Saga: Thundering Hooves

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by Sean

I’ve finally finished the 8-man mounted Hearthguard unit for my Briton warband for Saga: Aetius & Arthur. I posted the first half of the unit earlier. They’ll also serve as Roman mounted troops as well.

The newest members include a leader type, a musician, a draco standard and a Roman signum, reflecting the mixed culture of the Romano-British models I used for the unit. I chose the standard of Legio vigesima Valeria Victrix (Twentieth Victorious Valeria Legion) which saw action in Briton in the later years of the Empire. While the unit has a roundel shield design, I added a few odd shields for individuality. The signum bearer has a small target shield with a serpent, the horn blower has a wolf, and the unit’s ‘leader’ (the second in command of the warband after the Warlord) has a unique dragon shield.

I gave the signum bearer dark skin to reflect some of the recent archeology on Rome in Britannia. I figured he was either a Berber or North African recruit, or even a recruit all the way over from the Middle East. I have also read of the grave of a Syrian who was in the Roman army found at Hadrian’s Wall, so decided to reflect that.

My group and I have been playing lots of games with the new factions. I’ve played as the Saxons, Romans, Britons, and Huns, and played against Saxons, Romans, Picts, and Britons. I haven’t tried the Goths yet, since their battle board seems so weird (emphasis on balancing Fatigue, but encouraging accumulating it).

Recently we played a Romans versus Huns, using the Champions of God scenario from Saga: The Crescent and the Cross book. My friend fielded his Romans (Warlord, 8 Hearthguard, 16 Warriors with spear, 8 bow Warriors, 6 Levy with spear, and a Manubalista) versus my Huns (mounted Warlord, 12 mounted Hearthguard, 16 mounted Warriors, and 12 bow Levy). For this game I once again broke out my grisly Goblin Wolf Riders. I’d love to some day build up an actual human mounted force, but until then only my Gobbos have enough cavalry to substitute. I also use my Goblins for the Spanish faction, another potentially all-mounted army.

The game got off to a quick start, with the Huns using their board’s ability to move the whole army (with bonus distance for cavalry) right up into the Romans’ faces. I knew the Manubalista could potentially wreck my mounted troops, so I concentrated bow fire, wiping it out after its one shot (that my guys miraculously saved against). The left Roman flank collapsed within 2 turns, the Roman commander fleeing as fast as he could to the rest of his army. The Roman right flank had been held up by my Levy archers and some careful use of Fatigue from a small skirmishing cav unit.

I could have simply retreated then and there, since the scenario was based on VP’s for kills, and I had crushed half his army for a only a little damage to my own forces. Instead I decide to make it a fun game, so the Huns swung around and chased after the Warlord and got into a scrum with the remaining Roman infantry. I wore his forces down until the scenario ended. having lost a bunch of my army needlessly. However, he couldn’t make up the gap in VP’s so win for the Huns!

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Old One Eye

Posted in Miniatures with tags , on August 25, 2017 by Sean

 

Why, it’s Old One Eye himself, the great Carnifex specimen for the Tyranids. This fellow (lady?) is the very rare unique Tyranid character to be found in the army. The army will be focused around the big beasties, rather than swarms of little goons.

Old One Eye follows the Tyranids I’ve done so far, with the same skin and carapace color scheme, with yellow spotting on the upper shell, continued over the back scales and the big crushing claws. He sports extra spiky bits to better distinguish him from other Carnifex (that and his exposed skull). His shell is dotted with battle damage as well.

I decided to replicate the glowing blades of the Swarmlord’s boneswords. The scything talons and crushing claws have red hot edges, blended from black to yellow. I wanted his weapons to look extremely dangerous, heated to a blazing edge. The painting progression is Black->Khorne Red->Troll Slayer Orange->P3 Khador Red Highlight->Flash Gitz Yellow. The glow is also seen on the back spikes, ala Godzilla, revving up for a bio-plasma blast.

The exposed skull was done as normal for bone, but I added Xereus Purple at the edges of the flesh, with Screamer Pink highlights. This kept the colors a compliment to the yellow spots and works well with the green carapace.

More Carnifexes are in the future for the army, so more to come.

Saga: Fantasy- A&A

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by Sean

 

I’ve been playing the newest Saga expansion, the Late Roman-era Aetius & Arthur. I thought some of the new factions would work nicely for some of the Warhammer factions I couldn’t match up before.

Empire: The regimented order of the army and its ability to hold the line and initiate sudden strikes that the Roman faction uses would fit the Empire. This version of the Empire is an ‘earlier’ tech level of the city-states, before widespread gunpowder weapons.

Warlords are Empire nobles, career officers or blue blood royalty. They can fight on foot or mounted on fine steeds.

Hearthguard are the Knights, the elite core of the Knightly Orders like the Reiksguard, Knights Panther, or Blazing Sun, fighting mounted, or Greatswords and Swordsmen, fighting on foot. For an additional 1 point, up to 8 Hearthguard can be fielded as Cataphracts, representing the Inner Circles of the Knightly Orders

Warrior are the State Troops, loyal soldiers of the city-states. They can fight with sword, spear, or halberd (with Armor 4), or take to the field as Huntsmen, carrying bows (with Armor 3).

Levies are the Militia, the common rabble called to defend their realm. They can carry shortbows and throwing axes (javelins) or be fielded as the Free Companies. Free Companies generate 1 Attack for 2 members in melee (unlike normally 1 for 3), and have Armor 4. The player may also remove 6 Levy and replace them with an Artillery Piece manned by 2 Levy crewmen. The piece (Range 2xL) could represent any of the weapons of the Empire, like a bolt thrower or light cannon. The Artillery generates Attack dice when it shoots equal to half the members of the target, reducing their Armor by 1. Each time it fires it gains a Fatigue.

Lizardmen: I figured the defensive nature of the Britons, backed by their heroic Warlords fighting on the front line, leading by example, and directing their men to victory worked to represent the Lizardmen, or at least a Saurus and Skink-focused force.

The key value for the army is Inspiration. Units within S (2″) of the Warlord count as being Inspired. Various battle board abilities only work for Inspired units.

Warlords are Scar Veterans and Oldbloods, ancient born fighters, survivors of countless battles, and direct servants of the Slaan. They can fight on foot or ride Cold Ones. The Warlord can be accompanied by a pair of Temple Guard, called Companions. They form a unit with the Warlord. The Companions extend the 2″ range of the Warlord’s Inspiration from themselves as well. If the Warlord has Companions, he cannot use Side by Side.

Hearthguard are the Temple Guard, hand-picked Saurus decked in the finest armor and jeweled weapons. They can fight on foot or ride Cold Ones.

Warriors are appropriately the Saurus Warriors, bestial reptilian soldiers of the Slann cities.

Levies are the Skinks, diminutive skirmishers and scouts. While lacking in combat ability, they can rain death from their javelins or blowpipes (bows/slings).

Savage Orcs: I decided after playing the Saxons several times, the utter mindless brutality of the Savage Orcs was a good fit. With only fighting on their frenzied minds, the Orcs rush into combat heedless of danger, determined to crush the enemy or die trying.

Warlords are the Savage Orc Bosses, hulking beasts of green muscle, protected by bone ornaments and warpaint, their belief in their invulnerability equal to true armor.

Hearthguard are the Big ‘Uns, the strongest members of the tribe. They group in mobs of their own, ready to stomp anything in reach.

Warriors are the Boyz, the common Orcs of the savage tribes. They lack the brutal strength of the Big ‘uns but make up for it in numbers.

Levy are the Yoofs, the youngest and weakest Orcs. Not yet to the level of a proper member of the mobs, they instead use ranged weapons to pelt the foe while the Boyz close in. Alternatively they could represent Forest Goblins pressed into service. They are armed with bows or slings.

 

And here is a break from Aetius & Arthur factions. I wanted to add in an older faction that I never got around to, based on the Normans from Saga: Dark Age.

Wood Elves: The mixture of archery and shock cavalry exemplified by the Normans fit the Wood Elves well enough. It does somewhat ignore some the stronger close combat units and the various tree spirits, but it will do for now.

Warlords are the Kindred, leaders of one of the numerous kinbands. They can represent Glade Lords, fighting on foot or mounted on stag or Elven steed, or even Branchwraiths or Treemen fighting on foot.

Hearthguards are the Nobles, elite guardians of the Wood Elf realms. They can fight on foot, using their swordstaves, or launch themselves into combat as Wardancers. They can also take to battle mounted as the Sisters of the Thorn or Wild Riders. Alternatively, Heardguard on foot can also be represented by Dryads.

Warriors are the Eternal Guard, the common members of the kinbands. They fight in ranks of spear on foot, or mounted as Glade Riders. One unit (of up to 8 members) can carry Elven Longbows, representing the Waywatchers. Longbow-armed units reduce their targets’ Armor by 1, but also lower their own Armor by 1.

Levies are the Glade Guard, the militia of the army. They carry bows, firing in massed ranks of black-feathered arrows.

There’s still more factions to convert to Saga: Fantasy. I’ll add them eventually.

AoS: Time Fer Stompin’

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on August 11, 2017 by Sean

 

Along with other projects, I’ve finished up my second unit of Orruk Brutes for my Ironjawz army for Age of Sigmar. Just in time for the release of the General’s Handbook II. I hope my Stormbringaz can handle the changes.

The Brutes here follow the lead of the previous unit, with a Brute Boss with club and claw, 3 standard 2-choppa Brutes, and a Brute with a giant spiky cleaver. The unit was designed to be able to field 2 units of Brutes, or swap it for a unit of Ardboyz if I wanted (same cost after all). However, I figured I could also use them to field a full 10-boyz unit. The Brute Boss for this unit would be ‘demoted’ to a standard Brute, the more decorated Boss from the the other unit leading the way.

The Brutes as pieces are somewhat limited in their posing. The bodies include the legs and back torso, with the front and arms separate. Individuality comes from swapping out the heads, arms, and shoulder plates. I managed to avoid replicating the previous unit’s members. Extra plates and some weapon swaps finished them off.

The Boss’ weapons only attach to the torso one way. Thus he would have been a duplicate to the other Boss. To avoid this, I swapped the right hand with the club to another arm and gave him the front plate with the jawbone and head with the metal jaw plate.

Once the Handbook comes out, I plan on working on my Moonclan Grots. I’ll want to use them to support the Ironjawz, or vice versa. A unit of Brutes or Ardboyz would give the Grots some real punch.

Field of Glory: The Lions of England

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on August 6, 2017 by Sean

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve gotten some painting in for my Hundred Years’ War English 15mm army for Field of Glory. The army has been long in the making, started years ago. I had nearly finished it before my gaming group at the time stopped playing FoG, leaving me with little motivation to finish it.  All that was left were the commanders and the camp.

But now I return. I’ve added the commanders and the camp, bringing the army to a close. While I could add some bases for variety (say unmounted versions of the knights or some more archers and barricades), the army is done.

The army is based off the force that was present at the Battle of Crecy (1346) during the Hundred Years War. I tried to follow the actual units and heraldry of the lords that fought there. The bases for the commanders get a simple roman numeral on the front and back and stars to help differentiate them from the mass of troop bases.

The first commander, the army’s Commander in Chief, is King Edward III himself. He sits on his finely armored warhorse, flanked by the flag of England and his personal banner. Like the other banners in the army, I hand-painted the banners based on reference pics. I could have used printed banners, but decided to attempt the painting myself.

Next up is Edward III’s son, the Prince of Wales. While only 16 years old at the time of Crecy, Edward still commanded the 1st Battle, right wing of the army and proved himself in combat. The name of the Black Prince came later. The miniature here is accompanied by a banner man, flying the flag of England, festooned with the ribbon of the eldest son (also seen on the prince’s shield and horse armor). I added an archer to link him to Wales.

The last commander is William de Bohun, the Earl of Northhampton. He commanded the left wing of the army. While he has an elaborate decoration on his armor and horse, I decided to give him a simple pennant with the St. George’s Cross. Along with him I added Richard Fitzalan, the Earl of Arundel (or at least a liege knight).

The final pic is the English camp. All armies in Field of Glory are required to have a counter representing their rear camp, supplies, reserves, etc. I wanted it to look a little busy, the ground churned with activity, with plenty of soldiers moving about. The base has a grouping of tents, along with various guards and servants. I used extra models from the army (English billmen, mounted crossbowman, Welsh spearman, etc.). Since the French were shadowing the English and were blocking their way at Crecy, I figured the camp was set up with some haste; guards stand ready to defend just in case.

Primaris!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , on July 27, 2017 by Sean

 

The Crimson Fists Space Marine force continues, probably for some time…

Adding to the normal Space Marines, the new Primaris Marines arrive in force. I’ve shown a single member before, but I’ve finished a full 5-man Intercessor Squad (from the Dark Imperium box). The first squad has the usual bolt rifles, and the Sergeant (in the Codex red helmet) strides confidently forward.

The second pic is the other Primaris Sergeant (yet another pointing Marine!). He wears his red helmet on his belt, and seems to have a collar and headgear for interfacing. The other Marine is a standard Primaris Marine, with a head-swap from the Sternguard box. The Primaris body proportions are more realistic, thus the smaller Marine head fits fine.

The fancy guy in the third pic is a Lieutenant. It’s fun to have some of the old ranks of Marines back from Rogue Trader, even if he’s a Primaris. I wanted him to be a character in his own right, thus he got lots of extra decoration and unique heraldry. He wears a checkerboard pattern on his right shoulder, with a stylized iron halo design. The Lieu’s helmet is blue, with a white stripe down the middle, itself run through by a red stripe on the crest. He has a nice action-y pose, legs wide as he fires off his bolt pistol, sword brandished.

Last up are a pair of Sternguard Marines, both armed with heavy flamers. They carry standard gear, with some decoration (purity seals and Terminator honors). They share much of the same bits- the flamers and backpack, while one wears Mk III and the other Mk VI.

 

Blood and Plunder!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on July 22, 2017 by Sean

With the arrival of Blood and Plunder to my FLGS, I’ve been shanghaied into painting up the French starter box for the game. I’ve actually gotten a demo game this week. I enjoyed it- very close to Muskets & Tomahawks, with fairly simple basic rules and few super units. The activation mechanic is very cool, allowing for some good strategy over the course of the game turn.

We played 3×3 players on the Breakthrough scenario, with the starter boxes. My side all used the French, while the opponents used Spanish, English, and Unaligned forces. The French line was holding fine on the flanks, beating back the Spanish and English (the right flank even pushing the English almost back to their deployment zone). The center was severely mauled, the Unaligned force nearly taking the French deployment zone. I had to leave before the end, but France seemed in a good position at the end.

The models are nicely done, with some good details and character, though some of the castings are a bit rough in places. The era of the 17th Century Spanish Main and colonial conflict in the Caribbean is a new historical era for me. Earlier I posted my French Canadians for Muskets & Tomahawks, which covers mid-to-late-18th Century conflicts, so I’m at least used to musketeers and their assorted details.

The first pic is the French Commander. This guy is very fancy, with a lacy shirt, bright blue coat, bows and ribbons all over, and of course the big curled wig. He definitely gives the force a national character, considering the rest of the minies are somewhat generic frontiersmen and sailors. I painted him to match the color scheme from the official art; very colorful and vibrant. He’s joined by a few of the Marins that I’ve finished.

The next pic is a group of Boucaniers, the hunters and woodsmen of the French army. They lack any sort of uniform and standard equipment, instead looking like rugged individuals. The bare legs and floppy hats give them a distinctive look.

Finally in this batch are the Militia, the Milice des Caraibes. In contrast to the Boucaniers, they wear uniform grey coats and blue sashes, along with standard issue muskets, cutlasses, plug bayonets, and pistols. Some have bayonets fixed, while the others are firing their guns. The boxed unit has duplicate members of the unit (8 in the full unit); hopefully I’ll be able to paint them with enough variation.

More to come. The box contains 8 Milice, 8 Flibustiers, 4 Boucaniers, and 4 Marins.