Wednesday 31 August 2022

Project Pict (1)

I've long had a fascination with the Picts. Inspired at least in part by an old Scottish folk tale in a book I was given by my grandmother that described the last of the Picts hurling themselves to their death rather than reveal the secret of their mysterious and much desired Heather Ale to the conquering Scottish king.

I wanted to do an army of them for WAB but never got started and the price of metal meant such a thought became rather too expensive. And then Gripping Beast bought out some plastics, and then Lord S. of GB had a birthday sale and so I ended up with a box.

I am, truth to be told, not a huge fan of the GB plastics - but at £16 for 25 I thought it to be worth a punt.
They are not the greatest models, but they're not terrible - the heads are oversized, but the poses are more dynamic than the Vikings and less compromised/weird than the Arab Spearmen.
So I stuck 'em together.

There are only five torsos and only eight heads, though three of those eight are suitably Pictish looking hoods. There's also some cloaks and a few (though not enough for the whole unit) square and H shaped Pictish shields. There's also no "command" as such - there's a sword arm and a couple of helmeted heads and you can use a spear as a flag, but no horn is a bit irritating.

I decided I wanted them all to have spears but there's not enough on the sprue to do that either, so I had to do a bit of fettling with left over Viking and Arab spears.
Then I started basing them on Renadra 20mm squares. I debated using 1 p coins, but I want to make anactual rank and flank "army" not just use them for skirmishing, so went with the squares in the end.

Next up I split the 24 into 4 groups of six. I've left one with a missing right arm for later while I try and source a horn. Then I sprayed them with three different brown colours and one batch with green. I'll mix them up in batches for painting and then when they all get mixed up on bases I should have a suitably disparate bunch.

I did much of the assembly while away on my hols. and decided to order up some research material to help maintain momentum. Which duly arrived this morning.

We'll see if my enthusiasm survives the painting. If so I can see myself getting another box or three (or possibly some of the other GB Dark Age boxes to mix and match a bit).
I may well also add some metals as command and heroes and the like. I can also see myself getting some additional Pictish shields in metal and possibly some of the Westwind separate heads to provide variety

Cavalry - the obvious (cheap) choice is the GB Dark age cavalry and use assorted Pictish heads and cloaks, but I do have rather a soft spot for the GB metal cavalry which are riding appropriately tiny, shaggy little ponies. But that's a decision for much later. 

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Warmaster Empire Pistoliers

 I painted up these little lovelies from the depths of the leadpile.

These are the unreleased test version of the pistoliers I think (you can tell by the absence of a cast on flag).

Sunday 28 August 2022

Dragon Rampant - Goblins v Wood Elves

Martin came over for a game of Dragon Rampant. We both fancied something quite "light" rather than restart our dormant CoC campaign so this fitted the bill.

Martin took his collection of venerable metal Wood Elves and I took my plastic, but-starting-to-get-on-a-bit-even-if-it-seems-like-only-yesterday-actually-it-came-out-16-(SIXTEEN!!!!)-years-ago collection of Skull Pass Night Goblins.

Neither of us having played for a while we just did the basic stand up fight scenario.

Apologies for the low quality pictures - I used my phone camera and the natural sunlight in the Soldier Shack didn't help.

In the peaceful Goblin Village of Stinky Bottom peaceful Goblins go peacefully about their peaceful business 

When suddenly the sound of horns fills the air and vengeful, violent spirits of the forest appear with murder in their hearts!

The Elf general urges on his men from horseback.

They have also awakened an evil spirit of the forest. Look at his malicious face!

He bought some Twiglets with him too.

The Goblin forces were roused to defend their tranquil, harmless homes.

Holding aloft their pointed sticks they made to see off the pointy-eared intruders.

The elves galloped forward. Though the treeman was still dozing - he clearly needed some hobbits to come along and rouse him from his slumber. Nothing quite like a hobbit for getting wood aroused.

The venomous spider riders whizzed up the flank.

And poured shot into the elves.
In retrospect they should have charged them.

The pointy stick brigade bogged down a bit in the centre.

The elf wardancers caught the spiders as they tried to flee, with painful consequences.

The Big Branchy Bloke finally roused himself and bore down on the Goblin general.

With inevitable consequences.
Consequences made more inevitable by me misreading the attacks of the goblins. The result was never in down, but Ol' Branchy may have been a bit more damaged...

The trolls, rather too late to help their leader, got involved.

Over by the village the archers took a bit of a beating.

The Trolls however were seeing off the Big Tree.

And having felled him headed for the centre.

Over by the village, lucky arrerz saw off the Twiglets, but more elves were incoming.

And as night fell only the archers remained alive. Their peaceful brethren slaughtered, but their village remained unburned.

Victory to the Wood Elves.

This was a lot of fun. Pleasingly retro with the miniatures. Dragon Rampant is a very enjoyable game with just the right balance of complexity with simplicity.

We should play it more often.

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Warhammer Daemons v Chaos Warriors

Steve came over for what is likely to be his last game in the Soldier Shack for the foreseeable future,
He's decided that living on an island with his family is better than having me to play soldiers with regularly. An odd choice if you ask me. 

So he bought the Chaos Warriors and I dusted off the Kipper.

Pink and purple and a bit of blue

Ugh, gribbly

Steve had some Forsaken with him

The Seekers decided to see what Forsaken were made of

Turns out they were mostly made of Always Strikes First. Ouch!

The Fiends went in as a kind of multi-legged (some of them backwards) roadblock.

While the Knights got Acquiesced and stumbled about.

The Kipper moved into the centre. And unleashed a big old C Bomb. That's C for Cacaphonic Choir, kids.

Which went much better than expected or intended. Killing loads of warriors and knights. Oof!

Then (s)he went and mopped up some Warriors.

The Nurgle General started wailing on the ladies.

Oh good, the Blight Kings are back. And on a hill for good measure.

Remaining warriors come to help their leader.

With inevitable consequences.

But the Kipper came back. Casting CC twice more (I felt bad, but Steve said it was the right thing to do)

The miscast for CC did no wounds to the Kipper, but did do a final one to the Nurgle General who was caught on the blast. I felt quite bad by this point.

Finally all that remained of the Nurgle army was a lone Blight King, and I claimed the victory.

Me winning is at least an uncharacteristic end to our lengthy gaming period.
I did feel bad. I miscast Cacaphonic Choir (the big version) three times and suffered just a single wound as a consequence. Steve lost about half his army. I generally think the big 6 spells are a useful balance in the game, but this just felt a bit broken.
I suppose on another occasion the miscasts may have been worse, or I could have failed to get the spell off at all.

Mostly a good fun game though.

Not quite sure how I'm going to get my WFB fix though now - planning to go see Steve in November for a birthday big bash with booze, but until then WFB may be a bit thin on the ground in these parts.