Hey, you give yourself a few weeks to get some stuff done, and it starts looking like a meat-filled blog post! On deck, a new RPG played, some guys painted, and some terrain built! On with the show!
Because of scheduling problems, I’ve been unable to run Castles & Crusades. I was, however, invited to participate in a gaming group in Columbus. The game was The Morrow Project, or rather a heavily modified version of it. The Morrow Project came out in the early 1980’s, and was heavily influenced by the post-nuclear apocalyptic genre of the time. It is kind of Buck Rogers meets Mad Max. As I said, it was heavily modified, with rules that the group had adopted over ten years of gaming. It was also a very lethal RPG ruleset, as was evident by having one of the PC’s die during the session.
It is kind of hard to describe, but the session was almost the antithesis of my campaign. The Morrow Project game is a fairly “realistic” sci-fi game; Castles & Crusades is high fantasy. The TMP group is composed entirely of men who have gamed together for years; my C&C group is a mixed group that is fairly new. The TMP group meets once every three months for an entire day (over seven hours) with little interference; my C&C group meets about every other week for only two hours, with children present.
It got me thinking a lot about the structure of my lightning-fast gaming sessions. The TMP group had the chance to plan things out, develop strategies, and finish a fairly involved scenario. In fact, the whole thing seemed to fly by. I have been wondering if I might consider playing less often, perhaps on a Saturday for a longer session.
What I’ve been painting
It took me a long time but I finally got another dwarf unit painted, this time a (undersized) unit of quarrelers. These guys were worth their weight in dwarf gold on my monthly Warhammer battle, as you’ll see below.
I usually keep an index card on my hobby table with the paint used for a miniature set like an army or warband. This helps me make sure I’m using the same reds, browns, etc. for each miniature. I did realize after I was using these guys in a battle that I flocked the base rather than using sand, but it isn’t a big deal.
In addition, I am sort of debuting two dwarf heroes, a runesmith and a dragonslayer. These guys were actually painted a while back, like in the dawn of my miniatures painting. But I had never finished them, so I decided to get in a couple of “cheap wins” by polishing these guys off. Note the yellow handle on the hammer–the influence of “how to paint miniatures the Games Workshop way” of the 1990’s.
Someone mentioned that the yellow handle makes it look like it has the Rune of Fiberglass (special save vs. being broken when used).
In addition to my usual opus of miniatures for my Games Workshop Dwarf Army, I also decided to break out some minis from storage, some Union troopers from the game Vor the Maelstrom. I didn’t go for anything too complicated with these guys, just a simple understated color scheme that will be easy to duplicate with other miniatures. I don’t know if I have a use for these just yet, although I considered taking them to my next game of The Morrow Project.
What I’ve been playing
I’ve gotten one game of Warhammer Fantasy Battles in since my last update, once again pitted against my arch-rival and his Orcs. I tend to play the same army over and over again, so I decided to do something different and go with a “no gunpowder” theme. That meant crossbows instead of handguns, bolt throwers instead of cannons, and a flame cannon instead of an organ gun. I actually figured that I’d have problems with this army vs. my usual organ gun/thunderers of doom army, but that wasn’t the case.
Vince came with a lot of odd troops: two stone throwers and a goblin doom diver, two units of cannon-hauling ogres, a bunch of night goblins, etc. It didn’t look good, and the first round or two was brutal has his warmachines tore huge chunks from my hammerers and longbeards, and his ogres began slamming my ironbreakers.
But then, his whole army seized up. He started having problems with Animosity and his “big green line” stalled. He misfired his warmachines no less than five times. He miscast twice. All the while, the quarrelers took advantage of their greater range and peppered the orcs. After five turns, he finally got his warboss’ unit to my dwarf line, but that was it. By the end of the game, his army suffered very heavy losses while I still had about half my army in place. Another win (slaughter, in this case) for my dwarfs, who are now 5-0 for the campaign.
What I’ve been building
A while back I traded a bunch of Hirst Arts terrain I had built for the dwarf army I’ve been painting for the past year or so. I miss several of those pieces, so I’ve been slowly rebuilding what I got rid of. I’ve rebuilt two pieces already; they just need to be painted.
I’ll post painted pics as soon as I get them done.
What I’ve been thinking about
Although I’m only about halfway through the ’07-08 Warhammer Fantasy Battles Campaign that my group is doing, I’m thinking about the next one. You see, Vince and I trade back and forth on organizing the campaigns. Vince’s tendency is to go big (right now it is 2500 points) while I tend to go small so I can start a new army. Two campaigns ago I started the dwarfs, and I’m hoping to finish them by the time this one is done.
However my thoughts about doing a new army are blunted by the fact that I’m trying to stretch out my hobby money a bit these days. There are lots of reasons for this aside from mere frugality. For one thing, I’m trying to increase my donation to my church to help with a new building plan. Hobby money isn’t much, but across-the-board sacrificing is part of the spiritual discipline our church is trying to encourage. I’m also continually slightly torqued at GW’s corporate practices, including the impending release of yet another edition of Warhammer 40K. For this reason, I’ve begun to consider the possibility of casting my own miniatures using Prince August molds. I’m a fair hand at mold casting, and in the long run the savings would add up. I am considering going with the skeleton line to do a Vampire Counts army; the sculpts for most of the minis aren’t fabulous, but the sins are more easily concealable on an undead army. The downside to my choice is that VC is a “horde” army, meaning lots of casts. I just with the damn elves weren’t holding swords, but spears instead. Perhaps I could trim them…
Anyways, this whole plan sounds dangerously ambitious, but I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to do.
Thanks for checking out this month’s update! I’ll try to see if I can get one out approximately every three weeks, so keep checking back!
A little update on the Prince August mold situation. I picked up a skeletal knight on horseback on eBay on the cheap (like under $5). Unfortunately, the miniature is “true 25mm” making it a lot smaller than GW counterparts. Prince August does make a 32mm elf line, which I’m now starting to look at more carefully.