Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bilbo's Birthday Bash 2013

Bilbo's Birthday Bash 2013 is over and what a FANTASTIC event it was!  Above you can see a variety of pictures from my games and a few of other forces including Jeremy William's Best Middle-earth theme award winning force.
I had 6 fun games even though I lost more than I won.  The new venue at the Northbook Hilton was great and the swag for registering was outstanding as always. The Hero Tracker was a genius idea and I had to buy more so I had one for each of my White Council members of my force.

Stay tuned for more pics of my two forces and my thoughts on what is next for LotR for me in 2015.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Where have you been hiding?

Over the first half of this year I was really proud of my efforts to keep this blog updated.  I was getting in at least one post a month and sometimes more.  But suddenly, summer hit and I found myself with less time to update things here.  I was doing stuff, just nothing I had the time to post about.  But as we enter fall it's time to get this blog back on schedule and for me to get my hobby mojo back.

In the meantime, here are a few of the things I've been up to these past couple of months.

I don't play Eldar but when they new codex was released I was really intriqued by the new models, especially the Wraithguard and the Wraithknight.  My local GW store was running a painting competition with a Wraith theme and I was talked into entering.  Not wanting to drop $100+ on a Wraithknight I went for the new Wraithguard kit.
This is the first new GW plastic kit I've assembled and I was amazed at the quality and the versatility of the kit.  You can very easily create different poses with no need of conversion.  I chose a basing theme that matched my Imperial Guard army I'm planning with the thought that I could do an Eldar ally contingent for my future army.

Stay tuned for more recaps of my summer hobby projects AND a preview of my new Lord of the Rings armies for Bilbo's Birthday Bash in a few weeks.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

More Flames of War.....Finally

I've been wanting to play Flames of War more but since last year that has not happened.  Until this month when I finally managed to get a game in against my friend Tyler.  I took 1800 points of my German Fallschirmjager against his Russian Stralkovy.  This was my first time to try out my potential additions including a Machine Gun Platoon and a Mortar Platoon.  Both worked well, especially the Machine Gun Platoon so I'll likely be adding the maximum of two to my force. We finally had a full game and had the chance to do more assaults so we are starting to learn the rules a bit more.

So, stay tuned as my next projects are to finish my additional units and tank hunters as well some terrain for my own table. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The High Tide of the Confederacy

Our Guns of April game for 2013, Gettysburg, was a fantastic event and you can see a quick recap of the game over at the Guns of April blog.  I also have some shots of my own forces in action from that game and will try and get those up either here or on the Guns of April site in the near future.  Although the game was called as a minor Union victory, my pride still won't accept this fact.

All joking aside, this was another great project and I was thrilled by how much I was able to get done.  I fell short by one stand (a horse holder) to use when my cavalry dismounted, which it turns out, never did anyway!

So below are shots of the finished force I painted for the event.  Knowing I could get this together has given me hope of not only adding more confederates but starting on a Union counterpart to this force.  Only time will tell.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Romans vs. Italians

I've been doing more historical gaming with a local group of gamers and really enjoying a different aspect to miniature games as a result.  I've always worked on projects for a tournament or maybe with a couple of friends but due to gamer ADHD I never get much done and thus my dreams of some epic battle with tons of figures stays just a dream.

Not so with this group.  These guys have made the dream of an EPIC battle a reality by collecting a huge number of figures, usually for both sides of a conflict.  Playing in their games is great as I get to see huge armies on the field, push some figures around and have a great time with some great guys.  Best thing is, I don't have to bring a thing to participate as they have all the figures!

My most recent game with the group was an Ancients battle put on by our friend Mike.  He had his Republican Romans vs. various Italian Tribes.  Not only did it look great but I had the pleasure of seeing a LOT of our Gorgon Studios Etruscans on the field.  Really an inspiration for me and maybe someday I can get something half as large an army painted up.
Etruscan 1st Class Hoplites (Gorgon Studios)
Etruscan 2nd Class Spearmen (Gorgon Studios)
Etruscan Chariot and Cavalry (Gorgon Studios)
My count showed over 500 figures on the table which is something I've rarely had the pleasure of seeing in person.  We used the Impetus ruleset that the group (besides myself) are familiar with.  It appears to be a fairly "basic" ruleset which, although maybe not be as flexible in tactical variety, makes for a quick, easy game that anyone can play.  For me, I just want to see some cool models, roll some dice and have some laughs so simple is fine by me.
I rolled off and won the chance to play on the Italian side against the Romans.  The two armies lined up, our skirmishers scuffled in the middle and our cavalry forces clashed together on our right flank.  The chariots were quickly dispatched by the Roman cavalry but Wendel, our cavalry commander, managed to hold up the Roman's left flank nearly the entire game.  This bought the rest of us, commanding the infantry, time to advance on the Romans and hopefully finish off enough of their infantry that the cavalry clash wouldn't matter.

Although my slingers drove off the Roman skirmishers they failed to do much damage to the Hastati beyond and were quickly driven off as well.  So after several turns our infantry lines collided and although our rolls were good the Roman's were better.  I've never seen so many 6's rolled for pilum throws than I saw in the first couple of rounds of combats, which took a nasty toll on our Italians.
In the final round both forces were within one unit of breaking.  Wendel's cavalry had bought us enough time to finish them but sadly we came up just short and managed to fail the one leadership check that lost us the final unit and the game.  So, the Romans eked out a win but just barely.
It was a great game despite our loss and it left me inspired to finish my Republican Romans (the same minis from Crusader that Mike used in the game) and then work on an opposing force in the form of our Gorgon Studios Etruscans.  If I could get 100 figures in each force someday I'd be happy.  500+ will probably never happen for me, but one can dream.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bilbo's Birthday Bash 2013: All In The Family

Once inspiration hit for my monster list for the evil force at this year's B3 tournament, I quickly knew what I would use to oppose them as my good force: Elves.  I wanted something small and with the Elves I figured I could spend the time painting the models rather than busting through lots of rank and file.

I had envisioned doing a White Council force since I have all of the models and it would be a great excuse to paint them up.  After some soul searching (and number crunching) I decided to make it all Elves and to try and make it a family affair of sorts.  Galadriel seems a given and Celeborn wouldn't be far behind (I think we know who wears the pants in that relationship).  I've always enjoyed the fact that, reading the Lord of the Rings appendices, you realize that Elrond is the son-in-law to Galadriel and thus Arwen is Galadriel's grandaughter.  So I had to add them in for that fact alone not to mention that Elrond (and Hugo Weaving) is one of my favorite characters in the movies.

The other two Elves I chose are Cirdan and Glorfindel.  Both are models I've wanted to paint and Cirdan has always been an intriguing character to me when reading the various books outside the direct Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Both are also tied to the House of Elrond either directly as in the case of Glorfindel or indirectly in Cirdan's case.

In keeping with the theme I had for the evil force, I decided to base these in the same way (rock bases with dead grass) but replace the snow with flowers.  The thought being that the power of the Elves (such as Galadriel in Lothlorien) is able to combat the corrupting effect of Sauron's evil.

This force is going to be feast or famine when it comes to games.  Since I don't care much about wins I'm ok with that, I only hope I can give my opponents a challenge before I get whopped.  These Elves have a lot of magic and some tough combat characters (Elrond, Celeborn and Glorfindel) so I think they may present a non-traditional challenge both to me and my opponents.

5 months until B3 and I'm already half way done with my good force.  I like building small armies!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bilbo's Birthday Bash 2013: Monster Mash

After finishing my Lord of the Rings Dwarven army a couple of years ago I've not had the motivation to get started on a new force.  That changed with last years B3 tournament as I was totally inspired by the great armies I saw on display. That, coupled with every game going to full time made me certain that I needed a smaller force.  I lose way more than I win and using Dwarves and Minas Tirith seemed to often prolong the inevitable and make me miss out on the fun downtime you often get at tournaments.

One of the forces I faced was a cool monster themed list with spiders, bats and dwellers.  I had always envisioned doing a monster list from Angmar but after some suggestions from Johnathan (the owner of the monster list I faced) I decided on basing it from the Moria list and using the two special character goblins that work well with monsters (Ashrak and Druzhag).  With the move to 750 points for this year I had to slightly tweak my list by adding some "ghosts" in the form of Barrow Wights and Spectres from the Angmar list (I'm trying to use the models I own and not purchase more).

My first model for my evil force is a wild warg.  In an attempt to match my Dwarves bases and to adhere to a theme of decline/death/winter for the corrupting evil force I went with a rocky base containing dead grasses and snow.  My inspiration for the decay theme came from the recent Hobbit film and the way they portray the evil and corrupting effects of The Necromancer on the forest of Mirkwood.

My final force will be a combination of creatures including wargs, spiders, bats, and a cave troll all lead by the goblin heroes and the Spider Queen.  Allied in will be some Barrow Wights and Spectres representing some of the non-animal creatures in the Dark Lord's service.
I'm not going to the extreme lengths that some of my fellow Lord of the Rings friends are
(i.e. check out the FUBAD group at one of the member's blogs: http://chefofwar.blogspot.com/)
Yet, I have used this project as a chance to try some small things I've always thought looked cool.  One is to sculpt the bases a bit so they have that raised look to them. I've seen this done by lots of folks and even with basic sand and flock it always looks cool.  In my case I also added slate and other large rocks plus bits of terrain blocks for elevation.

So that is the start and I have 5 months to pull it together.  Of course, this is only one of the two armies I will need to field.  What force will oppose the spread of this evil in the wilds of Middle-earth?
Stay tuned.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cowboys and Hobbits

The AWC Lord of the Rings club couldn't let Adepticon pass without showcasing The Hobbit SBG game by running some demo games.  Although the new movie and game release haven't generated the gaming interest I'd hoped we still had a nice crowd of players each day.
A big thank you to Tyler and Kyle for running the demo table on Saturday and Sunday.  As well as a big thanks for all those who helped preparing the miniatures and terrain (Chris B, Tyler, Kyle, Chris T. and Tim).

I also really wanted to run an Old West game using the Legends of the Old West rules and featuring some of the old west models from our miniature range at Gorgon Studios. I had big plans for a mini-campaign style game involving 4 posses and two different scenarios played in series.  Unfortunately, I had one registration total and that person never showed up.  But getting it all setup wasn't a total loss as two of the "Edley boys" and their cousin came over and played. Next year I may try a night game as I think a Saturday morning game conflicted with to many other events and tournaments.

The really disappointing thing for me was that I had a wonderful piece of terrain commissioned by my friend Jeremy over at Wyrd Hobby Services that we never had the chance to use.  Rest assured, this will definitely be used the next time I run a game.