Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jomsvikings DONE!

One of the great things about Saga is painting an entire warband in just a few weeks.  Here's the warlord and his right hand killer.  And then the whole warband crowded in for a shot too.  If only my minis could take selfies, the quality of photos on my blog would surely improve!

Thanks to a touch of OCD, I usually finish one project before starting another.  Lately though, I've pitched that so I can work like the rest of you.  With the Joms done, here's what's on my table.

Old West: I've got a commission for 28 Great Escape old west figs including Desperadoes, Cowboys, Outlaws and Lawmen.  I'm looking forward to a demo game once I'm finished.  Back in the day, I spent many, many hours playing the old RPG Boot Hill so I'm really looking forward to this.
Anglo-danish:  I gave this warband a spin in Saga over the summer and won my first time out. If that's not reason enough to buy a new warband, I also enjoyed their battleboard.  If you already have a Viking warband, then Anglo-danes are an easy lift as you can port figures between the two warbands.
Dailami: Technically, they're not so much on the painting table as they are near it.  FoG has slipped off our schedules of late, dampening my motivation here.  Sorry fellows, you're on ice until I run out of things to paint.  As summer winds down, I'm happy to report my painting table is double-plus-full.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jomsvikings, pt. 3

As I was posing these, I though "I  MUST upgrade my 28mm terrain!"  I only have two 28mm huts in my collection, so each new warband I paint is forced to raid the same huts over and over again. This is fairly demoralizing for the wee fellows as once a hut is looted, there's no payout for the next band of marauders.

I really like the stylish balloon pants on these figs as they're a nice space for putting down color. And it's official; the Jomsvikings are my favorite Gripping Beast figures to date.  All that's left for this warband is a warlord and a standout figure.

Right...this one's been looted! 

Searching the woods for that what this raid is down to?
Over the weekend, I drove my son to the IU Jacobs School of Music. He was all smiles as we set him up in the dorm and very quickly, he was making new friends.  Grant's dorm is all music students and I told my daughter "Just think, this building holds 400 Grants!" To which she replied, "Get me out of here!"

At registration, he discovered he'd finished enough general education requirements in High School that he could do a composition major with a conducting minor and an oboe concentration.  He conducted his first big piece at 14 so he's thrilled to add conducting to his plate.
Sweet freedom!
My wife and I choked up as we said our goodbyes. To keep the return drive from turning gloomy, I spent  it reminiscing about our college days, friends, and adventures at the University of Arizona. Good luck and godspeed, son. I can't wait to hear your stories, and perhaps trade a few of my own!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jomsvikings, pt. 2

I'm a bit rushed this week as we get ready for the Big Move.  No, I'm not moving, sadly.  My son is soon off to the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and there is much to be done before we load up the minivan to drop him off.  My wife is taking it quite hard.  All of a sudden, I am too.  I was cleaning the minivan for the long drive when it really hit me. When I think of all of the fantastic opportunities that await him, I feel much better.  I'll concentrate on that.

I was telling Grant that back in my day, I lived in the cheapest dorm on campus and we had one payphone for the whole wing.  Thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime!

So, back to the Joms.  These hearthguard are Gripping Beast. Once again, they're great figures to paint and the Joms may be my favorite GB models ever!

For those readers who are playing Saga and thinking about a Joms warband, here's a link to 4 pages of discussion on tactics for running Jomsvinkings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jomsvikings warband, Pt 1

The Jomsvikings were a possibly fictional company of Viking mercenaries who'd fight for anyone who paid their substantial fee. The Joms were highly selective in deciding whom to admit to their order. Membership was restricted to men who proved themselves with a feat of strength, often taking the form of a duel. Once admitted, the Joms required adherence to a strict code of conduct to instill military discipline. Any violation of these rules could be punished with expulsion from the order. 

Members were bound to defend their brothers, and avenge their deaths if necessary.  Jomsvikings were forbidden to show fear or to flee in the face of an enemy of equal or inferior strength, though orderly retreat in the face of outnumbering forces appears to have been acceptable. Spoils of battle were equally distributed. No Jomsviking was permitted to be absent from their stronghold, Jomsborg, for more than 3 days without the permission of the brotherhood. No women or children were allowed within the fortress walls, and none were to be taken captive.  No women?  No wonder this mercenary order disappeared!  

While their existence is a matter of debate,  I became convinced they were real once I received a batch of them to paint on commission.  I'll leave it to our Swedish bloggers and experts to offer an proper opinion.

First up are 8 hearthguard with Dane axes.  These Crusader figs mix well with the Gripping Beast figs that'll make up the rest of this warband. In Saga, they'll get a +1 bonus to their attack roles due to the Dane axe but they'll suffer a -1 penalty to their armor values due to the lack of a shield. In Saga, these fellows will be stone cold killers.
Danish lumberjacks
Knock, knock!  
The helmets are done in Vallejo gunmetal and washed with P3 armor wash.  Chainmail is done with a black undercoat drybrushed with Vallejo gunmetal.  The chainmail got a wash and then a very light drybrush of a brighter silver for the highlights.

It's good to be back painting 28mm for Saga.  The thing I'm loving about the Joms is that you can come at them with a brighter palette than an ordinary Viking warband. So, look for more high fashion and color in this fabulous Dark Ages warband!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Commanders, camp & the whole Gallic army

At the finish line, I realized I didn't have any naked Gallic commanders so I put in an order for Xyston Gaesati.  The Xyston figs are a touch bigger than the Old Glorys but they seem to mix well enough. I love painting Xyston and considered doing this army with their figs, but .75 a figure is spendy for a large 15mm army.  If I were to paint Gauls again, I'd use the Blue Moon line.

Now, about the fellows with clothes.  Other than Lady Godiva, horseback riding and nudity don't mix well. It's also possible that the fellows with pants suffer from a condition known as "never-nude."  Lastly, the historical accounts of Galatians fighting naked says "all but the tribal leaders generally fought naked." There you have the truth of it.  Even in 250BC, management preached from the "Do as I say, not as I do" gospel. Some things haven't changed in 2,000 years!

The Gallic camp is composed of an Essex cart, Old Glory civilians, a Splintered Light dog and a Xyston Gaul.  It was a full-on sweep of my shrinking ancients pile.  

I can't wait to bring the Gauls down to The Source for a game.  I don't expect to win but I do hope there'll be a good amount of walk-up traffic and comments.  When I'm losing badly, those visits can be the best part of a game. To put it another way, my friend Klay once said, "Monty loses a lot but his armies always look great running away!"    

Saturday is the local ReCon in Coon Rapids.  I plan on going early and staying late for a full day of gaming. Last time I went, a fellow introduced himself by saying, "Aren't you the guy who keeps the Twin Cities Gamer blog?"  I almost fell over from surprise to meet someone reading my blog AND recognizing me from my avatar. If you're a local reader and you're going to be at ReCon, look for me at the Saga tables. And game on!