Arcadia Quest Orcs and Lord Fang

In the last Arcadia blog post I showed a couple of Orc nasty figs. Here we have another 6 – the remaining orc baddies in the game. All these are the same model but it’s bigger than the normal 28mm fig – being closer to 40mm in size. To get these all finished as I wanted them too much more work than I had thought they would be. But they are done now.

These actually came out better than I expected in the end and will be great for the game. I followed the basic artwork for the characters of the game. So yes the typical green, red and browns for Orcs.Just to add a little more to this post and also to give myself a fun project, I then did LORD FANG – the big baddy of the Arcadia Quest base game. As always tried to match the artwork for this guy but he has come out a little more purple than the game artwork – but I quite like the end result so I kept it. He definitely has some influences from the usual vampire bodies but with enough comic items that it’s clear he is different.

I will likely come back and do the details on the bases for all these but for now these models are varnished and ready for the table. This marks the half way point for my Arcadia Quest base game painting! Yeah so I just need to focus on this for another month or so and I should be able to get this onto the table. I’m looking forward to that.

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Saga Vikings vs. Norse Gaels Battle report

It’s been a while since I have done a battle report on here so I thought it was time. I don’t think I have ever done one for SAGA as well so even more timely.

This is a game from the ongoing campaign for SAGA which the local club is running. I’m the only Viking force in the campaign which surprised me a little. Vikings are cool after all. I choose them as they fit my unsubtle SAGA play style – run forward and hit it (lots). Also, as I have not played in a year I knew I would be rusty (and was as you’ll see in this report) so did not want too complex a battle board for play. Maybe I should have done a couple of practice games before playing a campaign game, but I’m playing in the campaign to have fun and play games not to win it anyway.

In the first campaign season I was out of town a lot and so could not find an opponent to get a game in. So the league controller nicely allowed me to have a defend action (even though I had tried to raid anyone who was free to play when I was in town). In the defend action as no one attacked me, so I could build up my forces a little more! We have just started the second season so with the newly recruited figs from the time at home my guys decided to raid the Norse Gaels so we could have a good old fight. That’s what this battle is. My warlord is of course called Sven and from Svea (an old name for Sweden).

Sven’s force was a typical 4pts SAGA Viking force – for me anyway. It contained 4 Berserkers, 4+2 Hearthguard and then 2 units of 8 warriors. I had 2 extra Hearthguard from the defensive turn. So 4.5 points of force.

My opponent (the warlord Johan) had 3 units – one of 6 warriors with javelins, one with 11 warriors with Dane axes and a 6 figure Hearthguard unit with Dane axes. So, just under 4 pts. He could have recruited mercenaries as you round up all things in SAGA so I had 5 and he 4. This would help in the battle but he decided not to pay the wealth for that – he used in the end to double his losses replacement at the end of the battle. So in theory and on paper I had an advantage of a slightly larger force. The campaign style means miss matches of size can happen. But he had played two games recently and I have not played in nearly a year, so I was not in such a good position in that way. We each would generate well over 6 SAGA dice initially so were not limited by order die numbers.

We rolled the scenario and ended up playing the escort. Although I was the attacker on a raid one of his campaign abilities allowed him to swap that and he did so I ended but as the defender. Luckily I had brought my farm animal models which were perfect for the loot being escorted in this scenario. The initial game set up was as below. I had my Sven warlord and the Berserkers in the large building while the Warrior units were in front of the animals with my Hearthguard were on the far right. Johan had his Javelins in the center with the large units of Dane axe Warriors on the right as I looked at the table and his Hearthguard on the left. In the first turn I moved the central loot forward with their covering troops keeping pace. In response the Gaels moved forward and peppered my warriors with Javalins. This was very effective and killed 3 of them- how come my shooting never seems to be this effective when I have missile troops…sigh.The next turn saw me come out with an aggressive move. My Hearthguard moved to attack the big warrior unit. This is where the Gael challenge rules really started to come into effect. I accepted the first one which had my troops retreat but I expected that. I had planned for it as I had the Viking ability to wipe out the extra fatigue in combat. So then they charged in once again. The second challenge ability used on that combat I tried to fight – and lost. So that killed one of my Hearthguard and the ability functioned. In the end the combat was rather ineffective with us both just losing 1 figure. So after all that it was a missed opportunity. I might have been better just to accept the penalty of the challenge but I thought the risk worth taking. It likely was, but the Gaels kept powering the +1 bonus for challenges on his board and that is useful ability for him and helped.

Johan continued to throw Javelins in his turn, killing another warrior and moved his troops back away from the now mad Vikings. As there is no turn limit in this scenario – just get the baggage off the table. So this skirmishing style of play building up defensive challenges really worked well for them. I decided I needed to clear some enemy troops to make a space to safely try to move the escorted flocks to the other table edge. To do this I had moved my Warlord and the Berserkers out of the building ready for the next turn.The next turn I put everything into a charge on Johan the opposing warlord with my Berserkers. Triple moving, burning a fatigue from them and giving them re-rolls I hoped would take him out…. It did not do it though although it killed a couple of his close warriors who stepped in the way to save him. I needed 6’s and even with 16 die and a re-roll for misses my usual luck held out. I likely rolled a little below average, plus he saved multiple hits.  The last move of my turn I move the Berserkers back so they were less of a missile target for the Javelin armed warriors. Maybe I should have tried the attack again but once was risk enough as no beserkers had died in the attack.

The Gaels again set up for my attacks (especially in setting up challenges) in the next turn – moving troops to ensure they were central to the board and able to offer a central defense. At this point I was intent on killing some Gaels – maybe I have a little too much of the Berserker in me in real life…to be fair though I thought I needed to clear some units before doing anything else.The next turn I decided to focus on the Gael Hearthguard unit and remove it from the table. First my warriors double moved and attacked it. I thought they might use a challenge ability on that but he did not. However my unit lost the combat, I killed a fig to a loss of 3 of their own. Not the greatest start really. Then Sven my Warlord and the Berserkers went in. After losing another challenge (seeing a pattern here ?) they did kill all the Gael hearth-guard but all the Berserkers died doing it. Thats as expected though as Berserkers are ‘fire and forget’ troops – they kick out a lot of damage but die quickly as well.

This turn I made my biggest mistake of the game though. I should have only withdrawn the warriors who lost the minimum distance which would have allowed them to provide my warlord bodies to take hits after his attack. However, when I worked out what I had done it and it was too late. One I moved my warlord I realized they were too far away to do that! So that left my warlord all alone after the massive casualty toll around him. A silly mistake and one which would be costly. I had planned on him being able to use the warriors for support.This did not go unnoticed by the Gaels. They made their first offensive melee attack of the game. The Gael warlord Johan came himself with the large Dane axe warrior unit in support. They then used a challenge and bonus abilities to overpower and take my warlord out of the game…

Suddenly things looked much harder for me. My tactic’s now really changed from winning to not losing this game. Well that and the remaining troops wanted blood for blood with their leader Sven going down in combat. Things looked slightly against me as well at this point. So much for the int theory 1 pt advantage at setup…

The Gael warlord was still active with 2 reasonable sized warrior units left. I believe they both had at least 6 figs – which is a decent sized force. I had 3 units but one of the warriors units was now down to 3 figs the other with 5. My Heathguard had 5 figs left. The next turn I charged those Hearthguard into the Dane axe Gael Warriors. By this point I was expecting the challenge and the fact that I might as well not fight that. I should have wiped that unit out but some amazing save die by my opponent meant that 1 remained alive. I believe he saved 5 hits on 8 dice! That left each of our units with 1 fig. I was really hoping to take out another of the Gael units with this – reducing the order die pool and leaving him with less options.

I also attacked the other Gael warrior unit with my remaining larger warrior unit. The odds were slightly against me but I used one of the board abilities to give me a few extra die. This was a bloody but slight loss for me. I did kill half of them but they also killed a couple of my guys as well. Overall after this flurry of combat this left us with very few figs remaining, but oddly still a decent number if units. For some reason we each had one or 2 figs left in units.In my next turn I used one the Viking special abilities – Loki to remove the small unit of Gael warriors. I used my remaining Warrior unit with 3 figs to attack the one remaining Gael warrior. That they did for the loss of a figure. That left Johan the Gael warlord on his own. Unfortunately, in the next round he killed both the small warrior units I had left – leaving me a single Hearthguard figure and the flocks of animals to complete the scenario.

I tried to run the flocks off the table now. Talking one to one corner. Johan on his own went after that to stop it and killed it. There was a decent chance he would fail but he managed it…<sigh> But he was now so fatigued and out of place that in the next turn I could move a different flock off the board in my next turn. That gave us the gaurenteed draw and we called that game at that point. So there we are, a very hard fought and bloody battle and a deserving draw for both of us,a although in the campaign it counts as a loss I believe. Overall, a fun game and I believe we both enjoyed it. It was a learning one for me as well. What I took away was:

  • I forgot how much fun SAGA is as a game. I need to get back to playing SAGA more. It’s fairly simple but does have a lot of decision points which makes a game fun.
  • I need to read the rules again – I was very rusty on them. Especially ranged and exhaustion area’s.
  • I need to have more patience in the game. I attacked every turn in this game after the first. In many cases I maybe should have waited and got in a better position for the next turn as there was not turn limit.
  • Always have the supporting unit with a warlord. Mine did not via a misjudgment and that cost me him and that’s a huge impact in the game.
  • Remember the scenario. I think I got Viking blood fury especially after my warlord died and I just tried to kill as much as possible. There was likely a much better way of winning this scenario with tactics but I did not use them…
  • The casualty rules in ‘Age of Wolf’ campaign encourage to the death games a bit. Knowing that campaign casualties are 1 in 4 means in some circumstances small units become a suicide squads. Other than the loss of the Saga die generation the losses of them at a certain points does not effect the campaign. This is not a huge thing but for example I was very happy my hearthguard lived and really did not care if the warriors died in the end turns of the game. This is something to be aware of for future campaign games.

So far the campaign sees fun – although very loosely written in places. For example rules around matching force sizes is not detailed at all. That could have been much clearer as to what the authors meant. Others have pointed out issues with the rules, especially on the Studio Tomahawk forum and so I won’t go into them here.

As a last item here is the writeup I provided for the fight from my side for the campaign blog. You can see all the Age of Wolf campaign details here:

After spending time at home Sven and his crew went Viking and landed on the shores of Johan’s territory looking for loot. His warband quickly went to work raiding the villages and farms taking anything of value, as well as rounding up multiple flocks of animals. However on the return journey to their ship’s Johan’s force stood between Sven and his ships. Sven force attack in strength, leaving their plunder in rear being eager for the fight. Their their pride in taking the challenges head on did not work out though as they lost more than they won, including Sven being injured when fighting Johan. Svea berserkers managed several charges though before going down. In the end of a bloody battle Johan personally cased down and recaptured some of the plunder but the rest was carried away by Sven’s troops.

Posted in 28mm, After Action Report, Ancients, SAGA | 1 Comment

6mm Soviet armour 

So after the US tanks I really did have to do some Soviet ones. Yes they are not really  useful for Vietnam gaming but thiey will be very useful for sci-fi and ‘what if’ scenarios. They can be used for the later Vietnam period 1970-75 games though, when the ARVN actually did take on the North Vietnamese armored forces.
Above are the T-54 tanks. I only got a few of these but they were a common vehicle for Soviet backed forces in the 50’s and 60. I have done all these vehicles in a slightly lighter green than the US tanks but with the same type terrain on the bases. As with the US vehicles all these have come from Heroic’s and Ross. Some of the barrels are a little soft on these models but they 
Next are three PT/76’s. These light amphibious tanks were another mainstay of Soviet backed forces for the period. They did see some action vs. the US troops in the late 60’s but only in a single battle I believe.  Still they are a nice fun tanks to have on the table. They also provide a different option for more sic-fi games.
The typical early 70’s troop carrier was the BTR-50. These are bigger than the US versions and so I put them on the same base as the tanks. With 5 of these the North Vietnam forces will have decent troop carrying capacity. Again in sci-fi or other types of games these will come in very useful.

Lastly, there are five T-55 tanks. These are the another mainstay of the Soviet backed forces for the late 60’s and even beyond. They look to be cool tanks and will work for many scenarios as they were the main battle tank for the people’s republic as well as many other countries in the early 70’s and beyond. So there we are a few more units for this period and scale. You can tell my knowledge of the vehicles is not that great so I labeled them all. Especially telling T-55 from T-54’s would be hard for me to remember. So now I’ll to ensure that in many months time I know which is which!

Posted in 6mm, Vietnam War | 5 Comments

Bane knights 

I have been doing a few different projects over the summer for various games. So here is another one – a unit of Bane Knights for Warmaster. These are from second hand (mostly unpainted) collection that I picked up a few years ago and so are a little rough shape – but that may be their charm as well. There are 10 figures here in the unit, which I believe is correct for them.
They are done in the same colours and style as my other Cryx models. They have taken some punishment over the years of storage/movement as some have the spears are bent on them. I have left those as bending them back just makes them weaker over all. Several also have one or both shoulder pads or shields missing, but again I like that overall organic damaged look. After all these guys are meant to be nasty ghostly fighters and not a ‘structured’ unit as such.

Below I have more detailed pictures of the various models. You can see the differences and damaged bits in the figs. Overall I like the results of this. I hope this is a good unit for the game (yes another game I paint for but really don’t play much). If nothing else they make nasty baddies for other games – although for superhero games these look a little different than the normal evil minions.

Posted in 28mm, Fantasy, Superhero, Warmachine | 1 Comment

Arcadia quest more models

So continuing the work on the Arcadia Quest board game models here are another three heroes and a couple of monsters. These continue to be a challenge to get gone nicely. Overall, though I have to say I’m happy with the final results. They could and are better done by really good painters out there but these are to the best can paint. I think they look better in person as well. At present I’m still just finishing the bases with a base grey. They will need some love to complete. I want them all done in the same style so I will finish them all at the same time. The style of the figs with exagerated heads to my mind kind of works for a board game like this. The figs do have a lot of character. The paint job highlights that I hope as well.This marks me having completed half the hero models in the base game. Yippee.

Below are two of the bigger models from the game, these are Orc swordsman. I fully admit these took a longer time than I expected to complete. They are nice meaty models  but to ensure they looked the part took a decent amount of effort. This project is moving on nicely at this point. I even had read the rules for the game which does look simple and fun. That’s more than I have still done with Myth…and I have completed painting that. So that’s is a good sign for getting this on the table in the fall.

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6mm US Vietnam armour

Well the title says it all but here we have the armor for my 6mm Vietnam project. This provides the raw firepower for the troops as well as mobility. You can see them all below.
The major AFV of Vietnam were the M113’s (ACAV’s) which are the ride of the mobile infantry units. There are 13 of these here, to match what a mechanized infantry company would use in country. This also gives me enough for an armoured cavalry troop. If representing an armored cav troop then the M113 would be used instead of the M114 recon carriers, as was common in the field. The M114 was not popular.

I used H&R models for the vehicles not the GHQ ones. GHQ are nicer but a lot more expensive. These lack the extra guns and sandbags often placed on the M113’s in Vietnam but that also means that they are easier to paint and store. These were much cheaper, which was the main reason for doing this. It also means they likely are more suitable to be used in sci-fi games or even Africa is using the AK47 rules set if I need them. You can tell where the GW rhino influence came from just looking at these.

The close support of a mech infantry company always included some mortar based M113’s – the M106 officially. So these had to be done and they came out nicely. They are needed for both the Mech Infantry or Armoured Cav units. They act as the attached artillery for the infantry company and are very useful in a good firefight. They also did saved the grunts from lugging mortar rounds with them – a very useful thing in the heat of Vietnam.

Next we have the M551 Sheridan tanks. These are the tank option for the Mech Cavalry units for later in the war and I believe could also be used in general support. Lighter than the M48 main battle tank they did get quite a bit of use after their introduction in 1969 in Vietnam – although it has to be said they were not that common. They were far from perfect though but they did have a lot of love from their crews. One of the issues being they were much more prone to damage from mines than the M48. They were especially liked to as they did not have the weight or track issues of the M48 in the soft mud of Vietnam. So more mobile but also more vulnerable. These are a nice additional group to have as backup vs. the more typical air cover options. They also give another type of tank for the force.

Lastly, some M48 Patton tanks. These are the a battle tank of the period and quite a of them were deployed to Vietnam. They are the backbone of an Armored Cavalry troop, with each platoon having between 2 and 3 (3 in theory but often in the field 2). For those units they would be common, for others they can be a support choice to give the infantry some very solid backup. They do look really cool and are nice big models.

They worked well in the infantry support role in Vietnam but never did any tank vs tank engagements till most of the US forces pulled out. The ARVN did use them in that capacity in the early 70’s though. These will work great for any Sci-fi or African settings as well. I will definitely come up with a few scenario’s where I use these.

So there we are, some figs for a Mechanized Infantry or Armoured Cavalry company in Vietnam, all ready for the table. I must admit I quite like the look of these on the table.

Posted in 6mm, Vietnam War | Leave a comment

Arcadia quest – first models 

This is a new project for me as I do want to get this game on the table to play. I have had the Kickstarter in the ‘to do’ pile for a long time and so decided it was time to bite the bullet and get going with it. I have several other projects which are in the same position so it’s definitely time to start moving with this one.

The style of figs are so different for me that this is a real painting challenge. Thats the reason I got the game in the first place. I’m still not 100% sure that was the the correct move for me but heck, the money is spent now so we’ll see if I’m up to the challenge. The lighting where I took these pictures, in my kitchen does not really help but it’s good enough for these pictures. You can see the first set of figures below and so you can make your own opinion.
All the figs have colours and looks from their action cards in the game, so getting the right look for these is important. A player has to be able to match up the model to the card artwork so there is no point going too far from that. Luckily, the card art work is comic based not that lifelike. My personal hatred for that type of thing is a photo of a professionally painted model that I will not get close to with my skills. There is nothing more off-putting on than that to me. They avoided that so I that was great.
  There are 12 hero models in the base game and above are 3 of them. So you can rightly guess there will be more posts on this project in the future. The figs are nice but did need a little timing/tidying of the models to get rid of a few small mould lines. These were not too bad without paint but when I undercoated the models they were visible so that’s something to note for others doing this game.

I have done the bases very plain – just grey. I may return to do those in a flagstone style or may not. I’m concentrating on getting the models painted to a nice level first. I think doing something on the bases will help the overall models but again as a board game I just want to do a paint effect and not use any flock/grit etc.

As well as Heroes there are baddies of course. Below as the first of those. Even these are an interesting challenge for painting. The face paint in particular was fun. Having 6 figs all the same was also a bit of work but I did it – to my perseverance of getting them done.

Overall, I think these came out ok.

Close up like this you can see they are I believe at a very good wargame table standard, but that’s about as good as I get them. I found not using many washes but trying to layer paint for effect harder on the open spaces of these models. It’s a great way to challenge yourself in trying different things, as these are. They may not be perfect but I hopefully get better overall at painting. The big eye’s and faces call for more detail and careful brush control.
Hopefully soon I’ll be able to host a game of Arcadia Quest. It does look like a fun and light hearted board game.

Posted in 28mm, Board game, Fantasy | Leave a comment