Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Fall of Arnor Campaign - Part 2

The Fall of Arnor Campaign is underway. Two turns have been played out so far on the strategic overview map and the first battle is about to commence. Here's what has taken place so far.

Turn 1

Action Dice rolls by each nation for the first turn were the following:
  • Angmar: Muster, Character x2, and Army
  • Arthedain: Event, Muster, Will of the West x2
  • Cardolan: Muster, Muster/Army, and Event
  • Rhudaur: Character, Muster/Army, and Event
Actions taken by each nation:
  • Angmar: used both Character rolls to move a character two regions from Mount Gundabad to Angmar. They used the Muster roll to raise 500 points of forces in the Angmar region. Used the Army roll to combine a total of 1,500 points of forces into an army in the Mount Gram region.
  • Arthedain: the Event roll prevented the Muster roll from taking effect, cancelling it. Both Will of the West rolls were then used to remove 1,000 points of Angmar's forces in the Angmar region.
  • Cardolan: The Event roll prevented one of the Muster rolls from taking place. Due to this, only 500 points of forces were raised and placed in the Cardolan region.
  • Rhudaur: The Event roll prevented the Muster/Army action from taking place, so only a Character could be moved. Rhudaur elected not to move their king, who remains at the nations capital of Carmeth Brin.
Battles: none

Turn 2

Action Dice rolls by each nation for the first turn were the following:
  • Angmar: Army x3, and an Eye result
  • Arthedain: Muster/Army x 2, Muster, and a Character result
  • Cardolan: Character x 2, and a Muster result
  • Rhudaur: Character x 2, and a Muster result
Actions taken by each nation:
  • Angmar: used the Eye result to cancel 500 points of Rhudaur's forces located in the Trollshaws. Then they moved the 1,500 point army located in the Mount Gram region into the Trollshaws using two of the Army results. The final Army result was used to combine the forces in the Mt Gundabad region into a second force of 1,5000 point army.
  • Arthedain: mustered 1,000 points of forces in the North Downs region and another 500 points in the Weather Hills region.
  • Cardolan: mustered 500 points of forces in the Cardolan region.
Battles: The Battle of the Trollshaws (Angmar vs Rhudaur).

Here's the disposition of forces on the Strategic Overview Map at the end of Turn 2.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Fall of Arnor Campaign

The rules for the Fall of Arnor Campaign have been finalised! The War of the Ring board game action dice will be used to determine reinforcements and movement on the strategic overview map. The rules below will govern the campaign.

Strategic Overview Map and the Battle-table
The strategic overview map identifies what part of the NW of Middle-earth is involved in the conflict, tracking where armies are located. As forces of opposing nations move in to the same region, battles will be fought on the battle-table using Warmaster Ancient & Medieval Armies rules (assisted with the Battle of Five Armies and the core Warmaster rules when required, such as in the use of magic).

Each of the four nations will start off with a set of core regions. These regions will determine how many action dice each nation has per turn. Should a nation lose one of their core regions, due to another nation capturing it, then that region will have one less action dice to roll per turn.

The four nations have the following regions:

  • Angmar
  • Mount Gram
  • Mount Gundabad
  • North Downs
  • Bree
  • Buckland
  • The Weather Hills
  • NOTE: The Shire is considered to be basically a semi-independent region under Arthedain but does not contribute to being a core-region.
  • Old Forest
  • Cardolan
  • South Downs
  • Trollshaws
  • Rivendell (i.e. the region also known as The Angle and not the Elven stronghold)
  • Fords of Bruinen
NOTE: Arthedain gains an additional core-region in The Weather Hills due to the location of the tower on Weathertop. The semi-autonomous nature of The Shire means that Arthedain is not permitted to locate troops in this region unless it has been attacked. It therefore acts as a non core-region for the purposes of reinforcements.

Each nation has a number of initial military forces to place across their core regions. These forces represent the standing armies of the nations and will be bolstered throughout the campaign by reinforcements gained through the use of Action Dice.

The initial forces are divided into the following units of the strategic overview map:
  • Characters
  • Troops representing up to 500 points
  • Troops representing from 501 up to 1,000 points
These troop points will be used to make up the Warmaster armies that will be slugging it out on the battlefield.

To represent these forces the Lord of the Rings RISK units are bing used as these are smaller than the WotR ones and are easily identified as to the size of the forces they represent. Angmar will have Characters represented by Shields, Infantry = 500 points, Trolls = 1000 points. Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur have Characters represented by Shields, Infantry = 500 points, Cavelry = 1000 points.

Nation capitals (Strongholds) are also represented on the map (using GW Mighty Armies city minis). When a region having a capital is attached, the Warmaster game will be a Siege game on the battle table. Otherwise, the games will mostly be open field Warmaster games on the battle table. There will be the odd exemption to this, such as when the Weathertop Stronghold is attached in The Weather Hills core-region.

All armies are controlled by a sub-general unless a Character is attached to an army. This means that armies can move independently across the map and attack other armies (even armies with Characters attached to them). Movement of Characters and armies is controlled through the rolling of action dice.

There are two types of Strongholds, Cities and Fortresses.

Cities are the capitol and heart of a nation. Should a city fall, the nation will collapse as a political identity and its armies will flee and disband. A loss of a city means that a nation has fallen and its people flee for the hills.

Fortresses are large castles or fortified villages. There are four fortress locations on the map. Mount Gundabad (in Mt Gundabad region), Weathertop (in the Weather Hills region), Bree (in the Bree region) and Hobbiton (in The Shire region).

If a region containing a stronghold is attacked by an enemy army, then a standard Warmaster battle is fought. If the enemy army is victorious, then it has control of that region and is besieging the stronghold.

A city without an army located within it, will always be able to raise 500 points of troops from its local population. This comes from the local populace and its guard units. However Carn Dum, within the Angmar region, will always have 1,000 points of troops. If an army is located within the city, and that city is attacked, add the 500/1,000 points to the points of the army present within the stronghold.

Fortresses will always have 200 points of forces within them, should they be attacked and no allied forces are present within it.

The presence of an opposing nations forces within a region containing a stronghold means that that stronghold is besieged. Armies and Characters within a besieged stronghold are not permitted to move. They can only attack the army besieging them, or wait for a friendly army to invade the besieged region and attack the enemy forces present within it, or wait for the enemy to leave the region.

Enemy forces besieging a stronghold can elect to attack the stronghold at any time, even if they have just won a battle and taken control of the region. If they attack, then a Warmaster siege battle will result.

Battles are fought as either standard Warmaster battles or as Warmaster siege battles (if a stronghold is attacked).

When an enemy army invades a region, all friendly forces located within that region (except forces within Strongholds) will combine to fight the invading army, even if these friendly forces are not combined as an army themselves.

Victors gain control of the region the battle was fought it. Losers must retreat either to an unoccupied adjacent region or to a friendly stronghold within the region where the battle was just fought (if a stronghold exists there). If no adjacent region is unoccupied, the army is destroyed as its solders dissert and flee. Likewise any losing army reduced to below 499 points or less is destroyed as its remaining soldiers dissert and flee.

In siege battles, if the besieging force wins, they capture the stronghold and the besieged occupants are destroyed. If the besieged force wins, the attackers must retreat from the region into a neighbouring region, even if that region contains an opposing force (which will of cause result in another battle!).

Starting Forces
Each nation has the following starting forces:
  • 3 Characters: Witch-king of Angmar and two Nazgul
  • 4,500 points of forces equally spread across Angmar's three core-regions
  • 1 Character: King of Arthedain
  • 3,000 points of forces equally spread across Arthedain's core-regions (excluding The Shire)
  • 1 Character: King of Cardolan
  • 3,000 points of forces equally spread across Cardolan's core-regions
  • 1 Character: King of Rhudaur
  • 3,000 points of forces equally spread across Rhudaur's core-regions

Action Dice
Each nation has a number of action dice equal to the number of core regions they possess. Nations may take over other non-core regions, however, these non-core regions do not provide any additional action dice. This represents where a nations cities, villages, hamlets, forts, castles etc are located and from where each nation can expect to gain additional reinforcements.

At the beginning of each turn on the Strategic Overview Map, each nation rolls a number of action dice based on the number of that nations core-regions that are still controlled by the nation. Angmar and Arthedain however begin the game with a total of 4 action dice each. This represents the fact that Angmar is bent on the destruction of the former realm of Arnor, and that Arthedain is the largest of the princedoms from the former realm of Arnor.

Each nation rolls their Action Dice at the same time. Action Dice result can be used to execute one of the actions listed below the relevant action dice result:

Character result
  • Move a character into an adjacent region
  • Attach a character to an army
Army result
  • Move an army into an adjacent region (Note: armies of opposing nations located in the same region will fight it out on the battle-table unless your opponents army uses their own action dice to Retreat.
  • Combine forces of 500 and 1,000 points into armies of any combination of 500 and 1000 points
  • Break up armies into smaller forces of any combination of 500 and 1,000 points.
  • Retreat an army into a stronghold in the region it is currently located (only available as an option if a stronghold exists within the region the army is located).
  • Retreat an army into an adjacent region. If that adjacent region has an opposing nations army located within it, the retreating army must fight this new army on the battle-table.
Muster result
  • The nation receives a total of 500 points per Muster result on the action dice. Mustered armies must be located in one of the nations core-regions. Additional action dice results from that same turn can be used to move that mustered army immediately.
  • Note: This dice roll will be cancelled if the player rolls an Event action dice (see below).
Event result
  • Something has happened within the nation, delaying the mustering of the nations armies. Flooding rivers, messengers intercepted by spy's or a slowness within the nation to get its act together has resulted in the nation missing out on a Muster action dice result. When an Event action dice result occurs, remove one Muster or Muster/Army action dice result the nation rolled immediately. If that nation received no Muster or Muster/Army action dice result that turn, ignore the Event result but do not re-roll the action dice.
Muster/Army result
  • Chose any one action from those listed under the Muster or Army result.
Special result
  • Eye of Sauron: plague or some other natural disaster or civil strife results in 500 points of an opposing nations forces being removed immediately from anywhere on the Strategic Overview Map.
  • Will of the West: plague or some other natural disaster or strife results in 500 points of Angmar's forces being removed immediately from anywhere on the Strategic Overview Map.

Each nation only has a set number of reinforcements. The represents the total number of troops that can be mustered before the war effort leaves the nations so depopulated that they are unable to continue to maintain and muster more forces. Once a nation has reached its limit of reinforcements, they no longer received any additional points from any Muster or Muster/Army action dice results.

Reinforcements are:
  • 6,000 points
  • 3,000 points
  • 2,000 points
  • 2,000 points

Let the campaign commence!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

On the Painting Table.... Games Workshop Battle Board Water Crossing

Just spent the day at the Chatswood Games Workshop store where I worked on the first board of my recently purchase Citadel Realm of Battle Gameboard.

Guided by the expert tutelage of the shop manager Franz, I set to work on getting the first of the two river sections painted. The overall plan was to have the two flat sections of the gameboard painted up to look like a large river. On this board there was to be a single ford crossing. The other board will have two (a future On the Painting Table will cover the painting of this). Below is the painting process that Franz guided me through for reference.

First up, using a pen, I sketched out the rough outline of the river and fords on both of the flat boards.

The painting process was as follows:
Painting the ground
  • Base coat with Chaos Black spray
  • Using the large brush and the Brown found in the Citadel Scenery Painting Pack, paint all but river areas on the board
  • Lighten the ground near river using Karak Stone (see photo below)
  • Darken the ground away from river using Mournfang Brown (see photo below)
  • Drybrush the ground lightly in the Ochre from the Citadel Scenery Painting Pack so as to blend across the three ground colours
  • Drybrush same area again, very lightly, using Ushabti Bone (see next picture) so as to again blend across the three ground colours.
Painting the water
  • Paint water by mixing drops of Abaddon Black, caliban Green, and a small amount of Rhinox Hide directly on the board. Paint the water all at the same time. The three colours will mix as you paint across that area of the board. Add drops of the three colours as needed in order to cover painting the river. Then add strikes of Soter Green to make lighter areas around the shore and elsewhere (see next picture).
  • Now blend in colours using a stippling action with the large brush.
  • With the smaller brush, paint the ford using Pallid Wych Flesh in a stippling fashion (see picture)
  • Still using a smaller brush, using Soter Green and Caliban Green, stipple along the shoreline to blend in the colours at the shore. Use Pallid Wych Flesh to stipple on top of this in order to give a white water effect (next two pictures).

  • Do a final very light dry brush with Pallid Wych Flesh to highlight white water again (see next photo) as the white water will dull a little and blend in with the next step.
  • Finally paint the water with 'Ardcoat to give a glossy shine. DO NOT paint to the edge of the river at this time as the edge is still to be tidied up along the shoreline. Let it dry. Do a second coat to make it really glossy as it will tend to pulled together (see photos below).

All that's left to do is to tidy along the river edge using Karak Stone and then gloss the remaining part of the river along the shoreline using 'Ardcoat.

Once this is dry, using the PVA glue and static grass found in the Citadel Scenery Painting Pack, glue grass in place and allow to dry.

Looking good. One board almost down, five more to go.

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Fall of Arnor Warmaster Campaign.... the strategic overview map

For an upcoming Warmaster campaign set in Middle-earth, I needed a strategic overview map to keep tabs on where each sides armies are. The strategic overview map must have regions and strategic locations on it.

I have a copy of the War of the Ring board game and the maps in the WotR board game were ideal for this purpose. As the campaign will focus on the fall of the Dunedain Realm of Arnor, specifically its sub kingdoms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur and its war with the Witch-king of Angmar, the western map board is the choice for keeping an overview of how the war progresses.

The decision as to how best to determine reinforcements hasn't been worked out as yet, but may be either via the War of the Ring board game rules or the 1st version of GW's Mighty Empires rules.

The campaign will be the backdrop for the first battle reports that will appear on this blog. More to come...

Thursday, 17 April 2014

On the Painting Table.... 10mm Bretonnian Grail Relique

Thought I would add a few photo's of my now finished 10mm Bretonnian Grail Relique. I used a Vampire Counts Black Knight as the remains of a Bretonnian Knight, bending its spear to make it appear that the Relique is holding its lance upright, and a group of Kallistra's H-914 100YW Scottish Highlanders. It's turned out rather well I think.

Eureka Miniatures announces 10mm Snakemen, Pegasus Riders, Elven Swordsmen and Ogres

Eureka miniatures has announced new additions to their 10mm range.

10mm Snakemen

Their new Ophidian Empire snakemen range, and...

10mm Elf Swords

Additions to their High Elf range. There are also Pegasus Riders and Ogres that have been added to the 10mm range.

I have been privileged enough to have been able to get some minis from these ranges before when I was shopping for other 10mm miniatures from Eureka however I haven't been able to paint them up yet. These are really well detailed miniatures and I highly recommend Eureka's range of 10mm minis.

On the Painting Table.... Abomination 10mm Ogres

Abomination produces two sets of 10mm Ogres, Cannoneers and Fighters. They look pretty good, so wanting to increase my Warmaster Ogre Kingdoms army I purchased a few packets recently. They do look good and are a nice mini however they are on the small side when compared to GW Warmaster Ogres.

Here's a comparison shot showing the (left to right) Abomination Ogre Fighters, Abomination Ogre Cannoneers, GW Warmaster Ogres (with an Abomination Ogre in the middle of them for a size comparison) and GW Warmaster Chaos Marauders.


 A close-up of the size difference between the Abomination Ogre and the Warmaster Ogres and Chaos Marauders.

Last shot here shows the size of the Abomination Ogre models. The models are roughly 15mm in height. So they will work on a 10mm battlefield, but they will look small compared to their GW Warmaster Ogre cousins.

On the Painting Table.... Tajima1 evil men Easterlings

I recently came across the Tajima1 Miniatures website and saw their 10mm evil men. See the image from their website below.

It was a no brainer to get some of these as I haven't seen anything like these that can match The Lord of the Rings Easterling Warriors in 10mm. They are a nicely detailed model, roughly 12mm in height, and Tajima1 mailed them too me very quickly. Here's a photo of the models that arrived showing them next to some Chaos Marauders I purchased on eBay.

Monday, 14 April 2014

On the Painting Table.... 10mm Vampire Counts Black Knights

Needing some cavalry units for the Army of the Dead for Angmar, and also my Vampire Counts, Warmaster armies it was time to paint some Warmaster VC Black Knights to look like an Etherial Host.

These guys are no longer available through Games Workshop sadly. They are fantastically detailed miniatures. Games Workshop have made some excellent models in the past that you can no longer get except through eBay. GW surely would still have the moulds for these figures. I just wish they would provide a make-on-demand service that would bring back their no longer available figures in a service where it is made to individual order upon request. Dream on I guess...

These guys are of such detail, that I felt they required a bit more work than what I have done for my other Army of the Dead units. So I chose a paint scheme that was more capable of highlighting the details of these figures. The paint scheme (using Citadel paints) comprised of the following process:
  • Basecoat in Chaos Black
  • Drybrush in Skull White
  • Drybrush metal (armour and weapons) in Boltgun Metal
  • Wash in Thraka Green
  • Lighly drybrush again in Skull White avoiding the armour and weapons
  • Then do a highlighting light drybrush with Tin Bitz over the edges of metal to give a rusty looking highlight. Make sure you don't cover over the underlying green wash in the recesses.
  • Finally do a highlight drybrush on the lower part of the model in Ice Blue in order to give a second ethereal tone to the base of the model.

This colour combination I feel works really well. I will have to try this on more of the Warriors of the Dead to see how they look. It is a time consuming process however and you need very fine flat brushes as well. Don't expect to churn these out too quickly.

Another close-up. You can see the colour differences in this photo better.

Here's how they look on the battle-field (with bases needing to be finished) next to the first unit of the Warriors of the Dead.

On the Painting Table....10mm Army of the Dead, second unit

Finished the second unit of Ghost Warriors / Warriors of the Dead for Angmar and Gondor armies.

I used a different paint scheme for this unit. This helps to differentiate between the units on the battlefield. Using Citadel paints, the painting process was:
  • Basecoat in Chaos Black
  • Wetbrush in Warpstone Glow
  • Drybrush in Moot Green
  • Lightly drybrush in Ice Blue

I have yet to base these guys, but that is the next job on the list.

Another view of this unit. They can be knocked out pretty fast using this colour scheme.

A final view of this unit showing the Ice Blue final highlight.

On the Painting Table....10mm Army of the Dead, first unit

As part of the Angmar Army for an upcoming Warmaster campaign covering the war in the Northern Kingdom of the Dunedain against the Witch-king of Angmar, I needed to find and paint up some suitable models that look like the GW Warriors of the Dead (see below). Angmar has access to ghostly forces as well as Orcs and fallen Men. So I wanted to paint some units that could be used for both Angmar's Ghostly Warriors and also Gondor's Warriors of the Dead.

Warriors of the Dead
To me, these guy's look sort of Anglo-Saxon in style. So I hit on the idea of using 10mm Saxon forces painted up to look like spirits in order to make my Army of the Dead. Searching around my favourite 10mm suppliers, I hit upon Kallistra minitures 10mm Saxon and Vikings. Looking at the Saxon's Gesiths (H-4002) and Thegns (H-4004), they seem to be a fairly good approximation of The Lord of the Rings movies Army of the Dead.

Here's the first unit painted up. I used the following paint scheme (using Citadel paints) for this unit:
  • Basecoat in Chaos Black
  • Wetbrush in Skull White
  • Wash in Thraka Green ink
  • Drybrush in Skink Blue

A close up of the first unit of the Army of the Dead. The strips come attached as two groups of two figures. So they can be clipped in the centre or you can cut each figure from the strip fairly easily.

Here's the first unit based and ready for flock to be added.

A quick look at how these mini's appear on the battle-field. Now back to more painting...

On the Painting Table.... 10mm Wargs

Splintered Light Miniatures make a really nice Dire Hyena model that looks like the large Wargs seen in The Lord of the Rings movies.

I bought a few packs from Splintered Light and decided to paint them up as wild Wargs seen in The Hobbit films.

Here's the first unit of Wargs and a Warg Chief painted and ready to have the bases flocked.

Another, closer look, at the first unit of Wargs. The paint scheme clouds the detail that these fellers have. Using pliers I also moved their paws around a bit in order to provide slight dramatic differences between the two types of models Splintered Light make.

Another close-up showing the Wargs from various angles. The Warg Chief had one of its front paws, which is attached to the base, cut and the model bent with pliers into a more dramatic pose.

The paint scheme (using GW Citadel paints) that I used for this unit of Wargs consisted of the following process:
  • Basecoat in Chaos Black
  • Wetbrush in Scorched Brown
  • Drybrush in Bestial Brown
  • Wetbrush mane and fur behind the legs in Skull White
  • Paint teeth in Skull White
  • Paint eyes and tongue in Red Gore
  • Wash model in Seraphim Sepia shade

Here they are on the battlefield with Angmar forces as a test to see how they compare to the 10mm scale. I think these models work in well with 10mm as Wargs basically are the scale of horses in The Lord of the Rings films. You can see that the Wargs are about the height of the 10mm horses in this image. All I need to do now is flock them. I intend to paint another unit in colours that the Wargs were in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Splintered Light also produce 15mm goblins riding these Dire Hyenas. However the 15mm goblins are too large in my view for 10mm scale. So I have been using some of Copplestone Castings 10mm Orcs cut off the strip as the Warg Riders (more on this in a future On the Painting Table).

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Build me an army, worthy of.....Warmaster

The forces of Isengard are slowly coming together!

Here's a sneak peak...
Isengard under recruitment!
In the back row are (from left to right) Copplestone Castings excellent 10mm Half-orc with swords making up the Uruk-hai Warband, Kallistra's H-905 100 Years War Light Troops making up the Wildmen of Dunland, more Copplestone Castings 10mm Half-orc spears making up the Uruk-hai Spearmen, and finally Copplestone Castings 10mm orcs as the Orc Warband (these orcs will eventually make their way to the Angmar Army, hence the Iron Crown banner and shield emblems).

Close-up of the left side

In the middle row of the top picture are another Copplestone Castings mini, this one from the Evil Characters, with a banner taken from the Half-orc swords strip. Next are Splintered Light Miniatures 15mm Orc Heavies painted to make up Olog-hai Trolls (which will later become part of my Mordor Army). At right are a mixture of Copplestone Castings 10mm Half-orc with swords and Half-orc archers. These have been cut off the strip and arranged to make up the Uruk-hai Scouts.

Close up of the right side

And in front in the top picture are Pendraken Miniatures ELM9 European Late Medieval Pikemen making up the heavy armoured Uruk-hai Pikes. I used two of the three types of models supplied, as these looked most like heavily armoured Uruks, after some of the filigree on a few helmets was removed.

So its coming along at a reasonable rate of knots. I have another unit of Uruk-hai Warband painted and ready to be based. I also have a second unit of Wildmen of Dunland and two units of Uruk-hai Crossbows on the production line. All the bases still need to be flocked. No mean feat that!

So stay tuned, more to come...