“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.


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!

“A Daring Rescue!” A Dwarven Battle Report

The Company of the Golden Boar have captured Oswald, a Sorcerer that Leads a band of Outlaws. At a bit of a loss as to what to do with the Man, the Dwarves are yet reluctant to either execute him or let him go. Suddenly the decision on what to do with him is put on hold as they notice numerous Outlaws encircling them. Almost back to back (yeah, halfway through the game we realized our mistake in regards to Oswald’s missing 1″ zone of control) the Dwarves prepare themselves to defend to the last

The shining sun and clear sky make it easy for the Dwarves and Outlaws to see each other. The Dwarves have the initiative and Brimir drops the Outlaw archer called One-Eye with a well placed arrow shot. The Outlaws continue to close. Rori throws an axe and fells Einar Lightfingers but Filibur Firebug cuts down the Dwarf called Finnbar!

In return Rori throws an axe and drops Filibur. Dolf shoots Brimir, but Fate saves the Dwarf (we forgot he had an arm wound and could not use his bow… in hindsight we decided he got a lucky throw with one of his daggers). Bili cuts down Edgar, who is not saved by Fate. Onar drops Korg. The Outlaws win some of the fighting, pushing some of the Dwarves back but failing to wound them due to their armor.

The Outlaws seize the initiative. Snorri uses his shield to hold off three Outlaws, including the mercenary Stengar. Gundin, the latest addition to the Dwarven company cuts down Victor the Lame. Brimir knocks out Fancy Jack. Onar fells Bald Pete.

The fighting has created a gap for Oswald to exploit and he rushes off. But the Dwarves are not keen to just let him go. The Outlaws seek to withdraw but Rori cuts down Dolf. Snorri fells Norman….

…. and Stendar the Sellsword drops Bili when Fate fails to save the Dwarf Champion!

Oswald makes good his escape and the Outlaws are victorious.

Admittedly we were tired, and in a rush to play the game during our son’s afternoon nap but we made some serious rules errors in this game. We forgot to check the old wound of Edgar. We forgot Fancy Jack had gained the ability to shoot twice per turn. I set up in Oswald’s control zone. And we kept forgetting special attacks and weapon abilities, like the shackles of the Ruffians and the piercing strike of axes.

For the life of me I have no idea how I was supposed to keep Oswald from just running off. I feel like I must be missing something in this scenario.

My wife choose to not have Oswald cast his transfix spell… but I am not sure if she had to. I do not know if prisoners can cast spells or have spells cast against them to be honest. We decided that if I could not charge him, I could not shoot him.

What do you do when you play this scenario?

Also, does anyone know if Wanderers (ie the Mercenary) count toward the Company’s maximum model count or for being Broken?

We decided to add a house rule where an underdog company gets extra xp for winning. Even with the Mercenary the Outlaws still got 5 rerolls and 5 Bonus Influence. This resulted in 10 Outlaws leveling!

All of the Dwarves recovered from their injuries, although Bili got the “It is just a scratch” result, which I chose to take the reroll rather than sit out the next game… since it is a narrative game. I got lucky and got full recovery but it was a dramatic moment.

Most of the Outlaws got full recoveries. Filibur got an Old Battle Wound. Edgar healed his Old Battle Wound. Dolf got a leg wound to go with his arm wound. We decided to get him some armor since I have a new figure painted up for him. Oswald got a lucky talisman. Norman Brewer got a rope.

As always you are encouraged to leave comments as I would love to hear your thoughts on this or any other battle report.

“Show of Strength” A Dwarven Battle Report

Yet again the Dwarves of the Golden Boar have come across the Outlaws that have plagued them for some time now. Both Rori and Oswald feel it is time for a show of strength in order to revive the morale of their companies. Unfortunately they have met at dusk, during a torrential downpour. The mud is slippery, slowing movement (-1″) and long range archery is impossible (12″ max).

Between the two companies is a large rocky outcrop…. both move towards it, but the mostly unarmored Outlaws are much quicker than the heavily armored Dwarves. The Dwarves split into three groups, the two archers on each flank and the rest together in the center.

The Dwarves have the advantage on the rocky terrain as some of them are experienced Mountain Dwellers. Fancy Jack, having spent most of his life in the city of Minas Tirith, slips and falls whilst trying to climb the rocks. Only his pride is injured however. Unlike Thomas Little who catches an axe, thrown by the Dwarven champion Bili, in the shoulder. He falls to the ground, passing out from the pain.

The Outlaws seize the initiative and Oswald uses his sorcery to Transfix Rori. The thrown axes and arrows of the Dwarves fail to find their marks. The Outlaw archery having fared no better. The groups continue to converge, the Outlaws splitting into three groups as well.

Fancy Jack looses again and hits the heavily armored Hanar… catching him between two of his armor plates. Fate fails to save the Dwarf and he collapses in pain. Oswald fails to cast another spell. The other archers fail to hit. Winfred Thornbush manages to land a blow on Rori but fails to wound. Bili cuts down Bald Pete. Filibur Firebug manages to get some shackles on Snorri, practically paralyzing the Dwarf. Finnbar, a new addition to the company cuts down Braga Big Axe. Onar hits Victor the Lame but Fate saves the Outlaw sergeant. Snorri fates to break free from the shackles.

The Outlaws maintain the initiative but Oswald fails to Transfix Rori again. Rori cuts down Winfred Thornbush, then Einar Lightfingers, and then hits Oswald but Fate saves the Sorcerer. Bili hits Filibur Firebug but Fate saves the Outlaw. Norman Brewer, bottle in hand, cuts down Finnbar! Victor beats Onar but fails to wound. Despite being surrounded Brimir kills Wulf Runemaker, who had only recently joined the Outlaw band.

The Dwarves seize the initiative. Bili charges towards Filibur, dropping him with a thrown axe then moves to help Rori, who drops Oswald. Brimir cuts down the Carn Dum Hillman Korg. Brimir also hits Edgar Dogwood but Fate saves the Ruffian Adventurer. Victor however manages to cut down Onar! Snorri seeing this breaks free from his shackles in a fiery rage.

The Outlaws retake the initiative but they are Broken. Dolf and Fancy Jack flee. One Eye shoots and misses (and misses with a reroll!) then catches an axe in the leg thrown by Rori. Brimir cuts down Edgar. This is too much for the Outlaws and victory goes to the Dwarves!

The Dwarf casualties all manage full recoveries.

The Outlaws are not so fortunate. Wulf Runemaker is dead… and Oswald is Lost in Battle! The Dwarves have captured the Sorcerer and the Outlaws will need to perform a Daring Rescue to recover him.

Four of the Outlaws leveled, five of the Dwarves. Onar the Dwarf leveled twice and failed to be recognized both times! That made him level six without having once been recognized. We are using the Johnathan Baker inspired house rule to give level 6 unrecognized warriors the Sworn Protector special ability at 1 point value increase. He will lose this if he becomes a hero.

The Outlaws were underdogs in this game with three rerolls and 3 Bonus Influence. With our house rule on warriors leveling and being recognized but unable to advance to a better profile getting D3 Influence, that added 6 more influence! The Outlaws decided to hire a wandering mercenary, Stengar the Sellsword, to help rescue Oswald.

Stengar the Sellsword

To help balance the Outlaw company stats, we have a house rule saying they can keep a mercenary on retainer for 1 influence instead of the normal 2. We got this idea from the OSBGL… I really enjoy watching their videos.

We are still trying to decide if the Outlaws should be allowed 50% bows instead of 33%. My wife and I keep forgetting to use the special attacks including the shackles we gave the Outlaws. Having Snorri get paralyzed was demoralizing. Granted the Outlaws need to win the duel, and the Raven, additional attacks and fight value of the Dwarves makes winning difficult. But it is easier to shackle the heavily armored Dwarves than wound them. And once shackled they are easier to kill. We created to shackle rule by mixing the manacles in the BC equipment List and the special ability the Ruffians have against Hobbits. We made it that Ruffians but not Wildman recruits have shackles. Ruffians also get +1 Fight if they outnumber their opponent in a duel… but that does not help them much against Fight 4 Dwarves. Wildmen, being for our fluff Carn Dum descendent Hillmen, have Hatred Dunedain rather than Hatred Rohan.

For Dwarven reinforcements even with my Rallying Horn I had to spend 5 Influence to get a Khazad Guard (which I had already painted). I had rolled a Dwarf Ranger with bow and I am at my bow limit already. Rather than drop down to Warrior with choice of weapon or spend 1 more point for Ranger with choice of weapon I went with 2 points hoping to get my Vault Warden team…. but was satisfied with the Khazad Guard, Gundin (Strength 4, heavy Dwarven armor and Bodyguard special ability) that I rolled.

Gundin, the Khazad Guard

My wife set up the table terrain… but did not push hard enough to get to the top of the center rocky outcrop. This really helped my Dwarves keep from being swarmed. My wife said it was my first thrown axe that made her hesitate and that cost her the high ground. Axes are not dependable for kills but sometimes a weapon can help you win without killing.

Our next battle will be one I do not think I can win…. because I just do not know how to prevent Oswald from escaping! But we will see if I come up with something…. Dwarves do not quit!

“Seize Ground!”… A Dwarven Battle Report

Rori decided that the day would be their last in the outskirts of Annuminas. Their searching of the ruins had failed to turn up any more Barrow Wights or treasure. In fact Rori had the souring feeling that they had delayed too long. Perhaps he has been over confident that their knowledge of hidden paths in the Blue Mountains would allow the Dwarves to find the lair of the Cave Drake before either the Elves or the strange Men and Orcs following them.

The weather looked to be fair and the sun up soon, so Rori set his company to searching the last few ruins when they were surprised to see the Outlaws from Old Oak in the distance. They must be here to steal the treasure from the Dwarves!

The Dwarves move quickly, having the initiative. They secure the South East ruins. The Outlaws the seize first the North East ruins and then the North West ruins…. but they are surprised when a terrible apparition rises from the ruin, a Barrow Wight!

Five of the Outlaw archers loose at the Wight, which has failed to paralyze William Wipperwill and then rushed into melee with him, but four of them miss both William and the Wight. One Outlaw strikes the Wight but fails to injure it. William manages to defend himself.

The Wight tries to cast its spell but fails again. It charges towards William but when the Outlaw archers loose again Fancy Jack hits William in the leg, causing to fall to the ground screaming in agony.

The Wight casts its spell again, this time paralyzing Braga Big Axe. Oswald tries to transfix the Wight but fails to cast. The Outlaw archers loose again but only manage to hit Braga, who somehow survives the two arrows that hit him. The Orc, Wigduf moves up to support the paralyzed Braga with his spear, hitting the Wight but failing to wound it.

Both the Wight and Oswald fail to cast their spells. The Wight charges the helpless Brags but Oswald charges the Wight, striking it a mighty blow. It appears to be finally injured and Filibur “Firebug” takes courage from this. He uses his torch to hit the Wight and sets it alight! It bursts into flames, screams then disappears!

The Dwarves have not been idle whilst the Outlaws were distracted by the Wight. Omar has taken up a defensive position, securing the South East ruins. Brimir has secured the South West ruins. The rest of the Dwarves head to the central ruins, currently held by some of the Outlaws.

Brimir looses an arrow and hits Oswald but fate saves the Sorcerer. Bili cuts down both Bald Pete and Korg. Snorri cuts down One-Eye.

More Outlaws rush into the melee, which becomes a maelstrom of flashing blades. In the crush, Snorri gets trapped. Fancy Jack strikes Snorri a mighty blow (with one of the three underdog rerolls) and incapacitates him! Rori shouts in rage and cuts down Oswald, while Bili cuts down Victor.

The Outlaws are Broken! The Dwarves seize the initiative and Einar Lightfingers flees. Rori charges at Wigduf, throws an axe and Drops the Orc. Rori then changes direction and charges Filibur, cutting down the fire loving Outlaw with a single blow. Hanar cuts down two of the Outlaws thanks to inspiration from the Raven, Oren.

The melee continues back and forth. Rori drops Braga. The Dwarves and Outlaws push each other back in turn. Axes are thrown but fail to find their marks (three 1’s rolled in a row!) Bili cuts Edgar but fate saves the Outlaw. Rori finally drops Fancy Jack.

Still the fight continues. The fury of the fighting keeps the Outlaws from fleeing. Rori throws again, hitting Dolf but fate saves the Hillman. Bili drops Edgar. And finally Hanar cuts down Dolf… it is over for the Outlaws. Victory to the Dwarves!

The Dwarves finish their search of the ruins and still find only trinkets of marginal value. Snorri, the only Dwarven casualty of the fighting seems Blessed by the Valar, making a full recovery and getting +1 Fate. Rori and Hanar leveled, giving Rori +1 Attack and Hanar +1 Defense. For reinforcements the Dwarves got an Iron Guard… I have one made, just need to paint it up.

The Outlaws were underdogs with three rerolls. My wife quite enjoyed the reroll mechanic…. but we both forgot about it when she accidentally shot William. When she remembered she was quite frustrated with that. We set special dice aside to remember the rerolls but even with that trick they are easy to forget.

The Outlaws did well in their injury recovery rolling. All got full recovery except for three non-heroes that will miss the next fight. Their strength is made up though by three new recruits. Two more Ruffians and a Hillman.

We have been debating giving the Outlaws a 50% bow limit to help them out a bit more. But soon they will be at full strength and spending influence on creatures, equipment and most likely a mercenary. For equipment I am thinking poison arrows at the very least.

Also, inspired by the Johnathan Baker house rules we are thinking of giving bonus xp to an underdog company that actually wins.

This scenario was always going to be tough for me given my low model count but the next one plays to my strengths… the aptly named “Show of Strength”, where the company leader who gets the most kills wins the scenario. With the help of Dwarven steel and inspiration from our Raven, Oren, I am feeling rather confident….

I took the time to make some minor improvements to some of my Dwarves. Inspired by Robert Adams’ Horseclans series, I decided to use the color of the Boars on the heroes’ helmets to reflect rank. Gold for the lieutenant, silver for sergeant and bronze for heroes in the making. I added a greenstuff beard to Hanar to look more Dwarf and less short, Human barbarian. And I finished Oren the Raven.

My wife and I are not keen on how flying creatures work in BC and SBG. Having to land every turn means they long distance hop rather than fly. We are debating some house rules on that because it just makes no sense for Oren to keep landing just outside a big melee rather than circling overhead.

Speaking of the Horseclans my mother recently sent a belated birthday package for me, including some Horseclans books. I am currently rereading the series. I loved them as a teen but I think I ignored a lot of the books and just focused on the armor and fighting. There are several problematic elements of the story and characterizations that reflect values out of step with contemporary views. Some of the passages and views expressed make me down right uncomfortable. But I do like the attention to detail on the armor, tactics, strategy and politics. The mix of fantasy and post apoc sci-fi is neat too. I would like to wargame the Horseclans world but one, I do not need another distraction from Middle Earth and two, my wife is not a fan of the Horseclans world at all. Quite the opposite. A shame really as I would like to try to make some appropriately aged ruins and kit bashing minis to match his description of Freefighters, Confederation troopers, Kindred and Witchmen Broomtowners.

I used to love this image of Bili “the Axe” Morghun as a teen. Now, after years of research, gaming and historical re-enacting I know how problematic this image is. Still… it looks cool…

“Ruins of Annuminas, Part 3!”

A few days after the passing of Fingaerion’s Spear and the Taken of Minas Morgul, the Dwarves of The Golden Boar and Old Ozzy’s Outlaws come upon the outskirts of the Ruins of Annuminas. Angmar Orcs drawn into the service of various Barrow Wights haunting the ruins go about their nefarious tasks.

Deciding to camp for the night not that far from each other both are confronted with different Orcs and Barrow Wights…. with differing results!

Rori and his Dwarves are ready for a fight and feeling confident… at least in killing Orcs. Wights however be another matter! The plan is, kill the Orcs then find and destroy the Barrow Wight that they feel is in one of the nearby ruins… and all before the sunsets!

The Raven, Oren, takes flight from Brimir’s arm. Arrows are exchanged but all fail to find their mark. Bili fights two Orcs and kills one.

The Dwarves continue with their initiative and press home their attacks. Rori throws an axe and kills an Orc. Bili goes after the Orc Tracker on the rocks nearby, easily climbing the stone ruins but missing his axe throw. An Orc archer looses and its arrow wounds Brimir, despite his new Dwarven armor. Only fate keeps the wound from being sever enough to incapacitate the Dwarf sergeant. Bili kills the Orc Tracker with a swift blow with his axe.

The Orcs seize the initiative but it does them little good. Hanar manages to win his fight thanks to the inspiration from Oren the Raven and kills an Orc. Brimir kills an Orc with his staff. Onar loses his fight but the Orc is unable to penetrate his Dwarven armor. Bili kills another Orc.

The Dwarves seize the initiative back, Rori and Hanar both throw axes and kill an Orc each. An Orc Archer looses and hits Bili but again Dwarven steel saves the day as the arrow narrowly misses a chink in his heavy Dwarven armor. (My wife rolled 6 to hit, six to wound, figured Bili was out but did not count on the 7 defense, so needed to roll another d6 and get 4+… she rolled a 3!) The Orcs are Broken and the Dwarves are glad they decided to get better armor rather than buy Dwarven Ale!

The Orcs have the initiative but their morale falters. Four Orcs lose their courage and flee. Two fall back towards the North West. Onar and Brimir loose arrows but miss. The Dwarves pursue the two Orcs.

Despite having the initiative still, this is all too much for the two Orcs as their withdrawal turns into a rout. They leave a lone Orc Tracker remaining in the North East ruins.

The Dwarves move towards the North East ruins but before they can get there the sun sets and the last Orc flees as well. All that is left now is to search the five sets of ruins in order to locate the Barrow Wight.

Each time Rori takes the time to surround each set of ruins, with his archers in excellent vantage positions before he personally approaches.

First…. the center one. Nothing.

Then the second. Nothing.

Then the third. Nothing.

Then the fourth. Nothing.

Finally… the fifth…

The Wight appears and uses magic to Paralyze Rori! The Wight then rushes down to attack Rori in melee before any of the Dwarves can loose arrows or throw axes. Fear grips the Dwarves, causing some to lose their nerve. However, Brimir and Hanar find the courage to charge the Wight and try to save Rori.

Hanar wants to throw an axe as he rushes in but decides he can not for fear of hitting Rori by accident. Given their numerous skilled attacks they are confident they can best the undead creature… but were it not for inspiration from Oren they would have failed! Yet again the Raven has proven his worth to the Dwarves. Brimir wounds the Wight twice, slaying the foul creature. Victory to the Dwarves!

Disappointingly though, a search of the ruins turns up just some trinkets rather than any great treasure (1 Influence point, with yet another roll of a 1 on the Ruins of Annuminas loot chart! Argh!).

An interesting game. It did not go as either my wife or I expected. Yet again the sense of randomness was strong, with appearing to shrug off most things then a lucky roll resulting in near tragedy more than once. Heavy Dwarven armor and the Raven really saved the day.

Both my wife and I are confused about the rules on using throwing weapons when joining multicombatant melee. Does anyone have a clear ruling on that? We went with a fluff based decision for this game but we would like a more rules based decision in the future.

Edit: I forgot to mention what happened to the Outlaws… we did not play their game out, just rolled for random results. They lost, the heroes got the bulk of the experience and influence was used to recruit some new troops. We adjusted the recruitment list to have the result of a single Ruffian with no special equipment to be two such poorly equipped villains. Edgar and Fancy Jack became heroes in the making, with Edgar on the Path of the Adventurer (+1 Attack) and Fancy Jack on the Path of the Ranger (+1 Might) Oswald is on the Path of the Sorcerer with a Staff of Power. Dolf is on the Path of the Scout and got some throwing daggers from that. Victor is on the Path of the General and got +1 Attack. They also recruited a number of new Outlaws after their last fight with the Dwarves, but before going into the Ruins of Annuminas. The Ruffians Einar “Lightfingers” and Filibur “Firebug” and the Hillman Feodor “Wolfkiller”. They gave Wolfkiller a bow so they would be at their max of 5 bows with a company 15 strong to take against the Dwarves in their next fight.

Old Ozzy’s Outlaws

Upgrades… and more!

In between games the painting, converting, kitbashing and building continues. A few things are finished thanks to good weather for Matt clear coating today.

Most important for the weekend, my “upgraded” Dwarves with fancy armor, weapons and helmets. And not necessarily for this weekend but some flaming objective markers for one of the Battle Companies scenarios where you have to set things on fire.

Inside the cotton is a small LED tea light. The photo does not capture the nicely atmospheric flicking but you can see a big difference between the ones that are on and the ones that are turned off.

If you want to know how I made them, just go on YouTube and you will find some tutorials. They are inexpensive and easy to make.

So five of my six Dwarves needed upgrades due to progression in Battle Companies.

I may have gotten a little carried away. The head is the leader head from the Oathmark infantry box set but with horns added and a faceplate from GW Fantasy Dwarves. I broke off one horn tip like the Nord in the Elder Scrolls Online promo videos. The shield is intentionally battered and worn looking. He has his main axe and a there is a throwing axe tucked into the straps for his belt pouch. That is a piece from the Victrix Vikings sprues.

Bili is on the Path of the Warrior and has heavy Dwarven armor. My bits box provided the little conversion parts… many of them from GW.

So Brimir was made as a conversion of the metal Oathmark Dwarf Wizard. I see him as a grizzled old mountaineer who finds a quarterstaff a more practical tool to lug around than a two handed axe. A Raven has recently befriended him. I need to come up with a name for the Raven… and a mini to represent the Raven when it is not on Brimir’s arm. I used greenstuff to turn his cloth sleeves into maille but it is far from my best work. The result of working when tired.

Next up is Hanar, who was promoted to Iron Guard then became a Hero in the Making (On the Path of the Warrior). Two attacks and Strength 5! I added the boar to the top of his helmet to reflect his hero status. It came from a Celtic warriors sprue, Victrix I think. I may greenstuff him a longer beard so he will look more Dwarf and less Human barbarian. The big GW pauldrons help give the armor a really heavy look.

Snorri recently became a Hero in the Making and I chose Path of the Adventurer. I upgraded his armor to heavy Dwarven armor and added the boar on his helmet. That boar head was cut down from a Celtic boar standard and with some greenstuff work added to the helmet. It looked somehow awkward until I decided to add the over the top horns. Not practical, I know… but I like the look!

These two are not in my company yet… but I am allowed one Vault Warden team, so eventually they will be. They are specialized in killing monsters, which should help with Trolls, Giant Spiders and especially the Cave Drake in the final scenario of our first campaign!

In addition to the usual metal GW Black Numenorean… I also made a converted GW Dark Elf as a Black Numenorean proxy.

In addition to these models for our Middle Earth Gaming I finished a few pieces for EBay or gifting to friends.

In other news I have been watching the Netflix series Snowpiercer and really enjoying it. I notice it is not getting great reviews but I think it is great, in fact better than the movie. Admittedly I have not read the graphic novel. The production values of the show are great, cast, costuming, special effects are all brilliant. The morality questions posed by the show are very thought provoking and I look forward to each episode. Have you been watching it? What do you think of it?

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