Monday 31 January 2022

Lord of the Rings - Buckleberry Ferry and Fog on the Barrow Downs

I'm currently playing through the old Games Workshop Fellowship of the Ring Journey book. Its a series of scenarios based on happenings in both book and film. I have pretty much all the models needed for a;ll the scenarios and started thinking about this several years ago. However recently I've been playing LotR games with my friend and his son and so this seemed like an ideal opportunity to play through the book.

As I'm usually concentrating on making sure my young opponent has a good time (and trying not to do any swears) I don't take pictures, apart from a few that go straight onto Twitter or Instagram.

But this time after the game I had the camera out to take pictures of the terrain I made, so thought I'd try and recreate some of the action.

Flight to the Ferry

In this scenario the four hobbits are trying to evade three ringwraiths and get the Ferry across the Merse river to safety. The wraiths are sentries, which we found makes it extremely easy for the hobbits to just walk around them at no real risk.

This is towards the end of the first game - the four hobbits are sneaking off behind the wraith about to make a clean getaway.

Earlier the wraith had pushed up too far and so it was easy to get round behind him and off to the boat. I started the wraith too far forward, then a couple of bad sentry rolls meant he was a long way away from the ferry...

Having escaped easily we reset and swapped sides. I split the hobbits into two groups and N. held the wraith back near the ferry. However the sentry rules meant that apart from one brief moment the hobbits were never in danger of being detected and soon sailed off unmolested.

All a bit unsatisfactory, really. The sentry rules make it extremely unlikely the alarm will be raised so it's all too easy for the good guys to escape.
I've since seen some different versions of this scenario where the wraiths are mounted, which would perhaps even things up a bit - maybe I'll give that a go in the future.

Fog on the Barrow Downs
And so on to a scenario based on something *not* in the films. The hobbits are fleeing across the Barrow Downs when ancient inhabitants of the barrows try and sacrifice them - will anyone heed their cries for help..?

The hobbits move out of the woods, but evil is closing in

Behind you Frodo!

Sneaking up on Samwise

Sam is down and being dragged away!

But hark! A blue clad hero to the rescue


Unfortunately young Master Gamwise is shoved into a barrow

And brutally dispatched.

Goldberry has also arrived. Frodo and Pippin leg it as fast as their hairy little feet will allow.

Merry is surrounded and paralysed several times but keeps shaking off the effects

And in the end he's able to flee after his "mates" who had left him to his fate.

This was an altogether better game - quite tense and going down to the last few rolls. At one point it looked as if the hobbits would easily get away but only Merry repeatedly getting back up from being paralysed kept the wights from winning.

I have now left my young foe with the task of building Weathertop for the next few games.

Sunday 30 January 2022

River and the Buckleberry Ferry

Before they can get to the Barrow Downs the hobbits must cross the river via the Buckleberry Ferry.

 The river as specified by the scenarios is pretty wide at 6" across. I cut the MDF for this years ago but only just got round to turning it in to waterway.

It's not as blue as these pictures look - but it is quite blue, which is fine for my Fantasy games I reckon. Emulsion tester pots for the colours, then yacht varnish for the shiny

Individual bits (12"x 8") look like this.

I didn't bother building the banks up as the book suggested - I decided on a lower profile and just sanded and flocked the banks.

The scenario also requires a ferry and a jetty - which I knocked up quickly out of balsa wood

Job done and reasonably pleased with the outcome.

Saturday 29 January 2022


You can't have Barrow Wights without Barrows. So I made some.

They're made from polystyrene ball and egg shapes. Cut them in half, cut out a portal and then stick to a bit of lino floor tile. The frame and lintel are made from some small pieces of slate. Then I covered the whole thing in PVA, followed by sand. Quick paint and drybrush and liberal application of static grass and hey-presto the Wight equivalent of home sweet home.

I can see these doing double duty in Warhammer or Celtic OGAM games.

Friday 28 January 2022

Barrow Wights

I'm currently slowly playing through the Games Workshop Fellowship of the Ring Journey Book with my mate and his son.

We're just getting to the Barrow Downs. So we needed some Barrow Wights.

Very quick drybrush jobs. Lovely models.

Thursday 27 January 2022

Warhammer Cockatrice

Stephen very kindly often buys me soldiers for my birthday.
I then leave them to marinade in the lead/plastic/resin pile for several years. He mocks me for not painting them I wind him up by not painting them. This works well for both of us.

I'm not quite sure when he gave me this model. It was released I think for Storm of Magic which is about eleven years ago, so quite possibly at least ten years. I assembled and even primed the model a while ago but never quite plucked up the resolve to start painting.

Then recently i realised that I had acquired most of the Contrast paints that I'd need to paint the beastie and so I set to and this is the result.

The flesh bits are a little blotchy, Reikland flesh is great for human sized hands and faces, but always goes a bit patchy on larger areas, but I'm not going to do any more work on it  - I'm really happy with the rest of it.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Orc Arrer Boyz

Over on twitter I'm partaking in #HobbyStreak where the idea is you make daily consecutive posts detailing what hobby you've done. A little motivation goes a long way. 

As a result I find myself doing little bits here and there on things that have been hanging around the edges of the painting table for a while. Hence these three

Ready to join the ever expanding unit in my Orc and Goblin army. Currently I have over thirty finished - might be time to add a second command so I can field two units of 20 or so. They're, at best, "sub-optimal" in the game but if you forget about their shooting "ability" and just use them as a unit of boys they give your opponent something to think about.

If you're on twitter and want to follow my antics I can be found here. Beware, contains politics, swearing and Rugby League as well as some toy soldiers.

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Empire Civil War - Game Three

After the Middenheimers had thrown back the Nordland advance it was their turn to try and force a pasage across a river into the soft underbelly of the Bklue and Yellow kingdom.

I fettled a scenario from WAB Age of Arthur and we set up and went at it.

It turned out the river was of the boiling variety and likely to rather poach anyone trying to cross.

I then rolled very badly for several turns for my army to turn up.

The Nordlanders had bought their huge spear block with them.

My cavalry arrived early - making them ideal for target practice...

The Flagellants headed for the ford, not really wanting to take a hot bath.

The knights too aimed for the ford.

Delays to the Middenheim reinforcements meant the river bank was soon lined blue and yellow

The flaggelants dipped their toes in the ford.

By this stage the knights had run away once and rallied as the spearmen finally turned up. 

Swordsmen moved to stop the fanatical doom-mongers.

While the spearmen shouted encouragement.

The remains of the knights went to help out.

Finally, with the game hurtling to a close the Middenheim hammer swordsmen splashed into the stream. Just ten of them met a steamy end! Which rather evened the odds for Nordland.

Inevitably the Middenheimers fled and with that the game was up. The banks of the River Dampfend remain in Nordland hands and they will attempt once again to cross into the lands of Middenheim in our next game.

Good fun, though the boiling river rather stymied my plans - especially as i threw away the few troops who *could* have raced across without boiling alive.