Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fantasy progress for the day

In addition to finishing off some Saxons today, here seen with the flocking and final varnish coat, I also finished a handful of figures from my Bones stockpile.

The curious base to the right is a Reaper 77099 "Nightspecter". I'm thinking it might be used as an objective marker on the table (or a wall of skeletons).

The green lady was done up that way in acknowledgement that most people thought she looked like an alien due to manufacturing issues (one of a handful of problematic figures from Bones I).

The barbarian on the left was a speed painting exercise, at about at hour.

Dux Bellorum trial game

Originally posted in 2012--apparently updating the label brought it back to the top of the blog...

As I mentioned in my previous post, elder son Norman was home for the weekend.  I'd had a week to myself, and was ready for some company...After our casting marathon, we had dedicated Sunday afternoon to playing some sort of game.  I sgguested that we try Dux Bellorum, which I had picked up at Historicon.  The game uses elements of troops; basing is somewhat optional, but the usual WRG sized elements would work.  My massed Dark Ages armies on on two rank 80mm wide stands, so that's what we used.  The standard 32 point army yields about 8 stands in some mixture of companions (and the leader), nobles, lesser warriors and skirmishers.  We were playing at a remote location, so we had a limited selection of trade-outs.  Also, to keep things reasonable for a learning game, we limited strategems to one each.  I took "javelins", and Norman took "Experienced Warlord".  As it turned out, neither of them had any significant effect on the game.

Norman consults the rules

The mechanics of the game are fairly simple. Units may form groups with like units for movement. Movement is alternating. Combat involves throwing a number of dice for a target number based on the opposing unit's protection rating. My Viking Sea Raiders were mostly Warriors with a (d6) protection rating of 5 and throwing 6 dice; Norman's Saxons were Shieldwall with a protection of 6 and throwing 3 or 4 dice. A charging unit gets an extra die. Units can be pushed back if they take more hits than they give; if they are pushed up against an obstacle, they take extra hits. This did come into play in one corner of the field.

A rather rudimentary layout

Because of the remote location, and to keep the game simple, we used a very basic scenery set up.

My bravery roll for my first move

Units have to roll under their bravery to move; I got off to an inauspicious start...

Norman, as Athelstan the Overconfident, decided to advance into contact

The main mechanical peculiarity in the game is the use of Leadership Points. These LPs are allocated by the commander at the beginning of each turn, and can be used to cancel combat hits, add agression dice, or modify bravery rolls. Canceling hits felt like the most powerful use to us.

Norman impetuously pushed forward at the beginning. There didn't seem to be much ability or need to break off combats, so we stayed stuck in until combats finally resolved. He eventually took out my left and right flanks just as I finished off his center.

Looking bad on my right flank

5 cohesion points taken of 6; right down to the wire...

We probably missed a few rules; I intend to reread them now that I have an inkling of what they actually mean. Overall, though, it was fun, something like a DBA with the added LP mechanism making the clash of shieldwalls a little more interesting. We will play again...

More Dux Bellorum Saxons

These figures have been in process off and on for a couple of weeks, and yesterday I sat down at the painting desk and did something else entirely. This morning, though, I finished up the last two of these. As always, I'm playing around with the painting style to find something that doesn't emphasize the shortcomings of these homecast figures...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Clearing the desk the good way

I had some time to paint today while my SO was off to a chorus rehearsal. I've mentioned lately that I've been trying to go with the flow, so today it turned out that I started clearing the desk of some physically large fantasy pieces that have been occupying space for a couple of months. The griffin, the dragon, and the Cthulhoid thing, along with the lady with the two swords, are all Bones from the first Kickstarter. The wall and the thing clinging to it (a 'tentamuerte') are Dark Platypus pieces from the 2012 Tentacles and Eyeballs Kickstarter. Back to Dux Bellorum Saxons this week, I think...