Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Workbench Update: More Fantasy Impetus Progress

Today, Marc and I decided to pool our Impetus enthusiasm by getting together to work on our 28mm fantasy armies. I plugged away at a batch of 20 Goblin Spearmen while Marc worked on a unit of High Elf Knights.

I admit, however, that I did get sidetracked into painting my goblin general and his pet squig. Most of the army is going to be garbed in black so I decided to select a few characters and to really make them pop with some contrasting colours. When this model gets nestled in amongst his black-clad brethren he should really stand out.

On another note, some of GW's design choices I'll never really understand. For example, why (and how) is this guy holding up (yet alone wielding) a blade that is as big as his body? Goblin enthusiasm I guess.

Marc brought along a couple of units of Elf Spearmen that he had recently based. There was some talk of Warhammer a couple of years back but it never really materialized. I think they look much better based for Impetus.

With any luck I'll steal another hour or so today and forge ahead with the Goblin Spearmen. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Workbench Update: Warhammer Goblins for Impetus

Life has been busy as of late but I have managed to get my Fantasy Impetus Goblin army off the ground. Some of you may recall that I had painted a Chaos Knight test model a while back. I was pleased with the results but the models are just so darn busy that I had a hard time getting inspired by them. For the time being I've laid them aside and moved onto the Skull Pass Goblins that Ken gave me a while back. Here's the first unit of Spearmen (FL) all ready for basing. I've given them the same stat line as the historical Welsh Spearmen.

As you can see, I'm going with a pretty simple approach. The only area of the models that I've giving a proper series of highlights is the green skin.

Here's a Goblin Hero. Independent characters are based with half the usual frontage (i.e. 6cm instead of 12cm).

Monsters are also based with 6cm frontage. I'm giving this Troll the Continuous Charge and Flammable rules.

The current state of the painting table. I hope to move through everything you see here (in addition to spider riders and wolf riders) pretty quickly. I'm aiming to have the bulk of the army finished before Xmas.

Marc is currently working on his High Elves and Chris has already made an impressive start on his Skaven. I think we'll start playing sometime over the Xmas holidays. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Curse of the Dertflinghans: Chapter Nine


25 April. The Old Graveyard of Dertflinghan - We set out from Dertflinghan yesterday on the East road towards the Old Graveyard. In hindsight, it would have been wiser to wait until today and leave at first light, but as soon as the the scrap of the nun's journal was found, Mannleigh insisted on heading out straight away. After seeing his dogged determination I saw that argument would be futile, so we packed up and headed down the road as fast as we were able. We were accompanied by Sister Benedicta's bodyguard Hugo Forst. Although a little on the boastful side for my tastes, he does seem able to handle himself in a tight spot and will hopefully be an asset to our cause.

By the time we reached the graveyard the sun was already beginning its descent. The darkness replaces the light so quickly in this land. It is most unnatural.

The Austrians moved along the perimeter.

Ms. Poundwood caught sight of a crumbling statue and the ground at its base showed signs of recent excavation. Upon closer examination she discovered the grisly remains of a body in the fresh earth. I noticed that it showed signs of being recently defiled with bite and claw marks all over. Weapons were readied.

Just as we were making this discovery, I was startled from my examination by Rutter's bark. He and his master were running down the main path towards some advancing figure in the gathering darkness. Within seconds I heard the resonating sound of Mannleigh's battle cry. Any chance at a stealthy approach was lost. Mannleigh is a great friend for whom I hold the greatest respect, but in truth, his impulsiveness can be most vexing.

It was then that Ms. Poundwood, Hugo, and myself became aware of more figures in the advancing darkness. It seemed that we would have to fight our way to the mausoleums then.

Judging by the shouts and sounds of rifle fire coming from the other end of the graveyard, it was obvious that our Austrian allies were not without their own problems.

As the others were becoming embroiled in a bitter conflict with the creatures of the night, I decided to take a different kind of action. Seeing that Mannleigh had gained the upperhand against the demonkin with whom he was engaged, I ran to the mausoleum entrance behind him and, finding the doors locked, used as much force as I could muster to gain access. The doors fell open and a blast of musty foul air shot out of the dark chamber. In a moment, Mannleigh was beside me with sword drawn and out of breadth. A thin ray of moonlight shone into the interior and revealed a staircase going down into the earth. This was to be no easy search then.

We headed down into the catacombs with nothing but a flickering torch and the brave Rutter to guide our feet.

Then, without warning, a foul creature shot out of the darkness and I can honestly say that it took all three of us to send the thing scampering away with its tail between its legs (so to speak).

At the far end of the gallery I could just make out a dark shape hovering over a sarcophagus, pulling its contents out in a most horrifying fashion. If I ever survive this expedition, I can say with some certainty that the images of these vampiric children shall haunt my dreams and I fear that I shall never again know a peaceful night.

As I stood for a moment in my reverie, transfixed by the colossal grandeur of the mighty tomb, Mannleigh had charged into the darkness, aware of some hidden figure that I could not detect. I heard a clashing of swords and, judging by the bloodcurdling scream that followed, Mannleigh must have dealt the creature a crippling blow. (He told me later that, after impaling it on his sword, the foul thing dissipated into a damp mist right before his eyes)

With the head vampire defeated, the rest of the creatures seemed to disappear into the night. We found our companions on the surface no worse for wear and wasted no time in getting to the task at hand. We descended back into the earth, and after a thorough search, found that the various mausoleums provided access to the same sprawling catacombs beneath. It was a hellish job, searching through the remains of those sarcophagi, even more so thanks to the work of generations of vampires and ghouls, but our horror reached its height when we opened the eastern-most sarcophagus.

As the lid fell away, it was obvious that the corpse was relatively fresh and certainly couldn't be the original occupant of the sarcophagus. Furthermore, his horrible posture and extended arms showed that he had been sealed in while still alive. Upon closer examination I noticed a few lines of text scratched in the underside of the sarcophagus lid. It read:
The weight of those few lines hit the party with the force of a tidal wave. If the letter that brought us to this land was written under false pretenses, who could have been behind it and what could their purpose have been in leading Mannleigh to this cursed place? The dead man's warning causes my thoughts to go out to Sister Benedicta. Mannleigh agrees and we have decided to head back to Dertflinghan at first light - RA.

Game Talk:

It's been a while since the last installment, mostly because I had mentioned in The Hand of the Almighty that Mannleigh and his companions were heading to the Old Graveyard and I had to finish (i.e. start) making the catacombs. As you can see from the picture below, I painted a tile for each mausoleum and then a collection of random dungeon tiles. These will match the cellar tiles from my buildings as well, so underground networks below towns will be possible as well.

The skull token marks a secret door (which nobody found).

The entrance to the catacombs from the largest of the mausoleums. The statues are made from wood blocks, cardboard, and a couple of old Warmaster models I had lying around.

The columns are the easiest (and the most effective in my opinion). They are wine corks glued to round plastic bases and painted to match the floors.

The sarcophagi were made from card and styrofoam. The "ornamental" pieces on the top are cheap hinges from wooden boxes (the ones I made Grunberg's Asylum out of, in fact). I knew I saved them for a reason.

The game was a modified Seek & Find scenario. Using my new furniture house rules, characters could search the four sarcophagi, statue in the graveyard, pool, and the chest for a total of seven possible objective finds. At the end of the scenario, 1 VP was awarded to the warband that found the most objectives and 1 VP to the warband that ended with the most objectives. Ms. Poundwood found one in the pool.

Lyleth escaping with her objective at the end of the game.

During the last round of the game, we were tied for VP's since we each had found and held two objectives and the head vampire was alive. However, when Mannleigh delivered the killing blow to the Count he took one of the objectives AND killed a Master of Evil, all in one move. Bastard.

Found most objectives (1 VP) - 2 each, neither player
Held most objectives at game's end (1 VP) - Monster Hunters
Capture Female Victim (1 VP) - n/a
Kill Master of Evil (1 VP) - Monster Hunters

2 VP Monster Hunters
0 VP Romanian Vampires
= major victory for Monster Hunters

In other news, Jordin has ordered the models for his Nosferatu warband so we now officially have four players for Chaos in Carpathia in our group. Can you say "tournament?"

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chaos In Carpathia Battle Report - Jordin's First Game

So there's Marc (Mad Doctor & Creations), Chris (British Monster Hunters) and Yours Truly (Hungarians Hunters, Werewolves, Romanian Vampires). However, in the fairly near future there will be a fourth player in our CinC group.

Jordin came to the group earlier this year from a WH40k background to join in on our Warmachine gaming. After some exposure to CinC, he asked for a learning game (which I was only too happy to provide) and walked away an instant fan of the game, ready to procure models for a warband.

Scenario: Seek & Find

The center of the table was dominated by a church
on one side of the road and a graveyard on the other.

Warbands: Romanian Vampires (Jordin) vs. Hungarian Monster Hunters (me)

Special Events: None, but we tried out my new Indoor House Rules (see below)

With five objectives at-large (four in buildings, one in the graveyard), the race was on to (a) find and (b) retain the majority of the objectives. There were also VP's to be awarded for killing a Master of Evil (the head vampire) and protecting/capturing the Female Victim (Ms. Grunberg). After it was all said and done, there were many casualities, but only a minor victory to the Monster Hunters (Which didn't actually count since Jordin wasn't clear on one of the victory conditions... my fault)
The Hunt:

Some members of the vampire warband advanced towards the church with the hopes of thwarting the hunters while their companions were in the two buildings on their half of the table searching for objectives.

The Vampire Lucretia (blue dress, previous photo) used Shape of the Beast to transform and then charged towards the terrified Ernst Holdt. Unfortunately, after rolling an AGILITY goal roll, Jordin didn't roll any successes (he only needed one) so the charge ended at the fence. You can also see Hester in the background (green dress), a Vampire Acolyte who is shown here after successfully finding one of the objectives in the building behind her.

This series of photos shows the altercation that took place behind the church. After failing her charge, Lucretia turned back into her vampire form and charged into the Slayer Helmut Von Krumm. After an exchange of blows, Helmut (with the help of the Hungarian hounds) defeated the diminutive vampire and moved up to the fence where he dispatched the Vampire Acolyte Bella as well. Things were clearly going well for the monster hunters on this flank.

The fight on the other side of the road was another story. Bjorn charged into Count Brechtenstein and Hester. His chopped down Hester but the Count retaliated with a fatal counter-attack.

After defeating Bjorn, the Count charged into combat with Hungarian Slayer Lazlo the Wanderer (who had just failed to find the objective in the sarcophagus). The fight ended poorly for Lazlo, leaving the Count free to search the sarcophagus for himself.

The Objectives:

While the battle raged in the center of the table, members of both warbands were busily scouring the table for the hidden objectives necessary for victory. Lyleth flew towards the sarcophagus early in the game and transformed into a vampire. Unfortunately, she failed to locate the objective and doubled back in search of another one.

The vampire's despicable human servant, Dolf, moved back to hide from Ernst and his crossbow. Thanks to the Pack Mule ability, Dolf is able to carry items that exceed his STRENGTH limitation without incurring a movement penalty. Jordin put this to good use by having Hestor "pass" her objective to Dolf for safe-keeping before she headed into the fray.

Lyleth (it was clearly not her day) also failed to find this objective. In a surprise attempt, Dolf (with a feeble MIND score of 2) rolled two successes and found the second objective for the vampires. He was now carrying both of the vampires' objectives. As a human, he was also allowed to search the cupboard. He did so but, with a D6 roll of 1, found nothing.

The good Dr. Grunberg spent the entire game inside this tiny cottage. After making it to the door in the cellar, he was unlucky enough to roll a "6" for the door's condition (meaning it was locked). It took a little doing for the old fella to kick the door in (and a couple of FATE Points as well). Of course, with MIND:4 and Scholar x3, he found the hidden objective easily.

Protecting Emmalina Grunberg:

My Expedition Leader, Count Konrad Von Krumm, was the guardian of my Female Victim, Emmalina Grunberg. He had to keep her within six inches at all time and as far away from monsters as possible. The Count also has MIND:3 and Scholar x1 so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone by sending him off to find an objective in the undercroft of the church and then using the enclosed space to keep Ms. Grunberg out of harm's way.

The Count and Ms. Grunberg descended the staircase after which the Count had no problem finding the objective behind the door.

Since he was down here anyway the Count searched the bookcase and rolled four successes. He learned something of value about his enemy. In game terms, he could re-roll one ATTACK or DEFENSE goal roll against the vampires this game.

While rummaging about below the church, the Count was unaware of Lyleth sniffing around outside. As a vampire, she had to pass a TN:3 RESOLVE roll to enter the church (which she did).

Lyleth made it to the bottom of the stairs and, later that turn, Helmut Von Krumm successfully detected her and charged from the main floor down the stairs. Lyleth suffered a savage blow from Helmut's sword.

The Count, after ordering Ms. Grunberg to stay hidden, charged in to help his son. His knife found its mark and the child vampire went down.

At this point in the game (the last turn) it was up to the Count Brechtenstein. To recap, the Hungarians had two objectives, the Vampires had two objectives, the Master of Evil had not been killed, and Ms. Grunberg was still safe. The final unclaimed objective was in the sarcophagus. The Count rolled four dice (i.e. MIND:4) and needed two successes to find the objective. He only rolled one, however, and the game ended then and there in a bitter draw.

Result: Draw

First of all, what great fun we had trying out my new Indoor/Furniture rules. They were especially helpful in dealing with doors, windows, stairs, and trapdoors/ladders. We also did a little searching, and it was neat to see how less combat-oriented characters could still be quite useful in a game where fighting is typically the focus.

After re-reading the scenario victory conditions, I noticed that 1 VP goes to the warband who "holds the Female Victim" at the end of the scenario. We never realized this when we were playing, so I discounted that VP, hence the draw. Outcomes aside, the real winner here was our Gothic Horror group. With Jordin jumping on board we shall be four-strong. That means two games running consecutively or perhaps a larger team game in the near-ish future.

In any event, I will have the interiors and furnishings for my crypts painted in time for the next game night so, with any luck, we'll be able to pick up the Curse of the Dertflinghans campaign where we left off, with the Mannleigh expedition heading towards the Old Graveyard.

Thanks for reading,