Hott in Hyboria: Aquilonia vs Nemedia

•August 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment

 

 

 

The Keep of Tor stands on the Red River that flows out of Nemedia and through Aquilonia. It has been the site of many struggles between these two arch-rivals for centuries. The two mighty kingdoms forever tied in a struggle for dominion: one over the other.

The sinister wizard Xaltotun rode with the Nemedian army towards the pass of the Red River. News of the Aquilonian army had reached Baron Amalric of Tor and he was intent on stopping the invaders from crossing the river. The weather was chill as the Nemedians marched through the mist shadowed pass between the Karpash Mountains to where the lonely keep stood.

Baron Amalric had arrayed his host before the Red River and in the morning light he began to see the Aquilonians across the pass. He distrusted Xaltotun but needed him. During the night the wizard had summoned two  demon creatures. With heads of eagles and bodies of lions. These creatures were stretching great wings. The Aquilonians were to be surprised greatly he thought.

“I sense a great warrior rides with the Aquilonians, but he will fall,” Xaltotun cried.

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Aquilonia vs Nemedia 2In this game the forces of Aquilonia were the attackers. Both armies lined up with the Red River between them. It was a race to see who would command the bank.

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Somewhat foolhardly Xaltotun sent his demon flyers to attack. Why oh why did he choose to attack shooters? The demons were killed, but the Nemedians got to the river first.

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Aquilonia vs Nemedia 10The Nemedian knights tried to cross the river, but Conan and his knights saw them off, supported by archers. Then Conan and his knights charged across the river. Conan was out of protective range of his cleric and when he crossed the river Xaltotun be-spelled him. I sent Conan back to his side rather than to the Keep of Tor. In his next bound Conan rolled a 6. Free to attack again.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 11By this time the Aquilonian spears were slugging it out with the Nemedians in the river. The Nemedians held the opposite bank stoughtly. The Priest of Mitre protected them from Xaltotun’s wizardry.

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Aquilonia vs Nemedia 13In an attempt to by-pass the Nemedian line the brave Bossonian archers were attempting to flank the Nemedians by crossing the river while Conan and his remaining knights did likewise on the other flank.

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Aquilonia vs Nemedia 16Alas the Bossonian archers were met by blades and some were slain while others retreated. Conan and his knights faired better and saw off the Nemedian knights, gaining the advantage.

 

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Aquilonia vs Nemedia 20In the melee the battle line began to break up and a rank of Aquilonian pike made the Nemedians retreat. Conan and his knights charged down to try to kill the wily wizard Xaltotun, but the Nemedians saw their danger and broke off to attack the Aquilonians who threatened them, pinning the pike from behind and infront.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 21Just then the battle hung un the balance with 12 point lost to both sides. Whoever lost the next element would lose the battle. From the side the Axes of Brythunia lunged at the remaining Poitian Knights.

Disaster! Xaltotun be-spelled Conan for the second time. The knights were lost. With the Aquilonians beaten and Conan out of action the battle went to Nemedia. Xaltotun was victorious.

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Aquilonia vs Nemedia 25So Nemedia and not Aquilonia go forward to the next round. The battle was interesting because even though Xaltotun threw away his potentially disruptive flyers by pitting them against archers he had the right strategy of holding the river bank at all cost, even when threatened by two flank attacks.

Conan too could have won the day if he had been able to press his charge home. At 12 points each things went down to the wire.

In the next round Nemedia will face Zingara. An odd geographical match-up so I will have to think of a good story.

Hope you liked this contest. Comments and crits welcome.

 

 

 

 

HOTT in Hyboria: Zingara vs Argos

•June 2, 2017 • 2 Comments

Today saw the clash of the mercantile powers Zingara and Argos. I wanted to make this something new so I made some galleys. I decided to make these moving terrain pieces with elements aboard them. I guess they could be treated as non-flying airboats or flyers except they travel on the water.

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The two armies were pretty standard with the Zingarians being led by Duke Gonsalvo and the Argosseans by Count Demetrio. I set the battle somewhere along the coast from the Thunder River, in the badlands between the two states. Both sides had strongholds. To the south was the sea and to the north the highlands rose to shadow-haunted forest where some say nameless horrors dwell.

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Both sides deployed with the cavalry on the plain beside the sea and the lighter troops to the north near to the rough going and woods. The bulk of the spears and blades took the centre. From the set to this was going to be an evenly pitched battle. Or it should have been. However Argos had all the bad rolls and Zingara the best on the land. It was the other way round on the sea.

First the knights clashed and then the skirmishing archers to the north. The Argossean knights lost their duel and the Zingarian bowmen forced the other wing back. Meanwhile at sea the Argos Marines stormed the Zingaran ship. I decided to allow no retreats here. If one ship was boarded then it would be a fight to the finish. Zingara lost and the Argosseans then sailed on to land behind the lines and threaten Zingara’s stronghold.

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Meanwhile Argos continued to lose men in the centre and flanks and Count Demetrio was surrounded and challenged to a duel by Duke Gonsalvo. As the day neared its end the dying Demetrio could see the Zingarian knights rushing to cut off and destroy the Argossean Marines.

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Then when all was lost and the battle was over Hell made its move.

From the hills above the carnage of the battlefield came an army of Ghouls attracted by the cries of the dying and a hunger for blood and flesh.

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There now was no distinction between Argossean and Zingarian. Duke Gonsalvo called for all the living to resist the screaming hordes of the dead and their undead general. The dead swarmed out of the forests and attacked all left alive from the battle.

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I didn’t deploy all of my undead army, only 10 points but they kept on regenerating and despite being hordes they cut down more of the living. The humans were disorganised from being hit in the flank and their PIPs were 1s and 2s. It took time to rally and Duke Gonsalvo had to withstand some fierce assaults from the dark-mage. It was only when it was blocked from retreat by its own horde elements coming up that the foul thing was slain. If you can slay something that is already dead.

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All in all a very fun game. The ship-borne combat was particularly gritty with retreat meaning death. Then springing the surprise of the Ghouls on the remaining unformed armies led to initial chaos until a new battle line could form.

Result was a win to Zingara who go into the next round. Who will they fight? The next battle is the Big One: Aquilonia vs Nemedia. Stand by for Action.

Hope you liked this battle. Comments and crits welcome.

New Homecast Orcs

•June 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This last couple of weeks I have been casting up and painting my new 25mm orcs that I have spent the last few months sculpting and making moulds for. This has been a very satisfying experience going from initial concept drawings to making the greens and onto completion. I wanted to get a Rodney Matthews/ Angus McBride kind of look to the figures, with good natural proportions. Do orcs have natural proportions? They are meant to represent larger man-sized orcs rather than smaller goblins, but not the elite Uruk-Hai. General Grunts in other words.

I went a bit over the top and made nine variants from three dollies and that was a bit too much as I only really needed about six different poses. Here are some pictures of the greens that were made with 50% Greenstuff and 50% Milliput Fine. The use of this mix made for better definition: Greenstuff is great for more organic, rounded shapes and Milliput is great for sharper edges and flatter planes.

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Greens 2Then I took the poses I liked and , as usual, made moulds using RTV silicone rubber. Near disaster struck on the second of the two moulds when I forgot to use the Vaseline, as a mould-release agent,between the two sides to the mould and some detail was lost on the backs of some of the models. Remember the Vaseline I say. Other wise the mould could set as one lump of useless rubber with the masters forever stuck inside. A cautionary tale.

Here are some pictures of the final painted orcs. I wanted to get them done with knives and packs and scabbards sticking out. With some of the arms pointing forward this meant quite a few of the figures were cast in three directions. One of the moulds never gave me both arms complete. Luckily I could cover this with a shield. Drop casting is a bit arcane and I had to fight the moulds for some of these boys to come out complete.

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I now need to decide where to go next. Half of me is thinking For Gondor! Ithilian Rangers and Citadel Guards. Perhaps try for a horse and rider from Dol Amroth. What about the Fiefdoms? Other half is thinking Elves from Mirkwood, Lorien and Rivendell. What makes them unique and identifiable? Hmmm.

Hope you like these figures. Comments and crits welcome.

Hyboria Campaign: Shem vs Koth Ophir

•February 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The desolate wastes of Shem are marked out by a string of forts sitting within these deserts where garrisons from Koth and Ophir defend their passes to their rich lands to the north. The threat comes from the wild Zaugir, the Sons of Shem, desert raiders. Only just lately has news been heard of a giant man who rides with them. A man known as Yamal al Aphto. He fights beside the leader of the Zaugir Yin Allal and together they have raided much.

It is near dawn at the lonely outpost of Fort Eruk and spies have said that the Zaugir will attack in the morning. The general commanding the Koth Ophir forces looks out into the desert. King Stabonus for all his madness has garrisoned Fort Eruk well. He has a host at his command. That and a certain warrior. A flame-haired Hyrkanian woman who all fear. Her name is Red Sonja.

 

The Zaugir deployed with their riders and Conan in the centre with the Shemish archers to the north who would sieze the high ground. The Koth Ophir army countered with their heavy foot and bows to attack the Shemish archers while their knights and riders would ride out to meet the desert riders. Red Sonja rode with the general.

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The Zaugir charged forward and battle was joined in the centre. The whole battle saw both generals attacking each other while Red Sonja cleaved a way forward, but Yin Allal was a well matched opponant and neither the flame-haired warrior woman or the Ophir general could best him. Conan decided to press forwards towards the flanks and had success destroying the Koth Ophir riders. Elsewhere the Sons of Shem took the highground and threatened to turn the northern flank. All around the Koth Ophir army looked like it was going to be surrounded.

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Time and again Red Sonja fought back the Zaugir riders and time and again the Koth Ophir heavy foot were pin-cushioned by the Shemish archers, but the spears kept pushing and seemed destined to be too far away to help the centre if all went wrong.

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Conan was having more luck to the south and he and a group of riders first smashed the Koth Ophir riders and then a stand of knights, pushing them back towards Fort Eruk.

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With dawn rising Conan pushed the last remaining knights all the way back to the fort, while Sonja, seeing the Koth Ophir general about to fall before the sword of Yin Allal leapt between them.

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Conan could sense victory as he slew the last of the knights and the way before him to the gates of the fort stood undefended, but at that very moment Sonja swung her shining blade and left the bloody head of Yin Allal in the sand.

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The treasures of Fort Eruk would remain in the hands of Koth Ophir. With the bright desert sun rising the Sons of Shem turned and rode, leaving the Koth Ophir army bloody but victorious. Conan passed by the flame-haired beauty as she wiped her sword on the fallen body of the Zaugir leader. As he rode away he called,

“You just did me a favour and I owe you one.” There was now no one to stand in his way as leader of the Sons of Shem.

“We will meet again Conan,” he heard the Hyrkanian call after him.

All in all an enjoyable battle. Once the forces were joined it was a gamble which general would die first and in retrospect Conan should have stayed with Yin Allal, but then he cleared a way to the Koth Ophir stronghold and with the support of the riders with him could have taken the prize.

Hope you all liked the battle. In the next round we will see Zingara up against Argos. Two merchantile nations slugging it out. Part of me wants to involve galleys fighting at sea as well as armies on land.

Comments and crits wellcome.

 

 

Tom Meier First Age Goodness

•January 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This holiday time I have at last finished two very long standing projects. The completion of my Tom Meier Ral Partha Collectors Series Elves and Goblins. What a job it’s been to paint these to a standard that does them justice, I hope,  as well as deciding to re-base them all on round bases. Well now they are done and I’m ready to unleash the might of Morgoth’s Angband on those pesky Noldor and Sindar. Here are some pictures. Hope you like them. Comments and crits welcome.