About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Friday 4 September 2015

Hordes and Heroes on Hexes

Alliteration FTW!!

Wow! Doesn't time fly? It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year since I posted anything here, but there's been a fairly good reason and, funnily enough, she is about 1 year old!

But I think it's time to get this show back on the road. My wee project that I've been working on recently is 10mm fantasy. I've long had a hankering for the good old days of WHFB where I built my armies up over time, playing a game, adding a unit and so on. These days I just don't have the time to paint that many miniatures and Warhammer is actually gone now, anyway. So, I turned to the small scale again and looked at Pendraken and Kallistra. Having always been a fan of hex based systems, such as Commands and Colours, the Hordes and Heroes rules from Kallistra really appealed and I decided to plump for some of their Hexon terrain too. So, after some furious painting to get two sides done (100 points each), George and I took the rules and terrain for their maiden voyage on Tuesday.

The battle lines are drawn! Undead on the left, Orcs on the right.
With the river blocking the chariots, the Undead attempted a flank march with their mobile units. But the Orc flyers spotted them and they were met, like for like.
The respective centres face up. The Orcs protect the bridge with two powerful units, the Trolls and Mountain Orcs. Their far right is all rabble, though, and possibly not the best match for the lurking terror of the Tormented Spirits (far right of pic).
The trolls can't help themselves...there's a bridge!
The Undead cavalry and Orc wolf riders clash as the chariots size each other up. The flyers circle, waiting to pounce.
The skeletons advance in silence.
Meanwhile, the melee on the flank widens...
...but the wolf riders are broken. The Undead chariots do not fare so well, but the fact they will not flee is a thorn in the Orc's green hide for the whole game.
Eager for a fight, the Orc horde surge across the river.
They are met by the implacable ranks of skeleton warriors and the howling spectres of the Tormented Spirits.
The undisciplined horde are stunned that their axes and spears are no use against the ghosts and they fall back in disarray.
And the game ends as the horde all break and run for it. The centre was largely static, with the powerful units all unwilling to attempt the river crossing. On the other flank, the Undead cavalry attempt to disrupt the Orc rear, but they are caught by the chariots and flyers. Again, though, their attempts to destroy the skeletal horsemen are frustrated by efforts of their general and the fact they will not flee,
Both George and I agreed that the game went well and the rules were easy to pick up. The table looked great and it certainly gave me that 'big battle' feeling that I was after. What I really liked was the command and control rules, that didn't rely on random activation rules for battlefield 'friction', but rather it was contact with the enemy that brought your plans crashing down. I have already got more units to paint and we are both aiming to make up to 150 points for the next game.

Great stuff!

Sunday 23 November 2014

Treasure Alley

Hi all! After a wee break from blogging (but not gaming or painting) I thought I'd come back with a black powder bang and write up a report of our latest Pulp Alley escapade. This game was held at the G3's annual Spencer Warner Memorial Games Day, which is a really good idea and all the proceeds go to the Macmillan cancer charity. Last year we did some dinosaur wrangling, so this year we thought we'd keep up the tradition of doing something a little different and blending genres. So, without any more preamble, I present Treasure Alley...!

Dramatis Personae
Front: Long John Silver (centre), Israel Hands (left), Scurvy Jack (right)
Rear (left to right): Job Anderson, Billy Bones, Black Dog

Front: Squire Trelawney (centre), Cpt Smollet (right), Jim Hawkings (left)
Rear (left to right): Abe Grey, Allen, Dr. Livesey

Front: Cpt. Dick Bolitho (centre), Cpt Hayward (left), Midshipman Rodney (right)
Rear: Royal Marines
Missing from the shot is Lt Aubrey who was brought in after we gave Bolitho the Commander ability.
Aubrey became the sidekick and Hayward an ally
The scenario was mostly a rework of the Mukubwa Shetani scenario from the Dirk Drake campaign last year. Basically, the crews had to get to an obelisk (major plot point) in the middle to decipher some runes which tell of the location of unimaginable riches. Unfortunately, they needed to 'persuade' one of the local native chiefs (minor plot points) to translate some of the more obscure runes first. Of course, these chiefs were escorted by some warriors who would move directly towards the nearest character in an extremely perilous manner..ahem! :)
The table

Of course, once the secret of the stone is unlocked, the powers unleashed will alert Kalinago, a twisted, necromantic shaman who is guardian of the stones and it's secrets.
Kalinago and a mob of those unfortunate enough to encounter him.
Long John Silver's crew creep through the jungle towards the nearest chief.
The marines form up around their captain and begin trying to put down the encroaching natives.
Squire Trelawney's crew also engage the natives, but their master at arms was clearly drunk last night and the powder must have got damp. The natives scream their curses and close in,
Israel Hands, Silver's brutish bodyguard, puts himself between his captain and the irate locals.
Trelawney's men clash with the natives in vicious hand to hand. The momentum of their charge puts his men into some trouble and things look bleak.
Silver's men hurry to provide support as Israel Hands struggles to protect his boss.
The highly disciplined Royal Marines form a firing line and prepare to receive the native's charge.
With the support of his crew, Silver clears area of warriors and captures the chief. Understanding the finer points of a cutlass, the chief sullenly capitulates (the counters are where natives were killed. All will become clear!)
And his men swarm up the ruins. Unfortunately, Silver's own peg leg seemed to hinder him a little...!
Billy Bones tries to single-handed fend off the marines. It appears he really doesn't like the Navy. Can't think why...!
But the marines immediately respond in true military fashion. By bringing superior firepower!
Miraculously, Billy Bones survives the hail of lead and falls back. But the pirates come under some real pressure as Bolitho urges his men forward.
Finally freeing his peg leg from the cracks in the stone steps, Long John Silver hobbles to the top and makes the chief translate amid the din of battle. He turns some dials on the stone which reveals the location of the treasure, but his hair stands on end as a strange energy pulse is released.
As Squire Trelawney's men finally break through the native warriors, seize their chief and close on the ruins a terrible moaning emanates from the temple behind them. With a shriek of anger, Kalinago appears and a horde of hideously rotten walking corpses disgorges from the crypts.
As Kalinago began raising the recently fallen warriors, Trelawney's men are caught in a desperate struggle. The horrified marines fan out in panic and Silver's men flee into the jungle.
And that's when we ran out of time! But that's OK. Nothing like a good cliffhanger! We have some ideas about how things pan out and we'll certainly be picking this theme up again. Overall, for some reason, Pulp Alley really, really suited this setting and I think George and I came out of it with the view that this was our best game of PA yet. I think that central to this was the black powder rules. We used the option of having to spend an action to reload their guns, which meant that the movement and positioning felt a lot different. It also meant you thought twice about dodging over firing back and promoted the cutlass and sword over the pistol. For example, Trelawney's men managed to get a single volley off before the natives charged and then it was all hand to hand. This just felt right and gave a really exhilarating and cinematic game.

Once again, Pulp Alley proves it's pedigree and I promise not to leave it so long again before I post the sequel!

Thursday 7 August 2014

My Hero

Last night I painted up another of the Nightfolk range from Northumbrian Tin Soldier. This little chap is called The Hero and really sums up the quirky, unique nature of this growing range of figures. It's just so charming!
Fear my wooden sword!

My son had the idea to paint the shield as a dragon's scale.
If you like this you should check out the latest sets to come out over the past couple of months. I'll have the 'Pythonesque' knights on this blog sometime in the near future.

Northumbrian Tin Soldier

Monday 7 July 2014

Verthandi, Sword of Light

So, here we are in July and this blog has been as quiet as ever! It really has been a slow year so far, but I haven't been altogether inactive on the painting front. But as a change of gear from the usual wargames figures, I tried my hand at something a little larger. The nice lady pictured below is a 54mm figure from Andrea Miniatures and was painted almost entirely with Scalecolor paints from Scale75. I really enjoyed painting her and it definitely stretched my techniques, blending and NMM in particular, which was really the aim. I've actually done a few extra wee bits since these pictures were taken but I hope you like her anyway! 

Monday 2 June 2014

Mozambique Manhunt - Perlious Island Episode 4

A week or so ago I played the fourth episode of our Perilous Island campaign with George and it was as much a hoot as always. Due to our terrain, and the fact that we've been in Africa already, we decided that the hunt for the old sailor should happen in Mozambique, which also gives us a nicely alliterative title!

This scenario was a lot of fun, with the 'red herring' rule meaning that there was a chance that a plot point would actually turn out to be a false lead. Also, the major plot point was only revealed by a random draw of the Reward cards, but any character attempting the a plot point had to have a minor plot point to have any chance of finding the old sailor, which added to the chaos!

So, on with the show!

The hunt begins. The white arrows indicate where the plot point marker are (a couple are in buildings). George clumped his league into two groups at the right hand corners of the table, whereas I spread mine out across the board.
Lo Chan Fu emerges from a sinister bank of swirling fog!
The Dragon Warrior skulks behind some crates, waiting for the heavily armed sailors to come closer.
Lo Chan Fu approaches the priest outside the Catholic Mission to interrogate him. However, his mental assault is too strong and the priest's mind is blasted clean! (I got a Red Herring! D'oh!)
The Dragon Warrior and Ed Hands clash in an alleyway, knocking each other down. This epic battle of martial arts versus sheer brawn would last almost the whole game. Meanwhile Robeson and Xiufang engage in a gun battle, the bullets zinging by the struggling brawlers' ears.
Lo Chan Fu spots another member of the Catholic Mission's clergy and stalks him. This time he is less brutal with his psychic assault and garners the information he desires, but alas, the priest is still left as a twitching husk of a man.
Meanwhile, across the town, Chao Lee tries to prevent anyone getting to his assigned mark before he does, and Castro reels back from the whirling meat cleaver.
Having seen the deck hand off, and intimidated the informant into divulging his secrets, Chao Lee selflessly hurls himself at Chief Mackenzie in an attempt to prevent him finding the old sailor (all other plot points were done, which meant the last one had to be the major plot point.)
The dark mist enshrouding him, Lo Chan Fu moves to make his mind felt, while the ethereal Dragon Lady drifts past to intercept Castro, who had recovered from his cleaver cuts.
As the battle comes to it's climax, the ringing sound of steel on steel still echoes from the alley.
Chao Lee, in a fit of rage and fury, somehow takes on the Chief and gives as good as he gets! Cortese himself is wounded by gunfire from Xiufang as he rushes to help, but he loses his footing in the dirt and can't quite make it.
And suddenly, the fight is done and the sailors know the game is up. A bolt of psychic energy stuns Cortese and he drops to the floor, just as Ed Hands succumbs to the skill of the Dragon Warrior. Surrounded, Chief Mackenzie dodges from his assailants and drags his Captain to safety. In the building, Xiufang secures the Old Sailor and hauls him off to the waiting Lo Chan Fu.
 Another great game and a satisfying end to Act I. So far, the cunning and wiles of Lo Chan Fu have had the edge on Cortese's sailors, but now the mind games are over. Who will survive the dangers of exotic predators and hungry cannibals as Act II takes us to - Perilous Island!

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