Saturday, 12 August 2017

After The Hobbit (part2)

Following on from last month's game with Rob (HERE) we continue Balin's expedition into Moria. Once again Rob will be trying to keep his Dwarf casualties to a minimum as survivors will be needed for the final mission, but right now the scenario is a good ol' fashioned bust up! First army to drop to 25% of its starting number, loses.

This time we go full force as the reinforced Dwarf army, lead by Balin go against the Goblin hordes of Durburz, the self proclaimed King of Moria.  A "chasm" runs across the length of the board with only a single bridge to forge a crossing. The chasm is jumpable, but that could slow down the charge or leave warriors unsupported if too few made the crossing.

Battle For The Dwarrowdelf
Rob took the initiative and held his army where it was. His plan was to sit back and thin out the goblin ranks with archers before mopping up the remaining interlopers. It was a reasonable tactic, but would it pay off?
The Goblins were going to be far less subtle in their methods. Full frontal assault with added troll and foul language for good measure. I knew the Dwarf archers were going to be a problem if left unchecked and the drummers would be left vulnerable in the later stages of the battle when the they would be needed the most. That said Durburz called the battle cry, the shamans whipped the Goblin masses into a frenzy and the horde charged forth!
Balin held the centre of the Dwarf line with Oin and Floi, glaring at the advancing Goblin battleline. As soon as the troll crossed the bridge, the archers took their aim and loosed. A few goblins were caught in the way, but it was the troll that took the brunt of the Dwarf arrows. As the battlelines closed, the Dwarfs grew uneasy. Backing up slightly in the face of the wounded, but very much alive (and annoyed) troll.

With the Goblins at last upon them, the Dwarfs need to hold the line more than ever against the brutal troll's attacks.

The cavern echoed to the roar of the troll as it hit the Dwarf lines. Balin and his companions were too busy dealing with goblins to tackle the troll and it cost them. A brutal backhand from the troll sent a Dwarf warrior sailing across the Dwarf front line knocking Balin and several others to the ground.

Whilst the troll began the work of pasting Dwarf warriors, Durburz entered the fray himself. Surrounding the Dwarf flank and chopping down several warriors personally, the Goblin King was proving to Dwarf and Gobin alike why he was wearing the crown.

Balin quickly found his feet and rallied his forces. He hoped to make a counter attack against the troll, but had to rebuild his failing shieldwall first. Oin was less alert. Having been knocked to the floor by a hurled Dwarf warrior, the aged Oin was set upon by Goblins looking for an easy kill.

On the flank, the Dwarf archers were over-run. Lead by the Goblin Captain who survived the encounter at Eastgate, the Dwarfs were fighting a losing battle at every turn it seemed.

His line holding, but only just, Balin sought to strike a heroic blow against the Goblin forces, he would slay the troll, thus robbing the Goblins of their advantage in strength. The loyal warriors cleared the old Dwarf a path to the beast and Balin charged. Swinging Durin's Axe with all he had Balin struck the troll. There was the sound of shrieking metal and for a brief moment the Dwarfs collectively held their breath to see the troll fall... but it was not to be. The troll had blocked Balin's strike with it's spear, the weapon now snapped in two by the axe. Balin stepped away from the brute as it glared furiously at the determined "would-be" Dwarf King.

Oin, having regained his footing and beaten back the Goblins who dared to strike him whilst prone, now looked to a new objective. The troll was making a mess of the Dwarf lines and with Balin's efforts to kill the thing gone unrewarded, Oin sought to kill the only reason the Goblin army stayed together: Durburz. Oin fought his way through the Goblin chaf and then came face to face with the Goblin King. A brutal exchange saw Oin wounded and humbled. Once again Durburz was proving to all why he and no other ruled Moria.

Wounded and their courage failing, Oin and Balin looked at each other across the battlefield. Dwarf warriors were being cut down as the goblin numbers began to take over. The troll continued it's unstoppable assault and Goblins swarmed Floi, the Dwarf Loremaster shredded to ribbons by a dozen foes. Durburz, stood atop a pile of dead and ordered the final push. The sudden surge of Goblin savagery caught Oin off guard and like Floi before him, he was cut down by a swarm of Goblin blades.
Balin, weighed down by grief and fatigue, ordered the retreat. As he held the rear guard, the troll once again made it's presence felt, striking Balin with the broken tip of it's spear. The old Dwarf was made of sterner stuff however and took the blow in his stride.

His remaining forces escaping in good order and the Goblins massing about their King, readying for the final charge, Balin joined his folk. This day, The King of Moria without question was Durburz.

This game had a few potential turning points, there are three that stand out for me. First the archers and the troll. If the plucky Dwarf archers had been able to fell the troll before it got into combat then I would say the Dwarfs would have walked away with the victory, but it hit home with one wound left. After that it was an up-hill struggle for the Dwarfs. Second, Balin's attempt to slay the troll had everything going his way... except the dice. Bad luck left the old Dwarf vulnerable and the troll still standing. Finally, Oin versus Durburz. A title fight like no other which could have massively swung the game in Rob's favour. With the Goblin King out of the way, his followers would soon start fleeing as their numbers started to dwindle. The Shamans would hold the line for a while, but not to the same degree that Durburz did. An honourable mention must go to the Goblin drummers as well. The Drum's effect on combats throughout the game allowed me to win a LOT more fights than I would have normally. Rob worked hard to get rid of it, but it was too little too late.

Once again the Goblins have made the Dwarfs pay for their trespassing and the next chapter will be written in just as much Dwarf blood as the previous. Until next time....

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I Have A Cave Troll!

... Well I will have a cave troll at some point. Or maybe a battle troll, not sure how I want to finish this next sculpt off just yet. From humble wired beginnings, this has bulked out into another sculpt that I'm really having fun with.

Trying new techniques and playing with new details has really allowed me to grow my skills. I think the first head has been my most entertaining experiment so far. It took several sessions to complete and I've since begun work on an alternative head sculpt (possibly armoured)

I made a few concept sketches a while back to try and figure out some designs I liked. with what I have so far, I may build armour plates and alternative weapon options to make some real variety in what a person could do with the kit.

Also of note this week. A mjor update on the Age of Savagery Project. Deadlines have been called and we've had most of the promised submissions delivered. Several short stories, comics and illustrations have been gathered so far and the few still being waited on are looking very impressive. To further add to the pile of completed work, I've finished my own submission so I'll leave you with a sneaky preview.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Collecting the Final Pieces

Not much done worth showing visuals for this week, but I assure I have been busy. The work on Age of Savagery is getting to that stage where the Editors (myself and Kev) are getting nervous, but so far everyone is still on track for completion deadlines.

We've gathered some serious talent around us for this project and I must say the artists and writers have done some exceptional work. They have taken the original brief and made it their own. The world of Genodd will have some real legends come September.

I'll leave you with a few snippets of things to come, first is the a preview of my last page.... sooooo close to finishing the art, then it's just the wordy bit that needs doing.

Unrelated, I've been working on a Balrog.

Also, another artist preview for Age of Savagery from Jaye Seagrim. Give this guy a look HERE!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

After the Hobbit (part1)

Decided to dig out my LOTR stuff this week and after a chat with Rob from a little while back we arranged to play some narrative missions. The task involved a little fore thought on my hobby purchase, but but there are some things I've been itching to buy for a while now (more on that later).

So with models tallied up we began playing a series of missions that retold Balin's expedition to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Moria. Following on from his semi-successful reclamation of Erebor (Death of Thorin would put a bit of a mark on the affair) Balin sets out with Ori, Oin and a host of brave Dwarf warriors to try and kick a bunch of pesky Goblin squatters out of his ancestral home.


The first encounter was a small affair. Balin and a band of  warriors, commanded by Rob, would need to get a foot hold within Moria's Eastgate. A relatively easy task as the goblin guards had grown comfortable in their dominion of the area, but as the self proclaimed Goblin King, I was going to make Rob pay in Dwarf casualties as best I could. 

Rob only needed to get Balin and four other models through the gate to secure a victory so understandably, his early turns involved clearing the goblins awarded "speed bump" duty whilst I ran the archers towards the gate to summon reinforcement. When the fighting broke out however things took an unexpected turn. The goblins made a daring ambush on Balin's company, slaying several heavily armoured Khazad Guard and even wounding Balin himself! 

Enraged by the hurt dealt to their leader, the Dwarves pushed the Goblin ambushers back against the rocks and made the little blighters pay for for their actions. Meanwhile, the Goblin archers were a stones throw away from the gate. A few Dwarf scouts had taken up position either side of the gate to try and shoot down the messengers, but their archery proved useless. By shear good luck, the Goblins sounded the alarm.

Seeing the Goblins spilling from the gate, Balin ordered his troops to advance. Quickly finishing the the last of the Goblin guards (bar one Goblin that did a runner) the battered Khazad Guard formed up and marched on the Eastgate of Moria.

The Dwarf scouts had stuck their neck out too far. The sudden rush of Goblin reinforcements caught them off guard and the scouts were quickly cut down.

The scouts, out numbered were in serious trouble, but Balin was having none of it. He had lost too many of his kinsfolk and marched with all haste towards the Goblin mob. The follow melee was brutal and put the Dwarves in higher spirits as their axes avenged every fallen comrade. With their numbers dwindling the Goblins began to lose all stomach for the fight.

Balin had tallied too long at the gate. Though the Goblins were now in retreat and his forces were horribly bloodied, Balin ordered the survivors into caverns. As the Dwarves once again entered Moria a loan Goblin Captain watched with hate filled eyes. It looked like interesting times had returned to Moria....


Rob took victory, but I made him pay for it. The nature of the campaign meant that Rob's actions would have consequences in the final battle and this game had CONSEQUENCES. Rob tried to bully his way into Eastgate by taking ALL of the Khazad Guard he had for the campaign and through luck, Goblin sneakiness and empty threats I'd killed TEN and put a wound on Balin! Though Balin would heal up in time for the next mission, those Khazad Guard would not. Rob only has two left on his roster.... wonder if I can finish the job.

There will be a bit of a hiatus between missions for this, so part 2 will likely be posted next month. Don't worry, I'll be posting other things in the mean time. Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

New Rules: Making Shrapnel Evil(er)

A quick post today, partly to try and get myself into the habit of posting regularly again. So on that note, a new edition of 40K hit the shelves a few weeks back and I've finally had time to sit down, grab a beer and a bucket o' dice and play. Once again, thanks to Gaz for stepping into the ring, Let's see if a new edition can do anything to to help his losing streak against me.

I took my Orks to the field (nothing new) just to get a feel for the rules and see how the boyz would fair. Gaz turned up with something new: Deathwatch Marines! I'd not had the pleasure of facing this army before so I was not sure what they could do. They were only Marines though, so how bad could they be?

There were four objectives to play for and we had a fairly well covered board to play with. First turn went to Gaz who simply advanced with his Assault Marines to capture the objective nearest him and then tried to get everyone else into a good firing position.

My First turn was a bit more exciting. With the Assault Marines sitting just in front of them, the Ork mob was not going to pass this chance to cause some damage. The charge was slow going and meant only a few Orks made contact.

But the follow up was brutal!

Now... this is where things started to go wrong. My Kommandos tried to do the sneaky thing, but in the face of five shotguns loaded with buck-shot 'n' fire it was not a successful plan.

The Trukk Boyz on the the other flank didn't fair much better either. Despite heavier armour the Marines pulled out the frag cannons and the same thing happened, but on a heavier scale.

So.... to summarize, we played 3 turns and I feel the result can be summed up in one photo

Yeeaaah, those Deathwatch special weapons are nasty. Although we only playeed a handful of turns, everything got a chance to get involved. The new rules are easier to pick up and the game over all is much quicker. That said, I do need to change up my tactics so I'll be adding some heavy fire power and some dreads in the near future.

Cheers to Gaz again and well done on beating me at long last. next time it'll be a different story I think.