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A New Beginning…

Tinkering with Artwork and Ideas!

The more complex the mind, the more the need for the simplicity of play.

— James T. Kirk
Let‘s go on an adventure!

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Long time no see…

Apologies for the lack of recent blog posts. We have not had much time to game or paint due to various real world distractions.

As you can see above I did manage to add some improvements to one of my dwarves. Since he became a “hero in the making” I thought he needed some additional touches to convey that.

You may notice the new background surrounding him… that is the Dwarven Forge cavern pieces we received from our friend Tom. Thanks Tom!

My wife and I fell in love with the Dwarven Forge cavern pieces at Spiel (a gaming convention in Essen) last year but it was outside our financial means. We love the quirky aesthetics and muted color palette, which we hope will go well with the Hagglethorn Hollow pieces when (if) they arrive.

Tom made it possible for us to get started collecting Dwarven Forge pieces… which lead us to making a pledge on the recent Dwarven Forge Wildlands Kickstarter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dwarvenforge/wildlands-by-dwarven-forge-handcrafted-modular-game-terrain

We did not make a large pledge but we hope to be able to add to it during the pledge manager… so we have been trying to gather spare funds to that end.

Some of our money was diverted to pledge on the second Dungeons and Lasers Kickstarter.

My wife and I like both the sci-fi and fantasy sets but we have ALOT of Battle Systems terrain for sci-fi already. And we have some concerns how the fantasy sets will look next to Dwarven Forge. But we can not afford Dwarven Forge dungeon pieces at this stage anyway as we are focusing on the Wildlands pieces.

The real gem of the D&L 2 Kickstarter though is the stretchgoal freebies. These are considerably more useful than the stretchgoal extras of either Hagglethorn Hollow or Dwarven Forge Wildlands. We are going to get the legacy stretch goals from D&L 1 as well since they are being offered at such a great price.

Another figure we needed a bit of an upgrade was Victor, one of Ozzy’s Outlaws. We wanted him to have poison blades and armor. We try to keep things WYSIWYG… what you see is what you get. If a model has even just a helmet for example it is considered armored. So I gave Victor a helmet… a battered, rusty old bit of loot… which he is generally too lazy to wear unless he has to!

The strange green substance on his knife is a deadly toxin…. that allows him to reroll when he rolls a 1 to wound.

I also decided to go back to a figure I finished recently and change him from a Dunlending to a warrior of Rohan. I think he looks better this way. A lot of people recommend a Viking look for Dunlendings and a Saxon look for Rohan. I am thinking instead to go Celt for Dunlendings and use a mix of Viking and Saxon for Rohan. I have not fully decided about Normans but at this stage they may go Rohan or maybe Black Numenorean.

I did manage to get some things painted for eBay and/or gifting to friends.

We have gotten rid of a lot of things to try to refocus our projects. More is likely to go as we are finding our original plans for giant Strategy Battle Games in Middle Earth Are turning into smaller Battle Companies focused skirmishes instead. It just suits us better. So lots of things I got as inexpensive proxies to bulk out our forces are going. Same with our Core Space sci-fi project. We are going to focus more on official Battle Systems Core Space items rather than branching out into bigger sci-fi battles that I planned to use Stargrunt for.

Part of this is down to Battle Systems intending to have a new Kickstarter later this year to expand Core Space!

I have no idea where we are going to find the time for this all… but it gets worse!

We backed Reaper Bones 5 largely (pun intended) to get the “pirate ship”… I am thinking more of a 6th Rate (Light) Frigate or perhaps East Indiaman.

That is a picture of the prototype design… delivery is still a long way off but I have been trying to decide how best to game with this beast. I looked at Blood and Plunder from Firelock Games, they also have another Kickstarter around the corner in early October. I thought about writing modifying SBG for a blackpowder era game. But then I fell down the Sharp Practice hole while researching Black Powder games…. and an idea started forming in my head.

One of the things my wife and I thought about gaming was a sci-fi setting that was a sort of Star Trek exploration type thing. You know, planet of the week tv serial stuff. But our ideas seemed too big, too expensive and too difficult to store.

But what about an early 19th Century exploration ship that is also constantly dragged into colonial entanglements? Imagine a broadly learned scholar being sent to chase down rumors by his patron…. the Emperor, Napoleon!

Think the French version of the Doctor in Master and Commander.

Think ancestor of the French villain Belloq from Indiana Jones.

Think the French zoologist from Brotherhood of the Wolf.

Think the forces of Napoleon bringing reason and enlightenment even to places that do not wish it…


….and…


…..and….


Think French Dragoons fighting Native Americans and their Sasquatch allies! Think a mob of angry Transylvanian peasants protecting their odd Count. Think bestial lizardmen and dinosaurs in the Amazon jungle…..OK….I may be getting carried away.

Then again, I found this somewhat inspiring….

https://toysoldiersanddiningroombattles.blogspot.com/2018/09/ihmn-there-can-only-be-one.html

“Tame the Beast”… an Elven and Dwarven Battle Report

Following the defeat of the large pack of Wargs, the Elves and Dwarves continue North. Passing travelers and the people living on the scattered homesteads they come across talk of a rampaging Cave Troll. Picking up tracks of the beast, the two groups continue in their unspoken competition….

Having come across the Troll at the same time the Elves and Dwarves surround it and attack from two sides. The Dwarves seize the initiative and the Troll, sensing this, slowly advances towards the Dwarves.

The Dwarven archers fail to injure the beast but the Elves have more success. At first Cailon appears to fail to wound the Troll but in fact does (a reroll). With a mighty effort Randil manages to hit and wound the Troll as well.

The Elves seize the initiative and the Troll charges the Dwarves, heading straight for the Esgil the Vault Warden at the tip of their wedge. Not wanting to miss out on the kill the Galadhrim knights charge the Troll and trap it between both forces.

All three parties fight with great effort, at first it appeared the Elves had won but in fact due to the skill of the Troll it came down to a chancey thing between Rori and the Troll. Luck favored the Dwarf though and his axe felled the mighty beast!

Three cheers for Rori Trollsbane!

A very quick game, that to be honest could have gone very differently.

My wife started yet again with a large points value disadvantage. She had 9 rerolls and therefore 9 Bonus Influence at the end. She chose not to use Fingaerion’s Eldar Foresight to change the priority rolls because she got the priority she wanted. I was disappointed my archery and thrown axes all failed miserably.

Once the melee started we both forgot that we used the partially completed mounted version of Fingaerion to proxy a different Elf that had been promoted so thought the Elves had won the fight since all three sides had rolled a six… but once we realized our mistake we thought the Troll had won. I was fortunate to notice Rori had improved his fight value and equaled the Troll, so it came down to a fifty fifty chance on who won. Talk about sweaty palms when I rolled that die! I do not gamble money but the sense of elation I felt when I rolled success on that d6 gave me insight on how folks must feel in Las Vegas.

The Elf heroes Randil and Cailon both leveled. Iareth the Elf warrior leveled and was promoted to a Galadhrim Knight with shield. My wife spent 5 influence (due to our house rules) and got an Elf Sentinel!

Rori got a free roll on the hero leveling chart for killing the Troll and got the ability to act as a banner… a very tasty special ability backing up that of the Raven. Reroll one duel die in each fight. This is an amazingly powerful ability, especially when combined with multiple attacks.

Finnbar leveled and was recognized for promotion but since he I already an Iron Guard he instead got D3 Influence due to one of house rules, resulting in the Dwarves getting another 2 Influence.

Although the Dwarves won, my wife and I both left the game feeling we “won” in part because of the cooperative nature of how we played the scenario but also because we both had very positive post game results.

“Wolves Attack”… an Elven and Dwarven Battle Report

The Elves of Fingaerion’s Spear and the Dwarves of the Company of the Golden Boar have finally met face to face. The tense but not openly hostile meeting has been interrupted however….

Yet again the Wargs of the Evendim Hills stalk the heroes, yet this time without the leadership of a chieftain. An unspoken challenge has arisen between the Elves and Dwarves, the product of the many years of frosty relations between the two.

As the numerous Wargs charge the two Battle Companies archers ready and loose arrows. Both Onar the Dwarf and Cailon the Elf each Fell a Warg with their arrows, then the melee ensues.

The Dwarves Brimir, Finnbar and Rori all cut down a Warg each. Gaewen the Elf is also successful in cutting down a Warg. But there are many more…

The Dwarves Onar, Bili, Brimir, and Gundin each fell a Warg. Fingaerion the Elf dispatches a Warg with his pike but the Wargs pull down Gaewen’s mount! The Elf deftly survives the fall as Faeril is also bitten, although a mighty intervention of fate keeps the Elf champion on his feet.

The melee continues, with new Wargs replacing their fallen pack mates. The axes of Rori, Bili, Brimir, Hanar and Snorri all take a terrible toll on the Wargs, each of them dropping a Warg. The Elves Alion and Randil cut down a Warg each. Then with a mighty blow Fingaerion cuts down a Warg. However, Gaewen is savagely bitten by a Warg and is out of the fight.

Not many of the Wargs remain but still they fight on. Fingaerion cuts down a Warg, as does Orcondil and Faeril. Randil wins his fight with a mighty effort but fails to wound the Warg. Brimir and Gundin finish off the last two remaining Wargs.

As the corpses are checked and the wounded tended to a count is taken. The Elves have accounted for nine of the Wargs, the Dwarves…. fifteen. The smugness of the Dwarves is quiet but obvious.

A fun game. The Elves started off heavily disadvantaged in points values. The Dwarves have been remarkably lucky in reinforcement rolls and promotion rolls, making them a very expensive company in points value.

My wife started with a disadvantage of 125 points, resulting in 8 rerolls and 8 additional influence. Her rerolls went very poorly but the extra influence has been quite the boon.

Gaewen and her horse had full recoveries.

Orcandil leveled and was promoted to a Galadhrim Knight with shield. Quite the promotion, an armored horse, a shield and the ability for the horse to treat wooded terrain as normal. That in particular can be very powerful. Five influence points of value for “free”. It is moments like this that the power of the Lothlorien Battle Company becomes evident.

For the Dwarves, four of them leveled. The heroes Rori, Bili and Snorri. Onar the warrior also leveled but yet again failed to be recognized. That is the sixth time! There is a 50% chance to be promoted or become a hero, yet time after time he fails.

One of the interesting displays of dice rolling was Rori winning a fight but rolling two 1’s to wound. We have a house rule giving battle companies their SBG army bonus where applicable and that means the Dwarves reroll 1’s to wound. I then proceeded to roll a second set of snake eyes!

My wife was pleased with the bonus influenced but irritated that almost all of her rerolls failed to improve on her original roll.

It was nice to play cooperatively together against the Wargs but my wife in particular missed the greater challenge of a “live” adversarial opponent with tactical freedom rather than a somewhat one dimensional AI enemy, ie charges the nearest model.

What was nice was that we both felt like we walked away from this game with something, that there was no overt winner or loser.

More odds and ends…

Last weekend was a “build weekend” rather than a weekend for playing games. We have several things on the go but managed to finish a couple. The focus for me was stuff for eBay and/or gifts for friends.

These five were pieces I won on eBay as parts of various larger auctions. Each was painted to various degree. I just tidied them up and finished them.

This is some terrain I did which does not quite fit our project so will go to others that can make better use of it.

Next is a terrain piece we will be keeping. This was a joint project from my wife and me, but she did the bulk of the work.

And finally here are some pieces that were originally done to pass on but I like them enough to keep them. I modified the original helm on the spearman and added a missing right hand & weapon to the fellow with the axe. Both are a bit more high fantasy than my usual taste and they may jar a bit in Middle Earth but for some reason I like them… as Dunlandings I suppose. I won them already part painted and originally I had painted them blonde… when I thought they would not be staying with us. I tried red hair on both when I decided to keep them but that did not look right, so I switched to the darker hair…. so there would be no confusing them for “strawhead” warriors of Rohan.

In other news… just finished reading another Horseclans book by Robert Adams. I am rereading the entire series and there is a great deal in the books I do not remember from when I read them as a teenager.

As a veteran myself there are elements of the books regarding soldiery that rings true. Lots of great little details on arms, armor and tactics. But there are socio-political elements that are quite out of step with contemporary liberal values on one hand and conservative religious values on the other. I used to wonder why the Horseclans never made it into the big screen but now I can see how difficult it would be to make unless heavily edited.

Have you read the series? What did you think of it? I recommended it to a friend before I started rereading the series and he was far from impressed by it. I feel like I may have offended him with the recommendation, but whether from the socio-political aspects or the annoying habit of repeatedly going over the same scenes over and over again in flashbacks, I do not know.

“Ambush in the Hills, Part 2”… A Dwarven Battle Report

Rori and the Company of the Golden Boar continued to follow Fingaerion’s Elves North, lagging slightly behind them but doggedly trying to overtake them. Brimir, the scout of the group, led them to what appeared to be a recent campsite of the Elves. It looked like some blood had been spilled but there were no bodies in evidence.

With the sun setting and a thick mist settling in Rori decided to make use of the same campsite for themselves. There were a great many Warg tracks but likely the Elves had driven them off. Suddenly the howl of a Warg interrupted the usual bickering and grumbling of the Dwarves. It was followed by a blood chilling chorus of Warg voices in reply, and they sounded like they were close….

“Ready yer axes lads!”, roars Rori. Out of the mist speed several large Wargs. Brimir and Onar draw and loose but in the rush they both miss. Finnbar manages to drop one Warg with a thrown axe.

The Wargs continue to close. Brimir manages to deftly hit one Warg with a well placed arrow and it collapses. Other Dwarves are drawn into melee. Hanar cuts down two Wargs with his axe. But Bili gets savaged by another Warg, only with a mighty effort does fate keep him on his feet.

Some of the Wargs appear afraid of the campfire but not the Warg chieftain. Rori throws and axe at the chieftain but fails to wound it. Both Bili and Rori charge the beast but it viciously tears into them with claws and fangs. Both of the Dwarven heroes are quickly incapacitated. At almost the same time both Snorri and Onar cut down a Warg each.

The fighting continues as Wargs keep trying to get the Dwarves without having to get too close to the fire. Brimir cuts down two Wargs. Hanar cuts down one. But Finnbar is mauled by a Warg and falls. The Warg chieftain bites Snorri but fate saves the Dwarf adventurer.

The Wargs sieze the initiative from the Dwarves for the first time. Despite this Snorri kills another Warg. The chieftain bites both Onar and Brimir. With a mighty effort fate saves Brimir but not Onar, and the hapless Dwarf collapses to the ground.

The fighting rages on. Gundin kills a Warg. Hanar hits the Warg chieftain twice, wounding the beast but it remains on its feet. Brimir is bitten by another Warg and falls. The Dwarves are broken but not defeated!

The courage of the Dwarves holds strong. Snorri kills another Warg.But the chieftain uses a mighty effort to win the fight against Gundin (2 might!) and the Dwarf falls.

Snorri kills yet another Warg but the chieftain incapacitates Hanar. Another Warg leaps into the air and snatches Oren the Raven, injuring the bird.

Snorri is attacked by the chieftain and two Wargs…. Snorri wins the fight and slays the chieftain! The Wargs are broken but the battle is not over yet (rolled a 3!).

Two Wargs flee. Two remain but are too afraid to approach the campfire. One Warg charges Snorri and he kills it.

Finally the remaining Wargs flee, only Snorri remains on his feet. Neither a victory nor a defeat but the Dwarves continue on….

As Snorri begins checking on the wounded he is relieved to find almost all of them should recover…. except for one. Rori is not breathing. The leader of the Golden Boar is dead. Snorri hangs his head, grief welling up in his heart. Then suddenly Rori gasps and sits up. It would seem his reputation for being rather hardy is well earned.

A very different game from what the Elves had, although in some ways it was the same.

Every member was wounded except for Snorri… even the Raven. All made full recoveries except for Hanar, who received “wounds of a hero” and 2 Influence points.

And of course Rori.

I had left Rori for last and was feeling quite confident given how well the rolls had been going. When I did roll one die stayed in the tray, one spilled out and went under the couch. I glimpsed the 1 on the die in the tray as I recovered the other with a sense of trepidation. My wife was stunned when I rolled a second 1. Rori was dead. It did not seem possible. My wife was feeling terrible about it. I was thinking that I should have rolled both dice rather than just the one but that would have been taking advantage of the situation.

Then I remembered his special lieutenant skill. We have allowed each lieutenant to take a special faction skill from the Johnathan Baker house rules. My wife for example has Foresight of the Eldar. I took Hardy for Rori. I almost chose the other skill that makes it harder to be trapped but my wife convinced me Hardy was more useful. She was right! It is quite a thing to consider continuing your company after your leader is killed.

After how well things went for my wife I was over confident. It was the Warg chieftain’s High fight value that was my undoing. I was also irked that I had overlooked the scenario win condition that I must not be broken…. so when I thought Snorri had won the game it was a bitter pill to just draw and therefore miss out on the reward table.

I am more worried about the Cave Drake in the final scenario now.

Atleast Brimir leveled and got poisoned weapons…. which I thought odd for a good character, I guess as a scout he puts Wood Wose poison on his arrows?

Hanar also leveled and he got +1 Fight, bringing him up to Fight 5.

Gundin leveled and has become a hero in the making, choosing the Path of the Warrior and getting Deadly Strength (Burly, no -1 duel roll with 2 handed weapons).

Finnbar also leveled and was recognized for promotion but he is already an Iron Guard so as per our house rules he got D3 Influnce instead…. bringing our total influence to 5.

I am not sure when we will get to our next game. My wife needs to paint her promoted Galadhrim Knight and armored horse. Once that is done, unless we use a proxy, it will be the Dwarves and Elves in a competition to slay the most Wargs in a co-operative scenario.

“Ambush in the Hills”… an Elven Battle Report

Continuing their travel North, the Elves of Fingaerion’s Spear stop for the night in the hills of Evendim. Their presence has not gone unnoticed and a large pack of Wargs have decided to hunt.

The hills echo with the howls of Wargs and an eerie mist settles around the Elven camp as the sun sets. Fingaerion has a campfire built but before bedrolls can be laid out for the night shapes can be seen moving about in the mist. The Elves turn their backs to the fire, draw their weapons and prepare for the attack they sense is coming…

The Warg chieftain howls and his pack charges. As the Wargs run forward the Galadhrim Knight Alion rides off to East hoping to either draw off some of the Wargs or to get behind them as they attack his companions. The Elven archers loose but none of their arrows find their mark.

The Wargs try to seize the initiative but Fingaerion uses Foresight of the Eldar to keep the initiative. As the Wargs charge home, lead by their chieftain, a melee ensues but not all the Wargs have the courage to approach the fire.

The Warg chieftain has bitten off more than he can chew, with both Faeril and Cailon wounding him. But other Wargs in the pack incapacitate Anduniel and Iareth.

The Elves maintain the initiative. Fingaerion strikes a Warg a mighty blow and fate fails to save the Warg chieftain from Faeril’s spear. The terrible beast is slain! The rest of the pack flees in terror….. victory for the Elves!

Iareth recovers fully and Anduniel has “but a scratch”, meaning she will need to rest during the next scenario.

Randil was leveled and rolled +1 Might.

Faeril leveled and rolled Heroic Strike.

Gaewen leveled and was promoted to a Galadhrim Knight!

My wife unfortunately rolled a 1 on the victory reward table, meaning her reward was one Influence point. A bit underwhelming compared to the other possibilities. Given she had one Influence stored, got four Influence for winning and the one reward, she is still at -2 Influence due to our (I really had to work hard her to convince her to accept it) decision to backdate the 5 point recruitment cost for Elves and Dwarves we added to our house rules.

A very quick game. Three turns to be precise. We were both surprised by this but Faeril is quite the hero. Once the Warg chieftain is killed the Wargs become broken and the game ends with a 1 or 2 on a D6 and my wife rolled a 2.

We did have a pause in the game as we checked the pike rules and discussed them. I have tried to house rule the pike for the Galadhrim Court Guard (ie Fingaerion) to be a decent weapon for a single character since the Elves are not going to get massed pikes. So we have made it a two handed weapon with +1 Strength, which the Court Guards are trained to use for shielding as well as not having the usual -1 duel roll for two handed weapons. What I overlooked was pikes can only support a second pike not a spear. Fairly useless in absence of massed pikes… so we now have a house rule for pikes to be able to be a second support for a spear supported combatant.

I also realized we have been making a mistake with how we have been promoting warriors to heroes. Once they roll to become a hero we have been letting them choose their path and roll on that path chart rather than waiting for them to level again, which is how I think it is supposed to work. We decided that since we have been doing it for everyone it is balanced and there is no reason to try to backtrack and correct the heroes in the making skills. And we will continue doing it the way we started. It may lead to a little skill inflation but we do not think it will break the game, especially with our house rule experience system.

Next blog entry should be about how the Dwarves handle the same scenario.

Even More Wargs!

Well I managed to finish another group of Wargs. Now we have enough for the “Ambush in the Hills” narrative scenario.

If you look close at Wargs a couple of things might jump out at you. One of them has some armored plates on its head. As far as I am aware there are no armored Wargs in Games Workshop Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game… so we end up not using that one. Or we may house rule some armor for a special Warg, perhaps a mount for an Orc Battle Companies hero.

The other thing is the gaping neck seam on some of them. I decided not to fix those yet. These were won on eBay already assembled and partially painted. I tried to take a short cut on them at this stage to use them as Wargs without mounts but once I have riders completed I will use Greenstuff to sculpt some leather harness straps to hide the gap.

In other news…. when my wife and I were at Spiel in Essen last year, a huge gaming convention, we came acrossthe Dwarven Forge table. We both instantly fell in love with their caverns but we just did not have the funds for them. We decided to put them on our mutual wish list for the future.

It looks like the future is closer than we expected! A friend has decided to sell his Dwarven Forge Cavern bits and offered us a very reasonable price… so it looks like we are now on the path to creating a grand underground table. This solves my problem for the Cave Drake scenario!

The only problem is that I will want more… and more… cavern pieces!

Which pieces will I want?

Dwarven Forge is also going to have a new Kickstarter in a couple of days…..

More Wargs!

The next batch of Wargs completed…. one step closer to our next scenario. Still a ways to go though.

First up, a couple of large metal wolves. The one on the left I originally had on a 40mm base like the others but his feet hung a bit over the edges and it annoyed me. I decided to put it on a 60mm base and use it as a Warg Chieftain. It is not the size of the Warg in the fight but the size of the fight in the Warg, or something similarly pithy.

Next a couple of classic GW Wild Wargs.. you can see I left them with the holes in their backs so that I can mount riders on there as soon as we get the next scenario done and I paint more Orc riders!

Speaking of Orc riders…

These I decided to paint up since they were partially painted by the previous owner but the riders were glued to the Wargs. I was not too enthusiastic about them but now that they are done they are growing on me.

And here we have some old GW Warhammer Fantasy wolves. I collected these as spares in various bits auctions.. which meant I had to jury rig replacement tails on some. Again, I was not a big fan originally but now that they are finished I am beginning to like them.

So, here is a photo showing how far we have gotten.

I have another batch of 12 on the go, we will have to see if I can get them finished before Saturday afternoon….

In other news… I watched Extraction. Basically Thor has become John Wick. Not a bad movie per se but sadly predictable and I do not think it is aware of its own irony in making some antagonists somewhat sympathetic yet having endless hordes of faceless people killed. I could not stop thinking how many other tragic stories were created with every dead cop, soldier, Private military contractor, drug gang member and innocent bystander. Still, pretty neat gun kata if you like that kind of thing.

I also finally got around to watching Northmen. I tried starting it a couple of times and gave up. But this time I disciplined myself to persevere. Billy Bones from Black Sails apparently was a Viking as well. It felt like I was watching an 80’s adventure movie, plenty of cliches and might have been ok but felt like it was trying too hard.

I did like the older, grey haired berserker. Reminded me a bit of myself but that could be wishful thinking. I also feel like I have met that Christian monk at a German larp back before our current plague.

Trying to get things done….

Last weekend we did not game. Instead we tried to focus on building and painting so that we would have what we need for the next narrative mission for our Battle Companies Campaign, “Journey to the Blue Mountains”. What we need are Wargs. A lot of Wargs.

I went through what we have, mostly the usual plastic GW Wild Wargs with riders. I separated the riders from the Wargs that were not firmly glued on and got to painting. It would seem we only have two that had no rider at all.

The above lot are the first batch. I am not a huge fan of the sculpts but I think they came out ok. Peter Jackson seemed to make them a weird wolf/hyena/bear mix for the LOTR movies. I prefer the design he did for the Hobbit, one of the few improvements he did with the Hobbit in my opinion. But GW models from the Hobbit are much harder to come by second hand at cheap prices.

I also did a couple of Wargs with riders because the mood struck me. The one with the bow is a rework of one I had done previously.

Next up I did a Cave Troll so we can do the Tame the Beast scenario. I know folks say the scenario is too easy and should have a more difficult monster but I want to try it vanilla just once.

It is a 1/72nd scale Dark Alliance War Troll but it seems a decent, inexpensive, proxy. I converted it to have the simple spear for a more wild and rustic look than the usual Goblin pet look. I am really pleased with how it has come out, especially the paler skin areas.

Next a rework on the Orc Tracker from our Minas Morgul Battle Company, Shagduf.

I am pleased that he looks less orange now.

My wife finished some of Elves for her Lothlorien Battle Company, “Fingaerion’s Spear”. She asked me to do the eyes (I also did some teeth and tongues) but all the rest is her work. She made a couple different design decisions than I did on previous Galadhrim.

First up, her new model for the leader, Fingaerion. We have added a house rule that allows the lieutenant of a company to start as the highest advancement available to the company, in this case a Galadhrim Court Guard with a pike, so he needed a new model. If ou look close you can see I did a simple weapon swap from the original sword. It is not perfect but it gets the job done.

Next, her newest recruit…. a Galadhrim Knight named Alion.

Alion, on foot and on horse

She also painted some figures she hopes to recruit in the future.

First, a metal GW Wood Elf Sentinel.

Then a pair of plastic GW Warhammer Fantasy Wood Elves. These were repainted by her from the original paintwork they had when we won them on EBay.

I also completed so bits for eBay or gifts to friends.

And I have quite a bit on the go. I collected various other models over the last year to use as Wargs. Some GW Warhammer Fantasy wolves. Some metal dire wolves of various manufacture. For my birthday I even got some brand new GW 40k Fenrisian wolves that will be getting Oathmark “Goblin riders” (which I use as Orcs) at some point after our narrative scenario.

If you look on the right of the next photo you can see where I got distracted by making some kit bashed Fiefdoms of Gondor models…

We will have to see how long it takes me to paint all these Wargs!

More terrain and minis!

You might recognize a couple of the terrain pieces in the last couple of battle reports. We put them into service before they were completely finished. Now they are complete… as well as some more minis!

First up, some Oathmark Dwarves I finished as potential future recruits to my Dwarven battle company. I won an auction of Oathmark Dwarves and the previous owner had already started putting some together. Many of them have spears, which is awkward if I stick to the official rules for my company. On some I cut the spear down and turned them into axes but for now I guess I will leave some with spears. Allowing my company to have spears and crossbows like the Iron Hills Dwarves would make the company even better….

I chose not to give them shields at this point as I want to use them as Dwarf Rangers and that means no shields just yet. But they had been built in poses suited to shields, so on two I tried to be creative… giving one a pipe and the other a torch.

If necessary I can always add bows and quivers later if required.

Next up, a couple of Orc Trackers.

The sallow one is a new model for the character Shagduf in the Taken of Minas Morgul. I used a different head but it is still one eyed, so I used green stuff to make a leather cap like the one on the model I see for Shagduf when he was regular Orc archer. Since Shagduf has a reputation for stabbing enemies with an arrow in melee I tried to create a pose to suit that. He is also carrying lunch… because he looks hungry.

As does the other Orc Tracker. I used GW Fantasy zombie bits to create these two. I try hard to be as cost effective as I can. Having another one eyed Orc Tracker is just my sense of irony at play.

Next, a Falcon model for the Falcon already on the army of one of my Wife’s Elves.

And next, a replacement model for Dolf Greymane in Ozzy’s Outlaws. We wanted Dolf to get some armor as a leading hero of the company and I thought this mini would do the trick. I realize he looks a bit more Ruffian than Hillman but Victor has been having an influence on his fashion sense.

Next some minis that will be either gifts or go to EBay.

In other news, I finished season 4 of Van Helsing. It is a bit of a cheesy show but I have grown to like some of the characters and am curious where the story will lead. That said, the cliff hanger ending of season 4 is terrible, especially given we have no idea if or when there will be a new season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoPCFNqEqRU

With another cliff hanger, not as bad as Van Helsing, I also finished season 1 of Snowpiercer. I really enjoyed it. It is not perfect but it is pretty good. Interesting characters, well acted. I love the political subtext, although it asks more questions than gives answers. Sean Bean is supposed to be in season 2 but who knows when that will be.

Netflix scored a winner with Snowpiercer… and they may have done it again with Into the Night. Far fetched plot… reminiscent of a certain Steven King movie… but remarkably well done despite the leaps In circumstances that sometimes stretch the suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. I am only half way through the series but the characters have more depth than the 2d appearances they first have. Certain characters die rather unexpectedly… reminding the viewer that this is not the usual Hollywood formula adventure. I just hope it does not end with yet another cliff hanger!

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