Monday, May 25, 2009

6 Months of Adventures in Miniature Gaming

Today, the 25th of May, marks the 6 month anniversary of the start of this blog. November 25th, 2008 was the date of my first post. To mark the occasion, I thought I'd write a little retrospective, looking back on what I've accomplished in the hobby in the past 6 months, and highlighting some of the notable blog posts I've made.

Many of my early posts were mostly pictures of miniatures I had previously painted. Some for Warhammer Fantasy:
Vampire Counts Army
Vampire Counts Grave Guard
Empire Cannon and Crew
Empire Master Engineer
Empire Handgunners
Vampire Counts Fell Bats
Vampire Counts Ghouls
Warhammer Fantasy Terrain

And some for Warhammer 40,000:
Tyranid Army
Tyranid Gargoyles
Thousand Sons
Chaos Space Marine Vehicles

The most significant development in my miniature gaming hobby in the past six months was getting into historical miniature gaming. I had never gotten into the historical side of the miniature gaming hobby before, having mostly played Games Workshop games, so it was completely new to me. To help other people who are interested in historical gaming but don't know where to start, I chronicled my initial investigations into this new area in a three part post:
My Introduction to Historical Wargaming: Part 1
My Introduction to Historical Wargaming: Part 2
My Introduction to Historical Wargaming: Part 3

Over the following few months, I started painting up 10mm Union and Confederate American Civil War forces. Since then, I have finished 5 regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, both a mounted version and a dismounted version, a battery of heavy artillery, and some command stands for the Union force, and two infantry regiments for the Confederate force. I posted pictures of all of them as they were completed.
Union Infantry Brigade
Union Heavy Artillery Battery
Union Division Command Stand
Union Dismounted Cavalry Regiment
Union Cavalry Brigade Command
Confederate Infantry Regiment

Along the way, I already wrote up several helpful painting tutorials on how I went about painting my 10mm Civil War miniatures.
Painting 10mm Union Cavalry Horses
Painting 10mm Union Cavalry Riders
Painting 10mm Confederate Infantry

After mostly finishing the Union forces, I got to play my first historical miniatures wargame, using a set of rules called Field of Battle. I took plenty of pictures, and wrote up a battle report for it. Also, my opponent in the game wrote up a great fictional account of the battle.
Battle of Prescott's Mill - Battle Report
Battle of Prescott's Mill - Story

As a minor diversion from all the American Civil War stuff I was working on, I spent a little time dabbling in 10mm Great War/World War One miniatures. I wrote a review of the Warhammer Historical Great War rules, a review (with plenty of pictures) of Pendraken's line of 10mm Great War miniatures, and a couple of painting tutorials, one for British and one for Germans.
Great War Posts

I also tried my hand at making some terrain that would work for my 10mm miniatures. I hadn't done much in the way of terrain making before, so my attempts at creating rocky features and custom hills were definitely a learning experience.
Terrain Making

In the past few months, I have also been posting the storylines and battle reports from a couple of campaigns I participated in previously that were a lot of fun. The Attraignnor IV Campaign, a Warhammer 40,000 campaign pitting Chaos Space Marines against Tau in the battered ruins of a planetary capitol city, and the Warhammer Fantasy worldwide Nemesis Crown campaign.
Attraignnor IV Campaign
Nemesis Crown Campaign

Looking back on it, I think it's not a bad start for my blog. Over 60 posts in 6 months. And I got a lot accomplished on my 10mm American Civil War project, while still working on some other interesting things. I hope you have all enjoyed the posts so far, and found some of them useful and entertaining. If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to read about on my blog or how I could make it better, don't hesitate to leave a comment and let me know. I'll try to make the next 6 months of posts even better.

Nemesis Crown Campaign: Battle 9

High Elves
After the losing battle to slow the undead horde, Cilliriel's vastly diminished army retreated back to the Vragthar's Monolith region to regroup. His detachment of Phoenix Guard, which was tasked with keeping watch on the Ork Waaagh gaining power in the area, reported a large influx of orks joining the Shaman. Sliver Helm Commander Asurai Durnal of Sylvanus immediately took his personal retinue to the fore. As Experienced Battle Mages were becoming scarce, the army was forced to go without any magical assistance. They came upon the orks in a heavily forested area, and Commander Durnal quickly formed up his line. A strategic feint forced the orks to show their hand as they charged forward. Durnal lost sight of his army as he and his personal retinue of Silver Helms rode into the forest, the magic of their banner filling the steeds with the drive of the Father of Horses, to whom terrain meant nothing, cutting off the flank attack of the Wolf Riders. Seeing this charge, so much like the Heroes of Old, was too much for the little goblins, which fled the battle in terror, never looking back. Asurai regrouped his men to an awful sight. His line was not just broken, it was decimated. A single unit of Black Orks had defeated three blocks of elven spearmen, and the other orks were already turning back, thinking the battle over. Asurai and his men charged. They charged like never before. They charged like the Heroes of Old. The orks were nothing before them. Even the black orks, with a cunning counter charge, could not hold. In the wake of the Silver Helm’s fury, not a single ork in sight was left alive. The battle was won. The Waaagh was decimated, but the losses were great. The battle will stay in the survivors’ minds as one of the bloodiest ever fought. Khaine is surely happy this day…

‘Dem pointies musta got da’ best of us dis time. Urgwart woke up to da stench of dead boyz. ‘Dem pointies cheated and got behind us somehow. Leave it to gobbos to run instead of watch’in our backs. We didn’t let’em go widdout ‘urtin’em though. ‘Dem black orcs ‘dat got togevver wiff us were strong! Dem boyz went charg’in right down the field and into dem pointies. Urgwart helped’em a bit wit somma Mork’s power. Dey made the pointies look like gobbos da way dey ran! Urgwart was a bit too proud of dat, cuz me was fink’in we won da fight. Then, dem pointies on horsies came tunder’in from da trees. Dey ran right over me and da boyz, and one of’em even poked me. Da’ last ting Urgwart ‘members is gett’in tramppled by horsies. Mork’s gotta have big plans for Urgwart, cuz me tinks I should’a been stink’in up da forest like all the ‘utter dead boyz. Da world betta look out, cuz Urgwart may be ‘urtin, but e’ain’t dead! Waaagh Urgwart is just start’in! WAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nemesis Crown Campaign: Battle 8

Vampire Counts
Byron was able to escape the previous attack on him and meet back up with his new master, the necromancer known only as "The Butcher of Bergendorf". Byron made his way to the Butcher's secret lair in an old decrepit and abandoned coaching inn to continue his training in the necromantic arts. Unknown to him, a scouting party from the high elf army he previously defeated had managed to come across the Butcher's necromantic host and find his hideout.

Shortly after Byron arrived, an elven army showed up to avenge their fallen brethren. The Butcher gathered his undead hosts to repel the attack. The Elves brought several bolt throwers and several chariots, as well as many large blocks of troops. But they could not compete with the magical mastery attained by The Butcher and his two apprentices, as they raised zombies and magically moved their soldiers at will.

The bolt thrower crews were mostly killed or chased off by a pack of ghosts who descended upon them with unnatural speed. The remaining bolt thrower crew was killed by giant fell bats, but not before a lucky shot destroyed most of the unit of black knights led by the powerful wight lord with his ancient magic sword. What little remained of the unit was surrounded and overwhelmed in combat by a block of elven spearmen, and the power of the magic animating the wight lord was broken. As he was surrounded, his corpse simply fell limp to the ground, perhaps to be re-animated again in the future.

The Elven chariots were destroyed or chased off. Eventually the two Elven mages were run down by zombies and dire wolves, presumably to be devoured. The Elves still had many solid troops remaining, but their time had run out. With night beginning to fall, the Elves had to withdraw, for facing the undead horde at night when their strength was greatest would be foolish.

The Elves had suffered relatively few casualties, but with no war machines, chariots, or magical support, they would be unable to mount a serious offensive against The Butcher's forces. This should leave Byron plenty of time undisturbed to learn from The Butcher and improve his necromantic skills.

High Elves
Cilliriel's army retreated from the battlefield. The necromancers had once again evaded them. The undead horde proved too plentiful to break through and the loss of his mages proved to be the killing blow on the elves' hopes for victory. It was with a heavy heart that the order for retreat was given, but elven lives are too precious a commodity to waste on these battlefields in the old world... the time for revenge shall come.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nemesis Crown Campaign: Battle 7

The herd had been broken, Banedrom defeated. The deadlings proved to be too numerous and when aided by the necromantic magics, crushed a large war herd. A particularly brutal Wargor called Khargar seizes a small warband and begin the hunt. The shaman called Gharnok agreed to bestoy the gifts of Khaos and even the ancient dragon ogres have agreed to help destroy the deadlings.

The foul stench was not hard to pick up as the very earth reeked of undeath. The small raiding party happens upon a necromancer and his minions. As a storm rages in the distance and the reek of undeath fill his muzzle, Khargar is reminded of the frustration felt in the last battle against the deadlings. A moment of intense rage overcomes him as he lets out a desperate roar and charges. Joining the ranks of the bestigors, they march towards the armored deadlings.

The unruly herd, maddened by the reek of death, charge a small building filled with the living fiends only to leave when tempted by their dark hounds. The centigors, much more eager to charge the black knights after a glorious binge of wine and ale, let loose a fearsome and foolishly optimistic charge…

After watching the centigors get crushed by the black knights, Khargar stops his Bestigor herd and awaits the charge. The black knights turn and launch a charge. A chill runs down his spine as Khargar hears a whisper. This was no deadling. A wicked blood drinker this was. Surprised, Khargar does not stand a chance and is swiftly dispatched by the vampire. However, the bestigors would hold. though the dark knights were fearsome, the bestigors would prove earn their favor from the dark Gods.

Enraged by their blunderous appearance in this accursed herd’s previous battle, the mighty dragon ogres choose their target. Awakened by the storm to be insulted by the beastmen, the undead would feel the rage of the centuries. Leading a crushing charge against the armored deadlings, the dragon ogres smash into the undead with a series of bone crushing swings. They fail to notice the bestigors, who have smashed through the black knights, have charged the same target in its flank. The combination was devastating.

The bestigors raise their banner and let loose a hideous slew of bray and snarls, cursing the undead horde and it’s foul stench. The remaining wolves and bats flee into the woods as the necromancer summons rotting guardians to escort him from the battlefield.

Vampire Counts
After defeating and driving off the Beastman horde, most of Byron's army went on ahead while he stuck around to search the area for the elusive prize. Unfortunately, the remnants of the beastman army returned for revenge! Byron was caught off guard with only a small contingent to guard him. But the beastmen had the aid of several massive dragon ogres! Having been humiliated and assaulted previously, both by their own drunken allies and the enemy's necromantic magic, the dragon ogres were back for vengeance. Their fury could not be stopped, and there was nothing in Byron's small contingent that could stand in the face of their furious onslaught. Black knights charged the beastman bestigors, and despite taking out the enemy general, they were unable to break the unusually resolute beastmen and were eventually defeated. The wights there to guard Byron were all destroyed by raging dragon ogres and the bestigors. Luckily, Byron himself managed to survive and escape. He must now make his way through the dangerous forests without any protection to meet back up with the bulk of his army. Hopefully things will be going better for them.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

4th Texas Infantry

Last weekend, I finished painting my second unit of GHQ 10mm American Civil War Confederate infantry, which I intend to use as the 4th Texas. They were painted in a very similar way to the 1st Texas, which you can see here. The only major difference was that I used brown ink on most of them, instead of black ink. I also used Fortress Grey instead of Codex Grey for the jackets, to make them a little lighter in color.

It took me about two weeks to finish them, including cleaning and priming them, basing, flocking, varnishing, etc. Most days I probably worked on them for about an hour, but some days less. The unit is composed of 36 advancing infantry figures, and 3 command figures. This works out well, because it gives a good sized unit, and I can get exactly enough for two such units out of every three packs of GHQ infantry, with command figures left over to use for other things.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Nemesis Crown Campaign: Battle 6

Vampire Counts
Due to his successes in battle, Byron Manfred's undead army continued to grow as word of his victories spread. He was soon joined by a much more powerful necromancer, and was taken as his apprentice. There was much for Bryon to learn from this new ally, and his necromantic skills continued to improve. His army was also joined by the ancient spirit of a long dead king, a powerful wight lord with mighty magical artifacts. This had been the great power that Byron had sensed in the burial ground he had discovered.

Unfortunately Duke Tepes, Byron's vampire thrall ally, left the army temporarily to pursue the upstart Bretonnian hero who had fought him to a draw. Tepes would not rest until he had tested in skills in a rematch with the Bretonnian. But Byron continued his search for the crown without Tepes, and with a larger army thanks to his new necromancer master.

His search soon brought him into conflict with a large beastman army that ambushed and attacked his undead force. The army included many chaos warriors and beastmen, and some larger monsters such as ogres and several dragon ogres. It was an intimidating force. But Byron, by now quite experienced in battle, was able to out-maneuver and eliminate the attacking beastmen piece by piece. The army was aided a great deal by the new master necromancer and his powerful magical abilities.

Byron managed to keep his army away from the powerful group of dragon ogres, partly thanks to the intervention of some drunken centigors who, seeing the dragon ogres from behind, must have mistaken them for some particularly butch but not completely unattractive female centigors. To add injury to insult, the master necromancer managed to cast a powerful necromantic spell on the dragon ogres, causing them to age unnaturally. Of course he must not have known that dragon ogres are immortal, so they would never age to the point of death, and growing old only makes them more powerful. These facts would later come back to haunt Byron in a future battle when the humiliated and infuriated dragon ogres returned for revenge.

But for the time being, what was left of the decimated and leaderless beastman army would have to retreat in the fact of the overwhelming undead hoard that remained. And Byron had some time to continue his search for the crown, and to study with his new master.