Saturday, 21 October 2017

After the Hobbit (part4)

It's been a long road, but we've reached the end of our campaign. Following in the footsteps of Balin, Rob and I have taken to Moria and pretty much retold history as it happened in the books. For a recap of the campaign, check previous PART1, PART2 & PART3. But it isn't over yet... Going into the Final chapter, can Rob salvage the last shreds of Dwarvish honour or will the Goblins horde slaughter them in anonymity?

They Are Coming...

In the depths of Moria, Balin has been entombed in the kingdom he sought to reclaim and the few survivors have rallied themselves for their last stand. They are few in number, hungry and far from home, but not without hope. The Dwarfs know that they cannot escape, but will sell their lives if but one of their number can make it back to Erebor with news of the expedition. In the darkness, something far more sinister than mere goblins moves to intervene.



As the fires of the Balrog are seen filling the gloom, the Dwarfs waste no time and begin their escape. Goblins pour into the hall from the great gates and is through one of these that the Dwarf survivors dash towards.



The Goblin Shaman calls on the blood lust of his minions to hold the Dwarfs from escaping, but it is not time yet. Knowing the Dwarfs have the best chance if they can break their attacker's will to pursue, the Warriors of Moria go to work on the Goblins with their axes.




Meanwhile, holding the tomb entrance as best they can, a few brave Dwarfs make heroic efforts against the mounting Goblins. Soon their bravery will be tested...




With a roar, The Balrog enters the fray. The cavern shakes with it's monstrous footfalls and the Goblins swarm the tomb chamber. The few Dwarf warriors within hold their axes ready.


With their demonic overlord at their backs, the Goblins push forwards. The few Dwarfs still in the Tomb are swept aside, lost in the sea of rusted metal and gleaming eyes. Despite the swarm of foes, the stoic Dwarfs fight on still.



At the gate, The Goblin Shaman is slain and his entourage put to the axe. Though more Goblins arrive to fill the gap, The Dwarf warriors have made their stand. The gate to the tunnels almost theirs.



Alas, Fire and Death had come at last. Hurling a burning Dwarf across the cavern, the Balrog burst from the Tomb Chamber, his Goblin underlings spreading before him. The flaming dwarf crashed into two of his comrades, alerting the Dwarfs holding gate to their peril.




As the mighty Balrog advanced, a challenge in the tongue of the Dwarfs was called out from the Tomb. Surrounded by foes and bleeding from dozens of small injuries, the last Khazad Guard charged the Balrog.


The few Dwarfs still standing at the turned into the tunnels and made their escape. The Sacrifice of their fellows would not be in vain. Only one of their number needed to get through the Goblin patrols....


....Only one made it home to Erebor.


"One Dwarf Still Draws Breath!"
It was a tense final game. Rob had no heroes to rely on and had to work from tactics and dice alone. He couldn't have made a better go of it and it was a satisfactory end to our Campaign. In the end  the Goblins gave total annihilation to the Dwarfs in the Tomb,  but a single Dwarf made it back to Erebor. With Dwarfs fulfilling half their objectives (the other being to kill 20 Goblins) the outcome was a Draw.
Well done to Rob for his efforts to really save face in the final mission and thanks also to Ross (Go check out his YOUTUBE stuff) for supplying some additional scenery to the board. It was a great experience to play a story campaign like this and for those interested I heartily recommend it as something different. It was a great excuse to get my Balrog painted so that alone should be an endorsement.

I hope you enjoyed this series of posts. I'm looking forward to doing more in the future.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

100th POST MOTHER TRUCKERS!!!!!!!

It's been a long road to get to this point, but it's been fun. I've finished off so much just because this blog has forced me into finishing what I start (most of the time) So, what's on the go at the moment? Well quite a bit actually...

Gaslands is due for release at the end of November. That game has been on my radar for a while now and I so glad to hear it's nearly out. I've been gathering scraps and cheap toy cars specially for the job and I've made a small start.




Ghost Archipelago from Osprey is in the near future too. I was so happy to get a runner-up place in their competition and the prize (a copy of the new rulebook) arrived a few days ago. I've read it, loved it and I'm now scrounging my bits box for parts to build my crew. As a base, I've decided to use my LOTR Umbar army and just add a few extra models for flavour. My next step is to try and get a few dinosaur models (toys) that fit the scale.




More sculpting has been completed and there is plenty more to follow. Right now I've just finished off a set of adventures. My next project will be a small addition to the Gnome range I did for CPmodels and maybe some Dark Warrior types.






Part 4 of Balin's Quest to reclaim Moria has been scheduled and as soon as we play it out I'll be straight to the Keyboard to type it up. For now, know that Terror is ready to go...



More commissions and comics are on the way. Age of Savagery has become the main focus of my efforts over the last few months and I've got plans for more comics and stories in the New Year as well as plenty of art work before then, just go check the TWITTER for more regular up dates.

So it's been a busy couple of months and it shows no sign of slowing down. New job, new games and new projects all start proper next week. In the mean time, thank you to everyone that reads this blog of nonsense and rambling. It keeps me sane.....ish.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Back From Over Seas

So the last week I've been away for my annual cruise holiday. A nice chance to get away and see the world and meet some new people... and abuse the cruise's drinks package.

This year we had planned to stop off at some comics shops in Amsterdam that I found last year, but the weather was having none of that and we had go else where. So we ended up in Brugge instead and it was a nice change of pace. If you've never been, it is a lovely little town to visit. Plenty of history and old buildings and as luck would have it a brilliant comic shop called De Striep. It was a joy to find this place by chance and some of the art on show was amazing, Vikings, Dark Fantasy and Steampunk galore! I cannot give any credit to the writers as I don't understand the language in question, but I picked up a few titles that looked cool. I will say that if you like your comics and you're trying to get your kids into them, watch out when abroad. Them mainland Europeans are not shy when it comes to showing a bit of flesh in comics. This is not a criticism and I've found from past titles I've read, it isn't smut for the sake of it, we Brits are just massive prudes XD.

So if you get the chance to visit Brugge, pop in to their local comic shop and have a look.

Now back to our regular programming! As well as an enjoyable holiday, it was a great surprise to return home to some fun news! Last few months, Osprey Games have been running their triple sprue challenge on Twitter (Go check it out if you haven't seen it). Where entrants build a Frostrgrave Wizard, Apprentice and Captain using only the parts from their Human Warrior, Cultist and Barbarian sprues. I was pleased to find out that I'd got a runners-up place for my efforts. Go check out the other winners HERE for some awesome conversions.

As for me, (left to right) The Apprentice, Wizard and Captain that I entered. Guess I'm going to have to paint them now.





Monday, 2 October 2017

Leggit Good 'n' Proper

Well, it's October and I am long over due an actual holiday. So I will once again be zipping off to parts unknown to get some well deserved relaxation.... and a few pints.



But it won't be all fun and games in my absence. So for all of this month, I'm challenging myself to put a sketch a day up on the Twitter. This is more of an endurance test on my part to see if I can do it. For those on Twitter my page is HERE and I've already put the first couple of sketches up.

See you in a week!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

More Mean Greens

So Cardiff & Comic Con is done and dusted for another year. It was great to see so many old faces and catch up, but also to meet lots of new people. The word of Age of Savagery has spread like wildfire through the con, so we are still getting submissions for stories being emailed to to us at ageofsavagery@deadstarpublishing.co.uk so if you know a writer of artist looking to break into the indy publishing game, let us know.

Now back to the main reason for this blog post... more sculpting. The Troll was a lot of fun to work on purely because of the size of the brute, but it's nice to get back to basics sometimes. So, for your approval, here are the WIP for 4 Xbox inspired adventures. Fictional cookie to anyone who can guess where the inspiration has come from.




Friday, 22 September 2017

What's That Coming Over the Hill?

It's Cardiff Film and Comic Con, people!!!! Once the big two day event signaling the end of the summer has come around, not a moment too soon. We had grand ambitions for this show (Kev at Deadstar and I), but Alas the Fates were against us.

Not to worry though. We will still be there raising the hype for Age of Savagery and even opening up the doors to more submissions! So for those interested in submitting, or if you have any other questions drop an email to us here: ageofsavagery@deadstarpublishing.co.uk

Of course, if you are coming to CFCC this weekend, then pop by the Deadstar Publishing table and have a chat! While you're there pick up some cool reading material, not just from me, but also some other great artists and writers.

For now, I'll leave everyone with a sneaky preview of the awesome cover art we got from John Johnston and Danny Weston. (cheers boys)


Sunday, 17 September 2017

After the Hobbit (part3)

Once again Rob and I return to the battlefields to play the third chapter of Balin's expedition to retake the Dwarf Hold of Moria. For a more in depth account of the previous battles PART1 and PART2 are worth a read, but right now we continue the tale...
Following on from last time, Balin has laid claim to the Kingdom of Moria, though the efforts have cost him dearly. Many Dwarfs have been slain to claim Balin his Kingship, at the hands of Goblins, Trolls and an absurd amount of luck on my part. Rob will no doubt call me out on this every time we play, but with some of the dice I've been chucking out, I'm due to get hit by traffic! That said, onto Game 3!

The Mirrormere

Balin had taken an excursion from the from Moria's depths to star out at the Mirrormere, like Durin before him. This proved folly on his part, based around the far side of the lake and having to brave a narrow stream to reach the gate, perfect for a Goblin ambush.



The Dwarf were caught off guard. Seeing the Goblins massing across the stream, Balin ordered his warriors back to the safety of East Gate, but it was going to be a slog.




With his force bogged down by the river crossing, Balin and Ori were forced to hold the beach head to allow their fellows to cross. This delay would cost them however. Smelling blood in the water (almost literally) The Goblin Shaman whipped his minions into a frenzy and ordered the charge. It would be a challenge to reach East Gate.




Despite stubborn temperament, the Dwarfs were undone by their heavy gear. The nimble goblins had caught the larger part of the Dwarf forces halfway across the river and had taken to drowning them in the shallows. The Goblins were not the only horrors to assail the Dwarfs. Once again the evil critters had brought along a Troll to truly re-establish themselves. The huge brute knocked Dwarf Warriors flying and began rampaging across the river, wading through water, blood and bodies with equal measure.





Balin and Ori held as best they could, but the Goblins were too many. Their comrades were being cut down by the shear savagery on display by the Goblins. Taking matters into his own hands, Balin saught to break the Goblins by slaying their master. Spying the Shaman through the swarm, Balin issued a challenge that the Shaman was too battle crazed to refuse.




The Goblin Shaman proved more of a challenge than Balin expected. The nimble creater survived on luck longer than thought possible, but Durin's Axe proved the better in the end. Too little too late however as Balin turned to hear the roar of the Troll. The beast was almost breathing down his neck!



Ori threw himself into the Troll, crying for Balin to flee. East Gate was within site, only a few Goblins stood between the Dwarfs and safety. Balin surveyed the battle as Ori stood against the Troll. It was a bleak setting. Dwarf dead were everywhere, but they were not on display for long as the Goblins began to swarm.





Ori's duel against the Troll saw the Dwarf beaten back towards East Gate. Balin was embroiled against the Goblins guarding the Gate. Looking back to see if Balin had made it to safety, Ori was caught by the Troll's backhand. Ori was sent flying across the battle leaving Balin alone and unaided against the horde.





This was it, the final push. Balin was inches away from safety, but the Troll and the Goblin horde were closing the noose. It looked like it was all over...




A Dwarfish battle-cry echoed across the scrum of Goblin thugs. Balin looked on in disbelief. Ori was alive! Charging the Goblin mob, the youg Dwarf sought the rejoin his Lord. If the two were to perish, then it would be fighting together. Balin, put everything he had into trying to save himself and his battle brother.



Both were so close to the gate now, but no matter how many goblins they fought back it seemed the tide never ceased. A surge of Goblin warriors rose up and obscured Ori from Balin. When the tide receded Ori was gone. Once more Balin Heard the bellow of the Troll and knew his Friend was dead....
Balin, Lord of Moria, fell soon after


"So... He is Dead Then.."
This was a brutal game for Rob. His dice not only abandoned him, I think they fled the country under an assumed name. At the end, I had lost SIX models, Rob was wiped off the board. Rob would be taking no additional Dwarfs to the next game, which is a pity, because he is going to get all the help he can get in the fourth and final chapter of Balin's Quest.