Friday, July 29, 2016

Tablescapes Dungeons' Mine Themed Kickstarter

   I just wanted to let folks know about a neat Kickstarter that I just backed: Tablescapes Dungeons Mines brought to you by Secret Weapon and Reaper.  What I like about this Kickstarter is the nifty mine track and cart Add-On.  Also, it is all compatible with my Dwarven Forge stuff.
  Currently the Core Sets gets you 76 components for $75.
  They are also offering a number of sets of Bones Minis for those who missed out on any of the Reaper Bones Kickstarters, as well as a selection of sets of Reaper paint!

     You can find more info here: Tablescapes Dungeons Mines.  Please check it out, and if possible, pledge! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Combat Patrol" Supplement Playtest Day.

  This past Saturday I got to take part in a playtest day for two upcoming supplements for the "Combat Patrol" WWII Skirmish rules: Colonial, and Napoleonic.
    First up was a Colonial period game, testing both Boer and Zulu vs British.  Though ahistorical, it allowed us to look a two different kinds of Colonial period combat: elite marksmen and mass melee vs British steadfastness and firepower.  The set up featured a British column which stretched almost the length of the table, and the two attackers were divided by a river that ran down the center.
      I got to command one of the Zulu units, and had a great time.  The rules really recreated the slow disintegration of the British lines caught in the open as wave after wave of Zulus hit them, while the British units that were able to find cover were almost impossible to pry out without sustaining massive casualties.
     The Brits didn't fare much better on the Boer side of the table, where the Boer firepower was able to take it's toll on the redcoats before the Brits could dislodge the more fragile Boer units.
     After the Colonial game, we set up a very similar Napoleonic game with a British column being attacked by a French force.  I commanded the French cavalry, and thought the cavalry rules really gave a good feel for the furball nature of a swirling cavalry skirmish.
      I had a blast in both games, and the supplement authors got to try out some new ideas, and gain some valuable insights.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Frostgrave Campaign: Game 6

     This past Sunday was our 6th outing into the frozen city as part of our ongoing Frostgrave Campaign.  We had 6 of our 7 regular players and one guest player; as the teenage daughter of one of our regulars came along to give the rules a try.   With 7 wizards in play we used the big 12'x3' table.
    For the report on Game 5, please see: Game 5
    For a report on the next game, see:  Game 7
    This time out we once again decided to do two scenarios; the first was the Genie in the Bottle scenario form the core rulebook, except we planned to use 3 Genies;  and the second was a geyser scenario thought up by the group.  This involved the placing of 6 craters along with the first 6 treasure tokens at the start of the game.  The treasure token went into the crater.  At the end of each turn, any player who had a figure within 3 inches of one of the craters would have to make a roll equal to, or greater than, his wizard level.  If he failed it was assume the geyser erupted at that moment and shot a jet of boiling hot water up into the air which would fall/splash down on the unfortunate figure, doing a +5 attack.
A view of the whole table.  Kodak entered from the area on the near right between the two markers on the table cover's edge, by where the tape measure is laying on the table.
    Since we had developed as 10+ difference in wizard levels among our players at this point, we decided to use a different method for choosing player entry points; letting the  lowest level wizard pick the corner they wanted to enter from first.  We then worked our way back and forth down the table seating players in order of their levels, lowest to highest.  This way, players would be facing opponents closer to their own level.
     Unfortunately, this set-up method put my Illusionist, Kodak, and his party in an area of the city in which his old nemeses, Knabe the Druid, and  Lingzhu the Necromancer, were also exploring.   The old Elf Illusionist knew he would need to be cautious and clever to have success this day.  He began by dividing up his party into three groups.  With him he took Reissa the Templar, Linesse the Thief, and Danlin the Marksman.  Kodak assigned to his Apprentice, Leighlyndana, Jack 2 the Treasure Hunter, Weiss the Archer, and Cadwalleter the Thief.  That left Agamemnon the Treasure Hunter,  Edel the Archer, Bash the Man-at-Arms, and Kinddrif the War Hound to act under their own initiative.
The party gets their orders before heading into the city.
    Kodak immediately Teleported into a nearby tower to secure a treasure there, while he sent the rest of his warband forward into a nearby ruin; telling Danlin to provide covering fire for the party, Linesse to gather up a treasure on the top floor of the ruin, and Riessa to stay alert and provide assistance to whoever needed it.
    Leighlyndana moved off to the left with her group.  She instructed Cadwalleter to wait for Kodak to come down from the tower to take the treasure he was retrieving. She then told Weiss to keep and eye open and provide covering fire, and she took Jack 2 with her to help him recover a treasure in the crater of a nearby geyser.  Almost immediately though, the Druid's Apprentice, Vogel,  cast a Wall of Fog immediately in their path.  Leighlyndana stuck her head around the corner of the Wall of Fog,  and seeing the  Druid's Apprentice tried a quick Mind Control spell on her.  It failed miserably, and Leigh felt a pike of pain in her brain.  She ducked back quickly as a Bone Dart from Vogel went whizzing by her cheek.
        Kodak's Apprentice quickly reevaluated the situation.  She knew there was a treasure just on the other side of the fog.  She quickly instructed Weiss to climb up on the ledge around the nearby tower (the one Kodak was in), and provide covering fire, and she sent Jack 2 through the fog to snatch the treasure.  The old Treasure Hunter saw it was a battered chest, and when he lifted it up an old lamp fell out of the rotted bottom.   Before Leigh could should a warning to the Treasure Hunter, Jack picked it up and almost immediately a reddish smoke started pouring from the lamp's tip and formed into a large imposing Genie!
As Leighlyndana watches in horror from the edge of the fog wall, Jack 2 picks up the lamp and a giant Genie materializes. 
      Before Jack could react the Genie was upon him, and struck him down.   Leigh froze behind the fog hoping the genie wouldn't realize she was there; while Weiss on the ledge above,  flattened herself against the wall of the tower so as not to be noticed.   Then, just as they thought the danger might pass, the Genie came shooting through the fog wall at high speed, propelled by a mighty Push spell cast by Vogel.  The genie shot over a foot past the Illusionist Apprentice, and ended up over by the ruin where the rest of Kodak's party was.  Leighlyndana, didn't have time to consider this, as soon after one of the Druid's many animals, a fox, loped around the fog and started snapping at the Apprentice's feet.
As Linesse the Thief (in brown) battles the other Genie, Riesse (in blue) desperately climbs up to aid her.
         Things weren't going much better for the rest of the warband either.   Linesse had climbed up and recovered the treasure; but like Jack, she found an old lamp under some tattered rags and picked it up.    Smoke poured from the mouth of the lamp and another Genie materialized next to the shocked Thief.  As the Genie lunged at the Thief, Linesse shouted for help; and Riessa the Templar, hearing the call, began climbing the ruin to assist her friend.   The Genie landed a mighty blow on the Thief and she staggered back against the wall of the ruin, dazed and barely able to stand.  As the Genie prepared herself for the kill, Riessa reached the floor where the fight as happening and launched herself directly into the fray. She raised the her mighty magic sword, named for her deceased twin sister, Elessa, and brought it down on the Genie practically cleaving it in two (Roll of 20, + 5 Fight, +2 Damage). It dissolved in a wisp of smoke.
Kodak battles the Druid's snowy owl, before recovering the treasure in the top of the ruined tower.
     Meanwhile, Kodak was in the tower and had noticed the great view of the city he had from that high up.  He debated with himself whether he should grab the treasure and leave or take some time to make use of the great perch he had to cause some mischief.  He spotted the Necromancer's Zombie on a distant rickety walkway between two buildings, and thought it cried out as a great opportunity to use his Push spell; but in his haste to cast it, he incorrectly spoke the spell's enchanting words and missed the Zombie.  As he cursed his luck, and turned to get the treasure, he heard a fluttering of wings and looked up to see the Druid's owl come soaring into the top of the tower and fly around his head.  He struck at the owl and missed.  He tried again, as the bird wove in and out, and this time his staff connected, and the bird fell dead.
     Back in the ruined building near to where Kodak battled the owl, Riessa sheathed her sword and looked over at the wounded Thief.  Linesse smiled weakly back.  She tried to stand up straight, winced, grabbed the lamp, and began climbing down to the next floor of the building. She hurt all over but still had a job to do.
     Then out of nowhere another Genie shot into view at the rear of the building, as if pushed there by some unseen force (the one pushed by the Druid's Apprentice).  It charged forward, and seeing Linesse carrying the other lamp, shot a bolt of energy at her.  The Thief let out a cry, and crumpled to the floor.  Riessa couldn't believe her eyes.  Fast as she could, Riessa, climbed down the ruined and broken building, drew "Elessa", and ran towards this new threat.
The Genie that killed Jack 2 appears behind the ruined building, and hits Linesse with a fire arrow; as Riesse sizes up her new target. Also note on the ground floor Danlin the Marksman providing covering fire from the building's doorway, and Cadwalleter standing by to take Kodak's treasure (though he ended up recovering Linesse's).
        Over by the Fog Wall, Leighlyndana was still trying to deal with the annoying fox who kept nipping at her ankles.  She noticed the fog to her right dissipate a little and looked up in shock as the Druid's bear BoBo came looming out of the misty wall.  She was caught off balance, and the bear's mighty swing caught her squarely on the side of the head.  She felt the ground spin a little then everything went black.
Leighlyndana, usually an animal lover, has trouble feeling that way when the Druid's bear appears through the fog.
     Meanwhile, back at the ruined building, Kodak had Teleported down from the tower and crouched with his treasure by a corner of the building, hoping he was out of sight of all the Druid's and Necromancer's missile weapons.  Also, Cadwalleter climbed up to recover the lamp that Linesse had dropped.
     Riessa braced herself as the Genie who had appeared behind the building made contact with her, and once again she swung her magic sword with all her might.  She hit the Genie, wounding it; but knowing she was the party's best hope for defeating it, she keep close to it and looked for the chance to land a second blow.  The Genie looked shaken, and before it could recover, she swung again doing massive damage (18 roll + 5 Fight, +2 Damage), and this time the Genie evaporated into a puff of red smoke.
As Kodak crouches in the lower right corner of the building, Riessa delivers the killing blow to the second Genie.
    While these fights were happening, the Man-at-Arms, Bash,  Treasure Hunter, Agamemnon, and Kinddriff the War Hound were struggling to recover a treasure from a well which sat in front of the ruined building.  The Necromancer's skeletal War Hound appeared and after a couple rounds of combat, they killed it, but not before Kinddriff had been killed, and Bash had taken a wound.  Knowing that Agamemnon would be faster with the treasure, Bash nodded to the Treasure Hunter to take it, and with effort he climbed up  on the fountain to block any threats while the treasure was carried away.  It wasn't long before Bash was felled by a crossbow bolt from the Necromancer's marksman, but his sacrifice was worth it, as Agamemnon had safely made it back to the cover of the ruined building with his treasure.
Bash and Agamemnon try to recover the treasure in the fountain, as they battle the Necromancer's skeletal dog. 
     With three treasures in their possession, and their party badly mauled, Kodak knew if was time to head back to their Inn. He gave the signal, and the group started melting into the shadows.
     Kodak always felt that these hours were the hardest; waiting for the wounded and stragglers to return to the home base. They had had to carry Linesse back, as even though the Genie hadn't killed her, he had dome some serious injury to her, and she would need to rest.  Kodak thought that he might be able to buy some simple curing potion in town that might get her back on her feet. (20gc for new thief) He was relieved when Leighlyndana came sheepishly back to the inn, full of apologies for her poor performance.  Little did she know, the Old Wizard thought to himself, how happy he was that she simply survived.   Edel and Weiss came back battered but none the worse for wear, as did Kinddriff; who was soaking wet and shivering from having fallen into the fountain.  Kodak, had to move away from the soggy dog, whose soaking wet aroma was too much for the old Elf's nose to handle.
    Sadly, Jack 2 didn't make it back.  His battle with the Genie had been his last.  Kodak was going to miss his gruff disposition, as he felt on some level the grizzled Treasure Hunter had been a kindred soul.  Kodak turned his mind to how best to find a replacement.
    Later, as he considered the group's performance, he felt the outing had been a mixed bag.  While he had only managed two spells (Teleportation in and out of the tower), and his Apprentice had cast none; he had learned a great deal from the groups encounters with the two Genies.  The Lamp they found, and the tales of how the Genies had appeared, acted, and fought, gave him a great deal to consider (200 exp. for each Genie killed, and 50 exp. for each lamp discovered) The lamp itself was worth a great deal (300gc); and after throughly studying it, Kodak sold it.  They had also found 140 other gold coins, as well as a Grimoire of "Absorb Knowledge", and a Fate Stone.  Kodak thought that might be a useful spell to learn, as he had never been a particularly fast reader; and the Fate Stone would be a great boon to their next expedition.  
   About a week after their expedition, as they were in the nearest small town to buy supplies, they heard news that the Necromancer, Lingzhu, and his Apprentice had both been killed during the last expedition into the city.  This saddened the old wizard, as the Necromancer had been a highly skilled opponent who had earned Kodak's respect.  Rumor had it that the late Necromancer's warband was trying to find a new wizard to take over their group.  Kodak pondered at what surprises that might bring to the next trip into the ruins.
    For now though he needed to study, and help Leighlyndana with her practice.  And, he would need to see about hiring a new Treasure Hunter; for the time for their next trip into the frozen city was fast approaching.

You can read Lingzhu's final report here: Hot Water

Knabe the Druid's report can be found here:  The Killing Dart

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

HAWKs' BARRAGE 2-Day Game Con Website Goes Live!

   I just wanted to let everyone know that the website for the HAWKs gaming convention, BARRAGE, just went live this week at:
   The event will be 2 days this year, 9/30-10/1, and you can now register to attend or run a game directly on the website.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Another Fun War-Horse-Con Game Day

  This past Saturday a group of the HAWKs and I went up to Sam Fuson's War-Horse farm in PA for another fun day of games and good food. A couple times a year, Sam and his wife Kathy invite a bunch of their friends over and the HAWks come up to put on several games as well as play, and these events have come to be known as War-Horse-Cons.
     Since Sam and Kathy were expecting a larger than usual crowd, I volunteered to be the on-call GM, and brought along my Frostgrave stuff to set up and run if there should be an overflow from the two regularly scheduled games.  Luckily I did, as I got to host a family that had come along with their husband/dad who was interested in playing in Ed Duffy's Modern era game.  I think they had very little, if any, experience with miniatures gaming; but they jumped right in and had a great time with the Frostgrave rules.  While the three teenagers did great, I felt sorry for the Mom, who could not roll any high numbers to save herself!  There are bunch of us in the HAWKs who could relate to her predicament! :)
     They all had fun, and got into the spirit of the game; and I had a great time running it.  Who knows, we may have some new converts to the hobby!
While I was running my game, Eric Schlegel was running his Napoleonic "Battle of Battin", Russians vs Turks game, using modified Regimental Fire & Fury rules.

  And in the other half of the basement, Ed Duffy was running his Modern game using home-brewed rules.

   After a great fired chicken lunch, we reconvened for the afternoon games.  Some folks left, so I wasn't needed to run my game.  This allowed me to jump into Buck Surdu's fun Pacific Theater WWII game using his new Combat Patrol rules.
   I ended up commanding two bazooka teams and an army platoon leader.  We were tasked with blowing up a Japanese radio tower on an unnamed island somewhere in the Pacific.  Unfortunately, I had no luck whatsoever, and soon both my bazooka teams were out of action, having barely even scratched the paint on the one Japanese tank guarding the base.  However, it looked like our side was doing really well until in rapid succession the tank got a direct hit on one of our squads, followed by a pair of mortar rounds hitting another squad who had just broke cover and entered the compound.  With our forces badly mauled, and the bazookas out of action, we decided to call it a day.
     While we were battling in the Pacific, Duncan Adams was running his WWI game in the other side of the basement, using modified Look, Sarge. No Charts rules.  This was an early war scenario with both the French and Germans stumbling into each other's advances.

   All-in-all it was a great day of gaming with a great group of people.   I look forward to the next time we can get together and do it again!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Forstgrave Chronomancer Warband Completed

   This weekend I finished up my Chronomancer warband for Frostgrave.  I've been working on this off and on since last October, and finally finished painting the last figure on Friday.   I wanted to assemble a band that looked like they had been brought together from throughout time; or had been to different time periods, and brought back souvenirs.  I did some customization to a few of the figures to get that Frostgrave-meets-other-time periods look I wanted.

    First up is the Chronomancer and Apprentice.  These are both modified Reaper Bones figures.
   Next is the party's Templar, "Crossbowman", and Man-at-Arms.  The Templar is made up mainly of GW Space Marine parts, the "Crossbowman" is a plastic French soldier (unsure of manufacturer), and the Roman is from Foundry.  Note, that the Foundry figure was so short compared to the other figures in the warband, I had to base him up on a sheet of cork to make the size difference less noticeable.
     We then have a Thief, and two Thugs.  The Thief is a Reaper metal Ninja figure, and the two Thugs are from the North Star plastic Frostgrave soldier set with the additions of different heads.
    Lastly, we have the group's War-Hound.  This figure is from Eureka, and is just filling in as a proxy (probably) until I get the guard dog figure from the Reaper Bones III Kickstarter this Fall.
    And here's a look at the gang all together:
    I'm very happy with how this group turned out, and I'm looking forward to get a chance to use them in a game!