Tuesday 31 January 2012

The Catachan Job Lot

A few years ago I picked up a job lot box of GW 40k Catachan figures for a bargain £20. I don't play 40k, but I like the generic, flexible style of the figures on the tabletop.

Recently though, Arabiansquire has become old enough to be left on his at our local gaming club on Saturday mornings (at his own request I should add), whilst unfortunate Dad has less interesting chores to do. He enjoys the whole club thing and is quite happy at the moment to play his own game on a spare table, sometimes roping someone in to play his own basic rules. But I though it would be good if he could play a proper game with someone, and as the kids in the club are attracted to Warhammer 40k I thought I'd see what I had in my Catachan box with regards to a workable force.

The previous owner had conveniently monikered the bases of the figures, so I've managed to roughly group squads together with the help of an older codex in the club library. So this is what I appear to have:

Infantry Command
1 x Officer
1 x Lasgun and  Commlink
 3 x flamer 

Infantry Squad #1
1 x SGT
5 x Lasgun
1 x Lasgun and Commlink
Missile Team
1 x flamer  

Infantry Squad #2
1 x SGT
7 x Lasgun
1 x Lasgun and Commlink
 1 x flamer  

Infantry Squad #3
1 x SGT
7 x Lasgun
1 x Lasgun and Commlink
 1 x flamer  

Command HQ
 1 x Officer
1 x Lasgun and Commlink
Standard Bearer (Lasgun)
 1 x flamer 
1 x Meltagun

Elite Veterans Squad
1 x SGT
4 x Lasgun
1 x Missile Team
 1 x flamer 
1 x plasma gun
2 x Meltagun

Spare: Heavy Bolter team

Not pictured: as a separate purchase I have 3 Sentinels.

From what I can tell the force looks legal enough (aside from 3 flamers in the Command) , but I seem to be left with a spare Heavy Bolter team. The codex I have (don't know if it's 4th or 5th Ed) adds up to just over 700 pts depending on minor options.

I suppose this should be enough to get started with, but any advice via the comments below would be gratefully accepted.

Monday 30 January 2012

SoBH Campaign 2 - Initial Warbands

The first Campaign was so much fun we decided to go again. This time however I wanted to get some other models from my lead pile on the table, so a fresh beastmen (with a hint of chaos) warband has been drawn up. Oh, and we've been joined by a third party now...

I'll just go over the initial warband compositions here, and do the first battle report in another post. As before I'll also create a campaign page (linked at the top of the blog) to follow the entire campaign trail.


Valgen Maest's Warband

Race: Dwarf
Territory: Bolkrak Holdfast - Hill Land River, Tundra, Open Plain Mountains.
Traits: Nocturnal.
Maximum Warband size: 16

  • Valgen Maest- Dwarf  Commander
    Points: 95, Quality 2+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Leader, Fearless.
  • Falster Vonlyr - Elite Warrior
    Points: 46, Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Short Move, Steadfast, Fearless
  • Harthic Snowbeard - Warrior
    Points: 34, Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Short Move 
  • Red Beastsplitter - Warrior
    Points: 34, Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Short Move
  • Ovthur Whurdar - Crossbowman
    Points: 24, Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Short Move, Medium Shooter
  • Rir Glaivesmasher - Crossbowman
    Points: 24, Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Short Move, Medium Shooter
  • Rangar Doomquarrier: Gunner (Blunderbuss)
    Points: 41, Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Short Move, Short Shooter, Blast


Johan's Beast Herd

Race: Beastmen/Chaos
Territory: Dark Forest.
Traits: Nocturnal.
Maximum Warband size: 16

  • Johan Tierpfleger - Human Leader
    Points: 60, Quality 3+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Leader
  • Torgor (Beastman 1)
    Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage
  • Kragos (Beastman 2)
    Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage 
  • Arax (Beastman 3)
    Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage
  • Sidern (Beastman 4)
    Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage
  • Jamwar (Young Minotaur)
    Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Dashing, Savage 
  • Xerton (Centaur Archer)
    Points: 75, Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Big, Savage, Long Move, Long Shooter


The Brave Companions of Kaleria

Race: Human
Territory: ?
Traits: ?

  • Maegor the Wicked of House Dagon - (Human Cavalry Leader)
    Points: 92, Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Leader
  • Sir Eddrick of house Meridia - (Crusader)
    Points: 44 , Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Paladin
  • Sir Tytos of house Meridia - (Crusader)
    Points: 44 , Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Paladin
  • Scruff - Fanatic Peasant
    Points: 29 , Quality 4+, Combat 2, Special Rules: Fearless, Gregarious, Steadfast
  • Sandor the Steady (In service to house Dagon) - Archer
    Points: 44 , Quality 3+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Shooter (Long)
  • AntiPaladin
    Points: 56 , Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Heavy Armour, Evil, Lethal vs Clerics

SoBH Campaign 1 - Dwarves vs Rats

All Creatures Rat and Small

This page is a base to catalogue my first fantasy "Songs Of Blades and Heroes" campaign with my gaming buddy MacSver. I have moved the campaign page to this post to make room at the top for the second campaign (so for those avid readers this isn't anything new, just a bit of re-organising)

The basic warband makeup is Dwarf vs Ratmen: Initial Warband Compositions.

Battle #1: First Blood in the Hill

Battle Aftermath:

Valgen Maest: 6 Victory Points, 1 Campaign Point
Blightvale Autho-RAT-y: 3 Victory Points

We'll deal with the Rats first, as it's a bit simpler. The thrower and fleeing warrior made a full recoveries, one of the rat swarms is injured and misses the next battle, but the other 2 casualties (Scout and swarm) are confirmed deceased. 15 Gold coins were gained following the defeat and whilst exploring the surrounding countryside an unusual looking boulder with a lock was found. Unfortunately the lock proved too difficult for the rats and they couldn't open it.

The dwarven crossbowman and the elite warrior succame to thier injuries and died. 40 gold coins were gained following the victory, but when searching the area the remaining crossbowman became feverous and will fight the next battle with an increased quality score.

Now things become complicated. Once the dust settled, it was realised that the dwarven leader had been played as a dwarven leader and not as a dwarven magic user as listed. The confusion came from the term "Leader" not being enough to get the bonus's, etc combined with our lack of match practice. In the end it made little real difference - no magic was used, the figure was only in the fringes of the battle, no real advantage was seeked or gained and we had fun.

Battle #2: Blood On The Frozen Tundra

So MacSver has used all his cash and points and rejigged Valgen Maest to be the Dwarven Commander he was meant to be from the core book rosters:
  • Valgen Maest: DWARF COMMANDER 95 Pts
    Quality 2+, Combat 4Short Move, Leader, Fearless:
Battle Aftermath:

Valgen Maest: 3 Victory Points, 1 Campaign Point
Blightvale Autho-RAT-y: 2 Victory Points

Running CP Total: Dwarves 2, Rats 0

  • Dwarf: The cavalry-dwarf and his bear died of their wounds.
  • Rats: All make full recovery
  • The Dwarves 60 Gold for winning. In the aftermath the warband came across a caravan of traders and managed to trade and extra 20 Gold. (total 80 gold)
  • The Ratmen managed to scavenge 25 gold after the battle (loser income + underdog bonus). On their scuttle away they happened on another strange looking boulder with a lock on it, but again couldn't open it. (total 25 gold)

Battle #3 Target in the Trees

MacSver had been busy spending his hard earned cash from the second battle. A Healing potion was purchases to give his Elite warrior a little backup, and two new recruits arrived in the camp - A crossbowman and a magic user:

  • Klob Garathal: CROSSBOWMAN (Chainmail, Crossbow) 24 Pts
    Quality 4+, Combat 3
    Short Move, Medium Shooter
  • Delgar Faderg: MAGIC-USER; (dagger) 41 Pts
    Quality 4+, Combat 3
    Short Move, Magic-user

Battle Aftermath:

Valgen Maest: 0 Points
Blightvale Autho-RAT-y: 1 Campaign Point

Running CP Total: Dwarves 2, Rats 1

  • Dwarf: The Thief suffered a serious wound, so will be out for the next battle (but back to full strength after that), whilst the magic user is permanently "Not All There", so his quality is worsened by one.
  • Rats: No casualties
  • The Dwarves accrued 1d6 x 5 Gold for for their efforts.On their way back home they happened on a strange looking boulder with a lock on it (and probably lots of frustrated rat claw scratches surrounding it) , but couldn't open it.. (total ?? gold)
  • The Ratmen managed to scavenge 50 gold after the battle. Whilst exploring the area they happened upon an old Watchtower, which they made theirs (+1 to initiative rolls at the game start/setup). (total 50 gold)

With several of the combatants reaching the "magical" 3 experience points there were quite a few improvements made for this battle.

The improvements in the rats were mostly pretty basic - boosting their Combat score to try and compete with more powerful dwarven opponents. The Swarm master, though, had managed to train a swarm to carry him aloft, and he gained the mounted skill (via the buy-a-mount-and-half-the-skill-cost loophole). Magic user also joined the ranks, with the hope that some Transfixing way also help the toe-to-toe battles.

MacSver went for the more subtle approach of improvement to his experienced warriors. Free Disengage for his best warriors and fearless for his longest standing standard warrior. Some extra oomph was also added to the ranged section of the warband with an improved quality for one crossbowman and a new recruit by way of a javelin wielding skirmisher.

Battle Aftermath:

Valgen Maest: 0 Victory Points
Blightvale Autho-RAT-y: 2 Victory Points. 1 Campaign Point

Running CP Total: Dwarves 2, Rats 2

  • Dwarf: The 2 crossbowmen died of their wounds. The Skirmisher had a serious wound that will keep him out of the next battle.
  • Rats: No casualties.
  • The Dwarves searched around and found 30 gold (and bagged an additional 40 as an underdog bonus): 70 total.
  • The Ratmen looted 60 Gold.
  • Neither warband had any results during the exploration phase.
Battle #5: Hold the Ground

With the rat tactics being to outnumber the enemy, two new warriors were added to the warband. The second Elite Warrior joined the ranks of the Dwarves, along with a replacement crossbowman. the Thief was back from his convalescing period.
Battle Aftermath:

Valgen Maest: 2 Victory Points - Win by slaughter!
Blightvale Autho-RAT-y: 7 worthless Victory Points

Running CP Total: Dwarves 3, Rats 2

  • Dwarf: The crossbowmen fully recovered from his rat bites.
  • Rats: The leader recovered, but the rat shaman, experienced warrior and a swarm are gone for ever.
  • The Dwarves searched around and found 40 gold.
  • The Ratmen looted 30 Gold.
  • Exploration was a bit more eventful this week. The dwarves stumbled upon an Eldritch Graveyard. Whilst poking about for any valuables "left behind" the unhappy dead spirits rose and attacked. The thief became injured and will be suffering a reduction in quality for the next battle. In the confusion of the retreat, the ratmen became lost as they tried to regroup and will suffer a -1 to their initiative roll next battle.
Battle #6: Slaughter in the Swamp.

Valgen bolstered his dwarven force with a couple of new recruits: a third crossbowman and a skirmisher. MacSver also re-iterated that he was retiring his magic user. Not only was he a Q5 liability, but he didn't feel that magic fitted into his view of the Dwarve theme. The rats, with limited funds, could only afford to replace one of their fallen from the last battle. An experienced warrior was replaced with a Ratman Champion, who is comparable in stats.

Battle Aftermath:

A draw, so no Campaign points for either warband.

Campaign Outcome
Victory to Valgen Maest's Dwarves

(3 Victory Points against 2)

And Finally some thoughts on our inaugural campaign

    Thursday 26 January 2012

    SoBH 10mm Dungeon

    On Saturday Arabiansquire and I managed along to Livingston Battleground. The wee lad has been periodically asking me when we'll play with the Pendraken 10mm Dungeon set I had painted (most of!). I quite fancied it, so cut some short/medium/long sticks from coffee stirrers and we set up. I must point out that the dungeon set comes with a perfectly good set of rules, but I am trying to cut down on my working ruleset number so thought I'd try the familiar Songs Of Blades and Heroes.

    The first quandary I had was actually the lengths to define short/medium/etc. The main rule book gives lengths for 15mm but not 10mm (not really a surprise though - 10mm isn't really a usual skirmish scale. The SoBH dungeon rules do, however say that the largest room shouldn't be more than a "long" measurement, which conveniently is the length of the standard Pendraken large room. And although "medium" does look a bit long, this makes the "long" measurement is less of an advantage, which I would imagine is quite realistic in your average dungeon.

    The next problem were the dungeon dwellers. We were playing a GM-ed dungeon crawl, with Arabiansquire running a group of 4 adventurers and myself controlling the dungeon. The SoBH rules do offer some hints via a short section on solo gaming, but nothing concrete. I will have to work on this, but I suspect the rules suggestion of picking an occupying force twice the points value of the "invading" force will be a good starting place. I'll have to look at drawing up a table or cards for the next session, whenever that is. For this section I fudged it, presenting a reasonable number of low level troops of mixed melee and ranged capabilities worked just fine for a quick game, with a Troll and a magic user at the two key points of the game just to make him think. Pendraken do a lovely line of traditional D&D style monsters, so I'll have to hit the generator tables for those.

    Plenty to think on for next time anyway. Should be fun all the way through!

    (oh and in case you were wondering, the evil wizard was defeated in the end!)

    Saturday 21 January 2012

    First Taste of The One Ring

    The other night we happily got back to some roleplaying after too long a time (nearly a year). One of the group has bought up The One Ring by Cubicle 7.

    We went over the basic system tonight as a couple of the crew couldn't make it. To be fair it was down to Paul getting married on Saturday, so understandable and the best of wished to him and his missus to be.

    Anyway I think it's fair to say that we are all looking forward to it. For those who know Dungeons and Dragons 4e it's the complete opposite from that. Combat is abstract, with no map to place miniatures on, rather the combat target numbers are based on how aggressively you are approaching that round of combat. Also the combat focuses not on wounding, but recognises that just fighting is a tiring business, so all attacks cause fatigue. So a heavily armoured dwarf can but beaten to the ground exhausted despite being in no danger of taking a wound.

    There is also a great deal on party dynamics, roles with the party and saying true to your alignment, which is nice. . When stats like fatigue get low they can be boosted by luck. The interesting party is that the low number of luck points avaible for this is a PARTY pool, so everyone has to agree when and to whome these valuable points go. As the group are all friends it should not only work well, but create some amusing banter aside to the usual dwarf/elf name calling. Not that that's not fun.

    Probably as I'm a wargamer I'm looking for some roleplaying in my RPGs now-a-days, and a bit less overcomplicated miniature moving (like D&D 4e). I have many other games that I play that are specifically designed for that. This game at first glance looks like it forces the issues and roles that usually get ignored for adventuring parties in most other rpgs. If it hold it's first impressions it may well become my favourite system to play, I'm looking forward to it that much!

    Wednesday 11 January 2012

    Making Rubble

    With a bit of time to spare over the holiday season I employed Arabiansquire to help me out in making a mess disguised as a gaming terrain project. We've been needing some generic rubble bases for a while now, and a couple of small test pieces I made last year came out OK, so time for some more...

    The raw materials
    The material used were:
    • Old CD for a base
    • cardboard
    • sand
    • gravel (2 different small grades)
    • old mosaic tiles scavenged from a vandalised artwork (not by me I must say)
    • white glue
    • mixing cup and lolly stick
    The process was pretty (ie very) simple.
    1. First glue some cardboard over the CD hole (Obviously not a step needed if you aren't using CDs)
    2. Put some of the largest rubble material in the mixing cup, pour in a good amount of glue, mix so that everything is covered, scoop out onto the CD and arrange as desired
    3. repeat step 2 with smaller rubble and continue until you finally use the sand
    4. make sure to texture the edges of the cd/base with sand
    5. leave to dry (in my case Scottish winter and over-exuberant gluing meant around 5 days)
    6. Ready to dry
    7. Paint black
    8. Dry brush dark grey and an earthy brown
    Space Marines patrol the ruins

    All done and ready to play. As you can see from the pictures I also added a couple of bits of sprue in. Originally they were going to be painted as mteal girders, but I later changed my mind and used brown to allow for fantasy ruins as well.

    Saturday 7 January 2012

    Bofur Thistlefoot

    Just in time for our first session of "The One Ring" this week:

    A Games Workshop Sam Gamgee figure. Great little rpg adventurer with that backpack.

    As a painting note: it's been a while since I've painted up a figure for an RPG character. Traditionally I would have put more detail into the figure, but the last year has been spent painting faceless figures for tabletop gaming (Space Marines and Cryx) and it shows - the face close up is pretty featureless. I guess that as soon as you pull out the Devlan Mud you know where your going - a gritty dark finish. Not that I mind that too much and at the held-at-arms-length range looks fine. Also it's nice to be ahead in the painted vs bought stakes (although I can exclusively reveal that it probably won't last more than a week)

    I'll have to touch up that face a bit though. At least to give him a mouth!

    Monday 2 January 2012

    On into 2012

    This would be a hobby blog without a look back at the previous year or a look forward to the coming year, so here we are to see my part of the unwritten moral contract...

    In previous years I've either set out a list of projects to complete or, heaven help me, used definite statements such as "this will be done by June" which still never saw completion!

    "Paint us, paint us..."
    This year the watch word is, again some would say, frugal. Last years accounting process was quite interesting for me. It's funny how that even with an overall mind to spend less you still end up spending more than expected. This year I aim to do much less speculative spending. Purse strings are tight for many at the
    moment, so I'm looking to really look at using what I have first and shoot at projects I've already spent on. It also means trying to maintain some discipline of when I purchase items. I'm finding myself looking at paints for my British and German WWII figures at the moment. But I must, under my new guidelines, hold off hitting that "confirm" button until I'm actually ready to start painting them. The hope is that if I get the relevant/missing pieces just as I need them there will be some enthusiasm riding into the project and not a "getting round to it" type of mentality. Last years average monthly spend was around £35. I hope to lower that this year, especially as I have less to sell from my hobby shed clearance scheme this year although there are still a few items lurking that can hopefully bolster the coffers.

    This approach does also lead to only planning shorter term, which considering my previous track records should be more practical. Or at least feeling less like fraud.

    Rpging in the New Year
    I've a couple of things already on the workbench. First in the priority list is a hobbit figure for my RPG gaming which should start in a couple of weeks. One of my RPG buddies is starting up the new "The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild" game and I decided that what the Dwarf Slayers and Elven Academics needed was heavy smoking Hobbit. So now I need to paint one up. I also need to be finishing off a pool of beastmen for a figure pool on the proposed second "Songs of Blades and Heroes" campaign.

    These are to be done first before moving onto the next painting project. This should be a start into Urban War as nearly a quarter of last years spend was on this, but, whilst it's high on the list I'll see nearer the time. We'll see how those Airfix soldiers are calling at the time...