Recent Brushwork

Trying to change my palette if not my technique to achieve a different look on my minis. I read a ‘How To Paint Military Miniatures’ book ages ago, and settled on the ink wash/Shade Down method rather than the Highlight Up all the cool kids do nowadays.

Whippersnappers! Back in my day, a real painter had messy fingers from all the run-off.

40 years on, I still don’t have an airbrush. Maybe someday. But until then, here are several new figs from the painting desk.

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Trying for that Arabian theme.
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A Kev White sculpt according to Reaper. I like that he’s tough but normal looking.
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Great fig. Very subtle. The pic doesn’t quite show it but I went for a weathered duster feel to his cloak and jacket.
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Nothing really special about these four – except they’re a bunch of Do-Gooder, Avenging Paladin-types. (Sounds like a 90’s Christian metal band) There’s a fifth member of the band on the way.
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Brightening up a Thief defeats the purpose, but his gray clothes and lighter tone than usual armor works nice.
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“I told you what would happen if you got up.”
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Iconic Investigator investigating a mysterious rune stone. (Or a new FB Profile picture)

 

3:10 to Yharma

A Song of Blades and Heroes Bat Rep

***

“That’s a ‘4’!” Brynar insisted. 

“No you thick Northman, that’s a ‘3’,” the grizzled cleric replied. “It says the caravan leaves at 3:10. The caravan we were paid to escort.” 

The barbarian shrugged his massive shoulders. “It’s not my fault the attendant scribbles. You’re the educated one in this crew. You should have deciphered the note sooner.”

Lazarus Stern bit his tongue. He looked into the faces of the rest of the party – Hrodor the Druid, the two Rangers, Quinn and Terryn, his own comrade, the Paladin Jorgen. 

“Nothing to do for it now except get a move on, he sighed. “They’re only a half hour down the Yharma road.  We hurry now, we’ll catch up before supper. I mean, what can go wrong in a half hour?”

***

A new player joined us for this week’s gaming session, bringing the total to five. He’s an old hand at DnD, so I opted for a quick ASOBH scenario. We all enjoy the rules, are very familiar with them, they’re easy for a first-timer, and we have plenty of terrain and a variety of miniatures.

We split up, 3 v 2. John and I would play the Baddies while Derek, Matt and Anti-Patrick each controlled two members of the adventuring party.

The game area was split into two sections. The first was the now looted caravan at the turn in the road. The second section was the ruined abbey. Each would trigger attacks by hostiles (Me and John)

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While Matt took his Rangers strolling through the woods toward the Abbey on the right, the other four gathered near the first wagon. This kicked off the first attack, with a small Gnoll warband coming in from either side of the table.

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While fast, ugly, and very smelly, the Gnolls failed to do any serious damage to the party.  The older Ranger (that Matt insisted on calling ‘Grandpa’) took down three attackers by his lonesome in the woods on the left, while the other Ranger watched from the hilltop. Meanwhile, the other Canines were easily dispatched near the wagon. A quick search showed signs of a struggle, as well as a trail leading to the old Abbey.  Oh and a couple of recharges for the members’ Healing amulets.

Supremely confident, the party hurried down the Abbey Road to rescue the survivors.

The second set of Hostiles rushed out from the ruins the moment the the first Adventurer neared the stone gate: a Death Priest, two Warriors of Chaos, two packs of ghouls, and a giant Were-Rat.

“Oh look, they have a Were-Rat.”

 

The battle was quickly joined. The Death Priest sent one pack of Ghouls to swarm Grandpa while the rest of the Tainted surged out of the gates and attacked in a head-long frenzy.

 

Fierce combat raged back and forth inside and outside the Abbey. The air rang with clashing steel, savage howls, and ferocious battle cries. Both Rangers died under the filthy, blood-soaked claws of the Ghouls, selling their lives dearly and buying precious time for their comrades.

Barbarian met Barbarian. Mage fought Mage. Blinded by a murderous frenzy, the monstrous Were-Rat launched itself tooth and claw at anyone in it’s line of sight.

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Slowly, surely, the Adventurers’ skill and discipline drove the forces of Darkness back, first slaying the evil barbarian. Then the Chaos Champion Gurn Gravehand fell under Jorgen’s the Paladin’s flashing coldsilver blade. Victory teetered on a razor’s edge. But it was the Druid’s Gruesome Kill of the foul Death Priest that sealed evil’s fate. The wretch’s death-scream shook the remaining forces of Darkness to their withered, blackened souls and they fled the field of battle.

Victory.

***

There’s a reason why Song of Blades and Heroes is our go-to fantasy skirmish game: fast, versatile, robust, easily learned, fun… Anti-Pat picked it up by turn three and jumped right into the flow of the game. His Druid and Barbarian were brawling it out alongside veteran players figs in no time. It was a good fun with good people. We’re all looking forward to doing it again soon.

If you’re in the market for a fast and fun fantasy skirmish game, pick up a copy of Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks and have a good week.

 

 

The Summoning – Chapter 3

  1. Black Smoke, Red Sky.

Safely across the bridge, the Adventurers head to the border town of Jarl’s Knot to purchase supplies and confront the man named in the letter found on the Ork warchief. Following the river path, they exit the forest in the late afternoon and find themselves on a well-traveled road passing through cultivated farmlands and orchards.

As they near the town, they spy black smoke billowing into the sky. The sound of battle rings from over the next rise. Back at the homestead, the Duke’s men had mentioned a surge in raids. Jarl’s Knot is under attack.

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The Road to Jarl’s Knot
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Plot Point 1 – the Abandoned Wagon
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Not abandoned after all! A Gnoll raider surprises Brekr.

The party advanced down the first stretch of road to find an abandoned wagon, signs of a struggle and traces of blood. Whoever was driving it is long gone or dead nearby.

The Barbarian mercenary was the first to reach it. He was no more than five paces away when a Gnoll raider leaped out and attacked. The Skald immediately charged forward, Gnolls being his mortal enemy, but Brekr swiftly dispatched the beast.

Alert, the party moved to the first turn. There they found a fighter beset by two vicious raiders. He is holding his own but yips and barks in the underbrush mean more enemies are fast approaching. Iobus the Mage – now Leader of the party –  decided they would come to his assistance.

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Putting the hurt on the rabid puppies.

Figuring the Barbarian and Skald could help the fighter with a few Gnolls, Iobus and the Ranger head to the third Plot Point further down the road near the split. Bad move: more Gnolls emerge from the trees, accompanied by an Ogre.

Iobus calls back to his comrades. “If you’re done cleaning up that dog mess, I could use a hand here.”

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The Ranger fires at the Gnolls with deadly accuracy as the fighters advance.

A nasty brawl see-sawed back and forth between the Ogre and the Mage, with the Mage taking two brutal hits. Only his Healing Amulet saved him. Shoved back a third time and about to be hit by that massive club again, the Barbarian rushed to Iobus’ rescue. It was a tough fight but Brekr finally takes the Ogre down.

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The Mage did better than expected but some enemies are better left to the brawlers.

Finally, all enemies were either dead or fleeing. The Skald put his Horn to good use this game. (Deamir’s Horn: Character may spend 1, 2, or 3 Actions to blow the Horn. All enemy models in applicable range must test for Morale, 1 die per Action Spent. Failure = Retreat S/M/L depending on Actions Spent. Enemies currently in Melee may be subject to Free Hack.)

The party agreed to hire the Fighter for 10 GP. He now joins their quest to rescue the Duke’s  niece.

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The Adventurers

Another good game: supplies replenished. the party reinforced, Advances gained for enemies killed, but what awaits them in Jarl’s Knot?

***

Two new fighters from Bronze Age Miniatures, shown here with Reaper Barbarian for scale. The dynamic and detail is great. I’ve got a couple dogs in the painting queue and I’ll put them with the guy on the left and make a Tracker. I’m thinking they’ll make an appearance in the near future.

Thanks for looking.

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Ranta Cravis – the Right Hand of the Liche

Our Song of Blades and Heroes campaign is coming to an end.

This past Tuesday eve, our intrepid adventurers were reinforced by an additional party led by Thematurge Malik D’Orr. Together, the combined force squared off against Ranta Cravis, a cruel Necromancer and chief lieutenant to the Liche. Cravis had bolstered his zombie horde with a Spectral Warrior and a Ghast champion, Sorik the Undying.

The trail to the Liche led through the ruins of an ancient monastery in the foothills of the Stormcrag mountains. It was there, the Necromancer planned his ambush.

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Ancient Monastery with graveyard.

Entering through the main gate, our adventurers wisely opted to advance together, supporting one another while individuals split off to check the treasure caches  on either side of the road.

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Malik D’Orr and his companions (led by newcomer, John)
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Matt fielding three of the Elf Exiles
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Derek’s clerics armed, armored, and anointed for battle. 
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Cravis and the horde
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Ghast, Spectral Warrior, and a swarm of locally sourced, corpse-fed, free-range rats.

As expected, the battle turned into a straight up brawl in the middle with our heroes slugging it out with the Undead. Thankfully, the two treasure caches yielded some holy salves and ointments that proved a bane to the Necromancer’s shambling mass. (at one point, Norbert the Novice was wading into zombie swarms with a +6 C bonus against the undead. He was unstoppable)

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Alas, the victory was not without cost. Two of the elf exiles fell to the Necromancer’s foul minions. (Not that Matt cared; he only played elves this game to avoid casualties to his regular crew prior to the big showdown)

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Elf rogue confronts rats while moving on last treasure cache

Final game scheduled two weeks from now. Our heroes may have defeated the evil Necromancer and routed his force, but can they stand against the Liche himself in the ruins of Stormcrag Keep?

Nal-Rog of the Nine Hills

We had a new guy with us last Tuesday night, so we did a quick one-of scenario for ASOBH. John is an old hand at RPGs but fairly new to TTGs. One of the many things I appreciate about the ASOBH system is how easy it is to teach newcomers.

Matt, Derek, and John each had a pair of heroes, all of whom banded together to chase the Iron Jaw Orcs and the infamous giant, Nal-Rog of the Nine Hills from the ruins of Gray Maarten’s Tower, near the rune stones locally called the Four Sisters.

Real slugfest. Heroes for the win. No AAR but here are some pictures.

Painted up two new Shadowrun-type crews, so ‘Song of Mirrorshades and Shadows’ on the docket for tomorrow night.

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Gray Maarten’s Tower and the Four Sisters – the field of battle.
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Chain Fighter Piotr Nevsky faces Nal-Rog. Bold move. 
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Cleric Lazarus Sturn goes to meet the Orc Warchief. 
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Barda, War-Priest of Numor faces the Orc Brutes. His faith is strong, his sword sharp and fast. 
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Brawl around Gray Maarten’s Tower
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Quinn of Montfort grabs the treasure. 
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Hrodor and Brynar at the Four Sisters.
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Iron Jaws advance!

 

Terror in Tendale Wood

Derek was called into work, furiously cooking gluten-free alternatives for customers’ Thanksgiving celebrations, but Matt and I got together over a quick ‘one-of’ ASOBH game last night.

***

Hrodor the Druid and his nephew Brynar have been tracking the evil necromancer Heinrich Klutch for months. Following him to the quiet hamlet of Tendale, the Northmen hire two sturdy rangers to reinforce their party and follow the sorcerer into the woods. Little do they know the wretched man plans on desecrating the ancient Shrine of the Skystone with dire incantations and foul majiks.

After an hour in the woods, the rangers suddenly report the old man has stopped in the shrine’s clearing a quarter mile on and seems to be preparing to enact some kind of ritual. Worse, he has been joined by unnatural allies: two cursed spirits, a gibbering ghoul, a brawny ghast, and a large, ugly warrior armed with a heavy battle ax and a deadly hand scythe. Six against four – they’re outnumbered.

“No matter,” Hrodor said. “We will stop this desecration, cut Klutch’s black heart from his body, and finally put an end to his vile schemes.”

Brynar hefts his sword and ax. “Ja. And I’ll cut down anyone or anything that gets in my way.”

Reluctant at first, the rangers pluck up their courage, unlimber their bows, and stalk into the woods.

***

The battle began well for Hrodor. The Rangers crept forward on the right as he and his nephew went left. The Ghoul was the first to spot the intruders and raced to confront Brynar. Garn Gravehand, the large pestilent warrior, and the unnamed Ghast followed after, leaving Klutch and the Cursed spirits to finish the ritual.

Brynar cleaved the Ghoul in half, spraying ichor and black blood among the trees. The Ghast attacked one of the rangers but was forced back. Gravehand’s bulk slowed him down and he lumbered through the underbrush toward the fighting.

Eventually Gravehand and the Ghast reached the Druid’s warband and began slugging it out. The battle was evenly matched with neither side gaining an advantage – until the Cursed spirits showed up.

Aura of Terror. That’s what cinched it for the forces of Darkness. A simple spell but so effective.

Frustrated at the interruption, Klutch sent the spirits to help Gravehand. The spirits floated swiftly on dire winds toward the fighting. Before they landed a single blow, their eerie, forlorn wailing and unearthly glow forced Hrodor’s compatriots to make morale checks. First one Ranger panicked, then Brynar flinched. Next, the Northern warrior was forced back by the Ghast. Another ghostly wail, and he fled off the nearest board edge. That left the Druid and the second Ranger, who fired ineffectively at the creatures advancing on them before retreating themselves. A rather ignominious conclusion to noble intentions.

Like the old Northern adage goes: Run, run, run away. Live to fight another day.

Hrodor’s vengeance was thwarted but not quenched.

*Notice if you will, the fallen rune stone on the right edge of the board. If Matt had bothered checking it, (it was marked with an objective stone) he would have found Piotor, a former mercenary come on hard times. Not above rolling the occasional drunk or lone traveler for a few extra coins, Piotor had followed Klutch into the woods thinking him an easy mark. Once the uglies showed up however, he wisely decided to back off. Some assistance and the promise of a a share in the spoils/reward, Piotor would have gladly have given Hrodor and crew a hand. But did Matt check? Nooooooooooo. 

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Skystone Shrine in the Tendale Woods

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Apparently, the old man brought some friends.
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Desecrating the shrine. Is nothing sacred these days?
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Druid and his party.
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“Take your nephew on a quest. It builds character!”
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“We ain’t getting paid enough to face a necromancer.”
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“And here I thought the old man was an easy mark…”
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Bad Guy Backup
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No wonder they widdled their knickers.

Random brushwork

Still working on wide assortment of fantasy figs for our SOBH campaign, some of which might be entered in the LAF LPL, which, according to the official rules, cannot have been be posted anywhere online prior to entry. In the meantime, I’ve been feeling like a slacker not posting so I snapped a few shots  today.

I am really enjoying the change from sci fi figs and I’m anxious to put up pictures for your feedback. My brushwork and photog skills what they are, I’ll most likely be eliminated from the LPL soon enough. So that’s one benefit of not being a professional level painter.

Derek, Matt and I have been playing ‘one-of’ games the past few weeks to thoroughly familiarize ourselves with the Advanced SOBH rules, but it looks like we’ll be starting “Whispers of the Lich” soon. (There was a lot of figs to paint, terrain to build, a campaign to write…)

I volunteered to be Game Master and run the NPC baddies, while one of Matt’s friends is supposed to join us, so things should get very interesting. Their three warbands will be semi-cooperating against each mission’s hostiles as they investigate rumors of necromancy and treasure in the crypts of Storm Crag Keep. I’ll be sure to post Bat Reps after each session.

Anyway, here are today’s pix.

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Reaper Not-Neo with weapon swaps and resin tech base.

 

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A little Shadowrun-ish
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Hasslefree Figs Smartgunner fig.
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HF Smartgunner with Heresy Predator
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Reaper Chronoscope Baddies including new Henchman on the far right
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HF spy assassin chick with Clix repaint.
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Old RAFM Shadowrun Rigger with Bombshell robot and I-Kore Syntha female infantry.