Saturday, September 19, 2020

Since Gencon Online ... catching up

It has been a bad month and a half for blogging, and a rather middling one for hobbies.  Hence, I have decided to go ahead and catch up on what has been happening lately.  

Inspired by Gencon, my brother was kind enough to run a Chaos Wars game on the 8th of August, with Ral Partha elves vs. orcs.  Run remotely from his house, I took the elves, and for the first time in a number of remote games, the home player (i.e. NOT me) won the game.  Chaos Wars makes a reasonable remote game; it doesn’t involve a lot of units (usually) and it’s not too fussy about geometry.

(Screen capture from my iPad near the start of the 8 August Chaos Wars game)

It was my turn to host a game the following weekend, and Ross Macfarlane and Norman, my older son, took command of my collection of 40mm home cast Renaissance figures for an “imagi-nations” Civylle Stryfe in Ardenn game.  We used Scenario 22 from C.S Grant and Stuart Asquith’s Scenarios for All Ages.  Without actually looking it up, it’s called something like “Best of a bad lot”, and involves a tired column running into an army in camp, so that neither side would have chosen to fight under the circumstances.  

Ross ended up with the column, as Duke Frederick (the usurper; see As You Like It, by the historian Shakespeare), and Norman ended up with the camp (the loyalists, commanded by Italian soldier of fortune Mercutio). We were trying out a new variation of the Rough Wooing home rules designed for 40mm home cast figures using 1 stand = 1 company of ~100 men.  This turned out to be fussier than expected, and perhaps need a few more tweaks. On top of that, it was not a scenario we’d tried with these troops, so my attempt to implement the scenario conditions and impose a mechanical penalty for the tired attackers was perhaps too much.  So, a reasonable game, but it could have been better.  As the central gamemaster in a remote game, I ended up too busy following both sides’ orders to take as many pictures as I would have liked.

The camp’s defenses (to the right) have formed up to meet the Usurper’s tired troops

Screen capture from the central game server...

Theat wasn’t a bad weekend for games; I also finally set up and played a Dragon Rampant scenario generated by my solo campaign, which had been awaiting resolution for several months.  The nice thing about a solo campaign is that the opponent doesn’t get bored while waiting for the next move to be resolved.

I used some orcs borrowed from Norman and some of my general purpose fantasy/medieval 1/72 scale figures to resolve an encounter out on the eastern borders of the human kingdom of Darmis. I ran the “Into the Valley of Certain Death” scenario from the rule book, in which both sides have stumbled into some inhospitable territory.  In this case, I considered it to be an area of traps left by the elves, who are happy to wear down either or both parties.

The board is supposed to have 50% of the area covered in scenery, and any unit entering a terrain feature for any reason takes hits.  The units were, for the most part, able to maintain control and stay out of danger, so I was glad to be playing solo. I don’t think that it would have been too much fun as a regular two (or more) player game.

Captain of the Darmish forces (upper right) faces off against two companies of orcs

Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad way to while away a pandemic era afternoon, and the path was clear to resolve the next month in the campaign.

Norman provided the fourth (and final) game of the month on the 30th.  He has been working on various Bronze Age DBA armies, so we tried out his Sea Peoples (a new army to us) against the Egyptians. We played two sessions, because my Egyptians were quickly smashed by the Sea peoples in the first session, and I wanted to see it it was bad luck, or whether my plan was flawed, so we just did a partial reset back to the starting positions.  In DBA terms both armies are “Littoral”,  which gives them the option of an amphibious landing on their first turn.  We both reserved troops for this; switchin up the actual landing locations for the two games.  I lost the second game as well, though by a somewhat smaller margin, but I am nevertheless forced to conclude that my plan was probably fatally flawed. 😕 

There hasn’t been a game yet this month, so that’s it for recent games.

I’ve gotten a little bit of painting done.  Inspired by Gencon, I painted two more relatively random figures for my proposed Urban Fantasy game:

Leon is a Reaper Bones Chronoscope figure, rebased, and Lucia is a Hero Forge custom figure.  She’s a fae character of some sort, with faun legs and big ears, though dressed in imported human styles.  That’s hoof polish, by the way, not pink slippers.

The next time I sat down with a brush, I ended finishing up a stand of Hordes of the Things “beasts” for the Portable Fantasy Campaign, consisting of a Caesar Miniatures elf sorceress...

... and two Reaper Bones “saprolings” as tree creatures of some sort.  This is the second (of two) of these stands.  The first was finished back in March.  

For my most recent micro-project, I stayed with the 1/72 scale fantasy theme with some baggage and a camp follower/NPC.  While cleaning up recently, I found a group of figures I had washed prior to priming some months ago.  Included in the group was a small flock of sheep, which I had started when I did a campaign battle last October, for which I had needed three baggage train items for an escort mission.  I had two, and filled in the third with a mounted Maid Marian from the Airfix Robin Hood set.  The sheep are from the Pegasus farm animals set. I decided after I had started them that I wanted a shepherd of some sort, so another Robin Hood set figure was drafted for the purpose.  For figures the Plastic Soldier Review lists as having been released in 1964, they hold up very well considered alongside some of the modern manufacturers.  The pregnant woman came from the Linear-B/Strelets Roman transport set.  The review notes that her costume isn’t particularly accurate for Roman times, but she fits right in to the generic fantasy themed collection.

I’ve got several things on the painting desk this weekend, so I shall hope to finish something tomorrow.  I have been using the desk as my work at home space, and I will need to be cleared off again by 7:30AM on Monday.



  1. Amazing the variety of figures available in 1/72. These all look great.

  2. While I would prefer not to, if I had to limit to one scale, 1/72 is what I would choose...