Monday, October 21, 2019

Phoenix Clan for Dragon Rampant

Hot on the tails of the Lion Rampant Clan Warband for Dragon Rampant, I finished up a small force of a Legend of the Five Rings Phoenix Clan for Dragon Rampant. This was mostly a re-basing operations - though I did paint up two new minis to make units the right number.

I have to admit, I have very little idea about the actual make up of the armies of Rokugan. I never played Clan War (the miniatures game these were originally made for), I never really played Legends of the Five Rings (the Collectible Card Game), and, while I HAVE a pile of reference books for various editions of the role-playing game, I've read very few of them and only briefly ran a game of Savage Worlds lonely based on what little I knew about the setting. So these armies are based solely on the little I know about the different clans and what few miniatures I have available.

I think a lot of these miniatures are 20 years old now. I picked up the ones I have 8-9 years ago. I don't think they're getting any easier to come by, so I probably won't be adding any more to any of these forces - at least not any of the fantastical Clan War Minis. If I did add anything else, at som  point, it would be just generic samurai and ashigaru from the likes of Perry Miniatures or Dixon. (Though there is that "Daimyo" expansion in the new Reaper Bones Kickstarter!)

These limitations have meant some of the units may not be what they really SHOULD be... The Clay Soldiers, for example, should not be a reduced model unit. As I understand it, they are low-quality warriors conjured up from the earth in large number - there should be a HORDE of them!

Phoenix, as I understand it, are peaceniks. They love to study and learn about and practice magic. Life is precious to the Phoenix and therefore I imagine them not using human warriors to defend against invaders, where possible, but rather using conjured void guard and clay soldiers and magic!



The entire force (so far... but I'm not sure when - or WHAT - I'd ever add to it!)



Shugenja

As I said, thePhoenix all about the magics - but I'm not really sure how best to represent their Shugenja. I really like that Dragon Rampant leaves it abstract and open to interpretation and gives a number of suggestions about how to represent magic on the tabletop... but have little experience to determine which is the best to go. Currently I'm thinking of ignoring the "Spellcaster" magical rule (it seems to me it just adds points to a standard unit and doesn't make it really any "better"). Instead I'm thinking of classifying them as Light Foot with Short Range Missiles (4 points).
The Wall of Spears ability could represent a conjured wall of thorns (or forming some other magical barrier) and the short range missiles represents ranged offensive magiks...?

A particularly powerful Shugenja could be a single model unit. Others could be in a small unit with multiple lesser shugenja (and perhaps a few yojimbo - body guards) - as seen in some of the units below.



Bow-Armed Shiba Samurai - Elite Foot with Missiles - 8 points

Yowza! One third of the entire force right there!

The Shiba are one of the prominent families of the Phoenix Clan. Where the Isawa focus on study and learning magic, the Shiba study the martial arts to protect the Isawa shugenja...



Void Guard - Elite Foot + FEAR! - 8points!!!?

The Void Guard are terrifying etherial warriors, summoned or conjured into existence to fight for the Phoenix clan - so they are lead by a shugenja who has summoned them - or is there to keep them stable, and he is accompanied by a yojimbo. (The yojimbo in this unit is one I recently painted - I would like to paint a few more for other units, so that all the yojimbo are better armoured!)



A SECIND unit of Void Guard - as above...

...and that right there - two units of Void Guard with one unit of Bow-Armed Samurai - that could be an entire 24-point force for Dragon Rampant.



an alternative to the above units...

Heavy Foot + FEAR! - 6 points

OR

AGGRESSIVE Heavy Foot + FEAR! - 8points!!!?

As Heavy Foot, the unit would have 12 strength points - Void Guard one each, Yojimbo and Shugenja two each. I kind of like this option as it would make the unit look a bit more substantial (in a force where there are already a LOT of small Elite or Reduced Model units)



Avalanche Guard - Reduced Model, Aggressive, Heavy Foot - 6 point

If I'd had two more, I probably would have just called them "Elite Foot"... as it is I only have the four... as Heavy Foot they have 12 strength points which divides easily into four. I had thought of attaching a Shugenja with a Yojimbo to the unit - like Ive done with the Void Guard above and Slay Soldiers below, but that just didn't make any sense, fluff-wise. Unlike the Void Guard and Clay Soldiers, the Avalanche Guard are not summoned creatures, but rather are themselves warrior Shugenja that have, through magic, turned their skin to stone (albeit, FLEXIBLE stone! Or maybe it's just covered with stone...?) - which acts as super hard armour.



Clay Soldiers - Reduced Model, Ravenous Hordes - 1 point

This is how I initially envisioned the unit - a very small unit of Clay Soldiers... 2 strength points per model... I feel like a proper unit of Clay Soldiers should have 12 of them.

Then, I thought maybe I'm going about this all wrong - maybe DON'T even bother trying to have a UNIT of "Clay Soldiers", but rather have the Clay Soldiers be conjured protective elements for a Shugenja...?



Shugenja (and Protective Elements) - Light Foot with Short Ranged Missiles.

The four Clay Soldiers and two Yojimbo have one strength point each - and the Shugenja has six (and would have to be tracked with a die once all the other elements of the unit have been removed).




Isawa Inquisitors - Reduced Model, Light Foot...?

(+Aggressive? +Cleric? +Wizardling and the Sod Off! spell?)

I'm not really sure how best to represent these. I think they just counter magic...? Part of me feels like calling them Light Foot + Wizardling. Wizardling is a less power version of Spellcaster. Spellcaster adds 4 points to the cost of the unit and allows the unit to cast any of the spells available in the list. Wizardling is cheaper (2 points) but only gives them access to three. I feel like I want to make my own rule for them and give them Wizardling and ONE SPELL (Sod Off! cancels the effect of any spell with a "until the start of the players next activation" duration) but make that spell +2 to cast (normally it is 8+ - the hardest spell to cast! - this would effectively make it 6+).  As I'm only ever going to play with people using my own miniatures, I feel like I can make up my own damned rules for them...



Alternative Isawa Inquisitor unit - same as above, but with two Yojimbo - and so each element is worth two Strength Points each - just to make it look like a (slightly) more substantial (looking) unit.



Mounted Shiba Samurai

I suppose I could call them a "Reduced Model, Elite Mounted"... but that would be just too much... there are ENOUGH reduced model units in this army already! I need a few more mounted samurai before I could field these without feeling ashamed of myself. The problem is - these horses are WAY huger than any other samurai horses I have, and I only have six or eight of these models, and only these two are actually painted. originally I was going to give two each to the Crane, Lion and Phoenix  clans - for use in their Hordes of the Things armies - they would have two on a single base that would represent an element of "Riders" or "Knights". So do I steal the unpainted ones from the other clans and give the Phoenix all the big horses and buy some new ones for the other clans when (IF) I ever get to adding mounted elements to their forces. Or do I just go ahead and mix these with others and hope that no one notices (or minds, if the do notice) that a couple of the horses are considerably bigger than the others in the unit...?
 

An assortment of others I've painted for the Phoenix Clan - Coutiers, MORE Shugenja, an Ashigaru with a tepo, and a Jade Samurai (not actually a thing from L5R - the model is a Shadowrun miniature - from a pack of stylized items meant to represent programs or avatars while netrunning)

There are maybe a half dozen other miniatures in the Phoenix drawer... I'm in no rush to paint them. They would just be more characters... or miniatures that would need MORE miniatures to complete a unit - and as I have a complete force here (28-32 points worth, depending on how I chose to represent things - 24 points is suggested size for an army) I have NO desire to be buying anything new for these any time soon!

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I WAS supposed to be finishing up a few Necomunda items this week... (y'know, according to THE PLAN). Now that I've got these done, however, I wouldn't mind actually PLAYING A GAME with them... So there could be a Dragon Rampant game report coming up...

I do have Necromunda stuff on the workbench... and more Legends of the Five Rings stuff for rebasing (plus a few to paint up to finish off units)... and I did prime some of the Hellboy miniatures last week... could be anything!


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Necromunda Odds and Ends, Baby 'Thulhu, and RE-Based War or 1812 Militia!?

A few other things rolling off the workbench this week (in addition to the re-based Lion Clan Army for Dragon Rampant)...



Four additions to the Necromunda collection. First (going from left to right of the picture) is some Hive Scum - another experiment with Contratst® paints (I think the miniature may have been from Kryomek...?). Next is a Rogue Doc - ostensibly for my Delaque gang (hence the dark trench coat) - y'know, if they ever get out of the negatives for Reputation and can hire a hanger-on. He has hair because she's just a hanger on and not a full gang member... She's got a medical bag slung over her shoulder (which you can't see in this pic). The figures is from Wargames Foundry. Next is an old Citadel Imperial Guard Medic. I thought he could be used as a Rogue Doc as well - did him in Old Necromunda regimental colours - figured he probably joined up, got all the kit and training and then deserted and fled to the under hive. Finally an old Citadel Necromunda Scavvy. the figure originally came with plastic arms which I do not have... so the arm with the knife is from a Drukhari wych and the shotgun is actually from a Warlord Games US marine plastic sprue a friend gave me.



Baby 'Thulhu - Awww! Idn't he Cyuuuuuute? I think it came in a pack of creepy familiars from Reaper miniatures...?



Finally some re-based 1812 militiamen. I modelled and cast and painted these almost eight years ago, and recently came to the realization that I am not likely to ever play with them on those big multi-figure bases.... I MIGHT actually get around to playing Dan MErcy's Rebels and Patriots, and, while there is no basing standard, and I COULD have just played that with them as is... I like playing Dan's games with individually based figures.

I'll likely do the same to all my Napoleonic figures at some point. I'm never going to have enough of them to play any serious big battle games. Might as well get some use out of them with a game I MIGHT actually play!!


Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Um...?

More Necromunda stuff...?

Or....

More re-based Legends of the Five Rings armies for use with Dragon Rampant!

Lion Clan for Dragon Rampant

Somehow I got thinking about my collection of East Asian Fantasy collection (I think it was probably from seeing the "Daimyo" expansion in the current Reaper Bones Kickstarter...?). I had previously planned to do Hordes of the Things armies for each of the Clans in AEGs Legends of the Five Rings, plus keep a bunch on individual bases for role-playing games, and later I expanded those a bit to be used as Buntai in Osprey Wargame's Ronin - Samurai skirmish game.

The largest and most complete of the HOTT armies was the Lion Clan army. I completed a Hordes of the Things army for them in 2011-2012(?) along with an opposing Phoenix Clan army. I used them in the Summer 2012 HOTT Campaign... and... never used them again. They've never even faced the other L5R HOTT Army I built - the Phoenix Clan. 

I also have a number of minis that were dedicated to a Lion Clan Ronin Buntai.

Recently I have been reconsidering my basing standards and whether I'm likely to use some of the units/armies I have on multi-figure bases. I've decided that I'm going to rebase all the L5R HOTT armies (well the two that I've done - and a few other elements I made for other armies) onto individual bases, as it is very unlikely that I will EVER finish HOTT armies for any of the other clans... I probably COULD, however put together large enough forces to use them with Dragon Rampant - and, being on single bases, they could still be used for Ronin or any role-playing game I happen to want to use them in.

So here is a Warband of Lion Clan troops for Dragon Rampant.



the entire force - 24 points worth

The force is mostly made up of figures from AEGs old L5R Minatures Game (Clan War..?), Old Glory and a few from Perry Miniatures... and possibly Dixon...?



The Leader is a Shugenja  - a wizard of sorts - (probably of the Kitso family). I like that in Dragon Rampant wizards are sort of... abstract... There are some rules for making actual wizards that cast spells (that all seem pretty... weak...) or you can just field it as a Single Model, Light Missile unit (which is what I'm doing here) and the shooting it does represents magic blastification of some sort... - 4 points



Foot Samurai - Elite Foot - 6 Points

I think the one in the centre is supposed to be Matsu Tsuko - the Daimyo of the Lion Clan at the time Clan War was going on... Perhaps SHE should be the leader!?



Foot Samurai - Elite Foot - 6 Points


Ashigaru with Spear - Light Foot? I have some Ahisgaru with heavier armour - they might qualify as - 3 points


Ashigaru with Bow - Light Missile - 4 points

Hmmmm... actually, that's only 23... I guess I could call the Ashigaru Heavy Foot...?



Battered Unit Marker. 

I have a few more as well...


Some are painted (but there are not enough of to fill out a unit - or they're just fun extras that will NEVER be in a unit for Dragon Rampant)


There are a bunch that are unpainted (that will fill out said aforementioned units),



and a few that are still on mukti figure bases that need rebasing.

Eventually I will have options for Missile-armed Elite foot (armoured samurai with bow), possibly some Heavy Cavalry (mounted samurai), a few more archers (more ashigaru, or lighter armoured samurai?), MORE units of Elite Foot, Lesser War Beasts (the Lions!!). Once they're all painted the elite foot will be reorganized - I have enough of the Matsu Lion's Pride (elite, all-female Samurai unit) to form one unit of six. I'm currently using one - the one with two swords in the second unit of Elite Foot. At SOME point, when my interests gen-u-inely return to the far east and Samurai and I actually get to painting up all the minis I have, I could potentially order a few more from Perry miniatures - just to fill out a couple last units (more archers, and a reduced sized unit of Heavy Missile - ashigaru armed with Tepo - muskets - not really part of the L5R world... but these are MY fantasy figures, I can add in whatever I want!!!)

I may or may not get to re-basing the Phoenix clan minis... It will require some creative unit construction to get anything useable at this time... and will have a LOT of mages in reduced model units... but I might try as I can now rebase things quite quickly and easily (having so much experience at doing so!) and then I would have an opponent for these and be able to play a game of Dragon Rampant - which I've been wanting to do for some time (I mean "Dan Mercy Games" was on my original 10x Personal Challenge list!) 


Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming blog:

A few Necromunda Items and another rebasing project!

And then... some other stuff...  

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Burrows and Badgers




Some time ago, Keira picked up Burrows and Badgers from Osprey Games - because cutesy, anthropomorphic critters! Who could resist!

Occasionally, she hints at wanting to play it.

I've had only the briefest of looks at the game - it is HER game, after all. I kind of expect that SHE should read the rules and teach ME!

I do have a PILE of Skaven that could be used as rats - and an assortment of other anthropomorphic animals that may or may not be of use. The problem is, most of the anthropomorphic critters we have are about the same size - "28mm-ish". The animals in the game, however, are supposed to vary in size - much like their real world counter parts. Oathsworn makes a bunch of really, very lovely miniatures for the game... but I think Amanda will likely execute me if I spent any more money on miniatures this year... but I did pick up those wooden pegs and got to wondering what I could do with them...

Well...



Conveniently Pegs come in a number of very different sizes! I have three so far 35mm, 42mm, and 55mm (I've also ordered a few that are 65mm and 75mm). I figured I could MAKE small war bands of animals using the various different sizes of pegs - 35mm for the small animals like mice and bats and small birds, 42mm for the medium sized animals like rabbits, cats, ferrets, and Toads, 55mm for the larger animals like foxes, hares, and hounds, and the 65mm pegs (when we get them) for the truly massive beasties (relatively speaking) such as badgers, beavers, large dogs, and large raptors.



I did some doodling in my sketch book. At first I thought I'd do them as "paint only" pegs...



And I tried starting with a highland rabbit



I don't know... I'm fairly pleased with how the tartan turned out....



but the ears aren't really working for me.

maybe if the eyes were a little lower and the ears started lower...



I started another one - this time with a Lochaber axe... but was feeling a little underwhelmed by it.

So I got to thinking...



What if I tried modelling on some slight detail with milliput...



I was thinking milliput because I knew my FLGS (Dragon's Den Games) had some and it was considerable less expensive than green stuff and, it's been a LONG time since I've used milliput, but I felt like it would adhere to wood as well as anything else... I'd kind of forgotten how... I'm not going to say "difficult milliput is to work with"... let's say "DIFFERENT milliput is to work with". It took some getting reacquainted with...



Some mice I started making with the small (35mm) pegs - trying out both types of milliput I picked up. (I has started on some feet with green stuff before I picked up the milliput).



Highland Bunnies! I am all about the bunnies (I blame Monty Python). This will probably be my main warband... if... y'know... I ever get around to FINISHING THEM (I started on these a few weeks ago, actually, but then had to put them away to concentrate on getting things ready for the Necromunda Weekend). These are done on the medium (42mm) pegs.

The one with the upright ears does have a wire armature underneath! - as do most of the critters with larger more extended tails!



I also started on a few larger (55mm) ones. A few of these I originally started as generic fantasy dungeon crawlers, but they're being converted into critters. I thought I might make a warband of foxes for Amanda to use - the Foxy Vixens!



Relative sizes... maybe not QUITE the size different between the actual real-world animals... but the foxes are bigger than the rabbits, and that rabbits are bigger than the mice, so...



Backsides - to show off their tails (and the pleats of the one kilt I've finished). Is that fox tail big enough? I didn't want to make it TOO HUGE...

Of course in practice, modelling on details (rather than just "paint-on" details) means that now each model will be an individual hand-sculpted master piece!? GAH!? Who has time for this!? Ah, well... I was having a LOT of fun doing this, and that's what this is all about, right? "Having fun"...?



Some wooden discs arrives in the mail yesterday - thought I might use these instead of the washers I've been gluing them on to so far... of course, these are not the same size as the washers... so I'll have figures on different sized bases which really tweaks my OCD...

Of course none of this was considered in THE PLAN, so, assuming I stick to it, I'm not sure when I'll get back to these... probably the next time Keira brings it up, I'll drop everything and start working on them again!

For some reason, one of my favourite lines from any movie ever comes to mind:

"You'll laugh at this one day. I'm laughing already..."


Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

A painting update of some sort.

Might be finishing off some Necromunda stuff, as planned...

Or maybe a band of surly Highland Bunnies (with their wee mouse friends)!

(good grief...)

Monday, October 14, 2019

Rescue Mission - Bronze Gates Campaign

On Monday I'd originally planned to run a larger 3-player game (one of the scenarios I'd originally planned for the Necromunda Game Weekend). But then Amanda was keen to play a Rescue Mission to retrieve the ganger she'd lost to me in the previous evening's game before that... I Thought maybe we'd get that done quickly - maybe even before the kids got home - and still have time to play a larger game afterwards. We didn't get started with that until well after noon and by the time we were done it was supper time and no one was interested in playing games after supper - Keira is sick with a cold and Amanda had work to do on a costume she's supposed to bring along to dance class tomorrow evening... so... here I am writing up the final game reports... Maybe next weekend...

As always I did petition the house for aid and... they send me ANOTHER Juve... I had REALLY hoped it would be an arms shipment and I could pick up a bunch of equipment for the Champion I was hoping to hire after this game... then I had to spend some of that money to tool up this stupid kid that wants to play at being a ganger...

I pretty much knew this was going to go poorly for me. I had a starting crew of five - despite the home turf advantage (rolling two dice for bottle tests and discarding the highest. A pair of anything higher that five means I bottle after taking only ONE injury, and it would just get worse after that. I did get reinforcements... but only two. Amanda, on the other hand, had TEN fighters trying to take back their captured ganger.



Amanda sorting out where her gangers were going to go.



Initial deployment of my gang. The sentry rules are kind of interesting. cards are drawn randomly whenever it is my turn to activate someone, we then roll and then the highest roller gets to move them and at the end of the move they can attempt to spot one of the sneaky infiltrators (on a tie, the sentry moves in a random direction). More often than not, Amanda would win that roll and sent my gangers off into the open facing the corner which none of her gangers were entering from!  



Before the first turn, she had a card that allowed a few of her gangers to take a full move, so a bunch of them started very close to a few of my gangers!



Two of them started down a hall beyond some locked blast doors - they'd have to bypass them and Escher gangers aren't known for their smarts - so I felt pretty secure that this pair wouldn't get TOO far TOO fast!



Her champion and a ganger lurk down another corridor, hoping the sentry at the end of it would turn away...



Three Juves sneaking in through some wrecked walls.



Another ganger carfully sneaking past the Promethium stash - no lho sticks!



once a few of the sentries were looking the other way, her leader "Mad" Donna charged the closest sentry hoping to take him out before he could act and raise the alarm...



Apparently taking out a dude with a freaking CHAINSWORD doesn't make THAT much noise!?



Another ganger stepped out and took a shot at one of mine with a lasgun. She tried to play a tactics card called "look away" - if a sentry spotted an infiltrator the card meant they would simply turn away and not be seen... she'd misunderstood the sentry rules... shooting at someone doesn't just meant they SPOT you... it RAISES THE ALARM!

So... Alarm raised on round one... She still had a significant advantage in numbers and most of my gangers were totally in the open now... and they STILL didn't get activation counters until next turn and she still had gangers to activate!



And activate them she did! Paula moved up and took a shot at Mutatio, pinning him.



At the end of the turn, as the alarm had been raised, my reinforcements arrived - my gang leader Atrifex, and the new Juve he was showing the ropes to (Neo47231)



To avoid getting shot in the back by my leader and his protege, Kat H. and Jo N. charged around Mutatio's little barricade and assaulted him... somehow he managed to survive Kat's Attacks...



AND Jo's attacks!



Artifex and Neo47231 follow them up the corridor.



Rotis chucked a smoke grenade out into the open to give the Delaque Gangers some cover - they can see right through smoke with their photogoggles - so Neo65395 ran out into the smoke thinking no one would be able to see him there while blazing away at a couple of the Escher gangers... he pinned one... and then got blasted by "Mad" Donna's plasma pistol... yeah... kind of forgot SHE has photogoggles too!



The following turn Artifex Joined in the Melee. Rutubulum had run up and tried shooting into it eh previous turn, missing all involved (ore maybe he his Jo N...? and she got a Flesh Wound...? I can't remember now...) and then got Shot by Paula's shotgun.



Kat sliced up Mutatio, and then, as she was no longer engaged, Rutabulum stood up and shot her again, pinning her. Paula took another shot at Rutubulum hitting and pinning him and knocking him into the Sludge Vat (where he found something floating in there worth 4 credits!? so weird...)



With Rutubulum out of the way, the three Escher Juves sprinted across the open to the captive! None had an action left to try and free her, but collectively they SHOULD have had no trouble doing so. Also, Tina and Dee had made it through the first blast door and were just on the other side of the second one - if they could get it open, they'd all have a quick short path off the table!

And then my gang bottled... and I used a Delaque Tactic card to make them all just Vanish...

So... lost another game... and two more reputation (so... I'm at -4 now...). All three of my gangers that were taken out of action (Orraculum, Mutation, and Neo65395) were previously injured and ill miss the next game... at least it wasn't a critical injury - or a permanent injury - or superdeadness!

I did get to collect income again and brought in another cool 100 credits! I will totally be bringing in a new Champion next game! One of my gangers was also up to 6 XP and got to take an advance (increased Cool)...

Amanda's gang is now at 9 Reputation. One more and she can hire a second hanger-on! She hired two new gangers after the game...


Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Well... what now?

So much of the last four or five months has been focused on getting ready for this past weekend... that didn't really end up happening... what do I do now?

According to the PLAN I was to spend a couple weeks finishing off a few Necromunda projects (last of the Escher Gangers, Orlocks and Van Saar  gangs, and a handful of others...) but that kind of assumed I'd have finished up the Ratskins and Zombies and John's Vermyn last week... which I didn't, because I ran out of steam and interest when pretty much everyone bailed!

Do I try to finish off the rest of the Necromunda stuff over the next four weeks and then start in on the Hellboy stuff as planned... do I take an extra week or two to finish up the Necromunda stuff in hopes of running a new campaign in the new year (and a narrative campaign weekend in February) or do I say Fü¢kit and just move on to bellboy, because no one is really all that interested in playing Necromunda anyway...?

Either way, I should have a painting update in a day or two... I have a few things I've finished and haven't posted yet, and I'm sure I'll finish up a few more things...

I do hope I'll at least be able to convince the family to play a few more games of necromunda and bring our Bronze Gates Campaign to a reasonable conclusion... (Instead of just letting it fizzle out!).