Saturday, January 30, 2010

10mm Warmaster/HoTT

A few years ago I bought an Warmaster undead army- we tried the rules a couple of times (Dale being a big fan at the time) but I didn't really like the diceyness and also the never ending charges (the latter being fixed in Warmaster Ancients). One of the local gamers, Tony is making 100 Year War armies in 10mm and they look beautiful, while Dave is building 10mm HoTT armies, so I've done a bit of rebasing and the army got a run in a multi-player HoTT game the other week. The undead crushed the humans facing them- thanks to the combination of an aerial hero and two flyers.

There are plenty more troops (all told its a couple of thousand points for Warmaster) so can easily field 2-3 evil armies out of this lot.

The aerial hero and flyers.

DBA III/46 Norse-Irish

The first four completed stands of the Norse-Irish are completed (except ofr a banner). The general's stand (using the Hiberno-Norse range from Gripping Beast).

The Auxilia.

All four stands together

And again.

All the figures are gripping beast-with most coming from the Dark Ages Irish range- beautiful figures!

Basing (Again)

Well I've decided to update my "new" basing system. I have painted up four stands of Norse-Irish auxilia this week and wasn't completely happy with the look of 6 figures on the 8cm x 5cm deep base; they looked a tad too crowded. So last night I re-based them on 8cm x 6 deep bases and preferred the look. This also just happens to be the depth that my Ogres (Warband) in Boris the Behemoth's HoTT army were based- so think I'll modify my new conventions slightly. I will keep blade (4), spear (4), psiloi and similar on 5cm deep bases and have 6 cm deep bases for warband, auxillia, bow, Heroes (HoTT) and 7cm deep bases for cavalry.

The main reason to do this is I can't be naffed rebasing the just completed Anglo-Danes and blades for the Irish-Norse and Pre-Feudal Scots armies to a 6cm deep convention. I will however have to re-base the Celts (only 6 bases) and possibly my light horse and Cav for the Scots- but as the difference is only 1 cm I'm in no hurry to do this and instead will continue to concentrate on getting the Norse- Irish and Pre-Feudal Scots done.

So bascially the basin convention is simply DBA base depths +3 cm- for HoTT I will keep to similar depths, as I don't really want to go beyond 7cm deep bases as they start to get to unwieldy to move on the table amongst terrain.

Anglo- Irish Update
4 stands of Auxilia done and based, only have to paint and flock the bases before I get some photos of them.

Alsas I have run out of Gripping Beast Figures so next project is to complete the 2x elements of Norse-Irish Ostmen for the blades component of the army.

These auxilia bases can also sub in as the spear component of the Pre-Feudal Scots until the figures for that army arrive. Once botha re done I'll only need to do another 3-4 stands to be able to morph the Welsh, Norse-Irish and Pre-Feudal Scots out of the core units (I will need a total of 15 spear/auxilia elements between them for when the Scots and the Weleh fight)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Beasts of War- first outing

The beasts of war were victorious in their first outing vs an Anglo-Danish host led by 2 heroes (4x spear, 2x blade, 2 beasts and 2 heroes).

Alas I forgot to take a camera, the decisive moment came when a flyer combined with Boris the behemoth (hero) to take down the human general. Having 1/2 of the human army being able to be quick killed by the Ogre warband didn't help. But I must say that I do like the way Boris and his Behemoths play- and I was on the reciving end!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DBA Dark Ages Campaign

For the past year Stephen has been running a DBA campaign at TAG- we started out with about 7 players and currently are in the third campaign year.

The Southern Kingdoms- Wessex, Kent, Anglia and Wales have signed a non-aggression pact and are currently campaigning against the Scots and miscellaneous Northerners. Most of the action has been taking place around Bernicia (the kingdom of which was totally crushed by the Southerners), the Pennines (recently captured by Anglia) and Cumbria. We are in the summer turn of the third year and Wales and Wessex are due to fight against Douglas and Skye for posession of this territory. My victorious armies have invaded Bernicia but it has been ransacked by the departing Scots.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

HoTT, Beasts of War Army

I am meant to be having a doubles game of HoTT tomorrow night (or is that very HoTT?) in 28mm at TAG but only had one army of Orcs done so had a rummage round to see what I could find to make a new army.

I bought the GW minotaurs about 10 years ago and the ogres were from a mate and destined for D&D games 4 or 5 years back but decided they'd make for a great HoTT force. My theme was going to be "Behemoths" and have an army of behemoths but checking the rules you can only take 12 pts of 4pt units in a 24 pt army so the Ogres are relegated to Warband. However, if they become allies of my planned Misty Mountain Goblin horde they will be reinstated to their rightful behemoth status. Not sure what brand the Ogres are but am guessing that they are probably old GW.

All I've done is rebased the miniatures. One day I'll get round to repainting the ogres but they'll do for now.

"Boris the Behemoth" General (or possibly a hero)

2x Behemoths- and Boris stealing the limelight again

4x Ogre Warbands & 2x Fliers

I've a few old GW harpies lying around that may become the flying component instead of the bats- if I remember correctly the bats were ear marked for a HoTT goblin force I was planning years ago.

The Beasts of War assembled

DBA III/46 Norse-Irish

The first figures for my Norse-Irish army arrived from Gripping Beast- part of their Dark Ages Irish range. I've still to finish the bases but here is the first stand of axillary infantry.

I decide to have them armed with spears so that they can also sub in as Pre-Feudal Scot spear, or even as welsh warband. I hope to complete a couple more stands tonight.

The army will be:
  • 1x Aux (General)
  • 5x 3 Aux (or in my case 6 Aux)- Bonnachts or Irish mercenaries
  • 4x Ps (Kerns)
  • 2x 4 Blade (Ostman or Irish Vikings)

Until the rest of the army is completed they will be used as spears for the Pre-Fuedal Scots. I've decided to give the Scottish warband more of a Celtic flavour via the LBM shield transfers.

Friday, January 22, 2010

DBA II/11 Gauls

Another work in progress that I started this week- Celts/ Gauls. It was because of these guys that I've upscaled to 28mm. I started to build a WoTR Isengard army and thought some Warlord Games Celts would make for great Dunlendings so ordered a couple of boxes. And its been all down hill from there.

So far I have done 6x bases of warband with 6 figs per base (3 warband in DBA terms)
1x Psiloi stand.

I intend to add the last 2x warband, 2x cav and a warband general stand in the next few days.

I think the photos show why I've decided to double up the figures and base the way I have- you get more of a feel of action that a single rank of 3-4 figures on a standard DBA base. It is amazing what a difference a little effort in the basing makes- I don't consider myself a good painter by any stretch (these guys are all simply block painted and washed with GW Ogryn Wash, most I haven't even bothered to highlight!) but they look the part and the basing, although simple, really lifts them up another notch. What did we ever do before Silfor came on the scene? I really can't recommend the Silfor 6mm tufts enough, they are fantastic!

Warlord Games Celts
I really like the Warlord Games Celts, they are well sculpted and proportioned. My only issue is the number of crouching figures, almost half of them seem to be crouching. Other people have commented on a lack of shields (only 50% of the infantry have shields) but this seems to have a nice balance to me, a few more would be handy but the figures don't look too bad with only half of them carrying shields.

My plans for 2010:

Another three evenings of painting this week. I have managed about 5-6 stands of Celts/Gauls (Warlord Games figs) and a 4x test figs of the Wargames Factory Romans tonight. So my Celtic army is already 50% complete- 6 stands of warband and one of psiloi so am well on the way with my current projects.

So what are my plans in 28mm this year?

1. Dark Ages Armies
1. Anglo-Danish (done)
2. Pre-Feudal Scots (awaiting figs for 5x stands of spear to finish them off)
3. Norse-Irish- figs on the way (will be a mix of Crusader and Gripping beast- I hope they are compatible!)
4. Welsh (to be collected once the Norse-Irish are done, probably using the Gripping Beast range)
5. Vikings- a mix of Gripping Beast and Wargames Factory at this stage.
6. Normans (infantry on the way but knights will wait until later- I get the feeling I have already have bitten off more than I can chew!)

Each army will be a standard DBA army but easily adaptable to Basic Impetus and also am looking at making each up to a 1000pt Warmaster force for when I try out the 28mm Warmaster Ancients.

2. Punic Wars
Carthaginians- some of the recently arrived Wargames Factroy figs to get started. Cav and Spanish Scuttari are on the way via Crusader Miniatures, and I think I also ordered some elephants from Renegade Miniatures so will be a real mix of manufacturers. I intend to convert some Wargames Factory Romans to Imitation Legionnaires and also use the Numidian range.

Republican and Marian Romans- using the Wargames factory range with Triari from other manufacturers- I like the look of the renegae figs for this

Gauls- well of almost an army already so why not complete it?

I have a plan to try and do a 2000pt Warmaster Ancients Carthage vs Rome demo game at TAGCON later in the year and have made up a couple of lists to aim towards!

3. HoTT
I have made a starter army for Finn already an intend to make a couple more by converting my recently completed WoTR Rohan and Isengard armies to HoTT as well as make a wood elf army. I picked up 48 GW WoTR wood elves for about $20 a few weeks back and want to add a couple of aerial heroes and fliers (using GW warhawks?) to be able to field a double DBA force of wood elves. My only dilemma is what to count the elves as, I was going to divide them into spear, blade and bows but seems a bit silly having a wood elf army the fights at a penalty in its home terrain of forests! So think they might end up being bow, warband and possibly a few lurkers as well.

Other Goals
Also to try out Warmaster in 28mm incorporating the Ancients changes to the rules. Not sure why but Warmaster is really starting to appeal as a ruleset for 28mm gaming, even though Basic Impetus is probably a better system.

Well enough ramblings for now, might have to try to get some photos of the Celts done soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wargames Factory

One of the problems with living at the bottom of the world, is that most mini companies are based in the US or UK/Europe. Often the exchange rate, and postal charges, make buying from overseas pretty expensive, especially if ordering 28mm metal figures. However, the new plastic ranges should make this cheaper and therefore 28mm more of a viable proposition.

I decided to try the Wargames Factory range for one of my 28mm projects (Cathaginians and Republican/Marian Romans). One of the big attractions was the free postage worldwide on orders over US$100- with free postage and a strong NZ dollar (well relatively speaking) I have taken the plunge. My first order arrived this morning:

Ceasars Legions
Roman Axillary Cav
Ancient German Cav
and some viking sprues

The figures look great- I agree with reviews about the detail not being too crisp on the Legionaires (the first minis made) but from what I've seen they paint up well. So it looks like I'll be able to get my Marian Roman project started (I intend to also morph them into a late republican army) and also start my Carthaginian army(the legionnaires should also be able to be used as the basis for some imitation legionnaires).

I also received 3 of the viking sprues and must say the quality of the Vikings is outstanding! Looks like I'm going to be busy!

I had a slight issue with the order- had ordered some Numibian sprues to start converting some Carthaginians, send an e-mail to Wargames Factory, and got a reply in less than 10 minutes that the missing sprues were being sent.

What can I say, that is service! These guys have just got themselves a long term customer!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DBA III/71 Anglo-Danes

I've managed to find a few more Gripping Beast Anglo-Danish figures so have completed the last two bases of Anglo-Danish Huscarls, using a mix of these and Gripping beast viking figures. So the Anglo-Danish army is now ready for action.

I've ordered miniatures to complete the Pre-Feudal Scots and Norse-Irish and once they are done it will be time for the Welsh and Normans.

Here are the huscarls (blades)

The General's element.

So that's it:
3x 4 Blades
8x 4 Spear
1x 2 Psiloi

I'm looking forward to getting them into action but think that they might be in trouble vs most of their historic opponents as they are:
  • Quick killed by the III/51 Norman knights (potentially 6-8 knights!)
  • Quick killed by the III/41 Pre-Feudal Scots warbands (luckily there should only be 3 elements of these but they are also potentially going to be outmaneuvered by the light horse and Cav general elements too).
  • Quick killed by III/19a Welsh Warband (9 elements!)
The only force they will be on reasonable footing against are the Norse-Irish (6x Aux, 4x Psiloi, 2 x blades).

Oh well, at least it should be a challenging army to use!

Monday, January 18, 2010

HoTT: Isengard vs Humans

Finn and I had a quick game of HoTT today

Hero Gen
2x Behemoths
3x warband
3x riders

2x Heroes (1x Gen)
4x Spear
2x blade
2x beasts

The Human army assembles for battle.

Trolls and Warg riders advance.

The human line stands firm.

The sneaky spears try to "close the door" on a troll but the humans are recoiled and the trolls follow up.

The beasts have dealt with the riders and now the Urak Hai general is isolated and outflanked- he is about to roll a "1" and die.

Meanwhile the trolls force the human further back but without a decisive victory.

Win to the humans. Finn needed to move his warband up to prevent his riders and general being outflanked but he's getting the basics down and likes smashing things with trolls!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

28mm HoTT Human Army

Well, I've finished basing the Pre-Feudal Scots and added 2x stands of GW wolves (beasts) that had been lying around so that I can convert them into a HoTT human army. Eventually I'll replace the GW wolves with a couple of stands of Warlord Games wardogs.

HoTT human army

1x Hero General
1x Hero
2x warband
2x blades
2x beasts
1x sneaker (Psiloi)

My Anglo-Danish General prepares for action.

The Warband assemble

The General and hero

The beasts

I'm very happy with the way the bases have turned out- next task to complete the Anglo-Danes bases.

So how has the army fared? The army, including 2x blade and 4x spear (no warband or sneakers) got trounced by the Urak Hai commanded by an 8 year old!

28mm HoTT Isengard

I have just based up a few GW Urak Hai scouts as a HoTT army for my son. The Trolls and Warg Riders are on temporary bases as they are also used for WoTR as well (or at least they could be).

Here is the army:
  • 1x Hero General
  • 3x Warband
  • 2x Behemoth
  • 3x Riders

Urak Hai warband

The Trolls (Behemoths)

The army assembles

And Again

The Urak Hai won their first engagement, crushing a human army.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

III/45 Pre-Feudal Scots

These guys aren’t quite finished yet but I’ve run out of figures for the rest of the infantry.

1x Cav (Gen)

1x LH (missing from the photo)

2x 3 Warband

1x 4 Warband

1x Psiloi

III/45 Pre-Feudal Scots

(Mostly Gripping beast but a few Artizan Miniatures Vikings have crept in there for variety).

As you can see a few shields to do and the basing still to finish. There is a spare stand of viking blades lurking in the background too.

In the meantime, its time to introduce my son to HoTT using a LoTR Orc army vs the Anglo-Danes and a few Scottish allies…

DBA III/71 Anglo-Danes (28mm)

The Anglo-Danes are almost done, I’ve finished all the figures I had lying around and am awaiting the new Wargames Factory Vikings to turn up to convert them so that I can make the last two bases of Huscarls (blades). Not quite finished but here are the Anglo-Danes. I received some Little Big Man Studio shield transfers yesterday so have put them on and must say I am impressed- I will definitely be using them in future projects!

The army so far:

8x Spear

1x Blade (General)

1x Psiloi

Anglo Danes III/71

Anglo-Danes close up

Shield Wall

All figures are Gripping Beast

So I still need 2x Blades to finish and the basing needs to be completed

The Great Basing Debate

One of the annoying things about wargaming is that almost every rule set uses a different basing convention. How to base my figures so that they can be used for multiple systems has always been one of those frustrating issues that never seems to get resolved.

The DBX/ WRG standards are popular for ancients gaming still but I never really got it especially given the size of modern 28mm figures- they simply don’t fit on the traditional bases, at least not if you want the correct number of figures per base and to me 4 figures in a single rank does not look like a military unit.

Years ago, I started basing all my 15mm infantry on 20mm depth bases- blasphemous I know, but the sky didn’t fall down and nobody has walked away from a game, or refused to play a game because of the “illegal” basing conventions. Funny thing is, the figures fit better and don’t fall over so much, it also means they are about right for Warmaster too.

I play DBA in 15mm (and now 25mm scales) and the single rank of figures always dispels the illusion of a massed formation of troops for me, they appear rather more as chess pieces, and for me wargaming is all about the visual appearance. With that in mind I’ve been searching, for years now it would seem, for a basing system that looks right. Tried FoG but it didn’t grab me, tried Basic Impetus last year and loved it- and as a result re-based most of my 15mm armies to their conventions- at last I’m starting to get the right look! Unfortunately, my local gaming community have taken a dim view to all rules Italian (suspicious bunch of wargaming dinosaurs that they are- change takes time!) and refuse to budge from DBA. The end result is I’ve some great looking armies but have to revert to using the few DBA legal(ish) forces I've left to play other local gamers as none have given Impetus ago.

Recently I started looking for a game to get my son into, we’ve had a few 15mm DBA games and he quite enjoys them, but I thought the new War of the Rings from GW might be a good way to get him into gaming as he loves the LoTR movies. We tried it but the game didn't appeal to him due ot the number of dice rolled. DBA and HoTT are nice and straight forward with one die and simple addition and subtractionso we'll be sticking to those until he is a bit older.

However, my dabble into WoTR got me interested in 28mm figures again (after saying not a month earlier to one of my gaming mates that I’d never get into that scale as I’d have to build a new set of terrain and tables). That’ll teach me- memo to self, never say never! That and the emergence of Warlord Games and Wargames Factory 28mm figures made 28mm gaming more financially viable for me- one of the reasons I got into 15mm gaming was that 28mm figures were prohibitively expensive at the time I originally started looking at getting into ancients many moons ago.

Anyway, with this new found enthusiasm for 28mm figures I dug out a DBA Pre-Feudal Scots army I’d started about 7 years ago and the unpainted Anglo-Danes opponents I’d also bought (all Gripping Beast figs) and set about resurrecting a project I had started but never completed- create forces for the Anglo-Danes, Vikings, Welsh, Pre-Feudal Scots, Norse-Irish and Normans for a 1066 campaign. Last year I managed to assemble them all (except for the Anglo-Irish) in 15mm and had a great round robin campaign with my mate Ian over the Christmas holidays! So time to do it again, this time round in 28mm.

Of course this meant the same old issue as last time- how to base! I wanted something that looked right and so immediately discounted the DBA/WRG basing. I liked the ranked up 15mm Impetus forces I'd builts but decie that 12cm width (in 28mm) was praobly too unweildy. A couple of websites caught my eye for basing ideas: Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog using a deeper than standard DBA depth to get two ranks of figures (but still the standard 6cm wide basing for 28mm) and the Little Wars suggestion for Big Base DBA using 8cm wide bases with and extra 3cm depth.

I based up a few stands for both versions and liked the 8cm width better- it just simply looked visually better to me and was starting the get the right look for what I was after. so have decided to go with this system. As a bonus it means I’ll be able to use the same basing for a 28mm version of Warmaster (again using the Little Wars suggested house rules- yet to try them though), Basic Impetus and also DBA/HoTT, and even, if I put them on a sabot tray WoTR, so as far as I’m concerned it is the best solution to meet my needs- now to convince the other local gamers to follow suit- and to dabble in 28mm!

So my conventions are:

Width (all): 8cm


  • All infantry: 5cm
  • All Cavalry: 6cm