Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Epic 30k - Sons of Horus Artillery Support

Artillery for "hope and change" in the galaxy...

In the Epic 30k setting, Horus the Warmaster brings a powerful and uplifting message of hope and change for humanity and the galaxy.  Sadly there are many who yet cling to the existence of an alleged "Emperor" such that armed resistance is an issue, meaning the brave members of the Sons of Horus Legion sometimes require artillery to get that hope and change message to truly "sink in" to a given target zone audience.

So just a few Epic 30k fire support bits for the XVI Legion here.  Up first is a lone Whirlwind - this will join the three I have already finished to form a complete battery of four vehicles (I am following the standards and listings in this awesome wiki, which has four launchers per battery for the Legiones Astrates).

The Whirlwind, a "classic" Space Marine support vehicle - rocket launcher on a rhino APC chassis
Next - three rapier gun carriers to provide some close heavy support for the noble foot-slogging elements of the Sons of Horus.  They add a nice little boost in firepower for infantry detachments - I need to finish up a few more in order to have a stand-alone detachment of six platforms, so they will serve as detachment upgrades for now.

A small battery of Rapier weapon carriers

Another "classic" support weapon for Space Marines
Then there is a battery of Legion Basilisks.  I love the look of these things - they remind me a lot of the WW2-era self-propelled guns such as the German "Hummel"or the British "Archer" (which was a tank destroyer, I think, not artillery - but still). 

Serious "hope" here - a battery of four Legion Basilisk guns for the XVI Legion

These are more "new age", so-to-speak, for Marines - this weapon is more typically thought of as an Imperial Army thing, but the Space Marine Legions like to have it all...
While the Whirlwind is a more "classic" Space Marine support vehicle, these Basilisks give the Legion fire support at a much longer range (up to 120cm out compared to 45cms for the Whirlwind). They can fire indirectly to offer a steady dose of barrage points upon loyalist fools or engage over open sights in a more direct-fire, tank-destroyer-type role (for when one of these isn't available).

Horus for hope - with a range of 120cms on the table, the love of the Warmaster will find you!
For the past little while I have been trying to keep my Epic forces consistent - when I add some stuff for the Sons of Horus, I try to add the same for the Imperial Fists, and vice-versa.  So watch for some more Epic artillery to appear soon, but in the bright yellow of Rogal Dorn's chosen...in the meantime, happy painting!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Otherworld Miniatures Pig-Faced Orcs

Back in 2009, I picked up a blister pack of the superb Otherworld Pig-Faced Orcs sculpted by Kev Adams. I enjoyed them so much that I subsequently bought a bunch more when they went on sale from a US vendor. The recent Otherworld game I staged at PrairieCon gave me some impetus to finish off painting the group.

The two character models in the foreground are from Command Set #2. The Orc holding the banner has been converted extensively - he started out holding a halberd and shield. His right arm was cut off and replaced by a hand and banner from the GW Chaos Marauders sprue. In his left he holds a sword liberated from a plastic Skaven plague monk.
 
Crossbow-orcs come three to a pack and I bought one pack of those for some long-range firepower.



Two more crossbow-orcs here along with some energetic weapon-wavers.



Their boss - "El Porco". I love the pig-faced helm and heavy armour on this chap.







These guys with the two-handed weapons are great, if seeming somewhat awkward. Maybe it's just me, as I would swing a two-handed weapon "left-handed" and these guys are all righties.



Converted banner-bearer.



Shaman of the tribe. Another great model, and I'm cool with how the "characters" are actually noticeably physically larger than the grunt-orcs. Shows how they ended up being bosses I guess.

Anyway, that's the Pig-Faced Orcs. I really enjoyed painting them and I think they look great on the table. There's no school like the old school!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Necromunda etc. at PrairieCon

Almost two weeks ago, I joined fellow Conscripts Greg and Dallas in running games at PrairieCon 2016 (the 37th running of this long-standing event!). The program shows the variety of board, role-playing, tabletop, and miniatures games offered.

PrairieCon weekend capped a week of being away from home. I turned a short business trip to Riding Mountain National Park into a mini-vacation with my wife, Jen. (I heartily recommend the Elkhorn Resort, and the restaurants, shops, and hiking trails in and around Wasagaming and Clear Lake MB as restful vacation destinations.) So, for a week, our car was packed with not only our luggage, but a set of golf clubs, two briefcases, a laptop, figures, and enough urban and scatter terrain to cover a closely packed  4'x4' table!

Arriving early in Brandon, MB on the Friday, Jen and I met up with Kim and Conscript Byron, We had a great German meal at Hansel and Gretel's Schnitzel House.

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To go with the spaetzle, and the chicken and pork schnitzel, what better than some German beer!

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***

I ran Necromunda twice on Friday night, using the Total War scenario from the Necromunda by Night campaign. Along with my terrain, I brought my own Spyre Hunters, and three gangs thoughtfully provided by Dallas, his Delaques, Redemptionists, and Adeptus Arbites.

First game, the table was crowded, with the Adeptus Arbites and Delaques allying against the outlaw Redemptionists and Spyrers. The players make quick work of the "monster" (this time porteayed by a Talisman figure with a big stick). Below, the players include Astronomi-con's ChristianA and Conscript Byron.

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The turning point was when several Delaque reinforcements were put Down by a Redemptionist with a single-shot flamethrower! The Redemptionists and Spyrers ended up holding the field.

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In the second game, one of the players failed to show, so I refereed a Delaque (Conscript Perry)  vs. Redemtionist  (Cliff) fight.

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As the (real) Sun set, I lit up some battery operated tea lights for atmosphere.

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It took 3 full turns before the monster showed. Parry's team bottled out, but the monster started to whittle down the surviving Redemptionists...

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...until  Downed by a one-two meltagun and giant chainsaw beat down.

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I was using Bolt Action order dice as ersatz status counters. I ordered from Chessex two sets of custom Necromunda status dice. They arrived in the mail too late for PrairiCon, but I used them in a recent game I had pitting my Spyrers against Levon's Van Saars; Levon thought they worked very well. Below is photo of the test dice provided by Chessex ( I shall post about my game with Levon later).

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OTHER GAMES AT PRAIRIECON

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

[From the convention program:] "Artemis is a multi player, multi-computer networked game for Windows computers, and now iOS devices too. Artemis simulates a spaceship bridge by networking several computers together. One computer runs the simulation and the “main screen”, while the others serve as workstations for the normal jobs a bridge o fficer might do, like Helm, Communication, Engineering, and Weapon Control. Artemis is a social game where several players are together in one room (“bridge”) , and while they all work together, one player plays the Captain, a person who sits in the middle, doesn’t have a workstation, and tells everyone what to do."

This game was supposed to be run in every time slot. Unfortunately, there was no game-master at the late Friday night slot Byron, Dallas, and I played in! Fortunately, the player Captain had played before and was able to guide us through a scenario. It took awhile before I got the hang of running the Science station.

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It was fun working together to try and fight our ship against a series of hostiles.

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Otherworld

Dallas ran his Otherworld skirmish game, which elicited fond memories of my playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends in high school. The human adventurer figures I ran, painted by Dallas, are also from Otherworld. I really liked how they were festooned with adventuring gear (50' rope? Check! Wine-skin? Check! Potions and scrolls? Double check!)

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Settlers of Catan

Settlers is one of Jen's favourite games. PrairieCon hosted the Canadian National Settlers of Catan Championship. It was cool to see the variety of players who participated, both young and old. IIRC, the winner won airfare and hotel for the World Championships!

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Warhammer 40K Tournament

There was a 40K tournament on Saturday. The participants fielded some nicely modeled armies. I still play 40K, but it was interesting to note several longtime 40K players who weren't playing at the tournament (Dallas, Greg, MikeK, and myself, to name a few).

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Epic 30K

Greg ran his truly "epic" 30K Smackdown on Sunday morning. I have been following the progress on his beautifully painted forces. His desert terrain table is also real eye candy.

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***

All in all, I had a great time at PraireCon. I highly recommend the convention, which has something for just about anyone's gaming taste.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish at PrairieCon!

Two weeks back, Conscript Greg and I ran some games at PrairieCon, Manitoba's premiere gaming convention. This was the 37th iteration of the venerable event, and my old pal Kelly reminded me that we'd been attending together since PrairieCon III, lo those many years ago. Thanks Kel! ;-)

Anyway, we always try to bring something different out to the Con. Some years it's been Star Wars skirmish or space battles, other years a different sci-fi game; WWII or who knows what. But this year, since PrairieCon started as (and remains at heart) a D&D tournament, I thought I should bring out the modern miniatures equivalent of OSR: Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish, in a dungeon.
 
So I gathered six factions: two groups of dungeon adventurers, the Orcs of the Severed Hand and some Pig-Faced Orcs, some Skaven, and a couple vampires and their minions. Conscript Byron made some awesome laser-cut tokens for me to use, and I laid out the dungeon using Games Workshop's excellent and long out-of-print Dungeon Floor Plans.

The basic premise was simple: the dungeon beneath Castle Drax had long been home to monsters of various descriptions, in thrall to the mysterious Wizard who lived there. But the Wizard hasn't been seen for some time, and rumours abound of monsters fleeing the dungeon in the middle of the night... sounds like the perfect opportunity for plunder and pillage in an abandoned dungeon, no?

Of course, every faction had this same idea and therein lies the opportunity for a game. As mentioned, Byron made up some superb tokens for me based on Chris Abbey's excellent six-player Otherworld game. Cheers Chris! The Adventure tokens Byron created replaced the cardboard ones produced by Otherworld - I needed about 25 for this game and only 8 come in the set.

If you haven't played Otherworld yet, it's a hoot. For me one of the joys of the game is the Adventure deck. When your model comes across an Adventure token you pick the top card off the deck to determine the result - a treasure item, a trap, another special game effect, or a Wandering Monster!
In our game, each faction had a couple models in its Wandering Monster pool and these came onto the table when the WM card was drawn, a very cool mechanic.

Too much happened in the game to go into blow by blow, but if you were wondering what happened to the Wizard and why all the monsters left the dungeon...

It was because a Purple Worm happened to surface in his bedroom, and ate him! (Shown here about to gobble a hapless Elven Ranger)

The game was great fun and we tabulated victory according to treasure taken and XPs notionally gained for killing characters from other factions. The winner was Oliver, with 13 VPs (his adventurer group shown above, finishing off Byron's Orcs of the Porcine Visage).

Conscript Dave's band of murder hoboes was arguably the most dangerous group in the dungeon, here shown finishing off the Purple Worm...

...and right after that, Craig's Wandering Ettin, Phil.

I had great fun running the game, and I want to thank Oliver, Byron, Craig, Dave, Brett and Andy for playing and Greg for hanging in with the Purple Worm.

I took a few pics of the models we used today as I finally put them away. Here they are:

Otherworld hireling-types

The Over-the-Ponders: Livingstone the Mage, Blume the Elven Ranger, Sir Jackson, Ansell the Thief. Blume is a Grenadier figure from the AD&D set of the early '80s; Ansell is also Grenadier c. 1979  


I really like this model! Figures back then were a bit smaller so I just call him an elf.

Purple Worm! Reaper Minis

Orcs of the Severed Hand - Grenadier box set from the early '80s, with Citadel Ettin

Disciples of the Horned Rat, with Ral Partha bugbears

Elsa and Vlad, vampires. Both Citadel, with Citadel villagers and Dire Wolves

Otherworld adventurers - Gygax the Mage, Sir Perren, Zeb the Rogue, Brother Arneson