Monday, December 21, 2009

10mm Union and Confederate Armies

I have finally finished the first block of figures I wanted to have for my 10mm Union and Confederate Civil War armies. This includes a brigade of 5 infantry regiments, one cavalry regiment (both mounted and dismounted versions), and one artillery battery for each side, along with some command bases. I plan to expand each force in roughly the same proportions to eventually end up with: a division of three infantry brigades, a cavalry brigade, and several artillery batteries to use as a reserve or add to the other brigades. So I'll have to do two more similar sized blocks for each side, plus a few extra cavalry regiments and artillery batteries. Before I start on that, however, I am going to paint and base up some casualty markers. But for now, I want to enjoy the accomplishment of finishing the first chunk of each army. So here are some pictures of everything I have so far for each side (with the exception of a couple of Union command bases that I somehow missed):

Friday, December 18, 2009

Grismeire Valley Campaign - High Elf Characters

Prince Finduleas Tethelion of Caledor
Prince Tethelion, one of the arrogant and powerful princes of Caledor, found, in the deepest of vaults, what he believes are clues to the location of the fabled Spear of Twilight. Through quick politicking, Tethelion was able to get a Warrant of Quest from the Phoenix King's Court giving him permission to raise an expedition force bound for the Old World. Not wanting to reveal his true goal, the Prince had his most trusted servant, Loriss, make forgeries of the documents he'd stumbled on omitting all clues of the Spear of Twilight. Loriss had no small skill in forgery. The prize had to be Tethelion's alone.

With the new documents, Prince Tethelion was able to draw quite a number of intrigued mages to his entourage, and with them came their guards, the mighty Swordmasters of Hoeth. Many of Tethelion's own kin joined in the hunt as well. In the final days before departure, Finduleas solidified his power by waking the mighty dragon, Mauglissiar.

Tethelion sent envoys to the King of Bretonnia as well as the Duke of Bastonne requesting permission to search 'their' lands for his kin's lost property.
Due to a violent storm at sea, Tethelion's ship had to diviate to the south. Upon making port at Brionne, the Prince learned of rumors of foul beasts raiding the exact area he was heading for. At the large port city, Finduleas hired a large band of ogres to protect his expedition and as soon as the storm broke, set off again for the port of Bordeleaux and then on up the river towards Parravon. Upon the outskirts of Parravon, Tethelion ordered the ogres to travel ahead to the north eastern region of the Massif Orcal to make sure the way was clear and then set up camp near the Black Chasm.

While resupplying in Parravon, Prince Tethelion again heard news. This time, however, it only worked in his favour. An army of High Elves was already in the area! It seemed that the rear guard of Captain Caradryan's army of the Nemesis Crown War was here biding their time until the troop ships returned from Ulthuan. That would give him another two years!

Tethelion's expedition travelled north towards Bastonne and made camp upon the banks of the Grisimire River. Prince Tethelion quickly rode to Bastonne where he met Duke Theodric the Bretonnian general, as well as Commander Cilliriel and Captain Asurai Durnal of the Sylvanusian Silver Helms, the ranking elven officers.
As luck would have it, one of the wretched Vampiric kin had perched in the very area Prince Tethelion's research had marked as the wayward home of what could only be the Spear of Twilight.

Taking upon himself the role of Fearless Vanquisher of All Evil, Tethelion committed his forces to the destruction of such vile monstrosities. The other Elven Commanders were only too eager to commit their forces as well. Very well, the do-gooders were welcome to to front. All distraction from his quest must be quashed...

Loriss Ankgmar
Loriss is prince Tethelion's most trusted servant. He is well learned and a mage of no little power. Though versed in High Magic as well as the lores of all eight winds, Loriss always gravatates and finds the greatest affinity with the winds Shyish and Ulgu.

Captain Asurai Durnal of the Silver Helms of Sylvanus
Asurai is one of the followers of the 'Lost Prince' Raethiel Isildur Tiranoc, prince of Sylvanus. Unlike most Silver Helms, Durnal is not of noble blood. Prince Raethiel saw the promise in him, however, and gifted him with the tools and place in the Silver Helm unit of Sylvanus. As Sylvanus rose in power, so too did Asurai Durnal's own prestige leading eventually to him rising to the place of Captain of Sylvanus' regiment of Silverhelms. Captain Asurai led the troops of Sylvanus under Commander Cilliriel Drachen of the Phoenix Guard as part of Captain Caradryan's army in the War of the Nemesis Crown.

Commander Cilliriel Drachen, Keeper of the Flame of Asuryan
Commander Drachen is one of the mighty champions of the Phoenix Guard. He led the rear guard of his Captain, Caradryan after the War of the Nemesis Crown. As such, his force was left behind in the Old World until the troop ships return from Ulthuan. Though still in technical command of the army, he shares responsibility with Captain Durnal, an elf who has become somewhat of a hero to the elves in his force. The elven force has purchased an elven villa near the Bretonnian fortress of Bastonne to wait out the time until their departure. Only Cilliriel and the rest of his Phoenix Guard know the true reason for their delay and choice of location...

Aldric Quilute
Adric is a young elf who keeps apart from the festivities at Brionne, instead prefering the immediate countryside. His eyes smoulder amber that seems to denote a fiery demeanor. He's charismatic and quite talkative once engaged, upon a vast array of subjects, from subtle lore to the arts of combat, though it's hard to miss during such times that he is prone to (frequently unprovoked) mood swings and an, at times, distracted air about him.

Quint Fellius
Quint is an old and grizzled elf who wears a beautifully crafted silk scarf over his blind, maimed eyes. The loss of sight, however, does not seem to handicap him as he walks the crowded streets of Brionne without the help of a guide or cane. His face is a worn manuscript of scars telling of countless battlefields, heroics, and tragedies. Between his shoulders rests a mighty sword almost as tall as he in the blade alone, in a scabbard of silver and pearl. The veteran is often seen walking amongst the barracks, regaling the younger knights with tales of almost impossible bravery. To look at his ravaged body and hear his screams in the night is to know that every tale is true.

Nayell Glaugeniss
It is a well known among the expedition that Nayell knows everything. The rumor is not that far off. A mage of undisputable power and a warrior of no small ability, Nayell also teaches the young Elflings of Saphrey, is an excellent dancer, speaks 23 languages (2 of which he invented), plays 14 instruments, and is a gourmet chef. Through all of this pompously arrogant genius, Nayell remains an amiable fellow, always willing to tactfully offer a helping hand to those in need. He truly feels the call to help those he finds in need. He alone of the elves of the expedition foresaw the troubles about to come to Bastonne, and for that reason above all others did he and his entourage accompany the expedition.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chaos Space Marines

I've now finished the other half of my first squad of Chaos Space Marines of my custom chapter, The Crusaders. You can see the first 5 of them here.

Chaos Marines Chaos Marines Chaos Marines Chaos Marines Chaos Marines

Usually when I finish painting miniatures, I give them a coat of spray gloss varnish to protect them well, then a second coat of matte varnish to get rid of the glossy look. With these guys, I liked how they looked after the gloss varnish, so I left them that way. I still haven't decided yet if I'm going to do the coat of matte varnish, since they're pretty shiny. Let me know what you think.

Also, with these five I painted their horns white. With the previous set, I painted their horns black because I didn't want anything to stand out more than the bone colored trim. But I kind of like how the white horns look. So, which do you think looks better? White horns, or black horns?

Friday, December 11, 2009

100th Blog Post!

This post will mark my 100th since starting this blog just a little over one year ago. It's quite a milestone, and I thought I'd mark the occassion with a look back at the kind of things I've written about in my first 99 blog posts, broken down by category.

Coming in at number one is the painting category, with 39 posts out of 100. This is a very broad category, since it includes all of the pictures I post of miniatures I've painted. But it does show how much painting I've gotten done in the last year, if you leave out the first several posts of pictures of things I had painted previously. It does show that almost everything I've painted in the last year has been 10mm scale, which has been an interesting change of pace from the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 stuff I had been more used to painting. The vast majority of the painting posts are of my growing 10mm American Civil War armies.

A close second on the list of categories is historical with 34 posts. Again, this reflects that my main project over the past year has been painting up 10mm Union and Confederate American Civil War armies. About a year ago is also when I began my initial foray into historical wargaming. So my first 99 posts contain a lot of pictures of my painting Civil War figures as well as impressions of rulesets, a couple of historical battle reports, and just general useful information I was able to find along the way that helped me start into the historical gaming.

The next three categories represent my main gaming interests: Warhammer 40,000 with 29 posts, American Civil War with 26 posts, and Warhammer Fantasy with 23 posts. Most of these posts also fall into some other category. Warhammer 40,000 definitely is the game I have been playing the most lately, so there are several good battle reports in there, as well as some older posts showing off painted miniatures, and one large campaign. The American Civil War posts are mostly showing the miniatures I've painted in the past year, but there are also two good battle reports and some step by step painting guides. I haven't played much Warhammer Fantasy lately, but those posts do include some older painted miniatures that were completed before I started the blog, as well as write-ups for a couple of campaigns, one of which is still in progress.

Speaking of campaigns, you can read all of the battle reports and story lines for a Wharmmaer 40,000 map-based cities of death campaign under the Attraignnor IV campaign heading, which contains 11 posts. The campaign was pretty fun, and generated a lot of great backstory for some of our 40k armies. I've also posted all of the write-ups from my gaming group's participation in the global Nemesis Crown Campaign, which included 9 posts in total. I've also just started posting the rules and background stories for a Warhammer Fantasy campaign that we are slowly working our way through right now, which we're calling the Grismeire Valley Campaign. There are only 4 posts in this category so far, but there will be many more to come.

As for battle reports, that category contains only 18 posts. This is really sad, since it is obvious I don't actually play games nearly often enough. Especially when you consider that some of the battle reports for a single game take up 2 posts, and that many of these battle reports posts are from the Attraignnor IV campaign, which was played over a year ago. So in the past year, I really haven't played anywhere near as much as I would like to. I would like to try and correct this, but since the people I game with don't live very close to me, scheduling more games is difficult.

The rules category contains 13 posts. This could be broken down a little further. First, there are my reviews of rule books I read when looking at historical rules, such as my reviews of Warlord Games's Black Powder, Wargames Foundry's Napoleon, and Warhammer Historical's Great War, as well as a Civil War battle report with my impressions of Piquet's Field of Battle. The others are house rules, such as my Warhammer Fantasy Map Campaign Rules, several custom Warhammer 40k Eldar Special Characters, and a list of Inquisitor house rules.

The fiction category contains 8 posts, and includes background stories written for campaigns, those custom Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Special Characters I created (since they include the background stories of the characters), and a story I wrote about a Warrior Priest Inquisitor character.

There are 6 posts in the terrain category, mostly detailing my efforts to create some terrain for my new 10mm miniatures. It does include some really helpful posts about making hills, making/painting rocks, and making split rail fences in 10mm scale. Still, there is not as much as I'd like in this category. Hopefully the coming year will see far more terrain posts, as I hope to create fiels and town sections for 10mm gaming, and also some city ruin pieces and Planestrike terrain for Warhammer 40k.

The smallest categories, with fewer than five posts at the time I write this, are: Great War, Napoleonic, Inquisitor, Roleplaying, Warmaster, Battlefleet Gothic, and modelling. I won't summarize what's in each of these categories. They're small enough that if you're at all interested in the subject, you can read for yourself. For some of these categories, I find it unfortunate that they are so poorly represented. I enjoy Battlefleet Gothic, and only got in a single game of it all this year. Warmaster seems like a really fun game, but I've never gotten to actually play it. I had a lot of fun running an Inquisitor campaign for my gaming group, with each group member playing a character, and I played in another similar campaign, but we haven't done anything with it since then. I've tried to get people together to continue the story using the Rouge Trader rules, or get a group together to play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, but there isn't enough interest and it's so hard to get more than 2 or 3 people from the group together at once. So, unfortunately, I don't see most of these smaller categories growing much in the future.

So there you have it. A summary of my first 100 posts, which should give a pretty good idea of what this blog has been all about. When I wrote my first post for this blog, way back in November of 2008, I laid out three purposes for the blog. First, it would contain only content related to miniature gaming, which I seem to have achieved easily enough. Second, that it would have posts that would be useful to other gamers out there, not just of interest to the people I game with. Well, between google followers and other subscribers, it would appear that at least 45 people have shown in interest in viewing my blog, so hopefully I have been succeeding in that respect. Finally, I wished to chronicle my start into historical wargaming, which I was just discovering. With about a third of the posts so far falling into the "historical" category, I hope I've done an admirable job there. So far the blog seems to be a moderate success by those terms, and hopefully will continue to be so for the next 100 posts!

Now that you've seen the breakdown of posts by category, if there's anything you want to see more of (or less of), or any advice on how I can make the blog better, please leave a comment and let me know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Major General James Longstreet

Here is the final piece to my initial batch of 10mm Confederate miniatures, a command stand representing General Longstreet. I will eventually expand the force to an entire division, which he will command. These are all 10mm GHQ miniatures, with the figure actually meant to be Longstreet, who is included in their Confederate Commanders #2 pack.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Grismeire Valley Campaign - Beastmen Story

Banebeast Banedrom has led a long, gruesome campaign to earn the favor of Tzeenth and to assemble one of the most terrifying forces to strike from the heart of the charred lands from whence he came.

Born from blue flame, the Banebeast was clearly destined for greatness. Life among beasts made him tough, cunning. Rather than beat the stupid savages to death with a stone or club, the Banebeast would toy with his foe, leading him in with seeming slow wit. All too late it becomes clear that the Banebeast has led you to your grisly fate.

Wielding a massive war axe, the Banebeast is a fearsome warrior who has been blessed with cunning and the power to command the winds of Chaos themselves. Aided closely by his war council, Wargor Khorghur and Ghurgor the Bray, the Banebeast's herd is surrounding by an atmosphere that registers as an overbearing dread as the Banebeast fills the foe's mind with horrific visions.

Joining the Banebeast is a herd of frightening caliber. Followed by his minotaurs and beasts whom he has blessed with the influence of the great Sorcerer, the Banebeast is eager. The Ancient Ones have been awakened in the greatest storm in centuries and there are rumors that the Banebeast has been coercing a Monster to join him in his righteous campaign for the great Sorcerer.