Thursday, June 28, 2018

WIP: A few bits and pieces

Okay a few more little projects.

I'm looking at rebasing my Reaper Gnolls to make some of my Dragon Rampant style units. I'm not sure about the gnolls, I think I want more figures in each unit and so am tempted to get a couple of boxes of Frostgrave gnolls and use those instead.

Testing basing of gnolls.

A couple of units of wargs. 

More of the gnolls of the steppes army- Wargs and Ettins. The Ettins are Reaper Bone's (not quite finished) and will be the heavy muscle of the force.

 The Hurley Burley brothers... or is that quads since ettins have two heads?

Another little project. 
I've plenty of Reaper Bones plastics which we use as part of our various Dungeons and Dragons games. The reality is I'll never get them all painted but saw a good post a few months back on Enworld about simply washing the figures so last night tried a little experiment.

Left, a plain white Reaper Bones figure; middle, a bugbear undercoated grey; right, a bugbear with a dark tone wash over the grey to pick put the details. I quite like the effect and so think I'll spry paint a bunch of the plain figures and simply wash them to add to our games.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Quick Rebase

Inspired by the game of Dragon Rampant at the weekend, yesterday I got stuck in and rebased some of my Lord of the Ring Orcs and Goblins to match my other (12cm wide) basing conventions.

I've based up enough to field about 40 points in Dragon Rampant but will probably play around 30 point games. My army consists of

  • Snizket the sneaky- Goblin warchief (the brains of the outfit)
  • 2x trolls (aka the muscle- I will usually only field one unit but have two of them)
  • 2x warg riders
  • 2x Orcs- heavy foot or bellicose foot depending on my mood
  • 2x Crossbows (heavy missile support)

I've plenty more units to rebase but this was a quick and simple effort to get a "retinue" ready for action.

The process begins

The finished trolls

Two units of crossbow orcs

The regular orcs (heavy foot or bellicose foot depending on my mood)

Snizket and his man servant, Friday.

The warg riders.

I decided that my monsters, heroes etc will be mounted on round based so to easily differentiate them from the regular rank and file.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Dragon Rampant- Misty Mountain Goblins vs Rohan

I’ve popped back to NZ for a few weeks for a holiday, to recover from a bit of dengue fever and to catch up with my family. At the weekend I headed up to Christchurch to catch up with my mate Ian and we managed to sneak in a game of Dragon Rampant.

We grabbed Ian’s Lord of the Rings Family and made a couple of warbands.
Ian ran a force from Rohan:
  • ·         Elite riders (Gen)
  • ·         Heavy riders
  • ·         2x Light foot
  • ·         2x Light missiles

I ran some Misty Mountain Goblins
  • ·         1x Cave troll general (who needs intelligence to lead a rabble?)
  • ·         2x Warg Warg Riders (light riders)
  • ·         1x Goblins (light infantry)
  • ·         2x Goblin bowmen (Light Missiles)

Below are few pictures from the game using Ian's awesome terrain boards. I won't go into details except to say that my cunning plan failed, my inspired general ("Lucky" the troll- the stupidist person on the field of battle therefore prime candidate for Generalship in my view) was first to die, cut down by King Theoden himself!

The pictures are of the first half of the game before it all went horrible wrong for the goblins. HOWEVER, they did account from themselves quite well and it was a close battle, in the end though far to many failed command tests and Ian's ability to rally his troops from being battered proved decisive, still it was a fun game and I really enjoyed the ruleset.

Yes, I know I am late to the party and the Dragon/Lion Rampant have been out for a number of years, what can I say? Not much except I haven'y got my gaming in of late- something about being stuck on a small island in the middle of the Pacific for the best part of the year so far- and for the rest of it as well:)

A few pictures of our game using Ian's LoTR figures.

The Goblin right flank
 The forces of Rohan

 Early moves

We'd been meaning to play Dragon Rampant for some time, so what did I think of the rules? I really liked them, simple fast and yet gave a satisfying game.

Command mechanic: I really liked the command mechanic whereby different types of troops need a different target number to pass a command test and so act. My goblin light infantry for example needed a 6+ on two dice to attack but only a 5+ to move. The command roll will be familiar to anyone who has played Warmaster, Black Powder etc, roll two dice and beat (in this case- high is good) the units command number, failure means the end of your turn.

It does however mean that rolling low early in a turn is really, really bad and so several times my army failed to act at all- partly due to Lucky the Troll being dead but  still...

I need a few more games under my belt but can see allowing either:
  • first activation is free per turn, or else 
  • allowing the general to reroll a single command roll each turn for a unit within 12"
I think either of those would mitigate the randomness somewhat.

Still it made for a fun, and slightly random battle as troops failed to follow Lucky's very cunning plan and threw away a couple of opportunities to decisively win the game due to inability to roll suitable command dice.

Attack and defence: The unit profiles also have different attack and defence profiles so it is quite easy to differentiate troop types. My aforementioned goblins for instance had an attack value of 6 (meaning the unit needed to roll 5s to score a hit when attacking, so weren't much good going forward) but only needed a 4+ to hit when defending so are better at defence than attack, which makes sense- simple yet elegant.

Strength Points (Hit Points): Each unit has either 6 or 12 strength points at the start of the game. A unit of 12 figures loses one figure each time it loses a strength point. Each unit rolls 12 dice attack but once a unit is reduced to half strength it fights with only six dice.  Nice simple mechanic- might annoy some people but I'm all or keeping things as simple as possible.

Example unit: Goblin light Foot:
Attack: 6+     
Move: 5+
Shoot: -
Courage: 4+
Armour: 2
Attack Value: 5+
Defence Value 4+
Strength points: 12
Speical: Wall of spears

Attack Value and Defence Value: Again a nice simple mechanic. As you can see my goblins on attack need to roll 5+s on their 12 combat dice to score a hit, but only a 4+ when defending. They also have a special ability when they can crate a wall of spears which increases their armour but measn that they can't move.

Armour: Another mechanic I like. The armour rating is how many hits a figure can take before it is destroyed, so light troops tend to have an armour of 2, medium troops 3 and tough troops like trolls and elite cavalry need 4 hits to cause a single wound (strength point loss). So if my goblins were fighting vs a unit of human light infantry and were attacking they roll 12 dice and each 5+ would score a hit- for every 2 hits that they score they inflict one wound on the other light infantry, if they rolled 5x 5s or 6s then they would score 2 wounds (strength points lost) to the other unit, odd dice are ignored- thus it is easier to wound lightly armoured units, harder for tougher units like cavalry or elite units.  So if the goblins had attacked some heavy cavalry (what were they thinking?) then they'd score one wound (strength point loss) per 3 hits inflicted.

Again a simple mechanic which gets rid of all that I hit, you roll to save, I then roll to kill (as per some systems), differentiates differnt troop types and also speeds up play.

Courage: Units also have a courage rating which is the dice roll needed to "keep calm and carry on", courage is modified by the number of lost strength points, if you better your courage score you keep going, if you fail but your score is above 0 you are battered, a score of zero or below and your unit is destroyed.

Battered Units: This is the area where we didn't quite do things right but if a unit becomes battered it can't do much except try to pass a courage check. Failure to rally means another strength point lost and the unit retreats- so being battered is bad.

And that's pretty much it, it made for a fun, chaotic, and also frustrating (for the troll general) game and one which I am keen to play again.

Final Thoughts
Things I didn't like? Well, I am not really a fan of skirmish (single) basing in general but easy enough to use "properly based" units instead and easy enough to and unit facings etc as you want. I simply don';t see the point in moving 6 or 12x individual figures each time the unit moves, I'd rather move a "proper" base/unit and so will simply use based units myself.

It is a nice and elegant/streamlined system, not too complex. the different unit ratings give a nice nuance to the units and takes away lot of the typical modifiers of other systems (eg +1 for charging) as they are factored into the attack values, defence values, armour ratings etc.

We didn't really play any fantasy elements but those rules too  look simple and playable and so who knows next time we may add more fantasy to the game but it certainly made for an entertaining low fantasy style of games.

Right, time to sort out my own goblin army...