Monday, March 30, 2015

Terrain Touch Up

Quick update on some simple terrain touch-ups.  My single terrain pieces looked flat, so I threw down some simple little clusters of bushes, and it helps bring them to life.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

End of the Undead

The Army of the Necromancer King is complete.  Long unlive the King.

Click for the full glory of the Necromancer King's Army.
The One Hour Wargame rules require at most six units on the field.  Before each scenario, you roll to see what forces you have available.  For medieval armies that means up to 4 knights, and up to 2 heavy foot, up to 2 light foot, and up to 2 bowmen.  Which means you need to have a full ten units available before play.

While painting up these figures, it was a little worrying that there weren't enough dudes per base to look like a proper army.  Now that they are fully assembled, it looks like there was no need to worry.  On the table it looks like a sizable force after all.  Much better than the three men representing a block of troops you see in most 15mm armies.

And they all fit into a single blue tub for ease of storage and transport.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Last Knight, In The Bushes...

It is (almost) done.  The undead army for use with Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames rules now has 10 full painted units and can take the field in any scenario.  The last two units of knights just need a protective coat and they can take to the box until the human army is painted up.  And the roads.  And the rivers.  And the town.  But hey, I'm halfway done and it's only a quarter of the way through the year - I'm way ahead of schedule.

Knight 4 on the left with a dark rider leader, and knight 3 on the right with a
second traitorous human captain.

While bushing up the knight bases, I figured why not do a couple of terrain bases and finish off the rest of the army.  Here's a comparison of the woods with and without bushes.
Before - bland.

After - subtle, but a little more character
Left to right: Bows, levy, and man-at-arms.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Second Knights - Things Get Heavy

This second unit of knights for the Army of the Necromancer King is actually his elite mounted shock troops.  The heaviest horses, the best trained knights, and led by the fearsome Horned General, it will play a role in every battle fought by the evil forces of undeath.

This base was a pain in the neck.  First I forgot to add the general and had to scrape off some base sand to make him fit, and then the base warped so bad it broke (you can see the line just to the left of the general). Once it was done, inspiration struck, and I found myself going back to strip off and reapply the bushes to streamline the game a bit.

You see, tracking hits in One Hour Wargames is kind of a pain.  I've never been a fan of hit markers on the table.  It takes away some of the visual appeal.  For these rules that means using a separate card as shown in yesterday's post.  But tracking by unit means you've got to have a readily visible marker on each base.  Painting a marker directly on the base detracts from the visual appeal.  A big old flag on each stand can work, but makes storage harder.  The solution that hit me while shooting ten year old Aussie kids in the face (read: playing X-Box) was to use the bushes.

In the photo below you can clearly see two dark green bushes to the right of the lightly armored knights (on the left side of the photo).  Likewise, the heavy unit (on the right) has just one dark green  bush on their right.  So my roster will have Knight-1 and Knight-2 listed, with the number of bushes signifying which is which. Easy to see, easy to track, and no need for delicate flags or weird colored bases to separate them.
I like my numbering like I like my wargame rules like I like
my women - elegant, easy, and you only need a few d6's to play them.
As promised earlier in the week, here's a slightly better shot of the first set to be painted.  As you can see, they are not as heavily armored, and don't dress their lines and lances with the same rigor.  The two marker bushes to their left (on the right in the photo) are also more visible.

Monday, March 16, 2015

One Hour Wargame Cheat Sheet

The two big downsides that I see with Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames are 1.) it requires hit tracking, and 2.) it isn't one set of rules...well, it is one set of rules, but it's reskinned for use with nine separate eras.  The great thing about these beefs is that they have the same solution - Cheat Sheet!

I ain't gonna use no hit counters on my nicely painted and based and terrained up figures, I'll tell you what.  Dice counters? Wound caps?  Chits?  Pshaw!  I'll use a roster on a separate piece of paper if that's what it takes to keep the battlefield clear of clutter.

Nine rulesets fleshing out the same skeletal rules seems like a great way to lose track of whether this game is the one where missile weapons do 1d6+2 or 1d6-2.  Keeping a handy cheat sheet handy will help the rules fresh.

It'd be great to show you the whole darn roster, but the half page sheet I whipped up includes all of the rules, so it's probably a violation of copyright law to show you more than this heavily redacted snapshot.  Sorry 'bout the tease.

Oh!  Hey!  I owe you some better shots of the figures from this past weekend.  I checked the shots out at work and hoo-boy, did they not turn out well at all.  Sorry 'bout that, too.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

One Hour Wargames Knights...ish

All this talk of D&D lately, nothing gets the creative juices flowing like an ongoing campaign.  But there's a full box of Heroics and Ros medieval figures(and terrain!) sitting on my shelf, untouched until I get this undead army completely painted, based, and all boxed up.  I've been a very good boy not cracking it open to see what's inside.  I've also got another 10% of the undead army completed this week.

Idle thoughts:

  • Using basswood for the bases has resulted in some visible warping.  This base bows up the middle a bit.  I'm okay with that.  It just looks like a small rise.
  • That base still looks a little light on the figures to me.  At a ratio of 1:10 it gives me the ability to field a 200 man unit of knights.  That's enough for a minor clash.  With these rules, that's enough.
  • This base represents a relatively lightly armed crew - one of the artifacts of cobbling together a full force using two different Irregular Army Packs.  The others should have more heavily armored horses and their lines should be dressed more professionally.  But these work just fine.  No one will mistake them for peasant rabble at any rate.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

D&D, The Teen Paradigm

My now fifteen year old son showed me the notes that he's drafting for the D&D campaign he is running for his friends.  It's an interesting glimpse into one creative solution designed by a player who has played the game for years, but has never cracked open a module.  He had no model on which to build, so he just sat down and started making notes in a very visual manner.  You'll have to click to make these readable.
This is the start of the campaign.  The players are tasked with helping a large city defend itself against a besieging orcish army. The double lines are the city's inner and outer walls. The king has been duped by an evil mage, and there's a dragon riding hero in the mix too.  Evidence that the king's adviser is a traitor is scattered about; hopefully the players aren't expected to find them all, but that they represent different ways to learn the truth and confront the evil mage.

The mech powered by the oblisk (sic) in the lower right hand corner ties into the second part of the campaign...

I don't know the full details here.  There are pieces of the oblisk scattered about, so there's your fetch quest.  Now we learn the evil mage from part one was serving a lich undead boss.  It looks to me like an evil lich is supplying the drow - commanded by driders (a departure from canon already, thumbs up).  There are potential allies up above that spooky magic fog in the form of a dwarf fortress.

When I asked him about the details, he said these two pages give him everything he needs to fill those in.  He doesn't know what the players are going to do, so he just wrote down a bunch of stuff to help him remember the important bigs.  ("You mean those are all mnemonics?"  "Is that what those are called?").  As for stats...he figures all he needs is a spell list for the casters, and he can make the rest up as he goes.

Harry Chapin put it best...