August 2010

So, a painting update. I’m frantically finishing my task for the Guild’s project build, but wanted to get these guys out of the hard drive before going mad.

Here’s the Carthaginian scutarii element I was owing my army. Now I really do have a playable DBA army with a lot of extra elements.

And next to it the Mordor troll drummer. This is actually the first troll I painted. Or started to paint. The truth is that between starting and finishing this guy I painted 2 cave trolls. This guy showed my how hard it is, but how much I love to paint trolls. He’s been through a lot of techniques and paint layers, and I decided “decent” was the best I was going to accomplish if I wanted him hitting the table. Thanks to him I learned how to paint the beasties, and plan on doing at least half a dozen more.

Both figures are in their respective galleries and I’m going to focus first on finishing the Task, then on finally completing the Khazad-Dum and Shadow and Flame supplement figures I started a long time ago. I’m not really that far from completing it!

Gruntz is a surprisingly fun and simple sci-fi rules set for 15mm figures written by Mr. Robin from Rottenlead fame. I’ll be the first to say the actual rules need a bit of tidying up, but they’re both very simple and solid. I just think there are some things inside the designer’s head that need better explaining in the text. Another thing is the number of 15mm figures I own: zero. No, I mean it, I have none. Not even a test figure. Not even a free sample. Not even a single figure thrown in one of those big online trades I like to make. Zero.

Now, figures and scales have never stopped me before, so after reading Gruntz for a couple of times I set up some scenery and dusted off my AT-43 figures for their very first combat action. Some scenery was not painted, and all figures were either unpainted (the tank) or painted by who-knows-who-in-what-slave-factory. It was a beautiful sight nevertheless. So hear kids. Badly painted figures are always a million times better than unpainted figures on the table. Learn that Warhammer crowd.

My girlfriend who only played a wargame once in her life was pretty confident about it and wanted to try it. Seems like I was showing my excitement about the nice rules and avoided me the solo experience. Anyway, I made a couple of forces using Therians, and U.N.A. troops with a Warhammer 40K Chimera tank. They passed for New Israelis and Slammers in the army lists. The forces were as follows:

Slammers (U.N.A. troops, played by me)

-Squad + RPG
Total points: 28

New Israelis (Therians)

-Squad with 2 heavy carbines and one micro missile
Total points: 26

The battle was quite straightforward but with some nice terrain to take cover. I placed a bunker near the NI’s deployment zone just because of the slight difference in points, and off we went with the game. We deployed and started moving around.

I have to say the distances are a bit clunky for bigger models (at least the coherency rules) but otherwise the game was perfectly played as written. The NIs deployed behind the bunker but at the last moment ran for a different cover, leaving the commander enter the big concrete defence. My guys ran straight into it wanting to take them out while the tank moved on the center of the board and my commander was using it as cover. Lots of shooting back and forth from the 3rd turn onwards.

Charging into cover isn’t on the rules, so we kind of improvised a bit. The commander in the bunker took quite a beating but single-handedly massacred the squad charging him. He survived with just one wound making my guys get Scared Shitless and run for a bit, so my own commander who was aiding the tank with some shooting had to intervene and fight it out with the enemy boss.

The tank kept hitting some enemies but no real harm since the cannon could only hurt one figure. Besides, the NIs squad had 3 armor-piercing weapons with them. While dealing with the NIs commander in the bunker, the tank lost patience and rammed straight into the enemy squad. It killed one of them but was left completely exposed so her guys just destroyed him and that increased their cover area. The missile launcher actually missed, it deviated back into the unit, killed a couple of its own guys, but in the end hurt the tank helping the tank busting effort.

The game was stuck with some long-range firing between the 2 remaining guys from my squad plus my commander, against quite a bunch of the enemy’s guys. In the end it was decided old west style, with only my commander and the NIs squad leader remaining. My guy had the lucky shot, game over.

A bunch of stuff happened in the game to ask the designer and already did. It was just tons of fun, and my gf was really having fun for the game’s sake and not just because we we’re hanging and doing something I really love. The game makes me want to create stat cards for a ton of troops and also paint up the random sci-fi models I’ve got in my collection like some Imperial Guard, some Drantakhs and other stuff.

And yeah, pics!


I have updated the Mordheim Witch Hunters gallery with new photos, but no new figures. Check it out here, and expect some random updates these few days while I finish some projects.

Now why have one winged Nazgul, if it has enough extra parts to modify at least 2 (and some more). So, here’s a second one…

And some Incursion British, the final pieces for my favorite side project (and my tools for yet another build at the Guild)

Update!: I’ve added a few lame video clips to the Mines of Moria starter play report, just below. Go check them out!

It’s been a while since I bought the Mines of Moria set for the Lord of the Rings game. It’s also been a while since I played these battles, but somehow never found the time to make this report.

Now, this set is aimed at new players. Something I’m most definitely not. The reasons for getting this beyond the obsessive collector syndrome are several. First, you get an amazing plastic Fellowship of the Ring. And to be honest, some of the models are the best representation of the characters so far. I specially like Gandalf, Sam, and Boromir. You also get some amazing scenery. The pillars are the weakest of all, but the rest of the little details plus Balin’s tomb are just amazing. Finally, you get 24 more gobbos. You can never have enough goblins, I tell ya. Oh yeah, you also get the freaking rulebook as well!!

Sadly, the scenarios are pretty lame. They are aimed at complete newbies, and I mean kids. The scenarios from the Battle of Macragge set were pretty cool, even playable solo. They were smart design. These from the Moria set are not. They do teach the rules to some extent, but the playing surface and general objectives are small and boring. There’s no chance in hell that the Fellowship player will lose any of the scenarios. That being said, I still played them all a couple of times. And here we go.

Scenario 1: Into the darkness.

This simple scenario sets the Fellowship against four (yeah, 4!) little goblins. The thing is to teach you how to move and shoot with your figures. The Fellowship has to cross the table and escape through the door. In my games the guys mostly just killed the little bastards and ran to safety, covering the hobbits. Not a chance to win for them really.

Scenario 2: Ambush!

This game sets Aragorn in a scouting round, facing a few goblins, and teaching you the close combat mechanics. Once again, a race towards the gates on the other side of the table. This time however the goblins get to stop Aragorn most of the time (the gaming area is so small) but he just keeps beating and killing them!

Scenario 3: Surrounded!

This time Aragorn is not with the Fellowship, and they’re surrounded by goblins. The objective is to introduce some special rules so the Light player has to seal the trapdoors shut to win the game. The goblins have to kill at least 4 Fellowship members to win (which is nigh impossible). Aragorn may or may not join the fight from the door, depending on a die roll every turn. In my game the goblins did quite well, hurting a few of the stronger characters but killing none sadly. Aragorn made the fight in the end to save the day.

Scenario 4: Balin’s tomb.

This is it! The “big game.” The Fellowship is surrounded and goblins keep coming from the trapdoors and the big gate. They keep coming every turn after you kill them, and there’s the imminent danger of a cave troll! The Fellowship wins if they kill the beast, and the goblins win if they kill 4 Fellowship members. As usual, protect the hobbits and you’ll be fine. In my game the goblins died a lot, but came back, and managed to kill the wizard! Then a double 6 was rolled and the cave troll made his entrance. It took two rounds and a few great rolls from Boromir and Gimli to take him down.

All in all it’s a pretty good starter set. It has the LotR rulebook in pocket format (that’s all you need to play the proper game), a nice Fellowship, some scenery, and a freaking cave troll! Oh yeah, and almost 30 little goblins to fill your horde. Game design wise maybe not the brightest product, but as usual with these plastic starters, well worth your bucks.

Update: I forgot I had some awful clips. Enjoy!

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