Monday, January 25, 2010

Workbench Update: Dertflinghan Begins

One of the projects I plan to complete this year is a 28mm Gothic Horror gaming environment. As some readers are aware, I've recently painted a werewolf band to use with the Chaos In Carpathia skirmish ruleset. However, as with my Legends of the Old West project last year, painting the models is only the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to an adventure gaming project, I like to create the world itself, and therefore put as much (or more) effort into terrain-making as I do into the model-painting. After a number of false starts since Xmas, I finally started rolling with it and painted my first Eastern European building.

The building is from Hovels in the UK. I was disheartened at first as I was sent a fairly messy batch of buildings. Half of them were clogged with resin residue, and in a couple of cases, I had to use a high-speed tool to clean out the clogged areas and use green stuff to re-sculpt the window frames. Now that the buildings are cleaned and primed, the work begins, and I'm hoping to moved through most of this rather quickly. As you can see, there is nothing fancy about the paint job, but there's only so much you can do with a log cabin in the transylvanian wilderness.

The rest of the buildings are primed and ready to go. Now that the test building is finished, I hope to paint them during this week.

I made a ton of these split-rail fences one evening while I was watching a movie and procrastinating from painting miniatures. Three posts made from thick matchsticks are glued to a Popsicle stick, and a couple of days later, I weaved through the posts with a thin wicker-type reed that was part of a Xmas flower arrangement that my wife was about to throw out. Now that they're primed I'll paint them the same colour scheme as the buildings.

The barrels also came from Hovels. I used the high-speed hand tool to remove the vegetables from the two smallest barrels and used green stuff to "fill" them with water.

These pieces of mat were recent hand-me-downs from Marc. He had them leftover after a recent building project so I stuck them to thick card bases and sanded them. When I base them up I think that they'll make serviceable fields for lots of different 28mm games in the group.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my progress and to prove that I haven't fallen completely into inactivity. Before long we'll be sharing our blood-curdling adventures as the Mannleigh expedition sets off to solve a forgotten family mystery in the cursed hamlet of Dertflinghan.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Impetus Battle Report - Rene the King, Rene the Fool

After driving the Italians from the area surrounding his camp, Stockwood decided to make the hilly uplands near the Swiss border his primary staging point for further raids into Prosciutto's territory.

In the meantime, his current employer and sponsor, Rene of Provence (made over-confident by Stockwood's recent victory) decided to make his first shipment through the lands recently liberated by the mercenary general and his army... without consulting Stockwood before setting out!

As the small wagon train of merchants crossed the north-western Milanese countryside, mercenary outriders galloped into Stockwood's camp with alarming news. The arrogant Prosciutto had rallied his forces quickly after his recent defeat and was only a day's march from the defenseless caravan. Stockwood sent Rodger and the cavalry to form a rearguard and then followed with the infantry in an attempt to block the Italians in their pursuit. He hoped to give the French carters time to vacate the danger zone and to escape with both their goods and their lives intact.

The Battlefield:

When Stockwood and the infantry arrived, Rodger had already deployed the cavalry and was ready to engage the enemy. The Italians advanced as the mercenary archers formed-up.

The Battle:

The mercenary infantry held back with arrows at the ready as the Milanese advanced towards them.

While skirmishing broke out in the nearby woods, Rodger and Etienne led the cavalry around the tree line after a scout reported Italian cavalry riding round towards their flank.

Etienne and his men-at-arms fought hard but pulled back over the hill just in time to leave the Giovanni and his men in the open. In an instant, Rodger and his knights came crashing into their flank...

...and sent the survivors fleeing for their lives. Giovanni himself suffered a nasty leg wound from Rodger's sword thrust and screamed many insults in Italian as he galloped away.

Meanwhile, the Italian infantry were advancing carefully under the threat of arrows and Beauregard's knights.

The longbowmen unleashed countless waves of arrows upon the Italian militia. Serious damage was caused to the Italians, but a particularly determined group successfully charged Fenton Welsh and his band of archers. Long knives, clubs, and warhammers were drawn as bows were dropped to the ground.

In the end, Sir Giles Morton and his dismounted men-at-arms charged into join the fray. The Milanese were driven back once again.


According to eye witnesses, James Stockwood personally rode out to the merchant caravan the following morning and had harsh words with Daniel Gros, head carter and trademaster to King Rene. Meanwhile, the archer bands of the mercenary force began fortifying their position - digging trenches and constructing makeshift defenses. Apparently, their sponsor's money was still flowing and James Stockwood had no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon.

* * * * *

Another great game. Although it never came out in the story (i.e. I didn't get any good photos), Chris used his recently-finished artillery piece, and in both games he's used it, it has performed exceptionally well. The next time we play (next week), Chris will have finished painting his Familia Ducale and we will play our first 400-point game, and in doing so, take our 400-point medieval project to completion.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Geek Day Diary Entry #7: "Casual Gaming Day"

With Ken heading off on business travel for a month we bumped our January Geek Day back a couple of weeks. It also gave Keir an opportunity to get in for one more weekend of gaming before the west coast of the province becomes buried in snow. We weren't quite as organized as last time around, so we threw down and played it by ear.

Game One: 15mm Impetus Engagement

There were only five players scheduled for Warmachine & Hordes so I had volunteered to sit out for one game. Since Chris E. was coming to paint for the day, we decided to play a game of Impetus during my Warmachine downtime.

I won't go into detail on this one. I'll post a proper report within the next few days for the Impetus fans. Oh alright... here's a little teaser; the stalwart English archers saved the day.

Game Two: Jeremiah Kraye (Me) vs. Feora (Ken)

After a fortifying meal of Wendy's burgers and fries, we were all back at the game tables, and I found myself up against the wily Ken-oth of Menoth. He had shown up with a fairly infantry-heavy Feora list that included a full unit of Flameguard, Choir, and Knights Exemplar. I was trying out my warjack-heavy Kraye list, a caster who I've had little experience with. Although there was some confusion concerning the application of the cavalry rules to my warjacks, I did win the game. However, I did somewhat better during my feat turn than I should have, thanks to the aforementioned confusion, so I certainly wouldn't consider it a "true" win.

I attempted a refused flank deployment.

Feora led the warjack flank.

I fielded a large battlegroup consisting of a Lancer, Centurion, Ironclad, Defender, and a Sentinel.

I moved the Lancer into position to arc offensive spells, but I did very little damage to the entrenched Flameguard. I did succeed, however, in casting Pursuit on them. This meant that one member of my battlegroup could move in response to their movement.

The Menothian jack-wall moves up to support the infantry.

The heavy Cygnar warjacks were too late to save the Lancer from being mobbed by the TFG...

...and subsequently wrecked by the Guardian.

How things looked just before Kraye's Horsepower feat. For those who aren't familiar, Horsepower allows all of Kraye's warjacks to stand-up, face any direction, charge (for free) with +2" of movement, and make all melee attacks boosted for free.

Since the heavy warjacks make impact attacks just like heavy cavalry, each charging heavy took down a handful of Menoth infantry en route to their primary targets. I screwed up the execution of this rule, so it's unclear as to whether I could have actually accomplished the mass destruction in the way that I did.

Feora and her lackey's ended up in melee with the Centurion and wrecked it.

During my final turn, Kraye cast Full Tilt on the Defender (which started over on that wreck marker to your left) as well as Easy Rider so that it could ignore difficult terrain. I marched the Defender right over to Feora and finished her off.

Like I said earlier, I made a screw-up that effectively threw the outcome of the game. It was still fun, however, and I plan on playing Kraye more regularly so that I can learn some of the intricacies.

A Look Around the Room

We never did a particularly good job of managing our time, so as it turned out, we only played two games each. As usual, I tried to take some photos of the other guys' games throughout the day.

Keir's Everblight force moves through the ruins towards Marc's Cryx army.

Ken's Menoth charges Stu's Stryker-led Cygnar army.

Keir's Carnivean mixes it up with Chris H.'s Karvev the Terrible.

Marc unveiled his scratch-built cardboard building. The window is hand-painted and the thatched roof was laid down one layer at a time. Insanity!

Evening Entertainment

Since Keir stayed at my house during his weekend in St. John's, our gaming continued into the evening. First, we had a Warmachine match-up between his Khador force and my Cygnar list.

We then moved on to a Hordes smash-up between his Legion army and my Trollbloods. This one went late into the evening.

Both games were really fun, and I'm sure that Keir will be giving a fuller account on his blog in the near future. It was another all-out day of geekery from which I am still recovering. Next time around, we will be more organized and make sure to get in three games each.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Workbench Update: Town Planning

On the way home from work yesterday, I stopped into my parent's house to pick up my late Xmas gift - a set of five rural eastern European buildings from Hovels in the UK. As I had just finished painting my werewolf warband, the timing was impeccable. Before I started doing anymore work, I thought that I should lay things out to get a feel for what I'm trying to accomplish.

The town of Dertflinghan, minus a coat of paint.

I'm trying to use as many of my current pieces as possible - fences, walls, hedges, trees, and so on. I realize that it's not as visually-appealing as a sculpted board, but I'm just not in the mood to invest that kind of effort at the moment. I think that when all is painted it will look convincing enough.

I've noticed some places on a couple of buildings where the excess resin build-up is particularly bad. In the photo below, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be curtains or if it's just a resin clump. I'm hoping that a couple of hours of effort will see the buildings cleaned and ready for primer. I'm very open to suggestions.

What do I do with this? Suggestions?

The tiny hamlet still bears some remnants of the great town on whose
ruins it stands, such as this renaissance statue in the old town square.

I bought some barrels from Hovels as well and plan on making
some small terrain pieces to add some character.

This track leads out of town to the old graveyard. Although mostly
overgrown, the graves of long-dead citizens can still be seen.

I plan on making some individual grave pieces, as well as
a couple of ghosts to haunt the cemetery grounds.

The good villagers of Dertflinghan.

I plan on applying some of the lessons I learned during the Assumption, Oklahoma project. In short, this time round I will be creating a series of settings, almost like movie sets - The Hamlet of Dertflinghan, the Old Cemetery, the Forest Trail, the Abandoned Cabin, The Old Church Ruins - you get the idea. Most of them won't be too involved, but it will allow us to re-use common settings in a way that will hopefully reinforce the story. Time will tell, and you folks will be the judges.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The year is 1892; a shroud of darkness blankets the foothills under the Carpathian's long-reaching shadow. The Transylvanian forests seem to breed evil - not the evil that stems from human greed and selfishness, but a far more ancient evil than the designs of men could ever be credited with. Stalking nocturnal beasts roam this forsaken land. They hunt on the edge of human habitation, feasting on the flesh of those men foolish enough to embark by night from their sturdy huts into the vast gulf of blackness beyond.

In the vicinity of the forgotten hamlet of Dertflinghan, a monstrous lycanthrope known only as they Great Wolf stalks the night.

The vile Carpathian wolves are drawn to the savage beast.

Strangler and Blackmaw lead the pack on a hunt.

Bloodrunner, a true lone wolf, often hunts away from the safety of the pack.

Whitemane prowls at the forest's edge, looking down hungrily at the settlement below.

Painted By: Jason (aka JET)

Thoughts & Commentary:

I've never painted any gothic horror models before, but I've been reading the Chaos in Carpathia rules and plotting a horror project for some time now. The models are from Westwind's impressive Vampire Wars range, and so far I've been more than pleased with this company's offerings. The models are intuitive to paint and easy on the wallet, so you really can't go wrong.

The model's shown above will be used to field my starting Werewolf warband for Chaos in Carpathia. We will be using the unofficial warband add-on which expands the warband selection significantly to include such options as Gypsies, Nosferatu, and even Dr. Frankenstein and his creations. The werewolf list allows each werewolf (greater and lesser) to "purchase" up to three increases, so there's lots of room for customization. Expect more Gothic horror updates soon.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Warmachine Action: Stryker vs. Epic Deneghra

As neither Marc nor I could make it to Saturday geek night this weekend, we decided to get together and have a few games on Friday night instead. I had just finished painting the last couple of Stormguard models in my collection, so I was able to field Stryker with a full unit. I was hoping that with Arcane Shield running, as well as Stryker's Invincibility feat, I should be able to work my way into the heart of the Cryx force and tear it apart.

I moved the Stormguard out aggressively in my first turn. As mentioned above, they were protected by Arcane Shield, and I decided to save the feat for the following turn (which turned out to be a mistake).

Stryker held the flank with the Centurion and the Black 13th.

On Marc's second turn, the Deathjack charged out, killed a couple of Stormguard, and then proceeded to kill a couple of more by casting Hellmouth.

Then, Deneghra herself charged out, did some more killing, cast Hellmouth, and feated. During my next turn, none of my units could move and Deneghra was incorporeal. I essentially did nothing.

The mechanithralls charged in and pretty much finished off the remainder of the Stormguard on the next Cryx turn. Obviously, I should have feated on my first turn, but as it turns out, Marc had very little success with the rest of his turn. The bulk of my force was well intact.

This is where things stood at the beginning of my last turn. The Stormguard were essentially annihilated, but Deneghra, in spite of being in the midst of a mob of thralls, was not incorporeal.

After the Centurion advanced and cleared some mechanithralls out of the way, Stryker cast Earthquake and knocked down Denehgra and the remaining thralls.

Once she was knocked down, a combination of shots from the Journeyman Warcaster and a Gun Mage Captain Adept dropped Deneghra's wounds into the danger zone. The nearby Lancer finished her off easily. It was one of those games where I felt like I was losing until I started winning.

She's a caster that Marc is still learning, but even though he lost again, he was more fluid with her than the previous two games we played. As all Warmachine players know, mastering a new caster is only a matter of time and patience.

And the Fun Didn't End There...

Marc received enough 15mm models for Xmas to field a 400 point English army for Impetus. Since he is going down the medieval Impetus road, we decided to play a couple of 200 point games to whet the appetite. I used my Free Company units to field a small HYW English and HYW French armies.

Marc played the English while I led the French on a steady march into longbow fire. It's a tricky situation, and I'm not sure that I'd want to play a HYW French army as my main force. At a higher points level, I would include more generals, but in our small games I fielded only one general, which can be very challenging for an army with a Poor Command Structure.

Anyway, the important thing is that we played and that Marc enjoyed the games (which he won, by the way). Although, in my own defense, I almost won the second game :)

Thanks for reading,