Sunday, May 8, 2016

Merkava Diorama - Part 5

Hi everyone,

Today I have a short update about my long-abandoned Merkava diorama.  I remember I got stuck with the turret, so I had to put it aside.

I have manage to get around it now, so I decided to get back in to it.  It will be finished by the end of this month.

This week I worked on the base, adding shades and shading, besides washes and pigments.



I also added some of the little posters I had bought from Model Miniature Company from France. I have to admit the posters to add an extra bit of realism to the piece.



Next week I might continue with another post about this diorama, or I might show what I am doing with the 28mm Dryads for KOW.  Until then farewell and good health.





   NR

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kings Of War: Converting my Dryads Part 1

Hi everyone,

Lately I have been playing Kings of War (KOW) on a regular basis with my 28mm Wood Elves and my 15mm and 10mm armies. So in the end I decided to convert my Wood Elves to the KOW format.  My army is all single figures which I move around in movement trays. 

Since I do not want to play anymore mass-battle-games where you have to remove single figures - I decided to take the plunge and re-base my elves in KOW style - with multi-bases!

The first unit I am going to work on are my Dryads. I have sixteen of the old GW dryads. Ten are painted and the other six are not.
At first I wanted to create a Hunters of the Wild troop of these models, but I have noticed that there were changes from the first edition Sylvan Kin unit from 25mm base size to 20mm base size.  What a bummer! Extra work!

I could not put ten models on a troop base.  You can put four instead of five models along the front rank, but you cannot fit a depth of two. They were just too big.  So I had to go for a regiment.

Altogether, you can fit 12 models on a regiment base, but I only had ten painted, and to be honest I think they look a bit boring with just dryads. 

So instead of painting up too more dryads, I opted for this guy.  It is an old treeman I have had laying around for years.  I can't even remember what company the model comes from. It is not very big for a treeman and too small for a Shamler. So I have decided to throw him in with the dryads, just to create interest.


This would bring the model count up to 11 models which is withing the legal limit for regiments.


BUT I STILL WAS NOT HAPPY WITH THE UNIT!

The unit needs a leader, and it has one - the dryad with both fists raised - but with a frontage of 4 models his position as leader is visually muted. So I decided to remove a model from the front rank in order to give the leader a better visual presence.
I think the unit looks better, but now the model count is down to 10 models and the unit is a bit empty.  I admit this gave me pause and I had to rammage through my miniatures to find  a solution.

I found one with some 15mm trolls that I had stored up.  I never really liked these 15mm D&D style trolls and never used them, but I think with a bit of converting I can turn them into forest beings.
Also, the three level of sizes gives the unit a less regimented unit style and a more Hunters of the Wild look.  After all they are not spearmen trained in regiment drills!

Putting everything together, you can see that the unit has more interest than just dryads in ranks and files.  Now all I have to do is convert the trolls; paint up the remaining models and glue them all to one single base - and viola my first multi-base!


Once again I have come to the end of another post.  I will be back next weekend, so until then farewell and good health to all.





   NR

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Kings Of War 2nd in 10mm & 15mm Part 1

Hi everyone,

Over 3 years ago I wrote an article about playing Kings of War (KOW) with 10mm and 15mm scales. Today I am revisiting that article with the advent of the 2nd edition of KOW.  I think KOW is a game that maintains the flavour of a mass battle game, but allows players to play through it quickly with the use of simple mechanics that allow the use of tactics and strategics to shine through.

In this day and age were time is scarce, this game offers a good compromise between large games and quick yet meaningful play.  The article will be in two parts.  The first part will discuss the use of 10mm armies, and the second will focus on 15mm scales. 

UNITS IN KOW

Units in KOW come in several sizes and types.  The smallest size of unit is the Troop; followed by the Regiment; then the Horde and finally the Legion. Since the first edition, units have changed slightly, mostly with the Large units and with the introduction of Legions.

I think this is a good move from Mantic, as the scope of the game is for big armies, so it was rather redundant to have single large infantry in the game. 

There are also several types of units.  The most common are the Infantry and Cavalry units, but like all worthy fantasy games there are also units of Large Infantry, Large Cavalry, War Engines, Monsters, and the legendary Hero. 

THE TROOP

The basic and smallest type is the Troop and this is the place to start our discussion. Troops are usually infantry and cavalry.  The infantry unit in KOW contains 10 models and the cavalry unit contains 5 models. 



THE REGIMENT

The Regiments are the staple unit of any army.  In KOW regiments can be Infantry, Cavalry, Large Infantry, as well as Large Cavalry.  Infanty units contain 20 models, cavalry units contain 10 models, and Large Infantry/Cavalry contain 3 models.


As you can observe the Infantry and Cavalry regiments are double the size of their corresponding troop.

THE HORDE

The concept of the Horde was first intoduced (more or less) with Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WFB), but was rendered playable by KOW.  Once again, the amount of models in the Horde is double that of the Regiment in all the types of units.  So Infantry hordes contain 40 models, Cavalry models contain 20 models and Large Infantry/Cavalry contain 6 models. 


THE LEGION 

By no stretch of the imagination is this type of unit a new concept.  I remember reading battle reports of such units in 3rd edition WFB before the army lists came out to help balance things out!  Yet once again KOW makes them playable, at least in larger games. 


Infantry legions contain 60 models, Large Infantry/Cavalry legions contain 12 models.  There are no Cavalry Legions in this iteration of KOW for the time being.

WAR ENGINES & MONSTERS

These categories only contain one model per unit.  Their size is their restriction.

CONVERTING TO 10MM ARMIES

In order to convert KOW units into 10mm units the fist thing you must do is equate the number of models in a KOW Troop with a single base on the 10mm scale.

Then, all you have to do is divide the Troop, Regiment, Horde or Legion in KOW by the basic amount of models in a Troop from the corresponding type of unit. The result is the amount of stands at 10mm needed to form the corresponding Troop, Regiment, Horde or Legion at the 10mm scale.

So, for example if you want a horde of Ax orc warriors, you have to check how many orcs there are in a KOW horde of Ax orc warriors - there are 40 models. 

Now take the amount of models in a Troop of Ax orc warriors - there are 10 models.  Divide the number of models in a Horde of Ax warriors by the amount of models in a Troop of Ax warriors. The result is the amount of bases at the 10mm scale you need to form a 10mm Horde.  In this case the amount is 4 bases.

To recap what I just wrote above into an easier format, please check out the list below:-

Infantry

Troop = 1 base
Regiment = 2 bases 
Horde = 4 bases
Legion = 6 bases



Cavalry

Troop = 1 base
Regiment = 2 bases 
Horde = 4 bases



Large Infantry/Cavalry

Regiment = 1 bases 
Horde = 2 bases
Legion = 4 bases

War Engines & Monsters

War Engines and Monsters are always represented by one model.

WHAT SIZE BASES FOR 10MM UNITS.

The size of the base comes down to several factors.  Namely, the game system, brand of miniature and/or personal taste.  The only thing you need to concern yourself with is the frontage of the base.  Frontage is everything!

I use Warmaster miniatures mainly with my 10mm armies, because I used to play GW's Warmaster game.  The frontage in Warmaster is 4cm.  So I kept this frontage.  Coincidently most historical games and other fantasy games in this scale use a 4cm frontage as well.  I only had to rebase the Cavalry and Chariot units.  

You can also play with a base frontage of 6cm, or 8cm, or 10cm.  As long as all your units (and those of your opponent) are based on the same frontage - it is not an issue.  Nonetheless I recommend a frontage of 4cm with 10mm armies.

The depth of the base is not important and can vary depending on the unit type or miniature size.  So Dwarven and Elven units might have shorter base depths to represent close compact regular units, while irregular units like barbarians and orcs might have slightly longer base depths to represent their warband-like unit structure.  Cavalry, Large troops and Monsters would all have longer depths depenting on the models. 

HOW MANY MODELS ON EACH BASE IN 10MM SCALE

Once again, this depends on two factors - brand and personal taste.  Either way, it is not important as it will not have an impact on the mechanics of KOW. 

Remember that the Troops, Regiments, Hordes and Legions in KOW are represented by a number of bases at 10mm scale.  So if a Regiment of Elves has 15 attacks in KOW, then the 2 bases that represent the Regiment at 10mm scale also have 15 attacks. If a 10mm Goblin Horde of 4 bases is destroyed, then all four bases are removed.  And so on!

In Warmaster, models come in strips, and two strips are placed on a single base.  Coincidently, two strips of infantry usually contains 10 small models.  

Other brands like Copplestone Castings and Eureka Miniatures produce 10mm scale figures in single pieces.  So you can place as many as you like on a base.  I would try to weigh cost against aesthetics, and place as many models you can afford, but with an eye to how the unit looks.  A full base of men always looks more striking. 

Below is a short list indicating an appropriate amount of miniatures per base for 10mm.  This list is only an opinion, but is works for me.

For Bases with a frontage of 4cm:-

Infantry = 10 miniatures per base

Cavalry = 3 to 4 miniatures per base

Large Infantry/Cavalry = 3 miniatures per base

War Engines = 1 model per base

Monsters = 1 model per base

DO YOU WANT BIGGER SIZED ARMIES?

If you feel or think that one base representing a Troop, or 4 bases representing a Horde is not visually very stimulating, then just double the amount of bases for each respective unit.

Infantry

Troop = 2 base
Regiment = 4 bases 
Horde = 8 bases
Legion = 12 bases

Cavalry

Troop = 2 base
Regiment = 4 bases 
Horde = 8 bases

Large Infantry/Cavalry

Regiment = 2 bases 
Horde = 4 bases
Legion = 8 bases

CONCLUSION

KOW is a great game, and its flexible game mechanics and structure allows you to play at any scale you like.  If you are restricted in space, or find it hard transport your army or you simply have an 10mm fantasy army you are not using anymore, then you have an option with KOW.  I recommend giving this game a try whatever scale army you have.

Farewell and good health,





   NR

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Saga Vikings - The Warriors

Hi everyone,

So today I want to talk a bit about my warriors, or as I call them, the workhorse of my army.

Altogether I have 3 units of warriors or bondsmen, as they are called among viking culture. Two of the units are armed with hand weapons and shields, but one unit is armed with spears and shields.  I think the hand weapon option suits them better, but I included the spears for diversity.

With the first unit of bondsmen I added an old Citadel miniature of a barbarian.  I wanted him as the leader, because he has that presence of pose.  The problem was that he as slightly short compared to The Foundry vikings.  So I had to operated and elongate him a little. As you can see he also had no pants except for a loin cloth - that had to change!
The operation began by cutting through the legs and axe and adding wire to elongate him.
The last stage was to add the pants and rebuild the axe with putty.  I went for the viking baggy trousers because I think they look cool.
As you can see the extra height really rings him out as the leader of the bondsmen


The second unit is similar, but this time I used one of the miniatures of the berserkers pack as the leader. He was the only one without a wolf head, so I decided to use him with this unit. He is the bald dude in the middle with the two weapons and cool baggy pants!

The unit is in the early stages of prepping, and I have not added the shields or the putty on the bases yet.
The last unit is my reserve unit for larger 6 point battles. I went with spears with this unit to diversify a bit as I mentioned before. The pointy spears are made from metal and are very sharp.  You have to handle them carefully or you can actually hurt yourself! I pricked myself several times and managed to bleed twice.

I don't know what is coming next week at this point, but I will be back,  until then farewell and good health.





  NR

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Saga Vikings - The Hearthguard

Hi everyone,

Today I want to cover the elites of my army, or as the rulebook puts it - the Hearthguard. For the vikings, the hearthguard are the Hirdmen.  They come in units of 4 miniatures for 1 point. You can convert up to one unit of Hirdmen into berserkers - something I will definitely do!

Altogether I have 2 units of Hirdmen in chainmail amour (in order to distinguish them from the warriors) and one unit of berserkers.  In the game you can combine units of the same type up to a maximum of 12 miniatures and divide units to a minimum of 4.

I think it would be a good idea to combine the hirdmen into a strong unit of 8 men, in games of 6 points or more.  In smaller games this might be compromising or inpractical - I will have to get some more games under my belt before I can comment knowledgely.

As for the miniatures, they are all from the Wargames Foundry range. As I have mentioned in past posts, I think they are the most characterful minis on the market at the moment.

The only drawback I have found in them are the shields. They are rather bulky and fit awkwardly.  I had to pin them all!  This made the prepping stage a bit of a hassle, but unless you want the shields to fall off all the time, it is time well invested.  If you can get your hands on plastic shields - then go for it!

All the miniatures needed cleaning from minimal flash and filing, and I decided to use 30mm bases instead of the conventional 25mm bases, as I think the size increase gives them a greater sense of drama. After gluing the models to the bases, I added some Miliput (a cheap epoxy putty) to soften the gradation and help seal them in place.

As you can see from the two units of hirdmen below, the models are very well casted.  The only problem  was with one model in the picture below that had an eye badly miscasted.  It was beyond fixing, so I decided to cover the damage with a viking visor.  You can see it in the picture below - it is the mini to the far right.




By far my favourite miniatures are the berserkers.  They are just class. Little gems dying to be painted up and played with.  They are also slightly larger than the average viking warrior model which helps to emphasize there dangerous natures.  The last picture is a comparison between a bondsmen and berserker, both from Wargames Foundry.

 
Next week come the bondsmen, the true work-horse of the army, until then farewell and good health to all.





  NR

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Saga Vikings - The Warlords

Hi everyone,

Today I start a new journey into Saga and the Dark Ages.  So it is only appropriate to kick off this new project with a dedicated blog series.

To launch off these posts I am starting with the Vikings - specifically the Warlords.  Now my Viking army is made up of 99% from the Wargames Foundry range. I found these miniatures to be the most characterful out there.  I also like their size and the fact that they are metal.

Having said that, they do suffer from some of the casting defects of Warlord Games and Mantic Games, but since they are more 'organic' in subject - they are more easily fixable.

For the Vikings I have two warlords - one 4 inch base with one figure and one 5 inch base with 2 figures.  I went down this route because although base size is rather inconsequential, the rules do specify that unmounted warlords should not be on a base wider than 4 inches.

The first picture below, is my single-based warlord - the 'game legal' one.  Wargames Foundry named him Harold Finehair (I know, I know) but I think I can come up with something better. I added a treasure chest and placed a shield resting on it. Besides a wider base, I also gave it a higher one in order to emphasize his importance.
My second warlord is probably my favourite.  This is the leader I will use unless my opponent has any objections.  His name on the Wargames Foundry site is Rollo the Ganger - much better! The figure itself is imposing and bigger than a standard viking and is is very beardy to boot.  I think he looks real nice for a leader of a skirmish warband.

I also added a standard bearer which I converted from one of my huscarls.  I think this extra model will help frame the warlord and make him look more imposing. The banner is from Little Big Men Studios.




Next week I will start to look at the units, so stay tuned.  Until then, farewell and good health as always.





   NR

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