Monday, August 17, 2015

One Hour Wargames: Towns

The built-up areas in Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames towns have varying effects on movement depending on the historic era.  For the medieval era, they don't have any effect at all.  And yet, in the scenarios listed, they often trigger special rules or serve as objective markers.  So from a rules perspective, it makes sense to have a couple stands of "towns".

Also, they just look cool on the table.  Even if the scenario doesn't call for it, they make for more visual appeal, which is such a big part of this hobby - regardless of what they tell you at the 40k tables.

For my Big Box of One Hour wargames, I have elected to represent towns as a farm stand.  Not the kind you pass on the road in the country, but a wargame stand featuring a farm.  The field on the right is simple balsa wood walls and painted sand.  The walls are big enough that a full stand of troops can fit inside them.  The row of crops is early in the season and consists of glued and painted sand that should hold up well with repeated wear and tear.

The buildings are from Heroics and Ros' scenic range.  The small building is listed as SCEN10 (Small Farm House) and the larger one as SCEN12 (Large Farm House).  The balsa wood walls help tie the farm to the field, and the well in the courtyard is a short piece of balsa rod.  The tree is a left over rubber toy from the Tree Toob.  It's going to tower over the rest of the woodland terrain pieces.  We'll call it an ancient oak tree and not sweat the difference.

All that's left to complete the set now are some roads and rivers, and then we can actually sit down and start playing.  Eight months in, and we are still ahead of schedule to complete the big box by the end of the year.  Might even be time to start thinking about the Big Box for 2016.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Medieval Knights - The Good Guys Group Shot

That last post was getting a bit image heavy*.  So how about a second post with a nice group shot of all four units of hard charging knights ready for battle?

Now that's what a massed charge should look like.  None of this three-figures-per-stand nonsense you see from guys who game in a scale I can't afford.

* Also, two posts for one real update.  Ain't I a stinker?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Medieval Knights - The Good Guys

This post sure was a long time coming.  Four stands of 6mm medieval knights ready to roll for a game of Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames.  These are all Heroics and Ros figures mounted on basswood bases three inches wide by two inches deep.  These stands each have one bannerman and about 20 other knights in two poses.


Yeah, so this fantasy army wears red and yellow colors and flies dragon banners.  Any resemblance to an army from (for lack of a better word) literature is purely coincidental.

Look at that line-up.  Simple all-red horse gear, individual shields, this must be a force cobbled together from different houses within the kingdom.

Advancing line abreast, and with matching horse gear, but individual shields, these men must be retainers of a wealthy nobleman.

This well disciplined unit is charging in classic wedge formation.  Well drilled, and with matching uniforms and shields, it must be an elite guard unit.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Session 10 - Spider Manor

Having been hired by the shining hero, Captain Von Der Fule of Candlekeep to investigate the missing wizard brothers, Mordecai and Lucius Malvern, the party finds itself on a slight rise overlooking Malvern Manor.  But something is amiss!  Ain't it always?

Three sides of the manor are covered in thick, ropy webs, and a figure stands along the approach to the manor - one fingerless hand stretched out in the universal gesture of "Halt!", the other hand pointing back along the roadway.  A corpse, staked to the earth, and flayed of every inch of skin, it is an appalling sight.  It's also a warning the party refuses to heed.

Using the standard party tactic of hey-diddle-diddle, straight up the middle, they essentially assaulted Malvern Manor in a SWAT style raid.  On the porch they get slapped around by giant spiders that pack a punch but lack staying power - one hit and they drop.  The largest spider teleported back and forth, landing a few blows before being gutted at range by a highly accurate Grim the rogue.

Inside, the party lured a pair of starving guard dogs into a bathroom using a day's rations, and then barred the three headed beasts inside.  The ground floor echoed with bestial howls from the basement, and a thumping and moaning from the floor above.  Searching the living area for clues revealed...

Upstairs the party found a pair of nice bedrooms, one of which contained a starving, eyeless, fingerless, and tongueless brother, crazed beyond all sanity.  No attempts at first aid or magic healing could mend the wretches severed mind.  The party did find a journal written by  one of the Malvern Brothers that pointed the way to a hole to hell in the backyard of the manor.

The top floor was given over to four summoning circles that the party dared not touch.

The stairs down led to a small landing, flooded by six inches of water.  The water, the howls, and the dank oppression led the party back upstairs - nothing could be worth all that trouble.

The last thing to investigate - the back altar - would have to wait for the next session.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Session 9 - The New Guy

Two days after the slaad attack and assassination attempt, the caravan is startled by the approach of a half orc paladin astride a mighty charger.  Mordred, his name, a paladin in service to the Church of Torm, his profession.  He immediately approaches Aramis, the party's cleric and fellow servant of Torm, and inquires about riding with the caravan to Candlekeep where he is slated to meet friends in pursuit of a second caravan the cult is using the move The Great Hoard northwards. He proved to have been sent by Ontharr Frume, a member of the Order of the Gauntlet and an ally of Leosin the Monk.  

Jeb, the wagon train master, is a skeptic until Mordred offers a sword to replace those lost in recent adventures and notes that he will pay his own way.  At the sound of a free hired guard, Jeb changes his tune and welcomes the big ugly brute.
Gilgamesh and Mordred, the new guy.
The last of the perytons proved to be the toughest, only dying at the thunderous hand of the party mage, Gilgamesh, who cast a booming shatter spell.  The spell blasted the peryton into a cloud of feathers and gore, but also badly damaged the cultists cart it happened to be sitting on at the time.  The rear half of the wagon broke apart, spilling gold and loot along the road.
Aftermath of the peryton attack
While doing this and travelling ever deeper into the forest, your group was set upon by horribly mutated goblins and a great ogre abomination.  It was during this attack that Capt. Alphonse and his men broke a oath of their own by turning on the group and launching an attack against them.  But as it turned out, it was the Captain and his men that paid the deadly final price, being wiped out to a man!
And with that, the party stumbled out of the forest mists to crest a small hill overlooking a beautiful high mountain valley with a crystal blue glacial lake at one end and a most impressive Malvern Manor at it's shore.  From a distance, the house appeared...hazy.  And not in a good way.
A deeper investigation would have to wait for the next session...
In an effort to distance himself from the party members who have repeatedly blown their cover, Yolo takes a morning to make nice with Captain Alphonse, the leader of the cult on this road trip, at the next day's breakfast.  "Yo man, why those guys on the spice truck got it in for you?  All those stories, all the bad blood.  Don't you worry, bro. Things get tight, I got your back."  He's kind of a laid-back surf elf.  You know the type.  Alphonse wasn't sure what to make of it, but given that his 24 man team is down to 16, he didn't dare make yet more enemies on this trip.  Yolo was left with the distinct impression that Alphonse didn't want any help, but accepted he might need it.

Later that day, Perytons attacked the caravan.  Peryton's for those of you that missed that episode of National Geographic: Faerun, are half-stags and half birds of prey given to ripping out and eating the still beating hearts of their victims.  The foul birds swooped down from the sky, and lit into the caravan with a vengeance.  Aramis nuked one with holy fire, and Karren let fly the Dragonspear, felling another.  Meanwhile, Grim shanked a cultist in the confusion and successfully blamed a peryton for the death.  Yolo tried to assist by "accidentally" hitting a pair of cultists with friendly fire, to no avail.  

As the cultists scrambled to collect the gold and valuables, Karren made move to retrieve the Dragonspear, only to find it in the hands of Alphonse, the leader of the cult on this trek.  Yolo quickly negotiated a truce between the spice merchants (Karren, Aramis, and Gilgamesh), and the cult leader.  Karren gets the spear, and no more funny business until the gates of Waterdeep.  Down five more cultists following the attack, and with the loss of a wagon, the cult consolidated down to four wagons.

The next day, the wagon train halted for a moment at an odd sight.  A man buried up to his neck on the roadside - the standard punishment for oathbreakers in these parts.  The cleric and paladins refused to leave a man in this state and their trust paid off.  The poor soul proved to be Carlin Amenfall, Karren's contact with the Harpers.  In front of the crowd, Carlin claimed to have broken off an engagement rather than marry into a family of brigands.  Later, in private, he confessed to have been travelling with a loot caravan three days ahead of us, but there the cult found him out and left him neck deep in roadway.  He had left word.with the sleeping dragon innkeeper that he knows where a powerful artifact is, some sort of summoning stones, but the arrival of the slaads prevented the message from being delivered.

Two days later... Dragonspear Castle.  The first truly safe haven in weeks.

There, everyone was introduced to the garrison commander, the garrulous and slightly boastful Captain William Von Der Fule!  As the caravan at large settled in for a couple days of guarded rest, Capt. VonDerFule hired the party, as well as Capt. Alphonse and a few cultists , to travel a few hours into the nearby forbidding Great Northern Forrest to locate two of his lost patrols and check upon two wizardly brother allies, Mordecai and Lucius Malvern.  The two had recently gone missing.