Sunday, July 15, 2018

The One Shot Dungeon

Tried out Roll20 for the first time this past weekend.  Not for any of the functionality, just for the video conferencing feature.  Two new friends had a weekend free, so they let me run a quick one-shot dungeon delve using a bastardized B/X.  Basically, the B/X combat and movement, but I let them use whatever reasonable OSR ruleset they had for chargen.  Worked out pretty good.  Here's a brief rundown and AAR featuring a lot of nice photos and one that sucks.

Two fighters, a thief, a cleric, and Butterbucket the halfling inspected all three cave entrances.  They couldn't pick the lock on the portcullis, and they didn't like the fancy floor behind door number one...

There's a trap in there, somwhere
 So they took the right hand cave straight into the heart of the orc goons chillaxing around a firepit.
 And came through without a scratch.  They tied the orc leader up to the main portcullis, but he escaped into the wilds after making his strength check after they'd gone inside the dungeon.
 The aftermath with a sneak peek at the rest of the dungeon in the background.

 They found their way back to the front grate, but one of the fighters got cut off after springing a cage trap.  Beset by normal bats, he rolled back under the cage thanks to some quick wits and strong as nails companions.
Then down a long hallway, they found the master of the dungeon, a second level magic-user with two veteran guards who managed to kill the thief before being put out of their own misery.

That narrow corridor really turned this fight into a slogfest that worked in the player's favor.  The door is laying on a rubble pile marking a collapsed cave and the end of the dungeon.
Along the way they found a room full of pools that attacked them, turned a staff magic, and showed them two of the rooms of the dungeon on a successful intelligence check.  They also played around with a magic healing statue (shown on the left) and a magic mirror (shown on the right) that they played with for a while, didn't trust, and basically left alone rather than risk fighting duplicates of themselves.  Sometimes not playing is the smart way to play.

Then it was time to loot the library, fight some skeletons in the dark temple, and say goodbye to the cleric.  His loss in the first round of combat made the fight tougher than it would have been if one of the fighters had died early, but they prevailed, recovered the loot from that alcove in the back of the room, and got out with over 500XP.  Not a bad haul for a four hour delve.

And here we see the remains of the fallen.  The thief in the bottom, and the cleric in the upper part.  Long shall the names of whatshisface and whozit be remembered in the annals of faceless dungeon plungin' players.

If you liked this AAR, you would really enjoy my collection of dragon slayer novellas.  Featuring one tale each for fighter, thief, cleric, and wizard, it even has a bonus tale told from the point of view of an ancient dragon woken from its slumber by ruthless but well meaning conquistadors.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Long Distance Wargaming

The One (Acutally Four) Box (Actually Boxes) to Rule Them All has been blooded.
Check out the Castalia House blog, the best dang fantasy and science fiction blog on this or any other internet, today for a full review of how you - yes, you! - can play miniature wargames across twelve time zones and still capture the tactile joy of miniature wargaming.  All you need is a little patience, a love of painting, and basic human decency, and distance no longer has to prevent you from playing your favorite game with your favorite people.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Wrap It, Stack It...

Smack it on the bing-bong!  The four fantasy boxes are done.
Four mounted troops, three big bossmen, thirty-five infantry, and a cute little doggo.  If you can't field a good four skirmish forces out of that mix, you're in the wrong hobby, buddy.

This aerial shot shows how well the different basing colors work to help distinguish one troop type from another.  From left to right we're looking at humanoids (brown/yellow), undeadish (black), elves (dark green), and heroes (white).

Boxed up in tubs two-inches by three-inches, lined with a bit of scrap foam, they are ready for transport.  Being a cheap friend, they'll go by slow boat, and two of them are headed half-way across one pond, across a continent, and then across another pond.

It might be a while before they see the table in a competitive way.

On to the next project!

Wonder what it will be...

Monday, February 5, 2018

Unleash the Hordes!

Been playing some Orcs Must Die! lately, so the painting slowed a bit.  My four year old loves watching those green waves get sliced and diced and hacked and whacked.  Big fan of floor spikes that one.  She better not expect these little guys to get chewed up, though.  Irregular Miniatures' goblins make a fine full force for skirmish wargaming.  This faction will include four hand melee goblins, two archers, and a pair of boar riders to round things out.

Those are hand weapons on the left, boars in the back right and archers in the front right.

Here's a clean shot of the boar riders.

And the hand weapon guys.

 And and the bowmen.  The eight I got feature a great selection with a wide variety of shields and cloaks, which would be great for a normal 10mm fighting force.  It makes the four boxes I'm building a little eclectic, but they'll do.

Eight goblins is actually a little light for a fighting force in most games, even if they include a couple of mounted outriders, but I don't expect them to fight alone.  They'll usually be paired up with an ogre or two, slaves to a wizard, or teamed up with some orcs.  Above, you can see how well the darker skinned and smaller goblins stack up against their larger orc brethren.  The orcs are from Copplestone, and have a little more detail, but these are two great foes that work great together.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Scale Mail

One of the things every wargamer wants to know prior to purchasing figures is, "How will these figures match with the ones I've already got."  Some think that this question becomes more critical at the smaller scales, because a millimeter out of six or ten is a much bigger difference than one out of 28 or 30.  Personally, the smaller scales are less detailed, and so if there's a slight difference in scale, I think it matters less.

In the interests of furthering the culture of the hobby, and now that I'm back into 10mm skirmish, here's a few shots of my figures from various manufacturers that shows how well they all stand with each other.

Sorry for the focus on that last one.  You can see the heights well enough.  That's a Copplestone, Pendraken (I think - I might have those two reversed) and Irregular elf in each shot.  Bear in mind we're comparing wood elves to high elves, so in my mind a little height difference is understandable.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Make Gondolin Great Again

The One box to Rule Them All continues apace.  Ten bucks netted me all these figures - four complete elven warbands.  The bright blue and yellow will help them stand out against other figures and the ground cover.  Note the dark green bases, which should help as well. 

 One stumbling block here is that the figures are not identical.  The manufacturers, in this case Irregular Miniatures, do a great job varying the figures.  If mounted in a big block as intended, these would look great.  Heck, the look fantastic like this, too.  But they aren't in two sets of four.  The spears are matched sets, as are the bowmen, but the cavalry are nice and varied - no real problem, because as figures they really only serve one function.  For this game set "cavalry" is all we need.  Whether they have shields or not doesn't make much difference.

 Here's a group shot of the one warband that shows the two mounted figures, two spearmen, two bowmen, two swordsmen, and a hero.  The heroes or leaders of each warband look a lot like the swordsmen - they have big yellow plumes on their helmets.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Wargamer's Life: A One Act Play

Me:  I'm going to do more playing and less painting in 2018
Also Me:  I'm going to build four matched wargaming sets
Me:  That's not gaming, that's still painting
Also Me:  But it's 10mm, that hardly counts
Me:  It's painting
Also Me:  Have you seen these guys?
Me:  Say, that's pretty - ah, hell with it, you know what?  Paint away.
Irregular Miniatures, take a bow
 Forty dollars netted me another big slew of 10mm skirmish figures.  Since these were bought specifically for this project, I could target actual needs.  The first two orders of business were to build some actual matched factions, so the new contenders are heavy on the high elves and greenskins.  I threw in a few cavalry troops, too, just to keep it interesting.  The new horde includes a few new heroes and some more skeletons to round out the undead faction.

Each kit will get three more skellies and a pair of bowmen painted up in a woodsy, maybe even wood elf style.  At this scale, they can do double duty.

I painted these bases a nice garish green with a hint of yellow to suggest grass, but they don't match my existing figures.  Thinking on the matter a little more, I should use the ground cover to my advantage.  Since the figures are so small, it might make sense to match the ground color to a faction as well.  That's more painting (Me: Naturally!  Also Me: Shaddup, you.) but whatever helps keep the gaming moving.  I'm thinking a nice gray ash color for undead, bright green for the elves, and desert brown for the orcs.  Then the heroes can have a more subtle green/brown base.

And all of them should work fine with the drop cloth.