Sunday, March 30, 2014

T- Minus 5 days

My Rohan army from the LotR championships, no frills on the display this year.
Adepticon is next weekend and its a busy time around here, painting , printing , building, you name it. If running this years Legends of the High Seas game wasn't enough, I have two other tournaments I am playing in the Lord of the Rings Championships on Friday and Bolt Action on Sunday.

It feels strange that Lord of the Rings hasnt gotten much attention from me this year, only one new model in this army (Eomer) which was done in the fall when I was still thinking I was playing in BBB. Such is the state of the game however, Games Workshop has done everything they can to alienate long time players like myself. while not being a fan of WETA's aesthetic with the new Hobbit films doesnt help the situation. GW's insane prices and insistence of making most of the models in Finecast has killed most of the new releases for me. I havent purchased a single thing other than the Hobbit box set, and that was mainly for the rulebook..(although I do really like both the plastic Gandalf and Radagast figures) a couple other plastic boxes I've won from various events sit still shrinked because I have no use for them in any of my armies.  Even my enthusiasm for the rules has diminished. We are a couple years in now and the new fresh take on the rules that we were once excited about now seems unnecessary and cumbersome when viewed thru the eyes of lean and mean Legend of the High Seas rules I have been re-acclimating with and are based on the original Lord of the Ring Rules.

Regardless of this, I like all the guys here that play and the event is always a great time so I am in, abiet with essentially last years army, but I am in. but I can't say I dont regret the game never capitalized on the big bump in attention it got between the new army books and first Hobbit movie, it seems like something more should have happened with the game and there was lost opportunity there. Moving ahead I look forward to trying LotR armies with the SAGA rules in the future, as I see alot of the missing potential there, I touch on that briefly before and Rich and I plan on playing some SAGA very soon, just not at Adepticon.

Moving over to Bolt Action, my 1000 points of British Paratroopers and Commandos, themed on the Market Garden Invasion have gotten all my attention since last fall, while I had alot to do for the Pirate event, the rest of hobby time was here, and actually playing games which is always fun. really looking forward to the event, but I have display board to finish this week and some other small things for pirates so its off I go for couple hours before I have to sleep, I'll have some shots of my BA army up this week as soon as the display is ready...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014



We finally managed to get the playtest in last night, while we didnt have the number of players I need to run the game as it will happen we did have enough to break it down to test various rules and situations for playability. Definitely glad we did this as it resulted in several rule changes to the scenario and a bunch of tweaks made to insure everyone has a good time. At this point outside of some minor terrain details I still need to add the game it good to go, I'll leave you with some shots of the the full table.

Still need to do some work on the transition hill from the town to the fort. Not having a continuous surface makes the pieces will be on game night thou!

Light House View. Game starts at low tide and the game goes on the tide comes in and the area around the lighthouse becomes unplayable so the ship can sail in.

Town view

3/4 view

Long View

Next up I get my Bolt Action and Lord of the Rings ready to play...then it will be the actual reports from the event!

Monday, March 17, 2014

LotHS preview- putting the Demo together.

 Spent alot of today figuring out how the heck to put this 12 foot by 4 foot , 10 player Legends of the High Seas game together and transport all this stuff back and forth from Adepticon,  Not only does the set up need to playable, but it needs to be portable. Last time around (2011) I  basically hauled half my basement out there including two heavy 4 x 4 framed tabletop and and enough set ups to run
all the games.  This was not a pleasant experience (the moving and setup that is,  the tournament itself was awesome) and it definitely wasnt "portable" by anyone with any common sense measure.

 Telling myself, "I'll never do that again" had alot to do with the fact of why this game hasn't happened in the last two years outside of some family and work related issues. Because games like these requires alot terrain and scenery to set the mood (and I sold my Pickup earlier in the winter in exchange  for a more family freindly SUV.) My options to pull this off were somewhat limited. Deciding to run the event "Big Game" style as many smaller events are rather than a conventional tournament was step one, Step two was designing a board with great terrain that was easily moveable was the other.

I was sweating using the blue felt, worried about how it would look, but once I got it set up and saw the nice color contrast, I was quite happy.

Since one of the biggest requests in the long interim between these events was Pirate Ships- in a Pirate game, of course. I wanted the Ship to be part of the scenario and not just static scenery. While incorporating a "boarding action" type scenario wasn't in the cards for this type of game, One ship and some Water was.

 Using 3, 3 x 3 foam boards for the land mass and huge piece of Royal blue felt as a table cover gives me the nice color of some Caribbean water and huge land playing area with 1 foot boarder in which to Sail the ship for table end to end...which is 16 feet from dock to dock. 2 of my players crews will be fortunate enough to take The Griffon round end of the board , letting off a broadsides at their opponents along the way...of course Artillery goes both ways and there are 10 live guns on the board as well..Sinking the Ship and /or destroying some of the fortifications are part of the scenario. The cannon balls will be flying I am sure.

While I only got the Fort section or 1/3 of the table set up today it was only because I had some painting to do on the bases of both the other sections and they are drying. We are play testing the scenario Tuesday evening...I'll have the whole thing set up tomorrow.  I built quite a bit of stuff for this event, and borrowed the rest from some of my Pirates in arms, Rich and Tim, the latter of which is helping me run the event.
I am going to finish the full fortress to match the gatehouse section at some point, as you can imagine its quite the endeavor, having Rich's original pirate castle still kicking around is always a good thing.

In the end while there is alot of foam and plaster and a whole lot of scenery for the miniature to navigate, unlike last time is all portable in plastics tubs in the SUV with foam boards being very move friendly. While I will probably pour a nice resin water section on a permanent table here, the blue felt works well for the convention type setting.  While we do have a mish mash of various peoples terrain here, when I did the initial set up I was impressed with how much it reminded me of Havana from Assassins Creed Black Flag and that was pretty neat. looking forward to showing off the full setup over the course of the week. I am excited for this event, the players are in for one heck of a ride. Best of all I am not sweating moving the stuff around at all..which means if I can keep moving along on that track we might see these games alot more often!.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Battle of Arsuf

 Tuesday evening we returned to one of our favorites, Warlord Games "Hail Caesar!" . After a couple years of WAB and its WAB II incarnation. Hail Caesars game mechanics quickly won us over and its been our large format "go to" game ever since.

 This match was a demo for an event our group, (when I say our group, I mean  Rich) is running at Little Wars in late April. The Battle of Arsuf  was a pivotal battle of Richard I's 3rd Crusade.  Rich has a massive Arab army he's been working on for years, and a large amount of Crusaders as well, with couple of us helping out filling out the remaing details. With 4 divisions per side at 450 points per side this is a huge "Hail Caesar" game.

 The game coincidentally or not played out similar to our notes on the real battle.  I was running the Crusader Vanguard and was quickly engaged by annoying Skirmishers, including the incredibly annoying Nafitum (who throw flasks of flaming oil, immediately causing a break check on any wound. super dangerous to Cavalry) Having faced them before my Templars and Mounted Sergeants charged from the line getting lucky with a 3 move Order, However the Nafitum easily evaded. However if I could stand my ground the next round of shooting, I was in excellent potion to run down a whole bunch of skirmishers and med infantry with tough Cavalry, I survived the shooting
and did just that. This led to early collapse of lead flank turning the battle back toward Saladin.
 On the rear flank, per the Battle the Hospitaller Knights broke ranks with a 3 move charge and quickly got themselves in trouble until Mike end up reinforcing them and after several turns it did break his way.
 In the Center a long stalemate of failed orders under King Richard led to Saladin and his Body Guard
just waiting him out to see how the battles on flanks were going.  One of the great things about Hail Caesar, unlike various version of Warhammer is the Late Game , In Warhammer the fate of the game is often decided in the first two turns, and barring some extraordinary circumstance the game becomes an attrition toward the inevitable. Not so in Hail Caesar! where the late game of turns 5 and 6 often is the battle decider. This always keeps the game exciting until the last turn.

 When the Crusader counter attack finally comes in turn 5 with support of the Templars rolling up on Saladins Right Flank while the rear flank was steadily collapsing. Rich wisely pulled Saladin back and reformed a tight unit with his Bodyguard Cavalry..unfortunately the exhausted Crusaders didnt get the orders off complete to bridge the distance and the game ended in DRAW with the none of the four objectives (two for either side being completed).

The Battle of Arsuf

Saladins Forces

Division I

Mamluks with Spear and Bow
Berber Heavy Cavalry
Turcoman Light Horse X 2

Division II
Dismounted Mamluk x 2
Medium Archers
City Militia with Spears

Division III

Mamluks Bodyguard
Mamluks Spear and Bow
Syran Heavy Cavarly
Turcoman Light Horse

Division IV
Ghazi warband Fanatics
Medium Archers
City Militia with Spear
Light Archers X 2

Break Hospitaller Division
Destroy Army Standard

Richard I  Forces

Vanguard Division

Holy Order Knights (Templars) Heavy Cavalry
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow
Mounter Sergeants - Heavy Cavalry

Division I- English
Crusader Knights- Heavy Cavalry
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow

Division II- Outreamer
Crusader Knights- Heavy Cavalry
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow

Rear Guard- Hospitallers
Hospitaller Knights - Heavy Cavalry
Heavy Infantry
Heavy Crossbow
Turcopole Horsemen (Light Cavalry)

Break or Rout Saladin and his Bodyguard
Break two of the three Cavalary Divisions

Looking forward to this game at little wars I am putting together Richard I giant army standard which should be a nice table center piece. I've missed playing HC  this was a really fun game!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Lighthouse


 Continuing the current pattern here is "The Lighthouse" for the Adepticon Legends of the High Seas Event.  More towering Gun platform than actual lighthouse, It  was a good a name as any and I can always stick a light in there. As always I plan on using this for various games not just Pirates I can swap the roof for various genres.

Here a good sense of the scale with figures at the base..this sucka is big!
Other the copper dome roof ( an old toy part) its made exclusively with Hirst Arts 4" tower mold.
I struggled with roof design for awhile figuring out what I wanted to do, wasting a couple pricey sheets of shingle plastic card and too much time in the process. I was kicking myself for not picking Hirst conical roof mold, which I am certainly going to do after this. Saving some of the kids old toys in the junk box instead of letting them go to the Salvation Army has come thru again, the dome part is actually from a Fisher Price Submarine aimed at 3 year olds.


The guns in game terms are 12 pound Cannons, if you are watching the Starz Pirate series "Black Sails" thats exactly the size guns the crew of the Walrus risked everything to aquire as they pack a hell of a punch. Cannons will be live in the actual game are they are going to cause some carnage for sure.

Capturing this tower and holding it is one of the major objectives of the game. While the 4 inch interior is roomy an assault here would take place all the way up the stairs, and while the tower comes apart in  3 pieces I didnt do the stairs all the way as it was pointless and nigh impossible to access with figures. As a result we have special rules for assaulting this tower in actual game and they are very friendly to the defender as you can imagine.

Building these tall tower in sections is a challenge. As careful as I was the sections still did not line up perfectly, doing it with the naked eye. Close enough with the forgiving fieldstone blocks but to do a tall tower like this right  you really need to build with some sort of inset shape in the center that keeps the thing perfectly round as you build it, Any deviation is magnified as you get taller and correcting those is a beast.

 All in all, I am psyched with the way this came out although the hours in with obscene amounts of casting one mold and difficulties with vertical building, rival the entire gatehouse which is probably double the plaster.

One more piece to paint and then some terrain painting of the actual boards  and Pirates is ready to go!


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