Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Picts for SAGA

There's an upcoming day of SAGA organized by Eric Hagen.  He puts on the best events including Adepticon's annual US Grand Melee.  If he were to organize a "Rock, Paper Scissors," I'd sign up!  

This event is for Dark Ages warbands only and that left me scrambling.  I'd sold off all my Dark Ages warbands so I decided to paint my Footsore Picts and run them as Scots.  This is another reason I love SAGA.  Few people can paint up all 30 factions but with a little planning, anyone can paint up a warband that can be played as 2, 3 or more other factions.  

Footsore Picts are superb sculpts just as we've come to expect. There is a lot of variety in the figures, faces, and poses. Even with a 48 warrior build, my Picts have a great, massed look.  Bonus, Footsore is expanding their Pict line.  They recently finished war hounds, cavalry, and crossbowmen.  Still to come is a Pict warlord in a chariot!

The naked fellows are the Attecotti and my favorite of the bunch.  Bonus, when you order from Footsore you sometimes get art with your miniatures! If all of this isn't enough to pull you in, you might be interested to hear that Footsore is working on a full line of Vikings and Normans too. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Curse of Dead Man's Hand, Round 2

Here's another drop of new gangs from Great Escape Games.  The front row is the Magnificent 7 and behind them, the Malevolent 7.  Ranked up, it's a pretty awesome look.  The Magnificent 7 will also pair well in a showdown with the Bandito gang. 

I also finished up the Mountain Men set.  I love the beardy fellow who looks like he just carved "I kilt a bar" into a tree with his Bowie knife.  The Longhorn steer are for in-game color.  To round out the bunch, a Buffalo Man and a Mountain Lion who are part of the forces of good in Curse of Dead Man's Hand.  

It's another fine set of figures by Great Escape Games.  While clicking through their web store, I saw they had WW II Romanian army figures presorted for Chain of Command.  After mulling it over for 5 minutes, I decided Romanians will be my next Bolt Action/Chain of Command army! 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Curse of Dead Man's Hand AAR

My friend Hugh and I put Curse of DMH on the table for the first time and I was reminded again that we need to keep this fun game in rotation!  Pro tip for those who play, you can't use standard gunfight tactics against the undead.  Being a slow learner, it took me a few losses to sort that out!

Scene 1 saw 2 Wendingos loose in the town.  They can race across the table and excel in hand to hand  combat as my poor cowboys quickly discovered.  I lost this round quickly!
Scene 2, the undead turn up.  While slow, they attack en mass.  They too are great in hand to hand and mouth to hand combat.  My cowboys went down in a sea of dead flesh.
Scene 3, it dawned on me that I needed to change my tactics.  Starting near the gallows, I decided to make a stand on the platform and use height to my advantage.  I kept a "blocker" on the stairs and used my collective firepower to take down the undead, one by one.  It was a good idea but undead Ned Kelly is a hard to kill tank.  He went on a tear and soon it was down to 1 undead versus 1 cowboy.  Unfortunately, I missed with a sawed off shotgun at short range and lost again! New tactics, same results.

Scene 4 , things heat up.  The Baron is in town with a gang of beasties.  To make things worse, the Baron can bring my dead cowboys back to life to fight for his side!  Hardly seems fair but then life isn't fair.  Early on, I tried to jam the baddies by covering the windows and doors of a building they were moving through.  The Baron had a surprise ability to move everyone at once quickly and in one go, it cost me most of my gang! Down to just my shotgun fellow and desperate to make a play, I spotted a move that let me take a single shot at the Baron .  With shooting modifiers, I needed to roll a 20 to get a kill and save the game.  If I missed, I'd be swarmed by monsters.  I threw my die, looked and laughed.  I rolled a 20 to win!  If you can't be good, its good to be lucky!  

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Curse of Dead Man's Hand

Great Escape Games hit a home run by bringing the undead into their Dead Man's Hand franchise. My friend John and I have a standing zombies versus gunfighters game I look forward to every year around Halloween. With Curse of Dead Man's Hand, you can pitch right in to the undead at any time with new factions, characters, abilities and a campaign. And figures that are lovely and gory all at once.
Everybody say "Cheese!" 
Fantasy painting normally pulls me out of my comfort zone. Hours of watching The Walking Dead finally paid off as I was comfortable painting this set once I found a recipe for painting blood and dead flesh.  When it comes to painting blood, it comes down to personal taste and how gory you want to go.  My recipe for blood was as follows:

Vallejo Hull Red for the base.
Vallejo Scarett Red for midtone
Vallejo Carmin for highlight
Citadel technical Blood for the Blood God to wash it all down.

If you don't have these colors, its essentially a dark red base, red  and then bright red highlights washed down by a fairly heavy red wash.

Haunted Bear and Storm Crow

Cannibal Dwarves and Dread Wolves

I played around a bit to come up with a recipe for dead flesh. Again, it comes down to what looks right to your eyes.  My recipe for dead flesh was as follows:

Vallejo English Uniform for the base
Wash with Citadel's Reikland Fleshshade or Druchii Violet
Highlight with Vallejo German Beige

Undead minions
If you're a Dead Man's Hand regular, you'll recognize the minions above are all based on of past figures and gangs. So if you ever wondered "hey, what happened to The Preacher," well, now you know.  

Perhaps the most important question is "How does it play?"  The Curse of Dead Man's Hand campaign is a blast.  The scenarios do a great job of setting up a cinematic arch and story to the campaign.  When we finished our first round, Hugh and I were laughing and shaking our heads. it really does play out like a movie!  I'll share up an after action report in my next post. Spoiler alert, the undead are really tough!  
The Witch and the Baron

Monday, July 17, 2017

Late Romans

Footsore's Late Roman archers give me another look for my Late Roman warband. Ideally, I'll run them as a 12 pack of warriors with a banner.  With an armor of 3 to shooting and melee, I'll have to hide them away from the enemy.

Looking for any excuse to paint  my Footsore's Attecotti warriors, I decided to use these as mercenary Scouts in my Late Roman warband.  If you're considering an Aetius and Arthur warband, take a look at Picts. Along with the option of putting your warlord in a war chariot, you can upgrade 1 unit of 8 warriors to Attecotti.  If they are the attacker in melee, each figure generates 3 attack dice! They can double move into combat without taking a fatigue and while their nakedness makes them an armor of 3 to shooting and melee, their magical tattoos allow them to re-roll failed defense dice. Honestly, the Footsore figures are so lovely that's reason enough to paint Picts.  You can also use these figures with the Scotti, Scots, Irish and more. Score!

Last up is Sarissa Precision's Roman Villa, available on the Footsore webpage.  I figured I needed a nice mansion for the Governor overseeing my Romans.  This kit goes together with a minimum of fuss and effort.  Once done, I primed it leather brown and then airbrushed it up in a base and highlight color.  Quite a bit of bang for the buck!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Speed painting a Warband

Necessity is the mother of invention, and experimentation too.  I'm attending two SAGA events that allow Dark Age warbands only.  I  sold my Saga collection recently, save for the Late Romans. I scrounged and based up every unpainted Dark Age figure I had left including a box of plastics. The 24 levy and 48 warriors can run as Vikings, Anglo-Danes or Anglo-Saxons. Score!

After talking to local painters, I decided to paint using mostly washes and inks. My test run of 24 levy turned out well enough I kept at it. 

The key is Zenithal priming which is a fancy way of saying "Prime black & dust with white from above."  The washes and inks work off of the primed-in shadows to achieve a nice tabletop standard. Mind you, this was my first time and I was spit-balling.
I picked a Footsore Viking (not yet available) and a resin V&V Miniature for my warlord and warrior Priest. The Viking is a Bill Thornhill sculpt and V&V fig is equally stunning.  Who goes into battle shirtless and without his helmet? THIS GUY! These figures are additional proof of the Golden Age of Gaming we live in.   

I never found a wash or ink I liked for skin so I used Foundry Flesh combo 5A, B, and C.  I applied 2 highlights before washing them down with Citadel's Reikland Fleshshade.  I'm happy with my results. 

Below is the Alternate Ending of the Battle of Stamford Bridge.  Is it just me or is the Viking in green with his arms outstretched one of those guys who photobombs every pic?    

The levy were shoved out of the group photos above so they gathered for their own picture.  They'll be key when I run Anglo-Saxons and perhaps even useful for the Anglo Danes.  My blogging partner Rodge has run Anglo-Saxons for years so I'll check in with his Youtube Saga Thorsday series for advice.