal simplicity of the Anglo Danish board. I moved up toward the two crossings and left some dice in place.

Immediately the knights opposite the ford started galloping off toward the bridge. My warriors tracked them and hurled javelins, knocking some from their saddles. meanwhile, filled with confidence Ruiseart led his men into the ford. Unfortunately a fierce counterattack by the Normans saw them pushed back and Rusieart was separated from his men. Seizing the day the Norman warlord launched himself from the hill and was able to hack Invericay Dickie to death in the flowing waters of the river. Meanwhile his serjeants finished off the clansmen.

From here it was uphill for the stout Scottish defenders. With few dice at my disposal the cruel Normans were able to pick their fights. First the butchered the hearthguard defending the bridge and a group of knights forced their way onto my side of the river. Then my remaining hearthguard joined Ruiseart face down in the River Invericay.. Finally with the way clear the Norman warlord strode manfully across the ford, whilst his knights tried, but failed to kill the last of my warriors.

This was a tough game. I played badly, the dice were a bit against me at first, and I was struggling to remember how the board worked. For a first game since December I should probably have stuck with the Anglo Danes as being a more straightforward option. Still, it was a good fun game, SAGA is still simple but challenging I find and always gives us a good game whenever we play.

McMurdo hauled his battered body out of the swift flowing river. His helmet was dented, the clear impression of a horseshoe marking the top.
"Yon big man certainly stuck one on auld Dickie" he mumbled to himself.
From the far side of a patch of bullrushes came a low groan
"Aye, that he did use big hairy ..." the words were interrupted by the sounds of a man coughing up water.
McMurdo sighed and set off to extract his lord from the fringes of the river.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Nubbinz and Muncha

Here's the finished Night Goblin on Giant Cave Squig. Nubbinz da Gitt and Muncha, the (anti-) heroes of my first Underway encounter

It's a great, characterful model and was good fun to paint.

I've left the Squig with a coat of satin varnish (I matted down the rider) to give that slightly slimy feel, but it's unfortunately played a bit of havoc with the camera and looks much shinier than in reality.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Celtic Cross

After yesterday's rant, we return you to our usual programming.

I picked this up at Salute from the Coritani stand at a cost of a whole three English pounds.

I glued it together, added a little extra sand around the joint where cross meets rock, then sprayed it the whole thing grey. A quick drybrush and some basing and hey presto a Celtic cross, ideal for my Saxons to tear down (if they're Early) or defend stoutly (if they're Late).

 Crusader Scot for scale

It's bit crude, and I've only photographed it from the front as the back lacks any detail, but for three quid I'm very pleased with it.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

A rant about stealing content (contains rude words)

Over on TMP, the monstrous bellend that is Tango01 has taken some of the words and pictures from this blog and dropped them into a post.

The massive cocknocker didn't even have the good manners to ask if I minded before simply stealing my words and pictures and using them to massage his ego by spaffing them unwonted onto TMP.
As it happens if he had asked I'd have told him to go and shove a rusty tin can up his miserable worthless rear-end, but that's beside the point.
He didn't even ask.
He just took.
All la-de-da, like it's perfectly natural to pop around to someone's house and help yourself to their property.

I have no idea what motivates the humungous ballsack of a shitpuffin that is "Amicalement Armand" but frankly he should get himself a life and stop sucking the energy and goodness from everyone else in pursuit of whatever it is that will give meaning to his shallow and vapid existence. The parasitic leech.

But Tom, I hear you ask, it's only a few words and pictures, what does it matter?

It matters because they're MY words and pictures. Things that I made. Me. They might not be very good words, or particularly interesting pictures, but they're mine, they belong to me, not some self-congratulatory ego-masturbator from Argentina. Or anyone else for that matter*.

Anyone who knows anything about the internet will tell you that content is king. Anyone who generates content will also tell you that despite it being very valuable, almost everyone tries to screw great content out of the people that generate it for as little money as possible.
Stories are legion of writers being asked to work for nothing on web sites, journalists at newspapers are expected to share their work online for free, people are being ripped off and told to think about the publicity and "what it can do for their career" rather than the money they are due.
Fortunes are being made on the back of content creation but not, for the most part, by the people who create it.

In the real, non-toy soldier part of my existence I work with online content. I know how hard it is to make it good and I know (and I'm sure many of you who've read my posts will agree) that it's easier, but still hard work, to make bad or mediocre content. In either case it's work, someone had to give of their time and energy to create it - it doesn't just appear because the Magic Content Fairies wave their wands (although that appears to be what most accountants imagine is the case). I write and share things on here for my own pleasure and hope that some of you get enjoyment out of reading it. I'm not doing it to make money, or as a career. But that doesn't make it any less valuable. Or any less mine.

The internet has bought a great many benefits and is a genuinely astonishing tool for the communication of ideas and for bringing people together. However the downside of that is the increasing growth in people expecting everything online to be free, and freely available for them to do with as they please. But remember everything out there has been created by someone. A person or persons have given some of their time to create that content for you to appreciate. That doesn't make it yours. It belongs to them, and you need to ask them if you want to use it, pay them if they ask you to, and not use it if they tell you you can't.

Post script: Bill at TMP responded immediately to my complaint by removing the content. Thanks to him for such a swift and appropriate response.
Wonder how long 'll be waiting for an apology from the Argentinian Weasel?

*I expect that as part of my agreement with Blogger they claim some or total ownership of everything posted here. But that's not really the point, is it?

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Tiny Saxons return

I've finished off a few more Pendraken 10mm Saxons.

They've been hanging around on the paint table for months (possibly years)
However I've been thinking a bit about Dux Bellorum recently and it occured to me that if I finished a few of these I could try that game at 10mm on a 2ftx2ft board. Perhaps even try some solo gaming...

Anyway, I expect like many of my plans I'll start a few more of these and then my atention will wander...

Monday 19 May 2014

Squig Herd finished

Here's the finished herd for our Underway games.

It's represents fifteen squigs and ten herders, but due to the little b$%gers not ranking up I've been creative with the basing, using three models on a 40m base to create a bit of space.

Eventually (later in the campaign) it'll be a thirty strong unit (6x5) so there's an extra few models knocking around for that eventuality

Sunday 18 May 2014

War in the Underway - battle three

Mighty Warlord Gruzzkup hefted his massive choppa and let out a full throated waaagh! The sound was picked up by the assembled Big Uns and the Arrer boyz, echoing and re-echoing around the narrow caverns.
Despite the powerful noise, Gruzzkup frowned. Something, or some things were missing. Casting his eyes around he reached out and grabbed a quivering scrawny snotling by the throat.
“Where’s a da chariot, Bwortryl?” he hissed menacingly at the creature.
“Dey…dey’s frown a wheel boss, be mended by tomorra dey recko…argk”
“And Weblitz ladz, where are dey at you spineless, backstabbing maggot?”
“Spinning accident, boss, they’s all tangled up in dere own webs, be freed up by tom…urghaaaagh”
The hulking warboss hurled the snotling into the wall of the cave.
“If yer wanna job doin’, do it yerself” he grumbled and pointed his choppa toward the end of the cavern.

 Gruzzkup and da Ladz

 Re Cap Gobbos

At least one lot of spiders made it
This was the final battle of the first game/scenario in the campaign. We were level at one game each and I still had my big force to use. Except that when I checked my army lists I realised I was cheating. One force should be twice the size of the others. My opponent had two forces of three units each and one of six. I’d somehow ended up with one of three, one of four and one of five. Now whilst it might be quite in character for a goblin, or Skaven to employ sneaky underhand tactics like that, something clearly had to be done. So I reduced my final force from five units to just three, in effect making the army I’d used in the previous game my “main” force. So I was left with just my warboss, his unit of Big ‘Uns and some Arrer boys to face some night goblins and spider riders led by a shaman.

As Gruzzkup led da boys into the cavern, an unearthly cry rent the air. Gruzzkup raised his arm to halt the column and sniffed the air. Cockytrize. Big gribbly fing, that he didn’t need to complicate his plans. Gesticulating to the left, he marched the lads away from the chaos beast’s nest.


One of the random events in the Underway is the possibility of a monster turning up and getting in the way. In this case we had a Cockatrice to use, so I placed it to cover one of the cavern sides, hoping to funnel the enemy onto the blades of my Orc Boys. Though it did rather restrict the field of fire of the Arrer boys.

Gruzzkup narrowed his eyes. Through the gloom he could make out a cavorting goblin urging the bow armed night goblins to hold their ground. However the little chaps clearly had other ideas, and after a brief altercation launched themselves toward the Orcs. Order was restored before they crashed home, and Gruzzkup prepared to launch the lads into the puny goblins, but as he turned to urge the lads on, a rock, hurled by one of the Arrer boys clanged off his helmet. Before he could speak the lads were returning fire, and he had to start cracking skulls with the flat of his choppa to restore order.
Turning back to the threatening goblins he watched with glee as the capering shaman grew overladen with raw waaagh power and blew himself apart, taking almost half the unit with him.

Da Boys roared with laughter as the diminutive goblins soiled themselves and fled. But the uproar had a disastrous effect on the roof of the cavern, and with a fearful crash the ceiling came crashing down, burying six of the boys.

 Da ladz get crushed!

It really wasn’t going well for my opponent, failed animosity test followed by a hideous miscast removed the night goblins as much of a threat. A cave-in wasn’t what I wanted, but didn’t really do much damage to my force.

The night goblins somehow got a grip on themselves and turned back toward the Orcs. And then promptly wished they hadn’t as the enraged Big Uns crashed home and butchered them. Holding the boys in check, Gruzzkup turned them to face the remaining Spider Riders. The forest goblin chief hesitated for a second and then decided to seize his moment of glory and charged the lads home, hoping poison would see to Gruzzkup and halt the Orc advance. Gruzzkup and the ladz, grinned, hefted their weapons and slaughtered the entire unit.
Gruzzkup roared in triumph, the field was his!

 Da boyz get da job dun

Eeek Spiderz!

Flush 'em darn da plug 'ole

Another fun game, with random events spicing things up. The Cockatrice didn’t really have any impact on the game, but it was fun to imagine she might.

Stevos Mini Soldiers blog has an alternate view of my heroic triumph.