Saturday, 10 June 2017

Dining with Wolves - Battle Report 1


Spatterings of light speckled the forest floor, highlighting hues of red, orange, brown and yellow within the leaves that laid carpeting the ground, embracing it with their levels of decay as they returned from the soil from which their parent had so long ago sprouted. None of the usual sounds echoed through the forest. No bird calls, twittering to their hearts content, or cackling of the little primates as they swung down close to inspect intruders, sometimes just brushing upon them as they aimed to incite some sort of reaction. Today the trees were silent. Even the wind did not blow, making the air hot and heavy within the confines of the forest.

Ritzel was different to other elves. His people were artists, from sword masters, to architects, they all designed for beauty, or deadliness. Ritzel did not. Instead he was more attuned to nature. This was not to say the other elves weren't, on the contrary, all elves had a natural affinity to nature. Ritzel's simply went further. He could commune with the animals, listen to the words of the wind. Hear the thoughts and wants of the trees. It was special. All knew this. It was why he had been sent deeper into the forest to find out what had been scarring the animals.

It was as he put his head upon the bark of a tree, that he heard the wind's warning. It sang for him to run! Danger was fast approaching! He listened and heard the high note of a howl. Another joined, and another. At first he did not fear. These were no Wargs. They were the Wolves of Mythshir! But as the wind's warning picked up in urgency, he noted the pain and anger that carried upon the howls. It was then that he turned and fled, staff in hand as he darted through the trees, all the while the wolves were gaining. Ritzel was fast, he was an elf, but even they could not outrun wolves.

Quickly, he changed direction. A memory of an old ruin came to him, and he knew it was potentially his only chance, should these wolves prove to no longer be the kind, caring beasts he knew.
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Mythshir Force

1 x Ritzel

Goal: Knock the wolves unconscious by defeating them, so as to find out what has happened.

Wolf Force
1 x Alpha Wolf
4 x Pack Wolves

Goal: Eat the elf that smells familiar

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Turn 1 - Priority Roll - Mythshir Force
Glancing behind, Ritzel see's the hunger in the eyes of those he once called family. Moving swiftly, he ascends the stone steps and comes to a stop atop a stone bridge. With little pause, he casts the spell he knows he must use often from this point on, and sends a killer swarm toward the Alpha. Instantly the swarm lay into the wolf, and two wounds are inflicted, rending the Alpha instantly unconscious.

Thinking this would quell the rest of the pack, Ritzel is shocked to see them run on, splitting in order to pincer him.



Turn 2 - Priority Roll - Wolf Force
The wolves are not in range and spend their turn moving closer.

Seeing the threat, and knowing he can not face these beasts on both sides, Ritzel casts restrict, and manages to pin two of the wolves in place for two turns.


Turn 3 - Priority Roll - Wolf Force
The two  wolves who have been restricted struggle against their bonds, but cannot move, however this does not slow the other two, who race up the stairs. Ritzel is well positioned, meaning only one wolf can attack him from this side at a time, and the creature's jaws, narrowly escape, with Ritzel's counterstrike also missing.

Ritzel then casts Killer Swarm, where none of the bugs are able to penetrate the thick fur of the wolf.


Turn 4 - Priority Roll - Mythshir Force
Again Ritzel casts swarm knowing the number of attacks possible with it would be more successful than his one attack. However only 1 wound is caused on the wolf.

Potentially distracted, the wolf fails to sink his teeth in.


Turn 5 - Priority Roll - Mythshir Force
Swarm is cast again but utterly fails, with the wolf faring no better. But Ritzel's staff connects in a stunning strike back which knocks the beast unconscious.


Turn 6 - Priority Roll - Mythshir Force
Ritzel casts swarm and successfully wounds the last wolf on this side.

The wolf hastily moves in for the attack, along with the other two wolves who have now escaped their restriction. With two wolves now able to attack, Ritzel parries the teeth of one with his staff, whilst limbering out of the way of another. So busy defending, he is unable to counter strike.


Turn 7 - Priority Roll - Mythshir Force
With another cast of Killer swarm, a final wound is inflicted upon the last wolf on the right handside of Ritzel, and the beast falls unconscious, freeing up attention for the other threats.

The Wolf was unable to land a claw, and a counter strike against it goes wide leaving it uninjured to try again next turn.


Turn 8 - Priority Roll - Mythshir Force
Ritzel swings his staff low, but the wolf simply jumps, gnashing his teeth mere millimetres from Ritzel's flesh.

The wolf swipes at Ritzel, but with a twirl of his staff, the blow is knocked aside, and Ritzel follows it up by bringing the other end of his staff down upon the beast. With the instincts of a beast, the wolf steps to the side just in time to allow the staff to hit the ground harmlessly.


Turn 9 - Priority Roll - Wolf Force
Making use of the failed attempt last turn, the wolf darts forward too quick for Ritzel's elven eyes, and sinks his teeth into the elves' calf. Crying out in pain, Ritzel is wounded, but his Killer Swarm respond to his suffering, inflicting their own wound upon the wolf.

Feeling the danger before them, it is the wolves that begin to fear what they have hunted.


Turn 10 - Priority Roll - Mythshir Force
Ritzel attacks the wolf with his staff, but fails to connect as he finds the beasts are no longer there, instead fleeing. With their pack almost all down cold, and one of their remaining number injured, it is too much for them, and they flee from the ruins, leaving Ritzel to tend to the three he has managed to defeat.
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Without a thought to the wounds upon his leg, Ritzel quickly moves towards the wolves, ignoring the pain that stings and bolts through him with each foot fall. First administering a sleeping agent to keep the wolves calm, but more importantly, stop them from attacking him, he then looks to check over them. It is not like the creatures he knows to hunt his people, let alone him. He knew these wolves once. Raised some from pups. Now he questioned if he had really known them at all.

But it was hard for anything to hide their true persona for so long from one so close. He knew these were creatures he thought of. Not the cruel and menacing humans, or the elves with their vast wisdom and artistry, nor the dwarves, stoic in their beliefs and chiselled in their ways. But creatures were less given to lies. Less given to hide their true selves. No, something had happened. It was then that he found the blade lodged in the Alpha's side.

"Goblins!"
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Well, I hope you enjoyed the first a several battle reports to come. I'm trying out a new approach to how I do them, and feedback would be welcome. As there weren't much miniatures involved here, it was a little harder to tell the battle as I potentially would have liked, but I'm happy none the less. I know I've had other Battle Reports on here, but I will be classing this as the first since the new methods of post layout have been applied. Any questions or suggestions, please comment or email me.

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit and read. See you next time.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Incoming! What is it?




Now and then, I have a bit of money allocated to being able to buy those things that fall into that which is my hobby. Believe me, it's a long and extensive list that keeps on growing.

This month, I've received three parcels. One from Games Workshop, another from Mantic Games and the last from Bad Squiddo Games. All great places to obtain miniatures and gaming items. Bad Squiddo Games specialise in female miniatures, and why not? They're just as impressive a model, and certainly up to the task of keeping up with the lads in any campaign or scenario. Clicking the company name will bring you to the website.

So, what did I get?

GAMES WORKSHOP



1 x Bloodletters
1 x Chaos Familiars
1 x Dweller in the Dark

Whenever I make a purchase, it is to add to the stories in my head where the battles rage, the heroes fall, and the demons rise to take their places. These guys all fall within a new world and game I am slowly putting together. How I paint them is still to be seen, but after talking to my partner I believe I'll be going for a demonic blue. Along with my orders is the usual GW leaflet that advertises the latest intrigue, this time it's Dawn of War 3. Dawn of War & Dawn of War 2, and their spinoffs were certainly all great, so I can only expect the same for this 3rd main arch extension.

MANTIC GAMES


1 x Salamanders

Ah, the Salamanders. I couldn't help but get them. Along with the Dwarves, the Salamanders are my favourite race! Not to be confused with the Lizardmen, or as they are now known, Seraphon. These guys are supposed to be attuned with fire, their very blood is made of flame. And of course, they have fiery personalities to boot! Once more, these are for the new game I'm working on, and will likely be my main group, though the next purchase could definitely tie for favourite. With this purchase I had the addition of booklets that gave me a back story and understanding of the world this race is supposed to be based in, but also a little bit of rules to help me play. There was of course a bit of advertising for other products as well.

BAD SQUIDDO GAMES


1 x Shield Maidens Infantry/Rangers

This is the first time I have ordered from Bad Squiddo Games, and I've got to tell you, it won't be my last. Not only was it a quick dispatch and receipt, but the little personal touches really help to draw a customer in. After all, customer service is sometimes what makes and breaks a deal. Annie has personally put Cheers Annie with a smiley face on her compliment slip, but also dropped in a lovely fruit flavoured tea bag. Maybe it's not everyone's things, but the gesture is kindly appreciated. Then a leaflet showing some of the other miniatures being sold, and a kickstarter as well.

Now these female models I've purchased allow for both melee & crossbow based female warriors to join any willing force who doesn't believe the old superstition that women can't handle things as well as men. These ladies are a welcome addition to my growing collection.

                                                                                                                                            


With that said, that's the last of them, I have no doubt that with the depletion of my fund for this month, no more new orders will be coming through until June now. Thankfully, I have several days allocated off in June to work upon all these beauties.

As always, thanks for joining me, and hope you liked the post. If you wish to leave a comment, I'll appreciate it and get back to you. See you next time.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Collection of Twozies


Thank you for joining me for another post.

One of the new things I started in 2017 was collecting these cute little figures called Twozies. I love the way they look, but also the challenge and mystery of collecting them, considering the majority of times they are within mystery bags, and a purchaser has no idea what they will get.

So just to say what you can get (I won't give prices as they can vary as usual):
  • Surprise Pack - gives 1 mystery Twozies Baby + 1 mystery Twozies Pet
  • Friends Pack - gives 2 viewable Twozies Babies + 1 Pet - 1 mystery Twozies Baby + 2 mystery Twozies Pets
  • Two-gether Pack - gives 5 viewable Twozies Babies + 1 Pet - 1 mystery Twozies Babies + 5 mystery Twozies Pets
  • Mega Friendship Pack - gives 1 viewable Twozie Baby + Pet pair - 19 mystery Twozies Babies + 19 mystery Twozies Pets
  • Fun Twogether Pack - these are unique where you get Twozies only available for that pack, usually with some sort of interactive accessory such as a CafĂ©, Boat, Ice Cream Cart.

At this current time I have over 70 of the 140+ individuals you can get from the Season 1. If including duplicates then it would exceed 100. Just for those who are wondering, I do have plans for the duplicates as to not have them be a waste.

Now many of you may wonder why these have appeared on my Table top blog. Simple! I will be creating games to use these figures in! Games of racing, tug-of-war, battles, and so forth. I'm thinking of calling the collection of games simply - Baby Olympics - owing to the type of challenges and formats of the games that I will be looking to make with them. Some will be basic, whilst others will be more complex.

This post is just bringing these great figurines to your attention if you have yet to take note of them, especially for you males who may not take note of the items within female sections of supermarkets and toy stores. These would make good collections and toys for children, though the age range does recommend 5+ potentially due to the size of them.

I think there is so much potential for these models, let alone how great they look. You can see why some toy collections, such as the Shopkins range that these ones belong to, do so well, and I'm still disappointed at my lack of even one of the three pairs of Limited Edition Twozies available. But I think I've said enough for this post, as it was only to highlight the models.

So much that you'll see that I have now based for display all the original twozies I have, to make sure I have one of each. Below you'll see some of my favourite, each with a scene I've created for them.










Once again, thank you for joining me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to comment.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Rise of a Feline Race


Thanks for joining me for another post.

I wanted to share with you some models I've worked on during 2016 - as though I have been silent, I haven't been idle. Background history and force construction will be provided in a later post. Preferably once a few of these models have been properly finished and painted.

With the model basis of Space Marines, editing their armour, I have created a sentient race of feline miniatures for battle in the dark times of the 41st millennium, known as Aerulus, heralding from the planet Almus. At the moment, my space is limited, so I am still unable to grow the numbers I want. Due to this, I will only be doing a remnant force, the remains from a desperate battle.

Both male and female will be equally prevalent within this force, though there will be a limited type of weaponry for this race. Single handed guns being the main focus, with swords reserved for officers only.


Front View - The Basic Troop Type
By modifying some space marine armour, I began to craft my own unique looking force. Some parts of the space marine kit were filed down to new shapes, or green stuff added to change the design. Here, these models should also have cat ears on their helmets, but at this time, I failed to realise and had yet to incorporate it. Whilst I have made the adjustment to later sculpts and moulds, I still use these as its easy enough to simply add the ears onto the helmets later as well.

Rear view - The Basic Troop Type
I've designed different breathing equipment for them, so they do not simply follow space marine design, as can be seen in the rear view image. Of course, a feline race would also have tails, which is shown nicely here, though definitely some more work needed. At this stage, only these three models have the tails, as I'm in need of some more green stuff.


More Aerial View - Heavy Infantry Troop
You can see here that I've reproduced my altered designs, but also made use of spare space marine It's important to note this pose was entirely sculpted by myself after various attempts, involving repositioning the altered pieces, and just pushing green stuff onto the base, which is shown nicely on the right hand side, where the legs look bloated. Ultimately I did design the legs, after using skewers to line up the positioning then adding the greenstuff after.

Front View - Heavy Infantry Unit
The cannons, as is befitting its simplistic design to make sure the casting would work well, is entirely done by me, likewise is the unhelmet head, and once again breathing instruments on the back. The rear cannon is from an old key ring I picked up in Scotland years in my past as a 12 year old if memory serves me right.

Rear View - Heavy infantry unit
You can clearly see a space marine chainsword altered here for the captain of the unit, but all other swords will be done from scratch.
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So, what do you think? These won't be all the troops, and once again, upcoming posts in the future will slowly reveal more of these new denizens of the far flung galaxy.

I believe I may redo a sculpt for the Aerulus, but at the moment, these will be simply a remnant force, so there will be room for improvement in the future with a complete force hopefully being made once I have enough room. It's all these different projects and purchases that is making it so hard to grow any one force.

Because the composition of this army, including weaponry, will be entirely made up by me, the army is more to use in personal games than tournaments or at local centres. I'm looking forward to getting round to the painting of these models as well, and hope to have the small amount painted up by the end of 2017.

Once again, thank you for joining me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to comment.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Why I love Table Top Gaming

It has certainly been a while since I have revisited this site, and thank you for joining me back here for this post. A lot of things have happened, including gaming wise. But before we come to those kind of posts, today I wanted to enquire why YOU love that which we call 'Table Top Gaming'!

Why do you love table top gaming?

And don't limit yourself to specific games like 40k or Dungeons & Dragons. If you play with simple coins on a desk, simulating engagements, I want to know! But more importantly, I want to know what draws you to do this?

Me?

Here are five main points of discussion I want to focus on regarding my love of the broad spectrum.

What do I define as Table Top Gaming?
Firstly, I define table top gaming as a game that can be confined to a table top, but also expanded to several if wished. A game that involves pieces, whether these are coins, figures or other items. The valuable addition of a die or dice is a key aspect to this as well, usually a medium to help direct the flow of a game in some way. Further thought would also have me attach the need for a goal; as I have yet to come across a table top game where there is no goal, even if it is simply destroy all enemy pieces. Most importantly, and may be key, is a system of rules. Whilst the rules can be as simple as, four pieces per side, and sometimes are made up as the game progresses, they are what help to contain or expand any table top game, and give it its depth.

What is its best aspects?
For me, table top gaming brings a world of unexplored land and time. Even when recreating scenes from historical battles, for example, you are exploring a time capsule that has not been visited. Though you follow a set of guidelines, this will not necessarily set the outcome of the game! It's something that draws upon a players imagination, and sometimes tactical genius. 'Where should I put this piece', 'How can I move around that obstacle'.

I liken it to a humans development. Baby's see the world as big, unexplored, unexplained, alien. As they grow, they learn, they become accustomed, they change, but they also add their own influences. This is comparable to a table top gaming and the journey one takes when playing it. At the beginning you can be unsure, stumbling over rules, over tactics, over what kind of scenarios can be used. But with each game, each thought in this gaming world, if you'd have it, you begin to develop. Not only do you develop however, you also start to help influence.

The chance to grow your own purchased, customised or self created collection, which in some instances can be painted with the challenge of trying to get those blends exactly right, and try out new techniques on highlights, undertones, eyes and weapons.

Table top gaming is extremely personal compared to other games. You're physically moving the pieces with your own body. No virtual reality to enhance it. Simply physical items, then your own imagination. It's you, the player, who design and develop this world. Its you who adapt rules within certain parameters. Players are in control here, not set within the bounds of the maker of a system or designer. You want to play Warhammer 40,000? Chess pieces, toilet roll and some small boxes could be your army and scenery for your battleground. Better yet, if you've got spare money, the desire to create, and any spare time, you could buy one of the forms of putty/clay to simply sculpt your own figures. Again, another air of personal touch.

Despite its name, it does not have to be relegated to a table. It can be played how you like, where you like. If you have the mind to do it, the space, then you can do it.

What does it bring to my life?
Table top gaming is just that, gaming. It in no way takes over reality for me, however it is something that can make life that little bit more enjoyable. At times it has served as a lovely connection between those I love, both friends and family.

With a desire to create and design, it also gives me an outlet at times to get thoughts or ideas out, which can flow into other paths of my life. Most of all, table top gaming is simply a fun way to break up the time between activities/responsibilities that can sometimes be stressful, dull or simply exhausting, and I find myself looking back at all my creations, no matter how simple or imperfect they are, and feeling pride at what I have achieved, and put forward from my own time to move toward.

Why would I encourage others to take it up?
Why not? These days there is a heavy emphasis on technology of the computer kind. Apart from getting out and playing normally, I would also encourage both children and adults alike to take part in table top gaming. It is socially rewarding, brain stimulating, but also can get you out of those normal habits of simply watching tv, texting on your phone or being on facebook, as so many of us are starting or have already gotten to the point of doing.

I think it's important that these types of things are kept alive.

What are its bad points?
If I had to say table top gaming had a bad point, it would be its addictiveness, which ties in with the need to collect at times. Best examples being things like Warhammer 40k, War Machine, so on. It can also take up a lot of space depending on what type you are doing. Collections of figures, storing gaming tables, which can in some cases be vast and intricate pieces, not just the simple flat boards that the more traditional of these are known for.

So, there are some of my thoughts, but I would really love to know yours. Please comment and I will be happy to get back to you. Once again, thank you for joining me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it.