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.

 

Hyborian Campaign: Zamora vs Corinthia

•August 31, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Every Summer the high priestess of Ishtar the beautiful princess Arathena, daughter to King Murillo of Corinthia travels to the shrine of Ishtar in the Karpash Mountains on the Road of Kings between Corinthia and spider-haunted Zamora to sacrifice and pray. She does not go alone, as the Karpash mountains are full of hidden dangers. This year she is accompanied by her father’s general Antagonistes as well as a new captain from the north. His name is Conan.

The Corinthian Army: General spear and 3 spears, Nemedian mercenary knights x 1, Corinthian hillmen with bows x 2, ballista x 1, the priestess Arathena (cleric), Conan a hero. 24 points.

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Far off in Zamora’s thief-infested capital Shadizar King Mitradites laughs cruelly. He looks thoughtfully at the sinister mage standing before him and says “Yara I like your plan. Snatch me this rare beauty of a priestess and return her to me. We will make King Murillo empty his coffers to have her returned.

The Zamoran Army: Yara magician general, gigantic spider behemoth, spider beasts x 2, Zamoran blades x 2, Zamoran bows x 2, Kushite mercenary warbands x 2.24 points.

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For this game I was using a Cleric and Artillery for the first time. Corinthia relied on these to blunt the threat of a magician and a behemoth-The wizard Yara and his gigantic spider-demon. Yara also had spider-beasts and a mercenary group of warbands from Kush. Their quick-kills against spear were Yara’s hope to break the Corinthian centre.

General Antagonistes intended to stand firm and not be drawn out. Yara advanced his army, but held his swords and behemoth back, to avoid Conan and the artillery waiting for them.

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31082016650With a rush Yara sent the Kushite warbands and beasts towards the centre and the left. His archers moved up to support. When battle was joined the rash Nemedian mercenary knights that Antagonistes had brought with him started to push forwards trampling the oncoming beasts. Conan also grew impetuous and wishing to draw Yara’s swords into the battle charged.

 

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31082016654In the centre the Kushite warbands were not having the effect that Yara wanted and he was being countered in his sorcerous attacks against Antagonistes’ spears by the power of the priestess Arathena. Suddenly things broke and beast killed knight, while Conan flanked the Kushite warbands to wreak their ruin on the points of hoplite spears.

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31082016665And still Yara did not commit his swords or the foul demon by his side.

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31082016674Then with the hoplites of Antagonistes wheeling to meet the threat of Yara’s swords he unleashed twin attacks on left and right. A swarm of spiders and swift archers attacked the Corinthian bows who were protecting the priestess now the knights were gone. The giant spider-demon of Yara leapt forward despite shots from the Corinthian ballista on the right. Conan was outflanked by the foul monster while attacking a forest of Zamoran swords. He fell senseless,stricken by poison and knew no more.

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31082016681Too late to do anything except meet their deaths the soldiers manning the Corinthian ballista were crushed and rent by the monstrous spider-demon of Yara. The way was now open to take the priestess Arathena.

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31082016687In a last gasp General Antagonistes saw a chance and charged towards the evil Yara, as the rest of his spears and bows were slain or routed. It was too late to save the day.

“Sheath your sword General or my pet will devour your pretty priestess,” mocked Yara. “It is a long way to go before we reach Shadizar and King Mitradites.”

Later as the sunset a shadow moved inside the temple of Ishtar. Battered but alive Conan watched the long caravan of Yara’s army march away towards Zamora with vengeance in his heart.

After the battle:

Well. Conan does it again and thinks with his heart rather than with his brain. Antagonistes said hold and let them come to us, but Conan and the mercenary Nemedians just had to have a go. Those knights just love to break up a battle line. Maybe Antagonistes should have brought along more loyal spears to defend the line.

What did work well for the Corinthians was that the priestess was able to blunt the magician Yara’s attacks against the lines quite well. Also the ballista and hero Conan did give Yara pause for thought about attacking on that flank.

Double ranked spears are firm, but the line was too easily outflanked in the end.

In terms of the campaign it means that Zamora will go forward to the next round. They will be fighting either Koth-Ophir or Shem, both desert kingdoms. Conan wishes to rescue the priestess Arathena and return her to her father in Corinthia. He must now be on the winning side of the next battle to be able to do this. Let’s hope he learns from his previous mistakes.

Hope you have enjoyed this battle report. Comments and crits welcome.