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Thursday, 30 January 2020

Amaxon Serpent Priestess

This week I converted & painted a figure as an Amaxon* Serpent Priestess for my Lustria-themed Warhammer Quest collection.  I purchased the miniature via Fenris Games, but didn't want the 'male-gaze' bare breasts & bum look for these fierce matriarchal warrior women - therefore with my limited Green Stuff putty skills, I sculpted a top & skirt.  I'm pleased with the result, which is somewhere between the original 1980s fully-clothed 'punk-Native-American' vibe, & an 'Aztec-jungle-warrior-woman' look.  Initially I instead tried sculpting a hanging fan of feathers around her neck, & then multiple beaded necklaces, but both were too challenging, hence the plain top.  I may yet add a necklace of fangs from my Lizardmen bits though.

The Amaxons of Lustria are said to be descended from the womenfolk of a Norscan raiding camp.  When their barbarian menfolk disappeared venturing into the jungle, they survived & thrived alone, supposedly discovering powerful artefacts amidst ancient ruins which have granted them immortality & negated any need for men in their society.  Although descended from pale-skinned Norscans, I will be painting my Amaxons with a collection more befitting the climate, as they are generations removed... & perhaps the story is a myth - perhaps they were already protecting the ruins of the Old Ones, long before the Norscans (& then the Empire) came to plunder!

Priestesses are part of the religious sisterhood that governs the mysterious Amaxon society, possessing shamanic powers to harness the forces of nature against interlopers in their sacred jungles & Old One ruins - for instance hurling a swarm of bees, calling grasping vines, raising gales, or even escaping threats by turning into a cloud of butterflies.

* = I've chosen to go with the 'Amaxon' spelling rather than 'Amazon', because these matriachal tribes reside on & around the river Amaxon in Lustria, & the spelling is more fitting with that of the Lizardmen cities.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Wood Elf

This weekend I finished my second Warrior (player character) for Warhammer Quest (original version).  Following on from my Marienburg Noble, this time it's the Wood Elf, one of the classic four Warriors included with the base game.  Again, I picked a figure to fit with my Lustria-set dungeon, so I didn't want the usual cloaked Elf - it's hot & humid in the Lizardmen-infested jungles!  Another twist on the usual trope is that I picked another female figure.  Again I went with another excellent Hasslefree miniature, one that I felt had a real 'wild woods' vibe, while still looking suitably Elfin.  One minor thing about the figure is that it was very flat, which wasn't helped by the firing pose, & I'm a fan of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), so as the basic Elf begins armed with a sword as well as a bow, I added a sheared sword from the Empire Greatswords sprues.  I think this helps to bring a bit more '3D' to the pose.

Maika von Ostwald, the wealthy daughter of a Marienburg merchant lord, tired of life among the trade guild elite, & traveled to the New World in search of adventure.  The Wood Elf Eelyn Greenblade joined Maika on her voyage through a shared wanderlust, becoming one of her first questing companions.  Finally, here's a photo of the Noble & Wood Elf together...  Next up, the Wizard!

Sunday, 12 January 2020

More Foreign Legion support units

As part of a long-running series of gifts to my friend & gaming comrade, Tim, I've painted some more support units for his 15mm-scale Crossfire 1980s French Foreign Legion (2e REP paras).   Here's a photo of Section Bleu (the first platoon that I've finished for him, with all their attached support options (including an AMX 30 B2 Main Battle Tank).



I've now put together an additional Forward Observer, two more sniper teams, two 51mm mortar teams (plus smoke markers), & a .50cal team. Added to the support units which I already made for Tim, thats a total of two FOs, four sniper teams, two mortar teams, and three HMG teams (including one .50cal).  Next up for this force is to finish the second platoon, Section Rouge; & then a few APCs & a couple of 105mm-cannon-armed armoured cars.  I may also add a Company Commander squad & a combat engineers squad to round the force off.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Ronin gaming aids

Here's a photo of my gaming aids for Ronin (28mm chanbara skirmish).  The nifty katana rulers are marked for inches (9" length).  They came as part of a set from Sarissa Precision which also includes some stone lanterns - I'm looking at getting some cell-powered LEDs for these...

The dice are the same ones I use for my Crossfire games, & I painted the katana rulers as red & blue factions to match.  The Stunned & Wound markers are Ø10mm laser-cut ply discs from Fenris Games, which I painted as parchment, & then used permanent fineliners to draw on 'Stunned' or 'Wounded' symbols.  The Stunned counters have a single spiral on one side, & two spirals on the other (counts as two Stunned counters).  Meanwhile the Wound counters have a single cut on one side (Light Wound), & a double cut on the other (Grievous Wound). I flicked red paint from a knackered old small brush on the Wound counters, & added a gloss finish to try & play-up the blood effect, but I'm not certain I'm satisfied with the slightly wavy lines.  I may try some thicker, straighter lines, or perhaps use my blood splat (Pinned / Suppressed) markers from Crossfire instead.  

I painted some other laser-cut discs in black & white for the Attack & Defence markers respectively.  A pool of combat counters this large isn't normally required, but this will be enough for larger games involving lots of elite fighters.  The puff of smoke is simply a small piece of pillow filling, used for marking when a matchlock has been fired (& thus requires reloading).

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Third Ronin game

Here's a short report on my third game of Ronin from last weekend, against my friend Tim.  For our third introductory game of Ronin, we kept our buntai values at 100pts, but I took on the role of the Koryû (sword school).  Unlike the generally low-skill katana-fodder of the Peasant & Yakuza factions, the Koryû are generally high-skill fighters.  This meant that I only had three figures against the nine of Tim's Yakuza mob!

The Black Hang gang had the same roster as in our second game - consisting of a Lieutenant with katana, a Thug with a tanegashima (matchlock) & katana, five Thugs with katanas, & two Ruffians with ararebō (clubs).  My Koryû meanwhile had a Sensei with the Fast & Intuitive Attributes, plus two Senpai, one with Fast, the other with Intuitive.  All three were armed with the weapons of their school - a katana & wakizashi (sword & short sword).  I liked the idea of each of the Sensei's senior students having focus in one area of his own mastery.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Second Ronin game

Last weekend I had my inaugural games of Ronin with Tim.  Here's a little report (with plenty of photos) on our second game.  We stuck with the basic Skirmish scenario, but upped our buntai to 100pts each, & swapped sides - I played the upstart Peasants, & Tim took on the role of the dastardly Yakuza this time.  I rolled the Minor Goal of controlling all quarters of the board at the end of the game (difficult!), while Tim rolled that he mustn't lose more than 25% of his force (Boss Matsuda was clearly displeased about losing so many of his goons in the last encounter!)

My plucky villagers of Sangawe consisted of local land-owner Ishida Mitsu 'The Red Widow' - a Samurai lady with katana & wakizashi (sword & short sword), her loyal bodyguard also with katana & wakizashi, Bokusui the eccentric Warrior Monk with bō (quarterstaff), a Peasant with bamboo yari (spear), and six more Peasants with improvised weapons.  Tim's Black Hand Yakuza mob consisted of a Lieutenant with katana, a Thug with a tanegashima (matchlock) & katana, five Thugs with katanas, & two Ruffians with ararebō (clubs).

The random starting zones resulted in us facing-off from opposite edges.  The Yakuza deployed their main group (including Lieutenant & matchlock gunner) centrally, while a single Thug & the two Ruffians were heading for the crop field on Tim's right flank.  My armed villagers were split into a group each side of the house, with the Samurai & Warrior Monk on my left flank, & most of the Peasants (including the one with spear) on my right.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

First Ronin game

Today I played my first three games of Ronin with Tim.  It was an enjoyable introduction, with the attack/defence counter pool mechanic adding nice granularity to melee, but still being fast to play.  Here is a quick report on our first game - a little 50pts Skirmish scenario between the Black Hand Yakuza (me), & the plucky villagers of Sangawe (Tim).

My Yakuza mob consisted of four Thugs (basic-level) with katana, plus a Ruffian (low-level) with araebō (club).  One of the Thugs acted as the Leader.  They were opposed by five Peasants (low-level), four with improvised weapons, & one with a bamboo yari (spear). The Peasant mob was led by a Warrior Monk (mid-level) armed with a bō (quarterstaff).

The starting zones were random, & resulted in our mobs beginning on opposite table edges.  We both formed tight groups, & advanced at pace along the track towards the central choke-point between the stable & house.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Japanese rural scenery

My rural scenery set for Ronin is now more-or-less finished, other than completing a couple of rice silos.  Here are some photos of the 2' x 2' skirmish board featuring the rural pieces, with some peasants for scale.  The board itself is covered in brown felt, which cushions the underside on tables, as well as providing a quick & easy playing surface.  Haven't decided whether I will do any more to the board (e.g. dry brush with a lighter brown). 

The tracks & fields are simply cut from felt, with flock mixes glued on & fixed with matt varnish spray.  Seems to be minimising flock shedding so far.  The buildings are laser cut sets from Sarissa Precision Ltd (with removable roofs).  The crop fields are just sections sliced from a doormat - a very effective solution hat I have seen lots of wargamers use.  Lastly there is some of my scatter terrain pieces, made with real stones, a mixture of resin & plastic barrels & boxes, model trees, & a selection of flocks & Gamers Grass tufts.  The pile of firewood by the shed is off-cuts of plastic sprue.  The floor of the shed/stable is even lined with fake straw  :-)

I have a set of wider, straighter roads & a few more buildings (to be constructed) that will allow me to play village/town skirmishes.  I'd also like to get a lot more trees, so that I can run woodland fights.  Beyond that, I'd quite like a river with a traditional arched bridge, & boggy ground / rice paddies with raised walkways.  I'd also quite like to make a graveyard for an atmospheric chanbara showdown setting...

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Japanese village house

Today I finished painting my first building for Ronin (28mm-scale chanbara skirmish).  It's a Japanese Village House / Outhouse from Sarissa Precision.  These laser-cut kits are easy to assemble, & after a good coat of spray primer, they take acrylic paint well.  After base colours I used dark washes followed by simple dry brushing to quickly achieve a slightly weathered appearance, good enough for tabletop gaming.  The window shutters & door are perforated, allowing them to easily be cut from the main structure to position as desired. I chose to leave the door shut, & used a variety of positions for the shutters.