Thursday, August 17, 2023

Ravenfeast: First Battle


I downloaded the Ravenfeast free rules and gave them a whirl with my boy. We had a good time.

Ravenfeast is based on the One Page Rules system, and are very nicely produced. Ravenfeast also has a handful of scenarios and optional expansions available on their site, as well as tutorials on how to get started with modelling, painting, terrain building, and so on. It's really well put together.

We quickly selected our forces - my boy got 400 pts and went mostly for elite types, while I got 300 and concentrated on much cheaper basic farmers with shields and spears.

We ended up splitting our forces around a farm (the freshly tilled soil counting as difficult ground).

The system was fast and intuitive and enjoyable to play. The only issue we had was with shield walls...

A group of the local leiĆ°angr forming a shield wall.

The implementation seems pretty realistic. You can only move forward (or backward) in a straight line, and you get some bonuses to armour saves.

The separate clashes - shield wall vs shield wall - develop, tying up the majority of models on the field.

The problem we had is that the bonuses you get in a shield wall meant that there was a whole bunch of dice rolling with very little impact. Most of the models ended up with a "roll 5 or less on a d6" armour save against hits. And since most of our models were in mutual shield walls, not much seemed to happen for a while.

To be fair, both my boy and I played quite cautiously and we had pretty basic forces so we may have missed options that could've broken the stalemate earlier. And, of course, it's probably pretty historically accurate.

After a long period of pushing, one of the shield wall melees finally broke up as one side had insufficient models to maintain the formation.

Once one of the shield walls broke up and the combat devolved into 1 on 1 or 2 on 1 fights, the game got a lot more dynamic.

In spite of the shield wall quibble, we both had a great time and we'll be revisiting the game. I expect adding some Saxons, some Normans, mythological options and/ or some more complex scenarios will make the game more dynamic.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Dwarf vs Skeletons


Almost a full year since I posted last. Haven't been painting much, but here are eight that I finished...

Warriors from ages past rise from the bogs and hills where they have lain...

They set upon a lone Dwarf warrior travelling through the wilderness. But the undead daunt her not.

Seven to one, does not seem fair. The focus on the grass is less than ideal. I blame hostile magical forces, possibly necromantic.

With a fierce cry, the warrior launches herself into battle. These creatures died once. They can die again.

The skeletons are from the Oathmark plastic range. They have a nice bronze age feel to them.

The Dwarf warrior is from Bronze Age Miniatures

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Vikings and Gaels and Harpies, a Dwarf Wizard, Normans and a woman with a child

So I've been painting miniatures on and off and finally I got around to photographing them. As you can tell from the title, it's a bit of a random assortment.

They all seem to be brawling over control of a small Dark Age style hovel.

These are Foundry vikings. Personally I'm not convinced by the historicity of the breastplate. The beards and hair are a little too wild and unkempt too, if you ask me.

The fellow with the horn is Citadel IIRC, while the other two are Foundry.

Suddenly three fierce Harpies (Foundry) appear, intent on capturing the hovel.

Using their superior mobility, the Harpies displace the Vikings...

... but the Vikings rally.

Here a Dwarf wizard with a crow familiar (Oathmark) and three Celtos Gaels have taken possession of the hovel. Not sure where the Vikings and Harpies are up to, but if the opportunity is there it'd be foolish not to take it.

The Gaels have not accounted for the small handful of Citadel Normans. Off to the side we can see woman with a child. She's Citadel as well and, I think, somewhat later than the Norman era.

Things are getting confusing now. The Normans have the hovel, but one Gael swordswoman are still among their lines.

Confusion reigns. Who is fighting whom? Maybe it's all just for show...

In the end, the Harpies reappear and claim the hovel. Most likely they're feasting on the bones of the slain.

I still have to varnish the minis, but otherwise they are done. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Setting Out in Search of Adventure: Chapter 1 Fiction

Yesterday I posted the characters for the OSR-as-minis-skirmish-game I'm about to run for my wife and son.

Today I'm posting the fiction. Basically what I'll do is read it out loud, much like I'm reading a few chapters from a book, and then transitioning into the game.

Keep in mind that in terms of sophistication, this is aimed at a six year old.

Here's: Bravery & Epiphany's Very First Adventure

Here are the two main characters and their five loyal friends, ready to brave the deep dark woods.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Setting Out of in Search of Adventure

A little while ago I told my son (6 years old) and my wife to each select a miniature. The idea is that I'd stat them up and then run some OSR derived skirmish battles for them, while hopefully linking the games with a narrative of sorts.

It took me longer than I liked to stat the characters up, in part because I kept trying to get everything "just so" for my large OSR-as-a-minis-game project and developing set of homebrew rules for a potential RPG campaign. Then I stopped trying and got the stats done, which is better.

Now all we need to do is play the first game, which we'll do real soon. Like, we were going to do it today but then my wife's cousin and her family came over and I had to grill them some burgers. I also ended up having another commitment in the afternoon. So that didn't work out. Luckily, I hadn't promised anything except to myself, so I'm the only one who was disappointed.

Anyhow... my son picked an old citadel wood elf (Skarloc) with a big sword ("he must do a lot of damage") and bow ("and he can shoot"), and named him Bravery.

My beloved wife picked a Reaper mini, I think primarily because in her opinion the dress makes it the prettiest female mini I've painted. She was given the name Epiphany.

In part the abilities and so on are homebrew adaptations of a beta version of Kevin Crawford's upcoming Worlds Without Numbers. It's reasonably old school, but not quite B/X. I've also tried to put everything on the character sheet, both because it's easier for my player base to engage with and because it's less work than trying to write out the whole homebrew ruleset before we play.

My son also commented something like "imagine we had FIVE friends with us, and they got STRONGER when they work together" which I thought showed excellent early development of leadership skills. It also adds a bit more moving pieces for what is supposed to be an on-ramp to skirmish gaming, and provides an excuse for trying out some of the concepts I'm looking to develop.

I picked five viking minis (no armour) and named them Alfhild, Baggi, Eilif, Finnulf, and Klefi.

One of the concepts I'm looking at - and will be testing out in this game - is the idea that "regular troops" carry out instructions fine when near a leader. However, if left to their own devices you need a morale check to avoid them potentially showing undesirable independent initiative. It's intended to be a general rule, but in this case I've rolled it into the traits of the unit.

Next up, the narrative....

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Five Dwarves, the Mule, and the Beastman

If you go through the Beastwoods, you should expect to meet with those who dwell within. And if you do not have their permission, you could get into trouble. For example, these five Dwarves have just lost their pack mule.

Five on one should result in a Dwarf victory, even if the Beastman is much bigger. The question is, of course, how many mates does the Beastman have lurking in nearby bogs and thickets?

I've painted a few more minis. The Dwarves are new Oathmark plastics. Personally, I enjoy their pseudo-historical Dark Ages styling. The Beastman is an old Citadel mini, and the mule is an even older Citadel mini.

The Beastman takes up a tactical position with his back to a rock and some thickets. It'll be harder for the Dwarves to surround him now.

As you can see, I'm going with a mostly blue and yellow scheme for the Dwarves, but not too rigidly. I think early medieval (and early medieval type fantasy) people tended not to be too uniform in their gear. It turns out I also enjoy painting individual minis more than I enjoy painting "units", so theory and practice go together in happy unity in this case.

The Beastman agrees to trade the mule back for three bottles of strong ale and two books of poetry. In the end, no one was seriously hurt and new friendships were formed. Awh!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Fantasy Miscellanea

I also painted some fantasy minis.

First up, a Reaper Bones (first KS wave) undead thingie, an old Citadel (or Marauder) Chaos Warrior, and a Citadel Beastman.

This brings my Chaos Horde up to 5 Chaos Warriors and 3 Beastmen. It's a pretty small horde, which explains the need for undead to back them up on occasion.

The highlight here is clearly the Chaos Warrior's exposed left buttock. Chaos can be pretty wild sometimes.

Next up a Reaper earth elemental and two Celtos Gaels. The Celtos range has some women warrior in bikinis that I really like, but they are - as we say these days - a bit problematic. My current approach is to field a roughly equal number of more-or-less equally undressed male and female minis for a given faction and say that the nudity/ near nudity is a cultural thing independent of gender... but I'm having a harder time finding sexy dude warriors for some reason.

I love the face expression and dynamism of the woman warrior's pose. Her massive shield is pretty cool too. I suppose it makes sense to have a big shield if you're not wearing any armour.

Here they are facing the other way.

Finally, a fountain from the Reaper Bones first Kickstarter. I tried using clear acrylic medium and painting to suggest water with depth and I was really happy with it. Then I varnished it (matte varnish) and the water effect went all translucent grey. Maybe I'll try to fix it....

The woman is a Hasslefree mini and the trunk is from the D&D Nolzur line.

This woman's attire is a bit more historical, I think. Warmer too.

Now that I think about it, that's a pretty big chest. Like, steamer trunk sized. I wonder what's inside it?