Saturday, July 30, 2011

Legendary Battles: Vampires vs Vampires

Bat Boy vs Mannfred

Since this blog is fairly new, I thought I'd sprinkle in a few epic moments (for me anyway) from my wargaming past.  At least those I have digital pictures of.

First up, is a Warhammer clash of vampiric titans.  My von Carstein Vampire Counts army vs my friend Eric's Strigoi horde of death.  Not really a battle report per se, but a chance to show off some pics of cool minis, terrain, and good times with friends

Terrain-wise, the battle featured two Autumn themed boards, and some great looking buildings including some from our Mordheim collection.  The awesome Wizard's Mansion and spooky Windmill (among other things) were created by Eric.

As far as I can remember, the armies were at least 3000 point in size.  Both armies have gone through quite a few upgrades (new minis, banners, basing, movement trays, etc.) since, but still look great in these pics.

Spotted along the battle lines is none other than Count Mannfred von Carstein himself.  This was the first time (and last time I believe) that I brought the big guy, but as this battle was being played on my birthday I thought maybe the occasion was "special" enough.  :)

Also notice in the picture the circled Code Red.  Remember kids, no late night vampire battle is complete without it!

On the other side we see Bat Boy rising out of the Pumpkin Patch.  Good thing we only get to see his back.  That guy is one ugly MF!  (Poor Linus!)  For a clue on how long ago this battle was fought, check out the ghoul formations.  Skirmish?  What the?!

The power is turned "ON," the table starts to shake, the pieces start moving, and battle is joined!  The dead clash everywhere.  Complete with epic movie soundtracks and birthday cupcakes.

Instead of staying back a using his dominating magic skillz, Mannfred bravely (foolishly) charges in with his Black Knights and soon find himself alone and surrounded by very unfriendly monsters.  Bat Boy and Bat Mom  Bat Cow  Bat Girl (whatever) close in for the kill and murderize poor Manny.

Not only did Bat Boy and Company take out the Count of Sylvania, this was also the first time Eric beat my VC army.  Bad time to take the night off from brooding in Castle Drakenhof I guess.

Good times!  :)

Imperial Muster - My Reikland Army

For Sigmar!  The Empire!  and Karl Franz! 

Despite a very intense 24 hour "Vampire Counts" fever after seeing the new stuff coming out, I decided to drag out my first love of Warhammer Fantasy: my Empire Reikland Army.  I'm still currently working on my Mordians, but with Fall approaching I'd like to get this army ready to play at least with Warhammer 8th Edition movement trays, etc.

 The Empire mobilizes for war!

The pic above is the bulk of my infantry, but certainly not my whole army.  All the minis are metal, and most of them are long out of production.  I haven't seen these figs in awhile, but the old Perry Empire line still just oozes with character.  I've done some simple conversions to update the standard bearers, etc. and will give all my halberdiers a little tweak too giving them longer poles and new blades on top.

Everything in the army is still very much WIP, but I thought I'd at least throw up some of my prototype minis, etc. for you to check out.  Here's a vanilla Reikland knight, Reiksguard on foot (Greatsword), and some swordsmen.

Next up are some halberdiers that were originally painted up for a small detachment.  Now that halberds can truly be the mainstay of the Empire, these guys will be part of 50 man unit.  Lots of painting!

Finally here are some artillery crewmen.  My artillery crews as well as my handgunner units will all be from the nearby city of Nuln, but pretty much keep the basic color scheme as the rest of the army.

Hopefully I can start to pick away at these guys later in the year.  Like I said, most of my army are the metal Perry Bros. sculpts that were released right before 4th Edition.  I will do up some blocks of the plastic militia and my Steam Tank will be the new plastic kit as well.

Although I have a lot of love for these old minis, the current plastic range is great too.  Especially with the huge conversion potential of all the kits together.  However, I am under strict orders from Karl Fanz to get these figs painted up first.  :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Thorin and company, at your service!

Great shot of all the dwarves from the movie.  Here's a little bonus video that has some great shots of what the 13 dwarves, etc. will look like as well.  Great stuff!  Love the beards.  :)  Some things are a little different than I expected, but looking pretty cool so far.  Nice to visit Middle Earth again.  Maybe you've seen this stuff, maybe you haven't...   either way, enjoy!

Make sure you watch all the way to the end! ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lord of the Rings Demo Board

While doing some cleaning on my hard drive, I came across this Lord of the Rings demo board I did up a number of years ago.  Sometime after Return of the King came out on the silver screen, Games Workshop sent out these plastic demonstration boards to shops in support of their Strategy Battle skirmish game.  The board was very basic, being light gray plastic with static grass already attached.

My friend Eric, who worked part time at Phoenix Games in Minneapolis, decided to spruce up the board by actually painting it and adding some trees and water effects.  When the shop managed to acquire a second board so I decided to give it a go myself and get a little more creative.

I was eager to try a few things after having a conversation at GW's Games Day in Chicago with Dave Taylor about using EnviroTex Lite for making water effects.  This stuff really works great and hardens better than most water effects products that can still be soft enough to leave fingerprints, etc. after they're dry

Although I don't remember all of them now, I originally designed the board so that it could be used for at least 5 to 6 different scenarios including Bucklebury Ferry and Fog on the Barrow Downs.  It turned out to be pretty sweet for Dark Age skirmishes as well. :)

The shop ended up moving out to the suburbs, so I don't know what became of the board.  I can no longer use it myself, but I figured I could at least share it on my blog for others to hopefully enjoy.

Unfortunately this is the only pic I have of Eric's board to compare mine with.  (Please send me one if you have a better pic, thanks!)  Although he doesn't agree, I actually think his board is better as sometimes less is more.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Duck in the Gun

If only conflict resolution was this simple!

A few months back my youngest nephew gave his first book report at school.  Soon afterwards, this grand achievement had to be proudly reenacted for Grandma and Grandpa, who in turn would spread the news to everyone else.  The book?  The classic and somewhat silly anti-war children's' book:  "The Duck in the Gun."

Although I was a bit older than my nephew at the time, I do remember this silly little read from back in the day.  After a quick trip to Googleland, I was able to relive the fascinating storyline of how a duck single-handedly stopped the war by nesting in the army's only cannon.  It was a nice five minute break from my adult mind before I started wondering how such friendly people could be fighting in the first place.

Anyway, if you desire a little break from reality, then I suggest you surf on over to this site and give The Duck in the Gun a nice read.  Then you can go back to wargaming and pretending to murder one another.  :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mordheim - Witch Hunter Warband

I thought I would post some pics of my Witch Hunter warband for Mordheim 'cause EVERYONE loves Witch Hunters!!  They're up there in awesomeness with pirates, ninjas, and vikings right??!!  Well, maybe not for the folks that are tied to the stakes...

First up is Captain Heinrich Helsturm and two of his older warhounds, Flint and Tinder.  Apparently he keeps them lean and mean, and hungry for heretics.

Next up is the Captain's loyal Templars: Mathias Nachtmann, Vernon Hoch, and Kurt Wilheim.  The mini in the middle has always been a favorite of mine.  It's basically Anthony Hopkins straight out of Bram Stoker's Dracula.  I've removed the severed heads in his left hand and replaced them with a very appropriate pistol.

The more zealous members of the group (if that's even possible with Witch Hunters) is the Warrior Priest of Sigmar, Father Gregor Steinhertz, and his two Flagellants, Klaus and Gunther.  No Mordheim warband is complete without the fish.  :)

To fill out the core of the warband, the Captain has sprung for some new pups.  These very loyal rottweilers answer to the names: Lock, Stock, and Barrel.

"I am here, but soon you will not be here!  All you worst nightmare 'bout to come true!!"

Now for some of the hired muscle, and dressed the part no less.  The ogre bodyguard Fezzik wears his contact on his back, so that those cowering behind him "Don't forget the deal!"

Last, but not least (In his mind anyway) is the flamboyant Karl Schwarzeblitz (Or maybe we should call him Lord Flashheart?)  This Imperial Noble fig is a hold over from the very fun days of Warhammer Quest.  I use him from time to time as an additional Witch Hunter or a Freelance Knight.  Karl might just be getting some new white duds in the near future and march with my Reikland Empire army from now on.

I have a few Zealots to paint up someday that will also double as Flagellants in my Empire army.  I also have a few more Witch Hunter minis I've been itching to paint up.  Especially the 2010 AdeptiCon one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Front Line Assembly - Leman Russ Tanks

Just a little sneak peek of the Leman Russ Squadron and Demolisher I'm building.  This pic is from last weekend after a shipment from Ryza finally arrived after being waylaid by ork scum for more than three weeks.

Local atmospheric conditions (humidity) have delayed the project this week, but the glory of the Emperor of Mankind will soon prevail.

In the meantime these tanks need names.

Feel free to post some suggestions in the comments section.  As the three Leman Russes are in the same unit, I'd like them to start with the same letter.  This isn't completely necessary though.  The Demolisher tank feels like a two word name is appropriate, but again any ideas are fine.  :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Black Powder - The First Supplement

Warlord Games have announced the first upcoming supplement to their very well received horse and musket era rules:  Black Powder The Last Argument of Kings covers the main conflicts of the 18th Century.  Warlord's full product preview can be found here.

The notable exception on the list of conflicts is the American War of Independence, which Paul Sawyer explains on the Warlord Games forums is getting its own supplement.  He also mentions the first of two Napoleonic supplements are coming later in the year.

Although maybe not as detailed as some would like for specific periods, I love the spirit in which Black Powder is written, its flexibility, and the ability to get even larger multi-player battles done in a single evening.  Definitely "proper wargaming" as some would call it.

Like its Ancients counterpart, Hail Caesar, its geared for multiple players a side and is driven by game (battle/scenario/whatever) design as opposed to set army lists and points. Its fluid game mechanics have enough period flavor to satisfy most old Grognards, but still make an enjoyable game for those that are less enthusiastic about historical gaming.

Being a Seven Years War fan, I'm very interested to see how The Last Argument of Kings treats the wars of Frederick the Great, but certainly hope that Warlord Games can find a writer in the future to produce a specific supplement for them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Army of Erebor - More Dwarf Warriors & Murin

Another unit of Dwarves from my War of the Ring army.  This time with shields!  Again, these were just updated with The Army Painter's Highland Tufts.  I've thought about putting on a little leaf litter, but for now I'm leaving it off as the bases/movement trays look fine already.

Again, the same deal as before with the command models.  Using the Dwaf King models definitely adds a little character to the units as well as providing an opportunity to use the whole miniature line.

The shields on these guys really gives the unit a striking element that makes the whole army look better on the table top.  I'd like to do another unit, but the way the Dwarf Warrior boxed set is organized makes it a bit of a pain to do.  We'll see.

Murin is the first named character I painted up for this army, and he's definitely one of my favorite minis of the Dwarf LotR's line.  I love that helmet and shield, and the great mustache too. :)

Murin is pretty inexpensive way for including a named character in smaller games. His Legendary Formation however is quite useful no matter how big the army is.  Fielding Murin's Guard with their ability to "Lock Shields" will bring the bad guys attack to screeching halt in a hurry.  Defence "10" is no joke.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Have a great 4th of July!!

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!  Put down those minis, go outside, and blow something up! ...but without blowing off any body parts in the process.  :-)

The Army of Erebor - Dwarf Warriors

Last Summer a number of us local gamers decided to try out GW's Lord of the Rings mass battle miniatures game:  War of the Ring.  What we found was not only an excellent set of rules, but a nice excuse to paint up figs from GW's great LOTR's miniature line sculpted mostly by the Perry Brothers.  Unfortunately after only a couple of months, this effort became overshadowed by the release of Warhammer 8th edition, and only of few of us stuck it out to work on finishing our armies.

An Army of Dwarves from the Lonely Mountain was always my first choice.  I've always liked the look of Norse/Tolkien Dwarves, opposed to way they are represented in Warhammer Fantasy.  This is an enjoyable army to work on, and I am pleased with the muted but colorful Dark Age scheme I used.  

First up on the blog is my Dwarf Warrior Kinband with two-handed axes.  Although these guys were painted last Summer, their bases and movement trays just got spruced up with The Army Painter's Highland Tufts.

Other than the normal command models, I use the Dwarven King minis for Shieldbearers in my units.  I think they represent a Dwarf Veteran nicely and are a lot better than the actual Shieldbearer model in my opinion.

Although three companies is more then enough for Dwarves, I might add a forth to the unit in the future.  I probably need to get around to converting a Hornblower model as well.  Well, at least have a Dwarf carrying a horn anyway.  :)

Next up will be my Dwarf Warriors with shields.