Thursday, 5 July 2018

Guess what? A belated #workbenchWednesday 04/07/18

So there I was all sorted for getting back into the routine of regular updates, and I missed the first one...  Acceptable though as I have the kids over all week for the holidays, and staying out late for ice cream and playing on the swings was of the utmost importance.

The workbench currently looks like this

Shadespire in that house!

with a sidebar of

Dwarfs and Pigs

She's picked me up Shadespire and the Farstriders Warband for my birthday, so I've got them assembled, primed and started.  I've swithered a lot over a colour scheme, since the Stormcasts first appeared in Age of Sigmar actually, and finally bit the bullet this week.  So, nope, not blue and silver for anyone that knows me, although, it was going to be.  What with Duffy and Sarah both planning on building up the new Nighthaunts, I figured I would go with a bone, black and purple colour scheme.  Something that evoked the idea of death.  I imagine that my force will be guardians tasked with patrolling graveyards and such places, making sure the dead move on and don't linger or return to wreak havoc on the living.  Sounds plausible, right?

Full disclosure - still not sure this will be the final scheme, I figured I could do the 2 Shadespire Warbands like this before deciding if I was going to carry it on to the full army.

These guys were cleaned up and assembled on Wednesday, along with Garrek's Reavers (the Chaos Marauder/Bloodbound Warband from the starter)  I also spent some time working on Carver and some of the Razorboars for Mike's army, and built the Blighthaven Dwarf Golem I showed in my last post.

Thursday was spent working on the Farrow stuff and Dwarf Golem, along with 2 games of Shadespire as the minis were assembled (44-45/100), and Thursday was the same, played games 46-47, switching warbands to have Orcs versus Skaven.

Wrote up my May and June Month in Review posts on Saturday, played another 3 games of Shadespire (48-50), and finished off Mike's Carver and the 6 Razorboars he wants in the army colour scheme.

Cry Havoc and let loose the hogs of war!

You might wanna clean that...

The good news is that I'm now done to just 4 minis to paint for Mike's army, in a job that has dragged on way too long, thankfully he's now bugging me to discuss the next project, rather than slagging me rotten.  I have 2 Razorboars and a Razorback crew to do, RBC like the army, the Razorboars based on colour variations of my Project:  Top Secret force.  I should probably get that posted up as it isn't a secret anymore...

Full army so far.

Sunday and Monday, free time was spent making a start on my 4a Miniatures 15mm Dwarfs, I have a set of 11 on the go right now, with another 2 packs of 8 Swordsmen (Swordsdwarfs?) and 3 more Command figures to clean up and base.

 Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted to getting the Stormcast stuff primed and started, and I also managed to get Vandus Hammerhand and the Lord Relictor from the old starter assembled, along with the Knight-Heraldor (Trumpet Hero) I'd had lying around for ages, and the Forgeworld exclusive champion too.   Haven't glued them to bases yet, as I want something a bit more than just sand to match the Shadespire warbands.

So yeah, that's it for the moment.  Kids are itching to play Munchkin later, so that's more games played for the #hobbyresolution2018 tally.



Monday, 2 July 2018

SAGA Rampant! or "The miniatures went in 2 by 2"

This is one of those things that has ben floating around in my head for a while, and I figured I would try and make some sense of my jumbled thought process on the matter, and hopefully it is of some use to the people out there in internetland.

So, what exactly is SAGA Rampant?

Well, at a basic level, it is a plan borne from my endeavours to paint up "double-duty" miniatures.  A double-duty miniature being one that can be used for something besides it's intended purpose/system, and by way of example, I'm going to use my Conquest Normans.  Now, these were originally painted up for SAGA, but, having had a look over the books, I figured that I can easily adapt them to Lion or Dragon Rampant, hence the term SAGA Rampant.  Using these as I find Saga to be enjoyable for someone like myself who really isn't in to Historical gaming, it has enough of that Herohammer vibe about it with the Warlords generally being beasts in combat, and the various special abilities on the battle boards, and the Rampant games, as I really like the whole "wargaming lite" vibe of the Osprey books, and see them as a good entry point into various periods/styles of play (hence my plan to paint up a force for every one of them, but that's a different story.  Or blog post)

The basic foundation for this is how the armies are put together, Saga has 4/8/12 model units (at the basic level) and the Rampant series follows a 6/12 model/wound unit.  Looking at it, it is quite easy to plan out a 6pt Saga army that will translate directly to one of the Rampant games, as opposed to the "paint up some random stuff" approach I had originally had.

So, let's see how this works.

Generic Norman Army 6pts

4 Mounted Hearthguard
4 Mounted Hearthguard
8 Warriors
8 Warriors
8 Warriors
12 Levy

OK, so it probably isn't the most optimal list, there's none of those lovely crossbows, whatever...  but we'll go with it.  So, breaking it down, we have

Chief dude
8 figures on horses
24 infantry with (most likely) spears and shields
12 infantry with bows.

Grabbing Lion Rampant and flipping to the Mustering your army section, we can immediately see we have enough mounted figures for a 6 model unit of Mounted Men-at-arms or Serjeants, let's put them down as Mounted Serjeants just now, for a 4pt spend.  Moving on to the infantry, our 24 warriors with spear and shield conviniently (amazingly so) split perfectly into 2 12 model units of Foot Yeomen at 3pts each (Total spend so far 10pts) and similarly, that 12 man levy unit becomes a 4pt Archer unit.

So thats

Mounted Serjeants - 4pts
2 x Foot Yeomen - 6pts
Archers - 4pts

So far, we've spent 14/24pts, and have 3 figures left spare right now, it's not enough for another unit, and 10pts is a lot to spend on upgrades.  But you can still play Saga, right?  Looking at it, painting another unit of Mounted Hearthguard for Saga would give you the option of adding a second unit of Mounted Serjeants (2 spare + 4) for another 4pts, taking you to 18/24pts, I guess you could spend 6pts on upgrades, or, being a dastardly Norman playe, you probably want to get those Crossbows on the field, so, add them to your Saga force, and assuming you can get a spare 4, that's another 4pts spent on Cossbowmen taking it to 22/24pts, and giving you 2pts for upgrades.

Lion Rampant Normans

2 x Mounted Serjeants - 8pts
2 x Foot Yeomen - 6pts
Archers - 4pts
Crossbowmen - 4pts
Upgrades - 2pts

Working it back, it translates to 8pts for Saga, so enough for a fully playable force with options.  There is also a sample Norman retinue in the book, classing the mounted models as Mounted Men-at-Arms, which eats up more points, and the Levy as Bidowers (although you are only using 6 of them), you'd still need 12 crossbowmen, but at a push, you could get away with painting the 8 you'd want for Saga and filling out the unit with 4 of the spare Levy.  Just make sure they die first.

Maybe it takes a little bit of fudging, but it's not a huge task to turn that Saga army into a playable Lion Rampant force.

Moving on to Dragon Rampant, it should be, if anything, easier to translate, as the Reduced model unit rules allows you to allocate multiple hits to a model and field less figures.  Let's be honest, you could drop every unit to a single figure with 6 or 12 wounds and play with about 6 models a side...  but it's not gonna look great, but it could be a handy way to get a handle on the rules.

So taking that original Saga force, it breaks down to

Heavy Riders - 4pts (6 wounds)
2 x Light Foot - 6pts (24 wounds)
Light Missiles - 4pts (12 wounds)

Again, coming in at 14/24pts and leaving the same 3 figures spare.  So, how do we make up those 10pts (other than upgrades).  The easiest thing is to class Mounted models as 2hits apiece, meaning your 6 mounted figures can actually be used as 2 units of Heavy Riders, immediately adding another 4pts, taking you to 18/24, from there, the quickest addition would be to paint up a mounted Warlord for Saga, and add him to the 2 remaining Hearthguard to form a 3rd unit of Heavy Riders taking you to 22/24pts, or class his unit as Elite Riders for 6pts and that takes you up to 24pts exactly.  Probably good news for those that don't want to sully their armies with fantastical rules and dirty great monsters.

Warlord and 2x Hearthguad or Elite Riders and 2x Heavy Riders?  Why not both?

Working it back, you've got exactly the same army as you started with for Saga, but now you have a mounted Warlord option too.  Bonus.

And that, is basically the gist of it, paint an army for a game, and with a few additions, you get options for the original game, or enough figures to play something else.  If you don't like playing something else, you haven't really lost anything other than a couple of hours, and you still have options for your original army.

So this is the plan I am following when it comes to painting up new stuff, aiming for a Saga style build to begin with, that can be expanded towards the Rampant games.  4-8 models is a pretty good number for batch painting, 12 can be a slog, but you can always break it down to 2x6.  It doesn't have to be strictly historical stuff either, I made a start on the Oathmark Dwarfs a couple of months back, with the idea that they would be a good "Counts as" Saxon or Viking force for Saga until the Fantasy sourcebook is released.

Dwarf Hearthguard.

Dwarf Warlord

Dwarf Priest

On a similar note, skirmish games gives you a start into building up units for more massed battles, the Dacian Warband I am painting up for Broken Legion's, using the Frostgrave Barbarians can be expanded into Fierce/Bellicose Foot for the Rampant games (mixed weaponry won't really matter) or a more Hollywood style Viking force for Saga.  They'll also be great for playing Blood Eagle, which just adds to the options I have for games.

3 Men short of a Saga Warrior unit.

It's not just limited to 28-30mm scale stuff either.  I recently threw out a challenge to the 15mm Fantasy Gaming group to do a slo-gro "fantasy" Saga army over 6 months, and make it a playable Dragon Rampant army by painting up enough spare models to bulk out the units.  It was more a personal project, but I opened it up to the group to get others on board.  I had originally planned on doing a mostly mounted force using the Copplestone 15mm Barbarians and Northlanders, but settled instead for Dwarfs, using the awesome 4a Miniatures ones (which Andy still doesn't have up on the webstore, but has at shows, so bug him about it to get them up there if you want some) 

Blame these guys for the change of plan.

 Seeing as there isn't a book to go by for Fantasy Saga, it's basically paint 4/8/12 models a month to count as something for Saga until we have a book.  I'm going with the Dwarfs being Vikings, because it is the most generic list in my opinion, but I also get to go a bit wild with some Berserker types.  Painted up my Counts as Warlord last month, one of the Blighthaven Dwarven Warmachine models (without the crew) and I have 3 packs of the 4a Dwarfs to get started.  Hopefully there will be some new releases by the time I get them done.

I'm just a warmachine, painted for fantasy, give me a kiss or 3, and I'm fine...

Of course there are plenty of other games out there beyond Saga and the Rampants, I know I'll revisit God of Battles once the Dwarfs start piling up, and that will probably prompt painting up a second army...

So yeah, that's basically the whole thought process laid out, paint 4/8/12 models at a time for Saga, either a real force or proxy/count as models, and see about expanding them into usable units for other games.  It's never an excessive amount of painting breaking it down into chunks like that, and you can slowly build up your forces and options to play multiple games.  It's not going to be for everybody, but, if you are stuck in a rut, or don't know where to aim for next in your hobbying, it might be worth a try.

Productive painting and happy gaming until next time,



Saturday, 30 June 2018

Month in Review x2 - May/June 2018

So, I wasn't lying when I said things might be delayed huh?

The car issues basically put paid to the last couple of weeks of May, and part of June, not helped by work and the unfeasibly unScottish weather...   so, hobbying kinda took a backseat, broke my streak due to being stuck away from my stuff, and kinda lost the will to do it for a bit whilst the world crashed down around me...

Right, let's recap May then shall we?

1 - Transfer my flip-top paint collection to dropper bottles. (8/519)

2 - Organise and run a two day Warmahordes event, (1/1)
Already complete.

3 - Make £500 selling old models. (20/500)

4 - Maintain the Blog with weekly and monthly updates. (16/52 and 4/12)
Ahahahahahahahahahaaa.  Totally ruined.

5 - Go to 2 Gaming Shows or Conventions. (2/2)
Carronade makes 2 to complete this.

6 - Play 6 New Opponents. (6/6)

Done already.

7 - Play 100 Games (41/100)
Almost at the halfway point thanks to Welsh Masters and some pick-up games.

8 - Play 6 different Board Games. (3/6)
None played this month.

9 - Play 3 New Games or New Editions of Rules (3/3)
Already complete.

10 - Paint 4pts of Normans for SAGA. (4/4pts, 21/28 models)
Already Complete.

11 - Maintain Butcher's Guild being fully painted. (0/3 Models)
12 - Paint remaining Deathguard for Warhammer 40,000 (0/50 Models)
13 - Paint Waiqar half of Runewars Miniatures Game Starter (0/26 Models)
Guess what?  Nope.

14 - Paint a 15mm Hordes of the Things Army (14/14 Elements)

Already Complete.

15 - Paint a 75pt Warmahordes List (73/73 Models)

Knocked out the park.  Painted 3 x 75pt lists for Welsh Masters, and 2 of them could hit the table at the same time.  (I think)

16 - Paint the Hog Wild Malifaux box (6/6 Models)
Already Complete.

So time for some numbers then?

Painted 27 models this month.

 Played 11 games of 100, which averaged out to about 3 a week seeing as the end of the month was a write-off...

Have now finished 8 of my Hobby Resolutions, so that's half of them done before the year is half done.  Pretty good going.

Current #hobbystreakday - 149 (to 29th May)

And straight into June I guess.

1 - Transfer my flip-top paint collection to dropper bottles. (83/519)
Nope.  Just kidding, look at that jump.   I'm not sure it's actually 83 this year, but I now have 83 GW or Foundry paints in dropper bottles.   I figure I can tidy the number up over time once I get through more as it will be less to count...   This was partly prompted by the fact I needed to get back to doing some hobbying, and partly because some of those Foundry paints are aging badly and the pot lids are cracking and splitting. 

2 - Organise and run a two day Warmahordes event, (1/1)
Already complete.

3 - Make £500 selling old models. (20/500)

4 - Maintain the Blog with weekly and monthly updates. (16/52 and 6/12)
Not gonna make up those missed #workbenchWednesday posts, so I'll have to get something up in their place, but getting that double Month in Review typed up now.

5 - Go to 2 Gaming Shows or Conventions. (2/2)
Already Done.   But went to the Phoenix Lakeland Wargames Exhibition.

6 - Play 6 New Opponents. (6/6)

Done already.

7 - Play 100 Games (50/100)
Hit that halfway point.

8 - Play 6 different Board Games. (5/6)
Had to take the old man's car into Stirling for it's service so spent the wait at Common Ground Games.  Had a tester game of Shadespire, followed by Fury of Dracula.

9 - Play 3 New Games or New Editions of Rules (3/3)
Already complete.

10 - Paint 4pts of Normans for SAGA. (4/4pts, 21/28 models)
Already Complete.

11 - Maintain Butcher's Guild being fully painted. (0/3 Models)
12 - Paint remaining Deathguard for Warhammer 40,000 (0/50 Models)
13 - Paint Waiqar half of Runewars Miniatures Game Starter (0/26 Models)
Guess what?  Nope.

14 - Paint a 15mm Hordes of the Things Army (14/14 Elements)

Already Complete.

15 - Paint a 75pt Warmahordes List (73/73 Models)

Already Done.

16 - Paint the Hog Wild Malifaux box (6/6 Models)
Already Complete.

So time for some numbers then?

Painted 16 models this month.

 Played 9 games of 100,turns out Shadespire is really quick to play and racked up a few games with that.

No additional #hobbyresolution2018 projects done, but was already at the halfway point, so that's OK I guess, plus made a bit of a dent into that paint transfer number.

Current #hobbystreakday - 17

Numbers below for how it's looking, I have a few things to post up, like Welsh, and stuff I've painted, but I'll leave that for another time.




Amount Task Completed

519 Transfer Paint to dropper bottles 83 16%
1 1 Run April Fuel Daze 2018 1 100% Complete

500 Make £500 selling old models 20 4%

61 Maintain Blog 27 44%
1 2 Go to 2 shows or conventions 2 100% Complete (Vapnartak, Carronade)
1 6 Play 6 New Opponents 6 100% Complete (John P, Peter, Richard, Martin, Steven, Merete)

100 Play 100 Games 50 50%

6 Play 6 different Boardgames 5 83% Blood Rage, Battle Lore V2, Zombicide, Shadespire, Fury of Dracula
1 3 Play 3 New Games (or new editions) 3 100% Complete (Sharp Practice, 40k, Gaslands)
1 21 Paint 4+ points of Saga Normans 21 100% Complete (Bishop, Mtd Hearthguard x2, Levy)

3 Paint Guildball Butchers 0 0%

50 Paint remaining Deathguard 0 0%

26 Paint Waiqar starter for Runewars 0 0%
1 14 Paint 15mm army for HotT 14 100% Complete (Copplestone 15mm Picts)
1 73 Paint 75pt Warmahordes list 73 100% Complete (Grymkin x3)
1 6 Paint Malifaux Crew 6 100% Complete (Hog Wild box)
8 1391

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A very belated #workbenchWednesday 23/05/18

Well, yeah, a bit overdue, but life just decided to go crazy...  Should have been showing off Project: Top Secret, but it's currently 200+ miles away...   No, I didn't sell this one whilst drunk.

So, what's been happening?

Thursday (17th)  - Drive down to Wales, do a lot of list discussion, match-ups and stuff.

Friday - Play 3 pick-up games (32-34/100) whilst hanging out in Firestorm.

Saturday - Sunday - Play games 35-41/100 at Welsh Masters.  Full write-up to be done once things settle down.

Monday - Car won't start.  Turns out the ignition barrel is "damaged" the prospect of doing 400+ miles over 6 hours isn't appealing so head to the in-laws in Middlesbrough to get it to a garage.  Went over the weekends games with Sarah and discussed list changes.

Tuesday - More discussion about lists and WTC.  Army in car, in garage, so, no access to that.  Turns out ignition barrel is shattered and need replaced, custom order over a bank holiday weekend and £500+ bill assuming starter motor isn't burnt out.  Won't be ready for over a week...

Wednesday - take a wander into Middlesbrough, hang out in Asgard Games and Games Workshop.

So yeah, car craps it, lost best part of a week, and will have to head back down to get it back, as we borrowed the in-laws car to get back for work.  Should be going down tomorrow or Thursday, so, that update might be delayed as well...

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

#workbenchWednesday 16/05/18

Guess what?

Did you guess that this was going to be another pathetic imageless weekly update?

If you did, well, congratulations, you are 100% wrong.   Well, 50% wrong maybe as it at least has pictures.

So, what's on the workbench then?

Giants and Ogres and Dugs, oh my!

Just a random selection of Reaper Bones models I picked up from Mighty Lancer Games to get started on my Daisho and Blood Eagle warbands.  Got them fitted out with lipped bases, the Foo Dog stand will be trimmed to fit a 40mm base, planning on painting him as a statue anyway.  The two Giants at the back are for Blood Eagle, I reckon I'll end up doing both Fire and Ice Jotun, although I'm not sure if the Queen will remain on her stand.  The Ogres are earmarked for Oni in Daisho, although I need to grab the other 2 sculpts that were out of stock when I got around to completing my order.

So yeah, this means that Project:  Top Secret is actually finished!  Last model was completed yesterday, and varnished earlier.  It's quite the relief to have finished 4 days ahead of schedule, and I can't wait to get them on show over the weekend.  Boom, #hobbyresolution2018 crossed off.

So, what have I been up to?

Saturday was Carronade 2018, my clubs annual show, and we went along with two of the minions, mainly to show face and drop off some stuff for the painting competition.  Shout outs to David at Northumbrian Tin Soldier for giving the kiddo's Teddy Bear pin badges, and Andrew at Four A Miniatures for furnishing them with some gribblies.  Both stand up guys, and you should totally go buy stuff from them.  Day finished with clearing up the hall, and then I did a bit work on my last two P: TS models before bed.  I think lying down was a bad idea after lugging two tables at a time...  still, one more #hobbyresolution2018 crossed off.

Sunday, I finished painting one of the P:TS models, and a good chunk of the other, hitting 19 weeks straight #hobbystreak.

Monday - Varnished the model I finished Sunday, did some work on the final one, as well as sorting out a custom scenic base and starting game 31/100.

Tuesday - Added more texture to the scenic base, finished off game 31, final bits on the varnished mini, hairdryered the scenic base to dry it out so I could get it painted, and started gluing sub assemblies together.

Wednesday - Varnished the last model, and got it all glued together.  Project: Top Secret finished with time to spare.  Kids were over so they wrote up some Dragon Rampant army lists using the Reaper Bones Undead that they had from my various kickstarters.  Plan is that they'll build and paint an army as a joint project, then either fill them out to full forces each, or move onto another one once they have the hang of painting.  Got a little paint party organized for when they are here over the summer holidays.  The eldest is going for a pretty standard force of Skeleton Infantry, with some Barrow Wights, as she has claimed most of the 'dry' undead, led by a heavily armoured Wight King.  Daughter the middle is going for the 'wet' undead with hordes of ghouls and zombies, headed up with a liche that she has already announced will be painted up as Loki on account of his horned helmet, and the baby has control of all the ethereal stuff, as it should be easy for her to paint and still get good results, with a Banshee to head up her force.

Army banners are compulsory additions to army lists apparently.

Ghosts, Ghouls and Skeletons based and primed for them.


And I wrote up my blog post.  On time.  Go me.  Currently on #hobbystreakday136.

So yeah, that's it for the week, heading to Cardiff tomorrow for Welsh Masters, so hopefully can get lots of games, pints and pictures.

See you soon with the Project: Top Secret write-up.



Friday, 11 May 2018

Belated #workbenchWednesday 09/05/18

Running behind this week due to family stuff...

Still no workbench shot, but that should be done with soon, as I have about a week to finish off Project: Top Secret, so this will be another short and sweet update.

Thursday - Fixed the primer I had missed and started working on some (11) models.

Friday - Trip to Static to pick up the last few bits I needed, got them all cleaned up and pinned. (Another 10)

Saturday - Greenstuff work on all the gaps, more pinning, primed the lot.

Sunday - First 4 stages on a bunch of models (18 weeks straight #hobbystreak)

Monday - Played game 30/100 vs Rasheth Double Animantarax.  Total BS.  Finished painting, varnishing and basing 9 models for P:TS.

Tuesday - Finished painting and marking arcs on another 11 models.  Worked on the next one,

Wednesday - Varnished 11 models that were finished Tuesday.  Work on more stuff. 

Thursday - Based the 11 models, worked on more stuff.  Cleaned up final model of P:TS

Friday - Assembled and greenstuffed final P:TS model, pins added.  Wrote up belated blog post.  Currently #hobbystreakday131.  Go me.

So yeah, that's pretty much it.   Off out later to help set up the hall for Carronade tommorow, and hopefully, get that last model primed if it is dry.   Down to only two models to finish for Project: Top Secret, and I have until next Thursday morning to get them done.  Fingers crossed.   Then can get back to getting loads of (crap) pictures up for you lot to squint at.



Wednesday, 2 May 2018

#workbenchWednesday 02/04/18

Back again, and on time...

I'll give you guys a quick workbench shot this week, as I finished off the minis I was working on earlier.

I mean, I could probably just take pictures with stuff on the workbench and you still wouldn't be able to make it out thanks to my naff photography...

Work has continued on Project: Top Secret, finished basing 5 minis today, have another batch primed and ready to get started on, and only a couple left to clean up and assemble.

Oh, and a few to buy...

So, what have I been up to over the last week?

Thursday - Played game 29/100 - into the Skorne double Siege Animantarix list.   Not fun.  Couple of misplays and some good positioning saw me build up a healthy time advantage, and won via Death Clock.  Also did some P:TS painting.

Friday - Finished painting 4 models for P:TS.

Saturday - Finished painting 10 minis for P:TS, cleaned up and pinned and primed another 5.

Sunday - Sorted all the primer on the previous batch, and assembled and pinned another bunch of models.  17 weeks straight #hobbystreak.

Monday - wrote my review blog post for April, got the latest batch of assembled minis pinned to bases and started the previously primed batch.

Tuesday - finished painting 5 minis and got the sub assemblies glued together and on bases.

Wednesday - primed the last batch of assembled minis, finished varnishing and basing the 5 from yesterday.  Wrote blog post.

So yeah, that's about it for the week.  I'll probably try and touch up the primer on my last batch of minis before I get to sleep, might get some assembly done too, thanks to messed up sleeping pattern and waking up at 9pm today...