HOTT in Hyboria: Zamora vs Koth-Ophir

•October 27, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The Valley of Scorpions is aptly named. The whole desert is swarming with the monsters. Having captured the Princess Arathena the evil mage Yara of Zamora seeks to hold her there in a tower. Little does he know that having bested the Koth-Ophirs Conan is hot on his heels to rescue her. With him he has an ally. Red Sonja of Hyrkania.

What neither side knows is that the scorpions will attack any one in the desert: acting as Lurkers the side that is active gets an unpleasant surprise for the stands that roll a 6 at the start of their turn. This meant that during the battle unwanted attacks happened and battlelines were broken up. All good fun.

1 The Zamorans

2 Koth Ophir

3 Zamora Advances

4 Damn Scorpion Lurkers

The two armies approach each other and the wily mage has seen an opprtunity: He places his Spider-Beasts and Warband to counter the Ophir Archers and Riders. He also places his Blades to counter the Kothean Knights. The two sides advance and almost immediately the dreaded scorpions start to harry the Zamorans. Biting off a head and tail Yara’s Monstrous Spider Behemoth breaks ranks and persues.

5 Beasts and Warband Charge

6 Countered by Riders

7 Beasts Kill Riders

8 Swords Attacked by Lurkers

9 Beasts Attack the Bows

10 The Battlelines Charge

11 Knights Held Back

Yara’s plans are working well. His Spider-Beast rout and kill the Riders of Ophir while scorpions attack the archers from behind. Feeling his left flank is secure he launches his battle-line forward, but his Blades are hampered in their advance by further scorpions. Yara itches to be within range of Conan and Sonja. Conan too sounds the charge, but alas! His Knights are slowed by more of the stinging beasts.

12 Yara Tries Bespelling

13 Sonja OustedAt last Yara rolls high Pips and tries to ensorcel Conan, but the barbarian’s will is strong. He battles with the Monstrous Spider before him, while Sonja holds back many spears. Conan’s Knights regain their charge and head for the shining swords of Zamora.

This was when I learned that Swords can trounce Knights badly.

14 Caught From Both Sides

Meanwhile to the north the brave Kothean Spears are attacked by Yara’s Warband and scorpions as well. Things are not going to plan for Conan. Princess Arathena seems a long way off.

15 Yara Ensorcelled

At this point Yara’s Behemoth turned tail and attacked more scorpions and Yara Bespelled himself with a 1. Now was the time to act, but as ill-luck would have it Red Sonja was forced back and without his Knights to guard him Conan was assaulted by the mass of Zamoran Blades. Now it was his turn to roll a 1 and for the Blades to roll 6.

16 Caught in the Flank

17 Is This the Death of Conan

Was this the death of Conan?

18 Time to Flee Sonja

At 12 points lost to the Koth-Ophirs and only 4 lost to the Zamorans the game concluded with Red Sonja pulling the troops, what remained of them, back.

After all what did a mere Corinthian princess mean to her?

This was a fun and quite bloody battle where Yara’s defence was about spot on. Before accidently shooting himself in the foot, his army effectively wrapped up both wings of the Koth-Ophir army and held down two heroes into the bargain. The use of Lurkers for the first time was fun as nobody knew who whould be attacked next. OK, I used them universally and not just in bad-going, but it added to the atmosphere of the game.

Hope you all liked this battle. Zamora are through to the Third Round alongside Turan and Asgard. The last battle of Round 2 is still to be decided between Zingara and Nemedia.

Comments and crits welcome.

 

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New Homecast Destroyers

•October 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

 

 

Over the course of the last few months I have been up-gunning my science fiction fleets with the addition of Destroyers. These have been a real blast to do: from the initial design concepts, to making the masters with Miliput, to making the RTV silicone moulds and to finally cast them in metal. The models are at a notional 1/1200th scale and they were the biggest things that I’ve cast up to now. What I’m finding is that the bigger a model gets the more tricky the cast. Here are some larger pictures.

Destroyers

Here are all five destoyers. Each one represents one of my five races and I hope that they go well with the other ships in the fleets.

Cloaked DestroyerThe Cloaked Fleet destoyer has a camo pattern that I based on Swedish camo as I like the Swedish planes like the Drakan and the Viggan.

Terran DestroyerThe Terran destoyer has a similarity to their frigate with a battle-bus kind of design.

Trading Guild DestroyerThe Trading Guild destroyer was a cow to cast with its twin tail. This was never really successful and I had to touch-up one fin with miliput.

EMP DestroyerThe EMP fleet destroyer was made to look like a kind of beetle which goes along with the alien nature of the other ships in the fleet I hope.

Pirate DestroyerThe Pirate destoyer with its under and over-slung guns matches the smaller frigate of this fleet quite well.

Here are pictures of all of the fleets put together to show how they go. I hope that each fleet looks like they come from the same culture. The Trade Guild and the Terrans are pretty well based on Human characteristics with the Cloaked and EMP fleets being more alien. The Pirates have a mix of stolen ships.

Cloaked Fleet

EMP Fleet

Pirate Fleet

Terran Fleet

Trading Guild Fleet

Finally I’m showing some battle scenes to see how the different fleets go together. I have no rules as yet, but they are something I’m working on. Rules design is, I’m finding, a many-headed hydra.

Pirate vs Trading Guild

Terran vs Cloaked

EMP vs Trading Guild

I hope you like my little space-fleets. They are a real pleasure to dream-up and see through to completion. Next step is to go one step or two up the tech-tree with Cruisers and then maybe Battleships. Will the moulds take it or am I looking at multi-part castings? Gulp!

Hope you like these. Comments and crits welcome.

 

 

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.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 1

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.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 4

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.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 5

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 6

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.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 12

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.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 15

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.

 

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 17

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 18

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 19

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.

Aquilonia vs Nemedia 24

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.

Greens 1

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.

Orcs 1

Orcs 2

Orcs 3

Orcs 4

Orcs 5

Orcs 6

Orcs 7

Orcs 8

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.