Sunday, July 29, 2018

"Ave, Imperator, Morituri te Salutant!"

North Star announced sales of a new gladiatorial combat game, "Sons of Mars," the other day, offering a free pack of gladiators with purchases of the rulebook until August 1st.  After some deliberation, given that I'm supposed to be packing up to move to a new apartment, I pulled the trigger and placed an order for the rulebook and a pack of Murmillones - and selecting a pack of Retiarii for my free bonus pack.  I know North Star ships promptly and I'm not worried about it not arriving before we move. 

Author Joe Veltre has posted a couple videos on Youtube discussing the rules and gameplay, and it's hard to argue with a skirmish game where you might be in command of as few as a single figure.  I figure it's worth a try and I could use a little retail therapy lately. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Changing Direction

I'm not happy playing Age of Sigmar.  I thought maybe I could make it work, but it's just not the right game for me.  So, I've put out some feelers and might have a couple guys who'll take my army off my hands piecemeal.  And if I'm being honest with myself, I don't see myself putting in the level of work to get a Kings of War army off the ground either. 

Outside of Frostgrave and miniatures for role-playing games, I'm feeling just about done with 28mm scale.  And a big chunk of this is that we're getting ready to move out of our current apartment and into a new one in a few weeks, and in preparation I've largely packed up my miniatures stuff.  It ended up being a lot bigger of a pile than I expected, even with some pretty darn good Tetris'ing to get various boxes packed into a big plastic tote. 

So I've been doing some heavy thinking today, and I keep circling back around to an idea I've come back to a number of times in the past without pulling the trigger on: 1/72 scale plastic figures.  They're inexpensive ($11-$17 for around 40-50 infantry or a dozen cavalry), they'll take up less space to store, and the sculpting has improved significantly since I was a kid (although those old kits I used to see in my dad's monthly Squadron catalog are still on the market in most cases). 

The big stumbling block in my thinking in the past was getting someone interested in playing with me in that scale; and I think I've found the work-around.  Solo wargaming.  Yes, yes, "playing with myself" jokes aside, it does lose some of the social aspect of wargaming, but at the same time, gaming on my schedule, with the rules of my choice, is definitely appealing. 

As for rulesets, I'm leaning towards Neil Thomas' One-Hour Wargames, which I first picked up almost four years ago now.  I think a couple boxes of figures would make for a really enjoyable winter's solo campaign.  My current inclination is a couple boxes of Zvezda Hundred Years' War English and a few of Dark Alliances' Tolkien-inspired Orcs; run the English as a generic medieval human kingdom using the Medieval rules from One-Hour Wargames, and run the Orcs using the Dark Ages list to represent their lighter armor and looser organization. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Battle of the So Many Skeletons

This past weekend I got to participate in a very enjoyable three-way game of Frostgrave at Just Games - the first of, hopefully, many to come, as we hope to make this at least a monthly event. 

I'd brought a big container of skeletons - the ones I'd painted for Dragon Rampant - so we played the Mausoleum scenario from the core rulebook; a mausoleum in the center of the board (in this instance, played by a 3D-printed Cthulhu idol) spits out an animated skeleton every round while having most of the treasure tokens on the board clustered around it.  Between Tom and myself we put out a pretty good spread of terrain though given the extremely long-range Imps I managed to drop we probably could have done a slightly better job of breaking up line of sight. 

my 3D-printed terrain still needs to be painted.

I brought my trusty Summoner warband, while Tom showed up with an Enchanter crew and Dave, who was just learning the game, selected the Elementalist warband I showcased in my last post.  I got phenomenally lucky with my dice rolls for the most part (breaking the streak of rolling a "1" when trying to Summon a demon and getting attacked by the damned thing!) and got a lot of spells off while keeping most of my warband neatly out of line of sight.  Dave's warband took a beating with only his apprentice making it off the board alive, and softened up Tom's warband enough to where my Summoner could finish him off.  When all was said and done, I carried five treasure tokens off the board out of a total of seven.  I doubt I'll get so lucky again; plus I feel a little guilty about spamming the Imp spell as hard as I did.