Monday, January 30, 2012

Buliding Battleground Scenery for SAGA, Warhammer and Warhammer 40k

Started building additional scenery for use on the tabletop battlefield. In designing and building terrain pieces it's good to consider what you'll be able to use them with. For instance, building a great barricade with steel beams, rubble and barbed-wire will look great when playing Warhammer 40k, but where else where it look good? Will it work with your 15mm Greek Spartans? I think not.

Considering scale of your models is an obvious starting point. I've considered doing more 15mm but haven't figured out where  to squeeze them in. Also, if I move more in that direction, I'll need to create additional terrain pieces to go with the scale and the era. This would double the already considerable time needed to create a pleasing battleground for the lovely miniatures in any collection. So what do we do?

Focus is what we've been doing a good deal of lately and would suggest to those interested in the hobby gaming arena. When considering the models you have, want and can afford, you are probably not able to get everything you would like. I'm sure others would agree, there are plenty of items I'd love to buy or build but time and resources usually do not permit. So we focus on what gives us the most value and pursue that course.

Sticking with 28mm models makes terrain pieces easier to assemble. Also, my time playing is mostly consumed with Warhammer Fantasy and SAGA. Other interests are Lord of the Rings and other Ancient battle games and future I plan expansion into the black powder age of the late 1700s

With that said, a series of terrain pieces can be made usable by all of the above. Lets create some basic fences for getting those bonuses when defending and a stone bridge that can also be used by all of the above. Bridges are great for specific scenarios like "Battle at the ford" in SAGA.

The fences were created using a base of gator board which is similar to foamcore but having a harder surface. It won't dent when pressing on it. Then after using a pin drill to add holes we inserted round toothpicks for the uprights. We clipped off the ends at varying lengths. Next we wove thin wire through the uprights. Don't use them all the same length, add some shorter ones for additional character.

Prime them in black and add successive coats of drybrush from a dark brown, medium brown, light brown and finally a last dusting of a highlight color.

We used Burnt Umber, Coffee Bean, Raw Sienna..

and lastly a highlight of Barn Wood. The base was then painted green and allowed time to dry.

We took some Woodland Scenics Blended Turf, Coarse Turf and some Medium Gray Ballast for small rocks. Needing some leafy substance, we picked up an inexpensive bottle of parsley flakes for under 1 dollar, added them together with the other materials in an old spice jar.

Applying white glue to the base, shake the mixture liberally over the area and let dry. Repeat the above several times and you're ready to use them on the battleground!

Now you have a great terrain piece as seen here being defended by the Alcatani Fellowship...

and here by some Saxon Thegns.

The stone bridge was a piece of packaging material from a computer peripheral. After cutting away excess material, we used light weight joint compound to fill in any inconsistencies.

Painting started as usual with the whole bridge black, then dark gray, medium gray and finally a light gray highlight.

When the paint was dry we added glue in some of the depressions and sprinkled on the Woodland Scenics medium gray ballast.

Finally a few additional areas had glue and coarse turf added. It gives the feel of moss in the recesses.

 OK, the 40k terrain piece with barbed wire and steel beams doesn't go with the 15mm Greek army, they were built for a 40k commission to go with some Ork Boyz. here's a few additional photos for your viewing pleasure.
We'll have to show you how to build those another time.

Unitl then,
Have a Great Battle,
The Old Crow

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ancient Greek Macedonian Phalangites from Warlord Games

If you like Hail Caesar or other ancient wargames and wanted to swell the ranks of your Greek forces look no further. Warlord games has announced a pre-release of their long-awaited plastic Macedonian Phalangites.

Take a look at the new models and see if you can resist these boys! The box will contain 40 multi-part Macedonian Phalangites, shield decals and metal arrows to add extra detail to the models' bases and shields.  

At only 20 GBP and about 31.50 USD these guys are a steal. According to the Warlord Games site you should be able to get them early February. Check out the details and additional photos at the pre-order page

Have a great battle!
The Old Crow

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Business meetings, SAGA and Warhammer 40k - A busy week!

Last week was a good one here at Battleground Hobbies. It started off getting to share the love and business foundations of Battleground Hobbies with a group of local businessmen in the greater Pittsburgh area. I was able to display some miniatures and terrain pieces I've built. Including the Warhammer 40k Dreadnought we featured last month and The Leaping Wolf Inn which was featured on the Hendersonworks Blog last year. There were a dozen or so businessmen who were happily remembering their toy soldiers from days gone by. It was a great time to share the hobby and receive business tips and ideas for turning the hobby into a business. Sorry, no pictures of the event were taken. :[

I was also able to introduce SAGA at a local college and get a few games in versus the Welsh. This was my first time playing against them and it was thrilling to say the least. One win and one loss, battle reports coming soon! Lastly we played an inaugural game of Warhammer 40k. It's like going to the dark side, but have to admit it wasn't to bad

The end of the week saw modelling and finishing off a few old units. My current Orc and Goblin army for Warhammer had a few unfinished troops so I got them based and made some movement trays for them. Also finished some terrain pieces I had started last year. Stay tuned for additional photos as I have time to post them.

Now I just need to finish the 4th point of warriors for my SAGA Warband!!

Have a Great Battle
The Old Crow

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Warhammer - Old School Gamesworkshop Orc Regiment for Orcs and Goblins Army

Remember the old days when all the miniatures in a unit all looked the same! Here's a regiment of old Gamesworkshop Orcs from way back. I had picked up a ton of these when Gamesworkshop used to have a bargain basement.

Added different shields for a bit of variety to the troops. For the command group a Bretonnian shield and standard from a Goblin sprue. The musician received a horn, also from a goblin sprue and a shield from a Dogs of War unit. The champion has also gotten a new weapon and special shield leftover from the Orc regiment box set.

On the standard is the Yellow Hand!

Many of the troops also bear the mark of the Yellow Hand!

Another bonus for today is an old school Orc hero on boar. Also bearing the Yellow Hand of Sourdough on his shield! 

The chips in the armor can be achieved by painting a dark area over the color and then adding a spot of silver to it.

Till next time, Have a Great Battle!!
The Old Crow

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Warhammer - Dogs of War, Beorg Bearstruck Bearmen of Urslo

Hears a bit of old school for you. Beorg Bearstruck and the Bearmen of Urslo.

These guys were in my original Dogs of War Warhammer army.

Beorg is guarded by the Bear Fang talisman, which is the symbol of lordship amongst the tribe. Oerl the Young also comes with the regiment and has proven himself a worthy standard bearer and carries the Bear Banner.

Here's the second rank...

and the third.

Those who are familiar with the old Blood Bowl game from Gamesworkshop should recognize some of these miniatures. Going back to the Third edition Norse team you should see the linemen, blitzers and catchers.

Here's some individual shots of linemen.

The weapons and shields were added to fit in with the bearmen.
Check out the body paint and striped trousers.

Loved the stance on this lineman. His conversion with the double bladed axe and shield was one of my favorites!!

This guy was a Blitzer...

and the Catchers had great "bear" gloves to catch the ball. They worked great in the regiment.

And here are a couple shots of Beorg.  I replaced the Citadel miniature with one from Reaper called, Olaf, Wolf Warrior. Yeah I know, a wolf with the bearmen doesn't work.I think it passes as a bear when he's on the tabletop.

...lookin his best in his plaid kilt.

Hope you enjoyed viewing these!
Have a Great Battle,
The Old Crow

Friday, January 13, 2012

Warhammer, Lord of The Rings and Other Miniatures Scale

One of the things that bother me about the rash of miniatures to collect might be bothering others too. When Games Workshop released the Lord of The Rings line of miniatures, way back when, I was thrilled. The sculpts, in my humble opinion, were beautiful. The Fellowship characters, Ring Wraiths and whole range of Rohirim and Gondorian warriors were all crying out “Buy me, Buy me!”
Knowing the figures were 25mm I thought, “How far off can they really be”. I mean what’s 3mm” After getting the first set and realizing the scale was not very compatible with the rest of my Warhammer collection I was greatly saddened. This compounded with the newer Citadel Miniatures from Games Workshop being slightly larger than 28mm, or 28mm “Heroic Proportions”. This may be old news to some, but needless to say I would have purchased additional say Lord of The Rings figures if they were of the same scale as other models in my collection.
Also, when manufacturers say 28mm they could mean to the top of the head or to the eye line. So be careful what you buy and what manufacturer you buy from.

Here’s a sample of what I’m crowing about. Look at these 3 figures. An Uruk-hai warrior at 25mm from Gamesworkshop LOTR line, next is a 28mm Saxon from Gripping Beast and next to him is a 28mm Empire soldier from Gamesworkshop Warhammer line. You can see the difference between the Saxon, scaled proportionally to a normal person, and the Empire soldier who is “thicker” and a bit taller, thus we get "Heroic" proportions.

Now let’s add a newer Empire soldier. A quick comparison is all it takes to see how much larger he is compared to the older Empire troops. This might be old news to gamers who have been around for a while, but for those who are new to the hobby, be cautious of what you mix together.

Another big manufacturer is Reaper miniatures. The make 25mm and 25mm heroic proportion miniatures for their main lines (Warlord and Legends). They also have "Master Series Miniatures" whose scale fluctuates.

So what does all this mean? Well if you and a buddy get together and you've brought some 25mm Vikings and your buddy has 28mm "Heroic" barbarians, your miniatures are going to get scared and run off the table. If you get together with a group who only play one game you shouldn't have any troubles. However if you play with a more diverse group, plan out your purchases and research what you're getting. So as we stated above, just be careful what you buy and from whom you buy it. 

Enough ranting, have a great battle!!
The Old Crow

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SAGA - Anglo-Danish versus Viking Battle Report

The SAGA of Breas Danaan the Mighty

“Curse those Northmen.” Spat Finian. Then shouted, “My Lord Danaan, Longboat approaching.”
Fortunately the siting of the Viking craft was soon enough for the alarm to be raised. Breas Danaan, warlord of the coastal region approached the tower. “Any more than one Finian?” he inquired.
“No sir, only one”
“Very good, we should be able to dispatch them easy enough. They are as rash as they are bold, remember to use that against them. Come, bring your axe and join me below”
Finian climbed from the tower and retrieved his double handed Dane axe. With a good swing the weapon could sever the head of a horse. This did mean he had to forfit his shield, but with such a powerful offense it was rarely needed.
The Anglo-Danish warband moved down the path leading to the flat land below their village.
Breas barked out orders, “Finian, take the other huscarls to my left and prepare to flank the barbarians when they land. Geras, you and five other ceorls stay in the center. Watch where the fighting becomes thick and throw your weight in there. You men, form up on the right and wait for my order to advance.”
Geras and the other warriors moved into position as the Viking band poured from their craft. Would he live through this day? He thought to himself. Would it be a good day? His thoughts were cut short when eight of the Viking bondi warriors took up the center of the oncoming warband. A group of hirdmen stayed to the Danes right with their warlord coming up behind them. He was an imposing figure and would be a force to be reckoned with. Then alarmingly, 4 warriors wearing only primitive marking of yellow and black paint sprinted toward the Danes left.
“Damn them!” Breas said forcefully. “Besrerkers!”

This was a 4 point SAGA battle between Anglo-Danish and Viking warbands.
Each point can buy 4 hearthgurd, your elite fighting men. Or 8 warriors, the bulk of your warband or 12 levies which are no more than peasants “recruited” in times of need.

The Anglo-Danish forces were 2 pts of warriors and 2 pts of hearthguard.
They were formed into 1 unit of 8 hearthguard with Danish axes, 1 unit of  6 warriors and a unit of 10 warriors.

The Viking forces were 3 pts of hearthguard and 1 point of warriors.
They were formed into 1 unit of 8 hearthguard, 1 unit of four hearthguard upgraded to beserkers and 1 unit of 8 warriors.

Breas spared the Norsemen no moment of rest and advanced with all of his forces. Seeing the threat of beserkers attempting to out flank his brave warriors he charged and called to Finian and the huscarls, “With me!”.

They thundered into the crazed beserkers. 
Blows were exchanged and the beserkers were no more. However 3 of the Danes fell and two others gave their lives protecting their warlord. Using a good dose of “Intimidation” can be very useful and the Danes used it to prevent the Viking warriors in the center from advancing. The rest of the Vikings dad move forward, the warlord moving up beside his hearthguard.

The Danes center moved in to block the 8 opposing warriors. The Vikings attacked with “Valhalla! ”  sacrificing 3 of their own to gain 12 additional attacks. Their fury cause numerous hits and slayed all but one of the Danes. The Danes did not go down easy and sent 2 of the Vikings to their doom. The last remaining Dane retreated from the combat.

On the right, fierce combat erupted as the 10 Anglo-Danish ceorl charged into the 8 Viking hearthgurd. The Vikings cause 14 hits but with the aid of “Hard as Iron” the Danes save 12 of them and kill one of the Viking elites. The Vikings use “Thor” to immediately engage in combat once more and slay 2 additional warriors. The luck of the dice goes in favor of the Danes though and they dispatch 4 Viking hearthguard! 
Savoring the moment, the Anglo-Danish warriors then use “The Push” and good dice rolls to dispatch 4 additional Vikings as they seemed to be trying to retreat as the last one did!

At that fateful moment, the Viking wartlord, his golden hair and beard flowing behind him, charged with true raging beserk fashion into the 6 warriors who dispatched his hearthguard. His fury could not be denied and he slew 3 of the brave Danes but could not overcome all of them and was pierced by spear and sword! 
Thus with their leader fallen the few remaining Vikings lost heart, turned back to their longboat and left the countryside for their long ocean voyage home. The Anglo-Danes need only to bury their dead and prepare for the next incursion.

Geras grimaced as the maiden cleaned and bandaged his wounds. He was fortunate to be alive when all those around him had died at the hands of the Viking warriors.
“Well done Geras!” Danaan commended as he clasped his hands on the young warriors shoulders. “You have fought bravely and continue to distinguish yourself with valor. Those are the virtues I look for in the men who make up my hearthguard.”
“Sir, what do you mean?” Geras asked, not fully understanding.
Breas Danaan stood to his full height and laughed heartily at the warrior. “Yes Geras, you will join my personal hearthguard and receive all the benefits and dangers it entails.” Breas continued to chuckle as he began to leave. He looked over his shoulder as he exited and smiled as he said “I hope you are up for the challenge!”
Geras watched the Warlord depart and caught a wink from Finian as the other hearthguard turned to follow Danaan. He had lived through the day, been extolled by their feared and respected leader and was now one of his retainers. Yes he thought, this is a good day.

Wrap Up
There you have it, the inaugural SAGA Battle Report! The Anglo-Danish forces held the day by winning a bold but rash battle against the Viking warlord. The thing to remember is keep some warriors nearby your Warlord so they can take the hit for him. This worked for Breas Danaan when he took three wounds from the beserkers. The first wound in each fight is automatically discounted against a warlord and any warriors or hearthguard within two inches can save their liege by taking a hit for him. So two noble hearthguard sacrificed to keep their leader alive!

Have a Great Battle!!
The Old Crow